Wednesday, December 23, 2009

1 down...

We had Christmas at my parents' house last much fun! We had "snack foods" for our meal, which we all love...nacho bar, artichoke dip, cream cheese and jalapeno jelly, fruit, veggies, sliders, jalapeno poppers, sausage and cheese, etc. So good! The kids loved opening presents. Ryan's just old enough to "get it" but not old enough to have patience with it. He opened one gift, a car racetrack thing from Aunt Carrie and Uncle Rob, and was done...but he entertained himself with it while the rest of us opened our gifts. Everyone was so generous and thoughtful.

We're in for Round 2 at my Granny's tonight. It has always been on Christmas Eve til last year, and we weren't able to make it after they moved the date then due to other I'm really looking forward to being there tonight. The kids will love having their second cousins to play with. We're doing more non-traditional food there as well...brisket and all the fixins...baked beans are in the crockpot here.

Round 3 will be after our Colonial Christmas Eve service tomorrow. We'll head to the Johnson's for a light supper and presents there.

Round 4 comes on Christmas Day...Santa followed by mini coffe cakes, lunch with both sets of grandparents here at our house (luckily, I'm not cooking it all), then ending the festivities opening presents with just Chad, the kids and me. I love that time...just us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Christmas time!

And I'm finally done with wrapping presents! My parents offered to come and take the kids for part of the day, and I gladly took them up on it. I can't believe how long it took me to wrap all the presents, but it has put me in the Christmas spirit. That's a good thing because our first Christmas celebration is tomorrow night, followed by another Wednesday, and another Thursday...wrapping up with Santa presents and our own little family's gift exchange Friday. I'm really starting to look forward to this week!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My crockpot is my best friend

I love my crockpot. I've had such good luck with what's coming out of it here lately. Yum! And since I'm definitely a morning person, it works so well for me to get up and get something in the crockpot and then not have to try and battle two kids at dinner time. Here are my latest meals from that slow-cooking miracle worker :)

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
4 pound boneless pork roast
1 sliced onion
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
Seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, grilling seasoning, etc...whatever you like)
Your favorite bbq sauce

Slice the onion and put in the bottom of the crockpot. Put the roast on top, fat side up. Season with whatever floats your boat.

Pour in the apple juice and water (around the roast, not on top). Set on low for the whole day.

*Note: I put my roast in not quite thawed, so when I got home, I flipped it over and switched it to high for an hour or so.

About an hour before dinner, pull the pork out and dump whatever's left in the pot (including the onions...if you want onion in your pulled porked, add a fresh one now...the ones that started off in there have soaked up way too much fat). Shred the pork, discarding the fat. Return it to the crockpot with a bottle of your favorite bbq sauce. I poured a little water to the bottle (almost half full), shook it up, and added it to the crockpot as well. Let warm on low for another 30-45 minutes. I served it on buns with coleslaw on top, but no one else in my house eats the coleslaw.

1 pound cooked ground beeft
2 cans diced tomotoes with juice
1 can mixed veggies, drained
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 or 3 carrots, sliced thin
1 container beef stock (32 oz, I think)
Parsley and basil (dried...maybe a teaspoon of each?)
Pasta (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
Zucchini or summer squash, sliced thin

Add all but the pasta and zucchini to the crockpot. Set on low for the whole day. About an hour before, add the zucchini and pasta. Serve with whatever you like with soup...bread, cornbread, crackers, cheese, etc.

Potato Soup
Ok, I learned the hard way that even though the recipe says 3 hours, it needs more than that.

6-8 potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 inch or slightly smaller)
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
0nion (although it really is optional...if I'm cooking for my mom, I don't use onion)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon basil (dried)
1 teaspoon parsley (dried)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup cream (or half-and-half)

Combine potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, chicken broth, and seasonings in crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours (like I said, it takes least 4).

Stir together flour and cream; stir into soup. Cook another 30 minutes.

Served with cheese, bacon bits and sour cream on top.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blank canvas

I don't know how long it's been since we've had an "empty" day. I'm not really sure what to do with it. The kids are feeling a little under the weather, so I don't think we'll try to tackle anything big. But....aahhhh! How nice to have nothing least until I start going stir crazy, which I will inevitably do by about 2. I guess I should start by getting a few things done first.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm a winner!

