~Poop On Jelly~

Our Family's Bitter/Sweet Life

Friday, December 25, 2009


If you look for Me at Christmas

you won't need a special star-

I'm no longer just in Bethlehem,

I'm right there where you are.

You may not be aware of Me

amid the celebrations-

You'll have to look beyond the stores

and all the decorations.

But if you take a moment

from your list of things to do

And listen to your heart, you'll find

I'm waiting there for you.

You're the one I want to be with,

you're the reason that I came,

And you'll find Me in the stillness

as I'm whispering your name.



MERRY CHRISTMAS from our home to yours!

May you find peace, comfort, and joy while you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior!

This year, don't stop at the manger. Follow Jesus all the way to the CROSS! His life is powerful and LIFE CHANGING! I know it changed each one of ours!

May we NEVER be the same!
God bless!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spreading a Little Cheer!

We took a day this week to take in some downtown fun. We took the kids to Crown Center, a unique mall here in the big city. We go here every summer and every December. It really couldn't be more beautiful when it is decorated for Christmas!

Outside, they have stuff for the kids to climb on...

Not sure what a tractor and a space shuttle have to do with Christmas, but the kids had fun.

Inside we found a gingerbread village.

You could even smell the yumminess!

The is an old, mechanical Santa from the early 1900's. I love this creepy big guy that laughs and shakes. The kids find him disturbing, but I find a little comfort in him. My grandpa used to see this very same Santa in the stores when he was a kid. It always reminds me of him in some weird sort of way.

Next stop was Crayola Land.

They got to climb and slide all over everything Crayola.

Yes, they had fun!

I, then, forced them to sit on Santa's lap. No, we don't do Santa in our home, but I have missed these precious photo opportunities. I knew this would be the last year that Dimples would play along. They were all good sports.

Next stop was the Crayola Store with hands-on stuff all over the place!

On our way back to the car, Sweet Pea had to have a turn on this rocking horse.

On our way home, we drove through the Plaza to see the Christmas lights. They really are breath taking!

All of the beauty was lost on the children, though.

They kept asking when we could go home and watch, "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."
Fitting, don't ya think?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fare~ Well, sort Of...

Mrs. Nurse Boy here.

It is Friday and there is so much to do. I am hosting Christmas for my side of the family, so the list really is endless. Plus, I am not completely finished with my shopping. We really trimmed down on our spending this year. One way I have accomplished that is by not shopping too often this year. I love to shop, so if I don't wander into the stores very often, I am able to resist all of those "gotta have" purchases. You see, if I never see the latest gadget that everyone must have, then I can't buy it.

I realize there is online shopping. I do a little of that, but I can get a little click happy when free shipping is involved. I still like the old fashion way to shop... by seeing, touching, and feeling. But, that is just me.

Many of you asked about Sweet Pea's cool car seat from Monday's post. The one pictured right here:

The truth is, I drive a 10 year old mini van. THAT is the only cool thing on our van. Oh, I kid. Sort of. I am thankful not to have a car payment. Her seat is built into the van seat and simply folds up and down. There are two built in car seats. This is my favorite feature of our van. That, and the fact that it starts every morning when I turn the key. Most days.

Several of you have also asked about my bloggy snow. Isn't it FUN?! And, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. Technology and I are NOT friends. But, this is simple and so festive! Head on over HERE if you want some snow of your own! If you have never stumbled on Sneaky Mama's blog, she is FULL of helpful hints for those of us who are lacking in this bloggy world of technology.

Today is Friday, which means it must be time for a YUMMY recipe! In honor of Christmas, I am going to share a little discovery I made at a party this year. I shall name it:

(Think the easiest turtle you have ever made. Not that I have ever made a homemade turtle. But, if I had, this would be the easiest recipe EVER!)

This is all you need! Yep! Grab some mini pretzels, Rolos, and pecan halves. The hardest part of this recipe is unwrapping the rolos (and NOT eating them!)

1. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
2. Place mini pretzels on the pan.
3. Top each pretzel with a Rolo.
4. Place in a 400 degree oven for 2 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and immediately "smoosh" each with a pecan.

6. Cool and enjoy!
These are AMAZING!!!
I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I have fallen WAY behind on my blog reading, so I apologize if I haven't made it to yours in a while!! Please forgive me. I hope to get caught up over the weekend. I always enjoy reading your blogs!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Little Sugar Never Hurt Anyone, RIGHT?

Mrs. Nurse Boy here.

