Thursday, January 31, 2013

On a mission.

I'm on a mission to get into shape...and lose about 5 pounds.
I've hit a brick wall weight wise and just recently pounds have started creeping back on.  It may or may not have something to do with the consumption of a lot of cake recently.  What can I say...I love my sweets!

So, lately I've been doing yoga twice a week and skiing once or twice a week, crunches every night, and the occasional running up and down the stairs...but I need more.  So, this morning I attempted to go for a jog. 
My jog turned into more of power walk instead...unfortunately, my knees can't handle jogging very well.  But then again, I probably walk faster than my lame jog anyway.  Either way, it felt good to get out in the crisp morning air.  

I want to be consistent with my new goal of getting some type of physical exercise everyday...that's right, everyday!

Do you think sex can count?
Just wondering.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Antibiotics anyone?

We have our supply right between the sour cream and yeast.

I took Morgan to the doctor today.  She has not only strep throat, but a virus of some sort as well giving her an awful cough and running nose.  She's been hit extra hard.

That's Morgan under there.
I feel the same way Morgan...honest, I do.  All I want to do is curl up on the sofa and feel sorry for my little sick family.  I'm tired, frustrated and extremely discouraged.
Here's to a healthier tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Another one from the Barrett household, sick again.  What's new right?  This time Haley and Piper are suffering from Strep throat.  Unbelievable.  I'm feeling very discouraged this season.  I feel like we have become the "sick family"...I hate being that family.  You know those families...they always have a kid with a runny nose, or the kid with a cough that never goes away.  I don't want to be that family!  But alas, here we are.

Let me just add (in case you forgot) that we suffered from some type of illness from the middle of November until the first week of January...kid you not, someone was sick that entire time with colds and/or barfing...oh and don't forget the pink eye.  Then, we got a couple of weeks where everyone was healthy (that was nice) and now, here we go again thanks to strep throat.

Give me strength.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Review

We had a pretty nice weekend.  
Unfortunately Ryan had to work Saturday, but the girls and I stayed busy that morning making cookies.  It always amazes me the mess we can create when all the girls are in the kitchen!  But the cookies turned out cute and pretty darn good.

As soon as Ryan came home that afternoon I hit slopes.  I was able to meet up with my brother Jeff and skied a couple of hours with him.  Not sure if I mentioned it, but he's a ski instructor at Sundance and a pretty amazing skier.  He's been working with me on my technique...and I will say's really hard to break bad habits!  But I'll get it...eventually.  He's a great teacher!  If you ever want lessons at Sundance, make a special request to get him, Jeff'll be glad you did!  

That evening after the kids were in bed Ryan and I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild.  Another movie up for Best Picture.
Honestly, I wasn't big on it.  Didn't make a whole lot since to me, or perhaps my brain just isn't big enough to understand the deep meaning of it all.  Basically...I didn't like it.  Not my vote for best picture.  Next week we'll try another!

Sunday evening we celebrated Jeff's birthday!
It was fun to have everyone together...and to have an excuse to eat cake!
Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Everyday Life

Don't you just love how kids always stand to do their work.
Here is Haley doing her homework...standing of course.  Kids are always in a hurry...itching to move on to the next her case she's slamming this out to go play Barbies no doubt.

Look at what I found when I was cleaning out my cupboard.
 My beloved coffee scooper spoon.  It measures about 2 Tbsp...perfect for measuring coffee.
Isn't it pretty!  I have to find a new use for it so I can see it often again!

And last...Piper...with fangs.
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

An Afternoon Craft

Morgan got this really cute book for Christmas from her Grandma and she's been chomping at the bit to make something from it.
 The girls have early out this week for parent-teacher conferences so I decided it would be a good time filler for a cold afternoon.  They chose the "Darling Dachshund".  

I think they turned out pretty cute!  
Can you tell which one is Haley's?  I love her creativity and I love that she does the crafts HER way!

When we started Piper was in a mood...a terrible mood, that is.  Screaming that she wanted to cut, she wanted to trace, she wanted to glue...but nothing really made her happy.  I ended up putting on a movie for her so we could finish.  30 minutes later I find her like this...
...yep, sound asleep.  I guess someone was a little tired.  I paid for that nice 30 minutes too later when it was time to go to bed.  I spent an extra hour rocking her and trying to get her to fall asleep!  Darn that 30 minutes!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Acts of Kindness this week.

