Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crockpotalooza - Italian Dip Sandwiches... YUM!

I am going to TRY to link up with Kelly's Korner for her crockpotalooza today. I LOVE her blog and I LOVE my crock pot, so what better day to give this a try. I use my crock pot all the time... with 3 kids running around, plus all those years of working from home, I had to. If I didn't start dinner in the morning... dinner may or may not happen in the evening. We packed away my beloved 6 qt. crock and, while I thought she was headed to the apartment, apparently she was shipped off to storage... I miss her! I can't wait to bust her out in a couple of weeks when we get in to the new house. Thankfully, I brought her smaller, though still useful, sister with me. So I am still able to make a few crock pot meals in this sad little excuse for a kitchen. So here it is... a meal that EVERYONE is happy to eat. This is super simple and even requested by my "sandwiches are not a meal" husband... Italian Dip Sandwiches.

1 beef roast ( I have used chuck, eye of the round, and even tri tip... use whatever!)
1 envelope of Italian dressing mix
1 can of beef broth
1 jar of pepperoncinis

All you do is place the roast in your crock pot, pour the dry dressing mix over, then the can of beef broth. Put in 10 or so pepperoncinis( depends on your spicy-o-meter... I shoot for spicy so I usually toss in a few more)  and pour in some of the juice from the jar. Cook on low for 8 hrs. When it is done shred the meat and let it soak up some of the juice. Then place on crusty rolls with melted provelone cheese if that is how you like it, ( and I do!!!) I like to serve with a side of juice for dipping... SO good. Even my picky 7 year old loves this.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

The lazy days of summer are over! BOO!!! Today, my sweet Hailey entered the first grade. First grade is SO different from Kindergarten. It means lunch at school, longer days, more interaction with the "older kids", bathrooms down the hall rather than in the room. All of these things make me nervous... then they make her nervous... which makes me even more nervous! However she was very excited to be a big first grader and start back to school. I am not! I can't help it... I like all of my babies home with mama. Truly, I did not think I would be so sad about it. I was more concerned with the fact that we needed to be at school by 7:45am...Yikes!  This is the same time we are usually rising around here... like I said... they have been lazy days indeed!

This morning began at 5:15am!!! Yes, you read that correctly... 5:15!!! Apparently there was an air of excitement in the house as Hailey came dashing into the bedroom asking if it was time to get ready and then Paige woke up too. Any previous thoughts I had about being able to get ready in peace were soon dashed... Paige was NOT having it this morning. Thankfully, Jack decided to stay asleep... LOVE him! Miraculously, by the time my dad came over to sit with the younger two, we were ready to head out. I still wasn't thinking sad thoughts... just getting excited for her as she was so obviously excited!

Once I got her in her classroom, the big lump in my throat came. I gulped it away and started chattering about something else... and it came back again... and again. I knew that I could not cry in front of her... and I didn't. But once the teacher told them to say goodbye to their parents and she ran across the room to grab me for a hug one last time... I was done. I made it outside before the ugly cry face came and I bailed out of there and made a beeline to my car... which was, of course, about a mile away because the place was a zoo!!! At least I got some exercise... nothing like a power walk in heels!!!

So here I sit... anxiously awaiting pick up time. Jack has asked to go pick her up no less than 15 times already and we still have 3 hours to go. I am wondering how lunch is going. If she found the special Hugs and Kisses and note that I tucked into her lunch bag. If she found the bathroom when she needed it. Is she playing with her friends? I thought about going to school and spying... (yes, I do that... one day I'll share my preschool stalker story... I am THAT mom!)!!! Haha! I know that with each day that passes it will get easier. I am praying that she had a wonderful day and comes home with a smile, excited to go back tomorrow. But for today... this mama is sad. I'm missing my little sidekick snuggling in the chair next to me in the morning, and sitting across from me at lunch. At least the weekend is only a few days away. :)

This little poem I saw on FB... it makes me cry ( surprise, surprise) but it is so true! :)

I don't want to kiss you goodnight,
so I'll just keep holding you tight!
Because I know, you'll change and you'll grow...
You'll get bigger with each morning light.

I know that the sky is full of stars,
and dreams will call your name from afar...
I'm anxious to see all you're going to be,
but I'm sure gonna miss who you are!

But I'll keep you right here, in my heart,
and I'll memorize each little part.
One day you will grow, and I'll miss you so,
But I'll keep you right here, in my heart.

Each tooth that you'll gain or lose...
Each time you'll need bigger shoes...
Each step that you take, will be further away,
but to stop you is not what I choose.

These fingers that curl around my hand,
must do things that no other can.
I know you're not mine, but God's own design,
and I want you to follow His plan.

