Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Thoughts

Happiest Thanksgiving to everyone!

Today I am thankful for:

  • a super hubby
  • great kids
  • living in the US
  • a warm house
  • good friends - old and new
  • food to eat
  • a new modem so I can stay connected to the internet (!)
  • caring neighbors
  • most of all - God!
Hope you have had a great day!  Time to hit the hay - Black Friday is calling!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Bisquick Impossible French Apple Pie

Rick and the kids really liked this pie. I used Granny Smith apples, which were perfect. Very easy to put together while dinner was cooking and then slide in the oven for an evening snack.

Note:  This is an older version of this recipe.  The newest version which uses less apples, sugar and milk can be found by clicking the link at the bottom of the post!


6 cups sliced tart apples
1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons melted butter

1 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons firm butter, cut into pieces


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Use 10 x 1 1/2 inch pie plate.
2. Mix apple slices and cinnamon, put in pie plate.
3. Beat remaining ingredients except streusel until smooth. Pour into plate over the apples.
4. Mix all streusel ingredients in a bowl, until crumbly and sprinkle on top of pie.
5. Bake until knife inserted comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.

Enjoy!  Click here for more delicious Bisquick recipes featuring apples!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Sorry - it has been crazy chaotic around here and blogging took a back seat to everything else!

Family updates:

Carson - rolling both ways, delving into solids and playing with his toes!
Bryce - loves playing on PBS kids and going to Mom's Day Out
Lily - loving school and reading chapter books, especially Magic Tree House books
Haley - getting ready for her first concert of the school year with WB Singers
Ross - gearing up for the Halloween dance at the middle school
Rick - working less than he did during the HOT summer (yay!)
Me - started the HCG diet and have lost 17 pounds

The hot topic of conversation daily is Halloween costumes!  Carson is going to be Peas in a Pod - a hand me down from family and Bryce is going to be a robot.  No one else has decided 100% yet.

Reading Updates:

I usually do not read books during the time I am in our women's bible study at church.  I find I spend more time reading my "fun book" and less time reading the Bible and answering my questions.  I have made a few exceptions this Fall.  Here is what I am and have been reading:


52 Simple Ways to Build Your Child's Self-Esteem and Confidence

The last two are definitely not current hot sellers, but books I have picked up at the thrift shop because they caught my attention. 

I am really excited about the Taste of Home cookbook!  I am looking forward to having ready made meals in the freezer for those times when life gets crazy!  We have really been making an effort to stop eating out as often as we did this summer and I think this will be a great way to help us continue as we enter in the holiday season.  There are a few recipes in the book that are proven winners in our house and many more that I can't wait to try!

Other Stuff:

I am the Room Parent for Lily's 1st grade class.  Since we can't celebrate Halloween, I have chosen the theme of scarecrows.  I have found great coloring sheets and an adorable take home treat so far.  I am considering a "Pin the nose on the Scarecrow" game.  What do you think?

We finally finished redecorating the girls bedroom.  We - Rick, my mom and I - did it while Haley was away at 5th grade camp - she was so excited to see it.  She and Lily have been taking such good care of their "new" room.  They have actually been making their beds WITHOUT a reminder!  Here is what it looks like now:

We have been enjoying our new fire pit.  I love the smell of the fire right then - not so much on our clothes when we come in!  And I don't know how many times I have said "Don't get too close to the fire pit" to one of the kids!

And finally, I have been loving the fall weather - this year!  Last year I was soooo sick with morning sickness that I didn't even pull out the fall decorations!  I sat/laid on the couch wrapped up in a blanket and sucked on pieces of candied ginger!  I love my little Carson, but man I hated that morning sickness!  I also love enjoying it with him and the rest of the family!

Be blessed!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Change is Good

I decided to change things up here on the old blog.  Make it look a little simpler.  Change the banner a little more often for the seasons, holidays.  Hope you like it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is in the Air

Today the temp when I got up was 45 degrees.  Yay for fall!

Things have been a tad bit crazy - so blogging hasn't been my top priority!  Today I am the queen of laundry since my daughter leaves for 5th grade camp in the morning and some of her favorite clothes were shoved under the bed  are dirty. 

I do plan on baking this delicious apple cake for my Tuesday morning Bible study.  I love finding new apple recipes this time of year - especially since we picked 25 pounds of apples a week ago and the kids are "appled out".

I still haven't decorated for fall, but that will happen this week, inside and out!

Hope you have a delightful fall day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Reminder

We all need this reminder once in a while!  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Encourage One Another

Encouraging others has been on my mind lately.  Our world seems to put so much emphasis on independence, but there are time we just NEED one another!

There are many ways we can encourage one another:  a phone call, a note dropped in the mail, a visit, even an email message or an online card can do the trick.  How about that mom in the store with the screaming kid - instead of giving her "a look", why not a word of encouragement or a smile?  (Hmmm - I have been that mom more than once - I would have loved a word of encouragement)

I have decided that this week I will try to find someone to encourage each day - even if it is someone in my own house!  I like that "warm fuzzy" feeling I get when someone encourages me - I am sure others feel the same way.  I challenge you to do the same - and if you want, share some of the ways you encouraged others!

Links to online cards:
American Greetings

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday - How I Love You

Thursdays, from September to May, are my favorite day of the week.  It is the day that I can be totally selfish with my time.  Well from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm anyway!  I can make lunch plans somewhere other than McDonald's and I do not have to worry about dirty diapers or naps.  I have freedom to make plans for whatever I want, even if it is laundry and cleaning.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids but sometimes a mom needs that time alone to refresh and recharge herself.

That is what my Thursdays do for me.

Today started the Moms Day Out program that our two little boys go to.  This is a wonderful ministry that a church close to us has.  We have been participating on Thursdays since Fall 2006 and love it.  Sure, getting everyone out of the house by 8:40 am is crazy.  You bet my house looks like a tornado went through it by the time we are leaving.  But it is so worth it!

Here is a peek into my time today:

9:00 am - drop the two little boys off at MDO, shed a tear in the car - it is Carson's first day.

First stop - my favorite thrift shop - browsing without little hands touching everything!
Next, pick up my mom for a little "girl" time.
Errands - Dierberg's, GNC, Lunch at Bandana's, Once Upon A Child, Trader Joe's
Drop mom off and head back to the thrift shop to pick up my bag, hoping their debit system is working now!

2:45 pm - pick up the two little boys and head home!

Whew - busy - but fun and refreshing!  It has been a long summer!

Thursday - How I Love You!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recovering from the Weekend

Whew - everyone is back to school and work today and we can relax a bit and I can finish recovering from the cold I came down with on Friday!

We had a wonderful three day weekend that began when the hubby ordered pizza for dinner Friday night (yay to not having to cook)!  Saturday was beautiful so we thought we would visit the St. Louis Zoo.  Well, it seemed that pretty much everyone else had the same idea, so we changed plans and went to the St. Louis Science Center instead!  What a great time we had - the crowd was light and the kids had a blast interacting with the exhibits.  But the coolest thing was the Navy Week expo outside in the planetarium's parking lot.  There were 5-6 booths set up with everything Navy, including a dive tank and a flight simulator that Rick and the kids got to ride.  Way cool!

Saturday afternoon the kids and Rick went outside so I could get some rest.  The girls had an impromptu play date that evening with a family from school, and the house was so peaceful.  Actually, the house could have fallen in and I wouldn't have known.  I was feeling so awful by that time that I didn't even know that Rick had gotten all the kids to bed!

Sunday evening we had a friend over for dinner and we had the most awesome pork steaks, grilled to perfection by the hubby!  Topped off by a berry cobbler and ice cream.  Delish!

Monday started with a movie Despicable Me, which we loved, a quick trip around the mall and ended with my parents over for barbecue and homemade ice cream.

It was a wonderful weekend - what did you do?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Big Purge

We are gearing up for our annual yard sale on September 11th.  This year two of our neighbors will be having sales on the same day.  I am hoping for a gorgeous day and lots of buyers.

So, the Big Purge at our house has begun.  We simply have too much stuff - too many things that no one uses, no one watches, no one wears or no one plays with.  No closet, drawer or cabinet is safe!  I am looking forward to this even though it is more work for me than anyone else.  I mean come on, my kids are blissfully unaware that they have too many things.  They are completely happy to pile things on top of their dressers or desks because they won't fit in the drawers or closets.

