"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This Menu Plan Monday is going to be a little different for me. I've decided I need to clean out the pantry to make room for newer staple items with expiration dates that aren't so soon! So below is a list of items that I want cleared out of the pantry this week. It's my job each day to decide what to make with the following items! *Feel free to leave suggestions!*

Pantry items to clear out:
various creamed soups
canned salmon
Hamburger Helper box (actually I may donate this on the food drive)
a million packs of pudding
Zatarain's rice mix
kidney beans
canned creamed corn
box of mac and cheese
corn muffin mix
canned tomatoes
cookie mixes
large bag of potatoes
large bag of onions

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, fruit-fresh or canned, toast, waffles, eggs
Lunches: Sandwhiches, soups, leftovers, salads
Drinks: tea, koolaid, water, milk, juice
Snacks: Fruit, cheese, cubed meat, snack crackers, veggies

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Southern Sundays of my Youth

I can see it so perfectly in my mind. Heat waves rising lazily up from the patio, sunshine so bright it made your eyes water, birds twittering, light breezes, the smell of flowers and pine in the air, and little tastes of sweet and tart plums and muscadines that made your mouth pucker and your tummy tremble with the pure joy of it all.

Those were the Sundays of my youth. Sundays, I spent as a child, going to Church, dinner at Granny's, sweet tea, old reruns of Laurel and Hardy and reading the comics. Naps, running in the sunshine, banana pudding, roast and Daddy Long Legs.

Yes, my memories are probably rose-colored. I'm sure not EVERY Sunday was a prefect, bright sun-filled day with puffy white clouds. I'm sure not EVERY Sunday had the perfect meal and all my favorite foods. I'm sure Granny didn't make dessert EVERY Sunday. But in my memory, it's all perfect. There were no skinned knees, no rainy days, no storms, no hurt feelings, no brussel sprouts--nothing but perfection.

Sure, there may have been a worm or two in the plums, but that just made it even more perfect. Sure, my cousins may have been pig-headed over letting a girl hang out at the "Big Rock", but it was still perfect.

And tomorrow is Sunday. As Josh, Reagan and I rush around, running errands, writing papers, getting in and out of Church, eating, changing diapers, cleaning, naps--it makes me long for the perfect Southern Sundays of my Youth and hope that someday, Reagan will look back on her childhood and see everything through rose-colored glasses and smile.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Show & Tell Friday

Good morning everyone! This morning I'm sharing my wedding toast glasses. They were a gift from my best friend Stacy. They're hand painted and from Czechoslovakia. We've used them twice..once for our wedding--red punch from the fountain! LOL! And once for our anniversary--with milk to go with our cake topper!

This past May, Stacy married her wonderful husband Stephen and they used the glasses at their wedding too! I hope this is something that will become an heirloom!

For more great show and tells, stop by Kelli's place!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Toddler Thursday! -- Pudding Paint

Welcome to the first weekly Toddler Thursday!

As a SAHM, I frequently find myself thinking that Reagan must be bored to death with me (especially during bad weather when we're stuck in doors all the time)and I'm always struggling for us to find something new and fun to do! I hope some of the ideas that I've found (and Reagan and I have experimented for you) will give you some great new ideas to do with your toddler! Please leave comments or questions! And feel free to join in every Thursday!

This week's fun toddler activity is Pudding Paint!

small containers
food coloring
vanilla pudding (I used premade pudding cups!)

Put a small amount of pudding in each container and mix in 2-3 drops of food coloring for each color. Tape construction paper down to your toddler's high chair or table and let the fun begin!

I recommend stripping your toddler down to his/her diaper or undies for this project!

Here are Reagan and I enjoying pudding paint!

This week, Reagan and I also enjoyed a new snack-English Muffin Pizzas! They were delicious and really not that messy! The recipe is below:

English Muffin Pizzas

2 English Muffins, split
olive oil
spaghetti sauce
shredded cheese, your favorite type is fine

Preheat oven to 350. Brush the muffins with olive oil and spoon on spaghetti sauce. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 11-13 minutes, until cheese is melted and the muffins are browned on the bottom! Let cool before serving to your toddler and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This is my first time joining Works for Me Wednesday! I'm really excited to get some great ideas from the other women who participate!

