February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

There are some birthdays you always remember.  Yours, spouses, parents, family, and some friends.

I always remember my sweet friend Alissa's birthday!  She's a whopping 8 years old today!  Happy birthday Alissa!  We hope you have the best 8th birthday (ok, she's 32 if you can't do the math, I can say that because we are the same age)!

Hope you don't mind I stole this from your blog!
We are so excited to hear all about your new journey to adoption! The Plum and The Dumplin are going to be best buds!  We can't wait to meet him when the time comes!

February 28, 2012

Tip Tuesday

For today's Tip, I'm sharing one of my FAVORITE crock pot recipes.  My friend Carrie sent it to me and we've altered it a bit.

By the way, she's pregnant with baby #3 and is having some issues so any prayers would be appreciated!


Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter (hers called for a stick of butter and it's not really necessary, just make sure you spray your pot or liners)
1 package dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  1. Melt butter in microwave.
  2. Add water and packet of Italian dressing to butter and mix well.
  3. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  4. Pour butter mixture over chicken.
  5. Turn pieces over to coat both sides well.
  6. Cook on High for 3 hours.
  7. In separate bowl, mix cream of chicken soup and cream cheese together.
  8. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and cut into bite size pieces.
  9. Return chicken to slow cooker and add the cream cheese mixture.
  10. Whisk together to blend well.
  11. Cover and cook an additional 1/2 hour.
Serve over pasta or hot cooked rice.

I put all the ingredients in there and cooked it for 3 hours. I took the chicken out toward the end and shredded it and put it back in.
I usually cook this on a Sunday or on a weeknight so it's ready to eat the next night.  We like it with whole wheat egg noodles.  My 5 year old really likes this too and she's used to PB&J and Mac and Cheese.  

February 22, 2012

February 21, 2012

Tip Tuesday

After seeing a great response to my SUYL post on working moms, I decided to start a Tuesday Tip post.

So every Tuesday, if I can remember or have time to, I will post a tip. It might be something related to being a working mom or something related to nothing at all.  And no, I am no expert.  On anything.

You know me, I am random.

So to start it off, this Tuesday's tip is:

Take a few hours one day, once a month, to just do nothing.  Just lay in the bed and play on your Kindle, tablet, smart phone, or just read the paper.

Since having my 2nd kid, I don't get to read the paper as often as I used to.  Before August, I could read my paper most every day. Now it stacks up in my floor until the weekend, when sometimes I still can't catch up.

Last Sunday, I wanted to just chill and do nothing. It was cold here and it hasn't been cold hardly any this winter. I wanted to snuggle with my kids under warm covers.  While Baby Sister napped, Big Sister and I laid in my big ole king sized bed.  She played games on my Kindle Fire and I played on my phone.  Then Daddy came home and made fun of us (even tweeting about our laziness) and ultimately joined us with his tablet.

It was exactly what we needed.  No worrying about laundry or dishes or meals or anything.  Just quality times with technology. 

I assure you, a good time was had by all.

February 20, 2012


I saw this on Twitter the other day and soooo fell in love with it.

Everyone knows of my love for all things Mac Powell (Third Day).  A new artist I am really starting to get into is Jamie Grace.  She has Tourette's syndrome (sp?) that totally goes away when she sings.

This is a duet I saw of the 2 of them. Pure awesomeness. Enjoy!

February 19, 2012

Happy Birthday OJ!

To our favorite photographer - Happy happy happy birthday!

We are soooooo lucky to have you in our lives.  You capture so many moments that we would never be able to!  A picture really is worth a thousand words!  More like a thousand dollars!

I managed to get a photo of the one usually BEHIND the camera this year at Big Sister's birthday party, with my kid and her granddaughter!

We love you so much and we are so thankful for you.  We hope you get lots of sugar from Chloe and good presents from your kids!

February 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Lisa Mc!

Today, my BFF is turning 29, again.  I can't even remember how many times she's turned 29.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA!

Lisa is such an awesome and caring person.  She is always thinking of what she can do for others, all while taking care of her 4 girls.  

I'm so proud of her because this past year, her world has come full circle.  I am so happy for her.  I can't wait to one day meet her SON and love him as much as we love her girls.  To read her amazing story, click here.  Be prepared with Kleenex!
All her kiddos, a word she HATES for me to use!
We've said it many times that opposites attract and with us that couldn't be more true!  And it works for us.  I'm so glad she chose me to be one of her daughter's Godmother! Such an honor!
So Lisa Mc, happy birthday.  Enjoy your day.  
Just for old times sake!
With one of her FAV people
We love you and miss you Lisa Mc!  Have a happy happy birthday. 

