Wednesday, June 30

Cheesy Potato Recipe

Madison has been cooking simple things like eggs & grilled cheese for awhile.... but recently she has developed a desire to cook more & more. The other night she cooked pizza quesadillas. I never thought something so simple could be so scrumptious. I'm seeing some serious potential in her. Her dad is really passionate about cooking and now that I have the time I've thrown down in the kitchen a time or two. I told her I want her to cook dinner from now on at least once a week. This week she got one of her recipes out of a book called The Children's step-by-step Cook Book ( I would recommend it to all young chefs!) 

She made her shopping list last night & we did our weekly grocery shopping today. 

Tonight she made parmesan chicken (her own recipe) and cheesy potatoes. She also made homemade cookies. (both from the book

Madison was in the kitchen cooking, Olivia & Reece were napping and I was outside working in my garden. I think I could get used to this. 

Cheese and  Potato Bake
(taken from Children's step-by-step  Cook Book) 

-1 cup grated sharp cheddar (she had to have white sharp
-1 egg
-salt & pepper
-2/3 cup heavy cream 
-1 1/2 pounds potatoes 
-1 large onion (she left this out

1) preheat oven to 350. Peel & slice potatoes. Put them in a bowl of water. 
2) Slice onion. Melt butter in the saucepan over low heat & cook the onion until soft. 
3) Grate cheese. Butter baking dish & spread a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom. Spoon some onions on top. 
4) Add salt & pepper and sprinkle w/ cheese. Continue layering potatoes, onions, and cheese, finishing w/ potatoes. 
5) Beat the eggs into the cream with a fork. Pour it over the potatoes and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. 
6) Bake the potatoes for about 1 1/2 hours. 

These were so yummy! Try 'em out. 

Monday, June 28

world records & new structure

(yard sale @ mom's) 

Saturday's yard sale was awesome. Maddy made $400! I'm so grateful for friends who donated things & especially grateful for my mom, dad & brother... they put in a lot of work. My aunt came in to help too.
It was the hottest day known to man kind... but it was good. 

Madison leaves a week from this Saturday. 


Olivia is trying to break the world's longest gum chewing record. She has been going at it since yesterday afternoon. After she tried to stick it behind her ear at bed time I had to make a "no gum IN the bed" rule. I guess that's why she thought it was ok to put gum ON her bed... not IN it. She thought the head board was a nice resting place last night for her wad. Madison tried to convince her that this goal was not possible because surely the record has to be longer than a few months and once school starts back she won't be allowed to chew gum during school hours. I encouraged her to follow her dreams... and she is determined. Same piece, going strong... except for this morning when she dropped it in the floor and asked for another piece. I slipped her another one & told her that we'll just let that one slide. 

(olivia- a self portrait) 

Our family went to a going away dinner at our friends house Saturday. One of our favorite families is moving away next week. Very sad, but God has given them instructions to start a church across the country... so they are. I'm excited for them, just sad because I will miss them. At the dinner I got the opportunity to have an awesome... (answer to my prayers)... conversation with 3 friends. 1 who has a very successful college student, 1 who is an elementary school teacher, and another who is having some of the same mom struggles that I am. We picked their brains a bit & out of that conversation our new "family schedule" was birthed. 

(super-nanny style) 

We had a family meeting on Sunday, established some rules & presented a new schedule. Today is Day 1 & it went so awesome. Some of the things that my friends brought to my attention is how important structure is for kids (& mom's) and also how important rewards are instead of just punishments. When I got home, before our family meeting, I searched a bit online & found this star rewards system. I tweaked it a bit & made is a sticker system instead. Obviously with the age difference the rewards are pretty different... They are both happy about it though. The schedule was met with a little frustration & concerns, but today has been great. 

I'm so happy to have awesome women in my life who I can learn from. That Saturday night conversation was really good & much needed. 

I'm sure I'll be blogging about our progress soon... I'm really excited about this. Today flowed so great.

The day started with a kiss on the cheek from my honey as he let me know that he thinks I get prettier & prettier everyday... how could it not be a good day? I just love that guy. 

Wednesday, June 23

pool time & diet time

Pool time today was fun. My girlfriend came over with her daughters. I hadn't seen her in awhile.
She asked me what I've been up to. "busy as usual?"
"Nope not at all really"... that was nice. 

And I haven't been. We've been fundraising a bunch. We had a huge rummage sale @ the church & the group made over $3,000. Had a couple babysitting nights & a spaghetti dinner... which made me want to work in a restaurant again. I loved being a waitress.

Maddy has been handing out sponsor letters. Her dad got her a fundraising night at Chick-fil-a... best darn chicken around! She made about $120 with that. 2 yard sales= a seriously purged & organized house. I'm loving that!

Well, maybe I have been a little busy... but it hasn't been that crazy. It feels good to be on break from school.


Went to church tonight with all 4 kiddos... Olivia is having a sleepover, which explains the 4th child.

I was looking pretty cute in my new denim .50 cent yard sale dress steal. until....

someone asked if I was pregnant.


I simply love it when that happens, don't you?


Tuesday, June 22

doing it, more babies, missions & bark piles... and some other stuff too.

I realized that I haven't felt much like blogging lately unless my heart has been heavy... which explains the last few posts. I should lighten things up a bit with a little conversation that I had with Olivia the other day. It went something like this:

olivia: mommy, why do you & daddy always do "it"?

me: (as I try to gain composure & not let her see the panic in my eyes) what do you mean by "it"?

olivia: you know what I mean mommy...

me: no honey I really don't think I do, please explain.

olivia: ok... I'll spell it.

me: ok dear, please do spell "it"

olivia: K-I-S-S-I-N-G

me: (thank you sweet Lord!) Oh, that! Of course... mommy knows what "it" is! It's because me & daddy love each other. That's why we do "it"... you know kiss & all. 

olivia: ewwww


(Olivia graduating Kindergarten!) 


To top things off... this morning Stephen & I were cuddling & doing "it" (kissing, of course) When Olivia busts in... 

Gee Whiz... it's too early for you to be up... go back to bed dear child... is what I was thinking, but didn't have time to say because she tattles...
"mommy & daddy, Reece peed a lot in her diaper & then she sat on my head 
& now I have pee on my head." 



Happy summer! I couldn't be more excited about this summer. No work, no school (just a little studying for the nursing entrance exam.) just me & the kiddos having a good time! 
This is the life. I love being a mom so much. I think if I didn't have 3 more years of school in front of me I'd be ready to have another one.

We'll wait... for now. 


Maddy got her passport in the mail yesterday!!! She will be headed to Mexico on her very first mission trip in less then a month! 
She is really excited. We have one last fundraiser for her this weekend.
 Our 2nd yard sale. good times. 

I'm leaving for El Salvador about a week after she gets back. Just got an email saying we are going to visit some orphanages, women's prison & feeding centers. I'm excited! 

Two life changing trips, I'm sure of it. 


Got some changes coming in our lives soon. If you know me or have read my blog for a bit you know how I struggle with decisions. 
I'm praying and seeking God... He'll lead me the right way. He always does.

I some times wish that He would just reveal the entire picture all at once... He's smart like that & doesn't. Step by step... it's what the faith walk is all about. I trust you Lord. Take my hand daddy & lead me... I know you won't fail me.... 

More to come on that in due time. 


Got any fun summer plans? 

(Olivia & I make bark piles while we wait for Madison to ride roller coasters...
it doesn't take much folks.