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

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Fall Y'all

This is the first time I can ever remember it feeling like Fall when Fall has begun. Yesterday I opened my windows, lit a candle, and made some awesome Pampered Chef (freeze ahead) Tortilla Soup. I'll be posting that recipe later on my cooking blog. Abby (my 21 month old) ate 2 huge bowls! Caleb never eats anything other than peanut butter and jelly, quesadillas, toast, and fish sticks so I melted cheese on some tortilla chips in the microwave and surprise of all surprises...he liked the nachos. When I say that's about all Caleb likes, trust me. We have tried months and months of serving him what the rest of us were having but I realized when he didn't even like some desserts that he is just a very picky eater. What kids refuses cookies and Strawbery Cake?

So anyway, I am so excited about this cooler weather, I've been reviewing my Crock Pot and soup recipes. I am an obsessive recipe collector. I already have 28 Crock Pot recipes and 24 soup recipes, but that doesn't seem like enough. If you have a favorite recipe or two, please let me know.

Another thing I am excited about it playing outside. I feel like my kids have been so deprived because I can't take the heat and we spent most of June, July, and August indoors. Now our patio cover is built and we've been going outside (even in yesterday's rain) as much as possible. I hope to get the kids out for walks and bike rides as well but we always seem rushed when Lauren gets home from school. See, if I have the dinner in the Crock Pot, I can spend the rest of the afternoon playing! you have any soup or Crock Pot recipes to share?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our First Aggie Game as a Family

In case you didn't know, I am an Aggie. My blood runs maroon. DEEP maroon. As a student, I attended every home game and tons of away games including Houston, LSU, Tech, many at Texas, OU, Baylor, and 3 Cotton Bowls. I dreamed of marrying an Aggie because lets face it, it takes one to know one. When I graduated in '96, I did not want to leave Aggieland. I had to move back to Fort Worth, but my heart remained in Aggieland. I was a teacher making only $24,000 my first year. So sad what they pay us...but I couldn't afford to go to many games. Once in awhile a friend would have an extra ticket and I would gladly make the 3 hour drive to watch the Aggies beat the ever livin'..... (it's an Aggie thang). Each year I vowed that I would move back to College Station and in '02 I made up my mind and put my house on the market. Then I met my husband...who is not an Aggie. Yep, I married him anyway. We have lived in Aggieland since '03 but there has always been something keeping us from the games. Up until last year it was MONEY plus having small children that would need a sitter. Stephen works for A&M and just this one time, they were offering half-price tickets to staff. So I finally got to take my family to their first Aggie game.A quick family picture before the game. We set the timer on the camera and I kid you not, this was the first picture!
Then we took this one of the kids. Another great pic on the first try. Lauren wasn't too happy that I wouldn't let her twirl her 12th Man towel after smacking the lady in front of us.
Abby started clapping right away.

Stephen asked me for my phone so he could take these pics. I was so proud. I think that means he liked the band!

The two of us.

The long walk around and around. Caleb said we were lost and never going to get home because we were going in circles.

My sweet lil Aggies.

There's always a sweet Ag around to see that the husband is taking the pic and offers to take a pic of everyone.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I don't know the last time I posted pics on my blog. I am so into Facebook now. I need to bring some more pictures to work and upload them onto my computer. Here is Lauren on the first day of KG and it just so happened to be her 5th birthday! She absolutely loves school. I love having her here with me. Every day I have to go pick up another Kindergartener as they are all coming back from CAMP (Computers Art Music PE) so I try to hide and watch her. I am so proud. She is always following directions, hands in a "Gator Tail" (tucked neatly behind her back), and a "bubble in her mouth" so she is not talking.
Her first day of Religious Education (Sunday School) was yesterday and when I picked her up her teacher sweetly smiled and said Lauren loves to talk, he he. Just like me!


I am a little worried about Lauren. She cries almost every day at school. She is not crying because she wants to be at home. She is not crying because she wants her Mommy. She cries because of things others do or say. For example, on the 1st day of school, another little girl was not following playground rules. Lauren reminded her that she was not supposed to be doing what ever it was she was doing and the girl didn't care so Lauren started crying. Maybe Lauren just didn't want little girl "R" to get in trouble.

Another time, "R" said she didn't want to be Lauren's friend because Lauren couldn't climb to the top of the playground rock wall. Maybe Lauren is scared...she fell off of a rockwall and onto her face in March and I thought she may have even broken her nose.

Another time in art, there was a sub so they watched a video. Lauren was laughing and a little boy didn't like it so he pinched her. I guess I'd have cried too.

Last week (in art again) a boy said, "Car riders STINK!" and that made her cry too.

Over the summer, she was eating a strawberry that Caleb wanted. Little boy that he is told her he was going to take it out of her mouth. Tears!

A friend brought her boys to spend a few days with us and the one Lauren's age was playing some Star Wars type game where he said, "Die" and that set her off. She has never played with friends who play Star Wars types of games.

She has a tender heart, I have known that for awhile. Last year in dance class, her best friend Katie wasn't there. She was sooo worried. I told her that maybe Katie was sick and that's all it took, Lauren was in tears because her best friend might be sick.

