Monday, March 31, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: Church

Monday: Pork Chops in Mushroom Sauce

Tuesday: Sloppy Joes

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday-Saturday: I'm in KY, but I've stocked the fridge with great things for Isaac to make!  :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunny Weekend

It's the end of March in Texas, and I don't think we've had a full weekend of decent temps and sun yet...until yesterday and today!  The weather has been in the low 70s and mid 60s and sunny for two days.  Bliss!  We rested a lot this weekend and worked around the house, but we spent plenty of time outside too.

On Saturday, we went to a huge park down the street.  For whatever reason, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  The dogs were able to be off their leashes and had a blast.  It was quite obvious they were excited to prance in the sun and just be dogs.  Aggie Belle got in the lake, chased crabs, and found a stick.  Bailey sniffed every flower he found. 

After church today we went to a local field about 5 minutes from our house that is FULL of bluebonnets!  Several families were there today taking pictures, but the dogs were so good about listening to us and posing for photos. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five Friday Favorites

ONE: Ease US Data Recovery Software is my new best friend.  Seriously.  Last night I deleted EVERY single picture from our cruise on accident.  Someday, there will be a law passed that doesn't allow me to transfer photos from my camera to my computer.  This is the THIRD time I've done this in 8 1/2 years.  For. The. Love.  Isaac took the SD card from me as soon as I did it, popped it in his computer, ran the software, and in less than a minute and a half, I had all but 2 of my 350 photos back.  Phew.  Maybe now I'll get my booty in gear and actually blog about our trip....

TWO: I bought these TOMS from Zulilly a few weeks ago, and I think they're adorable.  They scream 'spring', I've had tons of compliments, and I love seeing color on my feet!  And, since I can't wear sandles without backs to work, these are perfect.
THREE: Today is Dede's birthday, and Isaac has tried out a brand new cake recipe for the family tonight.  It's chocolate and has Bailey's Irish Creme in it.  Enough said.  I'll post pictures when it's all finished.  :)

FOUR: A friend brought me this whole set last night!  I know it'll be several months (ok, nearly a year from now!) before I get the chance to use this, but I can't wait to make Andrew's food!

FIVE: It's not a favorite that Aggie Belle took a huge tumble while running on Wednesday night, but I adore what essential oils did for her wounds!  She came in with her daddy looking terrible!  There were cuts on both right legs, on her belly, and most of her toenails were torn.  I took a photo Wednesday night of the most minor cut because I didn't want to gross out anyone.  Isaac cleaned it really good, and then I mixed up distilled water, lavender, thieves, and frankincense to rub on it.  We also soaked gauze in the solution and then wrapped bandages around the gauze.  We did the same thing again Thursday morning.
By Thursday evening, the same wound looked like this:
I know it's not at the same angle, but my patient wasn't wanting to cooperate in her sleep.  The wound is so clean and healing nicely.  The swelling in all of her wounds is gone, as is the redness on her belly.  We'll keep soaking and treating and letting them air out as she let us, but I'm so impressed with the quick improvement.  The pet ointments we've used in the past have never worked this well!  And, just for some cuteness' sake:
The patient and her big brother getting extra TLC from Daddy on Thursday morning.

Linking up with these lovelies today!

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Happy Birthday, Dede!

Today this guy turns 77...going on 35.


Age doesn't slow down my grandparents, if anyone hasn't noticed!  On our cruise three weeks ago (which I still need to write about, I know), we had to keep up with my grandparents, not the other way around.  Dede was even my snorkeling buddy in Roatan.

Dede taught me to put Jesus first by serving on the Southern Baptist International Mission as a trustee for years.  I was able to see his heart for others in action many times at these meetings.  Dede taught me to shoot guns, and it's one sport at which I actually excel.  :)  I've learned to enjoy the great outdoors, work hard, save hard, and have fun from him.  There are few true gentlemen left, and Dede is one of them.  I can't think of him ever not putting our family first, and I'm grateful!

The four of us celebrated Dede's birthday early on the cruise, but the whole family is gathering tonight to eat and have fun.  It's a joy having everyone so close!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Works for Me: Home Dedication

A blog buddy (Elise-go visit her; you won't regret it!) announced this week that she and her sweet hubby are about to move into their first home.  Home-ownership is such a fun experience, and a great opportunity to use what God gives us to serve others.  Elise's announcement stirred up memories of almost 2 years ago when we bought our home.
Isaac and I found a dream home at an insane price right before the market began to turn upward.  I was hesitant to jump into such a big home, but there was such peace about the whole process that I couldn't deny that God wanted us in this particular house, at least for a season.  We wanted to honor God for His gift and show how much we honor and value His trust in us to use this home to bring glory to His Name and to serve others.  Isaac and I decided to host a home dedication where we invited friends and family to come, pray over our home and us, and then celebrate all that was to come.  Check out how we did it for some ideas!

