Friday, October 28, 2016

Happy 10 Months Annie!

There's something about the ten month mark that makes you seem so big. Realizing how close you are turning a year old is almost hard to believe. And, every month it is harder and harder to take pictures of you in your monthly stickers because your coordination and grasp are so good! You are determined to take your sticker off . . . I had to stick it back on your countless times during your 3 minute photo session!

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Your two front bottom teeth came in this month. They've been on the verge of coming through for a while, but they officially made their appearance. When your teeth came in you started doing all sorts of funny things with your tongue. The pictures below kinda show what I mean, but you do even more crazy things than the ones I caught on camera. You often completely twist your tongue sideways . . . it is pretty funny!

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Although you only started crawling last month, your mobility has increased rapidly. You are a fast, funny, crooked crawler. You crawl with one leg under you in such a way that you are almost in a halfway sitting up position. It is easy for you to pop up and down from crawling to sitting up. You also started pulling up this month.

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You are quite the talker and I think we can say that you officially added "Ella" and maybe "hi" to "mama" and "daddy" as words you can say. You have special relationships with your brothers and sisters, and I love to watch how you interact with all of them. Ella loves toting you around. Troy loves to kiss you on the head. You and Luke play a "chasing" game in the living room (that I haven't quite caught on video yet!).

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You have a beautiful smile and everyone always comments on how happy you are. Generally you are a pretty happy baby, especially if someone is holding you or giving you attention. You enjoy playing by yourself though too. We've barricaded you in the living room, and you often contently crawl around the living room playing with different toys, looking at the window, or even getting Maddux. You love Maddux and he is SOOO good with you (see the video below). One of the reasons that we got the breed of dog we did was because that breed is supposed to be good with kids . . . well Maddux definitely is!

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And another video of how crazy you are sometimes!




I didn’t start writing these monthly posts for Ella until she was 17 months old, but I do have this photo of Ella with her 10 month sign :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Happy 9 Months Annie!

Once again, this month brings so many changes and milestones!

I always think it is so funny how babies like to prove you wrong. I don't know how many times I've predicted my babies will or won't do something only to be proven wrong. For instance, a week before you started crawling, I would have said there was no way you'd be crawling. You hated to be laid down on your belly (even though you sleep on your belly!), and almost always immediately popped up or flipped to your back when we laid you on your belly. However, about a week after you turned 8 months old, you started diligently trying to crawl, and within a few days of trying you were on the go! The video below is from the first day you were crawling. You have since gotten much faster, but you sill crawl with one leg underneath you - which allows you to easily pop into a sitting position.

You started sitting up unassisted last month, but this month you are officially stable enough to sit in a grocery cart - which makes shopping easier and more fun! You love looking around, smiling, and talking to me as we go throughout a store.

You continue to be a very vocal baby, yelling when you are happy or sad or when you just want our attention. I don't know how many times I've gone to check on you during Bible class because I can hear you, only to find out you are just talking loudly (not upset at all!). You can now say "Mama" and "Daddy" and sometimes I think you can say "Hi" but I"m not sure. You also finally signed "more" this month, although you much prefer yelling at us to ask for more instead of signing.

This month you started clapping and waving. In both cases, you just started doing them on your own - we weren't prompting you to wave or clap. Your wave is very funny: it reminds me of a pageant wave. It is very stiff and calculated, but also very precious!

You love Maddux, and often grab his fur when he passes by. Thankfully he is very tolerant of you! We haven't gotten a good video of it, but you and Luke have played a chasing game of sorts (usually around your walker in the living room) and you and Luke usually both end up laughing. It is great!

You have definitely been sleeping more consistently, and it has been amazing1 There are still nights it seems to take you a while to settle down (you'll be up several times in the first couple of hours we put you down, but eventually settle in for a full night's sleep).

Annie @ 8 months
Troy @ 9 months
Luke @ 9 months
(I didn’t start writing these monthly posts for Ella until she was 17 months old)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Troy's 6th Birthday Interview

Troy just turned six, and so it is time for another birthday interview!

