Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mommy, Jesus needs kneepads!

I am so fortunate to live 5 minutes from work and I get to go home for lunch. Just a little while ago, Lauren insisted on putting on Caleb's helmet and pads. She disappeared to her room and came back with her shoes on. I gave her her sunglasses to finish off the fashion statement and she said, "How do I look?" I said, "You look like you need a kiss." Then she said Jesus needs a kiss too and she went over to the crucifix and said she'd blow him a kiss. She came back and informed us that Jesus needs kneepads, elbow pads, and a helmet too. Can you just picture it? I'm no good at Photo Shop but I have a good imagination and that would be quite a scene.

What kids do at 3:45 am

That's when I awoke to hear Lauren in her monitor. She was just talking away as if it was 3:45 in the afternoon. Then I heard Caleb stir in his crib, uh-oh, I thought. Caleb was sleeping without his pacifier for the first night-cold turkey! Lauren seemed to be okay so I rolled over to go back to sleep. But I couldn't. Why? So I thought, "Okay Lord, maybe you want to talk?" I remember looking at the clock at 4:30, not a bit sleepy. That's when I heard Lauren open her door. "Tee-tee potty." For those of you who don't know, I don't like to say, "Pee." It's worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. Why? Everyone says it, right? My mom never taught me it was wrong but it just bugs me. You don't hear your 80 year old grandmother saying, "I have to go pee." Can you imagine someone at church trying to get past you in the pew saying, "Uh...I have to pee." No! Besides, if you're not going to "pee" do you say, "I'm going to poop?" I always taught my students to just say they needed to go to the bathroom. By the way, when I taught in Arlington, most of the kids said, "I have to use it." I would reply, "What is 'it'? Do you need to use my pencil?"

So, back to Lauren at 4:30 this morning. I helped her go potty and I asked her what woke her up. "Daddy did." I asked, "Daddy did?" See, Stephen leaves at 2:45 am so he can be home by 7:15 when I need to leave. I asked, "How did Daddy wake you up?" "He moved the van," she answered. Well, yes, Stephen did park the truck in the street so the kids could play in the driveway yesterday. So....the truck woke her up. So does this mean she has been up since 2:45?I told her she could listen to a story on her cassette recorder (remember those?). I told her when the story was over, she could talk to Jesus and hopefully that would help her go back to sleep.

4:40 I hear, "click, click" on the tape recorder and then I hear Lauren's door again. She isn't loud opening the door, just closing it. She hasn't learned to turn the knob before pulling it shut so every time she pulls it shut, it is really loud, especially at 4:40 am when Caleb is sleeping just next door. "Mommy, I can't do it. The story is over." As I remind myself that it is not her fault that she can't sleep, I take her back to bed, help her up the ladder of her loft bed, get her flashlight, and show her how to turn the tape over and push the green one because we all know green means go. I knew this was hard for her but she is smart and with practice I know she'll get it. I even had her do it once. It's not easy getting that cassette to fit into the slot on the door. I reminded her it was sleeping time and Mommy and new baby needed to sleep. I asked her to stay in bed. "Okay Mommy." I crawled back into bed and heard Caleb stirring again. He hit one of his crib toys that plays music so I got to listen to "Hallow-Weiner" in one monitor and baby music in the other. I reminded myself how happy I am to have 2 beautiful children and I enjoyed the kicks that new baby gave me in the lowest part of my belly. That raises a concern that the baby is very comfortable being breech.

5:15 I'm relaxed, my eyes are closed, and I hear it again, Lauren's door. She is going to wake up Caleb, I just know it. I decide to pretend I'm asleep. As the light gets closer I hear, "Mommy?" Then the light is shining directly in my eyes, "Mommy?" So again, I take her back to bed and explain that it is sleeping time. Everyone is asleep. Please do not wake up Caleb or Mommy or new baby! Listen to your story. Here is how to turn the tape over ONE MORE TIME. "Okay Mommy."

5:30 I don't even remember if she made it to her door but in my not so nice voice I said, "LAUREN! GET BACK IN THAT....." Up the stairs she tried to go but she had a flashlight in each hand, "Mommy, put my flashlights up." I continued, "DO NOT GET OUT OF BED UNTIL THE SUN COMES UP!" And in her sweet little Lauren voice, "Thank you." I felt so guilty for raising my voice to her. She doesn't know what to do when you can't sleep.

6:40 my alarm went off. I think I went to sleep around 6 so I reset the clock for 7, knowing I HAD to shower and be at work at 7:30. I hate being late. I am late as often as it snows in College Station. I can usually leave the house at 7:20 and be in my classroom, checking email before 7:30. I left the house at 7:38 and on top of the fog, I now had to wait in line with all the parents who were dropping their students off. It took me 10 minutes to get to my parking space- by the way I parked illegally because there weren't any spaces left in my lot. I would normally freak out if I was late, my heart would race and crazy thoughts would go through my head, but this time, I didn't sweat it. What's going to happen if I'm not in my seat at 7:30? I don't pick my students up until 8:00 anyway.

