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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February Menu

Here is a C&P of our February dinner menu!!


For the record, we did pretty good in January!  Some nights we had leftovers... but for the most part our eating out was minimized GREATLY!  That was what I was aiming for, and we did accomplish that!  I changed a few things around b/c Wednesdays are now my busiest day, but that should end at the end of the month! 
Click here if you want to print it out (OK, I'm hoping it works.. if it doesn't work, then email me at amybeccaz at hotmail dot com and I will send it out to you.  You can also click on the title up above and it will take you to the place to print it out.

The links to the recipes that I do have on my recipe blog are in gray.

february 2012 dinner menu





Crockpot Meal:
Shredded Salsa
Chicken over
Salad or tortilla
Chicken Nuggets
Mashed Potato

Baked Potato

Hot Dogs
Break/Fast Dinner

Crockpot Meal:
Stir fry
Egg Rolls
Fruit Salad

Saucy Parmesan Chicken
Broccoli/Cheese Rice



Baked Ziti
Crockpot Meal:
Chicken &
Cottage Cheese

Fettuccini Alfredo
Salad or Veggies

$5 Footlong
Chicken Patty
Tater Tots
Veggies & fruit
Chicken Enchilada
Cottage Cheese

BBQ Chicken
Chopped Salad
Crockpot Meal:
Roast Beef
Potatoes & Carrots
Cottage Cheese
Crockpot Meal:
Shredded Salsa
Chicken over
Salad or tortilla

Sesame Chicken
Egg Rolls

Sloppy Joes
Veggies & fruit

Cheddar Chowder

Grilled Chicken
Baked Potato

Hot Dogs
Pasta Salad

Fajitas or
Guac & chips
BBQ Chicken in oven
Baked Potatoes
Chicken Stirfry
Egg Rolls

Grilled Cheese &
Ideas in a pinch:
Canned Soup
Homemade Pizza
Chicken nuggets
Hot Dogs

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Photoshoot time!

Since Katie got bangs for her birthday.... she wanted a photoshoot done. It had been almost a year since her last shoot (I take my girls out to practice on them, and they are more than happy to pose for me!), so I figured it was time!

Here is a collage of her pictures, and then some bigger pictures that we (she) loves!








Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The birthday girls day ....

Katie had a GREAT birthday yesterday!!  On Monday night, I took her to Ulta for a haircut... for her birthday she wanted bangs.  So, we went with a picture of Hillary Duff & her amazing hair style, and had some beautiful long layers added, and BANGS!!  She is still getting used to her bangs, but so far everyone at school LOVED her bangs... and now some of them want the same style.  She was on cloud nine.  She said everyone at school wished her happy birthday.

We had steak, mashed potatoes & green beans for dinner (her request).  I added Martinelli sparkling cider to the table, her dad added in Coca-Cola to the table.... so we had both.

We had several visitors that night, and that completely put her over the top in happiness.  Her former Young Woman's leader dropped by with a little gift ... and her current YW leaders & best friend Madison dropped by w/ a balloon & a little gift.  They stayed and had cake & ice cream with us. 



Then right before bed, another dear friend dropped by with her mom's (and hers!) famous cupcake that all ladies in our church get on their birthday. These cakes are to DIE for.  You can see the bigger version of the cake that I get on my birthday at the bottom.  I seriously love the cupcake though!



She got money from both sets of grandparents (money is what she loves!), a movie from her aunt & uncle (which we've watched several times now.. it's "She's Out of Control" w/ Tony Danza), and she has a gift coming in the mail from another aunt & uncle.  So, she's pretty happy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

From 4 to 14...

Our little girl is not so little anymore.  :(
Happy Birthday to our little Blondie!

Here she is at aged 4 ... and although that picture was taken when she was 13... she is now 14!

I have just one thing to say:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mom's Rules... getting kids to make their bed

Last week I went on a mission in my girls' room. 

I went in with trashbags (for trash), several more trashbags (to giveaway clothes), broom, dustpan, and anything else I needed to get me through this trying time.
It took me two days overall... day one was spent almost crying in the corner (wait.. there wasn't a corner to be found ... too much stuff everywhere) ... anyways, I spent day one walking around mindlessly, picking up some trash, and I left.  I was fuming mad.

Day two I pulled everything out of their closet.  I proceeded to clean it. I hung up clothes that had fallen, reorganized their closet according to pants, shirts, hoodies, dresses, skirts, etc.  OK, that was just on Katie's side.  I still have Maddie's side to do.  I arranged their shoes.  I tossed about 3 bags full of trash full of broken hangers, paper that had their "pretend school", duct tape roses ... so much junk!
What I didn't put away, I left it out in the open of their room for them to put away.

