Wednesday, March 28, 2012

{From This Crazy Kitchen} French Bread Pizza

Do you ever have days where you have to keep your kids occupied all day long to keep them out of trouble and from fighting with one another?  Or you need to keep them occupied to get things done?

Well, we had one of those days recently.  And this lunch was the perfect distraction to let me get the dishwasher unloaded.  This has been a favorite of mine since I was in high school.  Such a yummy twist on traditional pizza.

{French Bread Pizza aka Pizza Bread}

Frozen Garlic Bread (we used a mini one) or French Bread
Pizza or Marinara Sauce
Shredded Cheese of your choice

Since the bread opens up, each kid got their "own" half to make.  And I let them at it!  Adding the sauce and then whatever cheese they wanted (they picked mozzarella and parmesan).


Bake and everyone's bellies are happy :)


Monday, March 26, 2012

The Crazy in {TCBL}

So it's been a while since you've heard about some of the craziness that's part of {This Crazy Blessed Life}.

Well, don't fret!  I have a lovely little story for you today.

And to be totally real with you, I have to start with the back that you understand how frustrated that this momma was when the craziness went down.

Brother and sister were playing great with one another until Gray decided that he wasn't going to be bossed around by his big sis anymore.  Thus, the typical fight started.  I try to let them work it out first.  Then help them work through it.  And when all else fails, it's time to separate.  It was nap time anyways so we separated and started to go through the immense fight that nap time is for us 75% of the time.

Gray was laid down without much fight, but Layne put up a fight that rivals a two-year old temper tantrum.  Except with an almost five year old.  And a 5 month old pregnant momma doesn't have the fight in her to be kicked, hit, and almost bit.  While dealing with Layne in her room, Grayson came out of his room and into hers.  Proceeded to lock the door (with the reversed handle so the lock is outside) and shut it.

Yes, locking the three of us in her bedroom.  With no phone to call for help.  It's around 1pm at this time.  Meaning that we'd have to wait for 3-4 hours for dad to get home and find us.

We searched for anything possible to use as a "key" to unlock our door.  After trying a barrette, paint brush, and coat hanger, I gave up.  I did not want to make this into something "fun" after the fit that Layne just threw. And I wanted them to take a nap.  I finally decided to make lemonade out of the lemons that we were given :)

{this was taken after the ordeal...see the scratches on my foot :(}

I climbed out the bedroom window (shoe-less, mind you) and of course, every exterior door was also locked.  I lifted the kids through the window and we proceeded to walk to my parents house that is "next door."  In the country, "next door" merely means the next closest house to yours.  Which in our case is over a 1/4 mile away.

{picture from our yard.  That tiny thing in the upper right corner is their house}

Thank God that my mom was home and graciously offered us refuge!  The kids drank some pineapple juice and we got a ride back home with our spare key!

Lesson #1 - Hide a key in the kids rooms or turn their door knobs back around.  It's much better to be locked out than locked in.

Lesson #2 - Hide a house key somewhere outside (or even in my car!).

Lesson #3 - It's much better in a crazy situation to laugh instead of cry.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Photo Dump

I love Instagram!  I've used it for a little while, but haven't posted many Instagram pics on here.

These are from the last few weeks!

{Layne and her big cousin skating}{Gray's first time roller skating}{Layne blowing bubbles in the car}
{Hair down} {My birthday cake courtesy my hubby and kids}{20 week bump}

Linking to:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I have a confession.

I've come to a realization. 
And I realize that I've been in denial for months.
But I have a confession to make.
You's embarassing. 
I'm ashamed to post pictures.

I'm a addicted to fabric.  Really, I am.

When I started sewing again, I always thought it was funny when people said that they have to organize their fabric stash.  Or that they just pulled all of the fabric for this humungous, gorgeous quilt from their stash. 

Guess who has a stash of fabric now?!?!

It started innocently.  I would get a great idea for a project.  Then I'd run out and get all of the supplies needed to make it.  And the next awesome idea would come along and before I knew it, I had tons of fabric and supplies to make projects that I never got to.

