Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Little Birdie Surprise

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It totally made my day when I went out to get the mail this afternoon and I found a package on my front porch from the girls at Flamingo Scraps!!! Nancy, who is on their design team, knew that I’d been eyeing the Prima Animal Bash line that they carry. Well, I was lucky enough to win a contest a week ago and Suzanne and Susan sent me these goodies! Thank you so much girls! I know just what I’ll use them for! And thanks to Nancy for being such a tweet little birdie. LOL You can visit them at their Ebay store here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Down With the Sickness

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Life has been very busy at the Landry household lately. This is the only photo I’ve taken all week. Yes, I know my children have a gigantic bowl of Fruit Loops and are rocking in their Dad’s recliner with it in the photo. Do I care? Nope. Everyone except Alexis has been really sick with bacterial bronchitis. We’re taking it a minute at a time here, and trying to keep everyone as happy as possible. So when the two little ones wanted to share dry cereal in the recliner together. I gave in to keep the peace. It doesn’t help that I’m super sick either. I’m more inclined to let them do what they want when I don’t feel well. At least they are holding hands. They actually cuddle and act like they like each other when they are sick.

Today it appears that Brandon has a stomach virus on top of his bronchitis. Either it’s a stomach virus, or he’s having a reaction to his antibiotics. Either way, it’s pretty gross! So I don’t have much to share as I’ve been busy sleeping and cleaning up after all of the other sick people here. I won’t bore you with all of the mundane details. Hopefully next week will be better, and I’ll have something happy to post about!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Oscraps!!!

As a creative team member for Sue Cummings, we were asked to make birthday card freebies for everyone to download to celebrate Oscraps’ 4th birthday! I’ll post mine here, but you’ll need to go to Sue’s blog post here to pick up the rest of the cards.

http://mychalkboard.typepad.com/designsbysuecummings/2010/03/oscraps-is-having-a-birthday-party.html

They are all gorgeous too! Sue’s CT girls did a fantastic job! After you download them, all you have to do is print them, and you’ll never run out of birthday cards again! Pretty neat huh? I put a spot in on mine so you can personalize it by adding a picture of the recipient.

Here is the preview of my card to Oscraps!

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Here is what you’ll get when you download for your own use! It’s a .png file, so all you have to do is pop the photo behind the card layer. Resize it how you want, and then you’re done!

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Here’s your download link!

http://www.4shared.com/file/246133106/6b617acf/Happy_Birthday_1.html

The supplies I used on this card mostly came from Sue’s March 2010 Free Gift with purchase. If you purchase ANY of Sue’s products during this week, she’ll send you this awesome word art and paint collection!

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The paper and some other word art came from Sue’s part of the HUGE Oscraps birthday collaboration kit.

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It’ll be available in the Oscraps store later today!

Don’t forget to hop on the Oscraps birthday blog train here as well. They are giving away some GREAT goodies!

http://mychalkboard.typepad.com/designsbysuecummings/2010/03/blog-train-oscraps-birthday-bash.html

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Awakening

Oh how I love Spring! The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the grass is turning green again. Green grass makes for much cuter pictures of my kiddos when they are outside playing. This past week was a little laid back. Brandon and I spent a lot of time outside in the afternoons. I would bring my book and coffee outside while he played in the yard. Here comes the update!

My mother-in-law came up on Monday to babysit Brandon so I could go to my doctor’s appointment. The appointment went so quickly that she didn’t have to watch him for too long. She stayed for a while after I got back and she and I took Brandon outside to play. He was in heaven with all of the attention focused on him.

Tuesday was a stay at home day. For being a “stay at home Mom”, I’m sure not home much lately. So I really enjoyed being able to hang out and catch up on chores. I made a huge pot of red beans and took photos so I could share the recipe here on my blog. (See post below.)

Brandon had his first dentist appointment Wednesday. I was really worried about how he would react. He didn’t do too badly. He cried a bit, but he didn’t fight us. The dentist says that his teeth look good. No cavities! That’s great news. What wasn’t great news was the bill. Yikes! I think I’m going to look into dental insurance again since Brandon has to go every 6 months for a check up. The only thing Brandon liked about his dentist appointment was his new toothbrush and the new patient t-shirt he got. He insisted on putting the shirt on right away.

Wednesday was St. Patrick’s Day too, so I ran around looking for green things for the girls to wear. Jordan ended up wearing a green bow that I salvaged off of one of the presents at my baby shower for Brandon years ago. I asked Jordan to let me take a few photos of her because I thought she looked cute. These are what I got. She’s such a little imp.

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Jordan’s therapies got cancelled on Thursday because one of her instructors was out sick, and I didn’t want to make her miss school for only one therapy appointment. So she went to school and I stayed home and cleaned up the house and played trains with Brandon. If I had $1.00 for every time I’ve played trains… I’d probably be rich. It makes him happy though, so I do it.

We got report cards when the girls came home on Thursday. Alexis did pretty well. (All A’s and B’s except for one C in Math.} I don’t have the heart to fuss about a C. Especially with how much I HATE Math. She also had a note on her report card that the teacher is requesting a conference. I think her teacher has a LOT of nerve for writing that in the comment section considering that I have been requesting a conference with her from the beginning of the year with no response. I was even thinking about going to the principal to complain next week. I left a message for the teacher to call me back about scheduling the conference SHE requested… and I’ve yet to hear back from her. It’s ridiculous!

Friday was another stay at home day. I got some scrapbooking done, and spent some more time cleaning and hanging around outside with Brandon. All in all a pretty decent week. I’ll take it!

Here are a few of the Scrapbook pages I’ve done…

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I’m on a bit of an Easter kick trying to finish scrapbooking last year’s Easter photos before this Easter. I don’t think it’ll work. I have entirely too many.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Red Beans and Rice (Crockpot Version)

I had a friend ask me for a good (simple) red beans recipe. All of my kids eat red beans which is nearly a miracle considering that none of my kids like the same things. Red beans are cheap, and they make enough for leftovers. Always a good thing at my house!

You will need:

1 lb. Red Beans

3 cloves Garlic

1 Whole Onion

1/2 Green Bell Pepper

1 tbsp. Cajun or Creole Seasoning (Zatarains or Tony Chachere’s)

2 Bay Leaves

Salt and Pepper

2 Chicken Bullion Cubes

1 lb. Sausage Sliced

Water

Cooked Rice

 

1. The night before you want to cook your beans, put them in a big bowl with hot water and let them soak overnight. This makes them softer and they cook better.

2. The next morning, (I usually start them at 8:30 after the kids get on the bus.) I cut up 1 whole onion, 1/2 of a green bell pepper, and 3 cloves of garlic. Throw that in the crock pot.

3. Drain the beans and rinse them in a colander and throw them in the crock pot on top of the veggies.

4. After that I add water to cover the beans by about an inch. Turn the crock pot on high. Then add two bay leaves, two chicken bullion cubes, and about a tbsp. of Cajun seasoning. (Zatarains or Tony Chachere's) Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Around lunch time cut up a lb. of sausage and throw it in the crock pot. (Don’t add the sausage too early or it falls apart and gets mushy. Yuck!) Stir it to mix, and check the water level. Some people like thicker beans, and some thinner. Add water if the beans are too thick. Turn the heat down to low.

6. The beans will be ready to eat around 5:00PM! Serve over rice with cornbread or French bread on the side.

Here’s what you end up with… a plate of red beans good enough to make you slap yo’ Momma!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Here and There

Last weekend passed pretty uneventfully for us. I did a pretty good bit of scrapbooking. I used to scrapbook during the week, but I haven’t had nearly enough time lately. So, I’ve been doing my scrapbooking on the weekends when Ronnie can help watch the kids. Here are a few of my latest layouts.

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That last project is a chipboard wall hanging that I did for the Kiki Art Designer Showcase at Ideas for Scrapbookers. You can check it out here if you’d like… http://ideasforscrapbookers.blogspot.com/2010/03/designer-showcase-kiki-art.html

On Monday Brandon and I had a nice peaceful day. I ended up doing a lot of cleaning. I’ve been seeing signs of Spring around here! Budding flowers and trees are creating huge drifts of pollen that have my allergies acting up. I don’t care! I’m treasuring the warmth in the air, and the promise of playing outside with the kids. I’m SO ready for Spring.

We went back to the orthopedics place to try to get Jordan cast for her braces on Tuesday. Ronnie took the morning off so he could go in and help. I don’t know whether to be happy or irritated that Jordan sat still the entire time just because he was there. Well… maybe not just because he was there. I also bribed her with a toy, and promised her that she could pick whatever pattern she wanted on her braces. However it worked, I’m still grateful that it did. We got really good casts this time which means really good braces.

