Monday, August 31, 2009
Today was Zachary's official 1st day of school. He was so happy to get to go with Alex. Yes, he did wear the cowboy boots. He loves them and it's not worth it to try to argue with him. Everybody always comments on them when he wears them out - very funny.
After a long long absence from menu planning I am back! When we came back from our vacation in June I started a diet (I HATE that word) and so menu planning became difficult. My poor family has suffered since with numerous meals of pb&j, frozen chicken nuggets, or scrambled eggs & pop tarts. I've sprinkled in a few "real" meals here and there and have found a few low-calorie meals online as well as added up the calories in a few old favorites that I think will work for me. So, for any of you calorie counters (like me) I'm including the calories for the meals if I know it. Just remember that the calories will vary a bit depending on the brands of ingredients that you use. Most of this week's recipes came from a site that I cannot link to but I will be happy to pass along recipes to anyone who wants them.
Monday: Crispy Ranch Chicken (246 calories per serving) and green beans
Tuesday: Lemon Chicken with Pasta & Artichokes (426 calories)
Wednesday: Orange-Sesame Pork Chops (370 calories - doesn't include the noodles which I'm not making) and rice
Thursday: Chicken Croquettes (131 calories) with Easy Zucchini Parmesan (52 calories)
Friday: Beef & Broccoli (453 calories) with rice
For more great recipes go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.
Friday, August 28, 2009
The view from our deck. The small part on the back is the tanning ledge that will run down into the main pool.This is the deep end of the pool - all the way to 6 feet. You can see the seats built in along the end. There is also a little ledge around most of the pool that you can stand on.The shallow end of the pool starts at 3 feet. That's still a little deep for our guys but I'm sure they'll be swimming in no time! There's steps built in at this end along with another seat. You can see the saltwater pump in the background.
*I couldn't resist posting a picture of Alex on his first day of school on Wednesday. He picked out his own clothes (he likes to do that almost every day).
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Today the pool company dug the hole for our new pool. I didn't get to ask them if it's done but it looks pretty big. (Again, no pictures because no camera.) They also poured the concrete slab where the pump will go. Tomorrow the pool should arrive and I guess be put in. I know they will still have hooking up to do and there will be 3 feet of concrete poured around the whole pool. All I know is that the pool will be up and running very soon....even before it's been officially approved by our home owners association. SShhhh, don't tell.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Our trip started with a limo ride from the airport to our hotel. It was way faster than the shuttles would be since it took us directly there. We didn't really think about a taxi which was cheaper - we took at taxi on the way back though. We got to the hotel so early that only one of our three rooms was ready to check in. So we stored all of our luggage in that one room and headed out. The guys had already discovered a poker tournament at the hotel next door (Chris had printed out a schedule of all the poker tournaments before the trip) so they went there. It was lunch time, at least in Texas time, so us girls headed to Margaritaville for burgers and what else, cold margaritas!Then we were off to the penny slots! We liked the penny slots because our money could go farther and the risk was small. We sometimes hit "big" pots and made $5 - $10 at a time. Boy did it sound like we were rich as the music played for those 500 pennies! I can't leave out the food! Our first night there we had reservations at Mesa Grill run by Bobby Flay (from the Food Network). One of my sisters had eaten at his restaurant in New York and was dying to go back. The food was really good but spicy. It also didn't come with sides so it didn't seem like alot of food for the money we spent. I was still glad to have gone. We took pictures of all of our food but I was spare you that.Since so much of the trip revolved around food (everywhere we went we saw another place we wanted to try) we had to stop at Serendipity 3 for an afternoon snack. We ordered their famous frozen hot chocolate and a sundae with a big piece of chocolate cake in it. The two desserts were so huge that the three of us couldn't even finish them. That frozen hot chocolate was wonderful and worth every calorie!!We saw two shows while we were there. The first was called Tony & Tina's Wedding. It was hilarious! This show was picked by us girls and all of the guys didn't go. It was as though we were invited to this Italian wedding as guests. It included a buffet dinner, wedding cake, and champagne. There was even a dance floor and people would get pulled out to dance with the actors during the wedding reception. Great! On our last night we all went to see Le Reve. It was like a Cirque du Soleil show but in water. There was a big pool in the middle of the room (the seats were around it in a circle) that had platforms that would go up or down when they needed them. Very cool! When that show was over it was decided that we would walk from the Wynn hotel where the show was, down to the Stratosphere. The walk was long and not much to see on the way except for construction and the not go great part of the strip. Unfortunately the rides on the top of the Stratosphere were closed because of high winds but we did get to go up and check out the view - not too shabby.
Of course we also hit all the free shows too. The Bellagio has a water show with their fountains out front. We made sure to stop by there at night when it would be the prettiest. We also saw a volcano errupt at the Mirage and the pirate ship show (they call it the siren show now) at Treasure Island. It sure made to lots of extra walking but it was so worth it.
This is the first big trip we've ever taken with other people and would love to do it again. We're old pros at Vegas (this was our 4th trip) but I know that we'll go back again.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Here are Chris and Zachary standing beside our pool...and yes, this is exactly ours. All the pools were on the lot like a car dealership. In our style we could choose between this light blue one or a tan colored one. The pool is pretty big, 14 x 32 feet, and starts at 3' 6" deep and goes to 6 feet deep. As part of the special it comes with a "tanning ledge" which is basically a little kiddie pool that holds anywhere from 3 - 6 inches of water for you to lay in and tan or in our case for little kids to splash around in if they don't want in the "deep" water. Someone is coming out tomorrow to check out our yard and help us decide where to put it and how much digging it will require (we've got tons of rock, remember). Once we get back from vacation next weekend they should be able to get the digging done in two days. So, we could have the pool up and running at the end of this month or early September. I know we did this backwards by getting the pool at the end of the summer but that's probably why we got the deal we did. Also, being in Texas means we can have a little more pool time than other places. We can't wait to get it here!!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Our next project was brownies. I don't know why I decided to make them since I don't plan to eat them but I did. I made them in tiny muffin pans and then covered them with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. The boys thought they were so cool!
After naptime I surprised the boys by taking them to the library. We haven't been in a very long time and I thought they'd really enjoy it. Zachary stayed glued to the train table most of the time. Alex kept going back and forth between the computers (set up with kid games) and me, sometimes bringing a book or two and sometimes just sitting. He said he didn't really like the library but then said that he did like the computers. I think I need to look into a train table for Zachary or at least the pieces and we can play it on the floor. He really loves it and gets so upset when we have to leave. Too bad I didn't think of it before his birthday!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thank you firemen!!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The last few times we've gotten together Alex (3) and Hannah (4) seem to be great buddies and play together well. This time they got into trouble together well too. Chris found them in Alex's bathroom with half a tube of toothpaste squirted into the sink and both the kids hiding in the closet. We still don't know who did it - Alex says it was him and Hannah says it was her. See true friendship - somebody is trying to take the blame for the other!
Yesterday Chris had to go back to work but the rest of us went to Natural Bridge Caverns. We thought this would be a nice cool thing to do since we were so hot the day before. Wrong! The cavern is around 70 degrees but with the humidity were told it would feel 80 - 85. That plus hiking up and down steep hills, often carrying a small child.......lets just say that we were hot and sweaty yesterday too. Everybody had to go home after that but we can't wait to visit again!
This is the "bridge" that the caverns are named for.The kids couldn't wait to climb on the big dinosaurs outside.