Planting Chums

posted on: Friday, April 30, 2010

One of my favorite blogs that I currently read is Carissa over at Lowercase Letters.  She's participating in a giveaway/blog party that is hosted by a blog named Aspire. So anyways, I thought I'd link up and join in on the fun!

To enter all you have to do is write down four fun facts about yourself.  So here are my four facts.

1.  I hate sleeping in hotel beds.  I think they're disgusting.  I always bring my own pillow and a large blanket to wrap myself in before I get in.  I also wear long sleeve shirt, pants and socks as an extra barrier from the grossness of the bed :)  (side note- it doesn't matter if it were a fancy hotel...still think it's gross)

2.  One of my favorite things to eat is banana bread with butter and cheddar cheese.

3.  One of my family nicknames is "the Job Hog."  I've been known to hog as many jobs as I can.  Currently my job hoggedness (so not a word.. I know) has landed me being a piano teacher, swimming lesson teacher, dress sewer, babysitter and housecleaner.  And yes, I am always hunting for more.  Oink Oink

4.  My oldest brother and I are a year apart to the day.  Bless you Mom :)

___________________________________

So there you have it... my four random fun facts!

Hope everybody is having a great Friday!

Daily Walks and Calendar Day

posted on: Thursday, April 29, 2010

I don't know about any other stay at home moms but I go crraaazyyy if we have to stay home all day!  To be honest there isn't a day that goes by that we don't load up in the car to go somewhere...whether it be sonic ;) or just to drive around.  Lately, the weather has been gorgeous so we've been going on daily walks as well around our neighborhood.  I figure we'd better take full advantage of the spring weather before the Texas heat rolls in!  I absolutely LOVE the neighborhood in which we live.  It's full of fabulous historic homes.  One of my favorite homes is owned by a couple in their late 50's.  They both have quite a green thumb and there is always some sort of flower blooming along their fence year-round.  She gave us permission to pick flowers anytime we like... such a treat! I've been taking my scissor along on our walks to clip a fresh rose for a little vase in my kitchen window.  Isn't it amazing how a little flower can brighten your day?! :)



I am in love with his little fuzzy round head!!! :)

Our favorite fence full of flowers!

Then right when you think it can't get any better we turn the corner and the smell is GORGEOUS.  Along their side fence they have honeysuckle growing everywhere! Smells like pure heaven!

So there you have it... one of my favorite parts of our day!
_____________________________

Today was Calendar Day at our home.  Calendar day comes once a month over here.  I have a gigantic calendar hanging on my fridge and at the end of the month I rip off that month and Emma gets to paint and color all over it.  She will sit and craft on it for a good hour.  Nothing like a good piece of calendar paper ;)  Exciting times over here at our house :)


______________________________

I'm off to bed... it's been a long day!
Yay for the weekend almost being here!

To our Pawpa

Pawpa...

Here is a special video for you!

We love you!

Glad you're home :)

Love,

Emma and Colt (who was asleep when this video was being recorded)

Answered Prayer and Current Favorites

posted on: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It has been an emotionally exhausting 24 hours over at our home.  Last night I received a call from my little sister that my dad was being taken to the hospital by ambulance.  He and my younger brother Tim (he's 14) had been working with one of their horses and Dad had gotten bucked off.  He landed on his head and shoulder and had been knocked unconcious.  Tim called 911 from the field and that's where the ambulance picked them up.  My mom and younger sister Kaitlin were in another town about an hour away so Tim stayed at the hospital by himself for awhile.  I am SO proud of him! He's such a brave and awesome young man!  My dad ended up breaking his collar bone and has some slight hemorraging on his brain.  Mom said that the neurosurgeon said that there were blood vessels that had broken.  Thankfully time will heal all of his wounds.  He's still in the hospital but will hopefully be able to go home tomorrow.  I am SO thankful for a God who answers our prayers.  He is so good to have protected my Dad.  I have never been so sick with worry.  Blah...hate even thinking about it.  So anyways, THANKYOU to everyone who has been praying!  God is so good:)
____________________________________

On a lighter note... I thought I'd share a few of my current favorite things right now!




