For the month of November I made it a goal to lessen our eating out for Dinner.  For years Jeff and I have eaten out for way to many meals, which while at times has been convenient, it has made Ethan believe that you can only get certain food items from a restaurant and it has contributed to our not-so-healthy lifestyle...apparently we need to make a change for all our sakes.  So I started off the beginning of the month with a menu calendar, adding some regular dinner staples, some new recipes and even my first crock-pot meal, all of which turned out really well, with the exception of one.

With today being the last day of November, I can proudly say that I have made a home-cooked meal for 23 of the 30 days of this month.  I plan to continue this goal into the upcoming year, hopefully finding new and healthy recipes, so if anyone has any recipes that they would like to share feel free to email them to me and I can email you some of our favorites as well.



The past couple of weeks Jeff and I have been rearranging rooms, moving furniture and unpacking all the boxes that have been stored in the garage attic from when we were trying to sell the house.  It has been a lot of work, with a large car load to GoodWill, but is finally starting to come together and we are very close to being finished.

 My former office/guest bedroom, now back to guest room/exercise room.

My office above, Jeff's office below.  In the upstairs of our house we have an extra room just big enough for our offices with a windows view of Mt. Hood on a clear day. 

This morning while I finished getting the Christmas cards ready to mail, I let Ethan entertain himself with some Christmas stamps and crayons.  If you don't get a Christmas card, we don't have your address, email me and we will add you to the list for next year.


Thanksgiving at the Hadley's

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day at our house.  In the almost 14 years we have been married, Jeff and I have only been with our families on Thanksgiving Day twice, both before we moved to Oregon.  And while we do miss hanging out with our families that day and many others, we prefer to be with them for Christmas every other year, so instead we have a wonderful carefree day by ourselves, not fighting the travelers and doing whatever we would like.

This year I brined our turkey, thanks to a recipe from Jeff's sister-in-law Jenn, and it was the most moist turkey I have ever had. 

Jeff made the rolls this year, and since we aren't pie eaters, he made some awesome chocolate chip cinnamon rolls with some of the roll dough...they were so tasty!  
(These are hot out of the oven pre-icing).

Thankful #8

Traditions - I love traditions, they make life so much fun and give us something to always look forward to.  In my family we had several traditions growing up and as Ethan grows up I hope to have many more.

My favorite holidays is Christmas and one of my favorite traditions growing up was on Christmas Eve we have always had tacos for dinner and then my mom always makes homemade sugar cookies and we would spend the evening decorating them.  I look forward to this every year and have continued it in my own family.  Also in getting ready for Christmas and living in Oregon, Jeff and I have always gotten a live Christmas tree from a local tree farms.  Not so much a fan of all the cleanup afterward but love the smell of the tree and seeing the decorations the whole month long.  With Ethan we have also added Christmas traditions of Zoo lights and this year we are going to add snow tubing/sledding at Mt. Hood.

The 4th of July is my second favorite for traditions.  As a child my family lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, and each year my Grandma Verna made each one of her grandchildren matching patriotic outfits/sundresses and we spent the day in Provo, Utah, seeing the 4th of July parade, cooking breakfast along the parade route and all the fun activities as well as shooting our cap guns.  My Great Grandma Johnson lived down the street from the parade route so we always had a potty spot.  And fireworks are always a hit, they just make you smile.    


Thankful #7

Music - It is been a big part of my life.  I love all types of music and I, like my son, can't not sing along or start to dance whenever I hear it.  I learned to play music by ear instead of by the notes themselves and could play almost anything by listening to it a few times.  I learned to play the piano very young and in sixth grade I picked the flute to play in the school band.  I played it all through middle school and high school.  While I haven't played either the piano or flute in many years I long to have the time and ability again someday.  Another one of my goals in life is to eventually learn to play the guitar that my parents gave me for high school graduation 16 years ago.  


Thankful #6

FAMILY - I am proud to be a Berg/Caldwell/Hadley.  I have A LOT of family.  On the Berg side my dad has 3 brothers and 1 sister with me being one of 21 grandchildren.  On the Caldwell side my mom has 4 brothers and 1 sister and I am the oldest of 26 grandchildren.  I have two brothers, 1 sister-in-law, one nephew and one niece and Jeff has 3 brothers, 1 sister, 3 sister-in-laws and one niece...and we have Ethan.

