Thursday, December 31, 2009

My new best friend...

I have stained concrete floors in my house, and I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love them when my kids spill something on them or when the dog throws up on them... the clean-up is FANTASTIC for stuff like that. BUT, I hate other things about them. They are cold, and they are hard. And, lately, I have been having a TERRIBLE time cleaning them. It has been raining (and snowing!) a lot lately at our house, and LO!!! FRIENDS!!! I cannot describe with mere words how much mud we have at our house right now... It's always muddy in the country, but we are trying to put in a yard, and we have about 10 fresh loads of topsoil in our yard... MUD doesn't even begin to describe what's in my yard!!

Anyway, lately I have swept and dust mopped and wet mopped until I am blue in the face, and it still looked and felt dirty.


Today, I made a new friend.

The Shark Steam Mop.

It might change my life!!
It cleans AND sanitizes. It's my new best friend.

I had already swept, dust mopped, and wet mopped today when I decided to just go out and buy it and see if it would help. When I came home with it, I filled it (with plain water), and started in on my floors again. FRIENDS!!! I cannot describe the "gross-ness" that came up on the cleaning pad!!! AFTER the floors had already been "cleaned"!!!!!

It was like a ray of light shone down upon it from heaven. The answer to my prayers!!! Three cheers for the shark!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Let it SNOW!!!!!

On Christmas Eve, it SNOWED here in Texas!! And, I don't mean just a little bit... it S-N-O-W-E-D!!!! We had blizzard-like conditions for much of the day. It was right at freezing when it started, but had been nearly 70 degrees the day before, so the ground was warm. It took a good while for the snow to begin to stick. Once it stuck, it was FANTASTIC!! The girls were able to make snow angels, and they spent a good long while sledding down our back hill with their Daddy. We don't own a sled, but do you remember when we had internet problems with our bent dish a while back???? Well, we had a bent dish from our cows scratching themselves on our dish. We still had that old satellite dish, and it made a PERFECT sled!! The girls had a ball. And, the best part was, when we woke up the next morning, we had a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!! Here are some of my favorite pics from the snowy day...

The wind was blowing SO hard, and it was SO cold, the girls were freezing. Here's what Abby's face looked like when she came in from the cold.
Here are Kate and Abby, headed out to play when the snow started.
Even Trixie, the expert cow dog, played in the snow... she doesn't look too thrilled, does she?!?!
Here is the mighty Miss Grace, about to blow away.
Here are the girls, swinging in the snow.
We were dreaming of a white Christmas, and we got one! What a wonderful memory for some Texas girls!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

... and a Happy New Year!!!

It's been a crazy, wild, BUSY few days, but we've made it through, and OH, my lands, was it ever fun?!?!?!?!?  

I have taken lots of pics, and will share later, but for now, I leave you with this:

"... and the the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you:  Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, Peace, good will toward men."  Luke 2:10-14.

Merry Christmas.  Peace on Earth, and Glory to God in the Highest!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

WOW... What a WEEK!!

It has been QUITE a week here at Casa de Killian... All three girls had their Christmas parties at school, and my Mom and Dad arrived for the Christmas Holidays.  Whew!  What a whirlwind!  I won't bore you with all the details, but will leave you with some pictures from the week.  (Disclaimer - I took these with my phone, and so blogger is not letting me enlarge them.  Grrrrrrr!  Unsure why, but I will attempt to figure out this problem some other time when I don't have 500 other things to tackle!!!)

At Kate's Christmas party on Friday, one of their activities was to race remote control cars down the school hallway, to learn about components like speed and inertia.  It was a lot of fun!  They also displayed their cars that they had made in class.  They had to make the wheels turn using battery power, gears, and wheels.  It was really a pretty nifty project.  I'm so thankful for creative, dedicated teachers like Mr. T.!!!!  Here is a photo of Kate with her car.Abby's Christmas party was an ALL DAY AFFAIR on Thursday.  First, the ENTIRE second grade came to the Family Life Center at our church and enjoyed centers and games, and then a hot dog lunch and gift exchange.  Here is little Abby, with her gift.  She was pretty excited about it!

