Thursday, July 31, 2008


Just a note to say that we are home now from vacation....can you believe that I learned to "blog" on the road???? Let's just say, I'm thankful for a nearby library where I could set up shop and write!! More vacation pictures tomorrow, just wanted to show you what was above us on the way home....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Farm

This weekend, we took our guests to visit a little farm/shop near our home. It's a very unique place....a nice place for them to find a gift for the wedding they were attending!! The farm boasts interesting flowers and home decor but Anna liked the unusual chickens.....very fancy...

Mrs. Stromme found lots of things that she liked....

They even had unusual things like this.....
What a fun place to have so close to home!!! Jill

Monday, July 28, 2008


Our good friends from Minnesota came to visit us this weekend!! Actually Brent was officiating a wedding at our church and they stayed at the Peterson Bed and Breakfast all weekend!! We had a blast with them....they're so FUN!!
Both our boys and their boys were a little apprehensive about meeting and spending time together but after about 2 minutes, they were swimming together and throwing a ball around-just having a great time. They all have so much in common ; school, sports, etc. The Stromme's used to live in our area when the boys were little and they really enjoyed "running into" friends at the wedding. Unfortunately, they had to leave this morning and head back to Minnesota. What a great family!!! Jill

Friday, July 25, 2008


We've had a bunch of fun this week. Let me show you what we've done... Some friends visited us from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. They were neighbors of ours when we lived in our old neighborhood....They only had 1 little girl when I knew them.... now check them out!!

They stayed only a few hours but it was just like old times.....good friends are like that....
Later that afternoon we were invited to a party given by friends of ours to benefit children who live in the inner city. We brought fun things like squirt guns, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk to give to those kids, hoping it would make their summer a little better.

The party included some bounce houses... oh yes, a craft table too.
a play area for the kids....
Face painting...
and plenty of squirt gun fights......
It was too bad that we could only stay for an hour or so--we had a baseball game that night, but it was sure fun while it lasted!!! Jill

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tasty Thursday....

My son asked for this recipe the other night. He wasn't sure of the name but he had a unique way of asking for it. He said "Mom, you should make that chip dip that looks awful but tastes great." Hmmm.....I knew the exact recipe he was talking about......

Chicken Fiesta Dip (appetizer)

2 (13oz. ) cans chicken breast
2 c. salsa
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 package dry taco seasoning
1 small can of chopped black olives

Mix all ingredients together and heat in the microwave. Transfer to a small crockpot to keep hot. Serve with tortilla chips.
Note: This can be made as spicy as you like depending upon the salsa and seasoning you like. Enjoy! Jill

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's a miracle!!!

It IS a miracle!! Can you see the tooth coming through the gums??? Well, it's a permanent tooth that was encased in a cyst way up in Andrew's gums. We could never figure out why this tooth never came in until we did a special x-ray and found the cyst.....with the tooth INSIDE of it.

Once we discovered the problem, we had a couple of different options. Andrew could have gum surgery to dissect the cyst inside and then hook a chain to the tooth to pull it down gradually OR we could leave it there in the gums , or we could just have the surgery and take the tooth out. Decisions, decisions.

Thankfully we have a great dentist and oral surgeon and they both suggested that we try to save the tooth. So, 2 years ago Andrew had the surgery to remove the cyst and hooked a chain to the tooth...... he had braces put on to hold open the spot where the tooth would come in. So, for the last 2 years he has gone to the dentist monthly to have the chain tightened to pull down that tooth gradually, keeping in mind, of course, that we didn't know if the tooth would be a "normally shaped and colored tooth". Well, as you can see IT IS!!!! Andrew has been so brave throughout the whole ordeal and PATIENT!! I feel like we've fought an battle and WON!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Baseball & Swimming

Our weekend started out with baseball Friday night and Saturday morning. The season is winding down and we're playing all of those "make up" games at odd times. Both games were against the same team and Andrew's team won on Friday night, but lost on Saturday...go figure. I do know that it was a fun game to watch because Ben had the chance to play on Andrew's team for both games....I think they kinda like the fella....and he can play really well too!! As you can see in this picture, #6 has his rally cap on (inside out) that would be Andrew. If you look slightly above his head, you can see Ben getting ready to bat. How often do we get to watch 2 sons playing in the same game???Hardly ever- so it was fun!!! Not to mention the awesome parents that we sat with at the game....they are very entertaining too!!

