Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You know you live in a small town when...

They open a Denny's and it makes front page news!

Yes, our little town FINALLY has a restaurant open past 8pm, and the kids could not be more excited! Wharton has not seen this much action since they remodeled Walmart!

We went for brunch the other day and Danny downed four pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and finished Doug's waffle!

Maybe they should call it

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It all caught up to me!

I was scheduled to work Friday, and I DID show up...


(my monitor screen with contractions every two minutes.)

I woke up about 2:30 am with contractions and tried to ignore them until 5am when I finally woke Doug up and told him we had to go get checked out. After a couple of IV bags, blood work, and some medication they finally let me go home.

I do not make a good patient, so I'm going to take it easy this weekend and try really hard to do nothing.

I have to keep working or we'll loose our insurance.
Praying I can make it six more weeks,
will you pray, too?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Meatless Friday

This week's meal isn't really a whole meal. It's the basis to let your imagination roam free. You can stuff or top this naan with anything! If you're unfamiliar with naan, it is basically just an Indian style flat bread. Okay, maybe it's not "just" flat bread. This stuff is AMAZING. It is soft, pillowy, full of lovely bubbles and so extremely versatile. You can eat this along side of a meal to sop up gravies and juices, you can make flat bread sandwiches with it, top it with tomato sauce and cheese for a quick personal pizza, use it in place of tortillas for quesadillas... the possibilities are endless!!
This week's Meatless Friday meal is:

Quick and Easy Naan Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Up to four cups flour, plus a few tbsp for workspace

Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Add salt and three cups of flour. Mix thoroughly and add up to another cup of flour to get a nice, soft, pliable dough. Knead dough on a floured workspace about 20 times and form into a tight ball. Put dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel.
Put in a warm place to rise for 30-45 minutes. Dough won't rise much, but it doesn't need to. Turn dough out onto a floured workspace. Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/8" thick.
Grill naan pieces on a grill or electric griddle. In a pinch, a frying pan sprayed with some nonstick cooking spray will work. Grill for 1-2 minutes on each side.

You can add fresh garlic, cilantro, green onion, etc... to the dough for added flavor, or just eat plain!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rag Wreath

Working on an OB unit lets me see the latest baby decor and trends. Usually, family or friends bring a cute wreath to place on the room door of the new mother. I've seen LOTS of cute wreaths and they usually come with a hefty price for that cuteness! So being the cheapskate that I am, I knew I could make my own for our sweet baby girl.

Considering my obsession with fabric, I made a rag wreath and I am in love with this craft!

This project could not be more simple!

I bought an inexpensive wreath (18 inch in size), about two yards total of colorful fabrics, and some tulle.

In PINK of course!

Cut one inch wide strips of fabric about 12 inches long and start tying around the wreath. Tie the strips close together for a fuller look.

You can also add bits of ribbon, tulle, and rick rack to add texture and to boost the cuteness factor!

This was so simple that Danny and I put this together in about an hour! We already have plans for making Halloween and Christmas themed wreaths.
I'm still thinking about embellishing our baby wreath. Maybe nesting one of my homemade rag dolls inside and her name in wood cut outs decoupaged with scrapbook paper. Stay tuned for the final product!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille

Just before leaving work the other day, my manager asks if I could be at the hospital in the morning (my day off of course!) to "play a pregnant patient" for a commercial for the hospital. "Ummm...sure, I guess", was my reply. She also needed a family for the commercial, so I volunteered my motley crew.

The morning of the shoot I asked her if she was sure she wanted US!
I mean, I don't think the camera crew was expecting a 40-something couple with four kids in tow for their commercial!

It was really simple. I just laid in bed and was handed a baby by one of the nurses. My wonderful family comes in and we all adore the baby.

And it only took us seven takes and less than 20 minutes to get it right!

Now if the actual labor and delivery could be that easy!

(You know I'll post the commercial link when I get it...
that is if we don't end up on the cutting room floor!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My days are not mine anymore!

I'm tired and I haven't even begun the week yet!
My days are no longer mine anymore, get this:

I work 12 hour shifts three days a week.
I have to go back to said work for two days out of the week for antenatal testing, 'cause you know....I'm OLD!
Doctor appointment weekly unless I see the Perinatologist or Internal Medicine docs, then that's twice a week.

Right there is SEVEN days ~ last I recall there were only seven days in a week!

I think I'd be ok with it if the hospital/Dr.'s offices were just down the street, but we have an hour commute both ways. That means the kids have to come with us AND I'm going to have to keep working just to pay for the gas to get to and from appointments!

Work is killing me.
Being pregnant and on my feet for 12 hours a day is excruciating.
The girls at work are awesome in that they really do try to make my assignments easier (giving me the closer labor rooms or the less difficult patients!), but it's still so hard and it takes me a whole day off just to recover.
As you see, there will be no more days off!

Just wondering...
is it wrong to pray to win the lottery?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Meatless Friday

I'm combining two previously posted Meatless Friday meals AND building up my freezer stash....two birds with one stone, fabulous!
I'm going to make a huge batch of the super easy
and put it into quart sized ziplock bags for the freezer. I should get anywhere from 4 to 6 quarts of the sauce to make quick meals after the baby comes.

Then I'm going to make a double batch of
I'm going to freeze just the stuffed shells without the sauce so I can store them easily in gallon sized ziplocks. When ready to serve, I'll just take out what we need, place them in a casserole dish, ladle defrosted sauce over the top, and pop into the oven!

Growing baby,
growing freezer stash for when baby arrives.
I feel like I'm making my way into the home stretch with just eight more weeks of preparations to go!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mason Jar soap dispenser

Here's another little piece of crafty crap I found on Pinterest,
a Mason Jar soap dispenser~
Super cute and super easy to make!

Take an old Mason Jar with the lid attached and using an awl, punch out holes to get a hole in the lid about the size of a dime.

Take the pump from one of those plastic prefilled soap dispensers and rest it inside the hole you just made. You want the pump base to be bigger than the hole for a tight fit. Now gently press and twist the pump down until it fits through the hole.

Unscrew the lid and turn upside down. Fill around the base of the pump with a good epoxy and let dry. Fill with your favorite hand soap.
That's it!

So cute that I made one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen!
It holds way more soap (about 2 1/2 times more) than the cheapo plastic prefilled dispensers, and it lets me water down the soap to make it stretch a bit farther.
Although, next time I think I might fill with a clear soap to see the details of the pretty jars!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some people call it "nesting"...

I call it an episode of

I've been sloooowly trying to declutter and organize the house before the baby comes. It's been SUPER easy with four rowdy boys, homeschooling, and working full time!

I decided to clean out the water heater closet this week.

I should have just stayed in bed.

We had crap piled almost to the ceiling in that little 6X3 closet!

Three trash bags and a gallon of sweet tea later, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief as that little task was marked off my list.

Now the empty closet is the secret headquarters for super heroes!
Shhh....don't tell anyone!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First day back to (home) school!

We started our homeschooling year yesterday.
It went fairly smoothly...

Kyle and Doug discussing history and theology.

Danny working on phonics.

Then there is John Paul, who refused to get out of his pajamas!
Thank goodness he's not in public school, I have a feeling there would have been many parent/teacher conferences in my future!

Monday, August 15, 2011


We've lived in the country for close to five years now and last week we had our FIRST trip to the ER with a kid....pretty good track record IMHO!

Instead of getting bit by a snake, breaking a leg by jumping out of a tree, or getting shot with a BB gun, Kyle took a nasty fall off of his bike and fractured his wrist!

But if you ask him, he'll tell you he did it while hunting wild hogs!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Meatless Friday

This week's meal is very versatile! You can substitute any vegetable, add more eggs, more spice, etc... it is very forgiving! It's also a good way to clean out the fridge of leftovers. Although I am a lover of quiche, I do not like the crust (or the carb load!) so this fits the bill perfectly!
This week's Meatless Friday meal is:


1 1/2 cups red potato, cubed
1 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, chopped and steamed
1/2 cup Jarlsberg cheese (or whatever you have on hand)
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Saute the potato and onion over medium heat in an oven-safe skillet with a little olive oil for about 10 min or until potato is tender. Stir frequently. Add broccoli florets and top with cheese.

Mix eggs, milk, salt, and paprika. Pour into skillet over broccoli/potato/onion mixture. Shake the pan a bit to distribute the ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 min or until the bottom starts to set up while the top is till a bit liquid.

Move skillet to oven and cook for another 15-20 min or until the frittata has set up. A toothpick inserted about an inch from the center should come out clean.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You know what they say...


Well it looks like we've applied that little saying in the baby growing dept.
I had an appointment with the perinatologist and this kid is HUGE!
She's a a little over 3 1/2 pounds at 28 weeks (a whole pound bigger than she's supposed to be!)

I got the lecture on controlling my blood sugars better and exercising....I really wanted to tell him that I much rather lay around, sew, and drink sweet tea all day, but then I thought I'd better not.

So we're watching every carb that goes into my mouth and my tea is now sweetened with stevia.

Oh, here's the other kicker...

She's breech!

But we're going to have a little talk, she and I, about turning the right way to come out before she gets to be 36 weeks!

Prayers appreciated!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baby Dolls!

I love hand made baby dolls, you know, the rag doll kind ~ not the creepy plastic kind! And after four boys I FINALLY get to have some in the house!

I wanted to make our baby girl her very own baby doll for Christmas. Yeah, I know she'll only be 2 1/2 months old, but I wanted to do it anyway!
Humor me.

I found the perfect FREE pattern from Emily Martin at Black Apple (and featured HERE on

You'll want to watch the video segment from the show to get all the little tips and different embellishments you can use when making the dolls. These two lovelies went together in an hour!


I stitched their little faces instead of painting them since these dolls will be chewed and drooled on!
I also didn't add any vintage buttons, ribbon, or rick rack for the very same reasons, but I'm sure future versions will be embellished to the MAX!

And oh how I can't wait for those toothless little gums to get a hold on one of these sweet dolls!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Frozen Assets

Y'all know I'm all about the planning
(or maybe I'm just anal retentive....whatever!).
But I'm a little freaked out that this baby will be here in about ten weeks!

I'm SO not ready!

In a lame attempt to try to control my environment, I thought I'd focus on stocking the freezer with meals for after the baby comes.

The weekends I'm not working I'm going to make double batches of our meals and freeze one of them. Making a double batch isn't any harder than making the original meal, so I might as well stock up while I can!
Saturday night we had beef enchiladas. The tray on the left is sauced, cheesed and ready for the oven! The tray on the right is plain (sauce is in the pantry) and ready for the freezer. After an overnight chill, it will go into a large ziplock to save space until we are ready to eat.

Sunday I put a pot of taco soup and a crock of chili on to cook all day.
I'll take some of the soup for lunches this week and we'll have the chili (with cheddar cheese muffins!) for dinner Sunday night. All the leftovers will go into large ziplocks for the freezer.

If I can do three meals a weekend then that will roughly give me 24 meals for when the baby comes!

Can somebody holla!

Less stress at dinner time, less mess, and less expense...
more time for cuddling baby!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Meatless Fridays

I don't really have a meatless meal this Friday due to my work schedule. But this week I DID discover an incredible accompaniment to any meal. This quick bread is so good and you can add just about anything to this basic mix like jalapenos, bacon, or ham. These can be served with a bowl of soup, chili, or a big garden salad. They must be served right out of the oven and they are truly addictive!

Cheddar Cheese Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 stick melted salted butter

Whisk together dry ingredients, then stir in cheese.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg, milk, and butter together. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir with a spoon to combine.
Bake in greased muffin tins at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Makes 12.

Capt-Dan America!

Evil doers BEWARE!

(just don't tell him it's a modified frisbee!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More sewing for baby

This past weekend I found an easy (and free!) pattern for
contoured baby burp cloths online.
You can find the pattern HERE.

So I dug into my scrap pile and bought an inexpensive towel from Walmart for backing (instead of the suggested flannel).

I figured toweling would be better, cause when my babies puke, they puke BIG! Plus, when the baby out grows them they'll make great dust cloths or wash rags for Abby.

I also picked up a few large hand towels and made a couple of changing mats:

I'm not a big fan of diaper bags so I made the mats with two pockets at the bottom to hold diapers, a baggie of wipes, cell phone, keys, whatever!

And it folds up nice and compact to throw into my purse or baby sling!

Ten burp cloths and two changing mats for a grand total of $6.00.