Life is not perfect.  I get frustrated as a parent.  My kids bicker.  My kids fight with one another.  Haley and Morgan sometimes exclude Piper...the younger siblings always get pushed out of the you get that too?  I yell...sometimes too much.  My kids yell.  Messes surround me...and sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in it all.  

But yesterday all was quiet before dinner.
I look over and see three of my girls cuddled on the sofa, Haley reading to them.
I love when I get to witness acts of kindness between my girls.  

Yesterday when I picked them up from school, as Haley was getting into the car she said "Wow, I really like your hair!"  Morgan immediately responds, "Oh, thank you!"  But...Haley wasn't referring to Morgan she was actually talking to me (what a sweetheart, huh?)  But anyway, I thought Haley was going to say something kinda mean back to "NOT YOU MORGAN!"  But instead she said, "Oh, I was talking to Mommy, Morgan.  But your hair is so pretty too!!"  Morgan was delighted.

Or the other day when Haley and Morgan set up a "tea party" with a bunch of stuffed animals.  They welcomed Piper to join them.  I love when they willingly involve Piper...and Piper loves it too!
Or when I go into Haley and Morgan's room to check on them before I go to bed and I see them both snuggled up on the top bunk together.  They most likely fell asleep telling each other stories as we can usually hear them chatting away.

Siblings bicker...siblings fight...siblings yell at each, this is true.  But it's the moments like these that remind me that they do love each other...a lot.  They ARE listening when I teach them how to be kind to one another.  This helps me me feel that I must be doing something right. And I NEED reassurance that I'm doing something right when most days I feel as though I'm doing everything wrong.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Weekend Review

Is everyone aware that the Oscars are next month?  Well, it is...February 24 I believe.  Now, as you may already know, I don't get out for movies very often.  In fact the only movie that I've seen that has been nominated is Brave...that's it.  So my friend and I are trying to be a bit more prepared and are doing our "Oscar Homework" now til February 24.  First up...Frankenweenie.  We got our families together Sunday for a combined movie night. 
Unfortunately, this movie scared the crap out of my kids.  Haley managed to sit through it, although she sobbed when Sparky died and covered her face during "scary" scenes...but she insisted to stay to see the end.  Morgan however did not.  I ended up taking her upstairs to play with dolls in another room.  Darn.  Both girls slept on our floor for the night.  Personally, I didn't think it was all that great...a little weird.  But I suppose that's to be expected with a Tim Burton film.

We had a big milestone this weekend!  The girls started skiing on back mountain at Sundance!  It won't be long now and they'll be doing black diamonds!  Now, if I can get them to do more parallel skiing as they are masters of the snow plow!  But goodness, I am so proud of those girls!

In other news the temps are warming up this week!  I think we may even crack 20 finally!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snow Day Workout

   I've been feeling a bit couped up this week and this was my attempt to get my heart going and maybe even sweat a little.  If I did this everyday...I bet I could get rid of my last pesky five pounds a lot quicker!
The girls had fun taking my pictures.

My snow day workout:

10 leg lifts using chairs.  
You may need a kid to sit in them, as mine kept sliding...and they're a bit rickety so I don't think I can use them again.

10 times up the
Don't'll feel the burn by the 8th time.  And it was a miracle I didn't fall.
Look...I was so fast Morgan couldn't even get my picture!

50 crunches.

Take a couple minutes to get a drink and do the whole thing again...two more times.

What do you think...think I can do it everyday?!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Everyday life.

I have high hopes that these two are going to uber good friends.
 This picture just cracks me up.  That is a very typical pose Belle is laying in.  She's so weird.
 I've discovered Rory's favorite food...Frosted Mini Wheats.
She would be very happy to eat those all day long if she could.
The dogs patiently waiting for her to finish so they can pounce her chair and lick it clean.

Every morning Haley and Morgan get ready for school as fast as they can so they have plenty of play time downstairs.  This morning they ended up having an hour before school to play.

I took Piper and Rory to story time yesterday and I'll be taking them to another one tomorrow.  Piper doesn't quiet have the patience yet to sit with the other kids and listen, she prefers to roam around and take books off the shelves.  But we'll keep at it.  She does however, love the singing!

I made another batch of those Snickerdoodle Brownies...I think they will be the death of me.  I just can't resist them!!  I think I'll make some bread today.  Temps are still hovering between 10-15 degrees, so I really don't feel like going anywhere.  A good day to bake.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Good TV

As you recall, we do not have TV, so we have to rely on other sources such as HULU for our evening entertainment.  For the record, I love not having it.  Except during the Olympics...I really wished I could have had that playing all day long.  But, I'm glad my kids are being raised without it.  Of course they watch their fair share of movies, or Inspector Gadget and All Dogs Go to Heaven on HULU, but we have control of what they see.  There is just so much junk on TV...I'm amazed that they can call some of the shows on the air "Family Shows".  What happened to the days of "Family Ties", "The Cosby Show" or "Full House"?  And the commercials!  How I hate commercials!!  And I can't stand the commercials that are aimed for children...I'm glad my kids don't see all that junk!

As a matter of fact...growing up we didn't have a TV for many, many years.  Lots of people don't have TV these days, but way back then, that was a little out of the ordinary.  Especially since there were no other ways of watching things.  We didn't have Internet, no cell phones, Kindles, whatever...we didn't have it.  Crazy thought huh?  My parents finally caved and we borrowed a small 12 inch TV to use to watch the OJ Simpson trial.  My mom and I were hooked with that trial. And then from there I remember coming home from High School, I would make a lunch (I got out for the day at 12:30 my senior year) and then I would eat while I watched a Northern Exposure episode on that same 12 inch TV (they would play a rerun everyday).  Oh, how I loved that show.

But anyway...there are a couple of shows that I am just in love with right now!
This is true, good TV!

I love all the different story lines that come from each sibling's family.  Each one is so different from the next.  Plus, they all live close to one another...a dream of mine.

Downton Abbey.
Now, who is not in love with this show?!
It is just so, so good!  I get lost in it and I just love all the characters!
Except for the relationship between Anna and Mr. Bates...Mr. Bates kinda bugs me.

I hate having to wait a week to watch another show.  That's the worst.  
But I sure do love those evenings when we get the kids to bed and then I can cozy up on the sofa with Ryan, with a fire going in the fireplace and our little laptop set up on the table and watch a show.  I know he's so thrilled about it too!  (slight sarcasm).  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend Review

We had a great weekend.  Friday afternoon Ryan watched the girls so I could meet up with Jeff at Sundance to take advantage of the fresh powder.  However, driving up the canyon to get there was pretty scary, I nearly turned around.  The roads were very slippy and the snow was dumping!  Police were having people turn around if they didn't have chains or 4wheel drive.  Luckily, my sweet jeeper got me up there safe and I found Jeffy.  We had so much fun...but it was COLD and snowing pretty good the whole time...but the powder was awesome.

Jeffy and me on the lift.
Check out my sweet snow beard.  My face was pretty much frozen so I could have had snot and/or drool all over and I would have never known.

That looked like a good place to lay in the snow...or I may have biffed it.

Saturday I hit up yoga...Jeffy joined me this time.  I'm diggin' it.  And then Ryan skied with Jeff all afternoon. I know...we got some quality time with my little brother this weekend!  

I took the girls to the library and then they watched movies in the afternoon...yes, was a lazy afternoon/evening.

Sunday we churched it up at our new time at 9:00 am.  I'm pretty sure this is our favorite time.  For those out of the know...our church changes times every year...last year we had 1:00...and next year we'll have 11:00.  But anyway, yeah, I'm diggin' the 9-12 time slot.  I love having the rest of the afternoon to do whatever we want...and in this case it was spent sitting by the fire and making these bad boys.

Snickerdoodle brownies.
I'm a big snickerdoodle fan, and these did not disappoint! They are so, so good!
You can find the recipe here.

In other news, it was -1 when I dropped the girls off at school this morning!  -1!!  Where am I living...North Dakota?!!  We haven't seen temps like these in a long time.  And if we do have temps like these they certainly don't last week after week like they have been.  The dogs however, are loving it since they pretty much live in the house now.

Ryan is in CO this week, so I'm holding down the fort.

Happy Monday.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My little ones.

 When Haley and Morgan were little I was pretty good with getting out and about and getting them involved in different things.  I took them to the library for story time at least once a week, always went on walks (even in the winter), took them to the play area at the mall when it was cold, went to parks often, read to them all the time, did tons of baking together...and so on.

I'm afraid that I'm getting too comfortable in my little cozy house and not getting my two little ones out enough.  Although, I'm a firm believer that children do not need to be engaged in a activities all day long...I think it's important for them to have lots of free time to play.  But, I do want things throughout the week for them to look forward to.  Things that are just for them while the others are in school.

