Friday, December 30, 2011

It's a Southern Thing....Black Eyed Peas

black_eyed_peas1

If you know me you know my theory on the Civil War. I'm not gonna beat you down again on the fact that is was NOT fought over SLAVERY, but put due to the sweet South wanted to secede. (read this quick brief summary to get ya started if you want to know more).

North didn't play fair....they stole, burned, killed, raped, or basically destroyed anything in their path through the South. Same for when it came to our crops....they didn't ask...just took our crops and livestock for their troops to feed on.....they pretty much left nothing in their wake for the southerner's left behind.

Enter the black eyed peas. At that time, Northerners considered "field peas" suitable only for animal fodder, and did not steal or destroy these humble foods (why I'm not sure).....hence why as a tradition in the South we eat Black Eyed Peas for luck!! Because it was the one crop they left behind to eat.

I'm a sucker for all beans/peas (well food in general)

As my luck would have it I don't really have a good Texas Caviar recipe in my stash (deep shock)

I do have a fantastic Black Bean Salsa that if I added a can of Black Eyed Peas to it it would be rocking....Hubs said NO....THAT'S NOT TEXAS CAVIAR. Well I know, but it's got our Lucky beans in it.

Any plans for New Years? I'll be lucky if I make it past 8pm....I'm super tired these days....and it's not as if Hubs and I will be swinging from the rafters....Dude has a bit of a cough and has been up a few times at night.....and did I mention he thinks 6am is a good wakey wakey time? (blah)

Speaking of Dude.....here's the sweet lad.....

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He turns 11 months on Sunday....Where has time gone?

With that all said...

HAPPY 2012 .....Here's to another fabulous year.....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Well That Was Scary

OK THAT WAS A TOTAL SCARE

BLOGGER DISABLED MY ACCOUNT/BLOG/EMAIL

AND TOTALLY HAD ME FREAKING OUT.

I was not amused and really upset b/c this is my digital journal....not to mention a little view into all my friends (yes you) lives.

So for about 4 hrs I have been on the computer with no response to my hoards of messages to google for help

BUT I'M BACK

for now....(let's hope forever)

I thought if I violated anything 1. it was news to me.....and 2. maybe the violation was reading too many blogs

Point of the story....

It's good to be back....and now I'm not so sick to my tummy anymore

Different note:

The kids had a wonderful Christmas. Kate got a gift I told her I wouldn't buy her....that no way on earth would she get it.....to create a new list. She was worried b/c she couldn't come up with anything else....Little did miss fancy pants know I already bought it for her back nov 1st. It was so hard for me to keep the secret...but Christmas morning watching her cry her eyes out was so worth it...It's so fun being a parent.

Little Miss Lily got a haircut....Her hot mess of a head is still a hot mess....if she ever slows down I'll snap a picture of the new her

As for haircuts....the oldest boy got one. Yes.....We took him to a salon and got a cut. It's not "mom's choice" but it's well shorter.....(he looks thrilled for me to take his picture) My sweet 15 yr old would look great if it was buzzed off in my opinion. Ok not buzzed....but clipped shorter....at least now I can see his eyes sort of.....(he's still sporting the 70's look)

Before
After
Extra (to see who extra is view a few posts back) is still around and Reid is teething and growing and eating and as active as can be for a child that doesn't walk but run. His nickname is Mikey b/c he eats EVERYTHING...seriously there isn't a food this child doesn't like

More updates to come later...

I'm just glad to be back...what's new with you?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dear Santa,

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Dear Santa,

I think I have been a pretty good girl this year. I hardly complained (cover eyes) and I rarely threw any fits (ducks).

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So if you can find it in your heart of hearts to fill my stocking with sweet treats....

I promise to be even better next year...

Love,

Laura....your favorite little big girl

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Every 23rd we have some of the family over....9 nieces and nephews and 6 adults....for my Favorite Chili Recipe

Last year I made those little Santa cookies and they were a hit....I think I'll make them every year ....nothing like a lil Santa to make you grin. I thought I remembered how time consuming he was, but not until I started rolling the balls...and note to self....TRIPLE the batch not double!

