What I Learned This Week

It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for another award-winning edition of What I Learned This Week.

Except I’ve never really won any awards. (But, there’s always a chance, right?)

Here’s what I learned this week.

1. Drew Carey is a minority owner of the Major League Soccer team Seattle Sounders.

2. No matter how many times I go Jeepin’ with McDaddy, this type of situation always make me cringe.

3. It is possible for a dancer on Dancing With The Stars to bring me to tears. Amy Purdy is a true inspiration. (And Derek Hough is a talented choreographer, too!)

4. When you wear these shoes on a Jeep ride, you will stick out like a SORE FRIGGIN’ THUMB.

 5. A good song makes me HAPPY.

6. Blue pants and a green jacket makes me all kinds of crazy.

7. Dinner at a Japanese restaurant is so much fun, especially when watching two young boys who have never experienced it before.

8. When you are working hard to lose weight, it will be easy to pass on a 280 calorie Little Debbie Brownie when you consider that it will take 47 minutes on the Recumbent bike to work it off.

9. Beavis and Butthead were actually the same person (voice).

10. Even after owning it for almost two years, I am still so excited to own a Saturn Sky!

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Purses, Pianos and Peanut Butter Eggs

I’ve had a productive day. After living here for eleven years, I finally got around to de-cluttering our loft. I have always loved that our house has a loft. The boys enjoy playing up there when they have friends over. Their favorite thing to do is pretend to be spies, and shoot nerf guns at me from up there.

I took this picture while I was up there cleaning today.

I love looking down into the great room. I can’t even begin to tell you how much dust was up there. It was actually embarrassing.

I bought a new purse earlier this week. We are slowly bonding.

Isn’t it pretty? I just love the lime green!

In between bouts of de-cluttering, fighting dust mites, and massive piles of laundry, I sat down to this earlier today.

I had forgotten how relaxing it is to play. Oh, and I also dusted it, too!

McDaddy and I attend a wonderful church. Every spring, we host an Easter egg fund-raiser. We have a wonderful time of fellowshipping. It is definitely a labor of love. I am one of the decorators, and I enjoy it very much.

We made over 1,000 eggs on Tuesday. I am proud to report that after two full days of decorating and three eggs consumed in my house so far, I haven’t eaten the first bite.

Aren’t they pretty?

In my humble opinion, the GCC peanut butter egg is one of the best things you will ever, EVER, put in our mouth.

If you have a good memory, you may recall a post I wrote back in 2011 where I shared an incident that happened up in here. A friend of mine ordered twelve eggs and I had planned to meet her a couple of days later. After seeing a mouse in the house, there was no way I was leaving them on the kitchen counter. I decided to store them in the oven. And then I forgot they were in the oven.

Yup. You guessed it.

Then, I preheated the oven.

It started to stink.

The smoke flew.

And then, I remembered that I had over $40.00 worth of chocolate eggs in the oven.

Just before burning the house down, I realized what was happening. The chocolate eggs were melting into the plastic containers, and I had a mess on my hands.

Not to mention, DORK!

It will be a long time before I ever live that little doozie down.

Can you believe that we woke up to snow yet AGAIN? Y’all, do you have any idea how tired I am of seeing snow every. single. week? For the first time in as long as I can remember, there is NO SNOW showing on the ten-day forecast weather APP. I am hoping and praying that the snow is OVER and OUT.

I have a pretty girl just waiting to make her spring debut. And, like me, she is getting all kinds of impatient.

Spring, I’m begging you to COME QUICKLY!!!!!

Have a great Thursday, y’all!

What I Learned This Week

Can you believe that it’s already Tuesday again? It seemed as though the last week flew by. If only  winter would fly by like the weeks do, we could have been done with the stupid snow weeks ago. I’m still holding my breath hoping that tonight’s storm passes us on by.

I really want to bring the SKY home, but I know McDaddy will leave it tucked safely away in storage until he is sure the snow and the salt is gone for good. According to my weather APP, the snow is slated to start at 1 AM and is supposed to continue through Wednesday night.

I really just want to have a whine fest, but instead, I’ll just skip to what I learned this week.

1. I really CAN turn down a Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll.

2. It is especially easy to turn down a Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll after doing twelve miles on the recumbent bike.

3. I have lived in Charleston, WV for 39 of my 40 years here on earth, and there are historical places just miles away from my home that I’ve never visited.

4. Dancing With The Stars includes more talking than dancing.

5. Fake eyelashes look horrid.

6. One can never have too many baseball t-shirts.

7. Organization gives me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. If only it would last….

8. A new purse excites me. A LOT!

9. There is a “spare” iPod in our house. How did I miss this?

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Daily Dose of Crazy

I have a lot of things to catch you blog readers (all eight of you!) up on.

