Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who me? Why Thank You!

I received a blog award today! These last couple of weeks, I have discovered a great number of wonderful blogs. This award came from one of those. In This Small House is a great blog with all kinds of ideas. Homemade oreos with mint ice cream, Valentine door wreaths.....

Anyway, the award is the Kreativ blogger award and I have to pass it on to 7 other blogs.

Okay - here goes -

Some of my favs

1. Chaos-Jamie at Surviving the Chaos - Book reviews, great friend, and a mom with 4 kids being real and honest.
2. Mrs. Nurse Boy at Poop on Jelly - Some of my family's favorite recipes have come from this longtime friend.
3. Amanda at Imperfectly Beautiful- She has some awesome decorating tips and ideas.
4. Lulu's Hook - She has some fabulous earrings and crochet ideas!
5. Little Birdie Secrets - Some great recipes, crafts, crochet patterns....
6. Jenn at Girly Do's - I have three girls and I'd love to do some of her great hairdos on them...if only they would sit still long enough!
7. Megan at whatever. She has beautiful photos and great craft ideas. Check out her "Art therapy" bathroom!

There are so many others that I love and follow too. Visit these and pass along your love. If you are one of the people I awarded this to, pass it along to seven others.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My laptop love

Laptop addiction? Who me? Just because I get it out while holding a sick baby and watching Barney and Elmo? Hey, I am a follower of several blogs and have to keep up!
Not to mention facebook and everyone's random 25 lists.

What's wrong with wanting to do it comfortably in the "cushy tushy" recliner with my feet up instead of on the hard kitchen chair in front of the desktop?

Hubby mentioned taking it to work on Tuesday night and I thought I would cry!

I'm just a little spoiled. It was provided by his work, I guess I should "allow" him to use it for that purpose, huh?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Future Techie in Training

My 6 yr old son brought me a Magna Doodle the other day on which he had traced a car. He wanted me to write "Happy Birthday" on it. I asked him why. He wanted to do it for a classmate who wasn't feeling well on his birthday. (All right everyone, in unison, AWWW!) I asked just how he would get it to him. Are you taking the Magna Doodle to him? (Insert panic in my voice, because toddler GiGi is VERY attached to Magna Doodle at the moment).

"I have a plan!" with his Dad's sparkle in his eyes. (Dad's an idea man too!)

"What's that?" (I reply, fearing that it will be ME who has to execute said "plan").

"I will take a picture of it with the digital camera, download it to the computer, print it out, and take it to him" (Yep, I was right, requires Mom intervention and effort).

"What's wrong with a good old piece of paper and markers?" Comes my reply...

So he did get out the markers, and proceeded to draw a picture for his buddy on PAPER TOWELS that were on the table (Clean ones at least). Who could be bothered by getting PAPER out that was right next to the markers?

I would take a picture of the paper towel masterpiece and post it - however, Gigi got hold of it and used it to wipe her face and ended up with half the drawing on her lips and chin. (Should have taken a pic of that too...I need to get better with the photo ops!) I'm still not sure if he packed it up to take it to his friend or not....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Don't take this personally, but....

Ever noticed that when someone prefaces a conversation with, "Don't take this personally, but....", it is probably because you ARE going to take it personally and they know it!!!

They might as well say, "This really stinks!" or "You can't do anything right!".

It probably was the wrong time to hit me with this today.

My reaction wasn't so flattering and the person probably thinks a lot less of me.

Being cooped up in a house with a sick, clingy, whiny, non-sleeping toddler has not made me too apt to have a positive responsive to any criticism, constructive or otherwise....

I feel like I have been twirling too many hula hoops, have dropped all but one and am struggling to keep the last one up....

I need an attitude adjustment....I know just where to go...

Sorry this post is such a downer. Hopefully I will get a shower, some sleep tonight and wake somewhat refreshed tomorrow and ready to pick back up those hula hoops and get back to it.

Future Bloggers America Chapter Now Forming....

Where do you suppose she learned the key combination CTRL-ALT-DEL?



Some might argue that she is learning it by example.....

Surely you jest?!!! Who would she ever see pounding away at the keyboard?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Got me some skillz

You know you're a momma if -

You can sleep with your eyes open while standing up and folding laundry and a toddler hanging on your leg.
You can know who hit who just by the sound of the argument and who said "Don't tell Mom, I'm sorry!"
You know how the spelling test went by the look on the child's face at pick-up time on Friday.
You can help create a class project the night before it's due with toothpicks, styrofoam and a handy dandy glue gun.
You can function on 5 hours of sleep in three days (Hey, I'm not saying it's without caffiene or energy drinks!)
You can find the missing shoes, books, hair clips and basketball uniform in 10 minutes flat. (After your children have been looking for them for hours!)
You can check blogs, facebook, email, drink coffee, & hold a sick baby watching "Barney" all at the same time.
You can interpret a rambling from your whining 19 month old sick child into something that actually makes some sense.

