Thursday, December 31, 2009

Had we but world enough, and time

My worldly thoughts for 2009...

"Had we but world enough, and time…
But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near
And yonder all before us lie
deserts of vast eternity...
Now therefore, let us sport us while we may...
and tear our pleasures with rough strife
through the iron gates of life.
Though we cannot make our sun stand still,
yet we will make him run."
-Andrew Marvell

And my Godly resolution for 2010...

I urge the supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, Godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior."

-Apostle Paul (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Praying a peaceful and quiet 2010 for you and your families.



See y'all next year!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dr's Appointment(s)

It's getting sooo close!! We have started every 2 week appointments, as of this week. I can not tell you how excited I am. It makes the day go by faster, because I schedule them around lunch time, so when I come back, I don't have much time left in the day.

Today was just normal, nothing out of the ordinary. I actually saw the nurse, because my Doctor is on Vacation. My visit was over in about 45 min......That's a RECORD! We actually have to go to the specialists next week - and I get so see sweet baby Lexi (Alexis), because they will do a very detailed ultrasound. LOVE THOSE VISITS!

This week has been SO slow at work. SO, since my sister works with me (and she is pregnant too), we have been planning our baby showers. YES, I am having one for my 3rd child. My sister is SO GREAT. My sister-in-law is also doing one too. This is my husband's bioligical sister (if you do not know the story, you can read here . So, I actually get TWO! The one MY sister is doing is mostly people from work and old friends, and we have 80 people to invite! We will see how many actually come, but I couldn't NOT invite someone from work.

I am doing one for my sister, and another friend is doing another one for her too, and her friends in Pensacola are going to do one for her there too. Her husband's family lives there too, so hopefully they will be able to come. She deserves it! :)

Well, that's it for now.... Maybe something interesting will happen tomorrow I can post about, bc this is BORING! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

SO BORED...............

Well, for some reason, this week is SO SLOW at work. Normally I have so much to do I just want to cry, but that is not the case today (or yesterday). I should not be complaining should I?? Probably not, but then it means I am BORED....

Today I had an appointment, so I did not have to be in until 10, but that means I have to work until 6:30...BOOO.... I may leave at 6, since I did not go anywhere for lunch.

Good news, I am going to see my friend Angela tonight for an Arbonne Party. Should be loads of fun....Oh and Dallas (her baby) will be there too... We might all fight over who gets to play with her. Maybe if I get there early I can call dibbs!! :)

Tomorrow I go see my OB... We will see what she says, if anything, about how things are going. I don't think she will check anything, unless I tell her I am still having contractions, but who knows. I have to go back to the specialist next week for another Eco-Cardiogram. Nothing to worry about. I just get some extra tests because my 1/2 sister had some complications with her 1st. Nothing I will complain about, because I get to see the baby and get more pictures!! :) I seriously can not wait for her to get here........Then we start every other week visits, which means I will have 1 every week for the next 3 weeks (1 this, 1 next(specialist), 1 regular the next week). It's getting CLOSE!!!!! I can't wait.

I keep saying I'm looking forward to my 6 weeks off from work. Who am I kidding, I will be BEGGING for all my friends to come see. The older two will be in school, so that will be nice to just have some me and Alexis time, but after a few days, I am sure I will be STIRR CRAZY! :) We shall see though. If all goes well and we have normal delivery, recoupe time should not be too bad. All depends on how bad the tubes tying thing goes.... (not overly thrilled about that, but I am sure I will be ok :) ).

O.k. if the rest of the week goes like the last two days, I might blog again....Or maybe for my 1 reader's sake, I won't blog again..... :)

Enjoy your day!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gone to the Dogs

I think Mack's face says it all. We took down all the jolly Christmas decorations today.

All the fattening, but oh so delicious cookies, cakes, and pies (a.k.a. breakfast) have been disposed of, and fruit, high fiber wheat bread, and turkey bacon have taken their place.

The presents have all been opened, the parties have all been attended, and we've visited with all the family.

The mailbox won't be full of fun Christmas cards and humorous letters, and Amy Grant and her Christmas songs have gone back into their cases for another year.

And because it looks like we've got about 12 weeks of cold and dreary temperatures, I think I'm going to make like Mack and try to sleep the whole thing away.

