Friday Five

It’s Friday!! It’s the first Friday after school started which means my brain is scattered in many different directions – several if which I thought I’d share with you.

1. Bethany has developed a HUGE fear of toilets that flush automatically. So, my new mom role is to get her on and off the potty while standing just right so that it does not flush until I can get her out of the stall. I wish I could video this process but that would just be highly inappropriate. If I fail to get her out before it flushes, one might think someone was chasing her with a chain saw. It’s pitiful. Anyway I have developed a particularly unique skill over the past 2 weeks. Whenever I rejoin the workforce, I may even add that to my resume. Automatic toilet flushing preventer. Very impressive.

2. On a completely different note, my friends Catherine shared on her blog a couple weeks ago some ABC scripture cards she made for her kids. I love, love, love these! She got the idea here, but her cards have some shorter verses perfect for little ones. I am just now printing these out. Bethany especially loves learning verses and soaks it up like a sponge! Up until this point our scripture learning has been at best random. I’m excited to have some sort of plan to start. So, go check out this free resource if you’re interested.

3. Are you one Pinterest? I obviously am. Somehow I stumbled across this board My imaginary well dressed toddler daughter. It cracks me up.

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4. Lane started soccer practice this week. It was hilarious and awkward.


We have some work to do this season. Our two focuses: personal space (he met the coach and within minutes was literally hanging on the mans leg. Not sure coach Billy knew what to think about all that love!) and follow the ball. Bless his heart. The coach would say “go to the goal!” And he would but not with the ball. But boy was IN THE GOAL. Maybe I need to let coach know my child takes everything literal.


5. Small groups launch this week and I’m so excited I can’t stand it! Small group launch is like Christmas to me because every semester I meet new friends and make new relationship that push me closer to Christ and challenge me like never before. I get excited because I know it’s somebody’s first small group semester and their life is about to change in ways they were not expecting! So, if you go to highlands register your group or join one!! Your life will never be the same. If you don’t go to highlands, do whatever your church does. Join a Sunday school class, a cell group, a Bible study – get in relationship!! You won’t regret it!


21 questions with Bethany

Today I asked Bethany the same 21 questions I asked Lane. Her answers cracked me up. Some were exactly what I thought she would say. Others were SO random!

What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite t.v. show?
 Doc McStuffins
(I thought she would have said Peppa Pig)
    What is your favorite Movie?
     Leap Frog
    What is your favorite toy?
    (Maybe she means picnic? I’m not completely sure. I thought she would have said her doctor kit, trains or Dora house)
What is your favorite game?
(Again, random. I thought she would have said Hide & Seek or Pop the Pig)

What is your favorite animal?

What is your favorite song?
 The Mommy Song
(random, but she makes up a new song everyday and today it’s the mommy song)
What is your favorite book?
Peppa Pig
What is your favorite food?
(Really it would be strawberries, any kind of rice, cereal, honey and chips)
What is your favorite holiday?
(I guess every Sunday is a holiday at Highlands? 🙂 )
What is your favorite sport or activity?
gymnastic 🙂
(we’ve been talking about starting gymnastics when school starts)
Where is your favorite place go?
What is your favorite thing to wear?
red shirt
(I thought she would have said boots or sparkly shoes)
Who is your best friend?

What do you want to be when you grow up?
a doctor


What makes you happy?
What makes you scared?
What makes you sad?
What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
train tracks
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
play blocks
What is your favorite thing to do with Lane?
go to the zoo


21 questions with Lane

Several months ago I got the idea from pinterest (here, and here, and here, and many more if you do a search) to ask the kids a set of questions every year on their birthday to watch how they grow and change. I’m a couple months late but today I asked Lane his 21 questions.


