Our 7 Qtpies

February 28, 2010

My newest cake creation

I was asked to make a castle cake for the children's Sunday school Renaissance Festival this week. I know they weren't asking for crazy fancy, but Donnie and I were excited to get to try some things and we had a blast making it.

The detail parts were really fun. Making the doors and windows and even the moat. Making the stones and putting them all over the castle and towers was tedious and monotonous. It was probably my most favorite cake so far.
My friend Jeannie, her daughter Molly, Hope-Anne, and Trinity all helped Donnie and I make all those "rocks" to paste up all over the castle and towers.

February 27, 2010

Ruined forever

My kids have been telling me for years that dipping McDonald's fries into shakes are amazing. The whole sweet and salty thing and all that. My kids, and hubby, are all into chocolate shakes, which I wouldn't touch if you paid me. (unless it was a LOT of money, then I would)

Thursday night Hope-Anne and I were needing a treat after an exhausting evening of grocery shopping, so we stopped by McD's for a shake, and she asked for fries to go with it.

I prefer strawberry shakes, so that is what I ordered, and she ordered her chocolate. To prove that I am right that shakes and fries do not mix I dipped my fries into my strawberry shake.

"What the heck?"
"I don't know. It isn't good, but I have to eat more."
"Haha, I told you so."
"No, really, try it in mine, it isn't good, but you can't NOT eat more."
"Woah!!! What is that?"

It tastes weird, but seriously, I can't imagine eating McDonald's fries without strawberry shake ever again. Fries are forever ruined to me now.

Donnie didn't believe me, so I made him try it, too. He agrees. Very weird, but you gotta eat it.

February 26, 2010

Kiss me, please!

Sam is my baby boy. I love kisses from my babies. Sweet, sloppy kisses are just the bestest! I weed out of the mouth kisses around kindergarten, but I am not ready to lose that with Sam at age 3, and he is cutting me off.

For the last month or so Sam won't kiss me on the mouth. He barely kisses me at all, but if he does, it is on my cheek only. I was just so bummed and would bribe him for kisses. (or manipulate by shutting off the TV until I get my kiss, haha)

Yesterday I asked Sam for a kiss and he wouldn't do it. I asked him "Why won't you kiss mommy?"

"You ipstick." he answered in a disgusted tone.

Awww! A month ago or so I was kissing on Sam and leaving lipstick kisses on him on purpose. Apparently he did not like that.

February 25, 2010

Flying lessons

I'm taking FLYing lessons.
It is not what you think, though. I have joined FLYlady to get a grip on clutter and schedules again. My life has gotten so busy, and with the events of the last year I have just emotionally shut down my care factor for the house cleaning. (and I assure you, the kids could care less about housework)

This week on Flylady was tackling the master bedroom. Much needed, I assure you, lol. So yesterday I went through my closet to declutter, and I was ruthless! I cleaned out almost all of my clothes. I may have left 3 skirts and 5 shirts. I left two dresses because they are nursing dresses and I want to offer one to a friend and maybe ebay the other, or both if my friend doesn't want the other.

I have also been weeding out tons of clothes from everyone this last week. My dryer has been flaky for the last year and I have gotten so far behind on laundry it is beyond ridiculous to the point of sad. I went to the laundromat and spent nearly $70 washing clothes! But the good thing is that 5 LAWN bags of clothes did not come home with me that day! Everything that was stained was trashed, things we didn't wear or were too small were donated on the way home.

I am continuing with that ruthlessness with the laundry as I have tons more to wash. I think we must not ever get rid of any clothes, at least not for the last several years. But that is about to change.

Next step in my war on my house is to get the dishes figured out. I am picking up a dishwasher from freecycle tonight. That helps, but it doesn't get the whole job done. But a start is where I am heading. One baby step at a time.

I think that the fact that I am caring and working toward a solution is a huge indicator that I am coming out of the fog of pain I have been in this year. Praise God! I will be happy to be past this time in the valley of the shadow of death. I am looking forward to weddings, which means new family members! We lost members, and God is giving us more family members. When God takes away, He gives back.

February 24, 2010

Pets are expensive!

Crazy pets. Why do we do this to ourselves? LOL They are almost as bad as kids. Between vet bills, food, "clothing" in the form of collars and leashes, kennels, toys and the crap they destroy, they are nearly as expensive as the kids.
We went and had Cody's dog, Parker, fixed this week, to the tune of over $200. Well worth it, to not have to see a huge, nasty bulge poking out between his legs.

