Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Lasagna Rolls

My dear friend sent me this recipe recently.  It's honestly amazing!  Yum yum yum!!!  I got my gluten free lasagna noodles from wegmans and they were great too.   I copied her recipe word for word, stick to it and you won't be disappointed :)

Serves 6
12 lasagna noodles
1lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (26 oz) jar of favorite spaghetti sauce
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grate Parmesan cheese (instead I used a mix of three cheeses they sell at the store...I think Parmesan, Asigo...and one other)
I also added
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1- Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 13x9in baking dish with non-stick spray (I forgot to do that and mine were fine)
2- Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain. Lay noodles flat on waxed paper (I found that using tin foil sprayed with non-stick spray worked better).
3- Cook the beef, onion, garlic (and green pepper and zucchini if you use them) in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned and crumbly, and veggies aren't hard (you don't want them super soft but not really hard either...they'll cook to soft in the oven). Drain. Add pasta sauce; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Spread 2 cups of sauce mixture in the prepared baking dish.
4 - Mix the ricotta and 1 cup of mozzarella in a large bowl (I also sprinkled some of the Parmesan mixture in here too). Spread about 3 tbs cheese mixture evenly over each noodle (I found it was easier to just pick some up in my hands and roll it into a long piece, then smush that on the noodle lol...this is where Kaleb helped. I put the long roll down and he helped me smush).
5- Roll up the noodles tightly. Place, seam sides down, over the sauce in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the rolls. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake the rolls until heated through and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy 100th Post! Happy Birthday Party, Little L!

Just a few pictures from my sweet baby's birthday party.  It was a lot of fun and I'm really happy with how things turned out.  Enjoy!

And some from the tropical storm that blew through our area.  J and T went out to play in the rain :)  Those of you with boys know what it's like to try to keep them contained and calm for a long period of time!  He NEEDED to get some energy out.   It wasn't that windy, and since there wasn't any lightening, J took him out to play.  They had a BLAST! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby boy is ONE!!!

Oh, hello again!  I don't know why I have such a hard time keeping up with this thing!  I really enjoy blogging, but time is precious and it seems to just disappear on me.  I guess that's what happens when you have two toddlers!!!  Yup, that's right.  I'm now the proud momma of two toddlers.  Baby boy had his first birthday on Wednesday.  I have to admit, it makes me really, really sad.  I love love love this stage he's in and I know what comes next.  I just want to keep him this way for a while longer.  He's my cuddly momma's boy who loves being held, being kissed, and being near me.  He also loves hugs, kisses, and rough housing with his daddy and big brother.  Oh my word how he melts my heart!!!  Sweet T is amazing in SO many ways, but he was never a momma's boy.  Never cuddly either.  I am loving this!  I love Sweet T too, he has many of his own strengths and amazing qualities.  But it's L's birthday week, so I get to focus on his strengths without feeling guilty that I'm not ooing and awing over T equally.  :)  For his actual birthday, we had a really nice, calm day.  The kids and I went out to breakfast with my parents (dad had off work due to the earthquake).  We then hung out at home until J came home.  Dinner was delicious, we enjoyed each other's company, and then went out to get ice cream.   Our favorite ice cream place is a little stand with some picnic tables and a big, grassy field behind it where kids can run and play.  Now that L is walking (have I mentioned he's walking???), we let him play too.  He absolutely loved it.  Here are a few pictures from our day:

See?  He's sad about turning one too ;)  I have an adorable picture from the ice cream place on my phone, but no clue how to add it to this blog.
    This weekend, we are having his first birthday party.  Nothing big, just our parents and sisters.  We are going to do a "little slugger" theme.  I have the cake baked and many decorations prepared.  Now I just need to decorate the cake, clean my parents' house (we're having it there due to more house projects...our ceiling leaked again), and set everything up.  I can't wait!  Hopefully I'll have lots of pictures to add later on.  Unless we lose power from this hurricane coming our way.  Actually, I think it's down to a tropical storm for us.  Nothing major.  Hopefully we wont even lose power.  I think the earthquake was enough natural disaster for one week and I'm thankful that God steered this hurricane away from us.  Be safe, everyone!  And check back for pictures of L's party!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Today's the day.  L's appointment with the eye surgeon is this afternoon.  Prayers please.  I'll update soon :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13

Romans 8:38-39And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is a picture of Sweet T on  his first day of swim lessons.  He's such a cutie!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wednesday's Walk on Friday :)

Post #2 of the day!  Wednesday's Walk with God.

