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Monday, July 27, 2009

Recipes!

This morning I read my blogging friend Laura Beth's blog, and she stated that after doing a pantry inventory, she realized that she had nine boxes of cake mix! Now, don't laugh. Because I'm the same way. I have seven boxes of spaghetti noodles, at least five cans of Lawry's Seasoning Salt, and about eight tubs of peanut butter. You may think it's silly, but none of that stuff expires, and I probably will not have to buy more (or at least pay full price) for many, many months. So, I'm answering her call for recipes using cake mix!!

The first is for Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. It's from a very dear lady named Becky Brass, who was my 'adoptive' mother during college. Our church allowed families to 'adopt' college students and cook dinner for them once a week, allow them to do laundry (for free!) at their house, etc. She was such a sweet woman, and a Godly woman at that! She used to make these for me at least twice a month because I loved them so much! They remind me of those cookie cakes that they sell in the mall, minus all the icing.

Preheat oven to 325.
Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix 1 egg

1 stick melted butter 2 tspn. vanilla

1 pound of choc. chips (1 bag)


Mix it all together, then press into a 13x9 pan, bake 15-20 minutes! Easy, huh? Then just cut it into squares and enjoy!


Gooey Buttercake. This is a good one too, just don't dare think of calories and fat...Ronnie Higgingbottom made these one day. He is one of the zoo's maintenance guys, a great guy that I worked with often on construction projects within the zoo. I learned a lot working with him!


Preheat oven to 350.

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix 1 8 oz package of cream cheese

1 stick butter 3 eggs (1 for cake, 2 for icing)

1 box powdered sugar


Blend cake mix, butter, 1 egg for 3 min, press into 13x9 pan.

Blend sugar, cream cheese, 2 eggs. Pour over cake mix.

Bake for 45 minutes. When done, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top.




Hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Name Game

What started out as a fun little comment on Facebook about baby names has led me to write this post. I had stated that picking a boy name was much harder (for us, at least) than choosing a girl name. We had pretty much even decided on a girl name before we had even gotten pregnant! In my opinion there are just more girl names out there. You gotta get creative with the boys, without being weird and out there.

I thought it'd be neat to see what y'all thought about some of these names. Keep in mind, this list seems very long, but we have a long time to decide, and I'm a very thorough person. I want to make sure the name is one I like, as well as one I think the little one will like at all stages of his/her life.

First, the criteria. And by criteria, I mean things that I'd like, not things that I have to have. I'd really prefer a family name. And I'd also like it to be Biblical. It can't be 'trendy' or have silly nicknames, and the initials cannot spell or insinuate anything that might cause teasing later in life. Easy, right? Psh.



So, on with it. Here is our not-so-short list of names, boy and girl. The ones we're leaning towards the most are at the top, and goes down in preference. The names are all eligible for first and middle names! (And I do realize that a few of the names meet none of the above criteria, but there needs to be a few in there to eliminate early on...)


BOY:

Benjamin

Greene

Noah

Zachary

Elliott

Oliver

Reed

Luke

Jonah

Timothy

Micah

Oliver

Owen

Lyle


Girl:

Emily

Celeste

Audrey

Jane/Jean

Mae

Grace

Ruth

Clara/Claire

Hannah

Alice

Megan/Meghan

Leah

Mabel

Margo

Abigail

Hazel
It's hard to choose, because I like so many of them. I suppose I'll just have to keep having babies so I can use all the names. Hah.
I'd love any input! It's sort-of fun thinking about this lately, it helps keep my mind of the nausea. Which, by the way, has gotten much, much better but is still lurking around. I'm hoping by the end of next week it'll be gone...that's when I hit the magical 12 week mark. I'll have to post a belly picture soon. I can't believe how quickly this little squirt popped out. I think I was this big with Andrew at four months, and I'm only 11 weeks!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heeeere, Chicken Chicken!



They're here! The long-awaited chickens!

I had been wanting to get chickens for a while now, for a number of reasons. First, obviously, the fresh, organic eggs at my fingertips. Second, we can definately use the poo in the compost pile, which turns into nice, fresh (organic) fertilizer for the vegetables. And thirdly, I thought it would be a neat experience for Andrew. He can easily take care of the chickens, put feed in the feeder, and help me collect eggs. Never too young to be taught responsibility! He actually enjoys feeding the cat, which is/was his first chore!

Our neighbor, Von, is a single elderly man who has chickens, too. He had mentioned to me that he was ordering baby chicks to raise, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some, since we could raise them "from the egg" and they'd be more people-friendly. We first saw them when they were one day old! They're Barred Plymouth Rock, which are the black and white striped breed. We decided that five hens and one rooster would be plenty for us...not to mention we could build a smaller coop for a small flock!







My parents were nice enough to come visit for a weekend to help build the coop & yard. We couldn't have done it without them! Many of the materials we used for the coop were things we already had around, which helped keep the cost down. Many thanks to Jay & Kim for the tin roof!

