December 18, 2009

Friday Funnies

As Asher was getting out of the bath one night:

"Daddy, my fingers are wrinkly like an old man. Daddy, my fingers are wrinkly like you!"

(If he would have been talking to "Momma" this would not be under the Friday Funnies post.)


I'm so thankful that I get to stay home so that I don't miss out on sweet little conversations like this as we're driving around and running errands:

A: Where we going next, Momma?

M: To Miss Jordan's house.

A: What we gonna do there?

M: I need to drop off a christmas card and take her some money...

A: She don't have any money? Is that so sad, Momma?

M: No...she has money. Momma just borrowed money from her one day, when I didn't have enough money with me to pay for something. So she shared with me and now I need to go pay her back.

A: Oh. That makes sense...

I love how your mind is constantly working, sweet Asherboy. I love the heart you already have for people at two years old. You are often concerned about people and their needs. How I pray that heart continues to be compassionate and generous.


And if this picture doesn't make you laugh at what a chunk McKlayne was a year ago than I don't know what will:

(Kyle, I don't know how her and Stella even wore the same dress!! I guess McKlayne was 2 months younger than when Stella wore it...but I compared it to your Christmas card from Stella's first Christmas and it DEFINITELY looked different on those two!)

December 10, 2009

Friday Funnies: Restroom Edition

Yes, I have tried to prolong this post, but the comedian hasn't been producing much material further delay here is the first (and hopefully last) ever Friday Funnies: Restroom Edition:

While Asher was potty training, (back in April) the boys were working outside when Asher had to go potty. He was trying to go in the house when Char stopped him and said, "Hey, we're boys. We don't have to go potty in the house. We can go outside. Let's go on that tree over there." Asher was ecstatic. The boys went over a few yards to one of the trees and Asher did his business with a big grin on his sweet little face the entire time. After he was done, they went back to work. Asher was still pondering what had just happened.
A: "Dadda, can I go look at my teetee again?"
D: "Sure, Buddy."
A: {panicked} "Dadda, Dadda! Where'd my teetee go? Where's my teetee?"
D: {assesing the situation} "Oh. It went into the ground. The tree was thirsty so he drank it. It's all gone."
A: {shaking his finger at the tree} "No, no. I want my teetee back! Gimme back my teetee, tree!!"


One evening, not long after Asher was potty trained, we were attending an evening service at church when Asher needed to go potty. I really had to go, too, so I jumped at the chance to take him. (Keep in mind we had just finished potty training so he was VERY interested in seeing what everyone was "producing" and quite the encourager at even the slightest productions.) If you were in the stall next to me (or in the restroom with us period...and believe me there were at least three other people in there at some point) this is the play by play that you would have heard:

A: Are you going teetee or poop, Momma?
M: {ignoring him...}
A: {louder} Are you going poop, Momma, or just teetee?
M: shhh...{in a whisper} I am going poop, Asher. Please stop talking...
A: {ignoring my request he continued on in an excited voice}Oh, good girl, Momma! Way to go poop! Is it going to be a stinky one?
M: {I picked up my feet so that no one could see what shoes I was wearing and identify me later...I think it was too late...I continued to ignore him, thinking that his questions would stop...}
A: Are you going to have floaters or snakes, Momma?
M: Asher...please...STOP TALKING. {I put my hand over his mouth. Thank you Daddy and Uncle Jo for your bathroom humor contribution...he couldn't have said that without you two in his life....I quickly soon as I noticed that all of the feet as far as I could see were gone, I got up.}
A:Whoa, Mommy! That was a good one! Good girl! Do you want some M&M's?

Just trying to keep it real here, people...Hope you got a good giggle at my expense.

Note to self: never take Asher to potty with me when I have to "go" in public ever again.

December 4, 2009

Friday Funnies

(I am so thankful for these three lives.)

The DirectTv man had to come switch out a satellite this week for us...while we were waiting...

A: Can I watch a show, Mommy?

M: No, the tv is broken right now, honey.

A: Oh. Okay. Tell Daddy to go get his hammer and he'll fix it.


After making a dessert for Life Group, Asher licked his beater clean. He opened the fridge and stuck it on the shelf... "I'm going to put this in here and save it for later."