9:15 Stephen opened Lauren's door so she'd wake up and he noticed the cassette player opened, the tape jammed into the player- not in the slot- and tape strung out across the top. She tried to do it all by herself.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Aquinasfest- St. Thomas' Fall Festival

We took the kids to church yesterday for their annual festival.
I just learned something, if you click on the pictures, you can see a larger version of them!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

That's our little girl climbing up to the top of a very tall bouncy slide.
She made it, here she comes.

There she goes!

Who do you think is having more fun?

Oh yeah, I'll take this one....and this one...and this one. I've never had one before but they look umm, umm, good!

Caleb knew just what to do when he got to the duck pond.

First fishin' trip with Daddy.

Lauren gears up to kick the ball. She shoots, she scores!

Yes, that's Lauren and Daddy on a horse. She did such a great job.

Friday, September 21, 2007

We ran out of time y'all

That's what the Aggies say when we get outscored. We DO NOT lose you see, we run out of time. I don't know what happened to my Aggies last night, it was quite embarrassing to say the least but I do know that we did, "run out of time" because at the end of the 4th quarter my Aggies showed up. I'm gonna support my Aggies no matter what so that's all I'm going to say about last night's big disappointment.

Now, on to more exciting things. Last night they had a viewing of the game at Kyle Field. So if you can't be in Miami with a bunch of Aggies, why not go to Kyle Field and yell with your Aggie brothers and sisters? And that's what we did.

On our way up to The Zone we visited with a very nice lady who turned out to be #37 Misi Tupe's mom.

Hump It Lauren!

Then we did some yells and I am so proud of my girl y'all, she knew what to do. She even spelled A-G-G-I-E-S before the crowd. A group in front of us thought she was the cutest thing, they couldn't believe she just turned 3. She kept saying, "I'm so excited" and that she was having a good time, poor thing is confused about what really goes on at an Aggie game when the stands are a swayin' and the team is on the field. She thinks the birds play in the sprinklers on the field. One day baby....Mommy's going to take you to a real game.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lauren's new loft bed

We got Lauren this neat bed last night. I tried to keep the kids out of Daddy's way by giving them a bath while he put it together but the kids were so excited. After Caleb went to bed, Lauren wanted to be Daddy's helper. You can't see it in the picture but at the foot of the bed, there is a shelf that pulls out and makes a desk. Stephen showed her and I said, "Look Lauren, it's a desk." She said, "Yeah, I can do my work there." I asked her, "Work? What kind of work?" She said, "On my computer, I'm a big girl." So, Santa Claus, I think Lauren is going to ask for a computer for Christmas this year. Right before she climbed into bed, she decided that the shelves made perfect bunk beds for her baby dolls.

Poor Caleb hasn't made his appearance on my blog yet so I'll be sure and get some pictures of him on here soon.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes

Our precious Lauren is never at a loss for words. Her little wheels are always turning and always putting smiles on our faces. Here are some of the funny things she has said over the last few days:
We were all eating ice cream the other night, Stephen was having buttered pecan and the rest of us were having mint chocolate chip.
L: Daddy, why do you have that one?
S: Because I don't like chocolate.
L: Yes you do, you like Willy Wonka.

She has been asking, no begging, for a jump rope lately. We have no idea where she saw one and we know she can't use one, not to jump with at least. Yesterday as I was preparing dinner:
L: Mommy, can I have a jump rope?
Me: Maybe Lauren. We can go look at them later.
L: I don't want to look at them.
Me: Why not.
L: I want to BUY one.

And my favorite.....drum roll please.
Stephen was grilling burgers-
L: I want to help Daddy
Me: You want to help Daddy? Does Dadddy need your help?
L: Yes, because he's a boy.

That's right sweet girl, boys do need our help, don't they?

Recipe Roundup-Other

These recipes have been moved to Aggieland Mommy Cooks.

Recipe Roundup-Soup's On

This recipe has been moved to Aggieland Mommy Cooks

Recipe Roundup-Crock Pot recipes

This recipe has been moved to Aggieland Mommy Cooks

Recipe Roundup-Fun stuff for kids

Right now I'm thinking about fun Halloween ideas to do with your kids.

Classic Salt Dough Ornament Recipe
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
Directions:1. Mix salt and flour.
2. Add in half the water, then gradually add the remaining water.
3. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes.
4. For flat dough ornaments roll out the dough on baking paper Or be creative and make odd shapes and wreaths (takes longer to bake)
Create: Use cookie cutters, cut-out templates, or just use your hands.Dust dough with flour and begin to add details to the ornaments with a toothpick, popsicle stick, and knife. Don't Forget: Use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament.
Baking: Time varies based on thickness of ornamentTemperature: 325 degreesTime: 1 1/2 hours - or until dry
Decorate: Let cool before you beginPaint with acrylic paintsGlue on beads, buttons, or any fun accessoryPreservation: Making them last a long timeCoat with acrylic varnish when everything is dry

Recipe Roundup-Casseroles

Also see "Busy Mom's Meals"
Moved to Aggieland Mommy Cooks

Recipe Roundup-Desserts: cookies

Cookie recipes go here
For Pumpkin Bars, go to Holiday Meals section

Spiced Butter Cookies by McCormick
2 sticks butter, softened
1 c sugar
pinch salt
1 egg
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon (I'll use more)
1/4 t ground nutmeg (use more)
2 c flour

1. Beat butter through nutmeg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in flour until well mixed. Refrigerate 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Shape into 1" balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork.
3. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Cool on baking sheets.

