Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Butter Bean Soup



1.5 c. sliced carrots
1.5 c. sliced celery
1 c. diced onion
2 T. olive oil
2 T. all-purpose flour
1-2 cans chicken broth
(at least) 28 oz. diced tomatoes
2-3 cans large butter beans
salt and pepper, to taste
basil, to taste
parsley, to taste

Sautee your vegetables in oil in a covered stock pot, until soft (about 10 minutes). Stir occasionally to avoid sticking on bottom. Add 2 tablespoons of flour, stir well. Begin adding liquid ingredients and beans. I throw this recipe together, so it's hard to measure it out precisely. If you need more liquid, add water. Sometimes I use 1 can of broth and 1 can of water. Either way is fine. After all ingredients are added, season with salt, pepper, basil, and parsley--just to your taste. I usually add several sprinkles of each...I like a lot of flavor. Let simmer for up to an hour, although I usually do 30 minutes.

This soup goes great with a good grilled cheese sandwich...you know with real butter and Texas Toast. The soup is pretty healthy, you can afford the extra calories--if not, I promise, you will be raiding the kitchen an hour or so later--it's just not very filling. It's a great soup, just a little light. Enjoy!

Nacho Party Dip

1 Block of Velveeta
1 Lg. Jar of Salsa
1 Lb. of Lean Ground Beef, cooked and drained
Tortilla Chips

Melt Velveeta. Mix in salsa and ground beef. That's it. Not an original, but good nonetheless. I mixed in some cooked black beans, I thought it made it even better. Suit yourself. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Change Is Coming...

It seems "Change" is the theme for 2009. I feel a change coming as well...the Christmas decorations that I usually keep up well into the middle of January are already gone, this blog, a new hair style?, yoga, more running, less yelling, more babies?, more time management, more alone time with my man, less spending, more Mexican cooking, less sugar, more calls to friends and family I haven't seen or heard from in a long time, more trips,more reading, more learning, less stalking (stranger blogs), more flowers, less arguments (I live with a lawyer), more love in my home (stopping the little boy fights in my house before they happen!) less wasting time on insignificant anything.

Any "resolutions" in your home?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve



...the mess.

...the help.

...the goods.

It's Christmas Eve. Gifts to wrap, a house to clean for guests, treats to be made, a little shopping left to do, ect. In all the rush and excitement, let's not forget what we are celebrating: Our Lord, Jesus Christ. It's not about the presents, it's about His Presence.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chocolate Covered Carmel Popcorn



Now this is something extraordinary. It's a copycat recipe of the popcorn those good ol' boy scouts sell around the holidays. Not to take any revenue away from the boy scouts, but I personally don't know any...so I created my own delicious, mouth-watering, give-me-more, treat.

3 qt. of popped popcorn
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 block Chocolate Almond Bark

Place completely cooled popcorn in a large bowl. Melt butter in large pan. Add sugar and light corn syrup. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda and continue to stir. Pour over popcorn and stir until coated evenly. Spread popcorn in a 9 X 13 glass baking dish and bake at 200 for 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

Let cool completely. Melt almond bark in pan and pour over popcorn. Stir to coat evenly and refrigerate until chocolate hardens. Store in sealed container for 1 week, refrigerated for 2.

This is what I'll be working on for the next two days....Merry Christmas!

Bryce playing peek-a-boo. He always covers his ears instead of eyes.

This little monster goes from place to place to place to place--all places 1 year old boys shouldn't be. It seems as if sometime between Jackson and Bryce I forgot how to parent a toddler. A glimpse...(this all happened this morning)...He wakes up and screeches until I get him out of bed. He goes directly to his high chair and screeches until I put him in it and fill his tray with food. He almost falls out of his highchair because he will no longer sit in it for the duration of a meal. As soon as breakfast is over....he goes to the DVD player and pushes all kinds of buttons, runs a wagon into the Christmas tree, gets in the toilet 3 times, pushes the easel out so he can get into all the crayons, chalk, paintbrushes, ect. that is stored BEHIND it, stands right against the space heater (the kid-friendly kind), smacks it several times, and then pushes it over. Lastly (that I know of) he rips the light cord out of the outlet and eagerly tries to put it back in. I know what you're thinking: child-proof your house! Mostly, it is. We thought we were doing extra good when we put locks on the pantry door to keep him out of the cereal boxes (which were spilled all over floor) and when we put the ornaments on only half the tree (because he pulled it over trying to get the red bulbs).