I'm still reading my devotional that I love so very much (The Excellent Wife).  I just finished reading the section on respecting your husband.  Once again, this topic is something that many people today would get offended by or get really defensive over.  Showing respect to your husband, especially when you don't feel like they deserve it, goes against every thing feminist believe and fight for.  But, it's what God commands of us.  I was really convicted.  Overall, I think I do an ok job at respecting J.  I'm by no means perfect, but I try not to talk down to him in public and I try to lift him up and encourage him.  There are many times, though, that I get angry and don't think he deserves my respect for certain things.  There are times when I feel like he's making a bad choice or like he should do something for me or treat me (or the boys) a certain way.  Please do not read this wrong.  My husband is amazing.  Seriously amazing.  He is so good to my boys and me and there is never a doubt that he loves us.  He's still human.  He still makes mistakes.  As my mom would say, he's a great guy, but he's not perfect (hi mom:)).  Those are the times when I have a hard time showing him respect.  When I feel like he's being selfish, I give dirty looks, raise my voice, say things I shouldn't say.  I am very disrespectful.  If you were to point it out to me at that moment, I would probably say something along the lines of, "Well I don't think he deserves my respect right now!"  And you know, that may be true.  The book even says there may be times when your husband doesn't deserve your respect.  HOWEVER, the Bible does not tell us to respect our husbands only when we deserve it.  It says to respect your husband.  Period.  There are no exceptions.  We should show respect to him all the time.  That does not mean that we have to let him get away with treating us badly.  In fact, there is also a section that talks about rebuking your husband... respectfully.  When I need to tell my husband that he's making the wrong choice or that he has a bad attitude, I need to do it in a loving way, to uplift him and help him to change his way to honor God.  I shouldn't be mean or anything like that.  I shouldn't act like I'm perfect and know everything.

I finished that section last week.  On Sunday, I saw an example of a wife who showed disrespect to her husband.  Out in public, at church even.  It made me sad to see her treat her husband that way, and the look on his face broke my heart.  How sad that even Christians act that way toward their spouse... in God's house!  As wives, we need to pray that God will help us to be kind, patient, and loving toward our husbands.  When they deserve it, and when they don't.  We have a responsibility to obey God regardless of the circumstances.

(Me and the man that I am choosing to respect and honor when he deserves it AND those rare times he doesn't)

Busy day!

The week ended up getting pretty busy and as you have seen, I wasn't able to post as often as I was hoping.  I've been waiting to post a few different things so I'm hoping to have time to do it all today.  Yep, that's right.  I'm hoping to post about three different posts in one day.  Ha!  I'm going to start with the one that I've been waiting for... my Thoroughly Clean post from weeks ago.  Last time I wrote, it was about the in door flood we had that destroyed our office area dry wall.  Since then, we have had the plumber come fix the leak (yay!
) and then scrubbed the entire top floor and most of the main level.  It looked great!  The top floor has stayed put together, overall.  At least our bedroom has (until right this moment when Sweet T has decided to build a fort, complete with every pillow, book, and toy from both his room and mine).  I have also made a huge effort to keep the main level picked up.  J has noticed my hard work and I think that my efforts have helped him since his job situation has been crazy. 