It just isn't Christmas time until I have baked a batch... or five... of sugar cookies. Truth be told, I kind of have a love/hate for sugar cookies.

Love to eat them.

Hate to mess with the dough and cut outs.

Love to eat them.

Hate finding sprinkles in random crevices of my kitchen for the next month.

Love to eat them.

Hate trying to decorate each and every single one in hopes that someone might mistake me for Martha Stewart. Let's face it, IT IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. (And yet I continue to live in denial.)

Yep. I love them. I hate them. I must bake them every December.

Here is my version. Every time I bring these bad boys to a holiday gathering, I have requests for the recipe. EVERY TIME.
It is a family secret. One that I am going to reveal on our family blog. Yes, you read that right.
Wanna know the secret to the perfect sugar cookie? Keep reading...

First, let's begin with my FAVORITE way to top off the perfect sugar cookie. CANDY CANES. I love me some peppermint this time of year!

Next, you need some patient little helpers to get that stupid, sticky, never-gonna-let-go plastic wrap off of the candy canes.

Now, crush the candy canes.

See how happy they are?! Having fun is an added bonus!

Now for the dough... the frosting... and the family secret...
Can you handle the TRUTH?
The TRUTH is...


No lie!! And, it is delicious every time! Plus, you don't need to roll, cut, and all that other jazz. Nope. We plop balls of dough on the cookie sheet and bake them until they are soft and delicious. Frost them with STORE BOUGHT cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

Last year my mom and I had a little contest to see who could make the best homemade sugar cookies. I searched and searched for the perfect recipe. We both worked until we (and my kitchen) were covered with flour, frosting, and sprinkles. Much to our surprise, they tasted all most the SAME.

Not to mention that the Betty Crocker ones are STILL my favorite. And, everything is so much cleaner after I have baked a batch...

or five.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bright Lights, Full Tummies

Mrs. Nurse Boy here.
In honor of one of our favorite holiday seasons, I am going to take the next week or two to post some of our favorite things about this time of year as well as some of our family traditions.
Every year we surprise the kids with our annual Christmas Light Drive By. The kids get into a cozy pair of pajamas and we hit the drive thru. Since we let them pick, we usually end up in the McDonald's drive thru.
Next, we hit our favorite neighborhoods. We drive around while enjoying our dinner in our warm, comfy pajamas. We crank up the Christmas music and enjoy our time together. We all look forward to our annual evening.

Here they are... READY to go!

Come on, Mom. Let's GO!

Sweet Pea had to bring a baby along for the ride.

Here they are enjoying their dinner.

We found a local business that puts their lights to music. We parked across the street and watched the lights for a long time. You can barely see the lights behind Sweet Pea's head.

This is where I lost control.

It only got worse from here. I will spare you the rest of the pictures. But, we did have fun!

I hope you all are enjoying this fabulous time of year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Things That Make Me Smile

Mrs. Nurse Boy here.
We FINALLY have our Christmas Tree up!
Sweet Pea has a pink one in her room, of course.
She is rather fond of it, as you can tell.
The boys have a tree in their room as well. I believe it is the ONLY place where you have a Colts poster actually out shining the Christmas Tree.
The kids "helped" Nurse Boy put up the tree. Yes, we have an artificial tree. I personally prefer artificial. I don't have to mess with it. We all know I would forget to water it and the needles would drive my OCD-self batty.
The kids love hanging up their own ornaments. They each get a dated ornament every year. We will present the ornaments to them on their first Christmas after they are married. A few years ago we started the tradition of going to Hallmark the day after Christmas. Each of the kids gets to pick out their own ornament for the year. An added bonus is I save 50%!
Sweet Pea made sure the bottom half of the tree was decorated really well.
Um... maybe a little too well. No worries. This is about the time that we send the kids off to bed and make some "minor" adjustments.
Ah... MUCH better. Turn off all of the room lights and cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate.
Now, that makes me smile.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday's Random Musings

Mrs. Nurse Boy here.

It is Monday, so that must mean it is time for some randomness... or mess. I'll let you decide.

~This morning I awoke to my 10 year old whispering in my ear. I lifted my head CERTAIN that it was 3 AM. I was wrong. I couldn't have been more wrong. It was 45 minutes later than I normally emerge from my sweet slumber!!!

~I knew one day that my dear friend, The Snooze Button, would fail me.

~Waking everyone up abruptly with lights and a "PLEASE hurry this morning!" didn't go over so well with the younger two.

~I had to skip my shower and wash my hair in the kitchen sink.

