Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Chicken Broccoli Casserole and a Christmas card

(Yes, long time no see!)

Just had to share this recipe.  Chris has never raved so much about a dinner than the one I served tonight and it was so easy because I had all the ingredients precooked and just pulled them out of the freezer.  Try this Chicken Broccoli Casserole.

Kids' review?  Oldest 3 ate it reluctantly, Aaron was not feeling well so didn't eat dinner, Mabel ate a few bites, but Luke loved it.  He kept saying, "Yay, I found a broccwi!"  Broccoli is his favorite veggie.  :-)

And just for fun, here's our 2016 Christmas card:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Aaron and Luke

My parents were in TN this week and Aaron couldn't really wrap his head around where they were.  He says to Luke, "Luke, do you know what TN is?  It's a mistake, that's what Andrew told me."
Took me a minute to figure out he meant state, not mistake!

Luke's been skipping his naps about half the time lately, or putting himself to bed around 4 and sleeping through dinner.  Lack of sleep makes Luke a crabby boy.  Today he was fighting with Aaron about a rake that we had just bought at Meijer.  The rake was green and since green is Luke's favorite color, anything green is his (Do not try to give him a blue or yellow plate.  He needs green!).  I told him he would have to take his nap as soon as we got home instead of raking leaves.  He says to me, "Why, am I cwabby?"  Yes, son, you are very "cwabby"!

Yesterday while I was baking, Luke asked me for a drink.  I was in the middle of something so I told him to be patient.  Like a typical 3 year old, he says, "You be patient!"  Yup, I get a lot of time to practice patience with him around!  He keeps us on our toes.  :-)

Friday, October 07, 2016

Artprize 2016

We went to Artpize with our friends, the Venlets, who also have 6 kids.  Have to admit, didn't really go for the art, we went for the food trucks at Rosa Parks Circle.  Had some phenomenal hand cut fresh fries with pulled pork and cheese sauce.  Our friend got a pulled pork sandwich off a truck with its own smoker on the back.  The kids had a great time walking around downtown with their friends, but it did make me feel a bit frazzled keeping track of 12 kids!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


(So BIG news, we moved a couple of weeks ago.  Will post pics soon.)

Noahism #1

Andrew:  Mom, do you have a headache?
Me:  A little one, but I took some medicine and it's going away.
Noah:  Well, I have diphtheria. 
Me:  :D  :D  :D

Noahism #2

In the car on the way to Artprize last night, Noah kept making Mabel say "Meow" over and over and louder and louder and I finally told him to stop.  He sighs, "Now I can't advertise her anymore."  I'm pretty sure he meant he couldn't amuse her anymore!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Weekday Lunches: Day 1

I make the kids lunches every week day.  Chris usually takes care of Saturday and our Sunday lunch is our main meal.  That means I make 30 lunches during the week, not including my own (Chris usually only eats an apple for lunch.).  Most of the time the kids have sandwiches for lunch, but that uses at least 10 slices of bread each day (Not to mention cheese, I should make my own!).  So my challenge this week is to make something other than sandwiches each day for lunch, preferably using leftovers or something from the freezer.  Today's lunch is a combo of both:

 Half a loaf of garlic bread left from last week, meatballs in spaghetti sauce left from last week, and leftover cauliflower.  

2 out of 3 liked it (the youngest 3 had sandwiches)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

My girl

Here are some pics of my girl from the last few months! 

I'm super sad that she's outgrown the pick cowboy boots!

Loves her some spaghetti.

She's smart.  She knows she's not supposed to get out so she just hangs out on the top railing.

She loves her some icecream too.

And chocolate.  Definitely my daughter.

Yup, my daughter.  Hates celery.

She is a crazy child in the water.  So different than the boys.  She sits on the top step of the pool and plops in and then swims to the edge.  

Luke goes to the dentist

 Luke had his first dentist appointment today!  He did really great.  His hygenist was very nice and explained everything to him.  

 What a champ!  He picked bubble gum flavor but thought he got to eat it.

 Super clean teeth!  No plaque was found, but unfortunately I brought him in because he has a couple huge cavities right between his front two teeth.  We'll see how the filling appointment goes.  

All worth it to get a new toothbrush and a toy.  :-)
All my kids love going to the dentist.  Noah asked why he didn't get to go.

Take note, Luke is child #5 and he is the only child that got pictures taken at his first dentist appointment! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Some recipes~Island Pork and Pesto Stuffed Shells

So here's a couple things from the back of the stove this week:

Island Pork  (I've made this twice and its pretty yummy.  I'm going to try it on the grill.)
For spice rub:
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 ¼ - 2 ½ lbs total) trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
For Glaze:
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco
Stir the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl and rub all over the pork.  Heat oil in ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Brown pork, turning occasionally, about 4-5 minutes total.  Remove from heat, but leave pork in skillet.
Stir together brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl.  Pat the mixture on top of the pork.  Place skillet in the oven at 350.  Roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into the center of each tenderloin registers 140 degrees, about 20 minutes.  Let pork stand in skillet, loosely covered with foil for 10 minutes.  
Pesto Stuffed Shells (These are the bomb.  I think its the pesto but they're awesome and a perfect company meal.) 
  • About 1/2 Crock-Pot Bolognese recipe 
    (I just use my own spaghetti sauce.  I usually have some in the freezer I can pull out.)
  • 12 pasta shells, cooked
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 cups low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto (I use the red pepper pesto from Aldi.  It's about $2 and I can use it in the recipe twice.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Extra cheeses for the top, if desired
  • parsley flakes, for garnish {optional}


  1. Make Crockpot Bolognese Sauce according to directions.
  2. Spread about 1 1/2 cups of sauce into the bottom of your crockpot to serve as a base and a no-crunchy-or-burned-noodle-barrier. Set aside.
  3. For the filling, stir all ingredients together until combined. Spoon filling into cooked shells, stuffing evenly. Place into bottom of crockpot, onto that sauce.
  4. Spoon more sauce over the top of each shell and sprinkle with extra cheese if you feel so inclined. Cover and cook 1 1/2 hours on high or 3 hours on low OR until hot all the way through. Sprinkle with parsley flakes and serve.
  5. **Non-crockpot directions: Place shells into 9x13 baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot.