Saturday, January 31, 2009

Menu for 2/2-2/6

And since I've just made my grocery list and gone through recipes I'll post my anticipated menu for the week:

Monday: Roasted Flank Steak with Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes and green beans (a new one...I'll let you know how it turns out!)
Tuesday: Out
Wednesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup and Cornbread
Thursday: Lasagna with garlic bread and salad (I think this lasagna recipe was my first "real" attempt at cooking. I found it at when I was in college and I've tweaked it a bit over the years...but its pretty fantastic. My fam prefers the cottage cheese to the ricotta cheese lasagna)
I'll stop there...I'm not sure what the weekend holds but I'm not planning on cooking! :-)

Edited to add: Ok, I recommend the flank steak. Maybe I just got a really good cut of meat (thanks to Marsh at Traders Point), but it was really really good. The rub added a great flavor but out of habit we still dipped our bites in A1 :-) I screwed up on the slow cooker potatoes because I didn't have any cream of ANYTHING so I had to substitute. They were just OK. I'm sure they would have been fine if I had the right ingredients. GRRR. :-)

Friday, January 30, 2009

A cute snapshot of Owen and Jon (Gross). We visited them in Xenia this past weekend and had a great time. (even though Heather and I STILL lost to the guys at euchre. Darn!) Owen's big thing is walking around and holding someones hand...Jon graciously obliged and walked him around their house several times. We also had a good time visiting my brother Curt. He met us in Dayton for lunch and even hung out at the mall with us for awhile (sorry no, picture) :-)

Owen and Josh...probably watching Jeopardy. (its the only TV we let Owen watch...we figure it boosts his brain power. ha. just kidding. Don't worry, we let him watch fun kid shows too.)

Owen trying to play the Wii. He thinks he is really good :-) We indulge him; why not?!

Upside down Owen....and the O-man givin' some love to his daddy (or "Jawsh!!!" as Owen likes to call him!)

Nothing much new going on in our little corner of the world. I would tell you about the snow...but I imagine all of you already know about that (Josh got two snow days and my office even closed...whoa!).......we've been snuggling at home trying to keep warm and hanging out with some good friends, playing games and watching our kids run around like crazy people :-)
I continue to cook and bake...I've had some successful meals this week (slow cooker chicken salsa
and chicken and dumplings) I really recommend these....Josh was even excited about these meals, so you know they had to be pretty good! My downfall in baking came with chocolate peanut butter rice krispie bars. I just didn't get them right. I'm not quite ready to write them off, but I'm not sure what happened. Oh well. I'm moving forward!

Owen had a check up with the Pediatrician on Monday and I'm happy to report that he looks great...little, but great. He hasn't gained any weight since the last time we had him in, actually it looks like he lost a little...but the last time they weighed him with all of his clothes and shoes on and this time he was a naked baby! Sooo....Dr. Skafish said he wasn't worried...but wanted us to come back in three months for a weight check. Some toddlers go through a growth spurt at this age and he wanted to check up on him. Otherwise...he is right on track...and I continue to appreciate having a toddler who is easy to pick up and can wear his clothes twice as long as any other kids :-)

The boys are out for the afternoon helping build shelves at Caleb and Heather's and I've been taking advantage of the quiet by catching up on bills, out the the Can my life get more exciting? Its about to people because I'm getting ready to go GROCERY SHOPPING! :-)

That's all for now...sending warm wishes your way!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Tentatively of course:

Monday: Barbecue pulled pork in the crock pot
Tuesday: Out
Wednesday: Salsa Chicken
Thursday: Chicken and Dumplings
Friday: Chili with the Bailey's
Saturday: Pizza or Out
Sunday: Pot Roast

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Whats new with us

This past week we celebrated Josh's 29th birthday (Sun, Jan 18) and we welcomed a new President into office. Its been a big week. Although you might expect me to have lots of thoughts on our new President and what this means for our country....I'm going to blow right past that and ignore the topic for today! (I've started to blog about it several times and gotten interrupted and its just unfinished. Maybe I'll post it someday...or maybe not. The important thing is that my thoughts are safely stored as a draft here on blogspot!)
I also have lots of fun Owen pictures to post. I'm a big facebooker, so all of the fun pictures are on there, but I know I need to also put them up here for family to see. I'll work on that soon. Promise. While some people may reject things such as facebook and most things internet, I embrace them with lots of enthusiasm! I LOVE LOVE being connected. I can't tell you how many people I've been able to RE-connect with over facebook and really be blessed by their experiences and friendship. I have lots of examples...but I'm really thankful for the internet and the way it allows us to have community in a weird kind of way.
We haven't been up to much of anything new. Just trying to stay warm and doing a good job of keeping busy.

I'm trying to think of new things that are going on for us. Hmmm....

- currently Owen loves grapes. I would say they are his favorite food right now. He will make a dive for the "produce" drawer in the fridge whenever it is open. Today I've decided to just give him a bowl of grapes to carry around with. He seems ok with this :-)

- I'm currently on day 11 of my no soda or sweet tea promise. Its been really hard, but really really worth it. I think the hardest days are over and I'm starting to just feel good. My goal is to make it 21 days cold turkey and then celebrate with a sweet tea (which is what I REALLY WANT) for my birthday and then proceed with extreme moderation there on out. I think I can do it.

- We are going to Dayton this weekend to visit the Gross family. I'm so excited. We have such a good time hanging out. I'm also excited to see how our boys will play together. I think Owen is finally getting to an age where he is actually playing with other kids. It should be fun! (Plus the adults are going to stay up late and play the Wii and possibly have a euchre re-match---Heather you know we really need one after last time!)

- We are doing a really great series at church on the book of Job and how to "suffer well". Its a really tough series and I'm not sure I'm going to make it through one Sunday without tears, but God is really using it to change my life. Can I just say that I LOVE our church. I'm so blessed. We've been there almost five years and I just can't imagine being anywhere else. I love that Owen (finally) recognizes where we are and tugs my hand until I take him to the nursery. I love that when we come in to the sanctuary on Sunday morning we are greeted by loving friends who know us and care about us. I love that each Sunday I'm seriously challenged by God's word and confronted with how I need to change my life! College Park has had its share of hard times...but God's hand of blessing is SO CLEARLY there. I'm so happy that our family is a part of that!

-I've been doing a lot of cooking/baking and recipe hunting. I've made some really good things (spicy shredded pork) and some not so good things (garlic knot rolls). I'm thankful that my husband is kind and at least is open to trying what I'm putting on his plate. I think we've only had to totally throw a meal out one time here lately :-)

-Josh is on the long stretch of no school breaks until Spring Break. I try to feel sorry for him but its hard when he gets most of his summers off. :-) His position is challenging though so I try and keep that in perspective. He does a bit more than schedule eye surgeries and file paperwork. Like last week....he had to restrain a student that tried to punch him in the face. Nice. I'll stick with my eye surgeries and let him complain a bit that its so many weeks until he gets another break. :-)

-New words for Owen: "Sky", "nana" (banana), "whats that"? and "sit". I'm still waiting for "please". It will happen.

I think thats about it. I feel like our life is very full and very blessed. I'm especially grateful for so many good friendships that are big parts of our lives. Coming from a somewhat smaller family (well, I only have one sibling)....I feel like my girlfriends are my family and God has really blessed me with some wonderful friends. So, I'm thankful. Thats all. Happy Thursday everyone!

Oh, and I would also like to say that Owen is now "cleaning" for me. He has taken a napkin from the table and is currently "wiping" our sliding glass doors and then our laminate flooring :-) Oh just wait kiddo...someday you can REALLY help Momma clean! :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Photo Tag!

I've been tagged by Heather G. in a post called “Photo Tag”. Here were the rules:

Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store your pictures.

Pick the 4th picture in that folder.

Explain the picture.

Tag 4 people to do the same.

I laughed really hard when this turned out to be the picture. Josh and I go every year to the lighting of the Christmas tree downtown and then to the Pacer game This year, I had a wedding to attend right before the tree was lit. I literally attended the ceremony, was picked up by Josh and my cousins, and made it just in time to see them light the tree. I was all dressed up in my black dress, but had the hat on because it turned out to be pretty cold that night :-) Josh likes this picture but I think its pretty silly :-) Oh least we made it. Another year where we were able to carry on our tradition!

A late New Years Resolution Post


I have seen with my own eyes Your faithfulness O God
So I refuse to believe the lies that war against my soul

You rescued me from all my fears
And loosed the chains of wasted years

You’re my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder,
My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer, Savior

Now my heart is overwhelmed by all sufficient grace
For I have seen my weaknesses become Your perfect strength

You’ve rescued me from all my fears
And loosed the chains of wasted years

Behold the One who holds me in His hands
The God who comes and turns my mourning into dancing

How great is this new song we learned in church on Sunday? I love it and I'm kind of making it my creed for 2009. There are so many changes I want to make, but mostly I'm calling it a determination to " live life well". Which means many different things...putting off things that I've been holding on to for too long, choosing to believe the promises that God has given to me and living them out, eating better, exercising more, getting up early to do my devotions, NOT wasting hours of my life in front of the TV! The list goes on, but in general I've not made too many specific goals. Thankful for another new year...another chance to get it right...or at least do it better than I have before. Looking forward to seeing where God takes you all in 2009.... :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Finally. I'm "Mom"!

