Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Easy Recipe Thursday

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Italian bread (sliced in half long ways) Kroger or Publix Deli has the best

1 jar of alfredo sauce (Ragu)

2 - 3 large chicken breasts either grilled or boiled (I use either depending on time or leftovers)

2 cups Mozzarella Cheese

1 cup Parmesan Cheese

1 pkg (8oz.) sliced mushrooms (optional)

Italian Seasoning (spice)

Garlic Salt (to taste)

Layer all ingredients in order given, dividing the ingredients between the two loaves of Italian bread. Bake at 400 degrees on cookie sheet until brown and bubbly! DELISH!!

If you have a favorite pizza dough recipe you may choose to make your own dough.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

That Time of Year

Part of me and YES, a very big part of me is glad that it is the end of the school year. While the other part of me is now faced with the challenge that I always dread!! That is the part of going through the homeschool closet and deciding what we need to keep, what we need to donate and this year I have to make sure that everything I keep is up to Florida Standards in other words a portfolio as opposed to what I used to do for KY. Be honest, is there anyone out there that can honestly go through a entire closet or a room and know exactly what to do with everything. If so, come see me, because I think that I am pretty organized but there are still a few things that I hesitate about.

Just like with children's clothes, with school books I have to look at what of Jonah's I liked enough that I can use again for Courtney, I have to decide is it worth keeping multiple sets of things like flash cards or books we have not read in a year or two. Which again just like children's clothes, makes for extra storage in a house that has no attic space for heavy books. Is it worth keeping for 2 years, I have done my fair share of holding on to things and then never using them and I have also done just the opposite, given something away and within a week I am kicking myself for doing it.

This month we our completing our 4th year homeschooling Courtney and our 3rd year homeschooling Jonah, WOW, some days I never thought that I would survive and still there are days when I want to throw in my hat but I just walk across the street and talk to my friend Leslie about the public school system then I walk back across the street to my sweet home and I love home schooling once again. This year has probably been the year that I have developed the most confidence of being a home school mom, even though there has been those occasional walks across the street, overall I have realize that Phillip and my decision to home school Jonah and Courtney has been for the best. It is hard to believe that in August, Courtney will start the 5th grade and Jonah will start the 7th grade, where does the time go.

But for now...... Thank God for Summer Days and as a friend of mine recently said, "Thank God for the Freedom of Homeschooling!!"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Part 2 of At the Beach

Why is it that a week can last forever when you are working or when you are staying at home taking care of the house but when you are relaxing and enjoying yourself with friends it seems like a week can disappear in a matter of seconds, it is just not right.  We spent Saturday to Saturday at the beach and totally enjoyed ourselves.  The weather was AWESOME!!  A few days were overcast and Friday night in rained but we only got wet going into the ice cream shop, so I really can't complain. I promised a few more pictures of the trip, I was really pleased with them and I have decided to do a digital scrapbook of this beach trip, so wish me luck.  Nothing fancy, but it will be done and soon I hope.  So that this year at the retreat I can work on something else, oooooh what will that be, I wonder? Anyway, the beach was great and spending it with the Sowders was well, if you know them, we could not have asked for a better vacation.  Enjoy just a FEW of our pictures and Happy Memorial Day!

  SB_10254714 SB_10254713  SB_10254724      Gulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 012SB_10254711 Gulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 045 Gulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 093 Gulf Shores 2008 168 Gulf Shores 2008 031 Gulf Shores 2008 013Jonah and Courtney on the Boardwalk


Gulf Shores 2008 023 Gulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 049 The GirlsGulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 025Did you know that you can find a monkey at the park in Gulf Shores?  Isn't this one cute?

Gulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 307 Just a few of the Hermit Crabs that the kids found at the beach.

SB_9665547 There always has to be one story to tell and usually Jonah has that story to tell.  Wednesday afternoon, Jonah was skim boarding with a couple other boys and the waves were a little rough.  A wave knock the other boys skim board right into Jonah's ankle and cut it about 2 inches long and probably an inch deep, enough to make a trip to an urgent care to be glued closed needless to say he was not supposed to be back in the ocean the rest of the week only the pool but since I was in bed with a migraine on Friday I heard and have proof as to something different.

 Gulf Shores 2008 049 Gulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 039 My scuba diversSB_9665548 SB_9665544 Gulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 042 Courtney at the pool

Gulf Shores 2008 Sowders Camera 147 Alicia and I cooked very delish but rather simple meals every night throughout the week, which gave us plenty of time to enjoy the pool and the beach.  Sunday after church we ate out at King Neptune's, which is a great seafood restaurant, then Friday night we ate out at the Hangout which is a new place down on the beach.  Very cool, with a large outdoor sand play area for the kids to play in.

Gulf Shores 2008 056 Gulf Shores 2008 064 Gulf Shores 2008 065

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

At the Beach Part 1

Well, it is that time of year again.....The Annual Sowders', Starling's Vacation at Gulf Shores, AL. We arrived last Saturday and so far we have truly enjoy ourselves. The weather Saturday and Sunday was in the 70's but since Monday, it has been in the 80's. The water is a little too cool for me but not for the kids or the guys. Last night we went crabbing, let me tell you Alicia and Jonah gets into crabbing!! Also new to our seaside adventures this year is hunting for Hermit Crabs, we have probably found at least 50 or so and everyone wants to go out again tonight. Oh, and sand dollars, I have never found as many sand dollars as we are finding this week.
Last night, we took photos at the beach, Alicia and I have learned to take our pictures early in the week instead of waiting until the end of the week when weather can be a major factor. Hopefully, I can post more photos later, I am having a hard time downloading right now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Jonah Makes 2nd Class

This past Monday night Jonah advanced up the rank in Boy Scout to 2nd Class,

his goal being the highest in Boy Scout which is the Eagle Scout.

