Thursday, August 30, 2007

more crazy bounce

Crazy Bounce

I decided to surprise the girls with a trip to crazy bounce today. Nick and some friends were going to a movie and I had to bring them so I would be close to crazy bounce. I've never been there with the kids and the girls have been asking to go there for awhile. The girls had a good time and by the end of the hour they were a sweaty mess. Halle fell asleep in the car on the way home and hopefully sleeps through the night.
1. Halle stuck to the velcro wall
2. Arianna and Halle boxing
3. Arianna stuck to the velcro wall

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New "do"

I found my hot curlers today and I wanted to try them on Halle since her hair has gotten quite long this summer. She is so proud of her curls- I think it turned out really cute. I don't know how often we'll do it because it takes awhile and as you know she doesn't have a lot of sit in her! It'll be nice for special occasions though.

Just for fun

Your Russian Name Is...

Aleksandra Katerina Kozlov

Just so you know- it's not real accurate though because I did Arianna and her's was:
Ksanochka Marisha Novikov

And Halle's was:
Milena Stefanya Ivanov

Funny- those weren't the names on their Russian Birth certificates!!!
have fun!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Too cute!

I was looking through old pictures and found this old picture- aren't they cute- this is us at Yonkers house for New Years 2 years ago. Look at how innocent they both look- it's good to know that they are both still such innocent, well behaved kids- right????????????????????????????????????

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Last Beach outing of 2007

We decided to go to the beach one last time for the summer after church today. I packed a picnic lunch and we headed off. We walked the boardwalk to get to the beach and had lunch and let the kids play on the rocks and they ventured in for a swim. Halle and Arianna went in the water right away. Nick was a little unsure of the temperature but was quickly persuaded when it got quite hot on the sand. They had so much fun! We walked back down the boardwalk for my favorite part of the day- ice cream!! It tasted so good. I figured we deserved it because it's a 5 mile trek there and back. I can't believe we're almost into September already- where does the time go?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My new favorite store

Last night we went out shoe shopping for the kids. Mark's mom always buys the kids new shoes for school. We went to Kohls and they were really picked over. The girls did manage to find really cute shoes in their sizes. Nick didn't have any luck- he needed a half size and no matter what shoe we found that he liked they didn't have the half size. We were later told that their new shipment was coming tomorrow- figures doesn't it!!
So we left and Mark's mom said we'd try again in a couple of days.
We had seen a pair at Payless a while back so Mark and I decided to quick go there to see if we could find them. We got to the mall and to our surprise Payless isn't there anymore. On the way out though we had to walk through Steve and Barry's store.
I've been to a different one a couple of years ago recommended to me by my niece Laura but I've never been back.
This new one is great. We found a pair of shoes extremely similar to the ones Nick liked at Kohls for $15!!!!! And they had half sizes.
We also picked up 2 T shirts for $2 each and I'm heading back when I have more time because they had jeans for $10.
I can't wait to go back and see what great deals I can find there!!

Just a little rain

This is what the night started looking like last night:

After a little while it turned into this:

We had quite a storm last night. We only lost power for about 30 seconds and then it was back on. Of course this time I was all prepared with flashlights and water poured into jugs etc.... Last time we lost power I wasn't prepared and it wasn't so fun.
The girls were scared but we finally got them all in bed sleeping. It was funny because the cable went funny so basically we couldn't watch tv and the internet wasn't working so we just sat there staring at each other. Mark suggested playing cards but it was almost 10:00 anyway so we just went to bed.
This morning it still wasn't working so after a call to the telephone company we had to shut everything down on the power board and then it rebooted and we're all up and running. YEAH!!!!!!
It probably would be good for me to go a couple days without the computer it's sad how much I rely on it (of course strictly for work-hee hee)

Well it's raining again right- now we need it and the grass is getting greener- the kids are quite happy about that- it's not so crunchy on their feet now. Maybe some day we'll have underground sprinkling and we won't have to worry about it so much.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's fair time!

Every year we look forward to going to the fair. We went yesterday. This year we did the reading program again that our library sponsors. For every 90 minutes the kids read they get a free ride up to 5. They also got a free pass to the grandstands and a couple of free things from restaurants.
The kids had so much fun on the rides- they just loved the "rollercoaster" Halle even lifted her hands on this scary ride!!
They loved going through the barns and seeing all the animals.
We came again at night with Mark. We had supper at the fair and then we to the grandstands for the off road racing. So much fun. It was so funny to see how much Halle loved it this year- she and Shaelyn looked so cute cheering on their favorite car!
We also got to participate in my favorite thing about the fair- FAIR FOOD!!!!
Halle got cotton candy- Arianna got popcorn- Nick got fries- I got fries and Mark got an elephant ear- WOW!! I think we had enough fat for about 5 weeks!! But it was soo sooooooo good.
We all had a great time. And now I'm off to do laundry so my sugar induced slumber doesn't take over.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Emeril is my hero!

