With my new job which keeps me away from home until well past 6pm, I’m thankful for my new crockpot. It means I can have dinner on the table as soon as I hit the door, and that’s a good thing with two toddlers who are often starving and impatient. Here’s my latest foray into my crockpottery: Easy Crockpot Chicken: What You’ll Need: 1 to 2 lbs. chicken breast or tenderloins (I used frozen)

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing1 teaspoon Italian seasonings (basil, oregano and garlic powder)1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated4 medium potatoes, coarsely chopped2 carrots, coarsely chopped2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

What You’ll Do:Mix salad dressing, seasonings, and cheese together in measuring cup or bowl. Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of your crockpot. Then add your chicken into the bottom, and top with the remaining half of the mixture. Throw in the assorted vegetables around the chicken. Set the crockpot on low setting, and let cook for 6-8 hours, until chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender.

This serves well on a bed of rice or with rice as a side dish. Enjoy!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s so much fun to dress up and in this case, watch my children enjoy the season. This year is probably the last where we can tell Drake how to dress. He’s definitely got his own opinions about what he likes and dislikes, but we did manage to convince him to go as Luigi from the Mario brothers this time. Link went as Mario and together they were too cute! They had a blast trunk or treating.

Hope your Halloween was just as enjoyable!

This week’s challenge hosted by A Step in the Journey is sunsets. Unfortunately, sunsets around here are often lackluster. I didn’t manage to snap the one decent sunset this week due to the fact that my camera wasn’t in the car with me, so I’m re-using an old one that I snapped a couple of months back. It really was stunning, so posting it twice is hopefully okay. Enjoy!

We enrolled Drake into a pre-soccer training camp thing on base. It lasted for eight weeks and they were learning the basics of soccer. They had their last practice this past Monday. I honestly couldn’t tell you any single thing specifically about soccer other than you’re supposed to use your feet and not your hands. But I’m proud to say that my boy thoroughly enjoyed it and that makes it so worthwhile to me. He wasn’t just learning the basics of soccer. He was learning how to listen to other adults, how to make friends, how to be patient, and how to be a good sport. These are lessons that I cherish.

At the end of their last practice they had a fun ceremony where the kids all received a participation trophy (usually I’m against these as it teaches kids that it’s okay to be mediocre or that you get rewards in life just for participating, but they’re three so I think it’s fine for this age) and a certificate. All the kids got different “awards” like bravest defender, best listener, etc. Drake got the Hustle Award for always being first in line and the first to volunteer. I definitely think it fits him. Besides, I have video of him playing goalie and randomly running off from his goalpost whenever the opposite team came at him so best defender or even adequate goalie were out for him.

Last weekend a friend of mine and I took the boys to the local dinosaur park. They have huge statues of dinosaurs as well as a park, soccer field, and a playground all inside the compound. It’s really a lot of fun for the boys. Every time we go they have a blast. This past weekend they had displays of pumpkins in the theme of fairy tales. The boys were unimpressed with the pumpkins, and more interested in the slides and the playground. Oh well. It was nice to get out and do something “fallish” with the boys.

This is the cheesy smile you get when you have to bribe your child to sit for photos. Ugh. lol.

“How big is it, Drake?” “BIIIIGGG!” My friend holding Drake up so he can see the pumpkin displays.

Beautiful fall foliage

Rawr!!!

No photos, please. He was entirely uncooperative the entire time and I have maybe 2 photos of him from the entire outing. boo.

This week’s challenge hosted by A Step in the Journey is silhouette. This should be easy since I have two cute little guys that I love to photograph, but again, life happened. I’ve been so busy that I’ve barely managed to pick up my camera, except for the times when I’m teaching photography to the kids at my workplace. That’s really sad because my kiddoes are at such a fun stage that I don’t want to miss capturing the memories we’re making. So I’m resolving to be better about that. Anyway, here’s two shots which maybe, kinda, hopefully count as silhouettes:

First bike ride! Check out the cool shadow.

These black birds were so dark that it’s almost like they’re a silhouette, right?

check out some fun silhouettes (and most likely better) over at A Step in the Journey