Saturday, November 29, 2008


Anyone out there think they could use a $100 gift card to Wal Mart?? I sure could1

Head on over to Deal Seeking Mom and sign up for her giveaway...someone has got to win!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Year

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Where did the year go??? This time last year, I was only anxiously anticipating the arrival of Lil Major (we didn’t even know he was a boy yet!), and I was on my way to Indy to celebrate the brand new arrival of my nephew. Captain is now a year old! And my boy is almost 8 months old! Wow!

So, here we are a year later, and quite a bit has changed…

Instead of waking up to pee every hour, I’m waking up to soothe a crying baby who refuses to sleep unless you’re holding him (uh oh, I think we’ve spoiled him). My SuperDad hubby has taken to sleeping on the floor of the nursery with the boy until he’s ready to head back to his crib. We pray that this doesn’t continue forever, we’re hoping that it is just because he’s teething and fighting a cold. And hoping my dream from last night will soon come true – that those stubborn top teeth make an appearance and give ALL of us some relief.

Instead of spending hours on the phone with my mom, I can now walk three doors down and hang out with her at her house! And instead of wondering what my little brother is doing way up in Wisconsin, I only need to look down the street to mom and dad’s house. Yes, this is new news…my bro has moved to Wichita and is (for the time being) living with my parents and looking for work.

Instead of sitting around my sister’s house fighting for turns to hold HER baby, we’ll be driving to KC on Friday to steal Sis and her family away from her ILs for a short visit. And we’ll watch our uber-cute boys crawl around and pull up and stand up and hopefully snap some cute pictures along the way.

Wow! What a year! I’m so thankful for my healthy son, my loving husband, my supportive family, my amazing friends (real life AND blogosphere) and The God who knows the plans He has for me and loves me unconditionally. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Full Time

I am about to become a full time stay-at-home-mom. 3 more days of work, and my employer will become my son...and my home.

This was not my decision, but I am excited about it...on one hand.

I've been working in the aircraft industry, and 3 of the larger aircraft companies here have announced layoffs due to the crappy economy. Over 1600 people are projected to lose their jobs in the next year. Probably more because contractors (like me) are not included in that number.

See, I was offered a full time position with my company, twice in the last year, but I only wanted to work part time. They were fine with that, but I had to go through a temp agency as a contract employee. No big deal to me. I didn't need benefits anyway.

Of course, this was all before the economy took a nose dive. When I hired on, my company was kicking butt, selling more planes than we could make, and everyone was happy. Fast forward 3 months. Orders are slowing down, some customers are canceling orders, and contractors are first on the list to go.

When we first heard about layoffs, I started thinking that I WANTED to get laid off. That way, the decision to work or not wasn't made by me, I would just go with the flow. And then my boss told me on Tuesday that my job was safe. They had ranked all the engineers in our department (over 65!), and I was nowhere near the bottom of the list. They had decided to lay off a couple full time employees and keep me. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't be staying at home with the boy more, but also thankful that my salary would continue.

24 hours went by. I got a call from the temp agency confirming that my job was safe. Then my boss called me back into her office after lunch. Apparently, HR had yet been informed that contractors were staying while employees were being let go. Once HR was told, they vetoed...and said company employees got to stay first. I understand, in a way. They'll get more TIME out of a full-timer, but those engineers on the bottom of the list? They're probably not doing as much work as I'm doing in just 3 days.

The bad thing is that by the time my boss called me BACK in, I'd gotten used to the idea that I would keep working...only to be told that I'm out of a job. And I was just getting to the point where I felt like I was really contributing. Oh well.

The good news is that my boss loves me. And WHEN things turn around, I think she will call me to come back. And the GREAT news is that I get to spend so much more time with Lil Major. And maybe I'll even find time to do some of the projects I've been wanting to tackle. The scary news is that our income is dropping drastically. I've got some ideas on how to make our $$ go further, but I'll have to dig even deeper. And I'm looking into some other part-time, work from home, type things. That would be great!

