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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Coolest Place for kids AND my embarrassing moment

Do you have a place like "The Bounce" near you? This place is a big warehouse with tons of bouncy houses where the kids can just wear themselves out. I could not believe the price. It is only $5 each for kids Lauren and Caleb's age, plus, we had a 50% off coupon. Oh yeah, on Wednesdays they have a toddlers only play so the little kids have a chance to play even more safely than places like Chuck E Cheese or the mall's play area. Our friends, Julia and Dominic, met us up there. I got to meet another mom from our Mom's group too.

Just a fun bouncy house with neat activities and tunnels for the kids.
That's Caleb at the top of the slide. He was a sneak when it came to waiting in line, I caught him weaving in and out of the people in front of him. Luckily, he was the smallest one so no one seemd to mind.

Tweety's cage.

This is a huge mushroom filled with plastic balls.

Come on boys, I've found the treasure!

Headin' for the pirate themed bouncy you can see, Dominic had a big drink from the water fountain just before this picture.

I finally got Dominic to pose for a picture.

This is all Abby got to do.
So, have you ever not recognized someone that you SHOULD have recognized?
As we were helping the kids put their shoes on to go home, a very tall, attractive woman walked right up to Stephen and me. I thought it was a little odd that she stood so close to us. Then she said, "So, is this a Mommy and Daddy's day out with the kids?" So I answered, "Yes, he likes to be involved as much as he can." I'm so glad that I didn't add what I was thinking, "He works at 3 am and is able to be home during the day with all of us," because Stephen finally recognized that this lady was his co-worker. Ahhh! I was completely embarrassed about not recognizing her because this is the morning anchor on the local morning news. I totally apologized and told her that her hair looks so much darker and she made me feel a little better when she reminded me that there are a lot of lights shining on her when she is on the air. Whew!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Queen's visit to Aggieland

Mandy at Queen of My Castle came for a short visit. She brought Aidan who is 5 months older than Lauren. We made the usual shopping run, lunch at Freebird's, and ended the evening with a trip to the pool. The first night it was just Mandy, me, Lauren, and Aidan. These pictures are from the second night when Stephen, Abby, and Caleb joined us. The kids started out in the kiddie pool.
They quickly moved to the big pool. Lauren (who has never taken a swimming lesson) decided to swim without any floats or swimmies. The pool was 3 feet deep and the water came up to her mouth but I just kept telling her to put her feet down on the ground and close her mouth. (whoever introduced me to that Dry Drowning video scarred me for life!) She was a natural!

Monkey See, Monkey Do, Caleb thought he could wallk right in like the big kids, SANS FLOATIES!

As Lauren made her way away from her daddy, you could tell he was worried about her newly discovered swimming abilities.

Swimming like a fish (I mean with a fish).

You can't go swimming without wanting to jump off the side of the pool.

If only Caleb were a little taller.

Weee..all this fun was making Daddy awfully tired! Have you noticed yet that Mandy and I were not in the pool? We were on the side being cheerleader..."Caleb's going under...Caleb's gonna jump...look behind you." Thanks Stephen for being a good sport honey!

We were there pretty close to 9:00. Caleb would still be jumping right now if we would have let him.

A sad good-bye.

Of all the times I see Mandy each year, I have very few pictures so I insisted on a quick one before she left. Thanks for coming Queen, I always enjoy our special girl time.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thanks everyone!

Thanks for your input, you convinced me to keep my recipes on a separate blog. The name isn't too original Aggieland Mommy Cooks. It probably won't get a fancy header for awhile either but now I have a place to keep my recipes. I've already moved a few recipes from here to there but it's gonna take me a long time to get them all in one place. One last thought on the topic of recipes...I'm so glad I asked my mom for her best recipes before she passed away. I also got the recipe for the one thing my grandmother made well...and it didn't take any cookin'. There was a joke in our family about my grandmother's cooking, she could burn rolls! The fluffy colorful dessert I always looked for at holiday get-togethers (even though I didn't know the name of it until a year ago) was her Watergate salad. Those recipes are something I will always cherish and pass down to my children.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What do you think?

So I've been thinking about creating a separate blog for my recipes. What do you think? Since you are the faithful friends who visit my blog, please leave a comment and tell me what you think. Everyone....even if you've never left a comment before. I'd love to hear from you and I'll stop by your blog as well.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good Ol' Summertime

Can you guess what this is? It's not peas or green beans. Scroll down for a closer look.

