Sunday, October 25, 2009

Crawfish Casserole

I am up and at 'em early thanks to a congested Lila. She couldn't suck on her pacifier because of congestion so she woke up at 4:15. I tried getting her to sleep in our bed which worked for a little while. Once the newness wore off she started getting restless so we got up. By 6:00 a.m. we'd had breakfast and done some laundry and cleaned some so now I am cooking some casseroles and she is playing with a basketball and a crawfish tray. I have doubled the recipe and am making one small casserole for us and one for a co-worker whose father passed away. This is what I'm cooking:

1 small pkg. saffron rice
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 stick butter (health nut here uses 1/2 stick-still tastes good to me!)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (spice to your liking)
1 lb crawfish tails
1 can cream of mushroom soup (use the lowfat--you'll never know)
grated cheddar cheese

Cook rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Saute celery, bell pepper, and onion in butter. Add tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes. Combine cooked rice, tomato mixture, soup and crawfish in 9 X 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes--until bubbly.

I have found that this is a recipe that you can just not bake right away and it will last in the refrigerator for a few days until you need it. I am not sure how it freezes; I don't always like dishes that involve frozen rice. I originally got the recipe from an old friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Projects

Today I had the Stamping Ladies over for the first time in a long time. We made several cute projects at my Holly and Haunts class where I shared some good gift ideas and showed some new products that Stampin' Up! has. Some of these photos are better than others!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Breakfast Re-do

I usually only cook breakfast once a weekend. It is my unwritten policy. However, this weekend I find myself cooking breakfast a second time. Basically my breakfast attempt yesterday was so bad that I needed a re-do. I wanted it to be filling for the boys' Karate testing so I made banana nut muffins, sausage, and fried eggs. It was supposed to be boiled eggs but the eggs I had boiled the day before were in the part of the refrigerator that freezes things. Frozen boiled eggs are a disgusting thought so I threw them away. Then I only had one patty of sausage left so I had to split it between the boys. Then my first attempt in my entire life to make fried eggs was rather laughable. I almost took a picture they looked so bad. I told Cullen "Just eat the good part?" and his response was a wary "Can you please show me which is the good part?" So I decided to make pancakes today, which I know I do well.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Control Issues: Picking Your Teacher

I have always said, rather loftily, that I wouldn't choose my child's teachers. I wanted my kids to have variety and to learn to deal with assorted personality types beyond their OCD mother. That was before I actually had the chance to choose. Some principals let other Ascension Parish teachers choose their own children's teachers. Last May I decided to take advantage of this and choose Carson's teacher for the 2008-2009 school year. Then orientation day rolled around and, lo and behold, Carson was not in the class of The Chosen Teacher. I was a little upset but, being still somewhat stunned and not my usual self after the birth of child number three, I decided not to say anything to the principal, especially since by this point I think she knew I wasn't going back to teaching that year. I am sharing this story because I know many of my Mommy Friends are like me; there is a special teacher that you have in mind and no one else will do. However, last year I learned that sometimes there is someone else just as good for your baby. Carson ended up with Mrs. Amy Sanders, who was not The Chosen Teacher. What I learned later was that she was the chosen teacher, just not chosen by me. I feel like God matched Carson and Mrs. Sanders. She was so sweet and loving and he really enjoyed and thrived in her class. She educated Carson and nurtured Carson. I am not saying that my original choice wouldn't have done this, but I am so glad that Carson had Mrs. Sanders. I will not choose my children's teachers this year nor will I ask to. I want to see who God sends us. This may be our year to get a witchy teacher (we haven't had one yet!) this may be our year to get someone who really shouldn't be in the classroom. If so, I will accept the challenge just as I have accepted our blessings. I will be excited to see how it feels to let this one OCD burden go!

For Teachers (and others too!)

