Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday's Letters


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Dear unfortunate scab on my knee- I know that I caused you by walking to quickly in my heels and getting stuck in the sidewalk crack, but seriously. can you please heal already?! Knee scabs are the worst and it keeps re-opening. Not to mention it hurts!

Dear garbage man- When I take my precious time to call you and you tell me you are going to call me back in 15 minutes, DON'T forget to call back and make me call you two more times, two days later, to get a hold of you! Come pick up your garbage can...your service is 'trash!'

Dear Ponder (our kitty)- Thanks for not continuing to pee on my carpet. Could you please magically make the nasty smell go away. That is one of the worst smells ever!


Dear Blake- Thanks for being the best baby ever! Thank you for loving sleep as much as your mommy does. You make my days pretty easy!


Dear obnoxious solicitors- If you don't want to hear about how my day is going and hear my kids yelling in the background, don't call me. I don't want to talk to you anyway, so you are wasting your time. 

Dear dust- I mean, come on really! I wipe you away so many times, can't you just stay away. You are the one chore that I despise, so please make my job as a 'maid' easier and go to some other house.


Dear summer- Please slow down! You are going so fast. I know we pack you full of baseball games, soccer games, softball games, family picnics, camping, BBQ's...but I really do wish you'd slow down a bit, so I can enjoy you more!


 Head on over to Ashley's blog to link up!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How I Manage?!


I have been asked many times on comments, e-mails and in person...

'How do you manage 4?!'

{Wait, 4....who's idea was that?!}

I can honestly say, 4 is not much different than 3. My oldest two usually play very well together, so while they are off on their own, Kenzie is either playing with me, by herself or with the older two.
Blake makes my life very easy. He sleeps, eats and smiles! {super easy baby} So, when I need to get something done, he is pretty easy and will sit in his swing, on his play-mat or in the high chair.

Please often tell me, 'Wow, you are daring going out with 4 kids, especially grocery shopping,' 'You are a super mom, having 4 kids must be tough,' 'You and your husband are very busy,' 'All they all yours?' 

But really, who are they kidding?!
I chose to have 4 kids, this is the life I wanted. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, I knew my life was going to be very family oriented, I knew that I was going to keep busy and always be on my toes and I even knew I would get the rude comments now and then.


I love being able to stay home with my kids and watch them grow up. We keep things as simple as possible, but my kids are also very adaptable. I keep a schedule as much as possible, but things come up and I don't worry when they go to bed late, skip a nap, eat 'junk' for lunch or stay in their PJ's all day.

We keep busy all day, it helps keep the kids happy with less fights, and then they also sleep well at night! Everyday is such a learning experience, but we have so much fun!

Being out numbered {parents vs. kids} can be tough, but since our oldest two are pretty self sufficient, it makes it a little easier on us. They are very good helpers with Kenzie...helping her out of the car, holding her hand, putting her shoes on her, getting her dressed...whatever it may be, they are usually willing to help. They love to help with Blake too, getting a burp rag, finding his Nuk, getting me a diaper and wipe, playing with him, while mommy cooks dinner, and so much more. They truly are great kids!

I am not going to tell you that every day is simple. {main reason...cause my husband would call me out} There are days I call my husband and beg him to come home, cause I am just about to loose it. There are days I just want to lock myself in my room and take a 5 minute breather. There are days that the 3 older kids fight non-stop. But those days are greatly outweighed by the good days.

When we go out and it is just me and 4 kids, I usually try and make games out of them helping me, like in the grocery store, I tell one of them to get me something off they shelf and they get to put it in the cart and cross it off the list. It might take a little bit longer to shop, but I am going for happy kids, not a time record. When I rarely take them out clothes shopping, I usually bring a sucker or treat to keep to happy/occupied and when that 'wears' off, they get to play my phone or help me put stuff in the cart. I do also love the dollar spot at Target, the kids get to pick something out in the beginning of the trip and if they misbehave or throw a fit, the toy has to go back. They get to hold it as a reminder to be a good listener.

I think routine is best and keeping busy really helps, but in all honesty, 4 is not much different than 3, other than loosing one more seat in the mini-van.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Undercover Mama Giveaway!


When I was pregnant with Blake, I was searching the web for nursing tanks.

I have had Motherhood Maternity nursing tanks before, but 'my girls' don't like the shelf bra that is built in. {As if they aren't big enough already, the shelf bra pushes them up to my chin}

I was looking for something long, to cover my tummy and without a shelf bra built in. I really didn't find anything that I liked. 
The next day I checked my email and I had an email from Plum District for an offer from Undercover Mama. I clicked on it and, low and behold....the perfect nursing tank!

