I know, the whole month has really been 'all about' your birthday but today is finally here! Imagine that!! I hope you have a wonderful day. I was calculating to see if I had spent more than 1/2 of your birthday's with you but not quite yet, ha!

Anyway, you are the best friend I could ever ask for; work, personal and everything else - without you life just wouldn't be the same (or 1/2 the fun)!

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! want Starbucks for lunch? ya know we have to eat really bad today! LOL!


Good night, sleep tight...

Please - no sleep walking tonight!

I'm hoping this Sleep Fairy will watch over Chase as he sleeps and take away the 'sleep walking'. This is something new for Chase and just started Labor Day weekend. The first time it happened I was completely freaked out however, we have checked it out and it is all pretty normal (if any sleep walking is normal). It happens within the first few hours of him going to bed and is very common in boys betwee the ages of 11 and 13. Shew...please say we don't have two years to get through. The past few times I have still been awake when it happens and know right away that he is really 'asleep' (although that really doesn't make it much easier). In the morning, he doesn't recall any of it. Wow.

So, say a little prayer for Chase for him to get a good night's sleep!


It's official!

What started out like a fairy tale with hair that grows like Rapunzel....

Turned into a princess that loved to have her hair curled....
Then she grew up and became a beautiful young lady that loves to shampoo, cut and style other people's hair!

Congratulations Brittany - she is now a licensed Cosmetologist!! Her actual graduation from The Temple, a Paul Mitchell Partnership School was in February however she had to complete a written and practical test. She was detained a little bit while she had a few surgeries and recovered but now is back on track and took both tests, passing the first time around! We are very proud of her. She will be seeking employment in the state of Maryland however if she choses after an additional 400 hours is completed, can transfer her license to West Virginia. Who knows where she will end up but for now, she is just 'plain happy'

I know...

I have lots to catch you all up on from the weekend but just have to quickly share Kayden on this Fall day....


Bananas and chocolate - yummy!

So, this week is all about our favorite dessert recipes which is fairly easy for me. Our family loves desserts and I have always loved trying new recipes for our 'outings'. First and foremost, I must admit that I stole this picture out of the cookbook only because this has been a really busy week and I totally didn't have time to make this!! I promise to do better :)

But...this is one of my favorite dessert recipes and it's really easy -

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie
1/2 package (15 oz) refrigerated pie crusts (1 crust)
1 container (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 package (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (5.1 oz) vanilla instand pudding and pie filling
1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
2 medium bananas, sliced, divided
strawberries for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Let pie crust stand at room tempature 15 minutes
Gently unfold onto lightly floured surface
roll to 11 1/2 inch circle
place crust in pie plate
press dough into bottom and up sides, prick bottom and sides
bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown

Place 1 1/2 cups of cool whip and chocolate morsels in microwave dish, uncovered for 30-45 seconds; stir
Remove 2 tablespoons of chocolate mixture to a small, ziplock baggie
spread remaining chocolate mixture over bottom of pie crust
place crust in freezer
pour milk into bowl and add pudding mix (add rum if you like)
whisk 1 minute or until mixture begins to thicken
fold in 1 1/2 cups of cool whip

slice bananas, arrange slices over chocolate mixture in crust
spread pudding mixture over bananas
refrigerate 30 minutes

to garnish pie, cut small tip off corner of ziplock baggie of chocolate mixture
squeeze chocolate mixture over pie
spoon remaining cool whip in dollops around edge of pie
top with bananas and strawberries
cut into 'pie' slices

Delicious and really great as a summer dessert recipe!

Thursday's Thoughts.....Siblings! the best

There's pros and cons that come along with having 'older' children and 'younger' children from two different marriages. Since our 'cup is half full', we tend to focus on all those great opportunities we have been blessed with.

Chase loves to fish and would stay down at the pond all night if we'd let him. He tends to find 'friends' to come over however sometimes that just doesn't work out. One evening before school started again, he didn't need to find a friend....Jeremy (the older brother) called to see if he wanted to go cat fishing, ha! Of course he did! But...it was the monthly 4H meeting. While he begged and pleaded, the monthly meetings are an important part of belonging to a club. Anyway,isn't cat fishing better at dark?! (keep in mind also that J is a complete night owl so the later the better). Chase didn't have luck catching any 'bait' so J stopped at Wal-mart to pick up some goldfish (eww) so picked up Chase around 11 (pm). They fished until nearly 1:30 a.m. and actually caught some good ones! It was pretty neat seeing Chase sit by the window waiting for his older brother to pick him up.

