Thursday, January 28, 2010

Play-Off Game Party 1/24/10

This past weekend we had a great house party courtesy of Digiorno! As part of my blogging on My Four Monkeys, I'm a member of the website. You host parties of your friends and introduce them to different products. This was our first one, and we ended up having 45 people over (that did include one unborn baby :D)! Really, it was just an excuse to have a blast hanging out with our friends. :) Digiorno provided the pizza for the party and we did the rest. We invited friends to come watch the Saints vs. the Vikings on Sunday night, and while our team (the Vikings) didn't win, we still had a great time with all our friends! So much in fact, we are hosting a Super Bowl party too!

Good food - Great friends!

Michael says, "I tasted. I believe."


Cooking them as fast as we can!

Go Vikings!


No Delivery! My pregnant friend Misty sporting her Digiorno sticker. :)

Even Luke got to stay up and watch the game!


Mr. Lacks in John David's Obi wan Kenobi mask :D


**Thank you to House Party and Digiorno for providing the Party Pack!**


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Uncle Joe and Leona Bring Christmas to Virginia

We were very excited to have my Uncle Joe and his wife Leona visiting last Sunday and Monday. They were passing through on their way to vacation in South Carolina, and we were lucky enough to spend some time with them. We hadn't seen them since shortly after Luke was born! There was lots of playing cards of course (our favorite past time with Uncle Joe and Leona), and they even taught us a new card game called "Golf". Hitching a ride from Indiana, our Christmas presents from Nanny and Michael were a welcome surprise. It was Christmas again at our house for a little bit! The kids got some fun craft supplies and some other goodies, and all three big kids got new watches. Jeremy and I got a new game called "Don't Quote Me" and a few other things. We can't wait to try it out with our friends! Uncle Joe and Leona also brought the kids a VHS copy of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It's the version with Donny Osmond, and the kids got a kick out it. They've watched it like five times already! Half my pictures came out fuzzy for some reason, but here's a few that turned out okay.



I'm a Big Boy!

Look at me....sitting at the table like a big boy.... no more highchair for me....

using my fork like a big boy......

making funny faces at the camera.....

this fork thing is taking way too long.... using my hands now :D


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Caitlyn Cooks Us Dinner

Friday night was quite the night at our house! Caitlyn (who will be turning nine in just a couple weeks - can't believe it) made us all dinner. From start to finish and including dessert, Caitlyn cooked us a fabulous meal. For Christmas, Grandma and Poppy gave her Paula Deen's My First Cookbook and she's been wanting to try out some more of the recipes. So Jeremy put her in charge of dinner on Friday night. She spent the week deciding what recipes to use and creating her list of ingredients she needed. When Friday night came, Caitlyn was all business and ordered us out of the kitchen!

She made cheese quesadillas with salsa and sour cream, lime sherbet punch to drink (very yummy!), and fruit turnovers with a fantastic pear filling and glaze for dessert. Her grandma would have been so proud! We had a brief catastrophe when she placed the hot baking sheet on our vinyl tablecloth, but other than that she was a pro. With the week I had, I welcomed the break from cooking and was so proud of my little chef.

We were always only a few steps away, but it really boosted her confidence in herself and her cooking. It was really funny to listen to her huff and hurry around the kitchen every time her timer beeped. No more silly chocolate chip cookies for her! She's got grander visions now!


Jeremy Builds a Wall

Last winter, Jeremy built a room onto our house using an already established screened-in porch that housed our hot tub. You can read all about that here and here and see pictures! Jeremy is the type of hubby that's always finding a project to do around the house. We recently finished painting the hallway and the living room, and now he's devised a plan for the living room. We have a very large living room that opens up into the kitchen and dining area as well as the school room. We love the wide open feeling of this part of the house but needed a way to separate our "office/blogging space from our actual living room space where the couches and TV are. Because we like the openness of our floor plan we didn't want to build any walls that would close off the space, and we were uncertain about doing anything too permanent that would come back to bite us if we decided to sell later.

Jeremy designed a half wall that comes out from the wall in our living room and forms a "T". This movable piece of wall serves it's purpose and can easily be removed. My husband is a genius!

First he framed the wall using 2"x6" boards.

Then he covered the frame using hardboard.

