Friday, November 30, 2007

And the winner is....

I used to choose a winner for my 100th post giveaway.  

And the winner is.................

comment #19--Melody

Congratulations!!  I had a lot of fun gathering things for this and truly wish you could have all won!!

How I met my husband....

~~If you get a chance, check out my 100th post for a giveaway of a few of my favorite things!!~~

This week's Flaunt it Friday is about how we met our spouse. Strangely enough, I also met my husband on the internet. I was only 17 (and he was 21) and we had recently moved from TX to CA. I was short on friends and found myself looking on the internet to find one. I ventured into a chat room called "northern CA" on AOL and the rest is history. We had so much in common and talked for hours every night. That first night that we met online was Dec. 8, 1996!!! Hard for me to believe it was almost 11 years ago!! We chatted online and on the phone for a while and then he came down to meet me. I had to beg my dad to allow it, and he finally did so that he knew I wouldn't sneak off to meet him....and I would have, too. He came down in January to meet me for the first time. Man, did I have butterflies in my stomach!! We traveled often to see each other and then that summer I went to FL to visit my sister. When I returned home, he was there to meet me and he never went back home. Since I was 17 still, he moved to me. I turned 18 on Nov. 3rd and on Nov. 11th, I signed a lease and moved in with him. We married on June 4th, 2000. So, 7+ married years and two babies later, we, too, have beat the odds!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fall Photos...WW

Sorry, but I couldn't choose, so I put some of my favorites!! I took these last Wednesday.

~~Also, be sure to check out my 100th post for a give away of a few of my favorite things.~~

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, go here or here or here!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday..

Tackle It Tuesday Meme has been a very long while since I participated in Tackle it Tuesday.  Obviously I have tackled other things since my last entry, but I rarely remember to take pictures.  Well, I finally tackled something that has really been bothering me....... (oh...and in case you are wondering where my purse and diaper bag went....I finally organized my coat closet and they are in there!!)...


~~Also, be sure to check out my 100th post for a give away of a few of my favorite things.~~

Head on over to 5 minutes for Mom for more Tackle it Tuesday fun!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Target finds...

So, I'm finally getting around to posting about all of the things I got at Target with the gift card that I won.  Thanks again, Tasha.  I had a great time shopping!!

It's hard to tell what is beside the "wish".  It is a pumpkin...I love it.  I have it sitting on my server.  I'm thinking I will put the "wish" on my server once the pumpkin is put away.  I also got a spiral feed my love of list making, some nifty pencils, some awesome magnets and ink and stamps!!

Its been a while...

It's been a while since I've posted some funny things that Logan has said/done.  

Last week, he was helping me clean the house.  He especially loves to help me dust.  I was in the dining room and he was in the living room and this is what I heard...., "Duh, duh, duh...another one likes to dust, duh-duh, duh, duh, duh...another one likes to dust!".  Oh my, I was laughing so hard. Funny thing is, he really thought that was the words to the song.

A couple of weeks ago, Logan and I were out running some errands while daddy and Lucas stayed home.  We dropped off the movies at Blockbuster and we were walking down to the grocery store...Petsmart is in between the two.  There was a couple with a dog and Logan stopped to talk to the dog.  The dog appeared to be nervous and the owner said she wasn't sure where she was.  Well, Logan looked at the dog and said, "Don't worry, it's ****** (insert the name of the town we live in)."  Ha, good thing the dog knows what town it is in now!!

Menu Plan Monday

This week my menu is not going to be very exciting. Since it was just us for Thanksgiving, we still have lots of leftovers, and we ate out one day last week. So, lots of carry over meals and leftovers.

Last week we tried Cheesy tater soup and sausage and cheese muffins--I found both on Windows Wide Open. They were both very good. I've tried a similar soup recipe before and loved it. What I like about this soup is that the other one called for all milk. This soup calls for milk and chicken broth. Using the broth gave it a great flavor and I am sure it cut down on some of the calories. A yummy soup for a cold day!!

~~Also, be sure to check out my 100th post for a give away of a few of my favorite things.~~

*= new recipe
Monday--Thanksgiving leftovers
Tuesday--leftover potato soup and sausage cheese muffins
Wednesday--homemade corn dogs* and tater tots
Thursday--oven fried chimis *(I'll use some leftover shredded beef from the freezer), Spanish rice, refried beans
Friday--Maid-rites* (similar to sloppy joes)--thanks for the recipe, Marla, and tater tots

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Friday, November 23, 2007

A few of my favorite things...100th post give away!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! This post is my 100th post and I thought in honor of that I'd do a give away. I'm giving away a few of my favorite things!! I will leave this open for one week and choose the winner next Friday at 10 PM EST. TIME IS UP!! This is open to US residents only (and APO addresses). All you have to do is leave a comment and I will randomly choose a winner!! If you happen to not have a blog, be sure to include your e-mail address in your comment so that I can contact you.

