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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

... excitement is in the air!!


Taking a short blogging break to enjoy this holiday season with my family.
During this time, we'll:
  • celebrate Christmas together
  • have wonderful family parties
  • eat won tons & steak
  • enjoy family
  • watch movies
  • play games
  • eat out several times
  • catch up with friends
  • .... and enjoy Maddie's baptism

Merry Christmas to all my friends!

Friday, December 18, 2009

... the Lion King show

Years ago, when my brother & I were preteens, then teenagers.... my parents would expose us to various theatre performances. I remember going to an outdoor theatre in Kansas City, watching Bye Bye Birdie {I love you Danny, oh yes I do.. when you're not near me, I'm BLUE! Oh Danny I love you}. I can't believe I remember those lyrics. The name might be wrong, but I remember the tune!

Anyways, I had the opportunity to see several different theatre productions over the years. My favorite "grown up" production is The Phantom of the Opera. My friend Amy and I dressed up in our formals, and saw it. Oh, it was so beautiful. When the show came around again, I treated my mom to the show, and my dad paid his own ticket. I know... does that sound weird or what? I guess I was a tightwad. Anyways, I bought those tickets like in the fall of '96, before I met Mike. The show was for the weekend before Mike & I got married. I have wonderful memories of my dad getting dressed in a spiffy bright blue shirt with suspenders. We had a great time that night.

Well, I haven't been back to the big theatre productions since then, and that's been almost 13 years! There have been many shows I've been dying to see: Wicked (missed it twice in each city I've lived in), Phantom of the Opera (again.... I will never tire of this show!), the Lion King in Kansas City, among others.

Finally, the Lion King rolled around to San Antonio. I.had.to.go!! I missed out on Wicked a few months ago. I was sorely SORELY disappointed. I mean, my heart (and Katie's) broke in two. Literally. But, this time, I was going to expose my two girls to the theatre.

I knew my girls would know the story line. Katie used to wake up at 2 in the morning when she was a little baby, and we watched the Lion King every single night. Yawn! Both my girls loved the movie, so the story line would be easy for them to follow.

We sat in the cheap seats (nosebleed section, I'll tell you!) in the Majestic Theatre, and W.O.W! What an amazing experience! The look on my girls' faces was worth every single penny I spent to get them to the show. Their face lit up through it all. They laughed. They bopped along to the music. One almost fell asleep I think. 10:45 is pushing her bedtime a little.

Enjoy a little sampling of what we saw! And, if it comes to a town near you, it's a must see!

A big thanks to Mandi, my dear friend, for coming along w/ us!

....sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite

Miss Maddie has been a tad bit sick for the past week and a half. Maddie never gets sick. Ever. She had RSV when she was 7 weeks old, and was placed in the hospital for a few days. Then she had the flu, and had a reaction to the medicine they gave her to treat the flu. But beyond that, she's never sick. Ever.

But this time, after Thanksgiving, we all passed our little germies around, no matter how much I sprayed Lysol around the house, around the doorknobs, on the phone, remote controls, etc. I think we're all out of the woods now, but Maddie still has a little lingering cough.

I shot this picture of her one morning when she was sleeping. She never sleeps with her bunny, Daisy, unless she's sick.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

...yummy treats!

A few years ago, I found this recipe, and it was so incredibly easy, that I put my then little kids to work on helping me make these yummy treats. Since then, my girls have made these every year. It's a family favorite (OK, it's a favorite b/c I don't have to bake or slave over a stove... they can do it all!).

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Place a bunch of square pretzels on a cookie sheet. Line then up as close as possible.
(note to myself: comb Maddie's hair before pictures are taken! EEKS!)

This is where your kids come in handy! Make them unwrap a bunch of Hershey kisses. It'll take a while. Trust me. Oh, and buy a few bags of kisses b/c chances are, they all won't make it to the cookie sheet.

Place the Hershey kisses on top of the pretzel.

Place in the oven and leave for 4-6 minutes. I had to leave for 7 minutes b/c my chocolate was still too hard by 6 minutes.

Dump some M&M's on the table.

When you pull out the cookie sheet, immediately have your kids put one M&M on top of each kiss, squooshing it down.

Tada! Place in fridge for about 10 minutes to harden up!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

...we had a boy! for a night!

My girls dream of having a little brother (or sister). Doubt it'll ever happen, but last Saturday night we babysat my friend's little boy, and boy did the girls have fun!!

Caleb was the best little toddler around. No tantrums, no crying (well, except for when he didn't want to go to sleep), and had fun playing with the pink trucks the girls had. He also played with the dollhouse.... but it had boy figurines in it, so that's not so bad, right?! And blocks! We do have boy toys in our house!!

Anyways, Caleb & Katie bonded fast. Caleb was in LOVE with Katie from the get go. OK, every single little kid falls in love with Katie. She loves to play with these kids!

He spent the night, and in the morning woke up such a happy camper! I love happy babies! Maddie played with him for an hour or so with the dollhouse & cars.

Caleb... you come back over ANYTIME!

{PS... sorry for the blurry quality of the photos! Not sure what happened with my setting, but in the camera it looked fantastic! AUGH!}

Monday, December 14, 2009

...Merry Kissmas & a Chappy New Year!

