Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Some updates

In case you didn't see it on Facebook here is a pic of my new haircut. I love it! The only problem is I am kind of having a difficult time learning to style it myself! I need to keep practicing! But, I absolutely love having bangs and having a real "hairstyle" helps me from feeling like a frumpy mom.

And speaking of not being a frumpy mom... I lost 4 pounds my first week of Weight Watchers Online! I am thrilled! And it is totally motivating me to keep going.

It is also officially the last day of TV free January. We didn't do as well as I had hoped with having sick kids throughout the month and Jack's teething keeping me up at night for the past few weeks. But, honestly, even with those factors, we watched way less. My favorite habit that we broke (with a few exceptions) is watching TV first thing in the morning and through breakfast. It has been great starting off my kids day by chatting over breakfast and a few times they even asked me to read them Bible stories while they were eating. It was awesome. The other nice part has been because they watch a lot less we are much choosier about which shows they watch. We have tried to find shows that are beneficial instead of just "neutral".

And in totally unrelated news, we went to Culver's last night for dinner (which was tasty but I only had 6 points left for the day so there was no delicious Butter Burger and frozen custard for me!) but it ended up being kids night. Look at these cute balloons the super talented balloon artist made for them!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weight Watchers... 5 days in...

Last Friday I mentioned that I was going to start doing Weight Watchers online.  I am on day 5 and thought I would let you all know how it is going!

So far so good! Sadly, I think this is the longest I have stuck with something without cheating at all! Ha! Sad. But true. I think my favorite part about the program is that "cheating" is built in. I get 26 points a day but then an additional 49 points for the week to use whenever. I love that because there are always those events that come up where you really have to eat something that isn't in your plan and I like that this plan allows for that. So far I have only used 2 of my weekly points.

Here are my favorite things about using Weight Watchers Online so far:

  • I am eating way more fruits and veggies than I used to. I have always been decent but now I get them in at every meal and snacks
  • I am drinking more water
  • I am so much more conscious of mindless eating
  • I feel like I am learning to make good choices... if I know I want a cookie after dinner I know that I have to make sacrifices earlier on in the day for that to happen
  • I am getting a better idea of which foods I should be eating and which ones I need to limit
  • I am discovering some great healthy recipes that our whole family is enjoying (hello! Skinnytaste.com anyone? Her recipes are delish and lists all the nutrition info and the points on every recipe!)
The cons:
  • It is a little tricky to eat things other people cook (I have decided to try to not use up my weekly points so that there is a little bit of a buffer when I am guessing about how many points are in some foods)
  • It can be a little bit of a pain to log everything I eat... but then it is a really good thing
I will keep updating! But, for now, I feel like it has been a great choice for me and I feel like I really am learning a new lifestyle as they say.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prayer Cards

My friend Jenn posted this idea on Facebook awhile back and I loved it so much I just had to steal borrow it. You take your Christmas cards and put them on a ring and use them to pray for a different family every night.

Nick has been pretty great about reading the Bible and praying with the kids every night (thank goodness... because I am horrible at routines!). But, recently, he was challenged to start doing family worship every night so we read the Bible, have discussions with the kids, sing a few praise songs, and pray together as a family every night. I thought the prayer card idea would be a great addition to our family worship time so last night I grabbed all the cards off the Christmas wreath (yep... the one Christmas decoration I still have up) and we tried it out. I loved it. It was awesome to hear my kids praying for another family. Their little hearts are so sweet... and Sophie added her trademark... "thank you God for princesses"...

Today while I was at Wal-Mart I grabbed the ring and a package of reinforcement labels (I figured the kids wouldn't be quite as gentle when flipping the cards).
 And TA-DA! I love the ring because then it is easy to hang up and keep track of the cards.
So if you sent us a Christmas card know that the little R's will be praying for you! 

I am linked up at...

