The menu :)

>> Saturday, December 18, 2010

So my Inlaws are coming for Christmas day and I am so excited! We weren't expecting them until Boxing Day so this is great that they will be here all day on Christmas.

I have started my menu for Christmas eve and day!

Christmas Eve:

We always do a finger food spread and watch movies for our Christmas eve tradition. The menu is generally the same every year, with our favorites!

7 layer taco dip w/tortillas

Hot spinach and artichoke dip w/tortillas

Summer sausage, cheese and cracker tray

Christmas Day:

We will start the day with fresh blueberry muffins for breakfast.

For dinner, I will be making a turkey with all the fixings. Instead of having lunch, we will bring out any leftover finger foods from the night before. My mother in law is also bringing along a couple new appetizers we can't wait to try!

It is going to be a great time with lots of presents, laughter and 24 hrs of a Christmas Story on TBS!


Dear God..

>> Monday, December 13, 2010

Or whom it may concern,

Please grant me the strength and will to get the presents wrapped BEFORE Christmas Eve! I am not a procrastinator but I am having such a hard time getting motivated! MUST GET WRAPPING!! Chele, Jen, Cynthia and Jules will be so disappointed in my lack of organization this Christmas. Although I do have my lists made!


Green Bean Casserole

>> Thursday, December 2, 2010

Before I married my husband, I had never tried green bean casserole. The commercials made it look gross and I didn't want to even try it. My first Christmas with my new family included green bean casserole. I was hesitant at first but didn't want to be rude so I took some. It was weird at first but not bad... and I eventually grew to really enjoy it. Chris's family recipe is a little different than normal but good.

Here we go.

For a large family you will need:
1/2 pound of bacon, cut into bite sized pieces and cooked into bits
1 can of fried onions.
6 cans of french cut green beans(and don't try and serve Chris whole ones.. he needs his french cut!)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of mushrooms (I dice them a little more so they aren't huge chunks)
2 jars of old english cheese

I put the green beans and diced mushrooms into a colander for at least an hour to get rid of any liquid. I will even squeeze the juice out because it is not good if it is watery!
In a small sauce pan mix the soup and cheese until creamy and mixed well. Mix well with your drained green beans and mushrooms in a large pammed Cassandre dish. Add bacon on top then the fried onions. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25 mins or until it is all hot and bubbly!


Crazy start to the week!!

>> Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So this week is, of course, Thanksgiving break for the kids. Elizabeth's school was having Parent Teacher conferences so she only had half day on Monday and Tuesday. Christopher went to school as normal.

My Monday was a little different this week. Ok, well REALLY different. To start, I was filming an interview for a new local show called Parentology. I was asked to be a guest and give a small interview about living on a tight budget. Now, anyone who knows me know I am terribly shy and have horrible social anxiety. This task I agree to was way beyond my normal capabilities.

Since the show was filmed in the morning, I wasn't really sure if I would make it home in time for Elizabeth to get off the bus. I decided to take her and Christopher with me. They really enjoyed it and loved seeing the filming. They sat in the control room during our interview.

I was very nervous but I made it though. It went really well and I *think* I did ok. They told me I did at least. The actual interview was only about 5 mins but there was 30 mins of setting up, checking lights and testing mics plus the pre-interview to get the jitters out. The crew was great and told me don't worry, we are here to make you look good. The one thing they said was don't look at the camera and I'm pretty sure I didn't so yay me. Hopefully I didn't at least.

We got home shortly(as in 10 mins) before Christopher had to head off to his school. It was a big day for him too! They were having their little thanksgiving party at school. They at corn bread muffins, popcorn and had some pudding. He had a great time.

While Christopher was at school, Elizabeth decided she wanted to put together a presentation for her class about her morning at the studio. She wrote a little paragraph and drew a picture of her in the control room watching Mom on the screen.

This morning, Elizabeth went to school for her half day and was able to give her little talk. The class sat on in the reading corner and she told them about her little field trip followed by a short q&a. Her teacher was very impressed with her.

At noon, Eli came home and Christopher was sent off to school. Elizabeth brought home her report card and her teacher phoned to do a phone conference.

Elizabeth is doing excellent in school. She is reading way beyond her grade level, which we already knew, and is exceeding her grade in almost every area. She is doing very well in gym, library, music and art. She has exceeded all her math expectations as well.
One area she needs to focus a little more on is well, focusing! She finds the work very easy at times and because of that, she flies through her work and can make some silly mistakes at times. She is quick to notice and fix her mistakes though.

Overall, her teacher is very impressed with her and was happy to have her join a special program with a few other kids every Monday. The librarian will take the kids aside to do a special project every week to challenge them a little more.

Christopher also received his report card last week. His report was a little less detailed but focused on all the basic skills one should have at age 5(although he is 4). He is doing very well with control of scissors, pencils and crayons. He follows the class rules very well and plays nicely with his classmates. He is respectful of his teachers and they enjoy having him in his class. He has not had any time outs or any discipline problems at all.

We are very proud of the kids and are happy to have them so well adjusted to school life. They enjoy going and are always excited to tell me about their day when they get home.


