Paella, it is WHATS FOR DINNER!!!!

Tonight I wanted to cook something different. I decided that Paella sounded good. Sandra Lee had an easy recipie that I tweaked. It was REALLY simple and delicious!!!! You take two boxes of Rice a Roni spanish rice mixes. You cook it on the stove. Instead of water, you pour in two cans of chicken broth. When the rice is made, you add a can of diced tomatoes. I added about a cup of white wine. I then added some shrimp (I bought the peeled ones at Target that you just boil in water....you can't get easiser than that). I added a pack of peas and some parmisian cheese (and salt of course). It was fantastic. I put it in a crock pot to keep warm before I served it. I will definataly be making this again! I served it with French Bread.

Pineville Friends Trip

I grew up in a small town called Pineville, Louisiana. The only really big thing in Pineville is a mental hospital. When I went to college and told people I was from "Pineville," they automatically thought that I lived in the mental hospital. Ha ha. No, there are a few more things in Pineville. They had a stinky papermill. We lived in a neighborhood called Village Green. There were two girls that grew up with us in Village Green. Karen Francis was one of the girls. She has a twin brother named Kevin. At some point in high school, I think I had a crush on Kevin, but it was not meant to be. Andrea Frey was another friend. Her dad was a Federal Marshall so they lived an exciting life. This week, we decided to have a girl's trip and all meet up in Houston. Andrea and her six year old daughter, Bailey, flew in from North Carolian. Karen and her two sons (Will: 5 and Clint: 3) drove in from Alexandria, Lousiana. We spent the first day going to the William's Tower (huge building with a waterfall) for a picnic. Next, we took the kids to see the movie Brave. We ended the day at the Houston Children's Museum. Needless to say, it was fun filled packed day. Corrin said "We have done more today with the kids than I usually do in the entire summer." She was completely joking because she takes the kids to the pool, movies, etc. We just don't do all that in one day. The next day we woke up and headed to San Antonio for Sea World. Let me just preface this by saying that I am not an amusement park person. Let me continue to say that I am really not an amuesment park person when the summer heat is over 100 degrees. Corrin is like me. Karen and Andrea, however, are troopers. They were determined to get the biggest bang for their buck and make sure the kids saw and did everything. They are great parents. They kept telling me as I am dying in the heat "Christa, it is about the kids." At that moment, I was thinking "I love my kids, but it is HOT. In the end, we eneded up having an amazing day. The kids got to feed the dolphins, we watched two shows, rode rides, and played in the water. It was a good day. Corrin had to bring Sophia back to the hotel early because she was sick. At then end of the day I was spent. I am thankful for my friends, though, for keeping me there because the kids had a blast. We had the most fantastic hotel. Corrin checked in while we were at Sea World. She has been listening to the Dale Carnigie how to win friends and influence people. She used the tactics in that book, made an impression on the front desk clerk, and scored us the best room in the hotel. Our room literally looked out and the Alamo was right in front of us. At the end of the night, we pulled up to the hotel around 9:30. The valet guy looked at me and said "oh, you already checked in." I looked at him and said no I haven't. He looked at me like I was crazy. I then said "oh, my twin sister checked in earlier. This made him feel a million times better because he knew he wasn't crazy. Ha ha..The next day, we went to the River Walk, ate Mexican, and did the Riverwalk Boat ride. Corrin had to take Sophia to a walk in clinic where they diagnosed her with bronchtis. We eneded up getting a babysiter (friend of a friend in San Antionio) to watch the kids so we could have a fun girls night out. We went to the Riverwalk and ended up at a fun piano bar. In the end, it was a fantastic time with old friends. It was weird being around smaller kids since my kids are older. The kids were great. They cried a lot .....lol...but they really behaved well. They were also the cutest kids. Before we headed back, we went to the Wildlife Safari place outside of San Antonio where you can feed animals from your car. The kids liked that. Life is really good. God is even better:))))

Happy Birthday to Jen!

Tom's girlfriend Jen had her 32nd birthday. We celebrated with her friend's at midtown. Her friend's are so nice and fun to be with. We started off at Christian's Tailgate. The burgers there were AMAZING! We then went to the Blue Fin. This is a nicer restaurant with a cool atmosphere. After staying there for a few hours, we headed to a bar called Pub Fiction. Pub Fiction is for a younger crowd so I felt like a gradma there. As we were waiting in line to get it, a girl came up to me and said "you were my teacher two years ago, do you remember me?" We ended up figuring out that it was actually my twin, Corrin, that taught her.


Happy Fathers Day Weekend!

Happy Fathers Day to the BEST Fathers in the WORLD! 1) My heavenly father, Jesus 2) My dad, Greg 3) My husband, Brad 4) My father-in-law, Tim

Life is very good!  
We started the weekend on Friday with Brad working from home.  We wanted him to get work done so we tried to do various things.  I took the kids to see Madagascar 3.  It was cute and the kids enjoyed it.   We went to a place called Movie Studio Grill which was cool.  You can order food at tables in the theater.  For dinner, we ended up going out to eat.  We tried a new Seafood Restaurant that was kid friendly.   It was really good.  On Saturday, we went to the zoo where Brad's work hosted a family event.  Brad's company always does everything REALLY well so the kids enjoyed the great food, great snow cones, and the wonderful animals.  After the zoo, we went to Brad's parents for a cook out.  Tim made amazing ribs!!!  Yummy!!!  On Sunday, we went to mass at the Wilson's new church.  The church is in the middle of the country (Plantersville).  It is the neatest church!  It is one of the few painted churches in Texas.  The priest presented all the fathers with a fathers day present (a little tool that does a million things!) After mass, the Wilson's took us to lunch at a super nice place called the Yacht Club.  It was looking over the water and had the BEST brunch!  LOVED it!  Today Corrin and I worked out, met for lunch, and then went to IKEA so she could get some things for her kid's playroom.  



