Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ask, And You Shall Receive

From my post yesterday about the 4th of July, I mentioned that I usually make baked potato casserole when asked to bring a side dish. I was pleasantly surprised to see the requests to post the recipe. I don't know why I didn't think to include it in the first place! I'll blame it on being tired and not thinking clearly. Yes, that is my excuse.

*drum roll* After much curiosity and anticipation, I bring you....Baked Potato Casserole! It's the easiest freaking dish you can throw together, er, make.

cooked and cubed potatoes
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
bacon bits

Mix together all of the above ingredients in a crock pot, warm, serve! You can do this in a large dish in the microwave or oven, too. *For the ingredients, the amount you need for each is all dependent on how much you want to make. I just keep adding and adding until I think it is the right amount. Salt and pepper to taste. You can also not add certain ingredients you don't like. I don't like chives, so I put them on the side for others to sprinkle on if they want.

What I like about this recipe is you can make as little or big as you need. And it makes great left overs. True, it isn't the most healthy, but you can substitute with low fat sour cream and low fat cheddar cheese.

That's all folks! Enjoy and let me know if you make it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday

Happy Monday! I have to keep telling myself that because right now I am not feeling very happy. No specific reason, other than I am sore from head to toe from various house projects over the weekend and hand-washing my car last night. Does that mean I am out of shape? Probably. I know I am. But this is just another reminder how out of shape I am. I slept horribly for some reason. Nothing on my mind, I just tossed and turned all night. Argh.

I was looking forward to find out what the topic for Friend Makin' Monday was going to be, and I was excited to find out! If this is the first time you have heard me mention FMM, go here to find out more about it.

Today's topic: 4th of July! Woo-hoo! First thing I think of when it gets closer to the 4th of July: a 4 day work week! But seriously, it also reminds me to thank and remember the soldiers that are fighting and did fight to preserve our freedom. We are lucky as hell to have them do what I think is the toughest job that many of us (me included!) are too scared to do. So for any current or previous soldiers that might be reading this...THANK YOU!!!

What are you doing this July 4th?
No huge plans this year, just going to my dad's for the day to swim, cook out, watch fireworks from his balcony (has a great view), and maybe shoot off our own fireworks.

What is your favorite dish to pass when attending a 4th of July party or summer barbecue?
My dad always smokes a brisket, so if he asks me to bring a side, I make baked potato casserole. Super easy and I make it in a crock pot.

Do you have any July 4th traditions?
We have a family reunion for my mom's side that always falls on a weekend around the 4th. It all started after all of my cousins were married (7 of us) and we all could not make it to my grandparent's for Christmas each year. My granddad loved having all of us together like when we were kids, but knew it was too hard to always make it due to in-law families to see. So he came up with the idea for us to always get together around the 4th of July. This year it is the weekend after the 4th.

Share your favorite July 4th pictures.
I was not able to find each year in my files, but I found several of my favorite.

2004 - Sammi did NOT like the fireworks this year. In fact, when it was dark and we did big fireworks, she screamed so loud that Jason and I took turns being with her inside my dad's house. She was ok with the sparklers, but still a little leary.

2005 - We try to get a picture of Sammi with her cousins each year. These are my sister's kids. Aren't they cute?

2007 - Joshua and Sammi swimming at my dad's. I love that he has a beach-entry in his pool. A great place for a tot to sit in the water.

2008 - I love this picture. I used another one that was taken then for our Christmas card last year.

That's all I got! I can't wait to read what other's in Blog Land do for their 4th. Happy 4th of July!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Daddy's Day

Yesterday marked Jason's 7th Father's Day. Over the weekend I heard friends talk about what they got their husband's for Father's Day. It ranged from big to small. Then I checked the blogs that I follow last night and I read about some really creative, neat things that was done for their dad's or husbands. We had plans to be in Tyler for his fraternity reunion (post to follow this week), so I was not sure how to plan Father's Day since I did not know when we would be home. But that is no excuse for me not getting him a gift from me! I feel absolutely terrible!

He was in NM and most of West TX all of last week so you would have thought I would have had plenty of time to have the kids make him something, right? Wrong! I had full intentions to have them make our annual stepping stone with their footprints, but I never got around to it. Lazy after work? Yes!