Here are some stamps I use as gifts for teachers. They are shown as address stamps but I do different wording. You can also create a blank (______________) on a stamp; I checked with Stampin' Up! They won't print curse words or foul words so please don't ask me to make you a stamp that says "turn in your work you little _____". Especially if that little _____ may be my kid ;) If you look carefully or click on the photo you're interested in you can see the details, including the price and options for numbers of lines. Then contact me if you'd like to order. Our ink pads are great and are $5.95 each. I also included a beautiful music stamp as well as one of my all-time favorite stamp sets for my kids and their friends. This set is "All in the Family". It usually keeps them busy for at least an hour. I use it too but my kids really have fun making things for people with this set. All items are subject to tax and shipping and handling but I am giving my teacher friends free s/h right now if the combined orders are over $50.

For the large text-only stamps you have a one line or two line option. I often do personalized stamps that say something like:
"a note from
amy phillips"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Domino Necklace

These have been around a long time but sometimes it's fun to resurrect old projects and freshen them! We have never done this project at my hostess clubs before and it will be fun to do this Friday night with my girls.


  • Mod Podge glue

  • Domino

  • E6000

  • scissors

  • paint brush

  • spacer beads

  • pen

Options for decoration:

  • cardstock

  • stamps and ink (waterproof works best but I like the antiqued look it makes when water-based inks blend a little!) I do like using either antiqued looking stamps or an alphabet stamp. There are new sets in the Stampin' Up! catalog that I must have to do more of these necklaces ("Jayne's Type" or "Monogram Sweet" both would be great!)

  • scrapbook paper

  • magazine images

  • photo ( any will work)

1. Gather supplies
2. Trace domino on paper
3. Cut out domino shape
4. Use E6000 to glue spacer bead to the top of the domino. Let it dry for at least an hour. If you don't have time for this as step two then move it to after all Mod Podge is done. I will have this step done before my "Stamping Ladies" arrive on Friday night.
5. Use Mod Podge to glue paper to blank side of domino.
6. Allow to dry
7. Seal top of paper with Mod Podge
8. Allow domino to dry then string the ribbon, chain, or other necklace through the spacer bead. Now your necklace is done! Voila! Package it up and you have a nice little gift.

The glue that adheres the spacer beads to the top of the domino and the necklaces we are using for my hostess club. They are the color I wanted (black) and reasonable as well as practical. Any type of chain or necklace will do but I like something simple and casual.
Note: thanks to "Crafty Hangover"'s blog for assistance with some of these instructions.

River Camp

Grandma and Grandpa Broders have a house in Folsom, Louisiana nestled in the woods on the banks of the Tchefuncte River. We go there as a family sometimes but the boys love going for a few days and playing with Grandma and Grandpa. This week they went for "River Camp". In two and a half days they have captured fireflies, watched the moon from the gazebo up by the pond, tubed multiple times, made animals out of clay, "camped out" on the screened porch, and seen a variety of critters, including a water moccassin, a water snake, and a family of raccoons (including quintuplets). They also saw the carcass of an armadillo, which was apparently thrilled. I won't describe it in as great of detail as they did because it sounded disgusting to me. I love that they have this opportunity! They come back today in time for Lila's actual first birthday. We won't have her party for a few days but they didn't want to miss the day their baby sister turns one so they will come back from Folsom to be with us!

Tubing in June

Carson ready for tubing

Emily, Cullen, Carson, Hannah, and Hampton

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ooohhh we love this baby!

Happy first birthday to our darling baby girl!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ode to Tofu: A poem

Ode to tofu

Oh tofu
You sounded so good
On the parenting websites
Soft enough for baby’s gums
Full of protein
Easy to disguise
Healthy meat alternative
But your mushiness
Murky water
And ugly packaging
Were foul to me
The baby threw you to the dog
For him to eat;
He doesn’t care
I kept you for soup
But your instructions sound
More like pet care
Keep in water
Refresh water daily
So I think I will throw you away
And stick with turkey dogs.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Once upon a time...

There was a giggly girl with bouncy curls

With pretty blue eyes full of sunshine and surprise
and a sweet little mouth and a sweet little nose

Plus wiggly feet and ten little toes

plus ten little fingers on two little hands

a complete little package all part of God's plan!
Thank you so much, God!
Love, Amy, Kevin, Cullen and Carson

Whoo Hoo!

