Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 2010

Santa. Parade. Warming up toes. Making treats (the girls practically made the baklava themselves this year)! All dressed up for Christmas Eve. Note Alicyn's missing tooth. Playing in first snow. Scored a Light Bright at Goodwill = family fun. Cheerful girls playing with Grandma and Papa and last a few pics from our weekend with Grandma Dawn and cousins.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

November 2010

It's hard turning the calendar pages. For us, it's going much too quickly, so some slow down would be appreciated. November had Justyn working craziness. Alicyn had her first Girl Scouts meeting. Gracyn had a big week off to the lab for pokes, dentist, eval for speech and doctor visit for lab results to find out we repeat lab in 6 weeks. Poor thing. She is sick of being poked, but takes it so well. She's a strong little - correction, almost 4 year old- girl. No news for Rae, but the weather report of clouds (although pleasantly sunny today). I believe Justyn is tired of hearing my complaining and already I'm looking for a change. This usually happens in late January when I want my hair cut or I toy with the idea of coloring it (which I have never had the nerve to follow up with), sometimes I paint the house and other times I get online and dream of sunny places checking on home prices and job markets. All are good therapy for me, but hitting a little early this year since we haven't hit winter yet...ugh. We had a nice little Thanksgiving break at Grandma Dawn' call..... I'll stop my whining. Speech Path just called and she qualifies! Hooray!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Good Boy.

October flew by for us. We spent some time hauling wood - well, Justyn mostly got that privilege thanks to me having an injury. I should be healed up soon, but the leaves are done and the wood is stacked so it's a little to late for helping with chores. Justyn had a chance to visit Salt Lake City and Illinois for work. I had a chance to ride along with Gracyn to the pumpkin farm for her first preschool field trip. Together as a family, we spent a Saturday at the local nature center where we were treated a wild wagon ride. Much to the girls delight, we found a water park towards the end of the month. Thanks to Grandma Dawn for the cute lady bugs. The girls enjoyed them very much.

Our biggest news for October is the loss of our pal Hunter. We miss him much. Alicyn is carrying around her Hunter stuffed animal which was given to her a few years ago - he looks pretty similar too. Gracyn asks me, "Mom are you sad? Me too." As for Justyn and I - we are just plain missing our dog. He was very much a part of our family and was so gracious giving up his only" child" status. It's really ridiculous what a good boy he was. We know we are blessed to have had him in our home. So in honor of our good boy, there are a few pics of Hunter.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gold, Golf and Apples

A few new pics. Excuse the overtired model. Our maple peaked today and she wanted me to take a pic of her - well many actually. Alicyn was busy digging worms outside while daddy was painting some trim. Happy October! Forecast is sunny. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall 2010

I'm thinking I'm not getting to this much. I'm not much for a blogger I guess...

Fall has found its way back to our home and we are not impressed. Cloudy days. Blah. The only redemption is the tree color, but even that will be gone in a week or two. Blah. Blah. Oh, winter stay away. We can actually handle autumn nicely, but winter ... stinks. Alicyn has decided she would like to have one week of winter during Christmas and then jump into spring. Smart girl.

Football is back. Alicyn started kindergarten which has been quite a transition for all of us. I miss her dearly, but know she is a rock star student. With her steel trap memory, she is the ideal classic student. We have faith she will continue to use it wisely and begin shining in her classroom. Gracyn began attending preschool two mornings a week. She loves it. Very big girl stuff. I'm hoping it will be great for building her language skills. We have a packet of articulation activities to work on together. With fall came Justyn's birthday. 35 finds him healthy and a proud father. I personally think he has mastered the husband skills as well. I am extremely blessed. Too much so probably. My life is incredibly easy compared to 99% of the world. My own fall is falling into routine. The kitchen is in full swing. Unfortunately dishes come with that effort, but I'm a realist and Gracyn always enjoys helping. Hunter has also enjoyed the delight of routine as he is getting his regular walk and it seems we are best of friends again.

