Sunday, May 31, 2009

Slowing Down

It has been the best weekend here. The clouds and humidity have finally disappeared...thank goodness. The sky has been so blue and the sun is shining and it has been just a little taste of summer.

Yesterday I got to relax and get a pedicure and a manicure. I have never really liked pedicures before, but all of a sudden I am liking them now??? They just make my toes look so much better and my feet are so soft afterwards. Plus the girls who have been doing them are really gentle and they don't use that tool that is like pointy scissors and cut the sides of my toes so much that I get scared I am going to get ingrown toenails!

Anyway...I also did a little grocery shopping, changed sheets, and got some laundry done. Then I cooked dinner and took it to my brother, Brent, and his wife Britney. They just had a baby girl about three weeks ago. I took them one of our family's favorite recipes...Chicken And Bacon. It is so super easy and we all love it. Here is the recipe in case you ever want to try it:

Chicken and Bacon

4-6 chicken breasts
1 package bacon
2 pkgs chipped beef
1 small container of sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Spray Pam in a baking dish and line with chipped beef slices. Wrap each piece of chicken in one slice of bacon and place on top of chipped beef. Cover chicken with another layer of chipped beef. Mix mushroom soup and sour cream together and pour over chicken and chipped beef. Bake at 275 for 3 hours. Serve over rice.

This is a great recipe for taking dinner to someone or having company over. We always used to have it for dinner on Christmas Eve!

Here are some pictures of my two sweet nieces...Bailey looked so funny running around in her goggles! Once school is over I want to take her swimming with me one day. :)

And here is sweet thing...little Brooklyn. She was just sleeping like a rock!

Last night it was such a nice night that we decided to grill steaks out. Oh my goodness...I guess it's been a while since we grilled out, but those steaks were DELICIOUS!! It was only Steve and me and Mark at home, but we had a great time sitting on the porch together having dinner.

Mark has been working two lifegaurding jobs since he's been home. He is getting the best tan (he has that naturally dark skin that tans in a flash...I am so jealous!) But being out in the sun all day makes him so hungry. This is where I find him many times a day...standing in front of the refridgerator wondering what there is to eat. I feel like I have locusts in my house...haha. My groceries are disappearing so fast now!

I love having him home!

He is also taking a summer math course online. Good thing he has Ashley to help him...she's a math wiz! And when she's not around, he can always count on our neighbor Kelsey to help out. She is majoring in veterinary medicine at NC State University and is really great at math and science! They sat at the table outside on the porch for over an hour last night doing math problems! :)

Anyway...I needed this weekend so much to get ready to face the next eight school days. I have been so super busy that I really needed a quiet weekend with nothing big on the agenda and this weekend was just that. Now I'm off to read more of my book, My Sister's Keeper. It is really good, but sad!

Hope you had a good weekend, too!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The ABC's Of Me!

I saw this on a blog this week and thought I would try it tonight. I am loving just hanging out at home tonight. My sweet husband went out and got me Thai food and we are just staying home and watching TV and doing nothing. It's perfect.

A - Age: 45...but I think you are as young as you feel!
B - Bed size:'s the perfect size I think! Not too big, not too small.
C - Chore you hate: Laundry!!! And it's NEVER done unfortunately.

Next least favorite is cleaning out the refridgerator. Yuck!
D - Dog's name: Rocky
E - Essential start your day item: Coke...I've got to have one every morning when I get to school! I'm addicted.

F - Favorite color: Pink
G - Gold or Silver or Platinum: I love both gold and silver!
H - Height: 5'2...yep, I'm a shorty.
I - Instruments you play: Piano!
J - Job title: Second grade teacher....and I LOVE it (most of the time)!

