Friday, August 30, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oatmeal

School mornings can get a bit hectic here.  And in doing a lot for everyone else in the morning, I'm usually the last one to eat breakfast.  A friend shared this recipe and I made it earlier this week.  It was nice to have my own breakfast "done" and ready to enjoy.  I started my crock pot at 11 PM and when I woke up with Michael at 4 AM (to the smell of baking cinnamon) I turned it off.  Mostly because my crock pot cooks very fast.  The next time I make this I might do it during the day when I don't have to worry about it overcooking/burning and then just store it in the fridge for the week.

Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oatmeal  (Recipe found here.)

2 apples, peeled and cored, cut into 1/2 pieces
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel cut oats    
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add ingredients and mix together.  Cook on low for 7 hours (this time varies).  Can be stored in fridge, just mix 1 cup of oatmeal with 1/3 cup of milk and heat in microwave.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Linking with Like Mother Like Daughter with some pictures today...


My MOPS group started up for the school year and since I didn't enroll Ellen in any preschool this year, MOPS is as close to "school" as she is getting this year.  She has been very eager to go "to my MOPS s-kool." She carefully chose her outfit and hairstyle for the big day, then asked me to "text my picture to Daddy because I'm beautiful."  


This boy turns 6 months next week, just cut his two bottom teeth, and I just noticed his two front teeth ready to make an appearance!  And he's still all smiles even when teething!

We are in the process of getting new floors and some people have realllllllly enjoyed my carefreeness toward our current flooring.


Ellen is not a fan of loud carpet tack removal the other day was "a little noisy" for her.  (And I like the father-son demo team in the background here.)  


New floors = so.much.chaos.  I can do this!  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Week in Review - Quick Takes Style

Linking up with Jen!

Our drama last week was that Jude chipped a tooth.  He and Ryan were rough-housing a bit and when Ryan walked away, Jude lunged at his calf and somehow chipped his bottom tooth.  (We are very-odd-accident-prone people.)  It chipped to the nerve and Jude kept telling me it felt "weird."  I took him to the dentist last Monday and then Tuesday night woke up and told me his tooth had chipped again.  (Most likely the result of teeth-grinding...)  So we went back for round 2 after the first day of school on Wednesday and things have remained in place since then.  And Jude is very proud of his "new tooth."  

Speaking of teeth...Michael cut his first 2 teeth!  I had a feeling something was going on when he was up once at night as opposed to his usual full night of sleep, and when I peeked in his mouth he had one tooth cut and the other one wasn't far behind.  Such a big boy!

This book = funny book.  

And sadly probably the only book with more words than pictures that I've read this year...  

Clare has been writing newspapers for Ryan to update him on the events of the day.  One particular day (before school started) Ellen was a bit whiney.  She made the paper that day with this headline:

It was fair and balanced reporting! 

I took said "Miss Fussy" to her own Story Hour at the library this week.  She loved it and it was nice to enjoy a one-on-one activity with her.  

We are under a bit of construction on the home front.  We are working on closing up the wall between two rooms on our first floor and the funny thing is that it has actually made those rooms seem bigger. Now I'm working on paint colors...the only fun part of painting!

We survived our first f-u-l-l week of school and I feel like I earned Friday's hot lunch "Pizza Day" right along with the certainly is nice to get a break from packing lunches even though they still need water bottles and snacks today!  Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Things He Says Bonus Edition...

At the grade school open house when he saw the computer lab for the first time:
"Hey, it's like an army of computers!" 

Thoughts on the flies that came in the house one night when people were in and out and in and out and in and out and...
"Don't put the dead flies in the recycling or they'll turn alive again!"

And Clare's thoughts on what was in the Roku box (the size of a baby shoe box) we recently got:
"It might be a puppy in there!"  

Speaking of Clare, she has become quite the reader and writer!  Here's a journal entry I love that she wrote on her own a few days before school started...  

I love that she "wrote this by heart!"  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Baked French Toast

No one eats the ends/heels/butts from a loaf of bread around here.  And that's actually fine by me.  (I don't like them, either.)  I stash them away in the freezer and make this French toast when I have about 6 loaves worth of crusts, about 12 pieces of bread total.  (Can you tell my grandparents lived in the Depression?)  I made it as a "special" breakfast for the first day of school last week.  

(I made this in an 8 x 10 pan and it made 12 pieces.  I also made it the night before.)

12 end pieces from loave(s) of bread (or just use 12 pieces of bread)
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Grease baking dish.  Tear bread into dish.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour over bread, soaking it.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Serve with syrup if you wish.  

My kids gobbled this up and headed out the door with full bellies!       

Thursday, August 15, 2013

1st Day!

Clare - 2nd grade
Jude - kindergarten

1 day down!  Many many more lunches to pack in my future! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Deck!

