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Pumpkin Patch Pictures!

Pumpkin Patch Pictures!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Not the best picture, but I had to add it cause it looks like a heart!!
Tonight I decided to make a kick ass, home cooked meal for my family!! With Jeremy being in the hospital almost this entire month things have been well difficult as far as meal time is concerned. Spending so much time at the hospital everyday, along with the other tasks that need to get done have left very little time for cooking..

As you all know I LOVE to cook! So this past month has sucked! I hate giving my kids lunchables or even worse microwave meals, but you know sometimes in order to maintain sanity one must do what they can. Plus since my kiddos almost never get those things, I figure it will all even itself out! lol :)

This recipe is AWESOME!! All of us loved it and that almost never happens!! It has definitely made into our recipe book! We served it with steak and broccoli with cheese. :)

Ingredients:
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 cups milk
2 or 3 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh Thyme

Directions:
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until Al Dente. Drain.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth.

3. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and fold it in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

4. While that bakes, heat a saute pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

She is cured!!

Spunky all covered in Mayo with her head wrapped in a garbage bag. lol This was the second time around and she was not very happy about it!
After two treatments of Rid and two nights of being slathered in Mayo (the full fat kind) for 5 hrs each time, we have gotten rid of the lice!! WOOHOO! I have to tell you that this has been huge PITA and I hope to never have to do it again! Although since Spunky is in Elementary school for another two years, I am sure it is bound to pop up again.

If and when it does I can honestly say that Mayo will be my first course of action for several reasons. One being the cost, which for us was none since we always have a big jar in the fridge! Plus it really aided in removing the nits etc from her hair cause it helped them slip right out. I will however follow up with a Rid treatment like I did this time because it ensures that they have all been killed even the eggs.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Moving, lice and other creepy crawlies that go bump in the night

This week has been a doozy to say the least!!! Monday we moved into our new "place" and we all know how much chaos moving entails, especially when kids are involved! It was pretty uneventful and we are very happy to be back together as a family!! More to come about that later. I have a whole post ready and waiting..

On to the lice, while I was parting Aubrey's hair to put it up Monday morning I realized that she had a rip roaring case of lice.... Now she had been scratching her head quite a bit for about a week & a half and I honestly thought she was having a case of dry scalp which happens to her sometimes.

I had been checking her head several times throughout the past few weeks and have not seen any evidence of lice until Monday... When I realized what was happening I about freaked out all the while my skin crawled!! We have only had lice one other time WAY back in 2008 so it had been awhile.

I searched through the internet and of course asked my friends on Facebook what they have done to get rid of these nasty little pests!! After reading all the comments etc I decided that we would start with Rid and then move on to Mayo since that seemed to be the best way of treating it. Monday night we treated everyone (even the bald guys) with Rid and it got rid of them for all of us, but poor little Aubrey. They must really like her nice, clean, not oily hair!

Sooooooo last night I doused her head with Mayo, wrapped it in saran wrap and made her stay that way until 10pm (5hrs later), she was NOT a happy camper! lol When she gets home here in a few and before we go visit Jeremy at the hospital. I will go through her hair once again and I am crossing my fingers this did the trick!!!

Oh and we washed and vacuumed the crud out of everything including the car so hopefully we have killed these nasty creepy crawly little creatures!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our love story

While messing around on Twitter the other day I came across a neat idea posted by Tina at Life Without Pink called Project Marriage and immediately knew I had to join! You should join in too it's gonna be tons of fun you don't wanna miss!

(The high school gang way back in 2000 at my mom's wedding!)

So here is our story! :) I have been married once in this short life and "in love" several times, but I have only had one true love. I met Jeremy my Freshman year in high school and instantly knew this was someone that would be important in my life. We dated for awhile and he was "the one" who turned me from a girl to woman, if you know what I mean. So of course from that moment on he has held a special place in my heart.

(Us in 2005)

We remained friends throughout high school even though we moved forward with different romantic relationships, but always held the same social circles. We had a close group of friends that all hung out on a consistent basis so remained close through the years. As we grew into adults and I moved to New Mexico for several years and we lost touch, but every time I came back to Austin we would visit for at least a little while. It was easy to see that the chemistry never left us and during these visits it became harder and harder to ignore.

