Saturday, April 9, 2016

Breakfast Of Fat Champions

Good morning!! 

You ever had one of those mornings where you can't decide what to make? 
You want hashbrowns, but they take too long. 
You know you need the protein in eggs, but scrambled??? Again???
A really good sausage gravy is definitely on the list, but you JUST had biscuits and gravy the day before.  (ok, maybe that last one is just me)


To start you'll need a real quality sausage gray.  My Mother-in-law makes THE BEST gravy and she shared her secret with me.  Make it all in the same pan!!  Its amazing, and it never fails me. So, here goes.

Take the 2lbs of sausage and brown it. Make sure you've broken up all the big pieces.
DON'T DRAIN IT!!!  Add the 2c of flour right to the meat and stir the bee-jeebers out of it.  The flour soaks up any grease and it'll be amazing.
Then add the milk.  I estimate 3 cups, but you want enough milk to cover the meat and flour mix PLUS a little.  Let it all come to a boil again, and POOF!!!  Perfect gravy!!!! 

Now, back to the casserole.

I layer the ingredients in a buttered 11x13 pan, and it will FILL IT!

1 lg bag of tater tots. (I buy the seasoned, but any will work)
One dozen eggs.  I read somewhere that you should beat your eggs just until there is bubbles around the edges of the bowl, and they are a buttery yellow color.
Then gravy over the whole thing. it will sink in a bit, but trust me. YUM
To top it all off I grated a block of medium cheddar cheese.

Pop that puppy in the oven at 350* for 40min. and try to distract yourself from the amazing smell wafting through the kitchen. 
(If you use the cooking time to clean up your kitchen and set the table, your momma will be so proud of you!!)

Be careful when you take that sucker out of the oven, it's heavy and now it's bubbling and the cheese, and gravy, and the sausage... Mmmmmmmm mesmerizing and deadly!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sleep Study






Absent minded



Single minded

All these things describe Gabriel, but none of them explain him. 

He has a 2yr old mentality. A 15min attention span. A 3yr old vocabulary. And a 18mo old grasp of following directions.  Once a week he wakes up in a mess.  He has holes in his mouth where he has bitten through, and his eyes don't track.  He makes 1-2 goals every 6mo, WHICH IS PROGRESS!! 

For the last 4yrs we have been trying to get him a diagnosis.  The specialty clinics all have waiting lists of 6-18months.  So, needless to say, we had all our hopes pinned on this study.  
(spoiler alert) It doesn't end with a diagnosis and confetti! ;-) 

                                     The rest of my Frappe was literally the highlight of his morning. 
                                     I promised him, just before he went to sleep that I would save some
                                     for him, and it was the first thing he said when he woke up. :-D 

                                            They didn't have a room ready for us upstairs after the CT scan,
                                            so we waited downstairs in the main lobby, for 2hrs. 

                                          Once we got upstairs to our room, the real fun started! 
                                          It took this sweet nurse over an hour to place each little
                                          electrode and then blow dry the glue, the smell... 
                                          YUCK, and pass the Advil! 

                                     The "magic straw" in his hand was a topic of lively discussion. 
                                     Mostly "I hate this. And, "Can we take it out?" 

                                   I went to the dollar store on the way to the hospital and loaded up
                                   on coloring books, silly putty, books to read, and dinosaurs.
                                   Guess which was the only thing he was interested in. ;-) 

48hrs in this little room, with the magic straw, and helmet of glue, and on the last morning the Dr came in to talk to David.  (He came up and switched out after the first day.) 
The results of the scan were un-impressive, and the sleep study showed nothing exciting. 
Our Dr said, "While it's obvious that there is something going on neurologically with Gabe, the technology just simply doesn't exist yet for us to see what it is, or how to treat it." 

The good news?  

Gabriel still talks about the hospital as the best time of his life.  He got mom's special coffee.  He had his OWN pizza and choc cake.  And he got to play x-box, right from his bed!  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Roller Craze

When was the last time you were on Roller Skates?

 If you are like me, you were still in braces, and wearing jeans with paint splatters.
And let's talk about socks for a second... We wore them two at a time, different colors, and slouchy.
hahaha We. Were. Cool.

Well, my hubby had the great idea two weekends ago to rectify this lack of FUN in our lives.
We loaded everyone up, and went out for Family Night. $7 got us in with skate rental and free pizza!

Needless to say, we had a blast!!! EVEN with chasing the littles all night, and dealing with the twins and their total disinterest in anything that didn't involve the arcade. ;-)

 For an extra few bucks you can rent this INGENIOUS braces.
Isaiah went about 4ft on his skates. That was it.  Then he begged for the next hour and 58 minutes to "skate" in his socks. :-D





Ten days of laying around the house while the family members dropped. like. flies.
No therapy, no church, nothing but coughing, medicine and more coughing. Poor Mister P had a fever of 106.6!!! 
(PSA they will look at you like a crazy person if you mention, "On TV they are worried about your brain turning to Jell-O if your child's fever is over 104*!"  Thank you Grey's Anatomy and have ruined my medical expectations forever.)

Today we are all better, and we decided to take the big kids out on a date. 
We have decided that just getting them out of the house, with no little people to chase, or worry about, is a priority.

Oh how I love them.  We had so much fun together!!!

 Trey won the dice game!!
 Grand prize?? SMALL SOFT DRINK!!
He was thrilled! :-D
He would like this picture subtitled, "Pondering my victory".

 Two seconds before I snapped this picture Benji and Trey were doing a "deodorant check" hahaha Life with boys... But then when I tried to capture this teenage moment on film, they balked at the idea of having it immortalized!! WIMPS!
Here is Lolo recreating the moment for you.

After nearly two hours of incident free skating, my handsome man and I were skating, hand in hand, when a very little girl with a skirt on over her jeans, wiped out, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!! 
You have hundredths of a second to decide what to do. Do you attempt a superman move?  Leaping in one great bound over the small tike...  Or do you sacrifice all dignity, and try to fall gracefully before running the child over...

My elbow, has an extra lump.  But I am proud to say that the small child was up and back to terrorizing other skaters before I completed my self-check to make sure nothing had fallen off, or was irreconcilably damaged.

Fun was had by all.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


A few weeks ago on the way to work, my hubby was putting gas in his car before work and tripped over the gas hose. He caught himself on his car, but reinjured his wrist.
He figured, it hurts, but I'll be fine, and headed to work.
By the time he got there it was swollen up to a golf ball size!!
They sent him home with a drs note not to return for 5 days.
We saw the hand surgeon 3 days later and he gave us a stylish red and blue removable cast and a "return to work" paper.
I took pics of the poster in the office that shows the bone that is broken. Its the squarish one, the Scaphoid.
We honestly thought that was the end of it, until we called to get him back on the work schedule.
Guess what?!?
No work until he can do all that work requires without a brace!
Soooooo, 4 weeks of unpaid leave!
We are trusting that the shorterm disability will come through soon, and give us a little breathing room. But until then, we are soaking up the family time.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Foster Family Christmas

Casa Bonita is "our place"! 

It's where we go with out of town company, to celebrate special days, and CHRISTMAS!!!! 

Our foster agency puts together a fabulous night!
Bags of tokens to use in the arcade. All you can eat dinner with sopapillas, and SANTA!!! 

It's no exaggeration, our children talk about how fun it was for months, and as school starts in the fall they start the countdown for the next time we are going! 

This year the volunteers and staff of Kids Crossing really outdid themselves!!!! 

In September they ask us to come up with a list of the kiddos in our home, ages, sizes and "wishes".
Then they work together with families in the community to make Christmas spectacular!!!

I wish that I knew each family by name so that we could thank them individually, but I realize they are giving these gifts from a generous and anonymous place in their hearts.

Our home supervisor promised to pass along our gratitude though, and any pics I wanted to include here. :-D

The reviews come back varied about the food online, but personally I'm a fan.

Everything our little man received was MINION. 
Makes him happy, happy, happy!!!

Miss Diva LOVES her new clothes!!!
She also received some crafty things, which we are loving working together on.

Benji got this "retro" game, and anything that makes memories instead of messes...
I'm ALL about!

14yr old and 7yr old brothers.
Coolest jackets ever!!!

Benji is our little engineer, and someone gave him TWO sets of minecraft legos.
He sat with those instructions and trays full of pieces ALL day, and I've caught him several
times sitting and looking at the finished product on his dresser.

We didn't know it at the time that the pic with Santa would be one of the last we would take of our little guy before he went home to his family. 
Christmas Eve morning I got an e-mail from his social worker telling me to make the transfer happen that day.  :-(  We returned him to his parents before heading to our mimi and papa's house.  We had to stop twice on the way to pull over, and cry.  Holding each other, and texting his parents little last minute messages. 
If you think about it, please pray for Abi, she is still waking up tearful with bad dreams about his leaving.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ham and Cheese Oatmeal Bread

If you make this recipe, you might eat the entire batch in one sitting.
Eat with a friend.
Or 5.
I have no idea who to credit for this amazing recipe.
It was in the recipe box at my momma's house, and I copied it.
So, thank you Momma.
My hips and thighs and their extra 5lbs of "fun" thank you too!
Oatmeal Dinner Rollls
2c water
1c uncooked quick oats
3T butter
1pkg active yeast (1/4oz)
1/3c warm water
1/3 brown sugar
1 1/2t salt
4 1/2 to 5 1/2c all purpose flour
Boil water butter and oats together for one minute.
Remove from heat, let cool.
In a separate bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
After it starts to foam a bit, add oat mixture, sugar salt and 4c of flour.
Mix until a soft ball is formed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Knead 6-8 minutes.
Cover and let rise in a bowl until doubled in size
(about an hour)

At this point I flattened out the little dough bits and stuffed them with cheese and ham with a
smidge of mustard!

Back to the recipe:
Place balls an inch apart to allow for more rising, cover and let rise until doubled again.
(45 minutes)
Bake at *350 for 20-25minutes.
(or until brown and wonderful)

I hope you love them as much as we did!!!
Look at that little bitty hand... He INHALED 3 rolls by himself!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Our little Mister C

Valentines day, 2015 we got the call to come pick up a baby from the Dpt. of So. Svc. He was a tiny little thing.  At 4mos old he was just 11 lbs. and still in 0-3 mo. clothing. 
We brought him home and completely fell in love with him.
He was used to sleeping in his car seat, and had a really difficult time laying flat, on his back, or his tummy.  But after a few weeks of co-sleep-training, feedings every two hours and lots of swaddle time, he began to get the hang of it. 
Therapy started almost immediately.  His little muscles in his legs and neck hadn't developed properly from all the car seat time, but eventually even that got better.  Sensory therapy has helped his circulatory system regulate and speech therapy has really helped develop an interest in being more social.

That's our latest baby.  We've had him for nearly 10months, and I wouldn't trade a single minute of it!! 
He is a joy, and it has been our absolute pleasure and privilege to be his foster family.

A week ago I received a call from his Social Worker, he was going home.  :-( 

I know, I know, this is how it works.  This is what we signed up for.  But it's NEVER easy. 
His parents have WORKED their program.  They've attended all their meetings, found housing, and rarely missed a moment with him. 
^^^All that said^^^ I knew it was coming, so I started making him a blanket.  Something he could take home with him.  Something that smelled like us, reminded him of the love and security that we provided. 

I had an idea that I loved, from this blog.
But I HATED the idea of piecing it all together. 
I have an incredibly talented aunt that quilts. She can put pieces of fabric together that will BLOW your mind, and we are so blessed to have a special quilt for each of our children that she sent us last Christmas. ANYWAY, I appreciate that kind of talent.... BUT I DO NOT POSSESS IT! ;-)

So, I loved the idea, but I am TERRRIBLE with creating a "random" holes ALL OVER a 4ft area! I tried.  I mean, I gave it a solid college try.  But no matter how valiantly I pushed ahead with the "random" idea it was just not meant to be.

I didn't follow the pattern at all, but I love how it turned out! 
The paint splatters were another matter, they "LOOKED" so much easier than they were....
(isn't that how it always goes??) 

After I had the body together I really wanted to bring it all together with a fun border.  Something colorful, and different.

It's a step by step, (a million pictures worth) and so easy to read and understand!

Here is the final blanket.
I know he will love it, because I had to keep scooting his little fanny off of it the WHOLE time I was trying to add the paint splatters. ;-)
They were the most time consuming part of this project, but I LOVE how it turned out!
We are praying for his family, as they begin the process of coming back together, and we would really covet your prayers as well.  The house is going to be very quiet, for a while. ;-)