Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Meal Ideas~Taco Soup

Tonight I made Taco Soup at my mom's house. My mother was very surprised that I volunteered to make dinner...she isn't used to the new me yet either.

This soup is sooo good and even easier to make!!!!!

Taco Soup

1lb ground beef (or ground Turkey meat)


2 cans kidney beans

2 cans pinto beans

2 cans black beans

2 cans diced tomatoes(any of these kinds make it even better...Mexican, Italian, basil, green chilies)

1 can corn

1 packet dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

Salt and Pepper

First brown the meat and onion together. As you are doing that combine the rest of the ingredients(beans, tomatoes, corn, packet of dressing and salt/pepper)together in a large soup pan. Once the meat is browned add it into the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Allow the soup to come a boil and then turn down to LO or MEDIUM heat until ready to eat. The longer it sits on the stove the better. It allows the sauce to seep into the meat.

You then can add shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, more onions...

This is a great thing to serve to a large number of people or a last minute dinner. Really simple and I have NEVER had anyone NOT like it!

****You sure could add or subtract the types of beans you use! Also, the kinds of tomatoes. My mother has used stewed tomatoes instead of the diced tomatoes...but my kids don't like tomatoes so I trick them by using diced ones. They have never ever noticed. :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

For My Sister-In-Law!!

My sister-n-law, Kim, reminded me (kindly) that I have NOT kept up on my Monday Meal Ideas posts that I had promised.  She says she has been checking regularly looking for dinner ideas. Those of you who really know me are laughing hysterically at the fact that someone is coming to ME for recipe ideas!  

I do have some recipes ready for up coming Monday Meal Ideas.  But I didn't want Kim to have to wait that long so I want to add a link to this WONDERFUL new blog I have found.  It is called Sunday Baker and she has AMAZING recipes.  The one she currently has up is a recipe that my mommy used to make for a VERY SIMPLE finger food to take to parties: Ranch Oyster Crackers. I had made them once for BUNKO and they were a hit.  You find your hand going back and back into the bowl...DANGEROUS!! 

Give the Oyster Crackers a try I bet you will LOVE them!  But also, check out Tanya's blog Sunday Baker,I guarantee you will find some GREAT recipes to use...especially with New Year's coming up!

Hopefully, Kimme, this will tide you over until this Monday when I PROMISE I will post a new Monday Meal Ideas that you will LOVE!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Very Merry Christmas

We, the Beightol Family have had an amazingly and wonderfully blessed Christmas.  The kids slept soundly as Santa unloaded his sleigh.  And Nana, Papa, Will and I were awoken at 6:15 to little footsteps running through Nana and Papa's hallway waking us all up to see what Santa had brought.  None of us were disappointed!  

We were also able to open presents with Brandon, Kim and Mia (who were/are still in Florida) thanks to i-chat! We logged on with them just as we started opening presents at 6:30 am and finally said good-bye and logged off at 11:30ish this morning. Amazing that we could watch each other open gifts from across the United States.  

When we return home I will upload pictures from our fun-filled day!  Oh yeah, there will also be pics taken with my NEW CAMERA!  Thanks Will!  You have HAVE NEVER disappointed with gifts!

Merry Christmas to my blogging friends.  Hope your day was as joyous as ours!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


**Remember to pause the music at the bottom of the page before hitting play on the video.

**We were going down the gravely road when he was singing so he sounds a little jiggly! :)

Apparently Mrs. Bray, the music teacher at Keene Riverview was teaching the kids great Christmas carols with a little twist. My son learned from Brock and Will this rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town! I'm sure in the future there will be things that he will learn from those two boys that we won't be so proud of so we must post about the good stuff too! It is so wonderful to have older friends to learn from!!!!!

What a wonderful thing to have young ones around at the holidays! It would be very quiet and boring without their excitement and joy!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Chocolate Candy Dipper

A few years ago my Grandma Arthaud (GG Marge to my kids) bought us a chocolate melting pot to make candy. Well, I FINALLY got it out this year and the kids and I dipped pretzels into the chocolate.

We had fun making a HUGE mess in the kitchen which I wasn't even stressed out about...oh how not working has changed me!!!!!!!

Thanks GG Marge for great chocolate dipping memories!

Fifth Grade Christmas Fun

Last Friday was Taylor's classroom Christmas Party. Ryan and I arrived just at 1:30 in time to pass out the popcorn balls that Tay and Nana had made for the class. I also took cupcakes and candycanes. Michele and Brittney brought gingerbread cookies and the kids had plenty of pop and time to enjoy each others company. Michele and I walked around taking pics of the class while they talked and giggled showing off their "eating skills." Ryan had his own seat with Taylor at her table and I believe learned a "few things" from the big kids!
The only other Christmas party of Tay's I have been to was when she was in Kindergarten because I was on maternity leave with Ryan. I am SOOOOOOOO thankful that I am home now to be able to share in these special times with my children. Having always worked, I wasn't able to take the time off to be able to do these things (that whole "being responsible for the job you are hired for" thing that some just don't (won't) ever get.)

