Saturday, February 26, 2011

What To Do With Leftover Spaghetti?

Make a spaghetti pie......

another super easy recipe.
(sorry I didn't take any pics of this one)

Heat oven to 375*

Take about 4 cups or so of leftover spaghetti
(can have sauce, no sauce...meatballs, no meatballs, just whatever you have leftover).

Beat an egg in a bowl and toss with the spaghetti.

Spray a baking dish (or pie dish) with Pam.

Spread the spaghetti in the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Pour some sauce on top.

Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese

And bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.

That's it.

When you hear the kids say...."Ahh Ma, spaghetti again."  You know it's done.

Chicken Parmesan

I've had a few people ask me how to make chicken parmesan.  This is the easiest, most simple thing to make...I swear.  And it doesn't take a lot of ingredients either. 

All you need is some boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like to use tenderloins, but that's just me), olive oil, seasoned bread crumbs, a couple of eggs (beaten), spaghetti sauce and provolone cheese.

Heat your oven to 350*

In a skillet, heat some olive oil on medium low setting (a few splashes or enough to coat the pan will do).

Dip your chicken in the egg.

Coat it with the bread crumbs.

Fry the chicken in the skillet.  Turning only once.  It takes about 5-7 mins for both sides, if you are using the tenderloins....obviously longer when using the breasts (remember you can check for doneness by pricking it with a fork, if the juices run clear than it's done)

Layer a small amount of sauce in a baking dish.

Put the chicken on top of the sauce.

Place a slice or half a slice of provolone cheese on top of the chicken.

Spoon a small amount of sauce on top of the cheese.

Bake for about 10 mins or so....long enough for the cheese to melt.

Serve with pasta.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ordinary Oscar

We love Ordinary Oscar by Laura Adkins. 

Oscar Slimeglider is an ordinary snail. 
 He eats ordinary lettuce and he is ordinary brownish greenish gray.
Just like his parents and brothers and sisters. 

But, he doesn't want to be ordinary.  He wants to stand out, be unique and be famous! He visits the Wise Old Snail to seek his advice on how he can be different.  The Wise Old Snail tells Oscar he just needs a little bit of magic and sends him off to visit the Fairy Godsnail. 

The fairy grants Oscar three wishes.  For his first wish, Oscar wishes to look different.  He turns into a colorful, bright snail that really stands out .  But this only draws the attention of a very hungry bird.  Then he wishes to be big, bigger than the bird that is trying to eat him.  Bigger than anything.  He ends up being so big that he scares people.  Oscar decides that he doesn't want to be famous for being scary, so he wishes to be his plain old ordinary self again. 

Oscar realizes that sometimes being ordinary, isn't such a bad thing after all.   And in the end, even ordinary snails (or people), can do extraordinary things. 

I thought the book had a great lesson for children.  Everyone wishes and wants to stand out and "be something".  We never realize that we already are "something" to those around us and those who love us.  And those that love us, love us for who we are...not what we are.  Great book!

I decided to use this book for craft time.  I asked Sarah to draw two huge snails on poster board.  I'm so lucky to have two girls who draw so well.

The boys painted their snails with poster paints.  I told them to make them the "famous" Oscar.

Sarah also made stars for eyes, that we sprinkled with glitter

We added googly eyes to the centers, cut them out and glued them to the snails.

Nicholas embellished his painting and named it "Oscar Star"

We also added some extra sparkles with glitter

Great Book!
and Really Great Art!

*Disclosure: I received this book from Tiger Tales for review purposes only.  I was not compensated in anyway.  The opinions herein are my own and were not influenced by Tiger Tales or the author of this book.  The art was my own idea and done by my children.

Linking to....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For Once I Wish I Wasn't Such A Mom!

I'll be writing about this topic again soon, so I don't want to get to into the subject now, but I just wish sometimes I wasn't such a mom.

My loyal readers know that I recently had a D&C done, because of fibroid tumors and there was talk of doing a hysterectomy as well, but at the time it was just going to be a D&C.  At my follow up appointment my doctor told me that I would need the hysterectomy after all and I was told it would take place in March.

When I went to make my appointment, the receptionist said he does the surgeries every other Wednesday and that left March 2 and 16.  I was going to say the 2nd, but then I remembered that Anthony's birthday is March 3rd.  I thought I don't want to have major surgery the day before his birthday, because I wouldn't be there to celebrate it with him.  So I chose the 16th instead.

Why ?????

It's not like Anthony is a little boy anymore....he's going to be 17.  He probably wouldn't care if he had cupcakes on his actual birthday.  Anthony isn't a mama's boy, but he does love me enough to not want to see me suffering in pain.  He is intelligent enough to know what a huge ordeal this whole thing has been.  I don't think he would have minded. 


The mom in me, couldn't do it.

