Sunday, July 28, 2013


Yesterday morning, Donna stopped by and dropped off a couple bags of veggies from her garden.  One bag had 6 large, beautiful green peppers.  I immediately thought about making stuffed peppers even though I'd never made them before.  I searched online for some recipes and went to Aldi's to pick up the rest of the ingredients I needed.  Also, Dakota specifically asked for some muffin mix.  He wanted strawberry, but they only had blueberry.  I got back home and he and I made up the muffins.  He measured things out and mixed it all up.  Those were some yummy muffins!

I love finding new-to-me blogs and websites from homeschooling/unschooling families.  I enjoy the discovering of new ideas for projects or finding a book someone might enjoy or a link to some amazing video.  I found just that video yesterday.  Go HERE and watch and learn.  My life changed.  For real.

At Christmas, Max gave Britney The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit.  She picked The Hobbit up the other day and started reading and yesterday began reading it to Dakota.  I absolutely love when she reads aloud.  She puts so much emotion into it.  She does voices and sings and acts things out.  It held The Boy's attention, that's for sure.  I just don't have that power.  She's such a wonderful big sister :)

Back to the stuffed peppers:
It's kind of a long process and I didn't go by a set recipe, but they turned out pretty darn good!
I filled them up with ground beef, brown rice, sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic, tomato sauce and different seasonings and topped them off with parmesan cheese.  Yummo!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Shaving Cream Art

In the spirit of trying to be more creative, I've been searching the internet for art projects we would all enjoy doing together.  I came across the idea of shaving cream art.  I had never heard of such a thing so I googled it.  I must be living under a rock!  I think everyone knows about it!

First, spray a layer of shaving cream onto some sort of containable surface.  We used cookie sheets since they have a lip around the sides.  Disposable aluminum baking trays are a good option, too.

Some used more shaving cream than others :)

Take a flat object...spatula, knife, piece of cardboard or plastic and flatten the foam down so you have an even surface.
Then add drops of food coloring

Next, take a toothpick and use it to swirl the color around.  Don't push all the way want to keep the dye close to the top.

Press a piece of  paper onto to surface so it soaks up the color and then peel it off.  We used white card stock.

We put our papers outside for a while to dry.

They spent a good chunk of time playing with the foam and mixing colors.

Then we took paper towels and wiped the shaving cream off the papers.



We really enjoyed this!  It's super simple, lots of fun and a very inexpensive project.  Plus, we think the results are pretty cool :)  I definitely want to try it again (maybe tomorrow) so I can mix the colors together better to give it more of a marbled effect.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Several years ago, I attempted making homemade chicken and dumplings.  I failed miserably.  According to Britney, it is the single most vile thing I've ever provided for her to eat.  Needless to say, I haven't attempted them again...until today!

You know how EVERYONE is posting or sharing recipes on The Book Face?  Well, this recipe was shared by a friend the other night and I knew I had to try it.  I needed to redeem myself with my girl :)

Here's what ya need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts  (we used chicken tenders because that's what was on sale at the store)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 (10 oz) packages refrigerated biscuit dough torn into pieces

Place all ingredients (except for biscuit dough) in slow cooker.  Add just enough water to cover.

Cover and cook for 5 to 6 hours on high.  About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn pieces of biscuit dough in the pot.  Cook until the dough is cooked through.  (30 to 35 minutes seemed about right)
*We did not use all of the biscuit dough...almost half.  The kids added it until they felt like it was enough.  I then baked up the rest to serve with the main event.

It is YUMMY!  Brit gasped and I thought something was wrong and she was, I'm just trying to keep from crying because it's so good.  SCORE!  Bobby said it's a keeper recipe and Dakota ate all of the chicken but didn't like the dough.

It is VERY filling and I believe you would have to be super hungry to even think about going back for seconds.  It made a lot of food!  We all ate, Bobby has some to take to work and the kids have enough for lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


We had made plans to have the homeschool group over at the house today.  In the years and years of knowing and hanging out, they've all been here...once?  Maybe twice.  We just don't host things here.  I suppose I have had my reasons, but that doesn't make them good reasons.  At any rate, Brit was feeling icky and although we talked about rescheduling, we decided to stick with the original plan.  But then one family couldn't come because of sickies...then another.  Then I talked to Brit and realized her protests of I FEEL FINE were more because she REALLY wanted to see her friends - not because she actually felt great.  It's all allergy, sinusy stuff.  Ick.  So, I cancelled with hopes of rescheduling for next week.  I don't want to put it off for too long.  I miss my friends.  Waaa!

