Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Road Trip

After much harassment many reminders that the Jacksonville folks had come to visit us in Memphis quite a few times, but that we had not been to Jacksonville to visit them in FOREVER, we decided that Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to head in that direction. And being that my parents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary the same weekend, well... that was the perfect excuse for a big ol' family soiree. So in true Torres fashion, my younger brother and his family made a little pit stop in Jacksonville during their time in Orlando.

Unfortunately, our weekend took a bit of a bittersweet turn when Yaira's grandmother passed away while we were visiting. But we are so glad to have been able to be there for her and her family during this difficult time. And we were still able to be together and squeeze in a little fun in the process.

The cousins were ecstatic to spend time together.
This bunch is pretty crazy about each other and they play 
so well (and so much) together it's easy for us adults to do our catching up.

We visited a local arts and crafts fair.

 Yeah,... we don't have these in our craft shows in Memphis.

Our awesome host and hostess:

We walked around downtown:

Visited the Jacksonville Landing:

And of course, celebrated my parent's anniversary with a wonderful family dinner.
40 years! 

We are so very grateful for these two.
They are such a great example for me and my brothers.
And they are SO loved!

Oh, how I love these pictures!
And how I love this crazy family of mine!

 I really wish that Yaira was in them. She is such a big part of our family!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a safe and very blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Apparently someone's fed up with the shameless disregard 
for privacy going on around these parts!
Sorry, Buddy! 
I just can't help myself!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beef. It's What's For Dinner.

OK, so in my previous post I briefly mentioned Bessie, our new cow. And I thought maybe it was time I introduced you to the new addition to the Butler household.

Bessie, this is everyone!
Everyone, meet Bessie!
Ain't she a beauty?

Back in the early part of the summer, we all took a little trip to the local farmer's market. While my mom and I drooled over their fresh cut flower selection, Scott walked away onto bigger things. Much, much bigger.

He apparently spotted a local cow rancher/breeder and was immediately drawn to the big ol' heap of beef this guy was selling. They got to talking and suddenly Scott had a dream: to purchase a half a cow. For reals, people... When this boy dreams, it's BIG!

One of Scott's co-workers heard about such dream and told him he had an old, read REALLY OLD, upright freezer sitting in his garage and we could have if we wanted it. Well, needless to say Scott jumped on his offer.

So we now had a really old and rusted freezer in our garage. Scott gave it a good cleaning and took the kids to Lowe's, where they each got to pick a spray paint color of their choice. Hence how we ended up with a big ol' blue freezer which looks like this:
Sam picked an electric blue color for the sides (not pictured), and Isabella picked this blue for the door. It is now one bright blue freezer.

After months of thinking it over and working the numbers and thinking it over some more, Scott decided it was our destiny to own some part of a cow. I mean, we already had the freezer to store it in, right?

So he called the rancher/breeder guy and after a few conversations it was decided we should start out with a quarter of a cow. I can't even tell you how much meat that is. And how many different cuts we have. It's crazy! We'll be having beef for breakfast, lunch and dinner for months.
And if you come over, rest assured there will be a beef dish served. And most likely a beef appetizer. And dessert as well. Ooh, maybe something along the line of Rachel Green's infamous trifle dessert on that Thanksgiving Friends episode. Remember? That was funny!

Anyhoo, I'm glad Scott didn't go with the half cow... we'd probably have to go out and get another deep freezer to store it. Either that or use our regular freezer and not buy another single frozen item for months to come. Sorry kids, we're all out of waffles, but I'll gladly make you some beef if you'd like!

Like I shared with you in my previous post, we enjoyed the first taste of Bessie this past weekend, twice actually, and she was quite tasty!

So, if after reading this, anyone suddenly has an overwhelming desire to go out and get yourself a quarter, half or even an entire cow, please feel free to call me and I'll gladly send you the cow seller's contact info.

Better go now, I've got some serious meal planning to do...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This weekend...

was chock-full of a whole lot of random fun"ness":

I woke up to this little gem on Saturday morning:
 It reads: "I am sending a big hug to you mom. I love you. You are the best mom ever"
Am I the luckiest mama live or what?! 
That made my day, lemme tell ya!

My dear friend and neighbor asked me to take some pictures of her family to give to some of their relatives  as Christmas presents. Luckily, her relatives are not aware of the existence of this blog, so I can share a quick peek with you guys.
Meet Jason, Christie and Madison

This is the same peek I shared with her last night. I'm happy to report that she loved it! Which was a HUGE relief considering when she asked me to take their pictures I had the craziest mix of nerves and excitement I've had in a really long time. It's one thing to take my own personal pictures of my family, but when the pressure of pleasing someone else is there, it just instantly changes things. I can't wait to hear what she thinks of the rest...

This weekend gifted with us with some amazing weather, 
which allowed some of us a whole lot of outside playtime,

while others decided to exercise their artistic muscles.

