Thursday, February 18, 2016

Gavin's Birthday Day of Fun!

Before I get started with this post, I wanna give some props to my friend Jana Bean who made Gavin and I these super cute birthday shirts!  I bought the shirts at Old Navy (cause I'm picky about my shirts) and then took them to her for the vinyl lettering.  I absolutely loved how they turned out!!

On Friday, I picked Gavin up for the weekend so we could celebrate his Birthday Day of Fun on Saturday.  We started the weekend off with orange Jarrito's from Jalisco's!  

Saturday involved a day of fun of Gavin's choice!  

We started the day at the Inflatable Fun Factory.  Actually we started the day at Pump it Up, only to get there and find out they were closed to open jump because of some private parties they were having.  Off we headed to the Inflatable Fun Factory.  Gavin had a great time jumping around and going up and down the slides.  We chose to jump before eating, as Stace didn't want to have a situation later in the day!  We were only there for a short amount of time before Gavin was wore out and hungry.

Next up we headed out to lunch.  Our plan was to go to Zuki since Gavin loves their soup, salad, and hibachi chicken and loves eating with those cheater chopsticks.  However, when we got to Zuki, they had an hour wait and none of us really wanted to wait that long.  Shawn suggested Toyko Japan so we went there.  I have to say that at first I was deflated with their food selection - they didn't have any soup or salad, and they didn't have the kind of noodles that other hibachi type places have.  Gavin doesn't like the rice or veggies, so all he would eat would be the chicken.  I figured they probably wouldn't have the cheater chopsticks that he kept talking about.  I was ready to just get up and leave, but knew if we did, we'd have a wait anywhere else we went too.  Gavin kept bugging for the chopsticks while we were ordering and when I asked if they had any, the girl said they did.  Victory!  We'll stay!  I was actually glad we stayed cause the food was really good.  Gavin ate all of his chicken and then helped himself to some chicken off of both mine and Shawn's plate

After lunch, he wanted to go to Toys R Us and get his present and then go home and play with it.  We perused quite a few isles of the store and had a few different things in the cart before he finally settled on the big gun.

We did stop at Sonic for drinks on the way home, and I'm not naming any names, but a grape nerds slush ended up on the floorboard of the backseat.  Thankful that I had Weathertech floormats!  They were a lifesaver and made the cleanup quick and easy!  

Heading upstairs to pop a few in Uncle Shawn!

And no birthday celebration is complete without cake and ice cream!

Happy Almost 7th Birthday sweet boy!  

I have to tell ya, that Nerf Module gun is pretty sweet!  It's huge and once it's fully put together, Gavin can't hardly hold it up.  After we got home and I started investigating that gun online, there are 3 more accessory packs to add to it, so Nan and I are going to get them for him for his birthday party on Saturday at his house.  

He did say a couple funny things over the weekend, however at the writing of this blog, I can only remember one of them :(  I'm sure the other thing will come to me later and I'll update when it does.

I had told him that we might go to laser tag and putt-putt, but I wasn't sure.  Later in the car, he said "I know there's a 50 percent chance we are going to laser tag"  I asked him why he said that, and he replied "cause you said we may or may not go there".  It was cracking Shawn and I up that he used a percentage in his comment!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Snow Cream = Deliciousness

I am so done with winter and snow, and cold dreary weather.  It's making me miserable and grouchy, and I'm cold all the time.  However I will admit that I was happy we had snow again yesterday so I could make some snow cream.  I haven't gotten a chance to make it yet this year.

I got a recipe from a friend last year and every since I made it, I've been in love with it!  It tastes just like homemade ice cream in a fraction of the time and a fraction of the cost!

All you need is 8 cups of snow, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a splash of vanilla.  Stir everything together and it's done!  I like to add crushed pineapple to my bowl of ice cream, and I've also added chocolate syrup and thawed frozen strawberries too.  It's all yummy!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Crockpot Cooking

Since we did the Daniel Fast at the beginning of the year, I've been trying to cook at home more.  But with me going to water aerobics on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and not getting home until around 8:00 p.m., who wants to cook that late?  So I've been using the crockpot on those nights so that when I get home, supper is already ready. 

Growing up, the only thing my mom used a crockpot for was a meal we called "crockpot".  "Crockpot" for us was stew meat, carrots, potatoes, onions and celery.  I thought that's all you used a crockpot for!  I lived such a sheltered life!  HAHA!!

