If you are afraid of heights, you really need to skip over this post!
When I was little, you couldn't keep me right side up or on the ground. I loved heights, and still do. The rush. The thrill. My heart in my throat. I love it all. Now that I'm a mom, I see these traits in Little Miss. It's a little eerie. Okay, it's a lot eerie. So when her daddy does this...
...it brings back memories. I'm not afraid for her, she loves it. Her daddy would never cause her any harm. To be honest, it really doesn't look that high in person, but it's pretty amazing in pictures. I love that she does not have a spirit of fear. She's fearless. Just how we prayed for our children.
I just love this one. Her little fingers spread out. The squeal of excitement. I love everything about it.
This is THE week. The week Little Miss and I are left to fend for ourselves. The week I have been dreading. At least I'm getting closer to it being over. Now that sounds bad. I am truly grateful to have alone time with LIttle Miss. I'm gratful that Little Man and the men in his life will be able to have some quality time together, but that doesn't help the hole in my heart. I just love them. A lot.
On a totally unrelated note, Steven is setting his alarm as I'm typing this. The Black Eyed Peas' "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night" comes on. He just said to me, "Now this would be a good song to wake up to." Really? And I'm considered the weirdo in the relationship. Go figure. Enough of real time.
Since the boys will be gone Thursday through Sunday, I only have a menu for Monday through Wednesday. Little Mama and I plan on mooching off family. They don't know it yet. Heck, it might even be you. I'm just sayin' don't be surprised if your doorbell rings at dinner time.
MENU: Monday- Fish Tacos, Pico De Gallo, and Mexicorn Tuesday-Spinach Stuffing Stuffed Chicken Breast (that's a lot of 'stuff'), Loaded Baked Potatoes, Steamed Veggies Wednesday-Monterey Chicken, Cheesy Broccoli Hashbrown Bake
On a side note, I need your help! Not for my mental stability, but for your favorite recipes!!! So next time you're cooking up your favorite dish, take some pics and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I need some guests blog posts people so don't be shy!
We don't have a regular 'school' time around here, but we do educational things everyday. I really try to not push a concentrated learning time. I feel they are young and have a lot to learn through experiences they come across. However, it has come time that Little Man is showing interest when I pull out the alphabet letters. I've tried multiple times before, and he didn't want anything to do with my 'games'. No biggie, we just worked on something else or played. Now that he's ready, I'm super excited and he's doing very well. Here's a little glimpse at his letter cards...
If you're curious as to why there are little smiley face stickers on the index letter cards, it's to show Little Man which way the letter goes. The smiley face is always at the top.
After he's got quite a few of the letters down, we're going on a Letter Safari. Hunting for the hidden letters around the house and capturing them.
In a couple of weeks, two thirds of my heart will be ripped out and taken 600+ miles away. I'm not handling this very well. There have been tears. Quite a few tears. I have no idea what I'll do when Little Man goes off to college. Well, I do have one idea that involves his other bunk bed. He likes the idea now, but I'm sure he'll change his mind. I mean, who wants to have their mom sleeping on the top bunk?
Back to my heart being ripped out...
A while back Steven and his brother decided to go see their cousin play football for his senior year. Steven and I don't do well apart. Mainly because we spent 4 years away from each other in college. We feel we've put in our time. I completely understood why he wanted to go, but I was sad. Then he added the next layer...he not only wanted to go, but he wanted to take Little Man so he wouldn't get homesick. Say WHAT??? Essentially 2 out of my 3 closest loves will be gone for three nights and four days. I am trying to look on the bright side. This will be a great memory for Little Man and Steven. Their first boys' only trip complete with his daddy, Uncle Ne, Chunky Monkey, and Papi. He'll have a blast. I, on the other hand, will have to survive at home with Little Miss. Our survival will heavily rely on shopping sprees and pedicures. That's just how we girls handle difficult situations.
Consquently, I don't think the boys will miss me too much. I'm pretty much chopped liver to Little Man when Daddy's home. They have way too much fun together!
If you have read this blog for any period of time, you know I have a crush on The Pioneer Woman. I love her wittiness. Her food. Her life story. Everything about what she shares about herself. So this week is dedicated to all the wonderful deliciousness created by Ree Drummond.