Thankfully, the kid's daycare is not as lazy as I am and had them make things for their dad. Joshua's class had Doughnuts with Dad on Friday, but Jason was driving back from NM and missed it. I didn't have the heart to tell him about it either, it would have crushed him. He did make him a t-shirt in class that was adorable with his hands all over it and said "Hands Down, The Best Dad". He loved it. Sammi made him a great card.

I am just typing this post and hating myself with every keystroke. Why didn't I finish the photo book I was making him online? Why didn't I at least get him a new golf hat? Or a set of his favorite golf balls? Or new cologne? Something!! I honestly don't have an answer, other than I was lazy, I guess. Thankfully I have a husband with no expectations, but still, he had to notice I didn't get him anything.

What I did do when we finally got home yesterday at 5:00 pm is dash off to the grocery store with the kids and left him alone to watch more of the US Open alone. I rushed back and cooked him one of his favorite meals that I never make and even got his favorite ice cream. I was trying!! As he was finishing watching the Open, I kept the kids quiet (or tried my best to!) so he could fully watch it. That was really all he said he wanted to do that day is watch the US Open. So it was my mission to let him!

He thanked me a lot for cooking for him. But I still felt bad that he didn't have a present to open from me. I did get him cards, but that isn't enough. My plan this week is to finally finish the photo book. I have already sorted through all of the kids pictures and picked a lot of just him with the kids. Now I need to place them in the order I want them and add the wording. That is the part that I got stuck on. No more excuses, it is time to finish it!

Ok, I feel better for getting that out there and it is in writing, so there is no going back on my word! Now I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures of Jason with our kids.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TV Obsession

I admit it. I am addicted to TV. At least I can admit it. When we were out of TV and internet service for a week and had to rely on local channels (oh, the horror!), I really didn't think I could make it. Not only was I concerned about the shows I would miss on cable channels, but I like to go to sleep with the TV on at night. Jason, my handy husband with years of tele-comm experience in the Army and civilian world, was able to hook up something so that we could have basic channels in the living room. That was helpful so we could watch the news, but not much else.

I was home with Jason for 2 days when he had to be taken to the ER from what found out were kidney stones. Yuck. Let me just say that if you don't watch soap operas or much game shows, you are out of luck on much else. Oh, or if you can understand spanish, there are those lovely shows on Telemundo.

You know you have an obsession when your husband kindly tells you "it's ok honey, you WILL survive a week without watching your shows". We didn't even have internet so I could watch anything there. So this was an eye-opening experience. I learned that I COULD do other things after the kids went to bed than watch TV. I learned that I COULD go to sleep in complete silence and darkness.

But now that I have my TV and internet back, my addiction has come forward full-force. We were out of town for the weekend, but then when we got back, it was back to normal for me and my beloved TV. After work, all I could think about was what shows I could catch up on. But then to my horror, again, I discovered that we were not hooked up with a DVR box. Just a regular box. AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I normally record shows while the kids are up and playing so that I can watch them when they are in bed. That is my time to relax and I love it. But never fear, I called Verizon and ordered a DVR box. Whew!

During the summer season when most of my shows that I regularly watch are on hiatus, I have been loving the fact that The Real Housewives of New Jersey was on. Do any of you watch that? Man, this season has been good! I have watched all of the other cities around the country, and I think this has been the best one yet. Maybe it is because of crazy, drama-filled Danielle.

Any who, it sounds like I really need to get a life, doesn't it? So what are your favorite TV shows you are currently watching?

Let me know if you watch that show too...it has been fun "talking" about it with my friends on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Want New Flip Flops?

If you love flip flops as much as I do, you need to go to my friend Rebecca's blog. She is hosting a Flip Flop Exchange! Go there to find out what the steps are to participate. Looks easy and fun...and who can say no to the chance to get another pair of flip flops? Or as I like to call them, flippie floppies.
Have fun!

Monday, June 15, 2009

This Is My Confession...

