Sunday, July 29, 2012

taco seasoning

  A few months ago I told you about a recipe for Salsa Crockpot Chicken and it is completely fantastic!  I serve this over a plate of chips and call it nachos.  Easy and tasty.  Score.  In that same post I also mentioned that there was a recipe for making your own taco seasoning.  I said I'd get back to you on that but mostly forgot I said this is me, getting back to you...six months later.  
I'm not generally a make-everything-from-scratch sort of gal.  If we are out to eat and taste something great, Chris will frequently try to figure out how to make it at home.  I'm pretty content with just going back to wherever we ate it and ordering it again. :)
All that said, my favorite thing about the salsa crockpot chicken is that it included a recipe for making taco seasoning.  I'm not sure what it is about pre-packaged taco seasoning, but the indigestion that will undoubtedly follow whatever I eat that has that in there is just not usually worth it to me.
So I guess you can just chalk this up to one of those weird things that stay-at-home moms do.  I now make my own taco seasoning.  The only ingredient that I didn't have in my spice cabinet already was cumin.  By the way, it's the thing that gives taco seasoning that distinct smell.
Here's the link where I got it, but I've also included the recipe after the pictures.  If you make your own, let me know how it goes!

Just in case you're curious, this is a double batch.


1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper


In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

Source: AllRecipes


Friday, July 27, 2012

Let's Catch Up

Normally for me, lots of projects going at one time equals productivity: laundry going, preserves on the stove, vacuuming, meal planning, and drafting my next blog all while watching and thinking up the next activity for the kids.  Today it just made me feel like I was getting nothing done.  I finally had to stop what I was doing and go to one room to complete the tasks in there.  I didn't get it all done today, but the rest will have to wait tomorrow.  Sometimes you just have to draw a line in the sand and walk away from the rest!

Since vacation we've been getting back into our routine and making the most of the summer since school is just around the corner!

Christian is all registered for kindergarten.  We've bought some school supplies and have others yet to pick up.  Open house is next week and the closer it gets the more surreal it seems!  Audrey starts pre-k closer to the end of the month, and I can't quite believe that either.  It's sort of staggering and exciting all at the same time.

In other news, a snaggletooth is born!  We made such a big deal about this!  Just over a month ago we realized Christian had a loose tooth.  He just turned 5 in May, so I wasn't quite ready for this.  I'm not exactly sure about when he got all his teeth, but I know for sure he had them all by the time he came home at 20 months.  So anyway, he just keeps wiggling it everyday and asking us if we want to do it too. :)  Monday was the day!  Once Chris saw how loose it was, it was game on!

Christian was pretty weirded out by the blood, but the more we made losing his first tooth something to celebrate, the more relaxed he became.  We took pictures.  I got a couple of the little glasses from their play kitchen and cleaned them up so the kids could have a fun way to toast the occasion.  They loved it!!

Audrey was really confused about the whole only took her a few minutes to realize she wasn't getting the same attention.  She had to climb into Daddy's lap to make sure he was paying attention to her too!  Her mood was brightened as soon as her beautiful getup was sufficiently complimented.

The return of The Revenge is Saturday night.  
Watch this because it's awesome and then come see us.  
Avalon @ 7pm.  Be there!

Happy weekend to you!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Closer

Just to wrap it up, I thought I'd do one more vacation post...there were too many pictures not to!  There were well over 300 of them!  Here are just a few more I wanted to share.

Our kids both love the sand and water, but they are so totally different in their approaches to it.  Each day when we would head out to the beach, Christian would want to go straight for the water!  He'd settle for playing in the sand with a bucket and shovel, but what he really wanted was to go out into the waves.  As with anything else, he would keep going a little farther and a little farther until we called him back.  He tried to jump over the waves as they crashed in.  He would keep edging out until the waves were big enough to wash over his head. Even when one would knock him over, he would come up smiling and laughing that big, open-mouthed laugh.  The one that makes it really hard not to join in with him.  

Little Bit, on the other hand was content to roll, crawl, dig, draw, and anything else she could do in the sand.  I'm still not sure I got all the sand out of her hair!  I figured out pretty quickly that not only did her hair need to be up, but up in such a way that no stray pieces could possibly get on her face.  Otherwise she would just keep trying (with totally sand-covered hands) to wipe her hair back out of her face.  Of course, the result was sand being all over her face!  More than once she came to me to ask for help and was chewing the sand that made its way into her mouth!  After a couple of days, she figured out that she could go just to the edge of the water to wash the sand off her hands.  Every time, she would run (because she runs everywhere she goes) down to the edge of the water, put her hands down only long enough to get them wet, and then turn and run as fast as her legs could carry her away from that water.  I'm pretty sure she thought it was going to get her!

She's not so keen on smiling for the camera, and it's difficult to get him to stop talking long enough for a picture!

There is just something too sweet about holding a little one while they sleep!

We had a great time at the beach, but I'm glad to be home.  
When we came in the door, Dad had dinner going on the stove.  It was lovely to come in from traveling to a home-cooked meal!
As per my usual, I came right in and unpacked everything.  I'm aware that there's no prize for the person who gets packed or unpacked the earliest or the fastest, but it makes me feel more comfortable- when I get where I'm going and when I get home.  The laundry's not quite caught up (and I probably washed at least 8 loads while we were on vacation!) but we're all settled back in.   
I'm thankful that home is a place I like to come back to.  Home should be a place of peace.  Even though there's no beach out the back door, it's a happy place for me.

