Monday, April 30, 2007

Victoria Magazine...

How many of y'all used to pour over the pages of Victoria Magazine? I know I did for years!! And suddenly... it was gone!!!

Alas!! I read today that in October of this year, it is making a reappearance!! Yippee!! I'll definitely be waiting in line at the newsstand to get a copy!!

A baby shower...

I am so blessed. My sister and sister-in-law hosted a baby shower for Elizabeth Saturday. It was wonderful to see some dear old friends (not in "age", I've just known them for awhile!! LOL!!!) and to see some of my mom's sweet friends, too!!

We already have sooooo many things for Elizabeth so I requested that gifts not be for her, but for the orphanage that Elizabeth lived in in China. They are in need of 6-9 month sleepers that snap, are long-sleeved and have no feet in them. Believe it or not, they CAN be found!!!! We left the shower with LOTS AND LOTS of sweet little sleepers!!! We will get them in the mail to China this coming weekend. When we found out that the orphanage had a need, we definitely wanted to help out. They really did take great care of Elizabeth and it's just a teeny way to say "thank you"!!!

There was a lot of really good food at the shower and I defintely ate more than my share!! LOL!! But y'all would have, too, if you had tasted the chicken salad that my sister-in-law made!! It's the BEST chicken salad I think I've ever had!! YUMMM!! Here's the recipe... enjoy!!!

Pecan Chicken Salad

1 - 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 - 11 oz. can mandarin orange segments
1/2 cup grapes (slice with food processor)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups cooked chicken (shred with food processor)
1/2 cup celery (slice with food processor)
1/4 cup pecans (crushed)
1/4 cup green onions (slice with food processor)
1/2 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

Drain pineapple and oranges very well. Combine remaining ingredients. Fold in fruit. Spoon onto salad greens or serve with your favorite bread or roll.

(In the photo up top, Elizabeth is being held by my dad.)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

7 Me-Me

I was tagged by Jthemilker so here goes. This may be a bit more than you ever cared to learn about me. :)

Here's how it goes:
Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

1)I HATE HATE HATE seafood. All kinds. Canned tuna fish. Even fish sticks. YUCK-O!!! And duck fits into this category because they swim IN THE WATER!!!

2)When I eat pretzels, I MUST scrape all the salt off before I eat them. And no, I can’t just buy the unsalted ones. They taste too plain. LOL!!! SERIOUSLY!!!!

3)Whenever I vacuum our home, I HAVE TO vacuum in the exact same order each time (as in spare bedroom first, Elizabeth’s room next, Joshua’s room, then the hall, etc…). And I MUST see those vacuum lines!!!!

4)I’ve lived in Georgia my entire life.

5)I failed the test for my learner’s license 2 times. We were allowed to miss 5 questions and the first time I missed 7, the second time I missed 6 and the last time I took it I only missed 5 and was the proud recipient of a learner’s license!!!!

6)I am claustrophobic (but didn’t realize just how bad it was until I stepped on that plane for the LOOOOOOOONG flight to China!!!! Oh dear!!!).

7)I am not a chocoholic, I am a SWEETOHOLIC!!!

Please consider yourself tagged:


Susan P.

Amanda Grace





Thursday, April 26, 2007

Love, sweet love...

It’s mid-afternoon here in our home and I’ve got laundry in both the dryer and the washing machine and I’m about to pull a pan of brownies out of the oven. I can hear a very faint noise coming from the master bedroom. What is it? I step in to listen and discover that I left the nursery monitor on. I can hear little Miss Elizabeth in her room giggling and “talking” (she’s supposed to be napping! LOL!!). What is it about baby gibberish that just melts your heart?

I had no idea that being a mother of a little one could make my heart so full of love that I feel like it could almost pop with joy!!! I had no idea that when she cried, I would cry, too!! I had no idea that such a tiny little person could have me so completely wrapped up in her.

This is love.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Look what came in the mail...

Hmmmm.... where have you seen this apron before???? That's RIGHT!!!!! You saw it on Tammy's Times!!!!

I am the blessed friend that received this apron!!! Isn't it just lovely?? And it's even PRETTIER in person than it is in the photograph!! Oh, and let me tell you, there is not one mistake in this apron- I LOOKED!!! Tammy is an excellent seamstress, indeed!!!

When it came in the mail yesterday, I immediately put it on and said, "I just HAVE to cook something right now!!!"

If y'all haven't noticed, she recently opened an Etsy shop. OOOHHH!! I can't wait to see all the beautiful things she'll have in there!!!

