Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Muddy Buddies - Everyones Favorite

My mom made these when I was a kid, but didn't call them muddy buddies.  I can't remember what she called them,  trash comes to mind, but not sure that was it.  Then,  as I was searching for chex party mix recipes and found this one,  I had to make it this year.  The kiddos loved them and they are so simple to make.  Here's where you can find the recipe  http://chex.com/Recipes/RecipeView.aspx?RecipeId=45860&CategoryId=340.  

Here's all you need:
9cups Rice Chex®, Corn Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal (or combination)
1cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2cup peanut butter
1/4cup butter or margarine
1teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2cups powdered sugar

Measure cereal and set aside.  In microwave safe bowl,  combine chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and butter.  Microwave on high for 1 minute then stir,  continue to microwave in 30 second increments until mixture stirs smooth.  Stir in vanilla, then stir over cereal until coated evenly.  Place cereal in 2 gallon food storage bag,  add powdered sugar and shake until all cereal is coated.  Spread cereal out on wax paper to cool. Store the mix in an airtight container in the fridge.  Then, eat them up!!! YUM!!! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Or, as we like to call them, CANDY!!!  Need a delicious side dish for Christmas dinner?  These are awesome, even those that don't usually eat sweet potatoes will gobble these up. 

Here's what you need:

4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange potatoes in 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish.  Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Pour over potatoes: toss to coat.  Cover dish tightly with foil.


Bake potatoes 50 minutes.  Then, uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.


Turn oven up to 500 degrees.  Top potatoes with almonds and marshmallows.  Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and almonds begin to brown, about 3 minutes.

The finished product.........Delicious!!!!!!  My entire family gobbles these down, even those that have NEVER eaten sweet potatoes. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

7 Layer Bars

Let the Christmas baking begin.  Well, it began on Saturday:) so, let it continue.  I have a few recipes I'll post later that are my constants, but every year I like to try something new.  This year, I tried 3 new recipes for our family.  Here's one I got from my sister:

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars Recipe:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup butterscotch flavored chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9 inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loose from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds.
For perfectly cut cookie bars, line entire pan with foil, extending over edge of pan. Coat lightly with no-stick cooking spray. After bars have baked and cooled, lift up by edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into individual bars.

You can use what ever kind of chips you like as long as they measure out 2 cups.  I used butterscotch, white chocolate, and milk chocolate.  Delicious.





I didn't get a picture before they were cut into :(  Gotta be fast around this house.  They were pretty good and not too difficult to make. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Tambourines

Well, it's almost Christmas!!! Just 9 more days!  Are you ready??  I am NOT.  However, I have made a lot of progress in the past couple weeks.

One of the things on our to do lists has been Bible Club at church.  Usually we alternate weeks, but due to a new addition in our church (yep another baby boy) we have had it every week in December.  So,,,,, I've had to come up with some crafts to keep those kiddos entertained.

The great thing about finding crafts for church,  I've also been able to incorporate a couple into our school days too.  It's nice to take a break and have some fun from the books:)

Here's one we made this week at the house. 

The Christmas Tambourine

Here's what you need:
     2 heavy duty paper plates
     jingle bells
     cord
     hole punch
     glue
     markers, crayons, paint, or whatever you want to use to color your plates ( I used crayons, less      mess)


This is probably the easiest one I've done so far.  All you do is color the bottom side of the plates.  Then glue them together so that the bottoms are facing out.  Punch as many holes around the outside of the plates as you want.  I couldn't do as many because I had to divide 35 jingle bells between 6 kids (should have gotten more bells).  String the cord through the holes adding a jingle bell for each hole that you go through.  When you've completed the circle, tie the ends of the cord together.  Then, commence to making noise!!!!  Sing Jingle Bells.  Have fun with them.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Grandma's Famous Pumpkin Pie

 I learned something very interesting while visiting family in WV.  You know those "famous" family secret recipes,  well we always thought Grandma had one of those for her pumpkin pie.  My sister-in-law had asked for her "famous pumpkin pie" recipe many, many times.  Seeing as Grandma is getting up in years, I guess she finally decided to share.  Funny thing, Grandma handed her a Libby's pure pumpkin can and turned it around to the recipe on the back.  The very recipe I have been using since I started making Thanksgiving dinner IS Grandma's "secret" recipe.  Who would have thought???  We still think there is something she adds but just won't tell us!!!   Guess it just goes to show that things aren't always what you think them to be.