The kids had a great time and I bet Mr VonMoos was excited when the 3 o'clock bell rang to send all those sugar high kids home for the LONG break

Preschool PJ Party

Last week was nothing but a whirlwind for Messiah Preschool kids, teachers and parents! Monday they decorated Nativity Scenes. Wednesday they had their Christmas Program and Thursday brought Pajama Day/Christmas Party Day!!!

Ryan was so excited for Pajama Day to arrive. The Weinmann boys had pajama day at their school earlier in the year so Ryan thought he was pretty cool to have his own pajama day finally!

The kids were so cute showing off their pj's with each other. It was amazing how much more calm they were all day dressed this way. I think their minds were tricked into being tired!
They started their day by making Christmas cards, then Free Choice time, Worship time with Pastor Gilkey, onto snack time, THEN FINALLY what they had all been waiting for...COOKIE DECORATING!!!!!

It was hilarious watching each kid decorate their cookie with frosting and different toppings. Some ate their nummy cookie immediately where others chose to take theirs home.

Finally, to finish up their day they got to watch a movie. They were all cuddled up with pillows completely taking in the entire movie.

It was a great way to wrap up the learning before break. I am sure MANY went home and took a nice long nap...especially the teachers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

{Fun Teacher Gifts}

This year I decided to be crafty for teacher presents! It all started out to be fun and relaxing until I put it off til the end!!! I am sooo much a procrastinator it isn't funny. But in the end it all turned out to be a success!

For Mr VonMoos, Taylor's classroom teacher, we gave a loaf of Pumpkin Bread with Craisins and pecans baked into it. We also gave him a tin filled with homemade fudge...yes you read that right...I did bake this holiday season!!!

To Mrs. Houtz, Tay's Open Door teacher, we gave a loaf of the Pumpkin Bread along with a tin of Fudge. We also gave her a clipboard which we covered with scrapbooking paper and some magnets. We didn't add the clipboard or magnets to Mr. VonMoos' gift because Tay thought they were "too girlie." I figured they were her teachers she could make that decision. :)

For Ms. Parker, Tay's Guitar teacher, we made some magnets and put them into a covered Altoid can. (Forgot to take a pic of that one too.)

Ryan's teachers all got decorated Clipboard and magnets...but I forgot to take a picture of them all. I will have to wait until the New Year and take pics with them in use. :)
We had a fun time putting our love into each gift for our teachers this year. I hope they love them as much as we did!!
Many of these could work for teacher gifts too!!

Ryan's Christmas Program

One happy Wiseman!
Wednesday night Ryan's Preschool had their Christmas Program to celebrate Jesus' Birthday. They were all dress-up as different people for the Nativity Scene. Ryan got to be a Wiseman this year.

I have been able to listen to his class learn and practice the songs they were to sing on Wednesday night. Ryan had refused to practice his songs at home which made me a little concerned for the final performance. He did a much better job than I thought he would. There were more yawns coming from his mouth than words during the performance though.

Some of my pics turned out REALLY blurry...
I am having MAJOR camera operator problems!!!!
There were MANY funny moments from kids plugging their ears because the person next to them was singing too loud in their opinion to a little boy dressed as an angel taking his cape taken off and flinging it over his head continuously, even though the little girl next to him kept giving him the "mother scowl" and instructing him to put it back on! Preschoolers are so darn funny!!!!!!

Beautiful Miss. Abby (one of Ryan's classmates) dressed as an angel!

We did take the opportunity to get a family picture since all of us were dressed up and matched closely enough and the Christmas tree at the church was a perfect background.
The Beightol Family 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thank Goodness For Little Boys???

Ryan has been testing my every nerve these last few weeks. Up until then I didn't think it was possible for him to be anymore of a turkey...but he has proven me wrong!

I know as a teacher that when the students start acting up we blame it on the upcoming holiday or the change in weather, which is what I could do but what I really believe it is is 100% paybacks from the man upstairs for the way I behaved as child! My mother has been warning me and her warnings have now turned into nothin' but reality!

Here are just a few of the things Mr Ryan has been doing, there are MANY more but I am trying to block at least some of them out of my mind.

Last Thursday Ryan announced to me as we were getting ready to leave for school "I think I'll skip school today." I looked at him with the motherly "What the????" He looked me straight in the eyes smiling and said "It's not like anyone will find out." I had to give him the mother/teacher talk about why we ALL go to school. He listened then said "It's not like I would get into lots of trouble if they found out." I absolutely have lost control of my five year old!

