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Dec 30, 2008


I am happy to say that yesterday was a very productive day! Very tiring, yes. But, I feel great. I got almost everything checked off of my list. I didn't get a chance to scrub the sinks/mirrors or finish dusting, but I'll get to that today. I even did more than what was on my list. Don't you love it when that happens?

I ended up vacuuming THREE times yesterday! Miss Leah has two teeth coming in, so I have been giving her crackers to chew on, to help ease the pain. Needless to say, she has been making quite the mess.

From the comments I received, I am glad to know that I'm not the only one who gets a bit, er, lazy? distracted? when her husband is home from work.

Brandon works tonight and tomorrow night and then he is off for the rest of the week! I think my to-do list will be the same come Monday morning!! Even if I have a ton of cleaning up to do after long weekends, it's so worth it. Any time I can get my husband home, I will take it!!

Here are two pictures of the kids opening their one present on Christmas Eve. I think I will have to end each post with a picture or two so I can catch up on picture sharing ;)

Dec 29, 2008

Lots to do

I have so many pictures I want to post. So many things I want to say. Did I already say I have super cute pictures of the kids I want to share? But I have had no time. We have been on the go for the past 3 weeks and I am honestly ready for things to just be normal.. and calm.. and slow. Phew! The husband goes back to work tonight after being off for 3 whole weeks! It was nice having him home, but I did not get anything accomplished!! My house is seriously a disaster, especially since Christmas just passed. Now I have a million toys and packaging all over the house. So, for the next few days, I will be trying to get the house back in order. Well, that all depends on how this cold treats us. Kyle caught a small cold (sneezing and coughing), he gave it to me and I've had a sore throat for a few days now (hoping to not the runny nose thing!) and now Leah woke up this morning with a runny nose! Seems like we all took on just one symptom of this cold. Brandon is fine.. for now, haha.

Here's my to do list. I hope to get a lot of it done today, since Brandon will be gone and we have no plans. But, sometimes life gets in the way, so we'll see!

~Swiffer the floors
~2 loads of laundry, plus the bedding on our bed and also Kyle's
~Unload dishwasher
~Make Chicken Alfredo for lunch (I have to make dinner at lunchtime so Brandon has something to take to work tonight)
~Reload dishwasher
~Clean out the fridge
~Scrub toilets and sink
~Help Kyle clean and organize his room
~Organize beneath our bathroom sinks (Leah got in there and made a mess, and I didn't want to deal with it, so I just kept throwing stuff around in there. Needless to say, it really is a mess!)

Well, that's it for now! I'm off to get started, but here's a picture I'll share right now!

Dec 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

From our family.... yours.

Wordless Wednesday - B-R-O-K-E

To view other 'Wordless Wednesday' shots, go on over to 5minutesformom! :)

Dec 22, 2008


That's our Christmas tree this year! For the past 3yrs we have done a red and silver tree. I like things to match. I like to be organized. So, I just can't put up random ornaments and a ton of stuff. It all has to go together. I know some people who can have colored lights, different ornaments, tinsel, and you know -the works.. and have it look really nice. Just not my thing (it's okay, if it's yours though!!) This year I convinced my hubby to let me do a BLUE and silver tree;it only took 2 years of begging!! I bought the blue ornaments on clearance after Christmas last year, but even then my hubby said no. I really thought I was gonna lose the battle, because I give in to every thing. I just couldn't give in this year!! I'm glad I was persistent, because I think it looks just lovely. Even though Brandon says blue isn't a Christmas color, I think deep down he likes it, too! LOL
((ignore the star on our tree.. it went out a few days after we put it up!))

Dec 21, 2008

Isn't it the middle of December?

These pictures were taken this past week.. not this past summer. Yep, the high that day was around 70 degrees!!! It's December! I am sooo not used to this!

*sigh* He's such a great Big Brother (well, as long as she isn't trying to play with his cars;))!!

Dec 19, 2008

Grilling Goodness

1. What pain reliever do you swear by? I try to avoid taking any kind of medicine. I'm just not that in to them (even more so now since I am still BFing Miss Leah). But, if I absolutely HAVE to take something, it would be Tylenol or Motrin.

