Monday, January 30, 2012


It's almost 10pm.  Chris and I are watching Burn Notice and I've just switched Christian's laundry over from the washer to the dryer.  
I wonder if all four-year-olds harass their mothers about laundry.  When Christian's laundry basket is full- and by that I don't mean spilling over or not having enough clothes to wear.  I mean if the clothes are nearing the brim of the basket, he wants me to know that the basket is full.  
He doesn't want me to just acknowledge it.  
He wants me to handle it.  
When he was getting ready for bed tonight he comes to me and asks if he can please bring the basket to the laundry room.  What can I say?  The kid likes clean laundry.  
What a goon.

a few dinners

I haven't exactly been drinking as much water as I would like to.  Today I decided to leave a pitcher of water on the counter to get a better handle on it.  I feel like I've had a ton, but still haven't made it through my half-gallon.  That probably means I should keep the pitcher idea going.

Tonight for dinner was one of our regulars: Chicken Casserole.  To my dismay, I'm not sure where this one even came from.  It's easy.  It's delicious.  Win.
The recipe can be found below.  I served it with lima beans, which I'm not a huge fan of but they also don't make me gag. :)  I seasoned them with Nature's Seasons (which we put on most everything) and butter.  They were better than usual, so all in all dinner went over very well tonight!

Tomorrow's plan is roast.

Wednesday I'm trying a new recipe that Andrea recommended after finding it on Pinterest:  crock-pot salsa chicken.  She said it went over well at her house, so it's on the menu for us now too.  On the blog with the recipe it also gives a recipe for making your own taco seasoning.  Since packaged taco seasoning gives me positively rancid indigestion, I decided to make some and see if that helps. :)  I'll let you know how that works out...

Just something fun to show you...
They were playing together and both smiled at the camera at the same time!  
Love that!

Chicken Casserole
4-5 chicken breasts (boiled, cut into cubes)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (Tonight I discovered that I didn't have 2 cans of cream of chicken, so I used 1 cream of chicken and 1 cream of celery.  It was fantastic!  I may start doing this every time!)
1 cup sour cream
2 packages Ritz crackers
1 stick butter (melted)
salt & pepper (or if you live at my house that means Nature's Seasons)

Boil chicken, cut into cubes, lay on the bottom of baking dish.
Mix cream of chicken soup and sour cream, add seasoning if desired.
Spread on top of chicken.
Crush crackers and sprinkle over top of everything.
Melt butter and pour over crackers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

soap box

I'm not an ogre (although I'm sure there are people who would disagree).
I do not claim to be a parenting expert.
I love my children and plenty of other people's children as well.  I even taught school, so this should give some clarification there.
All that said, there are undoubtedly times and places where it is neither appropriate nor courteous to bring your kids!
As a rule, people are not allowed to bring their kids to work or school with them.  Why is that?  I'm guessing because it would hinder the learning or productivity that should be happening.
There are other places where you shouldn't take your kids.  Of course there are extenuating circumstances and exceptions to the rule, but mostly you shouldn't take your kids somewhere that they are going to distract everyone else; i.e: the movies, a museum, CHURCH.  I know, some of you may be aghast that I would say such a thing.  If I'm going somewhere to listen or pay attention to a show or speaker or some such as that, it's really difficult for me to do that if I am consistently distracted by your child. 
Pardon the outburst, but seriously!  Maybe your kids are quiet or old enough that this doesn't apply to them.  This obviously is not for every kid.  Both my kids are pretty loud and one of them is very rambunctious .  But know that as I am training them up in the way that they should go, I'll try my best to keep them from places that they could potentially cause a distraction.  I'll do this by finding a babysitter, utilizing the nursery, and all in all not just throwing my hands up to say, "I'm sorry; I just can't do anything with them."  The moment they know that they are the ones in control, you have trouble on your hands.  If you can't do anything to control your children when they are toddlers, how do you think that's going to pan out by the time they are teenagers?  The likelihood is that they will not magically turn out awesome anyway.  
You are doing a disservice to your kids by letting them be the authority. 
They do not need you to be a friend to them.  They need you to be a parent.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

blessed, you say?

divinely or supremely favored; fortunate

You know how when you use a word too much it sometimes has a way of losing its meaning? I kinda feel like that about when people say things like, "we're too blessed to be stressed," or "have a blessed day."  There are people who say this word so often that the word is not as big as it could be.
If you know me well, you know that I tend to go with the "say what you mean and mean what you say" train of thought.  
Understand that I'm not being flip when I say I am truly blessed.
I get to live in a place where I can worship as I choose, say what I want, choose my spouse, and raise my children as I see fit.  These are not things that I think just happened to me.
God has given me SO much more than I deserve!
I am blessed, and I am thankful.