K - Kid(s): Ashley (22), Mark (19), and Laura and Lindy (17)
L - Living arrangements: I live with my very busy and loud family...husband and four kids and a dog.
M - Mom's name: This is the craziest name you've ever heard for a woman...her name is Dwain. She hates it. :)
N - Nicknames: Well, Steve calls me "Honey" alot...does that count?
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Never. I've been very healthy!
P - Pet Peeve: Little noises like someone chewing or crunching or something rattling somewhere in the car, but I can't figure out where....drives me CRAZY! Next is a dirty house.
Q - Quote from a movie: I can't really quote any movies, but Mark is really good at it. I think he has the whole Tommy Boy script memorized and he makes me laugh so hard when he does it. :)

R - Right handed or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: 2 brothers...and now two sisters through marriage! :)
T - Time you wake up: This is very unfortunate, but I get up at 5:20. Uuuggghhhh!! But that will be changing in about 10 days!!
U- Underwear: Yes
V - Vegetable you dislike: I have seriously never met a vegetable I didn't like!
W - Ways you run late: Pushing the snooze button one too many times.

X - X-rays you've had: teeth, arm
Y - Yummy food you make: I think my family would consider me a pretty good cook so hopefully most of what I make is yummy! I know Mark and Lindy really like my mashed potatoes!
Z - Zoo favorite: I am not a big fan of the zoo for some reason. But I think the gorillas and monkeys are fascinating to watch. They are so human!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day By Day

I knew May was going to be busy, and yet somehow I'm never prepared for just how crazy it can get. I'm just taking it day by day right now and trying to get through the next two weeks. School is officially out on June 10th, then Laura and Lindy graduate on June 12th. I am hosting a little family & friends party for them on the 14th, then I think that will be the end of all the celebrating and awarding and commemorating that has been going on now since late April. :) I am not's all really great and so much fun! It's just intense!

This week at school, we finished reading my favorite children's book ever, Charlotte's Web, so I hosted a "County Fair" in my classroom since that is such a big part of the book. The kids could try to win blue ribbons in three categories...homemade goodies, crafts, and since we can't bring in real pets, they could bring in a picture of their pets. We awarded blue ribbons for pet-owner look alikes, cutest pet, funniest pet, etc. They had SO MUCH fun! And we ate like pigs all day. One mom made a strawberry-rhubarb pie which was amazing.

I thought I would share the recipe with you because, believe me, you would have loved it!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

2 cups of strawberries,( a pound of strawberries) hulled and sliced
2 cups of rhubarb, (about 4 stalks) peel off the outer red skin and cut into 1/2 inch slices

Combine strawberries and rhubarb with 1/4 cup tapioca and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

Pour mixture into pie crust, remember to slit crust for steam escape. Bake at 400 for approximately 50 minutes, covering edges of pie crust with foil, so not to burn.

Here are some pictures of our fun day...

Last night was an awards night at Laura and Lindy's high school. I'm telling you...there are so many smart and talented kids at that school. They awarded millions of dollars in scholarship money last night. I felt so proud to sit and look at what is really our future. If anyone says that kids today won't amount to very much, they haven't met these kids! Their future is looking very bright! :)

Laura and her good friend Melissa won awards for their work as editors of the school's literary magazine. I was so proud of them!

I am actually hosting a party/cookout at my house tonight for all the students in Lit Mag and their parents. Thankfully Ashley is home now so it like I have a wife! haha I have always said I needed a wife and with her home it's like I have one! She grocery shopped and cooked and cleaned for me today. Yay for that!!

Tomorrow night there is nothing planned. I am planning on staying home and doing nothing. And I can't wait!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!
I'm sure there is lots of grilling and hanging out with family and friends going on everywhere. Unfortunately, we had to go to school here today to make up a snow day we missed earlier in the year. It is not fun going to school on Memorial Day! :( We all wore red, white, and blue, though, and tried to make the best of it. I had six kids out in my class, though.

We did get to have a little Memorial Day fun yesterday and went next door for a cookout with our neighbors. I didn't take any pictures because I was just enjoying the night and forgot to bring my camera!

Today it has been pouring down rain off and on for most of the day. It is thundering right now and yet the sun is trying to come out!??? Crazy!

I want to keep in mind what this day is really all about even though it hasn't been the traditional Memorial Day for me. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country. I don't take the sacrifices that they have made for us lightly. I am grateful for every life that has been given to keep this country safe!

