Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Goals for 2012

I am not making New Year's Resolutions this year, I am making New Year's Goals! This is a huge list of things that I want to work on in 2012 or accomplish. I am not going to loose a ton of weight, I already know that, but I will be able to mark at least a few items off of this list as the year goes by!

  • More Family Game Nights (We love these!)
  • Spend More Time Alone with Hubby
  • Make Kathleen Stay Home More (OK, so she will not like this one, but she will leave the nest soon and her sisters (and I) need as much time with her as possible before she does!)
  • Make Crafts with Isabella More (She loves crafts almost as much as I do!)
  • Teach Abbygail to Walk (OK, so this WILL happen whether I put it on this list or not, I would like to know that I will have at least one goal marked off by the end of 2012 though!)
  • Visit Jackie More Often (My BFF comes to visit me all of the time, I hardly ever get to her house!)
  • Less Drama!!! I lost most of my extended family in 2011 due to drama. They are gone, the drama is now behind us and I will not worry about them. I vow not to wake up in the middle of the night wondering why they did what they did. I have my close family and that is all I need. Less Drama = Less Stress for my Kids!
  • Save/Plan a Trip to Walt Disney World and or Universal Studios!
  • Attend Church More Often
  • Ace All of My Classes
  • Blog More/More Giveaways
  • Loose Weight (No, I didn't say a ton of weight, so, yes, I CAN put this on here! I would like to start 2013 off weighing at least a little less than I do now!)
  • Take Vitamins EVERYDAY
  • Walk More/Ride Stationary Bike (I used to ride my bike everyday and burn between 300 to 800 calories per day! Until I got pregnant with Abbygail that is!)
  • Floss More
  • Learn How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie (Yep, I tried to make on on Christmas and FAILED!)
  • Play Less Internet Games (What a waste of time!)
  • Enter More Giveaways! (I won what 14 in just a month!?!? WOW!!!)
  • Craft More (I LOVE to craft! Maybe I can open an Etsy Shop or something with my crafts!)
  • Learn How to Sew (I've tried this before, honestly, it bores the H*ll outta me for some reason!)
  • Learn How to Knit/Crochet
  • Finish Making Isabella and Abbygail's Christmas Stockings
  • Make Abbygail a Baby Book
  • Develop All of These Old Cameras and Film I Have Laying Around
  • Downsize
  • Do SOMETHING About All of This Dang Laundry! (See above, downsize!)
  • Throw More Stuff Away/Donate/Have a Yard Sale
  • Keep a Cleaner House
  • Finish Unpacking
  • Put Up Shelves in Girls Room
  • Help Kathleen Organize Her Room
  • Clean Out Scrapbooking Boxes
  • Find a Good Job (Yep, I have to put that on here!)
  • Look into Honest WAH Jobs
  • Pay off My Truck! (YAY! I have been wanting to do this for years!)
  • Pay off As Many Other Bills as Possible
  • Keep Track of Where Money Actually Goes
  • Coupon More (I am a HUGE couponer already, but occasionally do have to run in the store without them or I can't find the one I need to use so I just don't use it! So, really this should probably say Organize Coupons More Often!)
  • Keep Track of Coupon Savings
  • Keep a Grocery Price List on Hand at All Times (I can stock up more when I find a REALLY good price if I know what that really good price is!)
OK, yes, this is a LONG list, no, I will NOT accomplish it all, but a girl can hope, right?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This is Our Crazy Life!!!

I haven't posted in a week or so because this is definitely a crazy life! My laptop was stepped on, or leaned on, or dropped! (Funny how no one in the house knows why the inside of the screen is cracked!) My phone is not operable at this time and I spent the last week or so doing all of my Christmas shopping because A: My car has decided not to run so I had to depend on other people to take me and B: I just had enough money to go shopping! I had Isabella's school Christmas party to plan and have since I am room mom plus we had birthday parties (4 total, 3 were combined into 1) More baking to do since all of our leftover baked goods decided to start molding. The humidity here is a killer! (Even in December!) Cooking and cleaning for Christmas had to be done, as well as some out of town visitors! Plus, my husband got a job! Yay!!! This is AWESOME news, but this has now left me with the kids alone all day since they are out of school on Christmas break which in itself is awesome but that means entertainment and triple the cleaning! lol Whew! Busy, busy, busy! A couple of other crazy things going on that just don't even make since and you have 'This is Our Crazy Life'!
I LOVE it though! I am all about the chaos! It keeps our busy lives VERY interesting!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kathleen's 17th Birthday

My daughter turned 17 yesterday! Wow! 17!!!!

