Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weight, Age, Silly Glasses and a Little Christmas..phwew!

Do you ever pull your pants up high on the waist in an effort to eliminate that ridiculous "Muffin Top"?  You know..that little pouch of fat that hangs over the top and sides of your pants.  

I do it all of the time.  

Especially when I'm driving the car and look down to see it hanging over the seat belt. I did it just now as I was walking down the hall after laying the boys down for naps.  I finally realize why the "Mom" jean was invented.  Oh and curse all of you ladies who can shoot out babies like crazy while experiencing no change to your body.   It's all but a little depressing.  Top it off with the jiggle in my arm every time I wave at someone and the little lines that have snuck up right next to my eyes...sigh...I all but want to sit down with a package of Chocolate cookies and make it all go away.

I have to renew my Drivers License in December, but the good news is that I won't have to do it again for 6 more years...When. I. Am. FORTY.  What??  I can't possibly be a mere 6 years from 40..I just turned 30...four years ago. 

In other news, Rustin is finally back to normal and we are praying that the Strep Epidemic of 2011 has left our house for good.  He can talk normally again, swallow food, drink his weight in strawberry milk, scream "No Ryder!", and beat the dog with the Wii Remote...all signs that Rustin is back to the old Rustin.

Finally...I have to share this. 
Don't be surprised if this is our Christmas Card this year.  His amazing personality will keep me young! He's an Old Soul.  He'd rather watch "How its Made" on the Discovery Channel than Cartoons.  He can tell you that Doughnuts where originally called "Oil Cakes".  He knows the names of all the various Car Washes scattered across town and is passionate about Bowling on the Wii.  He wants to be a Manager when he gets older, so that he can talk over the PA system (aka speaker).  He has "little accidents" with his glass of water all of the time...oh and Lemonade is bad for your teeth (geez..didn't you know that?).  He was thankful this Thanksgiving for Pluto and Rustin. 

Yesterday he started asking questions about school and then asked what grade he would be in after Kindergarten.  I told him 1st grade...and then we went through all of the grades until college.  He asked where he would go to college and I told him (ahem Texas A&M) wherever he wanted!  I reminded him, that he would most likely move away for college, and not live with us anymore.  He sweetly asked me to move with him...but of course!  Moments like this make all of the bad ones melt away.
We're decked out for Christmas and our Elf has come back...I'll start taking pictures of some of his hiding spots to share with you!  I saw this simple idea on Pinterest...some ornaments stacked up on a cupcake stand.  I added some greenery to the middle because I didn't have enough ornaments to fill the entire stand.  My most favorite time of the year!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

This and That

Early Thanksgiving morning, we had a sick 2-year old and didn't realize it.  He claimed there were shoes dancing around his room during the night.  He was terrified. We sat in his dark room and asked him to show us the shoes...he'd say "Right There!" while pointing into the air.   We thought it was a bad dream.  Fever does scary things to this kiddo.

104 degrees of temperature and two Doctor visits later...we finally got the strep verdict.  He can't even swallow food.  My heart breaks for him.

His sick little self kept us from getting out in the middle of the night for Black Friday bargains.  From some of the stories I've heard this year...that may have been for the best.   I did get a few gifts picked up with my Mom and Sisters during normal people shopping hours on Friday.

For now both boys are sleeping, Matt is playing video games and I'm very tired...but Thankful for the week we had with family, good food, a warm house,the glow of the Christmas Tree,  leftovers and antibiotics. 

Tis' the Season...we are truly entering the most wonderful time of the year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Four Walls

A little over a year ago, my life crossed paths with one of the best girls I know.  Our sons were in the same preschool class and strangely we were attending the same church across town on Sundays.  It's not coincidence when God places people in your life.  It is with purpose.  The timing and the reason are all His.

Miss Dani has been a blessing in our life over the past year. She's made me laugh, made me cry, saved my 2-year old from tumbling down concrete steps (not once but twice), hunted me down after I sent the 4-year old to school with only one shoe, boosted my spirits when I was feeling really bad...and now she's moving.

I'm a little sad today.  I stopped by their house to drop off an overnight bag filled with items that you need before all the boxes get unpacked (nothing fancy, but a roll of toilet paper sometimes comes in handy). 

The house was almost empty.  The Atlas Van was parked out front and although I was tempted to slash the tires in an effort to delay their departure...I didn't.

