Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Monday + Lego

The best toy for boys... LEGO's!!
My son loves them. The best part he will play for hours at a time.... quietly! He got interrested in them at age 4 1/2. He is 7 now.
This is his newest lego creation, a Shark.I had to post a photo to show off, I'm a proud mamma!
Plus I think posts without photos are boring.
Now on to food:

Another week goes by. I have all intentions of uploading photos of my recent home projects but I don't get around. I'll blame it on the baby! I just want to spend my free time snuggling because I know they grow up too fast.

Monday: Nachos with Homemade Salsa

Tuesday: Sandwich Day and Sweet Potato Fries . This is our baseball practice and early dance night. We eat sandwiches at our own time.

Wednesday: Leftover Taco Soup from my freezer stash

Thursday: Spaghetti and Meatballs (I've had this on my menu for a few weeks but we don't get around to them) This is my go to meal. I always have stuff on hand to make.

Friday: Frozen Pizza Buffet. We also didn't get to this last week. I made an executive decision that Chick-Fil- A was on the menu. I'm in love with the Spicy Chicken Wrap.

Saturday: Burger Grills Out. I'm hoping it will be warm I'm craving some good homemade burgers. If all else fails, George Foreman Grill here we come!

Sunday: Super Bowl Sunday! It's local here in our area so we are staying away from Arlington at all costs!!! App's and calorie buster meals!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Monday & Homemade Crouton

A good friend of mine owns a bread company.
Let me tell you.... they make some fabulous bread!
We were over for a playdate and what does she pull out and make with leftover bread from the bakery? Homemade croutons.
We all ate them up for a yummy snack.
Let me share how easy they are to make:
  1. Take some bread and slice into squares
  2. Toss with EVOO and sprinkle with garlic salt and mix
  3. Bake for 15ish minutes at 375They are heavenly, easy and cheap!
    Now on to dinner time, we have a mexican food theme. I didn't really plan it this way these things just sounded good.

Monday: Frozen Stouffers Cheese and Bean Enchiladas with side salad and homemade croutons.

Tuesday: Grilled Sandwiches with a side of leftover Taco Soup

Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with a side salad

Thursday: Clean out the freezer and fridge meals... who knows?

Friday: Pizza Buffet. I discovered California Pizza Kitchen pizza's at the grocery store... yum! I get a veggie, supreme, and speciality and we have our own buffet. The pizza's run about $5 each but for $15 it's still cheaper than hitting the real deal.

Saturday: Taco Night

Sunday: Kung Pao Chicken with Veggies. I use the wanchi ferry meal kit and add in a package of mixed veggies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Trash to Treasure

I enjoy reading home decor blogs. So many people saying they find furniture on the side of the road and take it home to refinish it.

I don't know about you but until the other day I NEVER see nice furniture or chairs out for the garbage.

We put stuff out like our blue plastic pool and it's gone in an hour, but not anything nice worth more than a few bucks.

So Monday after swim lessons we're driving home and we see 2 pieces of furniture out. This dresser, which I'm going to repaint for the girls room. Then this....... OMG I start freaking out in the car. You know why?

Because it matches this bed I bought off craigslist last year for Madeline.

My husband told me I'd never find another bed to match... ha!

Now the girls will have matching beds. Since we just cleaned out the garage I'm moving the bed with a new mattress to her room early. We now have an extra bed.

I think the two beds are going to look great together in the room. They aren't exactly the same but they're from the same collection. Now I'm off to order another bedding set.

Next week I plan to tackle the dresser, we just need some warm weather. Yippee!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Proud Mom

I've gotta take a minute to brag on my oldest daughter Katelyn. She's in 8th grade.

Today we got some very exciting news.....

She won 1st place in the Texas Right to Life Essay Contest!

Her essay advances to the national competition.

Let me share a little more on why this is so important....
(This photo was taken before the Respect Life Banquet this year)

Katelyn is very special. She's my angel, why? Well I found out at the young age of 19 that I was pregnant. I was unwed and just entering college.

I had many people tell me to have an abortion. I even had friends who chose to abort their unborn children. But I didn't. I went to the Crisis Pregnancy Center and those wonderful women helped and encouraged me. They changed my life so much that after I had Katelyn I volunteered for years as a counselor. With the love and support of my parents I finished college and met my husband Josh who later adopted Katelyn.

I've had the honor of speaking to many groups and churches and telling my story as a young mother. The biggest honor and most humbling moment of my life was speaking at the Texas State Republican Convention in 1998 holding my daughter and receiving a standing ovation for my pro-life story and work.

My daughter who is now a young women is the face of how an unplanned pregnancy can turn into a great blessing.

It brings me to tears reading her essay and how on fire she is to protect the unborn. She's changing tomorrow by giving other girls a friend who encourages and protects.

You can't deny this voice of the once unborn speak for life.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Monday and Cute Clothes

I've recently discovered a great website for cute kids clothing.

This online shop is fabulous!!
It's hard to see these small photos, I couldn't copy and paste them any larger. Click to see. I got one for $19 and another one for $24.
I see these type's of outfits at boutiques for $60 + even the same brands.

I'm buying stuff almost every day! You could say I'm hooked.

This eliminates me venturing out the mall with 4 kids. Right now I'm loading up on the girls summer wardrobe.

