Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Nov. 15 - 21

This week is all about using what we have! Next week, we'll be traveling for Thanksgiving with my family and we don't want leftovers hanging around in the fridge. We're also having a Thanksgiving dinner this week with Kurt's family. Here's the plan:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: November 8-14

I am so proud of myself this week. I made my menu plan on Saturday, instead of this morning. And I went to the grocery store alone last night instead of waiting until today and having to take Liam with me.  I even wrote this post last night and scheduled it for this morning! Woot!

I'm planning to make these Chicken and Veggie Nuggets for Liam's lunch this week. For dinner, he usually just eats whatever we're having, so I don't have to make him a separate meal. But, he has been very picky and uninterested in lunch these days, so I've been trying to get creative about what I serve him. I bought some Whole Grain Sandwich Thins that I'm planning to use for mini pizzas. I also bought flour tortillas because he loves quesadillas. Yesterday, he had his first almond butter and strawberry jam sandwich and was a huge fan. So I think we'll be having those more often!

If you have any ideas for toddler food, please share!

Also, if you need help getting starting on menu planning or just need some new ideas, go visit Laura!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: November 1-7

We had a great time this past week with my mom visiting. Liam really enjoyed all the extra attention from his Grandy. I think he was sad to see her go. And I know she was sad to leave him. While Mom was here, we didn't end up cooking everything from last week's menu plan, so you might see some repeats this week.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ten Can Soup

Lately, we have been workin' the crock pot dinners! On Sunday night, we had some friends over and we ate pot roast with carrots, potatoes, and onions in the crock pot. Earlier in the week, we had corned beef with cabbage in the crock pot. I just love the convenience of throwing some stuff in, turning it on, and coming back a few hours later to an amazing dinner. Doesn't that sound nice?! I think we'll be doing this pretty often now that the weather is getting chilly!

On Menu Plan Monday, I said we would be having Ten Can Soup this week. Yet another crock pot meal! It's got a catchy name, but it's just Brunswick Stew. And I do so love a good Brunswick Stew (RIP, Old South BBQ. You are missed!).

Oh, by the way, I have this thing about canned meat. I hate it. But for this recipe, I just temporarily suspend my abhorrence. And it's worth it. But, if you can't do that, you can most certainly substitute meat that you've cooked yourself. Although that would take this easy recipe into a whole new realm of difficulty. I just don't want to go there...because I'm lazy!

Ten Can Soup

2 cans stewed tomatoes*
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can English peas
1 can lima beans
1 can bbq pork
1 can bbq beef
1 can chicken
1 can Castleberry's Brunswick Stew**
1 T white vinegar
1 T lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for about 3 hours.

* I used fire-roasted diced. Kurt's favorite!
** I couldn't find this, so I left it out. I guess I'm really making 9 can soup?!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My baby is growing up!

Liam's YaYa (Samantha, Kurt's mom) reminded me that I haven't posted any pictures of Liam here in a while. What a slacker I am! I'll have to do better!

Here is a slideshow with a few pictures from his 1st birthday party at YaYa and Papa D's house:

Tomorrow, I have a few pictures and a video from our little trip to Red Caboose Park!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: October 25-31

I have been terrible about menu planning for the past few weeks. But I'm back. My mom is coming to visit us this week, so I called her last night to find out what she wanted for dinner while she's here. And she just kept saying to just eat what we normally eat and don't do anything special for her. So I just picked what sounded good to me! Here's what you're eating this week, Mom!

  • BBQ Boston Butt Tacos (we have some cooked Butt in the freezer from the last time it was on sale) with black beans and rice, sour cream, lettuce, and salsa
  • Chicken Parmesan Bake (Try this! It's so good and really easy)
  • Burgers on the George Foreman, Parmesan Potato Wedges, and Burger Buns
  • Ten Can Soup (This is basically Brunswick Stew...just a bunch of canned veggies and stuff, slapped together in the crock-pot. It's so easy and so good. Are you noticing a trend?! haha) and Cornmeal Buns
  • Chicken Salad Sandwiches or BBQ Boston Butt Sandwiches
  • Leftovers for the remaining nights
I'm rocking the links this week. You're welcome!

