Monday, November 30, 2009

Decorating the tree

On Sunday, the little boys and I thoughtfully (no, really!) left Kurt alone so he could get the tree together and put the lights on it. Why not buy a pre-lit tree, you ask? Well, we DO own a pre-lit tree. They are good for about 2 years, then it's back to stringing, Peeps. Then Kurt to thoughtfully (not really) left for work and the boys and I were left to get the ornaments in place. Conversation went a lot like this:

Beckett: Ooops! I dropped it! We have hardwood floors, no announcement needed, Son.

Paxton: Where's one with my name on it? Why do Arielle and Parker have so many? Age, Son--they are much older than you.

Parker: Guys! You can put ornaments on more than one branch! Beckett worked one area the way someone involved in an illicit form of activity for income works. HA!

But it's done, it looks beautiful, and we can't wait for Santa to work his magic underneath the branches!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Before and After

A few weeks ago there were two VERY happy teenagers in this house (more happy than usual). Why, you ask? Because after MANY months, $10,000+ and countless trips to the orthodontist, they both got rid of all of that hardware they'd been sporting in their mouths! I have to say, it was all worth it, they have beautiful smiles!

At least we'll have a few years before we have to go through it all again with the little boys---WHEW!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Kurt grew up with his two cousins just across town and they spent LOTS of time together. It was him and his brother and siblings Greg and Michelle (just one girl--SO not fair, right?!) The 3 boys are pictured above: Greg, Chad and Kurt.

Now they are all grown up and there is another generations of cousins--our two boys and Greg has a boy and a girl (again, just one girl--Piper will have to hold her own) BUT, this set of cousins don't get to spend the time together that those original four did =( They played together yesterday, very nicely I might add! Piper "godzilled" her way across Beckett's vinyl map of a city and he didn't even knock her over! She also planted herself right in Paxton's personal space during some hot wheel time and he waited patiently for her to move on--HA! They wrapped up the holiday celebration with an impromptu jam session at the piano, minus Beckett...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! I'm thankful for so many things, as are all of you! My darling husband and sweet children, of course. Mine and Kurt's families, loving friends, jobs that we enjoy going to each day, our freedom, the fact that we want for basically nothing--among so many other things.

Our day was spent at Kurt's parents where we enjoyed a fabulous meal and the company of family. The little boys got to spend several hours with cousins that they get to see far too infrequently and after a short warm-up period, they had a fun time together.

I shot lots of photos (none of anyone eating--not many people appreciate that!) and here are a few of the kids burning off their big dinners....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

Little man with remote...

Monday, November 23, 2009

What I did in school today

So every Tuesday night I have my advanced nursing skills class. We've learned how to start IV's, give medications through those IV's, care for central lines, interpret ECG rhythms and lots more. Tomorrow night is our accumulative practical exam where we will perform two of those skills WITHOUT any errors (or you fail the entire class, regardless of how you've done up to this point!) Needless to say, I am about as nervous as I've been throughout the entire nursing program so far!!! Today I went to school for a couple of hours and was just beginning to pull some supplies to start an IV on the practice arm and in walks my instructor.
Colleen: Oh! Going to start an IV?
Me: Planning on doing lots!
C: Wanna do one on me?
Colleen presented her arms for me to view and I commented that the veins seemed kind of small. She said, "yup, and kind of deep. But you can do it!"
Such confidence! I gathered my supplies while someone (who I will hunt down later and drop-kick) turned the heat in the classroom up to 170 degrees. Long story short, I did get a flash of blood in my cannula, so yay!! AND, she told me my technique was excellent =)
Wish me LOTS of luck tomorrow night when Colleen and I meet again where it really counts!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's for Supper Saturday...

OK, to be technical, this was tonight's supper--but it WOULD have been Saturday night's if Arielle hadn't requested pizza burgers! Here is the EASY fried chicken recipe that I use when I want to top the Colonel--I do it up right with corn, biscuits, mashed potatoes (for the gravy you'll be making along with the chicken! Ready?

One whole cut up chicken

1/2 C milk

1 egg

1 C flour


garlic salt


1 C milk

1 C chicken broth

Mix the flour and seasonings in a big ziploc bag (I RARELY measure when I cook, ALWAYS when I bake!) Whisk egg and 1/2 milk together in a bowl. Rinse chicken pieces and drop into the flour mixture. Shake to coat, move to the milk mixture. Coat thoroughly and then put back into the ziploc bag and shake it to coat again. Meanwhile, heat about 3 cups of oil in a deep skillet and place chicken pieces into the hot oil. Brown quickly on all sides (turn CAREFULLY so you don't knock all of the coating off!!) then reduce heat and continue to cook chicken through, about 30 minutes.

Move the cooked chicken to paper towel on a wire rack to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil in the pan--save the crispy bits!! Add 2 tablespoons of the leftover flour mixture and whisk together. Turn up the heat and pour in the chicken broth and 1 C of milk. Stir constantly til it bubbles then reduce heat and cook for 5 more minutes--it'll thicken at this point.