Yesterday, we had made dinner plans with Elisa for today but since our lunch plans changed, we called her and ended up deciding to do things earlier.  Luckily Britney woke up feeling better.  Yay!  Everyone met here, Bridgett and the kids and Elisa and we all headed to get our grub on.  We had a wonderful lunch to celebrate Bobby and Britney's birthdays.  We had so much fun together!

When it was time to leave, Bridgett had to take Will to run an errand, so the girls rode with us.  We ended up going to Hobby Lobby...although Kaitlin thought roller skating would have been a MUCH better idea :)  I enjoyed looking at things with the girls.  They play with a dollhouse that was their mom's when she was little and it has been repainted and touched up.  They wanted EVERYTHING in the dollhouse department -  furniture, lighting, and...tiny little everythings.  I actually was surprised by all of the little things.  I mean, a miniature Corn Flakes box?

They each picked out some things - colored felt, masks, feathers and one got a bunny and the other a bear.  Britney bought herself some nice colored pencils, which we used the 40% off coupon for!  SCORE!  Also, those of you with smartypants phones, you don't have to print out the coupon.  You can just pull it up on your phone and show it to them.  Dakota picked out some color changing silly putty (of course:) and I got a small artist's palette.  The other day when I was painting, I used the underside of Dakota's Frisbee.  Hahaha...well, it worked, but dang this thing was like 2 bucks.  I'm glad we have one now.

Once we got to the house, the kids finished watching something they had started this morning, then they all left.  Elisa took Britney to the movies to see The Conjuring.  I hope she can sleep tonight!  Bobby is napping and Dakota is playing a computer game he and Bobby installed yesterday.  It's a war, shoot 'em up game so I have been listening to the sounds of gunfire for the last hour.  Good times :) 

Monday, July 22, 2013


The other night the kids were with friends and Bobby was at work, which means I was...ALONE.  In the house.  By myself.  This hasn't happened many times and it frankly is better in theory than in practice.  There's only so much you can do cleaning wise - kitchen and steam cleaning carpets -  to occupy your mind and time before you're tired of manual labor.  Then, there's no one.  In theory, I would have thought that I would have enjoyed it.  I thought I would crank the music up and drink a beer, or watch whatever movie I wanted, curled up on the coach with Bailey.  But no...just, I don't know.  It was weird.

I ended up at the desk top, flipping through sites and listening to music.  It was about 9:00 and I heard someone at the door.  Bailey freaked out and since I wasn't expecting anyone, I peeeeeeeked around at the door to see who was here.  It was Bridgett!  She had come to see Bobby for his birthday, but I'm glad she settled for me :)  We sat and talked for two hours!  It was SO great to catch up.  It's been FAR too long since we spent time together and we're both tired of making excuses as to why we're busy.  We need to make spending time together a priority.  The end.  So we made plans for them to get over with the kids when Bobby worked off.

They came over yesterday afternoon.  ALL of them.  That's sometimes difficult to achieve with Brandon's schedule.  We grilled out and talked and laughed and played games.  The kids played and played.  I love the sound of a house full of kids laughing and just being loud enjoying their lives.  There were Legos everywhere.  Bailey was the happiest puppy ever with so many little ones to play with and snuggle.  She was actually quite good considering how many people invaded her space.

Tango wasn't particularly thrilled though.  Kaitlin just loves Tango, but she's still so little and...jumpy, with a little brother ramming into her while she's holding him.  Yeah...wasn't the best situation, so we had to calm things down some before we brought him back out.  Second and third time around were much better :)~
They spent the night.  There was popcorn and pallets and Wii games, laughter and tickles.  I have seriously missed these babies and am so thankful we were able to spend time together.  I made pancakes this morning, which got rave reviews.  I wonder if I could sell my pancakes.  Britney would surely endorse them!  They spent a good chunk of the day before heading home with promises all around of doing this again soon.