My "works for me" tip is really simple. I always lose the diaper cream! And at the worst times too (like when Reagan has a icky rash from teething!) So I purchased a large wipes dispenser and keep it filled almost all the way with wipes, and then keep my diaper cream in there too! Now I always have it on hand!

**Don't forget to join me tomorrow for Toddler Thursday!!**

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I'm feeling very lazy...so my tackles for today are: (I mostly just use this as a reminder to myself!)

1. Take a nap
2. Read some more of First Time Moms
3. Vacuum (Reagan likes to help with this)
4. Mop and dishes after Reagan goes to bed tonight
5. Take Reagan to the library
6. Set the trash out by the curb

My tackles for the week are:

1. Pick up my ring (it was being sized)
2. Work on application for adoption
3. The same thing I do every day Pinky....laundry ;)
4. Pay Verizon and Dish bills

Monday, March 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Ah, it's Monday again! So, after a few weeks of being a slacker and my diet taking a hit from those weeks of slacking, I'm back again with my menu. Enjoy!

Monday: Leftovers from Easter which include roast, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans and rolls
Tuesday: Baked chicken, rice and veggies
Wednesday: Soup and sandwhiches all around
Thursday: Salmon patties and veggie/salad
Friday: Baked burgers and veggies
Saturday: Homemade vegetable-beef soup
Sunday: Chicken-noodle casserole and veggie

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, fruit, toast, cereal, waffles or egg beaters
Lunches: Broccoli-Carrot soup, sandwhiches, salads, other soups, leftovers
Snacks: Cheesesticks, fruit, popcorn, fresh veggies and dip

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring Reading Thing 2008!

Thanks to my IRL friend Jana, I am joining the Spring Reading Thing 2008. You can read more about it by clicking on the link to the right! I'm really excited because there are several books I really do want/need to read and by joining, hopefully I can commit myself to reading them!

Here is my (short) list!

Finish: First Time Mom by Dr. Kevin Leman (I'll actually probably have to start from scratch because I started reading it when I was pregnant with Reagan back in 2006!)

The New Dare to Discipline by Dr. James Dobson
The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin
The Bible Code II by Michael Drosnin
The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp

A big girl room!

Since we are hoping to adopt sometime in the next year and a half, we've decided to transition Reagan (slowly) to a big girl room. So far we've purchased the bedding and rugs, which are just gorgeous and very girly. Next, painting the room and her daddy's old dresser, purchasing bookshelves, table and chairs and a toy box/bench. I'm really excited about this new room for Reagan. I envision it being a place she can go to play without hearing the word 'no' and where everything that she wants to play with is in reach. Here is a picture of the new bedding!

If you have any suggestions for her new room, feel free to post! I would love to hear any thoughts or recommendations!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008


More specifically my husband, Josh. What a loon...a loon, but a sweet loon! This morning I called to tell him he had left his laptop at home and he said "Oh, I know. That's my spare. I left it there just so I could have you call me this morning." Ok, I know that's not REALLY why he did it, but it was sweet anyway and made my heart melt. (Can you tell I'm the girl that fell for corny pick up lines?!)

And last night while we were climbing into our makeshift beds (Carpet cleaning and repainting bedrooms!), I heard him cuddle up with our, excuse me, HIS cat, Pritsha and the following ensued in a syrup-y, sweet voice complete with little kissy sounds!

"Ohhh, you're daddy's little sweetie aren't you? Yes, you are. Yes, you are. Daddy loves you. Here, cuddle up and stay warm." And then he proceeded to cover her up and fuss over her lack of hair growth from her surgery.

I was cracking up...all this from my sports loving, grass-mowing, ultra-practical husband! I know he'd die if he knew I was sharing this. But I had to! What a sweet guy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ack! Trying to play catch up!

This week is off to a very rocky start. Everyone in my house is crabby and I can't say I blame any of them....THIS WINTER IS NEVER GOING TO END!!! That being said, this weekend is Easter and I'm behind, as well as being crabby! The house is still a wreck, although I'm trying my best to clean everything up and reorganize the spaces for better use. I haven't gone grocery shopping and I've spent the better part of the beginning of the week covered in paint. Alas!

So, I'm going to post my menu and my tackle it for this week all together, right here!

