Saturday, May 31, 2008


Do you know who Boz is? He is the new "addiction" in our home! I had never heard of Boz until the boys received a DVD and 2 books for their birthday. They are absolutely nuts over this big, green bear! I have to admit, the movie and books are really cute. They combine faith, family, fun & education, all of which are so important to us. We also like the fact that the 2 children are twins and the boys' name just so happens to be Drew!

Bryce and Drew will sit through an entire 45 minute DVD and ask to watch it again, immediately after its done. That's another reason I love Boz...I can actually get something accomplished! As much as I want to hit the replay button, I find something else for them to do. Otherwise, I think they would sit for hours watching Boz!

Hey Moms of preschoolers, if you want to check out this big, green bear, go to

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Fun In The Sun!

Our friend Gina bought the boys this cute caterpillar sprinkler when she came to visit last month. The weather has been so nice the past few days, it was time to break it in.

Do you think the boys had fun?

And my favorite pic of the day!

Thank you Gina. We are all having a blast with the sprinkler. It will provide hours and hours of fun summer entertainment!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who Did It?


Bryce and Drew are communicating well. They are using more recognizable words and sometimes even sentences, although, at times, they still communicate with each other in their "twin language." Of course, lots of funnies are coming out of their mouths. Each day is a new, funny adventure!

I love how the boys say their names. Their "R's" are difficult for them to pronounce so Bryce = Bice and Drew = Dew. In fact, about 50% of the time, Bryce gets confused about what his name actually is! If he sees his picture he may say "dats Dew!" Or, if we ask him what his name is, he may say "Dew!" I wonder if they look more "identical" than "fraternal" through his eyes?! Who knows! I still get stopped by strangers when we're out and get asked "how do you tell them apart?" Drew is 2 inches taller and 1 pound lighter than Bryce - they look VERY different! Seems crazy to me!

Our funny conversations this week sound a little like this...

Mommy: "I smell a poopy. Who did it?"
Boys: Both stop and look at each other.
Drew: With a fresh, stinky poopy in his diaper, quickly blurts out, very matter-of- factly" "Bice pooped. No Dew!"

In fact, now any time I say I need to change Drew's diaper, he blurts out "Bice pooped!" As if I'm not going to change him!

Or, if the boys are fighting over a toy and I didn't see who had it first...

Mommy: "Ok, who had the ball first?"
Bryce: "Bice had it."
Drew: "Dew had it."
Mommy: "hmmm...I guess Mommy gets it now!"

I guess a benefit to having a twin is there is always someone else to blame!

The saying on their t-shirt says it all!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Papa and Nana E's Visit

We have lived away from our parents for many, many years. Jimmy and I went to the same University right out of high school (3 hours away from our home town) and lived there for 6 years. We moved back to the area we grew up in for just 2 years before transferring to Texas. In total, we have lived away from our parents now for 16 years. In many ways, it's been a positive. In moving away from the comforts of "home", we learned to depend upon one another. We had to establish our way of life and had to figure out what was really important to us. We learned quickly to view our friends as our "2nd families." However, it is also very difficult at times to be so far away. We miss out on a lot of holidays, family events like weddings, funerals, birthdays, etc. When we live over 2,000 miles away we can't just pick up the phone and say "hey Mom and Dad - why don't you come over for dinner" or "hey, let's meet for a cup of coffee!" We miss out on so much life with our families. Most years, we only see our parents, grandparents and extended family 1-2 times per year. It is especially difficult now that we have children. We see how much joy Bryce and Drew bring our parents/their grandparents and in return, how much love the boys receive from all of them. The grandparents are all very special. We are so thankful to have 6 parents that love and cherish their time with our boys and us. And of course, we cherish our time with them and are so thankful they are able to travel to see us. Hopefully, we will all live closer someday.

This past week, my Dad and Shari (Papa and Gammie E) were here for a week. All 3 sets of grandparents have been here in the past 6 weeks!!! The boys are very SPOILED!
Bryce and Drew got lots of good loving from Papa and Gammie (the boys' new word!)

We enjoyed brunch at our favorite lodge and had fun playing at the park.

Jimmy and I spent the day together shopping while the boys stayed with Papa and Gammie. Gotta love FREE babysitting!

The boys thought Dad's "race car" was pretty cool and they had fun running up and down the trailer that Dad hauled it on.

Papa and Gammie bought them their first cowboy hats. Amazingly, out of all the hats at this particular store, they both agreed on the same one. Aren't they cute cowboys?!

We also spent a few days at the condo that we stayed at when Jimmy's parents were here. We had beautiful weather and had lots of fun swimming and shopping.