Here is Abs hula-hooping.  That was one of the games... a hula hoop contest!  After lunch, they boarded a bus that took them to the "Polar Express" (which explains why Abby is wearing her pajamas in these photos!! ha ha)  They went to another church, where they got their Polar Express tickets punched by the conductor.  Then they watched the movie and enjoyed popcorn and hot cocoa.  They had a fantastic day.
Wednesday was Grace's pre-school program and party.  They told the story of Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus for their program.  Grace had the all-important role of "Mary".  Friends, I am not ashamed to tell you that I questioned the teacher, just to make sure that she was CERTAIN that Grace was a good choice for this pivotal role... I'm just being real when I say that she MIGHT be a little unpredictable and stubborn sometimes, and they might choose a little Mary that is always well-behaved and predictable.  I'm just saying... But, Mrs. Lisa ASSURED me that Grace is WONDERFUL at school, and she was convinced that she would be JUST FINE.  I told her she was very brave, and I was sorry in advance for any bad events that might occur.

Friends, I could not have been more wrong.  Grace was a WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT little Mary.  I was so proud!  She has COME A LONG WAY, BABY!  Last year she was an angel, and she sat down and pouted the whole time!  This year, she held the baby gently and kindly accepted the presents from the Three Wise Men.  Relief washed all over me, and, to be quite honest, I might have shed a tear or two!

Here are "Mary" and "Joseph".
And here is a little picture of Mary, with Baby Jesus, who was portrayed very convincingly by Bitty Baby.  :-)
It was a busy week, but a wonderful week.  Now the kids are on Christmas break.  I had big plans to sleep in this morning, and woke up promptly at 6:35.  Ugh!  But, my Christmas shopping is done, and we stayed at home ALMOST all day today, which is pretty good for us!!

Only 6 more days until Christmas!  Let the gift wrapping begin!!!  :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Makin' Mama Proud...

This past Saturday was a good one... the girls competed in the District UIL competition.  First we got the news that Abby had won first place in the District UIL competition for Creative Writing for the entire District's Second Grade! Awesome!  Way to go, AbbyThen, we got the news that Kate had won the District's UIL competition for 5th grade Oral Reading!!  How fantastic is that?!?!?!?  Great job, Kate!
I am so proud of these two that my buttons are popping!  

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hello, Long Lost Friends!!

Yes, I know it has been a long time since my last update... Life has REALLY been happening here in "Casa de Killian".  We'll try and catch you up on a few things that have been going on...

Here is Abby, ready for her big moment.  She's standing next to her BFF, Lainey.  They are looking pretty cute!Kate was one of the narrators for the show.  She did a GREAT job.  Here she is with her co-narrator, Weston.  They did a nice job.

Then, last night, the new Student Council for the Elementary School had their induction ceremony.  Here are the officers, fanning away the smoke after they blew out their many candles used in the ceremony.
Here is President Kate, sharing a secret with Vice-President Abbey H.
And, here is the new President, after the ceremony.   We were so proud of her!
This is just a synopsis of a few of the many things that have been going on... our heads are spinning, and we are OH, SO READY for Christmas break!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Little Outstanding Citizens...

I am one proud Mama.

Both Kate AND Abby were selected to be Citizens of the Month for their class rooms.In my opinion, good citizenship is as important as good grades.  Lots of people are smart, but not EVERYONE is smart AND nice.  It's important, and it is becoming even more rare in today's world.  

That's quite unfortunate, but also quite true.

So... I am extremely proud that Kate and Abby are both smart AND nice.  Way to go girls!!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hello, Winter.

It is cold outside.

It's hot-cocoa drinkin', couch snugglin', sweatshirt wearin', soup eatin' weather.

I like it.

A whole lot!!

Makes me want to go skiing...

Wish we were heading to the mountains right now!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Thanksgiving Miracle

A real, true, and official miracle has occurred on our ranch here.

It's not a spider writing words in a web or anything, but pretty darn close, as far as we are concerned...

Our mama cows, who had wandered off and gone AWOL on us, have returned home.  

