Thursday, June 30, 2011

embrace the camera and some kinda cool drink

embracing the camera with the whole fam today
my mom will take any chance she gets to capture a posed pic
and after Jon's game last week was one of those times
--thanks, mom, for capturing the memories--
do you ever find yourself not appreciating
a family picture at the time
but then a year or two later it's completely priceless?
guilty here!

I read this post HERE
and I was like
so I had to check it out for myself.

and it's true.
it works and you really get a  patriotic looking drink.
I let it sit for an entire hour and it stayed that way.
cool stuff, huh?
now I'm totally taking this stuff to my nephew's 11th birthday party
(he's a firecracker, born on the 4th of July)
and I'm going to win
I just know it
(sorry, Holly)

I even had Caleb taste-test it
--and he approves--
maybe a little sour, but good stuff....

Go check out the deets on how to make it HERE
(it involes knowing sugar grams and pouring directly on the ice)
then go rock your 4th of July BBQ
with all YOUR coolness.

have a SUPER day to all stopping by this here blog bout the James fam
--we're hitting up the park today with some new friends--
woot, woot

Monday, June 27, 2011

making nut clusters

if Charity ever doubts her brothers love for her
I'm breaking these pics out
I'm pretty sure nothing says love to a little girl
like a tea party complete with ritz crackers
--LOVE it--
 on a completely different note
the boys and I have been having some baking days
to while away the rainy summer days
 they looked through some cookbooks
 found some recipes that looked good
---I put the ingredients on the grocery list----
and we got all the stuff
 let the baking begin!
so far we've made a chocolate bundt cake
and nut clusters (pictured here)
Caleb is excited to make some 'stoplight' brownies
 those will be baked up soon
(very soon)

has anyone else been eating outside every chance possible?!

 A cup of lemonade spilled outside
is a complete miracle.
It doesn't raise my stress level at all.

have a super day
spilling all the lemonade you want

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Embrace the Camera meets Rock the Crock

When I saw that Emily was back to Embracing the Camera
I just had to welcome her back with a little post of me and Jonathan
This picture cracks me up
We've got a lot of these wide-eyed pics of my sweet 8 year old right now
Here we are in front of Okauchee Lake
after a fun brunch with my family celebrating my Mom's retirement
Happy Retirement, Mom!
I know this picture is disturbing at first glance
but settle down, you all
it's just the ingredients for a carbo-licious meal of
Macaroni and Cheese...Rock the Crock style
To make this delish dish
first you need to boil up 12 oz noodles (3/4 of 16 oz box)

meanwhile, mix up
3 cups shredded cheddar (you'll need 1 more cup later)
13 oz can evaporated milk (or evaporate your own like I did)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tsp salt, pinch of pepper

add noodles when they are cooked and drained
Optional add in:
some cooked chicken to add protein to your carbo-loaded meal

I'm feeding a crowd of hungry guys so I went for this added step!
Spray the inside of your crock with some non-stick spray

pour the mixture in
and sprinkle cheese on top til your hearts content
--this Wisconsin girl opted for an entire cup of cheese on top---

Here's a summer tip for using the crock from my sister-in-law:
Plug it in outside
Now you're cooking dinner and not heating up your house at all
How cool is that?! (get, moving on....)

Rock your Crock on LOW for 3-4 hours
(be watching the outside of the mac n' cheese....that's what gets crispy)

The original recipe from Fix it and Forget it (which I've adapted)
tells you not to remove the lid
(but I remove mine to wipe off the condensation so it doesn't drip on my noodles...)
This is what Jon thinks of the yummyness
(notice his temp tattoo from the school carnival.  awesome)
so I thought I'd sandwich this Rock the Crock post
in a little embracing the camera with my oldest

here we are at a Brewers Game which we got to enjoy in an air-conditioned suite
thanks to my bro who got the whole fam the fat hook-up
by throwing out the first pitch of the game
I could really get used to baseball games in suites
(that's pretty much the only way.....)

have a super thursday to everyone who is stopping by!
(don't forget to stop by Anderson fam crew to check out the other posts)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day
to the best dad I could ever pick
for our kiddos.
Thanks for leading this family
with love and wisdom
and modeling integrity in a way thats (sadly) rare these days.
I thank God for a godly man by my side
as we raise our kiddos to seek Him.