Jordan had a follow up appointment with her cerebral palsy doctor on Wednesday and we got some excellent news. He thinks she is doing so well that she only needs to check up with him yearly. No Botox, no surgery, and he’s very impressed with how smart she is. (But I knew that all ready!) I’m so happy to have some good news. He says she needs to keep wearing her braces so her muscles don’t get any tighter. She’s not thrilled with that, but what she doesn’t understand is that it could be SO much worse. I am thankful.

Yesterday was therapy day for Jordan. It was busy, and so not fun. Alexis has been having serious behavioral issues, and they peaked in the middle of everything yesterday. I did manage to get one good photo this week while waiting for Jordan to be finished with her physical therapy.

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I brought Jordan to school after her appointment, and came home to feed Brandon lunch. Then we had to head back out to pick her up from school again to bring her to ride her horse. Alexis missed gymnastics due to her behavior, which infuriated her. I spent the rest of the night listening to her throw huge tantrums. At one point I decided that she was just looking for attention, so I sent her to her room. She just got louder. Sigh.

The kids had the day off of school today for teacher development. It’s been really hectic. Plus in the middle of all of the chaos, I decided it would be a good idea to take all of the curtains down and wash them. Then I dusted all of the mini blinds. While I was dusting them,I cut my finger. That leads me to conclude that cleaning the house is dangerous. I should totally stick to scrapbooking right? I have a news flash for Ronnie. He’s doing the dangerous house cleaning tomorrow. I’m making him stand on chairs, and vacuum the ceiling fan. Clean minion! Ha. I’m really lucky that he doesn’t mind helping me. I know not all guys do that. Spring cleaning is not fun, but it’s a necessary evil around here.

Journaling/Blogging question of the week:

Are you seeing signs of Spring? Do you do any Spring Cleaning?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recipe of Love

I was so tickled when Julie asked me to contribute to her recipe blog. After I finished freaking out, and wondering what to cook, this is what I came up with. I was born in Southern Louisiana, and I have loved Cajun cooking all my life. When I say I love Cajun cooking, I mean I love eating it. I’m not the biggest fan of cooking, but when I do it… I go all in! Cajun recipes are what I do best. (I’m not too good at making “meat love”, so I’ll have to try Julie’s recipe one of these days.) I’m a mean Mom of three, and I make all of them eat their vegetables. What they don’t know, won’t hurt them. The blender is my best friend!

This recipe is the reason my husband loves me. (Well, one of the reasons!) Here’s what you will need…

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Shrimp Creole

Serves 4 to 6

1 lb. fresh or frozen raw peeled Louisiana gulf shrimp (No Japanese flash frozen shrimp people!)

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 bell pepper, chopped (Save the other half to blend and hide in your spaghetti!)

2 cloves garlic, chopped (Not little cloves, BIG cloves. Really big!)

1 stick of butter (This is not negotiable. Do not use margarine in my Shrimp Creole!)

1 green onion, chopped

1 stick celery, chopped

1 can tomato paste (A small one. We’re going for flavor, not ketchup!)

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. basil

2 bay leaves

Cajun Seasoning (Zatarains, Tony Chachere's etc.)

Rice

2 cups of water

1. Put your green onion, celery, garlic, onion, bell pepper, and butter in a big pot. Sauté until the onion is transparent and the other vegetables are soft. This should take about fifteen minutes.

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2. Meanwhile, Put your shrimp in a bowl and generously season them with the Cajun seasoning. Want to know what generous looks like? I knew you would!

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2. Add shrimp, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, basil, and two cups of water. Stir well so the tomato paste is distributed. Continue to cook on low-medium heat for an additional 30 minutes. (You’ll want to start your rice at this time.)

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3. Stir occasionally to be sure the mixture doesn’t stick. It will begin to thicken before the 30 minutes is up. If it seems too thick, add a little more water. Pick out your bay leaves, then serve hot over rice, and this is what you end up with!

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There you have it! The recipe of LOVE. It’s not as spicy as it looks. So long as you don’t go too overboard with the Cajun seasoning. There is no added salt in this recipe. The shrimp and the tomato sauce make it salty enough and the dish relies heavily on vegetables (and butter!) for flavor.

