Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So it goes....

Today is my birthday.
The day that I dread.
5 days after Christmas every year.
The day I grow older.
Today I am 31 years old. And I finally feel it.

The past 6 days have been quite an adventure. We spent Christmas Eve at home with the kids doing the things we do every Christmas Eve. We put out the cookies and milk, exchanged the gifts we got for each other, and settled down for the big day.

So far...smooth sailing.

Christmas Day. The kids are AMAZED that Santa came over night and left them with buttloads of gifts ranging from toys to pjs to movies. Their faces were lit up and their eyes sparkled. And I got to sleep in till 8:15. Noah ripped open his presents at lightening speed and started to play after he realized that there were no more. Syd was still on her second gift when he finished. She had to open it, examine it, and play with it before opening the next one.

Around 10:30 we loaded up and headed out for our hour and a half trip to PA for our first of two Christmas dinners of the day. The first was grand. We had turkey and the fixings. We opened presents. The kids were tiring out. Syd fell asleep on her cousin's lap, and Noah kept bugging to go to Mimi's (my mom's house). Around 4:00ish, we left for my parents. We had the second dinner of the day of marinated pork loin, scallopped potatoes and more. Everything was delicious and my mom's house looked like something out of a magazine. We all exchanged gifts and wrapping paper was literally flying everywhere. There were presents going this way and that across the room, aunts and uncles putting together the toys, dogs chewing biscuits (that I made), puppies visiting, and there I sat....with the best Christmas present ever!! My mom bought me a SmartShopper. For those of you who like to organize and make lists...this is the gadget for you!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! Thanks Mom :)

We spent the night there and the next day we came home for a few hours to relax. The kids got to play with their new toys and Hubby and I relaxed. Then that evening we left again for PA for yet another family dinner. The one was made my Aunt Tracy from NJ. She made her "Gravy" and it was delicious. Hubby left to meet up with one of HS friends and forgot to give me the kids pajamas and pullups for bed.....so the kids stayed up as long as they could till they crashed. Hubby came home and rambled about his MOST exciting night. We slept in the next morning only to leave again for another trip home.

Saturday: Spent the day at home...Noah was starting to cough at night and in the morning. His fever continued around 100.5ish. I just felt something was wrong. We tried to go to the Urgent Care on Friday but it was a 3 hour wait, so we waited b/c we didn't think it was anything serious. He complained of nothing. Kids played the day away. Back to PA for another family dinner....more delicious turkey. Syd was awkward upon arrival due to a strange place and different people, but eventually warmed up. Noah was running around and had a coughing fit. This is when I realized that it was serious.

We left for home and put the kiddos to bed. We decided to stop at the Urgent Care on our way to PA that Sunday afternoon. Thank God we did b/c they diagnosed Noah with pneumonia. It was mainly in his right lung, but not too serious. We caught it early enough. However, they felt it was necessary for us to go to the ER and be treated with Antibotic in an IV. So after a 3 hour wait at Urgent Care, Syd peeing her pants in the car, me having to buy her new clothes and undies to change her, missing the Shaffer family gift exchange and dinner, Noah and I sat in the ER for 5 and a half hours.

I am not sure what is worse.....Noah sitting through a rated R movie in HD or what he saw in the ER for 5.5 hours.

As we sat there, we saw people of all kinds. People you didn't know existed, people puking everywhere, you name it....it was there.

At one point a very obese woman walked by us and it was like in the movies where things go in V E R R Y S SLOW motion!! Noah says LOOK AT THAT!! and his hand slowly comes up with his fingers to a point right at her belly hanging down......and hand flys over to his mouth and covers it before he can finish SHE IS ___________.

After the woman was away from us, I asked him what he was going to say and
he said, "I don't know the word Mommy."
I said, "Yes you do Noah, you can tell Mommy."
He said, "I don't remember."

I said, "God made us all different honey. There are skinny people, fat people, people of different colors..." blah blah blah....

