Thursday, May 31, 2012

Creating Sarah's digital scrapbooking giveaway!

I have to admit, I HATE scrapbooking! For years, I have tortured myself at scrapping parties, watching all the other ladies put pages together in a binder, and I have sat there thinking, "I wish I could scrapbook digitally." I mean, after all, I have a digital camera, but paper scrapbooking would require me to take my jump drive down to the store to print out my pictures.  I am an avid journal keeper  (I keep it on my computer) and have thought so many times how in a perfect world, I would add pictures to go along with the stories I am telling.  Enter Creating Sarah.  Sarah is a crafting genius.  She also happens to be my sister, which I'm sure has nothing to do with the genius that she is.  (But, because I know her so well, I can testify that she is legit [too legit to quit]). 
Sarah is having a digital scrapbooking giveaway on her blog!  Some lucky ducky will walk away with free digital scrapbooking software just for leaving a comment!  I have been pretty promotional lately (this is in no way related to EMotional =), but if there was only one blog or giveaway that I could promote this year, this would be it!
 I would LOVE to have the digital scrapbooking kits or the photo book. It would be awesome to finally be able to incorporate some life into my journals! So, I'm in! I hope I win!
If you want a chance to win, too, go here to Sarah's blog, leave a comment (and read about all the other ways you can get an extra entry.)  And, check out Sarah's blog from time to time.  I think I have already mentioned that she is a genius, she will make your life infinitely more crafty.  Good luck!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blackburn Music

SO, blogger fans!  My awesome cousin Ryan West owns a music studio called Blackburn Music in Houston, Texas.  The studio offers lessons in piano, violin, and voice. They are very professional, and better yet, offer lessons to homeschoolers!  Anyone who caters to the homeschooling community gets a thumbs up from me.  

SO, my awesome cousin, Ryan West, owner of Blackburn Studios in Houston, Texas has generously offered a FREE LESSON to anyone who mentions my name or blog when registering for lessons!  How cool is that?  

SO, if you live in Houston, and you have a hankering to learn piano, violin, or voice head on down there and tell them I sent you!  

Click here for Blackburn Studios website. 

Check out Blackburn Studios facebook page here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My boys

 I never imagined myself with a houseful of boys.  When I was little enough to play "mommy" I always imagined myself with three little girls.   Maybe that's because most dolls are girls.  Maybe it's because I've always found boys and everything they're into slightly mysterious.  It doesn't matter.  God wants me to delve into the mysterious realm of all things boy, because he sent me three.   Dev and I are outnumbered.  Big time.  I'm not going to lie: sometimes we lock ourselves in the bathroom just so that we can get the curling iron out and experiment with our hair without someone coming to use it as some sort of weapon.    And last week when all the boys went on the father/son outing, Dev and I dove into a blissful girls night, complete with a romantic movie, popcorn, manicures, and experimental hair do's.

But most of the time, I am very ok with the chaos ALL these boys bring into my life.  They are energetic.  They are happy.  They are bright.   They are fun.  And they love their mommy.  They are still young enough to call me mommy. 

especially enamored with this little roly poly lately

Calvin and the Jelly Bean

 They bring sticks into the house.  They dig in the dirt for bugs.  They use my nice towels to clean up their mud pie mess, and my good sheets to build forts. They eat more than I made (and they are expert toast makers).  They hate bath time (until they get in--then it's diving practice).  They use random things for guns.  They build starships with legos and try to use the force on me ("you will let me have another cookie").  They named our mulberry bush "Bob" (and the berries on it "George")

on the hunt

 They make me happy.  They make me laugh, and I can't imagine how empty my life would be without them.

this picture makes me laugh every time I see it

  I love my boys!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The big tree felling of 2012

 Check out my new garden space.  What do you notice?  Yes, smaller than the last garden space, but still a fairly nice space.  (tangent:  see the fence we put up?  I am very proud of that fence.  It's purpose is to keep out the bunnies in our yard.  At first, there were two [bunnies, not fences] there are two big ones, and four little baby ones. They're multiplying like. . . . .nevermind)  Yes, the fence is nice, but I want you to notice that little tree growing in the middle of my garden.  The nerve of that tree!  To grow where it's not wanted!  *tsk! tsk!*  this won't do.

