Sunday, February 28, 2010

What's Cookin' This Weekend

Just wanted to share some yummy things we cooked up over the weekend.

1st, White Chicken Chili. We loovve this.

1 lb of cooked chicken, shredded.
2 15oz cans of Great Northern Beans
1 15oz can of Pinto Beans
2 tsp Cumin
16oz Jar of your favorite salsa
8oz of shredded Cheese (optional)

Just dump everything in the crockpot and cook on Low all day. The recipe calls for the cheese, but I don't put it in. I don't feel like we need all that cheese in there - plus the girls like to sprinkle some on the top. Oh, I also doubled the recipe so I could have some for this week or to freeze.

I double almost everything these days. No pun intended.

Seriously, try it.

Also, I made tiny pizza's for the girls that were a huge hit...

I found those buns at the store, I thought they worked better than english muffins. And I know I've been on Trader Joe's parade lately, but seriously their sauce and pepperoni is the best...if you live near one, pick some up (or any natural store). The girls helped make them, and I popped them in the oven for about 7-10min at 350 degrees.

Now the cupcakes. The real treat. The ones the girls have been asking for.

I mixed up a cake mix, and cut little Hershey Bliss Chocolates in half...

I poured the cake mix into cupcake holders, and put a piece of the chocolate in the middle of each.

With this step, I think I took eating to a recreational level...

Maybe my lack of time for the gym isn't the only problem. Moving on.

Anyway, they came out great, and the girls think they are the best cupcakes ever!

Just wanted to share these little recipes before I head out to a photo shoot...ahhh, I love newborn sessions :).

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, February 26, 2010

When Insane Meets The Morning

If there was a "Craziest Time Of The Day" Award, my mornings would win.

It is insane.

Eric leaves before we all get up, so when my feet hit the floor, it is off to the races. Especially since we have a 45min drive to school right now...I know, don't even get me started. I try to lay as much as I can out the night before, so it cuts down on my stress level a little...the jury is still out on if that really works or not.

If I don't prepare a little, things get crazy, and pants end up on heads...

And people wonder why we're always late.

I put all the clothes out the night before...I arrange them in birth order. I know, I'm a nut case.

I fill cups...

And I pack snacks.

Those little snacks come in handy when we start to have meltdowns in the middle of a store. And by store, I mean Target. You know the scene, babies crying, and the older twins asking for things for their next "birfday." Reese has started this new thing when I ask her to be makes me craazzyy...

Me: Reese, please be quiet just for a minute...
Reese: But Mom I need to tell you something...
Me: No you don't...
Reese: But I really need to tell you...
Me: You really don't...
Reese: But I dooooo...
Me: What is it, Reese?
Reese: Um, um, um, um, tall are you?
(this is where you insert me banging my head against the self scanner pole.)

Don't think I don't pause and consider the wine aisle.

Anyway, I get my bag packed the night before too. Diapers, makeup (since I do mine in the parking lot), and every little thing we might need during our morning commute.
So that's our morning. It's chaotic, but it's our life.

Crazy, but oh so sweet :).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Check out this picture I recently took...

At a place I stopped by to take some measurements, and to get more of a "feel" for what I am working with...

A place that is about to get a major overhaul...

I am pretty sure you can guess where I was...

But can you guess what specific thing this is??

And I bet you'd never guess who is so excited to actually set her ideas in motion :)! It's been a long time coming.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You've Been A Good Friend

Monkey, I bought you when I was pregnant...

Kinley, loves you.

You have taken many naps...

You have had a lot of playtime...
And your poor little hands have been chewed on...

You're her little buddy - and what could possibly be better than that??

Alright, this last picture melts my heart....

I will keep that monkey forever, he's definitely a keepsake.

Do your kids have a special thing they carry around?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

You Might Want To Write This One Down

I'm tellin' ya, these Homemade Pop Tarts, are a crowd pleaser.

