Thursday, February 28, 2008

Weigh In - Week Nine

25 lbs. gone! Yeah! I lost 2 lbs. this week. I want to lose 28 more. I started exercising this week. We have a great community center and I have been walking/running. I hope this helps speed things up. We'll see next week!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Recipe!

I had to share this recipe! I got it out of my Weight Watcher's cookbook, but it is so good, I bet the rest of your family would eat it, too. I haven't gotten Derek to eat it, but Ella loves it. Evan can't eat it because he has an allergy to dairy. Anyway, this is it...

Linguine Alfredo

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup fat=free cream cheese
1/4 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese (I use the Parmesan)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, thinly sliced
4 cups hot cooked linguine

1. In a medium nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour, then gradually whisk in the milk; cook, stirring constantly, until lightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese and Asiago; cook, stirring, until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Removed from the heat and cover to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, place the broccoli, bell pepper, and carrot in a steamer basket; set in a saucepan over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine the pasta and steamed vegetables. Add the cheese sauce; toss to coat thoroughly. Serve at once.

POINTS value: 6
Serving size: about 1 1/2 cups

Just to give you an idea of how much it makes, when I took this picture, I had already eaten one helping for lunch. It is very, very good and very filling. If you make it, let me know what you think!

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Sweet Ella Grace

Ella Grace turned 16 months last week. What a blessing and joy she is to me! I can't believe she is growing up so fast. She is so busy and trying to talk so much. Today, she was playing in Evan's room and I peeked in to find her talking to her baby and feeding it. I have never seen her do this before. She was feeding her baby a play sandwich roll saying, as she put it to the baby's mouth, "No?" Then, she offered the baby her juice saying, "Juice?" "No?" It was so cute. It was just like how I offer food and drink to her and she was imitating it to her baby. It was precious! I was able to catch a picture of her. It's a little blurry because I was trying to hurry to catch it before she stopped.

Due to her broken leg incident, she has not started walking totally independently. She has been a little timid and scared of walking alone. Just last week she started walking about 10 steps alone, so I know it will be any day now that she will take off. I think I would be a little timid, too, if had worn a cast for six weeks. She will walk all day holding my fingers or with her walker. She pushes this walker around everywhere and picks up all kinds of treasures along the way. "Baby" is always in the walker and today there were some circles, a block, the sandwich roll, and a morocca. You never know what you will find in there!

Here are a few more Ella Grace facts:

She says about 35 words that she uses daily.

She is very sweet and often rubs her little hand on her Daddy, Evan and me, saying, "Awwww."

She loves all babies (especially real babies) and stuffed animals of all kinds.

She's a dancing machine.

She loves books and doesn't care for TV that much.

She loves bath time and can hardly wait for it. She normally asks for "bath" about three times a day!

She gives out kisses all the time, which is so sweet, especially when I didn't ask for it and she does it on her own.

She loves to label her nose, eyes, hair, ears, mouth, toes, and tummy and also points that out on others.

She LOVES her brother.

Anytime anyone flushes a toilet, she announces "poo poo," which is not that great when you have people over or are visiting someone else! :)

She loves to play ball (right now I think she is 50% girly girl, 50% tomboy). She's got an arm on her when she throws it!

She asks for "Daddy" and "Eda" (Evan) about five times a day. She definitely misses them while they are gone during the day.

Any time we are in the car, she always takes her socks and shoes off immediately. I always have to redress her when we get to our destination.

She loves the telephone and says "Hello" every time the phone rings.

She counts to five, but always leaves out four.

She loves to play "Pat a Cake" and sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

When she laughs too hard, she gets the hiccups (just like me).

These are just a few things about her. She is such a joy. I am cherishing every day because I know I'll turn around one day and she'll be starting school. What fun we have!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Two Abbys, Twice the Fun

Last night was our monthly "Girls' Night Out" with my best friends from high school. Most of the group had family or work commitments, so it was just three of us. We went to Velo Rouge (which means red bicycle in French), and it was very, very good. I had French onion soup and it was divine. The atmosphere is very chic and trendy complete with a real red bicycle. I had the best time with Abby and Abby. I enjoyed the food but enjoyed their company more than anything. They say they have been reading my blog, so I'm putting a little something extra here that I think they will enjoy...