But I'll keep you right here, in my heart...
And I'll memorize each little part!
Because one day you'll grow, and I'll miss you so...
But I'll keep you right here, in my heart!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Being Trendy

After finally losing the last of seven years worth of baby weight... I realized I had not only been fat chubby for the past seven years,  I am OUT OF SHAPE!!! So..... I decided to try running. Jason is a runner, and seemingly everyone and their mother has been taking it up lately. I keep saying its trendy and I'm not going to do it, but who am I to buck the trend, so I decided to give it a shot. I mean, if everyone else can do it... why can't I. So I put on my shoes, and did a couple of stretches... all the while pumping myself up with a little "You can do it!" cheer. I quickly checked on the kids... Jack was putting together his Thomas puzzle, Hailey was watching something on T.V and Paige was in her playpen. Great... that should allow me about 20 minutes of "free" time. So I turn on Jason's treadmill and get going. I manage to get a half mile before I hear a commotion in the other room. So I hop off the treadmill, but leave it running, so that my time and progress doesn't get erased, run to the family room, solve the problem and head back to the treadmill. I start to step gingerly back on... but apparently I had forgotten how fast I had been going (I am , afterall, an overachiever...ha!). I get thrown off sideways and fall down on my shoulder... ON THE TREADMILL. As it just continues spinning away and burning the skin off of my shoulder and elbow, I roll myself off stunned. Seriously???? Who does this happen to? So now... instead of feeling accomplished by my impressive running skills... I feel like a freaking idiot who can't even run on a treadmill. So embarrassing!!! My shoulder is killing me too. Thankfully my husband felt sorry for me, and didn't make fun of me (too much) for being such a doofus! But he did make me promise that I wouldn't try running again until he was there to supervise! HA! I basically told him I am never getting on that death machine ever again!!! But this morning... with my shoulder only throbbing slightly I am ready to reconsider. After all... this girl is nothing if not trendy!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Apartment Life's NOT for me!

I felt the need to write this post, not because I am ungrateful for having a place to live, but because I want to have a reminder to NOT do this again, should I ever get the bright idea to move into an apartment again while waiting to buy another house. Ha!

This apartment was my idea.  Not necessarily having to move into one, but when our old house was closing and we hadn't found a new house yet, I basically had the following options:

  1. live with my parents (yeah... they would've LOVED that one too! haha)
  2. live in my BIL/SIL's trailer (ummm... I'm not a camper really)
  3. live in an apartment
I OBVIOUSLY chose the only option that would work for an extended period of time. So with about 5 days left before moving day, I quickly found an available apartment and we took it. It is a two bedroom, ONE bathroom apartment in a good location. It is very close to my parents, which has proved to be fun, and has a beautiful lake and fountains all around so it is asthetically pleasing. I feel fortunate that we have a place to stay that is safe and clean....this is where the positives end!

All I can say is apartment living is very different when you have a full sized family than it is when you are single and in college. As I am writing this post, my head is reverberating, and my eyes are beginning to blur because there are men working on the patio with a jackhammer and a sledgehammer and seemingly every other kind of hammer designed for destruction. Mind you ... they just constructed the patio enclosement about 2 weeks ago... Why are they redoing it??? Beats the crap out of me, unless they are just trying to grate on my nerves. If this is the case, then they have succeeded!  Poor Paige is trying to take a nap, and I have no idea how, but she is still asleep. This construction has been going on for the past month... beginning around 6:30 am and not ending until around 6:00pm. It looked like they finished the other buildings in about half the time... apparently they are putting a little extra effort into our building... Gee Thanks! I would be happy if they half assed the job and moved on to the next building. Fingers crossed they finish this soon...

The next lovely aspect of apartment living is not knowing your neighbors. Sharing walls with randoms is not something I considered when moving to an apartment. I was hopeful that we would be next to some people who kept normal hours, and honestly was more worried about the noise that WE would make. When we moved in, I have to say that the surrounding people in our building were fairly quiet and respectful. The only ones we had some question about were the people above us. They were VERY quiet, until like three in the morning when they would start playing eerie music and start banging things around up there. It sounded like they were moving furniture. It also sounded like they had a small pony up there... as we could hear it galloping back and forth across the floor when they would return home. We later learned that apparently the ceiling is far from soundproof as the "pony" turned out to be tiny weinerdog. HA. Thankfully, they moved out at the beginning of July, so it had been very quiet and enjoyable for the past month. Then... about a week ago, we gained some new neighbors.

