Monday, April 25, 2011

Check Them Out

I updated with 4 new posts that include pictures so be sure to check them all out. Grandparents...you won't want to miss these adorable pictures of your grandbabies!

Easter Pictures

Why is it soooo hard to get pictures? One smiles, the other doesn't. One looks at the camera, the other looks outside. One stands up straight, one slumps over like they are miserable. Grrr....despite all of that though, I took pictures anyways. Enjoy.

Super cute little pose!  I know I am biased, but I happen to think my little girl is absolutely beautiful.

Handsome little Brody. This was a quick throw together outfit. Brody hit a growth spurt this month and outgrew his original outfit before he could even wear it :( 
As for the hair...well, I had to force him to take off the Toy Story hat that the bunny brought him.


All of the cousins except for the newest baby Adalynn. We missed you baby A, Kim and Jordan!

Chloe's basket and Brody's basket

loving the Toy Story hat!

Mmmmm...chocolate bunny!

Check out Emma's sweet and sassy little pose! I love it!!!!

Easter Activities

So this year I have really gotten crafty and adventurous with scissors, glue, paper, cooking, etc... And for those who know me well, those things and I normally do NOT go hand in hand. However, I am enjoying this new found craftiness and the kids are too! Let me share with you guys all that we have done this holiday beginning with making Resurrection Rolls.
The night before Easter, I decided to try a new recipe since the kids are really grasping the Easter Story for the first time this year. So Chloe, Brody, Emma, Nicklaus, Sharon, and myself all gathered together in the kitchen. We gave everyone crescent roll dough and had them put a marshmallow inside. Then I explained that the marshmallow was like Jesus' body and that after they took him off the cross, they wrapped his body in cloth. Then the kids wrapped up the marshmallow in the cresent roll dough. Then we brushed the top of the roll with butter, cinnamon and sugar which symbolized the oils and spices they used on Jesus's body before burial. Next, we cooked them and after they cooled came the real surprise. As they bit into them, they could see that the marshmallow was gone showing that Jesus was no longer in that cloth or tomb because he is alive in Heaven. It was a really cool experience and I am so glad we did it.

Next we dyed Easter Eggs. Can I just say that every single year I say that I won't dye eggs the next year because Brody always tries to drink the dye, it's messy, it's hard to get off of fingers, and it's just not this mama's cup of tea. BUT...I always forget the bad parts and get giddy over dying eggs so we always do them. This year was no exception.

And then for some more little crafty projects...take a look:

Teacher gifts for Chloe and Brody's teachers at Parent's Day Out. These are called Bunny Brownies and I attached the recipes to the lids.



Easter Garland hand made.


Getting ready to make the resurrection rolls

Brandon is our assistant for the little kids. Chloe is admiring her rolled up marshmallow.

Emma striking a pose for the camera. So sweet!!!

Chloe putting the butter and spices on the roll.

Brody getting ready to dump his spices on

And this is the only picture of dying eggs that I took because I was too busy trying to make sure egg dye didn't end up all over the place and that eggs were not broken like crazy.

Family is Here!!!

This past Friday I was so excited to welcome my older brother and his family into our home in TN. He, his wife, and their 3 amazing kids made the 10 hour trek to spend Easter with us. This has been nothing short of a glorious visit and pretty much nothing I can say will do it justice. It has just all in all been perfect. I didn't realize just how much I really missed being around family until they came here and I know that tomorrow when they leave to go back to NC it is going to be a bit lonely. Chloe and Brody will certainly miss their cousins! Emma and Brody are just 1 month apart so they are both 2.5 years old, Nicklaus is 8, and Brandon is 15. And with Chloe being 4 we have had the whole gamut of ages here. FUN!
So, what have we done? Well, on Friday we kind of just chilled out because they were super tired from their drive. The kids all played outside for a long time though and we enjoyed the nice weather. On Saturday, we all went to Chloe's soccer game where SHE SCORED HER FIRST GOAL!!!! She was super proud by the way. And I think she was really excited to have her cousins there watching because she kept looking at us and smiling during the game. After that, we ventured to grab lunch and then headed to RiverView Mounds Farm for their Easter Egg Hunt and other events. That was a total blast!!! We go there every year, but they have really changed it and there was TONS more to do this year. I will save the details in words and instead post pictures below to show you all that we did there. And then on Sunday we all worshipped together at our church. That was simply glorious as well!!! Thank you Lord for that resurection day! Because of that, there is HOPE that never fails. After church, we came home and had a fantabulous meal of fried turkey, deviled eggs, green beans, macaroni, yeast rolls, and pie. Sounds great, huh? Guarantee it tasted even better than you can imagine! And then we went to our friends' house for a big Easter celebration. There were probably 20 adults and 30 kids?!? It was crazy organized chaos. Truly that is the best way to describe it. The kids had a blast hunting easter eggs and playing with their friends and we had a great time hanging with our friends.
Today, we are heading down to Nashville to do a bit of sight-seeing before they have to leave tomorrow. I think our main stop will be Opryland Hotel and the Ryman Auditorium. And then we will head down to Broadway and walk around downtown. Maybe show them the Titans Stadium, Vanderbilt University,  and the famous Gigi's Cupcakes. I would not be a good sister/sister-in-law/aunt if I did not let them in on the wonderful secret of Gigi's!
OK, on to pictures now.