Apparently we have taught her compassion a little too well!

Oh the drama!

I have tried reasoning with her and explaining that those are not reasons to cry but that hasn't worked at all. I think she has gotten it from me. For years my mom told me that when she took my neighbor and me to see Benji and Benji got locked in the school, I cried hysterically and the whole theater laughed.

So...any thoughts on how to stop the crying?

Edited to add: I just realized that Lauren went all last year in dance and Religious Education classes without crying about something that someone else said or did. Hmm...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It feels like Fall

Yesterday some drizzle came to town and cooled things down a bit. Now, it's muggy, but I'll take muggy and coolER over Fire Hot any day. This weather has been getting me in the mood for open windows, candles, decorating, and cooking some Fall recipes. I keep thinking about chili, soup, and Crock Pot cookin. Plus, I just found out we have about 20 lbs of chicken in the freezer so I'd better start grilling it and freezing it for future chicken recipes.

Yesterday was "one of those days." Lauren started dance classes again. Now that Abby is too big to keep her in her stroller, I planned ahead and took activities for Caleb and Abby to do while we waited. But there was NO ROOM to walk, much less do activities. I could not stand how crowded it was so I finally told the kids we were going to wait for Lauren in the van. I let them play on the sidewalk instead. I set the timer on my cell phone so I wouldn't lose track of time. I watched as several people left so when the timer rang I felt better about going inside. While waiting for her class to end, Caleb announced he had to potty. So off to the bathroom we went. I thought we'd be quick. Then Caleb knocked an industrial size roll of toilet paper on my neck and into the toilet it went.

When we went to get Lauren, her classroom was empty but her shoes were still in there. As we were walking out to find her, she came back into the building crying. I was concerned that she went outside...she never does this, but a parent took her to find me. Then I needed her to put her shoes on and there was no where for her to sit to change shoes. When we got home, it took forever to get them all corralled into the house. Caleb decided to stop and put his trains in his backpack. Abby was at the door to the house and started crying. She didn't fall, I have no idea what happened. Then they went inside and Abby stopped to climb in the washing maching (we have front loading). I was rushing to make dinner since it was almost 7 and we eat at 6. Bedtime is at 7:30. It was one thing after another. Lauren needed to go to the bathroom and then flipped out because she thought she was going to go in her leotard. I got the kids to the table and realized Caleb's cup was in the van. Luckily, the man who is working on our patio cover decided to come back and he was in the driveway.

YES! Another adult!

And as I sat down to eat, I spilled my diet coke all over my clothes, the dining room chair, and the floor. I didn't even change clothes. I just cleaned it up and hurried to get them fed and off to bed. Needless to say the kids didn't brush their teeth and I picked the shortest story I could find.

Not sure I like dance nights anymore!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blogger Police

The blogger police contacted me to inform me that I had not posted since July 17. I guess you could say Facebook has really taken over. Here is the latest in our lives:

Lauren started KG on her 5th birthday last Monday. She loves it just like I knew she would. She has a fabulous teacher and I do my best not to go by the Kindergarten "pod" just to see what Lauren is doing. I can't wait for her class to start their reading skills because Lauren is already reading basic 3 letter words as well as sounding them out to write them. Makes this Momma proud. Don't get me wrong, I do not want a genius! No, no, no. I just don't want her to struggle to understand when new concepts are being taught. My mom worked with me and I want to hand that down to my children. We do not sit and have lessons at home. We make it fun. We have tons of different alphabet letters such as the Word Whammers that go on the fridge. We have lots and lots of puzzles and we play a lot of educational games on the computer. Add to that all the educational TV shows and not only does Lauren know all her letters and their sounds, but Caleb does too and he is 3. Abby counts up to about 15. After that is hard to understand but it is just precious. She is 20 months old.

With the start of school came my return to work but only half days! What a difference it makes. I love my job and have always wondered what would happen if I did get to stay home full time. I would take a big risk in there not being an ESL position available when I'd return to work. Now I get to work in the mornings and be home in the afternoons. Don't be fooled though. Afternoons are short! I get home...feed Caleb and Abby lunch, get it cleaned up, and put them down for their naps so they have a decent nap before we have to leave to pick Lauren up. During the kids' naps, my goal is to get some serious housecleaning done but I have to admit that I've given into naps a few times. But I do get more housework done than before and so I think I'll get there eventually. Before my nap today, I forced myself to pick up 100 things that were out of place. Before you gasp at the thought of 100 things being out of place, keep in mind all the kids' toys, hair bows, a piece of trash on the floor, a washcloth that needs to go in the dirty clothes hamper, etc... If I can do that every day, I should have an immaculate house in..........say..........17 years when Abby is in college! Baby steps, right?

Stephen officially began his new full-time position at TAMU on Sept. 1. He loves his job, loves what he does, and he was lucky enough that they let him set his hours around our needs to be home with the kids. So he works 12-9 M-F and is still taking classes online plus his video business! One day our lives will slow down just a bit.

One day!

What else? We are building a patio cover...just in time for cooler weather. A friend of ours is building it on the weekends and he promises it will be done before our first cookout on Sept. 12.