Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School & Freshman Frustration

The first day of school went fairly smoothly. McKenzie didn’t sleep very well the night before, so I was surprised that she got up and got going as quick as she did. We even had a little time left over to take a few pictures before the bus came.
I had asked her several times if I could take her to school, but she insisted that she wanted to see all of her friends on the bus. Who am I to fight the connivance of the bus?



Morgan got ready on her own and decided to be dropped off at a local taco place to meet her friends for breakfast tacos and that way they all could ride to school together. My husband asks if we needed to have a party for everything.
Morgan’s reply.. “Yes, isn’t that what High School is all about?”
We are in BIG TROUBLE!


Freshman Frustration

On Saturday night Morgan’s high school had a BBQ and Pep Rally to introduce the football players and kids that participate in different sports and sprit organizations. It was a lot of fun seeing the parents of the children that you have watched grow since elementary school to young adults and starting to mature. I also enjoyed meeting the parents of new friends from the other activates that Morgan is starting to participle in.
My dear friend Debbie, who has a daughter who is now a sophomore, has kind of taken me under her wing. She called me a few days before the dinner, to let me know that I needed to be there early to draw “lottery” ticket, so that you can meet later, another night to pick your seats in the stadium.
“You what?” I asked her in amazement. “You have to get a lotto ticket to be able to know when you can buy football tickets.” This was all new to me. A freshman mom…
I decided to get there early, 3:30; the dinner would not start until 5. I realized that I was not the only early bird, there were at least 31 other people ahead of me. These people mean business! My friend Debbie joined me a little later; Morgan was saving her place in line. She asked me if I had bought my “Sprit shirt” yet. Dazed and confused I stumble to the row of tables lined against the wall. Tee shirts, jackets, button downs, caps, bleacher seats, just to name a few things. There were so many choices. One mom decided to have mercy on me and told me that most of the moms had bought the black button down. So that’s what I ended up with, plus a few shirts for the rest of the family. I go get back in line and about 30 minutes later, the line starts to move> FAST! Within seconds I was being hand a paper and force through the line.
I would relive the same experience again on Monday night trying to pick our stadium seats. I know that it must seem like a simple task, but trying to figure out what side of the field your daughter will be performing for a whole 2 minutes a game can be a little confusing. Thankful Debbie just said put her here next to us. So, $300 dollars later, I have tickets to high school football games.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Week Before School Starts



This week has been crazy, from Pep Squad practice to Birthday dinners. We have been on the go nonstop, and it is getting ready to get worse. I sat down with my day planner and tried to combine all of the kid’s schedules for the next two weeks and figure out dinners so that I can go to the store to avoid all of the mass confusion that is going to start next week. I tried to plan meals for the next two weeks to cut down on the trips to the store, and then made out a grocery list trying to use some of the same ingredients for the next two weeks. For example I needed cream cheese and frozen spinach for one recipe, so I tried to find another recipe that called for at least one of those ingredients, because it would normally go to waste if I didn’t use it. To Adam’s amazement, I only spent $138 for two weeks of groceries. Now I might have to grab milk here and there, but I got most of what I needed for dinners and snacks. I was pretty proud of myself.
To keep the kids straight in my planner, I color code them. Each child has a set color for the year, that way when I glance to see who has what I know what color they are and keeps some of the confusion down. This usually works pretty well, until the kids steal my gel pins.

I have included a couple of recipes that we made for Adam’s birthday dinner:


Morgan made this all by herself!



Peach Crisp


Prep: 20 minutes Bake: 40 minutes
Ingredients
· 1/4 cup granulated sugar
· 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
· 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
· 7 cups 1/2-inch fresh or frozen peach slices (8 peaches about 3-1/2 lb.), or 1/2-inch cooking apples, such as Granny Smith
· 2 Tbsp. honey
· 2/3 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers (5 squares)
· 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
· 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
· 2 Tbsp. rolled oats
· 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
· 1/3 cup butter
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For filling, in a bowl stir together granulated sugar, the 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Add peaches; toss to coat. Spread in 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Drizzle honey over peaches; set aside.
2. For topping, in a bowl stir together crushed graham crackers, brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, rolled oats, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over the peach mixture.
3. Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings.



Chicken Parmesan Bundles
Prep Time:35 min
Total Time:1 hr 5 min
Makes:6 servings
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1-1/4 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
6 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1 egg
10 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated
PREHEAT oven to 375ºF. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 3 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese until well blended; spread evenly onto chicken breasts. Starting at one of the short ends of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if desired. Set aside.
BEAT egg in shallow bowl or pie plate. Mix remaining 3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese and the cracker crumbs in separate shallow bowl or pie plate. Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF). Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve topped with the spaghetti sauce and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese


Monday, August 18, 2008

Lighting and a Hole in the Wall

Some of you might ask what one has to do with the other. Well, our little home is about 50 years old, and apparently has changed hands more than a couple of times over the past decade or so. It seems that each owner must have had their own ideas of what needed to be done to the little home. One of the owners thought that she needed a larger closet, therefore removed one of the two bathrooms to accommodate this. The owner before us added a corky little master bathroom and decided that the kitchen area need more light, so he decided to put a pass through (a hole) in the limestone wall that separates the formal living/dining room, and the kitchen/family room. It is the typical 50’s ranch style floor plan. Therefore I am left with this great big hole in the wall, and still very little light over the little table that is against the wall (that is another issue for another post).