What do you think?

See y'all!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


O.k. I just realized that it has been since October since I have posted! WOW am I lazy.....or am I just busy?? I like the 2nd one better.

Well, since Vacation, I have been looking forward to my NEXT Vacation....partly because I will have another baby then! :) I can't wait. 7 weeks, 5 days in counting. That is, if she will cooperate and come on time. I don't see any reason she won't, but we will wait and see.

I have a dr. appt. this week, and one at the Specialist next week, then I think I go back the next week to my dr. again (will start 2 week appointments this week). It's getting SO MUCH closer!!!!!!!!

I will upload some recent photos.... I had maternity pictures done recently, and this was one of my favorite that she took, so she sent me a copy to have for myself......It was one of the better ones that you could actually tell that I was pregnant...

We also had 4-d pictures done a few weeks ago. These REALLY made me want to bring Alexis home NOW!!!
Isn't she beautiful??

For Christmas, I got a new crib/changing table and the bedding for her bed. Right now, it is all in our room. We are working on getting the office cleaned out and moving Tyler into Kaitlyn's room so Alexis can have her own room. She may end up in our room for a while......

The Crib and bedding....

The changing table

We had a really good Christmas, the kids were spoiled with everthing they got. We should almost not buy them any presents with how many they get from everyone else.....:) They are enjoying playing with their toys and their week off from school. Everything should be back to "normal" for the time being after the 1st.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa Claus Came to Town

Christmas doesn't get much better than when there are scads of children running around. As you can tell from AC and her cousin C- the excitement reached gut-busting levels.

They were so overcome with excitement at the thought of a visit from Santa that they literally flipped out.

G. was so excited about his visit and the iTouch that Santa left that he smiled without being forced and sported a kicky faux hawk for the camera.

Cousin M, after coughing like a seal for several minutes straight (darned asthma), became giddy over Rudolph cupcakes because he has the best aunt EVER... She might have also delivered battery operated GI Joe toys, and really - if you're a seven year old boy what else do you need if you've got a steady supply of sugar and ammunition?

Cousin H. sucks the marrow out of life, and he also sucks the icing off of Rudolph's face and then joyfully devours his blow-pop nose. You can tell he's distraught over Rudolphs untimely and gruesome demise.

Cousin K. enjoyed her chocolate so much that you can see that she smeared some on her forehead for later. She also stored quite a few cake crumbs in her hair- I think she was anticipating a long night of waiting for the big guy.

And after dinner eating, Santa tracking, movie watching, present opening, and cupcake destroying was all over a hush fell over the room, and we found these three completely undone and collapsed watching Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

It's a sweet, sweet time. Merry Christmas to you and your families. We are so thankful for all of you and especially for our sweet Lord who allowed all of this to come to pass.

Christmas Morning!

Build, build, build!  We've been building all morning; Onyx's Duplo Fire set, Quartz's Granite Grinder and Bionicle, Onyx's dinosaur puzzle, put together and taken apart many times already!  What fun!

Wes pored over his new book on rocks, Sapphire grilled us pretend shish kebabs on her play grill and played some drum music, while I snuck peppermint chocolates and packed up the car. 

The best part?  No tantrums this year; everyone happily opened presents with lots of thank yous and no complaining!  What a nice gift to parents!  :-D

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Say It In a Letter

(So I'm cheating a little bit- here's our letter that went out with MOST of our Christmas cards- apparently my envelope stuffers missed a few- if you were one of them- here you go.)

Hey there!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! We’re hoping that your year was as blessed as ours. Thankfully we managed to avoid Somali pirates, the swine flu, and Zhu Zhu pets; I wish I could say the same for animal bracelets and the Miley Cyrus movie.

While we did have a blessed year, we got off to a shaky start. We had to put G. on suicide watch for the inauguration of the President; turns out he channeled Alex P. Keaton sans the briefcase, and cursed democrats everywhere. We told him not to worry though, because really- healthcare and protection from terrorists are such trivial issues compared to say, befriending Castro. Clearly, there’s no need to panic.

