Thursday, October 27, 2011

Redecorating with Pumpkins

My mom had some issues with her outdoor decorations this fall.  Look at those mums- dead!  Look at the pumpkins on the step- so yesterday!  Fortunately, she has me here to make things look better. 

I'll just move this pumpkin this way...

Yeah, that's still not right. 

Maybe I should move it down the sidewalk.

Good thing I work out!  This takes a lot of muscles!

That looks so much better!  Mom is so lucky to have me for a helper.

Can I help with the Christmas lights next? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Last night I made one of our old standbys- Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole.

It's super-easy, and all three of us will eat it.  (Except Frank kept calling it, "that taco stuff."  No idea why.)

What You Need

1 lb. lean ground beef
2   green peppers, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups  cooked long-grain white rice  (I use brown)
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1-1/2 cups  KRAFT Shredded Italian Five Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided

Make It

HEAT oven to 350ºF.
BROWN meat with peppers and garlic in large skillet; drain. Stir in rice, spaghetti sauce and 3/4 cup cheese.
SPOON into 2-qt. casserole; top with remaining cheese.
BAKE 25 min. or until heated through.
recipe via


Monday, October 24, 2011

Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

(Subtitle:  Jacob Drives Tractors)

On Saturday, we went to Rader Farms in Bloomington; had a blast doing all the activities, and I forgot my camera.  Genius. 

So today, my mom came over, and I suggested going again so that I could get some pictures of Jacob's first-- er, second-- visit to the pumpkin patch.  I never thought I would question my loyalties to Curtis Orchard in Savory, but Rader Farms is a truly charming little place and has great activities for kids. 

The setting of the Farms is very picturesque, with acres of pumpkins and gourds. 

They have a little cafe and gift shop, but we quickly bypassed those because by this time, Jacob was already pointing towards the activities!

He loved playing on the big "jumping pillow" with Grandma.

We also visited the animals.  They have ducks, turkeys, sheep, pigs, and goats.  One of the goats escaped while we there, but it just sort of hung around the fence until someone came to put him back in the pen.  Apparently, I was the only one who was worried he would run away...

There was a giant slide made of some kind of field drainage tile.  Jacob and Frank loved this on Saturday, so I knew he would want to go again today. 

Yup, he still loved it!
There was a straw maze,

which my son decided to outsmart by crawling on TOP of the bales.

What, like this maze is supposed to be hard?
There were also bales to climb.

But the most exciting part of the farm was all of the tractors!  Are you ready for all of the tractors?!

Here we go...

(As a side note, mom said my Grandpa K used to have Massey-Harris like this one (way back in the day), and she and my uncle used to ride on the footboards, sometimes even falling asleep!  Look at that little ledge in the center of this picture---

Can you imagine letting your kid ride so close to a tire, let alone fall asleep there?!)

We had such a fun morning; can't wait to go back next year!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Randoms

It's time for more Friday randomness...

  • Last night's Cardinals loss did not go over well in my house.  Let's just say there was a lot of yelling at the TV.  (and not by me)

  • I'm really hoping for nice weather this weekend because I want to go to the pumpkin patch with Frank and Jacob.  It's one of those places that has lots of things for kids to do, and we haven't been there at all yet this season.  At the beginning of the month, it was too hot.  This week, it's been too cold.  I'm like the Goldilocks of weather-temperature comfort.  Fingers crossed for 60's and sunny tomorrow.

  • I had the best of intentions to cover our window wells this week since it is prime mouse season, but I refuse to go near them if a mouse is actually IN the window well.  That's pretty much ruled out the entire week.  Current mouse count- 3.  Total mouse count for the week- 4.  Thank God they are on the outside.

  • My job situation is pretty depressing.  The university where I taught has seen a 25% decrease in enrollment since last year, and I don't have work.  I've been applying to other places, but I really hate not working.  I've made my own money since junior high, and my current "unemployment" status makes me feel like a loser.  I'm a much happier person when I'm working. 

  • We went to the neighbor's for coffee this morning, and Jacob spent the better part of the time climbing on to their leather ottoman/coffee table and jumping off.  The neighbor's daughter is 5 months old, so I think he was just giving them a preview of an active (almost) two-year old!