Tonight I must share this recipe I got from the Once A Month Mom website. It did not disappoint. Want the details? Here we go...

You will need:
-1 box of refrigerated (or homemade) Pie Crust.
-Your favorite jelly
-Powdered sugar & milk for icing. (optional)

I rolled a premade pie crust out, and cut it in to 4 squares/rectangles. Save the ends for another couple squares. Then I put a spoonful of Strawberry Jelly on each.

I used an Organic Reduced Sugar Jelly from Trader Joe's. I prefer my girls not be addicted to High Fructose Corn Syrup if at all possible, so I try to cut it out when I can. But any jelly will do.

I folded the squares over, and sealed the edges with a fork.

Baked them at 450 degrees for 10-12min, and let them cool. The recipe gives an option for icing, which you can find here. I made a few with the icing and the rest without it. The girls loved them plain, so I figured why put it on? Here they are both ways...

I let them cool, and then popped them in large Ziploc bags to go in the fridge or freezer.

Believe me, they are worth the time. I want to go grab one out of the fridge just thinking about them. Let me know if you decide to make a batch!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Let's Talk About School

Alright, school is a huge decision. We put our girls in a private school this past year because our old home was not in a good school district. It was actually a failing district...which is why we moved. Did I ever mention that? I didn't? Let me clarify why we moved...

We didn't move for space, we wanted more space, but we didn't need more space. I loved that little house, and I am forever grateful that we lived in a small living space. It taught me to truly see that a home is a home because of the family inside it, not because of the space, newness, or decorating.

Our 1st priority was the area, and the schools. We searched for a home based on those 2 things. That is why it has taken us a little longer to find a house. We had to find a house we could afford, in an area where the homes weren't typically cheap. Eric and I were prepared to sacrifice the size and age of our home, for an established school district, and a nice area to raise the kids. Space was never our main concern. I always planned on the girls sharing rooms even if we would've moved into a 10 bedroom home. They will share, and they will like it. Ahem.

Sorry, am I rambling? Back to school.

Oh, and for the record since apparently I haven't been clear, we bought an existing home, we aren't waiting on a home to be built. Mercy, that's not where we are right now. I'll let you know when we break ground on our dream the year 2030.

So, we chose our school, prepared for the tuition, and moved forward. And to clarify, it is a Private School - not a Private Christian School. I will share why we made that a different post. If we would have lived in a thriving district, Ella would have started Kindergarten in a Public School. We recently found our new home, in the area we have been waiting for. Praise The Lord. The public schools are, and always have been, fantastic. I am so thankful for that.

The thing is, we have been so happy with this Academy that we sent the girls to this year. The classes were small, the teachers were amazing, the academics were incredible, and it just felt like a family. It will be hard to walk away. The problem? We aren't prepared to afford 5 (or more) children in a private school. With a growing family, the financial commitment every month once they are all in full day just doesn't seem practical.

How do I let it go? How do I accept that Ella will walk into a class of 25 instead of 15? Can I do it? Can I trust the Public schools like I trust our Private school? I know that many of you homeschool and are probably thinking, "just teach them at home, lady!!" But truly, I am unsure that I can do it. I really don't feel like I am cut out for it. It may sound foolish, and maybe it's me just doubting myself. I am however, open to suggestions :).

So can you tell me, how does your family do school? Public, Private, Homeschool? Do you love your school? I would love to hear about what you like, and what you don't like. What your fears were, and how did everything turn out. Did you start one and then end up switching?

Anyone want to share?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Want My Flip Flops

You're not going to believe this...

Today I did the laundry. I folded the laundry. And then I PUT IT AWAY.

I know, I'm growing up so fast.


I want my filp-flops back. Enough with the snow!

We have had a ton 'o snow lately - we're under what the TV calls a "snow emergency." Snow, Schmow. I ventured in to town with my 5 ladies yesterday for lunch and a trip to Kroger's, it went well. We only knocked over one Barbie display, and you know those little cinnamon roll packages - the round ones? Reese learned that taking 1 out sometimes means 20 will follow. Clean up in the Refrigerated section, please.

