Tuesday, February 28, 2012


For the past few years...well, since we've had little ones, we have celebrated Valentine's Day in the comfort of our own home.  There is something not so appealing about waiting in terribly long lines with a toddler in tow, only to rush through your meal before bedtime meltdowns begin.

We started the tradition of a home-cooked seafood dinner.  We both love seafood, but it's not something we make often.  We tend to save it for special occasions.  This year I spent a couple of days planning our menu and scouring the internet for recipes.  We tried a couple of new ones this year that were definite hits!  And, we always go with the old tradition of Red Lobster biscuits.  We are never let down when we begin our seafood feast with those!

I stopped for a couple of last-minute ingredients on my way home, and decided to pick up a balloon for each of the kids.  Not something I would normally drop $4/child on....but I'm kind of thinking these are what helped to get me out of a speeding ticket on my way home!  "Thank you, Kind officer:)"

Chad and the kids hand-delivered some beautiful roses to me when I walked in the door, and they looked oh, so beautiful next to my birthday bouquet:

The kids  were excited about our 'special' meal... they even noticed that we got the 'fancy' plates out of the hutch!

We were super excited about the Cajun Shrimp after just returning from Jamaica.  We were thinking it would bring us back to the ocean:)  We enjoyed it, but next time would only add about 1/4 of the cayenne pepper.  We halved it, and it was still a little spicier than we would have liked.

Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp

1 lb. shrimp, use at least medium size
1/2 C. margarine
4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Place the margarine in  a 13 x 9 baking pan, and then place the pan in the oven.  While the pan is in the oven wash and peel shrimp.  Devien the shrimp.  By the time you have finished prepping the shrimp, the margarine should be melted in the pan.  In a small bowl mix together the spices and blend well.  Place shrimp into the pan, and then sprinkle on the seasonings you have just blended together on the shrimp.  Mix the shrimp, margarine, and spices until the shrimp is coated well with margarine and shrimp.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes, remove shrimp, and check for doneness.  The shrimp should be pink when done.
Red Lobster biscuits are always a favorite:


  1. Heat oven to 450.
  2. Combine baking mix, water and grated cheese in a bowl.
  3. Roll out on a lightly floured surface, until 1 inch thick.
  4. Cut biscuits, and place on an ungreased pan.
  5. Melt butter and spices together.
  6. Brush the biscuits with the butter and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
A favorite for all of us were the Bacon-Wrapped Scallops we made.   We had never made scallops before and were anxious to try them.  They were delicious-  The kids loved them!  The scallops we had came from my friend's meat market, and they were HUGE!  Thanks, Thielen's for the delicious dinner!


  1. Cut bacon in half and wrap each half around a scallop.
  2. Secure with a toothpick.
  3. Mix together wine and lemon juice.
  4. Pour over scallops in a shallow dish.
  5. Marinade for 1/2 hour.
  6. Pour melted butter over scallops.
  7. Sprinkle with paprika and seasoning salt.
  8. Bake at 400* for 15- 20 minutes.
    Valentine's Day dinner 2012 was a huge success.  I may take advantage of Chad's birthday coming up for an excuse to recreate a delicious meal like this!  We may even need to get out the 'fancy' plates again:)

    *Little side note- I finally finished the little tu-tu that I've been working on for Adi...and it is the sweetest little thing!  I will be posting about it soon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Birthday, Frosting, & Fishing!

My birthday fell on a Friday this year...and that's a lot of fun!  I wish my birthday would fall on a Friday every year.  Then we could celebrate for the whole weekend again!  The day at work was filled with beautiful flowers:

All kinds of the sweetest little kindergarten students you could ever imagine bringing in all sorts of cute little home-made cards, and treats, and even a coffee mug.  They were as excited about my birthday as I was...What a happy day it is when it's your teacher's birthday:)

And my co-workers...how thoughtful.  We had all sorts of yummy treats in the louge, and all kinds of laughs...they sure made the day fun for me!

When I got home from work I was greeted with birthday hugs and wishes from my own sweet family...and oh, how fun that was!

Chad and I went out for dinner with our good friends:

Remember these guys??- The ones we had entirely too much fun with in Jamaica??  Yeah, we went out and enjoyed a nice Mexican dinner.  I think we were trying to get a meal like we had on vacation....it didn't work so well, but we still had some nice conversation and company!

The next morning I awoke to this wonderful sight in the kitchen:

 Nothing like frosting a home-made birthday cake in our jammies:)
 And licking all the frosting we could possibly sneak!

