I just came across this video and i am speechless. Some much needed perspective this holiday season...no accidents, only divine appointments and this is no doubt just that. Hope you are as blessed by this song and by Danny as i am tonight. Pure worship and it is beautiful.

I pray this week for a peace and joy filled Christmas for each of you! May Christ grab hold of your heart and may we all rejoice in the blessing of a Savior born so humbly all those years ago!

Merry Christmas!!


Broken Heart

Life is so very very fragile. This morning i got a harsh reminder of just how fast it can slip away. I woke this morning to a phone call from my mom that my papa was dying. He had already coded once and the DNR order was given. Less than half an hour later, he passed away peacefully.

My heart is broken. in a million pieces. There was no time for goodbyes. He was fighting cancer for the second time, but he was doing well. Until last night when he suddenly started having trouble breathing and less than 14 hrs later he was gone. My tough as nails, hardcore retired military, stubborn, stern, funny, Cowboys football and cashew lovin' papa is gone. It still doesn't feel completely real. Accept it does...and it is...very real.

So many memories have flooded my mind all day long and i smile...even thru the tears, i smile. What a blessing to have been so close to him. To share so many memories. Despite our military lifestyle and the distance that has separated us, we were blessed to share christmas with him last year. And blessed to spend time with him again in June for the boys' birthdays. He was an amazing man. So very loved and will be so very missed.

We will be leaving in the morning to head back home and be with family. Please pray for my Grandma Lil and for all of the family and friends that will be traveling thru the week to be at the funeral. I pray you all had a wonderful thanksgiving holiday full of family, friends and lots of love! Hug the ones you love today and cherish every moment you are blessed with!


Gifts and so much more....

Need some great gift ideas this holiday season?? Would you love to give gifts this year that are not only blessing the person receiving the gift, but would help bring an orphan home to their forever family?!?

You see - my cousin Lovelyn and her gorgeous family just recently brought home their adorable, precious son, Clay, from Uganda. And her heart for the orphan crisis around the world is nothing short of beautiful. And while we may not all be called to adopt, i believe we are called to be aware. To do what we can to help give these precious children of God a forever home. And we can all do that this holiday season as we purchase gifts for our family and friends!

Loveyln has posted a great gift guide on her blog. A listing of various items that adoptive families are selling to help raise funds to bring their babies home! So go here! Check out the wonderful opportunities there are to do your part to help these families bring their little ones home! And while you're at it....take a few minutes to read about Love and her family's journey cause it is amazing. And beautiful. And you will be so blessed by it.

Happy shopping. And reading!


Romans 12:21

This morning as we were leaving for church, i noticed that Colby was having a particularly difficult time and was being quite snappy and short tempered. We spoke briefly with him as we were pulling into the parking lot about how he could possibly try praying, and asking for help to control those urges and for God to change his heart.
After church Colby excitedly told us about the sermon in children's church and how it fit right in with his struggle that morning. He told us that the sermon was based on Romans 12:21 which says, "when evil attacks, attack it with good". (Colby's translation) And we were able to point out this wonderful example of what an awesome God we serve. That God knew his struggle and spoke to him thru the message. What an amazing blessing!! It just makes my heart sing to see the heart Colby has for our Lord and Savior and His word. To watch Colby's understanding of true relationship with the lord grow.
Later this afternoon Colby came to me and asked me if in the future, when i see that he is struggling, would i just simply say to him "Romans 12:21". My eyes filled with tears as i assured him that i most definitely would. And as i have thought about it more today i have decided that i will ask the same of Colby. That on the days when my patience is short and i am struggling, would he simply remind me "Romans 12:21". I am so incredibly grateful for Colby. For his tender heart. His love for our God and his true desire to grow and learn and come to know Him. For the ways he challenges me and inspires me. I am so.incredibly.blessed. SO.BLESSED.
Romans 12:21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Air Show @ Night!

