Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Today my parents celebrate 37 years of marriage!

I am so happy to know that my parents have not let the ups and downs of life cause them to ever consider giving up on each other.  In this day and age, it is all too common and all too convenient.  Times get tough and people give up, for whatever the reason. Hollywood makes it seem glamorous and the "in-thing" to go all out for a million dollar wedding and it to last less than 5 years, or less than 1 year, or only 72 days.

God even told us that tough times will come, but we should count it all joy!  (James 1:2)  So I am glad that through the many times of my dad working out of town, health issues, and other things, my parents never once gave up. I am so blessed that I had 2 people who loved me totally and unconditionally! They have been supportive of every. single. thing. that I have wanted to do in my life.....even when it meant me moving 3 hours away from home so I could be supportive of my own husband.  And now, it is a joy to see them be grandparents to my boys!

When I was a little girl, Mom told me the details of her wedding. It was as perfect as a picture, except for one thing. There was a song popular that year (1976) called "Time in a Bottle". She and Daddy liked the song and she wanted to use it in their ceremony, but she couldn't find the music for it.  That's always been the thing she said she would fix if she could have.  Here are some of the lyrics.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!  I hope you have 37 more!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

This is Buddy's most favorite meal that I make....

....and I'm not sure why.

I know his momma made a version of this when he was growing up. But I make other meals that she made and he likes them just as much. So I'm not sure why this is his favorite.  (Maybe I should ask him.)

What is this meal of which I speak?  Chicken (or Turkey) Tetrazini

I made it today with a turkey breast that I froze from my Thanksgiving turkey. I took a picture and posted it on my Instagram account. A few people asked for the recipe so here it is.   (You don't follow me on Instagram? You're missing out on my life....and the rest of the details!)

So here's the recipe and a picture before it went in the oven.  It is adapted from a recipe I found in a Southern Living magazine in 2003, not long after we got married.

Chicken (or Turkey) Tetrazini

3 and a half cups cooked chicken or turkey, chopped or diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2/3 cup of milk
1 (16oz) jar of Alfredo sauce
12 ounces thin spaghetti noodles, cooked
1 (10-12 oz pack) of frozen peas
1 small can of mushrooms; chopped
1-1/2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crushed garlic/cheese flavored croutons


1.) Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.) Whisk together the soup and milk in a LARGE mixing bowl. Whisk in Alfredo Sauce.

3.) Add in the chicken or turkey and stir into the sauce.

4.) Add the noodles, peas, and mushrooms; toss with the sauce.

5.) Add all the Swiss and half the Parmesan cheese.

6.) Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 or bigger baking dish.

7.) Mix the crushed croutons and the rest of the Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top.

8.) Bake for 30 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This tastes even better the next day!  And as a bonus, if you need to, it freezes well. Stop at step 6 and separate what you want to freeze. It can be frozen up to a month. Thaw overnight; bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

And this is what it looks like just before it goes in the oven.  (Imagine it golden brown and bubbly on top when finished!)

(Buddy just walked by and saw the picture...asked when we were having this again!)

(And in case your wondering why he likes the meal so much.....
His answer, "Because I just do.")    Well, there you go!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Re-Creating a Memory

I grew up in my Great-Grandparents house.They lived next door to my Grandma Margaret. PaPa and Grandma Belue both died by the time I was and we moved into their house, Even though I was young when they passed, I have two distinct memories of them.

I explicitly remember walking through the yards one day to get PaPa so he could eat lunch with us. I remember going to the back door and then holding his hand as we walked. I remember he swung our arms back and forth. I remember he walked pretty slowly but I still had to take quick steps to keep up with him.

My one memory of my Great-Grandma is standing in her kitchen at the sink and asking for a cracker. She handed me a small square Saltine out of the long white sleeve, the kind you might crumble to put in soups. From that day on square Saltines became "Great-Grandma Belue crackers".

Fast forward from the mid 1980s to 2013.

Quinn wanted a snack today. He wanted crackers, he said.