They came home all by themselves, without us even having to call in the services of "rent-a-cowboy".  All the females are accounted for, but our little bull calf, Billy Bully, has now left the farm.  He's out roaming for fresh heifers to visit.

When we arrived home Sunday evening, there they were.  They had broken the fence down to get into Luke's garden and eat his entire crop of winter lettuce.  He was thankful they were home, but really a little hacked off that they were in the garden. Again.

SO.... we lured them into the corral, fed them some hay and cubes, and then called a friend who wanted to buy them.  He picked them up Monday afternoon.

As soon as we locate little Billy Bully, we shall sell him, as well, and our cow saga will be ended.

I can't wait.  I am ready to be a "retired" cowgirl!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Madame President...

Kate's Student Council Presidential Election was yesterday, and SHE WON!!! I am so proud of her! Does that mean we're the "first family" now? Or, can I call myself the "Queen Mum"?

Whatever it means, I can promise you one thing... I REFUSE to call her "Madame President"!!!! :-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

The candidate will take your questions now.

My little Kate has decided to run for Student Council President.This is the first year that our school has even had a Student Council, and she has just stepped up and put herself out there to be the very first president.

Her mom is a nervous wreck.  But so very proud of her, all at the same time.

There has been a lot of work involved... she had to fill out all the paperwork and meet the deadlines, and then make her campaign poster and write a speech, which she is scheduled to deliver on Tuesday.  In front of the entire school.  

I get hives thinking about it.

But, luckily, she isn't JUST like her mama... she is ready to go.

Say a little prayer that her speech goes smoothly.  Pray that she is confident and poised.  Pray that her mama doesn't hyperventilate while it's going on.  Pray for a win!!

And, while you're at it, pray that if she doesn't win, that this is a life lesson in how to lose gracefully.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Whining Begins...

I usually try not to use my blog to whine...

Because, really, I have a pretty nifty little life.

My children are happy, healthy, smart, funny, and generally "all around wonderful" kids.

My husband is typically pretty fantastic.  He supports me in every way possible (don't tell him I said so... we mustn't let him get the big head! ha!)

I am happy and healthy myself.  We are clicking along just fine.

But, DANG.  We are BUSY!!!

I'm just saying... We are busy in a "can't catch our breaths, don't have time to eat" kind of way.

The HOMEWORK is eating our proverbial lunch.  

And, I am a former teacher... I know a little about homework.

And I try... God KNOWS I try not to complain about it, but tonight... I have just had enough.  

So, I am whining.  Even though I don't want to be that whining parent, I am whining.  

MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Or at least make it reasonable and relevant.  Please.)

And now I am done, and will try to go back to my "non-whining" ways!!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Musings of a thoughtful housewife...

The holidays are coming, and I am not too sure that I am quite ready.

Today I was walking along the square here in H-Town, and every story window display (with the exception of the florist), was decked out in full Christmas decor.

I'm not too sure that I like it, if I'm being completely honest.

I want to ENJOY Autumn.

I rather like it.

Orange is a really nice color.

Not that I don't enjoy red and green... really I do, but NOT YET.  

I want to be thankful first.  I want my children to be thankful.  I want to appreciate the full experience of gathering together with family and enjoying good times and good company and good conversation and belly-aching laughter.... without all the pressure of making sure I purchased the perfect gift AND actually remembered to wrap it and bring it along.

I know, I know... Christmas is not all about the presents and the parties and the festivities.  Or at least it's not supposed to be.

But I have to be cautious, or that's what it turns into.  

I hope that THIS YEAR I can try to keep Christmas in focus, and keep the REAL reason for the season in my heart, and in the hearts of my children.

But not yet...

Because first I want to eat turkey.

A LOT of turkey.

(And a piece of pumpkin pie wouldn't be too bad, either!!!! )

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I'd like to be able to insert some clever reason here as to why I haven't posted in a few days...

But I can't.

It's not the "country fried" internet's fault - it's not the cow's fault - it's not ANYBODY'S fault...

Life has just been happening here at "Casa de Killian".

We have been INSANELY busy, and I don't really see it slowing down any time in the near future.