He is not easily rattled--we say "NO" and he looks the other way. He does, however, want the approval of Triston and Jackson. He will intentionally do things and then look around to see if they are looking at him. He thinks he is funny, too--laughing at himself and then moving right on to the next thing....to the average person, this may seem like a lot--but we sure do feel lucky to have such a bright-eyed curious little guy that is full of personality! ...and to think, we got THREE of them just like this!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Favorites: Cast Iron and Mini-Serving Spatula

We LOVE our cast-iron cookware. We replaced our Teflon with cast-iron and stainless steel a few years ago after learning about the dangers associated with cooking with chemically treated pans. Between the two: cast-iron wins hands down. Aside from being incredibly versatile (stove-top use, oven-use, outside-use), it evenly distributes heat, something stainless steel is not known for. A well-seasoned pan can be nearly as non-stick as its manufactured counterparts, without the risk of toxic chemicals being consumed by your family. Cast-iron offers its own health benefits: iron supplementation in your food. Plus, it lasts forever: pans used by our grandmothers are still going strong. The maintenance is minimal--in some cases the only required cleaning is simply to wipe out the pan with a paper towel. It's wonderful...if you want to know more, go here.

I LOVE my mini-serving spatula from Pampered Chef. This spatula has a sharp edge, not like a knife, but sharp enough to slice through cake or lasagna to serve pieces intact. I have also used it to chop up raw meat, like chicken, while cooking....it's pretty handy. The best part: It costs only 4 dollars!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fabulous-ness

My friend Courtney sent me an award for being fabulous--this is no surprise to me, I get these awards all the time. Didn't you know? :)
Along with the award, I must pass it on to 5 more bloggers who also exude fabulous-ness AND list 5 fabulous addictions I currently have.....fabulous addictions? Okay.
5 lucky bloggers:
Nicol--I know--just do it anyway. We share the same sense of humor and always have a good laugh when we chat, which is never enough, but we've both got three (about to be four for her) kids and there's just never enough time, so what do you expect?!....but, I will say--if I ever win a vacation for just one other person--I choose you!
Shara--who lives half-way across the country now--is super crafty and is really fun. I will never forget watching you strap Xander in the stroller and face him towards the wall for a quick time-out in the mall....genius. I did that just a few weeks ago--it really works. My first friend in Florida!
Brookeanne--The only other person I knew, at the time, that was married and had a baby at our young age of 21! We stayed friends via the phone and e-mail for 3 years while I lived in Florida--it was so great to come home and pick right back up like we used to! Plus, your a patient mother and you spend quality one-on-one time with your kids each and every day--I really admire that!
Katy--Your blog was the first blog I ever read. You have 5 beautiful girls and you are not even 30...and you seem sane, which is more than I can say for myself! Your blog is so much fun to read--actually, your whole family has great blogs--your family is so creative.
Morgan--You are so much fun! A really genuine person and your accent is so cute! (She's from southern Georgia) When you first moved into Mandarin 2nd, I was so impressed with how well you met others and fit right in.I always think of the first time you came to church and stood right up and gave your testimony. Now, I;m in the same position and try to do the same--thanks for being a great example!
Okay, so you bloggers are supposed to post the picture and do the same thing I did--have fun!
Now for my addictions:
Desperate Housewives--I have watched since the very first episode, but now we don't get ABC, so I am missing it! It's driving me nuts.
Stalking Blogs-Travis will come by and say, "Oh, who is that?" More times than not I reply, "I have no idea"....ha ha, great fun though, right? Oh, c'mon....I know you do it to!
Sugar--no lie. I feel like a drug addict. Of course, this started when I was pregnant with Triston and has stuck with me...probably why I can never get rid of the baby jiggle in the front. I'm working on a plan to kick it--look up facts about sugar sometime....it's the quickest way to age your skin, rot your teeth, makes you fat....ect. It's bad stuff.
Exercise--okay, I could have said this one--like a year ago. There was a time when I would feel just bad if I didn't work out. Then I got prego with Bryce and was so tired and slowly stopped over the course of two years. Now, I'm pretty fine with just hanging out.
News--I'm a news junkie. Maybe this stems from my Journalism training in college....or maybe the "shock factor" on mainstream media just got me....when we had cable, I would jump from news channel to news channel several times a day to see what was going on.

