Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Tease

We got a new camera for Christmas, so here is a little sneak peak from our festivities this weekend.

Could they be any cuter?

Merry Christmas!
Love, The Bettelli's

Friday, December 23, 2011

Peek into our Week

Insta-Friday again.
life rearranged
Linking up with the ladies at Life Rearranged.
Here is our week through the lense of my iphone.

George's Christmas gift to his teacher.
A travel cup with a Dunkin' Donuts gift card inside.

My cousin works for Disney, so he met us over there to hang out on Friday.
Here are the three ducks posing for a picture at our hotel.

Ethan wanted to party at dinner that night.
I guess he really liked the food.

After Disney we headed to Vero Beach for my nephew's birthday party.
Dr. Seuss was the theme . . . how cute are these decorations?

My mom and I made these Cat in the Hat shirts for all the boys to wear to the party.

We did our Christmas with Tim's side of family that night, and Ethan got the part of Santa Claus.

One of George's favorite foods is "chicken on the bone."
And he cleans that bone just like his father.
I find it a little disturbing, but who asked me?

One of our Advent activities this week was to make hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.
Here is George stirring the hot chocolate . . . all. by. himself.

We had some good friends come in town from Arkansas this week, and they took George for a boat ride.
This is what we do to celebrate Christmas in Florida.
80 degrees and sunny makes for perfect boating weather.

Play date with the same friend from Arkansas.

I adore morning snuggles.
Once I am awake, that is:)
I can't stand to have kids in my bed overnight, but once the morning hits there is nothing like these two faces smooshed into mine.
Pure Bliss.

Merry Christmas to all.
I won't be blogging this week because we are headed to North Carolina for vacation.
Don't miss me too much.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Born on the cross

Oh, George . . .
We have a lot of discussions in our household around this time of year that center on the birth of Christ.
I try to really instill the true reason we celebrate Christmas in my children.
I want them to understand that Jesus' birth is everything to us.
He is truly the reason for everything.
We go to church every week, so George hears a lot of Bible stories.
I think he might have confused a few of the major events in Jesus' life.
Tonight before bed we were going to watch a movie on the Biblical christmas story, and he said,
"Dad, I already know Jesus was born on the cross."
Um, not quite.
But I do give him an "A" for effort (and cuteness).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Last Picture

This is actually difficult to write.
You may find that statement extremely lame after you read the entire post, but it is true all the same.
Here is the last picture of Ethan's blankie:

Unfortunately, that blanket is somewhere on Disney property . . . never to be found again.

When George was a baby he used a pacifier.

That little plug was like a drug.

He would be screaming and crying like a maniac, but as soon as you got him sucking he was perfectly content.

I have never taken drugs before, but that is what I hear they do to adults.

Put them in a perfect place of happiness.

Maybe I should think about taking drugs?

Anyhow . . .

Ethan never took a pacifier.

He never sucked his thumb.

He spent his infancy with no real comfort tool (unless you count my boob in his mouth every hour).

When he was around nine months old he started warming up to this blanket.

It isn't the softest blanket we own.

It wasn't given to us by any special person.

It isn't even pretty.

But for some reason he just became attached.

He would rub it on his face before falling asleep.

He loved to bite it when he was calming down.

He would hand it to me every single time I took him out of the crib, as if saying, "Mom, here take my blanket first, so I can have it while I am out and about."

He would reach for it and clench his fists when it was out of his reach.

He took it everywhere with him.

That was his comfort tool.

And we lost it.

I have tried to get him attached to all other blankets in the household, but he isn't buying it.

I feel terrible.

Just terrible.

Again, it may sound lame, but I hate that I failed him.

I know he won't remember in a few weeks.

I know I would have eventually had to break him of the habit.

Blah, blah, blah . . .

I still feel bad.

As I was thinking about it I couldn't help but look at the situation as a precursor.

A precursor to all the times I will fail my baby.

All the times I won't be able to fix what is making his heart hurt.

All the times I will watch as he is sad, and his human mommy can't do anything about it.

It is absolutely the most heart-wrenching feeling in the world.

The only thing I can do for my babies in these situations is pray that God would give them peace and comfort.

The kind of peace and comfort I can't give.

The kind only He can give.

He is a God of mercy and grace.

I am so thankful.

Ethan woke up crying the first night he didn't have his blankie.

