Thanks for checking in. I would love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful day my friends!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Classroom Wreath

Pinned Image

I made this wreath for my classroom.  I got this idea from a blog.  I wish I could remember which one.  If you see it out there in blogville, let me know, and I will give proper credit!  The momma said that she got out her wreath when her kids had birthdays.  I thought it was so adorable, and I did not want to have to put it away for most of the year.  Using it in my classroom gave me the perfect opportunity to make it guilt free and leave it out all year.

It took a LOT of balloons that I attached to a styrofoam wreath using floral pins.  If I remember right, I believe I used 175 balloons. It did not take very long to put together.  It is adorable, though, and my kids at school love it.  It goes perfectly with my sock monkey theme in my classroom.

*little disclaimer....the balloons faded some throughout the year.

Chocolate Cake

I have found the BEST chocolate cake recipe. 
The cake itself is moist, chocolatey RICH, and oh. so. delicious. 
 But then....I cover it with thick chocolate buttercream frosting. 
 To. Die. For.

This cake makes me not care how many calories are in it.
It is great with a cup of coffee.
It is perfect with a glass of milk.

I baked this recipe twice this week. 
The first time the cake was gone in 2 days.
I baked it again yesterday, and there are only 5 small pieces left. 
It will be gone today.
I like this because I hate it when a cake has to be thrown out for lack of interest.
This cake does not lose interest. a matter of fact, I think I'll go have a piece with a cup of coffee and call it breakfast
There are 4 pieces left.
Want some?
Come on over!

Have a DELICIOUS day friends!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fabulous Forty! --it's lengthy folks


The number was so big. 
I'm okay with it now. 
It's over. 
It's done. 

I was sad, though, that everyone had a busy day planned but me, and I did not want to sit around and do nothing for my birthday.   ( Am I the only one who doesn't want to do that?  I didn't think so!)

So...this post is ALLLL about the day.......the 20th anniversary of my 20th birthday. 

A little background knowledge before we officially begin...
I share my day with a very sweet little lady named Ellie Rose.  We celebrated our day together this year. Corbin and I dropped Courtney off at volleyball camp and headed straight to Ellie's house where we would begin.  Here's what we did....

Random Acts of Kindness Baby! 
LOTS of them, too. 
Here goes...from start to finish....
(and if a picture is worth a thousand words, what are 22 pictures worth??????) 
Bear with me.

Birthday Girls

4 of the 5 of us getting ready to get busy with kindness!
(Corbin's the photographer and Courtney and Sylvia are at volleyball)

This was our first stop of the day.

Kids outside RMH
This is an Awesome place for volunteering if you feel so inclined.

After the RMH we headed to Freeman Hospital. 
Just as we arrived, the Sunshine Trolley was in front. 
We paid for the next passenger's ride on the trolley and then went inside. 
We saw a lot of smiles while we were in the hospital!

Miss Ronda...stopped to "just touch" the beautiful scarves in the gift shop!
Haha.  They were almost as beautiful as you are Ronda.


This stop was in the NICU waiting area. 
We stopped here after we passed out treats to the "Big Brothers" and "Big Sisters" who were waiting on their mommies to deliver the new family members. 
THAT was a fun room!

On our way out, Jack found a Rollie Pollie inside the hospital. 
Don't worry. 
He released the poor little thing outside safely.
(We rescued a critter....should it count as one of our RAKs?)

We saw this group moving dirt in a yard. 
WE had a cooler full of cold water.  
THEY needed it!
They were from San Antonio, TX. 
They said it is hotter here than at home!!!
The temperature was 102 or 103 yesterday, and we've had NO rain. 
It looked like a dusty mess while they were working. 
However...they had the best attitudes. 
They gave each of us salvation bracelets.
They sang "Happy Birthday" to Ellie and me.
They thanked us for the water ...
and got back to work.

Corbin took water to the guy running this bobcat (?) before we left.
We hoped that he would go over to the other yard
and help the kids. 
(Wouldn't it be nice if he would????)
So far...this day was going exactly as I had imagined. 
At this point in our day, I couldn't imagine it getting any better!

