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!