Wednesday, July 30, 2008

fresh dinner idea...

I made a dinner this week that was yummy, different (for us), and really healthful. I don't know if you ever get into a dinner rut but I do, so I thought this little idea I came up with this week deserved to be shared! So here goes... (I really don't follow recipes & I've never written one out myself, but I will give it my best shot!) I love to cook, but with two little people I don't always have lots of time to do the long cooking dishes that are really delicious, so I try and figure out how to make flavorful things that I can make quickly, or even in stages, so I can start and stop if I need to. The other problem I have had lately is getting my littlest lady to eat her veggies. She is done with the baby food, and on to all table food, and had developed a pickiness for textures, and flavors. I can't seem to find many veggies she'll scarf down. So this particular dinner I decided to get tricky and HIDE the veggies... BRILLIANT... if I don't say so myself!

Here's what I made... (I wish I had a picture... they didn't last long enough to take one.)

I made a ground beef filling full of veggies and stuffed it inside pre-made dough lined muffin cups. YUM.

Here's what you'll need:
1 lb ground beef
(any assortment of veggies)
Here's what I used-
1- zucchini (grated)
1- onion (Chopped)
small bag of baby carrots (Chopped)
1- green pepper (Diced)
1- can tomato sauce
handful of mushrooms (Chopped)
fresh spinach (Chopped)
olive oil
a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese
1-2 tubes pre-made dough
(biscuit or crescent roll dough) (We liked the crescent best, I made both.)
no stick spray
salt, pepper, garlic powder, and soul seasoning (if you can find it)
Here's what you do:
(Pre-heat oven to 350 & Drizzle your skillet with olive oil) Brown ground beef in a big skillet (slice and chop veggies while the beef browns), when the ground beef gets about half to three quarters browned drain fat and add veggies, start with the ones that take longer than others onion, carrot, green peppers, then mushroom, zucchini, (try grating it with a cheese grater!) and spinach. Season with spices. When the veggies start getting soft add in one can of tomato sauce and let simmer until it makes a nice sauce. While you're waiting for your sauce to thicken spray muffin cups with no stick spray and line with pre-made dough. Fill lined muffin cups with filling and Parmesan cheese. Finish the muffin cups off with some small slices of pre-made dough in an X across the top of each cup. Put in a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
They are really good! Try them if you need something new and different, healthful, and good. My family loved them, (and didn't realize how many veggies they were eating!) I'm sure yours will too! Next time I make these I will make sure to take a picture! Enjoy.

lessons in swimming...

Monday, July 28, 2008

qualification for a good day...

What qualifies as a good day to you? Are there just certain things that have to fall into place for you? Or, do you think a good day is measured more by the way that you feel that particular day? Or do you think maybe it's all of the above? Today seems to just be a good day. My heart feels peaceful. It has got me thinking, what makes today such a good day... what about yesterday, what about tomorrow? Why today? Not that yesterday was bad, not that tomorrow will be either... but every once and a while you get a day where the world seems to have no wrong.

Here's what I think makes (today) a good day for me. Things in order... Waking up to something good, not waking up to chaos... Happy kids, a sweet husband, and a kind mother... Sleeping sound baby... A summer day at home with perfectly ideal open window/door weather... A clean house (with baby finger and hand prints on clean windows, that only add to their beauty)... Emails from old friends... Feeling calm... Freshly washed slip covers and sheets... A garden in full bounty... Watching my five year old take her very first swim lesson, and seeing her bravery for something she fears... My Rosie's big toothy grin, and passionately blown kisses... my Ole' pug sleeping in the slice of sunshine from the window... cooking a yummy dinner, and sharing it with family... Jon & Kate plus 8 night... sleeping with the windows open... PRETTY SIMPLE really. What makes you have a wonderful day?

Monday, July 21, 2008


Summer afternoon - summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two most
beautiful words in the English language.
~Henry James

Saturday, July 19, 2008

the girl that asked to be potty trained....

She's too little yet, she doesn't possess the verbal skills to communicate, but she sent a message to us the other day, that frankly we just had to laugh about!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wedding Bells were ringing...

Matthew with his beautiful Sissy

Meritt playing in the willow tree

The gorgeous couple

Matt's Mom, Sister, and Nanny

Bella the flower girl

Wedding Girls

Wedding Bells were ringing in California, so we hit the road to celebrate! Here are a few photos from our trip, I didn't get as many shots as I would have liked to during the wedding because Meritt was pretty anxious and wiggly. Matt and Bella were in the wedding, and she wanted at them, so I took her away so she didn't ruin anything, but here are some of the pictures from this beautiful wedding weekend.

