Saturday, June 22, 2013

How many times do I have to tell you?

Copyright Mrs.PJ 2013- FOREVER
Laundry goes in the hamper, not in front of the hamper.

copyright Mrs.PJ 2013-FOREVER
If you don't pick up your books they might get peed on or the baby might eat them, or worse, both.

copyright Mrs.PJ 2013-Forever!
I don't care if it is bright blue and tastes like sugar, it is not candy, so don't eat it.

copyright Mrs.PJ 2013- FOREVER
Seriously, that is not how you operate the toilet paper roll.
(At least he got it off the floor.)

copyright Mrs.PJ 2013- FOREVER
I don't care what it looks like, the tub plug is not a pacifier so spit that thing out!

copyright Mr.PJ 2013- FOREVER
Please stop putting the potty seat on your head and announcing that it is a hat.
It is most definitely not. 

Thank you for letting me vent. I am going to go scrub the bathroom now.
Happy cleaning,

PS - What room in your home elicits the most nagging? Comment in the comment section below.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Fab Five Friday Round 2!

Here we go again. I was worn out last weekend trying to meet the demanding requirements for that dang Leibster Award. This past week I have been busy with work and domestic duties, so now the chance to unclutter my mind with the fab five. Remember, I totally swiped the idea for this post from upward not inward, but I had to because I just love it. I think their five question questionnaire is an excellent exercise in self reflection. You can do it too!
  1. This week I am grateful for-  My Mom's talents on the organic farm she operates with  my Stepdad. They sent us a big box full of awesome goodies and our bellies couldn't be happier. We are talking about homemade pickles, jelly, bread, and honey from their own bee hives. They sent us loads of fresh veggies and inspired me to cook from scratch one night.
  2. This week I enjoyed- My children. Just hugging those tiny people somehow has the magical power to make any day fantastic. I might be a little weird, but I love the way my tiny tots smell. Not to mention the way they crack me up when they play together.
  3. This week I learned- That my strengths are Creativity and Caregiver. You can find your strengths by taking the online quiz at  Just scroll down until you see the pink box. I am reading the book right now. I was skeptical at first, but now I am totally into it and a believer.
  4. This week I accomplished- Creating a new dinner from scratch! I was inspired by the fresh veggies my Mom sent (see question 1) and the picture on the box of linguine. We had warm pasta with fresh chopped tomato, fresh basil, a dash of garlic salt, italian dressing and olive oil. We also had garlic bread that I made with slices of the homemade stuff my Mom sent. It was a party in my tummy and I think everyone else enjoyed it too. 
  5. I am looking forward to - My son's soccer practice tonight. He is just so cute in his jersey. It is adorable watching three year olds trying to stop a goal. So Proud :)
You can check out how the ladies at upward not inward answered their questionnaire by going to their site here. What is going on in your world this week? You can share your own reflections there or in the comments here. I hope everyone has a blessed weekend.

Take care,

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Awwwwww, how sweet is that?

Another Mommy blogger, Angela at Time With A&N, nominated me for a Liebster Award! That is so nice of her to do. I have to admit that I am thrilled anytime someone comments on my posts, so to be nominated for an award for new bloggers is extra exciting. To accept this nomination I have to perform the following six tasks.

  • Link back to the blog that nominated you.

Time with A&M, where Angela, a fellow teacher shares the woes of balancing motherhood and life. 

  • Nominate 5-11 new blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

I nominate The Truth About Mommy, for her brutal honesty.

I nominate Raising the Light, and the awesome ladies who post there about faith and family.
I nominate Super Punk Rock Mommy, for the fun of it.
I nominate Working On / Working Mom, for the tremendous effort she has put into her most recent food challenge.
I wanted to nominate The Deliberate Mom, because she is just one of those cool Moms that everyone should know, but I just checked and she officially has 202 followers. I'm nominating her anyway! (Check her out anyway.)

  • Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.