Abby, Abby and me at Velo Rouge. My friends are being such good sports about getting their picture taken wherever we go!

Abby now...

Abby then. This was us on our Senior Trip to Florida.

Abby now...

Abby then. This was us at Homecoming our Junior year in high school.

A Happy Belated Birthday goes out to this Abby. She joined the ranks of us fellow 35-year-olds this month!!!!

I just love these girls. They are both so much fun and are lifelong friends. The very best kind! I'm already looking forward to next month!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Weigh In - Week Eight

I'm at 23 lbs. lost and counting! 30 lbs. to go!

I've Been Tagged!

Edit: Just for kicks, here's one more: When I was eight, I was ran over by a car after getting off the school bus. It was a green station wagon with wood paneling on the sides driven by a woman that was about 80. The car ran over my foot and broke it. My mother was hysterical, but I was only worried about the "Snoopy" book I had checked out of the library that day. When I hit the pavement, it went flying. Funny when I think about it now!

My new blog friend,
Candy, tagged me! It was hard to think of seven things that people may not know about me. My close friends may know all of this, but maybe my new blog friends will learn something about me. Here is what I am supposed to do:

List 7 random things that people may not know about you. The rules are to link the person who sent this to you and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours. Post the rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, linking their blog. Let each person
know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I'm the youngest of three girls, and the tallest of my sisters. I'm almost 6 feet tall. I hated it when I was younger, especially in seventh grade when I towered over all the boys. Now, it doesn't really bother me. I did tell Derek if he had been an inch shorter, I couldn't have married him! Ha!

2. I was a cheerleader in college at
OBU. My freshman year I was on the pom pon squad and my sophomore year I was a cheerleader. It was one of the things I enjoyed most (besides being friends with Kelly and Kandi) while at OBU. I couldn't do a herky now to save my life! Ha!

Can you find me? Because of my height, I have been center back of every group picture I have ever been in!!!

3. I was an extra in a movie once. It never made it to the big screen, but it was a super fun experience. The scene was in an office and I had to act like I was making copies and then act like I was taking calls at a desk. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a fun experience.

4. I have ran a 5K before. It did take me 34 minutes (the longest 34 minutes of my life)! I'm not a huge fan of running, so this was an accomplishment for me!

5. I met my husband when I was 15. We have now been together 20 years! It's hard to believe.

6. I HATE to mow the lawn! I had to do this way too much growing up, so I just about refuse to do it now unless Derek is out of town. However, now my brother-in-law has a lawn business, so it's not an issue anymore. Thank goodness! :)

7. I have a passion for photography and hope to learn to use my camera better. Derek bought it for me and it came with a free class, but I have yet to go. If I could have my own business, I would love to be a photographer.

I tag:
Kelly's Mom


Megan H.


Megan B.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Just Random

We had a lovely long weekend. Derek has been off for a five-day weekend, and it was so nice! We really didn't do anything all that exciting. I did get Friday morning to myself to do some shopping. I went looking for Ella Grace's Easter dress. I had already found Evan's outfit.

On Saturday we cleaned the house, and I got a ton of clothes ironed and marked for a consignment sale this coming weekend. That was a job! It is hard for me to part with anything that the kiddos have worn. I go through them remembering how cute they were in each thing. I keep a couple of mementos, but the rest HAS to go. I still have a few things to finish. Whew! I hope it's worth all the effort! Derek did get to go to his dad's and watch the Jermaine Taylor fight later that night. I think he was pretty bummed that JT didn't win. Oh well. Better luck next time.

Evan has started a gymnastics class on Sunday afternoons. He really enjoys it. It is kind of a one-on-one, mommy/daddy and me kind of class. No need to work out on Sundays. I'm pooped by the time the hour is over! What kid wouldn't love this...

Derek was off today for Presidents' Day. I had the great idea that we should go to the Clinton Library until Derek reminded me that it was free to the public and would be much too crowded. I'm a bit embarrassed that we haven't been there yet. One day we will go, but for today we settled for lunch out and strolling around the mall. Evan had school. :(

Tonight I was able to actually go to an exercise class at our community center. They offer a Zumba class that I have heard is super fun and I haven't been able to go because Derek isn't home from work in time. I loved it! I was lost some of the time, but I didn't care. I was a little surprised though when they got their little skirts out with the shiny metal things on them (I have no idea what it is called) that made noise as we shook our hips. Pretty funny. It was great fun and I hope to go again soon, but I will not take a place in front of the mirror. I don't mind trying to dance, I just don't want to see myself doing it. That sight might be too much for me! Ha!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

What a great Valentine's Day this has been. Derek surprised me and was off work today. I was so excited. We had agreed to not exchange any gifts, just get the kids a little something, and exchange cards with each other. I should learn by now that every time we say that, I always go with our agreement, and Derek always breaks it and buys me something. However, I thought this year we definitely would not get each other anything. He has been so busy with work. I knew there was no chance of shopping for him. I was so excited when the doorbell rang this afternoon and there stood a lady holding a dozen red roses and another little sack. Derek had sent me flowers and Ella Grace got her first delivery, too. It was an adorable stuffed bear. Ella was so excited and began hugging and kissing it immediately, petting it and saying, "Awwww." It was so sweet. I felt terrible as I handed Derek the little cards I had gotten him, one from me and one from the kids. He said he loved his cards and that Valentine's Day was a holiday just for me. Isn't that sweet?!

Ella Grace opened her first Valentine this morning...a card from Nana and Papaw.

This is Evan right before he left for school this morning. He followed up his breakfast with candy. Gotta love that!

Ella Grace and me right after we got our special delivery!

Ella Grace and her Valentine! She has given this bear so many kisses. She just loves it!

My beautiful roses. Thank you, Valentine!

I love my husband so much! He is wonderful in so many ways. He is smart, funny, handsome, loving and always, always kind. He loves me unconditionally at all times, which I know I don't make that always easy. He has the best attitude of anyone I know. He can be in the middle of the desert in 125 degree heat with little conveniences of home and still be in a good mood with the best attitude. I learn so much from him every day. He makes me want to be a better person! I want to be more like him. Most importantly, he is a Christian man that provides a Godly home for me and our children. He's my best friend and has been for about 20 years now. I love you, Derek, with all my heart and I'm glad we are on this journey together.

Our wedding day in July 1994. I love this picture. We were so happy and looking forward to starting our lives together. How much fun I have had being Derek's wife!

Weigh In - Week Seven

Nothing like your Valentine's plans consisting of attending a Weight Watcher's meeting! How romantic! I only lost 1.5 lbs. this week. This brings my total weight loss to 21.5 lbs. Derek and I did treat ourselves to pizza tonight, and it was sooooo good. Pizza is one of my favorite foods and I really miss it. I had veggie pizza and a salad, so hopefully the splurge wasn't too terrible. I'm ready for Spring so I can get out and walk. I know that will help me a lot. On to another week!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lunch with my BFF

Today I went to lunch with my very best friend from high school, Tina. From about eighth grade until we graduated, Tina and I were two peas in a pod. We did everything together. After we graduated, she married her high school sweetheart right away and we kind of lost touch. Then later, we caught back up and have been in touch throughout the years. The last time I saw her was a couple of years ago. She sent me a Christmas card this year and I responded back to her with my e-mail address. Thank goodness for e-mail! We have reconnected and were able to catch up at lunch today. I had a great time. It was so good to see her. She is still just as beautiful as she was in high school and just as sweet and just as fun! We are going to be getting together a lot more often and I'm so looking forward to it! Here is a little now and then...