Friday, January 20, 2012

I love Fridays... Fridays are my favorite

Catch the Elf reference? I replaced "Smiling is my favorite" with "Fridays are my favorite". Haha. Get it? Okay... moving on...
I really do love Fridays. I had a little playdate this morning with a dino theme. And guess what? I didn't take a single picture? That is just not like me! But, it happened. Thankfully, I saw Jenn with her camera a few times so I will point you her direction if she posts any!
I did take some pics of a tiny little organizng proejct I did last week. By the phone tends to always be a big pile. So, I grabbed a little basket and attempted to get a little organization going on. Ahhh... feels better already... and who doesn't love a dog leash in a bowl? I know I do.
In other news... I joined Weight Watchers Online today. I didn't really want to post that because then if I don't lose any weight nobody knows I was trying. I think that is part of my first born perfectionist/people pleaser personality. But, then I also thought it might add an extra layer of accountability so I went for it. I was getting a little fed up with my pants getting tighter and the scale going higher ever since December so I knew I needed to make a change. When it comes to money I am a firm believer in using someone else's plan (like Dave Ramsey) because I think in areas like money where we might have a problem it is best to listen to the wisdom of someone who knows what they are talking about. So, the same thing can probably be applied to weight loss too. So, hopefully, you will start to see pictures of a smaller Katie here on the blog. At least that is the hope...
Anyway, I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Breakfast Pizza

When I threw a baby shower last week for my friend Jenn I decided to make a breakfast pizza. The hubs liked it so much (he was able to sneak a piece when he got home) he requested it for breakfast the next morning.

Breakfast Pizza

One loaf of frozen bread, thawed (I love Rhodes white bread in the orange bag)
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1/4 C. heavy cream
1/4-1/2 C. (each) shredded cheddar cheese and montery jack cheese
3-4 strips of cooked bacon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roll out dough in a pizza pan
2. Scramble eggs, let cool completely, add heavy cream to eggs
3. Put ricotta cheese on dough (like you would pizza sauce), sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top
4. Layer both cheeses on to pizza
5. Layer on scrambled egg mixture
6. Top with bacon, bake in oven for 20-26 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted

Disclaimer: I have to thank Heather for teaching me the beauty and versatility of Rhodes bread dough.
Tip: I like to put my Rhodes dough in a ziplock bag sprayed with Pam overnight in the fridge and then take it out and let it sit on the counter for a few hours before using.

What do YOU want?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The trouble with blogging...

I am a lover of blogs. A lover of blogging. Honestly, a lover of social media in general. I am a people person. I love people. I love relationships. I love friends.

But, I find the trouble with blogging (and Facebook) is that while they increase the quantity of relationships you have they tend to decrease the quality. People stop really interacting and choose to just keep up with people by seeing what they were up to. This is totally fun and it can be great to keep  up with people who you might not otherwise keep up with. But, we also tend to stop talking as much to the people we otherwise would talk to or seek out because we already know what they are up to. No need to send a birthday card, I said happy birthday on Facebook! And like I said, this is great for people you don't know that well, but I think it is hard on your real friendships.

I have had a few people say things to me like, "I don't need to talk to you! I just read your blog!" And while I get what they were saying, it is hurtful on some level.

All this to say while I think Facebook and blogs are awesome. I also think they are hurting real relationships. And I personally want to make sure I am not relying on Facebook to cultivate the real relationships in my life. I want to make sure I am not reading my friends blogs instead of calling them in real life and asking them how they are doing. Because I think, for me at least, at the end of the day I would rather have a few real relationships that hundreds of "virtual" ones!

What I am reading lately

I just love to read. I always have. I remember in first grade my mom buying me the Babysitters Club- Little Sister books and I would read them in a day. Having young kiddos has definitely made me cut back on my reading. But, as they are getting a little older I am starting to get back into it.

I recently read the Hunger Games trilogy. I read all three in like a week. Loved it!
The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set
I actually read the second two on Nick's Kindle. Which... I might need to get one of those. For awhile I wasn't so sure if I wanted one but they really are so nice. One of my favorite features is that you never lose what page you are on!

