Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A Happy 4th to You!

We want to wish our nation a 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

 May your 4th be fun and safe!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Cheesy Meatloaf

I wanted to share a recipe that has been a big hit at our house lately.

My sister-in-law gave me this recipe for Cheesy Meatloaf. First of all, I must I admit that I am not a big fan of meatloaf but this recipe has changed my mind.

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 egg
 
Mix all of the ingredients together. I form two medium size loaves but the recipe says to form six mini loaves. I guess you can do whatever you prefer. 
 
After make your huge loaf or loaves, mix together:
2/3 cup barbeque sauce (ketchup can also be used, if preferred)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp mustard
Spread this mixture over the meat to glaze.
 
Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
 
It looks like this.

My simple meal. Gracious me, it was good and easy to make.

I thought I would share with you who came to visit me while I was making dinner.
Captain Chase, as he likes to be called, since seeing The Avengers loved dinner and declared that I was Super Mama.

I am so not a super mama but it is fun to have my kids think I am.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

RAWR!

Last week, Jeremy and I left our kids with their gracious PawPaw and GiGi to take the youth to summer camp for 5 days. Every year, I write about how it was the best camp yet. I saw such amazing transformations in the kids. Many burdens that were brought to camp were given to God.

I just love seeing God work in our future generation.

The kids had a blast and a half while we were gone. 
Isabella is a bit of a Mama's Girl and once she saw me, she would not let me out of her sight.
I did not mind because I was ready to spend plenty of time with both kids.

Our first day back, we took the kids to see a dinosaur exhibit at our civic center.
Chase has been into music so much that I was not sure if either of them would like the exhibit.

This one was a bit concerned at first.

Big Brother showed her that there was nothing to fear.

Soon Isabella was in awe of the whole display.

Chase and I got into the spirit of things.

Checking out those teeth.

We had been told that there were all kinds of inflatables to enjoy..... for a price. 
The price ended up being $6 a kid which would be $12 for our kids to jump on just one of the four inflatables.

Uh, no thanks.
Now to break the news to both of my excited kids.

They were a little disappointed until I showed them the (free!) coloring area.
They were in art heaven. 
Most kids stayed in this area for one minute tops. 

Not my two.
They each worked on three pages front and back.
We finally got them to leave that area and let them run all the way back to the car.
It was a very long way back all through the halls of the civic center.

The kids thought that was the best part.

I love me some low maintenance kids.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Dad's Life

I was honored to be able to hear my husband preach today. I am not always in the main service for the sermon because I am the children's minister. On special days like Father's Day, the children stay in the service to sit with their Dads.

Jeremy showed this video at the beginning of his sermon. He prefaced by sharing how when you become a dad, you realize that the little bit of cool that you might have had left is officially gone.

This video embraces the uncool of becoming a dad.



Whether you lost all your cool or not, I want to thank all the dads out there who make a difference in this world by becoming one of the most important people in a child's life.

Your greatest ministry starts at home.

Friday, June 15, 2012

It Wasn't All Bad

 I was home more in the last month than I have been in awhile. Kinda like when you have a newborn except we did not have anyone tiny being to oohh and aaahhh over. I do believe I ooohhh and aaahhh'ed several times when I looked in the mirror but it was not because I was cute.

Anyway, I was able to do a few things while home and thought I would share. 
 I found this yummy recipe on Pinterest.
I highly recommend making your summer bounty of squash & zucchini this way.

Jeremy and I also celebrated our 8 Year Anniversary at the end of May.
I sadly did not look this good while we celebrated. This was taken on Mother's Day.

Did I mention that I worked through some vanity issues during this month as well?

I put on some sunglasses, pretended I was someone famous, and Jeremy treated me to this place.
Does not look like a fancy place but this restaurant is like taking a trip to New Orleans.
They cook the best Cajun food in town. No matter how stuffed we are, the meal always ends with a bowl of bread pudding.
Every special date night should end with a yummy bowl of goodness like bread pudding.
By the way, thinking about calories is not allowed on special nights.

Another thing on my list to make from Pinterest was homemade detergent for my dishwasher.
This was the recipe I used and I love it.
I might also love it because my anniversary gift was a new dishwasher.

You know you have been married awhile when a new dishwasher for your anniversary excites you beyond measure. When we were newlyweds, our very cheap apartment lacked a dishwasher and a washer/dryer. Now, that I am a mom, I use all three of those appliances every day. We have all become BFF's if you will. I had a sad little lemon of a dishwasher that did not work and was beyond repair.
We got a steal of deal on one for Memorial Day and I am one happy lady.

The best part of my being home so much was I spent tons of time with these two.
 Nothing like a picnic in the living room during pajama day.

The kids were so good while I was sick. I missed one Sunday at church because I did not need to be around other children, I felt awful, and I looked scary. All pretty valid reasons to be absent.

Chase told me that he would tell the class that they just needed to be brave when they looked at me. Ha! I guess he felt that he had been brave by hanging out with me and not recoiling when I came near him.

So, being home bound was not all that bad. Thanks to Pinterest and the lovely people God has placed in my life,  I got some things done in fun company.







Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oh, My Blessed Eyes

Well, well, well.
What a time I have had since my little fun trip.
By "time," I do not mean a wonderful time.
More like "Jesus, what is going on?" time.

Let's go back a little bit.
A few days after we returned from our trip, I noticed Isabella not using her left arm while we were at the playground. I saw her fall earlier and assumed that she hurt her arm.
She told me she hurt but would not tell me where. I noticed that she was not using her arm.
It was just hanging by her side.
Jeremy and I took Isabella to our children's e.r.
My heart just broke when I saw all the sick children there. 
It turned out that her elbow had been dislocated and it was an easy fix.
I was relieved that nothing was broken. I have no idea how it happened but I do know that we are all much more careful when lifting her. No swinging by her arms for awhile.

