Thursday, January 29, 2009

How can you tell when my children aren't home?

Well, for starters, it's dead silent in my house-then secondly, my kitchen looks like this (yes, this is a quick trip back to the 80's while we're at it) try not to notice the color of the tile as much as you notice the cleanliness of the tile:

Such clean floors, not a crumb or fruit snack wrapper in sight:

Not a dish in the sink:

Not a toy, blanket, Wii controller, dirty sock, half eaten bag of goldfish, sippy cup, backpack, or shoe on the ground. Oh, and the pillows are still on the couch.
I took the opportunity-while Sophee's was at preschool-to get the 'main' living area of the house cleaned. Now, before you think that I'm a neat freak (which I am-if only in my mind), just keep in mind that I only posted pictures of 2 rooms in the entire house. You should see the bedrooms, but I really couldn't embarass myself (or my mother) like that.
Anyway, I figured if I took a picture of it, I would have proof for my husband. It also reminds me of a story my Mom told me a long time ago. When she was a little girl she slipped out of bed one evening to find my Grandmother sitting on the couch-in peace and quiet-doing nothing. Just sitting. When my mom asked her what she was doing she replied, "I'm just enjoying what the house looks like when it's clean." Oh how I have remembered those words many times, after putting the kids to bed, picking things up, doing the dishes and vacuuming, only to sit down and admire my work-if only for a little while.
On a side note, now that I've mopped my floor today it's pretty much a guarentee that someone will spill their whole cup of milk or juice before the evening is over-it's Murphy's law.
And, on another note, I just have to share the most awesome candle I have ever seen!

My sweetie pie husband got this for me for Valentines day. Yes, I do realize it's not Valentine's day yet, but once I found out about this I just had to have it now! It's actually a candle warmer. They're made by a company named Scentsy (both my SIL's sell these). There's actually a light bulb in the bottom portion of this, and it heats up the scented wax that sits in a little dish on top. You can totally smell it all day long-I'm in love. I'm a candle freak. I think it stems from the fact that I'm allergic to fragrance, and can't wear perfumes, so this is how I get my 'smell good' fix.
Okay, so that's it. Not only does my kitchen look good, but it smells good too. What a lucky girl I am. The house is clean! (at least until 3:00, when the kids get home from school.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Meals for Mom's Like Me Monday

Today's recipe: Montreal Grilled Steak

Okay, here's my little secret for an awesome steak :-) It's just too easy.

You can sprinkle it right on the steak (very lightly-don't go overboard) or, even better, make the marinade (the directions and ingredients are listed on the bottle). All you need is 1/4 C. olive oil, 2Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. of the seasoning, and your steak. One little trick I like to do is to stab the steak with a fork all over so that the marinade can 'seep' in. Throw it all in a ziploc bag-it only has to marinade for 30 minutes-love that! Then just cook it until your desired doneness.

If you don't have a BBQ'er you can do this in your oven, on a broiler pan, on the broil setting-just move the oven rack up a notch.

If you're going to do burgers you can sprinkle 1 Tbsp. into 1 pound of ground beef, then mix it up and form into patties. Cook until desired doneness.

McCormick also makes some other neat 'Grill Mates'. Here are the ones I have:

It's a little hard to read, but they are 'Montreal Steak' (our fav.), Hamburger, Roasted Garlic Chicken, and Spicy Montreal steak. I haven't tried the last two simply because we use the first one the most, and I'd forgotten I had the others. Wahoo! Something new to try.

Okay, there you go. If anyone else out there wants to start posting simple recipes on their blog then by all means let me know so I can try them out-I'm always on the hunt for something quick, easy, and good.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sometimes you just have to let them go . . .

. . . but make sure they have clothes on when you do.

Okay, so the kids have recently started playing outside, without my supervision, somewhere other than our backyard. I've always been paranoid to let them play anywhere else, and luckily, since our backyard is pretty big, it has been able to keep them interested-until now. The problem is that there is a limited amount of concrete on which to ride their scooters/bikes. So, I've been letting them go across the street and down into the cul-de-sac. I feel that this is a pretty safe place to play, and I can easily go check on them. Here's them heading off:

(At the time Josh and Kaylee's bikes where in need of a little repair. Kaylee's bike just needed new tubes, so we did that, now we need to get new tubes, a chain, and a brake line for Josh's bike-but they've been good about sharing with each other.)

Anyway, the other day I was scrambling to get some things picked up and dinner started and the girls decided that they wanted to go ride bikes so I willing agreed and they raced out the back door. About 30 minutes later they get back from their ride and Sophee wanders into the house in nothing but her underwear!! (It was a pretty windy and chilly day too).

