Thursday, October 30, 2008

Portraits

I am very pleased with how the portraits turned out. I even got in a shot with her and ordered it! Enjoy the slideshow of some of the poses I ordered.

Happy Dori Day!

Today is a special day in our family! 2 years ago today Dori joined the family. We have a variety of special Dori Day things planned. Dori knows it's her day, but I think she's thinking it's her birthday. Anyway, it's special! Here is one of my fav pics from 10-30-06.Dori cried when I left her at school this morning and it had me in tears. I just kept thinking of that scared little girl we first held in our arms 2 years ago. The boys are off school early today so Parker will be going with me to pick her up, so she will be excited. Then we are off for Dori Day portraits. Here is a pic of Dori ready for Hat Day at school today!
My Thankful Thursday is short and sweet this week. I am thankful for my wonderful daughter!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented on my WW (Wordless Wednesday) yesterday. The costume is actually a unicorn, or as Dori calls it a pony. It does look like Eeyore from the front. I feel like a very bad mommy because I did not sew her costume this year. She doesn't really like to put the hood part of the unicorn on, so maybe I'll whip something up for her today and keep up with making her costume each year. Here she is the past 2 years.



Congratulations to Toni at It's Nap Time for winning my Custom Blog Header Giveaway that was hosted by The Mom Buzz.

Tomorrow the winner of the Halloween Blog Contest over at the Seventh Diamond will be announced. I hope my Halloween blog wins! If you haven't sent in your vote, please do so now!

Have an awesome day! More pics from our special day later!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Feel Like I Am Always Behind

I never really thought I had a big behind, but I guess I do. LOL! I always feel like I have stuff to do + stuff that I could/should do...but it seems like I will 'get to it' when I get caught up. I am not sure I will ever be caught up. YKWIM?

Today I've been in and out with errands/kid stuff and I've done a little blog design work. I also have a few digital scrapbook pages on order that I need to get done. It's now almost 5 so I need to get dinner going soon. We are having Pasta with Creamy Chicken & Broccoli. It's a new recipe I found here.

We don't have much on tap tonight so I hope to answer some emails and visit blogs.

A Few Reminders

  • The contest to win a plush monster ends today. (link on left sidebar)
  • The contest to win a custom blog header from me ends tomorrow. (link on left sidebar)
  • Only 2 days left to vote for the best Halloween Blog contest. Please send in an email to vote for my Dori Blog. Click on the Vote for Me! icon in the upper right sidebar for a link to my Halloween blog. Then the voting info/link is right below the header.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Goodnight!!

Well, it's been a long busy day and I am exhausted. I had very little time online today and didn't get to do all my blog rounds. Tomorrow is another busy day...actually this whole week is...except for Wednesday.

Hope everyone sleeps well!

Frazzle Time

It's that time of day that where I can get a bit frazzled. Usually it's between 4:30 and 6:30 sometime. I've been on the go today and much of that has been on my feet. The go-go isn't done because we need to leave for Dori's school party in an hour or so. We just got home a little bit ago from Jake's appt. They just removed 2 parts of his ingrown toe. He should be fine now. I've had enough time to direct the kids to homework and such and I've sorted laundry. I got distracted (cause I came upstairs to have Parker try on his new pants before I wash them) and my laptop was sitting on the stairs. Parker & Dori were watching a movie on it at the Dr's office. So I moved it to where I usually keep it and just sat down and automatically turned it on. I need to get off and get a load of laundry in the wash. I feel behind because I usually get all the clothes done on Monday and I haven't even started a load and it's 5pm. I spend too much time shopping. I covered every inch of women's clothing at Kohls and managed to find a black cardigan (which I might keep...I need to try on with different pants first) and some socks. I got Dori some very adorable monkey headphones and a summery Dora dress on clearance. Even though it's bitter cold out, she's wearing the dress. LOL! We also hit Sam's Club and Walmart and made it home just in time for Parker. After I had the groceries unloaded (and they are not all put away yet) I had about 25 mins til we had to leave to get Jake from school and take him to the Dr.

Dinner is Rotisserie Chicken from Sams. We'll probably just eat it on tortillas with some other fixings. I think Eric is going to say home while I take Dori & Parker to the party. Jake is going to Young Life. Eric is doing his masters online, so he could use the quiet time with all of us gone.

OK...off to get a load in the washer.

Tuba Jake

I was looking at our local paper online this morning and I saw photos from the marching band competition. I scrolled through them and found this great pic of Jake marching in the parade. He will be thrilled to see it when we get back from the Dr.
I blurred out some of the info.