This pic is Parker on the left and Nova on the right by Sam.
Today the cat, who must weight 20lbs at least, stood on the VCR to jump onto the TV. The VCR is a HUGE model with the duel VCR/DVD combo. We are talking 5 inches tall here. It didn't work anymore so we bought a new model, but the new one doesn't plug into our TV or the Satellite dish for some reason that is above my head, so we have to have the new one plugged into the old one, plugged into the satellite dish into the TV. Well, Lexx knocked the old VCR onto the floor and now we can't plug the new one into it, rendering the new one as useless as the old one.

Lexx is a crazy cat. He comes and goes as he pleases. He must be getting food from several families, because I know we don't feed him enough to be as heavy as he is.
He likes to lay on top of us when we sleep. Which isn't too bad when he is being nice, but often he wants to lay across our face or our neck. And heaven forbid the cat is hungry when we are sleeping! He will bite your face to wake you up! We have to warn our house guests.

Stupid pets.

February 23, 2010

Bridesmaid dresses have been ordered!

Today Jannessa's mom found a very inexpensive site to order dresses from. Jannessa picked this dress in a dark purple for the girls to wear. I was a little worried about getting it to fit the girls, but the website custom makes each dress as they are ordered so we are able to put the sizes in for each girl. Plus, the shipping is free! I am a little apprehensive about the site, but I paid with Paypal, so I think I am protected somewhat.
I even found a dress for myself on the website. I am torn between two styles, but I am going to wait to order until another month or two so that I can "try" to lose some more weight. I walk 4 times a week, but I have been so busy that I have not been eating right. Way too much eating out.

February 21, 2010

Always new

It is baffling to me that after 7 kids there are still things I haven't had to deal with yet. How do the kids keep coming up with new things?

Sam is something else. Everything about him is different from the other kids and nothing seems to work for me to get him to cooperate. Not just potty training, either. (though he has been using the potty more often these days) But things like sleeping all night and going to church and Sunday School. He just won't do it.

The first 5 kids were freaked out by the nursery until they were about 2 1/2, then they were fine. I never pushed them, I don't like the cry-it-out method and I knew that one day they would be fine with out me. I am happy to say that my method of letting them know that their parents are there for them worked well to make them secure. Trinity was different. Her siblings were all much older than she is, so she always had a "parent" around to make her feel safe, and it wasn't always me, so she didn't mind the nursery nearly as much as the other kids. I still had to be with her in the toddler years, but it ended quickly enough.

Sam, well he STILL won't let me leave him for most things church related. I can leave him at friends' or grandparents, but not at church. He will go to his Sunday School class fine, but once that is over, he won't stay for the church service or go to the other nursery, and heaven FORBID I try to get him to go to the children's church service!!!! We are talking about a serious meltdown! He can't do the church service with me, which is what I prefer for my kids, because his ears are very sensitive and it causes him serious pain during the worship time. (it hurts my ears, too, so I totally get it)

I finally gave up today. I haven't been to church regularly in 6 years. I am so over that. Today I brought him to his grandpa's house during church. He was happy. Grandpa was happy. I was happy. Next week I am bringing him right after Sunday School so I can get back in time for the sermon.

Now for the sleeping at night thing. I would LOVE to have him in bed by 10PM. That would thrill me to pieces! I can't even imagine him going to be at 8pm. Right now it is after midnight most of the time. He still wakes up screaming in the middle of the night if he goes to sleep before midnight. Occasionally he will fall asleep early and not wake up, but if he does it a few days in a row, the screaming is back. I have NO idea when this will end. Or how to get it to end.

So, there it is. I am at a loss in THREE areas with Sam. I am normally a pretty confident parent and can figure things out. This is humbling.

February 19, 2010

Rant time

I know, welcome to the real world and all that, but something just ticks me off big time.

I have a crappy dryer, it only takes two 70 minute cycles to dry a load of clothes. Donnie told me to go ahead and buy a new dryer yesterday. So I went to Sears and picked up the dryer Donnie and I had been looking at for a few months.

Sears didn't bother to offer their free delivery or pick up of my old dryer. Nice, huh?

