Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Its funny how bathtime evolves with a little one.

  • When they're first born, they normally 'HATE' getting sponged off. 
  • Then they can have a 'real' bath once that cord stump falls off, and bathtime becomes more and more pleasing. 
  • Transition from the baby tub to a real bath tub can be a nightmare (it was for us for a couple days!).
  • Then they come to LOVE bathtime!
This was the case for us, anyways.  I know each situation is unique to each child!  So now that we're in the 'big tub' stage, she's got all sorts of the tub toys you see on the market.

Rubber duckies line the tub, along with a momma whale w/babies AND a frog momma w/babies, some neat cups w/holes, a floating starfish that shoots out water, and a squeaky Minnie Mouse.

But you know what she loves playing with the best?  The homemade craft foam cutouts I made back in the summer.  I saw on pinterest that craft foam will 'stick' to the walls of the tub when wet and it made for a great addition to your kiddo's tub time.

Boy were they right!

And the best part..its sooooo cheap and the possibilities are endless.  Its a GREAT way to teach colors and shapes, and even numbers and letters later on. 

So the next time your debating on a 'new' toy for the tub for your kid...go to the craft section and buy a sheet of craft foam for pennies, and makes lots of new toys for them to play with!  You won't be sorry!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And then we had fish...

So y'all know we have a 'furry crew' that consists of 3 cats (Ravey, Jake, and Harry) and 1 dog (Miss Daisy).  But now we have added to the list and have fish!!

Back when Damon and I first were married, we had a small fishtank with 2 angelfish (aptly named Moe and Joe).  I LOVED them.  They lived for around 3 years before they died.  So after that I kinda gave up on keeping fish for a while..figuring I'd return to it sooner or later.

Fast forward 8 years or so.  Damon was doing some work for a friend he worked with in the mines this past summer.  The guy had a massive fishtank in his building..stand and all.  Damon was telling me how nice it was, etc, and that his friend said he'd talk to his wife about letting us buy it from them.  A few weeks back, they were talking on the phone and the guy mentions that his wife said we could have the tank and stand for FREE! 

So naturally, we jumped on that awesome offer!

After some cleaning, and more cleaning (she had used it as a saltwater there was quite a bit of residue) we got it in the house..accessories purchased (new filter system, gravel, and all the pretties) and!!

(The mollies)

I'm sooo loving it.  It goes beautifully in our really large living room.  We currently have 3 black mollies, 2 'baby' mollies (story behind that in a sec), 2 white tetras, 2 cory catfish, 1 mickey mouse platy, and 1 gold gourami (who is getting returned to petsmart today due to picking on the others).  The first bunch of fish we purchased were the 3 black mollies.  I jokingly said to Damon as we were coming home with them, "Boy..that one sure is big..might be pregnant!".  Well..guess all jokes aside I was right on!  A few days later I saw babies swimming around in the I rushed to my mom's to borrow her breeding tank (She, like myself, once had an aquarium.  BUT..she kept alot of her supplies (unlike myself)!) and was able to catch 2 of the babies.  Yeah..the rest got eaten.

(One of the the top/center of the picture.  Its black..just like his momma!)

Its terrible.  Who eats their babies?!?!?

Anyways..things have been going smoothly with all the fish, except for that darn gourami.  He's not nipping the other fish..just chasing (mostly the tetras) and aggrevating them.  Then I read you can't mix gourami's with angelfish (something I'm hoping to add to the crew soon).  So..back he goes to Petsmart.  I'm hoping the angelfish do well with the others.  I know they are also a semi-aggressive fish (as are the gouramis), but I've read over and over online that they mix very well with most community fish.  The ones we had along time ago weren't aggressive in any way, shape, or form.  So fingers crossed!  I've read so much on fish in the past couple weeks it makes my head spin.


(One Tetra and the mean ol' Gourami)

(Cory Catfish)

(Mickey Mouse Platy..the orange one, Cory Catfish, and one of the Tetras)

Anyone else have a fishtank?  Like/Dislike?

Monday, January 28, 2013

20 Months!

And a few days....

I hadn't done one of these posts in a while and thought y'all might want a more detailed update on what my girl Makayla is up to nowadays!!!

