Friday, April 27, 2012

a 46 year old birthday boy

one of the hardest working men i know - he is a lineman who works in horrible weather conditions
is tough (but is pretty sweet - especially on my mom)
a loving hard-ass of a dad to me and my brother (and when i really needed it, too - thanks)
a silly papaw that my kids ADORE
a gun/woodsy/outdoorsy expert -  i mean, if a zombie apocalypse really does ever happen, i am high tailing it to his house.
the best popcorn maker we know
really likes a good prank - "hi, i am selling encyclopedias and you are going to buy one" ha ha ha travis still talks about that!
and most importantly, loves God

we are so lucky to have a great example of a dad/husband/papaw/friend/brother/father-in-law/son and friend in our family! we love you and:


Thursday, April 26, 2012

overheard: in my backyard.

sitting on the back patio after a LOT of playing and sweating and enjoying an ice pop, i overheard this conversation:

triston: geez! why do these gnats keep getting in my shorts?
jackson: they're probably going after your weiner (only he pronounces it wee-nor). you KNOW, if you don't wash good, they'll eat it right off.

good to know they take my washing instructions seriously.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

products i love: take 2

i've used parent's choice in the past. poor law student family + 3 kids = super poor. like, the poorest. and paren't choice is really affordable. i never had any qualms with the brand - used their diapers, wipes, and formula when i needed to and all was well.

when nash was born, though, we could afford better diapers, better wipes, better formula. so we did. i bought the fancy brands that i could never afford before and for some reason, it made me feel like a better mom. i can't even believe i admit that out loud. it's just so stupid. not unlike a lot of other things i think/do/say, though, so i should be comfortable with it by now. 

anyWAY, few months after nash was born, someone bought be a pack of parent's choice diapers and a can of formula as a late baby gift. and i discovered what i was missing. because at the time, nash was peeing through his diaper every night and i was using the brand name overnight diapers. but suddenly, he was dry! and at half the cost. i haven't bought name brand since. 1 pack of diapers a week cost me like 6 bucks. score! and the formula that was once fine for my older babies that was no longer fine for my youngest baby was suddenly just fine! meaning: it was exactly the same dang thing and how/why did i forget that in the first place?

parent's choice - awesome. (i don't, however, prefer their toddler puffs and i kind of hate walmart)

next up: suave professionals almond & shea butter shampoo. i don't know what it is about this shampoo, but i freaking love it. travis gets pissed because i've boughten the same shampoo now for over a year, but it is just so great. it smells great, leaves my hair feeling just right, and is pretty cheap. i think 4 bucks for a bottle that lasts a month. i even started using it as a body wash and usually wash my kiddos up with it, too.
and for the littles: playtex my first sipster. my mother in law bought these for nash for his birthday. honestly, i planned on taking them back because they hold just 6 oz. and are labeled for babies 4 months and up, so i thought they would be too small for nash. but he loves them! loves. them. and they are guaranteed spill-proof, leak-proof, and break-proof. so far, that is true. the only con is that they don't fit great in the pockets of a diaper bag. 

thirty-one's multi utility tote. this bag is amazing. it carries absolutely anything you can think of and makes a great baby bag. i recently bought two of them (or rather, recieved them for FREE for hosting a party). there are 5 pockets on the outside and 2 mesh pockets on each end and then the inside is wide open. seriously, it's awesome. the best part is that it is only $25. i would love to see an attached zipper pouch on the inside for an extra space, but even if that nevers happens i would buy 2 more. you can order online if you don't know a seller, but the hostess rewards are pretty sweet if you want to host a party. check it out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

orange julius-ish fruit dip

i was just experimenting, which is something i usually fail miserably at. this, however, turned out amazing and everyone loved it. what constitutes being called orange julius, though? because o.j. is a brand - either way, this tasted exactly like the frozen drink. and just so i don't get in trouble with the actual orange julius people, i added an -ish to the end of the it signifing that it is not really the same thing just tastes similar. like, really similar. mmmmk.