Anyway, I was purchasing my dryer and the guy ringing it up stops and says "Do you want to buy an electrical cord or use the cord from your old one?"

Say what??????

"Dryers and stoves don't come with plug ins anymore, you have to buy them separate or use your old one."

Hello, are you kidding me? I don't care that the reason is actually a sort of convenience for the customer, since new regulations call for a 4 prong rather than a 3 prong 220 outlet. I should NOT have to pay another $18 for the cord in order to use my machine. They should include one free of charge, and give a choice if you want 3 or 4 prong. Or just include the 4 and you can switch to a 3 prong if you need to.

How stupid is that?


A friend posted on facebook today that she liked the car wash. I was thinking of telling her she could take my car through if she liked it that much, but then she could also clean out the inside of the car. Or I could just clean my car, it really needs it, but I don't plan on doing the car wash.

About 2 minutes after that thought when through my mind I checked my emails and found my first email from Flylady, which I rejoined today. That email said our "Olympic Challenge" for today is to clean out your car, and if it is a nice day, go through the car wash.


I think I should clean out my car today.

February 18, 2010

Oh, the excuses he'll give

Sam is such a stubborn kid. He just will not potty train on my schedule. Never mind the fact that he was completely trained, even at night, he just won't use the toilet unless he feels like it. No bribing or disciplining will work.

Today I called him my baby, and he said he wasn't a baby, he is a big boy. But I said he wasn't a big boy yet because he still pees in diapers. He said "big boys pee in their underwear."

I asked him about Cody, Cody doesn't pee in his underwear, he uses the toilet, so what is Cody, then? "Cody a monster."

OK, then what about Daddy? He pees in the toilet, he's a big boy, right? "Nope, he the Hulk."

Hmm, what about Devon? He doesn't pee in his underwear. "He Devon."

Sam, would you just give up the Pull Ups already? I know you know how!

February 16, 2010

The T.O.T is on the loose!

Sam is on a roll lately. Terrorizing our house. Just today he tore up the trash can. I made him clean it up and he refused. I finally convinced him not to write checks his butt can't cash, and he started cleaning it up crying pitifully "I not haaaaaapy."

Yesterday Donnie came into the kitchen and found Sam with his back to Donnie. Sam started saying "You go outta dis room. You not come in here, Dad. You go out."
Can you guess what he was up to???
That would be a straw in the syrup bottle.

February 15, 2010

High five me, girl!

Hope-Anne told Trinity to stop sucking on her toe and Trinity asked why she shouldn't suck her toe.
"Because its like licking the floor."
"Have you licked the floor?"
"Have you sucked your toe?"
"Then how do you know what it's like?"

The happy couple~ Engagement pic

We finally got the opportunity to get some engagement pics this weekend because Drew surprised us all by coming home for Valentine's Day. Aren't they just adorable!?!

Cake time

Our church does a fundraiser bakesale for our youth group every year. I make cake, of course. This year Donnie and Hope-Anne got into the act and made cakes, too.
Donnie designed this cake, since the sale was on Super Bowl Sunday. I helped him make it, but he did the design and the decorating.
Hope-Anne and Jannessa made the It's a Girl cake so that our youth pastor would have to buy it. They are having their first girl after 3 boys.

I made my Chocolate Explosion cake. I love this design, but hate chocolate cake and chocolate icing.

February 11, 2010

Good things bring out bad feelings?

I have been feeling a bit depressed the last several months. Between losing the baby, and a great deal of chances to have more, my mother in law being hospitalized for several months and then passing away, and no sun for months, it is understandable that I would be down.

With Drew getting married, plus taking vitamin D3, being past the due date and through the funeral, I have been a bit cheerier. I have enjoyed helping plan the wedding. By helping I mean doing research for inexpensive places to shop, finding local venues to look at, setting up the date at the church, driving the bride places to shop, and helping financially. I have not made any decisions myself.

It has been fun and exhausting!

Wouldn't you know that my enjoyment would bring out the ugly in other people? I didn't expect that. I would post the things we did such as "We found the dress!" or "Wedding planning is good for me, it is curing my insomnia." Most of my friends and family were happy for us, and for me for getting to enjoy my son's wedding plans and getting to know his bride better.

