Monday, March 29, 2010

A Burger with a kick

So the other day I had a regular old burger at a fancy (by that I mean anything that doesn't have a drive through window) restaurant. It was nothing special but still cost $10.00! Well I got something to beat that. In my attempt to cut our food budget I have been in to doing menu planning. I will write more about that later but for now I want to tell you about this burger. In an attempt to add something new to my menu I decided to go to the website for Campbell and look through some of their recipes. I found lots of recipes that look quick and easy. So tonight I did one of the first recipes and here is the recipe:
French Onion Burger

1 pound ground beef
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed French Onion Soup
4 slices cheese
4 Pepperidge Farm® Classic Sandwich Buns with Sesame Seeds, split
Shape the beef into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) burgers.
Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook until well browned on both sides. Remove the burgers from the skillet. Pour off any fat.
Stir the soup in the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the burgers to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until desired doneness. Top the burgers with the cheese and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve the burgers on the buns with the soup mixture for dipping.

picture is from the Campbell's website...I tried but couldn't make mine look this good:)

I have to tell you this burger is one of the best burgers I have ever had. My seven year old has never ate an entire burger in her life and she was asking for another one. It was an awesome burger and a nice change. Oh and as I was cooking I realized I didn't have to do all the research for the was on the back of the french onion soup can:)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Public Restroom Phobia for the Potty Trainer

So I have been working on potty training Tegan for many months now. Although there are still a few issues, he is pretty much pee pee potty trained while at home and awake. So what does that leave...potty training for nap and bedtime, doing #2 (sorry guys, what else can I say) on the potty and using the potty in public places.

Let's go in order...Nap and bedtime potty training are going to be really hard. You see, Tegan doesn't eat a lot these days but he drinks a ton. He apparently holds all his pee until the minute he has on a diaper for nap or bedtime b/c he soaks them! I have no idea how to teach him not to potty in his sleep, any advice would be great.

Doing #2...Well let's just say that the kid knows when he has to do the dirty but he chooses not to do it on the potty. He also chooses not to do it in his undies which leaves him either holding it until he has on a diaper for sleepy time or he will actually come and literally cry and beg for a diaper on, go off in to the corner, poop and then come back and ask me to take the diaper off. Now I understand that a man takes this aspect of his life pretty darn serious but he will eventually give in to the toilet right??

The MAJOR one...pee pee in public restrooms. Let me tell you a long story. One day while me and him were at my two favorite places, Hobby Lobby and Target, I took him to the bathroom a dozen times b/c he had to pee but he refused to go. Well eventually he went in target after I bribed him with Popcorn and Sprite from the snack bar. So then he seemed to be over his fear. Then there was this one night at Red Lobster that I took him to potty. I didn't even notice that the toilet was a self flushing toilet that sounded like a small hurricane was coming straight at us. So as he used the potty, the toilet flushed over and over again as he screamed and screamed the whole time. Ever since that moment, public restrooms have been our enemy. Last weekend we went through the drive thru at Wendy's to grab a quick lunch before heading to pick up some things at the wonderful Wal-mart. Well as soon as I had my awesome frosty in my hand he decided he had to pee. So I did what any Mother of the Year would do and grabbed him out of the car, pulled down his pants in the parking lot and told him to have at it. He looked at me like I had five heads and refused. So I put him back in the car. Well he proceeded to squirm, hold himself and flat out yell for help through his crying b/c he had to pee so bad. So I get him back out, take him into Wendy's to the restroom where he screams as if I was beating him...all while standing outside a stall waiting to go in. The whole restaurant stared when we walked out b/c I'm pretty sure they thought I was killing him. So we get back in the car. He begs to go home and ask Rylee to help him. At this point I was aggravated so I reminded him that he had on a pull-up (which he still wears when we leave the house just in case) and if he needed to go really bad he could go in the pull-up...which he has no problem doing from time to time at home. He FLAT OUT REFUSED! So we go ahead and go to Wal-mart where he is squirming again and whining about having to pee. Every time I offered to take him to the potty he would tell me no. So finally, about 5 seconds before I was scheduled for a meltdown, Paul grabs him up and takes him to the potty. When we meet back up with them minutes later he is all smiles and his totally awesome boots are SOAKING WET. My dear hubby then informs me that as he was pulling down little man's pants he began to pee...everywhere. He explained it being like a water hose out of control, you could either get wet or stand out of the way. Pee went everywhere...the floor, the toilet, the wall and most importantly his precious boots. My husband, however escaped completely dry as he choose to just stand back and let nature take its course. Being a germaphobe I really feel bad for the next guy that goes in the restroom...poor unsuspecting soul.

