Thursday, July 29, 2010

Enter to Win @ Wisp Clips

Winning.  It's such a victorious word.  The best feeling aside from all of your laundry being complete and put away.  Well, today (through Monday) you can enter to win a Set of 3 Wisp Clips!  Head on over to Wisp Clip's blog to enter.  Good luck!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Desperate Times... for desperate measures. 

It's been hot here.  If you'd like to do anything outdoors that doesn't involve water, then you should get it done from the crack of dawn until 8:00am.  That's the only bearable time frame for the day.  That's it.  Since we're still in our pj's at 8:00am, our outside time involves water.

If your a mom, then you know there's only so much sprinkler time you can have before the fights start over who's standing where, and who gets shot in the mouth with the water.  So we pulled out the pudding today.  The kids each got something to stir with and went to town.  Then they got to do whatever they wanted with the finished product.  Here's what they chose to do...
Sorry Chunky Monkey!  I couldn't resist. 
 It was the perfect crack shot, and your mom
gave me permission to share.
Yes, I will use it to show your girlfriends.

I would like to draw your attention to the picture of just Little Miss and Chunky Monkey.  Little Miss is two weeks older than Chunky Monkey, but she looks so tiny next to him.  I really can't believe they will two in October.  Time goes too fast.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Here's a great salad that will WOW your guests!  The best part?  Are you ready?  This salad can be made in 5 minutes.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I know, you're welcome.  I accept cash or checks for gratitude.  What's that?  Oh, you spell million, m-i-l-l-i-o-n.
1 bunch fresh spinach stemmed
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 cup pecan or walnut pieces

Poppy Seed Dressing
(this makes enough for two salads)
1 cup canola oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated onion
1 tsp dry mustard
3 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • Mix spinach, strawberries, and pecans/walnuts in a bowl.
  • Mix dressing ingredients.
  • Pour over sald just before serving.
You didn't break a sweat did you? 

On a more personal note, I have a picture for you.  This is  You can find me in this exact position Monday through Friday between the hours of 4:30pm to 5:15pm.  It's dinner preparation time.  The only thing different is I left the camera on the counter, and a three year old (who will remain nameless) found my camera and was snapping away.  I had about fifty to sixty pictures to delete after his little escapade was over.  However, I'm happy to have this memory.  Not of me, but of what some nameless little boy was doing on this day

Happy Cooking!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Monday

Good morning faithful readers!  I'm hoping to start providing my menu to you on Mondays.  Let's really emphasize on the word hoping.  Like really, really, really emphasize.  In a perfect world, a menu will be up every Monday with these beautiful links attached and you will have a whole new outlook on your cooking life.  But, let's be real.  We're talking about MY life.  My crazy, wacky, weird life.  With all that said, here's my menu for this week...

Monday-Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole and Honey Butter Bread (I told you I love it, didn't I?)

Tuesday-Broiled Tilapia, Grilled Peppers, Garden Salad (and brownies...a girl's gotta eat some sweets!)

Wednesday-Grilled Pork Chops with Rub, Twice Baked Potato (anger style), Corn

Thursday-Breakfast for Dinner!!!

Friday-Mexican Casserole and Guacamole (recipe to come later)

Saturday-BBQ Jack Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Garden Salad

Sunday-Sweet Taco Salad (recipe to come later), Corn Succotash

Happy Cooking!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Praise God

About two months ago, I wrote in my prayer journal for an opportunity for more income.  Shortly after I believed God for this, I got the idea for Wisp Clips.  Wisp Clips has been going very well, and I'm working on more and more designs.  But that's not the cool part.  I specifically prayed for that income so Little Man and Little Miss can be apart of more activities.  Just today, I was offered a little job to teach two gymnastic classes.  One for 5/6 year olds, and a basic tumbling for 7 & up.  Not only is this a paid job, but Little Man and Little Miss get to attend for free.  I am very excited for this season.  God has always taken care of our needs.  He keeps His promises.  He blesses us. 