Chocolate Mint Torte

>> Saturday, November 20, 2010

This is a great chocolate mint holiday cake.

1 pkg dark chocolate cake mix- prepared as directed into two 9 inch pans.

Peppermint Filling:
3 cups cold heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup finely crushed candy canes. (I prefer the green/red/white stripped because they add more colour. I crush a little extra for garnish)
3/4 tsp vanilla

In a small mixer, beat cream and powdered sugar until stiff. Gently fold in crushed candy and vanilla until evenly blended.

Chocolate Ganache:
9 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward.

After cakes are completely cooled, slice your cake in half so you have 4 even layers. Spread whipping cream between layers, saving some for garnish and pour chocolate glaze over top allowing it to drip down the sides. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Serve with a dollop of extra whipping cream and sprinkling remaining candy as a garnish.

**This cake can also be made with a white cake mix and a white chocolate ganache instead of chocolate if you prefer.**



>> Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Sister. My angel in heaven. I love you.


Turning a recipe don't into a recipe do!

>> Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Last night I made a new recipe for Chris. He has been wanting this for a while and well.. I hated it.

The recipe was for stove top casserole. It was quite simple. Cube and brown some chicken breast, add a can of cream of celery, cream of chicken soups as well as one can of milk with the chicken in a casserole dish, top with prepared stove top and bake for half hour.

He really enjoyed it but I just don't like stove top! Last night, I couldn't sleep. I started think about how I could change the recipe into something better. Something I would actually enjoy. Something I could make and freeze for later. Then it hit me. Of course.. Leftover Thanksgiving!!!

So my plan started out with leftover turkey instead of chicken(although both would be good) and my OWN stuffing which I do enjoy!!

I wanted to leave out the cream of chicken and celery soups and instead add maybe try cream of cheddar broccoli as well as some frozen veggies(really any would be good I think. I think it would be much better if I used the leftover gravy instead of the soup as well. Building in my head. I mixed the soup and veggies together, added them to shredded turkey and topped it with my own stuffing. I really think this would freeze well for a later date. Thanksgiving after thanksgiving. So, now I have a plan for my leftovers! Thanksgiving Shepard's Pie if you will! Wish me luck!


Halloween preview!!

>> Friday, October 29, 2010

I got the kids all decked out in their costumes today for their Halloween parties at school!!


Christopher turns 4!

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing


Baked potato soup

>> Sunday, October 3, 2010

* 6 + 3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, save the 3 extra for garnish
* 2/3 c butter
* 2/3 c all-purpose flour
* 6 c whole milk
* 4 large baked potatoes, cubed in very small pieces (you can peel if you want, I like the extra texture of the skin or at least one)
* 4 + 1 green onions, chopped, saving 1 for garnish
* 2 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, saving 1/2 for garnish
* 1 c sour cream
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 tsp ground black pepper

In a large pot, make a roux by melting the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Add bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Serve with the extra garnishes added on top.



>> Thursday, September 16, 2010

My friend, Tracy, announced today there are exactly 100 days until Christmas. Not cool.

This means I have around 60 days to make 50 digital scrapbook pages. I need to do them in enough time to get them to the printer to be made into glossy printed books.

I really haven't been taking many photos with my canon lately. Not because I don't want to but didn't really have many opportunities this summer. It was easier to use my phone, which still takes nice photos, instead of bringing an expensive camera along and risking damaging it.

I still will have many photos, enough for at least 30 pages but my goal is 50. Wish me luck!


The big day.

>> Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My kids, both of them, have gone off in to the big world of primary learning. ABC's, 123's, shapes and colours for Christopher. Adding, subtracting and reading for Elizabeth. Today starts a new life for both of them.

Elizabeth is an old hand at school now but still 1st grade is a new big adventure. She will be playing on the big kids playground now! She went off to school with her head held high, eyes full of excitement and a huge smile on her face.

Christopher has no idea what he is in for. I'm sure he expects it to be a day of playing and meeting new friends. In part, he will be right but also a day of learning, sharing and listening. Raising his hand to speak, sitting still and listening without interruption is all new to him. He is good with listening but like all 3-4 yr olds, fidgets a lot. He will also be learning how to write his name better, have good pencil control and I think a few starter sight words.

All in all, they will both have a great year coming up. They will be challenged, make new friends and have a lot of fun.

I, on the other hand, only cried for 10 minutes. I'm good now. Time to do laundry.


Banana Bread!

>> Thursday, August 26, 2010

This originated in the Five Roses cookbook but I changed a few things.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup veg oil
2 eggs- beaten
1 cup mashed banana
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, slowly add wet to dry mixing only until combine. Don't over mix. Add to greased loaf pan(I use pam) Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Let cool 10 mins then transfer to a baking rack to cool for one hour.



A family favorite around my house.

1 1/2 pound of hamburger
1/2 white rice
1/2 small onion diced finely
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper

Soup base:
3 cans tomato soup
2 cans water

Add your soup base to a large soup pot and start to heat on med-high or crock pot on high. Mix together your meatball ingredients and form into meatballs a little larger then a bite size, dropping them carefully into the soup base. Simmer for at least an hour on the stove or you can simmer longer in a crock pot on low all day if you prefer. I serve my porcupines with mashed potatoes.


