~Poop On Jelly~

Our Family's Bitter/Sweet Life

Monday, November 22, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

I'm a bit late in posting this sweet little picture story.  These pictures were taken at my parents' church over Halloween weekend.

Sweet Pea (or should I say, my Cheerleader)  found a new love.

We all know that she's fond of all things pink.  But, the girl means business if it is PINK, SWEET, & STICKY!

Meet her new love:  COTTON CANDY!

 Ah, yes... a face only a mother could love!

Thank goodness she cleans up well!  ;0)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Fare!

It is Friday.  Finally.  It has been a busy, fun week but I am heading into a weekend where I get to spend some uninterrupted time with Nurse Boy.  Saturday can't get here soon enough! 

This year has been full and busy.  Nurse Boy is taking one more credit hour this semester and it has really been noticed by the rest of the family.  It is always hard to balance family, work, church, and extra curricular activities.  Throwing in school for Nurse Boy has brought on a whole new batch of challenges.  Whew!  I know it will be worth it.  I always want to support my husband in his dreams, no matter how big or small they may be.  It will be a blessing to watch God put Nurse Boy's gifts and talents to use in some new and mighty ways once all of this is over, but I would be lying if I said it was never a struggle.  Financially it is a struggle.  Emotionally it can be a struggle.  But, the biggest struggle for me has been TIME.  I love to spend time with my husband and right now that is a precious commodity.

This weekend marks my being another year closer to 40.  (Can you tell that I am not exactly embracing that milestone?  Thankfully I still have a few more years to come to terms with it.)  All I want for my birthday is some much needed time alone with my husband.  Good thing, too, since that is all we can afford.  (HA!)  My parents are going to take all 3 of the kids for 24 blessed hours.  That is the best birthday present ever.  (That and a fancy-smancy camera, but beggars can't be choosers.  Not when your husband is in school anyway...)  I am thrilled to have some alone time without any ankle bitters around.  I love my ankle bitters, but they constantly have demands.  I need just one day off.  (But I wouldn't be opposed to a week in Hawaii either.)

This weekend also marks the beginning of our holiday season.  Dimples and Bruiser also have November birthdays, only to be followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Receipts are dancing in my head just thinking about it.  Yikes!

Today it is rainy and cool outside.  It is the prefect day for some homemade mac-n-cheese.  I am not normally a fan of mac-n-cheese, but I have searched for a more grown up version so I could enjoy my kids' favorite dish with them.  Today I will share my version of mac-n-cheese.

Mighty Macaroni & Cheese

3 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of flour
3 cups of milk (I use skim)
2 1/2 cups of macaroni
3 cups of milk
3 (generous) cups of sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
4-6 oz of prosciutto (Italian Ham that is oh-so-good!)

1.  Melt the butter and flour over medium heat.  Stir. 
2.  Add the milk and mix well.  Let this simmer on medium heat for what will seem like forever until the sauce thickens.  This will take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni per the directions on the box.

4. Once sauce is ready, add the sharp cheddar cheese. Mix well.
5. Add to the cooked macaroni.
6. Add torn pieces of prosciutto to the pasta and sauce. (I like to heat the ham on both sides before I tear it up, but that is not necessary.)
7.  Place the mac-n-cheese in greased 8x8 pan or casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 10- 30 minutes... basically, until it is heated through.

(This is a pretty horrible picture, but you get the idea.)

Everyone in my family loves this stuff.  It is a little more work than I normally like to give myself for any given meal that will be devoured in about 30 seconds flat, but on a cool fall night it is totally worth it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fare!

It is finally Friday and we are headed into a relaxing weekend.  We haven't had one of those in a long time.  As a matter of a fact, my kids know they had better leave us alone Saturday morning when they climb out of bed and stumble around in the dark.  They can get up early, but Nurse Boy and I will not be joining them!

This is also the weekend that signals the end of daylight savings time.  We are supposed to eagerly set our clocks back an hour as we lay our heads down on Saturday night.  We are then supposed to go to bed believing that we will wake up in well rested bliss since we have been given the precious gift of an extra hour of sleep.  What a great theory.  And, if you subscribe to that theory, YOU DON'T HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN IN YOUR HOME.  All I know is I haven't enjoyed my extra hour for the entire 10 plus years that I have been a parent.  Instead of my children waking up in a glorious mood at the early hour of 7 AM, they will now emerge from their beds in a grumpy, groggy state at the ridiculous hour of 6 AM (or earlier!).  We will all resemble grumpy bears and our house will resemble a dark cave.  Daylight savings, I already miss you.  And, to those of you that will enjoy an extra hour of glorious sleep:  I don't want to hear about it!  Keep it to yourself and no one will get hurt.

Moving on... (The bitterness only lasts for about a week...)

I have gotten out of the habit of posting a recipe on Fridays, so I am going to try to get back into the groove.  This challenges me to continue to search for new favorite recipes.  Today I am going to share a recipe that has one of my favorite ingredients in it:  PUMPKIN.  I simply cannot get enough! 

Applesauce Pumpkin Muffins

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1/3 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Gently mix all ingredients together.  Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

These are a hit around here.  They are great for breakfast and snacks.  Plus, they just scream fall to me.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Here's hoping someone out there gets to enjoy their extra hour in the form of sleep!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Fond Farewell

Yes, it is time...
 Time to dig through the van and recycle those empty Gatorade bottles...
 Time to rid the van of chairs (and make way for my groceries again)...

 Time to wash those stinky shinguards for the very last time...

 Time to say goodbye to soccer, if only for a few months.

 I may be claiming my Saturdays back (and my wind blown hair), but we will miss the soccer fields terribly!
Bruiser was on fire this season!  We finally found a great coach who saw potential in our Bruiser.  He worked him hard and challenged him to be a leader on his team.  He was the top scorer of the season!  It was so fun watching him discover his talent on the soccer field.  He really has a gift. 
Dimples is talented, fast, and a team player.  I am always amazed at his loyalty to his team.  Overall, his team had a pretty rough season.  But that didn't matter, he always remained positive.  He isn't afraid of a challenge and is always willing to give it his all.  He is definitely a positive leader for his team!  Plus, they can almost always count on him to score a goal right when the moral is getting low.
Then we have Sweet Pea.  Well, she wasn't exactly fast.... and, I wouldn't say she displayed any talent.  As a matter of a fact, I am not really sure she knew what sport she was playing while she ran around the field with her pigtails blowing in the wind and sporting the world's biggest smile.  Oh, she had fun.  Tons of fun.  But, we have yet to see if this is her sport of choice. One things for sure, she had the cutest little team on any given field.  They may have pulled out only one victory, but they were stinkin' cute!

Soccer, you will be missed!  See you in the spring!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

A night of family fun during our annual carving of the pumpkins...

Lots of smiles...
Plenty of gooey fingers...
Lots of laughter...
Steady hands...
Delightful creations...
Plenty of patience...
And, most importantly, finished products!!!