Monday, July 9, 2012

Favorite Recipes - Green Bean Almondine

Ok ya'll, seriously, I am failing as a blogger.  I will do better.  Promise!

So much is happening in and around my world and heart that it would take forever to explain it.  Long story, short: God is awesome.  God has healed my heart and I moved on to better things.  But that's a story for another post.  

I wanted to share with ya'll a delicious, healthy, simple recipe.  It's called Green Bean Almondine and its simply amazing!  Brooklyn, who happens to be the biggest junk food junkie, loves this stuff!

Here are your ingredients:
2 cups of fresh green beans
2 tsp unsalted - extra virgin olive oil butter
1/2 cup chopped green onion/shallots
1/4 cup silvered almonds
(you can buy the almonds whole and slice them yourself or but them pre-sliced like I do)
4-6 cups of water

Put butter in a small saucepan with heat on med-low.

Boil about 4-6 cups water in medium saucepan on high heat.

Add shallots/green onion to small saucepan

Add silvered almonds to small saucepan.  Saute.  I prefer mine a tad bit burnt...I think it adds more flavor.  

Check the water, make sure its boiling real good.  Add fresh green beans and parboil for 2 minutes or until they turn light green.  If you boil them much longer and they turn dark, they lose tons of nutrients that gives them their life force.

 Drain green beans

Rinse green beans with cool water until they are lukewarm.

This is what my mixture in the small saucepan looks like when its done.

Put green beans in your dish, add the mixture from the small saucepan.  

Voila!  The end result!  Green Bean Almondine!  Delish!!!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Potty Training Boot Camp & Tool-Kit

Hey ya'll!
We began our absolute last attempt at potty training Rainbow today!  She is 3 years and 2 months old, so it's about time.  We've tried before, but I realized that she wasn't ready.  The last time we tried, she was able...but not willing.  This time she's excited and I really believe a lot of it is due to her speech therapy.  I'm sure that sounds odd.  But our biggest obstacle thus far has been communication.  She couldn't understand me and I couldn't understand her.  It just wasn't working.  She has been in speech therapy now for about a month or two and she's made significant progress in her speech!  Now she is able and willing to potty, and able to communicate with me.  Yay!

We are on day 1.
  We started off the day in pull-ups because I didn't decide until about 1 o'clock to start the actual potty training boot camp, thanks to the motivation of my good friend, Kimberli.  So the chart below says pull-ups and 4 of the stickers under "potty w/ wet pull-up" were from earlier when she could just pee in her pull-up and get away with it.  So before I started, I quickly gathered up materials for the car.  I tossed her 'Cheer For Me Potty' (Fisher Price), wipes, two changes of clothes, and an extra pack of underwear in the trunk of my car for those "to-go" moments.  You know, when they've got to go potty and there is not one anywhere nearby.  Car being potty training prepped?  Check.

After I came back in, I gathered all the indoor supplies.  Lots of older pairs of underwear passed down from  my dear friend, Josie?  Check.  Princess potty seat?  Check.  Step stool Rainbow got from her Uncle Marcus and soon-to-be Aunt Megan for her birthday?  Check.  Rainbow's home-made potty chart made from excess poster-board that we didn't use at her birthday party?  Check.   Dora stickers I bought for this purpose, stuck up on top of the fridge, and then forgot about?  Check.  Leftover Hershey's chocolate bars from the smores we made a week or two ago, to be used for reward?  Check.  Anything else I needed?  Yes, I still needed to let Brooklyn pick out some brand new panties and choose her reward candy.  A short trip to Walmart after her speech therapy took care of those items.  

