Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Small House, Big Family

W are packing up our new van tomorrow and heading to North Carolina! So excited! Ive never been! That and the fact that I get to say "I have a new van!" Wow, how old am I? It's very evident that you are aging when you get excited about a washer that can wash fifteen to twenty pairs of jeans at a time, a stove that can boil water in two minutes and driving a minivan but you know what.., I love my age and I love my stage... of life.

Were going to NC to stay with Justin's brother and his family. Justin's parents who live in our town (about a mile from us) are driving there as well and his sister and her two boys are flying in from Road Island. Were celebrating Christmas with them early. They (his brother & Family) just bought a new house so we thought that we would break it in the right


We have made a major decision when it comes to Christmas traditions, this year. Typically we put our Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving night. I also hand out our new Christmas ornaments. This year, however, we haven't done either, yet. I have the ornaments but our decision comes to the Christmas tree, were not going to have one! Huge, if you ask me! The thing is we're (more me than "we") are overwhelmed with the size of our house, the limited space in general let alone for a baby to crawl and cruise, let alone for a tree. Vada is SO mobile now and I am afraid that the tree will be a huge distraction and a huge inconvenience for us and especially me during the day. Plus, she could easily get hurt. Maybe its all an excuse to make my life easier but I can guarantee you that I am no scrooge and I truly love being festival but I also believe that this will be best for our bigger than (our) house sized family-- at least for this year.

With that being said, I do love having a Christmas tree and I love our family Christmas traditions. It warms my heart with the thought of how warm our house seems to get with the tree up but I am so concerned that Vada will love the tree a little bit more that I would prefer and not be able to stay away from it. This decision, while being the right one for our current situation does create a new dilemma-- What can we do to replace the tree for the sake of our family tradition?

With the trip to NC, our time is limited for crafty ideas and when we return for our pre Christmas-Christmas we have to celebrate Jasmines 12th birthday sometime before the official birthday of Jesus-- Christmas Day. Which I might mention we wont be officially celebrating Christmas together-- as a whole, on the actual "day". Nope, this year the girls' dads' have them for all holidays. Therefore, we end up doing the meal, the gifts and the whole "Santa thing" on a whole separate day. To add to this crazy mix, Justin has to work, so actually, Christmas day it'll be just little V and I.  So who knows what we will come up with..., but if you have any ideas I would LOVE to hear them! Oh..., and don't get me started on our Christmas cards!  I just remembered them! Maybe we do the Happy New Year version of Holiday cards...


Thanksgiving was nice. This year was the first year that I didn't cook-- anything. at. all! I love, love, love holiday cooking and baking but you know what, I also enjoyed not having to do it! We went to Justin's parents and had a fabulous meal and I got to relax. It was so nice.


Tonight I told Justin to go to a bar, spend tons of money and eat lots of taco's. Curious? Our local GiGi's Playhouse was having a Taco fundraiser night. I couldn't go because I was finishing our house and packing for the trip but I told him to go. He works so much and I was thrilled that he wanted to go. Plus how often do you think he hears me tell him to go to a bar and spend a lot of money He was thrilled too!


Speaking of our GiGi's Playhouse. All of the babies/toddlers in the group (that were able to make it) had a photo shoot. And the group picture turned out great! If your on Facebook and your a friend of mine or one of the other parents who had a child in the photo then chances are you have probably already seen the group photo. Its already my screen saver on all of our computers and my cell. These babies are the definition of cute! Small Wonders Photography did an amazing job and they also did  a great job with Vada's photo for the window of GiGi's. I've seen the choices of photos and of course I think that its going to be hard to decision, but I am her mom.

Hopefully we will see Vada's smiling face and bright eyes looking at us from GiGi's window soon!


Oh...speaking of, "speaking of's", another reason the girls and I didn't make it to tonight's Taco Fundraiser for GiGi' is that both of my older girls ended up grounded.  Lovely, right?

What's that word mean in our house? Grounded. It means that Mamma, that would be me, has extra sets of working hands. Also known as my maids. Okay, so maybe that sounds bad but the truth is, when my girls get grounded they clean and then they go to bed early. For my girls, especially Jasmine, grounding (like going to your room, no friends, t.v, phones, electronics...etc.... doesn't do squat! Half of the time taking those things away from them seems to do nothing at all, they don't seem to mind. This way,at the very least,  I get extra help for the day. I make a list, that is age appropriate, of chores that they have to do and that have to be done by their earlier than normal bedtime. Do I know if this particular method works better over some that we have done in the past?  No, I haven't the foggiest. However, what I do know is that when they get themselves grounded, our house becomes a little cleaner!


Well, my friends, I hope that all of you had an amazing Thanksgiving as well as the soon to be beginning of the Christmas season!

