Monday, April 27, 2009

Houston or Bust!

So, Collin and I are taking a much needed vacation and heading to Houston on Saturday morning! My mom is graciously driving down to get Ava & then we are FREE from parenthood responsibilities until the following Friday! A WHOLE week! How are we going to handle ourselves? I think we'll figure out plenty of ways, but we plan to visit the Space Center (Collin has always wanted to go there and is so excited!), Kemah Boardwalk, visit Galveston's beach, and of course who couldn't throw in shopping downtown and IKEA? I am VERY excited about that one because i have NEVER been and hear so many good things! I may be more excited about that then the Space Center...

So, anyways-let's just say we're very excited! Not neccisarily excited about the LONG drive (our GPS says 9 1/2 hours), but excited that we get to spend time alone together without having to chase down and listen to the constant jabber of a 3 year old :) We'll miss Ava, but not that much! I'm allowed to say that, right?

I will have plenty of blogging to do when we get back, so stay tuned...

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I picked up this dress at TJ Max last weekend for $10 because the moment i looked at it i knew i had to buy it! I had another excuse too-Ava is a flower girl in my sister-in-law's wedding in July and her colors are pink and brown, so this would match perfectly! I just love playing dress up with Ava in the summer!

French Dip-Yum!!!

(i got this picture from

THANKS to Kendall for this Amazing recipe! I stuffed myself today because it was so good! I definatly think it beats Arby's French Dip & Swiss (do i dare say that?) so I thought i would share it with you!

1 (4 pound) boneless beef roast
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 beef bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
3 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
20 slices French bread (we used Sara Lee French Rolls and toasted them-yum!)

Remove and discard all visible fat from the roast. Place trimmed roast in a slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, bouillon, bay leaf, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder. Pour mixture over roast, and add enough water to almost cover roast. Cover, and cook on Low heat for 10 to 12 hours, or until meat is very tender.
Remove meat from broth, reserving broth. Shred meat with a fork, and distribute on bread for sandwiches. Used reserved broth for dipping.

*if anyone ever wants to try this but doesn't want to buy all of the spices-i'll gladly give you some of mine! It got a little pricey by the time i added this meal up! I guess now our spice cabinet is new and improved :)

Favorite Thing Sunday: Poke Cake

Since i forgot favorite Friday, today is Favorite Sunday.
This is one of Collin and my favorite summer time desserts.
We seriously ate a whole pan of Jello Poke Cake in 2 days last week!
Oink. Oink. I know.
FIRST you need to bake a white cake mix

Then poke (a.k.a. 'poke cake') the cake everywhere with a fork. Don't however poke all the way through to the bottom or the jello will end up down there!

NEXT dissolve one box of strawberry gelatin in one cup of boiling water and then add 1/2 cup of cold water. We think it tastes much better with 2 boxes of gelatin (more moist), so if you want to try that, just double the amounts of water.

THEN pour the gelatin mix over the cake. If you use two boxes of gelatin, this may seem like a lot of liquid, but trust me, it will all soak in!

NEXT stick the cake in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Or until completely chilled through.

LASTLY spread coolwhip (i use 3/4 a 8 oz. container) over the whole cake
and then...

ENJOY! Ava sure did!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


When the kiddos are happy, I am happy, so Tuesday we spent most of the day outside. It was BEAUTIFUL! Ollie & Ava played so well together and had so much energy!

Ava found this BIG X in the sky!

Just hanging around. A new move she learned.

Ava & Ollie kept me busy with baseball!

A Random picture of our garden so far. Horray for onions! We have yet to plant anything else...i'm scared the cold weather will come back!

The kids had a picnic outside under our swingset. Underneath the wood doors is Ava's sandbox and her secret fort (the doors open from both sides, creating a 'fort-like' appeal)
PB & J, cheetos, & grapes (to keep it healthy!)
Meet Grape face...

...and cheeto face!

And where was Lily this whole time? Right by the patio door enjoying her inside play :) She is such a happy girl no matter where you put her!

And finally, Ava learned a new flip without having to use the bucket! She is turning into one strong and determined little gymnast!

Friday, April 17, 2009

And Ava Says...

"Daddy-your beard is wierd" -right after scruffy daddy gives Ava a kiss. Very Cute.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To Grandma's House We Go...

We went to our parents house in Milford, NE this weekend for Easter.
And no i didn't take any easter pictures-how could i forget? I may snag some from my sisters and post those later. We had a fun long weekend-which i was ready for! We had lots of exciting news this weekend: Baby news (i could hear my mom scream from the basement with joy!), Wedding news (Collin's sister is engaged!), and great news from Lisa that her treatment is making great progress! It was a joyful weekend!

Ava was talking to the cows. Everytime she would come near they would run. She didn't care-she talked to them anyways :)

Ava & Daddy on Grandpa's tractor

Collin's dad bought this the day after Thanksgiving last year so that Ava has something to look foreward too when coming to Grandma's house!

Ava & Aunt Kendra

Ava bascially drove in circles for an hour.

Ava & Daddy playing :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ava Wants you to know...

...that SHE is a...


...and she is SO happy about it, she just had to do a little dance...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

5 minutes of Chocolate Heaven?

So, a friend sent me this recipe for a 5 minute chocolate cake. A 5 minute cake that is just for one person made in the microwave and a coffee cup! I haven't tried it out yet, so if you decide to check it out, let me know how it tastes! This could be bad if it is delicious :)

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg 3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract 1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


As a mom i sometimes...well, ok...actually struggle ALOT with finding my purpose to be at home all day. The same EVERYDAY things. Laundry, cleaning, disciplining Ava...and on and on it goes. I love Ava, but there are days that i just DON'T want to be a mom! There are days I DON'T want to do the dishes or be a good housewife. It can be discouraging, so its a good thing that God's word is SO encouraging! A couple of weeks ago i found this verse in my devotions. It was one of those 'ah-ha' moments. One of those moments that you feel God is talking to you. I actually don't think i understood the first the first time i read it, but i understand it now:
"For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministering to the saints"
Hebrews 6:10
What a great reminder that God never forgets what I am doing! He never forgets that taking care of His child, Ava, is ministering right back to Him. I tend to forget that everything we do, we should do to honor Him. So, when i'm not feeling so motherly one day, i need to refocus my attitude and praise God in everything I do. This, of course, is MUCH easier said than done. Why is it that we know what we ought to do, but don't do it? Like this verse I am learning each and every day how to change my attitude and to not focus on the dirty dishes, but focus on the task of doing everything honoring to God, even if i have to be a little bit grumpy doing it ;)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Favorite Thing Friday: Dancing Ava Style

Ava has this new move.

Everytime we're taking a bath or changing clothes she does this.

She calls it 'The Naked Dance,' but for this video i told her she had to keep her clothes on!

Oh my! What is my child learning!

It's pretty funny though.

It always brings a smile to me no matter what my mood that day.

That is why Ava's dance is a Favorite Thing :)