I just realized it has been close to a year since I blogged last.  I so wish I had stayed up with this better.  I look back on the posts the first days after I quit work to stay home with our son, and love reading those so much.  Some days I’m glad are behind us, and some days I miss Oh So Much!

Little man is now 3 and a half.  He’s an active little guy, and we have lots of adventures.  He loves MUD.  He loves his cat SOPHIE (although the feeling isn’t very mutual).  He loves all of his GRANDPARENTS and loves to visit them all.

So here’s where I am at as a mother today.  I’ve been thinking about going back to work.  Some women live for the opportunity to stay home.  For me, this has been a true challenge.  To all of you great moms who are home all the time, and love it, I commend you.

I, on the other hand, feel almost guilty for dreaming of those days back at the office with deadlines and craziness.  Don’t get me wrong.  There have been fabulous mommy/little boy days.  We’ve done lots of fun things and spent tons of quality time together.  I wouldn’t trade all of my days to be back at work.  Just maybe some of them.  

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord…

Boy does he.  I would never have guessed two and a half years ago, I would be dreaming of staying home.  I’d never have dreamed the past two and a half years would have been so hard (you fooled me well, all of you great stay at home moms that make it look so easy!)  I’d never dreamed I would daydream of my days back at work.  

So keep our family in your prayers.  May I continue to see God’s plan for us with clarity.  He’s with us all the time, sometimes I just forget for a few minutes:)

So, I love soup.  Rarely do I make it from scratch, but I really do like it.  This week, I got a hankering for some broccoli cheddar soup.  Like the kind at Panera Bread restaurants.

Instantly, I turned to the Internet to look up just such a recipe and found this link.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup @ CD Kitchen

This recipe was so good, and really not hard to do.  The link lets you change the serving amount and automatically changes the recipe for that serving.  I changed mine down to two servings, and didn’t let the roux simmer for 20 minutes like it said.  I let it simmer like 10 minutes before adding the vegetables.  Also, I didn’t julienne the carrots as I just chopped into small thin bites.  As for the blender, I didn’t do that either since the amount was so small.  I just cooked it and then added two small batches in my Handy Chopper and poured it back into the pan.  Fantastic!  Panera serves theirs in a bread bowl, but I just ate mine with sandwich bread which was fine too.

Great for a rainy day – by the way we’ve had plenty of those lately.

What a joy it is to ask our 2 1/2 year old what the meaning of Easter is and to hear him say “Jesus died, but he rose AGAIN!”  Here are just a few pictures from home Easter Egg coloring, and church Easter Eggventure.

(Sidenote:  I know it has been a long time.  Lets just say I’ve been on a blog sabbatical…)

Easter Egg Hunting at Church was inside this year due to crazy rainy weather. The boy was much happier to pick up the Easter grass than the eggs. We didn't come home with but 2 pieces of candy.

Cheesing it up for the camera after coloring some eggs. We tried a new "camouflage" technique which included adding vegetable oil to the colors. Let's just say it didn't work well...

So as gorgeous as it was when I posted my last blog entry, it was equally as nasty the past couple of days.  Honestly, I’ve felt as if we’d float away, along with our home.

Last time I checked I hadn’t received a message to build an arc, but I’ve been feeling like that may not be too far off.

Concerned with the massive rain quantities, we went outside today to make sure all of the downspouts were pointed in the right directions.  The boy helped me, and then he got to have a splashing fest.  I just loved watching him giggle with glee as he quickly became drenched.

I get so caught up sometimes in the mess I have to clean up, that sometimes I forget to enjoy the moment.  I’m trying to do better with a happy compromise somewhere in the middle.

Our beautiful little guy loving every minute of the wet, splashy rain.

I can not say enough how gorgeous it was outside yesterday.  While I longed for large snowfalls all winter long, getting a taste of spring was DIVINE!

I’m realizing with each sunny day that comes, how my mood can be directly associated with sunshine.  I felt great all day long.  I always try not to let weather get to me, but let’s face it:  Winter with its overcast skies, and countless hours cooped up indoors (library, science center, house, basement – it’s all indoors) gets to you and especially to an extremely active 2 1/2 year old.

The beautiful weather translates into a happy little guy (and his happy momma) who stayed in his wagon our entire walk around the lake, walked/ran the cul de sac at least 5 times, and played on the playground with such complete glee.

