Monday, November 19, 2012

Hot Cocoa Bar


A super fun, cheap and easy party idea is a hot cocoa bar.


Cocoa could also be done in a crock pot or carafe. I bought matching mugs at the dollar store. 

Toppings included~



colored marshmallows
plain marshmallows
chocolate chips, try, white, milk, mint or swirled
red hots
cherries
sprinkles



Don't forget the whipped cream in a spray can!

Friday, November 16, 2012

SCRABBLE ART


I have been working on a gallery wall for my stair way, it is almost ready to show you all!! I just finished making scrabble art. Scott and I play words with friends all the time so I knew this would be a fun addition. This is such an easy project. 



You will need: 
Scrabble tiles (I found a game at Goodwill)
cork (fabric would work too)
a frame
spray adhesive 
hot glue



The how to:
Play with your letters to get the right lay out. Take a picture of it to revert back to. Using grid paper works well also. Cut cork to fit the backing of your frame. Use spray adhesive to attach it to the back piece of wood. This prevents and ripples or bumps. Lay out your letters in the frame. Hot glue them down one at a time.

This cute, easy project would be fun for holidays, a babies room, or a family motto!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Golden Anniversary


15 years ago today I married the most amazing man. I can honestly say that I am more in love with him today than ever before.  He is  my best friend, a fabulous father,  a wonderful husband and he still gives me butterflies. It hasn't always been easy, sometimes it has been harder than hard, but I know together we are strong enough to make it through anything. I thank God every day for bring him into my life and for helping us through the tough times. I am thankful we didn't give up when times got tough and instead decided to make us stronger. Scott Johnson I feel blessed and honored to be your wife.  Happy anniversary babe! The best is yet to be!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crock Pot Taco Soup

I love using my crock pot this time of year. Crock pot says comfort to me. This Taco Soup recipe is quick, delicious and warms your cold fall days.



Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1/2 c. diced onion
3/4 c. diced red, yellow or orange bell peppers
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can corn, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
32 oz. chicken broth
1 c. salsa
1 small can green chilies  (optional)

Brown meat and stir in taco seasoning, remove and place in crock pot. Add onions and peppers to the pan and saute . It will smell like fajitas ;) Add peppers and onion mixture to crock pot. Dump in remaining 7 ingredients. Give it a quick stir. Cook on low 4-6 hours Serve with chips, cheese and sour cream.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Playing Hooky

I took my daughter out of school this morning. No she didn't need to go to the doctor or the dentist. She need love. She has had a rough start to the school year.We had a rough morning. She left the car feeling sad, and I felt horrible sending her out in the world like that. I wasn't the kindest most patient mommy this morning. We both needed it.


In all my school age years with my kids I have never done that. I have wanted to but in the 11 years (if you count preschool) I never have. My kids turned out fine so far and they have usually forgotten their bad morning by the time I pick them up.

This morning some wonderful Mommies on face book said why not and it got me thinking.. why not? If that's what we need what is stopping me... the thing is... I would have never even considered it before. I'm not suppose to do that.. I could get caught, school will be mad. You know what I am realizing?  Better late than never.. that somethings are more important than school. So what if she misses a half an hour or a half a day for that matter. Is what she would be doing at school more important than knowing I love her.. knowing I'm sorry, knowing she is important and special?

 Nope... it isn't.  My kids are at a pivotal age, every age is really, and knowing they have my love and support is more important than anything else. More important than spelling, music or math. They need this now more than ever. They need me.

 I guess my whole point is that we know what our kids need more than anyone... and judgment or expectations from others should never be an issue when it comes to being a mother. I'm not saying take your kids outa school every time you feel like you miss them or your morning doesn't run as smoothly as you'd have liked. What I am saying is listen to your heart when it comes to your kids.

My dear friend Mr. Mecham commented on my Facebook post about pulling my kid outa school to get a donut at Starbucks... here's some more great parenting advice from Mr. Mecham...

"Your'e a great Mom Shelby! Now that our kids are grown it's funny what they remember about their childhood, but those spontaneous expressions of love are some of their best memories. When thoughts like that come to you, it's usually an indication that you should do something! You will never regret it when you do."

You know what? I feel like a great Mom and I don't regret it one bit. God gave me a huge responsibility as a Mom so I need to do it with confidence and pride. I know my baby feels loved, special and important and that is my job. Believe it or not that, more than anything else is what will make her a kind, confident, successful adult.