1. I've been saving my sewing money to go on a little summer shopping trip and I do believe this top is on the list! Love how cool and summery it looks! Plus it's on sale...even better!

2. I am loving the Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks.  Since it's getting warmer I asked for it cold (or whatever the correct "starbucks termonology" is for cold.  It's all so confusing to me...silly I know) and then with an extra shot in it (I only do this because the lady suggested I do so and it tasted delish!).  Very tasty!

3. ANYTHING Coconut Lime Verbena from Bath and Body Works.  I am currently using the body wash and lotion!  I've just finished up the wall-flower.  Does anybody else love this scent?! Reminds me of the beach!

4. I've been trying out different laundry detergents lately.  I used to use Tide... but my mom and I both swear that they've changed their formula because clothes don't seem to be getting as clean as they used to.  Who knows.  So, after asking some friends who always smell so clean and delicious (You know the people...the ones that are like walking air-fresheners... I hope to be one someday) I switched over to Gain Island Fresh and by golly we smell fresh and our clothes are sparkling clean! Love it!

5. The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook- I picked this cookbook up at the library the other day and will for sure be buying myself a copy!  It has the most DELICIOUS recipes in it!  Here are a few that I am wanting to try... Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Lime Dressing, Cheese-Grits Chiles Rellenos with Roasted Tomato Gravy, Fried Apples with Bourbon Caramel... I could go on and on.  I'm thinking it would be fun to go all "Julie and Julia" and cook my way through this cookbook!

6. I've had my eye on these sandals for quite awhile... thinking they would look nice with some tanned feet in them :)

7.  I have been doing Laura and Erin's 500 miles in 2010 Challenge and am loving it! I am definitely going to need to kick up my mileage to make it to 500 but I love a good challenge!  It's one of my favorite things currently because I need something like this to keep me motivated to work out.

8. Anything turquoise is on my list of favorites for spring and summer!  I've had my eye on this necklace as well for my little spring shopping trip :) 

9.  And last but not least I am loving this style of shorts.  I hate to say it but they are quite mother friendly (I'm sure the teenagers who shop at American Eagle would cringe to hear me say that!)  Perfect for squatting to pick up babies, chasing after 2 year olds, sitting cross-legged for a picnic all while keeping your buns from hanging out for the world to see :)  Pair them with a white tanktop and a turquoise necklace and voila' a cute outfit!

___________________________________________

So there you have it... a very silly and random compilation of my favorites!

I'll leave you with a favorite verse that I read this morning while praying for my dad...

Ephesians 3:20-21, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Have a great Wednesday everybody!

Marathon of a day

posted on: Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today was one of those days where we had one event after another from morning til evening.  Travis and I were talking last night about how blessed we are to have SO many wonderful friends... thus so many wonderful events :)  God is good!

________________________________

We started our morning off with the Walk for Life to support our local pregnancy support center.  The money that was raised this morning goes to help the support center aid women with unplanned pregnancies.  They provide them with pregnancy tests, maternity clothes, sonograms, educational classes and much more.  All for free.  This past year over 200+ babies were saved from being aborted because of them. 
I have always had a heart for unborn babies so I felt like this was one way that we as a family could show our support.  We choose life!!!

  It had rained all night and part of the morning but when the time came to walk the weather could not have been any more perfect.  Travis had to work so it was just the babe's and I walking.  The pregnancy support center chose the location of the walk to be right by the lake in our town.  It was such a beautiful setting!








_____________________________________________

After the walk we headed to our sweet friend Kate's first birthday party.  Saldy, I forgot to take my camera in :(

From there we headed home so the kids could take a quick afternoon nap.  Then after naps we headed to another get together/surprise 30th birthday party for another friend of ours!  It was such a nice evening.  Every family was in charge of bringing one side to share and their own meat to grill.  SO simple and easy.  Makes me wonder why we don't do that more often with our friends! Stress free.
  Love the picture below of all the kids eating their supper

_________________________________________

So thankful that tomorrow is Sunday... a day of rest!!! 
Have a blessed Sunday!