 I love it!!!  Absolutely the most perfect birthday cake I could ever ask for.  If that doesn't come from the heart....I don't know what does:)
 And it just wouldn't have been complete without a song...it was so sweet!
And I couldn't stand to tell them that I needed to blow out the candles- they waited forever for this!

And then we carried on with our day...we decided to do a little ice fishing.  Adi went from this:
To this:
All in a matter of an hour.  Her favorite part about ice fishing is playing in the minnow bucket!  She loves to hold the 'baby fishys' and carry them around.  Poor things are at her mercy....but it keeps her entertained for a loooong time!

Oooohhhh, she's a busy one...this little princess:

Their cousins came up to the lake and were fishing right near us, so Eli and Adi both insisted on joining Nathan and Andrew.  I had to sneak over for a couple of pictures:

Thought this was pretty cute:

We worked a little more on some cute Valentine leggings.  Adi has been all about these since I've had them made.  They look so cute on her!

Sunday we went to my Parent's house for a yummy birthday dinner.  We are still a little spoiled like that.  My Mom and Dad invite all of us and our families over for each of our birthdays.  Can't pass up a delicious home-made meal!

Even though it was for my birthday, the kids had all kinds of fun going through their Valentine bags:

And they got to share a few hugs with Baby Alivia:

Eli is the oldest cousin...all 4 years of him, so he thinks he's a pretty big boy when he can carry Alivia around:

And even though I've never been a huge fan of ice fishing, we had soooo much fun out there last weekend, that we took full advantage of a 4 day weekend this weekend, and spent both Saturday AND Sunday on the lake again!  Adi just had to help Rick catch a fish:
She gently just set her freezing-cold, beat-red, digging in the minnow bucket hand on his, and was sure that she was being a big helper:)  Her face???- I have no idea!

And, Yes, they each had to kiss the fishy Good-bye!

Even though it's over a week late- I had to share a quick re-cap of my wonderful birthday weekend so I can remember all the sweet, straight-from-the-heart details!  Thanks to my co-workers and students, friends, my family, and of course Chad, Eli and Adi for making it wonderful!   Another year older and wiser....now just to figure out how to slow time down a bit before my next one when I hit the big 3-Oh!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Smile :)

I really want to post about my amazing birthday weekend.

And, I can't wait to share about our wonderfully, delicious, at-home seafood Valentine's dinner.

But, right now...all I have time to post is something that totally made me smile, and made me happy, and really, honestly, almost brought a tear to my eye.....

Thanks, Angie, for the beautiful post- You are some kind of special yourself...and you are SO, VERY welcome. 

Now... Thank You!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A day of Love

We have been doing lots of little projects that spell 'Love' in our house lately.  That is- in the small windows of time we have actually had to squeeze projects in...2 late conference nights last week for Mommy, and another coming up tomorrow.  We will be happy when that is over and we are back into a routine!  Grandma is lucky though- she gets to take Adi to her Valentine party at school tomorrow night since I won't be home and Daddy will be at wrestling with Eli. 

I have her Valentines all set out by the door, and her little holiday outfit all ready to go!
She is very excited...and they have both helped to get some of the goodies ready:

First up we made a huge mess with our hands and worked hard to get our Valentines ready to send out in the mail to friends.  They are always excited about a messy painting project, and this one was all of that!

There they are-   There is something so special about little handprints...I Love them! 
We taped them together with a ribbon and put a little note on the back:
I'm mailing you a hug
'Cuz you mean so much to me!
(One of those fun little Pinterest ideas!)
We've been having lots of fun with the cute little Valentine leg warmers I've been making for Adi, also!  I seriously can't believe how easy they are, and how cute they turn out!!  Another one of those Pinterest ideas, also my sweet friend Amy has made a few, and I was encouraged when she said how easy they were!  I will be making many, many more of these!

We have also been working on getting the kids' Valentines made.  We are doing the cute little heart-shaped crayons along with the fun little hair clips we worked on, and Eli picked out a little treat today for his friends.  The kids had a lot of fun helping with these...I don't even know how many batches we made- we should just get another baking mold!  I found this great idea here.

We are finally feeling ready for our Valentine celebrations, and are looking forward to celebrating Valentine's Day at home with a tradition we've been doing for a few years now.  We are putting little reminders around our house of the special day, and have focused on our love for one another.  We spent a lot of time together this weekend, and kind of celebrated the entire weekend for Mommy's birthday!...More on that soon.
Happy Valentine's Day!  Celebrate with those you love.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Calm and Quiet has finally set in...

