Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crockpots are AMAZING

I can't believe I have been married for almost SIX years without truly realizing the beauty that lies within the art of Crockpot-ing. Pretty excited about that.

I have decided to make Wednesdays my weekly new recipe night! I am determined to expand our menu and have fun doing it! Currently, our favorite meals are as follows:

*Taco Salads
(Noticing a pattern here?? We like Mexican food....)
*BBQ Chicken Salad
*Homemade Sloppy Joes
*Corn Chowder (in the Winter)
*This silly chicken and stuffing casserole that I made once from the back of a Stovetop Stuffing box that is Brett's all time favorite meal.
*BLT's although we don't eat those too often
*Baked Salmon
*Grilled Flat Iron Steak (when the weather is nicer)
*Grilled Chicken (when the weather is nicer)
*Burgers (when the weather is nicer)

Not a huge selection of meals to choose from. Which brings me to this week's new recipe!!!!!!

Au Jus Pot Roast


1 Packet of Au Jus

1 Packet of Italian Dressing

1 onion (although when I make it again, I will use two)

1 can of beef stock (I used about half of the container above)

Pot Roast (I got a lean pot roast from the "clearance" section of the meat department because the sell date was in a couple days so I got $3 off, making it $6 and I just tossed it in the freezer until I was ready to use it. Score!)

Mix the au jus packet, italian dressing packet and beef stock together in a large measuring glass. Place pot roast in the crock pot. Chop onion and put on top of roast. Pour au jus/italian dressing mixture over the roast. I then added a cup or so of water to make sure there was enough liquid since I wasn't going to be home all day.

Voila! The finished product. Doesn't look super appetizing I suppose in the picture but it smelled heavenly. I set the slow cooker on low and it cooked from 9am until about 6pm.

I bought some rolls and toasted them with a little butter. I shredded the beef and made a sandwich. I scooped some of the juice out of the crock pot and had instant au jus dipping sauce! Brett LOVED this dinner and I did too.

I didn't have a chance to prepare an exciting side dish, we were dealing with our dog unfortunately but next time

I will serve it with a yummy cucumber tomato salad.

Hooray for leftovers too! We will be eating this for dinner again tonight, although I read that the meat will freeze well as long as you cover it with juices.

This is what happens when you let Miss Emersyn munch on some baby crackers so that Mommy and Daddy can eat dinner in peace.....

I love her face....."Can I help you with something??"

Needless to say, Emersyn had a bath right after dinner. :)

Okay ladies, I know you are out there. What are your favorite family favorite's for dinner? I need some inspiration! Either leave me a comment or post a blog of your own about "what's for dinner!" Happy cooking!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Random Ramblings

Blurry phone pic of Brett and I at the 3D movie last night.

Today I don't have energy to write out a nice little post. But I do have things to say. Therefore, I am enabling the use of bullet points on my blog. I love bullet points.

  • Things don't look great for my sweet dog. Called vet this morning and it looks like she has kidney failure, mixed with an infection. If we can cure the infection, it might stop the failure but nothing is for sure. We need to take her to the vet for the next three days at $177/day to get her injected with fluids and antibiotics. We are going to do it, I can't justify putting her down if there is any hope that is affordable. The vet said in a perfect world she would go spend a couple weeks at Dove Lewis animal hospital and be hooked up to iv fluids and antibiotics but that could run in the range of $30,000. Yes, you read that right. Obviously, this is not something we are able to do. So we are going to try this treatment and see what happens. After losing Jack last month, it is becoming clear that it is dangerous to be a pet in my house for some reason. :(

  • I have found that having shorter nails enables me to keep nail polish on for longer. I painted my nails a fun pink color after giving myself a manicure and shortening my nails quite a bit. Well, NONE of the polish has chipped off and the nails still look cute and fun. I am pretty happy about this.

  • I am working with some really good friends in buying a house as their Realtor! I am so happy, this is an answer to prayer. I can't wait to help them find a sweet little home to someday start their own family in and the best part is, I can take my daughter to work with me! They love Emersyn and are very much an important part of her life.

