Monday, October 10, 2011

I wish...

Linking up with CrazyJoy for their photo challenge. This week is WISH.

Colton loves when Zack and Emilee have friends over. He loves going to their football and cheer practices. Every day I see him just watching them and "wishing" he could do what they are doing.

This weekend we had a small party for Zack who just turned 11 and the 6 boys played football and basketball outside. I could not keep Colton away from the big boys.

taken with my iphone

Menu - October 10-13

Monday - Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff over egg noodles, peas & carrots
             ***I really didn't like this recipe. Like at all. I like this one from Recipe for Crazy a lot better!***

Tuesday - Orange Chicken over rice, broccoli
            ***This was really good! I use a meat tenderizer thing and pound the chicken breast to make it more
                  tender. I also add fresh broccoli about 30-40 minutes before cook time is over.***

Wednesday - Meatball Subs with a salad

Thursday - Chicken Enchilada Bake with homemade Pinto beans

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Menu (Sept 26-30)

Haven't done a menu in awhile...don't worry, we still eat! Like I could go without food. Haha!

This week I found some new (well to me at least) crockpot meals and decided I would give them all a try:

Monday - Crockpot Italian Chicken, rice, green beans
                 **EDIT - This wasn't that great. It was missing something, but I'm not sure what.***

Tuesday - Crockpot Chili (we are having frito chili pies or 3-way)
                  **EDIT - This was AMAZING!***

Wednesday - Poppyseed chicken, carrots (the only meal not out of the crockpot this week)
                  **EDIT - This was very tasty and the kids liked it also.***

Thursday - Crockpot Ravioli Casserole, corn

Friday - Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup, biscuits

Saturday - Help yo'self! Leftovers, sandwiches, etc.



I can't wait to gain about 7 lbs this week!



Hearty Beef Chili (for the crockpot)
You’ll need:
2 1/2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons oil
4 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 dried bay leaves
1 1/2 cups beef-flavored broth
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
Garnish with:
Freshly grated cheese
Sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro
Directions
1. In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, place half of the beef and 1 tablespoon of the flour; seal bag and shake to coat. Repeat with remaining beef and flour. In 4-quart Dutch oven or other large pan , heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil until brown on all sides; drain, if desired.
2. Transfer meat to crockpot and stir in remaining chili ingredients except cornmeal, beans and chiles. Cook on low about 7-8 hours or on high about 4-5 hours (it’s done when the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender!).
3. Stir in cornmeal; cook and stir about 1 minute to thicken. Add beans and chiles; cook until thoroughly heated. Remove bay leaves. Serve chili with garnishes.
POPPYSEED CHICKEN

Chicken, cooked & cut up in small pieces
Linguine, cooked according to directions
Cream of celery soup
Cream of chicken soup
Sour Cream

TOPPING:
1 – 1 ½ sleeves Ritz crackers
1 stick butter, melted
2 tsp Poppyseeds

Boil 3-4 chicken breasts.  Cut in small pieces.
Boil Linguine-Drain

Mix soup & sour cream together.  Add chicken & linguine.  Put in a 9x13 greased pan. 
Crunch up ritz crackers.  Add melted butter & poppyseeds.  Put on top.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Zack ATTACK

My life!

My oldest son has a few nicknames, they are: Zack Attack, Zackary Daiquiri, and Z.  So this photo challenge is perfect for him. He loves him some football!!



Attack - Photo Challenge


Every Saturday he plays one football game...
I promise he is mean on the field!

...and my daughter cheers for two games.  This is her first year and I may be biased, but she is doing so good! I love watching her come out of her shell a little bit. She is kinda shy and quiet. She definitely doesn't get that from me. (She is in the middle).
Go Em!!



My poor baby (he is now 19 months old, so maybe I should start calling him a toddler, but I don't wanna!) gets to spend almost 6 hours every Saturday at the football field. Thank God for older siblings and other parents on the team who love my baby. (Also, I am very grateful for family that helps with C during his nap time!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weekly Menu (Sept 1 - Sept 7)

I forgot to plan ahead for last week. And I didn't have time to grocery shop. So we ate at my parents, grandparents, made spaghetti, and ate out.  Tonight I am going grocery shopping. Thank you pay-day!

Thursday - Slow Cooker Pork Chops (I know this recipe link calls for chicken, but we are having chicken in 2 other meals, so I am using pork chops instead!), Pasta, and Carrots

Friday - Easy Lemon Chicken, Cheesy Broccoli (thank you Amanda!), and Rolls

Saturday - Hawaiian Chicken Sliders, Baked Beans, and Corn on the Cob

Sunday - Cookout over at my friends house for her birthday!

Monday - Chili Dogs and Tater Tots (a very healthy, low-fat meal, haha!)

Tuesday - Pot Roast (the Lipton Onion Soup Mix way) with Biscuits

Wednesday - Mexican Casserole and Rice



***I could not for the life of me open this link***
EASY LEMON CHICKEN
Melt 1 cube butter in fry pan
Layer on 4 chicken breasts or chicken tenders
Sprinkle with 1 pkg. Italian Seasonings Salad Dressing Mix
Add juice of 2 lemons.

Cook until tender. Put the lid on at first, then take off at the end in order to brown and absorb seasonings.

*Can be done in crockpot, cook on high 4-5 hrs or low 6-8 hrs. When finished cooking, take out and shred chicken, and ladle on the juices.*


MEXICAN CASSEROLE
1.5 lbs ground beef
(1 t sald, dash of pepper)
3 cup crushed tortilla chips
16 oz salsa
15.5 oz can chili beans, drained
12 oz sour cream or 1 1/2 cup
10 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz can sliced black olives, drained
8 oz shredded fiesta blend cheese

Brown ground beef in a skillet, adding salt and pepper, drain. Spread chips in bottom of 9x13 dish. Combine cooked ground beef, salsa, and drained chili beans. Spread over chips. Spread sour cream over meat mixture. Sprinkle tomatoes, black olives, then cheese. Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.


I hope this menu helps you out! Let me know if you make anything. Next Wednesday I will be posting some Crockpot meals that I have tried recently on Kelly's Korner . You should do it too!

