Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the holidays and stuff...

Sorry I've been gone. Not that you've missed me too much. It's this darn morning sickness, which, if you've ever had a baby you know, is really all day long sickness. It's gotten me a tad earlier this time and a tad bit more insistent that it be noticed that when I was pregnant with Emory. It's not just you I'm neglecting blogger friends, I'm not returning e-mails or phone calls either. But, hey! We are excited and this is just par for the course, right?

Our holidays have been crazy busy so far, but so enjoyable since Emory is now old enough to participate. She wants Santa to bring her a "blue present" and she's even been brave enough to stand in front of him and ask him for this treasure. She refused to sit on his lap, but sitting on a stranger's lap isn't something we necessarily encourage our daughter to do. What is she really getting? A play kitchen with accessories. The accessories will be wrapped in blue so that she gets her blue present. Her stocking will be stuffed with tons of chocolate candy and lots of girly things like blue bracelets, a pink tiara, and big girl panties!

I'm thinking we'll do the traditional leaving of the cookies and milk for Santa and then make sure the plate with crumbs left behind is still on the table. If I can get my act together to get to the library we'll even read The Night Before Christmas before bedtime. Jury is still out as to whether or not this will happen.

I'm terribly excited about Christmas since we'll be celebrating with both my brother and sister and my parents. Emory loves her family and having them here will be the biggest treat of all. But, there will be great food and lots of it. I'm not sure I'll be able to eat much of it since random things make me sick right now, but we're going to give it a go. And, I was incredibly creative with the gifts this year. I started thinking about it way back in August and I think everyone will be pleased with their goods.

So what's not to love? Lots of food we only get once a year, a two-year-old who is so much fun to surprise with goodies, family we never see but really enjoy, and another blessing on the way. I can truly say, as we mentioned on our Christmas Cards this year: "The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad." (Ps. 126:3)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

why is it...

that when you leave putting on your mascara for last, that the very first thing you will do is sneeze? ARGGHHH!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the best banana bread EVER!

This is in our church cookbook, for those of you who attend Faith, and I had to badger the author for YEARS (literally!) before she would finally share it. And am I ever excited that when she did, it was to include it in our church women's cookbook. It's baking in my oven as I type and it smells sooooo good. Here is is:

1/2 c. oil
1 and 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. sour cream
2 or 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
1/2 c. nuts (very optional - I don't put nuts in mine.)

Cream oil and sugar. Add salt and eggs, mix well. Combine flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to sugar and oil mixture, mixing well after each addition. Fold in bananas and nuts. Pour in baking pan of choice and bake for 45 minutes to an hour on 350 degrees. I can usually get one large loaf and 2 mini muffin pans out of this recipe without altering it at all. The loaf is for the momma and the mini muffins are for the rugrat. ***The mini-muffin pans come out after 15 minutes. DO NOT bake them the entire 45 minutes!***

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

got milk?

Today during breakfast, I was reading to Emory while she ate. You know, you got a pretty sweet little gig when there is someone who will read to you while you eat your pancakes and syrup. The book she chose was Elmo's 12 Days of Christmas. Which, incidentally, we had to locate first because her daddy hides it. He hates to read it. This has only served to encourage Emory to enjoy the book all the more.

We got to the "10 monsters milking" page where there was a picture of what else? 10 monsters milking cows! Emory pointed and asked, "They are getting milk?" Because, a city girl gets her milk from Publix or Walmart, not some cow in a field. I went into a toddleresque explanation of where milk comes from. "Yes Emory, they sit next to the cows and pull on their udders and milk comes into the bucket. We get milk from cows!"

Fairly proud of my prowess mommy skills which took advantage of this teacheable moment, I watch as she wide-eyed, really studies the page for a moment. She then looks at me and says, "They tee-tee milk?" Gross!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving?

So, I appreciated Nancy Wilson's last minute post about being thankful despite the snags one might encounter on Thanksgiving. Every year we've been married we have hosted Thanksgiving at our house. Except for the year that Emory was born, I have cooked the whole kit 'n caboodle myself. Not so this year. When I discovered that we would be hosting my family for Christmas, I made an executive decision. Steffler Christmases are grand and chock full of traditions, so I was not up to hosting 2 major holidays this year. In the past I might have attempted it, but I'm getting smarter in my old age!

