Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This is what happens when a three year old discovers the camera on your phone.

day 228

I have 100's of photos of Sam's legs.  Luckily, mine made it into this photo too.  Ugh. 

Day 227 - School

Now that Sam is three, he is old enough to be evaluated for the speech program through the school district.  Yesterday was his first day of school.  He will go for 4 hours each morning all week.  
He loves it.  
I'm lonely.

day 227

I took his picture to document this momentous occasion.  Of course he wouldn't look at me.  Stinker.

He loves to wear his backpack and take his lunchbox.  They have breakfast every morning in the cafeteria.  Too bad he won't eat his food until I come to pick him up.  He immediately asks for his lunch box so he can have a snack.

We have a our first meeting next week to start to determine what program he will be in.  I'm really hoping he gets to stay in this class because we LOVE Ms. Laura.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 226 - Twiners

I love dressing Sam like a little man.  I love it even more when Ben and Sam inadvertently match. 
Day 226
I love it the most when they walk the same way while wearing matching man clothes. 

Day 226 - Hatch Green Chiles

In case you didn't know, Hatch green chiles are in season.  Since moving to Texas I have developed a deep and abiding love for these little jewels. 

Until last night.  

Day 225

I decided to make enchiladas last night.  Sometimes I'm not so bright and I don't think things through.
Like the fact that I was cutting chiles.
With bare hands.  
In case you were wondering, they will burn your hands.
I was so bitter about my burning hands that I couldn't even properly enjoy my enchiladas.
I will definitely be wearing gloves when I make green chile pork this week.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 224 - Cake

Day 224

Because of our super busy day yesterday, Sam's cake wasn't finished until today.  He doesn't even like cake so he didn't seem to mind much.  He just blew out the candle and ran back to play with his number/letter mats.

Ben and I sure enjoyed eating it though.   


Day 223 - Haddy Dirfday (Happy Birthday)

Our little guy turned three yesterday.  I can't believe how fast he is growing up. 

We started the day with "tatos" from Chick-fila.  They are his absolute FAVORITE.  He ate 2 whole orders. Yeesh.  

day 223

Later we went swimming with Sam's friend Logan (and my friend Logan's mom Buddy).  We swam for two hours and he had a blast.  Towards the end they were jumping in the pool holding hands.  It was so cute.  Logan gave Sam a WONDERFUL letter book.  As soon as he opened it, we all lost his attention.  He wouldn't even pose for a picture.  

Luckily, Logan was much more accommodating.

After swimming we had his other favorite, McDonalds.  He was so wiped he took a long nap.  After his nap we had dinner with our friends the MacFarlane family. They gave him a huge present.  The whole way home he kept saying, "Haddy Dirfday.  GIANT present."  When he opened it he was thrilled to find a GIANT set of  foam floor mats.  It covers most of my living room floor.  But guess what are on the mats.  Letters . . .  and numbers.  Yet another giant hit.  

He loved all of his gifts.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Chicka Chicka 123 from Karen, Ryan and the girls. 

Cars Duplos from Mom and Dad

From Grandma

The M&M Counting Book

A bike horn.  (Thanks Mom!) 

And construction cones.  He loved them.  As soon as he opened them he said, "Toy Story 2!"  He likes the part where the toys cross the street in construction cones.  He also stuck them on his head and said, "Haddy Dirfday!"

All in all he had a fabulous day!  We are so grateful to have this little guy in our family and we can't wait to see what exciting things he learns (and does) in the next year.  

Love you Sammy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 222 - Haircut

day 222

Dear Sam,

I think that after you haircut today, your eyelashes are officially longer than the hair on your head. If one day you end up wearing mascara when Daddy comes home, I cannot be held responsible.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 221 - baby girl

Day 221

Ummmmm.  Yeah.  I really need a baby girl. Luckily, my friend Kristen let me play with her baby. 

Day 220 - Daddy's Phone

Day 220

Sam loves Daddy's phone nearly as much as he loves Daddy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 219 - Slide

For family night tonight, we took Sam to EXTREME FUN.  

As you can see, his fun was definitely extreme.  

Day 218 - Cooking


I wish I could say that Sam was cooking something on his own. Ben was helping make pancakes (yes, the frozen  type)  Really, he just likes to turn on the timer on the microwave.

And no, he's not up there alone.  Ben was 2 ft behind him.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 217 - Bedhead

Day 217

I think it might be time for someone to get a haircut . . . 

Day 216 - Playmate


One of Sam's favorite playmates got to come over twice this week!  He loves her so much.  Daily I get requests to play with "Becca."  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 215 - Bats

The conversation we had in the car last night, 

"Do you see that smoke?  Where is it coming from?"


"Oh, never mind.  It's just a giant colony of bats!"