So, here is what you'll get!!

  • Jelly Belly jelly beans--Yum!! I lived in the town these are made in for a while (Fairfield, CA).
  • Dove milk chocolate
  • $5 Starbucks gift card...truly not a big coffee fan, but I do love an occasional Starbucks long as it doesn't taste like coffee :-)
  • Vertigo cookies and cream sucker--I recently discovered these and love them!!
  • 2 pack of pretty sticky note pads
  • Mary Jane slipper socks...I have two pairs!! keep with tradition, here is 100 things I'm sure you were dying to know about me!!

1. I was born in Texas and lived there until I was 16.
2. My mom and dad divorced when I was 3 and my siblings (one older brother and one older sister)and I lived with our dad.
3. We lived in a little town in TX until I finished 7th grade.
4. We moved to another small town in the TX panhandle (that was a little larger than the other small town) and I made some great friends there!
5. While in the 10th grade, my dad got a job in CA and moved there during the school year .
6. He let me stay behind to finish out the school year.
7. Although some 16 year olds may think they would LOVE to live on their own, I didn't like it at ALL! I got very bored!
8. I spent a lot of nights with friends and they spent a lot with me.
9. When school was out, my dad returned and we loaded up the U-haul and were on our way!!
10. I started my junior year of high school at a new school and I HATED it!!
11. I ended up dropping out of school.
12. In TX, I was a mostly A student, so my friends and family were shocked.
12. My dad didn't really want to let me drop out, but I tearfully convinced him.
14. I hated school that much!!
15. Right before I dropped out of school, I met a guy online.
16. That guy is now my husband of over 7 years!!
17. I was 17 and he was 21 and my dad was NOT happy!
18. Eight days after I turned 18, I moved out of my dad's house and into an apartment with my now husband.
19. We lived in Fairfield, CA and paid $550 a month for our one bedroom apartment.
20. I can guarantee it would be more now!!
21. I was going to a technical school program to become a lab tech and I also worked at Chick-fil-a.
22. I finished the school, but decided I didn't want to do phlebotomy for 8+ hours per day, so I became a nanny instead.
23. I watched a 6 week old little girl and her 4 year old brother.
24. I really enjoyed it and it helped prepare me for motherhood.
25. I watched them for almost a year and then we moved.
26. The cost of living was on the rise in the bay area, so we moved to Humboldt county to live with my future-in-laws until we found a place of our own.
27. I got a job as a nurse's assistant at a nursing home and worked there for 8 months.
28. The shortage of workers and overwhelming patient load finally caught up with me and I quit.
29. It was the hardest job I have ever to motherhood!
30. I started a new job at a dialysis clinic in April, 2000.
31. We bought our first new car....a 2000 Nissan Altima.
32. After being together for over 3 years, we decided to tie the knot and married on June 4, 2000.
33. On July 5, 2000, my husband left for basic training in the Army.
34. On July 14, 2000, I wrecked our new car and almost totaled it.
35. I learned a very important lesson to not swerve on the freeway when you are going over 70 miles per hour.
36. It was 11 at night and not much traffic on the roads. Good thing for me since I crossed the median and went across the other side of the freeway.
37. Miraculously, I walked away with only a bruise from my seatbelt...and I was sore for days!!
38. My car was repaired just in time for me to head out on a cross country trip.
39. I stopped in the bay area to visit family and got rear-ended....I was NOT a happy camper.
40. Not enough damage to stop me....I was going to see my husband graduate from basic!!
41. I continued my journey and stopped in Texas to visit more family and friends and then headed to Florida to see my sister and her family.
42. I spent a few weeks with my sister and then drove to South Carolina for basic training graduation.
43. I spent 3 days there and then headed back to Florida while my husband headed to Ft. Huachuca, AZ for AIT.
44. I spent about another month in Florida while I found out more information about joining my husband in Arizona.
45. The Army didn't pay for my move because his school was only supposed to be 6 months long.
46. I just had this feeling that I needed to join him because he was going to be sent where I couldn't join him after that.
47. He got to AZ at the end of Sept, 2000 and I joined him there on Nov. 2, 2000...his birthday!!
48. He lived in the barracks and I lived in a tiny apartment off post.
49. I got a job at Target working nights and spent as much time as I could visiting my husband on post.
50. He wasn't allowed to leave post or be with me alone, so I would meet him each day for lunch and dinner at the mess hall.
51. My feeling was right about him being sent where I couldn't he neared the end of AIT, he got orders for Korea.
52. His school took longer than planned and he was finally able to move off post with me just weeks before he finished his schooling.
