Monday, May 17, 2010

Busy, Crazy, Hectic, Chaotic, Fun, Exhausting...

These are a few words I would use to describe the last 7 days of my life!

I can't even believe it has been a week since my last post.  I know that the next 4 weeks 6 weeks of my life are going to be even CRAZIER with all these events..
* May 26: Chutes and Ladders with the entire school
* May 28: Track and Field Day
* May 28: Twins game with Chad and Shana and Chris to celebrate our birthdays!!
* May 29: My 29th birthday on the 29th!
* May 29-May 31: Spending Memorial Weekend at the cabin with my parents and Annie and Mitch!
* June 4: friends wedding
* June 6: Grand Old Days
* June 8: Last day of school
* June 9-10: Packing up my classroom office so we can move to the new school
* June 12: Start my summer online classes
* June 13: 1 year wedding anniversary!!
* June 19??? MOVE to SHAKOPEE!!!

So I am trying to save all my energy for these next upcoming weeks. We have a lot of changes going on in our lives!!

So back to my week last week...
I tried another new recipe from my new favorite cookbook...

I know this recipe is going to be perfect when we have a family...vegetables are deceptively hidden inside!!

I cut all the vegetables and got them ready to be plunged into the Spaghetti Sauce...

By the way, this tool is fabulous!!

I always have trouble making "ground" beef, rather than chunky beef.  This fabulous contraption makes that job easy!!

A Pampered Chef® exclusive! Unique, beveled pinwheel blades efficiently chop and crumble foods for even cooking and seasoning. Its high-quality nylon design follows the curves of your cookware and won't scratch the surface. A soft grip and thumb rest help you comfortably grasp the handle and chop more easily. Heat-resistant to 428°F. 11". Dishwasher-safe.

Perfectly ground beef!!!!!

I don't know if I have shared this with you yet, but I have found my new food addiction...

This is my newest purchase in the cooking world.  The Garlic Dipping oil and Garlic-inspired spices is...To. Die. For!!!!!!!

I have used this for so many great occasions since I purchased it.  Here, I spread the mixture on both sides of bread and then baked the bread. Perfect Garlic Bread!!!

The recipe called for Muir Glen's Organic Spaghetti Sauce.  I Traded Up and saved some money by getting the Rainbow Foods Roundy's brand Organic Spaghetti Sauce...

Roasted you see a pattern here??

This will definitely be my "go-to" recipe for Spaghetti from now on! A perfect way to get a serving of vegetables!!

For dessert, I tried a new treat!
Pretty good nutritional facts, if you ask me :)

So there's a mini-update on my life in the past week, along with a new recipe!!

I will be back tomorrow with an update on my race from this past weekend!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hi. My name is Joanie...

and I have an addiction....

After finishing the 5K yesterday, I was on such a high! I was so happy and I felt great! I wanted to do it AGAIN!!!!

I tried to resist the urge...

I knew my body needed a break...

I knew I shouldn't spend the money....

But I just couldn't resist! I could only think of one thing...

I had to RACE AGAIN!!!!!!!

So today, I gave in and signed up for another 4 days!!!

The Minneapolis Autism 5K is this Saturday. Know what makes it even better?

It is around Lake of my favorite places in Minnesota!!!

And what better cause to run for (Other than Breast Cancer...wait, I already did that!) than AUTISM!!!

Autism Facts:

  • * 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with autism
  • * More than 1.5 million Americans are affected
  • * Every 21 minutes a child is diagnosed
  • Source

Like I wrote about here, I have had a close relationship with someone who has Autism.  
So this race has been on my radar for awhile.  

This race supports two foundations: C.A.D.E. (Children with Autism Deserve Education) and Generation Rescue.  

Generation Rescue
Generation Rescue logo

Generation Rescue is an international movement of scientists, physicians and parent-volunteers researching the causes and treatments for autism, ADHD and chronic illness and mentoring thousands of families in recovering their children. Generation Rescue provides education, medical assistance and treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders, directly improving the child’s quality of life for all families in need.
C.A.D.E. (Children with Autism Deserve Education)
Children with Autism Deserve Education (C.A.D.E.)The basis of C.A.D.E. is to help fund education for autism for children that don’t have the funding to obtain it.  The direct teaching method known as ABA/VB has been found to be the most effective treatment for autism and is the methodology that we support.  Unfortunately, many children with autism don’t have the opportunity to benefit from this effective therapy & public schools don’t have the funding to provide it.  C.A.D.E would like to be able to help fund those children that don’t have the financial means for this.  Children with autism deserve to obtain the most effective means of education and we will help them get  it.
C.A.D.E. will also support medical interventions for children.  There are many medical interventions that are being found helpful to the growing population of autism.  We will help provide funding for interventions that are supported and managed by medical doctors in the Twin Cities.
C.A.D.E. is 100% a volunteer organization, from the board to the other volunteers and all event proceeds it ultimately receives will go directly to fund grants for children in the Twin Cities.
What other reason do I need?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

50 going on 20!