Hope t

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What would I do with a kid-free weekend?

I asked for questions and here is a really good one from Torres Tidbits...

If given a choice of what to do for a weekend free of children, what would it be?

Let me back-track a little bit to answer this question.  I was still in school when I had Em and was never away from her for more than a day. Thanks to my mom and grandparents, I was able to go on my senior trip to Cancun when she was 13 months old. That was the hardest week ever being away from my little girl that long. I talked to her every single day even though she could have probably cared less.  Then Z came along and I may have been gone a night or two here and there to go visit my friends in Stillwater (they were in college, you know the ones who didn't get knocked up at the age of 12, haha) but that was the longest amount of time I was away from him.  A few years ago he had to go to California for a week and that was the longest I had ever been away from him until recently when my dad kidnapped him for 22 days so he could be a junior trucker. I am glad my dad and Z got to spend that time together though. Yes, my kids did stay the night here and there ever so often but it was usually just a day or 2 at the most. My baby who is 18 months old has NEVER stayed away from me. Like seriously ever. I have not been away from him for more than like 10-12 hours. I'm pretty sure that I have separation anxiety from him. Which is probably unhealthy...but oh well he is my last baby and I just haven't been ready to let him sleepover with his grandparents yet. I think I am getting there though...maybe.

Anyways, once I can put on my big girl panties and leave my kids for a whole weekend, I would like to go somewhere relaxing, like a bed and breakfast, or the beach (ok a lake would work also). Somewhere that I can be lazy and relax. Not have to cook or do dishes or laundry or clean or take care of anyone besides myself. A place that had cute little fun shops and restaurants. I think Alan and I could really use a weekend together.

I love my little people but being a parent to 2 very busy children and a baby toddler is so exhausting.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I want to capture the beauty of everyday life...

Do you like taking pictures? Would you like to learn how to do it better? In the comfort of your own home!! Ashley Ann from Under the Sycamore has an online class called SnapShop and The Driveway of Life is giving away a spot for the September class. I really want it!!





I want to learn to take better quality pictures of my kids. Pictures that tell a story. I want the memories to last me (and one day, them) a lifetime!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Photo Challenge - Carry

Linking up for a photo challenge. This weeks word is CARRY.





Colton found some locust shells and carried them around for quite some time. The top photo shows his "yucky" face.

Weekly Menu (August 15-19)

We have been so busy with football and cheer so I have kinda forgotten to post my menu. But I promise you that we have been eating!!  We have football Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Games start this Saturday. So yes that is 5 days a week!  Right now we only have cheer on Monday nights but that will change to 2 nights a week plus games on Saturdays next week. I will be doing lots of crockpot meals, casseroles, and easy dishes.  Here is the menu:


Monday - Salisbury Steak Hamburger Helper, Green Beans, Biscuits

Tuesday - Crockpot Pineapple Chicken, Fried Brown Rice (I add a little soy sauce and a fried egg), Broccoli

Wednesday - Sweet Pork on King Hawaiian Rolls, Baked Beans, Fried Potatoes

Thursday - Chips & Salsa Chicken, Pinto beans, and Mexican rice

Friday - 3 Meat Pizza Casserole, Salad (with a really yummy, but secretive, dressing)

Saturday - we will be eating all the leftovers or sandwiches...I think I will make myself a quesadilla using the sweet pork!


Hope everyone has a great week!


P.S. I have found most of these meals thru Pinterest.  I am so addicted!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I found a recipe for these cupcakes online and I have GOT to get better at writing down the links because when I tried to google: Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes using lemon cake mix and strawberry jello, the recipe I printed out is nowhere to be found.
Anyways, I made these for my "work mom's" birthday. And they were a hit. Well at least that's what people told me to my face!


This photo was not taken by me.

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 Box of lemon cake mix
3oz box of strawberry jello
1 1/2 cup diced strawberries
1C oil
1/2C milk
4 eggs

Cupcake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. In large bowl, stir cake mix and strawberry jello mix together.
3. Make a well in the center of mix and pour in strawberries, oil, milk and eggs. Mix well.4. Pour batter into cupcake pans. *(I used foil liners)*
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes.


Frosting Ingredients:
1. 1 stick of butter, softened
2. 12oz package of cream cheese, softened
3. 1TBS vanilla extract
4. 2 cups confectioners sugar
5. Zest from 2 lemons *(I only used one lemon)*
6. Juice from 1 lemon

Frosting Directions:
1. Cream together butter and cream cheese.
2. Add vanilla, mix.
3. Slowly add in confectioners sugar.
4. Add zest and juice, mix well.


*I frosted mine after they had cooled for about 30 minutes. I put my frosting into a Ziploc bag and cut a tip off the corner. I also put my frosting in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. Next time I make these I will frost them the day of serving. And just keep the frosting chilled in the fridge.*


I think they would be really cute if you put a slice of strawberry on top and maybe those little lemon candies. I may or may not have eaten 2 of them :-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

a rainbow cake? sure, why not!

I only have one sister. Thank God, because she is more than enough. Ha! She only has one child. My niece, McKenna. I love her so much. Her birthday is June 25th. This year she was just having a small birthday/sleepover with her friends. The first birthday I wouldn't be invited too :-(  So I called Kenna on the phone and said "well since you don't want to invite me to your party, would you like me to make you a cake and I can give you your present at my house?" and she said "yes!". 

Here is how the rest of the story went down:

Me - What kind of cake do you want?
K - Um, can you make me a rainbow cake? My aunt ____ was supposed to make me one last year but she didn't.
Me- What? A rainbow cake? How am I supposed to do that?
K - I don't know. But I really want one.
Me - Ok since I'm your favorite aunt ever, I guess I will try.


So I google'd rainbow cakes and every single recipe was way too much work for me. I used my imagination and a food coloring guide for how to make the colors of the rainbow. I picked up a box of regular white (or maybe yellow) cake mix, food coloring, and white frosting from Walmart. I got home and began working on it...


