Saturday, February 28, 2009

birthday party fun!!!

Today, we helped celebrate a friend of our's first birthday party! Greta Willander invited me to her Princess Party this afternoon. We had so much fun getting to play with her toys and watch her play with the birthday cake. One of my favorite parts of the day was getting to climb the soft stairs at her house. I was so fast that mama had to watch me every second to make sure I wasn't headed for those fun climbing things. One time, mama turned around to say hello to someone and by the time she turned back to check on me I had rounded the corner to start my second flight! That's because I am like Superman...faster than a speeding bullet! My next favorite part about the party was that mama let me have some yummy punch and part of a cupcake.

I thought Greta's cake and decorations were really cool...even though they were all pink!

Greta even let me play with this really neat walker that lights up and sings to you if you press buttons. Her coolest birthday present was this pink trike that you could sit on and scoot around the living room in. The buttons that you could push to make noises were almost as much fun as driving around on it!

I think she liked my present also -- "You are Special" by Max Lucado. Mama said it was for a special girl when we picked it out for her!

I am so happy that Greta invited me to her party!

Mama helped me share today; she said I did good...I only fussed a couple of times when I wanted to play with some of my friend's new toys and it wasn't my turn. Mama said that I was really good this afternoon even though I didn't get my morning or afternoon're never to young to start earning brownie points...especially since mama loves chocolate...something about needing it for her her blood...well anyway, I was a good boy & made my mama proud!!! :)

**I was sad I missed my other friend's party! Case Kimbrough turned one year old on Thursday! We'll have to play together again in March when mama brings me to MS! :)

Friday, February 27, 2009


What: Conversation between Carrie & Clay on the way home from the mall on Thursday.
Situation: In a 4 hour period we had had about 4-6 inches of snow dumped on us while in the mall; now, the roads were horrible and cars were ending up in medians and on the sides of the roads. It only took us 45 minutes to get home...on a noraml day it's 15.

Let me preface this by explaining to those of you who don't know my husband that well...he loves cars/trucks and weather...and he knows A LOT about both subjects. He will get so excited talking about both! I don't know how he fits all this stuff in his brain but somehow he does. And on days like Thursday when I am worn out from shopping and trying on clothes :) I have learned it's best just to sit there, smile, listen and pretend that I have a clue as to what he is talking about.

We get in the car in the parking garage to start heading home and we're just sitting there not moving. Parker is looking at both mama & daddy...content but wondering what's going on.

Carrie: What are you doing baby?
Clay: Letting the defroster warm before driving in the's almost to normal operating range.
Carrie: Ok Baby.

(We drive out of the parking garage.)

Clay: Wow! It has really been coming down out here since we went inside. Look at how bad the roads are. See the traffic backed up on our exit.
Carrie: Yeahhh, I see what you mean.
Clay: Man, we need Troublemaker (Clay's 1995 Ford Pickup) right now.

Silence for about 30 seconds.

Clay: I saw a truck that I really like back when we were in Houston; it was a Ford F150...(he said some other things about it here to describe it but I didn't get it all down or either didn't understand it.) I should've taken a picture of it.
Carrie: Yeah, wish you had taken a picture of it for me to see; you know I am a visual person especially when it comes to cars.
Clay: (in a slightly excited tone) The Subaru (sp?) Impressa would be a good one in the snow. It has a horozontally opposed 4 cylinder....(once again, there were other things here that I couldn't remember to write down or didn't understand)

Carrie: That's good bab...(interruption)
Clay: (This time with an even more excited tone)
Wow! There must ice under ths snow...Oh! Look at that moron up against the railing over there; he's pressing his gas and just scraping his car all up! Clay then went on to describe what I should do if I was ever in that situation...
If people knew how to drive, it wouldn't be a problem, ya know?

Carrie: Uh huh... (as I'm leaning out the car to take more pictures...there were at this time about 7 cars off the roads, a cop had appeared he was also stuck...and was laughing as he walked towards the people stuck in the cars.)

Sleep Number bed commercial comes on the radio...

Clay: I'm a 55.

Clay is unaware that Carrie looks over him with a grin...Clay continues to be amazed by the idiots driving on the road.

