Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happiness Is...

Happiness is walking through the woods at the land.
We spent some time at the land on Sunday afternoon.  We worked a little and cleared some brush, but mostly we just walked around the trails.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Miracle Meatballs

This recipe for meatballs is easy because you do NOT fry them.
They are great for potluck meals and feeding a large crowd.  People always ask for the recipe once they've tried them.

Miracle Meatballs

1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
3 lb hamburger meat
2 cups quick cook oats
2 eggs
½ cup chopped onion
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9x13 baking dish.
Combine all ingredients. Prepare meatballs about 1 ½ inches round. Do not pre-fry meatballs. Prepare sauce and pour over meatballs. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.

2 cups ketchup (can use a little more to taste)
1 ½ cups brown sugar, not packed (can use a little less to taste)
½ cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp liquid smoke
½ tsp garlic salt

Combine in saucepan and stir until boiling. Pour over meatballs and bake for 1 hour.

Linking up to Tip Junkie

Friday, January 17, 2014

InstaFriday {January 2014}

My weekly phone dump has a little bit of everything.

Milk Glass--I found this pedestal dish for only a $1 at the local trade days.

I really wanted this quilt, but I didn't end up buying it.  It was in great shape if I was looking to buy a quilt, but I decided to save my money instead.

We took the boys to see Frozen.   I'm a fan of Disney movies, especially the ones with princesses.  Since I'm  a boy mom, we don't watch a lot of princess movies.  I didn't know that Frozen was a typical Disney princess movie based on the movie trailer.  Once the singing started, Mark looked at me with the "are they going to sing the entire movie?" look and I nodded yes.  I loved it!  The guys--not so much, ha!

After the movie, we had ice cream for dinner.  Weekends are the best!

Breakfast for dinner, anyone?  Blueberry French Toast is easy and yum. 
Recipe {here}

We had really nice weather earlier in the week and the boys had the best time playing outside.  Ben has on pajamas, of course.

I didn't take a lot of photos of the boys this week.  Will looks so big in this photo.  Someone on Instagram said it seems like your kids just grow up overnight.  I couldn't agree more!

Poor Bed had a cold and runny nose.  He wiped his nose so much that it was raw.  We tried a breath right strip on his nose, his Yoda blanket and the humidifier to help him get a good night's rest.

Last photo.  I've been really busy with school stuff, and my mind is preoccupied.  When I have a lot on my mind, I start things and don't finish the task.  Here's an example: I made a cup of hot water for tea at lunch and came home after school to this.  I forgot to steep the tea bag.  Definitely ready for the weekend.

I'm @redbirdblue on Instagram.
Linking up to Life Rearranged

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday {January 2014}

WIWW {January 2014}

It's been 4 months since my last What I Wore Wednesday post.  Y'all know I'm not a fashionista, but I still like doing the What I Wore post and linking up to the Pleated Poppy.  It's been a great way to meet other bloggers.

Outfit #1
My favorite outfit for the week.
Dress/tunic and navy leggings: Pink Avenue (boutique in Hot Springs, AR)
Boots: DSW
Rings: Sundance
Disc Necklace: Charming Charlie
Small gold disc initial necklace: gift from Mark and the boys

Outfit #2
Skinny Jeans: H&M
Top: Old Navy (new)
Boots: DSW

Outfit #3 
Dress: Banana Republic Outlet
Cardigan: Old Navy
Patterned hose: ?
Black suede wedges: Target
Earrings: gift from my dear friend Kathleen

Outfit #4 
Skinny jeans and pink cardigan: Target (William Rast for Target) 
Plaid shirt: Gap Outlet
Flats: Steve Madden bought at DSW
Necklace: Made in India.  Missionaries to India brought it to our church and I bought it from them to support the mission work.  
Ring: Sundance

Outfit #5
Black jeggings: Gap outlet
Black top: J Crew outlet
Gray striped cardigan and black boots: Banana Republic Outlet
I love this cardigan.  It's the only 100% cashmere sweater I own.  It's so very warm!
Necklace: gift from my best friend Angela

pleated poppy

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year Same Family

It's a new year, but we're still the same family.  One of the things I like about our little family is that we are predictable.  If you read my blog regularly, then you've seen similar images over and over.  You know what to expect and what you see is what you get.  Nothing out of the ordinary but making everyday memories extraordinary.  These everyday, simple moments are the ones we'll look back on and want to remember.  It doesn't always have to be the big events that are special.  So here's my "phone dump" from the beginning of the new year to now.

No surprise that we celebrated finishing our first week of school after the Christmas break with pizza and cheesecake at Grimaldi's.  We really enjoyed Christmas break, and it was an adjustment getting back in the routine of early to bed, early to rise.  The boys look like they are in a trance once they saw the cheesecake.  Cheesecake can do that to a person, ha!