So after that long story I must tell you that Rylee pretty much potty trained herself. This whole potty training thing is new to me and especially this whole boy and control thing. So the only thing I know to do is to not leave the house, keep putting diapers on the kid to poop and to sleep. He is bound to get it at some point before kindergarten right?

Caught in the act

Bless Rylee's heart...this little boy aggravates her all day, every day! Notice her laying on the couch in the background.
He tries to be innocent
Then he smiles at you and melts your heart

Then he changes the subject and ask for something to drink!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Healthcare my opinion

So I'm not real real political but I do vote. I don't always understand all the politics even though I live in an area that thrives from "good ole boy politics". But I have to say that I have somewhat of an opinion on this one. I remember four presidents and all of them have something that they are remembered for...I guess you could say they are leaving their mark, good or bad.
The first Bush-took us to war...some people agreed and some didn't.
Clinton- had that whole Lewinsky thing...some people wanted him impeached, some didn't.
The second Bush-took us to war...some people agreed/agree and some don't.
Then there is Obama...Health care reform is his thing.

Now let me start this by saying that I didn't vote for our current president but I firmly believe that we should support him no matter who put him in office. I have always voted republican although sometimes I wonder why I vote at all. So take this from me...a republican who does her part and votes, GET OVER IT PEOPLE!!!! Yes Healthcare reform is new and different to us but it is happening and you have to let it go. There is no reason for anyone to be harassed or talked down to b/c their opinion is different from yours. There are senators who have families that are being threatened...what makes your opinion better than theirs??

I have a mother who has multiple health issues that could really benefit from this. My husband's father died b/c he owned his own small business and couldn't afford health insurance so therefore he put off care. Then when he got it, being a self pay patient doesn't buy you the best care. Then there was me....I was on bed rest and couldn't return to work during my last pregnancy, I carried our families insurance so when I lost my job and was was devastating for us.

I don't understand this whole bill and I'm sure many of the people complaining don't either. But one thing I do know is that whatever we were doing in healthcare wasn't working so it is time to move forward. You don't want the gov't to tell you what to do but yet you let the insurance companies overcharge you and tell you what Dr.'s you can see. I keep hearing people talk of how the middle class will be the ones footing the bill but when I do the whole calculator thing that the Washington post has on its website, you have to make more than $200,000 to even have a tax increase toward this bill. As far as I can see in my near future...this won't be an issue for me:) The one thing that does worry me is our Dr.'s and healthcare workers...will this affect them and if so how? People (and by people I mean People on facebook) keep saying that healthcare workers will be affecting and Dr.'s will be out of business but when I ask why or how, no one can answer.

My whole point is this, we don't all agree and sometimes we just have to agree to disagree. Lots of bad decisions have been made in our countries past and some people get to say I told you so but hopefully that won't be the case here. If you are hoping to say that then I ask you this...why? Why wouldn't you want everyone to have health coverage? Accepting change is not easy at any point but sometimes if you just accept it and keep your mind wide open...Change just might surprise you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Madness

It was a long weekend that involved lots of sewing on Friday night in to the wee hours of the morning. Then a long day on Saturday shooting a wedding. By the time I was home on Saturday night I was ready to crash. I have really been pushing myself with school, sewing and pictures and something is going to have to give. I think I have decided to slow down on pictures some although that isn't going to happen anytime soon as I already have lots of sessions scheduled.
Sunday morning when I awoke, I could not hardly move and my throat hurt so bad. I was pretty sure this was the onset of strep for the third time this winter. Paul got up with the kids and let me sleep until 11:30!!!! It was wonderful and miserable all at the same time! I ended up taking a nap a little later in the day and then going to bed early last night. Today I feel tons better and was ready to get some things done. Over the weekend I sold some fabric, a checkbook cover, an appliqued shirt and SIX camera strap covers. So I had to get busy. I managed to get most everything sewn, packaged and to the post office although I have a couple things left. Business is booming and although it takes me time to make these things, I don't have to leave my house and my kids can play around me while I do it. Needless to say this has been catch-up Monday and I have a lot left to do. Classes start back next week so I plan to get caught up on my sewing, get all the wedding pics edited, clean my house and get all my kids old clothes listed on ebay before Monday.....somebody HELP!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Parenting Skills

It's hard to parent two children that are so far apart in age. I know to some an almost 5 year age difference doesn't seem that big but when it comes to fairness and discipline, its hard.
Don't get me wrong....I love the age difference in our kids. By the time Tegan came, Rylee could give herself a shower, potty on her own and pour her own cup of juice. It was heavenly! That has continued as Tegan and me have been in the terrible two's power struggle. Rylee has helped out leaps and bounds with him The issue arises when both kids are doing something they shouldn't, the seven year old should know better but the two year old has yet to learn what no means. So do you get on to the seven year old and hear her complain about how unfair it is that Tegan didn't get in trouble or just let them both off the hook.