Numbers 6:24-26
"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace."


Thursday

posted on: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tonight is one of those nights where I don't have much to say. So just a quick little pic update!

Colty boy's top teeth are finally through!  His drooling has not slowed down though...his shirt is evidence :)




Emma insisted on taking her "boat" and babies outside this afternoon


Em likes to take my camera when I'm not looking and snaps pictures as fast as she can before I discover her.  It always cracks me up to see what she's taken pictures of.  Thought this one was sweet :)  When I showed it to her she said she took a picture of her pink polish :)

I've been busy sewing custom orders and also working on a few things to send with a sweet friend Elaine (also known as The Blanket Lady) to a craft fair this weekend.  Love the springy colors of these fabrics!

Alrighty... off to curl up on the couch to watch a movie with Trav!
Happy Friday tomorrow!!!

Sick Computer and Sweet and Saltines

posted on: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Well...it's a sad day over here at my house.  My computer is doing something very funky and weird.  It keeps configuring some sort of update 3 of 3.  Makes no sense to you? Me neither.  Praying.. just PRAYING that I can figure out how to fix it and that all of my pictures and videos will still be there when it all gets figured out. So, in the mean time I'm using Trav's computer.  If you don't have your pictures and videos backed up somewhere.. DO IT!!! I'm kicking myself because that was on my to-do list and obviously it kept getting bumped back.  I have most of my pictures downloaded to Walgreens...but none of my videos. Sad sad.

___________________________________________________

On to happier and more tasty things!  My sister made these over Christmas while we were visiting and they are DELICIOUS and ADDICTING!!!  I have seen the recipe all over blog-land. It has about a bajillion names.  But the recipe/name that my sister used was from the April 2010 issue of Country Living.  It is one of Tricia Yearwood's recipes. 

Mama's Sweet and Saltines
40 saltine crackers (I used quite a few more...I used a huge cookie sheet)
2 sticks of unsalted butter (I used salted and it didn't make a difference)
1 cup light-brown sugar
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the whole package)

Preheat oven at 425 degrees.  Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and saltine crackers. 

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour over crackers, covering them evenly.  Put cookie sheet into oven and watch them closely.  Bake for about 5 minutes, or until just bubbly. (I was a ding-dong and left them in a little long so the outer edges tasted a little bitter and burnt. As SOON as it starts to bubble I would take them out!)

Remove from oven and pour chocolate chips over crackers.  When chips begin to melt, spread them over crackers with a knife.  Transfer pan to freezer for about 20 minutes or until completly cooled.  The chocolate-covered crackers will form a solid sheet.  Break into pieces and store in an air-tight container.

_______________________________________________


Alrighty, off to bed.  Have a great Wednesday everybody :)



Weekend Recap and Crostini

posted on: Sunday, April 18, 2010


It feels like this weekend came and went faster than it normally does!  We were busy all day Saturday and today which is why I suppose.  A good busy... but busy none the less. 
Friday night was the slowest night we had.  Trav and I debated going out on a date but didn't really feel like going out or messing with finding somebody to watch the babes. So, we decided to order in a pizza and salad from one of our favorite restaurants in town and would have a date on the back porch after the kids went to bed.  I thought it would be fun to make a little appetizer to hold us over until it was time for our "date".  Obviously this isn't a new recipe.  I've seen different variations all over the internet!  So here's how I made our appetizer...

Basil, Tomato and Cheese Crostini
Baguette (I used a sea salt baguette)
Fresh Basil (from our garden!)
Tomatoes
Cheese-(I used mozarella on some and then dill Havarti on the rest..so good!)
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Slice your baguette into thin slices and place on a cookie sheet.  I then drizzled each slice with olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Place some of your favorite cheese on top.  Put your cookie sheet under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and melted.  Place a slice of tomato and basil on top and ENJOY!


