Thursday, June 22, 2017

{ Slow Cooking Thursday - Gumbo }

9:59 AM 0 Comments

Hey everyone, welcome to another Slow Cooking Thursday.  I haven't tried this one yet, but it looks really good.

Crock Pot Gumbo Recipe with Sausage, Chicken, and Shrimp
 Source: Tammilee Tips


1lb Chicken Breast (cut into bite size pieces)
1lb Smoked Sausage (kielbasa, farmers sausage, garlic sausage, etc)
1lb Shrimp, raw and shells removed (I left tails on for more flavor)
1 Onion, diced
1 Green pepper, diced
1 Hot pepper, (jalapeno, serrano, scotch bonnet, habanero, etc) (optional!!!)
3 ribs Celery, diced
1 can Diced tomatoes (28 oz)
3 tsp Garlic, minced
2 C Chicken broth
1 Tbsp. Cajun spice (or more if you prefer)
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Oregano
1 1/3 C Rice (cooked)

1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker, except for the shrimp and the rice.
2. Cook on low for 6 – 7 hours, stirring occasionally
3. In last hour of cooking, salt the shrimp lightly, and then add them to the crock pot
4. In the last half hour of cooking, add the rice and stir. Replace cover. You want the rice just to warm through and take on some of the cooking flavors.
5. Serve with crusty bread, and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

{ Tackle it Tuesday - Bringing it Back }

8:23 AM 5 Comments
Good morning everyone, hope you are having a good start to your day.

It's a beautiful Tuesday morning here in North Texas, and I'm just getting ready to tackle a project.  While I was gathering all my supplies I suddenly remembered the Tackle it Tuesdays I used to do back in 2006.  I don't think I ever did one in 2007, I may but I really don't remember.  Anyway, I have a ton of projects and things I want to get done around my house.

Reorganizing, painting, DIY, Yard, gardening and so on and so forth.

Time for it, is here.  Motivation, not always.

So I thought it would be a great idea to keep me in check, keep me motivated and make me accountable, if I had to do it to post it on the blog.  It's how I got a lot of projects done back in 2006.

You can go back and check those out if you wish, just click here on my Tackle it Tuesday label.

If it's something you think you would enjoy, then I highly encourage you to join me every Tuesday and work on a project you need doing whether around your house or work, it doesn't matter.

Here's what I'm tackling today.  Jasmine's cosplay.

I've gone back and forth on this gun for a few days and it's stressing me out, I don't know what the heck I'm doing.  So I'm going to try one last thing and hopefully get it done.  I'm basically going to adapt an old Nerf gun that is no longer used, and turn it into a prop gun.  *fingers crossed*

Here's what I'm facing....




I don't have finished pictures yet, obviously I'm working on it today, but I'll come back tonight and post the progress I've made.

As I said, I'm hoping to bring this feature back for as long as I have projects going and sharing it with you.  I hope I inspire you all to look at your own pile of To Do's and get cracking with them, it really does help when you know you need to post pictures and share with others. :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

{ What a blessing }

6:02 PM 2 Comments

We often taken things for granted.  We often think that we're alone or not surrounded by people who love us and care about us.  And we're often very wrong.

I've been immensely blessed with wonderful friends, some who I have never met in person, yet are some of the most treasured friendships I have in my life.

The other day I mentioned that I broke my camera lens.  I've had my camera since 2010, yes that long, I've cherished it, I've taken care of it, I've been oh so careful with where I set it down, when I take it anywhere etc., so when I busted the lens I was heartbroken.

June 19, 2017

I've been wanting one for a while but it's not something that is within our budget at the moment, but it's such a huge part of my daily life that I was feeling very sad not being able to really take many photos anymore.

That's when one of those amazing friends that I'm blessed with, stepped in.  I've known Jen for so many years, we met through the blog, I've watched her children grow and she mine and we've become very good friends without ever having met.

June 19, 2017

She had an extra lens and decided to gift it to me as an early birthday present.  I could not believe it and honestly still don't quite know how to ever thank her.   If that wasn't enough, she sent me a few other goodies, because she knows me extremely well :)

June 19, 2017

She knows how much I love my teas, and I am quite sure I'm going to love these.  Just look at those flavors.  Yum!!!

June 19, 2017

And an Amish cookbook, I mean.....that's me right there.  I can not wait to sit and look through the recipes, I'll be making many from there, I'm quite sure.

