Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Strawberry Pie recipe

We may be in Florida on the beach today, but that isn't keeping me from joining Andrea at Momfessionals for her recipe link up.

The recipe I am sharing today is another favorite of Aaron's.  In fact, I made it on Fathers Day for Aaron and my dad. I got this recipe originally from Mix and Match Mama, but being my mother's daughter I had to make it my own.  If you would like the original recipe with a layer of bananas, a different pie crust, and more sugar, you can find it here
A big thank you to Shay at Mix and Match Mama for sharing this delicious pie recipe.

Strawberry Pie

1 graham cracker pie crust
3 oz. of cream cheese ( I used the 1/3 less fat)
1 c. sugar
a large container of Cool Whip ( I used the Lite)
juice of a lemon
1 container of strawberries plus a few
In your mixing bowl, beat your room temperature cream cheese adding in the cup of sugar and lemon juice.   Then, fold in your container of Cool Whip.  Set bowl aside.  Slice half of your strawberries.  Open your prepared graham cracker pie crust and line the bottom of the pie shell with a single layer of strawberries.  Pour your cream mixture over strawberry layer smoothing it evenly.  Now, cut up the last of your strawberries.  I wait to do this later so that I can make sure I cut them up so they really look pretty when you arrange them.  I usually just cut them in half and then begin arranging them into a circular like pattern.  Put your pie in the fridge overnight before serving. 
For better cutting, stick it in the freezer a few hours before you serve unless you want it to be a little messy.  The messy pie slice doesn't bother us because it's delicious, but it you want a pretty slice freezing it should help.
This seriously is the best pie!!!  It's perfect for summer.  Plus, it has strawberries.  And summer and strawberries just go hand in hand.  Don't they?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Bucket List Link Up: Water Play

Today, I am linking up with Elizabeth at Chasin' Mason for her Summer Bucket List series.  I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about J's swim lessons.  Last summer we tried swim lessons at the Y, and well that didn't work at ALL.   So we tried again this year.  By the time,  I looked to sign him up a couple of months ago a lot of places were full for the times that worked best for us, so we ended up a place called Spiral Works gymnastics.  It's a gym that has a swimming pool in the back where they teach swimming lessons for all ages. 
This year's swim lessons went much better.  J loves the water and him being older he was able to understand the instructions. So all in all it was a pretty good experience.  However, do I plan on going back? Nope.  I didn't care for the method they use to teach swimming, and J didn't like it either.  To put it simply- the unusual noodle-like float that every student has to use J hated.  It made him not want to swim.  When it was off, he wanted in the water.  When he had it on, he wanted to go bye-bye.
Here are a few pics over the last two weeks.  Thanks to RaRa for coming and taking a few pics for us.

 J was pumped for his second day of swim lessons.
Look at that happy grin.


While this year's swim lessons weren't perfect, J loves the water, and he learned a few skills.  Despite a few tears when having to wear the "special float", we had a lot of fun, and I think it was a great bonding experience. 
This is just the beginning of our water fun.  I plan to be in the water a lot with J this summer in various forms.  We also like this kind of water fun--

And this---

And what bath isn't better when it's blue--

We will also be heading to Florida tomorrow for some fun times at the beach.  I have no doubt J will love the ocean just as much as he did last year.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Tribute to our Daddies

Today is Fathers Day, so it seemed appropriate to highlight the great dads in our lives.
My dad aka GPa or BaBa


I have been blessed with a truly great dad.  He is not only a great Christian man but a pretty fun guy, too.  How many 60+ year olds do you know that still snow ski and enjoy playing sports?  I think this is just one of the many reasons J loves to play with GPa.  He already plans to teach J how to play golf as well as snow ski. It also doesn't hurt that he's not afraid to change a dirty diaper!!! LOL

Daddy also know as Daddy Doo

Where would we be with out Daddy?  Aaron is a great daddy to our little J.  They play inside.  They play outside.  J loves to play with Daddy.  Daddy also adds balance to my overprotective ways.  When I have a tendency to worry too much about little things, Aaron reminds me that it will probably be good for him to rough it a little. 
Aaron's Dad- Pop Pop
Aaron's Granddad- GG
Sadly, the only pic I have of Pop Pop and GG with J.  This is from Friday night when we celebrated Fathers Day with the Chandler family.  Both Pop Pop and GG are great fathers and grandfathers.  We also can't forget Uncle Tony who is the daddy to J's cousins, Will, Brooke and Chloe.

