Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekend and Birthday Recap

Since it was our Fall Break, Mr. P took Friday off and we headed to Bowling Green for a family day out. We started out by just sleeping in and having a leisurely morning. That was heavenly because we don’t do that very often. After finally getting up and about, we hit the road and began our day by having lunch at the newly-opened Chuy’s in Bowling Green, followed by taking the girls bowling. Then Mr. P unexpectedly said that he was taking the girls to Chuck E. Cheese to play games, and he ordered me to go shop by myself for a little while. I was also not allowed to buy anything for the girls, only for myself. (This came from several shopping trips over the summer where I said I needed to purchase some things for myself only to come home with only things for the girls. I can’t help it-I have too much fun buying for them!) Believe me, it was very hard to say no to all of the cute little girl things, but I obeyed and only bought for myself. I actually didn’t have much luck until right at the end but I did find some trouser jeans that are dressy enough to wear to school on Fridays (yeah!), and I stocked up on some basic long sleeve t-shirts in black, gray, and white.

I also fell in love with this cozy shirt-can’t wait to wear this with leggings and boots.

It actually hangs longer on my because I'm so short, so it is the perfect length to wear with leggings. 

After meeting back up with Mr. P and the girls, we decided to take them to see Hotel Transylvania. Very cute movie and a very fun experience because the girls had never been to the movies before. Since it was the first time for them, we went to the 3-D version of the movie. They loved it!

Saturday was my birthday and it was a perfect, low-key day for me. We spent the morning at home, just hanging out and then Mr. P took the girls out shopping for me for a little while. I stayed home with orders from Mr. P to relax, but I actually ended up doing some laundry, finally putting up some fall decorations, and catching up on my Real Housewives of NJ. After Mr. P and the girls came home, we walked over to his parents’ house for a little while to visit with some relatives who were in town. Then we came home for dinner. Mr. P had planned dinner full of my favorites: grilled steak with veggies, roasted squash, and baked potatoes. We finished off dinner with birthday cake and presents which included new clothes and a new purse.  The highlights of my birthday were definitely being serenaded with “Happy Birthday” by the girls at breakfast and the sweet, sweet cards that they gave me.

Sunday, we ventured to Bowling Green again to meet my parents for lunch and more birthday celebrating. We very much enjoyed the lunch with my parents, and Mama brought me the cake that she always bakes for my birthday-a homemade strawberry cake, with strawberry icing. Yummy!

It’s been back to the real world this week with school and work starting back-boo! 

Hope that everyone is having a great week!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Falling Into Fall

 (Image Courtesy of Pinterest)

Geez, another long blog break from me…I just can’t seem to get into routine blogging even though I miss it terribly. Life in general, new mommyhood, and some unreliable internet service (no thanks to Windstream) are the causes of my most recent break. I’m just going to dive right in with our current state of the household…

School is off to a great start, and we are on Fall Break this week. Renovations are 99.9999% complete-praise God! It’s been a dusty, inconvenienced way to start a school year but we have rolled with it the best we could. The end result, a beautiful school, is well worth it.

The girls are doing wonderfully, both at school and at home. Little A knows all of her upper and lower case letters and sounds. She’s working on blends, knows many sight words, and is reading little books. So proud of my little kindergartener! Big A is averaging 100s on spelling, performing proficient on her flashbacks each week (small assessments to gauge how they are doing on state standards), and reading like a fiend. Both girls met their AR goals for the quarter, have been Student of the Week, and are running cross country. So proud of them!

We just returned from another camping trip this weekend. We live close to a Jellystone Park, which the girls love. We’ve camped there several times this summer, and there is always a weekend theme with lots of activities for kids. This weekend was the Fall Festival, with hayrides to the pumpkin patch, painting pumpkins, a costume contest, and trick or treating. Our group won the costume contest-the kids dressed up in 50’s costumes and they were so cute. Poodle skirts, ponytails, bobby socks-I wish that I could post a picture of them because they were stinkin’ adorable!