Okay, there you go...this took way to long. I won't hold it against you if you don't want to do it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Photos

We didn't have time this year to do a Holiday photo of our family--so I took some pictures of the kids--just for fun. Here's a couple...

Merry Christmas!

Zuppa Toscana

I believe this soup recipe is the same one the Olive Garden serves, or something similar. My whole family slurps this right up--and asks for more. I double the recipe for my family of 5. I didn't drain the sausage well enough this time, so it was a little more greasy than normal, and it shows in the picture, but it was still excellent.

1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 large baking potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 package Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. Kale or Swiss Chard, chopped
2 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
1 qt. water
1 c. heavy whipping cream
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook sausage in a 300-degree oven for 30 minutes. Drain on paper towels, slice, and set aside. Place onion, potatoes, chicken broth, water, and garlic in large pot. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender. Add sausage, bacon bits, salt, and pepper--simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat--add Kale and cream. Heat through.

Serve with warm crusty bread.

Citrus Salmon with Thyme


This salmon brought a little sunshine on a gray day!

Wild Caught Atlantic Salmon

Kosher Salt (I used Sea Salt)

Pepper

Fresh or Dried Thyme

Lemon

Orange

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lay thawed salmon across foil and generously season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice lemon and orange slices to your liking and place atop salmon. Sprinkle dried thyme on top, or place thyme sprigs alongside orange and lemon slices. 350 oven--about 30 minutes.

Serve with fresh spinach salad and long-grain wild rice.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's WAR...

We have a mouse....actually, we had a mouse. Make that two. There could be more--I'm repulsed. Our only evidence that we had been invaded upon was Triston who swore he saw one run from the refrigerator to the stove...this was early last week. "No way," we said. "There couldn't be a mouse". There was absolutely no other evidence (i.e. mouse poop, tampered food containers). Then later in the week, Travis saw it too--running from the refrigerator to the stove--just as Triston had said.
We, or rather--He, set traps when we went to bed. Nothing.
Again, when we had to go to the store. Nothing.
Again, before bed. We got one, and we thought our problem was solved.
Last night, Travis set another trap before bed...just for good measure. At 2 A.M.-ish, I awoke to a few strange noises. I got out of bed to check it out. I remembered the trap in the kitchen and turned on a light to make sure I didn't step on it. It was GONE! I woke up Travis and he checked under the stove with a flashlight...there it was. Stuck by one leg and furiously trying to escape. Now, Travis has a good heart when it comes to animals and he was really bothered by the fact that the mouse was alive and scared and that he was going to have to kill it somehow. So, to save the details--he got the job done.
We have a real history with mice, Travis and I.
Our first apartment was 700 square feet--extremely small. A nest of mice was discovered under our sink--we, ahem....I mean, he had a field day with that one. Since the bottom of the cabinet under the sink was never finished, the mice had easy access to our warm, food-filled apartment. One morning, after hearing another trap go off in the kitchen and then seeing a mouse run from the kitchen to my bedroom, I lost it. I packed up and went to my mom's for the night. Travis, got off work, went directly to the rodent killer section of Walmart, and became the Mouse Slayer (a name he would be extremely embarrassed by, but secretly still claims the title) that very night. He caught 13! 13!!!! Since, I have vowed vengeance on any, and I mean ANY, rodent that wants to mess with my house. We're getting more traps today. Say some prayers for the mice in the neighborhood--I'm on a mission to destroy!
P.S.--I should add here, that I only have extreme intent to destroy. Travis handles all of the mouse stuff. I usually get up on the counter and hide my eyes until it's done away with. Thank you, Travis--you're my hero.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Italian Meatballs

I'm not a big red meat person. In fact, this year I've realized that I could go vegan with no problems at all. But, since I live with a carnivorous man and three little carnivorous man-children, I aim to please...every once in awhile. I've never quite understood the veracity for round balls of meat. For some reason, they tell me, "it just tastes so much better". So...here's the recipe:



1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
A few good shakes of salt and pepper



Put all ingredients in a bowl and combine. C'mon, get your hands dirty. Form into little balls. (Makes about 10)




Put about 1 T. olive oil in skillet over medium heat and cook until done. Serve atop whole wheat pasta with marinara.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Chicken Vegetable Soup

When it's cold outside--all I want to do is wrap up, stay stationary, and eat. (I am foreseeing a weight gain since moving back to Indiana.) This super easy soup takes the chill out of the day.

