Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Week 40

This week's pregnancy journal update is coming to you at 40 weeks and 3 days. D-day has come and gone and still no signs of baby's impending arrival. In case you missed it, I wrote a letter to Baby Entzel on Sunday, our official due date. You can find it here.

But now for this week's update.

How far along: 40 weeks (and 3 days)

Size of baby: the size of a watermelon or a beach ball

Gender: Unknown--take the poll on the right. Also, take the survey about baby here. Really...take the survey...someone will win a prize! Seriously...not many people have taken the survey and it's going to be easy for one of you to win!
**Hopefully this is the LAST chance for you to get your guesses in!!**

Nursery: The bathroom is almost we will get a nursery update going soon.
#babyentzel has his/her own timetable...for being active, for arriving, for everything...

Symptoms: Heartburn has been gone for a while and now the biggest symptom is sore

Sleep: Still interrupted with bathroom breaks...but definitely restful and I've been napping like I'm back in my first trimester.

Cravings: Not much for cravings, but my stomach is continually getting squished.
Motivation. Still.

Best moment of the week: Being home with Kyle and celebrating a new little baby for my friend Courtney.
Looking forward to:
Meeting Baby Entzel. Still. We have an appointment tomorrow and will hopefully know when we will meet baby if s/he hasn't arrived by then.

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Freezer Meals: Part III

Welcome back! Here's another round of freezer meals for you. The two recipes today are both new and old to us.

First, wild rice & chicken casserole.

  • 3 c uncooked wild rice
  • 6 1/2 c water
  • garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
  • 4-5 c diced, baked chicken
  • 1 tub fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • cheddar cheese

1. Put uncooked wild rice in slow cooker with water and seasonings. Cook on high until done (approx 2-3 hours). If you're planning to be gone, turn on low for approx 4 hours or until done.
2. Mix diced chicken, cooked wild rice, mushrooms, & cream of mushroom soup in large bowl.
2b. If lacking in liquid, add sour cream and milk as needed.

3. Separate into pans and lightly sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 min or until bubbly.

Second, Mexican stuffed shells.

I found this recipe here.

We modified it a little and added a little more ground beef and extra taco seasoning. I'm excited to try this one looks reeaaalllll tasty!

Let me know if you try these and happy cooking.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Happy Due Date, Baby!

Dear baby,

Today is your due date. And I've been warned. Warned that a due date isn't very accurate, nor is it something to focus on. It's really just a guess date of when you could be ready to join us.

But here's the thing. It's so hard to not focus on that date. July 24th. 40 weeks. Sunday. Leading up to your birth, everyone always asks, "So, when are you due??" And our reply is July 24. It's a day that your dad and I have looked forward to since November 19 when we first found out about you. We've longed for the day that we would get to hold you in our arms.

Selfishly, we even prayed and hoped that we would get to meet you prior to this day. But, God knows best.

Even typing this, I feel convicted that I'm disappointed that you're not here yet. I know I shouldn't wish away this time. I shouldn't long for days down the road. The reality is, life is easier when you're still inside. We have less planning to do in order to leave the house. We have fewer things to bring with us. I don't have to worry about making sure you're fed before we go anywhere or have anyone over, just in case. We can just pick up and go do something any time we want.


Even though our lives are about to change, we are excited for it.

You, little one, have been prayed for and cried over for many months. We prayed that you would join our family years before you were even created.

Your dad and I have looked at each other with anticipation every day since we knew about your existence. And while those days were filled with the "what ifs", they were also filled with the joy that we get to be your parents.

Now that today, July 24, has arrived--we eagerly await your day and time. The day and the time that God has set apart for you. Until you are born and until we are no longer here, your dad and I will pray for you and love you, no matter the situation.

With love,


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week 39

Five days to go until D-day. Tonight's a full moon...whoooo knows what will happen...

How far along: 39 weeks

Size of baby: Size of a pumpkin

Gender: Unknown--take the poll on the right. Also, take the survey about baby here. Really...take the survey...someone will win a prize! Seriously...not many people have taken the survey and it's going to be easy for one of you to win!

Nursery: It's full of bathroom things since Kyle's in the middle of remodeling our upstairs bathroom. :) One of these days we'll have an update.
Last night #babyentzel was movin and groovin until close to 2 am. Silly baby.

