Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas

No, was. Even though Zachary was sick, sick poor thing and still is, it was such a great day. We couldn't go to my family's house and Zachary couldn't go to his dad's, but we made the most of it with our new toys. He is so pale and feeling just crappy. I am wondering if he doesn't have the flu again. Here are some pictures from our day.

Look what Santa left!
(Ummm...minus the beanbag chair we forgot until the last possible moment, Whoops!!)

Check out all of our mugs that Gary got us!
Love them!

First look at the haul.

And yes, he had Christmas PJ's too, but a middle of the night accident had them in the wash at this time. I told you he was the really yucky kind of sick. I thought to change him into a red shirt at least before we started unwrapping.

Olivia was really into unwrapping her presents...kinda

Abby was more interested in eating the paper

Yay! So happy to get in shape!

Just what he wanted!

Love this picture of us all

Playing the Wii

The yummy Monkey Bread I made (Christmas tradition)
Probably not the best thing to eat to get fit, right?

All in all a great and wonderful holiday. I am taking a small break for the next week or so. I am working on a 6 month post on their stats and such. That will be my post on Friday. I may do a menu, I may not.

I also got tagged for a couple of things plus an award! I am so excited to pass these on and I will when I get back into it next week.

I put a poll at the top because it never occurred to me that my signature was not coming up all cute to everyone. Gary's Mac shows it as a basic font as does my laptop so it got me wondering how many of you see a big plain Sara at the end of all my posts. So please vote so I can change it if I need to.

I will leave you with something fun, fun. Below you will find highchairs. We tried peas for the first time and Gary put a bit of baby food on each of the girl's trays. They both LOVED the peas but only one of them was into exploring it with her hands. Which one is which?? Did Olivia love to paint with peas, or Abigail? I will reveal it next week.

Have a great week everyone and I will see in 2009!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lysol Anyone??

Zachary is sick now. The really bad kind of sick.


Abby is pulling at her ear again and Olivia is just not feeling good. We can tell just by looking at her and watching her that somethings not right. They all have an appointment at 9:30 in the morning.

I am sure I won't be back on here before Christmas, so

Have a Merry Christmas!!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Ummm...seriously?? It is Monday again?? No way! I feel like I just posted a menu plan Monday and here it is again. This season feels like it is flying by.

An update on the girlies:
We took them back to the dr (there is now a 3 pound difference in their weights (!)

Abby had a nasty virus. She just felt miserable. She is not one who needs to be held, but oh she needed us all day on Thursday and most of the day Friday just to hold her and cuddle her. She is better now and hopefully will stay that way for awhile.

Olivia is now on her third antibiotic, fourth if you count the shot. And I don't really think she is getting better. She is super fussy all day long. It reminds me of when she was teething or had colic so I know she is not feeling good. She is not sleeping well at night and we have no idea why. Is she cold, hot, hungry, lonely, uncomfortable, exhausted, needing her pacifier, jerking herself awake????? We don't know. If she goes 2 hours, we are counting our blessings, but sometimes it is every half hour she is up and crying. And lately around 3:00 a.m. or so, I fall asleep with her in the recliner just because I am so flippin' tired by that time that I just flat fall asleep holding her and her bottle. She used to sleep pretty well with me holding her, but even during this several hours in the recliner she is waking up every half hour or so. Plus, when she wakes up, she is screaming mad. She used to wake up and fuss fuss fuss for a little bit and I would go in and take care of her and she would go right back to sleep. Now it is like she is pissed about something and often wakes Abby up who is sleeping through the night most nights with only one wake up around 3:00 or so. So we don't know why all of a sudden about 6 weeks ago she quit sleeping through the night. And since she is "my" twin to get up with in the middle of the night, I am back to being tired all the time. Not fun, people, not fun at all.

Zachary is doing great! No sickness at all, just a super loose front tooth he is bound to loose any day now.

So here we go: Ok, I thought I would start giving you an opinion from everyone about our new recipes that we tried out this week. You can find them here.

