Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Decorating with kids

I'm not talking about decorating the house, I'm talking about decorating cakes and cookies, or cupcakes!

Two major things you will need:
1. Extra Time
2. Extra patience

Extra time because it takes longer to complete anything with little hands helping you, because they are slower. Actually the slow thing doesn't bother me, because I'm so slow by nature. If I were an animal I would've been a turtle, but a purple one of course, LOL!! Extra patience because, well, kids' are messy! No more explanation needed on that one :)

Normally whenever the kids' do anything that involves decorating with icing, I always let them use the little Pampered Chef items.

These are small enough to fit perfectly in their little sweet hands! Plus it saves me a lot of clean up because if you've ever let a kid use an icing bag you know what happens, it all comes out the back instead of the front! In a pinch I have used a bread tie to close the back end of the pastry bag, but it's still awkward in their hands and these little Pampered Chef things are cute! It only comes in a package of 3, so when baby Justin gets old enough to help I guess one of the big kids' will have to use the bag, but we won't think sad things like that about kids' growing up today!

So the next time you have some frosting, even store bought would work, let your little ones help you create something beautiful! It may not look even edible, but if your own child made it, you know it will be the most amazing thing in the world! Plus the added bonus will be you'll not only be spending time with your kids', you'll get to see that amazing smile light up that little face!! It's a win, win, situation for both of you :)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

My wonderful husband!

If you ask 100 ladies who the most wonderful man in the world is, what would they say? Would they say the President, some successful billionaire, or even Brad Pitt (rolling my eyes)? How many would say their very own husbands? I would dare say, not many!

This question got me thinking how sad that is. Sure we all have disagreements and get aggravated by our husbands some of the time, but how often do we take our husbands for granted? I know I'm very guilty of this.

I have an amazing husband that truly loves me and is an incredible father to our kids. He is a hard worker and tries his best to make me happy in life, what more could a girl want? Oh, did I mention he's easy on the eyes too? LOL!

I once heard Dr. Phil say that his definition of a successful husband is if his wife, Robin, was in a crowded room full of people, if she still felt that she was the luckiest woman in the room because she had him, then he was a success. Well if this is true, than my husband, Scott, is the most successful husband I know, because I'm so lucky to have him!


Monday, July 19, 2010

God's Plan for my life...

Two years ago on July 20th, my Mom unexpectedly died, at the young age of 53. I was left with a mixed bag of emotions, from grief, sadness, to anger and guilt. You see I had not spoken to my Mom for over 7 months. We had an on and off again relationship. I'm a very calm, reserved person that hates confrontation. Mom was a very different type of person. She had the mouth of a sailor, constantly criticized and was at times down right harsh! I never met anyone that loved gossip more than her! I would go till I couldn't take it anymore and then say something to her and thus would put our relationship in the "off" status once again!

I would often wonder why I had a Mom that never showed any interest in anything I did, why I had a Mom that wouldn't allow me to even cook with her. Even as a small child I wanted to be in the kitchen helping cook, all I ever did was get to mash the potatoes with a hand held mixer when I got a little older! I would think how would my life be different if I was taught to do all this and that, by her in the kitchen. How I dreamed of having a Mom that would take me shopping (I hate shopping, just the thoughts of doing it together I wanted) to giggle over a batch of homemade cookies talking about my day, just girly stuff you see on tv. You know, I was having a little self-pity party!

**Don't feel sorry for me, I have experienced all of this and more with Cathy (my mother-in-law). I've been with her since I was 16 years old and I do feel as she is a 2nd Mom to me! God plants special people in your life and she has been one of them to me!**

The other day my husband, who at times is wise beyond his years, made a statement that hit me with full force! I don't even remember his words, but the meaning was that maybe God had placed me with Mom b/c she wasn't girly at all, HIM knowing that I would have 4 boys' and since I wasn't used to "girly" stuff that it would be easier for me. I suddenly saw that I was meant to have Mom as a mother, good or bad, she has shaped my life. I do hate all "girly" stuff and actually love not having to deal with barbie dolls! Hair and make-up is so not my thing! I love watching my boys play their sports and if I admit it, even love hearing their toilet poop jokes, LOL!

