Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Kaia!

The princess in her new dress from Grammy and Papa. (The cake looked like a crown, just not in this pic)

The new bike was a hit!

Sharing a secret with her cousin.

And a hug from one of her favorite guys.
Happy 5th Birthday Kaia! Daddy and I love you very much.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Show & Tell: Pooh Bear Plates

Yikes, Instead of Save as Draft, I published this without any words or a link. See, I told you all that I had lost it!

If you have something to share, head on over to Kelli's and join in the fun.

Today I want to show you my plate collection. I started collecting these in high school or early college. I love Winnie the Pooh and thought these were so unique. I actually had them hung up in my bedroom (hows that for a young adult?). Well after a few plates, I stopped getting any notifications of more plates. I figured they must have just made a few and that I had completed my collection. Then at Christmas my dad surprised me. He had been intercepting all the offers and had been stashing away the plates. So I have what I believe is the complete collection.

When our second to last ferret, Haley, died in the winter of 2005/2006, I was pregnant with Mo. I decided that it was time to move both bedrooms to the downstairs rooms. Kaia's room was too small to have both a bed and crib in, and the big bedroom downstairs is much bigger than what we had (and cooler in the summer too).

The ferret room became the kids' bedroom. The vinyl flooring had to be pulled up and new carpet put down. We painted it a light blue, almost periwinkle, and painted the ceiling white and then trimmed it. I actually used the plates as inspiration. I had wanted to do Kaia's nursery all fancy like this, but never had the time or money. With Mo I saw the chance to give them both a really cool room and by February, we had a gorgeous kids room.

We did both of the downstairs bedrooms on an amazingly small budget. We bought all the paint at our local Ace Hardware store. They are close to our home, and with the holiday season they were far less crowded. We borrowed a friend's electric roller. We bought the carpet at a discount carpet place. Dana's friend installed it for us at a small fraction of the regular price. When it was done, we had two perfect bedrooms!

Now the kids' room is just Mo's bedroom, and much of Kaia's Pooh toddler furniture is still in there with the crib. When he transitions out of his crib, he'll have a nice Winnie the Pooh room. Good thing he's ok with that. I'm not quite ready to transition to the John Deere Tractor room, yet.

Thanks for looking! I will definitely be by your blogs soon, but with Kaia's birthday party this weekend, it may be next week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You: My good side

Have one of those pictures that will not be making the scrapbook? Then head on over to We Are That Family!

I like to call this "What happens when Daddy takes the photos." Won't Kaia have some great memories of her 4th birthday?!

I apologize if this image is now burned into your mind forever, try to think happy thoughts. We have even better video. Dana never misses a crack!

For my family: See I really do take after my dad. It's a family thing, what can I say? Maybe I should take the photos on Saturday?

Looking for Some Skilled Workers?

Did I mention their skill is destroying a house in the matter of an hour? They managed to turn a messy house into a disaster area last night! Leaving mom and dad far too tired to bother with clean-up. Now how many people are coming over on Saturday??? Uggh

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You have to be kidding me!

No matter what your view on the death penalty, if there is one crime that should be considered worthy of death, it's that of child rape! Maybe it's just mom's that think that. Or those of us that have had friends raped as a child. Apparently the Supreme Court considers murder and crimes against the state far worse.

Grilled Pizza Lessons

We tried some new things this last camping trip. First thing we did was buy a charcoal chimney starter. They are environmentally friendly and save money because you do not need to use lighter fluid. We heard how great they worked, but we were still a bit skeptical. No need to be, though. That puppy heated up the coals so well! They were extremely hot and perfect for cooking.
So the lessons learned in making grilled pizza is:
  1. Don't use the nasty retro recipe from Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library. Really, Bisquick and catsup (ketchup), YUCK. I listened to Jenn at Frugal Upstate's suggestions (in my comments on the Tuna Salad Mix-ins Post) on bread dough, but then decided to buy the Pillsbury Pizza Dough in a can.
  2. When using really hot coals, it's important to protect your dough. The above recipe called for 5 inches from the coals, well our little grill didn't give us that room. So my crust was blackened. By the time we got to Dana's and the kids crusts, we were getting slightly better results. Next time we will use foil to protect the dough while we precook the crust.
  3. This is an amazingly yummy and fast camp food. Best part is that we each got to put what we want on our pizza. So Dana had lots of meat and cheese. Kaia had lots of meat and cheese with some mushrooms. Mo had a bit of everything but the mushrooms. I had light pepperoni and light cheeze with lots of mushrooms.

