Harvest Sunset 3 column

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

We had a beautiful, wonderful, blessed Christmas! I tried out my new camera & hope to post a few of the photos tomorrow. But for now, here are a few from our Christmas card photo shoot.

Love the colors in the background!

He loves to stand!

Sweet girls

Loving baby brother!

There were several good ones so I was happy. Luke was trying to eat the leaves when we were in the grass and when we were on this bridge he kept going for the shiny nail heads he could see in the wood.  It was too cute. Love my family!!

Merry Christmas and good night!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My little man

Testing out my iPhone blogging capabilities using my phone camera :) Luke & I are just hanging out while the girls are at school. What better subject to test on than this sweet face!??

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday:Week of Nov 5-11

It's been as busy as ever in our house & I've not been able to blog as I'd wish. Luke is growing like a weed and is 6 mos old already!! I just can't stand it! Where does the time go?!? Callie is 3 1/2 & has been trying to give up her naps for a while now. That plus some night waking & Luke waking still too makes for one tired mama!! I think I'd lose my brain if it wasn't inside my head :) I've become quite the forgetful one lately. So, with that said, this week it's nothing fancy at our house for dinner. I'm going for some family favorites & hoping to have leftovers one night!! To start off the week, today is my mom's birthday so I'm looking forward to dinner out!!

Here is what's on our menu this week:


Dinner out-My mom's bday


Tacos w/ground turkey
Black Beans
Chips & Homemade guacamole


Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Brown Rice
Fried Okra (From the garden!)
Fresh Green Beans




Surprise party for my mother :)


Dinner out


Homemade Chicken & Vegetable soup
Spring Salad
Wheat Rolls

I'm linking up & sharing menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday! What's on your menu this week?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of Oct 1 - 7

With the school year back in full swing, I'm making an effort to get back into regular meal planning. Meal planning saves my life, especially on busy week nights when Keira has cheer practice, we have Wed night church or I have a Jr League meeting, PTA or something else like Book club. There is always something. This Sunday is my husband's birthday so I'm looking forward to a date night on Saturday!!

Here is what's on our menu this week:


Chicken Fajita Tostados
Refried Black Beans


Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce
(my favorite recipe of my mom's!)
Spring Mix Salad
Garlic Bread


I didn't get to make this when I found it so we're trying again!

Garlic Parmesan Chicken
Baked Potato
Steamed Broccoli


BBQ Pork Chops
Grillin' Beans
Mashed Potatoes




Dinner out for my hubby's birthday!


Recipe & photo from Southern Living

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Yum!! The recipe calls for Turkey sausage but I have Cajun style Chicken sausage already so that's what I will use.

I'm linking up & sharing menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday! What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Luke's Newborn Photos

I'm a bit overdue on posting these, to say the least, but I figure better late than never!! Time is just flying by with my precious Luke and I just can't stand it. Already I can look at these photos and look at him now, and think "Wow!" He has grown so much.

My friend Kelly came to our house to take these when Luke was about 3 weeks old. She did such a great job and we got a ton of good pictures!

Here are some of my favorites.

Our first picture as a "new" family again!

LOVE this one of my three angels!!

Love that sweet face!!

I wonder what he was dreaming about here


Love that hat!

Me and the babies!!


This one is for Daddy :)

Is that not the sweetest face you've ever seen!?! I'm so in love!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mommy Needs Motivation!

So I was thinking, with Luke just turning three months (pictures to come!), I think it is time I head back to the gym! I still have some stubborn pregnancy pounds hanging on that I'm ready to be rid of but I don't think they are going anywhere on their own. And I have missed my gym time and me time very much these past few months. But I needed a little inspiration and motivation to get my butt in gear.

Enter these:

Aren't they cute!? They happen to match some of my work out clothes and we all know that dressing like we know what we are doing is half the battle! Bonus part is I got them on sale :) These are a cross training shoe which is perfect for me because I usually either do cardio on the elliptical or treadmill, weight training or group classes consisting of strength training & cardio combos. Unfortunately I can no longer run more than a few minutes due to plantar fasciitis I developed several years ago. No fun because running is the best thing to get in shape fast!

