Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Texas

Kristen and I went to my parents for Christmas, then the whole family drove to my brother's in Austin the day after Christmas. It was so much fun to have the whole family together (minus just a couple of Kristen's cousins). We left Oklahoma before the big blizzard hit...14 inches of snow!! But we did get a little bit of snow in Texas.
Kristen in the little bit of snow that we got.

Playing the piano at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Santa brought a few things for Kristen.

Opening presents on Christmas morning.
In front of the Texas State Capitol in Austin.

Kristen LOVES Matt...he's married to her cousin, Erica. Kristen was the flower girl in their wedding.

Kristen and Mommy.
Kristen's cousins, Erica and Shelby.There are many more pictures I need to sort through and post. And hopefully I'll get some from the rest of the family that they took on their cameras :)

We had a great 2009 and looking forward to an even better 2010. I treasure each day with my beautiful daughter. She's growing up so fast.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Kristen has made a new, wonderful best friend in school this year. They sit right next to each other in class and are both such sweet girls. And the really cool thing is that B was adopted from China. Here they are at their Christmas party on Friday. B came by our house Sunday and gave Kristen a necklace which says "Be Frie", and of course her necklace says "st nds". How cute is that!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All I want for Christmas... my ONE front tooth. Kristen lost a tooth yesterday while she was eating lunch at school and she was SOOOO excited. So she's been singing that little song over and over :) Her other front tooth is loose but I don't think it'll be out by Christmas. This was tooth #4 and the tooth fairy visited her last night and left her a little surprise. Happy girl!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Playdate and Cheering

We sure have had a lot going on lately, and are having a lot of fun. About a week ago we got to have a playdate with Abby, Hannah and Landis. The kids worked on a gingerbread train, but I think they had more fun sneaking bites of the candy and the icing :) It had been way too long since these precious girls had seen each other. Aren't they beautiful.

Kristen also went to a cheerleading clinic for 3 hours on a Saturday morning, and they got to perform their cheer and a dance at the freshmen girls and boys basketball games. She had a blast!! And it was pretty fun for mom to watch, too :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Recipe for Holiday Appetizer Dip

Here's a recipe that we've had in our family for many years. I love to have it any time, but it just seems to taste better at Christmas, so I make it more this time of year. The dried beef in it is the kind that's in a jar that is used for chipped beef on toast...the brand I think I get here is Armour. (Hormel also makes it)

Holiday Appetizer Dip

8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp milk
2 1/2 oz. jar sliced dried beef, finely snipped (about 3/4 cup)
2 Tbsp instant minced onion
2 Tbsp finely chopped green pepper
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Blend cream cheese and milk. Stir in dried beef, onion, green pepper and pepper. Mix well. Stir in sour cream. Spoon into 8-inch pie plate or small shallow baking dish. Sprinkle walnuts over top. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve hot with assorted crackers.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Last week we spent Thanksgiving in Texas. We went to my parents for a few days, and had Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin's house. It was so fun to see lots of family. We actually went to the mall for a few hours on black Friday...but not at 5 am :) I think I only took one or two pictures, then Kristen took charge of the camera. Here are just a few pics of our day.
Grandpa can't stay out of the shrimp.
My sister and nephew.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Calling Australia

Last night Kristen's 1st grade class had an exciting opportunity...they set up TV's and cameras and the kids got to have a video conference with kids in Australia. Our kids were able to ask them questions, they asked our kids questions, sang songs for each other, and it was great for them to see how many things they have in common. Kristen loved hearing their accents (and so did I). Kristen asked them what their favorite food is...and was so excited that so many of them wanted to answer her question. Fun times!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recipe for Cranberry Salad

So Thanksgiving and Christmas are almost here and this is my favorite time to cook. Well, I love cooking any time of year, but this is the best. Maybe it's because I love to eat all the great food we have for the holidays :) Here's a recipe I LOVE to make. I can't handle the jellied cranberry stuff in the can...this cranberry salad is good enough to actually be a dessert. I actually have passed up dessert before to have another helping of this!

Cranberry Salad

1 bag cranberries
2 c. sugar
1 large can crushed pineapple (optional)
2 c. mini marshmallows
Cool Whip or 1/2 pt. whipping cream
1 c. chopped pecans

Grind cranberries in food processor. Add sugar and let stand overnight (I put in refrigerator). Next morning - Strain and keep juice. Strain pineapple. Add pineapple, marshmallows and Cool Whip to cranberry mixture. Mix well. If too dry add cranberry juice to the right consistency. Add pecans. Refrigerate.

