Friday, February 26, 2010

Show Us Your Life

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Kelly Stamps does a Show Us Your Life Friday each Friday. I have only participated in one other one but I loved it. So I was determined to jump back on board this week no matter what the title was. With much anticipation I clicked on the schedule and almost couldn't wait to see what it said.

This is what I saw:

WHAT DO YOU COLLECT?

Well, darn.

I don't collect anything in particular. Well, unless you count the dust on my furniture or mail on my kitchen table or work out videos(out of their shrink wrap, but not yet overused). There is nothing on my birthday or at Christmas that I hope someone gives me so I can have the latest of "whatever."

I was bummed. I wouldn't be able to share anything. I started to shut down the computer and then I remembered I had some pictures on my camera I needed to download. So I grabbed my card reader, my memory card and then it hit me!

I do collect something!

I have begun collecting pictures. Pictures I actually take with my camera and snapshots I have in my mind. I try to take pictures of each of my children doing anything from the mundane to the marvelous. And what I have not yet captured on film I am carving into the deepest parts of my brain. The looks from my kids, be it sweet or sassy or a combination. The little comments. The times they play together so well. The caring and concern they show for others. The cuddles. The precious little things that will one day not be there anymore because they will grow out of this very phase they are in.

I used to think my life would get easier once my kids could get themselves dressed, tie their own shoes, grab their own poptart in the morning (not that I feed them poptarts in the morning...I am just saying...)--but you know what? Each stage/phase/age brings with it its own set of challenges. And each one seems to be passing by faster than ever.

So I will collect them all in my heart and hopefully most will make it on the camera. And in the meantime I will try to keep the mail, dust and workout videos from cluttering up my memory too much! :)

A few snapshots from the past two weeks:

I like to call this one: Kids and the Mafia...It Can Work.

I would like introduce you to my son, the alien.
This is my daughter watching herself in the screen of the camera!
Coloring at Grandma and Grandpa's house!
And this week...has been all about basketball for Will (and subsequently, the rest of us).

So...I am dying to know...what do you collect that I am missing out on? Do share!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wishful Wednesday



Wishful Wednesday is a fun way to think about the things in our life that maybe we think could be different...hop over to Kelsey's blog to see how this all got started!

This week's topic is:

'I wish' .... I could play a character's role in a book and it would be __________!

This was so hard for me to choose. I truly struggled for a few days over this. I love to read. And truly, I can get lost in a book so deeply that I think I AM one of the characters. I have been known to stay up all night to finish a good book and more than once, Mark has found me sobbing on the couch in the middle of the night at the end of a book.

And I will tell you that NOTHING grabbed a hold of me like the Baxter family did in the books by Karen Kingsbury. I got so lost in the Baxter family that I even started signing my name "Paige Baxter". OK, not really. But I was close.

Since I have to choose a character I feel like I should say that THIS was again, hard. I finally settled on Ashley Baxter. She is the rebellious daughter who eventually comes back to the faith she has always known. And no, this does not necessarily describe me, but I was always worried about what would happen to Ashley from book to book. I guess I can really relate to Ashley because she worries if God will forgive her for all she has done and isn't that like all of us? We wonder if He really is
that forgiving. And the good news for Ashley and for the rest of us is He really, really is that forgiving.

Redemption #02: Remember Cover

If you have not read this series, I highly recommend it. You will LOVE it. Go ahead and buy the whole series at once...you will not want to have a wait a minute to keep the story going.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Me Monday!




Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not take a whirlwind trip to see my parents and then off to see my sister and her family. I did not push the limits of my time frame in getting Will back for a basketball tournament, meaning I did NOT have to get up at 4am to drive 5 hours home. I subsequently did NOT go to bed at 8:30pm last night after a slight (ok huge) mental breakdown.

While at my sister's house, I did not witness yet again the devotion between my sister's dog and my dad. Georgie (the dog) did not get so excited to see dad Saturday morning that she tackled him in the middle of the living room. I did not catch it on film. The second picture is not going to gross you out.




I do not have a busy day that is already stressing me out. I did not try to get things planned last night to make this day run smoothly, only to receive an email and a voice mail message that totally blew up those plans. I did not get these after 8:30pm when I was in the middle of my REM sleep. I am not procrastinating reworking those plans....I am not a procrastinator!

