Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Problem Solved??

Need I say more?

Daddy is in charge today

Mommy was under the weather on Sunday so that meant daddy was in charge for the whole day. Roy is a really good father, always so attentive to the girls, playing games like hide n' seek and pretending to be a sick patient with a broken arm and being x-rayed for the 100th time. As you can see from Makenzie's picture above they all played so hard that day, she just zonked out on her big lamb chair. She never does that with me. :)

Didn't I just say no?

You get the picture, right?
I have a climber on my hands. Makenzie is quite the dare devil these days. I can't leave a room without coming back and finding her on our coffee table or our dining room table. As you can see, she thinks this is hilarious. I do not. Have you ever wondered how many times a day a mother actually tells her children NO, and they listen? I don't believe there is any scientific evidence that telling you children NO actually works. Help me!!!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

This is a favorite in our household. So quick, easy and with less than 5 ingredients. Enjoy!!

Country Pasta w/ Mozzarella

8 oz rigatoni, cooked & drained
8 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
2 cups broccoli flowerets
½ tsp minced fresh garlic
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Drain. Cook bacon over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is browned. Reduce heat to medium. Add broccoli and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until broccoli is crispy tender. Add rigatoni & mozzarella cheese. Continue cooking, stirring until cheese is melted.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Doing something right

Every night Roy and I take turns putting the girls to sleep. Each one of them has a routine - reading stories, singing, prayers and then good night hugs and kisses. It was my turn to put Caroline to bed this evening. She picks two stories each night and then we read a devotional just for preschoolers. We have done this for almost a year now and she really enjoys it, as do I. Tonight one of her books was a small bible she received when she was baptized. We read it often and she asks questions every now and then but I have always wondered if she understood. She looks at me tonight with the sweetest face and says...
"Mommy, Jesus was on the ground and he died on the cross and went way up high".
"Yes he did honey, he went to heaven to be with his Father".
"His daddy... and he loves him right"?
"Yes, very much".
This made my heart smile completely. I guess we are doing something right.
Good night my sweet babies, I love you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Do you ever have one of those days where you wake up knowing it's going to be one of those days? I did yesterday. I was feeling out of sorts all day. In others words, I was CRABBY!!! And when I am crabby the girls seem to feed off of that and they get cranky, crabby, bossy and sassy right along with me. Wow, not fun. We made it through the day with a few timeouts, (and a few for me as well) a lot of yelling and repeating of the wonderful word NO. Makenzie is now climbing on our coffee table and attempting to jump off. This is not good. I bet I told her NO a few thousand times yesterday, along with taking her off of the coffee table just that many times. Caroline was just being Caroline - loud, sassy and head strong. Needless to say, I had the girls in bed at 7:40 last night and all was quite. They both zonked out within minutes and I was right along with them.
Wow, what a difference a day makes along with a good nights sleep. We had a wonderful, fun, playful, exciting day. I decided to just let the house be as it is and I played all day with the girls. We made tents, did crafts, watched a movie, colored with markers and crayons, danced in the living room, and then I treated them to Applebees for dinner. We had so much fun together. The girls played great all day, and there was a lot of hugging and kissing and sharing. Caroline even told me thank you for the french fries and lemonade at Applebees. How sweet was that!
I realize as I write this, I just need to let go of my need to have a clean, clutter free house and spend more quality time with my girls. I know this time in their lives is going to go by so fast and I don't want to miss it. I have made a promise to myself and my girls to do less household chores during the day and do more playing. The chores will always be there waiting for me, but playtime with my girls won't.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