I could do several different things:

1st, I could add a glass window or iron work:

2nd, I could leave it as it is and just hang a light over the table.



Or, I could just move….

Friday, August 15, 2008

Oh Boy!

When I found out I was pregnant for the third time, we had hope for a boy. God had blessed us with two beautiful girls, and we would have been happy with another girl, but we really hoped that it would be a boy.
Little did I know what I was getting myself into. My delivery was full of complications, after 10 hours of trying to deliver; we decided to do a c-section. It turned out that his umbilical cord was wrapped around his little neck twice. But, thankfully he was ok. Over the past 19 months he has grown into a very happy, healthy and active little boy.
This past month, he has started to be more interested in the potty. He will pull off his diaper and run for his little potty. Most of the time he has already gone, but from time to time he makes it. It is so funny to watch his little naked hiney run through the house and you can’t help but laugh. This has become a common thing around our house, I will look up from whatever I might be doing at the time to see a flash of nakedness streaking through the living room, with the diaper on the floor. But, yesterday I glanced up from cleaning the kitchen to see him with the diaper in hand and a little steam coming from his body onto my tile floor. I’m still not sure why I just stood there and watched him, I guess it was disbelief that my child was actually peeing on the floor. I had never had this experience with the girls. By the time I had realized what was going on I had a very nice sized puddle on the floor. So I wasn’t sure what to do first, cover or clean. I decided to cover, might be best and once I got a diaper back on him I ran to get the paper towels to try and clean up his mess. When I returned, Mason was helping me clean it up with his hands. What a helper he is.
You know, I had always wondered about little cherub fountains of Italy and what the appeal was, now I know. Apparently I have a real live one in my living room.
-Cheers, Amy

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fall Cleaning

I’m not sure what it is, but about the time school starts, I start my fall cleaning. I guess most of you refer to it as spring cleaning, but most of mine is done right as the time school lets back in. I don’t know if it’s because of the summer heat, and we tend to stay inside most of the time, or because the children have been home for a large periods of time and they make huge messes, that can only be truly cleaned after they return to school. Whatever the reason, I tend to do most of my big cleaning once school starts back up.
This past week, I decided to clean and rearrange my bookcases, I know that you are thinking, “big deal, she cleaned some book cases,” Oh no, could it ever be that simple with me…
You see I have a tendency not to only take everything off the bookshelves and clean them, but I have to rearrange everything and redecorate them, I guess it comes from my retail days of contently changing the displays and making them look fresh. I am also affected by wanting to put my Christmas tree up in September, but my family would really think I’ve lost it.
Anyway, I have been working on these darn bookshelves all week. I normally just decorate the bookcases and not as much on the mantel, but this time I decorated the mantel first. I like the way that it turned out, but now I didn’t want the book shelve to be cluttered. So, now I’m at a standstill and have just left it the way it is.
-Cheers, Amy







Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday Shopping

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is slip away and go shopping. This time I took my camera along. I love to go to shops that are off the beaten path, and they tend to be a bit more reasonable. One of my favorite places is called The Arrangement located off West Avenue. This adorable little shop is owned by a mother daughter duo who are just as cute as they could be. Let’s take a look at what all I found.



I loved this old church door, I want to reuse it later on for a pantry door.


Only in Texas would you see cute décor and a Long Horn Head on the Wall, Hook’em Horns!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hummingbirds

I have a special place in my heart for hummingbirds, as a child I can remember my grandfather always having hummingbird feeders outside his windows so that he could sit and watch them throughout the day. He was always sure that they had just the right food and their feeders were always full. I thought about that this week when Janie at Southern Lagniappe posted a picture of a beautiful hummingbird picture that she had found at a garage sale. I am truly touched by how a lovely creature can bring back so many memories of loved ones and every time I see a beautiful hummingbird, I am reminded of my loving grandfather. –Cheers, Amy

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

A few weeks before school let out McKenzie met a new friend that lived around the corner from us. She was so excited and of course wanted to set up a play date as soon as possible. So, I talked to her mom and we decided that she would come over that Friday after she got home from school. The mother invited us in and then showed me around her lovely home. Then she said that she would bring Kenzie home later. Well, I knew that she might want to “look around” since she had shown us her house. So, franticly I went home to clean my house.
I must tell you, I really hate to clean. I love coming home a getting a wif of pinesole when I walk through the door, but I just dislike the actual chore of doing it myself. So, I started cleaning up the mountains of baby toys on the floor and made sure the dishes were done. I stuffed whatever else that needed to be hid into my laundry room and shut the door. Surely she wouldn’t want to go in there.
Just the time I had finished vacuuming, in walks McKenzie through the garage and laundry room doors, followed by her new friend and her mother. I was so embarrassed. I showed the mother around and when they were ready to leave, the friend couldn’t find her shoes. She had taken them off somewhere in the house. So we looked everywhere. My house was pretty clean by that time, nothing really on the floor, so they would have been pretty visible. They had DISAPPEARD!!! The mom thought that maybe she had left them at home, and they left.
Almost a week later, while looking for our own lost shoes, I looked under McKenzie’s bed, and there they where, the lost shoes. I just really had to laugh. So I took the shoes and put them in a bag with a note attached to them.
Here is a copy of the note:

Dear Ms. Sarah,

You will happy to know that we have solved “the case of the missing shoes.”
After a week long search it is reported that the shoes had been abducted by the notorious Dust Bunny Bandits. Their hide out was discovered under McKenzie’s bed early this morning.
Their plan to take over the world one shoe at a time was foiled by Ms. Amy when she discovered the shoes under McKenzie’s bed by accident. The two are now in custody. They are now being questioned in other unsolved crimes like
“who took my other sock” and “who colored on the wall.”
We will keep you informed.
P. S.
We have I enclosed a copy of their mug shots:

Confessions


One of my favorite blogs to read is Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. She just makes my want to throw a cowboy hat on my husband and roll him around in the dirt. I guess we’ll have to save that for date night. Anyway, she got me thinking about what would I confess? So, on Fridays I am going to start, Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom. There might be funny little stories about the wacky things I do, or the things I let my children do and maybe there might be a tip in there (probably what not to do.) So, join me on Friday for Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom….

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday Night At The Auction

About 6 years ago I left a small West Texas town to move to the big city of San Antonio. My husband Adam had grown up here and decided right after I found out that I was pregnant with our daughter McKenzie, that he wanted to go to Law School. So, I was induced two weeks early so that she would be old enough to move to San Antonio, a week before he started school. Well, having two young children and starting school, you could only imagine that there was no money, so we had to live with Adam’s family until we were able to find a place of our own.
In the mean time, I began to learn more about my mother in law. She loves to collect things and has a verity of collections ranging from dishes, vintage table clothes, and rugs. She enjoys going to the local auction on Tuesday nights. She once told me that sometimes she just likes to watch the items sell. Sometimes they will go for a great deal, and other times they can get “bid up” by someone who just really wants the item.

The first time that I went was on a French themed night, this is how I fell in love with French Country Antiques. I found a beautiful bedroom set with a triple door armouire, two night stands and a dressing table. They split the items up so that I had to bid on them seperatly. I had won the nightstands for $50 and the large armoire for $300. Adam thought that we didn’t need the dressing table at the time, so I let that go to someone else, I had always regretted it. I must add that I’m not one for matchy matchy. But I will buy things and pull them apart, and use them in other places in my house.

Anyway, back to the auction, Diane said that she was going to go for a little while last night, and I asked her if she minded if I tagged along. She said sure. I went to the preview and found two different sets of nesting tables that I liked, one set was French, and the other Queen Ann style. I opted for the Queen Ann style so that it would blend with the other French pieces that I have in my living room, but once again not too matchy.




This is what I won: A set of Three Nesting Table, I am just using two of them in the living room, the height is perfect with my little French chair. Yes, that is the chair from the “Ugly Chair Parade.” I want to recover it before Oct. We have family coming in to town, I don’t want to scare them off.–Cheers, Amy



Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality is having a party!

Monday, August 4, 2008

COLLECTIONS

This morning while enjoying my mandatory cup of coffee, I decided to start bringing a few of my fall decorations out of the closet. I figured that if I brought a few things out, maybe it would bring a bit of cooler weather. Hey, a girl can dream can’t she?
I must confess I am a seasonal decorator. Two of my favorite time to decorate is fall and Christmas. On the first day of fall I brew a big pot of apple cider and make a pumpkin spice cake (in the shape of a pumpkin of course) for the kids to enjoy for and afternoon snack. I love her smell of cinnamon and spice.
My first project was to change my dishes out of my kitchen cabinets. I started collecting dished about 5 years ago. This is a gift that I inherited from my mother in law when Adam and I got married, we both enjoy going to antique stores, she thought me what to look for and how to haggle for a better price. This is a gift that I will always cherish. My collections started with Johnson Brothers “Strawberry Fair,” I just loved the Red and White transferware. I guess this is my summer pattern. Then I started collecting “Rose Point” by Pope Gosser this pattern is usually my base pattern, I tend to mix it in with everything. I love the tone on tone pattern with the raised roses. But, my latest collection is brown and white. I love the chocolate brown colors and the wildlife scenes. This is the pattern that I have put out today. I think that it just might work. I think it is suppose to be cooler tomorrow, 94°.


Spode Woodland

Friday, August 1, 2008

CHEERS FOR CATY


Words cannot express how touched by all of you I am. Your response has been overwhelming;
I have decided to create a separate blog for “Cheers for Caty” where we can add updates and current information about Caty. If you would like to add the link to you blog, please let me know.

CHEERS FOR CATY


Thank you, Amy