3 boiled chicken breasts, cut up
2-3 cans of chicken broth
3/4 bag 32oz frozen vegetables
1 onion, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
parsley, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste
1-2 bay leaves

After boiling chicken, save the water. Add the broth, garlic, celery and onion. Let boil 5 minutes. Add cut up chicken, frozen vegetables, and all spices. Boil a good 10-15 minutes, then simmer 1 hour.
Serve with grilled cheese. Mmmmmmmm.

Friday Favorites

A new series I'm doing: Friday Favorites. Since the title is self-explanatory, here goes:






Bar Keeper's Friend--This product is absolutely amazing. I started using it a few years ago when I got stainless steel cookware. It not only makes my pots and pans shine like they're brand new, it also makes my bathtub sparkle, and removes rust. It costs around 2 dollars per can and lasts quite a while.

Honest Kids Organic Juice--We got these juice packages in Halloween treat bags this year. I believe it only harbors 9 grams of sugar, which is why my interest peaked. The juice tastes good----it doesn't have a full flavor, almost watered down, but in a good way. Also, only 40 calories!

Hershey's Chocolate Mint Truffle--Do I need to explain?! Limited edition for the holidays--go get yourself a bag...or two...or three.

On another note--this is what we're doing today:

Sleep deprivation + 14 degree weather + my monthly girl visit = watching tv all day for everyone.

Sleep deprivation? Why would I be sleep deprived? I have 3 boys who sleep all night long, right? WRONG. Jackson woke up at 3 to go to the bathroom, but let the whole house know it--which woke Bryce up. Jackson goes back to bed, Bryce stays awake until 4:30. I finally start to doze. Triston wakes up at 5 and can't find the army guy he went to bed with. Wakes Bryce up complaining about it. Bryce wakes up with laughs, so I KNOW he's up for good. That's Triston's cue to stay out of bed and wake Jackson up. All three of them are too much to fight about it. Travis has his first case in front of the judge this morning, so I was played good wife--even made him breakfast and packed his lunch.

Shooosh--I need a nap.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Under Construction

I've been planning a site to post my recipes on for awhile....I've finally created it....now, let's just see how long it takes me to start posting!

Also see: Mandarin 2nd Food Lover's. I post there occasionally, but I know most everyone that does post recipes and I can vouch for them! All the ones I have tried from the site have been great.

Holiday Kick-off in Brown County

So we do live in kind of a cool little place. Think Gatlinburg on a much smaller scale--but, not as hillbilly. Well, kind of hillbilly. For instance, we needed a drain stopper for the kitchen sink, so I went into town to find one. My only options were: CVS, a grocery store (where everything is priced so highly, I don't know WHO shops there...probably just tourists.), and a hardware store called Bear Hardware that has the friendliest workers in the world---but no luck with a drain stopper that fits our sink. Next closest place: Wal-Mart--18 miles away.

But, on Friday, our quaint little town hosted a Holiday Kick-off: the town tree lighting, the village (200+ little shops and restaurants) lighting, the Courthouse Christmas Tree Walk-Through, Trolley Rides, Hot Cocoa and Cookies, and of course--Santa.


We had a lot of fun, but quickly realized that it was way to cold for the kids for us to stay the entire time. We missed the tree lighting, but got to ride the trolley through town and talk to Santa Claus. The hot cocoa and cookies weren't too bad, either.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bryce!