First let me say..its still hard to believe that in 4 short months she will be 2!!!!  Where does the time go?!?!?  But anyways..she is such a joy to us and into so much nowadays!

{Sizes}  She wears a size 5 in diapers still.  She wears a 3T in dresses and shirts and either 24 months or 2T in bottoms (depending on the style).  Size 6 1/2-7 in shoes.  Her feet are growing like CRAAAZY!  Does walking stimulate growth..because I'm starting to think so!!  Of course when she was little..we didn't really bother with shoes (came to later regret because when she started 'needing' to wear shoes..she wouldn't) but now of course its a must.  Oh and she loves shoes now (thank goodness)..must get it from momma!  She's always bringing me one silver sparkly shoe and one blue house slipper.  Every night. 

{Teeth}  She's got all 4 of her 1 year molars in and currently working on those darn eye teeth.  All 4 of them.  At the same time.  She's been cutting them for some time now (a few weeks?) but they seem to be pretty slow in coming in.  Thankfully she hasn't been bothered too much by them but the past couple nights has been rubbing where they are coming maybe they are about to fully push their way in. 

{Talk}  She jabbers all the time and knows lots of words.  She says phrases now too..but its just random.  Some things she's said are...
"Its Da!!" (all the time..she loves her 'Da' (aka Daddy))
"How are you?" (I caught this one on video!!)
"Who's that?"
"Good Job!"
"Where am I?" (said this at my parents house one day when we hadn't been there in a while..was hilarious!)

{Favorites}  She loves kitties (esp her new cat "Harry"), books (as usual), and her new one is monkeys!  Totally obsessed.  I blame her sign language dvd (another fav) because thats when it all started (the first sign on the video is for 'monkey').  We were in Target a while back and she saw a stuffed monkey in the toy section she seemed to like.  After a few seconds, she seemed uninterested so I put it back on the shelf and moved on.  Fast forward several aisles over, and she starts pouting her lip out and doing the 'boo-hoo' thing in a really cute and really pitiful way!  So I go back over to where the monkey was..sure enough..she wanted him!  He's her favorite toy I'm glad I bought him!  She's also got a girl monkey too that she loves.  She's also starting to get interested in coloring, which makes me so happy!!!!  I've bought her a ton of coloring books and we brought her easel into the living room the other night so she'd have more time to play with it (was in the spare bedroom).  She really likes chalk and the chalkboard part of her easel as well.  Bathtime is a big favorite too (I plan on doing a post on this later in the week), as is washing MY leg.  Don't ask why..just something she started doing one night..its pretty funny..she likes for me to give her some 'soap' (baby wash) so she can clean my leg real good!  She was obsessed with potatoes, but I think that phase has passed.  She'd randomly get potatoes out of my potato bin.  I'd find them everywhere!  Her newest thing is helping me put clothes in the dryer.  I give her items of clothing, one by one, and she'll put them in the dryer.  Then (after I push the clothes all the way in), I tell her "close!" and she closes the door.  I praise her ALOT and we high-five!  She also loves to talk on the phone, but what girl doesn't?!

{Potty-training}  I thought we were ready for this one a couple weeks ago, but I don't think we're quite there yet.  I bought her a supply of things..we already had a potty for her but I bought a toliet seat cover for her to use on our toliet as well, and pull-ups as well as training panties. 
 *FYI*..if you buy pull-ups..make SURE you double check the sizes.  I bought the wrong size(2T)...when I opened them I saw a "4" on the back of the pull-up..hence the same as a size 4 diaper.  I thought you went by pant 2T seemed like the right thing to get.  Guess I didn't read close enough.  Anyways..we're gonna try to use these up asap! 
We tried potty training one evening..just to see what she'd do.  Had the training panties on and asked her if she needed to go potty a few times.  Put her on the potty and told her what we were doing..etc.  As soon as she got off of it (like probably less than a minute)..she peed and didn't seemed phased AT ALL.  I thought if she felt herself get wet..something might register.  I'm not discouraged or was only one night afterall!  And I've read alot of different blogs on tips/tricks/etc..I'm just thinking right now..its not quite her time yet.  We're gonna try again soon though!

