Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Joke by Princess

What does the sick alligator need?


Yes, though I'm sure she doesn't fully get the whole context of that joke, Princess created it herself, at last as far as I know. I thought it was so funny, from a 3 year old.

Go visit

Head over the the LPM blog to read Melissa's Compassion International tour in Calcutta, India. It is heart breaking and challenging.

I have sponsored a child from Ethiopia for about 9 years now, but realize I should do more.

Be blessed,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pork Flautas

I am an aspiring granola girl, which means if I could do everything most naturally, I would try to attempt this, just because I tend to think that it is healthier that way. BUT, with that said, I am no granola girl, and from all appearances I probably don't even look like I am aspiring to be one. Very rarely but occasionally I buy organic foods. I would love to eventually go to whole organic foods, but it is a slow process for me. Some "green" things that I do are: use reusable shopping bags, use CFL light bulbs (though these have not lasted even a year), only wash laundry in full loads, turn the water at about 50% of its full flow when I shower, buy free range and grain fed eggs when possible, attempt to eat all the leftovers when we cook meals, buy consigned clothing and toys (though not every piece), keep and use things until they are useless or donate items we can no longer house, unplug all nonessential items (even a cell phone charger that is not charging is using electricity), and of course, turn the lights off when I leave one room to another. So just your average run of the mill "green" person here.

Eating all the leftovers is challenging because my children, especially Princess, do not like leftover food. I am terribly uncreative at re-inventing foods too. However this week Boston butt pork roasts were on sale at Publix. Yesterday we had pork roast, spinach, and butter peas for dinner. Tonight we had pork flautas (or taquitos) with black beans (shown above), and tomorrow night we will have bbq pork sandwiches with wheat buns and a veggie. Then the roast will be fully consumed. Maybe next time we will freeze a portion of it, but really we've had so much variety, even I have not dreaded eating the leftovers.

Roasts are an easy dish for a busy mom. You can just put them in the crock pot or oven for hours, and they come out nearly perfect every time. And the pork flautas are probably not the healthiest, but I am sure they are healthier than a prepackaged version. Here's what we did. We took some of the pork roast, shredded it, and sprinkled it with lime juice and garlic powder. Next time I think we will use more of the taco seasoning spices. We took some "raw" corn tortillas, which you can get at Wal-Mart or a Mexican market, and rolled the meat inside the tortilla. We used a toothpick to secure the roll, and then we placed them in hot oil. (We only use canola or olive, and olive heats too fast to fry well.) They would be better deep fried, but we shallow fried them and they turned out well. We served with taco sauce, sour cream, and shredded cheese, and they were Yum-Yum!

The idea was a combination of mine and Daniel's. He has taken to ordering pork when we eat Mexican out and suggested pork tacos. I bought the corn flour wrappers on a whim and thought it would be fun to try making flautas. It turns out that he could wrap them the best, so I cooked them as he wrapped them. Teamwork! I don't say this often enough but he is my best friend, and I think we make a great team!

Overheard from Pea

Pea just came over to me and frantically said the following:

Nack! (meaning snack)

Thinking I did not understand he said:
pood! (meaning food)

Thinking I still did not understand he said:
pup! (meaning cup)

Thinking I still did not understand he said:

I burst into some serious laughter, which is just what I needed today. I was being quieter than usual (because it's been a tough day) so that's why he didn't realize I knew what he meant in the beginning.

When he still didn't think I understood because I was laughing, he began screaming and whining
and pointing toward the kitchen and began having a meltdown . This lasted for a split second, because I began moving toward the kitchen, and a look of shear delight came on his little face. Poor hungry boy!

Monday, April 27, 2009


This is apparently what Pea looks like after he passes out during naptime. Most days he is good about just simply going to sleep, but there are days when he "reads" first. I guess this was one such day. I snuck in and got this shot from the doorway.

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

As I mentioned earlier, I have become a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson.

The New York Times best selling author, Andy Andrews, brings us his latest work, The Noticer. This book is a very fast read - easy to follow and understand, and conveys deep meaning with simplicity. This book is composed of many stories all woven together through a man who notices and walks into people's lives at just the right moment and changes them forever. The stories are much like parables, and the book conveys biblical wisdom without using the bible in and of itself. He even references Gary Chapman's, The Five Love Languages.

Whether depressed, discouraged, down, or defeated, this book offers the promise of a new perspective. Whatever your particular crisis currently is, this books offers the hope to keep on going. As long as you are alive, you have not fulfilled your purpose yet, so LIVE. If you have ever had a dream and thought about giving up on it, then this book will remind you to keep going! This book could be especially encouraging in these economic times.

