Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekending With Kids

We had a wonderful weekend!  It was full of basketball, birthday parties and beautiful weather!

Our weekend started early. SO early.  Dylan's last basketball game of the season was at 8 AM, which meant we had to wake up at 7 and leave the house by 7:30.  NOT A FAN.  Thankfully, my parents let the girls have a sleepover on Friday night, so we only had two kids to wrangle.

Dylan played really well, and scored at the end of the game, which was a great way to end the season!  He is so bummed that it's over and can't wait to play again. We're actually bummed, too. We really enjoyed watching him play!

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Basketball

They celebrated the end of the season with a little after-game party, then we headed home to nap.  Staying up until 3 AM to watch Fuller House was not my best idea ever!

On Saturday evening, we hosted birthday party #1 of 2 for Lexie!

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Some of our closest friends came over to celebrate with us!

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Lexie was thrilled with all of her gifts.  She is now the proud owner of tons of Shopkins AND has a lot of shopping to do!

Lexie's birthday party

Lexie got the ice cream cake from Dairy Queen that she really wanted.  We had to stall the birthday song at the very end because I realized I forgot to light the candle! Oops.

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Lexie had a great party with her friends and our framily! (Several families MIA!)

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Party #1 was a hit and we still have one with family next weekend, and an upcoming girls day out with Lexie's closest friends!

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We ended up swapping kids at the end of the evening.  Lily ended up going home with a friend and two kids ended up staying at our house.  The Kid Swap is the norm around here!

Early this afternoon, I took Lily to her friend Victoria's birthday party.  Victoria turned 5 today and we were so happy we were able to celebrate with her!

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I dropped Lily off at home, then headed to the grocery store ALONE!  Every mom knows that's like a mini vacation!

It was 65+ degrees in Pittsburgh today, so the kids took advantage of the beautiful weather, and spent the day outside!

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Swinging
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I know we still have some winter weather ahead of us, but I can't WAIT for Spring!

Our weekend was full of fun and friends! The awesome "winter" weather just made it so much better. That's the best kind of weekend!

What did you do over the weekend?

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Favorites

TGIF!  That phrase has new meaning today!

Because...

{ONE}

Fuller House is on Netflix TODAY!  I grew up with Full House and really looked forward to TGIF every week.  I'm so happy about this!  I'm sure many people have a weekend full of binge-watching ahead of them! #StreamTeam Will you be watching?


{TWO}

This kid owns my heart. Liam is the most loving child I've ever met.  At the time, I didn't understand WHY we were chosen for this journey, but God knew exactly what He was doing!

Love Doesn't Count Chromosomes

{THREE}

Christmas presents bought in February.  Because why not? (Plus they were only $6 each!) My girls are going to love their Christmas Eve pajamas this year.  10 months from now, somebody PLEASE remind me that I bought them!

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{FOUR}

Spring weather in the middle of winter. Perfection!

Spring days

{FIVE} 

The Dr. Seuss items that I found in the Target Dollar Spot this week!  Perfect for our restaurant tote and our on-the-go activity tote!

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{SIX}

The fact that my big girl is not too grown up yet!

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{SEVEN} 

The amazing bond my boys share.  Love doesn't count chromosomes!

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{EIGHT}

Easter dresses!  I always search for the perfect ones, and my search ended early this year. I found these ones at Costco today, and they ended up coming home with me.  Of course, after I got them home, Lexie decided she wanted yellow and Lily said she wanted pink, but TOO bad!

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{NINE} 
  
Our bird seed sensory table is still a big hit.  Oh, it's sensory all right.  I'm sure he could sense those seeds in his diaper after he climbed out of there!

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{TEN} 

Lily has been obsessed with Frozen for well over two years, which is half her life!  She even went through a phase where she said Elsa when people asked what her name was.  We bought tickets for Frozen on Ice over a year ago (Crazy, right?!?) and the big day is less than two weeks away!  I know she's going to LOVE it!

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Happy Friday, friends!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Linking up for Friday Favorites  //  Oh Hey Friday  //  High Five For FRIDAY

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Crockpot Swiss Chicken

As a busy mom of four, I'm always looking for quick and easy recipes to make for dinner!

