The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Morning List

1.  My kiddos are sick....AGAIN.  It seems like we can't catch a break around here.  I think I am over the limit for the amount of snot a person should have to deal with, but whatevs.  I would rather deal with a million times more snot than be vomited on again, so bring on the mucus.  Hopefully, after this round we will get a break for longer than two weeks.  Momma needs some sleep.

2.  Yesterday I made PW's Simple Sesame Noodles.  So good.  Even better today for lunch.  We ate them cold both times and they were awesome.  In the cookbook she also shows them with cold steak, which I am sure would have been delicious, but we didn't have any steak so it was plain noodles for us.

3.  Since I spent some time griping about the hot weather this year, I should mention that right now I am in love with the weather.  It was in the 50's yesterday, 60's today and at night gets colder.  The next few days are going to be glorious.  I am not looking forward to it being back in the 80's again at the end of the week.  After all, it will be November and 80's in November is a tad bit ridiculous.

4.  I made a double batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies today.  Why have I not done this before?  Seems like a no brainer to always make a double batch and freeze the unbaked cookies and then cook them as needed, right? 

5.  I feel bad for people in the path of Sandy, but I really hope that one of the meteorologists that is standing out in the storm gets swept away.  It would serve them right for standing outside in a hurricane.  And, how can you possibly convince people it is unsafe to stay in their homes when there are newscasters standing outside in the middle of the storm?  You know where you never see a meteorologist?  In a tornado.  Those things are serious.

6.  Isabelle has started doing the most hysterical thing ever.  She refers to herself in the third person.  As an example at dinner she will say, "Isabelle wants some water," or "Isabelle loves chicken."  It is infuriating and incredibly funny all at the same time. 

7.  Jason and I are addicted to The Walking Dead.  If you haven't ever watched it you are probably saying to yourself, "they are so stupid," or "who likes shows about zombies?"  That is what I said about people who watched it before I ever saw an episode.  Now, I love it.  Season three has been a bit more gory than previous seasons, but it is still a great show.  And for the record, I may or may not have googled, "How do you become a zombie?" during the first episode.

8.  I really don't have anything else to add right now....just didn't want to end on number seven.  For my brother's sake.  I do find it funny that the title says morning....haha.  I have been holding sick kids all day long and just finished at 8:00 PM! 

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin fun and Lawson Update

Before I get too carried away with our pumpkin patch/pumpkin decorating fun, I wanted to update you on Lawson's stats after his doctors appointment!

Height: 27 inches.  Eleventh percentile.

Weight: 17 lbs and 9 oz.  Eighth percentile.

We have some work to do to get him to gain some weight, but the doc isn't super concerned so I'm not either.  Plus, this helps the me not wanting him to get big thing.  Because, well, he isn't.  And don't worry, I feed the kid ALL. THE. TIME.  Lest you go thinking he is neglected or something.


Last Saturday Jason's mom came down and we headed to the pumpkin patch!

The girls had a great time checking out the pumpkins or rather, picking up every pumpkin they saw and then dropping/throwing them to the ground.

They also had a blast feeding the sheep, alpacas, and goats.  Meanwhile, I spent my time dreaming of hand sanitizer and antibac soap. 

Another highlight of the day was seeing the girls wipe goat snot on Jason's jeans.  I really, really, really wish I had a pic of that.

After pumpkin hunting and barn-yard animal feeding, we took some pony rides and even Lawson got in on that fun.  He seriously loved it.  I figured he wouldn't have a clue and maybe he didn't, but he sure was smiling a lot!

Molly rode Cowboy

Lawson on Patches

Isabelle rode Daisy
Finally, we picked out and paid for our pumpkins and called it a day. The girls wanted to decorate them the minute we got home, but we didn't have the paint yet.  SO, I went to Michael's the next day and they were able to paint them on Sunday. 

Just in case you are wondering, I made them take their clothes off so that nothing would get ruined with acrylic paints!  They didn't mind too much since most of their days are spent sans clothing anyway.

If you are in the Tulsa area I highly recommend Carmichaels.  They have a great selection of pumpkins and gourds and they also have tons of fun activities for kids.  No cost to get in, but you will pay for pony rides, camel rides, corn to feed the animals and the corn maze. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lawson at Nine Months

Ugh.  I feel like I just got done talking about Lawson at eight months.  I DO NOT LIKE THIS.  I really, really, really, want him to stay small.  I love everything (okay, mostly everything) about this age.  I love that he is mobile, but not too mobile.  I love that he has a personality, but no sass (boys probably don't get sass, but whatever).  I love that he is eating, but doesn't refuse to eat what I have cooked.  I love that he still wants to be held, and still loves my kisses but is okay to play on his own.  I just love him.

pretty sure it is time for some boy toys

Here is some info about Lawson at nine months!