I also started reading this little devotional book to go along with my reading the Bible in a year plan.
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence
It is awesome. Very encouraging and the devotionals are super short. This would be great if you are in a crazy season of life because you can easily read the devotion and look up the Bible passages in under 5 minutes.

Right now I am also reading Real Marriage by Pastor Mark and Grace Driscoll. It is no secret that I am a big fan of Pastor Mark's teaching and I am finding this book to be no exception.
Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together
I haven't read a marriage book in quite awhile. Our marriage has been in such a good place for the past year or so that I was feeling like I didn't need to work on it. Why mess with a good thing, right? And let's be honest... a lot of marriage books are the same old thing... I am so glad I went ahead and got this book anyway. I am about 30% in and already have learned so much and I know that our marriage will be blessed because of this book!

Speaking of... Most of you probably saw that I posted Pastor Mark's first Real Marriage sermon on Facebook the other day. Nick and I watched it together and we were so blessed and encouraged by it.We decided to make a regular Monday night date of watching this series together. Here is the link if you want to check it out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What? Today isn't Monday?

There isn't much better than a three day weekend. But, man, do they get me all sorts of thrown off. I have to keep reminding myself that it is actually Tuesday. 

Our weekend was fabulous and included a baby shower, watching the Broncos game (insert sad face), church, celebrating my Grandma's birthday, buying new beds for the kiddos, and lots of time for family fun. 

I thought I would give a little update on how things are going with our little pup since a lot of people thought we were crazy to get one with three little kiddos. And I will admit, we are pretty crazy! But, life with little Scout is going great. He is honestly the best dog. He is super calm for a puppy, he is almost potty trained, he is a fabulous snuggler, he is wonderful with the kids, and he is just so cute! I mean look...

He is a part of the family for sure.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yay for baby girls!

This weekend I got to throw a little brunch "sprinkle" for one of my nearest and dearest girlfriends, Jenn. Jenn is a mamma to two boys and baby number three is going to be a girl! So, heaven knows I had to bring the pink to our little celebration. Here are some pictures from our event. Unfortunately, once the guests arrived we had way too much fun chit-chatting and I only took one picture of Jenn opening presents and didn't get any pictures of all of our other beautiful guests.

On the menu was breakfast pizza, chocolate chip scones and blueberry scones, fruit salad, hashbrown  potatoes, and pink doughnuts (from Heaven Scent bakery... yum).

Now we just have to wait for Hannah to get here... Hannah, might I suggest a Valentine's Day birthday? Some very cool people {me} have birthdays on that day... I am just saying...

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Big Loser

I am pretty jealous proud of my husband. He has lost about 65 pounds over the past year! I can hardly recognize him in old pictures anymore. Here are a few older ones...

And here is a little before and after. (He isn't mad in the second one... we were being "silly"... apparently he thinks that is a silly face... I don't know... )
Nick was so sweet and gained weight with me during all of my pregnancies! I mean, the couple that snacks together stays together, right? No? Hmmm... Well, here are a few more current photos...

Doesn't he look great? I hate to say it but Nick lost the weight by exercising and eating right. He didn't do anything gimmicky at all. I watched. I should have joined in! Because now that my husband has reached his goal weight I feel a little more of a drive to get to mine. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brothers don't shake hands

Brothers gotta hug!

I love that the boys are starting to play together. There is 4 years between them so that is a pretty big gap when you are little. But, Max is really stepping up and being a great big brother... a lot of the time. I mean... Jack is still a pesty little brother.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

30 Day Salad Challenge

Please tell me that I am not the only one who added on a few pounds layers of insulation over the holidays. If only sugar cookies and coffee for breakfast wasn't so amazing. But, now that every last crumb of sugar cookies is gone (trust me, I have checked many times) it is back to reality.
In order to get started on taking off those new pounds, plus the ones I wanted to loose before I even added on the new ones... I decided I needed to get my eating back down to normal human portions. One of my biggest challenges is eating a healthy lunch. So, yesterday I decided to challenge myself to eat a salad for lunch everyday for the next 30 days.
Here was yesterdays-

