Monday, January 28, 2013

What's On The Menu?

Here is a to a new week.  Last week Ava ended up catching another flu bug early in the week and I ended the week with it.  This week fingers crossed we are both starting out healthier and that makes me a lot happier, especially if things stay that way.  Tonight I have to go pick up Ava's Girl Scout cookies.  Her troop this year has them on hand to sell.  Should make it a lot easier to sell I think.  Not that Girl Scout cookies are hard to sell anyway.  lol  Not a whole lot on the agenda this week aside from the every day kind of stuff.  Well we didn't get much in the way of the ice storm we were supposed to get.  We are set to get some thunderstorms though today and tomorrow.  The high today is 59 degrees and tomorrow 67 degrees.  Then Wednesday a chance of snow and  the high is supposed to be 21 is all on Friday.  lol  Crazy Illinois weather.  Here is my menu for the week.  Going to keep it fairly simple.  :)
  • Monday - Chicken noodles, mashed potatoes, and vegetable
  • Tuesday - Spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad
  • Wednesday - Chicken patties, macaroni and cheese, and vegetable
  • Thursday -Breakfast for dinner - French toast, bacon, and eggs
  • Friday - Pizza bread and salad
  • Saturday - Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas and Spanish Rice
Have a great week ahead!  :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hoar Frost

I was on a blog earlier today and I saw some photos of ice.  I started thinking about some photos I'd taken last February and I thought I had posted them on a blog but after looking over my previous blog posts I guess I didn't.  So I went to find the pictures on my laptop to post today. 

Until about 2 years ago I'd never even heard the term hoar frost.  I would have just called it frost.  lol  These photos were taken with my macro attachment on my DSLR.  Little spikes of frost.  It is truly fun to capture.  Honest. :)

The head of a nail in a fence post covered in hoar frost.  

I just loved this No Trespassing sign.  The wire is covered in the frost and I love the bold yellow color of the sign.  

 Brush and fence post covered with the hoar frost.

 Isn't it just pretty to look at. I think so.

The weather here in Central Illinois has been kind of cold, but nothing exciting to really photograph this winter.  We are due for some ice here on Sunday so maybe we will get something fun to photograph.  Nothing much on the snow front, so that means no snowflake photos yet this year.  I am just wanting one cool snowfall so I can get out and see what neat snowflakes Mother Nature has to offer up.  Crazy Illinois weather.  We are supposed to have some ice on Sunday and on Tuesday they are calling for Thunderstorms. lol

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Watercolor what?!?!

I don't paint. Not in an artistic kind of way.  Sure as a child I did the typical paint by number.  As a child and as an adult I've even finger painted.  I've even painted on ceramic pieces.  Yes, I've even painted the walls of a room, but to watercolor.  Nope.  Never that I can recall. Ava received a watercolor set for Christmas and she was ready to put it to use.  Ava did a watercolor in an art class this past fall and really enjoyed it.  So, to tap into her creative side, this seemed like the perfect gift for her.  I admit, I was pretty intimidated by the whole idea of watercolor myself.  One, because I cannot draw much more than a stick figure at best. It's so sad really. lol Plus, my creativity is limited to what would I even paint (freehand at that) anyway. Well, Ava declared Sundays our official watercolor/painting/art night.  Oh my what have I agreed too. 
At first I just thought I'd observe her painting and creating her idea of art.  After several pleas for me to try it, I gave in.  
The watercolor Ava is creating above is a water fountain in Central Park.  She loves this fountain.  


Next she decided to paint a tree and a huge red flower.  I smile when I see this because I love how the flower is almost as tall as the tree.  Flowers take on a life of their own in her world.  :)

I decided to play is safe and do a large flower.  I have no idea what kind of flower this would even be, but Ava seems to like it. I have to admit it was quite fun even if the flower isn't artwork or all that impressive.  Just to spend time and make memories with my favorite little girl is all that matters at the end of the day.  I have no idea what I will make next time.  I am certainly no Bob Ross painting happy little trees.  :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII

Well in my ideal world this years Super Bowl would have been my beloved Chicago Bears.  They were close to a playoff game, but just not close enough.  Maybe next year.  Sad to see Lovie go, but hoping the new coach they hired might find a way to get us to where this team belongs this coming fall.  Fingers crossed.  :)

