Sunday, March 28, 2010

How do you say, under construction in Spanish?

our four day outside job has turned into
many many more because of the rain.
Al Roker has promised me days filled
with blue skies and sun next week.
I hope he is right, I had to fill out my census
form last week and almost included the workers
because they have been here so long.

slowly coming along

three Spanish men, one husband and one neighbor = my beautiful new foyer fixture

yes the crazy white lady is taking yet even more pictures

for a minute I thought that was my oldest son up there,
he rocks the holey sock thing like no bodies business!

more dust and mess and fun

by the end of the first week the workers have officially
moved in, bringing their microwave with them.
I hope the census people don't find out.

Monday brought us a brand new week. By the end of that brand new week our house will be half way done it's face lift, our outside fridge will be minus a few beers and I will be merrily driving to the local liquor store to happily stock up for the next week.

Brian and I are do it your selfers, or just cheap, whatever you want to call it. He doesn't We don't like to pay someone else to do something that we are very capable of doing. But the truth is, I'm old and lazy and have already done more caulking, painting, sanding, staining, priming and cursing than most women my age, so I'm sitting this makeover out. I'm paying good money to supervise someone else to do my dirty work. And I have to say, I LIKE IT!!

So far so good, but we still have a ways to go. Good thing we bought that new fridge :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'll take all the "cents" I can get

You know how you have one of those weeks, that are so jammed pack and full of 200 little things that add up to one big headache? That's been this week. On one hand I'm thankful because it means everyone is healthy and happy enough to be super busy and on the other hand, WE'RE SUPER BUSY. I've been dancing with the devil at school the past few weeks and I am determined to have him lay that golden fiddle on the ground at MY feet.

Up until today we haven't seen sunshine, real sunshine, in almost a week. We've had arctic winds, rain and gray skies. Some kind of way in the nasty weather, trees have started to bloom and the Energizer bunny has been banging inside my skull ever since. No matter how happy of a person you normally are, after dancing with the devil in the dark, while the Easter bunny bangs in your head, your bound to need a very long P A U S E.

This morning I realized that I didn't have the right cake mix to make Jakob's birthday party cake. I was going to make his cake this morning before heading to my classes. After my classes this afternoon, we were booked back to back with things up until his friends arrived. Baking the cake in between the activities would have to work. I stopped at Wal-mart before school to pick up the correct cake mix, funfetti, as I was driving to the store my head was still pounding and I was replaying what I needed to do for this day and the next couple of days in my head.

As I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot, the sun started peeking through the clouds. It was golden and glorious, I got out of my truck and took a short walk around the parking lot. I was stalking the rays. As they moved I moved. I followed them for about two minutes. Until my brain reminded me that we were on a time crunch and needed to get back on track. For those two brief moments my head stop hurting.

I noticed something on the ground as I walked through the parking lot towards the doors of Wal-Mart. There were little silver rays coming off of it where the sun was hitting it. As I got closer a car passed over the shiny silver thing. The car moved on and the sparkles came again, it was a dime. A shiny, sparkly dime. I walked over it and for some reason turned around to pick it up. My daughter loves to find pennies or any change on the ground. We call them "pennies from heaven." "Finding a dime is certain to bring good luck," Hannah has told me before. I dropped the dime in my pocket and fiddled with it the entire time I was in Wal-Mart. It wasn't scratchy even though it had been rolled over, it calmed me. I know it sounds silly, but it did.

When I'm rushing around doing this and that, I rarely ever look at the ground. I'm focused on the task at hand and working on my next one. I don't stop to pick up a dime because that would just slow me down. I most definitely don't walk around the Wal-Mart parking lot for two minutes stalking sunshine because really, WHO has two minutes? Well today I had two minutes and my paw paw wanted me to enjoy them enough to notice a shiny sparkly dime to bring home to his great grand daughter, and so that was what I did. My headache is still here, but my baby girl is .10 cents richer today and proudly stated that mommas paw paw sent her a "penny from heaven."

I went back through my blog archives looking for another time that I blogged about my paw paw and his helping hand that he lends me from heaven. I found it here and then I noticed the date. HMMM maybe March is the month that I need him the most. Maybe it's all made up in my head. Whatever it is, it feels good when it happens and I welcome that feeling any day the Lord wants to share it or him with me.

I hope you find some "pennies from heaven." I'm sure your "paw paw's" have dropped a few for you, remember you have to stop and look for them. Let me know what you find in your Wal-Mart parking lot :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

And then there were 4

11 years ago, my families prayers were answered. After 3 months of best rest, needles, specialists, and tears; my husband and I delivered a healthy baby boy. We named him Jakob Brian. He came out letting everyone in the delivery room know that not only was he feisty, he was a fighter. Brian and I were told for many months before this day, that we should expect a sickly, very small baby. My amniotic fluid had been half the normal amount for months with little to no explanation of why. Our babies growth was closely monitored by ultrasounds every other day and wonderful steroid shots for mom. We prayed and prepared for the big day. I wasn't scared of what was to come, I was excited to meet this creature that I had fallen so deeply in love with months before. What ever the outcome, Brian and I knew we could face it.