Well, there was need to panic, but not over politics. This year we took on vegetable gardening, and because Coach and I both lack the ability to do things in moderation, we ended up with crops. Thirty tomato plants and untold dozens of pepper, squash, zucchini, cucumber, okra, carrot, green bean, and strawberry plants later we ended up with a freezer full of produce. There would have been corn too had it not been for the 4th of July raccoon massacre. Don’t even go there- let’s just suffice it to say I will be HIGHLY disappointed if I don’t get a Coon Hound named Neyland for Christmas.

Speaking of Neyland, we took the kids to their first UT game this year. Aside from sitting on the surface of the sun for a noon game, we had great fun. We made a weekend of it taking them to a cabin and tubing river rapids in the mountains. In one of my most loving gestures as a mother, I chose to honor G’s 13th birthday on the river by ripping my rear-end open on a rock and subsequently getting 13 stitches on my left cheek. All was well though- it gave Coach the opportunity to talk to Gaylord Fokker, the male nurse practitioner, about bow hunting elk in New Mexico or Montana or somewhere.

Yes, I said G. is 13. He is 5’6 and at my goal weight with no signs of slowing down. Seems we’re not going to escape puberty at our house. One is in the throes as we speak, and the other two are gearing up by exercising their ability to go from laughing to crying in the blink of an eye. The girls are 9 now and obsessed with animal bracelets and Littlest Pet Shop animals. I’m totally fine with that- as both are much less expensive than an obsession with shoes.

The blog has opened up many opportunities for me, and I’ve met some really great friends. Please visit us there to keep up with all the craziness: It’s a chronicle of what we’re learning while we walk through the adventure of parenting and teaching kids. There are also recipes- lots of recipes- because if we don’t love anytning else here, we love good food. (For the record, the chicken pastry bundles are out of this world- kids love them, adults love them, and the recipe makes 12. You can’t lose with this one.)

We hope you have a Merry Christmas with your family, and we pray that you will enjoy blessings and good health in the coming year. Call us or come by whenever you want- we’d love to see your smiles!

See Y’all!
Coach, Traci, and the nuts…

Monday, December 21, 2009

Warm Wishes and Best Dishes

I had a grandmother that could put Paula Deen to shame, and just like Paula Deen, she showed no fear at the mention of butter or deep frying. Buddy, as all of her grandchildren called her, died in January of 1994 right after the holidays.

At her funeral one of the things I heard over and over again was how she made the best fried pies anyone had ever eaten. She's been dead over 15 years and people still talk about her fried pies.

My mom made the fried pies over the weekend as she proclaimed on her facebook page which subsequently sent her entire network of friends into some sort of fried pie frenzy. It was both funny and sweet. Anyway, I told my mom I would put the recipe here so that all her people could get the recipe and forward it along, thus also forwarding along the craziness that is our home.

Welcome to our home. Well, our den anyway, but this is where we spend the majority of our time. So, from our house to yours, enjoy some of Buddy's most famous recipes.

Buddy's Fried Pies
8 oz. pkg. dried peaches
8 oz. pkg. dried apricots
3 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons of salt
2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (yes, seriously- it's the secret)
1 1/2 cups cold milk

Cook fruit in water approximately 1 hour or until tender. Drain and mash, add honey and sugar. Meanwhile in a large bowl mix flour, salt, shortening, cheese and milk together in that order to form dough. Turn out on floured board and knead. Roll out 1/4 at a time , cut into squares and add approximately a tablespoon of fruit mixture, fold dough over and seal with a wet fork. Fry in oil in 350-400 degree oven, turning once.

** The secret is to get the dough very thin. VERY thin. I use a rubbermaid sandwich container to cut the dough into a square and I put a little more than a tablespoon of fruit in them.

She was also known for her Cranberry Salad. As a matter-of-fact, she made a whole bunch the Christmas before she died and she personally walked around the neighborhood delivering it to the neighbors. She told my grandfather she wanted to do it because she wouldn't be around to see another Christmas. We have no idea how she knew.

Cranberry Salad

1 pkg. cherry jello
1 1/2 cup hot water
2 cups ground cranberries
1 whole orange, ground
1 cup sugar
1 cup celery chopped
1 apple chopped
1 cup pecans chopped
1 small can crushed pineapple
Pour sugar over ground cranberries and orange. Add prepared jello. Add chopped celery, apples, pineapple, and nuts. Refrigerate.

