Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Frozen Fun {#sponsored}

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This is a sponsored post. I am currently serving as a blog ambassador for The Jones Center, who has compensated me for such. The photos and opinions are real, and are my own. This is a reflection of my family's personal experience as members of the facility.
Because we are such excellent parents, we surprised Big Sis for Christmas by enrolling her in Ice Skating School at The Jones Center. She has just finished her third lesson, and is loving every minute of it. Her lessons are every Saturday morning for seven weeks; she gets half an hour with her class and another half hour of free skating.
I love that she's making new friends and that her confidence grows with each week on the ice. I am particularly proud that she is enjoying this because we've tried a couple of other extra-curricular activities that have not held her interest at all. She's already told us that she wants to continue on to the next level of lessons after this!
The instructors are doing a great job with the kids; they split them up by age first, then by ability. Big Sis is in a small group of about 15 kids. It's fun to watch how they can split the ice rink into about 10 different groups and give the kids such great individual attention.
If you live in the area, I highly recommend the Skate School at The Jones Center in Springdale. We were able to score a fantastic deal during their Black Friday sale, but the regular price on enrollment is a very affordable $50 per session. Lessons are for all ages, even for adults! Make sure you check it out!

Monday, January 26, 2015

January Round-Up

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I'm happy to say that I've made the first steps to getting this blog makeover show on the road. I've contacted a designer and I've picked a theme and color scheme---yay for progress! Now I just have to pull the trigger and wait for the magic to happen...
In the meantime, I've been chosen as the Blogger of the Month over at the Arkansas Women Bloggers site. I'm Miss January! I love being part of this statewide blogger network that is over 500 members strong. I've learned so much from this amazing group of people; I've learned to stand out, to fit in and to be myself all at the same time! These are my people. Click on over there to see what I've been sharing with them this month.  

The time I organized Boy Twin's room:  Click Here

Reflections on the new year:  Click Here

Friday, January 16, 2015


Wow, I just realized that it's been two whole months since I blogged here. I'll be surprised if I still have any readers left.
Anyway, we had kind of a rough ending to 2014 with Girl Twin's surgery and how much time I was working through the holidays...just not enough time or energy to blog. We had a great Christmas with family, and the kids are still thrilled with all their loot.

Now, here we are at 2015. I'm trying not to freak out. There's so much going on in my head, I'm not sure that I can get it all out here. I'm turning FORTY this year, y'all. 4-0. I haven't given it much thought until the calendar flipped over...then, BAM, there it was. I don't think I like it and my body knows it--I've been gaining weight, my skin is breaking out and I have had an eye twitch for over a week now. It's time to fall apart, I guess.
I think about my mom when she was my age and it's really weird. When she was 40, I was TWENTY. Yes, that's right. She had a kid in college and one in high school; I have two kids who still need help going to the bathroom! I always thought she was so young and cool--now I know why; she was. I go to Big Sister's classroom and I'm probably the oldest mom there and older than most of the teachers, too. I guess I'm glad that I was so old when I had kids, but does that make it easier or harder? It just makes me tired. Oh well. I kinda like those little buggers and I hope they don't grow up wishing their parents weren't such old farts.

I didn't make any resolutions this year, but I do want to work on a few things. Mainly, I'm going to focus on finding motivation. I need a some serious motivation to get some things done this year. Here's my short list:
1) I'm going to do this darn blog makeover I keep talking about. I need to get on it and make it a priority. Like, now!
2) I want some new furniture. Seriously, Lee and I have been living together for nearly 12 years and we still have our mixture of his & hers hand-me-down furniture. The only furniture we've bought together is a mattress and our tiny kitchen table. I desperately want a new couch with end tables that match! I want a couch that doesn't smell like dog/vomit/juice/bodily fluids. Can we make this happen please?
3) I'm finally going to get my butt in shape and lose some of this weight. Because I'm turning 40, you know. It won't get any easier.
4) I cannot believe I'm saying this--I'm (probably) going to walk/jog a freaking half marathon with my friend Tara this spring. Why, you ask? Because I'm turning 40, I guess. She's asked me for at least 3 years to do this thing with her, and each year I decline and blame my fat. So, what better motivation to get in shape than to commit to some serious training? And please note two things: I only wanted to run a 5K before I turn 40 NOT a half marathon. And, two, we will probably walk most of it because, God love her, she's not the most athletic person I've ever known either. I can say that because I've known her for 30+ years and because it's true and I love her. She says if she can do it, then I can too. I guess we'll see about that. And to make it worse, she sent a Fed Ex package to my door with some new running socks inside; she's in my head now.

I'm ready to get everything back on track--I want to blog more, be healthier and make more time for playing with my kids. Keep watching to see if I can find the motivation.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Big Sis Likes Ham #sponsored post

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#sponsored post. I am a member of Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club. As part of my membership, I am sometimes given products for review and/or giveaway on this blog. All opinions are mine and are a result of products that I've actually tried. 