So it begins...dun, dun, dun!
Rainbow was officially wearing panties by 2pm.  I hid her pull-ups and told her that I didn't know where they went, so we were going to have to wear panties like a big girl now.  She didn't object, at all.  Sweet!  She had two accidents at first, but just barely peed in them before she started yelling, "Pee Pee!  Pee Pee!!!!".  We ran for the potty.  As she pulled her soiled panties off she exclaimed, "YUCK!  Ewww...GROSS!"  Awesome - just the reaction I wanted.  She finished peeing in the potty both times!  Yay! Rainbow gets a piece of chocolate and a sticker of her choice for her chart.  Suddenly, she is all in and excited to go potty!  She went to speech therapy and Walmart, no accident.  We came home and she took a nap, no accident.  Immediately after the nap I asked her if she needed to go potty, to which she replied a hefty "No".  Then she had a small accident, darted for the bathroom, and finished in the potty!  Yay, Rainbow!  You still get a reward because you tried, good job!  We went the rest of the evening without any accidents!!!  She even got up out of bed 3 times needing to go potty so she didn't pee in her panties.  Given, now she's having some trouble sleeping because she doesn't want to go in her panties or miss out on her chocolate treat.  But this shall pass.  Needless to say, Day 1 is going wonderful!  Keep us in your prayers that Day 2 goes even better.  

Our Toolkit:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Things My Divorce Taught Me

Well ya'll, I'm officially a single mother now, as of a week ago.  I can't really say that its much different than the separation was other than the fact that I am, indeed, single again.  It's so odd to not be Mrs. anymore.  Do I need that little "r" to be in my name to be whole?  Certainly not.  In a lot of ways, I'm reconnecting with myself again.  Ya'll know what I'm talking about.  Getting back in touch with "Who" you really are, and not in conjunction with a relationship.  I used to find so much of my self-worth in my identity as a wife, as a mother, as a military spouse.  But now I'm really getting the chance to reconnect with me, just as I am.  I'm listening to my country music now and I'm darn proud of it.  I'm not trying to force myself to like rock music to make someone else happy.  I'm getting back to my roots, enjoying the southern country-ness that I grew up in.  I'm not trying to hide my accent and become more interested in other lifestyles to keep someone else's attention.  I'm doing things I want to do and spending my time how I'd like to now.  I'm not spending all my spare time doing only the things that someone else is interested in so that they will want to spend time with me.  

My divorce has taught me a lot.  I truly believe that although it was intensely difficult, I have become a better and stronger person because of it.  First off, I've learned that I should never have to change who I am and what I'm about to attract and keep my man.  I'm not saying I had to change to attract my ex.  But rather, that I had to change a lot of things in order to keep him and his attention.  He wanted someone who he could share the things he liked with and them be interested in it too.  Well, we never saw eye to eye on that and it should've been a red flag.  Our interests were so different and I thought I'd grow to like the things he did or at least get used to them.  I guess I succeeded in that, therefore losing that part of myself in the process.  Moral of the story:  Find someone who likes the things you like.  Opposites may attract, but find difficulty staying together if both parties are not 100% invested in the relationship.  There is also much to be said about give and take.  It's hard when you give, give, give...and never receive.  Trust me.

Second, I've learned to not be so naive.  Don't just blindly trust someone!  Seriously, this was one of my biggest mistakes.  I took the man at his word, without a doubt in my mind.  Biggest mistake ever.  Make someone prove to you that they are trustworthy.  Make them prove themselves, that they will really be there when you need them too.  They may say all the right things, have all the right words, and the best excuses that could probably be the truth.  But actions speak one hundred-billion times louder than words.  Watch what they do.  Do they answer when you call?  When you desperately need that shoulder to cry on, are they  supposedly "busy"?  Of course there will be the moments when they truly are, but how often is this the reason?  Do their stories add up?  Seriously, do the math.  How long do they take to respond to you?  And if you find yourself thinking, "Well he's just trying to play it cool so he doesn't seem that attached.", or whatever excuse you make for him...think about it.  Do you really want someone who is going to avoid you and play mind games?  I mean, if you want to stay in the dating scene or you want to get in a serious relationship that's doomed to fail, go right ahead.  But if you want something serious, a lasting, life-long relationship with that person...think twice.  I'm telling you from personal experience...if they do it when you are getting together, they will do it throughout your relationship.  They will play games to test you, get what they want, or get the information they want - and it's all for personal gain and satisfaction without a care in the world about how it effects you or your emotions.  Personally, I don't know about ya'll...but I want someone who is going to be upfront and honest with me.  No mind games, no waiting for this and that to happen first, no stringing you along until they find someone to replace you.  Honest, upfront, blunt.  I want to hear, "This is what I'm looking for, this is what I want, this is where I want this to go.  This is what I don't want, this is what I'm trying to avoid, and if xyz is what you are looking for - then feel free to hit the road.  No hard feelings, just a friendship, take care of yourself and better luck next time."  I will do this for anyone else, too.  Maybe it's bold and forward, but it gets business taken care of without all of the unnecessary emotional tension in between.  No one wants to feel things for someone, be made a fool, and have their time wasted.  Life is short.  Why wait in anticipation for something that's not meant to be and won't work out? 