To sum up a long story (2+ years in the making), we just replaced the (damaged) floorboards on our deck after sending letter after letter to the supplier to honor a warranty (again, long story).  Anyway, we are glad that is all in the past and so VERY grateful to Ryan's uncle who replaced everything while we were at the beach no less!  He did an amazing job and we are so very thankful for his skilled help!

The floorboards and facade of the deck that we inherited were warped and were badly disintegrating.  We were beginning to feel it was a safety issue and not just a cosmetic one.

Friends generously helped Ryan demo the old floor.  (It always looks worse before it looks better!)

Through the window screen.  Some joists needed replaced as well. 

And then we came from the beach to this!

Mud from our amazing workers!  

We are so very thankful for our friends and family for helping is with this huge project!!  We have fallen in love with our deck all over again!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sand Dollars

Obviously one of the best parts about vacationing in Destin, Florida was enjoying the beautiful beach. The last day we were there the water was especially calm and very clear.  Several cousins and siblings-in-laws headed out with scuba gear and found a ton of sand dollars.  Like handfuls upon handfuls. Clare and Jude especially enjoyed seeing their loot and were given a bunch of sand dollars to take home.

The only thing is that the sand dollars were very stinky (we rinsed them pretty well at the beach and they rode home in a ziploc bag) and they were also not very white.

A few days ago we got them out and soaked them in fresh water, changing the water a few times.

Then I mixed a solution of about 1 part bleach to 3 parts water and soaked them for about 5 minutes. They instantly became classic white (and a little less stinky, too).

Beautiful keepsakes from our trip!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

FIVE Months

I know it sounds extremely cliche to say it, but I can't believe Michael is already 5 months old!  He's getting too big too fast.  I feel like he was itty bitty for a day and since then has been a big boy.

He's not so sure about the "applesaucer" (as Jude refers to it), but still loves the bouncer seat.  Although now he has to be buckled because he's rolling all over and over and over.

He is the best nighttime sleeper I have ever had and slept ELEVEN straight hours the other night.  (I did not know this skill was possible at this age...)

He's discovered he has a voice and it's sweet to hear him babbling to himself or one of his admirers.

He was a champion in the car on our l-o-n-g drive to Destin.

His belly laugh is contagious, specifically when he's being tickled on any of his chins or thighs.

He is a very easy and sweet baby boy!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Get Organized with Easy Storage Ideas {Guest Post}

I was excited when Hefty contacted me asking if they could share a post on storage solutions in your home.  Of course I agreed because I'm always eager to learn about new ideas for organizing our home! Here are some tips from Hefty...

When you have kids, it can often feel like there’s never enough space for all of the toys, clothes and games that end up strewn across every surface of your house. When you’re short on time and trying to get a million other things done, cleaning up usually turns into stuffing everything into the nearest closet, which means more mess when you’re trying to find things later on!

 Instead, try some easy organizing tips to make cleaning up your house a breeze. The following are simple tricks to get kids’ stuff—and your own stuff—organized to reduce stress and mess for you:

  • Use a spice rack for craft supplies like beads, glitter and even paint. Small containers are perfect for tiny crafting supplies that always get lost and are a good way to keep everything in one place. Instead of dumping everything into one big box, each supply will be separated and easy to grab.
  • Store costume or actual jewelry in a utensil holder. It’s an easy way to keep necklaces and bracelets from getting tangled around each other because you can lay everything out flat. Keeping everything in one drawer is also much easier than trying to cram jewelry into tiny boxes, too.
  • Stop stepping on stuffed animals every time you enter a room—use a hanging basket like you would put fruit in to hold animals, blocks and other toys. Just make sure it’s hanging low enough for kids to reach!
  • Take advantage of under-bed and under-couch storage. Buy long, thin storage bins and place them underneath any bed or couch that’s high enough off the ground. If they’re too close to the ground, invest in cheap bed risers to lift beds up a couple inches. You’ll create lots of storage space but keep everything out of sight.
  • Put shower curtain hooks in your closets. They’re good for holding everything from purses and backpacks to belts and scarves, so you won’t have to use up valuable drawer or floor space for these items.

A little organization can go a really long way—without a lot of time, effort or spending on your part! When your house is organized, you can spend less time searching for things and more time actually doing what you want to do!

Author Bio: Katie F. writes on behalf of Hefty®. Visit for cleaning and storage products from large plastic bags to disposable cookware.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

round button chicken

for {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} today.  Because I'm still playing catch up after our beach trip, or maybe just playing catch up with the 4 kiddos around here...

Blue-eyed boy.

Michael is officially in his crib AND slept in it until 5:45 yesterday morning!  
(Then came to bed with me until 7 in the am...I have zero complaints!)

Ellen's look of fear of the water even though she's safe in Ryan's arms and far from said water.  

School shopping.  Already.  Kindergarteners need 20 glue sticks.  At this rate I should buy stock in Elmers!

Head over to Our Mothers Daughters for more!