Thursday, December 31, 2009

My baby Brother is 18!

My o my where did the last 18 years go?!? David turned 18 on December 27Th, and I think that I am still in shock. He has grown up so much. I can't believe that he is graduating from high school this year either. For his birthday we went to dinner at Nikko Nikko. What would David's birthday be without some sushi? It was a nice little dinner. Deron has never eaten there and doesn't care for sushi, but he ate some and he loved it! Liam tried his hand at chopsticks and ate a bowl of rice with those lovely sticks. He won't eat rice otherwise, now we have our secret weapon!

David, you have grown into such a great man. We are so proud of all you do. We know you will go far in life with God by your side. You are a great man of faith and determination. You strive to be the best you can. May God bless you in your journey this next year. We love you!

Merry Christmas!

This is about a week late, but we've worked every day since Christmas and today is our first day off, and time to really do anything. We had a great Christmas. We are trying to start some family traditions now that Liam is getting older and understanding a little more what Christmas is. We stayed home on Christmas Eve and cooked a great dinner. Liam and I had ventured out earlier in the day to Barnes and Noble to get a few books for reading that night. We were constant trackers of Santa via the Norad Santa Tracker website. We would log on and show Liam where Santa was in the world and where we lived. He was so excited. After a great dinner and a fun bath, we sat down and read The Night Before Christmas and The First Christmas. He really recognizes Santa this year. Whether he really understands what he stands for... I don't think quite yet. We set out all Liam's presents after he went to bed and spent about an hour putting together his big gift, a play kitchen. When he woke up in the morning, he was so excited. He saw his kitchen first, and we had to pry him away from it just to open his other gifts. Right away he made us coffee. And now every morning, he makes sure to make me some coffee before we leave the house. After we opened gifts, we went over to my parents house to have some brunch. My Grandma and he husband came over, as well as my Aunt and Uncle who live here in California and my other Aunt, Uncle and some cousins who live in Texas. It was great to see everyone. Lisa was not able to be here with us this year, so we skyped her and put her up on the big screen t.v. so everyone could see her. After spending some time there, we headed over to Deron's parents house. Liam made out and every stop and really had a great day. He only had about a half-hour nap all day, and really did good in the behavior department.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Best Macaroni and Cheese Ever!

I have to share another recipe, but this one is a must. It is the best macaroni and cheese I have ever tasted! You really must try this recipe if you like mac & cheese!

Double-Cheese Macaroni
(12-1C. servings)
It really does make a lot!!!

1 pkg. (16.oz) elbow macaroni
3 C. 4% cottage cheese
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt ( I just added garlic powder since we don't really add salt to anything.... and I put more than 1/4 tsp.)
3 C. half and half cream
1 C. milk
4 C. shredded cheddar cheese

1 C. dry bread crumbs (we used Italian bread crumbs)
1/4 C. butter

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, place the cottage cheese in a food processor, cover and process until smooth. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and garlic salt until smooth. Gradually add cream and milk. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 min. or until thickened.

Drain macaroni; transfer to a large bowl. Add the cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, and white sauce; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish (this will be really full!). Combine butter and bread crumbs; sprinkle over the top.

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20-25 min. or until bubbly.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe, it is definitely a keeper in our recipe book!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

a few tough days...

These last few days have been really rough ones. Nothing really with work, or school, but with Liam. He has been so temperamental and moody lately I am beginning to become concerned. Everyone keeps telling me that he is just turning 2, and that's fine, but he is just different to me. He has started crying again when I drop him off at daycare, and sometimes even with my parents. When we come home, all he does is seem to cry, and everything we do is wrong. He just wants to lay on top of me on the couch and go to sleep. Tonight, he fell asleep at 7pm which is really early for him. He just grabbed his pillow and blanket and crawled up onto the couch and went to sleep. He is throwing temper tantrums so often now, that a good mood throws us off track for the day. He just screams and we have no idea what it is about. I know this is probably all normal, but it is just so difficult and we don't know what we can do to sooth him. He is also struggling with paci separation. We are really trying to clamp down on getting rid of the paci, but his attachment seems to be getting worse. And there are many times that he wants nothing to do with Deron and gets so mad when Deron gets even a little close to him. He has made it so I am the only one that can do things for him at times and it is definitely draining. I guess this is just life with a toddler right? Any advice is definitely welcome!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