I often rely on my Crockpot, especially on those evenings when we have somewhere to go just before or after dinner.  Over the years, we had some hits and, of course, some misses. But we also have a long list of favorite recipes! In order to make it onto the list, the recipe has to be easy to make AND delicious!

This one is, without a doubt, at the top of the list!

Crockpot Swiss Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box of stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
6-8 slices of swiss cheese

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Line up the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot.

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2. Pour the can of cream of chicken soup over the chicken breasts.

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3. Dump in the stuffing mix.

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4. Pour the melted butter over the stuffing mix.

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5. Layer the slices of swiss cheese on top.

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6. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

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7. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or pasta, and a vegetable.

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This meal is so easy to make and it's a hit with my entire family! That immediately puts it on the favorites list. We hardly ever have any leftovers!

What is your favorite meal to make for your family? Feel free to share a recipe!


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Linking up with Grammie Time for Party at My Place. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! This week just seems to be flying by!

I have been so busy over the past few days that I haven't had time to breathe. We spent the weekend outside enjoying the unbelievably gorgeous weather, we celebrated Lexie's 9th birthday, Liam had 3 therapy sessions, Lily had Storytime, I spent more time in my SUV than at home, then Liam got another sinus and ear infection. Time to move up his ENT appointment! (Just for the record, Moms Night Out was MUCH needed last night!)

Here's a little glimpse at life lately...


What We're Eating This Week

It's an easy week. I usually cook almost every night, but we have a lot going on this week!

Monday: Out to eat for Lexie's birthday dinner.
Tuesday: My family ate rigatoni while I went out to dinner with friends!
Wednesday: Crockpot Swiss Chicken and Mashed Potatoes (recipe posting tomorrow)
Thursday: Shrimp, Baked Potatoes and Corn
Friday: Dinner at my parent's house.
Saturday: Lexie's birthday party-we'll snack on appetizers!
Sunday: Grilled Pork Chops, Wild Rice and Butter Beans

EASY RIGATONI 

1 box pasta
1 jar marinara
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 cup Mozzarella
1 lb Ground Beef/Turkey

1. Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
2. Brown Ground Beef/Turkey and cook the pasta until it's almost fully cooked. Drain both.
3. Mix the marinara with the Italian Seasoning and Parmesan Cheese.
4. Layer the Pasta and Ground Beef/Turkey in a glass casserole dish, then pour the sauce over it.  Top with Mozzarella.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes.  
6. Serve with garlic bread and green beans. It's so good! My entire family loves it!

What I'm Reminiscing About

The past few days of warm weather made me wish for summer. I keep thinking about our summer vacation last August (maybe because I still have to finish my recap), because it was SO perfect!

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What I'm Loving

The new St. Patrick's Day decorations I bought last week. I'm hoping I will get a chance to decorate this weekend!

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{Sign from TJ Maxx and everything else is from Target}

This picture of my now 9 year old. (I'm definitely printing it and hanging it up in my living room!)

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What We've Been Up To

Shopping for upcoming holidays (and Valentine's Day clearance), spending hours outside enjoying the break from winter, celebrating Lexie's birthday, doing hours of homework and projects (SO MUCH HOMEWORK), preparing for Lexie's birthday party, dealing with some incessant paperwork regarding Liam's services, going to the doctor, running errands, going to basketball games and practices, cleaning up constant messes. You know, just doing that thing called parenting!

What I'm Dreading

I have to attend Liam's preschool transition meeting on March 15th and go to Lily's Kindergarten Preview on March 17th.  I'm going to be an emotional wreck! Weren't they JUST adorable little babies?!?

Lily and Liam as newborns

What I'm Working On

My current project is planning and shopping for Lexie's birthday party on Saturday.  I always wait until the very last minute to do everything! It doesn't help that she keeps switching between a Shopkins theme, an art party, and an animal party.  Make up your mind, kid!

What I'm Excited About

I can't wait to take Lexie and Lily to Frozen on Ice in a few weeks.  We bought our tickets over a year ago, which is just crazy! Also, Spring. I can't wait for Spring weather!

