Thursday, December 27, 2012

A crockpot confession

Perhaps, it might be possible that crockpots aren't for everyone!  I've pinned a zillion, oh so easy and delicious crockpot recipes.  However, thinking back, I have had more fails than wins.  

There was the BBQ chicken.  When I got home from work, my house smelled absolutely amazing.  I was so excited to have the best chicken ever.  When I stuck my fork into it, instead of falling apart, it practically bounced back at me. That is when I decided it was time to invest in a fancier crock pot that was digital, had a timer, a warm setting and a probe.  

Then there was this one.  It was easy, but so creamy!  We could only handle about two bites.  

I once made a great crock-pot buffalo dip for a party, but it looked so gross, I think I was the only one who ate it:(

Last week I whipped up my own mix of Asian Pineapple Chicken.  And, it was just OK.

They are always - so easy, it's for the crockpot!  But half of them you still have to get out a half dozen pans to cook the contents before dumping into the crock-pot.  Then 30 minutes before you serve, take out the meat, add a bit of cornstarch to the crock pot to let the sauce thicken, while  you are letting your pasta on the stove boil.  In all honest- this all could have been completed on the stove in like 20 minutes - one mess!  

I haven't given up on my crockpot completely, but just spending a few days in the "crockpots are over rated camp".  

Please share your crockpot fails!  I know I'm not alone.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Since I didn't do the best of jobs distributing Christmas cards this year, thought I would add it on here.  

Christmas music has been playing non-stop at our house for well over a month now, so that must mean Christmas is near!  I must start off by sharing that you are about to read a letter from a much wiser Jessica, now that I am in my VERY early thirties.  Here is a recap of 2012 for the Bormann Family:

I started a new job in the Marketing Department at ACH Food Companies – otherwise known as Tone’s Spices here in Iowa.  It’s great to be back in the food world again!  Good or bad, I am now used to smelling like spices.  Sometimes the boys tell me I smell spicy. And Keith might need to build another pantry if I bring home anymore spices!

In March we went on our first family vacation with my family to Disney World, otherwise known as “Mickey’s Castle”.  The boys had an amazing time from their first time on an airplane, to our “new house” (the hotel), to all the bus rides from park-to-park, to all the fun rides, fireworks and attractions.  Sadly, after capturing 1000+ images, our camera was either lost or stolen on DAY 5 of our vacation.  Regardless, we still had a great time.

Like most women who are 37 weeks pregnant, I insisted on installing 500+ pavers to complete our patio.  It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if temps weren’t in the high, sizzling 90s.  (these DIYers are starting to get more familiar with, “how much for installation, OK”)

Olivia Lily Bormann arrived on June 26th.  The “Lily” comes from my grandparents, my grandpa always called my grandma Lily.  Olivia has been absolutely amazing!!!  Everyone should get a baby as sweet as her.  She is very easy going and completely goes with the flow.  She loves to snuggle, loves to hold your hand, she lights up when you talk to her and she is always full of smiles!  She has a dinner timer – when she’s hungry, you will hear about it and she spits up often, so if you are holding her, WATCH OUT!

Carter and Dylan turned 4 in October, celebrating with an ocean party theme (thank you Pinterest!).    They keep pretty darn busy being BOYS!  We basically lived outside March – October.  We ate dinners on the sidewalk and consumed countless popsicles.  The boys had the hose running non-stop from washing their bikes, to watering flowers, to filling the slip and slide, to just leaving the darn thing on!  They love to ride their bikes, drive their jeep around, hunt for frogs & bugs (the rule is – NO bugs in the house), swim, play with the neighbors, climb things, wrestle non-stop, watch movies, build things and tell me ridiculous things all day long!  Thanks to Carter and Dylan, happy to report, we are very familiar with about every bathroom in the tri-county area.  Whenever you are in a hurry, count on an extra stop or TWO!

Life with three kids certainly has been exciting and testing at the same time.  Sleep and quiet time is limited and we have quickly adjusted to zone defense.   We have definitely experienced new parenting challenges on a level I did not know was possible.  So we learn as we go, play hard and hang on tight when knees are scraped and times are tough.
Weekend get-aways together and vacations are limited for us these days!   However, Keith managed rack up the frequent flyer miles as he traveled to France, Hawaii and various other states for work.  I went to Memphis and Michigan.  Almost the same.