2. Have you gotten up-to-date with a flat screen HDTV? Flat screen? No. I think our TV is capable of HD channels, but we don't get those. I really don't know. My husband is trying to convince me right now to get one of those (LCD, plasma, flat screen, 50 something inch, blah blah blah, no idea what I'm talking about) tv's.

3. Have you honked at anyone lately? If you know where I live, then you understand why I say yes. And why I honk at least once every time we go out!!

4. What is your favorite household product? I don't have a favorite. I always buy a new product at the store. I hate using chemicals, but I haven't made the switch to better cleaning stuff yet!

5. What is the earliest you've gotten up this week and why? Um, like up get out of bed? 8:30 AM. I know that is so not early, but my hubby is on Swing shift right now (goes in at 2:30pm and doesn't get home until after 11pm), so, we are more on his schedule. Staying up later and sleeping in.

6. Do you travel out of town for Christmas? We haven't in the past. We aren't this year. Not sure about the following years to come.

7. Have you been listening to Christmas music? (Favorite?) Yes, but not as much as I would like. I have a Josh Groban Christmas CD, and I looooove it. He has a beautiful voice!!!

8. When do you exchange gifts with family? Our little family opens one present on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.

If you want to join in, or read other posts, go on over to Golden Goodness!

Dec 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - The Kids w/ Santa

To see other 'Worldess Wednesday' photos, go on over to 5minutesformom! =)

What do YOU call it?

Muddy Buddies? Puppy Chow? Dog food? Something else?

My friend Rebekah made a batch this weekend and she called it Muddy Buddies. I had no idea what on earth she was saying! I have never, ever heard it being called that. I call it puppy chow. Around the blogosphere I've seen people calling it different things-so my curiosity has been sparked and now I wanna know what YOU call this great yummy tasting stuff! No idea what I'm talking about? Go here. ;-)

Dec 15, 2008

Easy Fudge

Easy Fudge
  • one 8x8 pan
  • WAX paper for the pan

  • 1/2 stick of butter

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk

  • 3 cups of chocolate chips (1 and 1/2 bags)
Melt the last three in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for another minute. Make sure you stir in the middle, don't burn it. Pour into a wax paper lined pan. Use the wax paper!! You need to use the wax paper, if you don't use the wax paper, you are really going to regret it. Don't forget the sides either. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, cut, and enjoy.
Very easy for variation.

Best "seller" is butterscotch, which is simply taking 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of butterscotch chips.

Mini M&Ms are another good substitute.

You can use flavor extracts like mint or orange.

Cover the top with coconut flakes.

Substitute 1 cup of walnuts for 1 cup of chips.

Normal recipe, plus 1/2 c. chopped walnuts and 1 c. mini marshmallows, folded in after the mix is well blended and ready for the pan = Rocky Road Fudge

Normal recipe, minus butter, plus 1/4 c. peanut butter = extreme peanut butter fudge.

Dec 10, 2008

Busy, busy!

Before my hubby went on his deployment he knew he would be needing some time off after he got home. So before he left he requested 2 weeks of leave. Now that he's home, Brandon is so glad he scheduled that. He worked 12+ hrs each day for about 5wks, and having only 2 days off the entire time. My hubby lost some weight while he was gone (he ate only plain noodles, plain rice and rolls for every.single.meal!!!) so I've been busy trying to fatten him up. ;-)

Monday started my hubby's vacation, so we have been enjoying the extra time with Daddy!

Last week I mentioned scoring some online deals. One of the orders we placed was to Fathead. They were having a buy one get one free sale and a lot of their stuff was marked down. If you've never heard of Fathead before, check it out! They have "stickers" that are lifesize. It is pretty crazy. The details are great. So, we went all out for Kyle's room. If we would have paid full price it would have been around $700. Seven hundred dollars, people! Well, we would never, ever pay that, but we did pay $60 for 6 full sets of stickers. You can't even buy one set for that price.

