Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How yummy does this look?

Okay, I am a terrible food photographer. In fact, you may be saying, "what the heck am I looking at anyway???". Well, as some of you already know, I am out of commission. My back has gone out and I am waiting to hear back from the people who schedule MRI's to get the test that will direct us one way or another. As for now, I am left in a lot of pain. Crawling, shuffling and trying to function throughout my day. Yes I said crawling. back pain is not for weaklings. So, today Noah made dinner. The above pic is the Chicken-Broccoli-Cauliflower-Cheddar Casserole that Noah made for dinner tonight. When I say Noah made it, I mean NOAH MADE IT. He put the chicken in the bakeware, added a bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower and Campbell's Cheddar Broccoli condensed soup. Then he dumped a sleeve of Ritz crackers into a large Ziplock bag and beat them to a crumb with his fist. Then he melted a couple of TBSP of marg and added it to the cracker crumbles and dumped it onto the chicken mix. Then he evenly spread the crackers out with a spoon. Here is what the chef thought:
He said it was DELICIOUS! He couldn't wait to tell Daddy that he did this all by himself. I am so thankful for my little chef. Seriously people, he did the whole thing, only leaving the putting in the oven and taking it out.
Little brother doesn't look to thrilled!:) I assure you, he loved it and ate most of what you see on his plate!


So I recently came across a few old pics. I thought I would share them with you. Enjoy and please be kind...

This pic was taken on Nov 19, 2006. 7 days later I started making big change for a healthier lifestyle.
2004 in Disney World! Outside of MGM!!!
Happy New Years in 2003 at the Magic Kingdom!
Goofy at Epcot!
Gatlinburg 2002.
Also in Gatlinburg, with my cousin Michael and his wonderful wife Rebecca.

I hope you enjoy! It really feels like a lifetime ago!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bondign Through Bakng

A couple of nights ago, Julia, Aka Aaron's cousin and flower girl in my wedding. Julie mentioned that she wanted to make a pretty cake. Well, I jumped at the chance to work with her on that project.
Noah took this picture for us!:)
We mixed our icing, baked our cake and the crumb coat was being applied.
Julie and Collin play with the icing tips.
Noah show Julie how much he already knows.
Julie is a natural! She did a fantastic job spreading the icing smooth as can be!
She came up with a really cute design.
We were so proud!
YUMMY! It was a delicious lemon cake with beautiful citrus colored icing. So refreshing on this cold winter day.:)
Thanks Julie!! It was a great night.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I HEART the Air Force Museum

We are blessed to live within 15 minutes of the Air Force Museum. It is a very cool place with a lot to see! It is also completely free. You can pay for the IMAX theater or the flight simulator, but the actual museum is free. It is a favorite pass time for us in the winter because it takes us about 2 1/2 hours to walk through it and it gets us out of the house. Yesterday, my husbands parents and Grandpa joined us.
How sweet is my little Collin in this pic. Hands folded neatly together as he looks at one of the scale sized blimps.
Grandma Rosie explains to Noah what he is looking at. It seems the boys have more questions each time we make a visit here. It is a great place to nurture their minds.
Many of the window are kid height. This is so wonderful! It is hard on this Mama's back to lift a 32 lbs kid and a 44 lbs kid up every couple of minutes to look at something for 21/2 hours.
These boots caught my eye. They are from 1918 and they would totally be in style if they were worn today. The trends just keep cycling. Albeit these served as functional footwear over fashion, it is still interesting.

Collin the Astronaut!

Noah the Astronaut! How cool is this??? LOVE IT!

Here is Noah controlling an aircraft.
There are 2 different jets that the kids (or grown-ups) can sit in and explore. VERY fun!
They have removed all of the dangerous stuff, but the kids could have played in here for days. So fun.
Here is an exhibit that realy confused Noah.
N:"Why is there a woman standing on that car?"
M:"She is celebrating freedom." * I continuing to explain the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.*
He didn't understand it, but some really great seeds were planted.
Just beyond that exhibit, the brightly colored exhibit, is an actual part of the Berlin Wall.
I didn't get pictures of it, but there are some new exhibits dedicated to our brave men and women who are currently battling for our freedom oversea's. It is both humbling and surreal to see our current events displayed in a museum. I was reminded of the sacrifice our brave service men and women are giving right now. I am so grateful for those who serve to keep our GREAT country free. May God bless America. To all who serve, have served or who plan on serving , THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU GIVE! We are blessed beyond measure to have you. God bless.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Feeling like a grown-up

I now feel connected to my home. I don't mean to say that I felt like a stranger here before, but I now feel like my home is reflecting me. When Aaron and I were married for about 1 1/2 years, some friends gave us this dining room table...

it has been a wonderful table. We have shared many meals and fun evenings around this table. However, it was falling apart. LITERALLY! The arm chair on the end is pushed under the table because the table will fall down if it is not there. (Please excuse the clutter in the background. All of that "stuff" = Christmas presents that didn't yet have a place to call home in our overly toy stuffed home.) So, after much deliberation, Hubs finally agreed that it was time to buy our own table. I was so excited because we got to pick what we liked!! :) This is what we picked...