Let's go hunt eggs mom!

Yes, I know I'm cute!

Baby Goat at the Farm. Brody loved this!

Nick rode the pony. Pretty neat!


Brody found a farm set to play with and LOVED it!

River View Mounds Farm

Sandbox fun!



Nick coming off the slide

On the hayride...Chloe is more concerned about a hangnail.

Corn-pit. There were kernels all over the place when we got home!


Seriously he has the best eyes!



Emma observing the corn-pit from a slight distance.

Brandon and Nicklaus stuffing corn kernels down Brandon's shirt!

EGG HUNT!!!!

Oooh, I see an egg...nevermind the 2 behind me!

Dropping in the basket while continuing to search the ground.



Brody on the barrel train ride. He was steering with a mission!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday is Coming!


Thank you Lord for Friday, but good grief, PRAISE YOU LORD FOR SUNDAY!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Double Trouble

So for 2 weeks now my kids have been sick. It started with Chloe having an asthma flare up along with strep throat and an ear infection. After 20 days of antibiotics and several other meds, she got completely better except for a lingering cough. Brody got sick a little over a week ago with a bad cough and green snotty nose. I took him in to see the pedi and she started him on Zyrtec with instructions to call back if he wasn't better within 5 days. Today, I decided that I should probably call about both kids since they are both still coughing like crazy (to the point of vomiting), and Brody is also still snotting everywhere. I took them both in today per the advice of the nurse and they both now have sinus infections and are both on Omnicef for the next 10 days. I can't believe we made it through the whole winter with everyone well and now spring is kicking us. Tennessee weather is crazy!!!

Speaking of that, here is how exhausted I was last night. We had tornados come through Clarksville, the city sirens went off, and what did I do??? I slept through the entire thing. Had no idea anything had happened until I got on Facebook this morning and saw that we should have been in our downstairs bathroom last night around 1:00 AM. Believe me when I say that I have thanked God immensely today for His protection last night. Also, a house in our neighborhood was struck by lightening this morning around 5:00 and I slept through the firetruck and police sirens!!! What in the world?!? Their house is totally destroyed. Very sad to see. We didn't know them, but when it hits that close to home, it's easy to see just how easily that could have been our house. Again, thank you Lord for protecting us!

Anyways, I am having camera connector difficulty and can't get my camera cord to work hence no pictures lately. Grr! Totally frustrating. I will keep working on it and see what I can do. Until then though, no pictures.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Total Case of the Mondays

Today has been blah at best. I didn't get up to work out when I should have so I missed it. Then I stayed home all morning doing laundry and cooking chicken so it wouldn't go bad from being in the refrigerator for so long. And of course it happened to be lots of chicken from SAMS Club so I had to cook it all. Lord knows what I will do with it. I'm thinking a poppyseed chicken casserole, chicken salad sandwiches, chicken quesadillas, and sour cream chicken enchiladas. I guess I will get to work on all those things soon and just freeze what I can and eat it later.
Anyways, after getting all that done, along with feeding my two munchkins, it was time for the family to head down to Nashville to be the "talent" in a music video. The lead singer for Building 429 is our friend and worship pastor Jason Roy. He asked us to be in the video for his newest song and album title "Listen To The Sound." It was a really cool experience. Our kids got to check out the tour bus and we all got to hang out in the green room until it was our turn to film. Can't wait to see the finished product!

The rest of the week proves to be just as busy. Lab work and dr appt tomorrow along with piano lesson and police class tomorrow night. Wednesday is bible study and a meeting at church for small group leaders. Thursday is meeting at the YMCA with the breast cancer program director and soccer practice. And Friday my family comes into town for a visit. Saturday is a soccer game and some sightseeing with my family and then Sunday is Easter services at church and a cookout with some friends.
OK, I'm exhausted just thinking about it all so off to bed I go. Good night blogger friends, good night!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Monday Again?!?