The dictionary describes sisters as being a female of the same kind. Interesting to me because why yes they both may be female but to me they definitely are not the same kind. I remember when I found out I was having another girl, I would lay in bed at night (not being able to sleep of course) and dream about my two little girls playing together, sharing their toys, and sweetly hugging and kissing each other every chance they got. Okay, I have maybe seen this a handful of times but I have to remember they are still young yet. My two girls are as different as night and day, black and white and don't mix sometimes like oil and water.
I love them both for their differences and they are both unique in their own ways. Makenzie is my climber and Caroline was always happy to sit in my lap. Makenize won't sit still to have a book read to her, Caroline would read books all day if we could. Caroline does not like to help clean up and Makenzie loves it. One loves strawberries and the other won't touch them with a 10-foot pole. They both have a sweet tooth like their mommy, they love movies, playing outside and rough housing with their daddy. They are both huggers and kissers and I LOVE that. There is nothing better than a neck hug and kiss from your babies, especially the ones that are unexpected.
I love capturing the fun moments as sisters and I can't wait for the day when they declare themselves the best of friends. The picture above is of the girls playing Polly Pockets together at our dining room table. It warmed my heart to hear Caroline explain to Makenzie how the little dolls fit into the car and that the little animals needed to go to the vet for a check-up and Makenzie just played right along.
I know that right now as they are young, they fight and tattle on eachother, but I know they love each other very much. These days won't be here forever and I want them to cherish every moment together as I do. I love you both!!

Daddy's Girl

Makenzie is definitely a "Daddy's Girl". I think it is so funny at an early age, I can see how much she resembles Roy and has alot of his mannerisms. They both love to tease people, and they are both very intense when they concentrate. They make the exact same face. It's hillarious. They are both very caring and loving and are beautiful to me.
This picture was taken on Tuesday night just as Roy had gotten home from a tough day at work. Work these days for Roy is very stressful but he is very thankful that he has a job right now. We count our blessings everyday and pray for those who are struggling to fine work and make ends meet during this hard time we have all been dealt. Anyway... Roy sat down at the kitchen counter to relax a few before putting the girls to bed. It wasn't long before little Miss Kenzie decided to join him. The two of them enjoyed a cool glass of water and just a few Doritos. A little snack before bedtime. As they sat and enjoyed their snack together, Kenzie feeding Roy his chips and Kenzie drinking all of Roy's water, Roy's stressful day seemed to just fade away. I wanted to capture this moment with a picture to remind Roy that he can leave his stresses at work and be welcomed home with open arms full of love... from all of his girls. We love you daddy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day

A Smith Family Valentine's Day.

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day together this year. The girls both received a package in the mail from their grandparents in Muncie. Caroline was so excited and well, Kenzie didn't quite get it. Maybe next year. Anyway... they both received a new Valentine book and a pink fuzzy purse. Thank you so much Mauw and Papaw.

Roy and I were able to enjoy a nice dinner out with friends. The church that hosts our Mops group converts one of their community rooms into a real-live restaurant and they call it Grazianos. They served Italian food and also provided free childcare. Who could beat that? I have never taken advantage of this opportunity and am sorry I haven't until now. We will definitely be back next year. The meal is free, however donations were accepted to help their youth program at the church. It was so great to see all of the teenagers there working towards their goal for the youth program.

Afterwards, we treated the girls to ice cream at Dairy Queen. Makenzie has become a "Do It Yourselfer" these days. The girls both got an ice cream sundae, Caroline had strawberry (her favorite) and Makenzie had plain old vanilla. We let Makenzie feed herself these days, with help of course. Well, I found out she doesn't like help with her ice cream. I tried several times to hold the bowl for her so it wouldn't move around. She wasn't having it. I wasn't allowed anywhere near her ice cream. She also likes to bite the plastic spoons. She went through three spoons for one little ice cream sundae. Crazy, crazy girl.

This Valentine's Day wasn't romantic or fancy, but that is just the way I like it. Dinner with my husband and new friends, the kids having fun, and being with my family. That is all that matters.

Tasty Tuesday

This is one of my favorite recipes from when I was a child. I still ask for it occasionally when I am home. Over the years, several variations have been made but the one I am sharing with you is my favorite. This recipe is great served with cornbread muffins. Enjoy!!

Green Beans, Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

2 cans beef broth
2 cans green beans
2 cans whole potatoes or 4 raw potatoes cut into quarters
1 pkg skinless smoked sausage, cut into pieces
1 small onion, cut into quarters
1 tsp of seasoned salt (optional)

Mix all ingredients into large pot and cook, covered for 45 minutes.

