Author Archives: Kelli

Jason’s Favorite Meatloaf

A post from Kelli–

No matter what time of day, if you ask Jason what he would like to eat, chances are if you suggest some combination of meat and potatoes, he will happily agree.  And if you add green bean casserole to the mix, he’ll probably love you forever!

With the lovely weather that we’ve been having here in Iowa–ya know…windchills up to -60 below–and the accompanying wind with that, travel on gravel roads and other secondary roads is going to be minimal….unless you have a plow or skid loader!  To make things even better, they have pulled all of the plows from secondary roads in our little 4 county area.  This literally means that there is no way I’ll be getting home anytime soon!

Luckily, Mom lives much closer to a state highway than I do!

I was got up on Tuesday morning and realized all of these happenings…so I decided that I probably should pack up stuff to be gone for a few days.  I made myself a batch of salsa soup with a few alterations–here’s the link–

I usually make mine with a pound of sausage.  I also didn’t have any good canned salsa on hand, so I used a jar of Walmart’s store brand with black beans and corn.  It usually turns out pretty good–especially on a cold day like the ones we are having.

Then I got to thinking and feeling bad for Jason.  On Monday, he put in a 19 hour day trying to get things done up ahead of time as much as he could so that all of the critters would be bedded and so that he could minimize the amount of time he would be out in the cold over the next few days.  He ended up coming in at 1 in the morning and was up and out the door again by 6.  I honestly don’t know how he does it day in and day out, but he does and he’s happy doing it…And that’s the important part!

I realized that one of the only things worse that being cold and tired, was being cold, tired, and hungry.  I couldn’t do much to help with the first two, but I sure could help with the third one!

I grabbed one of my favorite church cookbooks and flipped to my favorite–and Jason’s favorite–meatloaf recipe.  As you can tell again, I don’t do well with keeping the cookbook away from where I’m cooking at…or I’m just a messy cooker….or possibly (actually, definitely) both!

Our favorite is the middle recipe.  It’s a bit blurry in the picture, but I like it because you just mix it all together, throw it in a pan, cook it and its done.

Here is the recipe–

2 pounds hamburger, 1 cup oatmeal, 1 small diced onion (optional), 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup milk, and Greek Seasoning to taste.  You mix that all up, put it in a pan and top it with the sauce–1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1 tsp dry mustard.  Slather that on top, cook it at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes….and that’s it!

I was running a bit behind and knew I didn’t have a full cup of ketchup, so I ended up just adding some BBQ sauce on top.  It didn’t have time to cool before I had to leave for a meeting, so this is how I left it for Jason–

For some reason, he actually likes instant mashed potatoes.  I don’t know why.  I used to try to convert him, but in the past year or so, I just decided to go with it!  If he likes it and will eat it, I’m all for it…especially if it means less work for me.  And he even had a choice of what flavor….hwo fancy right?!?!?!

Note–I knew he would be home for a quick lunch not long after I left, so I felt okay leaving it out to cool off for him before we put in in the fridge.  After he eats his lunch, he’ll put it in the refrigerator and all will be well.

It worked out perfect for me today too because I made it and popped it in the oven, did a few things around the house, jumped in the shower and by the time I was done, the timer on my Echo just started going off.  I’ll tell you in another post how much I love that Echo!

I love when I’m able to get my adult skills together to get a meal made and get other things done at the same time!  Hopefully I am able to hone in on that skill a bit more in the coming days….because you know….baby!



Hanging with Scotty and Lucy!

A post from Kelli–

A few days ago when I was talking with Mom, she mentioned that Buck’s nanny had told them that she was quitting.  They had an inkling that she might be, but it was a bit sudden.  Lora’s mom is often able to come over and watch the kids, but I took this as the perfect opportunity to have an Auntie day!

I got on the road a bit later than I had hoped, but puking at home seemed much more appealing that puking while driving.

Once I got there, Scotty was awake, but Lucy hadn’t woken up yet.  I was a little nervous how she’d be waking up with me and not Mom or Dad.  It turned out great.

We played a bunch in the morning.  We also had a little “testing of the boundaries,” as is common.  By the time lunch rolled around, Scotty had me making him a peanut butter quesadilla–Which he can say perfectly by the way– and warming up some lasagna for Lucy.

So what’s a peanut butter quesadilla?  Just a tortilla shell with peanut butter.  Easy to make and he loves them, so it was a win for everyone!

And his grin of course is adorable!

Lucy wasn’t afraid to jump right in either!

She started out just munching away, but before long….

She had managed to get lasagna EVERYWHERE!!!  And this picture wasn’t even the worst!  She managed to smear it all over in her hair, face and ears.  After attempting to wash her up a bit, I realized that the only way to get her clean was to give the kids a bath!

So off to the bathroom we went!  They both had a blast.  We played some with some letters, washed hair and splashed of course too!  My baby belly kept getting in the way, but it sure was a fun time watching them play.

After bath time, it was off to bed for some napping!

Buck came home almost as soon as the kids woke up.  We chatted for a bit and then I was off to Hobby Lobby to get a few things for a project I’m working on, but I’ll share more about that later….

After I got home, I looked at my calendar and found a few more dates that I’m going to turn into Auntie days.  We’ll see what happens with Dad and if I can sneak them in…  If I can go, I’m thinking that I might try to take Carver down with me so that he can hang with Scotty too.  They get along so good together and it’s so fun watching them hang out!

