Grandpa to the rescue!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The kids spent the afternoon with Grandpa yesterday and had a great time.  I think the pics speak for themselves...


They exercised. And played.  They love that treadmill!


Then they went to the pet store. I suppose I should have warned Grandpa that the kids would want to take home everything they saw. The first words out of Ashton's mouth when I picked them up? "Mom, can we get a puppy? A kitten?" NO!


To round out the day, they went for ice cream. YUM!


Thanks Grandpa and Lynda for spending the afternoon with the kids. They truly enjoyed it!



Camping... in the back yard!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

*This is a repost from a couple years back.  I'm joining MamaKat today for Writer's Workshop.

Last Wednesday Joey had this great idea to camp out in the back yard with Taylor. I think Ashton heard about their plan and wanted in on the action so they decided to hatch this plan on Friday night before she left for camp on Saturday morning.

I made it VERY clear to my lovely family that I would be camping in the comfort of my king size tempurpedic knock-off bed with the A/C set at a comfortable 73 degrees and the fan on. I was more than happy to join them for s'mores, but my hubby is well aware that my idea of camping involves a hotel with the words "Resort and Spa" at the end.

So while I finished packing Ashton's things for camp, Joey and Taylor set-up the tent in the backyard...



... then took a quick Gatorade break. Don't forget, we are in the south Texas heat people!!



Once the tent was all set-up (but clearly, as Joey then told me, NOT big enough for 2-3 people!) it was time to build the camp fire. In my backyard.

This made the kids a little nervous, and me too, but I had already questioned Joey multiple times and he put my mind at ease by informing me that he was a boy scout when he was little.

Thank goodness!



The fire actually worked out well, but I will confess I had a water hose on standby.

Now it was time to roast marshmallows for s'mores. Ashton loves s'mores, but Taylor, as many of you know does not like chocolate. We think he's missing a chromosome or something...




A few weeks ago my cousins were in town and we met them at the Westin Resort at La Cantera and the kids had s'mores by the pool. This is Taylor explaining to me how those s'mores were much better than the one he's eating here... that I made him. God love him.



Ah, camping in the backyard. I told the kids goodnight and kissed Joey and came inside to clean up the kitchen. It wasn't 10 minutes until the back door opened and a sweaty little girl came in and went up to her nice soft bed to go to sleep.

About 20 minutes later, a cute little boy and his handsome dad followed.

It was a good idea, right?


I'm not a poet and I know it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

But there's a mouse in my house.

My lovely cat brought it in as a gift, I'm sure, but I've told her before that I don't care for these types of gifts.

Obviously she doesn't care.

And I'd also like to clarify that if she's going to bring me mice as presents, I prefer the dead kind.  Otherwise, I spend days on end trying to chase down a mouse.

Leah tried to help last night.  I noticed she was camped out right by the pantry door, so I figured the mouse had scurried in to hide.  So what did I do?  Opened the pantry, moved some of the things on the floor to give Leah plenty of room to search, and let her at it.


The good news was she got the mouse. 

The bad news was that she dropped it at my feet and I wasn't quick enough to get it before it scurried behind the refrigerator.

RATS!  I'm mean, MOUSE!


Always be my baby.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Last night, Taylor jumped up on the bed to give me a hug and kiss good night.  We had a fun little conversation talking about his upcoming birthday and I said, "Taylor, you're going to be 7 years old!  What am I going to do? What happened to my baby?"

I kid you not, without even blinking, he looked at me and said, "Momma, I'll always be your baby!"

Gosh I love that boy!




Good friends. Good times.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday afternoon, we drove out to our friends' house.  It was so fun to see them.  We always have such a great time together and I so miss them living right next door.

They have a beautiful pool in their neighborhood, so we spent a few hours there to start the day off.  Other than Taylor jumping off the top of the play scape, thinking there was a slide where there wasn't, a good time was had by all. 