So...what have you not been doing?

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cake Pops a Girl Can Be Proud of!!!!

OH.MY.WORD.

I did it.

I accomplished what I thought was impossible...I made Cake Pops AND made them presentable!!!!!!!!

:)
We are taking them to my niece's party this afternoon....look at the cake and "topper" my sister made...she kills me.

She made the balance beam for Barbie out of the leg of a table....I don't have those kind of creative moments!

Be back later with more party pics and some questionable ones of my dad! :)

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

All Over the Place

I have had such a great time at the beach. My parents live at the beach so I get beach with not a huge expense....only this time I did not actually SEE the beach because it has been...well....COLD!

I love this little guy. He does not belong to me--he is my nephew though. And he is ALL about Star Wars right now. He has about 712,456 light sabers and he always has one with him. If you say to him, "Come to the dark side" he will say (in THE most precious voice ever created) "NoIWillNot." (say it all fast and together...hence the way I wrote it)! And then laugh and walk off. I asked him so many times to come to the dark side that eventually, when I would just call his name, he would turn and say, "NoIWillNot." :) Love it. And right now I really miss it! Cuz he left today. :(
One of the favorites at the beach is the early morning walk we all go on...well, come to think of it, maybe it is just for me and dad. Because the others all run or bike or do nothing...so maybe it is just us. But we do it everyday unless it rains. We walk five miles...up to the Pig (Piggly Wiggly grocery store) and then home. The other day we walked up to the shopping center where the Pig is and decided to eat breakfast at our favorite breakfast joint (Eggs Up Grill) and then walk back. We aren't even ashamed about that! This week has been REALLY cold for the beach. So we look more like we are going skiing than walking...but here is a very grainy picture (from my phone) of us before one of our walks! Do you see that thing on my sunglasses in the bottom right lens that looks like a reflection of something white? Yeah...no...that would be the sticker on the sunglasses from the store where I bought them. I know...you wish you could be as cool as me!

On our walk we went down a street we don't usually go down and I almost choked on my gum when I saw this. That would be his and hers Porches in the driveway. Seriously....if you can afford his and hers....can't you afford a garage to put them in?
And then, I attempted another round of cakes balls....these might actually get to be called by their proper name which is Cake Pops! I am a rookie (can you still be called that if this is your third attempt at this?) and I was determined to conquer the "ball of cake slathered in frosting and sprinkles". So, despite some issues with some of the cake balls rolled with less love than others and therefore resulting in some cracks, I forged ahead! And while the final display won't be ready until tomorrow...here is a look at how they came out...and if you don't think this is SO beautiful...then maybe you should revisit here...
We are taking our 75+ cake pops with us to Savannah for my niece's fourth birthday party! I get to see my other sister...yeah! It has been a whirlwind...but SUCH fun! I cannot wait to photograph the display of cake pops...get ready to be amazed (ok...maybe I got a little carried away...but I will share a picture with you...I think.)

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Shout Out!

So, let me just remind you that we (being me and the kids) left for this place:



And we have had tons of fun! The kids have had cousins around them to play with and have had a great time with all them. Sometimes (ok, LOTS of times) it makes me sad to think of how far away we do live from family and especially for the kids...the cousins! This week has been fun, in a bittersweet kinda way!

My sis Leslie, so desperate to see me (start laughing now), even took her kids out of school to come to me! I love her for that! I love her for other reasons too, but I do love that she is here. She leaves on Thursday morning...boo! But I have had fun...and so have the kids! Leslie is my all natural eating sister who reminds me all the time of how gross high fructose corn syrup is! So the other day, I went to her house to watch the kids for her so she could go for a run and I took powdered donuts to share. :) I know how to win over the kiddos! :)




Just love me Leslie...after all I didn't put the picture of you on here...ya know...talking on your cell phone...in the car....while driving.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Me Monday!




Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week

I did not have two early dismissal days from school this week due to weather. One day was not for the threat of ice (which did not come) and one was not for snow (which did come!). On the last day, Friday, I did NOT have a parent get very mad at me when I told them that yes, for the second time this week school would be closing early. That parent did NOT say to me, "How many more days this week are you going to close early?" I did NOT respond with, "Well, since this is Friday, this will be our last day this week." I would never do that and then blog about it.