It was one of those weeks that couldn't end soon enough.  One that felt like it went on forever.  Thankfully, it's over, and we are all starting to feel much better. 
I had to leave early from work on Tuesday to pick the kids up.  Eli wasn't feeling well at all.  He did nothing all morning but lay on the couch at daycare, dozing on and off.  I picked them up right after lunch to take him home to rest.  The only place I want to be when I'm feeling that way is my own bed....I'm sure he felt the same way.  Poor little guy.  I stopped to pick up ingredients to make him some chicken noodle soup, and some 7-up on the way.  I made the mistake of giving him the 7-up on the way home....and that turned out to be a disaster.  His tummy didn't like it, and it ended up all over the back seat, and the back of the seat in front of him- (and you know how those seats also have pockets on the back- yep- in there too).  Hmmmm, I wasn't feeling the best myself, and Adi had just fallen asleep. 

Got home, stripped him down in the garage- straight into the tub. 
Woke her up- and put her back down.   
Out of the tub- into jammies and bed for him. 

Now I had to take care the vehicle...and it's fairly new, so I wanted to try and get it all.  It wasn't easy, and it wasn't fun....and then I got sick!

Made a quick batch of soup, and to bed I went for the night....Is is Friday yet?!?!?

Eliott's week continued on with him not really shaking whatever he had going on, so Daddy finally took him in yesterday afternoon- Strep.  Ughhh- Poor little guy!!  He's on meds, and on the mend!  By last night after a nice afternoon nap, he was good to go.  Ate a huge dinner, played a little wii, watched a movie, and slept like a rock all night.

It's so nice to see him feeling better, and flashing his cute little smile again:)  He's ice fishing with Daddy right now...the fresh air will be good for him.  I'm sure he'll come home with all kinds of 'fish stories'.  He's pretty good at those already.  He was asking last night when we can go back to the cabin, and do some 'REAL' fishing.  "Real fishing is with water, not ice."  He knows his stuff- or at least thinks he does:)

Beanie started her morning off wearing peanut butter on her jammies, and reading stories to Bubbie's monkey.  This is after she sat the monkey on the toilet, because he had to go potty.  This little girl has an imagination like no other.  She loves life, and is forever singing songs, and talking to her babies and animals.  She is a purple butterfly one minute, a baby cheetah the next, and insists that she has pink eyes.  I'm amazed with how girly she is.  I am quite certain we have never fostered that in her, but this girl knows what she likes and it's all the girly stuff.  Some days she insists her name is Cinderella, and will correct you every time you get that wrong.  She loves to dress up in the Little Mermaid dress and crown that Auntie Lori gave her for Christmas, and is digging in my make-up any spare moment she can.  I always remember hearing that boys were more rough, wild, and rowdy than girls...not the case in this house.  In fact- it's the complete opposite!!!  He's our calm, compliant, rule-follower- her on the other hand?- Not so much!  I sure do love the spunk and energy that comes out of her...and I love that big brother can throw his head back and laugh at her as much as we do.  He's a great big brother, and I think will have his hands full keeping her in line:)

Grandma-Great told her the other day that she has big, black eyes.  She got a little grumpy with her and told her they are little and pink!  She doesn't like to be called a big girl- she's Little!

After Daddy and Brother left Mommy and Adi got out the crafts.  We were ready to have some fun of our own.  All these projects have been piling up for a while, and with our week of sickness- I've been getting impatient to get crafting.  She was such a great helper, and kept me very entertained.  She sat and sang her ECFE welcome song to me over and over while we made hair clips:)

She dumped, and sorted, and counted, and dropped these pieces over and over again.....Then moved on her puppy she named Spot, he was hungry, and wanted a stroller ride.

I made this sign for the house a while back.  It's been hanging on the wall in a random place, because I didn't know where I really wanted it.  I needed to darken the words on it, and was debating if I wanted to add a little sparkle to the corners.  I finally pulled it off the wall today, traced over the words, added some glitter, and found it a new and better place to hang. 

 I put it in the entry-way right above the door going down-stairs.  It's the first thing we will see when we walk in the house, and I love it!

We have a bunch of these all made up and ready for Adi to hand out as Valentine's to all of her friends.  She is so proud of them, and was telling me exactly who to give each one to.

Nap time has set in at our house, and I so love the quiet it brings!  As soon as I close this computer I'm going to dig in to this-

Right after I finish the dishes and laundry:)
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