Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't you love my blog???

Well, the way my blog LOOKS, anyway.

I do, each and every time I open up my home page.

I am so happy that I won a makeover a few months ago! Traci was awesome to work with and held my hand along the way. She had great ideas and constantly told me my girls are cute. Who wouldn't want to hear that all the time.

I know you think my blog design is cute and you want one of your own!

You have a chance! Go to Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls and enter for a chance to win.

Oh, I hope you do! Your life won't be the same.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's on your shelf?

I love to read...LOVE IT!

I always have, as far back as I can remember, I have loved to read. When I would get in trouble, sometimes my punishment was to have certain books taken away.

Mom, I question that punishment now...

I have read so many good books over the years that I cannot keep track of them all. I should probably start making a list.

I need some advice on books to read. The summer is quickly creeping up (YEA!!!) and I should have a little more time to feed my passion.

What are some of your favorites?

But, before I get a list of books I have already read, let me tell you what has been on my shelf in the past:

  • EVERY SINGLE book by Karen Kingsbury-including the newest one "Take One"
  • EVERY SINGLE book by Francine her!
  • Just about every book written by Jodi Picoult-I'm having to take a break from her right now
  • Same Kind of Different as Me
  • Twilight-not crazy about the first book, so I didn't read any of the others
  • began The Shack

We go to the library once a week, but I don't get a whole lot of "Dallas" time while we are there. I am usually plucking Elyn from the top of bookshelves and doing the story time craft with Nora.

So, if I had a list with me before we went, my life would be so much easier! I know several of you are big readers and have some fabulous recommendations.

I can't wait to start my summer reading list!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

93 years

Jack Rives Henderson
February 1, 1916-April 24, 2009

Matthew's Papa passed away last Friday. I cannot begin to express the sadness that has overcome us since we heard the news. Matthew and his Papa have always been so close, best friends really.

With the sadness though, comes great rejoicing. I would be hard pressed to think of a better man. His entire life was devoted to God and his family. He loved both with his whole heart. We know he is relaxing, in a recliner, in heaven right now trying to find some oatmeal cookies that are cooked to his liking.

We have spent the past few days, in Searcy, surrounded by family and loving on Matthew's Grandma. Papa and Grandma were married 68 years. I hope that my marriage is as God-centered and loving as theirs was.
When I say we were with family...we were with FAMILY! Papa and Grandma had 4 sons:
Dr. John Henderson, Dr. Tom Henderson, Dr. Jim Henderson and Dr. David Henderson (impressive, huh).

Those sons each has pretty big families:
Uncle John had 3 kids: Allen, Greg, and Laura. Uncle Tom had 4 kids: Joel, Ben, Mary and Dan. Matthew's dad had 4 kids: Beth, Matthew, Julia and Aaron. Uncle David had 4 kids: Hannah, Andrew, Rachel and Sam (who was unable to be there). That's 15 grandkids if you were counting.

Those grandkids have done a pretty good job of keeping the Earth populated too. Here are 19 of the 23 great-grandkids.
Here they all are...minus their incredible spouses.
The day was a celebration of Papa. So many stories were told, tears were shed, laughter was heard, songs were sung, and everyone held on a little tighter to each other than usual. Each one of the sons spoke at the funeral and it was beautiful.

We went back to lunch before heading out to the gravesite. It was a special time for everyone. It is such a blessing to be apart of the Henderson family. I am so thankful that I knew Papa and was loved by him. I am equally thankful that I am married to a man that is so much like Papa that he often gets made fun because of it. But, I can't think of a better compliment for Matthew than for someone to tell him he is like his Papa.

We love you Papa and miss you.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Our little superstar

Nora had her first school program yesterday. She attends a Mother's Day Out program once a week and has been practicing for a while now.

You would have thought, how excited the adults in her life were, that this was American Idol.
Here she is, so excited. Notice the purse. She insisted on carrying it with her that morning, she wanted to show her teachers.
Here she is, walking in, with the purse...sigh.

That's our little "Sophia" from the Golden Girls.

A surprisingly SHY "Sophia". We certainly didn't expect her to be as shy as she was.

Her little cute are they?

Not everyone was excited about the performance (hahahahaha).

Their first song was "Itsy Bitsy Spider". I hope the mom of the kid in the yellow shirt got GREAT pictures, because the mom of the kid in the white shirt, behind him, didn't.

Their second song involved these little drum things. It was a lame song and no one sang a single word, just beat the drums. Oh well, the kids still looked cute.

My mom and sister drove all the way from Fort Worth to watch Nora perform for 2 minutes. But they said it was worth it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I HATE the doctor-by Elyn

I took Elyn to the doctor today for her 18 month old well baby check-up.

As soon as the nurse looked at her she started crying. And held onto me with a death grip.

I think she was a little annoyed at her sister who happily told everyone that would listen to her that Elyn had to get a shot.

Here she is, getting weighed (23 pounds 1.4 ounces-28th percentile). She's like every girl and hates the scale.
Come on, stop the torture!

