Friday, March 30, 2007

God Made Dirt

Remember that saying from when you were a kid? "God made dirt, dirt won't hurt, put it in your mouth, and let it work." In spite of the fact that my precious little angel has never heard that saying, and even if she had, wouldn't really know what it meant, I guess she decided on her own that a little dirt can't hurt...or even a LOT.

CJ had her outside playing. This was after the digging of the garden patch had begun. I heard, "Mom, you need to come look at Ruthi. She's going to need a bath." So I stepped out, and this is what I saw:

She was having a blast digging in that freshly dug earth. And she had dirt EVERYWHERE - all down her shirt, and yes, all in her diaper!
I went back inside and carried on with whatever I was doing.
A few minutes later I heard, "You're not supposed to eat it!"

Oh yes.

She couldn't resist the urge. And she didn't take a little girlie taste. Oh no. She was brave and decided she needed a giant bite. Her mouth was FULL of dirt. Yum!

CJ was taking her to get her cup. She was trying to wipe the dirt out of her mouth. She was slobbering. Slobber + dirt = mud. So she has this wad of mud in her mouth. She grabs her cup and starts drinking...washing the dirt down...not out. Oh well, God made dirt, right?

Maybe I'm a bad mom for not immediately rinsing that mud out of her mouth, but how would I ever be able to convince her - when her own children are eating mud - that she did it too, if I didn't have proof? So she obliged me and allowed me to take a couple pictures. You can't really see the pile of dirt on her tongue, I was really trying to capture it. But, I'm not a horrible mom. I figured two shots were plenty so I could help her clean her mouth. I have enough evidence!

Thankfully, soap was invented for just these kinds of situations! And she LOVES to take baths. So she enjoyed a nice long bath, and she cleaned up quite well. So I thought I'd share this final photo to show she really is a precious little angel...when she's sleeping!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tasty Thursday #3

Hosted by Trista at The Pumkin Patch.

I got this recipe from Flylady's website. I've made it a couple times and I really like it! Chip likes it, but CJ loves it, and Ruthi seems quite fond of it too. AND, it's easy!
TIP: I made a big batch of the seasoning mixture and keep it in a little baggie so each time I make it, I already have the seasoning mix. Saves a lot of time! (That tip was actually with the recipe, and it was a good one!)

Garlic Lime Chicken

3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. lime juice

In a small bowl, mix together all seasonings, except the last measurement of garlic powder and lime juice.

Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with seasoning. (If you like a mild flavor, sprinkle lightly, if you want a little more 'kick', sprinkle generously - I like it right in the middle - enough but not too much.)

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute chicken until golden brown, about six minutes on each side. Sprinkle with remaining garlic powder and lime juice and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently to coat with the sauce. Serve. Yummy!

For more recipes, be sure to visit The Pumkin Patch!

The Garden Patch

Spring is here, and we decided to plant a few things and see how they do. We planted some tomatoes a couple years ago, and they did pretty well - we LOVE fresh tomatoes! So Chip bought a few tomato plants, as well as some strawberries, watermelon and cabbage! So the guys (and Ruthi!) set out to make our little garden patch. The strawberries were planted in a pot on the front porch, but everything else will go here.

Ruthi had a blast playing in the dirt, and you can see the child-size hoe she is using. This is the very same one Chip used when he was just a tot. Kinda cool she's getting to use something her Daddy used at her age!

They started the digging on Sunday evening. The got up this morning to finish it up. CJ had a life skills class today instead of having to sit down and do "real" work. After they were done, he worked on some other things in the yard for his Dad. I didn't hear any complaints from him! I imagine he'd like for school to be like this every day!

Since there were several pictures, I decided to try the slide show.

Baby Hannah is Here!

I was able to get to the hospital this evening to see this newly delivered angel from Heaven. Baby Hannah has made her arrival. She was actually born on Monday, but I had to wait until Chip could be home with the kids before I could go for a visit. I mentioned her and her mommy, and a little of their story on my craft blog, as I made a special gift for them. Tonight I got to meet this precious and beautiful miracle! And I got to hold her for a looooong time!

Talk about miracles, this is a child whom God must definitely have a purpose! (I DO realize all children have a God-given purpose, but keep reading and you will know what I mean.) Fonda already has four children, this is #5. You see, when #4 was born, she had a tubule ligation done. So she really wasn't planning on any more children! Surprise! The doctor was in total shock, to the point he didn't think she could really possibly be pregnant, or that if she was, it wasn't a viable pregnancy. Fonda knew better, and was at total peace. It was decided that she had regrowth on the tube, and that's how she became pregnant. Cool. God can make that happen. We were on board with that, I mean, God can do anything.