Taylor and Larson (their son) had a great time together.  Larson has more Star Wars paraphernalia than Taylor does, which I didn't even know was possible!


There's a bit of an age difference between their daughter - Lauren - and Ashton, but that didn't seem to matter after long.


The adults got to enjoy our favorite pastime - begging Joey to play cards.  (He's not a game player.  I'm not sure where I found him!)  Ok, ok, I actually got Joey to agree to play on the drive out there, so we did actually get to enjoy playing cards (Hand & Foot).  The only thing that would have made it better was if the girls had won.  Which we didn't.


Last weekend I posted on Facebook that I was taking some homemade cinnamon rolls to our new neighbors (that bought Josh & Kelly's house) and Kelly reminded me that she never got cinnamon rolls when she lived there, so I brought her some.


She even forced Josh to break his health streak and take a bite.  Good times.

We had so much fun and can't wait to get together again.  Love you guys!!


Is it 5 o'clock yet?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Good things are planned for this weekend.

Tonight, I'm going with my parents, brother, and SIL to this:


I'm SO ready for some football!  Bring it!

Oh, and these guys are playing:

(Bowling For Soup.  My brothers favorite band.  They're really good!  Ever heard 'em?)

Tomorrow, we hope to hang with these guys:



They lived next door to us for several years and I miss them!!  Can't wait to get together!

I hope Sunday will be filled with lots of relaxing and spending time with the family, but I know it will (unfortunately) include lots of laundry and grocery shopping instead.

Oh well, can't win 'em all, right?



Product placement.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last night I was watching my DVR'd recording of Days of our Lives.  I've actually resorted to recording it and watching it at night, since summer TV suckity sucks!

Anyway, as I'm watching, one of the characters begins eating a Hershey's Bliss chocolate.  The bag is strategically placed in order to get the maximum product placement possible.  As if that wasn't bad enough, her TV husband walks in the room and says, "What are you eating?"  She replies, "Hershey's Bliss.  Do you want one?  They're so creamy and indulgent!"

Ok, really?  Must you be so blatant with your sell-out? 

And this wasn't the first time I'd seen this on my soap.  Last week, one of the characters was eating Chex Mix (with the bag, again, strategically placed).  When describing it to her lover (ugh!) who had never partaken of Chex Mix before, she said "It's a delightful crunchy and salty snack!"

Did you just throw up your mouth a bit?  I did.  I mean, I love Chex Mix just as much as the next guy, but really?  "Delightful crunchy and salty?"

And yes, I know that soaps are cheesy as it is, but it's gotten to the point, especially with the current story line, that I'm beginning to wonder if it should be categorized as comedy.  LOL.

Do you watch a soap?  Which one?


Stephanie cooks: Burritos!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If you can say that by rolling your r's, it will be much more festive.  I, on the other hand, can't roll my r's to save my life.

I hope that's never a situation I get into.  Where I must roll my r's to save my life.

I digress.

Let's move on to the burritos.  For loving Mexican food as much as I do, I've only posted one recipe for Mexican food.  That's truly a shame.  But here's one for you.  It was pretty much a staple in my house growing because my brother was an extremely picky eater, but he would eat these.  In fact, if he reads my blog like he says he does, I can expect a nasty comment somewhat to the effect of "Why wasn't I told about the burritos last night so I could come for dinner???"

I guess you could say this is a test of sorts.

Burritos

What you need:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 package flour tortillas
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce
  • grated cheddar



How you make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef.  Drain. (DO NOT salt the meat.)
  3. Add refried beans and enchilada sauce.  Mix well and simmer.
  4. Add beef mixture to warmed tortillas (I usually heat them up, one-by-one, in the microwave for 10 seconds or so.).
  5. Sprinkle with cheese.  Roll to close.
  6. Repeat until micture is gone.
  7. Line burritos on foil lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly, cheese on top in melted, and the edges of the tortillas and browned slightly.