Saturday night, I went to Whiskey Junction in Minneapolis to see my brother's band play a birthday party. My dad's good friend was turning 50 and they asked my brother's band to play. I haven't seen my brother's band play in awhile so I was excited to go, especially since it was so close to my house!
My dad has very active friends. He skied the Berkebeiner with Ben this winter and does a lot of biking with his other close friend.  

Pretty good for old guys huh?? Just kidding dad :)
That's my brother in the green...

If you haven't heard them, check them out here..

On a break, we took some nice family pictures. 
Well we tried to take a nice picture...
Thanks Drew. You can all see that clearly I am the normal one in the family:)

As I was leaving, I caught some good pictures of my parents ripping up the dance floor...
They didn't leave the bar until 2:30 in the morning....
Guess I have this to look forward to when I am in my 50's !!!

My dad may be in his 50's but he knows how to have fun, tear up the dance floor and show my mom a good time!! Thanks for making me laugh dad!

I had 2 beers and a small piece of pizza at the party and headed home around midnight.

I had to leave. I had a race the next morning.

Thankfully, I laid out all my needs for the race before I left for the concert...
The Susan Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run started at 7:30. I wanted to get there at 7:00 to walk around and not feel rushed.  I was corralled into the IKEA parking lot and headed over to the mall. Nobody was there yet so I loaded up on some free stuff!

Look at all those bananas! I didn't even feel bad taking 2!

And who doesn't love free coffee?? This couldn't get any better...or could it?

Free Watermelon?????

There were SOOOO many people there. I have never seen so many people at a race before! It was amazing. The pride, excitement and celebration in the air was contagious!!!

I also scored a cute grocery bag, some Fiber One bars, Black beans and Kidney beans, Green Tea, a Purple Heart keychain. I was so excited about all the stuff I scored!!

I finally met up with my dad (Yes! The CRAZY dancing guy made it out to my 7:30 race...thanks dad!!!) and my two cousins. I was running with my cousin Tiffany, and my cousin Kelly had our bibs.  We then made our way to the Start line. 

Again I cannot even express how many people there were. After the race started, we stood around for about 2 minutes and then walked to the finish line, which took another 3 minutes.  I started my stopwatch as we walked under the Start sign.

This was such a fun race! There were bands playing, cheerleaders cheering, people screaming. It was so motivational! We actually ran pretty fast, but because there were so many people, we were up and down on the sidewalk, dodging people and fire hydrants.  

When we finally saw the finish line, we SPRINTED!!!!

It was a great finish! Our final time was 32 minutes and 54 seconds.  This was slower than both our other 5K's but we were happy anyways. We knew it wouldn't be a race about was about raising money for curing breast cancer. It was about celebrating life and surviving breast was a great day!

I even saw a Pink!

Here is a full shot of my whole outfit!

And all my free gear!!!

Happy Mother's Day mama!! I hope I never have to watch you go through such a horrible thing as breast cancer!!!  I love you!!!


After college, I got a summer job as a nanny.  I found an ad in the paper for a Nanny job in Eden Prairie. I called and got an interview. They had over 100 calls on their ad. 

They hired me.  I stayed with these girls for 6 summers. I have also stayed with them for days at a time when their parents went out of town.  

They were all in my wedding and I consider them sisters.  

Kristen, the oldest is 16. She was getting confirmed this year and she asked if I would be her Sponsor. This required me to go with her to church and attend Confirmation classes with her.  

Ironically enough, she was getting confirmed through the same church where I got confirmed.  

Anyways...her final Confirmation ceremony was last week.  It was at the Cathedral in St. Paul, which is such a beautiful church!! Reminds me of Westminster Abbey in England...

I can't believe Kristen is already 16. When I started working for her family, she was 8 years old...crazy how fast time flies when you are watching kids grow up!
Her mom says she looks more and more like me every day...:)

This is Courtney. She is 15 and is a twin. Courtney is one of the sweetest girls I know...she also has Autism.  She doesn't fit most of your stereotypes for Autism. She looks me in the eye, kisses me on the lips and is pretty cuddly!

She HATES pictures though :)

I am going to my parents tonight to celebrate Mother's Day. I wanted to dig out the pictures of my confirmation to show Kristen...maybe she would think that was cool??

I'm not sure I know what cool is anymore....eek!