I did take a little "time out" this weekend to go on a fun little trip with some girlfriends to start Christmas shopping...

It was very fun, but to be quite honest, I didn't get a HUGE amount of my list crossed off.  I really just went for the trip.  :-)   Sometimes a little relaxation and "adult girl time" goes a long way.

Anyway, it's not an EXCITING update, but at least it's an update.  We are still here, and life is happening.

Hope your upcoming week is SLOW AND UNEVENTFUL (just like I hope mine is! ha ha)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Revenge of the Cows

**** I know you probably won't believe this one, but this stuff is too ridiculous to make up... it's all true!! ****

You might have noticed that I have not posted since last Wednesday.

Why, you ask?

It would be silly to even think that THE COWS BENT MY NEW INTERNET SATELLITE DISH.  A*G*A*I*N......, now wouldn't it?

No, friends, that would NOT be silly.

I just got it fixed, but little Billy Bully can't stay away from it... it is EXACTLY the perfect height for him to use to scratch his neck.

And, he bent it to the point that my country-fried internet was down.


Suffice it to say that I was NOT happy, as Mr. Internet Repair Man warned me that this would probably happen... I thought probably not, but apparently he knows his cows as well as his internet.

Luckily, I have SEEN Mr. Internet Repair Man in action... several times, and I watched him bend the dish back into shape.  So, I tried it on my own.  Just grabbed hold of it and started bending.

And, you know what?

I fixed it.

Yay for Mama Internet Repair Lady!!!

And you can bet your sweet cowgirl boots that Billy Bully and his girlfriends have been moved OUT of my yard and into the back pasture.

(The same back pasture where their Mamas escaped.... the saga continues!!!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bovine Update...

Being the excellent rancher that I am, I herded those baby calves right back into the pasture last night.  (I'm not really THAT much of an expert, but I did learn to LEAVE THE DOG IN THE KENNEL!!!!!)  Without her expert help, it was a fairly easy task.

However, those mama cows remain at large.  I am stumped.

Several friends have mentioned cattle rustlers... does that still HAPPEN these days?!?!?!?  Being the ranch expert that I am, I am quite unsure...

One friend suggested UFO bovine abduction.

I like it.  

Thanks, Cheri.

That's my NEW story, and I'm sticking to it!!!   :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Return of "Rent-a-Cowboy"

Yes, it's true...

I have another "cow emergency", and I need the services of our local "rent-a-cowboy".

My only problem is, it seems that said cowboy is now employed on a local ranch and no longer hires himself out.

This is a real problem for a small ranch owner like me, who has no horse, and also has no idea how to rope a cow.

A REAL problem, let me tell you...

About a week ago, our 3 mama cows disappeared.  Gone.

We assumed that our creek had washed out the fence in all of the rain, but NO.  All the fences are intact, and the mamas are gone.

Today, the gate was open in the front pasture, where the 3 babies have been living, and my EXCELLENT cow dog, Trixie, chased those babies right out the front gate.

Nice work, Trixie.  (Grrrrrrr.... I will not beat the dog.   I will not beat the dog.  I WILL NOT BEAT THE DOG... She was only trying to help.)

SO..... now all 6 of my cows are missing.

Damn, I am a good rancher.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween again

Just thought you might like to see my little lovelies again!!  :-)

Kate, the Grecian Goddess......  and Abby, Fancy Nancy...

... and Grace, Snow White.
Happy Halloween, and Happy November!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The return of the infamous "Gracie-isms:...

Since I have been out of "bloggy world" for so long, I've had so many "Gracie Moments" that I haven't been able to share with you... I'll have to play catch up for a few days now.  That girl makes for some GREAT blog material.  :-)

To give you a little bit of "background" information on this story, you should know that we've had some people coming out to work on our yard a little bit, which is a compete mess...  We hired a landscaper who quit in the middle of the job.  So, the yard is a real wreck, and we've been trying to "sub-contract" the work out.  Not fun.  Anyway, last week some folks came out and started on the dirt work, to try and level the yard and get it ready for a sprinkler system and grass.  However, lately it has been raining around here.  A LOT.  So, as they were working, they left a few tracks from the bull dozer in the mud.  Then, it began to rain AGAIN, and mud puddles began to form.  Those muddy bulldozer tracks are currently sticking  up out of the water in the mud puddles.