  • TGIF!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


In my last post, I mentioned Pinterest and got some emails asking about the site.  (because noooobody uses the comments :)  From the Pinterest website: 

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard.  Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.  You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.  People use Pinterest to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.

I'm new to Pinterest and browsing the site is so interesting and a huge time suck.  Often, though, I find things that make me think of someone else. 

For example, this quote immediately made me think of Courtney:

Then, while looking through the fashion section, this outfit made me think of Lisa:

Source: via Lori on Pinterest

And then, there is this quote, that sounds just like something Emily would say:

I often see pictures in the decorating section that remind me of my mother

Or mother-in-law

There are tons of pretty pictures, fun ideas, and good recipes on the site..  If you want an invitation, let me know!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Handprint Ghosts

While browsing Pinterest, I saw this adorable tutorial for handprint ghosts

and thought, "Hey, I can do that."  So off I went to Hobby Lobby to buy the supplies. 

Being crafting-impaired, I didn't think about covering my hand prior to using the black spray paint. 

That was not fun to get clean off, people, not fun at all. 

I was pretty nervous about making the handprint, too, thinking that Jacob + white paint = trouble.  However, it went better than expected, and we ended up making three of them; one for each grandparent and one for us. 

I think they turned out pretty cute!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not the Fun Parent

After hearing some commotion from the bathroom last night while Frank was getting Jacob ready for his bath, I walked past the door to find this:

I'm still not sure why he was in the sink.  Obviously, I'm not the 'fun' parent. :) :) :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3 Minutes

I saw this on another blog with no credit to the original poster.  I thought it was hilarious......

"Approximately 3 minutes inside a head of a 2-year old"
Each of these “emotions” lasts about 3 seconds.

I wanna play with Daddy’s phone.
I wanna put on Mommy’s shoes.
I wanna open and close the thermostat.
I wanna turn on and off the light on the microwave.
Is there anyone here with a phone I haven’t played with yet?
I wanna pick up the cat by its head.
I wanna throw all the toothbrushes in the sink.
I want out of my chair.
I wanna play with the iPad.
I wanna go outside.
No, I wanna turn the heat on.
I wanna take my pants off.
I don’t like the shirt I’m wearing.
I wanna play with Mommy’s phone.
I’m thirsty.
No, not for that.
Yes, perfect, juicebox.
I’m gonna squeeze this thing all over myself.
Where’s Daddy?
Where’s the cat?
Where’s Mommy?
Oh no,I think Mommy left forever.
Ok, there’s mommy.
I want to play with her phone.
Hungry again.
Never mind I just remembered not liking these pants.
Get them off.
Wow, I’m starving.
I want peas but I don’t know how to tell anyone.
Finally, peas.
I like throwing these.
Oh look, a new person.
I wonder if they have a phone.
I’m tired.
I wanna go for a walk but I don’t wanna go outside.
No, not inside either!
I need to push some buttons right now.
I hate this diaper.
My eyes itch.
WOW! Is this my toe?
I hate these pants.
This shirt itches.
I’m tired.
Stop asking me if I’m tired.
Where’s that toy that goes beep.
I wanna take a bath in my clothes.
Put on my favorite song.
Where’s the cat?
What is UP with my shirt?
Did I just hear a dog bark?
I wanna see a dog.
No, not OUTSIDE!
I wanna see a dog inside.
I peed.
I’m bored.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Red White and Blue

Last Saturday we went to Ottawa to hear my cousin Adam officially announce his re-election campaign in his newly re-drawn Congressional district. 

It's so interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes of campaigns.  So many details have to be put into place for each event, each press conference.  I'm not terribly political, but there are some people who take this sort of thing very seriously and the excitement and intensity is contagious. 

Just before the event, Uncle Rus said that Adam wanted all his family on stage behind him as he gave his speech and asked us if we would stand up with them.  (Had I thought for even a minute this would happen, I probably wouldn't have worn jean capris, but I guess it's not all about me, is it?  :) 

I was really nervous about having Jacob on stage-- he was within grabbing distance of both balloons and a microphone!  Fortunately, he was kind of overwhelmed and behaved like an angel through most of the speech.  He started to get squirmy by the end, so we zipped offstage so as not to distract from Adam.  My other cousin and her son, who is 11 months older than Jacob, had also moved into another room by that time as well. 

The event was a great success, and it was a great start to Adam's new campaign!