Things have been rough in the discipline area lately and others seem to stand in judgement of how much we get on to our kids. Let me be clear when I say that my husband and I know that kids aren't perfect and they are going to be wild and crazy but disrespectful is not something I can tolerate. I'm sure my mom is reading this and saying "you are getting what you deserve" but I AM GROWN NOW...LET IT GO:) Anyways, my struggle is, how do I teach my daughter when to keep her little lips locked, how to not interrupt adults when they are talking and to chew with her mouth closed when my son (2 year old) is chewing with his mouth opened and looks at me like I have three heads if I tell him to stop, running out in traffic in busy parking lots, interrupting us and throwing a two year old tantrum when you don't listen and hits ALL THE TIME???

I'm not a perfect parent...but neither are you! You may have one child or ten, I don't know but if I don't stand in judgement of you then please don't stand in judgement of me. The good Lord entrusted ME with these kids and you with yours. I have to tell you, I was a much better parent when I could focus all my attention on one kid but I wouldn't trade having two kids for anything!
I like to call this...the Friday Vent! Thank you, I will get off my soap box now! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I have an obsession...

So we have just made our vacation plans. We leave for a week long vacation in exactly 87 days:) We don't do a lot of vacations...Paul is a homebody like me so getting him to go on a vacation is lik taking a hammer to your toe. He isn't thrilled about them and then we end up being ill with each other the whole time we are on vacation. See, we grew up vacationing very different from each other. Let me give you an idea what I am talking about:
Me: I grew up in a family with five kids. I love the beach. I go to the beach for the ocean...not a swimming pool or the area attractions. When I went to the beach as a child our days consisted of sun, sand and water...THAT'S IT! Which was and still is just fine with me. We always had a hotel with a kitchen and ate breakfast most days in the hotel. Got down to the beach by 10:00, stayed there until around 1:00, went back to hotel where we had sandwiches and chips, headed back out to play, and rounded off the fun by going in around 4:00 for showers and to get ready to go out to eat somewhere nice. The next day we would do the same thing again.
Paul: Goes to the beach, eats out three times a day, walks the streets, drives around, plays on the beach for ONE SOLID HOUR a day, plays putt-putt at 1:00 in the afternoon when the sun is directly above your head and you can hear the ocean off in the distance. He gets bored and burns easy in the sun so he thinks he has to be doing something constantly. CONSTANTLY!!!
So its a power struggle as to how we should vacation!

Let me go back to my obsession...I LOVE the ocean! The sound is relaxing but its the sight that I love. When we took the kids for a quick weekend trip to Tybee Island last year me and Rylee got up at 7:00 am and went down to the beach to look for shells. It was the most peaceful moment I had ever experienced. The only thing you could hear was the ocean but the vision is perfect....besides the past out half naked dude laying on the beach. There is something amazing about the ocean. I know God created all things but when you look around, your sights are filled with lots of man made creations also that take up space. Not when you stand looking out in to the ocean. It is perfect....untouched! There is just something so amazing about the ocean to me.
So when planning our first real vacation as a family of four. I tell Paul all of these things and how I would like for him to try a beach vacation the way I want to do it. Needless to say, we are going to the mountains:(

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So I have some quirks...who doesn't???

I'm not sure if the right words to use is that I have some quirks or that I can be anal about some things...either way, its what makes me who I am right?

Things you may or may not know about me:

1. I DO NOT EVER eat meat off the bone. By this I mean, I will eat meat that has one time been on a bone but I don't want to see it or feel it on my teeth therefore I opt for boneless wings:)

2. I am deathly afraid of germs. I don't think that is an understatement...I'm pretty sure they make medication for people like me. I don't want to shake your hand, a simple "how are you" is just fine with me. I for sure don't want to touch a door knob and I will be devastated when my kids are to big to sit in a buggy at the grocery store b/c the cart cover I put on for them is what protects my precious hands from germs:)

3. I very rarely leave my house after dark. Now if I am already out and it gets dark, it doesn't bother me but during the winter when it gets dark early I just don't go out much at night. Paul makes fun of me b/c he says we can leave the house at 6:00 to go get something to eat but I would rather leave at 5:30 during the winter when it is still a little daylight:)

4. I thrive off of a schedule. I like to know what time everything is going to happen so that I am prepared. When me kids were babies, they ate religiously every 3 hours to stay on schedule. Even though they are older, I still feed them supper at the same time everyday, bath them at the same time every day and put them to bed at the same time EVERY SINGLE DAY!