Gotta go and brush my teeth while doing the dishes...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Monday

Today's recipe is Chinese Chicken.

We had it last night and couldn't get enough. Although the boy (6 yrs old) doesn't like to eat anything right now that doesn't have catsup or BBQ sauce or resemble pizza or some compressed chicken nugget.

I love this because it meets the South Beach requirements, even though it didn't come from a South Beach cookbook. And.... you can prep it ahead which really helps on busy nights!

Serves - 6

1 1/2 lbs Chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
1/2 cup lite reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp dry mustard or 1 TBSP prepared mustard
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients except chicken to make the marinade. Put chicken breasts in a pan or ziploc and cover with marinade. Refrigerate overnight or freeze in marinade. (If you freeze, make sure to take it out in plenty of time to thaw before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken with marinade in glass 13x9 casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Baste chicken with marinade in pan. Cook additional 10 to 15 minutes until chicken is cooked thru.

We made fresh steamed green beans with this. It would also be great with brown rice and a great big salad!

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No pity please....

I mentioned a about 3 weeks ago that hubby and I have started the South Beach Diet. With exercise we have both lost around 15 pounds.

Since we started people have expressed pity for our four children. In line at the grocery store as I was buying produce with my 10 yr old daughter, the bag boy says, "SOMEONE eats healthy, poor kid!" while looking at my daughter. Another parent at my children's school said that my 8 yr old told them that since mommy and daddy were on a diet, there wasn't anything to eat at home.

So my evidence that my children are not being deprived their junk food, even though mom and dad are choosing not to partake -

Exhibit #1 - Junk cereal - Trix and Crunch Berries.


Exhibit #2 - A overfull treat bowl.


Exhibit #3 - Three half gallons of ice cream (that are "FULL FAT")

ice cream

Exhibit #4 - The overflowing snack cabinet - otherwise known as popcorn, chips and crackers galore!

other junk

So please, please, no pity and no care packages are necessary! Trust me, they are not deprived! Also - don't report me to SRS for feeding them only junk - they get the healthy stuff too! All in balance!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I am in mourning today. Earlier this week I lost a special friend of 17 years. This friend has been there for me almost daily. Always ready when I was in need. I always knew where to go. It really was a sad day when I had to throw my hair dryer away! I bought it when Hubby and I were dating and it was one powerful puppy! Now I have to use my backup that I bought on a trip when my devoted friend had been left behind. Goodbye dear Sears Hair Dryer (Does Sears even make hair dryers anymoer?), you will be missed....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Being Transparent

Being able to be seen thru.....

I have been thinking a lot in the last year about people that I admire. I have been dwelling on the reasons that I consider them mentors and want to learn from them. The biggest reason that I have come up with is transparency.

Relationships in our society today are so superficial. Fashion, current trends, gadgets, celebrity lifestyles and such occupy so much conversation now. (Not that I don't enjoy fashion trends, mind you!)

I think that more than ever I want to be surrounded by people who make their flaws and struggles known. How are we going to help each other, encourage each other, pray for one another, and yes, even learn from each other, if we keep those things bottled up in our hearts?

I am not encouraging people to replace the role of God with others. Our burdens should be laid at His feet first. But He has strategically placed others in your life that can encourage you. Seek them out!

What has kept me from this? Fear. Fear of rejection, fear of being hurt, fear of betrayed trust. Is this going to happen? Sometimes, it will. Because we all are human.

But isn't the benefit worth the risk?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Changing of the guard

Whether you agree with his politics or not, whether you like him as a person or not, Barack Obama will be sworn in today as President of the United States. As one of the most powerful positions in the world, he needs prayer. Prayer that he will be able to hear and discern God's voice, that he will be diligent in seeking His face, and that he yields to God's Word. I am praying for protection for President Obama, his wife, and his daughters. I am praying that his family unit is strong and can withstand the public scrutiny and extreme demands that are being placed upon them.

I personally did not vote for Barack Obama. But God's Word directs us to Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God. (1 Timothy 2:2).

I am not very poetic, but I was inspired by Becoming Me: My Prayer for Our Nation and President Obama.

