Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reformation Night!!!

Every year our Church family gathers together for some fall festivities. The children and some adults arrive in their costumes. The night begins with a costume contest, a chili cook-off, a "lesson", and then ways to collect candy. The children have a huge blast. We are thankful, always, for Jill's hard work in making Reformation night possible. I was really looking forward to this year in particular because ALL of our children are actually old enough could to participate in the fun.

As we entered the church building, we scoped out all of the fantastic costume ideas. I love how the majority of people, who come dressed up, create original ideas AND/OR make their costumes. It makes the competition more intense knowing Spiderman or Elmo are not showing up. The first year our family participated, we dressed up our children as the characters of Wizard of Oz (Dorothy, the Lion, and the Tin Man) and we won the group costume contest. AND this year, we dressed up as the Napoleon Dynamite Cast and we won again!!! What an honor it is to be the winner of a great group of runner ups. Our family won a $25.00 gift card to Kroger as the prize.

My submitted chili also came in second place, next to a well known cook in our church. I was super excited because it was a recipe that contained more ingredients than you can imagine. Two ingredients that surprised me were chocolate and beer. I wanted to make the recipe somewhat my own, so I added 3 types of beans to it as well as jalapenos. YUMMY!!!!! Hubby was burping it up all night. I won a $10 gift card to Wal-mart and a gorgeous purple mum for this prize. I felt a little bad monopolizing all the prizes. My step-mom has always said I have the best luck!!!

Just an aside, Lilah did NOT participate in the Napoleon Dynamite costume idea. Originally, I was trying to recruite some other members of our church body to help Darren and Ty pull it off. I wasn't going to dress up, but towards the end I figured it would mean more if our family did this together. It was nice "letting my hair down" and getting out of my comfort zone. Lilah was little orphan Annie. I wanted Jax to be either "Sandy", her dog, or "Daddy Warbucks". It was tough finding an affordable pinstriped tux for his little body. I hope to still pull it off on Halloween Night, but I'm not sure buying a tux for 2 hours is worth it.

Enjoy the photos of everyone. I hope to capture some better ones of my children on Halloween night, but I am not sure I can convince them to wear the same costumes again. I may just let the boys be comfortable and put on a superhero costume from their "dress up" clothes chest.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Take a load off!

One Thursday night, I allowed Tyson to stay up late with me. He had Friday off and daddy, the grandpa, went to bed early, so I let my boy keep me company. He wound up falling asleep on my lap around 11:30 pm. He had a long, hard workweek. LOL! I thought it was so funny AND cute how he fell asleep. Look at those arms behind his head and feet propped up on the couch. He he...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Party At "Story Time"

Lilah and Jax "partied" at the Glenvar library with their story time buddies!!!

Stick It, Dip It, and Double Dip It!!!


It's "easy peasy" and makes a great presentation. I chose to make these for our Church's Reformation Celebration. They are supposed to replicate candy corns.

What you need?
(1) Pack of lollipop sticks
(1) Bag of LARGE marshmallows
(2) Bags of Chocolate Candy Wafers
1. Stick a marshmallow into a lollipop stick
2. Dip 3/4 of marshmallow into melted orange chocolate. Wait for it to cool/dry.
3. Dip 1/2 of the marshmallow into the melted yellow chocolate.
4. Let "dry"

IF you desire to add sprinkles or coconut or any beautiful embellishment, you must sprinkle it onto the "wet" chocolate before it dries (making this step 4).

They sure do look pretty, but I can't tell you what they taste like. I am not into wasting calories on stuff like this. The kids enjoyed them and there wasn't one marshmallow left.

Be sure to use your A.C. Moore 40% off coupons when buying the needed items.


This dessert was made for my dear sister in Christ, Jill Higginbotham, after she had hernia surgery. I deviated from the recipe a tad by using peanut butter oreos instead of the regular oreos. Actually, I made two batches (one for Jill and one for my father-in-law for his birthday!). One batch was made with vanilla creme and one batch was made with peanut butter creme.
All the ingredients needed.
The twins were my little helpers. LILAH ate more than she helped.
Jax ate a little, but he was my biggest helper!

He LOVES to help! This was really one of their first times baking something from scratch with me. When it was just Tyson and I, we baked all the time together. By this age, he had already baked 20+ desserts with me. That's the difference between having one child and having three :(
There she goes again eating the ingredients instead of using them to help make this dessert.
Peanut butter and vanilla oreos.
Make a chocolate chip cookie dough. Spread it on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan line with parchment paper.
Top the cookie dough with oreos.
And then a brownie mix!

AND walaa!!!!!!!!!!!

Top with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream. MMMMMMMMM! Makes my mouth water.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg Double Stuffed Oreos
1 Family Size (9×13) Brownie mix
1/4 cup hot fudge topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to thoroughly combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish that’s been lined with wax paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Top with a layer of Oreos. Mix together brownie mix, adding an optional 1/4 cup of hot fudge topping to the mix. Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes.

To half this recipe for an 8×8 brownie mix, just half the chocolate chip cookie dough ingredients. Enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Silent prayer requests needed!

Life is not always easy. God doesn't promise us unending, blissful days. He gives us trials, tribulations, and persecution to help draw us closer to Him. Finding a way to praise him during the most difficult times is critical. Recognizing that these trials are a grace from God might be hard sometimes, but it's the most beautiful gift God can give to us because it means he loves us and wants us to be sanctified (continually being made in the image of Christ).