53. When he finished, we drove to CA and I moved back in with his parents and he did hometown recruiting for a month before leaving for Korea.
54. Our one year anniversary was June 4th and he left for Korea on June 6th.
55. I returned to work at the dialysis clinic.
56. On Sept. 11, 2001, I was off from work and was going to be buying a ticket to fly to Korea to visit my husband.
57. I was awoken to news of the twin towers and everything was chaos.
58. I didn't hear from my husband for over a week and did not buy the ticket because his post was in lock down and he would not be able to leave post to visit me and he lived in the barracks and I couldn't stay with him.
59. He was able to come home for mid-tour in Jan. 2002 and we decided we were ready to try for a family.
60. He was home one month, so essentially we had one try....I didn't think it would happen.
61. He returned to Korea on Feb. 2 and on Feb 14th, I had my positive test!!
62. He came back on June 4th (our 2 year anniversary) and we had one week to get from California to Maryland (I was 5 months pregnant).
63. We stopped and saw family and sites along the way.
64. He was stationed at Ft. Meade, MD and worked at the NSA.
65. On Oct. 9, 2002, we welcomed our sweet Logan to our family at NNMC.
66. He had pneumonia and spent 5 days in the NICU, so each year we attend the NICU reunion.
67. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with Logan and I enjoyed every minute of it.
68. Daddy worked long hours, so Logan and I had lots of quality time together.
69. We moved off post in March 2004 and hubby got out of the Army in July 2004.
70. He got a job in Crystal City, so we moved to Virginia when our lease was up in 2005 to be closer to his work.
71. He often worked in the Pentagon, so Logan and I got to go to his Christmas party at the Pentagon!!
72. Hubby didn't understand why I was excited about that, but that's okay...not everyone can say they went to a Christmas party at the Pentagon!!
73. At the end of June 2005, we found out that I was pregnant!!
74. While pregnant with Logan, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and then with type II diabetes when Logan was one.
75. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time at the doctors while pregnant the second time around.
76. I was scheduled to be induced on Feb. 26th, 2006 and my dad flew in on the 25th to take care of Logan.
77. The night before I was to be induced I went into labor and our little Lucas arrived 3 hours before I was to be at the hospital!!
78. I am good at making 7 pound 2 ounces babies...because both of mine weighed that even though Logan was born at 38 weeks and Lucas at 39 weeks.
79. And so, the life of a mom of two begins!!
80. I find great joy in watching my boys play.
81. The sound of their laughter makes me smile.
82. I was definitely a daddy's girl growing up.
83. It makes me glad to have a couple of momma's boys (for the time being, anyway).
84. We moved again in March 2007.
85. This time it was because we purchased our first home (a 3 level town-home in a D.C. suburb)!!
86. I was born and raised in a small town, but I love living close to a city.
87. I love diet Coke.
88. I love chocolate...who doesn't??
89. The only time I have ever left my kids overnight was when I was in the hospital having Lucas.
90. Two of my best friends in high school were Skyla Anne and Shyla Linan...I am Candi Lyn...neat, huh? Get it Lyn, Anne, and Linan!!
91. I have two sisters and three brothers, but I only grew up with my older brother and sister.
92. When I was 9, my mom had remarried and I became a big sister.
93. My mom lived in CA, and I would fly from TX to visit her in the summers.
94. Although I love to talk, I don't like to do public speaking.
95. I get nervous and say, "And....ummmm" way too often!!
96. I love the smell of Johnson and Johnson baby wash and was super excited to recently learn that they make baby wipes (sold exclusively at Babies R Us)!!
97. I forgot to mention that I went back (to an adult school) and got my high school diploma (actually, my husband had to get his to get the job he wanted in the Army, so I decided to get mine at the same time....we got them one week before we were married).
98. Being a parent has taught me to cut my own parents a little is certainly the hardest job....EVER!!
99. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (my dad's parents) while growing up and I miss them a ton.....I was my Papa's "wittle girl"!!
100. In case you can't tell by all the pictures of my boys on my blog...I love taking pictures of them!! I never thought I would want to be a stay at home mom, but I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing....I LOVE it and am grateful that I am able to be home with the boys I love dearly!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lucas' self portrait...WW

My 21 month old took these of himself a couple of months ago with his big brother's Fisher Price camera. I thought they were too cute. It was even funnier seeing him taking picture after picture!!

