Tuesday, December 10, 2013

freezer meals

  • My friend Laura (also known as the Kitchen Tutor http://kitchentutor.wordpress.com) first turned me on to freezer meals about a month before Charlie was born.  She assured me that in the last days of pregnancy I would appreciate it - and I did!  I made all kinds of meals with her - about 12 I think.  After Charlie was born we finished them off by alternating them with the food that people brought over.  So I got out of a solid month and a half of cooking.  When the freezer meals stopped at the same time people stopped bringing food I almost panicked.  How do people cook with two kids around?  So I made more freezer meals.  I love having them on hand. I love giving them to new moms.  I love knowing that if I totally get lazy or run out of food there is always SOMETHING.  So another friend asked me a while ago to give her the run down on some of my favorites and here they are.  All via Pinterest.  
  • Wendy Pierce

    First - you must make and freeze cookie dough balls. Make dough, roll into balls, freeze on a cookie sheet and place into freezer bag. I use these to supplement paying babysitters 😊 And also to grab at 4pm to satisfy myself.
    Here: I LOVE the chicken curry on this one. Pretty sure I forgot the mango. That probably makes it cheaper to leave it out. I also never use chicken thighs, but that's just me. We are boneless skinless people. Healthy Mamma BBQ is okay, but you have to add some vinegar and sugar to it to make it decent, which makes it less healthy. http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2011/04/05/freezer-cooking-with-slow-cooker-recipes/
    I'm pretty sure this was the first website I went to. I pretty much did what they said and it was good. I swap out chicken and beef for Fajitas a lot. I remember it all being pretty good. http://www.savingyoudinero.com/2012/06/12/1-hour-1-mess-5-crock-pot-meals/
    Travis LOVES the worlds best chicken on this one. And if you do a cilantro lime / chicken taco one ever, just know that you're gonna want to add in cheese or sour cream or avocado when you dish it up. They are good but turn out a little dry. http://www.overthebigmoon.com/freezer-meals/
    This might be my all time favorite - I like the international foods I guess 😊 http://whoneedsacape.com/2012/11/easy-crockpot-mongolian-beef/
    We don't really make sandwiches and I don't do anything (besides meatballs) that you have to cook before you freeze. That kind of takes the easy out of it for me. If the chicken is turning out dry, just shred it and serve it with rice, or put cheese on it. Flank steak seems to be a good player. I keep a good stash of frozen veggies on hand too for sides.
    It's easiest to start with one of the "30 meals in 4 hours" kind of things. Just scale it back a bit if that seems crazy. But that might help you get the idea of what you're going for in a system for next time. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Remember when Charlie started sleeping?

Remember when Charlie started sleeping well?  Me neither.  

Actually, he had a few Golden,…. nope, we'll call them Bronze weeks.  He was taking TWO 2 hour naps a day and sleeping from 7:30pm - 4:30am, eating, and going back to sleep until 6:30am.  Still not ALL night but close enough.  
The last few days he's been napping 30 - 45 minutes and waking up at midnight or two and then at 4 and then at 5:30…. Am I dying here?  I think maybe this is how zombies really started.  Sleep deprived parents with no other way to cope and when they died, their bodies were so used to functioning with no real energy that they didn't realized that they should stop now.  I don't know.  You decide. 

Peacock Princess Dancer and Pajama Party

Still catching up here folks! 
Halloween was a few weeks ago - did you know that? :) Savannah came up with this grand idea of a costume to be a Princess Peacock Dancer thing… I think she just saw several things she wanted and put them together.  She's pretty smart.  I bought (what seems to be) an old dance costume from a second hand store and my mom did the rest.  She sewed real peacock feathers on the back and then found and added to the mask.  If you can't tell by the pictures, Savannah felt pretty awesome. 

Since it was almost bed time by the time trick or treat started, Charlie went as "Pajama Party boy" - which means he wore his PJs and tried to stay warm/awake.  We have some real party goers around our neighborhood when it comes to Halloween.  Several of our neighbors had dressed up and put out yard displays. There was even a fog machine across the street that filled the entire street with a cloud.  It was pretty amazing. 