I don't normally watch Emeril but I had it on the other day and the casserole he made looked really good so I looked up the recipe and I made it for supper tonight.
I wish you could smell my kitchen right now- it smells amazing and the taste (alright-tastes) I snuck are delicious!!!
I can't wait for supper tonight. It wasn't hard to make either.

Penne a La Vodka Casserole

4 T. olive oil
1 pd sweet Italian sausage
4 c. thinly sliced onions
1 3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. basil leaves
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 c. vodka (I omitted this)
2 16 oz cans crushed whole tomatoes with juice
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T. olive oil
1 pd. penne pasta
15 oz. ricotta
1 c. Parmigano cheese
1 1/2 c. grated mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350.
Heat 2 T. olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the sausages and cook, stirring until brown-4-5 minutes. Add the onions 3/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Cook Stirring occasionally until the onions are just soft about 4 minutes. Add the basil and garlice and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the vodka and tomatoes; reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes. Add the heavy cream, stir to mix and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

To cook the pasta, combine 4 qts water the 1 T. olive oil, and the remaining 1 tsp salt in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente- 12-14 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well. Combine half of the ricotta cheese and half of the Parmigiano with the remaining 2 T.; olive in in a large bowl. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the sausage mixture and mix well. Add the remaining ricotta cheese and the remaining Parmigiano cheese and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Bake untill bubbly about 45 minutes.

Oh the relaxation!

I am back and my feet are looking marvelous if I do say so myself! The spa where Julie had gift certificates to was really something. We pulled up and there was a Jaguar in front of the building. It was then that we knew we were going to be out classed here. It was so beautiful. They asked us if we would like a glass of wine while we had our pedicures. Since none of us really care for wine we all opted for water. The leather seats had massagers in them. The pedicure lasted for 45 minutes and was pure bliss. I've had other pedicures before but they don't even compare to this one. I really could have falled asleep!
We went to our favorite pizza place for supper- it was delicious. After eating way too much we went back to the hotel for some hot tubbing and then playing cards.
Lots of laughter and even tears from laughing so hard ensued.

We went to the beach the next day- the weather was perfect and we walked the boardwalk and just sat on the beach for awhile and enjoyed the weather.
We had such a nice time- it's always great to spend time together!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Girls Getaway

Well it's almost time and I can't wait! Julie, Michelle, Brenda and I are heading off tomorrow for a couple of days of relaxation. Julie has very generously offered to share her gift certificates to a spa with all of us. We are all going to get pedicures- which I need desperately!
We are staying overnight at a hotel and will be relaxing by the pool and hot tub.
On Friday we don't have anything specific planned we're just going to play it by ear.
I can't wait.

It's such a blessing to have such good friends in my life- I have been blessed!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Exciting News Here!

Well my baby has passed another milestone! Halle lost her first tooth today. She is so proud of herself because she did it all by herself. She said she was going to do it herself and that she didn't want anyone to watch so off she went to the bathroom. Then we hear this shrieking- I did it!!
She was so excited that's all we heard about for the next 1/2 hour. She kept telling us over and over and running and looking in the mirror.
Now it's going under the pillow for the tooth fairy to visit!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Newlyweds

Well my dad called me last night to tell me he got married yesterday. We had narrowed it down to the fact that we thought it was going to happen this weekend. They beat us to it!
Other than the fact of being a little dissapointed that we weren't there we are very happy about this news. They are so good for each other and they were both so lonely after their spouses died.
It's good to know that they aren't alone anymore!
Welcome to the family Ann- we're thrilled to have you!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Great Chicken Recipe

Awhile back I was browsing other blogs and I apologize I can't remember which one but I found this supper recipe. I tried it tonight and we all loved it- even the kids! Thought I'd share it with you:

Little Italy Chicken Piccata:

4 chicken breasts- pounded
salt and pepper to taste
flour as needed
olive oil as needed
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 T. parsley
juice from 2 lemons
2 T. butter

Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Dredge and flour on both sides. Coat a saute pan with olive oil and heat over a medium-high flame. Cook chicken and saute several minutes until well browned on one side. Flip and continue cooking until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate. Deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up any brown bits that stuck to pan. Add broth, parsley, lemon juice and butter. Return the chicken to the pan and cook briefly in sauce. Bring sauce to a simmer and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

Little Italy Salad

1 T. Dijon mustard
2 t. sugar
3/4 c. water
2 t. minced fresh garlic
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 T. salt
2 c. vegatable oil
pepper to taste
pinch dried oregano

Combine mustard, sugar, water, garlic, vinegar and salt. Pour in blender. Add oil pepper and oregano and blend until all incorporated.

For salad combine 1 head lettuce and slice up 1 red onion, 1/2 package of bacon- cooked and crumbled and shredded cheese.
Just before serving top with enough dressing to coat lettuce. You will have leftover dressing for a later use.

Hope you enjoy it- we all did!

Works For Me Wednesday

Well with summer still forging ahead and the kids all being around each other 24/7 I was in search of some ideas to stop the bickering. I came across this article and found some of it helpful.
Ten Ways to Prevent Kids from Fighting
by Mark Brandenburg, MA, CPCC
Fighting among siblings is as natural as the changing of the seasons. And contrary to what many parents believe, sibling rivalry is a sign of mental health in a family. While there may be times when it's difficult to deal with, there are some simple things you can do to limit fighting and make it tolerable:
1. Ignore Their Fighting
Fighting is often a way for kids to get you to notice them. If you ignore their fighting (unless weapons are involved), there will be less incentive for them to do it.
2. Treat Your Kids the Same When it Comes to Fighting
If you get into who started things, you may be training your kids to be victims and bullies. Put them in the same boat and don't take sides.
3. Give Your Kids Positive Reinforcement when they're Cooperating.
Let them know they're doing a wonderful job when they get along. This one's easy to forget, but vitally important. Give them attention when they're behaving the way you want. Continually telling them to stop may actually be creating more fighting!
4. Limit Your Own Fighting and Arguing.
Having your kids see occasional arguing and "making up" from you is fine, but your kids will learn how to be peaceful from you. Don't expect them to do it well if you don't show them how.
5. Create an Environment of Cooperation.
Do projects together as a family that involve cooperation. Talk about how important it is for the family to cooperate. Avoid games or activities that promote fighting or excessive competition in your kids.
6. Train Your Kids in Peacemaking when They're Away from Conflict.
Talk to your kids about fighting at a time when they're relaxed and open. Ask them about what other options they might have taken rather than to hit their sister. Help them to brainstorm better solutions.
7. Try to Avoid Punishing your Kids
Punishing kids usually just creates angry kids who are more likely to fight. While some punishment may be inevitable, do your best to give consequences instead. Punishment may bring short term solutions, but will also bring long term problems.
8. Control How You React to their Fighting.
When you must intervene, make sure you stay calm. If you're angry and shaming, you actually make it more likely that fighting will occur again.
9. Limit the Number of Fighting Opportunities You Give your Kids.
Think about what has the potential to start fights. Don't buy a red ball and a blue ball, this may easily result in a fight by your kids. Buy two red balls--no fight. Be familiar with the times in which fighting occurs the most-when they're hungry or tired. Take precautions, like having dinner ready before the "bewitching hour" occurs.
10. Love Your Kids for All They're Worth
Every day tell them you love them, and more importantly--show them. Kids who feel emotionally connected to their parents are the least likely to fight. This won't eliminate it, but the alternative isn't pretty at all.

If you want some other helpful tips head on over to Shannons.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cute but oh so naughty!

Isn't this just the epitome of innocence??!!


Here's the story...
Last night Mark and Nick went to Grandpa's to pick up his table that he so generously gave us. While they were gone the girls decided they wanted to go swimming. I said ok but then noticed that they had already let Mack out of his kennell. We don't allow him to be out while anyone is using the pool because if he jumps up on the pool it will be history.
So the fun began. Mack doesn't kennell up nicely for anyone other than Mark or Nick-apparently us girls are too far down on the authority chain for him to listen to.
Well he actually did pretty well and after not too long we got him kennelled up.
The girls swam for a little while, came in and were drying off when I looked in the back yard and Mack was running around. I asked the girls why they let him out again. They didn't realize they did right away and then I see the shed door is open.
Well there's 2 ways to let him out- his kennell door or if you open the shed door and then inside open up his sleeping area he can walk right out. That's what happened. The girls forgot after we kennelled him up that when they let him out the first time that's how they had let him out (opening up the other 2 doors)

