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Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Horse Named Sam

Meemaw gave us this rocking horse for our baby shower before Jackson was born.  Since we referred to Jackson as Sam while he was in my stomach, we named the rocking horse Sam :)  Jackson really wasn't sure of the horse for a while, but now he LOVES to ride it!  Josh taught him some more horse sounds and actions:
video

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

This week had a couple great successes, and a not-so-hot first run...  Friday night's dinner was quite delicious!  It was the first time I made both recipes, and I highly recommend them both!  Sunday night's dinner was on the right track, but our shrimp wasn't the freshest.  It wasn't bad or anything, just not quite plump and juicy.  This recipe was tried in an attempt to use up some bags of frozen shrimp in the freezer.  The sauce the shrimp were tossed in was delcious, so I think there's promise...


Monday: dinner out at Firehouse Subs
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: our last Lou Malnati's pizza :(  and salad
Thursday: leftovers again?  (we can't remember!)
Friday: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lasagna with salad and Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert
Saturday: dinner at friends'
Sunday: Sesame Lime Shrimp Salad with Lettuce Wraps and Pillsbury biscuits



For more yummy recipe ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011 and So Much More!

Our timeline in terms of house things is as follows: We close on Tuesday afternoon, move into our new house on Saturday, May 7th (about a week and a half later), and our tenants are slated to move into our townhouse the following day!!!  Yippee!  We are all set to close, we just need to sign those papers and get our keys!!!  The original family who applied to rent our townhouse didn't work out.  We had a flurry of showings after the house went back on the market, and we were in a great position of receiving multiple applications!  We have found a great family, and we are just waiting for them to sign the lease at the beginning of this week to make things official!  
Jackson has been doing awesome with all of the moving preparations!  He is starting to show some signs of wear and tear, but we are really proud of him overall.  Last week he was a little extra whiny, and I could tell that by the weekend we needed some good family time.  We had a nice moment on Saturday morning where he was playing trucks and cars, Josh was reading, and I was sorting through the Sunday ads.  He didn't need us to play with him, he just wanted us there.  He was so happy!  I of course was imagining us doing this in our new house with a fire :)  This past week his whininess has continued, and he wasn't a fabulous friend when we had playdates :(  We have had a pretty good weekend, and I've tried to give him some extra Mommy-Jackson time.  This week will be interesting since he's spending most days at friends' houses while Josh and I paint and tackle other pre-moving-day projects...
Jackson's favorite activity right now is to take his Cozy Coupe outside and push it up and down our street.  Yes, that's right: push it.  He rides it all around inside, but he only likes to push it outside.  It takes a good half hour to cover our street since we stop to visit all of the ants, spiders, and random things on the sidewalk.  It's pretty cute, but sometimes I wish it went a little faster...
 We have been visiting our house as often as possible!  Now that we have carpeting, we can let Jackson run around and not worry about him stepping on something sharp or tripping over machinery.  This past weekend we took the Bascoms out to see our new place, and Maddie caught right on to the Run-Around-the-House-as-Fast-as-You-Can Game!  Brodie enjoyed chilling in front of the fireplace...until the dust that was burning off caused ALL of our smoke detectors to go off since they are all connected...  Yup, that was fun!  
 Jackson having a turn to hold Baby Brodie!
 Playing a fun game with Daddy
 Playing another fun game with Maddie
 Under the kitchen island makes an excellent hiding spot for short folks :)
 Matching rain boots!
 This toy was supposed to be our big gift to Jackson at Christmas.  He got so many other new toys, however, that we saved it until later.  I gave it to him when I kicked packing into high gear.  He LOVES it!  Yesterday he experimented with what else he can send down the ramps (farm animals, dinosaurs, different trucks, etc), and today he got a few new cars in his Easter basket to go with it.
 Doesn't Jackson look about nine years old here???
 Easter balloon!
 Easter basket: Yogurt melts, two new books (one about Koko--his favorite "Chuggington" chugger and one from the movie "Hop" since he LOVES bunnies, chicks, and eggs right now), a few new cars for his Wheelie's ramp, a couple of bath books, a train and a boat that have a light and make noise, and some little M&Ms.  
 Starting the egg hunt!  His eggs had yogurt melts, pretzel goldfish, and mini M&Ms in them.  It took a few tries to convince him that he didn't need to open each egg and eat everything before finding the next one!
 Pax got in on the Easter spirit!
 Checking out the Easter basket loot
 Showing how to make a butterfly with his hands :)
 
Happy Easter!
Love, Jackson

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday...on Wednesday?

