Sunday, December 23, 2007

Flu Must-Haves for 2007

Fuzzy jammies to wear for the chills even though a fever has your skin on fire? Check!
Ponytail and headband to keep throw up out of your hair? Check!
Soup, crackers, and 7-up? Check, Check, and Check!
Crashing at the end of a long day of movie watching? Check!
We've got it all this holiday season. Poor Gracie started throwing up around nine o'clock last night and finally stopped about 11:30 this afternoon. Luckily she is old enough now to know when she needs to run to the bathroom, but it still breaks your heart to watch them go through it all. Even though she stopped getting sick, she still felt pretty yucky for the rest of the day. I guess the bright side is that it happened today instead of Tuesday morning. That would have been a fun 6 1/2 hour car ride to Indiana! I'm hoping this is just a 24 hour bug that will go away by Christmas morning. I guess we will just wait and pray it out!
(By the way, can you tell that Scottie is on break? He is playing the Wii and watching a movie on his lap top at the same time. Oh well, he has definetly earned it!)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gracie's letter to Santa (word for word)

Dear Santa,
I wish I could have a real pony and a real cat. And I wish I could have a really good bunny that could hop and eat carrots at lunch and he would eat lots and lots of carrots and grow if he was a baby and we would love him. Have a good Christmas Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

*She's made Christmas shopping so easy for us this year. :0 Yeah right!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Trying to catch up

I have been really bad about posting lately, so I'm trying to play catch up. I still have pictures from Thanksgiving to post. I know all the grandparents have been wanting to see video clips of Gracie's Christmas program, so I put them on first. It was this past Sunday night. She did a really good job. She said she wasn't nervous at all. I can't believe she got up there and sang a solo! She really enjoyed it, I wish I had her nerves of steel. She LOVES to sing, but she hasn't quite figured out how to sing in tune. Unfortunately she caught a nasty cold this weekend, which didn't help matters. But then again she is only four and I'm just proud of her for having the guts to sing in front of everyone. I was also proud of her for memorizing her lines, she knew them by heart since the second week of practice. She was so determined to learn her lines and solo, I just wish she was that determined to have good behavior at home. Oh well, you can't have it all. :)

Jumping to the microphone

Gracie Singing

Christmas Program

Fun in the snow!

We have the best backyard for sledding. We don't really have a yard in the back, it's just a hill. It is a pain to mow in the summer, but it is great in the winter! Grace loves getting out in the snow. She had a blast sledding and "painting" the snow. You just put a little bit of food coloring and water in a squirt bottle, and then spray the snow. She chose red for the color. By the time we went in it looked like a few small animals had been slaughtered in our backyard. Maybe we will go for a different color next time. The second picture is Gracie trying to sled while the neighbors dog was running around. We love Sasha, unfortunately Kingsley doesn't so he had to go inside while we played. The last picture is me showing off my unique wintertime style. I didn't have any boots, and I wanted to keep the snow out of my shoes. Scottie laughed at me and I think he was a little bit embarassed to be seen with me, but I don't care my feet didn't get cold. I may be wrong, but wasn't it in style in the 80's to tuck your jeans into your socks? I'm just trying to bring sexy back! :)

Cookie Time

Gracie and I made sour cream cookies with homemade frosting the other night. At first I was kicking myself for suggesting to make these, I usually HATE rolling out dough for cookie cutters. In fact I was having a mini breakdown while I was talking to mom on the phone because the dough kept sticking to the counter. I finally worked in enough flour and we were able cut out the cookies. We had a blast decorating them. Scottie even got in on the action and made a really good Patrick the starfish cookie. (That's a Spongebob character in case you didn't know) Grace did a great job frosting the cookies, although she had a pretty heavy hand with the sprinkles. :) I thought it would be cute to take some pictures of her in front of the tree. About 30 seconds after the last picture she stood up and all the cookies slid off the white plate. We would have used the 5 second rule ( I had just swept the floors) but Kingsley sheds so bad that the cookies were already covered in dog hair! I was so upset. Not only did we work hard to make them, now we only had half of them to eat. Let me tell you, they were GOOD!! These are so much better than regular sugar cookies. But the best part was making cookies and listening to Christmas music with Grace. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fall Friends

