Thursday, April 30, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

I love ‘spoiling’ my kids. Come on, you know you love it too! I don’t mean giving them everything they want or giving in to their every little demand. I mean those times when they feel like you’ve just given them the greatest gift of their little lives. Let me just tell you how our weekend went.

Last Saturday morning we did our weekly inventory and made sure we had:
· Four kids – check
· One lazy, overweight beagle – check
· Three fish and a blue lobster – check

By Sunday afternoon we had to add to our weekly checklist:
· One bunny
· Two puppies

So my kiddos felt like this weeked was without a doubt the best day of their whole life!

Puppies are just the absolute best. I am so in love with them. The bunny is adorable as well. But without further ado…please welcome the newest members of our family: Cupcake the Bunny and Peanut Butter and Cookie. Obviously my family has an unhealthy obsession with food.

And I’m sure the fact that we’ve just increased our family by way too many has nothing to do with me counting down the days until my life changes forever. Our baby starts kindergarten in the fall and our first baby will start high school. The same day people! I've considered starting prozac now in order to prepare. My eleven year run as being a stay at home mom with a preschooler are gone. My era of only ‘elementary age’ children is over.

Sigh. I could go on but I’ll save it for another post. I’m going to play with the puppies.

For more 'Things I Love' head on over to The Diaper Diaries.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stuffing the Colliers

We occasionally play a game after dinner we affectionately call ‘Stuffing’ and D thought tonight would be a great night to break it out. We got the idea from a parenting book we read in our Sunday School class.

Here’s the game. We pick one person (in birth order, reverse birth order, how we’re sitting) and we go around the table and everybody says one nice thing about that person. Then we go on to the next. The goal is to ‘stuff’ each person with compliments. Usually we try to keep it to a one or two sentence statement, no repeats, and no saying ‘they’re nice.’ We like for it to be as specific as possible. For example, today Josie (8) said to Josh (13) “I like it when you help me with my homework.” Nice job, Josie. Josie said she liked her dad because he said she could have a bunny (I totally called that one in advance!) I said to D, ‘thanks for calling the fridge people today, I really appreciated it.’ (He totally called that one too.)

One of my favorite parts of this game is what the kids say about Daryl and I. One day I’m going to ban the phrases ‘she cooks dinner’ or ‘makes good food’ from my list! But overall it’s a lot of fun and occasionally eye opening. Yep, we enjoy a field trip to the corn fields every now and then, people…all right, all right, we’ve bought property there (add this to my list of ever growing second homes..I still haven’t sold my Egyptian waterfront home). Mercy! I’m following some huge rabbits tonight, sorry, back on topic!

Of course, there are those moments when, well, I don’t even know how to describe it, except to just tell you. We went in birth order tonight so Jill (4) was our last stuffee. And it was Jared’s (11) turn. Jared said something nice about her being funny and then he says “I don’t mean this to be mean or anything but Jill is like Smegal from Lord of the Rings.” Okay, we all just about lost it then but his explanation was even funnier. He said “you know, how she’s got like a nice side and she’s all helpful and sweet but then sometimes she’s like ’It’s mine! My precious! It’s like she’s two different people.”

So we are all hee-hawing out loud at this! And of course Jill, who craves the spotlight anyway, just loved it that Jared was talking about her, she didn’t care. Thankfully she doesn’t know who Smegal is or she’d probably have thrown her plate at his head.

So on this Tuesday, I am grateful for my family and for memories made around the dinner table and if I get my nerve up and am not embarrassed by my children's weirdness I will link this post to Gratitude Tuesdays at Heavenly Homemakers.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

How’s your Monday starting off? Sigh. Well, it’s a rainy Monday here in Va. We need rain, or so my hubby and the weatherman tells me. My Monday started off wrong. Well, actually yesterday is when it started, but today it just got worse. Instead of a Monday Movie Quote, you’re getting my Manic Monday Madness.

Yesterday I was heading into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee when I heard this strange humming noise. I kinda looked around but in my pre-coffee fog I thought it might be my hearing. Honestly, first my eyes are ‘going’ and my hearing has never been the best….But back to the story, D comes in and says the fridge is making a weird noise. Great. Fabulous. Super Terrific! Did I say any of these things? Nope, not one of them. Well, I may have but if I did it was with a huge dose of saracasm.

So I spent yesterday afternoon lugging foodstuff from the 5-year-old *new* fridge to the 15-year-old basement fridge (thank goodness old Betsy is still chugging). The new fridge, which was bought so we could have more space, has now seen the repair man four times (not including repeat visits diagnois/repair). My repair man said basically ‘you’ve got a stupid lemon’. Well, those weren’t his words but that’s what he meant! Honestly he said I’ve never seen one refrigerator have so many problems.