He said, "Then what is wrong with her?" He looks right at this lady who had bottle cap glasses who was probably legally blind.
I exlained that she was blind and had difficutly seeing.

If you want to give your children a lesson on life....go to the ER. :)

So finally today on my birthday I thought for sure that things would slow down. But Syd woke up with belly pains and puked all over the kitchen floor. I am grateful that it wasn't carpet. :)

She is good now :) Thanks for your emails and calls :) Noah is recooperating as well.

Tonight we watched Horton Hears a Who with the kids. So it goes.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

This is what I have been up too.....

From reading many of your blogs, I can see that I am not alone in my quest to make Christmas a wonderful day this year. So over the last week I have been crazy busy, but it is completely worth it!! Here are some things I have been up too.......

On Thursday, Hubby and I joined Noah for lunch. He loved having us there. It was nice because at this age they still love kisses and hugs from Mommy and Daddy in public lol :) Then,

Friday I was able to go to lunch with Noah again because he was Pioneer of the Week. Thank you Mary!! :) He just loved having me there!!




















Then, all afternoon the girls and I made 2 different types of cookies. I will share the YUMMY recipes on my other blog in the near future. The first was Spicy Molasses Cookies. I have been looking for a recipe that taste as close to my Grandma Hall's cookies as possible and I think I found them!! They are delicious....but will never have the love that Grandma put into them.





Spicy Molasses Cookies















Lemon Lover's Cookies
Great with hot tea!!











I also made reindeer and reindeer food with the girls. They had so much fun mixing up the sparkly food for the reindeer on Christmas Eve. Syd tried feeding the reindeer on the computer. It was so cute!! I think she will expect them to ACTUALLY be in the yard when she feeds them. :)



















On Saturday morning I got up, packed my stuff and the kids stuff and headed to PA to drop my kids off at my mom's for the day and night. Hubby had basketball practice and poker all night, so my parents took the kids shopping and out to lunch and they spent the night with them. I, yes, me, little ol' me, took the QUIET drive to Pittsburgh, ALL BY MYSELF with MY OWN MUSIC to visit my college friend Kim. I had such a good time with her!! She took me out to a DELICIOUS Italian restaurant, we went and bought scrapbooking stuff, and went back to crop the night away. Here is her little girl and a couple pages I made......
























Tuesday, December 16, 2008

M and M Cookies

I searched high and low for a good M&M recipe. I like this one because there is a little crunch, but also a lot of chew. Hubby enjoys dipping them in his hot tea :)

M&M Cookies

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening (I did 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup softened butter)
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups M&M's

In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, shortening, and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour, salt, and baking soad to creamed mixture. Blend well. Add 3/4 cup of M&M candies.

Drop dough by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet. Slightly push a few candies on top of each dough ball with remaining candies (optional) or just add them all into the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 9 to 11 mins, to your liking.


ENJOY!!!

Bath time

The one thing I will miss the most when my kids grow up is their bathtime together. I dread the moment that my son no longer wants to bath with his sister. They are so cute and funny in the tub! I CHERISH the moments they share in the tub.

With Hubby having basketball every evening, I have been bathing the kids bath in our jacuzzi tub in our basement. They just love making big bubbles, putting them on their head, and giggling the evening away!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Delicious Gobs

Growing up in South Central Pennsylvania...well, sorta....western too (insert proud smile) was quite quiet and fairly peaceful, and good recipes were easy to come by! My family, both sides, knew how to cook and bake!


With all the great food, there is one thing that will always remember and cherish from my childhood and adulthood. They are called Gobs (click on here). They were orginated by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Most people know them as whoopie pies, but believe me they are NOT the same. Whoopie Pies are made with marshmallow creme and Gobs are made with a yummy icing. The moister the Gob the better.





I have had several recipes over the years and it is just a matter of opinion of what you like best.


I have found that my hubby's Grandmother had found one of the best recipes. I will post it below. They are DELICIOUS and moist.