I had only one kind of cracker.  Keebler TownHouse crackers, in a brown sleeve.

I opened them up and gave Quinn a few. 

He ate one and said how yummy it was.  He asked me what kind of cracker this was.  I said the only thing that came to mind.

"Other-Grandma Crackers". 

My grandma Margaret is Quinn's Great-Grandma. He calls her the "other Grandma" since my mom is his "Grandma".

Now he has a Great-Grandma Cracker memory too!

Friday, April 19, 2013

I married a grill master!

The weather continues to be unseasonably warm.  All that means is that we get to fire up the grill a few weeks sooner! Buddy is our resident grill master, and these are our first steaks of the season.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's a full house

I tucked Quinn into bed tonight, and this is what I saw.

From left to right we have:
Blue, Giraffe, Elephant, Fuzzy Buddy, Monkey, Big Patty (Penguin), Little Patty (Penguin), Red Dog, and Quinn.

The gang's all here!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The one where Jacob writes a post

Hi everyone...this is Jacob.  I decided to take a moment of my busy day to explain the best way to help Mommy do chores. I will even include a picture at the end just so you make sure to do it right.

Step 1: Crawl around and smile sweetly. Mommy will think you are cute and will leave you alone for a few minutes.

Step 2: When Mommy steps out of the room, head straight to the plastic container cabinet.

Step 3: Open cabinet. Strategically place plastic containers all over the kitchen. This will help Mommy with her reflexes because if she isn't careful, she will trip on these obstacles.

Step 4: While Mommy is cleaning up the kitchen floor (and grumbling under her breath about how she will NEVER let you near that cabinet again), go into the living room where she is folding laundry.

Step 5: Pull up to the couch. Grab all the hangers and pull them to the floor. Scatter around as you please. Bonus points if you manage to pull down some already-folded laundry as well!

Step 6: Sit up and put on that sweet smile again....Mommy will think you are cute and will grab her camera or phone.

Step 7: Pose for the picture. At the absolute last second, turn and crawl away.....head straight to the plastic cabinet.

Step 8: Repeat steps 1-7....again.....and again.....and again!

Consignment Sale Success!

Today I went to a consignment sale at a local church, as I usually do this time of year.  And as usual, I found lots of great things....including two little cuties who just had to be in my picture.

I found 8 shirts and 1 pair of shorts for Quinn, and 5 shirts and 3 pairs of shorts for Jacob.  I also "splurged" and got Jacob a pair of summer sandals with squeakers in the soles.  I usually don't spend $10 on any one item at a consignment sale, but these sandals had never been worn, and in doing some research, the cheapest brand new ones I could find were at least $20 or more.  I'm pretty pleased with what I found for the boys.  I love finding a good deal!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Riding Away

Earlier this evening, while I was cooking supper, Buddy and Quinn went outside to play.  It's been so nice and warm the past few days....very unseasonable for NC in April, but hey, we'll take it!

After a while, I got a text from Buddy that said "Come outside please".  I thought to myself, what in the world...are we so high-tech that he can't even walk in the house to come get me?

So I went outside and instantly saw why I got the text.....

They had gone outside and Quinn finally learned to ride his bike!  We got him the bike last year for his birthday, and while he loved the gift, he never really got the hang of it. Summer came and went and still nothing. Then winter came and Buddy had to work out of town in Maryland. He's finally home, and I guess Quinn was ready!  And you can see in the picture, Buddy is running to keep up with him!

As he got closer to where I was standing, I couldn't help but tear up a little bit. 

The sheer happiness in himself is so evident on his face.  He could not believe he was able to ride his bike, and his future independence just smacked me in the face. Sure he's only 5 now and ten years seems like a long way away, but in another since, its just right around the corner. 

It won't be long before he'll be wanting to borrow the keys to the car, traveling around town. It won't be long before he'll be going off on his own.