BUT...Guess what? When Hannah was born, they discovered there was NO regrowth after all. What? Oh, even COOLER!!! There is NO MEDICAL EXPLANATION as to how she became pregnant. Medically speaking, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE!!! But as we know, with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!!

So the doctor closed her up and said, "I don't know what to tell you!" Since there is no medical explanation, then he couldn't think of anything to do to her to prevent further pregnancies.

Obviously, since she had gotten the procedure done, they didn't have plans for another child, but God did. That is why we are saying, God must have BIG PLANS for this little girl. And just goes to show, we are not in control, and we don't always know what is best for us. God works in mysterious ways. I'm just hoping he doesn't think we can handle any more children!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Play Date

I met my friend Jamie and her daughter, Kylie (who is almost 5 months older than Ruthi) at Chic-Fil-A the other day for lunch and a play date. Both girls acted excited about going to see the other, but you would not have known that when they saw each other. They were both quite somber - not the energetic, loud and squealy little girls we know they are. But they played on the playset nicely together. This was Ruthi's first time playing on one of these things by herself, without CJ or me climbing with her. But she did great, and it didn't take her long at all to figure out how to navigate through the little tunnels to find the slide. Oh how this child LOVES to slide! And I was just a teeny bit embarrassed when she threw a little screaming fit when it was time to leave! We definitely need more play dates!!

I had a hard time getting pictures of them together, and I could NOT get Kylie to smile!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Here's another weekly bloggy thing I've been wanting to do, but just haven't yet. So I'm adding mine this week. I have found that since I've actually started planning a weekly menu, we are eating out a LOT less, therefore saving money! And I'm no longer standing in my kitchen at 5:00 wondering what in the world I'm going to feed my family for dinner!

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Easy Cheesy Stuffed Chicken, Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese & Rice, Rolls

Wednesday: Salisbury Steak (made in crockpot), mashed potatoes, turnip greens, rolls

Thursday: Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Friday: Chili Mac

Saturday: I will be giving a shower for a friend, so the family will probably have Pizza.

Sunday: Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese

To see more menu's or to add your own, head over to Laura's (I'm and Organzing Junkie).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Resurrection Cookies

Someone asked me about what Resurrection cookies were (aka - Easter Story Cookies), and I figure there may be others who would be interested, so I thought I'd share the recipe here. This is great to do with kids and let them do the steps they are able to. This is a great way to teach the story of Easter.

Before you begin, preheat oven to 300 degrees.

1) Place 1 cup whole pecans in a zipper baggie and beat with a wooden spoon. This represents Jesus being beaten by the Roman soldiers after His arrest. Read John 19:1-3

2) Place 1 teaspoon vinegar into a bowl. When Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30

3) Add 3 egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11

4) Add a pinch of salt to the bowl. Taste the salt. This represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27

5) Add 1 cup of sugar. The sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

6) Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. The color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

7) Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Each mound represents the rock tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60

8) Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off. With a piece of tape, seal the oven door. Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66

9) Go to bed! You may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 & 22

10) On Easter morning, open the oven and remove the cookies. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9


Here is a picture of a layout I did a few years ago of CJ making the cookies. It's not a very good picture, but you get the idea.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Random Meme

I saw this meme while I was browsing at Heart of the Prarie a little while ago. (Oh, and by the way, I have no idea what meme actually means! Could someone please enlighten me?) Anyway, Michelle is tagging anyone who is reading, so I accepted the tag and decided to play along.

1. What time did you get up this morning? I plead the 5th - hey, it's Saturday!!

2. Diamonds or pearls? Probably pearls, but it depends.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I think it was Cars - can't remember if I've been to one since that.

4. What is your favorite TV show? I can't choose just one, but I regularly watch Grey's Anatomy, Lost, What About Brian, American Idol....ok, can you see I watch too much tv?

5. What did you have for breakfast? um, coffee

6. What is your middle name? Michelle

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Favorite? Oh, I love too many...Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese...

8. What foods do you dislike? Mushrooms

9. What are your favorite chips? Probably Doritos

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Don't really have a favorite - mostly I listen to Laurie Berkner - since that's what Ruthi likes.

11. What kind of car do you drive? A Ford Expedition (my dream car!)

12. Favorite sandwich? Hmmmm. I like a lot of them, but I LOVE the chicken pesto panini from Atlanta Bread Company.

13. What are characteristics you can't stand? Lying, not being authentic (just be who you are and don't pretend to be something you're not!), rudeness, being inconsiderate

14. What are your favorite clothes? Well, right now I find myself in jeans and a t-shirt most of the time, so I guess I'm partial to them.

15. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go? Any beach works for me. I would love to go to Hawaii, or on a cruise!

Where is sixteen? Long past and forgotten!

17. Where would you want to retire? No real thought on this one yet. Chip has mentioned Texas...I'm really not sure why! Of course, I don't suppose I'll actually ever retire - I assume I'll be doing my job as a homemaker until I die! So when Chip retires, I'll continue my job wherever we are.

18. Favorite time of day? late at night - it's nice and quiet (unless the neighbors are fighting or partying) and I can get lots done uninterrupted.

19. Where were you born? Cumming, GA

20. What is your favorite sport to watch? Ice Skating

21. Coke or Pepsi? Don't really have a preference (I can hear Chip *gasping* - he LOVES his Diet Coke w/ lime) as I am drinking mostly water now days.

22. Beavers or ducks? Ummm...are these sports teams? Then I don't have a clue. If it's animals, then ducks!

23. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night owl, and try as I might to change it, it's not working!

24. Pedicure or manicure? I love a good pedicure, but don't really get them because I have friends who've ended up with fungus issues - I don't want to deal with that!

25. What did you want to be when you were little? I remember wanting to be a teacher. When I got a little older I wanted to be a flight attendant and a freelance photographer. But most of all I wanted to be a mommy. And now I am, plus I'm a teacher too (homeschool) and I take lots of pictures! ;o)

26. What is your best childhood memory? That's a tough one - there are several - but I LOVED going to the beach with my Grandparent's in the summer - and our family Disney trip.

27. Ever been to Africa? no

28. Ever been toilet papering? no

29. Been in a car accident? a few but just little fender benders - nothing major

30. Favorite day of the week? Right now, probably Wednesday. I have made it my "off" day. Of course, I still have regular daily stuff to do, but that's the day I can stay in my jammies if I want, and I don't schedule anything major on that day (like housework!!) It really helps me get through the week without feeling burned out.

31. Favorite restaurant? Where do I start? There are just too many favorites!

32. Favorite flower? Tough one - not sure. But I love the smell of gardenias.

33. Favorite ice-cream? Extreme Moose tracks

34. Favorite fast food restaurant? Taco Bell

35. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Um, 0!!! It's just NOT that difficult!!

36. From whom did you get your last e-mail? My Dad

37. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Well, if we didn't have to actually pay it off, then it would probably be Target or Wal-Mart - I could get clothes, toys, household stuff and even food!

38. Last person you went to dinner with? My hubby and kids.

39. What are you listening to right now? Jack's Big Music Show on tv. (Ruthi is watching it)

40. What is your favorite color? Once upon a time, it was purple. Now I don't really have a favorite - I like all sorts of colors. However, ever since I found out I was pregnant with Ruthi, I have been partial to pink!

41. How many tattoos do you have? 0 - but I did get a henna tattoo last year.

42. How many are you sending this Email to? Not sending as an email

43. What time did you finish this e-mail blog entry? I'll have to come back to this one, as I'm not finished yet! (Why wasn't this the last question?) OK - finished at 12:26 pm.

44. Favorite magazine:
Any scrapbooking/cardmaking magazine

45. Coffee or tea? I usually have coffee everyday, and I love cold coffee drinks too, so I'd have to say coffee. But I do like tea.

46. Do you tan easily or burn easily? I tan easily, but I usually get a minor burn at least once at the beginning of the summer.

47. Do you color your hair? If so, how often? Yes - about every 8-10 weeks

48. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? I didn't! I had one before I was married, and never purchased one on my own. I've never even picked one out by myself - Chip has done that since we've been married - and has always done a terrific job, the latest being the vehicle I REALLY wanted!

49. What is your most dreaded household chore? Probably cleaning the toilets. But laundry and grocery shopping are right up there too.

50. Who do you tag to complete this meme?I've never actually tagged anyone, so I'll tag a couple I think might actually read this and might play along: Karen and Jan. And anyone else who wants to play! If you do, let me know so I can come read yours!

Friday, March 23, 2007


I like to think of myself as a submissive wife, and I think my husband would agree that I least most of the time. However, it's not something that has always come natural to me. Early in our marriage I would 'stand my ground' (aka - pitch a fit if I didn't get my way) and I have to say, it was not pretty! Well, my man must have really loved me from the beginning, because he put up with me and loved me in spite of it. He would not fight back with me (which at the time would make my blood boil!!!) but at the same time, he didn't just 'let it go' either. He was smart. He'd wait until I cooled down, and then talk to me. He knew there was no sense in trying to talk to me or reason with me when I was in that state of mind. He was teaching me by example, how one should handle situations they aren't happy about. He was showing me unconditional love, the same love in which Christ loved the church.