Thanks to Jenn for the suggestion, as I was considering the grilled pizzas, but wasn't sure due to the icky recipe I had. Also visit her site for this week's Frugal Food: Beans! I hope to get a post up, but no guarantees with how busy I am this week.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I'm still here my friends. You may not know that I have completely lost it, but the good news is I never really had it in the first place. No worries, I'll get back to some sense of being normal eventually, although I'm sure there is a padded room somewhere with my name all over it!

Our camping trip went well, and I discovered that Mo is just as tasty to the skeeters as I am. Kaia and Dana both left with a few bites each. I have the kind of itchy bites that makes me want to cut flesh off. Mo doesn't seem too fazed by his, but I have been giving him some benadryl in the evenings to keep the itching down.

So let me show you Skeeter Mo

The bites are all over his head poor kid. You don't see all the scrapes and bruises from the many times he attempted to kill himself. He fell off the tailgate of the pickup, was clotheslined by the dog, and fell from the picnic table just to name a few.

She's smiling because she isn't nearly as yummy or clutzy as Mo and I.

Finally the waterfall. It was really huge Memorial Day weekend. By the end of summer it will be a trickle. This was actually our first time stopping there. We just never noticed it until this May, and I read the sign about it being a trickle toward the end of summer, which pretty much explains why.

Have a wonderful day! I will be back later this week to talk about grilled pizzas and an upcoming 5th Birthday party.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Update

Mason is still in the hospital. The nurse thinks that they will be sending him in for a chest x-ray. She doesn't like the sound of his cough. Please pray for this little guys health to return.

I'm going to be offline, and enjoying some pizza on the grill tonight! You all have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Prayer Request Updated

Please pray for my friend's son, Mason. He's 8 months old and very ill. He is unable to fight off any infection right now, and they are likely sending him to Children's Hospital to get a bone marrow sample.

I remember how scary Mo's illness was for us. Please pray God will guide the doctors, heal Mason and give his family strength.

Update: Mason seems to be doing better. The doctors now think it may have been a virus that overwhelmed him. He may get to go home tomorrow. Thanks for the prayers!

The Frog Hit Him!

Yesterday Mo had a short nap. He woke crying, rubbing his head, and very upset. Grammy went to get him and asked what was wrong. "A frog hit me in the head!"

There was nothing in his crib but a pillow and blanket. My guess is our upcoming camping trip had him dreaming about frogs. When she related the story to me last night, Mo was very serious, but also seemed to catch on to the hilarity of the story. He told me with a grin that a frog "hit" (he smacked his head with his hand) him in the head.

My children apparently have picked up my habit of talking in my sleep, because last night Kaia was giggling away in her sleep. I wanted to wake her and tell her to be quiet (yes, she was in our bed, AGAIN!) but it was too cute, so I smiled and drifted back off to sleep. Here's praying they do not start my habit of sleepwalking!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Parenting Milestone Passed

Ahhh... the innocence of childhood. Passing the summer away playing in the pool, drinking Kool Aid (ok we don't have much Kool Aid it's actually called Zuko and it's a low sugar drink imported from Mexico), and petty theft.

Yep, that's right. Today, our darling little angel decided to shoplift a roll of bubble tape from the mini mart. I told her no gum, and that she could choose a laffy taffy or sucker. After a huge fit, she chose a laffy taffy and we said good bye to the clerk (a friend of ours). We got outside and Kaia kept one hand behind her back. Immediately I was suspicious. I asked her why she had her hand behind her back. She told me her "butt itched." I looked at her shadow, and sure enough she was scratching her butt. I felt bad for thinking she had something behind her back. I told her ok, and went to put Mo in his seat. I got him in, and unwrapped his sucker. I walked around the truck (my car died on Wednesday, so I'm truckin til it's fixed), and saw it. The bubble tape I had nixed inside.

Here was a dilemma. I wanted to deal with Kaia's misdeed immediately, but I'd just strapped Mo in his seat. I quickly decided that with all the truck windows down, Mo would be fine while Kaia went in to apologize and put the gum back. I know both the kids, and Mo is the easy going guy. Kaia would have taken any hesitation on my part as weakness or acceptance. I would like to say I marched her back in there, but it was more like dragging a wet noodle. I stayed by the door so I could keep an eye on the truck and Mo. She put the gum back immediately, but broke down in huge sobs and tears, then threw herself to the floor. Especially once the clerk and a customer realized what had happened.

Luckily the customer is a regular (and so are we) so he stopped and told her to calm down and breathe. He also told her we've all made that mistake before, but it still wasn't right. The clerk came out and told her to calm down, then reminded her that people that steal have to go away with the police because it's naughty, and Kaia wouldn't ever want that.