Sidenote: Our date lasted all of five minutes.  Emma's bedroom is right off of the back porch.  A few bites into the meal I turned around to see two little peepers looking at me through the blinds of the window :)  So our date turned into a family fun night complete with blowing bubbles and swinging on the swing set! 

______________________________________________________
This past week the mornings have been SO beautiful.  Crisp, clear and the perfect temp.  After we get around and ready for our day the kids and I have been enjoying sitting out on the front porch to soak up the morning rays.

_____________________________________________________

Yesterday Emma and I went to a birthday party for one of her friends.  She had a great time and asked if we could go again tomorrow.  I forgot to take pictures inside the party so here she is right before we left to come home.  They passed out treat bags complete with chocolate suckers.  When we got in the car I told her the sucker was made out of chocolate.  Her response was, "Cogolit?! My favorite!!! Ooooo!!!"  Translation: "Cogolit" = chocolate :)  I love this age!

___________________________________________________

Tonight we headed back to church to finish up the parenting seminar that they started last week.  Equally as good as last week and they shared a lot of wonderful resources for us to use in the coming years.
They shared an interesting statistic this evening that I thought I would pass along.  They were talking about how divorce affects children and how parents need to work on their relationships with one another.  The statistic was the divorce rate for couples who pray together is 3%.  I googled this when I got home to see what I could find and most sites that I found said it was more like 1 to 2%.  The divorce rate normally is around 50%.  Isn't that interesting?!? So get to praying together people!!! :)

______________________________________________

Hope everyone had a great weekend! It's time to gear up for a new week!


GT and the Halo Express

posted on: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Growing up my Mom was so good about having lots of Christian stories for us to listen to on audio cassettes.  My favorite cassettes that we had were called, "GT and the Halo Express."  It's about a guardian angel named GT (Good Tidings).  Each cassette has a story and throughout the story they sing different Bible verses. Each story has around 10-12 verses in it. I can still remember all the Bible verses that I learned by simply listening to the stories!  I wondered if they still made them and if they had been switched over to CDs and they HAVE!  I HIGHLY encourage you if you are a parent to buy these for your kids!  Here's where you can get them
Seriously, not only will your kids love them but you will too!  Oh and sidenote: they are not goofy or baby like.  Anyone can enjoy listening to them.

________________________________________
Last night after baths the babes watched a Veggie Tales movie with Travis.
  Guess it was a nail-biting episode :)
Hope everyone is having a great Thursday!

Lemon-Raspberry Mousse Squares

posted on: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Awhile back I bought a box of Nilla Wafers and found this recipe on the side of the box.  I had been saving it for a special occasion and ended up making them for Easter.  They are DELICIOUS!!!  Very light and cool... not a heavy dessert at all.  Perfect for the summer!  I did make a few variations...I've noted them below in the recipe.  Seriously, make this recipe THIS weekend!

Lemon-Raspberry Mousse Squares

48 NILLA Wafers, divided (I used WAY more than 48...I bought a huge box of them and used about 3/4 of the box)
3/4 cup  boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 cup  ice cubes
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup  sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1/3 cup raspberry preserves
1-1/2 cups  fresh fruit 
 
STAND 16 wafers around edge of plastic wrap-lined 8-inch square pan. Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in ice until melted. (I used a 9x13 pan... like I said..I just used way more nilla wafers and it worked out perfectly! There was plenty of filling to go in a 9x13)
BEAT next 3 ingredients in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in gelatin. Whisk in 2 cups COOL WHIP.
POUR half the gelatin mixture into prepared pan; cover with 16 wafers. Microwave preserves on HIGH 15 sec. or until melted; brush onto wafers. Top with remaining gelatin mixture and wafers.
REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. Invert dessert onto plate; top with remaining COOL WHIP and fruit. (I didn't invert mine onto another dessert plate.  I never have luck inverting any sort of food onto another plate. Right before I served mine I put the last bit of cool whip on the top and then just dished it up out of the 9x13.  Also, I didn't use fresh fruit on the top and it was just as delicious! Oh...and I made mine the night before so the Nilla Wafers were super moist and delicious!)
 __________________________________________________________________________________

Let me know if anybody makes it and what you think!  This recipe is also on the kraftfoods.com website.  They suggested for a little variation to use strawberry gelatin and strawberry preserves. That sounds equally delicious!