June 19, 2017

So thank you Jen, I've already thanked you but you deserve all the love and recognition in this world :)

While I worked around the house, the Mister was just living the good life, laying around, enjoying his naps.  He is so cute, I just want to squeeze him.

June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

Can you tell I have my wonderful lens back?  I don't know how I would live without my camera, I think I would be so unhappy not being able to capture my life.

June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

I've also been working on my Atlanticus blanket.  I am almost finished with Part 4, hoping to be done with that tomorrow and then I can move on to Part 5, but I'm running low on yarn, so we'll see how far I get.

Speaking of crochet, I decided to end my Nuts about Squares blanket and just join the squares I have now, see how big it is and maybe work on an edging.  It will probably just be a lap afghan and that's fine with me :)

I worked a little more on my blog to book for 2010.  Also did a little more work on Jasmine's cosplay gun.  I'm a little stressed with it because I'm not used to making prop weapons and really have no clue what I'm doing, but I'm trying very hard to make it look semi good, so we'll see how it goes.  Talk about pressure.

All my housework is done, the only thing on the list that I didn't get around to was the dusting, but I'll do that tomorrow morning.

Right now I'm sitting here with my girl, actually she's laying and sleeping on the couch next to me.  She's not feeling very well, it's that time of the month but I think she's also got a bit of a cold.  If I told her I was going to take a photo she would have said NO, and at this age I gotta get what I can so since she's asleep, here's my chance right?  :)

No matter how old they get, I still see them as babies when they sleep.  Boy time has flown by.

Right, it's now 8pm and I really need to start getting things ready for bed.  Part of my nighttime routine is to get my coffee machine ready for the next morning so it makes the coffee when the alarm goes off, I better go and tend to that.

Hope you all have a good night.  God Bless!

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 06/19/2017 }

6:02 AM 12 Comments
Happy Monday everyone :)

I know, I sound a little too chirpy for an early Monday morning, but I've learned that it's best to just go with it and accept it than dwell in the sad notion that it's, in fact, the beginning of another week.

So let's get going, and I pray that you all have a beautiful, blessed week ahead, no matter what you're doing :)

The weather:::
It's been cloudy since yesterday and there was talk of rain, but it never showed up.  Bummer!  Anyway, it's dark and cloudy today but no rain in sight.  This week we'll be in the 90s.   

Right now I am:::
Typing up this post, and I have my TV on to ID Discovery, with, of course, crime shows. 

On my reading pile:::
News of the World by Paulette Jiles, for an upcoming review. 

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
Finished Orange is the New Black, and also watched the last two episodes of Reign.  I'm so upset that it's over, and I really disliked the way it ended.  Of course the TV was on to crime shows as usual. 

On my TV:::
General Hospital
Dr Phil (if it's a new one)
ID Discovery Channel

On the menu for this week:::

Darn Yummy Pasta, Salad  
Honey Lime Pork Chops, Garlic Black Beans and Rice    
One Pot Baked Ziti w/ Ricotta, Steamed Broccoli
Chili con Carne, Basmati Rice  
Instant Pot Chicken Casserole w/ Butter Garlic Spaghetti   
Crockpot Cubed Steak w/ gravy and Mashed Potatoes 
Barbecue Ribs, Corn on the Cob, Maple Bacon Baked Beans. 

On my to do list:::
Laundry......Iron and put away all the laundry
Living rooms....Dust, vacuum
Kitchen.....unload and reload dishwasher, sweep and mop
Blog.....Continue on with the blog to book.  Just finished 2009 last night, moving on to 2010.  Start on my Slow Cooking Thursday book.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Have two rows left on Part 4 of the Atlanticus, then hoping to get started on Part 5 which was released today. 
Have to finish Jasmine's weapon for this weekend's cosplay event.

Looking around the house:::

I did a lot of housework yesterday, so it's not needing much other than just a quick tidy up here and there.   

From the camera:::
I hope you're not getting sick of my old photos, but as I go through previous blog years, I see so many wonderful pictures that I took of my kids.  Brings back so many memories.  This is the picture on my blog book cover for 2009.  Just love it )  

What I'm wearing today:::
It's not even 8am yet, so I'm still in my pajamas.  Black shorts with white and purple flowers, lavender tank top and my robe.  I'm not sure what I'll be wearing today, you know sometimes I want to just throw on some sweat pants and then there are days I actually put on jeans and a nice top etc.  Just because I'm a homemaker, doesn't mean that I should be sloppy all the time, right? 
Today though, it's cloudy and gloomy, and I may just put on a tshirt and some shorts for my cleaning/homemaking day.