Not only is this nursing tank top long, and covers my belly and then some, it doesn't add extra straps to your shoulders. How is that possible?!

The nursing tank comes with loops and a clap that attach right to your nursing bra. Depending on which fastens easier to your nursing bra.

 Here it is...simple as can be...

I wear one just about everyday. I LOVE them!
I have black and white, since they go with everything.

I would recommend this to any nursing mama. They wash great, I bleach my white one and it holds up great too. This is a genius idea and an awesome product....the only thing better, would be if I would have come up with the idea.



Undercover Mama is giving away a $25.00 gift certificate to one of your lucky readers.

Go check out Undercover Mama and let me know what you think of their tanks!

To enter you must 'like' Undercover Mama on Facebook (Mandatory)

For extra entries:
1 extra entry- Follow Undercover Mama on Twitter
1 extra entry- Follow my blog - or let me know you already do
5 extra entries- Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link

***Please leave a separate comment for each entry you are entitled***

This giveaway will end on July 6th and the winner will be chosen with random.org

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You Eat What?!


A lot of you have asked...

"What do you feed your kids/family?!"

{Here is a look at some of our favorite 'menu' items}

Lunch
Pizza bubbles
Ingredients:
3 cans of Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits
1 jar of pizza sauce (1 can will work too)
1 bag of shredded cheese (I use a mixture of Colby Jack and Mozzarella)
About 30 pepperonis (optional)

Directions:
Grease two 8" circle pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut all of the biscuits into 4's.Pour the pizza sauce into a medium sized bowl. Place the cut biscuits into the pizza sauce and make sure they are well coated. Divide them in half and put half in each pan. (optional) Dice up about 20 pepperonis and sprinkle them onto of the biscuits. Cover (both pans) with half of the bag of cheese. (optional) lay the other 10 pepperonis on top of the cheese. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese starts getting golden brown.

Pigs in a blanket
Ingredients:
Hot Dogs
Crescent Rolls

Directions:
Wrap each hot dog in a crescent roll and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown.

Wraps
Ingredients:
Tortillas
Lettuce
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Tomatoes
Cheese
Avocado
Chicken, cooked and cubed
Ranch dressing

Directions:
Take the ingredients you like and add them on top of your tortilla in a line, in the middle. Top with the dressing of your choice. Fold and roll.

Roll ups
Ingredients:
Tortillas
Black olives
Deli turkey
Cheese
Cream cheese

Directions:
Spread cream cheese over the whole tortilla. Then add all ingredients on top. Roll up and slice in small cuts.

Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Ingredients: 
16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp panko
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
olive oil spray

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken. Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 - 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked though.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Ingredients:
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:

Place cubed potatoes into a glass dish, and cook in the microwave oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until soft. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, then gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in the potatoes and onion, and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the sour cream and Cheddar cheese until melted and well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

BLT Pasta
Ingredients:
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese
1 box of penne pasta
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
8 pieces of bacon
1 cup of cherry tomatoes (I used 1/2 cup diced Roma tomatoes)
1 cup of milk
Directions:
Cook pasta according to box, then drain and rinse. While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet on medium high heat and mix together milk, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese till smooth and combined. You can keep your cherry tomatoes whole, but I choose to use Roma tomatoes, so I diced them up. Cook bacon and crumble. Mix pasta with cream cheese sauce.  Add spinach, tomatoes and Italian seasoning and mix well. Add the bacon before serving.


Dinner
Nacho Chicken Casserole
Ingredients:
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup uncooked instant rice
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (11 oz) Green Giant Mexican corn with peppers (there is a frozen version too)
1 can (4.5 oz) Chopped Chilies, undrained
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz)
1 cup broken tortilla chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice and cook chicken. Spray 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. In casserole dish, add chicken and rice and tomatoes, cream of chicken soup, taco seasoning, corn mixture (I used the frozen kind) and cheese. Mix everything together. Cover and bake for 1 hour or until rice is tender and mixture is heated through. Take out of the oven and top with the rest of the cheese and the tortilla chips. Bake about 10 minutes longer.

Bacon cheeseburger pasta
Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. of penne pasta
1 can (10 oz.) of Tomato soup (I used tomato sauce)
8 strips of bacon-cooked and diced
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Lowery's Seasoning to taste (it didn't call for this, but I added it and it added a lot of flavor)

Directions:
Cook the Penne pasta according to the box. In a large sauce pan, brown ground beef on Medium, till brown. Add can of tomato soup/sauce and mix well. Season with salt pepper and Lowery's seasoning (if you choose to). Add cooked/drained pasta to meat mixture. Mix well. Add bacon and cheese and cover with a lid. Let cheese melt and then serve.

