this girl

this sweet little girl is up and walking.  i love this little one, so much.  she is my baby.  i never understood the whole "this is my baby" thing until she came into our lives.  now that i know we are not having any more little ones, not going to do the baby stage again, i feel that i understand that whole my baby mentality.

so, here we are at just two days shy of 15 months and she is up and moving.  at first it was six steps in our bedroom this morning.  i was so excited to see this that i yelled to the others and everyone came running into our bedroom, my husband with shaving cream still on his face.  then it was seven steps toward daddy.  we went to grandmas house for dinner and she was walking all over the place, every time with a huge smile on her adorable little face.

and there we have it, another milestone and first for Averie, and another last for us as parents. 

how very bittersweet it is.


my girl, she's a smart one {& rlw}

while on a walk today, our sweet Laine was "reading" a book.  she thought it was a bible, since when we do read it it talks about God, but it happened to be a kids Veggie Tales devotional book that we've had for some time, and boy does it look like we've had it for years!  anyways, as i'm enjoying the downhill part of the walk I hear Laine reading as she's riding along in the stroller.

"it's good to love your children, and Jesus, and God."

yep, she's a smart one.  kids keep things simple, at least at her age.  what a wonderful reminder that one was for me today.  the only other thing i'd add to her list is my husband.  and by loving those listed you will love others as well. 

now, on to real life wednesday...

finally getting back into the routine of walking again.  i started this about 3-4 weeks ago, trying to walk three to four times a week.  well, that went really well on week one and two, then came week 3 and four...stomach flu for two kids, plus going away for a couple days to be with my family for some family business, on top of other things i'm sure.  so, i did walk number two today.  we drove to a hilly park not far from where we live.  the sun is shining here today and it's about 82 degrees outside.  needless to say, it was so nice to get outside and walk, talk to the girls, and just plain get out of the house!

i guess that's not too much of a rlw post...but there you have it, just keepin' it real around here, that's simple all i've got today!


Happy Easter 2013!

we had a simple day of church, naps, an Easter egg hunt, and my husband smoked some meat on his smoker for dinner.  it was an enjoyable day.  i hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter!


over here {real life wednesday}

it has been three weeks since i posted last.  time really does fly by it seems!  i'm not quite sure what has been happening here in our neck of the woods for the past three weeks, but i'll try to catch y'all up...

it feels like my life right now revolves around baseball for out oldest son.  in reality, it's only three times a week...but place that on top of an already busy schedule and it feels at times like it's just too much for one person to do.  the Mr. tries to make it to part of one game during the week, and of course he is there on Saturday though...so it's not all me, all of the time, thankfully!  as far as baseball goes, The Tigers are doing well.  they have made much improvement since the season started.  they are also really enjoying it, and that really is all that matters, especially at this age. 

two weeks ago Jason came down with ear infections, again.  we have an appointment next month for a consultation with a specialist to talk about tubes for his ears.  it seems that his Eustachian tubes just aren't draining properly.  this is ear infection round three in less than two months.  this last one was painful, which they are not always.  i am open to hearing from the specialist about tubes as i feel like that might be really helpful at this point.

that weekend my mom took all four kiddos for the night, so we went out on a date.  this was the first time that Little A spent the night anywhere away from us.  i will admit that i was nervous for her, so funny because i really am not that type of mom most of the time.  she did great and only cried for a few minutes when it was her bedtime...awesome!  the Mr. and i went out for barbecue and wouldn't you know we were so wild and crazy that night that we were in bed before 10pm...woo-hoo!

last week i was flying solo as my husband had to go to Washington DC for work.  he was only gone for four days, but those were long days.  we were all so happy to have him back home!  he kept taking pictures of himself at monuments and restaurants during the week and sending them our way.  it was really fun to follow what he was doing and to actually see the places as well.  here is a picture of him in front of the Washington Monument.

it was nice to get back to our normal crazy family life when he returned, so thankful for that!