Obviously now I know that you can cook practically anything in a crockpot.  The other day I was online looking for some new recipes to use in the crockpot.  I came across one for sausage, green beans and potatoes.   You can find the original recipe at Recipes that Crock.  

For mine, I used:

2 packages of turkey sausage
1 large onion
3 cans of green beans
3 cans of whole peeled potatoes (cause they are delicious, and it's alot easier to open up the cans with an electric can opener versus manually peeling potatoes!)
Garlic Powder

I put the green beans and onion in the bottom and seasoned them well with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  I put them in first so they can cook all day in the seasoned juices.  Added the potatoes and then the sausage.  Next time I think I'm going to used canned diced potatoes, and will cut the sausage up into smaller pieces.  I set it on low for about 8 hours.  

I'm telling you what, this meal was delicious and made alot of food, which was good cause I took it for lunch two days this week too!

And if I remember correctly, I got 12 cups of food out of this and they came to around 199 calories a cup!  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Daniel Fast 2016

At the beginning of the year, our pastor called for the church to participate in the Daniel Fast for 21 days.  I was very excited to do this and knew that my prayer during the fast was to help me lose weight and get focused on eating better, going back to water aerobics, and trying to lose weight.  I knew after the fast we wouldn't continue to eat like this, but I wanted to incorporate some things into our daily living and focus on cooking at home more versus going out to eat all the time.

I lost 15 pounds on the fast this year, however I've put about 10 of them back on :(  Definitely wasn't the plan, so that's been a huge disappointment :(  I'm such a huge Sonic coke junkie!  

You can read about our past experiences with the Daniel Fast here.

I took pictures of all of our meals except for two - one night we had leftovers, and the other night I just completely forgot to take the picture :(

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Goodbye Acadia, It's Been Bittersweet!

At the beginning of this year, we said goodbye to the Acadia.  She was a bittersweet car.  I loved how she looked, and I loved driving her, but she was definitely a money pit car.  We should of took it as a sign to return her when a problem light came on the day we bought her.  Yes, we bought a car with high miles and no warranty, and we knew that if something went wrong, we'd have to pay to get it fixed.  But did we know we would be fixing something almost EVERY.MONTH?  No!  She was such a sweet car.  I loved the color inside and out, I loved how big she was, and I loved how roomy she was.  But she just wasn't dependable anymore.  I feel like we had her in the shop, more than not.  We put over $7,000 of repairs into her in the year and four months that we had her, including a new transmission. Seemed like we would fix something and think she'd be good to go, and then something else would go wrong.   In that short time, we had to replace a battery and alternator, we had A/C problems, replaced a TPMS sensor in a tire, had heater problems - in the coldest week of winter, replaced a blower motor, replaced rear wiper blade, replaced another TPMS sensor in another tire, replaced the sway bar link under the passenger side, put 4 new tires on, replaced the transmission, replaced the exhaust, intake manifold and front rotors, replaced the master cylinder - twice, first one was defective, replaced spark plugs.  I'm sure there was more, but that's all I had in my notes.  After our last set of problems with her in December (metal shavings in the oil), we were both finally done with her and started car shopping.  We looked at a couple different options, and then finally decided on the Ford Explorer.  

I'm so glad we did, cause she's such a sweet ride too.  I love almost everything about her.  I do wish she had a 6-disc CD changer, more room in the 2nd and 3rd row seating, and an auto liftgate like the Acadia had.  However I did get keyless entry, push button start, backup camera, heated back row seating, and a much newer car with alot less miles and a warranty, so I'll take the compromise.  And she does great in the snow!

We actually went to Expressway Ford in Mt. Vernon to look at a different black Explorer.  We drove it and liked it, but I wasn't sold on it.  We asked to drive the one we bought (it was a little bit more money, and had 12,000 more miles on it, which is why we didn't look at it in the first place), and when Shawn asked if any of them had sunroofs, we were told no, but then the salesman came out and said this one did.  It was like a blessing fell from heaven and I was ready to buy it without even driving it.  HA!  We drove it, and loved it so much better than the one we went to buy.  

I do feel bad for Shawn though.  After we paid the Acadia off, the plan was to get him a new car, cause we didn't want to have two car payments.  But because of the problem Acadia, that didn't happen.  After driving the new Explorer for a week, I told Shawn I didn't care to have two car payments if he wanted to get a new car too.  I wanted him to have all of the luxuries that I was experiencing with a newer vehicle, but he's willing to sacrifice and keep chugging along in his little hooptie car.