Monday, June 30, 2014

salmon and melty ice cream

Chris and I have not been good at all about exposing the kids to seafood. Good parenting advice has always said to not let your kids know about the foods you dislike because they'll probably dislike them too. Chris hates any seafood and with the exception of tuna/salmon, I do as well. My kids eat tuna sandwiches a lot, but thanks to us, that's all they eat.

I had seen some salmon burgers at Costco many times and decided to try them out. This is how I phrased it, "Guess what?!!? We are going to have Hawaiian burgers tonight!! You know how you like tuna? Well, we are going to have salmon on our burger and I'm putting them on Hawaiian rolls with pineapple on top! Ethan and Alayna LOVE these. Isn't that awesome??"

Well, I'm happy to say it worked! Cam raved about them and Kendall plowed through her's (mostly to get to dessert, but at least there was no complaining). Success!!

Sidenote: I really liked them as well. Chris' patties were subbed with turkey burgers. :)

I've mentioned before that my Skinny Cow regimen each night consists of putting the sandwich in a bowl and sticking it in the microwave until it's a little melty. I've always thought hard ice cream didn't have near the flavor as melted. Recently, I was happy to find out that I wasn't crazy! In my latest Food Network Magazine I read, "Cold numbs your taste buds, so ice cream tastes sweeter at room temperature than it does when it's frozen" Ha!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

stitches in the church kitchen

*While I'm glad our crazy week of VBS and swim lessons is over, I must admit it will be a little of a letdown come next week :)

*Yesterday proved to be quite a morning. In brief:
-I slashed my hand with a knife prying frozen turkey burgers apart
-I did not think an expensive trip to Urgent Care was necessary
-A friend at VBS forced me to walk over and see a friend of her's, who was an ER doc. He said it needed stitches
-He offered to go back home and get his doc bag
-Three stiches done at VBS and I was good to go!
-SOOO grateful to him. :)

*Here is my cupcake decorating teaching partner. I liked teaching my class each day, but liked hanging out and chatting with her even more. :)

*I've been headache free for almost a week. It's like I'm a new woman! :)

*We will be heading up to Reno in a little over a week to visit family...or in Cameron's words this morning, "We will be in Reno in 120 hours!!!"

*Each night my kids have looked forward to eating a cupcake I bring home from my day's class:

*My hand hurts so I'm done typing. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I'm sooo tired....but in a really great way. This week we started Camp TLC (our church's version of VBS). Each day Cameron and Kendall attend while I teach a couple of cupcake decorating classes. I have so much fun teaching with a friend of mine, but even more fun knowing and seeing my kids on cloud nine. I mean they LOVE this thing. Love. :)

Unfortunately swimming lessons are also this week, which makes for fun, but very long days. :) Today was made even longer by a trip afterward to get my hair cut. I finally went shorter than I've ever gone. I really like it. Chris is one of the rare guys that actually prefers short hair, so he likes it as well. :)

Right now I'm planted in our recliner and I really don't want to move the rest of the night. Once Chris gets back downstairs from putting the kids to bed, dinner, an episode of 24, and MY bedtime are all I want. :)

p.s. Last night when I put Cam to bed, I prayed for the kids at Camp TLC who don't know Jesus. Cameron asked if he could invite Jesus into his heart. I reminded him that he already had and...

Me: You know, Cameron, once you ask Jesus into your heart, He never leaves.
Cam: Well, I'm going to lock the gate just in case He wants to get out and play with his angel friends.

Friday, June 20, 2014

mcgee and me

*I made another summer calendar this year. It's a great way for the everyday things to seem "fun" because they are on the calendar. 

For instance, this morning's agenda included a trip to the thrift store which turned into quite an outing. I think my kids could have spent an hour there. Cam is really into how much things cost and so he was fascinated that an enormous (and ugly!) entertainment center was only $145 :)

Sidenote:  You'll also see a check off chart for each kid next to the calendar. One is for Cam  practicing his speech and the other is for Kendall writing her letters. I find that if I tell them in advance that they'll get a surprise by completing a certain number of days, it keeps ME accountable in actually doing it. :)

 *A few months ago I realized that no matter how many thousands of times I told the kids to look both ways when riding their bikes, it just didn't happen. So the rule was made that they could not ride in the street unless I'm sitting outside watching them. This can get rather old so I've started stocking up on magazines from friends and cookbooks from the library to occupy myself. :)

*I've mentioned before that one of the reasons I love working out at home is that I can literally wake up in the morning and be working out within three minutes. I also love that I can look this very old VBS shirt and stretched out shorts from college. :)

*Did anyone watch McGee and Me as a kid? They are awesome, non-cartoon shows that teach great lessons. We showed the kids one today I found on YouTube. Chris and I were dying at the clothing, music, etc. (they were made in the early 90's). Anyway, if you want a cute Christian show for your kids, you should check them out.