Yesterday was a blast!  The kids and I (and our friends) competed in a cupcake war.  Each person was instructed to bring materials to Corrin's house to make 12 cupcakes.  There would be an adult competition and a children's competition.  There were three categories: A) best tasting B)best decorated and C) most original.  In the end, we had four judges (Brad, Carlos, Tara, and Dave).  After the judging, we celebrated with a bbq and cupcakes!

About the cupcakes:
Christa:  My cupcake was suppose to be a woman's high heal.  The picture on the book looked a million times better than they ended up looking in real life.  I called mine "The ADD Shoemaker" because it looked like I was in a hurry. (lol...I did win for most original!)

Paige:  Paige created the cute Owl Cupcakes.  She won for best decorated.  Her recipe was SUPER complicated and required a million ingredients but in the end, it was great.

Allison:  Allison decided to do the Sesame Street theme.  Her cupcakes turned out super cute.  She won for most original.  She spent a lot of time getting the faces just right.

William:  I have no idea what Will's inspiration was.  He just said he needed gummy bears.  LOTS of gummy bears.  In the end, he had a strawberry, gummy bears, and donut holes on top.  It was typical Will style and we were proud of him

Abbey:  Abbey couldn't decided what cupcake to do.  In the end, she chose a fishing cupcake.   She was  frustrated over the fishing poles (getting the string attached to the fish and the straw). Poor thing!  It was hard!!!  She did a wonderful job and they were super cute.  


Monday, Monday....

Today is Monday.  Today was a crazy day.  There is always drama.  Always.  The kids and I met Corrin and our friend Mellisa at Mellisa's house this morning to work out.  Paige watched all of the kids while we worked out.  It was a CRAZY workout.  Ok, it wasn't really crazy but it felt crazy.  About 45 minutes of running, doing sprints, doing pushups, situps,etc.  Corrin and I did adventure racing with Mellisa years ago.  The workout we did today was a typical adventure race type thing.  It kicked Corrin and my behind.  LITERALLY.  Mellisa was super sweet and just put up with us.  Ha ha.  We will get there.  The goal is to be able to do an adventure race type workout for an hour and a half.  One day we will get there.  We all had camel backs on and I was sucking down my water.  I love my husband and he can never say I didn't try.  LOL.  After the crazy workout, Corrin and I took the kids to one of her water parks in her area.  The kids had a blast.  We went to SAMS after to get stuff for our cupcake war.  Poor ABBEY.  Sophia accidentally threw up on Abbey in Sams.  It was HORRIBLE.  Red throw up stuff all over Abbey's clothes and hair.  It was crazy  because Allison just happen to have an extra shirt on so we stripped Abbey in the middle of Sams and put Allison's extra shirt on.  Both Abbey and Sophia smelled of vomit but we all got over it.  Abbey was SUCH a trooper about it.  Later on, we gave Brad his father's day present, a Kureig maker.  He LOVES coffee and we all felt that this would be the perfect gift for him.

We have guest blogs from the kids today...

This is from Will: For the past 5 or 6 days I have been in Florida. There are many things to do. We stayed in a house that is split into two sides with the same things in each one.  I stayed with my two brothers Charlie and Nick, my sister Paige, my dad and step mom , and my Grama. We went to the pool a lot. We also went to the beach. Once we saw an old man adjusting his Speedo!  

From Allison: Yesterday my dad rented the dumbest movie called The Big Year.  The movie was about people who wanted to become bird watchers.  My dad laughed at parts of the movie that weren’t even funny.  Right when the movie started everyone thought it was dumb except my dad.  Good thing I only watched a quarter of this movie.  So don’t ever rent this movie because it is a waste of money and because it will bore the heck out of you!

From Paige: Just like will, I was in Florida also. We came back a few days ago and I was very sad to be back! Ok…well..the first day didn’t go so hot. We landed in Fort Lauderdale and our luggage had to be a few hours late. Anyway because of that instead of getting to hotel at like six o’clock, we got to our villas at 11. But the week got better. Lots of swimming at the pool and the beach (and seeing old men in Speedos), feeding dolphins, and jetsking (and by the way I kicked William’s dad’s butt). We also fished at like 11 o’clock at night. And William’s stepmom and I jumped in the lake/canal when it was pitch black at 11 the last night. I also saw stingrays and sharks during the day! Oh ya and I forgot we went to the sea turtle hospital and it was coolJ poor sea turtlesL Oh and we went on a sunset cruise and that was…um..interesting and we went to a restaurant and these creepy old men kept staring at me or Will’s grandma but idk I think it was me cause it was totally obvisous. Ok ya well will and I had a blast and want to go back againJ So anyway I just want to tell you that I LLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVEEEEE ONE DIRECTION!!! My favorite is HarryJ ok byeJ

From Abbey: Today was like Father’s Day to us because my dad got his present. He got a one cup coffee maker. He really liked it. But before that we had to make the  wrapping paper , and it turned out that we didn’t have any so we all had to pitch in to make a really good wrapping paper. It turned out that my dad said that he loved it a lot and he also read all of our comments that we put on it. Today was the best early Fathers day ever!