Friday, June 28, 2013

Grilled Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

This was our first time having kabobs and I am absolutely IN LOVE with the marinade I used! 

Rosemary-Lemon Marinade
3 tbs vegetable oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dash of Alpine Touch (since it's my favorite seasoning)

Cut 2 breasts of chicken into 1 1/2 in chucks/cubes. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and add chicken. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for approximately an hour. Meanwhile, cut the vegetables of your choice into 1 inch cubes. I used a zucchini, red onion cut into wedges, and a red pepper. You could also use broccoli and mushrooms.

Begin heating grill when chicken is done marinating. Using skewers, thread chicken and vegetables in your desired order. I thread mine like this: chicken, pepper, onion, zucchini. I ended up with extra chicken so I made one whole skewer just chicken. Save the marinade once all chicken is removed from it. 

Grill kabobs over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Turn and brush them with the leftover marinade frequently. I served our kabobs with grilled asparagus as well, which I threw on the grill for about 5 minutes. I had bought feta cheese to sprinkle over the kabobs before serving them, but I completely forgot about it until the meal was pretty much over...  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Monkey Shiner Babblings

After a long day at home with the boys and dad out of town on business, my patience was wearing thin when it came time for bedtime.
Mom: "I'm about ready to lose it boys!"
JP: "Oh? What did you lose?"

During Charlotte's afternoon nap, or rather when she woke up from her nap, she had a massive diaper explosion. Not just poop up her back, but out the front of her diaper too and up her tummy. (Do I need to tell you how hard it was to get her onesie off?) This little girl was due for a bath so Hunter volunteered to help me out with it. He did a great job washing her. Then he spotted a red freckle on my arm, in which he announced, "It must be red paint. I'll get it off." He scrubbed a little bit, without much luck, obviously, to which he then reported matter-of-factly, "It's not coming off. It must be a nipple." And that was that.

Father's Day Weekend

Father's Day Weekend has already come and gone, and here I am just now posting about it. What can I say, I've been a little busy!

This year Perry and I spent Father's Day with his dad. Perry brother, Cameron, and his wife Erin, as well as his sister Emilienne and her husband Colin, came over for the weekend as well to surprise him. From what I've gathered, there were lots of little lies going around to hide the surprise from him. Perry had told his parents he was going out of town and wanted to have a barbecue at our house before he left. On the day of the BBQ, everyone hid in Charlotte's room with cameras.
 Once John and Betty arrived, Perry asked if they wanted to see what he's been working on for Charli and then led them in her room, where SURPRISE! happened. Needless to say, he was pretty surprised! After the BBQ, everyone left for the cabin, while Perry and I stayed home for the night to get ready for the weekend spent with everyone at the cabin.

 Soon after we arrived Saturday morning, most everyone pilled in the jeep and we went to town to check out some thrift stores and have ice cream. 
 The rest of the day was spent enjoying the afternoon out in the sun. And since boys will be boys, they had gotten themselves pretty dirty throughout the day and had to take a little bath. 
In the evening, we all headed down to the campfire pit for dinner. 
 Charlotte spent the evening in the front carrier.
And because of that, Perry was in charge of cooking dinner for me : )
 Colin, as well as a few others throughout the day, tried their hand at fishing over the weekend. As far as I know, no one caught anything, but there were a few bite? Or near bites?
 The campfire pit is situated right a long the river and has such a pretty view. 
 I just love this picture of Cameron and Erin (and my soon to be 2nd nephew!!)
 And what's a campfire without S'mores? Lame :) Hunter and Jimmy both enjoyed blowing out their burnt marshmallows. I enjoyed watching them!
 Here's our little Charlotte wide eyed. She's definitely awake a lot longer now! 
 Sunday took everyone to Garnet Ghost town about an hour from the cabin. The town mostly consists of homes but there were a couple buildings of some interest. Above is a picture of Emilienne and the boys going into the cellar. I didn't go in...
 Hunter found the outhouse to be very useful...
 I forgot Charli's hat at home so she used mine. What a little cutie!
 After walking around for an hour, we took a couple family pictures. 
 And then a few more at the cabin. Aren't these little guys so cute?! Hunter enjoyed playing with them all weekend.
 Here is everyone on Perry's side of the family, dogs included.
 And Grandpa John with his first granddaughter. 
And our most recent family photo. Luckily we got one good one since by that point the boys were pretty tired....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baked Cavatelli

I love a good Italian dish and a little change from the usual chicken and ground beef dishes is nice once in a while too, even though I'm not a huge fan of sausage links. There's never left overs at house when this is on the menu!