Clay: Why do people keep pulling out in front of me? I wish I had my truck.
Clay: Aww, poor lttle beetle bug got stuck in the snow...What are you writing?
Carrie: Nothing baby
Clay: Let's break out Troublemaker & go for a ride when we get home...What are you writing?
Carrie: My grocery list
Clay with a sort of grin: Bull! He then slurps his Diet Coke from lunch.
As he points to the road up ahead to show me a little truck...This little truck is horrible in the snow; the back end is so light they don't have any traction.

(After this he went on to describe in more specific details why the truck wasn't good for these weather conditions. I listened..sort of :)

I will end the conversation here because we pulled into the grocery store shortly after that and then we went home! We had a fun afternoon together and I'm glad I started to record this particular conversation because it makes my happy and makes me laugh inside when I see Clay get excited (although he says he's not) about little things like when we get snow and when he's describing vehicles to me. It's so cute. :)

I love you baby!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blue Jeans & Snow!!!

So today we ventured out to the Mall of America on a mission; I needed blue jeans...badly. The 2 pair that I own both have large holes in them. After trying on about 47 pairs in several different stores I selected 3 different styles (and I told Clay that these better last me for at LEAST 2-3 years.) One of them was on sale for a great price; the other two were pricier than what I usually pay but they fit me really well and were comfortable. And you know when you find a good fitting pair of blue jeans, you just gotta go with it.

The picture of Parker sitting amongst the blue jeans was us right before we left the last store. He had been soooo good and had fun helping mama & daddy shop; in this particular picture however he was threatening to get fussy! I thought it was too cute not to post because this is his new look of "if I scrunch my nose, make a face and grunt just a little it'll get their attention!" Parker was telling us it was time to go! ha ha! What's so funny is as soon as we pick him up when he makes this "I'm threatening to fuss face" he drops the pouty act faster than we can say, "It's ok, we're leaving!" and immediately is content! It's kind of little pickle! :)

So, did I say we were supposed to get snow this evening? I was wrong. What they actually meant by that was that by today at 3pm we would have 5-8 in and by Friday morning about 4-5 more inches on top of that. It only took us an hour to drive the 11 miles home this afternoon.

Here is a picture taken outside of our balcony of the snow in Apple Valley as of 4pm today. It is really coming down outside right now. Of course my husband is just loving it!!! He wanted to go outside and play in the snow earlier...I quickly told him it was too cold for that today! Maybe we can play for a bit tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grocery deals and Warmer days

So, it's Wednesday evening (10:19 to be exact) and I'm not sleepy. I think staying up late every night down in Waco last week has taken its toll on me. Clay & I were up till 1am last night trying to fall asleep. But of course this morning I felt like death run over when Parker woke up at 6:45. After changing his diaper and giving him some milk, I decided that today would be a good day for him to get in the bed with mama & daddy! ha ha! Luckily for us, after about a half an hour, he fell asleep. I think I woke him up almost 2 hrs later when my back was throbbing from the tangled position I was in (plus, I had a little knee or foot or something poking me in the back...I smiled thinking of how I felt during the last few weeks of my pregnancy.)

Today went by fast...trip to the Rainbow and to Target for groceries. Now that I am at home during the days I have been going wherever the best deals are...that usually involves 2 for the diapers and household products and maybe a few groceries and the other primarily for the groceries. Rainbow each week will have 1 or 2 killer deals that you just can't pass up. For instance, Kraft Mac n Cheese is on sale for $.39. Now, at Target the absolute lowest price you will see it is $.52. When Rainbow offers these good deals, there is always a limit. Good thing is, you can always go back the next day! :)

I have discovered up here that the absolute cheapest place to buy Huggies diapers is at Target when Huggies go on their monthly sale. Plus, Target will usually take more than one of my coupons!! Yea! I always leave the store with a smile on my face when I have his 104 pack Size 3 diaper box under my arm with my receipt showing a whopping 17.99! Now that is a good day!!!