Butterscotch Cookies (My favorite Christmas memory- and not really butterscotch at all)

1/2 lb. butter softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
Make stiff dough. Roll into 1 inch balls then flatten. Place a pecan half on top and bake at 425 for about 10 minutes.

Happy pie making!

See y'all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grace & Mercy

In case you have lost sight of the size of our God lately, I thought I'd let you see something creepy (not the scary evil kind of creepy, more the God really is in the details of our everyday lives kind of creepy).

I've been following the Caring Bridge site of a man that I don't know personally. He's a dear friend of JMom's. He's a Young Life director (I think). I have fallen in love with his wife C. She is amazing. Just amazing. Her husband has advanced melanoma. He opted to have a treatment that is currently in clinical trials and therefore not covered by insurance. If you want to read his whole story, and you absolutely SHOULD, you can read it here.

But after some difficult treatments that he received in Houston a few weeks ago his wife wrote this:

"And this is possibly my favorite “nugget.” In our hospital room there is a big dry erase board. This board is used to keep us informed on S.’s treatment schedule and to track his input and output (sorry if that is TMI- after a period of time, one tends to become desensitize​d to such things). Anyway, as our nurses and nursing assistants change each day, they write their names on the board so we won’t forget. As we were leaving the hospital on Friday we glanced around to do a final check of the room. And that’s when I stopped in my tracks, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before, I had been calling our nurse and her assistant by their names all morning. There in the corner of our white board their names were written, Grace and Mercy. And there it was, the literal “writing on the wall.” I couldn’t have made that up if I tried.

In all those things and so many more, I sense God saying, “I hear your cries for mercy for S.’s body. I will continue to show you My Grace… through your friends and family, through My word- you can write that on the wall of your life and heart. I have already and will continue to give you My Grace and My Mercy.”

Cool huh?

Yeah, well, just wait.

So Saturday I was reading Beth Moore's post about her surgery and health scare that landed her in the oncology wing as well. She is FINE. She does NOT have cancer. She explains that in great detail on the LPM blog.

In the middle of explaining what happened and her diagnosis she wrote this:

"Anyway, by the time I really began to wake up and have clear thoughts, still sick as a dog, a nurse walked into my hospital room and over to the dry erase marker board across from my bed. She grabbed one of the markers and said, "These are your nurses for today." And, to A.'s and my complete astonishment, this is what she wrote on the board:

Nurse: Grace

Nurse's assistant: Mercy

At that moment, I knew I wasn't just there to meet with an oncologist. I was there to meet with God.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16"

Told you. What are the chances of two people dealing with two completely different diagnoses weeks apart having the same two nurses?

100% if you know HIM.

That God of ours is something else isn't he?

I pray you all have your own Grace and Mercy this week.

See y'all.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunday Supper: It's Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas Edition

I don't know about you, but December is a month of big fun, and because we're out having all the big fun, there hasn't been as much time for blogging...or cooking...

until today.

Today I baked and cooked a big dinner that we ate on the Christmas dishes, because that's just how we roll around here in December.

I'll do a cookie-palooza later this week. I thought I'd just give you some ideas for supper today.

First dinner, then a pictorial tour of the first 18 days of December.

Sound good?

Marinated Pork Tenderloin (or Steak with the Seeds on It as AC has named it)

1 pkg. pork tenderloin (or you can just get boneless pork chops) cut into fillets
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard (I use the kind with the whole mustard seeds- thus AC's name for the pork)
3 Tablespoons whiskey (you can use water if you must, but the whiskey makes it richer)

Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and whiskey together in a large Ziploc bag. Put pork in the bag and marinate. (I let it sit all day in the fridge)

Grill until cooked through.

Balsamic Glazed Broccoli
2 bunches of broccoli cut up (I just buy the bagged florets)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Steam broccoli and put in a serving bowl. In a saucepan cook balsamic vinegar on medium high heat until it is reduced by half. Then add the butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour over broccoli and serve.

Mashed Potato Casserole
6 potatoes peeled and diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Put potatoes in saucepan covered with water. Salt and add garlic. Boil until tender. Pour potatoes into mixing bowl, add sour cream and cream cheese and beat until smooth. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake at 350-400 until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Dickens of a Christmas downtown. The kids love this- the entire town is decked out in their 19th century finest and they wander the streets speaking in an English accent saying things like Bah-humbug and throwing pennies at them.