The baby of the family: not so baby-ish anymore. At least he doesn't think so. We celebrated the first anniversary of his birth day on Sunday. A quiet little soiree--cake, presents, a singing balloon. All was received by Bryce with happy smiles and a little dancing--and a face full of cake. He is a force to be reckoned with--making sure everyone knows his likes (hands clapping, laughing, and dances) and his dis-likes (throwing himself on the floor, screeching like a banshee, and fat tears sliding down those chubby cheeks) If you know our family, you would know we like 'em that way--personalities that stand out in the crowd. Happy Birthday, Bryce!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope no one else's belly is hanging over their jeans! Ha! Seriously, I'm thankful I got to spend the holiday with my family....and thankful for so many other blessings in our lives. I heard recently that health is our greatest assest--it's true--I'm most especially thankful for 3 healthy little boys who bring such joy to their dad and I. I am thankful for our cousin Dylan's miraculous healing (4-Wheel accident). I am thankful for finally finding a place we can call home for awhile. Thankful that Travis finished school and got a good job. Thankful for the Gospel and our new ward we will be attending on Sunday. There's so much more. I hope everyone else feels as blessed as I do....

In the woods...

So we did the whole move thing....again. Only where we moved was not what I was expecting. Instead of Columbus, we decided on a little house in Nashville. Only this house is 6 miles in the country of a little country town. No cell service. No internet service. (possibly dial-up, I haven't got a straight answer) No cable tv access. I live in the woods. Literally. As in, I look out my back window and see woods--I look out my front window and see a cornfield and then more woods. Before the decision was made, I apparently said that "it would be fun".....and looking at the bi-montly county publication, boy, am I in for fun. For example, we are going to the RedBarn Jamboree this weekend for a Christmas Kick-Off! Okay, really it will be fine. I mean home is where the heart is right? So what if I can't run to Target at 8:30 p.m. because the kids just fell asleep or if I forget an ingredient or two I have to do some improvising? It will be fine....right? RIGHT?!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Make Sure You Scroll Down A Few!

Happy Halloween!



Seriously, I have the cutest kids in the world. Halloween was so fun! The kids were high-strung and ready for some action. My mom came down and we took the three of them + my brother trick-or-treating through a neighborhood. The night didn't go without mishaps of course--Jackson continously fell throughout the night. I guess he was just so excited to get to the next house, the clumsy came out....and Triston's bucket strap kept falling off, unloading treats all over the sidewalk. But, it was good--and we are still feasting on all the leftover candy. (Although, I did eat the last of the chocolate this morning. Oops!)

My mom was pretty freaked out that we were going through a neighborhood we didn't know. Do the other momma's do this? I felt relatively safe--I mean it was mostly old rich people who were delighted to see little children (this was a planned route!). We checked all the candy afterward to no dismay...I thought that was how you did it...any comments? Anyways, we had a great spooky holiday!

Happy Birthday Travis!

Travis turned 28 on Oct. 27th. I'm sad to say that all the pictures we took of him (mostly with the kids and his cake) turned out too dark. But, this little beauty did just fine--it was his "birthday lunch". Travis had to work the night of his birthday, so me and the kids had a lunch-time birthday party for him. We had turkey clubs--and I just had to post the picture, because I don't think I have ever assembled a sandwich quite as tasty as that one. We also had a chocolate covered cherry cake--Travis' favorite. I've said it before, and I will say it again--I am so blessed to have Travis as a partner in all of life's endeavors. Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Jackson!



Jackson turned 3 on October 21st. My, how the time flies. He is a boy full of energy. He loves everything a boy should love--the outdoors, trains-planes-cars, ect. Jackson loves to jump--many of you might remember that he could climb and jump off things as tall as me before he could walk really well. Months before his birthday, he told everyone he met that he wanted a Thomas cake...so I gratefully made one for him. We always let the boys pick out a "birthday dinner" to celebrate their day--this year, we had to talk Jackson out of "red beans and rice"! This little guy is a delight to have in our family and we are so grateful that we are his parents!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Darn It!

I FINALLY packed a bunch of pictures on my little scan disk thing to bring to the library to post....but I forgot it at home! There was no going back either...ever tried getting out of the house with 3 crying little boys in their underwear blocking the door? It's pitiful....and time for a nap.

The pics and posts to go along will have to wait until next time....but, I've got some good stuff--birthdays and Halloween.

For now, I could talk about OUR BIG MOVE IN A MERE 3 WEEKS!

