Friday, January 29, 2010

Such A Pretty Fat...

That is the title of a super funny book I have been reading. My dear friend Brandy (or Mrs. Brandy as she is called around here) gave me this book and I have been reading it every chance I get! I can't stop laughing when I am reading it. I have laughed, cried and almost peed myself reading this hilarious book. But the title made me think...Well remember all the times I have heard a statement that takes on the same meaning and as I read about the overly confident "heavy" Jen in my book I wonder if those kinds of statements bother me?

Michael has a friend who always use to say " Well you have a pretty face!" Like that made me feel better. But as far as he was concerned pretty face didn't matter if your butt or gut were "big". HA! What does he know isn't it about personality anyway? I have seen people double take Michael and I as we walk through the mall I am sure those girls are thinking "Cute guy who is the fat chick!" Maybe they aren't thinking that but there looks make me think they are.

This book has made me realize...I need to take pride not only in the way I look but how I carry myself. People can only hurt you if you let them and I have spent years letting people hurt me because of the way I look. Well not any more. Michael is always telling me I am hot so sista is going to start knowing it herself. I mean a little make up and some cute clothes can change my mind and others!

Ok so back to the book...You must read it! You will laugh on every single page. There is a little well "strong" language but come on we all need a guilty pleasure every now and then. Here is the sample from the back of the book...

" To whom the fat rolls...I'm tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hope of a fabulous new life. And I hate the message that a women can't possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans. I don't find there stories uplifting; they make me want to hug these women and take them out for a fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecake and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don't matter. Unfortunately, being overweight isn't simply a societal issue that can be fixed with a healthy dose of positive self-esteem. It's a health matter, and here on the eve of my fortieth year, I've learned I have to make changes so I don't, you know die. Because what good is finally being able to afford a pedicure if I lose a foot to adult-onset diabetes?" Jen Lancaster Such a Pretty Fat
I have the book so if you would like to borrow it let me know...I am almost done and no to her next one...Hope it is this funny! HAPPY READING

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This Is Momma's Room Stay Out

I have been super busy this week...I moved Duece and Cooper into a bedroom together. Michael had spent the better part of the weekend painting the room and prepping it for its new "job". This well sized room use to house just Duece, who for some reason a looooong time ago decided he didn't even want to sleep in there. Well so he then started sleeping in my bedroom floor *sigh* I can not believe I ever let that happen! So after talking it over with Duece we moved Cooper into his room. Now they share the room and it is feeling a little small to me. But it works and it turned out so cute! I am so happy with how it all came together the perfect mix of big boy little boy for a 5 year old and a 18 month old. And guess what Duece loves sleeping in there! I have a couple more things to do in there then I am going to find a way to post some pics...I know you will love it so much you will even want to come sleep in it.

This means Michael and I are now reclaiming our room! WOOOO HOOO I am so excited about that part. I mean every married couple deserve that right !? Well with moving Cooper out of his "nursery" that freed up the 4th bedroom here at our house....So guess what? Momma got a sewing/crafting room which I couldn't be more happy about:) This really excites me the most even more than having my bedroom to myself. Because a Crafting Room (as I am calling it) is all mine. I am even thinking about posting a sign on the door that say "This is Momma's room stay out!" Ok but to be serious this really is great... A place to make my "mess" and not have to clean it up just so we can have dinner. And this also frees up alot of closet space in the master closet which on top of housing our shoes and clothes had been housing all kinds of crafting supplies. I am so excited I can not wait to break it in tomorrow I think Ellen is coming over to sew! YEAH!

There is more sprucing up to come. I have a million projects to go but thanks to some wonderful friends and really wonderful husband they are all getting done and I can't wait to get it all done and post pics! WOW I am feeling a lot better about my New Years "Not Resolutions" now:)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Confession Time

Ok I am going to have a little confession session here.... Part of my New Year's "not resolution" was to get a handle on my house and my time management. I am not so happy with my lack of control of things concerning the way I "run" my day. It is so out of balance and I go to bed every night with countless things undone. This now is making me crazy and now I just don't want to do a thing. I have decided to start using a chart to plan my day out and this will give me a place to do menu ideas and such. I am revamping my home management binder and I will now have a relationship with it like I do with my Bible. I can't wait to have a better grip on my day. I am a little scared that I will become an even more anal person than I already am. But what can I say you know you will love me despite my quirks!