All of that to say, we headed south the Biloxi to enjoy Thanksgiving with Eric's mom and his brother and family. Emory got to spend lots of time soaking up the adoring attention of her cousins(who are older teenagers), Eric enjoyed throwing the football with his brother, and I enjoyed commiserating with Tanya, the other daughter-in-law. We were informed this visit that although we were "good" we would never be good enough for Skocelas boys. So glad that the Skocelas boys don't agree. But I digress...

We high tailed it out of town right on the heels of a nasty virus that caught hold of Emory. She had croup the first part of last week. Just when we thought we had it licked, we ended up in after hours with a double ear infection, pink eye, and mild (very mild) pneumonia. Nothing was terribly serious, but it did add up to one sick toddler. She was completely well, despite a lingering cough, and was ready for company after 9 days of being holed up in the house with only her momma for company. I, however, had begun coming down with a cold. I knew I wasn't going to escape this time. It's hard to keep yourself germ free when your two-year-old desperately wants to cuddle for comfort and is leaking from her eyes, nose, and mouth.

Despite a nasty cold, we enjoyed our time with family and are looking forward to our next visit in 2 weeks to celebrate Christmas Skocelas style. And then it is home for the holidays! I'd forgotten how much I hate holiday travel. And what am I most thankful for? My family! I have a husband who cheerfully goes to work every day so that I can be home with Emory, who lets me know how much he appreciates me and the work I put in around here, and who still thinks I'm hot even after childbirth. And we have Emory, who is a joy, and a truly great kid! She is so much fun that so far our verdict is that two's are terrific, not terrible!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"ribbet"...

Any time you hear your 2-year-old yell "ribbet" and you suddenly remember that you left her playing on your bed, you can be sure that it will be followed by a thud and a scream of pain.

Friday, November 21, 2008

'tis the season...

... for the crud.
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
This whole week has been a dud.
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
Don we now our bulb syringe.
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
Will I ever sleep again?
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.

All together now...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday...

It's that time again! This little tidbit came to mind today after a trip to the pediatrician this morning. (Emory has croup, again.) I always pack a bag of small toys and books for her to play with while we wait. I was amazed to see how many moms were just sitting there with their kids, attempting to occupy them with the contents of their purse. This might work for you, but it does not work for me. Since there is nothing else to do, Emory is always happily entertained by the contents of her bag. I also throw in a diaper, bottle of Tylenol, her cup, and my wallet. I leave behind my purse and her diaper bag, because we already have everything we need! Most pediatrician's offices have wipes (just in case there is a blow-out!). All I have to tote in is my tot and her bag of goods. Even if we wait for over an hour, she's never got antsy because she has something to do. I've done this since she was 6 months old and we have never attempted a trip to see Dr. Petelos without it.

It works for me!

Monday, November 17, 2008

the Emory song...

(Sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O)

There was a sweetpea that I knew
And her name was Emory
E-M-O-R-Y
E-M-O-R-Y
E-M-O-R-Y
And her name was EMORY!


We've sung this song to Emory since she was only a couple of weeks old. One of our favorite things to do is pause here and there and let her fill in the blanks with the appropriate word. It usually ends up sounding something like the Mockingbird song sequence from Dumb and Dumber. However, it is always good for a laugh around here. Tonight we were singing while Emory was in the bathtub and this is what she came up with:

Mommy: There was a sweetpea that I knew and her name was....?
Emory: JACOB!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday...

You will never find a "Wordless Wednesday" here! I've got the gift of gab and if I have nothing to say, I must be ill. So, instead, I think I'll try to start a "Works For Me" tradition. I am one of "those" women who LOVE being a stay-at-home mom. I love all things domestic and make most things from scratch because I love to, not because I think it is the way you should. Box meals are fun, but I love to cook. I would never consider myself a gormet chef, but I do love the process of experimenting and creating new meals. I REALLY love to bake and that suits my beloved just fine!

One of my dearest's favorite treats is the old fashioned chocolate chip cookie. Who has the time to whip up a batch every time the notion strikes? Not me! And, if I added making a batch of cookies to what I do each week on baking day, I would be the Stay-puff Marshmellow woman. So, I came up with a solution to our problem. (Disclaimer: This may be something that has already occurred to many of you, but I am not gifted in thinking outside the box and I was thrilled with this discovery.)
I make a batch of cookie dough and keep it in a tupperware container inside the fridge. It keeps for several months and you can make as little or as many as you want at a time.

So, at 9:00 while watching the evening news, if our daddy dearest says to me, "You know what would be great? Cookies and milk!" I can fulfill his request with very little effort. And, it only takes 10 minutes to whip up the cookie dough. Yep, I timed it. And, I don't have to fight the temptation to nibble here and there all week long on the cookies.