Presidential Poll

Last week's poll 'what reality show do you watch' has ended and The Amazing Race got the most votes. There were 6 votes for other, which I believe most indicated was The Biggest Loser.

This week's poll is 'who are you voting for' is up. Please vote! I am unable to know who voted for what, so vote early and vote often! LOL!

Good Morning!

It's Monday morning! It got down in the 30s last night, but our furnace never kicked on. I guess the new roof and siding this summer really made a difference.

Dori and I are going shopping today. Exchange jeans for Parker (still can't get the right fit...I think I'll take a pair that have holes in them to compare), get laundry soap, vitamins, and groceries. I'm going to stop by Kohls and see if I can find a black cardigan. Dori is a good shopper and never complains about getting in and out of her carseat.

Jake has an appt for his toe this afternoon. The infection seems to be gone, but the toe still bothers him. We are thinking he will lose this toenail. I know...TMI!

Dori's school is having a Halloween party tonight. I'll make sure to take LOTS of pics!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Blowing the Stink Off!

Today we are running our furnace for the first time this year. It always has a gross burning/dirty smell (you know the one?) when we first turn it on, so we are running it with the windows open. Hence, blowing the stink off! I only have the slightest of headaches right now (and I normally get an evil migraine) so the window trick is working. It's a beautifully sunny, but windy day in the 50s today. We've been having lows in the 40s for the past 2 weeks, but the next few nights will be in the uppers 20s...so we are giving in and using the furnace!

Other plans for the day include cleaning up the house, preparing dinner (my sis & family are coming over), making sure the kids get their chores done, and hopefully some time to do some bloggy work in between. I have 2 blog makeovers in the works.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday Fun Revealed

It's Dori's cute little happy face pumpkin after a squirrel ate the face off!
Darn squirrels!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Fri Nite

It's been a lazy evening around here. It was raining so the marching band canceled their performance at the football game. They need their uniforms clean & dry for tomorrow's competition. It is the last day of marching band. We will be down at the competition most of the day. We'll probably come home for a little while in between performance and awards. It's supposed to be a little sunny but cool. Last night I stayed up til about midnight, so I am heading to bed soon.

We just got done watching Amazing Race Asia - ep 7 on U Tube. I really enjoy it.

Oh...we were naughty and splurged a little this evening. We got some Blizzards from DQ. I got the pumpkin pie and it was OH SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a good Saturday. I have the reveal of Friday Fun set to post.

Friday Fun

Today's Friday Fun is a photo. What is it? I am looking for specifics! I'll review tomorrow!

PS~ I love all the filter options on Photo Shop! LOL!

Coke Roast

Dinner is already cooking, so I thought I'd come share this EZ recipe!

Coke Roast

a coke (we've also used Dr Pepper and diet)
a jar of chili sauce
a package of onion soup mix
a roast (usually the cheapest I can find...that doesn't have a lot of fat)
veggies of choice

Put the coke, sauce, and soup mix into the crock pot and mix up. Add the roast. Cook on low all day long. Sometime in the early afternoon I will add veggies. We often serve on whole wheat buns.

If you missed it, I posted a recipe last night too!

PS~ I am *TOTALLY* in the mood to shop today, but my nephews are coming over for a little while this morning and the boys have a 1/2 day. Probably better off to not spend money anyway. I am totally obsessing about getting a new black cardigan. I wear a cardigan nearly everyday when it cools down and I am down to just a grey one. I am sure people get sick of seeing me wear it EVERYDAY. I got it about 8 years ago at Mervyns and I love it. We don't have Mervyns here. I am looking for a non-sweater one...maybe some kind of knit. Hard to explain, but I know what I want. It has to go down past my hips, but I don't want a band around the bottom of it. I like it loose (but not too baggy) so I need a L or XL depending on the cut. KWIM?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thrown off Thursday + Thankful Thursday!

I'll have to get to my Thankful Thursday below. Today has been crazy. I got a call at 8am asking if I could fill in for another parent that was scheduled to work at the preschool. No problem! I have already filled my duties for Oct so I have a head start on my Nov hours! It was bathroom parent which is my LEAST favorite duty. I have to make sure kids hands are clean and take kids to the potty, which means change diapers for most of the kiddos. Today there was shaving cream in the sensory table AND painting for art, so I had a few foamy orange kids in line at a time to get washed up. Fortunately I only had 2 diapers to change, but one was a complete blow out. UGH! The kid was crying for mom too. Poor kid only had shorts to change into, so he didn't get to return to the playground. (I need to make sure I check Dori's cubby to see if she has a change of cold weather clothing.) Anyway, once you've potty trained your (last) kid you really don't want to change other kids...YKWIM! I try to keep my gag reflex in check. OK..TMI! We also seemed to have 1-2 kids crying at a time today. Not a typical day at school, but we all survived.