Symptoms: My Dr. told me to use Zantac for my heartburn and since Thursday, I've not had any heartburn! Woohoo!

Sleep: I've started only getting up once or twice a night...that's progress from the three times a week last week!

Cravings: Not much this week...I still don't eat much at a know, since there's a pumpkin in my stomach.
Motivation. But I did weed 3/4 of the garden yesterday!

Best moment of the week: Being home and drinking coffee and just putzing around so that I feel like I'm getting something done.
Looking forward to:
Meeting Baby Entzel. Kyle thinks it might happen today since tonight is a full moon. Stay might be hearing from me next week with my 40 week update...and no baby yet. Who knows.

Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Week 38

We've got 10 days to go until D-day. How is that even possible?? Some days seem longer than others, but somehow we've made it this far without it seeming like forever.

I've got my 38 week appointment this morning and my fingers are crossed for some progress on the baby front. Keep yours crossed too? Kay, thanks.

How far along: 38 weeks (and 4 days)

Size of baby: The size of a leek or a ukulele

Gender: Unknown--take the poll on the right. Also, take the survey about baby here. Really...take the survey...someone will win a prize! Seriously...not many people have taken the survey and it's going to be easy for one of you to win!

Nursery: We just have a few more things to put away and a few things to hang on the walls...then we're done!'s full of bathroom things since Kyle's in the middle of remodeling our upstairs bathroom. :)
So many movements. Some people have told me that baby sleeps around 20 hours a day right now...I don't think that this is the case with #babyentzel because he/she moves. all. the. time.

Symptoms: Heartburn. All. Day. And it seems to be getting worse...apparently heartburn can get worse around weeks 38/39. It could be at least 10 more days of this...

Sleep: I'm up at least three times a night...when I'm sleeping, it's pretty restful. At least I think it is.
Not much this week...I've not been able to eat much at a time...some friends came over for supper last night. They brought a smoked ham. It was delightful.
Mostly my motivation and not having heartburn.

Best moment of the week: I'm loving being home this summer. It was wonderful to celebrate our third anniversary last week and to look forward to our growing family.
Looking forward to:
Our dr appointment today! Again, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's progress and news to report.

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Freezer Meals: Part II

So I left you last week with this post about our two favorite meals we made for freezer meals. Today I'll be sharing three more of the recipes we used. 

First, one of our favorite meals to make...but it's a little time consuming...chicken pot pie.

Ingredients:•1 whole chicken (thawed)
•1 bundle of celery, 4 large carrots, 1 white onion (all chopped)
•1 bay leaf

•2-4 garlic cloves, diced

•1 1/2 white onion chopped
•3-4 carrots, sliced
•frozen corn or beans as desired
•2 sticks of butter
•1 c flour
•4-8 c chicken stock (as made in step 1)
•Bisquick biscuits (12 per pan)

Step 1
1. Put whole, thawed chicken into large stock pot
2. Add celery, carrots, onion, & bay leaf to stock pot. Season as desired. I usually add salt, pepper, oregano, and some sage.
3. Add water to stock pot and fill until chicken is just covered.
4. Simmer most of the day until chicken is done.
(I started mine at 9:15am and pulled it around 3:30pm)

Step 2
1. While chicken is cooking, dice, slice, and chop your veggies for the final product.
2. Melt 1 stick of butter in large stock pot or dutch oven. Add garlic and simmer.
3. Add veggies (NOT corn or beans) and saute until softened...but not mushy.
4. Pull veggies out and place in a separate bowl until later. Leave as much butter at the bottom as possible.
Step 3
1. Remove chicken from stove & separate the meat from the carcass. Place meat in a bowl.
2. Strain liquid and veggies. Discard the veggies and any extras in your liquid. Keep liquid!!
3. This liquid is your chicken for gravy.
4. Shred chicken.

Step 4
1. Start roux for gravy. Melt second stick of butter with the drippings from sauteed veggies.
2. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste and whisk til smooth.
3. Add chicken stock until thinned.
4. Simmer and stir until thickened...this will be your gravy.
5. Add veggies (sauteed AND corn/beans) and meat to the gravy. Mix well.
6. Split gravy/veggie/meat combo into 2-3 pans.
7. Mix up Bisquick biscuits to bake on top of the pot pie. *
*There are two options for the biscuit can bake the whole thing with the biscuit dough on top. Then let it cool completely before freezing. OR you can bake drop biscuits first and add to the top of your pot pie. Then cool before freezing.*
Reheat at 325-350 degrees F until pot pie is bubbly. Don't let the biscuits burn!

Like I said above, this is our most complicated recipe that we tried...don't be discouraged! It looks hard, but the most difficult part is cutting up the veggies and shredding the chicken. 

Second, we made burgers.

You can find the recipe for burgers here. The best part about the burgers is that you can add more or less seasoning and they'll still be great! We bought 6 lbs of ground beef for burgers and made approximately 1/4 lb burgers...some were a little smaller, or we had a little more than 6 lbs...because we ended up with 26 patties to throw in the freezer.

The key here, make patties, freeze by the lb (approx), and separate with wax paper and freeze in ziploc bags. We fit 3 (ish) lbs in each ziploc.

Third, we made Baked Ziti.

Now, you can make ziti however you want. As long as you have ziti/penne noodles, you're good to go. But we followed this recipe.

I've never tried this recipe, so do your own trial and error, okay?

One thing I'll add here, is that the veggies we used were zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, onion, & garlic. You can really use any roasted veggies that you'd like.

I also added chicken, because I know my husband and I know myself...we love protein.

I should've added more sauce, but we will just make 
sure to have some on hand when we bake it.

I'll have a few more recipes for you sometime next week, as long as baby doesn't show up! Stop on by and see what's new!

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Freezer Meal Prep Day 2--the plan

We're at it again! Today's the day where we (hopefully) finish the meal prep that we have planned. My mom and sister are coming to town to help out. Last night we made 3 batches of baked oatmeal to kick off the final day. *Only two are for us...the other is for a friend who just had a baby 2-ish weeks ago.

So here's our line up for today...after last night's baked oatmeal:

  1. Chicken enchiladas
  2. 1 pot Mexican Quinoa
  3. Breakfast burritos
  4. Fiesta Lime Chicken w/Spanish Rice
  5. Monkey Bread
We were thinking about making beef stew to throw in the freezer...but that just seemed like too much work. I was super ambitious when I wrote the list out...and then when I was actually thinking about it yesterday, I decided that I was too tired to prep beef stew too.

I hope you saw yesterday's post with the first two recipes up from Saturday! If not, check it out here.  And I'll do my best to get some more up in the next few days or a week.

Here we to cook!

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Freezer Meals: Part I

So since today's our anniversary, I've actually written this out a little ahead of time. But let's just pretend, shall we?

You may remember me posting this on Saturday. Our friend Anna graciously decided to give up the better part of her Saturday to help me meal prep for #babyentzel. And like I had hoped, we got all seven of those meals prepped! Seven! That's so much cooking!

So, here's the thing. I could just rehash the entire day for you, but I'll spare you the gory boring details.

Instead, I'll share two recipes at a time with you. Only two because that gets to be obnoxious...really. And I don't want you thinking I'm obnoxious.

The first two meals I'm going to share with you are two of our absolute favorites.

First, mac and cheese. 
Okay, okay. I know you're thinking..."wow, she really just made a few boxes of Kraft and threw 'em in the freezer...". But that's not the case at all! This mac and cheese is delicious and I found it in one of our Taste of Home cookbooks that we got from our wedding.

I've modified the original recipe, because even though we love cream and butter in the Entzel house, we don't need that much cream or butter.


•1 package (16 oz) pasta (elbow, mini shells, spirals, it's really your choice)
•16 oz 4% cottage cheese
•1/2 c butter, cubed (You don't have to cube just melts faster)
•1/2 c all-purpose flour
•1 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp white pepper (yes, you do need white pepper...the flavor is so much better!)
•1/4 tsp garlic powder
•2 c half and half
•2 c milk (I use 1% because it doesn't make me feel like my arteries are clogging quite as fast)
•4 c shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package, or until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in large sauce pan. (If doubling the recipe, make the roux in a stockpot/dutch oven) Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until smooth. Gradually add milk and cream. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Add 3-3 1/2 c cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, and white sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 9x13 pan.
  4. Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs (if desired).
  5. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 20-25 min or until bubbly.