On a totally different subject, today when I was packing up to leave school, Ashley called me and said, "Guess what?? Restaurant style salsa is BAAAACK!!!" haha She was so excited because we love that kind of Tostidas salsa and it has been AWOL for about the past year. I have no idea why it came back, but I'm glad! I love that kind! It's the little things, right??

She happened to learn this information when she was at the store buying stuff to make Paula Deen's Cream Cheese Pound Cake from one of my Paula cookbooks.

It is in the oven as we speak and smells delicious! I can't wait to give it a try. She bought fresh peaches to put on top. Mmmmm!!

My other little domestic goddess, Laura, decided to make homemade veggie cream cheese this afternoon, too. She added chopped peppers, carrots, and green onion and mixed it all up. Then she brought it to me on a toasted everything bagel and it was so yummy.

Isn't it great to have all these girls in the house??

Tonight is the new season of Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Not sure if I'm going to watch it. I don't really know what I think about that whole situation any more. What do you think?? I DO have my TiVo set to record Glee tomorrow night.

I have heard it's really good, so I thought I would give it a try.

Anyway...I hope you had a great day! Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's The Little Things

I know I say this every week, but I am sooo glad it's Friday! The countdown is totally ON...only 13 more days of school, baby! :) Happy Day!

We have been sick at our house this week. Between Steve, Laura, and Lindy we have had fever, sore throat, sinus infection, croup, and ear infection!! This is such a bad time of year to be sick. Not only is it beautiful outside, but there is so much going on and it is hard to slow down.

Steve and I did get to go on a date tonight which we haven't done in a really long time. We went to dinner and then stopped to get some ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I think I've told you that we both worked there together when we were just 16 and had our first kiss in the big walk in freezer! haha We got our favorite chocolate chip with hot fudge and nuts.

We always used to make that at the end of our shift. When I taste that, it takes me back in time!

We got to sit outside tonight and just enjoy the beautiful night and catch up on life. Isn't it crazy that two people can live in the same house, but be so busy that you don't even get a chance to talk sometimes?? That's been us lately.

But when we finally get a minute, we always have the best time together, even doing simple things like eating ice cream or getting the car washed or sitting on a bench talking. That's what I love about us! :)

We've had some good things going on at our house this week, too. Last night was Laura and Lindy's last chorus concert. It was really good. Their high school has so many talented kids. It was very entertaining and enjoyable. Since Ashley started high school eight years ago, I'm not sure how many chorus concerts we've been to, but it's been ALOT!! I can't believe last night was the last one!

And, Ashley got a job interview today in Greenville, SC!! If you prayed for her, thank you so much!! She should know something by June 8th, so I will keep you posted.

Even though life has been busy lately, there are a few little things that I have been loving...

1-You know I love country music, and I have two new favorite songs. I have heard them on my way to school this week and been singing them all day...

Brad Paisley's song I Thought I Loved You Then which has the sweetest lyrics ever...

and She's Got Whatever It Is by Zac Brown Band which is what I call a "feel good" it!

2-I got a Cinnamon and Sugar Yankee Candle last weekend and have been burning it all week. house smells sooo good!

3-I love smell good stuff and I am addicted to this fabric softener and dryer sheets...

Even when they are still in the grocery bags in the car, they already smell so good!

It doesn't take much to make me happy! Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Teaching, Praying, and Reading

I get really excited about dumb stuff sometimes and today was one of those times. I just so happened to be clicking around the internet trying to get some ideas for making my class even better next year and I went back to a website that I have been to many times that I just love. It is called Mrs. Powell's Management Ideas For Teachers.

Well, I think Mrs. Powell is amazing and that she has great creativity and organization, but little did I know that she is a Christian and has a devotional blog for teachers, too! Yay! It's just fun to me when I really like alot about a person and then I find out that we are on the same page spiritually, too. So, all you teachers out there, I would encourage you to stop by Mrs. Powell's blog for lots of great ideas and a little encouragement to boot!