Last weekend we tried a couple of new things. We went on our very first trip with another family! We invited Big Sis's BFF and her family to join us for a weekend away at Grand Lake in Oklahoma. With both families combined, we had seven kids: six girls plus Boy Twin! We spent some time in the hot tub, watched golfers out our back door and played at a nearby state park.

When it was time to feed our crew, we split the duties. On Bramell night, I was very fortunate to have a brand new Petit Jean product to share with everyone. We got to try the new Petit Jean Spiral Sliced Honey Ham and it was delicious! When the ham arrived in the mail, I asked Big Sis if she would like to help me plan the menu for our trip. I wanted it to be kid friendly and easy for us to make away from home.

Menu Chosen by Big Sis:

Honey Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
Mac & Cheese
Crunchy Salad from Trisha's Yearwood's cookbook (my choice!)

Since the ham is fully cooked, I followed the heating instructions on the package. It took about an hour to heat, which was enough time to cook all the side dishes.  Big Sis normally is my big helper in the kitchen, but with so many other kids around to play with, I couldn't keep her in the kitchen this time.

However, she was happy to eat the ham. She gave it two thumbs up!  This 7lb ham was more than enough to feed eleven of us, and I was thrilled to have some leftovers-- plus the ham bone to take home for a yummy pot of beans later in the week.

Here's a photo of our crew at the state park. We enjoyed some sunshine, threw rocks in the lake and explored the Nature Center.  What a great looking group of kiddos!

With the holidays coming up, you can score one of these new Honey Hams or any other Petit Jean product by shopping online at Petit Jean Meats. They will even ship your gift purchase right to the recipient for you!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Goodbye Tonsils!

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This week has been pretty hectic for us. Girl Twin had her tonsils and adenoids removed on Tuesday. We've known for quite a while that she needed the procedure done (see
this post last year), but it was something we kept putting off.  Frankly, I was terrified for my baby to go through surgery and a painful recovery.
I'm happy to report that she was a total rock star for the surgery! Of course, she couldn't have any food or drink after midnight on Monday...and she never even asked for anything when she woke up prior to surgery time. I was prepared for a fight! Whew.
She was very brave during the whole ordeal. We are so proud of her! She's mostly slept for the past four days, but finally woke up ready to eat last night. She is eating and drinking like she should, and we are on the road to recovery.
Here's a photo of her right after surgery. It wasn't easy for this mama to see her like that.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blogging With Big Sis

I wanted to do something fun for this post, so I decided to interview Big Sis. She's a smart kid, and usually very entertaining, so I knew this would be a fun task. She's seven years old, and in second grade.

Me:  What is mom's job?
BS:  You work on the computer. (partially true)
Me:  What is dad's job?
BS:  To sell houses.

Me:  What does mom do for fun?
BS:  Blog!
Me:  What about dad?
BS:  Play video games!

Me:  What do you like to do for fun?
BS:  Lots of things...color.

Me:  What do you want to be when you grow up?
BS:  I don't know, maybe a teacher.

Me:  What is your favorite part of school?
BS:  Recess!!  (obviously the best part for teachers, too)

Me:  What is your favorite food?
BS:  Chips & dip.

Me:  What is your favorite vacation we've had?
BS:  Disney!  (not Oklahoma)

Me:  Where would you like to go for our next vacation?
BS:  Disney!  (again, not Oklahoma)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Royal Gameday Treats

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**Disclaimer: I am a member of the Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club. Through this affiliation, I get to sample products, try new recipes and share them with my readers. Sometimes I give my opinion on new products and packaging. My opinions are my own. I was given Petit Jean product in exchange for promotion in the following post.  **

The original title of this post was Football Fanatics. It's true that this time of year you would normally find me posting about Razorback football and all the fun that goes with it. In  fact, this post was going to be about kid-friendly Razorback tailgating treats. That was my plan...until our Kansas City Royals ended up in postseason play!

Suddenly, we found ourselves in the strange position of having a Razorback football conference game and Game 1 of the ALCS on the same day; overlapping times, even. We decided to go with a blue-and-white party to celebrate the Royals' success. My family managed to watch both games and cheer hard for both of our teams! 

I used most of the Petit Jean Deluxe Sampler to create our game day menu. There is so much food in the sampler, that I just couldn't prepare it all at once. And, I have to be completely honest, the bacon never even made it to the table. We had it for breakfast instead of putting it in our game day spread! When it's that good, you just can't wait for it.
Lee really enjoyed the Petit Jean Smoked Sausage; it was the first time we'd tried it. I cut it into bite sized pieces and simmered it on the stove in BBQ sauce. The kids like eating anything using toothpicks, so this was perfect for them!
I used Petit Jean hot dogs to make pigs in a blanket. The rest of our menu consisted of bologna bites, mini ham and cheese sandwiches and a snack platter with Summer Sausage, sliced cheese and crackers. All of that, combined with a fruit plate and some fresh popcorn, set us up for excellent game day snacking.
With the holidays coming up soon, you can find a great variety of gift baskets and samplers at the Petit Jean Meats website

*This is a sponsored post.

Check out the photos of our yummy game day feast!