Monday, July 30, 2012

Daddy Rocks!

I was trying to surprise Casey by making one of our favorite dinners, but instead he surprised me by showing up over an hour early!  What a sweetie getting off work over an hour early in Greenville to bring me an early birthday present - an apron!  We cooked and enjoyed dinner together instead.

Now everybody in the house has their own apron! 

Pineapple/Chicken/Veggie Stir Fry

Happy to see Daddy!

Crazy boys...Like father like son!"

We had a great weekend with Daddy!

<>< Stacy

Wiley Olympics Kick-off!

Since Michael is old enough to understand some of the Olympic sports now, I decided to kick-off the Olympics BIG this year!  We did the 2 crafts/snacks below and watched [part] of the opening ceremonies.  So far, I am having a hard time staying awake to watch my favorites!

1.  Olympic Ring Pretzels
Our official snack during opening ceremonies. :)

I admit, I started with frozen pretzels, let them thaw a little, then cut piece off until I was able to form the rings.  We told Michael to look for the rings throughout the games!

2.  "O" is for Olympics
A snacktime project for studying the letter "O".

Christopher loved this project for the simple reason it involved a snack (Froot Loops).  Once we finally convinced him not to eat them after they touched the glue, he finished quite quickly!  We skipped halfway across the alphabet to study "O" this week so we will do other activities with "O" as well.

We're definitely having fun with the Olympics at the Wiley's house!

Christopher keeps walking past the tv asking to watch "the water"
(anything that takes place in water, really).

My favorites: Swimming, Gymnastics, and Diving.
Although, volleyball is growing on me.

If I can get my hands on the right materials,
we'll be making more Olympic Rings and a Flag soon!

<>< Stacy

Check out this site if you are interested in learning more about where I got these project ideas from.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


This week has by far been crazier than any other this summer.  And to show for it? 

Michael took these 2 pictures at dinner tonight:

 Unattended child - kept hitting me and yelling "wake up".

Me - exhausted - napping while the boys enjoy a little treat.

Whew!  I will be sleeping LATE tomorrow! 

<>< Stacy

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Baby Update!

Due date: January 13th, 2013
Currently: 15 weeks, 2 days

I went to the doctor today and got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time!  So sweet!

I felt the baby move for the first time last Thursday, too.  It wasn't at all a feeling of butterflies like I remember with Michael - instead, it feels like something is jumping around in my tummy!  Baby has been very active lately! 

My next appointment is set for Friday, August 31st --- it's the big ultrasound!  I will be 20 weeks - hopefully far enough along to determine boy/girl.  Also, we are taking Michael to the appointment so he can find out with us!   :)  Michael insists it is a girl, so it should be an interesting appointment.  I remember the moment the image came on the screen, I knew Christopher was a boy.  It was obvious.  Luckily Michael says he will still love the baby if it is a boy.

The boys give the baby lots of hugs and kisses.  My tummy popped out pretty fast this time, so hopefully I can get an updated picture when my hubby returns home this weekend.

I have my tired moments (especially if I don't drink enough water!), but overall I feel TONS better! 

Still praying the house sells by November so we can be living together when baby comes....

Swimming at our friends' pool

<>< Stacy

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Meal

Aside from already missing Casey since he leaves at some insane early hour on Mondays, I spent part of the day with my sister and adorable niece and the rest cleaning, cooking, cleaning some more, and napping.  Sounds like a typical 'pregnant me' day.  Oh, I also spent tons of time playing with the boys :)  Michael and I tied playing Memory (I may or may not have purposely missed some matches...but it was his first time playing!).  Michael was such a sweetie when I fell asleep and covered me up with blankets and "sleeping dogs".  Here's a peak at what we had for dinner!
Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti Casserole

I changed it up a bit from the recipe as I didn't have hamburger meat or spaghetti noodles... so we used mild sausage and corkscrew noodles (the kids' favorite noodles!).
The sausage and spaghetti sauce      The noodles/cream cheese/spices

Noodles, Sauce, Parmesan Cheese!!!


Christopher ate 3 plates of food!
How does he stay so small?

Michael ate his up and said it was yummy.
Still, he preferred the Texas Toast.

Here is a dinner idea I stole and love ----
Use some of the kids' artwork as placemats!

Michael asked if we could have a Lightning McQueen dinner...
so the boys colored while I cooked and they had Cars placemats.

Yes, that's my Bible and Buzz Lightyear joining us for dinner...
Never know what you'll find at our dinner table!

I LOVE my boys :)

<>< Stacy

Saturday, July 21, 2012

FREE office supplies + overage

It's that time of year again...back-to-school sales are in full swing!  That means Staples is offering up insane freebies, penny items, and coupons that amount to TONS of free office supplies.  For those of you who aren't believers, see below.  Staples has become our favorite place to get office deals and recycle ink.   (If you don't recycle ink cartridges, feel free to give them to us!  We use the rewards to buy packing tape, ink, and other office essentials).

