Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In this home.....

I saw this today as a listing in a vinyl decal shop, and just had to steal it....

In this home...
we do second chances.
we do grace.
we do real.
we do mistakes.
we do I'm sorrys.
we do loud really well.
we do hugs.
we do family.
we do love.


Here's the listing if you want to check it out for yourself, and the shop is even located close to my hometown!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We're a stick family!

Sometimes you find little fun things on the internet and you just can't resist! My little stick family was one of those things. ...

My Stick Family from WiddlyTinks.com

Friday, April 1, 2011

Yard Sale Find!

Today I went around to a few yard sales with a friend, and I found the best toy! James loves building things, and running his cars down ramps. He's also been seriously talking to me about building a ramp with tubes for a golf ball to run down since he saw it done on PBS a few weeks ago. So, I knew when I found this marble maze set at a yard sale that if the price was right, then it was coming home with me. I was so pleased when the lady told me it was only $1.00!! So, two big bags of blocks and tracks, and 6 marbles came home with me! And two little kiddos were extremely thrilled and spent over 2 hours playing with it. Even Andy and I got in on the action!

We had so much fun!
It was the best dollar I've ever spent!
P.s. The letter blocks were ours that we added in to get some more height, but everything else came with the set!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby Girl's First Haircut

I guess maybe one day "Manfa" won't be "baby girl" anymore....For that matter I guess one day Samantha might not like being called "Manfa" anymore....but at least for now to us she is "baby girl" and sometimes "Manfa" (the nickname given to her by James at birth b/c he couldn't say "Samantha").

And today baby girl got her FIRST EVER haircut.....at 3 1/2 years old!

Now really it wasn't that we were attached to her hair or against cutting it....really it was just that the length snuck up on us, and then (once it was obvious she needed a haircut) getting her an appointment just kept getting pushed to the back burner.

Well TODAY was THE day!!! Here are the pictures everyone has been asking about....

Love this shot....she loved getting her hair washed! I was so surprised b/c she hates us washing it at home!!
Looking into the mirror...
Love this face too....
And finally AFTER!
My favorite shot...
I love it!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sick of being Sick

Our family started in with "sickness" shortly after the beginning of the year. It seems like since then at least one or two of us have been sick every week. It all started with the kids who seemed to have a 24 hour virus. A couple of days after they were better, I came down with a bad cold/flu type thing. I was in bed for almost a full day and felt terrible for 2 days after that. Then as soon as I got better, James started saying his ears hurt and Andy started saying his throat hurt. I took James to the doctor and discovered he had a double ear infection, and on antibiotics he went. A few days later Andy also went to doctor and found out he had strep throat....on antibiotics he went! Then I got sick again with a bad sinus cold. Shortly after I got well, Samantha started getting sick with a stomach virus. And now I'm sick with a stomach virus too!! (I currently feel awful, but I thought maybe doing something would get my mind off of feeling bad)

I say all of that to say: I'm sick of being sick.

I have tried my best to disinfect the house in between my episodes of being sick....I'm about ready to bring a pressure washer full of Lysol in here, but that's probably not as good of an idea as it sounds.

The kids and Andy have been troupers. We've all been taking care of each other as each one gets sick.

I'm just really ready for all of us to be well..... for an extended period of time!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Citrus Chicken Salad

Picture from Publix.com

I love Publix. The store is always clean; the people who work there are friendly; there are free cookies for my kids at the bakery; and they offer their recipes for you to try in the store. What could be better?

The recipe for the citrus chicken salad was the one being featured the other night when I went with the kids, and it was delicious! The chicken was so tender....I really thought, "ok, this is just because someone else cooked it in some special pan that I do not have." So, I asked the girl how she cooked the chicken and it was just a regular pan, and she told me to follow the recipe and my chicken would turn out the same. I followed the recipe and SUCCESS!! It was sooooooo good, and filling too!

Here's the recipe.... Go to Publix.com or to the store for more!

(click on the name to go to the recipe at Publix.com)

2–3 grapefruit
1/2 cup lemon curd
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 3/4 lb)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 of a (4–5-oz) bag spring mix salad blend

Cut grapefruit in half; remove grapefruit sections.

Squeeze the grapefruit membranes for juice (about 1 1/3 cups).