I have had wonderful examples from both my parents.  My dad is the best example of a honest, hard-working man who would do anything he could to help someone else and I admire him.  I know I can always count on him and that he loves me no matter what.  I am his only baby girl and I share his middle name as part of my first name and the same chin dimple.  He also has given all of us many laughs over the years..."That's highway robbery!"   My mom would do anything for her children.  She is also very talented with making beautiful handcrafted items, such as baby booties, crocheted dressed and hair accessories and tole paintings.  Her middle name is part of my first name and I get my perfectionism and my purse fetish from her. 

I am also so thankful that I was able to know all of my grandparents, even if is wasn't for as long as I would have liked.  My Grandma Verna became one of my best friends as a child.  She is my only living grandparent.  She is a magnificent seamstress, making the warmest blankets, fun sundresses when I was little and aprons, and she also makes the best pound cake ever!  She taught me to love myself and not to worry about what others think or say.  She also taught me how to make her best pound cake ever but I should have had her teach me to sew because I severely suck at that.  My Grandpa Don was a wonderful wood craftsman and I cherish all the things he made me over the years, including the carousel horses that he made for my wedding reception.  For my younger cousins they missed out on a great man as he had a stroke many years before he passed away and unfortunately it changed his personality from the grandpa I knew.  My Grandma Helen was the sweetest, most caring person I have ever known.  You knew you were loved by her and she cherished spending time with her family.  My dad reminds me of her so much, especially with his laugh.  My Grandpa Ross taught us the meaning of hard work.  He was a farmer in Idaho and I remember spending time with them playing in the irrigation water that filled the entire lawn, playing on the old tractor, finding shells in the canal and when all the cousins were there having sleeping bags line the floor of the basement.

I also married into a wonderful and supportive family with in-laws who are great examples for their children and I am so happy to be part of their family.


Thankful #5

Health - Overall we are a pretty immunity healthy bunch.  We have had very minimal bouts of sickness at our home with Ethan having only a handful of colds and only one flu-like throw up sickness in his 3+years, myself only having the flu one time in many many years, which happened to be last year when we were home for Christmas, and Jeff, who was also extremely sick at that same time also having a rarity of illness. 

Earlier this fall after having surgery on my foot, I ended up getting a DVT aka a blood clot in my lower right leg.  Since that time I have had to be on Coumadin, a blood thinning medication, and will have to take the medication for 6 months.  Along with taking the medication, I also have to go to the Anti-Coagulation Clinic to get my PT/INR tested, at first going weekly, then moving to every two weeks and now going monthly.  For the last 2+ months my INR has been 2.2-2.5, which is excellent, and with having a steady number the whole time I was cleared by my doctors to ease back into my previous exercise activities.  While I wouldn't say that I have a overwhelming desire to exercise, I do have a great exercise buddy, Amy, who gives me great motivation and pushes me when I need it.  I am excited to be able to get back to the gym, put Ethan in Kids Club for an hour or so and work off some stress.  My favorite had become Zumba, which I will have to ease myself back into because of my foot, but so looking forward to it. 


Thankful #4

Girlfriends....while I don't have an overabundance, I do have some terrific girlfriends, close by that I see regularly as well as far away friends that I wish I could see more often. 

Two of my best girlfriends have become Amy and Nicole.  We were all friends before we had our boys within a few months of each other and we have spent a lot of time together over the past 3+ years. I have had many laughs, cries, and memories with these girls and their friendship means the world to me.

I love these girls!!

Big Boy Bedroom

We finally got Ethan's big boy bedroom put together yesterday.  We have been cleaning out the boxes and furniture we have had stored in the garage attic while we were attempting to sell our house.  Ethan is now going to be sleeping on the daybed I had as a child, I just need to find something else to replace the brass knobs with so it doesn't look too girlish.  He is so excited to have a bed that he can jump on, read and play on and also has a spare bed underneath for a friend to sleepover.  He looks so small sleeping in this bed though.  We also were finally able to get all the pieces of our bedroom set upstairs and made use of a couple other stored cabinets for Ethan's dresser and puzzles.

Ethan say's his new bed is really comfy...apparently the dogs think so too!


Thankful #3

My gratefulness today is for our home.  We purchased our home for almost 11 years ago and have changed many things about it over that time.  We have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making it our own and I appreciate that we have been able to do almost all of it ourselves even if the to-do list is never-ending.  Some of my favorite things to do are to rearrange and reorganize, and even this weekend we have been/will be doing that (Ethan is getting a real big boy bedroom and the guest room will once again be a guest room instead of my office). 
This sign hangs above our front door and my sincere hope is that all those who come to our home will always feel welcome and will enjoy being in our home making memories with us! 


