Thursday, September 29, 2011

A whole lotta jibber jabber

Gary was out of town the first part of this week on a business trip.  He got home yesterday and I was so thankful.  Having a dog that just got neutered is like having another kid.  Since surgery on Monday Bogey isn't supposed to run or wrestle or do any of the things 11 month old dogs like to do.  He has spent quite a bit of time in his crate, because I just can't keep him calm and still.  

I mean look at him....

Bogey basically attacked Gary....he is jumping on him.  Silly pup!

Hayden loves fresh blueberries.  He says they taste like candy.
I certainly don't mind feeding him blueberry 'candy'.

He will chow down on a bowl of blueberries like someone is going to steal them from him.  The other day I said, "Hayden slow down on the blueberries or you will get a tummy ache!"  He didn't say a word, he just looked at me with a blank stare and kept eating.

The next day Hayden came to me and said, "Mommy I wanna get a tummy ache."

I said, "What? Why would you want to get a tummy ache? That is no fun."

He said, "I want some of those blueberries!"

Layla loves to write.  She writes and draws all the time.  She loves to write in her journals.  She has a million journals and pens and pencils.  She really should open her own office supply company.  She couldn't wait to show Gary her fluffy pink journal.  She is writing and illustrating a book.  She told us she is planning to write several children's books.  Well OK...bring it on girl :)

I don't know about you, but I am ready for fall cooking.  I want to make Chicken n Dumplings, Chili and Potato Soup.  But seriously, who wants to eat that in the heat?  Today the he high temperature is supposed to be 98 degrees, but a cold front comes in tonight.  We should stay in the mid 80's for all of next week!!!  I am so happy, please let this be true!  Hopefully in a few weeks I can make some cool weather meals for our family.  

Bring on the sweater weather it is almost October for the love of Pete!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The best fall cookie

Oatmeal ... Pumpkin ...White Chocolate Chips

 ... enough said!

Pumpkin.Oatmeal Cookies


2 cups flour
1 ½ cups  oatmeal {I use the quick oats}
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter ... softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla 
1 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a bowl. Mix butter, brown sugar and sugar in large until fluffy.
Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Mix well. Combine until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in white chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack.

Please go visit MyBakingAddiction.  

I am so glad I did.  I found this recipe and several others I can't wait to try. 
Seriously, these are the best cookies and they are perfect for this time of year!  Everyone goes pumpkin crazy right now and these were a perfect fit for my pumpkin craving.  And the white chocolate chips are the icing on the cake eerrr  I mean cookie :)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Harley Barley

It is so sad to see my sweet Harley dog getting older.  She is so quiet and withdrawn lately.  She has had hip and joint issues for almost her whole life and now her pain is really starting to show more as she gets older.  

 This morning while Hayden was playing outside I took a few pictures of Harley.  
Usually Bogey is in the photos too, but since he had his neuter surgery yesterday I made him stay in his kennel.  Poor Bogey.

Harley Barley is my favorite nick-name for her.  She loves rolling in the grass.  She loves running and barking.  It makes me so sad when she runs now she has to come inside and rest.  It wears her out!  Aging pets break my heart, but I always remind myself of the wonderful life she has had since we adopted her from the shelter!  Aren't shelter puppies the sweetest and best pups ever?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

weekend update

our weekend was full of activities.  saturday morning started bright and early with a soccer game.  layla scored her first goal EVER and i was so thrilled for her.  the girls played great.  they are getting better with each game they play.

saturday afternoon we celebrated memaw's 75th birthday.

hayden thought she needed some help blowing out her candles.

it cracked me up watching gary try to take pictures of aunt susie, layla, hayden and memaw.  it was a mess.  it was impossible to get a good picture of them so i decided to share a collage of the sillyness.

too much fun i tell ya!

today we made crowns for ourselves and our favorite little friends.
we have watched movies and eaten popcorn.  we REALLY needed today.

it seems like lately our schedule has consisted of go and go faster.  today has been a much needed day of rest.  layla enjoyed a nap with bogey.  poor little puppy dude is having surgery tomorrow.  it is for his own good.  we certainly don't want anymore bogey's running around here!

i hope your weekend was grand!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

what you see is what you get

I wrote this post months ago.  I read it often but for some reason I have never published it.  

My grandma mailed me a letter my freshman year of college and attached a devotional.  Today as I hold the letter and devotional in my hand I see it is tattered and old from me looking at it and reading it so often.  There is a hole in the paper that was once a tear drop.  My grandma's letter has helped me though many rough days.  I wish I could photograph it, but the ink as faded into a pale purple.  The devotional was torn from a leaflet my grandma got at a Wednesday afternoon tea she attended with her church lady friends.  She called it 'Circle time.'  She was so good about writing me when I was so far away from home.  She new her words and things she sent meant so much to me.

My writing below is an adaptation of the devotional and things my grandma and I jotted down next to the printed words.

More than likely you aren't gonna be perfect, so don't try to be.  You must must must be your own best friend. Period.  This is not up for yourself.

Sometimes you have to leave things undone.  There is just no way you can do it all.

Don't try to be all things to all people.

It is quite alright to be boring and untidy once in awhile.

Learn to Say no often.
Along with saying no, learn to not spread yourself too thin.

Time alone all alone by yourself is a good thing.
It is perfectly okay to kick back, relax and do nothing regularly.

Don't ever let yourself feel guilty for any of the above actions.

What you see is what you get from this blog writer, picture taker and recipe poster. 

Sadly, I think too many people care what others think about them on a day to day basis.  Doing so makes life harder.  Trying to please other people all the time just never works.  It is exhausting.   My grandma ALWAYS helped me to remember who the most important person was in my life....myself and of course God.  

And now my family of four.

I realize that it is okay to rest and relax.  It is okay to say no to baking a dozen cupcakes for that school fundraiser.  It is okay if a friend swings by the house and there is a load of laundry on the chair.  We must remember we are not all perfect and we aren't supposed to be.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My new adventure

Since Layla started playing soccer about a month ago I have been feeling very unorganized.  I felt like I had too much stuff and no place to carry it all.  I envisioned the perfect bag but searched every store around town and didn't find what I was looking for.  

I was looking for a bag to organize all our things while running to and from soccer events.  I needed a place for snacks, drinks, soccer balls, Kleenex, wipes, towels, an umbrella and a blanket for sitting on the ground.  Also I needed space for any other odds and ends we needed to throw into an already stuffed bag.  

I was visiting with my friend Jeannie and she told me about the bag she carries to soccer games as well as other activities her kids participate in.  I new I had to get that bag!  Jeannie is a Thirty-One Independent Consultant.  She showed me several bags and I fell in love with all of them.   She gave me a catalog after explaining a few of the products and sent me on my way to discover Thirty-One.  I found so many things I wanted.  I couldn't wait to place my order.  There are so many fun fabrics to choose from and all the products can be personalized!

My brain was swirling with ideas.  I really loved everything I saw in the catalog and I thought of all the other moms and teachers in my circle of friends.  I know so many ladies that would love so many things in the Thirty-One catalog. 

There are beautiful purses, wallets, tote bags, scarfs, flat iron cases, eyeglass cases and messenger bags.  That is just a short list of some of the adorable things I love.   I started thinking to myself, maybe I should sign up to be a consultant.  I haven't had a job outside the home in over 6 years.  While I was very nervous about the whole thing I knew I had to do it!  I visited with Gary about this wonderful opportunity and he was very excited for me!  We both agree it is a perfect fit for me right now.  

So guess what?   I am a new Thirty-One Independent Consultant.

I am so thrilled and excited and nervous!  I received my enrollment/starter kit this morning and I have been learning and exploring all the fun products I will be sharing with my friends and family!  

You too can explore the catalog and place an order on my website

Just think, all this excitement came about because I wanted a bag for soccer games.  haha!

I can't wait to host my first party.  I am excited about my new adventure!  I also plan to send catalogs to any of my blog readers who would like to host a catalog party.  I'll mail it to you and you can share it with your friends and family and get all the benefits of having your own party!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life size ruler

Growing up is serious business in our house.    

