Friday, August 26, 2016

First Week of Middle School

Hello, Friends and happy Friday!

We survived our first full week of school and I'm still alive to tell about it! That's a good thing!

I'm linking up today with Andrea at Momfessionals and sharing my first week of school favorites!

{one.} Last week, S called and asked if just the two of us could go out and celebrate her senior year.  It was move-in weekend at the university and I think she had mixed emotions about it being her last year, so of course I said yes. She wanted to go to "the place you and your friends always go to" so we headed to a local Mexican restaurant and had the best time. I love having my girls together, but I also enjoy one on one time with them, too. S told me that she decided to go thru Rush Week this week so that she could meet new people and I was totally surprised about it. I'm not sure how she will balance sorority life and being an athlete, but I am so proud of her for getting out of her comfort zone and for doing something new. She texted me from the first meeting and said, "There's too many southern belles in here." I died laughing!

{two.} Most of my week was devoted to getting back in a routine with Alise. My precious middle schooler has gone from play makeup to wanting a Kylie Jenner Lip Kit overnight. We're trying to balance homework, cheer practice, pep rallies, and games. Earlier bedtimes for all of us really helped, too,this week. On Sunday night, we had Meet The Mustangs at school and I was so proud of her squad's performance!  They were awesome!

{three.} I was craving so much comfort food this week. On Sunday afternoon, I spent a few hours making not one, but TWO lasagnas. One for company Wednesday night and another for S and her roommates. I guess I was feeling guilty since we couldn't see her like we normally do on Sunday evenings and Lord knows those girls are always hungry!

Then Monday afternoon, I got to craving chocolate cake and since Wayne was running by the grocery store on his way home already, I just added a few more things to the list!

Mama was happy!

And that was basically our week! If there was ever a time when I felt like the mom that wears all the hats, it was this week! Between chauffer, tutor, cook, maid, errand runner, and pet taker-outer, I feel like I've done it all. Not that I haven't been all of those things before, but it was a little overwhelming this week with Wayne working late a few nights and S needing my attention, too. I can tell we are in a "new" stage in our family and that makes me a little sad. Alise is growing up so fast and for the first time in a long while, I simply want time to stand still.

I am so thankful for her Christian cheer coach.  She sent this text to the girls this week:

                           I am deeply loved, divinely appointed, abundantly equipped,
                           and profoundly cherished by God. No enemy plan, scheme, 
                           or obstacle can keep me from God's highest and best will for
                           me. As I follow the voice of my Savior, I see the invisible,
                           accomplish the impossible, and love the unlovable. I am a
                           living-breathing miracle because Jesus Christ lives in me! 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Here We Go Middle School

My cell phone sucks.

It's my "old" phone because my "new" phone fell in the pool at the beginning of summer.

And y'all know how much I hate to use the word, "sucks." I really hate that word.

My Nikon is also out of service.

Thus the crappy first day of middle school photos!

And guess what?!  Mama didn't cry!

Here's our traditional photos in front of the fireplace and staircase!

And my personal favorite!  Love this Girlie!  She is so funny and just loves life right now! I can't get over how grown-up she looks! Breaks this mama's heart! She was like, "MOM!  Come on!!  Hurry up!!" When I bought this shirt for her, I was like, "I was 11 years old myself in 1984! Wow!"

And this Girlie! Oh my goodness!  We spent yesterday afternoon correcting hair color. I'm so glad she's blonde again! Whew!

She asked me, "So...are you gonna come take first day of my senior year pics of me?"


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

General's TSO Chicken Recipe

Alise called me at lunch time on Monday complaining that there was nothing in the house to eat. Granted, I had just been to the grocery store on Saturday, so I knew better. I think she ended up eating a bowl of cereal, so I know the kid didn't starve, but still.  The phone call had me thinking that I really needed to get back to menu planning. Especially with school starting this week. I'll add that to my to do list.

Having S in our family forces me to make a full-blown meal once a week {twice a week during the summer when we had "family nights" on Tuesdays}. She is always hungry, always sending me recipes to try, always willing to eat anything, always inviting her team mates over, and always running away with my tupperware for her leftovers! I mean, I don't want it to sound like I don't cook - because I do! - maybe just not every single night.

Having said all that, this past Sunday night, S and her team mate W were craving Chinese and I had the perfect two recipes to make! I made fried rice and General's TSO Chicken and the girls loved it! Both recipes are family favorites from Pinterest and you can find the fried rice recipe by clicking HERE.

As for the TSO Chicken, the website is no longer available, but my friend Leigh came to the rescue because she actually had the recipe in her phone and was able to send it to me. So for future reference for myself, I'm posting the recipe here. This meal can actually be made on the cooktop instead of the crockpot, which is how I normally prepare it.

General's TSO Chicken

1 pkg of chicken tenders
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup onion (or 2 Tbs dried onion flakes)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
3 Tbs cornstarch

Cube the chicken into 1-inch pieces and place in a large Ziplock bag with the cornstarch. Shake the bag to coat the chicken with cornstarch. Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpor and whisk until combined. Then in a non-stick pan add 3 Tbs of olive oil and preheat to a Med-Hi setting. Arrange the chicken in the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side. It's okay if the chicken does not brown, it will cook the rest of the way in the crockpot. Add the chicken to the crockpot stirring the ingredients and turn the heat to low for 3 hours.  Serve with brown rice and vegetables.

Note: If you're not able to use the crockpot, this can also be done in the pan.  Wipe out the leftover oil from the pan and add all ingredients to it covering with a lid. Turn the heat to Low-Med and cook for 30-45 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.