But there were a couple of people who decided that I was "too happy" and "too controlling." I was told I should not have anything to do with planning the wedding. Just hand over the money and let the bride loose. I was told I was controlling the wedding and not letting the bride choose anything. I explained that it was not the case, the bride is doing the choosing, I am doing research and driving, and in fact, if I had not done research, the bride would not have her dream wedding dress, since the style was NOT in her mom's budget, even with me helping.

Those two people would not stop telling me that I was controlling the wedding and that I should plan my own wedding vows since I was too happy with helping Jannessa. Both Drew and Jannessa said that I was not deciding anything and that they were thrilled with my help, but that only fueled their fire.

I have now lost a relationship with my sister, and a long time friend. Over a wedding that neither of them have any business worrying about. The friend isn't even close enough to send an invite to.

I would be willing to let it drop, if they would stop when I asked them to stop, but they "didn't do anything wrong." I was wrong to argue with them. I was wrong to explain myself. They weren't wrong to malign my character publicly on facebook with myself, several friends, family and the bride and groom telling them they were wrong. Then my sister dropped all my family off of her friend list so she could say horrid things about me (her words), and my friend dropped me so she could take part in the maligning.

Fun times, huh?

What is it about happiness that makes other people do ugly things?

I am sad to lose a closeness with my sister. I have worked hard to try to have a close relationship with her. I have never judged her lifestyle or her parenting, while listening to years and years of how I am doing things wrong and constant critisism. I have never said bad things about her, just tried to be a supportive older sister. Breaks my heart.

But I am still happily making wedding plans! Tomorrow the bride and I get to go look at a caterer and his venue, and we are both excited about it!

February 10, 2010

Say what?

Monday night the girls and I went to David's Bridal with Sam and Trinity in tow. Dumb idea, I know, but it was a spur of the moment decision and they had an appointment "open" supposedly. (that's another story altogether)

So the sales woman, in a rare moment of helpfulness, asked if she could Sam and Trinity some "T O Y S." Sam repeated back the spelling, lol. I told her that would be great and she went off to get a bucket of legos.

Kaytlin leans over and says "Mom, what is T O Y S?"

Hello! LOL Toys!

Kaytlin says "Oh, yeah, haha. I thought it was some special KIND of toy or something!"

February 09, 2010

Battle Ready~ a book review

Battle Ready: Prepare to Be Used by God by Steve Farrar
I received an offer to review this book in my email one day, and since I am not a man, I asked my husband if he was interested. He was VERY interested and excited to read it. He is the men's ministry leader at our church and is always looking for great resources for the small groups to use. Things that are very "man's man" versus "sensitive" really excite him.

He immediately was drawn into the book, Battle Ready, and was hooked by it. I know that this book will be in one of his small group studies soon.

Excerpts from Battle Ready by Steve Farrar:


If you want to be used—really picked up and significantly utilized—by the living God, you’re going to have to fight the giants.

If you think that sounds simplistic, you’re right.

It is simple. But it’s also the truth.

Joshua and Caleb were used by God. They didn’t squander or waste their lives. They were used, made a difference, contributed, gave more than they took, and, consequently, their lives are remembered and valued to this day. Why?

Because they were willing to fight the giants.

You probably know the story. Joshua and Caleb were part of a twelve man team sent out by Moses to do some advance reconnaissance work in the land of Canaan. The children of Israel had just left hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt and were headed to the Promised Land, the land of Canaan. In Numbers 13, God told Moses to pick a leader from each of the twelve tribes in order to do special ops in the land.

The twelve men completed the mission and returned to give their report to Moses and the people of Israel. They reported that it was a fabulous land of milk and honey. They even brought a cluster of grapes out with them—a cluster so heavy it took two men to carry it. But then they got down to the nitty-gritty:

However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.

But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” (vv. 28–31)

These ten spies are quaking in their boots. All of these different tribes of -ites have given them the heebie-jeebies. The battle hasn’t even begun, and these guys are already looking for the locker room.

But they weren’t done yet with their cowardly report. The old King James Version does the best job of capturing the trembling in their hearts and the shaking of their voices:

But the men that went up with him said, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.”

And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (vv. 31–33)

Did these ten men go on to be used by God?

Did they ever inspire anyone by their example?

Did they ever lead men into battle?

Were they remembered as men of honor and courage?

Are you kidding me?