So here's the loot:

8 Staples legal pads
8 Avery 5-pack dividers
8 packs of Staples supreme, double-sided photo paper
2 Avery 1 inch binders
2 BIC mechanical pencils with grip
1 Zebra retractable ball point pens

Total Spent:  $113.70
Amount Returned through Easy Rebates:  $120.50

You read that right.
These deals were not only FREE, but were a MONEYMAKER!  $6.80 overage.

If you aren't familiar with Easy Rebates, they are 1) Easy (online form) and 2) Checks that are mailed to you within 6-8 weeks and can be deposited into your bank account.

In order to make these deals a success, you often have to buy multiples of certain items. 
1 solution to this is to DONATE items to schools or those in need.

Usually, we find creative ways to use these items.  We will use the dividers in binders to get organized with some of the kid's schoolwork, owner's manuals that begin to pile up, music binders, or anything else we think of that could use some organization.  Last time we bought photo paper, we thought we would never use it (because we don't print photos at home), but we were surprised how we used it ALL up!  In the past, we have used photo paper for crafts for teachers, flyers for Christopher's fund raiser,  or anything we wanted to be printed on a nice thick, high-quality paper.  This time, I am planning on using it to print ABC Bible Verse Flashcards I found online and other schooling projects.  Thanks to Easy Rebates, we can keep expensive items like these on-hand and within our budget!

We also used $16 in ink recycling rewards (Staples money) to buy 2 three-packs of packing tape and 2 packs of book rings.  The packing tape was marked down from $16 to $5 per 3-pack and the book rings were $3.49 per pack.  We only paid $1.14 after using our recycled ink rewards!  I can't wait to 1) pack up the house with the tape and 2) put flashcards on the book rings.


It's true that deals like this take planning time, knowledge of limits/Easy Rebates/'rules', occasional coupons, and patience.  But when you're on a tight budget, it is oh-so-worth-it!

This is how we spend our time when the house is showing ;)

<>< Stacy

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wiley Wednesday

A few random - food related - posts today!  As a reminder for anyone who doesn't know my husband awesomely well, I have not had to cook for our family before or during the first 6.5 years of our marriage - Casey loves to cook and has even said he finds it "stress relieving" (haha, right?).  So anyway, I get excited over very simple things that might even make you giggle.  Like dinner being successful and yummy.  That's a big deal for me...  And yes, I use a recipe for EVERYTHING right now because I have a LOT to learn.  At least my silly blog posts can keep Casey updated on my cooking successes

On a random note, in typical pregnant person fashion I decided pickles sounded yummy at lunch.  Christopher begged for a bite so I gave him a little piece thinking I would at least get some funny faces out of it.  WRONG.  He made a " I like this?" face then BEGGED for more.  I repeat: my son begged me for pickles today.  Now, let's admit - they were sweet gerkins.  But still.  Michael wouldn't touch one if it was the last thing available to eat on the table.... or in the house!

Between Christopher and I, the sweet gerkins are gone.  I am SO pregnant.

Back to dinner.  For some odd reason Tuna Noodle Casserole sounded yummy tonight!  So I 'pinned' a recipe and tried it out (made a few changes once I realized we didn't have peas!).  Topped it with cheese and french fried onions (on MY half).  Did I mention it had a 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese in it?  yum!

I loved it.  Christopher loved it.  Michael - found it questionable - so Christopher ate the rest of his.  That little dude had casserole up his sleeves he loved it so much!

After he tasted it, Christopher was vigilantly stuffing his face!

 Michael was optimistic...but not thrilled.

In a budget-conscious effort to avoid being wasteful, I have been careful to balance cooking new meals with eating leftovers.  We eat leftovers so much it seems like I'm cheating...but I really don't want them to go to waste.  I'm already looking forward to leftover Tuna Noodle Casserole!

Whenever I have something open in the fridge that needs to get used up, I look for a recipe!  Last week, I turned leftover ricotta cheese into ricotta and sausage stuffed mushrooms.  This week:  Cool Whip became Butterscotch Pudding Mousse.  The kids definitely approved!

Taste testing!

2 thumbs up!

and 2 VERY approving little boys!

Sometimes dinner just needs an impromptu funny face photo session...Michael loved it!

<>< Stacy

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tis so sweet

I had a rather tedious cutting job to do today so I decided to watch some videos on Godvine and ran across these cute little girls.  It reminded me of all the "Jesus" songs my kids love to sing.  We not only continue to sing June's VBS music EVERYDAY, but we also sing our prayers before we eat and before bed (including the good old gospel "Amen"- the whole song is an easy 1 word!).  It makes me so happy to hear the boys sing.  They were particularly excited about this video, ran in from another room, and begged me to play it like 5 times in a row!  Cute!