Monday we took advantage of a sleeping little girl and got to work! It took us several hours to
put it all up, but it really wasn't that hard to do. It was fun and so worth it. Kyle loves his room!! Can't you tell?!?

Dec 7, 2008

another year gone

Yesterday was my birthday. It sure didn't feel like it. But, it was and now I'm another year older. When I was a teenager, I pretty much always felt my age. Now, I always tell my age wrong! When I'm in a store and get asked my age, I always stutter and say "twenttttyyy----" and it actually takes me a second to remember how old I am! When we moved into this house earlier this year, our neighbor's daughter asked me how old I was. I told her 22!! I can't believe I told her I was a year older than I actually was. Phew!

We celebrated my birthday by going to a small Christmas parade (my first one ever). Then we headed to dinner and ate at P.F. Changs! By far, our favorite restaurant. Both the kids were extremely well behaved at dinner and we got our meal right away. We've eaten dinner there quite a bit, but I think last night was our best meal yet. It was great!

After dinner we headed to the outlet mall and scored some goodies. Aeropostale had a bunch of polos and t-shirts marked down $1.99 or $2.99. The original prices on there were like $19.50-$34.50! No way I would ever pay that much for just a shirt.

As far as gifts go, I got a PURPLE digital camera from my hubby and I got a beautiful bracelet from one of my bestfriends, Rebekah. And my favorite sister ever gave me a Victoria's Secret giftcard.. a nice amount, too! ;) But, I think the best present of all was when my hubby let me sleep in until 11am!!! Both of us went to bed very late, as in almost 3am, so I know he was tired, too!! I'm blessed.. :~)
Daddy and Leah waiting for the parade to start

And the parade starting!! Look at that grin!

Dec 5, 2008

Paper towel vs Rags

You're pouring yourself a glass of milk and you accidentally spill some on to the counter.. which do you grab? .. a paper towel? or a rag?

Me? I grab a rag. I love rags. I'm not a paper towel person. I probably buy a roll every six months or so, if that. And I don't use them for cleaning or to dry my hands either.

When we wash our hands, we use towels to dry our hands off.
I have a stack of towels in the kitchen that are just to be used in the kitchen. And I have a stack of rags next to my washer, that I use for cleaning the house.

My Mom is a paper towel person. She dislikes using rags and is constantly buying paper towels.

I go to great lengths to save money and honestly, I think paper towels are a waste of money. Plus, it's bad for the environment! :)

I think it's funny that even our exterminator knows that we don't use paper towels. He asked the first time where we kept them and the second time he asked, I didn't even get to answer him before he remembered, LOL.

So, which do you prefer to use? Paper towels or rags?

These towels on my oven door are just for decoration, well, until my husband or my son start using them to dry their hands! But, aren't they just beautiful? Ignore the fact that they are wrinkly and not straight.. I just pulled them out of the box! ((I wrote this up a few days ago.. the next day, Kyle spilled some milk (!!!) and before I could stop him, he was cleaning it up with my only-for-looks towel!!))

Dec 4, 2008

Pepper Beef Goulash

I made this for dinner last night and it was just too yummy not to share! I have to thank Mari at My Little Corner of the World for sharing this slow-cooker recipe (and Sandra for hosting Slow Cooking Thursday!). It was so easy to throw together and the meat was so tender and was just falling apart.

Pepper Beef Goulash

1/2 cup water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 envelope sloppy joe seasoning
2 - 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
1 celery rib sliced
1 green pepper, cut into 1/2" chunks
Hot, cooked noodles

In a 3 quart slow cooker, combine the water, tomato paste, vinegar and sloppy joe seasoning. Stir in the meat, celery and green pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Serve over noodles. Enjoy!

*Since the only green veggie my hubby will eat is green beans, I omitted the celery and green pepper. I also threw the noodles into my slow cooker 10mins before we ate. The only thing I would change is next time I would actually throw a little bit of pepper in it.*

Dec 3, 2008

Ah, Poop!

