April 17, 2012

Chunky Chicken Rosemary Stew

I feel a bit like I've dropped off the face of the Earth the last couple weeks.  Trying to get through the semester and taking care of baby-preparation has about consumed my life.  I've also thoroughly enjoyed getting into the outdoors and beautiful weather with my family.  
Tonight though, I made a delicious stew for dinner, I mean it was G-O-O-D!

Chunky Chicken and Rosemary Stew

1 lb small gold potatoes
1 lg onion
2 carrots, peeled
4 oz. mushrooms
1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts
1 tsp. rosemary
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Dice potatoes, onion, and carrots, mushrooms, and chicken into 1" chunks.  Combine in mixing bowl with rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Whisk broth, paste, and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved.  Add to chicken mixture and mix well.  Pour into oven safe casserole dish.  Cover, and bake at 375° for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

*The only regret I had was forgetting to the bread to go with it.  It would pair very well with some fresh french bread, or even a slice of homemade white bread.*

*I must give credit where credit is due: The original recipe I followed was from Pampered Chef- Hearty Chicken and Rosemary Stew. I changed a few little things here and there, omitted the alcohol and changed measurements a bit.*

April 12, 2012

A Quick Shout Out

Guess what today is.....
It's Holli's Birthday.....she is old now!

Also, I didn't send her a birthday present due to the fact that my funds are currently limited. However I do know that Pace's Dairy Ann food is her favorite, so here is a picture of her eating it! Hope thats a good present! :) heehee

And sadly I don't have any embarassing pictures of Holli on this computer, so I guess she gets to have cute ones instead :) (I guess I am nice like that ;) haha!

Anyways, I just wanted to say "Happy Birthday!" or "Happy To-pay" as my little brother said it growing up! Holli is such a great Mom to her little ladies and is one of the best friends I could ask for! Thanks for being such a great friend and for all you have done for me! You're the best!

So be sure to leave her a comment and wish her a Happy Birthday today!

(Kristie and Holli)

April 9, 2012

John Deere Baby Quilt Progress

I've made quite a bit of progress on my baby's quilt.  I have all of the star blocks pieced.  As you'll notice below the edges of the quilt are not straight lines... yet.  I'm currently working on piecing the small corners to fit in each spot to make the edges even.  After I finish that I'll piece everything below and then it's on to the borders, quilting, and binding. :)

I'm trying to hurry, if you can't tell.  I'm almost 30 weeks, running out of time.

April 4, 2012

Child Reward System 2

Some of you may remember my first attempt at a child reward system, I made "stone jars;" each child got a stone every time she did something good, when their jars were full they got a "Daddy Ice Cream Date."  It worked great for several months and both Daddy and the Girls just loved it, but it eventually got old and stones weren't exciting anymore.

A couple weeks ago I implemented a new plan.  Money!  Who isn't motivated by money?  It took my two-year old a week or so to catch on, but she's finally figured out that money buys things!  And That's Exciting!

Here's what I did.

First I found a template for some play money online, I printed off a few sheets and wrote in the amounts each color of money was worth....I made copies of the smaller bills so I had more for little good things.

Then I made each child a simple paper wallet and let them cover them in stickers.  I hang the wallets on the fridge where it's safe from thieving.

Then I made a trip to the dollar store and found bunches of rewards. I have everything from a gift certificate for an ice cream date (the most expensive) to crafts, sunglasses, ice cups, squirt guns, glow sticks and candy. Lots of fun things, those little eyes just light up when I pull down the bucket.  

They are given money every time they do something nice or to help me.  How much they get depends on how well they did the job, how many times I had to ask, and the amount of whining and crying I had to endure.  
For example: $50 is rewarded if they clean the playroom, by themselves, without whining, and without me having to pester them. (it's only happened once with each child so far)

I'm also able to use it as a form of consequence. I make them pay each other anytime they are mean or abusive to their siblings.  
And... they can also pay me to get out of chores.  So last night when my daughter didn't want to clean up her toys, she paid me money to do it for her.

Each item in the basket costs a different amount of money, and it's all labeled so Daddy can participate too.  They work hard and save their money all week an each Friday I pull the bucket down and they are allowed to pick their rewards.

So far it's working quite well.  My two-year old likes the expensive items, but she also likes to help a lot more than my 4-year old who seems to be content with a dum-dum and a small toy.

April 1, 2012

New Dress

After seeing the darling dress Holli made for her daughter, I decided to buy the pattern and make one for my daughter. Here is the little cutie in her new Spring Dress.