Almost time!!

>> Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two weeks from now, I will be home alone. *sniff*

My lil man will be starting pre-k on Sept 8th as Elizabeth is off to the 1st Grade. We have done the supply shopping, the new shoes and clothes and even the new fancy lunch box for Elizabeth.

I don't really know what I'm going to do with the 3 hours Christopher will be gone. I'm sure the first few days... I will cry in the corner until he gets home.


The rollercoaster of life continues.

>> Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Over a year ago, Chris sent me a text telling me to pack up the house. We were moving. He was offered and accepted a manager position at a brand new store in Hudson Falls. We had 3 weeks to pack and move an hour north. We found a great little house and did it. Chris worked hard at setting up his new store and even started to turn a small profit by Christmas.

Shortly after Christmas, his boss was having problems with the Saratoga store. The manager had quit suddenly, just as the one before him had done and the replacement manager was just too new to take the more difficult store. Chris was asked to trade his store to the rookie and take on the huge project of getting Saratoga back on its feet. Not only was the store deep in the red but it had on going staffing issues. Chris worked hard at it but could never quite break into the black. His boss transferred to another district leaving him with one boss 200 miles away who did not offer any sort of managerial support. The staffing issues continued losing staff due to quitting and maternity leave. The support from corporate was never there but they were quick to blame Chris for the years of issues that store has had.

After facing yet another string of 75 hr weeks with no overtime and constant criticism from corporate, Chris had enough. He interviewed for another company and was offered a job as Parts Manager. 40 hours a week but less pay. He took it.

This new job leaves us with a small problem. The less pay is significant. We were riding the line of pay cheque to pay cheque as it is but the stress of his old job was taking its toll on Chris's health. We have always made it through hard times and we will again. Standing together, budgeting and the big one. I started looking for part time work. The process is terrifying for me.

I filled out a few applications on Saturday and today was called in for my first interview! The job will be at the local grocery store not far from our home. They are only open until 9pm so the hours wouldn't be too late and of course I have all weekend open to work. I am trying not to get my hopes up but I think I would like this job. I am nervous but excited about going on my first interview in well 7 years. Even if I am shaking in fear, I will hold my head high and do my very best.

I wonder if it would be weird to have Chris hold my hand during the interview. :)


My first Pedi!!

>> Friday, July 23, 2010

Last year for my birthday, Chris bought me a little introductory spa package. It included a pedi, 25 massage, facial, and brow wax. It expired at the end of this month. I put it off for a year because I was too nervous to go. Finally when I did call, they didn't have any spaces to fit me in! She was able to get me in for the spa pedicure and I agreed.

I went yesterday. It was an hour long appointment so Chris took the kids to the park. I was nervous up until the moment my feet hit the water... then ahhhhh. The lady who did my pedi was also the owner. She was so warm and welcoming. I laid back in my chair and relaxed. There was another woman in the chair beside me and we all chit chatted together about the area. It was nice to have some adult conversation for a change and no one was interrupting with Mom Mom Mom!

Part of the package Chris bought included some discounts on other treatments. I asked her if she had any openings for next Thursday for hair and she did! I will be going back and getting my walmart hair cut fixed, some added highlights and she is going to do my free facial at the same time. The cut will be free and highlights at a 20% discount. I am so excited to go back and even more excited to find a "me" place. Not that I will be able to go back often but if anything, I can get my hair done.

My toes are so pretty!


Our Forth of July

>> Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We decided to keep the Fourth very low key this year. It was just too hot to be doing anything too extravagant.

We got up early and headed out to Walmart for some supplies. Charcoal, salad fixin's, and a certain little girl really wanted to spend her tooth fairy money. After much thought, she decided on a hula hoop. Somehow though, it was $5 and she only had $3 so Daddy bought her hoop and she kept her $3. I think she did it on purpose. Daddy is a sucker for his little girl.

We came home and Chris started on dinner. A beautiful little chicken placed up the butt on a can stand, rubbed down with a little Cajun salt mix and onto the grill for a long bake in the hot smoke. Chris added some hickory chips this time and it smelled amazing right away.

We set up the sprinkler and hopped into our swimsuits. The kids of course in patriotic swim wear. Then we all enjoyed the cool water on a very hot day. Elizabeth tried out her hoop and within an hour she really got the hang of it. She is going to rock the hula hoop contest next spirit day at school!!!

Dinner was amazing. The chicken was nice and moist with amazing flavour. We added a light green salad and some rice to complete the meal. Iced teas all around, it was a beautiful dinner.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing



>> Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The wiggler has been set free!!! It was was super wiggly last night. Chris was teasing her about hooking it up with dental floss to pull it out. This morning she was playing in Christopher's room and she came out yelling "Mom Mom" mouth bloody with this big toothless grin. She had been wiggling it and it just popped out into her hand! The Tooth Fairy brought her $3, which was all that the Tooth Fairy had in her purse :) Tooth Fairy's husband forgot to get cash from the mystical fairyland ATM.

