Sunday, November 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Let's get this party started!

Ok - We had the Hamburger stew and it was great. Again, Zachary liked it ok. He has been a little more finicky lately. Hmmm...Wonder what that's about? Anyhoo...
We did not get to the Cheesy Chicken Bake so that goes onto this week's menu. Thanksgiving was full of great food and great fun at our families' houses. I got all in the baking and cooking mood on Wednesday last week. I got some great recipes from the email exchange and made these:
Chocolate Balls
1 chocolate cake mix
1 container of chocolate icing
1 and 1/2 packages of chocolate almond bark
1 package of white almond bark

Prepare and bake cake as directed on the box. Allow the cake to cool completely. Crumble the cake in a large mixing bowl and add 1 container of chocolate icing. Mix well and place bowl in the refrigerator for 1 hour. After chilling, form cake mixture into 1 or 2 inch balls and dip into melted chocolate bark. Place on wax paper and allow to harden or dry . After hardens, drizzle white almond bark over the top to decorate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!! I got all kinds of pats on the backs from Gary's family over these. But it was super time consuming and I didn't even finish half of them before I through in the towel. I also used a yellow cake and I think if I make them again I will use a different flavor of cake and icing to change it up a bit.

Pecan Bark
24 graham crackers – brake the long ones in half and count the half’s as one
1 cup of Chopped pecans
1 cup of butter – 2 sticks
1 cup of packed brown sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Arrange the graham crackers on top of foil. They all fit exactly to fill the whole pan. Sprinkle pecans over graham crackers evenly. Set aside
Melt butter and then add brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Spread mixture over crackers evenly. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
After baking, immediately put the pan in the freezer and leave for at least 1 hour. I left them in freezer over night, by mistake and it turned out alright
Remove from freezer and break into pieces. They do not need to be put back in the refrigerator. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Again - Yumm.eeee!! And super easy this time. Like so easy it was sad. Even I could do it, people!

Onto this week's menu, shall we?

Monday: Something easy since we will be taking pictures tomorrow.
Maybe pizza or leftover Hamburger Stew.

Tuesday: Cheesy Crockpot Chicken
from last week

Wednesday: Spaghetti or Lasagna

Thursday: Mexican Casserole
I got this one from Casee
Mexican Casserole
1 bag Flour Tortillas (cut into squares)
1 can rotel (drained)
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 boiled chicken breasts (cubed)
1 bag of shredded cheese

Mix everything together- save some cheese for a topping on the casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Put extra cheese on the top for the last few minutes of baking.

Friday: Tacos

I really want to start making some meals ahead of time to freeze or at least making some of the meat portions ahead. We will see if or how that happens in the next few weeks.

No money savings this week because I did my big Thanksgiving shopping and spent quite a lot that was not on sale and without coupons bragging about savings.

But I will give you a little tid bit to satisfy your craving. I found this blog - Mommy Making Money tonight and can't wait to go back to really dive into it. It has a ton of great savings tips and other fun things.

I know the twins are now 5 months old so get ready for some serious monthly pictures coming up soon along with holiday traditions, a photo tag, bragging, looking back, and maybe I will finally post about my shoes. Happy Monday everyone.


I did it!

I so enjoyed this month of blogging every day. I can't promise to continue every day, but I know it has been good for my sanity. I know I didn't do "Think Thin Thursday" or "Brag About Friday". With the holidays I just did quick posts that I already had planned in my head. I will catch everyone up next "Brag About". I am off to decorate for Christmas. Stay tuned for a post about our holiday tradition that is one of my very favs.


Saturday, November 29, 2008


About a month or 2 ago we went visiting! It was one of Zachary's friend's birthdays. His mom is one of my best friend's. They live about an hour and a half away from us and we so wish it was closer. Casee and I worked together way back before there were kids. We got especially close when her little boy was born 6 months after Zachary and they became good friends. She also has a little girl who is 3. They even all went to the same in home daycare for a few years. We have been on vacations together to Port O'Connor, to bachlorette parties ( I refrained from posting a picture here, Casee), and to Vegas. We scrapbook and do crafts together. AND we miss each other very much :-(

Here we are at the jumphouse party

We went back to their house for a bit afterward.
Casee with Olivia

Zachary with Spencer
They had to try out the Alien making kit for themselves

Aubree with the girls

Aubree with Abigail
(Olivia was fussy, of course)

Hopefully we will get together again soon. We miss you guys!!


Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Burning...

It's burning a hole in my pocket.

The $150 I got from my mom and mom in law for my birthday back in June, a birthday that I spent in the hospital when my girl's were 5 days old. That sucked by the way.

It calls to me everyday to spend it; calling, beckoning, begging to be spent. As a self-proclaimed shopaholic I fight the urge every day. I even have MyPoints available that I can cash in on a gift card to put with my cash so I could really get crazy. We are on a tight budget and there are plenty of things I need; clothes being the glaringly obvious one. But, dang it! I really want to spend it on


or this

or even the heavenly this

Gary would like to pool our money and get this...

But we need this

or this

We really need these for our bathrooms and dining room, plus one for the kitchen.

Having said all this, what should we really be spending it on if we are smart??

Dang it...Why do I have to be good?


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank You

I have been meaning to post this for awhile now and what better day than today...Thanksgiving.

I have to say thank you to each and every one of you who took care of me and my babies when I was pregnant, having my babies, and especially when I had to go back to the hospital. These people did it all; made meals, took care of Zach, held babies, you name it, they did it. I have the best friends and family ever ever!

My mom - Grana
holding both

Gary's Mom - Granma
holding both

My future sister in law - Diane
holding Olivia

My sister in law Jennifer
holding Abby

My sister in law - Chastity
holding an older Olivia
Sorry! I don't have one of you holding tiny babies :-)

My sister in law Hollie
holding Olivia

My neighbor Jenny
holding Abigail

My BFF Casee
who came to spend the day in the hospital with me
then came again the next day to care for my girls

My good friend Sarah
who keeps me sane on the days that are rough
She has twin 6 year olds and lives right down the street from me.

Our friends Brandie and Scott
who came to the hospital as soon as they heard I was there

My brother in law Jeromy
Who came to the emergency room to be with us
as soon as he heard the words "Congestive Heart Failure"

I am sure I am forgetting someone. Hopefully I got them all.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Way Back When-esday

Dateline: October 2002
Age: about 6 months give or take a few weeks
I had to share Zachary's own Gerber Baby moment.

Olivia on the left - Abby on the right
Dateline: June 2008
Ages: 2 weeks??
Those were preemie outfits...and they were big. ::sigh::

Play along with Cheryl over at Twinfatuation.
Thank you Cheryl for hosting this fun Weekly posting!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Project

I have been a bit busy today working on this...

Hopefully I will have after pictures for you tomorrow.


Monday, November 24, 2008

From the Man - About the Man

I got this little Meme from Deb. I am going to copy her spin on it and have both of us answer these questions. I answered first in pink. Gary answered in blue and he did not see my answers first. Then I commented back in pink. This should be fun :-)

1. What is your husbands name?
Gary ____ _____ __ - He put his whole name

2. How long have you guys been married?
2 years
2 yrs, 2 mths, and 1 day
- showoff

3. How long did you date?
1 year and 1 month
1 year, 27 days - can you tell he is a precise person?

4. How old is he?
38 - This is a constant form of teasing in our house since there is 7 years difference in our ages.

5. Who is taller?
He is - I am a shrimp

6. Who can sing best?
Not that he is bad, but I am better.
Oh No, he just thinks he can sing better.

7. Who is smarter?
He is definitely. He is smart smart. Plus he stores useless trivia knowledge in his brain and because of this there is no room for important things like the conversation we had yesterday.

8. Who does laundry?
Neither of us - my mom does it when she comes and helps out every week. But I usually wash and he usually puts up.
Umm...yeah, now that he mentions it he probably does do more than me

9. Who pays the bills?
He does - and I am so fine with that. I did this in my first marriage and I was so ready for someone to take this responsibility.

10. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
This should be interesting - I say him because I picture this while standing at the foot of the bed.
Our point of view was different...hmmm...