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and that your Santa is good to you this year....

I have a feeling good blessings are coming ......

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

He's an Extra

I love having girl time with my Mini Me.....she's my sweet 10 yr old that still has her head in the clouds and twirls around the house....I pray her sweet heart never changes....

The other night I got Dude down early and Mini Me and I bolted out the door for a little Target shopping and hot chocolates.

kate

As we were driving she told me she liked times like this....when it was just the 2 of us. I told her I did too.

Then the conversation happens...(the one that all my kids seem to want to have with me....you know the "WOW I bet it's cool to be an only child" conversation)

And then I have to remind them of how lonely they would be all day not having the others to play or chat with....yes, even fight with. How they would miss out on all the funny things Lily and Reid are doing.....and I have to remind them of the friends they have that ARE only children that love to come to our house where the chaos is b/c it's so full of life. (not saying the only child's house isn't, but come on....we have 5 loud (points to Lily) kids running amuck half the time...there is always something going on here....and a cookie or two to eat)

Then Mini Me pauses....

"What?" I ask

Mini Me: "Well you know Jake is sort of an extra." she says

Me: "An Extra? What's that mean?"

Mini Me: "Well you know how on a sitcom there is always an extra person that doesn't really do much....they just sort of walk around and are just there....well that's Jake"

Me: (don't even know what to say to that)

Mini Me: "You know?"

Me: "No sweetie I don't know........I mean Jake is a bit quiet and does play on the computer a bunch"

(deep sigh....don't you just love how your kids perceive each other)

Jake is my quiet sweet one. He has the kindest heart of anyone. He is always asking me how I am doing....smiles every chance he can.....and Lily and Reid are drawn to him. Some girl is sure gonna fall hard for this one.

He can also have a temper.....I love seeing his little face....(ok not little, he's 13) It turns all red and he frowns and stomps about....haha...I can't help but laugh at him when he does and then he starts trying not to smile.

Lily loves to play swords with him. She will get every kitchen gadget from the drawers and pretend to spank him....Ok no idea where she gets this...as if the child ever gets spankings

So...there you have another installment of A CONVERSATION WITH ME AND MINI ME

I'm glad to know my kids are like extras......

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jolly Ol Saint Nick....and a Lil Screamer....

I don't have any recent pics of Reid sitting on Santa's lap....Mainly b/c I tried to steer clear of all malls this holiday. So basically I don't have ANY pics of Reid screaming on Santa's lap. Really all you have to do it hand him to someone other than me and he screams....(close your eyes and picture)

I love love looking at everyone's photos of their kids screaming on the fat man's lap...I mean the poor chap gets cried on more times than not...maybe we should be taking him gifts instead of the other way around.

Kate reminded me of the photo I have of Lily on her second Christmas.....We had gone to the main street to check out the lights and listen to the music....there I spotted THE jolly ol man and thrusted (is that a word?) Lily upon him.....makes you feel horrible for snapping a picture of your screaming child desperately reaching for you....but you know you feel compelled b/c you are laughing so hard that you need to capture the moment....

Here's my moment

IMG_7778

I can't stop laughing......

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ho Ho Ho Merry Candy Canes.......

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Yes I had to bust out some Christmas Cookies before the kids went on break.

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I figured the teachers are starting to expect them (not that one kept asking if I forgot and that the last day of school was today or anything....)

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I got lazy....(been a pattern with me lately) and only made candy canes.

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I figured not a lot of colors and easy to decorate.

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I was chatting with Stacy over at Cardigans and Crayons about her Hot Chocolate bar she will be having at her house....which made me realize all the things I forgot on mine. Guess I'll file them away for next year. When thinking of her party I ran across the cutest thing in the Southern Living magazine. They took peppermints and melted them into a plate shape.