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 214 - Migas

Day 214

Dear Austin,

I love you for a million reasons.  However, it is quite possible that the best thing I've discovered while here is Migas.  (Migas is a lovely little mix of eggs, cheese, salsa/pico de gallo and tortilla bits.  It may also have chilis, black beans, refried beans, queso and guacamole. It ain't pretty but it is sooooooo good.  Seriously, the best breakfast food ever.  I ate it twice today.)

Austin, please know that you will always have a special place in my heart from bringing me and my one true egg-based love together.


Oh, here's a recipe for ya.  Or you can do it the cheater way like me and just use a cup of salsa in your scrambled eggs.

Day 213 - Baby

Sam LOVES babies.  This means he also loves baby dolls.  Since I'm an indulgent mother I bought him one.  He loves it.  Ben doesn't. 


Apparently Ben's way of combating the girlishness of the doll is making the doll sleep in the dump truck.  Whatever works.  

Day 213

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 212 - Nigh Night Mom

day 212

I love that Sam puts himself to bed. Until he decides to wake up at 7:00 am. Ugh.

Day 211 - Steak Sandwich

Alright, so I'm a day behind on posting but I intend to catch up tonight.  Or tomorrow.  But first I have to tell you about our dinner last night.

Steak Sandwiches

day 211

So stinking good. Not to mention, SUPER easy to make.

The first think you need to know if that it is crucial that you buy the right bread.  Lucky for you, I'm going to tell you where I found this bread.  At Super Target. (WHAT?!  Tracey likes Target?  After spending 40 hours a week there for 8 years?  Shocking, I know.)  Back to the bread.
You want the soft french bread that sits on the little rack when you walk in.  At least that is where it is at my Target.  This bread is AMAZING for sandwiches.  I crave this bread.  I have bought 2 loaves within the last week.  It's that good.

OK.  Onto the steak.  Thin sliced tri tip.  We bought ours at (GASP) WalMart.  I marinated the crud out of mine while at church.  It was a lot of tossing and pouring of ingredients but basically it boils down to this.

Tracey's Random Marinade
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar if you aren't morally opposed to it.)
1 half onion.  Quartered
3 clove garlic.  Smashed
1 TBSP  rosemary
1 TBSP thyme
A generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

After marinating for a couple of hours, have your darling husband throw it on the grill.  For like 2 minutes.  Maybe.  This stuff cooks fast.

Then build you sandwich. We just did mayo and provolone (simple and perfect) this time but here are some other topping ideas:
Kraft Dijon Horseradish Mayo (SO GOOD)
Sun-dried tomato aoli
Red Onions
Caramelized onions
Melted Provolone
Fontina cheese (YUM)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 210 - Potty Training

day 210

Welcome to Hanson Potty Training Boot Camp.  The place where almost three year old boys don't wear pants for days on end.  Overall things are going pretty well.  Today we only had two minor accidents.  Not too bad. The only problem is he will happily go whenever we remind him and take him but he has yet to tell us that he needs to go potty.  When does this happen?  Is this normal?  How do I help him make the connection?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 209 - Red Shoes

Sam refers to his shoes based on color.  His flip flops are his red shoes. 


I love that he picks out his shoes and then puts them on all by himself. I also love that when we get home he takes them off and puts them in the shoe basket.  However, I think that we might need to work on the proper flip flop wearing technique.  That and maybe distinguishing right and left shoes.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 208 - 'putah

day 208

Sam is in love with the computer.  When Ben is home, that is all he wants to do.  They especially love a preschool program called ABC Mouse.  My sister bought a membership and graciously allowed Sam to have one of the slots.  He loves playing it and I feel good about it because he is learning something.  Ben plays with him because Sam isn't very interested in using the mouse.  The funny part is Ben (and Karen) both know which games give you the most tickets.  Of course Ben tries to help Sam rack up tons of tickets so they can buy stuff.  One day he logged in and Sam's avatar was dressed in a lizard suit.  After questioning me, we concluded that my niece Kate must have been spending Sam's tickets for him.  When I talked to Karen she verified that Kate had indeed gone shopping for Sam.  Such a good cousin.  

Day 207 - Nachos Bell Grande

Yesterday's photo was forgotten until the last minute.  Then artistic pride was compromised for a greater good.  Me driving to get a nachos bell grande from Taco Bell at 9:59 pm.

day 207  

Not gonna lie those nachos were totally worth only getting a crappy photo.  In fact, if I thought I could talk him into it, I would try to go get Ben to buy me another tonight.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 206 - 56 days

56 days of 100° or hotter.  Bleh.

Day 206

I lived in Vegas for years.  I don't remember hating the heat this much.  I must be getting wimpy in my old age. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 205 - Tracks

Day 205

Sam's latest art project. Railroad tracks. The men in my family should be so proud.