Afterwards we headed to WM for a shopping spree. $115 later (and there were only a few things on my list) and I was finally home at 2pm! Nothing like eating lunch at 2:15! After a phone call and follow up, I didn't get time to sit, relax, and think until 3pm...which is when Parker and a friend got home from school. It was grey all day and then it started to rain...so it seemed more like 10am than 3pm.

We had Broc Chix for dinner. It was so yummy! We have been sick of the same old food lately and it's time to rotate some dinners. We haven't had Broc Chix in a while, which made it all the better. A few years ago we purchased Chinese cooking lessons at a youth auction. They were offered by a good friend of ours from church. She taught us several different dishes/techniques, but my fav was the stir fry, of which Broc Chix is what we prepare the most. I'll post the recipe below.

Right now we are watching Survivor and I am typing on commercials. My thought is that the edit points toward Randy or Ace winning...of which I say ICK! BUT...I don't have any favorite contestants, so who cares.

Brocolli Chicken

minced mixture (garlic, onion, ginger)
chicken
brocolli
carrots
soy sauce
oyster sauce
corn starch (I mix in a seperate container with water)
oil

-heat oil in wok
-add in minced mixture (1-2 TBS?)
-add chicken after the mixture has cooked a little
-just let the chicken cook on one side at a time and turn to cook the other side, don't stir it around
-add carrots
-let that cook a little, we usually put a lid on, sometimes we add some water in to make sure there is plenty of liquid to cook in
-add brocolli, let it steam/cook
-add some soy sauce and stir it in
-after that's cooked up a little add the corn starch to thicken the liquid, turn the heat down right away to a simmer
-add in oyster sauce (2-3 teaspoons, I'd guess) and stir in

We serve it over white rice (yes we have a rice cooker!) This recipe is adaptable to any meat or produce...just add the produce according to how long you'd need to cook it. I love this same recipe with orange juice added instead of water and mango. YUM!

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for electricity & gas which leads to heat, heated water, air conditioning, as well as other conveniences.

I've Been Buzzed!

TheMomBuzzToday I am the featured blogger (for my Custom Blog Designs) over at the Mom Buzz. Check it out! I am giving away a free blog header!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Interview You!

Wendy of Adoption & Fire did a recent post on her blog asking to interview people. I am going to post her question and my answer below, but I am also going to invite you to be interviewed. Please leave a comment for this post letting me know that you'd like an interview question and then come back in a day or 2 and get your question (from the comments of this post) and then answer it on your blog. (I am cross posting this with my Custom Blog Designs blog.)

Wendy's Question~
Hi Diana- You are so creative! Having designed blogs for so many adoptive parents, is there anything interesting you have learned or have seen about a family that you have created a blog for? Do you encourage your children to explore their creativity? If so how?

My response~
Wendy! Thanks so much for the compliment.
WOW~ I have learned so much from the many family blogs that I have redesigned and all the other blogs I have discovered in the process. I could list individual blogs and their great advice and interesting lives, but I am going to just to just tell you what I've come up with collectively. While you might not have met someone in real life, they can be a wonderfully, supportive friend! Also, there are so many ways to make a difference in a child's life! And, if you have an idea...create a blog, let your friends know (and ask for their advice), and go for it!
I know I can do a better job of encouraging my children to explore their creativity. So much of my creativity surrounds so called 'girly' things like sewing and crafts. I have no passed these on to my boys at all. This is one of the things I was excited about with having a daughter...teaching her to sew and be crafty. She's too young for that now, but I try to make up songs with her and teacher her rhyming and silliness. Both my boys are very creative! We nuture their music abilities through private lessons and by having several instruments here at home for them to play on. Both love creating with Lego and drawing silly cartoons. But most of all we just encourage our kids to be themselves and love who they are!

Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this Wendy! I hope that my readers will jump in to be interviewed and then keep it going on their blogs.

Win a Monster!

OMG~ Check out this giveaway for a custom one of a kind plush monster. It's hosted by Ohana Mama and features a monster made by CurlyQ Cuties. Get the details HERE.

