Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'll Always Remember This....

Today, Grace, Sophie, and I went to a friend's party celebrating his promotion to Captain of his Fire Department (go Keith!!!). Grace took home a red balloon as her parting gift. Upon which, as soon as we got out of the car, it wiggled itself free of Grace's grasp and up, up it went. And out, out came the tears! I was a little surprised at this reaction, and after about 5 minutes of crying, I was wondering if she would ever stop. I mean, she's little big to be crying over balloons, right?

I was wrong. And silently, she came inside.....pulled out her crayons....and without a word to me, drew this as her expression of her loss.

Caption reads (in kindergarten writing):
" I wish the balloon didn't go away."

Talk about breaking your heart! It's been a while since I've been five, and obviously, I need to rethink what their priorities are. Balloons are a very big deal!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sophie Monster's Big Day

I try to think of a theme for my girls' birthday cakes. Usually what they're into at the time....Grace has had several princess cakes. One Bob the Tomato cake. A butterfly cake. But for Sophie? I really was stuck. She's just kind of happy-go-lucky, into everything! Finally, as cheesy as this sounds, I opted for a plain 'ole happy face because she just makes us smile. That's a pretty good theme, huh?
She didn't dig in until AFTER someone forced a bite into her mouth.
But then...well, just look at her go!

More clothes?

Sophie, I remember when I was pregnant with you, I was having a discussion with my principal (who has three little rugrats of his own) about just how in the world am I going to love another child as much as I love Grace! It just wasn't possible. I really felt I'd be doing this baby an injustice by bringing her into a world (aka my heart) that doesn't have enough room for another one! And his reply has stuck with me. He said, "You just do. And you love them for different reasons and they're different people, but you just do."

And he was right. I just do.

I love you, kiddo. Happy 1 year!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

PW's Cowboy Calzones

REALLY good!

So my Pioneer Woman recipe for the week was the Cowboy Calzones. I was a little hesitant at first because it required you to make your own pizza dough. I've done it before, but not since having Sophie Monster. However, that turned out to be the easiest part and I'm not sure if I'll ever go back to frozen pizza again! I whipped it out in 5 minutes the night before and it was ready to go! BUT. Warning about this recipe. The hardest part is taking the dough the next day, and rollllllliiiiiiinnnnngggggg it out with a rolling pin (circa 1950, yes!) to make your individual calzones. Well, it probably wouldn't have been hard had my ankle biter not been there at my foot every roll of the way.

The recipe makes 8 generous calzones, and I even made a little marinara dipping sauce to go along. That worked well for me. All in all, I say my Cowboys were sassified!

Up next this week - Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich

Friday, January 22, 2010

Year In Review

One of my friends posted a year in review on her blog, and I found great joy reading about all their life events and how easy it was to see how God had their journey perfectly mapped out all the way - even when it didn't seem like it. One point of hers struck me.....when she was wanting to continue to be a SAHM, even in the midst of some tricky financial times , she said, " I just felt like God wanted me to ask Him for these things and not assume that He wasn't going to allow that for me."

That definitely struck a chord with me. I love her response to a desire. I assume God won't allow alot of things in my life. I assume it so quickly that I bet sometimes He's up there sayin'...."Well, you didn't even give Me a chance!" Lesson learned. Thanks, Sarah.

So, as a cathartic journey of my own, I thought I'd do my own year in review. For myself, really. For my children one day. So they can see the journey of our family and hopefully, we'll see that God was there. In it. With us. Caring about all things under the sun, even our little trials. start it off, as you know, at the end of 2008 I was expecting, and we had just sold our home we'd been in for three years. It wasn't on the market, but we were trying to find an answer to our growing family's needs. God provided a couple who wanted to pay full asking price and get in our house in 30 days. So off we went! Papers signed and no home to live in. That was a rather stressful time, and we made the hard decision to move in with Boog's parents until we knew where we wanted to go. Build, buy, what not. During that move to the in-laws, we decided to purchase 20 acres right down the road from his parents. Out in the country! We didn't know whether we were going to build on it or not, but it felt right to buy it. So we did....and continued trying to figure out what to do with our living situation.

In the midst of all that, Boog felt God leading him out of the youth ministry and into youth ministry - of the public kind. Public school. It was a hard decision because he loved his job and we honestly didn't know what the future was for him. The economy wasn't great, so leaving a job with no job wasn't a wise decision! But he stepped out in faith and God provided a man, his now boss, who was willing to give a no-experience, non-certified (but full of potential!) man a coaching position at the same school I taught. REALLY. Now that even blew me away. Talk about a faith journey! During that time, Sophie had arrived and we had made the decision to not build on the land we bought, but to move into a rent home we owned until we were at peace about what to do with our housing situation. The Shack, we called it. It was tiny. But even as sweet at Boog's parent are, moving into our own place was nice. It felt like "our home" again, even if it was 1000 square feet!