Height and Weight:  Find out on Monday.  I suspect he is still small for his age. 

Eating:  Lawson is an eater.  He eats "real" food three times a day with a snack or two in between plus he nurses every four hours.  You can always tell when Lawson is hungry because he is mega fussy.  So far there haven't been many foods that he won't eat and just like the girls, he loves puffs.

Sleeping:  He is doing pretty good.  Goes to bed around 7 pm, sleeps until about 4 am, then wakes up to eat and goes back to bed until about 6 am.  As for naps, he is still taking two naps a day and while he has been sick it has actually been three naps a day again.  We no longer use the swing to get him to sleep, but I do nurse him to sleep pretty regularly.  If he happens to be my last baby I want to be sure to soak it all!

Likes:  Eating carpet.  For reals.  This kid is destroying my carpet.  He has found a small place where the carpet was pulling back and he has gone to town pulling more out and stuffing it in his mouth.  It drives me bonkers.  Reminds me of that show, My Strange Addiction.  Also in the likes category are crawling/scooting around the house, trying to get in the dishwasher, pulling hair and playing with the girls' toys.

Dislikes:  Carpet being pulled out of his mouth, snot being sucked out of his nose, being hot/cold/wet/hungry, and having things taken away from him.

Milestones:  Made it through the first real "sick" episode. but other than that nothing really big has happened in the last month.

I know I say it a lot, but Lawson has been such a blessing to our family.  The girls are such great big sisters and do a wonderful job of playing with and loving on their brother.  There is something different about a baby boy and I am so thankful for my precious Lawson.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What's goin' on

I realize I haven't been super consistent lately with updates and pictures and general happenings of our family.  Truthfully, I have been prioritizing other things.  Like cleaning and cooking, and taking care of sick kids, and doing homeschool with the girls.  The blog just hasn't been high on the priority list.  Sorry.

But, since I had a brief minute, I thought you might like to know what has been going on at our house.  So here goes, a very short synopsis of life at the Dickinson's.

The kids have been sick.  Like snotty, cough-y, sneeze-y sick.  Jason and I were super happy to get it also. Lawson was the worst because, well, he can't blow his nose.  He was unable to sleep or eat or really do anything other than fuss and be miserable.  Things are much better today unless you count the fact that Lawson's snotty cough is now making him vomit!  Fun times I tell you, fun times.  At least he is sleeping and eating again.  The girls and Jason and I are also much better!

The girls and I started our new Five in a Row homeschool curriculum.  They love it and so do I.  This week we read a book called Ping, and I have had such a blast doing "school" with them.  I have been trying very hard to just incorporate learning into our everyday life by playing games and singing songs and really it has been so much fun.  Part of our school this week was to go feed some ducks.  Yesterday was a great day weather wise so we went to a pond in my mom's neighborhood and fed some ducks.  Luckily there were no geese.  I was a little afraid of geese attacking the girls and what I would do if they decided to chase after us.  Apparently that happens.

I thought about doing a cooking post after making these cookies.  If you are looking for a delicious, pumpkin cookie, these Melt in Your Mouth Pumpkin cookies are for you.  Fair warning, they are incredibly addictive.

Our fall pictures were supposed to happen this past Monday, but due to sickness have been postponed.  I am so anxious to have some new pictures.  I am especially looking forward to a new family picture with Lawson in it since he is 9 months old and all!

Really, not much has been going on.  I have been taking care of my family and myself.  And honestly, if something has to go on the back burner, it will probably be the blog.  I am trying to slow down, enjoy my kiddos and take advantage of the time we have together.  Of course, I will be back tomorrow with Lawson's nine month post, hahaha. 

See you then!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Isabelle has been obsessed with talking about school.  She is in love with her backpack and can often be found standing by the front door waiting on her school bus.  I almost feel bad for her....almost.  She is such a funny girl with such a great imagination.  Here are some pics of her while she was waiting on the bus a few days ago.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Five: Instagram

Thought I would share five photos I shared on Instagram in the last week-ish.  If you don't follow already I am @tracyd53.