And no, not in the repeat-after-me-mantra kind of way...I really did win something! Check it out: Isn't that awesome?! It's a super cute cosmetic bag that's a throwback to the good ol' days...because it's made from a cute swim cap, flowers and all!
Thank you Green Wife! And thank you Raspberry Jam!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Weighing-in was a weigh-in day for the Holiday Trimmings program at the Y. I've worked out five days in a row, burning roughly 500 calories each time. And it showed! I lost about 2 1/2 granted, I know some of that was because I was in jeans the first time I weighed in and today I was in stretchy pants...but still...surely some of it was a real loss. Right?

Even if it wasn't, I am feeling so good working out regularly. And I'm getting the hang of Zumba...sort of. I was so glad that taking the kids to the Y's nursery went well crying dropping them off or picking them up, although they would have gladly stayed longer. That's ok...I'd much rather have it that way than have a Velcro child when I'm trying to workout.

And I've logged enough points through my insurance's health manager program to earn a $75 gift card...I picked JCPenney' I can finally get some jeans that fit! It's in the mail now, and I can't wait. It's my own little Christmas present to myself.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Ok, I was brave and tried something new today...spin class...and all I can say is ouch! And not in a good workout kind of way...more like a "I just gave birth and can't sit down" kind of way. The instructor said it would take two weeks for our rear ends to get used to it, but I'm not sure I'll be able to sit or stand tomorrow to find out if I can even try it again Friday. On the other hand, it burns 500 calories in 45 minutes! I really hope I've lost something when I weigh in for the Holiday Trimmings thing on Wednesday.


Ok, tried a new recipe today and loved it! It was originally Karen Johnson's crockpot chicken enchiladas, but I'm lazy and didn't want to roll the chicken in tortillas and then put them in another dish I'd have to wash. So here's what I did instead (with my alterations):
Southwestern Chicken'N'Dumplings
4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of green chiles
8 or 9 small flour tortillas

Put the chicken breasts (yes, frozen) in the crockpot. Top with soups and green chiles. Cook on low all day. Shred the chicken in the crockpot and add the tortillas (cut in half and then into strips) into the mixture (stir). Let cook on low another 30 minutes to an hour. Top with shredded cheese if you want and let it melt before serving.

This was so easy and so good!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I had grand plans of getting things done today...wrapping gifts, hanging up clothes, laundry, dishes, etc...but I didn't. I did get to go to my first Zumba class! It was a blast! And at 500 calories burned for the hour, so worth it! So now the question is, do I rush around and get it done now or sit back and relax and enjoy the rest of the day anyway?

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Ok, so I like my logo above (created by my lil brother)...but just fyi, I'm not into the craft business on a regular basis! I did have a booth at the craft show we organized to benefit Faith Mission...which we did, in excess of $3400...but I'm not doing it as a side business...takes too much time, as much as I liked my the way most of my items turned out. However, I like my logo for a couple of reasons. First, the fleur de lis is representative of an iris, and most people that know me, know that irises have a special meaning to my family. We transplanted some irises from my grandmother's yard to my mom's at some point in time (before she moved to an assisted living place would be my guess). Then I got some when I moved into our home we have now. I guess all of my siblings have some now. Mine bloomed both times I found out I was reminder that my Gomie is still watching over us.

And second, the name itself...Gomie used to call me reason why, she just did. I like the "belle" part of it...sounds Southern, and in a good strong women, strong faith, family oriented, good nurturers. I like those things.

I've been reminded of my grandmother a lot here lately. I went to my parents' house Friday night for Family Movie Night, where the kids and I would all stay the night, which reminded me of the many, many nights I stayed with my grandmother. I was laughing at how much stuff we were taking for one night, when I realized we took very little to her house. We didn't need sleeping bags or pillows...the big, soft, old quilt and the pillows off the couch were just fine with us...or we slept in her tall bed with her and listened to her snore as she propped herself up on a throw people to keep her hair "fixed" for the week...usually watching Golden Girls or some dating show (what was the name of that one?) as we drifted off to sleep. And then, in the morning...breakfast. Eggs, bacon, toast...and coffee. How I loved drinking coffee with her. Even as I grew older, I'd still stop by for a cup and a chat...much like the one my momma and I got to have this morning before anyone else woke up. I crawled up in her big, tall bed and drank my coffee and just talked. Wow, full circle. I miss my Gomie.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Beautiful tees!