We have been marking the kids growth on the bathroom door jam for years.  There are at least 20 little pen marks with initials for each kiddo!

This ruler is a craft I have been wanting to do for awhile and I am so happy we finally did it!

I wanted to put it on the wall by the kids bathroom.
I didn't realize how hard it would be to photograph it.

The kids love it and they love walking by to see if they have grown overnight!

Gary found this piece of lumber in our garage.  He cleaned it up and then carefully drew the lines with a paint pen.  We found the numbers at Hobby Lobby.  They are stickers!  We carefully measured from the floor up to ensure proper placement.  

I love how the board is all crooked, scuffed and rugged.  It is the exact look I was going for.

We decided to screw it into the wall because the kids will be leaning on it and this walkway is a busy area in our house.  

How fun and easy is this little project?  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Salsa chicken

Guess what?

One of my favorite things to do is browse recipe websites. 

Have you visited  

Oh me, oh my!  Sometimes I browse recipes until my eyes glaze over.  I know that is unhealthy. heehee!

  I love getting ideas of new things to cook for my little family.  
You know this about me, I have said it a million times.

I found this recipe while guessed it...Pinterest.  
I feel like a broken record...haha!  I am a little addicted to Pinterest.  I could be addicted to much worse things right?! heehee!  

I know this recipe has been posted on twitter and several blogs, but I also know many of my readers don't read other blogs or have the twit.  So, I am sharing it with y'all! 

I made it and we all loved it.  I have to say, I usually ALWAYS change recipes I see online.  Sometimes I don't have the ingredients so I wing it using what I have.  Or in this case...I am not a fan of cream of chicken soup.  I will use it, but not often.  The thought of bits of chicken floating around with cream in a can just doesn't sound good to me.  I know the same is true for mushroom soup...there are mushrooms in cream, but it just doesn't seem weird to me.  ha ha!  If other people cook with it I'm good with it.  I do use it, but anyway, on to the recipe:

Ingredients ~

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of salsa (I used Texas Longhorn salsa)
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream

Directions ~

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.  In a bowl mix soup, salsa and taco seasoning.  Pour over the chicken breasts.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours.  The chicken usually shreds on its own.  It is just so tender, but if necessary shred the chicken and return it back to the slow cooker.  Stir in sour cream and heat for another 10 minutes.  {the chicken pictured above is not shredded.  I cooked the breasts less time than recommended.}

I served it with Spanish rice and slow cooker "charra" beans.  The chicken wasn't too spicy, but the sauce has a kick to it.  The kids thought it was to spicy.  The 'spice' can be toned down with a milder salsa. The rice I made is called Mahatma Spanish Rice.   It was the first time I made this brand of Spanish Rice and it was good!

But anyway, back to the sauce...

This sauce is so good.  I am planning to make it and pour it over chicken enchiladas.  

Can you imagine?  

Yum!  I actually think I can cook this just the same in the slow cooker.  Then shred the chicken and roll it into tortillas and then pour the sauce on the tortillas and add some shredded cheese. I dunno I'm thinking out loud, but I just love all the different ways I can make different recipes.  

I love to experiment with food and I am so thankful for a husband that eats what I cook. 

BUT ... He has some really great food ideas too.  Gary is the 'left over' idea king.  I always joke with him about being a bachelor at heart. {In my opinion bachelors don't eat pretty food, they just eat whatever they have on hand.}  He has been known to get up in the morning, fry an egg and pour the Salsa chicken sauce over it on a bed of tortilla chips.  

We never have wasted left overs in this house.  We once had leftover hamburger helper and eggs for breakfast.  If you ever need leftover ideas Gary is your man :)

So thanks for listening/reading my food rants! 

I hope you have a great Monday....Don't forget to add this recipe to your meal plan for the week or next week :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Night Random Thoughts

 I feel like this week has been all about soccer.  We had soccer practice on Monday, a soccer game on Thursday night and tomorrow we have another game and pictures.  Tonight we had a family soccer practice in our backyard.  Soccer soccer soccer.  I love it, but it is consuming us. 