My weeks are totally flying by lately. I am so crazy busy that I feel like I barely get my pajamas off before it's time to put them on again and go back to bed. Here is my menu for the week...well, at least my dinners for the week because I eat the same breakfasts and lunches pretty much every day (which are in some previous Monday posts). OK, here we go:
Monday: Good Earth Meal with Italian Green Beans
Tuesday: tacos
Wednesday: Chicken and Tomato Saute with whipped maple potatoes
Thursday: Spiced Chicken with Collard Green Saute
Friday: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Balsamic Roasted Broccoli
As always, if you want any recipes, post a comment and I will post the recipe for you.

Other than figuring out what to eat for the week, I have been busy today since 4:15 AM. I get up early every other day to work out with my trainer at 5:30, but before I leave the house, I like to get in my quiet time and start my day off with God on the forefront of my mind. It makes the biggest difference for me! Other than that, I have been doing 9 loads of laundry (have 2 left), fixing lunches for 5 kids, hanging with my friend DeAnna (who brought her 3 youngest kids over to play so we could catch up), playing with the kids, decorating for Easter a little bit...like a very little bit. In a few minutes, I have to get the kids up so we can get Chloe to dance and then I am heading up to Madisonville, KY with my friend Erin for a special church service at the church she grew up in. I am so excited! And then I will hit the sack and get ready for my busy day tomorrow...
Alright, that's it for my manic Monday. Does anyone else have crazy Mondays?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bi-Polar?!?

Today, I feel bi-polar. Let me explain and I am almost 100% sure that those of you with toddlers may just have some situational bi-polar-ness too. We started out the day with my kids cooperating and being really good. They were playing well together, laughing together etc... Brody even woke up dry and used the potty!!!
THEN...things changed. We got to the soccer field for Chloe's game and Brody started acting out! He was throwing popcorn, crying, trying to put his chair on the field, and just about everything else you could imagine. Then Chloe got upset because another mom had given Brody a sucker and she didn't have one. She actually came off the field because she wanted "what Brody had." I really quickly went from happy and proud mommy to irritated and frustrated and kinda mad mommy. When the game ended, I was so relieved...
BUT THEN... Brody went back to happy boy and Chloe was thrilled with her performance during the game. Everything was fine and dandy. David brought the kids home for naps while I went to my friend Kara's house for some much needed "catch-up" time. It was glorious!!!
THEN...I get home and we took the kids bowling and to Chili's for dinner. Bowling was great but eating was HORRIBLE! Brody wanted to go potty while we were waiting on our food, but he refused to actually pee each time we went in there. I started to once again get slightly irritated.
THEN...the food finally arrived and what does Brody do? Refuse to eat even one bite of his meal. Would not eat one stinkin' bite but instead crawled under the table a million times, harassed Chloe, blew Sprite bubbles in his cup rather wildly, dumped all the sugar packets out, fought with Chloe over the silverware, and again, everything else you could imagine.
AND THEN...we get home, he poops in the potty, takes a bath without fussing at all, and is now making me a "surprise" with paper, crayons and scissors. He and Chloe have watched a movie in her room together, shared a bowl of popcorn (his treat for pooping in the potty), and been the sweetest most happy little guy this mama could ask for. Therefore, I am back to happy, relaxed, and in love with my job as mommy.
All in all, this day was literally night and day. Things were great, things were horrible, things were great. And at this point, we are ahead so we are calling it a night with the kids and getting them in the bed...before I get close to going off the deep end. Again.
Wait, it just occurred to me. Maybe I, and other moms, are not the bi-polar ones, but instead it's the beautiful creatures called TODDLERS who are.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Germs, Bugs, and Bacteria

I feel the need to disinfect my daughter, my house, my sheets, her sheets, every cup we own, and heck, even disinfect the dog while we are at it. Why?!? Well, because after we have gone 1 solid week with some healed up ears, she wakes up this morning and the day progresses with a terribly tight cough, faint wheezing, rapid breathing, and having to work hard to breathe. Oh, and lest I forget the fever she spiked.
So we wound up back at the pedi office for the 3rd time in 4 weeks. She has her 3rd ear infection in 4 weeks (tubes fell out, ear drum busted and now there is a small hole in the drum), has strep throat, and an asthma flare-up. GEESH!!! My poor girl cannot catch a break lately. She is quite pitiful though...laying around, using her energy to get her breaths in and fight infection. Right now she is cuddled up on my bed and is staying here tonight since she is having some breathing issues. She is a trooper though. I explained the meds she would have to be on and she took them all up with no arguement at all. That's right, a neb treatment that lasts 15 minutes, an inhaler treatment every 4-6 hours as needed for distressed breathing, singulair for allergies, Orapred for swelling in the respiratory system, and Augmentin for the strep throat and ears.
We go see her ENT doc tomorrow for him to check out her ears again. I am praying this child does not need another surgery, but if another set of ear tubes are needed, then put them in because the first set worked miracles for her!!!
Pray for my baby Chloe and this sad mama's heart as I try my best to tenderly care for her. I'll keep yall posted as to what, if any, changes follow in the next day or two.

