Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Florida here we come! (Part II)

One thing that is so special to me about this trip to Florida with Meredith is that I took a trip like that with my mom when I was 4. We flew in an airplane (Mom, was that my first airplane ride?) to visit both of my grandparents in Sarasota, FL. (Most Florida trips were taken via car.) I don't remember too terribly much about the trip, but I do remember that it was special to be able to do that with just my mom.

And now Meredith will have that same special memory of going on a trip to Florida to visit her grandparents with her mom.

I had to look back at pictures from the trip - aren't they too cute?!? Here I am with my Grandpa and Grandma Litwiller...

I especially love my red socks or tights with my white sandals.

Mom, was this the trip that I told Grandpa Beachy that the reason he couldn't wear a sundress like mine was because he didn't have any hair?

Anyway, can you tell that I'm waaaay excited??

Thank you to Kent for letting Mer and I go, and thanks to my parents for having us!

Florida here we come!

Meredith and I are thrilled that we will be leaving for Florida in just 4 days. My parents left for Florida on the 11th of January. Seemingly months ago!

Not only will we get to bask in the warmth and sunshine of Florida, but we'll get to be with my mom and dad.

I can't wait!

Mom and Dad - get ready because we're set to invade you!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

a long week

Like the setting sun shows us that the day is ending, I'm so glad that it is Saturday and that this week is ending.

It's been a long one.

I've had a really bad cold that gets exponentially worse when I lay down in bed at night. Causing me to sleep horribly.

Meredith was home sick on Thursday and Friday with strep throat.

Our computer is still on the fritz. If we leave it sit for more than 10-15 minutes, it will freeze up and go to a blue screen. But if I keep working on it, it's just fine (knock on wood.)

It's cold and snowy again, and I'm ready for spring.

It's just been a long week.

a special supper

Last week we had a great valentine's day. For lunch Kent and I had sushi (one of my favorite foods) and Mer and Jesse had mac-n-cheese and yogurt from the Target snack shop (2 of their favorite foods!) (We got sushi at New-Pioneer first, then took it to Target to eat.) Then Meredith and I went to see the movie, Hotel for Dogs. Kent took Jesse to play on the toys in the mall, and then they got a few groceries. By that time, we were out of the movie and ready to go home.

The kids had an early supper and were to bed by 7:30 (not so much fun for them!) Then Kent and I made our own special valentine's day meal.

The menu: blackened salmon, cheese fondue, spaghetti alfredo, and custard for dessert. Yes, we're way into health-conscious meals. Can you tell? ;)

This is our standard special meal menu that we make. The reason we make blackened salmon is from our memorable first trip to Red Fish, and the cheese fondue is reminiscent of when we had cheese fondue while honeymooning in Switzerland.

We had quite the mess to clean up, but it was totally worth it!

All in all, quite a good Valentine's day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


So...this is what it's like to not have a computer at home.

How spoiled am I that I can hardly go a day - much less 2 - without a computer and internet?

Please bear with me as we figure out what's wrong with our home computer and figure out what we should do with it.

I will post again.


(And I even have fun pictures from our valentine's supper to share with you. Right now they are languishing in my camera...)

Friday, February 13, 2009

10 years already?!?

Wow...10 years ago today Kent proposed to me.

And I said yes.

We were in seniors in college at Goshen, and he took me to Chicago for shopping and supper at an awesome restaurant, Red Fish. Neither of us had ever been to Red Fish, but he knew that I loved New Orleans and cajun food, so that's where we went.

And who did we run into while waiting for a table? My good friend Amy and her husband Ryan. Who just happened to be in Chicago on the same night and have a reservation...long before ours.

So we ate supper with Amy and Ryan...while Kent sweated bullets. I think I remember him not talking very much and not eating very much. The not talking part isn't too surprising. The not eating part is very surprising. Very surprising indeed!

Now, I knew why we were there. I knew he had a ring. I knew what he was going to ask. But I hadn't ever seen the ring. And I didn't know exactly when or how he would ask.

After supper Kent asked if I wanted to take a walk. In the windy city (note the emphasis on windy!) In February. In the dark. And the cold.

Why didn't I have a warmer coat then? And why was I wearing a dress instead of something sensible like jeans?

But of course I was thrilled to go for a walk. In the cold. And the wind.

So we walked to the corner of 2 streets that had significance, but I have now forgotten what streets they actually were.

And he got down on one knee.

And asked me to be in his life. Forever.

And I said yes.

And I was thrilled.


10 years later...

3 homes later...

2 kids later...

too many jobs to count later...

I'm still thrilled to be in his life.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

i had no idea

Who knew that you would have to tell someone

to put the Wii remote down when using the restroom?

I certainly wouldn't have guessed that I would have to tell someone

to not put a hair that he picked off his shirt into his mouth.

Or that he needs to take the sweatshirt off from on top of his head

before he walks around the house.


The things I have to teach my kids!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

new look

In honor of valentine's day and the fact that I can get away with using my favorite color over and over and over on the blog, I decided to redesign my blog.

By myself.

This is a first for me - making the background in Adobe Illustrator, then putting the elements together in Photoshop, and then changing the template and HTML code in Blogger.

But I finally got it and it worked! Yippee! And it was so much fun too!

Oh the possibilities this has opened up! (Are you tired of the exclamation points yet?!?!?)

Anyway, let me know if you like it.

If you don't like it...well...I'm sure I'll be changing it again in a few weeks. So you'll just have to suffer through the pink for a little while longer!

UPDATE: Does the design fit all the way to the edges of your computer screen? It does on my home and work computer, but it doesn't on Kent's laptop. So I'm trying to address the problem but I need to know if it's more than just his laptop that doesn't stretch the screen.


