Monday, December 23, 2013

Snow Bunnies

I think Marley was finally won over to the snow side... it took a couple of tries, but it seems like she doesn't mind the cold anymore. When we arrived in Pennsylvania, there was still a decent amount of a previous snow fall left... Until the rain recently washed it all away. So happy we had a few outings in it.

Oh those girls... they have my heart... runny snot and all.
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Deconstructed Enchilada Crock Pot Soup { recipe }

I've been playing around with a few recipes... combining little things from one or the other, to create the yummiest soup... and today, I wanted to share it with you. It's super simple... some might call it a "Santa Fe Chicken Soup"... but, to me, it's like eating deconstructed enchiladas, minus the tortilla shells. Enjoy friends... it's a scrumptious one!

Ingredients (dump into crock pot as listed):

24 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans (rinse before dumping)
1 can of chicken stock... or create your own (8 oz)
1 small can of mild green chilies
1/2 of chopped onion
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 handful of freshly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons of Taco Seasoning (you can use 1 package, but I create my own homemade seasoning)

add 3-4 breasts of uncooked chicken, stir mixture around them... and let cook covered in crock pot for 4-5 hours on high...

When you're close to serving, maybe 15 minutes prior... add 1, 8 oz package of cream cheese, and 1 cup of Mexican cheese. Stir.  Once cheese is all melted, the soup should be a creamy, thick mixture and ready to serve. Add tortilla chips for dipping, or even some sliced avocados on top. The avocados are my absolute favorite part of the soup.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Meant For Travelling Adventures

I did it.. I can officially say that I travelled with 2 children all by my lonesome via plane... and now that I checked that box, I don't really care to do it again (even though, I will when we head back to Oklahoma). We had an early morning, the other day... and by early, I only had 3 hours of sleep (last minute packing for 3 is not too fun), and had the girls up and dressed and ready to take off for the airport by 3:45am. Our flight departed at 5:40, and we had just about a 5 hour layover in Chicago... before arriving into Harrisburg at 4:20 pm. What a day... seriously.

During the layover, we had quite the adventure! May I just say, I LOVE when boarding gates are conveniently located across from the Starbucks.

We got situated at the gate, to camp there for awhile, plugged my phone into the wall to charge, and had Charlotte pull out all of her schoolwork for the day. While I was schooling Charlotte, and feeding Marley, a sweet flight attendant came over to me and handed me a gift card to Starbucks for doing a "great job as a Mama" and that she "loved seeing what I was doing, and travelling by myself with 2 kids." She shared that she only survived motherhood, through the consumption of coffee, and knew that I probably was in the same boat. Such a sweet gesture, and it will never be forgotten. It makes me want to gift all Mamas that I see, gift cards to Starbucks.

Just a few minutes after she walked away, while finishing up phonics with Charlotte, I looked over at the wall (literally 3 feet away from me), and my phone wasn't there anymore... someone stole my phone. A sweet elderly lady next to me, realized my panic, asked if she could help, and lent me her phone so that I could call my hubby. After I called him, I contacted security (who filled out a police report, and said they'd contact the Chicago police department), while the hubby sent text messages to my phone trying to get my phone returned to me, by leaving threatening texts. We do have tracker on the phone, and my phone has a password lock, so really... it's no good to anyone, and the hubs was sure to state in a text message that he would get the phone tracked so we could find it. Sure enough, an hour later, it was "anonymously" handed over to a lady at a gate, and I had to "hike" with the girls to fetch it... but, it was back in my hands again. That being said, never take your eyes off your phone! I think whoever did it, must have been watching me, because I only had my eyes off of it for a few seconds while helping Charlotte with school, and then BOOM, it was gone. They had me pegged... I'm so thankful that my layover was long enough to be able to receive it. We made it in one piece to Pennsylvania, and that's what matters most.

Marley was a super traveler, and honestly, I didn't expect anything less. She was asleep for both flights, and even took a little nap in the middle of our layover. Charlotte was a champ, as usual... they definitely made my job easier...both my girls were meant for travelling adventures...
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dear Marley Wren { 5 Months }

Dear Marley,

5 months have come and gone, and you're growing like crazy... I hate that we don't get a baby well check until 6 months, because I'd really LOVE to know how much you weigh these days. In the last few weeks, we're pretty sure you've chunked up quite a bit... you know, in the healthy way. Oh that double chin... it gets us every time. 