Could I ask you to please keep Ashley and John in your prayers? They drove to South Carolina today to try and look for a teaching job for Ashley. She went to a job fair earlier this year in a county not too far from Columbia and it seemed like it was a good possibility for her. Today she went to 18 schools and dropped off her resume hoping that she would get to meet some of the principals one-on-one, but not one principal was able to meet with her!! :( Job searching is so hard!

Some of the schools she went to were more in the urban areas, and some were in more rural areas. I had to laugh today, though, because she texted me and said, "I am not lying...I just dropped off my resume with a school secretary who was missing teeth and was wearing men's Levis!"

On another subject, I finally decided that I am determined to read a book. I really love to read, but I never seem to have time to do it. But that is just sad. So, I have started reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

My girls love her and recommended this book. Plus the movie is coming out soon, so that will be fun. Has anyone read it??

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Weekend Is Over Already???

How does Sunday get here so fast? Is the weekend really almost over?? I think it's just that we have so much going on that it goes by in a flash. What did we do this weekend?

*Friday night we went to dinner at On The Border to say goodbye to couple who is moving away. They have been called to a church in Fayetteville, North Carolina to work with the youth there. We are so excited for them! We had a really big group of people and I tried the fish tacos there and they were yummy! :)

When I got home, Ashley and I tried to watch Bride Wars, but I think I fell asleep after about 15 minutes!

I am pitiful on Friday nights. haha I am going to try it again soon one day when I'm not so tired.

*Saturday I did some shopping using a few gift cards I had. I also returned some things that I got for my birthday that didn't fit. It was fun buying a few spring dresses and some sandals. I LOVE Ann Taylor Loft! I got these two dresses that are perfect for dressing up or down and they are soooo comfortable.

*Saturday was a bridal shower for one of my good friend's daughters. She is getting married in June. I can't believe our girls are growing up so fast. I can remember when they were both babies! :)

*Saturday night we had dinner at home. I made cube steak and gravy with rice and vegetables. It was nice having a night together without anywhere to go! My kids had friends over and played Monopoly until really late. Only they played the new electronic banking edition! In this Monopoly, you don't use cash, you use credit cards. Is that crazy or what??

All the neighbors are home from college, so it's like having all my kids back! They love each other.

*Today church was so good. Have you ever heard of cardboard testimonies? Our church is emphasizing "telling your story" and how the most meaningful thing you can really do to share your faith is just to go out and tell what God has done for you. That is what people really want to hear. So today our pastor "told his story"...his testimony. Then about 20 people got up and gave their cardboard testimony. It was so touching and powerful. Here is a clip of what I'm talking about.

*I got alot done this afternoon. I finished Laura and Lindy's graduation invitations. They will go out this week. And I organized our linen closet. Ashley brought home so many blankets and pillows (not to mention all her other stuff) that we couldn't get everything in the closet! We took the weekend to organize our garage and try to fit all her stuff in there and thanks to Steve, that's done, too!
Yay for being able to pull a car into the garage again! :)

Hope you had a good weekend!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby Brooklyn

Today was an exciting day in our family! My brother, Brent, and his wife, Britney, had a sweet little baby girl today! Let me introduce you to Brooklyn Evans Bouldin! Is she not precious??

She weighed 6 lbs. 4 oz. and was 19 inches long. She has a head full of hair and beautiful little cheeks.

She is really just perfect. A few weeks ago, Brent and Britney went to their ultrasound technician to check on the baby's size and he told them that the baby was so small, there was a possibility that she could be a dwarf!?? It was very scary and there was no way to know for sure until she was born because we couldn't get an extended arm and leg measurement while she was so snug and tight in her mommy's tummy.

We have all been praying so hard for Brooklyn to be healthy and normal and, as you can see, she is totally perfect. We are all so thankful to God for giving Brent and Britney such a sweet and beautiful gift!

This afternoon we all went up to the hospital and got there just in time for Brooklyn's "birth"day party complete with a cake and presents.

Bailey was so excited about her little sister and was loving holding her and looking at her. She really wanted to put her in the stroller and push her around. haha They are going to have the best time growing up together.

Here are some pictures of the day. We are so happy for you, Brent, Britney, and Bailey!!