I also mentioned last time that watching Hoarders on Netflix has been a huge motivation for me to get rid of things.  We have finished the first season and while I'm not obsessive over getting the clutter out, I'm still on this "get organized" kick!  I have a difficult time figuring out where to put things.  I know everything is supposed to have a home, but where is that home when we have a townhouse with little storage space and four people with tons of stuff?  Another organization stumbling block is the fact that it's expensive!  Those adorable baskets that make things look clean and put together are shockingly expensive!  Between our tight budget and our lack of space, I've really struggled to figure out how to get organized.  I'm starting to get things worked out, though.  We have two walk in closets in our master bedroom.  I decided it was a good decision to just spend the money and get some shelves put in one of them (mine) so that we can use that extra space to store things like future birthday and Christmas presents.  My wonderful sister helped me install them (with pink tools none the less).  Here is a picture of the finished shelves in my closet:

I cannot tell you how excited I am about these!!!  After installing them, I walked around the house looking for baskets or buckets that I could use to keep things in on these shelves, and I actually found some wonderful things that I could use.  I found two very large baskets in the basement.  They are actually laundry baskets, but they work!  I found a few blue baskets that I bought on clearance several years ago, too.  They don't match, but they work and I already own them!  Then for my birthday, my grandma, parents, and in-laws gave me money.  I used some of that to put toward more little baskets that match better (two large cream colored to go next to the large brown, and then three smaller ones to go on a separate shelf, two cream and one brown for the middle).  I still have the blue ones that don't look great, but I just can't justify buying more when I already have some that work.  No one sees my closet anyway. 

In my kitchen, we have two smaller cabinets that I can't reach over the microwave.  They are hard to open and like I said, I can't reach them.  We didn't really use them for much, just stuff that we decided we didn't need to keep.  So now, those cabinets are home to small electronics that we rarely use (think waffle maker, larger crock pot, stuff like that).  It gave us a lot more room in our island, which is where we keep most of our small electronics, so we were able to move some things down there that used to sit on the counter (toaster, kitchen aid).  It's not much, but with the limited counter space we have, it made a pretty big difference.

I have found a ton of ideas on Pinterest that would work in our home.  I'm hoping to organize the home a little bit at a time (because we can't afford to do it all at once :)) and hopefully have this place put together soon.  I'll keep blogging about the things we do that help us out.  I'm excited to see the changes already.  Even just starting the process has motivated me and made me really excited to get it all done.  It really does make our home feel more peaceful and a place where we can just relax.  It's kinda nice :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday Madness on a Tuesday. Again.

I would rather write about the fun things going on in our home than a tasty recipe, so I'm going to skip Tuesday's post this week.

