Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snuggly Heaven

Noa now wants to watch Elmo on Youtube constantly! We've set it up on my computer where she just hits the space bar and it will start over again and again. While I don't really want her watching Youtube all day long, it does provide a nice little break for me from time to time...

Russ made the mistake of letting her see Elmo on his "work" computer, so now every morning he's drinking his coffee, she's drinking her milk, he's reading the news and she's watching Elmo (split screen).

My snuggly husband wanted me to take a few pictures because he was in snuggly heaven with his girlies. :)
I was looking back at some old pictures today and I just can't believe how old Noa is getting! She's looking less and less like a little baby and more and more like a big girl! Her hair is getting soooooo long! And messy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interpreter Please!

Noa is well on her way to talking up a storm.  Actually she already does, but you may need to be her Mommy to understand it all.  Here's some of the things she's been saying a lot lately.

Thank you – “Tay tyoo”

Please – “Psss”

Cheese – “Chsss”

Water – “Wa”

Cookie – “Kee Kee” - used to be "Goo ka"

Cracker - "Ka Kuh"

Hot Dog – don’t even know how to spell what she says…

Ball – “Ba”

Bath – “Ba”

Bottle – “Ba”

Car – “Ca”

More - "Ma"

Aunt Melissa - "Ma"

Dog - "Da" - are you seeing a pattern here?

Sissy – “Sissy”

Bye Bye – “Bye Bye”

No – “No, no, no!” (with a stern look)

Elmo – “Ehmo”

Big Bird – “Be Bir”

Grover – “Goch”

Her favorites:

Baby – “BABY” - usually wakes Ruthie up...

Light – “Lie” pointing to a light over and over and over! In fact, she really likes the interior car lights to go on and off while we're driving so if you ever see a crazy minivan rockin' the strobe lights... that would be us. :)


It's hot – “Tsa” - she says this about a million times a day.  Everything is hot.  Russ thinks she's brilliant for already saying a sentence...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to save money on Chicken!

Okay... perhaps many of you know this "trick" already, but I just stumbled upon it and it has revolutionized my cooking!  It all started when I saw that Bi-Lo had "Split Chicken Breasts" on sale for $.99/lb. this week (sale is still going - go get them!)  For some reason, in my mind I was just thinking it was normal chicken breasts that I always buy (for about $4.99/lb.) and I ran over there to get some.  I was bummed out when I saw that they weren't the clean looking chicken breasts I was used to.  There were 5 in the pack and they had the skin on and bones still in.  Yuck.  I was wondering why I didn't realize that before.  BUT, in a God-inspired moment, I decided to get them and see how to use them.  I bought one pack (5 breasts, about 4.5 lbs) for $4.57.  I'm a bit, okay a lot squeemish about chicken (even the "clean looking" kind) - so if I can do this, anyone can!  

I got home and searched google and found this article: What to do with bone in split chicken breasts.  Her story is much better than mine (she's even a Christian who learned this on the mission field!), and she includes pictures of all the steps.  Why re-create the wheel?  Check it out.  

So, last night, I decided to stop being a wimp and cut up my chicken breasts.  I used a filet knife, put out 2 bowls to collect the different pieces (chicken in one, bones and skin in the other). I did it just like she said and this is what it rendered:

- 5 large chicken breasts
- 5 tenders
- 12 cups of chicken stock made in my crock pot (like she says to do)
- Some meat still stuck to the bone that I can use for soup or chicken salad

What?!  It was sooooo easy.  I was a little weirded out when I started, but by the 5th piece of chicken, I was a pro.  :)  It only took me 35 minutes (I'm talking getting the chicken in freezable bags, preparing the crock pot, and cleaning up).

This morning, after I strained the stock I divided it up into 2  zip-lock bags - (quart size bag = 4 cups), I saved 2 cups in a jar in my fridge to use for tonight's tomato soup and I poured the rest into 2 ice cube trays (1 cup per tray) to freeze.  I figured out that 8 cubes (in my trays) = 1/2 cup and I wrote that on the zip-lock bag I put them in (after they were frozen).  This took about 15-20 minutes.

We buy chicken stock like crazy.  Not anymore!  This made the house smell awesome and I know exactly what went into the broth... you can make it however you want to (many different recipes) with less salt, etc...  But the best part is the cost break-down.

The cheapest box (4 cups) costs about $2.50.  I like to think I got 12 cups (3 boxes = $7.50) of chicken stock for FREE!  I think chicken tenders run about $4 or so (haven't bought them in a while), and I like to think I got these 5 chicken tenders for FREE! And paying $4.57 for 5 large breasts of chicken is a pretty good deal in and of itself.  So instead of paying around $20 for all of this I only payed $4.57 and my freezer is stocked so I can wait to buy the chicken until it is on sale again!

Try it!  Call me if you need encouragement.  :) If you have a great way to use chicken, or a great stock recipe - leave a comment or let me know!  Or just leave a comment and tell me that you also didn't know this so it makes me feel better... 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hi Ruthie!

Here's a few pics I took of Ruthie today sporting a cute onesie that our friend Kate embroidered. She's getting so good at smiling and definitely smiles a whole lot when she's in her Bumbo... :)

And yes... even though it was 40 degrees out today, I had Chicks in a tank top. What kind of mom am I anyway?? At least she didn't seem to care... :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trip to Lake Lure

We decided to go to the mountains again this year for my birthday. There's no place I'd rather be. I just love it there. Here's a picture of us with Noa last year... look how little she is!
We had great weather, except for one rainy day, and Melissa and Dylan came with us and helped us with the girls. I don't know if they'll ever come with us again, but at least we got one trip out of them!! :)
Since Noa's new best friend is...

we decided to get her some Elmo PJ's (from the dollar store) and when she's wearing them she just walks around saying "Ehhmo", "Ehhmo" - definitely one of the cutest things she says! What's freaky though, is that no one taught her who Elmo was - she just picked it up herself somehow... some kind of crazy Sesame Street mind game marketing or something...
We had to break the trip up a little bit on the way back, so we let Noa tire herself out on the swings before we left. She loved it!

We also stopped at a mall in Columbia, SC to eat and let Noa ride their carousel. She thought she was hot stuff! Russ graciously decided to ride with her and definitely felt dizzy after a few times around. She held out a little longer, but since they were the only ones riding, they asked the lady to stop it because Noa was done. It was a great 45 seconds though!
Look at that belly! She looks so old in this picture, its hard to believe she still can't talk and still wears diapers!

Boy... you would think Ruthie wasn't even with us. I don't have a single picture of her on this trip. Maybe because she was either sleeping or nursing... We'll try to post some of her soon! She's getting so much bigger and cuter by the minute!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bath time hungries and no pillow needed

Oh, I could just eat my Chickies up!
Ruthie's favorite spot - snoring away...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Trip to Beaufort (no kids!)

On Monday, Russ and I took a little overnight trip to Beaufort for the first time.  What a quaint little place!  We stayed in this B&B overlooking a river - beautiful views and a cute room!

Here's the view from our room.  Very southern with the sweeping oaks everywhere...
Of course we couldn't be gone too long without missing our girlies!  Here's a few pictures of our sweet, giggly Ruthie having fun in her swing this morning!  She just started to smile and we love it!