We have had to make many decisions over the last year, and the one that was the hardest to make was for me to not pursue the career that I went to college for 9 years to do, which is teaching. With the economy in the state it is, teaching really is not an option for me. It breaks my heart, because I feel that teaching is where my heart really does lie. It is something that I have wanted to do since I was in elementary school. So, for now we have decided to go a different route. I was given an opportunity to go into a training program with Lowe's to become a Human Resources Manager right after Liam was born, unfortunately, I did not pass the tests to get into the program, and you have to wait a whole year to re-take the tests. So about a month ago, I re-took my tests, and I passed. Yesterday I had the interview with our Area Human Resources Manager, and it was the most stressful interview that I have ever had. I was a nervous wreck all day long. After all, it has been about 6 years since I have even had an interview, and that was still at Lowe's. I think the main reason I was nervous was because I had to sell myself, and I am not a very confident person. In the end, the interview seems to have gone pretty well. I don't find out until Friday if I get to go into this training program, but the good thing is, is that even if I don't get it right now, I can still get into the program later on in 2010. I really think that this is a great avenue for our family. Not only does it provide us with some extra income, but it also somewhat fulfills my desire to teach. While my students will not be 12 our younger, it is still teaching and mentoring. We have been praying consistently about this decision and things seem to be falling into place. We are not really sure where things are going to go from here, but we know God is in control and he will take us where we need to go.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

She's Finally Here!

Lisa and Matt had their DAUGHTER on Dec. 3! We are so excited. Of course, we all thought they were having a boy, but we were wrong :) Her name is Emma Ann Eveland, and she is so beautiful. She weighed 9.4 lbs, and was 21.25" long. Just a smidge bigger than Liam. Everyone is doing well and they are hoping to be home today. We wish so badly that we could see her and hold her, but she is all the way in Georgia, so we'll have to wait until March when they come out here for a visit! We have put her on our screen saver and everytime Liam see's her, he calls her either just baby or mama. He can't quite say Emma, but because it is close to Mama, he just calls her that! I am only going to post one picture because I am sure Lisa will be plenty to put up! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Olive Garden Night! Plus, a few recipes!!

At work we found a cook book titled "America's Most Wanted Recipes." This is a fantastic cook book. It has recipes from Applebees, Benihana, The Cheesecake Factory, Chili's Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, Outback, etc. Deron and I have been trying to figure out the recipe for the soup from Olive Garden, Zuppa Toscana, for a long time. Finally, this book has the recipe. So we decided that tonight we would make the soup and the bread sticks. It turned out pretty good. While obviously the real thing is still the best, this is definitely a close second. Here are the recipes!

Olive Garden - Zuppa Toscana (serves 4)

1 lb. Italian sausage
8 oz. smoked bacon, chopped
4 C. water
2- 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
2 lg russet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 C. chopped kale or swiss chard
1 C. heavy cream
Salt and Pepper

1. in a skillet over med. heat, brown the sausage, breaking into small pieces; drain and set aside (make sure to remove the casing)
2. in a separate skillet, fry the bacon until brown, drain and set aside. ( i used the same skillet)
3. combine the water, broth, potatoes, garlic and onions in a pot; simmer over med. heat until the potatoes are tender 10-15 min.
4. Add the sausage and the bacon, simmer for 10 min.
5. Add cream and kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer until soup is heated through. Do not allow to boil.

The soup turned out really good. We cut our potatoes bigger than what the restaurant does, but the flavors are still there. If you want it thicker, add a little cornstarch at the end.

Olive Garden - Bread Sticks

1 loaf frozen bread dough
Cooking Spray
Garlic Powder
Dried Oregano

1. Allow the dough to thaw at room temperature in a large greased mixing bowl.
2. When the dough is soft enough to knead, break off pieces and shape into cigar-sized sticks.
3. Places these 3 inches apart on sprayed cookie sheets. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour 15 min
4. Preheat over to 375
5. Holding the can of cooking spray about 8 inches from the sticks, lightly spray the top of each stick, dust with garlic powder and sprinkle with oregano.
6. bake for 20-25 min until golden brown
7. let cool on the cookie sheets for a few min. before serving.

The bread sticks were not the right shape, and we could not get them to be sticks. They were not greasy like olive gardens, but they were still good.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Skillet Bow Tie Lasagna

This is a great recipe that I found a while back. It is super yummy and very easy!