This will make a ton of burritos, but these are the best leftover.  In fact, I never even consider reducing the recipe because I love the thought of having the leftovers all week.  They're yummy!



The hottest coolest time in Texas!

Monday, July 19, 2010



We took the kids to Schlitterbahn yesterday, and if the people from the 'bahn are reading this, you should really hire my kids for your next commercial.

They had so much fun!  They could not stop talking about how "This is the best day of my life!" and "This is the ultimate waterpark for me!"  Yes, Taylor actually said ultimate. (Then when I brought it up to him later in the day, he got embarrassed and said, "Let's not talk it.")

If you've never been to Schlitterbahn (in New Braunfels, TX), which I'll go ahead and assume that most of you have not, the thing that's so cool about it is that 90% of the rides are tube rides.  And they're long tube rides, with lots of drops, turns, and rapids.  The lines weren't too bad, so we'd end up waiting in line for maybe 20-30 minutes, but the ride itself was at least 3-4 minutes.  The kids were in heaven!

On the first ride, the kids were total amateurs and flipped out of their tubes several times.  I was worried that Taylor, especially, would get freaked out, but instead, he would hop back on his tube and scream, "That was awesome!"  "This is the best day of my life!"  "This is so fun!"

Joey wasn't thrilled about going, mainly because the park is fed by the Comal River.  In case you're not aware, the Comal River is about the temperature of ice water, maybe a little colder.  Yeah, it's pretty dang cold, but even Joey started to have fun once he saw how excited the kids were.



It was such a fun day, but we were exhausted when it was over.  8 hours of "the best day of my  life" can really take it out of you!


Stephanie cooks: Baked Tilapia

Friday, July 16, 2010

Last night I made the best dinner - if I do say so myself.  But luckily, it wasn't just me that said so.  Joey said so.  Ashton said so.  And even Taylor said so. (Well, the kids didn't care for the zucchini, but you win 'em all, right?)

It was a Christmas miracle.  Only it's not Christmas.


I got the recipe from Cooking With Carolyn.  If you're not a follower, you should be.  She's an amazing cook!

Baked Tilapia

What you need:

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 tbsp. mayo
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • Crushed Ritz crackers (about 3/4 of a sleeve)
  • 2-3 tbsp. melted butter


How you make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Lightly salt fillets and place in dish. (I skipped this step on accident - the salt - but it needs it, so don't skip.)
  4. Mix together mayo, lime, onion powder, and pepper. Spread on top of fillets.
  5. Melt butter and mix with crushed crackers. Spread over fillets.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until fish flakes easily.

I served this with Ranch Roasted Red Potatoes and Sauteed Zucchini. It was delish!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!



I'm raising a salesman.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A few nights ago, I went into the den to grab something, and found this:


I recognized the handwriting immediately and couldn't help but chuckle.

Ashton and Taylor have been using pipe cleaners to make bracelets at Mimi's this week.  Ashton called me at work earlier this week and asked, "If I was going to make you a bracelet, what color would you want?"  I love how she said "if", trying to throw me off to the fact that she was actually making me a bracelet.

These bracelets in the picture, however, are not Ashton's.  They're Taylor's.  He is always trying to come up with something to sell to the neighbors.  A month or so ago, it was hand drawn pictures.

I have to give it to him though - he and a friend went door to door for the last 2 nights and made over $12! 

I mean, could you resist this face?


Ok, maybe that one. But this one?


Ok, ok. But definitely not this one!


Yeah, definitely!  Who could resist that face?  Certainly not my unsuspecting neighbors!

He informed his Mimi that they made much more than they would have with a lemonade stand.  Because with lemonade, you only make "like $3 or something."


Does God really care?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The answer?  ABSOLUTELY!

Of course, I know this in my head, but sometimes, admittedly, my heart may not feel it.  This morning, I am overcome with how much God loves me and cares about every detail of my life.

Let me explain...

Joey has had a rough week.  Sunday began his first week of evaluations.  Up until now, he has been blessed with training officers who were easy to work with, willing to help, and more encouraging than critical.  This week, the opposite has been true.

Joey is living his dream and loves what he does, but it's amazing how one persons attitude can suck the life out of you.  He's been defeated.  And for me, it's just heartbreaking to watch.  I know, beyond any doubt, that God made him specifically for this purpose and that he is and will be one of the best cops the city has ever seen, but it's difficult to hear how someone can criticize your every move, and most times, for no good reason.

Last night he spent the majority of the evening studying maps, purchasing a GPS, and then driving his area in hopes to receive a bit less criticism.  I spent my evening, after he left for work, giving Joey and his situation to God.  I prayed for specific things and trusted God that He cared enough about us to handle the situation in whatever way He saw fit.  I'll admit though, I didn't want to get my hopes up.

This morning, Joey called to tell me he was on his way home and I, of course, asked how his night was.  He sounded more upbeat than he had the rest of the week.  His response?  He had a good night.

Then he quoted for me, word for word, exactly what I had prayed, but I hadn't told him anything yet.  I was shocked.  I'm not exactly sure why, because, as I said, I know that God cares.  But sometimes when I get physical proof like that, it floors me.

People, I prayed for (and wrote in my journal) exactly what Joey said happened.  Do you get that?

As if I had no reason to praise Him before, this morning, he confirmed to me what Ephesians declares.  "He is so rich in kindness and grace..." (v 1:7) "God's purpose was that we... would bring praise and glory to God." (v 1:12)

He cares.  His kindness and love are abundant.  He is not silent.


Vacation recap

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Last week, the kids, my mom, and I headed to Houston to stay with my Aunt and Uncle.  This is one of my favorite vacation spots and we look forward to visiting them every year in July.

While I was there, I took the chance to meet up with one of my good friends, Lindsay, who moved to Houston a couple years back.  She had the great idea to take the kids for indoor, black light, miniature golf.  To say they loved it would be a gross understatement.


(Sorry that's it's so blurry, but that's the only way you can see how everything glows.  It was really pretty cool!)

I loved catching up with Lindsay and her sweet little girl, Sydney.  The kids had a blast together too!


For the next few days, the following pictures sum up our activities.  (Of course, my cousins and I were relaxing on floats in the pool. No pictures allowed. LOL)



On the 4th, my Aunts community always has a parade and huge, professional fireworks show.  The kids decorate bikes, scooters, and wagons and everyone walks in the parade.



During the fireworks, Taylor spent most of his time like this:


And my cousins daughter, Cameryn, spent her time like this:


Seriously, the cutest thing ever.

The rest of the week was much like the beginning - lots of pool time.  We had big plans to go to Schlitterbahn in Galveston on Wednesday, but Hurricane Bonnie (or TD #2, I can't remember) had different plans. Instead, we stayed in the pool as long as possible, until we finally heard thunder and had to go inside. Then we passed the time with a fun family game of Farkle.  And my aunt kicked our tails.

We had a great time.  The only thing that would have made it better is if Joey had been there.  We missed him terribly, so we cut our vacation short to get home and see him. Things just aren't as fun without him.


let's get acquainted

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THE Stephanie
I’m Stephanie - wife to one extremely handsome cop; mother to two extremely silly kids. The hubs and I have been married since February ’99. I love him more each day and simply can’t get enough of him. My daughter, Ashton, is 12 going on 17. She’s beautiful, creative, smart, and oh, so sassy. Taylor, our son, is 8 and is so much like his daddy it’s scary. He makes me laugh all the time with the silly things he says and does. He won’t remember what you told him 5 minutes from now, just like his daddy. I love to laugh and spend time with friends and family. I’ve also recently discovered a love for cooking and enjoy sharing recipes. I love finding new blog friends, so be sure to leave a comment so I can do the same!
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