Saturday, February 27, 2010

Busy Weekend

What a fun, but exhausting weekend. We started Friday night with a family get together here at our house. My grandmother walked into our house and introduced herself since we had not seen her in a long while due to bad weather! She is a card!

Hope is on the move so much these days and is pulling up to everything!!

Saturday, Kyle's AAU basketball team played in their first local tournament. Their colors are black and yellow so here are David and Hope ready to go to the game:)

This picture makes me laugh so much. David decided that he wanted to wear these football eye patches to the game-you know the lights may be bright in the bball gym! Anyway, I left the room and came back and found that David had put them on Hope. Thank goodness that she is such a tough bird and handles this stuff well. She was happy as a clam that she had eye patches on with her big yellow hairbow!!

Kyle's AAU team did well in their debut games. They are a team of 8 year olds, and they played 10 and under and 9 and under teams. It was daunting, but they held it together and had fun. This tournament was for practice and we were so proud of their effort.

We are off tomorrow to more AAU games-I love watching my Kyle and friends play basketball. Go Hornets!!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Our weather forecast for this weekend is truly amazing. The weather forecast includes the word "blizzard" with a potential for 18-24 inches of snow. I am in denial and I am just continuing to cook for some company that we are having over tonight for dinner. We are having my family down for dinner. Due to bad weather I have not seen my grandparents since Christmas. The kids miss them and want them to come for dinner. I am not going to let a little blizzard mess up our weekend plans:)

This weekend Kyle is scheduled to be in an AAU basketball tournament here in our town. There are teams supposedly coming from all over, so I pray that can get here despite that little blizzard warning and we can play bball. I have to admit that I have fallen in love with basketball lately. I do not care to watch it on TV, but I love watching Kyle and friends play. Our rec league season ended last night and amazingly our team went undefeated. Sometimes you have teams that are full of great kids, and our bball team this winter was blessed with some great kids and parents. It makes it such fun:)

Yesterday I braved the notion of taking all three kiddos with me to Hope's 8 month well check. Sweet Hope is doing great. The doctor mentioned how social she seems to be already-I hope this continues to be a positive thing down the road:) I giggled yesterday thinking that she may be that little girl that has the report card that says "too much talking!" Ahhh, I look forward to raising a little girl, but it will definitely have its challenges I am sure.

Today the kids are home for snow day #20 this school year. To even see that number in print is amazing to me. We are making it okay despite the kids super dry skin and eczema. They boys have never really complained about dry skin and such, but this winter has been brutal on their little bodies. I even had Kyle soak in an Aveeno bath the other day. It was funny to see all his long arms and legs trying to get under the water in the little bathtub upstairs. He is growing so fast and changing so much right before our eyes.

Well, I will keep you posted about this blizzard thing. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the kids yesterday when they played out in the snow, you know, the snow before the blizzard:)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

This dish makes me smile so much because my kiddos love it and it is full of mixed veggies!! If you struggle with your kids eating veggies, then try this dish. This is a pot pie recipe that I have tweaked from Paula Dean. I took out some of the garlic and other spices and doubled the topping recipe so it has more biscuit/bread on top because my boys are bread boys. They love this dish and Kyle usually eats several helpings. It is also great because it makes a huge dish which is great for leftovers and it is an all-in-one kind of thing:) Enjoy:)

2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of whole milk
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1 pound package of frozen mixed veggies
3 cups of cooked chicken (I cheat and grab a rotissere chicken from the grocery store)

3 cups of bisquick
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine cream of chicken soups, sour cream, 1/2 cup of milk, salt and pepper. Stir in frozen veggies and chicken. Spoon mixture into baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine bisquick, 1 cup of whole milk, and shredded cheese stirring until the dry ingredients are moistened. Drop batter by heaping teaspoons over the chicken mixture and spread with a knife until completely covered. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is browned and bubbly.

This is such a yummy dish-hope you and your family enjoy:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I really do not like the word recession. I do love the Allstate commercial where that guy with the amazing voice says "will we remember this as the Great Recession or the Recession that made us great?" wow I love that! His voice is so deep and rich and it stops me dead in my tracks every time.

Times are tough-budgets are tight, people are without jobs, and overall everyone is feeling the pinch of this down economy.

Over the last decade or so, we as a society have lived so far above our means that greed and entitlement have won the battle over sensibility. I do not like this recession, but I pray that this time will be a good teacher to my children down the road on how to manage budgets and to know the difference in wants versus needs.

I pray that the poor economy will lessen its hold on all of us. Soon. But I also hope that it helps sensiblity and common sense prevail more in our future. I am the daughter of an account, but that did not mean that when I ventured out into the world alone that I knew jack about keeping a checkbook. I had my tiara firmly placed on my head and checkbook balancing was for someone else to do for me.

