Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter Camp


Grampy taking Lily for a ride around the lake



Eli's first ride!


Last weekend we got to spend a little bit of time with some of Joe's family at a fishing camp that they rented for the week! We were only able to spend one night, but we had a great time just being with them and enjoying the great winter outdoors of Maine!

There weren't very many fish caught on this trip, but all four of us had fun on Grampy's snowmobile! Yes, all four of us! Lily took a little trip with Grampy, Joe took Eli on his first ride (slowly around the lake), and I even got to drive one for the very first time! I've ridden a snowmobile before, but never driven until now- and I think I might be hooked!

Family, Snowmobiles, Yatzee, Chicken dinner pie, Watching Lily and Eli play with their Aunt Marianne and Cousin Maggie, and Grampy's famous pumpkin whoopie pies made for a wonderful little get away!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Eli's First Ski Trip!


Two weeks ago we took Eli on his first cross country ski trip! It was our day off and we packed up the whole family (Indy included) and headed for Acadia National Park (one of our favorite places). We were excited to get outside, but to be honest we were a little nervous about this trip. As I've mentioned before, Eli is in a very active stage, and thus we imagined that he might not like staying in the sled very long (much less while he was in his snowsuit). So, we prepared for the possibility that our trip might be just 15 minutes long, and then we just went for it!
While we skied and hiked (Joe had some problems with his ski boots) the kids rode together in our fantastic LL Bean sled and Indy pulled them! Seriously, our dog pulls them (he has a special harness) and it's fantastic! Joe does take over from time to time to give Indy a break. But the kids loved watching Indy pull them and this kept them quite happy for the first 2o minutes or so. And what happened after that? What happened was that Eli fell asleep in the sled sweetly leaning against his sister! And when we turned around near the half way point we even managed to get Lily out of the sled (so she could run around) without waking the sweet little man. We laid him down in the sled, snuggled him in the wool blanket, and our active little boy sweetly slept the rest of the trip (with the dog still pulling him)!
It was honestly one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. And many people who passed us and noticed Eli sleeping in the sled seemed to agree. He didn't wake up until we moved him back into his car seat. Amazing! The only sad part was that I chose to leave my camera at home that day! I just figured that the trip would be sort of crazy and that it would just be too much to handle one more thing. You better believe that I was kicking myself for having missed those moments! So I have no pictures from that trip, but I just can't seem to post without a picture so I thought you might enjoy this one instead! I'm already looking forward to our next trip!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

52 Weeks of Service: Chicken Dinner Pie

Last week for our family service project we made and delivered dinner for a family in our church (the mom recently had surgery for breast cancer). She is just a great lady and despite having cancer she has barely slowed down in her service to our church (leading the high school ministry and helping to lead worship among other things). After surgery though she was forced to slow down a bit and thus is was our pleasure really to be able to make dinner for her family (including two teenage kids).
We made our absolute favorite go to meal- chicken dinner pie. I got the recipe from Joe's mom when we were first married and this meal has served us very well in the 8 years since. It was the meal that I made for Joe the night I told him I was pregnant (with Lily). It also happens to be the meal that I make for just about every one of my friends when they have babies or are sick or just in need of a little love in meal form.
It's yummy, it travels well, reheats well, and even freezes well. Most important thought is that it really is delicious. This time around Lily had a great time helping me to make the crusts (and playing with the dough)!
I thought I would share the recipe with all of you just in case you feel like making it for someone you love too.
Chicken Dinner Pie
1/3cup & 1Tbsp shortening
1cup flour
1/2tsp salt
2-3Tbsp water
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1tsp salt
1/4tsp pepper
1/4tsp thyme
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup light cream
4 cups cubed chicken or turkey
10 oz cooked carrots
10 oz frozen peas
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cook carrots.
2. Prepare pastry for top. Mix 1 cup flour and 1/2tsp salt. Cut in shortening. Add water to form dough. You may also choose to double to make a crust for the bottom as well as the top (I do this quite often). If I'm making it to drop off at someones house I usually buy a frozen crust for the bottom (which then comes with it's own pie tin).
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt, pepper, and thyme. cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Sir in broth and cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute. Stir in chicken and vegetables.
4. Pour into pie plate. Put pastry over and seal. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The State of My Union