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp so it doesn't look lumpy like mine did.
1 c. vanilla yogurt
4 oz. package of orange jello

blend together and start dipping!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

a love/hate relationship with my weekend

our venus fly traps. will they grow?

we don't have to ge up so. early. for school and run around all crazy to get out the door by 730.
friday night dateline or a movie or whatever. it's the weekend.
i don't clean (seriously clean)  or do laundry.
snl on saturday night and celebrity apprentice on sunday night.
travis can be home if i need him to be.
soccer games.
we can do whatever we want all day long on saturday and most of sunday.
date night
by the end i am ready to get back on schedule

the boys wake up at the crack of dawn on saturday morning and come in my room and stare at me until i wake up, too.
the house gets so messy and just in two short days we have accumlated a TON of laundry. why? why? WHY?
on saturday morning i am expected to make a 4-course breakfast.
sometimes because of lack of schedule the boys will get nuts. NUTS. and then i have to yell at them.
if we don't have concrete plans to do something, it seems like the tv is on the whole weekend - and usually really stupid shows that are meaningless. ugh.

ps. i came up with an orange julius fruit dip. it was wayyyy good. i will post the recipe this week.

happy monday!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

saturday night entertainment

birthday party success! - we now officially have a one year old up in this biz. and, i'm exhausted. not too exhausted to watch a movie, though, with my love and eat a ton of popcorn - from the stovetop, plain with just a dash of salt - thank you. uuuugggggh. and prepare a lesson for church tomorrow, too. why do i always wait until the last minute?! fortunately, i'm pretty sure the lord helps me along because i have not a musical bone in my body and yet each sunday when i teach music to our primary it all just goes over a little too well. reminder: say an extra prayer of thanks.

but, for saturday night entertainment here is little brycers in his rendition of "bad boys" - you know the COPS theme song. oh, how i love him.

happy weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2012

happy birthday eve

it is 11:35p and i am making cupcakes. cupcakes that will be destroyed by a certain boy who is turning 1 tomorrow. i just can't believe it - the baby is growing up.

indeed, because this kid is definitely not a baby anymore. just today he threw himself on the floor because it was time to put his car up (that is supposed to be his birthday present - oops! i just couldn't resist.) and come inside. how do you even deal with that? he is fourth in line, you'd think i would know by now, but what generally happens is one of two things: i pick him up and he fights me so i put him back down and let him throw his little fit OR i skip the picking up part and just let him throw his fit.

he is pointing at things and talking like he has something to say, which of course sounds like, "DA bah doo beebah" but to him it might literally be, "hey mom, look at that squirrel running up the tree" or probably something way cooler than that.

he is completely off the bottle, which kind of makes me sad. but he loves his paci at bedtime, so i'm good with holding onto that. and he tries to blow on his food because it might be hot. adorbs.

it is 11:59...happy birthday eve, little man.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

oh, pioneer woman, how i love thee.

I've been waiting my whole life for this recipe. or at least, the last 6 months when i set out to find the best chicken salad out there. and of course, P-Dub, as she call herself - IT IS HANDWRITTEN IN MY COOKBOOK! - has done it again (like in 2008). the recipe calls for red and green grapes, but i used raisins instead of the red ones. chewy texture = awesome. i also used just cooked chicken breasts instead of a fryer and subbed plain yogurt for the sour cream (which she suggests in her newest cookbook)....and i added dill at the end. i can't remember if that was in the recipe or not, but it was yum, so try it.

here you go, and your welcome.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

oriental chicken salad

i was desperately looking for this recipe. i had scrawled it  out quickly on a tattered piece of paper after trying it at a birthday party in tennessee at least 3 years ago. it's one of those dishes that grab you, first bite, right by the tongue and scream to your taste buds, "you are going to freaking LOVE me!" and it's true. it's freaking awesome.

so i was searching for the recipe because i had forgotten all about it and decided to make it on a whim. ...and i thought i had posted it before? that tattered note was definitely not going to be found. it was found on another blog that i had posted in 2010 - here it is on mine for safe keeping.

2-4 chicken breast, cooked and cut up.
dice up a small head of cabbage and several green onions. toss together in large bowl with chicken.
sautee 2 packages of crushed up ramen noodles in 2 T of butter. once starting to brown, add 1/4 c. slivered almonds. once completely browned, combine with salad.

in a separate container, combine 3/4 c. canola oil, 4.5 T seasoned rice vinegar, 4.5 T sugar, 1 t. salt and 1 t. pepper. mix well. pour over top of salad and toss to coat.