Finally I have been released of any anger that I once felt for my Mom. I understand it was in God's plan all along. Mom lived a childhood that makes me shudder to think about, and she provided us with the best one that she knew how. Though very far from perfect, she made sure that we were clothed, doctored and well fed. She was a grown woman with a little terrified child trapped inside that was so insecure and frightened that she acted out in anger and bitterness. She never felt loved as a child and was constantly searching for that. She never understood that nobody else can make you happy. She was extremely hard on my Dad because of that. I feel so sad thinking she died never knowing what true joy in life is!

You see, we can all see our lives differently if we just let go of all the bad emotions. No one is perfect, not even Mom's! Even if the perfect Mom did exist and I was raised by her, I'm 100% sure that I would be doing exactly what I'm doing now, being married to Scott, and staying home to raise our 4 little wonderful blessings! I know, with all of my heart, that this is God's Plan for my life...


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Someone Special Calls Me Mommy :)

Actually, 4 someone special's call me Mommy! Technically the baby calls me Momma, but pretty soon he will change to Mommy too! The idea behind this post was from what my oldest son told the others. We were all out of taco shells and Nicholas wanted more, Evan wasn't eating his and said he was done, so I told Nicholas to eat Evan's. Well Evan was ripping it to pieces with a fork trying to cut it, and of course now Nicholas no longer wants it looking like that! So I take out all of the filling and mix it with some tortilla chips and now he is all smiles with his taco salad. Nathan said Mommy can take anything messed up and fix it, even better than before, it's the magic of Mommy, it's Mommy Magic!

If only that mindset would last through the teen years! But I know it won't! It's normal progression in life for kids' to think their parents are almost super heroes, then complete idiots during the teen years and then somewhere along the road of life our parents become "normal" again, never to live up to the super hero status though, but thankfully you can appreciate them and accept that they are real humans with real flaws. Although I do believe that every adult still looks at their parents in the "hero" role every now and then, that's why you see some grown adults revert back to childlike behavior around their parents!

I like to think of Nathan's Mommy Magic comment as one of my "mommy rewards", you know instead of your boss saying, here's a raise, or a promotion, or even a pat on the back, a "mommy reward" is a love gift from your kids'! It could be a heartfelt compliment from your kids' or just a wonderful hug that was unexpected from little arms! Those are the things that matter most in life when you think about it.

You never truly know what unconditional love is until you become a Mommy!

Remember this saying: you may just be one person in the world, but to that one person, you ARE the world :)


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Gigantor saga continues...

Day 3 of leftover dinners from my infamous Gigantor the Chicken! Last night we had chicken nachos and tonight I just warmed up some leftover chicken with some Mrs. Dash sprinkled on it, some mac and cheese, corn cut off the cob,steamed broccoli,and some rolls and voila dinner for 6 for $.67 a serving! That's incredible news!! The sad news is that I still have chicken leftover. I should be happy b/c we'll have another meal, more than likely 2 meals, but I don't think anyone would complain if we didn't have chicken for a few days! I think I will freeze it and start having beef. Tacos are on the menu for tomorrow night anyways so that will work out great!

I can't believe that I haven't baked anything sweet all week long! I even fed my family store bought brown and serve rolls, not once, but twice! They'll live, those were the only rolls I ever got growing up!

I'm going to try out a new muffin recipe this weekend, that is if I still have apples left in the fridge! Right now we have 5 different kinds of fruit in the house and it'll all be gone by Monday!

I'm fighting the urge not to get up right now and go fix some tortilla chicken soup with the leftovers before freezing it. Ok, so maybe it's not the best thing to do at 9:30 at night! We have a busy day planned with the kids' tomorrow and I will need my rest after riding a bicycle today!

I think I will say my happy goodbye to Gigantor and retire him to the freezer :)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gigantor the Chicken!

The funniest, dumbest thing happened to me today that I just have to tell you all about it :)

I have a frozen chicken in the freezer, decide to throw it in the crock pot, I rinse it in hot water for awhile, doesn't phase it, so I decide to just check on it hourly to see when it is thawed enough to get the cavity present out, LOL! The orginal plan was to put the chicken on a few rolled up pieces of aluminum foil (read this on the internet). Well Gigantor was so big the lid wouldn't shut with him on the foil balls, so I decided to slice some onions up and throw it on that so he wouldn't stick to the bottom, worked good!