Our projects have been winding down. Not much yet to do. Some painting. Always, some painting... Not sure what colors you will find here next. We did get the new windows finished and they look awesome. Special shout out to Uncle Bob for helping. (Also, loving my disposal switch! Thank you!)

No other news. I hope everyone is well and takes some time to enjoy the bountiful colors.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Settling Down

Grrr. Just had a nice post done and it didn't post. Ugh!

The new pics are 1/2 way in, so now it really is the longest slideshow ever! I'll take off the top 1/2 in a few days...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Photos - finally

Just getting started, this could take a while....

We've been busy having lots of fun. A trip to see Great Grandma Clara, Harris Ranch and the Black Hills, camping and more camping and a few more side trips, a few projects and friendly visits. July. was. busy.

Tonight we sit on the couch admiring our view. I've got strep throat and I'm pretty sure my man is in the beginning stages, but it requires us to sit still and get 'er done. This shall be the longest slideshow - ever. Enjoy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Belated Anniversary

Rae and I celebrated our 9th anniversary last week. Crazy! I love you Rae!!! We're heading west to visit family - looking forward to the trip!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May Photos

Here they are. We've kept you waiting and finally deliver. The pics of Alicyn in the poke-a-dot jacket is our little hike in the Kettle Moraine Park on Mother's Day and anything with water is our Memorial Weekend at Peninsula State Park and Whitefish Dunes. We camped 3 nights and our girls did wonderfully. Ofcourse we stopped for our share of treats - ice cream twice, bakery and taffy at a candy shop. While we were enjoying the taffy a man was playing a fiddle for passersby. We stayed 30 mintues to enjoy the tunes. Justyn took the girls over to drop some money in the case and appropriately the man began to play Amazing Grace. It was a sweet moment for all of us.

We were driving by Bay Beach anyway, so we stopped. On the ferris wheel Alicyn said, "I can't stop smiling!" Amazingly the park was empty, so we didn't have to stay long.

So after a weekend of bike rides, treats, hikes, rock throwing, castle building, tower climbing, friendship building and beach strolling Alicyn reporting, "I'm having so much fun, I must be dreaming...."

She's not dreaming anymore. Justyn is back to work, Alicyn begins her last week of school, Gracyn should take a nap and I get to clean up all this camping mess, but it was worth it. :)

We are looking forward to a summer of dreamy moments.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Ali-gator.

We've got a happy 5 year old in the house. She just can't believe she is fine today and we can't either. Yesterday she enjoyed having some friends over for princess fun and cake. After the friends left, Alicyn came to me right away and said, "Mom, how do you spell thank you?" So sweet. Today we will open some presents...I should wrap them soon....and daddy has promised a Dilly Bar from our newly remodeled DQ. Big happenings.

We spent the weekend having some fun in the Nicolet National Forest. Our intention was to do some projects on Saturday, but our morning walk to the bakery was too enjoyable with the sunny blue skies and the sweet smell of lilacs drifting in the air, so we took off and headed north to enjoy the day in the Nicolet National Forest. It was much more fun than boring house projects.

I can't find my menu right now, but I promise we did eat...pork chops and quinoa, beans and rice - twice, omelets -twice, ...went to a friend's house for dinner....good stuff.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A day away.

The girls and I had the chance to ride along with Justyn, so Sunday morning we headed out to Madison. We checked in and invited the cousins over for some swimming fun. The boys ran out and delivered us some warm Gyros. Yummy! Thanks for coming to play with us Murphy family!

In the evening we strolled State street and carefully chose our dessert. The girls each picked out a chocolate at the candy shop - which Alicyn asked to go back to the next day. And we couldn't walk by our favorite ice cream with out making sure it tastes the same in every town we visit, so it was a delightfully tasteful day.

Monday the girls and I entertained ourselves while Justyn worked, but we met back up with him in the afternoon. You'll notice they really enjoyed the tulips planted around the capital building and having lemonade on top of the terrace was a hit (Alicyn's favorite activity of the day).
Justyn and I's favorite was visiting the Arboretum. The blooms were AMAZING and I am so grateful we had the opportunity to visit.