We made 3 trips to the ER this year.  One run into the house (literally), one swallowed rock and one staple!  Mom of two crazy boys, I’ll take it!  Could be worse. 

We hope all of you have had a few shining moments in 2012 and wishing you a wonderful new year.  As for us, we will be in survival mode!  Always happy to have visitors, so don’t be shy!  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Two days before Christmas'

I imagine you think I am about to share a story of Christmas traditions. That I am not.  Just going to share - what is probably too darn close to a typical Sunday!

I think I woke up around 7:30 to Olivia scratching my face with her razor blade nails (baby nails are not fun!).  Then Dylan quickly joined us and Carter followed shortly.  Olivia had seemed like she might have an ear infection for the past day or two. (yes, she just finished round 3 of antibiotics)  She was also barking the nasty croup cough.  So we decided we should try to get her into the central clinic since it was the only one open.  We also wanted to go to church as well.  Clinic called and plan formed.  We would take two cars to church.  Keith, Dylan and Olivia to go downtown after church.  Carter and me to go find Keith a Christmas gift after church.
8:00ish:  we convinced the boys to get dressed (even got them in jeans) and said they could each open one gift early.  We have plenty, so why not get a bit of joy a day or two early.
8:30ish:  boys are putting cinnamon rolls in pan and then start coloring with their new colors.  I take bath- maybe Keith is feeding Olivia, who knows, that was like 15 hours ago.
9:00ish - turns out church is at 10 instead of 10:30 - not a huge deal if we can get this crew moving along we can still make it to church.
9:15:  Cinnamon rolls are done, of course boys have to frost their own in the mix of their new colors / pictures / and pencil shavings (DID NOT REALIZE new coloring kit had sharpener- FAIL!)
Somehow by 9:45 - we have managed to get church entertainment packed, Olivia packed up, everyone dressed and coats on, about 5 debates about types of mints and where they are at - and we are finally leaving!  Made it to church on time.

11:15ish - we leave church, boys really want to get more mints at Caseys - we all stop quick.  I go in with boys.  We go to the bathroom, get mints.  Dylan, Keith and Olivia head to DSM for Olivia's 12:00.
11:30ish:  Carter decided he really wanted to get Dad something at a sports store???  So we went to Sportsmans in Ankeny.  My first time - a pleasure, I might add.  I should state that Keith DOES NOT hunt.  So this place has a different animal hung on the wall at about every 4 feet.  This was entertaining for Carter, however about every 5 minutes he would loudly say, those reindeer are dead.  They are in heaven…on and on and on.  After cruising the store, he finds dad a gift that he thinks he will really like.  (stay tuned!) And we are off. OH and when I walked in I was pretty sure Carter was really close to picking Keith out a deer picture or a John Wayne.
12:00ish I decide Carter and I could stop at the Treasure House in Ankeny- I just heard about it and had to get a couple last minute gifts.  Carter thought he could find a "pretty" for grandma.   So he was quite entertaining walking circles around that store.  Can't believe we made it out of there without breaking anything. Grandma is thrilled with her new Santa house hall light that he insisted on giving her today.  Oh and he almost accidentally stole a little snow globe.  We were walking out the door and I hear a, oops, I better put this back.  YES!

12:40ish, get Carter in the truck, look down and see 7 missed calls - and a CALL ME text.  Keith was still waiting where he assumed they were probably doing themselves more harm sitting in the waiting room alone. The church entertainment bag had been in my car and no food for Dylan - other than mints.  So he decided maybe it wouldn't be all that much longer so I should just go home.

12:50ish:  Almost to Polk City and Keith calls thinking it will be at least another hour before Olivia gets in. So Carter and I continue through PC and head downtown.

1:15ish:  We pick up Dylan - more discussion over mints and at this point these two are starving.  Dylan suggests McDonalds drive thru.  OK.

1:20ish:  Carter has to pee REALLY BAD.  Options:  stop at a gas station and battle two boys wanting to buy a zillion things or pull over.  Pulled over on side road- Dylan decided he would go as well. Both boys impressed by yellow snow!

1:30ish - finally get to McDonalds - woo hoo.  WHAT, the freakin drive thru is closed b/c a truck is stuck from the snow!  OK - guess I have to get these two out AGAIN!  Have you ever put a kid in and out of a car seat in winter gear.  NOT fun!  Go in, horrible service - and we didn't get our apples?  Whatever.  Some people seemed rude to me that I brought my kids into McDonalds.  How dare I do such a thing at McDonalds?  And I wouldn't have if the dumb drive true was open!

