Saturday, December 20, 2008

As Homemade as It Gets


Martha Stewart I'm not, but we did manage Nutter Butter reindeer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Program

Jake had his first school program today. He did a great job singing Christmas songs with his classmates.


video

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Wonderland

We had snow today!

The white stuff fell for over an hour today. It didn't stick, but the kids in Magnolia were very excited anyway. At school, they came over the loud speaker to tell everyone it was snowing. Needless to say, there wasn't much teaching going on after that announcement!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Nutcracker



Josie and I went to watch "The Nutcracker" on Sunday. The dancers and costumes were amazing. Our friend Courtney was an Arabian and is in this picture. Thanks for letting us come and watch you dance, Courtney!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

You can go here and see new list of Friday Fill-Ins each week. Copy and paste and then add your own answers. Mine are in red.

1. Snow messes up holiday plans.
2. I'm looking forward to finishing the class I am in right now so I can enjoy the holidays with family and lots of relaxing.
3. My family is the best family ever!
4. One of my favorite old tv shows is The Waltons.
5. I'm done with one of the three assignments due on Sunday.
6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is being with family.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting lots done, tomorrow my plans include going to watch the Junction Eagles play football (if Jake is feeling better) and Sunday, I want to take Josie to the Nutcracker.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Season of Giving

What do you give someone who saves your child's life?

Yesterday when I dropped Jake off at school, his teacher stopped me and told me that Jake had stuffed too many crackers in his mouth at some point during the day. Apparently he started choking and she had to give him the Heimlich maneuver. At the time, I said "thank you" and the story did not really sink in. Now as I think about it, I am so thankful for her quick thinking. As we buy gifts for Christmas, I have been trying to think of a clever idea for teacher gifts. Now, I'm wondering what gift would ever show her how grateful I am for taking care of my baby.

Any suggestions?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Go Eagles!

During our Thanksgiving break, we were fortunate to spend time at Granny and PaPa Spivey's house. Cody's middle brother, Cory, is the head football coach in Junction. Friday Junction played the state quarter final game against Shiner. The team went right by Granny and PaPa's house on their way to Georgetown for the game, so we cheered for them as they went by. I don't know if our cheering had any effect, but the Eagles beat Shiner 21-14! What a great game! We're hoping to get to go watch the Eagles play Mart on Saturday for the state semi final game. Here are a few pictures of the Spivey roadside pep rally.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gig 'Em Ags!


Tomorrow is our annual Aggie Bonfire at High Meadow. It happens each year on the driving range and is lots of fun. This year will be the eighth year. I took the kids up there today to get a few pictures.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The New Leaf

I am really trying to turn over that new leaf--turns out it's pretty heavy. Here's my progress so far...

I have started Weight Watchers and exercising. Exercise has never been something I've enjoyed. I'm really not sure why, but growing up, I hated it. Now, I am starting to look forward to getting on the treadmill and listening to the IPOD. It turns out that I actually enjoy it, and I feel so much better after. Maybe it's the peace of doing something just for me. Whatever it is, I hope it continues.

So, to keep myself accountable, I will keep you updated on my progress.

Here is my "before" picture... I'm the fat one on the right. :)

The skinny girl on the left is my sister. Love you and miss you Laura!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nonnie's Chicken 'N' Dumplings

Select fat hen (disjoint or leave whole), cover with water, add salt and pepper, cover, and cook slowly until hen is tender (2 or 3 hours or more depending on size of hen).

-Or if you're like me, just use skinless, boneless breasts.

Remove chicken from stock. You should have around 2 quarts liquid to cook dumplings in.

Dumplings:

-They're actually more like noodles.

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 level T. shortening or chicken fat from stock
1 egg
milk

Stir flour with baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening or chicken fat. Make indentation in flour, add 1 egg and with fork mix enough milk to make stiff dough, gradually picking up flour until dough follows fork around. Roll very thin on floured board, cut in 1 inch squares, place on cookie sheet in layers dusted with flour. In most cases, the flour dusted on dumplings makes the stock the desired thickness when the dumplings are added. Drop the dumplings (2 or 3 at a time) in rapidly boiling stock, being careful not to stick 2 together. By the time you have finished dropping the dumplings in stock, they are ready to serve. Cook until dumplings resemble cooked noodles, 5 minutes or less. When dumplings begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and serve, either strained, with dumplings piled on cooked chicken-the gravy separate or together.

