Tuesday, October 25, 2011


 There's Not-a-lot-a to say but I thought I'd update anyway.

We are holding on to our warm Fall weather and enjoying every day the temps remain above 70 degrees.
It looks like the cold front comes in this weekend.
(I need to find out where it is 75-85 degrees all year round.  I would happily live there.)


We've had a hit and a miss for dinner this week.

 Monday's Pizza Pasta was a hit.
The grown-ups as well as the kids loved it.

(The Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas...not so much.  Hence, no picture of tonight's dinner)

Today was crazy hair day at school.
Tyler requested a Mohawk.

Lauren slept in curlers last night but could not decide what she wanted to do with her springy curly hair.  (Hence, no picture)
A teacher at her school, however, asked if she was wearing a wig.
"No Ma'am, that's really my hair."

Hope you all are having a good week.

Happy Birthday to my very special Grams, whom the kids call G.G. (short for Grandma Great)  
78 years young today.
We Love You!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Menu 10/24/2011

Monday:  Pizza Pasta & steamed green beans
Tuesday:  Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas (Taste of Home, Nov. 2011,) fruit & tortilla chips
Wednesday:  Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers & rolls
Thursday:  left-overs or pantry meal
Friday:  Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta with "Alfredo" Sauce and Asparagus (scroll down) & Edamame, Red Pepper and Ginger Salad  (both from the Sunday AJC newspaper)
Saturday:  probably Pizza delivery
Sunday:  Easy Ropa Vieja Stew (Taste of Home, Nov. 2011) & tortillas

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Adventures of a Room Mom (Assignment #1)

 Why am I "Room Mom" to Lauren's 2nd grade class?
I am not overly outgoing and I absolutely detest asking anyone for help.  (Just ask Matt, he'll attest.)

But with that being said I did agree to be the "Room Mom" and I successfully completed my first assignment.  
Assignment #1:  With donations from the parents, prepare a basket to be auctioned off at the Fall Festival.

Behold:  The Money Tree basket
(estimated value $165)

Let's hope it sells!

Roller Skating Party

Lauren went to a classmate's birthday party at the Skating Rink today.  I didn't even know there was a skating rink in our area.  I should have though because the ATL is known for its skating rinks.
(statement solely based on the 5 out of 10 stars movie, ATL.)  

 Needless to say this was Lauren's first time on 4 wheels.  She did greater than great!  At first she held my hand at all times.  Then she started skating by herself but wanted me within arms reach. 

 A little later she was comfortable with more distance.

 Towards the end of the party she told me I could go sit with the grown-ups.  
There's my girl clear across the rink skating with the birthday boy.  A very proud Momma took this picture.

Someone else may be noticing how special Lauren is.
Her teacher sent this parent evaluation home last week.
It's a preliminary screening for the REACH program (formerly known as TAG.)
We'll see where this goes but whatever comes of it Lauren has already REACHed beyond my wildest dreams for a daughter.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

remember Thomas?

Remember the Train Table during our 'We Love Thomas the Train' stage?
  No?  Well refresh your memory with the sweet picture below from May 27, 2008.

We still have the train table but the Trains and Tracks have long since been banished into the side drawers.  In their place we now contain all of our Legos.  All of our gazillions of little Legos.

Today however, someone (either L or T,) discovered where the Thomas the Train toys were being held captive and brought them out to play.

***I was so excited to see them play with Thomas again.  When I think of Thomas I think of L and T at the age in the picture above (2 and 4 years old.)  Sometimes I just want to hit the pause button because these kiddos are growing up way too fast.***  

 I quickly grabbed my camera, sneaked into the play room and snapped a photo. 

As soon as she heard the click of the camera, Lauren immediately blurted out, "this better not go on the blog because I DO NOT like Thomas the Train."  Then she tried to hide.

***I miss my babies but I also enjoy each and every stage (well most of the stages) they go through as they get older and become more like their grown-up selves.***

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fire Pit...check

 On our way to a birthday party I asked Matt to stop by Home Depot.
(and he did)
I said I wanted to buy a fire pit.
(and we did!)
I think I'm on a roll here.
Next I'm going to ask for the patio to be poured and stained.