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of you heart.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Help and The Glass Castle

This book is a must read.  I can't even possibly begin to put into words how much I loved this book.  Kathryn Stockett stayed true to the times throughout the entire book.  You'll grow to love some characters and down right despise others.  A book about defeat and victory, love and hate, friendship and enemies, and above all else a snapshot of history (even though it's a fictional book) in Jackson, MS.  Find time and READ this book.

The Glass Castle is another good read.  There is no way I can put it in the same category as The Help, but it's still good.  In all honesty, I'm having difficulty reading this one for long periods of time.  Not because it isn't a good read, but it's just sad.  A memoir of a little girl and her family.  It makes me think of way too many students I have taught in public schools.  So many of her stories she tells remind me of one student in particular.  I can get about two chapters in, before I tear up and have to put the book down.  So this one comes with a disclaimer.  If you are ultra-sensitive to the happenings of children, be aware. It will be a good, but difficult read.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's on My Menu

Okay, I realize I'm a little late on this given it's already Wednesday, but...never mind...I have no excuse.  I should really start compiling a list of excuses so I'll have them readily available should this situation arise again.  You know like..

Excuse #1,268-Your husband became irate at the choices on the menu and tore it to teeny tiny shreds.  It has taken you two days just to get it taped back together. 


Excuse #2 My dog at my menu.

Both pretty plausible if you ask me.  But, then again, I'm crazy.  Totally disregard any excuses I've listed.  You will only find yourself in more trouble.

Now onto the menu...

Monday (too little, too late)-Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken, Easy Green Bean Casserole, and Honey Butter Bread.

Tuesday (still late)-Chicken Pineapple Quesadillas, Trees and Raisins (fresh broccoli salad)

Wednesday (whew! caught up)-Turkey Veggie Spaghetti, Italian Bread, Spinach Salad

Thursday (really, I'm eating at my mama's house, but I don't want to leave you hangin')- Shish Kabobs, Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin, and a yummy salad a friend brought over (love you Melinda!).  Dessert too...Kupcakes! (thanks Kristi!)

Friday-Meat Loaf Miniatures, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn

Saturday- Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, Restaurant Style Salsa

Sunday-Bacon Chicken Roll-Ups, Spinach Strawberry Salad, Sliced Sweet Potatoes (scroll down on this post to see recipe)

If, for any reason, you are questioned where you received these recipes, you may use the following...

"What?  You don't think I can cook?  I'm hurt."

Then you will sulk off to your room, close the door, and smile.  You've just earned yourself some leverage!

Happy Cooking!!!

{In no way, shape, or form do I suggest you take any advice from this blog.  It will be a huge detriment to your many brain cells.  In fact, you should just stop reading now.  Save yourself.  It's already too late for me.}

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blog for My Clippies

Recently, I created a blog for Wisp Clips.  Head on over and become a follower.  After 10 followers, I'll do a giveaway.  Right now I have just a few selections, but more coming very soon!  I'm waiting on an order for more clippies.  Quite a few orders came in last week (plus a visit from my niece) cleared me out!  I promise I won't do the giveaway until you have multiple choices for you to choose from.  Be sure to tell your family and friends so we can hit the TEN mark soon!!!

Also, Wisp Clips can be found on Etsy

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Break Up With You

I've been unfaithful.  Unfaithful to my blog.  It might lead to a break up situation, in which I would use the infamous lines, "It's not you.  It's me.  Things are just, well, different."  And that's the honest to goodness truth.  Things have been different.  For one, I only had my own two kids this week.  No Chunky Monkey. We did a lot of swimming.  And eating.  And swimming. And errands I'd been putting off.  And swimming. 

{Little Miss, who refuses to wear any floatation device, figured out how to use the noodles}

Now for the real reason why I've had a short break from my blog.  Little Miss decided to take one, one hour nap.  This all of a sudden from her two naps that lasted two hours each.  After I get all my chores done that Steven has left for me for the day, she wakes up.  No bloggy time.  That's the honest to goodness truth.  Except for the part about Steven leaving me chores.  He doesn't do that everyday ;)

I've been trying to convince this pistol of mine that she needs more sleep, but she has been adament about the one short nap.  So adament she rolled around on the floor crying when I used the word nap.  Then she fell asleep. I left her there.  I was not about to wake the beast.