Fast forward to dinner time, Gigantor is just picture perfect and I do mean he looked mightly handsome! Paprika on chicken is like lipstick on lips, it just gives it a great color and makes it more attractive to the eyes! I go to snap a quick picture of him (yes everything is referred to him or his at my house, even my chicken, with 4 boys' here it's just easier! LOL!) my camera doesn't have the SD card in it, my dh (stands for dear husband) has it in the camcorder and I search for it and decide to give up, what kind of crazed woman goes around looking for an SD card to take a picture of a chicken?? (raising my hand) so dh comes home from work and I'm having the hardest time getting Gigantor out of the crock pot, I said Scott I need some help please. Of course he comes over and gets him out with one try, who would've known using 2 spatulas on a 7 lb chicken wouldn't raise it out? I always knew I married someone a whole lot smarter than me! LOL!!

This is where the funny part comes, the picture perfect bird is now on the cookie sheet (that is how huge it was!) and it's missing it's arms! The chicken wings/arms stuck to the side of the crock pot, ROFL!! I said where's the chicken and it made me think of Wendy's commercial, where's the beef? If you are not familiar with that commercial, then I guess it wouldn't be too funny running through your mind then :)

Gigantor was delicious despite the fact that he was armless, LOL! We have tons of leftovers for the next couple of meals also!

Ok, so maybe you won't find this as funny as I did, but it you could've seen those chicken arms stuck to the side it would've cracked you up too, LOL!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Book Review...

I signed up for a chance to win an advanced reader's copy of the book Dracula In Love by Karen Essex. I was pleasantly surprised when it showed up at my house. I was going on a long car trip and since I had a new book I took it in the car with me and read it the entire trip! The book cover states that it's the grown up version of Twilight. I really liked the Twilight movies so was very excited to read something that didn't take place in a high school.

So for 3 hours I read the book and was totally bored. I do enjoy reading novels set back in the 19th century, but this half of the book was a snore! I was going to not even finish the 2nd half of the book but her friend suddenly died, morbid, yes, but the only exciting thing to happen in several chapters!

I finished the entire book, grudgingly though! I found it very bizarre and weird at times. But I must admit that it was the 1st vampire book I have ever read and I'm not really into anything science fiction and certainly do not believe in vampires, so maybe that is why I was so disappointed in this book.

I would give it 2 thumbs down! just too weird and too boring for me!

A Movie Review...

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I sure did! We went to my in-laws house for a family reunion. Everyone had a great time! Then on Sunday we decided to stay over an extra night and MIL (mother-in-law) watched the kids' while we went and saw, wait for it, ....... TWILIGHT!!!!! Oh my gosh it was so good, the best of the 3 in my opinion! We were originally going to watch Grown Ups, but they weren't showing it due to multiple showings of Twilight and Toy Story. Anyway, Twilight was my other choice, (yeah I know, don't shoot me!) Part 1 was good, part 2 was just okay and so I guess you could say that I'm certainly no die hard fan, but I loved part 3! I was always "TEAM EDWARD" but after this I kinda liked the "TEAM JACOB" side, I'm still torn, LOL!

I don't want to go into much detail about the movie and ruin it for others that still haven't seen it, but I did love how they did past lives of some of the Cullen clan!

I also loved to see that the horrible make up job in part 2 was toned down and even the wolves looked better in this one.

I would highly recommend you to see this movie. It was the funniest of the 3, with hilarious one liners. I really laughed when Bella called Edward old fashioned and her Dad asked if that was code for something, ROFL!!

I'm definitely gonna have to read the books now to see who she ends up with!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Zucchini Bread

**My new favorite quick bread! I can't believe I've gone w/out this my whole life! Not any longer!!

Zucchini Bread recipe from allrecipes.com

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (I did 3 cups)
1 cup chopped walnuts


Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

NOTE: ***I have to say that I hate seeing such a huge gap of time differences in this recipe. I had to bake mine for 60 minutes exactly. I guess depending on how much zucchini you actually put in there would make the difference. Remember DO NOT drain out the excess liquid in the grated zucchini, you will need it for the moistness! Also you do not need to peel your zucchini, just wash really well and cut off the ends and obviously any bad places on it and then grate! I used my handy dandy food processor for that!