Happy :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Brit's birthday = ^. .^ =

It's nearly Britney's birthday...15th birthday.  How did THAT happen?!  Anyway, the day before yesterday I asked her what she'd like.  Lots of things were talked about - a laptop, new camera, drawing tablet, etc.  But she was tired from the week and said we would talk more about it later. 

Yesterday, she got on the computer to work on Khan Academy while I was working with Dakota in the kitchen.  I came in the den to look through books in the bookcase.  Every time I glanced up, she was looking at me.  Finally, she was like...What are you doing?  So I told her.  It was obvious she didn't want me in there, so after a few minutes of searching, I left. 

Not too much after that, she said she wanted to show me something when I got a chance.  I sat down at the computer and she played THIS for me.  (I don't know why blogger won't let me upload the video from youtube)  Anyway, how freakin' cute is that?!  That's what she had been working on and didn't want me seeing it until it was finished.

I just don't know how to say no to that :)

Me and The Boy

While Brit was gone with Emily the other night, Dakota and I made up some non-Newtonian Fluid.  It's just cornstarch and water but equals lots of fun for someone who loves touching slimy, gross things:) 

His hands ended up being stained this greenish grey color.  Dead flesh color.  Nice.  After he was finished playing with that, we played a card game.  It's an Addams Family game that we used to love to play together, but it got stored away in the garage somehow.  We discovered it again while pulling things out for the yard sale.  He won.  Again.  I never can find that darn Uncle Fester card!

Before bed, we pulled out books trying to decide on something to read together, but ended up with a search and find book.  We joked around and laughed and had lots of good conversation.  I do enjoy some one on one time :)

Friday, July 19, 2013


I've been wanting to get more art on the walls.  Things that we've done...not the store bought kind.  We have some prints that we got right after we bought the house.  I've been trying to get rid of them.  I tried selling them online.  I put them in the yard sale.  Nobody wants these suckers!  I decided to hang onto them instead of taking them to donate.  I was looking at one last night and decided to get creative.

I turned this:

 into this:

with Henry David Thoreau's quote "All good things are wild and free" as my inspiration.  I'm not sure that it's finished but I like it the way it is...with it's imperfections.  We have two more pieces to work on and I really hope the kids  help with them.  (They both want to.  It's just a matter of them being home long enough!  It's summer, baby!)  Bobby too if he can.  I'm thinking hand prints will be incorporated in some way :)


Two dreams early this morning.  One was way the hell worse than the other.

First, the better of the two.  I got to see Papa.  Papa was a very special person in my life and I think of him often.  In the dream, he was alive and well, but it was Mama Sue who had passed.  We were going to her funeral and it was the moments before we left.  He was sitting in his spot at the table, pen in hand doing his word search.  We talked and smiled, even though he was sad.  I wish I could remember what we talked about.  I do know he was very proud of me, which is something I always wanted him to be.  In reality, Mama Sue and Papa have both passed, but it was he who went first.  I sure do miss them and am very thankful for the time I did get to share life with them.

Then the bad.  There were two buildings in this dream.  The first was a hotel.  People everywhere, couples chained, just out of the other's reach, crying, trying desperately to touch the other person.  People sitting in booby traps, where if they moved, a sharp...something...piece of metal would slice them.  Children hanging from the ceiling.  Alive and terrified.  Horrible things and I could feel the panic.  Chains and saws and fear...This part was more man made fear than supernatural.  Someone was coming over the intercom system talking to us.  He was telling us of his plans, which made people more fearful.
Then it skips ahead and Bobby and I are in front of my grandparent's old place.  There's another couple with us.  We're laughing and goofing off.  I do something that makes Bobby chase me inside.  He pushes me on the couch and then he's tickling me.  I look to my left and there's a TV.  The news is on and the women is explaining all of these horrible things that happened at a hotel...mass murder.  I start whispering and repeating the words to Bobby, but he can't see it.  There's nothing on the TV for him to see.  Then he looks straight ahead and he basically can see/hear us from seconds before.  And he starts repeating what we just said.  And then really weird, bad shit started happening.  At one point, I was able to break free.  Think evil spirits inside, not a man with a gun.  I was terrified and screaming.  I was bleeding.  But as soon as I left the house, I partially forgot why I shouldn't go back in there.  It was like the power of the house.  Once you walked out, you couldn't completely remember how bad it was inside or why you ran out.  The longer you were out, the less you remembered.  So the couple who were outside saw me and because I was so scared and covered in blood and without Bobby, well...we went back inside the house.  The scene was different.  Bobby was fine and talking to a man.  But it's like I knew bad things were suppose to happen and we were trapped forever, playing out different scenes of horror and death.