When I have perfected my new chart I will share it with you. And now that I have shared this with you I will be counting on you to keep my accountable:)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Potato-Bacon Chowder

I am going to share another recipe out of my churches cook book. I make this alot at my house and even served it on Christmas to our family that came over.

Potato-Bacon Chowder (June Denny)
8 slices of bacon
1 lg onion
4 c. (about 6 ) cubed potatoes
2 c. water
1 lg. can of cream of chicken soup
2 c. sour cream
1 3/4 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon until crisp. Saute onions in bacon grease. Drain fat. Add potatoes and water then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add soup, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper. Cook until ingredients are blended and heated throughout. Crumble bacon into soup. Serve with shredded cheese goes well with a salad and yeast roll.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cooper Kitchen Shopping and Pearl Jam

I have two very funny stories to share about my youngest child Cooper. He is 17 months old and I spend my days at home alone with him while my other two children are at school. He is so funny and lights up many boring days. So I wanted to share this with you...

Yesterday while awaiting our play date Lola and Mrs. Brandy to come over I was trying to check e-mails and search something on line. Cooper was in my room with me then decided to venture back over to the kitchen. We only have one unlocked cabinet in our kitchen and it is the one that holds can goods. I could here him in there re-organizing the contents then he came back in my room and got the empty (yes rare I know) laundry basket. He then proceeded to "load" all the can goods into the basket and was pushing it all over the kitchen and my room. It was so funny he would load the basket, unload it just to re-load it. I laughed so hard it hurt. Later when it was time to cook diner I needed the cooking oil and could not find it I was so mad knowing I had just bought some. Imagine my surprise when Jesse comes out of my room with it. I asked her where she found it she said Cooper must have been shopping in our kitchen again...

Today after dropping Duece off at school keep began to cry. He was one unhappy baby. I was listening to talk radio so I was going to turn on a movie for him but his DVD player was not in the car. So I decided to change the station I tuned it to 95.1 the Rocket. They were playing an old Pearl Jam song. I am not sure of the name but as soon as Cooper heard it he stopped crying instantly. My 17 month old likes Pearl Jam...Go figure! I know one thing his daddy will be so proud. Just so happens I liked the song also so we rocked out the rest of the ride home and he didn't cry again...Until later of course and there was not Pearl Jam to comfort him :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Recipes

Today I am going to share a quick and easy meatloaf with you. I discovered this recipe several years ago in my Southern Living magazine in a section call 5 meals for $5 (or something to that affect). I have since have shared it with several people and they all have loved it. I make it more than I would like to admit in my house but what can I say for tried and true:)

Meat Loaf
1-lb ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
medium onion
1/3 cup ketchup
1 egg beaten
2 Tbs worshire sauce (sp)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Mix all ingredients in bowl either form into loaf in a baking dish or mold into loaf pan. Bake @ 350 for 40 minutes. Drizzle with ketchup return to oven and cook 5 minutes. ( Times will vary per oven so check for done.)
**I make this in a silicone muffin pan. I do so by "stuffing" each muffin slot with the mixture. As it cooks it shrinks down and always any grease to collect in the bottom. This creates personal servings. And it is a little more fun for the kids. Also, this does well when prepared earlier in the day and left in fridge until about 15 minutes before cooking set it out to reach a warmer temp before going into oven.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Birthday Memories

Today just happens to be my birthday. I share this day with Elvis and couple other famous people. I am not sharing my age... a woman never tells. But to be honest I never share my age I am younger than most mothers with children the ages of mine so I spare myself judgment and just keep the number to myself! Anyway enough about that... Since I can't share any of my baby photos (old as dirt computer) I am going to share a couple special birthday memories and one little sad one...

When I was in Mrs. Sprayberry's second grade class at Big Spring Lake Elementary school I received a very special and grown up gift. This year on my special day my parents had balloons delivered to my school which were being weighed down my a "Troll" doll with a pink colored stone in it's belly. My parents had never done that for me before so I thought it was oh so cool. Well when they picked me up from school I had another even bigger surprise the grown up gift... I received my first piece of jewelry that year for my birthday. I got a pretty little pink ice ring. I remember thinking I was so big getting this little jem. I wore it alot even to school and for several years it was always by my side. It now lives in my mothers old jewelry box which is in a box at my dads. Maybe next year on Jesse's birthday I will pass this little jem on to her.