We went back to the room to begin the "how long is it going to take the doctor to come and see us" game. And she hated the table.
She was a little fascinated by the paper though.
And by her sister who was behind me making silly faces at her (I think Nora has seen her daddy do that a time or two).
Nora ALMOST got a smile out of her.
Nora wanted to sit by Elyn on the can see how Elyn felt about that.
Hey, Elyn, did you see this fun paper? Look, it makes noise.
Finally, happy. Thanks to her big sister and the paper on the table.
Elyn's stats:
Weight-already shown
Length-32 1/2 inches (69th percentile)
Head-46 cm (32nd percentile)
She looks great, moves great, throws great fits. A perfect 18 month old.
However, she has another ear infection. Ugh! This her 5th since January and she just finished her antibiotic for her last one less than a week ago.
We are going back to the doctor in 3 weeks to re-check her ears. If they still show some sign of infection, we will make an appointment with an ENT.
My prayer for the next 3 weeks is that her ears clear up and she will not have to have tubes.
The thing about Elyn and ear infections is that they do not affect her sleeping, her personality, her mood. She is pretty much the same with or without ear infections. The only clue that we have when she has one is that her nose is very snotty and she pulls on her ears.
I absolutely want what is best for her and if tubes is that, then so be it. But, I just hope (and pray) we won't have to go down that road.
Because you can see how much she like doctors and how pleasant it is taking her to the office.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here is it, with some links to some recipes.

I worked on this for a while last night and was a little overwhelmed with my grocery list once I was done. At the end of a menu, our cabinets are seriously bare and I have a lot of stocking up to do.

I am following and doing her Menu Plan Monday for the first time.

Monday (20th)-Chicken cutlets with peas and smashed potatoes (carry over from last menu)-recipe at the end of post

Tuesday (21st)-
Goulash, green beans

Wednesday (22nd)-out to eat-family coming to town

Thursday (23rd)-brunch:
French Toast Casserole, fruit and yogurt; dinner: chicken/broccoli bow tie pasta

Friday (24th)-sloppy joe's, tator tots, apple slices

Saturday (25th)-leftovers; out for dinner

Sunday (26th)-lunch: sandwiches; dinner: Home Bible Study at Sharp's

Monday (27th)-meatball subs, chips (carry over from last menu)

Tuesday (28th)-
chicken cordon bleu casserole; peas/mushrooms

Wednesday (29th)-pesto chicken and veggies with rice

Thursday (30th)-
Italian Sausage and Rigatoni casserole, kernal corn

Friday (1st)-leftovers

Saturday (2nd)-
40 clove garlic chicken, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, rolls

Sunday (3rd)-lunch: sandwiches, leftovers, quesedillias; dinner: cookout at Balentine's-bringing dessert

Chicken cutlets with Smashed potatoes and peas (Real Simple)
1 pound small new potatoes (about 10)
salt and pepper
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
2 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 small chicken cutlets (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes, adding the peas in the last 2 minutes; drain. Gently mash with the scallions, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat with the flour, shaking of the excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook half the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to plates. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken. Serve with potatoes.

Chicken Broccoli Bowtie Pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
12 ounces skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces farfalle pasta
12 ounces frozen broccoli
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese

Add olive oil to a large warmed skillet. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Reduce heat to low and brown slowly. Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta and small pot of water for chicken. Add chicken, cut up in small strips. Boil for 4 minutes. Check for doneness and set aside. Boil pasta for 5 minutes. Add broccoli to pasta and cook another five minutes. Add chicken to onion and garlic. Drain pasta (pasta should be al dente). Add onion/chicken to pasta/broccoli. Stir in butter and shredded cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with grated cheese.

Friday, April 17, 2009

a first *UPDATED*

nora is having her first sleepover tonight...and tomorrow night.

she is so excited!

oh, i hope they sleep!

Update: They are sleeping great!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guess what is coming in June?


And I am so excited...

break out the kleenex!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Easter

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Real Simple", real yummy recipes

Oh, Real Simple magazine. How I love you! You have been a true friend to me over the years. I credit Amy Williams for introducing you to me. My life is better for having you in my home, Real Simple!

A few days ago, I posted my menu for several days. Most of the meals in my menu came from May 2009 edition of Real Simple (not the magazine cover shown here).

For those of you not fortunate enough to go to your mailbox each month and find the gift of Real Simple inside, I thought I would share a few of those recipes with you.

Ravioli with Spinach and Bacon

*1 pound ravioli (fresh or frozen)
*6 slices bacon
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*2 cloves garlic, sliced (I used the jarred minced kind)
*2 bunches fresh spinach, thick stems removed (about 8 cups) (I used the bagged spinach found next to the bagged lettuce in the produce section)
*kosher salt and black pepper
*1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Drain and divide among bowls.

2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble

3. Wipe out the skillet and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the spinach, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Stir the bacon and lemon juice into the spinach. Spoon the mixture over the ravioli.

I made this Saturday (messed up the menu some, if you are following along). And it was a hit! Both girls loved it and Matthew and I couldn't get enough. AND it took less than 20 minutes!

Zesty Chicken Enchiladas

(Tomatillos resemble small green tomatoes with papery outer skins and a delicious tart flavor. Can't find them? Try a shortcut version of the sauce by mixing a 16-ounce jar of mild green salsa with 1 cup cream-this is what I did.)

*1 tablespoon canola oil
*1 pound tomatillos, chopped
*1 onion (preferably white), chopped
*1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
*2 cloves garlic, chopped
*3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
*kosher salt and black pepper
*1 cup heavy cream
*1 2-to 2 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
*1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
*1 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (5 ounces)
*8 6-inch corn tortillas

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillos, onion, poblano, garlic, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, add the cream, and puree. (I skipped this entire step because I used the jar of mild green salsa with a cup of cream.)

2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, tomatoes, 1 cup of the cheese, 1/2 cup of the tomatilla sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

3. Warm the tortillas according to the package directions. Spread 1 cup of the remaining sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Roll the chicken mixture in the tortillas and place them in the dish, seam-side down.

4. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake until beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Another hit! We all four loved it!

Happy cooking and if you are lucky enough to subscribe, happy reading!

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