How do you control the "stuff"?  Do you have a yearly purge like us or do you do it more often?  What do you do with the things you no longer need - do you sell them either at a garage sale or through Craigslist, or do you donate to a charity?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Similac Go Scoopless Sweepstakes

What mama (who uses formula) wouldn't like to win some for free?!  Enter below for a chance to win Similac Concentrated Formula.*  Good luck!

Similace Go Scoopless Sweepstakes

*I get nothing by posting this here - no extra entries, etc.  Just wanted to share with others who like to save money or get things for free!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


"I think people that have a brother or sister don't realize how lucky they are. Sure, they fight a lot, but to know that there's always somebody there, somebody that's family."
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park, Cat O***, 1999

My oldest son has been lamenting the fact that he has brothers and sisters.  He has many friends that are only children or the only kid still at home.  He is pretty sure that if he didn't have these siblings that he would have a laptop!  Instead he gets a lot of silly, crazy memories to look back on!

Silly, crazy memories indeed!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25th

Today is my birthday - woo hoo - break out the party hats and the streamers!
Really though, I have been reminiscing about my life.

In my growing up years, I was a "good girl".  I got good grades, didn't skip school, didn't party.  I guess I was a nerd!  Most of my friends went to my church and my school.  I spent a lot of time with my family.  I was a daddy's girl.  Really a daddy's girl - my mom and I fought from the time I was 13 until I turned 18 and realized she really did know a thing or two.  I started community college on my 18th birthday.

In my early 20's I tried to be the person that I thought my friends wanted me to be.  I partied, I drank, I smoked.  I bought a new car and moved out of my parents house just because I could.  I dropped out of college because I could work full time and make good money.  I dated a few guys, endured a few heart breaks.  But my 20's were also when I met Rick and then became his wife.

My 30's were spent learning to be a mom.  Four of my children were born in this decade of my life.  I started out trying to be the mom and wife the books, the magazines and the Internet said I should be.  Who could ever live up to those standards?  Definitely not me! During these years I really grew as a person.  I began to rely more on God working in me than me working in me (darn selfishness).

My 40's are now.   I am more in love with my husband than ever before.  I am more relaxed in my parenting.  I am not sweating the small stuff - I am meeting it head on.  I don't feel the need for approval from others.  I am who I am - take it or leave it.  I'm happy with the experiences I have had - good and bad.  They have made me unique!

And - I got the most amazing birthday gift today - a new nephew!  I got to meet him when he was just a few hours old and he is beautiful.  Congrats Robb and Sara and big sister Riley!

Baby Griffin

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


A little random rambling this morning!

  • My hubby is working lots and has had to be at work at 6:00 - 6:30am.  I really miss our time together in the morning before the kids get up!  But - I am so thankful for lots of work compared to last summer!
  • I had two barbecue bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers (from here) for breakfast this morning - and they were so good! (The recipe is from her cookbook)
  • Carson is turning over from his tummy to his back at least once a day.  The funny thing is that it startles him EVERY time he does it!
  • Today, the little boys and I are going to our favorite thrift shop to browse.  Tuesdays are 25% off!
  • Bryce is talking lots since the big kids are back to school.
  • I am looking forward to breakfast at Mimi's Cafe tomorrow with my mom and niece
  • Tomorrow is my birthday which I will share with a new niece or nephew.  My sister in law, Sara is scheduled for a C-Section tomorrow morning!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Twelve Years Ago Today...

I became a mom!

Happy Birthday Ross!  You are the first born in this wild and crazy group of kids!

Dad and I are so proud of the young man you have become and hope you have the best birthday ever!

Love you bunches!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crafty Day

This is all it took to change my craft idea for the week.

I REALLY was looking for wool when I walked in the fabric and craft department at our nearest Wal Mart.  I saw this adorable craft  the other day, and wanted to try it in the worst way.  Only thing is, I do not have anything but striped wool in my fabric stash.  And I needed to make a stock up trip to Wal Mart anyway for deodorant, shampoo, shower gel, etc. 