The stash has taken over a whole corner of my bedroom/sewing room/office.  It includes lots of cotton prints, vintage sheets that I've found at thrift stores, some cotton knits that were supposed to be for leggings for Layne for fall, and a beautiful collection of fabrics from my Grandma. 

I will take pictures and share them at some point.

So, what's a fabric addict to do as soon as she finds out that her new baby is going to be a boy?

Rush out and buy more fabric to make his bedroom quilt, of course!

I can't wait to share the finished product with you in a few weeks!  I'm almost done cutting for the quilt top!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Total Devastation & A Ray of Sunshine

When I left work on Friday afternoon, I never imagined that my weekend would turn out the way it did.  I had been pondering taking a half day vacation and based on the recent weather reports, I decided to leave around lunch time.

I got home and stayed with my mom and my kids at my parent's house (they have a basement - we don't). My husband and dad got home around 3:30.  Not too long after we heard of the tornadoes touching down a few counties over.  We watched closely on the news and headed to the basement shortly afterwards.  We stayed down for a long time.  The electricity went off shortly after we got down there.  And our phones had poor service off and on.  Our only communication to find out what was going on was text from friends and family.  

After we came upstairs, the phone calls poured in.  Family and friends were calling that had heard that our area was hit hard to see how we fared.  And we began hearing reports of where the devastation was.  The next phone call was from one of my dad's tenants.  Their house was right in the middle of the "disaster zone."  

My dad and husband went out to assess the damage and help them.  It took them a long time for them to get through to the area. There was even a mobile home in the middle of the road that they had to wait to be moved.

The next day, we drove past now of the hardest hit areas and I captured a few of these pictures.


The remains of a brand new mobile home.  Nothing was left besides this.  Approximately a half a mile to a mile looked like this.  A woman was found in the middle of the road here shortly after the tornado went through.  She survived.


This was our next door neighbor for four years until we moved to our new house (maybe 2 miles away).  If you can't tell, their house is broken in half.  The tornado blew out their foundation on the one side of the house.  I hate to see such horrible things happening to such nice people.


This was the sight of where the mobile home was moved into the road.  It was wrapped around a tree and blocking the road before being moved.

The next few images are fairly self explanatory.




This last picture is an old church in the area that was at least a century old (if not more).  It has been abandoned since before we've lived around (14 years).   A few people continued to put their time and energy into preserving the property and surrounding cemetery.  I'm sure they were devastated to see this.


And the house above is my dad's rental home.  But really it's more than that.  It's the home where Matt and I moved into as newlyweds - planning to stay for just a few months that turned into years while we built our home.  We brought both of our babies home from the hospital to this house.  (We moved out a week after Gray was born)

It seems so silly to be so sentimental over a house.  But this just hit so close to home.  

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Left to Right, Top to Bottom:  1) the view from the dining room 2) the back side of the house 3) from the master closet 4) another view from the master closet 5) side view from the other side 6) front view of the collapsing roof.

Despite all of the devastation and destruction, I have been amazed at the outpouring from the community. On Saturday, there were hundreds of people along this stretch of road helping each other.  There was food donated and delivered to the volunteers.  I've seen such unity and love from our neighborhood.  

Even though our area in Southern Campbell County and Northern Pendleton County were hit hard, there has been very little news or media coverage of this area.  We're told its because there were no fatalities in our counties.  Other areas in our Cincinnati Area were hit just as hard or harder than we were.  This lack of coverage hasn't stopped groups from forming on Facebook to organize donations and volunteer efforts.  

Our church started accepting donations at 1 pm on Saturday.  Just 30 short hours later, we had to start turning away clothing donations because we received so many.  I was totally and utterly amazed.  The "free store" begins tomorrow to pass out supplies to those in need.

Please pray for those affected in our area and other areas affected nationwide.  According to CBS morning show on Saturday, the month of March averages 72 tornadoes in the US.  On March 2, 2012, there were 80 tornadoes.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

What's in a name?