Check this site out: These tshirts are gorgeous and contain beautiful messages from verses in the Bible. I love the Beauty from Ashes one!

Frustration sets in

Ok, why is that the best plans are the surest to disappoint...had this evening all planned, and all went well til dinner. That family dinner that sounded like such a good idea was one fight after another with the kids. They never settled down after dinner either, so even trying to watch Rudolph for a little family time didn't go so hot. I'm still listening to Ryan crying in bed, which he never does. I just don't get it.

Another frustration is not being able to work out regularly...made worse by me putting on a new pair of workout pants that are a little too form fitting...why do I still look pregnant two years after having my last baby AND after losing 20 pounds?! I'm really thinking surgery is going to have to happen! And sooner than later!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside...

Winter is's cold and yucky outside. All I want to do is light a fire, make a pot of soup (better than the one I made last night), and cuddle up under the blankets.

However, that is not what needs to be done. Instead, we are heading to the Y to sign up for the Holiday Trimmings program...$6 for 6 weeks...can't beat that! I'm looking forward to being able to work out again...and maybe losing those last few pounds.

Besides that, I really need to get started on the Christmas shopping! I have a few gifts, more than I actually realized, to be honest. But I haven't made a dent in the list!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sneaky reminders

I guess God has a warped sense of humor. Here I am enjoying the heck out of my day with the kids (one last day until Grammy is able to watch them again after her surgery), and Sarah Beth has to throw the mother of all fits, starting in Walmart no less and lasting all the way home and then some. I always feel so conflicted about being a working mom as it is...and was really wishing I was a stay at home mom this morning after working out, having a yummy breakfast together, playing games with both kids, working on laundry and dishes...and then she reminds me why I'm not cut out to be at home all the time. I can't take those fits...but then again, maybe if I was home all the time, she wouldn't throw them. Who knows...but instead of feeling great like I did this morning, I now feel lousy...not the mindset I need to get things done today. I've still got cleaning and crafting to do. The craft show is Saturday and I'm not done yet. I'm still not stressing about it, but I'd feel a lot better if I was.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Nothing says love like a husband willing to go out and buy some Kahlua so I can have some french vanilla cappuccino with a kick :)

It has been an extremely loooooonnggg week! I don't know what it was, but it just never seemed to end! However, it's over, and we had an enjoyable day...starting with girl time with Nana, Carrie and Sarah Beth at Hangar Holiday. Then we had family time at the MSU game where Ryan finally fell asleep on me...I love when he does comforting. The headache I've had since has not been fun though.

I'm looking forward to some time tomorrow to finish up my craft show stuff. Still have a few frames to fill and ribbons to tie and then I'm calling it done, at least for the creating part. I'll still have to find display items and make price sheets.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sorta sad

Andrea and the kids left today. It was crazy having them here, but I'm so thankful that they came. She is such an awesome friend! As if watching her two kids and my two kids for four days wasn't enough, she cooked and did laundry for us as well. It really made me sad to see them go.

There are other things bringing me down today, but most of them are best left unsaid.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Am I Insane?

Those were the thoughts in my head from, oh, about 1:30 to 3:30 this morning. I signed up for the Breast Cancer 3-Day for the Cure for next November in Dallas yesterday. I really want to do this...especially for my mother-in-law who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I know I can do this...I am just a little worried about the money I have to raise and being physically ready for the event itself. But I am really looking forward to the challenge!

It has been a long, long couple of weeks. I'm not sure we've got a handle on all the trials we are facing, but we are trying. I keep saying "We will be ok" and I mean it. No matter what, I know that God will carry us through and we'll come out the other side ok. And ok is good enough.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Heavy heart

My mother-in-law just found out she has breast cancer. That's hard just to say. She won't know anything about treatment or anything until she sees her doctor on Monday. I'm at a loss for how to act and what to say or do in this situation. Prayer is the one thing I'm clinging to right now...for her sake, for her family's sake, for my sake.

I really can't wrap my brain around this one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain, rain, go away!

The rain has now caused me to miss two workouts this week, and I'm getting frustrated! I'm also feeling seriously claustrophobic since I haven't seen the sun in days! Is that feel claustrophobic due to weather? I think I would really drive for hours if I could get to someplace with sunshine.

It doesn't help that this kind of weather puts me in an eating mood. Granted, we are eating really well these days: braised pork, pumpkin bread pudding, soups, enchiladas, pulled pork, etc. I have a feeling that's not good for my weight though...