Just for the record, my fingers STILL smell like garlic this morning. Do you know what it feels like to wake up and wonder, "Why does it smell like garlic in here?" Only to realize you only smell garlic when your hands are near your face. Then you smell your fingers to realize you never rinsed them with lemon juice to help with the stinch. So, me and my stinky fingers are typing this post for you. So your fingers can smell like garlic. So you too can have some yummy Roasted Garlic with EVOO and seasonings. You can thank me later. Not for your stinky fingers, but for the dip.
Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp Baslamic Vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
Salt to taste
Take about a Tbsp of the evoo, and heat it in a sauce pan (doesn't take long).
Add minced garlic to pan. After about a minute, stir constantly to prevent burning. Allow the garlic to become golden, but not brown.
Pour out contents of a pan on a paper towel and allow the garlic to 'dry' out.
While garlic is 'drying', pour the remaining evoo onto a small plate. Add Baslamic Vinegar and gently blend in with a fork.
Add garlic and seasonings.
Serve with toasted bread. (I used French Bread toasted in the oven @ 400 degrees for 5 min.
I would have taken a picture, but one taste led to another. You know how that goes. Maybe next time. Maybe.
I've had two hard lessons since becoming a stay at home. Lesson #1 Pay Attention to Persistent Giggling, and more recently, Lesson #2 Be Afraid of Silence. Silence has always made me a little uneasy when it comes to kids. It usually means they are up to no good. Nonetheless, I've come to trust Little Miss in silence. She often goes off by herself to play. She's a bit of a loner. Well, a loner who is physically attached to her mother. Anyway, today she pulled a fast one on me. Hence, Lesson #2...
It's Sunday night as I'm typing this out. It's the end of the weekend. Normally, I don't loathe Sunday night knowing a new week is upon me. I actually kind of like it. I like looking forward to what will come my way, but it's been one of those weekends. The weekend where you feel like the week just morphed into the next week without a break. I'm tired. Super tired. Too many functions crammed into a short amount of space, and nothing I could do about it. For the first time in a long time, I am concentating the next Friday on the calendar. Until then, I will be cooking and wiping booties. Not necessarily in that order.
Here's my menu...
Monday-Steaks, Fresh Green Beans, Spring Potato Toss Tuesday-Eggplant Parmesan, Psuedo Olive Garden Salad, Toasted Italian Bread with Roasted Garlic Dipping Sauce Wednesday-Homemade Pizza and Garden Salad. I'm attempting to make the crust from scratch... Thursday-Fend for Yourself Night* Friday-Grilled Chicken Quarters with Grilled Zucchinis and Onions (new recipe) Saturday-Smoked Tilapia, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli Salad (Trees and Raisins) Sunday-Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Potato Wedges
*Fend For Yourself Night does not happen very often. In 7 years of marriage, this is the first time it has happened. I always have a plan for dinner. Consequently, Thursday is my night to teach gymnastics. I thought it would be a good learning experience for Steven to prepare a meal from conception to birth...i.e. start to finish. He's not too keen on the idea...
I dislike clutter. I dislike dirty floors. I like organization. I like cleanliness. I have three kids during the week. Two are my own, and the third I like to claim as my own, but he is my nephew. These three kids love clutter. They love dirty floors. They dislike organization. The dislike cleanliness. They are the reason my house looks like this for the majority of the day...
I think it is their daily mission to see how many toys they can pull out and how much food they can fling on the floor. Just look at Chunky Monkey's face. It says it all. He's looking for the next opportunity to throw something. As for Little Man, he's working on crashing into something breakable with his remote control car. And Little Miss over there in the corner? Don't let her fool you. Five minutes before this she was the ring leader. She saw the camera and decided she'd better get her act together. She didn't want any proof that she had been guilty. Typical girl!
But the reality of it all is I would clean up after them no matter what. No matter how many messes. No matter how much food goes on the floor instead of their mouths. No matter how much they are out to get me, I love them to pieces. I wouldn't trade this life for the world.
A lot of people tell me they don't coupon because they like to buy organic. Truth is, I use more coupons for tolietry and household items then I do for food purchases. Here's what I got for a little less than $10 this week.