Tis so sweet to hear a little child sing about Jesus.

So now, I'm on the hunt to find some fun, upbeat "Jesus" music (that is not VBS) so we can sing even more about Jesus!  Singing prayers and songs about Jesus is ultimately learning about I love it!  Maybe I can secretly film their cute singing to share with you one day... they are a little camera shy!

I'm so lucky my little boys love Jesus.

<>< Stacy

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our house!

4511 Mosshill Rd.

It's hard to believe that our house is the only thing
keeping us from officially moving to the upstate.  

We are SO ready to reunite our family under one roof again!

Please say an extra prayer that our house will sell in the next 3-4 months
so that we can pack and get settled into a new home before the baby comes. 

To view online:

<>< Stacy

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A 'Stuffed Mushrooms' Lesson

First of all, this is a picture of one of my cute sons GOBBLING up ...
Stuffed Mushrooms!!!!!!!!!

Christopher eating my stuffed mushrooms
(and cottage cheese?).

Seriously.  What kid(s) under age 5 eat stuffed mushrooms?  Mine.

The story:  I was thrilled to have a functional oven after waiting 3 weeks for a repair so I decided to finally make Stuffed Mushrooms.  I had some ricotta cheese leftover from last week's crock pot lasagna so I found a recipe that called for ricotta and sausage. 

You can follow the pictures below if you're interested in making them.

But the real surprise was when I joined the boys at lunch with a plate full of stuffed mushrooms and they BOTH scooted their plates over to mine asking to taste one.  I knew they wouldn't like it so I put one on each of their plates and cut them.  BOY WAS I WRONG.  They both gobbled them up and asked for more.  and more.  and more.  and more.  Until the 3 of us had eaten an entire tray of stuffed mushrooms!  Oh, and we had the leftover sausage/ricotta/mushroom/crouton filling for dinner and Michael said (and I quote), "mmmmmmm...Mommy, you make a really good dinner!". 

So I guess I should stop underestimating
the tastes of my 4 year old and 2 year old boys.

They really were yummy!

First, remove stems and chop them finely.
Roast mushroom caps face down for 5 mins.

Second, cook mushrooms in pan with garlic.
(I cooked my sausage in my awesome

Third, combine sausage, mushroom stems, and ricotta in pan.
Flip roasted caps to release water.

Fourth, stuff the mushroom caps with the pan mixture
and top with crushed croutons.  Cook for 10-12 minutes.

I layered the leftovers on their own and it was a big hit, too!

Yummy finished product!
(They look kind of messy - buy bigger mushrooms to avoid that problem)

Let me reiterate - we ate this entire pan of stuffed mushrooms for lunch.
Me, Michael, and Christopher.
And originally, I had no intentions of sharing!


<>< Stacy

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stuff and Nonsense

Stuff and Nonsense are two little mice in the book Grandma
and Grandpa got Michael at Ollie's this week. 
Michael loves this book because it is a pop-up (and touch-and-feel) book.
Now for some "stuff and nonsense" from our week! 
These are camera shots - we still don't have a working camera...

My first time making blueberry pancakes - yum!

Christopher's post-nap mohawk.

Michael made a bed and tucked in Bessy, Buzz, and Rex.

Crock Pot lasagna...turned out pretty good! 
The kids ate it up!
I haven't even gotten a call that the parts are in for our stove,
so I imagine it will be at least another week with no oven!!!

Enjoying an evening outside - bubbles!

I felt good enough to clean up our post-storm mess Tuesday night!
Bring on my 2nd trimester please!!!!!!
(12.5 weeks right now)

Taking a cute shot for Daddy :) 
Yes, the van is 'wearing a HAT'!

Michael practiced writing his name a few times...

The boys love to play dress-up all on their own!
I think it's adorable!

Christopher napping - I found him with Mr. Grumpy Pants.

4th of July was kind of a lonely bummer this year....
but I pulled out some new/special plates the boys loved!

We also made a fun dessert!
Michael had more fun doing blueberries
and looking at it than eating it.

The boys showered just in time for us to catch 2 different neighbors doing a few fun fireworks.  Michael doesn't like the loud ones!  Both boys were covering their ears!  It made a lonely July 4th a little better though.  We tucked Christopher in and I let Michael watch the Macy's and Boston Pops fireworks with me (late, I know...). 
Michael loved it!  I loved it too!

I am already excited about July 4th, 2013 - hopefully living in Boiling Springs, celebrating with a complete family, and cuddling our new bundle of joy. 

<>< Stacy