Sunday, October 27, 2013

Simple Things Sunday

Boys and baseball just go together.

We are not a sports watching family (on TV at any rate). We like to play them and have done our part out on the soccer and softball fields, but sitting and watching it on TV rarely holds any appeal for us. However, the World Series is where we break that rule. We are cheering on the Cardinals (although we are most impressed with the Boston Red Sox team) and are enjoying cheering them on in the evenings.

Simple traditions like watching a World Series baseball game together (complete with popcorn or maybe a bowl of ice cream) are often the sweetest.

Linking up with Rebecca.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Project Life :: September 30–October 6

Birthday week! And the start of the world’s busiest fall break. : )


Up above, on the left:
  • snaps of the boy. What a ham. (Button from one of my Studio Calico kits and digi paper from Paislee Press)
  • N1 presenting her paper in her Essentials class.
  • B & I playing with self-portraits in black and white
  • of note: I think most of the cards on the left are from random and assorted Studio Calico kits.
On the right – this whole side is devoted to the 10-year old. Her birthday was Thursday which involved the birthday girl’s choice of breakfast at Panera, going shooting with Daddy and lots of time in the kitchen whipping up birthday treats. The bottom right photo is from her birthday party which we had at the nearby bowling alley. This was our first out of the house / someone else take care of a lot of the details birthday party and I can’t say enough good things about a bowling party (at least at the place we used). It fit our budget, the kids had a ball, and they actually stood around and visited with each other which is my main complaint at birthday places where everyone runs off in a hundred different directions and you never even see the birthday person. Two thumbs up. The cards on this side are from one of the PL theme kits – Celebrate – which I spotted at Hobby Lobby and bought as a total impulse purchase. : )



(I was not having good luck taking great pictures today). More party shots on the back + cards from the Celebrate kit on the left.


On the right above are a few photos from the rest of the week:
  • I served in the boy’s class at Bible study this week so a couple pictures from that.
  • and the rest of the photos are all from Sunday when we had a family lunch celebrating all the October birthdays. N1, our nephew, and the boy are all within a four day window.

These next few pics are actually from the following week, but it continues on the birthday theme so I’m rolling with it. This is all about the boy and his day. His big request was the zoo with his cousin so we made it happen. The new kangaroo exhibit had just opened so that was a huge highlight!


More cards from the Celebrate kit.



Also getting my money’s worth out of some Paislee Press digi templates I bought quite a while ago. They are great when you have lots of pictures you want to use but don’t want to add in tons of inserts.


In other news, I knuckled down this week and finally finished the first half of 2013:


It’s not overly stuffed – this goes through the first week of July. I could have probably added more, but it stops after our family trip to Ohio which was a natural place for a break between books. Noticeably absent is T and N2’s trip to Guatemala from this summer, but I’m planning on making a PL mini album with those pictures, hopefully sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it feels good to be less behind that I was before. : )

Project Life is a product and a system created by Becky Higgins and available on,, and many major craft retailers. It can be anything you want it to be. You can view all my posts about Project Life here. I'm always happy to answer questions about how Project Life works for me, if you have any. Affiliate links used where available.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Reminders in the Midst of Disappointment : A Jelly Telly Post

Last week was not my favorite.

I was easily frustrated.

I said unkind things.

I couldn’t say yes in a couple of situations and worried what others thought.

I got my feelings hurt.

I was tired.

I was anxious.

I was stretched.


Head over to Jelly Telly to read the rest of the post.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crockpot Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tuesday is co-op day which means it’s also crockpot day. Today’s chilly weather (and what I had to work with in my pantry) called for soup so I scrounged in my recipes files and found one, but I tweaked it a bit based on what I had on hand. This is what I ended up with.

Crockpot Tuesday : chicken tortilla soup for the win. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup  

•1 medium onion, diced
•1 jalapeno, diced (would have been nice but I didn’t have one)
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
•1/2 teaspoon chili powder
•1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional – I left out)
•1 (15 ounce can) fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used a can of rotel with lime)
•4 cups chicken broth (I actually used beef broth because I was out of chicken, but it tasted just fine!)
•1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans (or whatever kind you like)
•1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons kosher salt
•3 cups shredded chicken, already cooked (I dumped it in rock hard from the freezer)
•1 cup frozen corn kernels

Dump it all the crockpot on low and let it cook through all day. I love this kind of a recipe because you can tweak and fuss with it and it is practically impossible to mess up. Don’t like the spice of Rotel? Use a can of diced tomatoes. Have a family member that doesn’t like tomato pieces in their soup? Use crushed tomatoes or leave it out entirely. Swap out a can of colored mexi-corn instead of the frozen. So easy to just use what you have a come up with a tasty soup. We served ours with a little cheese sprinkled on top and some tortilla chips for dipping.

As an aside: just to keep it real, I only had one child that tried the soup. It had a slight kick to it from the Rotel and I knew some wouldn’t eat it so they mostly ate quesadillas. Fine by me … more leftovers. : ) This kind of soup is great leftover – as soup (you can add a tiny bit of water to it if it isn’t as soupy when it’s time to reheat it. And, if you lost most of the liquid by the time it’s cooked down scoop it over chips for easy nachos or dump it on a bed of lettuce for a quick chicken taco salad. I’m already looking forward to lunch tomorrow.

Happy eating. : )

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Simple Things Sunday

Love these guys.

Even when it’s a very very very full Saturday and you are going in a bunch of different directions, just being doing it all together is the sweetest.

Linking up with Rebecca.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Simple Things Sunday

Space. The final frontier.

A Friday field trip to the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center. A day of fun and learning and capped off with dinner with a good friend.

Simple (yet busy!) days are sometimes the sweetest.

Linking up with Rebecca.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Around Here

Celebrating 10 and 3.

10bThree. THREE!!

Eating. (The birthday food must. stop. now.)
FYI: Joy’s Hope chicken pot pie; Marta Writes tollhouse pie; Pioneer Woman Halloween Bark. All fab. The wonky cake with not enough icing is all me.

Serious day in the kitchen yesterday. (Ran out of icing for the top right photo. The cake doesn't look like that now. :))

Zoo-ing. (Camera manned by my niece – awesome kangaroo shot.)





Not a backwards letter in the bunch. (This is a Big Deal). :)


"The Creator does not make anything superfluous or defective." - Leonardo da Vinci

I have hopes of pecking out thoughts in this space soon. I’ve missed the memories that I capture here and the notes I make about school and events and books we read. Not sure how all that will fit in with an already busy schedule, but it’s back on the to-do list, hopefully more often than not and even if it’s just for me and for the kids to read down the road.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Jelly Telly Post :: My Autumn Manifesto

Working on my Autumn Manifesto (thanks to inspiration from @aimeek73) and hoping to turn this into a blog for Jelly Telly next week. Have I mentioned I love autumn lately? Because I really, really do.

My latest post for the Jelly Telly blog actually went live last week, but I’m finally getting around to linking up here. : )

You can read more (if you are so interested!) about my thoughts and family plans for our Autumn Manifesto here. A snippet:

This is just part of my list, and it doesn’t even scratch the things that I have thought about for Thanksgiving. But sometimes I need a gentle reminder to slow down and just be with my family. These items that I I’ve listed aren’t fancy – and most won’t even cost much money – but it’s the time together making memories that will be remembered. Slow down and savor this season.

As always, though I head into each month wondering what in the world I will write about, I have been so honored to be able to share on this blog with these other parents. It has been a gift.

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