My grandfather also has a delicious recipe for them as well....I will have to track that one down or my mom will have to post it cuz I know she has it to share.




GOBS


Cookie:

2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg and 1 egg yolk (cream) save the egg white
1 cup sour milk
1 tsp of baking soda in 1 cup boiling water

Mix together and add dry ingredients:

4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Cup cocoa


Mix together and drop by the teaspoons (like cookies) on a baking sheet. I used parchment paper to keep them from sticking. Bake them for about 8-10 mins or until your liking at 375 degrees F. Becareful to not overbake them.


As they are baking, make filling.

Filling:

1. Beat 1 egg white with pinch of salt
2. Add to 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup canned condensed milk, 1 cup shortening, and 2 tsp. vanilla.
3. Beat until smooth
4. Spread filling between the cookies.
5. Then wrap them individually with plastic wrap.

They freeze wonderfully!!


I hope you enjoy these! They are delightful!
Have you ever had one?? What did you think??

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Updates

I will quickly say hi :) and welcome back lol

I don't have much time, I am updating my Mom's group blog, my blog that my mom and I keeping up with, and planning a bridal shower, but I wanted to stop by and say keep coming back! lol

Gosh...Edward...I haven't even had time for you.

I have baked 10 dozen cookies, 5 dozen Gobs, and made a created some Christmas gifts.

See my other blog for my Mom's recipe she posted and my creations!

Have a wonderful night!

Christmas Creations

On Saturday night my friend Mary came over so we could work on DIY Christmas creations.

Sidenote: Awhile back my Mom came down to visit me and she brought a project for us to make. After posting our project on my Everyday Life with a Smile blog, many of my friends wanted the directions to make one. So, I passed it along and people fell in love with its simplicity and class. Because of all the people Mary needed to show her appreciation for this holiday season, she decided to make lots of these with different words/phrases on them. She worked on the fabulous wrapped blocks as seen here......



And I worked on some glass containers (purchased at Michaels craft store for $3.99 a piece for the circular and $4.99 for the square). I decorated them with patterned and plain cardstock, CTMH stamp (All Decked Out), a $1.00 stamp from Michaels, Creative Memory punches, and other doo dads :) I am filling each of the glass containers with Gobs (recipe will be posted at a later date), candy buckeyes (my mom posted below this one), and/or M&M cookies for people my husband works with, Noah's bus driver, and the Postman (I heart him). I hope they love them as much as I do!



Saturday, December 13, 2008

Candy Buckeyes

Cream together the following:

1 - 18 oz jar of peanut butter
1 stick of butter
1 T vanilla

Blend in 1 lb of powered sugar. Mix well and form into balls the size of a buckeye.

Mix in saucepan on very low heat the following:

1 - 12 oz pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 rectangle of paroffin wax (you can buy this at the grocery store and it's perfectly fine to eat)

Dip the balls into chocolate mix to coat leaving a small space amount uncovered. I use a toothpick to dip them and cover the small hole in the top when finished.
To make dipping easier, put the balls in the freezer for 20 min. before dipping.

About Buckeyes
The Buckeye – You may have had one these chocolate-lover's treat, but have you ever wondered where it got its name? This unique snack has a history just as rich as its flavor.
Candy buckeyes are named after the shiny, dark nuts of the Buckeye Tree – the official state tree for Ohio. The state's original settlers found it to be an unfamiliar tree in the forest, and adopted it as a symbol of Ohio heritage. These pioneers carved the soft buckeye wood into troughs, platters and even cradles. Today, buckeye trees are prominent in the Ohio River Valley, and are known for being resilient and hearty.
The nuts of the tree, which are actually mildly toxic, were given their name because of their resemblance to the eyes of white-tailed deer. Folk wisdom says that carrying a buckeye nut in your pocket brings good luck (but you might not want to try that with the candy variety).

From Your Mother

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday's Weigh In

Now Tracey I am ONLY weighing in starting on Fridays because we are doing this together...so I expect a post! I will be stopping by!