Also that week Cierra and Chase had orientation for their new school year. Due to some meetings at work I just couldn't work it out so Britt came to the rescue. She took Chase on Tuesday and Cierra on Wednesday. This summer she was able to spend quite a bit of time with them which worked out really good. Pretty convenient having an older sister, huh? (and they think she is pretty cool)

So as you can see, the older siblings are still an important part of Chase and Cierra's life. As they get older, it's often hard to find things to blog about that they want me to share :) but....that doesn't mean they aren't still right smack in the middle of our life!


Crock Pot Wednesday!

Dining with Debbie is hosting "Crock Pot Wednesday" so I thought I'd jump on board in hopes of grabbing some recipes that don't require much work at the end of our work day. Don't know about you but macaroni and cheese is always a hit around here and there are so many variations. Here's one that my sister shared with me and I have taken it to many 'outings' where it is always a hit! I hope you enjoy -

1 16 oz box of macaroni shells - must be cooked!
1/2 cup of butter
3 cups of shredded Monterey Jack/Colby cheese
12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups regular milk
2 eggs

I melt the butter in the microwave then add all the liquids including the eggs. I then ad 1/2 of the box of macaroni then 1/2 of the cheese. Next add the remainder of the macaroni shells then top with cheese.

Turn your crock pot on high for 3 hours and you've got some really tasty macaroni and cheese!


Farming's over for the weekend -

Ronnie checked in on Chase today and discovered he had gotten up at 4:30 a.m. and headed to Delaware to pick up some equipment. So, later this evening he called to be picked up. When we got there the chopper and dump truck were side by side trying to get as much done as they could before dark. I know, I'm pathetic but it is amazing to me. Everything I saw yesterday was gone - chopped!! (if you look really close you can see Chase and Jimmy's little heads in the truck :)
So, he said goodbye to Jimmy and now he's eating a bowl of cereal, getting ready for another week of school.


It's been a while since Kayden Brooke has been featured so here's an updated picture of her! She is starting to crawl and pulls herself up in the crib. She loves to just sit in the playpen (isn't there a better name for that?) and play with her toys. She's growing up so fast - 8 months on Tuesday!!


It's that time of year...

......harvesting -
Chase was anxious for the games to be over today so he could change into his 'farming' clothes and head down to the Duncan's. When I dropped him off Jimmy explained what they were cutting, why and where it was going.
So meanwhile Ronnie and I are enjoying an Italian dinner, Cierra and Zana are with Grandma and Butch, Britt and Brandon are up to something and Lil Miss Kayden has already gone 'nighty nighty'!


Today was the day Cierra and Chase picked up their checks from the livestock sale. As you can imagine, they were pretty syked to get their checks and see how much they made. This year it was a little different in that they had to prepare their "Thank You" letters before they could pick up their checks. We liked the idea that their notes would be included in the pictures sent to each business that supports our fair and the FFA and 4H programs.
Once again we want to thank Bucky's and Frontier Communications for their support!


Thanks for your support!

For all of you that came out to Walmart tonight - THANK YOU! The boys received a lot of donations and sold several raffles for the bicycle that will be given away on November 1st after our last game. Cierra always likes to help with these types of events as well so - Thanks Cierra for helping out the team, too!


What's your "Go To" dinner? Here's one of mine -

So this week Kelly's Korner is having some fun with recipes for meals from across the country that we 'go to' when we need something quick, easy or just plain yummy!