Last weekend, the base here hosted the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, which we found out is a HUGE deal! They estimated that there were over 147,000 people there on saturday! (think parking nightmare!) We are blessed to see the blue angels flying all the time so we opted to go to the night show even though the blue's wouldn't be performing at it. It was pretty impressive and ended with one of the longest fireworks displays i've ever seen! We met up some friends of ours there and had a great time! We weren't able to get alot of good pictures between the tricky lighting and the speed the planes were flying at, but we did manage to snap a few!

they had "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood playing as this skydiver descended w/ the flag...so neat!

this flying team put on a really great show but we had a hard time getting any really good shots of them!

all the kiddos...Levi, Alexis, Colby, JT, & Brayden

a semi truck powered by jet engines.....pretty impressive

the wall of fire...you could seriously feel the heat in your face when this went off!

smiley fireworks!

remember the parking nightmare i mentioned earlier?!? well...we were able to find border line rock star parking that was only about 3/4 of a mile from the flight line. our friends didn't fare so well! So we all walked to our little honda crv after the show, piled in and drove the 2.3 miles (yes we measured!) to their car. So..the big guys were in the front seat, the 3 girls in the back seat (i was in a booster seat! ha!), and the 4 lil guys in the far back. The lil guys thought this was the greatest thing ever...they laughed and giggled the whole way!

our little stow away's! =)

We finished the evening off with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants! Great friends, great fun, and great food....what more can you ask for on a saturday night?!?


I've got nothin' so i'll title it October!

I couldn't come up with anything creative to title this post! ha! It has been a long day and i guess my brain decided to check out! =) October brought the start of Hope for the Homefront, Brayden's first field trip, and of course Halloween!

Hope for the Homefront is a fabulous bible study for military wives and has been such an incredible blessing to me over the last couple of years! I participated in the study for the first time in January of 2008 and posted about it here. Little did i know what God had up his sleeve all those months ago and now here i am, facilitating the study for the 2nd time! I've got a great group of girls this time around and it is so very apparent to me that God placed each and every one of them in the group for very special reasons! I'm always so in awe when i am blessed to actually see God working in me and in others....such an amazing God we serve!

Then came Brayden's first field trip! Oh.My.Goodness. So stinkin' cute!! They went to the pumpkin patch and the park and i was blessed to be able to go along! The kids in his class were all so sweet and we had so much fun! I love that they all called me "Brayden's Mom"....so cute!

getting on the bus!

Brayden's Class (they made the little shirts they are wearing!) =)

And we wrapped up the month with Halloween! I had such a hard time getting into the "fall spirit" because i was too busy still sweating in the heat! CRAZY! Apparently fall is just something on the calendar in florida - not an actual season!! ha! But it managed to get just cool enough that we could wear long sleeves and the kids weren't too sweaty after trick or treating!! We went out to dinner and then trick or treating w/ some good friends and had a great time!

Darth Vader & Commander Fox

my cute lil family!

the boys with their buddy JM

Although October failed to usher in fall like i had hoped, it did turn out to be a fun month of memories and time spent together as a family! We are doing our absolute best to truly cherish the time we have here in pensacola with John home and not deploying!

**October 28th marked one month into my weight loss journey! I lost 9lbs in my first month!**


I'm Back!

I am back from what feels like the longest blogging break EVER! There are several reasons for the break that i'm not even gonna bother getting into.....i'm just glad to be back! One of the original purposes of this blog for me, was a way to document the small and not so small happenings in day to day life, and while it has become so much more, i don't want to completely miss out on documenting some of what has been going on in the Miculka household the last few months! So i am going to break it down month by month in several posts! Bear with me.....i will get to the current happenings soon!! =)

The boys BOTH started school on August 24th. Colby started 3rd grade and Brayden started pre-k. I'm not going to lie...having them both in school was a rough adjustment. Brayden is going to school 5 days a week and the house felt so completely empty every morning. =( But I have come around and learned to enjoy the time i have each morning and the boys are both really enjoying school!

September brought our first MOPS meeting of the year, the surprise party of the year, a visit from John's mom and brother, our 5th wedding anniversary, and the beginning of my No More Excuses weight loss journey that i am stoked to share with y'all!!

I am a table leader for MOPS this year and i am LOVING it! The ladies at my table ROCK and it has been such a blessing to get to know each of them. I was a little apprehensive coming into the first meeting as i have not been a part of the MOPS organization for long and wasn't sure exactly what my place as a table leader would look like, but i quickly realized that i was right where God wanted me to be! Our Nov. meeting is next week and i can't wait!!!

Mid September we hosted the surprise party of the year at our house and it was SO FUN! It was our friend Eric's 30th birthday and his wife, Lisl, wanted to plan something special for him! So as far as he knew they were going out for a nice dinner after dropping the kiddos at our house! ;) We totally got him! He had no idea! He walked up to the door and was greeted by 50+ friends yelling "SURPRISE"!! This was the first time i have been in on a surprise party and i can't even begin to tell you how stinkin' exciting it was!!

some of the guests awaiting the arrival of the birthday boy!

The guest of honor!! He was so shocked!

blowing out the candles! (notice all the tea lights??!! we totally forgot to get candles and had to improvise last minute.....it just so happens we had exactly 30 tealights! ha!)

The day after the party, John's mom and brother got into town! We were excited to see them and the boys had a blast with them! The main reason for their visit was to watch the boys so that John and i could get away for a couple of days for our anniversary!! Doesn't seem possible that we have been married for 5 years but i can honestly say they have been 5 of the best years of my life!! We headed to Biloxi, MS for a little mini vegas honeymoon remake! We stayed at the Beau Rivage and had a great time!! I'm ashamed to admit that i didn't get many pictures at all.....=( But i did manage to atleast get one of John and I!

let me fill you in on a little secret....i NEVER wear my glasses anywhere but around the house. Until the morning we were leaving and i woke up with pink eye. OMG. So excuse the glare from my glasses! lol

And then on Monday, September 28th i began my life change. I faced up to, once and for all, the fact that my being overweight, out of shape and just plain unhealthy was my fault. And i made the choice to change. When i last posted i weighed about 192lbs. Shortly after my last post i got really really sick and lost about 12lbs, 5 of which i gained back when i was able to keep food down again. So i began my journey at 185lbs. I am counting calories. As in....measuring servings and keeping a journal of every single thing i eat and drink every single day. I am working out....i am working at becoming a runner. I've never been a runner but i am slowly becoming one! And i love it! Today is day 47 of my journey and i am EXCITED to share with you that as of Wednesday (my weekly "weigh" day) i have lost 14.4 lbs! It is HARD. I've had many UPS and many DOWNS. But i feel soooo much better. I haven't been this weight since i hit it while pregnant with Brayden almost 5 years ago. I can't change the fact that i let myself get to the point i was at 47 days ago. But i can change what i will be tomorrow, next week, next year. And that change is happening a little at a time....every day! I am excited to share with you the emotions, the highs, the lows, the journey. MY journey of NO MORE EXCUSES!

time for new pants much?!? i can seriously pull more than one pair of jeans on and off without buttoning or zipping and i am constantly having to pull my pants up and i LOVE IT! I'm trying to hold off as long as possible before buying new pants but the time (as you can see!) is drawing near!

So there it is.......the end of August brought a huge milestone for us with Brayden starting pre k meaning both boys are in school! And September was a great month full of love, friendship, blessings and fun!

*and just in case you are wondering....NO. I do not go out in public w/ my undies hanging out!! If i wasn't constantly pulling my pants up though, then i would be looking all gangsta like that! =)


Air Museum & The Blue's

I can't believe how long it has been since i last posted! I have been so busy trying to soak up these last couple of weeks of summer vacation with the boys that i just completely neglected my blog!

Last week we went with some friends to the Naval Aviation Museum that is here on the base! Admission is FREE and they have so much fun stuff to see and play on! The boys had a blast with their friends and it was nice to be out of the house and not spending money! =) Here are a couple pics from the museum....

The kiddos w/ a sweet volunteer who told them all about this little old store!

Levi & Brayden taking a break from flying for a picture!

JT & Colby flying a helicopter

Most of you are probably familiar with the Blue Angels.....they perform at air shows across the nation every year and are very well known! It just so happens that we are blessed to live about 10 miles from their home base!!! It is not uncommon when we go to Target or Wal Mart to see them flying overhead as they practice! Even better......their practices are open to the public. You can go to the flight line and sit in bleachers and watch them practice their entire show!! Far closer and more personal an experience than any air show could ever provide and we went yesterday morning!!! It was AWESOME. AMAZING. Almost surreal. The boys LOVED every second of it and we are hoping to be able to go again soon and take Daddy with us!! Here are a few shots of the show.....they were flying a low show because of the clouds so there were some things they couldn't do but it was still a fabulous show!

waiting for the show to start!

Here they come!!!!

they called this a tight formation (there is about 18 inches clearance from wing of one plane to dome of another....CRAZY!)

waving the Blue Angels back!!!

If you are ever in the Pensacola area i highly recommend both the Air Museum and going to watch a Blue Angels practice! Both are budget friendly and fun, memory making opportunities!! We can't wait to go back and experience both again!


Fun & Friends

Last Sunday our church had their second picnic of the summer. We had plans to go until we checked the weather. {because saturday was pretty stormy!} The forecast didn't look pretty and after chatting with some friends we were going to go with, we all decided to just plan on doing a bbq at our house instead of chance the weather! There was lots of food, laughter, and kiddos playing and having a great time!

this is 8 day old {at the time} Gavin! Is he not the most precious little thing?!

Brayden, JT, John Micheal, Colby, Levi & Alexis....buddies!
{they were all stinky & sweaty at this point accept Alexis of course!}

By the time everyone went home i'm pretty sure all of the boys had black feet from running around outside and they were all stinky sweaty! 2 signs of a great time had by boys!! ;) We are so blessed by all the wonderful friends we've made here and we always enjoy getting together!
{for the record....it never rained! ha! but we had a good time and that was the ultimate goal!}

Then yesterday, me and the boys met up with my friend Chastity and her kiddos for the library, park and a picnic! We had a really good time! My boys love the library and this was the first time we've made it since we moved here. {i know i know...sad!} When we finished at the library we headed down the street to the park and when the kiddos had played their hearts out we enjoyed a picnic lunch!

these flowers were all over at the park....they are soooo gorgeous! anyone know what they are?

Brayden swinging

Colby & JM on the tire swing

sweaty, tired boys finishing up their lunch

It was a great morning out of the house having fun with friends for both the kiddos and me! Its hard to believe that summer is already almost over! My guys start back to school on the 24th....when do kids start back where you are?!?


Oh what a day.....

....and it is only 10 am!! ha! I swear it seems like these things only happen to me.....just when i think i've got it all together, i go and mess up royally! You know...to keep me humble and all that! lol Here is how our day started......

Colby left this morning for his first camp! He is over the moon excited and i have so enjoyed all the questions and talks and excitement this week! He is with a group of kids from church and our children's pastors {who by the way are FABULOUS}!! They went to Camp Baldwin in Alabama and have a full day of fun ahead of them!! He will be home tomorrow morning...so it is only one night and while it is so difficult to let go and let him grow up it is such a blessing to watch at the same time! So its 7am, we're all dressed and ready and heading out the door ON TIME! Here is our camper on his way out the door.....

Colby on his way out the door & Brayden excited for bubba!

And then it happened. The door to the house was closed {and locked} and we are all standing at the car waiting for the car doors to be unlocked. Only, John didn't have the keys. And neither did i. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Anyone out there know what it feels like to realize it is 7am, you are supposed to have your child to church to leave for his first ever camp that he is soooo excited about, and you are locked out of your house and out of your car?!? UGGHHHHH! So we called a friend who came and rescued us after having to get her little one up out of bed, called one of the children's pastors to let them know, and waited in the disgusting humidity for our rescuer to arrive! It was so nasty.....think sauna but you are dressed in jeans and a t shirt....GROSS!! And on top of it all, Brayden steps on a stick in the front yard and cuts the bottom of his foot. Fantastic. ha! Check out my 3 favorite people who were all kinds of not happy at this point......