It's Monday, so you know what that means! That's right, it is Friend Makin Monday. Today's topic is Confessions. It's time to spill your guts and tell about things we have been keeping to ourselves and have always wanted to say. I'm such an open book, so it took me some time and reading other lists of confessions to come up with mine. Click here for the rules.

1. I have been known to put on a movie for my kids so that I can watch my shows on TV uninterrupted. Selfish? Yes. I usually do this when Jason is out of town. Probably because I know it is selfish and wrong! But we all need our alone time, right?

2. Sometimes I feel really guilty for enjoying working away from home.

3. I give Jason a hard time when he buys yet another baseball hat or golf visor, yet I order things online and have them shipped to my office so he doesn't know.

4. I think daily about my extra weight I need to lose, yet I do things to sabotage my goal by drinking Coke or eating sweets.

5. There have been times that I have ignored a stinky diaper in hopes that my husband will notice and change the diaper himself. It has worked several times in my favor!

6. I'm not great at giving my kids regular baths. I have friends that bathe their kids everyday and I don't know how they do it! Yes, they get a few baths a week, but not as much as they should since I am lazy!

7. I hate to be interrupted when I am in the zone on the computer. Whether it be downloading pictures, checking Facebook, or just surfing the net.

8. I am horrible at making sure my kids have a good dinner each night. Thank goodness their daycare serves such nutritous meals with every food group in there! But in my defense, their desserts after "dinner" are almost always fruit. Hey, I try!

9. I completely plagarized my senior research paper. I got an A on it and to this day I feel totally guilty about it.

I know after I post this I will think of more things to confess! So what is your confession?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No Internet, No TV, No Fun

Yes, you read that right. We do not have TV or internet at home. I am writing this at work...it is safe to say I have not been productive at work today. I was at home Monday and Tuesday with a sick husband (kidney stones!), so I have been checking all of the sites I have been sad to miss since last Thursday. I know, I really need to let it go, get some work done so I can truly earn my paycheck. But I have hated not being able to read the blogs I follow, check Facebook, heck check my own email!

Jason sent me a text last Thursday that after 6 months of frustration with our current TV/internet provider, he cancelled it. I almost passed out after reading it. I immediately called him to find out why he would just cancel it like that. I thought he would have at least cancelled it on the day we were having the new "stuff" installed. After he explained why and talked me through my panic attack, I understood. We have had 8 different techs come to our house in the 6 short months we had this service to fix problems we had over and over. It was so frustrating.

We are having a new company install their "stuff" tomorrow, but it has been a long week with just basic TV to entertain me. Yes, it is sad that I am that addicted to TV. I am the first one to admit that. I go to bed with the TV on, and I was really worried I would have a hard time going to sleep in silence. Nope, no problems yet! I knew I had an addiction to deal with when Jason had to tell me things like "it will be ok", "you will survive", "it's only a week". I know, pathetic!

So for my friends with blogs that I follow, I will be checking them today and I promise I will leave you comments. You know how I am with leaving comments! :)

Ok, I really need to get back to work.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm Banning Tap Water

