Friday, December 30, 2011

Goal for 2012

It is the time of year when I like to decide what new goal I'm going to have to better myself in the coming year. This year I've decided to pick one goal and make it a great one. 

I'm going to be incorporating the FlyLady system into my life. From

FlyLady uses the Sidetracked Home Executive (SHE) system as a basis for organizing her home and her life. She adds humor, spunk, and a dose of common sense to her advice, but be prepared — FlyLady does not allow whining.

First, you join as a FlyBaby. You will receive your e-mail “Welcome Letter” from FlyLady instructing you on how to get started. You will also receive regular e-mail reminders from FlyLady about zones, decluttering, laundry, shoes (honestly, shoes are very important here!) and more. Don’t feel overwhelmed! FlyLady will keep you on track using small baby steps. And FlyBabies — no peeking at all of the routines, etc., shown on the FlyLady website. You are just getting started!

Now, as you progress, Flylady will send you e-mails to help you develop routines to get you going in the morning and to send you off to sleep in the evening. She’s tough here —routines are very important! It takes 21 days to form a habit, but for SHEs, it takes 28 days. FlyLady is going to insist you shine your sink, too — you’ll soon find out why!

Decluttering is next. FlyLady will help you declutter your house using Hot Spot Fire Drills and the 27-Fling Boogie. If the thought of decluttering your home is overwhelming, don’t worry — Flylady has been there and knows what you are going through! In fact, FlyLady still has her own “dungeon” of clutter she is working on!

It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman, single or married, working in or out of the home, have kids or not — this can work for you. You can easily adapt FlyLady’s system to fit your own lifestyle. You will find that, with time, your house and life will pull together.
“My prayer for all my fellow SHEs is that each finds happiness and pride in ourselves and our accomplishments. That we raise our children to be good, productive, and happy people. And that we light up a room with our smile.” – FlyLady
I've used FlyLady before, but never consistently. I remember using it a few years ago when I was a high school band director. It was a band contest day and I woke up, made my bed, cleaned my bathroom and put a load of laundry in the washer... all before I left for the day! When I was on the way to school I remember thinking, "Wow... that was strange!"

The new, beautiful flooring in my home has inspired me to want to keep my house looking nice. I love the feeling of walking into a clean home after a long day almost as much as I love waking up in a clean house.

Anyway- my resolution is to have a home that is always welcoming and inviting to everyone... especially me, Jason, Grayson and Gordo! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Detox Diet

Here is what I feel like after all of the eating I've done recently:

You know what that means, right??? 

McFatty Monday will be returning next week!! I'm planning to do this New Year's Detox Diet on Monday-Friday (Wow... I hope I can do it that long!).  I'm hoping the detox will be a great jump start to a healthy 2012 for me!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas was wonderful once again...

Jason had to work on Christmas Day, but he was able to stop by the house to see what Santa brought Grayson, open his own gifts, and enjoy some delicious breakfast casserole. It was so much fun watching Grayson really get into Christmas this year... and I think he'll understand even more next year!!

Santa's Goodies for Grayster!

His first words when he came downstairs were, "Oh My Goodness"!!

Lego Duplo Blocks were a big hit!

Jason got a new electric razor, wool coat, gamecocks t-shirt, Clemson/Carolina rivalry book, and a pocket knife. 

Grayson loves his daddy!!

And... after checking out all of those toys, Grayster went right back to his notebook and crayon! 

Gordo was NOT impressed.

This is when we figured out that Grayson needed his nap EARLY!! 

Grayson and I had Christmas lunch/dinner at Mom and Dad's house with Grandma, Mom, Dad, Kelsey, Gary, Shelley, Dori, Aunt Lucy, Uncle Doug, and Scott. 

Grayson got a rocking horse and a radio flyer wagon from Grandma and Papa!

Grayson and Gary

Aunt Lucy and Dad

Merry Christmas from Rebel! 

Later that evening, Jason joined us at Mom and Dad's for our big gathering with Mom's side of the family. 

You can find even more pictures of our Christmas 2011 here!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cookies

A few days ago I decided that I really wanted to start the tradition of baking cookies for Santa each year. Grayson was a hard sell on the idea. This was for two reasons:

1. He is kind of scared of the whole "Santa comes to your house when you're sleeping thing". Adding cookies on top of that pretty much sets him over the top. 

2. Why would he want to bake someone else cookies??? 

Lucky for me, several of his favorite cartoon characters have made cookies for Santa this week. Today he decided that he would participate! :) 

He did some working... 

But he was mostly interested in eating.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wells Family Breakfast Casserole

Okay... this morning I sent a text to my friend in a panic! I could NOT find her husband's wonderful breakfast casserole recipe and I want it for Christmas morning!! She was so good to send it to me, and she told me that someone else had already asked for it this morning!

So this NEVER happens again, I'm putting the recipe on the blog. Just send all of your love offering money to the Wells Family, because this recipe is AWESOME!!!


2 pounds of sausage (I like Neese's HOT)
8 oz cream cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 cans crescent rolls
salt and pepper


1. Brown 2 pounds of sausage and drain. Mix in 8 ounces of softened cream cheese.
2. In a separate bowl, beat 4 eggs. Mix in salt and pepper to taste, 3/4 cups of milk, and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
3. Lay 1 can of crescent rolls out in pan (13x9 is fine) and then layer in sausage/ cream cheese. Pour eggs/ mozzarella evenly over sausage and then lay the other can of crescent rolls over top.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees and enjoy!!