What is your favorite color?
 red, green, blue and pink
What is your favorite t.v. show?
 Henry Hugglemonster and Daniel Tigers Neighborhood
What is your favorite Movie?
 If I Sang a Silly Song
What is your favorite toy?
 all of them
What is your favorite game?
Pop the Pig, Super Why, and Balloon Bounce (keep a balloon from touching the ground)
What is your favorite animal?
What is your favorite song?
 Jump by Go Kids Music
What is your favorite book?
All of them
What is your favorite food?
wafflers, cinnamon toast waffles, gogurts and smoothies
What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas and my birthday
What is your favorite sport or activity?
Basketball and Spanish at Meadowbrook Baptist Preschool
Where is your favorite place go?
Veteran’s Park, Chuck E. Cheese and Treetop Family Adventure
What is your favorite thing to wear?
My animal zoo shirt (a shirt he had when he was about 3. Clearly he loved that shirt!)
Who is your best friend?
Mrs. Kay, Patton, Olivia M. , Mia, Julie, Caroline, Maggie and Miller
What do you want to be when you grow up?
a fire fighter and an artist
What makes you happy?
everything that you (mommy) say
What makes you scared?
Giants and Bats
What makes you sad?
If you weren’t my mommy
What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
Go to the Beach
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Be silly
What is your favorite thing to do with Bethany?

    As you can see he has a bit of a hard time narrowing down his favorites to just ONE favorite.

    New recipes: Two-timin’ Chicken pasta and Bean Burritos

    A friend and I were talking recently about freezer cooking – possibly getting together and making/freezing several recipes. But really, I have no desire at this point in my life to spend a whole day cooking. But I have two recipes today that we have made and frozen several times and LOVE!

    The first recipe came from a Birmingham Bargain Mom facebook post years ago ( I have NO idea who posted the recipe, but I love you sweet lady!) asking for your favorite 5 ingredient or less recipe 5 INGREDIENTS! woot woot! I makes a ton!! For a long time this was my go-to recipe when having a large group over for dinner. Then one night we decided to make it and freeze 1/2 to see how it turned out. Glory! It worked! So here is the recipe:

    Two-timin’ Chicken Pasta

    1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce
    1 Jar Alfredo Sauce
    1 box penne noodles
    2-3 Chicken breast (cooked and cut bite-size) (I’ve used rotisserie chicken too!)
    2 C Mozzarella cheese
    1 handful Parmesan

    {I know, I know there are six ingredients. She must have felt like a rebel. I never use the Parmesan. The first time I made this, I forgot to buy the Parmesan. So, we just added more mozzarella and it turned out great.}

    Cook chicken then cut it up. Cook pasta and drain.

    In a large bowl, mix together Spaghetti sauce and Alfredo Sauce. Stir in 2 C mozzarella cheese and chicken. Then mix in the pasta with the sauces.

    Pour into casserole dishes and bake 30 minutes at 350. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and broil until browned.

    Let sit for about 10 minutes for sauce to thicken.

    To freeze: I either use 3 of the square foil pans or 2 rectangle pans. I freeze before baking. When I want to cook it, I pull it out of the freezer either the night before or that morning letting it defrost. then cook as directed above.

    ** I usually make this for dinner and then freeze 1/2 -2/3 before baking. Cook once and have dinner for 2 or 3 nights!

    My other favorite freezer recipe, Bean Burritos, is a pinterest find from Oven Love. Here is the recipe:

    Bean Burrito:

    1 1/2 cup rice (brown or white)
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 medium onions, chopped
    4 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 jalapeno chile, chopped (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    3 tablespoons tomato paste
    3 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    1 bag frozen corn kernels (10 ounces)
    16 burrito-size flour tortillas, 10 inches each
    2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
    Salsa and sour cream, optional
    {The original recipe says you only need 8 flour tortillas. I have NEVER been able to use only 8. Every time I make these, I make a different about (I guess we all know mine are clearly not uniform sized) but I usually make 13-15)


    1. Cook rice according to package. Set aside
    2. Heat oil in skillet. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook stirring about 1 minute
    3. Add beans and 1 1/2 C water; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally until thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Add corn, cook until heated through about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
    4. Heat tortillas according to package.
    5. Assemble: Mound 1/4 cup rice, 3/4 cup bean mixture, and 1/4 cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold sides, and hold them in. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down, and prepare remaining burritos
    6. Serve immediately or wrap and freeze up to 3 months.