(This past September)

I watched him go through many relationships and wondered if he would ever find the right person. I had no idea at the time that person would be me. We had know each other and been such good friends for so long it was not something that crossed my mind. I had not even considered him as an option. He of course had his own issues medical etc as did I and things never did seem to fall into place.

(New Year 2010)

When I came back from New Mexico in 2004 as a free woman we met back up as friends and it was as if we had never parted. Things were complicated and difficult for both of us to say the least, but we made it work and I am so happy that we did! We love our blended family even with the trials and tribulations it comes with we would not trade it for anything!

I love him with all my heart, he is my soul mate, my one and only!!!
(and now)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My best hopes and wishes for you, my son

As I sat watching them get lined up and ready to receive their awards, a swelling of emotion came from the depths of my soul. I watched as my oldest child crossed that bridge between boyhood and teenagerdom. Ready to begin and accept the challenges that are laid out before him. As I sat there watching I began to wonder if I had successfully prepared him for this journey.

Would he be able to overcome the challenges presented to him? Would he know right from wrong? And even if he did, would he pick the right path and make the right choices? I wondered if I've done my job, as his mother, well enough (up to this point) to help him become a successful teenager? Will he be able to deal with the peer pressure the right way, or would he give in as I so often did at that age? And how will I handle it, if he does?

I know with all my being that I have done my best, I have presented him with all the tools that I know and more to turn himself into the man that he wishes to become. I can only hope that I have helped him feel comfortable enough to speak with me about anything, to come to me for anything. To know that above all he is loved and that these times are for learning and that we as his family will always be there for him no matter what! To teach, listen and learn from one another.

Just remember that not all is black and white. Choices lead us into places we never imagined, but love is constant!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

Hi all, another week is almost over and it is time for yet another weekly installment of Friday Fill-Ins! Janet asks the questions and my answers are underlined.

1. I can't believe that school is almost out... I am NOT ready for summer!

2. Wishing for a wonderful weekend for everyone.

3. How can I get through this next week? I am so incredibly excited! :):)

4. Gingered Orange Mango Chicken with rice and steamed Sugar Snap Peas was the last thing I cooked.

5. Six of one half a dozen of the other.

6. I forgot to send in the girl's applications for camp; no no no!

7.And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Papa Murphy's pizza and a movie with the family, tomorrow my plans include cleaning out the garage, going to T-man's t-ball game and then we have a little surprise planned for all the kids :) :) and Sunday, I want to just rest!


For more Friday Fill-Ins participants click here!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Question Friday

I stumbled across this meme today while reading one of my favorite mommy blogs, Craftymamaof4. The meme originated at a blog called My Little Life, which if I do say so myself is pretty awesome! I love meme's and answering random questions so of course I had to join right in. :)

Below are the rules of the meme in case you want to join in! :)


"Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning! And most of all, HAVE FUN!!"

1. Can you drive a stick shift?
I originally learned to drive in my dad's little red Mazda which was a standard, but since then I have not driven a stick and have completely forgotten how to do it.

2. What are two foods you just can't eat?
I CANNOT and WILL not eat coleslaw, potato salad or any kind of animal part that is not "normally" consumed by humans.

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?
I do buy Girl Scout cookies AND I have two girls who sell them as well!! So I am TOTALLY Girl Scout cookied out!! I would say my favorite kind this year was the Peanut Butter Cookie kind.

4. How do you pamper yourself?
Pamper myself? I have four kids are you kidding or serious? lol I pamper myself by locking myself in my room ALONE watching a movie and doing whatever I want without anyone asking me any questions!!

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
My nickname is Phoenix and I LOVE it!! It was my handle when I used to play SWG & WOW and it just kinda stuck! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today I believe....

Day 12-What you believe

Today I believe..
things will get better.

Today I believe..
that my life means something.

Today I believe..
I will cross off yet another item on my list of things that desperately need to be done!!

Today I believe..
that I can and will fix this all!!

Today I believe..
I rule the world...well at least my world!! :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fun with Spunky

I love cooking with my kids, it's a great learning experience and we all (usually) have a really good time. Tonight we had biscuits, gravy, sausage and duros for dinner, so it was a great time to teach Spunky how to make biscuits. She is not always able to stay still long enough to help so it was really nice to be able to spend the time with her on her terms. :)
Teaching her how to roll out the dough.
She had a blast getting all covered in flour, she loves anything that requires getting dirty! lol She also did a really good job cutting them out and then separating them to put them on the baking sheet.Concentrating oh so hard to separate them out!

Now on to the Duros, the kids LOVE these and I know they are not the healthiest being fried and all, but once in a while it's all good! As I always say everything in moderation. I find that if you forbid certain foods that kids will only crave them more. IMO it's better to just serve those things as a "special" treat every once and a while. Most people serve them as a dipper instead of chips, but we like them just the way they are.

Here is what they look like before they are cooked.
Being fried
and here they are after being cooked. Light and crispy! :)
Remember you can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What did you say?

Day 11-Favorite TV shows

At the moment TV is the last thing on my mind, but when I am able to watch I like a wide variety of different shows from comedy and drama to crime/mystery.

My new favorite TV show right now would have to be The Big Bang Theory! The funny part is I just started watching it this year. I had no idea what I had been missing the past few years. I still have not been able to catch up on the past few years that I missed, but I am trying. :)

I would have to say my oldest and most watched favorite would be all the CSI's especially the original CSI.

Criminal Minds
is another one that I really hate to miss. It's always full of really interesting and crazy things. It really makes you wonder about people...

Mike and Molly would have to be another one of the shows that came out this year that I REALLY enjoy! I really applaud CBS for keeping it real!!

Now when it comes family programming my favorites would be Wipeout and No Ordinary Family (although it's kinda losing my interest).

What are your favorites?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Silly little bugs!

Spunky and a butterfly she caught over the summer, on one of our trips to Boggy Creek Farms. I love the expression on her face, it's priceless! :)
(Click photo to enlarge)

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Butterflies..... yes you read that right. I said Butterflies or really any creature be it insect, arachnid etc that swings, flies or comes anywhere near my face!!! It completely freaks me out! Funny thing is I have been struggling with this fear since I was a small child. Most kids have fun playing outside and may come in crying about fire ants(I grew up in Texas) or wasps, but me.. no, I came screaming into the house because there was a Butterfly outside by the swing set.... Pretty sad I know, but I still have issues with them.

The past few summers, I have tried to conquer my fear through photography. I love, I mean LOVE taking pictures! Since we frequent the Zilker Botanical Gardens here in Austin at least 4 times a month in the summer. I have used that opportunity to spend lots of time in the Butterfly garden they have set up. I sit really really still and let them come close up to me and instead of focusing on how close they are to me and how it freaks me out. I try to take a deep breath and focus on getting a really awesome close up shot of one. It has helped a bit, but I still need more practice.

Well I hope you had fun laughing at me, I know I did. lol Thanks for reading and have a great afternoon!! :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oldies but goodies

Day 9-A picture of your friends

(Click photo to enlarge)

This is a picture of Jeremy and I with our nearest and dearest friends since High School. This photo was taken back in 2000 at my mother's wedding. I was pregnant with Samantha and was visiting Austin at the time this was taken. I was really happy to be able to see all the guys, I had not seen them in a few years! :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hawaii

Day 8-A place you've traveled to..

When I was 13 my Grandparents took me to Hawaii. My cousins also got to travel to Hawaii the summer after they turned 13, it was a tradition in our family. I had a blast and got to see some really neat things I would have never gotten to see back in the states plus I got to take my Grandparents to McDonald's for their first time there EVER which I remember thinking was SO cool!

Below are some photos I took while we were there. Sorry about the quality they were taken 21 years ago.... Also remember you can click on any photo to enlarge. :)

When we arrived in Hawaii the volcano Kilauea was erupting and so we were able to see the lava flowing down the streets like in the photo below.
This church was put up on stilts to avoid the lava flow......although I am not sure how that is going to help!
Random picture of a Pineapple plant we saw at the Dole Pineapple farm.
The USS Arizona, we toured the wreckage while we were there.
Our submarine trip! I was soooooo cool, we were able to see all kinds of different types of fish and the Tuna were HUGE!!
The Polynesian Cultural Center, was really pretty neat.
(Click to enlarge any of the photos)