This is a shout out to my twin Carrie who loves fall as much as I do. I know we don't look like twins, but trust me everything else about us is pretty much the same. We have a habit of saying the same thing at the exact same time, and of course using the same tone of voice. Maybe it came from the many hours we spent in her car driving to our education method classes, or driving to bible study every Wednesday night, or hanging out at the CASA coffee house. Here is a perfect example of our sameness (is that even a word?): for our social studies method class we had a homework assignment to draw our vision of what a s.s teacher would look like. We went to our separate apartments to do the assignment, and yes we came to class with the exact same drawing. I'm sure I have a hundred more examples, but you get the picture. We had a lot of good times in college!
*Anyway, Carrie and I both have a love for all things fall, but especially anything to do with pumpkins! So I wanted to post my favorite pumpkin food for her and anyone else who loves fall like us. I really miss you Carrie!!! Love ya!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
3 1/3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
2 cups pumpkin pie filling
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the ingredients in the order listed. Bake in 3 ungreased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour & 15 minutes (although I usually check at about 1 hour) Let stand for 25 minutes. Turn onto cooling rack to cool.

*You can also use this for muffins. Make one or two loaves and use the rest for muffins.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I know this picture is a blurry, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of the creepiest store window in Kirksville. (maybe the entire country) It's a medical supply store here in town. Every month they decorate their "models." It is hysterical! They are advertising some kind of nighttime breathing aid. It's only natural that Darth Vader would be helping someone with a breathing mask. It's so creepy. I feel like it's a cross between Star Wars and Silence of the Lambs. I will post a picture each month because everyone needs a laugh every once in a while! :)
Scottie wanted me to blog about his creepy experience this morning. After their test this morning he was standing in the hallway with his classmate Cory. He said a lady (stranger) who appeared to be in her early to mid 50's came walking up to them. She was wearing a completely white outfit with a big yellow cardboard circle on her stomach. She also had a pair of devil horns and a tail. She walked up and said "Guess what I am?" Cory said a goddess, he really had no idea. She gave them a hint " I'm food." Finally they got it, she was a deviled egg. Isn't that strange? But the strangeness doesn't stop there my friends. She came back a few minutes later to give them... a deviled egg. Scottie lied and said he doesn't eat them. I don't think I blame him. I'm pretty sure every parent has given their child the classic Halloween warning : Don't take deviled eggs from strangers! She said she felt stupid for dressing up and handing them out. My question is: who made you? and why deviled eggs?! If she felt the need to dress up and pass out treats she could have put on a silly hat and gave out normal candy. There are some days that make me enjoy living in Kirksville. Today would be one of those days.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Drumroll please.....

We found out yesterday that we will be moving to Bloominton Normal, IL in July. We knew Dayton was too far out of reach so we made some changes to our six choices. Bloomington Normal was our second choice. Our first choice was Wyandotte,MI. Scottie really liked the hospital there, and it looked like a really neat place to live. But we didn't get it. We were both a little sad when we found out. Then we remembered that we had prayed the night before the match and asked God to send us wherever He wanted us. So we have to believe that Illinois is the right place for us to be next year. After the initial shock wore off I started looking at all the positives of moving to Bloomington Normal. Of course the number one positive is that we will be so much closer to family. Gracie is really excited about that!! She keeps asking us when we are moving. I don't think she really understands the whole concept just yet. The second plus is that we found out our friends Nate and Debbie are moving there as well. I am really excited! They are originally from Fort Wayne,IN. Debbie is the only real friend I have here. As most of you know I hate to talk on the phone and I am weird about calling people. For some reason I have no problem calling her, which is a great friendship for me to have! We all go to church together and we try to meet for lunch at Debbies every Monday. They have a boy who will be three soon, and a one year old boy. Grace and Addison play together all the time. We've watched the boys for them when they've wanted to go out or have something to do, and they are the first people we would call if we needed someone to watch Gracie. So moving there with them will really make this a great experience. It will be nice to already have a friend in a new town.

Here are a few of the things that have me most excited about Bloomington Normal:

Oh how I have missed you. I am counting down the days until we will be together again!

No more clothes from Wal-Mart... and that's all I have to say about that.

I can smell the chicken parmigana right now. I just drooled on my sleeve, I better stop looking at this picture.

This is the one thing I will need in order to enjoy all of the above. Anyone know where I can get one of these?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fall Party

Gracie's preschool had a fall party last night. The kids got to dress up and there were a couple of games to play. They also got to decorate pumpkin shaped cookies. Gracie got a lot of compliments on her kitty costume. This is the cheapest halloween costume we've ever bought. The ears, bowtie, and tail were $3.00 at Wal-mart. We just bought a black leotard and tights to go with it. She looks so cute!! Scottie painted some whiskers and a black nose on her.
This is a picture of Gracie with her "boyfriend" Landon. Well... she told me the other day that he isn't her boyfriend anymore. Then she said "I just decided that I'm everyone's girlfriend. Wait, wait, I didn't mean to say that. I'm just everyone's friend." Sometimes it feels like I am talking to a twelve year old instead of a preschooler.
This is Gracie doing the cupcake walk. She finally won a cupcake after SEVERAL walks around the rug. It was a cute game.
This is Gracie's favorite teacher Miss Jenny. She loves all her teachers, but she talks about Miss Jenny the most. The other little girl is Catherine. They are always playing together when I pick Gracie up from school. I think eveyone had a good time at the party. I really like her school. The teachers are so sweet and do so many fun things with the kids. I'll be sad when she has to leave it this summer.

Monday, October 15, 2007


My mom's birthday present to Grace this year was a trip to the American Girl store in Chicago. Gracie and I rode the train from Kirksville to Chicago. It was so much fun. I highly recommend taking the train! It took less time than driving, and if Gracie was hungry or had to go to the bathroom I didn't have to waste time pulling into a gas station. It was very relaxing for both of us, I loved it!! When we got into Union Station downtown I had to figure out a way to get to the hotel. I was looking at the bus routes when I decided to just pay for a cab. Best decision of the day. We just got in the car, held on for dear life, and arrived at the hotel without having to look at one street sign! Mom met us there later and then we walked to Navy Pier. I took some pictures but they came out really dark, so I didn't want to post them. Gracie liked walking by the water and seeing the boats. We walked a lot and she got blisters on her feet, so that put a bit of a damper on the evening. We didn't go swimming because she didn't want to get her blisters wet. Poor thing!!

Here we are at the American Girl store. This place is amazing! It has three floors of shopping. It's so hard not to buy everything you see, except when you look at the price tag then it get's pretty easy to restrain yourself. Gracie was hilarious. Without any prompting she started walking around the store and pointing at things like a model from the Price is Right. Saying things like: "Here we have dollies sleeping in their sleeping bags. Here is a dress for you to wear." She even said in an adult voice: "And if you would just turn around Nana, you will see Niki and her horse." We couldn't stop laughing at her. I have no idea where it came from!

You can make reservations at the cafe for brunch, lunch, or dinner. We were there for brunch. Everything is decorated in black, pink, and white. The lamp shades are covered in hot pink flowers, the chairs are black with pink circles and a big white button on the back, and they offer black and white chairs for you baby to use at the table. Grace brought her itty bitty baby with her. The napkin rings are black and white scrunchies that you can take home. Grace used her's as a headband for itty bitty. The food was pretty good, and we were able to sit by the window and look out at downtown Chicago! Our waiter was unique. He had a little pony tail with wispy bangs. I told mom that is would take a "special" kind of guy to wear a black and pink apron and serve heart shape pancakes to little girls. But he was nice and we enjoyed our brunch.