Linking up with Parenthood this week

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On Mommyhood

I have always wanted to be a Mom. I always knew that it was my calling. I do love being a mother more than anything, but honestly, it hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be. I never though about  the constant of it, the worry or the doubt.

About 5 years ago I made some comment on Facebook about how these kids of mine were making me crazy. I got a response from a man I used to work with before I had kids, he was also a  friend of my Dads. It made such an impact on me I wrote it down on a piece of scratch paper and have kept it ever since.

This is Mr. Mecham's comment to me....

"You'll miss these days... really. Well maybe not the days, but the stages that the kids are going through. I know you don't think so now but someday you'll miss helping with homework, soccer games, Halloween costumes and cutting the crust off of  PB&J's. Someday those years will just be photos on the wall and you'll wonder how it all happened so fast. Hug them twice as much today. Soon they'll be gone."

Every time I read it I get a little misty eyed. Just because it is so true. Ever since the day I read that beautifully written Facebook comment I have tried to stop and enjoy right where I am. No I don't always. But I make sure everyday to try.

Thing is, right now for me it is all happening too fast. My babies are growing up, and it does seem like yesterday they were the ones with the cute, loud,  little voices every one could hear through out the grocery store. I'm not sure how it happened but now I'm the lady telling the frazzled mom to enjoy that cuteness.

I want to tell her not to blink because too soon he will be this big, tall, hairy man, and you'll love this stage because he will start to hold the door for you, he will still make you laugh, only in a more grown up way and when you look at him you will see that sweet little boy he was but also see what a fine man he will be someday. And she will still be so cute you want to eat her up, but you will start asking her what shoes you should wear with your outfits, she will show you little glimpses of who she will become, and  it will make you proud, because you worked so hard to make her kind and strong, and respectful, and you will see that it is worth it. But you will also yearn for a chubby little hand in yours and wish you could go back to the days of Thomas the Tank Engine and pink plastic sparkly shoes. When a kiss and a hug made everything better and you could keep them safe with you.

That you will miss the days when none of you showered or got dressed and you will want someone to proudly give you a giant finger painting to hang on your wall.

And you will wish you knew back then that it's not worth the fight to get everyone smiling perfectly at the camera because you will still remember that day the same anyway.  

I know now I will miss these days right now too; the same way I miss being pregnant, miss nursing my very own little miracle in the dark, peaceful house in the middle of the night, miss sippy cups of milk, and tiny laundry to fold. I know now I will wish I had asked her one more time to tell us she was fowa (four) and wish I had had him say aculish (actually) one more time... because now I know how much I would miss those little voices. The way I  miss how they once both fit so perfectly in my lap for a story and how I wish I had seen the beauty in laying on the bed listening to them learn to read, wishing I had seen it as a privilege.

I know I will miss these days too.. and wish they hadn't gone by so darned fast. That I will look back wishing I had payed more attention, and simply relished in the fact that this is where I get to be right now.

As I have grown as a mother I have realized it will never get easy, but I have also realized I don't want easy, not really. Yes there are days I want to pull the covers back over my head and come out when life doesn't seem so exhausting. But I now know, I'd be missing some of the best years of my life, and some of the most important years of theirs. The hard times, the doubt and the worry are just a small piece of mommyhood.

The other pieces are what matters, like how in awe I still am that God trusted me with these amazing people. Or the times when I KNOW I am doing it right. The times when they show me these wonderfully kind people I am working so hard to raise. Being a mom has made me a better person, a more humble, more honest, more real person. It has also made me get to know myself so much better, I think that's what happens when you wear your heart outside of yourself.

I have a lot of mommying ahead of me, and there will be times when I wonder if we will ever make it through. But I also know I will look back on this time, right now with my kids and miss it. I know I will want this stage in our lives back too. I know I need to enjoy every moment I can, and to consciously make moments, both big and small,  that my children and I will look back on with joy.

I'm going to hug those kids three times as much today... because I know now too... soon they will be gone and these days will be missed.



Re posting for Fried Okra's Parent hood link up! There are some great posts about parenting. Stop by and check out all of the other linker!! ~Shelby







Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where were you?



It is one of those days that, if you were alive, you remember exactly where you were when you heard that shocking news... and if you are like me you can recall almost your whole day.

Conner was 2 and Madeline was 8 months old. We woke up to the news on the radio.. we quickly turned on the tv and watched in awe, in horror, in disbelief.