*Showed up yesterday for my doc's appointment only to find out that while they do take my insurance, they don't take it if it's through the Obama care thing. Ugh. Was frustrated, but not too bad considering how much less we are having to pay overall thanks to it. :)

*Had an orthodontist's appointment for Cam today. We are faced with the decision to either do two phases of braces, starting now, or waiting a few years and doing them all at once. Obviously the two phase choice is more expensive, so we just have to weigh whether or not we feel it's the best option. Oh and by the way, braces are not cheap. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014


*Yesterday was day three of swim lessons. Cam adores them. Kendall liked the first day. No more. She HATES going under and had to do it quite a bit more yesterday. This was her face the entire way home. Poor Cam was at his wit's end in trying to cheer her up.

*The goal a couple days ago was to make homemade pizza dough for dinner. But when we were at Winco and I saw Flatout Bread, I caved and am so glad I did. Not only did they require zero effort, but they were really tasty as a thin crust pizza!
A long time ago a friend made pizza using fig jam as the sauce. It was amazing!! I wasn't able to find fig, so I substituted apricot/pineapple. It was not quite as good, but still a unique flavor change from regular pizza. :)

*Today I'm finally going to the doctor for my headaches. They have not been too bad the past week, but the fact that I'm going on two months is enough to warrant a visit. I hate how I've dragged my feet so long due to the nasty copay required. Grrr...

Monday, June 16, 2014


*I like to have the kids make fun posters to hang around when it's one of our birthdays. Yesterday I had the kids make some for Father's Day. One of the cutest things about Kendall is that her posters rarely make sense nor pertain to what we are celebrating. I often have to write what it is next to it. In her words this one was a, "Guy playing with electricity but then he got into the electricity". Happy Father's Day, Chris! Ha!

*We made Chris a special Father's Day dinner of homemade mac n' cheese. The recipe is more like a casserole (that you cut instead of scoop). Funny thing is that both my kids didn't like it. However they gobble up mac n' cheese when it's my healthy kind (milk, whole wheat pasta, cheese). Love it! :)

*Right now I'm catching a few minutes of Felicity while I wait for the kids to wake up. I think one of the reasons I love it so much is that it takes me back to college and the care free life I lived. Hey, let's go to the beach today! Okay! Let's go shopping! Okay! I don't feel like doing anything, let's watch a movie in the middle of the day! Okay! 

*Last night we started Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. We are almost done with it and it's such a great movie. I haven't seen one this good in a while.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Last night we conquered our first camping trip as a family. We spent one night in Big Bear with my parents and the kids loved it! I know it seems like a lot of packing/prep for one night, but it was kind of an experiment since we had never done it before. 

We were most concerned about the sleeping, which went better than we had expected. It wasn't perfect as Kendall decided to wake up in the middle of the night and not go back to sleep for a while (she was right next to Chris so he got the short end of the stick sleep-wise), but the kids loved sleeping in the same tent as mom and dad. 

I also liked being all together in the tent. My other highlight was the early morning when it was freezing and we were all huddled around the campfire drinking hot chocolate/coffee. 

A marathon game of Monopoly.

Relaxing while the adults set up camp.

A walk down to the lake.


We ended our trip down the mountain at In & Out. Both kids requested that we stay another night, confirming again how much fun they had. :) It was a great 24 hour getaway!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

ice cream!!!!!

Today was our first day of summer and we celebrated by making homemade ice cream. The kids loved it. We do not own an ice cream maker but I don't think I ever will buy one after this recipe. It is SOOO EASY!!! I just can't seem to get over how simple it was and how great it turned out!

So here is the recipe I used with her fancy and professional picture.

I changed it only in that I used regular Oreos. However I will say that I think I will omit the almond extract next time. It's way too powerful of a flavor for my tastes (the kids didn't seem to notice).

We invited the quadruplets from across the street (here are half of them) to join us. :)

 We will definitely be making this again and coming up with new things to put inside.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


*Chris went up north yesterday to be with his family as his mom received a heart valve replacement surgery this morning. Our prayers were answered and the surgery went well. :)

*Tomorrow is Cam's last day of school and then summer begins! We've already been enjoying the hot weather, including juice pops I made using a mold from the 99 Cent Store.

*Still loving our Harry Potter reading times before bed. :)

 *The kids love for me to drop them off a block away from our house and let them run home.Here is Cam one street over (Kendall lagged a little behind).

*I've long wanted to try yoga. I've been browsing Amazon to see which DVD's are the highest rated. I'd like to do it at an actual studio, but getting to a studio and finding the time for that probably wouldn't happen.

*I've been having such a fun time with my kids the past few days. Even going to Costco is more enjoyable with them. I love how they beg and beg to go "into the cold" (dairy room).

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Yesterday Chris and I got back from a really fun few days in Las Vegas. We went with our friends, Jeremy and Ana. We stayed a ways off the strip and only ventured there once for dinner. We got an awesome deal through Groupon and would definitely stay at The Aliante again. :)

Some highlights...

*Talking, talking and more talking. Ana is one of those friends that truly invests in you as much as you do in her. Love all our talks. :)

*Ana treated me to a massage for a belated birthday present and I can't tell you how amazing it felt!!! Thank you!!!!

*Relaxing by the pool. The guys golfed early the first morning and Ana and I headed out to the pool. We did this again the second morning and I think we would both agree it was a favorite time of the trip.

*We had some super yummy food. My favorite will be no surprise to anyone as it was had at The Cheesecake Factory. It was the second time I've branched out from my usual and wasn't disappointed.

and lowlights...

*Jeremy felt super sick the first night, but luckily he felt almost back to normal by the morning.

*My headache decided to flare up more than normal. I'm soo over it. So over it.

*The first night we had a dinner that bombed. It actually turned out to be the joke of our trip but we were soooo not impressed with Burgr!!

Here we are before the aforementioned bad meal at a different restaurant getting drinks and appetizers. 

 It had been a long time since I'd seen the fountain show at The Bellagio. How amazing. :)

So despite a few lows of the trip, I think the highs definitely outweighed them. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

new phone

*Kendall's swimsuits she wears are hand-me-downs. One is too small and one is so stretched out that it is borderline immodest! :) We went to pick out a new suit today and she was beyond excited.

*I blogged about these Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches a long time ago. They are amazing!!

I made them again and decided to make them much, much smaller as they are quite a hefty/dense dessert. Bite size is really the perfect size. :)

*I love this hot weather.

*Tonight for dinner I made this for the kids. I love how much they love it and the fact that I can actually call it a very healthy dish (milk + whole wheat pasta + cheese).

*I recently got a new phone. It's not a Smart phone, but I'm very excited to have more memory. I was having to delete texts just to take a picture on my last one. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

harry potter

*This past school year a couple friends of mine and I took turns teaching our three little girls. We each rotated weeks and taught them how to write their letters. Yesterday we had a little graduation to celebrate their times together (Kendall ADORED "preschool playgroup"). We got the families together for a picnic and ceremony where they each received a certificate and  a round of applause. :)

*Today we went to the Palm Desert Street Fair. It was hot, but fun. The kids each got $5 to spend and they enjoyed picking something out. They each got a matching wallet and a frozen lemonade. :) Afterward we headed to Barnes and Noble for some reading time and then to Costco (of course!) before heading back home.

*Cameron loves for me to read to him each night before bed. Last week I decided to give one of my my all time favorite series, Harry Potter, a try. He really likes it and it's fun for me since I haven't read the books in years. :)

*I've finally decided that buying regular sour cream is just worth the extra calories. It's one of those foods that I can tell a big difference in the flavor vs. the low fat version.

*Last night I ran into a screaming Kendall only to find out she simply needed to go to the bathroom. When I told her this morning that from now on she can just get up and go like a big girl, she informed me that she would rather get me up. How thoughtful.