I'm so glad Regina (my step-mom) shared the zucchini with me and in turn I shared a loaf with my friend! I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Homemade MeatBall Subs, YUMM!!!!

For some strange reason I never posted this, I had started to and I guess I got sidetracked! Anyway, these are SO good! My DH just loves them! I don't care much for meatball subs, but will gladly eat these. I make homemade bread to put them in, but feel free to use store bought bread also, it's up to you :)

I'll just post a quick link to the homemade Italian Bread that I make http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Italian-Bread-Using-a-Bread-Machine/Detail.aspx OR French Baguettes http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Baguettes/Detail.aspx

Recipe for Meatballs are actually from allrecipes.com also, that's where I find all my new recipes, just LOVE that site!!

1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 French baguette
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch salt, or to taste
1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
4 slices provolone cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, gently mix by hand the ground beef, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and egg. Shape into 12 meatballs, and place in a baking dish.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cooked through. Meanwhile, cut the baguette in half lengthwise, and remove some of the bread from the inside to make a well for the meatballs. Brush with olive oil, and season with garlic powder and salt. Slip the baguette into the oven during the last 5 minutes of the meatball's time, or until lightly toasted.
While the bread toasts, warm the spaghetti sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. When the meatballs are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the sauce. Spoon onto the baguette and top with slices of provolone cheese. Return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Cool slightly, cut into servings, and enjoy!

So busy!!

I thought I would have much more time with the big kids' out of school for the summer, but the opposite is true, I have less time! They barely get two months off for summer break and I want to spend every moment I can with them. Yes I'm aware that this will grow old when they are teens, but we won't think about that now (happy thoughts, happy thoughts) LOL!

Anyway, my sweet Evan just turned 4 on Tuesday and we had his b-day party last Saturday. Since he is obsessed with Chuck E Cheese (what kid isn't? shoot I love it myself!) he wanted 'ole Chuck on his cake! He originally wanted a toilet cake complete with a turd inside. I looked at them on the internet and it was so disgusting that it even grossed him out, imagine that! So onto the new cake, he did try to change on me just a couple of days before the party when he saw Buzz LightYear in Wal-mart. I told him no, that I already had Chuck E Cheese made (frozen buttercream transfer). So with me already making "the mouse" the week before and throwing it in the freezer I was all set to go. I decided to do a cupcake cake, this was my 1st one ever and I do believe that I will continue to do them b/c it was so easy and so convenient, just pull apart, YAY!!!!

Normally I don't put last names, but for some strange reason I started Evan over to far to the left and had to put something on there to even it out! He wanted chocolate with chocolate icing and chocolate is what he got, SO much chocolate, LOL!
I still get teary eyed at each one of my kids' birthdays, just thinking about how fast they are growing up, it's sad to me and yet exciting to see them grow and develop into wonderful little people :) (PAUSE) for a wipe of tears! Only 4 things that can make me cry on demand, my kids' :)

My wonderful husband's b-day is in 2 days. We'll be at his family's house for a reunion, and the oldest big kids' are there right now. So we celebrated his b-day before they left. I fixed him homemade meatball subs, MMMMMMMM,,, makes my mouth water just thinking of them! I snapped a pic of them, but I think it's on my cell phone, not on the computer. Will have to try to get onto here so I can show you all and give you the recipe. It's so incredible! That was the best homemade Italian bread I have ever made and the meatball recipes were made by combining 2 recipes! Did I mention yummaroo on that one?? LOL!!

I have to say that I'm excited over 1st-seeing Nathan and Nicholas again (my sweet big kids'), it's only been 5 days, but feels like 5 yrs! 2nd excited about seeing my in-laws, I really enjoy spending time with them! 3rd I'm excited about eating my mother-in-laws food, LOL! Ok so I may have a small problem with food, but I can tell you I know I'll be eatin' good come this weekend :-) Mmmm, I can smell the baked beans already... speaking of smells, I fixed some Zucchini Bread the other day that was just incredible! First time that I had even eaten it! I feel like I was deprived of this amazing quick bread for almost 35 yrs of life, what a shame! LOL! My step-mom brought me some fresh zucchini out of the garden and I found the recipe on-line. You know that had to be a southerner that came up with zucchini bread, taking it and making it into something sweet and fattening, LOL!!

Well I guess I've blabbed long enough! Will try to post a recipe on here today!