No wool to buy, but guess what - they have quite the eye catching aisle of all things beads and jewelry findings.  Great, just what I need - a new hobby.  I have always been intimidated by jewelry making unless it is simply stringing pony beads on ribbon and tying them around a neck or wrist of one of my girls.  I have bought beads before with great ideas of things that never got made.  The last time I did this, my friend Laura made me a gorgeous necklace/bracelet/earring set using my beads and her great talent!  So I made the mistake of walking down the bead aisle.  I was almost completely to the end without putting anything in my cart when the above kit caught my eye.  All the beads and findings to make 6 pairs of earrings for $4.00 plus a set of 3 tools for $9.00.  Yep - in my cart they went.

I would love to say I came right home and made those 6 pairs of earrings that afternoon.  I talked myself out of it that first day, but not the next.  Thursday was a quiet stay at home day.  The kind of day that screams for me to do something crafty and creative instead of laundry and cleaning.  And, I was successful!  I made 2 pairs of earrings before I had to clean up and get to that laundry and cleaning.  I will probably not make the other 4 pair of earrings like the package suggests.  Two of the pairs are a little too cheap looking (think plastic rings), so I will save the findings for another project - after I make another trip to the bead aisle.

Here is what the kit looks like:


Beads and findings

And the finished product:

I would definitely suggest the kit if you are looking for a simple way to get into jewelry making.  I am really  happy with the results.  As a matter of fact, I plan on giving one of these pairs to my sister in law for her birthday on Sunday.

Oh and those cute hair clips - I will get to those eventually.  As soon as I get that wool!

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Monday, August 16, 2010


Today is the first day of school.

Okay - I did cry a little - but just a little.  I didn't think the AT&T technician was up for a weepy customer this morning.  (DSL went out on Saturday morning - obviously fixed now - yay)

But I am loving the peace and quiet.  Bryce has talked more today than he has in a month.  I went out to the garden and didn't hear screaming coming from the house.  I straightened the house this morning and it still looks good.  And I had a lovely visit from my mom - who loved on her two grandbabies that aren't in school. 

Hope you have a peaceful Monday!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to School Time

We are in the midst of back to school preparation. 

We considered homeschooling the kids this fall, but decided after much prayer that this probably isn't the best year to start.  So, we have been getting ready by buying school supplies, new backpacks and lunch boxes, a few new clothes, getting haircuts and filling out ALL.THOSE.FORMS.  You know which ones I mean, right?  Health and personal history, buzz book, PTO volunteer, OTC medication, etc., etc.  Between my three school age kiddos we have 14 forms to fill out this week.  School starts Monday and will bring another slew of forms I am sure!

So, this week has been crazy and chaotic.  We have had a transition day at the middle school and meet the teacher at the elementary school.  The weather has been too hot to send the kids out to play.  Today is our "take it easy and relax day".  We are all still in our pj's at 10:40, breakfast was eaten at 10:00.  Lunch will probably be a treat of Little Caesar's $5.00 Hot N Ready pizza eaten at an "indoor" picnic since it is soooo hot outside.  Maybe watch a movie this afternoon.  Just a day to relax and enjoy one another.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Dip

We have been so busy getting ready for Carson's baptism and back to school, that I realized I haven't posted a new recipe for a while.  This is my favorite dip recipe and is great served with tortilla chips, pita chips or toasted bread rounds.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 8 ounce pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
2 Tablespoons canned, diced jalapeno peppers
1 cup cheese - I have used Parmesan, Italian blend and cheddar - all are delicious

Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth.  Stir in chiles, jalapeno peppers and cheese.  Pour mixture into microwave safe dish.  Microwave on high until hot and bubbly, about 3 minutes. 


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Best Day of Their Lives!

That is what our three oldest have said about our trip this week to Six Flags.

They didn't care that it was hot, they didn't care that they didn't go to the arcade and play, they didn't care that we didn't ride very many rides.

What they loved:

Riding the Log Flume two times in a row to get soaking wet
Ross riding the roller coasters (his favorite) with dad
Riding Thunder River and getting soaking wet
Gigantic turkey legs
Riding the Tidal Wave and getting soaking wet
B.o.b. in concert (Rap artist - not dads favorite)
Riding the Colossus ferris wheel at sunset
Glow in the Park Parade
Being one of the LAST cars in the parking lot

We arrived at the park around 2:00pm and left the parking lot a little after 10:00pm.  It was a fun day despite the heat, with little whining from any of us!  It was fun to see our kids having so much fun with each other and looking out for one another. 

