Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Fun


Bundled up and playing in the snow. Yes, Chad has one pink glove on.

Gabe coming in after ten minutes of getting dressed and two minutes of playing

Ollie devastated because he has been so curious about the white stuff outside, and now we won't let him play in it because he has a fever.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Gabe's turn

Gabe and I have been working together in Teach Your Child to Read In 100 Easy Lessons. Just like with Colin, I told him we would go on a date when he hit lesson number 25. Today was that day!

When it was time to decide where to go on our date, he immediately knew he wanted to ride the train. He even saved his Mike and Ike's for the trip.

It was a very simple date - a train ride to McDonald's and then back to our car. My boy had his smile on the whole time, and couldn't stop talking. I loved spending time with him, and I am so proud of how hard he worked to earn the date. He is already deciding what he will do when he earns another date at lesson 50.

Hurray for Gabe!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

BMW Performance Driving School


This is where Chad was last Thursday.

From8am-5pm he got to learn from driving professionals and then test his new techniques out in various driving courses and situations. Luke is the gentleman in the black jacket, by the way. Chad had a very good time, to put it lightly. I heard from him during his breaks and I could tell he was a little giddy. I'm really glad he got to go and satisfy some one of his manly dreams.



What I am not glad about?
Gotta tell ya, he came home a little cocky about his driving skillz.

I'll have to see what I can do about that ;o)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hungry?

CONTEST CLOSED!

How about some Soutwestern Eggrolls from Chili's?



Or some Honey Balsamic Chicken from Ramono's Macaroni Grill?


Or some Baked Ziti with Sausage from Maggiano's?



Or some tableside guacamole (almost as good as Chad's) from On the Border?

My tummy is growling.

You can have any of the above for free if you win my give-away.

Click here to enter if you haven't already.

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

Dear Katie,

When your house is relatively clean...

You have finished a healthy salmon dinner.....

Your kids are getting along.....

You are upstairs helping them finish their chores....

And you are feeling really "on top of things"....

Beware of Pride.

Don't forget that one last kitchen detail.

Put all three bar stools up on the kitchen island.

Not 2 out of 3.


Because your climbing toddler will take advantage of that five minute "chore time" and quietly creep downstairs, where he will push that bar stool around to his heart's desire, and do his own chores.

Like washing the dishes

And breaking bananas open, taking a bite, and then shoving the rest in the toaster....
where half-eaten bananas belong, of course.


Because Katie,

You now have that toddler.

Remain vigilant!


(for more "Keepin' It Real Wednesdays", click on the blue label below)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine's Day Give-away!

CONTEST CLOSED AND DONE!


As a Thank You for reading my blog, I want to help you celebrate
Valentine's Day!


You all know Chad and I love to eat, and we love to eat even more when it is free!

So I want you to take your Valentine (or friend, or hey, yourself) out for dinner on me.

I will be giving one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate for:




Which allows you to choose from any of the following restaurants:




And, if you win and live in the Charlotte area (and I know you),as an added bonus, I will come to your house (without my stinky kids) and watch your non-stinky kids for free, so that you can have a completely free date!


How to you enter this giveaway?

Easy:

1.Leave a comment. If you don't have a blogger account, you can still comment, just make sure you leave your name.

For additional entries you may:
2.Follow my blog. If you don't know how to do this, look at the top of this page and there should be a button that says "Follow". After you are a follower, leave another comment that says "Follower."

3. Tell everyone on facebook about their chance to win this gift certificate, and link to the give-away. I don't care if I don't know your friends - they are welcome to enter! After you have linked to this give-away on facebook, leave another comment that says "Facebook."

Contest closes at 11:59 PST on Saturday, Jan. 30

Winners will be announced on Monday, Feb. 1, leaving me (ever the procrastinator) plenty of time to mail the certificate off in time for Valentine's Day.

Good Luck!

I'm just so excited!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Peanut Butter Pretzels

Our Aldi has these pretzels on clearance from the holiday season, so I thought I would give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised. The texture is perfect, and the peanut butter is nice. My kids can't get enough of them.


I picked up 3 more bags when the next time I went. I have discovered an even better way to eat them......

...thrown together with some milk chocolate chips. A perfect combination.

Anyone else a fan of salty/sweet or peanut butter/chocolate?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Brothers gotta stick together!

On Friday, every time I suggested Gabe play in the toyroom, he said with a scowl on his face, "Mom, I don't like that tiger."