I asked her what she wanted for dinner, I would make her anything she requested! Her request was vegetable lasagna. I found a recipe for Spinach, Mushroom, and Four Cheese Lasagna online. One of Emeril Lagasse's recipes!


Well, yesterday was a failure! I didn't get home until way too late from Christmas shopping to even think about making a homeade lasagna. So, I decided to start it this morning. After using every dish in the house and trashing the kitchen, I made the most awesome, best smelling lasagna ever! I can't wait to sink my teeth into it tonight! I need to call Kathleen and rush her home!!! lol

Saturday was our official all day Christmas Baking Session. We had a ball! My best friend, Jackie came and helped and of course we had all of the girls helping as well! We made so many yummy goodies!

Chocolate Banana Bread
Red Velvet Cake Balls
Peanut Butter Balls
Peppermint Bark
Chocolate Covered Cherries
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate Covered Ritz with Peanut Butter
Pecan Goodie Cups
Reindeer Chow
Snowball Cookies
Chocolate Snowball Cookies
Chocolate Kiss Cookies
Gingerbread Village

A couple of things were put on the back burner and didn't get baked, so I will probably get to those this week.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
Reece's Pieces Cookies

Then of course, we have to make some food for the Reindeer's!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Christmas Elf Update

Boy, have our Elves been busy! The Wednesday morning after Thanksgiving, they were found on the kitchen counter playing a Memory game and munching on peanuts.

 Thursday morning, they were found on top of the freezer with two Christmas lanterns. The girls must have been good Wednesday to have had a gift brought to them that night! (Somehow Carol ended up with Green Dye on her pants and shoes! She changed clothes, but kept the shoes on! Hannah found a skirt to put on too!)

 Friday morning, they were found back on the kitchen counter in a bowl with snowflakes and large marshmallows that look like snowballs. They must really be missing the North Pole!

Saturday morning, they were sitting at Don's computer looking at a Nice/Naughty list! Guess what! All of the girls names were on the Nice list! YAY! We won't say who ended up on the Naughty list, although, I will say, one of the names was one of our cats!

Sunday morning, they were spinning around from the ceiling fan! Those Elves have so much fun while we are asleep!

Monday morning, they had pulled out all of our baking supplies and had started to mix up some goodies. I guess that was their way of saying we were behind on getting started with our Christmas baking! They had a friend Elf with them as well.



Tuesday morning, they were found on the dining room table playing Scrabble. They spelled out really neat stuff on the Scrabble board such as 'Santa Says Hello' and 'Be Good' and 'Milk' and 'Cookies'

Wednesday morning, they were propped up in the living room with our Christmas movies pulled out.I guess that means it's time to pop a Christmas movie into the DVD player!

 Thursday morning, they brought all of the girls a pair of gloves! What a perfect morning for this, because it was COLD outside!

Friday morning, it was back to just Hannah and Carol, I'm not sure where the friend disappeared to, but the original two Elves were kneeling in front of a Nativity Scene in prayer!

Saturday morning, we found the Elves on the kitchen bar. They had made snow angels out of flour!

Sunday morning, our silly Elves were in the freezer! I would think they would have gotten cold in there, but they ARE from the North Pole and this IS the south where it's not always cold, even in December! Maybe they were missing the cold weather!

 This morning, we found them on the couch reading a Christmas catalog and the Toys R Us ad!

