Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Counting my blessings

My grandma always said, "Count your blessings." Not a day goes by that I don't heed that advice. Counting my blessings is as simple as opening my eyes each day and looking around me and I'm determined not to take the blessings right in front of me for granted.

My parents have come back to Kentucky for the month and so the lake house was a hub of activity this weekend. Michael, Katelyn and I plus my brother and sister-in-law and their two dogs all descended upon the folks for some time to play! We had so much fun!!!

And this little girl loves being at the lake...but more than that she just loves her family. (Isn't she getting so tall??)

I was so sad this picture turned out blurry...but just look at this happy pair. Katelyn loves hanging out with Papa. They're buddies.

...and I'm pretty sure that Papa likes hanging out with Katelyn too (you think?).
Grammy and Katelyn did puzzles and makeup. Katelyn frequently starts her sentences with "Grammy you wanna _____ with me?" Grammy always says yes. Katelyn loves her grammy!

Oh and these two....these two I love with all of me...and thinking about life a year ago and life now. Sigh...my life is rich and full and these two are the blessings I count multiple times every single day. And seeing them snuggling on the couch...I paused to count that as one very big blessing. :)

Who knew I'd end up being a big old home body?

Oh....and here's the menu for the week:

Monday - steak, baked potatoes, salad

Tuesday - chicken with peanut, curry yogurt sauce, rice, peas, homemade bread

Wednesday - winter squash soup, salad, homemade bread

Thursday - zesty chicken meatloaf, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans

Yum Yum!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An afternoon treat

When I'm stressed out and overwhelmed, I cook. When I feel creative, I cook. When I'm sad, I cook. When I am full to the brim with joy, I cook. I cut out recipes from the paper. I love a new cookbook (although I have no right to ever buy a cookbook again...the cookbook cupboard is full.) I love cooking magazines and I dog ear the pages that have enticing recipes I want to try. I have multiple folders full of recipes I've riped out of magazines. When I'm wasting time online I'm looking at new recipes. I love to check out cookbooks at the library. Making things from scratch is not work, it's pure enjoyment. I love to feed family and friends. I love the smells that linger in the kitchen after something's been baking. Are you catching my drift? I spend a lot of time in the kitchen...and I don't mind that one bit.
It's a rainy day. I've had a bit of a cold for the last few days....I think I'm getting better. Katelyn's taking a nap and Michael's working on a big paper for one of his classes. And I had crystalized ginger that I wasn't quite sure what to do with....so I found this recipe:
These cookies are SO good and the house smells AMAZING! They are somewhere in between a snickerdoodle and a gingersnap. Warm out of the over with a glass of milk = a slice of heaven.
I didn't have dark corn syrup so I used a 1/4 brown sugar and a whole egg instead of just the egg white and I didn't have ground cloves so I used a tsp. of allspice instead. I think rolling them in granulated sugar is enough so I didn't use powdered sugar at the end.
I'm pretty sure I got wife points for bringing warm cookies and a glass of milk upstairs to the busy paper writer. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kick the ball Katelyn!

I have been waiting for today for the last two years. The day when Katelyn is old enough to be part of a team, a class, a group. Well the day finally came. Pee Wee Sports at our favorite YMCA. 3-5 year olds. An introduction to kickball, soccer, t-ball and basketball. Learn some basics. Follow directions. Get some exercise. Play with some other kids. I have been talking this day up to Katelyn for weeks now. I was really pumped.
Yep, it was a total bust (at least for day one.)
Katelyn woke up from her nap in a foul mood and it just went down hill. She did not want to play, kick, follow directions or run the bases. She certainly didn't want to do any of it without me standing right next to her. Sigh. (See picture below.)
Coach Trevor is awesome with the kids. All four of them. :) They were working on kickball fundamentals today. Here they are getting in a line.

And everyone runs to first base together and puts their foot on it.

Then they all run the bases one by one. "Come on Katelyn, run!" (What you do not see is what happened two seconds after she left second base and laid down in the middle of the floor refusing to move...obstinate child.)

And really, this is what it looks like when you get the 3-5 year olds together. So funny!
For the record, after dinner tonight Katelyn and I went in the backyard. She kicked the ball to me and then ran to each of the bases, calling them by name. She heard every word Coach Trevor said...she just refused to participate. There's always Wednesday.....

Okay, is everyone happy? I posted Katelyn news and pictures...now onto this week's menu.
Yesterday I made granola bars. Instead of buying two boxes of snack food for lunches, I decided to make them. Much healthier and I had all of the ingredients on hand so I saved at least $5. They're really good and everyone loves them.....

Here's the menu:

Monday- BBQ chicken in the crock pot, baked potatoes and peas
Tuesday - pork chops with mushrooms over egg noodles and salad
Wednesday - Grammy and Papa get here!!! Lasagne with sauce made with tomatoes and basil from our garden, fresh bread and salad
Thursday - Chicken asiago sausage with peppers over linguini & salad
Friday and Saturday at the lake!!!!
Yum, yum, yum! Most of what we're having this week is stuff I already have on hand so my grocery list is just a handful of items. Awesome!

Friday, September 10, 2010

This week's menu

It has been "Squash Week" at the Kramer's house this week. Last week Meijer had spaghetti squash, butternut and acorn squash for 49 cents a pound...so I got all three! (I love squash!)
Here's this week's menu:
Monday - Leftovers (we were just getting back from the lake)
Tuesday - Turkey sausage and lentil soup, salad and fresh baked rye bread (pictured below). This soup was SO good. It had coconut milk, cilantro, curry, red lentil and butternut squash in it and I had leftover turkey italian sausage that I threw in there. It was awesome! Here's the link: www.allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-red-lentil-soup/detail.aspx
Wednesday - Vegetable pizza with homemade whole wheat crust & a salad (I used the leftover grilled vegetables from last week and a tomato out of the garden...YUMMY!)
Thursday - Baked spaghetti squash with beef and veggies, salad and rye bread. This was the best recipe I've ever used for a creative way to cook spaghetti squash. Michael loved it too and was happy to take leftovers for lunch today. Here's the recipe: www.allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-spaghetti-squash-with-beef-and-veggies/detail.aspx
Friday - community dinner at our pastor's house (I'm making banana pudding)
Saturday - I'm not sure what I'm doing yet....either reworked leftovers or something new with items I need to use in the fridge
Sunday - Date night! (no cooking for me..)
I love trying new recipes!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This week's doings

So this has been my first week of being unemployed. (I was laid off at the church. Inner-city church = no $). We knew it was coming though which made it easier to prepare. Michael's been working as an engineering consultant while finishing his last year of seminary which has been perfect timing. So, I'm job hunting and I must say, I kind of enjoyed this last week. I got to focus on my sweet family and the house. I know a job will come along soon enough and I'll be back at work...So for now I'm going to enjoy this season where I get more time at home.
Katelyn has a new chore chart and if she gets 15 stickers on it in a week she gets to pick a prize out of a prize bag. She has to help willingly and with a joyful heart though. She likes to be a helper and she loves putting stickers on the chart. She got her first prize today for this week.
She loves to help me with the laundry. Her job is to put all the clothespins in the bag while I fold the clothes. It's actually really helpful.

The weekly menu plan has been in place for three weeks now and it's working really well for us. This was Thursday's dinner. Grilled shrimp, grilled veggies in the grill basket and yellow rice. Katelyn loved the shrimp. She cracks me up. I couldn't believe she ate it.

Katelyn loves doing puzzles. She's gotten to the point where she will sit down and do a 25 piece puzzle on her own without help. Amazing!

The Dora puzzle's been done several times this week.

I just like this picture because she always pulls a bucket or a bowl over to sit on. Hee hee. If she's not wearing them on her head as a hat then she's using them as a stool. They never get used as a bucket or a bowl.

We're going to go up to the lake tomorrow and spend the night. Yeah for Labor Day because Michael doesn't have to go to Louisville for class so we can all just play! Katelyn's driving us nuts to go to the lake! We're ready for grammy and papa to come back next week and play with us!!!