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The Ruch Family



{as for me and my house we will serve the Lord} {Joshua 24:15}



Updated: 2016-09-07T23:36:39.271-05:00

 



Update on Erika's bump

2012-02-01T16:52:30.606-06:00

An update on Erika's bump....it is a non-pigmented cellular blue nevus.  It's a type of skin lesion.  Had it been blue like they normally are, both doctors would have probably known exactly what it was.  Crazy, huh?  Last week the dermatologist said "whatever it is, it is not common" and she was exactly right!  Not common!  As long as there are no changes to the bump we do not need to rush to have it removed. We will wait for summer!

Also....can I just say how wonderful our God is!  We went for nearly 4 years without health insurance.  Caleb and I each had strep throat once during that time so we had to visit a minute clinic, but other than that nothing.  No illnesses or weird bumps popping up.  Since having health insurance we have had: a baby, a baby with RSV & pneumonia, a weird rash for daddy, Caleb & Erika both had strep (several times, for Erika), the older 2 had tubes put in, Erika had her tonsils & adenoids taken out, Erika broke out in hives (bad enough to warrant an urgent care visit), Caleb had impetigo, Cellular blue nevus, a baby with chronic ear infections who now will be getting tubes.  I'm sure I'm missing some, but that right there tells me that God heard our prayers for protection during that time of no health insurance!!!  



Erika and her bump

2012-01-24T09:11:44.486-06:00

I don't like to blow things out of proportion.  I really don't.  So I've hesitated to say anything about this, but I have decided that I should say something.  If anything, to keep myself from going crazy over the next week. (plus it's good for me to keep track of this kind of stuff)

Erika has had a small growth (about the size of a dime) under her skin for a few months.  It started out looking like a small bug bite, so we didn't think anything of it at first.  She didn't complain about it at all, but then in December she was complaining about the bump (as she calls it) and it had changed and grown.  At that point we knew it was time for her to be seen.

At the beginning of this month she was seen by our primary physician who though that it could be a type of hemangioma.  A small tumor.  You say the word tumor and most people freak out.  Thankfully, I don't.  Jenna has a strawberry (hemangioma) on her forehead which is technically a tumor, so I'm used to hearing that word.  Our primary doctor wasn't 100% sure so she referred us to a dermatologist.

Today was the day of the appt (thanks to the person who cancelled their appt!)  The dermatologist really wasn't sure what the bump is either, so she did a biopsy of it.  She originally thought that it was not a hemangioma, and more of a skin issue.  However when she did the biopsy it bled quite a bit, so it's attached to blood vessels. (which means it is likely NOT just a skin issue)

She really has no idea what it is and we don't know what to expect.  She did however say "whatever it is, it's not common"....so here we sit.  Waiting.  For 10 whole days.  I know pathology stuff takes time, but man that just seems like an eternity.  There is nothing we can do other than wait and trust God.

It could be nothing or it could be something.  And if it's something it could be a major something.  I know that it would do me no good to freak out and blow this out of proportion.  Really.  It would only leave me exhausted and over emotional.  So we wait and pray.

There is one thing we do know, NO MATTER WHAT God is still God.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  We are resting in this.  We know he's got our back.



New recipes tried in 2011!!

2011-12-27T20:54:03.302-06:00

At the beginning of the year I set out to try one new recipe every week.  52 total.  I may have been a bit over ambitious.  We moved a few weeks after the beginning of the year,  combined with Jenna being our hardest baby ever.  However....I have tried WAY more recipes this year than if I wouldn't have set that goal for myself.Here's everything that I tried this year:1.  homemade sausage from ground pork!  I can't find the link for the recipe that I used, but I definitely would recommend trying to make your own sausage if you never have. 2.  Chicken pot pie.  I've made chicken pot pie before, but this was a new recipe.3.  Twice baked potatoes  4. Sour cream noodle bake  5. Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies  6. Grilled chicken and roasted red pepper panini7. Breakfast Sandwiches8. White Cheddar chicken pasta9. Chinese Honey Chicken10. Spaghetti hotdish11. Homemade peppermint syrup12. Strawberry Jam13. Applebutter  (I think I used the recipe from pickyourown.org, but I don't remember for sure)14. Iced coffee 15. Onion Strings16. Mozzarella sticks17. Biscuits & Gravy18. Cinnamon Rolls (I could technically count this as 3 new recipes since I made the regular ones, orange marmelade and carmel apple ones)19. Marlboro Man Sandwich20. PW Lasagna21. oven baked fries22. Chicken cheddar roll ups (I don't have a link for this one...but I'll try to post it sometime)I may try a couple more new recipes this week, but we'll see!  (and it's possible there are more recipes that I'm forgetting) So 22 new recipes in 2011...not too shabby if you ask me!!!  30 shy of my goal, but I am seriously proud of myself on this accomplishment!  2012 may end up being more about the budget and saving so we'll see how many new recipes I end up trying.  I'll keep you posted![...]



