Monday, October 31, 2005

Watch out TN, here we come!!!

Little did Amy Beth know what she was getting into when she mentioned Smoky Mountains, Dollywood, Gatlinburg and the word PARTY!  With all of that, how could we resist travelling to Tennessee?


So watch out JenIg, Gena, Amy Beth, AnneMarie, Kris and anyone else I may have neglected to mention-- we're invading!  And Amy Beth, you just tell me when and where on the part-ay and we'll be there! 


We'll probably fly into Knoxville Monday morning and leave on Thursday (as in next week-- yikes!).  Wednesday we'll visit Dollywood since they're not open Monday or Tuesday AND they should be all decorated up for Christmas (hooray!).  My kids have been SOOO excited about vacation-- mainly because "vacation" means they can have dessert when we go out to's the little things in life, right?  I'm glad they weren't disappointed in not being able to go to DisneyWorld...mainly because they really don't even know what DisneyWorld is!


I am praying for good weather, safe travel and beautiful fall foliage!


Thanks for all the suggestions, dear friends.  Maybe I can visit a different person each that would be really cool.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Need Vacation Ideas ASAP!

We were originally planning on visiting Walt Disney World in Florida the beginning of November (sans baby-- who will be staying with grandma and grandpa).  However, we fly standby and the flights have completely filled up.  No Disney World for us.


So we are now vacation-destination-less!


Any suggestions?  It will be myself, dh, and my two big boys (6yo and 4yo).  We are looking for something that's kid-fun-friendly-fantastic, or at least just fun!  We are willing to fly and then rent a car or just drive from our home here in humid Houston, TX.


Please help!  My boys and I are counting on y'all!!!



Saturday, October 29, 2005


Hooray!  My culinary life is not completely hopeless!!!


If you want a really yummy and easy treat for you and anyone else invading your kitchen, try this:


1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Unwrap a bunch of those MINI Reese's Cups

3. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray

4. Put chocolate chip cookie dough in each tin

5. Bake until golden and it just smells done

6. Remove from oven and immediately insert Reese's Cups into each center

7. Cool on rack and refrigerate just until set

8. Try not to eat them all by yourself and all in one sitting...

Friday, October 28, 2005

JenIG is a better cook than I...

*sigh*  Okay, BIG *SIGH*!!!


I was doctoring up the soup a bit more with some additional milk and some sharp cheddar cheese...then the phone rang and I had to take care of some business on the computer and forgot about the boiling broccoli soup that now is more like bubbling burnt broccoli blech...


So I guess I'm not as good a multitasker as I thought and now I can't have y'all over for soup and chicken and JenIG is a much better cook than I!

Broccoli Cheese Soup a la JenIG

Per JenIG's post proclaiming her proclivity at producing some positively palatable broccoli soup, I decided to give it a whirl myself.  A la Jen's cooking style, I threw in some of this and some of that...just didn't use quite as big of a pot as she did since I know that I am the only one that's going to be eating it around here...darn picky eaters...


Into a pot went 2 cans of chicken broth, a whole bunch of chopped fresh broccoli, some milk, white pepper, 4-6oz of Velveeta, one can of potatoes that I blended, and then a big smidge of mashed potato flakes (to thicken it even more).  Forgot to mention that I first simmered the broccoli in the chicken broth and then added all the other stuff.


I used Velveeta because the mysterious "they" say that it melts better than does give the soup a hint of a processed flavor so next time I think I will use some colby cheese instead.


Anyone want to share some soup with me?  If you come visit, then I'll even make a very delicious roast chicken to go with... I even stuff the chicken with garlic so the actual meat is infused with flavor (as opposed to just a flavored skin).  Anyone? Anyone?  Puuh-leeeease???  One can only eat so much broccoli soup without feeling a little ill...should've stopped at the second bowl...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Procrastinating, painting and ponderings

Currently a neutral shade of khaki, my plans were to brighten up the room of my big boys with a cool, crisp blue sky and white billowing clouds.  It only took 2 1/2 years plus 2 days of procrastinating!  Actually it is soon to be plus 3 days of procrastinating.  After church and getting the baby settled in bed, it took a while for me to dig out all the paint gear from the deep, dark recesses of the garage.  And since dh is gone right now I had no assistance and no GPS to navigate my way through No-Woman's Land.


Okay, so I barely made it up the stairs with all the paint paraphernalia only to find my two Thomas the Tank Engine clad boys fast asleep in their beds.  Actually, the light was on and they had wrapped themselves up like burritos in their blankets...sweaty heads and all!  I had promised them that since I didn't get to paint yesterday, I would stay up late tonight and paint their rooms and let them sleep with me in my bed (a rare treat since that means they can watch a movie until they fall asleep).  What is it about kids looking so angelic and sweet when they're sleeping???  All three boys were sleeping with their hiney's up in the know they're still little when they do that!


So the painting waits til yet another day...