One of my simple pleasures:::
Looking through old photographs

Inspirational Quote, Bible verse, anything you want to share:::
Prayer from today's Grace for Each Day.
"Dear Lord.  You have offered me the gift of abundance through Your Son.  Thank you, Father for the abundant life that is mine through Christ Jesus.  Let me accept His gifts and use them always to glorify You.  Amen."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

{ Sunday...does it really matter as a mom? }

6:44 PM 2 Comments
You know I was thinking earlier and actually stated it out loud to my family.  There really is no weekend for me, every day is the same day.

They kind of looked at me weird because they weren't understanding what I was saying, and so I explained that as a mom, as a homemaker, I don't get weekends off work.  What I do on a Monday, a Thursday, a what I do on a Saturday and Sunday.  There really is no difference.

Boy am I glad I actually love what I do, or I would be in serious trouble.

Not going to lie though, there are days that I feel like I really could have used an actual weekend of doing absolutely nothing, and having the time dragging on.


I'll have to show you what I was up to today.  I'm sitting here in bed getting ready to go to sleep and knowing it's Monday tomorrow and wondering what exactly I did for fun or to relax today.  I was busy from morning to night.

My day started with yard work.  We are now done mowing all 3 acres and it looks amazing :)  There's something very rewarding about looking back after all that mowing and seeing beautiful, green cut grass.

June 18, 2017

While Curt finished off the back yard, I started work on the front, more specifically the flower beds right in front of the house.  They have been giving us headaches since we moved in.  Last year, I pulled everything out, and planted wildflowers, the flowers came in but so did all the weeds and annoying spiky prickly things.

June 18, 2017

I didn't quite get as much done as I wanted because I started getting taunted by a wasp and decided it's best that I be the one to back off.  I don't think I would win that fight.  Also found one of their nests, so tomorrow I'm spraying it.

June 18, 2017

I did all my laundry, including kitchen towels, bath rowels, linens and the kid's baskets as well.  Everything is washed....not everything is put away, but you know how that goes right?

June 18, 2017

Made some quick and easy frozen pizza for lunch. 

June 18, 2017

It's been pretty cloudy and dark all day, we are expecting storms tonight, so I had all my scentsy burners and candles on. 

June 18, 2017

While waiting for the laundry to dry, and folding two loads, I sat and worked on the blog book.  I actually just finished 2009, so happy about that. 

June 18, 2017

Marley always takes naps on the couch, and right up against me, or with his head on my lap.  He is just the sweetest big boy. 

Once all housework was done and the laundry folded, I got dinner done.  I made a simple cheese stuffed meatloaf.  There are quite a few meatloaf recipes on the food blog, if any of you are interested in looking or trying for yourself.

June 18, 2017

And that my friends was pretty much my Sunday.  It just zipped right by, was filled with busy homemaking things with a cup of coffee thrown in mid afternoon, and some puppy snuggles too.

By the way, I am almost 100% back to normal, the medication has been a total life saver.  Once again I followed God's guidance.  I had been feeling unwell for over a week and finally, before I called to make the appointment, I was standing in the kitchen trying to do dishes and feeling extremely frustrated with the lightheaded and congestion feeling.

I stopped and prayed out loud to God, asking Him to please guide me and let me know, just give me a push as to whether this is something that will go away on it's own, or if I need to go see a doctor.

Within 10 minutes, I was feeling led to make the appointment and go in.  Oh goodness, if only I would follow His lead more often instead of fighting it.

But yeah, I'm feeling much better, already finished my Sudafed and am now just on the Amoxicillin and Allegra.  I have to take the antibiotics until they're finished, and as for the Allegra, the doctor suggested taking one every day during allergy season, so I think I'll continue with that for now because it really is helping.

Well friends, I hope you all had a good weekend, if you did anything fun or exciting, I would love to hear it.

I'm going to call it a night and try to get some sleep.  I'll be back early morning with my Happy Homemaker Monday. :)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

{ That riding mower packs a punch }

7:43 PM 1 Comments
Ok, it is 9:23 PM and I'm sitting in bed, with my Marley asleep next to me.

I had just gotten into bed actually when I realized that I had forgotten to do a post today.  See if this had happened any other time, like say 2015 or 2016, I would have just not posted.  Shamefully I admit that there were weeks that I didn't even remember I had a blog.