I like to do steps 1-3 the night before. Then I just refrigerate overnight and bake first thing in the morning!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Small Addiction

I have a small addiction.

I hope I'm not the only one, but I suspect I might have it worse than others.

I'm addicted to AMAZON.

Yep. It's true.

The addiction began when I found out about Amazon Mom. This free program really began to catch on around this time last year (or was it the year before??) when all of the parenting magazines began offering $10 off diaper coupons if you used Amazon Mom. You could sign up for their subscribe and save program (which gave a 30% discount), use a manufacturer's coupon (through Amazon!), and then use the $10 off coupon. I literally purchased boxes and boxes of diapers for less than $10 each and they shipped to my house FOR FREE in two days.

Now the Amazon Mom program has changed.... there are no more $10 off coupons, the discount on diapers is only 15% and the shipping is slow (5-8 business days). BUT, the benefits are still awesome an I still sometimes get Huggies and Pampers shipped to my house cheaper than store brand.

But anyway.... back to the addiction.

I love that I can find ANYTHING and have it shipped for FREE. I also love that their prices change constantly. It makes me feel like it is a game. My extended family exchanges $5 or less gifts. Yesterday I found something for one of my cousins for $3.99 (regularly $13.99) and had it shipped to my house. I received it today! The price now??? It is up to $10.99. Hah!

I think the UPS guy might hate me because he is always delivering stuff to my house. If anyone has a cure for this addiction I could use it... quick!!

Just Your Average Thursday

Sometimes I think photographing kids is one of the hardest things to do... 

1. Tongue sticking out. 

2. Clearly grumpy.

3. Cute... but why couldn't I have changed his socks?!?! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fun Happenings

It is Christmas Break, and that means that we've been spending lots of time at home. By Monday evening, I had discovered something very important...

Grayson gets angry when he gets bored. 

Tantrums were becoming frequent and intense, and I had to do something-- QUICK!!!

Tuesday morning we went to Giggle Bugs. It is a new indoor playground in our community. They have toddler mornings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10-12. It was cheap (only $4) and we were there right as they opened.

One hour later, Grayson was exhausted. He told me that he wanted to put his shoes on and go bye-bye. We did just that. Magically, his behavior was much improved yesterday. 

Today we went out to lunch and to the movies with my dad (Papa) and Aunt Kelsey. Grayster had a blast. He was amazed with almost everything... even the toilets that flush automatically. Anyway, we only made it for about an hour before he was ready to go home (and the people around us were ready for him to go home, too) but he had a blast!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Three Quick Things

1. Happy Birthday Nana!!! Today we celebrated Nana's birthday at our house (more on that later)!
Happy Birthday, Nana!!

2. We had the most beautiful laminate flooring installed downstairs this week. We absolutely love it, and it looks so much nicer than our worn out carpet. Anyway, here is just a small part of our new flooring:

3. Grayson has suddenly decided that it is fun to look at the camera and say, "CHEESE"!! I'm pretty sure that I'm going to end up with photos that look like this one for at least all of the near future:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day 2011

Jason and I traveled to Hawaii last week to be with the high school band. Our band was invited to perform at the 70th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. December 7th was an absolutely amazing day and I wanted to be able to document it here.

It is important to say that the 70th Anniversary was a large one because the survivors are aging. The youngest are in their late 80s. Even the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is disbanding at the end of December 2011, citing age and health of its directors.

I didn't really know what to expect... I didn't know what emotions I would feel or what the survivors would look like...

It was an incredible day. 

The phrase, "We Will Never Forget", now echos in my memory. 

We walked into the memorial to find thousands of people. Many in uniform, many in tears, and a proud few with "Pearl Harbor Survivor" written on their caps. For those few, you could tell that this event that happened 70 years ago was fresh on their minds. 

What I definitely didn't expect was for so many of the survivors to want to openly speak about that day to everyone. Jason and I had the opportunity to hear this man's story, as he looked out onto the harbor, and that is a moment I will never forget. 

Another Pearl Harbor Survivor

These men were survivors of the USS Utah. On December 7, 1941, their ship was attacked and actually sunk, flipping belly up in the harbor (where it still sits). On that day, 30 officers and 431 enlisted men survived the ship's loss; six officers and 52 enlisted men died.

The USS Arizona suffered the largest loss on December 7th, 1941. The explosion killed 1,177 of the 1,400 crewmen onboard, and though half were loss at the point of the explosion, the others died in the moments (and days) that followed from drowning and suffocation. 

I learned that many of the survivors from the USS Arizona have chosen to have their remains cremated and entombed back on the sunken ship with their crewmen. One Arizona survivor died just a few weeks ago. His entombment back onto the USS Arizona occurred on December 7th, 2011. 

The USS Oklahoma also experienced a great loss on December 7, 1941. On that date, 429 men loss their lives. The memorial is breathtaking.  

It was our great privilege to be able to perform for this incredible event. 

If you've ever wondered why schools would approve the absence of students who travel to Hawaii you'd just need to look in the eyes  of the students we traveled with after they experienced Pearl Harbor Day 2011. 

Pearl Harbor is now something they will never forget.