Big boy, Organizinizing and Free Makeover

posted on: Friday, July 30, 2010

 Big news over at our home.... the little guy is WALKING!!!  The past couple of weeks he's taken one or two steps.  Yesterday, he took a whopping four.  And today...he's outta here :)  Something just clicked and he's got it!  I'm super excited for him but a little sad at the same time. 
He's not a little baby anymore...sniff sniff.  We've got it all on video.  But... I'm a little lazy because I think it takes FOREVER to upload onto blogger...anyone else think so?

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In other news...
Since our house is small I feel that it's important for us to utilize every square inch of space!  With that utilization of space comes lots of organizing.  Turns out the more people that live in a house the more stuff there is?!? What?! How could this be?!  :) 
These past few days I've been making numerous trips to Goodwill and numerous trips to our trashcan.  I've told Travis and Bekka that if something of theirs is missing that it's either at Goodwill or the dump.  Anyone else ever get sick of STUFF?! :) 
I can honestly say that almost every nook and cranny has been decluttered in our home. Closets, under the beds, drawers, cabinets...you name it.  The last room I need to tackle is the laundry room which sometimes serves as a "catch-all" for us. 
Anyways...where this was all leading...

I've been working on organizing and decorating the kid's bedroom. 
This is as far as I've gotten as far as some of the toy organization goes.  My goal is for every toy to have a specific place.  I've gotten rid of alot of their toys. Gasp!  I felt like we just had SO many they didn't even know what they had.  So Emma and I picked out her favorites and then some.

Below is one corner of their room (and no.. :) that's not all their toys ha! I'm not that mean ;) ).
Travis built some book ledges for me to display some of our hardback books.  Would you believe that the ledges cost us less than $5 for the materials?


Next on the to-do list for their bedroom is to work on the decor.

The Theme: Red, Turquoise, Beachy, Playful

The Budget: At the moment zero dollars :)

The Plan: To shop around the house and use what I already have!

I'll let you know how that goes!  So far I've found a bunch of old red, turquoise and white clothes that we don't wear which I will be turning into fun pillows. A darling book (I'll share it this week) in which I'll be framing the pictures.  I also have quite a few scraps of wood out in the shed with which I'm going to make some sort of sign.  I'll keep you updated on the free makeover:)

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Alrighty....time to hit the sack.

I'll leave you with the verses that I'm currently working with Emma on memorizing.  My goal is for her to memorize all of Psalm 100.  She's got a memory like a steel trap...what better way to use it! :)


PSALMS 100
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
5 For the LORD is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.



The hunt is over.... the PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

posted on: Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not an exaggeration that I have been hunting for the perfect chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe for years! Well... I have found it!
One of my favorite shows on PBS is America's Test Kitchen.  Anyone ever watch it!?  Each show is dedicated to one certain food that they perfect.  So basically, any recipe from America's Test Kitchen has been tested a variety of different ways until they find the very best!
Emma and I made these cookies a few days ago on a rainy afternoon.  Our whole household had finished ALL of the cookies by the next afternoon.  Yes, we're piglets... but they were THAT good! I dare you to make them and eat just one! :)



 



BEST CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER!

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)

3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)

1 teaspoon table salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (see note)

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Instructions

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
 
ENJOY!
 
Thought you might like this little paragraph from the America's Test Kitchen website about these cookies...
 
"Melting a generous amount of butter before combining it with other ingredients gave us the chewy texture we wanted. Since we were melting butter, we browned a portion of it to add nutty flavor. Using a bit more brown sugar than white sugar enhanced chewiness, while a combination of one egg and one egg yolk gave us supremely moist cookies. For the crisp edges and deep toffee flavor, we allowed the sugar to dissolve and rest in the melted butter. We baked the cookies until golden brown and just set, but still soft in the center. The resulting cookies were crisp and chewy and gooey with chocolate, and boasted a complex medley of sweet, buttery, caramel, and toffee flavors."
 
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Make these this weekend and let me know if you think they're as good as we do!
 
Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday? Thursday? Friday?

posted on: Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I can honestly say that until I asked Travis a minute ago I had no idea what day of the week it was :)

It has been a great week of just being at home!  And I guess when I don't have anything planned on my calendar I tend to lose track of the days :) 

This is going to be a super short post... Trav just left to get us a RedBox movie to watch tonight.  Super excited about that!

But before I go, I wanted to share this little bit of deliciousness that's sitting in my freezer...