First up, the steak with mushrooms, baked potatoes, and sugar snap peas:
Me: I am so so proud of myself. I cooked this whole meal ALL BY MYSELF! I even bought fresh mushrooms and cooked them to go on the steak. Here is the recipe I found and tweaked:
1 can of beef broth
1 tablespoon of Teriyaki
Sauce (I actually had to go get the bottle because I couldn't spell it and spell check couldn't either, Sheesh!)
simmer for 15 mins
Add a tablespoon of red wine and about 1 2/3 cups of mushrooms
simmer 15 more mins on medium

Oh so good for my first time, I must say.
Gary: Great, especially the mushrooms
Zachary: Very good especially with mom's special sauce, he is the only one who had this sauce I always keep on hand, my barbecue sauce I make from scratch...sorry, it is a secret family recipe.

Sherry Chicken:
Me: This has a very distinct flavor. I thought it was very unusual and super yummy.
Gary: Very good, but he would prefer to have it over noodles instead of rice.
Zachary: He didn't like it. It had too much seasoning on it. :-)

Frito Pie Casserole
Me: Gary and I were pretty skeptical when it came to the enchilada sauce, but we were determined to try it...until I realized that I bought medium spiciness and not regular or mild. So not going to work for my sweet not spicy boy. So I used maybe a fourth of a cup and then a package of Taco Seasonings for flavor. It was ok. I would rather just have frito pie and get it over with. I might make this again and play around with the meat spices a little or just plain make it with chili. I also used a ton of cheese and we liked that.
Zachary: He liked this ok, which I am super surprised. I thought it would be too spicy for him.
Gary: Leave out the enchilada sauce, even the little bit that was in there.

Me: Great meal
Gary: Really good
Zachary: The best meal ever!! Seriously he would have italian food every single night if I cooked it for him. He has always loved it and this will be a favorite I can tell.

This week: That's the end of the recipes I have to try from the recipes exchange. I would LOVE to hear about your favorite recipe. Leave it in the comments or blog about it and let me know so I can make it. I know you all have some old stand-bys that your family loves. Share them with us!

Monday: Lasagna - gotta give Zach his fix
Tuesday: Smoked Sausage with my barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes, and green beans
Wednesday (Christmas Eve): Everyone is bringing their "specialty" to share at Christmas this year with Gary's family. So I am bringing White Chili. You can find the original recipe here and my thoughts and revisions here. Gary is making his famous chili dip. I will post the recipe next week.
Thursday (Christmas): My family is having Mexican Food for Christmas. I will take the enchiladas I made a few weeks ago. If I can get my act together I will also make the chocolate balls and pecan bark I posted about here. No promises though.
Friday: Leftovers or grilled cheese sandwhiches (something easy as we are winding down from everything).

No grocery savings this week because I have to go tomorrow to buy everything to cook with. ::sigh:: Not fun- the stores will be packed with idiots like me who waited until the last minute. I really and truly plan on posting a few more posts this week but dang if I might get too busy. Hmmm...I wonder why? If I don't get around to it...

Merry Christmas - I am so so thankful for all of you who bless me with your time week after week. Love you!!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sick Babies Again

Olivia went back to the Dr on Wednesday. Her ear is still infected so she got a shot of antibiotics plus a new prescription. This is the one Zachary is allergic to so I have been watching her closely. Sure enough, she developed a rash on her back. Ugh!! Abby felt so much better! She was laughing and playing like herself...until today. She woke up with 103 fever. She is throwing up with projectile diarrhea (don't ask) and she is just miserable. Gary was heading out the door and she was just looking at him and crying and crying. He left the room and she just looked and looked for him. Needless to say, they are now sitting together in the rocking chair, Abby is comfy and Gary's getting his first taste of a really sick baby needing him and only him.