    To reheat from frozen:
    Remove frozen burritos from plastic wrap. Place on a microwave-safe plate; microwave on high for 3 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet; bake at 450 degrees until crispy, about 10 minutes.

    If only using a microwave, remove from plastic wrap, and place on a microwave-safe plate, covered with a microwave safe bowl. Defrost at high power for 3 to 4 minutes; uncover, and microwave on high 3 to 4 minutes longer.

    **We prefer to reheat using the microwave and oven – the burritos get a little crunchy. But when Chris takes these to work just the microwave works fine too.

    Again, I usually make this for dinner and then freeze the rest for a quick lunch or dinner.

    Handprint crafts

    We have had such a fun weekend filled with precious family and friends! Those are the best kind, right?

    My very best friend moved across town this week. So Friday she brought her kids, Maggie and Miller, over to play while they moved in to the new house. Lane and Bethany love, love, love Maggie and Miller. They are much more like cousins than just friends – but they never really had a choice since Sarah and I have been best friends since 9th grade.

    Maggie loves crafting with her WHOLE heart, so I’ve had several crafts that I wanted to do with them.

    When I was in 2nd grade, my class had a slumber party at school and we made these cute hand print pillowcases. My mom kept it for so many years, so obviously I can’t get rid of it now. Lane and Bethany have both gone through times when they were obsessed with sleeping with that pillowcase. Lane especially loves that it has my hand print from when I was a little girl.


    I thought it would be special to have a friends pillowcase. So, I let each child pick out their favorite color. We took turns painting their hands. I plan to do this every couple of years to watch their hands grow. I think it would be a cute idea to do with cousins too.

    So here is our finished product!

    We did one more craft project. Since the 4th is coming up this week, we made these flag t-shirts. I painted the kids hands and then while they were playing with each other I added the red stripes. Maggie really liked the sparkle in the paint, so we found some glitter to make the girls shirts extra sparkly!

    Saturday I spent the day in Mobile with family celebrating Jonathan and Sara’s twins at their family shower. Lane and Bethany are so excited to meet their cousins. I think they think they are going to be born and then instantly ready to play with them! Anyway, I did not take a single picture yesterday, so I will share some as soon as Sara post some on facebook that I can steal. 🙂 

    Beautiful nails and soft legs!

    Once upon a time my nails were perfectly polished everyday. My mom owned the best nail salon in town (I may be a bit biased, but I’m fairly sure this is a fact.) So growing up, I generally kept a beautiful gel manicure. It was glorious. Then, my parents moved to Birmingham, mom closed up shop, and my nails have been a chipped mess every since.

    I know, I know. I could just go down and find an awesome lady to do my nails, but really that doesn’t fit into my budget or schedule. So that is usually saved for special times of the year.

    Then one day, while browsing pinterest I found this pin that claimed a DIY gel nail.

    Yes please! I loved that I only needed to buy one thing- the gelous nail polish. It’s a bit of a process but I figured for the price I could give it a try. I followed her step by step instructions:

    1) Apply two thin layers of the Gelous Nail Gel to your nails, allowing a couple minutes in between to dry a little bit. After applying your second coat, allow the gel to set. I waited about 3 minutes.
    2) Next, apply a layer of your nail color and allow to dry (about 5 minutes)
    3) Apply another layer of Gelous Nail Gel on top of your nail color and allow it to set for about 2 minutes so that it’s semi-dry. Make sure that the ends of your nails are sealed by swiping the brush over top. This will ensure you won’t see a single chip for the entire duration of your gel manicure.
    4) Apply a second layer of nail color.
    5) Finish it off with your choice of top coat. Stick with a fast drying top coat with high shine for the best results.
    I. loved. it.

    I am not gentle with my nails at all. I chase two kids. I’m constantly scrubbing and cleaning something and this held up. It took a while for me, but like I said mom always polished my nails growing up, so I feel about as coordinated as a two year old. Polishing my left hand is no problem, the right hand however is a completely different story.

    Anyway this lasted perfectly on me for 1 1/2 weeks. Then I had just a few tiny chips which probably could have been alleviated if I had sealed the edges of my nails better. So give it a try! Here is my most recent finished manicure.