I was hoping to see a Falcons vs. Ravens Super Bowl.  The first half of the Falcons vs. 49ers game looked like it would be the Falcons in the Super Bowl for sure, but then the second half the Falcons just collapsed.  So the 49ers are going to the Super Bowl.  I was a little unsure the Ravens would defeat the Patriots.  I was hoping for a miracle and boy did the Ravens step it up and seal the deal for their return to the Super Bowl this year.  Thank goodness too, because if this was a 49ers vs. Patriots Super Bowl I could have cared less who wins or not.  Thankfully the Ravens gave me a team to actually cheer on in the Super Bowl.


I see a lot of animosity towards the Ravens, especially towards Ray Lewis.  Whatever the circumstances of the incident, I am not God.  I am not his judge.  It also may have been a wake up call for him to turn his life around and to take this second chance and to do right and live in a positive way.  For that I commend him.  He didn't throw away that second chance. I hope the Ravens pull out a win in the Super Bowl and that Ray Lewis can retire with another ring and the Ravens can end their season on top of the NFL.  Let's Go Ravens!

What's On The Menu?

Another new week. Ava had a three day weekend though so she was out of school today.  I love three day weekends.  They seem to go by so fast and having that extra day with her just makes life that much sweeter.  We don't have a whole lot going on this week.  Ava has girl scouts on Thursday, but other than that, not a lot on the schedule which is just fine by me.  It is cold out this week, so to not have a lot of running around to do after school is just fine by me.  This week I am keeping my menu pretty simple.  Going to be scouring Pinterest here soon though for some more dinner ideas.  I am getting kind of burnt out on making the same meals and side dishes, even though I think Ava is just fine with the meals. Anyway here is a peek at our menu this week:
  • Monday - Chili
  • Tuesday - Italian Chicken, garlic and rosemary oven roasted potatoes, and vegetable
  • Wednesday - Orange chicken, rice, and vegetables
  • Thursday - Tacos 
  • Friday - Pizza & Salad
  • Saturday - Pot Roast, Carrots, and Potatoes, and dinner rolls
I hope you have a great week ahead.  :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just Dance

After school on Tuesday Ava participated in a dance camp that learned a dance routine after school to perform at the High School Varsity Basketball game at half-time.  There were 97 girls who participated in this dance camp.  Ava talked about doing the dance camp all week long.  She was so excited to do this. 
Here is the video of Ava performing at half-time.  They only had a couple hours to learn this routine.  They broke the girls up into groups by grade level.  Ava's group had the most kids to teach this routine too.  It was so much fun watching the kids perform.  The first thing Ava asked after she saw me was "can I do this again next year."  I'd say it was a success for her.  The only thing I was disappointed in, is that her hair didn't hold up and I didn't see her before the performance to be able to fix it. Enjoy the video clip if you are so inclined to watch.  :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

What's On The Menu?

Life is definitely back to normal around here.  Ava and I had an enjoyable weekend.  Three out of the four teams I wanted to win in the playoffs one.  So that made me happy.  Ava and I played the game Operation this weekend and maybe just maybe I have a little surgeon on my hands.  She beat me every time.  lol  This week Ava has Dance camp tomorrow after school and I will be going to the basketball game to watch her perform at half-time.  She is so excited about that.  Heck, I am excited about that.  I have some projects I am working on this week and working on some new ideas for my photography business as well.  Saturday my niece has another basketball game she is cheering, so I think we will attend that again.  Ava has a three day weekend coming up with next Monday being Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  My Grandpa actually shared the same birthday as him (January 15th) except my Grandpa was just 1 year younger.  Now onto this weeks menu.  

  • Monday - Chicken Quesadillas, salsa & chips
  • Tuesday - Nothing planned - Ava is eating at school with her Dance Camp
  • Wednesday - Blue Cheese and Bacon Burgers, french fries, and vegetable
  • Thursday - Club sandwiches & soup
  • Friday - Pizza and salad
  • Saturday - Goulash, garlic bread, and salad
And that is what is on our menu this week.  Hope you have a wonderful week ahead.  :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Good Saturday...