7 years.

2011-11-24T09:03:00.566-06:00

That is how long it's been since our lives were turned upside down.  Hard to believe it's been that long.  7 years since I held my sweet little angel.  Seems like an eternity.  Ah, but eternity....that's what we have to look forward to.  An eternity with our sweet Dylan. Last year I wrote this post, and I think it's appropriate to re-post it. "This time of year is a time to sit and think of all the things you are thankful for.  Thanksgiving is, oh what would you say, tainted for me.  I know I'm not alone either.  There are plenty of hurting families this time of year.  Reality is, there are hurting families every day of the year, but it just seems magnified when it comes to a Holiday.  A true reminder that someone is missing.So Thanksgiving, a time when we celebrate not only thankfulness, but also Dylan's birthday....am I thankful?Am I thankful for Dylan's life?  Yes, absolutely.  Am I thankful for Dylan's death?  See that's where it gets tricky.  If I could change the outcome would I?  For sure...but I can't.  So instead, I choose to be thankful.I am thankful that Dylan is a part of our family.I am thankful that God chose me to be Dylan's mommy.I am thankful that my kids are proud to have Dylan as part of our family.I am thankful that I have 3 healthy kids when I thought having more than 1 would never be possible.I am thankful for the family we have become because of Dylan.I am thankful  for God's promise that He will never leave us or foresake us.This Thanksgiving, no matter your circumstances, choose to be thankful."Happy 7th Birthday Dylan!!!  I am proud to be your mommy and I am thankful for the roads we have walked down because of your life.  [...]



Just a little update

2011-11-07T13:02:52.857-06:00

Well here we are in November and it's been a month since I've blogged!!

David started training for a new position at his current employer a couple months ago.  Training is almost finished (finally!).  We are LOVING his new hours!!  8-5 Monday-Friday.  No evenings and no weekends!  It's been so wonderful!  David has been able to be part of so many things that he used to miss out on because he had to work evenings.  The best part....he is home for dinner every night.

Caleb just finished up his very first season of football.  He LOVED it!  He learned a lot of the basics and had fun.  Their last game was played at the Metrodome.  That was an event that he will never forget.  Playing where the Vikings play is likely a dream come true for him!  He is now in wrestling and seems to be enjoying it!!  He's had 2 meets so far and has lost both times.  Last week when we were leaving he said to David and I "I can't wait until I get to feel the ref grab my arm and raise it in the air because I won"  He is motivated to learn and become a better wrestler.  This of course has made his daddy proud!  Daddy was a wrestler in high school.  School has been great so far!  He is above grade level in math and at grade level for reading.  He has improved tremendously in spelling.  Last year he brought home several spelling tests with zero correct.  This year he has already brought home 3 perfect spelling tests!!  I am very proud of him!

Erika goes to school 4 days a week (full days) and is loving it!  She is learning more everyday and is so excited to learn how to read.  I think she is very ready and will soon be reading a ton of books!  She was able to do a cheerleading clinic a few weeks ago and loved it!  She spent a Saturday morning learning a bunch of cheers and then the following Friday she was able to cheer at the high school varsity football game with the high school cheerleaders.  It's weird to think that in just a few short years I could have a varsity football player and a cheerleader!

Jenna is officially a full time walker!  I'm sure it won't be long until she is running.  She is getting more steady and confident each day.  She knows she has accomplished something major and just grins while walking around!  She now has 4 teeth and bit herself for the first time the other day...she wasn't too fond of how it felt!  She jabbers quite a bit and says a few words.  (hi, mama, dada, bye bye and uh-oh)  I am loving being home with her and having so much time to devote to her and her development!

Not much to update on me.  As you can probably see I keep pretty busy with the kids and keeping our household running smoothly.  I love my "job" right now and wouldn't trade it for anything!  I know this is only a season and there will be a time when I go back to school and eventually back to work so for now I am content with where I am at.



Jenna Jenna Jenna

2011-10-07T22:21:28.242-05:00

I am late with this, but hey better late than never.

Jenna girl, I can't hardly believe you are already one.  One year ago (plus a couple weeks) you graced us with your presence and our lives are forever changed.  You by far have been our hardest baby.  Good thing you are the last!  Haha!  You definitely love your mama and want to be held quite a bit.  You are happy to play if I am not in the room, but as soon as I am in the room with you, you are climbing all over me and want nothing to do with the toys!
You are the slowest to get teeth.  You got your 1st two teeth earlier than your brother & sister, but those are the only teeth you've had for months.  Just today I noticed that your top 2 front teeth are just about to break through!
You are the latest walker!  You are very close to taking steps, but you aren't quite confident enough yet.  You are walking along furniture like crazy and you can stand without assistance so I know it won't be long!
I am so eager to learn more about your personality and the little person you are becoming.  I know for sure you DO NOT like to be left out and you want your voice to be heard, you most certainly won't get lost in the crowd.
I pray this next year you will be healthy and continue to grow and develop.





Happy 8th Birthday, Caleb!!

2011-09-19T06:36:00.117-05:00

It is so hard to believe that 8 years ago our sweet Caleb came into this world!!  It was a scary day with many uncertainties, but God was with us and here we are 8 years later with a wonderful little boy.  


Caleb you are growing into an amazing young man.  
You are so compassionate and caring.  
You do everything whole heartedly.  
You have a great imagination and can build amazing lego creations. 
You are eager to learn.
You are one awesome kid!

We love you very much and are so glad you made us parents 8 short years ago!!





Caleb & Erika's Surgery

2011-09-17T06:18:00.106-05:00

June 23rd was the big day!  We had to get there pretty early in the morning so Jenna had her very first sleepover at Jojo's house!  Here they are sitting in the waiting room.  Erika was proud of her nails that we had just painted.  She had said to me "mom, when you had surgery to have Jenna you painted your nails so I want mine painted for surgery too"  
 Here they are all prepped & ready to go!  Erika didn't really have to wear the hair net, but she wanted to.    Caleb's surgery was nothing in comparison to Erika's.  Caleb just got tubes put in.  Erika got tubes put in and she got her adenoids & tonsils taken out.
Caleb was running around that evening like nothing ever happened.  They told us he should have a "quiet day at home" afterwards....haha yeah right.  And really if he was feeling that good I wasn't going to stop him from running around.  He's old enough to know when he needs to rest and when he doesn't.

Erika on the other hand....well lets just say it was torture for her.  I would say the first 5 days was the worst of all.  Lots of crying, hardly any eating, lots of crying, lots of "please just take a sip of water, I promise it will help", sleeping on the couch with her, oh and did I mention, lots of crying?  She was Miserable.  With a capital M.  Seriously.  And when she's miserable, we are all miserable.  It's so hard to not be able to do anything for your daughter.
By the time she went in for her 2 week check up, she was pretty much back to her old self.  She was cautious of coughing or sneezing for quite some time because it hurt so much at first, but eventually that got better too.

Both of their hearing has improved drastically since getting the tubes.  Erika doesn't snore anymore and we are praying she doesn't get strep throat anymore, either!



Day 8 of 30!

2011-09-16T19:22:18.205-05:00

This is pretty pathetic that I haven't completed my 30 days series and it's been MONTHS since I started it!!!
Hopefully I'll get it done this month!!

Day 8 - A place you've traveled to.

Most recently...we went to Los Angeles and San Diego.

We got to see the Hollywood Sign in person!
 We visited the beach and took awesome pictures....
 We took a trip to a few theme parks....
 Caleb was in a wedding....
And Erika got to hang out with Auntie Erika

If it ever worked out....we would most definitely move to San Diego!  We LOVE it there!  Maybe someday when we are old and our kids are grown we will own an RV and travel there during the winter!!  A girl can dream, right??



Giant Catepillar

2011-09-16T18:50:20.249-05:00

One day this summer we went outside and the kids found this giant caterpillar in our yard!!
 I have NO clue what this was or what it turned into, 
but it was by far the largest caterpillar I have EVER seen!!