3 not so happy guys & brayden showing me his boo boo

HaHa!! While it was so far from funny in the moment, i can now laugh about it! Colby made it to church and is now at camp having a blast and we are in our nice air conditioned home! {after a visit from the locksmith who even though he charged $45 for 1 minute of work was my best friend!} Just when i think i have it all together........=)


Critters of the South

So....i just have to share with you a few of the critters we are apparently sharing our wonderful southern abode with! I DON'T. DO. CRITTERS. At all. Spiders, crickets, roaches, bugs, lizards, frogs, snakes. They all freak me out and make my skin crawl and while i understand they are all part of the food chain, i am also not okay with the food chain being inside my home or anywhere in the near vicinity. Oh yeah...and i have two boys who LOVE the fact that there are so many critters! Ahhhh!!!

In reality we don't deal with alot of them in the house but any in the house is too many for me!! We kill spiders in the house probably 3-4 times a week and then the occasional little random bugs and i understand this is a part of life. But the pictures i am about to show you are not okay and not "a part of life" that i will just be dealing with!

Exhibit 1:

that would be a scorpion on my living room carpet. and this is the second scorpion we have found in our house in the last few weeks. UGHHHH!!! So gross and scary!

Exhibit 2:

this one is what we call a banana spider. OH. MY. GOODNESS. it is big. and gross. and makes my skin crawl every single time i see it. And the boys LOVE it....the big boy (aka hubby) included. They feed it bugs. Disgusting. It resides in one of the hugest spider webs i've ever seen on the outside of Colby's bedroom window. Ugh.

Exhibit 3:

i don't know what in the world this one is called but it was HUGE and FREAKED me out! The banana spider may have survived out of love for my 3 favorite men but this one was a goner! No way am i letting it live.....it was on the front porch which is wayyy to close for comfort. Any critter lovers out there know what kind of spider it is??!!

Those are just 3 of the many, many odd and gross critters i have encountered so far here in the south! Yuck. Yuck. Yuck! Don't even get me started on "palmetto bugs" which is what they like to call roaches here. They are HUGE roaches....call em something different if it makes you feel better but they are roaches. When i say huge i mean i killed one on my front patio that was easily 2 1/2 - 3 inches long. SICK! Luckily i have only seen one in the house and it wasn't nearly that big and hubby was home to take care of it! AAAHHHHH.....save me from the critters of the south!!!! I'm guessing i'm not the only one with a critter aversion so what are YOUR least favorite?? Tell me all about the critters that make your skin crawl!!!


The Return of Reid

Wow....the Men Tell All. I typically watch these "tell all" specials just because it's on but there is rarely one that i really enjoy. This one i actually laughed at and enjoyed! Those boys are some drama kings!! And some of the bloopers that they showed were classic...sooo funny!! And now for a list of some stand out moments for me....

*The drunk Ed scene....oh my goodness! It was hilarious to watch but i'll tell ya what...Jillian has far more patience than i do because i would have been so incredibly annoyed by his behavior. It made for good tv but i'm surprised it didn't bother her more that she has such limited time to get to know these guys and he pretty much wasted that opportunity to spend quality time talking with her!

*Michael Stag.....LOVE him! Such a classy gentleman with so much personality!! He is going to make one incredibly lucky lady very happy one day!!

*I was all about Jake in the beginning but i do have to admit that i was kind of annoyed by him on monday night. If he would stop bringing up how perfect he is than maybe others wouldn't focus on it either. Everything he said and did had a bit of passive aggressive cockiness to it...if that makes any sense! Something about him on this men tell all rubbed me the wrong way....

*Wes not being there.....i'm torn. I feel like abc quite possibly didn't let him come because they knew he wasn't going to play the game their way and they surely weren't going to air him calling them out on their falsifying thru editing. BUT there is a small part of me that questions why the guys all had not so nice things to say about him and even pinpointed shady things he said to them. I think the real truth most likely lies somewhere between Wes's side and abc's side and i'm done wasting time thinking about it. We'll never know the real truth so i'm moving on!