Three tubes of toothpaste and a deodorant didn't make the pic this time. I already put those suckers away and wasn't about to get them back out. You get the point, so here's the breakdown...$6 went to the coffee and cereal. Both bottles of Lysol totaled $2, and everything else was free with coupons (paying tax was the remainder of the cost). Overall, I saved around $45. I love these kind of shopping trips!!!
If you have little ones and live in my area, the Bartlesville Kiddie Park is a MUST! We recently went with some of our fabulous friends and had a wonderful time. Then again, we could go look at a dump site with the Kueny's and still have a good time...
Anyway, we were there for a little over 2 hours. The kids rode almost every ride in the park and got 2 snow cones and we walked out of there spending only $11!!! Little Man has been asking to go back everyday since. Little Miss has been asking to wear shoes, but that's an entirely different topic for an entirely different day.
There very well could be repeats. A couple nights last week were declared 'Clean Out the Fridge Week'. I had a multitude of tupperwares containing leftovers that needed to go. If eating leftovers disgusts you, I hope you don't throw up reading this. We only had to scrape mold off a few dishes. The rest underneath was fine. Joking. Totally joking. Or am I?
Monday-Italian Grilled Chicken (just mix about 2 Tbsp of Mayo, 1/2 cup of Italian dressing, and 3 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese for a marinade), Garden Salad, Cheesy Bread Tuesday-Soft Tacos, Spanish Rice, Chips and Queso Wednesday-Shish Kabobs, Baked Potatoes, and Cresent Rolls Thursday-Turkey BBQ Meatballs and Homemade Mac N Cheese Friday-Hamburgers and Sweet Potato Fries Saturday-Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken Quarters (for marinade melt 1 stick of butter, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and Mixed Pepper Seasoning), Perfect Au Gratin Potatoes, Spinach Salad Sunday-Who's inviting me over? I am out of ideas for this week, or am I secretly wishing for a date night???
Back in the day. The 'day' being when I was a teacher, I had a little stinker in my class. Not figuratively speaking. Literally speaking. I'm not quite sure what he ate at home, but whatever it was...well, let's not go there. However, this little stinker also had great manners. Always used his please and thank you's. Always held the door open for me, and always announced when to not go near the bathroom. It usually came out like this, "Mrs. Torres, I don't think you should let anyone go in there for a while." However, it didn't really matter, the funk spread quickly. At least he claimed it. That way no one was looking around for the culprit, and we could move on to Social Studies.
I'm not quite sure why I felt the need to share this, but shared I did. Do with it what you will...
This week is going to be entitled..."Go here, go there". Since it's "Go here, go there" week, this menu will be a little sketchy. I highly advise you call up your buds and invite yourself over for dinner. And since you don't want to seem like a big mooch here's a little scenario to help you out (hint: you must call at dinner time)....
"Hey Janie! It's me. How are you?"
"Oh, I've been good. Just cooking dinner."
"Oh yeah? Whatcha having tonight? I need some ideas."
"Nothing special. Just a little prime rib with scalloped potatoes, lemon seasoned green beans, and creme brulee for dessert."
"Wow! That sounds amazing. You are such an amazing person, and an amazing cook. I bet it's delicious. We haven't had good prime rib since, well, since we last ate at your house. It was so delicious. I really enjoyed the last time you had us over."
"Well, would you like to join us tonight?"
"I wouldn't want to impose, but I do love your cooking."
"You wouldn't be imposing. We'd love to have your company."
"In that case, we'd love to come over. Thanks for the invite."
Works like a charm...everytime (sorta) But, just in case have your coupons handy and take your family out to eat. Either way, you'll still be the queen!
MENU Monday-Italian Broiled Salmon with Broiled Zuchinni and Squash Tuesday-Baslamic Bowtie Pasta Salad Wednesday-Grilled BBQ Drumsticks, Corn Casserole, Salad Thursday-Dinner at Dink's Friday-Dinner at my Mama's Saturday-Parmesan Chicken (recipe is for pork chops), Scalloped Potatoes, Fresh Almond Green Beans Sunday-Dinner with Friends