Told you- priceless.

AC saw the woman in the white dress and was awestruck- pictures had to be taken. She's been dreaming and drawing wedding dresses ever since. Apparently she likes the cream puff look. Here's hoping her tastes mature a bit before she marries. Heck, here's hoping SHE matures a bit before she marries.

They also had to have their picture made with the ghost of Christmas past. Friendly fellow- threatened them with their lives if they didn't behave.

I'm pretty sure this guy is left over from the Pumpkin Fest in October. We also have a picture of the girls with Chewbacca from that particular festival. I'll save that pic for another day, because you can only enjoy so many pictures of my children with fictional characters before you grow tired.

Tired yet?

This was AC's Christmas program at school. She's nowhere in the picture. I have dozens of her standing and singing, but I thought the light was sweet here. It makes it even sweeter when you know they were singing "Away in a Manger."

Told you. Very sweet.

How about this for some cupcake creativity? I know. I KNOW. And no, I didn't make them, but I was instructed by AC, our cruise director for the holiday season, that in order for her Christmas to be truly complete, we must make these.

If your child decides the same- the nose is a blow pop (trim the stick), the mouth is 1/2 gummy lifesaver, the eyes are white m&m's with a dot of black icing. (You can get white m&m's at some grocery stores or at the candy store in the mall - well if you have a candy store in your mall. Apparently we do, and apparently they have quite a selection of colored m&m's for your decorating pleasure.) And the antlers are large pretzels that are broken in half. The mom who made these said she spent more time than was prudent trying to break the things in half without them crumbling into pieces.

Sounds like a job for Coach.

AC and Me with the real Santa. He lives right here in Franklin. We saw him two summers ago at the bank. AC was struck speechless and dumb. He walked right up to her in his Tommy Bahama shirt, flip flops, and shorts and asked her if she was being good. He told her he summered in Franklin and was keeping his eye on her.

Best July of my entire life. Hands down.

Y'all enjoy supper. I'll put up recipes for all the cookies in the next couple of days. Happy Sunday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Art of Exterior Illumination

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

Aunt Bethany: Is your house on fire Clark?
Clark: No, Aunt Bethany. Those are the Christmas lights.

And so goes the lines from the best Christmas movie ever.

Let me be clear, the house you see is not OUR house, so I guess technically I'm not following the rules, but while our house is all warm and sparkly with nutcrackers and wreaths and trees and gifts and such, I think this house deserves the attention today.

So I cheated, a little bit. But stay with me.

A little over the top you say?

Believe me, the pictures don't begin to do it justice- we are talking about a good two acres of land completely covered with lighted Christmas decorations.

We stop here every year.

This year we mixed it up a little and actually got out of the car.

Of course, Coach saw someone he knew ("a buddy I grew up with up in Joelton" he said- if I had a dime for every time he said that- well let's just say I'd have enough dimes to have my own impressive display of exterior illumination.)

So of course they chatted on about all the Joelton gossip-who is doing what and where, and then there had to be the talk of the good old days of playing football at the middle school, you know, when the men were strong, the women were beautiful, and the children were all above average.

Sadly, the Golden Age of Coach's life has passed and all he has left of it are arthritic knees and a growing bald spot.

Meanwhile I fielded the questions from all three kids: "How many lights are there?" "Well, how many colored lights are there?" "How come you don't know?" "Well, how many do you THINK there are?" "No, seriously how many do you THINK there are?" "Why don't you ever think about those things?" "What do you think about?" "Why do you think about that?" "I just wonder how many lights there are, what do you think now?" "Can you think about it for a minute and then tell us how many you think there are?" "Why don't you want to think about it?" "Why do you want us to ask him? He's still talking to that guy about how they used to play football all the time."

And on it went.

Until I got to ask the question, you know the one with the answer you were totally not prepared to hear? Old football buddy of Coach's says hello, introduces himself, and then I ask: Whose house is this?" to which football buddy points to a man directing traffic (told you- it's a big deal- they had over 40 limos and buses that night).

Then I ask: "How long did it take him to do all of this?"