Travis got a job here....and we will be living here.

We're excited...we are headed in that direction on Wednesday to look for a house.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Since we have not had Internet access in our home, we have been frequenting the library more often. Lucky for us there is a branch only a mile away...and lucky for me that I have been re-acquainted with the vast array of books and knowledge that a library offers. Lately, I have been checking out cookbooks--with a novel here and there. What is everyone else reading these days? Any good ones I should be on the look-out for?

Why must my child always go for the chalk?

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Results Are In....

Travis passed!

Hooray! 1 step forward...now on to job interviews, offers, and a move either to a new city or a new location in Evansville.

Phew!

Travis, I knew you would do just fine all along--you're pretty good at what you do,.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What do ya know?! My husband was able to come home, and I got a quick trip to the library to peruse and to BLOG. So I guess my posts will be spontaneous and sporadic. Now, I am not a technologically-able person, but I did figure out how to transfer pictures on to a removable disk....here are my sweet little boys on their 1st day of preschool:

Okay, actually it's their 3rd day of preschool (read last post's title...). Here is little Brycers on the same day:

He is just getting so big! He mimics everything we say. It's really quite funny, but don't all parents think their child is just over the moon, anyway?! Well...I don't know about you Floridians, but up here the weather is just superb. No temps over 79 for the week. Love it. That means my favorite time of year is in sight! I love everything about it...the crisp cool air, the colors, the smells, Halloween, chili and homemade soups, pumpkins, the fact that it's dark outside at like 5 in the evening...it's all welcomed! I couldn't resist any longer...on September 1st I got out my Fall decorations. I still need some pumpkins sitting by the front door, but I'm afraid some hooligans in the apartment complex will steal them. (Oh, the joys of renting an apartment...that is a whole other post!) The kids get extra excited, too. They talk about Halloween all year long. Happy Fall!

Monday, September 15, 2008

I must be a really bad mother...

The other day, Triston got in trouble and what did he say? Oh...what did that boy say?! He says, "Mom, I know you're a criminal. It's time to take the mask off". One would think he was kind of a crazy little boy unless you knew that my #1 and #2 are just in love with Scooby-Doo...and for all those who watch you know at the end they always take the mask off the criminals and reveal just who they really are. I guess my first-born thinks he might have a really nice mommy who will let him do whatever his little heart desires underneath the mask of "listen up, kiddo, you're going to get it if that continues...." (which for most of you reading you know how much I love love love my children, but goodness, they can be little stinkers, right?)

Last week there was a most heinous smell in my Durango...I mean, it was putrid. We couldn't find a culprit, I thought someone was actually sick and had diarrhea in their pants until I looked around and found a BOTTLE with spoiled formula in it. I have no idea how long it was under the seat, but I do know the stuff was caked in the bottom. Ehck. We had to Febreeze and let it air out for 2 days.

Lastly, I didn't even post about pre-school or that my baby is taking steps of his own. I really am that bad. T and J started pre-school last week! They love going to school. I have to say, the first couple of days I felt as if an appendage had been lopped off when I went to the gym....I just had one baby to carry! No hand-holding, making trips on either side of the car to make sure babies are buckled in right, no stopping to pick up rocks and no chasing Jackson into the parking lot! I thought I would enjoy the time they are gone more than I do--they bring such vibrancy with them...it's addicting I guess.

Little B is taking steps all on his own! He will pull himself up on the furniture and take off, but he usually just falls over...sometimes he laugh, sometimes he cries! He will get the hang of it soon!

I have no pictures to post of these momentous occasions because we shut the internet off--saving a few bucks! Hopefully it will be back on before Christmas time....and I will post when I get a chance. Since I will be absent for awhile--click here for a blog I know you will enjoy! Start from the first page in read backwards. It's inspiring....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Travis: The Love of My Life...