This rank has to be achieved by the age of 18.

Jonah with his assistant Scoutmaster Matt and his Scoutmaster Brad. These two guys are great they completed their Eagle Rank together and had a joint ceremony together years ago with the same troop and now they are the scoutmaster and assistant. We are proud of Jonah's determination with his ranks in Boy Scouts. We have certainly let this one be totally up to him as to how far he wants to go since it is a lot of hard work. But both Phillip and I see the determination in Jonah's eye, at least for now.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Easy Recipe Thursday

Last Thursday Terri started "Easy Recipe Thursday" so here is my recipe for today.
Chicken Fajitas
1 tsp. oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1/4 cup Italian Dressing

3 cups fresh pre-cut stir-fry vegetables

2 tsp. chili powder

8 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

slasa and sour cream on the side

HEAT oil in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken: cook 5 min or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.

STIR in dressing, vegetables and chili powder: cook 5 min, or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

ARRANGE chicken mixture evenly on tortillas; sprinkle with cheese and roll up.

ADD sour cream, salsa or other items on the side.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

I hope that all the mothers out there had a blessed Mother's Day yesterday, I know that I did. This year marks the fourth year that I was without my mother and I used to say that one day it would be easier but I have given up on that thought. I have learned how to get through the day and the kids especially Courtney has learned how to give just give mom a little more love when those sad times have came about.

As some of you may recall, every Mother's Day I release a Mother's Day balloon with a note attach in memory of my mom or you may say to my mom for Mother's Day. Over the past several years I have released the balloon at different places just depending on my mood that day, well this year I thought that we would release the balloon in the backyard. Like every other year I picked the balloon out, of course it has to be the best, and for some reason every time I thought about releasing it yesterday, it just did not feel right. So I didn't.

This morning we woke up and there was my mom's Mother's Day balloon still in our dining room. We had breakfast, did our school and around lunch, it hit me, I called Phillip to tell him that I was heading to the Cementery where my mother was buried to release her Mother's Day balloon, an hour an 15 minutes away, well of course he comes home to take me and it turns out to be the best place to release the balloon. Why didn't I think of it yesterday? I know, there is a reason for everything.

We watch as the wind takes it away.....
We always watch the balloon until we can not see it no longer, until it is gone.
I love you, Mom!
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Phillip turned 40!!

Yes, Phillip turned Forty!! The big day was on Thursday, May 8th but to his dismay he was in Nashville for a meeting all day so the kids and I were not able to spend the day with him. However I do believe we surprised him pretty good before he left out that morning for the airport and then throughout the day and again on Friday night with a few more gifts and his favorite supper followed by Orange Juice Cake which is his favorite. What a cutie!!
Happy 40th Phillip!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Courtney Turns Double Digits!!

Newborn Where does the time go! It seems like just yesterday I could barely see my ankles, I was as pregnant as pregnant you could be and Phillip and I were anticipating bringing a new little bundle of joy of from the hospital any day. PINK, a new girly color to add to the blue and everything boy that Jonah had already filled our home for the past 26 1/2 months. Her name....Courtney Taylor (her daddy's pick, I picked Jonah's) and since she was a c-section.... May 7th (semi her daddy's pick, since his birthday is May 8th he did not want her to have to share her day with someone he wanted her to have her own day, that's why the 7th). 7 pounds 8 ounces 21 1/2 inches long born at 1:12 in the afternoon on a Thursday and I brought her home from the hospital on Mother's day. She looked just like Jonah in fact when Phillip and I became tickled when we put her little dress on her. I thank my lucky stars that God blessed me with Courtney, she is a wonderful child. In fact I feel very fortunate to have the experience to raise both a boy and a girl even though there are times that I think that having same sex children would so much more practical but then I think of evrything that I would miss out on. Well as Courntey turns 10 today I thought I would share a few pictures from the past.
August 98 3 months
6 months6 months
9 months10 months
1 year old 1year pic 001
1st birthday 1999
2 years old 2 years 2000 001
June 2001 June 2001 01 3 years
20024 years old
5 years old 2003 pic
Fall 20046 years old
7 years old 2005 pic
2005 Christmas 8 years old
9 years old Gulf Shores 07 495
All this to say that our little girl is now
05 02 07 Courtney's Bday 014
Courtney turns double digits just the way she wants to, with Ashley and Andie by her side, oh and the girls brothers making sure they stay out of trouble. NO, I think that is the other way around. Courtney had a sleep over with her friends, they spent the afternoon at the pool and the morning at the pool, ice cream sundaes at 10:30 at night and a 2 hour soak in the "spa". Courtney had a blast!05 02 07 Courtney's Bday 015 All credit goes to Phillip for the cake!! While I was nursing a migraine and not able to drive my wonderful husband did all the leg work including picking out the birthday cake for his sweetpea, what an AWESOME DAD!!! He even witness first hand the cashier flip the cake over and Phillip had to take the cake back to the bakery and have it redone.05 02 07 Courtney's Bday 047 05 02 07 Courtney's Bday 017 05 02 07 Courtney's Bday 047 05 02 07 Courtney's Bday 051I love the look on Courtney face when she unwrapped her gifted from her dad and I. Courtney is a very sweet and loving child and does not usually want anything that costs any amount of money and therefore does not ask for much at all. Well her dad and I decided to surprise her with a IPOD Nano for birthday since she said that she had no idea of what she wanted for her birthday and an IPOD was just to much!!
One quick update on my migraines, Tuesday was the best day that I had in several weeks, praise God and thank you for the prayers. I was able to drive for the first time in a while without getting dizzy and had no migraines. I pray that days like this continue!!