I can't wait to see what Hopeful Hannah and Christmas Carol has in store for us the next 12 mornings until Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Starbucks $5 Gift Card Winner

and the WINNER is:
GFC follower (mom2gabnnat)
jenswps at yahoo . com

I picked via I am still learning at this and have seen where bloggers post a screen pick of the number picked, I haven't figured this out yet, but hopefully by the time I pick the Country Bob's winner, I will have figured it out! lol

Thanks EVERYONE for entering my first giveaway! I am VERY excited about all of the entries I had! You guys are awesome!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Santa Shop

Whew! Santa Shop is done for the year! Those kids were almost like vultures grabbing up those "deals"! (including my Isabella!)

Busy Week

It has been a VERY busy week! Monday, I spent the day unpacking the dining room. We FINALLY have a table in there now!!!

Tuesday, I worked Santa Shop at Isabella's school. Also, Don, Abbygail and I ate Christmas lunch with Isabella. It was a crowded mess! After school, we went and did all of my Christmas Baking shopping.

Wednesday, Abbygail had her four month check up yesterday. She is in the 100th percentile in weight, oops! After her appointment, we went to visit Grandma and then to Best Buy to return a two year old camera, I will get into that later... Then we had some unexpected visitors come by last night.

Today, Santa Shop again.

Tomorrow, sis and I are taking Grandma to the outlet mall.

I guess there went my plans of getting this house completely unpacked by the weekend!!! Oh well, it will get done sooner or later...



Don't forget about my two giveaways that end Saturday!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce Review and Giveaway

My family had the chance to review Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. My husband is always excited to break out the grill, so when he saw this package come in the mail, he was ready to pull the grill out right then!

 I was sent two bottles of the same sauce to review so I decided to try three different recipes with the sauce, two nights in a row.
We grilled steaks with the sauce the first night using the following marinade recipe:
1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T ground ginger
1 (13 oz) bottle Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce

This recipe was in a pamphlet that came in the box with the sauce. It was a Grilled Pork Tenderloin recipe. I used the exact recipe except I used it for chuck steaks instead of pork tenderloin.
I poured the marinade over the steaks, covered and put the steaks in the refrigerator for four hours. I flipped the steaks every hour.
My husband grilled them.These steaks were so juicy and tender! They were a HUGE hit at my house! The flavor had a sweet tang to it. The steaks weren't too sweet and yet it wasn't too tangy. It has the perfect meet in the middle type of flavor. My husband already cannot wait to make these again. I requested we try this same marinade with grilled chicken next.

The second night, I used Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce to make Meatloaf and Baked Beans. The Meatloaf and Baked Beans recipes were in the pamphlet as well.

Country Bob's Meatloaf
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
12 saltine crackers, crushed (I used dry bread crumbs instead)
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 T Country Bob's Season Salt
1/4 t pepper
Combine all ingredients. Spread in loaf pan. Top with additional Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Country Bob's Fantastic Baked Beans
1 can (53 oz) pork and beans, drain off half of liquid
1/2 pound broiled or fried pork steak-cut into 1/2 inch squares (may substitute bacon)
2 cups Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce
1 small onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 t Country Bob's Season Salt
1/2 green pepper, diced
Combine all ingredients, if using bacon, place on top of beans prior to baking.
Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I cut the beans recipe in half and did not use any meat in it because of my vegetarian daughter.
These two recipes were perfect to bake together because they took the exact same amount of time at the same temperature!

My family loves meatloaf. We have used the same meatloaf recipe for years, so for me to go and change it up a bit, I thought this may spell disaster. It didn't! The meatloaf wasn't bad! I think next time, I will make my meatloaf as I usually do and put a splash or two of Country Bob's in it. I like the flavor the sauce gave to the meatloaf, but my family is just hooked on how we make meatloaf the old fashioned way!
I have been looking for a good baked beans recipe for years. I now have my recipe although I really want to try it with the pork steaks next time!

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce is so versatile, it can go on pork, beef or chicken. You can use it over rice, on vegetables or as a french fry dip. You can use it to make barbecue sauce or cocktail sauce. You can use it in so many different ways, why would you not keep this in your house? This will now be a staple in my mine!