2:ish - maybe?  By this point I was focusing on getting home! Got home - boys did a crazy wrap job on Keith's present. I started a pot of chili, mom came and had a bowl, then at some point Keith and Olivia arrived.  Ear infection and croup. They didn't do the steroid today - but as I type this at 12:08, Keith is outside with her, so I guess we will be back tomorrow!

That gets you through most of the day, I will cut it off at that. 
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Glad these are done...

well, done enough.  Unfortunately, this year I made the mistake of starting and stopping Christmas cards about 5 different times.  I should have made a list of the ones I sent, so a few of you I missed, a few of you may have gotten two.  Heck, I even missed my own parents:(  Even with a solid stamping crew like this, some cards may have not made it to their destination!  
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Olivia, 5 months!

Look who is 5 months (like 3 weeks ago)!  Can you believe my baby is this big already!  She is super long an cruising right through all of her clothes.  I bought this cute 9 month dress at Target that has become a snug shirt!  The boys were always right on with size, but she is on her own pace.  

So what's happening....

  • We are pretty much through trying most our solids  Right now she loves to eat, she likes the fruits more, but will eat both.  
  • She loves to smile at you and listen to you sing or talk
  • She really enjoys watching Dylan and Carter
  • Her little legs are so strong, if she could balance I think she would skip crawling and walk.  I was holding her yesterday and she forced herself up.  
  • She is pretty close to being able to sit by herself, she will do it for a few seconds, then she's down!
  • Not crawling yet, but pops her head right up when on her tummy.  A couple times she has backed herself into a wall.  
  • She can roll both ways but doesn't do it that often
  • She LOVES books!  She just lights up and grabs the pages
  • Mom and Dad really need to focus on getting her into bed at a consistent time and by bed I mean her pack and play in our room. 

I'm too tired to write any more!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I know what you are thinking...

where can you get your own set?  These were Keith's gift from my work exchange.  Sorry, he is not giving these bad boys up!  I'm sure since he has two he would be happy to have a beer with a friend.  
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Naughty or Nice?

Look at me, sweet by the tree?

Hmm, what's over here?

This looks like a good one!

Think anyone will notice that bow?  Doubt it.

This is nice too, but it's not mine. 

Screw it, it's mine.

Yep just what I wanted!  

They can't get mad at me!
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Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Today is my Grandpa's birthday!  Pobably giving all the ladies in heaven a hard time today.

He sure would have liked meeting Olivia - I know he would love her hat.  
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

I'll never understand....

It's been hard to not think about Friday's events and I am saddened in so many different ways by this senseless act.  I wanted to share this because it is really the only thing I have read that has given me a small, small bit of peace.  

twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the ai
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mou
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

The holidays are pretty darn fun with 4 year olds

What a fun age - they are just starting to buy into all the Christmas fun and excitement. One night on the way home from daycare Carter said, mom lets go out to eat.  Me- no Dylan is home sick.  Maybe grandma can stay home with Dylan and Olivia and we can go out to eat.  So we decided, instead we could have a date night.  Last Saturday, Carter and I went to "Red Lobsters" - his choice, then went Christmas shopping for Dylan.  That evening Dylan and I went to The Waterfront and Christmas shopping for Carter.  Both boys had salmon in case you were curious.  

Carter was VERY excited when we got home and he wanted to wrap his presents right away.  He had that paper cut before I even came into the room.  Then we had to re-cut since he didn't measure.  I wanted to make sure that they picked all their own bows, paper and tags.  A bit more fun that way. 

THat is one proud boy! I'm really impressed too because so far he has NOT told Dylan what it is.  When we saw Cade, he told him his present was a surprise, Legos.  

Dylan picked out this little vet kit for Carter???  I have no clue where the heck we will be squeezing all these new toys.  
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just another reason why i love this little girl

She loves her food! She gets so excited to eat and if you eat and she has nothing (which is almost always), she watches the food, watches you put the bite in your mouth - gets a little excited when the food is coming close to your mouth as if she might get a taste.  Then she is like ohhhhhh.  Next bite???  Sorry girl.  Getting closer.  Keep eating your cereal and bananas.

I'll take care of this!

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Honestly, you would think our house would be a bit cleaner???

Honestly, you would think our house would be a bit cleaner???
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