Archive for June, 2009

Just One More

Had to add just one more photo from our session today…well, technically it was yesterday since it’s now 1:17 a.m. !  Here is another one that I am in love with of Annagrace!


Seriously, how did I get such a beautiful child?!  The funny thing about all these photos is that she was purposely not showing her teeth (she has one tooth that just won’t fall out and it is almost sticking straight out now!) and I am glad because I love the more serious looks I got.  I loooooove this photo.  It will be blown up huge and hung somewhere in our home!

Sunday Photo Shoot!

I just posted some new photos on my photography blog . . . but wanted to post them here too because it has been FOREVER since I posted on that blog and probably no one even visits it anymore!

Anyway–here are some updated photos of the girls.  They were pretty cooperative today despite the heat and humidity.  I didn’t do so well getting a photo of them together.  Madalyn is going through this “I don’t want her to touch me” phase so the ones I have of the 2 of them are limited!

I can’t believe how grown up my little girl looks in these photos.  I pulled this first one up and it took my breath away.  My 7 year old–looking like she’s 17!






Being silly, as usual:


Hope to have more to post soon!  I want to get my business going again in NC and I have lots of ideas rolling around in my head.  Stay tuned!

Recipe: Chicken Victoria

This is a delicious recipe that my mother-in-law introduced to us.  It is yummy!  I don’t make it that often (it isn’t the cheapest thing to make) but it sure is good and Aaron loves it!

Chicken Victoria


4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can golden mushroom soup (make sure it’s the golden)
1 small carton of sour cream
1/2 pkg dried chipped beef
6 peices of bacon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place layer of chipped beef in bottom of greased baking dish.  Wrap one peice of bacon around each peice of chicken and lay in bottom of dish.  Mix soup and sour cream together and pour over chicken.  Bake for 2 hours covered.  Remove and sprinkle with paprika, then replace in the oven and cook for another 30 minutes.

Tips:  I don’t always cook it the full 2 1/2 hours–last night I only cooked it for 2 hours, removing the cover at 1.5 hours.  I buy the little jars of dried beef and only use about half of it then I have enough that I can make it again later in the month.  Be sure you use the golden mushroom soup and not the cream of mushroom soup–big difference there.  The recipe actually calls for 12 chicken breasts but I never make that much–however I use the same amount of sauce because I think the more sauce the better.  You could totally omit the bacon and still have a great meal–but I think the chipped beef really adds a lot of flavor so I wouldn’t omit that!

This is really good chicken and it just falls apart when you eat it!

Finally . . . an update on life!

So after being in NC for almost 2 months we are finally starting to get settled down.  It has been a rough 2 months for me.  I started a job, absolutely hated said job, resigned from that job, then started another job a week later!  On Thursday I went to orientation for my new job as a private duty nurse.  My first assignment involves a young child with a trach who is on a ventilator.  Hard, yes–but I think it will be very rewarding.  I am looking forward to starting my in-home orientation next week.  I already feel so much better!  My stress level is much less now.  I like my new co-workers and it helps that I will be working with someone I went to high school with–I haven’t seen her since high school but just having a familiar face will be nice!

The house is about 90% unpacked.  I honestly have just been lazy lately and have found much more fun things to do rather than unpack!  I am going to try my hardest to finish getting all evidence that we recently moved put away tomorrow so our house will finally look normal!  After the house is unpacked then we will move on to painting the baby’s room, then probably the dining room and if I get all that done in a timely manner then we’ll start on the girls’ rooms.

I am really enjoying the summer so far.  It has been really nice getting to spend time with my girls.  They are growing so fast!  Madalyn‘s vocabulary has just exploded and she is really thinking about things now before she says them.  I am amazed sometimes at her memory and the things that she says!  She is growing like a weed and her hair is getting so long.  She is still as wild as ever.  She is very anxious for the baby to get here and loves to read books about babies and mommies who have babies in their tummies!  Annagrace has spent a lot of time reading.  She is enrolled in the Summer Program at the library and is trying hard to get to her goal of 150 points.  She reads very quickly and there are days when I see a book in her hands all day long!  She too is getting so tall.  It seems like overnight she has sprouted into a little girl–where did my baby go?!  She has this crazy tooth right in the front of her mouth that just won’t fall out and although she is going to hate me for it I really think that the dentist is going to have to pull it.  She has lost the teeth all around it and it is crowding her front two permanent teeth that are trying to come in.  She looks so funny because it almost sticks straight out!  We call her our little hillbilly.

Baby Layla and I are doing well.  Some days she kicks and pushes on my insides like crazy.  Today she’s been kind of mellow and I haven’t felt her quite as much.  I am starting to notice that my used-to-be-baggy t-shirts are fitting snugly now so I am going to have to suck it up and get some more maternity things soon!  I still don’t think that I look pregnant–just plumper than usual!  Layla is down low in my abdomen (according to the doctor and ultrasound tech) which explains why I have to pee about every 5 minutes!

And finally . . . I am ready to start getting back on track with my budgeting/spending/saving etc.  I have decided that for the month of July we are not eating out and we are not spending any money other than groceries and necessities!  I have started back on my meal planning and have been paying attention to coupons and sales ads again.

Here is my meal plan for this week:

Friday:  Chicken Victoria, corn, broccoli, biscuits
Saturday:  Steak, homemade mac n’ cheese, green beans
Sunday:  Easy Beef Bake, Rice, green beans, fruit
Monday:  Tortellini alla panna, homemade bread, salad
Tuesday:  Pancakes, sausage, gravy
Wednesday:  Spaghetti, bread, green beans
Thursday:  Grilled chicken, corn
Friday:  Chicken strips, french fries, fruit

Yummy!  I can smell the Chicken Victoria in the oven right now and it smells delicious!

Happy Father’s Day!

Fathers Day, Happy Fathers Day, Animated Butterflies, Keefers Pictures, Images and Photos

Today I’m wishing a Happy Father’s Day to 4 great dads that I know!

First of all . . . my dad!  I love my dad.  He’s impatient at times (guess who inherited that trait from him?!) and he likes things done his way.  But I think he can fix just about anything and although he doesn’t have a college education I think he’s about the smartest man I know!  He LOVES his family.  He takes care of my mama and he showers all his grandkids with the most love.  They love their Papa!  He’s a great dad and a great grandpa and I’m glad he’s our Papa!

Secondly, my wonderful hubby Aaron who has been a father for 7 years now.  He’s pretty much awesome.  We get in some heated arguments sometimes but we never stay mad for long!  He has slightly more patience than I do and he is a pretty smart fella–just don’t ask him to fix anything! : )  He is very excited about welcoming yet another baby girl to our family!  Most people expected that he wanted a boy but honestly I knew that deep down he wouldn’t mind another little girl.  We love our girls!  They keep us busy and make us crazy sometimes but we wouldn’t have it any other way!  Aaron’s a great dad who loves to teach our kids things about the world and about the Bible–and I usually learn a lot too!  He spends time at night reading Bible stories and praying with them and is so proud of them when they pray on their own.  I am thankful to have such a wonderful man as the head of our household.

Thirdly, my big brother Brooks.  It’s funny seeing my brother with kids.  I guess when you grow up with someone you always sort of see that little person in them.  When I think about my brother I still see the little boy who played for hours on end in the sandbox with his tractors.  Who cut my dolls hair and drew faces on them just to aggravate me.  The little boy whose primary concern was farming (from the time he was oh, about 3 years old!).  So to see him with kids is a little funny to me (he probably thinks the same of me!).  But he’s a great dad to Taylor, Brayden and Zachary.  He loves his kids and works hard to provide for his family.  I’m lucky to have such a great brother and my kids are lucky to have such a great uncle!

And lastly, my father-in-law Steve.  I am forever thankful to Mr. Steve for literally giving a part of himself (his kidney!) to my husband.  For 12 years now his kidney has worked in my hubby’s body and he has been blessed to have no rejection episodes and no complications at all.  I am grateful that Mr. Steve was willing to go through a major surgery (and all the pain that followed) to allow his son a better quality of life.  Were it not for that, Aaron would have had to endure a lifetime of dialysis or a long wait on a transplant list.  We may not have gotten married when we did, we may not have chosen to have children.  Who knows where our lives would be had it not been for the transplant.  Steve is a great person.  He has a lot of compassion for people and a lot of patience–he has driven a school bus for about 40 years so I think that is patience exemplified right there!  My kids love their PawPaw and Annagrace misses riding his bus to school!

All these men in my life are such good role models for my children–all of them in their own unique ways.  We are grateful to have these Dads in our lives!  Happy Father’s Day Papa, Aaron, Brooks and PawPaw!  We love you!

Nursery Decor

I am already thinking about little baby Layla’s nursery.  For Annagrace we had a classic Winnie-the-Pooh theme with a mural painted by yours truly on the wall.  My mom stenciled a phrase around the top of the wall–darn it, I can’t think of what it said at the moment!  For Madalyn we had a ladybug theme.  She never had a real room of her own.  She spent her first 6 months pretty much in our room and then shared with her sister.

For Layla I am planning on using the same ladybug crib set–handmade by my mama.  Not sure on the color of the room yet but I am thinking about doing this:

ABC room

on one of the walls.  The letters would be painted and decoupaged to match the crib set.  I have little ladybug wall appliques somewhere around this house that I would use as well and maybe some of the letters would be black polka dotted, some would be red.  Just a thought.

Anyone have any other ideas?

And the Baby’s Name is . . . .

Yup.  LAYLA JOY!  No, we’re not huge Clapton fans although I do love this song!  And I have a feeling we’ll be singing this to her for years to come.  She’ll be sick of it by the time she’s five!

Thanks for voting!  You guys were right on with 55% voting for Layla–you must know us pretty well!  We are so excited about welcoming little Layla to the family!  Four more months to go!

June 2009