Monday, September 9, 2013

"19 Kids, But Who's Counting?"

I had the baby with me in town today and it was just me and her. An older gentleman was oohing and cooing over her and then he looks at me and says "14 months?" So I said " She IS 14 months! Wow, you're good!" He went on to tell me that he has 19 kids so he's kind of an expert at knowing kids' ages. He said "I've had a 14 month old, 19 times." I was in awe and didn't even know what to say so I just said "wow." Then, I followed that up with, "You didn't have your own T.V. show though did you?" "No, thank goodness!" He said. I said "19 Kids and Counting" to which he replied "our motto is "19 Kids, But Who's Counting?" Ha! I said "After 19 kids, I bet you start LOSING count! Do you call them all by the right name?"

Then... he told me his story...

He had six boys with his first wife, but she was killed in a car accident. Two years later he got remarried and his new wife said "I know you have a lot of kids... but can we try for one more?"

"So..." he said... "we did! Thirteen more times!"

 Bless his soul.

I didn't tell him that Jentry is the baby of 5 kids. When people see me/us out with just her they assume that she's my/our only child. I like to watch eyes pop when I tell them she's the baby of 5, but this guy today has 19 kids! I couldn't impress him.

The last thing he said to me was: "and they are a blessing... every single one of them."

I don't know who that guy is, where he's from, or why he was eating lunch in our small town... but I wished I could have stayed and talked more. As it was, our to-go order came up and I needed to get my "only child" home for lunch.

But I'm glad that in that small moment, our paths crossed, and we were in the same place at the same time.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baby's First Birthday

We celebrated our baby girl's first birthday this past Sunday. I can't believe she's one already. Walking... RUNNING... all over the place now. Gone are the baby days... we are very much into toddlerhood. She walks, talks ("mama", "dada", "bubba", "baby", "uh-oh", "Ow!", "bye-bye", "yay", and she can tell you what a monkey says when you ask), sits nicely in a big girl booster seat without restraint at the dinner table, gives hugs and kisses upon request, eats anything and everything, and loves water whether it's playing in the bathtub or swimming in the lake.  I'm loving these fun days... but I'm missing my little girl being a tiny baby.

We celebrated her birthday at our house with brunch for family. I didn't take any pictures of any of the food spread but it all turned out great and was a big hit. I made a coffee cake for the adults instead of a traditional birthday cake but then I also make a small birthday cake for baby to "smash." I sliced up strawberries and apples and then made the most awesome dip. I baked some crescent rolls, Jason cooked up some sausage links, and last but not least I made some ham and cheese enchiladas with an egg sauce. It was a recipe I found on Pinterest. I'd never made it before so I didn't know if it'd flop or not but it turned out delicious. Everyone loved it and even leftovers were yummy later. I'll post the recipe for those later. Had cold orange juice, milk, and coffee for everyone to drink. Couldn't have asked for a better birthday for our sweet girl.

Giving biggest sister some love

Instead of sending out thank you cards to everyone who came to help us celebrate, I had these picture cards printed up and everyone got to take one home with them...

I know she's not looking at the camera, but it's all part of her awesome personality. That face she's making is hilarious and she does it all the time, the nose crinkle. Ha!

Happy first birthday, baby love. We all love you soooooo much. You were the PERFECT little addition to our family. :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

What I've Been Up To (In Pictures with Captions)

End of School
(I'm our school's Box Tops Coordinator which means I personally counted all of these and bagged them by 50's. This translates into $1,243.20!)

(end of year "Thank You"s for the kid's teachers. I hand lettered the cards)

Hand Lettering


(My first little green tomato. Also planted: green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, yellow & green squash, red green yellow & orange bell peppers, eggplant, spaghetti squash, strawberries, and watermelon. Also planted carrots and a cabbage but they didn't make it.)

(who can tell me where I went?)

Baseball & Softball Mom
 (baby girl wearing brother's baseball hat, getting ready to watch sissy's softball game)

Gymnastics Mom
 (handstand champion)

Spending Time On The Lake

(so pretty!)

(... and then she trashed the dress! Ha!)

and last but not least...

Getting Ready For Baby Girl's 1st Birthday!!!!!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gold Ink Hand Lettering

today is my little sister's birthday.

In honor of that (or honour as they say where she lives in England, poor thing) I've done some playing around with gold ink in my hand lettering and did a fun party quote by Julia Child.

I've also started a Tumblr account to keep these hand lettering pics in if you are interested in keeping up with my progress.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Time That My Computer Hard Drive Crashed

Been wondering where I've been?


my computer had a little accident that completely destroyed my hard drive. Boooo. It was completely unrecoverable (meaning, I lost everything on it). Stinks, huh? I guess a good thing about being such a social media fanatic is that I have several pictures on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts that I can copy back on to my new hard drive... but there's three years of other lost pictures and documents on my old hard drive. So, I'm trying not to think about that too much. *sigh*

In the meantime while my computer wasn't accessible, I started dabbling in some hand lettering. Well, I say I "started" but really it's been something I've done all of my life. I love handwriting. I love fonts. I love typography. I love seeing them in design. I've literally missed whole sections of lectures in college because I was perfecting my handwriting in my notes. I've doodled and played around with writing literally since I could hold a pencil. Yesterday I bought some calligraphy tools but mainly I've just been using old pencil and pen medium. I'm enjoying it and trying to do at least one hand lettered something or other every day.