1. What's your dream career?  Winning the Lotto.
2. If money wasn't an issue how many kids would you have? Shouldn't this question be "If your  husband wasn't an issue...?" I kid, I adore the two I have, periodically think about throwing in a few more when these are potty trained, but I don't think we should worry about new babies for a few years and then see how we feel about it then.
3. What's your favorite vacation? The ones that haven't happened yet, when we get to take the kiddos all over the place. With that one rainy camping trip to Enchanted Rock being a close second place. Actually when I was in college I went on a really cool two week trip where we learned Geography by doing Geography. Once when we were dating, Mr.PJ took me to Pensacola Beach, it was kinda romantic. I like getting away and this is not an easy question.
4. If you could go visit anywhere where would you go? Everywhere. Seriously, as a Geography nerd I get excited about a lot of places. Except the really violent and sandy ones. 
5. Where did you meet your significant other? I met Mr. PJ the old fashioned way, in a bar. Some of my friends were playing in a band there. Mr. PJ was there. We met, talked and the rest is history. Actually the rest is a story for another post one day.
6. How long did you date before you were married? We dated six months, he was on deployment for the six months after that, he came back and we moved in together, we got engaged and then married a year after that. I was 22 when we got married and I'm still kinda crazy about him, even though he can drive me crazy sometimes.
7. How long have you known your longest friend? My sister, her whole life, 25 years in July. My longest not related by blood friend, Estelle, has it really been 12 years?
8. When was your last date night with your husband? Some may not count this, but we just got done with a season of co-ed softball. We are on a team for my campus and every Wednesday night for the past several weeks has been a game night. Thank you to my awesome Mother in law for babysitting. Thank you to Mr.PJ for that epic grand slam in the last game of the playoffs. It was very romantic. Go Treefish!
9. Where do you live? In a cute little two bedroom, one bath, fixer upper that we are quickly outgrowing. It breaks my heart that the home we started our family in needs more TLC than we can give it. I know we are going to have to make a decision soon about what we want to do, but it is just hard for me because I have been in this home longer than any other single place in my life. 
10. If you could only eat three things what would they be?  Well, being vegetarian, my diet is already kind of restricted. I'm going to go with.......dang this is a hard question. I say carbs, dairy and home cooking. I'm sorry, I really love food and I can't pick just three favorites. 
11. How long have you been blogging? Since January, so six months. I'm really enjoying it. 

  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.

  1. I gained close to fifty pounds with both of my pregnancies. I lost it by nursing and running around like a chicken with its head cut off while attempting to take care of all of those tasks that we call life. 
  2. I am a Hurricane Katrina victim. At the time we were living in my home state of Mississippi and  most of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was wiped clean. We were lucky our home was still there, but with five feet of floodwaters nearly everything inside was ruined. I can honestly say that we have been nothing but blessed since moving to our current home. It did take me a long time to get over the shock of being forced to move because of the storm.  I still want to cry anytime an area hit by a  natural disaster is on the news.
  3. My son and I were laying on the couch snuggling the other night. My husband walked in and told him it was time for him to get a shower. He responded, "Um, I'm not done with Mommy yet." I hope he never finished snuggling with me.
  4. My daughter took her first steps earlier tonight! We were at the little dude's soccer practice and she took a step towards her Daddy.  How cool is that? Fact number four- I was nervous about having a daughter, but I could not be more delighted. 
  5. I cloth diaper and nurse my babies. I know that there are people out there that think I am crazy because being a working mom takes up a lot of time and so does pumping and washing diapers. I feel like in a way, that is time I'm giving back to my kids. I know it is not for every family, but it works for us. 
  6. I pretty  much neglect every other aspect of homemaking duties all week long. My most hated chore is washing dishes. When we do move, I hope we can get a place with a dishwasher. My home is usually embarrassingly filthy.
  7. I was an adult before I got serious about my faith and religion. I think that that is one of those topics that will be a longer post for another day. I do have to say I enjoy reading other blogs that post inspirational stuff. It helps keep me on track.
  8. My Godson has downs syndrome. His Momma is one of my closest friends. We have known each other since before we started having kids and we met at church. His downs was a surprise, but he couldn't have a better family and he is a great little kid. I hope our kiddos are always as close as they are now. 
  9. Sometimes I have a hard time relating to other adults, especially if I let myself be judgmental, which I hate doing. I mean, it is easy to make a quick assumption about someone, but then I always feel guilty later on. When I see someone doing something that I think is dumb, I just want to write them off, even though I know that is not the right thing to do. I have been working really hard on having more patience and being intentionally nice to people even when I don't want to. 
  10. When I was a freshmen in college I saw a girl get killed in a drinking and driving accident. A drunk driver hit her car and fled the scene. They caught him later, but I watched the girl die in the arms of her friend. 
  11. My husband and I are kind of opposites. I'm vegetarian, he is not. He will have a beer with dinner, I don't drink. I went to college, he went to the military and then trade school. He smokes I don't. We both love each other madly, tolerate each others craziness, keep each other sane and I hope that he knows how much I love and respect him. I hate it when I realize I'm nagging him about stuff.
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees.  
  1. What is your favorite family tradition?
  2. What quality about yourself do you want to improve on?
  3. What prayer do you say the most often? 
  4. Who inspires you?
  5. Who is your favorite author and what was the last book that you read?
  6. Which radio station do you listen to / what is your favorite music genre?
  7. What are you sick of making for dinner / what is your most hated chore?
  8. Which blog do you read the most and why?
  9. What are your hopes for your kids when they grow up?
  10. Have you ever paid to see a movie in the theater more than once or what is your favorite film? 
  11. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.
Done! Whew, that was a beast of a post. It took me two days to do. Nominees, I wish you good luck.