Thank you soooooooooo much, Tammy!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Busy, busy, busy so THANK YOU ALL!!!

I want to give a big Big BIG THANK YOU to all of y'all that emailed me and/or left comments on my post about "Where have I been?"!!! Y'all are the BEST!!! I've already starting incorporating MANY of your ideas and am SOOO very grateful for them!!!

I currently have an Asian chicken dish (which I made up and might not be any good at all!!! HAHA!!) in the crock pot (which I doubled, thank you very much, y'all, for sharing that tip!!!). I just have to whip up some really quick rice before sitting down for our meal.

We've gone on SEVERAL walks now, too, with Elizabeth in the stroller!! And Mr. U has been able to join us!! We haven't been "exercise walking" (I'm sure there's a term for that)...we've just been strolling along but we are outside and we are moving, so I guess that counts as exercise, right? Plus, Elizabeth LOVES it!!!

I had been putting Elizabeth in the high chair while I tried to cook, her patience didn't last long. So I employed y'all's idea of giving her her own "cooking utensils"!!! She LOVES banging spoons and bowls!! Storage space is at a very minimium in our home, so I probably won't be able to clear a space of her own to use, but I can definitely make sure that she has her "cooking utensils" near her when we get in the kitchen!!! Thank you all for that suggestion!

And yes, I've been doing things during her naptime, too! Today she slept 2 hours during her morning naptime and played in her crib for 30 minutes after she woke up!! I had time to get the crockpot going, boil some eggs, cook sweet potatoes, steam broccoli, make bread, do two loads of laundry and do dishes, too!!! What a blessing!! Now... I just need to get that master bathroom cleaned... :)

Oh... before I forget... a sweet friend (thank you, Gretchen!!!) sent me the book called Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. WOW!! I LOVE this book!!! I'm not incorporating all her ideas, but am doing many of the things she suggests. That's why I hard boiled eggs and cooked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli!! I put the sweet potatoes and broccoli, after cooking and cooling, into ice cube trays to freeze. I now have cubes of fresh, homemade baby food for Elizabeth!! After they are frozen completely, I will take them out of the ice cube trays, put them in zip loc bags, label them and pull them out to thaw as needed! Ms. Yaron gives directions on how to freeze lots and lots of wonderful foods for your baby. This book is really wonderful and I am very thankful to be able to give my little sweetheart delicious and nutritious foods!!!

Again, thank you all soooo very much for your help, encouragement and prayers!! Even though I only know most of y'all through this bloggity world, y'all are very dear to me, indeed!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Please pray for "Especially Heather"

I recently stumbled upon this blog entitled Especially Heather. Funny how you stumble upon blogs. Anyway, it was obviously God ordained that I go there. Heather needs prayer. Big time. Would you PLEASE remember her and her family in prayer? And if the Lord so leads, please visit BooMama to help financially.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Where have I been??

For everyone that's been asking where I have been, thank you!! I have been right here, just a few feet from my computer, with little Miss Elizabeth. She's a bundle of energy and I LOVE every minute of it! She's a bigger blessing than I ever dreamed!!!

I've been TRYING to figure out a schedule for myself this week. I mean, I REALLY need to get this house in better order and I really REALLY need to cook more nutritious meals!! Poor Mr. U has been so kind in eating whatever it is that I can slap together really quickly. I am trying my best to learn to cook with a little one so close.

I've also got to figure out how to get some exercising in!! Just this morning, I was able to hop on the treadmill for 2 miles, but that's only because Mr. U happened to be home at the time! Is it possible to walk on the treadmill with an 11 month old nearby?? Or do I just try to do it while she naps??

I know I will figure most of this our over time, but in the meantime, any advice from y'all would be MOST appreciated- everything from quick, nutritious meals to what to do with a baby while you are exercising!!!

Thank you!!!

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Garden Tour...

Spring has sprung around here!!! Yes, even in the midst of freezing temps revealing itself around parts of the South, we still have some lovely plants growing in our yard and I am SOOO excited about it!!!

Would you please join me for a quick turn around our yard?

I plant petunias every year in the front of our house. They are annuals and never ever come back. I was pleasantly surprised to walk out our back door recently and discover these beautiful smiley petunias!! How they got there... only the birds know!!

Here is some Carolina Jasmine. I planted two last summer and I didn't even know that they bloomed!! I bought them because they smell so lovely. I can't wait to smell their sweet perfume!!!

