Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Mine -- Valentine! Countdown to V-Day!

Tomorrow is February 1st . . . and the beginning of the Ferrell Boys' Countdown to Valentine's Day

And the best part about the Countdown to Valentine's Day . . . the Ferrell boys have no clue that it's going to happen!

Alex and last year's V-Day
After the boys go to bed tonight, Dave and I are going to decorate the breakfast area of the kitchen with Valentine's decor and hang the Countdown Calendar up somewhere (as yet undetermined). 

Zach and his class' V-Day party
Tomorrow morning we are going to surprise the boys with a Valentine-themed breakfast of heart-shaped pancakes with syrup and sprinkles, heart-shaped butter pats, heart-shaped bacon (maybe) and pink Valentine milk. 

Picture and instructions at
Every day from now until Valentine's Day, I have an activity or surprise for all 3 boys planned.  Most of the activities are things we can do together. . . like play a game together or watch a movie together.  Some activities are Valentine themed activities like making valentine cookies or homemade valentines for their classmates.

Alex making Valentine cookies last year at church.
 I've never done anything like this before for Valentine's Day although we always give the boys a Valentine happy. 

Shane sorting through his V-day goodies from last year.
I hope this will be something fun for us to do as a family.  We all enjoyed - as a family - the Christmas activities of reading the Christmas books and all the mischief with Jeff the elf.
I'll be posting some pictures as we countdown to the big day!  I would go ahead and post my plans for each day, but I'm not committing to any activity on any particular day yet.  I'll probably decide the night before what activity we will be doing and put it in the calendar then.  ( The boys would cheat and look ahead anyway)  I'm keeping it flexible depending on our schedule.  I've got some easy activities planned for when we seem to be very busy and then some time-consuming activities for weekends when we have more time.

I got my idea for doing the Countdown Calendar . . .

(picture from
from this great BLOG:  GallamoreWest.  She has a lot of great ideas for Valentine's Day.
So . . . Be Mine -  Valentine!  or at least . . .

                                           Mine and the Ferrell Boys!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Week of Jan. 30th - Menu Plan

It's time again to post my menu plan for this week:


Chicken Enchiladas (Gayla's recipe -- I'll try to post it this week)
Mexican Rice

This is an actual picture of tonight's supper :)


Crockpot Spaghetti sauce (made with lean ground beef instead of ground turkey)
Spaghetti noodles
Garlic bread


Church Supper:

     I'm thinking Baked Ziti (using the Crockpot Spaghetti sauce)
     and Brownies  (Weight Watcher's recipe using diet coke)


Crockpot Potato Soup
Toppings:  bacon & cheese


Pizza -- Homemade using Basic Pizza Dough recipe

Weekend Menu  --  still pending :)

Can you tell I'm in a cooking mood this week?!?  BTW:  I lost another 1.4 pounds last week!  Woo Hoo!  I was somewhat surprised by this since I went on an eating binge the past three days and did not drink any water over the weekend!  Just Diet Coke!  This week I'm getting back to the basics . . .
                                     I'm a little worried about the potato soup . . .

Part of the problem with dieting is how long it takes to get anywhere with it.  You know what I mean. . . 1 pound this week . . . 1 pound last week . . . pokey pokey pokey. 

So to help me get out of the binge-eating-binge I was going through . . . I decided to raid my closet.

I should take a picture of my closet.  :)      It's bad messy!     It's a huge walk-in closet with two rows for hanging clothes on the left side (for me ) and two rows for hanging clothes on the right side (for Dave) and one tall row across the back (for my dresses etc).  It's pretty full in there.  So when we brought the final load of clothes from the old house . . . over a year ago . . . I had to pile them in a giant pile in the middle of the closet . . . all the racks of rows were full already . . .  and that's where they have stayed!  I'm so being reeeaaal  honest here folks! 

Anyway . . . I started digging through that pile of clothes.  They are neatly piled together . . . still on hangers . . . stacked on top of each other . . . I found some clothes I haven't seen in a while . . . I wore a black dress to church Sunday that I haven't worn in a while . . . like since before I had Shane . . .

Today I wore a striped turtle neck sweater with a black skirt . . . again something I haven't worn in a while . . .

Now I will say that I haven't been able to wear these clothes comfortably in public until now so this was just the type of boost I needed to keep me on the WW program.  The funny thing is what Dave said to me this afternoon . . .

He looked at me with a curious smile and said . . . "Where have you been getting all these new clothes?"  Ha!  Like I've been out spending his money!  Like when would I have done any shopping and with what?!?  He's so funny! 
Hope you have a great week! 

  Love ya!  from the Ferrell boys and me!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday with the Ferrell boys . . .

It has been such a great Saturday for us . . . Dave was off for a change :)

I woke up a little later than usual . . . 8:30 . . . Dave had let me sleep in a little.  He's sweet like that.

I decided to cook breakfast . . . a special breakfast . . . a Pioneer Woman breakfast!

It's called an "Egg in the Hole."  She has it in her cookbook, and she's made it on her cooking show too.  I've been wanting to try it so this morning . . . I did!