 I was in the Junior League at the time and had Junior League cookbooks to deliver to the Visitors Bureau that morning. I remember wondering if I should go, it felt wrong somehow to go about my business, while this horrific thing was happening.  The building was almost silent with the exception of a TV on in a conference room, with half a dozen people standing around it in shock. I met with the woman I was there to see and we hugged when I left. I know for a fact that if we had met on any other day we would not have hugged. We both felt vulnerable, we felt connected as Americans, we felt like our lives would never be the same, and we felt like we had both lost something very precious.

Having 2 young children my day went pretty much the same as always. Lunch, cartoons, naps, blocks, hot wheels. My parents came for dinner, we had pizza, and we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Saddened,  sickened, shocked. Heart broken for not only for America's loss but for the loss of each person who knew and loved someone who died that day.


That night as I rocked my sweet, little baby girl before bed, I wept. I wept for all the babies who's mommy didn't rock their babies that night, and never would again. For all the little boys wondering why daddy didn't come home from work. For the wives who so suddenly lost their lover, their partner, their best friend. For the woman realizing their lives would never be the same, sickened with grief because their daughter won't have her daddy here to give her away, and her son will never get to play catch with his dad. And for the parents who's children left this world before them, leaving a giant hole in their heart.

I read a quote somewhere that said something like.... "on that day a nation became a neighborhood."
But more than that, on that day it didn't matter if you were black, white, Atheist or Jewish, if you voted republican or democrat, if you were rich or poor. On that day we were all just American's.



We all feel sadness, loss and grief. We may show the emotions and deal with the emotions differently, but I think the heart breaks the same way for everyone.

On that day we were a nation with a broken heart. I know my heart breaks a little every time I hear about that day.. and I know the rest of the worlds heart breaks a little when they remember that day.

My heart feels heavy today... remembering. I get goosebumps and a little chill every time I hear the stories on the TV specials this time of year. I get a lump in my throat as I pray for those who's lives were lost, for those they left behind, for those who gave their lives helping their fellow Americans and for our men and women risking their lives each day, making huge sacrifices, in an effort to keep our America safe.

The images in this video are horrific.. but they are those same images we all saw on TV 11 years ago today.


God Bless America.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy enough...

I have been struggling lately with being where I am.




I am happy, I really am. I love my life and the people in it.  I have an amazing husband, a loving marriage and wonderful children. I have so many blessing and I do thank God for them everyday. But I sometimes feel like we have ended up in a place we're not suppose to be.

I guess what I am struggling with is the decisions we made while trying to find happiness. These decisions  didn't make me happy.... I ended up with the same level of happiness as before, maybe even a little less.

 I struggle to BE HERE NOW.

Take my house for example... I wish we had never moved into our current house, I wish my kids bedrooms weren't so far away. Even though I do love so much about this home.. I often think we would be happier in a smaller house, with less to care for, inside and out. With rooms closer to each other and less wasted space Space to store stuff that either isn't ours or stuff we don't need. With some neighbors for me and for the kids,  not living in a neighborhood can be isolating and lonely at times.

I wanted more space for stuff and more space between the kids and us, I wanted nicer and better and bigger, I wanted to get away from neighbors. Yes I wanted these things and I remember wanting them. But looking back I'm not sure I wanted them for the right reasons. I think part of us wanted what other people had. We thought we would be happier if.. we had a basement, if we had more storage, if we had more space, if we "moved up" like so many of our friends were.

I  thought if I got all these things I would be happier. I did not create more happiness, I did create more stresses, more work and more distance. The truth is I wish I would have been happy with less, with smaller, with simpler, I wish I had just been happy with what was mine.

We were happy enough then, I just didn't realize it. My eyes were on the future, on the bigger and better. It was on where we were going next... not where we were. I think I was striving for the perfect and didn't notice that where I was could be perfect, if I had looked at it right. I didn't think that it was possible to just be happy enough, to just be here now and not need to be happy-ER all the time.

The thing is... happiness isn't what you have or where you go. It won't happen because you are in a bigger, more beautiful house. It won't happen because of what you acquire or what you don't, it won't happen if someone else would only do thus and such.

You are happy because you decide to be happy. Because you decide to be thankful and content with what you have and where you are right now.

If I went back to smaller, simpler and closer would I be any happier? I don't know. Maybe... maybe not. Maybe in some ways and not in others.

What I do know is this... Happiness is who you have beside you. It is the absence of always wanting more or better or even different. Happiness is being where you are and being OK with that. It is being able to look at your life with love and appreciation. It is often a choice, sometimes a struggle, but always comes from within.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My split personality

Today my baby girl is off to the 6th grade...