Lets just say that the first year I lived alone in Charlottesville making $26, 500/year (or $1800/month) was a humbling financial lesson for me. Budgeting and waiting to buy things was not "me" and I got myself into a few jams. Thankfully shortly after I moved to Cville, I met this cute little assistant principal who was pretty good at balancing checkbooks:) I will never forget when I told him that my method for checking my checkbook balance was to drive through the ATM!!

I am convinced that without Mike's wisdom and financial discipline we would have encountered more financial jams. I still struggle with the "I want this now" mentality, but thankfully Mike's wisdom and the recession have reminded me how vital it is to save for the future and save for our children so they can spread their wings one day. Mike and I have followed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace plan for about 8 years now and it has helped us (translation me) so much! His biblical appraoch to finances has reminded me that the Lord does not want us living beyond our means and that we have a responsibility to give back.

I pray that you and your family are making it okay through this tough time. I just pray that our children will reap some major benefits down the road from our tough times. If you are in need of some budget ideas, I strongly recommend Dave Ramsey's website to you. I know sunnier skies are ahead, and I pray the Lord will see us through these tough times and hopefully we all will learn a few lessons along the way:)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Swim Weekend and Other Fun

I love this picture of the boys! They are so sweetly reading a book together in our hotel. After many long weeks of snow days and being in our house together, we were all so thrilled to be in Roanoke for a fun swim meet weekend. Mike had been in Richmond and met us there Friday afternoon. We got to shop and eat out together.

Hope enjoyed the hotel as much as the big boys did. We had a huge room and we laid out a big blanket and let her play on the floor. She had a new baby for the weekend-one that plays peek-a-boo and it was a big hit with all three kiddos.

Saturday morning we hit the pool super early for the swim meet. This was a different meet because we did not sit in bleachers around the pool. We "camped out" in the gym and went into the pool when it was time for Kyle or another LASO friend to swim. The kids loved this because they could play in an open gym. It is stressful for the parents to keep up with the events, but it really is a relaxing way to have a meet. Mike read some of a novel, we chatted with other LASO parents, and just all sat around together cheering on our kids. Here is David playing UNO with two of the Graham girls and Bre. David loves the social time!
Uncle Chad and Clayton came to f:the meet and got to watch one of Kyle's events. Then after the meet was over we flew across town with my parents to watch one of his basketball games.
He is a good little bball player for only being in PreK.

My camera struggled with the lighting in the gym, but here is Clayton in action. He is so darn cute and has the cutest personality. He LOVES baby Hope and was excited that he had a big cheering section.

After the game we went to Red Robin to celebrate my Mom's 60th birthday. Chad arranged for the waiters to sing Happy Birthday to her! She was mortified I am sure:) They brought her a dessert and she shared it with all the big boys.

David hogging GG's birthday treat:)

Oh my....this picture makes me laugh. Sunday morning at the meet our team's warmup time was 7:00 a.m. That is super early and I did not have time to eat breakfast at the hotel, so I bought a bagel from the concession stand. I put it down to spread cream cheese on it, and sweet Hope grabbed it and started chewing on it! We all died laughing at her with that big bagel in her mouth.
She is so cute I did not even mind sharing my bagel with her!:)

The kids all had fun playing with their Nintendo DS's while they were waiting to swim.

Twister is always a fun way to kill time in between events:) Kyle was the spinner because he was eating:)

Here are some of our LASO little kids with Meg their coach:) It was so fun to have a change of scenery and family time this weekend. Kyle swam well and had a blast. I got some shopping in and got to visit with family-good times:)

Friday, February 19, 2010

What week. What a fun, but very long week. The kids went to school on Monday only with a two hour delay. Everyday since Monday we have had some kind of snow which means the kids have been home. Today was officially snow day #18. Yes, I am dead serious.

It has been a long stretch for Mike-getting up by 5 a.m. to make a wise snow decision wears on you after a while. He has called some TV stations so much to announce the decision that he has memorized them. Between a dismal budget situation and weather, Mike has had a challenging time. But, sunnier skies have to be on the horizon:)

Tonight, we are all five snuggled up in the largest hotel room I have ever seen. We are in Roanoke for a swim meet and somehow we ended up in some kind of huge hotel room-we might not leave on Sunday!:)

Mike had to make a trip to Richmond this week. Kids home for snow and hubbie away is a bad combination. Thankfully my parents came for reinforcement! This week we did get to go with some friends to see The Tooth Fairy and I am seriously thinking that we have played every game we have at our house. I know we will look fondly back over this time, but I am pretty worn out. The kids miss school and their friends:)

So we are so happy all together in one hotel room tonight. The kids miss Mike so much when he is out of town and I know traveling solo can be lonely. Our bellies are full of Cici's Pizza and I have had my share of Gymboree shopping today. Life is is not always easy or smooth sailing, but it is good. We are praying for sunnier skies and better budget news to come from Richmond soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hope 8 Months

Hope Madeline is 8 months old today. It makes me so sad to think in four short months we will be planning a birthday party for her. Today when I TRIED to take her picture, our little Hope was not super cooperative. Each month it has gotten harder and harder to keep her in that chair:) As you can see from the above picture, Miss Hope is pulling to stand. Hope what else are you into these days?