We lived in The Shack for 6 months. It was the longest six months of my life. I'm not sure if it was because of the tiny living situation, or because Boog was gone so much for coaching. I'll say it now and forever. Being a coach's wife ain't easy. They put in long hours and long weekends. I think between the months of August and November (football season) I had at least 3 ulcers in my mouth daily. (I've learned that's my body's way of telling me I'm stressed.) But football season ended, basketball began and the schedule was SO much easier. The ulcers were gone! nd to put icing on the cake, Boog got told by his principal that they wanted him to teach an elective "Bible History" class for Juniors and Seniors. The first in our school's history. That wasn't expected!

Still in our Shack, we decided to put it on the market because we finally decided, after much, much, much thought and discussion, that we wanted our girls to grow up in a neighborhood. One where you can ride bikes, go for walks, see friendly faces.....and that neighborhood was Star Harbor. A lake community that feels like it's from another era, really. Kids are running around, people are jogging, neighbors watch out for you. So we put an offer on a home and quietly worried about whether The Shack would sell. It sold in 4 days. God put a man there who wanted it right when we needed it. The loans & paperwork were rush ordered. We were in our new house by Christmas (an idea my realtor scoffed at when I first asked her, "Can it all get done by Christmas?")

We brought in the new year, 2010, in our new....well, new to us... home. We started renovating, and we have so much more to go. But I gotta tell you, I honestly think the reason why we were in the Shack was so that we can appreciate this old, outdated house of ours. We appreciate it so much. I don't even care about the avocado green sink or panelled walls. I make fun of it, but I'm so thankful to be in a neighborhood where my girls can run and play.

I'm sure 2010 will bring a whole new story for us, but hopefully none that involve the buying/selling/moving of any property! I'm thankful for my marriage, my children, my home, and the Lord who provided all our needs.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You're ONE, Sophers!

We can't believe it. It's already been one year since we've been blessed with Sophie Rose. She's a mess....she is THE pickiest eater in our family......she only has four teeth, yet can walk like a champ......she loves to give kisses and hugs......she loves to sleep......she's a jewel. A rose. A fun, spectacular gift from God.

Speaking of Fun................

Ready to Attack....

We're having a family party this weekend, so I'll post more then. But I just couldn't help giving her an official "You're ONE" blog. Turning one just doesn't happen that often, does it?

Monday, January 18, 2010

What a Pair!

The older one has had a case of sibling rivalry lately. "Not gettin' enough attention," she says. I, admittedly, have confessed that I've had a case of tunnel-vision, or baby-vision, with Sophie. It's almost as if I think Grace is old enough and doesn't need as much attention anymore. (Even though I know that is totally wrong.) I called upon my dear husband to call me out on those times when, let's just say it like it is, I'm too wrapped up in my own little Sophie/mommy world. I need to get better at that.

But on a beautiful day, when the girls get together for a little trampoline action, I feel like I can equally dote on them both. And both are having fun. That makes it a little easier. I hope they both know how much I love each of them.

Grace 5 1/2 and Sophie (two days from turning ONE!)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Egg In The Hole

The a bunch of butter, baby!

Chicken in the Car or I Won't Go...that's how you spell CHICAGO! Don't ask. It's just that everytime I say "Egg in the Hole", that Chicken-thing is what I immediatly think. It's totally impossible for me not to think it! .....sometimes I think I'm mentally ill.

BUT. Onto the real reason for the post - Pioneer Woman's Egg In the Hole. So simple. Basically it's a fried egg, in the middle of a fried in butter piece of bread. Not at allllll fattening. Nope. I won't even mention the half stick of butter used on just 4 servings. Nope. Didn't mention it. It's easy, quick, and a nice morning breakfast. Plus, it's the only recipe of hers that I didn't have to make a run to the grocery store for an ingredient! Ha!

Up next for this week - The Cowboy Calzones. I had to buy Active Dry Yeast for this out!

Egg Goes IN the Hole...(hence egg in the hole!)

Quick & Easy

Friday, January 15, 2010

The S Word.