I couldn't find a glass to cut the hole out of the bread slice.  They were all to big!  So I had to use the boot mug we got at the Dixie Stampede. 

I melted butter in the griddle and placed the bread on it  . . . and then cracked the eggs and dropped them into the hole . . . Very complicated ;D

If you don't have one of these flat griddles that sits on your range top . . . you need to get one!  Dave gave me this one last year for Christmas and I love it!  I can make 6 grilled cheeses at one time on it . . . not to mention the pancakes!  It's a wonderful kitchen gadget when you have to make lots of grilled cheeses and pancakes for three little boys all at one time!

After a minute or so . . . I flipped the "egg in a holes" over . . .

They don't look too pretty, I know, but they were my first ones . . .  I made some more after these . . .

And after I served them to the Ferrell boys (all 4 of 'em) I got rave reviews! 

I ate one too . . . and it was really good!  We may have them again tomorrow morning!

While the boys played their video games and Dave worked on the computer . . . I got our clothes ironed and ready for our church pictorial picture at noon.  That poor photographer was nearly at his wit's end before we got a decent picture!  Between Alex and Shane not looking at him when he took the picture to Shane throwing his ball at him . . . He was ready for us to leave! 

He wasn't too keen on taking a picture of  just the 3 boys, but I sweetly persisted  . . .

The last few pictures of the boys . . . I took.  He gave me the little button thingy you hold and told me to take the pictures when they looked ready . . .  and left it to me!  Does that give you some idea of the pain we put him through!

When I get the proofs, I'll try to post them so you can see what I'm talking about.  The different expressions we all had in the pictures were so FUNNY!

After the pictorial pictures, I took Alex and Shane to the Mexican restaurant for lunch while Dave took Zach hunting.  Here he is in the deer stand:

They didn't see any deer, but they both had a great time together. 

While they were sitting in the deer stand for hours waiting and waiting for the deer that never showed up . . . I was setting up "camp" in our living room for Shane . . . We have a giant spiderman tent from years ago when Zach was into spiderman . . .

I got it out for Shane and set it up and he spent the entire afternoon in it laying on his little couch and watching Megamind which is his new favorite movie.  He watched it 3 times today!

He kept saying he was going to sleep in it tonight, but I'm not sure he'll actually do it.  We'll see.   :) 

I wanted to get a picture of him in the tent . . .

But he wasn't happy with the bright "flash" of the camera and got mad at me when I tried to get a picture of him in the tent . . .

Alex tried to get him to cooperate with me and let me take a picture, but that didn't go over either . . .

Alex was probably having too much fun at Shane's expense . . .

So I had to be sneaky cause I was determined to get a picture of him in the big spiderman tent . . .

I do believe he might have been cussing me after this picture . . . if he cussed . . . which he doesn't . . . but I can say he was none too happy with me at this point . . . :D

Before I finish up this post, I wanted to give you an update on this past week's menu and the new recipe I tried called Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings.  This is what it looked like when I was getting ready to serve it up to the boys. . .

Here's a picture of my plate . . . cornbread and chicken & dumplings . . . looks pretty good doesn't it . . .

It wasn't . . . Don't make it if you love chicken & dumplings.  I was hopeful but somewhat skeptical of chicken & dumplings being made in the crockpot, but I was willing to give it a try.

Well, it doesn't come anywhere close to the real thing . . . you know the really good homemade kind.  The boys hated it.

 It was so sad too because it smelled soooo good while it was cooking in the crockpot.  The boys were really looking forward to eating it. 

Even Dave didn't like it.  I told him that it didn't taste like chicken and dumplings like we are used to, but he's such a good sport when it comes to my cooking experiments . . . He took one bite and spit it out into the trash can! 

I can't explain it.  It's just some things need to be kept sacred in the kitchen and chicken & dumplings is one of those sacred Southern dinners that shouldn't be made in the crockpot. . . or at least not this recipe.  It was probably too much cream of chicken soup or . . . I don't know. 

I'm going to be making them again . . . the right way . . . to make this up to the boys.  Zach looked at me with some pititful eyes and said "Momma please make some like Nana makes them."  Poor things!

Hope y'all are having a great weekend like  . . . 

                             the Ferrell boys and me!

Have Gun . . . Will Shoot

Zach got a gun for his birthday last year when he turned 8.  It's one of those guns that has 3 different barrels that you can exchange out depending on what you're hunting.

Ever since the mysterious critter showed up at our back patio . . .

Dave has been encouraging me to learn how to load Zach's gun and shoot it.    I've been practicing shooting the bb guns, but I haven't actually shot a real rifle before.  After Penny and Angela left, we decided to go outside and practice shooting . . . before the bad weather got here.

Here's Zach getting ready to shoot:

Dave set up 3 targets for us behind the house.  He wanted me and Zach to use the picnic table to brace the gun while aiming for the target.

Zach's first shot was very close to the bull's eye:

This wasn't Zach's first shot ever . . .  They have been shooting many times before, but I've never been with them . . . so I had to get some pictures . . .

Then it was my turn to shoot.   Instead of Dave giving me instructions, I let Zach teach me how to use the rifle.  It was great listening to him and have him show me everything about loading the gun, how to safely hold the gun, and the steps before actually pulling the trigger.  A special mother/son moment for sure.