We did not go to a basketball game one day and when leaving the game, my husband did not try to run quickly to the car so as to not get cold. He did not, during his short jog, stumble slightly and yet never let go of my daughter's hand, which in turn did NOT drag her down to the ground. When asked about it he did not say, "Well, I used her to keep me from falling." He would never use his four year old as his balancing post with no regard to her personal safety.

I did not actually get mad that it was snowing on Friday. I love the snow. My kids love the snow. And since it is such a rare occurrence in our town, I would never actually be angry that we got two inches! I would not be angry for selfish reasons like the fact that the kids and I were supposed to leave on Saturday for my parents house at the beach! I would never act like that.

I did not leave ON Valentine's morning with my kids but without my Valentine to head to the beach. I treasure the day of love and always do everything in my power to spend it with the man I love. I would never leave him for the beach........

Want to confess anything you haven't been doing this week? Join us then!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow My Goodness!

Well, it was another day of school cut short due to weather related issues. No complaints here...almost.

I am supposed to leave tomorrow to go see my mom and dad at the beach and it looks as though that won't happen...

But we have been having some fun...



Happy Snow Days Yall!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cake Pops/Cake Balls

Well, I am about to shock you all!

Anyone want to cook?

No, I am not a cook. Not even an amateur. Not even a wannabe! But every now and then, I get a wild hair. Yes, I did just say a wild hair. And I can't get it out of my mind until I actually do whatever that wild hair is. As of late, it has been what I refer to as Cake Balls. MckMama, however, who introduced me to them, calls them Snow Pops.

Sounds better, doesn't it?

And the friend she gets them from calls them Cake Pops.

But Cake Balls, that is my name for them. Both links above give you the directions for making these delectible treats and I do recommend you taking time to see how it is supposed to be done. I am going to, however, show you how I did it...and probably make you laugh in the process (but not on purpose).

I had seen many pictures of "cake balls" and finally decided to make some for my sweet class for Valentine's Day (yeah, and no one actually TELL them that please, because they will not be actually getting any at the party). Anyway, I started the process earlier in the week and truly failed miserably.

I should interrupt myself here and say a couple of things. First, I am a visual learner. I can learn nothing by JUST listening (how I passed college is still a mystery to me). MckMama did a very good job showing me pictures...but I need to watch it being done...not just see pictures. I like to do things new, exciting and fun for other people. I thought this could be it...I was going to practice all during my break next week and make them for a shower we are giving at school for a great mom to be! Yeah, THAT is not happening! I just want to be crafty...but I am not. I almost failed Home Ec in high school...that alone should keep me from even entering the kitchen, but it does not!

I began to gather my ingredients and supplies. One of thing I needed were lollipop sticks. Well, Kroger did not sell those, so I bought shish-kabob sticks and thought, "Surely they'll work." Surely they don't. They are not strong enough, they are too long and that point on the end wreaked havoc on my (cake) balls. Then I needed candy melts, because they work better according to the pros on this. Well, Little Miss Nut Allergy can't have candy melts so I had to go with white chocolate bark. (do you see a pattern here...you could say I didn't follow directions so it is my own fault...but I call it improvising and THAT is the stuff life is made of)...



I made the cake following the directions on the box, let it cool, and crumbled it up. Mixed in the cream cheese frosting and rolled them into balls (hence my name...balls of cake=Cake Balls). I placed them in the frig and let them "set"!



...not that I need to actually say this out loud, but I am so not a gourmet chef (but I do have one following me on Twitter...can that be like, "I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night"?)-- so I also don't have all the stuff that goes with the title gourmet chef. Heck, I don't even have all the stuff that goes with the title chef! So, I decided to "improvise" again. I had no double boiler (and I have no microwave currently), so I made my own little redneck version of one, patted myself on the back and began melting my bark.




Now, I realized I would need to improvise again with my "drying rack". I had no large piece of styrofoam like you put at the bottom of fake flower arrangements (and even though I have fake flowers in my house, I somehow had no styrofoam to grab quickly...hmmmm...wonder where all that stuff went...). So I broke up some styrofoam cups and thought I could make it work. I melted my bark, and began to dip my cake balls.



