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Orchard Girls

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Remembering the Little Things...

I can't believe how fast Simon is growing and changing, everyday he looks a little bit older. Do you remember how fast your kids grew up? I can't believe it! Well, what's a mama to do? I want to remember the little perfect features of my baby boy. I took a few photos, to help me remember "the little things".
I think i'm going to frame this and hang it in his room, it will be a nice momento to keep and forever cherish. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and remember the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the BIG things.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WWEW: Link Party and Top 3 Summer Treats I'd love to try...

Hi guys! This is going to be a quick post, due to the fact that it's 10:00pm, both kids are asleep and I should be asleep too. I also have an announcement to make, sadly, this will be our last WWEW Link Party. We have decided it would be best to step away from the party at this time. We have had so much fun having you all link up with us each week, and we have enjoyed swapping recipes with you all! However, Kenzie and I have found it hard to keep up, especially with our new little ones. We want to say thank you for joining us each week, and we hope you'll stop by again from time to time. We will continue to post recipes, it just may not be every Wednesday at 8:00AM :) Now onto sharing some delicious food and treats!
Here are my Top 3 summer treats i'd love to try!
1. Smores Bars from The Foodie RD

What says summer better than s'mores? These look delicious!
2. Frozen Fruit Pops by Gina's Recipes

Can you say refreshing? It has been so hot here lately, I love that these are both healthy AND refreshing!
3. Cocktail Snow Cones by Honestly Yum

I used to always get snow cones from the ice cream truck as a kid, this is a great "adult" version! :)
Now its your turn to link up (for the last time) :( 
Be sure to check out our Co-Host Alexis over at Laugh Eat Learn, she will be featuring 5 of your recipes in her post today, it may be you! 

Thank you so much for stopping by we appreciate your patience with us as we continue on with our blogging journey, and we hope to see you back soon!


Friday, July 25, 2014

DIY Children's Apron

I am so in love with Addie's new apron! This is the perfect project for fat quarters! They are usually pretty inexpensive, and you can find them in so many different cute patterns/colors. I made this from two different fat quarters (The flower fabric for the main apron part and the white and blue one for the ties and pockets). My mother-in-law had made a version of this with a different fabric a long time ago, so I used that as a sizing guide, but ended up making mine a little bit bigger, just so Addie could use it longer.
She loves it, too! Alright, here is what you need to do:
Materials Needed:
-2 coordinating fat quarters ( I used this rose/stripe fabric and the white a blue fabric)
-Ruler or rulered fabric cutting mat
-Rotary cutter
Instructions:
I will apologize in advance for not having close up pictures of these steps. I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out since it was my first try and I wasn't really following any type of instructions, but it ended up cute so I will do my best to describe what I did.
1. Fold your fabric in half ( I used a single Fat quarter for the main fabric and a coordinating fat quarter for the pockets and ties)
2. Once folded in half use your rotary cutter to cut out the apron using the pattern above.
Once unfolded the measurements of all sides should be as follows:
Side "A" = 7"
Side "B" = 5" (each side)
Side "C" = 14" (each side)
Side "D" = 11"
3. Fold the apron a quarter inch in on the back side of the fabric on side "A", "B", and "C" and iron.
4. Sew that fold over on each side
5. On Side "D" fold over 1" and iron, then sew that.
6. Now cut out your ties. Two for the waist and two for the neck ( I made the neck ties a bit slimmer than the waist ties), I cut these each 20". Fold over on both sides of the tie and use a zig zag stich to hold the folds in place. Then at the end of each tie fold over a quarter of an inch and sew along that line. 
7. Sew these onto the apron ( I sewed a square to help hold in place) 
8. Next cut out your pockets - two 4x4'' squares and a 4.5x3.5'' rectangle for the top pocket. Use the same fold/iron method and sew along the entire edge, then to attach to your apron sew along the bottom three sides leaving the top open. 
I really hope this makes sense to you all, if you're going to give it a try let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them. If you're stopping by for the first time, comment below and say hi, so we can return the favor :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WWEW: Link Party & Mom's Lasagna Recipe

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I've definitely had my hands full the last week and a half! A newborn is a lot of work. BUT, I did manage to get the recipe for my Mom's famous lasagna for you all. Ever since I can remember, my Mom has been making lasagna and we have been requesting it for special occasions. She made it for us yesterday as a special treat, and I thought I would share it with you!

