Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!


Happy 18th Birthday Baby Girl !

12:55 PM, September 30th, enterered this world 6 days past your due date, and weighing in at 9 lbs 13 oz! 

We should have realized back then, that you would do everything in a BIG way!!

You have the BIGGEST heart of anyone we know, and a smile to match it.

You have accomplished more than we could have ever imagined, and have done it with grace.

No matter what the obstacle, you have climbed the mountain, and cheered at the top.

Everyday you have been a blessing to us, and to all those who know you. 

As you enter this new phase in life, adulthood and college, may you enter it in the same way you came into this world 18 years ago...Do it in a BIG way!

God will be walking right along side of you...

We love you baby girl and are so very proud of you!

Mom, Dad, Sissy, Tyler, Toby and Kylee too!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meet Me At The Pole~

Today, my youngest, along with many fellow classmates, teammates, members of FCA, and countless others are gathering this morning before school to do this...

They will be joining hands, circling the flag pole, and praying-some silently, some out loud.  They will join many others across the country, participating in a National Day of Prayer.

Some will agree with what they are doing and applaud them, some will not.  I am just thankful they have a choice!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Process~

It is Senior year for both of our girls.  While one is looking forward to this in December...

college graduation.  The other is now in the midst of this...

filling out college applications...

Our mailbox currently is filled with these on a daily basis...

And, next comes this...

It is both exciting and stressful all at the same time.  She has narrowed down her choices (around 10), started or finished their applications, and now is starting to play the wait and see game.  The majority she should have answers from no later than February.  Several she is considered a preferred applicant so we may know by Christmas!

So, these days I have been busy keeping her on track.  With school work, volleyball, church leadership committments and college applications, she doesn't have much free time.

I hope to get a few projects completed around the house this weekend, as it is our first free weekend we've had in awhile!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homecoming 2011 and Sharpies

Well...we survived, our daughter on the other hand is a bit wore out and came home from school with a migraine earlier.  But, she had fun!

It was a VERY long weekend.  Thursday night was the start of a volleyball tournament, Friday night the Homecoming football game, Saturday the finish to the volleyball tournament and the Homecoming Dance, and Sunday found us at church and playing catch up.

The team took 2nd place in the Silver Division of the tournament on Saturday, but that meant getting home after 6pm...can you say missed hair appointments, missed nail appointments, and some even missed their dinner reservations!

Our daughter got showered and dressed in record time-30 minutes (her dad asked her why she can't do that ALL the time-her reply "it's normally not that important").  I mean it was her Senior Homecoming Dance afterall. LOL

We managed to get her to the park for group pictures just in time.

I know...bring on the pictures...

How he popped the question...rose petals!

The guys posing for GQ

The ladies.  Two were on homecoming court this year!

The group.

30 minutes? I don't believe it...I usually have to wait!

No comment!

She's 6' 1" in heels...thank goodness for tall dates!
Okay, so now you ask...what do Sharpies have to do with Homecoming...
No time to paint your nails after a volleyball match before the big Homecoming Dance...Sharpies work wonders! Yes, I actually told her we'd "paint" her nails with navy blue sharpie to match her dress.  She thought I was nuts, her friends thought I was a genius ;-)

Today,we will all try and recover.

Family Friendly Food Week ~

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  Ours was a busy one with a volleyball tournament, they finished 2nd in the Silver Division, and Homecoming.  I will try and get homecoming pics up this afternoon.

I am participating in Amanda from Serenity Now's Family Friendly Food be sure to check it out.  I am featuring the Tortellini salad I raved about. There are so many wonderful recipes from other bloggers as well.  If you are looking for quick, family friendly meals be sure to stop by Amanda's.

Family Friendly Food at Serenity Now

Friday, September 16, 2011


First, let me say thank you to all of you for your sweet comments on my new hair cut!!  You all really know how to make a girl feel good.

Well...believe it or not it is already this time of year~

Yup, Homecoming weekend!!  Tonight is the big football game, against our rival school and then the dance is tomorrow night.  I will be sure to take plenty of pictures and share with you all on Monday!