Love you, Justin!

Hope you enjoyed your celebration friday night
complete with a Fazoli's dinner
handmade cards
and all the varieties of BBQ sauce a Grill Master could ever want
You're the BEST!

to everyone who checks this blog:
have a super day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

8 on 16

8:00AM coloring together
I hope those are washable markers
there's this fun link up called 10 on 10
where you take 10 pictures throughout your day
on the 10th of the month
totally fun
I totally forget

so here's just a little glimpse of our day

Matthias plays a little T-ball in the backyard
he's a riot to watch, especially rockin that batters helmet!
11:00 AM
to the park we go
in all our transportation modes...

11:30 AM 
Charity was a fan of the park swings

Jonathan and I play Clue while the others nap
*he beat me for the first time
chillin on the couch together
with oyster crackers, the tv on, and an exciting computer game
5:15 PM
Jonathan has a baseball game
2 doubles and 1 single (way to go, Jon!)
9:00 PM
kiddos are in bed
blogging, BBW, and The Mentalist

a great ending to a beautifully great summer vacay day

---here's to another one just like it---
have a super friday, all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


it's how you pronounce 'quinoa'
this whole grain that I'm totally digging right now

there are some recipes on the back of the box of different things you can make
but I was served this quinoa salad at a friend's house for lunch
and have made it twice since
--because it's that good--
first, you need to know where to find this ancient grain
and you can locate it near the rice
it's made a lot like rice
the first step is to mix together one part quinoa
to two parts water
(I did 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water)

mix together
cover loosely with cling wrap
and microwave for 8 minutes
when it comes out, give it a stir and let it sit
for 12 minutes
heat it up again for 2 minutes
stir again
place in fridge to cool

here's some goodies I found to add to the quinoa:
1 cup corn
handful of shredded cheese
3 pieces broccoli  (see next pic)
2  roma tomatoes (the first time I subbed canned tomatoes because that's what I had)
1 cup italian dressing

chop up the broccoli super small
and the tomato pretty small as well
--this is a great salad to make because you can sub what you've got on hand--
carrots, peppers, cucumbers, etc

mix it all up together and serve alongside Nacho Cheese Doritos
at an outdoor dinner of brats and baked beans

beautiful summer night
great food
super company

does it get any better?

have a SUPER wednesday saying quinoa
over and over and over again
cause that's what my husband likes to do
(it is a fun word to say)

two cool dudes just chillin

Monday, June 13, 2011

daddy daughter duo

pure sweetness.

have a super monday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

it's the end and the beginning all rolled into one

this picture cracks me up
Caleb is so completely stoked at the End of School Carnival
he can barely contain himself
that he's about to jump in the Mickey Mouse Bouncy House
life doesn't get any better than this for a preschooler, you know
Matthias was pretty excited, too....
but in his own Matthias way--a little more subdued
(a big shout out to all the other carnival-goers in this pic.  welcome to my blog!)

and as if life couldn't get any better at a Carnival
they enjoyed ice cold popsicles when they were done jumping their hearts out
Jonathan was the cool dude 2nd grader
who was not into bouncy houses any more
but hung out with his friends at the carnival games
among the 20-something tattoos he won
he also got his little sister a pinwheel at one of the games
she really thought it was the best thing ever
(can you tell we have figured out the "cheesy smile"?!)
and so with a end of the school year carnival
comes the last day of school.
no one warned me that it's just as hard to watch your 2nd child
graduate from preschool as it was to do it the first time
full day kindergarten in the fall?!
I'm just not ready for it
(but Caleb sure is!)
and I just had to get a pic of the back of Jon's (baseball) shirt
can you read what it says?
--this ball second grader is going out and it ain't coming back--

hilarious that he came up with that on his own.

and so we begin summer vacation around here
we counted up the days--84
my kids felt totally jipped that Phineas and Ferb told them there'd be 104
sorry, guys
don't believe everything you watch on cartoons
first lesson of summer break with teacher Mom

have a super day, all!