11. Who mows the lawn?
He does - always. He enjoys it, but also my hands swell from the vibration of the mower.

12. Who cooks dinner?
Both - him more than me in previous months. Ever since I started planning meals though I have. Yay me!!
This actually bummed me a bit. I feel like I have really been trying hard to have meals planned or on the way to being ready when he gets home the past few weeks. Yes, "historically" with the pregnancy and the girls, he has done more but I have been trying so hard.

13. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
Oh no, ummm...I say me, but he will disagree. This is a point of disagreement with us. He thinks he is not wrong. If I prove him wrong, he changes his original point just enough to be able to say that he is right. It is not his fault though, his mom does the exact same thing. On this note, I used to be able to say I was wrong very easily, but his confidence that he is right brings out a side in me that has a hard time admitting when I am wrong.
See #8 - I can admit it! Not surprising that he can't admit that he doesn't admit when he is wrong, huh??

14. Who kissed who first?
::sigh:: He kissed me at the end of our first date ::sigh::
Gary kissed Sara
No doubt here that he made his move first

15. Who wears the pants?
Him - Something else I had to work on from my first marriage. Trusting someone enough to not control everything.
Again, we both know who is the boss in the house. At least we agree on this!

Well there you go. That was fun to see his perspective, huh?


Menu Plan Monday

Ok here we go...
Since I went with old stand-bys last week there is really nothing major to note about them except the White Chili.
Since I have been making this a long time, I have taken a few liberties with the recipe so I thought I would share them. First of all, I double the recipe for our family, except for a few things. I am not a chili kind of person so I only use half of what the original recipe calls for. I also do not double the red pepper. The added white corn was excellent! It will def be added every time now. I also added sour cream to mine for the first time and it really added a great flavor. There was about 4 servings left over to freeze. This freezes wonderfully! Gary and I absolutly love this recipe. Zachary? Not so much. He tried it then had a ham and cheese sandwich. He has had it before and liked it so we will have it agian.

Ok, so here is this week's menu.

Hamburger Stew
I got this recipe from a fellow teacher. It is super easy
2 lbs of hamburger meat browned with a little onion
3 cans of Minestrone Soup
2 cans of Ranch Style Beans
2 cans of Rotel - I drain these
1 can of Beef Broth
1 package of Taco Seasoning
Put it all in a pot and heat on the stove. Yummy and easy peasy

Tuesday: Cheesy Crockpot Chicken
This is my new one to try this week.

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Cut chicken into bite size pieces and put into the bottom of the crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients on top. Cook 8 hours on low. Serve over rice or noodles.

I am not sure about this day. We will probably have leftovers or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Thursday: Turkey Day with Gary's family
Our part of the menu is Green Bean Casserole, Corn, and Sopapilla Cheesecake (Gary's specialty)
We increase the amount of cinnamon and mix the sugar and cinnamon together for it all. This is so so SO good. Everyone asks for this when Gary comes over.

Friday: Turkey Day with my family
Hmmm...I better see if I am supposed to bring anything this day!

Grocery Savings
Yeah, nothing here this week yet. I didn't go last week, so I really have to go this week. I will be going tonight and I will update after I go.

I was a part of a recipe exchange over email so I got some good things to try for next week. Yay!

Happy Monday Everyone!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Show and Tell - Happiness Abounds

Cheryl over at Twinspiration gave me this fabulous award. Thank you so so much Cheryl!! Her blog is so great, so if you get a minute go check her out and send her some bloggy love.

The rules are simple.

A.) List six things that make you happy.
B.) Pass the award along to six more bloggers.

I am going to follow suit with her in how she goes about doing this award. You can tell the normal things make me happy; family, my home, etc. I am going to share 6 very simple items that make me truly a happier person. Yes, they are small nothings, but I would sorely miss them if they left.

#1 - Requirements for a warm snuggle on the couch
My sweatshirt blanket and my warm fuzzy socks.

I am not a cold weather person. I love mild weather. Granted Texas does not really have a Winter full of snow, but where we live is like a wind tunnel. I can't even put anything on my front porch without it being blown over. My scarecrow is laying over onto a porch chair as we speak. Hey, he was tired! Anyhoo, back on track here!...I love my sweatshirt blanket. It is made of sweatshirt material. Oh heaven!! And those socks keep my feet toasty warm, along with keeping myself entertained on the hardwood floors by slipping and sliding away. I have about 10 pair and love them!

