Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Katie's Birthday Party with Family

Saturday was the last birthday party for our little Katiebug. I believe, she had a wonderful week of celebrations.

 We hated that dad couldn't make it because of his condition, but needed his rest. Maryann was sweet to pick up mom to come to the party for a couple of hours. She didn't want to stay gone for too long from dad. As she got ready to leave, we fixed her and dad a couple of plates for supper and cake for dessert. Photobucket 
Katie and Colton got excited when they found out that Kyli and Caden were coming. The kids play pretty good together. Kyli and Katie are a couple of weeks apart in age. They are the children of my nephew's girlfriend. They are sweet kids and seem to like the fact that Ryan and their mom are dating.
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Zayden couldn't take his eyes off of uncle Doug. He really loves his uncle. I thought it was so sweet that I had to take a picture.
 Katie has been begging for a particular gift for quite some time. I couldn't get over her facial expression when she discovered what was in her gift bag. 
Doug was able to get a very good deal on this iPad. 
 We couldn't pass up the deal. She absolutely loves it! Photobucket 
I got tickled when I saw these three with their phones . . . texting or playing with them. I had to take a picture. 
Where is the world coming to? LOL
These four were pure entertainment. They were surrounded around the iPad, watching Netflix. You would think it would be better to watch Netflix on the big television screen, instead of a small screen that you have to move around just to get a glimpse. LOL!
 I love the fact that they are all sharing a bag of chips too. Kids are funny.

Prayer Request
Thank you so much for the prayers.  Dad did wonderful last Thursday; however, he got himself in a mess the next day.  Because of the anesthesia, he could not relieve himself.  Needless to say, Maryann had to take him to the emergency room and have him catheterized.  He will have to keep it in until the middle of this week.  Of course, he is sore all over.  Overall, he is going great.  


Friday, July 27, 2012

Katie's Birthday Week

Last Monday, our baby girl turned 7 years old. Since my dad had to go to the doctor's office for some lab work, the kids and I spent the day with my mother. I didn't want to take away the fact that it was Katie's birthday, we stopped by the bakery and picked up some gourmet cupcakes and lunch for everyone and headed over to mom and dad's place. Mom and dad were so happy to share Katie's special day with her.



We went got home, we celebrated her day with her daddy and Doug's parents. It's tradition that if your birthday falls on a day that is not your party, you get to open up one gift. Well Katie was so excited to get to open up a gift when daddy got home. Katie and Colton wanted these blank characters from OfficeMax about a month ago. Well, I went ahead and purchased them, but made them wait until this week to open them. I just knew the kids had forgotten them. Nope! As soon as Katie found the gift wrapped box, she asked if it was her kitty.

They loved coloring and creating their kitty and bird.  The only bad thing, I experienced, was the ink wants to rub off after HOURS of drying.  Oh well. 



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 Colton has been just as excited about this day as Katie.  He thinks it's his birthday too.  So, if you think it's your birthday too than you need to blow out your candle as well.

Yesterday was Katie's big birthday slumber party.  She has been looking forward to this day for several months.  Anticipation has built every day since school let out for Summer break.  I guess that's what happens when you have to wait until mid-Summer to be the same age as the rest of your friends.  LOL!  There are times when she can't stand the fact that she has to wait so long before her birthday comes around.  Poor baby!

The slumber party was another hit.  Katie's guests began arriving as early as 4PM.  We had a total of 6 little girls stay with us.  It was an experience because I've never had that many girls to stay the night all at once.  The first thing they all wanted to do was get on the trampoline.  Yes, they would rather have been out in the HOT weather, jumping on a trampoline then inside eating pizza and painting nails.  LOL!  We let them do their jumping for a few short minutes before getting them inside to eat a slice of cheesy pizza.  Leslie and June were so sweet to come and help me last night.  I tell you, there is no way I would have been able to do it without their help.  Thank you guys!  I love you!  After cake and ice cream, we separated into different stations.  Leslie was the nail creator.  June was the fab makeup artist.  I was the shoe fashion designer.  Afterwards, the girls did a fashion show, American Model, dance off with Katie's new Kidz Bop 22 CD.  Oh. my. gosh!  Those girls had us in stitches.  What was so amazing is that most of the girls knew every word in each song!  We couldn't believe it.
We were tickled about her cake.  Didn't it turn out so cute?  Katie absolutely loved it!  It's a pull apart vanilla cupcakes with buttercream icing.  

