"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." Angela Schwindt

Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Jadon!


Happy Birthday my sweet, precious boy!!  Thanks for all the smiles!  We are so blessed!  Looking forward to many, many more.  Can we slow down time though?  This year went by waaaayyyy to fast.  
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

1 Year Old Pictures

Jadon got his 1 Yr. pictures taken this morning.  I can't believe it is that time all ready!  Next Friday he will one!  Where did the year go?  Had a hard time getting lots of smiles out him this morning but got some funny faces.  Some I had never seen him make before.  I will confess that the face he makes with the lips curled up I taught him just a couple days ago.  He likes to make that face, have you make it back, then he laughs, and does it all again.  He is so funny!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Love This Place!

So I had to share a couple of stories that just perfectly explain why I love where I live, and feel so blessed to be here!

Last week while doing dishes I saw movement in the pine trees on that side of our house. When I looked closer I noticed that it was a fox exploring the woods. He moved a little so I moved to the bedroom where I had an even clearer look at him. I got to watch him for about five minutes before he wandered out of site. It was so cool. I found myself wishing I had a really good camera with a good zoom but then I decided that I probably would not have taken the chance of missing him to go get the camera. How often do you get to see that!

Last week while doing dishes I saw movement in the pine trees on that side of our house. When I looked closer I noticed that it was a fox exploring the woods. He moved a little so I moved to the bedroom where I had an even clearer look at him. I got to watch him for about five minutes before he wandered out of site. It was so cool. I found myself wishing I had a really good camera with a good zoom but then I decided that I probably would not have taken the chance of missing him to go get the camera. How often do you get to see that!
Saturday was a gorgeous day!  Did you notice?  Matt and I did!  We were going a little stir crazy so we asked Shelby to watch Jadon.  Then we got all bundled up to go for a hike.  I am telling you there is nothing more beautiful than the woods in the snow!  We hiked all the way to the river and back.  The fresh air, exercise and beauty really revived us.  Another great thing about snow in the woods is that you get to "see" all the wildlife or their tracks at least.  Matt was determined to find cougar tracks.  He was disappointed when he did not.  By the time we got back from our hike we had our hats off, and coats unzipped.  We got a great workout!!!  It was also nice to spend some time ALONE with my husband.  Those moments are few and far between these days.
Here are some pictures from our hike:

This pond was hardly disturbed and gorgeous in the sun.  This picture does not do it justice.


Our Shadows-corny but cute!!!  He, he!


Not the most becoming look but I was warm!!!



 Ok, here is my last story.  On Tuesday evening we were all at the dining room table enjoying some awesome cashew chicken and broccoli stir fry (recipe in last post) when I spotted an owl landing on a tree branch.  Judging by the size of the owl I assumed it was a Great Horned Owl.  They are huge!!  We see them frequently in the winter.  Owls are known to hunt during the day in the winter. 

Matt wondered what he was after.  We soon saw the squirrel jaunting from branch to branch on another tree not far away.  We were captivated.  What was going to happen?  Did the squirrel have any clue?  Probably not.  We jumped up and grabbed the binoculars and took turns getting a closer look at the owl.  Yup.  Definitely a Great Horned Owl.  A beautiful creature.  I could barely eat because I did not want to miss anything!!  Sure enough the owl took off out of the tree and swooped to get the squirrel!  It was a close call.  That squirrel was sure lucky his nest was so close.  He dived down in the nest before the owl could get him.  The owl landed on another tree branch to wait but the squirrel had learned his lesson and did not come back out.  It was not too much longer before the owl flew away to find another meal.  I told Matt that we just had dinner and a show!!!  And we did not even have to go anywhere!!  Love it!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cashew Chicken and Broccoli


I made this recipe tonight for the first time.  It was a hit!  We all love it!!  Thanks to Grandma Thompson for letting me borrow her Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2010 cookbook.  That is where I got the recipe from.  Now that I know how good that recipe is I need to hurry up and try some more of them before I have to return the cookbook!!  
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Monday, February 15, 2010

A New Fun Opportunity For Me!!