  • We saw Monsters vs. Aliens last night in 3D at the Imax theater and it was SOOOOO fun and cool. I worried that the 3D might make me sick or give me a headache but it was really really fun. We saw a preview for the new Transformers movie and are going to see that at the Imax too. The Imax tickets are $15/per person. Spendy, right? But do you really think I would pay that, being the frugal person that I am? Nope! If you go to Costco and buy their Regal cinema passes (2 for $15), you can use them to see an Imax movie! SCORE!!

  • I put a roast in the crock pot this morning. I felt pretty grown up, never made a roast. I am going to try to blog about one new recipe a week, complete with photo's. Hopefully that will be posted tomorrow.

  • Emersyn still has an icky runny nose and cough. It breaks my heart to see her not feeling well, although she is in good spirits. I have a call into the advice nurse to see if they think I should bring her in but I kind of doubt they will want me to. I wish I could just make her better.

  • I am reading a book with a good friend of mine called "Jesus, the One and Only" by one of my FAVORITE authors, Beth Moore. Initially, I wasn't too into the book. Frankly, I was a little bored. It is about the life of Jesus and the first couple chapters were from a historical factual point of view. I really felt convicted to continue reading the book though. I am guilty of being pretty self absorbed at times, aren't we all? I like to read things that tell me how God can change my life, make it better, make ME better. This book was more of a historal account. I really felt like the Lord was challenging me to get to know Him for who He IS, not WHAT He can do for me. As I continue reading, I am falling more in love with my Savior and realizing what a personal and relational God I serve. It is really fun and I am happy to be reading this with one of my most like minded friends, Mindy. We are meeting on Wednesday mornings at Starbucks. Good conversation, an Iced Venti Stirred Nonfat Carmel Macciato (I recently graduated from decaf, praise GOD), a Chonga bagel, and a great book, what more could a girl ask for?? Um..maybe that my dog would be healed. :(

  • I really liked Allison last night on Idol. This was by far my favorite week of performances, I love this genre of music.

Hopefully that post wasn't too Debbie Downer for ya'all. :) You gotta take the good with the bad, right?

Happy thought of the day:

I went into Emersyn's room this morning when she was still sound asleep. I love how she is holding her binky to ensure that it stays put, even while she is sleeping. I just stared at her and snapped this phone picture. I figured by the time I got the real camera, she would have woken up from all the commotion. So anyways, as much as I hate to, I woke her up so that she could nurse and then we could leave. I bent over her crib and whispered her name to gently wake her up. Staying perfectly still, not opening her eyes,she got the BIGGEST smile on her face. My heart melted into a pile of goo. I let her smile like that for as long as it would last and then whispered her name again and she woke up. She knows her mama's voice. Precious.

Best moment of the week so far for sure. I am in love.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poor Doggy

Molly Brown, about to enjoy some doggie biscotti that I made her.

Today we took Molly to the vet. She hasn't been eating and overall, hasn't been herself. The vet examined her and couldn't find any obvious problems, no tumors, nothing like that. That is good and bad in a way because we are still left with a lot of unknowns. They did x-rays to see if she ingested a random toy or something that was obstructing her bowels. I was pretty confident that she hadn't but they wanted to make sure. There was no obstruction, which is a good thing. If there had been, that would have been a costly surgery, in the range of $2000 or $3000. We are still waiting on tests and should hear back tomorrow.

In the meantime, Brett and I are going to go on a date, our first real date alone since Ems has been born. We went out with our neighbors once but that doesn't count as a real date. I think we are going to see "Monster's vs. Alien's" in 3d at an Imax theater and grab a bite to eat. I am excited, I think it will be good for us to have some grown up time. Brett's sister Brianna is going to hang out with Emersyn since she is leaving for school in CO in a couple weeks. Emersyn will miss her very much. In honor of Brianna, I put Emersyn in her "My Auntie Loves Me" onesie. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

First Blog Award!

I got my first blog award from Katie at "My Story is Not Over". She stumbled onto my blog sometime ago, left a comment, and since then, we have been following each other. It is fun to meet new people in the blog world! Thank you for thinking of me Katie!!

Rules for Mom of the Year Award:

(1) Admit one thing you feel awful about involving being a mom. Get it off your shoulders. Once you've written it down, you are No Longer allowed to feel bad. It's over with, it's in the past. Remember, you're a good mom!