Happy Fathers Day to all the special daddies out there!
We're especially proud of ours!!!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Five on Friday

I have not been good about blogging lately.  The last few weeks of school were crazy, so I didn't have a lot of extra time to sit down and post.  I am going to warn you!  This is a post about Jackson.  I decided to post some of my favorite photos of him over the last 2 weeks.

 J has really been into beating his mouth while make sounds.  I call it his "Indian" call.

 A random evening at the park


We waited quite a while at the dealership getting my car serviced.  J stayed entertained in the driver seats of the showroom cars.

Taking a break from playing outside.  J really is a happy boy!!!

J loves water in all forms- sprinkler and runoff.

My Aunt Sheila got J this pool for his birthday, and he has loved playing in it!!!

Who knew a blue bath could be so much fun?

Silly J!!!
With summer finally here, I hope to keep up the blog better!!!
Have a great weekend!!!
Linking up the with these lovely ladies.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Today was my last day at YMLA.
Who would have ever thought that two years ago I would find out I would be the part-time counselor at this new school called Young Men's Leadership Academy.  I knew nothing about it. Little did I know I was being placed at a school with a mission and vision greater than any I have ever known in public education.  As with anything new, there were so many things that had never been done, so the teachers and staff had to learn how to create everything and idea from scratch.  Despite its challenges, it was also rewarding. So rewarding.

Today was my last day at YMLA.
To say today was hard is understatement.  Leaving something that is still growing is never easy.  Knowing someone else is going to come in and take your place is even harder.  However, I know it is the right thing for us.  I can't even imagine someone else raising Jackson because that's my job.  While I walk away from an amazing group of students that I just really started getting to know,  I know the more important person is the little boy in my very own home.  And when I think about it, if it weren't for him, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to be a part of YMLA anyway.  So I walk away from YMLA with sadness, but knowing I was a small part of this visionary school.  And that truly is special. 

Today was my last day at YMLA
I knew the day was coming, but it was still difficult.  I also don't like the uncertainty of what I will be doing come August 25th.  I know God has a plan.  A plan greater than I could ever imagine.  And while scary, that gives me comfort.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11
Found here

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Little Blog!!!

Today marks one year of blogging.  I can't even believe one year has passed since this post.  I completely started this blog with no real hopes or goals.  I just wanted to document our lives.  I did a horrible job with J's first year, and I knew I didn't want to forget the day to day happenings of our family.  I had already started reading a few blogs and had found that some of them were printing their blogs into yearbooks.   That was the final push that got me to start blogging.  The thought that my time spent blogging could produce something so special for my family sealed the deal.  However, the by product has been much more that that.  I have learned so much from other bloggers in the past year.  I have learned more about being a better mommy, a better Christian, a better cook, a better shopper...the list goes on...

The funny thing is that over the past year it really has turned into my hobby, and something I look forward to.  In some ways, it's more than a hobby to me.  It's a way to meet new people that I would never know otherwise.  Many people probably don't even realize this, but I don't have a lot of friends. I haven't had a really close group of girlfriends since college over 10 years ago.  I have had an extremely difficult time finding friends or "kindred spirits" since college and after marrying.  Through this blog, I have connected with other women that are great mommies.  I have connected with other women that have a strong passion and love for the Lord that truly inspire me to be better.  I have connected with other women that are so creative they make Pinterest seem boring.  I have learned a lot this past year from fellow bloggers.

When I started this blog, the only people I knew for sure would read it was my mom and my mother-in-law.  I never dreamed anyone else would actually comment.  Last fall, I started doing a random link-up here and there, and I noticed other people started commenting.  WOW!!!  It was so cool that someone other than family would comment on my little ole blog.  I found blogs through these link-ups I never would have known.  Now, I have a couple dozen blogs I follow daily.  Some bigger blogs.  Some smaller blogs.  When I first started blogging, I would read and wouldn't comment, but now I comment all the time.  I get so much encouragement from the comments left by other women that I want to do the same in return.  Who doesn't love encouragement and feedback?