2 1/2 cups cavatelli noodles (I use penne noodles instead)
12 oz Italian sausage links sliced 1/2 in thick
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 26oz jar of pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
1/4 tsp black pepper
Italian seasoning to taste (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta as directed on package.
2. In a large skillet, cook the onion, garlic and sausage until sausage is brown. 
3. Stir together pasta sauce, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Add the cooked pasta and drained sausage to the mixture. Stir together gently. Spoon mixture into 2-quart casserole dish.
4. Cover. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated though. Uncover and add remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

*Usually when I make this dish I double it and freeze half. I end up with more meat in the dish due to the packaging of the sausage we buy. I also make ours extra cheesy. Yum!* 

Cheesy Bowties with Broccoli Alfredo

Up until the last few years, I've hated broccoli, but amazingly so my boys love it, as long as you call them trees. Perry is still on the fence about it but I'm working on him...Even still, he gave the thumbs up for last night's dinner, Cheesy Bowties with Broccoli Alfredo. I better mention, it was the leftovers that received the thumbs up since he didn't make it home in time for dinner!

1 (24oz) bag of frozen broccoli with cheese sauce from Green Giant
3-4 cups of bow tie pasta (farfalle)
1 (14.5) jar of Alfredo sauce (I used the kind made by Prego)
1 can of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, semi drained
ground pepper - about 1/8 tsp
dried basil

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish. Cook pasta as directed. Cook frozen broccoli as directed on the bag.
2. In the dish, mix all the ingredients together, except the basil.
3. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle basil over casserole just before serving.

Total prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

A Year Half Gone

It's nearly July and that means we are halfway to next year already! Eeek! And only 6 more months to get my goals done! I'm actually not doing so bad!

Household Goals -
Let's see...ALL of our pictures are updated!! But we don't have any of Charlotte hanging yet..
I can cross the kitchen off the "Unclutter and Organize" list. That was a big project!
Conquer the laundry...uhh... I am and I still hate it.
I'm a solid halfway there with the dishwasher.
We organized and corralled the boys' toys earlier this year when we moved their playroom to the basement to make room for Charli....and now I'm thinking about getting rid of most of them. They won't know what hit them!

Fitness/Health -
Let's not talk about the hour of yoga per week....I was doing okay at it, but ultimately pregnant yoga blows.  though. #cantbend

Food -
We've tried about 7 new recipes, but I've got about 5 more on the menu for the next few weeks!
Like I said...I've got a menu!

Time for Myself:
My goal was to read 4 books. I think it totally counts if I listen to them. With that said, I've been subscribed to I became very "bored" at work walking around listening to myself so I started bringing my Kindle and listening to books when I inspected rooms or worked on projects. And continued to listen to them in the car and now while I'm nursing at o'dark thirty to keep awake. The books I've "read" include:
Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Help (LOVED this book!) by Kathryn Stockett
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
And I've actually read 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 ... which I recommend reading! I'll probably read it again. So I'm halfway through the year and I'm rocking this section of my goals!

Parenting -
Uhh...We've been to 2 different parks...and we've painted and colored....
But the boys went to Bible School and did a TON of crafts! Does that count?
I don't think a family vacation is going to happen this year. Which is fine.

Finances -
We've paid down debt, we've invested, AND we still have an emergency fund!

Marriage -
We're still married aren't we....and have another kid :)
I'm hoping sometime soonish, maybe for our anniversary, we'll be able to get away without the kids.