Honey Cornbread Muffins
Food Network - The Neeley's

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1/2 stick margarine, melted
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Place muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the liners. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Alone Time

Caroline and I enjoyed a fun Friday together this past week. It isn't often that she and I get to spend quality alone time together. We always have fun and I just love having all of these "grown -up" conversations with her. She asks and says the most grown-up things sometimes. It's kind of scary.
The first thing on our agenda was attending a tour of a local fire station with our Mops group. This was a great opportunity for the children to learn about fire safety and to see all of the fire equipment up close, including the fire engine. They had a fireman dressed in his complete uniform. Some of the children were a little scared, but most went right up to talk to him. I thought this was a wonderful teaching tool for the children. They learned not to be afraid if a fireman comes into their home during a fire and that if they saw a man dressed like this, it was okay and safe to go with them. They showed them a lot of the tools they use during a fire and let all of the children walk through a real fire engine. They loved this!!! We were able to see where the firemen eat and sleep and the children were amazed that their beds were tucked away in the wall. The fireman asked what the kids thought of that, and one replied "It's green". (the comforter was green) Funny, they could care less that it was tucked away in the wall or maybe they just thought this was normal. Caroline had a great time with her best buddy Emma. These two are inseparable whereever we go. They were holding hands during the tour, running and laughing.

After our tour, we did a lot of errands together. She loves to know where we are going and what we will be doing there. She loves to pick out the cart and sit up front near me and help me put our items in the basket. After our errands, we headed to a friends house so I could get my hair colored and trimmed. While we were there, she drew her very first family portrait of us. I was stunned. I had never seen her draw a stick person before. Her artistic ability usually only consists of smiley faces and sunshines. I have saved this and put the date on it and plan to put it in her scrapbook. It's adorable. I love that she knew to make the mommy and daddy bigger than the kids and to make herself bigger than her little sister. How smart, especially at three years old.

Our last stop of the day was Dr. Larson's office. Caroline has been complaining of knee pain for quite some time and I have just put it off. But lately, she has been complaining on a daily basis. So I decided it was time and took her in. She was very good and let the doctor poke and push her knee around. The diagnois was that her right knee cap is a little lose. Weird, I know. I guess this isn't uncommon especially for toddlers, and seeing that they are born without knee caps anyway. So, I was happy with the outcome but the doctor decided he would like to get an x-ray just to make sure there wasn't anything going on underneath her knee cap. We headed to the x-ray office and Caroline was such a big girl. She laid still and listened to the x-ray technician and was curious about all of the big equipment. She wasn't scared at all. The x-ray outcome was normal and I just have to watch her knee cap and make sure it stays in place. No problem!!

We had a wonderful day together as did, Roy and Makenzie. Caroline is asking when we can do it all again. Very soon my sweet girl.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Do Over

Do you ever have one of those days where you just want to start over? You wake up, refreshed from the day before, ready to go, the morning goes smoothly, and then BAM, it hits you like a brick. Tuesday through Friday, the girls and I have pretty much the same routine. I get up at 6:15am, shower, blow dry my hair, make-up, and get dressed. If you know me, I would rather sleep in until the girls wake up, but I prefer to take a shower in privacy with no screaming, no one trying to get in the shower with me, climb on the toilet or wrestle with the dog. If I am able to accomplish this, I feel pretty good about the rest of my day.

Today started out really well. I actually had to wake up both the girls. (This is a rarity for me.) Usually they are up before I'm done blow drying my hair. Anyway... everyone is dressed, had their medicine, vitamins, breakfast, pottied and we are out the door at 8:25am. Yeah!!! We had Mops today, which I was so looking forward to. The girls were having their Valentine's Day party and we had a wonderful speaker joining us to talk about marriage & relationships. He was funny, witty and had some good advice. I am the coordinator for the Mops group and have been since September. I have really enjoyed being the coordinator. All of the ladies are wonderful and I consider them part of my family. But... being coordinator has caused me some stress. This is stress I put on myself, not from anyone or anything else.

I know it's just me. I'm too hard on myself. I've been told this a million times. This is what I do. As soon as I get in the car with the girls to head home, I start replaying the day. Did I sound okay, did I miss something, did the moms like the speaker, were there enough forks and spoons, do the moms enjoy their time w/o their children (that's a silly question) and do they feel the meetings meet their needs? Okay, this is what I do every single time. I need HELP!!!! I am a people pleaser and have always been. So I think today I would like a Do Over. I would like to do it over again, just so I can sit back and relax and know that everyone is taken care of & that I shouldn't worry so much.