Orange Balls
1 box vanilla wafers, crushed
1 c pecans, chopped
6 oz can orange juice concentrate
1 stick butter, melted
16 oz powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients. Chill. Roll into balls. Optional-roll in coconut.

Godiva White Chocolate Butter Bars
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
12 T butter softened
3/4 c sugar 2 lg eggs, room temp
1 1/4 t vanilla extract
1/2 c milk
topping: 8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 lg eggs, room temp
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 t almond extract
2 t pure vanilla extract
2 bars 1.5 oz each Godiva solid Ivory melts
1/2 c pecans, finely chopped
1. Cookies-Preheat oven to 325. Spray 15x10 jelly roll pan. Set aside. Sift together flour, bk powder, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar in bowl at med. speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, using electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Lower speed and add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, blending until the batter is smooth, do not overmix. Pour into pan and spread evenly.
2. Topping-Beat cream cheese, eggs, 3 c powdered sugar, almond, and vanilla extracts at low speed. Beat until smooth. Increase the speed to high 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add remaining powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Pour over batter and bake 35-40 minutes or until top is lightly browned all over- I turn halfway. Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes.
3. Drizzle the top with melted ivory and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Raspberry White Chocolate Bars by
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c butter, softened
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
4 c flour
2 eggs
18 oz jar red raspberry preserves
2 c (12 oz total) vanilla milk chips
1. Heat oven to 350. Combine sugar through vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat at med. speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed, about 1-2 minutes.
2. Reduce speed to low. Beat, adding flour 1 c. at a time and scraping bowl often until mixture is crumbly (1-2 min). Remove 1 c crumb mixture, set aside.
3. Add eggs to remaining crumb mixture in bowl, beat until mixture forms a dough. Press/roll dough evenly into 13x10 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
4. Spread preserves over hot, partially baked bars. Sprinkle vanilla chips over preserves. Sprinkle with preserved crumb mixture.
5. Continue baking for 20-25 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Cool completely.

Sinful Bars
1 stick butter, melted
2 c graham cracker crumbs
12 oz chocolate morsels 12 oz butterscotch morsels
6 oz white chocolate morsels
1 c chopped pecans 1 c coconut
14 oz Eagle Brand milk
1. Preheat oven to 350. Pour butter into a 9x13 (or melt inside).
2. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over, spread evenly.
3. Layer the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Irish Cream Truffle Cookies by Better Homes and Gardens
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 c sugar
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/4 c cooking oil
1 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
1 c flour
sifted powder sugar
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c sifted powder sugar
1 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
1 T Irish Cream Liqueur
1. In a med. bowl, stir together egg through vanilla. Stir in the flour. Cover and chill dough 1-2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Shape chilled dough into 1/2" balls. Place 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 6-7 minutes or until edges are set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Sprinkle cooled cookies with powdered sugar.
3. For cream filling, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese through liqueur. Beat with electric mixer on medium until combined.
4. To assemble, spread 1/2 t of cream filling onto the flat side of half the cookies; top with second cookie.
5. Drizzle cookies, cover and store in fridge up to 3 days. For drizzle I combine 3 oz morsels and 1 t shortening. Heat until melted.

Peppermint Petites by Land O'Lakes
1 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t peppermint extract
3-4 drops red food color
2 c flour

frosting: 1 c powdered sugar
1 T butter, softened
1 oz square unsweetened baking choc, melted
1-2 T milk crushed peppermints extract

1. Heat oven to 375. Combine all cookie ingredients except flour in a large bowl. Beat at medium, scraping often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour, beat until well mixed.
2. Shape into 1" balls. Place 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely. Meanwhile..
3. Combine powdered sugar through chocolate in a small bowl. Beat at low adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency.
4. Frost cookies. Sprinkle with crushed mints.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Aggie Day!

I have to thank my dear friend Heather for asking me (and Stephen for saying that I could go) to the Aggie game Saturday. If you didn't see it, it was a true nail biter. Who would have thought that after a 19-0 lead at halftime that we'd go into triple overtime? But we won 47-45 and a win is all I wanted. After the game we had to wait out the rain before we could walk back to the car. Did you know it was raining? It didn't rain a drop at our house but we had quite a downpour at Kyle Field. Heather and I decided to head to the MSC where we watched the TCU-t.u. game for awhile. The rain stopped so we headed North. Would you believe that as soon as we were out in the open, just passed Albritton Tower, the sky opened once again. We were just about drenched when we made it to the car. Thanks Heather for the awesome memories!