Monday, January 31, 2011

yep. it's edible.

recipe found here
linking up here

Happy Monday to all!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

happy birthday caleb

Dear Caleb
happy 5th birthday
we thank the Lord for the gift of you
and celebrate the joy you bring to this family
we love you so incredibly much!

Friday, January 28, 2011

following the rules, people

Rules were made to be broken
My GIVEAWAY Wednesday commenters need to all go out and buy themselves some bumper stickers with this sentiment.
You guys are hilarious.  Seriously hilarious and seriously bad rule followers. 
But I love you all anyways.
Alisa B, you are the GIVEAWAY Wednesday winner of the week.
Well, yay for you!  (insert excited fist pump in your honor)
Now you'll be smiling in this winter weather as your flower dances in the window has that effect on most people
Of course, how can a picture of a cute baby not make you smile. 
See, now we're all smiling to start the weekend off right!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A fun find for a tired mama

I took a nap yesterday the whole time my kiddos were down for one.
(you know, during that time when you actually can get stuff done?!)
So I was considering not even posting today, but then I found this super sweet looking blog which I haven't had much time to perusal (sp?!) around yet....but HELLO she's doing a GIVEAWAY and there is this SUPER WONDERFUL pillow to win! 
Go check her out here and show her some comment love to try and win the pillow. 
But don't really win because I plan on it, k?
Now.  Back to mixing more of this here stuff below.....because apparently this is the magical potion that makes my little guy's mouth feel better. 

Poor, poor little guy.  Couldn't even snap a pic to show you.  Too sad to capture.
But I have, in tough love, gotten him to eat a poptart and drink some sips of chocolate milk.
So I'm thinking we're going to be good any day now.....
Please, dear Jesus, please.  That's all I have the energy to pray.
Keepin it real.
Have a super day, All!
 p.s. don't forget to enter my giveaway from yesterday if you haven't yet!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

James fam loves Cross fam (GW !!)

We spent the weekend in Bear Country
With Bears fans
It's ok--we love em
 And I'm pretty sure they love us, too
Cause they broke out the sacred Pub Snack Mix
And that is some amazing stuff
And they introduced me to this magical machine
Nespresso.  It had me at presso
Cause that's all you had to do to get an a-mazing cup of espresso
with the wonderful wonderfulness on top
presso a button (get it?)
after long, fun days and sleepless nights with a teething baby...
I may have had a cup or two enough nespresso for an extra  person or two
some hangin with good friends saturday night
wish I had gotten pics of playing Gnip Gnop

Caleb was not at 100%, poor thang
Such a trooper though
Is that an Illini blanket wrapped around my son?!
 There was a lot of interest in the ipad. 
Even Charity was entranced by this modern technology
There was some serious Catan competition
Grudges were held and kept for unbiblical amounts of time
But in the end there was love so that's all that matters, right?!
There may have been a little Bears V. Packers in the house
Even discord among the M&Ms
Even if I was into beer brats there's no way you'd see me out freezing for food
But Justin was all about it
Even though the house was divided, there was fun to be had
And the better team won, so all was good in the end
What?!  Come on, I had to put that in there.

Well, you should be glad that you're all readin up on the James fam in the
Justin & Laurie Story
Cause by Super Bowl Sunday I'm going to find the picture of the two of us back in 1998
13 years ago, the last Packer Super Bowl Party. 
Yeah I'll post it. Yeah you'll laugh a little. 
But at least by '98 the bangs on my forehead had calmed down a bit from the earlier 90's version
Just a little something to look forward to....
(these guys played A LOT of video games.  can you tell?  a boys dream weekend was had)

You know what else you can look forward to?
And what I have this week for you all is at the heart of why I do giveaway wed's in the first place
To give you all a reason to smile
And if a solar-powered dancing flower doesn't make you smile
Nothing will 
I'm going to change things up a little this
I'm going to give you the chance for 2 entries to win one of these fun flowers
Comment #1--tell me why you are smiling today (even without a solar-powered dancing flower)
Comment #2--tell me "Packers Rule"
No snide comments or remarks or additions to the statement
 (alright, if you want to add "Bears drool" I'm not going to stop you, k?) 
 that's an order straight from the author of this blog
I'll announce the winner on friday so you all have 2 days
to figure out what window's going to be rockin when you win

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TT Rock the Crock

Hey Blogger Buddies
Happy (Tutorial) Tuesday to you all!
Because I've begun a New Years Resolution
to meal plan more and
serve last minute spaghetti less...
I bring you another Rock the Crock
Because that's what I've been up to
(except last night when I changed things up
And served the fam last minute ravioli)
But anyway....
This was a hit, and can the original can be found here
But I followed adapted the recipe from her book,
Make it Fast, Cook it Slow
 (thanks, Becky)
The recipe calls for 1/2 lb ground beef which you need to brown first (ewww.....I hate doing this)
But I used a whole pound
Then obviously you drain it.  Could you imagine if you didn't?!  Double ewww
 So add your browned ground beef to the crock and then add: 
4 cups chicken broth (it's the whole container)
1 T dried onion flakes
1 tsp minced garlic (hello jar that stays in your fridge of already-minced-for-you garlic.  love. it.)
13.5 oz can coconut milk (because that's what I had in my pantry) 
      *original calls for 1 c. milk
16 oz easy melt cheese (think Velveeta gone generic) 
     *it's half the container.  notice the use of PNS and be amazed. 
     cling wrap would need some help to hug the cut end of that cheese so closely
      you know it
Cut up 1 pepper and 3 potatoes and add to your crock