Wednesday: Josh and Reagan-baked chicken, potatoes, veggie; Me at the office-soup!
Thursday: Mexican food--I'll whip up something from my WW book
Friday: Pasta and veggies
Saturday: Fend for yourself day!
Sunday (EASTER!): Pork loin, carrots, deviled eggs, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts or asparagus; sweet tea, hot tea, coffee, pepsi and coke; strawberry cake and granny's lemon pie

Finish organizing, touching up paint and rearranging bedroom. Carpet clean bedroom as well.
Drop off boxes to recycling center.
Drop off items to Goodwill.
Grocery shopping.
Pick a paint color for Reagan's big girl room.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy 5th Anniversary to us! (Josh and Leah)

It's our fifth anniversary!

Josh and I "met" in August of 2000. Actually, we became online chat friends! Yes, that's right, we met online. We were both in a 20s something chat room and both of us and another guy were quickly cracking everyone up. Gradually the three of us moved into our own room to chat and Josh and I started meeting online, calling each other and emailing. Soon after, we were sending cards and letters and pictures. We were JUST FRIENDS however, since we had never even met, and in August 2001, Josh decided to fly out to NC for his fall break to hang out.

I was dating another guy at the time, but that quickly ended as I fell in love with Josh! In March 2002, we became engaged and in March 2003 we were married! 5 years, 1 baby, 2 cats, a couple of moves and a few jobs later....here we are!

Here are a few photos of us through the years:

Our engagement photo!

Us dancing at our wedding!

Us with the furbabies!

Reagan's first fall fest with mommy and daddy!

This past Christmas with Reagan!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Show & Tell Friday

Show & Tell Friday is hosted by Kelli. Click on her name to visit other great show and tells!

I'm almost too tired this week to do a show and tell....almost ;) Reagan has been teething and it's been an interesting week to say the least. All I can say is THANK GOD for Veggie Tales!

Alright, now for my show and tell. My Granny bought these figurines for me..hmm...either when I was just about to leave high school or shortly after I rented my first apartment. They are two of the Three Musketeers. They're made out of some sort of plastic/resin material and affixed to a marble base with a felt bottom. I'm sure they're not valuable at all and they have no identifying marks save for a sticker on each which reads "RRA 99655" and "RRA 99656". But I dearly love them. Mostly because they came from my Granny, and secondly because The Three Musketeers is one of my favorite books and also one of my favorite movies! (Unfortunately the subsequent movies in the Dumas triology have not been as good...well Man In the Iron Mask was actually pretty decent...but none of them really follow the books at all!)

To be honest, and I never really noticed this til now, they actually look like the SAME Musketeer just in different poses...but I prefer to think of them as two of the original guys..hmm...D'Artangan is missing too!

Anyway, here they are! Thank you for looking!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Say "Thank you" to a Veteran!

I received an email yesterday from someone I know that served in the military and then a follow up email arrived from someone I didn't even know, but it was so sweet, and made me think about all of my loved ones, all of my dear friends, all the customers at Fort Bragg (I was in car sales and most of my customers were military) that are away serving in various parts of the world or that spent a good portion of their life serving.

It's not anywhere close to Veteran's Day, but please remember to say thank you to these hardworking, self-sacrificing men and women anytime you happen to see one out in uniform. They deserve our respect, our admiration, our love and our support, ALL year long.

Here's a small portion of the first email I received:

A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or
national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one
point in their life, wrote a blank check made
payable to "The United States of America," for
an amount of "up to and including my life."

Thank you to all who have served and continue to do so!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday (and my little girl doing her own tackles!)

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Tackle It Tuesday! Yah! Ok here is my list for the week:
Paint bookshelf
Order dining room set (it was backordered so I need to reorder a different set that can actually get here by Easter!)
Send gifts
Do some laundry
Call and schedule Reagan's 15 MONTH appointment (wow, where does the time go?)

Reagan has her own set of tackles for this week which she proudly accomplished yesterday ;) See below!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I've been tagged for Crazy Eights!

My IRL friend Jana tagged me to participate in a meme. So, in her words, here are several things in groups of 8, that you may or may not want to know about me!

8 things I want to do before I die

1. Know that my daughter is a Christian and saved.
2. Meet my grandchildren.
3. Move to a secluded mountain hideaway with Josh where we can grow old together.
4. Write a book.
5. Create a prize-winning recipe from scratch.
6. Ask a life-changing question of a candidate that really makes people think.
7. Teach my children to appreciate life in a way that I am just discovering.
8. Take one incredible vacation with my entire family.

