Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Break

I love when the kids are off from school . . .
no rushing in the morning,
getting to do fun things,
and just enjoying hanging out.
We did a lot of that this week.
Sunday I got in the car around 1:30 pm and my cup of ice water from yesterday still had ice in it.

The kids and I were going to meet up with my cousin and 2 of his kids who were in town.

Payton loved Sierra. (Yes, that is an older gentleman photo bombing our picture. He was a crack up!)
Dylan loved that Austin let him play games on his phone.
Me, Austin, Kevin (my cousin), & Sierra.
Austin goes to Belmont here in Nashville and Sierra and her dad were out looking at colleges.
So fun to catch up with family!
Monday was a stay in your jammies all day kind of day.  It was cold.
The kids made a "thankful for" banner while Rylan was napping.

And later it started snowing!

We started a new tradition.  When it snows, we drink hot coco.  Sounds like a great idea, right?
Unfortunately the snow melted just as soon as it hit the ground but it was still fun.
Tuesday Chris and I had to get our TN drivers licenses.
We arrived 20 minutes before it opened and had to wait outside in the freezing cold.

Did I mention it was snowing just yesterday?
I love finding random screen shots of when the kids FaceTimed with family.

I made Peppermint Mocha Steamers.

The kids really liked them!
Wednesday we went to the library and got library cards.  {Woot woot!}
Dylan got a new book.

And finished it in 4 days.  Crazy kid.
I wanted to bake again, so I made Mini Pecan Pies for Thanksgiving.

Dylan is SUCH a sweet boy.  It was 28 degrees outside and he offered to run and get the mail while I sat in the toasty warm car.

I love that kid.
Thursday morning we woke up early and headed to Georgia to spend Thanksgiving with Papa & Sasha.
God blessed us with an amazing sunrise. It was stunning.

Chris has worked a lot.  A whole lot.
He was worn out and had a bit of food poisoning (we think).
So as soon as we got to Papa & Sasha's he did this:

The Thanksgiving meal was oh so yummy {thanks Craig!} and went by WAY too fast.
All I did was make sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole.

And yes, my kids stayed in their jammies for the Thanksgiving meal.
Afterwards, I got to take a nap with this cuddlebug.

Then after {almost} everyone slept, we got to eat this:

Half pumpkin and have caramel apple cheesecake from Tamara.
Seriously yum.  If you are close to Alpharetta, GA, go and order one NOW.  I heard she has a peppermint one for the Christmas season.
Rylan started doing the funniest thing.

Yes, I snorted.  Embarrassing, I know.
Friday I got to sit out on the front porch and rock Ry to sleep, just like I did when I was pregnant and he was a newborn.


She makes me smile . . . big time.
Payton "drew" this on Sasha's iPad.
Its a cardinal {her school's mascot}.
Saturday we went to lunch at our favorite pizza place, Brooklyn Joe's, and then headed back home.
We planned it perfect because Rylan crashed out quickly.
The drive home was pretty.  Here's Nickajack Lake.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the granite walls.
When we got back into town we made a quick stop to pick up our tree.

Yea!  CHRISTmas is here!!!

Why yes, snacks DO taste better when you are sitting in a basket of dirty laundry!

What I Ate...

Sunday - Confetti Pasta Salad
Sourdough Roll with Butter

Monday - Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
Roasted Vegetables

Tuesday - Nachos
Salad with a not so good homemade dressing...yuk!

Wednesday - Chipotle Steak Taco

Thursday - Traditional Thanksgiving Meal
Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Roll with Butter

Friday - Thanksgiving Leftovers {not pictured}

Saturday - Fancy Chicken Salad Sandwich

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles {recipe}

Well, hello there yummy goodness . . . How come we have never met before now?

Thank you The Mother Huddle for introducing me to such yumminess.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
2 eggs

½ cup canned pumpkin
 cup vegetable oil
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup mini chocolate chips 

1.  In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
2.  Add in milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla and whisk together until all ingredients are incorporated.
3.  Stir in chocolate chips.
4.  Cook according to waffle iron instructions.

Tips: Don't forget to spray the waffle iron lightly with cooking spray between each waffle.
I used about ¾ cup of batter for each waffle which made 7 waffles.
The Mother Huddle suggests some yummy sounding syrups to go with it. We just ate ours with a little bit of butter on them.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Our Week

Fall really is beautiful here in Nashville.
Gigi sent the kids chocolate covered crickets.
They were brave enough to try them and join the "I Ate A Bug Club"!

Walking to the school bus.
 Waiting for the school bus.

First class at his new martial arts school.

The Naked Buzz Lightyear.

I love these moments.  They are getting fewer so I am cherishing each one.

Crazy boy.

Farmers Market on a really cold day.
{We walked really fast through it!}

The same day we went to Bass Pro Shops.

Their Christmas decorations were already set up.

And of course they have deer everywhere.
{Easy Fit Jeans for $29.99 anyone?}
Payton brought me this note:
"Dear Principal.  Rilan has been bad very bad."
Did I mention it was cold outside?  What's the best thing to do when it is cold outside?
Bake Payton's Butter Yellow Cupcakes with Peppermint Mocha Frosting of course!