There was also a lot of this going on::
I found a great table for our entryway on Craigslist recently and it's going through a bit of a makeover. I'll post pictures as soon as it's ready and in place.

And we got to watch our neighbor tinker around with his big boy toys:
My kids adore Jason, Christie and Madison. And when Jason is outside playing with his motorcycles or four-wheelers, there is no other place Sam would rather be, than sitting right there watching him.

We got our first taste of Bessie, our new cow (yeah, more on that later):
 And she was DELISH!

So, there you have it...
our weekend in a nutshell. 
Hope yours was as productive, fun and relaxing as ours was.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Me, Me, Me

Do not let the post title fool you,... 
It actually has absolutely nothing to do with moi. 
It is however, about a certain 2 year old who lives around these here parts 
and starts pretty much every single comment/sentence/statement with a
very adamant "ME!". 
As in....

Wow, Sam, those are some stinky feet!
"ME smell them, Mama! ME stinky!"


Sam, did you hit your sister?
Do we hit or push or bite? 
Then why did you hit her? 
"ME like to!"


Sam, did you eat another piece of candy?
"Yes, Mama!"
Why, Baby? I told you no more candy.
"ME want it! ME like candy"


I love fall!
"ME too!"
Look at all the beautiful colors, Sam.
"ME kee it, Mama"


Sam, please put your shirt back on!
"No ME know how, Mama!"


"Bye, Mama!"
Where are you going, Sam?
"ME go at gock!"


How are you, Baby?
"ME happy, Mama!"


Isabella: Sam, stop it!
"No ME Stop it!"
Isabella: Stop it, or I'm going to tell Mom.
"No, ME tell Mom!"
He immediately finds me at what I think might just be the best hiding spot ever
"Mama, ME took Bea's toy"
Why, Sam?
"ME like it!"

You gotta admit, his honesty is quite endearing...
and he is pretty darn cute!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Heart Faces "Silhouette" Entry

Even though it's been months since I last participated in a I ♥ Faces photo challenge, when I saw what their theme is for the week (Silhouette), I immediately knew I had the perfect photo to submit.

This is one of my most favorite photos EVER. It was taken on Christmas Eve last year, right before putting Isabella to bed. She was standing there, mesmerized with our Christmas tree. And I just love that I was able to capture such a beautiful and magical moment.

Go to I Heart Faces  to check out all the other fun silhouette entries.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Puppy Love


Isn't this cute?
Yeah, I'm definitely up for the Mother of the Year award for letting Sam 
"make out" with this cute little puppy at Isabella's last soccer game.

You know, considering it's a PITBULL and all!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An interview with a 5 year old

So, I sat down with Isabella the other day and asked her a few questions.
Here are her answers:

How old am I? 13 (Nice!)

Where do I work? At Eclectica

What do I do at Eclectica? Make pretty scrapbook pages (Aww!)

What do I do during the day? Take care of us

What is my favorite thing to do? Stay home and play with us

How tall am I? 13 inches (Apparently she's obsessed with the #13)

How much do I weigh? 14 pounds (HA! I haven't even lost that much on WW)

What is my favorite color? Orange (I'm actually growing quite fond of orange these days)

What is my favorite food? Broccoli (Hardly! But that is HER favorite)

What do I do after you kids go to bed? Work for Eclectica

What do I love the most about you? My laugh (I do love that laugh!)

What is my favorite thing about Sam? When he loves on me (Funny how she makes it about her, isn't it?)

What is your favorite thing about me? That you play with me a lot (happy ♥)

What do you think I was like when I was your age? You liked to play Barbies and ride your bike,... oh, and mess with your little brother (Right on, Sister!)

Where is my favorite place to shop? Eclectica (Hmmm, I think I might have a problem,...)

What's my favorite chore? Washing dishes (Yeah,... NO! But then again, I can't think of anything she could have answered that I would have agreed with)

What's my least favorite chore? Doing laundry (That's definitely on the list!)

What is my favorite thing to drink? Coke (There was absolutely no hesitation)

What is my favorite hobby? Hobby Lobby (Ha Ha Ha!)

I do love this girl of mine!
October 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All Treats, No Tricks

Better late than never, right? 
Yeah, that seems to be the trend lately. 
Anyway, here are some of our fun Halloween night pictures.

The theme for the year was Toy Story.
And the characters were an uber adorable Jessie and Woody:

Isabella opted to skip the red spray paint on her hair for trick-or-treating,
but I think she still looked the part.

Sam was definitely the happiest Woody this side of the Mississippi.

And even though they both loved going trick-or-treating, 
it was SUPER exciting for Sam, who hadn't been in a couple of 
years (he got really sick last Halloween).

And then we came home and Scott and I gave the kids a bath, put
them to bed, said good night, sat in front of the TV and pilfered their loot.

And don't you dare ask how Weight Watchers is going...