Now I'm not judging them based on looks, (okay maybe a little bit! ) but these people are not your average folks. The man looks like he could be one of Jack and Larry's buddies from Three's Company. Everytime I see him I wait for the theme song to start playing. Apparently he didn't get the message that it isn't 1973 any more. While I actually find this somewhat entertaining... the fact that they are CHAIN SMOKERS and continually pace back and forth to their balcony on the previously mentioned non soundproof floor 800 times a day... I DO NOT find entertaining. It goes something like this... CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMP, Slide door open, SLAM. Reverse,  repeat approximately 799 more times. Enough already!  Also, I mustn't forget their beautifully decorated balcony... I should take a picture... it's pretty spectacular if you go for the gaudy and bizarre look. I especially love the odd tablecloth, and all of the knick knacks... I don't even know how they have enough room to stand out there. Oh well... they seem to enjoy it. Usually at around 11:00pm when the woman decides to go out and sit (and smoke of course) while she chats on the phone and cackles loudly. Ahhhh apartment life!

Our new house can't close soon enough for us!!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

July: Part 2

Almost done with my catch up posts... then I can start something different. Yay! A week after our vacation, Hailey and I were sick... NOT. FUN! I don't know what the heck I had, but body aches, chills and a cough were the main symptoms. Hailey felt fine ... but had a cough that kept getting worse,... until it turned into pneumomia. YUCK! We missed celebrating Mimi's 80th birthday with everyone, which we were very sad about. Luckily, we were mostly recovered by Hailey's 7th birthday. This year, was the first year that we were able to include school friends which was a VERY big deal! :) We decided to have her party at an adorable children's boutique in town called Spoiled Rotten. She wanted a Rock Star party there and she was SOOOO excited. Apparently, this was the "BEST.PARTY.EVER"!!! She had a great time singing, dancing and acting crazy with all of her friends. She also received a BFF bracelet and ring from her friend Lauren and that, pretty much, made her whole year. :) Here are some pics from her party... Oh, and don't miss the pics of Jack (he reminded me of Steven Tyler here... he gets his style from his dad!!! haha).

Happy Birthday, Hailey... 7 years has gone by WAY too quickly!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


July was a good month... as good as it gets for still living in an apartment! With really nothing to do and Jason on vacation for the month, we decided to take a little beach trip for the 4th of July so we headed to the Thousand Oaks/Oxnard area for a few days. We love going this direction as is usually less crowded which makes for a nice, low key vacation, AND most importantly, we can eat at the Cheesecake Factory... YUM! We did some shopping at the outlets and took the kids to Build a Bear. We also spent some time on the 4th at the beach. The kids had so much fun playing in the water and building sand castles. Paige wasn't quite sure what to think, but luckily she is a pretty easy going baby so she entertained herself by watching the other kids and trying to eat the sand. :) We ended the day watching a great fireworks show.

Want some sand! :)

We ended the trip by driving to Knotts Berry Farm for the day. I had not been there since I was very young and Jason thought it would be a fun place to take the kids. Now, the heat and I are NOT friends. I make it a point not to visit very warm places in the summer, and we only go to Disneyland between October and April. Why I thought Knotts (being only a few miles from Disneyland) would be any different, I have no idea. It was HOT. The kids were pink cheeked within minutes of arriving. Hailey was crying, literally, for water. We watched a old west show, rode the train and carousel, dropped something like $50 on an order of nachos, a burrito, and a couple bottles of water, and got the heck out of there. Here is the only picture I was able to get during the two "fun-filled" hours that we spent there

Hailey thinks this place is quite possibly hell on earth... I don't think we will be returning soon! Haha (Oh well... I like Disneyland better anyway... but only when its cool! ) :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

June: Part 2

After Paige's birthday was over it was a huge relief... but the next day was Father's Day so we had to celebrate the great daddies in our lives. I got up early and braved going out WITH NO MAKE UP ON... (scary!) to go get Jason his newspaper, a Starbucks coffee and breakfast sandwich. He appreciates me so it was worth it! HA! Then the kids gave him his presents... unfortunately none of them included some quiet time to read!Oh well... Nannie had everyone over for a Father's Day lunch. Here are a few pictures of that.

I look a bit rough in these... I was TIRED!!!! :)

That evening we went to dinner with Jason's family to celebrate with his dad, brother and Grandpa Ray. It was a busy weekend!