Ummm..yeah, it's definitely not Monday anymore, but I still wanted to share a few yummy recipes!  I made a list last week of all the food that is in our pantry and freezer and am trying to create meals until we move using those items.  So far, so good :)


Monday: Pasta
Tuesday: Chicken Parm Sandwiches and fries
Wednesday:  Cilantro Crusted Roast with Horseradish Cilantro Pesto 
Thursday: leftover Cheeseburger Soup with grilled cheese
Friday: dinner out
Saturday: Slow Cooker Taco Soup (I had mine over noodles)
Sunday:  leftover roast and cheesy potatoes with Fresh Strawberry Bread

For more yummy menu ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie!

Help a Friend Wednesday :)

One of my best friends, Cassie Bouy, entered a contest hosted by HopScout to win a chance to work part time for them.  While fun, part-time work is an amazing blessing for a stay-at-home-mom, HopScout will also contribute to Cassie's 2 1/2 year old son's college fund!  So, click this link, watch Cass's awesome video, and vote for her!!!  Thanks :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Little of What We've Been Up To

I was really hoping to keep up on my blogging during this whole moving process, but I think that was wishful thinking :(  We have been SO busy!  We started the weekend off with a Friday evening showing.  As soon as they left and we got everything cleaned up from dinner we headed to Susie and Joe's to hang out and have some dessert.  On Saturday we escaped the house (including Pax!) to the Buerstattes and hung out at their place while they were in the city.  We were so thankful they didn't mind us taking over their space especially when they weren't home, but we felt it was the best decision to just leave the house since we had FIVE showings!  We had a great time relaxing there, and then Brandi cooked a yummy dinner for us all.  On Sunday we had two showings and went to Maddie's second birthday party!  All of the decorations and food revolved around an adorable cow theme!  Jackson had a great time eating Sarah's yummy treats and playing with the other kids!  We haven't had any more showings since the weekend, but we found our our first application isn't going to work out :(  I am SO bummed, especially since I felt like I really clicked with that family :(  We have had lots of calls about other people wanting to put in applications, so we are waiting to see how everything pans out.  We are confident that it won't be too long before we get another interested tenant since there's been so much action!

Now our moving plan is a little up in the air, but I'm planning on another big round of packing.  I'm really trying to just go with the flow.  The great news is that everything is moving right along with the new house!  We have our final walk-through Tuesday morning, and then we are set to close the following Tuesday morning.  By mid-May at the latest, we will be in our house, one way or another.  That's a great end result and we'll just do whatever we need to do to make it happen!



Jackson and I went to the grocery store for just a few items on Friday, and he LOVED pushing his own little cart!  He was adorable and such a good helper :)
On Saturday we took Pax to visit our new house on the way to the Buerstattes.  He seemed excited and wanted to go right in.  Too bad it was locked :(



Friday, April 8, 2011

Crazy Busy Week!!!

Our house on Willowdale Court was officially listed for rent as of Tuesday.  I spent a good portion of Monday and Tuesday cleaning, packing, and finishing up some staging.  As of Wednesday morning at 10:30, we already had one call for a showing!  Our realtor is out of town, so Josh and I are happy to show people our house :)  I made the appointment for that first family to come through on Thursday evening.  Late in the afternoon on Wednesday I got a call from an agent that she wanted to show it that evening!  Luckily, Josh was just coming home so we tag-teamed running around and getting the house ready.  We took a little walk once the people got there so they could look around in peace.  


Thursday we headed out to visit our new house on the way to Brandi's for a playdate.  Not TOO much has changed, but we do have light fixtures, appliances, a light post out front, a poured driveway, and address numbers on the porch!  Here are some pictures of those little touches.  We are still waiting on siding, carpeting, the final coat of paint insides and a few other things.
While we are at Brandi's, I got a call from an agent who wanted to show the house that afternoon between 11:30 and 2.  That was quite the window, but we left a little early to get home in time for the showing.  The couple was great and didn't mind Jackson staying downstairs watching TV, so that made it a bit easier for me!  After they left it was naptime after which Jackson spent a lot of time playing his new game of running his little cars through his Mega Bloks castle! It's a great game that shows his growth in play.  He is pretending more and making the cars do lots of things.  I love seeing his little imagination poke through :)  Anyways, around 4:30, our showing for last night called and confirmed.  They also wondered if they could come early.  After finding out they were already in the neighborhood, I said sure.  Since they did not have an agent, I stuck around and showed them around a little.  I tried to chat and tell them all the great things about the house and neighborhood.  We were standing in the kitchen and they were sort of asking each other what next.  I said, "Do you guys like it?"  They definitely did and wanted it!!!  WOO HOO!!!  I told them I'd get in touch with our realtor and see what the next step was.  Within a couple of hours I had them in touch with Leslie (our realtor) and she had send them an application to start the process!  I definitely think this family was meant to be.  We are now keeping our fingers crossed...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Prize?