 _________________________


Last night we went up to the middle school track to run for awhile.  Trav and I were timing each other on how fast we could run a mile. After Travis finished his mile he was huffing and puffing and I guess it really concerned Emma because while he was walking it off she kept running after him saying, "Are you okay honey? Honey...what's wrong? Ohhh honey, come here. Are you okay honey?" (why she was calling him honey I have no clue :) ha!)  When she caught up to him she kept kissing his legs telling him, "It's okay honey...it's okay." 



Alrighty...time to get off of here and get this house in order!!!
Have a great Wednesday tomorrow!

Monday laundry

posted on: Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Monday to all!!!


The kids are finally down for naps (well 2 out of 3..Colty is watching a movie)... hallelujah!

Last night we went to a parenting conference at church that was headed up by our head football coach and his wife.  They are FULL of wisdom and great advice.  We had such a great time but of course I came home feeling like I could do alot better in my parenting.  One of the points that stuck out to me the most was to be consistent in your parenting.  I feel like I've been consistent for the most part in training Emma but can definitely do better. So anyways... I have been consistent as consistent can be all morning... and now I am pooped.  And what makes it even more exhausting is the consistency needs to last until she's out of our home.  Sheesh...I need a Dr. Pepper:)  parenting is exhausting work! Can I get an amen from anyone?!?!

So even though I was working on my consistency and laying down the law this morning we did still have a lot of fun!  Monday's are laundry day around here.  I'm probably one of the few people my age who have a clothes-line (please comment and admit it if you do too!).... but anyways... I have a clothes line which I LOVE!  It saves us money in the summer plus it serves a handy purpose when it comes to building forts. 
Emma calls it her room. Who knew washing sheets could be so fun?!


And the fitted sheets work perfectly to keep your small children and animals in



While all the fun was happening outside... the little man was busy taking a three hour nap inside.
I went in to check on him several times to make sure he was still alive :)  I even poked him once to make sure he was.  
(and just in case anyone was wondering..yes that is the mattress pad... his sheet was serving as a back wall in the "room" :) )


One last thing before I forget!  I just finished up a new coffee creamer that is so delish!

Coffee-mate Cinnamon Bun

It's limited edition... so try it before they get rid of it!
Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Let the fun begin!!!

posted on: Friday, April 9, 2010

Welcome to my new blog!!! First and foremost a GIGANTIC Thank you to Kelly over at
Fabulous K Creative! She is hands down the most talented and creative person I know! She is a pleasure to work with as well! So head on over to her blog and get on her waiting list while it is still open (I believe she will be closing it soon).

Now...the reason for a new blog...

For those of you who weren't aware I had a previous family blog under a different web address. It had our last name included and I thought it would be a little wiser to make our blog a little bit more anonymous! So, if you were following our previous blog and had us saved as a favorite if you wouldn't mind switching out our old blog for our new blog! :)

Now... why The Vanilla Tulip!?!

Several reasons!

Reasoning behind Vanilla: There are a couple... one of them being the fact that we sometimes call our little guy "The Vanilla Gorilla" because of his blond hair (I'm pretty sure my mom used to call her little brother that too...is that right mom? :) ) Another reason is because I just plain old love Vanilla flavoring! Especially added to my Dr. Pepper!!! Random... but there you have it for the Vanilla.

Reasoning behind Tulip: I come from a strong Dutch heritage on both sides of my family (mom's and dad's) and I'm sure most people know this but tulips are usually associated with Holland/the Netherlands. And not only do they remind me of my family but I love the way the look too!

So... very random... but very me :)

And just because I know the Grandma's will be looking for a picture here are a couple from our afternoon at the park!