These are SO delicious!  They have a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough kind as well!  A definite MUST try for a cool summer treat!

The husband's home... off to watch a movie! Happy Wednesday (if that's even what day it is) :)

Colty's Birthday...

posted on: Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our little guy's birthday didn't go quite as planned. The plan was to have a few friends over for a small party...but since he had had a contagious virus we kept the party to just family that had already been around him.

On the morning of his birthday I thought he was feeling a tad bit better
so we loaded up to go out for a doughnut breakfast.

Emma was insistant that she take a picture hugging him...obviously he was less than thrilled :)

Much happier now that she wasn't hanging on him! :)



He got his first glass of strawberry milk for breakfast... it was a hit!


After doughnuts we headed over to Bass Pro to find him a new hat and to look around.






After Bass Pro we headed home for afternoon naps. 
These two LOVE to cuddle in Em's little bed... they'll lay there for quite awhile giggling and being silly :)


Later that evening he opened a few presents...


Ate a delicious pizza supper...

Blew out his first candle... (actually his sister did)


His birthday cake had little red cowboy boots on the sides of it.
I guess they were too heavy because they slid off the sides of the cake as you can see!




One of my favorite things about my sweet boy is whenever he sits in a chair he always crosses his ankles :)


And he finished off the evening with a horse ride :)

For some reason I didn't get a picture of my sister Bekka... but she was at the party too :)

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Yay for a new week starting tomorrow!!!

This week the biggest project around the little blue cottage is giving it a fresh new coat of blue paint!!!
Over the weekend Travis and his friend Joe replaced quite a few boards and prepped the area for painting.

Tonight I've got him working on building a couple of little book ledges for the kiddos room.
I'm going to give them a coat of turquoise paint in the morning and they should be hung by tomorrow night.
Pictures to come!  He's such a good husband to put up with all of my project ideas :) Thanks Trav!

Have a great Monday everyone! :)

San Antonio

posted on: Saturday, July 24, 2010

Can you believe it's 8:30pm over at our house and my babies have both been in bed and asleep since 6:15?!
I don't quite know what to do with myself :)
Poor Colty was sick on his birthday yesterday.  He has a virus and has had it since we've been back from our get away in San Antonio.  I think he's finally on the mend... a good night's sleep will do them both good :)

Oh and for anyone who is wondering why they're in bed so early... neither kid got a nap today because Travis and a couple of guys were working on the outside of our house, sawing and hammering up new boards.  We're (or should I say Travis ha!) slowly whittling away at our home to-do list before football season starts!

Speaking of football... Travis and I went away this past weekend to San Antonio!  He was going down there to attend Texas Coaching School and I tagged along!  We left the kids with his mom while we were away. 

We ate Mexican food for lunch and dinner three days in a row.
                                               The food was SO incredibly delish!
The picure below was the best meal I ordered while I was there.
Green chile chicken enchiladas...and the salad on the side had a scrumptious roasted corn salad dressing.
Mmmm!!!


          We ate dinner each night with other coaches and their wives. 
There is nothing better than good food and good friends!



We ate all of our meals along the Riverwalk. 



While Travis attended seminars throughout the day, I spent my time laying out by the pool. 
It was the neatest pool I have ever seen!  Each morning I would grab a Starbucks drink and be in my chair by 10.  It was fabulous because the pool remained fairly empty until the early afternoon.


The pool was located on the 5th floor of the hotel.  This was the view up from where I lay.
Since it was on the 5th floor turns out the rays of the sun were quite strong... I left San Antonio looking a little red and crispy :) 


It was such a relaxing getaway for just the two of us.  But I would have hated to have been away any longer from my little people! I can't belive how much I missed them!!! :)

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Have a great weekend!!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Colty!

posted on: Thursday, July 22, 2010


Happy First Birthday to our Sweet Colty Bear!

Obviously all mother's say this... but I can't believe it's been a whole year since he was born!

I am so in love with this little guy!  We prayed so hard for him and his life.  For those of you who haven't ever heard Colty's story read on...

Emma was eight months old and we found out we were pregnant again!  We were SO incredibly excited to have them so close together!  The day after I read the positive pregnancy test I called my ob and scheduled an appointment just to double check that we were indeed pregnant.  That following week I went to my appointment.  At the appointment my dr. (the same one I had with Emma) declared me pregnant and scheduled me for a sonogram to see how far along I was.  I told the dr. several times that I had no idea how far along I might be. 