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, go here or here or here!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday--Thanksgiving Edition

Things were a little off last week. We were out running errands a couple of nights and got home too late to cook. Then my husband got sick and didn't feel like eating, so the boys and I just ate what was around the house...rather than me cooking. So, I have two carryover meals. Not sure we will get to all of these this all depends on how much leftovers we have from Thanksgiving!!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, it will just be my little family. It has been for the last few years, actually. We will still have a traditional meal, but I'm taking a few short cuts. I have also chosen easy meals for this week.

If you get a chance, check back later in the week to see if I make it to my 100th post. I'm in the process of getting some goodies together for a giveaway!!

*=new recipe

  • Tuesday--Cheesy tater soup* and sausage and cheese muffins*--I found both on Windows Wide Open--I can't wait to try these!! I have tried a similar soup, but made with all milk instead of the chicken broth.
  • Wednesday--Maid-rites* (similar to sloppy joes)--thanks for the recipe, Marla and tater tots
  • Thursday--turkey breast, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole (recipe below), corn bread dressing, turkey gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, layered salad (I'm cutting the recipe in half, using real bacon, and omitting the mushrooms and eggs)*, Rhodes rolls, pumpkin pie
  • Friday--leftovers
  • Saturday--oven fried chimis *(I'll use some leftover shredded beef from the freezer), Spanish rice, refried beans

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sweet Potato Casserole

I got this recipe out of a church cookbook that my sister got me as a wedding gift.

3 c. sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed or 2 (16 oz.)cans, drained **
1c. sugar
1t. vanilla
1/2 c. margarine
1/3c. milk
2 eggs
Warm sweet potatoes in saucepan. Add remining ingredients and stir until blended. pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.

1 c. light brown sugar
1/3c. softened butter
1/2c. flour
1c. chopped nuts
marshmallows (enough to cover top).
Combine topping ingredients until crumbly. Crumble topping over potato mixture. Top with marshmallows (enough to cover mixture). Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

**I have found that this turns out better with fresh sweet potatoes rather than canned. With canned, it seemed too runny. Just get enough sweet potatoes to have 3 cups when they are mashed. To bake them, cut the ends off and bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour. Let them cool, and peel them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Batman and Robin....WW

A little past Halloween, but I hadn't posted any pics of them all dressed up yet!!

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, go here or here or here!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday...

In case you missed it last week, be sure to check here for the results from my October Challenge!!

Not much new going on here this week. Both boys and hubby are sick with colds. So far I haven't got it...knocking on wood and crossing my fingers ;-).
We did get a couple of projects done around here over the weekend and I have a pile of stuff to donate and another to put in storage. That feels good. The best thing is that I reclaimed (or I should probably say claimed) my coat closet. It had been a catch all since we moved in and I got it all organized over the weekend....just in time to hang some coats in it for the cold weather. YAY me!!
*=new recipe

  • Sunday--leftovers
  • Monday--Southwest pork roast, rice pilaf, peas/carrots
  • Tuesday--coconut chicken (we've had this before and LOVE it!!), Jasmine rice, steamed veggies
  • Wednesday--meatballs stroganoff with noodles, corn, green beans
  • Thursday--homemade corn dogs* and roasted potatoes
  • Friday--oven fried chimis *(I'll use some leftover shredded beef from the freezer), Spanish rice, refried beans
  • Saturday--leftovers

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Cat is Out of the Bag....

TheMommyKelly at Taken with a Grain of Salt has come up with a new meme called Flaunt it Fridays. Today's theme is Let the Cat out of the Bag. She has challenged us to show the contents of our bag. My bag is always so full. It seems no matter how often I clean it, it is still full. I just don't know what I could get rid of. I'm not a small purse girl by any means!!

Starting at the top and moving right...

  1. The little black case is my diabetic testing supplies.
  2. Then there is my purse....I LOVE it!!
  3. a couple packs of Kleenex
  4. my empty gift card that I won!!
  5. Misc. receipts and trash (used Kleenex..NICE, old shopping lists)
  6. a prescription that needs to be filled
  7. Misc. evelopes (checks, county personal property bill with new decal that I need to apply)
  8. my supply of various mints and gum
  9. hand sanitizer and lotion
  10. my Longaberger measuring tape from my sister
  11. pens
  12. nail files
  13. bag of stuff (brush, lip gloss, Carmex, tweezers, mirror)
  14. wallet
  15. Rolodex....this is actually to hold business cards, but I use it to hold my never ending supply of club cards, health ins. cards, and a few business cards. I LOVE it!!
  16. check book
  17. my son's wallet (he is 5)
  18. a box of crayons
  19. a few coupons
  20. my Miss Army knife....I LOVE this, too!!