And because I can't neglect my handsome Little Man, who still takes a three hour nap at three years old, here's a little snap with him and Little Miss having lunch...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just One Sip

We keep three types of drinkable liquids in our house.  Water, milk, and apple juice.  I only drink milk with breakfast, cookies, or brownies.  I don't drink apple juice because that's a huge waste of calories.  I'll rather eat an apple.  That leaves me with ONE alternative for the entire day.  Water.  Most days I don't think twice about drinking water.  It's completely refreshing.  I enjoy it, but there are days I feel like an Isrealite just waiting for the manna (or mana, archaically speaking) to fall from the sky.  Like there truly is NO alternative.  Drinking water is my only option. I should be pleased it comes so easily from the door of my freezer.  I'm not.  Instead, I open the fridge and stand there like there's going to be some miraculous change in my beverage selection.  Suddenly, I notice a small green bottle on the bottom shelf.  I have never loved it more.  I know it will make me pucker up like nobody's business, but I have something sweet to throw in.  I grab that little bottle, mix up my concoction, and take a big swig of...

Single Serve Lemonade
(You didn't have your mind in the gutter did you?)

1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 Tbsp Splenda or sugar (if you use sugar, you'll need to heat your water to get the granules to dissolve)

Mix well.  Enjoy.  Make again, because you're offspring just swiped all your wholesome goodness in a glass and drank it.  All of it.  Little stinker!

However, the kids are napping.  That means I have a little bit of freedom to drink without sharing gulps sips, and crack open a good book without interruption.  More on good books later this week!!!

Happy Cooking  Beveraging!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cute as a Button Collection

Yet another style from Wisp Clips...the Cute as a Button Collection.
These are by far my favorites, and match so much of what's hanging in Little Miss' closet.
You can get yours for your little lady for $8 or $2 individually.

Other Wisp Clips Collections available are...

Basic Collection $5
Individually $1.25

Bright Flower Collection $5
Individually $2

Don't see something you like? 
Let me know, I might just be able to put something together for you!

Happy Clipping!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Down In the Trenches

I think we all have THAT day.  The day that you're just down.  Down so low you really can't see the light of day.  Down so low you think, "How am I going to get out of this?"  I deal with this at least three times a day, and it all spawns from the same act.  Even though I know it's going to happen everyday at least once from Little Miss, Chunky Monkey, and Little Man I still can't figure out how to cope.  I've tried multiple strategies, and yet there is no relief.  No solution. No hope.  It's difficult for me to cope with, but right now it has become a reality yet again because Little Man is dragging me back in that trench... "Mooooommm, come wipe my booty!  I'm donnnnne!"

You would think that after changing multiple diapers and wiping multiple booties, that I would be used to it.  Consequently, it only leaves me wondering why God did not make little kids with longer arms so they could wipe their own booties.  A question, I'm sure will be on my Top 10 List once I get to Heaven.  No, not really.  Okay, possibly.  For sure, yes.

{Even in the early stages of potty training, I wondered about the arm thing. 
I am seeking couseling.  Right after I book that appointment for Anger Management}

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Twice Baked Potato and Anger Management

Last night we had twice baked potatoes.  Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. I baked the potatoes, cut them in half, waited for them to cool a little, and then scooped out the soft middle.  That's when it hit the fan.  The peel to the first potato ripped.  A rational person would have patched it back together, but not I.  Potatoes started flying, along with screaming, kicking, and crying.  I mashed those suckers getting out all my aggression.  When I came to my senses, I realized I still had to cook dinner.  With tail tucked, I threw in some sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, butter, and because there's just not enough recipes with french fried onions, I added a dash of french fried onions. Spread it in a pan and baked it like I would twice baked potatoes (@ 350 degrees for 20 minutes).

{Before baking. Last 5 minutes, I topped it with more cheese.  I like to be constipated.}

Then Steven came home and asked, "What's this?"
"Don't ask, Dear.  Don't ask."
And then I dialed the number for Anger Management Anonymous.

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paid Enough?