As I am writing this, I know I sound crazy. I think as women, wives, mothers and daughters we are just too hard on ourselves. We all need to just take a "chill pill" and relax. The world is not going to stop spinning if something isn't just right. So... I am going to chill out today and relax while my two beautiful girls have some quiet time and realize that everything is okay and that my little part of the world isn't going to stop spinning because I wish I could have a "Do Over". I'll do it over on another day!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

It's Tasty Tuesday again. I hope you have enjoyed the recipes I have been sharing. This one is too die for. I love dark chocolate, so this really hits the spot when I've had a bad day. Enjoy!!
Honey Bunches of Oats Chocolate Balls

1/4 cup butter
1 pkg (10 oz) marshmallow
5 cups Post Honey Bunches of Oats cereal
1 container (7 oz) Baker's Real Dark Semi-Sweet Dipping Chocolate

Heat butter in large saucepan on low heat. Add marshmallows. Cook marshmallows 5 minutes or until melted. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal and cool slightly. Shape mixture into 24 balls with moistened hands. (I used Pam cooking spray). Place on wax paper covered baking sheet, cool completely.

Heat dipping chocolate as directed on container. Dip top of each ball into chocolate, return, dipped side up to baking. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until set.

Monday, February 9, 2009


We had a busy weekend at my parent's house. We did a lot of visiting with family. We were able to spend time with my 89 year old grandma, my Aunt JoJo, my brother, my two nephews and one of my bestest friends, Tammy. The girls always love playing with their cousins, the house is filled with screams, laughing & giggling. The girls seem to learn a few new tricks when they are with the boys such as, throwing balls in the house, pestering eachother, and making messes. It's all in fun but when I look back now, I think my mom and I did a little too much yelling. Caroline and Makenzie had a wonderful time with Mauw and Papaw and as you can see, they needed their rest.

I was able to spend a lot of time with my granny Nell this trip. She will be 89 this March and is as spry and "with it" as they come. Her body is weak but her mind is still strong. She is one of the funniest people I know. I am blessed to still have her with me. My grandfather (Granny Nell's husband) passed away when I was 7 and I still have very fond memories of him. He had the fuzziest eyesbrows ever and he was a painter. I have several of his paintings in my home. I am able to walk by his painting everyday and remember him and know where I came from. His name was Phillip and if I ever had a son, I wanted to name him after my grandfather.

My dad's parents passed away in 2000 and 2001. They were wonderful and we had such a big family on my dad's side. He is one of 7 children. The holidays were always so much fun. The grandkids running all over the house and my aunts and uncles all there together. I miss those days. As we have gotten older we don't see eachother often enough, if ever. My grandpa Boling loved horses and he always smoked a pipe. If I come across someone smoking a pipe, I always take in the scent and remember him. He always had stubble on his face too. When we would leave to head home, I would give him a kiss and he was always so scratchy. Now when my dad gives Caroline a kiss, she always tells him he is scratchy too.

My grandma Boling was a sweetheart. I can still feel her soft skin and remember her smile. She was beautiful. She made the best cinnamon toast ever. I don't know what she did, but I could eat 10 pieces all by myself. I have a necklace hanging from my rearview mirror that she gave me when I turned 16. It has been in every car I have owned. Everytime I look at it, I can remember her and know she loved me.

I was blessed to have not two but three grandpas in my life. My granny Nell remarried in 1983 to a man named Lester. He was different from my grandfather, but different was good. He never had children of his own and he was very good "Bonus Dad" to my mom and aunt and to us grandkids. I often thought of him as a kid himself. He loved to have fun and was always telling jokes. He was a poet and could write a poem about anything. Lester had probably written over 1000 or more poems in his lifetime. He was the kindest man you could know and would do anything for anyone. Lester passed away in January of 2003 just before Caroline was born.

I have so many fond memories of all of my grandparents. My Granny Nell and I are very close and I am lucky to have her still in my life. I love that there are four generations of women on the Higdon side of the family. We are all stubburn, kind-hearted, and beautiful. I think my grandfather would get a kick out of my girls. I know my granny Nell sure does.