We have season passes to an amusement park so we took Papa and Gammie on a train ride

And went round and round on some kiddie rides

Thank you Papa and Gammie for driving thousands of miles to see us. We had lots of fun with you. Gammie, we loved it when you patted our backs at bed time and Papa, we love playing chase and hide and seek with you. Please come see us again. We love you, Bryce and Drew.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Family Food Faves

Here's a new recipe of Rachael Ray's that I recently tried out when my Dad and Shari were here. We loved it - hope you do too!

Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 pounds (about 4 to 6, depending on size) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bits
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it ( I used 1/4 cup)
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 scallions, root ends removed and thinly sliced
To make cutting the chicken easier, place it into the freezer for about 15 minutes until it firms up slightly but isn’t frozen through. This will let you cut it up quickly into small pieces.
Preheat broiler and place a large pot of salted water over high heat to bring up to a boil for the whole wheat elbow macaroni.

Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the chicken bits and brown them, about 5-6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the veggies, stirring frequently, until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer the chili for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together and thicken it slightly.

While the chili is simmering, toss the pasta into the boiling salted water and cook until al dente according to package directions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss it into the chili, then transfer everything to a casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top and place it under the broiler until the cheeses have melted and the top is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle the chopped scallions over the top and watch this one disappear in no time.

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Family Food Faves - Asian Style

It's been awhile since I've posted recipes. I came across this fabulous "foodie" blog called Picky Palate. She has amazing recipes and pictures of her yummy food to boot! I made these 2 recipes when my girlfriends were here from Texas and they were a hit. ENJOY!

Quick Weeknight Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Cup finely chopped onion
1 lb ground turkey breast
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic salt (I used Lawry’s)
1 12 oz bag of Broccoli Slaw (found it at Super Target& Wal-Mart and saw it at Sprouts also)
1 small can drained water chestnuts
½ Cup Yoshida’s Teriyaki Sauce (or your favortie teriyaki)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Approximately 15 Butter Lettuce leaves (you can also use iceberg lettuce leaves)
1. Place oil into a large 5 qt skillet or other large pan over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Brown and crumble until cooked through.
2. When turkey is cooked, stir in broccoli slaw, water chestnuts, teriyaki sauce and sesame oil. Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve. Serve spoonfuls inside lettuce leaves.

Chicken Peanut Thai Noodles
1 lb whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
½ Cup smooth peanut butter
¼ Cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Cup hot water
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ Cup finely chopped white onion
½ Cup finely chopped red or orange bell pepper
1 Cup cooked, shredded chicken breast
¼ Cup finely chopped cilantro leaves (missing in picture, it’s much better with cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ Cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

1. Cook noodles according to package. Drain, rinse with cold water, place in large pasta bowl and toss with sesame oil. Set aside.

2. Place garlic and ginger in food processor until well chopped. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Pulse until well combined and slowly add hot water. Set aside.

3. Place olive oil in hot skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in chicken breast, cilantro and salt. Stir until heated through.

4. Add sauce and chicken mixture to noodles. Toss to coat and garnish with peanuts and sesame seeds if desired.

6 servings

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Nana and Papa M were here a few weeks ago and we had great visit. I'm late blogging about their trip because I was gathering pictures from everyones cameras!
Nana and Papa got in on a little lovin!

One day we drove the next closest "bigger city" to do some shopping. Of course, the favorite hangout now that we have kids is Toys R Us.
The boys got the meet Goeffrey - how exciting!

We also got to participate in our first cake walk. They were raising money for Autism research, so why not. It's a great cause! Unfortunately, we didn't walk away with a cake but the boys got new Leap Frog computer books from Nana and Papa...SCORE!

Then we had a yummy lunch at Red Robin

After doing some more shopping the boys were exhausted. Bryce would not let go of his Red Robin balloon so he just fell asleep with it in his hand.

And Drew....well he just pretended to be asleep!

We had a few fun days together...
Playing outside

Playing "ring around the rosie"

Playing our kissing game. If we pretend to be asleep, the boys will kiss us to make us wake up. It's so sweet!

...before Drew got sick. Unfortunately, he was sick most of the time Nana and Papa were here. He got a really bad cold that turned into double ear infections. He coughed so hard and so frequently it kept him up for almost 5 nights. He had little appetite and was very lethargic. Poor baby! Thankfully, mom/nana/nurse was here to help out. Thanks mom for helping with "night duties!"

Bryce was the lucky one. He didn't get sick so Nana and Papa took him on a special date one day, just the three of them. They went to the park to play and feed the ducks and out to lunch. On another day, I took Nana and Papa and Bryce to a musical performance and out to lunch. Bryce sat perfectly through the 2 hour performance!

Nana and Papa had an early morning departure from the airport so they got a hotel the night before. Jimmy and Bryce drove them there and hung out for a few hours so they could swim in the pool before heading back home. They had a blast!

Thank you Nana and Papa for flying to see us. We love you so much and wish we didn't live so far away. Thank you for all the love and support you show us.

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