Saturday, October 31, 2009

Preschooler Quotes of the Day – Halloween Edition

“Mommy, can it be Halloween tomorrow, too, PLEASE??!”

“How about we eat candy for breakfast tomorrow, OK?”

“Where’s my pixie dust?  Did daddy take it AGAIN?”

[Pointing to the edge of the driveway at our neighbor’s house while Trick-or-Treating] “Mommy, Daddy, you can stay right here.  Don’t worry about me a bit.  I’ll be just fine.  I know how to knock on the door and say ‘Trick or Treat’ and ‘Thank You’ all by myself!”

Nightime prayer:  “Dear God, thank you for Tinkerbell and trick-or-treating and Jesus.  I saw lots of monsters but I wasn’t scared.  I don’t have to be afraid.  Please help nobody to be scared at Halloween.  Amen.  Oh, and please don’t let my daddy go back to work.  I want to play with him all day long.  Amen.”


Friday, October 30, 2009

Family Fun Night

Our church hosted a fall carnival tonight and we all had a blast!  Grace dressed up as Tinkerbell…we took a few pictures in the front yard before we left.

016She was very excited because I let her wear a little bit of makeup and “pixie dust” on her face and arms.

019There were different games in each of the rooms in the Children’s Building.  After each game, they got to pick candy to put in their buckets!

Todd helped her shoot the rubber band gun.  She actually hit the bulls eye all by herself on her last shot!

039 The balloon room was a big hit!

024 She chose a rainbow to be put on her cheek in the face painting room.

036Here’s Grace with her friend Natalie.

027And here’s Grace with her friend Kie.  His muscles looked so cute!

040After all the games and candy, she jumped in the bounce houses and played on the indoor playground for a while.

052It was a really fun time of fellowship with our friends and family time together.  After the carnival, we enjoyed pizza at the Mellow Mushroom.  It’s a totally hip and happening restaurant in the TCU area that uses all fresh, organic ingredients.  Very yummy…I highly recommend the Funky Chicken pizza.  It had homemade BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, grilled onions, bacon (sadly…I left it off), and a mix of cheddar and white cheeses.

Fun times!

Belle Dress


Our sweet friend Claire asked me to help her get together a Belle dress to wear to her costumed bridal shower this weekend, and I was so excited to help!  I managed to find some pretty yellow satin at the fabric store that had a small stain the size of a dime.  The girl who cut the fabric offered to mark it down and call it “damaged”, so it was dirt cheap!  The rest of the supplies (zipper, laces, tulle, buttons, etc.) I had on hand.

To design the dress, I tried my best to copy Grace’s Belle costume from a couple of years ago.  It worked out pretty well without a pattern.  I kept it really simple and didn’t line the dress or finish the inside seams…so it was fairly easy and not stressful! 

Doesn’t Claire look just like Belle?  I told her she could work at Disneyworld!  Grace wanted to wear her Belle dress, too, for the picture!

Preschooler Quote of the Day

I was in the kitchen cleaning up breakfast dishes when I heard Grace’s excited voice from the family room:

"Mommy!  Mommy!  There’s a BIG lizard under the couch!  He’s soooo cute!  Can we keep him, PLEASE???!”

I caught a glimpse of him an hour later (and he IS big), but as of now, he is still on the loose.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How To Go On A Date, Get Exercise, And Wear Out Your Daughter At The Same Time

Step One:  Go to Wal-Mart and buy a pink tennis racket.


Step Two:  Go to the tennis court and let your child hit the ball around for a while.


Step Three:  Tell your child that it’s time for mommy and daddy to play tennis, and her job is to be the “ball girl”. 

Step Four:  Enjoy playing tennis with your spouse while watching your daughter run to get every stray ball that you miss or over-hit.

Step Five:  Hit a few extra balls out on purpose that she must run far to catch.

Step Six:  Repeat steps four and five over and over and over.

Step Seven:  Take home an exhausted daughter and watch her literally collapse into bed for an early bedtime.

Step Eight:  Enjoy a quiet evening with your spouse.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Milestones


Same song, fourth verse.  For four weeks I’ve stayed at the same weight.  Grrrr.  I’m not quite sure what is going on.  I’m staying within my daily calorie count every day.  I rarely eat out.  I could exercise more, but I’m working out hard 2-3 days per week. 

Someone suggested that maybe my body is trying to hold on to extra weight for the winter.  At first I laughed it off, but now I’m starting to wonder…

Anyway, I’ve still got almost 1/3 of my journey left towards my ultimate goal, so I need to figure something out.  On a positive note, this is the healthiest I’ve been in a long time.  I played tennis with my husband for a long time on Sunday afternoon, and actually gave him a run for his money!  I have a lot more endurance and don’t get worn out as easily as I used to.  My blood pressure has been great.  So I guess I’m doing something right, but I wish the scale would reflect it too!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wedding Blessings

Last night Todd and I attended a special event for a sweet young woman who is getting married in a few weeks.  We’ve known Claire for many years and been good friends with her family.  We’ve watched her grow and mature into a beautiful woman who is eager to marry and start her own family.  This wedding is extra-special because it’s also Grace’s debut as a flower girl!

