Friday, December 27, 2013

We Had a Merry Christmas

And hope you and yours did too!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Time Throw Back Thursday

From This....

To This...

... in 5 short years.
Be still my heart.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Little Salty & a Whole Lot of Dough

Since I've been trying to find some fun activities for the short one and I to do that don't completely wipe out what energy I currently have, I thought making salt dough ornaments might fit the bill nicely. And I was right.

Jacob loves getting messy & this craft definitely has the mess factor going on. We've made a couple of these ornaments with his hand prints & next time we're going to branch out to some other fun shapes. He has big plans for his Bob & Larry, Mickey Mouse & my Big Tex cookie cutters.

These are super, super easy to make. I promise. With one caveat- you have to get the measurements for the ingredients exactly correct or you'll spend a sweet forever trying to get the consistency right. Don't ask me how I know this.

Pour your flour and salt into a big bowl that you can knead it in.

Add the water.
Now, knead it until it forms a nice dough. It should be a little sticky ,but not so much that it sticks to your hand so much you need a putty knife to remove it.

You should be able to make 2 dough balls.
Form them out on a cookie sheet so that there's enough room for little hands to make an impression. 
And seriously, do this directly on the cookie sheet you plan to bake them on. Save yourself time, stress & having to re-do.


Get a straw and poke a hole into each of them so string later.
Bake them up.

The finished product.
Yes, I know. My less than fantastic photography skills make them a little hard to see. I promise, there are hand prints there!
Later this week, we're going to paint all the ornaments!

Salt Dough Ornaments

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup water

Mix and knead until a dough consistency is formed.
Roll out and press out the shape you want.

Bake for 3 hours at 200 degrees.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, Funday


Yeah, this whole 'new baby' thing has been quite the surprise around here. I would be so bold as to say that, it was not in the 'Master Plan' at the moment. At All. But, if there's anything that I have learned in my just-over 30+ years on this planet it's this... life rarely follows the 'Master Plan' we make for ourselves.

The new baby is due at the end of June/1st week of July. And, I can already tell you it will be a scheduled c-section, cause that's how I roll.

How am I feeling?
Well, if baby would stop making me think I'm gonna blow cookies every time I step into the kitchen to try and make dinner, I'd be golden. My doctor has me on 3, count them, 3 anti-nausea medications. I'm super special like that. With Jacob, I was sick almost all the way up to the day he was born. Good grief, I'm hoping that won't be the case with this one!

Smells seem to be my kryptonite right now. One whiff of something (usually food) and I'm scurrying to get horizontal. Chicken has been all but dead to me. Ugh. But, I've actually craved a burger. And, if you've known me long you know.... I hate burgers. The texture make me gag. Except apparently now.

What I am really craving? Food-wise?
ice tea w/lemon
water w/lemon
pretzel chips & hummus
apples (good grief the amount of apples I've consumed.)
different fruits and veggies

And, I'm tired. Sooo tired. Which is typical at this point, but a special kind of super special fun around the holidays. I'm a shopping mall ninja around Christmas time, I love malls. But I haven't been able to muster the energy to step foot it one this year. I've hit a couple of brick and mortar stores, but about 90% of my shopping has been done on-line.

And when I can score coupons, get exactly what I want & free shipping all from the comfort of my pj's.... that's pretty much how I'm gonna make the season merry and bright around here.

If you're wondering, yes, the short one is excited. He's been asking for a little brother or sister FOR MONTHS. And when we told him that he's going to get his wish... oh, goodness. He goes around telling any and everyone that he's going to be a big brother. He asks me every day how the baby is & tells me he's "Just! So! Excited!"

The Husband is excited too. Though he tends to channel his energy into long term obsessiveness. Our lease is up at the end of April & the plan is to buy a house... well, with the baby due date looming not all that long after that, it's put a little bit more ... shall we say... intensity behind the upcoming house search.

I refuse to really even think all that much about it (the house search. not the baby) until after the first of the year.

In the mean time, it's 9 days till Christmas (yipp-ee!!!) and my on-line orders still haven't arrived. They've been "shipping" for the better part of the last week. Jacob and I are going to work on our ornaments- look for a update tomorrow on that!

In the meantime, Happy Monday!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Summer, 2014

There's a new coming attraction for Summer, 2014.....

Monday, December 09, 2013

The Great Ice-in of 2013

Y'all listen.

It's been a bit of a weekend around North Texas. (Those of you who are living the dream with me are nodding your heads right now.) Thursday, a wicked cold wind came thru & brought ice with it. Lot's and lot's of ice. Like, North Texas wasn't made for this kind of winter weather & everything shuts down and stores run out of bread, eggs & milk and all the citizens flip into disaster mode.

Oh, how I wish I were exaggerating.

Let me tell you, I've never been so happy to be a stay at home wife/mom as I was Friday morning. Wow. Unfortunately, the husband had to be at work. And, I can report that it took him 2 & half hours to make his 25 minute drive that morning. A trip that was complete with being stuck in a ditch for 45 minutes AND loosing control of his car and kissing a concrete barrier. Yes, those were two different adventures. ::shudder::

(I'm happy to report that the husband is just fine. the car is a little worse for wear)

Jacob and I spent the weekend on house arrest. It was all fun and games the first day, but wowza... cabin fever sets in quick in a 2 bedroom abode. By Sunday night, we were ready to get out. The husband, the child & I escaped to McDonald's for dinner & energy burning for Jacob.

and yes, I do know how sad it is that McDonald's constitutes an "escape"... desperate times called for desperate measure, people.