Regardless, I had a wonderful time in WV.  This was the first year I got to fix dinner for my entire family.  I think I did a pretty good job and the pumpkin pie was delicious.  LOL.  My grandma even complimented my turkey (there's one for the memory books).  I guess you have probably figured out,  I don't really like "secret family recipes" .  If I find a recipe I like, I'll post it on here.  I can't take these recipes with me when I'm gone, and what good are they if my children and their children can't fix them just like me.  Those are the memories I love, teaching my children the things my mom taught me.

I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving and remembered to stop and take a moment to thank God for all our blessings.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 25

Today I'm thankful that I did not have to go out and fight the crowds on Black Friday.  I know a lot of people that do/did and actually enjoy it.  I just can't get into that.  I have went a time or two and I will tell you, it was not a "joyous" experience.  One time I went,  I actually had a person try to take something out of my buggie.  Seriously???  I realize we all want to give and receive presents,  but that is not what Christmas is truly about.  For us as adults to go out and "fight" our way to the gifts we want to get does not really set a good example of the Christmas Spirit.  I saw where a woman in LA was pepper spraying people to get the items she wanted.  WOW!!  I'm all about saving some money, but I really didn't see anything that was worth losing my happy mood (or possible eyesight) about.  Besides,  there are a lot of deals out there, and there will be a lot more between now and Christmas. 

Happy Shopping to all!! I hope the ones that went out got what they were after.  To those of us who didn't,  I know there will still be some deals between now and Christmas!!!  After all, there are still 29 days, 11 hours, and 9 minutes until Christmas...

Day 24 - Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!! A day late of course.  I was a little busy yesterday:)  I am so thankful for all my family and the opportunity to spend the day with them.  I'm thankful for the cooking skills I have acquired over the years from watching my mom, grandma, mother-in-law, and now the internet.  That's right, the internet!! I've acquired some of my kids favorite recipes from the internet.  I have tweaked them a little,  but they are pretty good.  Hard to believe huh??

  I so enjoyed fixing our Thanksgiving Feast this year!!!  It was a lot of work and my hubby and oldest daughter pitched in and helped a lot.  Thank you both!!

On the menu:
              Turkey of course (I must say I think this one was the best I have made, EVER)!!
              Mashed Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey gray,  stuffing,  green beans,  corn,  glazed carrots,
              homemade mac n cheese,  five cup fruit salad
              Pumpkin pie and apple dumplins

It took all morning to make and about 30 minutes to eat, but was worth every minute.  My children declared I should fix meals like this every day.  Are they CRAZY???  On the bright side,  I did not have to do ANY of the clean up.  Hubby and the kiddos were on that all day.  Love Them!!!

Hope everyone had a very wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving Day!!! 



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Catching Up Days 16-23

So, I got REALLY behind while I was in WV.  It's time to get caught up.  16 - I'm thankful for safety while traveling.  On the way to WV,  I drove in rain almost the entire trip.  I saw 4 accidents before we ever got out of SC.  17 - Thankful for dear friends!  I have some very dear friends and only one of them still live in SC.  That leads me to 18 - modern technology which allows me to keep in touch with my far away friends (you all know who you are!!)  18 - God's provision - plenty of food in the cabinets and the mortgage and utilities are all paid for the month.  19 - Dependable transportation; 2 full size vans that get us where we need to go when so many have to juggle schedules due to one vehicle.  20 - I'm thankful for the blessing of being able to provide the wants as well as needs for our family. 21 - Thankful for time spent with family.  I enjoyed the few days I was able to spend in WV.  22 - I am thankful I was able to get some Christmas shopping done and get EVERYTHING I need for our Thanksgiving feast.  23 - Today I am thankful for this beautiful weather.  Sunshine this morning and temps in the upper 60's!  Whoot Whoot!!!  Love this South Carolina weather, even when it's cold, cause I'm here to tell you it could be worse, I know from experience. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Days 12, 13, 14, and 15

Well, I have finally rested up from my work weekend.  So, time to catch up on my thankful list.

Day 12 - I am thankful for my health.  This past weekend we had several young patients on our unit (and by young, I'm talking early 30's)  and they were SICK!!!!!  It could have easily been me or hubby laying in that bed with all the respiratory junk going around. 

Day 13 - I am thankful that I had a good weekend at work (so rarely happens).  Most nights I'm doing dual roles because we don't have enough staff, but this entire weekend was nice.  We had all the nurses we needed and I only had to do my job.  That makes for a good weekend at work.

Day 14 - Now, I know this will sound silly, but I'm thankful for working appliances in my home.  We had to replace our washer and dryer back in April and just recently had to replace our dishwasher.  I'm here to tell you, this house would be miserable without any one of those items.  So thankful that God provided the means to replace them when they kicked the bucket.

