Saturday, February 28, 2009

At least there's something I can agree with him about!

Not to get political here, but I found humor in this Yahoo! news clipping.

I now return to my opposing political viewpoints.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And the winner is . . .


I just about fell out of my chair when I saw the final triathalon results that were posted today.

"For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need." - Philippians 4:13 (NLT)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by I Am An Organizing Junkie. I did pretty well last week and I only have one "carry over" from last week because Rich had a meeting that I wasn't aware of until after I made the menu plan. Here's what's cooking this week:

Monday: Pecan Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops
Tuesday: Double Dumpling Chicken Stoup
Wednesday: Fajitas
Thursday: Asian Chicken Roll Ups
Friday: Pizza for the kids; night out for Mom & Dad!

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Photo of the Week - February 22, 2009

My triathalete in training! Ian got "bit by the bug" at today's indoor triathalon. While I was running, Ian got on one of the extra bikes and took off. I was so proud of him for riding five miles! He hopes to train for next year's youth division!

"TRI"-ing again

Last year, I had such a good time running my first triathalon, the decision to do it again wasn't that difficult. In fact, my running time had improved so much since last year, I moved up in the heats and was in a quicker heat. I don't have the official results yet, but my total time was 38:35. I think it's close to 10 minutes quicker than last year.

The swim was my challenge area this year. I didn't feel as prepared for it as I did last year. I didn't want to overdo it in the first leg though and pushed at my own pace. It's really hard not to pay attention to others around you in the pool, but slow and steady wins the race I suppose. I was really glad to see that last lap sign though!

I really made up my time on the bike. I guess getting up every morning for those 5:45 spin classes does pay off! I did pretty good on my play list planning too because I only planned for two spinning songs - How Far We've Come by Matchbox 20 and This Is How A Heart Breaks by Rob Thomas. I also learned from last year and didn't bike in my running shorts so I could dry out before I put them on.

It was then off to the track. Since I've gotten to enjoy running more than any other part of the triathalon, I knew I wouldn't have a problem with the final leg. Still after swimming and biking, the legs are a bit heavy! I am just thankful to God for giving me the strength for the final push.

I also have to share this picture. Last year, just Rich came along as my counter but other kids were there to watch so we decided we would bring Ian and Kyra along to cheer. Kyra took the task of being my personal cheerleader VERY seriously. Before she went to bed last night, she had to find her pompoms and instructed that she would need to wear her "cheerleader costume". She did a great job but her favorite part by far was the complimentary refreshment table! Hooray for bananas, apples, bagels & cookies!

All in all, I am very pleased. I definitely have some areas to improve upon for next year and now it's time to prepare for the next event . . .

Friday, February 20, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

Shhh! I took a nap today! ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Dory Kind of Day

Finding Nemo is one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. There are so many great one-liners that I can so often apply to my life and besides that, it makes me laugh.

I am going to make the broad presumption that most of my readers (seeing that most of you have children) have seen Nemo. Remember the part where Dory remembers P. Sherman's address - 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney? She's just so excited and shouts it to the ocean for everyone to hear. Now, Marlin, her counterpart, wants her to be quiet, but it's quite an amazing feat for her so she keeps on.

Today I was doing my Bible study. We're currently talking about frustration. In fact, we were supposed to talk about it this past week, but we got hung up on the previous topic of anxiety (hmmm, I wonder why God has put me in this study?) So, since I read the chapter already, I've been digging a little deeper into the Word and reflecting. And here's what I came across:

On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat. This I know: God is on my side. -Psalm 56:9 (NLT)

Now, admittedly, I should already know that God is on my side but I just want to be like Dory and shout it to the world. So I am - by way of my blog (and Facebook too since I link this to there).

Now get out there people and just keep swimming!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recipe Reviews

I really love to find and try new recipes. Sometimes they aren't all that and a bag of chips, but occasionally, I hit a winner. In the past week, I have found two recipes that are going to become staples at our family dinner table!

Lasagna Soup
Recipe source: Family Fun magazine

I really love Family Fun for their craft ideas, but they always have some interesting kid-friendly recipes as well. This one sold me just on the picture alone. Now, I don't exactly consider this to be a soup but rathermore like a "stoup" (in hommage to Rachel Ray). Nonetheless, it was a HUGE hit around our dinner table. Now, if you leave the recipe "as is", it makes 13 cups. I don't know about you, but that's a heck of a lot of soup for a family of four (considering the petite one doesn't eat that much). I chose to cut the recipe in half. I used a mild italian sausage made by our local grocery store which was a little spicy (I know you are laughing at me, Ms. M!); next time I might try their sweet italian sausage blend. I also did blend the full amount of the ricotta & parmasan cheese because this is Wisconsin after all and everything is better with more cheese! The next time, I would probably add a little more pasta as well (and would proably have even more leftovers). This fed our family well plus we had a full serving of leftover. Be sure to serve with either garlic bread or breadsticks
to make it even yummier!