Thankfully I've come a long way in our almost 15 years of marriage - thanks to God, of course, but thanks so much to my husband. Now, he's not perfect - but he's perfect for me, and God knew when he put us together that we were a perfect fit. He loves me more than I love myself (though I'm working on that - another topic altogether!) He loves me unconditionally. This is why now I can be submissive to him. I am not a doormat, I am his help meet.

Ephesians 5:22-24 says, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

Unfortunately, many men are guilty of stopping right there.
But verse 25 goes on to say, "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..."
Thankfully my husband continued reading, and he ehibits that love to me.

Also, in Colossians 3:19 it tells husbands to love their wives and, "do not be harsh with them." I guess he read that one too, because harsh is NOT a word that describes how he treats me - ever. I can't tell you how blessed and thankful I am for that. He respects and honors my opinion, and takes what I think into consideration when making decisions. That said, he is the head of our household and he does make the final decisions. There are occasions when he doesn't have a strong opinion either way about something, and he will let me make my own decisions. Sometimes that is a good thing, sometimes I learn a hard lesson. My point is, I can willingly and proudly submit to my husband, because I know I am of value to him and he's going to reciprocate with love.

Does that mean that I am always immediately on board with everything he says? I must be honest and say no - I'm not perfect either! And that non-submissive creature tries to rear her ugly head. Like I said, I've come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. I am, however, much quicker to submit now days than I once was. I have learned that 99% of the time, he is right. And I can save myself a lot of anguish and regret if I remind myself of that up front. I have found myself saying to him - something to the effect of, "I need time to process this information." Because I've learned, though once upon a time I might immediately throw my guard up and say, "What, are you nuts?" that if I just chill...and pray...that I will most likely see things his way, and possibly even have additional insight to contribute to the matter. I am learning. I may only be suppressing that ugly creature at this point, but I pray that one day soon, it will be gone forever.

I have learned how wise my husband is, and that he listens to God. And God's pretty smart too! Apparently they have this system they use in dealing with me - God will tell him something that needs to happen, but will have him wait to tell me. Then God goes to work, priming me to receive the information. When He knows I'm ready, He gives Chip the green-light to fill me in. There are many things he has said to me that if he had said even one day earlier, I would not have been ready to receive it. They are pretty smart, don't you think? (OK, so maybe that didn't really have much to do with submissiveness, but it does say more about the character of my husband and him being in-tune with God!)

I am so thankful that God was so gracious to give me an incredible husband. If it weren't for him, I'm sure I'd be a completely different person - probably one a lot of people wouldn't like. I can be very stubborn and opinionated, but he can and does gently put me in my place and helps me to see the light. I am eternally grateful for that. God is good - He knows what we need and He takes care of us. He knew the kind of husband I would need and gave me exactly that.

Wow, where did all this come from? I certainly didn't intend to sit down and write this. But I was blog-browsing and was reading Kim's blog at Life in a Shoe and she had a link to this. It is an article by Candice Cameron Bure (remember her - from Full House?) titled Submissive is NOT a Four Letter Word. It is wonderful - she is very insightful. When I read it, I just felt impressed to share my thoughts on the subject. So there you have it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Grease Fan?

I love the movie Grease. Though the first time I watched it as an adult, I was a bit shocked at the stuff I had never picked up when I was younger (and thankful I hadn't!) and realized I probably won't let my kids watch it. But I love it - I love John and Olivia in it and I LOVE all the music!
Lately I've been hooked on the reality show - Grease - You're the One I Want. If you haven't seen it, it's a contest, much like American Idol with guys and gals auditioning, basically, to win the role's of Danny and Sandy on Broadway. This Sunday is the finale and we will see who America voted to win these roles. I'm routing for Max and Laura!!
Anyway, a friend sent this link to me today in an email. It is one of the cutest things I've seen. It's babies singing a Grease parody - and it is funny!!!! Ruthi was sitting in my lap when I played it, and when it would end, she'd say, "More, Mommy." And she wasn't all too happy with me when I finally said that's enough!! Check it out - it will make you smile!

Tasty Thursday #2

It's Thursday...which means time to share another recipe! This is my second week participating. (From here on, I will simply include that number in the title).

I noticed on some blogs that there is a picture of the dish posted along with the recipe. I thought of that last night as I was cooking and intended to grab the camera when it came out of the oven, but I totally forgot. Maybe one day I'll actually remember to do that.