  1. Whisk lemon curd into grapefruit juice until smooth; whisk in sesame seeds and garlic.
  2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place oil in pan then add chicken (wash hands); cook 3–4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  3. Reduce heat on chicken to medium. Add 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook 4–5 minutes or until 165°F.
  4. Arrange spring mix on serving platter. Slice chicken; arrange grapefruit and chicken over spring mix. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

CALORIES (per 1/4 recipe) 430kcal; FAT 11g; CHOL 140mg; SODIUM 200mg; CARB 37g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 41g; VIT A 50%; VIT C 110%; CALC 6%; IRON 10%

This is the original recipe, but I did make a couple of tweaks.....I used oranges instead of grapefruit b/c Andy and I are not really grapefruit fans. I added pepper to the dressing mixture and did not use the sesame seeds because I didn't have those in my pantry. I had to cook my chicken longer than they suggested, but the chicken was really thick...I probably should have cut it into smaller pieces, but it was still tender even though I had to cook it a bit longer. And I cooked my chicken in extra virgin olive oil instead of canola oil. I sprinkled just a little Parmesan cheese on top too. I also made the "cheese crisps" to go with it (which is actually cheese toast ;o)).

We both loved it! Definitely a recipe we'll use again!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Organizing our home - The Storage Room

Don't ask me how this area got so unorganized.... All I can tell you is from the moment we moved in, the storage room became a dumping ground. And the more stuff that was added...the more out of control it became. So, as a part of one of my resolutions, I have set out to make our home more organized. I started with the storage room because I plan on using it for storing other things that are located throughout the house.....and adding more to an already chaotic room would just make it more chaotic!

And with Andy's help, I even completed this first organization project on time! (I also wanted to get the laundry room done, but it didn't work out with all the sickness floating around our house this week).

Just so you know.... this was THE MESSIEST room in the house. The rest of our house is not this messy!!

Here are the "Before and After" pictures!!

(The door isn't as blocked as it looks....but there was only a small pathway before)
(the trash bags are clothes to donate...going to Goodwill tomorrow!)
Well that's it!! Better by leaps and bounds!!
I have now officially checked this room off my list!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Years Resolutions

I've been thinking a lot about resolutions or basically things I want to do differently starting this year, and I think I have finally buckled down a list of what I want to focus on the most....

1. Get Organized.
- Going room by room I'm going to organize each space. I'm going to be posting pictures here of "before" and "after". I've already started in the storage room, and plan to move through the house starting from there. I figured I better do the storage area first...that away if I have more to add to that space, I'm not continuing to junk it up. (That would make it even MORE of a headache!) Dates for completion will be posted here. Starting with the completion date for the storage room and laundry room is this Friday 1-21-11.

2. Work on getting in shape. (This one's for Andy and me)
-Starting today Andy and I are starting up Tony Horton's P90 again. I've told Andy I'm going to be posting our stats here. I'm also going to be focusing on preparing healthier meals for our family. I'll be posting any successful new recipes here too!

3. Read my Bible everyday.
-We're doing this with our church. Andy and I are both using YouVersion to keep up with our daily readings. YouVersion is really a great resource, and it has multiple reading plans...so you can find the one that's perfect for you!

4. Get back to reading.
-And more than just children's books! :o) I'd like to read at least 6 new books this year. That may not sound like much to some, but I think I read three books total last year. I love reading....I always have....and I'd really love to start reading regularly again.

5. Sew something new each week.
-I might be biting off more than I can chew here, but I really want to try this. It's not that I'm looking for new things to sell....(although if I really like something it might end up on SweetSamantha)....it's more that I just want to try new things. These projects will be posted here and over at my Simply Sweet Samantha blog.

Well, that's about it for now!! Time to get started! :o)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day

Slightly more snow than last time...

Ice on top of the snow

Gizmo was so cold! I think he would have enjoyed his own mittens and little sweater.
Building a snow man
Like mother, like daughter....notice her tongue sticking out and mine was sticking out in the pic before!
Gathering up snow
Finishing touches
With our snow man
Love them!
Picking up ice

This is his mommy-you-have-taken-too-many-pictures face
A little snow ball fight

Today was the best snow day ever!