Mr. P is off today so we are going to have a family day. Not sure what we are doing but the weather is supposed to be beautiful, at least until late afternoon when a cold front is due to come through bringing rain and much cooler weather. Lots of people are bemoaning the weather but I’m kind of excited about it. I’m ready for cooler weather and I love cool weather on my birthday which is tomorrow. Might even have to break out some boots!

Home Stuff
Bringing the girls home has of course brought some changes to our house. I’ve had to rearrange and reorganize many things, and it is still a work in progress. We originally had the girls in one room, but then decided to give them each their own room. They love it and are so proud of their rooms. Of course, I’ve had a ball with decorating their rooms. I'm currently working on shelves for their rooms and some other organizing stuff, so hopefully I can post some pics soon.
Since this is a long, long post anyway, I’ll go ahead and throw in a recipe too. Like I said earlier, I have the fall/cold weather bug which makes me want to cook soup. We’ve already made chili and minestrone in the last few weeks, so on Wednesday I decided that potato soup sounded good. I use Christy Jordan’s My Favorite Potato Soup recipe from Southern Plate. She gives you several options, so here is my version of it, using her suggestions.


  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 4-5 Russet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed (I totally cheated on this (which Christy completely urges you to do) and bought frozen diced potatoes. I bought these, Ore-Ida Steam n' Mash. I didn't steam them or anything, just opened up the bags and dumped them in, using about 1 1/2 bags. I liked them because they were bigger chunks of potatoes than canned or other frozen ones.)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup instant potato flakes (original recipe calls for 1 cup, but it made it too thick last time)
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 onion, diced (not sure if it was a whole cup, it was what was left of my frozen bag of chopped onions)
  • 1 cup smoked chopped ham
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I also threw some garlic powder in there, next time I’m going to throw a bit of diced garlic in)


  • Pour broth in dutch oven or soup pot and put over medium heat.
  • Peel and chop onion and potatoes (or open up bags and dump!).
  • Add to broth along with ham. Season to taste (about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper).
  • Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for ten to fifteen minutes or until potato is tender.
  • Remove lid and stir in potato flakes.
  • Add in cheese and evaporated milk and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until just heated through.
  • Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. I added garlic at this point too.
Serve immediately and top with your favorite toppings. We had chopped green onions, bacon, and shredded cheese. Makes 4 generous servings.

Seriously, this was such an easy recipe. Since I bought everything pre-chopped, you just dumped everything in according to the recipe. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I love to spend a lot of time chopping and cooking but this recipe is great for a quick weeknight supper. 

Hope that everyone is having a wonderful Fall!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

First Days of School

With our first full week behind us, the new school year is well underway!  The first day of school is always exciting, and this year was even more exciting with the girls. We had gone shopping a couple of weeks earlier to pick our first day of school outfits.

Big A picked this outfit:
Girls Asymmetrical Ruffled Tees | Old Navy
Girls Double-Yoke Skinny Flared Jeans | Old Navy

Jeans and a ruffle top with these cute pink metallic boat shoes

While Little A picked this
Girls Licensed-Character Tiered Dresses

Hello Kitty Dress with these adorable Mary Janes 
SONOMA life + style Mary Janes

The Back to School Fairy also paid us a visit. She brought a bag of goodies, including a new hair bow for each of them.

Zebra hair bow for Big A, polka dotted for Little A. I took some really cute pictures of them on the first day, but unfortunately they can't be published. : (

It’s been different but we are settled into our morning and evening routines. It’s actually kind of fun after all these years to be checking homework, signing papers, and checking agendas.

How has your life been?



Wednesday, August 1, 2012


All images courtesy of Pinterest.

It's a stressful time of year for me but I'm trying to hang in there. I need to take the last image to heart and mark those verses in my Bible. Currently sitting on the couch with Mr. P-that should help de-stress me a little. Breathe in, breathe out.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teacher Gifts

Whew, I'm tired tonight! Stayed up too late watching the Olympics last night and then I had to be up bright and early to go to Lexington for a training today. On the bright side, we got out early and I had some time to shop and run a few errands this afternoon before I came home.

This is the last week of summer program, and the girls’ last day will be Thursday. I picked up some little gifts for the teachers today, and the girls and I put them together tonight. 