. . . and here is Katie's glass slipper for the diva of the hour.  All the girls wanted to take this slipper home with them. LOL! 

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Her theme was "Glitzy Girls".  One of the games was place the cell phone in the glitzy girl's hand.  Each girl was blindfolded and had 2 chances to place the phone on the scene.  I had each girl to have a friend to give them directions as to where to place their cell phone.  I thought it worked out great.  I thought this way it would produce team work and self esteem.
I caught the girls dancing in Katie's bedroom

The gang is all here!

Our fashion show

The girls LOVED Leslie being there.  They all got together and gave her a makeover.  They insisted that she dance and perform with them.  Too funny! 

June the make-up artist

Leslie the nail creator

We still have another party this weekend with the family.  Doug wants to smoke a pork butt and grill chicken breasts.  YUM!  We are expecting several of the family members coming, so we will have a nice crowd.  Be watching for more photos and stories.  

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Daddy, Mommy and Brother

Prayer Request
Thursday, my dad had his appendix and a small portion of his large intestines taken out.  When he had his regular scheduled colonoscopy, the doctor discovered a small polyp at the opening into his appendix.  It's benign, but for precaution the doctor felt it best that he go ahead and have them removed.  There is a good chance that if the polyp comes back that it could be cancerous.  So!  A little concerned about his age, I've given it over to the Lord.  The surgery went well and he was home in mid-afternoon yesterday.  Last night and today, he had difficulties going to the bathroom.  Because of the lack of not being able to go and the great pain that goes with it, Maryann took dad to the ER.  They put in temporary catheter and almost immediately it relieved the pain and pressure.  He is home with the catheter and he will have to see his doctor the first of next week.  I've found out this is nothing uncommon because of the anesthetic.  I ask you that you please lift him in your prayers, in hopes that God will heal his body.  Thank you!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Katie's 7 Year Old Photos

This morning, Katie and I got up and took some 7 year old photos of her. Yeah, I know she's not exactly 7 years old yet. I felt that today would be the last time we would see the 80s for awhile. We were fortunate to just miss the rain early this morning. We could not have planned this day any better. 

I've had my eyes set on this beautiful town garden for sometime. I could never work it out for us to get over there. When I had the idea to use this spot as Katie's 7 year old photo session, I drove by the other day to make sure the Summer flowers were still in bloom. I was relieved that the flowers had not been affected from the drought. PERFECT!



I absolutely hate that most of her photos, she's got the sun grins.  I promise, the sun wasn't in her face. It was an overcast sky, making it pretty bright.  It seemed like as soon as I told her that she had sun grins, she would straight up or began making a different face.  The silly face made her pictures look worse.  I just couldn't get her to relax.  I tried playing games and just telling her to relax, but she just seemed up tight.  I don't know what was going on.  She finally said that she couldn't stop making the faces and when she would relax, I'd have to straight up her back.  I stopped telling her because I was afraid that she would get upset.  

Katie insisted on having her picture taken with her favorite kitty.


Click HERE to see more photos of Katie. 

I planned to have an hour photo session with Katie, but she was such a trooper that she kept finding new places to have her picture taken.  She actually wore me out.  Our hour session went to an hour and a half.  By the time we got back to our vehicle, I was sweating like a pig.  Disgusting!  As I'm wiping the water from my forehead and around my neck, I looked in the mirror and I looked like a raccoon (embarrassing).  I quickly wiped if from around my eyes.  Shoo!  Note to self:  Next time, use waterproof mascara.  