After it was all said and done and the girls went through their clothes (we don't need size 6 panties for Maddie anymore... toss!) it was .. mostly... clean!
The next day.. it was messy again.  I.give.up!
Then I posted a sign above their bed.  I got smart. 


Let's say that we're working on this in baby steps.  So far the bed has been made daily, so yay!!  What you don't see at the bottom of this next picture is that all their clothes & another blanket is at the bottom of the bed.  ::thud::

Next week... their room will have to be clean before they leave the house.  That means... picking it up before bed.  Let's hope it works!


Friday, January 20, 2012

7 layer bars ... heavenly!!

I have heard of these 7 layer bars (or seven layer bars) ... and thought I'd try it out last week. 

They were gone in a day and a half.  My family LOVED this recipe!  Not to mention super easy to make.

Actually, for me, it's a 6 layer bar.  I didn't add nuts to it.  I'm not fond of nuts in my food.  Separate?  Yes.  In my food?  No.

Here is the recipe (from Eagle Brand)
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c butter/margarine
1 can sweeten condensed milk
1 c chocolate chips
1 c butterscotch chips
1 1/3 c coconut
Preheat oven to 350.  Melt the margarine/butter and then mix it with the crumbs.  Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam, and then add the crumb mixture, pressing down.  Pour half of the sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs.  Add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and coconut (nuts too... if you wish).  Finally, pour the rest of the milk over the top, and then back for 25 minutes or until light brown on top.

Let it sit for 10 minutes, and then take a knife and lightly make indentions on where you want the bars to be cut.  Let sit for another 10 minutes, then place in the fridge.  Cutting it will be much easier when it is cold and hardened.
I also took pictures!!  (surprise surprise!)


Yummm.... look at it up close!

Spreading the rest of the milk on top.


What it looks like when it comes out of the oven!

Wait about 10 minutes after pulling from the oven.  Then, lightly cut into squares (I managed to get 35 bars).  Let it sit for a bit longer, then place in the fridge for a few hours.  You'll be able to cut into bars MUCH easier when it's cold since it has already been cut.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Katie + Vintage clothes = so cool!!

Last Thanksgiving my mom brought Katie a dress that was sitting in a closet.  Whose closet?  We're not sure... no one remembers this dress, but for some reason I remember seeing it in a picture of someone in my family!

Katie has a church activity coming up in which she needs to have a floor length dress to wear.  These type of dresses are HARD to find, and I remembered we had this dress stashed in her closet.  So, I made her get it out and try it on. Since it is sleeveless, she added a little cardigan to the dress.  It fits!  I don't think she was THAT crazy about it, but it's money I don't have to spend on a floor length dress that she will most likely never wear again...  so she's wearing it.  I think we'll do her hair in the '60's style that night. :)

Momma went a little overboard w/ the pictures....



It's really not THAT bad!  :)  Except for the bottom of the dress....  wish I had some mad skills on the sewing machine so I could .. uh.. fix that ruffly thing.


Monday, January 16, 2012

skulls ... or pandas?

So the other day Mike came home for lunch and we had this conversation:
Mike: "did you see Maddie's earrings this morning?  She had on skull earrings.  Where did she get those?  I don't like them."

Me: "skull earrings?  I didn't know she had skull earrings!" 

Mike: "well, don't say anything to her about it, just ask her where she got her skull earrings."
So she got home from school, and I looked at her "skull earrings."

Yeah... pretty scary!

Her big sister bought her those "skull earrings".  Pandas are very scary indeed! 
(yes, I know the picture is bad -- I have a crappy phone that takes horrible pictures, but when I realized what it was, I burst out laughing and had to text Mike a picture of the "skull earrings")

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The evolution of tattling

This morning on the way to church my youngest daughter tattled on my oldest daughter.  At first I rolled my eyes.
Then I realized ... "wait... she's tattling!"  She's 10 years old!   Her sister will be 14 in less than two weeks!
When is tattling EVER going to stop?

Answer:  probably never.....
Here is the evolution of tattling starting from the time Maddie was born and Katie was two months shy of four years old.
Katie (3 years 10 months):  "Mommy... Maddie won't stop crying!"

Katie (4 years 1 month):  "Mommy!  Maddie pooped!"

Katie (4 years 7 months):  "Mommy!  Maddie is crawling to me and making me mess up my picture!"
"Mommy!!  She is eating my banana bread!"  (Katie finally shared her banana bread...)