The cupcakes were just a mix but the frosting . . . it was fantastic.
Know what made it fantastic?
International Delight Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer.
Yes.  Seriously.
I followed the frosting recipe from {here}.
Brothers.  Such a special bond.
Can you believe Thanksgiving is THIS Thursday?

What I Ate...

Monday - Taco Salad

Tuesday - Orange Chicken
Stir-fry Veggies with Noodles

Wednesday - Adobo Chicken
Red Rice

Thursday - Enchilasagna
Garden Salad, Blue Cheese & Balsamic Dressing

Friday - Jamie's Minestrone
Sourdough Roll with Butter

Saturday - {Leftovers}  Jamie's Minestrone 
Garden Salad, Blue Cheese & Balsamic Dressing

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nineteen Months

This month has been a BIG month for you buddy.
You climb out of (and in) your crib now with ease, so nap/bed time has been a little more challenging. {And we were just getting into a nice routine!}
And you can open doors. {Good times.}

On the 18th you asked {with motions and gestures} to go pee-pee on the potty.  I was happy to oblige and was shocked when you actually went and even went poo-poo too!  You keep asking to go every so often and I take you right when you wake up and when I change your diaper.  Maybe you will get the hang of it quickly!

You have 10 teeth now.  Both your bottom molars came in this month.

Dum Dum Lollipops or "Pop" as you call them are your and my new best friends.  {I'm not above bribing you, obviously.  Hence the bottom right photo.}

You say new words like "What's that?", "Elmo" {your OBSESSED with all things Elmo}, "Packpack" (backpack), "Dat" (That), "Ap-a-ta" (apple).

You put 2 words together, "Mama, (eat)" eat was signed.

You like to Shake it to the Left and Right.
You made a new sign for your binky.
You give out kisses all on your own {melt}.
You learned how to give a "thumbs up"!
You've been pretty busy learning and doing new things!
I love you big 19 month old!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


This is a family favorite recipe that I have been making for years.
I've been making it so long, in fact, that I don't remember where the recipe came from.
I have it titled "Child of Chicken Enchilasagna" . . . and we just call it Enchilasagna.
I tried too look it up on-line and this recipe is the closest one I found, but I make mine a little different.
You can omit the chicken and double the black beans and make a yummy vegetarian version of it too.

Serves 8 - 245 calories per serving

28 ounce can Green Enchilada Sauce
1 cup Salsa (I usually use Pace mild or medium)
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
12 Corn Tortillas sliced in half
15 ounce can Black Beans
1-1/2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I usually use Mexican Style Blend)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a medium bowl, mix enchilada sauce and salsa.  Set aside.
3.  Cook and shred the chicken breasts.  Place back into the pan and season with cumin and garlic powder.  Add about 1 cup of the sauce/salsa mixture and stir.
4.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
5.  Pour about 3/4 cup sauce/salsa mixture in the bottom of the pan, just to cover.
6.  Layer tortillas, chicken, beans, cheese, sauce/salsa mixture and repeat ending with the cheese.
7.  Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes or until, bubbly and the cheese is golden brown on top.
8.  Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Pretty easy and yummy for only 245 calories per serving!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I'm a yeller.
I hate to admit it.  I hate when I do it.
I don't want to be a yeller.
{Romans 7:15 - For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Paul gets me.}

It's a struggle that I have been dealing with for awhile.
I'm good for a bit and then it creeps back up again.
Tonight I read this awesome {and so convicting} post from Hands Free Mama.
I have been relying on my own strength instead of the Lord's strength, again.
I can't do it on my own.  I need him to change me.
Good thing he is a God full of grace and his mercies are new every morning.

Ephesians 3:20-21 - Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Weekend With Papa & Sasha Here

Papa really wanted to eat at Chuy's again, so they came up for the weekend.
{I'm sure Chuy's was the ONLY reason he wanted to come up here [insert sarcasm]!}
We got to Chuy's on Friday night at 6pm.  It was packed and we had a 45 minute wait.
Chris was brilliant though.  We sat in the car and let the kids watch a video until our table was ready.

Genius I tell ya!
You know what else is brilliant?
The kids meals at Chuy's come with push-pop sherbets.

Saturday morning we got Dylan's hair cut.

Then went to the mall, where Payton asked me to take a picture of her.

Then she did this:

Woah!  Slow down there little lady!
{Where do they learn this stuff?}
Ry got to try on the most adorable hat.

And that night he got to fall asleep in Bruce Willis' his daddy's arms.

Sunday morning, we went driving.  We went looking for areas to convince Papa and Sasha to move up here.
Here's me and the kiddos in the back seat all happy at the beginning.

Unfortunately the car ride didn't END that way.
I'm glad no one took a picture of my ticked-off scowl . . . {yes, I need to continue working on that!}
After Papa and Sasha left to go back to Georgia, we just hung out.
Rylan was playing in his room so nicely and very quiet.
Chris went to check on him.

That kid is fearless I tell ya!
Later he walked into our buffet and practically knocked himself out.

He is such a bruiser!