The Greatest Giant

Heart attack, loss of job, a wife with cancer, a son in jail, fighting off a foreclosure—those are all legitimate giants. But what is the greatest giant of all? I teach a men’s study in Dallas on Wednesday evenings, and I recently asked that question of the men: “What is the greatest giant of them all?”

When I asked for verbal feedback, it came fast and furious. The answers ricocheted from every corner of the room.


I interrupted the responses and said, “Those are very good answers—very wise answers—but they are all wrong. What else have you got? What is the greatest giant of them all?”

Selfish ambition!
The love of money!
Multiple divorces!
Growing up without a father!
An ex-wife who degrades you before the children!
Failing as a father!
Breaking a trust!

I broke in and said, “I want to commend you for those answers. They aren’t superficial, and they are gut-level honest. And those are all big giants. But once again they’re all wrong. Let me give you the answer. The biggest giant of them all is God.”

And just that quickly, the room of several hundred men grew very quiet. In fact, you could have heard a pin drop as the reality of the answer penetrated the mind of every man in the room.

Every man has fought and is fighting giants. And make no mistake, these giants are huge. Sometimes, however, in the process of grappling with these intimidating, overwhelming giants, we forget the greatest Giant. God is the greatest of all the giants.

Joshua and Caleb knew that, and that’s why they stood up and spoke against the panic of the other ten spies.

Samuel Adams and John Hancock knew it as well, and that’s why they stood and spoke against tyranny in the name of almighty God. God is the trump card of your life. It doesn’t matter what giant you may be facing—booze, porn, guilt, lying, cocaine, failure, invading armies, whatever—God trumps your giant. He will always trump the giants—every single one of them. But we can so quickly forget that He
is there.

After the recent presidential election, some Christians were elated and some were depressed. Many who were depressed expressed great concern over the continuing survival of our democracy. Now that’s a major giant.

Samuel Adams and John Hancock wanted a democratic nation to be born. I don’t know of any serious Christian who doesn’t want it to survive.

So how do you defeat this particular giant? You go to Daniel 2:20–21:

Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.”

The follow-up to God Built, the first in the Bold Man of God series, Battle Ready will prepare men of all ages, at every stage of their spiritual walk, to become men God can use—men who are battle ready!

©2009 Cook Communications Ministries. Battle Ready by Steve Farrar. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

Author Bio: Steve Farrar is the founder and chairman of Men’s Leadership Ministries, an organization dedicated to equipping men for spiritual leadership. He is a frequent speaker at men’s events and conferences across the country and is the best-selling author of God Built and Point Man. Steve and his family reside in the Dallas, Texas area.

I was given this book for review from the B&B Media Group.

Dug Down Deep~ A book review

My family is a Joshua Harris fan, actually fans of the whole family, but we read Joshua Harris' books a lot.
When I saw that he was coming out with a book on theology I was thrilled! I knew that he would approach the subject with enthusiasm and in such a way that it would excite the teenagers in our family.
Dug Down Deep was THE book on my Christmas gift list.

What will you build your life on?

With startling transparency, Joshua Harris shares how we can rediscover the relevance and power of Christian truth. This is book shows a young man who rose quickly to success in the Christian evangelical world before he realized his spirituality lacked a foundation—it rested more on tradition and morality than on an informed knowledge of God.

For the indifferent or spiritually numb, Harris's humorous and engaging reflections on Christian beliefs show that orthodoxy isn't just for scholars—it is for anyone who longs to know the living Jesus Christ. As Harris writes, "I've come to learn that theology matters. It matters not because we want to impress people, but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. Theology matters because if we get it wrong then our whole life will be wrong."

Whether you are just exploring Christianity or you are a veteran believer finding yourself overly familiar and cold-hearted, Dug Down Deep will help you rediscover the timeless truths of Scripture. As Harris challenges you to root your faith and feelings about God in the person, work, and words of Jesus, he answers questions such as:
What is God like and how does he speak to me?
What difference does it make that Jesus was both human and divine?
How does Jesus's death on the cross pay for my sins?
Who is the Holy Spirit and how does he work in my life?

With grace and wisdom, Harris will inspire you to revel in the truth that has captured his own mind and heart. He will ask you to dig deep into a faith so solid you can build your life on it. He will point you to something to believe in again.