Third, marriage is not for the faint or weary of heart.  It takes two strong and grounded people to make a marriage work.  It takes two people who are willing to fight the good fight till the end, no matter what comes their way.  It takes two people who will never give up on each other.  It takes two people going into it with their eyes and hearts wide open.  It takes two people who will love each other unconditionally - even when they don't feel "in love", even when they look horrible, even when they are sick, even when they are at their worst and lowest - no matter what!  Marriage is not something to take lightly.  When you say, "I do" - it's forever.  If you don't feel like you are in love with your spouse anymore, you stick it out till you fall back in love with them again.  A successful marriage happens when two people fall in love many, many times in a lifetime - but always with the same person!  It takes two people willing to compromise, bend a little, give in a little, sacrifice a little.  It takes two people who will put the other's best interests and feelings above their own.  Simply put.  Not all the flowery feelings and sweet nothings, though they are nice.  But true love - defined by action as well as words, unconditionally, forever.  If that is not something you are willing to do, commit to, and dedicate yourself and your life to...then don't get married.  And if you know you would do all of this, but are unsure of your significant other's desire or ability to do all those things...then don't get married.  Trust me when I tell you that you can have all this in your heart, but if the apple of your eye isn't doing the will end, painfully.  

Don't get me wrong, ya'll.  Love is a beautiful, many splendid thing.  God knows that it is one of my heart's deepest desires to find real love and have the kind of marriage I've described above.  It's something I've yet to find anywhere but in my dreams.  But I do hope to find it someday...and sooner than later in my personal opinion.  I'd love to have a partner in life, to feel like my family was complete again, and have someone alongside me to raise my beautiful girls.  But if that's not coming anytime soon, that's ok.  And if its not in the cards for me at all, that's ok too.  I've learned, like Paul said, that I need to be content in whatever situation I'm in.  If I'm married, be content.  If I'm single, be content.  Life is now.  This moment is here at this time and I'll never have it again.  I can't go back to yesterday.  I can't go forward to tomorrow.  All I have is right now.  So I'm going to have the best, most amazing right now...right now!  Let go of the past, let go of your worries, and live in the moment.  It's literally all you've got.  So make it the best you possibly can and love every minute of it!  :)


This video is of my oldest child, Rainbow.  She was doing her "Georgia Peaches Dance".  It's way...too...cute.

Mingle Monday

To all my loyal readers and my fellow bloggers:
Check out this blog and join Mingle Monday if you are a blogger to find some new blogs full of interesting stuff!

Mingle Monday

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It Ended with a Bang...

So this morning was wonderful, even into the afternoon.  Picturesque, even. 

 I took Rainobw to the library to browse through some books and check a few out.  Unfortunately, there was this around 7 years old, chubby, bullying boy visiting there also.  He was being very rude, telling Rainbow he didn't want her there and she was gross.  Never mind the fact that his grandma sat there without a word or care about it.  I probably should have kept my mouth shut and just went on, but that did not happen.  I told him he was rude and shouldn't be bullying little children.  He proceeded to inform me that he didn't like me and my daughter was ugly.  I then snatched Rainbow up, mouthed a few things about how people shouldn't let their kids/grandkids get away with such behavior (loudly), told Rainbow she doesn't want to play with mean people, and walked out.  The other family in the kids room, who obviously didn't care for him and his grandmother, smiled at us and giggled as we left.  Was it my best self at work?  No.  Was it going to ruin my day?  Definitely not!