I knew that was why.

The second night it was like nothing ever happened.

I think he is over it.

But obviously I am not.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What is wrong with this picture?

What is wrong with this picture?

If you recognized that the bottom half of the tree is missing ornaments, then you win a prize.

We have had to take off every single ornament below the mid-line if we wanted it to be safe.

You see, we have a little toddler terror who loves to take each ornament off and smash it if it is smashable.

Is smashable a word?

Moving on . . .

I really love this picture though, despite the unevenness of the ornament placement.

I love that it depicts the stage of life we are in.

I know we will have many pretty, perfectly symetrical trees in the furture.

What we won't ever have again are the times when our life screamed no symmetry,

no perfectness,

no exactness,

never immaculate,

and definitely no order.

All because of these two precious boys that God has so graciously blessed us with.

And I would pick them over all the order in the world.

Every. Single. Time.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Plan (or lack there of) 12-19 to 12-25

Hi anyone who has time to read this.
The countdown has officially begun.
Seven days until the biggest holiday of the year is officially upon us.
Are you ready?
Is there such thing as "ready?"
I am trying to be somewhat on top of our eating this week . . . maybe it will help me feel "ready."
Here is the plan:
Monday - Spaghetti with the Bettelli sauce (we didn't have it on Sunday because of a Christmas party)
Tuesday - Steak on the grill, baked potatoes, broccoli
Wednesday - Chicken on the grill, rice, salad  
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - Christmas dinner with Nicole to gift swap (take out)
Saturday - Christmas Eve dinner at my mom's.
Sunday - Christmas brunch at my house (recipes to follow)
For the Christmas Brunch I have decided to make:
Monkey Bread
Fruit Salad
Here is how I make fruit salad -
I use berries of all kinds and mix in a small container of strawberry yogurt.
It is delicious and looks pretty with the pink yogurt.
Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
• 1 package (10 Oz. Size) Spinach, Thawed And Squeezed Dry
• 8 ounces, weight Mushrooms, Chopped
• ¼ cups Plus 1 Teaspoon Flour
• 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
• 1 cup Cottage Cheese
• ½ cups Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
• 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, Divided
• 2 whole Eggs
• 2 whole Egg Whites
• Salt To Taste
• ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions:
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.
Place spinach and mushrooms in a large bowl. Toss with flour.
Stir in ricotta, cottage, parmesan and 1 cup of mozzarella. Add the eggs, egg white, salt and pepper and mix until all is incorporated.
Transfer mixture to your baking dish and top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella. Bake for 45 minutes until set.
Turn the oven to a high broil and place quiche under for 1–2 minutes until top is golden brown.

and lastly, Hashbrown Casserole
2 lb. frozen hashbrowns, defrosted

1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 c. crushed corn flakes
1/4 c. melted butter

Mix corn flakes with 1/4 cup butter; set aside for topping. Combine all ingredients, except topping. Place in buttered casserole dish and top with corn flake mixture. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Sounds yummy to me.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Insta-Friday 12-10 to 12-16

It's Friday again, just like last week.
life rearranged
Amazing how the days keep coming, faster and faster each week.
Here is what we've been up to through the lense of my iphone.

I am aware that I already posted about the Christmas musical at our church, but I just wanted to reiterate the fact that the cutest wise man in the universe was mine.

This is homeade macaroni and cheese. 
with broccoli.
And my four year old son told me it was his favoritest meal ever.
Bam, baby!

This is how Ethan helps me with the laundry.

These brothers crack me up.
They always want to be in the same place, so we obliged by putting them in a crib.

One advent activity for this week was go out to eat at a restaurant.
George chose the most expensive steak restaurant in our area.
I explained that that restaurant was too far away, ahem, and he needed to pick choice number 2.
That was McDonald's, go figure.
I enlisted daddy to take the boys himself, so I could get some "free" time to clean their room.
This picture was taken at the tail end of my hour long session.
I left the puzzles until last.
That bucket is filled with every last piece that I found in all the other piles I went through.
I plan on keeping the puzzles extra high from now on.
This is not an activity I wish to repeat anytime in the near future.

Tim and I finally got to go out for our anniversary (which was November 26) this week.
We had a groupon for a local hibachi restaurant that we used.
Although this may look sort of disgusting, let me assure you that this meal is worth every penny spent and every minute spent in the bathroom afterwards.