{Eating}  We're doing pretty good on this one..but its still a challenge.  I'd consider her a picky eater for sure!  I notice now she eats considerably more than she did just a month or so ago.  She loves her chicken nuggets, kiwi, pinto beans, bananas, cereal, meatballs, turkey sausage, and occassional french toast stick (via schwans).  Her go-to snacks are goldfish, yogurt bites, teensy fruits, anything Plum Tot (found at Toys R Us), and potato chips (not something she gets often).  She still won't TOUCH mac and cheese or scrambled eggs, which bums me because I think if she'd just try it she'd like it!!  In time!

{Sleep}  Bedtime is around 10pm (yes..that late!) and she wakes up anywhere from 9-10am (sometimes a little later).  I am not a morning person and neither is she!  This schedule suits us great..given our families schedule taken into account.  I can get her up earlier if need be, if we're needing to go somewhere, and she's just fine.  She just doesn't like to get up early.  Yeah..she's like me!  Naptime is 2pm (sharp..she will fall asleep at 2 on the dot even if we are in the car going somewhere!) and she naps for around 3 hours..sometimes less. 

Your such a sweet little girl!  You love your mommy and daddy so much and love being around people.  Your so easy-going and I love that about you!  Having fun is the name of your game..we have such good times together whether we're at home, out shopping, at church, or visiting grandma and grandpa.  I can't believe how fast your growing up.  I love your blonde curls, blue eyes, and curly little toes.  I love that your learning new things and seeing you get excited when you learn something new.  I can't imagine life before you, or life without you.  Your mine and daddy's pride and joy!  We love you to the moon and back, 'chugga'!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Straight"..and some recipes

Hello all!!  Hope everyone is staying warm wherever you might be!  Here in WV we've had some COLD days this week!  And looks like some snow for the weekend..hello winter! 

Anyways..y'all know I normally have curly locks.  Well..with the dip in temperatures here lately, I've resorted to blow drying my hair at night, so as to not to to bed with a damp head and possibly get sick.  I haven't worn my hair straight since I am still doing double-takes each time I go past a mirror!  I must say though, it is nice to be able to run my fingers through my hair for a change! 

On a totally different note, I have been in the kitchen experimenting again!!  Pioneer Woman gives some great recipes..both online and in her cookbook.  I made her Fried Chicken Tacos and Carnitas Pizza in the past couple weeks.  The tacos were wonderful (and fattening too) and definately something I'd make again.  I forgot when I bought the ingredients for these however, and had only flour tortillas.  The recipe calls for corn.  But..they still turned out great!!

The carnitas pizza however didn't quite cut the cake for us.  I had high hopes for this one too.  Bummer.  It wasn't bad, just not quite our taste.  And it gave Damon the heartburn.

He never gets heartburn. was something different for a change and I'm glad I gave it a go! 

Tried anything new at your dinner table lately?


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mad About Orange

Orange is my favorite color. 

I could blame Rachael Ray when she came out with her orange cookware line (which I HAD to have, btw!)..but no..I loved orange way before she made it popular. 

I can't remember when it all started...but its been for a long, long time.  But the orange cookware is what fueled the fire, if you will!  When we moved into our home, I painted our laundry room orange (which, unfortunately, doesn't work for me anymore and will be repainted this spring).  I have orange nail polish.  Orange dresses...skirts..tops..and yes..even shoes.

I found some really cute orange earrings at Cato's over the weekend.  I HAD to have them.  And they were on sale..score!

Not the best picture of them since my hair is hiding them a little.  The headband was new from Catos too!

I wore them with my orange/black/silver dress and orange shoes to church on sunday....

And kept the orange theme going sunday afternoon with an orange tshirt....

A better shot of the earrings..aren't they to die for?!?!

Do you have a favorite color?  Love to accessorize using it?  Would love to see other posts on this!


Monday, January 21, 2013

My Cutie

First night in a nightgown!!

Love that smile!

In her cute dress that daddy picked out!


She's my life!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Most toddlers love to get their little hands on sweets whenever they can.  Chocolate, cookies, cake, ice cream.  All the good stuff.

Not mine.

My girl loves salt and all things salty.  Chips, french fries, crackers.  Thats the good stuff to her.  So to my suprise the other night, I was eating a fudge round (thanks Little Debby) and she was reaching out her little hand...wanting some!  I was actually glad to oblige..I thought maybe this would be our turning point and she'd like her sweets like the rest of us.

Side I don't want to stuff her little mouth with cookies and candy.  Nor do I stuff it with chips and crackers.  They are 'treats' and treated thus so. 

She liked it!  The one bite she took, that is!  But it was so funny to see her with chocolate on her little mouth.  Maybe there is hope that she'll eat cake for her 2nd birthday this year after all!!

In case your didn't have a 'cake smash' for her 1st birthday. Good thing too..she didn't touch her cake!  She wanted chips!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Camera Strap Covers!

So last week I finally got around to making some really neat camera strap covers for my new camera!  I saw a tutorial on pinterest here and it looked easy enough so I gave it a shot.  I bought some really pretty fabrics at Hobby Lobby a while ago just for the project.  I only bought like 1/8 of a yard of each (which totaled 61 cents for each color combination!!) plus I had to buy fusible fleece ($6 something) but I'll have plenty of that stuff leftover for future projects! 

So really I'd say one strap cover cost less than $1 to make..not bad!

And the final result was awesome!  I made a total of 3 strap covers..right now I'm using the gray print w/gray chevron pattern.  Love!!

What have you crafted lately?


Monday, January 14, 2013

"DIRTY" Harry

I didn't know whether to call this post "Dirty Harry" or "Rinse and Repeat".

Any ideas where I'm going with this?  I got up this morning to find "Harry" (the still yet to be determined name for our newest cat) on the backporch with Jake.  Hair matted.  Fur wet-looking.  Pitiful.

I didn't know what had happened at first.  My only explanation was he was too dumb (like uh of our beloved cats whom passed away in in peace Thomas) to get out of the rain last night.  But then after a little while he came on the front porch.  So I got a chance to pet him before I fed him his breakfast. wasn't that he stood out in the rain.  He was dirt and mud covered.

He looked at me..really pitiful looking.  Like he could have said, "Help me" if he could talk.  My mom came down for a visit and after I got Makayla down for a nap and the house cleaned..inspiration struck.

"I'm going to give him a bath!!!"

Praise the good Lord it went well.  After the intial 'what on earth are you doing to me' passed..he was totally fine with the bath.  But you would not BELIEVE the tub after I got him out and in the process of being dried off.

I KID YOU NOT!!!!  AHHH!!!!!

The good thing is he is clean now..and I survived. hiding..of course!

Poor guy.  Hope he decides to not do this again anytime soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cooking, pioneer style!

I mentioned earlier in the week I'd been cooking alot of new recipes.  And boy, have I!  For Christmas, I got the Pioneer Woman's cookbook and it was probably my favorite and most used gift thus far! 

Already I've made...


(And this recipe replaced my own tried and true recipe I'd used for years!)



Mushroom Swiss Sliders

(note: this one is life changing!)

All but the iced coffee recipes were new for me.  I discovered the iced coffee back in the summer.  I can't even remember the date. But it changed my life!  I have it every single morning now.  And to cut back on fat, I use fat free half and half and fat free sweetened condensed milk.  Hey, ya gotta cut corners where you can, right?!  Anyways, all of the above recipes are AWESOME.  The pizza crust is my new pizza crust go-to recipe.  It was just that good.  And I have plenty more recipes I can't wait to try. 

That fried chicken taco sounds pretty good about right now.

If you haven't tried any of her recipes, I suggest you RUN to her website and find one to try.  NOW!  Or go buy the book, that way its always laying around, just waiting to inspire your weekly menu.  

Have you tried any new and/or exciting recipes lately?

All photos are by Ree Drummond, except for the Cauliflower Soup recipe, which was taken myself. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013


This is something I've given quite a bit of thought since having Makayla.  Sure, a lot of people in my immediate area hear the word homeschooling and think, "really?"..because its not something thats 'done' around here much.  I only know of one other person that homeschools. 

But she loves it.