What I'm Watching/Reading

Sherlock-We're almost through Season Two on Netflix. SO good!
Gilmore Girls-I'm rewatching the entire series for the fifth time in preparation for the revival!
Fuller House-Yep, as part of the Netflix StreamTeam, I get early access!
The Walking Dead-I think this season is really good so far!

 Currently watching

What I'm Listening To

Top 40 radio. I REALLY need to remember my iPod when I leave the house!

What I'm Wearing

Sweaters, Jeans or Leggings, Boot Socks, and Boots.  It's my winter outfit. Also pajamas.  Because are the best.

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 What I'm Doing This Weekend

Dylan has his last basketball game at 8 AM on Saturday morning (WHO comes up with these game times?!?) followed by an end of season celebration (WHO wants to celebrate at 9 AM on a Saturday?!?).  Later that day is Lexie's Birthday party.  The following day I have to take Lily to a birthday party then do the grocery shopping.  No time to relax this weekend!

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

SPRING! I'm so ready for warmer weather all the time.  St. Patrick's Day and Easter are fun, too!

What Else Is New

I think that pretty much covers life lately!

Have a great week, everyone!!!

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I'm linking up with The Larson Lingo for What's Up Wednesday and While I'm Waiting for Waiting On Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

NINE

Happy 9th Birthday to my sweet, smart, kind, loving, and absolutely beautiful Alexandria Elizabeth!  

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I truly can't believe Lexie's already 9, yet here we are, just one year away from double digits! (Hold me!) I am so blessed to have this special girl in my life and I am honored to be her mother!

Last night, we gave Lexie a new pair of pajamas, and we tucked our 8 year old into bed. While she slept, I prepared for her birthday.  I wrapped gifts, wrote my 9th birthday letter to her, put up some decorations, decorated her seat at the table, filled her room with balloons, and put a new birthday outfit on a hanger to greet her in the morning!

Birthday Traditions

Lexie only missed one day of school this year and on that day, we had to beg her to stay home.  We gave her the option to stay home today (SHHHH!) and she decided that she wanted to miss school. She was most excited about seeing her former preschool teachers during Lily's preschool drop-off, and helping Liam's therapists during his OT and Speech sessions!

After Dylan headed to school, Lexie and I were able to quietly celebrate her birthday while her younger siblings slept. It was such a sweet, peaceful moment with her.  I presented her with our traditional birthday donuts and sang "Happy Birthday" as quietly as I possibly could!

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Birthday Donuts
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Mondays are a very busy day for us. Between preschool drop-off and pick-up, two therapy sessions, and baking a cake, the day flew by!  Lexie was just happy to be there for our Monday routine and spend time with Lily, Liam, and I.

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Later in the afternoon, Lexie was surprised by a visit from her Grandma!

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While MaNa was still here, her Papa showed up with flowers for his little princess.  Her face lit up!

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After everyone left, Lexie officially turned 9 years old!  We documented it with a quick birthday photoshoot.  I'm going to save the rest of those pictures for another post!

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Grant finally arrived home from work, and we all went out for Lexie's birthday dinner.  She chose Taco Bell this year!

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Lexie waited so patiently to open her gifts all day.  As soon as we got home, it was time for the big moment she had been waiting for! 

Gifts from siblings came first.

Gifts from siblings

Then her gift from mommy and daddy. She was a very happy little girl!

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The cake that we baked together was next on our list of festivities. She smiled so sweetly as her entire family sang "Happy Birthday" to her!

Birthday Cake

We usually have Family Movie Night on Monday nights, but we didn't have enough time tonight.  Instead, Lexie got to pick two episodes to watch with us from her favorite show: Jessie!

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We surprised her with a new pair of pajamas as one final gift, then tucked our NINE year old into bed!

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Lexie said she had an amazing birthday. I know I had a wonderful day celebrating the birthday of my first baby girl.  My birthday wish for my sweet girl is that she lives a long, healthy, prosperous life full of love and happiness!

Happy 9th Birthday, Lexie Bean! You are unbelievably beautiful, inside and out. I love you to the moon and back a million times and again.

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