Isn't she precious? I have to say I was grossed out at first. I never let my first two get this messy but life is too short!
Abby did great in her high chair for about a week and then for some reason she started screaming. I always thought it was a burp so I'd pick her up and try to burp her. On this day, I decided to try to feed her in my arms. We started with sweet potatoes and moved on to mashed avocado. Both of these were suggestions by my friends because they are high calorie foods and Abby is still not gaining much weight. 2 weeks ago she was only 9 lbs 14 oz. I have friends who give birth to babies that weigh more than that. So I asked everyone I knew for ideas to help fatten her up so I would not have to give in to the bottle. Moms know best! We've been giving her avocado and lots of rice cereal with butter, breastmilk, or formula. 10 days later she weighed 10 lbs 13 oz.

We've had a few playdates with friends from church and it has been wonderful for all involved. Mommy needed to bond with more wonderful women from church and Lauren and Caleb needed to play with other children their age. We'll be enrolling Lauren in Sunday School and ballet today. I just can't wait! Anytime we see VBS craft kits, Lauren says we need to buy them for her Jesus school. It's hard to believe she will be 4 one month from today and that this time next year we'll be getting her ready for Kindergarten.
Last Friday Granny and Grandpa stopped by on their way to San Antonio. It was a really quick visit but I managed to capture this precious moment. Abby will be crawling in no time and I can't wait.
We made it out to the neighborhood pool last Sunday. It was only the 2nd time since we moved in. We skipped the kiddie pool and went straight for the deep pool. All of the kids did great. Lauren and Caleb let go of us and Abby kicked the whole time in her little floatie. We know we have to give Lauren and Caleb more opportunities to gain confidence out there. I had plans for friends to come over and swim today but Hurricane Dolly's aftermath is here and it's pretty gloomy outside.
I can't help but think about how summer break is almost over. I won't even go near the back-to-school section at Wal-Mart. I report back to work on August 15 and it depresses me to think about being away from my family. I had to go to a staff development on Tuesday and I thought of my babies all day long. I just hate to be away from them, they bring so much joy to my life. It's hard to believe that 5 1/2 years ago I was still a single woman. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mesquite Lime Chicken

This recipe has been moved to Aggieland Mommy Cooks

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Homemade White Chocolate Ice Cream

This recipe has been moved to Aggieland Mommy Cooks

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing

1. So I was wondering, why do we call it "dusting" if we are trying to get rid of dust?
2. I want to welcome Mandy to the blogworld. Please stop by and give her a warm bloggity welcome.
3. I've decided that I really don't like books, Play-Doh, crayons, or markers. Oh...I heard an AMEN out there. Don't get me wrong, I am a teacher and a big advocate of creativity and all but I just don't know how many more days I can go on picking up about 30 books that the 2 year old pulled off the shelves. I don't know how many more times I can stand over the same 2 year old and "motivate" him to pick up all the markers and crayons that just "rolled" off the table, not to mention all the paper he peeled off the crayons.
4. I'm learning that I'm not that great of a cook after all. Last week when I made the blue pancakes, the first one was not a pancake at all. No, it came out more like a French crepe. Why? I only added 1 cup of water and the recipe says 2. Luckily I figured it out before pouring the 2nd pancake. Bon Apetit! Then I made Bacon Quiche and Millionaire Pie (recipes below). The quiche was flawless but I made the entire Millionaire Pie and forgot to cook the crust first! That sure was a good pie. We ate it. Raw crust and all. Then I made Paula Deen's Potato Salad. I pre-chopped everything and put them in the fridge while the potatoes were boiling. When I assembled the salad, I forgot to add the eggs. So when does the Momnesia go away?
5. Think TINK! We are planning Lauren's 4th birthday party and it's consuming my every thought. When we took her to buy her party supplies last month, we just knew she was going to pick princesses because she eats, sleeps, and lives princesses each and every day. We were quite surprised when she chose Tinkerbell. We even tried to talk her out of it because we were ready to plan the perfect princess and prince birthday party. We'll be incorporating Captain Hook for the boys and there will be games and activities for all.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Pictures

Another Cake

I just finished this cake for a friend's little boy's party tomorrow, no peeking Julia. Stop now before you see the cake, I want you to be surprised.

If you click on the picture, it will enlarge so you can see the details (thanks, Bronius).

It is for a cowboy themed party. I am very happy with how it turned out. You can't tell in the picture but the top left corner is a cowboy hat, the bottom, right corner is a boot. Man this cake smells yummy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Who did it?