~Yes, I know that is a little white trash. I'll own it.

~Reflecting on my morning, I am now worried that Sweet Pea never brushed her teeth. Yep, I am up for mother of the year.

~My thirties have not been kind to me. I REALLY need to wear makeup. However, this morning did not allow for such luxuries.

~Miracles do happen. The boys made it to school on time and Sweet Pea and I made it to work on time. I am NOT kidding, it was a miracle.

~Although, I probably looked like anything BUT a miracle.

~The brake light would not turn off in my van today. Figures.

~When Bruiser came home from school today, he asked me if I was sick. When I said I felt fine, he said my eyes looked red and weird.

~Um, yeah. Those are called dark circles under my eyes. They happen to be the ONLY Italian gene that was handed down to me. Yeah, I am so thankful.

~More like my Mary Kay lady is thankful. Thankful that I buy concealer in mass quantities.

~I could have inherited the thick, dark hair or the olive complexion. But, no. It was the dark circles (under my blue -very Irish- eyes) ever since the tender age of 3. And, they have only gotten darker.

~Our Christmas tree is STILL not decorated.

~My kids think they are abused since our tree is still not decorated.

~To top it off, my Christmas shopping has barely begun.

~I think I need a personal assistant, don't you?

Happy Monday! Here's hoping that my best friend, Concealer, and I get to spend some quality time together tomorrow.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Fare!

Mrs. Nurse Boy here.

It is Friday! Sweet Pea is all better. She is back to being my shadow and preventing me from doing anything productive around here. This has been a busy week as we enter into the holiday season. So busy, that our Christmas tree is still tucked away in the basement. By the looks of our even busier weekend, I am afraid it won't be seeing the light of day this weekend.

Last night Dimples had his first concert since he started playing the violin. Quite honestly, I was prepared to smile through gritted teeth and discreetly reach for a pair of ear plugs. I couldn't have been more wrong! They did a fantastic job, considering they just started playing this September.

Not a great picture, but that was about as good as we could get in the multipurpose room packed with every living relative of most of the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

My handsome violin player after his amazing concert.

I really tried to make this night special for Dimples. I had Bruiser and Sweet Pea dress up for the occasion to support their talented brother. I really want them to support and encourage one another in all of their endeavors. It got them excited to attend the special event. Plus, we made a quick stop at Sonic for shakes afterwards. Ice cream always makes everything special. ;0)

Some pictures of more of my favorite people.

Now for tonight's dinner plans. I made this for my in laws last week and it was a hit. I got this recipe at a MOPS meeting.

French Onion Tortellini

1 lb. of ground beef 1 can of rotel- not drained
1 can of green beans- not drained
1 can of corn- not drained
2 cans of beef broth
1 can of French Onion Soup
1 bag of tortellini (13 oz)
1. Brown and drain hamburger.
2. Add all ingredients, except tortellini, to pot.
3. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes to an hour (or, in the crock pot for 3-4hours).
4. Add tortellini 15- 20 minutes prior to serving.

This stuff is fabulous on a cold winter night! Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy, Happy Brithday to My Bruiser!

(Bruiser's birthday was on Black Friday this year. I am late in posting this, but I promise he was loved on plenty this year and showered with gifts that I will be stepping on for months to come.)

Dear Bruiser,

You, my son, have always had a sparkle in your eye, a bounce in your step, and a smirk on your handsome face. You are so full of life! You are fun to be around and have a very passionate personality. One minute you might cry over a sad movie and the next minute you are willing to beat up a boy (twice your size) that threatens your big brother.

When you were only 3 1/2, God showed me the personality he had created in you. One day, just like any other, I was tucking you in for an afternoon nap. You looked at me with determination and said, "Mommy, Jesus lives right there in your heart." You then pointed at your own heart and demanded, "I want Him here in my heart, right now!" You are an all-or-nothing kind of guy. At that moment, I was overwhelmed with emotion. God wants to use that passion for Him. He has great plans for you! Since then, your sweet little spirit displays compassion for those in need and disappointment for those who mean harm. We call you our little prayer warrior because you always have so much to share with God.

But, don't get me wrong. You are ALL boy. You laugh every single time bodily functions are discussed or displayed and mud is a constant companion of yours. But, that is what we love about you. You always make us laugh... even if it is through gritted teeth at times.

You are our rough and tumble guy with a heart for the Lord. You are such a precious gift to our family. Happy Birthday to our 7 year old!

We also love this toothless grin!
(Not to mention those bright red ears when you are tired! ;0)