This was a bad 5 days. On Wednesday morning I cheated and jumped on the scale. I was back up the 2 lbs I lost last week. So all day yesterday I drank water and water and water, had a healthy and portioned breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so I thought it would bring me down at least a pound........so this morning when I jumped on the scale, I had some hopes that I would have only gone up one at the most.





NOPE!!! I freaking am up 3 lbs!! WTF?? I just don't get it. Something is WRONG WITH MY BODY!! I did NOT cosume enough calories to go up 3 lbs in 5 days.

So I am officially up 3 from last week.

Total loss: NONE +1 actually.

I can NOT afford to go to WW every week. It is not an option. I have been "counting" points here and it isn't working. I am about ready to give up and turn into a 2 Ton woman.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

OH let me tell you...

I would be SO embarrassed if you came by my house right now. This is probably the messiest it has been in a VERY long time. Actually, I don't think it has ever been this out of order. It is almost to the point of no return. The last couple days have been difficult to get through. Sydney has been sick with a cold for about a week, you know....the runny nose, coughing, miserable, type. Finally, yesterday morning she woke up at 6 am, held her ear, and said it hurts. I took her to the doctor and she has an ear infection.

Today is MUCH better. After 2 doses of Zinthromax (thank you to our new Walgreens, I only had to wait 15 mins compared to an hour at CVS), she is doing better. I was so scared she would have another febrile seizure. I don't think I can do that again. 5 with Noah and one so far with her. Can't go there....no more.

So, as you can imagine....with my exhaustion and everything sucking the life out of me, my house is SCARY! I almost puked this morning by the sight of the dishes in my sink....I hate dishes in the sink....the germs, bacteria, and crap is magnified and I could hurl. They have to be put in the dishwasher and gone from the sink as soon as they are dirtied. I am working hard people....the kitchen is clean. The laundry is washed, but stacked up to the ceiling UNFOLDED and getting wrinklier (is that a word?) more and more by the second. And guess what people......


I DON'T GIVE A RATS ASS!! and I am proud to feel this way.


I am so excited about the upcoming events in my life. The cookie swap, Mom's Night out, going to Pittsburgh, the rest of my Christmas shopping, making gifts for friends, etc. etc. I finally feel like i have SOME energy to get started.


As for the weigh in tomorrow. I am scared....very scared. I checked this morning and I was back up. I just don't get it. My body is WHACKED!! So lots of water and lentil soup today and I will be back on track. Hopefully I will have at least stayed the same. Good luck to the rest of you weighing in :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday's Weigh In

This week I will weigh in on Monday and Friday. Tracy, you are being held accountable for what you said, so you and I honey are weighing in on OUR BLOGS every Friday!! REGARDLESS of what the verdict is :)

So.........


Drum roll please..............brrrrr.........................................


I am DOWN 2 lbs!! WOOWHOO!!!!

I am happy. I still had a sweet tea this week, but only one. I have tried to have some portion control and drinking more water. That is about it for the plan right now. I have to "wean" myself off the fun foods because that is SO hard for me to just go cold turkey on. But 2 pounds is 2 pounds and I am excited. I have oh about........20 more to go. The hardest will be the 10 last ones that I have been struggling with since my son was born in 2003. Thanks for your ongoing support ladies!!

Keep posting your suggestions and ideas for weight loss and control. I love reading about those! They are a huge help!


Update: Thanks to Mary Kay, Big Bertha and Bubba are finally leaving. Their stay was SO unwelcomed. :) I won't post a picure lol I will save you on that one.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I am a Great Aunt....

hypothetically.....


My brother, Mike and his wife Ashley are proud to announce the birth of their grandchildren, Arlo,Trapper, and Remi the Runt. My neice and nephew (Lilly and Avery) had their first litter of puppies. They are the most adorable puppies I have ever laid my eyes on.