I am so blessed to have three beautiful...I mean, handsome little men...and handsome husband!  I am just filled with joy thinking about my life and all that God has given me-- I am so undeserving!  He has given me so much more than I ever could've imagined and I never would have thought that being a mommy could be sooo wonderful and rewarding.


Thank you Lord for bestowing your mercy, grace and blessings upon my family...but most of all, for giving your Son to be sin for us!


But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19


Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen.  ~Ephesians 3:20,21


Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.  Selah.  ~Psalm 68:19


And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  ~Colossians 3:15

Monday, October 24, 2005

They want to be just like their daddy :-)

This is what happens when you get coupons for free portraits again (free sitting and free 8x10) end up with a ton of family pictures in a single year.  Oh well, they are awfully cute!


They want to be just like daddy when they grow up!

Aren't the t-shirts sooo cute?!  Two of my dear sisters got them for the boys while shopping in New York City.  We've been cracking up ALL DAY looking at them with their drawn in ties, sunglasses, and wings!



My muscle protectors.

You know you are living in 2005 when...

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards  in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is

that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home 
to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.
      AND NOW YOU ARE LAUGHING at yourself.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

My oven is evil!

...Evil, I tell you!  It keeps giving me high calorie, high fat, high taste, and low nutritional baked goods.  As I'm writing, I am devouring almost an entire mini-muffin pan of delicious, delectable and fresh-from-the-evil-oven pecan pie muffins (per Homemade Gourmet).


Warm, toasty pecans nestled in a sweet brown sugar batter and a perfectly crisp crust...mmmmmm..... It wouldn't be so bad if it just stopped at the muffins.  That oven is out to get me and wants me to pack on the pounds!  Earlier today it forced me to eat a positively cheesy and tasty Mexican Casserole...two whole plates!


I think I need to get rid of it before it gets rid of me.  Just think how much healthier it would be around here without that oven.  You don't exactly bake much protein, do ya?  Nope, just breads and desserts and a variety of creamy, fattening casseroles.


I'll have to have a glass of milk and a few more muffins while I devise the perfect plan...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The things kids say...

We went to the mall the other evening and were wandering about the Food Court trying to decide what to eat for supper.  As we passed the Famous Wok and Cajun Grill the following exchange took place:


The man working in front of the counter says to my 6yo son, "Would you like to try this Orange or Teriyaki Chicken?"  The man leans down to hand my son the toothpicked samples. 


My son turns to me and loudly says, "Mommmeeeee! I don't know how to speak Spaaaanish!"


I was horrified.  And embarrassed.  Embarrassed and horrified.  I quietly told my son that the man was not speaking Spanish-- he just had a foreign accent (and it wasn't even a hispanic accent!).  We smiled, ate the delicious chicken and went on our way.


I suppose it could've been worse. 

Monday, October 17, 2005

Being a Creative Counterpart

Per Amy Beth's recommendation, I have begun reading Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow.  So far it is a very easy read that I am really enjoying!  While I hate seeing my shortcomings written down by somebody else, I do like reading about ways to improve my marriage and bless my family.  This book has been an encouragement so far and, although my reading is late at night, I haven't dozed off once! 


I am only through the first quarter of the book and am sorry to say that I can't believe how I can screw up something so simple as priorities!  Take a look at this list of priorities for my life:


1. God

2. Husband

3. Children

4. Everything else


Even with everything after children being lumped into a single number 4, how is it that Everything Else seems to climb up the ladder of priorities and-- gasp!-- has even been known to perch itself on top...yup, the VERY top!


I have written this short list down and taped it to my bathroom mirror for a daily reminder of how I should view my day.  It has been a tremendous help in trimming down the time-robbers in my day.  It has also helped me see that my day is meaningful even if it's spent lounging with my dh on his day off (because he WANTS me to!) or playing games with the kids. 


It's okay to say NO to the Mission Conference, Homeschool Thanksgiving Banquet and the Christmas play at church.  Yes, these are things I enjoy and could do right now, but it would be at a very high sanity and stress level would go out the window and my dh and children would suffer much more than they would ever be blessed.  My ministry right now, especially with such young children, is to my family...this is my current season.  And I am HAPPY in it!!!


I will pray and praise God in all things...even things like  .

Friday, October 14, 2005

What to do about JenIG

Per JenEfer IG's post earlier today, I have created this bit of blogging space where you can (and I quote from her blog):


Please contact Marsha with all questions, concerns, comments, critisisms, croissants or complaints.


So there you have it--JenIG wishes for comments, questions, criticisms and complaints about her to be voiced in the public forum. 


Please notice that I have left out the croissants here because such an exquisite pastry should ne'er be tainted with the spirit in which the above quoted comment was made.