Katie (5 years old):  "MOMMMMM!  Maddie woke up from a nap and has lotion ALL over her and her bed and dresser!"

Katie (5 years):  "Mommy!!!  Maddie just jumped in the bath with me!  She still has HER CLOTHES ON!!!  GET HER OUT!"

Katie (5 years 4 months):  "Mommy!!!!!  Maddie just tore my book!"  "Mommy!!  Maddie tore my homework!  What am I going to tell the teacher?"

Maddie (1 year 4 months):  "Mama.... blavle blaklerj oisd alafds"  (pointing at Katie == she was talking in complete gibberish but I could tell she was tattling)... this went on until she was three.

Maddie (3 years old):  "Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Katie hair!"  (Katie cut the hair off on ALL of her My Little Pony horses ... and ALL of her Strawberry Shortcake dolls)
Maddie (Kindergarten):  "Momma!!  Tell Katie to stop following me at school!"
You get the idea...

One time a three year old Maddie woke up early, found her chocolate covered birthday cake that was leftover from the night before, took it DOWN from the kitchen counter, and proceeded to dig her hands in to the cake.  She was in heaven (actually, I would be too ...)  Katie comes and wakes us up and tattles. "MADDIE GOT IN THE CAKE!!!"  It was still 6:00 a.m. 

Here are some more of the tattles I've heard over the 10 years of sisterhood:
"Mom.... (so and so) didn't flush the toilet!"
"Mom!!  It's MY turn to sit in the front not HERS!"
"Mom!  She cut her dolls hair!" -- I have heard this from BOTH of my girls
"Mom!  She took her markers and wrote all over her sheets!"
"Mom!  She's wearing MY clothes!"
"Mom!!!  She's purposely ignoring me!"  (that was said this morning...)

We went from tattling about baby dolls, and tearing up books, knocking down blocks .... to tattling about clothes ... tattling about so and so and how she didn't do what I told her to do ... tattling about how yesterday the girl who sat in the front was wrong b/c it wasn't her day to sit in the front.  Finally, I am hearing tattling about clothes.  "So and so is wearing my shirt!  My boots!.."  Yes, we have now hit the stage where the girls can actually share some clothes.  It's amazing, really.  If you think about the evolution of tattling between siblings -- we've come a long way.

But one thing I know for sure... I do think deep down inside, they do love each other.  :)
Picnik collage

Friday, January 13, 2012

I can do hard things....


This week has been an exciting, but nervous week for Katie in basketball.  On Monday her coach came up to her and asked her to come to Tuesday's practice.  She normally only practices two days a week while the A/B team practices 4 days a week (she is on the C team).  So on Tuesday she shows up for practice, only to be told that for Wednesday nights game, she will be playing on the A team!



"Why?  Why not just pull a B team player up to the A team for the game?"

Those were the words I said when I picked her up from practice on Tuesday night.  She was baffled as well, and incredibly nervous.  She spent the practice on Tuesday learning their plays.  Come Wednesday as she left for school, I said "nervous?"  She nodded her head "yup."  Poor girl.  To be on the C team, pushed onto the A team for one game .... and this is her VERY FIRST SEASON EVER TO PLAY BASKETBALL?!!  Amazing.

I was afraid. I knew how good basketball players play.  They play rough.  They can be mean.  They shove, and hit you in the stomach.  They trip you. Then they help you up when you fall down.  So, I was very nervous for Katie.  She does have a big dance performance coming up in two weeks.... I was anticipating something horrendous happening to her.

Mike made it to this game, since the A team plays at a later time.  Katie said "they have to play me for 2 minutes.... they have to let everyone have a chance."  So I was thinking "she'll just be in for a few minutes."  WRONG!  She was in the game for a good portion of it! 

Sure, she looked like she was confused and lost.  But, I was in awe of all the girls on the team helping her out, telling her where to go, what to do, who to guard.  When she was REALLY confused, the coach pulled her out, and her own coach (of the C team) sat her down and explained what some of the terminology was (Rover?), and give her pointers.  So after that, she was ready to go back in.  Finally, some of the fire I was used to seeing in Katie was slowly coming out.
She went back in, and managed to steal a few balls. Three in fact.  I think she surprised herself. 
When it was all said and done, I thought about how sometimes we're thrown into situations where literally, it is out of our comfort zone.  Being on a team full of girls who have been playing for years, some on club ball ..... and here comes a girl who has only been playing for a few weeks?  I was proud of Katie.  She had a "I can do hard things" moment.

I can do hard things.

