Friday, February 1, 2013

What's new?

Well my New Year's resolution to blog more frequently hasn't quite gone as planned, but it is only January, right? Nooo... that's right first day of February, the time is sure flying by. It's a half day for Hayley and she just got home at 1:00 and Kathleen and I spent the morning at the dr's. She's been running a fever and coughing. Luckily the strep test came back negative so they think she is fighting a virus. Hard to see her so sick. I have her all tucked in upstairs in the guest room with lots of water and some tang and cartoons, crayons, papers etc. so I thought I'd take the time to catch up.

This past weekend we went shopping for a new van. My Honda Odyssey has been a wonderful van but it is up there in miles and has started having things go up on it. As much as we travel we thought it best to trade it in before the expenses get worse.

I really loved this van and I'm going to miss it :-( It brought Kathleen home safely from the hospital when she was born and has been reliable to us for many trips.

Had to get a last picture of the girls riding in it. Jerry too of course! ;-) 125,000 amazing miles!

The other sad part is my van has been paid for for 8 years so now we have a new payment, about squeezing a budget to death! We shopped around and found a great deal at Toyota for a brand new Sienna with 0 % interest for the life of the loan. Couldn't beat it! It's fully loaded leather seats, DVD player, automatic everything, blue tooth in the car that syncs with my phone and more. The instruction manuel is so thick! LOL It may take me awhile to figure everything out.

It has been crazy cold here with ice and wind and snow! We have a heater in our fish pond and still found this when we went out to the bus stop one morning.

The cold weather certainly calls for hot yummy meals! I've been making a few different recipes, this is eggplant-tomato sauce over angel hair pasta.


1 medium eggplant raw, baby variety sliced into 1/3 to 1/2" thick rounds.
1 medium sweet red pepper cut into 8 strips
Olive oil cooking spray
Salt (to taste)
1 garlic clove minced
2 large tomatoes coarsely chopped
1/4  tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp fresh basil minced
2 Tbsp chives minced
1/2 cup chicken broth fat-free
4 oz feta cheese
8 oz angel hair pasta ( I used wheat) cooked and drained

Preheat grill ( I used my George Foreman) sprayed with cooking spray
Place eggplant and pepper strips on grill after seasoning with salt cook until lightly brown and tender about 2-3 mins. per side. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature Cut into bite sized pieces.

Coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, heat over low-medium heat. Add garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook till slightly pulpy about another min. Stir in vegetables, little salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, basil, chives and broth; increase heat to medium-high. Cook until broth is slightly reduced and mixture has sauce consistency about 2-3 mins. Add pasta and toss to coat. Stir in cheese right before serving.


Hayley has been working hard on some school projects.

Kathleen has been working on Valentines and super excited about her school party!

I've been busy volunteering at school and the other day I was doing cut outs at school with the die-cuts! So 1800s I think, lol. So I offered to take work home and cut out materials for the children's projects using my cricut. I love that machine. It was time consuming but Kathleen's teacher was very happy! :-)

We've been getting the girls in the kitchen cooking some more! Kathleen received a new pan and spatula for Christmas from her great Aunt Nancy. So she was quite proud of herself making eggs in it the other morning!

Overlook the messy kitchen...there was serious learning going on here! LOL ;-)

Daddy's hands to help guide her...

She was so proud of herself :-) We were too of course!

Ta da! Perfect egg! Great job Kathleen!!!

Jerry is super excited about the Ravens playing in the Superbowl this weekend. His work was having a little party at lunch time today so he made a cake to take in and I showed him how to mix the colors to dye the icing.

Turned out really well! He made two cakes and layered them. Then got creative and made a football out of chocolate chips :-)

He then made angel food cake for all of us so we could try a piece and dyed that purple as well.

Hmmmm wonder who got the first piece? LOL.....

It was so good and the best thing about angel food cake is no fat in it! Seriously! ;-)

Who are you rooting for in the Superbowl this weekend? We even have our snowman rooting for the Ravens also!!

Have a wonderful weekend! Now I'm off to catch up on reading all of your great blogs I've been behind on!



Katharine said...

Go Ravens!!! Enjoy the game!

Heather said...

Sending get well soon wishes your way I hate when the kids are sick!! WOW love the new van enjoy may you have many and many safe and fun travels in it!! oh purple angel food cake don't show Anna her favorite color and cake lol!! Love Heather

Sonya Ann said...

It seems as if blogging is falling off the radar a bit for all of us. We are moms so we get a pass.
I would be so sad to see my mini-van go but there does come a time when we all have to say goodbye to a loved "one." You got your moneys worth out of her.
Have a great weekend!

Nonnie said...

There's always something sad about giving up a car or house that has so many memories. But, the Toyota will be fabulous! You I'll love it. Sorry your daughter is sick. Looks like you are having fun otherwise and what a cool idea for a Christmas gift. All the food looks good, too. My blogging efforts are still not on any kind of routine. Too many things going on.

Sweet Tea said...

Everyone is "cookin' at your house!
Congrats on the new van - long may she drive!

Chelle said...

Thank you for your comment. Right now I still plan to blog. Your van looks nice. We haven't had a car payment for 13 years. I really hope our van stays good. Hope you team wins.

Camille said...

Congratulations on the new van Jill! It looks so shiny and bright! What a blessing to have no more expenses that come with an older vehicle. I hear you on that one! Before you know it, you are throwing good money away after bad. It is sad to move on, but, you will make lots of new memories in your new van! ENJOY!!


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Sorry to hear Kathleen has been sick. Hailey was sick last week but all better now.

That recipe looks wonderful!

Congrats on the new van. I HATE payments, too. Hope we BOTH get our loans payed off quickly.

Hope your team wins. Have a great superbowl day!

Hena Tayeb said...

yay on the new van
Kathleen and the little egg is so cute

McVal said...

What an adorable little frying pan! We got our daughter her own frying pan and spatula for her birthday one year. A bit bigger... But just as cute!
Great wrap up for January!

Beloved's Bride said...

Congrats on the new van. Exciting.

Looks like yáll are back in the swing of things from all the holidays and gearing up for Valentine now! Nice hearts.

Your sweet cooks smile is priceless.

Nicolle said...

I love your new van. Very pretty! I know what you mean, we had both cars paid off for about 5 years....until I got my new car this year. As much as I wanted a new one, I didn't want the payments. Sounds like you guys are a lot like us though, and you get a lot of life out of a car. Congrats on the van! Cute picture of the girls in the old van. :)

Love seeing your pictures. That Ravens cake is so great! I love it. Always love your posts.
Have a good day!

Tara said...

Way to go Kathleen! Happy Vday to an awesome family! ~tara

Tara said...

Hi Jill, I'm just giving this a test. For some reason I can't get the comment I write to "stick" on your blog... I've never had that problem before. Hope I can figure it out.. tara