At this point everyone was ready to go on vacation, but we still needed to get through Hailey's recital. This included many practices and a dress rehearsal. This year she only took a jazz class. It was just TOO hard for me to take her to more classes with the other two in tow. Jack doesn't do "sit and watch" very well unless it is Thomas the Train on a T.V. screen. :) This year she danced to RESPECT... she did GREAT! I was so proud of her and what a great performer she has become. Next year we are definitely taking more classes... how can I deprived the audience of seeing more of my little STAR!!! :)

Ahhh June... thank you for being over. I am tired just reliving you again.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Okay... on to June. It was a BUSY month for us. The first thing on the agenda was packing up our house. *sniff* It was a sad project... I didn't realize how much I loved that house... until it was time to leave it. While packing is NOT fun in and of itself... packing when you have NO IDEA WHERE YOU ARE GOING is REALLY bad. We had planned on renting a friend's house while we were looking for a house (there was really nothing good on the market at that time)... but their house had not closed yet so that didn't work out. SOOOO with the buyers move in date approaching, we had to rent an apartment at the last minute. ACK! Five people in a two bedroom ONE BATHROOM apartment for the summer... I thought... okay, great... this should be interesting. (And it has proven to be... trust me! ):) So, we moved most of our things into storage and the bare minimum into this apartment for the summer. (Side note... we finally found a house in July and we are waiting for escrow to close at the beginning of September... Praise the Lord!!!!) We are more than ready to get out of this apartment... but I think it has been a good learning experience for our family. It has taught us to be thankful for a home and not take our blessings for granted... I hope we all remember that too!

So, back to June, we moved into this apartment at the beginning of June which is always a very busy time. Hailey finished Kindergarten, which was very sad for her. She loved her teacher, loved school, loved her friends and was not at all happy that this chapter was over. They had a party the day before the last day of school at the park, and then they had a fun day on the last day with bounce houses and slides and treats. Fun Day... you know... a day for kids to have fun. Not Hailey... she cried because she was so sad that it was all over. Heartbreaking! Jack had a fun time though... HA!

In the midst of all of this chaos... little Paigie's first birthday was quickly approaching. I had to do something to celebrate such a milestone... so Nannie and Pop let us have a "berry fun" party at their house.:) It turned out great... and our sweet little strawberry was so cute.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Poppy

Today is what would have been my grandfather's 89th birthday. Instead he is celebrating his 7th birthday in heaven. My Poppy, Jack, who shares a name with my son, was a wonderful, generous man who loved his family SO much and I miss him terribly. Perhaps the thing that hurts the most is that he never was able to spend time with my babies... they would have loved him.

Happy Birthday, Poppy. We love you and miss you!


One of the reasons that I wanted to start blogging was to record our daily activities as well as big milestones. I have forgotten so many things that I just knew I wouldn't forget,that I am happy to have a way to help me remember. With Hailey I wrote A LOT in her baby book. Currently all baby books are packed away in boxes somewhere in our storage, patiently awaiting the day they are found and put away somewhere in our new house...(more on that later). Today, I want to focus on Jack and his stats and favorite things at the age of THREE!!! So here is a little interview with JACK:

What is your name? I'm Jack

How old are you?
"free" Three

What is your favorite color? Blue and red... ummm and yellow too and green too... (apparently the boy has a few favorites):)

What is your favortite food? Spaghetti (WHAT? Hmmm... don't know where this one came from but.... )

What is your favorite T.V. Show? Thomas the Train

What do you want to be when you grow up? Apparently this one was a stumper... He couldn't quite think of a "job" he wanted to be...he chose instead to be relatives, (Kyle (his cousin), Pop (my dad), and Daddy were top choices)

What is your favorite movie?

What is your favorite thing to play? Trains

Jack is currently 33lbs and is 3 ft 2 inches tall. He wears a size 7 1/2 WIDE shoe and size 3T-4T clothes. We are "trying" to get potty trained but this proving to be more difficult than I imagined. :)

We love you big boy!!!!


So the first of May brought about a few changes for our family. The first change being my job... or rather my lack of job. :) I quit working for CAVA at the end of April... it was just TOO much. After Paige joined the family, I just couldn't devote the required amount of time to work anymore. I enjoyed working from home so much that it was such a difficult decision to make, but when they needed me to travel out of town several days a week for state testing that was the final straw. With no one to watch the kiddos... I had to quit. So now I am happily unemployed! Well... I guess I should say I'm without a PAYING job! Mom to three is still a big job in my book!

May also brought Mother's Day and several birthdays in our family. We went to El Portal for brunch as usual to celebrate Mom's day with the family. Jack's 3rd Birthday was on the 14th. We celebrated at My Gym, because it is just a fun place for him and his friends to play. He wanted a "Super Why?" party and even dressed up in the Super Why costume that Nannie and Pop bought him for his birthday. He had a great time! I can't believe this little guy is 3! He is such an awesome kid. Here are a few party pics:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Time consuming

So apparently there is a slight learning curve to this blogging thing. I spent the ENTIRE evening trying to figure out how to get my design to work. I think I finally have it though.YAY!  Since I have been trying to start this for a while, I want to go back a bit to the beginning of summer, or rather the beginning of May, so that I can post all of the kids birthdays.