A Quick Carver Visit

A post from Kelli–

Normally when I work my weekend as the hospital as a nurse, I work Friday, Saturday, and Sundays on the day shift side from 7am to 7pm.  Due to a status change, the night sides 7P to 7A were open that weekend as well.  I ended up talking to my supervisor and switching to the night side rather than working the days.  With a few extra bonuses for picking up and working overnight weekend, I ended up with a pretty nice “extra” for my hourly wage.  I also know that it’s easier for her to fill the days than the nights and while my current family responsibilities can handle it, I figured I might as well jump at the chance.

You can imagine my surprise then when Kalissa messaged me on Sunday night/Monday morning at about 1:30 AM.  She sent me a video of Carver telling me that he wasn’t feeling the best.  He gets croup pretty often and it had decided to get him again.  He was too sick for daycare and said that Craig was able to take half of a day off of work, but was wondering if I’d be able to watch him in the afternoon.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, I love that my job lets me be the Auntie and fill-in on days like this.  We made a plan that Craig would stay home with him until about 1130 and then bring him over to my house at 1200.  I’d feed him and we’d nap and then Craig would come pick him up.

By the time he got to my house, he was feeling way better which was a bonus.  We had a little lunch and settled in with one of the Disney Cars movies.  Before I knew it, we were both sleeping.  I woke up at about 3, but knowing Carver wasn’t feeling good, I let him sleep until about 4:15.  Once he got up he pulled up the chair he sits on at my house and I got him a snack.  I told him I was going to go to the bathroom quick, but to yell really loud if he needed something.

I came out of the bathroom to find this–

He had grabbed his crackers and crawled over to the large window in my kitchen.  As it turned out, Jason was out fixing the manure spreader and he wanted to watch.  After we watched Jason for a bit, we had to talk about all of the “things” in the yard.  While he was watching and learning, I was able to get a few things done around the kitchen to get things cleaned up some.  It turned out to be a very productive afternoon!

Sometimes I get nervous that I won’t have enough activities planned or do enough creative things as a mom did.  Moments like this remind me that sometime the best thing is to step back and let kids learn on their own.  Guide them and answer questions that they might have, but let them be curious and learn by watching and observing.  It was definitely a reminder that I needed!

And of course we had to get a selfie!

Carver days are always good days.

And then the Nesting Started….

A post from Kelli–

So a while back, I decided that I wanted to get a few things done around the house before the baby got here.  Then I started thinking of all the things I’d like to get done….and then I got overwhelmed, so I decided to wallow on the couch and drown in my nausea and just make pinterest boards about the perfect nursery, tips for everything under the sun as it relates to having a child, and making a baby registry.

Then one day, things started to click.  Time was not on my side and with a crazy schedule coming up, I really needed to get my butt in gear.  When I was talking with mom, she mentioned things like getting a guest room ready so that if I need to have a C-section and need someone to help me for a few days, they’d probably like somewhere to stay other than my couch.  I also decided that I should probably do things like get the crib set up….or wash some baby clothes.  I knew then that I needed to get my act together and get stuff done…So that’s what I tried to do…

But then I started getting overwhelmed, didn’t know where to start, and stalled again!  After a bit of thinking, I sat down and started a list.  I made a list of all the things I want to get done before the baby gets here, knowing that not all of them will probably get done, but at least this way when I need to do something, I can pick a small job if I only have a few minutes…Or maybe choose something that requires some supplies to purchase if I pick up an extra shift at work and have some extra cash.

Once I had my list together, I again got overwhelmed….but then I heard mom’s voice in the back of my head –You don’t have to do all the things, but you have to do just one more thing.

I decided to adopt this as my motto over the next few months.  After reviewing the list and making a few alterations, I made sure to include things that involved more sitting for days that I’m not feeling well or some things that would be more fun like baby laundry or working on a project at mom’s that I need to finish for the baby’s room.  I also made a list of things that I need to purchase or add to my registry so that when I may have a little extra cash or be headed in a certain direction, I could purchase some of the things/supplies I need to finish a project.

One of the nights last week, I had just got done working overnights.  Overnights have notoriously been making me feel like crap lately.  I’m almost guaranteed to puke and feel crappy for a day or two after working them as I get off a bit on my nausea meds, but I don’t have much of a choice, so I try to grin and bear it as best I can.  It was like 8 pm at night and I was feeling lazy….but then I remembered–I didn’t have to do all of the things, but I had to do one more thing.

So I grabbed my list and picked something that would likely be a quick job that wasn’t too strenuous as I was feeling less than ideal.

And bathroom cabinet it was!

Yup!  Quite the mess!  As you can see, my skills at stuffing one more thing in the cupboard are progressing nicely!

After though looks much better….And I even have more space than I thought I did.  One thing that helped was that I went through and got rid of all of the expired medications…Embarrassingly enough I had some from 2016!  Oops!  I still need to do the upper cupboard and the lower 2 drawers, but I did one more thing and that’s the important part.

I was worried for a little bit that having a list of so many things would be daunting, but it’s actually been a real motivation for me.  I can quick look at it to see where I’m at and what areas I really need to work on.  I think that before I spent so much time worrying about what to do, that by the time I figured it out, I either didn’t have time or had lost my motivation.  I also find great satisfaction in crossing things off of a list, so there’s that too….

And just for fun, here’s a bump-date– Continue reading