I personally liked this book because I am a "noticer", and I was inspired to think of it as a gift and to use it to encourage others. It also reminded me that I am a person of worth and value, and that I just need to gain a different perspective on myself when I feel that I am not. I will say that this book is not my favorite kind of book to read, but I believe that it could be of great value to others.

To find out more about the book, please watch this summary video here, and see Andy Andrews Noticer interview with Shepard Smith here.

Ultimately, we can all be "noticers" or encouragers who help give perspective and change lives. Sometimes, all any of us really need is a little encouragement. You can put this thought in motion at The Noticer Project.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Raccoon Wars, part 2

Well, the trap did not work again last night, so Daniel is on round 3 of the battle tonight!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

To the Grandparent's House

To Grandmother's house we go. On the way, Princess and Pea were quite the rockers. Daniel turned the radio on "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns and Roses and immediately the kids started jamming in the car.

Princess jamming out:
Shaking it:
Pea also jamming:
Arms in the air, everywhere:
This pic is of Princess showing me that she can be completely still:

We also heard, "Sweet Home Alabama," and Princess knew right when to sing. Then we made it to grandmaw, papaw, and Uncle Robby's house, where Papaw had made us a spaghetti dinner. After dinner, Pea and Cousin A went outside and rode the golf cart, and then they and Princess took turns in the tree swing. Pea was the most impatient, as he doesn't quite understand the concept of sharing just yet. Cousin A is quite the sweety though. He had no problem waiting. He is 5 months older than Pea, and is talking it up too. It is fun to watch the two of them in action together and even holding their own toddler conversation. What a pair! After playtime, we went back inside for cake.

Uncle Robby telling Grandmaw how he wants his cake frosted:
Cousin A playing cars with Pea
Pea playing cars on the couch where he almost fell backward onto the hardwood floor:
Princess eating cake:
Cousin A doesn't feel good and doesn't want any cake:
Pea ate too much spaghetti so he doesn't eat too much cake:
Cousin A and I talking about what's going on in the room.
We read Mickey Mouse over and over again!
The kids had a long day.
This is how they looked before we turned onto the road home.
How they looked only 10 minutes later, when we pulled into the driveway:

Aldridge Gardens

Well, it is officially summer here in Alabama. I cannot even imagine how hot the summer months will be considering how hot it already is here.

Today, we went to Aldridge Gardens. The kids loved seeing the geese, fish, turtles, and even the snakes. We've already seen five snakes this year - all alive. I personally prefer the dead kind. This is a record for me, as I managed not to see any last year, and I am not excited to see any more snakes, seeing how the season just started. We saw two of the five today. The first snake we saw near the area where the kids were posed by the frog. The second snake we saw near the bridge after we took the family photo below, and both of them were swimming.

In the photos below, Princess was trying to be as still as possible in hopes that the beautiful butterfly would land on her head, but he never did.

After we left the Gardens, we headed over to the food court at the Galleria for lunch and a carousel ride. Then we came home for naptime. Tonight we are going to Grandmaw and Papaw's house to see cousin A, who is staying the weekend there so his mommy and daddy can get their home ready for his upcoming baby brother or sister.

The Raccoon Wars

So we have a raccoon living in the roof of our back porch, AND it likes to come down at night (when it's active of course) to visit our trash can next to our garage. It has succeeded to get into the trash can a few times to the point where our trash can handles have been broken off, and Hubs as rigged up some new handles using some rope. He even found a way to close it shut with some bungy cords, which kept the raccoon out for a while. However, as of late, that old raccoon has figured it out how to knock the can over and get in anyway. This has infuriated Hubby! Because who gets to clean up the lovely garbage mess Old Raccoon leaves? Yes, Hubby does. (I am glad that it is him and not me.)

So he's been fighting the raccoon wars, trying to invent new ways to defeat Old Raccoon.

Yesterday, Daniel bought a raccoon trap. In it, he put ham and some marshmallow fluff. While I was in the shower this morning, he says, "That old raccoon got the ham, AND he got out of the trap." Say what?

These are Daniel's words exactly, "That raccoon has defeated me at every turn!" I was laughing externally and internally, because how could I not blog about this now. Hubby has a plan to put the ham in the trap in such a way that the raccoon cannot leave. We will see what happens tomorrow morning.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays

This is a song that I heard for the first time today, by Brandon Heath, called "Wait and See." He is my new favorite artist right now because so many of his songs speak right to me. Incidentally, he won 3 Dove awards last night too. Don't forget to press pause on my playlist to the right. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Night on the Town

Daniel was given a gift card to Outback, so tonight we went to Outback for dinner just the two of us. We were going to use it to go on a double date with some friends of ours, but we are too impatient when it comes to using gift cards and/or coupons and went by ourselves. Surprisingly, we ended up at SnoBiz of all places for our dessert. I wasn't planning to participate in the SnoCone, but the nice lady at the window shaved some ice for me too, so I felt obligated to order one too - only $1 each. Now we are about to watch the Office (DVR).