I realized that I don't blog to much about Travis. Shame on me--he is busy busy working hard--a lot. He's doing well--anxiously awaiting bar exam results that come October 4th. In the meantime, our old managers at Logan's Roadhouse (Yee-Haw!) gave him a serving job. Yep...he went back to his roots...a server. He, of course, would rather be in a suit (...or his birthday suit....oops!) working in an office. But, I told him to just have fun with it--I mean, when else is he going to able to run around all night, savoring the smell of DE-LIC-IOUS food, an ever-changing scene, and meeting all kinds of new people?! It's kind of a fun job...and I know, as I was a server myself for 6 years throughout high school and college. BUT...it does have some big downers--lousy hours, you smell like the DE-LIC-IOUS food when you come home, out of all those people you always get some crappy tippers, and for Travis--he is working with a bunch of 18-20 year old kids. But--we keep PERSPECTIVE around here! It's a magic word, I swear.Its meaning to us:TEMPORARY. I am thankful for a husband who works as hard as he does and then comes home and is such a good dad and husband. Here are a few things I love about Travis:



1. He is honest.

2. He is a hard worker

3. He has integrity--always striving to do the right things.

4. He strives to live the Gospel.

5. He brought SEXY back...well, to my house anyway!

6. He is hilarious!

7. He's a great singer and has superb taste in music.

8. He tells me I'm...not just beautiful, but gorgeous--almost everyday.

9. He can make fun of himself.

10. I know we are safe in his presence.



Now, he is not perfect--but when he does do wrong--he recognizes and makes it right. I'm thankful for that, too. There's so much more--but I don't want to inflate that man-ego too much! Love ya, baby.



Friday, September 5, 2008

A New Rule...



Doesn't just every kid love to jump on a bed? Mine certainly do--and I will admit, it drives me nuts. Because its not just jumping--it's singing to loud, or falling off into a dresser, or bumping heads. It seems as though I am forever telling Triston and Jackson to "Stop Jumping" "C'mon Down" "This is why I say not to jump on the bed"....so, the other night they were at it again, but it was my bed instead of theirs. I turned around to tell them to get down and I just stopped for a moment and watched....and then I got lulled into it. They were having so much fun and giggles are infectious I guess. I threw my hands up and told the boys to "move on over". They thought I was crazy...and I think we were all a little scared the bed would just collapse--as my bounces were much heavier than their tiny little springs. I'm still learning to choose the battles, and they have won this one. We now have a new rule about bed jumping--as long as the bed is not made, they can jump. I'm still getting used to the change, as when I hear the creaks the words almost fall out of my mouth, but the boys have wasted no time!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Was So Proud...

I finally made a homemade pizza! I made whole wheat pizza crust and topped it with garlic, sauce, spinach, tomatoes, onion, mushroom, and black olives. I was a little concerned it wouldn't turn out--and I had some trouble stretching the dough...but I made it and it was DELICIOIUS! Hooray for me!



I also finally used my new cake pan I found at a yard sale for 2 bucks.




Cute, right? But....this is how mine turned out:
Cake decorating is harder than I thought--and I wasn't prepared. Once I got into it, I realized I needed some darker icing to outline the lines and make it look normal, but alas--this would have to do. Triston and Jackson were so excited about getting cake from a dinosaur pan, they couldn't have cared less what it looked like. Jackson looked at me with green icing smeared all over his mouth and cheeks and said, "Mom, this is the best cake in the whole world!" ...and at that moment, it really was the best cake in the whole world...and I had made it! Hooray for ugly cakes!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yum-O!

Here was our dinner tonight...




You can make it, too. Go here. A small adaptation: I cut the vegetables in small chunks and added parsely. Served with homemade whole-wheat garlic bread. Very easy to make, very easy to clean up, and very easy to get the kids to eat their vegetables!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kids...

Today at the gym, I was working in the nursery, a family with one child came in. The little girl is 2 and cute as all get out. The mom says, "I put an extra change of clothes in her bag along with some extra diapers and wipes--she's been having stomach problems and I've had to change her clothes a lot." Immediately a red flag raises, because since I have worked there my kids have gotten snotty and we all had a bout of the stomach flu. So, I asked her if the little girl had a virus, to which the mom simply states--"yeah, I just don't know what it is" When I pressed her for a little more information I found out that the mom had had it (and just to be clear here--we're talking diarrhea, I would say of the chronic type--lasting for a few days!) a few days earlier. I told the mom that we really discourage parents from leaving their children in the nursery if their child has been sick within the last 24 hrs....but she still tried to leave her! I then explained that we don't want to expose other children (mainly mine--for they were the only ones in there and it was almost time to close.)...and she still was prepared to leave her! Finally, I got through to her--I think she got it after Triston called me "mom" why I was so concerned with it. Is this a problem moms face alot? I have quite a bit. There is always that one family who seem to have no regard for anyone else around.