The next memorable birthday came the following year... I was in the third grade Mrs. Bunch's class at McCord Elementary school. This is the year that the Elvis stamp came out. To this day I am not sure of the lengths my dad went through to get me my stamp. I think he ended up getting it from a guy he worked 3rd shift with at Wagner. He put a sweet message with it and laminated it. It is not worth a single penny now I am sure. But it means the world to me. I use to carry it in my wallet but for fear of loosing it I now keep it in my jewelry box.

There are many other birthday memories I could share. My mom always made my birthday special. I can still remember her making the labor intensive Manacotti I would request almost every year as my special diner. My Dad always said "It all started with you Hollie you taught me to love someone other than myself." Just thinking about him saying that makes my heart hurt, my parents always made us feel so special and loved.

My mother spent my last birthday before her death in the hospital. She had been admitted and they were unsure what was making her sick. We later found out she had leukemia. On that birthday I will never forget my dads attempt to make it special. I wasn't expecting anyone when there was a knock on my door and there stood my dad with a 8 pack of snickers minis (my fav) with candles stuck down in them singing happy birthday. To this day I miss my mom more on my birthday than any other day. I miss manacotti (which I haven't eaten in years) and I sure do miss German chocolate cake that she would either make or have made for me every year.

Not trying to be sad this is a very happy day. I am so blessed to be another year older and wiser (no objecting Michael). Looks like I might be spending this day stuck inside because it is like 20 degrees here and my kids have a "snow day"! Happy Birthday to all who share this day it is a great day for a birthday if I do say so myself!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slow Start To Resolutions

My New Year's "resolutions" are off to what I am calling a slow start... I am like I wanted getting up earlier and getting things done before the craziness that is my house in the morning. I am planning my meals and shopping trips better to save money. I am working off a new discipline system to help in some area of child rearing that I wanted to shape up.

But...I am not doing so well on the house work I wanted to get a better grip on. My clean laundry is still piled miles high. I am still way under organized. And one area that I am really having alot of trouble with is getting my 5 year old to sleep in his own room. This is a huge problem for me. I have been letting him sleep in my room for about a year now. Most nights he starts out in his sleeping bag only to end up in my bed at some point. This is not working for me. I would like my bed and my room for that matter back. I am up for any advice at all anyone has on helping change up this habit. I wonder now if he will really sleep in his room even when we move him and Cooper in together. (A move we are making for several reasons but Duece said he would sleep in there if Cooper was in there.) I am at a lose I have tried a million things and nothing is working I mean nothing.

I am looking forward to being able to sleep alone in my bed but in the mean time I will continue to try and maybe not fail so much anymore! Well at least the other two go to sleep in their rooms with no problem. I just have one the break and that is proving way harder than I imagined.

Oh and to update you on my New Year New Spaces post...I am almost done sprucing up my bedroom. Now I am on to Duece's room which with any luck will now be shared Cooper. I am trying to find comforters I like so I have a starting point. I found some great fabric I love but can't find bedding match UGH. This room is quickly becoming alot harder than I though. Well I will keep you posted.

Guess I should remember we are only 7 days into the new year I shouldn't expect instant change... But I do!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Off To A Wonderful Start

So we are now 4 whole days into 2010 and I think so far it is off to a wonderful start. We here at the McClendon house are looking forward to a year of new discoveries, new challenges, new adventures and of course some of the same old stuff.

We kicked 2010 off just right by going to bed way before midnight on New Years Eve. A friend of ours said "Isn't it amazing how New Years Eve becomes more of a non-event the older you get!" I couldn't agree more. We did however have pizza and fireworks which earned us an A plus from our kids.

New Years Day we were pleased to be having our dear friends the Poole's over for dinner. Which was so much fun. The kids spent hours playing and bowling on the WII. While the adults sat and enjoyed adult conversations. We had a wonderful time and we are already awaiting the next time we can all hang out. Oh and I made Mexican Egg Rolls which some of you who know me know I am kinda famous for. I am so happy to report everyone seemed to enjoy them.

Saturday was so packed... The kids attended a indoor pool party of a friend. Which was so cool because is was spitting snow on the way there. We then spent to rest of the afternoon visiting with Michael's parents. His sister Lauren will be leaving soon to finish her senior year of college at Alma. The kids really miss her so they were so glad to spend time with her. Oh and I got to visit Target which always makes me so happy! Wish we had one here:(

We ended our 3-day weekend by weather proofing our house. So gone are drafty windows and doors and hello to lower heating bills we hope. We snuggled up to a nice bowl of Taco Soup and watch the kids and my brother bowl some more.