Owen started saying "dad" and "dada" at NINE MONTHS. (I checked in his baby book this morning) I waited patiently for him to say my name...I waited...and waited...and waited. Nothing. His one year birthday came and went...the summer passed and the "moms". Many people ask me what he did when he wanted me. Well..nothing really. He would put his arms up or come up to me and physically get me. No made up words or anything. Just silence on the "mom" end.
And then....About a week before Christmas he started saying something that sounded a BIT like mom. A bit. Just a bit. And then it got clearer and clearer until it was evident that he was saying MOM and connecting me with it! YAY! Merry Christmas to me! He now walks around the house saying mom mom mom mom mom...I think he just likes to say it :-) But the best is when he says my name and he really wants me. Like last night. When I handed him off to a friend who wanted a hug, but Owen was tired and not really in the hugging mood and he reached his arms out for me with a desperate..."Mooomm!" Heart melting stuff I tell ya! I love this kid like I never knew love was possible. I try and play it cool like its not that big of a deal and I don't spend most of my time missing him when we are apart...but pretty much I am obsessed with my child and to further illustrate this let me tell you that I fell asleep snuggling with his giant teddy bear then other night when he was spending the night at Jeff and Anita's because I had to work in the morning! Sometimes the enormity of being responsible for another human life overwhelms me. Do I let him watch too much tv, does he eat enough vegetables, am I teaching him what he needs to know, do I bathe him enough ( or too much? :-), is he well behaved, will he play well with other children...can I actually raise him to have a passion for Jesus and the desire to know and follow Him!? Aaah! Seriously. Its enough to make me want to throw my hands up in exasperation! I just can't do it all. Most of the time I can calm down and feel ok with knowing that I'm doing the best I can every day, and God is covering the rest. Sure, sometimes we watch tv and stay in our jammies all day. Sometimes I can't remember the last time he ate a vegetable. Sometimes he throws a tantrum and I'm confident that I'm not handling it the right way....but something must be going right, because he's alive, healthy and a sweet and bright kid.
All this to say...Owen has changed my life in such a way that I can't ever imagine going back to pre-Owen days...nor do I want to. Josh and I used to talk about what our life would hold for us if we couldn't have children. We entertained the idea of buying a boat and moving downtown into a townhouse (because we thought that sounded cool and retro :-)) I'm so glad we got Owen....and not a boat. I'm more than confident that he is WAY WAY better. End of story.

Monday, January 5, 2009


At the risk of copying my friends blogs....I have decided to follow suit and post our menu for the week. Why? I don't know. It seems fun.
Here we go.

Monday: Beer Chicken Fajitas in the crockpot (trust me, its good and if you don't have the recipe already, you should ask me for it!) :-)
Tuesday: Tortellini with ham in cream sauce (Thanks for the recipe Heather G!)
Wednesday: Either Three Cheese Stuffed Shells OR Spicy Shredded Pork
Thursday: Soup Night at Caleb and Heather's- I'll make my Chicken Tortilla Soup
Friday: Out
Saturday: Italian Beef Sandwiches
Sunday: TBA/leftovers

Ok so...its not totally complete, but its a start! Anyone want to come over for dinner? You think I'm kidding, but I'm not! We have way too many leftovers in this house!
So....What are YOU eating this week? :-)

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Collage of Christmas Pictures Part 1

First of all, let me say that I was really bad about making sure we got pictures with all of the family members this year. We actually left our camera at home on accident for a few Christmases. So the pictures posted are just what we have...not a reflection on who we love more than who! (I'm pretty sure that last sentence was NOT correct English!)

Christmas morning at home...just a few pics...

Christmas with the Browns....

Some Barnard Family Christmas pictures...more to come

Christmas Brunch 2009... I think blogspot is pretty annoying in terms of trying to arrange I'm done. They aren't really in order. But sill enjoyable I think.

This is our third Annual High School Friends Christmas Brunch. Every year new kids are added. Its so fun. Can you believe all of the kids? And we were even missing baby Jack (Hassenzahl)!
We have a great time catching up and reminiscing...and chasing our monkey children around the house...and keeping them from killing each other. Always fun. Just for fun, here is a recap of what we are all up to:

Corinne Montieth-Taylor: (Broadripple) in the middle of a job change, mom to Katie (3) and Carter (2)
Anna Hassenzahl (Gibbs): (Brownsburg) Stay at home mom, mom to Kate (3) and Jack (11 months)..due with baby #3 in May!
Laura Sharbaugh (Snyder): (Clearwater, Florida)Stay at home mom/part time technology/computer educator for Lakeside Christian School, mom of twins Mackenna and Micah (5 months)
Missy Culpepper (Wilhite): (Centralia, Il)I'm not sure how to title her job position. She does something really cool...she teaches abstinence in the public schools. Proud mom to two loving cats and looking forward to taking a mission trip to Haiti next year!
Amy Grissom(Standish): (Brownsburg) Stay at home mom and co-owner of Rogue Art Photography, mom to Ella (2) and another one on the way in August!
Julie Rust(Krueger): (wasn't able to make it, but she and Brandon are now an Indianapolis residents!Yay!) Julie works at Nelson's Jewelry store in Brownsburg and is expecting her first in August!

As you can tell...our lives are a bit different from our lazy days of Bethesda Highschool. Its so fun to reconnect and laugh about the good times and encourage each other through the hard times. I'm so thankful that we've all for the most part been able to stay in touch! So very cool!