I had no idea what he meant, but finally figured out that he was talking about the stuffed tiger that resides in our playroom. He expressed that he was afraid it would "come to life." Maybe too much Night At The Museum 2? Gabe is very tense about large fake animals, especially when there is a person inside - you should see his whole body shaking at Chuck-E-Cheese when they make an announcement that Chuck-E is coming out. Anyway, I wasn't surprised that he was spooked by having those tiger eyes watch him while he played with Geotrax.

I promised him that I would take it downstairs, and when I did, Oliver's brown eyes lit up. He promptly sat his diapered behind down for a ride, with a deep growl emitting from his throat. As I grabbed my camera, he sat batting his eyelashes at the camera. Colin decided to join in the photo session, so I now have a dozen pictures of Gabe's brothers consorting with his enemy.


Traitors!


On a totally different topic aren't Ollie's PJ's adorable? They are my favorite kid pajamas ever.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Give A Day, Get A Disney Day


Have you all heard about this program that Disney is doing this year? Here is a quote from their website:

We want to inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service to a participating organization in their communities. So we're celebrating these volunteers' good works by giving each of them a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket to the Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, free. There's no better time to make a dream come true for others and let us make a few come true for you.

Chad and I were looking at the volunteer opportunities out there, and there are pages and pages here in Charlotte. You really should check it out. I think we are going to HAVE to go back again this year.

Jeppson Family Reunion at The Magic Kingdom? :o)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It ain't pretty


Sick Ollie this morning, wearing one of my shirts because I was out of his in the dead of night

It seems a little cliche to talk about how much energy Oliver has and how he never stops - I hear it all the time from parents of kids his age. He's my third though, so I feel like I am at least somewhat qualified to say that he is beyond the typical level of toddler mischievousness. I am telling you, this kid NEVER stops. NEVER. He is happy, he is fun, he is adorable as can be, but he is TROUBLE. He climbs everything, including our stove. He unplugs everything. He sticks raw ground beef in his mouth, and rips Christmas lights out of their sockets and then crunches on them. Even with our firm bedtime routine in place, he fights sleep for over an hour every night - sometimes refusing to settle until we physically hold him still.

So Chad and I have speculated for awhile what it would be like if Oliver got sick. Not exactly hoping he would - we aren't that starved for some peace - but just wondering if he would actually lie still for awhile like our other boys do when they are sick.

We found out yesterday afternoon (Chad's birthday) when he started throwing up. Yes, he did lie still, and even seemed to watch a little TV in between his bouts of clothes-soaking hurling. The poor little guy was pathetic and I cuddled and cooed over his sick little body with all the patience in the world.

And then the sun went down.

I went to sleep with him at 9, knowing that it could be a long night. Gabe slept on one side of me, because he was also sick, and Ollie on the other. Chad was in the guest room. Sometime between 9 and 10, in my sleepy and confused state, I gave in to Oliver's pleas to nurse. I realized what I had done when it promptly came right back up, soaking yet another set of clothes and yet another blanket.

The rest of the night was ugly. The dazed, listless baby was gone and replaced by one who screamed into the dead of the night because I wouldn't nurse him or give him a drink. He was hysterical, trying to climb off the bed to find his own water. Over and over again he did his sign for "drink" and over and over again screamed at me when I tried to tell him it would hurt his belly. I figured that sleep would have to take over at some point - he had to be exhausted. I could wait it out. After and hour or so of this, I started to wonder and gave him a little Pedialyte. He grabbed it and gulped it down, and then promptly threw it up and did his "drink" sign again.

Oliver screams were now waking Gabe up and keeping Chad awake, which normally wouldn't have been a huge problem, but Chad was supposed to leave the house at 6 am. Luke was taking him to the BMW Performance Driving School as a birthday gift - a non-refundable birthday gift and something Chad has been really looking forward to. You kinda want to sleep before you do something like that, right?

The hours dragged, and Oliver still wasn't going to sleep or losing any steam. He was now trying to grab his and Gabe's vomit bowls to drink out of them. Chad and I were both losing our patience, and just didn't know what to do. A little before 2, I decided that even if it meant giving in to Ollie when I knew it wasn't good for him, I would let him nurse and drink as much as he wanted so he would stop screaming and let Chad sleep. I gathered some dry blankets, towels, and clothes, and let him nurse and barf to his heart's content. After 4:30 or so he finally started sleeping for an hour or so at a time.

So....... now we know what sick Ollie is like, and it is scary!

How about you? Have any of your kids been even more energetic when sick?

Have your kids ever become sick at a very inconvenient time or in a very inconvenient place?

Couldn't resist


I know it is a day late, but I saw this picture on Cake Wrecks today and just laughed and laughed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is there such a thing as too many cheesecake posts?


