Sunday, October 28, 2007

Arizona Trip Part One!

Well as you may have guessed, Shane and I are in Arizona! He has a conference starting today, but we headed down a little early to celebrate my 35th Birthday!! We flew down on Thursday, my actual birthday and these were the flowers that he had waiting for me!! So Sweet!!
If you are a faithful follower of the VanDalen Clan Blog then you know that when we travel we start a Cribbage Tournament. So far I am up 6-0! Go me!!
The other thing that we love to do as a couple is Golf! So far we have gotten in 2 rounds and I will say Shane is kicking my butt on the course!!
Here is a fun picture of the Sun setting on the course as we played!

Last night we were able to get tickets to the ASU/Cal game from one of Shane's buddies! It was a great game...ASU wasn't supposed to win, but they came back in the second half and pulled out the victory! Now the conference starts and a whole new vacation...So I will keep you posted with all our activities!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Home Improvements!

Shane and I have lived in this house for close to 3yrs. When we first moved in we made some major changes on the inside of the house and over the years have continued to piddle around with some minor improvements. Well this fall brought some major changes to the outside of our home. We changed the color from a dull yellow to a nice green, we painted the trim and the doors, re-roofed and got new gutters....but the thing we are the most excited about is our new deck. We have lived with a tiny rotten, rickety little deck for 3 summers and decided that it was time to upgrade our outdoor living area. I was going to wait until it was finished before I posted, but I think that it will be more fun to have weekly updates to see the progress. Of course I wasn't prepared and didn't get a true before picture, so this one with it already being demolished will have to do. As you can see Kali has taken the biggest hit for the family by having her play house/slide taken off it's stilts and put on the ground, but we promised her that her slide will return and that seems to have appeased her. I'm looking forward to it being done, (so that I can have my grill back) but for now it's fun to watch the process!! Before (sorta)
During (end of week 2)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Manicotti- Amy Style!

Manicotti Shells (uncooked)
1 C. ricotta cheese (more or less)
1 C. cottage cheese (more or less)
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
3/4 C. Chopped fresh spinach
1/2 C. Chopped fresh mushrooms
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 jars Prego- Italian Sausage & garlic
1/2 jar Water

Mix all ingredients, except shells, sauce and water, until well blended. Stuff uncooked shells with mixture. (I use a pastry bag) Put 2 cups of the prego sauce in a 9x13 pan. Arrange noodles over sauce. Add 1/2 jar of water to remaining sauce and pour over the manicotti. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with more Parmesan and bake for 10 more minutes.

This is one of those meals that I started with a basic recipe and added and subtracted stuff! You really can do what ever you want...if you have a homemade sauce use that. I found that the Italian sauage-Prego- really adds a fun meaty kick...if you don't like mushrooms leave them out...I made this exact recipe the other day and my kids who don't care or mushrooms or spinach ate it up, never realizing what was in it!! So modify, play with it, and enjoy!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


My sister Sara flew into town to help us celebrate Abbey's Birthday...there just is something really special about having sisters...we may not have always gotten along, and there are still things we don't all agree on...but I love my sisters and wouldn't trade anyone of them!! There is no Friend like a Sister
There's no better friend than a sister -
There's no one more loyal and true . . .
and even when sisters are different . . .
their likeness come shining through!
Perhaps it's a family resemblance that strengthens the bond they share . . .
or maybe it's just that sisters live life with a similar flair!
A sister remembers your collegehood -
She knows more than you will admit of times you were Little Miss Perfect . . .
and times you gave others a fit!
She's seen you in some situations when silence just wouldn't suffice . . .
and managed somehow to get by with those sisterly words of advice!
And when some encouragement's needed . . .
a sister will always be there . . .
to listen . . .
to laugh . . .
or to lean on . . .
to comfort,
or simply to care.
There's no one who's more in your corner . . .
and no one you're more grateful to.
There's no better friend than a sister . . .
and no better sister than you (guys).
from "There Is No Friend Like A Sister"by Mary Engelbreit

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Happy 'Golden' Birthday Abbey Mae!!

I can't believe that I am sitting here typing a post about Abbey's Golden birthday!! That means that she has spent 5 birthday's in heaven and for me that's unbelievable!! I miss her and I wanted to share all of those birthday's with her...but God had other plans!! So instead, today we remembered her!! The party started at 5:40am when I got up and prepared myself for the 10K that I ran in her memory!! I used to be a runner and today I was tested!! (It was very windy!!) But I did finish and I did well!! Sara and Beth B. also ran with me and it was so great to have a support system!! After the race we headed home to get ready for Abbey's Party!! We invited all of Abbey's family over for some carne asada! They each brought a gift so that we could continue to share Abbey's legacy with others in need!! I want to extend a thank you to all of you who have prayed for us and supported us!! Without you this would be impossible!! So, Happy Birthday Abbey!! We will love and remember you forever!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Football and Baby Food!!

You may be asking yourself, "What in the world do Football and baby food have to do with each other?" Well the answer is simple...nothing!! I just had some great pictures so instead of doing two posts I thought that I would combine them! Truman had a great game today and I'm so glad that I actually remembered my camera!! I actually captured an interception on film (or digital!!) They played their 3rd game today. They won!! They are now 1-1-1!! Yeah!! We are really enjoying watching Truman step up and play a leadership role! He does great and you can see that both the Coaches and the players have confidence in him!! Now as far as the baby food thing goes...I don't know, I have a 2 1/2 year old that prefers baby food dinners to anything else that I try to feed her!! Yes, I know...she's 2 1/2...but she's still MY baby!! Enjoy the pictures!! T-man in the huddle! (He's #2...but #1 in our book!! HeeHee)
Trum is the captain of the defense, here he is calling the play.
The amazing interception...go Trum!!
Hanging on the cool!!
You may think she's looking at this plate and making a face, the truth is she's a ham and makes about 20 faces every meal!!
Face #2!!
Face #538659!!
Love Her!!