I know the recipe says pineapple is optional but I wouldn't dream of leaving it out. I'll see what other yummy recipes I can post before Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

We had a fun-filled weekend. A boy from Kristen's 1st grade class had a Halloween party Friday night. They had games, food, a scavenger hunt, crafts, and running around just being silly. Then Saturday night she went trick-or-treating with her cousin, Landon. He was a werewolf and Kristen was a Cheetah. Lots of fun but I'm glad it's over.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pajama day

Today is pajama day at school. It's part of red ribbon week, teaching the kids about staying drug free. Monday they wore their red ribbon t-shirts, Tuesday they had to wear green, and tomorrow they are supposed to wear their favorite sports team shirt. She isn't taking the cute little monkey to school with her, but I thought it was a cute picture to post :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


October is always a very busy month, but this year it seems even busier than ever. Kristen went to a friend's slumber party a couple of weeks ago and had a blast. We have six birthdays in our family in dad, my mom, sister, niece, brother-in-law, and every year we get together and have one big celebration. We had cake and presents and lots of fun.

Kristen's Halloween costume is ordered and hopefully it will get here in time. Shingles have been delivered and the roofers should be here tomorrow morning to start putting on a new roof. Tomorrow afternoon I see an orthopedic surgeon that my doctor referred me to for a cyst on my thumb. We've been to my nephews soccer games, been to see my niece march in the band, been to see my other nephew play hockey. Kristen has cheer and tumbling class every Thursday night and she's loving it. Busy, busy, busy!!

We got three little pumpkins and Kristen decorated them with the same kits that we used last year.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our Pickle Jar

Do you follow my friend Amy's blog at ? I've told you about them. They were starting out with a pickle jar to start saving money for their next adoption, then someone donated all the money for their adoption. But Amy's so amazing she wanted to pass it forward and raise money to help someone else adopt. They've been eating beans and rice for dinner for the entire month of September to put the grocery savings towards the fund. I talked to Kristen about what she could do to help.
Kristen gets all my spare change and it goes into her piggy bank (and she hits Grandma and Grandpa up for their change, too). She decided she'd give all her spare change for the month of September and donate it to the Pass It Forward fund. So tonight we were going to count all the change she has saved up this month.
As we started to dump it out to count, she asked me to go get her piggy bank. I told her that what was in her piggy bank was already hers, and reminded her of what she had committed to. But you know what...she insisted that we dump all the money she already had in her piggy bank from the last few months into the pickle jar...she wanted to donate ALL of it!!

Oh yes, I am one proud mommy tonight :) And just throwing in another cute picture of her. She was in the posing mood tonight.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I haven't shared a recipe in a while, so I thought I'd post one that I just recently tried. This came from a friend of mine who is a very good cook. And since it's football season, this is perfect. We had it a couple of weeks ago while watching our team, Oklahoma State.

Monday Night Hot Wing Dip

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup ranch salad dressing
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the chicken breasts into a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until chicken is tender enough to be pulled apart with a fork. Drain and cool until cool enough to touch. Shred or chop chicken and place in a 1 to 2 quart casserole.
3. Mix the cream cheese into the chicken until well blended, then stir in the ranch dressing and hot sauce. Top with cheddar cheese.
4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbly.

I thought this was pretty good the first day, but thought it was even better when I reheated it the next day. YUM!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Time flies...

...when you're having fun!! Well, we've been very busy ever since school started, plus we've made two trips to Texas. We had a family reunion to attend, then two weeks later we made our annual trip to the outlet mall in Allen with Maria and Anna. School is keeping us busy with homework every night, but Kristen is loving 1st grade. They had pirate day for the 1st graders a couple of weeks ago, but she wasn't too happy about dressing up :)

We did take advantage of some beautiful weather to spend some time playing at the park.

Kristen and Anna showing off their green tongues after eating some laffy taffy. Those girls are so silly!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

First day of 1st grade

Today was Kristen's first day of 1st grade and she had a great day! She loves her teacher, she was excited about having PE, recess, and eating lunch there. None of her classmates from Kindergarten are in her class, so I was a little sad for her about that. I asked her a million questions when I picked her up and when I asked who she sat by at lunch she said "Boys...I was boy trapped." Too funny :) The little girl who sits right in front of her has the same last name, it's just spelled different. I think she's going to have a great year!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Last day of summer vacation

Tomorrow is the 1st day of school and Kristen has mixed emotions. She's excited, but she's had such a blast at her daycare this summer she doesn't want the fun to end. They went on field trips or swimming 2-3 times a week. They went to the Play Zone, the park, Little River Zoo, the Community Center gym, a RedHawks baseball game, Toy & Action Figure Museum, Stafford Space Center, Incredible Pizza, Sam Noble Museum, Science Museum, roller skating, to El Chico for a tour and lunch (little stinker got a hamburger), and the last day was to the park and to Braum's for ice cream.