I took them to story time at the library the other day and Piper just loved it.  The librarian let her check out the book she read to them and Piper just beamed, holding her book close, as we walked back to the car.  It's easy for the little ones to get lost in the jumble with the older siblings around.  Haley and Morgan take charge and kind of lead the way.  But when it was just Piper and Rory I could see that independence coming out in Piper.  For once she wasn't trying to keep up, or just to do something because the older ones were doing it.  She was able to make her own choices.  And I could tell she thought she was pretty special!

So here's to more fun outings with these cutie pies!

In other news, a storm has hit yet again.  More snow...and I love it!  
This weekend I'll be doing some skiing and some more yoga!
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cooking with Kelly: Family Favorite

Who doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie?  No one in this house, that's for sure!
I have tried lots and lots of cookie recipes...I stick with one for a while and then move on to another.  But, this one seems to be the family favorite!

Now, this is a very secret recipe...are you ready?
It's the original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip recipe.
But here's the thing to make it super good.  Do not use your hand mixer when combining the flour to the wet ingredients.  Fold it in gently and don't over mix.  This is crucial when you only use butter in a cookie recipe.  If you over mix you will get flat, greasy cookies.  I learned this when my hand mixer died and I made cookies the old fashioned way with a wisk and wooden spoon....and I have yet to replace it.  I kinda like not using it...I'm getting back to my pioneer roots!  Plus it's good exercise!

Anyway, here's the recipe.
Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup nuts

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in large bowl until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Gradually add flour mixture and stir in chocolate and nuts.  Bake for 9-11 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  

*We skip the nuts and add both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips...mmmmm, good.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weekend Review

Belle makes a good pillow...and she looks pretty thrilled about it too.

Saturday I had the opportunity to hit up 3B Yoga.  Now first off, I've never done yoga before and frankly I just assumed I wouldn't like it.  I admit...I prejudged it.  I thought it would be too slow (boring), not a good enough workout, I thought I wouldn't have any patience for the meditation portion of it, and basically just be surrounded by hippies.  I also counted myself out because I'm not at all flexible and I would be super frustrated the entire time and people would snicker at me because I wouldn't be able to do any of the poses correctly...or so I thought.

I was wrong...oh so wrong.  It was a great workout first of all!  And honestly, I think the meditation portion is good for me.  The idea to sit and just breath and NOT think about all the things I need to do, or the errands I need to run, or the meals I need to cook, and so on...well, much easier said than done!  But I think it's important to help me recharge and feel I'm going to keep working on it.  Oh...and no one laughed at fact I felt pretty darn comfortable considering what a newbie I was.  

Also this weekend I took the girls skiing.  I wanted another go at it since our last ski outing was such a disaster.  And I'm happy to report that we had a blast!  In fact they said numerous times that "it was their best day EVER!".  Wow.  The temperatures at the resort were about 10-15 degrees warmer than at home, thanks to the lovely inversion we're getting in the valley.  You know it's pretty darn cold out when 30 degree temps are a welcome sight!  But yeah, so skiing...I am just so darn proud of my girls!  Haley has pretty much no fear and will take on about anything.  And she loves finding all the little of shoots and trails..but then she's always been one to travel off the beaten path.  And Morgan was taking on more challenging runs, even though she was a bit tentative, and she ended up excelling on all of them!  She took the lead every time.  

Being a parent reaches a whole new level when you can start sharing these types of activities with your kids and they can hold their own.  It's just such a joy to not only watch them, but be right there with them as they zoom down the mountain.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with them as they get older!

Friday, January 4, 2013

What I'm cookin' up tonight.

I just realized that I already posted a soup with lentils a while, sorry I'm not being more creative with my recipes.  Just think of it as another meal for you use to up all those leftover lentils you have in your pantry.  
Lentil and Sausage Soup
* This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook 12th Edition*

2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup carrots (2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces cooked, smoked sausage links sliced

In a large saucepan combine chicken broth, water, lentils, celery, carrots, onion, dried thyme (if using), red pepper, and garlic.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender.  Stir in fresh thyme, if using, and sausage.  Heat through.

I have no idea how they get their lentils tender in 25 minutes!  Like I've said before, I like really soft this soup has been simmering on my stove for the last 2 hours or so, and we still have another hour until dinner.  I've added another can of broth and a cup or so more of water.  I also added more carrots.  See what I mean?  I can never follow a recipe perfectly...but it smells super good, so I'm thinking it will turn out just fine!

