Friday, December 31, 2010

5 Years Ago Today

I married my best friend. Lots has happened in those 5 years: moving to Ohio twice, moving to Kansas, both graduating from grad school, numerous jobs, several fun vacations, a mission trip, and oh yeah a child. I am so thankful that I got to experience all the ups and downs with my best friend. I'm excited for our next 5 years and beyond.

Can't find our 1st anniversary must have been pre-digital camera and pre-good computer...anyway here are anniversary pics 2-4.

2nd year @ a restaurant in Ohio

3rd year @ my in-laws

4th year in the car on the way to a restaurant...can you tell I'm pregnant? The size of my face the car seat in the background might give it away.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Blog Christmas Card

This was the first year we did not send a Christmas/birth announcement/moving card. With the expense and the lack of time as I wrapping up school we opted not to send one. However, I absolutely love Christmas cards and I love recapping each memorable year. So, I decided I would create a blog Christmas card with a few of my favorite pictures from 2010 and a highlight from each month. And needless to say 2010 has been a very memorable year!

January: our son, Sawyer, joined the family.

February: Kyle moved and I studied while holding a baby

March: Sawyer's excited we moved to Ohio

April: Bought our 1st house

May: Tore up our 1st house

June: Sawyer had his 1st swimming lessons

July: Kyle turned 30 and we went to Florida with the whole Schenk gang.

August: Kyle's 1st season as a defensive coordinator began and Sawyer and I went on a trip to Kansas to visit lots of family and celebrate a marriage.

September: Football games begin

October: I join the working world again and Sawyer's a skunk

November: Sawyer's 1st thanksgiving

December: I graduated with an MBA and Sawyer experienced his 1st Christmas

Monday, December 27, 2010

Food Junkie

Felt food junkie that is.

This Christmas I joined the felt food club and I am addicted.
My niece G loves to play in her kitchen. I thought she might enjoy non-plastic food, so naturally I whipped up some felt food for her Christmas present.

Also, what self-respecting cook does not wear an apron? So, I thought G better have an apron to wear during her cooking escapades. Because time was of the essence I bought a kid sized apron at Hobby Lobby and then embellished it with a ruffle and her monogram.
Apron, pancakes, bacon, eggs, orange slices, strawberries, and a paper bag for storage

Breakfast foods

The strawberries were the hardest to make but I like them the best.
Really none of the foods were very hard to construct and I love the finished product.

The tutorials I used include:
Eggs (variation) and orange slices: One Craft Mumma
Brown Paper Bag: Skip to my Lou
Pancakes: WeePereas
Bacon(variation): TwelveCraftstillChristmas

I tried to get Sawyer to model the apron for you, but he must not be the cooking type :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

from our family to yours!
We hope you have a joyful day!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Date Nights on the Cheap

Since we have cut back to 1 income our entertainment budget has been slashed, so we've had to get a bit creative with our date nights. And since the monthly entertainment budget would be completely wiped out in one night if we hired a babysitter the little one often goes with us.

A couple of weeks ago I was sick of studying, so Kyle planned an impromptu date while I wrapped up my school work. He did spectacular. We made hot chocolate to go then we hopped in the car and drove around looking at Christmas lights. Sawyer quickly fell asleep in the back seat and we got to talk for over an hour while looking at all the beautiful light displays. It's one of my favorite date nights in recent memory and it didn't cost us a dime except a little gas.

For others on a budget here's some other examples of cheap dates we've done or plan on doing:
Board game night
Cook a new meal together
Make fondue
Go the $1 movie theater
Rent a movie
Go out for dessert
Take a walk
Go to the park as a family
Frisbee golf
Go to a Malone sporting event (i.e. free sporting event)
Camp indoors: we did this several years ago, we set up the tent indoors (pretty sure that's the only time we've used our tent), got out the sleeping bags, made s'mores over candlelight and watched a movie. Yet the restroom facilities were around the corner and we had temperature control. Now that's my kind of camping.

With football over and school finished I'm envisioning more frequent date nights. Do you have any ideas for budget-friendly dates?

Completely off the subject, but as I was looking for pictures for this post I realized we have not taken a picture of just the two of us since before Sawyer was born...crazy, we'll have to do that over the holidays. For now you're going to get some older pics.