Our house is always busy with multiple schedules to work around so when Pampered Chef came out with their 29 Minutes to Dinner cook book I was excited! Here's one of my favorites, for the most part all the ingredients are 'on hand' so it's a matter of throwing it together. And...this one (according to the cookbook) only takes 19 minutes. So - here goes:

12 oz uncooked angel hair pasta
1/2 cup cilantra leaves (your choice - I don't like cilantra)
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 lb large uncooked shrimp (I use frozen)
6 garlic cloves (pressed)
1 T chipotle rub (if you don't have that on hand, any seasoning will work)
2 limes (you can use 2 T of lime juice instead)
1 cup of white wine (Chardonnay or any works)
6 T buter
3/4 cup of chicken broth (bouillon cubes work, ha!)
1/2 tsp salt

1. Cook pasta (according to package)
2. Put oil in skillet, heat over medium
3. combine shrimp, pressed garlic and rub in bowl - toss to coat
4. arrange shrimp in single layer - cook 2-3 minutes or until browned
5. remove shrimp from skillet and set aside
6. Add wine to same skillet, cook over medium - high heat until 1/2 wine is reduced.
stir to reduice browned bits from bottom of skillet
7. Add butter, lime juice, broth and salt, cook 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
8. drizzle pasta with sauce
9. Top with shrimp
10. If you want your plates to look fabulous, garnish with cilantra leaf!!

Yummy and quick! Try it, I promise you will add this recipe to your 'quick meals'!

Thursday's Thoughts -

Doesn't the saying go something like "it's not about winning, it's about how you play the game"? Unfortunately sometimes it is all about winning, especially when we are faced with a battle that winning means survival.

Today's thoughts are about Stephanie, she has been a friend of mine for many, many years and is actually how Ronnie and I met;)! Some of those years have been spent closer than others but we have both known that in time of need we would be there for each other. Now is one of those times where she needs our prayers. Stephanie is battling breast cancer and under going treatments. Of course breast cancer is near and dear to my heart since my Mom and Grandma have both travelled that road with very positive outcomes.
Stephanie, we hope the same for you! Our thoughts and prayers are with you every step of the way as you fight this battle.


Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane

Jeremy loved going to Grandma Peg's! Often when he would go there she ended up giving him a bath. And...she loved giving him a bath in her kitchen sink (as long as she could).

Now, doesn't this look familiar?! 24 years later there's a 'little Jeremy', ha!!


HOT baseball!

After church we headed over the mountain for a double header against the Burke Bulldogs. Things didn't seem to be starting off in our favor - the air conditioning in the car wasn't quite as cool as it should have been, the ball field wasn't the easiest to find and you had to walk a country mile from the parking lot with all our 'stuff'. The umpire never showed up for the 2 o'clock game so....around 3:00 the game started with a parent of the other team calling the game. Uh oh....in 'our opinion' he blew the first two calls which put us behind. We weren't playing as well as we typically do but all in all, it was competitive baseball and ended in extra innings with a tie.

Our bats were coming around during the second game and we were able to pull it off - final score 9 - 7; Pinnacles!! All in all it was a great afternoon/evening. A little hotter than we had anticipated but everyone survived.

It's our FIRST Grandparent's Day!!

Happy Grandparents Day to everyone out there! We are certainly happy to be able to celebrate this day but can't miss the opportunity to say HAPPY GRANDPARENT'S DAY to Ma, Nanny, MomMom Crockett & Granddad Guy. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of MomMom Crockett or Granddad Guy.


"Favorite Things" FRIDAY!

Kelly is on vacation this week so we don't have our usual "Show us your life" event for Friday. So...with that in mind, I decided to hop on the "Favorite Things Friday" carnival and share one of my favorite things!

I know this won't surprise a lot of you but how ironic is it that one of my favorite things is a Disney product, ha! Three years ago while at one of the Disney resorts a magazine was left in our room which caught my eye. While scanning quickly through the pages I saw so many really neat things that I stuck it in my bag when we checked out. (of course that's exactly what they wanted, right?!) During the "road trip" I began reading articles and was without a doubt, SOLD on this magazine. I even subscribed on-line during the trip.

I have continued to subscribe to this magazine and it is so worth it! (and alot cheaper than most magazines). I have used the ideas for Cub Scouts, Christmas teacher gifts, birthday party crafts, Sunday School, 4H, holiday dinners and other things I can't think of right now. It is full of food ideas, games, crafts and just simply one of those magazines we all need to keep on hand for a quick and easy idea to entertain or feed kids! If you aren't already subscribed, check it out on-line http://www.familyfun.com/

we remember....9/11

It's hard to believe it's been 8 years - I vividly remember where I was, what I was doing and how there wasn't a cloud in the beautiful blue sky. The evening was spent glued to the TV as we watched this horrible event which would forever change our lives.