I may be pushing it, but I had to mention the cheesecake I made for Chad's birthday, because it was SO easy and SO delicious. No cracks either! I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, which is really where I find all my new recipes.

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 (19.5 ounce) package Pillsbury® Classic Traditional Fudge Brownies
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom only of 9-inch springform pan. Prepare brownie mix as package directs for chewy brownies. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes or until set.
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Bake 50 minutes or until set. Cool. Chill thoroughly. Remove side of springform pan. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.


Now let me do the allrecipes classic reviewer thing and mention that I didn't use mini chocolate chips or the name brands (duh), but otherwise I followed this recipe exactly and it came out perfectly!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Carne Asada and Cheesecake




We had the family (and Luke, of course) over Sunday night to celebrate Chad's upcoming 30th birthday. I can't tell you how much help I got from my family members getting the food ready (I kind of went into my "spaz" mode). Everything turned out delicious, especially Chad's guacamole, and Chad got some great gag gifts, along with a mini-roast from Colin. Fun night - almost as fun as the birthday boy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Panchetta (Gabe)


This kid cracks me up on a daily basis, but today he did two things that just warmed my heart.

First, I am the Primary Secretary, so I was off in a corner doing some of my duties today, half-listening to sharing time. The pianist was playing a few notes from a song and the kids had to name the song. All of the sudden I heard Gabe answering correctly, very purposefully, in a loud and clear voice. It wasn't an easy song and he was the first one to know it. You have to know Gabe to know how big this is. I couldn't stop smiling at the sound of that voice.

Second, we were having "quiet time" (a Jeppson Sunday tradition where everyone stays in a separate room so Mommy and Daddy can hopefully take a nap) this afternoon when I heard Gabe talking. I had just gotten Ollie to sleep, so I stomped over to Gabe's room to tell him to zip it. When I looked in, he had one of the Bob books and he was sounding the words in it out, and very successfully. We have been doing reading lessons together, but this is the first time I have seen him making any reading attempt on his own. He may be a jokester, but he is also such a smart kid.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Man Soup


Chad is not a huge soup fan (probably because he had a lot of nasty soup in Chile) but I always know that he will like this soup when I make it. It is filling too, so he never has to make himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich an hour after dinner is over.

Last night when I was making it, Colin said, "Are you making that soup that I love so much?"

What I love even more than the fact that my kids will eat it all? It is very very easy.

I add a can of green beans to it, just for some additional veggies, and sometimes I will add some sort of pasta in. Also, I have never used the picante sauce, because I never have it on hand.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sunshine in Winter



It was 2:00 pm and I finishing up some chores so that I could get Oliver and Gabe ready to leave for the daily school pick-up.

Chad called to let me know that he was leaving work a little early - would I like him to pick the boys up?

And so, all the sudden, I had more than an hour freed up in my day - an hour that is always otherwise occupied. An hour that didn't have dishes or laundry assigned to it.

An hour to just play on the trampoline under sunny blue skies.

All the more pleasant because it was out of the routine, just like the 60 degree weather - a gift when none were expected.


Really, I can't tell you how happy this made me.



(the helmet was Gabe's request and is more of a fashion statement than a safety precaution, in case you were wondering about it :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sleeping soundly




I can't get these images out my head tonight:

My sturdy, spacious home.

Rubble everywhere.

My three precious boys curling their little bodies in bed, fast asleep.

Thousands of children out in the open, many without parents there to hold them. Little bodies strewn on the streets or hidden under concrete.

Tonight I want to gather those children in my feeble arms, sit them in front of my fireplace with a buffet of food, and tuck them in, under quilts, to sleep on every empty square inch of my house - let them sleep and forget for at least one night.

I can't be there, but my prayers and heart are in Haiti.

(We are such fortunate people. How can we forget that?)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Belated Thank-You


Back when New Moon opened, my cousin Olivia* rented a theater out with her friends, sold the tickets, and had an awesome showing. After it was over, she had a give-away with some of the swag bags they had leftover from the event, and I won one!

I was so excited when I came home from vacation to find it in the mail. Along with some hilarious New Moon memorobilia, there were a few extras thrown in, like some homemade pepper jelly, which disappeared a long time ago when I made some Texas Egg Rolls to go with them. SO delicious Olivia and so adorable too!

Thank You Thank You Thank You!

I'm trying to think of a cool place to put my stickers....maybe my Primary binder?

*For those of you who aren't familiar with her blog, check it out and get with the times. My brother-in-law James actually just won a book in another give-away!

More belated thank you's coming tomorrow.

Saturday, January 9, 2010