Quickly this weeks eats:
S - (guests) pork or blk bean and spinach enchiladas, salad, guac, strawberry pie
S - fzn pizza, salad
M - left over enchiladas
T - egg pie w broc and mushroom
W - pasta salad
R - left overs
F - to friends for chili
S - hm pizza
S - out in madison - Gyros!
Something cute I heard this week as Justyn was running upstairs to change out of his work clothes..."Daddy, where are you going?" "Upstairs to change." "Daddy, put something pretty on!"

Working on uploading the pics...

Thursday, April 15, 2010


We have entered into the most precious stage with our girls. There is alway something fantastic coming out of their mouths. Tonight Alicyn and I were praying together and we said a prayer for her someday husband. When we said our amens, "Mom, I'm going to marry daddy." Sure thing, honey, I'd marry him again too. :) No doubt our little Alicyn is head over heels for her daddy. She was so excited he got to take and pick her up from school today. Gracyn rode along and standing at the door waiting she says, "Daddy, I go too?" Then she points to me, "Mommy, you stay home. I be right back." So I did the dishes while daddy and the girls ran to school.

We had fantastic friends over the weekend. Thank you for making the visit friends! We love you guys. You'll find a few pics of their girls. We took them out to a maple syrup "farm" where we all enjoyed a wagon ride. The girls took to singing Jingle Bells which was a real treat for everyone on the wagon. And when friends come over we eat well. We've filled our cream and butter quota for the year, but that won't stop us from enjoying more...

Fun eats this past week - the kitchen has been busy!
baked falafel, hm grilled bread, hm tzatkiki sauce
creamy italian goodness with baked chicken
tiramasu thing
creme brulee french toast w/peaches
carne asada tacos - yummy!
grilled our first burgers this week
split pea soup
almost forgot the healthy blueberry pie! - which we smoothered in fresh whip cream...

At the very end of the slide show, I'll put a few of the pics I've taken for other people...
Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A move to the farm?

Last week, "Mom, when I grow up I want to be a cowgirl." Today at the table, "I wished we lived on a farm with lots of animals. Do you wish that sometimes, Mom?" I reply, "Sure, sometimes, but there are a lot of chores to do on the farm." Alicyn, " Well, I would like to do chores if I lived on a farm ... and .... I could wear a fancy hat!"

We had a great Easter weekend celebrating our Risen Lord Jesus. I love Easter week! Christmas is inspirational, but for me the birth of Jesus isn't as impressive as the Resurrection- and you don't offend anyone when you say Happy Easter unlike the Merry Christmas controversy. A great time for reflection (not gifting madness) and Maundy Thursday service is perhaps my favorite of the whole year. It was a long day for the girls, so Justyn stayed home to start bedtime so I could go alone. I'm humbled every year and I treasure every moment. Friday and Sunday are good too, but Thursday is much more intimate and personal. It's a beautiful time for being still, communion and it stirs me every time. Mental note, must take more tissues. I love you Jesus and praise you for the wonderful work you've done in my life! I'll stop with my rant. Sunday, we relaxed in the afternoon and made ham and mashed potatoes. It was just us, so we didn't over do it and we were reminded our girls have never really cared for mashed potatoes. Gracyn spit them out and stated very matter of fact, "I don't like that." Hmm, something she doesn't like? :)

Friday we went up to Door County and spent the day at Potowatomi State Park. Park, picnic, hike, good times... Unfortunately, the camera battery died so I missed some great shots on the rocky beach. Bummer! Still a lovely day.

What have we been eating? Good question. I've been distracted with the camera, but don't worry we have been eating :) We've had a few really good dinners; kabobs and grilled pork, greek salads, lemon potatoes, grilled chicken, baked tempeh (my family was not impressed this time), tomato soup, bean burros and a new favorite kale quiche thing...yummy.