Senior Prom (just a few years back)


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lots of Hair

I got my hair cut yesterday. It doesn't surprise me anymore when my hair dresser invites total strangers (usually her co-workers) to come up and feel my hair. Even though she has cut my hair for about 12 years, I think she is still amazed by how thick it is. I have even had complete strangers come up to me in public asking, "Can I touch your hair?" Anyone that knows me well can tell you I am not a fan of being touched by people I don't know. This has happened so much during my life, it really doesn't surprise me anymore. I get these two comments a lot: "You are tall, aren't you," and "Girl, you have some thick hair." I wonder do these people really think I don't already know these two things about myself? Like I have no idea I am almost six feet tall and that I have enough hair for probably two wigs and still have enough left over to cover my own head!

My hair is crazy. I come by it genetically. My dad's hair is kind of like Mr. Brady from the permed years which is where my curl comes from and my mom's hair was once also very thick. So, the full description of my hair is course, naturally curly, and very, very thick (which is where the "Can I touch" part comes in). When I was little, I don't think my mom knew quite what to do with my hair. She always cut is very short (really a mullet), which I think compounded the problem rather than helping it. My sister would tease me and tell me I looked like "Albert" off of "Little House on the Prairie." You are visualizing it now, aren't you?! The sad thing is, she was right! See below!

As my hair dresser and her co-worker pondered again over that which is evident, I told her that I fit right in during the big hair of the late 80's and early 90's. This is when I finally let my hair grow out. I even had a spiral perm put in this head of hair several times! Why, I don't know. I guess it was just the style. It was soooo big!

I started looking through some old photos and came across this picture of my big hair. There are several things that bother me about this photograph: (1) The obvious...the permed hair that is oh so big with the lovely chunk of bangs in the front, (2) The mustard yellow dress that I am wearing. I think I remember it had a skirt around the waist with a huge black bow on the front. (3) My Brooke Shields eyebrows, and (4) The saucy look I am giving...What is that?!

The sad thing about this hair is I sported it from about 8th grade to my first year in college! Yikes! All I can say is the Chi flattening iron is the best thing that has ever happened to me! So far, it appears my children are blessed with "normal" hair. Thank goodness!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Weigh In - Week Six

I know it probably sounds bizarre, but I actually look forward to being weighed on Thursday evenings. This week was a little crazy. I didn't get the week off to a very good start. It seems like we ate out a couple of times over the weekend. I did pretty good eating out, except I did munch on a few appetizers, so I knew I probably went over my points. Then, I got sick, and I wasn't able to eat much at all for a couple of days. I did lose 4 3/4 lbs. this week. This brings my total weight loss to exactly 20 lbs. so far. I started January 6th, and it's hard to believe that I have lost 20 lbs. in essentially a month. When my sister asked me if I wanted to join Weight Watchers with her (gotta love it when someone asks you that - then you really know you are chubby - Ha!), I was very skeptical. You have to eat a certain amount or it doesn't work. I never found that I ate a lot before. I just discovered through this process I was totally eating the wrong things...too much processed foods. With WW, you keep a journal so you know exactly what you are eating. This has helping me so much! Now, I am eating fruits and vegetables, more whole foods, and healthy snacks. I am eating my points allowed, and not feeling all that deprived. There have been a few times I've been hungry and grouchy, but if I have a real craving, I have given in and I don't think my weight loss has suffered that much. It has really helped having to be accountable to others: my mom, my sister, Vicki, and even knowing I have committed myself to blogging my progress for all in blogland to see. Weight Watchers does work! As my sister says, "You're a believer now!" I have a long way to go...I'm thinking about 35 more lbs. Thank you, sweet sister, for asking me to do this. I'm glad we are on this journey together. She lost 3 lbs. this week by the way. I still haven't started exercising. I am making that a priority this week. Here's to week seven!