**UPDATE!!**  This blog post has been pinned and viewed literally thousands of times -- and unfortunately I have found my pictures floating around w/ people taking credit for this idea -- so I am now replacing the pictures with my blog info.  :)  Hate to have to do this, but if you would like to share this idea on your blog or website, please share my blog link for due credit! 
Some of you have done that, and I Thank you!!  

Every now and then for Christmas I like to give my friends a small gift. One year it was marble magnets. Another year it was a beautiful HUGE mug filled with awesome cocoa mixes & peppermint sticks. One year I made Mike's grandma's homemade hot orange drink mix and placed it in pint sized mason jars. Another year it was an orange, cloves, bottle of vanilla and a recipe for making a delicious simmering pot of home scent.

This year I wanted to do something for my new friends here in Texas... but I was short on time as far as running all over the place gathering stuff to make whatever. My theme this year (and especially this season) is SIMPLIFY!!

But I did find these Yes to Carrots brand of chapstick. According to all the magazines I'm reading lately, this brand is THE brand to have. Apparently. I wouldn't know. I'm not that "hip" with stuff. But, I found them on sale for .99 cents each at Walgreens instead of the usual price tag of $3.79 each. I thought "ooh, Christmas gifts!" Who wouldn't want a nice chapstick instead of chocolate. OK, I can think of one person who would probably rather have a chapstick than chocolate.... :)
With some help from friends, I have a very clever gift.
(at least I think it's clever! LOL)



Sunday, December 6, 2009

...the many faces of Mike

I have noticed something lately every single time I attempt to take a picture of Mike.
He won't smile.
He makes funny faces.
It's really irritating me.
Maybe that's why we have YET to get family pictures?
Let me prove it to you....

The "make a weird face" look

Dude... only 12 year old kids hold up the Peace sign anymore

The "fake surprise" look

The "fake laugh" look

The "stick out your tongue" look

The "whistle" look

The "clench your lips together & grin it and bear it" look

The "talking while I'm taking a picture" look

FINALLY! A decent smile! He really does look good when he smiles!

Friday, December 4, 2009

...being sick is the pits!

As much fun as we had last week in Dallas, all good things come to an end. And by "end" I mean.... getting sick. Katie started getting sick Monday night. Her throat was scratchy. Then by Tuesday after school, she fell asleep on the couch ~ sure sign she's sick. By Wednesday, it's a full blown severe sore throat, major cough, drainage.... etc. But late morning she started running a very low fever, so I called the doctor. She had an upper respiratory infection. Lovely. Doctor's orders are to stay home until Friday (today). She's FINALLY back to school!

Then Maddie comes down with a sore throat and a cough. A bad cough. She's never sick! Ever! So, she stayed home on Thursday, and coughed.her.head.off! We're home again today.... but I think she's on the mend and recovering.

My thermometer went ka-put a few months ago. It's the kind that you take the temperature in the ear (well, as long as you HOLD it the right angle!). But the battery is expensive and sometimes hard to find. I received a Temple Touch Thermometer from MomSelect & Walgreens a few weeks ago, and was thrilled I had a working thermometer to check on my sick babies. I have to say so far about this Temple Touch.... I love how you just touch your temple or underarm to get a reading. No more sticking a thermometer in a body part.... well, you get the idea. :D

So, I'm off to spend a relaxing day with my Maddie Rose. We're going to decorate the tree today, clean my bathroom, make dinner for a change!

Monday, November 30, 2009

.... adios to gobble gobble day

We're back from our wonderful mini vacation to Dallas. Home of my wonderful Sister in law & brother in law Tiff & Dan. Home to my two nephews & niece. Love them!

We got an early start (try 2:15 a.m.) on Thursday morning, and was on the road by 3:45 a.m. Slept for 2 hours on the road where I was rudely awakened by a man driving our vehicle telling me he wanted a bear claw at the gas station. ::grumble:: Was awake the rest of the drive.

Sadly, I was also in a big daze the rest of the day. No sleep = cranky Amy. Ate some delicious food, visited with family, and saw NEW MOON! Can I just get a SCREAM in here? OK, Twilight was good, not great, but good. New Moon, hated the book (total Team Edward here), but LOVED the movie! Walked in a Team Edward fan, walked out a member of the ever growing Team Jacob fan club. ::swoon:: I'm up to see it again... anyone? anyone?

Friday was the day of shopping. For an hour and a half. We didn't leave until 1:30 b/c we had to get the guys out of the house... with the kids. My two sister in laws and I went to Target and did some Christmas shopping. Yay! That night we had an awesome Mexican dinner in Fort Worth, and attempted to see the Parade of Lights that is a huge deal down there. We were a little late, and unless you were 7'9" you didn't see a darn thing! I saw a few lights. That was it.