Thankful #2

I love this little guy to pieces...

Ethan makes my heart melt and at times makes me want to pull my hair out but I love him.  Jeff and I purposefully waited a long time to get pregnant.  We wanted to have a home and both have educations and careers, mine being a career that I could work from home while being a stay-at-home-mom.  I found out I was pregnant with him 5 days after my 30th birthday and had him 10.5 years after we were married.  In the past 3+ years with him we have had lots of fun, lots of laughs, lots of crying on mine and his part, and lots of learning but I wouldn't change it.  He has his daddy's smarts, a contagious laugh, is a pint-sized power house full of entertainment, has dancing skills that make you want to dance with him, who won't go most anywhere without a hat on and I hope will always stay that way...well, except for maybe the hat.


Thankful #1

For the month of November I have been writing a comment on facebook each day for something I am thankful for, some serious, some goofy but thankful nonetheless.  With it being one week until Thanksgiving I would like to do the same on my blog.

My first gratefulness is for my husband, Jeff, of almost 14 years.  He is my best friend.  For all those who don't know him really well or are meeting him for the first time you will think that he is ultra quiet and shy, however, give him some time to warm up and you will love him.  He is smart, honest, funny, extremely handy having a great dad as a teacher, will help anyone in anyway that he can and he makes me laugh constantly.  We make a good team and I am so glad to share my life with him.  I love you Jeff!    



We are ALMOST finished with the upstairs bathroom.  It has been four weeks since we started this, however, as we can only work on it during the weekends it really has only been a few days of actual labor.  We have everything back together with exception of the toilet...and of course there always has to be at least one complication for some reason so hopefully by the end of this week we will have the bathroom completely finished and can move on to the next project. 

We build a shelf above the toilet to hold the stereo and Jeff's reading materials.



I know where he, meaning Ethan, gets at least this one...chewing of objects, but if it a hereditary thing I am not sure where myself and both my brothers got our habit from.  Other than my dad's random use of objects, i.e. plastic sandwich bags, as a form of floss, I don't recall ever seeing either of my parents do anything of the sort. 

For my brothers it has always been straws, which were completely unrecognizable when they were finished with them.  I, myself, have a pen cap chewing problem, I have had it for as long as I can remember.  I am also very adamant about my pen as well.  I am not a fan of sharing it, I bite off the hook of the cap and I use the same pen until every drop of ink has been used and then start the same process over again.

 My current pen, almost empty.

Ethan's choice of chewing has been his drink cups.  We have replaced at least 10.

This one has a been replaced three times, all three were very graciously free from Camelbak, as at the time, and maybe still, they didn't sell just the lid or the plastic nipple. 

This one I have also replaced three times, two of which were free from Camelbak, as this one also you couldn't by replacements until just recently.  I still have one of these in reserve.  This picture does not truly show the chewing destruction but the spout is supposed to hold the water like a regular Camelbak until you want to drink it but Ethan has chewed it until it leaks constantly.  He thinks that it is meant to be held by his teeth and not his hands.

And there have been at least 3 other cups that I have throw out from the same fate.
His latest efforts were both of his Nalgene bottles that we have used for milk.  In the spout it has three holes in hard plastic to release the fluid for which he chewed both spouts completely closed and will now be drinking milk from a regular cup.  I should have taken a picture before I threw them both away, it was quite impressive.

Oh how I am looking forward to the constant clean up of spills.


Needs some sleep!?!

Daylight savings time is awful when you have a boy who is not so much a fan of sleeping to begin with.  Last night Jeff and I had him stay up an extra hour hoping that he would sleep longer this morning...BACK FIRE...He was crying at 2am wanting to get up and watch a movie...not going to happen...and then was up at 5:50 for good with much of the day so far crying and whining.  Let's hope he doesn't decide to take a nap today at 5:30 pm and start the same cycle over for tomorrow.  Insert sad face here...
However, we have had a few moments when he was very helpful and happy...like helping daddy cook him an egg for breakfast.

And he has also been very helpful with helping us get the bathroom reconstructed, he is great at handing us screws for the floor.  We were hoping to be farther along this weekend but the floor leveler and wall putty is taking longer than it should to dry.  It is very nice to have a solid floor back in there though and hopefully next weekend we will have the toilet back in use.