We passed out shopping carts and gave away quarters at Aldi's. 
Look at her smile, though.

Next we took a lunch break. 
It was good to get the 2 older girls from volleyball camp, too!

We even washed windows.

Always happy to help!

Concentration, baby!!!
That's a good girl .

Always smiling....Thank you Ronda!! missed a spot.
Ahh.  Good job Buddy!

One of my favorite surprises today was putting chocolate bars in the drive-through tube for the teller at the bank.  Neither of us bank at that particular bank.  It was a fun stop! a few other stops included the Public Library to leave change for over due books and a laundry mat where we left quarters on dryers.  FUN Times!!

We went back to give this group extra water. 
The dirt work was finished. 
The bobcat guy finished his own job and then came over to help them out! 
These kids were an inspiration to work harder and have fun while I'm at it. 
They were incredible.

All in all, I THINK we had just over 50 Acts of Kindness.  I know that all of them are not listed.  I'm sure I could not even remember all of them if I tried.  We couldn't even write them all down as we did them yesterday!
We enjoyed some iced tea before Corbin and I headed to the fields for soccer. 
Then we went to Grandma's for homemade peach pie and ice cream,  visiting, and air conditioning

Then it dawned on me that.....We had more volleyball camp in the morning! 
I whisked Courtney away only to find our house decorated when we arrived at home. 
(This was the only picture I took last night, and Cory had the kids clean it all up this morning before I had a chance to snap any more pictures.)

Thank you friends for thoroughly decorating our house!

Who could imagine a day full of so many blessings?
Yesterday I was speechless.
(Bet you wish I would have posted this yesterday, huh???)

I continue to be humbled by the volunteerism that remains in our community.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to give to others.
I am thankful for my awesome God
who gives me strength, guidance, and inspiration.


..the new 30?
..the new 20?

It doesn't really matter.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life, and I love it.
It is simply ...Delicious.

May all your birthdays be as full of blessings as mine was. 
I will leave you with The Prayer of St. Francis.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer porch sitting

Summer vacation
I love sitting out here in the evenings.
Nuff Said.
It's delicious, isn't it?

Come on over if you'd like!

Birthday Week? Why not?

It's official. 
It is only days before I turn 40 30 Something +1. 
My momma came to visit me for the weekend.
We shopped.
She got me some adorable new school clothes.
(Thank you Mom!!!)
I bought myself some more new school clothes and shoes.
(Thank you summer school paycheck.)
We laughed.
I broke her mirror flappy thing on the passenger sun visor.
We laughed some more.
We enjoyed Sonic Happy Hour!!! (with free water for all)
We made a craft project.
We drank a bottle of wine while we crafted and laughed and talked.
We got a good night's rest...well-sort of.
We had a yummy breakfast.
We went out for more shopping.
I pushed her off my porch.
She went home.

Yes.  You read correctly.  I kind of pushed her off my porch.
(So sorry Mom!!!)
My big rumpus bumped hers while she was getting ready to step onto our front step.
She missed the step and went straight down.
And I mean it.
Yep.  She is injured.
Nope.  She wouldn't hear of staying longer to be sure it was not serious.
Yep.  I feel AWEFUL.
Nope...she won't be back until October. 
I'm pretty sure of it.

So anyhow...
Here's a picture of our beautiful wreath we made together before I pushed her down....

And...just so we're all clear about how old I will be turning....
Just after my momma hit the pavement headed home,
Pam and Gracie brought me an early birthday treat.
Gracie practiced decorating on Saturday.
I just received her first attempt at a decorated cake.
I think it's magnificent.
(almost as magnificent as the precious girl who decorated it!!!!)
Thank you Distlers, for reminding me of my upcoming age.

Thank you, Mom, for a fun weekend
...well, except the part where I broke your car
...and the part where I pushed you down.

I will never forget this birthday.
And it's not even happened yet!!!

Have a fantastic week my friends.
I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this adventure called 40.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mommy/Daughter Bible Study

I am very thankful for my daughter's sweet friends and their amazing mommas!  We have been gathering one evening a week to discuss some "hot topics" for tweens and teens.  Topics have included how to avoid and overcome stress, the importance of good friends, and even purity, among other things. 