Hope everyone has a great weekend with family and friends!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hair Cut~

During the summer months, I decided to cut my hair short again.  I have had it all lengths, but for my hair type-straight and baby fine, short has always worked best.  And, at 43, I am not a ponytail kinda gal.  So, since I just got it cut again this morning as well as colored (gotta love it when the gray is gone!) I thought I'd share a new pic.  Mind you...since no one else is home I had to take it myself, so go easy on me!  Our youngest just recently cut her hair short too...she'd always felt she had to keep it longer due to playing volleyball.  She loves her short!!

It is kinda hard to tell in this picture, but the back is shorter than the front...the sides are angle cut.  It's funny, I was born a blonde but during my 20s-30s my hair got darker (light brown), and now in my 40s I can't keep it dark to save my life!  It wants to be platinum with a bit of gray.  My mother's hair is the same.  My brother, 2 years my junior, is ALL gray!! 

And, just since I almost ALWAYS get asked, yes my eyes are that blue...thanks to Lasik surgery I no longer wear contacts.

Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tortellini And Tomato Salad~

I just had to share this recipe after making it yesterday.  The recipe appeared in the July 2011 issue of Southern Living magazine.  I am always on the look out for quick, easy, healthy meals to prepare for my family.  Especially for game nights!  A mom of one of our players shared it with us, and we were all eager to try it ourselves.  So glad I did.

(Southern Living)

Tortellini And Tomato Salad


2 (9-oz.) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves (we all only use one small, 2 seemed to overpower the cheese in the tortellini)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups baby heirloom tomatoes, halved (I used fresh grape tomatoes from our garden)

1 cup fresh corn kernels (my girlfriend used frozen, I used grilled corn taken off cob we had grilled night before)

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper


1.  Prepare tortellini according to package directions.

2.  Meanwhile, process olive oil and next 5 ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Toss olive oil mixture with hot cooked tortellini, tomatoes, and next 3 ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 servings, about 20 minutes to make.

This can be served hot, if you are making it right before mealtime, or cold.  We all made ours ahead so we'd have it ready for when we got home from the games.  We loved it cold!  And, we had leftover for lunches today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Check, Check, Check~

Sorry I've been MIA!  One, I've been fighting a first in forever.  And two, I've been checking things off my to do list.

Basement Walls Installed
Trim Installed in Basement
Flooring Installed in Basement
Cabinets Installed in Craft/Work Room
Unfinished Area Cleaned, Sorted, Organized
Girls Keepsakes Sorted
Declutter Declutter Declutter
Set aside items for Neighborhood Yard Sale in October

Call 1-800-Got Junk  They are here and it feels sooooo good!

I cannot tell you how good it feels to have finally tackled the monster basement!  The painters will be here next week to paint the new walls and trim, then we have to install a few doors.  I will be so glad to have a clean space to then go through photos, the girls old school papers and such.  I have been putting it off because I didn't have a space that I could spread out in and take my time going through the stuff.

Have you been putting off tackling a huge, not so fun, project?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Day I'll Never Forget

10 years ago, I remember turning on the tv...the exact moment the 2nd plane hit...I was stunned...I'd grown up in NY, been to the city many times, always amazed by the Twin Towers.  My neighbor called sobbing...she too had grown up in NY, lived in the city.  We couldn't even begin to comprehend what had taken place and what was yet to come.

I remember I had a dentist I left the house, only to have my husband call and say they were closing his office.  "Why?"  Well, the company that runs the Southeastern Rail System is in our building and they want us out.  And, the Marta (Public Transit) trains ran next to his building as well.   I didn't understand...I don't think anyone really did at that time.

The girls were supposed to go to the dentist that afternoon...we kept our plans to pick them up early as to not worry them, as you see, by now we ALL knew what had happened and what could still happen.  The schools did an amazing job keeping things "normal" that day.  Although, after we picked the girls up and explained we would not be going to the dentist...they said, "we knew something was wrong, just not what" see the teachers had been on their email systems all day conversing back and forth with the staff...determining what to do, what to say, what not to say. And, more kids than usual were being checked out.  You see, my daughters school at the time was attended by 17 or more different nationalities, some Muslim. Everyone was on edge and scared.

Most of all, I remember the quiet.  We live in an area where we hear planes throughout the day.  I remember my sil saying how quiet it was where she was, eerily see, they lived near a military brother a Marine, she'd been at the commissary when it happened!