Since I missed last week sharing a recipe I'm giving you a two-fer today.  This recipe I saw on Pinterest, and I've been craving it ever since I saw it!  I made it for tomorrow's breakfast.  We're celebrating the New Year in the morning since I was slighted on the actual day.  I was looking forward to eating unhealthy that morning, and dang it, I will make that happen, even if it's a bit late!

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
You can find the recipe for this here.
I haven't tried it yet, it's sitting on my counter, surprisingly untouched so far...but good grief it looks good!

Happy Weekend y'all!

Oh, and in case you wondering...Rory is still going strong!  Go Rory!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back to a routine and another one bites the dust.

The girls went back to school today.  I was ready.  It has been a pretty hard winter break and I was craving a routine again.  They were so excited about seeing all their friends...and Haley couldn't wait to tell one of her BF's that she got Kit for Christmas.  I expect they will be getting together very soon to play with their American Girl Dolls as her friend has one too.

Yesterday I decided to take Haley and Morgan skiing for their last day of break.  It turned out to be a bit of a disaster.  The thermostat read 9 degrees when we pulled into the resort...that should have been a clue that things may not go that well.  Without going in too much detail the three hours consisted of a lot of whining, the girls getting stuck in the woods, me side stepping up half the mountain to get to them, 30 minutes in the lodge to try to warm up, lots of tears from Morgan, frozen toes and fingers, and finally me throwing in the towel and taking them home early.  It wasn't my proudest mommy moment for sure.  I was pretty frustrated and I'm sure I got some looks from other skiers.  Too bad I can't say that I'll never see any of those skiers again...but alas, you pretty much see the same people at this resort (mostly locals) and I'm sure they will all remember the red head in the purple jacket acting like a crazy lady and her poor miserable children.  Oh well.  So we only did three runs.  I guess when it's 9 degrees outside even the toughest kids have their breaking point.

So yeah, the weather...we've had quite the cold snap this week.  The lows have been in the single digits and for the first time the dogs slept in the house last night.  I was terrified that I would wake up to poo everywhere or something torn to shreds or my pantry raided.  But luckily, none of that happened and they slept soundly the entire night.  I think they were happy dogs.

And in other luck would have it...Ryan has been hit by the stomach flu too.  I really thought he was going to make it through unscathed, but no.  Now, my little Rory is the last one standing.  I'm guessing she'll decide to get sick right about when I'm in my deepest, most comfortable sleep tonight....I'm thinking around 1:00 in the morning.  Am I being too negative?  Nah, I'm just being realistic.  Well, hopefully I'm wrong and she just has a superior immune system than the rest of us.  Time will tell.

I'm hoping that this weekend, everyone will be feeling good because I want to make a big huge breakfast since we never did get one New Years day.  I also have some soups that sound pretty good too.  So I should have a recipe or two to share soon!

Here's to health!!  Dang it...I want health!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Here We Come!

We were real party animals last night.  Let's see, I'll give you the play by play.  I was still feeling rocky as I got hit by the stomach flu along with Morgan on Sunday.  Haley was also hit that night with the barfies.  It was awful...just ask Ryan, since he had to take care of us all.

So yeah, New Years Eve.  The girls watched a movie and then we had left over pizza....which by the way none of the girls ate.  And then right before bed (at 8:00 mind midnight for them), after 36 hours of being barf free, Morgan decided to launch yet again.  Poor thing.  I felt particularity bad because she even said her stomach hurt and that she felt like she may throw up.  Ryan and I kept saying "No!  You are not going to throw up, it's been way too long since the last time!"  And then "BLEH!"...she threw up.  Oops...sorry Morgan.

Then Ryan and I spent the evening shaking our fists at neighbors (behind closed doors of course) for all the racket they were making lighting fireworks.  It kept waking our kids...and have I mentioned how freaked out Piper is of them?  This is our very first time since living here that we've spent New Years at home.  I just assumed since it's below 20 degrees outside with about a foot of snow, no one lit fireworks for this holiday...I was wrong.  Have I mentioned how much a hate home fireworks.  I know...I'm such a stick in the mud.  But to might as well just light your money on fire and watch it burn.  Too harsh?

Anyway...Ryan and I were in bed by 10:15.  Like I said...real party animals.

I guess I'm a little bummed out that the winter break didn't go as planned.  No camping and no beach...just a lot of barf and a bit of skiing thrown in.  Oh, and lets not forget the stitches!

So, with that, I'm ready to start fresh!  New beginnings!

2013 here we come!!
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