 Easy Chicken Pot Pie 
Ingredients:
2 cans of ready to serve gravy
Onion (to taste)
Your favorite veggies (I chose carrots, peas and corn)
Chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)
Refrigerated pie shells (2)
Salt/pepper
Other seasonings that you like
Directions:
Pour both cans of gravy into a sauce pan and heat till they thicken. Dice onions, and add them to the gravy. Dice the chicken to your desired size. Add chicken, and veggies to the gravy mixture. Line a pie dish with one of the pie crusts. Mix all ingredients in the gravy mixture, including spices. Pour gravy mixture into the pie crust. Place the other pie crust onto and cut around the edges. Then take a fork and press around the edge of the whole pie. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes.

Peanut Butter Chicken
Ingredients:
8 or 10 pieces frying chicken (I used some thighs and some breasts, since my hubby and I like opposites)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 extra lg. or jumbo egg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
Cracker crumbs (I used a whole sleeve of saltine crackers)
1/2 stick butter- melted

Directions:
Stir egg, peanut butter, salt and pepper together to blend. Beat milk into peanut butter mixture until thoroughly blended and smooth. Rinse chicken pieces in cold water and drain.
Put flour in a bag and shake chicken pieces to coat. Dip chicken pieces in batter, coat with cracker crumbs. Place chicken pieces in lightly greased baking dish or pan. Drizzle melted butter on top of each chicken piece. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until tender.

White chicken pizza
Ingredients:
Chicken, cooked and cubed
Alfredo sauce
Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Spinach
Refrigerated pizza dough (I made mine homemade)
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning

Directions:
Cook dough according to package. Spread the Alfredo sauce on the cooked and cooled crust. Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients over the pizza and bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Burito Bowls
Ingredients:
Chicken (I use leftover rotisserie chicken)
Tomatoes
Cheese
Sour cream
Salsa
Rice
Avocado
Corn
Onions-diced
Tortilla Chips
(any ingredients you may like)


Directions:
Spoon rice onto your plate and then top with the ingredients that you like. Put some crunched up tortilla chips on top for some crunch.
 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cutest Ever & Winner


...I might be bias, but I do believe my kids are the cutest ever!

I had to get a few pictures of Ms. Abby for her birthday invitation, so I headed out with all the kids to snap a few pictures. 

Here is my sassy princess!

Triple trouble!

My little Kenzie...on a mission

My pride and joy!


 Brotherly love!
{He adores his baby brother!}


4 of the greatest reasons I was put on this earth!



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The winner of the blog makeover giveaway is
{drum roll please.....}

#19 Kristi over at The Hutton House

(Congrats Kristi, you have 48 hours to email me or another winner will be drawn)
 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Don't forget...


Tomorrow my Blog makeover GIVEAWAY ends....

Head on over to THIS post to enter!

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Until then, I am busy planning this soon-to-be 5 year old's birthday party!
(How did the last year fly by so fast!?)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blake 3 Months



Blake...at 3 months
 
*You love your baths
*You smile a lot!

*You have the most gorgeous blue eyes, just like your big sisters and your daddy
*Your legs are always moving...you just kick kick kick

 
*You aren't a big fan of your car seat
* You are getting good at lifting your {heavy} head up
 
 
*You are starting to giggle
*You love looking in your mirror and playing under your play mat

*You take all your naps in your crib, but are still in mommy's and daddy's room at night
*You LOVE being swaddled
 
 
*You look like your mama...especially when you smile
* You sleep 7-9 hours a night


* You wear 3 month clothes
* You are in size 1 diapers
 
 
* You love being outside and taking walks
*You are the best cuddler and mommy takes full advantage of that

Your stats at 3 months are...
Height 24.25" (72-85%)
Weight 13 lbs. 5oz. (50%)
 
 
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BLOG MAKEOVER GIVEAWAY is still going on. Head over here!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Time For Change

...and I need your help!
When we moved in, our kitchen was the last thing I wanted to paint. The vaulted ceilings looks like a big pain to paint and I had many more rooms that need dire attention.

Well, 2 1/2 year later and now I want it painted. It is a dull cream color with a hint of brownish green. It just looks dirty to me.

Here is where I need your help!
I have seen pictures of many kitchens that are gorgeous {some of them were yours} I just don't have that home interior touch that I wish I had. I need a main base color and another color for the stripe at the top, by the ceiling (which is now brown). I want to change the little valence over the porch door and sink windows. so the fabric I pick will coordinate with the paint colors.

Here are a few pictures of what my kitchen looks like now...




What colors would you choose?!
{I'd love your help!}

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Don't forget about my blog makeover GIVEAWAY over here!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Letters


Trying something new....