    During the summer, it seems like I am always shaving my legs. So, I saw this on Pinterest and thought I would give it a try too.
    Mix 1/2 C oil, 3 tbs citrus juice and 1 1/4 C sugar. Rub it on your legs, shave then rinse your legs. Then do it again – rub, shave, rinse. Wash your legs with soap to get some of the oil off. 
    Think of this as shaving, exfoliating and moisturizing all in one. My legs stayed SO SOFT for a long time. I loved this pin!

    Summer Bucket List

    On one of the last day’s of preschool, Lane brought home the cutest little bucket list with 3 things he wanted to do over the summer. It was so cute and he was ALL about the list! I saw several cute bucket list type things on pinterest and decided we would make a BIG bucket list. The kids helped me come up with a lot of the items, so if it seems like something so small or slightly repetitive, it was probable VERY important to a certain little one. Some are life skills that need to be learned or character traits I want to help develop. Some of the items are pinterest projects that I’ve been meaning to try out one day. I figured if I put it on the list, Lane would not let me forget to try it!

    So, after we compiled our list, I broke out the poster board. We are adding star stickers in the boxes after we complete the items. Lane clearly does not understand how long summer break last because he kept asking if we could do the bucket list (all 101 things) that day. I’ve had to explain and explain that we will try to do at least one thing a day.

    So here’s our list in no particular order:
    1.  zoo
    2. swim lessons
    3. ride bikes
    4. play-doh
    5. beach
    6. Maggie and Miller
    7. glowstick bath
    8. $5 at dollar tree – Memaw and Papaw started something 😉
    9. facepaint
    10. treasure hunt
    11. Splash Pad
    12. swim
    13. potato stamps
    14. read
    15. Gigi and Bo’s house
    16. Legos
    17. do something nice for a stranger
    18. rollerskate
    19. play in the rain
    20. scavenger hunt
    21. McWane
    22. slip n’slide
    23. feed the ducks
    24. popcorn party
    25. start a worm collection
    26. Mexican Grill
    27. make crayons
    28. make a band
    29. tea party
    30. library storytime
    31. bubbles
    32. farmer’s market
    33. go fishing
    34. mommy date – (each child gets alone time with me)
    35. daddy date – (each child gets alone time with Chris)
    36. fly kites
    37. Oak Mountain Park
    38. chalk
    39. watercolor
    40. write and mail a letter
    41. waterguns
    42. Aldridge Gardens
    43. water balloons
    44. blanket fort
    45. paperbag puppets
    46. board games
    47. do something nice for a neighbor
    48. hopscotch
    49. paper airplanes
    50. play dress up
    51. make a stepping stone
    52. picnic
    53. movie night
    54. walk around the lake
    55. host a playdate
    56. fireworks
    57. cereal necklace
    58. use garden tools
    59. hide and seek
    60. watch an outdoor movie
    61. bowling
    62. road trip
    63. make lollipops
    64. learn to fold towels
    65. Veteran’s park
    66. pick fruit
    67. take cookies and cards to the firemen (the kids have become very interested in the firemen since that time we had to run down to the firestation to see if Bethany needed stitches. Now the kids understand they are heroes, just wait till they understand what they really do everyday! Woah!!)
    68. sprinkler
    69. handprint pillowcase
    70. make popsicles
    71. play computer games
    72. bouncy castles
    73. learn a new song
    74. Chick-fil-a playground
    75. ride a carousel
    76. A Play Place
    77. Texas
    78. paint
    79. find a NEW playground
    80. card games
    81. learn 3 Bible verses
    82. make a fieldtrip
    83. swim at night
    84. Movies
    85. Nana and Bo’s house
    86. make icecream
    87. put on a play
    88. sticker albulm
    89. bake cookies
    90. “bike”wash
    91. Try a new food
    After making the list, we thought of a couple more things that would be fun to do if we have time.
    What are your summer plans? I’d love to hear any other places to go, crafts to make, or games to play! The busier we stay, the less time they have to bicker 😀