Day 15 - Today while I am packing all my children up to take them to WV, I am thankful for home away from home.  I know that anytime I head up to WV, there is a place for me and my WHOLE crew.  Hubby and I both grew up there and our parents still reside there, so we can go back and forth and give them breaks.  Especially since I don't just travel with me and a few.  Now, it's me and a half dozen :)

So, now time to get back to packing.  I was suppose to leave today, but I'm gonna spend another day with hubby and not rush this packing thing.  It takes long enough as it is. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11

Day 11 - Today I'm thankful for all the men and women who have given their freedom and some their lives for us to be free. We truly are blessed to be called an American.  Though times aren't always easy,  it could be so much worse.  

A portion of one of my favorite songs:
I Have Been Blessed

We live in a country, the greatest on earth, our flag stands for freedom and what it is worth.  She stands in the harbor, Ms. Liberty called, all have gave some, but some gave it all for me to be blessed.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving Days 9 and 10

Once again, missed a day!!  So, here's day 9 - Today I'm thankful that God knows just what we need when we need it.  Today my darling hubby traded his beautiful truck for a 12 passenger van.  That's right a cool truck for a passenger van.  We had been looking,  but just hadn't found one that was all that we needed.  Hubby needed to be able to tow with it and of course we have to fit all the youngins in there. This one is everything we need (even if it is white) and he got a good deal on his truck.  Thank you Lord.

Day 10 - With tomorrow being Friday and my work weekend,  I am thankful for my job.  I don't always like it and most days don't want to go.  However,  I also realize that there are many people who would love to have my job, my paycheck, and even my schedule.  So, thank you Lord that you again worked everything out for our little family so that I can work and provide and still be a stay-at-home mom too.  I wear ALL my hats proudly!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days Of Thanksgiving

Day 8 - Even with the craziness it presents at my house EVERY day, I'm thankful for the privilege to homeschool.  Sometimes it is very frustrating and I wonder if they are getting what they need.  Then, I hear them talking and recalling what we've learned.  I've even heard them correcting each others grammar. It makes me feel so good.  I love spending every day with them.  I also love the fact that I'm in control of what they learn and when.  Isn't that sheltering you ask?? Well, aren't we suppose to protect our children?? That's all I'm doing.  There are just some things I don't think they need to be exposed to at the age of 10, 11, 12, or even younger.  That's not to say I'm not preparing them for "the real world", but there is a time and a place to let them know what's out there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days Of Thanksgiving

Well, I told you I would repeat some.  I did my parents twice already, sure do love them and miss my momma.

On to today, Day 7 I am thankful for a beautiful house that meets our needs.  I've been in bigger more beautiful homes, but this is what God has given us and it's just what we need. 



Pretty huh?? I'm also pretty thankful that the little bit of snow we get each year doesn't hang around long!! Just enough to be pretty and give me my dose of snow.  Sad enough, this is the best pic I have of our house.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Well, as usual, I am behind......story of my life.  So time to get caught up!!

4th - I'm thankful for loving, caring, christian parents.  I'm glad that they were more concerned with raising me than being  my friend.  As a parent,  I often find myself saying something just like my mom, or doing something the way my dad does.  My mom once told me, it wasn't her job to be my friend, but as an adult I did consider her my dearest friend and miss her greatly. As a child I thought life was pretty rough what with all those chores and rules and all!!!

5th - I'm also thankful for some wonderful in-laws.  You always hear such horror stories.  I'm so glad I don't have any of those.  I was blessed with sweet, caring, christian people.  Do we always agree?  Probably not,  but it always seems to work out.

6th - Since today is Sunday,  I'm thankful for my church.  We are truly blessed to be involved in a church that stands on the Bible and has not sacrificed the tried and true Word of God for the more contemporary, don't want to step on anyone's toes messages.     

I have so many things to be thankful for.  It is hard to just pick one (or in this case three).  I'm not sure 30 days will cover them all.  I may have to start combining :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I'm going to keep this simple.  I'm so very thankful for my parents.  Hubby and I were both blessed with a Godly heritage;  parents that serve the Lord, encourage us to do the same and I know pray for us daily.  Fortunately, we still have three here on earth, but my mom is waiting for us in Heaven.  I can also say that I know I'll see her again and I'm thankful for that as well.  SO BLESSED!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Well, on facebook and I suppose Twitter (I'm not on there) everyone is listing out something they are thankful for each day.  So,  I'm going to do that on here.  But, as usual, I'm late getting started, so today I have to do two. 

First of all, I'm thankful for my salvation and a loving, forgiving and merciful savior. I'm thankful He paid a debt I could not pay so that I could spend eternity in Heaven. 