She has earned the privelege of sleeping with mommy and daddy tonight since she is
 not breathing perfectly. It's either that or I am up all night checking in on her.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tackling It On Tuesday

So this week I don't have a lot of time on Tuesday (I'm even pre-writing my post) to tackle anything extra as I am going to have lunch with my girl at Parents' Day Out and then I'm grabbing my boy too and we are off to Nashville for an appointment. And actually, I guess that all qualifies as extra things I am tackling in my already crazy busy day.
Anyways, in the spirit of Easter, and the fact that my kids are obsessed with Easter eggs, I made an Easter Egg Wreath. Yep, I actually MADE IT MYSELF!!! I saw it on someone else's blog and decided that it would be fun and easy to make and it took me about 30 minutes to do it. Here's what you do, in case you decide to tackle it in a spare 30-45 minutes you may have:

1. grab either a grapevine wreath or a styrofoam circular wreath. I used a grapevine wreath that I got at Wal-Mart for $8.
2. get 3-4 bags of plastic Easter eggs. I got 3 big bags from Wal-Mart for just over $2 each. That was just enough eggs.
then to make the wreath, you just:
1. lay the wreath down flat
2. begin by hot-gluing the eggs down in various patterns.
3. fill the wreath completely on the front and on the inner inside (I even did a double layer on the top to cover all visible parts of the wreath)
4. let dry and hang

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday - menu and update

So last week we had a few things come up that I didn't really expect so most of the meal plans are repeats of the week before. Actually all of them are because the ones I did get to make were SO VERY GOOD! So instead of repeating the whole menu from last week in this post, I will tell you the advantages of getting the entire menu planned and ready before your week even really starts.

1. the breakfasts were super fast and yummy. I think the hardest thing about this part of the menu was getting dried oatmeal off the bowls. Really... why is it soooo hard? At times I would rather just throw the bowl away.
2. The snacks were a cinch since I pre-bagged them all and put them in their own bin in the fridge. It was nice to not even have to think about it, or count anything! I just did a grab and run.
3. I have developed quite the taste for plain water although deep down I do still desire a little flavor in it. I have been drinking tons of it though so that's good.
4. the lunches are pretty easy if I wait until the kids are napping to eat. The only thing I didn't account for is that on Wednesdays after Bible Study we always hit up Chick-fil-A so on that day I got a grilled chicken sandwich and a cup of fruit. And on Saturdays after Chloe's soccer game we will usually hit up the local frozen yogurt place (Beary Bear) to celebrate her game. So...on Saturdays, fat free frozen yogurt is my lunch.
5. Dinners are super easy! I have everything pre-chopped and all ingredients in a bin in the fridge so I pull the bin out, and get to cooking. Super easy and hardly any mess since it's all pre-measured/cut/chopped/etc....
6. another huge advantage is that I did lose 2.2 pounds this week. That is probably thanks to eating really healthy and working out with my training group. I've had more energy, felt more alive, and just generally happier.

All in all, a healthy week last week with a great anticipation for another one this week! And again, if you want to check out the website I use for my meals/recipes/shopping lists, it's www.plantoeat.com

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Fun...or Something Like It

Friday in the Blevins' Household is our fun day. I generally either have a play date planned for the kids or we go to Nashville or do crafts. Today, we went shopping with friends at the local mall. Honestly, the kids were awful! They threw fits, argued, begged, pleaded, and got mad when I wouldn't do everything they asked. Now, know this. My kids want for NOTHING. They probably have waaaay too much for their own goods anyways (or they did before this mommy dearest got to organizing and cleaning).  Despite this, my fashion forward Chloe wanted every "adorable" thing she saw including shoes, skirts, shirts, and jewelry...and a Hello Kitty Lunchbox because "mommy! This is the cutest thing EVER!!!" Brody, my ever so all-boy boy begged to ride the little rides a million times, wanted new flip flops, a batman lunchbox, and pretzels with sprite because "mama, I REALLY firsty."
By the time we got home we all 3 took naps. I won't be taking them to the mall together again for a LONG time!
So, today...was it the fun Friday we had planned? Nope. But after taking those naps, we woke up refreshed and ready to paint rocks they collected yesterday on our afternoon walk. And now, I am too tired to even get into how that went. Maybe tomorrow...