Wordless Wednesday

New Graphics

A week or so ago, Julie left a comment on a post about Entrecard. I signed up and I am hooked. It’s basically a business card exchange for blogs. You visit other blogs and ‘drop’ your blog card on them. While you can just drop and run, I’ve spent a little time reading some blogs. Yesterday I came across a site of a woman in Malaysia that makes these cute little RSS Dollies. She will customize them, so I ordered 2 without the RSS icon~ one with me and Dori and the other of just Dori, which she did VERY quickly! While they don’t look exactly like us, I think they are just adorable. A single person is just $2! I might order one to depict our whole family. Check out Emila's site (which I awarded the Kreativ Award yesterday): Emila's Illustrated Blog

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kreativ Blog Awards

I have received 2 Kreativ Blog Awards recently. One is from Julie over at the Cool Mom Guide. for this blog. The other is from Laura at A Joyful Family for my Dori blog. Since the requirements for each award are similar, I am combining and posting the same thing on all 3 of my blogs.

6 Things I Love~

Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
Photo Shop Elements
60-84 Degree Sunny Days
Baby/Toddler Laughter
Sewing/Creating
Laying in a Hammock

Name 6 Things I Don’t Love~

Mending/Altering Clothing
Being Really Sweaty
Not Being Able to Find Something
Waiting in Long Lines
Entitlement
Really Cold Weather

Now I am passing this award on to the following~

Emila (Emila's Illustrated Blog) for her adorable creations
Kat (TragedyScrapinAnne's Blog) for her amazing creativity and ability to juggle so many things in her life
Lissa (Loving Lydia) for all the wonderful things she does to celebrate and honor her daughter’s heritage
Kimberly (Geswein Family) for her photography and knitting skills
Lisa (Maisie Eats Bento) for the wonderfully creative Bentos she makes for her daughter
Melissa (Your Family Fun) blog for all the great creative ideas for family fun

These people need to list 6 things you love/value and 6 things you don't love/value, then pass on the award to 6 other bloggers. Make sure you link to me and let me know when you've passed the award on. You can grab the image of the award from my blog.

I've been tagged!

I've Been Tagged! Kimberly over at Lucky Family of 4 has tagged me! (she actually tagged me on my Dori blog, but I am cross posting!)OK...here are my weird (and probably not so random) facts~

1. I could swim before I was 2 yrs old...and it had nothing to do with my web-toes!
2. I like beets, although I only eat them at salad bars.
3. In 1988 I tried out for The Dating Game.
4. I never tuck in my shirt.
5. I will check books out from the library, but I usually don't read them (and then turn them in late!)
6. I'm very gregarious, but I get very nervous when I have to make a speech in front of a group. (Not when I teach at all, but definitely when I speak in front of other adults!)
7. I'm fickle! (like you didn't know that!)

Now I am tagging~
Kim (Journey to Isabella)
Cora (Little Miss What's Her Name)
Harriet (I Am Harriet)
Colleen (Crazy Eight)
Lisa (Tremont Scotts)
Erin (My Brute Squad)
Sewing Mom

Tues Afternoon

So I had 30 mins this afternoon that I was going to use to get some blogging done. I have been tagged, given some awards, and participated in an I Interview You and I wanted to get most of them posted. BUT our internet went down. Not just the internet, but our TV cable (of which we only have the most basic local channels) went down right during Fetch!, which is Parker’s favorite. So I typed what I could on a Word document and went and folded laundry. All the laundry is folded and I am just waiting for dinner to cook. OK…I am going easy tonight. The kids are eating Pizza Bites (as I type) and Eric & I are having a Orange Chicken…also a frozen meal. The microwave is working hard tonight.

Tuesdays are my busy day of the week…Dori has school and the boys have music lessons as well as other errands. I’ve survived today and it wasn’t so bad. I just wish the cable would come back online so I could post this! LOL!

I have a question. Have you seen people with blogs who can password protect the posts? I want to know if I can do that. Sometimes you just have to say something, but you worry about who might be reading!

Tues Morning

I've been sitting in the library while Dori is at preschool. There are some HS girls here that are skipping school and we've become fast friends. I am sure they will probably dump me off their FaceBook friends list as soon as I leave. LOL!

Dori had a major fit when we got to school, but she calmed down within a few minutes of me leaving. I stayed in the hall to make sure all was OK before I left.

Now I have to dash cause today is my cleaning day at her school. Later!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chicken Spaghetti

This is our simple Faux Chicken Parmesean that we had for dinner tonight. Jake doesn't care for the 'chicken', but Parker loves it!

Chicken Spaghetti

1 package of Morning Star Vegetarian Chicken Patties (they come frozen)
1 jar of Bertolli Spaghetti Sauce (we like the Marinara Wine)
Sprinkle Parmesean Cheese
Spaghetti

I use an 8" square glass pan and pour a little sauce in it, lay the 4 patties in it, cover with a little more sauce & some sprinkle cheese, and bake according to the package directions (I think it's 375 for around 20 mins or so).
Cook the spaghetti and then serve the chicken the patties on top. Simple and yummy!