After dinner Tim took me for my first experience with Sephora.
I wanted some make-up for Christmas, so he let me have my pick that night.
This is a typical picture Tim would take of me.
I am always cracking up at him taking a dumb picture of me.

Ethan and I did some Christmas shopping this week.
While out I found him this perfect hat for our trip to North Carolina after Christmas.
Isn't he the cutest snow bunny?

Hope your week was as filled with joy as mine was.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tired, Again

Never a dull moment around here.
Things are extra crazy, and I can't seem to put a coherent sentence together.
I am just. so. tired.
I can't seem to catch up.
Bed is calling, so I must answer.
I know this was the lamest post ever, but I didn't want to leave you hanging.
Big things tomorrow, I promise:)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simplicity is Key

I have talked a little about my second born, Ethan, on the blog.
He is a little bit of a wild man.
He is into everything and anything, and he likes to be entertained.
I am pretty much his main source of entertainment around here, especially when his brother is in school.
Obviously, I am always on the look out for ways to keep him busy. 
And I prefer things that can keep him busy for 30 seconds or longer.
Those things are hard to come by.
I saw a few ideas online the other day for sensory activities for toddlers.
I decided to try them out, and wouldn't you know it . . . he couldn't get enough.
They were so easy to put together using things I already had around the house.
Cheap and entertaining . . . get out of here.
I am sold.
I want to share these nuggets of wisdom with anyone out there who has a spirited toddler living in their home.
Here goes:
I used an old cool whip container (thanks to my mom who saves every single one) and a wipes container (Lord knows I have millions of those around my house).

For the cool whip container, just stab/cut five or so holes in the top . . . like so:

Then fill that puppy with those soft furry balls that you can get at any old craft store.

Now, dump out the balls and let the little one shove them back in through the holes.
Hours of entertainment I tell you.
And as if it could get any better . . . they are actually learning skills while they do it.

Disclaimer:  make sure your child is old enough to know not to put the balls in his/her mouth.

For the wipes container, I just tied a bunch of different fabrics together in little strips and filled the tub.

Again, hours of entertainment pulling the strips out and then putting them back in.
All. by. themselves.
They have such a look of accomplishment once they get it.

There you have it . . . easy ways to entertain.

Any other ideas?  Send them my way.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wise Man

George was in our church Christmas program last Sunday.
To say it was cute would be the understatement of the year.
He was a wise man in the nativity portion.
I have never seen a better looking wise man in all my life.
And I am not being partial or anything.

The program was called The Mystery of the Manger.

I really thought the message was loud and clear, especially for a children's program.

All the kids did a great job, and the directors were excellent.

Here are a few more pictures from the production.

We only took a few hundred.  We didn't want to over do it.

He wore jeans and a Christmas shirt for the first half, and then did a costume change for the second half.

I love that he is old enough to participate in these types of things.

It is so wonderful to watch him be a part of spreading the gospel.

I pray all my kids have a hunger for the Lord from a young age and truly enjoy doing His work.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Plan 12-12 to 12-18

Menu Plan Monday, Friends.

Getting crazier by the minute over here in the Bettelli household.

Some fun stuff coming up this week, but it doesn't leave a whole lot of time for cooking.

Monday - out to eat wherever George picks (within reason).
This is his Advent activity for the day, so we will oblige.

Tuesday - pork chops on the grill, rice, broccoli

Wednesday - @ church

Thursday - Taco night with all the fixin's & yellow rice with black beans

Friday - We will be in Disney:)

Saturday - @ a birthday party for our nephew in Vero Beach

Sunday - @ a church Christmas party with friends

Last week I did manage to get a few Christmas cookies in the oven.
I made a new cookie recipe, and my whole family seemed to love them.
I am going to be nice and share the recipe with you.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies:

Mix together:
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

In separate bowl, mix:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Add dry ingredients to wet ones & mix well
Pour 12 oz bag of chocolate chips in mixture, & stir together
Refrigerate at least 2 hours (very important and very annoying at the same time).
Roll into balls, then roll in 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Bake @ 350 degrees for 9 1/2 minutes (I had to bake longer, but I think my balls were bigger than they should have been.  FYI).

Here is the finished product:

Have you done any baking lately?
It really is therapeutic.

Happy Monday!