Next he primed the wall, then started adding the trim.

Finally he stained all the trim to match the dark woodwork in our living room, and painted the wall.

It now helps divide the room between the office/blogging area (I know it's messy!) and our family room. Thank you Jeremy!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Check It Out! We're An Expert for Sprout!

I was so excited to see this today! I was browing the Sprout online community for parents. I wrote an article for and was just seeing if it had been posted yet. Anyway, I was so excited to see our name listed as an expert for Sprout! While I am no expert at parenting, I do know a few things after four kids! :)

Be sure and check out all the great articles and ideas at, and I'll be sure and let you know when my article posts. It's the first time I've ever written for anyone else. So fun!


Odds and Ends

Here's a few "Odds and Ends" that I wanted to update everyone on:

  1. We started back to school last week. Caitlyn and John David are doing great getting back into the swing of things. Kylie is having a little trouble getting motivated, but I think if we can stay healthy (see #3) that she'll adjust back to our normal schedule. The holidays were so fun with no school and all play!
  2. Caitlyn started dance (ballet/tap) this last Thursday. Her and Kylie both have classes on Thursday night but not at the same time. Thursday nights will be crazy till the end of May (we just camp out at the dance studio from 4:00 to 8:00), but the girls are doing fantastic, and Caitlyn was so excited! Her teacher even said that she couldn't believe how well Caitlyn picked up the steps and things. Recital is in May and then we'll take a break for the summer. Caitlyn is still playing violin as well, and has a recital coming up in the next few months.
  3. Sunday night at church, Kylie got sick suddenly and we all had to head home. Within half an hour of being home, I was vomiting and before midnight Caitlyn and John David were too. We have a nasty stomach bug and all that entails... yuck!! Poor Jeremy was the only adult well, and he camped out on the couches with John David and Caitlyn all night, cleaning up vomit and doing laundry. What a man!! I kept Kylie in our bedroom with me and took care of her in between my own bouts of sickness. Jeremy was able to stay home yesterday from work and tend to the sickly. That was a huge help! Luckily Luke never got sick. Jeremy is back at work today, and though the vomiting has stopped, we are all pretty weak. Luke woke up in the night with a fever and a cough and has gone downhill since. At least it's not the stomach thing. :) We're taking it one day at a time... having great friends who leave you groceries at your door make it easier though. Thanks Pam!!!! We were surprised to find four bags of groceries at our front door last night from my friend, Pam. Milk, bread, saltines, ginger ale, chicken noodle soup and more!



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christmas At Our House

I'm finally getting around to posting about our Christmas holiday. It was the first year we've celebrated here at our house with the kids. There was one Christmas my side of the family made the trek here to VA for Christmas, but other than that, the kids have never spent a Christmas at home. They were super excited, and it was great starting some of our own traditions, while at the same time passing along traditions that have been in my family for years. Christmas Eve was filled with homemade pizza, and a trip downtown to see the lights and decorations at the James Center. It was extremely cold, but the kids loved the lights outside, the humongous Christmas tree, and we even ran into some old friends we hadn't seen in years while we were there.


When we returned home, it was time for our traditional Christmas Eve present, and the matching Christmas jammies they got were too cute!


The next morning was surprising, as we had to wake up two of the kids! It was really quiet. We're used to being at my parents house where there's about 15 people, so it was definitely a little strange feeling. We opened our stockings, and then it was time to find the Baby Jesus. Kylie found him first this year, and was excited to get to open the first gift on Christmas morning!


It seemed like the presents were endless, and the kids were so busy playing with what they had already opened, that we actually had to make them finish opening gifts. We did good budget-wise this year, and even though not a ton of money was spent they had plenty to open. Kylie had lots of Littlest Pet Shop stuff and a Baby Alive. Caitlyn got a small sewing machine and a new fishing rod. John David was very happy with some Star Wars toys and Batman figurines. Jeremy got me a fabulous minky blanket that I love, and I got him a GPS. Luke really got into it, and was having a blast ripping the paper!


Breakfast was french toast made with homemade bread and blueberry pancakes made with fresh blueberries. Yummy! We had to have banana bread of course made from grandma's recipe. We made our first Christmas ham this year and it was so delicious! I have to admit that Jeremy did most of the work on that. :)