Were doing Advent night at our church tomorrow before heading out and that is always an amazing time as well as a special way for us to begin the Christmas season. I look forward to it every year.

Finally, as I finish this I realized that I kind of got my idea for the title of this post from this blog. For whatever reason, her blog's title must have been on my mind when I chose my title for this post and I had to give credit where credit was due.

Good night all

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Vada loves her reflection. Every morning and after each nap we stop in front of her bedroom mirror and talk to each other. She gets excited about it. If for some reason I am in a hurry and I don't do the mirror talk she always struggles to see past me to it as I walk by. It's sweet.

Kiliegh and Vada share a room so when ever Kiliegh is going into her room V follows. If Kiliegh happens to leave the door open, V notices and in she goes, straight to the mirror.

We talk in the bathroom mirrors as well. After she takes her nightly bath ill lift her up and out of the tub. Snuggle her into a fluffy towel and show her the clean baby in the mirror. She likes that too.

I think she notices her reflection in other objects as well. I know that she sees herself in the ovens door. I often catch her having conversations with her self while I am cooking.

I am pretty for sure that she knows the reflection she is seeing is her or her and I when i am standing with her. Awhile ago she seemed to have figured it out. I would talk to her through the mirror, she would look at my reflection, touch it and then look at me. It was fun watching her figure that one out.

V is a pretty shy girl but when it comes to her own reflection, she is her own best friend!

She will talk to herself for hours (I think), if I would let her.

She makes herself giggle. She makes herself get serious. She shows herself how big she is and she even dances a bit-- for herself.

If we could all amuse ourselves as well as Vada we would never be bored!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bath Time Fun

Sometimes I get lost in Vada. I like to watch her play and learn. I enjoy seeing her think through and explore new things. I enjoy her and all that she is and does. In this video she is playing in the tub, one of her favorite things to do but she makes a specific noise for the wheel on her toy. That's why I began recording her. She is playing, pretending and making intentional noise.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Talking on the Phone

Vada is growing up (she is 20-1/2 months already!) and she is really catching on to new things. She is mimicking others more and she has begun to pretend play. The video is of her pretending to talk on the phone. I love that she does it now. The funny thing is when I pretend to talk on the phone with her, I use my hand and when I do that, she drops her play phone and tries to talk on her hand like me. I'm probably confusing her a little.

Anyway, I realize that to some this video is nothing special. When you have a typical child you often over look some of the smaller accomplishments at least I did. However, I also know that there will be parents who will watch the video and celebrate with me because the understand that progress is progress and that sometimes what seems like small steps to one, can be huge steps for others.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May your day be full of blessings, good company and good food! In honor of Thanksgiving I have made a list of some thing that I am thankful for...

  1. I am thankful for my husband. He loves me for who I am-- flaws and all!
  2. I am thankful for my daughters, each have made me a better person.
  3. I am thankful for my In-Laws. Justin's parents are amazing and everything I would hope for in parents. His siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and so on... they too are an amazing bunch!
  4. I am thankful for my church family.
  5. I am thankful for my sister Charity who has invited me to see her first sonogram for baby number two!
  6. I am excited for GiGis Playhouse and all of the opportunities it may bring to Vada, my family and our community.
  7. I am thankful for Kindermusik and my new friend Jodi and her son Jack. Vada and I are going to have such a good time together in these classes!
  8. I am thankful for the doctors that help keep my children healthy and who have (by the grace of God) worked medical miracles.
  9. I am thankful for a home and a safe place to go at the end of the day.
  10. I am thankful for our new van! It fits our whole family and then some!
  11. I am thankful for my foster parents Augie and Suzan. They have stuck by my side through thick and thin for almost twenty years!
  12. I am thankful to be a stay at home mother and for the peace of mind that comes with being able to raise my own children. (And that my husband works so hard to provide this luxury for his family.)
  13. I am thankful for Vada's therapists, all of them.
  14. I am thankful for Isaac T. and Rusty H, our church youth ministers. I am grateful for their families and to be able to call their wives my friends.
  15. I am thankful that my husband has a good job and I pray for those in need of work.
  16. I am thankful for my own personal health and the health of those that I care about.
  17. I am thankful for good insurance without it we would be in dept beyond our imaginations.
  18. I am thankful to all of the people who donated money for our local awareness walk and also those who helped get Vada's picture on the front window at GiGi's Playhouse (It's coming soon!).
  19. I am thankful to be getting better sleep at night.
  20. I am thankful for the Bible and that God sacrificed so much for me.
  21. I am thankful for the parents that I have met through blogging. I have learned so much from so many of you out there and I enjoy reading about your lives and experiences through your personal blogs.
  22. I am thankful for my freedom and to those who serve our country so that we can be free.
  23. I am thankful for a lot of small things, like books. I love to read, my children love to read and I love our time together when I read to them. And t.v. programs like Housewives, The Next Great Artist, Millionaire Match Maker and Sister Wives (not that I agree with their life choices-- I just like to watch their craziness).
  24. I am thankful to not be alone today. Holidays should be shared with those you love and care about.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones

A perfect companion to hot cider, tea or coffee. Good anytime of the day! These whole wheat
pumpkin butterscotch chip scones are just what your Thanksgiving get together needs!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones with butterscotch chips and sugar sprinkles.

1C. Whole wheat flour
1C. All Purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ground All Spice
7T. Unsalted Butter
1/3C. Pumpkin Puree
1/3C. Heavy Cream
6T Brown Sugar (I use dark brown)
1tsp. Vanilla
1/2C. Butterscotch Chips (or any other flavor--white chocolate is also very good! You could also use some sort of dried fruit like cran-raisins or raisins)

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not required but it makes the clean up much easier). Cut butter into small pieces, put it in a small bowl and put it back into the fridge. In a medium bowl, combine both flours, baking powder, salt and all of the spices (*I don't like All Spice, so I sub extra cinnamon for it. You could do that with all of the spices if you want to.) Wisk together well. Place this bowl in the freezer.

In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, heavy cream, brown sugar and vanilla. Wisk together well. Put this bowl into the freezer and take the other bowl out. Get the butter pieces out of the fridge ans dump them into the bowl of flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour using a blender. When your where you need to be the mixture should resemble crumbs. Stir in chips or fruit.

Get the liquid mixture out of the freezer and poor into the flour/chip mixture all at once. Stir until everything is moistened. The dough should be crumbly. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured counter. Push pile with your hands into a pile, it should stick together fairly easily. Don't over kneed it. Pat dough into a rough circle about 3/4" thick. Cut like a pie, into about eight pieces. Place dough onto sheet and sprinkle with sugar sprinkles found in the cake /baking isle. Bake scones for about fifteen minutes. They should be light brown on the bottom. The tops will darken as they cool.


If your not overly fond of 'pumpkin'-- I still have a fabulous scone recipe that is sure to please even the pickiest of picky people. Plus you can tweak it to your liking!

Jasmine making chocolate chip scones-- her favorite!
*Note, in this picture I have Jiffy boxes, they were not for this recipe. Don't substitute Jiffy for flour in this recipe.*

1-3/4 C. All Purpose Flour
1/4C. sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. butter
1 egg beaten
1/2 C. chocolate chips (may sub with any flavor of chip, nuts, fruit or all three)
4 to 6 T. of half and half
1 extra egg, beaten, to be used to coat tops of scones

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment.

In a brown combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in (1) egg, chips/fruit/nuts and just enough half and half to make mixture leave the sides of the bowl. Knead slightly. Roll into a circle and then flatten until it is about 3/4" thick. Cut like pie slices. Place pieces on baking sheet about 1/2" apart. Brush remaining (beaten) egg on tops (to help brown tops) sprinkle with sugar sprinkles. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Immediately remove from sheet and place on a cooling rack. Can be stored in a freezer for up to four months!


Lunch and a Good Nap

Kiliegh had a doctors appointment that ended u overlapping her lunch period at school so I told her to pick somewhere to go for lunch. Anywhere but fast food. So she choose Denny's, which isn't bad but isn't the greatest either. However, they do have food that is perfect for Vada and that's what I am looking for when we eat out.

Kiliegh ordered what she always orders-- chicken strips and fries and Vada and I split a veggie omelet.

When our lunch came Kiliegh quickly grabbed the ketchup and I noticed the front label and thought it was too cool not to share...

Lunch was really nice. I like doing little things that end u being memorable, with my children and getting out of school to have lunch with Mom makes this experience just that!

After I dropped Kiliegh back off at school I headed over to visit one of my closest friends, Kathee. Kathee was just getting her children ready for their afternoon nap when we arrived and so Vada thought it was only fair that she too take one. She made herself at home on their big green couch and slept like a princess or like an old man with his pants pulled up to his chin-- which ever.

I blogged about this before, Vada criss crossing her legs at the ankles. I love that she does it. She seems so proper, sitting up straight, with crossed legs but this was the first time that I have ever noticed her doing it in her sleep. It must be comfortable to her.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Yellow Bench

Recently I returned this yellow bench at the therapy center and exchanged it for a chair but the morning before I gave it back I saw this.

We had the bench for a few months and never once did I sit Vada on it. Truthfully, the thought never crossed my mind. Funny because its a bench and you sit on benches...

We borrowed the bench to help Vada pull herself to a stand and to begin cruising which she has been doing both of for a long time now. The thought of using it for other purposes should have come to mind but sometimes I get so focused on a task I forget to look beyond it. Jasmine, well, she thought "out side of my box".