It works for me!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

making her earn her keep...




As you can see, she's a master table-clearer!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

how a ladybug turns 2!

partying in the backyard with all her friends!

This is the terribly awesome cake that my friend, Sara, made for Emory. Not only was it adorable, it tasted really good too! Contact me if you want to book her for your child's party.


All the buds in the backyard.


Parker playing with what else? a ball!


Wilson enjoying a very special drink... koolaid jammers.


Jackson showing off what he managed to sneak away from Parker.


Micah checking out the happenings from the "safety" of the kangaroo klimber.


The most happpenin' place at any gathering... the kid's table!


Who wants to eat when there are silly faces to be made?




The moment we've waited all evening for. A little piece of Skocelai-Davis history... Somehow, and I'm guessing it's because mommas are so busy at birthday parties, I ended up holding Sydney Raines when she blew out her candles for her 2-year-old party. I thought it was interesting that of all the adults present, Emory chose Sydney Raines' mommy (Aimee) to hold her while she blew out her candles. Emory didn't even look for me. She typically doesn't if Mrs. Aimee is around.


Mrs. Aimee giving a cupcake tutorial. Oddly enough, Emory had no idea what she was supposed to do.


Now she's got it!


Sugar induced joy.


An extreme close-up of Sydney Raines. Or, as Emory prefers to call her, Raines Syd.


When the party's over, it's time to enjoy the goodie bag. Incidentally, those stamps, which I got a party store, were not washable and we had church the next day. Emory looked like a leper.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What does the pumpkin say?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

We started off our day with a trip to our local library, which is conveniently only 5 minutes from home, to have a trick-or-treat trial run. Despite how enthusiatic Jackson looks below, he really did have fun.


When eventide finally arrived and the time for trickery was upon us, we started our quest for treats next door at our elderly neighbors house. Emory was a ladybug and she was terribly excited at the prospect of people opening the doors and giving her candy!


Our little band of trick-or-treaters. From left to right: Wilson as Lightening McQuenn, Sydney Raines as Dorothy, Johnson as a dinosaur, Emory as a ladybug, and Knox as a baby dinosaur.


Emory was terribly facinated by the lit Jack-O-Lanterns, making me feel horribly guilty that we didn't carve one ourselves. I mean, it never even occurred to me.



She's a terribly brave little girl!


This is before the major melt down of most everyone 3 and under (except Wilson!). To be fair, we had been at it for almost 2 hours, in a very hilly neighborhood, and most of the children walked the whole way. After a quick candy break, everyone pulled it together long enough to sit by a neighborhood bonfire for a few minutes and then head home with little to no complaints.

Monday, November 3, 2008

fumes...

So, I realized this morning that it's been a while since I've posted anything "deep". Not that you come here to read great thoughts, but what you do read here is my brain's inner musings. Apparently, I'm not musing on God as much as I ought. I haven't really felt like I've had time to breath, much less think deeply (can I get an "AMEN!" from all the mommas out there?). And now, realizing that today is November 3rd, I almost hyperventilated when I realized that the holidays are quickly approaching.

And, there is absolutely no sign of slowing down after the holidays. We'll be adding on to the house (Lord willing!) and we'd like another baby sometime in the near future. Neither of those equal rest and relaxation. Oh! And did I mention my mother-in-law might be moving to the 'Ham? And, I've got a 2-year-old? And, the holidays are quickly approaching? Oh, I mentioned that already? Sorry.

And today is not the day to be thinking about all of this because it's Monday. Which means that today we get the house back together after the lazy days of the weekend. So, I've changed sheets, mopped the kitchen, baked goodies and took them to church for the voters tomorrow, went to the post office and mailed off a gift, and did the weekly Walmart run. Which, incidentally, Emory almost made it through without incident. We were SO CLOSE, I could taste it.

Then, we come home, feed the toddler (which includes keeping her on task, "Cottage cheese is for eating, not poking, Emory."), blew bubbles outside before nap because I promised this morning, read books, and put the tot down for a nap. Now, I am avoiding the mountian of laundry awaiting me in the den to gripe about how busy I am. Maybe I would have less to do if I spent more time doing and less time whining? Hmmmm...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

true story...

I was talking on the phone today to a friend and she remarked that she had noticed that the last time she had strapped Emory into her carseat that the straps were really tight. "Yea.", I replied, "I've loosened them up recently. But I think that carseat has issues. I never adjust the straps and over time they seem to get tighter and tighter. I really don't know what the deal is with that carseat." "Um, Sarah?" my gracious friend replied, "Do you think Emory's just growing?"