Ben's face reflects his feelings about going to bed early because it's a school night.  He has the most animated face and funniest expressions. 

Will is a challenge to get up and going in the morning, but once he's up and in the car, he's good to go. 

The life of two kids who have parents for teachers.  Will and Ben are in Mark's math classroom after school waiting on us to finish up.  I'm thankful they are patient (most of the time).

I should have started The Hunger Games trilogy over the Christmas break, but I waited until school started back.  So far I'm really enjoying it.   I had a dream about it so that must mean it's really good.

This photo was just too good not to include.  "The force is strong with this one." 

Had to put this one on here too.  Cuties! 

Angry Birds Star Wars...this isn't a surprise.  Y'all know my boys love playing. 

Saturday morning traditions.  Donuts.

Birthday party fun!  Will and Ben had fun playing with Mia's new train set.  She has the sweetest parents and is adorable! 

One more photo collage from my girls getaway that started the new year.  I can't believe it's been a week since I've seen Kelly and Andrea.  We had such a good time!  {More photos here.}

life rearranged

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hot Springs, Arkansas Girlfriend Getaway

In the fall of 1996, I moved to Marshall, Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University.  I had no idea that I'd be meeting two of my lifelong friends there.  Even though that was almost 18 years ago, I clearly remember moving into my dorm room on the third floor of Merle Bruce dormitory during welcome week.  I met, Kelly, my suitemate who was also a nursing major.  (I was nursing major at the beginning of my college career.)  Sometime during that first year, I met Andrea who lived on the first floor of Merle Bruce.  We all became fast friends.  Our sophomore year we changed dorms (Lineberry Hall), but all ended up living close to each other.  Kelly and I remained suitemates and Andrea was our RA.  We had some really good times and made a lot of memories.  Kelly and Andrea finished up their degrees at ETBU, and I transferred to Texas A&M.  Life has taken us different places--3 different states to be exact, but somehow we manged to schedule a girls getaway to start the new year.  So many things seemed to happen to hinder this trip, but we were determined to have some good ol' girl time.  Hot Springs or bust!  

We didn't have a detailed itinerary of things to see and do.  Our goal was rest and relax.  R&R isn't something we're very familiar with since we are all moms of little boys.  It's fair to say there's not a lot of downtime at our homes.  All moms know that there's no greater joy than our children, but we know that raising children is hard work.  Even though we missed our little guys, it was wonderful to have a break from the demands of motherhood.  That might sound selfish, but I don't think so.  We were very mindful of our husbands, relatives and friends back home who took good care of our boys in order for us to have this special time together.

The time together was special.  It's been years since we've seen each other, but we picked up just like it was the Spring of 1998.  We had long conversations about life, swapped birth stories, laughed and cried.  We talked a lot!   It's really hard for me to open up and trust others, but it's not difficult when I'm around these two.  That's how I know the connection I have with them is the real deal.  It's not that we are all identical, but we are the same on the things that are important.  Kelly and Andrea are solid Christian women who love their husbands and children.  I am so blessed to call them my friends.

It probably sounds like all we did was sit around and have heartfelt conversations.  That was a good portion of our trip, but we did  manage to squeeze in a tour of downtown Hot Springs and Bathhouse Row.  It was so cold outside that we decided to only spend a little time downtown walking around.  We shopped at some cute boutiques (our favorite was Pink Avenue) and ate a lot of good food.

This was as close as we got to a real bath on Bathhouse Row.  We didn't try out the natural hot springs.  Kelly is expecting and I had the worst case of poison ivy I've ever had on my face.  That pretty much disqualified us from having the Hot Springs experience.

I think Andrea and Kelly are the most photogenic people I know.  Aren't they gorgeous?

The water was hot, and it was frigid the day we visited downtown.  You can see the steam rising.

This is a big deal!  Andrea's first Starbucks.

Totally getting spoiled!  Starbucks and a pedicure.

Looking forward to the next time I see the girls!  
We might even bring along our husbands and boys so they can join in the fun.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Isn't the beginning of new year exciting?
365 days lie ahead to live life to the fullest.

As we begin a new year, it's always good to think about ways we can improve our lives and do better.  In the past, I've made new year's resolutions.  This year I'm not going to do that.  I've decided that the one thing I want to focus on is trying to live up to the expectations given in Romans 12.  

Romans 12

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

As we say goodbye to 2013, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the end of the year.  

My big boys!

The loves of my life!

Holding their favorite toys is the only way I could get them to pose for a photo with me.  I'll take what I can get!

He's the best! (photo courtesy of Will)


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