My parent's neighbors, Mark and Roy, had a pretty extensive display also.  Those giant spiders were hilarious.  Savannah was walking up the side walk and they jumped ON her.  She freaked out.  This picture was after when she had decided they were cool.  

Savannah came in with a truck load of candy for sure, and yes, we let her eat it.  All of it.  Not right away but over a few weeks.  Because we're like that.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Journey into higher learning

I've been doing youth ministry at Cornerstone Church for almost 10 years, 6 of which I have been employed there part time.  I love my job.  I was once challenged to think through the kinds of things I am most fueled by and to think of my dream job in relation to that - what I came up with was Tour Guide!  That's a kind of funny dream job - but when I think about what I do at Cornerstone, it's pretty similar.  Through out my week I get to host people at our church at in our home.  I get to teach them about things that I have learned and open their eyes to a new view.  I get to solve problems here and there and I get to be a part of where we are going.  Pretty amazing.

In the last few years Cornerstone has begun to offer Masters level theology classes.  Many of the men I work with, and some of the woman have taken these classes and already received a Masters in Theology.  Yay for them! It takes a lot of work to do something like that.  Recently, it has been put in front of me that I too ought to consider taking these classes.  There are several reasons that have been brought to my attention by co-workers, superiors, and Travis that I agree with and I'm not going to go into - but overall I am getting the feeling (spiritually and logically) that I will soon be enrolled in CLASSES!  I am 32 years old.  I have no undergrad degree.  I have never liked school and even dropped out of Kindergarten for peat's sake!  And here I am, about to take Masters level classes.

I've been working through some pretty significant insecurities the last few weeks.  I wasn't aware that those were still laying around in the depth of my soul.  I'm a ridiculously secure person over all.  When I think of reading books and comprehending them and having a dead line and writing a paper…. I cry a little.  Not always outwardly, but always in my heart. I am a terrible reader.  I'm not illiterate.  I just can't just read and get it.  Not at all.  Most adults I know can.  They talk about the books they are reading for fun or entertainment or to better their parenting.  I try.  I do.  But when it takes me 10 minutes to fight through 3 pages….. So here are some truths I've discovered about this:

Truth #1: Satan wants to kill and destroy me.  He wants me to believe that I am Dummy McDummerson.  He wants me to quit.  To think that I cannot understand what others can and that I cannot do anything that is hard or would require something more than I personally can give.  Satan wants nothing good for me and will do anything to bring me harm.

Truth #2: It is not up to Wendy Sue Pierce to figure out the key to understanding the depths of wisdom that explain the Word of God.  That's the role of the Holy Spirit.  I have no business worrying about how I will get myself to do something that only He can do in me.

Truth #3: I have a great husband who is willing to love and support me.  Jesus is totally on my side and one way He has shown that is by giving me a husband, Travis Pierce, who is also on my side.  He has already championed for me with encouragement and grace.  In actuality - he is the student of the house and he would much rather be the one enrolled in a class of any kind.  But by his servanthood and love for me and for what God is doing in and with my life - he's giving this to me.

So I'll keep you posted.
 Back to school, back to school to prove to dad that I'm no fool.
 - That's a movie quote for the older crowd - I don't actually have to prove anything to my dad.  :)

Coats come out

I've been verbally beaten up a few times for not updating my blog.  I know not a ton of people read it, but I guess for people that have moved away, it's a little helpful.  Our kids are growing up big time and they are REALLY fun.  

We went to a fund raiser at Ames Middle School, where Travis teaches now.  Savannah got to get her hair colored and since I happened to have a friend doing the face painting and she snuck us in, the lucky girl got that done too.  She will wait in line all day long for a balloon animal or to get her face painted.  Unfortunately for her, Grandma is usually the only one willing to wait with her.  

Do you like that glow-in-the-day pink coat?  It's from Target.  We initially got one from Walmart because Savannah liked it so much, but it broke after a few weeks.  Walmart Fallapart.  That's what Travis says. :) It's true.  Sorry. 