Wednesday's Walk......down memory lane

This past weekend while talking with Nanny, we spoke of how the children are all growing up. This picture was taken five years ago in celebration of Dave and Toni's wedding. As you look at the children lined up in the front row, we have one that's ready to get his permit, one that just hit her teenage years, one just starting middle school and the remaining of which most are now in elementary. We talk about it all the time but this picture truly shows how time flies! (Unfortunately Aunt Carolyn isn't in this particular picture but was with us that day. She left this life on Friday, August 28th; may she rest in peace.)



We said 'good-bye' to Summer at one of our favorite places - Ocean City, MD!! We talked about going months ago however weren't certain it was the best thing to do. So, we watched the weather, adjusted our schedule then headed to eastern shore after witnessing one beautiful wedding! Traffic was a breeze (of course it was 10 o'clock when we started) and we arrived by 1:30 a.m. with two kids that had slept most of the way.

As hard as it is to believe, this is our first trip this year to the beach. With our other vacations, we just hadn't made it down yet. But, as usual once our feet hit the sand we realized how much we missed it this year.

I will admit (as will Ronnie and the kids) that we are creatures of habit. We typically hit the same places year after year. We really could be a 'resort commercial' based on our years of coming here. So, if you're not interested in the places we go just skip this posting, LOL!! Even though we only had a few days, it was a 'jam packed weekend'. So, here's what we did.....
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: OC - 2009 Labor Day
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a funny....

So...in preparation of my Ocean City posting, I'm taking pictures. As I start snapping at Fishers's Popcorn which is a regular that we visit, an 'older' lady in front of me turns around. All in good humor, I say "I'm taking pictures of his butt". She gave me a rather odd look but the young boy turns around. We all laughed but then he said, 'do you want me to pose'?! Of course I say "sure"! - so I take his picture. He now wants to know why I'm taking pictures and wants my blog address. too funny, right?! So, whatever your name is, I hope you like the pics!!


What a beautiful wedding...

An awesome evening coupled with a beautiful bride in white and red and attendants in lovely black dresses. The ceremony was very personal, both Jen and Ross wrote their vows; very touching.... You could tell there was a lot of thought and planning that went into this evening and we are very honored to be a part of the beginning of their life together.

Wedding Bells are ringing....

Best Wishes Ross and Jen! We feel very honored to share in your special evening.

The best romance is inside the marriage; the finest love stories come after the wedding, not before. - Irving Stone

We hope to have the opportunity to share in your many years to come as Mr. & Mrs. Ross Tabb!


Dips - there are all kinds!

I've decided to 'play along' with BooMama this week and participate in her DipTacular event.
So, where do I start? I love all kinds of dips and typically have a variety at any of our parties or "get together's". The credit for some of my favorites really must go to Tastefully Simple . I haven't found anything yet I don't like and their foods are so easy to prepare with very few ingredients!

One that has been around for a while but loved by everyone in my family is a Taco Dip. The ingredients are as follows:
1 lb ground beef - brown, drain then add taco seasoning based on package directions
place in bottom of a pie plate (something that is microwavable)
soften 8 ounces of cream cheese - then spread over ground beef mixture
top with 8 ounces of shredded Monterey/Colby Jack cheese
microwave 3 minutes
serve with tortilla chips

Looking for something a little more simple?! Ok, try this -

3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1 - 2 T of Tastefully Simple's Fiesta Party Dip mix
Stir together, refrigerate for an hour then serve with chips
Quick, easy and very tasty!

Show us your life - favorite school pictures

I only had a few to pick from and honestly, I really didn't like any of them. This is me when I was in 1st grade. Check out the 'short' hair :), no earrings (I had to wait until I was 16 and then a dr. actually pierced them - telling my age, huh?) and freckles all across my nose! I did like this little corduroy jumper; I even had my church pin on, ha! So have some fun with this one at my expense, LOL!


How do you know?

I know it's Fall when Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte is out!! Sure enough, I got the e:mail last night so we had to make our first run today (thanks Mendie). Yippee! It is the best in all the land.

If you haven't tried one, it's a MUST! And....there's a Starbucks right in our new Target in Martinsburg so you 'locals' don't have to go far.
Leave me a comment about "how you know Fall has arrived"! I'd love to hear from you.