Looking back over the last two years, I'm so glad we did this.  We've watched the Almighty answer everyone of the prayers prayed that day.  Our home has provided a place of refuge for us, rest for tired friends, hosted more teenagers than we can count, and been the site of several gatherings of prayer and fellowship.  With Andrew on his way, we continue to pray over our home that God uses these four walls as a place of discipleship for him and his friends as they grow to seek Jesus first.  A home is what we make of it, and setting the foundation as Christ is a fail-proof way to start.

Linking up with Kristen!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rodeo Shootout Championship

Last night was the final day of 20 days worth of rodeo competitions.  It's always sad to go on the last day.  The livestock show has finished so all of the pens are empty and dirt is already in the process of being hauled away. We had been twice already though, so we'd had plenty of livestock show fun earlier in the rodeo. However, in the stadium, the energy is still flying, even on the last day!

Several years ago, the rodeo committee decided to turn the 3 week competition into a series, resulting in 3 days worth of competition with the overall winner moving on to the final round, the rodeo shootout, on the last day. Just think March Madness and you'll get the general idea.  In bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, and barrel racing, the best of the best are seen on the final day.  Isaac and I loved every second of it.  Ok, the rodeo is never boring in the first place, but to see the toughest and strongest go up against each other is just a thrill. And, our favorite part is still the mutton bustin'.  This was the championship round of all the 5 and 6 year old winners from teh past 19 days competing one more time on a big fluffy sheep.  LOVE!

Can see you see that pint sized cowgirl hanging on?!

Zac Brown Band closed the rodeo this year.  We tried to go see them the last two years and ended up with conflicts and had to sell our super fabulous tickets both times.  This year we didn't let a sleepless night and rain stop us from going!  Isaac had purchased 50 yard line (when it's football season at least), 30 rows up seats back in early January, and we put those beauties to great use!  When we see most singers, we enjoy hearing some of our favorite songs live.  With ZBB however, it's a real show!  Each band member is such a talented musician, and they all genuinely love making music together and being on that stage.  It was such a treat to see them having a blast with their music.  There wasn't a lot of talking or 'show', but there was a ton of fun as we reveled in their talent.  So glad we went, and we definitely plan on making sure ZBB is on our list of tickets for next year!

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: Rodeo (Closing night!)

Monday: Chicken Veggie Pasta

Tuesday: BBQ Baked Potatoes

Wednesday: Chicken Fried Rice (didn't get to it last week)

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Dede's Birthday

Saturday: Creation Conference

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Friday Favorites

ONE: I put together a field trip for 147 6th graders. Yesterday, we went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see a cool Imax about things we can't see with our own eyes and the Magna Carta exhibit.  I totally wish I could post pictures of my little group exploring the Magna Carta exhibit.  They had a ball playing with all of the hands-hand pieces of the exhibit.  I love just getting to watch them interact with what's around them and have fun.  And yes, we got to see one of the 6 copies of the Magna Carta.  I'm now 2 for 6.  Be still, my history loving, democracy adoring heart. 

TWO: This is all I'm showing for now, but I walked in to my house on Saturday after a week away to this handsome face.

THREE: WARM WEATHER!  Ok, not hot yet, but it's been in the 70s all week.  It's so totally about time.  We let the kids run in the park for over an hour yesterday, and it was glorious.  Between last week's Spring Break trip and now this week, I'm finally starting to feel like a normal human being again.

FOUR: Jacob (Isaac's brother) came into town for the first part of this week, and we had a great time.  The highlight was taking him to the rodeo on St. Patrick's Day.  We love rodeo! As great as the competition is each time we go, our favorite part is watching the little kids try to hold onto a sheep during mutton bustin'. The concert was Luke Bryan, and while I do enjoy his music, I am not a fan of him in concert.  Ugh.  That boy needs to learn that somethings are for his wife's eyes alone.  Just gross.  I learned it's not just the female singers that are inappropriate on stage on Monday night.  Sad day.

