Yours, Mine, Ours!

Halloween candy that is!

The day has arrived.  You know what that means.  We'll be raiding our kids Halloween bag when they're not looking, or stealing a few treats that we bought to hand out to the kids.

How much candy do you allow your family to consume on Halloween night? 

We don't really have a set rule, when I feel I can't stand to watch them put one more sugar bomb in their mouths, I cut them off.

Then we collect all the candy and put it in one big bowl.  I put a couple pieces in their lunch for a treat at school.  The kids dabble in it when they get home from school.  And I'm sure they sneak a piece or two, or three or four, here and there when mom's not looking.  Okay, okay....I do it too.

After a few days, it mysteriously disappears.  (I take it to work and let my co-workers chow down on the "fun size" calorie monsters.)  

Did you see this years Halloween episode of The Middle?

I about died when Brick ate all his candy in one night!

You may or may not want to know the stats about calories, because I know the rule, what you don't know doesn't count, when it comes to calories.  However, I've been trying to eat more healthy and keep those pesky extra calories down to a minimum, so it's better for me to know how much I'm consuming when I dig into the bag o' treats.  Otherwise I'll need a good trick or two to get my jeans on!

Are you ready for the scaaarrriest part of Halloween?

12 of the Highest Calorie Halloween Candy:
Snicker's Creme Pumpkin: 150 calories
Butterfinger Fun Size: 100 calories
Whoppers Mini Pouch: 100 calories
Milky Way Fun Size: 90 calories
Almond Joy Fun Size: 90 calories
Hershey's Fun Size: 90 calories
M&M's Fun Size: 90 calories
Baby Ruth Fun Size (my fav!): 85 calories
Mounds Fun Size:  83 calories
Twix Fun Size: 80 calories
Snicker's Fun Size (also a fav of mine!): 80 calories
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (One Cup, but who can eat just one?  I mean really.): 80 calories

Have I taken the fun out of Halloween candy?  Sorry. 

Halloween candy, as Bobby Boucher's mama would say, "is the Devil!" 
But ooooh sooo gooood!

Happy Halloween~Ween!



re{collection} Monday ~ BELIEVE

Sissy's very first concert was Justin Bieber a couple years ago.  It was her 13th birthday gift.  It was a great first concert experience.  Safe, clean, fun... a family friendly crowd of mostly moms and daughters, but "cool!" 
This time she got to go without me.  *eeeeeps!*

Was she scared?  Nooowah!
Was I nervous?  Heck yeah!
I got names, phone numbers,
everything but blood types of the friends she was going with.
I trust her.
I don't know if it's too soon to let her have a little bit of independence for one night,
but I did.
It's all good.  *whew!*

When sis got home she came directly into my room,
without any hesitation she flipped on the light,
"the show was AMAZING!"  
Then she proceeded to walk me through
the THREE HUNDRED pictures she took.

The boy truly is talented.  His show is energetic and fun. 
Not only can he sing, he can play the piano and guitar too. 

I admit, when I saw him for the first time, I danced, chanted,
and jumped up and down just as much as the kids.  It was hard NOT too.

I admire him, and Taylor Swift too for that matter.   
Not only for actually being accountable... but for leading by example to all generations. 
The two seem to handle their public transition into a more grown-up lifestyle with grace.

I love the above picture.  The only thing missing is the screaming!

Sis took a picture from the last time he was here and put it next to one now.
All pictures in this blog post were taken my daughter by the way. 

He's grown up quite a bit.
So has she.

The concert was very high-tech, a multi media stage with lights, fireworks and confetti.  Justin flew threw the air with wings, rode through the air singing and playing the guitar on a mechanical crane thingy, and was raised up on a this platform.

Other performers included Cody Simpson,
a 15 year old Australian 
and Carly Rae Jespen,
I'm sure they were just as entertaining as the Beebs. 

What will "I" remember about the concert?
The glowing smile on my daughter's most happy face.




Little brother made this wire guy for his art project.
It was some kind of 3D sculpture project.
The kids were given a spool of hardware wire, pliers, wire cutters,
and told "you have 24 hours to make something." 

His Yo-Yo is made of two watch batteries glued together with a piece of string.

He did the entire project by himself.

The only thing I did was find the glue gun & spray paint the wood black.

It's really amazing how from something as simple as wire
you can create something recognizable,
and in an odd way, even beautiful.

Way to go little brother!
Very creative.
I can't even begin to imagine what's next.


Stay Focused


Yes, that's the word I'm using to define myself today.

