Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Solemn Oath

I, Sarah, do solemnly swear not to partake in the excessive sugar that the upcoming holidays are known for. I know the season of temptation begins TOMORROW! Halloween - a holy eve before a season full of indulgent temptations. Because I know I am an "all or nothing" kinda girl, I promise not to eat, sample, taste test, do quality control checks, or in any other way take candy from my children's trick or treat buckets. If I choose to break this oath, I know the consequences. It will send me immediately into a downward spiral of sugar overload that will not be stopped until after Easter 2011, and it will cause my derriere to look like this.....

or possibly even this....

(BTW - I acknowledge that each of these people are perfect and wonderful just the way they are - i just don't need to become like them :o)

To help me do this, I will dutifully keep foods and drinks of a healthy sort with me, so that when my mouth salivates for a Reeces cup or a little box of milk duds, I will...ahem...sip...I mean, choke down...water from my re-usable bottle....sigh....and dream of the high and limitless metabolism that I've always dreamed of.

I solemnly swear these things in front of my blog readers and all my friends, so help me (please help me...I'm gonna need it) God.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10 weeks left in 2010

I read a blog post that said there are 10 more weeks in 2010.


Where did this year go?
I'm just getting used to writing 2010 and saying "twenty ten" (or is it "two thousand ten"?)
And I approached this year with all the vim and vigor and excitement, and I had all these big goals......

and honestly, I can't remember even one of them....

I guess that's not completely true. I picked a word - one little word - to focus my year. My word was "streamlined." I had hoped to make my world a little less frantic and a little more focused and efficient.

I even did a scrapbook page to motivate myself...

Did it work? Maybe a little bit, but that's a post for another day.

So in an effort to accomplish my goal of "streamlining" my life, and to feel a sense of accomplishment as I finish out 2010, here are 10 things I want to accomplish before the end of 2010.

1) organize the boys' closet - Not a small feat, but actually it's halfway done. I've gone through all of #3's clothes. Now I need to go through #1's and sort through all the junk that needs to find its way outside my house.

2) organize our closet. That's easier said than done because it means that my main squeeze and I are going to have to be in the closet cleaning and organizing at the same time, and let's just say, we have 2 completely different approaches to that task. I don't want our marriage to end before the end of the year.....hmmm...fortunately, my main squeeze also is in the mood to organize, so it may not be as bad as anticipated.

3) have a yard sale to get rid of JUNK! - I really need to un-junk our house. For the first 6 years of our marriage we would move every year or 2 or 3. I really hated packing and unpacking so much that if I didn't really like it, I threw it out so I wouldn't have to pack or unpack. Now that we've been in the same location for 4 years, I find myself wanting to pick out a new house just so I can get rid of JUNK!!!! I'm not sure which is harder buying/selling/moving into a new house or organizing....

4) finish the kids 2008 scrapbooks - 2 years behind, but I'm so close!!!

5) make a chore chart/system for our kids that works....I have an idea that I'm going to try. We have things we expect our children to do, and we expect them to pitch in and help with things that need help. I would love some system that's easy to use, that works, and that motivates and rewards kids for taking an active role in making our home nice to live in. Any ideas/suggestions? I'd love to hear them!

6) record the kids singing and talking... I have the most adorable recordings of my kids talking and singing when I first got my computer - Helga. It was almost 3 years ago. I was intrigued by Garage Band, but I haven't recorded them hardly at all since. I need to do that again. Especially for #3. I love hearing #3 talk....

7) make a Disney fotobook - Fotobooks is an app inside of Facebook where you can make a 5x7 paper back "brag book style" photo book for $5 using the pictures you and your friends upload to Facebook. It is really great. It has to have a minimum of 18 pictures and it can hold a maximum of 54 (I believe). The pages are pre-designed and very trendy looking, graphically speaking. All you do is put your pix in order, and pretty much the rest is done for you. I uploaded hundreds of pix from our Disney to my facebook profile, and I want to make each kid a book they can keep in their room with pictures of them at Disney, and for $5, it's a great little souvenir. Who wants me to do a step by step tutorial of how to make one? Leave me a comment!

8) lose 15 lbs - this is a small step toward a bigger goal. Acutally if I don't go into the holidays with a "diet mentality," I overindulge from October to February, and pay for it all year long. NOT THIS YEAR!!!!

9) Paint a quote in our front hall - I've wanted to do this for a while, but I'm a big chicken. It's gonna look great when I do though.

10) Have Christmas meaningful/thoughtful Christmas presents....not just the easiest or cheapest thing. I love getting just the right thing - an unexpected, thoughtful gesture that makes people smile. Unfortunately, I don't know what that is for most of my people yet.....

Ok, so those are my 10 things. Do you have 10 things? Do you think any of my 10 things are CRAZY? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, October 22, 2010

One of my favorites is back

When I first got started with digital scrapbooking, I looked around for people who designed nice things that I would use, and I wanted to get them for free. I found Digitreat's website. Pam is a stay/work-at-home mom with 3 kids who likes to scrapbook. I felt an immediate kinship :o). She would blog almost every day with a new part to a kit she was working on. She would offer them free for a few days, and then she'd sell them in the store on her blog. They were always very cute and practical.

Well, nearly a year ago, she quit. The demands of her family life with 3 kids at home were alot on her. (again - kinship.) Then suddenly, after school started, I got an email feed from her blog just saying "I'm back!" Once the youngest kids went to school this fall, she started designing and giving again. I have loved every part of the kits I've gotten as freebies from her, and I have purchased some from her store.