Jakob was born weighing in right over 9 pounds. When the nurse took him from my chest to weigh him, he had a death grip on my finger and was not happy to have to let go. He picked his head up and immediately started to scream; right then and there I knew I was in trouble.

He is a bonafid self proclaimed mommas boy. My boy doesn't care who knows it, he wears that title proudly. Jakob has more passion in his little finger, than most people have in their whole bodies. Everything that he does he does well, and any obstacle that is put in front of him is only more of a reason for him to shine. Much like me, he wears his heart on his sleeve. Emotions are like breathing, they just happen. Much like his father, he is completely driven to always succeed.

I love watching my children grow into the people that they are. This is the best job that God has given us as parents. Nurturing and loving these little space aliens until one day, when they need us less and less. My son Jakob has taught me that no two children are alike, what works with one doesn't always work with the other. He has also taught me the art of patience or should I say my lack there of. Just as his brother before him and then his sister after him, my passion and love for him is the same.

His love of life, hazel eyes and one dimple smile has always mesmerized me.
He is the baby that I fought for, that I live and breathe for, he is my boy!

Happy Birthday Jakey boy, we love you!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cooking Up A Storm

Last November when Brian and the kids and I went to Louisiana for the Thanksgiving holidays, we made a very special trip to Audubon Zoo. I blogged about it here. During that zoo trip I found a cook book that I feel in love with, within seconds of turning the first few pages. It's title was Cooking Up A Storm. I commented on how much I would love to have it.

My son Jakob put that idea in his little rolodex memory, and on Christmas morning he made me a very happy lady. The book started off just a way for residents in Louisiana to get back some of their recipes that they lost in hurricane Katrina. When your told to evacuate your home, bringing your collection of cookbooks doesn't seem as important as photo albums and clothes at the time. In the areas hit by that dreadful storm, those people lost EVERYTHING they owned, including recipes handed down from generation to generation.

The Times Picayune is the newspaper there and they had a section where people would send in recipes they wanted to share. Through the years the collection of recipes got bigger and bigger in their archives.

After the storm people wrote to the newspaper's editors desperately trying to get back to some normalcy and wanting copies of lost recipes. The newspaper was happy to help. After months of this going on, someone decided why not make a cookbook with all these little jewels and tell the stories of the people that inquired about them.

I read this book like it was a novel. Each page had someone else's story, about what that God awful hurricane did to the city and people that they love. The same city and people that I love. Now when I cook from this book, not only am I cooking a great dish but I'm also cooking with someone else's story. It's like a well seasoned cast iron skillet. The more history the better. On some pages I cried, some pages I laughed, but every page made me even prouder to be a South East Louisiana girl!

Lent started for us a few weeks ago and being the good Catholics that we try to be, we do not eat meat on Fridays for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. I try and keep our Friday menus fun, but sometimes it's hard (when it's not fried) to make fish fun....AGAIN.

I have found a few recipes that have now become staples for us everyday of the week, not just on Friday's.

Here is the first one....

Garlic Shrimp

2 dozen large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (fresh basil is a nice summer substitute)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the shrimp in a shallow baking dish and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the butter. Cover the shrimp with the bread crumb mixture, then drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

I serve it with fresh corn on the cob and a loaf or two of french or cuban bread

I used a little more than a cup of bread crumbs and cooked them for about 20 minutes.


It is better in the Bahama's!

Brian and I were invited to abandoned our kids, our crazy lives and shoes for a few days and join some amazing friends at the Atlantis resort in the Bahama's. The temperature in the islands has been a lot chillier than usual, but the beautiful crystal blue waters and Bahama Mama drinks made up for the weather.

The beautiful sights started before we even landed.

Looking at the water made me think
why anyone would ever question if God is real!

The man that can make me mad as hell
and weak in the knees all at the same time.

3 hard working men enjoying a much needed break.
My hubby's first trip to the spa.
Brian and I weren't the only proud members
of the WHO DAT nation in the Bahama's!
me and Mindy (she's my beer babe:)
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson

We stayed at one of the newer parts of Atlantis The Reef.

Some of the unique artwork we saw in the casino.

In this life I would be the person who cleans this boat.
In my next life maybe I'll own it :)

The AMAZING view from our room.

The self portraits begin!

Goof balls!

On our second night there, one of the other couples had an anniversary to celebrate.
Our host Mr.Woolen ordered the biggest bottle of champagne I've ever seen!

Mindy and Todd
On our last day, Brian and I decided to go do a little exploring.
We took a water taxi into Nassau to see what trouble we could find.
The Disney Cruise ship

Senor Frogs

Bay Street and it's straw market was the place to be!

After three days in paradise we left a little sunburned, a little heavier and very very relaxed.
Thanks Ms. C and Mr. J for holding down the fort and loving on my babies while we were gone!!