Last night, I had the privilege of leading the girls in discussion about modesty and also about Prince Charming.  While the other moms sat inside, I took the girls out to the deck and we shared some pretty terrific ideas on how to "keep it covered" and how NOT to dress.  We thought about teen idols/role models and whether or not they were modest dressers.  We discussed today's fashion and the challenges we have to dress fashionably yet modestly.  (poor Courtney...she gets a modesty review almost daily.....) 

While talking about Prince Charming, we talked about "THE perfect guy" and how each one of us has our own match...a gift given from God.  The girls made lists of the type of man they wanted to marry.  I was so proud of them.  Each listed that their Prince Charming would be a Christian.  I had to grin, though, because each had a physical feature that they were looking for.  (dark hair won for each of the young ladies.....)  Each wants her future husband to love her and to love children as well as to love God.  We discussed the importance of loving God before we look for someone to love (as in the relationship sense) because we can't truly love someone until we know the love of God. 

The best part about this group of young ladies????  They are 10, 11, and 12 years old.  These awesome people have some pretty amazing ideas of what is right and wrong.  They know what type of man will be a good husband.  They know that they will not attract the right kind of husband if they do not cover up with modest clothes.  (And they also know that turtle neck sweaters are not necessary for daily dressing!)  These girls are smart beyond their years.  I think that the next time I need help with one of my problems, I might have to go to them for assistance.  They are amazing, and to be quite honest....I think that their love for God and their desire to please Him is simply delicious!  It will be fun to watch as they grow, mature, and find their Prince Charmings, and I am thankful that God already knows who they will be. 

God, please protect these young ladies and their future spouses.  Be with them daily.  Guide them to make good choices throughout their day to day living.  Help them choose a path that will not leave scars.  Thank you for their sweet hearts and their good nature.  Thank you for their sincere thirst for you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen. 

Just so you know...
She should still be this little.
(sniff, sniff)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Family traditions are a funny thing.  Most of the time when you think of traditions, you think of holiday things....special recipes at a family dinner, opening 1 gift on Christmas Eve ... and every year it is new pajamas.... those types of traditions. 

There are a few "traditions" in our house, but not many that are set in stone.  (I should work harder at that for our kids.  Sigh....Again.  That's a topic for a different post, I'm sure.)  Every year during July I called my Daddy to tell him how many days until my birthday.  I called him every day.  True story.  Sometimes I would have to call him at work just to make sure I got the call in that day.  Every day, I told him how many days and on most days he would act surprised. 

This week has been really tough.  I have less than one week left in my "Thirty somethings," and I have been yearning to call him.  He would be telling me how old I am.  He would be laughing at the big, dark, looming 4-0. Daddy has been gone 4 1/2 years now, and one would think that this silly little tradition would be easier to take as time goes by.  It was a silly tradition, I'll admit.  But it was mine.  It was a special thing that we shared, and nobody else played along. Twice this week I have had dreams of Daddy.  Maybe they are his way of letting me know that he knows it's almost my birthday.  ...but wait.  He didn't mention it, so maybe he is acting surprised even from the other side of Heaven.  Either way, I certainly do miss that guy.  He was so patient and loving, and he always tolerated my birthday month phone calls.  Those memories are delicious. 

Have a blessed day my friends.  Enjoy every tradition.  Make the most of them.  If you have none, make some.  You won't regret it. 

...and just so you know...if there was a phone number, I'd call him in Heaven without giving a second thought!  It would be incredible to hear his ornery yet sweet, sweet voice.  Hugs!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Household Bucket List

I's summer vacation. 
A household bucket list doesn't seem as fun as a Vacation Bucket List. 
HOWEVER...I love to switch things up around here.
and let's face it...after 14 years in this house, there are lots of things that need switchin'!! 

I started with the laundry room last week. 
I spent a day emptying it and the utility closet. 
Everything got cleaned up, organized and finished. 
I scrubbed the kitchen cabinets next. 
I loved the results. 