February 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Whitt!

Today, my sweet nephew Whitter turns 2!  I cannot believe it.  He is sooo sweet and sooo stubborn all the same!  He is totally opposite of his big brother.  He likes to, um, test the limits.  Then, in the same minute, he will come up behind you and bear hug you.  He freely gives me loving when I ask for it, and even when I don't.   He LOVES to love on other people, whether they want it or not.

Checking out the ladies!
He loves any and all cars.  He does not discriminate.  He always has AT LEAST 1 or 2 cars in his hands.  He know things he is big enough to keep up with his big brother and cousin.  They are usually pretty sweet and include him and he loves that.  Sometimes, those 2 are in their own world and he gets left out.  Soon enough my little one will be able to play with him.  He's gotten so much more gentle with her.  He loves to get her toes and lay his head on her belly.

I could just EAT HIM UP!  Happy birthday sweet Whitt!  2 is gonna be a good year!!   We love you!

February 16, 2012

6 Months

Baby girl will be 6 months old in a few days.  We've already been to the Dr. for our 6 month check up so I will share early!

I say this every month but it's still true.  These 2 girls still ADORE each other. Big Sister went with Daddy to the movies the other night and she asked me what Baby Sister was going to do. I told her she was going to hang out with me.  She then told me what to do to make her laugh since apparently BS is the only one who can do that!  Hilarious that girl is!

The sleeping at our house has gotten MUCH better this month.  I'm so thankful for that.  I got tired of her taking a little catnap around 7 or 7:30, then getting up to take her last bottle and then back to sleep between 8:30 and 9.  So now, I bathe her and feed her around 7:30 and she goes down at 8.  I was really afraid this would come back to bite me in the hiney and she would be up at 4 but she wasn't. The first day she was up about 30 minutes earlier than normal and then the next day, it was like she had been doing it for years.  I just hope it continues.

Now for the boring stuff:

Diaper - Size 2 until we run out of them. She wears size 3 at night.

Weight - 15 pounds, 15 ounces

Clothes - Mostly everything is 6 month size

Activities -She's a pretty active baby. Not crawling yet but seems to be pretty close.  BS was 6 months when she started crawling.  She rolls and rolls and rolls all over the place.  She can grab things and everything immediately goes in her mouth. She slobbers on everything and chews on anything and everything. No teeth in sight though. BS was 9 months before she got her first teeth and Dr. thinks her sister might follow suit.  She is also sitting up some, assisted.  She can tripod sit but she wobbles a bit from side to side when sitting normal.

Eating - She takes a 6 ounce bottle about 3 times a day. She takes an 8 ounce bottle with cereal in it at night. She has moved on to mostly stage 2 foods. She does not like the ones with meat or any texture to it.  She loves carrots, squash, green beans, peas, mango, pears, and is now getting into some of the mixed fruits (apricots and apples, etc.) and a few different veggies like sweet corn casserole.  There is really nothing she doesn't like so far. Her least favorite is peaches but she still eats them.  We tried a few puffs this month too and she enjoyed those. And don't worry, I was sitting right next to her in case she didn't handle them well.

Our Dr. says she is in the 75-90 percentile for weight and the 90th percentile for height. I think she is going to be tall like her sister.  She got 3 shots last week and did sooooo good with them. She really only cried for like 30 seconds. As soon as I was able to pick her up, she was fine.  I'm very thankful for that.

We are very very very blessed to have 2 beautiful and healthy girls.

February 14, 2012

40 Days in the Word

This weekend, my church started a new small group study by Rick Warren called 40 Days in the Word.  So far, it's pretty exciting.  He is teaching us how to break down each and every verse we read so that we can understand it and apply it.  This study encourages you to have daily quiet time reading and studying the word.  I think this is exactly what I needed.  It's forcing me to slow down and see the important things of life.  It's teaching me to be a doer of the Word.

And no, laundry is NOT important.

Our first verse we are supposed to memorize is 
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
Colossians3:16a (NIV)
I'm excited to see what all this study has in store for me.  And I pray that I can continue my quiet time long after the study is over.  My life is crazy enough that I need to include this in my every day.

Oh, and...
Happy Valentine's Day.  It's my least favorite holiday of the year.  Tell someone you love them everyday, not just on this day.  Gives me good words and deeds, not flowers and chocolate.