For lots more ideas and menu plans, go here!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: September 27 - October 3

Before I get to my plan for this week, let me first tell you about the star(s) of the show for last week.

The Boston Butt (all 8lbs, which I got for $10!) was really good. I'll be posting a how-to for that soon. It was really easy and doesn't require a recipe, per se. Hopefully, it's on sale at your grocery store, too. It was really a lot of meat, so we ended up having 2 quart freezer bags full, even after feeding 4 adults! I forsee some creative use of that in the future (suggestions?).

And last night, we had my mother-in-law's famous potato soup with Red Lobster wannabe biscuits. It was fantastic. Really, truly. I don't think that Samantha would mind me posting the recipe for the soup, so again,  I'll try to get that up, along with the wannabe biscuits.

Meal Plan for Sept. 27 - Oct. 3:
  • Sloppy Joes on homemade buns, with oven fries
  • Chili and Mama's cornbread
  • Taco salad
  • Fried rice with chicken and veggies
  • Stuffed Shells
  • Honey Dijon Chicken with brussel sprouts
  • Homemade Pizza
If you want to see more menu plans, then go visit I'm an Organizing Junkie. Every week, Laura hosts Menu Plan Monday. She posts her own menu plan for the week, and lots of other bloggers then post links to their own weekly menu plans. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: September 19-25

Over the past year, there have been many changes in our lives....namely, the birth of our sweet boy. But we've also had our share of job changes and financial uncertainty this year, too. All of these things have forced us to reevaluate how we spend our money. We've both done some serious brainstorming and soul-searching about how to cut back, but not so much that we feel deprived. It's been a difficult process. However, I am happy to report that some of these changes have made our lives easier. One change in particular has eliminated the cause of many past arguments between Kurt and me. And that is so much more important than saving money, don't you think?

So I finally decided to plan our meals. 

Before I started planning our meals, we were always trying to decide what to have for dinner. And that's part of meal planning, too. But the problem came when we waited until we were hungry to decide. If you know Kurt at all, you know that getting him to behave civilly when he's hungry is pretty impossible. (Sorry to call you out like that, babe.) So eventually, we would somehow make a decision. Then we would have to go to the grocery store, of 5:30 when every other cranky, hungry person in Bellevue is at the store, too. No bueno. 

But meal planning has been oh so bueno for us. We don't argue about what's for dinner. We save money by buying only what we need. We also save money because I check to see what's on sale as I make the plan for the week. What a difference.

Oh, and one tip that has helped me tremendously. Before you start your plan for the week, make yourself a master list of your family's favorite dinners...the ones that someone is always requesting or that you make most often. My list has about 40 different dinners. When I sit down to plan and make my grocery list, I look through the master list and pick what sounds good to me! 

So, without further ado, I present our plan for dinner this week! 

(You might notice that I don't plan which day we'll have what. I just plan 7 dinners. This way, Kurt still has some say in the process.)
  • Braised Boston butt, steamed broccoli, salad
  • Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread
  • London broil, Texas Caviar
  • Potato soup, wannabe Red Lobster biscuits
  • Sloppy joes, homemade buns, oven fries
  • Pork tacos, rice and beans
  • Ritz chicken, brussel sprouts, macaroni and cheese, and sour cream biscuits
As we make these things, I will post the recipes and maybe some pictures, too. I will also try and work on posting my own master list, for your viewing pleasure!

If you want to see more menu plans, then go visit I'm an Organizing Junkie. Every week, Laura hosts Menu Plan Monday. She posts her own menu plan for the week, and lots of other bloggers then post links to their own weekly menu plans. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Favorite Bible Verse

Today at Kelly's Korner, she is hosting Show Us Your Life. The topic is Favorite Bible Verse.

