August 27, 2015

#tbt stories - those cheeks

This is one of the pictures taken at Makayla's nine-month session.  We were trying for awhile to capture her smile, but she was giving us a whole bunch of classic Makayla faces instead.  Turns out, those are my favorite!

What I wouldn't give to be able to squish those chunky cheeks again!

Slow down, time!

August 26, 2015

what's up wednesday: august 2015

Today I'm linking up with Shay again for What's Up Wednesday!

What we're eating this week.....

Tonight we'll be having Chicken Fried Rice and Egg Rolls.  I will blog all about the rest of our menu next week on Meal Plan Tuesday!

What I'm reminiscing about.....

Slow, leisurely mornings.  Nowhere to be.  Pajamas on.  Coffee in hand.


What I'm loving.....

We have had some amazing weather here the last few days!  August is normally hot and humid for us, and I'm sure we'll be back to that soon, but we are enjoying the break from it while we can!

What we've been up to.....

Getting back into the school schedule is never easy!  I always forget just how hectic our mornings can be, as well as how quickly our afternoons/evenings go by once the school day is over.  We are slowly figuring out how to fit it all in!

What I'm dreading....

I can't think of anything at the moment.  I guess that's a good thing!

What I've been working on.....

I feel like every August when school starts back, I spend the first few weeks cleaning and organizing all of the things that we let go over the summer.  So that's what I've been up to!

What I'm excited about.....

I love all of the seasons, but fall is by far my favorite.

What I'm watching/reading.....

I grabbed Reshaping It All last time we were at the library because honestly, I am needing some motivation!  I said I was going to start exercising when school started, but we're three weeks in now and I've yet to do a single workout!

I just started American Wife last night.

What I'm listening to.....

I've been listening to the Read Aloud Revival Podcast series every chance I get, and I have found it to be so inspiring!  We have always read a lot to our kids, but it's mostly been shorter story books.  I've tried reading chapter books with them a few times, but I've never been consistent with it.  This podcast series has been so enlightening and I am feeling so challenged to incorporate not only more reading, but reading more quality books, into our days.

What I'm wearing.....

This is the time of year when I am so over all of my summer clothes!  I am itching to wear sweaters and scarves and boots and everything that says fall to me!

What I'm doing this weekend.....

We have no plans as of now, but if the weather is still this nice, we will most definitely be outside!

What I'm looking forward to next month.....

Decorating for fall!

What else is new.....

Caleb's favorite word at the moment is inappropriate.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard him say "That is so inappropriate" lately!  It is cracking me up!

What is my favorite back to school tradition.....

I love taking pictures every year and then looking back at the old ones and seeing how he's grown.  We also do this questionnaire every year, and it so much fun to see how his answers change.  I cannot believe that we will be doing this with our girl next year too!

| read all about Caleb's first day of second grade here |

Well, that's it for this month's What's Up Wednesday!  Thanks for reading along!

August 25, 2015

last week: relaxing and reminiscing

Last week was a pretty standard one around here.  We are still getting back into our afternoon routines on school days.  Second grade homework has been a little more time-consuming than we are used to, so it has been a bit of an adjustment for all of us as we figure out what is working and what things we need to change.

By the time the weekend rolled around, we were all craving some downtime!  Bobby actually had the entire weekend off of work, which almost never happens, so we soaked up every last minute with him!  We did a lot of reading and crafting and laying around, and we grilled out for every meal.  It was a perfect summer weekend.

We did sneak out for a couple of hours on Saturday to take the kids to our old stomping grounds.  Many years ago, Bobby and I both worked at a restaurant located in a nearby shopping mall, which is where the two of us met.  The mall has been empty for years, and they are finally tearing it all down and making way for all things new.  We wanted to get a few pics outside of it before it was too late!  Even though we drive by all of the time, it had been so long since either of us had seen it up close.  We had fun reminiscing together about days gone by!

August 20, 2015

#tbt stories - going to china

June 2013

Caleb had gotten himself ready this morning, and when I asked him where he was going dressed like that, he said, "I'm going to China."

He also had his teddy bear and iPad in his backpack, all ready to go with him.  Because if you're going all the way to China, what more could you need?!!

August 18, 2015

meal plan tuesday 8/18/15

The start of the school year has made for a busy couple of weeks around here!  I've been happy to have a plan in place and all of the ingredients on hand so that dinner time is as stress-free as possible!

Week One

We love this recipe!  Since we like a lot of sauce, I increased the amount and made a few slight changes to it: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.  I poured all of the sauce over the chicken and cooked for the normal time, and it was perfect!

Tuesday - Shrimp & Grits
This day ended up being a crazy one, so I never did end up making this and we just had Monday's leftovers.

Wednesday - Family Dinner

This is a simple, easy to make recipe that we have fairly often.  I use red potatoes and do not peel them like the recipe says. This is good for dinner, but I also make it for breakfast sometimes.  Bobby and Makayla love it with runny eggs on top!

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Chicken Enchiladas
These were good, but definitely not my favorite.  We had yellow saffron rice, black beans, and pico de gallo with them.

Sunday - Pizza Night

Week Two

Monday - Spring Pasta
I've made this before and it's a good one!  I grilled up some chicken to go on top since we like meat around here, but I'm sure it would be just as yummy without.  I also subbed panko bread crumbs for the french baguette and skipped the food processor step.

Ok, this one was really not good, but I'm pretty sure it was my fault!  It was so overcooked - the chicken was dry and the rice turned into mush.  I think my slow cooker gets really hot and cooks faster, so I just needed to adjust my cooking time a lot, which I didn't!

Wednesday - Family Dinner

Thursday - Dinner Out
We went to the Open House at Caleb's school this night, so the kids and I had a quick meal at Chick-Fil-A beforehand, and then met Bobby (who was coming from work) there.

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Daddy's in Charge
I was out of town this night, so daddy was on dinner-duty!

Sunday - Cheese Quesadillas
Since Bobby had to go in to work and I wasn't going to be back yet, my brother watched the kiddos and made them cheese quesadillas.  My kids could eat these every night!

August 17, 2015

last week: my brother and college

This last weekend, I went away with my parents to get my little brother all settled into his new college digs.

I swear it feels like he was born just yesterday.

In actuality, I was fifteen years old and my brother, JaiSun, was twelve when Christian was born. He was an incredible surprise, but we couldn't have been happier. And it turns out, as is always the case, that God, in His infinite wisdom, knew the best way to complete our little family. I cannot imagine us without him.

Somehow, the years have passed by, and he is now old enough to have graduated high school and is going away to college. It was so much fun to spend the weekend with him and get to see where he'll be staying. Even though he's my brother, I can't help but want to mother him just a little, so it was nice to be able to help my parents get him all set up.

So that was my week! My awesome hubby did a great job of holding down the fort while I was away, and now we are back into the normal swing of things around here!

August 13, 2015

#tbt stories - the girl's many faces

This was taken two summers ago, back when every time we tried to take Makayla's picture, she would bring her hands up and make some ridiculous face!  So thankful she's outgrown that particular phase and we are now able to capture her beautiful smile again!

August 12, 2015

second grade

We are one week into second grade now, and Caleb is totally rocking it!  On his first day, he walked right into his new classroom, found his desk, sat down and got right to work!  After I talked with his teacher (who we love, by the way!) I went over to give him a hug and tell him it was time for me to go.  He looked up at me and said, "Bye mom.  I love you."  And that was it.  He was completely ready and totally confident in himself, and he wasn't nervous or anxious at all.  As a mama, there's nothing more I could ask for!

I walked back to the car hand in hand with my girl (who thank God doesn't leave me start school for another year) and I thought back on how far our boy has come.  We haven't always known what path to take with him, and there have been a lot of steps to take and decisions to make, both in and out of school, that we have been unsure of.  But our God is so faithful, and He has seen us through every step of the way.

I am so very thankful for our sweet boy, and I am so excited to see what he is able to accomplish in second grade!

|first day of first grade is here|  |first day of kindergarten is here|

|printable sign found here|

August 10, 2015

last week: summer ends and school begins

Well, our summer break has officially come to an end!  Other than Makayla finishing up swimming lessons, we were pretty low key around here last week.  There was some game playing, some costume wearing, some lemonade selling, lots of laying around, and then, we sent our boy off to school.  I will have to blog all about that another day, but I will say that we are super proud of him!

We are slowly but surely getting back into our routines and schedules and such.  And now that summer break is over, this mama is itching for some fall weather!

August 7, 2015

friday favorites: food for college

| Christian at my college graduation when he was only seven |

My baby brother graduated from high school this year, and he is off to college in a couple of weeks.  I am so excited for him and this next stage of his life, but I sure am going to miss him!  And I know my kids will too!  They absolutely adore their Uncle Christian, and it is going to be a huge adjustment for our entire family to not have him around as much.

Since I love my brother, and I love to cook, I asked him what some of his favorite foods were that I could make for him to take when he leaves.  So he gave me his top five requests, and I plan to make them all this week and freeze everything so it will be ready to go!

| image via jo cooks |

These are similar to hot pockets and make a great snack or lunch.  I've made them before and frozen them individually and they reheat really well.  I think this time I may try making some with eggs for a breakfast version.

These are requested by both of my brothers all the time!  They are made in the bread machine and are fairly easy to make.  We like the everything version - I mix up grated parmesan cheese, dried minced onion, sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds, and a little bit of garlic salt.  On days when you're not counting calories and need an extra yummy snack, slather on some cream cheese and have a tall glass of sweetened iced tea!

3. Cinnamon Rolls

| Makayla takes her cinnamon rolls very seriously |

I normally make this version because it uses the bread machine and is so easy to make, but this version is incredibly good and is definitely worth the extra work when I have time!  Either way, you can't go wrong with cinnamon rolls as far as I'm concerned!

4. Country-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

| Caleb, back when he had crazy hair and he still ate cookies |

My mom has made these for as long as I can remember and they are seriously the best!  I have looked around online to find a similar recipe but I came up empty, so I will just have to share her's sometime soon!

I was surprised by this request, but I guess there isn't a better comfort food than soup!  I love to make big batches of this and then portion it out and freeze it to have on hand.  It's so nice to be able to quickly heat some up when someone is sick or just craving soup!

So that's what I'll be cooking up this week for my kid brother's college days!

Linking up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

August 6, 2015

#tbt stories - the boy at the beach

Caleb at the beach in Savannah, Georgia. 2010.

Because I could really go for a beach vacation right about now.

And also, that hair.

August 5, 2015

her two front teeth

Bobby and I were in the kitchen talking one day when Makayla ran in and said her tooth was hurting.  When I looked at it and realized that it was loose, I seriously had to walk out of the room so that she wouldn't see me burst into tears.  Bobby did his best to comfort me, but he was trying so hard not to laugh at me that he wasn't much help!

I don't know what it is about this particular milestone that gets to me, but I was the exact same way with Caleb.  It's such a reminder to me of how big they are getting, and my mama heart just can't quite keep up with them! 

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