Friday, May 26, 2017

Summer 2017 Kick-Off

Well, here we are. The first OFFICIAL day of Summer 2017.

My 8 year old is at the day lily farm with my mom.

My 4 year old is sitting next to me playing educational games on her tablet.

My 48 year old is at the office "working."

And myself? I am piddling, "working," chasing rabbits, and trying to recuperate from my first official year as a non-teacher.

Yep, after 18 years, I threw in the towel and "semi-retired" last August. It's been the most amazing school year ever and I am so thankful that I made the decision to step away from the white board and breathe.

I love my profession and still do. It's about peace and the lack thereof. My profession has changed dramatically and I wasn't mentally prepared to change with it. In the future, I may be ready to return to the gradebooks, assemblies, ARD meetings, and paperwork; but for the present, I am content.

No matter who you are, find that contentment and peace in whatever stage of life you are experiencing. With the Lord, that's not too difficult, so lean into Him and chase those rabbits... or in my case, chickens.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Alfredo Mac 'n Cheese ... A Mash-Up Made in Heaven

If you like fettuccine alfredo...and boy, do I.

If you like mac 'n cheese...the original comfort food.

And if you're a little off, like yours truly...

You will LOVE my crazy Alfredo Mac 'n Cheese recipe that I concocted one day out of pure boredom and a lack of other ingredients. So, all the little fork bangin' sweeties in your life will shower you with love after you make them this...

Alfredo Mac 'n Cheese 

8 ounces elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping teaspoon of minced garlic (in a jar) (add more if desired)
1 dash garlic powder (just to make it extra garlicky)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan/asiago/romano (or other fancy sounding Italian cheeses)
*parsley and extra parm for garnish

Cook macaroni as directed on little rectangular box. Leave in the water on the stove, but turn burner off.

In medium saucepan, melt butter slowly, stir in flour, salt, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Remove from heat briefly to slowly stir in milk. (There is a good reason for this, but it doesn't matter.)

Return to low heat. Gradually stir in cheese until completely smooth, gooey, and melted.

Drain macaroni.

Pour cheese sauce over macaroni in large bowl and stir to your heart's content.  Toss some dried parsley and extra parmesan on top to make it look fancy.

Enjoy! Tweak it with extra salt/pepper if desired. IT IS SO GOOD!

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.

That is all I have to say about the last month of school.
Teachers, rejoice.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rainy Day Crock Pot Lasagna

When it is a gross and rainy day and you just want to come home to something delicious simmering in the crock pot, this is a GREAT recipe to throw together. I personally love lasagna and this crock pot version is just as yummy and is ready to serve after 4 hours of cooking. Add a Caesar salad and some warm garlic bread, and baby, you got a meal!

Here ya go!

1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped (I use 1 cup of frozen onion, celery, and peppers)
2 tsp of minced garlic (or 2 smashed garlic cloves)
1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano or a package of spaghetti seasoning
12 ounces cottage cheese 
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese or 1/2 cup asiago cheese
12 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef, onion mix and garlic in frypan.
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and oregano.
Cook long enough to get it warm.
Spoon a layer of meat sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker.
Add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break to fit) and top with cheeses.
Repeat with sauce, noodles and cheeses until all are used up. Top with extra mozzarella or parmesan 
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Options to consider: If you like your lasagna to have a Texas flare, throw in a can of Rotel for some kick!

And..there is no such thing as TOO much cheese. I sometimes throw in shredded monterey jack cheese as well!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One with the Cat

Disclaimer: This is my official Christ Kay update for my own records, posterity, and relief of a guilt trip from Second Child Syndrome.
Christa Kay, who will be 10 months old this Sunday, is growing faster than Sydney can put on a swim suit.
In March, she was trying to crawl.
In April, she WAS crawling.
In May, she was pulling up to stand & cruising.
In June, she was climbing stairs.
In July, she started walking.
She can say:
"May May"
"Buja, Buja, Buja"
and other strange one syllable utterances I can't really make out yet.
She will eat anything. Anything as in leftover Hawaiian pizza, watermelon, and hotdogs.
As long as it is small enough to cram in her mouth, it will be eaten.
She has 3 teeth and a swollen spot where #4 is trying to come in.
She's a hoot. She's a mess. She thinks Sydney is the most hilarious thing to come down the pipe.
Her eyes twinkle and everyone says she is "bertiful." She has dimples and that is one feature that not one family member possesses.
She wakes up happy and for the most part, goes to bed happy after a few minutes of whining.
She loves the cat. Simeon is her buddy. When she sees Simeon, her world lights up, she squeals with joy, and crawls at break-neck speed, knees a scrapin', to see Simeon.
She is ONE with the cat.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Southern Belle Sweet Tea

This summer, I've thrown a few wing dings on the patio. At each wing ding, I make a huge container of my Southern Belle Sweet Tea. Everyone comments on how smooth and refreshing it is and how it is not too sweet, but sweet enough, and not the least bit bitter.

So, for those of you that want my recipe, here goes: It is a combination of sweet tea recipes that I have found and it has been tweaked to my liking. Super simple.

Southern Belle Sweet Tea - Yields 2 quarts (simply double for a gallon)

6 Regular size tea bags (or 2 family size)
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 cups cold water

1. In a large glass measuring cup, place your tea bags and baking soda.
2. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the tea bags.
3. Cover and let it steep for exactly 15 minutes.
4. Take out the tea bags carefully and resist the urge to squeeze them.

Repeat after me, "I WILL NOT SQUEEZE THE TEA BAGS." This is what makes tea bitter.

5. Add sugar. (You may add more or less depending on your sweet tooth.)
6. Stir in sugar until it is completely dissolved.
7. Pour into pitcher. Add COLD water. Stir.
8. Let it cool at room temp, and then put in refrigerator. Serve over ice!

The method of this recipe is more important than the actual ingredients. If you measure everything out exactly, though, you will consistently get a great pitcher of refreshing sweet tea. Sometimes, I throw in the juice of 1 whole lemon, just to give it some pizazz.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Taking it Slow

My goal this summer is to take it slow.

and to stop rushing about the house like I'm heading to a 5-Alarm blaze.

It seems that I do everything FAST, and not fast like "speedily," but FAST like, BREAK-NECK Coyote and Roadrunner FAST.

Why do we rush around like this? Especially us mamas?

It's cause we are trying to get everything done as quickly as possible so we can hurry up and have fun.

Fun. A lost art. Fun? What is that?

Hanging out with my two angels is what I really want to do. That is fun. Going out with my husband and laughing over breads sticks and ice tea. Fun.

Yes, there are stale crunchies and Froot Loops on the kitchen floor. They need to be swept.
Yes, the sheets need to be washed. The clothes NEED to be folded. And man, the dust on the shelves could grow a well-respected garden.

But, I have made a decision. I will take it slow. I will breathe. I will do my chores deliberately and with gusto and look forward to every moment I have in this house with these people that share my last name and my love.

Taking it slow and enjoying the ride...cause this ride is moving fast enough, which means I don't have to.