Check out this ADORABLE apron Brandi made for Jackson!!!  She had tipped me off to what she was making, and on Friday I might have mentioned Brandi was bringing a surprise for Jackson when I laid him down for a nap.  He did take a pretty good nap, and as soon as he woke up he said, "Brandi?  Prize?"  This kid doesn't forget ANYTHING!  Oy...  Anyways, here is the model showing off his "prize!"  The apron is double-sided: One side for cooking and one side for arts-n-crafts :)  The fabric is actually from some projects I had my friend, Becca, make for holiday gifts.  She sent along the leftover pieces, and Brandi has worked wonders with them!
Just a funny little dialogue we've had going:


Scene: Family walk.  Mommy and Daddy really want to have a conversation about a few things, but Jackson is quite chatty and keeps interrupting.  


Mommy: Why don't you keep your eyes open for some deer?
(continued chatter)
Mommy:  Jackson, do you think we'll see any bears?  Moose?  Elephants?  Monkeys?

(continued chatter through most of walk)


A few days later...
Mommy: Jackson do you want to go for a walk with Paxton?
Jackson: Open eyes.  Monkeys.

Mommy: Yes, you can keep your eyes open for monkeys!
Jackson: Bears?  Elephants?  Open eyes!


A different day...
Jackson is sitting in his Cozy Coupe in the family room looking out on to the deck:
Jackson (whispering): Bears?  Elephants?  Moose?  Monkeys?  Deer?


Yesterday...
Daddy: Jackson, do you want to go for a walk on this nice day?
Jackson: Open eyes!  Monkeys!  Deers!

(lessened chatter during walk)
Jackson (periodically): Deers?
Mommy/Daddy: Yup, keep looking for deer.

Jackson: Frogs?
Mommy/Daddy: We might see frogs.  Keep looking!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last Monday Jackson and I flew back to Springfield in the afternoon.  We had a pretty easy menu week, but here it is anyways:


Monday: Trader Joe's Orange Chicken and Chicken Shu Mai
Tuesday: Enchiladas
Wednesday: Pigs in a Blanket and Fries
Thursday: Slow Cooker Buffalo Wing Soup and Rolls (This is the second time I made this soup and I doubled the chicken broth to make more soup.  I will just go ahead and double the whole thing next time--it would definitely fit in my pot and it is so yummy as leftovers!)
Friday: Slow Cooker Chicken Parm and Chocolate Stout Cupcakes (I had seen this recipe and then went to Chicago where we had Stout Cake for dessert at Wildfire.  It was amazing!  I decided I needed to make these cupcakes!  I used regular Guiness, added a combo of chocolate coffee and espresso grounds, crunched up Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels for the top, and sprinkled with a bit of sea salt.  They were awesome!)
Saturday: Papa John's Pizza
Sunday: Leftover soup and pizza



There are tons of yummy ideas for menus and meals at Menu Plan Monday hosted by Org Junkie!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Update on 4259 Talon Dr.

I haven't posted for a while about the progress on our new house because I wasn't sure how to share the pictures.  Josh and I went on March 14th for our pre-dry wall walk-through.  We walked through the whole house with our project manager and got to see where all of the wiring, plumbing, etc. goes.  It was SO neat to get to see the "insides" of our house!  I chose just a few pictures to give the feeling of that phase. 
This first picture is the master bedroom/bathroom area.  
The second picture is of the stairs going up from the entryway.  
The third picture is of standing in the living room looking into the dining room and kitchen.
The back of our house.  Josh and I are still trying to figure out what our fencing situation will be, but this is all our land...


We didn't see the house at all while Jackson and I were in IL, but Jackson and I went first thing Tuesday morning the 29th when we got back.  By then everything was dry-walled!  The rooms are BEAUTIFUL!  I took a few pictures that day, but then Josh and I went back Thursday night and again this afternoon :)  On Tuesday the guys were installing our kitchen cabinets.  There were random other components of the house stashed in other rooms and in the garage.  On Thursday, the counters and cabinets had been installed in all of the bathrooms.  The banister was also installed on the stairs.  When we pulled up today, we saw the stone had gone up on the front of the house!  It looks SO pretty!  The floors are also in in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and foyer.  I am LOVING seeing all of our choices come together!!!  My favorite place by far is the kitchen--I can't wait to get in there and create lots of yummy things!
 Planning all of the yummy things we will bake!
 Living room and dining room
 View from living room of door to garage, hallway to family room/playroom/powder room/ and stairs

As far as moving, we have a final walk-through date of Tuesday, APRIL 19th and a closing date of Tuesday, APRIL 26th.  We cannot believe we will own this house in the month of April!!!  Our townhouse goes on the market this coming Tuesday for rent.  Ideally we will find a tenant to move in in May, but who can be flexible and move in around May 9 or 10th.  We would like to spend the first week or so painting and installing blinds and window treatments.  Then we would move on Saturday the 7th and be in our new home to celebrate my THIRD Mother's Day!  FUN!  We definitely plan to be flexible, but that's the plan :)

There are a TON more pictures at this link: Coming Soon: 4259 Talon Dr.