Friday, November 23, 2012


It seems like the stores around here start preparing for Christmas the day after Halloween.  Do you know what I mean?  I love Christmas and would love having more than one little month to celebrate, but it just bugs me that Thanksgiving gets overlooked.  I mean, it's the one holiday that until recently, has been hard to commercialize.  It was a time to celebrate family and all we've been blessed with.  A time to be thankful. Now of course, stores have started opening earlier and earlier for Black Friday sales.  And some don't even close for Thanksgiving anymore.  The deals start on Thanksgiving day, causing people to rush through dinner just to get the latest gadgets.  Talk about an oxymoron.  I mean, really.  The day is supposed to be set aside to be thankful and all we can do is frantically scour the ads, then jump in the car to procure as many new things as possible!  Craziness!

So at my house, I have worked to create an atmosphere of thankfulness.  We have a pretty cool Thanksgiving calendar we hang each year.  And each day we try to talk about things we are thankful for.  Here are some highlights of Honeygirl's thankful list this year:

*I'm thankful for Aunt Mary because she gives me candy!
*I'm thankful for chocolate pancakes at IHOP.

And some of her precious, way to grown-up comments on Thanksgiving Day:
*I'm thankful we live in a place where we are allowed to go to church
*I'm thankful we have enough money to live in our house every day.

The list of what I am thankful for is long.  A few highlights for me: a job (that I enjoy even!), that I don't have to go to work every day, a fabulous husband, two healthy girls, both sides of our family close by, a wonderful house, super friends, facebook to keep in touch with friends far away, cell phones to stay connected to the world, rain to keep our area beautiful, blue skies, sunny days, a God that loves me beyond belief.  And so much more.

I am ever so grateful for all I have been blessed with.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Yummy Potato Soup

Last night I made the most delicious new soup!  Growing up, I remember dreading the nights when my mom would "experiment" with a new recipe.  It seemed like more times that not, I was not a fan of the new concoction.  Afterall, I'm not the biggest fan of change.  When I find something I like, chances are I won't try something new without a lot of prompting.  But I've been trying to break out of my mold and try some new things when it comes to meals at my own house this year.  And last night's was a winner.  I was even so brave as to invite friends to join us, and they declared it a winner too (and even asked for the recipe!  Yay!)

So here you go:

CrockPot Potato Soup

1 bag of frozen shredded hash browns (30oz)
3 - 14 oz cans of Swanson's chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
(8oz package of cream cheese)

Put everything but the cream cheese in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours (or high for 4hrs).  About an hour before it's ready, add the cream cheese.  Garnish with green onion or bacon.  Or enjoy just as it is!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When I grow up...

Do you know who I want to be like when I grow up?  David.  From the Bible.  He was a pretty incredible guy.  I mean, his life wasn't a picnic.  Far from it.  But no matter what, he kept talking to God.  When life was good, he praised God.

And when life was bad, he wasn't afraid to talk to God about it.  To remind God just how rough life was. And he wasn't chastised for doing so.  Instead, he was called "a man after God's own heart."

That's what I want to be like.  I want to be willing to talk to God about whatever is going on. The good, the bad, and the mediocre.  What an honor it would be to be considered a woman after God's own heart.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Repurposed t-shirts = a dress

Last night I was asked what I would do if I had an extra hour a day for a week. Ahh...endless possibilities!  The answer was an easy one for me: I'd do something crafty!  As in a craft project of some sort.  I tend to have a million ideas, by no time to complete much. 

This afternoon I took a few minutes to look through my pile of (mostly) completed projects and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.  I actually had more things there than I thought!  I'll save most of it for a different post because I will be sharing the ideas with a local moms group in a few more weeks. But in the meantime, here is one of my recent projects:

The person who originally posted this idea was looking for a way to repurpose some old shirts of hers and came up with this idea. I didn't have coordinating shirts to get rid of, so I found some at the goodwill outlet in town. I was quite happy with how it turned out!  

Unfortunately, Honeygirl has decided she doesn't really like it (boo!).  Are all 4year olds as opinionated as her?!? I'm hoping that she changed her mind, or that Sweet Pea falls in love with it when she eventually grows into it. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Potty Trials V 2.4

After re-reading my little guest post over at That Mama Gretchen, I realized it was time for another potty trials update.  I mean, one of my big goals was to get Honeygirl fully potty trained.