For the most part, people appreciate the job teachers perform everyday.  A job that they do not want to do, or just couldn't do.  On the other hand, there is a small percentage of people who think teachers are worthless.  Lazy.  Whiny.  Overpaid.  Some of those statements are definitely true.  I have come across a handful of teachers who NEED to find a different profession.  However, the thought that teachers are overpaid (since we don't work summers and breaks) is ludicrous. Who you consider yourself overpaid if this happened to you.

During my fourth year of teaching, I had a special class.  A special class with a few fireballs mixed in.  Two fireballs.  One we'll call Alvin, and the other we'll call Willy. 

Now Alvin was the kind of kid who made you want to invest in super glue.  He never sat down.  In fact, he never stayed still.  Always moving. Always blurting out. Always losing his pencil. The thought of putting super glue in his chair and on his pencil crossed my mind multiple times that year.  Okay, I'll be honest.  It crossed my mind multiple times a day.  Not really wanting to make the nightly news, I had to come up with a different plan.  One, I moved him to the back of the room so he could stand/walk/jump/convulse/ etc. all he wanted as long as he paid attention.  And two, I tied a piece of yarn around his pencil and then tied the other end to the leg of his desk.  Double knotted.  Genius. Pure genius. Ten minutes later. "Uh, Mrs. Torres?  I can't find my pencil."

As for Willy, he was a funny kid.  A funny kid who had good days and bad days. When the good days were good, they were good. I prayed for good days every morning.  I would sit at his desk and pray for good days.  I would pray and pray and pray because the bad days were slap your mama bad. 

The worst of the bad days started because of a haircut.  Willy had super long hair for a boy and his mom finally made him get it cut off.  He didn't like it, so he came to school on a 90 degree day in hoodie.  Hood on. After the morning bell rang, I asked him to take it off.  Didn't happen.  Asked again.  Didn't happen.  Prayed for some patience, and cooperation on his part and asked again.  Apparently Willy was not listening to the angels that day.  The next thing I knew, a backpack was flying across the room along with some profanities that could rival a sailor, and a desk that was now laying at my feet.  Some of the kids even took cover under their desks.  To be honest, I wanted to take a fetal position.  The words, "Welcome to Walmart.  Is that a return?" came to mind. Surely, I could do something else for the money, but teachers are paid really, really well.  Right?

Disclaimer- I absolutely loved my job as a teacher and would not ever trade any of the experiences I had or the children.  Each child is special, and had unique qualities. Some more than others. ;)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Expired Coupons

If you've read this blog for any period of time, you know I hate being wasteful.  Loathe it. However, throwing away coupons doesn't really bother me.  Or, shall I say 'didn't' really bother me.  I recently discovered that active military personnel can use coupons six months after expiration dates.  So here's a great way to help others, that doesn't cost much (just standard postage), and doesn't take any time at all. Go here to learn all about it!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Ring of Fire

If you haven't seen Finding Nemo, you won't truly get the full effect of the title.  So we'll just move on.  Today, we're talking about volcanos.  You know, the things that explode.  Yep, every boy's dream.  I was perusing other blogs this morning and found an activity I used to do with my fourth graders every year. I never really thought to do it with Little Man until I saw another mom post about the activity she did with her son that is also three. 

Here's what you'll need...

I didn't want to take the time to make homemade play-doh, but this is my favorite recipe. 

First, cut out a hole on the bottom of the dixie cup.  This is called the Vent.  Then squish the play dough all aroung the dixie cup until it looks similar to a volcano (or until your 3 year old is tired of doing it).  Next up, pour about 4-5 Tbsps of baking soda into the bottom of the cup.  Where the baking soda collects at the bottom is representative of the Magma Chamber.

Then slowly pour the vinegar into the vent.  EXPLOSION! 

What comes out is called Lava.  When it's inside the volcano, it's called Magma.  If you have older kids, I would suggest skipping the play dough and doing a paper mache instead.  You can use a larger plastic cup and cut tiny holes in the sides.  Attach straws to the holes in the sides to represent Side Vents.  This is more indicative of true volcanos.  This was always a favorite in my class.  You can go here to learn more about parts of a volcano, and volcano facts.
Happy Learning!