Long Ramble

After my brief cat nap yesterday, I got up and we put a big pot of chili together and headed over to our friend's house for a pumpkin carving party. It was a lot of fun! Our hosts had the place decked out AND the pumpkins were already cleaned out and ready to carve. I used one of those carving kits that had a pattern to follow. It was super easy! Here is a pic of my pumpkin along with Dori's cute little pumpkin.In addition to pumpkin carving there was food, great conversation, crafts, and a birthday celebration. Here Dori and I are creating a Halloween photo frame.Dori got to play with one of the new dolls that our little friend got for her birthday. Dori really liked the doll.But the strangest thing happened after Dori played with this talking doll. She bowed down and started chanting a little prayer. I just don't understand!
After the party we came home and watched Amazing Race, put the kids to bed, and then watched episode 6 of Amazing Race Asia online.

I had a slow start to the day. It's that time of year when the house is chilly in the morning, but it's not quite cold enough to run the furnace. I have a hard time jump starting when it's like that. I finally showered, did the laundry, straightened and cleaned the kitchen, searched for and finally found my transcripts, left some blog comments, made dinner, and then we went to Jake's marching band awards concert. Here's a pic of Dori & I after the concert (I look old & tired!)We are about the put the kidlets to bed and then I plan on doing a little blog networking, sort & fold the clean laundry, and maybe watch Desperate Housewives. I'll post a recipe from tonight's dinner later.


PS~ OK...seriously, that doll does say Islam is the Light as clear as can be. And Dori wasn't facing the right way! LOL!

Reality Poll

This week's poll is what reality play-off type shows do you watch. You are allowed to check more than one! I am sure I probably missed some, so if you check other, add a name to the comments section for this post!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sore!

Well, I ended up working over 8 hours at the stadium yesterday. I was in charge (my first time) and I really got frazzled. I didn't sleep well last night (but the 2 nights before were 9+ hrs) and kept thinking about how things went. I wrote a bunch of things down today and will be making an organization chart to help things run more smoothly. Anyway, I didn't get home til after midnight. I thought a night game would be better, but I now know that a day game is better. 2 more home games this season, but I might not work both.

So today I have the work hangover going. Just tired and sore! More sore than anything. I am not used to standing and I was basically in one spot for most of the night. I got a late start to church today and then we had a big meal afterwards. I helped with a chunk of the clean-up before coming home to put my feet up. When I got home, Eric told me that the party we are going to tonight got moved up to 4pm. I was counting on that extra hour to rest. I guess we will show up late. I've got to make a big pot of chili to take. But first, I think a little cat nap is in order!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Good Morning

It's only a few minutes to noon, so I can still say good morning.

I have spent the morning adding a 3rd column and links to my Custom Blog Designs blog. I still need to adjust the content on that home page, but it's fine for now. I need to get to the grocery store, make a dessert for a big meal at church tomorrow, get a few things organized, and then go to the football game. Once again, Jake & I are working concessions at the game. It's the first night game of the season, so we want to go a little early to make sure the food is prepared for the hungry crowds. It's a lot cooler this week, so maybe we won't be as hot in our stand. Of course we will probably freeze by the time we get done~ I'd guess 10:30 or 11ish. My feet are always so sore afterwards and we have to walk nearly a mile back to the car. UGH! Since it will be late, this will probably be my only post of the day!

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Picture Puzzle

OK...I came up with an idea for today's Friday Fun. It's a picture puzzle that I created at All-Star Puzzles. I used to do all kinds of puzzles here several years back.

Click HERE for the puzzle.

Enjoy!

Asian Ramen Beef Noodle

We just finished dinner. Luckily it was something that goes together fast because we didn't start cooking until 7pm.

Asian Ramen Beef Noodle

1 lb of lean ground beef
2 package of Ramen noodles (we use Chicken flavor)
2 cups water
2 cups frozen mixed veggies

brown the beef in a big skillet/wok, when it's almost done mix in one package of Ramen seasoning, drain the beef and set aside
mix the noodles, water, and veggies in the skillet, bring to boil, reduce, simmer for 3 mins
add the other seasoning packet in near the end of the 3 mins
add the beef in, stir and serve!

My guys love it so much that we double everything (although I don't use 2# of beef!)

OK...I am totally slacking on the Friday Fun. I need to think of something and get it posted!

And 2 become 3

Columns that is!

I decided to organize the blog a little better, so I added a 2nd sidebar.  The right side will be my stuff and the left will be networking, ads, links to giveaways, link to blogs, etc.  I lost the poll in the process, but put up the results of the votes we had so far.  Now I need to come up with a Friday Fun.