The state of the union in my home state of Wisconsin is rather chaotic right now. And yes, my mother and father (who both work for the state) have been out protesting. I don't really know enough to form a complete opinion about what's going on there. But, I can tell you what's going on here, in my house.
And the state of my union is rather chaotic these days too! The words, "I've totally lost control" have been uttered more than a few times in the last few weeks!:) When Eli was a newborn I remember thinking that it was going to be hard to keep the house in order. Well, those newborn days pale in comparison to what we are experiencing now! Yes, having two very active, curious, and energetic children has made it hard to keep my "union" clean and in order. Hard is an understatement actually- it's been near impossible. The facts are in and I just have to face the realization that my two children can destroy a room faster than I can clean it! Let me share with you a few examples.
A few days before Valentines Day the kids and I were working on a heart ornament craft involving string. Lily had a lot of fun (and did a great job) cutting lots of little pieces of red, pink, and white string for our ornaments. We dipped the pieces of string in glue and molded them inside heart shaped cookie cutters. It actually worked, but it was a little hard for Lily (and she didn't love the glue all over her fingers). Eli did enjoy playing with the glue but that was about it for him. So, we did make three ornaments, but that was it. And we had LOTS of string left over. And that's when I decided to do the dishes. The kids were playing in the living room and I knew they were likely making a mess, but I had no idea what I was in for! When I finished the dishes and turned around I found that Lily had taken the string/yarn and wrapped it around and around the walls that make a circle from our kitchen to our living room (see pictures above)! In doing so she even trapped Joe (who was working in the basement). It was all pretty funny actually. Oh, and both of the children had also taken all the little pieces of string and flung them throughout the living room like they were confetti! I did get the dishes done, but the rest of the downstairs was trashed!
And then there was this morning. Apparently Eli put a wooden block in the toilet the other day (which we just found out today) and when Lily had...umm...done her business this morning and went to flush the toilet things did not go as they should. She yelled for me and I ran into the bathroom to find the contents of the toilet and water spilling out all over the floor. Big time yuck. Thankfully Joe was working in the basement again and he was able to run up and turn off the water. Needless to say that after that the entire bathroom NEEDED a complete scrubbing.
And then just as I had all the cleaning supplies in order Lily managed to lock us all out of the bathroom. Thankfully Joe was able to fix that too! I pretty much spent the whole morning going back and forth between the bathroom and the kids. I would clean the shower, play with the kids, clean the toilet, get the kids a snack, scrub down the bathroom walls, break up a fight over who gets to hold the stuffed bunny, etc...
And after a whole morning the bathroom still isn't finished! The bathroom is right in between the kids bedrooms and thus I can't clean in there when they are napping (which they are right now). So by the end of the day I will have a sparkling clean bathroom that would make my dad proud, but the rest of the house will be trashed! Oh well, such is life right now. Such is the state of MY union. But I know that it's just a stage and that someday my house will be clean again. And until that day I'll just do my best to clean here and there as I go and appreciate the two little monkeys who are making all the mess (because they are absolutely worth it)!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Let Him Eat Cake!

Smash Cake_edited-1 copy

I've been working on some one year photos of Eli and I just couldn't resist doing a little smash cake photo shoot!
I haven't been brave enough with either Lily or Eli to actually let them do a full smash cake at their first birthday party (the cupcake was plenty)! So I decided that it would be fun to let them do it for a little photo shoot. This actually started out as a giant cupcake and here at the end it's just sort of a pile of cake crumbles and of course a sweet baby boy covered in blue frosting!
I let him do it by himself for a while, but what you don't see is that at this point his sister is rolling around in cake just to the side of him!:)
Oh they had great fun! They definitely ate some cake, but I actually think that Eli had more fun just spreading the frosting all over his legs and then smashing the cake to bits when his sister joined him. About half way through the dog caught on to what we were doing (yes, this happened in our living room) and pretty much sat next to me drooling for the rest of the time. One by one I had to carry them up to the shower (and then there was no controlling the dog- he just went for it)!
Over all it was a lot of fun and even though she's going to be four I've already promised Lily a similar photo shoot soon (with a giant pink cupcake). I guess you are never too old to smash, eat, and frolic in a giant cupcake!:)
And yes, there are lots more pictures, but you'll have to wait until I finish all of Eli's one year pictures to see them. This is just a taste!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heart Day

Heart Day_edited-1

We've never done a lot for Valentines Day- just little, simple things. And the same was true of this year, but with a few extra simple little things to celebrate this day of love. Joe gave me these beautiful roses.