Ben and Luke stayed over night with some friends on Saturday night and had the chance to go here on Sunday for our friend's church picnic. It's a man-made lake that's chlorinated......which means they didn't have to worry about any fishies nibbling their toesies. (because they worry about those things, ya know....)
but the boys had to leave the chlorinated pond early because Luke had his baseball team's party at the coach's house. At his team's party, the coach gave every player a nickname to reflect something about that player's season. Well, Luke got the nickname "happy feet" because he had some trouble staying in the batters box while at bat at the beginning of the season. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy with that nickname, but managed to yell it out before he jumped off the diving he is.....
I just feel so thankful for the great friends that we have and the wonderful opportunities that we are blessed with.... We have a great life!!! Jill

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cheerleading performance

The kids are finishing up summer school this week and what a blessing it's been!! Ben has taken cartooning and Kids in the kitchen, Luke loves indoor/outdoor games and Kids in the kitchen and Anna has been involved in Indoor/outdoor games, fun with computers and Cheerleading class! Don't those sound like fun??

Anyway, because it is the last week, the Cheerleaders had a little performance for the parents to watch. Here are some highlights... (keep in mind, the pictures are not the best because lighting in the gym is terrible)

Here she is....cheerleading extraordinaire..... not sure what the foot is doing...but she was so proud of all the new moves....

Here's the group shot during the performance.... notice the precision and accuracy that these 4, 5 and 6 year olds have.....ahem....

and here's the group shot afterward....they are lovin' the pom pons!! Nice performance, Anna!!!
What a fun class!! Jill

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tasty Thursday

Here's a nice recipe for these hot, humid days....enjoy!

Cashew Chicken Salad

4 to 6 large chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks
2 small cans pineapple tidbits, drained
3 stalks of celery, chopped
salt & pepper to season
Miracle whip
chow mein noodles

Mix first five ingredients and chill in the refrigerator. Just before serving add some chow mein noodles and cashews.....Yum! Jill

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Recycling. It's a sticky issue at our house. I LOVE to recycle boxes...cardboard boxes.... cereal boxes in particular. They're just so easy to break open each end and flatten out into a nice flat sheet and stick it on the side of the recycling bin....wa-la! What could be easier. What can I say, it brings a little joy to my day to recycle boxes... (Yes, I know I'm weird, but you already knew that!!)

My hubby, on the other hand, likes to recycle aluminum cans. Not just soda cans, but canned goods the green beans, corn etc. He likes to wash them out and put them in the recycling bin. He has a hard time figuring out why I don't like to recycle cans. Way too that even a word???? He actually wants me to STOP recycling cardboard or at least stop putting it in the recycling bin. What is he, a joy stealer??????

Actually, he's not. Here's what happens..... Little Miss Naughty Dog finds the recycling bin in the garage while she's busy hunting down birds and squirrels in our yard, and this is what happens...

I guess he's not a joy stealer, he just is tired of seeing chewed up cardboard laying in the yard!!! I guess if this is the only thing we disagree upon, we're doing good!!!! Jill

Monday, July 14, 2008

Divide and Conquer

It was a weekend spent apart for John and I. Luke had a huge tournament for his U9 team just north of us about an hour and a half. Considering the fact that there were only 2 "9 year olds" on the team....the rest were 7 and 8, John thought they did pretty well!! They lost their 1st and 3rd games, but decided to stay in the hotel another night, just to swim and have fun with the other families. I guess the pool(indoor) at the hotel was packed until around midnight!!! They were tired pups the next day..... Here's Luke up to bat...
I, on the other hand, spent the weekend at home with Andrew and Anna..(Ben was with John). Anna had a birthday party/sleepover and Andrew and I spent some time out of town for Andrew's double header on Saturday. Here's a picture of his team warming up....yes, there he is in the outfield...all by himself.
Obviously we were short a few players...2 to be exact, so some players from the other team actually played on our team for the 1st game. We lost that game.

I made a phone call, and a friend of mine brought her son up to we graciously gave back the other teams duds players and played with just 8 players, our own. Andrew covered left field and left center field and the other fielder covered right field and right center field. Andrew did a fabulous job!! He made a ton of catches in the field!

I told him between games that he "T.C.B." He looked at me kinda strange. "What does that mean, Mom?" he questioned. I told him..."You Took Care of Business". He was silent for a minute and then said "I don't do 1970's acronyms!" I laughed!!! Later we will have to down load Aretha Franklin's song, "respect" (that's where T.C.B. originates :)
Oh yes, they won the second game by a big margin! Hooray!

Maybe he did so well because earlier in the day we went here (at his begging request)....check out the HUGE breakfast!!!!
and yes, he invited his sister to play checkers while waiting for our breakfast!!!
What a nice brother, don't you think???? Jill

Friday, July 11, 2008

Just Keepin' it Real....

Well, I have 3 boys and the type "A" does NOT share a room with these 2 other guys!! It's a good thing or he would go NUTS!! Looks like they have a little work cut out for them, hey?? Enjoy the weekend!! Jill

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Try it, you'll like it!!

I was telling a friend of mine about a new recipe that I had tried for dinner and that it was a big hit at our house. She encouraged me to "put it on the blog" so here goes....