Tyler and the statuesque Lauren pose in front of the new fire pit.

Daddy and Lauren are ready to roast some S'mores.

Tyler being a total boy.
(S'more in one hand and what's that? in the other?)

We had a fun family Saturday evening making s'mores by the fire and watching Rio (the movie.)

P.S.  The birthday party we went to was for L and T's good friend Troy.  His mother (who is a year younger than me) is the one who had a stroke in her brain stem last March.  She was at the party in her wheelchair and had her iPad to communicate since she can't speak yet.  It was pretty emotional for some of us adults (myself.)  I had to hold back choking sobs when complete strangers came up to her and asked if they could pray over her.  The first time I met her was one year ago at Troy's last birthday party.  And the last time I saw her was at Tyler's birthday party about a week before her stroke.   So much can change in 365 days.  Cherish every moment!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Santa, do you read my blog?

Lauren started her Christmas list today.  This is for Santa and also anyone else who may be reading and wanting to give her a Christmas gift.  =)

(click on the pictures for a closer look)
she's so worried about the price Santa may pay

 Tyler saw what Lauren was doing and decided to make his own list.

The Tyler-list breakdown:
Left:  the whole picture once again.
Middle (l-r:)  Zhu Zhu Pet, iPod, cat, flip flops
Right (l-r):  basketball, lantern, airplane, bomb, eraser

In case you didn't catch it from the picture above...
My son requested Santa bring him a BOMB for Christmas.
He told me the girls at school had pink ones but he wanted a blue one.
should I be worried?

Later this evening Lauren was still in a creative mood so she made up her own game.  She did this all on her own. (I only told her how to spell some of the words)  You roll the little pink teddy-bear and whatever she lands on you have to do.  (My favorite is the top-just-left of center:  "say I love you to Mommy")

I heart my life:  Kids and Hubby and all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tyler and his Pearly Whites

Tyler had his six-month cleaning at the Dentist today.
He did great.  He received a lot of compliments on his tie-dye shirt and was told his oral hygiene is perfect.
He replied, "Yeah, well I brush for 3 minutes every time."
That's my boy!

Check out his glowing review!
I thought it was just default to check the lines for "more thorough brushing..." and "flossing daily." 

Speaking of Tyler:
He was pretty cute at bedtime last night.  Matt has been working out of town (a lot lately) and Tyler has really been helping me out.  For example, yesterday evening he rolled the garbage can to the curb for today's trash pick-up.  I really talked it up that he's helping me since Daddy is out of town.  Later that evening he said that since he's "kind of being Daddy" that maybe he should sleep on Daddy's side of MY bed.  I told him that wouldn't be fair to Lauren but he said Lauren could sleep in the middle.  I tell you what...with Tyler and Lauren sharing my little queen size bed I would be the one with the unfair deal.  Needless to say we all slept in our own bedrooms last night.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sneak Peak

The kids had Monday and Tuesday off from school this week.
I was tired of being cooped up in the house and playing the screen time police so today we took off in search of our Halloween Costumes.

Three stores later and drizzling (Oregon-like) rain the whole time...
We have our costumes!
(Well, the kids do at least.  Matt and I need our own for a grown-up Halloween party ...any ideas for us?!!)

Introducing the Snow Princess and the Robot Skeleton (argyle socks and all)
They had to put their costumes on as soon as we got home.
(Tyler is the Robot Dog here)

I have to admit his costume is a bit spooky.

And since we're still on our Picnik kick here are the costumes through the children's eyes.
Lauren's creation:
(she wants you to know the red is supposed to be blood)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Remembering Yesterday

We all seem to have a different memory from yesterday.
I remember Tera spent the night and
the three musketeers had a blast.

 Lauren remembers this:

And Tyler remembers a whole lot of spooky details.

(We are having a lot of fun with Picnik!)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekly Menu

Monday:  l/o Colorado Green Chili (to be used as burrito filling)
Tuesday:  Potato-Crusted Chicken Fingers & steamed broccoli & buttery noodles
Wednesday:  Vegetable Dal (from Sept. Oct. 2011 Weight Watchers Magazine...if it's any good I'll post my version of the recipe) & pita bread & fruit
Thursday:  use up the half bag of shrimp in the freezer.  Recipe TBD
Friday:  Bunco (Matt and kids on their own)
Saturday:  Grilled Buttermilk Chicken, Green Beans & Creamy Potato salad with Bacon
Sunday:  Falcons Game/pizza for kids (I'm considering giving up my ticket to one of the football guys...how nice of me, no?!)