Monday, April 16, 2012

scenes from soccer (and baseball) (and date night!) saturday

triston - 4 goals and 2 runs plus really good teamwork
jackson - 12 goals and a scratched face and red marks from his shirt being pulled by another player
bryce - was a ballfield playground rugrat
nash - as cute as ever but peed out the side of his diaper and had to go pantsless 
me and tbone - awesome food, hours at the bookstore, and hanging out with an old friend. day.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

reasons i will never go on a cruise

100 years ago, today, the titanic slipped beneath the waves and sank 2.5 miles alllll the way ddooooowwwn to the bottom of the icy atlantic...

my dream hobby is to be a historical tour guide. isn't that so weird? but wouldn't it be so fun? anyway, i've been fascinated by the titanic since i was old enough to read. this big beautiful 'unsinkable' ship sinks in the middle of the ocean - the scariest place on earth for me. and the drama of it all: the band plays until the end, there's not enough boats, the water is freezing! and they are all alone out there in the dark.  and then in ninth grade my mom took me to see the movie and my life changed. i saw all of everything i had imagined actually happening (except not really) and it was just the saddest worst (most awesome) movie, ever! ...and, i mean, leo died!

i celebrated the centennial by watching the movie and letting the boys watch just a couple of parts, like when the ship hit the iceberg and what the ship looked like sinking in the water from the passenger boats. definitely not kate winslet's boob or any of the sexual stuff. although watching that part as an adult was way awkward. ANYway,  the boys checked out some books from the library, too,  so we read about certain passengers and why they were traveling. triston, who is probably the most like me anyway, is really the one who is super interested. bryce fell asleep and nash walked around the house and screamed at me because that is all he ever does these days - that's a whole other post that will be coming up. and poor jackson. he said, "i will never go on any kind of ship. even if you tell me i have to, i'm not going!" i hope i haven't scarred him for life - but you would never find me on any kind of ship either. i don't even do well on a pier.

reason # 1 - hello. we just talked about it.
reason # 2 - pirates. and i'm not making it up. real life pirates taking over cruise ships. look it up.
reason # 3 - people disappear from cruise ships all the time. like, they go overboard with no explanation and coincidentally there were no security cameras rolling. watched it on dateline.
reason # 4 - break-outs. as in illnesses AND bed bugs. not going there.
reason # 5 - a random earthquake: a giant tsunami. love living in indiana for this reason, too.
reason # 6 - i have the realest scariest dreams EVER about water. the car sinking while trying to get the kids out of seat belts is the worst one EVER ever. i've developed a fear of water in real life because of it.

okay so if you are still reading by now, thanks. this has turned out to be a completely weird random post. if i weren't so lazy i would have walked upstairs and grabbed my camera and blogged about the fun weekend we had and posted tons of cute pictures of the kids playing soccer and baseball. you'll have to come back to see it...

Friday, April 13, 2012

let's not be critical.

i rarely get a picture with bryce smiling. he hates it when i take pictures. i am going to have to work on my sneak attack, i suppose.

motherhood. moms, we've been in the headlines lately over comments hilary rosen made about ann romney. i think the reaction was blown out of proportion - hilary rosen is a mother herself, she knows it is hard work. actually, her comment was an indirect attack on romney's wealth more than anything. but that is for another post. it's political time and i get all riled up - i am sure it will make it to a few of my posts. ;)

so anyway, what rosen did say was - "guess what? she [ann romney] hasn't worked a day in her life."
and so just like that we're back there to the place where stay at home moms get to lay around and eat bons bons and watch soap operas all day long. it is a wonderful life, right?

but come on. rosen went on to say that most women in america don't have the luxury of staying at home because they have to work. can we just talk about the word luxury? first and foremost, i am eternally grateful to my husband for working as hard as he does so that i can stay home. not all men will do that these days and i don't take it for granted for a second. because this is what i want to do. but it is not luxurious. i wear stained sweats and t-shirts mostly everyday cleaning up after everyone else. i often get puked on, or have poop on my hand, i always have some sort of food on me. i wash all the food off of dishes and put my hands in that crap while stuffing it down the disposal. i get soaked when i give baths. i wash and rewash and fold and refold clothes all day long. i iron shirts  - which i hate doing, by the way. jackson, bless his heart, is always running into doorways or furniture and the whining that ensues because of that recklessness drives me insane and he tattles all. the. time. on any given night, one of the kids is up crying - i don't have to work in the morning, so i get up with them (actually, travis has always done this, too). i am teaching a one year old that it's not okay to throw food off the side of his highchair and not to dribble milk down his chin.  i am 15 pounds overweight because after doing all the stuff i have to do in a given day i am too tired to workout as hard as i want - and we don't have the money (or the time) for me to have a special diet or trainer for just myself. if one of my kids does something wrong - who gets the blame? me...because i stay home, it's my job to make sure he is doing what he is supposed to.