Football buddy: "He starts the middle of October. He won't let anyone help him: he does it all completely alone."

Me: "Huh, he sure must love himself some Christmas."

Football buddy: "Sort of, the whole display is for his son, JB, you see the initials up there in the yard? Yeah- his son was killed at Christmas about 10 years ago, he was 16. He does it as a tribute to him because the kid loved Christmas."

Me: "Oh, excuse me, I must go weep now."

That man lost his boy. Not only did he lose his boy, but he lost him at Christmas. So I could only think about how those weeks of putting up lights and decorations must be the time that he replays every moment of that child's life in his head. It broke my heart. I cannot imagine anything could be worse.

So seriously. SERIOUSLY. Be thankful for what you've got this year. Be thankful for healthy children, be thankful for the loved ones who are still around, be thankful for the ones who are not.

And for those of you who are fighting illness or missing someone this Christmas - just remember the point of the season. It's all about the birth of a baby who came into our world and opened up eternity for us.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Merry Christmas! I'll put pictures of our house up later. I'm hoping a rather large elf will hang some wreaths today!

See y'all!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Glee (A Sunday Supper Special)

I come from a fairly artistic and musical family. My grandmother painted oil portraits and she also dabbled in oil paintings as well. I have an uncle who can pick up any instrument, and by any I do mean ANY instrument, and play it like he's played it for years-and he's never had a music lesson.

Seriously, he regularly plays the guitar and the banjo, but I've seen him play a clarinet, and an accordian with gusto and verve.

My dad can draw and paint and write, and he has apparently taught himself to play the guitar, but that is really a family myth because we've never actually seen him do it, though the large collection of guitars he owns is mightily impressive.

My brother can draw and paint children's faces that are so realistic you'll do a double take, and he also plays a mighty good guitar tune. He made his own recording studio, and rumor has it that he has quite a collection of original songs.

My mother can paint, draw, and make breathtakingly beautiful clothes out of next to nothing.

And I have a whole host of cousins who are professional artists.

So, appreciate with me please that I have no artistic talent. Seriously, none.

I cannot draw a stick person nor can I play a musical instrument, well, I can rock the xylophone, but how much demand is there for a xylophone player?

About as much as a handbell player, which Coach admitted to being quite dexterous at today.

G. is pretty good on the recorder, so we might have enough talent pooled together to form some sort of band of obscure instruments.

But, we would need a vocalist. AC would happily volunteer for that position as she loves to sing almost as much as she loves to destroy a room in a single bound. I cannot tell you the joy singing brings her. She's a member of the church choir as well as the Wildcat choir at school.

God loves irony.

She inherited her lack of musical talents from her mother. Neither of us can carry a tune in a trough. But we both love to sing, so we take trips every day to the grocery where we put in the Amy Grant Christmas CD and belt out some tunes together. And I am using the word "tune" in the most loose sense of the word.

It's not pretty, but what we lack in talent and tone we more than make up for with passion and volume.

And Coach and G? Can sing like songbirds. It's a travesty really. More than once I've prayed this one word to God: "Seriously?"

Anyway, I do have some impressive culinary gifts.

So while I am not able to sing for you, I will happily give you my recipes for dinner tonight.

Chicken Fettuccine Supreme

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 pounds chicken breast tenders (cut into bite size pieces)
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped green onions
1 sweet red pepper cut into thin strips
1 clove garlic - crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
10 oz. dried fettuccine, cooked
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium heat; add chicken and cook until browned. Remove chicken and reserve pan drippings. Set chicken aside.

Add mushrooms and next 5 ingredients to pan drippings in skillet. Saute until mushrooms are tender.

Add chicken; reduce heat, and cook 15 minutes or until chicken is tender. Set aside and keep warm.

Place fettuccine in a large bowl. Add half and half and next 4 ingredients to fettucine. Toss gently to combine.

Add chicken mixture and Parmesan cheese to fettuccine; toss gently to combine.

Zucchini Toss

4-6 whole zucchini
Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning
Parmesan Cheese

Cut up 4-6 zucchini. Place in a bowl. Pour just enough olive oil to barely coat. Then sprinkle Italian seasoning to taste. Finally, add parmesan cheese and mix. Pour onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until tender and cheese has melted.