So, 3 more days, and no more alarm clock, no more driving to work in the ice/snow, no more walking a mile in from the parking lot. My emotions are still a little wacky about all this, but I'm so excited to start this new chapter, too!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Best Rolls EVER

Ok, I'll give in and share my recipe with you. It originated with my mom's mom, but my uncle has been the primary baker at our holiday gatherings. My practice round went great, so good luck to all of you!


2 C warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 pkgs dry yeast
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C soft butter
1 egg
2 tsp salt
6 1/2 to 7 cups flour

Measure water into large warm mixing bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Add sugar, butter, egg, salt and half the flour - beat until smooth. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle (I think I used just under 7 cups total). Place in greased bowl turning dough to grease top. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let dough rise to at least double in size. Punch down dough. Form rolls into 2 egg shaped pieces, place in well-greased muffin cups, allow to raise in a warm, draft-free place until baking size (at least an hour). Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes (watch them carefully - every oven is different!).

If you want to make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to let it rise and bake, then cover it and put it in the fridge as soon you've mixed it and placed it in a greased bowl. I used butter to grease my pans and my bowl. Yum yum!

I hope this makes sense. Happy baking!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, My Uncle D has made the most yummy rolls for our dinner. It's actually my Grandma's recipe, but I can only remember Uncle D making them. He makes MANY batches because they're so yummy that you could eat a dozen, easily! And, we HAVE to have enough dough left over to make cinnamon rolls the next morning.

There have been a few years where we couldn't make it to our family Thanksgiving, and Uncle D made sure to try to tempt us with homemade rolls. We begged him to save us some, to overnight mail them to us...but he said no way! You must be present to partake!

And all along I've had the recipe in my family cookbook, but I haven't attempted it...until now.

Thanksgiving is at our house this year, and I decided to make the "Uncle D" rolls. So, my mom, in her infinite wisdom, suggested that we practice before the big day. What a concept! While our boys golfed on Sunday afternoon, Mom and I broke out the cookbook and made the rolls. And guess what? They were AMAZING! They're a bit of work, but SO worth it.

And if we have rolls, then my husband will bounce them on the floor (or at least appear to), and we will all squeal in delight.

Severe Pain

I have severe pain right now. It's the holidays. I love family photos. I have a new(er) addition to my family. And this amazing girl is too far away to take our photos.

While I was in CA this summer, Lorie took pictures of Lil Major and me. And I LOVE them. See my header for one example. But, we don't have any good shots of us as a family, and I want some, NOW!

So, you Kansas readers (all 3 of you), do you have any suggestions for me? I love Lorie's style - she find the most amazing backdrops in just the most every day things. I don't want the Portrait Innov thing where you all sit in front of a blue backdrop. Oh, and I also don't want to have to choose 3 poses from 100. I want a CD of all the images. (I don't ask for much, do I?)

What do ya got for me??

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Kermit

As I'm catching up on uploading all my pictures on the camera, I had to watch this one over and over again. Don't I have the CUTEST little boy???

Now that he's figured out the crawling thing, he's a speed demon all over the house.

I'd love for my boy to enjoy eating things that I don't care for. So, I offered the kiddo some avocado. I think it's pretty obvious that he feels the same way about avocados that his Mama does!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


As I drove to work this morning, later than I’d planned, I realized that I left my cell phone at home. For a split second, I considered turning around and going back for it. But then I glanced at the clock and decided that I didn’t have time. My next thought was that I needed to call Mom to tell her I wouldn’t be answering my phone today. So, I reached for my cell phone...that I left at home...

What a great start to the day. At least it’s my Friday!

Monday, November 10, 2008

She cooked!

I took FULL advantage of the super duper sales at Dillon's (Kroger) this weekend. My bill before my discounts and coupons was $230...after all the discounts?? $130! I saved $100!! And after looking at my receipt, I see that they jipped me out of one of the $5 rewards...but I still did pretty good.

Anyway, one of my purchases was a buy one get one slab of ribs. Ribs aren't my favorite, but they are The Colonel's favorite, and my dad won't turn them down either. So, I called mom from work this morning and asked her to throw them in the crock pot using a recipe I found on one of the MANY blogs I read these days. And come to find out, it was John McCain's recipe. We liked it, but I think I would change up the spices a bit the next time - it was kinda salty. And mom insisted on basting the ribs with BBQ sauce at the end of the cooking cycle. We cooked them for 10 hours on low, and they were falling off the bone. Yum yum!

We paired the ribs with the yummiest yummiest Gouda mashed potato casserole (Jody - thank you for that!!) The recipe calls for whole milk, which I didn't have, so I used skim milk and fat free half and half. GO MAKE THIS NOW!!

And in an effort to have something without any fat in it, we had green beans as well. I had hoped for a nice family dinner together, but The Colonel got stuck at work late, and my dad had to leave early for his flying class thing, so we ate in shifts. And in between bites, I attempted to heat up squash and sweet potatoes for the boy...too bad one batch ended up all over the counter, cupboard and floor, and I melted the bowl on the next batch. Meanwhile he was screaming bloody murder b/c his little tummy was STARVING! Poor kid. We finally all got to eat, including The Colonel. I guess that was the important thing.

The boy was extra fussy today as he's still trying to get those 2 top teeth in, so he went to bed early. And instead of conquering one of the many things on my to-do list, I sat my big butt in front of the TV and caught up on The Amazing Race. I have to say - I'm SOOOOO glad those chicks, the divorcees, got kicked off. They are complete idiots. How many times did they neglect to follow the directions and get screwed up? They deserved to be gone. I hope that Kenny and Tina win it - they're the most down to earth, help others, nice people on the show.

Now, it's off to bed for me. The Colonel and I are both off tomorrow to celebrate our 8th anniversary as well as Veteran's Day. The plan is to take in the movie Fireproof and have an early dinner, sans the boy. Let's hope for better weather than we had today!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Another Loss -- football, that is...

Our annual trip to KC to watch our beloved (we've got to love 'em to stick with them through the last few years!) Chiefs was a little different this year. We had a little person tagging along.

The Colonel wanted to leave Lil Major at home, but I was intent on taking him with us. I didn't want him to feel left out. =) We only had to stop one time on our drive north, and besides me riding in the back of the car with him, there was nothing exciting in our drive. This was a MUCH better trip than our ride to Indiana back in June.

We spent Saturday eating BBQ, looking for train/hobby shops, walking and walking and walking around the Plaza, taking naps, and trying to keep a little boy from crawling on the NASTY hotel floor.

waiting for our BBQ...

playing at the fountain...

people watching...

Lil Major and I fell asleep early Sat night while The Colonel stayed up to watch Texas Tech surprise everyone. And we were hoping to be pleasantly surprised ourselves at the Chiefs game. We were hopeful for a while...and then it happened...what always happened...they threw it away, and we lost again.

We got to the stadium early and pretended to tailgate in the parking lot. I say pretended b/c we didn't have any food. We just got there early so we wouldn't sit in traffic on the freeway to get in. The boy crawled around the back of the car, and the big boy and I people watched.

The guy sitting next to us (in our totally AWESOME seats given to us by my sis's in-laws) said that Lil Major was helping the team play better. We should have listened to him b/c every time I left our seats to walk around with the boy, something bad happened -- kickoff return on the OTHER team, fumble, not good!

the view from our seats...

We still had a blast, though. Arrowhead is the best stadium to watch a game in, and the club level where we were sitting is the best place to sit. It was our second year being there near Veteran's Day (which also happens to be our anniversary), and they did great things to honor our Vets. There was a great flyby, like always, and a HUGE flag during half time (it was only half open here).

Not to mention that The Colonel and all the other Vets stood up to be recognized.