How could I have missed that? Oh what would her father say if he knew? What were the neighbors thinking? She didn't even have shoes on! "Kaylee!" I quickly accused, "How could you let your sister go outside in her underwear?" (Of course this was after I promptly scolded Sophee for doing so, and told her that she always should have clothes on when going outside).
Apparently they were so excited to get out the door that Kaylee, who was leading the way, didn't notice until they got down the road. She did tell me that they put Audree's coat on her. She must've taken it off and given it back to Audree before they got in the house. So, let this be a lesson, even if you are anxious for the kids to go outside and play so that you can get a few things done in peace, please take a quick look at them and make sure they're not in their underwear!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My personal chef

Many times I have said that, given the choice between a nanny, a housekeeper, and a chef, I would definitely choose a chef-without delay! Some of you that know me well know that I hate to cook. I hate it. I don't like coming up with idea's for dinner, remembering to thaw things in advance, preparing it while children are underfoot-or trying to 'help', and then having those same children complain, "This looks yucky", or "I don't like that!" It's a thankless job (or maybe it's just my cooking-go figure). To make matters worse, my husband and I have pretty different tastes. He is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of a guy. Me, I'm a little more into chicken, and really don't care all that much about meat. One of my favorite things to have for dinner is breakfast, but that doesn't really fly all that well when your husband comes home from a hard day's work and wants something filling-and manly. Serving pancakes and syrup for dinner is a crime, and quite frankly, he gets a little irritated when I do it, so I try to save those occasions for when Daddy has a meeting, or is out of town.

Moving along with my story, I got a really awesome Christmas present from my hubby this year. I've been wanting one for a couple of years now. Here it is:

Yes, it's a BBQ. Quite frankly, I would've been happy with the cheapest model, but if you know my husband, that's not how he rolls.

I'm sure some of you women out there are thinking, "A BBQ'er? For real?" Yes, for real. I've long since given up on jewelry and decided to ask for more practical things. This BBQ'er is the closest thing I have to a personal chef. Why? you may ask, well, check out who's doing the cooking! You see, men are naturally drawn to fire. If there's a chance that something could burn down-they're going to be there!

We tried out my new BBQ a couple of days ago, and since it was the first time, we decided to go all out and get some steaks (which is a rare occurence, trust me).

Check it out, he doesn't even mind cooking-as long as it's outside!

Okay, so I realize I do still have to remember to thaw out the meat, and maybe slap a little marinade on there but, hey, it's still worth it. Especially since we love BBQ'ed food. And, every once in a while Kory will call and ask what's for dinner, and when I say "Well, I don't really have anything planned", he says, "I'll go pick up some food and we'll have a BBQ". Love that!!
Then, if all else fails and your kids still say, "This is disgusting". You just say, "Daddy made it".

P.S. I plan to start doing a cooking post every Monday (hopefully-if I can stay on top of things). It will be called "Meals-for-Mom's-like-me-Monday" and it will consist of very, very, simple dinner idea's that I have tried. I don't do fancy schmancy. So, anyway, this Monday I'm going to share my really simple, really delicious steak marinade (or you can put it on burgers). So stay tuned.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


When I was a little girl I remember my Mom planning a sharing time about 4 different mother's who had different styles of helping their children learn how to do things (or not learn how to do things). I only really remember 2 of the mother's. One mother lovingly taught her children how to do their chores so that they would be self-reliant, and the other mother just did all the chores around the house herself. That mother was 'Debbie-do-it-all'. Only I don't think my mom named her that because that is her name. She was probably Dolores, or some other 'D' name.

Anyway, as she was drawing up the little pictures to go along with her lesson I told my mother that she was definitely a 'do-it-all' kind of a mother. I thought that she would be flattered, but she wasn't. She said that she needed to be more like the mommy who taught her children how to work for themselves. Of course I knew what that meant. That meant we were going to be doing a lot more chores around the house.

Although my house is never really sparkling clean at all times, and I do encourage my children to help me out with the cleaning but, their are just certain jobs that a mother feels the need to have done correctly. Like, for instance, loading the dishwasher (if everything isn't all strategically placed, it's just not going to fit), doing the laundry is another big job, and the other is cleaning bathrooms.

Well, today I was the good mother who showed her children how to do something, and to do it right. (Mainly because their Dad bribed them with a dollar if they would help Mommy clean things up while he was out paintballing) and after running out of simple little tasks-like putting the laundry away, I accidently let it slip that the bathrooms could use a good cleaning.

So, here are my little darlings doing their part to have a clean house. We first started off with Audree in the downstairs bathroom, then Sophee kept trying to come in and help (she wasn't going to miss out on that dollar) and it was getting just a little too crowded, so I told her she could do the upstairs bath.

When we're helping we're happy and we sing as we go . . .

Audree's finished product.
A better look:
Soph is digging right in:

Since the mirror in this bathroom is so big Audree decided that she needed to help:

Shining the faucet. Just look at how happy it makes her to help her mom! (Yah right-she's thinking of the money).

All done!
And we like to help Mother for we all love her so!

Here we go!

So when Erika came to visit for New Year's Eve we both talked about starting our own blogs but weren't sure if we had enough 'blog sense' to do it. Well, earlier this week she went ahead and started one, so now-not to be out done-I took the plunge! If Erika can do it so can I. Ally, thanks for the adorable layout, oh, and be prepared for some more phone calls on 'how do I do that'?.