 My baby boy started 8th grade last Wednesday...




I have a split personality when it comes to school starting in the fall.

I am always glad to get back in to a routine. I love the coziness of the weather changing, of shorter days and welcome my crock-pot back... I look forward to apples and pumpkins and snuggling up by the fire after a chilly soccer game. I miss my boots and scarves. I love the excitement of a new year and enjoy welcoming fall sports and earlier bedtimes. I always look forward to a little time away from the kids and it is always about time for them to have some time away from me and each other.

BUT...

I am not really ready for the lazy days of summer to be over. I am not ready to think about homework. I'm not ready for them to be gone all day. I'm not ready for other kids attitudes and ideas to rub off on my people. I'm not ready for girl drama. I'm not ready to say goodbye to sunshine, flip flops and quite days at home. I will miss the free feeling of summer. I'm not ready for it to start getting darker earlier. I'm not ready to say good bye to summer barbecues and pool days.

I feel so sad and so happy all at the same time. It feels right but not right.

By Friday I will feel like fall is where we are suppose to be, I will feel like myself again. I will be use to the quiet then the sudden chaos at 3:00. I will be thankful that I have time for me. I will be in my groove, we will be in the full swing of fall and our new routine and I will feel content and normal again.

  Until then I guess I just don't know how to feel....

So I will head to the grocery store and clean out a few cupboards...Maybe watch an episode of Hoarders on demand while I fold clothes. I will keep busy and throw myself into my new normal.

I just keep reminding myself today.....


Happy Tuesday. ~Shelby


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Update....

Happy Thursday! I have not done a post in I don't know how long!  I am totally out of practice! I am not sure how much I will posting in the next few days... the kiddos will be starting school, Conner on Wednesday and Maddie right after labor day.

I have actually been trying to decide if I will to continue at all.....  we'll see.

But for now..... Here is a glimpse of what we have been up to!

A trip to Seattle.



No trip is complete with out going to Pike Place Market. I could spend hours there...


We went to the gum wall for the first time... I can't believe this has been in an alley under me every time I go to the market and I didn't know it was there!! Totally disgusting and amazing all at the same time... There is a good block of this... weird.




We rode the big Ferris Wheel over the Water..



We got the great opportunity to leave those cute kids of ours with family and Scott and I went to Victoria for a few days,  I think it is so important to get away as a couple. We love traveling with our kids but a trip now and then alone is a great way to reconnect.

We stayed at the beautiful Empress Hotel.


Had lots of couple time... with some drinks thrown in! ;) 


Visited the Butterfly Garden... 


the Butchard Gardens..


A horse drawn carriage ride.. a castle and a museum.. it was a jam packed amazingly wonderful trip!

Topped off with a breathtaking sunset on the ferry ride back to the States.



I was PERFECT.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Are you there..?

It has been a long time!! Have you missed me? I have missed you! ;)

 I have obviously decided to take a few weeks off. I will be back. I keep thinking I will stop in and do a quick post... stop by a few of my blog friends and say "hello" but... it hasn't happened! I was struggling with a blogging routine before summer hit... then summer hit. I miss it.

Summer has kept me so busy! And having these adorable kids home has .. well been distracting, fun, at times exhausting, sometimes severely annoying, exciting, and loud! I seriously think if I get asked one more question, by anyone under the age of 14... my head may explode..... just sayin'.

Momma Gets Real has a quote on her blog that states....

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. ~Edgar W. Howe 

Yep... I'm feeling that! I love them dearly, I do..... :)

I am heading out tomorrow for a week long vacation with the family... half of it ALONE with my husband!!

 I promise I will be back for reals on the 20th!

In the mean time... follow me on Instagram, I'm shelbyjojo7. If you aren't on Instagram... you should be, it is so fun! Sign up and follow me! I will follow you! ;)

See you all on Monday the 20th! Hope you you are all having a fabulous summer!! xoxo ~Shelby

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Makin' Memories

Last week the kids and I headed to Green bluff to pick cherries and raspberries. We also go each fall  to get pumpkins and apples. We feel so fortunate to live so close to this amazing farming community and love the tradition of going out to support or local growers as well as some fabulous family time.

Scott got stuck at work so the kids and I were alone on this adventure. Would you believe there was no fighting!! ;) It was a fabulous day!