Savannah really really wanted to do the money bars when school started.  They have a small play ground and a few of her friends could do them.  When school started all she could do was hang on the first bar.  But she worked and worked at it and now she's a pro. She can swing across them over and over.  It's a huge accomplishment and something she's found a lot of pride in.  

Charlie baby is TEN months old now.  He is getting to be SO much fun.  He crawls and gets into everything.  But he's a little different than Savannah was in that he also likes to sit with me and just snuggle.  He may end up being a little less cray cray than his sister.  He is wearing size 18m shirts.  

Travis and I celebrated (sort of) our 11 year anniversary a couple weeks ago.  We had the honor of helping with some friends of ours wedding.  To young kids that we met when they were 14.  They both went on missions trips with us in high school and came to our small groups.  They were always meant for each other.  It was so much fun and kind of like a dream come true (for me and for the bride) to see them finally get married.  

Can you believe this kid?  Look at his head.  It's so big. 

Savannah is still enjoying school a lot.  I love that she loves it.  She has so many new friends and it makes for so many great conversations around our house.  Today she sat in the kitchen and told me about the "authors box" in her room and then she described to me a story that she wrote for it.  And how her friend (that sometimes she doesn't like because he is mean) helps her spell words out that she doesn't know for her stories.  So he's kind of a mean friend and kind of a good friend. 

I'll try to post again soon.  Especially for you, Charissa :) 

Monday, October 14, 2013


It's been so long.  My kids are getting so huge! So here's some pictures of them and what we've been doing.  I tried to put some new ones that didn't appear in other social media, but those are some of the best ones anyway.  

Kindergarten is in full swing! Savannah had trying first few weeks, but now she loves it.  She starts her day there at 8:25, and gets to come home at 3:20.  They have a little rest time in the afternoon, but she's pretty busy all day.  We are loving how much she is learning.  Today I woke up at 6:25am and heard her practicing letter sounds in her dark room.  She gets to eat school lunch once a week (we let her choose which day from the school menu) and Travis packs her lunch the other days.  He always puts some candy or something in it, so she loves that.  Charlie and I went to eat lunch with her one day.  It was a lot of fun to interact with some of her new girl friends.   They all love Charlie! 

This picture is pretty blurry, but we got a bird!  Her name is Princess Pepperwood - a compromise on the name. You can guess which part Savannah contributed.  We really like having a bird and Savannah is working on learning to feed and water it herself.  Charlie loves watching the bird.  Sometimes I put it on the table so he can "interact" with it.  

Baby boy is getting big!  He'll be 10 months at the end of October, and I'm putting him in 12 months clothes already.  I have no idea how much he weighs now, but it's a lot.  He still isn't sleeping through the night, but we're going to work on that.  He's eating all kinds of things. He prefers food he can put in his mouth himself and the little stinker is already avoiding vegetables!  You wouldn't think by looking at him that he avoids any food.  He's also crawling everywhere.  Wont be too long before he works on walking.  

We keep reminding ourselves, when things get crazy and when both Savannah and Charlie are freaking out.  When we are so so so tired.  And when scheduling naps and play dates is ridiculous - this is a short short phase.   We are in a season.  Our kids are amazing.  We love them and even though it will be nice when they don't take so much out of us - we know we will miss having a baby and a five year old because they are such a joy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Worry about yourself!

This video is probably cuter if you have little kids and have experienced the "joy" of trying to help them in their stubbornness.
I was recently able to attend a conference in Chicago through the Revive Our Hearts ministry.  I knew it was geared for woman in leadership, but not much else.  The theme of the who deal ended up being based around the idea of helping people see grace during times of trial.  Getting in the mess and really ministering to the most hurting people that need ministered too.  I don't know about you - but that's something I tend to want to run from!  The weekend was good for my soul, and my leadership, in that it helped me to have the confidence I sometimes lack in knowing the truth about what God says about trial.  Hopefully I'll get around to more of that later, but for today I was looking through my notes from the first session and remembered this video.  Here are some of the points that connect with it:

- God is our help.  Johovah Azer.  I AM help.
- Sometimes we would rather live in defeat than cry out to God for His help.  He wants to help us and He will wait for us to cry out.  He will wait for us to try getting help from other gods (people, quick fixes, programs) if that's what it takes.
- God does not help those who help themselves.  He helps those who cry out for help!
- Anything that makes you need God is a blessing.
- He would love for us to recognize - Why do I desperately need God today?  You do need him.