Next, we went to Larry's Pizza.  My brother, Marcus, is a manager there.  Rainbow loves going over there because she gets to see her uncle and she gets to play in the big game room.  We always play games, collect tickets, cash em' in, and get a prize - she LOVES it!  Oh and I will take this opportunity to mention...she ate a salad today!

After we got home, it began to rain.  Oh boy, did it ever rain.  It poured and it was gorgeous.  It was short lived, though.  
Gotta love rain on a tin roof.  :)

Ok, so that seems like a pretty good day, huh?  
It turned sour quickly.  My Ladybug came down with a horrible, and I mean horrible...diaper rash.  That stinkin' antibiotic I spoke of in yesterday's post?  Yep, it's the culprit.  You'd better believe her Dr. is getting a phone call at the crack of chickens!  She was bleeding and really red.  She screamed all evening long, it seemed.  She couldn't sit down.  We couldn't touch her rear when we held her.  I mean it was just an insanely difficult evening.  Rainbow was super jealous because I couldn't pay her any attention at all since I was so busy with her sister.  It was just an exhausting evening.  Ladybug didn't sleep but 15 minutes the whole day.  This mommie is tired!  So I'm gonna wrap up this post now.  

The kids are in bed and asleep.
Grandma has taken over supervision.
I'm headed to Wal-Mart...we're running out of diapers. 
It's my life story.

Somewhat Eventful

So I decided to post some pictures to update ya'll about the past day or two.  I haven't given ya'll a sneek peek into my life in a while, so here ya go!

These first few were taken at "The Rialto Theater", which the locals affectionately refer to as "The Rat Hole".    This theater is very old and is the oldest one in the area.  I don't even think it has central air, which would explain the mass amount of box fans under the screen in one of my pictures below.  Tuesday and Thursday nights are $1 nights.  We took Rainbow to see "Pirates: Band of Misfits" on Tuesday evening.  

 These were from this morning, right after the storm.  It stormed and rained this morning, cooling off the air for the rest of the day.  It was great.  Rainbow wanted to play outside on the back deck while her Grandma was out there relaxing and enjoying the morning.  She decided that she was a little gardener.  By the way, you've got to love the mis-matched outfit!  :)

 In the car, about to leave for Wal-Mart...

On our way to drop some things off to a friend, I saw this sitting at the local gas station...I just couldn't resist.  Isn't it beautiful?

 Almost there, beautiful scenery...

 I am super excited about these!  How cute are they!?  

 This is what my little Ladybug has to use now, thanks to the RSV she's had for almost 2 weeks now.  I will yet count my blessings.  At least we are not making daily trips to the Dr. office and urgent care for breathing treatments anymore.  

 Rainbow loves this thing. VTech Write & Learn Touch Tablet.  I definitely recommend it!

 Rainbow would not leave our 2nd trip to Wal-Mart without this flag.  She just had to have it.  And this dog is a random puppy that belongs to a neighbor around here.  Rainbow is in love with this puppy.  I'm pretty sure that she thinks its hers since it's always in our yard.  The way she says "puppy" is absolutely adorable.  And this picture is just too sweet.  

 These two would be perfect 4th of July pictures!  Hmmm...I think I forsee a profile picture change on Facebook soon!  :)

 And last, but certainly not least, is my gorgeous Ladybug!  And what a JOY she is in my life!  As you can see, she is doing much better.  She still has RSV, but is well on her way to getting better.  She's extremely happy to be breathing more clearly these days (and nights)!  But of course, since she's been sick, she can't join us on our adventures outside of the house until she has completely gotten over her sickness as not to spread it to other kiddos.  But I will tell ya'll, our only two trips out of the house today took us to a friend's house and twice to Wal-Mart.  And why twice to Wal-Mart, you say?  Well, the first one was to replenish our grocery supply since I've been cooped in with sick children.  And the second was for diaper rash cream, thanks to the effects of the antibiotic Ladybug was given.  Mothers who've ever had a small child on an antibiotic will definitely understand.