Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More Photos.....

So I know Houston sometimes gets a bad rap, especially after hurricane Katrina a few years ago. Lots of homeless people etc. BUT they have sooooo cleaned this place up. We spent 24 hours here because this is where the train dropped us off. We stayed down town at the Magnolia hotel. I highly recommend this place if you are traveling through Houston. We walked all over taking in the sights, eating, talking to people etc. It was great! And noooo this is not graffiti, it's art! :)

Me and Tammy on the roof of our hotel. The Houston baseball stadium was right behind us and we were so bummed because they were in LA playing. Figures right?

You can go to the top of the tallest building in Houston and stand in front of floor to ceiling windows, they look all around the city! Morgan hates heights so she was less than thrilled about the 70 something floor view. The elevators moved so fast your ears popped!

We found out it was cheaper to split a limo than take a taxi to Galveston the next day. Who knew?? And it was waaaayyy more fun!

Most days in a row I have spent with my husband in FOREEVVVEERRR!!!

Did I mention the best football team ever is from Texas? Well, unless you hate the Cowboys. Lets just assume for our sake you don't hate them. Ha!

We went to a Mexican place in Galveston Island for was Tammy's birthday and lets just say she was less than thrilled when I mentioned it to the waiter and they sang VERY loud to her. Did I mention she had to wear a sombrero?

Sweet babe getting ready for dinner that night.....

Our view from our room in Galveston. We spent 24 hours here as well and LOVED it! We are easy to please so there is not much we don't enjoy. Just being together and trying knew things is most fun for our family.

For Tammy's birthday dinner we went to a steak and seafood and it was great! It was the night before the cruise would leave so my mom and Rick got there  just in time for dinner.

On the shuttle over to the cruise terminal I met this big group going to the Bahamas on a Carnival ship; I told them I would take their picture leaving port just in case they were lost at sea. Ha! So here they are leaving. Word on the street is they made it back. :)

If you ever go on a cruise with kids go and buy one of these over the door organizers. I got mine at Kmart for $9. I put EVERYTHING in there so I wouldn't have to hear,"Mom, where;s the hair brush? Mom, where's the sunscreen? MOM, where's the hair ties?" You get the idea. It kept everything off the bathroom counter and organized. I like organized. Especially when there are 4 of us in one room for a week.

I will leave you with this photo of Morgan at dinner on the cruise. She's so stinkin' cute. More pictures later. I'm slow. Still on island time. Plus I'm supposed to be acting like I care about finishing out last 4 weeks of school. ;)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

We're Back......Vacation Day 1

"Vacation, all I ever wanted...vacation time to get away!" We did just that. In fact we were gone for 16 days. I am mentally refreshed but physically exhausted. Ha! We were fortunate enough to stay in Texas for a couple of days then off to the Caribbean for a week. Then we went to Louisiana for a couple of days and then home. Whew! Tired yet? :) I took lots of pictures of our adventure along the way so I will start today with the first couple of days so its not a tra-zillion photos boring you all at once. That's right I like to spread your boredom out. Ha!
First things first, how in the world are we going to get 16 days worth of clothes for three girls into this one duffel bag?

I bought these little organizer bags from Their great because you can buy a different color for each family member and then nobody's stuff gets mixed up. I rolled everything and put like all my shorts in one, my tops in another and then bathing suits, cover ups and board shorts in another. Really handy little things.

Eight of us went on the trip. Six of us took the train and the other two (my mom and Rick) flew and met us in Texas. Here we are all ready to catch the red eye train on Wednesday.

Here are Dan and John looking at the map wondering where the heck our train is. It didn't get in till' 1am but when your in vacation mode it's cool. ;)

The next morning on the train we headed over to the dining car and enjoyed a great breakfast. Coffee, orange juice, eggs, pancakes, you name it they made it for you.

Of course our children have never met a stranger so they wasted no time making friends with this little girls who was traveling with her grandma.They played games, colored and listened to music etc.

At each stop along the way you had the option to get off and stretch your legs, get some fresh air and even buy homemade burritos at the border stop in El Paso. Nobody got sick so we figured it was all good. Ha! Morgan said it was the best tortillas and beans she has ever had.

We got a sleeping car for the trip. A must when traveling cross country. It didn't have a ton of room but during the day it had four seat, a fold down table  and night we each had our own pull down bunk. We also each carried our own backpacks the entire trip which contained things we liked to do; books, ipods, coloring books etc. So we feel like we are totally professionals and can back pack/train it through Europe. Ha! Next stop Houston Texas. See you tomorrow!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Walk Away......

Seriously, if you are dieting or trying to avoid sweets then walk away now. I made these YUM cookies last night and was not feeling great after 3.....OK 4 cookies. Ugh! I tweaked the recipe to make the sugar cookies gluten free and also added lemon to make them ooie-gooie lemon cookies instead of just sugar cookies. 
Melt In Your Mouth Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened (I used vegan butter)
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I changed this to 2 tablespoons of lemon flavoring)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (I changed this to an all purpose Gluten free flour)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening with a mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Beat in flour. 

2. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. (I notice my cookies rise up better if I preheat the cookie sheet as well)

3. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, do not let edges brown. Cool cookies for one minute and then transfer to wire rack to cool.

4. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes And Gardens
Witty banter and changes to recipe courtesy of me! ;)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Is Good......

I Heart Easter! I heart Spring! HE is risen! The girls have us hide their Easter baskets every year and then they hunt for them. Thing is, they are getting too smart for us. :)

My first EVER gluten free, vegan carrot cake. Ta-da!! It was a hit!

The middle plate is homemade raspberry macaroons. Oh my gosh the fresh raspberries rocked!

Morgan's first attempt at a flower center piece. Pretty amazing right?

We had 20 family and friends over for lunch, dessert and an egg hunt. Kali LOVES my mom so she was her buddy for the day. She has enough personality at 3 years old to rule the world.

Hi Mama!

My nephew Nate was excited to say the very least to hunt for eggs....

Dan's mom helped my niece AJ reach the high ones. Heck, that's what Grandmas are for. :)

This is my "HAPPY FACE!"


Morgan found the golden egg. $5 bucks baby!!

Reason 122 on why I LOVE being a mom: When you wake up to a find a note on your daughters ballet shoes, how can you not melt? I mean really, how long before she is not needing me to sew stuff for her anymore?