Well I just had to see if it worked. I followed their directions to a T and had an epic fail.

Preheat to 350
trace image (or freehand) on parchment paper
have a gap between peppermints
heat 4 mins (or keep an eye on them) or until desired look. Now they said 9 mins, but whoooa. That was too long. I had a melted mess on my hands. 4 or less is perfect.

I decided to do a few C's for my candy cane cookies. (I really wanted to melt the word COWBOY, but not as easy as I pictured)

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Is everyone finished with your Christmas shopping? I am totally not...(did I mention I was tired?) I am very grateful for Amazon Prime Shipping...it's saved me. I'd say I'm 80% ready. I need to make my list and check it twice. Some of the little munchkins in the house might be getting coal. (I can't mention names)

My wish list?
Maid
Maid
Maid
glass top for my door table for craft table
20" x 20" piece of marble for rolling cookies
pedicure

I hope I've been a good girl

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Only In My House

multitask

World English Dictionary
multitask (ˈmʌltɪˌtɑːsk) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

vb

to work at several different tasks simultaneously


Nuff said right? I mean you should only attempt multiple tasks if you are up for the challenge. I live my life in multi mode. Obviously not today.

Get this....I was only making cookie dough.

That's it....

I was adding all the ingredients for a double batch of sugar cookies. I am so behind in making these for Kate's teachers....it usually takes me a few days and that leaves Friday the last day to get these there...(their Christmas party is tomorrow...eek not gonna happen)

I'm measuring the ingredients and thinking of all the other million things I need to be doing....ie laundry (that's like 10 loads high), dishes need unloading and loading, momma needs a shower, swiffer floors, clean guest bathroom, start frying bacon for dinner tonight (baked potato soup) start dessert for In Law wed dinner, keep eye on 2 little rugrats, empty trash...it's starting to stink....finish gift buying....the list is on going....

Then I notice...how many cups of flour did I add?....was that 4 or 5? Oh man...does that look like 4 cups? Should I add one more....or was it 3. seriously laura how do you mess this up?....

I just go with it and hope it turns out. I'm stressing the whole time I'm rolling the dough...."does it feel right....it feels to mushy...no maybe not....you did fine....no I think you messed up....did you start the dryer?"

You see the dilama? Never think when baking...if your name is Laura.

I baked a batch and tasted one.....they seem fine...I think....I'm only used to eating them with icing. No one will notice right?!

___________________________________

On a different note....

I saw this cartoon and had a giggle....this is so our house...(esp the last few) I try to teach the children to think of others....esp when it comes to toilet paper. I'm usually the one that finds the last photo.
tp

Friday, December 9, 2011

Foto Friday: Back Off Jack...They're all Mine

Let me set the scene....

It's way too early for all kids to be up....Only the big kids should be to git otta tha door for skool.

But Lily felt the need to wake me at 5ish to say she was thirsty.....(forced her to lay in bed and count to sleep again) and then dude decided he was missing the fun and got up at 6. Where in turn I willed him with my magic mommy powers to go back to sleep....I guess my magic was empty...b/c by 6:50 I gave up willing him and just got him up.

Downstairs all 5 kids are bustling in the kitchen....I'm watching oldest child pace and talk to himself. (Chemistry mid term exam and he's reciting the charts....) 2nd child is tormenting Mini Me....and Mini Me is all in a tizzy b/c her choir class is heading to the amusement park tonight to sing and ride rides.

I notice Lily and Reid are gone and I hear Reid screaming......."Hey chick...I can't talk yet and you are really making me mad so I'll scream at you to get your attention" kind of yelling (you know I'm like the Baby Whisperer....I can totally understand what Reid is saying when he yells)

I round the corner and find Lily and Reid by the pantry with Lily telling Reid....
"No little baby....They are all mine....Run away!"
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I call Lily's name...

1.3

...and my then bag of marshmallows was no longer .....guess where they went? (I think there were about 6 left)

Obviously I need to teach this girl the art of sharing...poor baby Reid!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Torture When Chocolate is Around

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I may or may not have given in once (ok ok three times) today.