Baby names, that is.

We are having such a hard time naming this little boy!  Giving a name is such a responsibility.  And it's not an easy job!

Here's our criteria:

We want our name to be unique (after all, Sarah was the # name in 1984 and Matthew was the #3 name in 1982).  I'm okay with being in the top 100, but not top 20.

We want something that fits a child through adult and wouldn't sound bad for a Lawyer, Doctor, or President.  (What?  We have high hopes for our children!)

We want something that is sort of simple.  I like 1-2 syllable names.  Something that isn't too much of a mouth full or too difficult to pronounce.
With Layne, we knew what we were going to name her if she was a girl right away.  I liked Hawaiian sounding names - Leila, Leilani.  Matt suggested Layne and I loved the compromise.  Simple, unique, great name for a child or adult.  And Laynie had the same feel as the names that I liked.

Her middle name was a different story.  I stressed over her middle name big time. We felt that her middle name should be very feminine since her first name could be perceived as masculine.  I loved the name Dahlila (Delilah), but we also considered Eliza.   I had a very hard time with giving her a name that had such negative associations in the bible. We came up with the name before the "Hey there Delilah" song, but the song totally made me decide that I loved the name no matter what.  I did have to be difficult and spell is differently.
With Grayson, we named him 2-3 times throughout the pregnancy.  He was Cole for about 2 months.  Then he was Cort for a few weeks, but neither name stuck.  I just didn't like them near as much after we used them.  When I was in labor, Matt bought a baby name book in the Hospital Gift Shop.  Grayson was one of the two names we liked (I can't remember the other for the life of me!!!).  I felt like the name paid heritage to my dad, who's name is Ray and it totally fit him once he was born.

Douglas was a no brainer for us.  My husband's middle name is Douglas and his father's middle name is Douglas.  So there you go!

Side Note:  The whole time we considered Grayson's name, we said Grayson Douglas Nelson.  Sounds good.  Around 4-5 weeks after he was born, we realized it was Grayson Nelson....which totally rhymes.  Crap.  So when he registers for school, his name will be Gray Nelson :)

Now for this boy.  I'm pretty sure he won't have a name for quite sometime.

Big sister likes Max.  We both like it, but it seems a bit too common for us.  Layne, Gray, and Max sound good together.  If we did it, we would probably name him Maximus.  But I don't love it.

Daddy likes Sawyer.  Sawyer is okay.  It's not an immediate "no" for me like a few of his other suggestions.  But all of our kids have nicknames....what do you nickname Sawyer?  And Sawyer seems sort of serious, which is not what I picture...maybe since our Gray boy is such a clown.  I like it.  But I don't love it.

Mommy loves the name Calen or Cullen.  Yes, I am a Twilight fan.  Yes, Cullen came from Twilight.  But Calen didn't :)  Mommy loves it.  But daddy doesn't even like it.

We both liked Harper for a girl.  But we still kind of like it for a boy.  I just have a hard time with it because a girl with a masculine name is not near as bad as a boy with a feminine name...ya know?  Once again, we all like it.  But I don't love it.

I just want us to decide one something.  I loved being about to refer to Layne by name in utero.  It just made it feel more special.  Like she already had an identity wasn't just "baby girl" or "her." 

Maybe we'll have to come up with a nickname for the peanut.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oh my! It's March!

Where did February go!?!?!

We celebrated four birthdays in our family this month. (Happy Birthday to my sis Rachel, nieces Josie and Payton, and Papaw Randy!)  And welcomed a sweet new baby into our family!  My niece, Rielynn Claire, was born on Saturday!

We found out that this little one in my belly was a boy!


I was talked about mommyhood quite a bit this month.  We talked about mommy guilt and mother's intuition.

And I got to share my new quilt for my Baby Rielynn.  And was featured quite a few times for this!


And I shared my new favorite $2.50 scarf.  So easy and quick to make!


I'm feeling a million times better lately! Hopefully you'll be seeing some fun new projects soon :)