Speaking of weight, I've now hit the 20 pound mark in my weight loss adventure...just five to go. I'm already down three sizes since this time last year. I'm actually in single-digit sizes some of the time :) I don't know when the last time that was. Makes me wish I hadn't gotten rid of my "skinny" clothes so long ago; I could really use them now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bedtime battles

Why, oh why, is bedtime such a battle?! It always is in one way or least for one of the kids. Ryan is just now getting into bedtime story time and goes to bed fairly easily. Sarah Beth, on the other hand, never does and never has! She's up, she's down, she's all around...and even after she's finally asleep in her bed, she ends up in our room before the night is over. We've tried all sorts of things and nothing works!

But, of course, my biggest complaint is that it pushes "me" time later and later...and usually into nonexistence. And tonight, I'm determined to have my Oreos and not on the diet, but I don't care right now. I will work out in the morning to burn them off.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I was in a cooking mood yesterday...actually, I'd been wanting to try one of the recipes for weeks. The other was inspired after watching Paula Deen. The first was a braised pork recipe I saw on the new Food Network star's show (Melissa D'Arabian). It took three hours to cook, so I knew I had to wait for a Saturday night when we didn't have something going on...hence the wait. I, of course, bought more meat than needed, so we had double the recipe...invited my parents over, which was nice. This pork turned out so good! However, the real star of the dinner was the sauce/gravy that it made...oh, wow! You need plenty of bread to mop the sauce up with!

The second recipe was inspired by watching Paula Deen make a chocolate bread pudding. I went in search of a bread pudding recipe that used egg substitute and was maybe a tad healthier and found a pumpkin bread pudding that used whole wheat bread and egg substitute along with the ever-so-healthy pumpkin...and can I just say double wow! This stuff was soooooo good! All we needed was a little Cool Whip or some sort of cream sauce, which will be my next recipe search.

It was really a great dinner for the cooler, damper weather we're having...and it was really nice to have dinner with my parents. We see them once a week on date night, but then it's just sort of in passing.

More than anything though, yesterday reminded me how much I love to cook and try new things in the kitchen. I really enjoyed the feeling of nurturing my family with good food made by me, especially on the fall day we were having and even more so after the kids have been sick all week. Nice to feel like I can take care of everyone, including myself.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Craft show and other random thoughts

Why, oh why, did I think I needed a table at the Mission: Hope Craft Show? I have so much left to do, and I just keep getting more and more ideas (and supplies) and less and less time. I did finish step one of my post-it holders and consequently found out that spray adhesive does not come off with soap and water. It does, however, come off (sort of) with canola oil followed by Dawn.

I still have word frames to make as well as covered notepads. I also have stuff for giant paperclip bookmarks and photo holders. Then I want to make candy bag toppers for the flavored candy corn I found. Yeah, when am I supposed to do this?

Speaking of the craft show, we are running in Race for the Cure this weekend as the Mission: Hope team. Cool, huh? It's Mom, Dad, Carrie, Rob, Chad, Kayla and me. Chad is bringing the kids out there as well, although it's supposed to be really cold, so maybe not. I had planned on being able to run the whole thing this time, but my hip injury has really help me back. About the time I get back up to par, it goes out again. Still, I will be out there and will finish the race...all for a great cause.

I've got a lot on my mind tonight...just not sure how I can be the biggest help to those around me who need it. Lots of prayers going up...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Here's a thought...

How do I want to feel on my 30th birthday, which, by the way, is right around the corner? Well, I want to feel healthier and happier. I want to lose another 14 pounds in addition to the 6 I've lost so far. I want to have a handle on how to eat healthy for me, which I can't quite figure out right now...low carb? low fat? low cholesterol? low calorie? what? I want to have some energy to enjoy my kids. I want to have the house looking presentable most of the time, including having it swept and dusted. I want to exercise in some form once a day. I want to feel happy with the progress I've made. I want to feel positive. I want to feel optimistic.

So the real question is, how am I going to get there? I've already started by trying to eat better and I'm working out at least four times a week. I need to start working on the house just 15 minutes a night and doing one "project" a day, whether it's crafty or organizational (like cleaning out the linen closet). I also need to start having a quiet time again to help me focus on what's really important so that the things like happiness and being positive will fall into place...because, let's face it, when our focus is on Jesus, there is no other place I'd rather be.