Well I told Arianna to get dressed to help me and we go out. Mack is barking away and I'm thinking oh no what is he into. Well I soon found out.
I went down underneath our deck and in the wood chips he's digging like crazy. I didn't even want to look because there are baby birds around there. I was sure he had one because I saw him pick something up with his mouth. I was dying because there was no way I was going to pick up a dead animal and dispose of it. It turns out to be a toad- that I believe is still alive. I'm calling him like crazy and of course he won't listen.
I grabbed the hose and prepared to spray him in hopes of getting him away from there.
It worked!!!!!!
He walked- no ran- away from there and ran to the slider door by the hot tub and started barking again and I looked and now he's messing around with a SNAKE!!!
What is going on- we don't have snakes in our back yard!!

So I sprayed him again and got him closer to the kennell but of course he won't go in. At this point I'm getting pretty ticked off because he won't listen and oh yeah by the way Arianna is helping me and she grabbed the hose and sprayed but kind of missed Mack and got me! (It's funny now but not then!)
I finally ran in the garage and grabbed the leash and actually caught him long enough to hook him on and drag him to the kennell- and when I say drag I mean drag- this is 100 pounds of dog and he thinks it's funny when he doesn't want to kennell up to just lay on his back and wait for a tummy rub and he won't stand up. Can't you just see me trying to get him to stand up! We finally made it though.
Why do these things always happen when Mark isn't around??
Good thing that dog is cute!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Pool fun

Nick found this crocodile blow up floater in the barn the other day. The girls were so excited. So excited that they wouldn't come in for supper. We ended up eating without them and they were told they missed supper and they could come in and eat supper but because they didn't listen they were not getting any bedtime snack that night. They came in and Arianna ate nicely but Halle wasn't happy about the stew I made for supper. She said if she ate it she would get sick- so nice when they appreciate your supper! We then all proceeded out to the pool and they were having to take turns with one of the other toys. It was Arianna's turn and Halle was being cranky about it. She ended up having to sit on the ladder until she could be nice. All of a sudden I hear her say:
"She just makes me so miserable!" I had to turn around because I was chuckling. Mark ended up handling the situation. Where does she come up with this stuff- no I've never said that about them!

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Here's your chance to sign up to win some big things!

Over at Ashwin’s blog, you will find one crazy blog owner!! You can win $2500!! To enter just copy this text and paste it in your blog!! But hurry, this competition will not last long! So get posting! The deadline is August 20.

5 Minutes for Mom
is giving away an Insignia 37" flat-panel LCD HDTV. What a great prize , go leave a comment at 5 Minutes for Mom by August 17. (Thanks to Best Buy for sponsoring such a great contest!)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Would this be a blonde moment?????

Lets just say you drive up to your normal gas station and you see some strange brown bags over the gas pump. Do you continue on to another gas station or figure this is just maybe some new precaution the gas station is starting??

I'm just curious because this happened to my niece---I'll let her remain nameless:
or not:::::::


So she parks her car gets out takes the paper bag off the pump and proceeds to start pumping gas. Oddly enough it was taking a very long time. After it taking forever she got frustrated and stopped after pumping $4 and had to go inside to pay.
The lady inside doesn't speak very much English and didn't say anything to her but I would have loved to know what she was thinking.

I'm not sure but I'm thinking this might have been a little bit of a blonde moment.
We still love you Katelyn- what would we do without you adding a little humor to our lives!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Need a little laugh?

If you want a quick chuckle- go check out BooMama

I just love her humor!

Time keeps flying by

I can't believe it's August already! I think we only have about 4 weeks till school starts up again. This summer in some ways has been the longest summer of my life, but in other ways it's flown by.
Arianna and Halle are ready for school to start again- Nick not so much. He doesn't mind school but this year it's the start of high school and I'm sure the nerves will be kicking in soon. I remember being so scared to start high school- new building to find your way around, new people, new teachers etc....
I can't believe I have a child in high school- I'm not that old am I??
Today I'm taking the kids to Walgreens for backpacks- they have them on sale this week. We'll see how they look when I get there. Saturday I'll have to hit Target for school supplies. It always amazes me every year how much we have to buy- it seems like every year the list gets longer.
Tomorrow we head out to the beach to visit Terri so I'll see you all back on Monday- Have a great weekend!