-Nonnie says if it doesn't thicken enough to make a paste with flour and water to thicken.

Nonnie with two of her seven great grandchildren. Most of my memories of growing up include eating something yummy at her house. Too bad I didn't inherit the cooking gene.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Comfort Food


Jake and I made Nonnie's Chicken and Dumplin's today. I had never made them before, but they've always been a special treat that Nonnie would make for me (at least it seemed like she made it just for me). After 3 separate calls to Nonnie for instructions, I finally got them done. They turned out pretty well, but nothing ever tastes as good as when she made it. Her recipe is actually not really dumplings but homemade noodles, since you have to roll the dough out, cut it into small squares, and then drop them into the boiling chicken stock 2-3 at a time. Good thing Jake was willing to stand there and drop them in for me.

For those of you who know me, you know that it is not normal for me to be so domestic. I guess it's because I have an assignment due tomorrow, and I would rather do just about anything (even cook) than do my school work.

Here is Jake after the neighbor girls fixed his hair. Thank goodness it is finally growing out from the horrible hair cut he got a couple of months ago.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Center of the Solar System





On Thursday, we had the privlege of watching Josie in her 2nd grade play. It was called "Spaced Out" and she played the sun. She and a friend sang a sun duet. We're proud of our bright and shining star! Here are a few pictures.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Count Your Blessings

I've always loved that song..."count your blessings; name them one by one..." I wonder how often we really actually sit and think about how blessed we really are. Right now I am sitting on my very comfortable couch, watching my very large TV (well, okay, it is actually Cody's TV, but he let's me watch too). I am typing on my laptop while the air conditioner hums in the background. My two beautiful children are asleep in their beds upstairs. Everyone had plenty to eat tonight; we are all healthy. I could go on and on!

Today, Trey Morgan's blog really made me think about my family's many blessings. I honestly cannot imagine living in a dump as the people he wrote about in Honduras. I also cannot imagine living the way so many people do. I see children every day who live in very sad conditions. The best meal they have is the one they get at school.

You may be reading thinking, "Okay what's your point?" Give--give your time; give your talents; give your prayers. Give thanks!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turning over a new leaf...

Tomorrow, I am going to my first Weight Watcher's meeting. I am not really too excited about the thought of watching everything I eat, but I am excited about getting my eating habits under control. I know this it is not healthy to drink as many diet cokes as I do, and I am sort of thinking eating icing slathered on saltines is probably not a good idea. I am a sugar junky--anything chocolate sounds good, and I can't stop at just one. I know that I now weigh more than I did when I was 9-months pregnant with Jake. That can't be good!

SO... I have decided to take charge. No more sweets (except on special occasions). I will walk on the treadmill or in the neighborhood at least 3 times a week!

Can you tell I am giving myself a pep talk? Anyone who wants to add to the pep, PLEASE leave an encouraging comment! Let me know what has worked for you (or what hasn't worked). Help me hold myself accountable!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Day After the Election

I received this email yesterday, and thought it was worth posting. In light of current events, it really it home for me.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be the King.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one bit.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order - (1) the Kingdom of God, (2) America; not vice-versa.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the cross, not the government, will still be our salvation.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our children will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, "Jesus Is Lord" will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

No matter the outcome, I pray that you will remember who you are and who He is.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get out the vote!

I'm sure everyone is watching TVright now to see the latest election results. I won't get into particular candidates, but I know my children could tell you who Cody and I both voted for. Regardless of the outcome, I am fearful of our country's future. I pray that the outcome will be positive for the United States. Today at our weekly Bible Study, we discussed whether our parents or grandparents every experienced an election like this where they truly feared for the future of our country.

