Garden Time

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The time of year when it’s warm, but not too warm. You can hang in the yard and not sweat to death or get eaten by mosquitoes. And you can plant a garden. There’s always so much hope at the beginning of the garden. Hope that it will stay looking so neat. Hope that I WILL go out there and water it every other day. Of course all that ambition fades by July when it’s 95 degrees and I’m tired from being at work all day.

We have scaled back our garden efforts the past 5 years. Mostly because we don’t have the time or energy to care for all those plants or the freezer space to keep them all. And I am not interested in starting a canning operation. We also don’t care to wage war against the bunnies, deer, and chipmunks that inevitably end up consuming most of our harvest. So we took back the garden plot and turned it back into grass a few years ago. I still love having my own homegrown fresh tomatoes in August though. Lucky for me my mother-in-law had four extra plants she wasn’t using. Sweet! I didn’t even have to buy anything. Sonja and I planted our four tomato plants in an old flower bed next to the house. I’m hoping they do well there. It’s very sunny and far away from the pine tree that sucks the life out of all the other plants in the yard. Only a 3-4 month wait for fresh salsa…

Who knew you could buy Disney Princess garden supplies? Ours are getting a lot of use these days.


Mother’s Day 2012

THIS is my gift. And I know that Kevin remembered Mother’s Day the day before and went to Hy Vee to see what he could find and this is what he came up with. But really, this is probably the best gift he’s ever given me. I LOVE CANDY! CAAAANNNNDDDYYY!!! And I’m currently plowing through it one box at a time. The scoring of the Cadbury Caramel eggs from the Hy Vee clearance bin over a month after Easter makes me proud to have married him in the first place. Sonja made some various crafts at school which are very cute. We spent the weekend celebrating birthdays and Mother’s Day with both of our families on a little tour of Iowa. It was a really fun weekend! But again, Candy.

Have I said it enough? CANDY!


Dance Pictures

Yesterday I left work early to race to daycare, get Sonja, get her home, do her ballet bun and make up, and then race to the photo studio for dance recital pictures. Phew! And then from there we raced to soccer. We may be overbooked right now. Oh well, she really enjoys both things. And can I just say that all those years of braiding my fellow softball team members hair is finally paying off. Sonja is not good at growing hair. She was bald well into her 2nd year of life. But I defied gravity and science and wrangled her curly little mane into the world’s tiniest medium ballet bun. Special thanks goes out to the three thousand bobby pins I used, Tresemme extra hold hair spray, and my flat iron for keeping it all in place.

She kind of looked like a creepy doll child with the makeup and severe hair. I’ve never seen her all made up that way because who does that to their kid outside of Toddlers and Tiaras or in our case a dance recital? And for the record we don’t HAVE to put makeup on her. It’s suggested by the dance studio and I feel it’s something fun for a special occasion. And in the case of dance it’s more of a theater thing. You need some makeup on the face to make your features visible to the audience. I don’t feel like I’m somehow pimping out my four-year-old. And I’m guessing we won’t put another lick of makeup on her face until recital time next year.

I took a few pictures of her at home before we left. I have no idea when I’ll get the “official” photos from the photography studio. This one was my favorite. I told her to strike a dancer pose. And she went all intense on me. That girl cracks me up! The only thing missing here is the giant purple hair pouf she has to wear on the left side of her head. I hadn’t put it on yet at this point. Now let’s just hope she decides to actually go out on the stage in a few weeks!


I’m a hoarder. Kevin is too. There I’ve admitted it. We have a one-and-a-half-story house and until now we haven’t really needed the half story upstairs. When we have something we don’t want to get rid of but also don’t have a place for it on the main level we put it upstairs. There is no rhyme or reason or organization to our junk up there. And now we have another person arriving in 18 weeks or less and we need to clean up the hoarding mess. I spent a large portion of Saturday up there sweating profusely as I organized our art portfolios and old bedding and toys and Kevin’s CD collection. I really do love that room and I can’t wait to spend time up there when it’s the baby’s room. But it’s going to be a long road from hoarding nightmare to cute nursery. Also, I’m trying to do the nursery for as cheap as possible and use stuff we already own to decorate. So here’s the before picture. Don’t judge me too hard!

View from the doorway. And oh yeah, did I mention I painted this room BRIGHT ORANGE when we moved in 8 years ago? I’m leaving it orange for the baby.


Cinco de Mayo

I decided to make some Mexican food today and throw a little fiesta at home. Of course it turned into Sonja not eating anything, Kevin eating and reading the newspaper, and me reading a magazine while pretending to watch the millioneth episode of “My Little Pony” with Sonja. Anyway, the enchiladas were delicious if I do say so myself. I’ve been tweaking this recipe for years. I think I’ve finally got it where I want it! I’m looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 pound/package boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 can diced green chiles
1 can enchilada sauce (I use mild because Kevin doesn’t like the spice!)
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups of your favorite cheese shredded and divided (I use mild cheddar)
1 package of taco/fajita size flour tortilla (You’ll need about 10 tortillas)

Put the chicken, onion, and garlic in the crock pot for 8-12 hours on low or 4-6 on high. (You could cook it on the stove top too. I just find the crock pot does a great job and makes the chicken really easy to shred.)

Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Shred the chicken once it’s cooked. Combine the chicken, green chiles, enchilada sauce, lime juice, and 1 cup cheese in a bowl. Divide this mixture between the tortillas. Roll each tortilla and place seam side down in the pan.

Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top of the enchiladas. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Switch the oven to BROIL and cook another 5 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbly.

Road Trip: Tulsa 2012

We went to Tulsa, OK last weekend for our nephew Stephen’s wedding. It was quite lovely and all 3 of us survived the 10 hour drive there and then home again. Sonja was an excellent traveler. She didn’t sleep at all and just chatted with us for the most part. Enjoy the massive slideshow below!

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Wedding Quilt

Last fall I decided I was tired of our two duvet covers for the big down comforter. I went hunting through my hoarding mess in our upper level and found a quilt we received from our wedding. It was made for us by Kevin’s great-aunt Vivian who is just the sassiest lady you’ve ever met! She’s nearly 90 (she might already be 90) and she plays the organ and hangs out with her friends. I only hope to be as involved and fun as she is when I’m 40 let alone 90! Anyway, I found the quilt and thought hey, that has some fall colors, I’ll just throw it on top of our bed. Turns out Kev and I both loved it and it was an extra layer of warmth during the cold part of the year.

Well now it’s spring. Those golds and browns are making me think of football and turkey so I thought it was time to switch it up again. I didn’t want the boring old white comforter and I have no idea where I’ve stored the duvets. So I went hunting again. And I found this quilt! We also got this for our wedding almost 8 years ago. I’ve kept it safely in a closet all that time. My sister helped make this along with the sewing circle at my parent’s church. And it’s pink!!!! It’s probably a little girly for Kevin but I love it! And he says he likes it too. It looks like the cat approves as well.

This is all part of my plan to decorate with the stuff we already own this year! We need to save our cash for the daycare bill that’s going to more than double come November. And we have lots of great stuff that we’ve forgotten about. Here’s to spring cleaning and re-decorating!

Close up of the cross-stitch detail in the center

New quilt plus cat