Those don't look so bad, do they? Trouble was brewing....my kabob sticks were utterly detrimental to my cause and my dipping technique needs some SERIOUS work. Only I don't know what to do to help myself! :) So I persevered! Sort of.



Please take note of the ones in the back...see all that extra chocolate around it. My sticks did me in and so I ended up dropping the cake balls in the pot with the melted bark and letting them pool on the parchment paper. I had to fill in holes from the kabob sticks and redip some for more "glitter' as Caroline called it! And I finally finished it all...
Then I had to clean it all up! Look at my sprinkles containers...just mulitply that by ten and that is what the rest of my kitchen looked like!



I was ready to pack them up to take them to school so all my friends could giggle along with me...since this is what they are supposed to look like:

Doesn't this one look like "Wilson" from Castaway with Tom Hanks?

Or is he just grimmacing at me? Or maybe laughing at me...
Don't answer that. I tried...and remember, as a Home Ec dropout, this really is pretty good!


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Good Feeling Gone!

I HEART the University of North Carolina Tarheels. I loved everything about my college days. I wasn't a wild child, so it was not a matter of sewing my wild oats, like, ahem, maybe someone else I know...anyway...it was just awesome. I had classes to attend and most days I did attend them. But other than that, there were no real responsibilities. And I thrive in those kind of settings! :) UNC has a beautiful campus, lots of fun majors you can pick and some seriously talented athletes. And I HEART sports! Mainly college basketball. And I picked a great school to attend in regards to my fav sport.


Well, last night was the night of "THE BIGGEST RIVALRY IN COLLEGE SPORTS." And it is. As much as I HEART North Carolina....I do NOT heart Duke. We played last night though. Here.

This is OUR house (well, actually it is Dean's house...it has his name on the building), but I take such pride in it, I feel as though I must defend it too....from my couch, mind you!). Anyway...we haven't been playing great up to this point...I was concerned. Duke is number 7. We are no longer ranked. But my sister said she had a good feeling about the game so I stayed up through the whole thing even though my eyes are bleeding this morning I am so tired as I try to muster the strength to get ready for work. And we played amazing in the first half (and it helped Duke only shot 25% from the field)...we were down one.


Then halftime.


Halftime did us in. We didn't come back playing like we had. I could get all stastic-y on you but I would hate to bore you more than I have...we lost. I was mad. Couldn't go right to sleep. I wanted to win. We needed to win. I do know it is only a game. And I am ok now (except for the sleep deprivation).


I still HEART North Carolina basketball....I just don't want to have to go wake up this little boy and tell him what happened...

(He is not violent...this was his FIRST UNC game last year!)

Anyway, for now, that good feeling is gone...I am tired...and, now, I am late for work


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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Keepin' It Real

So Caroline has been sick...nothing new there if you read my blog at all. And when she is on her breathing treatments and steriod meds to open up her lung capacity she is one mean cookie. And I mean MEAN! Mean like downright hateful to the core. Yeah, I know what you are thinking...how can someone who looks like this:



change into this:

But she does.

But on the flip side...when she comes off those meds...she turns into the sappiest, sweetest, drippiest, stickiest lovingest kid. She says things like, "You are the mom I always wanted." "You are so beautiful to me, mom." "This is the life I love." "My family is the best family ever made and I am glad I chose you for my family." (haha). She is attempting her withdrawals now and so it has been those comments X 100 today. I look beautiful, I am the best and nicest mom, I am the best cook, I fold laundry better than anyone (seriously...I got this one tonight.). And I tend to like this Caroline better...even if she says "Mom, you are beautiful. But not so beautiful. You need your makeup on your eyes and lips...that is when you are the most beautiful."

Nothing like lifting my spirits and making me feel gorgeous no matter what! But she keeps it real. And that is cool. Even if I am not a princess in her mind because I am too old and my hair is not long enough. Or even if she told me she was worried that I might break the little chair I was sitting in tonight as I painted her nails. Or if she asked me why I don't look like the girls on the workout video (and when I asked her what she was talking about...she said something to the effect of my stomach does NOT look flat like theirs and my arms aren't tiny like theirs).

You know, come to think of it...maybe this is not my favorite version............

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