Wild Life Safari

Part 1 of our road trip adventure. This is how we spent our first day on the road and our very last. We had so much fun, we decided to go again on the way home. It was 106 degrees when we went through the first time, and many of the animals were taking naps so, 78 degrees on the way home seemed much better! We did see lots of animals that we didn't get a chance to the first time, so it was worth the extra trip! If you haven't been before I highly recommend visiting the Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR... it's a 600 acre wildlife safari that you are allowed to drive through and view the animals. Great fun if you are ever by it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


We're off for an adventure, an 10 hour car ride adventure! There won't be any new posts for a few days, but when we get back I'll be sure to share some photos of our adventure! It's almost 10 o'clock, and I have as much packed as I'm going to for tonight... tomorrow morning will do just fine. It's been a stressful and crazy week trying to get this patio thing wrapped up before we go, getting everything lined up for Crazy Days at the store while I'm away, (I know you girls will kick some booty, I'm sorry I can't be there to help, you will be in my thoughts!... Can't wait to hear how you do.) (By the way Crazy Days is like our Biggest sale/event of the year, we do in three days what we do in a normal month, so I'm feeling a bit guilty to leave, but I know I leave it in the best of hands!) trying to pack and get everything ready with two little people that like to get into everything, but it's done, and what isn't... will anyone know? So, anyhow, have a wonderful week, and we'll share all the fun when we return! Good luck my Emma Girls.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

tractor girl

Day too many to count continued in the back yard. Form and gravel day continues after work tomorrow night, due to running out of gravel... just two more days until we leave, think we'll make our deadline? Thanks to dad and his handy tractor, we are a heck of a lot closer than we would have been... Matt could have been there until December digging if we hadn't had that good old tractor! Bella enjoyed rides with Papa this afternoon too. Some of my best childhood memories happened on the seat of that tractor with my daddy. It was fun to see the memory be handed over to my daughter!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I wish I really would have gotten a good shot of the amazing amount of dirt that came out of our back yard this weekend, but I didn't. Take my word it was A LOT!!! So, we are hiring out the actual pouring and finishing of the patio, but we could save a bundle if we did the excavation ourselves, and I think we all see why now! I think there was around 25 yards of dirt hauled out in little trailer loads over the past days... tomorrow is forms and gravel. The hope is that the patio can happen while we are on our trip. We'll see. I'll keep you posted! That's our fun weekend what have you been up to?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008


A friend is someone who knows
the song in your heart,
and can sing it back
to you when you have
forgotten the words.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Blog Drought

I've been in a bit of a blog drought lately... What to say? Is anyone even reading this? If so, what do you want to know, and see, and read? I haven't taken any new photos in a while due to loosing my camera chip... oops. Guess I better fix that soon! I figured it's been quite a long while since I have posted anything, so I figured since I don't have any new photos, I would just ramble a bit. Life is still crazy as usual, although I must admit I am enjoying my new "summer schedule"! The new schedule is this... mom and I decided that the girls don't need to spend their summer locked down in a store, so they are only there 2 days a week. I stay home Sat. - Tues. (doing some computer work and such on those days) we are all down there Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday they spend the day at Grammy's house so I can work without interruption. So far it's working out nicely! (Although I feel I am still not getting all of my work done... but until Meritt gets a bit bigger, it may be an impossibility!) I am enjoying spending so much quality time with the girls, we are getting out and doing fun things that they love like play dates, library time, walks, and playing outside. It feels good. We are even beginning to get into a routine during our days (aka nap schedule is actually part of our lives again). Other than that, we are still working on house stuff, the bathroom is finally finished, basement is still in progress, the swing set has been built, the yard work all done (except for the new patio which is in demolition phases at this time), and the outside of the house will be painted by end of summer (anyway that's the plan). I have been meaning to take some pictures to share on all the house stuff... but as I said earlier I lost my camera chip somewhere, and haven't been taking many a photo as of late. Next on the summer schedule is Matt's sister Cristy's wedding, we leave next week for our road trip.... the plan is to make the driving fun by breaking it up and taking the girls to do somethings on the way, like the Wild Life Safari, and a swimming pool at the hotel we are staying in. We usually make the whole trip in one LONG day, but with two little people, it just didn't sound like fun, it sounded like a stressed out mess..... so I am hoping this will be our first real family road trip, I will keep you posted on how it goes! We are so excited to see all of our family in California, it's going to be a long week waiting to leave! Well, I suppose that is enough rambling for now... if you have any suggestions on what you might like to read about you could leave me a message........ :) If anyone is out there?