Day 204 - Sauce

About two years ago my mother-in-law planted a jungle of tomatoes which she graciously shared with us.  That's when I decided it was time to start experimenting with my own spaghetti sauce.  It didn't take long for my husband to inform me that my homemade sauce is MUCH better than canned sauce. Then my sister told me the same thing.  Then my brother's girlfriend.  Now I feel obligated to make spaghetti sauce from scratch whenever possible.  The best part is, it isn't that hard.  So here's one variation of my recipe. We use it for spaghetti, lasagna and pizza.  I'm not claiming to be Italian or the master of the kitchen but it is pretty good if I do say so myself.

Day 204

Tracey's Sausage and Red Pepper Spaghetti Sauce

1 lbs Mild Italian Sausage
2 TBSP Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBSP Butter
1/2 Large Sweet Onion chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic minced
3 Cans of Stewed Tomatoes.  I like either the type with Italian seasoning or garlic added in.  I think they are the 14.5 oz cans
1 can of Tomato Paste
1 TBSP  Dried Oregano
1 TBSP Dried Basil
1 TBSP Dried Parsley
1/8 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar

1.   In a large saucepan brown sausage. When cooked, transfer to plate with paper towel to drain.
2.  In the same pan, add olive oil and butter to pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted add onions and peppers. Cook until the onions are almost translucent and the peppers are starting to soften, add the garlic and cook until the garlic is a light golden brown.  About 3 minutes.
3.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Cover with lid and turn heat down to low (on my stove I usually cook is on 2 or 3)  and let simmer for at least 15 minutes.  The longer the better.  I really like to give it at least 30 minutes.
4. About 5 minutes before serving, blend using a stick/immersion blender.  I do this because we don't like chunky sauce. You could also use a regular blender,  just be REALLY careful cause this stuff is HOT!
5.  Once you've blended the sauce stir in the cooked sausage and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.  Again, the longer the better so feel free to let it go for a little while if you'd like.
6.  Now eat!

Note: If sausage doesn't float your boat, you can always leave it out. You can also leave out the red bell peppers.  I love this sauce because there are tons of variations. Sometimes I also like to add carrots and zucchini if I feel like my family needs some more veggies.  The best part is when you blend it nobody cares.  :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 203 - Dude Stuff

Day 203

This morning I had the opportunity to take the youth from our church to the temple in San Antonio.  That means Ben and Sam got to stay home and do "Dude Stuff" as Ben calls it.  

Dude Stuff includes:
Getting "tatos" at "Chicka filet"  (that's what my niece calls it)
Going to the park
Playing in the tent/tunnel
Playing on the 'puter
Playing the Nintendo DS together.  By together, I mean Ben passes levels and gets a of bunch extra guys so Sam can kill them all  while laughing hysterically each time Mario dies. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 202 - Whatcha doin'?

I am so lucky to have such a good helper.  Today while taking photos of my culinary adventure of the day, someone really felt like I needed an assistant. 


Apparently I really needed the assistant while I was baking because this cake was a giant "Meh." Don't you worry though.  I'm on the quest.  It will be perfected.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 201 - Undies

I know that I'm going to get in trouble for this photo but seriously, I couldn't resist! We are in the midst of potty training and today we switched from Pullups to undies.  Sam did pretty well no major accidents. Just a little bit of well, uh, leaking.  But hey, it was the first day.  Anyway, back to the photo.  

Day 201

I can't decide which part I like best.  His mini love handles or the undies themselves.  

Day 200 - Stencils

My carpet is littered with little pieces of plastic letters.  Sam is in heaven.  

Day 200

A couple of months ago the cutest bride messaged me on Etsy asking if I could make reusable stencils that she could use to make wooden signs for her wedding.  After a little bit of experimentation, I figured it out and we were in business.  Literally, in business.  Kristina is now selling her signs on Etsy and they are flying out the door like hot cakes. Which means I am cutting stencils like a crazy person. The signs are darling and to top it off Kristina is darling. So, if you are thinking about getting married or know someone who might be getting married, you really should go check out her stuff.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 199 - Cream Puffs

Yesterday I while texting my friend Kara, I told her that I was really tempted to make cream puffs.
Her response was, "Do you need a reason/excuse to make cream puffs?  Moments like this I wish we were neighbors."  

I wish you were my neighbor too Kara cause then Ben and I wouldn't eat all of these lovelies by ourselves.

Day 199

Instead you are going to have to make your own.  Or go buy some at Costco.
Here's the recipe anyway.


  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs


  1. Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
  5. When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 198 - My View

My couch has the best view in town.  I can't imagine my life without these two.


Sam on the other hand would be perfectly content just to hang out with Ben (without me) all day long.
This comes in very handy when it is time to take him potty or put him to bed.