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
29 oz tomato sauce
29 oz tomato paste
4.25 oz can chopped olives
1 pkt  (1.5 oz) spaghetti seasoning (or use your own seasonings)
20 oz ricotta cheese (you can use more or less, depending on your taste)
2 eggs
4 cups mozzarella cheese
approximately 12 lasagna noodles

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef in large skillet. Drain fat.
2. Add tomato sauce, puree, olives, and seasoning packet to skillet. Let simmer approximately 20-30 minutes.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add lasagna noodles. Cook until almost done, but not quite. 
4. Using a 9x9 inch baking dish (or whatever you have, but not smaller), add about a half inch of the tomato sauce to the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of noodles, about 3 noodles should do it. Add another layer of the tomato sauce, more than before.
5. Mix the ricotta cheese with the 2 eggs. Add a layer of that on top of the tomato sauce and swirl with a fork. Top with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Then top with another layer of noodles.
6. Continue this pattern until you reach the top of your dish or run out of any of the layers. 
7. Make sure tomato sauce is layered on the top. Cover with foil and bake at 325 for about 50 minutes.
8. Remove lasagna and top with another layer of mozzarella cheese. Stick back in the oven for 10 minutes, uncovered.
9. Let sit a while before serving, otherwise it will be a little runny.

Now, onto the recipe I selected to be the feature for this week! I chose the Cherry Salsa from Love Food Will Share! This looks super yummy, and we have a bunch of cherries I need to do something with. This looks perfect. Thanks so much for sharing.
Get ready to link up those recipes! Enter a few of your favorite recipes from the week. Also, be sure to check out Alexis over at Laugh, Eat, Learn!




Monday, July 21, 2014

Simon: Two Month Update

*Picture overload ahead* :)
Simon is two months old today! It has been two of the longest/shortest two months ever. He is doing so much better lately. There was a weekend between his one month update and now that he just changed drastically. From crying constantly, and not being able to entertain himself to this wonderfully sweet and content little baby. Not that he wasn't wonderful before, but happy baby means happy mama! Simon's favorite spot is usually outside, watching the tree in our yard and listening to all the orchard noises.
Birth Story / One Month Update / Two Month Update (here)
 Brother/Sister:
 Adeline continues to do well with Simon, most of the time. She loves giving him kisses and hugs. I even saw Simon smile at Addie, that was precious. Adeline has learned how to properly put Simon's binky in his mouth (for the longest time she tried to put it in backwards). 
 Feeding:
Still just giving him breastmilk, and it continues to go well. Except, litterally just today! Lol it's like a switch flipped cause he turned two months (wanting to cluster-feed). With the exception of today, he has kept the schedule of eating every 3 hours during the day. I am still pumping usually once a day, which allows Daniel to feed him, too!
 Naps/Sleep:
Naps are still pretty sporadic throughout the day. He usually takes a couple pretty solid deep sleep naps, while the rest are just little cat naps. We've been trying to get a bedtime routine going. His last feed (between 9-1030) happens in my room (as opposed to the living room) and in dim lighting. After he eats I swaddle him and rock him in our room til his eyes shut, then lay him in his bed (still in our room). He has been doing really well at night and sleeping until 3 or 4 and then back to sleep until between 5-6. After 5am,  Daniel takes over and if Simon wakes up, takes him into the living room to either rock back to sleep, or feed him a bottle  if needed. He has Simon until 730 when he gets ready for work.

