Thursday, April 18, 2013

Praying for West, Texas~How to help

Praying For West Texas

As I mentioned in my post earlier today, we are all deeply saddened by what has taken place in West, Texas.  

My daughter, a Baylor University freshmen, has asked that I pass along this link so that those of you who would like information on how to help can find ways to do so.

For those of you on Facebook, Baylor has also set up a facebook page that can be found on this link.

Most importantly, please remember to keep all in West, Texas in your prayers.

Prayers for West, Texas~

While services are being held this morning in Boston to remember those precious lives lost in the Boston Marathon tragedy, we are glued once again to the tv...this time the small town of West, Texas.

Both hit a little close to home.  While we are a Georgia family, at one time my husband worked for a company whose home office was on Boylston Street in Boston, a block if that from the events of the other day.  He still has many friends who work there.  And as most of you know, Waco, Texas (20 minutes from West, Texas) has become our second home since our youngest started attending Baylor University this past fall.  And, the wonderful staff at Hillcrest Baptist Hosptial, where a lot of the victims are being treated,  have taken great care of her twice, most recently last week!

Please continue to keep all in your prayers.  And, remember to hug your loved ones!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's for Dinner Wednesday~

This week it is all about simple and easy!

Taco Salad

We love this simple and super easy to put together meal.


1 lb ground sirloin
1 package Taco Seasoning
Frito scoop chips (we buy our scoops from Trader Joes)
Lettuce (chopped or shredded)
Shredded Mexican Cheese
Black Beans
Fresh Pico de Gallo
Taco sauce of your choice (we like Taco Bell's hot sauce)

The only real prep is the meat.  Brown the ground sirloin, drain excess fat, mix in taco seasoning packet with water that is called for.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Place some scoops on a plate, top with ground sirloin and toppings of your choice.  Super simple and so yummy!!

I love that this doesn't require us heating up the oven...especially on warmer nights.

And, after this past week...we were ready for simple.

Our youngest spent a day in the ER last week.  We finally got a diagnosis today (a rare form of strep that affects the kidneys, antibiotics should clear it up in no time).  And, on her way home from work today our oldest got rear-ended!  She is fine, minor damage to her truck, but a pain nonetheless.

However, all of this pales in comparison to those who are suffering in Boston.  Our heart and prayers go out to all affected by this senseless tragedy.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Craft Room Reveal~

While I am not completely finished with the room, I thought I would share the progress thus far.  I will put the finishing touches in the room over the next couple of weeks.

Looking into the room from the main doorway.

View of the room from the other side.

Expedites really are a girls best friend!

Love my wall racks from Ikea!!

Cute child's serving set I found at Target-perfect colors!!

Love this little acrylic box.  Also found at Target.

Raskog cart from! Super portable.  My daughter used one in her office/craft room as well.

Smaller baskets are from Target.  Perfect fit!

Closet.  We already had Elfa shelves inside.  Just took out the old DVD racks and replaced with bins to hold ribbon and giftwrap.

I love pretty ribbon!!

Gift wrap station!

Young or old, who doesn't love brand new crayons???

And, even the princess got a spot in the new room!  Elie and I stumbled upon this super cute doggy bed at Home Goods.  Perfect match!

I still have a few finishing touches to add.  I have plans to reuse an old PBteen item of my daughter's (think chalkboard, pinboard, pegboard, magnetic board).  And, I need to add some personal artwork.

I am looking forward to using this room to sort through the 1000s, billions of photos we have and the girls old schoolwork (about time, they are 19 and 23 after all).

Will post more pictures in the coming weeks.

Linking to Serenity Now, Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Link-up Party!  Be sure to check out all the other fantastic projects there as well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Dog Demands An Explanation!


UMM...okay, how to explain this to a 3 (almost 4) year old Cairn Terrier.  Well, it goes something like this.  There is this Robin (name unknown).  He's been coming around a lot lately (going on week straight now).  Apparently he is either A)really into himself, B)trying to impress a girlfriend-or what he thinks is a girlfriend, or C)is totally delusional!

We'll go with B!  (Although A and C are good choices too)

It started last week, picture is around 7 in the morning (maybe a bit earlier), hubs and I are sound asleep.  We both hear a strange noise.  It gets louder, more persistant.  Hubs blames the dog (she has been known to make a racket in her crate with her bowl or water bottle). Personally, she's never that loud!  So, hubs says, "go see what she is doing".  Ok.  I creep down the stairs, get to the bottom and realize the noise has gotten louder and it is NOT the dog!!!  I could tell it was coming from one of two rooms...our library is immediately to the left at the bottom of the staircase and the dining room is just off the library.  While I didn't think it was a person okay maybe for just a second, I did think another animal might have possibly gotten in the house.  (this brought back really bad memories of the time a bat got stuck between the window and the window screen at my parents house when I was younger, ewww!!! Who knew bats were soooo ugly???  I always pictured the cute ones from Halloween!)  