Elizabeth was very happy with that and has already mentioned going to Walmart. She is saving for a new pair of earrings but she did mention something today about going to get some ice cream with her new money. She even asked me if I could call a cab to take her to the store. Yeah. Sure.


Spirit Day!!

>> Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We had SUCH a great day, I know this post will probably ramble a bit so be forewarned!

We all got up at 7 to start our day. Eli was sent off to school and Christopher powered through some cereal and out the door we went. We went to Christopher's new school. We filled out paperwork for his busing and his medical information while he went with one of the teachers to do a basic screening test. When we were done, he was also done. They did give us a paper for speech therapy, but we were expecting that a little. He often does say words wrong/different. Buppons instead of buttons, for example.

We looked around his school, which is very small of course but very nice. There are 3 pre-k classes and 1 class for 2-3 yr olds(they only go 2 days a week for 2's and 3 days for 3's). We are confident in this school.

After that, it was still a bit early to go to Elizabeth's school so we drove up to walmart and did a very needed grocery shop. Of course the one thing I needed the most, dishwasher tabs, I totally forgot to put on my list and there for forgot to buy. Luckily I found a stash of 6 tabs this morning under my sink!

We rushed home to put away our groceries then drove over to Elizabeth's school. We met up with her class just as they were going to the water balloon game. It was so nice that, in the few times I've been to her school and Elizabeth's birthday, we knew all the moms that were there! I did come out of my shell a little and talked to them :) Go me!

After water balloons, we headed to lunch. Typical school lunch.. hot dog, plain chips, salad, apple, chocolate milk and a little ice cream cup for dessert. It was.. umm worth the 1.75 but it did the job of filling us up.

After lunch the real fun started. Christopher was included in all the games and Elizabeth's little friend Hanna was playing mother hen to him.

We went to play a hula hoop contest. 4 rows of 4 kids. Front kid in each row goes up, hula's(?) until it falls, passes to next in line and goes to the back of the row for another turn. Christopher was in Hanna's group with two other boys. Since he couldn't do the hoop, Hanna and the boys picked it up, and started circling HIM with it!! It was hilarious!

The next game was octopus freeze tag were the tagger has a ball and throws it at the kids to freeze them, they become octopuses and use their arms out to also grab kids. The kids run from one side to the other in a line. Christopher won one round! He was so excited, hands up in the air cheering for himself as he took a victory lap around the kids!

After that, they did duck duck goose, the parachute and then class vs class tug of war(Christopher did not participate in that one!!) Elizabeth's class took on another K class and won! As the winners, they took on the other class but lost. lol They had such fun.

We went back to Elizabeth's class room for cake and juice then we signed Elizabeth out early and took the kids for ice cream(yes after cake)

We stopped at another store for some chicken(we don't eat walmart meat), came home to play in the sprinkler and Chris BBQ'ed a whole chicken and some corn on the cob. It was delicious!


Our Graduate

>> Saturday, June 19, 2010

Taking to some of my friends about their Kindergartner's graduation I noticed quite the difference in the degree of celebrations. Some as far as little caps and gowns with a whole production to similar as Elizabeth with a small ceremony for parents only.

I was very happy with Elizabeth's ceremony. There was 4 classes with 15-18 kids per class. They got up and sang us a few songs then received their little certificates announcing they were moving up to First Grade. It was small, short and just right.

Elizabeth was very happy to see Mommy and Christopher. She did a great job with her 3 songs, which she has been practicing for days!

After the ceremony, the kids went to a near by park for an end of the year picnic. Christopher and I stayed for a very short time but there was just way to many kids. I was starting to lose track of him in the sea of small children.

It was a great day and we are very proud of our little Graduate!


Today's Christopher-ism

>> Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Hey Christopher, when are you going to school?

"In Sometember!!"



>> Monday, June 14, 2010

One of the most important learning years of Elizabeth's life is coming to an end. Her first full year at school. This is the final full week of Kindergarten. Her school is having a Spirit Day next Monday at the local park where families are encouraged to come and spend the day with their kids, then two small half days and she is done with this school year.

Friday, her class as well as the other two K classes will be having a small moving up ceremony then they are having their own little picnic in the park. She is very excited but I think she is going to be a little sad to see the year come to an end. Elizabeth loves school, loves learning, loves her friends and just enjoys her time away from home. It will be a very bittersweet day when she comes home on the bus for the last time this year.

It has been such an amazing year with her. This year she learned how to read, how to tie her shoe laces and met some very good friends. She has already asked to have a couple girls over during the summer and we will definitely be scheduling some play dates. The summer is not a total loss for her though. We do have plans for mini golf, perhaps go karts and I'm sure a few visits to the park and the beach.

By Friday afternoon, I will have an official 1st Grader! By Monday, Christopher will be registered for pre-k! When did they get so big? I missed that memo.



>> Monday, June 7, 2010

This is the first ever blog post from my new Sprint EVO!

Chris and I celebrated our 7th anniversary on Saturday. It was beautiful day until I got sick. Nothing like a fever and puking to ruin an evening. Oh well, such as life.

I want to wish my mom a very public Happy Birthday!

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To whom it may concern.