Today we just stayed in. Stayed in our pj's. And I tried to pretend that I wasn't struggling to stay awake during a game of Go Fish. What is it about the snow days that make me feel so tired?? I wish Starbucks delivered, that would be a great thing. I would have ordered a Venti Nonfat Mocha w/ an extra shot of espresso...

Or maybe I would just ask if they had some sort of Caffeine IV Drip for days like this...

Maybe that's a little over the top.

Anyway, as of right now we are heading out in the morning for a "normal" school day. The younger 4 and I will also be heading to chickfila to play and get some breakfast... and hopefully Target is in our future as well.

Want to join us :)??

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Little's I Love

and those little cute.

I love my Little's...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's Like My Organic Target

Well, there are no big plans around here for Valentines Day. Just some little gifts for the girls, some baking, and A LOT of laundry. Oh, and Eric's going to clean out the cars.

I know, we're hopeless romantics.

C'mon though, isn't it obvious that there is, or has been romance in our marriage? After all, we do have 5 children.

I know this is random, but have you seen this icing?

It will take all your strength not to lean your head back and just spray some in. Or maybe that's just me. I went from just your everyday ice-er (you know what I mean), to making cookies that look like this...

How great is that?? Put that on your grocery list, friends. It will not disappoint.


And here is the recipe for the Tortilla chips. You are going to be pleased with how easy this is...

I took whole grain tortillas - I bought mine at Trader Joes. Loovve me some Trader Joe's.
It's like my Organic Target.
I might refer to it as that from now on. Or not.


1.Whole Grain Tortillas (or whatever kind you like), and cut it in to triangles like I had pictured. I used a pizza cutter to do this.
2.Place them on a baking sheet and brush them with Olive Oil. (also from TJ's)
3.Sprinkle with Sea Salt.
4.Bake for about 4-5min.
5. Take out, flip, and brush the other side with Olive Oil. (Salt is optional)
6. Bake for a few more minutes.

Add or take away cooking time depending on how crunchy you want them.

There it is! Enjoy! Let me know how yours turn out.

Have a great Valentines Day!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things I Love Right Now

1. Fridays.

2. Starbucks inside a Target. (I already know.)

3. The Homemade Whole Grain Tortilla Chips that we made yesterday. Easy & Delicious.

4. Picking out paint colors for the new house.

5. Dreaming of that new house...getting back to normal family life...and making memories in our own home.

6. This room for the older girls. (I was reminded of this amazing site by Amy...thanks!)

7.. Cupcakes. Love. Cupcakes.

8. Crushed ice from Sonic.

9. The fact that Americas Funniest Home Videos never gets old.

10. This new Queso dip from Trader Joe's...

11. How proud Reese & Charlotte are that they can write their names "just like Ella does."

12. And hearing the babies in the monitor say, "mamamamamamama..." Love. That.

I might be back w/ more...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's Only 2 Ways Out Of Here

2 ways.

Sweating or Crying.

I’m looking for new jeans. I can’t get out during the day w/o my crew, and I’m left no choice but to head out on my search with all 5 in tow. This isn’t going to be pretty.

I know it’s going to be hard. But what else am I supposed to do…if I wait till after bedtime and after the mall closes, my options are limited.

Let’s talk for a minute. Jeans are a big deal – they can’t just be any jeans, they have to be the jeans. And what jeans are most popular right now? Ah, yes, the Skinny Jeans. Listen, I love to be in fashion, I’ve bought the knee high boots, I had set my goals high - but is it fair to ask a woman who has had 5 kids in 4 years to wear skinny jeans? My hips have been forever changed, people.

Knowing all this, I knew that this would be a unique jean experience. In this case, I would really need the perfect jean.

The fitting room. With 5 kids. Should not be allowed.

