Thursday, January 30, 2014


I posted about our cat being gone the other day. I don't know where she has been, but I do know this....!
She came home while I was at church last night. I know most of ya'll are probably thinking, "She's a cat. What's the big deal?" We have had Sparrow since she was a kitten. That's my "other kid." Ella even gave her a middle name so she is Sparrow Sarah. :)
Just wanted to share some good news and tell you that no matter what your request, or how seemingly small, GOD LISTENS!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Some Sad News and the 52 Week Project: 4/52

Our beloved family cat, Sparrow has gone missing. She left our house Friday morning and has not been seen since. We are all pretty heartbroken, but especially Ella. However, my Dad seems to be convinced that Sparrow will return and it is only a matter of time. So, if you can, say a prayer that Sparrow is alive and well and will find her way back home. Thank you all.

Moving on the to 52 Week Project:
Last Monday, we had an unseasonably warm day. I took the entire day off and spent it with Ella, and we ended the day with a mini-bonfire and roasted some sausages.  She was thrilled and dinner was delicious, with minimal effort.

4/52, Sunday: I love her dress. Yep, it's all one piece. We are all about function, not fashion. And no, it's not a real smile. She's upset about Sparrow being missing, but she humored me for the sake of the photoshoot.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What to do when the weather is yucky....

North Carolina has been under all sorts of fun weather warnings, advisories and weather people basically telling you to stay inside.

So we have been.

In an effort to try to keep myself and Ella from having major cabin fever and going insane, I've been looking for the best activities to keep a kid (and her mom) busy.

Here is what we have found so far.

1) Movies...they are good, but you can only watch so many of them before it starts to feel like your brain is melting.

2) Cooking. Kids can help wash and chop veggies and stir things in a pot.

3) Snow cream. We have had a good amount of snow here. During one of the bigger snowfalls, I stuck a mixing bowl outside and waited for it to be filled with snow.  We brought our bowl of snow inside and added some sweetened condensed milk.

Then, we added some vanilla extract. Yes, I used imitation. It's what I had on hand. Don't judge.

Then, because it's way more fun for her, I had Ella mix the snow cream.

And then we ate it. Well, Gabe mostly did. Not because it isn't good but because he is Gabe and he tends to eat everything :)

4) Catch up on your sleep. Unless you have an early riser like me. Then, sorry about your luck.

5) Make Borax crystals. For those of you who don't know what Borax is, you can find it in the detergent aisle of any store and it looks like this.

Add three tablespoons of Borax per cup of very hot water and put your mixture into a container.  Make a shape out of a pipe cleaner (we made a heart), and suspend it from a pencil and two paperclips so it is submerged in the water. It should look something like this.

In about 6-8 hours (we left ours overnight), it should look like this.

Pretty cool, huh?

6) If it's cold enough, boil some water and throw it outside. These pictures are pretty lame, and it's way better in person.

If you look close, you can see the water turning into ice crystals.

7) Start a project. Ella is making a giant rubber band ball. I'll be periodically updating with pictures of its progress.

8) Play board games. Ella's favorite is Trouble.

9) If all else fails, and you have the option (and the guts!), GO OUTSIDE!

Monday, January 20, 2014

52 Week Project: 3/52

I'm breaking my own rule and including 3 pictures today. You'll see why in a minute.

Ella and her Polly Pocket. Polly was the only toy on her Christmas list this year. This secretly thrills me as it was the first American toy I ever REALLY wanted.

It's odd to see her with her hair up. I'm so used to it being down and flowing everywhere. Not to mention, it's a huge ordeal to put it up. It only lasted through Sunday School and was a ponytail for the rest of the day. But...I wanted to show you her "beautiful bun."

Oh, and this shows the awesome details on her dress. I'm so glad I'm doing this project. Because, one day, WAY too soon she is going to be all grown up. Sigh.....

Sunday, January 12, 2014

52 Week Project: 2/52

I am forever telling Ella to put lip balm on. Her lips get super chapped during the winter months. This reminds me of both the little kidlet she used to be and shows me the lovely young lady she's turning into.

2/52: Sunday

Ella got this owl dress from Gabe's sister, Bethany. She's been wanting to wear it all week. I made the headband she is wearing. It's actually pretty beat up, but it's one of her favorite accessories and so every once in a while she drags it out and insists on wearing it :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Desperation in the Kitchen: Chicken Taquitos

Last week, I found myself craving Mexican-ish food. Unfortunately, I am not in Chicago at the moment, and the pickin's in North Carolina are pretty slim.

Ella and I decided to make taquitos and bake them instead of frying them. Lately, the prospect of frieds foods makes me kind of sick to my stomach.

I improvised this recipe, so bear with me.

Improvised Taquitos:

*one package of chicken tenders
*salt, pepper, garlic powder
*olive oil, for brushing chicken and tortillas
*more olive oil for frying (am I terrible at writing recipes or what?)
*jar of salsa (we used less, but I am a spicy food wuss)
*3 oz of cream cheese

Brush your chicken with olive oil and sprinkle on the spices, so they stick.
Saute your chicken in more olive oil, and cut it up. Try not to eat most of it.

 Throw your yummy chicken (that you resisted and did not eat) into a saucepan with your salsa and your cream cheese. Heat until cream cheese melts. Try not to eat THAT.

Mix everything together. Tell your seven year old not to eat the filling until you're done making the taquitos. Relent and give her some filling anyway.


Spread some filling on the tortillas, roll them up and have your seven year old brush the rolled tortillas with olive oil. Ya know, make her work for the filling she ate. Because you didn't eat any. Right? ;)

Bake at 350 until tortillas are nice and crispy.

Take one last picture of them, and run away in terror as your husband and daughter ravenously devour the taquitos. When there is one left, your husband may ask, "Oh, honey did you want one?" and you may get one. Just one. But they're delicious!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The 52 Week Project

Inspired by this blogger I've decided to take a photo a week of Ella, for the next 52 weeks.

Actually, two photos.

One random everyday life picture.

And one picture of her by our front door, all fancied up for church.

Join me for the next 52 weeks :)


 We're making chicken taquitos here. She's wearing her purple apron and brushing spices onto chicken tenders. She gets a big kick out of helping out in the kitchen. Oh, and my counters are a mess. Ignore that, would you?

1/52 (Sunday) She loves polka dots, can you tell?