They are what you call Jugs (Jack Russel mixed with Pug). Avery and Lilly disappeared for quite sometime into the woods and Lilly came home pregnant. Mike and Ashley say they were on their honeymoon. :)

Here are some pictures of my great nephews and great niece. *Photos taken by Ashley* She seriously needs to get into this photography thing.

Lilly and Remi

Cuddle Time

Welcome Trapper Steele

Welcome Remi Mae


My favorite picture!
Lilly and Trapper

Arlo

Friday, December 5, 2008

Big Bertha and Bubba

Big Bertha and Bubba have come to visit.

Of course they were NOT invited and every time they come they cause NOTHING but pain and embarrassment.

It doesn't matter where we go, I watch peoples' eyes end up directly on them.

People pretend not to notice them, but they do. They act as though they don't see them, as if they are normal, but I know and you know, they are NOTHING but normal. They stick out like a sore thumb.

I have been doing everything possible to get them to leave. I even had Mary Kay come by and show a visit several times a day, and NOTHING.

In fact, they seemed to have multiplied. At first it was just Big Bertha. Then she must have called her Husband, Bubba, who turned out to be larger than she.

I just don't get it. There was nothing to aggravate them. I didn't have tons of chocolate, I didn't make them comfortable, and I as sure as heck kept the area clean, even after they arrived.

The pain is agonizing....and I can't help but continue to pick on them.


They seriously hurt my ego.

I think you know what I am talking about. Meet Big Bertha and Bubba.......







Bubba is on the left and Big Bertha is on the right. They are a nice looking couple huh?

Accountable

You.

You are going to hold me accountable.

Its now your new job in your already jam packed daily lives.

But it will WILL be your top priority because my health is important to you.

I will be doing my weigh in like my pals Courtney and Staci. I will be doing my weekly weigh in on Mondays. I weighed in this past Monday, finally admitted to my hubby about the weight I put on because of HIM stressing me out, and decided it was time to do something.

I like food. A lot.

As my body is showing every fat gram I INHALED. Because seriously, I don't remember any of it. Nothing was worth all this exhaustion and fat expansion.

Exercise....OH MY! That will come later I'm sure. The ab workout I attempted 2 days ago from ONDEMAND is now causing me pain when I laugh, scream at my kids, and sit up. So...I will work that in later.

Thanks for holding me accountable. I am counting on you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Peer Pressure

Damnit people...why do you have to do this to me??

You know I can't stand up to peer pressure.. well unless you want me to do something to myself that will damage my body like drugs or smoking.

But I want to fit in. I want to be cool. I don't want to miss a single thing. So I gave in.


It is the Twilight madness.....

I couldn't get it off my mind because thanks to Debby who posted about it EVERYWHERE on her facebook, her blog, and her Mommy's Chit Chat Board (which if you haven't yet, you need to stop by and register) I had HAD to read it. I trust her book choices. She has passed on several to me, suggested several, and each one I enjoyed.

I had the desire, the need, the passion to have one in my possession. However, me leaving the house is far few in between. A Mommy(yes Jamie, I am talking about you :)) that I babysit for was reading it and she was so addicted that during the day while on breaks from teaching, she would scan the room in search for the book on someone's desk. She'd pick up it, read a few pages, and return it. I knew it was THAT good, so when she brought it by for me to read, I snatched it!

So, I am now on Chapter 6 and reading quickly. I can't get enough. It is so sad that there are not enough good adult books out there to enjoy and this is what I have turned myself too. But like others, it is THAT good. So if you enjoy reading...get this one. Seriously...not because you need to jump on the "cool" wagon with me, but because it is worth your money and time.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

A GRISWALDS CHRISTMAS


I am not talking about all the lights on the outside of the house

MADNESS I swear....

A row of icicle lights on the garage and a candle in each window.

That is the extent of my Griswalds...cause a black out type of lighting.

The tree...the tree is where I am going with this.

No it doesn't catch on fire cuz the cat chews the lights.

It does, on the other hand, just fall....

Just falls right over thanks to old worn out plastic.

And YES I missed the picture of it. But...Hubby received one on his cell.