(I’m not going to go into how he decided to bite/hit/pull at the shirt of our very sweet little neighbor guy who is twice his size and 6 years old).

Ahh, I’m entering a Spring State of Mind.

Today looks to be another of the same and we are very excited at our house.

Looking Tough Before the Sock Hop!

One of the benefits of a larger church, is having activities tailored specific to age groups.

Tonight was our church’s Preschool Sock Hop.  Picture inflatable jukeboxes, balloons, ice cream, hula hoops, a dad dressed as Elvis (or was it actually Elvis?), you name it.

The kids had a blast, and were completely adorable.  Not to mention I think they all ran/danced the sillies out.

They were so funny.  Our little guy was quite the poser for the camera tonight so we got some good pictures.  He tried the limbo, but wasn’t quite sure what to think of it.

With his neighbor friend. Doesn't she look totally adorable!!

They all got sunglasses when they came in. In most of the pictures his are on upside down. (See the picture before this one)

I enjoy reading the occasional magazine, however with my journey as a homemaker, magazine subscriptions just aren’t really in the budget with a few small exceptions.

Today I discovered that our local library allows you to check out current issues of MANY magazines.  I came home with the January 2011 issues of Vogue, Taste of Home and Budget Travel.

Checking them out also solves the problem of getting rid of old magazines.  So check with your local library.  You may be check out the latest issue of that magazine you’ve been waiting to read (at no cost)!

Splashing! (Can you tell he is loving it?)

Our little guy loves water.  I posted a year ago what a “fish” he is, and it is even more so now.  After one trepidatious first January class, he has been crazy jumping in and going under with ease.

He’s still in the Parent Tot class (which means momma or someone else has to get in too).

This week Papaw came to go to swimming class so I graciously offered Papaw the chance to participate in the pool (translation:  mommy doesn’t have to get her hair wet and try to get dried off/changed while also wrestling with wet boy!)

He had a blast, and while his swimming prowess didn’t shine through, his love for swimming sure did!  Enjoy some pics!

Swimming with Papaw

Swimming to his swim teacher "Mr. Jim"

Guitar Man

Most kids really like music.  Our little guy LOVES music.  He enjoys banging on the piano, and around Christmas time a small guitar came to live at our house after he kept using his little kids popper as a guitar.

Today he wanted a chair to sit on in the living room so he could play his guitar.  I caught him singing Jesus Loves Me.  This picture doesn’t show it but he really does know the right way to hold a guitar.

I guess we could call it our home preschool music lesson for the day.  Typically, he hears music on and runs to go get the guitar, and dance with it while yelling “Jumping up and Down!  Jumping up and Down!”


The Guitar Man


About a block up from our house is a home with a teenage boy who plays the drum.  Whenever we’re on a walk and we walk by we can hear his drums all the way out to the corner.

I’m beginning to fear a bit those teenage days when he tells us he wants to be in a band and with Rock School nearby, who knows…

Recently I’ve stumbled on a couple of quick tips which I thought I’d pass on to those who read the blog.  Many of you have probably already figured these things out, but just heading into my second year of domestication (staying home full time), I’m still learning.

Tip #1: If you’re using store bought pizza crust, forget pressing it down.  Go ahead and use a rolling pin.  It makes it MUCH easier and it isn’t as messy.

Tip #2: Hamburger and Sausage can sometimes fry up in bigger chunks.  I typically like mine in smaller pieces whether it be used in a casserole, for tacos, for chili, etc.  My brother tipped us off this weekend, that if you fry it, then grind it in an electric Handy Chopper it produces a lot smaller pieces, and works great!

Tip #3: I wanted to jazz up a brownie mix this week, and when I looked online and googled “Jazz Up Brownie Mix” I was shocked and concerned to find all kinds of tips on utilizing a Brownie Mix with a certain green illegal “weed”.  I honestly just wanted to dress up a Brownie Mix.  So I stumbled on this awesome quick frosting method (that doesn’t involve cannabis).  When you take your brownies out of the oven just sprinkle on milk chocolate chips all over the top and let them melt for a few minutes on the hot brownies.  Then use a frosting knife to spread it around.  TaDa!  Easy fast frosting, that you don’t have to wait for the brownies to cool to put on.

Enjoy.  Feel free to share any great tips you’ve discovered recently in the comments section.