This week was Corbin's turn. 
I emptied his room and painted for him. 
Wow...what a difference! 
We put in different furniture. 
(New to him, but old stuff) 
All that is left to do is get rid of the old furniture and find a home for a few more little things.  Relief!!!
I need to buy a ceiling fan for him, but then it's done.
..well, and I might need to paint a stripe or two on his walls to add more color...maybe.

The trash man probably did not love the overflowing trash dumpster this week.  LOL

Courtney is eager for her turn. 
I'm not sure I am ready for that undertaking. 
She has more stuff than he does. 
It would be a good time to de-thing simplify, though. 
That is always a good thing.

So...I'm off to decide which project to take on next. 
(I could paint the kitchen and laundry room today.  That would be pretty easy.

Or maybe we'll just go be lazy at the pool instead. 
Either's all delicious!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July

I wish I had taken pictures of the process to make foods for the festivities.  I usually take desserts to gatherings.  I am better at dessert. I enjoy baking.  Cooking is fun, too...don't get me wrong.'s fabulous.  It's something to look forward to.  It is sweet and relaxing.  (I think I just gained 10 pounds thinking about dessert)

Anyhow...yesterday was no different really.  I baked chocolate cupcakes and put chocolate ganache on top.  (messy for an outdoor shindig!!!)  IN ADDITION to the cupcakes, though, I stuffed Poblano Peppers with a yummy filling and we grilled them.  I also whipped up a batch of "fire crackers."'s how the peppers went.  I cut the tops off the peppers and pulled out the seeds and veins.  Then I sauteed onion and garlic.  I added onion/garlic to a block of cream cheese and sprinkled paprika with it.  Next I tossed in a good handful of grated cheddar cheese.   I stirred it altogether and added a little more cheese and a little garlic powder.  Then I used a tiny baby spoon to fill the peppers with the cheese mixture.  We grilled these babies over charcoal until they were melty but still crunchy.  Oh.   My.   Goodness!!!!!  Love!

The Fire Crackers were easy!  I started with a gallon ziploc bag and cumped in 1 cup of canola oil, 1 packet of Ranch dressing mix, 3 Tbs Red Pepper Flakes and 1 box of Club Crackers.  Turn the bag to coat all the crackers.  Allow them to sit and absorb the oil and yumminess.  That's it!  Store them in an air tight container...or in our case...just put them in a bowl and they'll be gone in no time. 

Here are a few pictures from our delicious day!

Me with our awesome kids

Paper medallion that I made....forgot that the trees had been trimmed and there were no low branches from which to hang them!  Grrrr...  OH well.  We ended up hanging them from Tiki Torches. 

My amazing Captain America with his grandmothers
We were so happy that they both joined the celebration!

That's part of the crowd.

My kids with cousins.
This was a tough picture to get. 

Pyromaniacs.  That's all I can say.

Much more beautiful in person.  Promise!

That's it. 
Another 4th of July has come and gone. 
School supplies are out at Wal-Mart. 
 The downward spiral to the new schoolyear has begun.
Hoping to make every day count. 
I have a lot of projects to do. 
 But that list is worthy of its own post. 
Take time to enjoy the deliciousness my friends! 
Love and Hugs.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

We have a winner!

Today was our "AAU" National Qualifier for the Jr. Olympics in Houston. 
Corbin was a pole vaulter today in the meet. 
 He jumped his personal best and qualified to go to the meet in Houston. 
It was a terrific day! 
Congratulations to Corbin and to the other 19 kids who have qualified to compete in 32 events in Houston. 
WHAT an accomplishment!

And...since it was our anniversary, we drove out to Anderson's Ice Cream for a cold treat before we went back home!  Yippee!!!  It was just as delicious as I remember!  So glad they are "Back."

'Nuff said.  ;)

The Lemon Ice Cream was DELICIOUS! 
Maybe any flavor would have been delicious because it was so hot at the meet.
Either way....I'll be back for more another day. 

This is the life. 
 Livin' the dream here people. 
It does not get any better than this. 
(Well...maybe if someone had done the laundry while I was out all day......)

Life IS delicious. 
I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am. 
Enjoy the summer fun!

Living the Dream

Living the Dream
I love Christmas Eve when the house is quiet and there is nothing left to do but wait for Santa and Christmas morning to arrive!