>> Saturday, May 22, 2010


I would like to take this moment to address all of those with unsolicited advice. I really don't care if when YOU were a kid it was ok and encouraged to smoke while pregnant, beat your children and basically leave them unattended to roam the neighborhood. I don't really care if you fed your kids lead paint or steak and potatoes at 1 month old or that you left them in the back yard all day. I don't care if you think it's ok for a child to get bullied at school, sorry but that is NOT a learning experience for life. It's what makes serial killers. I certainly don't care if you think its fine to let a 5 yr old walk a mile to school by themselves. And please don't tell me its fine to leave my kids belted in the car without car seats. I know you just threw your kids in the truck but my kids, my rules.

This is 2010, not 1954. In case you haven't been paying attention, the world has changed. Remember the kid that went missing and presumed dead when you were a kid? Yeah it was the "happily married" pedophile that lived down he street. There are MORE people in the country right now and sorry but the facts are that many of those can and will hurt children. It isn't a myth, it is a fact. We don't turn a blind eye anymore.

Just because things were acceptable back in the 40's does not mean they are acceptable or will be tolerated now. It is called GROWING UP! Evolution of life, if you will. Oh and by the way, if you don't have children and you still try to tell me how to raise MY kids, I believe I have the right to punch you in the face.

Thank you.


A clean break... almost

>> Friday, May 21, 2010

So maybe late May is too late for a New Years resolution and really this isn't a resolution at all. It is time to take a break. Not my marriage or anything like that but a break from this relationship I have with my computer.

I usually get up and turn the computer on first thing in the morning. I sit in front of the computer until it's time to take Eli to the bus, then again until usually noon. I'm tired of it. What is the point?

I've made a commitment to myself to spend a half hour on the computer. Whatever I need to get done, I can so in 30 minutes. Do I need to play 8 facebook games? Hell no! I picked 3 of my favorite games and that is it. (Don't worry Fairyland friends, I'll try to keep my garden stocked so you can still find critters)

It is too nice to be stuck inside all day on the computer! I had such a great day yesterday outside in my chair with a book. My phone keeps me in touch with friends, I can still check or post FB statuses if I want without being tied to my desktop.

Here's to a nice break from my desktop! I love you but I think we need to part ways for a while. Mother Nature is calling.


What a wonderful Mothers Day weekend!

>> Monday, May 10, 2010

I was so happy to have Chris home for the whole weekend! Saturday was the start of my Mothers Day. Chris took me to Uncle Sam's for some hand dipped chocolate, then he dropped Elizabeth and I off at Walmart to get our shopping done and told us both to get our hair cut! Yes, I had Elizabeth's LONG locks chopped off! She looks adorable. I also got the same shoulder length cut and I added some wispy bangs as well! After shopping, Chris took us to Sorentino's Market and Deli to get a couple AMAZING subs for a late lunch/early dinner. Later on that evening Dave, Steph and the kids came over with pizza. The kids played and the adults tried to watch The Hangover.

Sunday morning, the kids let me sleep in until almost 10am! I got up and start on the potato salad I was making for Steph's house then made chocolate chip pancakes for the kids and I. We went over to Dave and Steph's house for their daughter Nala's 6th birthday party. We had a great time, lots of laughs and the kids had so much fun running around and playing.

After we left their house, Chris took me to Walmart to buy me a new tripod!! Unfortunately they didn't have the one we were looking for but I didn't leave empty handed. We bought a little ceramic pot for the plant Elizabeth brought me from school, some soil and Chris spotted some tomato and strawberry hanging basket kits! We also picked up some pumpkin seeds. I can't wait for the seedlings to sprout and we can plant the pumpkins in the garden and hang the baskets!

What a great mothers day!


Time to buckle down and get to work!!

>> Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No more excuses!! I need to start SCRAPPING! I have my photoshop back, I have my old digi scrap stuff back, I have all my photos, I have time. It is time to get to work and make some books! This Christmas's book will be the biggest one I've made simply because it will have TWO years worth of pages in it! I will be documenting some very big moments in our life. Our move, Elizabeth's first day of Kindergarten, then 1st grade coming up in September, Christopher's first day in Pre-K and his first trip on the bus, last Christmas with my folks, birthdays and more!

My goal is 50 pages by December 1st. That should give me enough time to get the books printed as well as be able to get some photos of the kids with the Christmas tree and hopefully some snow photos. Wish me luck! The countdown is ON!!


3rd term report card.

>> Friday, April 16, 2010

Elizabeth's teacher called me today for our phone parent/teacher conference. Mrs. Johnson was very happy with Elizabeth's progress, especially with her reading.

As a recap, from my previous post in February Second Term Report

They have 3 Scales.

Achievement scale which ranges 1- little understanding doesn't meet grade expectations, 2- Limited understanding, 3- General Understanding, 4- Thorough understanding always meets grade expectations

Effort Scale N- Needs improvement, P- making progress, G- Good, O- Outstanding

Skills Code- NA- Not assessed, X- Progress Needed, I- Improving, Blank- Acceptable.