We went over to Von's house yesterday to pick up the biddies, as they're now two months old and ready to be in a yard. Andrew was so excited! We had been visiting the chickens for weeks now, and he finally got to take them home! He kept saying "Hi, Chicken!" while we were catching them. When I say "we" I mean Von and Brian...




Here are a few photos of the coop, the chicken rodeo roundup, and the release!










Play Ball!

Family Night on a Budget...

Last Tuesday I was reading one of the blogs I follow and stumbled on a deal! Kraft Foods is doing a promotion where on Tuesday nights, if you take a Kraft Singles wrapper to any minor league ballpark, you get buy one-get one tickets! And, since I had three packages of Kraft Singles cheese in the fridge (due to a great sale at Bi-Lo, and Andrew loves the fake cheese), it sounded like a deal!


We went to the Augusta Greenjackets game, which is our closest Minor League team, about 45 minutes from our house. It was $8 for all three of us to get in, and then we found out that drinks (sodas & beer) were buy one-get one too! Bingo!


We had a great time, Andrew loved the noise and watching the kids in the stands. We're still not sure if he realized there was a game being played on the field, but he had a good time nonetheless. He really enjoyed the many musical clips and sounds they played over the speakers. We will definately be going back!

It was a neat experience too, because we had taken Andrew to a Greenjackets game when he was around 8 months old. We couldn't believe it had been two years since we had been back!

Monday, July 13, 2009

When It's Hot in Georgia...


Get Nekked!

We spent much of Sunday afternoon playing outside at Nana's house. We were in Newnan for a wedding that weekend, and decided to surprise my dad (Bampa) by staying one extra day. He had been out of town on business the whole time we were there, so he hadn't gotten to see Andrew.

We had been playing outside, in the water table, in the pool, and in the hose. Needless to say, the boy got wet! So, much to his delight, we stripped him down. We're also working on potty training, so we figured, if he has an accident and pees without a diaper, outside is the place to be!



In fact, he did try to go potty. When 'it' didn't cooperate, he got all upset and said "It's broken!"




These are some pictures of Andrew playing...and also one of him surprising his Bampa with a big, sweaty, naked hug!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Frugal Flower is working today! (Updated!)

I'm in Newnan for the weekend, at my mom's house. It's a nice reprieve, she's having a blast taking care of Andrew. But I'm not lying around the house eating bon-bons, either...in fact, I'm working!

The Frugal Flower has a wedding today! Danielle and Joseph are getting married in Alvaton, and I am doing their flowers. It should be a wonderful, fun day when I get to be more than a mom (which, is no easy task) and actually DO something.

So far I'm feeling ok, the sickness doesn't usually strike until the evening hours, so I'll just grin and bear it, and hope for the best!

I'll be posting pictures soon of this wedding, and the one I did in Greenville in May!



Update:


It was a success! The bride was thrilled with her flowers, and everything turned out beautifully. I had such a great time seeing many, many old friends again and sharing Danielle and Joseph's special day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him."

Psalm 127:3

Today's the day, folks, for the big announcement! I've gotten clearance from Brian to make this post, so here it goes! May I have a drumroll...

After much anticipation from mothers, grandparents, even the wayward stranger, we have decided to enlarge our precious little family to include another baby! Yes, you heard right! I'm pregnant!

Andrew will no longer be an only child on (or around!) February 11, 2010. I'm currently between 7-8 weeks into the game. There will be three years (and some months) in between the two little buggers, which is a nice little gap, I believe!

Things are coming along nicely, if you don't factor in the persistant, horrible nausea and vomiting. Thank goodness that the doctor gave me a prescription yesterday for a nausea medicine, otherwise I think I would have just wasted away! It's funny how incredibly different two pregnancies can be. I hardly even knew I was pregnant with Andrew, and now here I am sick as a dog with this baby. Hopefully, though, this will be the only difference, since my first pregnancy went so well.

We're excited, but still have that "what have we done" look on our faces on occasion. I'm sure it'll be fine. It's like that scene in "Father of the Bride 2" when Nina (the grandmother) looks out her window and sees mother and daughter skipping down the sidewalk eating ice cream, and George (the grandfather) sees a son throwing his ice cream on his father and then running away... Except Brian is the happy-go-lucky stars in his eyes, and I'm seeing doomsday!

We've got a lot to accomplish in seven (too short) months...Andrew needs to get potty-trained, Andrew needs to give up the paci, and I've got one heck of a stockpile to build! Luckily we still have much of our baby stuff, we'll just need to fill a closet or two with diapers and wipes, but it shouldn't be too difficult.

On a parting note, I thought I'd share with you some of the cravings I've had in the last three weeks or so. In no particular order:

Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, on a waffle cone
Jalapeno Poppers (the ones at Sonic)
Potatoes (I've eaten at least two each day!)
Cherries
Larry's Giant Subs (?!)
Dr. Pepper

And now I've gone and made myself hungry...though how can I be? I just ate a twelve (12) pack of nuggets from ChickFilA...!