*Angry Dave. Oh Angry Dave. The dude just doesn't get it and it blows my mind that he could really be confused as to what would have made her feel so uncomfortable. I think it is sad that Dave has seemingly never been shown or taught how to respect a woman and it's hard to see what you are doing wrong when you've never been taught any different. SAD!

*Jason & Molly....i've gotta say that they actually are a really cute couple. I half way follow them on another website so i knew they were still together. I really hope it works out for them....Jason may not have gone about it in the best way but i do believe his motives for doing what he did were right. And it took alot of guts to do it which i think speaks highly of his feelings for Molly...wish them all the best!

*And now....THE RETURN OF REID!!!!!! Oh my word.....i cannot wait to see the finale next week and see exactly how Reid coming back plays out. I am going to let my hopelessly romantic mind get carried away with dreams of them ending up together for this week! I KNOW it probably won't happen but hey.....a girl can dream right???

I truly just don't see her and Ed together.....something is just not there. If i was forced to choose one of the final two i would say her and Kiptyn stand a better chance than her and Ed. But i just dont really see it working out long term with either of them. Looking forward to monday and the most dramatic finale EVER!!!! haha! What are all my fellow fans thinking???


This one's for you April!! ;)

I'm not sure how many of you have missed me posting my thoughts on the Bachelorette, but i know my bloggy friend April, at Straight From the Heart, has!! ha! She has been sure to let me know she misses hearing all about what i'm thinking and she is pretty much fabulous so here i am with my thoughts on the Bachelorette!

Sooooo much has happened since the last time i posted and i'm not about to try to remember all of it!! Here are a few things that stand out......

*I think Michael is one of my all time favorite guys on this show so far!! He was goofy but so sweet and fun and cute. I wish there could have been more between them but i hope they stay friends! He was just such a sweetheart and it broke my heart the night she let him go....he was such a gentleman but you could see he was just crushed. He almost made me wanna learn how to break dance!! ha!

* the whole Ed leaving and coming back. Not exactly sure how i feel about that...I like Ed. I don't know that i like Ed and Jill together. There is just something that isn't right......something is missing. There is an awkwardness about them that is just weird. And don't even think i am going to skip over talking about the booty shorts he was wearing on Monday's episode. SERIOUSLY?!?! Words fail me.....i still can't believe he wore those on national television. And the "situation" between them on monday night...well.....i dont know exactly what happened and to be honest i don't want to know exactly what happened. Regardless of what happened i think they could have done without airing it.

* Wes. geez....let me just say that i don't think Wes was portrayed as the person he really is. at all. I listened to an interview that Reality Steve did with Wes and it really helped me to understand a little more of who Wes really is and how the producers butchered him with the editing they did. I was most definitely a member of the Wes haters club until i heard the interview. I'm going to leave it at that...if you would like you can find the interview here.

* Kiptyn ~ i don't think i've hidden the fact that from the very beginning i have liked Kiptyn! He is so stinkin' cute and watching him and Jillian together just makes me smile. However, she seems very insecure about their relationship, almost like she doesn't feel like she's good enough for him. Does anyone else get that feeling?? They make such a cute couple but she really seems to have alot of hesitation when it comes to him. I think between Ed and Kiptyn my choice for her would definitely be Kiptyn but i'm still just not too sure about them.

* I am soooo SAD that she let Reid go. I think he is just about the cutest thing besides my hubby of course!! ;) And Reid is soooo a boy version of me! haha! The whole fondue thing, washing the veggies....oh my goodness.....i had more than one friend comment about how he was a boy version of me with all of his neurotic tendencies and i would have to agree!! I think that Reid had very real feelings for her and that he was being very realistic in his struggle with opening up and promising a proposal after knowing her for 6 weeks or so. My personal opinion is that she made a BIG mistake letting him go....and she didn't seem very sure of her decision at all. Sad, Sad, Sad!