This is why I've given it thought. 
  1. Sickness.  Right now, there is a vicious bug going around the local school(s).  Its getting spread like a wildfire out of control.  Now sure, I know I could walk into the local grocery store or post office and catch it just the same.  But, kids in school that are in contact with other (sick) kids are WAY more apt to catch something than those who aren't.
  2. Bullying.  Again, kids can get bullied everywhere.  And the one thing (probably the #1 thing) in my mind is that I do NOT want Makayla to feel isolated.  As in have no friends.  Kids NEED friends their own age.  I want her to have healthy relationships with others growing up.  The thoughts of her getting bullied in school makes me sad though.  Because I endured it.  I hated grade school because of that.  I want better for my child.
  3. Violence.  Sandy Hook, Columbine, Jonesboro, West Paducah.  Need I say more?  Just google lists of cities where school shootings have occured.  Its a LONG list.  And it can happen anywhere, including here where I live.
  4. One-on-one time.  A lot of time, in a school setting kids don't get the individual time they need with a teacher to grasp a subject.  Thats not something that would be an issue for a homeschooled child.
  5. Control.  And not in the way you would think when you first see that word.  Control, as in control over the material/subject matter that she is learning.  Let me explain a little deeper..I want my child to grow up in a God centered world.  I know the world is full of 'bad things' that I won't go into detail about and that she will be exposed to at some point in time.  But my job as her parent is to protect..not only her physically..but spiritually too.  I don't want her learning that the universe was created from a 'bang' or that having two mommies (or two daddies) is ok.  I want her to learn what GOD says..not some theory or belief system that is tainted with lies and rubbish.
And this is what scares me about it...

  1. The unknown.  Like I said, I only know of one other person who homeschools.  I don't know where I'd begin.  But I know God would help show me the way if this is something He continues to lead me to do.
  2. Isolation.  Again, I don't want Makayla to be isolated.  I want her to have friends.  To be involved in activities if she so pleases.  I don't know how it would work for us, especially given that we live in the country.
  3. Stress.  Not only on her, but myself as well.  I'm not a teacher (by certification) and I'm not sure I'd know how to deal with teaching her schooling as a whole.  Its scary to think about.
But what I do know, is this is something that has been on my heart since I've gave birth.  I never thought I'd EVER consider homeschooling, but here I am with it on my brain when I think about her future.  We'll see where God leads.

Do you homeschool or were homeschooled as a child?  What were your experiences?


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What's in a name?

This question has been going over and over in my head as of lately.  You know..all of us mom's out there probably did the same thing for our children, before they were born, we poured over names and their meanings.  Wanting to chose just the perfect name for our child.  I know I did!!  I can recall that Makayla's full name means "young" and "who is like God". 

But..this go around I'm trying to find just the right name for our new cat we've 'inherited'.  My best friend asked me on the phone the other night, "How do all these cats always seem to find you guys?!"..and she's right! 

  • Ravey 'found us' when we were basically newlyweds..just showed up at our house one cold November night.
  • Thomas 'adopted us' when we moved into our new place.  He was the neighbors cat but did NOT want to live with them anymore (for whatever reasons..I'll keep my mouth shut here!) he moved in with us.
  • Damon found Jake at the coal mines.  Someone had brought him up there and dumped him off.  Damon felt sorry for him because the other men were kinda kicking him around and paying him no attention.  He needed love..and that he received. :-)
  • And now 'nameless' cat has shown up at our door..right around Christmas too, mind you.  We're guessing he was dropped off in our area because we'd never seen the likes of him around here.

Believe you me, we would have noticed a cat like this.

(doesn't he have the sweetest face?!!)

Now let me tell you, Ravey is a big cat.  The last time I had her at the vet's office..she weighed in around 16-18 pounds (I can't remember exactly..but it was somewhere in there).  She's big..she's always been big.  THIS cat makes Ravey look little.

I've taken to calling him "Big Harry"..and I'm sure you can guess why.  "Harry" is all hair.  He's a beauty though..and super sweet.  Makayla is smitten.

But I'm not sold on the name "Harry" was just one of those names that just happened without much thought.  After we got Jake and named him..I had regrets.  Since we had Thomas already, I had wished for a while we'd named him "Jerry"..haha!  Tom and Jerry. 

Since I'm a Twilight fan..I've thought of one of the men on the series (since we have Jake..aka Jacob).  But I can't see myself yelling, "Here Edward!!!" out my front door..calling for this cat. 

It just doesn't fit.

And neither does Carlisle.  Or Emmett.  Jasper maybe. 

I need help.

I'd like something creative..something that just 'goes' with him. 

So if you have any ideas..shoot them my way!  I'd greatly appreciate it!