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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Emma Kate

My friend and colleague Lindsay has been filling me in on her friends' six month old daughter and her struggle for life due to HLHS. This family's story is heartbreaking. Please include them in your daily thoughts and prayers. Brooks, the father, has recently written a letter to Emma Kate's future husband on his blog. It is so emotional and filled with so much hope and love. Please take a moment to visit each of their blogs and acquaint yourself with this godly family.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Awesome New Website Find

Today at work we had a neat Technology Inservice training. The instructor informed us of several websites that may be useful in the classroom. With it was love at first sight. I just spent a few minutes playing with a photograph and this was what I created.

With a little editing this picture was taken to a new level. I am by no means a great editor, but it was still fun to play with! If only they had a tool that would also slim me down to my premarriage size! Here is the before picture.

Another fun website that serves a deeper purpose is By playing games children and adults alike can earn rice to feed starving children in third world countries. Give it a try! It is so much fun!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Long time...No Post

It's been a long time since I last blogged. I know you can all relate with a hectic life! Obtaining my master's degree has eaten up most of my free time. In order to catch some of you up on my life here is a rapid fire of the past month's happenings!
It was a pj day for my hubby and I as we reconnected on Valentine's Day! We had simple and traditional gifts of a card and chocolates exchanged and were able to spend some quality time with our good friends Matt and Shelly during the evening. Since they have two children, a two-year old and 2 month old, we grilled out steaks at their house and ended the evening sharing chocolate covered strawberries. Although our V-day traditions have been a romantic dinner for two, this opportunity to be entertained and share time with friends that mean so much to us was delightful.


This is my beautiful new nephew, Hunter. He was born on Christmas Eve's eve. Isn't he just angelic! He loves to grunt. Move him when he is comfortable...grunt, Feed him his bottle...grunt, Talk to him on the phone...grunt, grunt, grunt. I seriously have never met a more "vocal" baby. My niece is such a precious big sister. She is just a little jealous...Valerie, hold me like hunter...Valerie, can I sit in your lap...GIVE ME ALL YOUR ATTENTION! Just kidding, kind of. She is adjusting well though. She likes to help out with him. She loves to hug and kiss him and hold him, all the time. She has my heart!

New Find

I've never promoted a product on my blog before, but I can not resist. I bought this Anew Resurfacing cleanser along with some miracles in a bottle from Avon through my Mom. I must say I have never experienced such a transformation in such little time. Today is only my third day using it and I can already tell a dramatic difference. All of the sun worshiping freckles on my nose have disappeared! Literally they peeled off. Not in an icky, my skin is dry kind of way, but in a my skin is smooth and youthful way. My wrinkles are also less noticeable. I am amazed by this product!

That is not all that has been going on with my life...but just a bit of the sweetness.

One more picture before I end this post. One of my favorite bloggers, LaDue & Crew, posted a few pictures of her adorable new pet. I must say, LaDue yours is cute, but Duncan reigns supreme.

This is his I just woke up, why are you flashing that light on me pose.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chili con Queso

As the cold front moves in, so do my cravings for white chili. I often make this recipe with chicken but have found it is much easier to prepare and more cost efficient using ground sausage. My family loves this recipe. It is delicious!

Ingredients: Jimmy Dean mild or hot sausage, 1 medium onion, 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (store brand was all I had in the pantry--it works the same), 1 can of great northern beans, 1 can of Rotel tomatoes, 1 can of white shoe peg corn, 1 Tbsp of cumin, 1 cup of Velveeta cheese (for extra spice you can use the Mexican cheese version), salt and pepper to taste and one bag of Frito's corn chips.

In a large skillet brown meat and saute onions.

Cook thoroughly until meat has reached the appropriate temperature and onions are tender.

Combine meat mixture and remaining ingredients, excluding the cheese, in a large stock pot. Heat to a simmer.

Cube cheese. Add small amounts of cheese at a time. Stir constantly to prevent burning.