Even though there was never a clear diagnosis, my ear is better. It’s not completely healed, but it is much better than it was last week. The ear specialist tends to think the culprit was either MRSA or staph infection. Neither of those sound too appealing to me, but since it feels much better, I don’t guess it matters now. All I can tell you is that IT straight-up HURT like heck!

I am proud to report that I’ve lost 11 pounds so January 10th. It has not been easy and it has been painfully S L O W, but I have kept it up and seeing the numbers on the scale move is a great motivator. I have whined to McDaddy for weeks that the numbers weren’t moving, and I was discouraged, but I am so happy that I am finally seeing some progress. I have cut W A Y back on my drug of choice COKE and I’m quite sure that has to be helping. I ordered a Kid’s meal at Steak Escape for dinner on Saturday, and it was plenty of food for me. Also, I have started eating yogurt which is a miracle, because NASTY!

I have been swarping like a crazy person this weekend. Am I the only person who uses the word “swarping” which is another word for cleaning crap out? It feels good to organize and straighten. I always have some type of ongoing project in the works around here. Our latest project included sorting through ALL school papers and organizing them in a file box. It feels good to have that project completed.

And speaking of projects… Stevie has a Biome project on Coral Reef due in two weeks. The first thing we need to figure out is what a biome is. The last project included memorizing The Gettysburg Address. Thankfully, Stevie has a wonderful memory (in fact, he never forgets a thing!) and he learned the whole thing over the course of three days and he got a perfect score on reciting it.

I can’t hardly even bring myself to type these next five words. Snow. Is. Expected. On Tuesday. I can’t even tell you how depressing that is.

Have a great week, y’all!

Three Little Words

Three little words
American idol on
Unimpressed thus far
Bye bye MJ
Busy day today
Snowman put away
Easter decor out
It’s spring y’all!
Snow hopefully finished!
Ear is better
Chilly ballfield evening
Multitasking queen
Stevie injured today
Perfect report cards
Dusted bedroom today
Todo list long
Bloggy business lunch
Living room cluttered
Relaxing weekend ahead
Share three words

What I Learned This Week

Y’all.

It has been such a crazy week.

Remember how every several months I come here and tell you all about some type of medical crazy? Well, I am pleased to report that it is that time again. Yes, you heard that right.

More. Medical. Drama. (I know you are so excited!)

I have learned so much this week.

First of all (and most importantly!) I learned that I’ve really missed this

face on Dancing With The Stars.

Welcome back, Maks, and YAY for an Olympic gold medal partner!

SCORE!

First thing I learned was that NeNe Leakes was on my nerve before she ever stepped foot on the dance floor. (And since we’re sharing what we learned this week, I learned that NeNe Leake’s real name is Linnethia Monique Leakes.)

Here’s all the other (non-dancing, medical-related) things I learned this week.

1. Shingles only occur on one side of the body and do not cross the mid line.

2. Shingles is also called herpes zoster

3. Shingles can present in several different ways. It can begin with itching, tingling, or pain in a certain area, followed by a band, strip, or small area of rash may occur a few days later. The rash then turns into clusters of blisters. The blisters fill with, well, nastiness. And then you’re looking at several more weeks of recovery.

4. When one of your ears looks like the one on left, you have a problem.

A serious problem.

5. The swollen, redness like that on the left ear might be shingles. Or it might be soft tissue infection. Staph infection. MRSA. Or any number of difficult-to-diagnose conditions.

6. A left ear like that one up there HURTS like heck.

7. There’s a reason you’re called a patient at a Doctor’s office.

8. I am not good at being a patient.

9. According to an emergency room nurse I met today, 11:00 AM to noon on a Monday is the worst time to come to the emergency room.

10. It is possible to get in AND out of the Emergency Room in less than four hours.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Much to the delight of my family, I have been trying at least one new Pinterest recipe each week. I have more than 250 pins on my “What’s For Dinner?” Pinterest board, so I have plenty of options. Earlier this week, I tried a new chicken recipe that was off the hook.

In fact, it is my favorite recipe so far.

Normally, the recipes I post here are simple and easy. This one? Not so much. But well worth the time you’ll spend putting the chicken together.