Now, on to the "funny" part of the story...

Grace comes inside with the MOST serious look on her face.  She says, "Mom, I need you outside RIGHT NOW.  I'm pretty sure there's an alligator in our yard."


I went outside with her, and, you know what?  Those bulldozer tracks sticking up out of the mud puddles DO look a lot like an alligator sticking his head and back up out of the water...

I tried to convince her that it was just mud, but she wasn't really sure... She sat out on the porch for quite a while, watching to see if those gators moved...

Silly girl - she's her own little party!  Never a dull moment when Grace is around!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Return of the Mommy blogger...

Hello, internets!

How are ya'?

Have you been wondering where I've been?  

Probably not, but you know I'm going to tell you anyway, right?  :-)  

My country-fried internet decided to die on me.  

Apparently the young cows who are living in my front yard at the moment thought it felt just WONDERFUL to scratch their little necks on my internet satellite dish.  

And, apparently said dish is a bit FRAGILE and doesn't enjoy being made into a scratching post.

Go figure.

Today little internet repair man came out and replaced my dish.  

I'm back, baby!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What's For Dinner?

That always seems to be the question around here... what's for dinner?  I am SOOOO burned out on all the meals that we USUALLY eat at Casa de Killian.  So, today I'm trying something new.  Today, I got together with 4 other friends and made casseroles.  We each brought enough supplies to make 2 casseroles for everyone, so by the end of the afternoon we all had 10 casseroles to take home and place in our freezer.   I have Tater Tot casserole, courtesy of Mistie; cheese enchiladas, courtesy of Robbye; manicotti, courtesy of Jenny; green chili enchiladas, courtesy of Chrissy; and chicken and dressing, courtesy of ME.  They are packed into my freezer, ready to feed us this month.  I am so very excited - I hope it's something we can do again, because not only is it GREAT to have all that food in the freezer and ready to go, but it was also a LOT of fun.  Thanks, girls!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

... and just a LITTLE more crock pot!!

I thought I'd finish up the week with just a few more of my favorite crock pot recipes.  You can NEVER have too many crock pot dinners!!

Here is one of our favorites.  Even my pickiest daughter eats it!  The chicken is wonderfully tender, and it makes a delicious side of beans and corn and salsa to go along with it.  YUM.

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken

-2 cans whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained (sometimes I like to use a can of white corn and a can of yellow corn to make it even prettier...)
-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
-  1- 16 oz. jar chunky salsa, divided in half
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine corn, beans, and 1/2 cup salsa in slow cooker.  Top with chicken.  Pour remaining salsa over chicken.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 ours or low for 7-8 hours.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover just until cheese melts ( about 5 minutes.)  

This next one is awesome, because I love beef stroganoff, but I'll be real honest... my kids don't like it, because they don't like sour cream!!!  However, sometimes I make it anyway, just because it is a favorite of mine.  :-)

Slow Cooker Stroganoff

3 lb. boneless beef round steak
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground, dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
2 cans (4 oz. each) mushrooms, drained
1 can ( 10 1/2 oz.) condensed beef broth, undiluted
1 1/2 cup sour cream

Cut round steak into strips.  In a large Ziploc bag, combine flour, slat, dry mustard, and pepper.  Add beef to the bag in batches, tossing to coat.  In slow cooker, layer the onion, mushrooms, and beef.  Pour broth over all.  Cover and cook on low 8-20 hours (or until tender.)  Just before serving, stir in sour cream.  Serve over rice or noodles.

And lastly, one with a "Mexican" flare!  Here is "Arroz con Pollo", in a crock pot!!

Slow Cooker Arroz con Pollo

4 chicken breast halves, skin and fat removed
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 package (10 oz.) frozen green peas (**  I have also used frozen peas and carrots, and it's good)

Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.  In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and brown; drain.  Place chicken in slow cooker.  In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients, except peas.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours).  One hour before serving, add peas.  Serve over rice.