We had a mock election at school yesterday, and it was very interesting to see the results by classroom, for the school as a whole, and also on the website we used to cast our students' votes. Apparently Jake's Pre-K class also discussed voting. It's hard to imagine leading a discussion on voting with 3 and 4 year olds.

Here's how I can tell that this election has been different than in years past...

*My husband voted for the fist time in the 15 years he has been eligible.

*My 7 year old (very loudly) asks, "Mama, which line is the Obama line?" when we are walking by the polling place to get to the public library.

*My 4 year old tells me that he voted for "Mappew" today at school (aka Matthew--I think). He then throws in something about "John McCain" and says a name resembling "Obama."

I am thankful to live in a country where we can vote and express our political views freely. Right now in my school, we have a Wall of Honor to show our appreciation for Veterans past and present. It is very moving to see all of the pictures and names of all those who have served and are still serving. I love seeing my Pa Pa's and Granddad's pictures from World War II up there. It makes me very proud to know what brave men they were. On Friday, we will have a Veterans Day program to honor veterans. Whatever the outcome of the election is, I pray we are able to continue to instill this appreciation and respect in our children.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Birthday fun!




Trick-or-Treat



Sharpay from High School Musical and a very cute blue bear trick-or-treated Friday night. The blue bear wouldn't wear his mask and only made it partway around the neighborhood, but a good haul of candy did make it back to our house. I think we've already eaten all the good stuff, though.

Spooky Schoolhouse Pumpkin


Look at how creative and talented Josie's teacher, Mrs. Campbell, is! She made a spooky schoolhouse like this one for a classroom pumpkin decorating contest. How we got to bring this one home is a long story--a story that includes a silent auction, a mom who was unwilling to pay more than $50 for a pumpkin, a crying second grader, and a very sweet teacher. Anyway, thanks Mrs. Campbell!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

My blog friend Amanda posted this on her website and encouraged others to play along. The only rule is that the questions have to be answered in one word. I'm not sure anyone will find his interesting, but here goes...

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse.
2. Where is your significant other? Recliner.
3. Your hair color? When?
4. Your mother? Farmer.
5. Your father? Heaven.
6. Your favorite thing? Chocolate.
7. Your dream last night? Dreamless.
8. Your dream/goal? Health.
9. The room you’re in? Living.
10. Your hobby? Photography.
11. Your fear? Illness.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Family.
13. Where were you last night? Home.
14. What you’re not? Efficient.
15. One of your wish-list items? Maid.
16. Where you grew up? Happy.
17. The last thing you did? Email.
18. What are you wearing? Sneakers.
19. Your TV? CSI.
20. Your pet? Freckles.
21. Your computer? Laptop.
22. Your mood? Tired.
23. Missing someone? Laura/Nonnie (sorry I know I'm breaking the rule of one word)
24. Your car? Messy.
25. Something you’re not wearing? Lipstick.
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your summer? Kids.
28. Love someone? Absolutely.
29. Your favorite color? Lime.
30. When is the last time you laughed? Recently.
31. Last time you cried? September.

I don't know if anyone who reads this blog will participate, but... Tag, you're it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Jake! (just a little early!)

This week we are celebrating 4 years of Jake!
Look how much he has grown. Here is the picture from his first birthday party invitation.

It's hard to believe how time flies! I was just thinking about when he was born... I taught up until the day before he was born. That was a Friday, and I was planning to get my sub plans ready on Saturday morning. I woke up early Saturday morning having contractions and there was not time for sub plans. Thank goodness my sweet neighbor teacher got everything ready for my classroom. When I told Cody I was in labor, he asked if he had time to go to work for a little bit. We made it to the hospital at around 8:30 and Jake was born around 10:30. Good thing he didn't get tied up at work! After we brought Baby Jake home from the hospital, it was months later before Josie stopped asking things like, "Is he still going to be here at Christmas?"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

S'more Fun



Last night, we joined our friends a couple of houses down for an impromptu S'more making party. They had a fire going in their chimenea and we roasted marshmallows in it. The kids had so much fun. Jake doesn't really eat them, but he is very into the roasting process (although his marshmallows usually had to be thrown to the squirrells since he managed to drag them all against the wood.)

