Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm in trouble.

I'm about to be in some serious trouble.

Why?

Because this little guy is thiiiiiiiis close to taking off!

Brody has been trying to crawl for the last week or so - actually right before his 6 month birthday. I can't believe it! I think Brayden was 7 or 8 months when he started so I thought I had a few more blissful months of not having to literally chase two, but I was wrong!

He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth and then gets mad because he hasn't gone anywhere, so he lays down, rolls to where he wanted to go and then gets back up. Little stinker.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!


Today was a busy day and the last day of Chris' vacation. We made smoked ribs and went over to my parents house for a BBQ that had WAY too much food! My mom made a delicious chicken that tastes just like Ruths Chris stuffed chicken and red velvet cupcakes (I'll be sharing those recipes soon!).

We are so grateful to the men and women who fight for our freedom and the sacrifices that their families make. Today we pray for the families of the fallen as well as those who are currently serving!

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

BBQ Smoked Corn on the Cob

We are LOVING the new smoker and are already experimenting with lots of different things! One of our new favorites is smoked corn on the cob. If you don't have a smoker you can still make this - just use your grill!

BBQ Smoked Corn on the Cob:

2 T margarine
1 t BBQ Seasoning (I used Fox Brothers)
3 -4 ears of corn with husks on

Mix margarine and seasoning. Gently pull the husks back from the corn without tearing them off. Rub seasoned margarine on cobs, and replace husks.

Smoke for 2 hours. Gobble up.




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Friday, May 27, 2011

This is more like it...

Now that we are "staycationing" at home, we are having a much better time!

Today was an eventful Friday, though I kept thinking it was Saturday. It was weird for Chris to be home on a weekday!

I finally planted my herb garden. I have a black thumb. Seriously. I kill plants just by looking at them.

But I've heard that it's nearly impossible to kill an herb garden (yea, we'll see about that) so I decided to give it a try since it's hard to find tarragon and dill at stores in my area, and I happen to love them. I also planted basil, cilantro, parsley and green onions.

We also went to Sam's Club to pick up Chris' father's day gift - a smoker! I asked you guys on twitter which one was your favorite and that's the one we got!

Tonight we smoked boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Oh.My.GOSH. They were out of this world, crazy good. We coated them in Fox Brothers BBQ Seasoning (we bought it at the Fox Bro's BBQ in Atlanta, GA) and that was it. DELISH!!!

Then we took the kids for a walk, which was great until I tripped over absolutely nothing and busted it in front of a bunch of kids. Chris caught me, or it would have been broken ankle bad. Love that instigator.

I hope everyone had a great Friday!
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Part 2 - Worst Trip Ever

Now on to the worst part of the trip...

One thing I forgot to mention was that Sunday was spent in the ER (we left Monday). I've been sick off and on since I was pregnant with Brody and now I've started running fevers (I never run a fever). So, Chris took me in early Sunday morning and my parents came over to watch the kids. We still don't know why I'm sick but I see a specialist next week. Anyway, I just mentioned that so you know that I was also sick this whole trip!

We knew that the weather at home was supposed to get bad, and we thought that we'd be avoiding it during our trip, since originally, Dallas was supposed to be missed by the storm (or so we heard). So, we headed out and did some stuff on Tuesday and then decided to go eat at one of our very favorite restaurants, Fogo de Chao (it's Brazilian). Mercifully, the children behaved and we had a great time.

We went out to get our car and noticed how bad the sky looked and so we headed back to the hotel. As soon as we got to the room we started pulling up radars and checking the local news. The weather was getting increasingly worse. Then we lost power. By this time we were all in our PJ's, I had no makeup on and the kids wanted to go to sleep. The power came back on for about 15 min's in which time we found out that there was GRAPEFRUIT sized hail above us and it was coming our way. We called downstairs and they said we needed to get in the safe area.

We loaded up a bag with bottles, diapers and our iPads and headed downstairs. Chris moved our car under an awning so that it didn't get beat to smithereens. We were ushered into the safe area which is all concrete hallways that run behind meeting rooms etc in the hotel.

So, picture this. Us, our kids, hotel guests and patrons of the hotel bar (who, by the way, are singing LOUDLY) are in a concrete hallway, sitting on the floor, in the complete dark, with tornado sirens blaring. Doesn't this sound like a good time?

Ironically, tryouts were apparently taking place for the X Factor tv show in the meeting room behind us, and they saw no reason to take cover, so we did get serenaded by some really talented singers, while sitting in the dark.

So, a tornado hit about 12 minutes from where we were, and then the storm passed, but we still had no power which meant we got to haul ourselves, 2 kids and our bags back up 5 stories of stairs. At 10 something at night.

Good times.