Friday, March 5, 2010

(Everything I Do) I Do it For You

I only have a short catch up post today because I was behind blogging last week and posted on Monday. This week was filled to the top with appointments. It seems like that’s all we did! We were away from home so much that I had a hard time keeping up with housework and laundry. I didn’t complain though. I want the kids to be happy, and as healthy as possible and I’d do anything to achieve that!

Alexis had sealant put on her teeth at the dentist’s office on Monday. I had never even heard of sealing children’s teeth before a few weeks ago. They didn’t do that when I was little. Alexis did a wonderful job being still and listening to the dentist.

Tuesday was a complete and utter fiasco. Jordan had an appointment to be cast for her new leg braces. She has always hated the casting process, but we have been able to calm her enough to be successful. Until Tuesday. As she’s gotten older, she’s gotten much stronger, and she kicked and screamed and fussed. She HAS to have braces. We had to give up, and call her cerebral palsy doctor for advice. He suggested that we give her 1.5 teaspoons of Benadryl and try again. She has another appointment scheduled for next Monday. If the Benadryl doesn’t calm her enough, then she’ll have to be sedated. I’m hoping it won’t come to that. Ronnie is coming along this time to see if he can help. It ought to be interesting at least.

I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon on Wednesday. Jordan stayed home sick and she and Brandon both came along. I should’ve rescheduled instead of taking both of them with me, but I’d already had to reschedule twice, and I wanted to get it over with. I got a clean bill of health, but It was mass chaos as usual. Brandon lost his toy, and Jordan threw a fit. Brandon pulled all of the surgeon’s stickers off of the floor. The elevator was broken… story of my life. We finally made it back home, and I was exhausted, but grateful to have survived another trip through New Orleans. Traffic was just ridiculous!

Thursday is normally therapy day for Jordan, but I had to cancel both of her therapy appointments because she was sick. She went to the pediatrician early in the morning. She has a bad cold/borderline pneumonia yet again. I would do anything to keep this child well! We all scrub our hands, and I clean like mad. She must be getting all of these germs from school. (AKA the GIANT Petri dish) Speaking of school, after we dropped off her medicines at the pharmacy we had to go to the school for her IEP (Special Needs Plan) meeting at school. We discussed her health, and interventions and extra allowances that she would need next year in first grade. We are very proud of our girl because she is so smart! She just needs a little extra time for writing activities and getting places. During the meeting Brandon and Jordan rearranged the office that we were meeting in. I had to put everything back before we could leave. Sigh.

Because Jordan is sick and needs breathing treatments, I was unable to go to my Uncle’s memorial service today. I am very upset that I had to miss it, but I don’t think standing on the levee in freezing temperatures would help her breathing very much. Sometimes we have to miss out on things to be parents. I know that. I just really didn’t want to miss his memorial. Instead, at the time of the service today. I prayed and thought about Uncle David in my own way. I was there in spirit.

I have done next to no scrapbooking this week. I think I’m having withdrawals. I did have some shopping therapy today by ordering 194 photos from Winkflash. That’s only two months worth of photos. I think I may take too many pictures. Having said that, you’ll notice this post has no photos! Sorry about that. I was just entirely too busy.

No journaling questions today. While I was typing this post Jordan managed to stick stickers to all of my walls. She’s decorating for an imaginary party tomorrow. I’ve got to go un-decorate. Sigh. Until next time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Worst Fear

I feel like every time I come here to blog, I say that we had a busy week. This week is no exception! I didn’t even get to blog on Friday like I planned, so you’re getting a Monday update instead!

Not this past Saturday but the one before it (Feb. 20), we had company most of the day. My in-laws came over, and we had lunch together. The kids love playing with them, and they are really close. That night after they left, Ronnie and I took the kids out to Coldstone for ice cream. You don’t know what good ice cream is if you’ve never been to Coldstone. They have THE best coffee ice cream ever! (No, I don’t just like it because it has caffeine in it, but that IS a plus!)

Sunday brought what it usually does at my house… NASCAR. All day long. I don’t mind too much because it means I get to scrapbook! I’ll share a few layouts later in this post. We also made Rice Crispy treats with the kids but they didn’t turn out too well. I think because it was so very humid.