And...because Charlie and I thought this was hilarious:

He rode in the car for 45 minutes from Cate's back to Grandma Apel's with this blanket on top of his head. He was REALLY disgruntled because the sun was in his eyes...and was glaring at everyone because of it. He, however, did NOT find me taking this picture humorous.

November 20, 2009

For Our Pretty Bird...

Finally. I'm getting to this post.

Finally. The bird mobile is done. I got to scratch it off of my "to do" a little over a month ago.

Charlie sent me this link last August (as in of '08) suggesting that I make one of these for McKlayne. I haven't been working on it since then...but it has been a while...on and off since the Spring, probably.

These are the Pottery Barn inspired canvases that Kyle, Charlie and I decoupaged the month before McKlayne was born:

Here are the birds that I sewed and stuffed in Design Sponge Fashion (thanks Mel and Blaire for your help along the way) :

The backs.

The breasts.

And here is the mobile. My sweet husband patiently spent half the time it took for me to make these bird to find the correct position for the birds to balance on the branches. Without him, the birds would be sitting defeated on a shelf in her room. My brain does not understand physics at all.

And while we're at it...the rest of her room:

I got these old flashcards (and the frames) at a garage sale. Picked out some of my favorite cards, put fabric behind them, and spray painted the frames. She loves books. I just wish there would have been a "dolls" flashcard to represent her two loves.

I got these vintage paper dolls and the frame at the Austin City-wide garage sale (Don't go there expecting "garage sale" prices or steals or you'll be disappointed. But there are still some great deals to be stumbled upon. I will definitely go back.)

Friday Funnies a little late but still to come!

November 13, 2009

Friday Funnies

Asher seems to be apologizing for a lot around here these days. It's always for things that he is truly sorry for. Sometimes, it's for sweet things like, "I'm sorry. I did not mean to step on your foot, Momma."

Other times it's for things like:

"I'm sorry that you have pimples back there, Momma" (referring to the tiny bumps on the back of my arm that I've loathed my entire life) "You're too pretty for that..."

Or like when McKlayne pooped in the bath tub, (for the 6th time in the last month) "I'm sorry that you pooped in the tub, Nayne. I forgive you."


During Baking Day this week, Asher grabs the camera off the counter and starts taking pictures, while I'm busily at work mixing up some brown bread. A few minutes later he says, "I took a picture of your bottom, Momma. It's a cute one."

November 6, 2009

Friday Funnies

Last Saturday night I was talking to my brother, Jordan, on the phone. I was asking him if he'd spend the night so that we could leave to go run (we had an 11 miler to do...we're training for the Austin marathon) the next morning while Asher and McKlayne were still sleeping. While talking to him, I said, "You can just take Asher's bed." (as in to sleep in...we put Asher in another portable bed in McKlayne's room.)

When I got off the phone, Asher was very upset...and he told me, "No, I don't want Jo to take my bed away. I won't have anywhere to sleep. How will I sleep without a bed? I want him to leave my bed here in my room."


Proof that living in this town has brain-washed our child:

While we're driving around the mall parking lot, Asher points up towards this sign, and says,

"Look, Mommy, that mouse is saying Gig' em, Aggies!"


We were jumping on the trampoline earlier this week, I double-bounced Asher and sent him flying, which knocked him down pretty hard. As I went over to help him up, he told me in a serious voice, "Hey, you better settle down, Mister!"

November 4, 2009

He left a boy and came back a MAN...

...Asher, that is. (Kirby is crying while I write this post.)


I had always thought about how fun it would be to take my son(s) camping someday. So when our new friends Joe and Isaac said they were going, Asher and I jumped at the chance. I had wondered when Asher was going to be old enough to sleep outside for a night. Isaac is almost a year younger than Asher. So I thought if they were willing to try it, we were definitely going.

For our first experimental camping trip, Joe and I decided that keeping it relatively close to home would be preferred. We ended up going to Hilltop Lakes just outside of Normangee. I wouldn't say that they were the nicest campgrounds that I've ever seen, but they were definitely adequate for the men. (And the community is pretty interesting with an airstrip, golf course, motel, restaurant, and small lakes.) I would recommend it.

We got there in the evening with enough time to let the boys run off some energy while we got a fire going for dinner. Here is Asher's fire. If you've read some of our recent posts, he has cultivated quite the imagination. While we were prepping the campfire, he kept asking me to come see his fire as he would throw sticks into this hole.