This particular topic is fresh on my mind right now. We just talked about this at the Peterson Family Reunion, the weekend before last. On Sunday, in lieu of going to church, we all had our own service together. We sang some, and then we each shared a particular verse and talked about why it was important to us. I've had many favorite verses, so I just shared two verses that had been really meaningful to me and my family lately.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV

Over the past year, our lives haven't really gone according to OUR plans. Fortunately for us, we aren't in charge. God has HIS own plans. And he's in charge. While it is so disappointing when things don't work out how we want them to, I try to remember that God has something better. Unlike us, He knows the future. He sees things that we can't, so obviously He knows best!

There have been some specific examples in our lives lately that have made it so clear to me that I'm not qualified to run my life. If I were in charge, I would just mess it all up. So here are a couple of examples:

  • The summer before last, we consulted a realtor about selling our condo, in hopes of moving into a house. Unfortunately, that was right at the beginning of the economic downturn and the real estate market in Nashville was NOT good. We decided to wait, rather than lose money. We were really disappointed. A year and a half later, Kurt lost his job and was out of work for about 3 months. We were disappointed again. But we were fine. We were able to pay our bills. If we had moved into a house, and in turn had a much bigger mortgage payment, I'm not sure we would have been fine. We wanted so badly to move into a house. But if we could have glimpsed the future, we would have seen, just as God did, that it wasn't the right time for us.
  • Last summer, we thought about selling our condo again. We again consulted a realtor. The market really wasn't much better, but we had already consigned ourselves to the fact that we would be losing money. Also, I was pregnant and we were really hoping to have more room for our new baby. So we looked at a few houses. After seeing what was within our price range, we weren't thrilled. And after some research, we found out that there were something like 5 other condos for sale in our complex. All of them had been on the market too long. The odds of us being able to sell, for the amount of money we thought was necessary, were really not in our favor. So we again shelved our plan. A year later, in May of this year, a devastating flood hit Nashville. Thankfully, God protected us and our home. We live on a hill, and on the second floor of our building, so we were fine. So many people could not say the same. In fact, houses in neighborhoods very close to us were flooded up to the roof....neighborhoods where we were looking a year earlier. One of my favorite neighborhoods was almost completely under water. As I watched the TV footage from those places, it was overwhelming clear to me why we were still in the condo. A year in advance, God was guiding us for our own protection. 
Do you have a favorite Bible verse right now? 

Leave me a comment and share it! Or, if you are participating in Show Us Your Life this week, leave me a link!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nashville Flood

I just wanted to drop in and let everyone know that my little family is safe and accounted for. Our home was not affected by the flood waters and we are so thankful! We've had power the whole time, along with cable and internet most of the time. We still have running water. There are so many in our city that do not have any of these luxuries and have lost everything.

Please pray for our city.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Show Us Your Life-How You Met Your Husband (updated!)

UPDATE: I added pictures!
I've been AWOL for almost 2 months. Did anyone notice? If you did, I'm sorry. I have many excuses I could offer. But let's just pretend I've been here the whole time, and then I won't have to bother with those!

I saw Kelly's post on Friday about how she met her husband. Even though it is terribly belated, I decided to write my own post. I thought it would be appropriate, since Kurt and I celebrated our third anniversary this month! Plus, I think we have a neat story.

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Most people probably don't meet the love their life on the first day of ninth grade. I did.

On my first day of high school (in August 1998) a mutual friend, Robyn, introduced us. She had gone to middle school with Kurt. At the time, I don't think she had any idea just how important that introduction would be! (Thanks, Robyn!) We were in Personal Fitness in the gym, with Coach Worsham. I even remember what Kurt was wearing--jeans, a white shirt, and a navy blue sweater vest. That year, Kurt played football and he was so buff and cute! I don't remember what we talked about, but I know I left the gym that day with the beginnings of a crush. But I also thought that he was not really my type, even out of my league. I was sure that he was probably a total jerk. And...I had a boyfriend.