Hope you all find something that sounds yummy for a cool, crisp Fall night!!!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

... and more crock pots...

Today's featured crock pot recipe was GOING to be Taco Soup, but my friend Shelley beat me to it!! ha ha!!  That is the EXACT recipe that she has on her blog today, so you can head over there and get the recipe from her... it's YUM-BO.

So... instead I'll give you my favorite pork chop recipe for the crock pot.  It's a little like a roast, but not quite.  The pork chops get so tender they fall apart, and it is delicious!  

Slow Cooker Pork Chop Dinner

6-8 medium carrots (about 1 pound) coarsely chopped
3-4 medium potatoes, cubed
4-6 boneless pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
1 large onion, sliced
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Place carrots and potatoes in slow cooker.  Top with pork chops, then onion, then dry soup mix, then cream of mushroom soup.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until tender.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crock Pots!!

My dear friend, Shelley, has gone back to work this year after 8 years as a SAHM... all her babies are in school, so now she's at school, too, teaching and loving children.  She has been featuring her favorite crock pot recipes this week, because she has been using it so much lately to help her get dinner on the table.  It has INSPIRED me... I *heart* my crock pot... REALLY, REALLY, REALLY... I especially love it when the weather starts to get cooler.  I love a good warm meal!!  SO.... I am going to copy-cat my dear friend and share my favorite crock-pot recipes!

Here is my ALL-TIME favorite... now, granted, this is not one that I use terribly often, but, folks, I kid you not when I say it makes THE.BEST.DRESSING.IN.THE.WORLD.  Seriously!  And, if you're making dressing, you're probably cooking a turkey, and this way you aren't using the oven to try and cook your dressing and get your turkey finished at the same time.  Brilliant!

So, here we go!!  Crock Pot Dressing

1 - 8 inch skillet of cooked cornbread, cooled and crumbled
5 cold, cooked biscuits, crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 Tablespoons sage
2 raw eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked, diced chicken (OPTIONAL)
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) hot chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a LARGE mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except broth.  Ladle hot broth over all ingredients.  Mixture should be very moist, but not too soupy.  (If it is not moist enough, add a little more hot water.)  Stir very gently.  Spray inside of crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour dressing into crock pot.  Cook on "HIGH" for 2 hours.  Reduce heat to "LOW" and continue to cook for 2 more hours.  (Or, cook on "LOW" for 6 hours).  

Also, my mom is gluten intolerant, and she substituted a few pieces of gluten-free bread in place of the biscuits, and it worked fine, as well.  

Enjoy!  Thanksgiving is JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!!!  :-)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Oh, blogger, why do you hate me?

Blogger has not been my friend this week.

I've tried numerous times to upload pics, all to no avail.  

So, I just haven't posted at all.

Lots of stuff has happened this week that I COULD have blogged about...

I had a birthday.  I was feeling a little "down" about being older and getting closer to the big 4-0, when one of my very good friends (who is exactly my age) told me that she LOVES getting older, because the alternative isn't so good.  Hmmmm.  When I thought about it that way, the birthday sounded a little better.  :-)

I got a new car. (Yes, I FINALLY let the Jeep go... it was time.  It was trying to commit suicide again, so I just let it pass on peacefully.  The fight was over, really...)  I got a Yukon, and so far, anyway, I love it, love it, love it.

The kids had their first soccer games.  (Kate's team lost their first game, and won their second game.  Go "Lime Lawn Lizards"!  Abby's team, whose name is the "Cheetos",  has only played once, and THEY WON.  I couldn't be more surprised and excited, as I AM THEIR COACH, and I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SOCCER.  I lost my voice from yelling, and pretty much all I said was "RUN!!!!!!" and "KICK IT HARD!!!!!"  over and over and over again.  That's the extent of my coaching knowledge.)