I'll also make some garlic bread (just buy a loaf of french bread, spread olive oil on each piece, then sprinkle with a little granulated garlic, salt, and fresh ground pepper.)

See y'all!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Elfin Magic

Looks like Clyde finally decided to come back today. It wouldn't be Christmas without one more person to clean up after. Of course, that's really more Coach's worry- I'm totally fine with a mild mess.

You must know that G doesn't really prefer to entertain Clyde, nor does V. They are both a little "creeped out" by him, and G finds him slightly annoying because of all the mess. (That's what I tell myself, actually he's slightly annoyed with all of us for, you know, breathing and existing and not being 13. You know how it is right? Seriously, someone who has an adolescent one, tell me you know how it is!!!)

So, Clyde is hanging out in AC's room today, because frankly, after the mess he made on the floor he's probably going to be on Coach's most wanted list, and right now we're all on G's most wanted list. Truly, I think Clyde prefers AC's room mostly because she has a stash of Hershey's Kisses and gum.

This is where I predict Coach's head will explode and an epic dustbusting frenzy will ensue.

I also predict that AC will try to eat Clyde's marshmallow snowballs. Then I predict she'll go into the bathroom to spit out carpet fuzz, and finally I predict that we'll all have to listen to a much hyperbolized version of the carpet fuzz debacle.

All the while, Clyde waits patiently for the little one to come home and find him so her Christmas can finally begin!

Below is a link to a personalized Santa video. I'm sure if you're nice he'd be happy to send on your way as well!

See y'all!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm an App! I'm an App!

I'm an App! A few weeks ago I received an e-mail asking if I wanted Total Momsense to be an iTunes application that could be downloaded to iPhones and iTouches.

Well sure I did.

So, I filled out some forms, sent some descriptions and graphics, and the next thing I know- I'm an application.

You can find me here.

Go ahead- I'm cheap. Actually, I'm free. Feel free to download me and use me to your little heart's content. Tell all your friends too!

Wow- that's a paragraph mothers across the country hope and pray their daughters never type and then publish on the internet.

It's fine though because it will give my mom the opportunity to use her favorite adage: "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"

Seriously, it's been a while since that one's been part of her repertoire. Sadly, it's just about to come a-calling for me. It seems that the dating asteroid is about to come crashing into my world in the next couple of years as puberty has not yet proven to be lethal.

I think we need to celebrate my induction into iTunes obscurity. With that being said, please enjoy the rap that some boys in my Creative Writing class wrote. You must understand that they were able to write, perform, and record the song in a mere 43 minutes.

I would have posted some of the girls' performances, but you know how it is- 43 minutes isn't enough time to apply lip gloss much less write, perform, and produce a song.

Anyway- enjoy! See you in the shiny world of iTunes!

See y'all!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thanksgiving, and Arachnid Form!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, with the Wards visiting us from Colorado Springs. On Thanksgiving we had a great turkey dinner with brined and smoked turkey (thanks, Wes!), and played Bomberman with some fun friends (Quartz has figured it out, but Onyx still needs to learn to run away from his bomb after he puts it down.)  We had a great time at the dinosaur museum and the aquarium/gardens.  The trains weren't running, but we got to see lots of awesome bugs and had a good lunch at the Japanese garden.

Sapphire is getting close to walking, but she's not there yet.  She loves to climb up on the step ladder and play in the sink, but she doesn't want to come down.  Instead she screams for someone to come and give her back her wooden spoon or something.

Last, here's some quotes from our family this week:
"No potty language.  Let's use clean words!" --Andrea
"Stupid isn't potty language.  It's a rude word."  --Quartz
"I'm really powerful, and also very special."  --Onyx
"Dad da da da!" -- Sapphire, when dad comes home from work
"That's what boys are all about -- sharing!" --Quartz, trying to get Onyx to share his candy with him
"Arachnid form!" --Quartz and Onyx, pretending to be shapechangers
"Calamari form!" --Wes, also pretending to be a shapechanger
"I might cast a flush toilet spell to flush the toilet" --Quartz, while pretending to be a wizard but taking a potty break
"I have spikes all over!  I'm made of triangle armor!" --Onyx
"I don't want to say please, because saying please makes me not hungry!" --Quartz