Have a super week everyone!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

10 New Pics

A few for you. Another little hike and the girls had their faces painted at the Easter egg hunt this past weekend hosted by a local church. They also received new bunnies - not real ones!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One for Papa Daniel

We were just coloring a candy shop in a color book together and Alicyn says, "You know what, I loooove the candies Papa gives me, because I like them and it's my favorite!" So there you go Papa, you're a keeper. Better head north soon! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Riding Time

Alicyn was rideing on her own last fall, but the winter made her a little gun shy,
especially after mom was with her when she spilled this spring, so here daddy is
working his magic. When daddy is not around, she is queen of the trike and Gracyn moves into the car.
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Out for a hike Gracyn says, "Mommy, this hill is big," with a long pause then, "I don't like big hills."
She was a trooper and kept hiking. Good job, Pumpkin!
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smiling beauty looks a little gray...(original)
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smiling beauty with edit
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original photo
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fixed up.
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sha-bam! cuteness.
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no shadow. doing a little dance...
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original photo
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Safety first. Cute little thing. Edit version.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

We're Breaking Up

The ice. The ice is breaking up. No need for panic! ;) Apparently, with the sunshine, my sense of humor has returned. I posted a few new pics of this week. It was too nice to stay inside and it appears with our new friend the shadow button, any pic we take can look wonderful. Will write more later, just wanted to get the new pics up. You'll see lots of park playing and a hike we enjoyed yesterday.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Birthday Week

"Gracyn, how old are you?"
"No, you're three."
"No, I four."

So our baby turned three this week and she seems to think she is a little older than she actually is. On her birthday, we headed out for ice cream at our favorite place. We all enjoyed the birthday treat and she enjoyed the phone calls from all her grandmas and grandpas. Thank you! We did have a few presents to open and Alicyn had told me she would like to give Gracyn new jammies, so I picked up some cute princess jammies and told her that was her gift to give. She was so somber while she was wrapping them because she loved it so much and obviously wanted to keep them for herself. Eventually she said, "Mom, do you think you can get me these for my birthday?" Giving can be so tough sometimes.

Today, Grandma Dawn came up for the day and we celebrated some more. The girls helped me assemble the rainbow cake this morning and thankfully, we found some ladybugs at a craft store, so I didn't have to make them. My attention this week was on painting the girls and guest room, so it was great to have an easy cake this year. I put the cake on the table before lunch and noticed Gracyn hovering near it and a small swipe of frosting was mysteriously missing. She looked up so cute with a blob of white across her cheek (which she didn't know was there). Pointing to the cake I said, "Who ate this frosting?" She grins and says, "Don't know. Not me."
Ha! Happy Birthday sweetie!

Still not going to post pics of the rooms. We're not done yet, but it's looking really nice. :)

Eats? Nothing too exciting...
S - frz pizza...? i don't remember. busy painting...
M- Chicken, green beans, pineapple
T - Subway and Ice Cream
W - left over Chicken
R - Spaghetti (venison and hm marinara), salad
F - left overs Spaghetti, salad
S - Tuscan Soup, Salad, Bread

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We've got some happy girls in the house! Alicyn says,"Mommy, I will never change this color. It is lovely. This is such a cute room." From Gracyn, "I like pink." That's right, not only is the room glowing, so are the girls. "Mom, I can't believe you painted my room pink." I can't either darling, but I'm so happy you are enjoying it.

We've had a fun week. Justyn and I made it to Green Bay for a date night. We had dinner out and took in some acoustic tunes. The girls had a chance to play with lots of friends this week and yesterday we resumed the Saturday morning walk to the bakery. Yummy! Then off to swim and dinner at a friend's house. We are so thankful for friends here in Shawano and warmer temperatures to enjoy the great outdoors.

Gracyn's been giving us lots of smiles and she is ready to turn three this week, although she will tell you she is turning four. On Thursday, we went to a friends house for a birthday dinner and we took some Dairy Queen treats as a gift. I was explaining to her that we were not going to eat it, but it was a gift. From the back seat I hear, "Mommy, I don't want a rainbow cake." I said, "What? Why, don't you want your rainbow cake?" She's made sure to let everyone know she is having a rainbow cake with lady bugs on it, so why the big sudden change? "I want ice cream!" So cute. "Oh honey, you can have ice cream with your cake."