 Post-it notes, Kleenex, and a pen in a matching design

I intended to make some cute tags on the computer, but then I saw these cute little paisley cards. Since I’m totally stressed out trying to get ready for school to start and still adjusting to being a working mom, I decided to go with the pre-made cards.

I also picked up these cute little thank you cards for the girls and I to work on tomorrow night. We have lots of cards to send out to generous friends and family!

A quick stop at Kroger was also on the agenda this afternoon. Have you tried these? My friend L introduced me to these on one of our camping trips this summer and I am totally hooked on them. So quick and easy-just pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and voila-a yummy side dish! Here are the some of the favorites at our house:

 Penne and Vegetables in Alfredo Sauce
 Roasted Red Potatoes in Chive Butter Sauce
 Sweet Corn  
Rotini and Vegetables in Garlic Butter Sauce
Rotini and Broccoli in Cheese Sauce
 Broccoli in Cheese Sauce

And for an added bonus, they are on sale at Kroger this week for $1.88!

I've been all over the place with this post, haven't I? I guess I'll chalk it up to being tired and watching Team USA at the same time. I promise to be more coherent next time!

Have a great night!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Gettin' Our Irish On

This weekend was my annual family reunion in Tennessee. We meet at the Irish Picnic at St. Patrick’s Church in McEwen, Tennessee. This is a family tradition of ours for my whole life, and you can read more about the Irish Picnic here. My grandfather’s family were members of this parish, and he attended church there until he moved to Nashville. Several of my ancestors are buried in the church cemetery.
My mom and her brothers and sisters arrive early to set up tents and chairs under the shade trees in the church yard. The rest of the family arrives throughout the morning, bringing food and desserts. We all chip in on the barbecued pork (which is divine-there is nothing in the world that tastes like this barbecue) and just basically tailgate all afternoon. We bring cornhole and activities for the kids, and sit around under the trees and catch up on things. It was so much fun this year to bring the girls and introduce them to my family. They were a little overwhelmed-I have a very large family, and there were about 55 of us there this weekend. And that’s not even the whole family!

There is an area with games and prizes, so we spent a great deal of time there with the girls. One booth that has always been at the Irish Picnic is the doll booth. It is called the doll booth, but is should be called the Barbie booth because that is what you win! I remember spending countless minutes and dimes at the doll booth with my cousins when I was little. We would pick the ones that were our favorites, based on their outfits, of course. Then we would spend dimes playing the game until we finally won at least one doll. On Saturday, we took the girls there and played until they each had a doll of their own-one ended up with a High School Musical Barbie and one with a wedding Barbie. Of course now you spend dollars instead of dimes! Right before we were leaving, I tried again for the fun of it and ended up with a Snow White Barbie and a Cinderella Barbie for them. We also came home with a cake, a goldfish (I was really hoping that we DIDN’T win on that one!), Dora bracelets, and some other junk treasures. It was so much fun to take the girls around and play the exact games that I played when I was a little girl.

Of course, the best part of the weekend was getting to see my family and having the girls get to know them. They had already spent some time with my parents, so they were able to spend more time with them and meet a whole lot of other family members too. I received lots of supportive hugs from aunts, uncles, and cousins who were all thrilled to meet our girls.

(Above pictures were taken of the t-shirt I bought at the picnic. Top picture is the small logo on the front, bottom picture is the logo on the back. Cute, isn't it?)

Between our family and friends, Mr. P and I are truly blessed. Last week, our church friends hosted a “shower” for us and the girls. They called it a “welcome to our church” party, but it was basically a baby little girls' shower.  The girls received clothes, shoes, books, games, and gift cards.  It was such a thoughtful gesture, especially with back to school shopping just around the corner. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives.

On another note, are you enjoying the Olympics as much as we are? I love cheering for Team USA, and the girls have really gotten into the spirit also. Mr. P is working late tonight, but the girls and I have been snuggled in watching the games tonight. The little one got sleepy, so I just put her to bed but the older one is holding out for the gymnastics. She’s looking a little sleepy-eyed too, so I’m not sure if she will make it or not…