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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Late Night Parent & Britax

So how did I miss this?  I just saw today that Late Night Parent is giving away a Britax B-Ready Stroller with Second Seat.  This is one ma-pajama stroller and I already followed both @latenightparent and @britax on Twitter & didn't notice the giveaway until today.  The last day to enter!!!  Apparently I need to pay more attention to my Twitter feed some days...

LOL!!!  I hope I win and if you try to enter, Good Luck!  But I still hope I win. ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Apple Blossoms 2011

Every year I take the girls out to the farm in the Spring to get pictures with the apple blossoms.  This year I didn't have any help to corral them so I didn't get many photos of them with the blossoms, but we had fun taking lots of pictures that day anyway.

 Proof that we saw the apple blossoms, and the industrious bees working their bee magic. :)

 Silly faces from the girls who don't like to hold still... Dani is eating some uncooked asparagus and Michaela is holding her stalk of it from Great Grandpa.

Do you see the asparagus in this one too?  Michaela is now feeding her stalk to Dani, this is how you get these two to hold still for half a minute.  Of course, sitting still and facing mom at the same time is a skill we are still working on. hehehe

Michaela thinking and Dani with a dirt rimmed mouth.  She is still learning that rocks are NOT for eating.

Picking up all the rocks out back at Grandma's pump.  They were very content to "helping" Grandma with this special job just for little girls for a very loooong time.

Proof that I was there watching. :)

Another fun trip to the farm playing outdoors, running around, visiting Great Grandpa & Great Grandma, swinging, and even checking out the neighborhood bison farm (complete with sunbathing bison calves).

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What a difference a year makes...

This is a quick trip down memory lane.  I was just thinking today again how much my girls have grown in the past year.  Here's a little photo proof that I found for comparison when I went on my own little trip down memory lane...

Michaela Rose

Dani Ruth

I can hardly believe how much bigger they've gotten!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunshine & Spring flowers

Nothing to say, just sharing... cause these ones make me smile.  :)


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just off center

On our trip to The Lodge the other week we took a trek through the woods while we were walking around.  I was having fun playing with the camera and when I was looking through my shots from our walk I decided it mus have been designated "off center photo" day.  I like them though so I thought I'd share. :)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Lodge

Occasionally we all take the trek to go visit Chris' dad in Sand Lake.  We set up base in the 1970's camper trailer at the top of the hill that has been dubbed "The Lodge."  It is a bit rustic at The Lodge and we go knowing the whole day will be spent outside playing in the field, the little bit or yard, or the woods.  Last year we only ended up there a couple times because it was really hard on me carrying Dani around everywhere, but now that she can walk I'm sure we will make the trek many more times this summer.

Pop got the girls a special surprise... gardening tools!!! They were excited to try out their new kid sized shovel, rake and gardening hoe.

Chris all ready to go make the trek to the woods at the edge of the field to find a good tree for our new tree swing.

If that's not cute I don't know what is. Michaela was so very excited to be able to help hold Dani's hand while we walked through the field to make sure Dani didn't fall on her face.  It always makes me smile to see how much they love each other. :)

Michaela taking a ride on The Original Tree Swing.  You can see my review for this over with SIMPLE, there's even a giveaway for one until the 19th!

And finally, proof that I was there with them all that day.  We needed a photo of us all rocking out our boots, because we don't go to the lodge and wear anything else. :)

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Feeding the Mommas

Within the past few weeks we have had a lot of friends and acquaintances welcoming new additions to their family.  Can I just say that I LOVE all these new babies that I can hold and see but give back when they smell or cry? :)

Anyway, two weeks ago I made 3 of these families some food.  The recipe can be found at Meijer MealBox, just search out "White Lasagna" and you'll find the recipe.  Here's some photos from my making a triple plus batch if the recipe to end up with 4 lasagnas.

I've made this delicious White Lasagna so many times now that I alter the recipe and have learned some tips to help as well.

I've started using freeze-dried garlic and just letting the melted butter coat it before adding the mushrooms and spinach. Freeze-dried garlic is my new favorite cooking secret (not so secret anymore though...).  The recipe calls for white mushrooms, but you can see my preferred baby portabellos to the right.  So tasty!

I always add in about 50% more spinach and mushrooms than the recipe calls for.  Hence my ability to make 4 large lasagnas from a tripled recipe.

8 of the 9 empty Alfredo sauce jars from making this triple batch, and all the yummy filling!  The original recipe calls for 1 cup of reserved sauce (1/2 at bottom of pan and 1/2 on top of last noodle layer).  I'd recommend adding an extra 1/2 cup to that amount to make sure the top noodles are thoroughly covered or they will cook up extremely inedible.

I also suggest getting more than the recommended 15 oz of ricotta cheese and making extra filling so you don't have to scrimp on the cheese layers.  Double it and remember the extra egg for binder.  You may have some left over, but I find that's better than not enough.  To the right you can see 3 of my 4 pan assembly line from that night.  What a project!

Ah, the magic of precooked lasagna noodles.  I HIGHLY recommend getting a disposable baking pan like the recipe suggests.  If you decide to use your own pan DON'T use glass.  The rounded edges make cooking uneven and it won't turn out as well.  Keep in mind any other baking pan than an aluminum one may need more time in the oven as well.

One of the lasagnas topped in all it's glory with mozzarella and shaved Parmesan.  Doesn't the finished product look delicious?  That's because I didn't follow the recipe again & cooked my lasagnas covered with aluminum foil that I've sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  I bake it for approximately 40 minutes, remove the foil and then bake an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese starts to brown.  I found that leaving the top uncovered was another great way to get that top layer of noodles and cheese to completely overcook (it was like chewing leather).

I hope you enjoy, this is a great meal to make and share.  Not only is it hearty and filling, but there are always plenty of leftovers and it's actually better the second day.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hamming it Up

This is what happens when I get my camera out now.  Michaela runs up and wants me to take a picture so she can look at it immediately after, and Dani ignores me for the most part.  I thought these were just too cute and had to share them.

*NOTE: this is a repost from last Thursday 5/12, this post was lost during the issues with Blogger.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Welcome Back Snowbirds!

After Easter my grandparents came back from Florida.  Grandma had decided that the temperatures weren't so cold as to keep her away any longer (plus there were two new great grandbabies to visit!).  After making sure we were a germ free family I took the girls out to see them.  We visited indoors for a while and then Grandma came out with us to play.  She took the girls around the yard and I'm pretty sure that given the choice neither one of my girls would have gone home that night. ;)

Dani checking out the tire swing for the first time with some help from Great Grandma.

I'm pretty sure Nicole was performing her cousinly duties and giving Michaela rope swinging lessons before all the adults came out. ;)

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Friday, May 13, 2011


Driving down the road the other day Michaela asks, "Mom, are dandelions flowers or lions?"

"They're flowers."


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"I'll hold her!""

Dani had just gotten up from her nap the other day and I needed to get up from the couch with snuggling her to take care of something.  Michaela instantly volunteered, "I'll hold her!" and started trying to take Dani onto her lap.

As you can see, Dani was SUPER excited about the whole process. hehehe

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bunny Destruction

Michaela was exceedingly excited about getting a chocolate bunny for Easter this year, talking it up to me every chance she got when we saw one at the store.  Of course, good ol' EB left a hollow chocolate bunny for the girls on Easter morning.  This is the documentation of said bunny's destruction at the hands of one very excited 3 year old girl...

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