Asher was a natural camper. When we would go on walks, I expected my "I don't like my hands dirty" boy to stick close and on the main trail. No way. He would just walk straight through the woods making his own trail. If he'd had a machete and backpack, I would never have seen him again. I honestly couldn't keep up as it was. The holes/trails he could fit through were about a quarter of the size that I could. And I found my self sprinting around a different way to head him off or pushing through all the brush.

Asher and Isaac played well. All they needed were a couple of shovels and the great outdoors and they were totally content. Asher repeatedly told me throughout the trip, "Daddy. Isaac is my friend."

As the Apels were in charge of the meals for the trip, I quickly realized how much I equate camping with eating junk food — smores, powdered donuts, etc. I think the healthiest thing we ate were the nitrate-free hot dogs. (Sorry, Terry-men. I'm pretty sure we'll rethink this next time.)

Isaac was a champ at tent-sleeping. Joe put him down and we never heard from him until the next morning. Asher was a little harder to convince. But I think it was a little more due to the excitement of a new adventure than being afraid or uncomfortable. (If we tell him that he's going to Seaworld or somewhere exciting the night before the trip, we can hear him talking in his room extremely late that night. We've all been there.)



We had a really great time camping and spending time with Joe and Isaac. We will definitely be doing this again. Who's coming with us?

November 3, 2009

Freezer Cooking Day

For the last 6 months, I've been designating (about) every other Monday as my "Baking Day." I'll bake enough muffins, quick breads or cereal bars to put in the freezer that will last us around 2-3 weeks. (recipes at the bottom of this post...since I'm always up for trying new recipes) This has been really helpful to me for snacks or a hurried breakfast (if we're trying to get out the door quickly for some reason) or even just a lazy-day breakfast when I don't want to scrub the eggs off my (used-to-be) non-stick pan. (This is absolutely the WORST part of making breakfast to me...does anybody else hate this?)

Anyway, Asher loves to help with this, while McKlayne pretty much just likes to taste-test.

Our church has a HUGE fellowship meal after our service on Sunday evenings...which is something that I LOVE but most Sundays it has stressed me out, trying to make a meal, plus a side dish or dessert, and get everyone dressed, ready, bags packed and out the door in time. So, about a month ago, my wise husband told me that he'd like for me to find a way to make Sundays more restful.

My solution?

Several weeks ago, Crystal, from
MoneySavingMom inspired me to have a freezer cooking day...she is also who inspired me to have my very first baking day 6 months ago...and I am sharing this, in hopes, that maybe it will inspire you to make meal preparation easier on days that are busy or difficult!

Read up on how to package and freeze meals properly here. (This had been what kept me from attempting something like this in the past, but this lady gives great, easy-to-follow instructions!)
**Secret Ingredient to a successful Baking Day: If you have kids (and you live in a college town), get yourself a cute college girl, who wants to learn how to cook but can also step in to help with babies when needed.**

Madeline (my cute college girl)

Then, get all of your ingredients for each meal, along with the recipes (even if you have it memorized because when you have several different meals going at a time and if you're trying to double/triple recipes-it just gets CRAZY!) and group them (along with the pans or bags that you're freezing them in) together like so:

Then get to work...leaving your once clean kitchen, very messy...and rejoice as you think about all the hours that you're about to redeem since you're getting that kitchen REALLY messy ONE time rather than FOURTEEN!

In about 6-7 hours, we made 14 meals (not all pictured here):

-3 meals of Spaghetti Bake
-2 pans of Lasagna
-3 pans of King Ranch Chicken
-2 meals of Baked Ziti
-2 meals of Angie's Fideo
-1 meal of Sloppy Joe's (meat mixture)
-1 chicken pot pie

This has worked SO well for our family that I will probably do this every month. In two weeks, we've already eaten 4 of these meals, I'd designated 4 of these meals as New Life (our church) meals (2 of these down and 2 to go) and two families from our church have needed meals and I took them each one of these. So we've only got 4 left...but it's been such a blessing to be able to run to the freezer in the morning (or at about 4:00 in the afternoon in desperation) and pull out one of these ready-made meals. A stress free wife/Mommy=a MUCH less cranky and irritable wife/Mommy.

What I will do differently next time:

-Ask a friend or two if I can borrow at least one (maybe two) extra large pot(s) and several large bowls for mixing so that I can have several things going at once...this will speed up the process.

-Possibly brown the turkey/beef/sausage and boil the chicken the night before.

-Figure out a new way to cook the Baked Ziti. The noodles in the spaghetti and the lasagna (though, those were not cooked before I froze them) tasted fine! But, the penne pasta in the Ziti was a little too mushy. Suggestions? Would you barely cook them next time, since they'll freeze, thaw, and be cooked in the oven again?

-Experiment with different recipes to see how they freeze.

And if you only browse my blog to see my cute kids and you don't care what I have to say, I don't want to disappoint:

Asher grabs "his" apron every time we bake.

Guess what? As I was typing this post, I realized that Crystal is having a Two Day Freezer Cooking/Baking Day...starting today!
And if you have any tips or recipes that you know freeze well, PLEASE share! I'd love to hear!
Oh, yes, the recipes that I promised from Baking Days. I usually choose a couple from these depending on what ingredients I have:
Banana Bread (my sister gave me this recipe...I love this because it uses minimal ingredients, is simple and delicious!)

3/4 c. unsweet applesauce
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking
1 tsp. baking
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. grated carrots (optional)
1 c. mashed bananas (about 3)
*I sometimes I'll add choc. chips. (Just eyeball it.)

Preheat to 350. Spray 9 x 5 loaf pan w/ cooking spray.
In one bowl combine applesauce, sugar, and eggs; beat until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, soda, powder, and cinnamon. Add to batter and blend well.
Fold carrots and bananas (and choc. chips) into batter.
Pour batter into pan(s).Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean.

Brown Bread (This is what my Baking Day will consist of today...I plan on making MANY loaves..this is my kids all time favorite snack/breakfast bread...this recipe is an old family favorite.)

With my recipe, I bake them in a can in the oven. Just save an old, tall (family size) soup can or spaghetti sauce can and a big fat shorter can like what a can of whole tomatoes would come in.
Two of either (or I use one of each) size will be enough for the recipe:
-Boil 1 and 1/2 cups water, put in 1 and 3/4 cups raisins, once it boils, remove from burner and let stand for 15 minutes. Put 2 teaspoons of baking soda in raisin mix.

-Beat together 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 egg. Then add raisin and water mixture. Add 3 cups flour.
-Pour batter into greased cans and stand them up in your oven. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Stonyfield Farm Strawberry Muffins (from the Stonyfield Farm yogurt carton)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup Stoynfield lowfat plain yogurt (I've used vanilla yogurt and omitted the tsp. of vanilla and did not taste the difference)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped strawberries
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12 muffin tin or line it with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar andbaking soda. In another bowl, stir together eggs, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla until blended. Toss the strawberries with the flour mixture.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the flour is just moistened. The batter will be lumpy. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Yields 12 muffins.

Jason's Deli's Gingerbread Muffins (Asher loves these!)
I just googled it and tried this recipe one day...
these are pretty close to the real thing!

Cereal Bars
I googled these, too, and got this recipe.

November 2, 2009

Remember this?

McKlayne would like me to note...

that she is not the only one who wakes up with beadhead in this house...

Yup. That's going to be a doozy to tame.

(And. Yes. He is long overdue for a haircut, too.)

November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We love Halloween. See how much fun we had?

One little...

Two little...

Cute little indian...


The Eagle that he was so proud of.


First stop: Jin & Jisook's


The Ash's

Aunt Ash.

Second stop: MammyOu's & Dane's

She caught on to trick-or-treating quite quickly...and L.O.V.E.D. it! She would walk all the way up to the door toting her bucket and either lift it up to the treater or set the bucket down at their feet and then just look up at them as if to say, "Now, it's your turn."

She had SO MUCH candy that she could barely carry her bucket. But, she did. And would not let it go.

Asher loved running from house to house.

And would say, "I'm a pirate indian!" or "I'm a ninja indian!" whenever he would see another child dressed up as a pirate or ninja and so on...

American Gothic throws a mad party.

Cute Black-Eyed-Peas.

Has-Been Hulk & The REAL Dr.'s Wife

The Flintstones.