I am excited to report that I am totally done with both of my classes. I learned so much that I can use in my classroom next year! It was hard doing lessons in bits and pieces (five minutes here, three minutes there) and with a baby literally nipping at my legs but I did it! I enjoyed learning new things and am thrilled that I have officially met my requirements to be a full-fledged teacher again. Whoo hoo!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What a Big Girl!

I am amazed by our almost-one-year-old Lila every day. She is definitely more tenacious than her brothers were at this age. She isn't fully climbing on things yet but she is trying and neither of the boys were ever climbers. They were much too cautious for that! Lila gives "kisses", waves, and claps like most babies her age but when she sees someone she wants to impress she goes into an elaborate presentation of all of these tricks rolled into one comical routine. It usually works. She has admirers at the library in Gonzales as well as all along the Gulf Coast thanks to our beach trips. This girl will do what it takes to get people to notice her! She says a few words on occasion (bye bye/nigh nigh used interchangeably, no no, and dog) but she does bark multiple times daily when she sees or hears the dog. She loves her big brothers and goes to their doors in the morning either rattling the baby gate keeping her out of Carson's room or banging on the door to Cullen's new room (formerly the office). We sure are enjoying our sweet, busy, baby girl! Cullen said he couldn't imagine life without Lila and I whole-heartedly agree.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Household Staff

I have always wanted to have a staff of workers to do my bidding. Here are the people I would have on-call. They could live nearby and be texted when I need them.

  • Nanny- not full time, just when I want to take a nap or when Lila is in a biting mood. If she gets paid perhaps she won't mind being bit. She can also play Mousetrap with the boys 500 times a day. Come to think of it...
  • A second nanny for the boys so they can do things without Lila, like play Mousetrap 500 times
  • Gardener to pull all of these darn weeds. The grass is almost dying from the lack of water but the weeds continue to grow. Go figure.
  • Chauffeur- he would go get the boys at camp. Then their sand and rocks and crud would be all over his car and not mine.
  • Cook
  • Maid
  • Butler. I am actually not sure what a butler does but wouldn't it be fun to have one? We tried to win a butler once as part of a Batman Begins promotion but it didn't work out. Carson really liked the idea of a butler too.

I would be able to survive with the above staff. They would need to give me some freedom to do things on my own but whenever I want to take a nap or don't feel like cooking they would be there! I will talk to Kevin about making this happen.

Friday, June 12, 2009

June Stamping Projects

Here are some of my stamping projects for the month. I will have samples of my scrapbook pages for my hostess clubs and my card class too. Lots of fun things going on! It has been so long since I've had a card class; I really missed them! Wish I could do it more but with Lila being into everything it's hard. She eats shoes, paper, purses, phones, table covers, and anything she finds on the floor. She also crawls up to me, holds onto my legs so that if I move she will fall over, and bites me whenever she feels like I am doing something that is not centered around her. So I am especially proud of my projects and the three classes and events I have prepared for considering the cute little obstacle I have!

This card was hard to get just right; during the class I knew it needed a little more "umph" and I figured out what the fix was once everyone was gone... one more little bird, this one red. That red bird made all of the difference!

This card is so sweet in person. I love this stamp set! My class attendees could use pink or blue paper for the card.

This was probably my favorite card. I love the Big Shot texture plates (the product that made the dots on the light purple paper). The different textures of the paper and ribbon made this card so pretty yet so simple.

This was a great way to use the fun scallop oval punch and "oval-alls" set. Thanks, Julie, for loaning me the stamp set!

This father's day or male birthday card was too cute. Margarita loaned me this funny little stamp set and we had fun with the "punny" phrases.

Right side of the two page spread

Left side

Both pages together on my two 12x12 clipboards. These pages would be great for boys or girls, men or women, and for all sorts of summer events and activities. Lots of space for journaling and photos!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pet Peeves: Grammar

Facebook has opened up a whole new awareness of exactly how inept some people are when it comes to grammar. I am FAR from perfect but I do try to proofread what I write. Why would someone create a quiz or something on Facebook and have words spelled wrong? Why would they use the wrong words? Here are some of my pet peeves. I have more, I just don't want to seem as anal as I actually am.