Before I finish my review, I must point out one of Country Bob's logos. "Christ is our C.E.O" These days, a lot of companies do not want to mention Christ for fear of offending someone. I am thrilled that Country Bob does not have this fear. They have a great point here! Christ should be all of ours C.E.O!

Check out Country Bob's website to buy some sauce, find out where you can buy it around you, find a good recipe, etc.

Do you want to win two bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce? I have two bottles to give to TWO lucky readers!

Leave a comment for each way you enter!
Mandatory Entry:
Follow my Blog via Google Friend Connect.

Bonus Entries:

Like This is Our Crazy Life on Facebook.
Follow Country Bob's on Twitter.
Follow ThisisOurCrazyL on Twitter.
Make a relevant comment on any of my other posts.

*Be sure to leave your e-mail address on all entries.
*You must be at least 18 years old to enter this giveaway.
*Giveaway is open to residents of the US only.
*No purchase necessary to win.
*I will pick a random winner at midnight CST on December 17, 2011.
*If you are the winner, I will send you an e-mail and you have 48 hours after I send to respond or I will pick another winner.

My opinions are mine and my family's and mine and my family's only! We were given the product free to review, but were not compensated in any other way. We are VERY opinionated people so our opinions are 100% true!

Like Country Bob's on Facebook.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gourmet Gift

Have you checked out all of the great Christmas Gift Baskets that are over at Gourmet Gift If you haven't you need to get over there by December 9th and get your orders for Christmas placed! You can mark almost everybody off your list! Gourmet Gift has a gift basket for everyone on your list! (Including Kids)

I also hear they are sending care packages to marines and soldiers for the holiday! What an awesome thing to do right now!!!

A couple of my favorites are below:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

McDonald's is Todays Living Social Deal

I don't know about you, but my kids LOVE McDonald's! I honestly don't know what the huge attraction is. McDonald's around here don't even have play places any more so that can't be the reason...

How often does McDonald's have a real discount deal? Not too often around here!

Well, anyway, if you are like me and you mention let's go get something to eat, you have a child scream, "McDonald's!!!"

Today's Living Social deal of the day is 5 Big Macs and 5 Large Fries for $13! I think that's a very good deal! This comes as ten separate vouchers which do not expire,they are accepted at all McDonald's in the US, you can use one burger voucher and one fry voucher per visit. I LOVE McDonald's Sweet Tea! If I used these, I would use a burger and fry voucher and order a large sweet tea which is on the dollar menu and essentially would pay $3.60 per meal which is actually more than I normally spend on myself at McDonald's because I always order off of the dollar menu but this would be a lot more food than I normally get!

Check it out here:

Leftover Rice & Gravy Makeover

Yep, I'm still trying to use up all of those Thanksgiving leftovers! I think I have almost used or froze them all.

Last night I used up the rest of the rice and gravy by browning a pound of ground beef with some chopped onion and minced garlic. Once the meat was brown, I added the leftover rice which was about 5 cups, the leftover gravy which was about 2 cups, a can of undrained corn, a little Worcestershire sauce, a sprinkling of brown gravy mix and salt and pepper. I served this with dinner rolls. This turned out to be a really good dinner! I actually didn't expect it to turn out as good as it did!

Use up (or freeze) those leftovers! Don't waste them! There are starving people right here in the good ole U S of A and plus you worked hard for the money to buy the food with, didn't you? Don't throw that money in the garbage! Today would be the last OK day in my opinion to use those leftovers!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Can't Sew but Boy Can I Iron!!!

I am a very crafty person, but I cannot sew a straight stitch to save my life. I really don't know what it is, but I think it's a patience thing!
I used to take all pants that needed to be hemmed (which is everything we buy because we are a VERY short family!) to a seamstress. Many, many years later, it hit me how much I was paying just to have pants hemmed! I did some research and found Hem Tape. Man, that stuff is awesome! BUT, what do ya do when it's COLD outside and your daughter has an outside field trip and only a skirt to wear because her pants are way to long and you can't find your hem tape because half your stuff is still in boxes and you don't have time to run to Wal-Mart??? Whew!