FIVE: There is a chance I will get to go home to Kentucky for a quick trip in a few weeks.  Y'all, it's been nearly 6 years since I've been home.  That's just wrong.  Ever since my grandparents moved to Texas, the opportunities just haven't been as available.  While I'm so glad to have my grandparents 20 minutes away now, I sure miss trips to Kentucky.  Here's hoping the details all work out!
How Kentucky girls make shooting targets...

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

March BarkBox

 March's BarkBox arrived yesterday, and it was perfect timing!  Uncle Jacob had to return to Ohio Wednesday afternoon, so the pups had a great distraction when they got home from dropping him of at the airport.  :)

Dogegg by Petprojekt ($14): Aggie Belle keeps thinking this sturdy, natural rubber toy is a food puzzle, but she's having fun throwing it around.  It does wobble and bounce well, which keeps her on her toes.  Bailey isn't thrilled about the squeaker in it, but he'll live.

Krinkle and Squeak Newspaper by Pet Qwerks ($7.79): Aggie Belle is the toy expert in this family, and she loves shaking this thing all over the place.  She fetches the real paper from the front yard every morning, so as long as she doesn't mistake the real thing for her new toy, we're good!

Venison Waffles by Superior Farms ($8.99)  These are made in America and only have venison lung in them.  Sounds disgusting to me, but they're healthy for the pups, so I'll take it!

 Breakfast Biscuits by Wagatha's ($8.99) Apparently these are a favorite human treat too!  They contain Whole barley flour, Whole oat flour, Canola oil, Apples, Cracked flax seed, Brown rice flour, Rolled oats, Bananas, Maple sugar, Cinnamon, and Rosemary oil. Sounds pretty yummy, actually.  We'll have to see what we all think of these!

 Duck Chews from Etta Says ($1.23) Bailey adores these, and I was so glad to see another come in this month's box!  The chews are made of duck and rawhide.  No wonder my little man loves to chase ducks so much!

Checking out the goods:

Munchin away on the duck chew!

This month's box is worth $41, but we paid $18 with our 6 month subscription.  What a deal!  And I love BarkBox's commitment to only sending truly healthy products to our pups!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Works For Me: Coconut Oil

Long before I found this, I started using extra virgin coconut oil for all kinds of things.  The hubby isn't sold on it at all, but he sees the benefits to the pups and me, so while he won't use it, he does admit that this little fruit is super cool!

Here's the deal with coconut oil: use extra virgin.  Also, it's a solid below 76* and a liquid when it's warmer than that.  When I need it softer, I just start rubbing it between my hands.  It melts quickly.  Once the house begins to warm as we enter Spring, I'll probably start keeping at least some of my EVCO in the fridge.

How do I use it?

1) Oil Pulling.  I swish this stuff (1 tsp) in my mouth 20 minutes a day.  Swish and swish and swish.  Then I spit it in the trash can-don't spit it down the sink.  It'll re-harden and clog the drain.  I'd heard that it can help with TMJ pain, and it has.  EVCO hasn't made it go away, but it's helping greatly.  Also, EVCO will pull germs out of your mouth, help whiten teeth, and supposedly help make them stronger.  I can't testify to the last one yet, but we'll see.  Yes, I still brush (Clay Brite from Zion Health-my go-to toothpaste for over 2 years now)! Does 20 minutes seem like forever to you?  Have your prayer time while you swish, check email, read a book, throw a ball for the dog, fold laundry, watch a TV show.  You'll love the 20 minutes of not having to answer anything anyone says to you!

2) Face Wash.  I rub a nickle size amount onto my face each night to remove make up. For tough eye make up, use a cotton ball to help gently massage off the make up with the oil.  My face is so clean, soft and smooth afterward!  I rinse my face with water to get the worst of the oily feeling off, and then pat my face dry with a towel.  I don't feel greasy afterward!  This has helped me break out less and taken away the need for my expensive aloe-based cleanser.  I still use an aloe-based toner (and only that!) in the mornings-no EVCO then.

3) Body Lotion. I've seen several recipes for body butters that include EVCO, and I've made one, but I'm not thrilled with it-too greasy.  However, I love just plain EVCO as my nightly lotion.  My skin is softer than ever, and it cleared up the dry, cracked skin I've had all over from the cold winter.  It's also done wonders to keep my skin from peeling after a Spring Break sunburn last week....oops.