February 13, 2012

The Voice

Tonight, I was watching The Voice while feeding the baby. Big Sister came in the living room and said she wanted to watch too. She crawled up in the recliner, as much as a 56 pound kid can, and watched it for a while.

After a while, I told her to go brush her teeth. I went to lay down Baby Sister and when I walked by the bathroom, I heard her singing.

"Oh, Mr. Alligator, can't catch me."

When she noticed me, she said, "Mama look! All the judges turned around so I get to pick!"

So I said, "Which judge are you going to pick?"

"The girl one!"

That girl! She's a HOOT!

Over or Under?

Here is something I have been contemplating lately. Yes, it's major.  

If you are using a restroom somewhere other than your house and the toilet paper is not put on the way you want it (over vs. under), do you change it?

I change it.  Why?  I'm not sure.  I like things the way I like them.

Over not under for me.

I know, I know. This is totally earth shattering but it's funny right?  I just like to see what others think or if I'm just weird.  

Could be the latter...

February 10, 2012

Life as a Working Mom

Today, Kelly has a post on showing the lives of working moms so we can connect and get tips and secrets from other working moms.

This is a topic I've been desperately seeking since baby #2 came along.  I could not seem to get organized and life was passing me by just trying to survive.

I will not lie.  It is NOT easy.  It is NOT peachy.  It IS work.  You work 8-9 hours a day outside the home but your job is not over until kids are in bed and it really isn't over then.

Just recently I decided that I was going to take control of my life.  Most days I am just happy to be out of the house wearing pants and shoes that match.  But, I've made some changes that have been helpful.

Here are a few things that are helpful for me:
1)  My crock pot.  My beloved.  If it can't be cooked in a crock pot, then I'm not cooking it.  Just ask anybody. I am NOT a chef.  I've never liked or enjoyed cooking.  I just like eating.  The older my kids get, the more I realize they will never be healthy if all they eat is hot dogs and mac and cheese and PB&J.  But, that's soooo much easier.

2)  My calendar.  I have a smart phone, thankfully, that helps me keep up with things.  I bought a small calendar to go on my fridge so my hubby could see what was on the agenda.  About a month ago, I bought a bigger one.  Now I put our meal schedule, activities, and work schedules on the calendar.  I put 1 chore on each day but Wed.  That helps me handle the housework without feeling quite as overwhelmed.  Plus, I know ahead of time what is going to be for supper so I'm not thinking the whole way home from work about what we are going to eat.

3)  Finally admitting that I can't do everything.  I can't be everything to everyone.  I can't let anyone make me feel guilty for not reading to my children every night or saying our prayers.  I take my kids to church and try to live as an example to them.  One person can only handle so much.  I've sacrificed many a night of sleep trying to get things ready for parties, work, church, etc.  I am not even on Pinterest (sp?) simply because I don't have time for any other time suckers. I do prefer to sleep a few hours each night. I know I'm missing out but it will be ok.  Everyone else is on it so if I need anything, I know how to get it.

4)  Do not compare you or your kids to ANYONE else.  Everyone is an individual.  Everything these days seems to be such a competition. I am a competitive person too but I've made a decision to no longer compare myself or my family to anyone else. And, not to care what others think.  For a long time, I was so worried of what others thought of me.  I'm still working on that but I don't have time to care about that as much.

5)  Know that you are NOT ALONE.  There are many other moms out there struggling with working and not working.  While, I don't think being a SAHM would be for me, I admire SAHM's.  I love my kids but I like my 8 hours of no snot, no constant talking and I get to have pretty awesome lunch dates with friends and no kid interruptions.  That's one thing that keeps me going.

6)  Plan ahead.  Each night once my kids are asleep, I pick out their outfits for the next day, as well as for myself.  My older one is getting a bit more opinionated on what she wears so I let her pick.  I do a lot of my preparing for the week on Sunday afternoons.  Sometimes we will pick out outfits for all 5 days.  I pack bags for the next day.  It's all about preparation.  But, some days it seems like a never ending battle.

7)  Make time for yourself.  This is a big one for me.  There is no time for the gym or work out anything.  If I don't do it on my lunch break, it ain't happening.  I don't want to get on my treadmill at 10 pm.  I'd rather catch up on my Words With Friends games or FB or Twitter.  I have to make time for myself by planning what I eat.  More so, measuring what I eat.  I prepackage a lot of things so I can grab and go and not end up eating at a fast food place or out of the vending machine all the time. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it's the way I've lost my baby weight.  So I plan to continue.  I also have to make time for me in my personal life.  I have to make plans with some friends on a weekend and not feel guilty about leaving my kids at grandparents, where I know they are having a FABULOUS time.  Plus, it wears out the kids and the grandparents!

