Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Coming Soon...

Tomorrow is the first day of December! Therefore, we will start the advent calendar and the official countdown to Christmas! I am going to TRY to blog every day in December until Christmas (my intentions are always so good). I will be sharing some of my favorite things about this exciting, yet busy month as well as some of my favorite memories. Do I think anyone will actually read them or really care? Not necessarily, it's just a way to journal my thoughts and memories (mainly for my kids one day). :-) Hope you enjoy your Holiday season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I am thankful for... Sweet Potatoes.

I LOVE sweet potatoes! When I was a kid my grandma made baked sweet potatoes with big marshmallows on top and I LOVED them. When I got married my husband's grandma introduced me to a sweet potato casserole type dish which consists of mashed sweet potatoes topped with coconut, crushed cornflakes, and pecans and I LOVE it. Over the past few years I have discovered that I LOVE sweet potatoes roasted, microwaved, baked, mashed, stewed, French fried, in a pie, salt and peppery, sweet and cinnamon-y, you name it and I LOVE it! Now that I am adult and bring a dish to holiday family dinners, I bring it upon myself to bring the sweet potatoes. This year... Sweet Potato Fancy! Or maybe not-so-fancy depending on who you ask. Many sweet potato recipes call for a lot of butter and a lot of sugar. So, I omitted and cut down several ingredients in my version of this "fancy" dish. However, adding lots of spices (or herbs - whichever best suits the dish) can really enhance the flavor without enhancing the calories. We all know that we certainly don't need any help meeting our calorie requirements over the holidays!
If you have never tried a sweet potato, let this be the year! A sweet potato is stuffed full of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber (just to name a few nutrients) and is low in calories and fat. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that keeps your immune system strong, along with healthy eyes and healthy skin.
Did you know sweet potatoes come in white, yellow, red, orange, and even purple! Keep in mind that the various colors provide various phytochemicals and nutrients but rest assured they will all benefit your health.
This Thanksgiving, think about the little things in life that you are thankful for and take nothing for granted...even if it is a sweet potato. :-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

He will always be my baby...

Jeremiah's 4th birthday is quickly approaching and I CAN'T wait! I love my kid's birthdays.
The other day I checked on Jey as he took his "rest" (we don't call it a nap anymore - those are apparently for babies) and was reminded of just how fast these past four years have flown by. When Jey was a baby and we were going through the whole "hope he sleeps all night" phase, we learned that if his arms were bent upwards in a 90 degree angle with his head slightly turned then he was out for the night. Here is my four year old baby in the same position that I became so very fond of.
Ni-night, Jey-Bug, Momma loves you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I appreciate the 1 hour but could use 10.

I love gaining that extra hour every fall. I would love to gain 10 extra hours in a day but once I had those I would fill them so fast and then quickly be requesting 10 more.
Do you ever get jealous of those people who seem to have everything in order, with a spotless house, and really fun hobbies? Well I do! There are so many things I want to do and so many things I have to do. I used to think of myself as a pretty efficient person but over the past couple of years I feel as though that attribute is declining. So for those of you who are super efficient or see where I might be going wrong, feel free to chime in! Below is a list of things I HAVE to do and another list of things I WANT to do. How can I make it all fit?
Things I HAVE to do (I do want to start by saying I love most things on this list. I am certainly not complaining about any of them. It's just a fact that these are things I HAVE to do.):
1. Work. I teach full time even though I'm not on campus every day, all day I still do a lot of prep, a lot of grading and a lot of email answering.
2. Tidy my house. There is a huge difference between a tidy house and a clean house. If I can just keep it picked up, we're doing good.
3. "Life". This includes paying bills, laundry, making dinner, getting kids to where they need to go, ect. You know all that adult stuff you didn't know about as a kid.
4. Be a mom. While I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this job, it's a lot of work!
5. Be a wife. Again, LOVE this role but at some point life will die down and kids will move out and then you are left alone with your spouse again. Therefore, constantly "working" to keep your marriage stay strong takes time. Time well spent.

Things I WANT to do (in no particular order):
1. Play with my kids.
2. Go on vacation with my family.
3. Watch movies with my husband.
4. Try new recipes and cook (I mean, really, creatively cook) most days.
5. Decorate my basement.
6. Organize my cabinets.
7. Make a digital scrapbook.
8. Learn to make hair bows.
9. Read a book (my reading list is getting longer and longer but I can't tell you the last time I read a BOOK.)
10. Lift weights.
11. Practice my new canning skills.
12. More in-depth DAILY Bible study.
13. Volunteer at the Pregnancy Care Center.
14. Participate in a summer Diabetes Camp.

The list could go on and on but I'll stop there for now. :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

A walking taco...

Last weekend we went to Silver Dollar City and they had an interesting new food item available - a walking taco. We did not purchase one but it wasn't hard to figure out what a walking taco consisted of. It was a small bag of nacho cheese Doritos that they tore open and then piled it with all of the taco salad fixins'. I thought this was a fun concept so I made them for dinner. I, of course, modified it a little.... We have Fritos left over from a Halloween get together so that is the chip we used, although you could use any corn-type chip. Our fixins included ground turkey mixed with chili powder and some salsa (rather than a packet of taco seasoning), cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, salsa, sour cream, and oh...don't forget the beans! The more beans = the more fiber = the better! You know how much I love fiber :-)! Once your walking taco has everything you love - dig in!

Not that this dish really contains anything different than I would normally serve my family; there is just something about putting a twist on the presentation that makes it so fun!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday!

I realize this post is about a week late but I do want to say what a blessing it is/was to celebrate two special people on October 25th - Matthew turned 30-something and our Ava girl turned 5 months old. It's so fun to watch Matt be a dad. When you start dating someone and then marry them you really (I mean REALLY) don't think about the kind of parent they will be ... At least I didn't. To see how Matt adores our babies and how they absolutely love him in return is just the coolest thing. How lucky am I!?!

Happy Birthday my Love and my sweet Baby girl!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

One of the things I remember and loved most about my childhood was the traditions that my family had for EVERY holiday. My mom had decorations for every holiday and once my sister and I were old enough to help with the decorating we did! My favorite holiday to decorate for was Halloween. I LOVED my mom's Halloween decorations. Within the past few years my mom has "weeded out" her holiday decorations because let's face it, they are OLD and perhaps not the trendiest of decorations. These decorations that I'm talking about are those little painted ceramics from various craft shows that were held in Southwest Missouri during the '80s...you know what I'm talking about. :-)
Anyway, this haunted house along with these lovely ghosts and witches didn't make the cut in the last holiday decoration clean-out. So like a good mom, she gave my sister and I the option of taking what we wanted. Now, while I don't go all out with my Halloween decorating I just had to have these things because I loved them so much as a kid. My sister and I would fight over who's turn it was to set-up the Halloween characters around the Haunted House and of course when it was Becca's turn I would rearrange it when she wasn't looking. Sorry, sister. :-)
Now, I have these Halloween things out on my fire place hearth for my kiddos to play with. But I can't lie, when they're done, I still arrange them the way I want. :-)