Monday, May 31, 2010

Change Of Plans And A List

I had planned on a sunny day at the pool today and maybe some cooking out on the grill, but instead we woke up to one of the darkest, rainiest Memorial Days I can remember! So... I changed my plans and decided to get caught up on blogging and try to finish a book I'm reading instead!

Today I just have a random list to share....

1-Happy Memorial Day!

I saw this quote today and really liked it. I feel this way, too!

I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did. ~Benjamin Harrison

I hope wherever you are, it is prettier than it is here and you are able to do something fun with your family and friends! But we can all take time today to remember what we are celebrating!!

2-Saturday night we went on a double date with my parents to PF Changs and then we went over to their house for dessert. My mom had made a new recipe that was DE-lish! It was called sopapilla cheesecake and I could have probably have sat there and eaten the whole thing by myself! So I thought I would share it with you. It's made with crescent rolls, so that's all you need to know, right??

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 cans reduced fat crescent rolls
2 8 oz. pkgs 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter (or 1/2 stick)
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9 x 13 pan with Pam. Place 1 pkg. crescent rolls in sprayed pan. Beat cream cheese, sugar (1 1/2 c.) & vanilla till fluffy. Spread over crescent rolls. Place second pkg. crescent rolls over cream cheese. Melt 1 stick of butter and pour over crescent rolls. Mix 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 c. sugar & sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

Can be topped with honey and served cold or warm with ice cream.

3-I am reallly getting sad about the oil spill in the Gulf!

I know God is in control and He will take care of us, but I feel like man's greed and disregard for our responsibility in being good stewards of the earth has just reached a new all-time high. We have to think about our choices and realize that the things we do have long term consequences! Anyway...just praying that God will intervene somehow in this mess.

4-On a lighter note...have you tried these??

We are now officially addicted!! They are so yummy! If you like sweet and salty, you need to pick up a bag of these asap!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Counting Down

The countdown is on. In only 3 weeks, school will be OVER. Can I get an amen?? This last quarter of the year has seemed long to me and I am very ready for a break. And I am sooo excited that we are almost there!! Blogging has kind of taken a backseat lately for me. Hopefully this summer I am going to have much more time to devote to it, but for now, I am just going to hit the high spots...

1-These last few weeks have been really stressful for me at work, so I decided Friday that I needed a mental health day and I took one! And it was so great. I slept in and then Laura and Lindy and I went to one of our favorite little local restaurants called Cajun Yard Dog for lunch. They have the best fried catfish and blackened salmon and gumbo and stuff like that. It was delicious.

Then we went to see Letters To Juliet. I liked it alot. It is a cute "chick flick" and sweet.

This weekend was just what I needed. Feeling a little bit better now!

2-We are spending lots of time outside right now. Steve has been working so hard in the yard and it is really looking great.

He planted a hydrangea for me in our backyard a few weeks ago since it is probably my very favorite flower! It won't be long before it starts blooming. Yay!

I even do my schoolwork outside!

Rocky loves to be with us out on the porch. He thinks he is a person, y'all!

Today Steve and I got to play tennis for the first time in a long time. That was fun!

3-Steve and I went to Lowe's yesterday and I saw this book.

Have you ever seen it? While he was looking all over the store, I had a chance to browse through it and it has the CUTEST ideas!! I need to have a party or something so I can make some of these adorable things.

We recently had a County Fair in my class to celebrate the end of reading Charlotte's Web and one little girl brought these popcorn cupcakes from the book to enter for a blue ribbon.

Aren't they cute?

4-We have been making some fun summer plans. We had thought about going out to California, but that doesn't look like it's going to work out. So, we have decided to go up to the Boston and NYC and Baltimore and maybe Washington.

We will also go to Florida for sure since we love it down there and usually go several times a year.

And Steve and I have our 25th anniversary coming up in August, so we are still debating about what we want to do for that.

What are your summer plans??

I am so jealous of everyone who is already out of school! I am trying to just hang in there and make these last few weeks really fun and positive. I know the end will be here before I know it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Barbeques, Birthdays, and Babies In The Sink

This week was one of those weeks that feels like you are on a rollercoaster ride. Lots of ups and downs. Life gets like that sometimes. So...we'll start with an "up"....

Steve took Laura and Lindy with him to Florida for most of the week on business. They went to Clearwater and Tampa and had fun without me. haha Really, I'm glad they had a good time, but I sure did wish I could have gone! Doesn't this look like fun??

Meanwhile, I stayed here and held down the fort with Mark. This week has been a really hard week for our school system. Due to huge budget cuts, lots of teachers and positions have been cut or moved around. I will tell you more about everything later, but let's just say it's been a really difficult week! So that has been a "downer". But...I am thankful that I have a job and I know God has me where He wants me so I am just trying to stay positive and move forward with an open mind.

Anyway...since no one was here to celebrate Ashley's birthday last Tuesday, we decided to celebrate it last night. We had both sets of grandparents over and grilled out hamburgers. We sat on the porch and had a fun night together. I told Ashley that she is turning 23 and that is how old I was when I had her!

Today we had another birthday party for my neice Brooklyn who just turned 1! She is like a little china doll and was so cute at her party. She loved her cupcakes!! Can you tell? haha

Here are a few other pictures of the party. This is my other sweet neice, Bailey.

My dad with Brooklyn...

Here is Brooklyn with her mommy, Britney...

She was so covered with icing after her cupcakes that we put her in the sink for a bath. Is there anything cuter than a baby in a sink???

And the fun continued tonight! We had another cookout at my next door neighbor's house with three families. We got to sit out on their deck and just relax and visit and it was so nice. I am so thankful for my family and friends. Despite the ups and downs of life, I feel so blessed. God takes care of me and blesses me every day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Going Non-Stop

We have pretty much been going non-stop since Friday! Friday night Ashley asked me to go with her to the mall because Pioneer Woman was going to be there signing her book at Joseph-Beth Bookstore. I had really forgotten about it, but I decided to go along and take my cookbook since I really wanted to meet her! Well...the line was soooo long! We got there at 6:00 and didn't get to see her until around 10:00. We didn't have to actually stand in line the whole time, though. We did a little shopping and got some frozen yogurt and browsed around the mall until it was our turn.

I was so excited to meet P Dub (as she calls herself!). She was so sweet and talkative even though I know her cheeks must have been tired from smiling for so long. I appreciated that! I even got her to sign a cookbook for my mom for Mother's Day!

Here we are....

Saturday we went to a graduation party for our neighbor, Melissa. When we moved into this house in 2000, there were three families living right in a row. There was our family, then next door they had two boys, one a year younger than Ashley (Bobby)and one Mark's age (Michael). Then next to them was two girls...Kelsey (a year older than Mark) and Melissa (a year younger than Laura and Lindy). I know it's confusing, but basically we had stair-steps. So for the past 6 years in a row we have had someone graduating. And Melissa was the last little chick to be flying out of the nest! I feel like she is my own daughter sometimes! We are so happy for her and wish her the best. She is such a sweet girl!

Saturday afternoon, my kids made dinner for me. They ordered out BBQ and then made lots of yummy sides like broccoli salad and banana pudding! I was lazy and just read and took a nap. Saturday night we had Steve's mom and dad over for dinner on the porch.

For Mother's Day, I got some really cute clothes from Ann Taylor Loft and a beautiful hanging plant for my porch and an iTouch! I was so excited about that since I have been wanting one for a while! Steve is so good to me! :)

Sunday we went to church together, which I love. Then we ate lunch at Salsa's. That pretty much put me into a Mexican carb coma and I took another nap on Sunday afternoon!! When I woke up, we headed over to see my mom and give her her Mother's Day present and visit for a while.

It was a really nice Mother's Day. I feel like a mother again since everyone is home from college. Tonight I couldn't find some of my makeup so I went to look in Laura and Lindy's room. I think a makeup bomb went off in there! haha

And you know you're a mother back on duty when the laundry is stacked to the ceiling again! But it's all worth it. :) I am so blessed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Five Things

Time is just flying these past few weeks and I haven't been a very good blogger lately. So today I am just going to list a few things that have been going on here...

1-Today is Cinco de Mayo and it's also my daddy's birthday! I am so thankful for him and his love and advice and for being such a good example to his whole family and all the people who know him. He is a wonderful preacher and pastor, counselor, friend, husband, father and grandfather! I know I am blessed to have him in my life!

2-Laura came home yesterday! I can't believe her freshman year is over. Oh my went by so fast! This is what the back of her car looked like yesterday when she got home...

She and Ashley met me at Starbucks yesterday after school.

I am so glad she is home and Lindy will be home tomorrow. Let the girl time begin!!

3-Speaking of "Girl Time"...Ashley and Laura and I went to Cantina 1511 for Cinco de Mayo tonight while Steve was at his Bible study and got guacamole and fish tacos. Yummmm! They win for best guacamole (made right at your table!)

4-While we're on the subject of good food...I wanted to share a reeaaallly good recipe I tried this week from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Comfort Table by Katie Lee Joel.

It was her Mediterranean Pasta and it was so good. Very light with lots of flavor and that's what I like this time of year!

Here is the recipe if you are interested...

Meditteranean Pasta

Boil 12 oz. linguine for @8-10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 c. cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat 3 T. olive oil over medium heat and sautee 1 medium red onion (thinly sliced) and 3 garlic cloves until tender. Add in 1 1/2 pints grape tomatoes (halved) and 1/2 cup pitted black olives. (I left off the olives just because I don't like olives.) Sautee until tomatoes are wilted (about 5 minutes). Add 1 lb. large shrimp, pitted and deveined.

Return pasta to the large pot with 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water. Add the tomato and shrimp mixture. Stir in 3 cups loosely packed baby spinach, 1 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and 8 oz. feta cheese. Toss until spinach wilts. If needed, add more water until pasta is moist and saucy. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with olive oil.


5-Have you heard of the Courtyard Dogs?

It's the Dixie Chicks minus Natalie Maines. I know the Dixie Chicks are controversial, but I personally love their music! So I have missed them since they haven't been recording any music lately! But now the two sisters, Emily and Martie have decided to record an album on their own. I love their sound, so I am definitely buying this one!