Thumbs up for being home!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

more vacay

I was loading some of the pictures that we've taken since we've been here and stumbled across the ones from last year.  I can't believe how much the kids have grown!

                             2012                                                                                                                     2011

Chris and the other guys went deep sea fishing on Tuesday.  They were gone half a day and came back with supper (for themselves, anyway).  The rest of us opted for pizza or leftovers...not all of us were ready to commit to the fish.  It actually turned out to be delicious!  
Christian asked what the grown up boys were eating, so I told him that Daddy was cooking the fish that they caught that morning.  It was a totally foreign concept.  I ask him if he remembers that they had gone fishing that morning.  Yes.  Remember they caught some fish?  Yes.  Well, somebody cut it up for them and now Daddy is cooking it so they can eat it.  He gets this weird look on his face and says, “you mean like fish sticks?”  I couldn’t help but laugh!  Once we got all that straight, he wanted to try it- and he liked it!!  I love it when they get new experiences like that.  

Usually when I buy watermelon, I cut it up into small pieces before I give it to the kids.  This time I just bought a little and it was already cut into wedges.  I just put a big slab of it on each of their plates and they chowed down!  

Christian got a kite for his birthday (good job Aggie!) and hadn’t been able to use it yet.  I’m SO glad we brought it to the beach with us!  The kids (and Chris) had a great time with it! 

I did actually manage to let go a little yesterday and really enjoy our day!  We just sort of snacked at the beach instead of coming up to the room for a sit-down lunch.  Then while Christian sat with Memaw and played just in the edge of the surf, Chris chilled next to me while I held Audrey as she napped.  It was so nice.  
All the while Chris is planting seeds of how great it would be to live here.  
The rise and fall of Audrey’s deep breathing gave way to sleep and with the therapeutic sounds of the wind and water, I was able to just listen and rest.  It may have been the best part of the trip so far!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

oh, this is the part where i'm supposed to relax

We left for the beach after church on Sunday.  We had a pretty uneventful trip down with only two stops, which I’m pretty sure is a record for me.  We made it to within an hour of our destination before I heard the first “are we almost there?”  From that time until we actually got here was a little torturous, but such is the nature of a road trip.  I pity those people who take seriously long road trips!  Thankfully, the movies and games we brought did the job and busied the kids for most of the time.  Oh, and the napping helped too!

Although our vacation started on Sunday, it was yesterday that I finally began to feel relaxed.  I don’t like to be called a control freak, but it’s probably an accurate description.  Being out of my element, but with the kids lends itself to me feeling a little out of control; worrying about meals, medicines, and naps.  Wanting everyone to have a good time, but not wanting the kids to wander too far or bother everyone within a ten-mile radius with their loud talking and constant pleas for attention.

I guess that yesterday I just started to settle into the vacation routine (yes, even on vacation we have a routine).  I love the beach!  We all do, really.  I know for sure that Chris and Christian would move, tomorrow if they could.    

So, today I’m taking it all in.  
I watched the sun come up over the ocean this morning.  There is such majesty and wonder in that.  
Something about the ocean, the constant slapping of waves on the shore, the beauty as far as you can see, speaks to the innermost parts of my soul.  Instead of all that making me feel small or insignificant, it makes me unspeakably grateful that the Creator of all that knew every step I would take before I even came into this world.  

Deep breaths, I tell myself.  Enjoy these moments (even the ones where the kids are too loud and I don't get to sleep in and Christian asks for one thousand eighty-third time if we can go out the beach now).  This is the part where I'm supposed to relax. 

Friday, July 6, 2012


This day didn't really start out so great. 
I've stayed up too late a couple of nights in a row, so I was tired.  
Neither of the kids have been being super awesome for the last couple of days. 
I'm still trying to get everything ready for us to go on vacation. 
I went to buy a new shirt and came home with one for Chris instead. 
Nothing too dramatic, just a lot of regular stuff that all added up together did not make for a sunshiny kind of morning. 
Parenting is one of the greatest joys in life, but knowing that doesn't make it feel awesome all the time. I know with absolute certainty that I was chosen specifically to be a mother to our kids. Even knowing that, sometimes I feel like I'm lacking. Today is one of those days where being the mom has been hard. Instead of doing fun things, it has been a day full of misbehaving and back-talking. NOT awesome. 
I am a Christian... but I'm one who tries not to beat people in the head with my Bible. I do not post one thousand scriptures and worship songs on my Twitter and Facebook.  That's just not me.  That being said, we did a song last Sunday and are doing it again this week that has been a great pick-me-up today.  If you feel so inclined, you can check it out here.
God knows what I can handle and when I need some help.
When I was putting Audrey down for her nap, she asked me to read her "just one book," as she always does.  I picked one and read it to her.  I asked for a hug and kiss.  When she was hugging me, she squeezed a little tighter than normal. Right by my ear in a quiet little voice she said, "you're the best!"  
I needed that.  
My fear and inadequacies do not define me.
It doesn't have to be a bad day.  I get to choose.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

First Day: July

It's apparently way more fun to watch tv in my bed.

New small group!