Pray for us. We are taking them both back to the doctor. We need well babies!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Some of you commented about starting your own button collection for your stockings that I posted about here. I wanted to share where I get my buttons. I usually get mine at JoAnn Fabrics here in the Metroplex. I don't find many at Wal-mart or Hobby Stores. Although I did find my butterfly in the jewelry section of a craft store. It was a charm, which a lot of our "buttons" really are. You can also use pins, that is what my Buchaneer one is. The years that nothing significant happened and I could just choose whatever I wanted to tell about myself are fun. I have a hard time choosing sometimes. I am waiting for a year where I can put a book since I love to read.

The great thing about this tradition is there really is something out there for everyone. You like yellow bell peppers? There's a button... Birds in a Nest? There's a button... For really unique ones, like Zachary's microscope for this year, I go on-line. Here are the ones I found that have some great buttons or charms.

Button Queen
As Cute As A Button
The Button Drawer
M&J Triming
Timeless Charms
Bead Land
This is where the most pewter charms are found. They are mostly under a dollar and they have so so many!
Bluementhal Lansing
This one is a new one for me but it looks like it has a lot of the ones we have gotten in the past.
Also a new one but thought I would include it


Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Can I just say that I so missed the menu plan last week? We ended up eating out several times because of the lack of planning on my part. I am going to really try not to let another week slide.

So I begin with my last menu that you can find here.
~The Cheesy Crockpot Chicken was super bland. So I added some Monterrey Chicken Spice and it was just the thing to make it edible jazz it up.
~The Mexican Casserole was Oh Mah Gaw good. We all loved it. I ended up doubling it for our family because when I made it it just didn't look like it was enough for us. When I doubled it I added a can of plain diced tomatoes instead of Rotel because I didn't want it to be too spicy for Zach. Gary and I were fighting over the leftovers the next day (he won).

This week:
Monday: Pizza
Tuesday: Steak and Baked Potatoes
Wednesday: Sherry Chicken
Another I got from that great recipe exchange. I am looking forward to trying this one.
Sherry Chicken
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small sour cream (8 oz)
1 cup cooking sherry
salt/pepper to taste
paprika to garnish

In a mixing bowl combine cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, & cooking sherry. Use a whisk to mix it quickly. Add a dash of salt and pepper to the mixture as you whisk it.
In a medium sized casserole dish, cover the chicken breasts with mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.
Depending on the thickness of the breasts, bake at 400-415 for one hour.
Serve over a bed of rice.

Thursday: Frito Pie Casserole
I know the crowd from Cleburne is watching for this one so here it is. I got this from my friend Nikki. It is a new one for us and I agreed to be the guinea pig.
Here is the recipe as given to me by her:
1 lb of browned & drained hamburger
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can drained kidney or red beans
1 can Ro-Tel
about 4 cups sharp cheddar or colby jack (your choice) grated cheese
1 big, normal size bag of regular size Fritos

Brown & drain hamburger. Mix beef, enchilada sauce, drained Ro-tel and drained beans together. In a greased (I have always sprayed my pans and dishes, even if it says not to, my mother and Meme have drilled it into my head to ALWAYS GREASE IT UP) casserole dish.....put a layer of fritos (1/2 the bag) in the bottom. Place beef mixture on top, then half of cheese, rest of fritos, then top with remaining cheese. 350 degrees for, I dunno, 20-25 minutes......everything is cooked, your just heating it all through.
*Personally, on recipes like this, I would chop an onion and cook it with my hamburger, for some added flavor. This is just one of those casseroles you can easily play with and season any way you want*
This shows a bit of her great personality. Hey, speaking of great personalities, you should totally start your own blog! You would be hilarious! And as long as you didn't share many stories ( in none!) about me as a child, I would be your biggest fan!
Moving on...
Friday: Tortellini with marinara sauce

Grocery Savings

I got some good deals in the past few weeks and want to share.

At CVS I spent $71.64, saved $54.98 plus I got $25 in CVS cash I can spend next time. That, my friends, is a total savings of 111%. I got batteries, Triaminic, and Gain. Whoo-hoo!

And you could also follow along and save this kind of money! If you are in the Metroplex you can go to Groceries Dirt Cheap. If not, you can go to The Grocery Game. And no, I do not get anything for pointing you their way. Also, this blog, Mommy Making Money on I mentioned a few weeks ago turned me toward a coupon for a Star Wars Lightsaber on that Zach had been saving up for. What an amazing true-to-his-life lesson on coupons and saving money. We have recently worked out a deal for him to earn extra money around the house. He had about $7 left to save before he had enough for the toy. With this $5 coupon and his money from the tooth fairy, he was able to get it. He proudly handed over that coupon at Toys R Us and was able to get his toy this week instead fo a few weeks from now. He finally "got" the value of those papers I have been carrying around at the grocery store. Thank you hands on life lessons!!

Did you try any of the recipes? Let me know what you think.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Brag About Friday

Post #7 of today

My Brag about Friday is the fact that I got all the posts up. Go and get caught up on the whole list of them. I am going to bed. It is 12:57 AM. Yikes! But I had to do it! I will post more pictures of the girlies this weekend or next week. I will also be back on track with my Menu Planning and Weight Loss.

Little Sickies

Post #6 of today

We finally took the girls to the Dr on Monday. They were just not themselves and you know how fast an ear infection can spring out of a cold.

They got weighed:
Abigail 16lbs 14oz
Olivia 14lbs 13oz

We were just telling the nurse that Abigail loves to pee, poop, spit up on, slime with spit, everything to her Daddy. Rarely to me, but it seems like he is always getting peed on by her. Just then she peed on the scale when Gary laid her down. Ha! For once she performed on cue!

Anyhoo - The pedi came in to talk about Abigail rubbing her eyes constantly to the point where she cries. Olivia waking up crying. After checking eyes, noses, throats, and ears, which she had to dig in Olivia's ear to get out wax (we are a waxy family). It was awful. She cried and cried than sniffled for a good half hour afterward. It was so pitiful! You could tell the pedi felt bad.

The diagnosis:
Abigail has allergies, poor baby, that she gets from her dad. She also had a red throat and fluid behind her eardrum. No new teething.
Olivia had an ear infection (so glad we took them in), and also a pretty red throat from all the drainage. It was kinda cute. Olivia wasn't all that fussy before we went to the dr, but as soon as we got home, she became fussy, clingy, and just more needy. It was like she said, "Oh yeah, I have all this stuff wrong and now I don't feel good.

So they are both on antibioics, allergy meds, and we are continuing the Prevacid. Abby will continue the allergy meds, but Olivia will just use them to help her get rid of all the gunk.

So needless to say we have had some fussiness going on around here this week. Olivia just wants to be held. You can tell she just doesn't feel good. She is also horse (hourse). Hopefully they will get well soon.


Post #5 of today

This is an all Zachary post. He has said things I want to share and remember and done some great stuff too and I wanted to catch you up on him.

~~Abigail has started this little noise as she falls asleep. It is like she is singing herself to sleep but it sounds a little pitiful. Zachary always tells me when the girls need me even if I am sitting right there. I told him she was fine, that she was going to sleep. He replied, "But I just can't resist that sound!"

~~He lost another tooth. He actually let me try to pull it. No luck. He let it get so loose it fell out when he flicked his tongue. I understand him not wanting me to pull it out. I hated that as a kid!


(See the sideways one he is bending with his lip?)


~~He is so proud of his art easel. Gary and him go to Home Depot sometimes to their kid workshops. So much fun!

The finished product

~~He played Battleship with Gary one afternoon and I captured it.

Allie had to play too! But she just wants the box.

He helped Gary with changing the Dining room into the playroom. It has been put on hold until we get a rug, cuz this carpet thing is NOT working.

Olivia loves her brother!

His letter to Santa

He is getting so so big!!

My Favorite Christmas Tradition

Post #4 of today

I read about this in a Family Fun magazine years ago and it is my favorite tradition by far. Every year we add a button to our stockings that represent something that happened in our lives that year or something about ourselves. It is so much fun shopping for that perfect button to go with our lives. I am sorry these pictures are crap. My camera is crap and so is the operator of it :-)

First, mine:
1995 -Donald Duck
I collected him and so this was my first.
1996 - Moon
My middle name means moonlight.
1997 - Tulip
My favorite flower
1998 - Buccaneers
I picked them to win the super bowl that year because they had a new stadium and new uniforms. They won their division and became my team.
1999 - Motorboard
I graduated from college this year
2000 - Schoolhouse
I finished my first year of teaching
2001 - Red, White, and Blue Heart
I got this because of September 11.
2002 - Blue Pacifier
This is for Zachary being born, but it broke and I need to replace it.
2003 - Butterfly
The year of my divorce. I felt like I was emerging from a cocoon in many ways.

2004 - Pink CrossStitch "Home Sweet Home"
For the first time, I was in a house. I had a yard fr Zachary and it was so great!
2005 - Sand Pail
I love love love the beach!
2006 - Wedding Bells
Gary and I got married
2007 - Blue Ladybug
I have a fondness for blue ladybugs and I started my company, Blue Ladybug Designs.
2008 - See below


2002 - Clock
We called him Zachary-Dachory-Dock, so we got the Hickory-Dickory clock for his first button.
2003 - Trains
He was very into trains this year
2004 - Truck
Loved his trucks!
2005 - Tractor
He discovered John Deere tractors this year and fell in love with them.
2006 - Skull
The stubborn 4 year old had to have this button or die! And I get to remember that was the time he started having a mind of his own.
2007 - Backpack
He started school.
2008 - Microscope
He is very much into Science. It is still on it's way here.

2005 - Airplane
He used to be a pilot.
2006 - Family
He got his family :-)
2007 - Computer
He is very into his Mac
2008 -
See below

When I started searching for the girl's stockings I knew I wanted something unique. I didn't want just any old traditional stockings for them. I looked high and low!! Finally I found these (thank you google!) What is funny is I decided whose would be whose. Then I asked Zachary who should have which one and he chose the same as I did. Then Gary came home and we quizzed him and it was unanimous. We all thought that Abby should have the Santa and Olvia should have the snowman. Hmmm...could it have anything to do with the big rosy cheeks??

And again, their first buttons had to be perfect as well. And I didn't really expect to find anything. I thought maybe a crown for diva Olivia and a cabbage patch for Abby, but like I was going to find them. Then I found the PERFECT buttons for them!!

Aren't they perfect!? Love love love them!! Since their room is decorated in ladybugs, they each wear one of these colors quite frequently and we call them love bugs often...::sigh::...perfect!

Gary and I will choose one of these for ours this year. I think we will go with the pink pacifiers. These are just like the one that I got for Zachary. I want to put 2 on but Gary said just one for the both of them. Hmmm...don't know yet.

So here we are...our family of 5
I had one of those "Holy crap, we are a family of 5!!"
moments when I put these all up.

I am so bummed that I did not get this up in time for Rachel's post about Holiday traditions. I so meant to, Rachel!!

Putting Up the Tree

Post #3 of Today

I am really into the season this year. Last year I felt so super crappy with all day and night morning sickness. I didn't feel like doing anything. But this year I am soo looking forward to everything.

Gary and Zachary put the tree up

And yes, those are shorts Gary has on. It was like 65 degrees that day.

The finishing touch

Zachary and I put the ornaments on. Mostly Zachary.

This year we had two more observers

Then when we are all done, we turn on the lights and lay under the tree and look up at all the lights. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. we had the girls do it, too!

We had a blast!


Post #2 of today

I am not a shoe person, in fact, I hate to shop for shoes. I am the kind of gal who finds a great pair and buys it in brown and black. I do have a few colorful flip-flops for summer time but you will not see me walking around in Jimmys. I think the most I have ever spent on a pair of shoes was $60 and they were boots. And I got them in brown and black.

So, imagine my dismay when I started wearing shoes again after my Shrek feet went down after my girls came. I mean, my size 8.5 feet did grow to be a size 12 toward the last of my pregnancy so is it any wonder that none of my shoes fit me? Did you get that? My nice collection of shoes that I have built up does not fit. Do you know what does fit? My nice colorful summer flip flops and my Crocs that I wore the last half of my pregnancy. You know, the size 12 ones?


I like my feet. I think I have pretty feet, but little and sexy they are not. I broke down and got a new pair of a size 9.5. People! That is almost a ten! Gasp!! Ugh!!

My collection of shoes that no longer fits...

Professional Pictures

Post #1 of Marathon Posting.

Well, here are our professional pictures. I am not happy with them, but only because I am a perfectionist. These are the not edited ones from the website. I am going to scan the ones we got from the studio so you can see them. They are a bit better.

Oh my gosh!!
Sweet baby sweetness!
And, yep, that's it. They didn't tell us we had 6 poses. I overheard it later. Grrr...I probably will not be going back to Babies R Us to get pictures taken. At least not that one.


How did you like all those posts from me yesterday? What? You didn't see them? couldn't be that I took the girls out yesterday, cleaned up a bit, cuddled the girls because they are sick, and mostly, just played with my new laptop. Nope, not me! I know that all those posts that I have planned just magically got posted yesterday.


They will be here, promise

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Marathon Posting

Thursday Post #1

Get ready for a catch up (ketchup!) day of blogging. I am going to try to do some major posting today of some things that have just been sitting in my head and on my blogging shelf.

Just a few things:
~I am still working on my office. It is coming along but I want to wait until it is completely finished to post after pictures.

~We did not take 5 month pictures of the girls :-(
I just kept saying that I would do it tomorrow, and I never got to it. They are now 5 1/2 months and I don't really want to do them now. But we did get professional pictures taken around the time they were 5 months, so that is what I will use for their 5 month picture. I will be posting those today as well.

~I am still fanageling (I know that's a word, but I am sure I misspelled it) around with my blog look. See how the words on the sidebars bump right up against the border? I don't like that. I am playing around with my test blog and found another 3 column template that is ok, but it does not have the pretty brown border around it. If anyone knows a great site where I can go, let me know. I am pretty good with the Html stuff so I can modify if I need to. Well, I say I am good. I am a beginner at it still but getting better.

~I also got my laptop! Yay!!! This is what we finally decided to pool our money for. So I will be setting that up today as well so if this turns out to be the only post, well, you will know that I got all caught up in the newness that is my laptop.

I posted a Way Back When-esday yesterday and Thanksgiving pictures yesterday, so go check them out.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Way Back When-esday

So excited about the tree!

My little present

Dateline: December 2004
Age: 2

Play along with Cheryl at Twinfatuation
to see other Way Back When-esday Photos


Thanksgiving pictures

Finally! I know, I know! Thanksgiving pictures

At Grana and Grandad's house
(This is the house I grew up in, the only house I ever lived in before I got married at 18)

Abigail passed time by playing the piano

Olivia preferred to play X-Box with the guys

The boys playing X-Box
That's my brother Jonathan, my nephew Collin, and Zachary

Abby with her Aunt Hollie

Do you see that cup in his hand?
It's a cheap little monkey cup. My mom has a dog, a hippo, an alligator, a couple of other animals. But that monkey is the coveted cup. All my nephews still fight over this one and drink out of the others. It is strange what kids get hooked on, huh?

At Gary's Grandmother and Grandfather's House

Olivia with her Uncle Anthony

Abby with her Grandma

(notice the wet shirt of drool)

Olivia seeing a soft side of her Uncle John

Me picking the dry skin off her ear

There's that darn X-Box again

The cutest picture of Olivia
Look at that huge bib on her!