Author Bio:
Joshua Harris is senior pastor of Covenant Life in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which belongs to the Sovereign Grace network of local churches. A passionate speaker with a gift for making theological truth easy to understand, Joshua is perhaps best known for his runaway bestseller, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which he wrote at the age of twenty-one. His later books include Boy Meets Girl, Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is), and Stop Dating the Church. The founder of the NEXT conferences for young adults, Joshua is committed to seeing the gospel transferred to a new generation of Christians. He and his wife, Shannon, have three children.

I received a copy of this book for review from WaterBrook Multnomah.

Don't you just love having "one of those days" two days in a row?

Two days in a row my day started out poorly.

On Sunday, I thought things were going great. We had made 3 cakes the day before to contribute to a silent auction fundraiser at church for the youth. They were done, we still got sleep (highly unusual when making cakes), and the kids were up and ready to go early.

I was getting ready to load up kids when I realized that Donnie had the key to my van. The only key, since no one around here can make a copy. I tried calling him, but his cell was at home and no one at church was answering the phone. I got ahold of someone who was on their way to church so they could swing by and get me so I could get the key.

I got home, started loading up the kids, but Cody refused to get up for church and ended up grounded for a week. Brian wouldn't go because "nothing fit" him.

The rest of the day went pretty well, The girls and I went to the Mall of America to try on dresses for fun, but realized that we had driven all the way there and the mall was only open for 2 more hours. I hate that they close at 7 on Sundays. It was still fun and we found some great deals on lotions and undies.

On Mondays I have started a walking group at church and it starts at 8:30. I didn't set an alarm, but Donnie woke me up at 8am. So I'm running a little late, but it's OK. I wake up to that time of the month in my brand new undies and NO feminine products in the house. Great.
Then the gas tank is empty on top of that. So I figured I'd check at the gas station and see if they had either of the two brands of products I am not allergic to. I got my coffee and some water for walking and went to check out. I had left my purse in the van. I had my card, but did I want to pay for $2 with a card or walk out to get cash? Aw, fine, I'll use the card. UGH!!! Forgot the pads!
So then I got to make a production out of getting pads and pay AGAIN with a card. At least they had my brand, lol.
I went out and finished pumping gas and thought my day was going to get better because I was able to get my OCD met by getting the gas at an even $42.00! (I cannot stop at $42.01) So I get to church, unlock the door and broke my thumb nail in half.

But then I drank my coffee and things got better.

Don't you just love days like those?

Chocolate~ It's whats for breakfast!

My kids love chocolate cereals. It is a battle every time I take them with me shopping for cereal. I don't mind once in a while, but I want them to have healthy food, too. Well, healthy without me having to get up and cook for them from scratch.

I was secretly thrilled when I saw Chocolate Cheerios on the shelves at the store. I even picked it up without the kids asking for it. I trust Cheerios brand.

I don't like chocolate flavored foods, so I have not tried this. My kids love it. But more importantly, my husband loves it. He said it isn't too sweet, it is flavored and chocolately, but not sugary or overly sweet.

I like that it has 8 grams of whole grains in every serving. You can also have fun using Chocolate Cheerios in some recipes.

Strawberry-Chocolate Cheerios® Parfaits
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Start to Finish: 15 Minutes
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
4 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Light Fat Free strawberry yogurt
2 cups Chocolate Cheerios® cereal

In 4 parfait glasses or clear drinking glasses, layer half of the strawberries, half of the yogurt and half of the cereal. Repeat layers.

Serve immediately

How would YOU like to have some for breakfast for free?

Cheerios is giving one of my readers a box of Chocolate Cheerios, a beautiful ceramic bowl and a chocolate scented spa kit.

In order to enter, leave a comment about what you do to start your kids', or your, day off with a healthy breakfast. Or a breakfast related comment.

Giveaway ends on February 14, 2010.
Please be sure I have a way of reaching you via your comment.

I was given a Chocolate Cheerios gift pack to review from My Blog Spark and Cheerios in hope that I would blog about it, I was not otherwise compensated for this post.

Couple Time

Spending time together as a couple before we got married was easy for Donnie and I. We loved being with each other and it was THE priority. Even after we got married it was pretty easy to make time for each other, until we started having more and more children. We soon found ourselves overwhelmed with 3 small attention-suckers in our house. They needed so much of our time and energy that there was nothing left for each other.