That turned out to be punishment enough. Public humiliation does wonders. Especially when Kaia so looks up to other adults. She wants the approval, and acceptance. She is a first child, just like her mom. She was devastated that I told her dad. I'm not sure she heard me tell her Grandma Owie, because I think she would have really come unglued if she knew Grandma Owie knew. We shall see how she reacts to Grammy knowing.

Well one more milestone passed. I think I handled it well. I didn't lose it, just maintained that she needed to make it right. Her own shame seemed to work as punishment, but I'll be watching the vehicle keys from now on.

Free After Opinion

Lately I've received a bunch of free things through different online surveys. I test the product and then give my opinion. The great thing is, there is always plenty of product leftover. Here is what I've received so far:
  1. 2 different packages of diapers
  2. 1 bottle of liquid laundry detergent
  3. 5 small bottles of eau de toilette (no idea what brand though)
  4. Soap- I'm currently on bar #2 and expect to receive 3 more

The really cool thing is that while I do each survey and test the products, I'm also receiving points that become cash. Notice most of the products have to do with smell? Well the Kihn's are smelling pretty good lately.

Frugal Food: Tuna Salad Mix-ins

It's the second week of the frugal food series at Frugal Upstate. This week it is tuna, so head over to see all the great recipes.

I'll admit that we aren't huge tuna eaters, but we do enjoy tuna salad sandwiches. One thing I have learned, if you don't have much in with the tuna, it doesn't go very far. So have some fun! Take a look in your fridge and see what you can throw in. Here are a few of my favorite combinations start with tuna and mayo:
  1. Mustard, celery, dill pickle, lemon pepper, dill
  2. Mustard, dill pickle, pickled jalapeno
  3. Sweet zucchini relish, red onion, celery

I look forward to seeing all of your tuna recipes! Also I would love some assistance. We are planning another camping trip, and I'd like to mix it up with some new frugal camping recipes. Please if you have some great recipes perfect for the outdoors, leave them in my comments.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Some days I feel like a bird that can't fly. Maybe that's why I relate so well to this commercial.

Doesn't the penguin look ecstatic?

It's Show & Tell at Kelli's, I'm not participating today, but you should head on over and check it out!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You- Black and Blue

I'm having trouble finding all those old photos, but had no problem finding these of my ATV accident. I definitely don't think they are scrapbook worthy so I hope they qualify. I will however save a few of these, beccause I still get asked about the scars on my arm.

Ok this next pic, is embarassing! I was sucking my gut in for all I was worth, but the leftover baby belly would not be contained (I know it could be worse, but it could be better too)!

Lovely huh?! It was the first ride of the season in 2007. Well our first camp and ride. It was just Dana and I up on the dunes. I fell on the stairs the night before and just destroyed my middle finger on my left hand. So my finger was in a metal brace and I was doing pretty good hanging onto the handle bar with just 3 fingers.

I was having fun just cruising around some trees when I went into a corner a little too fast and with my left hand I couldn't jerk the handle bar hard enough. I went right into the branches of the tree. My helmet protected my face and I only had one scratch that has since healed up. My arm and side though are nicely scarred. Luckily, no one but family sees my side. My arm however looks worse as my skin tans. By the end of summer I'll be asked what in the world I did. And I get to tell my oops story all over again.

Want to play along? Head over to We Are THAT Family for some fun!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For My Sweetie

This post will stay on top, a less mushy post is available below, just scroll down.

Press Play

Dana can you believe 8 years ago today, this song played as I walked down the aisle toward you, in front of our family and friends? I know some days it may seem like 28 years ago, and somedays it feels like yesterday.

After all these years I love you even more than when we got married. Through the good times and bad times we've stuck together. The days when the kids won't stop hanging off us and we can't even have speak in complete sentences to each other, those are worth it because I know we'll look back and laugh some day.

Happy Anniversary Sweetie! I can't wait for our date this weekend and look forward to devoting my time to just enjoying us!

And now the song we heard as we walked back down the aisle. Our first time as The Kihn's.

How Does the Slider Get so Dirty?

His ambition is to be a window washer.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Frugal Food: Easy Huevos Rancheros

Note: This is a repost of my recipe for Easy Huevos Rancheros. It's part of Frugal Food Week at Frugal Upstate. Please head over more great ways to stretch your budget with eggs.

While this recipe came from Betty Crocker, like all good recipes, I've altered it some. The biggest money saver I found: you don't need to use a bunch of eggs! I used to always make 1 per person. Then one day, I only had 2 eggs. So I made this with 2 eggs. It still tasted great, and not one of us went hungry. I was calculating the cost of this, and my recipe (minus cheese on top and sausage on the side) averages approximately $1.20 to feed 2 adults and 2 kids. Now it's not only for breakfast at our house, but we eat it for dinner too! Please excuse the messy stove in the photo.