I'm not really sure how Kurt won me over, but he did. I broke up with that other guy and dated Kurt all year! We had such an eventful year together. We went to the Homecoming Dance. We couldn't drive, so his parents came to pick me up. At the restaurant, we got to sit by ourselves at our own table! We went to the Plowboy Dance. My parents drove that time, and we ate at Outback. We went to a Little River Band concert at Wild Adventures with his family. We even racked up some serious phone charges while Kurt was in Colorado for the summer. Most famously, we got caught kissing at school and I got written up. I still have the form!

Leaving for the Homecoming Dance (yes, my eyes are closed!)

At the Plowboy Dance

At my parent's house before church one Wednesday night

I guess all good things must come to an end. And so did we (in the summer/fall of 1999). Neither of us are really sure what happened. But we both agree that we never really got over each other. We both dated other people after that. I dated the same guy for almost 4 years, and Kurt dated the same girl for (I think) 5 years. When my guy and I broke up (in the spring/summer of 2005), the first thing he said was,"Don't date Kurt." That really got me thinking. I had always considered Kurt "the one that got away." So I had to know. I had to.

After some emails and Facebook messages, Kurt and I agreed to meet up when he happened to be in Valdosta next (Kurt was going to college in Nashville at the time). It just so happened that our reunion ended up being Kurt's birthday party at his parents' house. I remember driving over there that night, being so nervous. I had no idea what to expect. I didn't really know how Kurt felt about me. I didn't know if this was going to be totally awkward or totally awesome.

That night, when I got out of the car, the first thing I saw was Kurt smiling at me. I instantly felt comfortable. We had a great time that night catching up. It was like we just picked up right where we left off...six years later. I stayed at his parents' house until 3am. Then, we talked on the phone for a few more hours after I got home. Craziness.

Hanging out in the pool with my niece, Emma

We were engaged a year later (July 2006), and married a little less than a year after that.

April 14, 2007

And that's our story.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Project 365: February 16-March 1

My apologies again for not posting last week...not that I think anybody is really put-out or anything. I'm not really sure why, but this has been a tough week or so for me. Everything really is fine over here at la Casa de Peterson, but sometimes life is just hard. Ya know?

I've still been taking pictures everyday, even though I haven't had time to post them. And I'm really proud of myself for that. If you know me at all, you know that I frequently get excited about something (namely hobbies), get obsessed, and then let it fall by the wayside. I have trouble following through. I'm determined not to let that happen with Project 365. It's too important to let slip. When this year is done, I'm going to be so glad I did this. Being able to look back at these little moments in our life as a family is going to be amazing.

As we begin the third month of Project 365, I wanted to share a few benefits and perks that we've experienced so far on this journey. I'm sure that if you're doing Project 365, you can completely relate to these. By the way, I forgot to ask Kurt about this before he left for work, so this is just my list. I'm sure he has more to add. We'll see.

1. I don't know that I'm necessarily taking better pictures, but I'm becoming more aware of things like lighting, composition, and focus. I guess awareness is the first step.

2. I'm looking at every moment as a photo opportunity. I'm taking pictures of things I would NEVER have thought to document before. For example, although laundry takes up a large portion of my time, I had never thought to document the process. But won't it be neat, years from now, for Liam to see a dryer from 2010? And he'll never remember that I made his baby food, but the pictures will tell the story!

3. I'm reminded, when I take pictures and journal, of just how blessed we are. We talk a lot about how much we'd rather be living in a house, how we wish that we had more money, and how nice it would be to have some things on our wish lists. But when I look at my son, none of that really matters. He has somewhere comfortable to sleep, clean clothes and diapers to wear, food to eat, and parents who love him. And that's a lot...a lot more than some other people have. Project 365 has made me aware of what we have that isn't tangible, but is really more important than anything that is. I have more of an "attitude of gratitude."

4. We now have tons of pictures of Liam. The grandparents are happy. Everybody seems to enjoy seeing more of him these days. That's good when you live 500 miles away from most friends and family.