Colorado Green Chili

Tonight I made Colorado Green Chili and Chili Corn Bread.  The chili was pork-a-licious.  Matt said "this isn't good...it's great."  
It takes awhile (close to 4 hours) but since the men watch football All. Day. Long.  I have plenty of time to whip up a great batch of 4 hour chili while L and T play with their football friends (sons and daughters of the men watching football.)

Colorado Green Chili
based off of this recipe
3 lbs. pork roast (or tenderloin)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 lb. reduced fat ground pork

2 medium onions, chopped into large sections
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, diced
2 c. chicken stock, divided

3 (7oz) cans chopped green chilis
1 t. cumin
1 t. oregano

Cut pork roast (or tenderloin) into 1/2" cubes and coat with flour, salt and pepper.
Cook in skillet with small amount of oil until pork is well browned.  Remove from skillet and place in a large pot.
Brown ground pork in same skillet.  Remove from skillet and place in the large pot.
Add onions, garlic and jalapenos to skillet, cook on medium heat, covered, to sweat the onions (release their juices.)  About 8 min.
Add one cup chicken stock to deglaze the skillet.
Add skillet mixture to the pot along with the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil then simmer for 3 hours.

Serve with grated cheddar cheese.

Serves 8-10

Chili Corn Bread recipe here.
(I omitted the corn because I was (frozen) fresh out.

S'mores and S'friends

Last night Dave and Susan invited us and some other friends over to make S'mores in their backyard.

The children are all bundled up, not because it was going to be cold but to protect themselves from bug bites.

We all had a great time. 
The grown-ups talked with grown-ups and made sure no children fell in the fire.
The children sprinkled some potato chips around the yard in hopes of baiting Big Foot (he didn't show, thankfully) and then got down to playing and having fun.

(check it out, I finally used Picnik to make some photo collages) 

going, still going, and just about gone
(digital proof that Tyler still occasionally snuggles with me)

Thanks for having us Dave and Susan!

(let it be known, I have added a fire pit to my wish list)

Friday, October 7, 2011

what's with the STAIRS?!

We have a pretty big house.
(4000 square feet)
My husband says it's way more than we need.

If it's more than we need why do our children feel the only place they can play with their toys is on the stairs?

the Battlefield turns into Barbie land on the landing

apparently the Barbie Townhouse is 9 stories (stairs) tall.

How no one breaks their neck navigating around our house is beyond me.
(gosh, I sound like my Mom (or your Mom) with the "break their neck" line.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cavity Schmavity

Enjoying the "Happy Air"
(nitrous oxide) 

Lauren had her cavity filled today and it was a piece of (sugar-free from now on) cake.  I had her go to school before her 10:15am appointment and she told me she was super nervous at school.  However, at the dentist's office she was very stoic and the perfect patient.  Even the dentist said so.  He wants her to come back and teach all his other patients how to do it.

He told her he was going to give her some "Happy Air" which would make her feel like she is on her "favorite ride at Six Flags."  After putting on her mask I kept waiting for her to cry, freak out, convulse, have a major adverse reaction but she just calmly laid there.  She told me later she felt like she was "a statue in space."  She even told me she "wished it would have taken longer because [she] was so relaxed."  She knew they gave her two shots but "they didn't hurt."  Next time I have any procedure done I'm going to ask for some "Happy Air" first.

While Lauren was a "statue in space" the hygienist and dentist sealed her four molars and used "air-abrasion" (no drill!) to clean the decay from her cavity.  He then filled the cavity with white composite.  When they were done they let her breathe plain oxygen for a couple of minutes so she wouldn't leave feeling like this viral video. (he must have had an I.V.)  The whole process took only 35 minutes.  She walked out of the office feeling fine except for her numb lip...which stayed numb for 90 more minutes.

Despite the annoying numbness, I'm positive she will not be traumatized by today's cavity filling.