After I took it out of the oven and tried to flop it over to my cake plate thingamajig, it started to fall apart :-( I even sprayed the crap out of it with Pam.  So anyways...I used my imagination again and just chopped some of the cake off and shaped it into a...you guessed it, a rainbow!!


I may not be Betty Crocker, or Martha Stewart, but what mattered the most to me is that I tried. And McKenna absolutely loved it. She was so happy that I had made her a rainbow cake!

She really wanted her 2 front teeth
for her birthday...lol
We got her a tote, bathing suit,
sunglasses, bracelets and nail polish!

I really do love my niece so much. I have always treated her like she is one of mine and I try to include her as much as possible. I am her favorite Aunt Ally. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day of Birth, baby #3

You can go here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2...

February 17th was my due date. My doctor thought I could possibly have an 8 pound baby because of how I was measuring, carrying, etc. Em was 7 lbs 0 oz and Z was 7 lbs 5 oz. I had to get induced with my first baby and it was 28 hours of pure hell (story coming soon). Z was much easier, no pitocin and a very smooth and easy labor. I did not want to be induced. But Alan and I went ahead and scheduled for Colton to be induced on his due date (which was a Wednesday) and hoped he would come out before then. He did not. Stubborn little thing!

My big kids stayed the night at my mom and dads the night before Birthing Day. Alan and I made sure we had everything ready for the hospital and we went to dinner together and then came home to sleep. I think we were both so anxious to meet our baby boy that neither one of us slept much. We woke up at 4am and I showered, fixed my hair and makeup and off we went to be checked in by 5:30am.

I forget how huge I was!!
They got me changed into my gown and got me started on the drip (Pitocin) around 6:30am.

I brought sexy back!

He wore this all day long!

Things were going pretty good. Alan and I were just talking and watching the machine (the one for the contractions and the baby's heartbeat). Around 8am the doctor came in and broke my water. Holy crapoly, this was horrible! With the other 2, my water broke on its own. This doctor put a little finger condom on that had spikes on it. For real! It took him two times before he finally broke my water. I was crying from the pain.  Around noon I wasn't really progressing. I was still having really bad contractions, but I wasn't dialating. Like at all. I think I was stuck at a 6. I really don't remember. (P.S. I do not do epidurals). The whole time I was in labor, I was burning hot. They had to bring in 2 fans for me (this is the reason why Alan had his coat on the whole time. Ha!). My mom brought the kids up around noon. Zack was so concerned for me when I would have a contraction, he rubbed my back a few times and got me a cold washcloth. My daughter said she would never have a baby, lol. My grandparents came up. And Alan's mom and dad also. Around 1:30pm the doctor came in and said "do you want to get prepped for a c-section? The baby is kinda stuck in your pelvic area and you are not progressing like we would like you to be" and I said "is Colton in any kind of trouble or stress? am I ok?" and he said that everything was ok. So I told him that I wanted to get up and walk around and take a shower and see if I could do anything on my own to get dialated. Alan and my nurse helped me into the shower. I stayed in there and walked around for about 45 minutes. The nurse had me get back in the bed to get hooked back up to the monitors and she wanted to check me again. I was at an 8! And from there things went rather quickly. Around 3:10ish, the doctor came back and checked me and I was at a 10 and it was time to push. It didn't take me very long to push, but it was hard work. I was exhausted. Finally, at 3:44 pm, Colton James entered this world with a very quiet cry. And I remember Alan and the doctor saying "he isn't a very small boy!" and then the doctor put him on my chest so I could see him and Alan got to cut the cord. Then the nurse took him to weigh him and measure him and clean him off.

February 17, 2010 @ 3:44pm

He was 9 lbs 9 oz and 22 inches long!  My biggest baby ever. He was huge! I mean look at those feet. No wonder I was having breathing problems towards the end of my pregnancy. I didn't have diabetes, I was never really swollen or anything. Seriously, the only problem I ever had was with my sciatica nerve from about 32-33 weeks until delivery. I was so happy to be a mom again. I love babies.


A few of my favorite pics from the day.
I can see the LOVE they all had for Colton.
 Family and friends came to see us (well Colton mainly) Wednesday evening and Thursday during the day. They released us that evening and we were home by 7pm on Thursday night. It was so nice to be home with my family of 5.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weekly Menu (July 17 - 22)

***Yes I know that this is a little late...I had it set to publish on Sunday morning but I guess Blogger had different plans.***

This week we are going to be super busy! As in like every day between now and November!! My daughter is doing cheer for the first time this year. And my oldest son is doing tackle football. Pad camp starts this week Monday thru Thursday 6-8pm and cheer is Monday, Thursday and Friday from 5:30-8. So yes you are correct that I have no life, yes Colton gets to live in his carseat and outside in this nasty heat, and yes my meals have to be planned accordingly and also something kinda easy for Alan to throw together so we can all eat dinner by the time I get home from work. (P.S. Alan is working nights right now, so he sleeps until about 2-3pm. This gives him plenty of time to cook whatever I have prepared. And I usually do the prep work for him and give him a very important task of FOLLOWING the recipe/directions EXACTLY as printed!).

Sunday - Mexican Lasagna and Corn Casserole (I don't remember where I got this recipe, but it was canned corn, cream cheese, sour cream, jalapeno, shredded cheese and you just mix it all together and bake it).

Monday - Salsa Roast (recipe below), Smashed Potatoes, French Bread

Tuesday - Everyone Ate This Fish, leftover corn casserole, black beans, fruit salad

Wednesday - Honey Onion Chicken (recipe below, can't find the link), Green Beans, Mac-n-cheese (I make this for the boys!)

Thursday - Beans & Cornbread, Salad

Friday - Sandwich night (turkey, ham, tuna, grilled cheese...whatever you want to make, you get to eat :-)



Salsa Roast
1 beef roast-size depends on your family size
2 cans golden mushroom soup
1 large jar of Paul Newman's Medium Chunky Salsa

Place all of the ingredients in your crock-pot and cook on high all day. I start ours at 8am and we eat around 4:30. We eat ours with sour cream and chive scalloped potatoes and sweet cornbread muffins.