Now, I have to wait out not only the rest of February, but two more weeks in March as well.  Two more weeks (3 total) of pain and suffering and bleeding off and on and back pain and cramps and feeling tired and crappy.  Periods like they were before the D&C with clots and such.  Driving Rich crazy with worry, driving myself crazy with worry.  I'm tired of being in pain.  I'm tired of worrying about every little thing.  I'm tired of worrying about work and calling off when I don't have the sick days to cover it.  I'm tired of the whole darn thing and just want  it to be over with already.  I've been struggling with my feelings and everything connected to that part of me. 

  Why oh why do I have to be such a mom!
Why didn't I think of just Me?


Saturday, February 19, 2011


Yes, I caved!

I'm changing things up a bit around here some more.  It's freaking me out everytime I hit the "apply to blog" button....Believe me -  but I'm doing it anyway.  I'm still not happy about a few things, but I'll keep working on it here and there.  Life is a work in progress, so why shouldn't my blog be one too. 

I've been working on some things around the house as well.  Cleaning out some cabinets and closets....Ripping wall paper off the walls in the kitchen, so that I can prime and paint....Rich bought another chest freezer so we are rearranging the pantry.  We'll have one freezer in the garage and one in the pantry.  We have a storage room downstairs that we use as a pantry.  I did have the kids toys in there too, but I'm moving them to another room....I talked Rich into building some shelves in the laundry room too, so I will have more room to put junk (hahaha - like I really need more junk).

Busy Worker Bee

That's me.

When I'm not playing on the computer, that is.

I have a few announcements too.  I'll be starting the Moms That Blog series (see sidebar for interview links) back up soon.  If you're interested in being featured, shoot me an email - and I'll send you the questions and info.

Also, I started a "link love" discussion tab on my facebook page.  Feel free to check it out and add your own links.  And of course like my page while you're there ;-)

Happy Weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Living Room Coffee Table

Did I ever show you all my "new" living room coffee table?


Well then, let's remedy that, shall we.

Really cute...huh?

don't you just love the color?

Here's the best part - it was Free!

The table is actually our old kitchen table.  We had it forever and it just sat in the garage taking up space and I kept looking at it thinking that would make the perfect coffee table.  It's big enough for the kids to do their homework, play on it with their toys and do crafts on it as well.  It's super sturdy (not like those new tables that look like they will fall apart as soon as you put a glass of water on it). 

I threw my idea at Rich one day.  At first he thought I was a nut (but he usually does when I suggest stuff like that).  But the more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea too.  So much so that one day while I was at work he cut the legs down and started painting it to surprise me when I got home.  I'm not such a nut anymore, now am I? LOL!

It's actually a little darker than what the pictures show.

My living room is almost done.  I just need new area rug...light fixture...a few more do-dads...and somebody to hang up all my framed pics.  It's getting there, little by little, it's getting there.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


On this very day 18 years ago....I became a Mom.

I was just 20 years old.  

I was full of hopes and dreams and all the possibilites.  My husband would tell you that he was scared to death!

It's weird, going from being responsible for only yourself to having them place this helpless little creature in your arms. 

When I was pregnant, I refused to be "one of those" women that went to the hospital in false labor.  So, when I started timing my contractions regularly at seven minutes apart, I called my mom.  Don't all new moms or soon to be moms call their moms? As I was talking to her and my contractions got closer together, my mom said "Charlene, how far apart are your contractions?"  I said Oh, about every five mintues now.  My mom said "Where's Rich?"  I answered he's still sleeping.  She said "Charlene you need to wake him up, you're supposed to be at the hospital when your contractions are five minutes apart....Go - Now!"

LOL! I sure wasn't one of "those women" that day.

By the time we got to the hospital the contractions were about 3 minutes apart - we got there at 6:30 in the morning.  My doctor, we found out was on vacation.  So another doctor covering for him was called.  Three hours later, with NO epidural (because ALL new mothers think they can do it all, even if they are dying in pain haha), at 9:36 a.m. a beautiful red headed little girl with a strawberry birthmark on her shoulder was placed in my waiting arms.  She weighed 6 pounds and 14 ounces and she was breathtaking. 

Rich and I agreed not to find out what we were having, but we were convinced we were having a boy, so we had no girl names picked out.  We bounced a few around (just in case), but never decided on an actual name.  For three days, our precious little one was called "Baby Girl J".  On the day we were to go home a nurse told us that we had to have a name for the birth certificate and other documents.  I had previously told Rich that I like "names that grew",  not some cutesy name, but one that would grow with her and sound nice when she was 80 something.

We chose Amanda Jordan

Amanda means "worthy of love" and we had no greater gift from each other or from God that we felt was so worthy of love as our new baby girl.

Jordan means "descended".  We like to think that this little gift descended from Heaven into our life.

Now this precious gift that was given to us is 18.


No one tells you when you become a parent that that baby will grow up and one day leave you.  No one tells you how hard it will be the first time they get their heart broken.  The first time they skin their knee.  The first time they color on the wall.  The first time they walk across the room to your waiting arms.  How hard it will be.  How much love you will feel.  How much that love will grow with time and with them. 