I cooked Old Fashioned Beef Stew (out of my Better Home & Garden Cookbook) and cornbread tonight. It was good; I was so pleased that Parker and Clay devoured it! And there's plenty more left over for the rest of the week! I love left-overs. **Something you may not know about me...I will actually calculate how much a cooked meal cost us by figuring how many meals we got out of it! It usually makes me proud! :) I have decided though that one meal I can't beat the price of by baking it myself is Lasagna. Clay & I love the Stouffers Lasagna & it's like $6 for a Family Size! We don't have left-overs but it is certainly filling. I don't make homemade lasagna for that reason...maybe one day I will.

The pictures in this blog have nothing to do with today; just some fun ones I was thinking about. These were taken last August when Parker was 7 mos old; one was at the pool and the other was out at a park with a beach near our apartment. Oh how I can't wait to get those sweet toes in the sand and water again! I can tell by the way he beckons to go outside on our balcony that he LOVES being outdoors. He gets this huge grin on his face when we're outside and the wind is blowing in his face. I can't wait for warmer days...I think we'll have to wait awhile longer for that though...we're expecting 5-6 inches of snow tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"oh snowy & cold minnesota", here we come! :)

Parker & I are back in Minne! We arrived last night! I was so thankful we were able to get on our flight! Parker even had his own seat...YES!!! No holding in mama's lap this trip... :) I actually got to read part of my Creating Keepsakes magazine (as you can see in the picture above, Parker wanted to look at it too!); oh what a small moment of pure bliss that was...for a few moments Parker was entralled with his goldfish and the fact that for the first time ever, his little feet could touch the back of the seat in front of we go! I think I apologized to the girl in front of us like 7 or 8 times for the little "backseat kicker". She was really nice about it though! But truly for a few minutes I was able to completely lose myself in the creativity and fun of my magazine, and I think I smiled the whole time I was reading!!!

When we arrived in Minne I couldn't locate my check bag; it had somehow gotten placed on the later flight. They said that they would call & drop it off sometime between 11pm & 1am though. All right, I'll stay up...It actually worked out well because as it was, I was a little worried about being able to push, carry and stroll everything. Typical luggage for our flights is as follows: purse, diaper bag, Parker & Stroller, stroller case (which cannot be folded up and placed underneath the seat unfortunately...wouldn't it be nice! :)), pink MK carry-on bag with important things like Parker's nebulizer treatment, medicines, extra diapers, etc. and our check bag. As you can imagine, it sometimes gets a little tricky hauling all of this stuff. Well anyway, as it turns out, the guy dropped it off at the front of our apt last night around 12:40am. ...Less for me to carry and load in the car and less to fool with right away when I got home! :) I'm one of those that when I walk in the apt from a trip, I immediately spring into action and don't hit the bed until everything is in it's place and ready to go! So...this was the first trip in a very long time that when I came home I actually had to sit down and relax a bit after putting Parker to bed! It was kinda nice. :)

Today Clay flew in; he & Parker are napping right now. Actually, I hear them waking (isn't that funny how the timing always works!); time to get supper started! Anyway, it has been a good day to unpack, do laundry, sort and organize!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Two very cool aunts!

This is a picture of Kaylee & Lacey in costume with Parker right before their performance at SING on Saturday evening (L-R: Kaylee, Parker & Lacey). I've gotta say...Parker certainly has some mighty cool aunts! :) The Zeta Tau Alpha's put on a terrific performance on Saturday; the theme was "Fly me to the Moon." I'm amazed each year how incredibly talented these college students are. Each of the 17 sororities & fraternities participate in "SING" and try to earn a spot in the prestigous "Pigskin" event that is held later in the spring. Only a few slots are available...I think they pick the top 6 from the 17 groups and then those 6 get to participate in Pigskin later in the spring. It's a huge deal each year; months of preparation is required for the 6 nights of SING performances. This year, Lacey was one of the Chairs for Zeta Tau Alpha. Each group has about 7 minutes to perform and then a couple of minutes to switch over props and such for the next group. I'm telling you...these shows are amazing...the songs, dances, music, props, costumes...everything is top notch! Check out You Tube for some performances!

Thank you Kaylee & Lacey for sharing this fun weekend with us! We appreciate ya'll taking time out of your incredibly busy schedule to play! :) **Let me just tell you how cool these girls are and how lucky Parker is to have such wonderful aunts...when we got to the apartment, they had bought Parker his own toys (blocks, toy cell phone...) and even had a "Parker drawer" for his bath things, a blanket, etc. Gerber Graduate snacks were waiting in the kitchen for him...I mean, seriously, how much more can you do for your nephew?!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chic-fil-A & Friends!

**Update: The pictures are of us at Chick-fil-a...Poppie & Parker having a moment, Parker showing us the winner, our friend Kevin holding the 2 babies before putting them to bed (what you didn't see in this picture was Parker giving goodnight kisses to everyone including Kevin's daughter, Addison - the one in the picture - Shortly after that, "dad" handed Parker back over to his mama & daddy so that no more kisses were exchanged! ha ha!) The picture of the cute girl in the pink car is Kiersten, Liz & Kevin's oldest daughter!

Clay & Poppie had mtgs to go to in Houston early Thursday morning, so Parker & I stayed at the hotel, caught up on a little rest and enjoyed a buffet breakfast. Thursday evening Clay & I picked up another rental car & drove to see some friends of ours, Kevin & Liz (Clay actually went to school with them at Baylor). They have 2 precious girls, Kiersten (7) and Addison (18 months). We had a delicious dinner with them at their house, visited and watched the babies play together. After putting the kids to bed and chatting for a couple of hours, the night ended with a fun game of Wii. Clay and I left around midnight to head back to the hotel...back in the bed around 1am...another late night!

Friday morning Poppie went in to work for a little bit; Clay, Parker & I stayed in the bed until around 8:30 and then started getting ready to head out. We enjoyed an early lunch at one of the local Mexican restaurants in Katy before Clay had to fly back to MN. Poppie, Parker & I left for Waco...about a 3 hr drive from Houston. We were headed to Waco to see Kaylee & Lacey (Clay's sisters)...Baylor is having its SING production this weekend and both of the girls are in it. Friday afternoon we arrived and checked into the Hampton then met up with the girls for a bite to eat before Poppie headed to the show. (We had to go on separate nights because we couldn't get tickets for the same night.) Parker & I hung out at the hotel and called it a fairly early night (well, earlier than the last couple of nights anyway!).

Saturday we enjoyed a continental breakfast, went shopping at the mall in Waco, had Chick-fil-A for lunch (that was probably the best part! :)) and then I got to go to Sing that evening! It was awesome! (We missed you Clay!!!) Each of the groups did such a great job! I'll have to post some pics soon of Parker with the girls in their cute costumes!!! Then we took the girls and went to Fudruckers for a late dinner.

This morning, Poppie took Kaylee, Lacey, me & Parker to Crackerbarrel for a brunch before he flew out to head back to Vietnam. The girls and I relaxed at the hotel for a little bit longer before heading to Lacey's apartment. They are now at Sing practice; Parker & I are playing here until they get back.

Parker & I are going to try and get a flight back to Minne tomorrow evening. I'll post more cute pictures from the trip after we get back! Sorry for the horrific gramatical errors in the posts from this trip...I'm always in a hurry and trying to keep Parker out of all the breakable or destructable objects in sight...aka "the pretties"! ha ha!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

late night...

So, these are some pictures of our rental car right before it was towed away last night (we had had it for a whopping 5 1/2 hours!). Clay & I were driving in downtown Houston (literally at the street before we were pulling into the parking garage for the hotel) and a car ran a red light, hit the front end of our car...much more than a scratch. Thankfully, everyone was ok. It was around 9:30pm or was 1am before we got back to the hotel room. Man, were we tired. Clay had a busy day on Thursday so I felt really bad that all of this happened the night before he had to get up at 5am the next day. We were just so thankful that no one was hurt though. Poppie came to be with us for support and took care of Parker while Clay handled all the police stuff. Anyway, it was just a mess. Needless to say, we didn't get a lot of sleep Wednesday evening.

Arriving in Houston

Picture of our hotel room...Clay, Parker & I are staying at the Hilton in Downtown Houston with Poppie...I thought the picture of Parker standing at the window looking out at the city was the chocolates were left by one of the hotel staff...a lady dropped by to assemble the baby crib and asked if we wanted some treats...boy, was I excited!!! I had just told Clay that I had not had my chocolate fix for the day yet! :) Parker was also excited to get to play on the big plush beds!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hello Houston!

We're in Houston, TX! I'll share some details and pictures from our trip soon!

Earlier in the day:
Parker was so excited to show everyone at the Minneapolis airport how he could push his own stroller around! What a big boy he is! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How could you not?

How could you not adore this precious face?

Ring..Ring..."yes, i want to speak with my daddy please!" :)

Oh Parker, how I love your silly grins, your pats on my face, how it comforts you to touch and feel my hair, how you get sooo excited every time your daddy walks in the door from a trip, and your cute caboose and legs (they're going to be just like your daddy's!!! :)) I love how much you love bathtime!!! ...the sweet baby aroma after your bath, to watch you think, how you like to stack everything!!! ... how good of a baby you are! ...the way you eat almost everything with excitement...the adorable innocent "aaahhh" sound that comes out of your mouth to show us that you are in awe of something (such as when I take you to the balcony door to let you see outside, when I give you a snack that you really want...when you see new things that spark your interest!)

Thank you for being ours precious one! We love you! Mama & Daddy

Monday, February 16, 2009

Parker's trip to the MN Zoo

So today, after being up from 6:30-11:00am, Parker & I decided that we both needed to get out of the apartment for a bit and do something fun! We met my friend Michelle and her daugher Bella at the zoo. It was sooo much fun for all of us! Here are some pics from the afternoon! (This was Parker's first time at the zoo!!!)

One of the kids' favorite parts was Dolphin Bay where they could stand on this ledge, press their hands and faces against the glass and watch the dolphins, fish, sharks and other sea creatures swim by. There were several different tanks so they loved exploring each of them! Another exhibit featured sea creatures such as starfish, coral and other exciting ocean wonders; they were actually able to stick their hands in the water for this one! About every 2 minutes, water would come pouring out of a rock to create foam and splashes for the kids. Bella would jump up and down and squeal with glee; Parker would sort of back away from the water and stare first at me then at the water! You could tell he was curious and not so sure about :)

Because it was so cold, we didn't go around the outside exhibits, but we had a fun time viewing the "MN trail" as well as the "Tropics."

It was cute watching Bella & Parker together; Bella would run up to Parker and try to give him hugs and kisses. Parker would open his mouth wide and say "aaahhh" like he was trying to give her one back! Then Bella would pat him before running off again; so presh! While they were watching the dolphins exhibit, Bella would scoot over to Parker and wrap her arms around him! She is such a sweet little girl! Michelle & I had so much fun observing their reactions and playtime at the zoo!!!

Today was a lot more crowded than usual because there was no school in MN for President's Day, so every parent and their child within a 250 mile radius had come to play for the day! One of the zoo workers told us that last year on this weekend they had 19,000 people come between Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This year, they expected even more due to new exhibits and such!

I'm so thankful we were able to go! It was just the prescription that Parker & I needed for the day! :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY SWEETHEART! Parker & I missed you today!!!

An overview of our day today:
Parker woke up at 5:15a.m. with a poopy diaper...Carrie got up to take care of...Clay's alarm went off at 6 to leave for airport...6:45 Parker wakes up again...Carrie gets up to get him and a bottle ready...7-9 playtime and breakfast...crankiness sets in around 9am - time for a short a.m. nap...Parker sleeps from about 9:15-9:45...10-11 read lots of stories together...lunchtime...more playtime with some fussiness...1pm lays down for about a 45 min nap...wakes up really fussy this time...mama gives him tylenol and orajel...(upon rubbing the orajel in I figured out what the cause was for all of his fussiness...his left molar is this big swollen bump)...poor was an interesting afternoon...lots of playtime with also a good bit of tears and crankiness...he is now nestled under his covers for the night...

I wanted to post some cute pictures but I haven't taken any new ones in the last day or two. I took Parker outside this afternoon hoping to capture some fun moments, but as soon as I walked outside the cold blew us right back in (it was 20 degrees outside..who knew??) I am so ready for a warmer day so that we can take Parker to the park!!!

It's almost 9p.m. and I am about to settle on the couch with some chocolate and a scrapbooking magazine!!! :) The last couple of days (excluding today) I've managed to squeeze in a little craft time, so I'll try and post some pics of my ongoing projects soon!

Have a relaxing evening! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Breakfast in Bed

This morning when Parker woke up at 6:40 Clay immediately got out of the bed and told me to go back to 8:15 he walked in the room carrying 2 cards and breakfast. Breakfast in Bed!!! "Happy Valentines!" he said...How thoughtful was it of Clay to do this for me! I couldn't help but grin & laugh when I read the card from Parker; it had scribbles on it and Clay had helped him sign it at the bottom where it read, "Happy Valentine's Day! Love the P Man." Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed my 7 minutes of Breakfast in Bed; I am so blessed!

Last night, Clay & I watched the movie "Fireproof" (my Valentine's gift to him); if you have not seen this go get it today! It's a little bit of a tearjerker like "Facing the Giants" but soooo worth it! What an awesome reminder of how we should cherish our relationship with our spouse each day through the good, the bad and even the ugly!!! :) Rassie gave us the book, "Love Dare" for Christmas and Clay & I have started that; it is a follow-up to the movie (although you really don't have to see/do one before the other!). I would recommend the book "Love Dare" and the movie "Fireproof" to engaged couples, newlyweds, couples who have been married for 40 years...what a cool gift idea too!

Tonight, I'm cooking supper for my friend Tracy and some of her family who are coming into town from Kansas City for their grandmother's funeral. It will be a bittersweet time; so sorry that they have lost their loved one but also excited to be able to visit with them for a bit!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

receiving mail

Do you know....that receiving mail makes me sooo happy! I check our mail everyday because I love going down to the mailbox and seeing what the mailman dropped off for us that day! It can always put a smile on my face! So of course I was ecstatic when the postman buzzed our apt today...because that means a package!!! Yea! I don't mind weeding through the junk mail either as long as I can sort out all of the mail...junk(garbage), Carrie's pile, Clay's pile...somehow, it relaxes me! :)

You wanna know something kinda funny? Even the few times that I have asked Clay to pick it up for us on his way in, he will leave it sitting on the counter for me to sort through when I get home because he knows how much I like to do that!!!
Anyway, so now you know another little tidbit about me! :)

I hope that each of you are blessed with lots of fun mail this week!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

yummy recipes...

So on Saturday a girlfriend of mine, Jami, came over to scrapbook for a little while; with her came these delicious treats..that are actually healthy! I loved them because not only were they yummy and nutritious, but what a great recipe for parties, casual get-togethers, church suppers, or anything for that matter!!! She shared the recipe with me so here you go! Hope you enjoy! (I believe the original recipe came from

2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a 9x13 inch baking sheet, and pinch together edges to form the pizza crust.
Bake crust for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Once finished cooking, remove crust from oven and let cool 15 minutes without removing it from the baking sheet.
In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and dry Ranch dressing. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange broccoli, tomato, green bell pepper, cauliflower, shredded carrots, and Cheddar cheese over the cream cheese layer. Chill for one hour, slice and serve.

Also, I tried a fun new dinner recipe tonight from the Grenada, MS First Baptist Church Cookbook "Endless Blessings" that recently came out (thank you Mama! I am loving it!). The recipe was called Cranberry Chicken and delicious! And talk about easy...oh my goodness..chicken, catalina salad dressing, dry onion soup mix and cranberry sauce was all you needed. It literally took me less than 10 minutes to prep this meal...I served it with some simple broccoli and twice baked potatoes. If you're tired of the same old chicken meals and looking for something easy and should give this a try! Let me know if you want more details on this one!

Other good recipes from this book that I've tried so far (in the 2 weeks I've had it) include the Cheeseburger Casserole (which Clay & Parker loved!) and baked pork chops...yum! (even though as we all know I had a stinker of a time with the prep on the pork chops!) :) For sides lately, one of our favorites is Roasted Vegetables (recipe derived from the Betty Crocker cookbook). It fixes a nice amount of vegetables for 2 1/2 people. :)

What has been so much fun about the Endless Blessings cookbook is that not only are these recipes some of the best and easiest ones I've tried, but I grew up eating a lot of these dishes made by these ladies because I've known them since I was itty bitty in the church! Ladies, thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes with us!!!

shooting hoops!

Yesterday afternoon, Clay & Parker shot hoops together with Parker's new basketball goal from Santa. Uncle Taylor would be so proud! :) Parker rarely missed a shot! :) It was fun watching the two of them play together; Parker LOVED the fun and literally threw the ball until he was so tired it was pitiful watching him. His little arms and legs gave out after a good 25-30 minutes...but he just kept at it...the ball starting hitting the rim and then the wall, and then the floor...Clay had to strategically introduce a new toy to him so that he wouldn't be upset about being separated from the basketball goal! :)

Parker is 13 months old today; it seems hard to believe that a year and one month has passed since our precious little boy was born. Clay & I are so blessed to have him in our life!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

a glimpse of our day

This morning, Parker was loving the "Aaaa" syllable; he was just babbling away with every little nonsense word he could think of!!
Also, the boy is getting too smart too fast. Today, he tried getting in our kitchen cabinets (which is not unusual; this happens at least 6-7 times every day!). But today was different; I turned him towards me so that he could look at me as I tried to scold him and tell him not to open mama's cabinets again or he was going to get a spanking. Now mind you the whole time I'm talking to him he wouldn't look me in the eye...instead, he leans forward and says, "Aaaaahhh" and gives me his famous mouth wide open kisses! I'm just sitting there trying so hard not to laugh as he places his hands on my shoulders and leans towards me then back, to be able to see my face, and then forward again as he says "aaaahh" and plants a big wet one on my lips! I can tell this scolding thing is not always going to be easy! :)

Mama opted for a quick lunch today: Chef Boyardee & grapes

We're starting to misplace quite a few socks during naptime! (see yesterdays);)

Picked up a few scrapbooking supplies today for a surprise album for Clay for Valentine's Day...shhh, it's a surprise! :)

Clay arrives home from his 4 day trip tonight!!! Yea!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

right now

Right now...

-I am hoping that Parker is going to fall asleep soon!
-Excited about Clay coming home tomorrow night
-Thinking about 2 very important things I have to do next week & how excited I'll be when they are done
-enjoying munching on 2 homemade chocolate chip cookies...thank you for the idea Aunt Cindy!
-glad I organized all of my greeting/note cards last night
-LOVING the beautiful weather we are having here today! I took Parker on a 3 minute stroll earlier (first stroll of the winter)...ok, so it's still COLD but not "in the negatives" cold!
-wanting to finish up our Australia album this weekend; I'm oh so close!!!
-thinking I'm going to organize my dresser drawers again tonight...I can't tell you the joy I get from seeing my things neatly rolled and in their place!
-hoping that each of you are having a wonderful and happy Saturday!

...and with that my precious boy is now snoring away in baby dreamland...time for some hot English tea for mama while the babe sleeps...

Friday, February 6, 2009

my Aunt Ash

Aunt Ash (Ashleigh, aka Aaaa-sheeeeee): funny, pretty and sweet, has terrific arms to rock me so, sooo much fun to play with whether it's looking at ourselves in the mirror and making faces or singing songs, has such a giving heart, one of the best teachers in the whole wide world...(I hope your children get in her classroom one day)!!! Aunt Ash can make me laugh and wonder; she will even get down on the floor with me and stare up at the lights with me. When I cry she will pick me up but not spoil me too much! I love my Aunt Ash and can't wait to see her again soon!

We miss you Ashleigh and are so proud of you for teaching over in Vietnam! You are such a blessing for those children and their families! I do miss our daily conversations though and can't wait for you to get back to the States soon!
We love you!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

browning pork chops

So, am I the only person who didn't know what "browning pork chops" meant?! Maybe there is someone else out there who has been in a similar situation at some point of their life! :) So, I'm trying this fabulous new recipe from this cool new cookbook that I just got and there are not a lot of specific measurements in it. That's ok though; I decided to take on a challenge!!! :)

So, I had planned this scrumptious meal of Baked Pork Chops & Roasted Vegetables and announced that it would be ready at 5:30pm. Well, 5:45 rolls around, I take the pork chops out of the oven and they're still raw!! I hollered over to Clay who is in the living room with Parker only half paying attention to me as he is watching Parker to make sure he doesn't throw "mama's pretties" on the floor and asked him to come look at the pork chops. He said, "Well, did you brown them?" I said yes..."I followed the directions exactly; I browned them in butter, pepper and Worchester sauce."

I couldn't figure out why he was still busting with laughter until a minute or two later when he informed me that browning meant you had to place them in a skillet and sear them for a quick second first. I said, "Why didn't you tell me that earlier when I asked you if I was "browning" the pork chops right?" His response was, "I figured you knew how to brown pork chops..."

Lesson #672 - Never assume I know exactly what I'm doing in the kitchen. I may act like I do, and in that case do not tell me what to do or you might get more than just a look :) but if there is meat in sight, know in advance..I might need help! :) I wouldn't consider myself an expert quite yet on the poultry and meat dishes!

How did the dinner turn out you say? Well, we don't know yet...I did figure out what to do with the pork chops, but the vegetables for some unknown reason took twice as long as they were supposed to. Weird. Anyway, Clay poured me a glass of wine (smart man), popped a frozen lasagna in the microwave and we were good to go. The original dinner was done around 7:45 last night. Parker & I will enjoy it tonight. Oh well, at least there is no cooking for me today! I'll let you know how it turned out! :) Clay just left at 4am today on a 4 day trip, so leave me some comments to read while he's away! :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

little boy in blue

This is our little boy in blue! :) (thank you for the warm jacket Rassie!) Yesterday, he clapped his hands for us for the first time...and once he started he didn't want to stop!!! Within the last 2-3 weeks he started blowing kisses and doing "the winner!" Clay & I can't believe how fast he is learning and picking things up!

He took his first 3 steps by himself when we were in MS and Friday he took 5 steps by himself in the middle of our living room floor! Since then, each day he has continued to experiment with walking without's in little bits though...when he decides he can get somewhere faster by crawling or using a piece of furniture :) he drops down on all fours or grabs the table, couch or wall! Rarely, do we see him take more than a couple of steps by himself at a time. We know it'll come soon enough though, so we're not wishing time away for him or for us!

Monday, February 2, 2009

creative girlfriends...

Time to brag on my creative MS girls!!! This last week, when I went to Grenada for a visit I was able to see my long-time girlfriends Natalie & Ashley. (Terra was in Nashville so we missed her!!!) The four of us have been friends since cheerios and barbie dolls were the best things ever made...we have remained the best of friends through the years. Though we are all different in our own ways, there are a lot of of these being our creative outlets. We each have our own little way of expensing our creative energy! As most people know, I love photography, scrapbooking and organizing.

Natalie has always had a passion for painting; she has dabbled with it for years and has really made some neat paintings. Over time, by word of mouth, when people would see the paintings in her home, they would ask her to paint one for them too and so forth. Here is one of her latest that fashions precious Case's (her little boy) room! She can paint just about anything, but has a real knack for paintings for children's rooms and still objects such as fruits, flowers, etc.

Natalie has a blog to showcase some of her paintings:

Ashley, attorney by day, creative artist by night...has always had an eye for art. She won quite a few local art contests when we were in elementary and junior high; we always knew she would either be President of the U.S. one day or an art teacher! :) She has a knack for uniqueness; if you take one step in her & her husband's home, you'll see what I mean. To sum up her style...a southern rugged vintage...I get inspired every time I step foot in her door! Here are some of her latest creations...she made her own pillowcases and then crafted these adorable pins to attach to the fabric! I love it!

We've always tagged Terra as the "little Miss Martha Stewart" who has an eye for decorating (furniture, name it!) and organizing her space with a comfortable, simple but BEAUTIFUL look! I will never forget one of the summer's when we were home from school and the many projects she took on! She would find old pieces of furniture to refinish and paint in vibrant colors; they of course, all turned out so pretty! Here is one of her creations!

These girlfriends inspire me in so many ways, and I LOVE how we each have our own little niche of creativity. The picture at the top is of the 4 of us at Terra's Bachelorette Weekend in Nashville, TN back in October of 2008. How fun! I love you girls!