A few pics from our day:

l-r: Bryce and Lily in Bugs Bunny Nat'l Park; Rick and Ross on Tony Hawks Big Spin; Bryce looking out from the top of the ferris wheel; Ross and Bryce getting wet; Haley, Lily and Bryce resting and rehydrating; Haley pretending to give Bryce and Lily a ride!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Family Day

Today is the day that our kids have been looking forward to for the entire summer.

Today we are going to Six Flags.

Today the temps are supposed to reach 100 degrees with heat indexes of 110-115 degrees.

Today we must be crazy.

Will post pics tomorrow after we recover!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Great Way to Save Money on Groceries

Have you heard about Angel Food Ministries?  It is a grocery relief program available to anyone and everyone in the US.  There are NO income requirements (a common misconception) and the food is all FIRST quality (also a common misconception).  You can order online or in person at your local host site.  You can pay with cash, EBT, and even credit or debit online.  You can order as much or as little as you want.  Our family has been blessed by this ministry for over 4 years now!

I love Angel Food pickup days!  Even though I know ahead of time what I am ordering, by the time 2 weeks have passed, I forget and it is like "grocery christmas" each month!  Here is what we picked up today:

1 supreme pizza, 1 pkg hot dogs, 1 lb ground beef, 1.5 lb beef double cheeseburgers (4), frozen carrots, frozen mashed potatoes, 1 doz medium eggs, 1 whole young chicken, 1 28 oz frozen meatloaf dinner, 1 32 oz frozen lasagna dinner, 1 16 oz can baked beans, 32 oz shelf stable 1% milk, 1 head green cabbage, 1 8 oz box cereal, 2 cinnamon rolls

And let's not forget the "bonus" items added by the host site we pick up from:

(these items are overages from a nearby food pantry)

If you are not familiar with Angel Food Ministries, you can check them out here:  Angel Food Ministries

We routinely order 1-2 Signature boxes each month for our family of 7.  At this time three of our kids are really light eaters and the baby, well doesn't figure in the meal equation yet, so this amount of food works for us.  As our kids get older, we will increase the number of boxes as needed, since the signature box is designed to feed a family of 4 for one week.

I challenge you to give it a try and let me know what you think!

Friday, July 30, 2010

How do you define comfort?

Our littlest guy has found a source of comfort lately...

or this

The best part?  It is always attached and we don't have to look for it in the middle of the night!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Frugal Friday Fun

Fun, cheap, easy things to do with or make for the kids:

Cute Skirt to make in a Snap - we made two, one for each girl

Play Dough made with Kool-aid - we are doing this today for the littles

Family Fun Summer Craft Ideas - lots of great ideas

Have a fun, frugal Friday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mmmm - cucumbers

Here is a recipe we have been using to enjoy our bounty of cukes.  Enjoy!

Marinated Cucumbers

6 - 8 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar or splenda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

Combine the cucumbers and onion in a bowl.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Pour over cucumbers and onion.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.  This makes around 12 servings.

I usually slice up a few more cucumbers and add to the dressing still in the bowl as we eat what is already marinated.  We enjoy this version better than those with celery and mustard seed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Maybe I do have a green thumb?!

We have a joke in our family about my "black" thumb. 

You see...

I tend to kill plants. 

This year I have already killed the following:

a hydrangea (I was still pregnant - too distracted to keep it watered)
two purple fountain grass
half a flat of pink petunias (like I thought I would actually plant them before Carson was born?)
carrots (I got tired of waiting for them and pulled all the sprouts out)
two hanging planters of purple and fuschia petunias

So imagine how surprised I am that my garden is actually flourishing!  The 2 raised beds were my Mother's Day present.  Maybe it is all of the love that went into them that is producing all this bounty?!  Here is what we have growing in three raised beds:

1 yellow squash plant
1 bell pepper plant
1 jalapeno plant
1 banana pepper plant
2 cucumber plants
1 basil plant
1 roma tomato plant
1 cherry tomato plant
1 grape tomato plant
1 better boy tomato plant
2 "clearance" tomato plants from Lowe's - not really sure what they are!

The best thing - I have been able to pick something almost everyday for the last 2-3 weeks.

