Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Look out, Kindergarten!

Hannah graduated from pre-school last week. I've never seen a kid so ready for kindergarten! We always talked about how when you're 5, you start kindergarten. Poor little thing thought we meant literally, the day she turned 5, she'd be going to the "big kid school" with Megan. It's been hard to wait all year, but she understands now that it won't be until after the summer, when the NEW school-year starts!

We love the Parents' Day Out program that Hannah & Owen go to. The teachers there are lovely women who love the kids and make their days so much fun! Hannah is going to miss it terribly, but I'm thrilled that we'll have 2 more years there with Owen!

The "graduates." I'm sad that of the 8 of them, every single one of them are going to a different kindergarten! Hopefully Hannah will still get to see a few of her buddies at CCE (our PDO is at the same church that we attend): Doing the Pledge of Allegiance: With the fabulous Ms. Katie and Ms. Marcy, after getting the "Ring Pop Award" for always having great accessories and paying attention to detail in her drawings.With her super-proud mom and dad!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Spaghetti, Cheesy Garlic Toast, Roasted Broccoli

Tuesday: Take-Out!

Wednesday: Meatloaf, Cheesy Rice, Green Beans - I've posted my yummy meatloaf recipe here before. I've always made it just like the recipe says, but this time I'm going to use all ground beef (it gets to be expensive meatloaf when I have to have veal & lamb, too!). Fingers crossed that it will be just as tasty!

Thursday: Chicken Fried Rice

Friday: Beef Rouladen, German Fried Potatoes, Corn

One month!

In one month, we'll be on our way here:
In one month, we'll have been married for 10 years!

I'm not all-together sure which I'm more excited about! (Just kidding - it's been a great 10 years, and I'm so looking forward to the next 10 ...and the next...and the next...and the next...) Being able to spend our special day in various airports isn't all that romantic, but the pay off will be awesome!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Leftover Pork Loin - I linked this recipe from my friend Angela's blog last week (the only change I made was using rosemary instead of sage, because I'm not a big fan of that flavor). Oh my gravy! This is so, so good! It will absolutely be in our rotation again soon. I have 1 whole plate leftover, and am looking forward to it tonight (Kevin will be out-of-town, and the kids have already requested PB & J sandwiches)!

Tuesday: Take-Out! I like eating out as much as the next person, but I'm getting tired of our weekly fast food. Luckily, the end of May means the end of dance/gymnastics for the summer (and maybe forever, since the girls can't decide if they want to stick with it next year, or try something else). I'll be glad when summer gets here!

Wednesday: Szriskes, rice, green beans - This came from Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen site. My cousin, Sara, posted it a few weeks ago, and I can't wait to try it! It's kind of like a Czech version of the German Weiner Schnitzel.

Thursday: Chicken Spaghetti, pan fried zucchini, garlic toast

Friday: Grilled steaks (if the weather cooperates), baked potatoes, salad

Everyone in the world loves my mom's chicken spaghetti. Since yesterday was Mother's Day and her birthday (love you, Mom!), I thought I'd pass along her recipe to you. I'll post it just as she gave it to me, and then put my substitutions, too.

I do things a little differently, but not so much that it affects things too much (like I never buy a whole chicken, I just use chicken breasts).
1 whole chicken
3 stalks celery
1 medium sized onion
1 bell pepper
1 lb. Velveeta (grated)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. spaghetti noodles
1 Tbsp. butter

Boil chicken and let cool; when cool, debone and shred into small pieces. Cook noodles in chicken water according to package directions (leave slightly firm as they will continue cooking in the oven). Dice celery, onion and bell pepper and saute in butter until tender. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl, reserving 1/2 cup of the cheese. Press mixture into a lightly greased 9"x11" pan. Top with remaining Velveeta. Bake for 1 hour, or until top is golden brown.

My substitutions: I don't use 3 celery stalks when I make it myself because I'm not a big fan. I always put some celery flavor in, though. Either 1 stalk or celery salt or celery flakes. I normally use onion powder because the kids (and I) don't like onion hunks. I don't care for bell pepper, either (I promise that I'm not as picky as it seems!), so I sometimes dice carrots very tiny and use them instead. Still gives a pretty color and another flavor/texture. Makes it very yummy!

Another great thing about this recipe is that it freezes beautifully. A huge 9"x11" casserole is way too much for our little family. I make 2 in smaller pans (8"x8") and bake one to eat and freeze the other.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Abundantly Blessed

This weekend was a special one for us. Megan made her First Holy Communion. It's hard for me to believe that she's old enough for this step in our faith, but she has been so excited and really seems to "get" why this is special.

We go to a pretty big church, but her CCE class size is just ridiculous! I know that on years when the kids' make their sacraments, the classes tend to get bigger, but seriously! There were 68 making their 1st Communion this year! 37 made theirs on Saturday night, and 31 made theirs with Megan on Sunday morning. It was a sea of white veils and little ties!

My mother-in-law made Megan's dress (to her strict specifications). Meg knows exactly what she wants, and she isn't shy about telling us when she hates something (bows, anyone?)! Her vision turned out beautifully, though, so I can't really fault her for it!
Making her sacrament:My beautiful girl is all smiles!Her BIG class (and this is only half of them)!We had a big group of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, cousins, & Godparents who came to be with us on Megan's special day. After Mass, we had a big party and just enjoyed the pretty day and all being together (with lots of food and sweets)!
My attempt at a "lamb" cake (only because my sister kind of put the idea in my head):Megan seemed to like it!A backyard picnic, with family. What could be better?
We love you, baby girl, and are so proud of the young lady that you're becoming!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Parmesan Chicken Nuggets, mashed potatoes, green beans - This recipe is originally from the Taste of Home cookbook (which I don't have) but my cousin posted it on her blog last week. I've made a very similar nugget before, but these sound even better!

Tuesday: Take-Out!

Wednesday: Chicken & Beef Quesadillas, Spanish rice, watermelon - Tex-Mex food in honor of Cinco de Mayo! We had chicken & beef fajitas this weeked, so I'll use the leftovers to make our quesadillas.

Thursday: Homemade pizzas, salad - I have a MOPS meeting that evening, so I wanted something quick to assemble. I'll make the dough early in the day, then it will be really quick to throw them in the oven!

Friday: Bacon-Wrapped Maple Pork Loin, roasted potatoes, corn - My friend Angela posted this on her blog several weeks ago. It sounded so good, and I found a "hidden" pork loin in my freezer! I'm excited to try this recipe! Like her, I've never been a huge pork fan (aside from bacon), but as I get older, I find that I like more and more pork dishes. Her family gave this rave reviews, so I hope mine will, too!