Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One Word...

One word. Use this word once and clarification is yours, sense is made, and you are no longer left in a state of wonder. Now, this same word that sheds light on everything can also be the word that you wish you never heard. I teach first grade...I hear this word often. It usually brings me great joy to hear (although there are moments when it has been used against me), because it means inquisitive minds are at work.

Here is a recap of some of my conversations with my son within a 3 hour span (bear with me) -

While shopping at the store
Me -"You need some new shorts."
Lil' Man - "Why need shorts?"
Me - "Because, you are a growing boy."
Lil' Man - "Why?"
Me - "Well, because you are getting taller and stronger."
Lil' Man - "Ohhh....(wait for it)...why?"
Me - " you like these shorts?"
Lil' Man - "I LIKE these shorts!" (whew...)

At another store...he tries hiding in the clothes  rack
Me - "You need to follow directions."
Lil' Man - "Why?"
Me - "Because, you need to be safe. Mama is keeping you safe."
Lil' Man- "Safe, why?"
Me - "Because I love you"
Lil' Man - (big smile) "Love you too, Mama"

Driving in the car
Lil' Man - "Mama, where's dada?"
Me -  "Daddy's at work."
Lil' Man -"Why?"
Me - "When people grow up they go to work."
Lil' Man  - "Oh. Mama...why go to work?"
Me - "People go to work for a lot of reasons."
Lil' Man - "Why?"
Me - "I love you."

At home getting ready for bed
Me - "We need to brush your teeth"
Lil' Man - "Why?"
Me - "Your teeth are dirty"
Lil' Man - "Why teeth dirty?"
Me -"After we eat, the food gets on our teeth and makes them dirty"
Lil' Man - "Eww...Why?"
Me - "What does a dinosaur say?"
Lil' Man - "RAAARRR"

This one word..."why" coming up more and more in conversation with my son. I love that he is thinking and processing the world around him, BUT THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH WHY I CAN TAKE. Thank God he is so stinkin' cute...because I can't help but love even the most incessant use of a single word at one time when it comes from him.

He is so silly...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simply Delicious

I have been craving a jalapeño chicken kind of dish for a few, tonight I just whipped out the 'peños, chicken, added a few things here and there that would compliment each other and made my dish to suit my taste buds. (hopefully my husband's too)

I did not want to do anything very complicated...I am all about "doing it simple" here is what is for dinner at the Williams' household tonight.

Grilled Jalapeño Chicken

What you need:
*5-6 chicken tenderloins
*1 clove of garlic
* 1/2 a tomato
*1/4 onion
*2 jalapeños

What to do:
* Cook chicken on skillet with 2 TBSP. of olive oil
* Mince garlic and add to chicken
* Slice jalapeños in half and clean out the middle, chop, and add to chicken
* Puree tomato and onion and add to chicken
* Cook all ingredients together for about 15 minutes

With a dollop of sour cream...mmm
Refried Black Beans

What you need:
*3 1/2 cups of black beans
*1 clove of garlic
*1/4 of an onion
*1/2 of a tomato
*Salt to taste
*1 tsp. olive oil

What to do:
* In a blender - add black beans, garlic, chopped
  onion, chopped tomato, and salt (It is  also good to saute onion & garlic in skillet then add the rest of the
* Blend mixture...should not be runny...should not be whole beans...a little clumps is okay
* Heat olive oil in skillet
* Once warm, add black beans

*4 avocados (cut in half and scrape insides into bowl)
*2 limes (squeeze with lemon juicer into bowl)
*Salt to taste (I like a lot)
*Mix (mash) together

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees
*On a cookie sheet place 6 corn tortillas
*Sprinkle shredded cheese over the tortillas
*Chop some cilantro and sprinkle on top of cheese
*Bake in oven for 5 minutes (longer for a more crunchy tostada)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kabobs and Zucchini

Here are a couple of original recipes from my husband and I that would be perfect to try now that the beautiful warm weather has arrived...if it has not arrived for you yet, still try them...they are both so GOOD!


What you need:
*Stew meat
*1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
*1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
*A couple shakes of Salt and Pepper
*Shrimp (Large with tails)
*Bell Peppers
*Purple Onion
*Mushroom (Portabella)
*Sweet Peppers

What to do:
* Marinade the stew meat and shrimp with the balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire for about 2 hours
* Cut vegetables, pineapple, and mushroom into two inch chunks
* Skewer each item to your taste
* Set on the grill for about 20 minutes (make sure to turn them about every 5 minutes)
* Enjoy

Baked Stuffed Zucchini

Before entering the oven

Mmm...ready to eat

What you need:
*Clove of Garlic
*Olive Oil
*Salt & Pepper
* Oregano
*Shredded Cheese

What to do:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees
*Slice zucchini in half and scoop out the middle with a spoon
*Mix some olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano together
*Baste inside of zucchini with olive oil mixture
*Chop garlic, tomato, and cilantro together (I pureed them in my mini-blender)
*Pour tomato mixture into each zucchini half
*Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top
*Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes

Spring Break

Spring Break - it used to mean basking in the sun at the beach, feeling the cool wet sand between my toes, and coming home with an AWESOME tan...those days are no more. Although I no longer get the UV rays I so desperately crave while tasting the salty air, I now have a new appreciation and love for the new form SB has taken on.

This week...I have been able to catch up on some cleaning (which really makes me happy), I read all three books of The Hunger Games trilogy (SOOOOO GOOD), did some shopping, went to the movies, had dinner with good friends, worked outside, and have had a blast hanging out (playing games, grilling, Mario Kart, snacking...) with my family (I am so glad that my brothers were able to come down and visit).

I was so thrilled when we started working on the garden, because now I have my roses that I have been wanting for so long. We planted four rose boxes to outline the outside of the front of the garden.

We worked on Lil' Man's outside play area this week looks SO MUCH BETTER!


A perfect day for sitting and relaxing at his new picnic table from Grandpa and Grandma Williams 
Nice area to eat and then play with his sand/water table

I think he likes his new outdoor space

 My family and I are hanging out at Eischen's Bar...fried chicken and fried okra...very heart healthy, right???

...but it is okay, because now we are eating ice cream at Freddy's...

Now at Freddy's Frozen Custard 
Freddy's Ice Cream for dessert

No ice cream here...just sleeping

So, needless to say...what a fantastic week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Dirt"y Talk

manure...topsoil...compost....fertilizer...oh, wait...not what you were expecting.

That time of the year is here, yet again, my friends. Garden planning has arrived. For those looking to begin for the first time hopefully you will glean a little information on "how to get started".

Today's Key Topic: Soil Preparation 

Raised Bed Garden
Once you have decided where your garden will be, remember to have a place that has adequate drainage. You will want to "desod" (kill) the existing grass. You can scrape it with a squared off shovel, till the ground, or cover the grass with black plastic to kill it.

Now, bring in top soil. It is highly recommended to purchase soil from a garden center with top quality soil. Your local Ag center is a good resource. This eliminates soil that is too thick with clay; You want the soil to be loamy (The soil should not be clumpy or too sandy). You will want enough to fill it 1-2 inches from the top. If you purchase good quality soil, you reduce the need for supplementation. 
 *If you do need to supplement your soil, take a sample of your soil to your local Ag center to see what would be lacking.

Non-Raised Bed Garden
Again, decide where you will have your bed located (remember, adequate drainage). Once decided...till the ground. There should be no grass or weeds. Have your soil checked if possible and make sure it is loamy.  You can augment it with potassium, mushroom, compost,or dried leaves. If you choose to use any kind of manure, make sure it is completely dried.

You are now ready to begin planting!

Here are some additional resources to check out:

Square Foot Gardening Book

Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Food For Thought

I cannot believe spring break is ACTUALLY here...time is going by so fast. We kicked off our spring break with having friends over for dinner on Friday night; talk about a great time! I haven't laughed that much and that hard in a long was definitely a good time. Good friends, good times, good food...perfect way to start a break.

Speaking of good food...our meal last night was from the grill...super yummy...especially the stuffed jalapeño peppers. If you are looking for a great little side, snack, appetizer, etc...keep reading.

Stuffed Jalapeños:

What you need:

* 1 pound of sausage
* 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
* 1/2 cup of feta cheese
* 1 cup of shredded cheese (optional)
*10-12 jalapeños

What to do:

Clean out peppers. I slice them in half, scoop out seeds with a spoon, and rinse them in cold water.

Cook sausage.

Add 1 package (8 oz.) of cream cheese and about 1/2 a cup of feta cheese to the sausage.

Scoop mixture onto jalapeño halves.

Sprinkle with some shredded cheese

Grill, at 350 degrees, for about 30 minutes (you can bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes)

*warning...these are ADDICTIVE

Continuing with the whole food thing...I am very excited, because today I bought the book The Hunger Games. I am very excited about starting this series...not because I know anything about it; It has received so much hype that it piqued my curiosity enough to want to read it. I am sitting down to read it tonight...with a chocolate covered frozen banana...I am a very happy person right now.

I LOVE chocolate covered frozen bananas

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Location, Location, Location

Just as when you are looking for the perfect home, when you are getting ready to build your garden "location matters". Here are a few tips to help when deciding where to put your vegetation sensation.

What to look for:

* Leveled ground. A slight slope does not make a huge difference, you just do not want "A River Runs Through It" to be the theme of your garden.

* Drainage. You want to make sure that after you water your garden (or after a good soaker) there will be no puddling occurring.

* You want some good ole' vitamin D to be coming in...that's right...SUN. Make sure that your garden will get the appropriate amount of would like "full sun" throughout the day.

* Water Access. It is important, for you just as much as the garden, to have it near your water source. You will be out watering it everyday, make it easy on yourself.


Sunday, March 11, 2012


Today I said "adieu" to a dear friend. A friend that is not gone forever, for I shall see him again in a matter of months. However, these next few months will drag by...I know each day will get easier and easier, the first few weeks being the hardest. I was well aware of his absence this morning. I felt his absence like a sting on the cheek. I tried to fight his leaving. I did all I could to pretend it didn't have to come. Alas, it came anyway. I already know tomorrow will be the hardest...because it is first day of work without him. A name? Yes, his name is "extra hour of sleep". He is like Santa to me, for he comes but once a year, but, oh, how joyous it is when he does. I get to sleep that "extra hour"; I have that "one more hour" to get what I need done in the mornings; That "one hour" that keeps me from being too late to work.

I do love the extra daylight at the end of the day...yes, I do. It just takes time for that love to replace the love of  "one more hour". I know it seems silly, but truly it is not. All I will be thinking tomorrow when my alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. is really it is 4:15 in the morning! The thought makes me shudder. So, as I make my nightly preparations for the coming work day, I will TRY to go to bed earlier...but my mind is usually not that cooperative. I feel that I should send my text message now for tomorrow morning..."I am running a little behind, may be a few minutes late." Would that be too obvious??? I don't do well with change...especially one this drastic. No matter how hard I prepare myself for this dreadful day, I never seem to handle it well.

I am now off to prepare myself for the coming morn...we shall see how it goes.

Until November my dear friend....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gardening Thyme - Strawberry Containers

The gardening tip of week - using strawberry (or blueberry) containers to start your seedlings. My mom and I were slicing up container after container of strawberries one night and I went to throw a whole stack of them away. Unbeknownst to me, my mother had other plans. Apparently, these little containers are perfect for making  teeny "greenhouses". Here is what I did...per my mom's instructions.

This is what I used: one container, pack of cilantro seeds, newspaper, seed starting mix

1.  Line the container with newspaper. I doubled up a layer of newspaper. Like so...
I do not know why I can't get the picture to turn

2. Put in some potting soil...about half way.

3. Add seeds. I did two rows, one seed every inch or so. (about 6 seeds) Cover up with more potting soil.

4. Water and close lid. Place in a warm dark spot. This will help seeds germinate. Once they have germinated and begin to sprout you can place them where they will get some sun. 

Happy planting everyone. Look for next Wednesdays' gardening post. There will be more gardening tips...from the expert herself, my mom. (She is seriously the garden GURU)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Superb Smoked Ribs

A recipe from the hubby today. He made these ribs last night for dinner and I decided I just HAD to share his very own ribs rendition with ya'll. They were so delish. I love when the warmer weather returns...we get to eat more food from the grill...YUM. There is just something about food that has been grilled, whether it be veggies or meat - nothing else like it. Here is the information I gleaned from my husband on his outstanding ribs recipe. Hope everyone enjoys!

(p.s. - I enjoyed  mine with a little Head Country BBQ sauce over the top, but they were just as good without it as well...just sayin'.)

Superb Smoked Ribs

What you need:
1. Worcestershire sauce
2. Garlic Pepper
3. Cumin
4. Chili Powder
5. Carne Guisada Seasoning

What to do:
1. Pour worcestershire sauce over the ribs and let it soak in.
2. Sprinkle on top of ribs:
* Garlic Pepper
*Chili Powder
*Carne Guisada Seasoning
3. Let it set (covered) in the refrigerator for an hour
4. Smoke with Mesquite wood on 225 degrees for 3 hours.
5. Wrap in foil to "rest" for 20 minutes before eating (this allows the flavors/juices to spread throughout the meat)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spring Cleaning

         The woman I would like to be...            The one I probably am...

Today...I cleaned...from top to bottom and everything in-between. As daunting of a task as it may be, I love it just the same. I opened my windows, changed out my scentsy to "Mums and Marigolds" rather than "Mochadoodle", and welcomed in the new freshness of life with open arms. Lil' Man and I scrubbed the baseboards with some hot water, Dawn, and baking soda...we cleaned out the front-load washer (those things are a blessing and curse; who really remembers to "keep the door open" after each wash to air out)...we ( I ) dusted the ceiling fans...every nook and cranny has been vacuumed....and all bedding has been washed, dried and back on the freshly made bed. This my friends, is me on cloud nine. Now, granted, I had to take a Zyrtec to ward off the constant sneezing and itchy eyes...but other than that, it was a GREAT day. The Williams' household is clean, fresh, and ready for the "unexpected guest pop-in" that all women worry about when trying to keep their houses clean. Or is it just me that worries about that? It is amazing how our household operates more efficiently when everything has been cleaned out and put back in it's place.

Just a thought...As I was cleaning today. I started thinking about many things...what should we plant in the garden... I wish I had a Sonic diet Dr. Pepper right now... I hope my students enjoyed the Dr. Seuss activities last week... I have got to get a 2nd grade Common Core flip-chart... I can't wait to watch my dvr'd Criminal Minds episode... When does Dancing with the Stars start... I wish I had a Sonic diet Dr. Pepper... I have to start running, my 5k is next month, eh, I can walk it... I need to plan out my menu for next week... we need to have a garage sale... seriously, I NEED a Sonic diet Dr. pepper...Lil' Man is out growing his clothes...Why don't we "spring clean" our lives like we do our homes. 

Hmm. Something finally made my random thoughts stop. We all know how good it feels when something has been cleaned and organized. I know it makes my household run a little smoother, my computer runs a LOT faster when files have been cleaned and defragmented, a phone's battery life lasts longer when programs are shut down correctly and not running in the background draining the life out of the battery.

So, I started thinking. No matter what happens throughout the week, my family is always fed, my car always has gas to get to work, my students are always being taught...there are things in life we ALWAYS do, no matter what. They sustain us, our livelihood.

Then we have things we do when we have time. Unfortunately, I find myself putting God into that category. Now don't get me wrong. I pray...when I am driving to work, as I am getting dressed, packing a lunch, you know what I mean. I try to read a verse here or there. Maybe as I am scarfing down my lunch I read a verse or two. But, really???

Okay, so bottom line. My life needs a bit of "spring cleaning". I need to reorganize what my priorities are and clean out some of the "junk" that prevents me from making time for the most important relationship I have. I was reminded of Psalms 105:3-4 "Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." I want to be more purposeful when I seek Him. I want my relationship with Him to be one that is intimate, not just one that receives the barely there type of maintenance.  


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