 Milestones:
Biggest milestone is mentioned above with his improvement on sleeping at night, as well as being more content overall. Not so much a fan of "tummy time" anymore, but we're working on it. 
Linking to these parties HERE!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Little Benjamin and His Birth Story

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. I decided it was time to write up our little Benjamin's birth story and share pictures with you all. He was born on July 10th, 2014. 11 days after his due date. We could not be more thrilled to be parents to this sweet little boy!
On Wednesday the 9th, I had a doctor appointment scheduled for 11am. This was my 41 week checkup. I hadn't dilated at ALL the previous 3 weeks, so I was hoping I was farther along this time. I ended up being only 1 centimeter dilated about 80% thinned out. I was a bit disappointed as I'd been having contractions all morning! The doctor basically said we could go home and wait it out and come back later in the day, or be sent over to the hospital to get all set up. We opted for going to the hospital right away as we already had our things packed and were right next door. We ended up having to wait 3 hours for a room anyway, so I was able to eat a nice big lunch before we got all checked in.

We were all hooked up about 3pm. I was already having contractions on my own, but I was given pitocin to speed things along. And man did that work! I was having very painful contractions about 1 to 1.5 minutes apart. It was horrible. Around this time the doctor also broke my water. I was still only 1 centimeter dilated so it was too early to get the epidural even though it felt like I was in very active labor. I can't remember when I made it to 2 centimeters but I believe it was around around 4 am on Thursday. Then about 6am, I was told I was a 6-7! We we're thrilled! Oh, by the way, I decided to get the epidural while I was a 2. I was thankful I did because the contractions were so horrible because of the pitocin. In the end, it didn't end up taking on my right side. I also had problems with my catheter being painful. I had the epidural done a second time, but it still did not take well on the right side. I also had my catheter replaced 3 times! By 9am, I was dilated to 9 centimeters and we were hoping that baby Benjamin would make an appearance very soon!
During this time I had to keep getting what they were calling "boosters" in my epidural to stop the pain on my right side. It would only last for an hour or so, though. Then it was around 1pm, I was still at a 9, and they told me they could not boost the epidural any more. I was so scared I would have to deliver the baby completely feeling it on my right side. Anyway, that didn't end up happening because around 2:30pm, the doctor told me that since I was still at a 9 and it had been 5 and a half hours, they would have to do a C-section. They said I could wait another hour or so and see if anything happened, but the doctor seemed certain that wouldn't do anything and we would need the c-section anyway. So we decided to just go along with it. I had been in labor for 24 hours, and I was relieved/nervous/scared all at the same time.

They rolled me to surgery and they decided to give me a spinal tap because my epidurals had not been working. What a weird feeling. I literally could not move anything below my chest. Then they got me all ready for surgery and our baby boy was delivered at 3:15pm! His first cry was the most beautiful thing. I cried instantly, and one of the techs in the surgery room patted my eyes dry. During this time, I was reacting to the pain medication with violent shakes, as well. Not fun. Adam was able to cut the cord and hold Benjamin by my head while they sewed me all up.

After surgery, we were taken to a recovery room for about an hour. They weighed and measured Benjamin. He was 8 pound 9.4 ounces! Big baby! That's why he couldn't make it out. He was 21 inches long. They then brought him over for skin to skin, and he began to nurse immediately. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. 
Once back in our labor and delivery room, I started my recovery from surgery. I was unable to change Benjamin's diaper or do any of those mommy things the first couple of days- except for feeding. My husband and Mom were such an amazing help. 
The next day I was encouraged to get up and start moving. Man, that was difficult. We ended up staying in the hospital until Sunday. But I'm happy to say that just over a week later, I am feeling much better and can get up and move around pretty easily.

Whew, it feels like I just wrote a novel. It was nice to get it all written down, though. I've found that I've mentally blocked most of labor, so it was good to sit down and think about it. It wasn't an ideal situation, and I'll admit that I am a bit traumatized. I tried to face it with as much peace as possible, and now I have a beautiful baby boy.
Thank you all for being so supportive. We really have such an amazing group of readers. Please have patience with us as we're adapting to new mommy hood (in my case). I've been working on this post the last few days, mostly around midnight while the baby is finally sleeping. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WWEW: Link Party & French Dip Recipe

Welcome to What We Eat Wednesday's! If you're new to the party, or to our blog, thanks for stopping by and welcome! We're happy you're here and can't wait to see what recipe you link up this week. Today I am sharing an easy French Dip reicpe! I love french dips, I almost always get them when I go to Arby's. However, now I can make my own right here at home, and you can to! 

