Saturday, November 20, 2010

Field Day

Way back on October 1st, my little girlies rocked their field day.
Seriously. They did awesome. {of course I didn't have my camera, so these fuzzy pics are from my phone.}In her groups, Bella took 1st place in the long jump & cross country. 2nd place in the kangaroo hop & tennis ball throw. 3rd place in the shoe kick and 4th in the 50 yard dash.
Azure was a serious competitor. She took 1st place in four events: Long jump, tennis ball throw (pictured above - that girl has got an arm!) kangaroo hop, and shoe kick. She took 2nd in cross country, but was all tuckered out for her last event, and got 5th in the 50 yard dash.
So pleased with these cuties. They always give whatever they're doing their all --- and the big cherry on top: they're supportive and gracious towards everyone. They make a mama proud!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Az's Xmas List

So I asked Azure tonight what she would like Santa to bring her if he can't get her the iPod she requested earlier. Her answer:

"Oh, maybe an iPhone then."

"Sweetheart, you're six. I don't think Santa is going to bring you an iPhone. Isn't there something else you would like?"

"The only other thing I can think of would be a laptop. That way I can work on my things on my very own computer."

I have the feeling this little girl is going to be sadly disappointed come Christmas morning.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Program

Our elementary school does this tender Veterans Day program every year, ending with a salute to all servicemen & women - where they are asked to stand during the singing of their branch of the military's fight song. We clap along, as mothers, fathers, and grandparents stand in uniform around us - heads held high. Every kid in school knows each word to the Navy, Army, Air Force, and the Coast Guard's tunes - and they sing them out loud and proud.
It might sound silly, but I cried last year, I cried this year...and I'm sure the trend will continue until Emmett is the one on stage telling the crowd about the strength of this great nation.
Good job Mustangs! And a huge thank you to all those who serve and sacrifice for us!

{blast. i didn't have my camera - these are from my phone.}

My Guide to Life {that I rarely follow}

For those of you will not be in attendance for my little enrichment lesson tonight -- here is just a teensy-tiny snippet of what you will miss.
Being really tired because I stayed up til midnight and got up at 5am to finish working on the lesson and the handout, even though I've known for a month I was teaching, and even though my lesson is on 'how to de-stress your life'.
Funny, eh?
I apparently don't follow my own advice very well.
I've always done my best work under pressure though. A little stress can be a good thing for me. Keeps me on my toes. Keeps life interesting. Keeps my house in utter chaos while I'm focusing on alleviating that one stressor.
But, according to the cute little pamphlet I JUST finished putting together, that's not the way it has to be. Especially during this joyous, merry, uplifting, and crazy time of the year!
One of the things that I didn't love growing up, was that my mom rarely joined us in family activities during the holidays - like sledding, or swimming, or playing dodgeball – because she was too busy in the kitchen, preparing a meal for when we came home from said activities. {at the time, I wasn't thoughtful enough to actually offer to help her so she could have time to come with. darned hindsight.}
I really want to make time for those things. I want to be out there with my kids, and family, and friends. Who wants to be stuck in the kitchen when you could be dodging an orange rubber ball to the head?
It doesn't just happen though. Someone has to plan and prepare so hungry little, red cheeked, frozen fingered chitlins have something warm to eat upon walking in the wreath bedecked front door. And that someone, is me. Or you. Here's how:
Some families solve this dilemma by eating out, ordering in, or drive-thruing it through the holidays. We generally will have pizza one night the week of Christmas, but eating out every day isn't an option for us. So...preparing meals weeks ahead of time, and freezing them, or putting the crockpot to use is the way I make it all work.
So, as my little pre-Christmas gift to you, here is my favorite Pumpin Cake Roll recipe (perfect for freezing, then serving with Christmas dinner later) and my favorite Crockpot chicken dish that will have your snow covered little ones leaving scarves, mittens and clunky boots in a chilly trail on their way to the kitchen table.

Pumpkin Cake roll (thanks molly)
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup canned pumpkin (you can also use instead of pumpkin mashed bananas to make 2/3 cup and make it a banana cake roll)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 T butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
Additional confectioners' sugar

Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and pumpkin, beating on high until sugar is
almost dissolved.
In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake at 375 for 12-15 min. or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Unroll cake; spread filling evenly to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from freezer 15 min. before cutting. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Angelic Chicken
6 skinless, boneless chicken cut in strips or chunks—your choice
¼ c. butter
1 (0.7 oz.) pkg. Italian salad dressing mix
1 (10¾ oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 C. white grape juice
½ of 8 oz tub cream cheese with chives and onion
Hot cooked rigatoni pasta
Serves: 6

Place uncooked chicken in a 3-4 quart crock pot.
In saucepan, melt butter, stir dressing mix into butter.
Stir in soup, juice and cream cheese until combined.
Pour over chicken
Cover, and cook on low heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
Shred chicken if desired.
Serve over hot cooked pasta.

Have a very Merry {and low stress} Holiday Season!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Emmett & the Spoken Word

Not surprisingly. This boy is loud. Dan is loud. I am loud. My other three children are loud. It's to be expected, for sure.
What I am constantly surprised by, is all the screaming this little cutie-patootie does.
I am certain once he is able to communicate more clearly, the screaming will subside, and chirps of, "Mommy, I love you, you are the best mommy in the whole wide world, and I just want to hug you and hug you" will drip from his precious little lips.
Until then, we are familiar with screaming, but also enamored by this blue eyed boy when he utters any of the few words he knows.
His first word was DADDY, followed shortly by YEAH (as in, do you want some more banana? "Yeah".) MOMMY came next, then UH-OH (which seems to be his favorite and is oh-so-adorable), he can mimic the sounds for BELLA, CAL, and BOTTLE, but isn't exactly there yet, and he's getting quite close to POOPY.
His favorite song is "I Like to Move It Move It". He shakes his hips, bobs his head, and attempts to sing along every time we hear it (which thanks to Calvin, is often). In fact, I'm pretty sure that's where he picked up "YEAH". Maybe next he'll be crawling around saying, "back it up, back it up, back it up, yo."
Man, here's hoping. I'm dusting off a spot for my Super-Mom of the Year trophy this very second!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sick Sausage

A few weeks ago, I wound up with food poisoning from some spicy gumbo. I was feeling quite dreadful, and Calvin kept asking me to make him sausage. At the time, the thought of it made me want to hurl, so I told him I was sick, and just couldn't manage to make him sausage that day.
Since then,
about every other day,
out of the blue,
he will ask me..."Mommy, are you sick?"
I will say, "No. Why?"
He will answer, "Can you make me some sausage then?"
Who can resist that cuteness?
He may eat sausage every healthy day the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloweek in Review

I kind of love Halloween. Here's the evidence: