Sunday, August 31, 2008


As many of you know Hurricane Gustav is scheduled to make landfall near New Orleans, LA. This would not usually be of concern to us....but they are predicting a major impact even on North/Central Louisiana this time. We could get as much as 20 inches of rain and sustained winds of 35 mph with gust between 50-80 mph!!! Pretty scary!! Anticipating things to be ugly, the Governor has declared that all 30 parishes in LA will not have school until Thursday...that is one positive note!!:)
We have been spending the weekend in North Little Rock and will head home early tomorrow morning to get everything anchored down, the fifth wheel emptied and put in the barn, put plastic on the screen porch windows(where Buster will spend the next few days), and wait for this to begin. I HOPE they are wrong on their weather predictions and things are better not worse???!! We have quite a few large oak trees and pine trees around our house, some over 100 ft. tall, that has Jay and I kinda nervous!! We have stocked up on water, gas, diesel, and items you can cook with a gas stove this evening!! A friend of mine from home called to tell me to stock up before heading that way...many of the stores have no canned goods, water, ice, sugar, bread, and people are quickly buying extra gas. Once this all passes and we finally have Internet again, I have a few pictures from the weekend to post. Until next time.........

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cake and Presents

Friday evening we celebrated Lane's b-day with a quiet evening of cake and presents. The fish bowl cake turned out so darling and was relatively easy to make. Lane thought it was so awesome. Just a few quick pictures, I'll try to post more later this week.

All smiles waiting to blow out his candle!!
The boys totally into their squirt guns.
Thank you Uncle Jeremy, Auntie Lisa, and Grant for the nifty John Deere riding lawn mower with accessories.
My "go" at the cupcake pops from the Bakerella site. They are a "major ordeal" to make, but out of this world yummy!! I still have some perfecting to do to be exactly like hers. I took them today to celebrate after meeting with Jay's family. They were a big hit!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Lane!!!

Six years ago our world changed forever when you made your early entrance. What a perfect babe you were. You were so easy going, affectionate, and adorable!! You resembled the cute, chunky baby from the Gerber baby food jars. No one could resist stealing some *sugar* from those cheeks!! After 6 years, you still never cease to amaze us with your wealth of knowledge and curiosity. Your constantly asking "Why?", even when there is no explainable answer. You want to read your hymn book to sing along in meeting so badly, you love to read comic books, and draw detailed pictures. You are sensitive and intuitive, having such common sense and mechanical reasoning. You don't want me to kiss you goodnight, but I still do anyway! I can't imagine a day that I won't want to kisss you goodnight.:) You love to boss your brother around, but in the same breath would stick up for him when he is in trouble!! You know all about what trucks are the best(Dodge:)), even thought Daddy now drives a Ford!!:) Watching you grow up is so awesome.... We love you bunches!! Happy Birthday!!

Love, Mommy, Daddy, and Bryce

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Okay, so I am the last one!

I realize I am one of the few who has not posted seven things about themselves. I have friends nice enough not to tag me, but I guess it is my turn. I have learned neat things about all of you goes my seven.

Seven things you might not know about me:

1. I love being a wife and a mom!

2. I love being a teacher, especially at my new school!! It is a "dream world".

3. I learned to play the violin as a teenager, but haven't played in years!! Makes me sad to think about it....I guess there is only so much time in the day when you are a mom and teacher. I hope someday I 'll have time to play again.

4. I didn't get my first kiss until I was almost 18 years old!! And no, it wasn't from Jay!!:)

5. I have been happily married now for 10 years!!

6. I always wanted three children, but I am so content with my two precious boys!

7. I HATE to empty the dishwasher!! My mom and mother-in-law say, if I had ever lived in the days of NO dishwashers I wouldn't complain at ALL!!:)

If you are like me and haven't posted 7 things about yourself.....if I can, so can you!!

A Dog's life....

.....looks pretty great!! :) We found Buster in the boy's stroller yesterday evening and he stayed in it all night. The boys had been playing with it over the weekend, but I guess he has claimed it now!! I sure got a good laugh out of it!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer.......officially over today!