I tried out my new shoes last week and took Callie and Luke to the Kids Club at the gym while Keira was at VBS. I was afraid Callie would be reluctant to go since it has been a while. She did great and had a preschool buddy there to play with. Luke was happy chillin' in the swing when I picked them up and Callie didn't want to leave!!! Even though I had a short time there it was so worth it. I definitely felt invigorated after some time on the elliptical! Now the problem will be trying to go on a regular basis; my gym requires reservations for infants in the childcare center and they can be made up to 48 hours in advance. I will be darned if the last 2 times I have called they are already booked for the time slot I wanted! Its over 100 degrees here this week so I will NOT be exercising outdoors!

I'm hoping to get in a groove and have a good workout schedule down. In the meantime, at least I have cute shoes, right!? What motivates you to get moving?? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Smoothie

It's definitely HOT here in Texas!!! Being July and all you know. To stay cool I love to make this healthy smoothie drink for me and the girls. It's a great alternative to the normally syrupy popsicles and sno-cones we indulge in a lot during the summer months. What's great about this recipe is that the only sugar in it is that occurring naturally from the fruit or milk/juice. My girls get very excited when I tell them we are making smoothies. They love to help and they think of it as a treat while I am happy they are getting in some good nutrients! It is full of vitamin C, fiber and protein.

You can change it up however you like and we often use most of the same ingredients but alternate a few things based on what we have on hand. Here is what is usually in our smoothie:

Summer Smoothie

- 1/4 cup OJ
- 1/4 cup milk
- Small container of greek yogurt, any flavor
- Handful of ice cubes, maybe 7-8
- One banana
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen rasberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 4-5 strawberries

For an extra healthy boost, add:
- 1-2 TBSP of ground flax seed

For a sweeter smoothie, add:
- 2 TBSP honey

I have to admit that I don't usually measure ingredients on this, just pour the liquids til it looks right and toss in handfuls of fruit. If the consistency is too thick, add a little more milk.

Pour everything into the blender and blend for 15-20 seconds or so depending on your blender. Serve it up in a fun or colorful cup, pop in a straw and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Luke's Birth Story

Let me start off by saying Luke's birth story went way different than I had thought it might go, but the good part is there was a happy ending!!

I had hoped to go into labor on my own, but when I reached 39 weeks we decided to schedule an induction. I wasn't opposed to being induced since I had been through it with both of the girls. With Kevin having a work trip planned out of town only a week after Luke's due date, I really wanted to make sure we had a little recovery time together.

I went in at 6am on Wednesday April 18th and got my IV right away and the pitocin was started. I was at 3cm dilation, a little progress since my last Dr appt on Monday the 16th. I thought for sure we'd have this baby by lunch time! Keira had been born at 3:06 pm (first baby needed lots of pushing!) and Callie at 11:58 am. So I thought surely this boy would be born within that time frame!!! My Dr came in and broke my water around 8am and soon after I was ready for the epidural at 4cm.

When the anesthesiologist came in, he went over the possible complications with an epidural and for some reason I got a bad feeling. I've never been scared of the needle because usually the pain pales in comparison to the contractions! My contractions weren't too bad yet though and I was trying to stay ahead of the pain. At first try he got the epdiural in pretty easily but just a minute later my heart started racing and I was totally freaked out! The Dr took out the line and said he had to re-do it, some of the medicine was getting into my bloodstream and that was causing my heart to race. I had never experienced this before and the feeling of your heart racing faster and not being in control of it was so scary. He tried it again and the same thing happened. I watched my heart rate go up on the monitor from around the 80's range to the 90's, 100, 110, 120, 125 then he pulled out the line and it would recover to normal. Finally on the third try he got the epidural in correctly!!! Immediately I started getting the chills and shakes. I know this is a common side effect from the epidural medicine but I had never had them with the girls. Definitely not fun!!! Eventually I got comfortable and was able to relax a bit and chat with Kevin and my mom.

The nurses checked me every now and then and I progressed to 6cm within maybe 2 hours. I was feeling pretty good about everything! But after a few checks and no progress I started to worry. The nurses called my Dr and let her know. She came over around 1:00pm and checked me and mine and the baby's monitors. She said I should have progressed beyond the 6cm by then, especially since this was my third baby. My contractions were still steady, but with each one Luke's heart rate started to drop lower and lower, sometimes to the 60's! Then it would recover up to the 120's but then go down with each contraction. This obviously was not a good sign. She checked me to make sure the cord was not wrapped around his neck and all was clear. They couldn't figure out what was causing him to become so stressed and why I was not progressing. His head was also not engaging as well and he remained up high in my abdomen. After watching and waiting for another half hour, my Dr told me she didn't like the stress it was putting on my baby,and with 4 cm still to go, it wasn't looking good for a vaginal delivery. I never had imagined a c-section would be possible after 2 successful vaginal births and Luke had been head down, ready to go! I knew I had to do what was best for him and didn't want him to be deprived of oxygen at any point or risk any further complications.