Yes, we can do hard things.  When we do hard things, it enables us to grow and we learn.  We learn about ourselves, the limits we can go and perhaps push, the boundaries we can touch.  God already knows what we can do -- He knows more about us than we know about ourselves.  Can you imagine what our Heavenly Father thinks of us, especially when we're forced into the spotlight, out of our comfort zone?  I imagine He's thinking "I knew you could do it!"  Sure, Katie could have told the coach "thanks... but no thanks!"  That's her choice.  But, I think deep down inside, it never occured to her she could turn it down.  She took the challenge, and she learned a lot more about herself than she knew before.  

The next day at school, they announced over the intercom "a great big thank you to Katie _______ for helping out the A team at the basketball game last night!  She did a GREAT job!"  She said she was embarrassed, mortified, but yet proud at the same time.

But this momma?  This momma was super proud of her daughter, for her daughter taught her a great lesson.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

gone fishin'....

While over New Years at the cabin, we drove to Lake Fork and did some fishing....  It was a cold, breezy day. 

Mike had to teach the girls how to fish.  Here is how the story goes in the pictures:


Katie looks like she's going to bat at a baseball instead of fishing


"OK Maddie... this is how you swing it"

"Like this Daddy?"

in S-L-O-W m o t i o n

Me under my breath "just don't throw in the fishing rod... just don't throw in the fishing rod..."
Notice the bleach stained jeggings, camo sweatshirt and cowboy boots?  Totally rocking that look...


"Let me help you again Maddie..."

My two nephews already were pros at this fishing thing. 
They go fishing a LOT more than my girls have gone... (which is, never).


I love this picture of Adam fishing...


These were a few of the million shells found along the lake shore...

Next time we need a boat.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Building a cabin ... part 8

After Christmas, we headed up to the cabin in East Texas.  Mike's sister Tiffany and her family were joining us the next day for a few days (they stayed in our popup outside).
We all had a great time!!  We went four wheeling, the guys took the kids hunting (the two youngest stayed behind in the cabin), we went fishing at the lake ... ate out a few times.  Watched movies, and played outside.  Got lots of fresh air and just relaxed.  The weather ended up being PERFECT! 

After Tiffany & her family left, Mike and I took the girls hunting that night.  It was seriously the first time I had ever hunted.  Katie & I took a deer stand up at the top of the hill, and Mike and Maddie took the stand at the bottom of the property (Mike's friend's property).  We were loaded down with blankets, binoculars, water... and my book.  :)  However, since it was New Year's Eve, some people decided to do target shooting right at sundown.  Then the fireworks started going off.  Pretty soon I get a text from Mike telling me they were ready when we were.... so Katie & I got into the four wheelers and picked them up. Went hunting for about two hours, maybe less?  I'd surprisingly do it again!

The final full day we were there, Mike started work on the soffit. First he had to finish the front of the house, getting the outer siding on.  We didn't put the cedar on the front of the house because eventually we're going to build on in that area.  We're adding a front room (living room) and then to the side we'll add a master bedroom and another bathroom.  So, no need to add the real siding if that siding is going to come off.


Mike is working on the soffit here .... he is framing it up.


So, he finished that up while I got to paint a primer on all the wood on the bottom of the cabin.  It took some time, as I had to recaulk, dust off the sand, dig sand out from the wood, and then paint two coats of primer all around the house.  I was glad when it was done!  I was also honored that Mike would ask me to do painting as the last time I tried to paint, he took the paintbrush out of my hands and said "you're fired... you're a crappy painter."  I guess 12 years was long enough of time to pass before I could get a paintbrush back in my hands?  I had strict rules:  I couldn't get it on the cedar or the yellow boards.  Yikes.  I did good though!



Here is looking at the front of the cabin (from the road).  The bottom part of the siding has been weathered for a month, so soon the top will look a little more weathered.  After it's been weathered a little longer, Mike will apply a stain to all sides to make it more of a cabin look.


Since we're finally down to the bathroom detail, Mike placed the mirror/cabinet in the bathroom.  We decided to keep the faucet & fixture matching with the mirror, so even though you can't tell in the mirror what the color is (it looks black), it's actually an oil rubbed bronze.  It looks really good.


(this is what it looks like as far as the oil rubbed bronze)


Mike is heading back down to the cabin this weekend.  He hopes to finish the soffit, get the outside lights on & electricity line ran (has to do this first before he can put up the siding for the back of the cabin), and at night, he will work on tiling the bathtub and put the flooring in!!  I'm sure he'll get so much accomplished when the girls and I aren't there!


Mike is at the cabin now, and sent me this picture last night of how it looks so far.... he's doing a great job!

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