This post is more for my own benefit than anyone elses. 
You could say it's a "Dear Me" letter, kinda giving myself a swift kick in the hiney & shouting,
"Come On Man!  Focus!"

Sometimes I have to remind myself of what really matters.

It's easy to get caught up in the petty "stuff" of life.

It could be that I'm so focused on my to-do list, my agenda, or my schedule that I lose sight of what's most important. When I get interruptions or distractions, I get a little bit crabby.

Sometimes this means not taking the time to really listen. Or it could be that I blurt out a sharp answer, just so I can get on to the next thing.

One of my famous (and least liked) lines is, "I'm busy." Thankfully I don’t say it as much anymore. I’ve come a long way in not using those two words any more. But sometimes I slip.

Here’s what I believe people hear when we say, "I'm busy." They hear, "I don't have time for you right now." "You are bothering me." "I have more important things to do."

How would those words make you feel? You may be saying it without even realizing it.

When I get caught up in "doing," I have to stop and think. Is my to-do list, my agenda, or my schedule the most important part of my day? Or is it connecting with my family? What REALLY matters to me?

I can say it's my family, but if I don't show it through purposeful actions, then my words are absolutely meaningless. And I may have good intentions but sadly, those don't cut it… at all.

It’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. But then something reminds me of what's important and I have to take a step back.

I have to evaluate where my focus has been vs. where it needs to be.

Time to make some adjustments!

What really matters? Building relationships with the people you love most... Not checking the next thing off on your to-do list or sticking to the schedule.



Smoke That!

Not really.
I just wanted to get your attention.

We love two things in this family, smoked meats of any kind!  and anything pasta! 
Especially if it's Mac & Cheese.  MmmmHmmm!
Put the two together and BAM!

Your Joe Shmo BBQ just turned into Lip Smackin' Q my friend.

Check THIS out.

1  Package smoked sausage
3  Tablespoons butter
3  Tablespoons flour
2 1/2 Cups Milk
1/4  Cup sweetened condensed milk
2  Cups cheddar cheese, grated and divided
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper to taste
1  Box elbow macaroni (or pasta of choice)

Here's how ya DO it:
In a large, salted pot cook macaroni al dente according to box directions.  (Pasta will cook completely in the oven.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat 9x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter at medium heat.  Add flour, stirring constantly until well incorporated.

Add milk and unsweetened condensed milk.  Stirring until milk begins to thicken.

Add in 1 1/2 cup cheddar and Parmesan cheese.  Stirring until cheeses are melted.

Slice smoked sausage to desired thickness.  We like to chop ours up into bite size pieces.  I honestly don't know why.  But anyway, in a large bowl (or pot used to cook pasta) combine cheese sauce, pasta, and sausage.

Transfer to prepared baking dish and cover with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Let sit 5 minutes before serving.  (thee hardest part!)

Now:  Chow Down Brown Cow! 

The last and final step: 
Waddle down the hallway to your room.  Put on your most favorite, cozy, comfy, winter pj's. 
Lay on the couch and catch up on all that stuff you've been DVRing but never watch.

Cuz, You.  Are.  Done.


Ever Wonder

What the kids do when you're not home?

Well, the mystery is over.

awww... Okay.

Now I get it.

Yeah,  Mr. Rubber Guy is stuck to my wall.

and his friends too.

Remember when your dad used to say,
"If your friends jumped off a bridge
would you?"

Aaaannnd there's always one in every crowd
who has to get just a little crazier than the rest of the gang.

HE's on my ceiling.

I guess it could be worse. 
At least nothing's broken.
When I was a kid we broke the mantel clock playing basketball in the house. 
Got in BIG BIG trouble for that one.


re{collection} Monday ~ Maple Leaf Festival

This is the best time of year in Baldwin.
The leaves are changing, the weather is crisp, and there's so much going on!
This weekend was no exception.

BHS cremated Santa Fe Trail on Friday night.  41 - 0. 

I'll bet that was a long ride home!

Saturday, we woke up early and ran out the door!
Big Daddy ran in the Maple Leaf Run.

Go Big Daddy!

It was a chilly morning, but ended up being a beautiful day.
Wowzer and Baker University President Pat Long enjoying the fall morning.
These two always start the parade, it's tradition.
The Jr. High Band. 
Kids, food, crafts...umm... food everywhere!
I love these little wings.
Makes me want some for myself!
I remember when my kids loved to dress up....all.  the.  time. 

Well folks....we'll see ya next year!


Rain Day

We woke up to rain over the weekend.

It was calming.


Maisy didn't like the thunder.

Got really dark and creepy.


The rainbow.

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