#2 - Requirements of a Soothing Shower
Warm Vanilla Sugar Body Wash from Bath and Body Works
Satsuma Body Wash from The Body Shop A Loofah Scrubby
Steam - lots of steam
I use the Vanilla all throughout the fall and winter months. Vanilla just smells like fall and winter to me. It is such a comfort thing for me. Then I move onto Satsuma during the summer months. It is summer in a bottle. I looked high and low for a citrus fragrance I love. Some were too lemony or too limey and don't get me started on grapefruit (eww!), but this is the perfect blend of orangey sunshine. I can't explain it :-) And I always used a loofah such as this one.

#3 Kirkland's Home Store

And not just any Kirkland's Home store...this is my very own one in my town. It is the best. Others in the franchise tend to be a little trashy, but this one is great about keeping the store kept up and not cluttered. What's more is that the new displays are put front and center, then they move back to the middle row to make room for the new ones. If things you love have been moved to the third row, you know you had better grab them fast or else you might miss them. I love this store. You know how you find that one store that matches your style perfectly? That is this store for me. I could spend thousands in there!

#4 - Snacks in which ice is a major ingredient.

This is more of a summer thing but I still love them. Anything that has crushed, shaved, or blended ice in it. Icees, Sno-cones, Frapachinos, Slushies, anything. Plain ice is even better. Yum!

#5 My Notebooks and Pens

These are just examples of some of the ones I have. I probably have about 20 empty notebooks just waiting for me to fill with lists and such. Will this keep me froom buying more? Nope!

Oooo, I have two more that I have to share so...

#6 Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Have you ever had these wonderful little bites of fruity goodness? And not just fruit! Root Beer, Popcorn, Peppermint, Coffee, Bubble Gum, it goes on and on. And the recipes?? Oh yes, you can pop a Buttered Popcorn and 2 Blueberry in your mouth for the taste of a blueberry muffin. OR you want a Mud Pie? Just throw in 2 Chocolate Pudding, 2 Peanut Butter, and 1 Cappuccino. Speaking of Peanut Butter, you can have a PB&J by throwing in a PB and a Grape. YUM!! My personal favs are Pear, Dr. Pepper, Island Punch, and Red Apple. Great fun can be had by digging into a bag full and pulling out one with your eyes closed. Pop it in and guess the flavor. Yes...Good times...good times.

And #6 1/2
Fruity Lip Gloss

I used to eat these when I was little. Now, I just like to spread them on before bed, or when I am out and about. I have many lip balm, gloss, chap stick kinds of things; ever searching for the perfect blend of feel, taste or smell and the softness they bring to my lips. I have to admit, I haven't found it yet. Do you have one that works for you? Share it!

Ok now I bestow this great award on 6 of by bloggy friends. I think your blog is super creative.

Katie at The Harris Boys - She is a master at the camera and capturing special moments.
Linda at Twice the Love - I love how she shares her stories about her precious twins.
Rebecca at Unexplained Infertility - She is a newbie to my blog and I have discovered how hilarious she is!
Sililoquy at She Just Had To Say It - You have to cath up on her and her husband's ongoing debaticle over when to put up their Christmas tree. And if you want to hear an embarrassing story about a baby monitor and an afternoon quickie click here. Oh hilarious!
Tanya at A Day in my Life - How can I not give this one to her even though I am sure she already has gotten it many times.
Annie at Santiago Girls - I love how she puts it in English so I can read it too.
And lastly Deb at Postcards from the Edge - I know you have already gotten this, but I would love to hear your simple pleasures list. :-)

If you don't want to do the simple pleasures one and have a better list then go for it! Romantic, Cooking, Crafts, whatever!! Just have fun and pass it on :-)

I sometimes do Sunday Show and Tell. The fabulous Mel at Stirrup Queens started it all. Her blog is a wonderland of Infertility information and other fun stuff.

Happy Sunday All!