Friday, July 30, 2010

Recipe: Shepard's Pie

I'm pretty sure this isn't a traditional Shepard's Pie, but it's yummy! I found it in the cookbook Connie bought me, Busy Woman's Quick & Easy Recipes. (thank you, Connie!) Casseroles seem to be what I'm leaning towards lately, probably because they are easy and make a lot of leftovers that Tim can take to work for lunch.

Shepard's Pie

1 lb lean ground beef
1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups instant mashed potatoes, prepared
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • Brown beef in skillet, cook for 10 minutes and drain.
  • Add taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water and cook for additional 5 minutes. Spoon beef mixture into 8-inch baking pan and sprinkle cheese on top.
  • Sprinkle with corn and spread mashed potatoes over top. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serves 4 to 6.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Entertainer

Brenden is a ham and has been entertaining us for a very long time. He often says hello to random people while we're at the store or yells at other kids. "Hi, boy!" is one of his favorite phrases. (We've had a hard time explaining that he's not being rude or mean, he's just trying to be friendly. I'm still not sure why that offends anyone.)

Lately he's being our little singing sensation. He's always loved music and has been bopping around to it forever, but he's just started remembering lyrics and melodies in the last few months. He has a sort of set list that he follows. It goes:

1. The Diego Theme Song
2. Itsy Bitsy Spider (with hand motions)
3. Twinkle Twinkle (also with hand motions)
4. ABC's

Sometimes he will throw in The Black Eyed Peas "I Got A Feeling", which is one of my favorites. I request it a lot! Sometimes it's the theme song from Wonder Pets, which we often hear him singing when he's falling asleep. (Or while he's asleep...which cracks me up.) We're required to clap every time he finishes a song and then we are rewarded with a huge smile and a bow.

I still can't decide what he'll be when he grows up. An actor? A football player? A comedian? A soccer player? Maybe a singing and dancing baseball player. What I do know is that whatever he decides to do, he'll never be bored, and neither will we.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Not the metaphorical type. The real life, metal, hurt your armpits type. Well...just Tim's armpits.

Tim's knee has been bothering him for roughly six years. He was running a marathon (Craziness!) and sometime during the 26.2 miles hurt his right knee. He's complained about it, had doctors look at it, and went through physical therapy. None of those things helped, so he went to another doctor for an MRI. That test showed he had water on his knee and a torn lateral meniscus. The only way to really fix it was surgery.

His surgery was scheduled for the 16th. We headed out early while the kids drove grandma Connie crazy. (She also made us enchiladas...thanks, Connie!) We were told to get to the hospital at 11:30 pm for pre-surgery preparations and then he would be taken back at 1:30 pm. Tim got dressed in his sah-weet purple hospital gown with matching socks and hat and we waited. And waited. And waited. By 2:30 pm Tim was STARVING. He wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. When 3:30 pm rolled around we were all getting a little anxious. They finally rolled him back at 3:50 pm and Mike and I headed down to the cafeteria so I could eat way too much greasy food.

That's hot.

We made it back up to the waiting room at 4:20 pm and the doctor called about 30 seconds later. It turned out that Tim had more damage to his cartilage than they thought so they had to clean it out and hope that it would grow back. What that really meant was that Tim would be on crutches for 7-10 days instead of the 2 days we expected. Tim was not happy about that development. Other than the pain in his knee, he did fine with surgery and the anesthesia. He was good to go home about an hour after they brought him out.

Brenden has a habit of jumping on us so we thought that the first few days would go better for Tim's knee if he hung out with the grandparents. Friday night and Saturday morning he was spoiled at grandma and grandpa Kelly's house. He played with racecars, was taken out for a yummy breakfast and went fishing for the first time. Saturday night and Sunday he hung out with grandma Warehime and the spoiling continued. He was able to see his great-grandmas, go to church to play with the kids, and hang out at Kiddie Park.

Our weekend at home was nowhere near as exciting. Tim spent most of the time working on his Captain's Career Course and icing his knee while Lauren slept and I did house stuff, like arguing with the weed eater and mowing the yard. Exciting! And so very HOT.

Helping daddy work.

We are all ready for Tim to feel better. Tim has a big old case of cabin fever and I'm still exhausted from mowing. Hopefully this will be the only surgery he needs. If it's not, we may all go a bit crazy. (And I may hire a lawn service.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Recipe: Broccoli Chicken Casserole

I got this recipe from Tim's mom. It's easy to do and our entire family enjoys it. Plus, it's really good the next day.

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks (We sauté it in soy sauce.)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 container of cheese whiz
2 cups cooked rice
1 bag of frozen broccoli, steamed
  • Combine all the ingredients and pour into a small casserole dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Like I said, super easy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

3 months old!

Three months old...seriously?!? How did that happen?? My oh my how time flies, especially with 2 kiddos keeping me on my toes.