5. Project 365 has provided an opportunity for self-reflection. I was just talking to Leslie about this the other day. Most days, especially at work, I am just trying to make it through the day, getting done what I need to get done. I don't have time to stop and examine or reflect on what I've done or what has happened. I just have to move on to the next task or problem at hand. When I sit down at the end of the day to upload pictures and write my journals, I'm forced to stop and think. I think it's healthy to look back at a day and think, What did I accomplish today that's worth remembering? I don't do this often enough. And if we were really honest, most people would probably agree that they don't either.

If you're doing Project 365/Project Life, I'd love to know what benefits or perks you've experienced. Are you noticing anything different about you or your life since you've started Project 365?

This post is getting ridiculously long, is it not? If you're still with me, good for you! Now, let's switch gears a bit. On with the absurd amount of pictures!

February 16, Tuesday: This is officially the first picture we have of Liam smiling. He's been smiling for a long time now, but we haven't been able to catch it. He looks so much like Kurt as a baby!

February 17, Wednesday: I have no picture for this day, unfortunately. I worked all day, came straight home, bathed and fed Liam, and then packed like crazy for our trip to Valdosta for Kelly's wedding. I guess I could have taken a picture of our bags all packed, but I didn't. Boo.

February 18, Thursday: This is what happens when you try to feed sweet potatoes to a sleepy boy.

February 19, Friday: Before Kelly's rehearsal dinner, I was hanging out with Liam in Kurt's old bedroom at his parents' house. He was loving getting his picture taken. When I said, "Smile," he did it every time!

February 20, Saturday: Before Kelly's wedding, we went to my parents' house to have lunch. Emma, my neice and Leslie's daughter, was having a blast with Liam. I think he liked her, too!

February 21, Sunday: On the way back from Valdosta, we stopped at Zaxby's. Kurt let Liam taste his pickle. He LOVED it!

February 22, Monday: I love coming home to clean sheets after a trip. Unfortunately, I didn't get that taken care of before we left. So, instead, we'll have fresh-from-the-dryer sheets tonight!

February 23, Tuesday: Tonight, something amazing happened. We ate dinner at the table! David, Kyle, and Meaghan came over to eat Lemongrass takeout and I decided that it was about time to clear the table of my neglected sewing paraphernalia.

February 24, Wednesday: I have a new laundry system, in which I wash certain things on certain days, so as to avoid the dreaded pile-up on the weekends. Today is Whites Wednesday (can you see them in the dryer there?), but I'm also getting ahead on Darks Thursday (in a pile on the floor ready to go in the washer).

February 25, Thursday: I had an inservice to go to after school, so Auntie Meg picked Liam up from daycare today. Obviously, they had a blast!

February 26, Friday: I haven't shared this before, but Kurt is entertaining a new job prospect. He's enjoying dressing up, as opposed to wearing jeans and dirty boots all the time. He was about to walk out the door to get a background check for the new job.

February 27, Saturday: Liam has been giving us a really hard time at night. He rolls over and then cries because he can't get back on his tummy. I finally decided to bust out his old sleep positioner and tuck him in really tight. It worked like a charm!

February 28, Sunday: While Kurt was playing with Liam this morning after his bottle, he found his feet! Apparently, they are quite tasty.

March 1: Liam really loves his bath. He is always so smiley when I pour water on him. He loves getting all soaped up. Tonight, Kurt came home during Liam's bath. He was SO happy to see his Daddy. How do you like the strategic placement of the cup? Liam did that all on his own!

If you're doing Project 365/Project Life, don't forget to leave a comment about the benefits and perks of the Project for you.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Project Life Tuesday

I'm just popping in to say that I'm a little behind on my Project Life Tuesday post, with all our traveling this weekend. But I promise it will be up either tonight or tomorrow. Check back to see some super cute Liam pictures this week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Project 365: February 9-15

We're out on another snow day today! This is getting a little crazy, don't you think? As far as I understand it, we have only 1 more day left before we have to start adding on days to the end of school. I love snow days and all, but I do NOT want to add on days to end. That will mean we'll still be at school in June. No fun!