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I had had had to try these cookies out....you see I forgot the vanilla when baking them. (trust me vanilla is a must) and had to see if they were edible for the family tonight. (3 times edible) I figure I had been really really good all week....and messed up this once. THEY WERE CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRY COOKIES FOR PETE'S SAKE....I'm in the clear here right???

What is it about chocolate and cherries that is so insanely enticing together?

Moving on to the ladies man....Elvis is a favorite with the ladies in our house....You go little Elf
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fudgy Goodness...

Ok this isn't the cookie recipe I told you I was going to post. (Wednesday Wednesday....so come back tomorrow)

This is the "last minute oh goody i have everything on hand to make these i can't believe i forgot to make a treat" cookie.

It was advent last night ...and yes again I forgot to plan a snack (what is happening to me?)

I happened to be on Pinterest (shocker there) and ran into these bad boys.
4I checked the ingredients and was jumping for joy I had everything on hand.

They were easy to make....in fact Lily helped me. It was the 2nd time she has asked to help me bake. I am a little surprised at how quickly she 'gets' it. Here Mini Me is 10 and will help measure one thing and she's through. Lily wanted to do it all. I used a stand mixer so I told her to put her hand on top of the stand. She thought she was doing all the mixing by doing that. It was a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e. I have me my mini baker now! (it only took 5 kids)

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I would compare these to chewy brownie's with powdered goodness on them. Did I sample? No (can you believe it?) The kids told me they were out of this world and so far favorite cookie #2 that I make. (#1 are the double oat breakfast cookies)

*a few ppl were asking where I take my photos.....I actually use 2 pieces of white poster board and then either use the light from the windows ....or head outside on our front porch. (I like the lighting there) I am sure if anyone drives by they think what a freak I am (what's new?!)...I'm taking pictures of food for Pete's sake. Then I use my photoshop to add text or brighten picture. I wish I had more time to play around and be more professional....but this gets me what I need quick.

Here's where we found Elvis today....I sure hope he cleans up his mess. I'm sure not (ha...who am I kidding?)

elvis

Off to Target today.....yeah I know you're jealous! (grins)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Miscellany Monday....Elvis is in the Building

Head over to Carissa's and link up...
Miscellany Monday @<br />lowercase letters

one. ZA
Yes Pizza....I love it...I could it eat every single day. (that and mexican food) But as of yesterday that was my last day....why? Because my lovely no-low carb/no sweets (but I am going to have a sweet once a month....like a party ..it will be something I look forward to) and no soda. I owe it to my thighs....Momma needs a jump start again. Wish me well please....because of right now...all I can think about is Dr Pepper. (typical huh?)

two. Prayers
Yesterday my neighbor and bestie txt me about her brother's friend. This sweet girl named Lauren was in a plane accident. The plane ride was fine....but it was after that the tragedy happened. While exiting the plane Lauren somehow walked into the propeller. Struck on the left side of her body, Lauren's hand, head, and shoulder area were hit. Following multiple surgeries, Lauren has received facial and shoulder reconstruction, as well as the loss of her hand. They are currently praying for healing on the left eye and brain. She is in stable condition with ongoing surgery. If you have a chance head over to her page and read the miracles that are happening .. LAUREN

three. Puke
Yep puke. Lily woke us up Sat night/Sun morn with it in the bed. Did I mention we co-sleep? Did I mention she must have had something purple (no idea) This went on for about 5 hrs. We used every sheet/towel/blanket we could find. It's really cold out and we were huddled like little bunnies to keep warm. Thankfully she slept at 5am-11am with no more tummy issues. Reid decided this would be the night he would choose to get up and party. He hasn't had a night like that since he was a wee lad. Momma was tired. Then Dude was up by 7am and so was momma....daddy and Lil slept in...(deep sigh) Last night was better, but Lily woke up at 4am and talked my ear off until 6:40...only to be woken up by the big kids for school before 7.. Dude, Lily and daddy are still snoozing...I did mention I was tired right? Point story....? (if there is one) Pray no one else gets it. I'm tired of doing laundry. Not to mention hate seeing my babies in pain like that.