Then I escaped into Target.

What can I say? There's been a lot of tv watching, computer games, whining, laundry & NOT going outside the last few days. The husband went to work today (with stick instructions to let me know when he gets to work!). The youngling and I are home bound again. We're going to do a few crafts & maybe make some cookies... or I may put him to work and make him help me clean the house!

And since I have a weird sense of humor, I leave you with this jewel. Stay safe fellow iced-in people!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Looking a Little Like Christmas

It's officially 3 weeks until Christmas & I'm kicking it into over-drive around here.

I love love love Christmas time. It is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year. I love the sights and the sounds and the atmosphere. Everything just seems so much more beautiful. I'm a fan of twinkling lights and of egg nog and gingerbread. I adore Christmas carols and music & I love Christmas decorations. This is my happy place.

Because we're in an apartment, this year I didn't go full force on the decorating. But we've done window clings and mangers & snow men, a plenty.

We even have our little Charlie Brown Holiday band. 

And we have our wee little Christmas tree.

Our beloved Christmas count down, of course.

But... my favorite decoration of all is my Grandmother's old manger set. When I was a little girl, I looked forward to setting this manger up with her every year. I loved it. And I wasn't allowed to touch it without permission for years! I begged her for it when I turned into an adult. And, one year, she gave it to me.

And now, I look forward to setting it up every year. It's that one piece of decor that I HAVE to have up. It's just not Christmas without it.

What about you? Do you have the one special piece of Christmas decor that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Five Things That Surprised Me about Home Schooling

(this is just a mom, writing about homeschool & what's kinda working for us at the moment. I'm not getting paid to plug anything. I'm just sharing.)

Good grief.

I don't know why I thought homeschooling would be easy. I mean, seriously. I researched and plotted & planned until I thought my head would explode. I thought we were ready & I thought it would be a snap!

Uh. Yeah.
Not so much.

For some reason, I neglected to take into account that I still had to work on other stuff (hello, blog!), keep up with house work, keep up with commitments outside the house... oh, and deal with my incredibly strong-willed child. Unstoppable force? Meet immovable object.

And, so, I've neglacted to share a  lot about our homeschool journey on this blog... you know, the one that's (in part) about homeschooling??? I just didn't want to admit how hard it is. Or how much we struggled those first few days (hours, weeks, months).

I have to say, I WISH I had gone ahead and bought the kindergarten curriculum that I was thinking about buying way back in the summer. Truly, I could kick myself. Piecing together a coherent curriculum has been hard. Like, really hard. Like, the death of me hard. Chalk it up to a serious lesson learned.

I did, however, find something that has really saved this experience for us. We're using ABC Mouse. (cue the choirs of Angels...) It's been heaven sent.

Jacob and I were running into a big problem. He detests 'copy-work' and worksheets. Like, with a fiery passion in his heart. But it was all I had. And we were quickly having daily confrontations about his school work. Both of us were getting tired and frustrated. And that's not how I wanted this year to go. We backed off. Totally. And I went back to the drawing board.

He loves anything to do with the computer, so I saw that as my window. We tried a couple of different websites before finally settling on ABC Mouse. And, it's been fantastic. He loves it! He's got a guided lesson path that I can customize & monitor.

So, I've found myself leaning heavily on ABC Mouse & adding quite a bit extra.

And now, I present to you...

The Top 5 Things that Surprised Me About Homeschooling

1) how stubborn my off-spring is. And how pissed off irritated I get when he doesn't do his best.
The child is so dang smart. He picks things up like lightening. But. He's pretty much only interested in learning what he wants to learn. Period. And little things like... oh, learning to read, aren't that interesting to him. Up the wall, it drives me.

2) how much I would lean on 'computer' learning. Wow. But, I've decided that if he will sit and soak it up in this form, I'll use it. 

3) how much I've detested coming up with a curriculum all on my own. Yeah. Not my gift.

4) how much I've had to decimate my prior expectations. Like. Wow. There's been a whole lot of me having to realize that maybe my sweet boy just isn't ready for hardcore Kinder learning. And that's okay. What's really important is to create in him a love for this learning thing. 

5) how much fun we can both have when we're on the 'same page.'

Monday, December 02, 2013

When We Watch the SEC


My Longhorns weren't playing this past Saturday night, so I flipped over to the only other game I was really invested in. The Alabama/Auburn game.

Let me give ya a little back story here. One whole side of my maternal lineage is from the great state of Alabama. Some of my family "Roll Tide" and some "War Eagle." I happen to be a fan of Auburn.


By the end of the game, I was proud of Auburn. Mostly enjoyed the game. And was waiting for the field goal.

When it happened.

Oh. My. Gravy.

Seriously. One of the greatest moments in football.

And, if you're wondering what the reaction in my house was like in that moment... it was something close to this....

I don't know Nana, but I feel a kinship with her! I would imagine there were more than a few others shouting "Hurry! Hurry!" to that kid as he ran across the field!