I don't know how I did that or how I allowed my brain to even go there, but it did.  What a bummer, but I'm being really good about blogging right now, mainly because as I work on the books it reminds me just how much I loved blogging and how important it is to have all my days recorded.

Anyway, I went completely off track here, sorry.

Back to today.

I was about to lay down and watch my Ghost Adventures and realized I forgot to post, so I got up, went to fetch my laptop and came back to bed.  With a big smile on my face, mind you :)

Today, Curt and I worked on the yards.  We're not done yet, but we got quite a bit accomplished.  All that is left is the fenced in back yard where Marley goes and then one area in the far back of the property, but we have to remove some big tree stumps that fell down during a thunderstorm.

If you haven't been reading my blog, then you won't know that my husband got a riding mower for Father's Day.  No, it wasn't paid up front, we are on a budget, but one car gets paid off next week, and another bill gets paid 3 months after.  So we went through Aaron's and are paying this mower off, it's a must for the big property we live on.

Oh goodness, I just did it again, went off track.  I must be tired because I seem to be randomly babbling and not really getting to the point.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, let's try again LOL

I didn't want to get on the mower at first, it goes pretty fast and I felt a little intimidated, but I love work, I love yard word and mowing and getting in there, I've never shied away from any kind of work no matter what it is.

Hubby asked if I wanted to learn how to use this mower and I said yes.

Let me tell you, I'm glad we don't have many neighbors around because I took off on the thing and screamed for a bit.   Once I got the hang of it though, I mowed a big patch in no time, and really enjoyed being out there in the sun, talking to God and just enjoying the roar of the mower.

The mailman came right as I was done and dropped off these.

June 17, 2017

Another book for review.  I reviewed a book by the same author, I think a few weeks ago.  When the opportunity came up for this new one, I had to jump on it. 

June 17, 2017

I also got this box full of pamphlets and travel brochures for Oklahoma.  I requested them last week and they got here pretty quickly.

We're trying to plan some fun family activities for this summer, especially knowing that soon Jasmine will be moving out.  I took a quick peek through these and there's so many cool places, I can't wait to sit down with these.

The rest of my Saturday was spent doing laundry, because you know, that's never ending.

We ended the day with a quick run down to Wichita Falls because Panda Express FINALLY opened.  Until now, the only time we got to enjoy it was if we were in Oklahoma City or Lawton, which is a little out of the way for us.

I don't think I need to tell you how incredibly insane the place was.  It was packed inside with a huge line all the way to the door.  People were coming by, walking in and making a quick u turn and leaving.  We decided to go through the drive thru, and even that took a long time.  I think we were in line for 30 minutes and the cars were all the way around the corner.

I guess this is what happens when a much anticipated and wanted place comes to town.

Of course I ate, and ate and ate, which I always do when I get Panda Express.  I can't help it, I love it so much.  I had the chow mein, Kung Pao chicken and Beijing Beef.  Notice the pattern there?  Always go for the spicy stuff  Hahaha

June 17, 2017

Well, that was basically my Saturday.  Tomorrow there will be more yard work, more work on the gun for Jasmine's cosplay and I'm hoping some reading.  I have far too many review books and need to keep cracking on with those.

Right now though, I'm going to turn this computer off, watch my Ghost Adventures which thankfully is on the DVR, and then get some sleep.

Have a great night y'all!!!

Friday, June 16, 2017

{ Story Time Friday #4 }

11:05 AM 3 Comments

Hello everyone!!!

I'm so happy that it's Friday, think it's my favorite day of the week. Anyway, it's time for another story and I thought I would share about my earlier years and the place we used to live in.

We lived in Povoa de Santa Iria, a district in Lisbon, Portugal.

When I started writing this post, I went to Google Maps to try and find our old home.  I had a bit of trouble at first because I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the street.  Now you have to remember I was really young, 4 or 5 years old.  But the memories that I have of those younger years in those apartments, have stayed with me forever.  I remember quite a lot from those younger years.

Looking at the pictures now, I almost wanted to cry.  The amount of times my little 5 year old feet ran on those cobblestones, played hide and seek behind cars parked in these same spot, ran up and down the cul de sac with all the neighborhood kids.  I just can't even wrap my brain around it.  Certainly brought a lump to my throat.

The building above was our building, and we lived right where the highlighted area is.  I can still remember my great-grandmother, leaning over the window and letting us know it was lunch time, or dinner time, or telling us to get inside and get ready for school.

Our friends lived in all of these buildings around us.  Sprinkled throughout. 

That area that is highlighted on the left bottom, that used to be a little store.  We would go in there for fresh bread and other supermarket goodies.  I still remember my stepmother went in there one morning to get something, and there was a little girl in there with her mom.  For some reason the little girl pointed at my stepmom and started yelling out "that's the crazy lady, that's the crazy lady".  LOL

My stepmom was so offended, she quickly bought what she needed and left.

The store owner used to have all these plastic crates stacked up outside his store, and at nighttime, the bigger kids in the neighborhood, that lived just above the store, would tie ropes to the crates, and start pulling them all the way to the top of the building, then drop them making this huge bang all over the cul de sac. 

That building right there in the middle, is one that was etched into my very young mind and I've never forgotten it.  Where the van and the truck are parked right now, used to be just sand and dirt.  We used to play on there as kids.  There was this specific game we played using pocket knives (don't ask hahaha).  We would throw it down on the dirt, then throw it again and draw a line from one point to the other.  Then the next kid would get a turn and so on.  I don't quite remember the object of the game, but we would try to connect all the lines and close them off and so on.

Anyway, back to my story.  I was sitting outside my building one afternoon, it was either a Saturday or Sunday, and the next thing, I noticed a big lump of something falling from the top floor of that building.  I remember hearing the thud as it hit the ground, and not knowing what to do or how to react.  Some kids and adults ran towards it, I just hung in the background, and I'm glad I did, because a young girl had jumped from the very top.

To this day I see the whole thing playing out in my mind.  She was wearing a long white gown and that is exactly the lump I saw falling down.  Terrible thing to witness as a young child.

OH my word the memories.  This structure is part of an old aqueduct that ran through the area.  See how high it is off the ground?

Well my brothers and I, and the other neighborhood kids, would walk across it.  I actually cringe thinking about it now, what the heck was I thinking?

But we would start right here on the edge, walk right to the wall thing, then cradle it and hug it and shuffle from this side to the next, and then walk all the way down to the other side, do the same, then climb down, and run back and start again.  We are extremely lucky to never have fallen off, matter of fact I don't recall anyone ever getting hurt on there.

We spent many years in this neighborhood and I have SO many stories to tell you, and I will tell you as our Story Time Friday goes on.

It just made my heart ache looking at these buildings, still standing almost 40 years later. 

The memories, the sights and sounds that are deeply ingrained in the tar of the road, the cobblestones on the sidewalks and even the walls of these buildings.  Amazing!!!

I'll leave you with a photo of what I remember our kitchen looking like inside.  This isn't our kitchen, but it looked exactly the same, all the apartments were almost carbon copies of each other.

I can almost see my great-grandmother standing at the counter, making soup for dinner.  :)

Like I said above, I have a ton of memories from our lives during this time and I'll tell them all, or at least all that I can remember, so if you're interested or curious, be sure to come back next Friday.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

{ Only happens to me.... }

5:56 PM 5 Comments

Oh you gotta come in and listen to this.  LOL

I swear, I have the weirdest things happen to me, or maybe not weird but funny.  Let me tell you about my adventure at the Lab this morning.

I told you yesterday that I had to go in for some blood work, and I had to fast, so I couldn't have my coffee this morning or any breakfast before I got that done.  I made a big cup of coffee and a sandwich because I'm not used to going without eating in the morning and it makes me feel nauseous.

Got to the hospital, went to the lab and checked in and the nurse asked me if I would be able to provide a urine sample. I thought "Oh crap, I JUST went to the bathroom before leaving the house.".

In my defense I was never told about a urine sample, only about the blood work, but apparently this is routine now?  So anyway, I tell her that I can try and she says they don't need a lot and blah blah blah.

I take the cup into the bathroom, and if you've ever had to give one of these samples you KNOW all the steps, with the little towels and not touching the inside of the cup, and so on.

I don't want to go total TMI (too much information) here, but I do have to tell you the story, so bear with me.  Hahaha

Sitting there I have the list of do's and dont's, on the wall, right in front of me.

Use the towel and whatever....dispose of it in the trash can provided.  (trash can is clear on the other side of the bathroom wall so I can't reach it)
Then I try to go and I can't.  If you know me, and actually it's like a running joke in our family because everyone knows that I constantly have to go, like all the time LOL

I tried running water, I tried not thinking about it.  Nope, not happening.