Summer 2011!!!

2011-09-16T18:15:04.676-05:00

Wow, what a great summer we had!

We kicked off the summer a little early and took a vacation to California.  I've previously blogged a little bit about it, but I'll have to finish off the re-cap soon.
Then we spent the rest of the summer crossing fun things off our Summer To Do List!
This is the first year I've made a to-do list for summer and I am certainly glad I did it!

Here's what we did this summer:
Strawberry picking
County Fair
Lilli Putt
Lions Park
Teddy Bear Park
Try 5 new fruits or veggies (I think we ended up at 4)
Sleepover with friends
Sleepover with cousins
Vacation Bible School
Camp out in the backyard

It was certainly a great summer!  We have plenty more things that we would like to do but they are more indoor things and soon enough we'll be indoors far too much so we'll save those things for cooler weather.

Next week Caleb will turn 8 and Jenna will turn 1!
We're having some friends & family over for cake & ice cream on Sunday.
Monday we are taking Caleb out to eat for his birthday (hope he picks something good!!).
Tuesday the kids have a big Back to School bash at their school.
Wednesday David and I are headed to the Twins Game!!!  It will be our 1st time at the new stadium.
Plus, Caleb is in football so we've got a couple games & practices added into the mix!

We are busy!!  But it's all "fun" busy stuff.



Summer time!!

2011-08-03T16:20:35.758-05:00

I promise I've not abandoned my blog!!  Soon enough I will have TWO (!!!) kids in school and I will have plenty of time to blog.  Until then, I am enjoying the summer and my time with them.  Blogging just hasn't been a priority for me. I will be back soon!  I will have lots to share once I am back.  We are having a GREAT summer!!!



Vacation part 2!

2011-06-19T22:33:19.824-05:00

Onto part 2 of our vacation re-cap!!  You can read part one here.Day #2 of our vacation was spent at Universal Studios!  It was amazing.  Jenna started out needing a nap while we got ready and she just was so cute I had to take a picture.  She pulled her blankie over her face and put her feet up on my purse.  David, Caleb & my sister.  (Did I mention we brought her with?  Partly to help with the kids and partly for a graduation gift)This is what was filming that day at Universal!  LOVE Parenthood...wish we could have seen some of the actors from the show!  Shrek: Here smell my hand (after he pretends to pass gas on it)  Princess Fiona wasn't impressed!!Curious George....ahhh, we love Curious George!Curious George's space ship!  Including an awesome sprinkler mist under it!On the backlot tour!!  It was so fun to see a lot of behind the scenes stuff.  Always neat to know how they do things on TV and in the movies.  I took a ton of pictures, but didn't get a ton of great ones.  It's hard in a moving tram.  I'm not a Desperate Housewives fan.  In fact, I've never watched the show.  However the tour included a drive down Wisteria Lane.  This house was the one they were filming in that day.  I didn't get the sign that was next to this lady in the picture but it said "closed set authorized personnel only".  Kind of cool that there were actors in there filming as we drove by!Proof that I was there!  I dont' have nearly enough pictures with me in them! The lovely auntie Melissa!I think this is the ONLY family picture we took the entire time!  I wish we would have gotten one at the beach, but oh well!  I'll be more conscience of that next time!The 3rd day of vacation included driving from LA down to San Diego.  We drove down the Pacific Coast Highway and it was absolutely gorgeous, I have no pictures though.  I was too busy enjoying the view and we weren't wanting to stop!  We needed to get to our hotel and get ready for the wedding rehearsal.  One of the main reasons we took our vacation in California was to be there for Dennis & Marissa's wedding!  I started out as Marissa's babysitter when we were younger and now she is not only a friend, but a sister.  I was so thrilled that we could all be there for her big day.  Caleb was the ring bearer, David was an usher and I coordinated!  My very 1st time coordinating a wedding and I really liked it.  Erika & Jenna came with to the wedding rehearsal but for the big day they enjoyed some girl time with Auntie Erika!  It really worked out well for us.  I can't imagine if we would have had them there with us.Here are a few pictures from the wedding.The opening prayer Caleb discovered his name on the wedding program & was VERY proud!The happy couple!!  Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Anderson My cute little sailor.  He knew he was important that day and was just a doll.The wedding cake topper that Marissa made!!  I love it!  And I love the ocean in the background too!A boy in uniform.  Oh my goodness.  Could he be any cuter??? We ended the day having dinner with Auntie Erika at a Chicago pizza place.  Okay, if you made it to the end of this post you are amazing!!!  That ended up to be WAY longer than I had intended.  There will be a part 3 post of our vacation next week![...]