It really was so good. Today's wasn't quite as healthy... I made a salad with some of our taco leftovers but no doubt it was still much better than a fast food lunch.
Hopefully I will come across a few fun new salad recipes to share along the way! And in the meantime, if you have a favorite healthy salad shoot that recipe my way! I would love to try it!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bread Pudding

The week after Christmas some of our very best friends were in town and Nick and I got to be "real grown-ups" and meet them for dinner at a "real restraunt" read: real napkins, real silverware, and get this... no kids menu. It was devine I tell you.
We went to Harvest in St. Louis and I give it 2 thumbs up for sure. The ambiance was superb, the staff friendly, the menu was well put together... but none of it compared to the deliciousness that was the bread pudding... Apparently people come from miles around to partake of this delciousness... and now I see why.
Since then I have been searching the internet for a bread pudding recipe... but none seemed like they would fit the bill. But then, a friend mentioned that a friend of theirs had the REAL Harvest recipe! I had never thought to look for their actual recipe! So I "Googled" it and within minutes had the recipe in hand and was out the door at the store getting the ingredients (honestly, this is not much of an exaggeration at all.)
I couldn't find all of the exact ingredients and cheated a little on a few things. So, I will share my adapted version. But, feel free to make theirs! It is probably even better... although I got no complaints about this one.

Bread Pudding
Serves 12
2 loves of brioche (I searched high and low and had to settle for European hearth bread which is probably nothing like brioche but all I could find)
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
powdered sugar for garnish
For the sauce:
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. light corn syrup
1 cup buttermilk
2 sticks butter
1/2 C. bourbon
Whipped Cream:
1 pint heavy cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f
  2. Remove the crust from bread and cut loaves into 1 inch pieces. Place cubes in a large mixing bowl
  3. In a saucepot combine milk, cream, 3/4 C. sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk togehter the eggs and egg yolks. Slowly pour half the hot milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to incorporate. Add remaining milk and whisk together.
  5. Let egg mixture cool slightly and then pour over cubed bread. Toss the igredients together lightly and place in a greased 9x12 baking dish. Bake approximately 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Make the sauce by combing all sauce igredients, except bourbon, in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from head and add bourbon, set aside.
  7. Make the whipped cream by combining heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar by mixing with a mixer. Whip until stiff.
  8. Serve bread pudding warm. Cut into desired size pieces, top with sauce and a dallop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
Enjoy! Your mouth will thank you. Your scale might not.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Another one down...

Around midnight Soph came into our room and told us she had thrown-up. She then proceeded to throw up at least every hour until about 6am. So, if you are keeping track it is just me and the pup that are still healthy. And also if you are keeping track.. that is the 3rd night of no sleep for moi. You better believe I turned on my espresso maker first thing this morning!
Here is a pic of my most current sicky back in December... before all the throwing up started...
And I have another confession... I am writing this as PBS kids is on in the background. I had committed to a TV free January... but what else do you do first thing in the morning and you haven't slept in days and all 3 kiddos are sick? I am going to give myself grace on this one and we will be back on track once everyone is on the mend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I have a confession. Sometimes I do the one thing I always said I would never do... I yell at my kids. I get annoyed. I speak more harshly than I should. I get really frustrated.  A few months ago I really made the decision to change. I didn't like being the mom that yelled. 

So, God has been working on me. And I have to brag on God here because he has totally changed my heart. For awhile there I had to try really hard not to yell. I had to count to 10. I had to take deep breaths. I had to walk away... But, little by little I got much better.

A few days ago I saw this on Women Living Well (one of my absolute favorite encouraging blogs)
and I had the most amazing moment. I realized that God has totally done a work in my heart. And where I used to have to REALLY try to not yell it is now easy. Yelling at my kids is no longer my default. And it is wonderful. 