If you made it through this extra long post, go the extra mile and click below to vote for me. Thanks!
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Friday, June 7, 2013

Fab Five Friday

I totally swiped the idea for todays post form upward not inward, but I had to because I just love it. I think their five question questionnaire is an excellent exercise in self reflection. You can do it too!
  1. This week I am grateful for- My awesome hardworking husband and my sweet kiddos. The love I get at home helps me survive the roughest days at work.
  2. This week I enjoyed- Getting to see the Seniors get ready to leave for the graduation duty. I didn't have to actually go to graduation this year (alright, I'm grateful for that too), but getting to help them get ready and seeing them all dolled up was exciting. 
  3. This week I learned- I am done with speculating. Life is interesting enough without playing the "what if ..?" game. I need to trust in God more and work with the challenges I already have before me. 
  4. This week I accomplished - Getting my classroom packed up and my sign off sheet done early! It only took five years for me to figure out how to get on top of that.
  5. I am looking forward to - AP Human Geography. I will be teaching it next year for one class period and I am thrilled. It is a great opportunity to work with student who are eager to learn and for me to approach the material in a new way. I normally teach regular World Geography which is different.
You can check out How the ladies at upward not inward answered their questionnaire by going to their site here. What is going on in your world this week? You can share your own reflections there or in the comments here. I hope everyone has a blessed weekend.

Take care,

Please, pretty please, click, clickety, click. Thanks so much!
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Guest Post: Five Top Tips for Family Vacations

Hello Dear Readers,   
Today's post is written by travel expert and mother of three Kendra Thornton. You can read about here on the Guest Contributers Page. My family still has several weeks before we travel anywhere for Summer, but I know many people will be traveling soon. Anyone who has ever traveled with kids in tow knows there can be many challenges, so Kendra's post comes at the perfect time. Enjoy and feel free to share your own travel ideas/tips/stories in the comments section.

It’s summertime and we all know what that means: time for a family vacation. Trips with the kids can be the perfect time to bond and enjoy one another. As a travel advocate and enthusiast, I have been fortunate enough to continue traveling with my family. The best times we’ve had have been those I’ve taken the time beforehand to plan for success.

Tip 1: Find a truly family-friendly hotel

When looking for a family-friendly hotel, don’t just take the hotel’s word for it. Be sure the accommodations have amenities your family needs in order to enjoy their stay. Look for a hotel that provides in-room refrigerators to store leftovers and kid-friendly snacks. This is essential for small ones who require bottles. See if you can find a hotel that has a playground or other play area for young children to enjoy. Also, take a look at customer reviews to learn if the hotel’s claims are true. My family found a great family friendly resort in Oahu by reading through other families reviews of the top hotels in Honolulu.

Tip 2: Preparing for Fourth-of-July celebrations

Many families choose to go on vacation over Independence Day. If you are planning such a trip, consider fireworks displays when you book your hotel room. Watching local displays from a hotel balcony provides a safer, more kid-friendly option than celebrating amid the crowds and close to the hot embers. When booking your hotel, check to see if you can get a room with a good view of the fireworks display. In addition to safe viewing, you will be able to balance different interests and bedtimes seamlessly.