but. i also get to play outside with my kids on a sunny day. we go to the park or on a picnic. i get to read them as many stories as they want. i watch them play sports - i get to go to their practices and watch how they are developing and then come home and practice with them here. i get to hear silly songs and all the funny stuff they say and do. we go to the story times at the library. i get to see the light bulb go off when they've mastered something and see how proud of themselves they are and my older boys say when they grow up they are buying a house right next to mine so we can eat dinner together every night and i can watch their kids while they work. i teach them about the gospel and right and wrong and all the little issues that come up with children. i work on their homework with them and have time to talk about what is on their mind. occasionally, i get to take a nap and play on the internet. i am here when they need me and they know that...but they won't appreciate for years down the road.

and if i would have chose to finish college and i made as much as travis does i imagine that we would go on more vacations, we would eat out more at yummy restaurants, i would have a way better wardrobe and not feel like i can't keep up conversations with adults - ha! my house would be clean for the entire day as there would be no one coming behind pulling out and undoing everything i just worked on. we would drive better cars and all the home improvements i want to do would be done because i would have hired them out already. my yard and landscaping would be the envy of the neighborhood instead of the white trash house on the block, as i call it. (we are working on it!) would half my kids clothes come from consignment stores? would my marriage be intact - seemingly having separate lives? we would probably have cable and better computers and televisions and better furniture. i would shop at schnuck's. i hate walmart, but it does save money.  would i have time for all the other stuff i do in any given day?

i just don't know. what works for one family doesn't always work for another so you can never really say what you're life could be like. i know working moms don't have it easy either and they could write their own list of what they imagine their life would be like if they stayed home. also, you could argue that the stuff i feel like i am sacrificing ann romney wouldn't have had to sacrifice because they made more money than we do - but i am sure there were times when she was in the trenches, in her own way, as a stay at home mom, too. the point is, making assumptions about another's life is not fair - to them or to us.

but why are we even talking about this? can't we respect the choices that moms make? and can't we appreciate the hardships and the joys that both working moms and stay at home moms face and help each other ease those burdens when we can? can't we be a support group for all mothers because if we have nothing else in common i am positive that we at least have the fact that we want the best for our kids in common.

and then of course, the other issue - rosen recanted and said that she meant romney shouldn't be a considered an expert on women in the economy because she has never worked outside the home. which is maybe true. i have no clue. and neither does rosen. because just because you do something - like stay home - or are a part of a group - like the upper class - doesn't mean that you don't know anything about other issues and it doesn't mean that your opinion doesn't count or isn't valid.

i don't even know how i got to the end of this ramble. but it's my birthday so i am going to go with it.  i do know that i am going to focus on my job and on being more kind. the world is a harsh place and we don't to add to it with demeaning comments and unkind remarks.

...and i kind of want to be ann romney, too. isn't she just adorable? more boy and i would be on my way. ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

easy chicken cordon bleu

in the midst of making this, meaning raw chicken was already all over my hands, i realized two things:

1.  i hadn't laid out all the necessaries to aid in making this.
2. i didn't even have all the necessaries to make this.

this dish is really very simple. thin-sliced chicken breasts that you can likely find in any grocery store, slices of ham, slices of swiss cheese, and toothpicks. you have to have toothpicks! which my lovely neighbor supplied to me at a moment's notice! while she was on the phone, no less.

there are definitely some better recipes out there for chicken cordon bleu, and even this one could have been dutied up a bit with a crusty breading or even just browning them in butter. but, for the sake of a quick and easy dinner (i was still reeling after the massive easter clean-up), this worked out just fine. fine is code for: my kids and husband ate it without complaining AND there was minimal mess.