Your and you're used incorrectly
Y'all is spelled y'all, not ya'll
Congratulations has a T not a D (not congradulations)
Their and there used incorrectly

The only excuse for this is if foreigners are making these quizzes. Honestly, most foreigners would probably use better grammar than many Americans.

One down, one to go...

I just finished my first college class in fifteen years. It was actually sad to put down the last book! The books were fantastic. I liked them all except for the first, Little Women. For some reason those girls have always kind of annoyed me. Is it wrong to be aggravated by literary characters? I certainly have enough real people to be annoyed by, I am not sure why I have to add fictional people to the list. The other books were all fantastic and I plan to use excerpts from several of them in my classroom. Ninth grade is a good transitional year; you can read out-loud to them and have some fun with them and they don't think they're too big for their britches yet. However, their britches MAY be too big for them, hanging down to their knees with their boxers showing...

Anyway, I just have one more class to finish, my EDCI class, which is about teaching literature to various grade levels. It was between that and a Civil War literature class. I am not sure if I chose well or not as the mid-1800's has always interested me as does history. Wish I was a woman of leisure who could take classes, shop, and work out all day.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


I am pleased to announce that I am employed for the 2009-2010 school year. I will be going back to East Ascension High in Gonzales and am thrilled about it! I didn't take any sort of leave so they didn't have to hold a spot for me but they had one available and of course I jumped on it! Teaching there was a good fit; I liked them and they liked me. It looks like I will be teaching ninth grade English. I like the older grades better but have taught ninth grade four years total and do understand the nature of that wild beast. It felt really official when I got my packet of paperwork requiring me to go get fingerprinted (again) and drug tested. I don't mind either of those; I am pleased to know that they work hard to keep our kids safe. I just hope Diet Coke doesn't show up in drug tests.

I have Lila in a sweet little daycare nearby and as much as she loves the nursery at the gym I think she will enjoy daycare. She never fusses when I drop her off and wants to stay longer when I come to get her. The other day she held onto a large walking toy and I had to pry her off to be able to get her out of the nursery. I just don't know where she gets her stubbornness from ;) It surely can't be me...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lila, Grandpa, and Lila's 'fro

These are some sweet pictures of Lila in Folsom on the Gator with Grandpa. It was parked while the boys picked blackberries. I love these sweet shots of Lila and my dad but also would like to point out the 'fro on my baby. Click on the picture of Lila hugging my dad and you will really see how defined the curls are. Before anyone starts to question Lila's parentage- Kevin and I both tend to have wavy-curly hair so we were bound to eventually have one with curls! I just have a good relationship with an expensive straightening iron and Kevin keeps his hair short.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Babies

These are some pictures I took today of my babies. I was thrilled with the shots I got of the boys, especially those of Carson. Lila's were cute only because babies automatically take cute pictures. The family shots were terrible and I will try again in a few weeks. I took 118 shots in total! These are just a few ;)

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I always love reading the boys' journals when they come home with them at the end of the year. This was Carson's journal about "Migets". It was accompanied by what I think is a drawing of a midget running over Carson with a bulldozer. I am afraid to ask...

Topic: Migets

I like Migets. They are small. Migets look awesome. Migets are awsome!!!!!!!!!!! Migets are funny.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Suburban Camping

Last weekend Cullen and Carson said "let's go camping in the backyard tonight!" The only problem was that it was 8:00 and we were settled in front of the TV so we scheduled it for this weekend. We have camping supplies from Cullen's one year in cub scouts, although said supplies have been in the attic since then. We dragged them out, wiped off the battery acid that had dripped on the tent bag (but not the tent) from the lantern's batteries, bought a new lantern, supplies for s'mores and hot dogs and were ready to go. Our house is on a pretty big, treed lot and backs up to woods so it feels a little woodsy but it IS in a neighborhood in Prairieville no matter how many trees there are. Apparently this is still great fun and the boys were counting down the minutes until their camp out with Daddy. Mommy has to stay inside with the baby... oh, darn ;)

  • 6:30 p.m.- arrive home from my parents cabin in Folsom which, ironically, would have been a great place for a true camp out. We picked up take-out from Griffin Grill for me and Kevin. I don't do hot dogs for dinner.