Sunday was a beautiful, warm day here.  we were chatting with some friends after church on Sunday when my husband took this adorable picture of our girls.  i just have to add it to this post.

so, that brings us to today.  Jason has had the stomach flu since Monday night and it doesn't seem like he is getting any better.  well, maybe a tiny bit, but really not that much...poor guy.  he doesn't even want to stand or walk around the house because his stomach feels so bad.  on a happier note, i am making a new recipe for dinner tonight.  yay, i love trying new recipes!  this looked so good when i got everything into the crock pot that i had to snap a picture.  so here you go.  i will add a link to the recipe as well.

Chicken Enchilada Slow Cooker Soup

(my attempt at a Pioneer Woman-ish type of food photo)

okay, that's it.  happy real life wednesday to ya!


real life wednesday

a pretty routine day in the household, but here are some highlights...

"stop shooting your sister with the comb" came out of my mouth this morning while trying to keep the herd on track to get out the door on time...we ended up being a little later than i like, but we made it to school in time.

the 13 month old finds dried food on the kitchen floor like none other, really she does.  i have a feeling she is going to love crunchy food and beef jerky.  i had just cleaned the floor, but still managed to swipe out her mouth too many times to count.

tried having a short conversation with a friend at the boys school today, when the recently potty-trained child tells me she needs to go potty.  i tell her to hold it and we'll get going in a minute.  then she tells me she already went.  oh well.  i guess i could have stayed and talked longer, but we left anyways.

found it pretty cute when i went to open the door to the girls room to lay the 13 month old back down for naptime because she was definitely standing up and trying to get her older sister to play with her, when she saw me and dove down into her crib with a smile on her face.  she obviously knew it was naptime and not playtime.

i'm sure there are more, but none are coming to mind.  i do love these four things that just remind me of the stage i am in right now, and give me four more reasons to love it all the more.

i'm not good with titles, so i will just write

do you ever feel like you put yourself out there, only to be rejected or ignored? 

i've been dealing with these types of feeling for quite some time now in different areas of my life, and let me tell you, it doesn't always feel good.  i mean, who likes to be rejected or feel like they are being ignored.  in times like these i must remind myself that Jesus walked on this earth and went through the same thing, only his rejection and hurt was much more than i will ever know.  i'm praying that the Lord will use these hurts to help someone else somewhere down the road.

on another note, a dear lady and friend of mine gave me a very nice complement this past sunday at church.  i look up to and admire this woman, so to hear something like that from her was so nice and refreshing.  it was just what i needed to hear.  my husband complements me often and always has something nice to say to me, but to hear something nice from someone else just feels good.  her compliment was nice to hear because it also gave me a bit of reassurance about something, about an area where i don't feel that confident in myself.  to this dear friend, thank you.

i have been reminded these past weeks to pray for those around me.  it seems that there is a lot going on with family and friends, which is helping me to focus on others and to lift them up prayer.  whether it is illness, a time of trial, or just a time of unknown for my friends and family, i am grateful to be able to come alongside them in these journeys.


real life wednesday {ramblings}

real life is taking place here today, as always.

baby girl is taking her morning nap.
clothes are being washed and dried.
dishes are piled up in the sink from breakfast.
Laine and her dolls are having a sleepover in the living room.
lunch will be made soon.
groceries need to be purchased.
my mind is reeling with thoughts, things that i wish were different, changes that i'd like to make happen.

that last item on the list, it seems lately that that is a common theme, one that i cannot shake.  don't get me wrong, i am thankful for this place that i am in, for this stage of my life, for this stage of life that we are in as a family.  but, i can't seem to shake a few things that play over and over again in my head. 

there are certain things that i would like to change about myself, habits that i'd like to change, new habits that i'd like to form.  often times i want to do something, know that whatever it may be is a good thing, but fail to follow through with it.  i often get into this funk and think that i can't really start anything new because i'm just not able to at this time and this stage of life.  i have other excuses that sound good to me as well, but really, they are probably just excuses.  i often don't feel that i have the freedom to do certain things for myself right now, go certain places, get into a new routine, or even fit anything new into our routine.  i have four children to care for every day (a huge blessing!), but that often leaves me feeling like there simply isn't any time for me.  between waking up, trying to do something with myself before all four children wake up, getting the kids up, preparing breakfast, getting everyone dressed and out the door by 7:45, running errands, morning nap for the youngest, laundry, lunch, cleaning, picking up the boys from school, assisting with homework for the boys, trying to help son #2 learn to read, taking everyone to baseball practice, running home to get dinner made and on the table, washing dishes, helping kids get ready for bed, and the list goes on and on...