Ummmm....

Friday, October 31, 2008

looking for barb!

who won the give-away quite a few weeks back. i've tried to contact via e-mail quite a few times, but they keep bouncing back to me. i need you to e-mail me so that i can ask you a preference question regarding your soap. there was some confusion on the part of the supplier and i've finally been able to straighten it out. please e-mail me so that i can make good on my promise to send you some soap!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

because Renie shamed me publically last night...

... about being so slow to get the Michigan pictures up. Here they are!


The first series are shots of Emory playing at the same city park that Eric used to play on as a kid on his visits to Michigan. He got rather nostaglic and tried his darndest to make me see the beauty of her playing on the same equipment he did at her age. However, seeing as how we live in the city I was raised in and we worship in the same church I worshipped in at her age... it was completely lost on me :).





Here is a couple of Emory with Uncle Sonny (brother of Eric's dad). Emory and Uncle Sonny were fast friends.




Two old men napping after a morning of fishing.


The Skocelai.


Emory with her magnadoodle. The best 3 bucks I've ever spent.


A little bit of the fall beauty.


An early birthday celebration for Emory with all the Skocelas clan. This was no small feat since Eric's dad, Ben, is one of 11 children. There are only 8 still living, but it still makes for a crowd. Emory was so excited since this celebration was surprise for her (and me too!).


Monday, October 27, 2008

however you feel about the Wilsons...

you can say what you like about their theology, but you gotta admit, they got taste! Go here and check out this great give away.

And, just for the record... the Wilson's theology doesn't scare me one bit. While, I'm not yet ready to jump into the deep end of the CREC, there is a lot of their teaching that deserves a resounding AMEN!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

scroll down...

... to check out our pumpkin patch adventure!

things you just shouldn't do...

1.) stick your finger in an outlet
2.) run with scissors
3.) cross the street without looking both ways
4.) jump out of an airplane without a parachute
5.) take the cover off your toddler's carseat without wearing a hazmat suit

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

only a 2-year-old...

....would command the household cat to fold her hands and "Pray!" when the blessing was being said at dinner.

Monday, October 20, 2008

we're back!

after 8 days away from home. Maybe it's my old age or the fact that chasing a toddler is harder away from home, but I don't really like being away from home for an extended amount of time. We had a lot of fun in Michigan (pictures to come during naptime tomorrow) and had a blast with our friends in Kentucky. Our time in KY was just too short. You know how you don't realize how much you miss someone until you see them again... that describes our visit in KY.

Emory's birthday came and went. We did what we could to make the morning special since I was at Kid's Market sorting after lunch. Presents were opened as soon as the household was awake, and chocolate chip pancakes were enjoyed by all for breakfast. She got many, many gifts but her most favorites are her new baby stroller from Grandmother and her new Olivia book from mommy and daddy. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that our baby girl is now a 2-year-old.

Therell be more news later, but it's off to bed. It's time to get back into the groove again... it's so good to be home!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the punkin patch!

Our arrival. I never could get both kids to look at the camera at the same time. this was the closest I could come to a cozy, fall pumpkin patch picture.


Playing in the sand and waiting for our buds to arrive.



The ginormous slides that both kids were TERRIFIED of. Go figure.


Before the kids decided they were terrified of the slides, they were nearly coming out of their skin to go for a ride. Here our pumpkin patch hero, Uncle Felder, is running with all 4 kids to the slides.


On a hayride to pick our pumpkins!


This is how Jackson claimed his pumpkin.


And Emory FINALLY picked hers.


The following 2 pictures is the sequence of what happens when you finally get 6 kids under 5 to pose for a group photo. (L to R) Emory, Sydney Raines, Wilson, Jackson, Knox, and Johnson is the one in the back.


Did those kids ever scatter fast! Jackson was the first one out of there and Emory just looks confused.

Best buds. (Doesn't SR look beautiful?)


Just another shot of that great smile.


And just to let you in on who's who. Johnson and Knox are the boys of some college friends of Eric, Aimee and Felder. Sydney Raines and Wilson are Aimee and Felder's kids. Aimee and Felder are the Skocelai's best buds and the true master minds behind the whole Skocelai beginning (They set us up in a very sneaky way.). Emory is the spawn of the Skocelai and Jackson is our bud who was with us while his momma and daddy (Keith and Jennifer) were vacationing before Jackson officially becomes a big brother. We claim everyone as family and we had a blast with our buds at the Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch.