Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lunch time.

What do you do when it's still too chilly to have a picnic lunch at the park, but you and your daughter have a bad case of Spring Fever??

Have a picnic on the floor in your living room with your favorite fatso kitty, of course!

Please excuse the cables and cords. They make for a lovely picture, aye?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Love that little Brown Truck!

Do you get as excited as I do when you see the UPS guy coming down your road? I love it when he bring me packages. It's like an early Christmas present just for me! Yay!
I won a $35 gift certificate for CSN stores from Brenda at Another Small Adventure.
I was ecstatic! I have been pining for a new crockpot for ages and this was perfect! I knew immediately what I wanted to get with my gift certificate. although I was drooling over so many things!

Today we heard a *KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*
I look out the window and there it is. That beautiful brown truck!

My girls and I were dancing. Yep, they get that excited over packages too! We crack it open and find.....

Wooooooooot! Look how shiny! Look how new! Look how pretty!

Yes, that little girlie is pretty and shiny too :)

And, wouldn't you know it? I don't have a crockpot meal planned until Friday. Bummer.

So, I guess I'm just going to be forced to make this 

tomorrow for dessert. Oooooh yeah. 
Diet? What diet? we don't need no stinkin' diet!  
Okay, maybe we do, but we'll have just a bit of a cheat to enjoy this.

What's for Dinner?

I am really enjoying cooking lately. I love planning the menu, organizing my pantry, finding out how much I saved for the record, on Saturday I spent $23 at Smith's and SAVED $24, I have enough pasta that i got for FREE! to last about 6 months. man! i love those deals!...and cooking the meals, of course! I love not worrying about what I'm going to make or if I have the ingredients to make it. I am finding myself having an affinity for cooking blogs especially slow-cooker blogs. I found Our Best Bites a while ago and have blog stalked them since.  They have various recipes- from quick and easy, to put on your apron, you're going to be here a while.

 Tonight we are having this 

Is it wrong to be excited for dinner?

As I was checking out their blog today, I found some super fun April Fool's food for the whan.
We've all seen these before, right?

I'm thinking seriously about making these on Friday.

And, how stinking cute are these?

Or these? I seriously want one. Now.

What is the meatball you ask? A Ferrer Rocher candy. Yum.O.

Do you have fun traditions for April Fool's with the kids? I need some ideas! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Guess who lost another tooth?

Random Silliness

Does anyone else let the kids use their camera? At first I was supremely paranoid to let the kids take it and snap their shots, but I've tried to become a bit more mellow. I admit that I sometimes still get the shakes, but I love seeing things through their eyes. I probably have about 213897057349 pictures of the cats and pictures of eyes, mouths, and nasal passages, but I still love it.

First UP:

This cat makes us laugh. All the time. Here is Tonathiu with Harold right after scripture time.

Second photo on the Camera:

Bug with her bunny. I really love her expression. So innocent. So Sweet. 
Third Photo:

Tonathiu ironing his shirt. I'm sure there was mocking involved.

Fourth Photo:

This is Bug's version of taking a nap. Oy. There's so not any sleeping happening. 

Fifth Photo:

Our other fat cat, Marty. She's a blob and we love her. :)

Sixth Photo:

She's even beautiful making this face. :)

Can you tell who usually has the camera?

Friday, March 25, 2011

11 Years Ago Today....

Today's weather is perfect... Eleven years ago today Cary and I took the plunge. Best day of his life as I like to remind him he says.  It was a rainy and cold morning, which is strange for Arkansas in March. Arkansas is usually hitting the 70s by March!  And, guess who was supposed to have an outdoors wedding? No, not them. US! We had it all planned out with absolute no back up plan. Oh, to be so young and foolish again...

Now, remember, I was not a member of the Church at this time in my life and Cary was less active. I prefer to think that had nothing to do with me. I was panicking. That week before we had been hit from all sides. I remember thinking that our wedding just might not happen at all.
     Some members of my family had decided that since I was going to marry a hell-bound Mormon, they could not support said Mormon and me. I was devastated. I had been extremely close to this family member, almost like siblings. The daughters were supposed to be in my wedding also, already had their dresses made for them. It was crushing. Then, the pastor that I thought I had wanted to marry us decided that he too could not join the unholy to the righteous. I figured out at that point that the people  I had trusted and thought I knew, weren't whatI had once thought. I won't speak badly of them now, I have since moved on and forgiven for all that happened. It was an eye opening experience for me, albeit a very hurtful one as well.
So back to the story...
   Cary had contacted his Bishop and he said he would be delighted to marry us. He knew of the turmoil and bad feelings, and dealt with all of it with dignity and love. I was surprised, and very relieved.
So it was set.
It was to be a smaller wedding now, but it was going forward! Phew!

So, the day arrives. Rain. Rain. And More Rain.

My mother and dear friend ran around like mad women trying to find a place for us to hold the event. I won't even share some of the places that my mom called and suggested. They still give me the shivers. I called Cary and he was his calm pillar of strength self. He called the Bishop and he told us we could be married  in the Relief Society Room of the chapel in Hot Springs. I was nervous and unsure, but my mom and friend had worked so hard to make it the best place possible.
I was so nervous as my Dad and I stood out in the hallway. It was so quiet. I think I had been holding my breath all day. I was finally able to breathe again as he told me how much he loved me and how proud he was of Cary and I. He was crying and I was crying....I haven't thought of that moment in quite some time. It makes me teary, but what a wonderful memory.
The music began and that was our cue. I put my arm through his and he squeezed it tightly. We walked down the short aisle to a nervous Cary. I remember looking into his eyes and knowing. Just Knowing everything was just as it should be.
Bishop Shwerin started the ceremony and he spoke of forever love and eternal marriages and how one day he hoped that we could have that as well. It wasn't preachy or sermon-y, just wise words from a dear, sweet man. He spoke of President Hinckley, whom I had no idea who he was, but the words was perfect. We exchanged rings and a smooch, and it was done. I do remember Cary taking off his glasses and handing them to his best man for the kiss. What a riot! He makes me laugh.

And now, here we are eleven years later. Sealed together for time and eternity. Five children, whom all came to us in a very different way than we had expected, but came to us as Heavenly Father prepared us for them. although, i'm pretty convinced that i'm still not fully prepared All of us sealed as together for time and all eternity.

Happy Anniversary, Cary Jos.
Here's to Forever.

***also, thank you to everyone for the love and prayers that have been sent my way. I appreciate them and love you dearly.***

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things come in threes, right?

Growing up in Arkansas, I come from a very superstitious group of folks. You know the ones, don't you dare walk under a ladder, open an umbrella in the house, or let a black cat cross your path.  Living around my beloved crazies for the first 20 years of my life made it impossible for me to ever forget these superstitions or old wives tales, what have you. Well, with that is that death and bad things happen to you in threes. Has anyone else ever herd of that? Is it just us Southern folk?
   Well, we are working on numero 5.
I'm frustrated.
I'm sad.
I'm exasperated.

#1)Last week we found out through some crazy methods that the birth mother of our three oldest children is doing some very questionable things. Those of you who know, know---those of you who don't, can ask us. :) 

#2) Biological sibling drama. And, when I say Drama. I mean....Drama.

#3) IRS problemos. President Obama made some pretty nifty changes to the adoption credit/refund laws and our refund is awesome. Really. awesome. However, today I found out that it has been sent to review/examination and we're going to have to provide documentation coming  out of our wazoos to prove that we are, in fact, eligible for said credits/refunds.

#4) I had to go deliver some very sad personal news to a friend today. How do you do that tactfully and without hurt feelings? I don't think it's possible.

#5) Things are still rough between my oldest and myself. I'm learning to not take things so personally, but that is one flipping hard lesson to learn.  I know preteen and teenage boys/girls are different animals and things will be challenging. I get that. But, really, all this displaced anger is wearing me down.

I have a dear friend in whom I confide, even my most disturbing thoughts and worries. I'm blessed to be able to tell her everything, without fear of judgement, and know that she understands. I so get how lucky I am to have a friend like that.

OK, so that's five. Come on!

Friday is our anniversary. 11 whole years of happily wedded bliss. Ha! ;) The kids will be at the grandparents and it will just be me and my beloved. All alone. For a WHOLE night.
What ever will we do?
You guessed it.
Sleep. Sleep. And more sleep.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pesto, Anyone?

I'm new to Pesto. Honestly, I used to never try anything new. or green.
Then, I went here  and had this sandwich. So. Good.  And, since I'm totally plugging Zupa's today, I might as well share my favorite soup. Chicken Enchilada Chili. Happiness in a bowl. I've almost perfected my re-creation of this soup at home in my, you guessed it, crockpot! I love it. My kids love it. Cary loves it. Success!

So, I've become a fan of the pesto sauce. Yesterday while doing a little bit of grocery shopping, I found this
Yummmmm. They also have sun dried tomato and basil pesto sauce, which I may be giving a whirl next time.

Today for lunch we're having toasted turkey and swiss cheese sandwiches with pesto.
Is it weird to be excited for lunch?

Do you have a favorite recipe that uses pesto? I'd love it, if you do!

Also, if you head over to the Classico website, you can click on Coupon at the top and print a $1.00 coupon on a 44oz jar of any Classico Pasta Sauce. Tasty and savings? Yes, please!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy, Happy Birthday, Gabby Dear!

Gabby turned 8 on Friday! I seriously can't believe she's already 8 years old.

She came to us when she was 5. Three years have really flown by us. 
This is Gabby and Bug on their first night with us. They look so small!

Gab on her big 8 day!

We had a few friends over and per Gab's request we did a treasure hunt to find all of her presents. It's getting harder to come up with hiding spots and clues for said spots, but it is a lot of fun. The kids love going on their adventures.
I love her expression in this one! She had just opened up the present that contained all of her treasure hunt clues. :) 
On The Hunt....

Itztli and Bugga try to figure out their clue

Yoalli found her clue!

Deep in thought while deciphering the puzzle for their next set of clues.


Gabby even let me use one of her new gadgets

We had a good time and I'm so grateful I get to call that stinky little spirit my daughter.

Happy Birthday My Little Gabbalella

old maid, anyone?

A couple of days ago Yoalli wanted someone to play the game Old Maid with her. Cary was at work and I was making dinner, and the other kids were milling around doing their thing. All of my kids love to play games, but old maid isn't exciting to any of them except for Yoalli. She tends to be a bit bossy. shocker!

So, I walked into the living room and this is what I find

and this is a close up of Marty's excitement.

Love that girl!

St. Patrick's Day!

This post is a few days late, but I had to share our St. Patty's Day Fun. We kept it pretty low key, but I had to throw in some crazy fun. We don't do the whole leprechaun thing, mainly because Yoalli thought they were real and was SCARED. TO. DEATH.

So we had simple, happy fun with this


*we had to add Green beans and Green Salad too! :)*

And these

We made some yummy green cupcakes  and delivered to some friends and neighbors that we love. After some soccer and some scripture reading, that was our evening.

I'm game for some more ideas, so if you have, send them! :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Afternoons......

 This is how we roll on Sunday afternoons. 
Thanks Harold Cat for being our model. :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Disney...On Ice!

I was lucky enough to win 4 tickets to Disney On Ice in Salt Lake City this week, thanks to A Review and A Giveaway! (thanks again!!)
Gabby had seen it on television and has asked to go several times. I have been trying to win tickets for ages and I finally did it! :) Go me! 
Gab's birthday is on Friday, so we made this a special early birthday extravaganza! I decided that we needed to have a special girl only day. I kept it a secret until today and they were so surprised!

                                             We had to pose for a quick photo before the trip.

They were so happy that they squished the Bug! :)

The weather was cooperating with us and it was an easy drive up to Salt Lake. I only got lost turned around  once! Woot!

We arrived and got our tickets. They were EXCELLENT seats! thanks again A Review and a Giveaway!   We were in the 8th row in the 1st section. The girls could see everything perfectly and we were so close!

Hey Mickey!
I. adore. their. faces. 

The truly enjoyed the whole show, but their favorite parts were when these gals came out
All of the princesses! A little girl's dream!

Toy Story!
I thought the pig was hilarious. Gabby was mesmerized by that little troll. 
I think I have about 10 pictures of the troll.

I'm grateful I get to do little fun things like these with my girls. 
It makes my heart happy when I see this


Teeth? We don't need no stinkin' Teeth!

Bug has had a "wiggly toof" for a while now. This week she has actually been wiggling it, and today was the day. It.is.finally.ready.
She came in our bedroom early this morning and asked her Daddy to pull it out. She wasn't scared at all, she was ready!

See, we're still in bed and Cary doesn't have his glasses!
Cary is very cute. He always tells the girls that he's "very sorry if it hurts" and he "loves them so so much". After that and a smooch on the forehead, he is ready.

It only took *one* yank, and it was out! There were no tears, no whines, just a patient and excited little BugBug.

    The Tooth! She was very curious what it looked like and felt like.

A Happy BugBug!

Now, all we hear about is her "dollar" from the tooth fairy! She's super stoked. She's already put her little tooth on her window sill so that the tooth fairy can pick it up on her rounds tonight. :) 
Cary asked her, "What if the tooth fairy is poor and doesn't have a dollar?"
Her reply? "Oh, Daddy, she got lotsa dollars!"

Happy Saturday Y'all!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A CookBook! A Giveaway! My favorites!

Imagine my surprise when I learned that Our Best Bites is sponsoring a giveaway over at Be Different Act Normal!  And, I just posted about their ultra cool Balloon Wreath! :) 
I told you that they had amazing recipes, right? 
Well, here's some proof... 
The Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. Ooooh yeah. I'm thinking this is what I want for my birthday dessert this year.

And maybe this for my birthday dinner

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad. I'm a sucker for all things Chipotle. Loooove that stuff! You can buy bottled chipotle sauce at Macey's!

Who wouldn't want to win a cookbook full of delicious recipes like these? I for sure want to add it to my collection! 
Go HERE and enter the giveaway. And, if you win, you have to let me borrow it! :)

Where have you been all my life?

OK, this post is neither deep nor heart-felt. Unless, of course, you're feeling especially emotional about desserts. Which, this morning, I am feeling the love for these desserts. I started reading Is This Really My Life? months ago, and I have not been disappointed. Today, especially, I was not disappointed. :) I'm always looking for new and yummy recipes. If they are for the crockpot, it's like I've found a Holy Grail. ;)
Sadly, none of these are for the crock, but they look yummy nevertheless.
The Brown Sugar Pecan cookies are calling my name. We love those little babies, and this recipe is very similar to the Emma Smith's Brown Sugar Cookie recipe that I posted about in February.  And, you add a frosting to them? Yes, please! I'll take two! or eight

Also, during my morning blog reading I found this amazing balloon wreath! on Our Best Bites. Uh-may-zing recipes! 
I spotted one of these a couple of weeks ago in some photos a friend sent of her son's 1st birthday party. She made it to hang on the door for each birthday. And, it's a decoration that you can use over and over, year after year!  
It's a tradition for me to decorate the house fully while the birthday boy OR girl is at school. I try to make it as fun as possible. The kids always know that they will walk into a birthday extravaganza. I love doing it for them and I love to see how happy they are. Anyway, I've wanted a tutorial on how to make a fun balloon wreath and I was excited sadly, yes, that's all it takes, when I saw this one this morning.

And on a different note....Thank you for your comments and all the emails. It lifts my heart to feel so encouraged and loved.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Through the good times AND the bad....right?

It has been one heck of a two weeks. And by that I mean it has not been all sunshine and roses. 

Cary and I have a strong bond, incredibly so actually. But, these past two weeks have been 
 strained. For all those who really know us,  you know that we love each other deeply and that we are pretty much polar opposites. 

  Cary is a laid-back, peace-making, calm fella who avoids confrontation at all costs. Me? Yeah, not so much.

Having been married to him 11  years (this month!) has helped me learn more patience and more laid-back-ness. yeah, i  make up words here and there I get my "hackles up" and am ready to go. I'm not proud of it, but that's the way I am. I guess I have a short fuse and my buttons get pushed quicker and more easily than Cary. Let me tell you, that's so not a great thing when you have a child (or children) who have attachment issues and transfer their frustration and anger to you. The completely logical side of my brain, I know, I'm surprised mine still works too, realizes that I should not take things personally. I hear it from Cary, the Therapist, friends, and family. But, when you are in the "heat of battle", it's hard to realize that it isn't completely personal.

These weeks have been hard. I've struggled. A lot. with kids, with Cary, with knowing if I can take it, with doubting my strength as a Mom, with everything, especially my oldest son.

My oldest boy has had a hard, difficult life. He had to grow up really quickly and was abused by older sisters. He's angry, really angry, still, at his birth mother. He has "women" issues. Every woman he knew in his former life treated him badly, ignored him, let him down, and abused him. All of these things I know. I realize that these are the roots of the problem. Why can't I remember this when he's taking out his anger and frustration....because it's on me.
I was reading the book, "Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control" and this jumped out at me. Smacked me in the face, really. It's headed with the quote, " Revenge is a confession of pain".
..."Parents dealing with extreme behaviors from their children often find themselves empty, depleted, and hopeless. check, check, and check.  They begin to regret their decision to parent, they begin to feel completely incompetent, and they begin to hate their role as a parent. Ultimately, they may even reach the point of "it's either him or me that has to go". After years of living with a child who is unable to reciprocate respect, affection, and love parents go from being a lavish rain forest of love to an arid dry desert- hostile, angry, depleted." ..." "Parenting children with severe behaviors is not a simple job, yet it is a responsibility charged to us by God. It is a call to directly face our own worries, fears, and frustrations."

It's not easy to admit it to myself, or any of you for that matter but that paragraph sums up the past two weeks for me.  As he pushes and pushes, I retreat...from him...from Cary...from all of it. It's hard. But, I'm here. I'm still here.
 We have an amazing therapist and she is working with both of us through this difficult time.
And, through all of the bad, Cary has been there for me. My very own cheerleader. My very own rock.

My. very. own.

Heavenly Father did prepare us to take these children as our own. Personally, I'm not sure that he fully prepared me. But, I'm learning.
  We fasted yesterday. I fasted for me. for my son. for both of our hearts to be healed. Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I know this.  I know He loves us, we are both His children.

I'm ready for some good. Actually, I'm ready for some GREAT!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Frames - Star Star **

I love this band and Glen's voice. I'm in a "mood" today and this fits it.