Second, I am so very thankful for my family.  Today I'll just start with my loving hubby and 6 beautiful children (I think that's a lot to be thankful for).  I'm so blessed that they love and support me no matter what.  Of course we have our disagreements, but overall, there is a whole lot of love in this house!!!

We all have so much to be thankful for.  It should be very easy to list out thirty things.  I probably will even repeat a couple, they are just such blessings.  :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mr Gamer Turns 12!!

What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a house full of family to help you?? Grandma and Papaw came down from WV and Aunt Marsha, Uncle Charles, Nicholas, and Naomi came up from Alabama.  Such fun!!!  Like all the others this year, I made the cake.  Now, it wasn't the most professional looking, but it sure did taste good.  



 He loved all his gifts and the card we got him that sang "Who let the dogs out?"  Appropriate since he plays for the bulldogs. 


And, what better way to end his big day than a big victory sending his football team to the playoffs?  Go Bulldogs!!!



It's so hard to believe he is twelve, but what a wonderful twelve years it has been!! I love you Mr Gamer!! You're such a sweet boy and I consider it a privilege to be called your mom...

Monday, October 17, 2011

BOWL DAY!!

Well, it was a crazy, busy Saturday.  The boys in green had their bowl day and homecoming ceremony.  What a long day!! We had to be at the field by 9am and didn't get home until 6pm.  Then, of course, I still had to go to work for the standard 12 hours of craziness at the hospital.

All the teams played and I have already decided Baby Samuel will be playing football as early as possible.  Those little fellas running around the field are soooo cute, and the cheerleaders, ADORABLE!!

I don't know all the scores, but the 13 year old team (William) won their game.  The 11-12 year olds (Noah) tied their game (well, they actually won, but they don't count the score for the entire first quarter).  The 9-10 year olds lost their game by 1 point in the last minute of the game :(  The little fellas (6-8 year olds) not only looked cute, but won their game as well. 

GO BULLDOGS !!!!!!!

I wish I could have gotten better pictures, but they were in the middle of the field and I was still in the bleachers. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Apple Crumb Cake

It's fall, and I have apples everywhere.  We do eat a lot of apples, but like everything else, they go in phases.  There are days my kids will eat the whole bag and then there are times they sit and go bad.  I had probably 20 apples on my counter, thanks to my friend who brought me some from NC,  so I thought I'd try a new recipe.  My dinner plan was a little skimpy, so add some dessert.  It was delicious.

Here's what you need for the cake:
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pt. sliced apples

Mix first 6 ingredients together well.  Fold in apples. Pour into greased 13 X 9 inch pan.

Now, my favorite part, the crumb topping. Mmmmmm.

1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. melted butter

Combine first 4 ingredients in bowl, then slowly add butter while mixing to make mix crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of cake batter and bake at 350 degrees fro 45 minutes.


I believe I said before DELICIOUS.  I'm thinking it would also be very good with blueberries in the spring!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Plan for the Week

Well, once again, I'm late with my weekly plan.  This week looks like it's going to be cool and RAIINY!! Great weather for soup, so I've planned a couple nights just for that.  True to recent form, it looks like EVERYTHING will be done in the crock pot this week (sorry boys). 

Sunday - We had steak n gravy (in the crock pot of course)
Monday - Taco Soup 
Tuesday - BBQ Pork chops,  homemade mac n cheese, peas, crescent rolls
Wednesday - Chicken n Dumplings (going to try this in the crock pot), green beans, mashed potatoes
Thursday -broccoli cheese chicken and rice - this is a new recipe I'm trying, will share if I like :)
Friday - Chili
Saturday - IT'S BOWL DAY!! The boys have football stuff all day.  It's their homecoming. They have to escort a girl, buy her flowers and get pictures taken.  So exciting!!  Of course they could care less, they just want to play their games:)  Anyhoooo, whatever we eat before I go to work will probably be ordered in. 

Hope everyone enjoys their week.  I know mine will fly by since it's my work weekend.  Ugh!!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brown Sugar Chicken

 In my search for easy prep meals that I can throw in the crock pot, I ran across this brown sugar chicken recipe on Crock Pot Girls facebook page.  The kids think I'm addicted to crock pot cooking at the moment, but I tend to do things in cycles.  Right now it's the crock pot, before that grilling everything and deep fried, etc., etc..  So, here's what you need:


4 boneless chicken breasts ( cut into pieces)  go ahead and throw them in the crock pot.




Combine:  1 cup brown sugar                 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
                 1/2 cup 7-up
                 1 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic (the
                          original recipe called for 3 tbs)
                 2 tablespoons soy sauce
                 1 small onion chop (I used onion
                         powder instead)


Then, pour over the chicken pieces.



Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Mine cooked a little long and I dried out the chicken on top, so I would go with  no longer than 6 hours.  It was still delicious.
         
              Serve over rice or pasta.  I chose rice and steamed some broccoli and corn to serve with.



 Make sure you pour the sauce over the rice or pasta.  I think that's the best part.



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

By Jove I Think She's Got It!!!





Well, after an entire week in training pants,  I think we've pretty much got the potty training done.  I have survived yet another one, only one more to go in a couple of years.  Whoot-Whoot!!! 

Isn't she cute???

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Plan for the Week (a little late)

Well, I'm a couple days late with this one, but have been focused on a few other things (like football and potty training).  We're not so busy this week.  Mr. Gamer had a game last night (which they won WHOOP-WHOOP)  and the rest of the week is just practice right around the corner. 

I am starting to count points with the Weight Watchers plan to try and get some of this excess weight off.  So,  I've got to try and be good with my food choices.  

Sunday - OUTBACK  (my last big hoorah)
Monday - Grilled chicken, glazed carrots, corn and peas
Tuesday - cubed steak n gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and homemade bread
Wednesday - hot dogs, mac n cheese, steamed broccoli
Thursday - vegetable soup
Friday - spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread
Saturday - hubby duty (I work)
Sunday - again hubby duty (I again work)

I'm so thankful hubby steps up on the weekends I work.  He'll either order carry out, or fix something simple like hamburgers/ hotdogs, etc.  That way, I can sleep a little longer and not have to get up and fix supper. He's so sweet, most of the time :). 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Little Progress

Potty Update!!!!

We have completely gotten rid of all Mini-Me diapers and pull-ups.  We are strictly in training pants (more laundry for the boys, yeah).  We have made one step forward. Last night at church, she went #2 in the little potty at church.  This morning, she stayed dry for 3 hours. PROGRESS!!!! I might live through this after all.

NEWSFLASH:::
As I was typing this post,  she actually came out to me and had "the look".  We ran to her potty and what do you know??  That little girl pee-peed in the potty!!  :)  Here we go!! This is one of my WHOOP-WHOOP moments!!!  :)




Thursday, September 22, 2011

Taco Soup


Tis the season for soup and I'm branching out.  The only thing I made prior to this was chilli and potato soup.  This past week, I tried taco soup (in the crock pot of course).  I had to do a bit of tweaking due to kiddos picky eating. The original recipe can be found here.


 Here's all you need:
               1 pound ground beef                                           
               1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
               1 onion chopped (I had to use minced onion)      
               1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, w/ liquid
               1 (16ounce) can chili beans, with liquid                 
               1 (8) ounce can tomato sauce
               2 cups water                                                       
               1 package taco seasoning mix
     
         Now, here's where I did most of the tweaking. The recipe calls for 2 (14.5 oz) cans peeled and diced tomatoes and 1 (4 oz) can diced green chile peppers.  Now, I know my family will not eat that.  We don't like cooked tomatoes and the kiddos don't like "spicy".  So, I used a can of tomato soup for the tomato flavor and just a pinch of red pepper flakes. 


In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef ( I put the minced onions in here), drain, and set aside.
Place all the ingredients in the crock pot and cook on Low setting for 8 hours. 


The kiddos and I ate it just as pictured.  However, hubby added cheddar cheese and sour cream to his.  Great soup for the fall season and cooler weather.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Boys in Green


 A loss and a win for my boys in green.  Mr. Gamer's team lost 12-0. BOOOOOO!!!  They played hard though.  They lost against what is suppose to be the best team in their league, so I guess it could have been worse.  Not to mention,  there was a pretty bad call that lead to one of the touchdowns. (I sound like a biased mom, huh?)  Mr. Helper's team won 18-8, by the skin of their teeth.  They didn't play near to their ability and was tied until late in the 4th quarter.  NAIL BITTER!!!!  BUT,  my boy got past that offensive line and put a couple pretty good hits on their boys.  Can I get a whoop whoop??? 

Mr. Helper has another game on Thursday.  Hopefully they will be back to full strength and playing hard.  If not, I have a feeling their coach will put it to them in the next practice.  I laughed so hard at their game,  they dropped two punts and gave the ball back to the other team.  Their coach told them to run away from the ball next time, the result would be the same.  These guys are serious about their youth league football.  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL????  LOL

On the cute side,  Mini-Me got into the cheerleading spirit.  Check this out!!!
video


Monday, September 19, 2011

Plan For the Week

Another busy week in store.  Three football games this week and some practices make for a lot of time on the road.  So, I'm thinking easy meals that can be thrown in the crock pot in the morning, quickly and easily prepared, or  DELIVERED :)

So, here goes!!

Monday - Papa John's pizza (I worked last night, I deserve this one!!!)
Tuesday - Spaghetti and meatballs
Wednesday - Potato soup
Thursday - BBQ chicken (in the crock pot of course), green beans, homemade mac n cheese
Friday - pancakes, eggs, bacon, fried potatoes
Saturday - Subs, pasta salad, and fruit
Sunday - Steak n Gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, corn

A little late posting this, I know.  I've been a little busy:)    Have a great week!!








Friday, September 16, 2011

A Winning Week

Tuesday September 13, 2011,  Berea Bulldogs beat Blue Ridge Tigers 28-6.  Give me a whoop-whoop!!!  That's my oldest #50.  I wish I  could have gotten a better picture, but every time I tried, that big boy # 98 got in my way.  I must say, I was a little nervous(that boy was BIG).  I think I had more butterflies than the boys did.  They did a great job.  Mr. Helper (#50) held his own against that big #98 and got around him a couple of times.  I was so proud. 
                                            
Here's Mr Gamer # 4.  Can you believe this guy plays defensive line.  He doesn't look very big, but that boy can bust through an offensive line like nobody's business (well, maybe I'm a little biased).  His team played Monday night September 12, 2011 against the Crusaders and beat them 22-0.  I was at Mr Helpers practice and didn't get any game photos of that one.  I heard that he broke through that offensive line and caused a fumble that one of his teammates ran back for a touchdown.  Again, can I get a whoop-whoop??  So proud of my boys.  This has been a very good experience for them and great exercise.  I should have let them sign up years ago.  I was just concerned about all the running it would cause and I was right.  Hubby and I are running in opposite directions on Mondays and Tuesdays now to get the boys to practice and games.  And often times, we end up at the same place in two different vehicles in order to let them watch each other's games.  FUN!!!!  I'm loving it.  Hopefully next week will be as good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mini-Me Turns 3

I'm a little late with this post, seeing as how Mini-Me's birthday was on Labor Day, but I've been a little busy. We have started our school year and both of my older boys are playing football. We are constantly on the go it seems. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday's are either practice or games or sometimes both (one with practice and one with a game). Hubby and I are sometimes waving at each other as we go in opposite directions.

Since Mini-Me's birthday was on Labor Day and I had to work the entire weekend, we celebrated the following Saturday. I made a Dora cake for her (that's what she asked for), we blew up balloons and had a good time. It was just our "little" family. She had a good time. This was her second little birthday celebration. Her Aunt Marsha in Alabama had some birthday cupcakes for her when they were visiting them over Labor Day weekend. I think she had a pretty good birthday overall. Now, if I can just get her to remember she's the big girl and not the baby and use the potty!! :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Italian Crock Pot Chicken

Once again, I was looking for easy prep meals that I could get started and leave to let cook. I found this one on a facebook page of the Crock Pot Girls, check them out!!

I will tweak it a little the next time I make it, but it was good this way too. Here's what you need:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (whole or cut into bite size pieces)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 stick of butter (use butter, they say it is better than margarine)
1 env. dry Italian dressing mix
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
any kind of pasta





As you can see, I cut my chicken up into pieces. Saved having to do it after it cooked.








Melt the butter, place the chicken in the crock pot and pour melted butter over. Sprinkle the chicken with dry Italian dressing. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours. I did mine for 3.5 hours















Looking pretty good so far huh??? I almost just wanted to eat it this way:) BUT........Now, blend the soup and the cream cheese (make sure you add the water to the soup) and pour over the chicken for the last 1/2 hour.




I took the chicken out, mixed up the soup and cream cheese, then put the chicken back in to finish cooking.








Serve over any kind of pasta. I used bow tie pasta:)





Here's where the tweaking comes in. Hubby said it didn't really "taste" very Italian. So, next time, I'm going to add some peppers, mushrooms, and maybe tomatoes to give it a more Italian flavor. However, I added peas and corn to this plate and mixed it all up. YUMMY!!! However, when I add all the other stuff, the kiddos probably won't eat it. They did at least eat it plain like this.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Trying to Find Some Ways to Save

Not that I've always paid full price, but I was never really ALWAYS on the look for bargains. I used the occasional grocery coupon and shopped the sale items at the grocery store. Lately though, I have found myself trying to be more budget minded. The size of my family has increased and the hours I work have decreased!! So, I am trying very hard to decrease the amount of money we pay out every week for groceries and other necessities of life.