Ingredients:
-1 can beef broth
-1lb roast beef
-4 long rolls
-Mayonnaise
-Italian seasoning
-8+ slices provolone cheese
Directions:
  1. Add the beef broth to a large skillet over high heat. When the broth starts to steam, reduce heat to medium and add the roast beef and cover. Let warm for about five minutes, until the roast beef is no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven broiler. Slice rolls in half and place them on a baking sheet cut side up. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the top side of the buns and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  3. When the roast beef is warm, remove it from the broth using a slotted spoon or tongs and divide between the rolls. Lay two slices of cheese over the roast beef on each roll.
  4. Broil for 2-3 minutes, until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Serve with extra broth for dipping.
Onto our featured recipe from last week's link party! This week I chose this Homemade Fajita Spice Mix by Kitching Dreaming. I LOVE fajita's and being able to make your own spice is a great alternative to buying the packaged seasonings at the store!
Now it's time to party! Please link up your new or old recipes down below. We would LOVE for you to follow along with us (Orchard Girls & Laugh Eat Learn) in any way that you would like. Leave a comment and let us know if you're new this week, so we can come check out your blog and say, "hi"! Be sure to check out the recipe featured by our co-host Laugh Eat Learn, too!





Sunday, July 13, 2014

Eight Tests For Decision Making | Free Printable

Good evening guys! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Ours is coming to an end and we're just relaxing at home this evening. Last week I saw these "8 Tests for Decision Making" on pinterest. I couldn't find the source for the image so I decided to create my own and turn it in to a printable for all of you. I just love these eight questions to consider when making a decision. I think I am going to print it out and hang it on our fridge. A few other places to put it would be in your Bible, or include it in your Bible study materials. I think it is a great resource to look to when making any decision, big or small! Click the link below the image to download this FREE Printable. Or  hover of the image to "Pin it" for later use :)
Click here to download this FREE "Eight Tests for Decision Making"!

Let us know if you're going to print this out, we'd love to hear from you. If you're looking for more FREE Printable be sure to check out all our other printables HERE!
Enjoy your day!
Linking to these parties HERE!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WWEW: Link Party & Monterey Chicken Recipe

Welcome back! It's time for our weekly link party! But, before we get to that, I'm going to share a super yummy recipe I found for Monterey Chicken. Again, I didn't come up with this recipe. It was a Pinterest find. I've been really lucky lately with the recipes I've been finding! To be honest, I've been using Pinterest solely to plan my weekly meal plans... and I've just happened to hit a few gems. This is one of them!
If you would like to give this recipe a go, here is the link to the recipe from This Silly Girl's Life. The only thing that I did differently was I cooked my meat in my cast iron skillet, then placed it under the broiler to melt the cheese. I didn't want to set up our charcoal grill for just a few pieces of chicken! They turned out delicious, and I'm sure would be even tastier from the grill.

For the feature this week, I decided to choose the S'more Dipped Strawberries from Little Dove Creations! Oh my, these look amazing.Thank you so much for submitting the recipe... now I have a sweet tooth!
Onto the party! Link up a few of your favorite recipes from the week! Also, check out our co-host Alexis over at Laugh, Eat, Learn. 





Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekend Happenings: Kayla

We had such a fun and busy weekend. We had a full house, too! My sister was in town with her husband and son, our friend Seth and his son, as well as my brother. Our couches were full, and bedrooms packed. It was so good to see some of my family. I love when Addie and Caden get to play together too, I remember having so much fun with my cousins when I was little. Addie just adores her big cousin Caden. She wants to do everything he does, and really just follow him everywhere.
The weather here has been so nice, it was in the high 80's / low 90's all weekend. The kids spent most of their time outside in the kiddie pool and spraying each other with the hose. We managed to have two barbecues, and stuff our faces with way too much junk food. Oddly enough, I think Simon was the most well-bahaved all weekend. Addie and Caden did pretty good too, but were WAY too busy and had hardly enough naps. 
Overall, it was a great weekend, I think the biggest conclusion from the past few days is that someone on this orchard needs a pool! :) What was the best part of your 4th of July weekend? Comment below! 
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