This week has been a rather, er, how'd you say it.....sucky week. I can't help it. It just has. Not that everything was bad, but it's been hectic and restless. Sophie's been sick, up all night. Grace's cough & sniffles look like they are here to stay. Friends have lost loved ones. Haiti...gosh, Haiti. And to boot, when my hubs polled his 75 freshman whether or not they cared about the Haitians in crisis, sadly, I think 15 or so said they didn't care at all. Gosh. That does not bode well for the future of our country.

So, to sum it all up, I could post about all that or.....I could pretend it will all fix itself and post about something fun. I choose the latter for tonight. many of you know this woman? The Pioneer Woman? She's pretty popular in the blogosphere and my sweet "sista' kind a miss' er" bought her new cookbook for me for Christmas. Now, I think I'm a pretty okay cook. Not the best, not the worst. But, if there's one thing that's plagued me lately, it's a case of the same'ol, same 'ol. I just haven't been inspired to make anything other than the norm (enter in spaghetti, some type of chicken casserole, taco soup, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh). Well, tonight I sat down and actually read this book/cookbook and I gotta say - I'm inspired now. I love Pioneer Woman's story. Her love of all things "cowboy". Her self-depricating style. Her country cool. And the photos! If you can't fall in love with a cowboy simultaneously holding his two year old son while roping a calf.......or ranch hands on their horses at sunrise.....then just don't open this book. Go get Julia Child's cookbook.

But I'm on a mission this week. And next week. I plan to cook one thing each week out of her book for a while. Maybe a dessert. Or a lunch......but one thing a week (hey, I'm a working woman). I'll let you know how they turn out. Or if they turn out! Hopefully, next week, won't be a, stinky week.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Is it JUST me?

or is this pinky girl just the cutest thing ever, ever, ever? I'm pretty partial. But I think she is. Man....I cannot believe that in just 15 days, this little package will be turning 1 year old. Time has flown. And with each passing day and with each step she takes (yes, she's walking pretty good now....all the way down our hallway tonight!) with each milestone, I'm getting sadder and sadder. Sad because this might could be my last baby. Now I'm not sure about that and God knows way better than I do, but still, it's a possibility. Just thinking about it is enough to make me keep bottle feeding her for just a few more months. (How precious is that bottle feeding time!?)

Going back to work after having these two glorious weeks off has been challenging for me. I have 5 months until my next big break and that feels like an eternity. It's almost enough to make me start buying lottery tickets! (Almost, I said.) I've been working since I was 17. I had my first job at Applebee's as a hostess. I don't even think my parents asked me to get a job, I just did. I liked earning my own money. My mom had been an entreprenuer herself, so I guess I learned by example. In college, I held a 20+ hour a week job at one of A&M's textbook stores. (Loved that job!) Somehow, I managed to make decent grades while earning spending money. And finally, post college, I've always worked. So working is part of who I am.....but then again, when I think about the paragraph above....

I receive my five year pin this year for teaching. My fellow teachers and I won an award this year from the Texas Education Assoc. for having one of the highest 4th grade writing scores for a Title 1 (low income) school. My grade-level teachers are some of the best, sweetest women out there.

It's tough. It's ironic. It's bittersweet.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The One Fish In The Sea....

.......okay, the lake, that I'll eat is tilapia. I'm so not a seafood eater. Shrimp disgusts me. Just the feel of it's plump, membraney self ....yeeechhhh. And lobster? Fuhgetaboutit. Lake food isn't too much better. Crawfish? Just thinking about what that stuff is that oozes out of it's rear (forgive me) is nastiness personified. I will eat catfish, but I stick with the boneless fillets and douse it in tons of ketchup to mask the lake-i-ness.

But tilapia. Not lakey-tasting at all! Paired with veggies and rice, it actually makes me feel healthy when eating it. Even with all the butter that I fry it with....
If you haven't tried it, give it a chance. It's pretty good!
Little Lawrys & pepper....sauteed in butter, 3 min. or so on each side....mmmmm!

Sauteed red bell peppers, squash & zucchinni

Sauce for the fish...this is good stuff!

steamed rice....voila!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year. New Tricks.

During our two weeks off, Boog & I have done a little celebrating, done a lot of packing and unpacking, started a little bit of construction (notice photo windows installed, room dividing wall goin' up!) and.....

we've done a little bit of memory making. After all, teaching your child how to ride a bike for the very first time is wayyyy big in child-rearing, right?

Checking it out, to make sure it all fits...
Not Letting Go Yet....
About to fall!

I'm sad that the break is almost over, but Spring is upon us and that's my favorite time of the year. I'm also looking forward to summer. Boog & I will have two whole months off together. I have no idea what that will be like - we'll either have the time of our lives or kill each other. : ) Hope you all had a great New Year's Eve!

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