I’ve never been to an event like last night, and it was the perfect way for people who love Claire to give their blessings on her upcoming marriage.  After a time of fellowship and dessert, we gathered in a group and went around one at a time, giving words of encouragement and advice about marriage.  Claire and Cal got to hear words of wisdom from people who have been married as many as 50 years!  Then we had a brief time of prayer for the couple.

In lieu of gifts, the people who came were asked to write cards and/or letters that Claire and Cal will open and read on their 1st, 10th, and 25th wedding anniversaries.  Isn’t that a neat idea?  Todd and I had fun writing our letters together.

In a world where marriage is often treated as flippantly as buying a new car, it was truly special to see this couple treat their upcoming nuptials with such reverence and maturity.  Marriage isn’t easy, but it can be filled with joy and comfort when it’s built on a solid spiritual foundation.  I wish Claire and Cal many, many years of happiness!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things I Love Thursday – Silicone Baking Mat

TILT I’ve been eyeing these silicone baking mats for a while, and I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago.  I like the idea of having an instant non-stick surface with minimal clean-up and no added fats or cooking sprays. 

I chose to buy the Wilton Easy Flex Silicone Baking Mats.  As a cake decorator, I trust Wilton products, and this did not disappoint.

Easy Flex™ Silicone Baking Mats

I must say that they work perfectly!  Nothing sticks to them!  I’ve used the mats to bake cookies, bake biscuits, roll pastry dough, and roll fondant.  When baking, I love that I don’t have to scrub a huge cookie sheet…I just rinse the baking mat and put the cookie sheet back in the cabinet! 

Although I invested $8.99 per mat, in the long run it will probably save me money because I no longer use cooking spray when baking.  And, it has definitely saved me time and energy!

For more Things I Love Thursday posts, visit The Diaper Diaries.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday Milestones


I’m starting to think I should call this series “Tuesday Trackings” since this is my third time to not post on Monday!  My life has been crazy-busy the past couple of weeks, and I haven’t had much time to focus on my weight loss.  Thankfully, God has helped me sustain without gaining any weight back, but I am still stuck for the moment. 

I did manage three workouts this week, but I did not have the time or energy to cook separate low-cal/low-fat meals for myself.  I should have had extra HMR meals stockpiled for myself, but I finished them off and ran out.  (Another order is on the way!)

Anyway, life is getting back to normal (for now), so my goal is to get back into my routine of eating and exercising regularly. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Remembrance Day

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

From the official website:

In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. "When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, their isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes."

Losing a child, born or un-born, is one of the hardest burdens for a person to bear.  This pain has touched my life as well as the lives of many people that I hold dear. 

Many women (and men) are reluctant to talk about the loss of an unborn child.  They might think intense grief is an over-reaction.  But it’s not.  It’s a real loss…a real life, real hopes, real dreams.  It’s not easy to “get over” and parents should allow themselves to go through the grieving process.

Here are some excellent suggestions of things to do this month to raise awareness and support for parents who lose a child. 

Despite the terrible and painful things that happen in this world, God is still good.  He has blessed me immeasurably in my life, and I look forward to praising His name with ALL my children when I get to Heaven. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Works For Me – Coupon Binder


I’ve been wanting to put together a larger coupon binder for a while now, and I finally took the time to do it!  Up until now, I’ve used the Couponizer

The Couponizer System®

It’s worked fine and been worth the money I paid for it…but I’ve worn it out.  With lots of use it begins to fall apart, especially when you stuff in coupons from three or more Sunday papers every week. 

I decided to put my own notebook together, so I looked around on the internet for pictures of what works for other moms.  Then I got on EBay and ordered 30 plastic baseball card holders for $4.25.  I had planned on buying a Trapper Keeper so I could keep everything zipped up to minimize the coupons falling out, but I couldn’t pass up the cutest binder ever at Target the other day for $4.99.  So, here’s my completed binder!


Inside, the first pocket holds all of my weekly circulars.


The next pocket holds my lists, pens, and other small objects.


Then I place my coupons, divided by category, into the baseball card holders.

012I had enough holders to actually separate most of them by brand within each category.  Now, when I’m in the store, it only takes a second to see if I have a coupon for Bounty dryer sheets, instead of digging through a loose stack of “household cleaning” coupons and watching them fall all over the floor! 