I had forgotten how loud it was, with the announcers and everything, but Lil Major still managed to get in a couple short naps. And he loved looking at everything around him. It was more work than I anticipated to have him with us, and it was frustrating that the only changing table in the stadium was in the first aid office which was a 10 minute walk away...but I'm glad we took him. Besides, he looked SO cute in his little jersey.

Since we were so tired, the boy offered to drive us home...

Halloween 2008

So, this Halloween post is WAY late, but since I already posted pics of the boy in his costume, and since I've had such a crazy week...I didn't really rush it.

We had a pretty laid back Halloween. The plan was to hand out candy for a bit, trick or treat with our neighbors for a bit, and then come home to get ready for our trip to Kansas City.

We did all of those things...but the "bit" part turned out to be VERY short.

I think we gave out a handful of candy before we headed out with our neighbors. We made it almost around one block in our neighborhood before Lil Major, aka the best looking fireman EVER, started getting really tired and fussy. I mean, who can blame him - all he did was ride around in a stroller and get NO candy. I had to beg some chocolate from Macey, our neighbor's 9 year old. =)

We did enjoy the time with our friends, who will soon be moving away, and all the costumes of our neighbors. One of the parents out with their kids had the BEST stroom trooper costume. It was so cool!

Here are the cutest boys on the block...can you believe Seth is 2 months younger than Lil Major??

I had anticipated handing out more candy after we got home, but since the kiddo was so zonked, I put him down and turned out all the lights because I didn't want the doorbell and the dogs to wake him up. We had an early morning call to head out to KC...more on that shortly...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Taste of Fall

I have fallen in love with soups the last couple years, although I am a bit of a soup snob. I prefer bisques because everything is chopped up and smooth - I don't like chunky vegetable soups. I like chowders, but nothing with fish. I'm only KINDA a picky eater.

Anyway, I made a butternut squash bisque yesterday. There are tons of recipes out there, but I wanted something easy that I could make in my crockpot and that didn't take a ton of ingredients.

This is what I tried:

2 1/4 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
sour cream (to garnish)


1 Place squash cubes, garlic, nuts, and olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
2 Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until squash is soft (about 25 minutes).
3 Place garlic, nut, and squash in a blender or food processor pulsing until pureed.
4 Transfer mixture to crock pot and add the cream, chicken broth, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and pepper.
5 Stir to combine.
6 Cook on low heat 3-5 hours.
7 Garnish with sour cream and a few remaining nuts.

Now, here's what I did differently...
1. My squash was already cooked (I cut it in half, placed it cut side up in a pan with 1/2" water in the bottom, covered it in foil, and baked it for 45 minutes on 350), and I probably used about 2/3 of a very large squash. I have no idea how you know you have 2 1/4 pounds of squash, I just eyeballed it.

2. Since the squash was already cooked, I just sauteed the garlic and nuts in oil. If I were to do it again, I'd use less oil and throw in the ginger, too.

2. I pureed my butternut squash, nut/garlic/oil mixture and chicken stock in my blender, then poured it into my crock pot. (I used the chicken stock in the blender b/c it was too thick to blend otherwise).

3. It was REALLY thick, so I dumped in a second can of chicken stock.

4. It was really creamy on its own, but I felt like I NEEDED to use some cream...but I only added 1/3 cup. It really didn't need any.

The bottom line? It's good. It tastes better today than yesterday. It's not quite as sweet as I expected, but that's ok. I'd make it again, with my modifications.

I have one more squash to use, so send me your suggestions for how I could do it differently...or ideas on what else to make with my squash. Agnes...send me your recipe!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Stupid DVR

You would think that my DVR (which I program to record a show, not for a certain time) would KNOW when the football game ran late and 60 minutes started late, and it would not start recording The Amazing Race until the show actually that I could watch the end of the show. But, NO! It's too stupid.

Thank goodness for full episodes on the internet, otherwise I wouldn't know that Kenny and Tina are still in the race. Whew!

Stay tuned for the rundown on Halloween and our exciting weekend in KC.