Honey Onion Chicken
1 package chicken tenders
2 eggs
1 can french fried onions
Seasoned pepper
Salt
Honey

Preheat oven to 350.

Dip chicken tenders in egg. In a ziplock bag, crush the onions and then coat the chicken in them. Line a 9x13 with foil and spray it with non stick spray. Place the chicken in it and and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and drizzle it with honey.

Bake COVERED for 20 mins. Then, uncover it, drizzle with more honey and bake another 20 min's uncovered.

Laugh it up!

Linking up for the CrazyJoy challenge and this weeks word is LAUGH!

Laugh - CrazyJoy photo challenge

This was such a fun day...Colton and I had been watering my fresh herbs. My daughter and her friend joined us outside and started playing in the sprinkler. Colton was being nosey, so he decided to make his way over to his sissy and she started spraying him. He thought it was hilarious!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whoa, baby #3...part 2

Go here to read Part 1 if you missed it...

After the initial shock wore off that I was possibly most likely pregnant, I went to Walmart to buy a test. I didn't say anything to anyone. Not even Alan. I was so scared. I know this is so wrong to say but I didn't want another baby. My older 2 were practically out of the house (being sarcastic!). For reals though they were doing things like laundry, dishes, etc on their own. I was able to leave them at home for small amounts of time to go run errands and what-not. Start over with a baby. I can't!

I took the test and 2 lines appear. I am pregnant. I did what any rational person would do in this situation, I curled up in to the the fetal position while I cried and sucked my thumb. Then I remembered that I was older this time (as in no longer in high school or college), I was in a relationship (somewhat committed, ha), and I had a decent paying job. Maybe I can do this. Maybe I can have another baby.

I peeled myself off of the bathroom floor so I could go wake Alan up to show him what we had in store. I think he cried too. He was already fathering my older 2 kids and I think he was a little shocked that he could possibly parent his own.  We both decided to wait until we were in the 2nd trimester before we told the kids and our families.


18 weeks, we found out the baby was a boy!


E & Z were so excited about the baby. The grandparents were not so excited at first, but after getting over the initial shock, they started to be really happy about being grandparents again.

26 weeks

I had a fairly easy pregnancy, I am very fortunate to not really have morning sickness, etc. And I even continued to do Zumba up until I was about 33 weeks pregnant. I had to quit going because of how bad little man messed with my sciatica nerve :-( I only gained 27 lbs with him though.


Day of birth to be continued in Part 3...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Whoa, baby #3...part 1

I've been reading a lot of birth stories lately and I thought "why not document my babies too?" so I am going to blog about my babies day of birth.

As most of you know, I am not married :-( which is ok but still stinks. I obviously do everything ass backwards and that is ok. I know others judge me for my wrongdoings. I judge myself and I also know I get forgiven for my sins. On to the story...

Alan and I were NOT trying to get pregnant. AT ALL. I  have religiously taken the pill since I quit breastfeeding Zackary at 7 months old. He is 10 years old now, so you do the math. Alan and I have been together for 6 years as of this May. Back in March of 2009 I started taking Phentermine to help with losing weight before leaving to go to Destin, Florida and I was also on an antibiotic in mid March for having an infection in my gum (I have had a stupid crown since I was 16yo and it gets inflamed all the time no matter how often I brush and floss, I hate it) and even though I know that antibiotics can mess with birth control pills I didn't think much of it since I never missed a pill. Well we all know it only takes just ONE time, right? So anyways, we go to Destin the end of May and I was moody (which isn't abnormal), feeling nauseous (which we drove and I get car sick), and bloated. Take into consideration that at this time I was feeling MY best. I had lost quite a bit of weight and was doing Zumba, Pump, and Step almost 4 times a week. I was actually starting to think of myself as being skinny..haha! The thought of me being pregnant NEVER crossed my mind.  I finally chilled out and enjoyed our vacation so much!  So the middle of June rolls around and I start freaking because I haven't started my period. I never wrote down when Aunt Flo visited because I trusted my pack of pills and knew by looking at what week I was on. I give myself a few days to get a visit BUT she never came. I knew then that I was pregnant. And boy was I scared....






Part 2 to be continued soon...

Friday, July 8, 2011

SUYL - Side Dishes

Linking up again with Kelly's Korner to show you my favorite side dish! This has seriously become MY favorite one to make. Like I want to eat this every day :-)

Broccoli and Corn Scallop

2 Tbsp. chopped onions
2 Tbsp.  butter or margarine, divided
1 Tbsp. flour
1-1/4 cups  milk
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 can  (11 oz.) corn, drained
12 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup), divided
2 pkg.  (10 oz. each) frozen broccoli spears, thawed, drained  **I use FRESH, just steam it a little bit before using it**

HEAT oven to 350°F. COOK and stir onions in 1 Tbsp. butter in saucepan on medium heat 1 min. Blend in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring until well blended; cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add cheese; cook until melted, stirring frequently. Add corn and 1/4 cup crumbs; mix well. ARRANGE broccoli in 12x8-inch baking dish; top with sauce. Melt remaining butter; mix with remaining crumbs. Sprinkle over ingredients in baking dish. BAKE 30 min. or until heated through.

Friday, July 1, 2011

SUYL - Breakfast!

Linking up with Kelly's Korner today to show you my favorite breakfast recipe.

My favorite is Breakfast Casserole!! I make this for us to eat every Christmas morning.  It is so easy and you can do it the night before.