We are still doing the play "Cinderella."  Tomorrow night is the final performance, and I am happy and sad all at the same time.  Happy, because we are SOOOOOO busy, but sad because Kate loves to perform so much.  She just shines.  This weekend, the director decided that the play needed some little mice, so Abby was called in to be one of the mice.  She was super excited, and looked SO very cute.  I'd love to put a photo here, but alas, I don't feel like fighting with blogger tonight AND losing everything I've already typed, so we'll just leave it alone.

I joined the choir at church. ( Yes, yes, I know, I don't exactly SING, but that's a minor detail, isn't it?  I always intended to join when our old music minister, John, was here, and never exactly took the time.  So, I just did  it.  So far so good - I just sing quietly, and sit next to somebody who knows exactly what's going on.  It's a strategy that's working for me so far...)

Luke took off a couple of days of work and we both went to the Outdoor School with Kate and all the other 5th graders from her school.  It is an overnight field trip that they go on, and we were "official" chaperones.  It was so fun.  The kids worked on team building, climbed the rock walls, did a "high ropes" course, took a night sensory walk, learned Archery, and did tons of other things that were new, as well, including a new ball game called "ga ga".  (I still haven't figured out if it actually has rules, or if they were just making it up as they went along! ha ha!)  I will admit, I was a bit apprehensive about a large group of pre-teens going on such an adventure, but REALLY, they were SO good and SO well-behaved.  It was a ton of fun, and I learned a lot about Kate and her friends just by being able to watch them interact.  Good times.  Great memories!

SO much more, but I'm beat.  I'll try and continue the "catch up" session tomorrow.

But only if blogger is my friend again!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cinderella 2009

Kate has been preparing to be in our local civic theater's production of the musical  "Cinderella".  They have been working on it for a few months now, and this past weekend was "opening night!"  The entire cast did a great job.  I took well over 200  photos, but because my internet is so slow, I am inly uploading a few... 

Here's Kate, playing the part of the "younger bratty sister."
And here is the entire girls' ensemble.  Don't they look CUTE?
And here is Kate in her "ball gown", longingly looking at the Prince, and not understanding why he isn't interested in a younger woman... :-)
Of course, the whole family went to see the show, and my other two girls went in FULL PRINCESS MODE.  Here's my princess, grace, posing with Cinderella after the show.
And here is Princess Abigail with Cinderella.
It was really great!  If you can, go see the play this weekend!!  

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Those of you who know Miss Grace know that she does not mind peeing outside... She's a country girl, and has done this her whole life.  To her, it makes sense, because, after all, the animals all pee on the ground!  She has always said, "I pee like a puppy!"  And, we have always thought it was cute...  But, really, it's not so cute anymore when you're 4 1/2 years old...I present exhibit A:  Grace using the natural facilities here at home.
Last night after church, all the kids were playing on the front lawn, like they do every Wednesday night.  Grace was playing, too, when all of a sudden I watch her run over to the edge of the grass, whip down her pants, and begin to URINATE ON THE LAWN AT CHURCH!!!!  I could have killed her... Sadly, she HAS peed outside at church before, and we had the discussion about "appropriate" and "inappropriate".  I guess she just forgot.  Again.  

What do you do with a Grace like that???

Monday, September 14, 2009

My, Oh Maya!!!

Yesterday we went to the airport to see our friends arrive from Ethiopia with their brand new baby girl, Maya.  It was an experience that I am blessed to have had.  The love and excitement was palpable, friends!!  (And, I apologize... my pics are somewhat out of order, but with MY internet, once you get them uploaded, you certainly don't want to take the time to re-load them!!)

Anyway, here is a picture of 4 kid-o's who were all together at the same orphanage in Ethiopia.  And now they all have forever homes in Texas.  The little girls recognized each other, even though they are so young.  Little Ella (her Dad is holding her there in the back - she's in yellow) immediately said "Sitota!", which is Maya's Ethiopian name.  It was a surreal moment, and so beautiful.)
Here are some of our little "Hamiltonian" kids that made the trip to the airport to welcome their newest friend home.
And here is the little girl we have been waiting for.... Miss Maya Sitota Felton.  She's just as lovely and wonderful as we knew she would be.  Her Mom and Dad said she was fantastic on the plane ride... she slept for the first part, and then was awake, but happy, for the second part.  What a trooper!!  And now she's at home, where God has intended her to be all along.
A few friends and I decided we should make shirts that said "MAYA" to welcome the little one home.  We go there and put the shirts on and started to wait for the family to clear customs.  Sometimes this process can take a little while, and so we started to get creative with our spelling, just to pass the time...