Dr. Appt update!!

2011-06-08T15:28:33.125-05:00

A month ago Caleb went to the ENT to have his ears checked.  We were told he had some fluid and "abnormal ear pressure" but the doc thought that it could just be caused from allergies.  He was on 2 different allergy meds for the past month and today he went back to see if his ears had cleared up.  Nope.  We definitely think he has allergies and the meds are working because we can totally notice a difference in him.  No runny nose and no coughing all.night.long. anymore!  But the ears have not changed, so tubes it is for Caleb.  I called to schedule his surgery and thank the Lord....he got in the same day as Erika!!!!  Yahoo!!!  Party at the hospital!

This afternoon I took Erika in to urgent care because she has a couple of bug bites that were swelling up pretty bad (like the size of a hockey puck) and making her just miserable.  She had blood drawn for the first time today and she did great!!  She was very brave (even after the nurse said "it will just feel like a little bug bite"  seriously?  what are you thinking, you have the paper in front of you saying what's wrong why in the world would you say that???)  Her lab work came back showing that the bites are most definitely infected.  She's starting antibiotics today.  Had I waited to take her in until tomorrow she likely would have ended up on antibiotics AND steroids.  The doc said we caught it in time before the infection got worse.  Dang mosquitos!!!!  We'll be steering clear of evenings outside for now.  We REALLY don't want anything to delay her surgery!  (tonsils & adenoids out, tubes in)

I tell you what, this has been the year of doctor and hospital visits.  I think back to the 3.5 year period when we had NO health insurance and I am so incredibly thankful that we were healthy during that time!  I can't even imagine what we would do right now without health insurance!



Vacation!!!!!

2011-06-07T11:54:41.615-05:00

I have been a bad bad blogger....although I've been a good wife, mommy & house keeper.  I guess that's just where my priorities are these days.  Not that it's a bad thing, I just wish I had one more hour during the day to blog!  Someday I will be as organized with my time as I am with my closets!  Haha!So vacation.  This will be one of those posts that will have lots of pictures and maybe more details than you care to know about our vacation, but I don't want to forget!!Our 1st day in Los Angeles we spent quite a few hours visiting Beverly Hills, Hollywood and seeing the sights.  This day wasn't terribly exciting for the kids, but they did great anyways!It was fun to see the Hollywood sign in person.  More memorable would be the journey to get to the sign!  David had put it into his gps and the directions were going to bring us straight to the sign, rather than to one of the sight seeing spots.  It was kind of hilarious looking at the route on the map because we literally were driving up the side of the mountain.  It was crazy, all curvy, winding roads.  It was a fun adventure.  And once we got close we had an amazing view!  Check out the house in the side of the mountain!!!  I can't even imagine waking up to that view every morning!!!  Another thing we really wanted to do was get cupcakes from Sprinkles!  We love watching one of the shows on the Food Network with the founder of Sprinkles, so trying her cupcakes was a must!  They were spendy, but wow, the best cupcake we've ever had!!!!  (and they were huge!) We drove down Rodeo Drive.  We didn't bother getting out and walking down Rodeo Drive simply because none of us have the kind of money we'd need to buy anything in those shops, but it was still fun to be in the area and see the sights! I MISS PALM TREES!!!!!!!!!! After we got settled into our hotel and grabbed some dinner we headed to Venice Beach.  BEAUTIFUL!!!!  The pictures from this night are some of my favorite for the whole trip!  I definitely will be getting one of these beach pics blown up & framed!!! Erika had been to the ocean when she was 14 months old, but this was the first time when she could appreciate it and remember it!  She loved it!!! Jenna was not too fond of the ocean at all.  As you can see by her face.  We've discovered that outside of the bath tub, she's not fond of water at all.  These were the houses behind us while we were at the beach!!!  Except for the amazing view, I really don't think I'd want to live in one of these houses, but they were still pretty nice!That pretty much sums up day 1!!  I think I'll split up my posts about vacation, otherwise they'll just be too long!  Stay tuned for more!!![...]