Her post is so much better than my own....

Monday, January 19, 2009

First Menu Monday post!!!

Every Monday I will be posting one of my new favorite South Beach Diet recipes. Hubby and I started the diet two weeks ago and have both lost over 10 lbs each. We decided we needed to take better care of ourselves.

So here goes.

Creole Shrimp

2 pieces Canadian Bacon or Turkey Bacon
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid (16 oz)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp hot sauce
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled

Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat. Remove from pan. Cook celery, green pepper and onion in same skillet until soft, approximately 3-5 minutes. (You may want to add the olive oil at this time if there are no drippings from the bacon, as Canadian bacon is very lean.)

Add garlic and cook an additional minute or so. Add tomatoes with liquid, pepper, bay leaf, Worcestershire, tomato sauce and hot sauce. You can adjust the amount of hot sauce for a more spicy or milder dish.

Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmering for 20 minutes. Add shrimp and cook uncovered (stirring frequently) for 10 minutes, or until opaque and pink. Discard bay leaf.

In phase one, this is great with a salad. In phase two, you can add brown rice.
I adapted this a little from a recipe in the "South Beach Diet Cookbook".


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Facelift complete!

All right. I think I have my blog the way I want it. It only took several hours and an intervention from hubby to get it there. Hubby says it's too girly. That's okay with me. I think I'll let it stick around a while. A big shout out to hubby for his hard work and coming to my rescue!

forgive my mess

I know this blog looks awful today. I am trying to figure out HTML. My hubby could do it with his eyes closed, however I want to learn, so I am experimenting today while staying home from church with a semi-sick baby. Hopefully, I'll figure it out quickly.....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I am a work in progress

On a more serious note than usual. Last night I attended a Ladies Night Out at our church. Two women who I have attended church with for some time shared personal stories about their lives and I was FLOORED. I have to admit I was ashamed that after knowing of these people for some time, I have never taken the time to TRULY get to KNOW them. I know more about some of you in BLOG world than I do about those I see on a regular basis.

I admit I have always had a hard time "making friends". I've always been too concerned about appearances and what others thought of me. Blogging takes away that fear. In Blog world, it doesn't matter.

What I am more wondering, is how do I translate that to face-to-face? I am praying for Boldness. I am praying for courage. It is definitely time to sacrifice some inhibitions and fears.

I did meet a woman recently that I spent some time with last night. It wasn't typical "just met you" conversation. We talked about our propensity to worry. We talked about relying on God. We talked about things that truly matter.

I made one of my goals this year to truly get to know others around me.

I am praying that this is the start of something BIG! I am excited.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Let it Snow....

When do adults cross over from being excited by snow to dreading it?

Let me start at the beginning. On the news last night they predicted a dusting. During rush hour this morning there was already 1/2 inch on the ground and it was still coming down. (I know I am getting NO sympathy from those north of here right now!!)

My children woke up EXCITED! Look at the snow! Isn't it pretty? Do you think there will be enough to build a snowman? Can we play in it after school? Can we go out now? They were doing the happy Snoopy dance.

I woke up, looked outside and grumbled (or probably more appropriately, whined) " I don't wanna go out...Please don't make me!!!"

I was trying to remember on the way to drop my angels off at their respective locations this morning just when I became a snow "grinch". I think it was probably when I had my first "real" job and there were no cancellations or delays for weather. Or when I realized that the worst of drivers and their driving abilities is brought about by the first 1/2 inch of white coating the ground.

Of course my reaction to it today could also have something to do with the bitter cold that is accompanying this system...

I actually love the look of SNOW on the ground outside, IF I can stay indoors until it melts!!!

How about you?

BTW - I'll start posting my favorite South Beach recipes every Monday starting this Monday, January 19th. Who said being on a diet and eating healthy couldn't be tasty?!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New enterprises

I was watching the news last night. A home developer is finding a new way to sell homes. When staging homes they are making them look "lived in". Messy beds, clothes laying on the floor, etc.

A new enterprise! I think I could rent out my children! They are very talented! They can bring a living room to it's knees. They are masters of unmade beds!

Anyone trying to sell their house?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What happens when kids are sick?

The house smells of Lysol and Clorox. Trust me, it's better than the alternative.

The clean laundry doesn't get folded. It takes up residence on the couch (as long as a sick child is not inhabiting it). I consider it an accomplishment that it is even clean!

Dishes pile in the sink.

Mom gulps coffee like it's going out of style.

Mom can't remember what day it is and when she last had a shower or a good night of sleep.