It is hard to believe that that time of year has come around again!! The first day of school is tomorrow!! It seems my summers keep getting shorter and shorter. I think what's really happening is our lives are getting busier and busier.
Thinking back over the past two months, we've helped nurse mom along from her colon rupture for several weeks, taken swimming lessons, had a short trip to Hot Springs, spent time at the pool, and vacationed in Florida for 2 weeks. These being just the *BIG* things!! But, I can say we had a wonderful summer and so many memories to look back to!! The boys are both anxious to start school in the next few weeks!:) Lane in a week and Bryce in two weeks. It will be great to have all of us going in the same direction every morning and evening......I know it will help my sanity!!:) I am excited about tomorrow, but a little anxious as always to start a new year....wondering what it will bring??
My frequent blogging will come to a screeching halt:( don't worry if it's a while before we post again!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Birthday baking.....

for the soon to be 6 year old!! With school starting this week, I am trying to get ahead this weekend by at least baking and freezing the cakes. Lane has chosen this fish bowl cake for his birthday. I am looking forward to making and decorating with the boys using things like Nerds, Fruit by the Foot, chow mein noodles, goldfish, etc. The cupcake pops pictured below I have been wanting to try for sometime. You can find them on or my link on the side. I am not sure if my folks will be here the weekend of his birthday, so we will have two ways to celebrate if they can't!!:) I love doing this type of baking...if I could have the perfect job I would bake and decorate cakes... it is almost theraputic for me!!:)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Entry Table

I love my entry way and table!! I have been wanting a new picture of the boys to put on the table, to replace the two year old one there. I was so happy with the picture from the beach of the boys and loved the touch-ups I did on Picnik. So I ordered it in an 8x10 from Shutterfly. I bought a new frame at Hobby Lobby and it looks so perfect!! This space in my house makes me happy!!:)
The new frame and the boy's new whimsical and picturesque!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad! Today marks 35 years together!! Wishing you many more years to come. Enjoy your time in Florida this week!! Love, Jay, Shauna, Lane and Bryce

Friday, August 8, 2008

The boy's best friend

Not much to report this week, just wrapping up this and that before school starts this coming Wednesday. We spent several afternoons at the school pool, worked a little in my room, but most of all the boys played(pestered!:)) with Buster. He has had a ride in their John Deere gator, the golf cart, the wagon and today the stroller. He looks so pitiful as if he is pleading, please help me!! Despite all of their antics, he is always happy to see them and cries often when the come inside. :) I have to say he is quite lovable and has learned a few commands this week.

Love this precious little brown boys with their puppy!!:)

FYI: Notice they are not wearing any shirts in these has been unbelievably HOT(3 digits) most days!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Recipes.....Menu Planning

Before the school year starts this year my goal is to make a monthly menu of meals. I think and hope this will help me buy groceries for the month and know what is for supper each night. When I am working and get home, if I don't have something in mind for supper I have such a hard time getting something together, agghhh!! I am just too tired.
Soooo, last night I was looking for a few more recipes and came across these. They look really yummy and several of the steps can be done ahead of time! I am all for that!!:) The mac-n-cheese makes enough for a thrashing crew, so it can be used as leftovers or put in the freezer. As the boys are getting older and are eating more, I find that we don't often have left overs because it is all eaten. I am going to have to make a effort to fix more at the time, so we can have leftovers later in the week. A different mind set......the boys are no longer babies and I know their appetites will only get BIGGER!!:) Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Cook’s Illustrated
Serves 4
The bread crumb mixture can be prepared through step 2 up to 3 days in advance. The breaded chops can be frozen for up to 1 week. They don’t need to be thawed before baking; simply increase the cooking time in step 5 to 35 to 40 minutes.
Table salt
4 boneless center-cut pork chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Lemon wedges
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart water in medium container or gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Submerge chops, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes. Rinse chops under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
2. Meanwhile, pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about eight 1-second pulses (you should have about 3 1/2 cups crumbs). Transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.
3. Place 1/4 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 6 tablespoons flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.
4. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Season chops with pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour; shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 chops.
5. Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 150 degrees, 17 to 25 minutes. Let rest on rack 5 minutes before serving with lemon wedges.

Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics
Serves 12
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole

6 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to l/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Gruyère or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.
5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (though we needed a bit more time to get it brown, but your oven may vary). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Puppy Love......Updated!!

Jay made it home with our new pup!!
Drum Roll, please!!!! After much talk and quite a few suggestions from the boys the puppy has been named. Jay and I personally liked Red, but the boys didn't agree, so you know who won. ;) From now on, he will be affectionately known as "Buster". :)

A boy and his dog!!

This spring we promised the boys we would get them a puppy after going to Florida. Well that time has come and Jay is on his way home with a puppy. We quickly stopped this afternoon and picked up the essentials and now the boys can hardly wait!!:) I know where they will be spending their time the next few weeks before school starts. I'll post pictures later this evening or tomorrow. Now we have to come up with a name...any suggestions??? By the way it is a male, might make a difference when suggesting a name. Have a Great weekend!!!