Then I'm thinking about the cup and wondering what do I do.  I can't put it in the little round metal door thing cause I didn't do anything.  Do I just walk out with the cup and it's one drop, cause that's really all I could muster up?

I sat there for about 10 minutes not knowing what to do, then finally walked out and told the nurse that I couldn't do it, sorry, I'll just sit in the waiting room with my little cup until I need to go.  Problem is, I haven't had anything to drink for 12 hours, I didn't even drink water so I knew I wouldn't need to go.

Meantime they went ahead and took my blood, all 5 vials of it.

I kept thinking that I had my big cup of coffee in the car and maybe I need to go chug that down.  So I told her I'm leaving, handed her the cup and told her I would be back.  My idea was to go to the car, eat my sandwich, chug down the big travel mug of coffee and get something happening.

I ate, I drank the whole mug and nothing.  After 20 minutes I thought "well this is ridiculous, I'm going home and when I need to go, I'll just quickly drive back and pee in the cup."  LOL

We only live 10 minutes from the hospital so it was totally doable.  I drove all the way home, and the minute I pulled into the driveway, I had to go.  Hahahahahaha

Drive all the way back to the hospital and finally give them the sample they needed.  I mean.....what on earth????

Anyway, I just thought that was a funny story, hope I didn't scare anyone with the urine conversation, but we're all friends here and we all know how that goes.

June 15, 2017

I'll get the results back next week, so we'll see what they have to say.  Of course I'll let you all know.

June 15, 2017

Had two packages arrive this afternoon.  The first was Jasmine's heat gun that she bought from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It's going to be a huge help in creating her foam gun for the cosplay.

The second package was another book for review.

I have so many on the pile to read right now, and I'm pretty excited about all the different titles.  My summer reading list just keeps growing.  Between last night and this afternoon, I was asked to review 2 more books. 

I didn't get too much else done today.  The usual dishes, making dinner, which was Chicken Wellington tonight, and putting some more laundry away.

I have got to get on the ball with that.  I am good with washing and folding but the putting away is what gets me, it's my least favorite house chore if I'm to be honest.

I'm feeling much better today, though this afternoon while making dinner I felt a little lightheaded and off again, but I have to remind myself that I just started the medication yesterday and that there is fluid in both ears, and that takes time.  Here we go again with my unwillingness to let God control every aspect of my life.

Time to dig back into You're Late Again Lord.  This book is a total lifesaver, though I tend to forget all it's crucial lessons once I'm done reading.  I don't know if I'll ever quite learn how to be content in my faith and open minded to the waiting period.

Waiting is inevitable for us all.  We can either spend the time with complaints and arguments and disgust or use the time for worship and growth and understanding.

Such a simple concept isn't it?  Then why do I struggle with it so much?  And will I ever learn?

I'm always wanting things done NOW, finished NOW, solved NOW, fixed NOW.  It's almost like when I tell my kids that they don't appreciate their stuff because they didn't have to work for it.  Then here I am, just expecting too without wanting to put in the work.

Tsk, tsk, tsk Sandra!!!

Oh I also got in out graduation pics that were taken by the photographer, so let me share those with you.  I was SO sick on this day, fever, sore throat, cough.  It was hard to make the 4 hour drive to the graduation location and smile through it and all, but I had to do it for my girl.  Hope you enjoy the pictures, and don't be shocked at my Nick's height, the boy is 14 and taller than us all, including dad. 

 Jasmine with her principal.  This moment choked me up, so proud of her.

I wanted to cry so badly, but I kept it together.  That rose was the rose that she gave me during the ceremony, all the graduates handed their moms a rose :)

He is so proud of her.  He's also been struggling so much with her growing up and knowing that he is no longer the only man in her life.  On the other hand, she's an adult now, wanting to spread her wings and be independent, so there's a lot of clashing but there's also a huge amount of love between them.

Here's the elusive Nicholas.  He is the typical 14 year old who hates taking his picture and does NOT believe in smiling at all.  I do have a beautiful family, if I say so myself, and I count my blessings every day :)

It's so crazy to see us at this point in our lives and to think in just 4 years we'll be doing this again with Nick.  My word.

Well, I think it's time for me to get on out of here, it's kind of hard to type with a 70 pound puppy in my lap.  When your legs start going numb, you know it's time to move. ;)