Tuesday, January 31, 2012

s'more please...

it's a good thing that i don't have to speak while typing...because i'm drooling at this moment...just thinking about this recipe!

of course, it came from pinterest...and my sister in law was the first one to make them...i had seen them and "pinned" them in my "to try" list...but i was a bit skeptical that they were going to be a let down. you know how sometimes there's almost too many good things combined and your taste buds get all excited! you take the first bite and think "eh...it's ok"! *so disappointing*

let me assure you...these cookies do anything but...

they are as maddie would say "divine"!!!!!! i think what makes them equally "divine" is that they are ridiculously simple...

and "mmm mmm good" (according to ava!!!)

definitely a crowd pleaser...or just fun for some little girls on a saturday night!!!!

try 'em...you'll like 'em!!!!

s'more cookies
1 package of graham crackers
chocolate chip cookie dough (i use the mini break & bakes)
mini marshmallows
hershey bars

preheat oven the 375 degrees.

place graham crackers squares side by side on a baking sheet. press a few marshmallows into the cookie dough (like you have actually mixed them into the dough...as though you actually made the dough...as though you didn't take the easy way out and by pre-purchased dough...yeah, like that!!!!)

bake for 5 minutes.

remove from oven and place about 2 small pieces of chocolate on each square.
continue baking for about 5-7 minutes until the marshmallows look slightly golden and everything looks gooey!

enjoy warm...or allow to cool...either way, i promise you'll enjoy!!!

don't you just want to take a bite?!?!?!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

maddie's cupcake crusade!!!

maddie was SO excited to go on her 5th birthday "cupcake hunt"! we had to do it early this year...in order to pull off her surprise! ella chose the hiding spot...and we set our little girl off on the crusade!

it is always so funny to watch them searching...while we are giving them "hot & cold" directions! i'm not sure who giggles more...the girls or the parents!

she finally found it...and this is what she found...

she was super excited...but i could tell her wheels were turning. she just had this little look on her face. she came over and whispered that she didn't want ella to feel left out...be. still. my. heart. she is just wired for OTHERS! after we assured her that daddy was going to make ella feel special too...she was on board!!!!! we had less than 24 hours to get ourselves ready for our adventure!

over a year and a half ago, honey & grandpa took our whole family (minus baby ava who stayed home with aunt mamie!) to see a "homegrown" version of les miserables at centenary college! N.e.V.e.R in my wildest dreams could i have imagined how much my maddie would be captivated by this production. she almost became obsessed with it...so much so, that a friend of my sister gave us a copy of the dvd. madeline watched it every day...multiple times...and memorized every. single. song.

when i found out that the REAL show was coming to dallas...i knew that somehow we had to take maddie. after deciding that it would be too expensive for the whole family to make the trip, we made the call that we would just let madeline experience it! thanks to honey...that is just what we were able to do!

we planned an overnight get-away just for my middle baby!!!!!!

we woke up early sunday morning (new year's day) and loaded up for our girls trip! maddie decided she wanted to don her pj's for the car ride...so that is just what she did!
ella was so "big" about maddie getting some special attention...and made me very proud. (sometimes our ella doesn't take this kind of news too well!!!!!!!) she waved us good bye and we were texas bound!

it didn't take long for maddie to start thinking about what she was going to bring ella as a prize...at the first gas station we stopped at, she wanted to buy ella some colored rocks!!!! :)

we rolled into big D in time to grab a bite to eat and then we headed to the theater! madeline was so excited...and ready for her snacks - HA!!!
i have seen the show 7 times and it does not disappoint! it was fabulous...and just as i imagined, my daughter loved every single minute of it! i think the 2nd half was like a lullaby to her because she became very relaxed...but she did not want to miss her favorite song! she loves the line in one of the last songs that says "to love another person is to see the face of God"! if that's the case, i've certainly seen the "face of God" in her.

when the play was over, we took our sweet girl to the american girl store so that she could pick out a new outfit for "emily"...and of course, she asked if we could pick something out for ella! she ended up choosing a fancy dress from me and crutches and a cast from honey! (*maybe she will be a doctor one day...because if you recall...she chose a wheel chair this summer!!!!)

after some fun moments "oohing & aahing" over all things CUTE in the store, we made our way to mi cocina for some yummy mexican food! maddie doesn't eat much - but she loves beans and "wice"!!!! one final stop at baskin robbins for some bubble gum ice cream...and we called it a day!

funny how a hotel room can seem like the most fun part of a trip to a child! madeline was giddy and exclaimed "wow, i've neva been to a hotel befuw!"!!!! to which i replied "yes, you have...you stayed at the ritz carlton when you were 2 months old!!!!!!!"!!! (only because daddy was being courted by a DC firm!!!!!)

she pretended on the phones...and "called" honey & me from the bathroom quite often! she thought that was the COOLEST! it was so fun to be able to soak her up...all by herself! she says the funniest things...and we were able to focus on every. single. thing. she. said!
after a good night's sleep...snuggling together...this is what my sweetheart looked like...
love. this. child. SO. much!

we got dressed and made our way to what is for sure honey's favorite breakfast spot in dallas...bubba's! so yummy! after a couple of pit stops (at the local tj maxx!)...we made our way over to northpark mall! maddie tried on some shoes...but unfortunately, they were a bit too big...and possibly too tall for our accident prone gal...but she had a ball!
she got to pick out a few more happies for her sisters, make a few wishes in the fountain for them...and add lots to her "wish list"!
it was a FUN, full day...and one that i won't soon forget! she never complained for a single second...and hardly asks for anything. she is a joy to be with - no matter what we are doing!
i wish i could document every cute thing she says...or all the ways she shows her unselfishness...but it would be impossible! i'll just hold it all in my heart...and ask you to take my word for it!!!!

on the way home, after lots of SNACKS (her favorite food in the world!!!!)...she said "mom, do i have to stay awake the whole time?"...sweet baby...:) i of course told her no...and within moments she was snoozing!

my goal was to make my middle child feel like she was "queen for a day"...and based on the smiles...and memories she recounts...i'd say we did just that!

no doubt i love my trio more than anything in the world...but there is just something special about stealing each one away...by themselves...

thank you, maddie...for making memories with me...and for me! i won't ever forget this...ever.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

5th year celebration...

maddie's actual birthday was such a fun day for her...& for us! we started out bright and early with a trip to krispy kreme to pick up her chosen birthday treat for her class! PINK donuts! somehow we managed to get to school on time...so that ava and i could get settled in for chapel! if it's your birthday, you get to be the leader, carry the flag in, & go on stage to sing "God bless america"...as well as announce your age!!!! maddie was so excited! she was smiling ear to ear...

two of my babies praying together in chapel...

showing mrs. "wose" (aka mrs. rose) that she is a WHOLE hand...*sigh*
love this baby...
blowing out her candles the first time...she got a little too excited...
so mrs. davison just lit them again!!!!
my sweet girl was SO happy...which made my heart SO happy...
make a wish!!!!
not to be outdone...ava had to have a candle too!
already learning some "not so great manners" from one of maddie's classmates!!!!! this child will gray me early...but i LoVe her so!!!

"my middle" baby
sweet mrs. davison
maddie & her "bestie"...mary banilla (aka mary linnea)

for dinner that night, we invited honey (grandpa was out of town :( ), cookie, & ben over for a special birthday dinner! uncle "b" was in town so he got to join us too! maddie requested roast "beast", honey's macaroni & cheese, corn on the cob, & chocolate pie!!!! ask and you shall receive! as we were eating, we all went around and told maddie what each of us thought made her so special. ella said that maddie was always willing to share with her, daddy said that he loved her singing, mommy said that i loved the way she always thought about others more than herself...and ava, well - she said she loved and i quote "christmas decorations"!!!!! she seriously could go on the road...

boo boo loved what everyone said about her...i wish i could capture the smile that was on her face and keep it there forever...and when we were done, she said "now let's go around again"! oh how i love her so!!!!

we finished the night with her chocolate pie, some left over donuts, and delicious s'more cookies (recipe to come) and another round of "happy birthday"!

the following pics are her response to daddy's "special" version of happy birthday!!!!! priceless...

i'm pretty sure our girl felt super special...which makes the night a success! happy birthday maddie boo boo! here's to hoping year #5 is your best year yet!!!!

we love you to the moon & back...a million times!!!!!

my maddie

my maddie.

i've thought a lot today about why i'm always drawn to saying "my maddie"...& the only thing i can come up with is that i am just SO glad she's mine...that i want everyone to know it. she is truly such a blessing to me...and to everyone she comes in contact with.

she turned 5 today.