You will need these ingredients:

 

Chicken:
4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used cheddar on half and mozzarella on the other half)
Sauce:
1   10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp butter
DIRECTIONS:
1. To start, line up three bowls in a row on your counter. One for milk, one for cheese and one for Ritz crackers. Also, grease a 9×13 shallow baking pan.
2. Next, place one sleeve of Ritz crackers in a Ziploc bag and then seal it. Bang the heck out of the bag with a tenderizer OR you can just crush the crackers with your bare hands (which is what I did). Once the first sleeve is crushed up, add the second sleeve. (I didn’t get the crackers crushed as fine as I should have. I will next time, though.)
3. Add the salt and pepper to the Ritz cracker crumbs and mix it up.
4. Dip each piece of chicken in milk to coat it.
5. Next, dip the chicken in the cheese and pat the cheese onto the chicken.
6. Finally, press the cheese coated chicken into the Ritz cracker crumbs and press it onto the chicken. (Your Ritz cracker mixture will be messy and cheese filled, but fret not. Eventually, it’ll all melt together anyway.) Place each piece in the baking pan.
7. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until the chicken is brown.
If you’re like me you’ll have a messy counter.
Once you have that area cleaned up, you can make the sauce.
8. Use a medium sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce begins to boil.
9. Take the chicken out of the oven
10. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken.
Serve over rice. Or beside it.
Your choice.
Enjoy!

Pick A Stick

Our boys are great playmates. They play well together a LOT more than they argue. At eight and eleven, the spanking ship has sailed for the most part. I mean, I would still pull out a pampered chef discipline tool if needed, but for the most part, it seems silly to spank when the kids are bickering over a LEGO mini figure, or like yesterday, when one of them pinches the other in a fight over the Xbox 360 wheel.

How do you teach that your hands are not for hurting when you follow that up with spanking?

And then there are the times when all heck breaks loose in the back seat and I scream something like WHY CAN’T THE TWO OF YOU SIT BACK THERE WITHOUT TOUCHING EACH OTHER, I’M TRYING TO DRIVE!!!!

After months of taking away all electronic devices as the major form of punishment in this household, something had to give.

And Lord knows, my hollering fits weren’t working any more. Not like they really were ever all that effective, it’s just hard to keep this big mouth-o-mine under control sometimes.

While perusing Pinterest one day, I found an awesome discipline idea. It was cheap and EASY and I just knew this was gonna be effective, so I was all like, SIGN ME UP!

I headed to the Mart of Walls to get a bag of popsicle sticks.

I have deemed our new method of discipline the “PICK A STICK” method. We have used the method three times, and I feel like I am disciplining LIKE A BOSS.

I used some ideas from the Pinterest post, but really, I catered the sticks to meet our MY needs. With a sharpie, I wrote on 14 of the sticks.

  1. Run the sweeper upstairs
  2. Wipe dining room table off
  3. Dust living room
  4. Clean toilets
  5. Take laundry downstairs to laundry room
  6. Clean the bathtub
  7. Run sweeper upstairs
  8. Clean front door
  9. Put ALL laundry away on laundry day
  10. Say 5 nice things about your brother
  11. Straighten brother’s room
  12. Make brother’s bed

And my two favorites: GRACE

Yes, you read that right.

GRACE.

In other words, this discipline method also serves as a reminder to us about the grace of God. What better way to learn about God’s grace than to experience it firsthand. I wrote the word grace on two sticks and I want them to serve as a reminder of God’s love and grace in our everyday lives. In the three times the PICK A STICK method has been used, grace has never been picked. But if it ever is picked, I intend to talk to the boys about God’s greatest act of grace: the gift of salvation.

I placed the sticks in a Longaberger basket and it sits in our living room.

When things get out of hand at our house, OR EVEN IN THE BACKSEAT, I tell them to pick a stick.

So far, Stevie has swept the upstairs, Alex has swept the downstairs, Stevie has cleaned the bathtub, and Alex has cleaned off the dining room table.

You know what I say about that?

WINNING!

The boys understand that they perform whatever they pull. I was pleasantly surprised the last time they had to pick a stick. They asked if they could work together to complete their tasks faster.

You know what I say about that?

Hallelujah and Amen.

The Pick A Stick method works up in here. The boys haven’t fought nearly as much. And my list of chores is a bit shorter. Finally, a quick, easy, effective answer to the discipline madness.

I say it all the time, people. What did we ever do before Pinterest?

What I Learned This Week

My foot is hurting. My ear is sore. And on top of that I have a fever blister. I’m beginning to think that this 40 thing is for the dang birds.

There’s a pretty good chance that I have a fever blister because I’ve been making myself crazy over the baseball nonsense that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Anytime I experience anything that makes my blood pressure rise, I get a fever blister. As for my foot… it has been giving me grief for the past few months. I’ll be walking fine and all of a sudden a sharp pain will hit on the top of my foot stopping me in my tracks for a few seconds. After spending most of the day on my feet working a local consignment sale, the pain has been present all evening. I’ve had trouble with my ear since being diagnosed with eczema of the inner ear, but honestly, that’s nothing more than a big, fat, aggravation because it makes my inner ear itch like there’s a friggin’ ladybug crawling around deep in my ear canal. The ear pain I have right now though is different. The whole external part of my left ear is sore. I think it might be due to wearing ear buds several days last week while I walked. At least that’s what I hope it is. I’ll be sure to keep y’all posted on my latest medical craziness.

As I write this, I am watching the most dramatic rose ceremony finale ever. I haven’t watched it this season but a few of my friends were talking about it last week and so I  thought what the heck? I think I’ve learned that The Bachelor just might be the cheesiest show on television. Oh, and also that this Bachelor is condescending.

But I’m sure you didn’t come here to talk about my ear or my foot or my opinion of reality television. Instead, here’s what I learned this week (mostly from the agriculture lab at Alex’s school).

1.  Cows drink 30-40 gallons of water per day.

2. It takes about ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.

3. A dairy cow produces 46,000 glasses of milk in one year.

4. A mature chicken has approximately 8,500 feathers.

5. Apiculture is the study of honeybees.

6. The queen bee is the largest bee and lays as many as 2,000 eggs a day.

7. Pigs are pregnant for approximately 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days.

8. Pigs do not have sweat glands. For that reason, they roll in the mud to stay cool.

9. Cube steak is not the same thing as bucket steak.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Picture This

McDaddy bought me a recumbent bike for Christmas. It was always my favorite piece of equipment at the gym, mostly because I could sit and play Words With Friends or stalk my Facebook friends while getting my miles in. And also because, unlike the treadmill, I didn’t have to worry about falling and busting my face.

Surprisingly, I’ve been consistently using it 4-5 days each week. I try to ride during the hour that The Young and The Restless is on. I feel great when I hit the 15-mile mark in under an hour.

After another snow storm hit last Monday into Tuesday, I was thrilled when it was warm enough to walk our mile-long street several days last week.

I sent this

to my friend, Missy on Friday as I was walking up this

big, hilly curve on our street. (You know, because a walk is more fun when you can text pictures to your BFF!)

Walking down the road (hill) is no big deal. But walking up is serious business and I have to stop two or three times to catch my breath.

I’ve also been tracking my calories on the My Fitness Pal APP. It is so simple and helpful in this weight loss endeavor. As you put foods into your daily diary, it will calculate the percentage of carbs, proteins and fats in your diet that day. I especially love that I can scan a food item bar code and the nutritional information is right at my fingertips.

Naturally, I am always way over in CARBS. (They are of the devil!)

In an effort to balance the nutritional scales, I ate this for lunch on Thursday.

Which is a small miracle, because I HATE YOGURT! I think it tastes nasty and smells nasty, and I especially hate when I pull that top off of the yogurt and it splashes out on my clothes.

ICK!

But, I held my nose and ate it like a big girl. And apparently, my bravery paid off, because those three super foods pulled my proteins and fats up and my diet was pretty well-balanced that day.

On Saturday, the SUN came out and it was a beautiful day!  The boys and I spent the afternoon outside. I walked and they rode their bikes.

And then, THIS!

Yes, it’s that time again.

That time where our schedule is crazy busy and looks like this.

 

Both boys had their first baseball practice of the season. Stevie was drafted by the same coach he has had for four seasons. Alex was drafted by a new coach, and I’d be lying if I said I was okay with it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the new coach – he’s a great guy (and quite honestly, it really wouldn’t matter who the new coach was!). It’s just that, in my head, I had planned on another season in the stands with the same group of mommies cheering on pretty much the same team (except those who moved up to the next age division) that went undefeated last season because they were so comfortable playing together. I keep telling myself, “Self, this is not about you!” and I know that it really isn’t. In my defense though, I have spent four seasons with the majority of parents on Stevie’s team. We are like a family (which is how Missy and I became so close!) and I absolutely love that we are close-knit and we all get along so well. That is why I love baseball season so much! I really wanted that same experience with Alex and his teammates because as you can see from that calendar, we spend a LOT of time together at the baseball field (and that’s just a practice schedule!) So, I guess it’s fair to say I’ve been spoiled having Stevie on the same team with at six other boys for several seasons.

At any rate, the next three months will be busy, busy, busy.

Bring on the chaos, the warm evenings at the ball field, the flip-flops, the baseball t-shirts and of course, this,

as I am once again, the bookkeeper/team mom for Stevie’s team.

Have a great week, y’all!