James 1:2

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

James 1:12

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 4:12

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

2 Timothy 2:21

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

To my earthly father - - - my dad - - - I dedicate this song to YOU!

Another Trip To The Lumber Department At Lowe's

So... how did I spend my Saturday, with the kids, when I was supposed to be witnessing my husband compete in a 10-mile obstacle course???? At Lowe's!!!!! The ONLY blessing in not being able to go to West Virginia with Darren was that I was already ready for the day (breakfast was prepared, I was showered and dressed, beds were made, the kids outfits were picked out, lunch was predestined, etc. . . .ALL before the kids even woke up ). Tyson even had plans to spend the day with his grandparents at the Virginia Tech game. So in the early a.m., I took the kids to Lowe's to partake in another wood working clinic. This was a REALLLLY cool wood craft. It was called the "Monster Truck" and it had a push light, acting as the monster's siren.

I built 3 of those trucks (after all, who could I have eliminated). One mother glanced over at me and said, "Did you build 3 of those trucks?" I said, "Yes! I am not sure I had any other choice." She said, "You truly deserve the mother of the year award." LOL! Each kit had about 15 nails, so just imagine what that was like with an impatient 6 year old and (2) 2.5 year olds.
At one point, Tyson hammered his fingers. To spare himself the humility, he held back the tears as best he could. He did smash them hard though.
I turned my head for a moment to help Ty and when I turned back to check on Jax, he had placed all the nails in the empty holes. Oh boy!!! Good thing he hadn't hammered anything yet.
Even our little princess touched the hammer a few times that day! She lost interest fast though. She likes to twirl like a ballerina, sing, dance, and apply make-up. Thank God for little girl FUN!!!

I just love that Lowe's offers this. The clinic is FREE!!!! And they sell these kits at Lowe's, to the public, normally. They aren't cheap (approximately $12.95 each) AND we got 4 of them that day.... FREE!
The finished product...ALL 3. The kids are still enjoying these trucks. Excuse these hideous pictures. They turned out pretty blurry. They were taken by my cell phone.

Tough Mudder 2011

After many, many, many weeks of grueling training, thanks to Aaron Fernandez, my hubby and his TOUGH team members' (Aaron, Andrew, Darren and Toph - - - the trained members) and (Jeremie and Jonathan - - - the non-trained members), were finally about to compete in the 2011 Tough Mudder Obstacle Course.
Lisa and I were super excited to go to the tough mudder event to cheer our husband's and their teammates on.
MUCH, MUCH, MUCH preparation took place on my part. I prepared my home for 5 children under the age of 6 to be cared for. I placed notes ALLLL over the house.
Directions for breakfast.
Laid out breakfast. Each kid's bowl, cereal, and spoon. ETC!!!!
Lunch directions.... just trying to make things easier on the babysitters THAT DIDN'T SHOW UP!
Lunch plates, napkins, cookies and movie selections to choose from.
I packed a cooler filled with all kinds of goodies for our tough mudder men. It began with Captain America napkins. I'd like to think my hubby is my Captain America.
The cooler had drinks, apples, cheese, nuts, beef jerkey, protein bars, salty chips, sweet chips, gum, advil, visine, baby wipes, garbage bags, paper plates, and napkins. Lisa was on par to provide a veggie tray and a cookie tray.
Signs were made, compliments of Ashely Harris. I chose what I wanted written on my sign (above), but Ashely has the BEST handwriting so we convinced her to make them for us.
Lisa chose what she wanted on her sign (above).

With MUCH disappointment and hurt, our babysitters NEVER SHOWED UP!!!!!!! I'll stop there because I've already repented of the SINFUL thoughts that occurred after that happened. Instead, I enjoyed a day with my children
The boys made their OWN memories and fun. Here they are painting their faces. I believe this was Aaron's idea.
Look at those TOUGH mudder men!!!!!!! Their team name was "We might not finish!!!!!!" BUT those crazy kids did. And we are so glad that they all arrived home in ONE piece. I think they are starting to feel the painful effects days later. I've heard some "war stories". Some details containing team members peeing on themselves because they didn't want to stop to use the bathroom, others had lethal gas, AND poor Aaron drove home in silence. All of them passed out on the way home from pure exhaustion until of course they reached Cracker Barrell where they ate dinner together. I won't be the one to embarrass those people by leaking the details. I'll let them spill the "juice" on who performed those nasty deeds.......PUN intended.
I have no clue what these pictures are of, but Darren captured them on his cell phone.
I spoke to some of the members of their team after the fact, and they said, "It was everything they imagined and MORE..."

Darren is totally on board to do this event again next year EVEN despite the torture of ice water pools, fire, buttered monkey bars, electrical fences, 90 degree uphill runs, barbed wire, mud, and MORE..................

At the end of each race, free "tough mudder" tattoos are given out, the men can chug a beer, and receive a mohawk. I think only ONE team member braved the mohawk. No one received a tattoo. I'm not sure about the beer!!!! Although, I have to admit, I think they deserved to have one after all of that.


Same place, different outfits!

You've seen these pictures 1,000 times before. Tyson had the day off, last Friday, and I let him pick what he wanted to do. We took another trip to Chuck E. Cheese. The kids (ALL OF THEM) were super excited. They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that place. It was nice to have some friends join in on the fun.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the picture above!!!! Those smiles are sooooo sweet!