Here is an inside picture of my Rolodex....

See, I told you I have a lot of stuff!! Alright...I really did need an excuse to clean my purse out...AGAIN!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Birds in a window...WW

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, go here or here or here!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Menu Plan Monday...

I haven't done so great on cooking the last two weeks. We still ate at home, we just had leftovers or other things rather than what was planned on some nights. So, I pulled these meals from what we didn't use over the last two weeks. The only thing I have to purchase for these is salad stuff.

Be sure to check here for the results from my October Challenge!!

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Last week we tried this recipe for the first time and really liked it!! Thanks, Carol, for the recipe!!

Beef Noodle Casserole


6 ounces egg noodles
1 pound ground beef
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cook the noodles according to package directions.

3. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce and garlic, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer.

4. When noodles are done, stir them and the cheese into the simmering sauce until cheese is melted. Stir the sherry into the sauce and stir for 1 minute, then place in a 2 quart casserole dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese to taste.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Results from October Challenge!!

You might have read that we challenged ourselves to not eat out in October and be better at what we spend while grocery shopping. It wasn't always easy, but I think we did pretty well. I added it all up and our difference between Sept. and Oct. is amazing!! This is just for grocery shopping (food cleaning supplies or paper goods) and eating out. In October, we spent $390 and in September we spent $1040!!! That means we saved $650 in the month of October!! I broke it down even further...

In September we spent $405 on eating out and $635 at the grocery store. Considering that pretty much none of that $635 was spent on meat (as we have a freezer fully stocked with meat), that is a lot of money!! Especially if you factor in that we budget $400 a month on groceries!! Now, we haven't changed this budget in years and I realize prices have gone up, but with not having to buy meat, there should be no excuse for our spending.

In October, we did break down a few times and eat out. Here is a list:

  • We got a snack at Auntie Anne's (a pretzel, large soda, small lemonade, pretzel sticks, and two dips)=$11
  • The boys and I ate at Costco (one slice pizza, chicken bake, soda)=$5.50
  • Bought something at Safeway deli ( isn't eating out if it comes from the grocery store...right?? ...NO!!)=$8.00
  • Hubby ate at McD's for breakfast a couple of times =$12
So, that brings our total for eating out in October to $36.50 and grocery shopping to $353.50. We even packed a lunch a couple of weekends for family outings. Once was when we went to the park (typically we would have stopped at Subway) and the other was when we went to Mt. Vernon. Mt. Vernon does offer food, but the fast food area is seriously over priced. In Sept. we ate there and spent $32.50 on a chicken salad sandwich, a burger, nachos, personal pizza, 2 sodas and chicken nuggets with fries. They have a restaurant there that you can eat at for about the same price and the food is WAY better, but it has been closed for special events the last two times we have been there. I also packed a lunch one day when the boys and I went to the mall!!

I'm not saying that eating out is a horrible thing. I think we all deserve a break occasionally. The problem for us was that we were doing it way too often. It didn't even feel like a treat anymore. Our 5 year old came to expect it and would announce almost daily that our month was up. He even started saying we could eat at Wendy's or Taco Bell because they are is the restaurants that are expensive. Today he asked if our month of not eating out is over. I informed him that it is, but that we are going to be eating out WAY less than we used to. We truly needed something drastic to get us to stop. Although we were not perfect, I think we did great. I admit, too, that knowing I would be sharing this information here helped keep me motivated. I feel we can improve more on our grocery shopping, so I need to keep up with planning meals based on what we have in the house. I feel that if we are doing great at not eating out, it is okay to splurge a little at the grocery store. It is WAY cheaper to buy a treat at the grocery store (that will most likely last more than eating it once) than buying it at a restaurant and having it all gone in one sitting. We just need to work on balancing it all out. We did great on not eating out, so I feel that is why we still spent close to $400 on the groceries. To not feel too deprived (LOL), we still got a few special things at the grocery store. Also, there were several things purchased at the grocery store that will last us more than the month.

Anyway, all that to say I am very proud of we just need to keep it up!! And....I hope that I have inspired you if you feel you need to work on this area!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!!

Today I turned 28!!  Hubby and the boys took me out and I got to pick out a new rug for the living room and got some new lotion and hand soaps at Bath and Body Works!!  We also ate out twice!!  My husband's birthday was yesterday and his parents sent us both money for our birthdays, so we were able to use that to eat out and not feel bad about it!!  Thanks!!