Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a big family day in our family. With Noel and I having the most children we have been the destination for the last couple of years. Mostly because we refuse to go anywhere else. We have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with some family favorites.

Mom and I have made it easier on us in preparing Thanksgiving. All the sides go in Crock-Pots and the Turkey goes in the oven. So we had Turkey, Ham, Tex-Mex mash potatoes, homemade noodles, dressing, sweet potato casserole, broccoli and rice casserole, green jello salad, cranberries, fruit salad, rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, and lemon cranberry cake.

Each year the number of attendees changes. This year we had our family, my mom and dad, Noel's dad, Ben and Tracy, and Doug and Kerri. My sister, Pam, and her family did not come because they have soldiers over at their house that did not have family to go to on Thanksgiving. My other brother, Drew, and his family did not come because he had to work.

We watched football, played with the "safari", ate and watched more football. It was a great day even though the Aggies lost to t.u. Here are a couple of pictures of the "safari" learning to make pie crusts with Nana.

Also my sister, Pam, made the girls some bows for the Aggie game. They did really well for never having worn a bow before. If you would like to order some bows, Pam has a webpage. The pictures are not that great because they would not sit still.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

He loves, He loves me Not!

Do you love your siblings? I know that I do even though some days they rub me the wrong way or they do something that I think is stupid I still love them. I have a feeling that my "safari" is going to be the same way. You see they are in this love me, love me not phase.

One minute they are hugging each other and loving on each other and the next minute they are throwing each other to the ground and laying on each other. I caught these pictures the other day and could not help by share them with you. My days are filled with these emotions of love and pure energy.

Now you know why I am exhausted at the end of the day. It is good to see my "safari" showing love even though it is for moments in the day and not the entire day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


When you get married you have traditions that you bring with you. You have traditions about Thanksgiving, Christmas and other occasions. Do you have Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving or do you go hunting and eat dinner on another day? On Christmas do you introduce Santa Clause or do you just talk about the man St. Nick and focus on Christ? Each house is different.

I know that in our home we want Christ to be at the center of Christmas and the importance of giving to those that are not in the same situation as our "safari." With our "safari" being small still we have tried to make it fun and exciting for them. Noel and I decided to be apart of Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.

I talked about the boxes and the children that we are sending the boxes to. The "safari" was excited about it. Yesterday we watched the video on Operation Christmas Child on the webpage and the "safari" got even more excited. Today we went to Wal-Mart to get the things for the boxes. This year we decided that we would do two boxes, one for a girl and one for a boy.

The "safari" walked the school supply aisle, the toy department and then the Health and Beauty Aisles. We picked our items. Then we came home and put our boxes together. We wrapped the bottom of the box, filled the boxes and then set them on the floor. The "safari" and I prayed for the boy and the girl that will get our boxes and that they will have a wonderful Christmas and know Jesus.

Here are a couple pictures from that experience.

In a couple of weeks we are going to start another tradition in our family. The Jesse Tree. If you have not heard about this tradition or just want something that you can do with your children please check this out. Here is a webpage that will help. We will posting our experience with this tradition.

Hope that everyone is getting excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know that Noel and I are because this is really the first Christmas where our "safari" is starting to understand Christmas.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Are you Serious?

Naptime is over and I am going to get the "safari" up. I let Joshua, Jacob and Elijah out and as I am walking into the girls' room I notice that there is something different.

Esther decided that during naptime she was going to climb in with Hannah and take her nap. That is fine with me, but when I walked in there was something else going on. When I walked in Esther and Hannah were still sleeping. As I walked up to the bed this is what I saw.

There was no crying going on. Esther was sleeping and when she woke up she just looked at Noel and I staring at her. My "safari" never cease to amaze me, and Esther never surprises me how flexible she is. I know that if I ever tried that position I would be in pain and I would be screaming at the top of my lungs. The day that this happened I did not get a picture, but Esther decided to do it when everyone was awake and could watch her do it.

Like I tell Noel, it is just another day in our world and another memory that I have to share with them when they get older.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Yeah, those are the words that came out of mouth along with some other words like, Please don't do that, STOP, Elijah!, Joshua that is what you get.

So here is the story.... This last week Elijah has been wanting to pee while standing up because he sees daddy do that and so he wants to be like daddy. So he stands on a step stool and pulls his pants down and holds himself. The aim is horrible and I have to clean the bathroom every other day but hey practice makes perfect right?