I am linking up with Ashley for
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Dear Ponder (our kitty): Please for the love of Pete...stop peeing and pooping in my basement. The thought of getting rid of you would break my daughters heart. I really do think you are cute and cuddly, but I hate the smell of cat pee. Not to mention, I don't like cleaning it up off my carpet!


Dear bunnies in my yard: I think you are adorable and I love how my kids go crazy when they see you, but please keep your little poopies out of my flower bed. AND...if it isn't too much to ask, please stop eating my plants. 

Dear husband of mine: I really would appreciate a date night. It has been too long since we got to talk without  adorable children interrupting. How about a movie and dinner soon?

Dear my precious children: It is now summer and school is over, please be easy on your mama this summer and be good listeners and try not to push mama's buttons!

Dear energy: I know I have had 4 babies, but I would love to see you again SOON! I have some more baby weight that I'd love to loose and some adorable summer clothes that I'd love to wear. Please visit ASAP!

Dear obnoxious solicitors: I know I don't have a home phone, but that does not mean it is okay for you to call my cell phone and waste my time. Please find someone else who isn't as busy as I and bother them!

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Scroll down for my blog makeover giveaway!

It could be you...


 By popular request...

I am doing a 'Summer's here' Blog makeover GIVEAWAY! 


Time to spice up your blog for the summer...update your header...try something new!

includes:
Header
Coordinating background
Sidebar font change
Signature
Sidebar photos

Ok, now here the question...
Who's in?!

To enter in the giveaway, just leave me a comment on this post, letting me know how long you've been reading my blog! 
For an extra entry, leave me a comment telling me what you'd like to see more of on my blog.

 
 This giveaway will end 6.23 and the winner will be chosen with random.org

Monday, June 11, 2012

A little 'dirt' on me...

 

I secretly watch 'General Hospital' and have since I was 20...I know 10 years of wasted time, but I am addicted!

I wanted to be done with kids by the time I was 30 {and I am!} I secretly drank Castor Oil to have Blake come before my 30th birthday.

I don't wear shorts unless it is 90 degrees and humid. I don't like my legs, since I got my mom's veracious veins from having kids. (I am planning on having them taken away with laser surgery this fall)

I used to have dreams of modeling, but had my first photo shoot, when I was 17 and didn't like how much make-up they loaded on me or the way my 'straight face' (not smiling) looked in pictures.

I used to decided whether I wanted to work somewhere, by the looks of their uniform. I once quit a job becuase I had to wear a hat, and I don't like what I look like in hats.

I have had 10 cars since I was 17. (I didn't used to be the best driver, but happy to say that now I am much more aware and have only willingly got a new care)

I was once young and stupid and met a few guys off the internet. {One of those lucky guys was my hubby}


I love pasta and would eat it for every meal if I could. {mac n' cheese is my BFF}

I have over 15 pairs of jeans that I wear. I love getting new jeans!

I always multi-task. I have to keep busy. I rarely take naps, cause there is so much else I could be doing. vacuuming...cleaning...blogging...organizing!

I am very hard to surprise. I can be nosy and pry into things, to find things out.

I have a very fake smile. It is rare to see my 'real' smiling in a picture. Unfortunately 1/4 of my wedding pictures I have a fake smile. (It is hard to smile all day long)



See, now you know some of my 'dirt'
Not so perfect and learning

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A little of this....


...a little of that!

The winner of the 
Givewaway is....

Congrats Julie!
(Julie, you have 48 hours to email me, or a new winner will be chosen with random.org)

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My girls are just like their mommy...they love to mimic what I do.
Daddy caught them both BF their babies. Then Kenzie burped her baby, like I burp Blake.

My happy little boy! He loves to smile at everyone!

I now have a 1st grader and he couldn't be prouder!
Here is the first and last day of Kindergarten.

Working hard on those neck muscles

My head is getting pretty heavy!


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I have been busy adding a ton of new things to my Esty shop...




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We're off on a family vacation with my extended family!
A much needed vacation that the kids (and we) will love!
Blake finally gets to meet his Godmother!
We'll be back with tons of pictures!
Have a great weekend!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Fun in the Sun!


Loving the weather!
Spring has been very good to us this year and even started early!
We love to play outside!



 My two sassy divas!

 Priceless drawings!

Outline of my little sassy girl!

 Water fun!
We bought a new slip n' slide this year...triple wide!
I am pretty surprised I haven't tested it out yet.



 This year I didn't have to blow up the pool by mouth (5 months preggo) Like I did two years ago





 Look who woke up from his nap for some time outside!

 My blue eyed monkey!

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Don't forget, only a few more days to enter in the
GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate.
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