In other news...if you have boys, you might know some pirate lingo--as in "Land Ho!" or "Yo Ho Ho" ....today at the playground Triston and Jackson were playing pirates on this giant wooden ship. Triston yells, "Hey Mommy...look at me, ho!" Now--everyone else at the playground doesn't know that Triston doesn't know the word ho, like it's used these days, and they all turned to look at this kid who just called his mom a ho! I was really embarrassed!

Then...as we approach bedtime--each night--my kids start going nuts. Jumping on the beds, singing rhyming words over and over, running into each other---oh, it just drives me crazy! Well, tonight I had all that going on from the older boys and Bryce was screaming AT THE TOP of his lungs at me while I'm changing a poopy diaper. In the background all I can hear is, "creak creak creak, from the bed that being jumped in--so I was trying to hurry. Bryce grabs at his "you know what" and gets poop all over his hand....I go to wash his hand off and he smacks me right in the face with the POOPY one! I remained calm, washed Bryce and myself, put all to bed and then cursed having kids and vowed to have no more all the way down stairs!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Random Post....

1. I am a free woman! No more nursing! Whooo-hooo! Little Bryce is taking a bottle like a champ!

2. I am single--for tonight. Travis is in Lafayette for an interview. Whooo-hooo! Party time for me! No-just kidding. I miss him immensely, and can't wait to see him tomorrow! I always make one of the kids sleep with me when Travis is gone...actually, last time I brought both of them in our room. You know, just in case!

3. My good friend Nicol (who I miss terribly) recently turned me on to this blog. A most amazing woman and family were struck with tragedy just a short time ago. It's a very inexplicable feeling to read someone's personal stories and feel a sense of familiarity with them--someone whom you've never actually met. I started reading a few archives and instantly became a fan of this little family. I became inspired by reading about her love and devotion to her family, church, friends, and readers. I became even more inspired when I read the out-pour of family and friends to help keep this family functioning during recovery. Read the link: I promise...you'll be hooked, too! ...and if you feel compelled:



I can't speak for them personally (since I do not know them), but I know if my family were ever in this same predictament, I would be eternally greatful. Greatful for the love and support of everyone who, not only donates money, but also to those who fast and pray and keep them in their thoughts....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Completely Random...

I caught the boys digging in to my leftover spaghetti noodles. Bryce was right in the thicke of it having a good ol' time with his big bros....he is happiest in their presence. He looks for them if they are not around and he watches with real intent everything they do. Oh boy!


THIS:




is what my child does now when faced with baby food. I have ruined him. I thought it was cute to give him tiny pieces of whatever we were having and to see the delight come across his sweet little face. Any time I try to feed him anything with a spoon, he throws a fit. He wants chunks and he wants to do it! He will only eat what we are having....which is sad to say, but not always healthy--especially for an 8 month baby!


Triston is such a great helper. He helped me schuck corn a few weeks ago. We blanched it and put it in the freezer. The little guy didn't complain once and he got pretty good at it. I love seeing my kids do chores. Although, it didn't really seem like a chore with Triston around. It was a real delight to have him help me. He says some pretty funny things.


Jackson is a climber. As soon as the kid could walk--he was climbing. As he gets older, he is a climber plus. A climber plus, in my book, is a kid who will climb, swing, jump, roll, fall, tumble, ect.That is Jackson. I just so happened to have my camera when I walked into the kitchen and saw this:





Yes, this is my child swinging on the freezer door. I am glad I walked in at this point, because Triston was waiting in line to try it out. The freezer door may not still be in place if this had occured.


This one is just for laughs. They love to go swimming. Aren't they cute?!



And this...is how Travis and I spent our 5-year anniversary. We took the kiddos to a kiddie carnival. They rode some rides and got to eat a hotdog. It was cute. We all had fun. Happy #5 to Travis!























































iPhone Dump 2019

In January, boys 7th grade took home conference championship Disney on Ice with Emma  Pretty meager winter, we...