In the DR on vacation

Colorado Springs @ Garden of the Gods

@ a wedding

In China @ the Great Wall

Our last date before the little one arrived...a Chiefs football game

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

1st Christmas Ornament & A Daycare Craft

I've been searching for a baby's 1st Christmas ornament and I have yet to find one that is a) my style or b) in my price range (read very inexpensive). We don't have a tree, but I'm hoping for one in the future. So when I saw this silhouette ornament on Young House Love I thought it was perfect. And as an added bonus I can do one each year as he grows. Also, I was looking for a good Christmas craft for cousin Gracie to give to her parents.

One day during Sawyer's morning nap G painted the ornaments while I cut out the silhouettes. Once the paint was dry I mod podged them onto the ornament. Then I wrote their name and year on the back of the ornament. The example I saw used a ceramic ornament, but I found a wooden circle for $.20 at the craft store and then I had the hubs drill a hole in the wood. This was a simple project. It does take some time during paint coats (2-3 coats of paint and 2-3 coats of mod-podge), but it's a very simple project.

And a tip for making silhouettes. I do not have fancy photoshop or photo editing software, so I found a tutorial for making silhouettes on picnik. Take a profile picture of the subjects head. One thing that will help immensely is taking the picture with a light source behind the subject (i.e. take a picture in front of a window). This will make the subject darker and the background whiter. Upload the picture into Picnik. Click on the Create tab, Effects, Open Sandbox effects, Adjustable Threshold. Then adjust the black and white threshold to make the desired contrast of the basic outline. Press Apply. Click on Doodle, in the miscellaneous effects. Click black and/or white and then paint over the stray pixels you don't want. Print and cut. Here's the video tutorial I used.

This is the original profile picture I used of Sawyer

Sentimental, easy, and that's my kind of craft!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just call me Mr. Dictionary.

Because I have definition!

Do you have your tickets?
Tickets to where?
Tickets to the gun show!

Do you know how to sew?
Because I'm ripped!

I can just imagine Sawyer (or maybe Uncle Jake) saying those lines someday. Kyle thinks he's already half way there with his back muscles, strong grip (see the pictures above and below), and defined triceps.
I'm not really into all those muscles anymore...I once was just ask my husband how he caught my eye at 14 :) Anyway, back to Sawyer...not really sure he's all that strong. I think the picture just demonstrates how skinny the kid is. Sorry honey, but given your family history (i.e. mom and dad) you're going to be a stick until at least junior high.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The One in Which I Pretend to be a Good Cook

I would never claim to be a good cook. In fact it's a stretch to even call me a cook. I typically only cook once or twice a week and even then it's rarely homemade. If it was just me I would eat cereal, pb & j, and mac & cheese for 99% of my meals. But the last few weeks I have found myself needing to cook out of necessity...I joined a fantastic freezer club and attended a cookie exchange.

The freezer club is amazing because I cook 5 large batches of a recipe and then I get to take home 5 different meals. So, in order to ensure the other members of the freezer club receive a respectable meal I must impersonate a good cook. And surprisingly the others seemed to like the first meal so I thought I would post the recipe.

And no one asked for the cookie recipe, but I think it's delicious, so I'm going to share. They are not the prettiest cookies on the block, but they are oh so soft, moist, sweet, and chocolatey. What more could you ask for?

White Bean Chicken Chili
Source: Jodi Fish

1 lb. chicken, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1.5 tsp. garlic powder
2 15.5 oz. cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz. can of chicken broth
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilis
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

Saute chicken, onion and garlic. Add beans, green chilis, broth, and seasonings to cooked chicken. Cook until boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and whipping cream. Makes approximately 6 servings.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: ??? Recipe given to me by Grace Bible Church, Hutchinson, KS

1 c. softened butter
1 1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2/3 c. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All I want for Christmas are my 2 front teeth

Picture of Sawyer's 2 front teeth (before the 3rd one pops through)

Besides his teeth Sawyer is getting a few other things for Christmas. We're going pretty light on gifts for S this year because 1) he doesn't really understand what's going on 2) that's not what Christmas is all about 3) we're cheap 4) his favorite toys are usually empty water bottles. But here are the gifts we did purchase:

Large gift (large as in size, even though the picture is small): Mega Bloks

My Black Friday steal from Target
Stocking Stuffers:
  • Small Wooden Trucks
  • Adorable stocking hat

And if you're looking for gifts for a 1 year old in your life here are some of Sawyer's or Mommy's favorites:
  • Stacking cups: S loves his and can play with them for over an hour
  • Sippy cups: who doesn't need more of these for a 1 year old?
  • Clothes: S has had a plethora of clothes thus far, but it seems after 12 months the clothes have really thinned out
  • Play piano: all 1 year olds like to make noise, right?
  • Shoes: once they start walking this becomes a necessity
  • Cell phone or remote control: all kids like technology, so how about a play phone or remote?