Have a great weekend!

not sure why she was riding the tricycle, but her face is presh

playin' at the park

she loves riding on this duck!

waiting on the bus to pick her up for school...which of course, never happened

my lil bubby

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Adventures in Cooking: Meatless Meals

I get that not everyone wants to be a vegetarian.  People love meat.  However, if you are looking for a way to save some money on your grocery bill or get more vegetables into your life, going meatless one meal a week might be the way to go. 

Here are a couple of very easy and very tasty vegetarian recipes (not vegan) that I think you should try. 

First, Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Tacos

I initially found this on pinterest, but the link took me to the tasty kitchen website (which i love).  These were so yummy.  I did leave out the jalapeno because I thought the girls would eat them.  Since they didn't, I would for sure add it back in next time.  I had never cut up raw sweet potato before and that was interesting to say the least.  I had no idea how hard they were to cut!  I especially liked how crispy the tortilla was coming out of the oven.  As usual with most recipes I find on tasty kitchen, it made more than what the recipe said.  I had enough for 8 burritos (and I only used one large sweet potato).  Finally, we served ours with sour cream and they were very delicious.  Also good left over the next day for lunch.

Next, a vegetarian soup.  The recipe was given to me by a friend who called it taco soup, but it isn't really a taco soup.  It is more like a tortilla soup without chicken.   Here is the recipe.

 2 cans Ranch style beans
1 can black beans
1 can refried beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can cream style corn
2 cans rotel tomatoes with chilis
1 small onion (chopped)  i used only about 1/4 of an onion, but i hate onions
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet hidden valley ranch dressing mix (not fat free)
1-2 cups water

Crockpot version:  Mix all ingredients in your crockpot.  Add as much water as you would like to make it as soupy as you would like.  Cook 6-8 hours on low.  Serve with grated cheese, avocado, tortilla chips.

There you go!  Two meatless meals that are very tasty.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Camellia Network

Happy Monday!  And happy first of October! 

I am excited to announce that starting in October I will be doing a monthly post highlighting some sort of non-profit/charity on my blog!  I have recently come across multiple opportunities to give to others that I felt very strongly about and I hope that by showcasing them here you might feel led to give as well.

Sometimes I see a need or a cause and I feel so incredibly drawn to help out, but don't.  I don't help because I feel like I can't do enough, or feel that I don't have enough money to help, or feel like what if I give to one organization and then the next month I see something else I want to give to, but don't have the money/resources to help because I gave somewhere the month before and on and on and on.  In my indecision and fear I don't do anything at all.  I am sick of letting opportunities to bless and help others pass me by due to my lack of faith or fear.

So, I have decided I am going to do something NOW.  I am going to make a decision to help out no matter how small.  Not everyone can give to every cause, but I can do something.  And yes, I know I don't have millions of readers, or even tens of thousands, heck, not really even thousands, but I am believing that even if the only result of these posts is my individual contributions, it will be worth it.  I have made the commitment to give a certain amount each month from my Mary Kay paychecks and then also a percentage of sales above and beyond that number.  I hope that you will join me in taking action now, no matter how small, to help people in our own communities and beyond.

Today, I am highlighting The Camellia Network.  I first learned about them here

Borrowing from their website, The Camellia Network's mission is to create a national network that connects every youth aging out of foster care to the critical resources, opportunities, and support they need to thrive in adulthood.

Did you know that in most states when a foster child reaches the age of 18 they are forced out of the system even if they have nowhere to go?  25% of these kids will end up incarcerated and 25% will end up homeless.  About 30,000 kids age out of the foster care system each year and have no support system in place to help them succeed.

Here is a great video about their organization.

The Camellia Network is not giving handouts but rather a hand up to individuals trying to make a better life for themselves and in some cases their children also. 

I encourage you to check out their website and see what they are doing.  After registering on their site, giving is pretty easy. 

One thing I like about this organization is that you can browse registries of the youth that are on their site and give towards a specific need.  I gave to Isabelle who is registered for many baby items.  If you don't want to spend time looking at profiles and registries you can simply give to The Camellia Network through a giving link at the top of their page.

One thing that really hit home for me was that our system takes these kids out of their homes because we feel they will be better in foster care than they are in their own homes.  While I am sure that this is true, it is sad that then once these kids turn 18 we simply abandon them and wish them good luck.  I don't know about you, but I am not sure how I would have made it through college or having a baby or moving into my first apartment without the support (both emotional and financial) of my family.  These kids do not have that same support.  Investing, even a little, to make sure someone doesn't end up homeless or incarcerated makes sense to me and I hope it does to you also.

I am really excited about what the future holds for these posts!  I already know what organizations I will be highlighting for November and December and I am beyond excited to introduce them to you as well!