* I am really at a loss as far as what to expect on the finale! The hopeless romantic in me hopes that Reid comes back, tells her he loves her and they live happily ever after!! I just don't see her with either Kiptyn or Ed but if i had to choose one of them i would say Kiptyn. I'm just really not sure what will go down......i'm excited to see!

So, there ya have it! My thoughts as of now about all that has been going on with Miss Jillian and her men!! And let me just add that it is 1am so i'm sure there are things i am forgetting but this is what i've got right now! I'd love to hear what all my fellow Bachelorette fans are thinking.....chime in!! What are your thoughts?? Who do you think will be the one in the end??


Menu Plan Monday

With my lack of blogging, i have failed to post my weekly menu's for i don't even know how long! But i'm back!! Menu planning has become my best friend~ i {heart} it! And even when i wasn't posting them, i was still planning my menu! Such a lifesaver! Here is what will be filling our tummies in the Miculka household this week!!

Monday~ Ordering Pizza (YUMMO!)

Tuesday~ Crockpot BBQ Chicken w/ Corn & Rolls

Wednesday~ Chicken Enchiladas w/ Pinto Beans

Thursday~ Tater Tot Casserole

Friday~ Shake-n-Bake Chicken, Wild Rice & Broccoli

Saturday~ Hamburgers & Hotdogs, Baked Beans, German Potato Salad, & Corn on the Cob

Sunday~ Eat Out!

Don't forget to head over to orgjunkie.com and check out all the menu planning madness!!! Sooo many recipes and a wealth of meal time inspiration!

Tater Tot Casserole

I know everyone has their own variation of tater tot casserole, but thought i would share ours!! Simple, Quick and Good.....my type of dinner!! =)

1lb of ground turkey (or beef)
1 sm onion, chopped
1 microwave steam bag of frozen peas (or 1 can)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can of milk
frozen tater tots

Preheat oven according to directions on the tater tot package. Brown meat and onion until meat is no longer pink. Steam peas in microwave. In a casserole dish (i use a round one) mix together cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 soup can of milk, cooked peas, & meat and onion mixture. Cover top of mixture with tater tots and bake according to directions on the tater tot packaging! Enjoy!

German Potato Salad

This is more of a "by taste/preference" type of recipe than a carefully measured one! So this is a general guide but man oh man is this stuff good!!!!
  • sm. bag red potatoes (boiled & cubed)
  • 6 eggs (hard boiled, peeled & chopped)
  • 1 pkg bacon (cooked crisp & crumbled)
  • sm bottle of italian dressing
  • 1 sm onion (diced)
  • mayo (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • salt & pepper to taste
Put potatoes in a large bowl and pour italian dressing over them. Mix in onion, bacon, & mayo. Salt and pepper to taste and ENJOY!


VBS & The Accident

I have given up on finding time to do a post about the second leg of our texas visit. There are just too many pictures and our laptop takes entirely toooo long to download the pics so o well...gonna just move on!

This whole week the boys have been attending vbs at our church! We love our church family and their focus on reaching out to children! Our children's pastors, Jerry and Sharon, along with all the volunteers are simply the best. And this week's vbs has been impressive to say the least! The boys are having a BLAST and more importantly they are learning...soaking in God's word. There were more than 50 kiddos who accepted Christ as their Savior this week....there just aren't words......such a blessing! Here are a few pics from the last week...


AND...the accident. If there is one thing i have learned as a mommy it is that there is never a dull moment! There are funny times, sweet times, hard times, and scary times but never a dull moment. Last night was one of those scary times that you always wonder how you would handle but hope you never have to find out. I found out. And surprisingly, i was able to remain calm until help got here and then i kinda broke down a little.