I began to cry knowing the c-section was inevitable. My husband was sweet and comforting and my mom was there as well to reassure me that everything would be ok. Within a few minutes everyone was ready to go and they wheeled me back into the OR. Kevin came in looking adorable in his scrubs and mask :) The anesthesioligist pumped up the meds and made sure I was good and numb!! That was one of my many questions, how do they know if I am numb enough or not!!?? I was asking 20 questions, being the control freak that I am and then he asked me "Are you always like this?" "Like what?" I said. "So inquisitive, asking a million questions and have to be in control!?" "Um, yes!!!" Then he asked me if I had ever had a surgery before. "No! That is why I am asking a million questions! Wouldn't you!?"

The surgery was quick, maybe 10 minutes. I was a little freaked out by the oxygen mask they put on me and had to remove it. I have a little issue with clostraphobia. Thankfully they didn't tie my hands down, just made me spread them out to my sides. Kevin was right by my head and ready for pictures. He didn't really watch much of the surgery but looked up just as they were pulling him out and snapped a photo. Luke was born at 1:56pm, red and just a wailing!! There is nothing more precious than that, seeing your baby for the first time. Meeting that little person who had lived inside you for 9 months, whose kicks & somersaults you had felt and finally seeing what they look like. Of course he was adorable!!

He weighed a healthy 8 lbs and 4 oz! A big, big boy!!! He is 2lbs over what Callie weighed and 1 and half more than Keira. I knew he would be a bigger baby but never thought he'd quite reach 8 lbs.

As she was getting ready to get him out, my Dr said she had found the source of the problem with me not progressing. Poor baby had the cord wrapped around his leg about 3 times. There was an indention where it had been that lasted a good 24 hours. His leg was stuck up high by the cord and the placenta which were on my left side near my rib cage. With every contraction the cord was squeezing him, causing his heart rate to drop and preventing him from descending down into the birth canal. I am so thankful we got him out when we did and that there was no permanent damage. My nurse told me later while in recovery that they had had a patient before who's daughter was born with the cord wrapped around her wrist. It had been that way for several weeks and the baby's hand had actually stopped growing, or died and had to be amputated. How terrible!!!! I just could not imagine.

A happy ending is what we got for sure in this beautiful baby boy. A c-section is nothing compared to the gift I received in a healthy baby! I thank God for his many blessings and for bringing us through that experience safely.

Recovery was a little more painful compared to a traditional delivery. I think having 2 kiddos already adds much more stress on you and it took several weeks for me to feel somewhat normal. Kevin had to leave 9 days after Luke's birth. It was rough but we survived. My mom stayed with us for 3 nights and then my dad and stepmom came into town. Everyone was a huge help. I had a tremendous amount of support from friends who brought so many meals. We didn't cook for almost 3 weeks!

There were definitely some rough moments and there were times I thought I was never going to feel better. Now at 10 weeks, I can look back and see how quickly it all passes and how amazing the human body is.

We have adjusted pretty well so far as a family of 5. The girls are just eating him up!! We're getting into a routine and I hope to post lots of pictures of them together.

Right after I get some sleep!! :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of June 25-July 1

It's heating up here in Texas and with it being 100 degrees this week outside, I'm trying to have a few dinners cooked primarily on the grill and avoid running the oven if possible.

I didn't post last week's menu because I had to repeat several of the menu items that didn't get made from the week before. I finally made the Slow Cooker Pork Roast and it was delicious!!! We had plenty of leftovers so another night we used the pork and put it on wheat buns to make like a pulled pork sandwich, complete with homemade french fries! Yum!

This week is my daughter Keira's 6th birthday and my mother in law is coming in town so we will be eating out more than usual. We love to go out when she is here so she can get all the food she can't get at home! Also on Sunday we are having Luke's baptism and then a family get together at my mom's. I am happy to not have to cook much!

Here is what's on our menu this week:


Lemon Pepper Cod Filets on the grill
Skillet Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli
Spring Mix Salad


Minestrone Soup
Spring Mix Salad


Seasoned Beef Sirloin
(I bought this at our new Trader Joe's store that just opened which I was SO excited about!
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans
Whole Wheat Rolls


Dinner out @ Olive Garden for Keira's birthday-her request!