There were definitely times when I felt like that would never happen.

For Honeygirl, one unsuspecting day suddenly became a major turning point.  I don't remember the date, just that Sweet Pea had successfully taken care of business moments before.  I remember telling her she was such a big girl.  Honeygirl quickly hopped on the toilet next and asked, "Are me a big girl?"  Oh, girly.  I told her that big girls use the toilet and keep their panties dry.  And that's all it took.  There was no way my strong willed little girl was going to let her little sister attain "big girl" status before her.  So, apparently, Honeygirl decided to step up to the plate. The accidents that had still been happening several times a week suddenly stopped.  And she decided she was ready to be done with her Super Undies at night too.  Here I had thought that the nighttime thing was strictly a developmental thing.  But apparently not.  After a week of dryness, I consented to her ditching them for good.  And all of the sudden, we were done.  After over 18 months of struggling, she got it.  Or made up her mind to get it.  But at any rate, the transformation happened and I gained my first "big girl" at our house.

Because things had been rather rough with Honeygirl, I figured I should just settle in for a long drawn out battle with Sweet Pea as well.  Interestingly, Sweet Pea was a breeze.  I think I've said it before, but my reading surrounding potty training methods has pretty much been ongoing for almost two years now.  Somewhere along the way, I read about the benefits of training your child between 18-24 months.  I know there are tons of people out there who believe you should wait until your child is ready, which may not be until they are three years old, or more.  But I really think that a big part of it is that the parent(s) need to be ready.  And since potty training was such an ordeal with Honeygirl, I was up for trying almost anything with Sweet Pea. I mean, there weren't many methods out there that we hadn't attempted at least somehow.

I had been doing little things with Sweet Pea for quite awhile.  The little potty chair had been in the bathroom most of her life.  So she was very familiar with it.  And she had been sitting on the toilet before bathtime for awhile already.  So when she hit 21 months, I decided to jump in with both feet.  I mean, the worst that could happen was that it would be a colossal fail.  And I felt like I was already quite acquainted with that option.  So one day, we put the diapers away.  And never. looked. back.  I tried to embrace the idea that "accidents are opportunities to learn."  And we did some serious learning in the first few days or so.  I also got my hands on some daytime Super Undies, which I blogged about here.  And made some trainers for her that I blogged about here.  But really, within a couple weeks, she was doing incredibly well. And by the end of the first month, puddles weren't happening that much at all.

About a month ago, right about Sweet Pea's 2nd birthday, we got to our mom's group and I realized I had forgotten the bag with spare clothes and underware.  My first reaction was to get back in the car and go home.  But then I realized that we hadn't been needing anything from the bag usually anyway.  Wow.  What a different experience.  Shockingly, my littler big girl has graduated from training pants to "the real thing," complete with Dora all over.  She takes care of ALL her business on the toilet (for the most part).  And it's only been four months since we started this process.  Nighttime dryness could take two years and I would still be happy.

So except for a couple diapers that are still out for naptime, all our squishy cloth diapers are packed away safely under Honeygirl's bed, waiting for another bum to cover.  And our Potty Trials are completed.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Things They Say

Some of my favorite words at the moment:

Sweet Pea:  Jebby Dean (jelly bean)
                   I luz you, Mommy.
                   I. don't. like. it.
Sweet Pea, your language abilities are just exploding.  I feel like I hear new things out of you every day.  I have been calling you our little parrot lately.  Good or not so good, you are figuring out how to say everything the rest of the family says!  And your opinions on things make me chuckle.  You are very articulate when you don't like something.  You also have started saying "I love you," without any prompting.  That is my favorite by far.

Honeygirl:  Hi-pop-isis (hypothesis)
Honeygirl, I find it fun to help you expand your vocabulary with bigger words.  Hypothesis is one of those lately.  You love coming up with a hypothesis for what will happen next, whatever it is we're doing.  Tonight for the first time, you told me your hypothesis was NOT right.  You expected to walk out the front door and see the moon in the sky, but couldn't find it.  I think up until this afternoon, you still thought the definition was to guess what would happen - and be correct. We've been having fun reading Fancy Nancy books and learning "fancy" words that way too.