Here's the 8-part reason why:
#1  The exceptional (and painless) job done by the dentist.
#2  Since her lip was numb and annoying her I let her stay home from school the rest of the day.
#3  I gave her yogurt and chocolate pudding for lunch.  (lip was still numb so I was afraid she'd bite it by chewing anything solid)
#4  We watched Baby Geniuses together on Netflix via the Wii.
#5  I still let her go to Art Class (she drew the pumpkin in the picture below)
#6  She built a habitat for her blue plastic crab (a prize from the Dentist) and I said she could keep it on the kitchen table "until the next day." (seen in the picture below)
#7  I made her all time favorite dinner:  Buttery Penne Noodles with a dash of salt, pepper, and a heavy dusting of Parmesan cheese.
and finally 
#8  She told me repeatedly "this is the best day ever."

many components of  a "Best Day Ever"

I realize this post is all about Lauren and her cavity but I hate to leave Tyler out.  So if any of you are still reading this long post about a cavity then you won't mind reminiscing with me about Tyler on the TEN-FOURS.  (get it? 4th day of the 10th month? October 4th over the years or as close to 10/4 as I could get it?)
6 months

cat-6 years,  Tyler-18 months, Me-30 years

2 1/2 years

3 1/2 years

4 1/2 years

Tyler goes to the Dentist for his 6 month cleaning next week.  Let's cross our fingers for a "clean teeth bill of health!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Madness

 Is it bedtime yet?

These two have been at each other since the moment they got off the school bus.

Somehow I got them to hold still while I took a picture.

minus the blanket
notice his new hair-cut?

Lauren gets her cavity filled tomorrow morning.
Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wing It Week

This week we are going to wing it.
I still have a couple of recipes left-over from last week:
 Chicken and Dumplings  (Taste of Home magazine, October 2011)

The main reason we are winging it is because Tyler's milk was dumped all over my refrigerator TWICE today. The first time was caused by Tyler trying to put it back into the fridge and not noticing he wasn't setting it on the shelf.  The second time was caused by one of Lauren's dear friends.  She was looking for a cheese stick and knocked it over in the process. (Unfortunately, she didn't tell me what she did.  I found the milky mess 30 minutes later.)

I'm so tired of cleaning milk off of all the jars and containers I have in the fridge that I just want them gone.  My goal this week is to make a huge dent in my fridge, freezer and pantry.  Wish me luck because "Winging It" is not in my comfort zone.

In other news, I put the patches on Lauren's new Girl Scout Brownie vest just in time for her first official meeting.  (I'm not sure if exposing her troop number is dangerous in anyway but I like to play around with the Paint Program sometimes.)

 She had a blast today.  Girl Scouts is one of her favorite activities.
(Lauren is the blond in the brown brownie vest)

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cruise by Anytime

Look who "cruised" by for a visit last week.

Why it was Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael, of course. (this is only a surprise if you skipped my last post...shame on you.)

They were on their way home from their cruise on the Allure of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale and knew that anytime they make it as far as Florida they better make a quick stop took some extra time to visit us in Georgia.

As the pictures show:
We spent our entire time READING.
(different outfits = different days)

Well, we actually did do more than just read but what we didn't do was spend much time with Matt.  Unfortunately, Matt was in Colorado on a business trip during most of their visit.
Fortunately, my in-laws are great and very easy to entertain.

Last night they had to fly back home but we'll be seeing them soon.  We're planning a big family vacation in Destin, FL for April.

in other news:

Yesterday was the FIRST day of jacket weather according to Lauren.
(the temp dropped below 80 degrees)
Today was the Mom's Club Fall Festival! (the temp was a comfortable 68 degrees)
It was a Chili Cook-off and I'm happy to say Matt and I (who both worked on this dish) took 2nd place (out of five.)  I'm okay with this but Matt is still sulking.  He really wanted to win.
Here's the recipe for you to try at your next get-together.  It will not disappoint.  

The kids enjoyed, among other activities, painting pumpkins, pillowcase races, bobbing for apples but most of all - time with their friends.

Tonight we'll be enjoying family movie night.
I can't wait to watch E.T. with my kids.  I hope they like it.