So...that's my morning!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Other things

Let's see...

I whacked off about 14" of hair.  It was crazy long.  Now some days I like my shorter hair and some days I hate it.  Oh well.  That same day we went to Dad's to for Father's Day.  We picked up food and surprised him at the house.  That was a fun day.  Relaxing.  Bobby and Dad took naps and Brit and I went for a walk.  Although, once we spotted the dead snake and noticed just how overgrown the sides of the road was, we headed back.  No need to tempt the snakes with our delicious Lackey blood.

Dakota and I met some friends up at a local joint to listen to some other friends' band play.  I enjoyed it and would have stayed the whole night, but it was too loud inside and too many people smoking outside for The Boy.  So we left.  He wasn't having much fun at all.

Brit was able to participate in Camp Art-Selle.  Last year, she did the theatre camp at The Princess, but she said she liked Camp Art-Selle better.  The performance was wonderful!  Talented kiddos I tell ya!  I don't have many pictures and we didn't buy the DVD.  That sucker was $25! 

Bobby and I went on a date night with some friends to The Brick.  We had a really great time, although we set it up so we could chat with our friends, which was hard to do that with a band playing.  But it was fun and next time we'll have to do something a bit quieter.

Bobby's birthday was yesterday.  Last weekend he and I went to Tunica to celebrate.  Not what I would want to do for my birthday, but it makes him happy and that's kind of the point :)  We did have a good time even though we didn't come home any richer.

Dakota and Brit spent several days at Suzette's.  It's the longest The Boy Child has been away from home and from what I hear, he had a blast!  They all did.  They ended up with a couple Crawford kids too!  Good times :)  While they were gone, I steam cleaned the living room carpet and cleaned the bathroom.  Oh, and I picked up a new shower curtain.  It definitely needed to be updated and I really like what's in there now.

Okay, I'm sure I've missed lots of things and I may or may not come back and add photos.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A whole month

I've really tried to post more this year.  I was doing pretty well until...I wasn't.  I've tried to blog but it just didn't seem to flow.  So, here I am trying again.  A month has gone by for goodness sake!

Trying to recap a bit...a little at a time and in no particular order.
The yard sale - we finally had it!  When I say finally, I mean our house has been completely full of boxed, unwanted items waiting to be sold.  Years and years and years worth of clutter just sitting EVERYWHERE.  I wasn't able to clean the house.  I mean, I could tidy up but it still looked like I belonged on an episode of hoarders.  It was a pretty successful sale.  Plus, other than the larger items (saddles and tack, dive gear, etc.) everything was loaded up into The Beast and donated.  Two truckloads!  

The den/computer room has been cleaned.  For really real cleaned.  If you've seen it, you know how horrible it was.  The floors have been vacuumed and steam cleaned and re-vacuumed.  Everything has been dusted and the posters that were covering the walls are gone.  The kids didn't want them up anymore so I threw them out!  The posters...not the kids :)  Bobby helped in there yesterday and we pulled the computer desk out from the wall and vacuumed and dusted back there.  Of course, now we're talking about painting ideas.  We've been here 10 years.  It's about time to paint that room!

The first day of summer...well the first couple days of summer were LOTS of fun and very busy!  We had a blast!  A group of us were invited to a friend's house for some hanging out time.  They live smack dab on the Mulberry River.  We ate lunch and headed down to the water where the kids played and played.  Dakota did get cold so he curled up in the sand soaking up the warmth...then onto a rock like a lizard.  We chatted and laughed.  It was a good day!  Then that night, we went to Boogie Bottoms with the Crawfords and two Woods men to watch World War Z and Man of Steel.  We got in super late that night, but had plans on going canoeing in Tennessee with the Crawfords the next day.  We went back and forth about going just because of being tired and forking out more gas money.  In the end, we decided to go and I'm so glad we did.  I knew I would love it once we got there, it was just the getting there.

Okay...that's all for now.  Pictures!  Well, not of the yard sale...I'm not that weird.

Swimming with friends!

Drive In


Foster Falls!

Where we've been as a family