Now on to food... Menu Monday!!!

Monday: Fish Tacos (left over fried fish from Sunday dinner) and homemade salsa

Tuesday: Ashlee's Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad.
I'm going to do a post on this when I make it.

Wednesday: Stir Fry with Panda Express Spicy Chicken Sauce and veggies

Grilled Burritos an all time favorite creation in our home.

Friday: Make Your Own Pizza

This week we've got some yummy meals. They are also healthy and eliminate our need to go out to eat. Honestly, when you go out to eat we eat a ton more calories.

I'm hoping to be back at the gym for a solid week of exercise. Last week I only made it out once.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Discipline that works!

We've been through many discipline situations from age 1 to 13. We're not pros by any means but we've found an effective approach.
Introducing the Discipline Book: It works it really works!!! Let me share how is works... Each child has a tab in the folder. Look even little Caroline has one although it will be a good couple of years before she starts using it. Madeline at age 3 1/2 has just begun.
Here's how it works:
  • We've tried different approaches. With the discipline book the children get labor time for getting in trouble. It replaces grounding, spanking and is more effective. Why, the child is in control of getting the work done in order to do something they want. If they don't finish the labor they don't go. The ball is in their court. It makes them responsible for their actions. They learn self control. Do this then get that. Make sense?

  • When a child gets in trouble (talking back, bad report at school, hitting a sibling, not listening, not cleaning up room, etc.. you get the picture) the child gets labor time

  • Labor is given in these increments: Age (2 - 5) in 15 minute increments Age (6-8) in 30 minute increments Age (9 and up) 1 hour increments

  • We note in their tab the reason and the time given. When the time is worked off a parent signs off on it. My kids have been known to rack up 4 hours at a time...

  • How do they work it off? That's the fun part! It gives moms extra helpers around the house.

  • Labor time cannot be an item that is their regular chore for example cleaning room or making bed.

Here are some of our labor chores:

  1. Clean the room of a sibling not your own room.
  2. Pull weeds in the flower beds (great when it's warm)
  3. Wash moms car and vacuum
  4. Mop the floors or swiffer
  5. Do laundry of a sibling (this is for teen)
  6. Wipe the baseboard with a washcloth (for the little one's)
  7. Clean the kid's bathroom
  8. Dust the furniture downstairs
  9. Anything else mommy can think of!

I've gotta tell you this works around our house. Our talking back, not listening, etc has cut way back in the house in the last 8 months since we put this into practice. I don't give warnings I just assign labor. I usually get a grunt then they stop. If some one feels extra sassy they rack up time fast.

Christmas break and no labor hours assigned..... now that is proof!

Now I can't imagine this little sweetie would ever do anything wrong. Maybe by the time she's old enough to join in we will have it down to a science.... or maybe we'll be too tired to care.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Monday

I enjoy looking back at photos of past projects. This morning I stumbled across this photo.

Have you ever changed something then you want to kick yourself and undo the change? Well I painted this in the playroom before it was Madeline's room. I got frustrated and painted over it! What was I thinking?

At least I can enjoy the photo right?

On to food....

Monday: The BEST crock pot Chicken Tortilla Soup EVER! I LOVE this stuff!!

Tuesday: Leftover soup (if we have leftovers) with grilled cheese sandwiches. If no leftovers then we have grilled panini's with turkey and provolone cheese.

Wednesday: Mini Meatloaf with a side of Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday: Leftovers and Salad

Friday: Make Your Own Pizza

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Journey of a Living Room

I'm pleased to introduce my new living room! Thanks to Cheap Thrills Decor our custom built ins are complete and beautiful!
We've been brainstorming and trying to figure this room out for 3 years. Remember my inspiration photo. Finally I feel at home.
Let's take a journey of the phases...

This is the living room when we first purchased the house.

Bright sunshine yellow and a gold ceiling fan. Not for me. Off balance and weird. Although Madeline enjoyed her extersaucer play spot.

Don't you love the storage space for the pack and play? Notice a theme... baby accessories. Not exactly a relaxing living room with some sort of style.

This phase I was going for an accent wall. It looked good but the dark color made the room seem really dark.

Here is the finished product again. Light and bright! I cannot believe how much different the room looks. I love sitting in this room. I spent many days frustrated on what to do with it. Finally it's done! Well except I need a new rug and coffee table :)
Our huge flat screen is now up away from little hands and has a special place of it's own.

This unit is the corner. Let me tell you.... we have storage galore!

We even have room for our rock band guitar. All the DVD's and old VCR tapes have a place.

The other side is complete with bookshelves accented with bead board. I just loooove it! So much functional storage space. My husband is an avid book collector. We moved an heirloom collection to the living room.

If you live in the DFW area and are looking for a design firm or carpenter for some custom furniture check out Cheap Thrills Decor. They are incredible, professional, and high quality. Thank you Jami and Bob!!

Fabulous Christmas!

Wow, we've been busy around this house! 2 weeks off with the kids at home, never a dull moment.
Let me share some of our activities. The kids together at my parents house on Christmas evening. It was pick your own pose.
Our annual tradition of mass on Christmas Eve.

We visited Six Flags and had a great time!

We put together a huge puzzle in 4 days! The kids did a great job and had a ton of fun.