  • 7:00 p.m.- tent is set up; boys helped by... well, they didn't help at all

  • 7:30- fire is started in fire pit; boys helped by... well, they didn't help at all

  • 8:00- baby is in her crib sleeping and mom/camp butler has prepared plates of food and all food supplies and delivered outside

  • 8:30- hot dogs and s'mores consumed; boys come inside to brush teeth and get essentials

  • 8:45- Kevin comes in to find boys, who are still packing essential toys

  • Cullen's list of essentials: alarm clock (so he will know what time it is), monster spray (Febreeze in a small bottle with a label that says Monster Away Spray), and some pokemon toys.

  • 8:50- they are off to the tent to tell ghost stories

  • 9:00- they are back inside, Carson with all of his essentials and ready to come in. He apparently didn't want SCARY ghost stories

  • 9:10- everyone back out after promises of no more ghost stories.

  • 9:45- no word from Suburban campers. I figure either our newly-located outside cats attacked them or they are asleep

  • 10:00- electricity goes out. God does have a sense of humor; he wanted me to feel like I was camping out too.

  • 11:00- I realize cleaning by flashlight doesn't work so I give up and go to bed.

  • 4:30 a.m. Baby wakes up ready to play and I note that all of the suburban campers are still outside. Success! I know it's mother's day today but I think I will let Kevin take a nap later;)

Monday, May 4, 2009


Well, my first four lessons from my English 3593 class have been returned graded. Three of the four did not surprise me... they were all A's. The fourth grade very much surprised me, not because it was less than perfect but because of why it was less than perfect. I made a C+ on lesson number three because I did not use enough details. What?? When in my life have I not used enough details? I usually have the extreme opposite problem. I re-read the essay and sure enough, it was sub-par. The grade was exactly what I deserved- no more, no less. It is just so ironic that what I thought was going to be my problem (wordiness) was exactly what I was lacking. Things that make you go "hmmmmm".

Lila This Weekend

This weekend Lila was sick but you could barely tell. Even with a fever and food on her face she is still so adorable!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The New Student

I am pleased to announce that I am a student again. It feels weird being on the receiving end of the proverbial Red Pen! I am taking an English Class via correspondence so that I can fulfill the requirements to update my teaching certificate (which lapses after 3 years of not teaching). I actually haven't gotten my first lesson back yet but I did see the grade (an A). I was very anxious that perhaps after 14 years out of school I would be a little rusty, especially since eight of those years were spent with babies and toddlers and six with teenagers and textspeak (Like. OMG! BTW, that is my BFF. Like I am ROTFLMAO. Dude!). It was really going to be a shot in the old ego if I did poorly so I am glad for the ego's sake that I made an A. I am getting to read some books that I haven't read before and re-reading some that I have. The biggest lesson I have learned so far is just how it feels to be on this side of things; I am the learner instead of the teacher. What does she want me to get out of this passage? I know what I think but will she disagree? Did I spell that correctly? Is that comma in the right place? At McDonald's they have managers learn all aspects of the business from flipping burgers to taking orders in the drive-thru. It's so that they can get a grasp on what all employees are going through rather than just the managerial side of things. Likewise, I think teachers should be required to take college classes every few years to make sure that they don't forget how it feels to be a student. So far it has been a lot of fun; I am a much better student now than I was 20 years ago.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our Spring Break

Here are some photos of our spring break fun. We didn't go any further than Folsom but we had a great time! We did Easter with the Broders in Folsom, drove back here for Easter with the Phillips. had a few baseball games and practices, went to the strawberry patch (so that Cullen could enjoy it too) and then the boys went back to Folsom for a few days with Grandma and Grandpa. All in all it was a lovely spring break!

Lila loves just hanging out.

It took a while but Carson found his golden egg that the Easter Bunny hid.

Lila at the strawberry patch petting farm

Slave labor

Lila got bows from the EB

Cullen still likes hunting for Easter eggs

Getting the eggs ready is the best part!