Your newest thing this month, is blowing raspberries... you think you're so funny... and you are. After you make bubbles come out of your mouth, you always giggle for a bit. You're such a happy baby (when you're not fighting your naps). You laugh at us constantly, and are already ticklish (in your ribs especially). 

Your eyes are still blue, but they are starting to have specks of yellow in them, and grey... we think they could be flocking to the green side, but we're not quite sure yet. They're definitely not settled on blue yet. 

You adore tummy time, especially when Charlotte is around. You watch her like a hawk, and roll onto your back when you're bored with tummy time. It's the cutest. We lay a mirror by you, and you enjoy watching yourself... and playing with your toes. But most of the time, you track us with your eyes and try to find us wherever we might be in the room.

You're sleeping in your crib... most of the time. You still occasionally have nights where a few hours are spent on Mommy. Snuggling you, is the greatest, and we don't mind one bit. But you're back to sleeping most of the night... you are usually awake at some point between 2-3 am trying to figure out how to self soothe... Sometimes it turns into a "wake up" party, other times, it doesn't. We're trying to not let it.

You're not the greatest passenger in the car... hoping that changes soon. But you did go on your first road trip this month to Arkansas... and did fairly well. Only a few times you fussed, and when Mommy wasn't helping you out, you figured it out quickly. We entertained you for nearly an hour making blurping/raspberry sounds.

Marley... you are too good to us. You are a blessing, that we haven't even fully appreciated quite yet... but we will... and are thankful for you. We're trying to soak in each and every moment, because it's going by way too fast. You amaze us, each day...

We love you,
Daddy, Mommy, and Charlotte

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Friday, December 13, 2013

School Sessions: Chapter 2

Here I promised weekly school updates, and I failed at that... but I'm going to try and keep up with the updates, even if they're not weekly. With the snow coming into town, and the crazy low temps, we've been able to hunker down and get work done, while other kids in the neighborhood are off from school.... don't worry, we've had fun in the snow as well... lots of PE time!

The last 2 weeks' highlights:

- Charlotte continues to to count by 10's... and LOVES it. She's working on patterns, and the number line, and is beginning to understand addition through equation writing.

- Consonant digraphs are mastered, and have moved onto consonant blends. She can hear the difference between the blends, and LOVES figuring out which words start with specific blends.

- Spent a big part of the last 2 weeks writing back penpals (penpal be on the LOOKOUT!)

- LOVES opening up her advent calendar each day. Using it, helps her remember what date it is (which is useful for Mommy as well!)

- We've begun reading "Charlotte's Web" as review... Daddy and Charlotte read a chapter each night, and we review in the morning.

The last 2 weeks' lows:

- We've had a lack of crafts these last 2 weeks... will remedy that.

- There were days we've had to double up on work... but the work got done.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013


As of today (according to my local news), over 66.9% of America has snow on the ground... CRAZY. We've been trying to enjoy this weather, as much as possible... I think the only thing that makes it worthwhile, is hot cocoa... lets be honest.

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Friday, December 06, 2013

"Do You Want To Build A Snowman?"

This morning, I was woken up by a VERY excited girl... "Mommy, Mommy... there's snow on the ground...It's WHITE... it looks like Elsa came here to visit." For those that haven't seen it, Elsa, is one of the main characters from Disney's new movie, "Frozen"... She's the Queen who has a gift of turning everything into snow/ice... but doesn't know how to control it (I'll leave the rest of the movie for you to see, it's SUPER... and a MUST watch, in my opinion). So it was absolutely no surprise that Charlotte made the connection of the snow, with Elsa... oh my little girl.

Of course, we made our way out first thing. Even Marley experienced snow for the first time, and lets just say, she was unimpressed. I can't wait to actually see her play in it next year. This year, all she wanted to do was put it in her mouth. Charlotte fell backwards in the snow right next to her, and built a castle near her, and she loved taking it in... for about 15 minutes, and then she had enough of the cold.

Before heading out, we listened to the "Frozen" soundtrack about 10x through... you know, to prep for our adventure outside... and I'm fairly certain my least favorite thing, is bundling kids up for winter fun... as well as myself. But fun was had... and more will be had this weekend, I'm sure.

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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Welcome December

What better way to ring in the month of December, than by picking, cutting and setting up our Christmas tree? So that's just what we did... welcomed the month of December.

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