i am not trying to complain, but to explain how i feel like there really isn't any room for anything else.  do any of you mommas feel the same?  by the time the children are in bed at night i'm exhausted and don't feel like doing much, and frankly the day is pretty much over, so what am i going to do anyway?

how in the world can i start something new and fit it into my daily life?  sure, i can wake up at 4 in the morning to workout, i guess i really could, but i guess i just don't really want to.  maybe that's when people do those sorts of things.  or sure, i'd like to have an afternoon of doing something else, something different, something not in my normal routine.  sure, i'd love to go to the doctors office with just one child, the one who is seeing the doctor so i can actually focus on what is going on there and what the doctor is saying. 

clearly i am living up to the title of this blog and just plain rambling.  i don't often don't say these things aloud, so maybe i just wanted to get that off my chest.  i also know that i am not the only momma out there who feels like this, who thinks like this.  i also know that someday when i have the freedom to do all of these other things i am going to miss these days of not really being able to these other things.  you know what i mean?


what's going on here

it has been a while since i posted last, so let me update y'all on what's been going on around here...

my last post was filled with meals that i made from Pinterest.  well, i'm keeping up with making more Pinterest found meals.  i'm going to share just one with you today.  this is an extremely easy and oh-so-good recipe that my kids really like and my husband loved.  it also helps that it's served over white rice, which is a comfort food for my husband who grew up on rice.  so yes, i will be making this one again.  and it might just find itself being made quite often right now because our oldest, Tanner is playing baseball this season.  if you aren't into baseball at your house, it means three times a week that we are out of the house for baseball, two of which we get home right at dinner time.  so, my crock pot has been going quite a lot lately.  i'm so very thankful for that thing, really i am!  if you don't have one, please go get one, they are a lifesaver sometimes, really they are!

here is what i made: Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli Over Rice.  let me just say that i know the photo that goes along with this recipe isn't all that appealing, but i promise the recipe is a good one!

as i mentioned above, Tanner is playing baseball.  this sport really keeps me busy during the week, but our son loves it and we are so happy to see him enjoying something that he loves.  i will definitely post pictures after the season starts!

over the weekend my wonderful husband took the older three kids on a one-night camping trip to the high desert with a few friends.  can i just say that he is the best?!  the kids loved it.  dirt, rocks...what could be better?!  while they were gone i had my "kick-off" party here at my house for the new little hobby that i am doing.  if you don't know what i am talking about and you are interested in finding out, please ask!  a few dear friends and my mom showed up, i am so thankful for them!

and then here we are and it's already thursday!  i missed real life wednesday, again...such is life i guess, sorry about that!  one real life moment from today though...i made a second pot of coffee today, sometimes you just need to!

one more thing that i would like to share is a link to a blog that i really do enjoy following, finding joy.  today's post is a good one to read as a parent, not just to try and instill these things in my children, but really for myself as well.  if you read it i hope that it is a blessing to you!

i will end with a picture of my beautiful daughter that i took this morning.  oh how i am blessed to be here momma!


not just pinned...

actually made!

I've been on Pinterest for a while now, but have recently started pinning more frequently.  I find that I pin a lot of food recipes, both meals and desserts.  Well, this past week I decided to actually make some of the recipes that I pinned.

Here are links to the ones that I made:


Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce:
I made this one for my moms birthday dinner.  Everyone liked the recipe, even the kids.  This is definitely a more filling type of enchilada, the sauce is very creamy.  A nice twist to traditional enchiladas.

Spaghettini with Spinach, Garlic and Lemon:
This was my favorite recipe out of the new dinner ones that I made.  My husband liked it a lot as well.  I served it with some baked chicken tenders and a salad.  This would be great in the summertime with barbecued chicken!  I will definitely be making this one again.