We've been potty-training Kyle for a really, really, really long time. He goes pee in the toilet just fine. Goes by himself with no help from us, too. But when it comes to poop.. nope, not happening. He will not do it. I think he's actually gone #2 in the toilet like all of two times. I have no idea how to get him to poop in the toilet. He tells me when he's pushing and tells me when he's done. But when I try to sit him on the toilet and let him push he tells me "done" or "poop gone". Ahhhhhh!

Tonight, I tried sitting him on the toilet again. I sat next to him on the floor and encouraged him to push. But, of course, he wouldn't do it. I tried everything!! I bribed, I begged, and whoops, I even threatened after numerous pointless trips to the bathroom. I made him walk around the house in no underwear or pants to see if that would help. Nope. He came to me with a diaper in his hand and said "poop in diaper". Isn't it bad that he can tell me that he wants to poop in his diaper!? So, I had an idea. I put the diaper on him, sat him on the toilet (diaper still on) and told him to go poo-poo. AS SOON AS I SAT HIM ON THE TOILET, HE STARTED PUSHING!!!!!! Huh!? Seriously! He told me to "go away" and "close the door", so I started walking away and before I closed the door, I looked at him to see if he was really going to do his business on the toilet. Yep, definitely pushing! Not even a minute later he comes walking out and tells me he pooped... in his diaper.


I need some advice! What on earth do I do next? Just keep letting him poop in a diaper on the toilet? Will he eventually get used to it and not need the diaper anymore? Am I missing something? All the presents and candy in the world isn't good enough for my kid. This potty-training thing is exhausting. I am already praying that Leah will be easier with this poopy business!

Dec 2, 2008

Almost-Wordless Wednesday - Wreck

Check out other Wordless Wednesday photos at 5minutesformom!

**We were not involved in this wreck at all. It just happened down the street from our house. Sadly, the driver did not survive the wreck. Recently, there have been quite a few car accidents on this highway and it just reminds me that our lives can be taken at any moment. It is a scary thought to think that we could be in one of these accidents and not make it, but the comforting part for me, is that I know where I am going after life on earth. Do you? **

The Christmas Spirit Award

Alicia over at More Than Words tagged me for the Christmas Spirit Award! I love Christmas, so I thought this would be fun to do!
  • You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award.

  • The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas.

  • You must link back to the person who gave you the award.

  • You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! :o)

  • Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 45; it's up to you. But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going!

  • Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment on their blog.

~5 things I love about CHRISTmas~

- A whole month (or so) to remember/celebrate Jesus even more than we already do!
- The decorations.. they just get cuter and cuter each year!
- FOOD.. nothing else needs to be said =)
- Lovely Christmas music
- Our tradition of driving around on Christmas Eve to look @ Christmas lights
~5 people I am tagging~
Arlene @ Ever Joyful
Mary - who needs to come up with a blog title! ;-)
Tiffany @ Love Always

Dec 1, 2008

Crocs Toddler Endeavor Sandal Shoes $5.28 shipped

I just bought these for Kyle for next summer! There is a code for 15% off (COMEBACK), but for some reason I coulnd't get it to work. These sold out, and then they came back.. so I was in a rush to order these! Hope someone with young ones can use this. What a great deal! Gotta love cyber-monday deals :)

Where is the time going??

Today is December 1st! Already!? What happened to November?

Ever since we all got back home early last week our life hasn't slowed down one bit! When I think back to last week I can hardly even remember what we did! I went to bed Wednesday night thinking I was catching a cold.. what do you know.. Thanksgiving morning I woke up SICK! Probably one of the worst colds I have had in years. It took forever to get ready and we were late, but we finally made it to Brandon's Grandma's house. As the hours went by, I was just getting worse and worse, and definitely not in a giving thanks mood! We decided to leave early and I was going to just go home and go to bed, but we had to go to our bestfriend's house for dinner. Rebekah spent the whole entire day cooking a wonderful meal and I couldn't just not go over! We hung out for a little bit, but I just had to get home. I am so glad we went though, because her cookin' rocks!