Serve over the taters you cooked and mashed while the chicken did it's thing, bring out your other fixin's and dinner is served!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shooting for a Christmas card

NOW I know why we stopped at 4 kids--it's hard enough to get that many to all look at the camera at the same time, no way would I want to try for more!!
Anyway, we headed down to the driving range over on campus to see what we could create. The leaves have all fallen, so I didn't even try to work much in in the way of scenery. I also did not snap a picture of the dead racoon that the kids spotted right in front of them at our second location!
I think we do have something to work with here, so I have to declare the outing a success =)

Birthday Dinner!

Since Kurt is working 2 12 hour shifts during my ACTUAL birthday, last night he took me to a new Japanese restraunt in Galena (our favorite place!) We didn't sit around a hibachi and watch our food be prepared, but we were seated very close to where all of the fresh sushi is made as it's ordered! Kurt even went along for my sushi fix and shared the order with me =)

We did the King & Queen couples meal which was shrimp, lobster and filet mingion--and it was YUMMY! We also did chopsticks for everything we could, something new for us--HA! Kurt wouldn't do the cheesy chopstick pose, but I was a good sport and here's the proof!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flashback Friday!

This picture was taken one day when we ventured out to a historical site a little ways from home. We had some time to kill while waiting for our tour group to begin, so we wandered the grounds and I fired off lots of shots with my new lens. I would have liked to get Kurt and both boys, but well, yeah right....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

Cuz I love him so...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun with Ping Pong balls

It doesn't take much to entertain this lot sometimes. The little boys had a few ping pong ball that they were playing with and before I knew it, it was a full-on melee at the foot of my bed. All four of them threw those balls back and forth for at least half an hour. They were laughing and squealing and NOT fighting--all I could do was take pictures.

Excuse the background clutter--it piles up all week long and my weekend project is to always address it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flashback Friday

So, as you learned in the last post, I can now blog from pretty much anywhere besides the den. In downloading pictures from my camera, I haven't figured out how to use the cord and pick and choose which photos I'd like to import. Arielle put the card in the side and I ended up with 377 images in a folder (yeah, I know--DELETE!!)

At any rate, among those pictures are LOTS that I took during other events that weren't chosen at that time to grace a blog post, so voila! A new weekly post is born! Enjoy =)

This one comes from Arielle's graduation party in June.

My Husband ROCKS!!!

I a very few short days, I will "celebrate" another birthday. I use that term loosely, I am of the age that the phrase "just another day" applies. On Wednesday, I had to be in Madison bright and early in order to take my NCLEX-PN (nursing boards for my LPN license) after which I planned to spend a very productive day shopping for Xmas gifts. Which I did.

As it turns out, Kurt was a very busy shopper himself while I was away. After I got home, enjoyed supper (brats on the grill!) and was relaxing with Kurt and telling him about the great luck I had in the stores, a pair of LARGE gift bags caught my eye. I opened the card, and read the birthday greetings inside. Hmmm, it's NOT quite my birthday yet, but Kurt told me to continue on. So I did.

And inside of those bags was a new laptop computer for me!!!! Along with a cooling pad, anti-virus software and a HP backpack for storing everything--which is PERFECT for school!!! I will be able to say that THIS year was a birthday that I enjoyed VERY much =)

Thank you, Honey--you ROCK!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our budding artist

Paxton's marker board is never far from him--he's moved up from just doing words and he's on to great masterpieces. He was FAR too busy to look up and smile for me and by the end of my 30 seconds of shooting him he hunkered down over his board to signal "enough with the camera, MOM!"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Proud enough to pop...

This is Parker's 1st quarter report card. It is not all A's, I know that. BUT, if you know PARKER, you know how impressive that this is. What's more, last night at parent teacher conferences, all 4 of the teachers I spoke with went on and on about how he participates, asks questions, BEHAVES, basically all of the things that I've always waited to hear about my firstborn son =) He struggled a bit at the end of last school year, leaving school early for golf meets took a toll and we had quite the conversation about juggling responsibilities after school ended in June. Apparently he took it all to heart and has applied it thoroughly!
Way. To. Go. Son!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

Lovin' on Guinness

Monday, November 2, 2009

Home Tour, Continued

It's been awhile since I've done a room on the "tour"--yes, there are a still a few left! This would be the living room (we have no family room, this does it all). No monster TV's in here, it wouldn't fit in the armoire!! HA! When we bought the house, every single wall was white and all trim was painted an apple-green color--really not our style. The walls here are a khaki-sage-y green color that I LOVE. The fireplace is what did it for Kurt though, he was practically looking for a line to sign on before we even went upstairs during the open house!
I'd be in BIG trouble if we were in the process of selling our home--I've got family photos EVERYWHERE in the house, which is a huge no-no according to all the experts on HGTV =)
So all that's left is the kitchen, master bedroom and Arielle's room!
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