I said it before and I'll say it again, it's NOT easy.  It's a TON of balance.  MY husband works shift work and does not have hours that are conducive to a normal life.  Therefore, a lot of the childcare, home duties fall to me.  I've started incorporating my 5 year old to help out more with the chores. She loves being able to help and please me.  Even if the job is not done like I would do it, it's done.

The number 1 thing I've learned being a working mom:
It's ok if I don't get it all done, as long as my kids are happy and healthy.  That's really what it all boils down to!

Oh, and make sure you pee before you leave work because who knows when you might get to do that at home!

 You can't tell me that is NOT happiness!

Thank you Kelly for this subject matter! It's all so helpful!

February 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Mar2!

Well, last year I was late on my birthday post for sis in law Mar2 so I won't be this year!

Happy happy happy birthday Mar. I won't reveal your age, but I do believe this year is a milestone one, right?

We are glad you are in our lives.  We love you and your family as our own.
Oh wait.  You are family!  I'm so glad our kids will grow up together!

We hope you enjoy your day!  Get lots of slobbery kisses from AC and high fives from Blakester!

February 6, 2012


Tonight, Big Sister said a few things I wanted to make sure I got in writing.

As she was laying in bed and about to go to sleep, I went in to snuggle. Yes, we snuggle. We like that time together. She said the sweetest thing I have ever heard.

"Mama, you know who I love the most? God and you."
I hugged her tight and told her that was the best thing I had ever heard.
She then said, "Oh, and sister and Dad too."

Be still my heart. Yes, she pushes my buttons but darn it, she's smart!

Then, she told me that when you die, you become an angel. Hayes told her that but I wasn't supposed to tell you that!


Just in case you didn't see one of the comments from my last post, here it is.

Sara, when I read it, I just teared up! I read it to Big Sister as well.  She got all shy and just hugged me. I told her again how proud I was of her!

Thanks for sharing!

We always ask for no gifts for E but maybe we should just start to do this since people bring gifts anyway! And, may I let you in on a little secret? I don't know if you know I work in the Pediatric ICU at Batson and we use this donated stuff so often. While us, as nurses, buy the kids lots of stuff, it's nice to just have it there sometimes. I had a kid just last week that had to be in our unit because of a treatment she was getting that she couldn't get on the floor (where they have a playroom.) She was bored outta her mind, bless her soul. In one of our donated toys boxes, I found a Color Wonder 3D thing that I brought her. YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT SANTA HAD WALKED IN THAT ROOM. She played with it for HOURS making little creations. It was adorable. So, thank you for making sick kids smile and laugh. 

Makes it all worth it, right there.

February 3, 2012

Good Deed

For Big Sister's birthday again this year, she agreed to not receive presents but to give all of hers to sick children at our state's only Children's Hospital.

I'm so proud to say that she has done this 2 years in a row.  We don't need all the stuff you get for your birthday.  On her birthday invitations, we ask for people to bring a book or puzzle for the kids at Batson.  She decorates a 'Batson box' for guests to put their items in.  This year, she got IN the box to decorate it.  She can write so much better now than she could last year. Granted she wrote her name, sister's name, my name and Daddy's name all over it but she drew some stuff too.

Exhibit A

She racked up on gifts again this year.  We let her go through all presents and let her pick 1 thing to keep for herself. And yes, before you go thinking we are awful parents for not giving our kid presents on her birthday, she gets plenty from us and family.  She does not go without!

I am proud to say she received all this and gave it ALL away.

She didn't care anything about delivering the box this year so Aunt Holly graciously delivered it for us. THANK YOU!

She will get her annual trip to the Children's Museum as her reward.

We are so proud that she has such a giving heart.  Yes, there were times when she didn't really want to give it all away but after we talked about the sick children and how they need something to make them happy, she was back on track.  She gets it. And for that, I am blessed beyond measure.

February 1, 2012


I sooo needed to hear this today.

I am constantly struggling with my independent, strong-willed 5 year old.

I saw it posted on Kelly's Korner and it spoke volumes to her and to me.

Click here to read about raising your kids and enjoy!

Here is another article I read last week in my sleep deprived state that I thought was pretty funny. I know one day I will enjoy each moment, after it's passed.

My children are a good and perfect gift from above and I must remember that.