Alicyn is busy. She loves school and I can't keep enough projects in front of her. Today she danced around the house in a mismatched leotard, tights and tutu and I heard her ask daddy if there are more colors in heaven.

This weeks eats:
S - pork tacos, broccoli/cauliflower salad
M - bbq pork sandwich, coleslaw
T -a warm day with surprise hike interrupted dinner plans, daddy made the girls mac-n-cheese so I could make it to volleyball. thanks daddy, the girls loved it!
W -more tacos, but they were really good
R - friend's house for dinner
F - out to green bay
S - frz pizza and fluff

Thanks to a favorable forecast, tomorrow we grill!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Playing with Pics

We've had a great week. Justyn had a meeting in the Dells, so we were able to go along for some fun. The girls and I had some girly time on Monday exploring a nearby town. They had their first steamer (hot milk and flavor) at a cute lil' coffee shop. Alicyn especially loved sitting at the pretty table that was made for playing checkers and because our hot drinks were too hot, we had a the chance to walk around the other half of the store (a Christian gift/book shop) and ofcourse they found something they wanted. I almost said no (like usual), but we were having so much fun. My girls now have cute little Jesus necklaces that have been a hit all week. Next a stop at McDonald's which is another something that mom says no to, but the we had time to kill the play land was calling us. I have to admit it was fun. Next we checked into the hotel and I took the girls down to the waterpark all by myself, yet again, something I do not do and again success! Daddy joined us after his meeting for more fun and the girls and I headed home in the morning, but not before taking my little princesses to Denny's (yet another place you will not find me) and I have to admit again, it was wonderful. Clean, decorated in 50's style and the cutest children's pancakes at a reasonable price. The girls gobbled them up, like they always do pancakes and we made it back for school time by noon. After school, Alicyn was so tired. The plan was to have the girls come with me to volleyball and sit along the wall while I played since Justyn was out of town, but her tired eyes at 3p.m. were telling me it wasn't happening, so made a threat that only foolish parents make because it generally backfires and no one is happy, "Alicyn, you need to take a nap and if you don't there will be no going to volleyball." I didn't have a plan if she didn't other than - not going to volleyball. Praise the Lord, she fell asleep! Miracles do happen and Gracyn slept too! So up for supper and out the door to the gym. (p.s. all the above while not having a voice, I lost it Monday morning and found it again on Thursday)

So the girls and I had a great time. Justyn is home now and we have a laid back weekend ahead. We are watching a few kiddos on and off again for different friends. It's fun to help out, so others can have a little couple time. Oh, Alicyn is going to her first theater movie. The Princess and the Frog is hitting our cheap theater, so mommy gets to treat her this time. Gracyn wouldn't sit through it, so daddy is going to have a special date with her.

Photos have been fun. We took a little time last weekend and played around with some setting. So much to learn...

We registered Gracyn for 3 year old preschool for fall. It is just two mornings a week, but she is going to love it. She met her teacher and toured the room yesterday. It was very exciting for her. We heard Alicyn giving her a pep talk in the back of the car. "Okay, if you see me in the hall, you can just wave, but don't be loud and if you are sick, you'll have to stay home." Cute. They won't actually be at the same school until the following year.

Our menu is a little messy this week:
S- Super Yummy Breakfast Burro
M- Out and it wasn't that good :(
T - Tomato and Cuc, Avocado and Egg toss
W - HM Hamburger/Venison Helper
R - Sundried tomato chicken, hm biscuit, cauliflower/broccoli salad
F - Frozen pizza (kid watching), broccoli and cauliflower to dip
S - Pork Roast, spinach salad

Have a great weekend friends and family!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Quiet Moment

Daddy just took the girls out the door, so I'm going to sit down quick before I get distracted with chores. They are heading to the movie store to rent a video. Gracyn told me, "Mom you stay home. I go with Daddy and Ali." She's very happy to be tagging along with the cool club. Alicyn is hoping for Beauty and the Beast. Justyn took her to see the play last week, put on by the high school theater. It was their little date night and apparently it was wonderful. Justyn said her eyes just kept lighting up and she would smile wide. At the end of the show she got to see Belle up close and told daddy she would like to do that when she is older. I'm pretty sure that means she would like to be a princess when she is older.

