Friday, March 28, 2014

Lego Town

Disneyworld was a great trip for our family.  So many memories.  We loved all the parks and "firsts" the trip held for us and little man, but perhaps one of the most unexpected surprises was LM's excitement about Legos.  The Lego Store in Downtown Disney was awesome.  They even had a play area inside for the kiddos to create in. 

It was so much fun coordinating with Santa and finding the perfect Lego for our creative buddy.  From the day the table arrived, it has held a permanent place in our living room.

Yesterday, we spent some time creating a Lego town.  I know, I know, I'm partial, but LM is so creative.  Let me explain with pictures.

The is Lego Man's tool truck.  It is even
equipped with a spot for him to hang his hat!

This is a bird's eye view of the whole she-bang!
Office/ Observation deck on top of the tunnel, slide,
Entrance up the stairs to the office, two car garage,
workshop for the big vehicles, secret entrance, and
work vehicles.

Observation deck/ office and tunnel below.  Large
enough for his Iron Man car!
I'm just amazed at how his 3 year old mind can come up with such great, imaginative, designs.  He takes my breath away!

March Winds bring April Showers bring May Flowers

Onions were started in early February. 
Just look at them go!

As long as I can remember,
 I've always thought of a verse my mother taught me when my birthday came each year...

March Winds bring April Showers bring May Flowers.  

It is a glimpse of hope at the end of the cold winter, a reminder that this too shall pass.

I have much thanks to give to my friend Courtney.  She taught me to can, and told me about keeping a garden before I realized how therapeutic and relaxing it can be.  after that first season of canning with her family, I have been hooked.  Clint and our families have helped me to keep a vegetable garden, and each year it seems to get better.  A lot due to their help, and my own trial and errors.  Since last year, I have tried to take that gardening a step further and has chose to garden using heirloom seeds.  What are heirlooms, you ask? 

The company I purchase from, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds promises that their seeds are non-gmo, non-hybrid, non patented, and non treated.  What I love about them could be a post in itself, but to keep it simple, I like knowing that my seeds were grown the way God intended them to be, with sunshine, water, and a little TLC from a gardener's hands.  The same seeds that I can potentially grow in my garden, not altered in any way, can be traced back to seed used in Monticello, or even my grandmothers garden when my father was a crawling tot.  That legacy is worth a few pennies extra if you ask me...

These little beauties are carrots.  Hopefully,
they are super sweet!
Okay, I'm stepping off my soapbox now.  Back in January, I sat down with my seed catalog, garden planner, and some scrap paper.  After selecting what I wanted to grow, I spent a few days researching how best to lay out the garden, and then ordered our seed.  It was so exciting to see that package arrive with our garden inside!

The planner Clint gave me a few Christmases ago is so helpful,  I was able to pin point when the plants should be started indoors to get the best jump start on the growing season.  Things have been so busy at work for Clint, my greenhouse kit hasn't been assembled yet.  Never fear... Our house has lots of sunlight and windows!

A few clear totes, seed starting mix, and pots were the only things needed to get our make shift greenhouse operating.

And our most recent planting of tomatoes.
This is a Roma.  Can we say tomato sauce?

We are a few days into the new spring season and already we have seedlings showing themselves.  The onions, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers are all growing.  Little man calls them baby plants and he takes his job of spraying them with water very seriously.  I'll be sure to update the page with more pictures as our garden comes along.

  Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow...

   Well here in Kentucky, we're feeling quite lucky,

       The seedlings are putting on a show!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dinner Score!- Chicken Penne Bake

I'm always super excited when I see a recipe on Pinterest that I think my boys will eat.  Although the hubby isn't a fan of pasta, who wouldn't love a recipe that combines pasta, tomato sauce, cheese, and chicken. C'MON :)  So it tickled me pink to see this little beauty yesterday.  Thanks Lindsay!

Yesterday, we had some colder that usual weather for this time of year; after all, it is SPRING, so it was a perfect day to try a hearty meal like the one listed below.  Please overlook the patio that clearly needs to be scrubbed and look at the big FLAKES!  Oh my!

I'll post the recipe here for those of you like me that hate following endless links...

  • 1 (16 oz) box regular or whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 (24 oz) jar tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


 1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a small baking dish, and bake the chicken 25-30 minutes or until it is no longer pink in the center. Cut into bite-sized pieces, and then shred using a fork.

2.  At the same time, cook the pasta according to package directions.

3.  When finished cooking the pasta, add the spinach into the hot water with the pasta and stir just until the spinach wilts. Pour the pasta and spinach into a colander to strain.

4.  Pour the sauce into a large pot, and add the spices. Simmer over low-medium heat. Add in the shredded chicken and stir until well-combined.

5.  In a large bowl, combine the chicken and pasta mixtures with half the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

6.  Pour into a greased 9×13″ baking dish, and sprinkle with the other halves of the cheeses.

7.  Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

I followed the recipe pretty closely but I varied it in these ways...

1. I used fresh basil left over from our super basil plant that has survived the last 13 months.  So worth the $1 Tutu spent on it at the dollar aisle at Target!

2. I used a tri color penne.  Not that it should make that much difference in taste (I had to ask Sarah to make sure).

3.  Instead of Parmessan cheese I substituted an Italian shredded cheese blend from Aldis (Side note- I love cheese from Aldi's AMAZING and the price rocks also).

4.  I used our homemade/ canned spaghetti sauce from the garden instead of tomato sauce. 

And that's it!  I hope you enjoyed it as much we did.  I also made some cheesy toast to go along with our yummy pasta. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Easter Egg Craft with Little Man

This week we decided to get a jump start on decorating for Easter (even though Mom didn't post about it until today)!  
Collecting the ingredients for our Easter Craft!  The recipe for salt dough is SO easy;

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

We mixed ours together using my kitchenaid mixer (first, the mixing paddle; then, the dough hook) until a dough forms.  We kneaded the dough a few time and... it was ready to play with!

Little man has his own roller and had so much fun getting the dough smooth and prepped for cutting out.  We left it about 1/4 inch thick.

We chose an Easter Egg shape (for obvious reasons) but you could use any shape!

A straw worked perfectly for making a hole for the ornament to be strung later after they were baked.

After our ornaments were ready, we baked them in a 250 degree F oven for 2 hours.  Put those puppies in and do something FUN while you wait!
We used a cookie sheet for a working surface.  I was brave enough to use acrylic paint, but any kid friendly paint would have been fine.

I think Little Man did GREAT decorating his ornaments.  We had some left over dough, so we made a cross as well to remember why Easter is such an important event!

Thankfully, the trees were just beginning to bud out.  We went on a hunt for strong branches and cut a few.  I used a left over tin bucket from his birthday and filled it with landscaping rocks.  I topped it off with some spanish moss from Hobby Lobby.  We strung the ornaments usings jute string.

We had so much fun decorating our little Easter Tree.  LM loves showing it off (especially to his Daddy when he got home)! 

Welcome SPRING and EASTER!!  What are you doing to celebrate; Our Savior is RISEN!