Monday, January 31, 2011

Totally Easy Taco Soup

This soup tastes great and is super easy (and cheap) to make, it's what we are having tonight!

"Totally Easy Taco Soup"
-1 pound of lean ground beef
-1 onion (usually I skip this ingredient)
-1 (15 ounce) can of kidney beans 
-1 (15 ounce) can of of whole kernel corn
-1 (14 ounce) can of stewed tomatoes
-1 (6 ounce) can of tomato sauce
- 2 to 3 cups of water
- 1 (10 ounce) can of Rotel tomatoes
- 1 (1 and 1/4 ounces) package of taco seasoning
- 1(1 ounce) package of Ranch dressing mix

1. Cook ground beef, drain well, and pour into soup pot. 
2. Add all of the other ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.
3. Enjoy!

We usually eat our soup with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. However, it is also good by itself if you don't have those things on hand!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Strep Throat and the Flu :(

I worked at the school for a little bit on Friday and Con's teacher told me that kids were "dropping like flies" in her room and going home sick, and I immediately started stressing...flu season is raging, and we did not get flu shots this year! To be honest, I didn't take Connor to get a flu shot because he literally freaks out from fear of shots. His 5th year checkup and immunization visit was one of the worst days ever, and he still remembers the exact scrubs that the nurse was wearing that gave him his shots...she was just doing her job, but he was so mad! Anyway, needless to say, I didn't bother getting the flu shot for him this year....big mistake! During the middle of the night Friday night, Con was restless and crying. After immediately taking his temp, it came out to be 101.9, so as luck would have it, we were out of tylenol. Thank goodness for Kroger being open 24/7! Drew went and bought tylenol and that soothed Con back to sleep, he had tons of blankies on him and slept with me (although I didn't sleep because I was so scared his temp wouldn't stay down). So, we finally made it to urgent care around lunchtime on Saturday and Connor tested positive for Strep throat and the Flu. The doctor said he was a very sick little guy and would need 2 shots. He was honestly so lethargic and sleepy that he didn't notice the doc whispering that to me. However, when they stuck those two shots in his booty, he started hysterically crying AND I started crying. It was so pitiful! He got so mad that his neck looked like this last night...

No, this is not a reaction from the shot, it is a result of him being so upset at the doctors office. This has only happened one time before (when we had a HORRIBLE experience at a pediatric dentists office) before we found the best pediatric dentist around, so I know it isn't a rash of any kind.

My Mommy-mind was racing 1,000 miles a minute the night before last because I had never seen him so sick in 6 years. Even though I felt so bad he had to have 2 shots (one that was really bad) - I am so thankful, because they've knocked the strep completely out so now he is just resting and trying to get over the flu.
As I put on facebook, WASH YOUR HANDS constantly!!! 
Stay well, and enjoy this sunshine!

Snow 2011

 Connor ready to go out in the snow in his "Randy" hat!

 I was so excited that Connor was actually getting to see this much snow -- it was so pretty!
 Brinkley was loving the snow.

 Mom's tahoe was covered!
 Table on the back deck...
 It will be so funny to think about this pic when we are floating in the pool this Summer...

 Loving it!!!!

 Papa and Connor making a plan...

 Even Nona came out to play!

 Thawing out with some spaghettios.
The huge snow that we received was beautiful and rare in Georgia, and we enjoyed every second of it! I hope you all had fun in the snow as well!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowcation 2011 - Interview with Connor

Mommy: Have you enjoyed the snow?
Connor: "Yeah"

Mommy: What are your favorite things about the snow?
Connor: "Um, sledding on the four wheeler, sledding, and jumping off the sled, and getting runned over by a sled."

Mommy: Are you ready to go back to school?
Connor: "I don't know."

Mommy: Have you enjoyed staying with Nona and Papa?
Connor: "Hmmm...Yes."

Mommy: Did you like the taste of snow cream?
Connor: "Yes!"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where are you snow?

Connor has been a wild man at Nona and Papa's house this afternoon, the snow predictions have made him CARAZY!!!!! I think he is finally winding down and ready to go to school for us tomorrow, yay!!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Will we....

be receiving more of this???
If so, I sure hope it comes on Sunday evening so that Connor and I both get "snow days" out of it. I forgot to blog about this last week when it happened, but Connor got the "Happy Note" on Thursday. This is the second time he has received the happy note this year! :) Nona took him to Target to spend his gift card that afternoon from Johnny, Debbie, and Chessa. Of course, he found something a little over his limit and had to "borrow" some money from Nona - yep, totally my child! haha! 
All week I've been feeling "blah" and waking up with ears hurting and sore throat, so I've doubled up on vitamin C and taken Dayquil quite consistently. By nighttime, I am so sleepy, achy, and ready for bed. Hopefully my body is fighting off whatever I am trying to get. I don't have time to be sick! I did wake up with a cold sore this morning :( 
Enough whining from me - I hope everyone has a great weekend and stays warm, don't forget to get your milk and bread...haha!  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

My Mom's friend Debbie sent me this recipe in an email on Sunday afternoon after I asked her for it, because Mom and Dad were saying she made it on NYE and that it was really good. She sent it to me, and I picked up the ingredients at Publix after school today and made it while I was on the phone with Jill. It turned out really good! Drew had to work late, so hopefully he will be happy to come home to a hot bowl of soup when he does get in from work since it is so nasty and rainy outside. Today was my first day of classes, and it was a good day. Connor fell asleep on the couch around 4:30 this afternoon, and I can't get him to wake up...this should make for an interesting bedtime tonight! Anyway, here is the recipe...let me know if you try and it and if you like it!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
4 chicken breasts, cooked & chopped
2 family size cans cream of mushroom soup
1 jar roasted bell peppers, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 medium onion chopped
2 16 oz. jars mild salsa
sour cream
tortilla chips (we like fritos)

"In large pot saute onion and garlic in hot oil 5 minutes.  Add roasted bell peppers (I chopped them in my food processor), bay leaves, black pepper, mushroom soup and 2 cans of water (I use 1 can of broth from where I cooked the chicken and 1 can water).  Mix wel l.  Bring to a boil.  Add salsa and chicken  ( I also chopped chicken in the food processor too) .  Simmer on medium for 45 minutes.  Stir often.  Pour into bowls and add sour cream and tortilla chips.