Our Incredible Vacation

2011-05-19T23:23:58.922-05:00

Here's a highlight of each day of our trip!  I'll post more next week with more pics!  For now though I have a MOUNTAIN of laundry a couple more bags to unpack!











Jenna's 1st Easter

2011-05-06T14:55:52.042-05:00

This post will be picture heavy!!We stopped at the cemetery after church for a picture with all of my babies!!  Because of the cross we have hope that we WILL see Dylan again!!When we were just about to leave Caleb said "I think it would be a good idea if we prayed before we left"  Proud parent moment!!!We colored eggs the night before!And here are the Easter baskets!  We cut way back this year, which I was really happy about!  Not much for candy and their gift was a Bible!![...]



Accountable Kids!

2011-05-05T17:13:36.168-05:00

A couple months ago I went on a search for a good chore chart of some sort!!  I really couldn't find something that I loved that didn't require me to keep printing stuff out all the time, so I posted on Facebook asking for suggestions.  A friend of mine suggested Accountable Kids!  She uses their system and I had remembered her talking about it before, but wasn't looking for something at the time so I just forgot about it.
After talking everything over with my hubby, we decided to go for it!  And boy am I glad we did!
This program has made it easy to get my kids motivated to get their chores done!  My kids get up excited to get their chores done.  It's amazing, really!
It has really taught them about accountability & responsibility!  They have their chore cards for each time of the day and once they complete the chore they flip it over.  Once they are done with their morning chores (as well as afternoon, evening & weekend) they get a privilege pass.  If they earn their pass they are allowed to watch cartoons or play on the computer.  If they do not finish their morning chores then they do not earn that privilege.  The first few days there were many tears, but they quickly caught on and now it's nearly a non issue!  There is also opportunity to earn money, which we will soon be introducing to them.  Here's how we have personalized ours:
  
Probably the one thing I love the most is the flexibility with this system.  We are not really a "clean the bathroom every single day" kind of family.  Once a week is good for us.  So I was able to adjust how we use the cards in order to accommodate our weekend chores vs. weekday chores.  I love it.
(image)

The only thing that we don't use are the cards to earn stars for a special date.  We personally believe that special mommy & daddy dates are earned simply by being our child.  They should not have to do anything in order to earn special one on one time with us.  We are already in the habit of taking our kids on "mommy dates" and "daddy dates" so now to say they would have to earn those dates would be absolutely confusing for them.  We may end up using that card to earn something else, but we haven't decided yet, so for now we just don't use it.

I've had a few people ask me about this, and yes, I definitely recommend the Accountable Kids system if you need a little order to the chaos on your house!!!  Five stars!



Day 7 of 30!

2011-04-30T15:16:00.182-05:00

Day 7 - You favorite movies

Gosh, I have SO many favorites!

Growing up my favorites were Prancer, Curly Sue and my ultimate favorite was Annie.

My favorites now are Just Like Heaven, Sweet Home Alabama, any of the Santa Clause movies, any Christmas movie.  All the Disney teen movies!  Most chick flicks....LOVE them all!

I just saw Water for Elephants and my goodness, it was good!  I read the book a week ago and I was thinking the movie would disappoint, but it definitely did not.



Day 6 of 30!

2011-04-29T10:50:00.957-05:00

Day 6 - A picture of something that makes you happy!

This has taken me forever.  There are so many things that make me happy.  But here are two.



You are probably thinking "really, that ugly room makes you happy? what's wrong with you?"

Here's why it makes me happy.  The thought of what's to come is what makes me happy!  That ugly room that I cleaned up is becoming MY CRAFT ROOM!  Something I have always wanted!!!!  And THAT makes me happy!  I've been taking pictures every step of the way, so you can rest assured that you will get to see it all.  Including the finished product!



52 new recipes in 1 year!

2011-04-28T17:13:32.621-05:00

Back on January 1st I blogged my goals for the year.  One of my goals is to try 52 new recipes.  I'm quite behind!  However I'm still going to accomplish this!  I might be trying 20 new recipes come December but I WILL do it!

Here's what I have tried so far!

1.  homemade sausage from ground pork!  I can't find the link for the recipe that I used, but I definitely would recommend trying to make your own sausage if you never have.  I will cut down the salt drastically next time, but other than that, it was DELICIOUS!!!!  I see ground pork on sale all the time, but I don't typically buy it, I will be now!