The Hubby and I have been trying to clear out a time to fell this tree together.  (aka.  I'll hold the tools he's not using while he works.) But weeks are passing.  The garden needs to be planted.  So today I decided to man up and take care of it myself while he was at work.  

 The first few chops. 

All we have is a super dull ax.  But, it workedbetter than my teeth, so I gave it a go.  I found it useful (here's a tip for all you future lumber jacks) to swing and hit the tree at an angle, instead of straight on.  And 20 minutes work with a dull ax brought about this result:

 Don't look at the adorable kid in the foreground.  Look at me, the super buff mamma who is standing on the tree she just felled all by herself.
 Bogey wanted to show his buffness, too.  "Look, mamma! I'm supo' stwong!"

And Dev is not to be outdone by any stinkin' little brother.  She's strong, too.

There! *wiping dust off of hands* Now I can plant my garden!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rx: Inspiration

I'm battling a little case of the blah's today.  The Hubby brought a cold home from work and was nice enough to share it with all of us.  I'm the last to receive the blessed gift, but I think I am over the worst of it. 

I found this message over at my friend Evelyn's blog. It is completely inspiring!  I've been thinking of little else since I saw it, and I thought I would share it with you. 

Now I'm going to go make some chicken noodle soup.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Garbage soup

Those of you who know me best, know that I HATE to waste food.  I don't buy it so I can just throw it away, so anything I can do to use it up instead of throw it away appeals to me.

I was watching Food Network once (I don't even remember what show) and this guy was making a pizza.  In a thick New York accent, he said, "We call this GA-Bage pizza.  We throw everything on it!"  Genius struck my brain, and I thought, "What a great way to use up leftovers!"  

So, now when we are starting to accumulate lots of leftovers, and no one is eating them, and they have surely, surely purchased their one way tickets to the garbage disposal, I know it's time to make some garbage.  Sometimes it's garbage pizza.  Sometimes it's garbage pasta or rice.  Sometimes it's garbage bread.  Tonight, it's garbage soup.  

I love garbage soup because it's always different, and it really sparks my creativity in joining the flavors together.  Plus, (BIG plus!) my kids really like garbage soup.  

Ok, so like I said, it's always different.  But here's a sample of what garbage day in our house looks like: 

Here is this weeks leftovers:  (from left to right:) (in the stack of containers) canned corn, pork roast in au jus, white rice, and some kidney beans, some cottage cheese and sour cream that was a day over expired, (in the bags) vegetables that were about to die: some chopped tomatoes, onion, a couple withered potatoes, carrots, celery, and a small handful of grated cheese.  Also, some salsa that was expired (there was only about a 1/2 cup left.) 

 First, I chopped up all the veggies and fried them in a little oil (with the lid on) until they were soft.  It's also really good to let them brown a little.  It gives a good flavor. 

 Then, while I went and practiced my piano, I let the veggies cook (On the left is some potato and carrot cooked for baby food for Iggy)

When the veggies are done I dumped in all the container items.  Part of the charm of this particular soup was using the au jus from the pork roast, so I just dumped the whole thing in.  It's that gelatinous brown mass in the center.

Diced, stewed tomatoes are the magic secret ingredient.  This is what makes a pile of garbage, soup.  Sometimes I add two cans, depending on the liquidity of the soup thus far.  Tonight, I just needed one (because of the pork roast). I also added a few cans of water, until it was as soupy as I wanted it to be.

 Eh? Eh?  it's starting to look appetizing!

Another secret ingredient:  if you cover it with enough seasoning, they won't even suspect they're eating garbage!

Dev is a happy helper.  She's being trained up in the ways of the garbage soup jedi.

 Another good flavor adder:  salsa.  Gives it a little kick

I let all these ingredients simmer together for awhile (until I was tired of practicing the piano.) and then it looked like this:  (starting to look tasty!)

right before we were ready to eat, I added the cottage cheese, sour cream, and leftover shredded cheese.  

Then it looked like this: (ooh! and it smelled really good, too!)

Once in the bowls, I topped each one with more cheese.  It was so good, we each had several bowls of it, and there wasn't much left over.  Just enough for the Hubby to take to work tomorrow.  And they didn't even know that what they were eating were the very things in the fridge they had been shunning all week. Bwa-ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

Bub-bye Leftovers!