But eventually... we settled down and lined up in the correct order, so that everyone would know who we were here to see.
It was an amazing, incredible, indescribable experience to witness.  I can't even begin to put into words how precious it was to see Carter and Dakota meet their baby sister for the first time, and how special it was to see Keith and Sharon's parents see their granddaughter for the first time... 

Thanks be to God for His indescribable blessings.

Friday, September 11, 2009


That's the only word I can use to describe what my friends, Keith and Sharon, are doing right now at this very moment.

Right now at this very moment, halfway across the world in Africa, they are adopting a baby girl. Her name will be Maya, and in a few short days, they are bringing her home forever.  


I am completely bowled over with admiration for them and what they are doing.  This is going to change this child's future in every way imaginable.  She is coming home to parents who love her and two big brothers who already adore her.  Their family is growing and changing, and I am watching and marveling in awe.  It's amazing.

If you have a moment, say a prayer for them.  They will very soon board a plane with their new daughter, who they have met just a few days ago, and will fly 20 hours back home.  That's right - I said 20 hours on a plane with a baby.  They need all your prayers!!  :-)

If you would like to see photos of them and their new baby girl, you can click here and see them.

It's amazing, folks, truly amazing what God can do.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Elusive Pictures

Well, finally blogger allowed me to upload a few photos of Miss Grace on her big "first day" of four-year old pre-school.  (However, I had to upload them ONE.AT.A.TIME., which took forever with my "country-fried" internet.  GRRRRRR!!!!!)  

Here is the Gracer, standing in front of the pre-school doors, ready to begin another fun-filled year of learning!
And here she is at home before we left for the day, showing off her super-cute new backpack.

Dear Lord, let this be a wonderful year for Gracie.  Let her learn not just academics, but also about you and your unending love, mercy, and grace.  In your name I pray.  Amen.

Gracie's First Day of Pre-school '09

Today my littlest baby went off to 4-year old pre-school.  She did so well.  She was proud and happy and confident.  She was so very happy to see all her teachers and friends from last year!

I DID NOT forget the camera!!  I have tons of photos.  I'm so very proud of my self.

But (of course) blogger isn't allowing me to upload any photos today.  I have seriously tried 5 times, and blogger laughs at my fervent and futile attempts.


I'll try another day, or maybe later on today.  

Those pics are really cute, and if blogger cooperates, maybe you'll see them some day...

Monday, September 7, 2009


 So, if you quit catching a million mice every day, does that mean you have caught all the mice, or does that mean the mice have gotten "smart" and are avoiding your traps?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Update...

Two more mice have met their makers...

We're up to 18 now, and the fight continues!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Infestation...

I guess that it might be really dry outside, with no food and water for native "critters".

How do I know this, you ask?

I know this because the cute little field mice have MOVED INTO MY HOUSE!!!!!!

We are INFESTED with mice who think my pantry is an "all you can eat" buffet!

I have now ended the life of 16 mice.

That's right - I said SIXTEEN.

There is a lot that I love about living in the country, but friends, having mice is NOT one of them.  

I have declared war, and will be victorious.

I'll keep you updated on the kill numbers...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Busy days...

This last week has been crazy busy for us... the kind of busy that kind of leaves your head spinning.  School has started, with all the fun that school brings, and we're all pretty tired...

Needless to say, I've been a little busy and haven't blogged a whole lot.  " Life " has been happening here at "casa de Killian".

SO... with that being said, I'll leave you with my current "favorite" picture of Miss Grace.Yes, she's sitting on my couch, and YES, she's holding a chicken, and YES, she's reading the chicken a book about chickens (duh... what else would you read to a chicken?!?!?)

Don't ask... it's a long story...