Hmm….I don’t struggle with guilt too much because I don’t believe in it in a sense. You get that way when people try to make you feel guilty for things…anyways, not going to open that can of worms. If I had to think of something though, I would say that in a sense I feel guilty for working part time away from my home and away from Emersyn. But I know that during the time I am away, she gets a chance to bond with her daddy in a way that she wouldn’t if I was there. She also gets to be around her Nana and Papa, Aunts and Uncles, and Cousins two half days a week which make her “socially well rounded”, or at least that’s what a therapist said about her. (Not her therapist, she is NOT in therapy, let’s be clear about that!!) But like this week, she hasn’t felt well and I felt guilty about leaving her but the truth is, she naps most of the afternoons that she isn’t feeling well so it’s not like I am neglecting her. AND she just has a touch of a cold. If she was more seriously ill, of COURSE I would be home with her!!

2) Remind yourself you are a good mom, list seven things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you. These are the things to remind yourself everyday that you Rock!

1. I am proud of my commitment to breastfeed until she is one year old, despite my hatred towards pumping.
2. I love experiencing new things with her. Everything is more exciting when she is with me, whether it be grocery shopping, going on walks, or playing at home.
3. I love the smiles that she gives me in the mornings when I get her out of her crib or when I wake her up in the morning.
4. I love that I knew exactly the kind of baby she would be even inside my tummy; easy going, happy, and content.
5. I love giving her massages after her bath time to make sure her skin stays moisturized. I love the snuggles that follow the massage too.
6. I love that I love being a mom. I kind of wondered if I would resent having to lose sleep, lose time to myself, etc. But I truly adore her and would do anything for her. I didn’t hate getting up every 2 hours when she is a newborn. I don’t hate getting barfed on, drooled on, etc.
7. I love how she lays her head on my shoulder and falls asleep early every morning after I have nursed her. I can hardly stand to put her back in her crib.

(3) Send this to five other Mom's Of The Year that deserve credit for being great moms and remind them that they are the best moms they can be!! Remember to send them a note to let them know you've selected them, and add a link to the person who nominated you.

Here you go ladies, I think you're all amazing moms and I love learning new things from you!
Amancia @ Mix Mix Mama
Tiffany @ Langford Family
Aimee @ This is Us!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tulip Festival

On Tuesday, Emersyn, Brett and I headed down to Woodburn for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. We have been going to this tulip festival since we first got married, it is such a sight to see.

We had fun taking some pictures of our little sweet pea. It was a really warm day, I think it got into the 80's, which for us Oregonians is HOT!

Enjoy the pics!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Daddy Date & Failed BBQ

On Monday, Emersyn and her daddy went on a little date together to a beautiful park not too far from my work. On their way to the park, they stopped by my work and brought me one of my favorite drinks, a sweet peach tea from Sonic. So sweet of them and I loved the 5 minute snuggle that I got to have with my baby girl.

Here are a couple pics of Emers at the park...

When I got home from work, we decided to have a bbq at another amazing nearby park, a park I am considering having Emersyn’s first birthday bbq at! My parents gave us this darling little grill before they moved to Minnesota and we haven’t had a chance to use it yet. We loaded up with burgers, condiments, etc. and headed to the park, which is only about 5 minutes away.

When we got to the park, we played a little bit while the sun was still up and shining and then headed over to the grass to fire up the grill. We got everything set up, put the burgers on the grill, seasoned them with our all time favorite seasoning (Montreal’s Steak Seasoning), and then Brett realized something that we had forgotten, something extremely vital to a successful bbq……utensils. We had brought ZERO utensils, nothing to spread mayo, eat potato salad with, and most importantly, FLIP BURGERS with!!! We racked our brains, is there anything we could improvise with?!?! Nothing. We did try to flip the burgers with a key but it did not work. L Sad story, huh?

Trying to flip the burger with a key. Not so much.
The good news, we got some cute pictures of Emersyn playing prior to the failed BBQ attempt.

See her two little teeth?? I love her.

"Wow Mommy! I can't wait go down this when I am a big girl"

"For now, I can go down with Daddy."
My little diva. :)

Deliciously chubby legs.
After we got home, Daddy bbq’d some burgers for us and we gave Emersyn some of an apple bran muffin.