Breakfast Casserole

8 slices of bread
6-8 eggs
2 cups shredded cheese
1 tsp ground mustard
2 cups milk
1 lb sausage or 1 pkg bacon (or both)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. (I use the throw away foil pans). I butter my bread and place it on a cookie sheet and broil it in the oven to get it toasted. Then I cut it into small cubes. And toss them in the pan.  In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, milk, ground mustard, and salt/pepper; whisk it all together. Then I add the COOKED meat and shredded cheese to the mixing bowl and stir it all together. Pour it over the bread. Cover with foil, bake for about 30-40 minutes, remove cover and bake about 10-15 minutes more. Yum yum!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu (June 27-30)

I can't believe we are in the last week of June. Seriously, this month has gone by fast! My baby toddler (16 months old) cut two teeth this weekend and it was h-e-double hockey sticks. I hate teething. I feel so bad for him, and myself. Snotty nose, drool, low fever, not wanting to eat, or sleep. Poor guy. Luckily that is over with for now. My oldest son (10 years old) is still with his G-Pa...he is a semi-truck driver and goes to all states. They have been to California, Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. Z has been with him for 10 days now. 10 whole days and nights. This is the LONGEST 10 days of my life. I just want my boy back home. I miss him. Colton misses him. And even Emilee admitted that she missed him too. Haha! I'm glad my dad is sending me pics and I am able to talk to Z but still it is not the same as being able to tuck him in every night. Geez! 

Anyways, here is the menu for this week...
Monday - Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts (see last weeks post).
I ended up not making this because we went to my mom's house to swim one evening and she fed us :-)

Tuesday - Pollo Asado with corn tortillas and pico de gallo, Pinto Beans  (I just want to say how much I love PW!!)

Wednesday - Grilled Island Chicken, grilled corn on the cob, fruit salad
***thank you Amanda for posting the Sweet & Sour Chicken link because I found some new recipes to try!!***

Thursday - my friend might be getting induced today which means I will be at the hospital!! So tuna or grilled cheese sandwiches with chips :-)

Friday - not planned this far in advace...it is a Holiday weekend so give me a break!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cry baby...

I am entering a photo to Your Best Shot and hoping it gets picked!!

I like this picture of Colton because of his big brown eyes and the way he has his mouth shaped. He has been doing this fake cry lately and I snapped this pic right when he was starting to do it.

Colton @ 16 months

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yard work is hard work

I am linking up with CrazyJoy again. The word this week was Comparison.

Here is a picture of Colton helping Alan mow the yard. I think it is cute how they both have a foot up and Colton is using his little lawnmower.

Comparison photo challenge


Colton had to stop mowing so he could fix his mower and use the wheelbarrow. Such a hard day of work for such a little boy :-)




Menu (June 20 - 24)

This weekend was full of swimming, being outside, and sno-cones! We are going to have somewhat of a busy week. I am making my niece a rainbow cake for her 7th birthday...don't ask me how, because I really don't know. Alan and I are going to see a FREE screening of Bad Teacher on Wednesday night. And we are hoping to get out of town on Friday to go to Silver Dollar City with the kids. So here is my small menu...

Monday - Pulled Pork on sliders, sour cream & chive mashed potatoes (this meal is exciting to me because I had a coupon for ALL of this...making this meal $4.48 + tax to feed my family of 5)

Tuesday - Hawaiian Pork Chops, Corn on Cob (grilled, my fave!), fruit salad, and a Rainbow Birthday Cake for my niece!

Wednesday - Honey Soy Chicken, Fried Rice, Broccoli

Thursday - Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts with salad, and maybe french fries or tater tots

Friday - might be in Branson, MO...if not, I will make Alan take us out to eat!



Honey Soy Chicken

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tsp garlic powder and dried ginger
1/2 cup chopped green onions..plus another 1/4 cup for topping
1 package chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in a ziploc and let chicken marinade for at least an hour (6-8 hours is best. Put it in the bag in the morning and its ready for dinner!).

Put chicken and marinade in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until chicken is done, spooning liquid over the chicken as it cooks.

While chicken cooks, take 1 cup oil and heat on high. Take the 1/4 cup green onions and fry them quickly in the oil. Remove and put on a paper towel to drain.

Top the chicken with the crunchy green onions and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DIY or "Do It Myself, wtf am I thinking?"

I have 3 pieces of furniture (a chest of drawers, an old metal desk, and a dresser that I want to turn into a buffet) that are in desperate need of a makeover. And I want to do it all by myself. Well kinda, but not really. Actually, what I really want is someone that is experienced in doing things like this to just come hold my hand and guide me thru the process step-by-step. You would even get to come to Lowe's with me!  You would also get to come over and spend hours upon hours helping me sand it, fill the holes with wood filler (I'm wanting to add new hardware), prime it (if needed), paint it, add a sealant (or whatever its called), and then put it back together so I can finally USE it!  I do have some ideas. Okay they are very vague ideas and could change if your idea is better. Which I'm sure it more than likey will be better.

This is the order that I want to get them done:

#1 - Chest of Drawers

We are in desperate need for more drawers in our bedroom. Recently, we bought new furniture. But we only got one dresser and one night stand. The night stand has 2 drawers that Alan uses for his undies and socks. The dresser is MINE. I can't share it! But it only has 3 small drawers on top and then 4 big drawers below. So in comes this chest of 4 drawers that a friend sold to me for $10! My idea is to paint it a darker gray (but not too dark) and then just paint the top of it a bright yellow. And then I want to give it a "distressed" look. Our bedding is actually called "sky blue" but honestly it looks gray. So I am going with that. And I like the look of grays and yellows together. Eventually I want to paint my room Sherwin Williams Kimono (it is a dark, but bright, purple) and I think hope it will flow.

#2 - Desk

We have an office that is dying for a new paint color. Right now I will call the color that is in there "barf green". Seriously, it is hideous. So honestly, I don't know what I want to do to the desk yet. Must find paint color for office first. Anyways, the desk is metal and to me it reminds me of an old school desk that a teacher would use. I bought it from a friend for $40. I have no idea what to do with metal because you can't really sand it, can you? I think I want to paint it white (or maybe cream-ish) and then find some fun wallpaper and put that on the very top and then add a piece of glass to the top of it. The main idea is to make it kid-friendly so the kids will have a semi-quiet place to do homework, etc.

#3 - Buffet

I want to take this old dresser I have and remove the 4 drawers on the bottom and make open shelves (you know to be able to put cute baskets in) so I can store things like snacks for the kids, etc, and they will be out of plain sight. I plan on leaving the 3 small drawers on top to use for storage also (aka junk drawers). This will be a lot cheaper then going to buy the buffet/hutch that matches our table. We really want it, like a lot. But this dresser is already mine and it is FREE. Unlike that $800+ buffet/hutch. My plans for the buffet (aka old dresser) is to just sand it and stain it. I would like to get the stain to be the same color as the table, at least close enough that you can't tell it is not the same. Haha!