I hate that this picture of mom and Grace is fuzzy. But you can tell by their faces that we had a good time! Thanks mom!!

More Chicago

Here are a few more pictures from the store and dowtown. After brunch we saw the bitty bear show. There is a little bear that comes with all the itty bitty dolls, like the one Gracie is holding. She is sitting with bitty kitty, bitty bear, and bitty puppy. She was scared of them during the brunch, but I think watching them in the show made her a little more comfortable.

She got a little cake because we were celebrating her birthday. Our waiter lit the candle and sang happy birthday. Your birthday isn't complete until you have a "pretty" man with a pony tail sing happy birthday using a spanish accent and a femine flare!
Doesn't it look like bitty baby is watching her? It's cute and creepy all at the same time! The little flower pots had white mousse with oreo cookies crumbled on top. It was soooo good. I couldn't eat very much, it was too much sugar for the morning!

I forgot to flip the picture, so you will have to turn your head to see this one. Gracie is sitting in front of the old water tower in dowtown Chicago. She is holding her new American girl doll Niki. She is the 2007 doll. Her story is about raising horses and training a service dog. Since Grace is such an animal lover, Niki was the perfect doll for her. She even looks like her a little bit. She really wants the $65 horse that accessories Niki. Yeah right! Grace was bandaging up it's leg and brushing it's hair. If it wasn't so expense I would have gotten it for her. Maybe we can find one at Wal-Mart and cut up an ace bandage for her to use. She'll never know the difference. (Well... knowing Grace she will know the difference but she will just have to deal:)

After the American Girl store we did some more shopping on the mile and ate lunch. This picture shows how exhausted she was that afternoon. She fell asleep holding her new Sleeping Beauty toys she got from the Disney store. What a way to celebrate your birthday!! :)

Even More...

These are pictures of us hanging out with my Uncle Chris, Aunt Christine, and my cousins Mason & Colton. They live in a suburb just outside of Chicago. Gracie had a lot of fun with Colton. Unfortunately we didn't see a lot of Mason, he was really busy with football stuff. Although we were able to get him to come with us to the pumpkin farm. I'm sure that is what every high school guy wants to do on a Saturday! :) This farm was so cute. It had a ton of pumpkins!! There was a petting zoo, a haunted house, and a corn maze. The only problem was that is was almost 90 degrees!! It's hard to get into the fall mood when there is sweating dripping down your back. We still had a lot of fun.

Monday, September 24, 2007

More Pictures!

Here are some pictures from Gracie's birthday party. You may have to click on the pictures to see them better. The first picture is of Grace and her best friend Gabby. I could just cry when I look at this picture. It seems like yesterday that they were in the nursery together at church. Everytime the girls see each other they run up and give each other a big hug. It is so cute. Gracie misses her so much. The second picture makes me laugh everytime I look at it. The kids had found a giant stick in the park and started playing with it. It was really big and I'm sure it wouldn't have taken long for someone to get hurt. Jake took the stick away so the kids wouldn't get hurt. But to see all the kids standing there watching him take it away, you would think he was dragging their favorite pet to the pound. It cracks me up! The third picture is of Grace and Gabby again with Gabby's mom Kim. I miss Kim as much as Grace misses Gabby. Luckily she is really good at talking on the phone, because I am terrible at calling people. So I still talk to her every week, but it makes me miss living in Indy! :( The last one is just a cute picture of Gracie playing at the park. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of Grace with Stuart, or Macy, Cy. Parties are always hectic for me and I forget to take pictures! But I do have some family pictures to put up on the next post.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We had Gracie's birthday party in Indiana this past weekend. I am really behind on posting these pictures. I have more to come as well, so keep looking out for them. Her birthday weekend was a lot of fun, but very stressful at the same time. Scottie had two meetings on Friday, so we didn't get to leave Kirksville until late afternoon. Then we sat in a two hour traffic jam outside of St. Louis. So with all of that and the time difference we arrived in Brazil around 3:00 in the morning!! So my plans of baking the cake the night before went right out the window. The cake is another story in it's self. I'm sure I will post that soon! We rushed around all morning and ended being late to our own party. Talk about embarrassing! I'm so glad we don't have a pretentious family. :) Everything ended up working out and we had a great time. After Gracie's party we met Scottie's dad and brother Joe up in Indy since they couldn't make it to the party. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory. It was SO good! Happy birthday to me!! :)
Here are just a few pictures of the party. The first one is Gracie waving her birthday money in her Aunt Carissa's face. Of course Carissa was playing back with her and telling her she was going to take it and it belong to her. Grace just kept rubbing it in her face. So at the end of the party Carissa played a joke on her. She took two of her own dollars and told Gracie that I had given Carissa part of her birthday money. You would think that Gracie would laugh and say that it belongs to her, but nooooo. She takes off running with tears streaming down her face. Carissa finally caught her and told her that it wasn't her birthday money and gave her the two extra dollars. Lesson learned: Don't mess with Grace and her money!!! The last picture is of Gracie and the end of a long day! I have more pictures to post, so please come back. I promise it won't take me a month to post again!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Where's my baby?!

Yesterday was Gracie's first day of preschool. She was so excited! She had her backpack on and we were getting ready to walk out the door when she said " I think it will be better if I just wait for the bus." I had to tell her that she wasn't riding the bus, she really wants to but I'm not really ready for that just yet. Dad and Carol were here visiting so they got to see her classroom. (this is the first time they've been able to come out since last August) Gracie wasn't too upset to see us go, she just walked over to the cars and started playing. (she didn't quite understand that they weren't going to be there we she got back from school) I had mixed emotions all day. On one hand it's nice to have the house to myself and not worry about which room Gracie is wrecking while I'm cleaning somewhere else. But it's sad to think that she is old enough to go to school. It's like being hit by a bus when you realize she isn't a baby anymore. I mean- I've known for quite a while that she isn't a baby, but it's hard to admit that you have a little girl who is going out on her own and spending the day with other adults and thirteen other kids. I kept wondering what she was doing all day. It was nice when my friend Kim watched her because I could call at lunch or Kim could tell me everything she did. But these teachers don't have time to stand there and tell me all the funny things she did or said. I guess it's time to suck it up and share my child with other people in this world.
-Anyway back to her day. When Scottie and I picked her up she still wasn't ready to leave. We basically had to drag her out. In the van we asked her about her day. She said she didn't make any friends and she played by herself. I told her it might take some time to get to know people. I'm sure she played with kids, but she couldn't remember anyone's name. We'll see if today was different. Part of me is really enjoying this independent age, but I wish I could just hold like a baby for a little bit longer.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Not a happy day!

I took Gracie to the doctors for her school physical today. She has to have one before she can go to pre-school on Tuesday. I thought they would just look in her ears, nose, eyes, etc... Oh no! They pricked her finger and then squeezed a ton of blood out of it. It's one of the worst feelings as a parent, to sit there and hold your child while they are crying and asking you to make it stop. Just when we think it's all over the doctor comes in. She looked over Gracie's immunization records and decided today would be a good day to start her round of hepatitis shots. I DID NOT want to have to tell Gracie that she was going to get another shot. Of course she panicked, and I had to hold her down. She cried so hard. The nurse felt bad for her and loaded her up with gifts. She got two stickers, a grape flavored tongue depressor, bubble gum flavored Motrin, and a trip to the treasure chest. You can see in the picture that she is holding all of her treasures and her stickers are on her shirt. She also has two band-aids. Poor little thing! She told me she missed her blood, and she didn't want to be healthy. But when I told her she couldn't go to school without doing these things, she quieted down. She can not wait to go to school. We had a meet and greet with the teacher last night. Grace didn't want to leave, she wanted to stay and play with everything. I'll post pictures on Tuesday of her first day of school. I probably shouldn't wear mascara that day, because I know I will be a little sad to see her go. :(