First up was Walter's fruit ranch. The kids came here for field trips to get pumpkins in preschool so it is usually one of our stops. My back window says "wash me please" My daughter writes that on there often. I live down a dirt road so she almost always has the canvas. We did wash the car on the way home! ;)


A tractor ride to the cherry trees is always fun. A spot to sit and cool off with a cup of cool water is a nice touch! :)



Makin' memories!



Next up was Hidden Acres for raspberries. This place is beautiful... I need an afternoon alone for their gift shop and an event to hold in their event space!



I love taking picture of my people walking ahead of me. Yes, my sweet thing is sticking her tongue out in one... she is being silly. It was a perfect day with my kids. I am so thankful  for days like these to connect and enjoy my kiddos!

Friday, July 27, 2012

These are the days

Happy Friday!! I am linking up with Life Rearranged for Instafriday and My Favorite Find for Fun Photo Friday!

  I'm shelbyjojo7 on Instagram,  follow along! 

Huge taco salad with all the trimmings for dinner... one of my favorite meals!


I hit 33 miles in my 45 miles in July challenge. I didn't start till the 9th so I wasn't sure I was going to make it but... I think I can do it! I am  going to do this again! Great motivator. I know that exercise helps my disposition. ;)


This cutie pie bought herself new bright yellow shades. I adore looking back while I'm driving at this cuteness. She is so much fun... I'm a blessed Momma!


This boy made himself a smoothie and took it out to stick in his cup holder to mow the lawn. Best part was he did it with out me asking or reminding. He is growing up into such a neat young man. He makes me smile and I'm so proud of him... Yep! I'm a blessed Momma! :)


I got my hair done! Geeze I neded it! Those grays won't give me a break! Thank goodness for my sweet husband and my amazing hair dresser to make me look like new again! I snapped a picture of this recipe while under the dryer, if I make it, and it's good, maybe I will share! ;). I love sitting under the dryer at the hair dressers... I love that i just get to sit and read People and I love the heat!!!



Yesterday a girlfriend and I went to a few thrift stores. I got a scrabble game for $4 for a project 
... 
and this fabulous $1.49 bracelet. 


My husband has a box like this in a rectangle shape, I found one just like it only with different inlay at a garage sale a few months back.. I got this cute little square on at a thrift store yesterday. So... I guess we collect them now!



 That is it folks! I have truly enjoyed this past week. I feel calmer and more content and I am so thankful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy today for WIWW. Lots of swim suits and cover ups this week... but I got real outfits!

#1













Black top~ TJ Maxx, Pink tank~ Vi Vue, Bracelet~ Grandmas, Ring~ Made by me. Shoes~ TJ Maxx



#2












Black top~ Target, bracelet and necklace ~ Jewels by Park Lane, Flats~ Target


Sorry for the weird spacing... I know it's my pictures but I don't have the time to fix it! Headed out to get my hair done! Happy Wednesday! ~Shelby

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hello Monday!

Happy Monday! I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard for Hello Monday!

Hello date night!

Scott and I went to date night at the shooting range. It is one of my favorite dates! It's fun to get out and do something you don't always do. We have a list of new, fun a different dates.. I will share them someday!

 It was all fun and games until I got a shell casing stuck in my protective eye wear, it burned me! I got one down my shirt too. I told Scott I'm wearing a turtleneck next time! ;)

Dinner and a walk along the river then home to watch America's Got Talent (on DVR) with the kiddos.


French onion soup in an onion!       Saw this on our walk, apparently love is ahead. I'm a believer! ;)


Scott joined Doyle and I on our walk Saturday morning... It is so hot Doyle is dragging towards the end. He heads straight for the water dish and then his crate for a nap!

Our good friend were out of town and let us use their pool...


Scott and I watch Contagion Saturday night.. It was good. 

Sunday morning I did my affermation, coffee on the patio. Momma Gets Real recomended the book and I am so thankful! I started at the beginning.. because well, it's a very good place to start. It is fabulous, helps keep me grounded and content. Thanks Nicky! ;)


Scott took Conner and a friend to the movies and Maddie was at a friends so I went back to the pool..
a l o n e!

It was peaceful and calm and gave me some alone time which I have missed having the kids home all day. I have been feeling a little exhausted lately.. the questions, the arguing. This morning I read this post from 
Fried Okra and it brought tears to my eyes. After her reminder, I am feeling more like the mom I want to be and am thankful for happy, healthy, normal summer days. Thankful for the busyness, the noise, the messes and the constant of the household. I urge you to read it!!


Have a fabulous week!!