Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wanna see what we're having for dinner?

Man oh man. Head over to The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I am so making Penne al la Betsy for dinner, even though it will require a run to the grocery store! We don't eat shrimp though, so I'll probably use chicken.

I'm already salivating!

Go check it out. Really!!!

(I have to make Marlboro Man's Favorite Cookies too, James is making me!)

I'll edit in my review tonight!

This dish is delicious, simple, and fast. The entire family loved it, the kids even had two servings each! I followed the directions exactly although I think next time I might use a slightly larger onion and slightly less wine. I substituted ground pork cooked in bite sized pieces for the shrimp and it went perfectly with this dish.

The rest of the bottle of wine was the perfect compliment!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Well lookie there! I got my title bar back. Seems that somehow I turned it off in my settings many months ago and all I had to do was turn it back on. Very simple fix......I guess I should have looked into that awhile ago!

So anyway, here's some recent shots.

Gracie at the Scottish Highlands Festival in Estes Park
Ian at the festivalJames and Ian at the festival
My little monkey
Ian's new cheesy grin
Handsome boy
My fairy princess
Horace and Scout catnapping
James and Ian catnapping
Snack time
The memorial sign for Sarah

This weekend we are going to stick around home, I have guitar lessons, Gracie starts swimming lessons, and we are going to install all new blinds in the house to match the ones we put in our bedroom last spring.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


A lot has been going on and has left me without much energy to post.

Soccer has been going well. Just one week left thank goodness. It's been hard but the parents have been great and the kids are figuring it out. And I have a whole new respect for the coaches I had when I played on community sports teams as a kid. Coaching is a lot of work. And this is just 3 year olds!

The kids and I attended a memorial for Sarah last week. There was a Mothers Against Drunk Driving sign posted at the accident site with the Don't Drink and Drive message and Sarah's name. I didn't know until I got the message from Sarah's mom the sign was going up that the woman that hit Sarah was drunk. I had suspected it but it has never come up in the conversations I've had with Drew and I never asked. The woman that killed Sarah was actually 4 times the legal limit and most likely passed out at the wheel. The memorial was wonderful and horrible all at the same time. It was nice to see our friends and share our memories, it was horrible to talk to people that had been at the scene and were able to fill in the blanks for me. It was a horrific accident. Hearing the details has been very difficult. I can only imagine how much worse it is for Drew as he was at the scene. Anyway....the last two weeks since finding out the woman was drunk and then attending the memorial have been difficult for me. I can't believe it's almost been a year.

I have started working again, I am babysitting a brother and sister just two mornings a week. They are 4 and soon to be 6 and they get along with Gracie and Ian wonderfully. It keeps me on my toes, but it's worth it.

I started guitar lessons. I'm picking it up fairly well and I am working through the numb fingers on my left hand!! It will be nice when I have callouses.

We started our Music Together classes again. As usual they are wonderful I just love Miss Brenda!

My co-leader for La Leche League has decided to retire and her last meeting was yesterday. I am now fairly panicked as I am solely responsible for all the aspects of the Parker group. I am very hopeful that my friend Kendrah will soon begin her application to become a leader so we can co-lead together. There's a lot of paperwork that needs to be done and a lot of small stuff to keep track of. I have done a lot of the "busy" work for our group so far, but I haven't been responsible for the important stuff like sending reports to international and doing the financials. I just hope I don't mess it up now!

Ian is talking more every day. He's adding in lots of words and speaking more clearly. It's so sweet and so sad at the same time. My baby is really growing up. He's almost 2!! It just doesn't seem possible.

We bought a new car. Since Sarah's accident I have been almost obsessed with vehicle safety. I know you can't predict that kind of thing, but I just want to make sure that I am doing everything possible to keep us safe in the car. It's one of the reasons we bought the Honda, which we loved. But with babysitting and needing 3 car seats in the car and not being able to use the front seat with a kid under 12 the Honda didn't work for me. And the van......well, it's a 1990. It has NONE of the safety features that are available now. Add to that the fact that Gracie has had to move up to a specialized car seat for kids over 40 pounds. (Bear with me now, I am crazy about car seat safety). I could legally put her in a booster, but for the most safety we had to buy a Britax Regent which holds a child front facing until 80 pounds with a 5 point harness. It is vitally important to me that she is in one of those seats. They are expensive though, and I really didn't want to buy two, and I really didn't want to have to move it between vehicles all the time. So I started doing research and convinced James (he's a patient patient man) that we could get ourselves a new Kia van and keep our payment the same as it was on the Honda, but be a ton safer. We went to the dealership this past Saturday and after seeing them he was convinced. So we bought a brand new Kia Sedona. It's silver and it's the base model but it's just as nice as the Honda was and it's the highest rated minivan for safety. Kia base models come with a ton of "upgrades" like power windows and locks, remote entry, CD player and lots of other nice things. I am very very happy. Oh......and it has LATCH for installing car seats. I can't even believe how easy and nice it is to put car seats in with it. So much better than using the seat belt, the car seats feel like they are part of the car, permanently attached. It's so great.

There's been a lot of other stuff going on too. I have pictures that I will put up in the next few days to show you what we've been up to.

Friday, September 07, 2007

So, we went to a new park this morning. I found it via Brandi, her last blog post mentioned it and I wanted to take the kids there.

It had a little stream running through it and there were some kids wading in it. There were a couple of small foot bridges to play on and you could get in the water right from them. So we went down to one. Gracie was nuts to jump right in and I was holding Ian's hands while he was walking on the bridge, it was like cement railroad ties all spaced a couple inches apart. Off one side of the bridge it was all sandy and stuff, but the other side was slanted down cement that was covered with mossy stuff. I thought "I need to tell Gracie to stay on the sandy side" which is where she was. I had my back turned though and I guess she crossed behind me because the next thing I know she's slipped and slides like 4 feet down this little slant with water pouring down on her. It was not even an inch deep, but still..........She kept trying to stand up but because it was so slippery she fell again and again and again. I was trying to get to her but I had to go very slowly and carefully so I wouldn't fall and I needed to make sure I was stable enough to pick her up without falling. I kept yelling to her "Gracie, just be still, just sit, stop moving, just sit, I will get you." But she was so panicked and cold and wet that she just kept trying to come up the stupid little incline. I finally got to her, almost slipped twice getting back to the foot bridge, and then I was so relieved that Ian had stood perfectly still and didn't try to follow us because, oy, that would have been really bad............

Once we were standing up there and she stopped crying she looked up at me and said,
"Mommy, you saved me." and I said
"Gracie, I will always save you." and she said
"Thanks mommy, you're the best mommy to protect me." and then she asked
"Can I go back in now?"

Some days parenting is like a slow and painful death......

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It's my birthday!!!!!!!!!

I am 33 today.
That is all.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Herding Cats

What mind picture do you have when you hear that phrase? Well, let me share my mind picture with you. They hit the ground running, they don't come when you call, and when you put twelve of them in one space all hell breaks loose.

What are these creatures?

Three year olds.

And what was I trying to do with them?

Coach soccer

Today I found a new respect for pre-school teachers. Seriously. It is crowd control at it's finest. If you can get twelve of them to go the same direction at the same time while not talking you have managed an incredible feat. People who can do this with ease should be in charge of FEMA. We don't need big name government officials planning evacuations and disaster relief, we need pre-school teachers.

Anyway.......all in all I think our first practice went ok. I survived, the kids survived, and I think most of them had fun.

I think though, when this 4 week stint is over, I shall retire.