Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Brandon and Connor

Today was a GREAT birthday for the boys! The day started with breakfast in the shape of the number 3....pancakes, apples, and sausage. This is a tradition for us!!!

Here they are in their 3 year old birthday shirts...

It started off with 2 inches of snow and an addition 3/4 in of ice throughout the day. Unfortunately, some of our friends weren't able to make it to their party, but the ones that did all had a really good time. We enjoyed some hot bbq sandwiches, cheese (at Connor's request) fruit and chips...and cupcakes OF COURSE!

Eric and Paul went outside and cleaned off the boys' birthday present...a 14 foot trampoline. I have a feeling this spring and summer will be spent on that thing. Connor, Brandon, and their little friend Brea, had a BLAST on it even though it was wet and still raining freezing rain! After about 20 minutes, all kiddos came inside and got warm. Our friends left and the boys went down for a nap.

We went out to dinner thinking that it wouldn't be busy because of the weather, but we were wrong. A lot of stores, including our mall, were closed as were many restaurants, so O'Charleys was PACKED. The boys celebrated with a big scoop of ice cream for dessert. We came home, finished watching the movie UP and put the boys to bed.

They had a BLAST with Brea and Gage, and loved every single present they received. Thanks so much to our very generous family and friends. We are extending the party to tomorrow afternoon in the hopes that the rest of our friends can come over.

I forgot that I bought the boys the wooden workbench! I bought it when they were about a year and a half old thinking I would give it to them for Christmas when they turned 2. I've been cleaning out the baby stuff from the shed and found it! I threw it together during their nap yesterday and they loved it. I love buying things like that on clearance, I just hate that I forget about them!!!!

Here are a few videos of the boys playing on their trampoline!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

3 years ago tonight

3 years ago tonight, I went into labor and didn't even know! Man, how time flies!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Necklaces, Little People, and BIRTHDAY PREPARATIONS!!!

I've been on my feet all day and interacting with the boys non-stop, and now it's time to sit and relax. I thought I would put up a few really funny pictures!

I don't wear jewelry much anymore since I have workout clothes on most of the time. However, I managed to look decent the other day including a necklace. Both boys HAD to wear it and then asked me to take a picture of us. SO CUTE! The necklace was subsequently broken, but I guess I should have expected that. Oh well...small price to pay for a priceless moment.


I was cleaning the bathroom the other day and told the boys to stay in their room while I had the cleaning supplies out. (They have become entirely too curious to trust them NOT to touch something forbidden!) They both go in their room and pull out the puzzles...and...the Little People. Next thing I hear is, "Mommy watch me" I look out in the family room and Connor comes running towards me with Little People tumbling out of his underwear. I said, "Buddy, what in the world are you doing." He says to me, "Putting Little People in my underwear and taking them for a ride on my bottom." I told him to stand still so I could take a picture. I love that they are so realistic and honest at this age. He told me exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it. How DARE we not give those Little People "bottom rides" more often!

Today, we had our preschool session. We learned about snakes, the letter "S", turtles, the letter "T", the color blue, and how to spell it. I wrote "S" and "T" out on card stock, traced it with glue, and gave them beads, buttons, pom poms, and googly eyes to outline it. They LOVE LOVE LOVE to mess around with glue! I don't mind it because they are being creative and learning at the same time. I had a cake client stop by, and while I was talking with her, Connor got ahold of the glue bottle and had a little fun on the kitchen table. No harm to fowl though...I knew they were up to something because they were so quiet!

Speaking of that cake client, I made her some "Pupcakes"! She wants to order about 2 dozen of these for an animal shelter fundraiser, but I wanted to attempt them before I fully committed to her. Here is a picture of the finished pups, but you can see them individually on my goodies blog.

I also made some rice krispie treats for the boys to take to Mother's Day Out on Friday to celebrate their birthday. But, being me, I can't make plain old's what I came up with! Treats on a stick...OH YEAH!

They were so easy to make! It only took 2 hours from start to finish to make them and get them in the fridge to set. I wrapped them individually today and put them in a basket for the kiddos to grab on their way out of church. I'm in shock that the boys will be 3 on oh man where did the time go?

I guess I should go get their birthday shirts made!!! I LOVE birthdays! It was the one day a year that I felt super special growing up. I got to pick dinner, which consisted of dessert, and then dessert consisted of dinner...spaghetti. Birthdays are a way to make your kids feel special and extra loved!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Long Time No Post

I know it's been a really long time...actually 1 month...since I have posted anything about the boys on here. Let me tell ya, life with 2 almost 3 year olds and a husband in a very demanding program leaves very little time for anything other than necessities! That being said, here's what we've been up to!

Christmas was a whirlwind. My parents were in town for a week and Eric's parents rounded up the weekend with a short visit. The boys were more than ready to get back to their normal routine and so was I! They started going back to Mother's Day Out 2 days a week, I got back into my gym and grocery shopping routine. Exciting I tell ya!