Today Alicyn had a friend from school over for her first play date with a classmate. They had a great time and it felt easy for me having some time without having to be the playmate. Gracyn hung in there with the big girls until I told her I was going to make cookies and then she was off to the kitchen with mama. (banana cookies, girls are big fans) The girls played very well until the last five minutes when Alicyn's friend said the word "cheat". I'm not sure what happened, but Alicyn is so sensitive and there was no time to really resolve the ....issue as dad showed up to pick up the friend. So we had our first little friend drama, but I've been reassuring Alicyn they are still friends. More of that to come in the future 15 years. :)

Fun news for me, I have a new camera. Thank you, Justyn! Hopefully, you will notice some better shots of the girls in the future. We'll play with it this weekend and post some pics soon. Not fun news, I have a fever, aches and a cold? Hence, I get the quiet moment while they run for the movie.

Spring is in the air. Well, it will be soon. We had a nice warm up this week with sunshine and the days are getting longer and life is good. Last weekend we enjoyed the weather and a little Valentine date. We left the girls with friends and tried snow shoeing. It was wonderful to be outside in the forest and have a quiet moment for the two of us. I believe there will be more snow shoeing in our future and we would also like to try cross country skiing.

Looks like we get to head to the Dells soon. Justyn has a meeting there, so the girls and I will go along to play in the water. Lucky us!

What's cooking?
S - carbonara (light version)
M - hm ckn nuggets, guac and chips
T - gyro burgers, guac/chips and fruit salad (thank you mom for putting marshmallows in it!)
W - gyro burger, quinoa tabbouleh
R - chicken tortilla soup
F - mini veggie pizza, frz cherries
S - breakfast burros (hm tortillas, tofu, blk beans and veggies)

Oh, they are back! Princess movies and.... it looks like they..... yep, I see Dairy Queen! It's a little girl's dream and a big girl's too. :) As for Justyn???

Friday, February 12, 2010


We've had a busy busy week. Justyn had a few meetings in southern Wisconsin, so he took us along and we spent some time at Grandma Dawn's. The girls spent a lot of time making Valentine's cards and Alicyn is excited to distribute them today at school. I had a chance to go shopping by myself and it was fun. Lots of clearance to be found right now. Justyn and I had a few dinners out, so that was also enjoyable and we had a chance to catch up with friends. We spent an extra day because of the snow storm, but made it home with no problems after the snow passed.

The girls this week:
Alicyn has been busy practicing her letter sounds and organizing her letter books and magnets. She's very much a daddy's girl and cried for him not to leave this morning. I imagine that breaks daddy's heart as he leaves for work. If he wasn't so cool, it wouldn't be a problem. :) In the car this week she kept asking, "What is this for, what is that for, what is that?" She only wanted daddy to play the game because apparently my answers weren't good (creative) enough and it was a long ride home for daddy.

Gracyn is having fewer and fewer accidents although when she does have one she takes off her pants, takes them down stairs to the laundry and then tells me, "Mommy, I potty in my undies, but that's okay." Then she gives this sigh, which no doubt is my frustrated, exhausted sigh of disapproval. It's so cute when she does it, less cute when it comes from me and I'm embarrassed that she learned if from me. She loves to help in the kitchen and is always saying, "I get that for you." Her favorite is announcing to the house while running to the table, "Time to eat, Ali."

This weekend we are planning to get outside. Hooray! It's beautiful with sunshine.