Monday, January 9, 2012


For all my Avalon peeps who may have also started fasting today, let me just go ahead and apologize.  This is a teensy bit cruel, but I gotta share!

My husband is consistently on the lookout for new ways to use Kelli's Jellies. 

The first night, Chris did this while I was folding laundry.  He says to me, "you're gonna love me for what I just did."  The second night (I was adamant that he do it again), I decided to get some pictures so I could share them with you! Here's the newest delicious trick to try with my jellies:

Bake some sugar cookies.
 Straight out of the oven, use a spoon to press down the middle of the cookie.
 Then, put a spoon of delicious jelly right in the nice little pocket you made.  Let them cool enough so that the cookie won't fall apart in your hand.
It is SO SO good!
I love sweet treats!
Guess we'll be getting back to this in February!

Hair Drama

It's currently only 8:30 in the morning and I've already had it out with my boy.  
About his hair!!  This is not a fun way to start the day.
Christian's hair is pretty long right now.  That means picking it out instead of putting product in it and mashing it down.  Two minutes after his hair was all picked out, Christian is mashing his hair down.  This creates an I-just-rolled-out-of-bed look.  I tell him that if he can't leave his afro alone that we need to cut his hair.  Drama!  I mean crying and everything.  It took at least 15 minutes of explaining that he was not in trouble.  This is not a punishment type situation.  If you want your hair mashed down, we have to cut it.  If you don't want us to cut it, you have to deal with having it picked out everyday.  
I expected hair drama from my girl...not from my boy.  Holy jeez. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

today's work

I am so tired.
It's a good tired though.
This morning I went to the church to film the announcements.
Then it was back home to spend some time with my Audrey girl.  
Before I could turn around twice it was time to pick up Christian from school.

Go, go, go.
Last Thursday my mother-in-law kept the kids, and then today my sister did so I could work with Chris spreading pine straw at one of our properties.  
Just as an aside, I'm glad I don't live somewhere that I have no family close by.  I'm in the "it takes a village to raise a child" camp!  Thank you to all my peeps who fall into that category!!
Anyway, spreading straw is serious business.  It's not all that difficult to do, but it's serious work!  So, I am tired...but it's good.
Probably ten years ago, if you asked me if I thought I would know how to spread straw or enjoy it for that matter, I may or may not have laughed in your face.
I learned pretty shortly after Chris started the business that if I worked with him, he would get finished faster and I would get to spend more time with him.  Isn't it funny what you'll do for the people you love?  I know he loves me...among many reasons, when I showed up to the job site today (all decked out in my work-outside attire) he looked at me sweetly and with sincerity in his heart told me how hot I looked!  He is something. :)

After picking up the kids, we came home and got cleaned up.  Thankfully I had already planned to do leftovers tonight.  Last night we made potato soup and cheese muffins.  It's one of my favorite winter meals!  The potato soup is a recipe that we pulled from some random website probably five years ago, and have just changed it and changed it until it suited us.  I remember one day I took my leftovers to school and the ladies in the teachers' lounge asked where I had been to eat the night before.  It looks that awesome (and tastes that way too)!  The cheese muffins are a Paula Deen recipe and I LOVE them.  
After dinner was done, we launched straight into bath time for the kids and two batches of jam.
Busy. day.
Needless to say, I'm turning in early.

Potato soup recipe if you're interested:
2 lbs potatoes (I like less potatoes, Chris likes likes more.)
1 can of cheese soup
2 qt chicken broth 
1 stick butter or margarine 
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups milk
2/3 cup flour

Peel, cube, and boil potatoes.  Drain water.
While potatoes are boiling, in a stock pot, boil broth and a stick of butter.
When the stock boils, add the flour. We usually sift it in.  My sister says she whisks the flour into a cup of water before adding it to the stock to keep the flour from getting lumpy.
Bring to another boil and add milk.  If too thin, add more flour.  If too thick for your taste, add more milk.
Stir in the cheese soup.  Add potatoes and black pepper.

Chris likes his with shredded cheese and sour cream on top.  I like mine just as it is!