the one thing you want to make sure you do before getting started is to separate the items you will be using from whatever you will have left over. again, make sure you have toothpicks and lay out as many as you think you will use per....roll? i used about 3 each. you want to do this because sometimes the rolling part can get tricky and you don't want to have it rolled tight only to come apart when you realize you will have put your raw chicken hands in the toothpick container, contaminating the whole lot of them, just to get this thing to hold together. so just lay whatever you will use aside. and also the cheese slices and ham slices, because you probably won't need the whole package.

now the ham - i was a smarty and planned using the left over ham from our easter dinner, but any ham will work. and deli ham actually rolls better anyway.

take your elegantly thin-sliced chicken breasts (?? they were labeled that way) and place a slice on ham on top, then add a slice of swiss. rollllllll it up and secure it with the toothpicks. place each roll in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. right before baking, cut a tiny square of butter and place on top of each one just for some extra flavor. (and calories, but who is counting?)

bake at 350 until chicken is done, about 30 minutes. serve with your favorite sides!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

lemon coconut cake

i've been on the lookout for the perfect lemon coconut cake for quite sometime. although i over-cooked this one just slightly, it was still oh-so-delicious and after i had shared with my family and in-laws, i had to throw the rest of it out so i wouldn't eat it all. strong will power has never really been my thing, you know. anyway, here's the deets:

adapted from betty crocker:

1 box of lemon cake mix
1 small box of lemon jello
4 eggs
2/3 c water
1/3 c canola oil
1 container fluffy white frosting
shredded coconut

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. mix first 5 ingredients together and pour into prepared pans. i used a 9 x 13 because i knew i didn't have time to mess with 2 rounds and then the stacking, ect. and let's be honest - i really suck at making cakes look beautiful unless they are left in their original baking pan. bake the cake/s for 30 minutes, give or take. when done let cool completely. slather with frosting and then liberally top with coconut. extra coconut for me, please!


only i think next time i make this i will toast the coconut. nothing better than toasted coconut!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

easter in pictures

i wish i were cooler and knew how to make some cool layout of these pictures, but this is all i could do. for some reason, even more so than christmas, i just hate all the gimmickyness of easter. i realize not all people believe the same as i do - that easter is a celebration of the resurrection of christ - but all the candy/gifts/and secular stuff just drives me nuts. that said, we do put together easter baskets for the kids and have an egg hunt, but we keep the focus on the savior as much as possible. nash was hilarious waddling around with his little basket, bryce was just interested in eating as much candy as possible before i took it away, jackson thought the egg hunt was unfair since triston was "older and stronger and able to find more eggs" - classic jackson right there, and triston did find the golden egg that was the only egg that had a treat/prize inside, so he was pretty proud of himself (even though bryce was the first one to find it, triston was the first to get to it..and since it didn't contain candy, bryce didn't even care). i hope everyone had a happy easter and now that it is over...on to the detox!

Monday, April 9, 2012

my birth month & thoughts on motherhood

well, i had planned to blog every day in honor of my birth month. on the 13th (friday the 13th, this year) i will only have 1 more year until i am 30, which seems really odd considering i have to constantly tell myself that i'm not 19 anymore. until i look in the mirror, that is.

life got in the way, though, and now, 9 days LATE i can start posting.

me and bryce before his trip to STL to visit cousins

so i've been working on this thing i was asked to do about motherhood, which has got me thinking - a lot. sometimes i get so frustrated with myself bc things aren't going the way i envisioned or the kiddos aren't doing things i envisioned or whatever.  i recently read something, though, that has changed my outlook a little.

"families will be off-course 90% of the time. what matters is that you have a course and you are constantly striving to stay on it." - 7 highly effective habits for families

what a relief! i usually think we are the only ones that are struggling at times to stay organized or feeling like it is really hard work to keep the day-to-day going: laundry, housework, learning time, meals, homework, quality time together, errands, sports practices, personal time, ect. but i do have a vision so i am at least somewhat on track.

and staying on track today means 3 things: working out (because I ate wayyyy to much easter candy and lemon-coconut cake - recipe coming up!), taking my kids to the park (since they are out of school and we want to play!) and folding the massive (and i mean massive) pile of laundry.

it's all about small goals. ;)

iPhone Dump 2019

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