Some other DIY ideas that I hope to complete in the near future:

My oldest sons room. He likes OSU and football. And he has black furnitre. I would like to paint three of the walls OSU Orange and one wall White (the wall his bed will be). I also want to paint the bookshelf he has white and then I plan on adding fun football things from Hobby Lobby and OSU decor to the room. 

My babies room (who probably will be a 4 year old by the time I get around to doing his room). I want to do something "rustic-y" for his room. Not so much cowboys, etc, but just a rustic feel. I really like this that the Clean Slate team did. I like the nook area and want to do the wood on the wall like in the picture. Ashley Ann (from Under the Sycamore) took all the pictures.

I would also like to do a "hall of frames" (photos) on the wall going up the staircase. I am going to demand ask my mother (since she is better at sewing) to make me a slipcover for the couch in the office. And I would like to buy new living room furniture. I can just do that once I win the lottery. Oh you have to actually play it to win, then nevermind. I guess she will just get to help me figure out something to do with what I previously own.

So those are just a few of my DIY ideas that have been bouncing around up in this ol' noggin of mine!

P.S.  Just in case you are thinking that my daughter was left out...this can help you rest knowing that her room was the first to get painted and made-over. That is what she wanted for Christmas, so that is what she got :-)  She now has 3 turquoise-aqua colored walls and one fuschia accent wall. She got brand new purple curtains and a really cool curtain rod. Peace sign bookends, peace sign wall art, new picture frames, a duct-taped lime green mirror, etc.  A tween room all the way!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't make me!!

I am linking up with CrazyJoy (it is 2 blogs combined to create a fun photo challenge).  I found out about it from this blog: Recipe for Crazy. And it took me to this blog: The Joy Cottage.

Anyways, the challenge is FORBIDDEN.

Colton loves being outside. He loves going to the park. But what this boy does not like is the SWING!!  What kid doesn't like a swing?  To him the swing is forbidden!

Adj.
1.
forbidden - excluded from use or mention



Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu (June 13-17)

Usually, I just do the weekday menu because we may eat out on the weekends, either at a restaurant or over at family/friends houses. Or I just wing it!  So here you go...

(EDITED) Sunday - Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, spanish rice and borracho beans. (I did not bookmark the enchilada recipe for some reason and the print out that I have doesn't have the link on it. I feel like a thief for not having the link! Ugh! But I am still cooking it. Recipe below.)

Monday - Steak (grilled and not cooked by me!!), Broccoli and Corn Scallop, salad, french bread 
**make this side dish if you like broccoli and corn, it is so freaking good! I use fresh broccoli. I steam it for a little bit the night before.**

Tuesday - Brisket Sliders, Un-Fried French Fries, Coleslaw
*I plan on using any leftover brisket for lunch the next day and I am going to put it in a corn tortilla. Yum!*

Wednesday - Fiesta Chicken Salad, then Oreo Brownie Bites for dessert (what?? did you expect me to eat just a healthy salad?). 

Thursday - (EDITED) I forgot that we are going to a baseball game with my mom's company and they are feeding us. Menu has been changed. Sorry!

(EDITED) Friday - I have bunco. Alan and the kids are on their own for dinner.

Saturday - Poor Man's Stroganoff, green beans, rolls




Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cut up and softened
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast (I marinated my chicken with fajita seasoning, lime juice, and minced garlic)
8 (8") flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (like PW says, USE the real stuff and shred it yourself, so much better!)
1 pint whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add rotel and saute 1 min. Stir in cream cheese and chicken, cook, stirring constantly until cream cheese melts. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with whipping cream. Cover with foil and back at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take off foil and cook for another 15 mins, or until top is golden brown.


Eat up people!! I need others to gain weight with me :-)

Friday, June 10, 2011

I am so ready for the weekend!

Even though I do not have one thing at all planned...I am ready for the weekend. I am thinking about taking the kids to Philbrook tomorrow because the 2nd Saturday is free and they have fun kid activities. But I am just not sure. I want to eat food, lounge around in my comfy clothes, and spend time with my brats. I love them so much. Even when they drive me crazy or I am spraying the crap outta stained clothes and cooking and cleaning for 3 little kiddos, I love them. I wouldn't trade them for anything.  Sometimes I would take a refund though :-)  Just kidding!!

Hope you have a great weekend. Peace out!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kinda Famous...

I love MONEY! And food too. Really, who doesn't love both of those??


So I was going along with my normal business and reading my blogs like I do every single day and Kelly, from Kelly's Korner, had a giveaway going on for $600!!  All you had to do was enter a recipe with 6 ingredients or less.



I had Monterey Chicken on my menu for the week and I decided to enter it into her contest. I didn't win the $600...thanks a freaking lot Random.org.  But the recipe I entered was one of 4 picked and it was actually shown on her blog. I believe she had a little over 1,000 comments to go thru!!  So thank you Amanda (Torres Tidbits) for your recipe. I hope you get more traffic on your blog too. Seriously, go check her out because she is ALWAYS posting recipes. Amanda, the next PW!!  Plus, she is VERY inspirational and funny.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

JoMo (aka Jolpin, Missouri)

As soon as I started seeing the status updates on Facebook about the May 22nd tornado that wiped out almost 13 miles (give or take) of JoMo, all I could think about was what I could possibly do to help.

I've lived in Oklahoma all my life. We are "Tornado Alley".  I have never been scared of a tornado as much as I have been recently. I never really took cover or got prepared. But the one that hit Tuscaloosa, AL helped to assure me that being frightened of a horrible force of nature is a reasonable fear. The one that hit Joplin, which is only 1 hour and 45 minutes away, made me realize that I needed to do whatever possible to protect my kids.

So many lives were lost (I think the last update I saw, the death toll is 141 deaths). So many homes and businesses were destroyed. Seeing the pictures on the news is NOTHING compared to seeing the devastation in real life.