The kids are spending the night at Nana's house. When Princess realized that I too was not going to go home with Nana, she said, "But Mommy, I am going to miss you SO much!" And, I, though I do enjoy a break, simply cannot imagine being away from them for very long either.

Oven Mitt or Alligator?

My kids like to pretend quite a lot. Last night when we got home from church, Pea got our oven mitt and pretended that it was an alligator or a dinosaur. He was taking it and going "ROAR!" and letting it "eat" him. It was so cute, I just had to take a picture. He's a toy kid, meaning he loves to play with toys (as opposed to Princess who just doesn't really care about them), but yet he can make anything into a toy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Thought

Today was one of those days - if you're a mom of toddlers, you know what I'm talking about - a day when you thank the Good Lord for nap time! Whew - thank you, Jesus, for nap time!

I struggle with my value often. It is just a struggle I have that I place regularly at the feet of Jesus. I had a realization through reading the book I'm going to review and just because - God. I'm not the kind of person who is likely to affect the masses or claim quick popularity. No, I am a one-on-one kinda girl. I miss having one to one relationships with other women, with being able to disciple and teach and mentor. Despite that, someone very close to me recently told me that she hopes she can grow up to be just like me. Considering she is older, I find that to be the highest praise. And, in places that I am not looking, I AM discipling and teaching and even mentoring. I just needed a new perspective. Keep your eye out for a new perspective at all times, folks. You indeed are valuable and precious to me, my sweet readers of this blog!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Turn it Up!

Princess has started learning the songs on my iPod, which are varied, but I have a few that are my favorites that we listen to many mornings during breakfast. After the kids eat, a lot of times they get down from the table and we all dance for a few minutes. Today, we listened to kid music during breakfast and praise music during lunch. It was during lunch that I realized how many words Princess knows to most of my praise music. So tonight, after dinner, we all went to Costco. On the way home, I heard my favorite song on, and I turned it up. Daniel was totally shocked and surprised and cracked up at how many of the words Princess knew and how many words she tried to know. They were both cracking me up.

Book Reviews

So I've become a book review blogger, and I am actually reading. I will post my first review next Monday, BEFORE the book comes out!

You can become a book review blogger too at Thomas Nelson. You get books for free, and you have something to blog about. Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wearing it Again!

It is a rarity that Princess is able to wear anything two years in a row, but here is one such dress:
Aug. 17, 2008

April 19, 2009

She is showing that she has a matching doll dress, with Gracie her favorite doll.

The Sick Attire

When you are throwing up sick in our home, there is a uniform you must wear. It looks like this:

It is one of daddy's T-shirts. It is Princess's standard attire for when she gets sick. In fact, she used to get worried if we tried to put a regular t-shirt on her for fear that she was sick and didn't know it. Anyhow, a girl does have to dress things up a bit, despite being sick - so she added the feather boa to give it some style.

A Million Times to the Zoo?

We have a membership to the Birmingham Zoo. Although I have not blogged about each trip, we have been to the zoo three times this year already. the first time was on March 7, and this was the first time we used Pea's "monkey" leash. And, it was the first time we have taken Pea since he was big enough to really enjoy the animals, and he was amazed and loved it. We have found that he loves the llama. On that trip, the tiger came right up to him, and he had no fear! Here is a collage of the first trip:

The second trip was on March 21. This was our first time to ride the train in all of the times that we've been to the zoo. The kids loved it. And, both of the kids used some of "their" money to buy themselves a pet snake. Here's a collage of that trip:

Our third trip to the zoo was yesterday. Frankly, I was not excited about going to the zoo again. We thought about a couple of different things to do, but ultimately Princess was excited about going to the zoo, so that's what we did. The kids got to dig for dinosaurs this time, and we saw a zoo show, which we've never done before. We got to see certain featured animals, like a snake, a lizard, a ferret, and a cool little falcon bird. Before we went to the show, we made a stop to see the tiger, and as I said before, I wasn't too excited about the zoo yesterday. I kinda felt like I had seen everything and what could really be so interesting. However, we heard a great loud "ROAR." We wondered if it could be the lion or if it was coming from a speaker, but we hurried over to see the lion. He was ROARing up a storm, and it was magnificent. He was so loud and put on a show for us. Normally he is quiet and sleepy. Oh, but yesterday, He was KING of the Jungle (at the Birmingham Zoo). I was so glad I heard him, and of course, the kids thought it was spectacular too. Here's pics from yesterday:


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