What's been cooking? I think I'm behind a week, since we traveled, but here's the summary:
S - blintz with peaches
M- italian sausage sandwich, coleslaw
T- spinach omletes
W - chili (venison)
R - left over chili

W - eggs, turkey bacon
R - artichoke/spinach lasagna, greek salad
F - a night off. going to a friend's house!

Have a great Valentine's Day everyone!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Praise the Lord - SUNSHINE.

Yes, it's happened. 2 days straight of sunshine. I am grateful!

A few cute words from this week. Justyn and I were attempting to explain the Olympics to the girls and decided to describe it as having a race and someone wins. We asked Alicyn what type of winter sports people could have a race with. The sweetest reply, "Maybe snowman making or snow angels." It was precious. We then found some figure skating on t.v. and she says, "Daddy, can you dance on ice?"

I've been playing volleyball now on Tuesday nights. We play, but do not win. Anyway, I finally ordered some knee pads since we moved up a league I figured I may have to up the game a little. Alicyn saw the knee pads and says, "Daddy! Now we have knee pads to play monster with!" (His knees are always sore on the wood floors.) Also, when I left to play ball on Tuesday night, she gave me a pep talk, "Mom, go hit the ball over the net and win!" My reply, "Okay, well dear, I'll try to get the ball over the net, but we don't usually win, we just play for fun." She looked confused and said, "You can just play for fun?"

Gracyn and I had a chance to volunteer in Ali's classroom on Tuesday. She was very much a big girl, pulling herself up a chair with the big kids (4 year olds). She just loved it, snack time, rug time, dancing, centers and the teacher said she wanted to take her home she was such a sweetie. Yes, we are blessed with two sweet girls.

S - fz pizza, salad
M - left over ckn fried steak, salad
T - broccoli and tofu popovers, salad
W - blk bean avocado taco, pineapple
R - blk bean taco avocado, rice, baked apple
F - ckn wild rice soup, carrots, corn bread
S - frz veggies and broccoli stir fry with tempeh, coucous

I make up a general menu, but don't put it here until the end of the week because it always takes a few changes which is good b/c I can just carry over what didn't get made for next week. I'm all for stretching it...

Have a super weekend! We'll try to put up some new pics this weekend.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blah. It's Gray.

We are in the mood for some sunshine. None to be found. Blah.

Spent the weekend with Grandma Dawn. Jenna, Ed and Ella joined us. Very nice time had by all.

Justyn is adjusting to the new assignment. It looks like it'll provide some challenge for him and stretch him professionally. So first week down and we like the job.

Gracyn is busy climbing around the pack-n-play. We've been doing a nap every other day, so we don't have to fight about it. It seems to be working out. Last night, she looked at daddy and said, "You play duck, duck, goose with me." It melted daddy's heart and I think they waited until supper was over to begin playing. We looked at some birthday cakes online yesterday. It's time to start planning, so I'd show her the Hello Kitty, George, Princess, Candyland, Rainbow, etc. Each response was the same. "Yeah, I have THAT one!" So basically, I have no idea what we will be having. Alicyn on the other hand has requested a princess castle that goes all the way to the ceiling. ... I'm trying to sway her towards a Tinker Bell or Princess this year. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't care what it was as long as it involved pink and purple - now that green is out.

Alicyn was leader for her class today. It's a very important role for a four year old, so we made the cutest little snack (stuffed celery sticks with a pb and cream cheese mix and stuck animal crackers into the mix) and found the perfect show-n-tell after much deliberating (a paper plate cow she made at library time this week). She's all jazzed up and I can't wait to hear about it when she gets home. Gracyn and I were going to be her guest today, but the little guy I sometimes watch appeared this morning, so we will go in a different day.

It was warm enough to get out a bit. We did some sledding and met up with friends this week.

Sorry girls, I'm not going to post recipes because I don't want to take the time to do it and ...I rarely use a recipe. Anything I make can be googled or browse the allrecipe site (my fav)and find something similar. I generally get the ideas going and work with it. What had this week:
S - pinto bean quesadilla, salad
M - chicken noodle w/lots of veggies, salad
T - left overs
W - cheese ravioli w. hm tofu marinara (fz it in summer), broccoli, salad
R - butter bean burgers, baked zucchini chips, salad
F - pancakes and green smoothie
S - chicken fried steak, frz. green beans

did you catch the salad theme? we scored on a box of baby greens on sunday afternoon ($3) and had to eat it all up before it spoiled. budget saving tip. never toss anything away :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Way to go Daddy!