Continue to stir until thoroughly heated and all the cheese is melted.

Serve with Frito's corn chips for a yummy, cold day dinner! This recipe also freezes well. Great for leftovers later in the week or two!

Monday, January 12, 2009

My First Assignment!

I am so excited about beginning my Master's Degree in Education. Last week I had two of my very first classes. I am beginning to feel the pressure of deadlines and reading assignment overload. All this on top of my already hectic schedule!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions for 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!

As I reflect on this last year, that passed so quickly, I find my self very satisfied. I had a wonderful new husband, house and job--what more can a girl ask for? Which leads me to my New Year's Resolutions for 2009. Wow! 2009!

  • LOSE WEIGHT! I think this is probably 90% of American's resolution, but still along with all great gains in 2008 I also gained a few pounds that found refuge in my hind-end. You know you have reached the point of no longer being that thin 20 something when you tuck the stomach fat in you pants when you sit down--ladies I know you can relate. I want to lose the 20 pounds I have gained in the last two years and will do so by keeping a calorie journal and actually exercising. My goal is to be back at the healthy 105-110 I weighed when I met my husband by April. Why April you ask? Because I want to fit in to my spring Lilly clothes!
  • FIND A HOME CHURCH AND TITHE! I have fallen off the wagon of church goers! Since my hubby and I have been married I have not been to church on a regular or even semi regular basis. There is reasoning behind my heathen ways! I want to find a church that is "ours", meaning belonging to both my husband and myself. I am a member of my childhood church and he to his. I want us to find a church we enjoy attending and can become involved in and tithe our blessings to.
  • START AND COMPLETE MY MASTERS DEGREE! I have applied, been accepted and will shortly begin the journey of completing my masters. I really want to learn how to help my students learn and retain more information and get a nice bump up on the pay scale.
  • PLEASE MY HUSBAND! I know what your thinking and all I have to say is--Get your mind out of the gutter! I want to please my husband by showing him more respect. During our first few months of marriage we read an eye opening book called Love and Respect. It was amazing! It opened our eyes to every argument we had ever had and eliminated future disagreements over the same old stuff. I learned that my husband does love me and cherish me he just shows me in a different way. I also learned he best sees my love for him through respect for him and his position in our marriage. How 1700's your probably thinking, but it is so true. So, I plan to keep his house clean, cook man pleasing meals for him and just simply let him know how much I love and respect him.

So that does it! Ambitious I know! But If you know me, you know it is completely possible as I am a pretty determined gal.

Let me know about your New Year's resolutions. And go there! Be ambitious, make 2009 the best year ever!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Save Handmade!

Save Handmade Toys

I recently visited one of the blogs I like to "follow",, and saw this post:

On February 10, 2009 Santa's Elves will be out of work and Santa himself out of business.
Why, you ask? Because Congress just passed the Consumer Products Safety Act which will require all manufacturers of children's products to scrutinous tests of their products to ensure safety to consumers of these products at the manufacturer's expense. While this may seem like a great thing on the outside, it will totally " decimate the small toy manufacturers, independent artisans, and crafters who have already earned the public trust."

Moreover, "Moms who sew beautiful handmade waldorf dolls out of home, artists who have spent decades hand-carving trucks and cars out of natural woods, that guy at the craft show who sold you the cute handmade puzzle--even larger US companies who employ local workers and have not once had any sort of safety issue will no longer be able to sell their toys. Not without investing tens of thousands of dollars into third-party testing and labeling, just to prove that toys that never had a single toxic chemical in them still don't have a single toxic chemical in them.

In other words, handmade toys will now be illegal.

Check out Cool Mom Picks for more info and where the majority of this information came from and to find ways that you can help.

Makers of these products may soon find themselves out of business:

Handcrafted infant jewelry

Handmade dolls

Custom handmade baby accessories such as headwear

Crocheted and knitted clothing and blankets

Handsewn baby and children's blankets

Handcarved toys and puzzles

Handcrafted children's furniture


What is our country becoming?