Saturday was another day of shopping. We went for 3 hours this time! And had lunch out. Yummm! We also made it to Pinkberry!! My SIL Tiffany is in LOVE with this place. And after eating it, so.was.I! It's so yummy! I had the chocolate frozen yogurt. The others had the icky plain frozen yogurt. It tasted :shockingly: like PLAIN YOGURT!! GAG! But the chocolate is to die for! Topped with tons of fresh fruit. ::swoon:: Pomegranate seeds! Raspberries! Mangoes! Blackberries! Yumm!Then that night after dinner we played Sequence. Love that game! Came home Sunday morning (OK, we attempted to be home by 2:15!). However, everyone else who lives in Texas was trying to get home at the same time we were, and when you take two major highways and merge then both into two lanes, followed by rain and a car accident, you ain't going anywhere for an hour! And we didn't! I had flashbacks of this movie I saw where the girl was asking someone in an RV to use their bathroom when they were stuck in traffic. I seriously had to pee. Like BADLY! I made it though. ::whew::

Our catastrophe was Mike's "new" truck's alternator decided to die during our trip home. GWEAT! He watched the guages (always important to watch the guages ladies! I got a lecture!) and realized the battery was being used, and said "I think our alternator died". So, I prayed really really hard that we would find an auto parts store along the way (can't turn the truck off in case it won't go back on), and we found one. Whew! Yep, it was the alternator, and Mike had it changed out in 10 minutes. THEN I got to pee. At Wendy's. That was a sense of relief I hadn't felt since I had a baby! Whew!

Got home finally at 5:00.... 7 hours after we started! {should have only taken 4.5 hours!} AUGH! But, we were glad to be with family during this holiday of gratitude!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Maddie + 7 girls + a spa party

For Maddie's 8th birthday, she wanted a Spa Party.
I said "OK".
What was I THINKING?

OK, it wasn't THAT bad, but between working full time, running a house, exercising my butt off.... I just didn't have time to do an "out of this world" spa party. But I think I did OK. :)

The morning of the party, I ran to the Dollar Tree store for goody bags. Whoever thought of handing out goody bags to thank kids for coming to their party should be shot, in my opinion. I mean, it's ONE MORE THING TO DO FOR ME!!!

I found some cute stuff to put in their bags pertaining to "bath" stuff. Then I ran to the grocery store for "healthy" food stuff (i.e. fruit, fruit dip, etc). I made sure to grab lots of different kinds of fruit, and boy was it yummy!

Then I ran home, got Maddie's favorite cake in the oven (two layer french vanilla cake with homemade chocolate frosting). Somewhere in between all this, I made homemade lip balm. That was pretty tricky. I tried melting petroleum jelly with honey, and the honey was just a big blob in the middle. Then I tried cocoa powder, and that worked. I tried Kool-aid, but I couldn't get rid of the lumpiness, and I tried sweetened Pink Lemonade, and still didn't work. So cocoa lip balm it was!

Before long, the little friends of Maddie arrived, and we set out for some fun!

I made them eat first while we waited on more friends. Fruit, dip & chocolate (of course!).

We had three stations that rotated. One was a nail station (painted nails). The next was the foot station (soak your feet & get the nails painted). The third was the craft station as well as the "rest your eyes" station. That was a fun station! So thankful for Katie & her friend Vanessa that came to save the day & help me!

I also made smoothies (1 c orange juice, 2 c frozen strawberries, 1 frozen banana, and one small container of yogurt). I served them in little plastic wine glasses.
Those were THE hit of the day, it seems!

This little gal liked to lick her smoothie.

Now, here we have the "rest your eyes" station. As you can see, some took it seriously, and others couldn't control themselves & laughed the entire time. Most of the little girls kept lifting up the cucumbers and looking at me. Finally after 5 minutes I told them to eat the darn things.

We made bath salt (1 c epsom salt, 5-6 drops of essential oil, 2 drops food coloring). What fun that was to shake it all up (and me hoping they don't shake hard enough that salt goes EVERYWHERE!)

Ta - da! the finished product!

For some reason, almost all my pictures are fuzzy, but the only ones that turned out "non-fuzzy" are the ones you see.... predominantly of Tressa (Maddie's BFF) & Madison.

Ahhh... there's the cake!

Happy Birthday Madison!!
May all your wishes come true!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

what happens when you combine....

What happens when you combine:

a beautiful little girl all dressed in white
a GORGEOUS backyard full of beautiful trees & greenery
1 mom who is trying to capture the perfect picture

You get this.....

Yup.... both Maddie & I came home covered in mosquito bites even though we had applied TONS (and I mean TONS) of repellent.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

WAHOOO!! Back online BABY!

Didja miss me?!!

I missed my blog!! I missed my computer!!
I DON'T miss that virus that shut my computer down Sunday night!

Sad that I didn't get my quick shout out to Maddie for her birthday today complete with her pictures of growing up times. I WILL get to that.... someday. Maybe next year?

Anyways, a big shout out to my good friend Melissa & her hubby Matt for helping me with my computer. ::sigh::

All is well again in my home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

,,,, sneak peek!

Finally did Maddie's baptism photoshoot today, but there are TOO many to pick from! Since I'm waiting on a few things before I post the final pictures that are MY favorites, here are a few sneak peeks! Granted, some of these are NOT going to be picked for a baptism announcement, but I still liked them.....
You should see the picture I caught of a mosquito on her chin.... priceless.

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