Take clothing for instance. Since we are not nudist, we have to buy clothes. I find it very hard to pay $20.00 for an outfit for my 3 1/2 month old. That's just crazy. He's growing so fast and doesn't wear them that long. Then, it's hard to try and buy clearance seasonal items for the kids that "might" fit next year. That's why I love Babies R Us. I have the rewards card and when I buy my necessities there (diapers, formula, etc.), I get points that convert into R Us dollars and coupons. So, Wednesday I took my R Us dollars and went shopping. PLUS, they had all their Carters clothing on sale 40% off. YES!!!! I got 2 three piece outfits and 2 two piece outfits for about $25.00, not too bad. And, today I went to Old Navy and got myself a sweater, two tanks, pair of capris, 2 shirts for Mini-Me, and a Dora learning pack for less than $40.00.

Now, my husband's take on this is, you could have saved more if you didn't go shopping at all. True I guess. But, I had the coupons and we do occasionally have to buy clothing. So, why not save some money? I love getting hand-me-downs and often shop at thrift stores, but some new outfits are nice on occasion. And with 8 people in the family, I need to get all the bargains I can find!!

Now, to work on the grocery budget......... My goal is to feed this family on a $120.00/week food budget. That does not include baby food/formula, so I think it's doable (is that even a word?). I need a couple of weeks to build my coupon notebook up, but I'm hoping that by the end of September, I'll be buying our groceries for under the allowed $120.00. I guess until then, we'll be eating a lot of hotdogs, burgers, PB&J, and soups (cheap foods). Bon appetit!! Will work on the grocery budget and post my accomplishment!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

17 Years Ago Today


I married my best friend and high-school sweetheart. We were obviously young (as you can see in the pic)!! I'm sure there were some that didn't think we would make it this far, but we did. I'm sure some thought we didn't know what love was. I think we did and still do. I think more than anything, we both determined this was our LIFETIME together, for better or worse, no matter what. It wasn't a trial run, and getting out wasn't an option.

We have had many good times and probably just as many hard times. I know that there is no one in this world I would have rather been with through them. We have been through some tough loses; 3 miscarriages, the death of my mother, and most of our grandparents. But, we've also had the JOY and privilege of bringing 6 beautiful children into this world together.

Times they sure have changed and so have we. It's scary really. He can look at me and know what I'm thinking. There are times I will say something and he will have been thinking about the same thing. I have picked up my phone to call him only to him already being on the other end cause he was going to call me. I once heard that after years of marriage you can finish each others sentences and thought they were crazy, but it's true. I know what he's thinking just by looking at him.

He even knows my taste in appliances and furniture. For instance, when I was on bed rest with Baby Samuel, our washing machine gave up the ghost. I obviously couldn't go shopping for a new one, so off he went. My only specifications were BIGGER and a front-loader. There was no arguing when he got home and no disappointment.

I can honestly say a lot of things have changed in our lives (you can see some of the differences in the two pictures), but some things never do. He is still my very best friend. He will always be my high school sweetheart, and is still very much the love of my life. I'm looking forward to the crazy years ahead. One thing about our life together, it has NEVER been boring!!





Friday, August 19, 2011

It's My BIRTHDAY!!!

Well, reason number two that August is one of my favorite months, MY BIRTHDAY!!! And yes, I still celebrate them even though I'm 30something :) Ask me again after my 40th in a few years. Honestly though, most days I don't feel my age, guess it's all the little ones in my house. LOVE THEM!!! They keep me moving and keep me feeling young, usually.

Today though, I'm a little whiny. I just don't think you should be sick on your birthday and on top of that I have to work. UGH!!! NOT FAIR, but like I tell my kids, life is not always fair. So, I'm just going to enjoy my day with my beautiful children, take a nap this afternoon, and then head on into work armed with my cough medicine, cough drops, and a good attitude!!

Now, I was going to put a picture up here of me, but I don't have one. You know, I'm always the one taking the pictures and all the pictures with me in them are family pictures. So, I thought, I'll just take one of me. However, feeling the way I do today, that would just not be pretty so I won't punish you!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma

Well, for a few reasons, August is one of my favorite months of the year. One of them is my grandma's birthday. The picture is of me and my Grandma taken just last month. The family is having a little Birthday party for her this weekend, wish I could go :( She is 91 years old and one of my favorite people in the world (even though sometimes we disagree on things). I remember as a child all the many days and nights we spent at her house. She would take us to McDonald's, Chuck E Cheese (back when there was one in Bridgeport), and then take her old Ford Maverick and drive very fast down the airport road in Motown(there were speed bumps on there and we would fly up in the air). We would spend Friday nights at her house watching tv and eating popcorn, then Saturday morning she would fix us breakfast after letting us sleep in as late as we wanted. That was what Grandma's did right? Some super fun childhood memories at Grandma's house.