I discovered this recipe way back when we were doing low-carb eating. It is low carb, but there's LOTS of cheese, so my dessert has to be a dose of metamucil! ;0) It is verrrrry yummy!

EDIT - I just learned the importance of re-reading what I type before I post it! Thanks to my Dad for bringing this to my attention! The metamucil mentioned above is NOT what I find yummy - but the recipe that follows!!! I'm such a goof sometimes! Ok, I'll be honest - MOST of the time!!

Deep Dish Pizza Quiche

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1/3 c. half & half
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chives
1/2 - 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 - 1 tsp. minced garlic
2 c. Pizza (Italian) blend shredded cheese
1/2 c. Pizza sauce
pizza toppings of your choice
1/4 - 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese

Beat cream cheese and eggs together. (I just use a wire whisk). Add half & half, Parmesan cheese, chives, Italian seasoning and garlic.
Place pizza cheese into a greased 9" baking dish (pie plate). Pour egg mixture over cheese. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove. Spread pizza sauce on top. Top with mozzarella cheese and toppings of your choice. (I use chopped pepperoni and black olives.) Bake an additional 10 minutes.

My family loves this! We like ours a little more seasoned, so I use a little more of the Italian seasoning and garlic. Go with the smaller amount if you like the seasonings to be on the lighter side. And I just add the cheese to the top until I think it's enough, so that measurement is really just a guess.

If you'd like to see more recipes or add your own, head over to The Pumkin Patch.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

CJ the Builder

(Ok, so the song doesn't work as well with a two-syllable name! Guess that's why they named him Bob!)
But....CJ has been hard at work on his clubhouse. I have watched it transform a few times. He had a good base going and I looked out one day and it was all gone. He wasn't happy with it and he decided to start all over.
It's still a work in progress, (and a very interesting one!) but here are some pictures of what he's done so far. I took these yesterday. (You can click any of the pictures to see them larger.)

View from the yard:

Hard at work:

Inside ('bottom floor')

View of the 'top floor'

And here he's climbing to his 'lookout tower'.
(Did I mention he was part monkey? LOL)

And this is his 'bullpen'. I asked him what that meant, and apparently he and the other boys take turns being a bull who is locked up in the pen...whatever!

So I'm not sure where he still plans to go with this, it is definitely a work in progress. And being that I was never a 12 year old boy, I have no idea what is inside his head. But he's having fun, and that's all that matters. He has done this all by himself - Dad only takes him to the store to get more wood and furnishes him with all the leftover pieces he doesn't need as well. I hear hammering all the time when he's out there. It's far better than sitting in front of the Playstation all day! He is most definitely an outdoors boy - that's where he's happiest, and he doesn't mind some hard work. Oh, on the view of the 'top floor', I don't know if you can tell, but there is a table up there that he built as well.
It may not be done exactly "right", as far as he didn't follow any plans or anything, but it is sturdy and it is his. I have to say I'm pretty proud of him!

Prayer Request

Attention all prayer warriors! I received this email this morning from a dear friend from church, and it just broke my heart. Please lift this young lady up in your prayers and believe for a total healing in her body.
This is the email in its entirety.

Hey guys. Please stand with me in prayer for Autumn Richards. Her family is from Cartersville, she lives in Atlanta now. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last week. She is 31 years old and was just married in August of 06. She is a tennis coach at GA. Tech. She returned just two weeks ago from playing in a tennis tournament in Australia. She went for her yearly check up last week where they found two grapefruit size tumors on her ovaries. The dr's say that they are fluid filled as well as having a solid mass. They are doing surgery on Thursday, March
22 at Piedmont to remove the tumors. They would like to try and leave her ovaries, but have told them they may have to do a total
hysterectomy when they get in. Autumn and her husband Matt are very involved in a church in Atlanta and work with youth in the church. The have a support system of family and church.... but they need it all, they need "kingdom" right now! Please stand with Autumn and her family and believe with them for a total healing in her body! Most of us have been affected by cancer in one form or another, so we know how to "drive, fight and pray"! NO WEAPON FORMED SHALL PROSPER, IN JESUS NAME!!! Thank you. And I will keep you updated on her healing!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday #3

