Saturday, February 23, 2013

Instagram catch-up.

Some of these probably deserve their own posts, but I just need to quickly catch myself up.  Here is a random dump from my phone over the past month or so.  Many of you have seen these on instagram.
You can follow me at jilltomala.

My Hubby surprised me on Valentine's Day by having a beautiful bouquet of roses waiting for me on the table when I got up.  The best part was the creativity and thought behind the bouquet.  One rose from him and one from each of the kids in the color of their birthstone.  What a special, thoughtful guy!  I just love him!

We celebrated the day with our annual seafood dinner at home.  This year's menu:  Roasted red potatoes, Red Lobster biscuits, Asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and Lobster cooked in garlic and butter.  Yummy!!!

Too bad his eyes are closed, but you can still see how proud he was of his big trophy!

And here's his blurry little fan having a snack in the stands.

I guess she thought that her baby needed some hair!  Better on the dolly than on her like it usually is!

She was in such a hurry to get out the door for school the other night and tripped and bumped her eye on the bench in the entry way.

A quick call to my friend who is an ER Dr., and then a trip to her house.  I love Dr. Renee- she has saved us on many occasions!!!

And by morning it was already looking so much better.  No stitches, and no trip to the ER- thank goodness!

The books we make for the kids on Snapfish each Christmas are always such a hit, and are usually the first ones pulled off the shelves to read.  They love looking at themselves and all of their family and friends throughout the pages.

She dressed herself one morning for daycare.  In her sweet little Jamaican sundress that we brought home from vacation.  Little One is dreaming of warmer days just like me!

Our Little Man is reading, READING!!!  Like picking up a book and reading it to US!  This is amazing to me!  We couldn't be more proud.  I experience this joy every day with my kindergarteners, but to experience this with my own is absolutely incredible!!! 

He was giving us some cute looks before his final match.

Ready to go!

Someone had my phone....

Daddy has taken these 2 for many, many snowmobile rides this winter.  What else can you do when the weather is nearing zero?  Might as well play in it!

This Little Guy is our healthy eater.  Bedtime snack of choice- Salad!

My little snowday helper.  Love snowdays to get stuff done at home and have time with these 2!

More snowday fun- baking cookies!

And playing Spiderman!

Then Daddy came home and got extra creative with frosting and decorating the cookies.  Good thing, 'cause Mama was almost out of energy at this point!

Found this in the Book Order!!!  Ordering one for all of our sweet friends that we met in Jamaica!

One of the blessings about getting out of the house early in the morning- Experiencing this early morning beauty:

And we had ANOTHER snowday!!!  And started this one out with 'clean mud'.  Very fun, very easy!

Put some baking soda in a bowl, and SLOWLY mix in a little water at a time until it is the consistency of mud.  Let me tell you- hours of entertainment!  We just store it in a Ziploc bag, and keep adding water when necessary!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homemade, Homegrown, & Healthy!

I've been finding all kinds of yummy-sounding, healthy recipes on Pinterest for smoothies, baby food, iced coffee, etc... that I've been wanting to try.  We have a blender, and it works, but I wanted something that would be a little more convenient- and save on counter/cupboard space!

My birthday was coming up, so when my Mom asked if there was anything special I wanted I told her I wanted a Bullet.  I've made my own baby food in the past, but never enough at a time that I would freeze any.  I usually made it meal by meal, and had a little hand grinder that would work to throw in the diaper bag if we were out and about.  While digging around online, though, I discovered how easy it is to make a big batch, freeze in ice cube trays, and then pop them in a freezer bag in the freezer.  We grow a HUGE vegetable garden in the summer, and have an abundance of apples and raspberries each year, so I decided that with this baby I'm going to do my best to save up what I can.  We are still eating carrots, apple sauce, zucchini, beans, peppers, onions, and potatoes from our gardens last summer, plus all the yummy stuff that we canned that is in the root cellar.  We should have plenty of preservative-free fruits and veggies to put away for this little one!

For right now, though, we are just having lots of fun making all kinds of iced-coffees and smoothies for desserts!  This was a yummy decaf iced coffee I made the other day with coffee that was left over in my pot, some creamer, and ice.

 Of course, when the kids saw mine they had to have one of their own.  I threw in some ice, frozen raspberries from our garden, frozen bananas, and a splash of milk.  They loved it!
And last night we made shakes with ice cream, frosted sugar cookies, and milk!- So Yummy!

I would love any suggestions on baby food and smoothies from any of you out there that have made some of your own!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Big 3-0!

Well- I finally hit this milestone.  I didn't think I would ever be this old, but here it is.  I don't feel like I'm 30, not yet, anyways.  I told myself I wasn't going to get down because of the number.  Instead, I decided to look at all of the positive things, the blessings, and the accomplishments in my life.  I decided that over-all, I'm extremely happy with where I'm at!