Mr. Repair Man pulled out the fridge (wow, it’s really clean back there now—one good thing) and said ….”the compressor is gone, you’re looking at spending at least $600.” Boy he just likes to keep the good news coming, huh? Oh it gets better, “your warranty expired about a month ago.”

I’m about two seconds from auto shutdown at this point. He suggests we call the manufacturer and see if there’s anything they’re willing to do, but he wasn’t hopeful. I realize I am in no mental state to try and coerce someone into ‘understanding’ what we’ve been through. I’m thinking my crying and explaining I wouldn’t have bought the kids new Easter outfits if I’d known the fridge was going to breakdown would make any headway with anyone. So I make a phone call to hubby who is not really pleased that I (who am at home) don’t want to call. I try to make it sound good, like you’re the most persistent and persuasive one. But he’s not buying it, he knows I just don’t like dealing with this stuff.

I shot a quick email to my prayer partner and ten minutes later we have an acceptable answer. The company is paying for the part and we’re paying labor, should take the bill down closer to $200. More manageable. Especially when I was already starting to price new fridges…yikes!

At least the fridge got a complete and total clean up. If all goes as planned, it may be up and running by Wednesday or Thursday…until then I’ll be running up and down the stairs every time I need a snack. And if you're thinking that'll make me think twice before getting a snack...I'm way ahead of you, I'm just doubling up while I'm down there.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Recipe Swap Friday

I meant to post this a week or so ago when this was actually on my meal plan. These are a family favorite but who doesn't love deep-fried, breaded chicken strips?

Chicken Fingers

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
1 c. buttermilk
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Vegetable oil for frying

Cut chicken into small pieces or strips; place in large Ziploc bag. Combine egg, milk, and garlic powder; pour over chicken. Seal and refrigerate 2-4 hours. In another large resealable bag, combine flour, bread crumbs, salt, and baking powder (I also add a little Italian seasoning if my bread crumbs were plain). Heat oil in skillet to 375. Drain chicken, place a few pieces at a time in the flour mixture and shake to coat. Fry in small batches for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy the hot, steamy, delicious goodness! And if your nieces come for a visit one night when you've made these, they will ask you for them for the rest of your life. Trust me on this one.

For more delicious and practical home cooking recipes, check out The Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap Friday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

Feast your eyes upon these little ice cream filled cones of happiness. Pure joy. I bought a pack of these delicious, lower fat, lower calorie Skinny Cow treats and they are so fabulous. There were four in the box, I ate three. I did share one with D. But that's it, only one.

These babies have chocolate ice cream inside a chocolate lined cone with fudge, oh yeah, fudge on top all for around 150 calories and only 3 grams of fat.

As you can see by the empty wrapper I left in the photo, I scrarfed down every little morsel. Every single drop of chocolate was licked from the wrapper. Well, if there had been chocolate on the paper I would have licked it, that's how good they are.

Sadly they are all gone, but wait! This was the special club pack from Sam's and there's two other kinds. I'll report later on the vanilla cones with caramel....

For more Things I Love Thursday head on over to The Diaper Diaries.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Swapping Buns

I mentioned yesterday we’re enjoying spring break this week at the Messy Manor House. Last night we had some errands to run so we treated ourselves to dinner out at a local hamburger place. They serve the tastiest burgers and our favorite part is one basket of fries ($3.50) feeds our whole family of 6!

I’m a bit of a plain jane when it comes to my burger condiments. I don’t like mustard or mayo, and I’ll usually skip the onions too. I always remember to ask for no mayo, but last night forgot this restaurant puts mustard on their burgers. Lots of mustard. I mean a true heaping pile. So I scraped what I could off the bottom bun (applied more ketchup) and started chowing. I could still taste it but being the hamburgler that I am, a little distaste wasn’t going to deter me. It diminished my enjoyment but not my enthusiasm.

My darling hubby noticed my dilemma and asked me what I was doing. (Okay, I was probably embarrassing him with all my scraping and wiping w/ the napkins --making a serious mess.) When I told him I forgot to ask for no mustard, he promptly took his top bun from his burger and offered to switch with me. I didn’t ask. He offered. I even got an extra dose of cheese from his bun--bonus points!

So today I am grateful for my hubby. He knows me, understands me (as much as any human being can), and wants me to be happy. Even if making me happy is doing something so simple as swapping my gross mustard-soaked bun for his delicious sticky-cheese one.