Well the other day he is peeing in the bathroom and getting a good percentage in the toilet when Joshua runs over and calls Elijah's name. What happens next is that Elijah forgetting that he is peeing turns in the direction of Joshua and pees on the floor, wall and on Joshua. Joshua's response was "Mommy I am wet."

So now Elijah when he stands to pee in the toilet has to close the door so that he is not distracted from the activity at hand. Don't you just love boys?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Batch Cooking

There has been a lot of talk lately about how to make a mother's life easier when you have small children. I have found a solution that works for me and my house. I love to cook but do not want to think about what I am going to eat a week in advance and then have to sit and plan that out each week.

Several months ago I thought that it would be cool to have a meal exchange where you cook 2-3 batches of your favorite meal and then exchange them with other people. Noel did not think that this was such a good idea because he liked my cooking and not everyone elses cooking. So I had to think of a different plan. So my friend Marti had a book that I borrowed and fell in love with.

I started looking through it and then I called my mother and asked if she wanted in on this and then I asked my sisters. Now we have tried this for four months and I do not think that I will go back to planning on a weekly basis anymore. This book gets you going in the right direction and the meals are fabulous. Now they are not meals that have Cream of chicken/mushroom in every single one of them. They have recipes like Monterey Jack Chicken, Hearty Corn Chowder.

So if you are thinking about starting something like this or just want to batch cook one day a week I advise you to get this book and the other other book they have out. If you go to there are books for as low as 4.25 I saw the other day.

My group is cooking this weekend and we are doing 30 meals because we are not cooking in December. If you are thinking that this would be a good idea and just have some questions please ask me. I do the planning, shopping, labels, prepping, and my house is the location for the cooking. It is a blast and a time for conversing with other women. If you are wondering here is the list of meals for this month.

BBQ spareribs
Beef Bourguignon
Beef Kabobs Dijon
Bourbon-orange chicken
Buffalo Chicken Soup
Catalina Cranberry Chicken
Chicken Kiev
Chili Reno Casserole
Continental Beef
Creamy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce
Crested Butte Chicken, Chili and Corn Soup
Dijon Pork Lion Roast
Easy bake cheese & vegetable twist
Garlic Roasted Chicken w/ rosemary & lemon
Hazelnut-crusted chicken w/ Gorgonzola sauce
Honey Mustard Chicken
Lemon-herb Pork Loin
Mac & cheddar cheese w/chicken & broccoli
Maple-glazed stuffed pork roast
Orange braised chicken thighs w/ green olives
Outside-In Bacon Cheeseburgers
Pecan Chicken
Pork Chops w/ golden applesauce
Potato Soup with the works
Pretzel-crusted chicken breasts
Spinach & mustard stuffed Chicken breasts
Winter White Chicken stew
Zesty chicken tortilla bake

Monday, November 9, 2009


Vacation was GREAT!!! Noel and I were able to enjoy our week. We spent some time at the Lake House; which was really quiet because no one was there. The lake was beautiful and empty. We watched television, worked and enjoyed the silence and the lack of "daily" duties.

We spent the rest of our vacation enjoying Noel's dad in San Antonio and the alone time with him without the "safari." We ate out every meal, watched movies in movie theaters, and just enjoyed our time together. It is amazing how the everyday activities just keep you going throughout the day, week, month, and year. I am glad that we had the opportunity to hang out with each other.

I do have to admit though that I missed our "safari." The calls that I made were not enough and by the end of the week I wanted to go home. So we went home on Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon. The "safari" did really well with Nana and did not give her a hard time. They got to make cookies, play with play-dough, color, go to the park and other activities. Hannah had the hardest time because she wanted Mommy when she was tired or she got hurt, but she hung in there and made it through the week.

I wanted to thank my mother for keeping the "safari" for the week and for her time and energy. Thank you dad for coming and playing with the "safari" as well and for lending mom to Noel and I for the week. Thank you Bobby and Gail for lending us the lake house. Micheal thank you for spoiling us while we were in your home and for letting us stay with you for most of the week. We enjoyed ourselves and the company that we had.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello Safari

Noel and I wanted to say hello to the "safari." We love you very much and want you to know that we are enjoying our time on vacation. Thank you Nana for watching our "safari." Be good and we will send you another video tomorrow.