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

It's my 3rd Tackle it Tuesday! And I'm having a slightly difficult time getting motivated to tackle anything.
My son has been building a fort/clubhouse structure for quite sometime now. He keeps changing the plans and has even completely taken everything apart and started over. I tried to get some pictures yesterday, but it was already getting too dark, and they didn't turn out very well - I'll try to get out there today and get some. Anyway, he wanted Dad to take him to Home Depot last night and get some more materials. However, Dad was VERY tired, as he had not gotten much sleep the night before at the station. So, he said to him, "Why don't you get all tomorrow's school work done tonight so we can go in the morning, and then you'll have all day to work on it." CJ liked that idea. So that's exactly what he did. He completed all his assignments by 10 pm (only an hour after 'regular' bedtime) that he could do on his own. That left some reading comprehension questions that we do together, and writing a rough draft of a poem in which he would need some instruction. He got up this morning and we completed those before breakfast. So basically, he has the day off now. Does that mean I have the day off too? Not likely, and I sure could use it as I could NOT fall asleep last night and I am dragging today! Hmmmm... Wednesday's are my day "off", maybe I could switch it to Tuesday this week? No, there's just too much to do, but I am getting a late start. It's a little after 10 am and I'm just now having my second cup of coffee. I'll kick in gear pretty soon.

Now, onto my tackle. I had ambitions of a bigger tackles today, but in my sluggishness, I think I'll stick to something smaller. Aside from a little laundry that needs to be completed, I need to investigate my refrigerator. For some reason, it has an overwhelming odor of.....mayonnaise!!! I'm guessing there may be some attached to something it shouldn't be, and I need to find it, because every time the door opens and closes, I get very nauseated. I love mayonnaise, but I can't stand this smell - it does NOT smell fresh from the jar!!! (I can't BELIEVE I just shared that!)

And my true tackle today will be my daughter's room. Although this is a regular tackle - at least twice a week. She loves to bring all her toys into the living room, and most of the time they all get tossed into a basket or something and shoved back in there. So I need to put everything away. It's a bet of a mess, mind you, not NEARLY as bad as it could be, so it won't take me very long.

Here are the before's of her room. I'll post the after's this evening.

OK - update! I cleaned out the fridge. I did find an unidentified spill in the back, but I'm not completely convinced that's the culprit of the odor. I pulled EVERYTHING out and cleaned everything off, and the odor remains for now. I've added a container of baking soda, so hopefully that will absorb it. I just can't figure out what it is - and it's not like it's been there for a long time or anything. What a mystery!

As for Ruthi's room, it's all back in order - for now! I do need to tackle her closet still (the shelf at the top mostly), but I'll save that for another day. Here are the after pics.

And now looking at these pictures, I'm seeing what a very near in the future tackle needs to be - finish painting in here (the door, the table and the side hubby attached to the bed). And, I need to gently persuade him to trim out the window (we replaced the windows a little while back) so I can paint and get a blind and the pretty valance I bought put up, and get that stupid blanket off the window!! Oh well....another day.

CJ spent most of the day building on his clubhouse (or whatever he's calling it!) and I did get some pictures, but I'll put those in another post later. Right now, I'm going to watch American Idol!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Photo Tag...Shoes

It's Monday, and that means Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing is hosting a photo tag! Today it's all about shoes. I must be behind in the times, because I haven't yet jumped on the Croc wagon. It seems to be the craze these days when it comes to shoes. They honestly just don't look comfy to me. However, MANY say they are, so maybe I should try slipping my feet into some in the near future and see what I think. Though I fear that my feet are just too sweaty to wear them. Maybe I'll find out....eventually. Maybe I'll try them before they are "out of style". Nothing like wearing what everyone *used* to be wearing! Like my parachute pants...remember those? In the 80's they were all the rage, but they were short lived. By the time I finally got a pair, no one was wearing them anymore. But did I care? Not a bit, and wore them proudly...for a little while. But, I digress.

Shoes - if we don't have crocs, we are supposed to post our favorite shoes, or shoes we can't live without. Well, the shoes I can't live without are my everyday comfy sneakers, and as you can see, they are quite worn. But I love them. Once they wear out, they will be replaced with a similar pair. But I wear these most days, with my jeans.

And my favorite current pair is my Eastlands - I love these things, they are so comfy. I wear them when I need something a little nicer than my sneakers. I was very upset though, when one of these went missing for quite some time. I *thought* I had looked everywhere, and finally decided I must have accidentally thrown it out. But for some reason, I could not bring myself to throw the other one out. And I'm glad I didn't, because I found it!! Oh happy day!

If you'd like to see more or add your own, visit Adventures in Babywearing.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cute Little Girls

My friend Fonda had a hair appointment today and didn't want to drag her 4 kids with her (can you blame her? I don't like dragging my 2!) so I watched them for a little while so she could get her hair cut in peace! The boys were hanging out in CJ's room with him, and the girls were being *all girl* just as I expected they would. Emma and Ruthi came out with dress up shoes on and looked so cute, I snapped this.