Ranch Style Chicken
Source: The Pioneer Woman

If I were stuck on a ranch, I think I would cook just as much as The Pioneer Woman. This woman just has a knack for coming up with some of the best recipes though I must admit, she really loves her butter and bacon. Not the greatest when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but you can always modify! I have to say, hands down, this is probably one of the best chicken dishes EVER! I think it has to do with the honey mustard combo. Ian suggested that the only way it could possibly be better would be if I could get the bacon, cheese and chicken to all stay together when he cut it. Not sure how to do that, but I kow I'll be making this agin so I sure will try! I did use my Pampered Chef stoneware to bake the bacon rather than fry it in the pan as she suggests. I just spooned a little bit of the bacon grease into my skillet when I went to sear the chicken. I'm thinking the next time I will use turkey bacon to bring down the fat content. I don't think the lack of grease will affect the searing since I use non-stick cookware anyhow. I would say though, if you have these ingredients on hand, this is what should be for dinner tonight. Seriously, I could probably eat this every week!

Ok, that's it for now. If I come across any other winners, I'll be sure to let you know.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - February 16, 2009

You might notice a couple of "repeats" this week from last week's edition. I actually do have a large stash of recipes, but I never got around to making the "repeats" last week. I fixed the pork roast and a turkey breast at the beginning of the week and we just had too much leftovers in the fridge to justify making more. The good thing is that we liked the leftovers as well. Menu Plan Monday is hosted by I Am An Organizing Junkie. So here goes . . .

Monday: Ranch Style Chicken
Tuesday: Thai Peanut Shrimp & Zuchinni Salad
Wednesday: Crab Meat Quiche
Thursday: Asian Chicken Roll Ups
Friday: Pancake day!

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Photo of the Week - February 15, 2009

I just loved this picture I snapped of Kyra while we were ice skating (not bad for getting a picture while wobbling on ice skates!) Such a happy curly girl!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Slip-Sliding Good Time!

This afternoon, our church held a family afternoon at the ice skating center. Kyra had never been ice skating before, so she was really looking forward to it. In fact, before she left the house, she informed me that she would be skatinga ll by herself and she was going to do a figure eight! That child just bursts with confidence! Of course, once she strapped on the skates, it was a little different story, but once she got her "ice legs", she did ok (as long as one of us was there to push the "ice walker"). Ian really didn't have much of a problem because he's been skating a number of times with school and is much more coordinated than his Mom or Dad! However, I must "brag" that neither Rich nor myself landed on our respective keisters the whole time. In the end, Kyra outlasted all of us (I think she could have gone the whole two-hour timeframe). Anyhow, here's some pictures from the event!

Kyra got the hang of skating once she secured a walker
Clearly skating was not as easy as Kyra thought it would be!
Ian took to the ice without any problem.
Another shot of Ian in action!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's all about perspective!

Today, I took Kyra for a preview of my new office. After two years of working in the basement of a very old and outdated office building, the Manitowoc branch of Peterson, Johnson & Murray is "movin' on up"! We have a great new location and I even get my very own office with a door (it truly is the little things that make me happy)!

My new office is even larger than I imagined when the boss man described it to me and it has huge windows that will soon be home to various species of plants. I don't even know where to start describing the awesome amenities, but if you only knew where I was coming from, trust me, this is the Taj Mahal of office space! Boss man J thinks I have the best office, but he does have the corner office with floor to ceiling windows, so I think he is if full of bologna!

Anyhow, back to the point of my post. Kyra loved the fact that Mommy & Boss Man J are going to have a new office (which coincidentally is locatd just across the parking lot from Starbucks - did I mention that perk?). She can't wait to create her own personal shelf filled with toys and coloring books (did I mention I love my job?). But, when asked what was the best thing about Mommy's new office, the first thing out of my darling's mouth was "It has an elevator!" And that, my friends, is something I never even thought of.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Crock Pot Cranberry Pork Roast

I got this recipe from a friend at Lifetime Moments. It is so easy and so yummy!

1 Pork Roast*
1 Can of Whole Cranberry Sauce
1 Envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1/2 Can of Water

Mix cranberries, onion soup mix and water in your crock pot. Add roast. Cook on low 7-9 hours. Slice and serve.