On Monday I was supposed to have a follow up appointment with the doctor who did my surgery that I had in October. The doctor’s office is about an hour away. I got out in traffic only to find the bridge to New Orleans closed due to severe weather and fog. I had to turn around and come home. Instead of being bummed about it, I came home and made a huge pot of gumbo, and my friend Michelle and I chatted. A good day all around! That appointment is rescheduled for this week. Hopefully the bridge will be open!

Alexis had a psychiatrist’s follow up appointment on Tuesday. She has been very defiant and destructive lately. I swear the child has authority issues! Her doctor continued her prescriptions on the same medicines. I am still concerned about how she’s been doing in school. She brought 3 F’s and 2 D’s home on her last tests. She’s in tutoring for reading, and they keep saying she’s doing better but I don’t see it. She struggles so much. I wish there were a magic wand I could wave to “fix” all of the things she struggles with.

I had to have a locksmith come out to my house Wednesday morning because Alexis broke the front door lock by hanging off of it. He had it fixed in about 30 minutes, and charged me a fortune. I’m just relieved to have it fixed! It’s important to be able to shut the door. Especially when it’s as cold as it’s been! After he left, Brandon and I were off to run errands.

We had to stop at Party City to pick up a #3 candle for Brandon’s birthday cake. I decided it would be fun to visit the Nature Center a few miles away from the store, so we went. It was a complete debacle! Really. It’s in an really isolated area, and there was another car parked in the parking lot. The man in it STARED at Brandon and I as I got him out the car, and as we starting walking down the nature trails. I don’t even think he blinked! It made me so paranoid that I called Ronnie to tell him where we were in case something happened. After I got down the trails a bit, we noticed a work truck on one of the trails. There were guys working on some of the Nature Center structures, so I worried a bit less knowing someone would hear if I yelled. I know you’re probably thinking I’m completely mental, but a friend of mine told me… “Do you know what they call people who aren’t paranoid?” “Victims.” Yikes! I think I’d rather be called paranoid. Don’t you think?

We were walking around the nature center, and taking photos. Brandon was fascinated with the leaves and seeds on the ground. Then we went out on the piers. They go over the swamp and pond part of the nature center, and there are parts with railings, and parts with NO railings. The piers are only a few feet of of the water. The scenery was so pretty. Brandon and I were ambling along, when I looked down and saw an alligator in the water. I kid you not. I freaked out. I told Brandon to SHHHHHHHH!!! (Like that helped!) We backed up as quickly as we could. Later, after I got far enough away, I took this photo. My hands were shaking so bad that I had to prop the camera on a railing to steady it.

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I am terrified of alligators. This seems to be the day to tell y’all how paranoid I am, but I am deathly afraid of alligators. I have NIGHTMARES that involve them. At this point, I decided that Brandon and I had had quite enough nature, and we went home. LOL I did get some other photos before I got freaked out. I put them into a collage (thanks for the inspiration Helen!) to share them quickly with you all.

Nature Conservatory

Thursday was a rather calm day. Jordan had therapy in the morning, but her horse riding session got cancelled due to the cold. I know that Northerners have it much worse than we do this time of year, but the reason I live in Louisiana is because I like to be warm. This Winter has been the coldest I can remember. It’s even snowed twice. I am so ready for Spring to get here!

I spent most of Friday baking Brandon’s birthday cake. I didn’t get a photo of it before he pulled the train off of it and ruined my fabulous design. It’s okay though. The birthday boy gets to do what he wants right?

We had Brandon’s 3rd birthday party at The Bounce House in Mandeville, La. on Saturday. He absolutely refused to jump. He just played the arcade games with Ronnie’s parents. He kept bringing my Mom the tickets he got from the games, so we called her the “Ticket Master”. It was too funny! My brother came, and I was shocked to see that he had dyed his hair blue. Not dark blue. Cookie Monster shocking neon blue! I picked on him all day. Jordan Jasmine was fascinated. She has now informed me that she wants pink hair when she grows up. Thanks Uncle Jordan! Good roll model skills there. =0P

I can not believe my baby is three. I really, really can’t. It seems like yesterday he was teeny tiny and I was bringing him home from the hospital. Where did all of the time go?

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I spent yesterday trying to recuperate from Saturday’s party. I cleaned the house in the morning, and then I settled in to Scrapbook! Here are a few layouts that I completed on the past two Sundays!

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Last but not least…

The journaling question for this week: I’ve revealed my fears in this post, now it’s time to hear yours!

What is your worst fear?