I found this recipe in my Betty Crocker index cards in the Food that Goes With You (or something like that) section. It was a perfect and inexpensive breakfast for us. The ingredients travel well, and it is a 2 pan meal. I'd rather be playing in the frog pond with the kids or walking a dog than doing dishes in the trailer.
  • corn tortillas 1-2 per family member
  • can diced tomatos
  • can diced green chiles
  • 4-5 eggs
  • 2 T diced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3 T oil

In one pan saute the onion and green pepper in 1 T oil. When onion becomes translucent, add your tomatos and chiles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Use a spoon to make "holes" in the mixture (you will have the tomato juice in the hole, just clear it of the chunky ingredients). Break an egg into each hole. Allow to cook until egg begins to set, then turn egg. It's ok if the eggs get scrambled, but don't scramble right at the beginning or you get a big mess. Simmer until eggs are cooked through.

While eggs are cooking heat the remaining 2T oil in another pan or on a griddle. Fry each tortilla just a little bit on each side.

When eggs are done spoon egg and tomato mixture on top of tortilla and enjoy! We like to top with shredded cheese and serve hot links on the side.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Show & Tell: Childhood Keepsake

It's Show & Tell over at Kelli's! This week she suggested we show you a childhood keepsake. So here are my keepsakes. If you'd like to join in, click on the graphic above.

These keepsakes are very special to me. As a result they are put up in a closet, except for the hourglass toy, because I don't want them ruined.

This lamb was made for me by my Great Grandma. I'm not sure exactly when I received it, but I have photos of me, pre-brother, with it. I've kept the lamb in many different places, but not with the kids, it's up in a closet so there are no stains and no losing it.

I'm not really sure if the bear was made for me, or my brother. It was also made by my Great Grandma, and I remember playing with it all the time at my Grandma Sarah's house.

This Fisher Price Hourglass toy is another that I remember playing with at my Grandma's house. It was many things to us as we used our imagination.

I remember that house and my room (it was my mom and aunts room) there so well. I have the bedcover that was on the bed. We own the picture that hung above the bed. I have a crib (in storage) that looks similar to one that sat in the corner before my brother's and my crib went there. Something about childhood is so fresh. I miss that house, and that room. I'll always have these toys and so many of my Grandma Sarah's things to remind me of childhood.

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You

It's Sincerely 'Fro Me to You over at We are THAT family. Click on the above link to play along.

When I was in high school, I modeled for one of the local malls. It wasn't the "cool" mall to model for, and we didn't get paid, but it was fun, and gave me experience. During that time I also took some modeling classes, pageant classes and competed in pageants.

I learned great interviewing skills, and had A LOT of photos taken. Some looked good, and they went into my portfolio, others, I have and just haven't burned yet. When I see gorgeous photos in a magazine, I know that there were probably 50 more that were tossed for looking terrible. So here are a few photos that did not go in my portfolio.

Yep, looking good there!
I swear I'm not stoned in this photo!

Next I have a few that did make it into my portfolio, and can I say, YUCK!

Remember the show Blossom? Apparently I was taking fashion notes!

Is that a carpet I'm wearing? Or maybe old curtains? More importantly, why can't I have that big of boobs now? This look is definitely one that I hope never comes back! Thanks for visiting, I can't wait to see all of your entries.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sesame Noodles

Lighter Sesame Noodles. I made this easy and extremely, yummy recipe for dinner Tuesday night. I found it in my Real Food magazine (I earned a free subscription by taking surveys), and loved how few ingredients there were.
Kaia actually had seconds and thirds on the broccoli. Dana liked it, Mo ate, and I took it for lunch today and both of my friends thought it was good. The only warning I have: either cook the veggies separate, or put them in a strainer so you can pull them when they are done. It was too hard to judge when to put them in, and as a result, the noodles were overcooked.
I used frozen red and yellow pepper as that was cheaper than a fresh red pepper. I also served pork and shrimp egg rolls on the side. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

No-Money Meal

Ok so this isn't really a no-money meal, but it's costs next to nothing.

2 packages ramen noodles (any flavor)
1 egg
1 or 2 green onions or just the tops
1/2 t of soy sauce
1/4-1/2 cup leftover or frozen veggies
Cook the noodles from both packages of noodles in 2 cups of water. After 2 minutes, remove from heat, and drain most of the water off. Then add just one package of seasoning and your veggies and cover. In a frying pan add just a tiny bit of oil, or use non-stick. Heat to medium and add the egg and green onions. Scramble the egg into tiny pieces. When egg is cooked, add the noodle mixture to the pan. Add soy sauce and cook all together for a minute or so.
This is a really good meal that will feed 2 adults and 2 kids, at least it feeds us. You could also add leftover meat if desired.