Lately Jesse pretends that he is leaving for work or school or something, and he will tell you bye, give you a kiss, and leave the room. Last night, however, he totally added to the cuteness factor of this new pretend play. He was carrying this baby (much to the disappointment of Kent...) and he made the baby wave bye-bye to everyone. Just like you see in the pictures. Except that every so often he would wave the baby's foot bye-bye instead of the baby's hand.

Totally cracked us up!

I guess maybe you just had to be there...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jalepeno Popper Dip

Here 'tis:

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 c. mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 oz. canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chilies and jalapeno peppers. (Or, if you're like me, you will get whole jalepeno peppers by mistake, so then you can mix everything in your food processor so it chops the peppers and mixes everything really well.) Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Microwave on High until hot. Or you can bake in a 350 degree oven for a while (no, I don't know how long...) Or you can heat everything in a microwave safe bowl and then put it in a small crock pot and serve that way. You've got a lot of options! You can serve it with chips or crackers.

Beware - it's highly addictive!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Jesse, do you want a snack?

"Snack." (Or rather, "nack")

What do you want for a snack?


What would you like to eat?


Should we go get a snack?


OK, how 'bout pretzels?


What about some popcorn?


Ummmmmmmm. Dry frosted mini-wheats?

"Uh-huh!" (His way of saying yes!)
You'll notice that Meredith is wearing a Hannah Montana shirt. Some mornings it is a real struggle to get Meredith out of bed, dressed and fed by 7:15 in time for the school bus. (I don't know where she gets that because of course I was always up in plenty of time to catch the school bus!) At times, Meredith can be in quite a bad mood when we get her up. Last week one morning she was in a really bad mood and was refusing to get out of bed or get dressed. After trying all that I could think of to coax her out of bed, I had finally had it. So I punished her. What sort of punishment, you ask? I took away all 3 of her Hannah Montana shirts for a whole week. And let me tell you, this truly was a hardship for Mer. She tries to wear one of the shirts every day - and would wear the same shirt the whole week if I let her. So on Wednesday she was finally able to wear her beloved Hannah Montana shirt again.

And all was right with the world!

Super Bowl or Supper Bowl?

So we had fun at my sister Kristen's house for a Super Bowl gathering. As you can read from the previous post, she made these yummy apple hand pies. And chili. And bacon wrapped little smokies. And had chips and guacamole. And provided the drinks. Everyone else was supposed to bring something to go with the chili, but really, we wouldn't have needed to bring anything.

But of couse we did. Oh did we ever!

I made wings to take along. I've never attempted them before, but I'm telling you, Pioneer Woman makes everything seem so...well...easy to make. So I tried them. I think they were good, but I don't really know because I had only a bite of one before we left the house. (That's always why I hate taking a cake or pie or something to a potluck that I can't test it beforehand...but I digress...) I love wings, but I prefer the BBQ ones, or teriyaki, or something other than plain 'ole buffalo wings. Kent assured me that they were great, though. (The photo is courtesy of Pioneer Woman.)

Anyway, I also made this awesome jalepeno popper dip to go with chips. (Yes, it was one of at least 3 dips at the party...wait...that didn't come out quite right!) Kent's sister Karol made this dip at Christmas, and I've made it at least 3 or 4 times since then. It tastes just like jalapeno poppers (hence the name) but it's way easier than actually making jalepeno poppers. I almost don't want to share the recipe with anyone because then you'll see how easy it is to make!

Finally, I made these way yummy lemon cookies for the party. And seriously, I've never made an easier cookie! (Yes, I had a theme for the last two items: easy-peasy!) Anyway, I found the cookies here. And this is the recipe: mix a tub of Cool Whip and 2 eggs. Add a box of cake mix (I used lemon for mine) and mix together. Drop by spoonfuls into a bowl of powdered sugar and roll around to coat. Then bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. And that's it folks! They are sooooo good. I got stuff to make strawberry cookies next...we'll see how those are!

Good Intentions

I guess it's time for another dose of good intentions, this time thanks to Theresa.

Yesterday I enlisted her cooking knowledge to help me make yummy apple hand pies for our super bowl party. We got all the ingredients out and started measuring. As Theresa's using her fingers to level the measuring cup of flour, she says, "what's with the chopsticks in the flour?" "Hmmm" I say, "maybe a good way to keep your fingers out of there." So here's my first tip - keep a set of chopsticks in your flour container and then use the chopstick to level your cup instead of your finger or another utensil.

Lucky day - here's one more tip I just figured out. I realized I had forgotten to get a tablecloth out for our dining room and company is on their way. So, I just put my tablecloth on the table, wrinkles and all, and then sprayed with with a water bottle, stretched the cloth out and all the wrinkles disappeared. It was so quick and I didn't even need to heat up the iron.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hello? (Tap, tap, tap...) Anyone there?

Yes, well. Have you noticed my total lack of posting?

At times I have bloggers block. (That truly is a term...but you'll just have to trust me on that one.)

And then other times I can think of quite a few things that I want to post:

Like the yummy food I made for a super bowl party (wings and jalepeno popper dip and lemon cookies.)

Or the latest funny thing that Meredith or Jesse do. Or when Meredith was so sweet the morning that there was only one cereal bar left and even though I gave it to her to eat before school, she heard Jesse fussing that he didn't have one, so she gave it to him.

Or how I took a NyQuil two nights ago and still feel extra sleepy and drugged (my limbs seemed to be underwater for much of the day yesterday.)

But somehow between the time that something happens and I sit down at the computer, I again have bloggers block.

So forgive me if I'm a bit absent at times while I sift through the happenings of each day and wonder if anything would be of interest to you.