I am so excited to see what this second year brings.  I can't wait to learn more and meet more bloggers and make more bloggy friends. 

I'm not going to set any big goals for this blog this coming year because I still want this to be fun.  I do plan to continue to post frequently, but hopefully more than just pics of the family.  I have lots of thoughts going through my head, so I think it might be fun to write more of those ideas down as well.

Just for the fun of it I looked at some numbers for my blog.
  • I have posted 122 times.
  • 221 comments have been left.
  • My most viewed post (439 views) was Beach Vacation- Part 1.  That was because I linked up with one of my favorite bloggers, Kelly's Korner, for great vacation spots.
If you take the time to read my blog, thank you.  The comments I receive mean so much to me.   I don't expect to receive comments, but I sure do love it when I get them. 

Happy 1st Birthday little blog!!!  I look forward to what our future holds...

Monday, June 2, 2014

What's on... Our Walls

I am linking up again with Andrea at Momfessionals for What's On.. Our Walls.  Here's a quick tour of what we have hanging around our house. 

I hate the lighting in this picture because you can't see how pretty this is.  This is actually a tapestry/fabric picture made by a member of the church in Ukraine.  When I went to Ukraine on a mission trip in the summer of 2010, we had dinner with the sweetest lady from the local church. She made these beautiful works of art out of scraps of fabric.  This was the one souvenir I brought back, and I love it!!!  I had it framed and now it can always hang in our house as a memory of my first mission trip.

Our engagement pictures taken back in December 2006 outside the Kimball Art Museum.  I haven't had the heart to take them down or move them.  I know I should put up family pics with J.  I just haven't.

These are some of my favorite pictures.  They don't have a special story or any sentimental value.  My mom found them at Home Goods several years ago and bought them because she thought they would look great in my house.

This is actually a Japanese writing that Aaron received from Mito church of Christ as a good bye gift after spending a year in Mito teaching English and working with the church.  I think it says his name, but not sure what else.


I still like the way I arranged these pictures in my dining room.  The picture on the left is a photograph of the angels on the side of Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth.  We received this as a wedding gift.  They gave it to us because we were married at Bass Hall.  The picture on the right was a wedding gift from a family friend of my parents.  She gave it to us from her own walls.  At the bottom of the painting is the word March.  I thought it was so cool because she gave it to us as a wedding gift, and we were married in March.  I would never think to give someone something from my own house, but I thought it was so special!

I love this cross.  My aunt Donna brought it back from her travels.  It is really pretty, especially up close.  My favorite thing about is the fact that every time J sees it he says GG or Jesus because we have told him that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.

This is in J's nursery.  I got it from etsy before J was born.  I know as we convert his room to a big boy room we will have to peel it off and throw it away. :(

Also in J's nursery.  My mom and I made these from vintage Golden Books.  My mom put them inside these shadow boxes I found and added some scrapbook paper and buttons to coordinate with his room colors.


This is our office or "man cave."  This is the room Aaron has complete control over what's on the walls.  The walls definitely show his interests.  Dallas Cowboys, Japan, The Godfather, and comic books.  The pictures to the far right are drawn by Aaron and his brother Tony.  They both are very artistic.  Tony was an art major in college.  The top Aaron drew by hand on the computer, and the bottom Tony drew many years ago.

This is from our wedding and on the walls in our bedroom.  I still love that I preserved my wedding bouquet through the florist we used.  Some of the flowers have fallen off and sit on the bottom with Aaron's boutonniere.  I would like to take one of our wedding pictures and put it on canvas instead of the framed pictures.  (Maybe one of these days...)

Again, nothing special about the Z-gallerie pictures my parents bought me back before I married.  They moved with me from our first apartment to this house, and I still love them.  They just go so well with the colors I love- blue and green.
I hope you enjoyed the tour.  I didn't post every single item in our house, just really the ones with special meaning. :)