Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Memory of You

Several times over the past week, I have sit down to write my favorite memory of you. You can only imagine how many times I have backspaced and deleted this post. I chose to place my memory on here rather than the pieces of paper that I had prepared for everyone to write on and deposit in the memory jar that sit on your head table at the surprise 60th party we threw for you on Saturday. I chose to put it here, because just as I suspected you ended up reading the memories of your guest aloud in front of me. We laughed and we cried. Great memories. I choose to put my memory here because I cannot be in front of you when you read this.

My memory is not limited to just one. But two.

December 12. 2000
and
January 31, 2007

The two days I gave birth. First to B. Second to Miss K.

You were there. In the room both times. Both times with your oldest baby, me, as I gave birth and realized for the first time as I held my babies the love that only a mother can for her children. You understood the fear I felt when he wasn't allowed to cry immediately and the fear when she wouldn't cry. You understood both times when I cried from phone calls received not long after giving birth. One from a man who I longed to be a daddy and husband, the other from a screaming newborn baby girl. You fell in love with those babies as much as I did when you also first held them. What an awesome Nana you are.

My memories of those two days stand out above all other memories. Probably because you taught me everything I know about being a mother. About the sacrifices, the tears, the absolute joy of being called Moma. And hearing those words....

I love you Moma!!



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Friday, January 23, 2015

Gourmet Lasagna with #RedGold

Today's dish of Classic Lasagna is brought to you by RedGold and Laura's Lean Beef. To kick off 2015, Red Gold is hosting a promotion that began January 13 during which twice a week they are giving away a Le Creuset Lasagna Pan, a Simple Gourmet Lasagna Kit, Red Gold spatula, Garfield Toy, coupons and an apron. Just go to this link to enter!



Perfect for any healthier eating resolutions in the New Year, Red Gold is hosting this promotion along with Laura's Lean Beef, and developed a delicious Skinny Lasagna recipe. And of course you can add all kinds of things to it to make it your own gourmet lasagna- but it might not be as skinny!

Now I am not very creative on lasagna and I think I have only made it twice in the almost ten years we have been married. Lasagna honestly scares me because of the calories, and prep time. And instead of making the complete low fat version, since I am the ONLY one in my family who will eat cottage cheese, I had to make their classic recipe using the low fat ricotta. I will tell you one secret that I did differently- mix your layer of ricotta, mozzarella, and sauce together. It spreads so much easier on top of those noodles. I highlighted this in the recipe below.


Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1 (28 ounce) can Red Gold® Crushed Tomatoes, or 2 (15 ounce) cans Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Red Gold® Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano
Salt to taste
1 pound Laura's 92% Lean Ground Beef, or any ground beef or Italian sausage, cooked and drained
1 (16 ounce) box traditional lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 (15 ounce) carton low fat ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese





Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. In large mixing bowl combine water, crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes,
salt and ground beef, stir to combine ingredients.
Cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan with 1½ cups of sauce mixture. Arrange 1/3 of noodles
on top of sauce, slightly overlapped. Top with ½ of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1
cup of sauce. (this is where I mix the layer of ricotta, mozzarella, and sauce together)
Repeat layers and top with last 1/3 of noodles and the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 to 1½ hours; until noodles are cooked.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

The recipe makes 12 servings, but you could divide the recipe into two 9x9 inch baking dishes and
freeze one for a wintry night supper.
  
I of course made only the one pan. We will see if there are any leftovers....


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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Red Gold and Laura's Lean Beef for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a samples of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Today's Post: My 2015 Word For the Year: BELIEVE




BELIEVE.

This word and action has been popping out of my mouth a lot the past few months. It kind of hit me as a huge DUH when it came time to choose my one word to focus on for 2015.

Today I am guest posting at the Happy First blog. Be sure to visit me there today to read my thoughts about why I chose this word.

I would love to hear your Word for the Year and thoughts!


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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Love Canvas

During Christmas vacation we had a case of boredom. Imagine that. Miss K and I have a secret board on Pinterest titled 8th Birthday. We decided back in the summer that she needed to have a painting party. A what? Seriously? In January? In mine or her Grandma's house? Yep. We are. So, we have a few ideas brewing, still not completely decided on, but the supplies are bought and the invitations are ready to go out on Monday.

Once again. Birthday Party on a Budget. Party post coming soon.

So since boredom set in and I still had a few canvases left over from my A Very Pinteresting Christmas Party 2014, I sat her down and let her paint. This painting is inspired by this pin. And I apologize ahead of time. You can click on it, but it's one of those pins that is not pinned correctly and doesn't take you directly to the DIY post. People. Pin the post, not the blog.


Here is what we used:

Canvas
Painters Tape (warning be sure your painters tape has not been left outside by your children. It might not stick well)
Acrylic Paint- we used Silver, Pink, Purple, Christmas Red, and White to touch up the letters where the paint bled under the painters tape.
A Paper Plate to put the paint on
Paint Brushes


Miss K painted the entire canvas- even over the painters tape to achieve the background color she wanted, then in strokes she went over in individual colors. Like I said the paint did bleed a bit, but white paint fixed it up with no problem. 

Isn't it just perfect for Valentine's Day? 


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Friday, January 9, 2015

Today's Post...Foodie Friday at OkWB: Cornbread Chicken Pot-Pie

Say what? Yes. Cornbread Chicken Pot-Pie. And I use the OVEN to make this recipe. Head over to OkWB today and read about this recipe.

(print recipe card)


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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What's Cookin' in your Crockpot today?

It is cold outside today, and just going to get colder and windier as the day goes. I think I heard at one point 16 degrees with negative degree wind chills. So cold that I received two different phone calls via Parent Connect from two different Principals that basically said, "Parents, You are the BOSS. Dress your kids for Arctic weather." Yeah, right. I guess when my teen shows up in shorts, either I will be in the principals office or maybe even worse. I started picking my battles last year with his "style". Good grades, good kid. So, when you see his legs today, know that they were covered when he left my care.

So, What's Cookin' in MY Crockpot today?

Taco Soup. I really cannot believe I don't have this recipe on the blog. I guess maybe I thought everyone makes the same one. There are still a few variations you can do with this one. Like if you don't have a can of this you can add a can of that. If you like HOT, add a can of jalapeno pinto beans.

This is easy people. Enjoy.

(print recipe)















 What's Cookin' in your Crockpot today?
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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nana's Christmas Gift: Bird Seed Wreaths

What did the greatest Moma and Nana in the world get for Christmas?

Bird Seed Wreaths. Yes, she is a bird fanatic. And since it's Winter in Oklahoma the birds need to eat and I can buy seed and make something pretty.



I found the idea on Pinterest of course. Here is my recipe, I ended up using more bird seed and flour than the ones on Pinterest, while mixing it up it just didn't seem thick enough.

What you need:

5 cups bird seed feed
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
4 envelopes of Knox gelatin
cooking spray
bundt pan

Directions:
  1. Spray the bundt pan. 
  2. In a saucepan, add water and gelatin. Don't boil. Just make sure it is mixed well.  Pour into large bowl. 
  3. Add flour and corn syrup into the gelatin mixture. Use a whisk so there are no lumps.
  4. Add bird seeds and mix well. I used the whisk the first time to mix my bird seed and switched to a spoon the next time. 
  5. Press the seeds into the mold until it is good and firm. After about 20 minutes I flipped my wreath out of the pan using a butter knife onto paper towels. I only own one bundt pan and needed to make more wreaths. Be sure to allow adequate drying time on each side. I let mine dry about 48 hours before wrapping it up. 
  6. Place a ribbon through the wreath and hang. 

So far only her yellow finches like the wreaths, but she hasn't sent me pictures. Boo. She claims that she has too many sunflower seeds out right now and the rest of her birds love those more. I see how they are. Snobby birds. 

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014 & Word for the Year

2014.

Another fantabulous year of living, laughing, learning and loving at our nest. My word for 2014 was RESTORE. I can say with confidence by reflecting over the past 365 days that I achieved a full focus and emphasis on just that word- RESTORE. Did I get to restore everything I planned, no. But that is why there is a one word focus. 


With this blog post, our family blog wrote 101 posts this year. More than 10,601 people saw Pins from The 4-Crow's Blog on Pinterest in 2014.WOW!  Our year end link up's also received more activity than ever before. I cannot wait to see what is in store for next year. I also have guest posted at several other places including Oklahoma Women Bloggers and Happy First- this is where you can find why I chose my 2014 word..

We now have an 8th grader and a 2nd Grader! I just received the notification this month that I must enroll the 8th grader into high school in January- YIKES! Our lives are still full of sight words, reading, writing and arithmetic. Activities still include basketball, ballet, PTA, and church.

We have had a few uh oh's in our physical health, B has had a few sprains, and Jason a few broken ribs. I probably shouldn't tell everyone about his fight one morning with the shower curtain, tub and toilet. Evidently you don't heal well in your 40's. 

Speaking of 40's, that was a HUGE highlight of 2014. I turned 40 and Fabulous!

There are many words to choose from for 2015. I do have ONE word that stands out, but I am NOT sharing just yet.

As some of you may or may not know I am Happy First's assistant. For five years now Debbie Vinyard, the owner, has asked her readers/followers to come up with a word for the year. We have a group Pinterest board that we have invited people to pin those words/blog posts. In 2015, we would like to do that again, but would also like to feature more of those posts on the Happy First Blog. I would like to personally invite the you to send your Word Posts to us with links back to your own blogs & pages. You can email to: info@happyfirst.com. Here is last year's initial post which included Debbie's 2014 word- ZEN, be watching the Happy First blog tomorrow for her 2015 word.