I have to point out that Emma is 10 months OLDER than Ruthi! But you wouldn't know it by looking at them!

Then came the complete outfits.

And big sister Sarah joined in too!!

And here's a sweet shot of Ruthi and Emma.

Aren't they the cutest?

Tasty Thursday

OK, so here's another one of these cool blog things I have found to do. This one is hosted by Trista at The Pumpkin Patch. And it is simply sharing a favorite *tried and true* recipe. So I'm posting a recipe. This is one of Chip's recipes that he got from an Italian buddy at he firehouse. It is for meatballs in marinara sauce, and it is so yummy! Chip's made it a couple times, but I gave it a try too, and oh so good! (As long as you don't make the little mistake I did with the sauce!)

1 lb. ground beef
1 # Italian sausage
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons garlic salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper

combine all ingredients together. Form into balls. Brown in skillet on med-low heat until cooked through. Set aside.

Marinara Sauce:
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
Italian seasoning and salt to taste

saute onions and garlic in large skillet until onions are transparent. Add in remaining ingredients.
Add meatballs to sauce and simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. **Add water as needed to keep the sauce from being too thick. (this is the part I didn't do, and the sauce was VERY thick - Chip had to add it in at the end to thin the sauce!)

I haven't tried it, but you could probably put the meatballs and sauce in a crockpot (with some water!) and allow to simmer for several hours.
We serve this over spaghetti noodles - YUM!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday - 2

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This is my second week participating. I think I like this! It gives me a little extra motivation to do something that I may have been putting off.
This week it was laundry related for me. Laundry is definitely not my favorite thing to do, and the most dreaded part is putting it away! I don't know why, but I can wash, dry, fold and hang, and then I sometimes stop right there! I had hanging clothes and two baskets of stuff waiting to be put away, so that's what I did. Maybe not a big tackle, but I did it and it's done - along with 2 additional loads completed and put away.
Here are a couple before shots.

And here's an after.

(Looks like that area needs to be tackled soon too - trim back on door and new paint job!)
I also tackled my son's bathroom today - a good deep cleaning was in order! But I didn't take any pictures there.

Feels like Spring!

I can't believe the incredibly beautiful weather we are having. I still feel like I'm mourning for the winter though, as I was SO hoping for some snow! But we are enjoying these wonderful springy days. We reached 78 today, and I almost uttered the words, "It's hot!" but caught myself, knowing that there are many hot days ahead, and I will soon look back and long for a day like today! It was so warm that I put on a cute little skort on Ruthi, and I must say, she looks adorable. I love seeing her chunky little legs (though she is losing her baby fat, and it is a bit sad to me!) Here are a couple pictures of her from today.(You can click on them to see them larger.)

Isn't this picture sweet? It's naptime!

And look at what Chip did to my baby boy while Ruthi and I went for a walk night before last. For the record, this did not make for a happy mom! I knew CJ wanted this cut, but he was SUPPOSED to wait until after Easter to get it! I wanted him to have hair until then. This is what happens when you leave boys unattended!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Photo Tag....Possessions

Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing has a new photo tag. This week she's asking us to post a picture of a cherished possession. Now I love lots of things, but very few I find truly cherished. Of course I immediately thought of my family, but not really sure if they count as "possessions". I have a few baby things from each child that I truly cherish, but they are boxed up, and I just don't have it in me today to go dig those out to take pictures. And of course I cherish my scrapbooks and photos I have around my house, but I was trying to think of something else that means something to me. I came up with a few things. OK now, don't laugh at this first one.

Yes, that is a picture of my washer and dryer. And the reason I chose these is probably not at all what you are thinking. I've had these for almost 15 years now. What's special about them? My grandparents bought them for us and "sneaked" them into our house while we were on our honeymoon. It was a very nice surprise to come home to. But there's more to the story. I had no idea that my wedding would be the last time I'd see my Granny. We decided to cut our honeymoon short and come home just because we were ready. We came home on Wednesday. On Thursday I called my grandparents to tell them thank you and to invite them for dinner on Friday - our very first house/dinner guests. My Granny was SO excited. I was the oldest grandchild and was very close to her. She couldn't wait to come have dinner at my house. Unfortunately, that was the last time I spoke to her. She died of a heart attack that night. I was devastated. What was supposed to be the happiest week of my life (up to then) turned out to be one of the saddest. I'm so thankful God allowed things to happen the way they did as far as us coming home early and allowing me to have that last conversation with her. I think he did that just for me because I don't think I could have handled coming home from my honeymoon to find out she was already gone. I really believe he allowed me to say good bye, even thought I wasn't aware that was what I was doing! Anyway, often when I do laundry, I think of my Granny. And that makes these common appliances special to me. I have told Chip that if we ever move, those go with us! I know that eventually they may need to be replaced - appliances only last so long, but until then, they will remain with me!