*I prefer boneless, but if bone-in is on sale, you can use that too. The meat is so tender, it will just fall off the bone. You can probably use a pork tenderloin as well but I would reduce the cooking time so it doesn't get overdone.

Menu Plan Monday - February 8, 2009

After a two-week hiatus, I am back and raedy to plan this week's meals seeing that my darling husband will be staying put this week (or at least that is the plan anyway). I've been waiting to try a couple of recipes but I need the taster-in-chief around because I don't think the little critics of the house would do it justice. Menu Plan Monday is hosted by I Am An Organizing Junkie. So here goes . . .

Monday: Crock Pot Cranberry Pork Roast
Tuesday: Ranch Style Chicken
Wednesday: Lasagna Soup
Thursday: Crab Meat Quiche (and regular omlettes for the little ones)
Friday: Leftover Buffet

Have a great week! Off to the grocery store to get the rest of the ingredients I need!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Photo of the Week - February 8, 2009

After many threats, my darling husband finally did what he has always said he is going to do. He SHAVED his head! Kyra thought it was kind of funny that Daddy really now doesn't have any hair. Of course, now the silly man keeps complaining about how cold he is! You would think he would thing of this BEFORE he went through with it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's Racin' Time!

Ok, technically, we still have a couple of months before we get into peak road race season, but today was the first road race of the year for me. I got up in the pre-dawn hours (after a late night scrapbooking) to run in the Seroogy's Valentine 5K in DePere. The weather could not have been more perfect! I think it was around 40 degrees at race time. I finished in 29 minutes, 13 seconds which put me 8th overall in my age class (37 total) and 69th out of 417 for all of the women. My times can only improve from here. Next up is the YMCA Indoor Triathalon right here in town in two weeks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ick - Go away!

Last week on Wednesday, Kyra came down with a "wonderful" stomach bug that lasted through Friday. On Saturday, I was down for the count (not sick to my stomach, but definitely not in any shape to go anywhere). On Sunday, Rich and I headed out to a Superbowl party only to be called home by the babysitter during the 4th quarter because the ick had struck Ian. He stayed home from school on Monday but was feeling better on Tuesday so he went back. Of course, this morning, he was not feeling well again. I am so sick of this ick! I think the only reason Rich hasn't caught it is because he's been traveling so much! You an't catch what you're not around to get, right? Calgon - take me away!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Photo of the Week - February 1, 2009

One of Ian's favorite birthday traditions is choosing a restaurant for his birthday dinner and also inviting a friend to come along and share in the celebration. This year, he invited Mr. C. C had never been to Red Robin before so it was fun introducing him to it. The evening got off to a great start because they each got to order Mellow Yellow with their meal and then they began to dig in to the bottomless french fries. They told our server that they were going to eat all the french fries in the restaurant. Yeah, that didn't happen but they sure had fun trying!

The Birthday Boy

Ian turned 10 on Thursday and while it's hard for me to believe that he is already a decade old, we sure had fun celebrating. In fact, the celebration stretched over two days (three if you count the sleep-over) since we wanted max time to celebrate his birthday dinner at Red Robin.

Here are some pictures of the birthday boy:

Call the fire department! 10 candles this year! Lucky I had enough. And the Culver's Cookie Dough Craving Concrete Mixer Ice Cream Cake hit the spot!

Kyra began "negotiating" with Ian from the minute we picked him up from school to be allowed to "help him" open his presents. Ian was a really good sport about it though Kyra didn't quite understand that it was Ian's birthday and not hers! Also, never let Kyra see you when you are wrapping birthday gifts as she will tell what is in them before they are even opened!

One of Ian's "top" gifts was Big Brain Academy Wii Degree.

On Friday we let Ian choose the restaurant to celebrate his birthday. It's really no surprise that he chose Red Robin as it has always been his favorite restaurant. Here he is getting his birthday sundae and song.

That's all for now!

February Playlist

And it is already "road-tested"! Yes, I was able to get out this afternoon for about 40 minutes. It was so refreshing to be out with a change of scenery versus that mouse-on-a-wheel feeling! Here is this month's playlist!

Who I Am Hates Who I've Been - Reliant K
American Dream - Switchfoot
My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
God Love Her - Toby Keith
Be My Escape - Reliant K
That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
Check Yes Juliet - We The Kings
Yee Haw - Jake Owen
Memory - Sugarcult
The Curse of Curves - Cute is What We Aim For
I Got the Girl - Bon Jovi
Our Time Now - Plain White T's
Shine On - needtobreath
Go - Newsboys
Shake It - Metro Station
Stand - Skillet

Now, get moving!