With a note...."It is waiting for you."

Why wait??


Because I wanted to buy a NEW one.

One that doesn't just fall.

Till then....here is our artifical tree rigged up in a real tree water feeder thingy.







But you can't tell, so LET IT BE lol....we are on a BUDGET.





Monday, December 1, 2008

Just when you think....

Just when you think they aren't watching.....

While in the bathtub, I look over and spot my 2 1/2 year old daughter with a pair of my underwear on digging underneath the bathroom sink. She pulls out a pad A FREAKING maxi pad....OMG....I can't contain myself from laughing my ass off.........she proceeds to put the pad on her, I mean, my underwear and pulls them up.

She looks over at me, who by the way is covering the mouth trying not to bust, and says, "I be Mommy!"

When was she looking?? When did she pay attention to me doing this?? It has been a month lol! I just can't believe they pay attention to these things....

Note to self: They are ALWAYS watching and listening!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thankful for lots....

Thanksgiving day through Friday night we spent in PA with the family. I love LOVE being with my family especially on the holidays. I laugh, I relax, I "get away".

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house on Thursday. My Pap's stuffing and pumpkin pie was to die for, my mom made a delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, and as good as McDonald's sweet tea :) I brought green bean casserole and rolls, along with the uncooked turkey lol :) My aunt and uncle brought pies, cookies, and baked corn. Everything along with the company and watching football was fun!

Here are some pictures from our Thanksgiving day :)




















Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Favorite Things #1

Awhile ago I posted my Top 10 favorite things in my house as a part of TipJunkie's Talk to Me Tuesday. Very simple things I have around my house....
This post, however, is the first of several of my favorite things I enjoy right now in my life.
Lately, I have had an obsession with chalkboard paint. I love this stuff......maybe it is the teacher in me....I don't know, but I love it.

I love keeping my notes/lists out and where I can see them without taking over my kitchen counter and refridgerator. Clutter is something I can't stand....so this way a little chalk and my life is organized without sheets of paper.....ya know....maybe I am a little "green" too lol. Anywhooo.....

I am only a beginner in the crafty world, so don't pick on my imperfections. I am working toward it. :) As far as "crafty" goes, I enjoy scrapbooking which I have done for the last 8 years, but do it yourself projects are in me....I can't help it....it just runs in the family (My Mom and Dad).

So here are some pics of my latest projects involving my latest obsession....chalkboard paint.


This is in my kitchen....the center of my home. I keep my daily menu posted so everyone from hubby to the parents of the children I babysit can see what is on the menu for lunch and dinner. It keeps me organized for my grocery list and so I don't have to think about what we are having all day long!


These bottom two pics are from my laundry room. One reason we chose to build this house is because of the spacious first floor laundry room. I love it! This is the station I created to keep the kids things (backpacks, coats, hats, gloves, shoes, etc.) organized in one spot so as we are running out the door, we aren't saying, "OMG where is N's or S's shoes??!!" I used ribbon around the chalkboard on this one with glue dots. It pulls right off!



I painted this one in the basement for the kids to use when playing school. The only thing I should have done differently on this one was make it bigger....so I am going down to do that today :) I used some bulletin board border around it (got it at Dollar Tree along with the little signs. The kids love it and it cleans up nicely with a wet paper towel, so no chalk dust!

This is my latest project with the chalkboard paint. A few years ago one of my fellow teachers was retiring and had this old, ugly green chalkboard from way back in the day. She gave it to me so Noah could draw on it. I kept it in my basement. The wood frame was ugly and the green was too soft to make a nice picture on or write on. I covered it in chalkboard paint and painted the wood pink :) I know...there is a reason to my insanity of such a bright color. I will be using this somewhere....which will be a part of My Favorite Things #2. :)

I am always looking for more ideas with chalkboard paint so if you have used it on a project, please post it :)
Off to get a shower for the day and get my lazy daughter out of bed...yeah I know right?? It is 10:17 am!! HOLY COW!