Layla is doing great playing soccer considering this is her first year.  She has REALLY changed since the girls' first game a few weeks ago.  I think aggressiveness will come for her.  Right now she is so kind hearted and doesn't "get" fighting for the ball.  I love watching the games and  I get so into them.  I do make myself sit in a chair and take pictures because if I didn't I'd be up running and cheering.  haha!
I don't want to embarrass Layla or myself.

Guess what happened at our house tonight???  IT RAINED!  We sat outside in the rain.  IT was amazing.  Then it started to rain harder and we headed inside, but OH!  I could just sing from the roof top praises to God for the rain!  It rained for almost an hour.


Friday nights in our house are so hard.  I guess the week finally catches up to all of us.  The hustle and bustle of the week makes my kids grouchy and irritable on Friday nights.   This afternoon and into the evening it was one melt down after another.  We usually keep Friday nights low key.

How are Friday nights in your house?  

Mr. Serious.  What is it about guys...they never smile in pictures?

Hayden is a mess.  For the longest time we weren't sure if he would ever talk, and now he never shuts up.  Tonight he was describing a friend of his to us.  

He said, "he had on a blue shirt and a fat head."  

I was shocked. Fat is not a word we use in our house.  I'm not sure where he heard it.  He asks what words mean all the time.  "Mommy, is stupid a bad word."  "Is seriously a bad word?"  It is never quiet here.  I think some of the words he uses he hears in movies.  But GET THIS...

Layla loves Junie B Jones books.  We read them every single night.  They are so cute, and I really enjoy them, but I usually wait until Hayden is in bed because Junie B talks trash. 

 The character, Junie B. says stupid and dumb so often in her books.  This is interesting to me because they are Kindergarten and First Grade books.  Layla knows the difference in good words and bad words.  She knows what she should and shouldn't say.  We don't allow her to say butt, stupid, dumb and other not so 'bad' words.  She knows this, but Hayden doesn't.  He repeats everything.  One of our house rules is...
If you don't understand a word ask what it means.  AND don't use the word if you don't 'get it'. period.  

Hayden is still learning this rule, but it is so hard.  

What words are off limits in your house?

This concludes my random thoughts for the night!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

cucumber cream cheese sandwiches

This past weekend Sarah, Jenn, Sheila and I hosted a Little Man Baby Shower for Ashley.  

Ashley requested cucumber sandwiches and they turned out so delicious. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised!   I wasn't sure how they would taste, but at the end of the shower the entire platter of sandwiches was gone!  I think they were a HIT!

Here is how I did it:

I peeled the cucumbers and then sliced them super thin.  
I mixed 2 (8 ounce) packages of softened cream cheese with one packet of Italian seasoning mix.
I then spread the cream cheese mixture on the bread and loaded the cucumbers onto the cream cheese.  
Finally,  I sliced the sandwiches into triangles and cut off the crust.  These dainty little treats are a refreshing sandwich for any shower or luncheon.

Two drinks we served were cucumber water and sweet tea.  

The cucumber water is really simple to make.  I filled the large container with ice and water.  I tossed in one sliced/peeled cucumber and a handful of blueberries.   Sarah's idea to add the blueberries made this water a wonderful treat.  

Please visit Sarah's blog Life {Sweet} Life to see all of the adorable shower pictures including a fun picture of us hostesses, an adorable wreath {made by Jenn} and other Little Man {mustache} themed goodies.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tweetable snack!

A few weeks ago the kids and I were watching Tangled while eating popcorn and Twizzlers.  

So you know me....I tweeted about it!  See the tweet below:

Shortly after I tweeted what we were doing Twizzlers started following me on twitter and I followed them back.    How fun is that?  And it gets better....

The Hershey Company sent us this super soft and fluffy pillow and a HAND WRITTEN letter!  How nice is that??  The kids squealed when they saw the fun pillow.  What a fantastic company.  I am so thrilled to know there are still companies out there that care about their customers! 

Thank you Jacquelyn from The Hershey Company!