May God never allow me to get to the point where I think I can do what He has called me to do without His help.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Charlie is SEVEN months old

I realize that this place has been dead lately.  As usual in the summer, we are OUT!  But Charlie Baylor is changing quickly and just (actually two weeks ago) turned 7 months old.  Here's what's up with him these days: 

He had his 6 month check up in July and was in the 95th percentile for height, weight, and head circumference.  He's a big boy, but he is full of laughs, smiles, and so much joy.  

Although I tried some solids with him over the last couple months, it was just recently that Charlie started eating solids.  And boy is he eating them!  He actually much prefers mashed food on a spoon to his regular bottle.  His favorites are sweet potatoes, peaches, and yogurt.  Boy has a sweet tooth.  I've had to mix some of the less sweet foods (green beans for instance) with pears or peaches to get him to take them. I've noticed that he is a much less messy eater than Savannah was.  That's a little nice. 

Charlie had a ROUGH first few months.  But he really has become fairly easy going.  He lets us take him anywhere.  He goes with it when we force him to skip naps.  And he'll eat on the go if need be.  Isn't he pretty?

Other new things:  
Sleeping three naps a day, but unswaddled now.  
He's also able to roll from back to front, but only seems to do it in his crib when he's trying to not sleep. 
He stands up for long periods of time holding on to things.  And he can pull himself up sometimes. 
He loves to dig.  Cupboards, boxes, drawers, laundry baskets...get it all out boy!

We are so thankful and grateful for this guy.  Not that we wouldn't be anyway, but I think those really hard to take days have made all our good days with him so much sweeter.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

We be full swing

I realized that I haven't really posted anything about how fully into summer we are around here!  
So yes, we've been at the lake and on the boat.  And yes, we've been to the pool.  And yes, we put up the pool in our yard. And yes, We are so so so happy that it's HOT!

I was a little nervous about being able to enjoy summer with Charlie still being so tiny.  Savannah's first summer we didn't do much.  But she was born in May and much less drag aroundable. Charlie is catching on - even taking real length naps on the boat! No one really wants a caption for each picture, so just imagine - take it in - and know that we are LOVING IT!

Another great adventure in OK

We had another really good visit down in Oklahoma a couple weeks ago.  This was Charlie's first real vacation / long trip.  Weighing in at 6 months old - he did awesome.  He traveled well, slept okay, and was generally really enjoyable.  Savannah was, as always, a great trooper, a super helpful big sister, and we couldn't be more glad that she's ours!  

Travis' parents have some friends that were away for the week and they let us stay at their house...with a pool!!  Savannah was up by 6:30am every day and in the pool by 8am. She swam for at least 3 hours a day.  She is a fish! Charlie enjoyed pool side seating with the rest of the family. 

Here's the brothers working out together, pool side.  Like a resort or something. 

 Another great high light was getting to spend an evening at a friend's ranch.  We roasted hot dogs and s'mores, rode on horses, and played on their zip line!

And there was this. It was funny watching the girls learn how to use a gas pedal and a break for the first time. 

Savannah did not love the zip line at first.  I was lucky enough to get this picture of her scolding Travis for making her do it. She was pretty upset.  About an hour later she got over it and wanted to go again, with much more success.  

 Savannah's cousins, Lani and Maggie, are some of her favorite people to spend time with.  We are really blessed that we enjoy spending time with our family.  

Our last night there we went to a carnival.  I took Savannah on The Scrambler ride.  She was really excited and then suddenly buried her head in to me and begged for it to end.  Luckily those rides are really short, but it wasn't a great first experience on the big rides.  Whoops. 


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