Is this summer?

I have another meeting today...the third day this week. I have no idea how long I'll be there today. I was hoping to get my haircut today and need to go to the grocery store as well. Hmmm...not enough time in the day.

It doesn't really feel like summer yet. I have an out-0f-town thing next week for school as well. I'm waiting for the first week where I don't have anything I HAVE to do.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Amazing...and challenging

Sarah Beth is not adjusting to me being home for the summer. She keeps comparing everything to how her Grammy does it, which is rarely how I do it. It's a constant reminder that I'm not here every day during the school year. It sucks. We went to the library for story time today. That turned out bad. Ryan was cranky, but we managed to make it through the actual story time. However, when it came time to get in the elevator to go downstairs to look at books, Sarah Beth threw the biggest fit. I still am not sure why, but we had to leave it was so bad. The angry look in her eyes as I buckled her in was scary, to be honest. We'll try again in a couple of weeks, I guess, but I was really disappointed to not get any books to read today.

But, I am loving being home with Ryan right now. He is hitting his word explosion and is even putting together sentences..."I want more popcorn" (which actually sounds more like "I won mo popco") and "Where Daddy go?". Just precious. I'm really loving that part.

I had so many expectations for the summer, and I'm hoping I'm still able to see many of my ideas through, things like time for me to craft things for the Mission Hope Craft Show we're planning and field trips to the fire station and other places. We shall see...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking forward to this weekend!

This weekend I am headed to an all-day crop with my mom, my sister, my mother-in-law, and several good of which is new to this scrapbooking stuff. I really, really want to make a little gift for all of them. It's nothing big, and it's actually an idea I'm stealing from my sister. She made my mom and me each a jar of small embellishments, some of which she cut on her Cricut. I want to do the same for those who didn't get this (my MIL and friends). I also have an idea for my mom and sister. I found the cutest plain white boxes to alter...think old school pencil boxes before plastic was the "in" thing, except in a smaller square shape. I just don't know how to make the paper look nice on the edges. Hmmm...things to ponder.

Anyway, this is a much needed creative weekend, one I hope I'm able to preplan for. Even if I'm not, the outlet that crafting, esp. with such a great group of women, is what I'm really anticipating! I need a mental break right now! I hope to come away from the weekend recharged and renewed as we head into the last few weeks of school!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dad's gift

Here's the shadow box I made for my Dad's birthday. The book is his latest published work. Check it out at

Being a mother of a 3-year-old...

That's my definition of being one scrap away from insanity! You just never know which child you are going to get. Last night, it was the screaming, yelling, rebellious, fit-throwing three-year-old. I just am so tired of those fits!

On another note, the two kids are playing so wonderfully together right's such a neat sight (and sound) to see/hear them playing together! And it gives me a moment of peace and quiet!

I have a crop coming up and I'd really like to get some "pre-planning" in before I go. I can be so productive when I do that. I am aiming on 16 pages this time. I have 6 ready-to-go layouts, but I'm not counting those. We'll see.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Past projects

Saturday mornings

I love Saturday least ones like today. I don't like the cold weather outside part, but what's inside today has been nice. The kids slept til after 7:30. Sarah Beth came in and got in bed with us until Ryan got up, and then he joined us. It was so nice to all cuddle up together under the covers! Both kids woke up in good moods, so we've had fun. Then I made pancakes, eggs and sausage for breakfast...with heart and star pancakes for the kids. Quite nice, I must say. They've already been bathed and now we're just playing while Daddy is at his umpire meeting.

I really have some crafty things to do today...I'm just hoping I find time. I'll have to post some pictures when I'm done.

Friday, March 27, 2009


How can kids be my greatest joy and my greatest challenge? Sarah Beth can be sooooo much fun...and then turn around and jump on my last nerve or push me to my limit. Ryan is absolutely adorable...but he says very few words, and while I try not to let that bother me, I wish he would talk, especially when I hear of other kids his age saying the cutest things.

I have, however, managed to find some time to scrapbook a little recently. Of course, it would be slightly better if I was scrapbooking for myself. Instead, I am making a birthday gift for my mom...layouts ready to go so she can finish them quickly. I think she'll like it; at least, I hope she will! I am seriously considering making "kits" like this for myself on a regular basis. It's pretty cool to have layouts that just need pictures.