Elizabeth's marks were

Kindergarten Readiness Skills- Achievement- 3, Effort G

Writing, Speaking Listening- Achievement- 3, Effort- O

Technology- Effort G

Reading Readiness Achievement- 4, Effort- G

Math Readiness- Achievement-3, Effort-O

Social Studies/Science- Effort-G

This report has following improvements or has stayed the same.

Kindergarten Readiness Skills- Achievement- 3, Effort- O <- effort improved

Writing, Speaking Listening- Achievement- 3, Effort- O <- stayed same
with the added improvement of her retelling a story.

Technology- Effort G <- Same

Reading Readiness Achievement- 4, Effort- G <- Same

Math Readiness- Achievement-4, Effort- G <- Her achievement has improved but her effort decreased a little, simply because she knows it and gets a little bored.

Social Studies/Science- Effort-G <- Same

She is improving with talking in class but still needs a gentle reminder now and then.

She has also read 25 more books this term.

They also did the AIMSweb test which is a requirement in our district.
The outcome measure is based on the following:
Letter Naming Fluency
Letter Sound Fluency
Phoneme Segmentation Fluency
and Nonsense Word Fluency.

She score above average in all areas.

Mrs. Johnson commented on how much she has improved with reading in such a short time. We also noticed reading "click" in just a week or so. She is doing well with sounding words out and she is writing stories now without help, writing her words phonically. Elizabeth is a little big of a teacher pet, from what I gather.



>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010

There are few things in life that make my heart pound just a little harder with want and desire. I'm not a materialistic person. I don't have a closet full of designer clothes or tons of jewelry. I don't own a fancy car or a huge house. But every once in a while I get a bad case of the I Want!'s

This little beauty, for a *eye roll* small price of $400 dollars, screams out at me BUY ME BUY ME BUY ME!!

Cricut Cake

Where do I sign up to be a random tester?? Cricut Cake, I desire you!


Back to the grind.

>> Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring break is over. My sleeping in until 8am days are behind me. Elizabeth is off having a great day at school. Christopher is happily playing in his room with all his little plastic solders. The house is clean, dinner is leftover lasagna and I have absolutely nothing to do! I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. I've been so busy for the past week with spring cleaning, referring the kids squabbles, and of course having our little visitor Alexa come over to play on Thursday and not it seems like I have a little post vacation funk.

We had a great weekend together as a family. Saturday we had some running around to do. Grocery shopping and a trip to Sportline to pick up a petcock repair kit for the bike fuel tank repairs. We came home to throw some hot dogs on the grill for lunch. He took over dinner and make some amazing Chicken Marsala. We bought quite a big bottle and it was very sweet(he should of bought dry!) so Chris decided to head out once again for some strawberries. He also bought some blackberries and jiffy mix so we could make shortcakes! It was amazing, the smell from the berries simmering away in the wine was mouthwatering, the taste was even more delicious then I expected!

Sunday, Chris slept in until late morning. After his relaxing start to the day he was in a great mood. We laid on the couch all day watching movies and holding hands. I love sweet lazy days like that. In the afternoon we started on lasagna. By we I really mean, I chopped some onions and garlic, opened a few cans and let Chris do the rest! He added more meat sauce then he normally does to the lasagna this time because we were using the no cool Barilla noodles and wow the extra sauce really made the meal! I threw together a quick salad, sliced some fresh Italian bread and we enjoyed another meal together as a family. We don't get very many of those with Chris' schedule so every family dinner is appreciated even more than the last. I love weekends like this. Calm, relaxing and just all of us together.


Best. Easter. EVER!

>> Monday, April 5, 2010

We celebrated Easter yesterday. Don't confused that with celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Chris, we celebrated the Easter Bunny and Chocolate. I am really big on holidays, the non-religious side. They are fun, I love watching my kids enjoy the magic of it all. Christmas, Halloween, and of course, EASTER!

Yesterday, we started the day with the kids digging into their Easter baskets. We didn't do a lot for their baskets but they loved them.

Christopher received a Black n Decker tool set which included a tool belt full of the tools he needs to do his important work, a vest so we can see him at all times, a hard hat and safety goggles because we all know how dangerous pretend carpentry is. He also received a sticker book just for BOYS. Full of fun stuff like bugs, trucks and spaceships.

Please excuse the Peter Griffin stroke eye.

Elizabeth received some sidewalk chalk, hairclips, a new ubber cool alarm clock and a new Melissa and Doug magnet calender.

After a very delicious breakfast of pancake and bacon (which was amazing btw, see my previous post MEAT MEAT MEAT MEAT) I went out to scatter the eggs for the egg hunt. 250 filled eggs. Yeah, what was I thinking?

The hunt was soon on. We have a huge yard so it took some time for the two kids to gather all the eggs. We gave them two boxes to unload their full baskets into. The final count: Elizabeth- 139 Christopher-111. Math don't add up to 250? Yeah, we had to return and find the missing eggs.

