Monday, January 28, 2008

Well, Hello, Random Post

Dallas is getting a little testy, don't you think? Or perhaps you think that this is quite appropriate due to the obvious increased crime rates in areas that were inundated with Hurricane refugees? Or perhaps you're thinking that this post is out-of-date? I snapped this picture on the way to my mom's house on January 13, 2008.

Whatever you think, I hope this is at least amusing in some way. It is to me.

This one is from about a month ago when I decided to rearrange Caleb's furniture because I felt like I was walking into a cave with the furniture congregated near the door. I was unsuccessful in moving the shelving unit without removing its contents first. But the gigantic mess was well worth it; Just look at the outcome!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Have I ever mentioned...

Have I ever mentioned...that I appreciate my husband? Well, I do. Although there are times when I have allowed myself to focus on the things I dislike, the good always outweighs the bad.

So, this post is for my dear husband, Jadie~


  • I appreciate your dedication to providing financial security to our family.

  • I appreciate that you ALWAYS make every financial decision a joint-decision.

  • I appreciate that you rise each morning to take on another day as a repair tech.

  • I appreciate that you drive 30 minutes each way every day to endure a tough physical day of work to provide for your family.

  • I appreciate that you include me in most of your free time.

  • I appreciate that you NEVER complain when I take a day for shopping.

  • I appreciate that you dust the house.

  • I appreciate that you ask me if I mind before you play Madden 08 for hours on end.

  • I appreciate that you support my decision to stay home to raise Caleb.

  • I appreciate that you work hard to keep the house in working condition.

This is just a start, but I hope you KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I support you. I believe in you!

~Lauren

Monday, January 14, 2008

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Finally!!! I've made the best Broccoli-Cheese Soup I've ever been able to make in my own home. Believe me, I've been trying for quite some time. Each different recipe I've tried has been good, but never quite hit the mark. This one...the creamiest, cheesiest, yummiest I've been able to find. And it actually only uses 8 oz of cheese!


Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Preparation:
Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.
Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Nutritional Information:
CALORIES 203(28% from fat); FAT 6.3g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 15.6g; CHOLESTEROL 24mg; CALCIUM 385mg; SODIUM 897mg; FIBER 2.9g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21.7g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2002

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Night In

What's happening now: I am currently enjoying a night in. Jadie is playing XBox with Chris (at Chris & Melanie's house) and so I put Caleb down at 7:30 tonight and did some straightening up around the house before my sister and her friend Julia came over to work on sewing some purses. I'm taking a break before I start some scrap booking; I just finished repairing my mother's bracelet and making myself a new pair of earrings! I've been so productive. It's amazing what 2 glasses of McAllister's Sweet Tea can do for your energy level (and probably my waistline).

Recap from this week: I spent two days just chillin' with Bonnie. Really no agenda, except just to be together for a while. I walked with Melanie twice this week...that's an accomplishment since I've taken nearly two months off! I got a shopping itch on Wednesday after sharing the lunch hour with Jadie's mom. So, I decided it would be more wise to shop for others rather than myself. I can't believe it! I got one person taken care of for their April birthday, half of my sister's birthday present, and half of Jadie's birthday present! I didn't even break the $35 mark!

Cute Caleb video from this morning:
When you watch this, please do not assume that I still spoon feed my two-year old. He feeds himself with his own spoon and bowl of cereal. I was feeding him a couple of bites of my Raisin Bran, because he asked so sweetly. Enjoy!
Oh yeah, and he's not picking his nose. I promise I'd admit it if he was; and I do realize it does look pretty suspicious.

video

Update of Jadie's back and leg pain: Still there!!! He's been seeing the chiropractor for almost 4 weeks now. Some days he feels much better, but other days the pain returns. Argh!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Houston, As Promised

Haven't you had enough of all of my obnoxious pictures yet? I hope not, because I have a few more to share with you; And these come with a story.
It seems that everywhere we turn, someone in our lives is facing some sort of difficulty. Some are facing tight financial times, car accidents, car troubles, being robbed, death in the family, Bonnie and Stephen's ordeal only a few months ago, and on and on.

One family's trial I have not yet shared here on the blog. I am sorry for that because I know that many of you would be praying if you knew. My dear friend and college roommate Amanda has been married to her husband Brian almost 2 1/2 years now. Roughly 2 months ago, the big c-word entered their lives. CANCER. Brian was having trouble eating and was experiencing intense pain in his stomach/abdomen area. He thought it to be caused by ulcers. After visiting the doctor, he found out that it was, in fact cancerous polyps that had become lacerated, causing him to lose about 50% of his blood. Since then, he has been admittted to M.D. Anderson in Houston and has completed 2 rounds of chemo so far. Round 3 began this week.

As I have been typing this explanation, I have had to go back and correct my sentences from reading "they" to "him" as I explain the physical aspects of their situation. I make note of this because I want to emphasize the fact that while Brian is dealing with the physical effects of the cancer and the chomotheraphy, Amanda is right beside him, suffering as he suffers, hurting as he hurts.

All of that said, Jadie and I drove to Houston this past weekend to visit with Brian and Amanda. We had a wonderful time watching movies, playing games, talking, and visiting a few local restaurants together.

We are all thankful that Brian was feeling pretty well except for headaches and that we were able to share some time with them before his 3rd round of chemo.


For those of you who would, please pray for them as you remember them and feel free to visit their blog where Amanda tries to update everyone on Brian's prognosis and their situation as she can. They are listed to teh right in my "Links" section.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Caleb's Birthday Party - Dec 30

BEAUTIFUL train cake done by Jadie's mom...what talent she has!


Making train tracks with Hot Wheels and a little paint




Happy Moms, Dads, and Kiddos!

Nicole and DJ...expecting #2 this August!

Nicole and I have been friends since our middle school days...


Stephanie and little Blake...


Miss Melanie and Oren...hot momma and her handsome little angel


Trying to get the kiddos to make a train before taking turns at the pinata

Caleb is overwhelmed with excitement over this part

I think he's upset right about now that I just told him to get his fingers out of the icing


Little Brandon thoroughly enjoying his piece of cake


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Coming Soon...

There are two more things to blog about, but they'll have to wait. It's getting late and all of these pictures have taken most of the night to upload and post. So now you can look forward to another post about Caleb's Birthday and our trip to Houston to visit Amanda and Brian!

Here I Am!

We've been tied up with various activities for the last 2-3 weeks, so here's what's been going on for those who are curious (or thought we'd been abducted by aliens)...

Christmases Galore!!!
December 15-16 with my family
December 22, 23, 24th with Jadie's family
December 25-26th with my Mom and sister

Caleb's 2nd Birthday Party!!!

All-Out New Year's Bash!!!
Really we just had a relaxing-good time with our good friends Melanie, Chris, and little Oren!

Trip to Houston!!!

Christmas, Take One

Sunday, December 23, 2007
Christmas with Jadie's Mom, Sister, and Newphews
Jadie's Mom with her new purse...courtesy of mine and Jadie's stylish taste

Jadie's David Crowder CD...Jadie's mom gave him this as well as an autographed picture of the David Crowder Band


Junior with his gift from us

Chris with his trio of PS2 games from us

Christmas, Take Two

Monday, December 24, 2007
Our Family Christmas at Home
Caleb's Train Backpack

Jadie's iPod...I am particularly proud of the good deal I got on this...one-of-a-kind find...this 32GB iPod belonged to a roommate of my sister's who had lost it and bought a 2nd iPod for herself...so she had no need for this one...perfect formula for a steal-of-a-deal for me!

Jadie bought Hitch for me...and Bath & Body Works...and the Notebook...thank you sweetie!!!


Caleb "helping" Jadie dig down in his stocking


Caleb opening one of his AWESOME gifts from us...or so we thought. That is until we took it out of the box and proceeded to try to inflate 6 different sections using our automatic air pump whose nozzle was too big for these tiny valves. We then proceeded to get high trying to blow up the 6 sections by mouth. We gave up after about 30 minutes and only 1 section entirely inflated. We boxed this thing back up and returned it to Toys 'R Us for a full refund...good thing we almost always keep receipts.

Christmas, Take Three

Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Christmas Morning at Home
Caleb's new train set from Santa Claus...really cool...only stays put together for 5.2 seconds

Caleb's rocking chair and golf set from Santa Claus

The two boys playing with the new train set. Apparently, taxis and minivans can now travel on train tracks as well...

Christmas, Take Four

Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Christmas with my mom and sister
Aunt Kristin thinks Caleb is a super genius piano player...not really...but she is very thoughtful. Caleb always climbs up onto the piano bench at mom's house, so Kristin got his this roll up piano so he could play at home too!


Caleb is a little apprehensive about the new tent from my mom (Granana)

Much better...you put a train anywhere, and Caleb's there. Even if it is inside of a scary new tent.