Tip 3: Help everyone enjoy themselves more by sticking to a routine

Both adults and children find comfort in routine. For young children who are used to regular meal and snack times as well as naps, a break in routine can be extremely stressful. While on vacation, don’t neglect regular naptimes and meals. It may take a little extra planning, but your kids will be much less fussy when these needs are addressed in a timely fashion.

Tip 4: Carry a backpack

You’ll find hundreds of trendy travel bags that you can purchase for your trip. I have found, however, that a backpack meets my needs best. A good, ergonomic bag will allow you to carry more without being encumbered by the weight. Also, most backpacks offer plenty of carry space as well as multiple pockets for organizing everything you need. Plus your hands will be free! Everlane offers some trendy ones or try your local sporting goods store for a variety of shapes, sizes and prices.

Tip 5: Remember to bring a few plastic bags

You probably won’t forget the big things you need to pack. You’ll bring clean outfits and underwear. You’ll remember everyone’s toothbrush. But don’t forget to stash a few extra plastic bags in your luggage. These come in handy when someone has an accident, the kids can’t resist a last-minute dip in the pool before leave or you just need to keep clean and dirty clothes separate.

Vacation is a time for fun and relaxation. Use these tips for the most success possible.

Thanks for the tips Kendra! I think my favorite is the plastic bag tip. We go through a lot of the sandwich and gallon slide top bags in our household. The small ones make the perfect holder for baby wipes, so everyone can carry their own in their bag. Also the backpack tip works for little ones as well. As soon as our son was big enough to walk we got him a backpack so he could carry his own diapering supplies. He loves it. What makes traveling with little ones easier for you? 

Happy Travels,

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Win & A Fail

A Win

For the past several months I have been looking for the perfect bookshelf for my children's room. We read every night and acquire new books on a regular basis because we want our kiddo's to enjoy reading.  By new I mean new to us. Most of our books are yard sale and thrift shop finds. As a teacher I can testify that being able to enjoy a book is something that can make the difference between students who struggle and those who are successful. Anyway, the book situation was getting a little out of control in their room.  We are talking piles of books creating a trip and slip hazard of ridiculous proportions. Every bookshelf I found was over priced or cheaply built. This morning I stopped at an estate sale and picked up the perfect shelf for less than half of what they had it priced for. I ended up not putting it in the children's room because it was a little wobbly on the squishy carpet, but there was a good spot for it in the living room. My little dude was super excited to help clean it and put the books on it. It is big enough that it also holds most of the toys that are usually randomly strewn around the living room. Score one for Mommy!

A Fail

I am vegetarian and I am outnumbered in my home by people who are not. Sometimes we all eat vegetarian and other times I make a combo meal. Vegetarian spaghetti with frozen meatballs on the plates of those who partake (heated up of corse). Portabella fajitas with chicken strips thrown in the pan after I fix mine. Point being, I gotta get creative sometimes. Sometimes I get carried away. Tonight's meal was supposed to be vegetarian, a simple pasta dish with some added veggies from our garden. It started out decently enough with some sautéed diced bell pepper. I started adding tomatoes from our garden, because they are really sweet and I thought they would make a good sauce. I should have googled  "making spaghetti sauce" but I didn't. That was where it started to go downhill.

Mr.PJ informed me later that sauce can take a day. I wanted to be done in half an hour. After destroying  dicing five perfectly good tomatoes I decided they weren't cooking down fast enough and I threw the whole mess in the food processor with some garlic salt. The result of that was orange runny tomato soup. Not being one to give up easily I just named dinner tomato soup with pasta and served it with a wheat roll. My husband quietly pretended to be too busy feeding the baby to eat. My toddler son loudly announced he didn't like it and began to play with it. I don't know if you have ever smelled real fresh parmesan cheese, but it is on the somewhat stinky end of the cheese spectrum. Our pasta was parmesan tortellini served in warm watery tomato juice that was slightly chunky. I have made some cooking blunders before but tonight was an all time low. The meal I tried to serve my family tonight looked and smelled like bowls of vomit. I've got to get some sort of meal plan together.

The good news is I went grocery shopping today so I have lots of ingredients I can use to follow a real recipe tomorrow.

Take care,

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