I want to know who snuck into my house and dressed this bed! It surely wasn't me, dressing beds has been the last thing on my list. By the way, I was raised to say, "dressing the bed." I am not sure why. Any of my aunts, uncles, or cousins, have a clue why we say that? I don't know if it was because my grandfather was in the Navy but when I was old enough to wonder why others said, "making the bed" the philosophical voice in my head said that the bed is already made. It was made at the mattress factory. So it just stuck. Anyway, I was picking up all the misc things that drift downstairs and this is what I saw when I went into Caleb's room. I knew it couldn't be Caleb. I knew it WOULDN'T be my know what I'm talking about! So to give him the benefit of the doubt, I asked Stephen if just maybe he did it. Then I went into Lauren's room to find out what she was up to cuz we Moms all know that when they are quiet, their up to sumpin'.
I could not believe my eyes! Lauren was dressing her bed. I asked her if she dressed Caleb's bed and she said yes, so he could get a check on his chore chart. The chore chart is something I meant to start the day we moved into this house but...well.... lots of things were supposed to get done on the day we moved in and they will get day. So the chore chart is very simple. It has 5 pictures down the left side and they say the jobs: get dressed, dress your bed, brush your teeth, put on your jammies, pick up toys. They get a check when a chore is completed and 5 checks = a star. A star for each day will get them a reward. We're not sure what the reward will be but we want to be careful not to place emphasis on food. So far we've thought about playing games at Chuck E Cheese (cuz who can afford to eat there?), an ice cream cone, a small toy, maybe a trip to the dollar store. The first night we managed to get everything done with time to spare for several stories and group prayers.

This is the end result, notice the 'friends' in the corner who had to be under the covers?
This chore chart thing has been so wonderful. Lauren is dressing her bed right now (5:30 pm)because she took a nap in it.

Oh my stars! The Fourth of July

Blue star pancakes and bacon stripes. This breakfast was a hit.
Lauren not only ate all the food on her plate, she also ate all the scraps from cutting out the stars. I was disappointed that we couldn't find any patriotic tablecloths or placemats. Any ideas for next year?

We went to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. They scaled it down from last year's events but we all managed to have fun. Bouncy houses and bouncy slides are always a hit.

Waiting for the show.

The fireworks display was beautiful, well worth keeping the kids out late. We knew we'd be stuck in traffic so we brought their jammies with us so we could put them right in bed when we got home.

Even Abby loved the show. When we got home, our grand plan of 'straight to bed' was ruined because several neighbors were shooting fireworks and the kids wanted to see as much as they could.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Are you able to help?

Remember the boy I told you about who has just finished his last cancer treatment? Maybe you thought to yourself that you wish there was something you could do. There is! Please read the letter below that was sent by a friend of the Gomez family:

Imagine being told that your 6 year old has a brain tumor. Imagine the questions that would come, and the flood of emotions. Imagine spending 9 months of your life separated from normalcy. Imagine living out of town away from your family so that you could be by your child’s side as they endure CAT scans, surgery, ECHO’s, EKG’s, transfusions, CHEMO, sedations and more. What parent doesn’t hold their breath when they have a child undergoing sedation? It seems so simple, yet so threatening.

And then to survive it all, and see a new life in front of you! Imagine the appreciation for life you would have, and the new found joy.

But, how? How do we enjoy this new perspective on life and move forward? Imagine the medical bills. $40000 for one of four chemo treatments. How much more for countless injections, stem cell harvesting, lumbar punctures. And all this on top of mom stopping her day care business so she could be with her boy, and dad losing time at work from his own surgeries.

The Gomez family is blessed in so many ways. I’m sure they don’t feel this financial strain will slow their beautiful family from embracing life for what it is. They have already mentioned multiple times how great this community has been. We can still do more.

There was a fundraiser organized in the fall that paid for most of the bills that arrived through to the first of the year. But now the rest are coming in. They have insurance, but it, of course, does not cover everything, nor does it cover full portions of the bills. So now it’s time for another fundraiser.

We are organizing sales of Home Interior Candles. Please contact me if you are interested in helping. Elias will get 50% of all sales. That’s exceptional for a fundraiser like this. My daughter had to sale these candles for dance once, and it paid for a full year of classes, recital fees, and costumes. These candles really do sell themselves. That and the profit return is why I chose them. Sales have already started, and orders are due back on the 14th of July, so please get back with me quickly.

Dana Hudson, 979.690.2432,