Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Built-in Cabinets {Basement Update}

It feels like so much progress has been made over the last few days that I just had to share what happened this evening!

Handy Hubby finished building the bookshelf cabinet yesterday! We carried it in tonight so it's now ready to prime and paint. Since it's in the basement, we just had to try it out and see how it fits. It will be painted white, there will be trim at the top, shelves built, etc., but this is progress!  It's so awesome to see our vision coming together.




All of the extra stained boards are pieces that will be around the basement on top of the 1/2 walls.  They will also be on the ledge going down the stairs to the basement.

Next up? The cabinet that will hold the TV on the other side!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bow and Arrows

The weather in Minnesota today was not great for playing outside – freezing rain/sleet/snow. So how do we make sure Anthony gets a little exercise in on days like this? When he’s lucky, he gets to play active games on the Wii!

The photo below was taken after the sports games – when he could play a “sit down” game (Super Mario Wii).

2013-01-27 Wii (e)

While playing Wii Sports Resort, he was having a blast playing the Archery game.  Then he said, “I’m an expert with the bow and arrow. It’s because I’m part Native American. They have bow and arrows.” 

Yes, he is part Native American. However, this was a reminder that we need to educate him a bit more on his background. Where should we start??

Friday, January 25, 2013

Built-in Cabinets {Basement Update}

Over the last few weeks we have continued to make progress on the built-in cabinets in the basement. Here are a few quick pictures that show what we have been up to…

The base cabinets built and ready for primer and paint. (Yes, they will eventually have doors. That’s phase two. Or Ten. Or Twenty. Whatever. It will happen.)

Built-in Cabinets - MomsGonnaSnap (1)

Here’s the side panel of the cabinet on the left (it will show into the room). This cabinet will have bookshelves built above it.

Built-in Cabinets - MomsGonnaSnap (2)

The cabinet in the corner is where the TV will sit and the A/V components will go. More cabinets will be built above it too.  (That fun paint job will eventually be covered up.)

Built-in Cabinets - MomsGonnaSnap (3)

Built-in Cabinets - MomsGonnaSnap (4)

Sampling some stain colors on a scrap piece - we wanted dark, and the two on the right just didn't work.

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The top of the cabinet on the right side has been stained and installed!  We bought the countertop at Ikea and we are planning to pick up more this weekend!

Built-in Cabinets -- MomsGonnaSnap (2)

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen the pictures below.

Built-in Cabinets -- MomsGonnaSnap (1)

Is it time for carpet yet??  I can’t wait to start moving stuff back downstairs!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fingerprints {Adoption Home Study}

It’s that time of year again. How did that happen? How did we make it another whole year already? When is it going to be our turn to add to our family?  We are in the process of updating our adoption home study (AGAIN), which includes tons of paperwork, fingerprints, more $$$, etc. When I let myself think about it, it just feels so unfair that we have to go through all of this to become parents, when others can just “make it happen”, sometimes even when they are not ready or interested in becoming parents. 

Today we made our annual trip to the next county over to have our fingerprints done.  We never use our own county because the wait is always ridiculous to get in, so we just took an hour, drove over, and got it done.  It's really hard to not feel like a criminal when you are in the Sheriff's office...

Fingerprints for Adoption
Fingerprints for Adoption
Last year I was lucky, and they did my fingerprints with their digital system – it was much cleaner than using the ink. This year, it was back to the ink…

If I think positively, I know that we are going through all of this because we are making a very purposeful choice to add another child to our family, and our children will always know that we worked hard and really wanted to become parents.

As we work our way through the mound of paperwork that needs completed and write out a few more checks, we also get to schedule our annual visit to meet with the social worker at our adoption office.  Ready or not, the process awaits us and must be completed before March 1st.  Here we go…

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Spicy Corn and Potato Chowder {Recipe}

Spicy Corn and Potato Chowder - Moms Gonna Snap (1)

This weekend I was looking for a recipe for a soup to make while the boys were at Cub Scouts Polar Camp (freezing outside all day in Minnesota!).  I found a recipe for Corn and Potato Chowder here and decided to give it a try.  I had some of the ingredients on hand, but also knew that I was not going to make a trip to the store, so I needed to improvise.

Spicy Corn and Potato Chowder - Moms Gonna Snap (2)

Here’s what I put in the crock pot:
  • 3/4 bag of frozen hash browns (I prefer the little diced potatoes, but didn’t have any)
  • 3 frozen chicken breasts
  • 3 cups frozen sweet corn
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper

I let it cook for a few hours and then added:
  • diced andouille sausage - It's fully cooked, but wanted the flavors to blend. I also peeled the "skin" off before chopping it up.

About 1 hour before serving, I pulled out the chicken breasts, shredded them, and tossed all the chicken back in. 

About 45 minutes before serving I scooped out about 3 cups of the soup to blend and add back in. An immersion blender would have worked great, but since I don’t have one I used my Magic Bullet to blend it up. This really helped to thicken the soup (just like hubby prefers).  The last thing I added was:
  • 8 oz of light cream cheese

When it was time to serve, we added a little sharp cheddar and sprinkled a few bacon bits on top.  This soup was DELICIOUS!  It had just the right amount of spice from the sausage.  This will definitely be a regular recipe at our house!

Let me know what you think if you try it!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Perfect day for sledding!

Anthony has been wanting to play with friends for the last two days, so today we let him invite a neighbor friend over to go sledding in our backyard.  As you can see, they had a blast!

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They thought it was hilarious to crash into each other at the bottom of the hill…
(Neighbor friend’s face is blurred for privacy)

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After sledding for awhile in our yard, hubby took the boys about 1/4 mile away from our home to a much bigger hill. The fun continued!

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I love that Anthony was able to enjoy a great day in the snow today!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Month in Photos {December}

December 2012

December is always one of the busiest months as we celebrate the holidays with our friends and family.
We traveled to both Wisconsin and Iowa this month - sure wish we lived closer to everyone!

Hanging with cousins.
Elf on the Shelf.
Matching MN Vikings Jerseys (aka “twin brothers!”)
Christmas Program at Church.
Family (self) Portraits.
Snow day.
Christmas Decorations.
Celebrations with friends and family.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013!

Here are our Plans, Hopes and Dreams for 2013!

  • Adopt a baby. Yes, this was at the top of the list last year too. This is going to be our year though, right?!?
  • Finish the basement. Yes, finish. As in completion. We are well underway and the basement will be done. Stay tuned…
  • Hubby will finish a full marathon. He can totally do this! The race is in June so he is not officially training yet, but he has really worked hard to continue the momentum after running a half-marathon last year.
  • Re-organize and purge unnecessary items from our home. When we started working on the basement, we purged. Then everything left to be stored in the basement was shoved into closets, the garage and our shed so that the construction could begin. After living with everything jam-packed for almost a year, things must go. I’m not sure I should admit it, but I might even pare down our Christmas decorations. (I love decorating for Christmas!)
  • Continue working on healthy eating for our family. I would like to try and develop a meal planning/grocery shopping system that will help us become more efficient with grocery shopping and meals that we prepare.
  • Take a family vacation. This has been tricky the past year because we are paying for the basement as we go, and it certainly hasn’t been cheap!

Anthony wrote out his New Years Resolutions (using a template from Uncommon Designs)


This year I really want to: have fun
I really need to: exersise
I want to be better at: bascitball
I want to learn how to: do a backflip

We are ready - Bring on 2013!