four. Elvis
This is where we found Elvis this morning...Guess we know who his GF is...
IMG_1198

five. Cherries
I'm a sucker for chocolate covered cherries. (or I was until no sweets) At the cookie exchange one momma brought some cookies that I can't stop thinking about. I am making them for the In Laws dinner for Wednesday. Must have will power. These cookies are a take on those cherry cordials. They have condensed milk in it....nuff said! I'll blog the recipe and photos so stand by.

six. Best Behavior
What is it with ppl? This is supposed to be the season of giving and cheer and kindness towards men. Well it seems anything but when out shopping. I'm not talking for toys *which I did have to hit Toys R Us for a return...never again mind you* But I'm talking at the grocery store for groceries. Shesh it was kill or be killed. I best put my "kick me" sign on my back...It might be easier. Thank goodness I'm in a terrific mood. Nothing can knock me down!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cookie Exchange Party

For as long as I can remember I wanted to host a cookie exchange...

Now I'm not sure I did a great job, but I sure had fun. (Hopefully others did too ha)

I had Charlie Brown's Christmas cd playing in the background (I think I'm the only one that noticed)....and yummy Cinnamon Bear scents burning in the air.....

I had a Wassail bar, hot chocolate bar, and a coffee bar....thanks to Pinterest I stole a few ideas....The peppermint tipped marshmallows were a epic fail....so we just had marshmallows....

IMG_1179

The cookies I made were a complete mess to look at, but they had a nice snap crunch to them and the chocolate cookie itself was divine.

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Chocolate Peppermint Stars
20 round peppermint candies (crushed) 1 1/4 cup flour (plus more for rolling)
3/4 cup cocoa powder 1 1/2 stick butter; softened
1 cup sugar 1 egg 1/2 tsp vanilla

preheat oven to 325
whisk flour, cocoa and 1/8 tsp salt and set aside
beat butter and sugar with mixer on med speed until combined, about 3 mins.
Beat in egg and vanilla and beat another minute.
Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until combine. About 2 mins.
Shape dough into disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hrs.
Roll dough 1/8 thickness on lightly floured surface.
Cut out star shapes and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Refrigerate for 15 mins to firm up.
Cut a smaller star in center of cookies.
Bake 9 mins until slightly firm
Fill center of each cookie with crushed peppermints.
Bake another 5-6 mins until candy has melted
Let cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 10 mins
Transfer cookies to rack
yield 2 dz cookies

I snagged a few (are we even allowed to take our own cookies?) so the kids could sample a few. It was pure torture having them watch me bake them and not getting to sample any.

Anyone ever hosted a cookie exchange party? Any tips or treats for my next one?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 Months.....Rugged Boy in the Making

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I say it every month, but I'll say it again....
HELLOOOOOOOO MY BABY IS GROWING UP.

10 months ago on a frozen world (remember the ice storm) sweet little dude friend came into the world. That day marked another awesome day for us!

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I can't say enough about how sweet Reid is.....

He's like a dash of peppermint mocha creamer in your coffee each morning.
Like the fresh scent of Downy Fabric softener on your towels.
Like the first bite of Mexican food after a long day.
Like the feel of your smooth teeth after a dental cleaning.
(need I say more?)

He is definitely momma's boy and I welcome his glued hip to my hip...for I know that not in the not to distant future my baby will not need me as much.

Love you sweet boy.

(ok now off to finish baking the 6 dz cookies for the party tomorrow....note: the recipe made 24 cookies not 40...I've got a bone to pick with Martha Stewart. But then again after reading some pages of her daughter's tell all book...I'm starting to think Martha hasn't done any of her ideas at all in the first place.)

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