After the eggs were gathered, we took a small trip to the grocery store for some hot dogs and the fixin's to rub on our beautiful ribs we had for dinner. We had the choice of a turkey or ham but with the day being a beautiful 75 degrees, We just needed to BBQ! Chris rubbed the ribs with some amazing spices, added some pepsi and wrapped those bad boys up in tinfoil for a low and slow bbq. We added some hot dogs for a quick lunch before decorating the real eggs. What is it about a hot dog cooked on the grill or over a campfire? To me it, they taste like childhood. Memories of camping with my parents all over BC and Alberta. After our perfectly cooked dogs, the kids and I sat down at the table for some serious egg decorating. 20 eggs to be exact. Why? No will eat them. Just because we can I guess.

The ziplock baggie method. Way less mess to deal with. Add your colour and some vinegar, drop in the eggs and let them sit for 10 mins or so. Swish the bags now and then to make sure they are evenly coloured.
Tinted gold paint makes a huge mess but the kids had fun so C'est la vie!

Our beautifully bright dyed eggs.
Elizabeth putting the final touches on the dyed eggs with glitter and stamps and stickers.

I would like you all to take a minute to bow your heads in honor of my next photo. Breath it in, can't you taste the bbq goodness? No of course you can. Trust me, they were heavenly! Sweet and tender. Mouthwatering. And I get leftovers for lunch!

Of course, a nice garden salad. The perfect side dish to our 'Summer in April' Easter Dinner!

Did I mention the ribs were mouthwatering... and I get some for lunch? Don't hate!


Meat Meat Meat Meat

>> Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First I would like to apologize to any vegetarians out there for my following post. I am a carnivore, I love a good steak, love chicken and enjoy a pork chop now and then. Bacon, ham, beef stew, it's all good.

Last Saturday, Chris and I went to a local butcher. It is a small family run Mom and Pop business, supplied by the local farms. Organic, free range, tasty tasty meat. When we first walked in, we were a little overwhelmed. Not really sure what we wanted exactly, we could of picked from the small meat case or order a package to be cut to our own specifications. We decided on a combo package which includes beef steaks, roasts, stew meat, hamburger, pork roast, chops, ham, bacon, spareribs, italian sausage, whole roasting and frying chickens, and chicken breasts. The whole package of 62lbs came to $200 dollars. We requested a porterhouse steak to be cut right away and the rest to be picked up tomorrow. I am so thankful for our freezer. We would never be able to save this

We came home, Chris fired up the grill and cooked the most amazing steak we've ever had. It was almost sweet, buttery and oh so tender. Oh meat how I love thee!


The jewels of my life

>> Friday, March 19, 2010

After almost a year, I decided to drag out the backdrop and take a few photos of the kids. We haven't been able to get all my photoshop goodies off my old computer yet so I didn't play around with these.


I will be digital(-ly creative) once again

>> Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Almost a year ago, after moving into our new house, my computer's power supply decided to kick the bucket. I had all of my digital art supplies on that computer. For the past year, I've been completely out of touch with my creative side.

My wonderful sweet husband just found a very reasonably priced external hard drive for me, with the promise he will pull my old hard drive and hook it up to our new computer. We will take all of my supplies, the kids photos and my digital recourse bookmarks and put them onto the new external. This will leave the old hard drive available to be reformatted as a backup.

By next week I will be back! Editing photos, making cards, creating scrapbook pages and of course doing siggies for my message board friends. It feels so good to be creative again, I have ideas already for many projects! The search for new fun (FREE) kits will begin soon!


Will Pride be the boost I need?

>> Monday, March 1, 2010

I am so proud to be Canadian and so proud of my country. The last 17 days have been amazing! I wasn't able to watch every event but I did my best. The USA/Canada Hockey game was by far the most intense moment of the Olympics. What a fantastic game played by both teams!

I'm inspired to get passports for myself and my kids because I really need a trip back home. Hopefully, we can make the trip by next summer. Elizabeth was too young to remember her visit but I think by next year, both kids will be old enough to take. There is a lot that goes into a trip this far, first being both kids making the 3 flights it will take. Going to customs is always a treat and then of course there is switching planes and making the next flights. I really want to do it but am terrified at the same time. I hope making the first steps of getting our passports will go smoothly and we can start preparing and planning. I need to thank Vancouver and the Olympics for giving me the homesickness I needed to get myself motivated for a trip home.


Sloppy Taco Burgers

>> Saturday, February 20, 2010

My kids love sloppy joes. My kids love tacos. Why not kill two bird with one stone? Sloppy Taco Burgers!

This recipe makes quite a bit but the meat freezes well for later meals if you prefer.

1 lb lean hamburger or ground turkey
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can traditional refried beans
1 cup chunky salsa

hamburger buns(larger buns are recommended because they are easier to fill.

Toppers: shredded lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese if you like a little spice.

Brown and drain your hamburger adding taco seasoning with half of the recommended water on package. Add refried beans and salsa. Let simmer around 15 mins.

Lightly toast your buns under the broiler, then pile on the goodies. This is a great messy fun meal to combine two kid favorites!


Vancouver 2010

>> Friday, February 19, 2010

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm obsessed with Winter Olympics. Even more this year as it's not only in my home country but my home province!

The opening ceremonies brought out so many emotions I did not expect. Overwhelming pride in my country and a complete and uncontrollable homesickness that had me in tears for 4 hours. thank you for your commercial that turned me into a blubbering me. I call it home too.