You use what you have! I had a choice between the sewing machine just sitting there or an iron and a glue gun! I chose the iron and glue gun! OK, so maybe it won't last forever! BUT, I bet it looks better than it would have if I had attempted to use the sewing machine!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Field Trip to Bellingrath Gardens

I went on a field trip today with Isabella's third grade class. We went to Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore, AL. The gardens were beautiful this time of year!

I was the chaperon for seven girls on this trip. Seven wild eight and nine year old girls and me and a HUGE garden wore me out! I guess it wore Isabella out as well! As soon as we got home, she fell asleep on the couch!

Alex, Julia, Olivia, Isabella, Armani, Cindy & Nattalie

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vegetarians are People Too!!!

It has never crossed my mind to be a vegetarian. I am not a huge meat eater, I am one of those people that can take it or leave it and honestly I'd be happy enough with a vegetable plate every night as long as it included some southern not so healthy cooked vegetables! I try to cook healthy, but being born and raised in the south, I can't live without an occasional fried green tomato or fried okra! Yum!

Being a vegetarian is a decision people take seriously though! My oldest daughter decided about 6 months or so ago to become a vegetarian and has stuck with it! Most people in the family thought she would have switched back to meat by now, but she hasn't! I'm proud of her for sticking up for what she believes in! All I have to say is, "WOW! People can be SO mean!" I mean people actually make fun of her for not wanting to eat meat! Some people even try to force her to eat meat! Really!? I don't understand! I know I have raised a very headstrong almost woman and when she puts her mind to something, she's not going to change it! People leave her alone!!!

The Christmas Elf

My family has an elf that comes to visit us sometime in the middle of the night Thanksgiving night. She does some silly things some nights, Sunday night, she spelled out Ho Ho Ho in the bathroom sink with toothpaste!
Our elf's name is Hopeful Hannah. Our elf is not like The Elf on the Shelf. I hear some stories about The Elf on the Shelf not being able to be touched. Hannah, our elf loves to be touched and hugged! She is a lot prettier than The Elf on the Shelf as well! I don't know what my family did to deserve such an awesome elf, but we have her so we are going to enjoy her!
She brought her friend, Christmas Carol along for my nieces this year! Carol made a mess in their bathroom as well!
 These elves can be a handful at times! (and wasteful too! I guess it's a good thing they only stay until Christmas Eve!)
The first night Hannah and Carol arrived, they brought a bunch of little plastic gifts with them. Just sort of like confetti presents.
 The second night, it looks like the trip to the North Pole was a little much for them because we found them in the dining room pigging out on pretzels! The second night was also when Hannah decided to change clothes, she sort of tore her boats up the first day here, so while she was at the North pole, she changed. She now has a Christmas Bathing Suit on contrary to what some people have thought. I have been asked why she has panties and a bra on. He, He
The third night, they were found in the living room inside Santa mailboxes, I think that was a hint that they would take some letters to Santa.
Tuesday morning, we woke up to find the Elves had made us cereal for breakfast and Hannah had her shirt on from the first night!!
BUT after the milk was poured, we realized Elf had somehow made the milk GREEN! WAIT! Is that a bottle of green food die in the corner of the above picture? IT IS! ELF!?!? 

 Kathleen was the first to get up and eat her cereal this morning!
We can't wait to see what the Elves have in store for us next!!!

Homeade 13th Birthday Party Invitations

My best friend, Jackie is really on a budget this year, but REALLY wanted to throw her daughter a 13th Birthday Party. She came over last night with card stock and an idea of what she wanted to do for her daughter, Katelyn's invitations. I went from there. I got on the computer and started designing. This is what they ended up looking like:

Back View

I think we did REALLY good! We had fun doing them and the only cost to her was the $3.99 she spent on the card stock. I already had plenty of ribbon from making hair bows. 30 invitations for $3.99, what a deal!