Ahhh, that is better! I also bought some sheer panel window coverings and new valances. This truly reflects part of my personality and makes me feel relaxed and at home!
Now onto the carpet! OY!! I am not a person who struggles with not being content, however, I do like things to be clean. I am happy in my home, happy in my neighborhood and do not desire to live in a big house in a fancy schmancy neighborhood. I also do not think it is wrong to want those things, it is just not me. We moved into our house 7 1/2 years ago. Immediately I wanted to replace the carpet, but financially I knew that was not going to happen. Last December we started setting money aside for the purchase and 12 months later we went from this...

to this...
Now I feel like my living room is much more relaxing and clean. The new carpet breathed new life into the room. It is amazing how a couple of changes can really calm your mind and reflect who you are. I have to say buying new carpet made me really feel like a grown up. I am excited to have people over again and that is so refreshing during the winter time. Home sweet home, AHHH now I know what that means. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Winter wonderland

The other day it snowed. Not toooooo much snow, but enough to build a snowman or go sledding. The problem was, it was all powder. The boys were so bummed! Thankfully it eventually turned into packing snow. SO, we dressed for the occasion and made ourselves a snowman!
Noah and Collin we each able to roll the snowballs by themselves this year. :)
Noah posed after we put the snowman's belly in place.
I love this pic! Collin needed a break!
Collin and Mommy put on the head.
All done and well dressed!!!!!:)
*A big thanks to my dad for dropping by just in time to take pics for me. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

$5 Dinner Menu Plan Day #6

What's for dinner tonight?
Asian Chicken Wraps
page 90

Chicken Breast $3.00
Teriyaki Sauce $.15
Soy Sauce $.05 (Erin's Math)
Carrots $.30 (Erin's Math)
Romaine $.10 (Erin's Math)
Peanuts $.06
Tortilla's $.84
Applesauce $.68
Total: $5.48
This was another easy recipe. You can marinade the chicken in the same skillet you cook it in.
In the book Erin recommends serving the wraps with snow pea's, but I wanted applesauce. It was a nice compliment to the teriyaki flavor.
Here are our left overs, lunch tomorrow.
While the chicken was flavorful, tender and moist, this meal felt more like an appetizer than an entire meal. We pulled out a couple of left over sweet and sour sauce packs from a previous McDonald's visit and dipped our wraps in them. It was really good with the sauce.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

$5 Dinner Menu Plan Day #5

What's for dinner tonight?
Garlic Pork Chops
page 173

Pork $3.25 (OUCH! I used slightly more than the recipe called for.)
olive oil $.20 (again, I used Erin's math)
garlic cloves $.10
Potatoes $.39 (I used Russet.)
milk $.15 (Erin's math)
Margarine $.22
Green Beans $.89
Total : $5.20
I had no pork stockpiled in my freezer so I shopped for a manager's special and was blessed to find one! :)
In this recipe, Erin has you marinade the meat in olive oil and garlic in the fridge and then cook it in the same pan. I am all for simplifying. :)
The finished product. Delicious! I had the mashed potatoes in my freezer from a couple weeks ago when I made a double batch. I usually do that when I get potatoes on sale for a good price. All I did was pull them out of the freezer last night and let them thaw in the fridge. I then reheated them on the stove.
Well, I need to go, I am headed to Erin's book signing! I can't wait to see so many of my friends, bloggy and otherwise that I know are going to be there. SO, if you aren't doing anything and you are in or near Dayton, head over to Books & Co at The Greene from 7-8 . Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 11, 2010

$5 Dinner Menu Plan Day #4

What's for dinner tonight??
Tex Mex Chili

Ground Beef $1.78
Onion $.50
Garlic $ .05
Black Olives $ 1.25
Tomatoes $.77
Kidney Beans $.67
Chili Powder $.05
Cumin $. 10
Potatoes $ .30 (Erin used different sides in her book, but I wanted baked potatoes instead.)
Cheese $.24
Total : $5.71 (Erin did it for almost a $1 less in her book. If I would have used dry kidney beans I could have saved $.50 alone. I generally use canned beans, but maybe I should reconsider...)
** I should mention that we have enough chili left over for lunch tomorrow! Yea!!
Browning the beef, onion and garlic.
Beans, tomatoes and spices.
Black olives. So, here is my tip!! Years ago Aaron wanted to add black olives to something. We only had whole olives and he needed them sliced. Well, he doesn't like tedious prep work so he pulled out our hard boiled egg slicer and sliced it. It worked like a charm, so that is how I slice olives. :)

The finished product. Disclaimer : if you make it as directed in the book your Tex Mex chili it will not look like this. If you read my ingredient price breakdown, you will notice that I used canned kidney beans instead of dry beans. Well, what I didn't say mention that I forgot to take that in to account when I added the 3 cups of water. So, when the soup should have been done and ready to serve it was really watery. I didn't know how to fix it so I took a minute and thought about the ingredients and ran to my pantry in search of something thick and tomatoey. I grabbed 2 - 6oz - cans of tomato paste and threw them in. (This added about $.60) to the mix. IT WORKED!!

I decided to smother my baked potato with the chili. It was my favorite way to eat it!! SOOOO good!

********************* What's New with the Dells? ********************

*********************************** Becky Dell *********************************

*********************Child of God, happily married to a wonderful man and together we are raising 2 amazing Boys!*************

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I am a child of God! I am happily married to the love of my life and together we are raising two amazing boys.