He did a great job with his gun shooting tutorial because my first shot ever was pretty impressive . . . or at least to me.

Then Dave had a turn with the rifle . . . to see if the scope was lined up right.

Of course, neither Zach nor I could compete with Dave's sure aim . . . can you say "bull's eye!"

We had such a good time . . .  Zach really enjoyed shooting with us . . .

at least until Dave changed out the barrels . . . from the 22 to the 243 . . .  Zach doesn't like the loud noise the 243 makes when you fire it . . .even with ear plugs.  I wanted to try shooting the rifle with the 243 barrel on it.  I put on earplugs and braced myself for the recoil . . .

The recoil didn't bother me but I'm like Zach . . . I didn't like the loud noise either  . . . even with the earplugs!

All in all we had a grand afternoon together . . . just the 3 of us.  Now I want a gun of my own!

I'm sure everyone is sleeping so much better now  . . . knowing I have been out shooting a gun . . . LOL!

See y'all later . . . from the Ferrell boys and me !

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Sisters and Our Children . . .

Our children are so blessed to have the great extended family that Dave and I have.

"A sister is one who reaches for your hand and touches your heart." -- Author unknown

I have only one sibling . . . a sister . . . Michelle.

Dave has 3 siblings . . . but only one sister . . . Penny.

“A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” --Marion C. Garretty

So our sweet boys have an Aunt Chelle and an Aunt Penny . . . Both of whom made an extra effort to spend time with Zach for his birthday. . . not actually ON his birthday . . since it was on a Tuesday . . . but still in the same month as his birthday. :D

Aunt Michelle and Nana took Zach -- by himself -- out to eat and to the movies for his birthday one Saturday. It was a very special day for him because they let him pick out the restaurant and the movie and the whole day was focused on him . . . He didn't have to share them with anyone else . . not even his brothers! Special Special Special!

Zach's favorite place to eat is Applebees. Here he and Nana are waiting for their food and watching the football game.

Zach always gets the pasta with marinara sauce at Applebees.  And he always eats it up. . . all of it!

There is a general theme with all these pictures . . . a non-smiling Zach . . . Zach didn't want his picture taken so he wouldn't smile for Michelle!  But Michelle is just like me . . . pictures are taken, with or without a smile!

They took him to see TinTin in 3D.  Here he is posing with the poster . . . somewhat resistant Michelle said cause he felt like people were staring at him.  LOL!

Waiting on the movie to start:

The movie was wonderful according to Zach, Michelle, and Nana.  After the movie, they took him to Walmart so he could spend his birthday money.  He bought a video game for the Wii -  Madden NFL.  As if we need another video game!

Now they have to recipricate with Alex on his birthday!  I know sweet Alex will smile for his pictures!  Thanks for the pictures Aunt Michelle, but next time why don't you get in a picture too!

This weekend Dave's sister, Penny, and her daughter, Angela, came to see us.  They even spent the night with us Saturday night.   Penny wanted to come see all the boys, but especially Zach since it was just recently his birthday.

Zach and Angela have January birthdays in common.  In fact, Angela will be 21 this week . . . so I surprised her with a birthday cake Saturday night.

January birthdays aren't the only thing that Angela and Zach have in common.  Notice her cake doesn't have any icing on it  . . . just like Zach's birthday cake.  She doesn't like icing and cake together . . . too sweet she said.  Isn't that funny?

All the Ferrells:  Dave & his sister, Penny, & Angela with her 3 bad boy cousins:

Smile Zach . . .
 Why are boys so gross? 

 And once again . . . if you have a birthday cake and 3 year old in the house . . . he thinks it's his birthday . . .  and you have to let him blow the candles out  . . .

And then we all played the Wii . . . even Shane and Dave . . . Here they are dancing to Monster Mash:

And then Shane got tired of dancing and decided to sit it out.

But Dave wouldn't leave him alone . . .

In fact . . . Dave is a bad influence on sweet baby Shane sometimes . . .

That is an AirZooka that he and Shane are pointing at me.  When you pull the center knob, it shoots a poof of air at the target. . . Me!  Bad influence for sure!

Shane was sitting on Penny's lap and I wanted to get a picture of them together like I did with Dave and his niece, Angela:

Isn't that a sweet picture?  But getting a sweet picture of Shane and Aunt Penny was not that easy . . . .

Come on Shane . . . cooperate please . . .

No such luck . . . We all had a great time this weekend.  We just hung out together and played some games and visited.  It was great.

When I started this post I thought it was about what great sisters Dave and I have, but I've come to realize this post is really more about what great aunts my boys have!

Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister and share love like a friend.

And afterall . . . I'm a pretty wonderful aunt too . . .  Remember that birthday cake I made for my niece, Angela . . .

An aunt is a gift whose worth cannot be measured except by the heart.

I hope you have a wonderful aunt or two in your life.  I know I have . . . 

Aunt: A cherished friend and personal cheerleader who will always see you through rose colored glasses.

Good night and Sweet Dreams

                                 from the Ferrell boys and me.