A few days later, we celebrated Mother's Day with our moms.
We were with my mom for a nice lunch out after church.
Chase dressed up a little extra for this special day.
My mom does love a dressed up man.....even a young one. 

Before we even ordered our food, Isabella did this....
she fell asleep for the whole meal. It was odd. She usually can last all afternoon.
Jeremy went and grabbed a blanket from the car to bring a little comfort to her head though I am not sure it would have mattered. She was out.
We were with Jeremy's mom and family for dinner. 
Jeremy's mom is not a fan of the camera but I do believe that my niece Avonlea is not camera shy.
What do ya think?

Two days later, this was the scene at our house.
Apparently, we figured out why Isabella was so tired at lunch. She had a fever later that night and kept a fever for days. Chase got sick but he bounced back two days later.

He immediately began to beg for all the food he couldn't eat while sick.

Isabella finally got better and was up to making my house very messy again. 
She had been so sick for the whole week that I was fine that she was up and into everything again.
I was just thankful that she was better.

That had been quite a week of being mama/nurse/professional sanitizer. I was ready to get back to life. 

My first day back to work, I woke up with pink eye.

Ya gotta be kidding me???

I immediately went to the doctor. I told the nurse that I had two small children, I work with children, and I have a family wedding in four days......I needed to get rid of this.
The nurse said, "Oh, yes, you should be fine by then."

Uh no. No, I was not.

To make my eye saga a little shorter, I ended up with a serious viral infection in my eye and eyelid. I looked so bad for TWO WEEKS that I adopted this look.
The Photo Bomber (aka Chase) said that he preferred this look. Chase does not like seeing unpleasant things (I think it is safe to say that he will not be called into the medical field) so he probably just wanted me to cover up my horrible eye.

This was my other look or known to my family as "my night look" if I had to go out at night.
(Zoolander lips and the photo bomber are such a nice touch to this picture.)

I had an allergic reaction to the medicine the eye specialist put me on. I became sensitive to sunlight, my vision became so blurry that I could not read, write, or drive, and then I got so sick that I could not eat.

Oh, the drama.

The doc changed my medicine and my eyes are getting better.
I even got to put on eye makeup for the first time in three weeks.
More importantly, I can drive again.

I had no idea that after my lovely and relaxing vacation, the rest of my month would be such a tough one.
I always try to learn from a trial even one that in the whole scheme of things is somewhat small. 
 
Anytime I go through a physical trial, I become beyond thankful for the good health I normally have.
 I am thankful that my husband and children are healthy.
I am thankful my children have four healthy grandparents who are nearby to see them grow up.
I am thankful for everything around me that reminds me of God's blessings.
 
That sounds so cliche'.
 
Forgive me if it does but when you have been cooped up in your house for a month looking like a bit of a scary person with a possibly contagious virus while wrestling two small children plus praying they do not get whatever you have.
 
Just know I am thankful.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recharging My Batteries

Jeremy and I were off last week for a mini vacation....without the kids.
We were meeting some our close friends (from California) in Charleston.
 I was excited about our adventure even though we look like we live with a newborn again since we were going on about two hours of sleep.

Once we met up with our friends, we headed to Hilton Head which was a place new to all four of us.

My friends from Cali pointed out every gorgeous tree we passed.
This was the first of many (and I do mean MANY) cool trees that we saw.
I can only imagine how many kids have climbed this tree.

Hello Beach Hair! 

We ate at a restaurant on the Harbor and made it just in time to see the sun set.
 
We made our way down to Savannah for a day trip. I was the only one in our little group who had been to Savannah before. I forgot how much I love that place. 
So beautiful and full of history...
I forgot how John Wesley came to Savannah for a short time and made a lasting impact on our new little country. Jeremy is getting some preaching inspiration in front of John's statue.
 
I got some eating cooking inspiration by visiting....
Paula Deen's restaurant. 
 
OH MY GOODNESS.....
this food was crazy good!!! We were told to get the buffet and so glad we did.
 
Jeremy is not usually a pointer...
but I had him point to this exact spot where apparently Georgia was founded.
Since I grew up in Georgia, I felt the need to document my finding.

The rest of my trip went so well that I ate even more food, gained four pounds, decided that I needed to invest in a new wardrobe of muu muu dresses, and completely quit taking pictures.

I am rather offended with myself for getting so lazy that I got no pictures of our friends or of Jeremy & I together.
We had so much fun with our friends. This was the first time that I had been with them without any of us having to be a parent. We got to do fun things like finish our conversations, eat somewhere without having to check out the children's menu first, and get really good sleep.

I missed my kids like crazy. They were having so much fun with Jeremy's mom that they did not want to talk to us on the phone. I mean making "Aquabat Rootbeer Cookies" is a one of a kind happening and there is no time for phone conversations.

I so needed that getaway to just recharge my batteries....so to speak.
I needed a little break from my house duties, the kids, and work. 
I needed some lovely time with my husband and some God-given friends.

I came back refreshed and ready to tackle life (and my kids) again.
I know not everyone is blessed with such a great opportunity to get away for a few days but I was reminded how good it is for everyone to stop life (even if it is a coffee break with a friend for an hour) and just take a short break to recharge.

We owe a good recharge not only to ourselves but to all the people around us.
I hope that you are able to take some for a recharge whenever you feel like your "batteries" are running low.