Kind of on the same subject - why do kids always vomit at ungodly hours?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coming Soon....

The week of Valentine's Day I will have some great book giveaways! Make sure you come by and see the reviews and enter to win that week!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cravings galore....

I am having cravings like nothing else.

I think it is because I am being tempted.

For example, several months ago I started taking cholesterol meds and was told I should not have grapefruit or grapefruit juice because it could have a potentially serious reaction. So of course I immediately crave a big, juicy grapefruit, even though I probably had not had one in say, 5 plus years!

Now, this week, hubby and I started the South Beach Diet. For those of you who don't know, that means low, low carbs and sugars for two weeks. No bread, no pasta, no fruit. So I have been eating lots of chicken, turkey, veggies, salads, nuts, and cheese. I also have worked out 3 of the last 4 days. So I have lost 7 lbs in 5 days! Definitely something to be happy about.

But all I can think about it potato chips, ice cream, chocolate, etc.

Let me tell you, my trip to Sam's and the grocery store today were nothing but a test of willpower.

I am blogging to avoid my kitchen and the wealth of temptation there!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Persuasion, thy name is ELMO!

For Christmas Gigi received a Potty with Elmo book and a Potty time Elmo DVD. In case you haven't guessed, she had an ELMO fetish. We are very hopeful that she will be interested and sit still long enough very soon. Wouldn't it be glorious to use the money spent on diapers on something else?!!

So, on Sunday we sat down to watch the DVD and my other children (10,8, and 6) gravitate into the room. We watch Elmo and his friends sing about potties, sing about washing their hands, etc. for 40 minutes or so.

About 10 minutes in, hubby had to use the "potty".
At minute 15 or so, the boy and NiNi have to go!
At minute 25, Sha Sha makes a trip to the facilities and finally, I succumb and make my trip to the restroom.

The only one to not use the potty was Gigi.

I am hoping the "suggestions" in the video rub off on her too, but just in case I think I'll stay near the restroom too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Our single middle aged female neighbor has a new boyfriend. He comes over to take out her trash, he plants new bushes and flowers, he came over last week and cut up the huge branch that fell out of her tree, he washes her car, etc.

My hubby and I were watching him take out her trash earlier today. (We are really not voyeurs or overly nosy, I promise!) Anyway, hubby commented that our neighbor had better not ever marry him because it would all stop posthaste! Hubby and I have always joked that he didn't try nearly as hard to impress me and do things for me after we were married.

Disclaimer - This by no means is a complaint against my hard-working hubby who does his best to keep up with his work, the kids, the house, and his ever-demanding wife!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Resolutions - No! um er call em goals

I tend to have a hard time keeping "resolutions". So I like to call them goals! Difference only in terminology, maybe, but the connotation of the word "resolution" makes my stomach roll.

My goals for the year -

Limit spending.
Reach out to more people around me and really get to know them.
Eat only when hungry.
Exercise more (even if it's only Wii Fit!) BTW - I really love the yoga poses, who knew?
More QUALITY alone time with hubs (maybe not out somewhere as sitters can be expensive - but also not parked in front of the tv all the time).

Hopefully putting them here will help me revisit and re-evaluate. Maybe you all can help keep me accountable too?

Happy 2009! Here we goooooooo!!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Changing Habits

So many people make resolutions that they abandon because of sheer discouragement by March 1. What we have to realize is that changing habits takes time and incremental steps are often more effective than cold turkey methods.

Every woman longs for change in some area of her life. Unfortunately, fear, fatigue, adversity, heartbreak, past failures, and even the choices of other people get in the way and make lasting change seem out of reach. Having been there herself, Karen Linamen knows exactly how to take readers from where they are to where they want to be.

In Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight, she examines 52 powerful actions readers can apply to any change they long to embrace. Her insights apply to career, finances, personal health and fitness, relationships, faith—in fact, every facet of a woman’s life.

Blending laugh-out-loud humor and sage advice, Linamen shows readers the link between dissatisfaction and transformation, how to remodel habits, the little-known truth about procrastination, how to generate the energy they need to pursue the life they desire, how to benefit from options and resources they never dreamed they had, and much, much more!

Karen Linamen is a popular speaker and the celebrated author of ten books for women, including Due to Rising Energy Costs the Light at the End of the Tunnel Has Been Turned Off and Just Hand Over the Chocolate and No One Will Get Hurt. She has been featured on more than one hundred radio programs, including FamilyLife Today. Publishers Weekly describes her as “funny, forthright and unforgettable.” Linamen lives with her family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Visit her website at