I'm linking this recipe to Johannah's blog for her recipe link up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

School Day Memories

Today I'm linking up with Shelly and "spieling the beans" about my school day memories and what I would tell my younger self. Now, I have to say, if you came over to see old school pics, then you're outta luck because all my old school stuff is at my mom's and well, there just wasn't time in my world today to go pah-roosing through old photographs. What can I say?  I saved you some laughs, because Lord knows they were pretty awful! So here we go!

1. I almost got paddled in kindergarten. Yep! I can't remember what I did, but I remember Mrs. M (who taught me, my brother, AND Alise!) jerking my hiny outta that chair and reaching for that wooden paddle on her desk! Like I said, I can't remember what I did, but I CAN remember what I wore that day!  Ha!  It was a white and orange gingham sundress. Mrs. M didn't paddle me, but she gave me a good "talking to." And four years later when she had my brother, he DID get a paddling! Mrs. M still doesn't play!

2. In first grade, I wrote my first love note on pink construction paper. I was in love with Willie!

3. I made my first C in third grade.  In CONDUCT, y'all! My mother was LIVID!  All the neighborhood kids were in my class that year and all we did was talk.  Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. I got my butt tore up at home for that one! I think the whole neighborhood got punished that six weeks! I also broke my arm that year. I fell at the skating rink.

{I just realized these memories make me look like I was a "problem kid," but I really wasn't. I was just a very "social," straight A student!}

4. I was late for school on the first day of fifth grade because I had to go to the orthodontist to have impressions for my retainer and later that year, braces. I was so embarrased to be walking into class late. This was also the grade I started wearing a bra. 

5. I did not realize until just a few years ago that my mother went to bat for me in the seventh grade. It was the year of "busing" kids to school and my new junior high (what we refer to these days as "middle school") was not in the best part of town and I would be attending school with kids that did not have the same family life that I did. Apparently, my mother scheduled a meeting with the principal - who is now Alise's headmaster - to make sure that there "wouldn't be any problems." {Wow! This is even making me look worse!} If you know my mother, that was really so out of character for her, so when she told me about it, I was shocked! Yet I felt so loved when she told me.

6. I was in the junior high office when the Space Challenger blew up {It just keeps getting worse!}, but it wasn't because I was in trouble.  I was simply taking a note from my teacher to the secretary. Our old school didn't have an intercom system.

7. I wore glasses, had braces, and the permed hair. But I don't have to tell y'all about the hair. I had an eating disorder in high school and because of it, I experienced some acne problems, but I never saw a doctor for either. 

8. My only regret in high school is that I didn't push myself to do all the things that I really wanted to do. I should have run for student council, I should have went out for homecoming queen, I should have applied for scholarships, but I was so worried about failure. Having said all that, I was voted "Most Likely To Succeed" my senior year. Still brings a smile to my face.

9. My best friend and I used my birth certificate to get her a fake id so we could go bar hopping. Not my finest moment. Ahem.

10. I almost didn't go to my senior prom. I didn't decide to go with the guy until the week before and mom and I were running through the mall trying to find a dress! We found one, but it was strapless and there was no way in hell my parents were going to let me out of the house on prom night in a strapless dress! Mom and I compromised with her sewing straps into my dress. Here's a picture of Alise playing dress up in it!

What would I tell my younger self? My high school years were some of the best years of my life! Even more so than college.  I kept a diary during those years and wrote in it nearly every day. I should probably go back and read them. I just remember everything seemed so BIG at the time, ya know? Everything mattered and it was major, like if something didn't happen or turn out the way I wanted, I would, "just die." So I would have to say, don't sweat the small stuff! Take risks. Enjoy life!

Linking up this week with Queen In Between, Tuesday Talk, Grammie Time, House of Malones, Momfessionals, A Liz Adventures.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Weekend Recap

It was a rainy weekend here in Louisiana. Some of you may remember the massive flooding we had here in north Louisiana this past spring. Well, it seems that the southern part of our state is now seeing the same type of weather pattern and catastrophe.

A slow, steady rain makes for great sleeping weather and so Wayne and I took full advantage of it and didn't even get out of bed until 10:30 on Saturday! And it gets better!  We had a day date and then he even went with me to Walmart for grocery shopping. He knows how much I hate shopping at Walmart. I guess he's a keeper!

Saturday night, the girls and I went to dinner and then to the movie "Bad Moms" and laughed so much! We're trying to convince Jennifer's husband to buy a plane so we can all take off for the day on a whim. I think we nearly have him convinced. Ha! We needed some girl time because I think we're all in denial of school starting this week.  None of us are looking forward to it. And I nearly cried in my margarita when they told me that I could not - under any circumstances - walk Alise in to the gym on Wednesday to get her class schedule.  I said, "But what about all the cute first day of school pics?" and they were like, "Laura!  Get a grip!  Those days are over!" Cue the tears, please.

While I was hanging out with my friends, Wayne and Alise had a Daddy/Daughter Date Night and went to the mall to eat and exchange the backpack that we ordered online. They ended up purposely running into a former Alabama football player that lives in our area who we have cheered for since Wayne held his signing papers in his hand (being a UPS man and all...), but never got the chance to meet in person. To say I was totally miffed when I got home and saw the pics on Wayne's phone would be an understatement. 

On Sunday, we went to church, came home and ate BLTs for lunch and then the Sunday afternoon naps commenced.  Alise and I binged on Gilmore Girls for a few hours and I finally pulled it together long enough to look over her reading assignment that's due the first day of school. Then I pulled it together a little more to make a banana pudding and fried rice AND General's TSO chicken because, ya know, S specifically requested Chinese cuisine. Oh!  And did I mention that Baby Girl got new hair color this weekend?  Yea, well, she's having "blonde withdrawals" and so I've got to make "amends" this week in time for roster pics!  #mamatotherescue Lord help me! But guess what!  Banana pudding for the win!  She loved it! Like I said, I may turn her into a southern belle yet! 

Love all my basketball girls!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!