The quiet, followed by the frenzy.

Today, I will say a pray for those lost, those that served and continue to do so, but most of all I pray for our Nation...I pray we won't soon forget, I pray we will come together today and everyday as we did 10 years ago, not just in times of tragedy, but EVERYDAY.  Live life with a purpose, be kind to those around you, be thankful and remember.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Team Mix~salty and sweet

As most of you know, our youngest daughter plays volleyball.  We are currently in the midst of her high school season.  Each afternoon before their games, a parent provides a light dinner and treat for the girls.  This tides them over until they can get home and have supper (sometimes pretty late).   Our games got moved up early today (4 & 5), so the girls are getting out of class early in order to eat and be on the bus by 2:30.  Since I don't work outside the home (many of our parents do at this point in their girl's lives), I told our team parent I would provide the meal for the afternoon.

Each will receive an individual dish of caesar pasta salad and fruit that I've packed in plastic containers purchased at Target.  Today it is all about grab and go as they don't have much time to fuss with fixing their plates.  And, for the treat...I made one of our girls favorites, Team Mix.  It is a healthy treat that is super easy to fix and customize for your team or for the season.

Team Mix:

Popcorn-any kind you like (natural, butter, kettle corn)

Pretzels-the tiny twists work best

Cereal-we usually use frosted Cheerios (we used to use frosted Chex, but can't find them anymore)  again, pick one they like.

Candy-(okay, the unhealthy part...but not a lot goes in it)  we usually use candy corn this time of year, or M&Ms in their school colors.  We opted for candy corn this go round as our daughter can't eat chocolate and two of her teammates don't like it (who doesn't like chocolate???).

Place each item in a separate bowl, then take a measuring cup or scoop if you have one, and fill Ziploc sandwich bags with the ingredients-mostly popcorn, 6-8 pretzels, approx. 1/4 cup cereal, and a few pieces of candy.

We then placed the Ziploc bags inside some blue ones (school color), and attached the "Team Mix" on the front.

Popcorn-Get Pumped Up!
Cereal (Cheerios)-Cheer Each Other On!
Candy Corn-You are all a bit corny!
Pretzels-Your team has your back when in a bind!

You could customize the sayings to go with the ingredients you choose.

The girls love this mix!  A little sweet, a little salty.  And, it is easy to throw in their backpacks if they don't get a chance to finish it before leaving.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

T-shirt Addiction~

Yes, I am here to tell ya there really is such a thing!  I am admitting my family has a problem...they are t-shirt hoarders.  There must be a t-shirt for every event that my girls/hubby have attended/participated in.  And no, they will not part with a ONE of them.  So, while weeding through the basement I decided I had to do something.  They were everywhere-some in boxes labeled, some in boxes not labeled, some in garbage bags not labeled since they were recently cleaned out of their drawers upstairs during our decluttering.

All of them, well all of the girls (haven't gotten to hubster's yet), came upstairs to be sorted, washed and refolded.  And then all were put in piles by category (school, cheer, volleyball, concerts, vacation, church trips).  I managed to get them into three large plastic boxes I purchased from the Container Store and all fit nicely atop one shelf.  Whew...

I really need to find them a support group!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rainy Day Comfort Food~

Today I thought I'd share one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE rainy day comfort foods.  It is great on a crisp fall night too.  The recipe comes from my Southern pal, Paula Deen.

The Lady's Cheesy Mac
Serves 6 to 8

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained (approx. 2 cups uncooked)
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk, or equivalent in evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After macaroni has been boiled and drained, add Cheddar cheese while macaroni is still hot.  Combine remaining ingredients and add to macaroni mixture. Pour into casserole dish (I have found if you spray your pan with cooking spray beforehand clean up is so much easier) and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with addtional cheese, if desired. (I like to top ours with a bit of Panko bread crumbs prior to baking).

This recipe is super easy, and oh so delicious.  I love that it can be prepared ahead of time and thrown in the oven later.  Great for a night when we have volleyball matches and a starving child upon returning home.

Do you have any easy go to comfort recipes?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!  We have been working on the basement instead of relaxing, but I am glad to be getting it done.  We've made a lot of progress...especially on the weeding out part!  The day will be short lived as the youngest has volleyball practice.  Yes, even on Labor Day!!