And that's it for the mac n cheese. It's a pretty simple recipe, but if you've not made a roux before, it might take a little practice.

I doubled this recipe and we ended up with
three 9x13 disposable pans!
Second, chicken tetrazzini.
This is another favorite in the Entzel house. It seems to have quite a few steps, but when two of us were working on a double batch together, we had it done in no time!

This is also taken from a cookbook from our's a local church cookbook, so you know it'll be good.

•1/2 pkg thin spaghetti/angel hair
•1/4 c butter
•1 med onion, chopped
• 1/2 med green pepper, chopped
•2 1/2 c cooked, diced chicken
•1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c milk
•1 c sour cream
•1 tsp basil
•1 carton mushrooms, diced
•1 c shredded cheddar cheese
•Parmesan cheese
  1. Break spaghetti into 1 inch pieces, cook according to package instructions & drain
  2. Saute onion, green pepper, & mushrooms in butter
  3. Mix all ingredients together (except cheese)
  4. Place in buttered 2 qt casserole dish
  5. Sprinkle cheddar and Parmesan over top
  6. Bake at 300 degrees F for 30 min or until hot and bubbly
For our freezer meals, I made 2 whole packages of angel hair pasta, 1 1/2 onions, 1 med green pepper, 1 large can of cream of chicken soup, approx 2 1/2 c milk, and 1 1/2-2 c sour cream.

Here's what we got:

Three pans for this one too!
Overall, these two recipes went pretty quickly. They're definitely doable for an evening meal when you get home from work too. Once you've got the steps down, it's much easier to get these meals made quickly. 

As always, if you try a recipe and you love it or modify it, please let me know! And I suppose you can tell me if you hate it too. Maybe just give me some suggestions on how to modify it?

Anyway, we're celebrating our anniversary today by babysitting in the morning, working on some school things, going to the doctor, and hopefully going on a date.

See you tomorrow with our plan for day 2 of meal prep!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 37

Well, here we are. Week 37 and only three left to go...assuming baby doesn't decide that s/he is really comfy in there. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

How far along: 37 weeks

Size of baby: The size of a head of romaine lettuce, a striped skunk, or a tackle box.

Gender: Unknown--take the poll on the right. Also, take the survey about baby here. Really...take the survey...someone will win a prize!

Nursery: It's almost done. One of these days I'll have to actually take some photos and show you what's up!
Movements have been mostly in the morning and then as I'm trying to go to sleep. Lately they've been muted a little since #babyentzel has gotten so big.

Heartburn. All. Day.

Sleep: Sleep has been a bit rough. I've not been getting as restful of sleep as I'd like. And I know it's only going to get worse from here on out.
Fruit and bread w/peanut butter.

My ankles and motivation. Still.

Best moment of the week: Having time at home with Kyle. The days of it being just the two of us are numbered. But we wouldn't have it any other way.
Looking forward to:
Wednesday! It's our anniversary and we've got a dr. appointment that day too. Stay tuned!

Happy Monday!
And Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Freezer Meal Prep Day 1--the plan

It's here. A day I've been super excited about for months...and just haven't gotten around to accomplishing. :) Until today.

Our friend Anna is headed to our house as we speak and she's planning to help me prep some freezer meals for after baby arrives! Kyle and I found some great new recipes and we have some old favorites that we're planning to prep to have on hand. Here's a look at what we hope to get accomplished today:

1. Chicken Pot Pie : The whole chicken is already cooking as I type this.

2. Chicken Tetrazzini : One of our favorites.

3. Mac 'n' Cheese : Adults love this one!

4. Baked Ziti with Roasted Veggies : This is a new recipe for us. I'm praying we love it.

5. Mexican Stuffed Shells : Also a new recipe. We have some left over taco meat from the baby I figured, why not?

6. Hamburgers : Simple. And convenient. We bought 6 lbs of ground beef from SAMs Club so that we can portion up meat and keep them in the freezer for when we want to grill. :)

7. Wild Rice & Chicken Casserole : Assuming we have time...which we should, since this is one of the easiest on the list to make...

Stay tuned for recipes coming soon!
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