Crock Pot Chicken Terriyaki:
There wasn't really a link for this recipe, it was really easy and just right there under the picture on Pinterest.  I actually used cubed pork loin for this.  It turned out okay.  Sometimes I don't like what my crock pot does to sauces, it really thins them out.  So before I served this one I took all the sauce and put it in a sauce pan, warmed it up and added cornstarch to thicken it up.  I'm not sure if I will make this one again.
Recipe: 1lb chicken (sliced, cubed or however), 1c chicken broth, 1/2c terriyaki or soy sauce, 1/3c brown sugar, 3minced garlic cloves

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese:
This is definitely a kid-friendly meal!  The whole family liked this one.  And it was super easy to make.


Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
This recipe looked great online.  It didn't live up to my expectations, but a part of that might be because I just made plain frosting.  I might try it again sometime with the frosting that it calls for.  The baby loved this one though!  And it doesn't hurt that it has carrots and zucchini in it!

These next three recipes I made for Averie's birthday party.

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream:
These cupcakes turned out extremely moist, so moist that my husband actually thought they were undercooked until I told him that there were fresh strawberries mixed into the batter.  I just made a plain buttercream frosting for these, but I am sure that if you made them with the Strawberry Buttercream they would be even better.  I would definitely recommend them!  I also had one of my cousins ask me for the recipe after the party.

Raspberry Lemon Bars:
The picture for this recipe looks just plain amazing!  These little bars did not disappoint!  I would recommend them to anyone who loves raspberries and a little tartness.  These would be great for a summer get-together!

Caramel Pretzel Brownies:
Like so many of the others, the picture made these looks amazing.  Well, I didn't end up making them from scratch and used a box of brownie mix instead to help save some time.  That might have been my mistake.  They did not at all live up to my expectations, but I would definitely try to make them again and follow the recipe!

If you are like me, you can search on Pinterest or online and see so many recipes that look great, but you just never know if they really are great.  I hope that this post gives you a few new meal or dessert ideas!  And if have a recipe that you just love, please share!


real life wednesday

here we are, another wednesday is upon us.  well, actually it's almost done with here in this corner of the world.

here are my real life wednesday topics today:

it was a big day in our house today, and i really do mean big, as in bbbbiiiigggg!  our three year old has been the hardest one to potty train so far, but today we had a break through...she finally went number two on the potty!  i was so excited, i really started to think that this day wasn't going to come!  yippee!!  now here's to hoping and praying that she keeps it up for good!

our oldest son had his first baseball practice of the season today, exciting stuff!  i found myself there at the field with all the kids, trying to watch Tanner practice with his team, keeping an eye on Jason and Laine as they ran around and played, and held Averie most of the time because it was cold out.  as i looked around i noticed that most of the parents had only their one child who was practicing or maybe one other child with them, and they were able to keep their attention on their child practicing, while my mind and eyes were going wild trying to keep up with everything that was going on with my bunch.  it's times like those that i tend to feel a little out of place, like the odd duck, because lets face it, who has four children these days?!  even though i know many families with four children, i often find myself in situations where i feel like we stand out like a sore thumb.  the kids all did great though (thankfully) and everyone had a great time.  Tanner is on the Tigers...go Tigers!  also, many dads were there...how does that happen at 4:30 in the afternoon on a wednesday?!  i know not everyone has my husbands work schedule, but i am often baffled at the amount of dads who can make afternoon practices.  with all of that said, i'm glad Tanner is back in baseball this year after playing for a couple years.  he really does love it and he is also good at it.  i can't wait to see how much he grows in the sport this season!

i'm trying some new recipes this week, all from Pinterest!  i kept pinning all of these pins and not doing anything with them, so I decided I'd at least start with the foods ones since we have to eat anyways.  For dinner I made crockpot mac n cheese, then after everyone went to bed i made carrot and zucchini bars, yum!  both turned out pretty good and i would recommend the recipe!

well, it is late and i am tired.  hoping your wednesday was a good one!