Most of you know that I have always loved scrapbooking but could never find the time to do it.  Well, in the fall I moved from traditional scrapbooking (paper) to digital scrapbooking which is all on the computer.  Now I can find time to scrapbook almost everyday.  Especially since I saved my pennies and purchased a laptop of my very own.  I really, really love digital scrapbooking.   I have just recently discovered that there are tons and tons of digital scrapbooking designers out there.  These are people who design different graphics for you to use in your digital scrapbooking programs to create awesome pages.  The second thing I discovered is that these designers put out requests for new members of their creative teams every so often.  If you are a member of a designers creative team you get their kits for free as long as you create a set number of pages using the kit provided to you and then post those pages to your blog along with a few others that the designers asks you to.  This helps the designer promote their product.  People may be more likely to purchase a kit when they see examples of pages that they can create.

So last week I received a newsletter from one of the digital scrapbooking stores and it had one of these creative team calls.  It listed all the requirements and I thought to myself "Why not?".  So I applied.  I had to send an email with some info about myself and attach one of my favorite pages I have made.  I also included a link to my blog so she could see some of my other pages I have made.  I was thrilled when I got an email saying that if I agreed to the requirements I was part of her team!!  Woohoo!!  So I am now a very, very proud member of the Deli Scraps by Min creative team.  This is my first opportunity like this so I have had a lot of questions for her and she has been very patient with me.   I appreciate this very much.

She told me just to let her know what kit I wanted to get started with and I requested her "Flower Power" kit.  The colors in this kit are beautiful.  I knew exactly what pictures I was going to use to get started.  Here are the pages I created using Deli Scraps By Min's Flower Power kit.



The quote on this page is from Creative Memories "Digital Expressions of Teen Life" kit.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recipe for White Bean and Chicken Chili

I have gotten a few requests for this recipe so enjoy!! 

Snow Fun!

Today the snow was calling our name.  The temperature was perfect, the snow was still falling so softly, and what was already on the ground was just begging us to come out and play.  I found some 2T snowpants in the snow gear box.  I was very excited about this.  I did not remember even having any snowpants that small!  I dressed Jadon all up in his snow gear.  He had three pairs of socks on under his mocks so his tiny toes stayed toasty.  I was hoping Jadon would have more fun this time than the last time we took him out to play.  I think it was too windy and cold the last time we tried because this time he loved it!!!

He smiled as soon as we took off on the sled.  You could just see the joy on his face!!  I tried to take as many pictures as I could!!  When I knew we were probably getting close to going inside I even let him get out of the sled and sit in the snow.  He even tried to walk in it but it was too deep. Once the mittens starting coming off I knew it was time to head in.  What a great morning though. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

For Jen


On Friday evening a dear friend of mine died in a car accident.  She was only 27 years old.  I just keep thinking about how fast life changes.  I am always thinking about what I will tell someone the next time I see them, but not very often do I think that there might not be a next time.  
I found out Saturday morning that she has passed away.  Since then she has not been very far from my thoughts.  I just can't believe that I will never see her smiling face again.  She carried joy and happiness with her everywhere she went.  She had a kind and loving heart. She talked about her husband so much and I could see how much they loved each other in the pictures I saw.  My heart aches for her husband and her parents, siblings, and the whole family.

I can hear her laugh. When I close my eyes for sleep I can see her smile.  I remember the contagious joy bouncing off of her when she told us all that she was pregnant.  Then the total heartache when she had to tell us all that she had lost the baby.  I prayed to God to allow her an oppurtunity to be a mother.  She adored and loved all children.  Teaching and caring for children was truly her calling.  

