Sunday, February 28, 2010

Some Things Never Change!

Here is a picture of Zeke from this last week where he had fallen asleep with a book. And below is a picture of the same thing when he was still in his crib before he had even turned 2 years old!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Zeke's First REAL haircut

I have been cutting and trimming Zeke's hair since birth. It was easy due to the curls and it was easier than wrestling with him to get in the chair. But he decided he was ready. We had to get haircuts for Noah and Eli because school pictures are this week and next, so Zeke decided he would take a turn, too! He did so good!









Friday, February 26, 2010

Tiger Bike




Zeke has finally been enjoying his Tiger Bike that we got him for his birthday!



Skateboard!

Noah used some his money to get himself a skateboard. He has been diligently practicing on it since!






Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Zeke's Valentines

Zeke's Valentine party was delayed due to the snow day, so he didn't have it until Feb 16th. He was so excited to get to come home and look at all of his Valentine's!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snowcream!

My favorite thing about snow is snowcream! Collect a large pot or pan of snow. Open a can of condensed milk and pour it over the snow mixing thoroughly. You can add vanilla if you want, but really I find it isn't necessary! Just YUMMY!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Strawberry Cake

I love strawberry cake and found this recipe that seemed quite easy and decided to make it for Valentine's. It was very yummy. You need:
1 18 oz white cake mix
1 small box of strawberry jello mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mashed strawberries (preferably fresh but frozen would work)

Strawberry Icing:
1/2 cup mashed strawberries
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar (maybe more if the consistency isn't thick enough)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8" pans or a 13x9 baking dish.
Combine cake mix and jello mix in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil, water, and 1/2 cup strawberries. Beat 2-3 minutes or until well blended. As you can see it is VERY PINK!

Pour batter into baking pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Combine butter and strawberries and 1/2 cup poweder sugar and beat. Continue adding the powdered sugar gradually until you acheieve the desired consistency and the icing is smooth.
Spread icing on cooled cake.

My icing was a little too thin. I wish I would have added a touch more sugar to it. However it was still very yummy! And we enjoyed it very much!


Mercedes Marathon







Tony completed his first Half Marathon! He did the Mercedes on Valentine's Day. He completed it in 1 hour and 53 minutes! Pretty impressive!



Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Day!

Well we finally got a real snow day! K & E rode the bus home with the boys and hung out with us for a while until their mom could get home. Good for their mom and good for the kids to get to play together!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Cookies!

These cookies are fun to make and fun to eat. We made some for the boys' teachers and to take to some widows from our church and on our street. Just use your favorite sugar cookie cutout cookie recipe. Cut a large heart and then a smaller one from the center. Place an unwrapped Jolly Rancher in the center. It will melt while the cookies bake. (use foil) allow the cookies to cool and then gently pull the foil from the cookies! We have also broken the Jolly Ranchers to use 2 colors in the center, which worked fairly well, too!







100,000 miles on the Mitsubishi!


This is a picture of Tony's odometer before he left for work this morning. By the time he gets home it will have crossed the 100k mark. We bought the car new in 2000 right before Noah was born, so we have driven all the miles on this car. After Tony changed jobs in Feb 2007, he no longer had a 40 mile round trip commute because his office is now less than 3 miles from our house. We are hoping we can hold on to this car for at least 3 or 4 more years!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Family Entertainment Budget

We recently have been struggling with helping the kids to understand why we can't always go out to eat or to do various activities. We do these things, but not as often as they would like. Tony and I decided to try something new to help them learn the concept of budgeting. We determined that over the course of 2009 we spent $138 per month, on average for dining out and entertainment. (We were able to quickly get this info from Quicken). However, some things were included in the entertainment category, like what we spent for the bday activities, that wouldn't normally count. Also, we don't want to give them FULL control of our entire entertainment budget! So we decided they would get to help us decide how to spend $75 per month.

We are starting for February. We explained the concept and will track the expenditures on the white board in our laundry room for them to see. Today they wanted to go to the Lego Store (where they all used their own money to buy something!) and eat out lunch at the mall. I like this idea b/c everyone can get what they want. Eli and Zeke ate McDonald's, Noah ate a slice of pizza from Sbarro, Tony ate at Chick-fil-A, and I got a sandwich from McAllister's. Total for 5 lunches: $26. So we have $49 more to spend and 3 weeks! We are going to try really hard to let them make the choices and then when the $ is gone, it's gone. I'll keep you updated on how they do!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls



I love homemade Cinnamon Rolls and I have an excellent recipe that I really love but it seems it takes so much time! Of course, I haven't tried it in a while so I might need to go back and revisit it. However, I saw this recipe on a blog I was checking out http://thehappyhousewife.com/easy-no-rise-cinnamon-rolls/

and thought I would give it a try.

I did use whole wheat flour but I grind wheat to make my own so it is a lot fluffier than store bought whole wheat flour and tastes much more like white. However, even given this, next time I will use half regular white flour to lighten the dough up. I think I will also use a little more milk and reduce the baking time just a tad. I was able to make about 15 cinnamon rolls with this recipe and I forgot to take a picture when I first got them finished. These are the less attractive ones that were leftover after breakfast.I also found that this icing recipe is TOTALLY AWESOME! However, it made enough for about 5 batches of these cinnamon rolls! The blog says you can freeze the leftover icing, so I put muffin papers in my muffin tin and poured the remaining icing into the cups and popped into the freezer. After freezing, these will go into a freezer baggie. I think one muffin cup full of icing is plenty for one batch of these rolls.

I went ahead and made a second batch of the rolls to freeze. After rolling the dough into a long cylinder I cut it into 2 pieces, wrapped in if plastic wrap and then put that into a freezer bag. I will put this in the frig the night before we want to eat the rolls. When I wake up I will slice and bake!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2/3 Publix Shopping Trip - My BEST ever!

This was my best trip ever! Before tax I spend $28.21 and saved $75.21! That is a 72% savings!Here is what I got:
4 Cheez-It $1.59 each
- 2 Q for $1/2
Total $1.09 each
Grapes 1.69 lbs for $3.08
Strawberries $2.99
Little Debbie Valentine Cake $1.79
2 Crackerful at $1.60 each
- 2 Qs for $1/1
total $.60 each
2 Wheat Thins $1.60 each
-$2/2 Q
-$1.50/1 Publix
total $.30 MONEYMAKER!
College Inn Chicken Broth (usually make my own but good to have some) $1.25
-2 $1/1 Q
total $.25 each
Chef Boyardee (kids love this stuff!) $.75 each
- 1 $.35/3 Q, doubled
total $.52 each
Edys Ice Cream $2.65
3 Fisher Fusion Snack Mix $1.79 eac
- 3 $1/1 Q
total $.79 each (also get $1 for each of these from Upromise!)
4 Trix Yogurt $1.39 each
-2 $.40/1 Q doubled
-1 $.80/2 Q
total $.80 each
2 Heluva Dip $1.00 eacj
-2 $.50/1 doubled
Total FREE!
2 Sabra Hummus $2.50 each
-2 $1/1 Q
Total $1.50 each
Smithfield bacon $2.00
- 1 $.55 Q
total $1.45
2 Breakstone Sour Cream $.99 each
- 1 $1/2 Q
total $.50 each
Armour meatballs $5.99
- 1 $.55/1 Q
total $5.44
2 Birdseye Voila meals $2.49 each
- 1 $1/2 Q
Total $1.99 each
$10 off WinnDixie Coupon
for a total of $28.21 before taxes!