So...it's around 10pm, the boys are home from vbs, bathed, ready for bed. I'm on the phone with hubby (who is on "lunch" break at work) about to wrap up the conversation so i tell the boys to go hop in bed and i will be in shortly to tuck them in. A few minutes later i hear what i thought was the boys slamming the cabinet door shut on Brayden's armoire, followed by a earth shattering scream. Out comes Colby w/ a pale face quickly followed by Brayden and there was blood. Everywhere. It's coming from his head. OH. MY. GOODNESS. "Keep your cool" is what i'm telling myself while telling John to come home NOW. I move brayden's hand away from his head and his forehead is split open....deep. I prayed the only thing i could muster which was something along the lines of "help me God" and the peace that came over me was unreal. God is good. I was able to calm Brayden, calm Colby who was freaking out to say the least, get the bleeding significantly slowed, call a friend to come stay w/ Colby and within 15-20 minutes my girlfriend was here, John was home and we were on our way to the ER.

doesn't look so bad huh? oh man...if only i had a pic of it before the doc worked his magic!

They were able to use DermaBond, which was such a blessing!!! I didn't know if i could take watching them do stitches, nor did i think i could handle walking away from my baby while they did them. So....8 years of being a mommy of boys and i made my first bloody er trip last night. My heart still races thinking about it.....and of course it was a clean split so the pictures don't look all that bad but let me just say this....the entire head of the q-tip the doc used to numb it, fit all the way INSIDE the cut. AAHHHH!!! Oh yeah...i guess your probably wondering what actually happened huh?? Apparently they decided jumping on the bed would be way more fun than laying down like they were told to do. The sound i heard was Brayden's head hitting the solid oak footboard, NOT a cabinet door slamming like it thought. It still makes my stomach turn to think about that.

He is doing just fine now! Tired from being up so late but otherwise fine! Of course i am a nervous wreck trying to make sure it stays dry and that he doesn't scratch or rub it. And maybe its just me but suddenly it seems like he is tripping and falling constantly and my heart momentarily stops every time until i am sure he hasn't hit his head again...goodness gracious! Funny times, Hard times, Sweet times, and ohhhh the Scary times. All of it makes up mommyhood and i wouldn't trade a single second of it cause these two....



Better Late than Never - Part 1

Yes, it has been almost a month since we went on vacation to Texas. And yes, i am just now getting around to posting about it! Sad, i know but things have been crazy busy and there is so much fun to be had that blogging keeps getting pushed down on the priority list! But i didn't want to miss posting about our trip if for no other reason than to preserve the memories of the fun we had!!

Uncle Eric, yours truly, hubby, Brayden & Colby
and you can see part of the ice cream cake Culka made the boys!

It was about a 10 1/2 hour drive to get to John's parent's house which was stop #1 on our trip!! It was a pretty uneventful drive and both of the boys handled it well! It was late when we got in so we said our hello's, let the boys play off some of their cooped up energy for a little while and then got to bed! The next day was spent just being together and enjoying each other! The boys ran and played ALL day long and had a blast! There was lots of exploring, getting dirty and FUN just being boys!! They caught snakes, bugs, explored, had water gun fights, and enjoyed the tree swing that daddy and uncle eric made.

Uncle Eric giving Brayden a little pep talk after a tantrum! =)

Uncle Eric and Colby in a water gun fight!

The next day, John's parents had a birthday party for the boys at Chuck E Cheese! The boys were very excited and it was lots of fun to see so many friends and family! A good time was had by all...adults and kids alike enjoyed the games! Papa Culka and Uncle Eric won LOTS of tickets for the birthday boys, which they thoroughly enjoyed using and me and Culka enjoyed not having to clean up or doing any preparing for the party!! ;) The boys got lots of great gifts and had a BLAST!

Papa Culka and Uncle Eric winning LOTS of tickets!!

Blowing out the candles!

Brayden opening gifts

looks like he likes what he sees!

our bday boys w/ Chuck E.

The Miculka's - June 09

Culka & her boys!

Our last day there we visited John's grandparents. It is always such a treat to spend time with them....they are so sweet and such a beautiful picture of a lifetime of love and family! My only regret is that i didn't snap any pictures while there and will have to make sure to do that next time. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and playing and cherishing our time together!! Evelyn, Jimmy, & Eric~ Thank you so much for having us and for everything while we were there!! We had such a good time and can't wait to see you guys again!!

Up next i will post about the next leg of our trip which was visiting my family in the San Antonio area!! Now i'm off to enjoy some summer fun with my 3 favorite guys!! =)