These are a few of my favorite things

These are a few of my favorite things from the past year.

1. L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara - I have tried every mascara including DiorShow, the orange tube by CoverGirl that everyone loves, MAC, Clinique, YSL, Maybelline, and many more. I am telling you, I've tried them all - but I really like this kind. It can be found at Ulta, Target, and even some Kroger stores. 

2. The Lucky Brand boots that I received from "Santa Dawn and Terry" - they literally go with everything, they're SO comfortable, and I absolutely love them. I have a teensy tiny addiction to shoes and particularly boots!

3. My favorite tv show is Gossip Girl. If you have never watched, do yourself a favor and tune in. It's like a new version of 90210 except it's set in NYC.

4. Speaking of NYC, one of my favorite things is the Louis Vuitton handbag that I purchased while in NYC this summer. I love Louis so very much and how it reminds me of NYC every time I look at it.

5. Moroccan Oil seems to be all the rage and has been for a while now. I have the tiny bottle and have used it every day for a month and still have 90% of the bottle left, so there is no telling how long the one bottle will last. It makes my hair feel like silk when I put it on, and it smells great! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back into the swing of things

Connor went back to school today and had a good day. He wore his new light up shoes and told me that Seth said "Dude, those are cool, make them light up again!"

I enjoyed my last day off before heading to school full time until May, literally, full time. I will be in class 5 days a week all day...eek!

And, remember to be extra careful when drying things. Drew got a North Face sweatshirt for Christmas, and the tags say to "tumble dry on low" - so I did just that, and guess what? It shrank! Ugh! I am a meticulous laundry person, and when something goes wrong or clothes get ruined, it drives me batty. Oh well, don't sweat the small things, right?!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Last year, I didn't make any resolutions. I kept thinking about them and how usually my resolutions are very cliche and are to "eat healthier, lose weight, drink more water, blah blah blah." Yesterday at church, Dad preached a great message! He talked about resolutions, compelling others to come to church, and a lot more. When I tell people about church services that I've enjoyed, I find myself saying "you just had to be there" -- which is so true. I've been on the other end of that as well and have missed seeing loved ones getting saved or other great sermons because of laziness and not going to church, and I always feel regret - obviously, it is best to attend church as much as possible. Back to the resolution thing, I decided to make not only one but a few this year. To be very honest, 2010 was a hard year for us. We had a few "come to Jesus" meetings and realizations as we like to call them and know that we need to make some changes in our life in order to move forward. Moving forward was also another huge part of Dad's message yesterday. Moving forward and leaving things behind seems like such a simple thing to do, but we all know it is easier said than done. I hesitate in saying our past year was hard, because compared to what some of our loved ones and friends deal with regarding sickness and such, our year was fantastic. But, I believe we all face our own troubles, and the good Lord cares about all of them and can help us in all of them. I was listening to this financial planner man talk on tv the other day about how we like pray "Lord, I've been stupid, please help me to get out of this mess I've made for myself" and we pray that prayer over and over but don't actually do anything or put forth any action to clean up the messes we've made. So, my #1 New Years Resolution is to leave regrets and mistakes in the past, and start doing something to move forward and have the best year I can possibly have. This includes a lot of small things such as spending far less money and saving far more, trying to make healthier decisions about what foods I eat, exercising more, and yes drinking more water ;) I really don't drink enough. I'm also going to read the bible more, make more of an effort to be in church every single Sunday, take Connor to Sunday school -- all of these things fall under the "moving forward and doing something" category. On that note, I am going to finish taking down the Christmas stuff and make a grocery list.
Have a good week!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Very often, Christmas cards will have a message stating "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" - I guess it is sort of killing two birds with one stone. It's easy to group these two wishes together, because it seems like they're literally back to back. It's past both of them, and I haven't blogged about our Christmas or New Years, oops!
This picture was taken on Christmas Day at Andy and Connie's house, we were trying to get a family picture in front of the pretty snow. The white Christmas that we had this year was such a blessing, and although it threw some plans off a little bit, it was still fun and beautiful to see. Per usual, Drew, Connor, and I had a great Christmas. We were given too many gifts, and we were spoiled with lots of good food (I am still scared to step on the scales). Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our family and friends who enjoyed Christmas with us, gave us gifts, and everything else you all did to make our Christmas special. One thing that we did last year at Andy & Connie's house and that I noticed on facebook and other blogs that several other families did is have a birthday cake that says "Happy Birthday Jesus" and sort of focus for a bit on remembering that we celebrate Christmas because of Jesus' Birthday. I definitely want to incorporate that tradition next year into our Christmas festivities!
Also, I hope you all enjoyed ringing in the New Year of 2011! We spent NYE at Erick and Katie's house and had hot dogs and hamburgers and just enjoyed relaxing and hanging out. New Years day was rainy and yucky, and Drew had to work so Connor and I hung out at Erick and Katie's some more and relaxed until time to get ready to eat the traditional NYD meal, I ate lots of greens, so maybe that means I will have lots of money (ya right!)

Anyway, you all know my philosophy, better late than never, so I hope everyone enjoyed a Merry Christmas and has a healthy, blessed, and prosperous New Year!