Ok, next is this cabinet.

This was my Grandmama's. She died a few years ago - another difficult loss. I loved my grandparents so much, and losing them is not an easy thing. My mom thought I'd like to have this cabinet, and she was right. It is quite sentimental to have a piece of furniture that belonged to my grandmother, and I hope to one day pass it to my daughter. It housed all my crystal for a long time, but due to lack of space, all of that has been boxed up and put in storage for now. This now houses some of my scrapbooking supplies, since my scrap space is in the dining area. I had to make the best use of my space, and this holds quite a lot of stuff!
Lastly - although this isn't technically mine, it is Chip's, but it is very special.

Chip's Grandmother made this quilt. She actually made one for each of her grandchildren. It is the United States. Each square contains a state along with its name, its flower, its bird, and the year it was inducted into the union. The original 13 colonies also include which one it was (1st of the 13th...). What a labor of love, and it is very cherished.

Well, this post ended up being longer than I anticipated, so I will start another one to put the pictures of the kids for today that I was going to include in this one.
And thanks Stephanie for the walk down memory lane!
If you want to see more possession photos, or add your own, click here.

So much for that!

Remember the pictures where I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets? Well, this picture no longer looks like that! My *Darling Daughter* just found the newly cleaned out drawer irresistable and *had* to pull everything out and play with it. She usually plays in the cabinet with all the storage containers, but found this much more fascinating. So much so that she put everything into a laundry basket and carted it around the house. And as you can tell, she seems quite proud of herself.

So now she has tossed everything back into the drawer (many times) and it looks all messy again. At least she's cute - so she gets away with it. Really, I don't mind - she's only going to be little once, and she's not hurting anything! The good thing is, at least I know there aren't a bunch of things in there we don't use anymore.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Just For Fun

Some things you may not have known about me!!

I saw this over on The 160 Acre Woods blog and it looked like fun, so I decided to do it too. It's just a list of things one can do, and the ones I've actually done are highlighted.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it

09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (well, I wasn't actually at sea, but on the beach watching it over the sea)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa.
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (tomatoes at least!)
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign (No, but I ran over one and someone brought it to me, does that count?)
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (for almost 16 years now!)

69. Toured an ancient site
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played Dungeons & Dragons for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo (but it was only henna :) )
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television
83. Got flowers for no reason
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised (raising) children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth

112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone (3!)
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair

147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life (saved at least one kid from drowning - not my own.)
151. Finished a marathon

There are several on this list I wish I could say I've done!
Now it's your turn! Add this to your blog, and if you do, be sure to let me know so I can come read it!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mommy's Little Helper

This morning I was cleaning the fronts of my cabinets in the kitchen, and Ruthi was wanting to help too. She said "FooFoo keen, keen too!" (Foo Foo is her way to say Ruthi, although sometimes she does say Foofie). So I handed her a dishcloth and told her she could go clean her kitchen - so she did. Of course I had to stop long enough to run snap some pictures!

But she wasn't TOTALLY satisfied until she helped in "mommy's" kitchen too!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This is another one of the fun things I found on 5MinutesForMom. It's like a challenge to get something done in your house, or whatever else you need to do, and tackle it! So I played along for the first time. I decided to tackle my drawers in my kitchen that needed some serious attention! Warning: If you are a "neat freak" these pictures could be hazardous to your health! Here are the before pics of the 3 drawers I tackled:
My silverware drawer

My bread/handtowel/bib drawer (I know, strange combination!)

Misc. dishes drawer

And After!!!
Silverware drawer

Bread/Handtowel - no more bibs (Ruthi hasn't used them in forever!)

Misc. Dishes - got rid of the ones we didn't need and was able to put Ruthi's cups that didn't really fit in the cabinet here.

And lastly, the stuff that came out of those drawers that is heading to the thrift store!!

That feels GOOD!!! Now, what should I tackle next?
And for those of you that really just want to know what's going on with the kids, see post below for the latest.
One more thing - you may have noticed I added a counter to the right - I so wish I had thought about/known how to do this from the beginning - it would be cool to know how many visits I've had from day one. But I'll know from here on out! (added it last week).
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