Cover and cook for on LOW  4-6 hrs 
You're supposed to add the melted cheese at the end but I'm not sure why.  I'm not the best at following directions and added it before I even bothered to read,
"Stir in milk and Velveeta 20-30 minutes before serving." 
I say.....isn't the point of the crock to not worry about dinner 20-30 minutes before the meal?! 
But who am I to argue with the FOUNDER of  A Year of Slow Cooking
Seriously.  (but you really don't need to wait until the end...)


This soup was a hit in the James fam.  Well, maybe except for Caleb who is not much of an eater.
And he's been a little under the weather these past few days, poor kiddo.

Have a super day, All!
Love, Laurie for the fam

p.s. today I'm linking up here.  take a peek.....tons of recipe ideas!

Monday, January 24, 2011

all is made beautiful

Now isn't that a lovely thought?
linking up to Blessed Little Nest Life Made Lovely Monday

Friday, January 21, 2011

cold night for cocoa and company

It may have been a cold, cold night. 13 fun-lovin degrees to be exact.But I had a date that I wasn't about to break. Another "Hot Cocoa Date with Mom," this time with this cool kid...
Jon picked a coffee shop (with little to no prompting from me?!) with a decent selection of goodies and any kind of java a mama could want. He was pretty stoked about the chocolate croissant.
I was pretty stoked to be out with just him.
He is a joy to hang out with and a blast to talk to.
And because he is so much like his Daddy he did crazy things when I went to snap a pic.
Like pretending to be terrified of his chocolate croissant.
Or peering deep into his cup of cocoa.
What a nut. I love him.
And he still let me kiss him in public. My days are numbered
So I'm taking total advantage of the ones I've got left.
It was such a fun time out with my oldest son.
We laughed, told stories, shared memories, and touched on some deep issues of life
The white chocolate mocha was good-- but my company was way better.

So in my Real Simple mag, they share some ideas about sprucing up hot chocolate.
Not like hot chocolate isn't good all on it's own.
But I guess if you drink as much as my fam this chilly time of year you could use a little variety to spice things up.

Care if I share?

Option #1: add marshmallows and 3 T malted milk powder (they say to broil mallows for 30 sec?!) I say over. rated. But that could be just me...

Option #2: top hot cocoa with 1/4 cup mint chocolate ice cream and 1 sprig fresh mint (got any fresh mint in your house?! me neither...) Well, they had me at mint chocolate ice cream at least

Option #3: mix cocoa with 1 pinch chili pepper and 1 pinch cinnamon and top with 2 T whipped cream and 1 more pinch of both chili pepper and cinnamon.
That's definitey intriguing, don't you think?!

Well....there you go, Blogger B's. A little challenge set before you as you begin the weekend:
Just say "no" to boring hot cocoa

Have a great weekend, All!

p.s. the winner of GIVEAWAY Wednesday is: (do I hear a drumroll?!)
HOLLY (comment #12) Yay for you! Some Press N' Seal will be rolling your way soon....
Thanks to everyone who participated. You guys are so much fun!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

baby on board

Ever vacuum with a fussy baby on your hip? rock.
It's no easy task, people.
Can I (please) get some Mom Points for carrying around my poor (teething) baby
Love her. LOVE. HER.
But it adds a whole new dimension to easy tasks like stirring the soup in the crock.
If you can't tell...the vertical space between Char's hand and the pot is like 2.5 inches, k?
You've been there. You know. That soup's lucky it got stirred.
(a-mazing soup, by the way........tune in next tuesday for the deets)
Ahhh, baby. I'll take you anywhere.
But do you see this?!
Not the pic of the cute couple on the wall (awwwww......)
No-- the piles (and piles) of unfolded laundry on the bed.
Which can't really be done with this (cute and sweet and cute) baby on my hip.
Hey,wait.....what is that extra lump in the mix?!
Nice try, Buddy.
Nope. She's not amused. But nice try.
Hey now
I'll just pay the bills sitting on the couch, then. On my lap.
That's almost (not really) as easy as at the table.
But I can sit next to the (precious) fussy baby this way....and that just might work, right?!
Yeah.....that didn't last long.
But the camera was amusing for a (brief) moment in time.
And so was this. Remember this?! I'm going to start referring to it as the
"FussyBaby YouTube Phenomenon."
So yesterday afternoon went....not quite as planned.
I got (almost) nothing done.
But I did have a super snuggly (slightly fussy) baby to hold.
All the snuggles I wanted. And more.
Well, when you recap it that way....why did my heart sing the "Hallelujah Chorus" when Justin came walking through the door from work?!
I'm pretty sure Charity was just as happy to see this special guy who makes both of us smile.
Here's to a super Thursday
(fussy babies unfussed)
to all stopping by my little space on this world wide web today.
If you haven't entered GIVEAWAY WEDNESDAY you've still got a chance!
Click HERE to check it out....