J- Praise the Lord, he has a job!  It's not necessarily something he's excited about, but it's a job none the less :)  He was also offered a part time job working for someone from our church.  This guy is a fellow deacon and my hubby is so excited to have this opportunity.  Apparently, he is really smart and funny.  J thinks he will learn a lot from him, too.  At first, I wasn't thrilled with J taking a part time job on top of everything else, but he really wants to do it and the extra money will be nice.  He also promised to save Sunday for family days.
T- Another praise is that T is having good days now!  This is a HUGE praise because I honestly wasn't sure how much longer we would last with those constant battles.  He's still a typical two year old and we have lots of power struggles, but having good days makes the bad days tolerable.  Some day, when he's an adult and doing amazing things for God, I'll look back at these times and be thankful that God gave my son such a strong personalty.  He has also finished his swimming lessons.  I'm happy to have life back to normal, but I'm sad to be done with swimming.  T is so brave and had a blast!  He can sit at the bottom of the pool and hold his breath for a decent amount of time.  He can scoop his hands like he's swimming and kick his legs.  He isn't a big fan of floating, but he does it with assistance.  He was promoted to the highest pre school class :)  Too bad all sessions are over.  He'll have to wait until next year to take the last class.
L- My baby is growing up!  I can't believe he's going to be a year old this month!!!  His little personality is shining through more and more.  He has the best laugh in the world!  It's so funny.  He also gets into EVERYTHING!  His favorite place to play right now is in the toilet.  YUCK!!!!!  He is also trying to walk.  I'm not sure if he will be walking completely by his first birthday, but he can take a few steps at a time.  He has also started giving us the biggest hugs and the sloppiest kisses.  Is there anything better?  I doubt it.  No words yet, at least I don't think he's saying anything.  Sometimes I think he says something but I'm just not sure.  I thought he tried saying T's name today.  It was sweet!  But like I said, I'm not sure if he actually said it or not.  I also think he's trying to say "that."  He points at things and says, "da, da, da"  I'm wondering if he's asking "what's that?" when he does that.  I always tell him the name of whatever he's pointing at, so hopefully soon he'll figure out how to say real words.  I'm really hoping he says Momma first!!!
Now that I've said all the wonderful things about my sweet little L, I need to ask you to pray for him again.  It appears he has clogged tear ducts again.  I hate this.  Honestly, truly hate this.  We will be taking him next week to find out for sure what's going on and to come up with a plan.  If he does have tear duct issues, we will most likely have to take him to have surgery at the hospital, completely with putting him under.  There's a chance he will have the probing done again, but I guess it's rare that the doctor does that twice.  I heard an encouraging story after posting this on FB.  One friend said her daughter had a lot of problems like what L is going through.  After much prayer, her daughter's eyes cleared up on their own!  I'm praying for the same thing for L.  I know God can do anything!  I'm trusting He will do what brings Him the most glory...which is hopefully this miracle :) 
As for me, I have really been trying to be kind and loving to all of my boys.  My goal is, after all, to be a better wife, mother, and woman of God.  He has been working in me a lot these past few weeks.  I'm doing better cleaning, cooking, and using self control.  I still have a loooong way to go, but I'm thankful to see progress.  I am also officially 27.  Yay for birthdays!  I never really thought of 27 as a special year (I'm sure someone of you are completely shocked to read this...mom and sister...), but my friends, family, and especially my wonderful husband turned an ordinary birthday into an amazing weekend!  Coffee with the girls, lots of beautiful frames to decorate my home, a 'surprise" party, and a KEURIG made this birthday extra special :)  Can't wait till my sister gets home so we can celebrate some more!  Oh yeah, you read that right... the 27th birthday celebrations are not over yet.  Maybe 27 is a big birthday after all.  Ha ha!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Things I love: baby clothing and such

I know it's been a while since I posted.  Swimming lessons really messed up our whole schedule, but they were a blast!  T loved them!  To get back into the swing of things, I thought I'd do another one of these posts :)  Things I love!

First and Foremost, cloth diapers!  Yup!  I LOVE them!  I have two favorite brands of cloth, Happy Heiny and Tiny Tush.  The reason I love these brands is because they are made for bigger babies.  Have you seen L's chunky thighs?  They're nice and big.  These diapers fit him well.  If you have skinny little ones, you would probably prefer a different brand, but for us, these are wonderful :)  (The picture above is L in his Happy Heiny cow print, it's my current favorite!  Love the cow print)

Because cloth diapers make bottoms so big, I love these one piece outfits.  It's really hard to find shorts that fit my sweet guy, but these are perfect!  Another reason why I love these types of outfits is because they are SO EASY to get on and off.  Both my kids hate (hated) diaper changes and (would) fight them like crazy.  It's nearly impossible to get shorts or pants pulled up!  But in these babies, I can snap the snaps between his legs while he's on the move.  It's so easy and SO cute!  T wore a lot of shorts and pants when he was L's age, but L almost never wears them. 

Now that I wrote about my favorite type of outfit, I'll tell you that my favorite brand is Carters.  Just like with the diapers, I like Carters because they fit my chunky boys better than most brands.  They are excellent quality too.  They often have sales and they are not too terrible expensive.  The things we bought for T still look great on L. 

My newest favorite place to buy baby/toddler clothes is actually thrift stores!  I used to shop at consignment sales all the time, but even those places seemed overpriced.  Babies especially don't wear things very long so I find things that look brand new...sometimes I even get things with tags still on them :)  It's a little harder to find nice things for T, because toddler boys are hard on their clothes, but every once in a while I find something amazing.

I think this is all I'm going to write for now.  I'm hoping to blog every day this week!  I really want to get back to my weekly schedule, but we'll see :)  I'm excited for Thursday so I can share all of the progress we've made in cleaning/organizing/decorating!  Have a wonderful Sunday!