Four out of Four

Well, we did it! We ALL did it! We all got this terrible stomach virus. I don't know when I have ever felt quite so bad. You know how it is when you are a mom though. You really don't ever get a chance to be sick and in the bed, especially when your children and husband are sick, too. Derek and I did take shifts and that seemed to help. He was able to go back to work today and says he feels back to his old self. Ella Grace is still not 100% and neither am I. However, Evan got it last and as of today is over it. Thank goodness his case was not as bad as ours! I'm sure Ella and I should be back to normal in the next day or two. You all stay well and far away from this virus! I pray we don't follow this up with the flu!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Under the Weather

We are under the weather here at the Horton household in more ways than one. Saturday night Ella Grace came down with a virus. I took her to the doctor Monday morning and the doctor confirmed it...a virus that has to run its course. All we could do for her was help her fever. She has not felt well at all. So sad! Then, last night I came down with it. I had all of her same symptoms, just not the fever. I felt terrible! Five hours later, it hit Derek! So far, Evan has been healthy. Thank goodness! Derek, Ella, and I have felt miserable and wanted to sleep most of the day. That seems to help more than anything. Now we are really under the weather as it is raining and lightening here. Thank goodness we didn't get a tornado. I think some other parts of the state are already reporting damages. I'm terrified of tornadoes! I hope the weather passes more virus and no more storms!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Kickin' It Old School

I LOVE board games! I have driven my family crazy over the years asking them to play. It started as a kid and has continued into adulthood. Before Derek and I had kids, we played games a lot, even video games. I was a master at Crash Bandycoot! And, my father-in-law and I used to have Boggle tournaments at any and every family gathering. There hasn't been a lot of time for game playing the last several years, but Evan is now getting to the age where he likes to play. While we were at Target yesterday, I picked up my very favorite childhood game, "Connect Four," for myself (oh, I mean Evan). Derek and I have played it nonstop since yesterday. Derek beat me about every game, but I got my groove back today! I stomped him! Ha! He says I have the worst victory song ever. I sing every time I win! It's been a lot of fun, and I'm glad he has been such a good sport to play with me. I have let Evan and Ella Grace play with it, too, I promise.

Genius moves in red! Ha!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Wonderful Day

What a great day this has been! The weather is beautiful. No coats necessary. It is Saturday, and I got to spend the day with my three favorite people. We had no scheduled activities, just whatever we wanted to do. That was so nice for a change. Derek took us to lunch at Chili's. Evan and Ella Grace were perfect angels. They sat quietly and ate really well. I was able to find something on their guiltless menu that was only 10 WW points and was very, very good. Then, we went to Target. I love me some Target! I could spend hours in there! Evan and Ella were again very, very good. I was able to look around without feeling rushed and even found a couple of treasures. I found an adorable new spring dress for Ella for only $18 and a new bowl for fruit. Then, to top all that off, the Razorbacks had a big win over Florida. Derek is oh so happy! It's just been a fantastic day!

Ella was soooo excited about being in the shopping basket with Evan.

Cute little footed bowl from Tarjay! I know I'm a dork. Little things like this make me so happy.

Precious little Spring dress for little precious. What a bargain!

I hope you had a good Saturday!

Friday, February 1, 2008

27 Dresses

This is so unlike us! Derek and I had a date last week and again this week. Yeah for us! We went to a movie this morning. We saw "27 Dresses." It was cute, pretty predictable, but cute. I started thinking about how many times I've been a bridesmaid. I think it is five or six times. I have always enjoyed weddings and being a bridesmaid. I actually had some pretty dresses to wear. There was one I don't think was my favorite, but other than that, they were all decent. My favorite one was when I was in Michelle's wedding. Her mom made all of the dresses. They were a beautiful deep wine color. I have no idea how she made the top. It had this beautiful collar on it. It was very elegant, finished off with a full length a-line skirt. There was also another bridesmaid dress that I did actually cut off (everyone says, "You can cut it off and wear it again!"). Let's face it, there are some that just shouldn't be worn even the first time...short or long, but this one actually looked cute short. My grandmother made the cap sleeves into spaghetti straps and shortened it. I took it on a cruise and really liked it. The best part about that dress was the bride's father bought all of the bridesmaid dresses for us!

Thank you goes out to my sweet husband who has endured two chick flicks within two weeks. I enjoyed our time together and hope we get to do it again real soon.

My date bought us a treat...pop corn with a real Coke. I haven't had a real Coke in a while! Soooo good!

So tell me...How many times have you been a bridesmaid? Did you like any of your dresses? Did you ever wear it again? What was the worst one like?