Thursday, November 27, 2008


I woke up before everyone in the house this morning, so it gave me some time to really think about all the things I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving. Too often I focus more on how things aren't going as I want them, how I'm tired and don't get enough done when I want to, etc., etc. I need to be concentrating on the wonderful things in my life that I do have.

I am thankful for;

My 3 angels, Ryan, Addyson and Delaney. Without these people I feel that my life wouldn't be fulfilled, I am thankful for their health and how they take care of me and give me more love than I could imagine possible.

The health of our 4 parents. We're blessed to be able to have grandparents for our kids that are healthy enough to love them, care for them, and play with them.

An extended family full of love and support for us.

Friends that I can call at a moments notice for advice, to vent some frustration, and to share laughs with.

Ryan's wonderful job and how and well we are provided for.

That I can be a stay at home Mom to my girls

A safe and comfortable home to live in.

And one of the most important, our membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so blessed to have the knowledge of the gospel, the plan of salvation, and the comfort of knowing that I will be with my family for all eternity. When life gets hectic, crazy, when kids(and husband!) don't listen, and I might have had a less than good day, my thoughts turn to my Heavenly Father and I find the peace and strength I need to keep going.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours~

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Creative Sister

So my older sister Brandy has this creativity that I've never seen before. She should have her own TV show or something. She's always been really crafty, and I'm in awe of the things she thinks up to create. I kind of wish she would have left some of the creativeness in the family for me, but she seemed to have taken it all;-)

Her latest project is making this awesome jewelry. She's been doing this particular kind of jewelry for about a year now and I think it is just beautiful. I remember her bringing over a piece to show me last year just before Delaney was born, and I loved it. It has really taken off and this past Saturday she had a jewelry show to sell some of her creations. She makes all kinds of custom pieces so she can pretty much create whatever someone wants.

I asked her for some pics of her favorite pieces, and here they are. It's a shameless plug, I know, but I'm so proud of her and her beautiful work!

***I love the rings she makes, I got the one that says "My Kids Rock", too cute!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


One year ago this month I got my first taste of the book "Twilight" when a friend from church mentioned how great it was and how hooked she was on it. I was on bed rest with Delaney, so I ordered the book and after it came in the mail I started reading it. I read 1/4 of it until another delivery arrived, Delaney. After that I put the book down and it collected dust because if I had a spare moment, that moment was not going to be reading a book.

Throughout the past year I've had countless people tell me they've read all 4 of the books in the series and how nuts they were over it. Then, the movie about the first book in the series, "Twilight" was going to become a movie. Still not a lot about it interested me. A few weeks back I got an invitation from some ladies at church to go to a get together before the movie, then go to see the movie afterwards. I thought I may as well go, it would be a fun night out at least.

Last night was the night we all went and saw "Twilight", and now I can say I'm one of the ones that are hooked! It was such a great film, great actors, characters, storyline, etc. A few times I was actually nervous waiting to see what would happen next, it definitely caught and held on to my attention the entire 2 hours.

There were plenty of "giddy" Edward(the main character) loving teenage girls in the theater that made things a bit annoying, but nonetheless it was a great time, and I think all the ladies in our group enjoyed it.

My head finally hit the pillow at 2 this morning(we went to a pretty late showing of the movie) and I had a hard time sleeping because I was up thinking about this movie. Yes, I have been a zombie all day, but it was so worth it.

It was a great flick, and one I'm already anxious to own on DVD(Ok, Blu-ray, thanks to Ryan;).

And, I suppose now I need to get the book read, I'm excited!
Go see this movie!

***I had to give the blog a little pre-holiday cheer, normally I don't dare touch red and green until at least the day after Thanksgiving, but this year I'm already so excited about Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pumpkin Bars

As promised, I'm posting another recipe I plan on making, ok, this is not a main course, but it does look yummy! I have an 8 ounce cream cheese in the ice box that is about to expire, so I have an excuse to make these Pumpkin Bars;-) Ryan won't be thrilled about it as he is on an exercise/health kick these days(as should I!), but I bet tonight he'll go into the kitchen and sneak one...
I love, love, love Paula Deen, and this is her recipe, if a recipe has her name on it, it's gonna be awesome!

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing: 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.
Spread the batter into a greased 13x10 inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool completely before frosting.
Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again.
Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Yield: 48 small bars or 24 larger bars
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Visit from Gramma and Grandpa Fackrell

We were lucky to have such a great visit with Bud and LeeAnn when they came to Houston a few weeks back. Fortunately, Bud had some business in Houston so we got to spend some time with them!
We were grateful they got to be part of Delaney's blessing, we spent a fun Halloween with them, and a few other outings. LeeAnn got to stay an extra few weeks after Bud left. She went back to Anchorage yesterday and I was really sad to see her go. She's a wonderful grandmother to my girls, and she's an awesome Mother-in-Law, I'd say I really lucked out in that department.

Addyson asked me today, "Mom, is Gramma coming over later?" I guess we can tell her a hundred times that Gramma is gone, but it still hasn't clicked yet;)

We were grateful for their visit and wished they didn't live so far away!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sleepyhead Addyson

Lately Addyson has been taking these late naps, and as a 4 year old, she really doesn't need to nap anymore. I find her in these funny spots and positions that she's fallen asleep in, and I don't have the heart to wake her, so Ryan and I end up staying up WAY too late with her until she finally goes to sleep.
I also got her these cute new sheets for her bed that she is in love with. The other night as I was tucking her in she asked me if I could take her picture, do you think she's used to the camera in her face all the time? ;-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our baby is one!

Sweet Delaney Colleen turned one year old today, and it's really bittersweet for me...I miss her newborn days and all the milestones she had throughout her first year, but I love what she has turned into! She is a wonderful baby, so curious, happy, and snugly:) She has been such a fun addition to our little family.

She definitely has her likes and dislikes these days for sure.

Some of the things she loves;
Her big sister
Hammer the cat
Scrambled eggs
Her sippy cup
Naps and bedtime(no kidding, she LOVES her bed. She giggles each time I put her in it)
Her blanket
And she loves to grab mine and Ryan's neck for a big hug

The things she could live without;
Her stroller
Her car seat
Her highchair(Do you see a trend? She's not big into being confined)
Bath time
Diaper changes
Getting dressed
Getting her hair brushed/fixed

Some people(and you know who you are...)think she might be a bit spoiled because I'm always holding her, but I can't seem to get enough of her, she has stolen my heart!

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Little Lane!
**I took the little one to the Dr. for her 1 year well check up; she weighs 23.14 lbs., and she's 31" long!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dusting off the Apron

Yes, I've been feeling the guilt lately, guilty for hardly ever cooking for my little family.

Thankfully I have a husband who is so low maintenance with the whole dinner thing. He never asks me, "So, what are we having for dinner?" I never feel expected to make anything, but really, I need to start feeding my family more homemade dinners, a few times a week at least. They deserve it! Maybe if I started cooking more, Addyson would be a less picky eater, and Delaney, well, she'll eat anything I put in front of her, hopefully this is one stage she'll never grow out of(I figured out yesterday that she loves avocados and tomatoes, YAY!).

So I've decided to pick 1 or 2 recipes a week and make them for dinner. Since there are only really 2.5 of us eating(addyson eats like a bird) I really only need to cook a few times a week. I'll be posting the recipes on my blog in case there's someone else out there who carries around with them the same "no cooking" guilt as me;-)
Tonight this is what I'm making(and no, dessert really shouldn't be part of every meal, in my opinion, but these blondies looked really yummy!);

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Rice Casserole

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced(I'll probably leave this out)
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
½ lb diced ham
2 Cups cooked shredded chicken breast
4 Tablespoons butter
¼ Cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
14 oz can chicken broth
3 Cups cooked rice of choice (I used white long grain)
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Cup shredded mozzarella or Swiss cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil into a large 5 qt rimmed skillet over medium heat.

Saute onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ham and chicken. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Melt butter then stir in flour, salt and pepper until combined. Slowly stir in chicken broth until well combined. Stir in cooked rice then transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cover the dish with foil the last 10 minutes for oozing cheese.
6-8 servings

Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies

¼ Cup butter
¾ Cup white chocolate chips
½ Cup sugar
¼ Cup brown sugar
1 Cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ Cup white chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 Cup fresh raspberries
½ Cup finely chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons sanding sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Stir in ¾ Cup white chips until melted and smooth. In a large bowl add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and ½ Cup white chips. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and sour cream. Pour into the dry ingredient bowl along with the melted white chip mixture. Mix until just combined.
2. Pour into an 8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Top evenly with 1 Cup raspberries. Mix the chopped pecans and sanding sugar in a small bowl until combined then sprinkle over top of blondies. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean from center.
Makes 9 blondies

(I get most of my recipes from the picky!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Mom, will you straighten my hair?"

...words I didn't think I'd hear until the tween/early teenage years!

This morning as I was getting ready for the day Addyson comes walking in the bathroom and asks me to straighten her hair. She sees me straightening mine a lot so I guess it's natural that she wanted to see what it was all about.
The girl has awesome hair, really. I'm envious of the color, the perfect wave, and texture of it. The other day while I was fixing it I told her, "Do you know that people pay to have your same hair color?" She then said, "Really? They like me so much that they want the same hair color as me?" hehe

Unfortunately I didn't take a before pic of her hair before I straightened it, but I took a few after we were done(we weren't able to do all of her hair, little sister woke up from her nap sooner than expected). She was quite patient, maybe it was the sucker she had that kept her occupied. Thank goodness for Halloween candy!