Thanks to you all who commented on yesterday's post about my Ticked Off Tuesday. For you who didn't, shame on you! Don't you know me well enough by now to know how much I love, no, feed off comments left for me to read? Really, they are what keep me going and wanting to post. Call it needing attention, but it is what it is. I LOVE COMMENTS!! So comment all you like. Heck, leave several comments on the same post. Just make me feel loved.
After picking up my kids yesterday, I met Jason at a friend's house. My kids played with their kid, the men played Rock Band, and Jenn and I just sat on the couch talking. That is until she felt the need to abandon me and play too. Kidding, Jennifer! But it was just what I needed to decompress after my day. And it really wasn't that bad of a day. Little things were just rubbing me wrong that normally wouldn't. Oh well, we are all allowed days like that here and there, aren't we? If not, I hereby grant us all permission to have them.
I am starting a new rule for me: only drink bottled water. Want to know why only bottled as opposed to tap? Because I am getting surrounded by pregnant friends! I swear it's in the water and I don't need to drink it because I am quite content with my two loving rug rats. Everywhere I turn I have someone else telling me they are pregnant. I love news like that. It is an amazing blessing. And there are several friends that are now pregnant that I have been praying for. Friends that have had miscarriages but are now in their 2nd and 3rd trimester with healthy babies, friends that have struggled with infertility and are now pregnant. Some I am still praying for and know that God will soon bless them.
My friend Rebecca has a 2 week old baby boy, Ian. She has a great blog that she has been updating with the joys (ha!) of having a newborn. Reading about the sleepless nights, learning what cry means what, nursing, fussy evenings, etc makes me remember the worst part of having a baby. Thankfully, it doesn't last long. Although when you are a walking zombie from the lack of sleep, it feels endless. But the quiet times when you are loving on the baby, when they are scrunched up in a ball lying on your shoulder, watching them sleep, and just the way newborns smell makes me miss mine when they were babies.
Call me crazy, but I also loved being pregnant. Nausea, heartburn, charlie horses, and swollen legs aside, I loved having a growing baby in my belly. I loved rubbing my belly, resting my hands on top of my huge belly when I was sitting, having Jason's hand on my belly to feel the kicks, him talking to the baby through my belly, not having to deal with wearing belts or having body image issues...I miss all of that! I even loved having people touch my belly. I have friends that hated it, not me.
That's it, I'm done typing. Now my friends, leave me a comment to make me feel loved!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ticked Off Tuesday

Why am I ticked off? I truly don't know. And that is what is bothering me. I woke up just annoyed and mad this morning....and it has gotten progressively worse.
Maybe it is the fact that I was awakened by thunder at 4 am? Then I remembered that Jason left out some power tools from working on our fence that our horrible neighbor dogs have destroyed. So outside I went in the dark to get them. I was annoyed that I had to be the one to drag in HIS tools. But me being the one to get them was my fault...I didn't want to wake him up.
Maybe it is the fact that I have a coworker that seems to think I am a complete moron who needs to be mothered and told how to do my job?
Maybe it is the fact that my husband has been suffering with a case of male-PMS since Sunday?
Maybe it is the fact that I am just flat-out sleepy?
Maybe it is the fact that our darn money tree in our yard doesn't seem to be sprouting dollar bills?
Anywho, I try to be a positive person who always finds the bright side. So I had to step back and figure out what was irking me so much!
I feel better just typing this out...thanks for "listening"!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday

It's Friend Makin' Monday again! Go here for the rules.

Here is today's task: share as few or as many everyday, little tips that you use to make your lives easier. You know- all those special tricks you might have to cook, clean, raise kids, work in the yard, and on and on! Have fun and I can't wait to learn some new stuff from you all!

1. I keep a basket of all things to do with diaper changing (diapers, powder, cream, etc) in my living room so that we don't have to go back to my son's bedroom every time he needs a change.

2. I keep another covered basket in my living room to put my kid's dirty clothes. So many times we end up changing the kids clothes in the morning or evening and the kids know to put their clothes there so I don't have to!

3. There is YET another basket in our living room to toss in the toys that make their way into that room at the end of the day. On the weekend when I am cleaning, I then have the kids go through it and take out what belongs in their room. Can you tell I like baskets?

3. If any of you are into ironing before hanging up the clothes, I iron while sitting down on my couch or bed and use that time to catch up on shows on my DVR. I know, many friends make fun of me for ironing most of my clothes, but it is also a huge time saver in the morning when getting ready for work and your clothes are ready to put on!

4. To drink a lot of water throughout the day (I am awful about this at home!) I keep a large, clear reusable BPA free water bottle at my desk. That way it is a constant reminder to keep drinking my water. It is about 24 oz, maybe more, so my goal is to drink 2 to 3 before leaving at the end of the day.

I don't think I have lots of great ideas, but am always looking for ways to improve ways to make my life easier. Does anyone have a good tip for what to do with all of the school work and art that comes home everyday? I like to keep it all then go through it later to decide what to keep and what to toss. But my problem is when we come through the laundry room and kitchen, the first room we hit is the dining room where all of this gets tossed. Then when it is time to eat dinner, I just scoop it up in a pile and place it on my kitchen bar. I just don't have a good system for all of this to keep it nice and organized as soon as we walk in the door. Suggestions! Please!