We stood looking at the empty nursery and I reminded her of what I tell Ryder...a house is just four walls.  It's what you put on the inside that makes it your home.  Danielle-I wish you and your sweet family the absolute best...Houston will treat you well.  Always remember that I-45 runs both ways! I am going to feel lost without you some days ..and Lord knows Ryder will be lost without James. Not seeing you first thing in the morning three days a week is going to feel just plain empty.  Your friendship has and will continue to be fulfilling to me, but God has set a path for you and it is time to continue down that road.  Biggest Hugs ever sweet friend..I can't wait until December~

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Preview

I'm a last minute kind of girl.  Life would be a lot less chaotic some days if I was just better at planning.  The boys had their big Thanksgiving Feast on Friday and they both had to bring a few items to share.  In my usual "wait until the very end" fashion, Friday morning at 5 a.m., I pretended to be the Pioneer Woman.  I cooked up some of her fresh green beans.  The recipe is here. 

My foil pan is gorgeous....I know.  It was for 2-year olds and I'm pretty sure they weren't offended.  Anyway,  I did a taste test before sending them off.  They were delicious. I did leave out the red pepper included in her recipe, simply because I did not have a pepper in the fridge. Oh and don't talk to Ryder.  He gagged the whole drive to school while covering his nose and continually asking "What's that Smell?".  There is a lot of garlic and onion in this recipe, so if that's not for you...beware!

I whipped up some fruit for Ryder's class.  I saw an idea that used Waffle Cones to make Fruit Cornucopias.  Braum's sells Waffle Cones.  I couldn't find them anywhere else.  Being absolutely lazy, I went to Costco and bought the big bowl of pre-cut fruit.  Stuff the fruit in the waffle cone and you'll come up with something like this.
Seriously...people will "ooh and awww" and you will have spent maybe 10 minutes on this project.  Fabulously easy!

Finally, why did I just receive the memo that it is proper etiquette to give your child's teach a Thanksgiving gift?  Yes, I AM THANKFUL for the three woman that teach (ahem "put up with") my children at the Preschool they attend, but I wasn't aware that Thanksgiving was the holiday that you gave them an appreciation gift.  Sometimes I just feel out of it.  It makes total sense though,  and I luckily have great friends who remind me of these little things.  I quickly ran out and grabbed some cookie mix, a package of whisks and an oven mitt. 

Tied a little Thankful tag to the package and called it done!  You can find a tutorial for the turkey guy here!

Hope this gives you a little Thanksgiving inspiration.  All of these things can be done last minute and in a pinch...like between the hours of 5 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. while still showering, sending a few work emails and getting two kids dressed and out the door!  Y'all have a fabulous Saturday!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Small things....

Sometimes its the smallest things that remind us we are getting older.  I see my Father-in-law more and more these days.  I see him through my husband.  I don't remember ever thinking Matt and his Dad had similar personalities when we were younger.  Maybe I wasn't perceptive in my 20's like I am now in my 30's...or maybe we really do become more like our parents as we age. 

This morning as I started my usual clean up of the stuff scattered around the house from the night before, I found some paper towels.  Not on a roll, but wadded up in various places.  My Mom does that.  Its always been my pet-peeve.  My Mom wasn't here last night.  Sometimes it is scary the duplications we see.  I can't believe I've started leaving wadded up paper towels all over the house. 

When we became parents, we decided to be the best two role models we could possibly be to our two boys.  That meant taking all of the good our parents gave to us, ditching the "what were they thinking?" moments, and hopefully adding a touch of us.  Last night I laid back in the recliner and watched my three boys play the Wii.  Rustin doesn't really play, but give him a dead remote and tell him its his turn, and he's one happy 2-year old.  I soaked it up...knowing that it won't always be this way.  Time marches on and soon enough, they'll be picking up our quirky habits, scared to death that they are becoming just like those two crazy people that put everything they had into raising two amazing boys.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I had full intentions of actually being "Wordless" in this post, but while posting these pictures I thought of this day.
It was almost exactly two years ago.  They've grown, but not much else has changed around here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Wow.  Its been a week since I posted anything.  How does that happen?  Never the less...its already Tuesday again and I haven't cooked a thing today.  I did put together a little "Pie Basket" that holds all of the ingredients you need to make a Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving next week..except for the eggs (but there is a gift card which will take care of the eggs).  It looks something like this...
I am donating this one to a bake sale my PTA group is hosting at our next meeting.  I thought I would share, because it could be a useful gift to give to a friend/neighbor/teacher/hairdresser this time of year.  All of the ingredients fit nicely into a Pie Plate.  This Paula Deen line is available at Wal-Mart.  I feel the need to tell you that because I love the plate, not because I love the store.  I am in no means promoting Wal-Mart  ;)

And so that I don't leave Ryder out of this post...here he is. 

