Thursday, January 31, 2008

Not to be outdone

Well, normally Colin likes to show his cousin Kelsey the ropes of babyhood. You know, being the older cousin comes with some responsibilities. ;-)

The other day however, Kelsey took it upon herself to try a new activity on her own. So today Colin decided to take his turn at the Johnny Jump Up. And boy, did he have fun! Thanks for the tip Kelsey.

Monday, January 28, 2008

This one's for Stephen & Nicky...

I'm always asked if Brian & Sean are twins since they are so close in age. This is a question my friend Elizabeth is often also asked about her boys, Stephen & Nicholas. Stephen and Nicky love to wear the same outfits - as do my boys.

In the midst of my unpacking I ran across a number of clothes that Elizabeth gave me awhile back, and lo and behold they now fit my boys. So this morning before we headed out to the park I had Brian & Sean pose in their "Foss Fashions". So this one's for you Stephen & Nicky...thanks for being our friends! (PS - To get the boys to smile I had them say "Katie!" - worked like a charm!)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

That's about right...

You Should Be a Politician

Confident, assertive, and dedicated - you know what you want in life and how to get it.
Stubborn and opinionated, you can stand your ground... even if it's unpopular.
And while you have strong views, you never overwhelm people with your opinions.
A true charmer, you subtly influence people into seeing things your way.

You do best when you:

- Work according to your own rules
- Can change the world with what you do

You would also be a good lawyer or talk show host.

HT:Paula over at A Catholic Harvest. She wasn't as successful in her predictions though!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Remember this...

Here's what a lot of blood, sweat & tears hard work will do...
Same view. I know, you can't believe it's the same room, but I assure you that it is. We will no longer need to condemn the playroom. As you can see, the train table has made its appearance in the room with the t.v. in the corner. Along the back wall is the garage for all of their cars and in the other corner we have their kitchen. Along the right wall is the Lego table, the rocking horse, and you can see the corner of the bookshelves.
I'm loving these crates from Target. Each crate holds something different. The bottom shelf is filled with toys and books for Colin. There are also crates for blocks, Duplos, cars, Weebles, farm animals, action figures, Little People and more that I can't remember right now. On the smaller bookshelf are the puzzles, felt boards, and other such things.
Finally, we have the closet. I have placed a shelving unit from Target. This houses our Noah's arks, musical instruments, big cars. You can also see the work bench that Brian got for Christmas last year and the Leap Frog table.

I'm really pleased with how the playroom has turned out. It is just like I pictured it in my mind. Plenty of room for the kids to play and lots of areas to keep their toys organized - well, at least for tonight!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday Lori!

My little sister, Lori turns 30 today. She has been dreading this birthday for awhile now. She even went so far as to say that she would be spending the day crying.

Well, she didn't cry (good girl!) and ended up having a nice day.

30 years ago today, I remember my mom and dad left our house to go to the hospital to have our new baby. As much as I loved my brother, I was thrilled when I found out I had a new baby sister! Lori came home from the hospital with a big shock of black hair - sort of like her daughter Kelsey would do almost 30 years later! The black hair didn't last long, and Lori ended up being my little blond-haired sister. She would follow me everywhere when we were growing up. We would play dolls together. And despite the fact that she had her own room, she slept in my bed with me almost every night.

As I got older, our interests became different because of the 6.5 year difference. She was still playing with dolls and I was interested in boys. But despite the differences, I still adored her. After I went off to college, I remember getting letters from her my freshmen year - ones that I still have. It was so nice having a little sister who missed me.

Oh, and then there was the clothes borrowing when I would come home. I could never find any of my clothes. Oh, I take that back, they were always on the floor in Lori's room!

Lori and I grew apart for awhile. The death of our brother Brian really took an emotional toll on all of us. However, as my dad always said, family will always be there for you when the rest of the world walks away. Lori and I were able to forge a new, adult relationship.

Now Lori is a mom like me. I have never felt closer to her, and am so happy that we live close to each other again and can share the joy of raising our children together. She is not only my sister, but one of my closest friends. Happy Birthday Waddy Bet. I love you so very much!

Check me out world

Where can you find a little man while his mommy is cleaning up? Good thing my little man doesn't weigh that much or he might have broken my cabinet!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Joys of Cooking

Thanks to my sil Terry, I've joined in the fun at the Grocery Game. The purpose is to purchase items only when they are at their lowest prices and to avoid paying full price for anything. I just started stockpiling (think 12 jars of peanut butter!) and the recommended cycle for getting up and running is about 12 weeks, so in another 11 weeks or so, I should be primarily shopping for just sale items as my pantry will (hopefully) be well stocked. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

It really has been a long time since I have consistently been cooking for my family. What with living in the corporate apartment and then the rented apartment (with very limited cooking utensils!) and moving into our new home, our lives have been anything but stable.

Things are beginning to settle into a routine, and with that, my cooking home-cooked meals shall begin again. Another bonus of settling in is that I have found my crock pot. I just love my crock pot and missed it terribly during the long months of exile. Now that we are in the throes of "winter" a nice crock pot meal at the end of the day is a must. Plus, I love that it all cooks in one pot which makes for much easier clean up!