And in case you’re wondering the trainer (aka hubby) forced a Bowflex AND two elliptical workouts on me after our greasy (but oh so yummy) dinner. Okay maybe forced is too strong of a word, he encouraged me, no I think he ordered me, is that any better? Either way I tried to work off my bacon-cheeseburger, two Pepsi’s, and a large quantify of fries. Did I mention they make killer homemade onion rings too?

This post is linked at Gratitude Tuesday and reposted here.

Monday, April 6, 2009


We're enjoying Spring Break this there is NO menu plan! Even Messy Moms deserve a spring break.

We had dinner out at a local restaurant tonight-woo hoo! Hubby is gone for the next two nights and Friday is our Easter Family Fun at church! So I may have to cook on Thursday but it'll definitely be pizza or something quick and easy. We're looking forward to a great week.

Hope you have a blessed week and are able to truly enjoy the spirit and awesomeness of this Resurrection Week!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Taco Leftovers

We had leftover taco filling but no shells. My first thought was to do a taco calzone type thing. So I made a batch of pizza dough and started rolling it out, and then inspiration struck or maybe it was just laziness? Why would I go to the extra trouble of making individual bundles when I could just make a pizza?

I did and it was yummy. My dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas, so with the other half I made cinnamon twists from a recipe my sister-in-law suggested. I think making dessert sometimes helps leftovers not be so boring!

Here's my recipe (originally found at Money Saving Mom):

Pizza Dough
1 TBSP yeast
1 c. warm water
2 TBSP oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 c flour

Mix yeast and water, add other ingredients and knead for five minutes. Roll out half of the dough and form to pizza pan. Add taco-seasoned ground beef and shredded cheddar cheese. I cut off the excess dough and put it on top for a little extra crunchy. Yummy! The kids ate it up.

But their favorite were the cinnamon twists:

Cinnamon Twists
Cinnamon (to your taste..we like a lot!)
1/2 c. sugar
melted butter

Roll out remaining dough. The recipe said to cut the dough in strips, then brush each strip with butter, dip in cinnamon and sugar mixture, then place on greased cookie sheet, twisting from opposite ends.

Again being lazy, I rolled mine out, brushed with butter, sprinkled w/ cinnamon sugar, THEN I cut into strips and popped into a 375 oven for about 10 minutes. When they came out I once again brushed with butter and gave a second dose of cinnamony goodness. I think it cut down on the mess of brushing/dipping each strip on my counter. Maybe, maybe not.

It was a quick and easy dessert...nothing like my cinnamon roll recipe but WAY quicker! Here's a pic on the Winnie-the-Pooh plate that is approaching 13 this year...

This recipe links to the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap Friday!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Bible and a Massage

Have you ever tried to read the entire bible in a year? I have. Tried that is. So far I have not met with success…ever. I don’t think I’ve even really come close. I think it’s a major accomplishment when I can say I’ve actually read a scripture for seven days in a row (because reciting our theme verse in children’s church on Sunday counts, right? Just say yes so we can move on.).

Well once again I have set this lofty goal for myself. D sets this goal almost every year and accomplishes it every single stinking time. I am proud of him but as I’ve mentioned before he is a very disciplined person. If he decides he’s going to follow a reading plan, he does, it’s just that simple for him. I don’t think we need to bring up all my other failed attempts at discipline (dieting, keeping the house clean, not letting the laundry take over the house…sigh).

Since my busy days are usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I usually try to catch up on housework and my daily disciplines on the other days. One of my favorite things to do is to kick back with my bible, a cup of coffee, my fabulous microfiber blanket (I really love that thing but that’ll have to be another day’s story), and D’s perfect Christmas gift from his perfect wife. Yes, I mean me. He’s not married to anybody else that would be so wrong.

I really try to treat him at Christmas because he asks for so little during the year, he really is almost perfection. I’m not even exaggerating. (I hope my sister-in-law is reading this, she’ll be gagging right now. Hi Paula!) So one of his gifts this year was this massage insert. It . is. Amazing. It does shiatsu and rolling massage, you can change the width of the rollers, you can do lower, upper, and my favorite is you can add some heat..oh yeah.

Since today is catch up day (I am currently only 23 chapters behind in the OT and I’ve honestly lost cost in the NT), I spent 30 minutes getting relaxed in the back and Getting My Head in the Word. That just reminded me of a skit our church kids did last weekend based off of this video. It was SO cute!!! I know this is a scattered topic and I apologize but I’ve been off the blog for a while so I’m trying to squeeze everything in.

So now I’m off to the torture machine… I mean elliptical so I can truthfully answer my trainer when he asks me today whether or not I worked out. If you’d like to see more things people love, head on over to Diaper Diaries!

This post is being reprinted at my other blog..cause I'm lazy!

And if you're interested I to follow the reading plan in Our Daily Bread devotionals