This weekend was about reflections for me. I miss my grandparents everyday & I am thankful that my girls have such a strong bond with all of their grandparents. I hope when they are older they have stories to tell their children about days spent playing and being loved by the most wonderful grandparents in the world. So to Mauw & Papaw, Grandmother Jeanie and Grandpa Bob, lets continue to make memories to last a lifetime.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hide and tell me where you put it

Caroline loves to play Hide and Seek. It's a game we play almost daily, especially with daddy. We have been playing this game for quite some time, however, I don't think she gets it just yet. If she is the one doing the hiding, she loves to tell us immediately where she hid the object. We have told her over and over again, that the point of the game is to let us "seek" the toy she just hid. When we are doing the hiding, she looks for about 30 seconds, gets mad, and then wants us to tell her where we hid the toy. Some nights this turns into an all out fight. So, now we just play "Hide and tell me where you put it". Try it, it's fun!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

My goal is to share at least one recipe a week, hopefully on Tuesdays and call it "Tasty Tuesday". (Hope you don't mind Carmen -love the title!)

Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

Kristen Mattingly

6 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 small onion, chopped

1 can chicken broth

1 can cream of celery soup

1/4 cup margarine, cut into cubes

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

Salt, pepper and garlic powder - approx. 1 tsp each

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheddar

3 tbsp fresh chives (optional)

Combine first 8 ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours...until potatoes are tender. Mash mixture until potatoes are slightly smashed and soup is slightly thickened. Stir in milk, cheese and chives.

Top with additional cheese, crumbled bacon and sour cream.

Notes - make sure you have a potato masher for this. I forgot we don't own one and used a large fork and it took forever to mash. Also, an additional topping I use is croutons. It gives it a nice crunch. Enjoy!

Makenzie Leigh

Things I love about my little "Chubba Bubba" Makenzie

1. Her smile - she can light up a room with that cheeky grin of hers.
2. Her ocean blue eyes - she gets those from her daddy.
3. She is funny. She plays tricks on us all the time. She loves to run up to us and act like she is going to give us a hug and then turns around real fast and heads back the other way. And laughing while she is doing it.
4. She doesn't like to wear socks and if she does wear socks, it's usually only one.
5. She is friendly. She tells everyone hi!
6. She is a hugger. I love the big around the neck hugs. They are the best.
7. She is a kisser. She gives big open mouth kisses. Not just one, but three at a time.
8. She is a good player. She loves to play mommy with her baby dolls, always pushing them in the stroller or putting them to sleep in the crib.
9. That she calls me "Mama".
10. I love that she tries so hard to be like her big sister.
11. She is a climber. This is kind of scary sometimes, but she has a will about her. She isn't going to stop until she has reached her destination.
12. Loves her "mimi" - aka milk. That is the first thing she asks for in the morning.
13. She has a love affair with Elmo. My daughter loves Elmo so much that we have to have it on the DVD player in the playroom on a constant rotation.
14. Talks in her sleep...about Elmo.
15. Can take off her own diaper.
16. That she sticks her hand in her diaper like Al Bundy. Weird, I know.
17. One of her favorite snacks are pretzel rods. She walks around with it hanging out of her mouth like a cigarette.
18. She sleeps with a long bear we call "Longfellow" and her baby Elmo every night.
19. She loves to be nudie.
20. That she is my precious baby girl.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Middle Finger

Okay, who has ever had this conversation with their children? The other night, while reading my oldest daughter her bedtime stories, she asked me this...

"Mommy, what is our middle finger called?"

"It's called the middle finger."


"Because it's in the middle of our hand."

"Mommy, what do we do with it?"

Okay this is where I could have used some help. A lot of help. I wasn't exactly sure how to answer this question, especially coming from a 3 1/2 yr old. This is why it was hard for me. You see, Caroline usually points to things with her middle finger, not sure why. I think it might be a family trait, my nephew does the same thing. I told her we use our fingers for many different things, like typing, writing, sign language, eating, and... pointing. I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to tell her pointing with the middle finger isn't such a good idea. Of course she asked why. This is how that conversation went.

"Why don't we point with our middle finger Mommy?"

"Because honey, pointing with your middle finger is like using bad language."

"Mommy our fingers can't talk."

"I know our fingers don't talk, it's like using sign language, but pointing with your middle finger means something very bad."

"Okay Mommy."

That seemed a little too easy. Let's just pray she stops pointing to things with her middle finger. Whew!!