This brought back fun memories for me and my cousin Brant. We both thought about all the S'mores we had made with Nonnie. S'mores are a 4th of July tradition, but we never limited ourselves to just once a year. We have made them by roasting the marshmallows on the burners of the stove more times than we can count. By the way, your don't have to have a gas stove to do this. They will roast very well over an electric burner, too. Also, you can make them in the microwave, but they are not as good.

This prompted us to make a list of possible reasons for carrying extra weight while eating at Nonnie's:

1.) S'Mores

2.) Assortment of candy in the refrigerator

3.) Biscuits

4.) Cheese on everything (Broccoli, cauliflower, squash, macaroni...)

5.) Fried Food (Chicken Fried Steak, Fried Chicken Strips, Fried Squash, Fried Okra, Fried tortillas for Chalupas, French Fries...)

6.) Individual Cheese Dips at El Camino (yes, that's 1 for each person--I didn't know until I went to college that most people only order one queso for the whole table)

I'm sure there are more additions to this list, but these are just a few. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Fun


Last night was Paint Pumpkins with PTO at our school. We had lots of fun picking and painting pumpkins, getting faces painted, eating PaPa John's Pizza and taking fall pictures.


It was also Character Dress Up Day. Everyone (staff and students) dressed as a character from a favorite book. Josie was Junie B. Jones from Junie B. Jones Has a Peep In Her Pocket. This is a perfect character from her since she is so much like Junie B. In this book, Junie B. is afraid of going on a field trip to a farm because she thinks the rooster will peck her head into a nub. We found the cutest stuffed rooster at Dollar General that plays the Chicken Dance song. Josie carried the rooster during the parade. I dressed as Farmer Zuckerman from Charlotte's Web. The office staff dressed as the characters from Holes, which included orange jumpsuits. Here are a few pictures.






The rest of the weekend includes lots of laundry, school work, grant writing, and Halloween costume making. Thankfully, the class I am taking right now only has one more week to go.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wedding Bells

While we were driving to school this morning, Josie and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Josie: "Mom, when teenagers...well not really teenagers...when grownups...well not really grownups..." Lots of long pauses involved.

This went on for quite some time with me trying to remain patient even though we were late to school (again!). It had been one of those mornings when everything had taken twice as long as it should have. Needless to say I had already missed my weekly Bible Study.

Josie: "When people get married..."

Me: "Yes, Josie." Thinking to myself, "is there a point to this story? Spit it out! Get to the point! Or better yet, just ride quietly in the car while I drive and contemplate another day."

Josie: "When people get married, do they stand up and thank their Mama and Daddy for raising them?"

YES--they should anyway! I have no idea why this topic was on her mind, but most conversations are like this with Josie. I did have a flash of a future day when she would be all grown up and getting married (and of course thanking Cody and me for raising her). I'm sure she will wear a tiarra and a very FANCY dress.

We discussed her wedding. She said, "I want you to be there with me. Will you still look the same as you do right now?"

Me: "Probably not; I'll probably be old and fat."

Josie: "Not if you start walking on the treadmill. You should go walk right now."

I'm not sure about how I'll look, but Josie, the Lord willing, I will be there with you.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random Blog





This vine is growing over our fence from our neighbor's yard. Angie definitely has a green thumb. I don't know what kind of vine it is, but it is really pretty. I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dear Santa..

Josie has been spending hours riding the neighbor's ripstik. I'm amazed at how well she rides it. She is planning to ask Santa for one of her own. Check it out!

Wonderful Weather


We were blessed with beautiful weather all weekend. Cody didn't have to work too much, and it was a treat to have him home. The kids played outside from morning until night. Here are a few pictures of our weekend...notice Jake's bike-riding adventures. He tried riding with no training wheels today (thanks to Amy's help!). I don't think he is sold on the idea; he wheeled the bike back up the driveway and picked up the tools to reattach the training wheels.