We are cheering on daddy as today is his last day as school psychologist for Shawano School District. We are very proud of him and excited to see what his new position has in store. Justyn will begin his new job on Monday and is anxious to get started. He will be coordinating the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program for the state of Wisconsin - which most of us do not really know what that means, but he sure is excited, so we are excited too. ;) He will have an office in a neighboring town, so no need for us to leave Shawano.

As for us. Alicyn has had a ridiculous about of snot coming from her nose. Grrr. Gracyn charmed us yesterday morning while sitting between Justyn and I. We were holding hands, so she snuggled her hand into ours. We tried to take a pic, but the shot we took didn't do any justice to how our hearts were melting. Very sweet. And yesterday, I wept with joy while dancing and singing praise songs with my little girls. It's been a hard week not understanding God's plan and why we are so blessed when so many hurt and struggle, so it seems like an appropriate time to be grateful for provision and grace and healthy lil' girls that I get to hold tight...

And finally, our menu for the past week. People ask all the time how we eat on such a budget. I plan on $50/week. Keep it simple is my strategy, of course combined with sales, and eating as few processed packaged foods as possible. We try to eat less meat, have a breakfast night and soup is always a hit. We also rarely eat out unless traveling. Thankfully my husband is not a picky eater and seems to be entertained with my frugal ways and my girls are equally wonderful and rarely turn their noses up to a meal. Our lunches are generally left overs, so I am not including those. Breakfast is generally hot cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, toast, pancakes, eggs, smoothies, etc. served with a side of fruit.

S. Packer game. Toasty nachos and oranges.
M. homemade broccoli soup, cheese sandwich, frz cherries
T. pork cutlet, spinach salad, green beans, french bread
W. spinach fritata, sweet potato fries, cantaloupe
R. peaches and cream cheese sandwich, cantaloupe (girls and i took it simple, dad had going away outing)
F. artichoke/olive pasta salad w turkey bacon

If you're not interested in what we are eating. No worries. I understand. Just don't read it :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I love you.

We've been doing a lot of "I love you this much" lately. So last night in the car, Alicyn says, "Gracyn, I love you all the way around the moon and stars..., but I don't like it when you bite."

Friday, January 8, 2010

A few new ones.

A weekend at Camp Luther. Ali was pretty jazzed about sleeping in a bunk bed. A snow day tradition of making doughnuts. Christmas Eve and pretty dresses... Good stuff.

Yes to more blogging....maybe.

It's been called to my attention that I am not a very good blogger. And it's true. I'm not. I keep journals for the girls and prefer to keep my thoughts there. But I will work on putting more thoughts here. I agree it is a great way for us to keep in touch.

The biggest problem is, frankly, I don't sit down much and when I do I feel anxious about getting something (real) done or I am interrupted - like now I can hear Gracyn entertaining herself in my bedroom while this is suppose to be nap-time. She is quite skilled at climbing out of the pack-n-play now and so I'm off already to chase down a crafty two year old. When I am sure she is down, I will sneak down stairs to walk a few miles on the treadmill while watching Little House on the Prairie (ah, love that show), then I will do the dishes, wake up my sleeping beauty to load her up quickly so we can pick up Alicyn at 3:00. Then when we get home it's snack time, we play and start supper, clean up, then bed time, start some laundry and hopefully have some time to visit with PJ before we sink into bed and start it all over again at 6:00 a.m. with the girls joining us at 7 and Gracyn professing "I'm hungry!"

I will try to do better, but make no promises. Ofcourse getting up some new pics very soon is top on my list and I know you grandparents especially love this part. First, I'm off to be a mean mommy...."Gracyn! It's time for rest."