Sunday, April 22, 2018

::Dinner Plans #26::

Another week, another meal plan. I really do find a large amount of joy in coming up with a meal plan and doing the planning/shopping/preparing/cooking. The part I don't like? The cleaning! The cleaning is the worst part. I should be honest, though. I only have to do the cleaning up from dinner on the few nights that my husband isn't home. Like I said, though, that doesn't happen all to often.

Monday: Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Stew. I realized that, during my pregnancy, I made quite the stock pile of freezer meals. This is one that we eat pretty often--it looks kinda gross, but it tastes good and the kids love it!
Tuesday: Instant Pot Deconstructed Egg Rolls. My mother-in-law made this a few weeks ago, and we loved them. Even my picky five-year-old gobbled them up.
Wednesday: Lasagna! It's another one of those freezer meals. Unfortunately for our meals, the weather has turned and we have a lot of "winter" meals left to eat. I will gladly deal with "winter" meals in the nice long as the nice weather stays! We definitely put in our time this year--snowiest April on record for Minnesota!
Thursday: Summer Vegetable & Chicken Soup. I haven't tried this one yet; hopefully everyone likes it!
Friday: Homemade Pizza. If the weather cooperates, we will have grill pizza and eat outside. My kids love to eat outside. It isn't my favorite thing, but I do it anyway.
Saturday: Grilled Kebabs & Vegetables.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

::Dinner Plans #25::

I've started to do my meal planning and grocery shopping on Mondays (well, sometimes the shopping doesn't happen until Tuesday) and it has been wonderful. The grocery stores are far less crowded--I used to tackle Costco and Aldi on Saturdays. Yikes. That's all I'll say about that.

Here are our plans for the week:

Monday: Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken OH EM GEE. We had this a couple of weeks ago, and it was delicious. I almost followed the recipe to a T, though I left out the sugar. While I had to pick around a few things for the picky kid (the big one doesn't care for peppers), this recipe was a hit and will definitely be added to the rotation.

Tuesday: Instant Pot Roast. I use this recipe because I don't really care for the recipes that use onion soup mix (I did leave out the A1 steak sauce). Don't get me wrong. I love the onion soup mix in sour cream as a chip dip. It just isn't my favorite for a roast!

Wednesday: Shrimp Alfredo -- easy peasy, from a jar. Simple, oh so simple. We cook shrimp, cook noodles, throw a jar of alfredo sauce over to top. When I'm super organized, I have a salad all set to go. But that doesn't always happen.

Thursday: Sheet Pan Fajitas. Apparently I'm on a sheet pan fix. They're so easy. Easy clean-up, low prep (usually), and fairly quick cooking times. I've found myself figuring out which recipes I can prep ahead of time to make the preparations go even faster when I'm back to work (man, that's going to come far to soon!). I'll be making instant pot rice as a side.

Friday: Beef Lo Mein. I just realized that I've provided a link for almost all of the meals. Yikes. I'm not doing super fancy recipes all the time. Most of these aren't so fancy-I am just still in the recipe following stage. I promise. Most of them are easy recipes.

Saturday: Chicken Noodle Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Another super-simple go-to meal we have every couple of weeks. Especially in the winter. And for some reason, winter hung around for a long time this year.

I intentionally leave Sunday open, as we usually end up at a family dinner at least once each week.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Perfect Little Family

My life has been flipped upside down for a third time.

That's right. We had another kiddo. M joined the family in quite the rush in early March, and we couldn't be more pleased (or tired). She's a beauty. Her older sister, H, and older brother, G, are loving every minute of sibling-hood (yes, I know that is not a word).

With that perfect-family sounding paragraph, let's take a moment to get real. M is awesome. That is not joke. She sleeps, she eats, she poops. She is just a few weeks old and is slowly becoming more alert. She's tracking us with her eyes, she turns toward sounds. Her newborn clothes are getting close to being too small--hard to believe!

The big man on campus, G, is loving his newest sister. It is so fun to see him interact with her and love her. He loves the middle kid, too, but it is great to watch him as a big guy. When H was born, he didn't have a huge interest in her. He was intrigued by her sounds, but didn't want to "play" with her much. With M, he is so excited to "read" her stories, to talk to her, to love on her. He's a sweet, sweet boy to his sisters.

And the baby-no-more? She's enjoying her role as middle child, though she is a bit more precocious than your average middle child. H wants to run the show, be in control, and be little Miss Mom to M. I love, love, love it. H wants to shower the newest addition with hugs and kisses, and sometimes forgets what "gentle" means. But what three year old doesn't forget that!?

My adorable little family has grown from four to five (six according to G because we always include the puppy). In the course of the last month, I've loved on a newborn, a newly three-year-old, and a newly five-year-old. FIVE! I have a five-year-old and it is SO hard to believe.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

2018, Here We Go

We are starting 2018, expecting #3 to arrive in just a couple of months. That's right. Number Three is on her way, expected to arrive at the end of March. Hubs and I are so excited! The big kids? Also very excited, though it took the oldest a few weeks to adjust to the idea of having another sister. And the other one? Well, she's just excited to be older than someone!

Our Airstream is not going to get as much love this year as it did last summer. We will still be taking a few trips, I just didn't want to venture as far with an infant. There are a couple of minor projects we having coming down the pipes, too. Nothing know, like replacing a floor, building a table, building some beds. This year's projects will be smaller-and more quickly to be finished! And I hope to bring the blog along for the ride.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017, A New Year

The plans were for my to jump back into the blogging world without an explanation as to why I have been gone for so long. I've seen other bloggers do the same. I've even read blog posts about how you should not jump back into blogging with an explanation, and that you definitely shouldn't start with an apology.

