Dates with Daddy

We go on a lot of field trips, just the three of us, so when Jason gets the chance to come along, it is extra special! The kids love playing with him and are always excited to show him around their favorite places.

We surprised Max with a visit to Chuck E. Cheese, and he hasn’t stopped asking to go back! He loved playing basketball and seeing Jason almost beat the record. Gwenyth was amazed at all of the flashing lights and games.

This year, we became members of the zoo and are so excited to use our zoo pass! We have been three times already and plan to make many, many more visits. Max often asks about going to the zoo within ten minutes of waking up. “I get ready and go to zoo. See animals?” What a funny guy! He loves to ride the train and his favorite part is going through the tunnel.

Gwenyth 9-10 Month Update


Gwenyth turned 9 months back on May 1st. She went to see Dr. Secory and proved that she has been growing!

Height- 28 1/4in, 76%
Weight- 19lbs 12oz, 76%
Head- 47, 99%

She can now eat anything (except for honey) and has been enjoying eating anything her big brother eats. We went to Pizza Ranch as a family the other day and she was in pizza heaven! She was so happy to be sitting in a big girl chair and eating peas, biscuit, potatoes, chicken, and pizza!






She sleeps in her crib now and is doing so well. We used to hear from her about 5AM to eat, but lately she has been making it to 8:30 or even later! When I first bring her out in the morning, she will scan the room and look for her big brother. She gives him a big (toothless) grin and sometimes even giggles!

She is not yet crawling, but is so close! She has a super reach and can reach most anything by just rocking and scooting, so I am not sure if she is totally motivated to crawl.

Here is a sweet comparison of Max around 10 months and Gwenyth about the same age.


Here are my little chunky babies in the tub around the same age. Look at Max’s chub!!! 🙂



One thing you can be assured of is that God has already worked out all the details of what your obedience will accomplish and it is good. We need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. We should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss.

-Lysa Terkeurst (What Happens When Women Say Yes to God)


I read a couple of recipes for making pizza using frozen bread dough. I loved this idea because it seemed like it would be better than a mix crust you get in a package and way easier than making a dough from scratch. Here is what I did…

I thawed a loaf of frozen white bread dough. I actually did this the night before, but there is a speed method mentioned on the back of the package that you could try if you are pressed for time.


I formed the dough into a ball and placed it on my pizza pan that was sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. The recipe I read said to cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

After the dough has risen, spread your pizza sauce over the top, leaving room around the edges for a crust. There are several great recipes for making your own pizza sauce, I just used some from the store.

I cooked some ground Italian sausage and sprinkled that over the sauce. I then covered the pizza with mozzarella cheese.

Before placing the pizza in the oven, I brushed the crust with some melted butter that had been mixed with garlic powder. I cooked the pizza at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

It was a big hit with both my husband and my son! In the future, if I am really feeling extra culinary and have some time on my hands, I would like to try making the sauce from scratch! I will also experiment with different toppings as well!

What you will need:
1 loaf frozen bread dough (such as Rhoads), thawed
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 lb cooked ground sausage
2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

How it is done:
1. Place the thawed dough on a pizza pan that has been covered with non stick cooking spray. Spread out the dough, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
2. Spread sauce over the dough. Leave room for a crust.
3. Add desired toppings.
4. Sprinkle cheese on top.
5. Brush crust with olive oil/garlic powder mixture.
6. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


What You Will Need:
2 TB Chili Seasoning (I use this homemade recipe!)
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (with chilies)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn
1 lb ground beef, browned

How it is done:
1. Brown and drain the ground beef. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes
3. Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, or oyster crackers!

The Zoo

We went to the zoo today and wow! Max was so pumped! I realized we never went last year because I was pregnant with Gwenyth and I didn’t feel like walking around in the heat. So he hadn’t been there since he was a little guy! What a different experience!

What a wonderful day with friends! The highlight for Max was riding the train and going through the tunnel! So blessed to have such great company at the zoo!

Playing Around

Iowa weather is crazy! One day it is 40 degrees and the next day almost 80! Regardless of the weather or the location though, these Rude kids love to play!

Max with all of his planes, trains, and automobiles on his track.

Gwenyth wanted to play too!

These two cuties are truly a “treasure” 🙂

Such a sweetie! She is thinking that her daddy makes a much better knight in shining armor!

Max at a music class that we go to on Mondays. He really enjoys the songs and running around with the other kids.

Gwenyth’s first time in a cart like a big girl! So pleased to be sitting next to Max.

Our little sweetheart!

Sometimes, your brother puts a blanket on your head.

Crazy, sweet kids!

They have such a great relationship!

Exploring the great outdoors with cousins Brody and Hailee.

More exploring.

Ready to go to the park!

Max is so brave at the park. He climbs on everything and is great at making new friends.

Sunbathing on an 80 degree April day!

Just a total sweetheart!

He played with water for such a long time! Moving it from one bucket to the other.

Who wouldn’t sneak a drink on a hot sunny day?

G has a lot of spunk! We love seeing her personality develop!

Philly Burgers

What you will need:
•1 pound of ground beef
•About 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
•2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
•1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
•Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
•1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
•1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
•1 large green pepper, thinly sliced
•1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
•6-8 slices deli-cut provolone cheese
•3-4 crusty rolls, split and lightly toasted

How it is done:

In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator until chilled so that the flavors can meld.

While the meat chills, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onions; season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the green pepper and crushed red pepper and cook for 7-8 minutes to soften.

Bring the meat to room temperature and form 3-4 patties that are thinner at the center than at the edges for even cooking; drizzle with olive oil. On an outdoor grill, in a large skillet or griddle pan, cook the patties over medium-high heat to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for pink centers, turning once. Melt two slices of provolone over each patty during the last minute of cooking. Serve the burgers on the toasted rolls topped with the peppers and onions.

*Recipe slightly adapted from Rachael Ray, post originally appeared on

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Pumpkin Crumb Cake
What you will need:

•1 box yellow cake mix (set aside 1 cup for the topping)
•1 egg
•1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

•3 eggs
•1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
•1/2 cup white sugar
•1/4 cup packed brown sugar
•1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

•1 cup reserved yellow cake mix
•1/2 cup white sugar
•3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
•3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

How it is done:

Melt 1/2 cup butter in microwave.

Soften 3 tablespoons butter by letting it stand for 30 to 45 minutes at room temperature OR cut into chunks and allow to stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Chop nuts, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spray or grease one 9×13 inch pan. Reserve 1 cup cake mix. In mixing bowl, beat 1 egg, then add the remaining dry cake mix and 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix well, and then pat into prepared pan.

In a large bowl, beat 3 eggs then add the pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Pour over crust.

In small bowl, combine reserved 1 cup cake mix, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons softened butter and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Crumble over pumpkin filling. Sprinkle nuts evenly over the top, if desired.

Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. It’s done baking when toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool before serving. Cake tastes best when refrigerated.

*recipe and photo originally appeared on