That same day (after I got him to school) he was holding his pencil incorrectly (what is new!?!?) He will not listen to me when I talk to him about holding it right so his teacher, Mrs. Courtney sat down next to him walking him through (for the trillionth time) the right way to hold it. I looked over at him and he wasn't even looking down at his hand. He was looking straight ahead and I noticed a small roll of the eyes as Mrs. Courtney was talking to him. I wanted soooo badly to pick him up by his little ear and drag him out of the building. But I remembered that 1. It wasn't my classroom and 2. I probably didn't need Child Protective Services at my door.

This morning he told me that he really does like school. He said he could list his 3 favorite things about it. In my mind I was really hoping I would get a list of WONDERFULLY educational things. A mother can wish can't she!?!? This was his list:

1. Recess
2. Snack
3. Free Choice Time

As a teacher this is what I heard:

1. Socialize
2. Stuff my face and socialize
3. Socialize

I am so in for it with this wonderful boy that the Lord has blessed us with. I know you are all thinking how cute his list really is and that it is not only a typical boy but just a typical child at this age. I also know I am not suppose to compare children but Taylor NEVER talked this way about school. She couldn't get enough and still can't. She SOOOOO did not get that from me. I guess she is much more like her father and I guess RyJack is just "a bit" like ME. Please pray for will be MANY, LONG years to get him through school!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

{First Snow}

It's beginning to look A LOT like Christmas!!!

Daddy's Home!!!

Yea, airplane peanuts and MarioKart Info!!!

Will had to go to California for business this week leaving Wednesday afternoon flying out of Portland. He and I have a joke that when he leaves for California he is really heading down there to visit his "girlfriend." I have named her "Cali." I told him he was probably just going down to visit "Cali" for "their holiday time together."

Ten o'clock at problem peanuts are a great late night snack!
Okay, so all joking aside...I really hate it when Will is away on a trip for many different reasons. One being the kids both think they need to fill that empty spot in our bed while daddy is gone. This time was no different. Wednesday night while I was tucking Ryan into his own bed for the night he says to me "Weemember when daddy has been gone before and sissy and I have gotten to take turns sweeping in your bed? Well, I think we need to do that this time. Tomorrow can I sweep in your bed?" I cringed, smiled and replied, "We will see how well you go to sleep in your own bed tonight." He smiled, rolled over in his bed and said NO PWOBLEM mom!" As I headed toward my room I realized I already had a little visitor, Little Miss Tay had already claimed Will's side of the bed, book in hand and her blanket. So, I told her she could sleep with me.

The following night Ryan had not forgotten about wanting to sleep with me. I told him he could if he laid right down and went straight to sleep. The next thing I know Miss Taylor is in my bed TOO! Ryan had told her she could sleep in my bed with us! Great 3 people in my bed together! What happened to one mom with TWO nights in a king sized bed alone? I wouldn't have been lonely I swear! But NOOOOO the kids didn't want me to sleep by myself. Thank you darlings! I woke up at 1:15am to Taylor at the bottom of the bed, Ryan right above her kicking her head and me with NO COVERS! I rearranged everyone to be woken back up less than two hours later to the exact scenario...Ryan kicking Tay at the bottom of the bed and myself completely uncovered. All I wanted was to sleep soundly for the night and I get two tossing monkeys in bed with me. Needless to say when my alarm went off I was just a bit sleepy and both kids jumped right out of bed.

But my BIGGEST worry while Will is traveling is obsessing the whole time about him getting into a wreck on the way to the airport or his plane going down in a ball of flames. I know he could just as easily get into a wreck right here in Prosser but the thought of him far away and out of reach always causes me extra stress. I know it sounds crazy and it really is hard to explain completely but I am always so thankful when I get that phone call from him when he has arrived safely at his destination and then again when he calls to tell me he has touched down in Portland and on his way home to us! There is something more about the holidays that makes him traveling even more unnerving!

Ryan finally able to hug his dad!

Last night when he came through the door the kids and I were racing to be the first in his arms. I WON! We were all so glad to have him back home. He even brought the kids back a couple things... two bags of peanuts from the airplane and a book for Mario Kart with information on how to win new items. They were soooo excited. I giggled and told him "Cali must have sent it as her Christmas present to them." Will just smiled and shook his head.

Will getting an earful from Ryan of all that has happened since he left.