I may have been ready to go home and get inside the air conditioning; however, Katie had another idea.    She said (in her begging voice) "Mom, isn't this a Katie and mommy day?"  I made the mistake of telling her, yes it was.  Right then, she gets me.  "Mom, since it's Katie and mommy day.  Can we go shopping?"  What? I couldn't believe my ears, she wanted to go shopping in this heat.  I asked her if she was sure about it.  She confirmed that she was positive.  Where should we go?  I asked her.  "I want to go to stores that we haven't gone in a real long time."  Simple enough.  She loves "A Touch of German" and as much as she LOVES jewelry, I took her to Nikki's ETC.  They have wall to wall costume jewelry, handbags and other girlie girl things. She didn't want to leave this store.  The German store is pretty nice.  I thought I was going to have to purchase a $20 Russian wooden doll (you know, the wooden dolls that nest 5 different sizes) just to get her out of the store.  We had to check out every Coo Coo Clock and Nutcracker.  LOL!  

Lunchtime, we decided on Dairy Queen.  I LOVE their Iron-grilled Turkey sandwich with a garden salad.  YUM!  We didn't even sit down good, when Katie took a bite of her grill cheese sandwich.  She gave me this look.  A look that I've seen before.  The toasted bread had popped a root on her baby tooth.  No fear.  She hasn't lost the tooth yet.  It's her top front tooth, which would be #3 for her to loose.  It's been loose now for about a week and she won't let us pull it out.  I warned her that it was going to make her mouth swore, if she didn't pull it.  She said that she's too scared.  I guess she'll learn. At the restaurant, she would not eat her sandwich because she said that it hurt when she bit down.  She kept telling me to pull it (right there in the restaurant). When I refused for the third time, she started to cry on me.  Here we go, packing up our food and headed for the car.  I told her that as soon as we got home, I would pull it.  Apparently, her tooth felt better by the time we got home because she began eating her sandwich again.  When I brought it to her attention, she said that she wanted to wait.  I'm still waiting for her to come to me, in order to yank the tooth out.  

It seems like every 5 minutes, she tells me how excited she is that Monday is almost here.  If you don't know, Monday is her actual birthday.  I plan to make her day special.  It's so amazing how time has flown by these past 7 years.  God has blessed me with such a WONDERFUL family.  Who would have thought I would have so much at the age of 3? (something ;))  For the past several months, I've had a  difficult time fathoming the idea that my baby girl will be a second grader.  Wha? In my mind, she is still this sweet little 4 year old baby girl that will melt my heart with every smile, every kiss on the cheek and telling me with her high pitch voice "I love you mommy so much", "You are the best mommy in the world."  Aw!  It just kills me.  Nuff about that (as I grab yet another tissue).   


She finally decided to choose "Glitzy Girl" birthday theme, which I think is going to be a fun party theme for her yet.  She's having a slumber party with a few of her closest girlfriends during the week.  What's on the planning list?  Well, we will have a nail salon station; a craft station; and game station going on.  The girls will be making their own frilly ribbon flip flops.  The games will include a purse piƱata and pin the cell phone to the Glitzy Girl.  The girls will get to eat cheese pizza, cupcakes and ice cream and other junk food.  I figure they will stay up as late as they possibly can, Doug and Colton may go spend the night with my in-laws.  LOL!  Katie is so excited about her party.  She asks me everyday now as to how many girls are coming and making sure that they are coming.  LOL!  She is so funny.  We'll have a family party the following Saturday.  I would say that Katie will have the longest celebrated birthday this year.  LOL!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gluten Free Recipes

I'm still adjusting the way I cook according to our new lifestyle.   My new goal is to limit the amount of breads and pasta I eat.  Grains and Fiber is very good for you, but if you are like me and LOVE bread - it can be a BAD thing.  I've been doing my homework and found out people that are living a gluten free life, substitute breads and pasta for squash, zucchini and mushrooms.  Needless to say, I've been in the Kitchen for the past few days.  Doug's been a great guinea pig.  Honestly, I think he likes being a guinea pig.  LOL!  I've made Portabella mushroom and zucchini pizzas.

Portabella Pizza
I love mushrooms, so this dish was a delight for me.  Take a mushroom.  Remove the stem.  Trim a little on the back, so it won't roll around on the cookie sheet.  Spoon a little Mario Batali Tomato Basil Pasta sauce inside the mushroom. Place turkey pepperoni and sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella cheese.  Broil for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned.  Let it cool before serving.

Zucchini Pizza
I've come to a conclusion that zucchini is good in just about anything.  Take a zucchini, cut off the ends and cut it down lengthwise.  Trim a little on the back, so it won't roll around on the cookie sheet.  Scrape out the seeds with a spoon.  Spoon a little Mario Batali Tomato Basil Pasta sauce.  Place turkey pepperoni and sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella cheese.  Broil for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned.  Let it cool before serving.

Tonight, I made Turkey Lasagna and it was so delicious!  This recipe definitely makes the cut.  I wanted the dish to be very low carb, gluten free and low calorie.  You can absolutely adjust the ingredients to fit your own tastebuds.  I love ricotta cheese in lasagna, so I'm sure it would taste wonderful in this dish.  I didn't have a recipe to go by.  I basically used what I had in my fridge.  

Turkey Lasagna 

1 lb. Ground Turkey
24 oz. jar Mario Batali Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
2 large yellow squash
Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Spray 9x13" casserole dish with olive oil Pam cooking spray. Set aside.

Cook and drain turkey in a skillet. Add pasta sauce to turkey in skillet. Stir and heat until well mixed. 

Thinly slice squash. Place layer of squash slices in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of squash. Spoon a thin layer of meat sauce and spread out. Place a layer of Mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers of squash, Parmesan, meat sauce and more Mozzarella cheese.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 1 minute before serving.

Serves 6

Note: I like to add a little more than just 2 cups of Mozzarella cheese. I love cheese! This dish can be made ahead of time and baked at a later time.

Very simple to prepare, gluten free and delicious!

If you try any of these recipes that I've given you tonight, I would love to hear what you did to make it your own.



Monday, July 2, 2012


It's the only word that can describe the past few weeks . . . HOT! We've been hit with record temperatures in the triple digits for the past couple of weeks, which is very unusual this time of year. Normally, we don't reach the triple digits until late July and August. It got here early and I hope this means that it will leave early (I doubt it). Our county has gone two months without any rain and our mayor has asked the residents to please conserve water and electricity.

I remember the drought of 2007. It was awful, but we did what we had to do. We washed our clothes twice a week instead of everyday or every other day. We took showers every other day instead of every day or in some cases twice a day. We stopped watering our lawns and plants. I bought lots of paper products such as plates, cups and utensils to cut down on washing dishes every day. We kept Wet Wipes and Germ-X around the house because I insist on washing my hands at all times. If we went over the amount of water used from a year ago, we were fined. Thank the Lord because of the previsions we took, we never had to pay the fine. As of today, we need 5 inches of rain to fill up our reservoir and I'm afraid, if we don't see any rain soon, we will be right where we were in the Summer of 2007. The only difference between now and then is we didn't have the excessive heat that we are experiencing this year.

Most of the state has been under an excessive heat watch and warning since Saturday. I've noticed on the news that the hot temperatures have pretty much dominated the whole United States from the West to the East. I was just watching the news of the devastation from storms that ripped up the Northeastern states. They really need our prayers with temps in the 90s, most will be without power until as early as Friday. It would be horrible to have to go through that situation.

Our Weekend
We've had an eventful weekend because my mom called and told me that they were moving to a new house.  Because Doug may have to work next weekend, we and a few other family members were able to get them moved Saturday.  They have a few other things to move, but we will get it all moved in time.

I love their little house, very spacious with vaulted ceilings.  It is so pretty, closer to their doctors and THE PARK!  I think they will be happy.  Mom told me that she never thought she would have track lighting and a dishwasher and now she does.  Dad loves the fact, he can put his TV on the wall.  LOL!  He said it would be great to not have to adjust his glasses to watch television, while laying back in his recliner.  LOL!  They have walk in closets, spacious laundry room, large bathroom and walk in pantry room.  They will really enjoy the breakfast nook, which is surrounded by windows.  I can just see them drinking their coffee, while watching the birds and squirrels out in the back yard.  The neighbors seem real nice and warming.  They have a nice corner lot, which would GREAT for an Autumn yard sale.  Whoo Hoo!  Dad was telling me all the things that they need to sell or get rid of it.  I know I've got a few things to put in it.