Last Thursday, June 2nd, I took a vacation day and went to Joplin with Rhema Bible Church. Some friends of mine (the Hall's) go to church there and told me that they were going there to volunteer. I invited myself to tag along. I didn't care what they were going to have me do, I just knew I wanted to help in any way that I was needed.  We worked with a group called Service International.  We were given work gloves, bottled water, rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows. And we were taken to 20th street. I was told that we were at the "end" of where the tornado hit. All I know (direction wise) is that we were at the opposite end from the hospital.  We helped clean up 3 different houses. Our job was to clean up debris, wood, and metal. We sorted them into 3 different piles. The owners were allowed to burn the piles. We were not. We were finding clothes, toys, cds/dvds, etc. How do you go thru someone else's items and decide if it is considered trash? We didn't even know if what we were finding belonged to the owners.  Any pictures or things that looked valuable were placed in boxes and I was told they would be taken to a church with other lost and found items.  What we saw was overwhelming. I felt good about being in JpMo so I could help. But I also felt so sad. And I felt like I wasn't doing anything at all. 

On the way home our bus driver took us thru the hardest hit areas. Where the Home Depot, Academy, Joplin High School, etc were located. And it was pure destruction. Trying to imagine the homes/buildings/people that were once there was impossible. I can't even imagine what the people of Jolpin went thru that Sunday night when the tornado destroyed their town. But I do have high hopes, and many prayers, that Joplin can rebuild.

I am hoping that I will get to go to Jolpin again very soon. Church on the Move and the Church at Battle Creek are both planning trips down there.

Here are some pictures I took while on the bus. I did feel bad about taking pictures, but we were on the bus. We worked from about 10am until 5pm.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu and a very simple recipe

I'm sure I have said it before...but I read a LOT of blogs. Like 30 of them. No joke! Often I come across a recipe (or two or twenty) that these bloggers have already made and linked up to. So I click on the link and find print-outs of even more entrees, sides, desserts, etc. And I gain another 17 lbs just by looking at the pictures. Then I print the recipe out, go grocery shopping, and attempt to make dinner. And I gain another 22 lbs.

Anyways, I stumbled across this blog: Recipe for Crazy, thanks to her sister Ashley, who also blogs. Both of their blogs are amazing. Full of creativity, pictures, wisdom, food, etc. Go check out Under the Sycamore to see Ashley's DIY crafts! I love these blogs. I feel like I have so many friends. Even though most of them I haven't even met. So I guess in a way, I am a creeper. But oh well. I get new recipes and that is all that matters. Right?! Oh where was I going with this...I saw a recipe on Lesley's blog and thought it looked amazing, so I bring you Sunday's meal and the rest of the week too.


MENU:

Sunday - Asian BBQ Chicken, Veggie Kabobs (Onions, Bell Pepper, Squash, Mushrooms, etc), Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapples.

Monday - Big Fat Bacon Sliders, Baked Beans, Tater Tots

Tuesday - the big kids will be gone and I'm hoping we can get someone to watch the baby. I have 2 tickets to go see a free screening of Super 8. So Alan and I will probably eat Tuna Sandwiches and chips before going to the movies!

Wednesday - Mesquite Pork Tenderloin, Salad, Corn or Carrots (not sure yet)

Thursday - Smoked Sausage, Potatos and Green Beans. (Recipe below). My kids love this healthy very fattening meal.

Friday - haven't planned this far in advance...anyone want to feed us? Yes, please!


Recipe:

Smoked Sausage dinner in one skillet!

Smoked Sausage (Skinless), 1 pkg, cut up
Potatos (4-5), peeled, sliced
2 cans of Green Beans (canned, drained)
Salt & Pepper

Heat a large skillet with a little bit of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add potatos to the pan and fry those babies up. Add the smoked sausage to the same pan once the potatos are almost done. Once the meat is browned, add the green beans. Stir it up, add some salt & pepper. Let it cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Serve. Don't worry, this is NO calories, haha!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Grocery shopping, ugh! And my weekly menu.

I seriously hate grocery shopping. Anyways, EVERYTHING at the grocery store has gone up in price. I know to some that the prices being raised, oh by like 30 cents, isn't a big deal, but to me it is. I have a kid in diapers and daycare. Two older kids in sports (cheer and football, not cheap!). My family of 5 to feed. Gas to buy for the mini. etc. So to me 30 cents plus is a big deal. The good news is that recently I have been dipping my toes in couponing, plus price matching, and that will be helpful. Thankfully it is getting pretty easy thanks to the Money Saving Queen. So my trip to Walmart cost me $197, but I picked up breakfast and lunch items, fruit, veggies, plus dinner for 5 days. We can't forget the diapers, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, etc. I ended up saving about $20 using coupons. Not that bad, right? RIGHT?

And now I present you with the....

Weekly menu:

Sunday - PW's Sloppy Joes, oven baked french fries (I just peel and slice potatoes, put in bowl, add olive oil, and different spices, bake on cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes or longer on 425 degrees), apple slices

Monday - Compadre's!  Please go eat here tonight if you can! They are donating a percentage of the profits to help my friend Kim. Her husband Larry passed away, leaving her and their 10 year old son and soon-to-be born baby boy behind.

Tuesday - Grilled chicken thighs (mine are boneless/skinless, and I marinate these for about 24 hours in 1/3 cup italian dressing, little less 1/3 cup soy sauce, and 1 garlic clove minced), broccoli and corn scallop, rolls

Wednesday - Monterey Chicken, carrots (I used canned. Then add a little brown sugar and a small can of pineapple tidbits), cutie oranges

Thursday - Alan is making us chicken and rice, green beans, crescent rolls

Friday - Ginger's stuffed burritos, black beans, spanish rice

Saturday - Does anyone want to feed us dinner? If not, I guess we will do hot dogs/hamburgers and chips!