Okay, so now what to do...hubs is upstairs...should I call out to him, what if that startles whatever it is and it comes after me...ummm...ok, right about the time I called out to him, something in my brain said..."it's a bird!"  More bad memories from childhood-they flew into our sliding glass doors to our patio quite often, especially if mom had just cleaned the glass.

Long story short, Mr. Robin has been visiting us daily starting at the crack of dawn and then comes and goes all day long.  Our windows are tinted so he sees himself (or his future girlfriend...told you he might be delusional).  He is either trying to defend his territory from another male or impress his new girlfriend. 

We tried making noise, we tried the flashlight (only deterred him for a minute).  The windows are hard to reach from the outside, so taping something up to distract him is a pain (would do it from the inside but the windows are stuck due to humidity and the last bad paint job).

So, we recruited the help of Kylee's scary friends...

Mr. Mouse (depending on which side-he's an elephant on the other, don't ask!)
Mr. Pig
Mr. Rooster
Santa's Elf
and last but not least, Mr. Zebra

Hey, guess what?  So far so good, maybe I should say that a bit quieter so as not to jinx us, so far so good!!!

Will update tomorrow, around 7 am...should he wake us!

Friday, April 12, 2013


I think I mentioned awhile back that we would have some landscaping projects to tackle in the near future.  Well, that would be because of this...


You can see where our fence was in relationship to the garden (which we just expanded with two more boxes up front).

Just outside the fence (left side) we had to take down around 12 or so Leland Cypress trees that had succumbed to disease.  When we moved our fence to where it is in this picture the trees were already there, so we fenced inside of the tree line not on our property line. Since they are now gone we decided to move our fence to just inside our property line (meeting up with an existing post at the top where our neighbor had tied in for privacy with our permission) and because they had planted a tree that was right on the line.  It is a pretty tree and healthy, so why have them take it down.


You can see the new section of fence being constructed quite a bit out from the existing.  It widens at the top.


A lot more yard!  If you look back at the before you can see how close the fence was in relation to the pear trees and the garden.  My brother, who is a landscaper, needs to come out and regrade the hill and then we will plant.  We have already purchased a couple cedars and a few fruit trees for the space.

I know our dogs will be in heaven, especially our Cairn terrier who loves to run.  Our 13 year old Golden may never get up to the top of the hill these days! Bless his heart, bad hips.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Is it really here to stay???

Spring, that is!

We got a teaser a few weeks ago with beautiful, sunny skies and 70 degree weather and then...
it turned cold again and was rainy!

Today the sun is out, the temps are rising and looks like we may even see the 80s by the middle of next week.

I decided to pull out a grapevine wreath and some greenery I had laying around and create a touch of spring for the front door.  I am loving all the natural, organic, burlap textured ribbon Hobby Lobby has now.

Hope it is warming up in your neck of the woods!!  Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What's for Dinner Wednesday~

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend with their family.  We enjoyed having these two at home with us...

They make us more proud of them everyday!  Our oldest is pursuing a teaching position, and has been accepted into two prestigious programs here in the Atlanta area where she can earn her degree while teaching (if you recall, she graduated in 2012, EARLY, with a degree in Communications/PR and a minor in Marketing and is still pursuing her Masters in Health Administration).  Her true passion lies with children and coaching cheerleading.  Our youngest will soon finish up her first year as a Speech Path/Audiology and Early Childhood Development major with hopes of providing intervention for babies in the NICU or in the field of Austism.  Where did the year go???

It was back to reality this afternoon, as one flew back to the University this morning and the other is back hard at work.

Since dad has been doing the majority of the cooking lately (his choice), I decided to pull out an old dish he and I both loved, but the girls could not have (they are both lactose intolerant).

Cheese Stuffed Shells!


12 oz Muellers Jumbo Shells
2 eggs
2 containers (15oz) each Ricotta cheese
2 Cups (8oz) shredded Mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 Cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 TBS dried parsley
1 TBS dried basil
1 tsp salt
3 Cups spaghetti sauce (we use our own homemade, recipe below)

Cooking Instructions:

Cook Jumbo Shells for 15 minutes
Drain, cover and set aside
In a medium bowl beat eggs lightly; stir in Ricotta, Mozzarella, 3/4 cup Parmesan, parsley, basil and salt.
Spoon about one tablespoon of cheese mixture into each shell.
Arrange filled shells in a 13X9-inch baking dish; top with spaghetti sauce
Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan (I like to add a bit of Mozzarella too)
Bake in 350* oven 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Spaghetti Sauce (Aunt Ann):

1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes (we prefer organic with basil added)
basil (prefer fresh, but dried works too)
oregano (prefer fresh, but again dried is fine)
crushed red pepper (dried)
minced garlic
parsley (you know the drill, fresh is best, but use what you have!)
olive oil
grated parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, drizzle bottom with olive oil.  Add minced garlic (about a TBS, give or take to your taste), sprinkle in a bit of basil, oregano and crushed red pepper.  Saute for about a minute to infuse the oil with the herbs flavor.  Add crushed tomatoes, and about a 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.  Stir.  Simmer on low for about 20-25 minutes to infuse the flavors.

This is our go to sauce, easy and fresh!

Pop open a good bottle of wine and enjoy!