I had intended to go out on Black Friday to do some Christmas shopping, but this cold was just too much. I usually get all my hubby's Christmas gifts this day, because all the stuff he wants goes on sale (can we say Craftsman?).

On Saturday, we did make a trip to Toys R Us to get some things for Kyle and I even went to a Pampered Chef party that night. We did a lot of spending this week, but it was all bargains, so it's okay. We scored some pretty great deals online though! As each years go by, I get more of my Christmas shopping done online. Love it! I would share my deals.. but I have family and friends who read this.. and I can't be telling them what their gifts are!! :)

Brandon goes back to work this week, but then he took the next 2 weeks off!! Yay! We love any extra time we get to spend with Daddy. =)

I hate to post without pictures.. but this couch sure is comfy and I am just too lazy to go get the camera! LOL. Our desktop isn't connecting to the internet so we've had to use the laptop to get online. It's much more work to use the laptop then the desktop, so I haven't even been getting online as much. The other day my google reader said I had 136 unread items! I thought just maybe it would be a slow week and not very many people would post.. boy, was I wrong!

Well, that was our week, was yours just as busy and hectic??

Nov 26, 2008

Yes, we are home!!

We made it home Monday evening. It was a long day and a bit stressful, but we made it! Since landing, we have been really busy and things won't calm down for a few more days. My hubby tried surprising us by not telling us he was coming home early, but I am too smart and figured his plan out, hehe! We had planned for our friend to come pick us up at the airport, but Brandon was going to surprise us by being there. A very sweet idea, but I am not a fan of surprises, so I am glad I knew about it before hand.

Here's a small, little scene from the airport..

Walking out of the airplane towards the waiting area..

Me- "Okay, Kyle, we are gonna see Daddy!"
K- "k, Mama!"

walking some more..

K- "k, Mama, run to my Dada!
Me- "Baby, Mama can't run, ok?"
K- "me run my Dada"
Me- "Okay, you can run to Daddy"

walking some more..

Kyle spotting Daddy..
Kyle taking off at full speed towards his Daddy's arms! =)

I seriously was about to start crying, but had to keep my composure in the airport. Kyle even got teary-eyed!! We are so happy to be reunited as a family. It feels great! Oh, and as if it wasn't enough to just come home.. but it was great coming home to a clean house! Yep, my hubby surprised me by doing his own five loads of laundry and cleaning up the whole house. *sigh* I love my husband! :)

Nov 22, 2008

Sale @ Limited Too

Limited Too is having a Buy One Get One free online sale (mix and match) on everything. You can also use the coupon code 758 to get an additional 30% off!! If you have a young girl to shop for this Christmas, this is a great deal!! Their sizes run big, too.. my mom can fit into the larger sizes (Arlene you can fit this stuff!!). Hope this can help someone!

Nov 20, 2008

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

To check out other slow cooking recipes, stop by Sandra's place!

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

Serves - 12 (1 cup each)


16 oz. dry spaghetti, cooked
1 lb. Velveeta Light cheese, sliced
12.5 oz. can chicken breast, drained and flaked
10 3/4 oz. can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
10 3/4 oz. can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel)
4 oz. can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/2 cup water
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
salt & pepper, to taste

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir to mix well.
Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. Stir again just before serving.

*I just use enough boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the three of us, cooked and chopped.
** You can control how spicy you want this to be. I never use the whole can of Rotel, it is too spicy for me!

Nov 19, 2008

Birthday Girl!

Today, my niece Kylie turned 5 years old! I can't believe how fast she is growing up. I love my niece as if she were my own daughter (she even calls me her 2nd Mommy!!!). It is so hard not living near her and to not be able to watch her grow up! But, I am thankful that I'm still able to see her often. Happy Birthday, Kylie May! I love you!! :)

Holding Kylie's hand when she was just a few minutes old..

1st Christmas, just a month old

Kylie (9 months old) and I at a wedding reception.

Kylie on her 1st Birthday

Kylie and Brandon meeting for the 1st time

2yrs old

3yrs old

4yrs old

Kylie, a day short of turning 5!!

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