8 things I say often

1. No, no, no, no.
2. Reagan. Reagan. Reagan.
3. Yah!!! (when we learn something new!)
4. Grrr! (to make Reagan laugh or when I'm exasperated)
5. Silly! (to Reagan!)
6. I love you.
7. I'm tired. (to Josh or anyone who will listen)
8. She's just so smart and beautiful. (to Josh as we stare in awe at our daughter every night)

8 songs I sing over and over again

1. If you like to talk to tomatoes...(Veggie Tales theme song)
2. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
3. Blue skies and rainbows
4. As the deer
5. I love Reagan (made up song)
6. If you're happy and you know it
7. ACK--I can't think of anymore..I sing the same ones over and over! In the Jungle (I can't believe I forgot this one..it's our favorite!)
8. A medley of Little Einsteins theme song, Tigger and Pooh theme song, Mickey Mouse theme song and Higglytown Hereos theme songs!

8 things I’m passionate about
1. My daughter.
2. My marriage.
3. My family.
4. My friends.
5. Reading.
6. Politics and the state and future of our country.
7. PPD awareness.
8. Taking care of my family and those I love.

8 books I’ve read recently
1. Slugs in Love
2. A cheesy historical romance
3. Quack! Quack!
4. Oh where, Oh where has my little dog gone?
5. Dancing with Degas
6. Harry takes a bath
7. The tawny scrawy lion
8. And yet another cheesy historical romance!

8 things that attract me to my best friends
1. Loyalty.
2. Sense of humor.
3. Integrity and honesty.
4. Similiar interests
5. Similiar beliefs
6. Shared experiences.
7. Our families mesh well.
8. They like me for WHO I am. Not who they want me to be.

8 people I think should do Crazy Eights, ok I don't know 8 blogging people!!
1. Stace

Friday, March 7, 2008

Show & Tell Friday!

Show & Tell Friday is hosted by Kelli. Click on her name to visit other great show and tells!

Everyone from last week wanted to see more roosters! So meet my second rooster. He's cast iron (I think) and soooooo heavy! I found him one day while purusing TJ Maxx, didn't get him the first day, so I had to make a special trip back! He usually has a place of honor on top of the fridge and I love seeing him first thing every morning! Reagan enjoyed 'petting' him while he was perched on her craft table this morning!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I dream of spring....

We're in the middle of another wonderful northern snow storm. How I long for Spring! I can't wait til I can throw a pair of shorts and a cute T-shirt on Reagan, head out to the backyard and just play. Blow bubbles, play in a sandbox, garden (even though I literally have a BLACK thumb when it comes to plants!), play in the kiddie pool, swing, slide..just have a good time in general!

I've already made a list of fun items to buy for this summer and can hardly wait to go shopping!

-Plastic wheelbarrow and gardening tools
-Kiddie pool with sprinkle
-Swing/slide combo
-Inflatable ball jump thing

It's going to be a great time! More fun than sitting around in the house all day which is what this winter has been. However NEXT winter, I'll be prepared and she'll be a little older and I'm sure there will be more things to do!

At any rate, I'm off to dream about warmer weather...anyone who is currently enjoying warmer weather..you lucky, lucky dog.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

ARGH..needless to say that last week's tackle did not get done and I've learned a valuable lesson--don't plan too much for one week!

This week's tackles are as follows:
-Mop the kitchen
-Order dining table and chairs
-Clean laundry room
-organize tons of plastic bags
-Send letter to adoption agency
-Send package to Eileen
-Pick up baby gifts for two more people! (OK what is in the water lately???)
-Grocery shop for the week

And for now, get off the computer and play with my daughter until storytime!

Monday, March 3, 2008

I missed Menu Monday!

Yep, I missed it, but I guess I can still play along, if for nothing else than my own sanity. So here's my menu plan for the week:

Monday-Dinner: Baked chicken, steamed orange cauliflower and green beans! YUM!
Tuesday: Baked fish, new potatoes and green beans
Wednesday: Josh and Reagan: I'll make them meatloaf (a rare treat since it's NOT WW!) and mashed potatoes; for me: Healthy Choice Chicken Noodle Soup
Thursday: Chicken with creamy herb gravy
Friday: Easy Chicken Quesadillas with mexican-salsa salad

Lunches: soups, sandwhiches, veggies, baked potatoes
Snacks: fruit, 100 calorie snack packs, string cheese, light popcorn
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