Heart Day3_edited-1
And the kids and I went out to "snow paint." I've been wanting to do this for some time now (and I have been saving spray bottles for at least 6 months)! I filled 6 bottles with different colors of water and let the kids "paint the snow" with them! Well, really it was just Lily since Eli isn't really coordinated enough for the spray trigger.

Heart Day4_edited-1
We will definitely do this again, but I might just splurge and get nice spray bottles (that have more of a direct spray). Lily had a great time with the pink (as you can see)!

Heart Day2
And I had to do one of these in honor of the day!

Heart Day14_edited-1
My littlest love

Heart Day13
My slightly bigger love giving me a kissy face (or at least she's trying to).

Heart Day12_edited-1
And I just couldn't resist this picture of Eli clutching my leg.

Heart Day6
Our lunch had a heart theme: Greek yogurt (our new favorite) and blueberries (the store was out of strawberries and Eli is allergic to raspberries)...

Heart Day7
And grilled cheese

Heart Day10
The kids loved eating out of their heart shaped bowls all day long.

Heart Day11
And I swear that they ate their sandwiches better just because they were heart shaped!
During lunch Lily and I talked a lot about love. At one point I asked Lily who we love the most. Her answer was, "Indy (our dog)." She later decided that she loves God more than Indy, but she had to think about it for a bit!:)

Heart Day8
We ordered pizza for dinner (simple), but I made this delish white chocolate bread pudding (with white chocolate sauce) for dessert. Every Valentines Day deserves a special dessert!

Heart Day9_edited-1
And I may have actually taken this picture the day after Valentines Day, but to me it's a great picture of love. I hope that your Valentines Day was filled with lots of special little things too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Future Singer?

Future Singer-

Future Singer?

Updating My Blog

Bear with me while I spend a little time updating my blog!
I've been hearing for a while from some of you that I need to update my blog (I haven't done so since Eli joined our family)!
I've also just learned how to make the pictures bigger on my blog and I have to change around some things to make that possible.
So bear with me for a day or two while I get things in order!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Love Fairy

I borrowed this idea from a friend and modified it a little bit for Valentines Day (rather than Christmas)! So about a week before Valentines Day I painted a little wooden box (that I got from the craft store) red and mounted it with a sticky strip right outside Lily's bedroom door. When she woke up the next morning she found the door, a note from the "Love Fairy", and some little sweet treats for her and Eli.
The note said, "Hello! I'm the Love Fairy and my favorite holiday, Valentines Day, is coming up! So every night between now and Valentines Day, when you are asleep, I will sneak through this little red door and leave the two of you some little treats! Love, the Love Fairy."
Every night the Love Fairy came to visit and leave the kids a few little sweets. And one night Lily even left her some Valentines too- two cards she made and a gnome (see the 2nd picture)! It was such a simple thing, but every morning Lily was excited to wake up and see what treats and encouraging notes the fairy left. And then on Valentines Day morning the kids woke up to find that the Love Fairy left them an entire bag of pink Hershey Kisses outside the little red door!:) It's a little bit of a shame that they snuck handfuls of them to eat while I was in the shower that morning, but I guess it is hard to say no to chocolate on Valentines Day!
Tonight the little red door will disappear until this time next year!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Snowsuit Time

Snowsuit Time2

Eli isn't a big fan of his snowsuit.
He tolerates it.
But it's sort of hard to blame him.
Because when he falls down he can't really get himself back up.
He just lays there.
Like a flipped over turtle.
And patiently waits for his mama to take his picture.
And then rescue him.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

52 Weeks of Service: Give a Little Love

For our service project this week we decided to give a little love away in the form of adorable Valentines gnomes!
Aren't they just the cutest thing ever?
I did the hats with the hot glue gun, but Lily glued on the googly eyes (and did such a wonderful job) all by herself!
After we made a little army of Valentines Day gnomes Lily got to give them away to anybody she wanted. It has been so fun watching her- she truly LOVES giving. She gave them away to the librarian, the kids at library time, and people at church. Tomorrow she'll finish by delivering these little gifts of love to our neighbors and her gymnastics class.
We might not be able to give you one in person, but we hope you have a Happy Valentines Day!