I promise you all that I will not be apologizing for my absence. My absence, of nearly six months, has been an absolute delight. We've traveled, we've chased our two little munchkins around. The big kid start preschool this year. The little one let us know that she would like to be in charge. So I won't be apologizing, because I'm not sorry that I haven't even checked into the blog since July.

I don't even have an image to share today (goodness, I am breaking all the blogging rules). I just wanted to pop in and say that I'm here. And I'm back - not back in the sense that I will be posting daily, or even more than once a week. But I have missed writing. So I'm back.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

{Airstream Rehab} It's Livable!

As mentioned in a previous post, we got Marge's Barge to a workable and livable state. Our maiden voyage was a wonderful trip up to Acorn Hill Resort, on Leech Lake. The nearest town is Walker, Minnesota, which is about 4 hours north of the Twin Cities. It was the perfect distance for a first adventure with the camper and our new tow vehicle.

The few times that we had towed the Airstream with our Dodge Dakota, Hubs and I both knew that it just wasn't quite right. We told ourselves that we think the Dakota would make it up north with the camper. We think it'll be just fine. The gas mileage will be crap, but we think it should all be just fine.

But then we came to our senses. A 2007 Dodge Dakota. Towing a 31 foot camper? Really, people? Not smart. So we got a new vehicle. And now we own two trucks. A 2007 Dodge Dakota. And a brand spankin' new Ram 1500. And man, that thing tows Marge's Barge like a charm.

Oh. My. Is this what my blog has become? Talking about trucks? Ugh.

Back to our most amazing week camping with our Airstream for the first time. It was beautiful. It was perfect. It was awesome.

The camper made it up to Leech Lake without a problem. Hubs got Marge's Barge nice and level next to the cement patio. He got everything set up while I took the kids to the playground. Can I just say that I got the better end of the deal? Play on the playground with the kiddos while the husband sets everything up? Sign. Me. Up. I'll do that again every camping trip we have (especially since he's totally okay with me reorganizing and moving things around).

Marge's Barge did spring a few leaks. One was right over our bed, bummer. Especially since it rained for a majority of the time. We placed a bowl on our bed to keep everything dry and made notes of where to place the crack filler.

The fridge doesn't work, but we brought my husband's fridge from college. Worked like a charm.

The dinette, oh the dinette! In all her perfect glory, the dinette was the best thing ever. The husband worked endless hours to build the J-dinette. And then he spent a few more hours cutting and staining the table. I added a special touch to the top and the dinette was absolutely perfect. We fit eleven (ELEVEN!) people around the table one rainy day (keep in mind four of them were under the age of five). Two people played checkers, two more played backgammon. Seriously! We put a checkerboard and backgammon on the table!

As with most of our projects, it is still a work in progress. There are still a few things we'd like to do: curtains, paint. Paint, paint, paint.

That, and figuring out where everything needs to go. I also have 3 cushions that I need to finish (as you can tell by the random assortment of cushions and pillows at the dinette).

Oh, and. I'd like to re-do the counter tops. Orange is definitely one of my favorite colors. But not necessarily for the kitchen.

And this last picture. Oh, this last picture. My littlest camper. Isn't she just the cutest thing there is?

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Summer!

We have been a busy bunch this summer, with endless projects and kid activities. To be honest, I'm bummed that it is already mid-July. But I look back over the last month and a half and am overwhelmed with how much we have accomplished.

The biggest accomplishment, you ask?

Our camper is livable! It's not 100% done (the fridge still doesn't work, but that's another story), but we can use it. It can be towed, it keeps is warm and (mostly) dry. Big huge props to the hubs - he worked night and day on that camper. We still have a couple of projects to go, but it was nice to have some time to enjoy the Airstream, instead of just work, work, work.

Kid has grown, grown, grown. He and I butt heads quite a bit. His stubbornness shines through many times a day. He's spirited, as they say. I know that it will one day be a strength of his, but right now, it is so, so difficult to parent. He tries my patience day in and day out. But, oh, how it pays off. His endless questions are a glimpse into his thirst for knowledge - how does that work?, what does this do?, do just caterpillars become butterflies or do bees, too? He's a bright boy. He's a happy boy. It's hard to believe that he is already three. And in the next breath, it's hard to believe that he is only three.

In just the last week, his bike riding skills have blossomed. His love for SCUBA diving (really, he's snorkeling) has grown. His interest in letters is just beginning to sprout - trying to write the first letter of his name and recognizing other letters.

Little Miss is dang near one and a half. Whoa, has that flown by. She's finally starting to use the sign language we've been teaching her since 9 months. Initially, she refused to use any and all signs. She knew exactly what they meant, but preferred to point and whine instead. Finally, though, she will sign "more" and "please." We're still working on "thank you" and a few others as well. She is also starting to use more and more words. She's said the typical first words for quite some time -- mama, daddy, ball, hi, bye-bye -- and is now beginning to use "pleee" for please, and "da-doo" for thank you. She has also mastered "bubble," which is important for any child in summertime.

She runs, she dances, she loves going down the slide. She's a daredevil, just like her brother. I doubt she will have any problems keeping up with him!

{This was posted on the go - I apologize for the lack of photos!}