The sonogram was scheduled three days after the appointment.  Travis was unable to go with me because of work so it was just Emma and I at the appointment. 
The sonographer began the sonogram and didn't say anything.  She kept looking around and finally told me to get dressed and she would take me to another room to meet with the doctor.  I was terrified and had no idea what was going on.  I wheeled Emma in her stroller across the hall and sat down to wait for the doctor to come in. 

The doctor came in and told me that she was sorry but there was no baby.  Instead it was what is called a molar pregnancy.  Basically it is almost like a tumor.  Just a mass of vesicles that continue to grow and take over the uterus.  In some cases it can be cancerous.  She also told me I would need to come in regularly to check on my HCG levels.  In molar pregnancy's the numbers skyrocket. The doctor kept rattling off all sorts of information.  I was in such shock that I hardly remembered any of it.  The date of this appointment was a Friday and she told me she wanted me to come back on Tuesday for a DNC.  Then she abruptly left. 

I wheeled Emma out to the car and finally wept.  For some reason I had felt like I should hold it together in the office?  I called Travis and tried to explain to him what was happening.
I can say without a doubt it was the worst weekend of my life.  Not only was I mourning the loss of my baby but I was so scared for what was to come.  I prayed and prayed that the dr. and sonographer had made a mistake.  Not only was Travis and I praying this prayer but a whole group of prayer warriors. 

Monday morning came and we spent the day calling the doctor to find out more information on my blood work.  They had taken it at my appointment on Friday but wouldn't receive it until Monday.  Over the weekend I had researched the correct HCG levels for a healthy pregnancy and HCG levels for a molar pregnancy.  I wanted to know where my fell into place.  The doctor's office returned NONE of my calls.

Tuesday morning we headed to the dr.'s office for one more sonogram.  They had scheduled me for a dnc that day.  On the way to the hospital we prayed for what was about to come.  I told Travis I didn't have a peace about having a dnc.  It just didn't feel right to me.  The one thing that I do remember the dr. saying was that I needed to have one immediately to prevent the growth from continuing to grow.  I was torn.

I lay on the table for the final sonogram with Travis by my side.  The sonographer began to look around...and this is what we heard....

"Well... oh my.... ohhhh myyy... OH MY! It's a baby!!!!"

:)

And that baby was our sweet Colty!  The doctor and the sonographer had made a mistake.  They thought the tiny cluster they had seen was a molar pregancy.  Instead it was our sweet Colt.  They had thought I was farther along and had been looking for something more developed.  At the time of the sonogram Colt was only 4 1/2 wks along.  Right before we left the appointment they told me that my HCG levels were that of a normal healthy pregnancy.

It makes me teary eyed every time I think of this story.  God had His hands protecting my sweet baby boy.  I am so thankful for the power of prayer and for a God who hears and answers my prayers.  I am so thankful for the gift of life.  Thankyou Lord Jesus for my baby boy!

Psalm 130:13-14
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful I know that full well!"

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.








*and just in case you were wondering...we never went back to that dr!*

Happy Birthday sweet Colty Bear.  We love you more than you'll ever know!

posted on: Friday, July 16, 2010

Quick check in!

We've been going going going...busy busy busy with the house projects!

Tired of hearing me say that yet? :)

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This past weekend we attended a wedding and took Emma with us.  It was her first wedding to attend.  We told her the bride and groom were a prince and princess.... that kept her attention through the whole ceremony :) 

Aunt Bekka fixed her hair.... ooo la la! :)  We're so spoiled having a hairdresser live in our home! 




They had a dance at the reception... turns out someone is a Dancing Queen....


The wedding was for the son of our head coach. 
At one point they gathered all of the coach's children to take a group picture.

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We are ALMOST finished with the floors!  One more coat of poly in the bedroom and that's it. 
I took a quick picture this afternoon of the dining room floor.  Now that I look at the picture I guess I should have swept before I took it :)  But you get the idea of what the after looks like!

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This morning my sister Bekka and I spent a little time having one of these....

and drinking one of these....

We opened at 6:30 and closed down shop at 9:30.  Call me a wimp but the Texas heat was too much for me...blah.  It was SWELTERING already at 9:30! 