I'm addicted to blogs

Scottie and I were having a discussion the other day about Gracie's obessive nature. I said that she gets it from him. Of course he wanted to know why I felt this way, so I began to list his obessions: pens, lint rollers, the color gray... He said that I had obessions as well, which I quickly denied. He pointed out that I am addicted to reading other people's blogs. Well, he got me- I am totally addicted to reading other people's blogs. I think it's fun to read about other people's lives, get ideas from them, look at pictures of their children doing funny things. Does it really matter that I don't know half of them? Maybe. There are several spouses here at school that blog for their friends and families. I love their recipes. A few of them post recipes on their blogs with pictures to go along with them. I love it! So I will try and pass along some of these great recipes. I don't take the best pictures, but you get the point.

Here is a recipe for : Tuscan Garlic Chicken

I thought it was pretty good. The chicken was fantastic!
-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
-1T garlic, chopped
-1 1/2 c. flour, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 red pepper, julienne cut
-1 T. salt
-1/2 c. dry white wine ( I substitued chicken broth for finacial reasons)
-2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 lb. whole leaf spinach, stemmed
-2 tsp. Italian seasoning
-12 0z. heavy cream
-1 lb curly or regular fettuccine
-1 c. parmesan cheese, grated
-Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess. In a large, ovenproof skillet, add 3 Tbsp of olive oil- and saute chicken in batches over med-high heat for about two to three minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp. Add additional olive oil for each batch as necessary. When finished, transfer the skillet to a preheated oven at 350 degrees. cook for 10-15 mins., or until cooked through. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking,heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the garlic and red pepper, cook for approximately one minute. Add remaining 1 tbsp. flour and stir to combine. Next add the wine and bring to a boil for one minute. Add the spinach and cream and bring to a boil. The sauce is done cooking when the spinach becomes whilted. Complete by stirring in the parmesan cheese. Drain pasta and partly coat with sauce. Transfer to a large bowl (or individual dishes). Top with chicken, remaining sauce and extra parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It finally happened...

Yes, she finally did it. Gracie chopped her hair off in the front. I was cutting out some school stuff for my friend yesterday. I had to go to the bathroom so I put the scissors down (BIG mistake). We have had several talks about scissors and how she has to have permission to use them. Her OCD got the best of her and she had to cut something! I heard her cutting in her coloring book and I told her to put the scissors down. Being the smart child that she is- she knew I couldn't make her since I was in the bathroom. She ran upstairs with her coloring book and scissors. I thought she was just going to cut a ton of pages out. Wrong!!! As soon as I came out I saw her coming down the stairs. She had a strange bulge in her underwear and it looked like there were strands of hair hanging out of them. Then my eyes looked up and saw a giant chunk of her hair missing! I just sat there in disbelief for a while. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. I asked her why she did that and she replied " I wanted to be like Rapunzel." I yelled " what? That's the opposite of Rapunzel!" (I think she is refering to the Barbie movie where the mean lady cuts Rapunzel's hair so the prince won't recognize her) Regardless, she now has very choppy bangs! Then I looked at her underwear, she had stuffed all of her hair in them. I tried SO hard not to laugh, but it was too funny. She started crying, but I couldn't stop laughing. When she pulled them down it looked like she had put a wig in there. There was so much hair!
Her hair doesn't look terrible, but it's going to be hard to pull it back. We are going to have to go buy more clips. The pictures don't really show how short or how much she really cut. It seems we have passed another childhood milestone. I hope she has gotten it out of her system. Heaven help us!!