She's working on 3 kit themes - tough, sassy and silly - and every few days, she'll post another installment in the series. The picture above is the first in the "sassy series." And I love it! I hope you'll check her site out. And now that she's back, I'll have to add a new banner to the people I love on the right.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lunchbox notes

On Tuesdays I volunteer in #1's class, and I put a note in his lunchbox everyday.
Recently I put this note in his lunchbox....

It's a pretty realistic drawing, if I do say so myself.....

When I cleaned out his lunchbox later that night, I saw this written on the back of my note to him......

It made me smile.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

God Gave Me You

Sometimes bedtime around our house is a little stressful.....mostly because I see the hands of the clock ticking away, getting later and later, and I know that is not going to help my kids in the morning be happy, quick and productive. Sometimes, I end up being very short with my kids, cutting their excuses short with a "You're breaking bedtime rules. Goodnight." or "We can talk about this in the morning. I love You." That's not always a bad way to do it, but tonight, even though it was late, I had a chance to talk to each of my babies just for a minute.

Number 2, my sweet princess, was first. She's been waking up a few times a night just feeling a little scared, and mostly just alone. Think about it, as the only girl, she's the only one who isn't sharing a bedroom. So we talked about things that she can do in her room when she's scared or alone, without waking Mom or Dad up. We came up with a few (like going potty, giving her bed buddies a big hug, flipping the pillow over to the cold side, because that's where the good dreams are), then she said, "I can just sing our song."

"Which one is that?" I asked.

"The one on right now."

Number 2 sleeps with the Christian radio station on at night, and as a result, she knows probably more songs than I do (which is really saying something).

"The one on right now," she said, and then she started singing in her most precious, scratchy, quiet, little, 4 year old voice, "God gave me you for the ups and downs. God gave me you for the days of doubt. God gave me you!"

I gave her a big hug and kiss, and we sang the song together for a little, then she said, "You're my best mom ever."

And I said, "Your my best daughter ever." And then she fell asleep.

To hear the whole song, look at Dave Barnes' video on YouTube HERE

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza

You never know where inspiration will strike. I was walking through the deli section at Publix, and saw this package....

You know what it said to me? Make pizza on the grill. A spinach chicken alfredo pizza to be specific. It's weird, but food talks to me sometimes. I can't explain it, but it's a fact.

Here's a blow by blow of how I did it. Please note, I'm not really a measuring/recipe kinda girl. Even when I do have a recipe, I follow it more like a suggestion than a commandment. Is that so wrong?

Ok, start with chicken on the grill. I seasoned it with McCormick's garlic and herb seasoning.

Take it off and let it rest and cool. This chicken is resting on my Valentine's plates I bought from Target earlier this year that we still use daily, because honestly, who wouldn't say I love you to nicely grilled chicken? Not this girl!

I decided to make the alfredo sauce next. Yes I said make, as in, from scratch. Normally I'm a pour it out of a jar girl, and you can do it that way if you want, but I remember years ago a girl in our youth group made alfredo sauce from scratch in my kitchen, and it was easy. My hubby still raves over it....and I wanted a little adventure.....

So melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in your skillet. Real butter is probably better, but all I had was the I can't believe it's not butter stuff that I bought BOGO at Publix a few weeks ago, so I used it. Shake in some flour to make a roux. Yes, mom, if you want to pronounce it "roooo-cks" because it sounds fancier, you may. Whatever makes your skirt fly up.

Stir it together until it's nice and golden brown.

Then pour in some milk or cream. I poured in enough to cover the bottom of the pan, and then I added some more. So what's that like 2 cups? or 12? I dunno. I'm bad with measurements.

Next add in cheese. I put in some parmesan - about four ounces. How do I know that? because it was an unopened 6 ounce container and I poured 2/3 of it in. (see, I'm capable of measuring, but I just don't like too) I also threw in some shredded mozzarella. I think I added more milk too because it was really goooey and not very saucey.

I finished it off with some pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg. In hindsight, I would have added more liquid (milk or maybe broth) because it ended up too roux-y gooey and not as sauce-y as I wanted, but it still tasted amazing, so I stuck with it.

Ok, now for the spinach part. I decided I needed some garlic flavor in this pizza, and I had some mushrooms, so I chopped them up and threw them with some of that "not-butter" in the skillet and started cooking them.

Wait....why are they not cooking? Maybe it's because I forgot to turn the burner back on. Operator Error=fail.

Once the mushrooms started to get soft, I grabbed a big ol' handful of baby spinach. I don't really want to cook it like crazy. I just want it to wilt down a little. So I lowered the heat in the pan with the mushrooms still in it and I threw the spinach in on top. Within a minute or 2, it went from looking like this.....

to looking like this.....

Ok, now time to assemble the pizzas. I spread oil on the Naaan bread.

I wish I could say it was some kinda fancy-pants, herb infused, hand pressed olive oil....

but it wasn't.

Spread on the alfredo.

Remember that chicken? Cube it up and throw it on top.

Add the spinach/mushroom/garlic/amazing mixure

And what better to top a cheese sauce based pizza with? You got it...more cheese. It's a rule of life, and the fat on my tushie is just going to have to live with it.

Alright, on to the grill it goes. Grilling tips - Keep your flame LOW!!! If your grill is retarded like mine is, you're going to have to move your pizzas around to prevent the bottom of them from getting burned in your hot spots....just sayin'.

Once the cheese is melted, then it's ready to eat!

Here's one handsome and satisfied customer! He ate all of his. I ate half of mine, and had the other half for lunch today, and it was just as good re-heated as it was the first time.

Try it yourself and let me know how it goes!
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