We love you Will more than you know and we are sooooo glad to have you home safe and sound with us!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stateward Bound

Last Saturday we headed over to Tacoma for the 2A State Championship Game. We had made arrangements with the Weinmann Family to meet at 7am and follow each other over. Of course by the time we got to Yakima the kids were all hungry. Brian suggested we stop at IHOP for some grub. It is always an adventure seating and feeding the 9 of us.
Tay, Little Will, Ryan, Brock and Kayla outside of IHOP
We loaded back up and got on the road to have Ryan begin asking "Are we almost there yet?" Will's response was "No, sit back, relax and we will let you know when we arrive." Just about that time Will gets a text message from Brian (yes, they were texting each other WHILE DRIVING!!!) which said "I need to pee!" We were just about at Ellensburg. Now, I have the BIGGEST pet-peeve of traveling with people who can not get into a vehicle and travel for SEVERAL hours at a time. I used to leave Pullman for Shelton and not stop ONCE...yes, it was a 6 hour drive. So, come on people take care of business so we can get to our destination please!!! It is always a joke that Will's dad has to stop at least 3 times traveling from Prosser to Seattle so I think Brian was being more funny than serious.
We didn't stop in Ellensburg but we did find ourselves stopping in North Bend for a potty break and a little sugar pick me up. Loaded back into our vehicles this time, destined only for the Tacoma Dome!
Once we arrived we got everyone dressed in their gear and ready to go. We had tons of fun. But the best part was hearing Little Will as he walked into the Tacoma Dome for the first time. He was oooing and aaahhhing. His eyes were huge and his smile stretched from ear to ear! What fun for him.
After watching the game before us finish up (the winning team won in the last minutes by ONE point) we finally got to head towards our seats. No sooner did we get seated that the kids all wanted food. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!!
This group of goofballs after eating BLUE Cotton Candy!
The Hicks Family came and joined us and helped corral all of the kids together. The game was fun with a lot of action down at our end. The second half brought more action and we (the fans) began to get a bit too relaxed (thinking it was pretty much wrapped up). With two minutes to go the game was tied. And in the second OT Prosser went for two which would have won the game...unfortunately the other team intercepted the ball...we lost by ONE POINT!
The Prosser Boys played their hearts out all season! The coaches coached their hearts out all season! They have NOTHING to hang their heads about! It was a tough game and another WONDERFUL season!

Ryan and Brock discussing what it will be like

when THEY get to play there!

WARNING: Tween Under Our Roof!

Taylor totally threw me for a loop this year! Apparently she has gotten too old to help decorate for Christmas which I can so handle. BUT she would not sit on Santa's lap this year! What has happened to my baby????? I knew it was coming but she so could have given my at least a years warning!
Ryan on the other hand has been wanting to get out all the Christmas stuff since the middle of November. Finally, we were all home together last Friday night and decided it was as good a time as any to get started. Ryan could hardly stand it! Will brought down the container with the ornaments in it and Ryan had that sucker opened before Will had even put it on the ground completely! Where was Taylor?? You guessed her room with a friend. Yeah, they came out a couple times to check to see how we were doing but then went back to their "tween" thing.

Ryan took out each ornament, looked to see whose it was and what year it was given to that person. Then he would look around the tree to find the perfect spot for each one. He really did do a great job.

There was a bit of a discussion before getting started though. Will and I had found these COOL red and silver ball ornaments in all different sizes at Costco. We decided we could just use these this year and do something different. But Mr Ryan had a different plan in mind, he wanted (in his words) "All the old looking ornaments on the tree again this year." Will started to argue with him when I stopped to remind him "that Christmas was for the children."

Ryan was still looking through the ornaments and placing more on the tree until Monday night when I finally decided the box needed to get out of the middle of my living room.It was kinda nice to have Ryan working on the tree this year so I could concentrate on other areas to decorate. I was able to get the mantle finished and the manger scene all out and decorated before he was anywhere close to be finished with the tree.
Thank Goodness my Ryan is still little enough to enjoy every bit of the holiday spirit! Taylor will come back around in a couple years...just in time for Ryan to hit the "tween" years.

Always Remember...

Thanks Lolli and Tammy!!!!

Let The Season Begin

It is a family tradition to have a CANDY filled Advent Calendar EVERY year. My grandma use to buy them for us as kids and now my mom makes sure that my two kiddo's get their Advent Calendars when we are at her house for Thanksgiving. This year was no exception. Both of my kids came home with Advent Calendars in hand. And Ryan couldn't wait for Monday the 1st to be able to open that little door with the number 1 on it.
He was bummed when he woke up to find Taylor had already headed off to school so they couldn't open #1 together. But that didn't keep him for opening and ENJOYING his chocolate on his own!

The look on his face is pure happiness of yet another year of the "Chocolate Countdown!"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Over the River and Through the Woods...

To Grandmother's house we go!

It was a very easy trip over to Olympia this year for Thanksgiving. We encountered NO snow which disappointed the kids but made Will very happy not to have to worry about crazy westside drivers!