All was not lost. The next day, after deciding we were heading home on Wednesday instead of Friday, we went to the Zoo. Thankfully, fun was had by all. So, to end on a good note, here are some pics!

The four of us - see the elephant behind Brody?

Chris feeding a giraffe:
B and me:
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Worst Trip Ever. Part 1.


So the title might be a teensy tiny bit dramatic - generally not my style. But had you been on this trip I think you'd agree that just about everything that could go wrong, DID.

And, I should mention, in the interest of full disclosure, that I did NOT want to go on a vacation. Being as I spend 24/7 with my little guys (with only 2 hours of exception per week, when they are in the church nursery...and half the time I'm there for that, so make that ONE hour per week) I think I'm about as qualified as they come at predicting how they will act in any given situation. So, like I said, I was not an advocate for this trip. I won't name names, but someone else who lives in our household and is above voting age was the instigator. Yep. Not saying who...

So anyway, we decided to road trip it to Dallas (because I absolutely put my foot down at flying anywhere with my two little darlings). And, in case you were curious, here's what the back of my extra long SUV looks like when packed for a 4 day trip.

We attached Chris' iPad to the back of Brody's headrest so that he could watch Max and Ruby. Brayden was able to watch the regular DVD player in the car.

We had to stop twice on the way up to feed Brody and change the boys. FYI, the car is totally parked in this pic. Oh, look, here's the instigator...

So, night one. Here's where the fun begins. Brayden, my awesome sleeper, who has slept 12-13 hours a night EVERY SINGLE NIGHT since he was 3 months old - flipped his lid. We don't know if he was scared of the hotel (which he shouldn't be - he has traveled everywhere without incident) or if he was weirded out by sharing a room with his brother or what. It was BAD. We ended up moving his crib into the bedroom.

At about 11pm we almost packed up and went home. We should have!

The next morning we went to the aquarium. If you are going to take a trip to the Dallas World Aquarium, and you can do without your stroller, leave it! I wish I'd known that. It's too tight in there for my big double stroller. If we went again Brayden would walk and we'd wear Brody!

Here's Brayden with a shark.

A pic of the 4 of us on our first family vacation:

I should also mention that apparently the large grasses are incredibly scary. That's B's new thing. Everything is scarrrrrry Mommy! So, fair warning.

Next up, we went to In-N-Out, because I might have a slight obsession with that place. You can't tell from here but apparently this one must have just opened. I bet there were at least 100 cars in line. There were police directing traffic even. We ended up at another burger place which was a huge letdown and some people in there said they had been to In-N-Out and waited 2.5 HOURS! Ohmyword.


After that, we headed over to some outlets that we wanted to check out. Maybe not the best idea with a toddler who'd been camped out in a car enough over the last two days. Let's just say that it didn't go very well.

Overall, this part really wasn't bad. We're just so used to really great trips because B has always been a fantastic traveller.

But the best part of our worst trip ever comes tomorrow - when we get trapped in the employee hallways of our hotel, with no power, and a tornado. I'll post that later! For now, I'm off to enjoy a little piece and quiet!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Brody is 6 months old!

Brody is 6 months old today!

What are you up to Brody?

- You wear a size 3 diaper and 6-12 month clothing.
- You roll front to back and back to front.
- You eat 6 six ounce bottles a day plus 2-3 jars of baby food.
- You love green veggies. You must get that from Chris because you sure don't get it from me!
- You also love sweet potatoes.
- You are close to crawling. You get on your hands and knees and rock back and forth.
- You adore Brayden.
- You have 1 tooth broken through and several on the way!
- You tried puff's the other night and loved them.

You are the sweetest little mister!


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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday

Today has been a SUPER busy day. Chris had something he had to do tonight so he left around 3pm and I've been alone with the boys since! I've never had to feed them dinner, bathe both of them and put them to bed by myself. It was a little sad for me!

Before Chris left, we had a lot of errands to run. We went to the mall first and stopped at the fountain to let Brayden put his feet in the water:

Then we went and did a few other things, and stopped at Mellow Mushroom for lunch. I love that place! Brayden had a kids pizza which is like 6 or 8 inches and ate the entire thing. His appetite has really picked up lately - I never, EVER thought I would see him finish a meal but he does it all the time now!

Tonight, I fed Brody his spring veggie mix. This child LOVES his green veggies! He must get that from Chris because neither Brayden nor I are big on greens! He can polish off 1-2 cartons of baby food at a time. It's amazing! Brayden HATED baby food. The only kind he would touch was peaches and I was so afraid he would turn orange from eating so many! Even then, he never finished more than 1 container!

It was a messy job, but somebody had to do it!
Tomorrow is going to be another really busy day and then we have an exciting week coming up!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Camera Strap Winner!

I've posted the winner of the Snappy Strap camera strap cover on my giveaway page! Thanks to everyone who entered!

And if you would like to purchase a strap, don't forget to use the special discount code just for my readers: JENNASJOURNEY - you'll receive 10% off your order through Sunday!
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not so extreme couponing

The camera strap cover giveaway ends tomorrow so be sure to get your entries in today!! Just click over to my giveaway page to enter!

I've had several of you ask if I'm still keeping up with couponing. Yes! I am! Now, I'm not an extreme couponer...though I love that show and wish I could be! Unfortunately, we don't have a Kroger's here (or another similar store that doubles/triples coupons and has a store card) so I don't get the huge super deals.

I think from some of the discussions that I've seen around Twitter the new TLC show has had a negative effect on some people. Like, if you aren't paying a penny for your full months worth of groceries then you're a lousy couponer. Eh. I disagree. I think if you're saving your family anything - from $5.00 a month to $5,000 then you're doing good. That's $5 extra dollars in your pocket!

Today I went to Target because they have coupons on their website that I can stack with my manufactures coupons (for example - I had a Target coupon for Nivea body wash and another one that I clipped out of the paper, so I was able to use them both on that one item). Once I got there I noticed that they were running a special on my Huggies diapers. They were on sale for $19.79 for a big box and if you bought 2 then you also got a $5 Target giftcard. So, I bought 2 boxes, used $7 worth of coupons and also got the giftcard, which I applied to my next purchase. I ended up leaving the store with a total of 4 big boxes of diapers, 1 jumbo box of wipes refills, medicine, deodorant, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, 2 gifts, desitin, 2 cards, a present bag and a couple of other things for less than $95.00 so I consider that pretty good. The diapers alone would have cost $92.00 if it hadn't have been for the sale and my coupons.

Oh and here's a neat tip - if you use Swagbucks like I do, they now have a coupon section. You can print out coupons just like you would through any other site, but each time you use one, you get 10 swagbucks. I mainly do the search and win and redeem coupons on Swagbucks, and I can usually earn between $25 and $50 worth of Amazon e-gift cards per month which I use to buy my e-books for my Kindle app! If you don't have an account, just click here to get started!
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Mother's Day Gift

Be sure to enter for a camera strap cover from Snappy Straps over on my giveaway page!


I've been a bad blogger lately...a ton of stuff has been going on. My grandmother had a stroke this past weekend - but it seems she has really made a miraculous recovery!

I keep meaning to blog about the gift Chris got me for mother's day for no other reason than I want to remember it was THIS mother's day in particular when he got it for me!

I'm a lucky girl - Chris pays attention to everything. He probably knows my likes and dislikes better than I do. Well obviously, I like Twilight. Don't laugh. Yes, I'm a grown mother of two with a soft spot for Young Adult fiction. Don't hate.

Anyway, right before mothers day he wanted to talk to me about my gift, which I thought was a necklace from Vintage Pearl (and it was...in addition to this!). He was telling me how sorry he was that my gift wouldn't be here on time because it was coming from Australia! I was like, what did you get me?!

This was it:
It's a signed, authentic and original script from New Moon! It's signed by Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Jamie Campbell Bower, Anna Kendrick and Alex Meraz!

I nearly passed out.

It just arrived today and I've been pouring over it. It's so interesting to read through it and see the scenes that were cut out and the lines that the actors were supposed to have said but changed. I love it and I love him!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Mexican Chicken Ring

Be sure to visit my giveaway page and enter to win the camera strap cover!!

My mom used to make a chicken ring when I was a kid - she used a Pampered Chef recipe. I've been hunting around for that recipe and once I find it, I'll share it, but for now, here is a different chicken ring that I like to make!

Mexican Chicken Ring
JennaBlogs.com Adapted from Pampered Chef
Ingredients:
3 cooked & shredded chicken breasts
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese plus some for sprinkling on top
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
¾ can of Rotel & all of the juice
3/4 cup light sour cream
1 package taco seasoning
2 rolls of regular sized crescent rolls
1 lime (juice)
2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips plus some for sprinkling on top

Combine chicken, Rotel, tortilla chips, sour cream, taco mix, cheese and 2T of lime juice.

Unroll and separate crescent dough. Arrange triangles on a baking sheet making a circle with wide ends overlapping in the center and points toward outside. Spread chicken mixture evenly into the center of the ring.

Fold the points of the crescents in and over. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and tortilla strips and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

I changed it around a little bit from the original Pampered Chef recipe to include more things that we like. Here are some how to pics!




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Friday, May 13, 2011

Excited!

Blogger deleted the giveaway so please be sure to re-enter!!

I've been MIA for a few days with a horrrrrrible migraine! I'm feeling a little better though and I couldn't wait to bring you this great giveaway for Snappy Straps! I've got a review and giveaway posted on my Giveaway page - you can enter to win your very own camera strap cover (and my favorite part is that it also holds your lens cap!).

And thank you for all of the great book suggestions! After your comments I ended up reading the Hunger Games trilogy - it was very moving! Keep em' coming!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Baby Dedication & Mother's Day

Yesterday was a special day for our family...Baby dedication day at our church!

Brayden has already been dedicated (see this post) so this was Brody's dedication. We still felt it was important for us all to go on stage together as a family unit for his dedication.

My friend (and our church's preschool director) Jill called our names and announced Brody:

And then our Pastor handed us a little first Bible for Brody with his name on it, and he prayed over all of the families who were dedicating children back to the Lord. After the dedication a couple from our church who are photographers met us outside to take professional pictures of the families who dedicated children. I can't wait to see those pictures! What a special gift!

After that we went out to eat - which was sort of a nightmare. Chris' cell phone was taken (we did manage to get it back) and the air conditioning in the restaurant must have been broken. We were all dying so we got our food to go and went home to eat it!

And, in keeping with tradition, here are the two miracles that make me a mom:



I hope everyone had a great mother's day - but I know for some of you it wasn't. Some have lost their own mothers or mother figures in the last year, some are struggling to become a mom. Please know you aren't forgotten and that you've been in my prayers and the prayers of many others!
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

My favorite hobby

I loooove to read. I know I've talked about that before. And, I've even admitted a weakness for Twilight after ignoring it's presence for years.

So, the question for me was, what else is out there in that same genre?

I've spent the last few weeks using the Amazon gift cards I've earned through Swagbucks buying books for my Kindle app for iPad. Here are some of the ones I've read and what I think about them.

Let me start with my favorite. I literally just finished reading it about 15 minutes ago (I purchased it yesterday afternoon). It was really good. It just came out and it is book 1 in a trilogy, and by a brand new author named Veronica Roth. It's called Divergent and you can read the first 100 pages by clicking here. I stumbled across it by accident - actually a tweet I happened to catch on Twitter - and was intrigued by the fact that I could read the first 100 pages and see if I liked it. Obviously I loved it!

I had heard about the Evermore series and I ended up reading the first two books...but it was too slow for me (the first two are Evermore and Blue Moon). Parts of it seemed so obvious and it made me want to yell at the characters! It's one of those series were you feel like they are dragging it on just to make more money by selling extra and un-needed books.

I tried the Sookie Stackhouse novels next. Eh. Not my cup of tea. I only read the first two (of eleven) and then I gave up on those.

And finally, another trilogy (at least I think it is just going to be a trilogy) - the first 2 books are out right now. It's called Hush Hush and it's by Becca Fitzpatrick. The final book comes out October 4th.

What have you been reading?
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This is too funny not to share.

I don't usually post video's but this was just too funny not to.

Brody has been able to roll front to back since he was 9 days old but he hasn't been able to go back to front yet - though he is really close!

He was working on it right before bath time and this is what happened:



And Brayden is only wearing a diaper and a sock because he was about to get in the bath! The other sock was on his hand because he's weird like that.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sara's Turkey Chili

Most Sundays after church we go over to Sara & Matt's house for lunch. They live close to the church whereas we are about 30 min's away. Sometimes we bring the food, other times they cook. We used to go out to eat but you can probably imagine why we stopped that little tradition...4 kids ages 2 and under!

So anyway, one Sunday they made Turkey Chili. Sara cooks hers in the crockpot but I am usually not with it enough to do that so I end up making it in a hurry on the stovetop!

I've made a few changes to the recipe because I like a LOT of sauce in my chili, but first, here is Sara's original recipe:

Turkey Chili

2lbs of ground turkey meat, browned
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of rotel with liquid
2 cans of black beans with liquid
1 package of Williams chili seasoning

Brown meat and cook everything together for as long as you desire!

Here are the changes I made:

1lb of turkey (I usually eat vegetarian chili but Chris likes the meat so we compromised)
1 can of kidney beans
2 cans of tomato sauce

So, if you like it chunkier and meatier, you'd want the original recipe but if you like a little more sauce, less meat and more beans, you can use my changes.

Either way, this is a GREAT and healthy chili recipe!

Thanks Sara for letting me share!
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Double the brothers

This weekend, Chris' brother Jayce came up to visit!

If you can't tell, Brayden loved him. For some reason he refused to call him Uncle Jayce but instead called him Uncle Michael. I have no idea why! I have an Uncle Michael but it's been quite awhile since Brayden has seen him since he lives in Arizona!

I had to get a picture of the 2 sets of brothers:

And then we went to eat at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. It was SO good, and we had such a good time with Jayce! We'll be seeing him again soon at his high school graduation!


Be sure to enter to win a $100 Spa Finders Gift card on my giveaway page!
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