There was only one thing that got me pass the emotion and stopped me from drowning my children like Alice in Wonderland where she cried herself an ocean. It was a song. Now I'm not much for pop music or Black Eyed Peas at all but this song... it was the perfect anthem for the evening. The evening where Vancouver welcomed itself to the world for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

There are many versions of this song on youtube but this is my very favorite.


Kindergarten second report.

>> Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We received Elizabeth's second term report card today. She is doing really well.

They have 3 Scales.

Achievement scale which ranges 1- little understanding doesn't meet grade expectations, 2- Limited understanding, 3- General Understanding, 4- Thorough understanding always meets grade expectations

Effort Scale N- Needs improvement, P- making progress, G- Good, O- Outstanding

Skills Code- NA- Not assessed, X- Progress Needed, I- Improving, Blank- Acceptable.

Elizabeth's marks were

Kindergarten Readiness Skills- Achievement- 3, Effort G
Everything acceptable except:
She had a P for her phone number but that is our fault I think. I teach her my cell number since its my go-to always on phone and they have been asking her her home number and I think she is getting the two numbers confused. I wrote a note to her teacher about that.
She also had an I for dress herself (ie, tie shoes) which is up from P from last term. She can now tie her shoes but its loose and needs practice.

Writing, Speaking Listening- Achievement- 3, Effort- O
Everything was acceptable except:
Retelling a story she got an I. I totally understand this because she tends to rattle on, (like me!!)

Technology- Effort G
Everything was acceptable

Books to Read- There is 25 for the year they are required to read, she did that last term and added 15 more.

Reading Readiness Achievement- 4, Effort- G
Everything was acceptable

Math Readiness- Achievement-3, Effort-O
Everything acceptable

Social Studies/Science- Effort-G
Everything acceptable

The last thing that needed improvement was limited talking in class!!!


Today, 6 years ago...

>> Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I would like to bring these two posts to everyone's attention

The day is set!
Introducing Elizabeth Catherine Boggie

6 years ago tomorrow, on February 10 2004, my life changed forever.

Watching my daughter grown into a beautiful little girl has been such a joy. She is a wonderful big sister and loves everyone. We had Elizabeth's birthday party on Sunday. Her first REAL party with her friends from school. She had such an incredible time, I loved watching her play and giggle with her best girls.

Happy Birthday to my sweet angel.


Mexican Chicken and Rice.

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

Chris loves chicken and he loves rice. I'm always trying to find ways to make chicken and rice new and exciting.

The other day I was looking in the cupboard to see what I could come up with and after a couple tweaks here and there I created a new Chris favorite.

2 chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can finely diced black olives
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 cup water
1 clove of garlic- chopped
2 tbsp salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Garnish- sour cream and green onions.

I started with browning chicken pieces in a large skillet. Adding the tomatoes, olives, garlic, cumin, chili powder salsa, water and rice. Bring to a simmer, add a cover for 20 minutes on med-low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the rice was tender, I stirred in the cheddar cheese. I let it sit covered for 5 mins then served with a small dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions on top.


Beef Stew with Cheddar Dumplings

>> Thursday, January 7, 2010

I love stew. Since I'm Canadian and not American, I never got into the whole chicken and dumplings deal. Where I come from, stew is made with red meat. Deer, Beef, Buffalo, Moose, Elk and Caribou if you're lucky.

My stew is simple, basic and delicious. Stew isn't suppose to be fancy. It sticks to your ribs. This is my stew.

To start, I use a cast iron dutch oven with a lid. Having a pot with lid is very important if you are making dumplings. My cast iron goes into the oven so it is my preferred vessel. You can use a crock pot/slow cooker if you wish.

1 large onion
1/4 cup veg oil
1 1/2 to 2 lbs red meat of your choice cut into cubes, dredged in flour
1 large cardboard container of beef stock, *College Inn Bold Stockis great!

Veggies that you may add:
potatoes cut into large pieces
cubed turnip
green beans

In your large pot on med heat, add oil and onions (and mushrooms if you wish). Cook until they onions are lightly tender then remove and set aside leaving the oil in the pot. Turn your heat med-high and add your meat. You want to brown the outside but not really cook the inside of your pieces. Add onions back to the pot along with one container of beef stock.

Simmer this on your stove top, in crockpot or inside oven at 300 Degrees for 4-6 hours. Stirring every now and then. Add your veggies when you are an hour from serving.

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1/2 grated cheddar cheese plus 1/4 cup (optional)

Combine dry ingredients and cut in shortening with a fork or your fingers until crumbly. Add your 1/2 cup of grated cheddar and milk and stir into a soft dough. Drop spoonfuls onto of your cooked stew, cover with lid(DO NOT REMOVE) and cook for 15 minutes.

The next step is something I prefer but is not necessary. After 15 mins is up and your dumplings are fully cooked. Remove lid, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar on top and place pot under broiler until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Please make sure your pot is oven safe before trying this step.




>> Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A photo blog of our Christmas Activities

Christmas Eve:

Christmas Morning:


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