I think she liked, it what do you think?
Yesterday we went to the Tulip Festival in Woodburn. Pictures coming tomorrow!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunny days....

Happy Monday!!

We had a wonderful weekend, full of fun pics so you know I just have to share! I love uploading pics from my camera on Sunday night so that I can update my blog on Mondays. Makes me look forward to Monday's, rather then dreading it as my extra long work day.

Saturday Emersyn and I went to a baby shower for my friend Kara. She is having a little boy in May and we are so happy for her! I know she will be a great mother. As much as I wanted to buy some darling clothes for her baby, I know that the practical items are so appreciated so I found some goodies on her registry to get her. She has great taste and I know her nursery is going to be darling! Emersyn looked pretty sassy in her spring dress and jean jacket.

Saturday evening we went over to the Kaushal’s for some dinner and fun times. I love going to their house because there is plenty of room for the babies to play and Brett has a really good time with Amit. I feel like in some of my friendships, Brett is friends with the husband but they don’t really have a lot of fun, just get together because their wives are friends. I know Brett and Amit have a good time and that makes me happy. Emersyn had fun playing with Sanjana, who just turned a year old! She is having a birthday party on Saturday and we can’t wait to attend it! Sanjana has an older brother too,Deepak, and he is so good with the babies. We got some cute pics of the babies in their matching jammies. I would say that we didn’t plan the matching jammies but we SO did!!

Monkey Buddies. :)

Sanji the Diva! Love how sweet Dee is, playing with the girls and love how short Emersyn's little legs are peeking out of the little dress.

Sunday morning we went to church. I volunteered in the nursery for the second service, about an hour and a half. It was fun to see Emersyn play with a couple of other babies.

Sunday afternoon I went and got the van washed, vacuumed and wiped down the inside of the van, and then decided to take my daughter on a mommy/daughter date down to Al’s garden center in Sherwood. They were having their annual “make a hanging basket” weekend, which is a killer deal. I was bummed because Brett works all weekend but I decided to take Ems by myself and have a fun time doing it.

Al’s was crazy busy but such a fun place to be. Emersyn needed to eat lunch, since she napped all the way home from church so I sat down on some patio furniture and fed Miss E. her organic baby food. Delicious!

Emersyn, not a fan of the sunshine in her face. I forgot her sunglasses!!
Then came the hard part; selecting plants for the hanging basket. I am TERRIBLE at making these kinds of decisions where you have many options. I would rather they say, here are two plants, pick one. Instead they have upright plants, trailing plants, sun loving plants, shade loving plants, partial shade loving plants, EEEEK! I can’t process it all. SO I decided to go with one plant, instead of a variety and picked the breed by eeny meeny miny moe. J I ended up with a “Blue Eyes” fuschia. I knew I wanted fuschia’s because they have big blossoms and they can withstand the neglect that sometimes happens in the Jensen household. We have had hanging baskets for the last 3+ years and they have all survived the season, just sometimes we forget to water them but like I said, fuschias are forgiving.

Here are some fun pics from our planting experience….

"Please Mom, no more pictures, you're embarassing me!!"

"No, SERIOUSLY mama!!"

After! I planted them myself with gloves. Al's provided the soil and fertilizer!

Girls afternoon!
Afterwards, Ems and I went home to change, let Molly out, etc. I put Emers in her “Cindy Lou Whoo” onesie and I have to say, she looked darling. I rolled up her little Levi’s too since it was so warm. I love naked baby toes!!!!! I took a couple of cute pictures of her in our backyard on the patio furniture.

Thank you Lord for my own little Cindy Lou Whoo. :)
Sunday night we went to an auction meeting for a charity auction we are having at our church to raise money for the youth choir next Sunday evening! Afterwards, we went to the young adults service at church and then to TGI Friday’s for some dinner.

Emersyn wanted a bite of my salad. This obviously is staged for cute photo purposes. Emersyn has become very cranky if you eat around her and don't share. Thank goodness for Gerber Puffs!! Those little bites of heaven are a life saver!!
It was a great weekend, can’t wait for the next one!! :)