Today Ava and I went to watch my niece Alyssa cheer for a basketball game today.  It was a win-win because Ava has a few friends who are on the same cheerleading squad as my niece.  This Cheerleading/basketball program is area wide and not based on schools.  So, Ava was excited to see some of her best friends too.  While there I even saw a good friend that I hadn't seen in quite some time and it was nice catching up a little bit on our lives.
Ava enjoyed watching her cousin and friends cheer and I could tell she was wanting to be up there doing her thing.  She usually cheers for JFL, but I might sign her up next year for Upwards as well to cheer during the basketball season. 

Austin was more interested in watching the basketball game, of course.  
The cheerleaders taking a break during half-time. The girl 3rd from the left is my niece Alyssa.  The 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th girl in the row are friends of Ava's and they are all in the same Girl Scouts troop as well.  So that was fun getting to watch them.  

Then, tonight I watched some football playoff games and the teams I wanted to win today did.  I like Peyton Manning and if the Broncos would have won I wouldn't have really minded but I wanted to see the Ravens win just a little bit more.  So, I was stoked when they won.  Being a Chicago Bears fan, I wanted the Packers to lose their game more than any other team in the playoffs.  LOL  I am not a San Francisco fan typically, but I was tonight.  So, my day was definitely made when the Niners beat the Packers.  :) 

Now for tomorrows games.  Hoping the Texans can find a way to pull out a win against New England and the Falcons can beat the Seahawks.  Might be wishful thinking but I won't complain too much since the Packers did lose!  :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Girl Scout Cookie Rally...

The time is almost here for the selling of Girl Scout cookies.  Ava's troop along with several others met up for their annual cookie rally over the weekend.  And what fun was had by all these little girls.  Ava was super excited to see her friends since this cookie rally happened over Christmas vacation time.  The cookie rally is held at our local YMCA.  They had a DJ on hand, a bounce house, swimming, various other activities, dressing up like cookies, pizza party, we got to even eat some cookies, and they have a new flavor coming out this year too. 

Ava and Lilly were all hugs and smiles when they saw each other.  These two were inseparable all night long.

 Ava with two more of her best friends Mekayla and Natalie.

Ava's Girl Scout troop.  I think a couple were missing though.  Her troop leader had these adorable shirts made for the girls.  The front says Brownies Rock and the back of the shirt has their name on it.  A bunch of other troops asked or commented on the girls shirts.  A huge hit for sure.  :)

The girls attempting to do the YMCA.  They had no idea what the song was all about.  lol Made me feel kind of old.  lol

 Chloe, Mekayla, Natalie, Ava, & Lilly ready to have some fun.  

Dressing up as all the different cookies to get their photo taken together.  Not a great quality photo but oh well. 

Grace, Lilly, Ava, and Abby waiting for their turn to get in the princess bounce house.  Lots of activities to wear these girls out.  

A few of the girls from Ava's troop didn't stay overnight.  We were one of them.  We left at 10:15 and my niece who was also at the cookie rally came home with us for a sleepover.  We ended up staying up pretty late here rocking out on the Wii to Glee karaoke.  I surprised the girls with my 100% on a song from glee.  Oh yeah!  lol  We had lots of fun and a perfect end to our  Christmas vacation.  :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

What's On The Menu?

Life falls back into a routine this week.  School starts back for Ava and we return to the no more sleeping in and staying up late at night during the week, now that Christmas vacation is over.  Makes me definitely look forward to summer vacation.  lol  It also means a major trip to the grocery store by myself.  It's cheaper that way...a little anyway when I get to go by myself.  :)  I had a hard time deciding on our menu for the week. I don't know why, but just one of those weeks I guess.  The holidays and having the flu for a week might have made me a bit lazy on the menu planning.  lol  Anyway here is to a great week ahead.  :)
  • Cheeseburgers, loaded cheese fries, and salad
  • Baked Pork Chops, fried potatoes, and vegetable
  • Italian Beef, pasta, and salad
  • Crockpot Chicken Casserole, mashed potatoes, and vegetable
  • Pizza Bread and salad
  • Chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, and vegetable