Now let us please make these comments and criticisms a blessing to JenIG's dear, lonely and itchy heart.  After all, she is our friend and currently without Geo.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Father's Nightmare

I just came across Steve Walden's blog tonight about a father's living nightmare of having already lost two sons to a rare heart disorder.  Now he has a third son that was diagnosed with this disorder and needs a heart transplant to survive.  Please read their story, pray for them, and give what you can to help Leighton Akins survive.


Now I need to go hug my boys!  I am SOOO thankful that we've never had to endure such tragedy in our lives (and hopefully never will, Lord willing!)...but I am thankful that if one day I must, I do not have to do it on my own.  My loving God promises to be with me, exalt me, and care for me!


When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

~Isaiah 43:2 (emphasis mine)


Humble yourselves therefore unto the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you

~I Peter 5:6,7 (emphasis mine)


God bless you,


Monday, October 10, 2005

Boys and string

Now, don't let this picture of two innocent little boys fool you.  They are in reality superhero mechanical engineers!  Even as I type, they are creating a massive amount of "traps" throughout the house to catch any bad guys.  And all I did was give them a big ball of yarn and some scissors to cut it with (hopefully that's all they'll cut!).  What is it about boys/men and the love of string??? 


I'll be walking through Home Depot with dh and he'll see this big thing of string and say "Oh!  I should get this big thing of string!!!"  And when I laugh at him, he looks at me and says that I'll appreciate it one day when that string comes in handy.  Since then, we've used that dusty ball of string for only one or two purposes...and boy, did he ever GLOAT about it!  "You were laughing at me then...but you're glad I got that string now, aren't you?!"   So I just sigh and  at him.  Yup, he's really just a kid in a man's body...that's why I love him-- he really balances out the overly-serious me... 


Now back to the subject of my fortress...I will give the little boys a little credit though.  While I can barely walk through the house with these snares all about, at least they are not following the footsteps of my little brother.  He and his friend John used to make similar traps with string all across the room but put TACKS and PINS on the floor!  So if they fell or tripped they'd get hurt.   What weirdos...I guess they watched too much Kung Fu theatre or something. 



Saturday, October 8, 2005

My library finds!

While returning books to the library today, I actually took a second to look at the library carts of books for sale on the sidewalk (something I never do with 3 rowdy ones in tow).  But today, right in front of me (without even searching) were the following hardback books:

  •  Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully

  • Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas

  • Good Night, Gorilla

  • Come Play With Me

  • Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower

  • Come Back, Amelia Bedelia

  • Curious George at the Laundromat

  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Wanda Gag

Okay, so some of these books are "better" than others but they were all a steal at only 50 cents each!  I think I'll send my older sis the Amelia Bedelia ones...that was always here fav when we were little...although we didn't quite "get" why some of the things she did were considered "wrong" (i.e. dusting the furniture, dressing the turkey, putting out the lights, etc-- at the time, her way made perfect sense to us!). 


Did y'all have any fav books when you were little?  If so, have you read them to your kids yet? 

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Banana Pudding Recipe

Okay, not much is completely made from scratch at my this version of banana pudding is no's no-cook and as close to homemade as we're gonna get around here.  But it is the best that I've ever tasted and got rave reviews when 3 pans of it disappeared at my sis' baby shower (it's that good).


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers


1.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.

2.  Line the bottom of a 9x13 dish with vanilla wafers.  Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers.  Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping.  Chill for 3 hours.

Serves 12.

Oh and our variation around this house is to (gasp!) omit the I guess this is just really really delicious pudding.    What can I say?  Not only do bananas make me very itchy, but if you leave them in the pudding for too long they turn brown and icky...but we still CALL it banana pudding.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

My delicious lunch of leftover BBQ Pulled Pork

This was so good as leftovers today that I have to share my latest find.  I am a huge fan of the crockpot but have found that many of the recipes are awfully taste and ingredients.


So I was a little apprehensive when I saw the McCormick Crockpot Seasoning packet for BBQ Pulled Pork.  You get a 3-4 lb pork roast and trim the fat.  Throw it in the crockpot with the seasoning mix, ketchup, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar (exact amounts on the seasoning packet).  I cooked it on low for 8 hours and served with tortillas or on buns (with garnish of jalapenos, sliced purple onion and pickles).  YUUUUUMMMY! 


Not only was it easy for the first meal but I think it tasted even better reheated today for lunch.


Now I need some homemade banana pudding to top off my meal...if I could just find a home that's made it already...

Monday, October 3, 2005

My mean mommy voice

My mean mommy voice just doesn't work anymore.  That is, if it ever even worked in the first place.  Raising my voice or calling out their full names makes them pause, but does not truly get their attention.


So I've resorted to whispering.  Yup, they can't hear me when I'm shouting (or at least pretend not to) but when I whisper they freeze!  Their eyes get wide and their jaws drop slightly, wondering what I'm upset about and what possible consequences will befall them.  It is an amazing spectacle, full of wonderment...rowdy boys stopped in their tracks, straining to hear their mommy speak!


Surely I'm not the only one around here who does something like this?  What about y'all?