2.  Chicken pot pie.  I've made chicken pot pie before, but this was a new recipe.  It was pretty good, not a typical chicken pot pie taste, but still good!

3.  Twice baked potatoes  These were phenomenal!!!!  Seriously!  Restaurant quality!  I definitely impressed my hubby with these!

4. Sour cream noodle bake  Delicious!!  Anytime I have made hamburger helper my kids devour it.  I mean seriously.  I have to stop them from licking their plates clean.  I'm not kidding.  In an effort to reduce to amount of packaged foods I use I went looking for a recipe that would please their hamburger helper desires.  This did it!  And it tasted great too!  They have all asked when we can have this one again!!!

5. Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies  Okay so I will admit...these weren't my favorite.  They were good, they were huge, but I don't know.  I guess for my liking the 2 shouldn't be mixed.  Of course everyone else loved them.  They were a lot of work for cookies.

6. Grilled chicken and roasted red pepper panini  These are for lunch today!  I have the chicken marinating and the sauce all made.  It all smells delicious!!!  Can't wait to get it all assembled!
(I have to edit to add....these were amazing!!!  My hubby has declared that The Pioneer Woman is making me a rockstar!  He said these were Panera good!!!!  YAY!  We'll be making these again!)

This is what I have so far!  Still a ways to go...but hey only 46 more recipes to try!  I still have plenty of time to get that done this year!



Jenna's Cardiologist Appointment

2011-04-28T11:39:38.449-05:00

I know I've tweeted & put this on Facebook, but in case there is someone who reads my blog but not the other two, I decided I should probably update about Jenna's appointment with the cardiologist!

The whole time they don't give you any indication of what is happening.  She had an echocardiogram done, then was weighed & measured.  The cardiologist came in and asked a ton of questions, asked if she had an EKG done.  She hadn't, so she had the nurse bring the machine in and hook her up.  She did pretty good till the very end and kept ripping all the leads off!!  Then the doctor said the words that we so desperately wanted to hear:

HER HEART IS PERFECT!!!!!  She has no missing pathways, no extra pathways, each chamber is functioning just like it should.  We both breathed a sigh of relief.  And I was immediately hungry.  My stomach was in knots the entire morning and I had eaten maybe 2 bites of food and it was nearly 2:00 at this point.  Her heart rate is still high, but not high enough for the cardiologist to be concerned since her heart is functioning just like it should!  For whatever reason she just beats at the very high end, even a bit over, the "normal" range.

Thank you all for your prayers, we truly appreciate them!



Day 5 of 30!

2011-04-28T09:21:00.465-05:00

Day 5 - Your Siblings!

I have lots of them!!!  A brother and a sister on my mom's side.  A brother and a sister on my dad's side.  Plus 2 step brothers and a step sister.  Plus all the sibling-in-laws!

I'm going to focus on my 2 brothers and 2 sisters in this post!!

Growing up I lived with my mom & my brother, Josh.  Here he is with his wife & 2 girls.  (Super dad!!)


Then when I was 12 and Josh was 15, Melissa came along.  She pretty much grew up as an only child.  She has grown up to be an amazing girl.  I'm really proud of her!  She moved out a couple months ago, she's a manager at McDonalds and she's in the National Guard.  Oh yeah...and she's still in High School!!  We have become really good friends and my kids love her dearly!



When I was 12, I met my dad.  Along with meeting him, I met my brother Nolan and my sister Randee.
I recently uploaded all the pics on my camera and came across this one of my sister Randee and my stepbrother Kevin.  Little did she know it would end up on my blog!!!!

I can't find any pictures of my brother Nolan, so he gets a free pass this time around!!!



Wordless Wednesday

2011-04-27T10:38:00.788-05:00






Day 4 of 30!

2011-04-26T22:44:25.635-05:00

Day 4 - Your parents!

My dad & step-mom (this was from Christmas)

My mom & Matt (this picture is really old....but it's the only one I could find!)

Here is a picture of my in-laws!  Can't hardly see my father in-law!

The only ones I don't have a picture of would be my "other" parents, Kris & Sally.  They were the pastors of the church I grew up at and I became very close to them, really I feel like part of their family.  They were definitely instrumental in shaping who I am today!

We love all our parents!!!!  We are blessed to have them all in our lives!