One thing keeps sticking in my mind.  Our friend Stef was probably one of the last people to talk to Jen except for her husband who was in the vehicle with her.  Stef said she was cooking dinner Friday night and the phone rang.  Jen and her had been playing phone tag for about a week.  For a second she thought to herself "let it go to voicemail and call her back when you are done with dinner".  She said something told her that she better not do that.  She said she talked to Jen for about 20 minutes about stuff.  That phone call took place around 5 and the accident that took Jen's life happened around 6.  When we got together on Saturday to comfort each other and remember Jen, Stef just kept saying that she was so glad she answered the phone that night and did not let it go to voicemail.  I will always think of this when I feel like I am "too busy" to talk to somone I love.  I will always think twice before letting it go to voicemail.  

Jen was part of the group of girls that I met at Eastside while I was working there.  She was the only one of us who continued to work there.  We all made an effort to stay in touch and to go out and have a girl's night once a month.  We did not always stick to that.  Sometimes unfortunately life gets in the way and we just could not find one night we all could meet.  But I look back at our trips to the winery, our dinner's at Applebees, our Wii party, cookie exchange, and so many others with a smile and a thankful heart.  Thankful that I have such a good group of friends to talk with, laugh with, and love with.  We keep each other sane.  We listen to each others joys and frustrations.   We accept each others differences and flaws.  I know that the rest of us will carry on and continue to have girl's nights out, but they will never be the same.  Jen had planned the next one.  We were supposed to go to have pizze at our friend Debbie's house in Pekin then go see the movie "Valetines Day" next week.   Jen and I joked back and forth about all the good looking men in the movie.  I am hoping in honor of Jen we all still make it that night out.  That is what she would have wanted.  

Jen, I know you are up in heaven watching over us all.  I will forever miss you.  Until we meet again......

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jadon made his very first art project today.  One of the kids I watch is gone for the next few days so we had some extra supplies.  I was using the extra supplies to show the daycare kids how to make their own project.  Jadon was tugging at my legg and hollering at me.  He often feels left out during art time.  He is sure that there is something super fun going on up there at the table.  So I picked him up and held him in my lap, gave him the marker so he could help Mommy decorate the shaker.  I held the shaker and gave Jadon the marker and showed him what to do.  As you can see he made his very pretty.  :)

Then I helped him tape on the face and gave it back to him.  The project was a heart opossum shaker.  A combination of our theme "Mammals" and "Hearts".  The cardboard tube was filled with rice so it made a cool sound when shaken.  Jadon liked that a lot.  He would shake it, then just look at it, then look at me.  I think he could not believe I was letting him play with such a big kid toy.

What a fun morning!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Already February!

January at our house was kinda quiet. I am not complaining at all. I personally enjoy the month of January. The craziness of the holidays is over, the kids are not in any sports, and there are not a lot of school functions. We just get to hang out at home together. We have enjoyed several movie nights and a couple family game nights also. I would not suggest challenging Jake to a game of Scrabble Slam. It took multiple rounds to finally beat him. Shelby is the one who finally brought him down.

We have all enjoyed watching Jadon walk all over the place. It feels like it happened overnight. The therapist is watching his posture closely however. From the very start he has leaned to the right (his BPI arm) when he walks. His therapist said we are going to let him get accustomed to walking before we do anything about this. I am not sure at this point what that means so we will see what the future holds there.

Jadon also learned to climb the stairs in January.  He drinks from a sippy cup all the time now except for one bottle at nap and bedtime.  He is getting so big!

One morning this month Jacob was getting his shoes on so he could go out to catch the bus.  He was telling Jadon that he had to get ready to go to school.  When Jacob stood up and went to get his bag he found a certain little boy sitting on his bag with a very big grin on his face.  Jacob just started laughing.  Apparently Jadon did not want his big brother to go to school that day.  He wanted his big brother to stay home and play with him.  LOL!  It was so cute and I captured some pictures of course!

Now it is February. This is the big party month. Jadon turns one!! Where did the time go? I can't believe it has been a year already. So many things have happened and I have learned so many new things in the past year. Anyway, time to decide on a theme for the big bash! It should be a lot of fun!