In fact, at the entrance to every fitting room there should be a counselor, a therapist of some sort. Someone to say, “You know, are those the best fit for your body? Is this a move in the right direction? Do you really feel that taking 5 kids in is the best thing? Is it beneficial for your overall emotional health? Let’s talk about your feelings.” I tell you, friends, I would spend a lot less time in fitting rooms if there was help like that.

So I enter with my crew. Babies are throwing food from the trays, and the older girls are asking what the numbers on the tags mean. Oh mercy - sweet mercy, please stop screaming what that number is…give mama a break…or a stiff drink…either one will do at this point – I think the Lord would understand. It's not really that I'm embarrassed, because I am made just like God wanted me - thankyouverymuch, but is it to much to aske for just a tiny bit of privacy??

I try them on, I'm under the 800 degree lamps they got hanging in there, and I'm smashed up against the mirror – because it’s a tight fit with 6 of us in there. Now I’m staring at my imperfections in close up view...good times.

They fit, I mean, I guess they do…as far as I could see standing only 3 inches from the mirror. Whether they look good or not is a whole 'nother post. I get dressed, sweep the cheerios to the side (don’t pretend you don’t), and try to figure out how to get us all out. I always imagine the door busting open and all of us falling out. That hasn’t happened yet.

I leave the fitting room only sweating, thanks to the intense lighting, and the fact that I have been pleading with my girls to just stand still for one stinkin' minute. Sweating is better than crying, right?

Do you shop with all your kids?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We Are All In Detox

Deep breath in...
Being in the bathroom alone was a privledge, and gift...
Exhale out...
It is not normal for a mother to shower...everyday...without banging on the door.
Alright, I think I'm coming back to reality.

I am attempting to get back in the swing of things after an amazing weekend at Blissdom. I'm trying to put the bag of Hershey Bliss Chocolates down - I fell in love w/ them in Nashville. Have you tried these things??

They were just a little treat in the beginning - now they're more like a hobby.

Ahem, but that's a whole other post.

It's true, I had an amazing time. I learned more about my passion for writing, thought a ton about how much I loovve this community that I have found through blogging, had some much needed "girl time", and met some fabulous women - like my editor from Blissfully Domestic. Here we are at the "Come Comfy" Party at the end of the conference...

I know, I need help.

You give me a little time off, a party where you can wear pj's, and this is how I behave. Don't judge.

The girls are also going through a little "we get everything we want when the grandparents are around" detox. You know that stage, right? This is what my Raya has done since I got home...

Sweet, isn't it? I am soaking up all the extra cuddles that are being offered out. I don't think she has let me out of her sight since I walked back through the door :).

Oh, and sorry for the craziness around here the past few days, I know it was hard to load my blog. I was told "some lines got crossed." Whatever that means.

So anyway, I'm curious. What is your favorite part about blogging? What keeps you in this amazing, encouraging, hilarious community?? Do tell!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's About Community

That's it...

Just wanted to say it.

I spent A LOT of time this weekend thinking and learning about community...

About what is important and what is not important...

I could never put into words what you all mean to me...

and you'll never know how big of an impact you have on my daily life.

You ladies are priceless.

You are my encouragement in so many ways.

I am attached to those of you that hang around this crazy blog...and this crazy family.

It's been a great few days here (at blissdom), haha, can you tell??

So, so much love to you all...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Did I Mention...

...that I was going to Blissdom this weekend??

Tricia and I packed up, and headed out of town yesterday.

They have been good to us here at the Opryland Hotel...

We are having a fabulous time, with some fabulous ladies...

But I really miss my girls!! I want to just run home and squeeze all of them! Oh I can't wait.

Would you pray that hubby (the man that I have had some great 1 on 1 time w/ lately, that has been sooo good for this stressed out couple!) gets along OK w/ the girls (he does have some help), and for safe travel back home? I would sooo appreciate it!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Please. Send. Help.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


School mornings can wear you out...