Monday, December 13, 2010

11 months

Today I am excited to be 11 months old!

Wanna know what I've been up to this past month? Well I'm going to tell you whether you do or not.

  • I walk everywhere now. No more crawling for me unless I need to escape very quickly. I'm pretty crazy, I can turn around like a pro and walk laps around the house. But I'm still working on the zero radius turn.
  • I started drinking whole milk. I like it, but my tummy doesn't.
  • I know I'm getting taller, but I can't seem to get very chubby even though I eat all the time. My favorite food is cheerios.
  • I love to talk and howl like a wolf. Daddy taught me that one. I like to tease mommy by saying daddy when she asks me to say mommy. Mommy is trying to teach me the signs for please and thank you, but I think I'm too young for being mindful of manners, so I'm holding out.
  • I L.O.V.E. music. I could dance all day.
  • I've been in some pain this past month as my 5th tooth is about to make it's appearance.
  • Do you realize I'm a traveling pro? I've traveled on an airplane several times in my short 11 months and I'm getting pretty good at it. I love to throw the toys mom and dad give me so they have to squirm in their seats to find them. And I especially enjoy making friends with the people seating behind me so they give me sugary foods. I was even so squirmy on our recent flight home from CO that mommy let me walk up and down the aisle and the sweet flight attendant babysat for a while.
  • And don't tell the 'rents, but I'm perfecting the temper tantrum. I've shown a few glimpses to the parents, but I'm working on a full blown fit in the near future.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

You Know You're a Mom When...

  • You suddenly have snot stains on your knees.
  • You get peed on and don't even change your clothes because you're on the way out the door.
  • You have snot and food all over your shirt, but instead of changing your shirt you just throw on a cardigan
  • You enter the family room and see poop on the carpet and it barely phases you (this happened during some daddy/son bonding time in which I don't think daddy was watching the little one very closely.
  • You once looked in your purse and saw make-up and jewelry, now you see teethers, pacifiers, and toy trucks
  • You go to the store and are more excited about your purchase for the kid than anything else you might buy

Mommy & Son

Can you think of others?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our new ride

This fall we were blessed with a new mode of transportation that has revolutionized our world: a double stroller!

Now both Sawyer and Cousin G get to ride in style and our walks together are much more enjoyable (and longer :).

Sawyer trying to pull G's hair...I'm afraid this is going to be a common sight in the years to come.

We've been taking advantage of the beautiful fall days. Unfortunately winter has arrived and we probably won't see the outdoors for several months, but we're already looking forward to the fun outdoor times in the spring.

Thanks Beth! We love it!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


on the Family!

While we were in Colorado Springs for Thanksgiving we had the pleasure of going to the Focus on the Family play area with my sister, nephew, and Grandma. The kiddos had so much fun roaming around freely in the padded room.

Sawyer loved the gear wall

Noah taking a short rest

Grandma helping Sawyer down the slide.

Sawyer loved his first slide ride.

Crawling through the tunnel

Stopping long enough to let Momma have a hug.

If we lived in CO I think we would frequent Focus often in the winter. It is a great place for kids to play with age appropriate toys when there is snow outside.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Christmas Wreath

Two years ago I walked into a Starbucks (which I almost never do because I don't like coffee) and fell head over heels in LOVE with a wreath that was scattered throughout their store. I was so in love that I asked the barista what they did with their decorations after the holidays. Alas, the decorations were not given away or allowed to be purchased. I was saddened, but determined so I decided to make one myself. It took me a year to actually gather all the supplies, but it was a fairly easy project. And it was the last craft I finished before Sawyer was born.

I loosely used this tutorial.

If you look closely you can see the hot glue and gaps in the just don't look closely :)