Today I picked our first yellow pear tomato, 2 grape tomatoes, 4 cucumbers and 2 jalapeno's.  It has been great to serve my family something I grew!  And guess what - they are surprised to be eating from the garden!

Oh - do I have dreams for next years garden...I see more raised beds...more plants...more bounty...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

National Ice Cream Day

Opened my email this morning and had a great surprise - it's National Ice Cream Day!  Thanks Cold Stone Creamery for giving me a reason to get up and get going today!

Monday, July 12, 2010

In the Good Ole Summertime

I can't believe how fast the summer is flying by!  I guess having a newborn and being sleep deprived will do that to a mom.  Here are a few memorable moments from the first half of our summer.  Enjoy!

Rick's 50th Birthday

Celebrating Riley (and Rick's) birthdays

Father's Day

And a fantastic family reunion

where the kids had a blast in Aunt Katie and Uncle Lin's pool.  What a great time!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Things that make me SMILE

My hubby, Rick...

My kids...

Carson - 2 months
Ross - 11
Lily - 6
Haley - 10
Bryce - 4

and tons of things I don't have pictures of:

cucumbers and yellow squash from my garden
the bunny that likes to escape the heat in my cucumber plants
sidewalk chalk drawing on my driveway
flavored creamer in my coffee
homemade ice cream
rain when the sun is shining
butterfly kisses from my 4 year old son
warm cookies
hand made cards from my kids
clearance plants that are blooming like crazy
a phone call from a friend
nuzzle from my cat, Pearl

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th!  We started our celebrating last evening with phenomenal fireworks at the park behind our church.  Today we will celebrate our freedom at church and then have a delicious barbecue at my parents this afternoon.  Here is the menu:  Stuffed Burgers, Hot Dogs, Cole Slaw, Tomatoes w/ Mozzarella and Basil, Grilled Yellow Squash, Homemade Mac and Cheese, Chips and to top it all off Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.  Yum!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today I feel like a failure.  The baby is out of sorts, the 4 year old is sunburned and cranky, the 6 year old is bossy and not listening.  The 10 year old is mad that everyone gets to do stuff she never gets to do and the 11 year old has been caught lying.  *sigh*

Although I would love to crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head, I know that will not solve a thing.  Neither would yelling, screaming or (me) throwing a tantrum.  Today I understand why some mothers in the wild eat their young.

I am repeating the mantra "this too shall pass" - and very quickly I know.  Soon I won't have 5 kids under foot.  Soon their dad and I won't be the most important people in their lives.  Soon.

So for now I will take a deep breath, and forget about the laundry that didn't make it upstairs yet or the dishwasher that got loaded but not started.  I will save until later the basket of toys I wanted to sort through and I will gather the kids around me and enjoy the chaos.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Quick and easy Banana Bread

This is my favorite recipe for banana bread.  It is so quick and easy and versatile.  Try it and let me know what you think!

Cake Mix Banana Bread

3-5 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup vegetable oil OR applesauce
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pkg yellow cake mix (18.5 ounce)
Optional:  chopped nuts, chocolate chips, coconut - 1/2 to 1 cup depending on your preference

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease bundt pan.  Mix the mashed bananas, oil (or applesauce), eggs and vanilla.  Add cake mix and stir thoroughly - batter will be thick.  Spoon into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack.  Let cool completely.

This recipe can also be made in 2 8" loaf pans or in 18 muffin tins.  Bake time for loaves is approximately 30 minutes and muffins approximately 20 minutes.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love is...

Love is watching your 4 year old take the hand of your family's special needs friend and hearing him say "I love you Mr. Rob."
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my husband, Rick. My words are simple - Thank you for loving me and creating this family together. We have been blessed with five wonderful (although at times ornery) kids and millions of memories. Thank you for allowing me to stay home and raise our family. Thank you for the example you are to our kids. I love you!

Happy Father's Day to my dad, Bill. I have ALWAYS been a "Daddy's Girl" and probably always will be. Thanks Dad for putting up with me all these years - I know it hasn't always been easy, but you have been there for me! I love you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot!

It was quite a hot one here today in Missouri - heat indexes over 100 degrees! The kids needed to cool off so out came the baby pool, the sprinkler and the ice pops! I love these moments - where there is no bickering or fighting - just loving and sharing.


Here it is - my first post on my first blog. Hurray - I finally did it.