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 C. water
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C. uncooked bow tie pasta
3/4 C. small curd cottage cheese
1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, parsley, oregano and salt; mix well. Stir in pasta, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring once. Combine the cheeses; drop by rounded tablespoon fulls onto pasta mixture. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Serves 4

The cottage cheese replaces the ricotta that is usually in lasagna. We didn't miss the ricotta at all, and in fact, I didn't even notice I was eating cottage cheese.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Too Much To Do!

I have let blogger be my last priority lately, so I apologize to those of you who read my blog. We've just had so much going on around here, and my schedule at work has been so random lately! So, let the updates begin!

Liam had his first slumber party the other day. His cousin Aidan came over with his tent and spent the night. The boys had so much fun. Liam now has a thing for tents, so a certain little boy may be getting a little one for Christmas :) The boys ran all over the place getting into everything. They even watched finding Nemo on my laptop in their tent while munching on popcorn! It was a little difficult to get them to sleep. We could here them talking the night away over the intercom. Deron finally had to go and lay down with them until the went to sleep. This is how one of their conversations went:

Liam: oww
Aidan: what's oww?
Liam: oww
Aidan: what's oww?
Liam: oww
Aidan: what's oww?
Liam: huh?

Here are some pictures from their fun

Liam is continuing to get more and more teeth in. Right now he is getting in 3 of his 4 Canine teeth. So as you can imagine, we are having lots of fun with those :)

He still amazes us every day. He is learning so much and talking so much more. He copies a lot of what we say and do now. He also loves to do everything himself. He helps me unload the dishwasher, he loves to help me dust ( I think mainly because he wears a sock on his arm)

Finally he has started to give me some smiles at the camera. They may be a tad bit cheesy, but they are much better than the blank stares that we were getting before!

Ok, well that is not as many updates as I thought there would have been. I guess I just felt that I left a lot out! Hope everyone is doing well. We are definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas! We cannot wait to see Liam's reactions to these holidays. They will be so different than last year!

Friday, October 23, 2009

PuMpKiN pAtCh

We were able to take a trip to the pumpkin patch on Thursday and we're blessed that Deron was able to go with us. With his crazy work schedule, you never really know whe he is going to work. We weren't there for too long because it was right in the middle of Liam's nap time and he was exhausted. We were there long enough to get some pumpkins and take some pictures, but it was fun nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Trick or Treat Party

It's a little late, but better than not at all right? On October 2nd, we took Liam to the Trick or Treat Party at California Adventure. This was Liam's first introduction to anything Disneyland. It was a lot of fun. They closed down the park to only the trick or treaters for 4 hours. Liam was Superman, of course. Angelica was a very beautiful Snow White. There aren't too many pictures because Liam really wouldn't take any for me. So here are a few for you to enjoy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Adventures of Liam and Dog Dog!

Yesterday, Rosa and I went shopping at the Mills. Rosa was so kind and bought Liam his first build-a-bear. At first, Liam wasn't to excited about building an animal, more about running through the store. After watching Angelica build her own, he was so excited. He picked out a little dog to make, and did all the steps

Picked out a heart & helped stuff the dog...

put the heart inside the dog and made a wish...

and give the dog a bath...

We named our new friend Dog Dog because that is what Liam calls it! And we also dressed him in Star Wars jammies, it's only appropriate! These two have been doing everything together. They went to be last night, and when they woke up this morning, they shared a bowl of cereal!

On the way to day care, Liam and Dog Dog watched Tom and Jerry. Liam was talking in Dog Dog's ear and sharing his sippy cup! (sorry, no pictures, I was driving)

Then, on the way home, Liam gave Dog Dog a big hug because he missed him all day. The two rode all the way home together!

For now, the two are resting up to start a new adventure tomorrow!

Friday, September 11, 2009

San Diego Fun!

Since I was on a mini vacation this week, Rosa and I made plans to take the kids down to the San Diego Zoo. We ended up getting a hotel because it was going to be a lot of driving, and then this way we could enjoy the zoo more. Liam and I (Deron had to work :( ) drove down to meet Rosa, Robbie, Angelica and Sabrina on Thursday. We had a great time at the zoo. There were so many animals and the kids were very excited. The humidity however was horrible. I think us adults sweated the entire time! Here are some pictures from our trip!

Ready For The Zoo!

Baby Gorilla, acts just like a regular toddler!

Liam's Favorite!

Mr. Safari!