I have a wonderful husband, and a happy marriage.
2 beautiful children, and one on the way!
We have a home that is perfect for our family, in the country, and on 5 acres. 
We have a cabin, on the lake, and through this cabin we have met the best friends we could ever ask for.  All kinds of them!
My job.  I love it.  I have an established career in the field I always dreamed of. 

I can't be sad about the number of years, I need to be happy for where I am at.  Things I've always dreamed of- having a great husband, happy, healthy kids, a home in the country, a cabin on the lake, a job as a teacher, our health, wonderful family and friends.  I've got it- and I thank God for the blessings he has given us!

Yes, I'm one more year older and wiser- and onto another year.  This one is sure to be an exciting one!  There is a family wedding right around the corner, a baby joining our little family, and another exciting vacation all on the agenda- I can't wait to see how the year unfolds!  It is sure to be an exciting one!

We went out for an amazing seafood dinner with friends the Friday night before my birthday.  It was delicious, and we left so full we could hardly stand it!  Crab legs, shrimp, scallops, Mmmmm.  I wanted to spend my birthday at home with nothing on the agenda but church.  We came home and had a quiet cozy day.  It was perfect.  For dinner that night Chad and the Littles threw together the most amazing birthday dinner filled with all of my favorite things!  It was perfect and made with love!

(sorry for the picture quality- they are all from my phone)

He made Swiss Chicken:

 Crockpot potatoes:

 Green Bean Casserole:

 And Peanut Butter Pie for dessert:

This dinner was the perfect ending to a quiet, family day, and I am ready to bring on another year!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Lenten Conversation.

Daddy has spent some time talking to the Littles about Lent, and what that means, and the sacrifices Jesus made for us, and explained why we should all sacrifice for him also.  He probably felt like all this information was just going in one ear and right out the other.  Then, last night on the way home from daycare and a bazillion errands, we had a very interesting conversation in the van....It went a little something like this- and I can't stop smiling about it!- (Keep in mind Eli is 5 and Adi is 3)

Eli:  Mom, I think I know what I'm going to give up for Lent.

Mom: Great!  What is it?

Eli:  I think I'm going to give up candy!

Mom: That's a GREAT idea- and I bet Dr. Renee would be very proud of you! (His Dentist, whom he LOVES)

Eli:  I was going to give up TV, but then I couldn't watch movies with you guys on Friday nights. (Our family movie evening)

Mom:  Yes, that's right, I think candy is a very good idea, though.

Adi:  I'm going to give something up too!

Eli:  Well, Beanie, don't give up TV, cause than you can't watch movies with us on Friday nights!

Adi:  I'm going to give up being little!!!

Eli: (Total exasperation in his voice) Beanie, you CAN'T give THAT up!!!

Oh, I just LOVE these 2!!
Here they are enjoying a little Friday night/Movie night.  Dinner of pizza and other yumminess from the pizza oven was served right in their tents!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Little Birthday Get-Away.

A couple of weeks ago my parents asked if we'd be interested in staying at a hotel/waterpark for a night with them, my sister, brother, and his family.  Of course we would!!!  My sister,  my brother, and I, all have birthdays around this time, so it was a fun little gathering to celebrate.  My kids have never experienced an indoor waterpark before, but after this weekend, we decided it's something we will need to do each winter.  We all had a blast!  Mommy wasn't able to do the slides or hot tub, so I just got to run around snapping fun pictures and recording cute videos.  Next year, though, I will try out those slides:)
This huge bucket started chiming when it was about to dump, and every child in the place came scrambling over for a shower! 

This little guy loved the hot tub, and was sure that's what gave him the 'coughs'.

I could hardly keep up to little Adi.  She was off and running the entire time.  At first I got a little panicked trying to find her.  I soon relaxed when I saw the amount of life guards around.  I was able to take a little break as she just made the rounds.

Her and Daddy were trying to squirt me- couldn't quite get close enough!

This red slide was her favorite!  I would bet she made at least 50 trips down in the 2 days we were there!

Happy as can be!

Eli was so adventurous.  Probably has something to do with being at the lake all summer.  He loved the big slides!  He would do them with a friend, or all on his own- He didn't even wait for someone to climb the steps to the top with him.  He and Daddy closed down the park on Saturday night...He couldn't get enough!

She enjoyed the hot tub, too!

He looked so tiny coming out of that big slide! 

The bucket was dumping again!

She put on many, many miles!

She looked so tiny in that big slide all by herself!

Cousin Wes had just as much fun!

Uncle Chad holding Wes up so he could get splashed.

Eli and Auntie Lori.

So. Much. Fun!

The bucket dumping again!

He was getting pretty adventurous, and was determined to master the floating turtle shells.  He did it!  Many times over!  I love the determination and athleticism that comes from this little guy!  

All smiles when he made it across!

Auntie Lori and Grandma made up for Mommy not being able to go down the slides, they both made many trips down this one with her.

And this smile sums up the weekend for us all!  What a great way to spend some cold, MN winter days!

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