Monday, November 29, 2010

Taco Soup Recipe

I thought I'd share with you my recipe for Taco Soup. We think it is yummy!!!

1 pound hamburger
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can corn
1 large can Ranch Style beans
3 cans of Rotel. I use mild because I am a baby. ;)
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1 package taco seasoning


Brown hamburger and saute the onions.

Mix the two together...

and then throw in all the other ingredients!

Let the soup simmer for at least an hour and then top with cheese and sour cream! We also eat ours with tortilla chips. So yummy!!!

Monday Monday

A few dear friends noted that I had been a little MIA over the past two weeks and I really have no good excuses. I've just been a little lazy I guess. =)

We've just gotten back from spending Thanksgiving with both of our families. We ate a lot. We laughed a lot. We traveled a lot. But, you know what I did not do a lot of? Take pictures. I don't even know what got into me, but I have no pictures from our Thanksgiving festivities. I'm quite put out with myself over that.

Now we're home and I have a massive amount of laundry. And a broken dryer. I can't wait to see how that is going to play out. Our Christmas tree is up with lights but no ornaments. I think it looks pretty anyway. I need to go to the grocery store something awful but it is raining today and I just don't want to think about getting out in it. I'm hoping that by the time I can get my list made and the pantry and fridge cleaned out the rain will have stopped and we can make the trip. I'm putting us all on a diet this week to make up for the extra ten pounds I gained from turkey and homemade rolls and the desserts...oh the desserts. It's going to be a lot of fruits and veggies and water. Lots and lots of water. I might even have to bust out my pregnancy workout DVD. Or maybe not. That one is a bit iffy. ;)

I've also got big plans to plan and work on some fun Christmas activities with Lauren. I'm using this site to give me ideas and free printables!!! The cuteness of it all is almost too much! We are also going to begin our Jesse Tree Advent Activities that you can download for free from here!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ultrasound Day

Monday, November 15th, I woke up a bundle of excitement and nerves. We had spent the weekend at my parent's house so Shawn could hunt opening weekend and we decided we'd just leave from their house Monday so that he could hunt that morning as well.

Because our doctor's office won't allow children and we needed a babysitter for Miss Lauren, my mom offered to just keep Lauren with her that day and then bring her back to us that evening. Of course that arrangement worked perfectly for Miss Lolo...she was given an extra day of being spoiled!

Shawn and me before we left for our exciting day!!!

Since we don't ever get to go on dates during the day, we decided it might be fun to head up a little early, eat lunch somewhere, and do a little shopping. We had so much fun. We ate at a little tea room (my choice) and then looked around at several furniture stores. It was really nice to spend some quality time with my hubby!!!

When we got to the doctor's office we were both so excited to find out if we would be having another precious girl or an all new to us little boy. It didn't take them long to call our names and we headed back to the ultrasound room. When I got situated, our sweet technician put the magic wand on my belly and announced within five seconds...."It's a boy." Shawn and I were both shocked. We'd told her before hand that we wanted to know the gender, but honestly I had no idea she would be able to tell that quickly. Ha! I guess our little guy isn't shy at all. =) She showed us the four chambers of his tiny beating heart, his stomach, lungs, and his little skull. She said that everything looked great and I think Shawn and I were both so relieved to hear that and to see his sweet little arms, legs, toes, and fingers too! It was really precious to watch him move his sweet little self around!!!

Here are a few pictures of our little man!

He looks like skeleton man here, but I can still see the sweet face of my baby boy!

And here is the proof that he is all BOY! He'll probably kill me for this one one day, haha!

After visiting with our doctor for a few minutes, we headed out to do a little Christmas shopping for Lauren and to find something for this sweet BOY of ours. =) Shawn and I talked about how we were both  excited for boy shopping since all we've done the past two years is shop for a little girl. We found a few cute things, but one item caught both of us and we had to have it!!!

The colors are inspiring me to start planning his room....but I have a while to think about that!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's A.....................


He looks healthy and we are thrilled!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


There is absolutely nothing as precious as a penguin printed, footie pj wearing, little girl coloring on the kitchen floor while I clean up.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dear Littlest Love

Dear Littlest Love,

Our darling child, you are already such a special part of this family and you haven't even made your appearance yet! My heart aches when I think about the love I already have for you and the protection I already feel over you. I think often of you being knit together in my womb and what an amazing and beautiful thing I am able to experience. I believe completely that God placed you in our family at this exact time and for a very special reason. We can't wait to laugh with you, cuddle you, and love on you. 

I cannot wait for you to meet your big sister, Lauren. She will be your biggest fan. For only being two she has such a tender heart. She is kind, generous, and so loving. She will teach you many of the things she's learned so far like how to pray and dance and laugh and act silly and get into a little mischief and I can't wait to witness it all. You are so very lucky to have her as your big sister and I know that you will admire and  look up to her. I hope that you will appreciate the wonderful character traits she possesses. I pray that the two of you will be best friends from day one. I know that it won't always be easy, but in her you will have a friend for life. She will be so blessed because of you and you will be so blessed because of her.

Your Daddy is waiting anxiously for you precious child. He already loves you to the moon and back. I can't wait for you to meet him! I can say this with complete certainty...he is the best Daddy around! You are so very lucky to have him as a role model for what a godly man looks like, acts like, and talks like. I pray that in him you will see reflections of your Heavenly Father. You will feel so loved and safe in his arms. He is a blast to be around and I know you will love him just as much as Lauren and I do.

Precious child, we are preparing for you. Our hearts are growing daily for you. I know that as much as we think we love you now, it won't compare to the love we feel for you when you are actually here with us in our arms. Take your time growing and we will wait patiently for your big day. We love you and cherish you already. On Monday, November 15th, Daddy and I will get to see you through an ultrasound. We are praying that you are healthy and that everything looks great. We don't know yet if you are a little boy or girl, but we know that God knows exactly who you are and what our little family needs. We are so excited for His plan!

I Love You,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas

Okay, so I know it is only early November, but I LOVE to think about and plan and prepare for Christmas gifts. I love it even more now that I have a little girl that I can find fun things for!!! So, I have compiled a list of some of the items I'm thinking Lauren (and this mama) would love this year from Santa! =)

In no particular order:

1. LeapFrog Leaptop.
Lauren saw this in Target today and went crazy for it. She played with it throughout the whole store. When we got to the check out line, I casually had the lady put it back for us without Lauren knowing. However, when we got home she went through both Target bags looking for it. Ha! It is a good size too. I am pretty sure Shawn and I will be getting this one for her!!!

2. Pots and Pans.
Lauren LOVES the kitchen her Nammy and Papa got her last year for Christmas, and I thought this year she might really like some more cooking utensils!
3. Memory.
I am not sure if she is quite old enough yet, but I think it would be fun to start playing some of the classic games together!

 3. Coffe Maker, Blender, & Toaster.
Again, I think Lauren would enjoy using some of these in her play kitchen. She always pretends to make me tea, and I know she would LOVE the coffee pot.

or this coffee pot is cute too!!!

4. Leap Frog - Math Circus DVD.
Lauren LOVES the Letter Factory DVD so I thought she might like this one too. She is always asking to watch the, "wibbits" (ribbits, aka frogs).

5. Baby Alive Doll.
Am I crazy on this one? Lauren is WAY into playing with her dolls and pretend feeding and changing them. I think this one looks really neat. I am pretty sure I had one like this when I was a kid.
6. Wooden Baby Doll Bed.
My mom actually found one of these in great condition and is going to make some cute baby doll bedding for it. I know Lauren will LOVE it!!!

7. Baby Bath Tub and Accessories.
Lauren would love to give her baby a bath!

8. Art Smock WITH Sleeves. 
We like to paint and get messy, but I hate not being able to protect her clothing. This art smock has sleeves which might help with that?!

9. Toy Story 3.
We actually don't have Toy Story 1 or 2, but I think those are locked in the Disney Vault or whatever?!?!

10.  Minnie Mouse Apron & Chef Hat Set
Lauren LOVES Minnie and she LOVES to help me cook and pretend cook in her cute would she be in this?

11. Extra Animals for Noah's Ark.
She still plays with her Noah's Ark every single week. I thought these animals would be a cute addition to her playset!

12. Silicone Alphabet & Letter Molds.
This one is more for Mommy, but I think that Lauren would LOVE to have Jell-O or ice cubes or crayons made from these cool molds!

13. Food Safe Colored Pens.
Another one for cool would these be to decorate her lunches?

14. Books, Books, Books!
Lauren FINALLY loves to look at and read books and I am so excited!

Lauren will be 29 months old at Christmas. Are there any items you would add to the list or discourage? I love tossing ideas around. We are definitely steering clear of any BIG space taking items this year with another baby on the way!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"If Friends Were Flowers, I'd Pick You."

Monday morning Lauren and I had the opportunity to meet some friends at the mall for a little playdate. Our mall has a little kiddie area and our kids all had a blast! Well, I say that....Lauren took a little while to warm up to the whole that was the play area. Once it cleared out a little, she found her groove and got right in there with the boys.

Isn't this picture of Dylan so precious? 

My dear friends Mandie and Leslie.

Mandie's little ones were so cute. It was so obvious how much Dylan adores Kyler. He wanted to be right there with his big brother. Love that. 

The slide was the happening place to be! Preston looks so serious here. Or maybe he was just thinking I was crazy for always taking pictures!

Lauren and Preston. Leslie and I always joke around that our kids are going to get married someday. But, can you blame us? Look at the two of them together! =)

This was my best attempt to get a picture of all of the kiddos looking at the camera! I love Lauren's face in this one. Get me out of here, Mama!

Oh my word, I love that girl. She truly brings such joy to my life. I cannot imagine my life without her. 

She is so special to me. 

When we were done playing we headed over to ChickFilA for some yumm-o lunch! Lauren wanted Kyler to ride with her so Mandie was sweet enough to let her ride in their stroller!

We had a really fun morning and I am thankful for these girls and their sweet kiddos. I think it is so important to surround yourself with friends. I love that these girls challenge me, encourage me, and inspire me to be a better mom, wife, friend, etc. We missed Carissa and Bethany, but hopefully they can make it next time!!!

18 Weeks

18 Weeks!!!
How Far Along: 18 Weeks
Size of baby:  About the size of a sweet potato. 
Total Weight Gain: 2 pounds
Maternity Clothes: Totally in maternity pants and wearing some maternity tops
Gender: We'll find out MONDAY!!!!
Movement: YES! It is so precious.
Sleep: Weird dreams and having a harder time getting comfortable. I am kind of a tummy sleeper so I naturally want to roll on over instead of staying on my side. I ordered a Boppy Wedge this week but it hasn't arrived yet. Hoping that will help!Oh and I am up ALL THE TIME going to the bathroom. It is especially bad after I have a lime slush.
What I miss: I really can't think of anything that I miss.
Cravings: Lime slushies.
 Symptoms: My back has started aching this week.
Best Moment this week: Just normal life and looking forward to our ultrasound on Monday. 

Friday, November 05, 2010


I really had great plans for learning and playing with pumpkins this year and we did get to some of it, but a lot had to be put on the agenda for next fall. Oh well, we had fun!

 Our first activity was to bake a pie pumpkin and use it to make pumpkin muffins. I got the recipe from my friend Tara's blog last year and these muffins are seriously delicious!!!

We cleaned out the pumpkin and baked it in the morning, then after nap time we made the muffins. 

The food processor was loud. =)

One morning I used our fun pumpkin ice cube tray from The Dollar Tree as her breakfast plate. She really enjoyed the mini waffles, chocolate chips, and dipping syrup!

I had really high hopes for this next activity I found HERE. I really should have known when she woke up from her nap a big bawling mess that our afternoon would be sketchy, but I wanted to press on and thought she might get into a better mood. She did have fun through some of it, but she was really not that interested. I'll bring this one out again next year and see what she thinks then!

The first thing we did was read THIS book to discuss our senses. I wanted to get her thinking about the different parts of our body so we could transfer that to putting the Mr. Potato Head pieces on the pumpkin. She really liked the book so I thought we were in for a good activity.

I had placed the pieces (not the actual potato) into a brown paper bag that I wanted her to explore. I had high hopes that she would be able to feel around and not look when I gave her a part we were looking for. No way! She wanted to dump the bag out and nothing else. Oh well! We went with it!!!

I made a paper plate thingie just like the blog I found this idea on. Only I didn't have a brad so we improvised again and rolled a marble to find the piece that we were supposed to put on our pumpkin. 

The potato head pieces would NOT go into the pumpkin on their own, so I had to use a knife to cut a little hole before I could push the piece in. 

Finished product. She was giving me a fake smile here because at this point she was really over the whole activity. 

This morning we did our final big pumpkin activity. Painting pumpkins!!! I don't know where I got the idea to use old baby food plastic containers for holding paint. It works great because they are super easy to clean out. The only downside is that you can't really get a lot of the paint back if you don't use it all.

We had a lot of fun exploring pumpkins this fall. Not everything went as planned, but I think we still made some fun memories!