You eat about 6 jars of baby food a day. You are nursing still about 6 times a day. You are interested in a sippy cup, but it is a very messy thing for you! You chew on the top and juice goes everywhere. You are liking the organic baby puffs a little more.

I have no idea your weight, but the onesie you were wearing today was a 3-6 months. You have outgrown a few sleepers lately, but most of your clothes are 6-12 months.

You are constantly on the move and into everything! You love wrappers and anything shiny. We have to keep things picked up or you will find them:)

You love to be read to and you also love cruising around our house in your walker. You walk it over to where the boys play basketball and watch them:) It is so cute!

Your favorite game for now is peek-a-boo. You love to hide your sweet face and then you belly laugh when we say "peek-a-boo!" The boys fight over who is going to play with you next:)

You are such a sweet, happy baby when Mommy is around. You are definitely a Mommy's girl:) You never fuss when we take you to all your brother's activities and you are so happy out and about.

No teeth yet, but you are chewing on everything!! Kyle got so worried when I took this picture because he thought you would fall out of the chair!

I love this sweet, toothless grin:) We are so blessed with your sweet presence in our life. The boys, your Daddy and I love you dearly and we cannot imagine one day without our Hope.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heart Day

Happy Heart Day! I love Valentine's Day for lots of reason, one being that red is my favorite color! I was so thrilled this morning pulling out red outfits for all three of my babies for church. It is still really cold here, but today the sun is out so it feels almost normal outside. We still have lots of snow on the ground and the forecast is calling for more tonight. Seriously, it really is. I just counted it up and officially the children have been in school for 11 days since December 18th. Most of those 11 days were even two hour delay days.

Back to Valentine's Day, though. I rarely look at this as a Valentine sweetie kind of day. I always look at Valentine's as a "be thankful for the special loved ones in your life that you love day":) Usually we have my extended family down to eat, but the weather has kept that from happening this year.
I heart my two big boys and my sweet little girl. The boys have been fighting over Hope lately because she has lots of cute tricks up her sleeve and they love to get her to belly laugh. I am astounded that tomorrow is her 8 month birthday. Thank goodness she is so darn fun these days or I would be so sad that her first year is flying by so fast.
After lunch the boys took advantage of the sunshine to get outside and play in all the white stuff that we have piled up. They LOVE to play football in the snow?
David on one of our snow piles!

Why is football in the snow so much fun?

Maybe I should take down this sign in our yard to decrease the chance of snow tonight???

Thursday, February 11, 2010

All About Love

When you are snowed in AGAIN what can you do to entertain three children?? This week we have spent our cold snow days getting ready for Valentine's Day. In this picture, sweet Davey is licking the beaters from making red velvet cupcakes for our friends. I am not clear if we will ever get to deliver them, because the roads are terrible...but they were fun to make!

This is the sweetest little Valentine that Kyle made for us. I love homemade Valentine's that come from the heart:)

Both boys had fun making Valentine goody bags for their classmates. They attached a little goody bag to each Valentine, but again, not sure when we will get to have Valentine school parties because we are truly snowed in again. Since Christmas break I think that the kids have been in school for only like nine days or something really crazy. This is by far the snowiest, coldest, snuggliest winter I have ever seen:)

Both boys got Valentine chocolate bars for their sweet teachers:)

Kyle has become quite the baker lately and they both enjoyed making cupcakes for their friends. Please excuse the red food coloring on my counter tops, we are working on that. It is still tinted a little pink:) That is what happens when you let an 8 year old decide how "red" the icing should be!

The mean Mommy that I am has made both boys spend a little bit of our day doing some reading and school work. David is on a roll with his reading and we want him to stay up on his words:) Kyle is reluctantly reading some Magic Tree House books right now.

Whatever it takes to get Kyle reading...even if it is upside down on the couch:)

A snowy scene overlooking the golf course. It has been blowing snow for the last two days which has made it look like the Frozen Tundra here in Virginia. Snow used to be a rare treat, but lately it is a daily occurence.

This is so sweet...but I have noticed that Hope has no interest in the TV at all, which is fine with me, but David wanted to watch Barney with Hope and sure enough she loved it!

Look at that little grin as Barney sang "I love love me.." So sweet:)

Here is a picture of Mike's car almost buried underneath all the snow drifts.

But when it is all said and done, we will never forget this winter with all the snowy weather and days snowed in together. Hope loves having her big brothers at home even if they disrupt her nap schedule. It is all about love:)