She's obviously not feeling so spry these days. She has lost a daughter and her husband and many days doesn't feel very well. I don't know how much longer we will be blessed with her presence here on Earth, but she assures me I will see her again in Heaven and that's what matters to me. Though I live in SC, and can not celebrate her birthday with her, I wish her a blessed and Happy Birthday. I know she'll enjoy her little party!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Potty Training Update

Well, story is the same! Sit on potty........pee/poo in pants. We have had many, many discussions as to WHY she won't use the potty and my conclusion is...........This is one of her ways of staying the baby. This little girl is having a hard time adjusting to NOT being the baby and this is one thing she thinks she can hold on to. Though she loves her little brother, he has stolen the title of baby from her.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Potty Training Mini-Me: Day 1

Well, I don't usually write about my "mommy" experiences, but I think that's the only way I'll get through this. That beautiful little girl on the right is my Mini-me and I think she got my stubbornness as well as my looks:( Poor child and poor mommy.

I have decided to bite the bullet and get this potty training thing over with (after all, I still have one more to look forward to, lol). We've tried a couple times before and she just has no interest. Well, this time is no different, but I'm determined!!!

That little girl has went from being the cutest little toddler to a terror on two feet (in more ways than one)!!! So, it's only 3:15pm and already I've washed all of her training pants. I sit her on the potty every hour and she sits there smiling, she'll sit there 15 minutes. Then, she'll say "can't pee-pee mommy" and get her big-girl panties on and then proceed to go to her bedroom and pee in them. Best part, she comes back out smiling from ear to ear!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!! Can you hear my frustration there?

This is child number 5, it shouldn't be this hard!!! My 4th child, Princess 2, potty trained herself:) No, seriously!! She wanted to go to pre-school and was told they didn't take little girls who peed in their pants, that was it. She didn't have a single accident after that day. Why can't it be that easy again, I ask you? There isn't even anything I've found yet to bribe or reward Mini-Me with.

Well, I've got a theme phrase or maybe two, "I will survive" and "This too shall pass". I can do this, after all I've done it 4 times before and have to do it again. Got my game-face on now!!! I'm gonna need it:) Still love that little girl to pieces though!!!







Sunday, July 31, 2011

Garlic Roasted Squash

I do love garden vegetables, esp. squash. But, my ability to fix them was limited to sauteed in stir-fry or fried in oil. So, I went searching and found this extremely simple and quick recipe.

You simply need: 2 summer squash
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Trim the ends from the squash, then cut each squash into halves lengthwise. Cut the halves in half again and again until you make 16 short spears.
I had more than 2 squash seeing as how I feed a family of 8!!!!

Mix the olive oil and garlic together in a bowl. Then toss the squash in the bowl to coat.
Place the squash in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Roast the squash until the spears and garlic start to brown, 5-10 minutes. My oven is very hot and only took the 5 minutes. Check your squash after 5 minutes and add 2-3 minute intervals to avoid burning.
The finished product!! YUMMY!!!! My children even liked it and they are not big fans of squash!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Dessert Pizza

Most of us have eaten at Pizza Inn or CiCi's Pizza and enjoyed their dessert pizzas. My favorite and that of my children is the Chocolate Chip Pizza. My second son has been begging me to try and make it for them at home since we don't go out and eat much. I found a simple recipe and thought I'd give it a try.

All you need is:
Pizza Crust
1/2 cup dry yellow cake mix
Liquid butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
Chocolate Chips (I used the mini ones)

Roll out the pizza crust on a cookie sheet then cover the crust with liquid butter. Now, sprinkle the dry cake mix over the butter, covering crust and butter. Then, dribble more butter over the pizza. Sprinkle brown sugar over all of that, then add the chocolate chips (I should have used more).

Bake according to the pizza crust directions.
Mmmmmmmm.....Mmmmmmmmmm Delicious!!!! Like I said earlier, should have used more chocolate chips, but good none-the-less. I will definitely be making this more often. I think I may try using my homemade crust next time instead of the pre-made, we'll see:)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Officially a Mother of a Teenager

13 years ago today, I was heading to the hospital to have my first-born child, Mr. Helper. I was scared, nervous, and excited all rolled into one. I am so thankful God gave him to me. He was a beautiful baby boy and is now a handsome young man (as you can see).

He's growing up before my very eyes!



Happy Birthday Mr. Helper!!!