What is your Word For 2015? Happy New Year from Our Nest to Yours!



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Friday, December 26, 2014

Elf on a Shelf 2014 Link-Up with The 4-Crow's Blog: Week 4 & Goodbye


It is so hard to believe another year of elf fun is over! Malia, Charley & Frost were very busy at our nest this last week before returning to the North Pole! Miss K loved the activities they had her take part in. Be sure to check out the videos on the last two days. 






The Elf Yourself Video was a hilarious hit! 





Yes, she is crying! 

video



Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Won't you please grab the button below, link up, and play along once a week until December 26th? You can share seven pictures, a few, or just one of your favorite Elf moments/memories of the week. All you have to do is grab the button and put your blog link in the linkup form that I will provide each week. I look forward to seeing all of the Elf games and fun you are having!


Elf on a Shelf with The 4-Crow's 2014 was posted the following Friday's this year. We will be back next year with more elf adventures, hope you join in! Happy New Year!


November 29
December 5
December 12
December 19
December 26

The4CrowsBlog

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P.S. The Elf on the Shelf Birthday Countdown goes up on January 1, 2015! Miss K is turning 8 on the 31st! Will there be a return?

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Very Pinteresting Christmas Linkup 2014, Last Day: Our Christmas Card


By now everyone on my list should have received their annual Christmas card from The 4-Crows. This is one of my favorite traditions. A tradition that seems to have gone by the wayside. Probably due to social media, maybe even the costs of stamps. Last year I found a design that I loved from a company, but I can't afford $150+ to have them printed. Thanks to PicMonkey though I can design my own, send it to Walgreens and have them printed. I opted to just have them printed this year as 4x6 prints. Most cards probably just end up in a box or maybe even in the trash by the receiver anyway- another reason not to spend $150+. 

How do you design a card in PicMonkey

First off I chose my pictures and created a collage in PicMonkey. I saved this to my computer. 


They now have a blank canvas to work with. Go to Design, then choose your shape/size. I chose the 4x6. Then rotated it. Depends on the size and layout of how you want your card.




I chose the Board Texture as my background. It's no secret. I like chalkboards. 

Then I inserted my collage. Overlay, your own. Position it where you want. 

Then you begin adding your other overlays like speech bubbles, ribbons, etc. My red is actually a HUGE banner sent to the back behind my picture. For some reason the ribbons and banners don't stay thin. Or at least I can't make them. 

Then you add your text. Once you have everything on there you can reposition until perfect. Save to your computer and upload to your favorite site/store for printing. 

Today is the last day that I bring you "A Very Pinteresting Christmas" Link-up and if you have any Pinterest inspired activities throughout the week, be sure to grab the button below and link-up your ideas!

I do have a few rules:
  • You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it. (A Pinterest inspired/worthy food, craft or DIY project)
  • Keep it family friendly, I reserve the rights to delete any links that are not appropriate.
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project! Of course I am going to link it back to you.
  • I would love if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram or any other social media site about the link-up. Help me spread the word please.
  • Comment. Comment love means so much to others and builds those blogging relationships. Visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment. Thanks!
Thank you all so much for joining in on "A Very Pinteresting Christmas" this year. We had 15 days of  wonderful Pinterest inspired food, fun, crafty days of link-ups that all can be used during this wonderful season of joy. I hope you will join in on the fun this last day and be watching for next year. Be sure you are following my boards on Pinterest for all my ideas and fun!

The4CrowsBlog

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*This post contains affiliate links.

Elf on a Shelf 2014 Link-Up with The 4-Crow's Blog: Week 3


Our Elves were busy again this week....


Malia donned her birthday outfit and celebrated Braden's 14th in style!!


Since we took B to the movie for his birthday, the elves thought it would be a good idea to pull out their favorites.


Peace and Pez for  all!



Warning: Elves should not try to trick their kids into thinking its a SNOW DAY in Oklahoma. Bad, bad thing. Not well thought out...


Reading The First Christmas Night to all their friends.


Oh my. That Charley. He is a charmer. Malia couldn't look. 


WoooHooo............Weeeeee.....Yahooooo.....


Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Won't you please grab the button below, link up, and play along once a week until December 26th? You can share seven pictures, a few, or just one of your favorite Elf moments/memories of the week. All you have to do is grab the button and put your blog link in the linkup form that I will provide each week. I look forward to seeing all of the Elf games and fun you are having!


Elf on a Shelf with The 4-Crow's 2014 will be posted the following Friday's, hope you join in!


November 29
December 5
December 12
December 19
December 26
The4CrowsBlog
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