Jasmine often watches V while I am taking a shower or cooking dinner. On this particular day I was in the shower and when I came out my heart seriously felt as if it had turned to mush. There was my oldest teaching my youngest. Doing things that I had never done. Things I had never thought of let alone asked for her to do. I was so proud. I often am when it comes to the relationship between these two.

Jasmine says that she wants to be a chef or a "culinary artist" as she puts it and I know that if she puts her mind to it she'll she cook up some amazing meals. However, I often wonder if that's what her future really holds for her. The way that she is with V makes me wonder if her life will have something to do with helping others... it seems to me that Vada is prepping Jasmine for her future. Or maybe its just a sisterly bond. Time will tell.

Jasmine reads my blog occasionally. I often hear that she had free time at school and gets on to see whats new.
Jasmine, if you are reading this, know that I. Am. Proud. To. Be. Your. Mom! Your a good kid and you were created by God for good things. I am blessed to be a part of your journey and I cant wait to see how your adventure in life unfolds. I love you, always. -Mom

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shop Girl For A Day

A day after working on her school project for six hours and extra crafts for three Kiliegh wanted to do the "Dad thing", which I think is pretty sweet. So off she went following behind Justin and straight into his shop. She asked to play with his tools, so he decided to start her off with something simple. Nails, a board and a hammer, naturally. Goodness, that sounds wrong in so many ways.

After showing her how to place and hit the nail with the hammer and how to not hit your opposite hand in return, he let her loose.

*Take note that the piece of wood has only one hole, the one with the nail in it...

After spending over an hour hammering nails into a board, Kiliegh was ready to move to something new. Removing the nails was her next task.

Notice a change in the wood now verses in the beginning pictures? I don't know how she lasted an hour doing it let alone the three that she spent altogether!

Justin moved Kiliegh from a hammer to a power tool and she thrilled! Although she was having a hard time with the loud noise that it made.

Again, Justin made sure to show her how to use the drill properly. He's a good Daddy.

And then, once again, he set her loose with the drill. And again, she couldn't get over the sound of it.

However, she quickly realized that she wouldn't be able to use the drill if she used only one hand, so she sacrificed hearing the noise and away she went!

I wouldn't say that it's every Father's dream to have his daughter be interested in the same things that he is interested in because I seriously have no clue. What I do know is that Justin is a patient and loving man and for the three hours that Kiliegh was in his shop he wore a faint smile and he seemed completely peaceful. Kiliegh, well, she was so proud that he let her do "all kinds of cool stuff". I am pretty for sure that they made each others day!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Temper, Temper

I love this hat and other hats like them. I put it on V's head this morning because it was cold outside and I wanted to protect those cuter than cute ears of hers but she wasn't thrilled about it. Not at all. Once the hat was on I decided to take a picture of her accentuated cuteness but all she wanted to do was get the thing off! I said "no" one time and this is what I got....
Her fit lasted only a few seconds and then she was laughing hysterically, and I was too! (Bad Mommy, bad.) She is really becoming expressive, to say the least!

Criss Cross Applesauce

Vada has a way of sitting with her feet being crossed. She has begun to do it quite a lot as of lately and when she does it, it reminds me of how I would ask the older girls to sit, when they were younger--  I'd always say criss cross applesauce and they would know that I wanted them to sit down with their legs crossed. It was something that we told the kids to do at tumbling and I never really lost it from my vocabulary. Vada cant help but to sit like this and I think that it is soooo cute!

Love it!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Since Vada has grown in height and become even more mobile than she was prior to her hear surgery we have had to move some of our pieces of furniture around to make things a bit safer for her curious little self. The coffee tables have a sliding drawers and V would always grab onto the handle when pulling herself up to a standing position. When she would do this with the small end table she could sometimes pull it over on herself. Luckily, I have always been close enough to catch the table before it caused any damage. Sometimes, V would open the drawers to grab something that was inside of it and with one hand in, she would actually close it on herself. Typically, I am pretty close by her but when I am cooking or using the "facilities",  it became the perfect opportunity for her to get hurt.

When the locks on the drawers no longer became an obstacle for V (about a day after putting them on) we ended up turning the drawers away from the living room but eventually she learned that they were on the other side and once that happened we moved the smaller one away from the living room and faced the larger tables drawer towards the couch and then pushed the couch into the table drawer. Every so often, when I have cleaned under the couch and have forgotten to push the couch all of the way into the table she ends up noticing right away. In most cases she gets herself stuck... Look for yourselves....

...but wait, it gets better...
She looks like she is crying but shes not. Shes kind of grunting and trying to figure her situation out.  I was right there, I wouldn't let her hurt herself.

I'll give her an "A" for her efforts and another for her determination!!!