Ground Beef and Mashed Potato Casserole
1 can (14.5 oz.) green beans, drained
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 can of tomato soup
mashed potatoes (enough for an inch thick layer)
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350. Put green beans in bottom of a 9 x 9 baking dish. Top with a layer of ground beef, layer tomato soup and a layer of mashed potatoes. Dot top with butter and sprinkle with paprika. Cover with foil, bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. ( Remove foil for the last 5 minutes to lightly brown the top.)

** Notes.... Of course, I doubled the recipe (using a 9 x 13) because I live with teenaged boys..... I also used the refrigerated bag of mashed potatoes to make it easy....also, I did not dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika.....and they still liked it!! Yea!! Some people in my house liked this with ketchup on top......ahem.....

This recipe was taken from a great book called "Apple Betty & Sloppy Joe...stirring up the past with Family recipes and Stories". IF you have any yummy recipes for me to try, please email them to me.....I'll try them!!! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'll go to the library next time...

I had totally forgotten.... I had totally forgotten how much my older boys LOVE to read!! I made a trip to Barnes and Noble the other day and spent quite a bundle of money on books for the kids but, this guy polished off a 400 page book in 1 day and Ben polished off 2 of his huge chapter books within a week. They love to read....I'm so thankful!!! Needless to say there is a lot of reading going on at our house these days!

and this guy was hanging out at the ball park last night because his game was canceled and was asked to play on Andrew's baseball team because they were short a player. Let me tell you... it was fun to watch!! Ben was GREAT!! He made some plays and hit the ball just like all of the other BIG boys....did I mention that Ben is three years younger than those boys???

The coach kept telling the team. "the only guy hitting the ball is the little guy"...I'm sure they didn't appreciate that. The real kicker was when the coach put Ben in the infield to play(2nd base) and Andrew was stuck out in the field all game. OUCH!!! Andrew was a good sport...and he made 2 fabulous plays out in left field too. All in all, it was a great night at the ballfield!! Jill

Monday, July 7, 2008

No hoopla

What a gorgeous holiday weekend....and we didn't do a thing!!! I guess you could call us unpatriotic, I guess you could call us fuddy duddies, but we did not see a single parade this weekend or fireworks. We just sat on our patio and tried to BE STILL and relax.

There were a few projects around the house that needed to get talk with your friend by speaker phone for an hour while you're playing Webkins so you can meet up in one of the game rooms and play "go fish".
and Mr. P thought that it was a beautiful day to get outside and wash and wax those I came home from the grocery store and saw this.......
Here's the line up........
Andrew paid special attention to detail while waxing HIS car..... (you would never guess that this guy eats cookies for breakfast, and has a terrible junk food habit......LUCKY!!)
and finally, this girl got out of washing cars and was able to spend the day with a friend.....and played in the sprinkler at her house.
In truth, I guess we did "do" things, just not the typical 4th of July things..... it was a GREAT weekend. Have a fabulous Monday!!! Jill

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happiness Is...

Happiness is sitting on your patio on July 3rd when it's 65 degrees outside, while enjoying your new patio furniture, playing footsie with your hubby.... Happy Independence Day!! Jill

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Good Times, Good Times.....

Well, my parents left for home yesterday and all is quiet here now and back into the summer routine. Just wanted to show you some of the things that we did while they were here. John took the day off and joined us on our trip to Cabela's. He was being goofy and tried on these lovely the jewels!!!
Andrew found an interesting item...
We took them to a popular town nearby and let the kids play at the park...
I liked this sign....
and we stopped here to get a giant caramel apple...they were buy one, get one free!!! Yes, I got yelled at by the owner to stop taking pictures..... Oh Well...
We had a great visit with Grandma and Grandpa....we're so thankful for them! Lots of great memories were made and we certainly had lots of laughs!!! Jill

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lots of laughs and a haircut

We had plenty of laughs parents and I. The morning started out with grandma discovering that her hairspray had spilled inside her bag and all over her shoes....that makes for sticky shoes and a pretty rigid shoelace!!!! She's a good sport though...she laughed about it!

We also had a funny incident coming home from Costco where Grandma was sitting in the backseat of the car and Grandpa was sitting in the front passenger seat. Grandpa's phone started ringing and it was Grandma from the back of the car.....she claims she was adjusting the volume of her phone, but maybe that's the new way they communicate......hee hee.

We took this photo right before we left for Costco in the morning....isn't it a good one???
We had a relaxing afternoon and then ended the day with Grandpa reliving his college days in which he was the guy who gave everyone a "buzz" cut....he gave Luke a haircut outside on the driveway.....but I made him put a #2 attachment on so it wasn't so short......
As you can see, we're having a good time...more Grandparent adventures tomorrow..... Jill