These bring me joy today.

Rain boots on sale...... (the one's that I look at every time I'm at the store and want, but never splurge on)

Thomas making eggs for us all in the morning.....

And here's the big one, a miracle actually.....George finally jumping in the jump house. It's taken him two years to muster up the courage to go in. Once he did it, he loved it. And now asks a thousand times a day to jump in the jump house.


Monday night football

Are you ready for some football.....Monday night football?
When the Green Bay Packers play Monday night football, it's a special night. We love to put on our Packer clothes and have the game on both TV's. Downstairs, the boys are actually playing football while watching. Upstairs is for those who really want to watch. Tonight we had my mom over to watch with us, while my dad was out of town. When George saw Nama coming in the house he said to her something like this, the Packers are playing tonight, but there are going to be bears..... Meaning that we were playing the Chicago Bears, of course.

George talks about Aaron Rodgers every single day. Like he's his best friend. Someone asked him the other day what his last name was and he said.....Green Bay. Not to mention that he wears his packer outfit every single day. I promise you that the child has other clothes, nice clothes....he just won't wear them. I know that those tight yellow packer pants won't fit him forever, and then I'll be sad when he can't wear them anymore. So I'll just enjoy those pants while I can.

There are a few things about watching football, however, that I don't like. Commercials for one. They are terrible. Beer commercials, previews for sensual, scandalous, TV shows. Male erectile dysfunction ads, and birth control ads, which just make me sick. We try and mute the TV during them, or at least have the kids close their eyes and turn their heads. There are lots of teaching moments while watching a game. When a player pushes another player down or fights, we make sure to talk about how that is NOT the way to treat people. Sometimes you do see a player who helps up the opposing team player, that's always nice. I make sure to express how cool it is to help up another player after throwing them and tackling them to the ground....it's a nice gesture.
It's a fun family tradition for us to have a team that we follow. It's almost like an identity thing....if you're a Casady (or a Huppert, or Kastl for that matter) you like the Green Bay Packers....they're our team.
George may be taking that a bit too seriously though.


"E" week snacks

E week was Excellent!!

Ears of corn (thanks Janel for inspiring me! These are super awesome!)

Eyeballs stuck on forks

Eskimo Pie ....easy enough!

Elephant Ears (although my kids thought they looked more like Earmuffs.....that works too!)


feast of St. Padre Pio

Saint Padre Pio, pray for us!


hello fondant

My new friend.

I've never used it before tonight, but boy, do I like it. These are roses I made to put on top of cupcakes.

oh the possibilities......


more letter of the week ideas

Today begins "E" week at our house.

Here are a few other things that we do to incorporate the letter of the week here:

"E" books from the library. Last year Lindsay introduced me to the wonderful service that our library provides. I get on the library web site and select the books that I want. They will pull them off the shelves, rubber band them together, stick my name on them, and have this pile of books waiting for me on a shelf to pick up. Easy. As. Pie.

During snack time we have been looking through the dictionary at all the words that begin with our letter. We shout out words we can think of. Just another way to increase their vocabulary and introduce them to big words.

It's kind of fun to see how many letter of the week words we can use in our everyday speaking.


zero expectations

Family pictures 2010

My very talented friend Janel, took our pictures this weekend. When we were out feeding their chickens this summer, I noticed how beautiful their red barn was. So I asked her if she wouldn't mind us coming out to their house to have our pictures taken in front of it. Not only was she willing to take our pictures, but she had us over to watch the Huskers and made us a fantastic dinner of two kinds of chili and cinnamon rolls.

No expectations. No expectations. That's what I kept chanting to myself as I would think about getting our pictures taken. George's swim lessons this summer taught me that. If I don't expect our kids to behave perfectly, smile, pose, look just so....well then whatever we do get is a bonus!! And it worked. Evelyn did end up smiling, George did listen, and Thomas and Annie didn't whine (too much) about having to stand there for yet another picture. Because there were a lot of pictures taken. Over 500 actually. 500 pictures of.....us. Do you remember life before digital?

I thought I would take a few practice shots at our home in the morning. Here are a few that I took.....

And then here are a few that Janel took. Thank you Janel for being so willing to take our pictures and work with my children! You are amazing!

Sometimes I look at all six of us and can't believe that we are a family......that they are mine.....that we've been married for nine years.....that I love them all so much.


"D" week snacks

"D" week was downright busy during snack time. I was only able to make one "D" snack. I had intended to make:

Devils food cupcakes with a cocktail sword sticking out from it
Daisy cupcakes

But was only able to make these Daisy mints. The kids love these mints, not to mention they're rather addicting! I keep them in the freezer and just pop one or two (or three or four) into my mouth pretty much any time I walk by the fridge.

We go to the Vacek's every Thursday after school for piano lessons. Kim made a great "D" snack for us. Dirt. A huge cup of good ol' dirt. Gummy worms and all. It was Delicious!!

oh joy!

After weeks of buying glass jars.....

At last! My fancy pantry! Full of these lovely glass jars. I told TJ last weekend that these jars make me happy. They do. They really make me happy. It's kind of like having a newborn....let me explain. When I bring a new baby home, I find myself purposely walking in front of the mirrors in our home so that I may glance at me holding the new squished up baby high on my shoulder....just to make sure they still look new. So with that said, I find myself wandering over to the kitchen, many times a day, and taking a quick glance at my jars. Yep, still there, still looking lovely.

We've been saving our wine corks ever since we've been married. That's a lot of bottles of wine, good thing its been nine years......

I've got....are you ready?

white flour, oats, white sugar, basmati rice, brown sugar, pancake mix, table salt, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon, bread crumbs, seasoning salt, cajun spice, popcorn, dried beans, coffee beans, coffee grounds, wine corks, and pasta. Twenty-two jars in all.

I love my kitchen, I really do. I love my granite counter top and I smile when I think of how many pies, bread, and meals have been made and eaten at that counter. I have a pantry, a small closet really, that is FULL of food. That got me thinking....

One of the many characteristics I love about TJ is his willingness to take on pretty much any project, any time. So when I came to him last year asking for him to build me some shelves for the kitchen, and bookshelves for the family room....this is what he came up with.

He found CD shelves at ShopKo. They were that nasty orange color. So he sanded them all down, spray painted them black, cut some of them, and stacked two shelves on top of one another to make floor to ceiling shelves.....for me. I was thoroughly impressed.

So, until now, I had put mostly decorative things on the kitchen shelf, while my pantry was stuffed to the brim and overflowing. Then, an idea! Take some things out of the pantry and put them into jars on the shelf. Brilliant.

I have always admired kitchens where the cabinets are open and you can see the dishes inside. I'm also drawn to old farm kitchens from the 1800's. I took this picture from the Living History Farms in Des Monies, Iowa last summer. We got to go through a replica of a farm kitchen from long ago. I fell in love with it.

Thus, my inspiration for my open pantry shelves in my kitchen! Oh joy!