I made a whopping $40.50 this morning.  Not too bad considering I was going to throw away all the junk anyways :)

Still debating whether or not to open up shop in the morning.... feeling a little pooped from all the work this week.  We shall see :)

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Alrighty... heading off of here.
Have a WONDERFUL weekend friends! :)


Psalm 16:8
"I have set the LORD always before me.
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

Random thoughts

posted on: Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This post will be a little random! So... hold on and get ready to read a little bit of everything :)

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I almost always have an open jar of olives in my fridge for us to snack on.  Some days it's black olives... some days it's green.  It's not uncommon for Emma to ask for a snack of green olives.   I know that not everybody is as crazy about olives as we are.  So... take the little poll below to see how everybody feels about them :)

 
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Trav and I have been working like crazy on the floors.  We stayed up until 1 last night staining them.
I chose a dark walnut color.  So far it looks beautiful!  We're going to start the polyeurethane this afternoon.  I think after it's all said and done we'll both have lost 1/2 of our brain cells.  The smell of everything is SO strong!  Side note: don't worry..the babes aren't staying there losing brain cells too...they're at their grandparents :)
 
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We've been eating alot of Uncrustables this summer.  Yes, they're more than if you made your own sandwich.  But they taste SO much better :) PLUS no clean up.  My kind of lunch!  They're perfect to throw frozen into your beach bag on the way to the pool.  By the time lunch comes around they've dethawed and taste delish!

 
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Super excited for an upcoming trip to San Antonio!  One of my favorite places in Texas!  If you've never been I would highly suggest it!  The Riverwalk is perfect for evening dates :)
 
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Okay... was that random enough for ya?! :)
Hope everybody is having a great week and staying cool!

Tortilla Soup, First haircut and Sunflowers

posted on: Friday, July 9, 2010

As promised here is the Tortilla Soup Recipe that I made the other night!  It is SUPER easy and delish! The recipe made enough for our family of four to have it for supper and lunch the next day (3 adults and Emma).  The recipe would be easy to double or triple if needed!

TORTILLA SOUP

2 large chicken breasts
6 Cups of water (or you can use 6 cups of chicken broth)
1 Chicken boullion cube (if you use chicken broth instead of water then eliminate this)
1/2 a jar of your favorite salsa (I used a big jar. So if your jar is smaller than use all of it!)
1/2 of an onion-diced pretty small
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Cumin- 1 tsp or MORE!
(This is my favorite spice so I put in quite a bit more than a tsp. 
The nice part is you can continue to add it until it's time to serve your soup.  So just experiment!)
2 cans of beans (black beans or canneloni white beans...or one of each! Live it up :) )


Put all of the ingredients (EXCEPT the beans) into your crockpot.  It's fine if your chicken breasts are frozen...just throw them in!  Cook on low all day or on high for half of a day.  About an hour before you serve the soup take your chicken breasts out and shred them.  Place back into the crockpot.  Add your beans as well.  Also in this last hour taste the broth and add more salt, pepper or cumin as needed.

To finish off ladle soup into bowls.  Top with a dallop of sour cream, fresh avacado and tortilla strips (you can find these at the grocery store by the salad fixings!). 

This soup is even better the second day around.  The flavors are DELISH!!!

And as you can tell alot of the recipe isn't exact measurements as far as the spices go.  That's the beauty of it!  I'm all about experimenting in the kitchen :)

Another quick and easy meal is to throw your chicken breasts in the crockpot with a whole jar of salsa.  Let it simmer all day.  Shred about an hour before serving and put chicken back into your crockpot.  It will soak up all the salsa during the last hour.  Then serve in tortillas for a delicious chicken taco!

If you have any questions regarding this helter-skelter recipe let me know :)

I buy my tortilla strips from Aldi.  I purchased the Santa Fe style and they are scrumptious!



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This morning the babes and I headed to the mall where Bekka (my sister) cuts hair.  We stopped in to say hi and while we were there we thought Colt could use his first haircut :)  He had about 5 strands on the top that were out of control!  It kind of resembled Big Bird...





The finished product! Handsome little man :)


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Before I forget to post these....

On our way home from Missouri we passed a HUMONGOUS sunflower field.  I have never seen anything like it!  There were about 6 fields in a row... absolutely gorgeous! 


Trav was sweet enough to pull the car over so I could take a picture of Emma by the sunflowers.

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Off to take my laundry off the clothesline before the rain comes!
Hope everybody has a great weekend!!!

I'll leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses.
 I'm so thankful that I can rest knowing that my God is in control!

"I have said these things to you,
that in me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

                                               John 16:33