When a friend saw my completed binder, she asked, “Do you carry that to the store every time?”  Yes, I do.  Couponing has saved us a lot of money over the years, and it’s worth the minor inconvenience of remembering to carry it with me!

Happy couponing!

For more Works For Me ideas, visit We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday Milestones


I’ve been dreading writing this post…in case you can’t tell considering it’s Tuesday!  Frankly, I’ve lost my focus the past couple of weeks.  I’ve eaten well (mostly), but I’ve only worked out once or twice a week. 

But as I sit here watching my DVR’d recording of The Biggest Loser, I’m realizing that nobody is going to push me on that treadmill but myself.  Unless you count Jillian’s voice, which I hear shouting in my head sometimes.  So, I’m throwing away all the excuses I used this week in the trash (too busy, too tired, sore toe, sore back, etc.) and getting my groove back on. 

My whole purpose in blogging my journey is for the accountability it provides me.  So feel free to pray, cheer, question, and/or send some encouragement my way…I need the motivation.

Sadly, the ticker is staying put another week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Birthday Cake!

I finished this birthday cake tonight for the sweet girl that I babysit…she’s turning ten!  Grace loves it and wants one just like it for her birthday in December.  Everything is edible except for the ribbon around the middle.  The inside is devil’s food cake with pink buttercream icing.  The hardest thing about making it was keeping Grace from eating all the fondant!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Snow White DVD

I recently learned about this great deal on the newly released Snow White.  You can buy Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + BD Live w/ Blu-ray packaging) [Blu-ray] (1937) on Amazon for only $9.99!  Simply enter the code snowhite at checkout and instantly receive $10 off the already low price of $19.99. 

I ordered it last night and we will be giving it to Grace for her birthday!  She’ll be so excited…when the commercial comes on TV advertising the new release, she looks at me with puppy dog eyes and says, “I don’t have that movie.  Mimi has that movie, but I don’t have that movie.”

I don’t particularly like the ending scene with the dragon.  It’s a little scary for small eyes, but the rest of the movie is beautiful.  I can’t wait to see her open it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Cake

For a while I’ve been wanting to experiment with fondant to expand my cake decorating skills.  I bought some Wilton fondant from the craft store just to play with it and see what it was like…it was disgusting.  I see now why people peel it off their cakes at weddings!

I got on the internet to look around and see what people had to say about improving the taste of store-bought fondant.  I quickly realized that it would be MUCH cheaper and tastier to make it myself!  And it was so easy…done in a matter of minutes. 

So, here’s my practice cake, done in a fall theme. 


I covered each layer with white fondant, then mixed some fall colors in to make acorns and leaves.  The best part?  It’s truly delicious!  People aren’t going to be peeling off THIS fondant!  Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 pound of white mini marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavor
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavor
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar

Grease the inside of a large microwavable bowl with vegetable shortening (Crisco).

Put marshmallows, flavorings, and water into the bowl. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. If marshmallows are completely melted, you’re ready to move on. If not, stir and return them back into the microwave for 30-second intervals – stirring after each – until the marshmallows are completely melted.

Put powdered sugar into large mixing bowl. Fit stand mixer with dough hook. (If not using a stand mixer, use a wooden spoon.) Add liquefied marshmallow mixture to powdered sugar. Process at low speed until well incorporated, then turn speed up slightly and allow dough hook to “knead” mixture until sugar is fully blended into the liquid.

Turn your Fondant out onto your work surface that has been dusted with equal parts of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Make sure your hands are well dusted too. (If fondant is still sticky, knead in some more powdered sugar.) Knead fondant into a loaf. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let cool for at least one hour.

To store fondant, wrap in plastic wrap and then put it in a re-sealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep very well in the refrigerator for weeks.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Milestones


No change this week on the scale.  Nada.  It’s so frustrating considering that I KILLED myself on the treadmill/Shred and ate mostly HMR foods during the week.  I’ll just try to console myself with the possibility that I built more muscle mass…someone DID comment on my calf muscles as I was walking up the stairs to the choir loft yesterday!

I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and see if I get a payoff next Monday!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Jungle Book

Today was our much-anticipated trip to see Casa Manana’s production of The Jungle Book.  We went with our sweet friends from church, the Millsaps, so Grace had a buddy!  Here’s a picture of Grace and Natalie with their respective elephant and tiger ears.


The show was even more special because the part of Kaa (the snake) was played by their children’s choir teacher, Miss Michelle.  During the whole show, Grace kept leaning over and whispering, “When is the snake coming back?  I want to see Miss Michelle!”  We got to take some pictures after the show and meet the cast!


It was a really fun day.  I’m embarrassed to admit that it was our first trip to the Casa Manana children’s theater, but it won’t be our last!  Cinderella is coming in April!