which means that for five years, i have experienced a love that cannot ever be explained on this blog...no matter how hard i try. i have experienced a pride so intense that tears could just stream from my eyes. for five years, i have been loved by one of the sweetest, most compassionate little people...and for five years...i have been blessed to be her mommy.

to say that "my maddie" is adorable is an understatement! she is incredibly unselfish...and super helpful to me - just a couple traits that make her so special. just last night, she went upstairs to clean their room by herself. when she was finished, she quietly came and grabbed my hand to take me up to see her "finished product". she was humbly proud of herself...and had placed a pillow in the middle of their room..."in case i needed to faint"!!!!! *melt*

she cries harder than her sisters when they are getting punished...even if she's been wronged.

she still can't pronounce those "r's"...which i secretly adore...and sounds a bit like she's from jersey! i may have to be committed when she does start saying things "cowectly"!

she still sings like a bird...and has just about perfect pitch! the teachers at school can't get over it...i'm thinking we need to get her way more involved in music soon!

"na" still goes e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e - & really, i wouldn't have it any other way. it's just my maddie. anything less would be...well...less!

she still has the ability to get hurt A. LOT...& quite possibly could be the only human to figure out a way to get a paper cut from a kleenex. bless her heart...she's just such a doll!

she is aLwAyS thinking about others...and would literally give you everything she owned if she thought you needed or wanted it!

there's bound to be an invisible halo somewhere...

i realize i'm gushing...and yes, she's a typical child...definitely not perfect...although she's pretty darn close...

but i just don't ever want her to think that because she's in the middle...that she means any less. that i didn't take time to know her inside and out. that i didn't notice.

she's simply amazing. and she's had 5 years to prove it.

hard to believe i just typed those words.

five years.

five years ago today i was very busy. very busy falling in love with a new baby. studying every detail of her face, her fingernails, her belly button. very busy preparing my heart to love yet another daughter. i remember those moments like they were yesterday. it was just my maddie & me...quietly alone in our hospital room in the wee hours of the night...getting to "know" each other.

little did i know...that tiny bundle would completely and utterly blow me away with her unselfish ability to love. her amazing determination. her unassuming personality that just draws you in. her precious face. her humility. her ability to instantly forgive.

when i am having to type other years...like 25 or 40...i want her to remember that back when she was 5...she was unlike any other. a unique and sweet little girl...who was simply adored.

i love you, my maddie. God must have been trying to break the mold when He made you. you are like a breath of fresh air...and i will cherish all the breaths that i can.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


i've said it here before...and i'll say it again...

i. love. (with a big time love) traditions!

they make me feel warm and fuzzy...so i try to find ways to start them with my own family as often as possible!

this holiday season, i proposed to the tucker family that we start some kind of tradition with them a few days before christmas! our children adore one another...and the parents don't mind hanging out either ;)...so it just seemed like the perfect thing to do!

after scouring the internet and countless hours of late night thinking...i had an idea!

now, this actual activity may not necessarily be our specific tradition each year...i truly believe the tradition part will just be getting our two families together...but nonetheless, we rocked it out for our inaugural year!

we managed to surprise our kiddos with this...
an escalade limosine to drive us around...in our jammies...to look at christmas lights!

the excitement in my living room was palpable as we were waiting for the "stretch" to arrive! i don't know who was more excited...the kiddos...or me!!!!! listening to them giggle and guess what we were doing was so fun...and just made me so thankful for our family. i love that my little girls have precious little boys that they love so much...that i love so much...to share these memories with!

when the limo was parked out front...we opened the door & they raced outside! what a treat! we all piled in...loaded down with snacks...and headed to krispy kreme for some hot chocolate! for two hours, we road around...and i'm fairly certain that the kids wouldn't have minded a bit if we hadn't seen one christmas light! they were in heaven just riding! the volume was anything but "inside voice"...but thankfully, our children have COOL parents...and we just let them have fun!

poor russell, our driver! ava pretty much knocked on his window the whole time telling him to "roll it down"!!!!! he was sweet though and didn't seem to mind!

when our "polar express" came to an end...we all piled out and enjoyed a night together! my wheels are already turning for next year. our children are growing so fast...and i know that they won't always have the same kind of excitement for the same things...

but my hope is that they will ALWAYS...

look forward to the tradition.

of being together with those that we love...celebrating a special season.

can't wait for 2012!!!!!