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  1. What is your favorite color? Yellow now
  2. What is your favorite toy? That chompy thing
  3. What is your favorite fruit? Watermelon
  4. What is your favorite TV show? Captain Jake
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Lunchable
  6. What is your favorite outfit? This one (spiderman) Its my newest outfit
  7. What is your favorite game? The games at school
  8. What is your favorite snack? Those goldfishes that are whitish grayish yellowish (parmesan)
  9. What is your favorite animal? Tigers
  10. What is your favorite song? Lucy Locket Lost Her Pocket (its a very funny song)
  11. What is your favorite book? The ones at shcool
  12. Who is your best friend? Nathan
  13. What is your favorite cereal? Oh my favorite cereal . . . cinnamon toast crunch
  14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Run around with Maddux and let him eat leaves
  15. What is your favorite drink? Gatorade. I haven't had that in a long time, but I like that.
  16. What is your favorite holiday? I'm thinking . . . the one that's coming up. Halloween 
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Ranger and puppy and my white blanket
  18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Same thing. Cinnamon toast crunch and lucky charms
  19. What is your favorite thing for dinner? Mac and cheese
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A woker at Chick-fil-a
  21. What is your favorite movie? Finding Dory
  22. Where is your favorite place to go? Chick-fil-a
  23. What is your favorite Bible story? The story when He calmed the disciples down and made the storm be still and said "Peace Be Still"
  24. What is your favorite memory verse? Genesis 1:1
  25. What is your favorite letter? T

Monday, September 5, 2016

Luke's 3rd Birthday Interview

Luke turned three so he is officially old enough for a birthday interview!
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  1. What is your favorite color? Blue
  2. What is your favorite toy? Maybe Thomas
  3. What is your favorite fruit? Gum! Blueberries
  4. What is your favorite TV show? Haunted Mickey
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Cake and cookies. Lunchable
  6. What is your favorite outfit? Spiderman
  7. What is your favorite game? Maybe its . . . squirrel game
  8. What is your favorite snack? Gum! Cereal
  9. What is your favorite animal? Lion
  10. What is your favorite song? Bue (blue) Skies and Rainbows
  11. What is your favorite book? Thomas
  12. Who is your best friend? Ella and Troy and Mama
  13. What is your favorite cereal? Lucky Charms
  14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Games
  15. What is your favorite drink? Milk
  16. What is your favorite holiday? Easter 
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? I not know. Cheetah! Little blankets and big blankets
  18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Lucky Charms
  19. What is your favorite thing for dinner? Hmmm . . . let me think. I know. Its fish and chicken and rice
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a soldier (after we gave him a list of options)
  21. What is your favorite movie? Thomas. Frozen
  22. Where is your favorite place to go? Whataburger
  23. What is your favorite Bible story? When God created the world
  24. What is your favorite memory verse? Luke
  25. What is your favorite letter? B

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Meal Database 2.0

Several years ago I created a meal database of our favorite meals. I refer to it often when I'm trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, but the list of meals I cook for dinner has grown over the years and the database was in bad need of an update.

Beef
  • Brisket
  • Taco salad {ground beef}*
  • Beef enchilada casserole {ground beef}*
  • Hamburgers (we usually go bunless and add awesome toppings like caramelized onions, bacon, and a fried egg) {ground beef}*
  • Warm, toasted roast beef sandwiches
  • Roast
  • Beef fajitas
  • Beef fajita quesadillas
  • Pasta with meat sauce {ground beef}*
  • Hobo dinners {ground beef}
  • Grilled steak
  • Stuffed bell peppers {ground beef}*
  • Beef and broccoli 
*For recipes that use ground beef, sometimes I substitute part or all of the ground beef with ground turkey.