All I know is that I hope the rest of 2010 is as wonderful as our lovely weekend was. I can't wait to see where we all are this time next year!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Recipe Sunday is back

Sorry I took a couple of weeks off from recipe posting. But decided I better get back to it. I love sharing recipes with other busy moms. I hope if any of you ever try one of them you would let me know so I can know what you think of them.

Taco Soup

3 can chili beans
1 can whole corn
1(8oz) can tomato sauce
1 can Ro-Tel
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning

Cook beef until crumbled and no longer pink. Drain and put into crock-pot or stockpot. Drain and rinse corn. Drain Ro-Tel for a mild and don't drain for a little extra spice. (either way is fine and my kids eat it without draining) Combine all ingredients in pot of choice. Bring to boil and simmer 15-20 minutes. If using crock-pot can cook on low all day if meat is cooked.

**I always make this in my crock-pot. I cook the meat around 1 in the afternoon while Cooper is napping and then add it all to the crock-pot. I cook it on high until around 3 or 4 then put it on "keep warm". We serve it with shredded cheese and crackers. Oh and it is a wonderful left over or freezer option.


Friday, January 1, 2010

A Year In Review

So I got to thinking that it would be fun to do a year in review. Yes I am aware that this will make 3 New Year related post but I have the bug and wanted to take a look back. I would like to say that it will be short but no promises.We as a family have been really blessed this year. We have had the opportunity to experience things we never have, meet new friends, learned to trust God more and have grown in ways never imagined.

Last Spring our son Cooper was thought to have a early fusion of the sutures in his scull. Which we were made more aware of by our dear dear friends the Pooles. After making an appointment with a Nero Surgeon at children's we decided a little prayer couldn't hurt. And after having hands layed on him and being prayed for he was healed. I mean his little head changed shapes in days. It was a wonderful healing straight from God. By the time we went to the appointment I am sure the doc thought we were nuts...Little did they know that is just what I had prayed for.To say the least that was the start of a crazy year! Duece turned 5 and that was a big deal. As his mother I can not believe 5 years have come and gone.
Over the summer we had the chance to travel to Greensboro and attend Aldersgate a United Methodist Conference. It was amazing the spirit was just all over the place. Following that we went on our first ever family of 5 trip to the beach boy was that alot of fun. This is one of my favorite pics from the trip taken the day we were leaving.
Cooper turned one and that was just a little sad for me. He is growing way to fast he wont be a little baby much longer. We had the best little party here at our house and the best part all of our closest friends and family joined us...It was my favorite party ever.
In September Micheal's brother Alan was home to visit before deployment. For most of us this was a sad visit and we really hated to see him go. He is in Iraq now serving our country and we are praying for his safe return.
Just after deploying we learned he would be having his first child this summer. How exciting to have another niece or nephew to love. Speaking of my sister Hillary had a little boy this year also. We got to meet him when we all were at the beach. His name is Rhys and he is way adorable.Jesse also had a birthday this year she turned 9 and I am wondering where 9 whole years have gone. She is growing into a wonderful little lady and I can't wait to see what she will become.When school started back Jesse was in the 3rd grade and Duece went to kindergarten. They both have wonderful teachers and are really enjoying themselves. With a new school year brought several new activities. They are both doing gymnastics, Jesse is dancing again and still involved with Girl Scouts, Duece is taking violin through his school. And of course we are still involved in our wonderful church Hewett. This year we have made a couple of new friends who are just wonderful and had the chance to really get to know them and that is great. We all love being together. Now I think I will ramble for a minute just to get in some other things we did. Jesse dressed up as an Egyptian as a part of a Girl Scout event and oh yes she did make most of her costume herself..
I took up sewing and have been really enjoying it. My other hobby rubber stamping is taking a back seat for now. Michael and myself both went on Emmaus walks they were life changing for the both of us. Duece got glasses and I know I am partial but I think he is adorable in them.
That pic looks a little funny but it is the only one I have on here in glasses. Some other fun stuff we did this year included swimming lessons, Chattanooga Aquarium, Build-A-Bear, Jesse's first pageant, The Wizard of Oz, several summer camps, and a whole lot more. I guess when you get down to it this year as been full and action packed. Wish I could say I was sad to see it go but I am not. I am ready to move on to another year, more memories and more blessing. Even with all the good some not so great things happen in all of our lives mine and yours and those are the things we will not miss.