P.S. I kind of think of the 2nd picture as our Valentines Day family portrait!:)
And the little pink one with the cross eyes is Lily's favorite!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I've been asked if we have snow here.
Why yes we do- lots of it actually.
You might remember a recent post I did about how much we love snow. I believe I finished that post by wishing for more snow. Well, apparently God reads my blog!:) Ever since then we've received storm after storm, inch after inch.
These are recent pictures from the outside of our house. You can clearly see that we have lots of snow! The HUGE snow pile is where Joe has been putting most of the snow from our driveway (it may become a snow cave tomorrow).
So, are we still enjoying all of this snow? Believe it or not people we are! In the next couple of days we have plans for a snow cave and also some snow painting. We went cross country skiing today. I truly believe that if it's going to be cold then we might as well have snow- and I'm sticking to it! Of course come April I'll be ready for summer, but for now snow is still just fine with me!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't Be Fooled

His sweet, innocent face

His wild face

Don't be fooled by this sweet face or adorable smile! Yes, I confess that this boy has captured my heart. But...don't be fooled...he has entered into the "seek and destroy" phase of his toddler hood. And oh baby are we in trouble!:)
I think that it might be a boy thing combined with lots of natural energy and curiosity. But this little monkey is into EVERYTHING.
Yesterday we came home from the library and I was making lunch in the kitchen. I thought that the kids were looking at their new library books in the living room. But then Lily came running in to get me because in the living room Eli had spilled a soda and was splashing in it! He had it all over himself, the table, floor, assorted books, a game, etc... I literally had to strip him down, put him in our bedroom, and close the door just to get him to stop playing in the soda long enough for me to clean it up! And then (not 45 minutes later) we were playing in Lily's room just before nap time when Eli knocked over Lily's floor length mirror and then somehow hit it so that it shattered into probably a hundred pieces. And I watched in horror as my baby sat there surrounded by a pile of glass. My scream was enough to keep him from moving (amazingly) long enough for me to grab him. Nobody was hurt during that incident thankfully! But there was glass everywhere and being that it was nap time Lily had to nap in our bedroom to protect her from the glass.
Yes, maybe I should keep all beverages up and remove all glass from the house, but quite honestly this little monkey WILL find a way to get into other things (many other things). And so I'm beginning to learn what it's like to be mom to an adorable, curious, somewhat destructive, sweet, active little boy. I remember seeing the many holes in the walls of Joe's parent's house (from when he was growing up). I guess it's our turn now...for holes in the wall, and broken household items, and spilled things, and lots and lots (already) of crayon and marker on the coffee table. Yes, we have a little boy.
P.S. In case you are wondering- Eli is eating a chocolate carmel Valentines Day heart that his Grammy and G-pa sent him. And you can see a trace of his black eye (left) and a big scratch down his right cheek (from two different tumbles)- he is active I tell you!

Thursday, February 10, 2011









I'm hoping to have a blog/web site up and running for my little photography business sometime in the next month or two! It's exciting (and slightly overwhelming and scary) times! So my first step is to have a logo made. Here are a few that I am considering (created by various artists on Etsy). Obviously they wouldn't look exactly like this- as they would list my business name (Angie Cousins Photography) and I would also change the colors (and possibly font some). I thinking the colors might be a little more bold- teals and greens and oranges (maybe a bit of dark pink). So, as you may know, I'm horrible at making decisions. I think I have 2 or 3 favorites, but I would love to hear which one YOU like! So please help me out by taking my poll and letting me know which ones you like. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When I Grow Up...

Today Lily declared that when she grows up she wants to be a ballerina, and an ice skater, and an animal shelter owner, and a fire fighter. Wow, she's going to be busy!:)

Monday, February 7, 2011

NFL World Champions!!

Me and my little Packer fans!

Wearing the jersey that my parents sent to me!

Practicing her tackling?

And he did a little tackling too!

The Packer t-shirt that my parents sent Lily.

The hat was from my parents (and the pajamas we had).

Future Packer? Yes, I think so!

The Packers won the Superbowl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm a little bit excited!
Thanks to Steph and Ryan for a fun Superbowl party (with brats, 4 kinds of dip, and cupcakes- I'm drooling just remembering it)! Unfortunately we had to watch the 2nd half (and most stressful part) of the game at home (so that the kids could go to bed). It was a little too close for comfort but in the end they won! They won!! They are the NFL World Champions! And I breathed a collective sigh of relief (and happiness) with the entire state of Wisconsin.
It's good to be a Packer fan.