5. I get on to Rylee for crying when Tegan hits her....this one confuses me but she will burst out in this over dramatic response that overshadows the fact that he just hit her and she ends up in trouble instead of him.

6. Although I thrive off of a schedule I am not very organized. I have a hard time keeping up with things in my home. Nine times out of ten...I will have to search for it. I am a bit of a clutter bug but when I get ready to throw stuff out b/c everything is fair game!

So I have some quirks...who doesn't???

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Cross

One of my favorite detail shots from the wedding I did last week.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Never to late!!!

Those of you who know me, know that I am back in school. I will be 30 (don't worry, I'm not sad about it) in June. The odd thing is that the college students who are fresh out of high school use to outnumber those of us who were stupidput off school but now that the economy pretty much sucks, the older crowd outnumbers the fresh out of high school crowd. In fact, in one of my classes during summer quarter I'm pretty sure I was one of the youngest people in the class at age 29! Things are different than the first time I tried this college thing. I worked as a waitress 11 years ago, made a WHOLE LOT of tip money and didn't realize I would one day want to be more and lets not forget I was only responsible for myself. Now I am a stay-at-home mommy with two young ones who are very loud at the exact times I need them to be quiet. I have a husband whom I am pretty sure is the most neglected of all things in my life. I have a house that sometimes gets cleaned, food to heat up cook and so many other things on that to do list. There have been many times over the past year that I have almost given up and lost my desire for higher education. But I have pushed through and continue to do so...I am proud to tell you that after taking my final on Tuesday, I will have completed my first full year of college! Not a moment to soon I might add. Needless to say, I still have a long way to go but my husband always says "if you don't go to school what will you be doing in five years." Ummm...can we say dead end job?? Anyways, I will probably be in school for another three years if all goes as planned and those three years are going to come whether I go to school or get a job. But for the time being, I totally plan to enjoy my two weeks off by cleaning my house and selling my kids old clothes on ebay...I know, that is some hardcore celebrating!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Are you a FAN???

So my obsession with facebook has spilled right over in to my two little business ventures that I am in the midst of. I have created facebook fanpages for both my handmade craft business and my photography business. Recently I gave away a free personalized burp cloth to one lucky fan on my facebook fanpage for the Polka Dot Pixie shop. I have just recently jumped to over 300 fans on that fanpage so to celebrate, I plan to do another giveaway very soon...if you don't want to miss this then you should go RIGHT HERE and become a fan of that page!

Then there is my fanpage for Simply Made Photography. Since the budget is tight these days, the first thing to go was my wonderful new website that I had done. So basically the blog and my fanpage are the two number one ways to view my pictures and honestly it takes less time to upload them to facebook so most of them usually end up on there. So once again...if you are a facebook addict, go RIGHT HERE and become a fan of my photography fanpage.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A beauty in the making...

So last Friday I had the pleasure of photographing precious baby Haven. She was so tiny that I was afraid to touch her. She was perfect the WHOLE TWO HOURS that we tossed her around for pictures.
Haven is a lucky little girl with an awesome big sister. Both of these girls are blessed with very faithful parents that I'm sure will instill that quality right in to them. Haven has had a bit of a bumpy road so far and may have some bumpy roads in the future but with parents like hers to support her, she will be just fine!

Look at her precious hands folded under her chin!

Then there was Haven's beautiful and totally photogenic older sister Haleigh! See for yourself...

The one below is my favorite picture from the whole day! I could take pictures of these two girls all day long!

I pray for baby Haven and her parents daily! The transition in to what is and will be their new normal may be hard for them all, including big sister Haleigh but if they hold fast to their faith their new normal will just become normal.

"And we know that in all things GOD works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Now if only I could talk these guys in to letting me use their house for every photo session! When I walked in the door I was in love with big windows, beautiful painted walls and the awesome bench. I so need an actual studio:)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Have I mentioned...

that I like to take pictures!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

No Words Needed...

Photography Fun

So this weekend I will do two things I have never done before...photograph an itty bitty baby (youngest was 4 months old) and photograph my very first wedding. I have been pretty successful at ignoring the anxiety about photographing the wedding. The couple know that it is my first but they have seen my pictures and love what I do so here goes nothing! Wish me luck and pictures will be coming soon!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

For the LOVE of your SLR Camera!!!

So my newest sewing pride and joy has been the camera strap cover. I can't stop making them and luckily people are buying them. They are wonderful!!! The best part is that I am not having to buy my own but can just make it! If you are in need for a SLR strap cover...come on OVER HERE!