Green Goals-
I think I've only forgotten my reusable bags a couple times. And I'm cloth diapering Charlotte :)
Once our current cleaners run out, I'm going to make our own.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our First Nephew Has Arrived!

Perry and I are so excited to *finally* have our Aunt and Uncle titles! And we have this little guy to thank!
Welcome to the family Casey Christopher!
He was born on Monday, June 17, 2013 weighing in at 7 lbs 14 oz. 

I had the chance to visit my sister Kile over the weekend so I could meet the little guy and see their new home! It was nice to get away for a little while - I'm glad she's semi-close now!

I think it goes without say, that I *had* to take some photos of our newborns together, so here's a few of them. 
 6 weeks vs 6 days

 Got to love the sad faces!

At the end of one of our little photo shoots, Charlotte spit up puked all over herself, and if Casey was any closer, it would have landed on him too. Lucky for him, he just collected some in his hair. That's what he gets  for all the kisses he was giving her...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trip to Whitefish and Baby Robins

If our trip to Hingham wasn't a long enough car ride, Saturday morning Perry packed up the boys and left for Whitefish...and then had to turn around to pick up Charlotte and me because he forgot us? I told him we were going the night before, and then I heard him back out of the driveway at 6am without us....Nice work darling. The purpose of the trip was to help his parents fix a few things at their house. 

The first project, the main reason for the trip, was to take out the pond in the front yard. Since they aren't living there anymore, they don't have time to keep it up so they've decided to just bury it. Lots of rocks and lots of dirt. The boys really enjoyed "helping". I wasn't able to do much as I was fussing with Charlotte a lot. I did however help water the dirt down to help it settle. In doing so I found a sweet little salamander! 
 I was surprised that neither of the boys would touch it! I remember finding salamanders in my grandparents pool when I was younger and saving them as a pet.
 I wanted to take it home, but before I said anything, Perry freed him...Ugh. So the boys had to blow him kisses goodbye.
It didn't take them long to forget about the salamander and get back to playing though!
They also enjoyed playing in Uncle Cameron's fire truck. Its a pedal car, but JP couldn't quite reach the pedals, and Hunter didn't really want to try so they both just used their feet to push it around.
 On Sunday morning, I discovered that two of our robin eggs had hatched. By Monday evening we had five little birdies!
 I watched them all afternoon! For a while I thought there was only four, so the fifth one must have been born  sometime in the afternoon.
I was surprised as to how close the mama robin would let me get. I missed it by a few seconds, but I almost caught a picture of her feeding one of them...but a little boy came busting out of the house and scared her away...
 She's finally awake long enough to take a picture! Every time Hunter or JP sees her with her eyes open, they exclaim, "I can see her pretty eyes!!"
Luckily the novelty of a new sibling hasn't worn off yet for Hunter. He loves her to pieces! 

Monday, June 10, 2013


Aside from swimming lessons, Hunter and JP had quite a bit of fun on the farm.
 Boys and tractors :) Surprisingly Papa didn't give them a ride on the tractor this trip. At least for JP, seeing all the tractors was enough!
 Before lessons the boys spent a good chunk of time just throwing dirt clumps. I remember doing that as a child too. But one of my favorite things to do as a child was...
 ...playing in the mud! I don't recall doing it quite like this but again, boys will be boys!
 JP had entirely too much fun jumping in and landing on his bottom. It wasn't a very deep puddle either...
 I was a little surprised to hear that Perry didn't play in the mud as a young child, but I guess if you live in a city there isn't much dirt. 
 I however was not surprised by his reaction when I sent these pictures to him.
 This would have never happened had dad been watching them!
 If I hadn't been watching them, they would have probably been naked! A little mud never hurt anyone!
And to answer JP's question, no Papa Craig didn't make the puddle. The rain made it, and then mom added more water to it so it was actually mud.
 That evening before Aunt Bobby arrived, I took them to town to play at the "water tower" park. 
 They played pirates, since their new favorite movie is, and I quote, "Disney's Peter Pan."
 Charlotte did a lot of this...
The merry-go-round was a huge hit with them too!