Yes.  That is a Christmas Tree and No this picture isn't from last year.  I am one of Thanksgiving's biggest fans.  I feel like it has lost its place.  The stores go from Halloween straight to Christmas...BUT...we had to buy a new Tree this year.  We snagged one at Costco last weekend because there were only a few left.  We didn't see the need to stow it away with Thanksgiving only a week away.  Yep...its up... and its decorated ...and he was in absolute amazement after his nap.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

(Since the boys all but refuse letting me take their picture...I've moved onto the dog...she was quite wordless and didn't put up any fight ;-) )

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday- The Pumpkin Roll

This is quite possibly my favorite dessert of all time.  I do love me some Pumpkin Roll.  It will be an awesome way to top off your Thanksgiving Dinner and it is super simple.  I don't cook anything that isn't simple. Here is what you will need:

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
2/3 cup canned pumpkin

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I only had 1/3 Less Fat and it worked fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15 X 10-inch jelly roll pan.
 Line it with Wax Paper or Parchment Paper.  Lightly grease the wax paper and sides of the jelly roll pan.
 Mix the sugar, flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, eggs and pumpkin in a large bowl. If you don't have a lot of arm power, like Ryder, you might want to use a hand mixer.  You'll need it for the filling, too!  Pour the mixture over the waxed paper.  Bake for 14-15 minutes until the center is done.
 It should look like this when you take it out of the oven.  A very thin blob of cake!

Lay a large dishtowel on the counter top.  Spread a thick dusting of powdered sugar all over the towel. When the cake comes out of the oven, turn the pan upside down on the towel so the Parchment paper is on the top. Slowly pull the parchment off of the cake, being careful so that it doesn't tear.
 Starting at one of the short ends, roll the pumpkin cake up with the towel to cool. Leave it on the counter to cool.  It takes a little longer, but I've found that my roll breaks when I place it in the fridge to cool.
While the roll is cooling, mix the cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar (sifted) together until it is light and creamy.

Once the roll is cool, unroll and carefully use a spatula to spread the filling over the cake. Roll it back up (this time without the towel) and place in the refrigerator (covered with plastic wrap ) for about an hour before serving.  Slice and take a big ole' bite of YUM!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Too Lazy for a Recipe

I usually try and post some kind of recipe on Tuesday, but no real baking went on in this house today.  Instead we recovered from yesterday's festivities.
Here was our crew as we headed out last night.  These cute kids standing around R&R are their cousins.  You've seen them on here before, but as a refresher...Matt's sister, Mindy, is their Mama.  Syd and Madison are twins and in the first grade.  Matthew is their big brother who hangs out on the third grade hall this year.  Matthew was awesome with Rustin last night.  He held his hand the entire night. So thankful they let us come trick or treat with them in our old neighborhood last night.  The houses in our neighborhood are spread just a little too far apart for Rustin's short legs.

We slept a little later than usual this morning and had a truly lazy day.  I cherished it because these days are few and far between.

Instead of staying inside...we hung out back with these two old ladies.  Hard to believe they are over 11 years old.  We got them right after we were married.  Autumn and Blue.  The boys call her Aubum.  I love her.  She doesn't feel very good these days and you can see it her eyes.  There will be a strange sense of emptiness when she's gone, so we soak up all we can get from her while she's still here.  Blue just lays around.  That's the kind of girl she has always been...really the best dog you could ever ask for.
We blew a few bubbles.  Love this little trinket.  My boys have trouble blowing bubbles through a bubble wand.  This changed the way we blow bubbles forever...you blow it like a horn.  Awesome.  It was on clearance for .25 cents at Target during the summer. 
Buzz Lightyear told us a few secrets.  Have I ever told you that he loves Buzz Lightyear?  I think I have ;)
We had a "little accident".  That's his favorite phrase right now.  I'm pretty sure he thinks we won't get upset as long as it is a "little accident".
It was a perfect day to get all of his cars washed.  They are spotless now.
We had an impromptu dinner outside this evening.

Topped dinner off with a few Popsicles and an ice cream cone.  Just the cone...no ice cream.

And what day after Halloween would be complete without the Target Christmas Toy catalog coming in the mail? 

Welcome to November y'all...hope it is full of wonderful blessings!