We realized that in order for the kids to feel safe and secure in their home, they needed mom and dad to be rock solid with each other. So we decided to carve out time for each other no matter what. We figured out our budget and hired a sitter. We payed her a certain amount a month for Thursday night baby sitting.

Sometimes we had a little extra and could do something while we were out, but mostly we were broke. We would just go and share a soda and talk for a couple of hours or go for a walk. We had a couple of hours a week that we were free of kid duty and household responsibilities. The only thing we had to focus on was each other.

You need to be willing to get creative to keep couple time in your life, and sometimes a little variety adds some spice to your marriage! Spice is good.

K-Y Brand has a new website called K-Y Couples Place to find out more information about maintaining a healthy relationships. You can also enter to be selected as “America’s Top Couple.” The contest includes a trip to New York and a photo shoot!

I received some samples from K-Y Brand, and while details are not forth coming, I highly recommend the Yours + Mine product. I was less impressed with the Intense product. I'm way too family friendly to tell you why it wasn't for me, but may work great for you.

Enjoy your Valentine's Day!

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of K-Y Brand and received samples of the Yours + Mine and Intense products. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

February 06, 2010

Wedding plans are going strong

Things are moving along at a great pace and are a lot of fun. (minus the whole $$$ thing, that is a little less fun, lol)

On Monday several of us from both sides of the family went along and did the wedding dress shopping thing. The dream dress style for Jannessa was way out of our budget at the main store we went to, so she couldn't even try on the style she wanted. I had done some searching for $99 wedding dresses in our state and found a warehouse not too far away, so we went to check them out before we committed to a dress. Jannessa found her dream dress right in our budgets! That was a major successful trip! She is so happy and looks so beautiful in her dress. (no pics will be going up until after the big day, Drew does NOT want to get a peek)

ALL the siblings on both sides are in the wedding. They have 8 kids, plus foster kids. We have 7 kids. Add another flower girl. Anyway, there are 6 bridesmaids and 6 grooms men, 2 flower girls (1 not family) and Sam, who should carry the rings, but we know how that will end.

Unfortunately, Joey was told he would be deploying early, so the wedding was moved to the summer, when they really wanted to get married. Later this week he was told he wasn't deploying early and could make it. But we just can't change it AGAIN. So Joey, who is actually not a "legal" sibling, will not be there physically, but we will be including him in the wedding. It remains to be seen if Drew will replace him physically and had another groomsman.

Thursday we went shopping for bridesmaid dresses and placed our order. All except the maid of honor, who is 8 1/2 months pregnant, hers is ordered, but she couldn't try it on. They are not quite the color purple as in this picture, but dark purple is the color.
We ordered Trinity a white dress to match the bride, and the other flower girl is wearing white, too. Trinity's was bought on ebay, along with some cute "glass slippers" to wear. When the dress came she was beside herself with joy! Sam said "Whewe mine?" and Donnie explained that we would be buying him a suit soon. He got mad and pouted. Then the shoes came the next day. He wanted to wear them and I told him they are girl shoes. As soon as we weren't looking, he tried them on and came marching over to us "I not weally a giwl, I not weally a giwl." lol It was too cute! I think it is time to get him something.
Jannessa has been looking through cakes with me, since I will be making the cake. She wants a square cake, and a fountain somewhere in the layers of cake. Right now she is looking at a fondant cake with black ribbon and purple flowers, a fountain on the large bottom layer with two layers on top. This is a pic of the basic stlye she wants.
We have done lots of research on local venues and caterers. I think Jannessa has decided on a place, now we have to decide caterer or have family and friends make it. Over all, things are moving along, and we are enjoying the ride!

February 03, 2010


I have been going nuts this year with homeschool. I did not think Trinity was ready.
We were learning about the pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving the week of Thanksgiving and she could NOT remember a bit of the story from reading it to her to answering questions about it. Every day we repeated the lesson, and she wouldn't have a clue who the Pilgrims were. Not a clue. I wanted to pull my hair out!

Today we were going over some phonics and she had to fill in the middle vowel, with only the choice of a,e, or i. So I pointed to a picture of a hill, and she didn't know what it was so she looked at the word under it and read "hill." Without the "i" in the word, lol. We went through the whole page, covering the pictures and seeing if she could read them, without the middle vowel, and she DID!

So, out came the reading books and she read and read and read to us.

Way to go, Trinity!