All this is to preface my new and improved meal plan for 2008. I've decided to take off a bit on Elizabeth's seasonal cooking plan and make a 2 week rotation - I don't think Chris would be happy eating the same thing every week. Wednesdays will be a soup and bread night. Fridays will be meatless.Things will get switched out a bit if there is a particular feast day that arises, or if we go out to dinner, so I've left a bit of flexibility in the plan by leaving Sunday open as a free day. This would also work when we head down to see my parents on a Sunday afternoon. So without further ado...our meal plan: (CP=crock pot meal)

Week One
Monday: Beef Stroganoff (CP)
Tuesday: Green Chile Chicken(CP)
Wednesday: Spinach, Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (CP)
Thursday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Friday: Country Catfish
Saturday: Mediterranean Beef Stew (CP)
Sunday: open

Week Two
Monday: Chicken with Lentils (CP)
Tuesday: Chili Mac
Wednesday: Green Chili Soup (CP)
Thursday: Chicken Lasagna Florentine (CP)
Friday: Penne Pasta Con Mozzarella & Asparagus
Saturday: Lemon Pepper Chicken (CP)
Sunday: open

My plan is to rotate this menu through the end of March. At that point I'll come up with another 2 week menu plan for April through June. I'll let you know how the meals go over. If you want any of the recipes, let me know. Happy Eating!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I was over at Elizabeth's blog checking out her latest and greatest (or rather, only!) political post. I went ahead and clicked on over to Candidate Calculator to see who I should vote for this fall. If I didn't know what a particular issue was, I did my due diligence and read up on it. After making all of my decisions on the issues, I clicked on the magic button and waited to see what inspiration would be given to me.

I was told that I should vote for Duncan Hunter. Who???? If the site didn't tell me that he is a Representative from California, I would have thought he might have been my neighbor - and there aren't very many of those! Maybe it's because he was excluded by the media in the last 2 GOP debates that I have no idea who he is. He was an 89.47% match. My runners up were - Mitt Romney (89.47%), Tom Tancredo (85.96%), and Sam Brownback (85.09%). At least I've heard of a couple of those people. And just to show that I'm right on target with my views, Hilary Clinton came in on the Bottom of the Barrel category.

Like Elizabeth, I think I might be more confused now than when I started. I'd better consult with my political analyst!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dressed for drowning

We are back to Colin's Safe Start swimming lessons after a 3 week hiatus - 1 week because he was sick and then we were off for the next 2 weeks for Christmas break.

I wasn't sure how much he would remember after being away from Ms. Carmen and the water for so long. Tuesday (our first day back), he spent the first half of his lesson crying. By the end of it, he was floating on his own again. Wednesday was an even better day. So today he wore his street clothes (t-shirt & shorts) and shoes to his lesson. The premise being that if he falls in, chances are he's going to be in clothes and not in his bathing suit, so we need to make sure he can perform his survival skills while in clothes. Now, keep in mind, Colin doesn't wear shoes. Oh, occasionally I'll put them on him for kicks, but for the most part, my boy goes barefoot. So he's wearing some clunky, over sized sandals in the water. But despite all that, he was a champ today! Tomorrow will be graduation. He'll wear pants, a long sleeve shirt/sweatshirt, socks and sneakers.

I can't say enough about the Safe Start program. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I never would have believed that my little man (or any baby for that matter), would be able to accomplish these life-saving skills. I'm feeling a little better about Colin's safety now.

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Here's a long distance birthday wish to my dear friend, Elizabeth. I wish I could be there to share a cup of tea with you. Know that all of us here in Florida are thinking about you today and wishing you a year of wonderful blessings and graces.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I needed this

My dh just always knows when I need a little pick me up. These arrived today to welcome me to our new home. I love you sweetie.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Bloomin' Breezy

I always seem to be warmer than the rest of my family. So in an effort to try and keep our electric bill in check, Chris gave me this really cool gift for Christmas. It's called the Bloomin' Breezy. It looks like a flower in a pot, as you can see from the picture. But when you plug it into the USB port on your computer, it turns into a mini fan. So as I sit here and type away, I'm cool
as a cucumber - and the rest of my house doesn't need to feel like an ice box.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The end of an era

Colin and I are done with each other. Well, not totally, but our nursing relationship is over. I'm a little sad to miss out on that special bonding time with him, but it seems that now was the time.

Things had been slowing down somewhat towards the end of December and then with closing on the house and the craziness of moving, we lost our rhythm. But it's all okay. Last night we snuggled together in our rocking chair before he went to sleep. And as long as we can still cuddle, we're going to be just fine.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I am so tired of boxes

One day I hope to be free of moving boxes. I'm not sure when that day will be. Chris and I made great headway on unpacking this weekend. Chris worked downstairs, and I tackled the boys' bedrooms.

Our move included a full unpack, but we chose to just have a partial unpack. It was very helpful in getting my kitchen organized quickly.It may not look like it, but everything is in either a cabinet or drawer and is nice and neat. Loving it!

However, there are other areas of the house that should be condemned. Here are some pictures of the playroom and office Just so I can share the pain view with you.

Despite the boxes, I am so insanely happy in my new house. There is room for the kiddos to move around. One day, there will be a big playroom for them to play in and keep their toys from being strewn about the house. Since we are only the 6th family in the neighborhood, there are lots of "fields" to run about in (and areas for Bailey to do her "bidness"). The only thing that is missing is the relationships that I had in VA. You know who you are, and you know how much I miss you!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Moving is hard work

At least Colin thinks so. He fell right asleep in his exerciser. Poor baby.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I thought we left this in Virginia!

Yes, they are calling for snow flurries tonight. In Florida???? I'm glad the movers brought our coats today!