I'm planning their small birthday party for next weekend. Thanks to the Heros At Home program through Sears, we purchased the boys a 14 foot trampoline for their birthday!!!! We desperately needed something in the back yard for them to play on. We don't always have the time to load up and head to the park, but there's always time to play in the back yard. We figured a trampoline would be easier to move than a swing set. (Since we are up for a possible move summer of 2011) We've invited a few little friends to come over for some barbecue and a jump on the trampoline! Hopefully we can get it put together this week without the boys seeing it...should be interesting!

I have a few cake orders in the works! One for this coming week, 2 big ones the first week of March and another at the end of March. It looks like I'll be spending my 30th birthday IN THE KITCHEN! Yes, I will be turning the big 3-0 on March 3rd, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping to get a girls only overnight trip to Raleigh sometime in April as my 30th birthday present. There are about 3 or 4 girls that are definitely up for a night away from the kiddos, dinner at The Melting Pot, and a morning of shopping without multiple potty trips, goldfish crackers, and endless 3 year old chatter!!!!

I've been debating for a while about preschool for the boys this fall. Registration usually starts in February or March and can be somewhat cut throat...the good ones anyway. After a lot of discussions with Eric, we've decided not to put them in school this year. They will continue to go to Mother's Day Out 2 mornings a week for socialization, but I'm going to do a preschool curriculum with them here at home. If I put them in 3 year old Pre-K, I'll have to pull them out when we move, put them in a different 4 year old Pre-K, and then a different Kindergarten. Educational continuity is one of the hardest aspects of the military life. I feel that my decision to keep them home is the best for us right now, and will look for 4 year old Pre-K programs when we find out our next duty station in January of NEXT year. I bought a few 3 year old preschool books and am going to go through them with the boys 1 page at a time! I need to pick up a couple binders to put the pages in so I can mark their progress and see how much their little minds expand.

We had our first little preschool session this morning. We talked about the color red, how to spell it, object that are red, and colored those object red. The boys really liked it! Then, Brandon asked me to draw him a Bee, and Connor wanted a Lion. I think my artistic skills, however elementary they may be, are going to be put to the test with these two!

We color naked...yep...that's how we roll around here!

I've teamed up with a good friend who also has a 3 year old boy. We are aiming to do 1 education session/outing per week together. Christopher is a little more advanced than the boys, but that can be a very good thing! Encouragement is never a bad thing!!! She arranged to go to a reptile exhibit on Monday, but I already had plans...BOO!

Other than the things I already listed, we are just hanging out, enjoying life, and laughing along the way. The boys continue to eat an unbelievable amount of food. They are the most UN-picky kids I've ever seen. Connor is about 34 pounds right now and Brandon is still hanging out around 28 pounds. They have their 3 year old check up on Feb 15th and luckily, Eric will be able to come since that is President's Day! He has yet to go to an appointment since before he deployed!

Here are a few pictures on HOW TO HAVE FUN AFTER DINNER at the Danko House! You can get very creative with Marshmallows when you pull them apart! It's amazing what they will stick to!

Thursday, January 21, 2010



This is the last week of playoff cooking for the Super Bowl Snack Throw Down. I think there might be one more recipe to go for the actual Super Bowl Game! Head on over to HIGHLOWAHA to get the latest information on the Throw Down Challenge and to see my competitor's entry! Once again, there will not be a reader vote. However, the regular judges will be critiquing us and a third judge will be preparing and taste-testing...yum!

Our ingredient this week is kielbasa sausage. The main recipes I use kielbasa for are my Jambalaya, which isn't football party friendly, and the Black Bean Kielbasa soup that I already shared during this contest. I wanted to make something different, yet easy, and bite sized. I found the following recipe from the Food Network website. While the sausage itself looks simple and maybe a little plain, a "mustard bar" will allow your guests to customize their favorite bite!

  1. 2 large egg yolks
  2. 1 tsp water, plus more for brushing
  3. 1 1/2 rings kielbasa sausage
  4. flour for rolling out pastry
  5. 2 sheets prepared puff pastry, thawed per directions on package
  6. assorted mustards for your "mustard bar"
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Beat the egg and water and set aside
  2. Cut the kielbasa into 8 (3-inch) pieces
  3. On a lightly floured surface, toll out the pastry sheets into 12 by 12 inch squares. Cut each sheet into 4 equal sized squares. (You'll have 8 total)
  4. Brush 1 square with water around the edges. Place the sausage along one edge and roll up to the other edge. Fold the ends of the pastry over the sausage like a present. Place on parchment paper, seam side down. Press all edges firmly to seal. Continue with remaining pastry and sausage.
  5. Brush the tops and sides of the sausage packages with the egg wash and bake until browned and shinny, about 25 minutes
  6. Transfer to a rack and cool for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
  7. These can be served warm or at room temperature

Here's the 3 inch section, ready to be wrapped up in its own little blanket of pastry!
I just rolled it up, firmly pressed the seam together
and then folded the ends in just like a present.

They are basking in their egg wash and ready for a 25 minute party in my oven.
Golden goodness!

I plated the Inside Pocket Sausages with three different kinds of mustards including Grey Poupon, Regular Yellow Mustard and a Boars Head Cajun Style Roumalade. My personal favorite was the Grey Poupon.

I hope the taste tester enjoys making this recipe this week!