No one tells you how much your heart will break when their heart is broken.  Or how you will feel their pain and joy and sorrows.  How much it will hurt when they first tell you that they hate you.  How proud you will be when they write their name and color in the lines for the first time.  How scared you will feel, when you watch them drive away with that shiny new license.  How accomplished you will feel when they earn their first paycheck.

No one tells you that your heart will literally walk off one day, right out of your chest, while you stand there watching...hoping they will turn around and smile.  No one tells you how big of a lump you will swallow when that kindergarten door closes behind you.  Or how worried or mad or relieved or scared you will be the first time they stay out all night.  How awful you will feel when you hold them down for their first stitches or shots.  How much love radiates through those bear hugs and slobbery kisses. 

You know, they say a mommy's kiss can heal the simplest and most awful of wounds.....except that of the hole your child leaves when they steal your heart.

happy birthday my sweet girl.  I love you

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heart Shaped Animals

We are still having fun making stuff for Valentine's Day....crafts.....cupcakes....cookies!

 Here's a look at our latest craft.

A collection of animals made out of heart shapes.

A Peacock!

A Raccoon!

A Ladybug!

A Tiger!

A Chick!

An Owl!

A Rhino!

A Chameleon!

Nicholas insisted on getting his picture taken, even though he played outside or colored while Nathan did this.

Happy Valentine's Day!

CSN Review

As a preferred blogger for CSN Stores, I was asked once again to do a review for them.  I love CSN stores! They have absolutely anything you can imagine from:

 to sewing machines 

 from cookware

 to patio furniture

from fabric

to even band aids.

(yes, band aids!)

It's like shopping at a super mall, only you never have to leave your house or change out of your PJs. 

Absolutely Love It!

I can even window shop for my favorites and make a wish list for later (or when I need to give Rich a few hints on what I'd like for my birthday or Christmas).   Yes, indeedy - CSN stores is the place to be!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Change Is A Good Thing?

I don't like changes.  I dig my heels in when it comes to change.  It freaks me out a bit.  After years of having the same template/background on my blog, the server changes over and they didn't take my template, which left me with a white background and a not so nifty little tag in the corner that said photobucket deleted file or something like that.  And if that wasn't bad enough, the little tag box popped over to the middle of my blog and scrolled down the page, making it hard to read. 

I didn't mind the white "blank slate" look so much, as I minded the stupid scrolling box thing.  Amanda (who I call my technical advisor lol) worked all afternoon yesterday trying to figure out how to get that dumb box off.  It turned out to be a simple fix.  But, somehow it messed with the font size of my sidebar.  The words there are huge and I can't figure out how to make them smaller like they were before.  I hate Change and I hate that I'm not a "technical" person even more.  I kind of like the look of the three columns most blogs have too, but I'm too chicken to mess with it and I'm too afraid I'll screw my blog up even more.

As I was saying change and me, we don't get along so well.  Which is probably why I freak out every time facebook decides to change it's look.  It was fine the way it was...why mess with it? I've also been freaking out lately because my normal happy go lucky, fun girl is turning into a freaking hormonal monster.  One minute she's the sweet girl that I loved hanging out with and the next it's the hormone monster screaming and freaking out and I never know which one I'm going to get.  We now have two of those in the house.  What is my world coming to?

Another change will be happening in the oldest baby (yes, baby) will be going to college.  It seems just like yesterday Rich and I were fighting over who got to hold her and rock her to sleep.  Now our baby girl is going off to college!! She's leaving us --- How dare she?! It makes me wish that I was a billionaire and owned acres and acres of land that I can build all my children their very own houses.  And we could see each other all the time and they would never, ever leave us or be to far out of our sights.  How on earth did our parents do this...they didn't even have cell phones and texting to check in with us.  How do you let go? How do you deal with the change?

One day, I am going to have to deal with the world and technology changing all around me.  Until then, I'm quite happy burying myself deep in my hole of denial.  Hope you like the changes to my blog, because unless Amanda can fix it for me - it will be staying like this for a while LOL!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Heart Mobile

We made this heart mobile using scrapbook paper.  It was fairly easy to make and the end result is adorable!  

You will need scrapbook paper or construction paper, ribbon, glue, scissors and a stapler.  I cut out various sized hearts using scrapbooking shears (wavy and zig zag ones).   You will also need two of the same size and pattern to glue them together. 

I also cut two strips of paper, glued and stapled them together to form a ring to hang the hearts.

All you need to do is glue the same size, same pattern hearts together and attach a ribbon inside using a staple to secure it.  Cut the ribbon in varied lengths.


Hang the hearts around the band, again stapling them.  Attach a ribbon to opposite sides of the ring in order to hang the mobile from the ceiling. 

 And TaDa - Super Cute Heart Mobile...

An adorable Valentine's Day decoration