Dinner out @ our favorite mexican spot


Dinner out or Chinese take out


Family dinner at my moms after Luke's baptism

I'm linking up & sharing menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday! What's on your menu this week?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of June 11-17

Hello again!!! Well I'm trying to slowly ease back into my menu planning and blogging as a whole. I figured posting my menu plan was the easiest way for me to get started again :) Plus by completing my menu plan it helps me to stay organized, definitely even more important now with 3 kids!!!

Here is what's on our menu this week:


Tortilla Crusted Tilapia
Wild Rice
Mixed Veggie steamer
Garden Salad with Feta(using my garden's green & red peppers and tomatoes!)


Family night at the Ranger game!


Slow Cooked Pork Roast
*Found this on Orgjunkie's Menu Plan
Roasted New Potatoes
Green Beans
(Hoping I can gather enough of both of these from the garden. So excited!)




Dinner out


Homemade Pizza


Grilled Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Fried Okra
Wheat Rolls

I'm linking up & sharing menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday! What's on your menu this week?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blogging Hiatus

Well I didn't intend to be gone so long but having a 3rd baby will definitely zap into your free time! Of course I have been enjoying my time snuggling with Luke and getting to know him. He is such a wonderful, sweet baby! I can't wait to share photos of him :)

It has taken a little time adjusting and we have also had 2 sets of grandparents visit, Callie's 3rd birthday and Kevin had a week long work trip as well. So with all of that we have been keeping very busy!!!

Tomorrow is Keira's last day of school. This school year has gone by so fast! I have so many things planned for us this summer & I just need the time to sit down and organize our calendar so we have a fun, productive one.

I miss my blogging time so I'm hoping to be back very soon to share all of our recent happenings and photos!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of April 29-May 6

I skipped my Menu Plan last week for reasons I'm sure you understand! We have been so blessed by friends and family bringing us meals that we haven't had to cook a thing on our own!! This week we still have meals coming for several week nights plus family in town but for those nights that may not be covered, I wanted to get a few ideas down.

Here is our tentative plan:


Friends bringing a meal


Neighbor friend bringing a meal


Friends bringing a meal
*My dad and stepmom arrive today so we may order something out to make sure there is enough for everyone and save our friends meal for lunch!


Pork Chops
Baked Potato
Fried Okra
Wheat Rolls


My brother is bringing dinner from his restaurant. Yum!


I'm hoping I feel well enough to go out for dinner! I'm itching to get out of the house!


Spanish Rice
Refried Beans
Chips & fresh Guacamole

I'm linking up & sharing menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday! What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

He's Here!!!

My precious baby boy, Luke Francis was born Wednesday, April 18th at 1:49pm. He weighed 8lbs 4 oz and was 20.5 inches long!! We have just been loving him to death. He is the best baby so far, sleeps like a dream and only cries during diaper changes or when he's really hungry. What a blessing he has been!
I had intended on posting of his arrival much sooner, but his delivery was not all roses so I've been in a sleepy, drugged up haze since his birth! Today I feel like I may have turned a corner just a tad and am looking forward to feeling a little better each day. He's waking up from a nap now, time to eat!! But I will post his birth story as soon as I can!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April Garden Update & First Broccoli Harvest!

We have been having such a fun time with our garden so far this year! It's just amazing to me how quickly things can grow, literally overnight!!

Here is a quick update, in pictures!

Broccoli-about ready to harvest

My first 2 crowns- ready for eating!

It took just 45 days for our first bit of broccoli to be ready. And oh was it good!

Planting Zuchinni & Squash seeds on April 6th

They sprouted after 5-6 days and here is how they look today:

Keira and I also planted green beans from seed and it sprouted in about 6 days as well. Here it is today:

The pepper plants are flowering but no baby peppers just yet, except for the Jalepeno plant.

My Boxcar Willie tomato is flowering but no maters' yet. But my little patio tomato plant is doing awesome with 6 little tomatoes already!

Here is a look at my 2 raised bed gardens today:

And just for fun, look at this cute guy my girls found hanging out on our front door the other day!

I have so much more I'd love to write & share, but, WE'RE HAVING A BABY TOMORROW!! Yippie! The ultimate garden harvest of all, mine :)

I'm linking up at


Homestead Revival's Barn Hop
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