Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Family Favorites: Veggie Tales!

Veggie Tales is definitely Roo's favorite cartoon to watch. We probably watch it on average of 3 to 4 times a day. However keep in mind some of those are Ruthie dancing to the song she likes, leaving and playing, and then running back in to the living room as soon as she hears the next song she likes. It is getting fun to watch her get into movies and try to repeat some of the words they are saying. It's actually quite impressive she can say some of the lines right on que....or maybe that means to much screen time?? lol. Anyways we love the Veggie Tales movies because they; A. have great story lines . and B. They are fun & interactive and Roo LOVES to dance :) Keep in mind they would make great Christmas gifts!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gifts for Love Bean

Last year we only bought Love Bean one gift plus a few little things, like hair bows, for her stocking. This year, we're planning on moving toward our plan on doing for Love Bean and other future children when they're old enough to get into Christmas.

Love Bean will get 4 gifts, plus her stocking. We haven't really decided how Santa is going to factor in—not sure if he'll leave a couple of the 4 gifts, or if he'll bring a couple extra. But we have a little while before we really need to have that figured out.

Gift #1: One thing she needs. Like this year, it will probably be toddler plates. This gift must be something she actually needs, even if it's not a fun gift.

Gift #2: One thing to read. This one doesn't really need to be explained, she'll get a book every year. This mama loves books in the house.

Gift #3: One thing to wear. I love buying clothes for Love Bean, so this one would probably realistically read, "one outfit."

Gift #4: One thing she wants. I don't think this one needs much explanation either. When she's older, this one will be something she really wants (within reason).

I think this gift strategy will work pretty well. This year, I think Santa will bring one of her 4 gifts. We'll see what happens when she gets older though. Maybe he'll bring one or two more of her wants.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

March of Dimes

November is National Premature Awareness Month

For obvious reasons I am very passionate about this. There are babies everyday fighting for their lives. 

The Hard Facts:
  • The United States ranks 131st out of 184 countries with a 11.7% rate of preterm births. 
  • More than 500,000 babies are still being born to soon each year in the US. 
  • 1 in 8 babies are born too soon.
  • Every 30 seconds a baby dies from being born prematurely.
  • Michigan itself received a "C" on the 2012 Premature birth report card. Here is Michigan's Report Card.
You can help when you donate to March of Dimes. The March of Dimes fights for babies every day, they are active in hospital NICUs, offer essential education for mothers-to-be, and fund lifesaving medical research.

We want to give a big thank you so everyone who supported us last year as we walked a 5k as Team Gatlyn. We were the Second Place Family Team in the Grand Rapids Division! I was so excited to receive a plaque in the mail the other day saying so. Along with the date of the 2013 March for Babies. Which will be April 27th. We are excited and ready to start earlier this year on getting funds around and to try to beat what we raised last year, $3,185. We will keep you updated on what we are going to be doing for that. 

Mark your calendars and lets make Team Gatlyn the #1 family team. Thank you!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mama's Cookin: Spicy Thai Beef

A quick easy go to meal that is simple and delicious. This recipe is great for those nights or afternoons when you really don't feel like or know what to cook and your to feeling to cheap to order out :). It's a fav in both the Krenz and my household. Enjoy!

Spicy Thai Beef
3/4 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup rice
2 TB soy sauce
1 tsp Asian fish sauce
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro

I would just like to say I have made this various times with various combinations due to the lack of ingredients and it has turned out delicious every time.  I have never made is with the Asian fish sauce because I never have it. Sometimes Jamie adds celery in hers. Matter of fact I have never made it with the cilantro either. Hahaha maybe I should try making it correctly myself?

Heat a heavy medium post over high heat. Add beef and saute until browned. Add onion, green onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, and 1 TB of soy sauce. Saute another 2 minutes. Add carrots, red pepper, rice, 2 cups water, fish sauce (is using) and remaining soy sauce. Reduce to low heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cilantro and mix well and keep covered for 10 more minutes.

WARNING: It does slightly look like dog food (thats why I am not including a picture :)) but I promise you it tastes better. I like to throw a little hot sauce on mine, but to each their own!

Monday, November 26, 2012


For about 6 months for me and 8 months for Jess are life was going about 100 miles a hour. For me when Gat was still in the NICU I didn't stop. I was not ever home nor did I want to be. When it came time for Gatlyn to come home I was so ready to just be at home with our family.

Well folks, that just didn't work quite like I thought. I couldn't stay home still. My body needed a few months to unwind and realize that I could just stay home. I used to be (okay up until a month ago) constantly having to do something. But about the last month I have decided to stay home more. To be honest in the beginning EVERYTHING was going better. My house was under control most of the time, kids behaved better, and dinner was on the table at night.

Of course I have had a few lazy days here or there. Or those days when I realize in a hour Jess will be home so I do a 15 minute overhaul! Don't laugh, you know you are guilty too! But I just feel better when I am home. UH oh, I think I am sounding like my mom. Not that it is a bad thing or anything. 

Am I alone in this? Am I becoming a hermit? Going crazy? 

Plus I am 10x more on top of everything when I am actually home. I am more organized to. All these months I have tried to be organized and staying home for a month has got be further than all of my trying thus far. 

Don't get me wrong though I do leave the house when it come Thursday or Friday. I need more socialization than just sitting with these young ones all day. 

Big bonus on not driving a different place everyday, we save $$! Less gas, candy, pop and fast food. 

Although I do need my time away, I really need my time home. And when I am home my family is happier and the day goes better. When they are all in school I will be able to go and go, for now we need to chill out:) 

Oh yah, and btw we are back:) And better than ever. Thanks to a great collaboration by all of us for a new design and Jamie who can put it into motion.