Lauren changes every day. Her hair has started really curling and her eyes are a beautiful dark blue. We're keeping our fingers crossed that they stay that way, although if they change we're just fine with that, too! She is definitely a coo-er and loves to gurgle any chance she gets. And oh her little laughs! So very cute. She's started blowing spit bubbles, which led to a lot of drooling and her first day of wearing a bib.

She will fall asleep just about anywhere when she gets tired, from the carseat to the floor on her play mat. She still demands, very loudly, to be put in bed at 8 pm. She still has no tolerance for wet diapers, which we're hoping means she'll be easier to potty train. She hasn't started rolling just yet and still hates tummy time, but her core muscles are strong! She's already trying to sit on her own and has almost mastered it with the boppy. She definitely likes the Bumbo!

Beautiful little girl.

She has finally gotten used to the carseat and doesn't scream bloody murder every time we try to put her in there. Part of that is the fact that we took the head support out and she is more upright. I think she can see a lot farther now, too, so she can see her toys that hang from the bar. She is most definitely going to be a "blanket" baby because she enjoys holding onto fabric, whether it's a burp cloth, her shirt, or one of her bunny blankets.

Snoozing with her little blanket.

It's amazing how much we know about her now. What makes her happy, what she wants when she cries, and how she likes to fall asleep. (One hand over her pacifier and the other over her ear.) I cannot imagine our family without her and her adorable little face.

We love you, Lauren!

3 months old!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

I am not a cook. I don't bake well. But I can follow directions well enough that sometimes I make something pretty decent. I decided to post the recipes that I like the best on our blog. Mostly, I want a record of them so I can always find them easily. Of course, it also allows me to share some yummy dinner ideas.

I first saw this recipe here. I've made it a few times and it is delicious. Anything that Brenden will eat is a keeper to me! It does take awhile, but it's worth it.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 cup chopped onion (I use one small onion)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 small can of sweet whole kernel corn, drained
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup Half & Half
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded
one pie crust
  • Sauté onion, celery, and carrots in margarine for 10 minutes.
  • Add flour to sauteed mixture, stirring well. cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Combine broth and half-and-half and gradually stir into vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
  • Stir in salt and pepper. Add chicken and stir well.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 2 qt. shallow casserole dish. Top with pastry. Cut slits in pastry.
  • Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I was right!!!

From the moment we brought Lauren home and I saw Connie's baby picture, I've said that they are practically twins. Lauren's hair may be darker, but other than that, it's scary how much she resembles her grandma.

See what I mean:



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Even with the rain, this weekend was a blast and a complete success. It's definitely one of the best 4th of July weekends I can remember. Laid back, full of family and friends and lots of good food...perfect.

Tim was able to take a day off so we headed out on Friday. The lake was almost empty, which made it the perfect time to take two small kiddos out on the boat. Brenden had skipped right on past naptime at 1 pm so I assumed he would pass out a little early for the night. He surprised us all by climbing into my lap while we were riding around the lake and promptly falling asleep. No amount of bumping could wake him up and he snoozed until we had to get him off the boat at the shore.

Brenden swimming with grandma and grandpa.

That night was low-key, just hanging out, drinking beer and eating super yummy food. Our only exciting moment came when we were driving back to Mike and Connie's house. (We stayed there with Lauren while Brenden stayed in the camper with his grandparents.) We were headed into town to get Tim a fishing license when the red and blue flashing lights started. I initially assumed Tim was speeding but he told me he was behind a slow car and wasn't anywhere near the speed limit. It turns out we had a light out over our tag, which he got a warning for. The police officer was just trying to find drunk drivers who were driving back from the lake. It was no big deal and I was personally glad that they were doing their best to keep us all safe.

Lauren was festive!

The next morning dawned bright and early for Tim. He and his dad left the house by 6 am to go fishing and had a pretty successful trip. I believe they caught 6 fish, all of which they gave to their neighbor. By the time Lauren and I were up and dressed it was cloudy and drizzling and when we made it to the lake it was all out raining. After about an hour of trying to keep Lauren warm and dry we decided it would be best to head back to the house. Brenden was the only one that was upset. He was having a blast playing in the puddles and the runoff from the canopy. The rest of the day was like one big nap for all of us. It wasn't terrible being forced to relax, but it wasn't the lake day we all wanted.

Happy boy.

The 4th was supposed to be just as gross as Saturday but it surprised us all. It was cloudy, but the rain held off all day until dinner was ready. We had the chance to head out on the boat to watch Mike, Tim and Nathan water ski and let Brenden ride in the innertube with Tim. Brenden really wanted to water ski and was a complete, sobbing mess until grandpa explained that he could learn to water ski when he's 7 years old. Every time he got upset after that I would just ask him how old he was and explain that he had to be 7. Somehow that worked!

Two different outfit. She's only slightly spoiled. :)

It may have been a soggy few days and we didn't see any formal fireworks, but it was wonderful. Good food, beer, family and can't be beat. Add to that the fact that I was able to get all of our laundry done on Monday after we got home and I would call that a truly awesome weekend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

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