Also, please say prayers for Joplin, MO, plus other places in OK that were hit, and anywhere else that is being affected by these crazy natural disasters. Tornadoes scare the pee out of me. They frighten me to the point where I let my older kids sleep on my bedroom floor (Colton is already in his crib or on my bed in our room) last night so I wouldn't have to run upstairs to get them in case a tornado happens. I even cleaned out the closet under the stairs and then I put shoes, a flashlight, pillows/blankets, water/snacks, etc in there also. I hope everyone has a great Monday despite all the storms brewing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sunburns and Tension

This weekend ended up being pretty good. We got to spend time together as a family. One of my most favorite things to do.

I took the kids to the Rooster Days Parade on Saturday. Em was marching with the band. And C loves parades, especially music!  We took the kids to ride rides and eat carnival food after the parade. We were outside from 9:45am until 6:15pm. Being the wonderful horrible mother that I am, I completely forgot to put sunscreen on my children. It was cold and windy outside, people. But I've heard that you get more sun with an overcast...so all 3 of my babies had red noses and cheeks :(   Finally around 3pm when I saw C's little red cheeks, I thought to myself ..."OMG, you need to put some sunscreen on your children!". So out to Mini I ran and lathered my babies up with sunscreen. It didn't help much. But its the thought that counts. Right? Wrong!  My baby was so worn out and tired by the time we got home, I bathed him, fed us dinner, and put him to bed. I watched a movie and the big kids did whatever they wanted to do.



I got up and made a fattening yummy breakfast on Sunday morning.  We slept in and missed the 9am service at COTM and then by the time we were done eating breakfast and cleaning up the kitchen it was 10:30am and the kids were not ready and the baby was tired so I thought there was no way I could make it to the 11am service either. That is when my light bulb went off.  C could stay home and take his nap while Alan was there and the big kids wanted to go back to bed anyways...so I decided to hurry up and get myself ready. Pulled my hair back, brushed my teeth, put on some makeup, and clothes.  I was out the door in 10 minutes and at church by 10:55am! I'm 110% positive that God wanted me to hear this service. It was about TENSION! Are you the one causing the tension? Why yes I am. And He knows all about the tension I cause, and the tension that is in my life. I cried about 4 times during the service. I went home and hugged my family, which included the man who is in my life. I can't wait to find out what the next three series will be about.



Later that afternoon, Colton and I played outside while the big kids were riding bikes and playing down the street. We played with bubbles and he had so much fun. I love getting to spend as much time as I can with my kids. Even when they are driving me crazy with their demands, requests, and questions.  I love being their mom. It is seriously, without a doubt, my most favorite thing to be.

"I love bubbles!"

"Life is a long lesson in humility."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

buh bye curls :-(

Emilee wanted a haircut and feathers. At least when I made her an appointment she wanted feathers. A couple days before her appointment she informed me that she wanted some color card thing.  My hair-girl Lindsey got her in earlier than expected due to a cancellation and unfortunately she didn't have any of the color that Emilee wanted. So she just got a cut. 



And so did my baby!  She wasn't supposed to cut that many of the curls off.  I thought I said not to.  Maybe I did say to cut the back.  Only because it looked like a mullet and when it was wet it went right in between his shoulder blades. Haha! But I loved his curls.


bye sweet curls :-(

And now I am having "buyers remorse" because I want to take back his haircut and return it for the curls.  He looks older now without the curls. He still has wavy hair. But the curls are gone for now. I bet we will just shave it off this summer anyways. Maybe. I don't know if I will be able to, but I'm sure his daddy will try to.


the curls are gone :-(

I know it's just hair. And he has had a haircut before. But this just makes me sad.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vacations...

School is almost out, which has me thinking a lot about summer vacation. With daycare expenses, we aren't going to be able to do anything too exciting (aka expensive) this summer.  But I still want to do something fun with my kids.

I definitely want to take them camping this year. Which may just be a coo-coo idea of mine since we all know how hot it can get in the summer months in Oklahoma. And since we have a baby (almost 15 months).  We will go to Turner Falls.  It is somewhere I used to go as a little girl with my parents and sister. I really enjoyed it. Well from what I remember!

We also have the opportunity to go to Branson, MO with some good friends of ours. They have season passes and get to invite friends for free. I have never been to Silver Dollar City and neither have the kids. I'm really hoping that is something we can go do!

We were planning a road trip to Chicago. Until gas prices started to skyrocket!  My friend Hailey lives there. We would have been able to stay with her to save money on a hotel room. But still gas is way too much!  Right now it costs about $60 just to fill Mini up! Ugh!  We planned on going to a baseball game, Six Flags, and shopping!! I wanted to take Zack to the Lego store so bad.

Another thing I have been thinking about is a vacation with just Alan. I have NOT gone anywhere for more than a day without my kids since Em was a baby. She is now 12 years old. I think some alone time for Alan and I would be so nice. We could definitely use it!

Here are some vacations (family or alone) I have been thinking about:

Hawaii (family vacation)

Destin, FL (again!)

Destin, FL - May 2010

New Orleans (just Alan and I - we went thru here on the way to Destin and had fun walking around, etc)

Carnival Cruise (maybe doing a Western Caribbean cruise?)

Disney World (must take Em & Z before they are 18...haha)

St. Thomas


Here are some of the things we have done with the kids:

San Antonio, TX - we went to Sea World, the River Walk, and a childrens museum. We also went to New Braunfels while there and spent the day at one of the best waterparks ever. You must go to Schlitterbahn at least once in your life.

Destin, FL - we had so much fun just lounging on the beach, swimming, eating, etc. This was such a relaxing vacation. We went with Alan's family and stayed in a condo right on the beach.

Kansas City, KS - my dad took the kids, my mom, and I to Great Wolf Lodge. We had so much fun!

Jasper, AR - we took the kids to just relax, eat, spend some time together, and go rafting on the Buffalo River. We stayed in a cute cabin. We also went to a cavern to explore the caves but I can't remember which one.


I really enjoy being able to get away from work, the daily routine, and just spend time alone with my kids.  I hope they can look back and have good memories of our vacations, no matter how big or small they are.

Please tell me your vacation ideas. Some of your favorite places you have been, the places you want to go, etc. I'd love to hear about them!