February 9: Kurt had a job interview today. He looked so handsome in his purple tie and trench coat. I guess Liam wasn't too crazy about his get-up.

February 10: Kurt has been reading in bed every night for the last few weeks. Right now, he's reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. We're so excited because the movie is coming out in a few weeks.

February 11: Since Liam has started eating baby food, it's amazing how many dirty dishes he accumulates. We're always washing bottles, spoons, and bowls.

February 12: Liam's drooling has gotten out of control! Every day that he goes to daycare, I send about 6 or 7 bibs. And everyday, he soaks every single one of them. Poor little guy.

February 13: We think Liam's gums must really be hurting him. He's chewing on everything and whining a lot. His favorite thing for the moment is frozen teething rings.

February 14: We had a really low-key Valentine's Day. I made some doughnut muffins for breakfast. Kurt calls them "muff-nuts." Isn't he silly?

February 15: Liam has been really under the weather lately, because of teething and ear infections. He spend most of the day cuddling with his Daddy. Here they are in Liam's room reading a couple of books together before a nap.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Weekend

I can't believe that Valentine's Day is TOMORROW! It feels like I blinked and suddenly, we're halfway through February. My, how time does fly!

I have a few Valentine's Day related things to share.

1. Anybody who was going to send out valentines has probably already done so, but I wanted to share some awesome (and FREE) printable valentine cards.

First, is the Be Mine Freebie from The Rubber Punkin. I think these are great because they could appeal to any age. They look sophisticated enough for adults, but cutesy enough for children.

Second, are some mini valentines from StyleCrush. These are just so darn cute, that I can't even stand it. And a few of them have "sew in love." Oh, be still my word-loving heart!

2. Most adults I know just aren't too into Valentine's Day. I'm not really, either. Maybe it's the commercial aspect of it all. I don't care about flowers. I don't need an excuse to eat chocolate. And I already know that Kurt loves me. And I'm pretty sure that he knows I love him.

Without getting overly mushy, buying a single flower or box of chocolate, or searching for the perfect card, Becky Higgins had a fantastic idea for showing your love for your significant other (or anyone in your family, really). She called it Post-it Love. It's really easy and almost effortless. First, grab a post-it note and a pen. Think of something that you love about your family member, something that you'd like to thank him/her for, or just something encouraging. Write it down. Stick your post-it in a place where that person will find it. Done!

Something about this idea really grabbed me. So I did it. Kurt had been working some really crazy hours, and I knew he was missing spending time with Liam. So, I decided to write a note to Kurt from Liam. Here's the note:

It was such a hit. Kurt was so excited. He thanked me over and over.

I haven't done one from me yet. But I figure tomorrow will be the perfect time!

Happy Valentine's Day, ya'll!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Project 365: February 2-8

If my baby food post wasn't enough, my Project 365 photos this week are almost all about baby food, too. There are also a few repeats from the baby food post. And are you sick of seeing my adorable baby yet?!

February 2: Today I went to Walmart and bought some supplies for baby food making. Liam will be 5 months old this week, so we're almost ready to move past rice cereal!

February 3: I finally got to use the BabyCook that we got for Christmas from Kurt's parents. It is so neat. It steams, defrosts, reheats, and purees! These are sweet potatoes steaming up.

February 4: It was about 5:00pm and Kurt was all ready to go in to work. Before he left, he spent some time on the couch with Bella snuggling and watching TV.

February 5: While Kurt cooked dinner tonight, I made some more food for Liam. In the baggies, there are apples and plums. And those cubes are green beans. They look nasty!

February 6: Liam tried oatmeal for the first time today. He liked it so much that he made a happy bowl, even though he doesn't look happy about it.

February 7: The Who is one of Kurt's all-time favorite bands (and Quadrophenia is one of his favorite records). They performed at the SuperBowl half-time show tonight. But, as Kurt says, "it just wasn't the same" because John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums) are dead.

February 8: We got more snow! All of this piled up in about 2 hours. Tomorrow will be snow day #8!

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