Tonight I had one of those nights that just a few months ago would have sent me over the edge. I have 2 sick kiddos (you can read more about that here), Nick came home sick from work at noon and is totally out of commission, I have a puppy, and I haven't slept in days. (Disclaimer: I am not saying any of this to brag in any way about myself and I know that tomorrow I could easily slip up and be a mopey/crabby/disaster of a mom... but I just have to brag on what God did for me tonight). But, despite these circumstances, I had a great night. And it wasn't even that hard. I was patient with the kids, we read books, played... I didn't get through the evening in survival mode but attempted to have a great evening regardless of the circumstances. I truly believe that God got me through tonight and that He is helping me be a better mom to my kids and I am SO grateful for that!

Friends, all of this is just to say that God really does hear our prayers. He really does care. And if you ask Him, He really will help you become who He created you to be. And if you need a little help or encouragement in the area of gentleness along the way check out The Gentleness Challenge at WomenLivingWell.org.

"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." Phillipians 4:5

Our night at the E.R.

Wow! What a whirlwind past few days! As most of you know who are on Facebook with me our little Jack ended up in the ER on Tuesday night because of low oxygen levels. What started out as a little trip to urgent care because of a suspected ear infection turned into an adventure with an ambulance ride and not getting home until 2:30 in the morning!
I am so thankful to my parents who came right away to stay with the big kids so Nick could be at the hospital with us! And I am happy to report that Jack woke up this morning in a great mood and is totally acting like himself! 

We are headed to our regular doc here in a few so that Jack can have his post hospital check-up. I am also taking Max in. He has had a fever for a few days and was up all night coughing last night despite his breathing treatments. So yes... I haven't slept in days... so if you see me around please just hand me a latte and ignore any wacky statements I might make in my delirium.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

TV-free January

I guess as part of a new year/new start kinda thing I decided back in December to have the kids take the month of January off from TV. My kids don't watch a ton of TV but they certainly watch everyday and usually more than a few times. TV had kind of become the background noise in the mornings around our house. And every morning when the kids woke up the first words out of their mouths were requesting TV shows or movies and it was driving me crazy!

So, Nick and I decided to cut them off! We decided once a week or so we would let them watch one of their new "What's in the Bible?" DVDs. '

I personally do not think TV or movies are bad. Heck, Max has basically learned how to read from the Leap Frog movies! But, I just didn't like that it was becoming my kids first choice of activity. 

I know it has only been three days but I already feel like my kids are being more creative and playing more. Sophie has actually started playing by herself in her room a little bit which she had never really done before (although that could also be due to her fabulous new Barbie Disney Princess Castle)! She is almost always playing with Max and while I love that, Max is pretty bossy so I think it is good for Soph to get to imagine on her own.

I will give you guys more updates throughout the month. Honestly, the one it is going to be hardest on is me. I totally use the TV as a babysitter. But, I need to stop. They need to be playing and creative and not sitting in front of the TV. 

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

I have been reading this book and it is totally convicting and awesome. It is about how kids cannot be kids when their is too much stuff, information, chaos, etc. It has really convicted me to scale back on my kiddos toys and our business level during the day. The book talks about one of the best things we can give our children is the free time to just imagine and play on their own. It is hard to get a child who has always been entertained by mommy and daddy, movies and video games, or a busy schedule to do these things at first but with time kids will learn to entertain themselves and some of their best learning will happen during this time. So, that has also spurred on my desire to go TV free in January.

In case you are curious we did decide that they could each have 20 minutes a day of computer, LeapPad, OR Wii. But, that time has to be earned by completing their chore packs. Soph is a little young for this but Max is already so excited about it and it has only been one day. I think he feels really good about himself being able to work for what he wants. This morning he totally took initiative and put his clothes in the hamper and put his shoes on for preschool without being asked. This was a BIG deal in our house! And he was so proud of himself. It was great!

So, just curious, if you all have included New Years resolutions for your kids this year or if you are trying anything new with your parenting in the New Year? 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Eve

To celebrate Christmas Eve this year we mixed things up just a bit. My parents went to church with us at 3pm for our church's Christmas Eve service. After church we all went to a hibachi resteraunt for dinner and my sister and brother-in-law met up with us. Then we all met up back at our house for the kiddos to open their Christmas Eve present and to make cookies for Santa!