4) Snack for the pups.  Seriously!  They were both licking my legs constantly when I began using it as a lotion.  I decided to just start feeding them spoonfuls so I could relax in peace.  Little did I know at the time that it actually helps their digestive system and has cleared up Aggie Belle's raunchy, awful anal glands.  Isaac was having to express her glands about every 3 days, and we haven't done it in ages now.  Woohoo! It's also making their coats shinier and thicker.  Bailey gets about 2 tsp a day, and Aggie about 6. 

5) Stretch mark preventative.  I know I'm only at 22 weeks and still have a way to go, but absolutely no signs of stretch marks have appeared on my body, and I've been rubbing in the EVCO extra thick on my belly, thighs, and lower back since November.  I'm also using YL's Gentle Baby on top of the EVCO in the mornings and YL's lavendar at night, so I'm sure that's helping as well.

6) Shaving cream.  I looked at the ingredients of the kind I've used for years awhile back and threw it out immediately.  It had all the same junk that most deodorants have in it that can increase risks of cancer and Alzheimer's.   I don't know why I hadn't thought to look at that product sooner, but yuck!  I have to rinse my razor more often with the EVCO, but I've had less razor burn, less burning sensation after shaving, and a super close shave. 

Other things I'm hoping to learn how to do with my EVCO:
1) Make an oil infused lotion that I really like.
2) Homemade toothpaste
3) Hair Conditioner
4) Cooking-I'm hearing of endless possibilities!
5) Homemade deodorant
6) Body wash

How do you use EVCO?  I know this works for me, and I'd love to hear how it's working for you!!  Linking up with Kristen.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

After an awesome week of a closed kitchen while we were on a cruise, it's back at it!

Sunday: Kashi Pizza

Monday: Rodeo (trip 2 of 3!)

Tuesday: Chuys because Jacob is in town, and that's a bit of a tradition.  :)

Wednesday: Grilled Pork Chops, sauteed zucchini and mushrooms

Thursday: Grilled Burgers, fruit, and chips

Friday: Chicken Fried Rice

Saturday: Pearland??

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five Friday Favorites

ONE: We had our first of two Rodeo trips last night.  I just love this time of year in Houston!  We were about 20 rows from the dirt, and I have Isaac's willingness to stand in line in below freezing temps for over an hour to thank for it!  We saw some fabulous bronco riding last night.  Bull riding just wasn't happening for anybody, but those horses and cowboys were on fire!  Good food, great sports, and fabulous music!  Maybe we're kind of 'old' for still being such big Reba fans, but we are.  :)

TWO: This MOUNTAIN  of baby things is growing and growing in the guest room.  What this doesn't include is a carseat and stroller for my mom to use, a handmade cradle, an exersaucer, a tummy time jungle gym mat, a push cart, a huge box of bottles, and two huge boxes of diapers.  We are blown away by people's generosity.  We will gladly take any baby paraphernalia anyone wants to send our way.  It's such a gift to us, and we are incredibly grateful.  Moms, do someone you know a favor.  Clean out what you no long need, call up a newer mom, and let her know exactly what you have.  Then offer to take it by her house.  She won't have words enough to thank you, I promise!

THREE: My new Bible.  Yep, that's giraffe print.  I need to spend time over Spring Break transferring all my notes from my old one, but this is just so me! My old one is one the right.  Can you see the fraying on the back cover?  Aggie Belle decided as a puppy to live on God's Word alone.  Over the last 2 1/2 years, the tearing has just gotten worse and worse, and the middle of certain pages have begun to tear from over-use, so it was time.

FOUR: I didn't snap a photo because we were racing a nasty a storm, but this 20 week pregnant gal totally changed her truck's oil and oil filter Sunday afternoon.  That's how Texas gals roll.  Don't mess with a woman and her truck.  Period.  Here's hoping 5,000 miles don't get put on Sarge before Andrew is born because I'll be honest: I'm not sure I'm going to be able to crawl under him for much longer.  His timing belt needs replacing, and I'm hoping we get that down while I can still be on my back.  Hubby, get those parts ordered for us!

FIVE: UBC decided read the Bible outloud through from Genesis to Revelation this week to kick off Lent.  The church has done this before where members read for 15 minutes at a time non-stop, around the clock, but this hasn't happened in the 15 years I've been a member.  We began Sunday at 12:30 and finished right at 6:30 as the opening of our Ash Wednesday service.  It was such a special thing to know that in roughly 3 1/2 days, God's entire, complete, perfect Word had been proclaimed inside our sanctuary.  Now, the catch is to then take that Word and live it outside the sanctuary!

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