As he pedaled on past me, it became increasingly clear.....he's only mine for a little while.  I only have a short time to teach him things about life and to teach him how to be a loving, caring, strong, independent individual.  I only have a short time.   But I have forever to pray for him and to love him.

Lord, help me to raise up my child in the way he should go,
so when he is old(er) he will NOT depart from it.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mystery Breakfast

Every Sunday, our Bible Fellowship class, The HomeBuilders, have some sort of breakfast during class.  Most weeks we have DoCoJu (DOughnuts, COffee, JUice) but the first Sunday of each month is Big Breakfast. People sign up to bring breakfast casseroles, fruits, muffins, biscuits, and other things.

We usually sign up about a week in advance. Last week when the list came around, I could not think of anything I felt like making wanted to bring. So I wrote "something".....meaning I will cook, I will bring it in, but I have no idea what it will be.

We usually get a reminder email about Thursday or Friday, so whoever was not there on Sunday will see what's being brought and can decide what they want to bring.  When the email came out, by our name it said "Mystery Surprise".

Gee Whiz.

Not only do I still not have a clue what I want to bring, now I have to make something spectacular!

So what I made was this.....

....and the surprise is inside.....

I told our teacher, Zach, to be never know what the mystery is! was just chocolate chips!

PPS...No Sunday School teachers (or other church members) were  harmed in the making of this blog post.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Cleaning....Day 3....Master Bedroom

Oh my....what a chore!  Today's assignment in the cleaning challenge was to clean the master bedroom. Actually it said clean bedrooms....but since we have three, I decided to do mine as it was most in need of a good cleaning.

I will be honest and tell you that my room was horribly messy, but I just cannot bring myself to post a before picture.  And I'm not going to apologize for it, because this is my blog!  And I have just a smidgen of pride that I don't want to publicly embarass myself. However, it has been too long since I cleaned it, so whatever picture you are envisioning in your mind is probably pretty close!

Here are the after pictures.  And I also cleaned out the walk-in closet, but the picture didn't turn out so well.

I can't tell you how good it felt to go to sleep in a perfectly clean room!  I really want to keep it looking nice.

Spring Cleaning....Day 2....master bathroom

I'm continuing to catch up on the Spring Cleaning Challenge by Money Saving Mom.   I have done some of the projects out of order and slightly behind schedule due to having a family day on Monday (Buddy was off work and I am on Spring Break!)  I worked on the master bedroom (day 3 project) yesterday which was actually day 4, so today I jumped right in to work on day 2 which should have been done on Tuesday.

Confused yet? At least I'm trying!

And in my quest to get caught up on the different projects for this challenge, I forgot to take a before picture. Here is what it looks like now, though!

Becoming Clean for Spring

I have decided to participate in Money Saving Mom's spring cleaning challenge. It's already Friday, and I'm a bit behind on getting my posts up, but I want to share my efforts anyway.

The first day's project was to clean your kitchen and living room areas.  Cleaning these two areas together seems natural to me, as they are all one room. We have a vaulted ceiling, and the kitchen sink area opens up into the living room.  Makes doing dishes fun, since I can see the TV....but it also can be distracting at times. 

Luckily, my living room had already been picked up a good bit, as we had Jacob's birthday party this past Saturday.  However, cooking Easter dinner totally wrecked my kitchen. I even took time to bleach the grout on my tile counter tops, deep clean the top of my stove, and the inside of my microwave. 

Here are my efforts.

This is my kitchen before. You can see how the kitchen looks into the living room.

Quinn came in to the kitchen as I was almost finished. He had been playing in his room with his toys, but when he saw me with the mop and broom, he immediately wanted to be my "special helper"!  Well, how can you turn that down? I sent him to put on old clothes and we tackled the kitchen floor. 

Here are my kitchen after pictures.

This is my living room before.  The picture is a little blurry, but you can still see the laundry pile (my never-ending battle with a mountain of clothes), a haphazard shoe, and party bags still on the end table.

There...that looks much better!!

Now if I can convince my boys and dog that it should STAY this way......