I just LOVE irises! They are so old-fashioned PLUS they grow so nicely right under our bedroom window. I have yellow, white and purple (both light and dark purple) planted but so far only the darker purple has bloomed.

These are some new leaves on one of my hydrangea bushes!! Oh how I love my hydrangeas!! I have two planted on either side of my front porch. They get bigger and bigger each year and I look forward to seeing how big they will grow this summer!!!

This is the new growth on some oriental lillies I planted last Spring. I planted 25 of them and only about 12 grew last year (and only 2 bloomed!!). It looks like all 25 are already growing this year and I purchased 25 more to plant! I can't wait to see all the lovely blooms and have them to clip and bring indoors to brighten our home!!!

This is my lavender plant. It hasn't grown very quickly, so I'm not sure I have it planted in the best place. I did get some blooms last year and was able to smell that lovely, calming lavender scent.

Here is the beginning of one of my hostas peeking through the soil!! I just love hostas- they are easy to care for, come back year after year and grow so pretty and green each summer!
Thank you for touring my garden with me. I can't wait to invite you all back when everything is in full bloom!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am sloooooowly getting used to cooking with a wee one around. I must admit, I have new admiration for mothers of young ones. I never knew just how hard it is to accomplish tasks with small children nearby. I am constantly worrying "Will this harm Elizabeth?".

I decided to forge ahead and bake some cookies for my family. Aw, and let's face it, cookies are just FUN to make!! I decided to make some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. YUM! The cookie dough is my FAVORITE part, but the end result is quite tasty, too!! I sat Elizabeth in her high chair and explained step-by-step to her exactly what I was doing when making cookies. It was ADORABLE when she started licking her lips! LOL!! I told her "I'm sorry honey, but you can't have this yet. One day, though, you will be diving into cookie dough for sure!!" She just smiled.

Yummy!! Cookie dough!!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, whichever your family prefers)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine butter and sugars and mix well. Stir in eggs and mix well. Add peanut butter, corn syrup and vanilla and stir till well-combined. Add in ½ of the flour and all of the baking soda and salt. Stir until well combined. Stir in the rest of the flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoons on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9-13 minutes. Be sure and watch your cookies carefully so that they do not burn!!

I use two different pans when baking cookies and each one cooks so differently so I always keep a close eye on my cookies while still in the oven!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ergo baby carrier...

For years, I have read websites and blogs about the Ergo baby carrier. Everyone touted it as being "the best". Last year, in anticipation of Elizabeth, I bought one. It sat in my bedroom for an entire year until we got to leave for China. My sister-in-law has a another brand of a baby carrier and told me "It's too much trouble and your back hurts SOOO bad even after just a few minutes!! Trust me, just buy a stroller." So, being the kind of person who refuses to give in (read "stubborn"), I took the Ergo with me anyway, thinking "Well, she had a different brand than my Ergo!!"

The first full day of Elizabeth being with us, our guides in China took us to a huge department store where we could buy any baby things that we needed (formula, clothes, bottles, etc). We had already rented a stroller from a nearby store, so Elizabeth was sitting happily in the stroller. There were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (can't emphasize that enough) many people in and around that store!! I mean, we were in the 5th largest city in China!!! I was incredibly nervous about Elizabeth. Was I worried that someone would take her out of the stroller? No, because I made sure she was securely fastened in. I was worried that someone would take Elizabeth AND the stroller!!!!!

So the next outing we went on, I knew I needed to try out the Ergo. It fit my body perfectly (and I'm a plus sized girl!!!) and Elizabeth was very happy to be nestled up close to Mommy. I did have a bit of trouble getting it on by myself, so Mr. U helped me. We went to some stores and walked around for a good bit in VERY crowded areas. Not once did my back hurt!! Not once did I worry that someone would steal Elizabeth!!! She was snuggled up close and content as could be. I fell in love with my Ergo and wore it lots more in China!!!

Since we've been home, I've discovered how wonderful it is to wear Elizabeth even when I'm vacuuming! I just pop her in the Ergo and we start vacuuming together and she LOVES it!! I will constantly talk to her and tell her what we are doing and why we are doing it. She just smiles and laughs the entire time. Oh, and I've figured out how to use it by myself now, too. I can get her in and out of it no problem!!

This Ergo has been a blessing!!! If you have ever considered getting one, you should! My back doesn't hurt while wearing her (it doesn't hurt after, either). And I get the joy of holding my daughter close. How wonderful!!!


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