Chicken
  • Chicken enchilada casserole
  • Chicken spaghetti
  • Chicken with a balsamic glaze
  • Baked chicken breast
  • Crispy yogurt chicken
  • French fried onion chicken
  • Chicken fried rice
  • Chicken pot stickers
  • Chicken pot pie (drop biscuit or regular pie crust)
  • Chicken fajitas
  • Chicken fajita quesadillas
  • Chicken and sausage jambalaya
  • Chicken, sausage, squash, and onion bake 
  • BBQ chicken quarters

Pork
  • Pulled pork
    • We eat pulled pork a variety of ways, including on buns, in tortillas, or in bowls with jalopeno coleslaw!
  • Grilled pork chops
  • Pork tenderloin

Seafood (I've been trying more seafood, but haven't found a bunch of recipes that make the "regular" rotation yet)

Other
  • Traditional breakfast for dinner (usually includes bacon and eggs plus one of the following)
    • Pancakes
    • Biscuits
    • French Toast
    • Apple Fritters (Often without the apples, lol)
  • Breakfast tacos (may be "regular" breakfast tacos or could include something like leftover brisket (brisket + eggs = great Texas breakfast taco!))
  • Pizza
  • Stuffed bell peppers {could be stuffed with ground beef and cheese OR breakfast sausage, cream cheese, and shredded cheese}
  • Lasanga
  • Chicken spaghetti
  • Pasta with meat sauce
  • Creamy pasta with chicken and bacon

Soups and such
  • Taco soup (ground beef)
  • Chicken enchilada soup
  • Chicken and dumplings
  • Creamy chicken, bacon, and rice (sounds weird, but it is yummy!!)
  • Potato soup

Favorite sides
  • Grilled corn
  • Corn hash (corn roasted with bacon, bell peppers, and onions)
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Grilled squash
  • Roasted broccoli or roasted broccoli and carrots
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Sautéed green beans
  • Sautéed broccoli or sautéed broccoli and carrots
  • Sautéed squash
  • Sautéed cabbage
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • German potatoes (still trying to master these!)
  • Crash hot potatoes
  • Oven roasted potatoes
  • Coleslaw
  • Jalapeno coleslaw
  • Asian coleslaw salad
  • Rice
  • Couscous
  • Cornbread stuffing (if I’m feeling ambitious)
  • Fried squash

Breads

Make Ahead Meals (or meals that require little prep AT dinner time)
  • Chicken enchilada casserole
  • Beef enchilada casserole
  • Roast
  • Country style steak
  • Chicken spaghetti
  • Lasagna
  • BBQ chicken quarters
  • Pulled pork
  • Beef and broccoli (if cooked in crockpot - I like it better NOT in the crock pot)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The First Day of School

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Ella's first day of school interview:
  1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Any kind of doctor
  2. What was your favorite thing you did during the summer? Play in the pool with the cousins
  3. What is your favorite thing to learn about in school? Math
  4. What is your favorite color? Purple
  5. What is your favorite thing to play? Little legos
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Troy's first day of school interview:
  1. What do you want to be when you grow up? I'm thinking something with a ninja
  2. What was your favorite thing you did during the summer? Go to Disney World
  3. What is your favorite thing to learn about in school? Reading
  4. What is your favorite color? Red
  5. What is your favorite thing to play? Little legos
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I don't know how many posts I write where I feel like starting it out, "I can't believe it is already time for . . ." This summer flew by, and it is hard for me to believe that it is already time for the kids to go back to school. Ella and Troy have both been anxiously waiting for the first day of school, and I love their enthusiasm.

Troy, who has been an early-riser for some time now, asked Trent if he could "sleep a little longer" when Trent went to get him up, which we thought was hilarious and ironic. I think he had a great first day, although in some ways I think he was disappointed because it wasn't exactly what he thought it would be. The first thing he said to us was "I didn't get to use any of my school supplies!" He was pretty excited about getting to go to the library and touring the school.

I think Ella was a bit nervous about being in a new classroom with a new teacher because she had formed such a great bond with her first grade teacher. However, when we dropped her off, she seemed like an old pro who knew exactly what do. And, when she came home she was excited about her day especially that she got to make "Jitter juice" (I think something like punch), and that she already had homework. Last night Ella's teacher even called to tell us how she enjoyed having Ella in class, and wanted us to tell Ella that she was looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow. I appreciate that her teacher took the time to call us (as I'm sure she did with all the students).

We are looking forward to a great year, and cannot wait to see and hear about what they learn and experience!