Tomorrow will be a little hard for Mommy, because Kindergarten was only half a day and now she'll be there all day for 1st grade. She'll do fine and I know she's going to have a great year. She met her teacher at Open House last night and saw her classroom and her desk. Here we go!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Newspaper article

Yesterday when I was taking Kristen to daycare I hit a bird. She said "you're probably going to be in the newspaper". Wow, she was right!! Who would've thought! Guess it was a slow news day.

I did contact the editor and let them know that the article had an error...the bird was killed. They did a follow-up article.

OK, really it's not THAT boring around here. My sister put these together on a website for doing fake newspaper articles. Shhh...we don't have to tell Kristen it's fake :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Time for a little Kristen update. She's had tonsillitis this past week (for about the 3rd time and she's also had strep before). We almost took her tonsils out a couple of years ago when she was getting tubes, but decided against it at the time. I guess I'll need to talk to her ENT again about it and see what he thinks. She hates going to the doctor with a sore throat because they swab her throat to test for strep...she refers to it as a "strip test" :) So when I was on the phone calling the doctor she wrote a not so nice note for me and stuck it on the desk in front of me.

It says "Dot Wunu Go to the Dodr" - Translation is "Don't Wanna go to the Doctor"

Instead of taking ballet classes this year she decided on Cheer & Tumbling class and tonight was her first class. She LOVED it!! I'm loving the fact that I don't have to buy shoes for the class :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tennessee vacation

After a 9 day trip and 2200 miles, we got back home from Tennessee Saturday afternoon. We were both worn out but had a great time. We spent the first night in Memphis, then drove to Chattanooga the next day. We stayed with my cousin and got to meet and play with his new baby. We also went to Lookout Mountain and rode the incline railway up to the top of the mountain. Then we took a beautiful scenic drive to Cherokee, NC where we stayed the next night. Along the drive we saw the area where the white water rafting events were held for the 1996 Olympics. Kristen made a friend when we were swimming at the hotel swimming pool. The girl said they were going to Santa's Land the next day and asked if we were going. I had no intention of doing anything in this town, it was just a stopover for the night, but it was the neatest, most beautiful place so we decided to spend a few hours looking around the next morning then I took her to Santa's Land. It was a small zoo and theme park so the girls found each other quickly and had so much fun riding rides together. The other girl was not afraid of any rides so that was a great motivator for Kristen to ride things she otherwise would NEVER ride. She rode the roller coaster (aka Rudiocoaster) FOUR times! I rode with her because it was not a little kiddie ride, it went pretty fast and threw us around enough to bruise my back. She also rode the ferris wheel a couple of times. Check out the picture of them together, her friend is only one month older than her :)

We then drove into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the south entrance straight through to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area where we spent the next two nights. We spent an entire day at Dollywood and had a blast. It was miserably hot, though. They had misters around to help us cool off, and plenty of water rides. Kristen surprised me again by riding rides I never in a million years would have guessed she would ride.

From Pigeon Forge we headed back through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park around a different loop we had not toured previously. It was a little one way road that went very slowly, but it was breathtaking, even though we had some rain. We saw a few deer, but no bears. We drove to Nashville once we got through that part of the park. The next day we spent the day in the Nashville area, going to Franklin to the Franklin Factory for some shopping, then to the famous Loveless Cafe for lunch, then for a tour at the Grand Ole Opry. While we were at our hotel we had run down to get something out of the car. There was a Hummer limo pulling into the parking lot and I was pointing it out to Kristen, when the driver stopped and asked if we wanted to see inside. It was a woman driver so I felt safe. She said she had a few minutes to kill so she drove us around the parking lot. We opened the roof and I held Kristen up through it to look around. Too bad I didn't have my camera with me.

A few hours of shopping at Opry Mills Mall and we left Nashville and headed for home. It was so great to get away and relax and have fun together. All those hours in the car and she didn't fall asleep even once while driving. She had plenty of things to keep her busy and she was the best little traveler.