Here is today's:

Want to see more? Follow me on Instagram. My user name is BexInTheCountry, and I've been posting all of my pen and ink creations there.

also: my new blog header is hand lettered. I doodled it on paper one day, loved it, scanned it into my computer, and used it as my header.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Recipe: Four Ingredient Apple Pie

 Today was our son Levi's ninth birthday. He loooooooves Granny Smith apples and homemade apple pie. Now, I'll tell you, I make a really good pie crust from scratch... but today's pie crust came from the refrigerated section of the supermarket... and if you are lazy like me and count store bought pie crust as one ingredient, then this apple pie is only four ingredients! Nothing fancy but soooo yummy.

 I cut a slice out for the birthday boy straight after it had come out of the oven. It hadn't even cooled yet. So, this picture makes it look like a mushy apple mess... but it tastes the same in the end (and goes really well with some vanilla ice cream and a cold glass of milk)

 Look at that steam!

Ok, enough talking and pictures... on to the recipe. I'll let it speak for itself...

I linked this recipe up at these places:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Recipe: Banana Bread

I got this recipe from my best friend, but she doesn't write a blog (boooooo) so I can't link you to anything to show you all how awesome she is.

You remember this winter when we were all snowed in in the Midwest for, like, ever? People were calling it Snowmageddon or Snowpocalypse. The kids had been home from school for, like, ever. On one of those days (they all ran together) when cabin fever was setting in, I was texting the bff and she mentioned that she was baking banana bread. Oh man that sounded so good... and I had bananas in the freezer! I'm really good about putting bananas in the freezer when they start going brown... but I'm ashamed to admit I had never known what to do with them after that. I've actually thrown frozen bananas away (and then what's the point of having frozen them in the first place?)

Well, she talked me into setting those puppies out and thawing them out (which surprisingly doesn't take very long) and making banana bread with them... and since then I've made this bread at least a dozen times. So easy. So yummy.

Don't you just love how pretty a pile of sifted dry ingredients is? No? That's just me? I'm weird.

The recipe that she gave me and that I'm posting is for two loaves. I ALWAYS half it. Why? Honestly, I don't trust my waistline with TWO loaves sitting around my house. Especially when we were snowed in! I could have easily eaten right through both loaves, solo, in no time flat. Of course though, you could always make one loaf for your family and make one to give away.

Also, you know how sometimes you go about making a certain recipe, accidentally screw something up on it, but it ends up being the best thing you've ever eaten anyway? That happened with me once with this bread. After I'd gotten everything all mixed together and in the loaf pan I was doing one last skim down of the recipe when it hit me that I'd never put the salt in when I sifted the dry ingredients. So, I took a pinch of salt and sprinkled it over the top of the mix that was already in the loaf pan, before I popped it into the oven. That salt sprinkled on top made all the difference in the world! I'm not even kidding. And, now, even when I put the salt in with the sifted dry ingredients, I still sprinkle some on top before it goes into the oven. Just gives it an extra flavor boost. So yummy.

And when it comes out, almost before it's had time to cool (because I can't control myself) I cut a piece out of the very middle... spread butter on top... let my eyes roll back in my head... and enjoy a slice of heaven on a plate. It's also good with dark chocolate chips on top that get melted from the heat of the bread. Yum. 

And since my family doesn't like nuts in breads, I don't add any, but you very well could. I suppose, if that was your thing, it would be even yummier. 

One last thing...

I tried making this recipe once with gluten free all purpose flour and used agave in place of sugar and it was just as good.

Sweet Anne Designs - Sweet Sharing Monday

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lessons In Life From a Nine Month Old

I need to start this blog post by saying that our house isn't really baby proofed.


Before the baby came along, our youngest was 6.

In our living room we use three tubs, lined up end to end stretching from a couch to a chair on the opposite wall. This use to serves as a barrier and baby J couldn't get out of the living room. It contained her to a big enough area to play in without feeling trapped. Because, for the record, she hates exersaucers, high chairs, swings, or anything else that doesn't let her go go go.

So the three tubs are 1.) a basket of toys 2.) a tub of board books 3.) a Rubbermaid full of clothes she's grown out of. Yes, this third tub should be in the basement and I even made every effort to put it there... but we needed a third tub for our make-shift wall so it ended up staying upstairs. And until just recently our system worked great. It was high enough that it kept baby J contained, but it was low enough that the other kids and us adults could step over the tubs to get into the living. Win/Win

Well, the other day I was in the kitchen and hubby was in the living room keeping an eye on the baby. He left the room for ONE SECOND to bring something into the kitchen and while he's standing in the kitchen we hear this pitter patter that we instantly recognized as little hands slapping the vinyl kitchen flooring as the baby was crawling into the room. CRAWLING INTO THE ROOM? The barrier was up! Baby was supposed to be contained to her play area!

So we picked her up and put her back and we quickly figured out her trick...

She was climbing INTO the tub of books, and climbing back out on the other side.


She's done it a couple of other times since then and this morning, I decided to snap some pictures. I secretly think it's the cutest thing ever and want to have photos to document this stage of her life where we can't contain her to one room anymore.

But it also got me thinking of how I myself have been in a much similar situation lately.

You see, I've climbed into a box

I'm not sure how long I've been in the box. But I'm desperate to get out. I want to start thinking "outside the box!"

I'm ready for the creativity to flow wildly again like it once did. I'm ready to start MAKING THINGS HAPPEN!

Until recently I was happy as a clam to stay in the little box I'd climbed into to. I could sit there and read my books and clap my hands.

I could stay there and make cute faces at people and laugh.

I could get brave and stand up and even bounce up and down.

But, that's where the braveness ended, because, well, I'm in a box. And it's small.

And it gets boring. And eventually you want to climb back OUT of the box.

Maybe even onto higher things...

And that's where I'm at now. Climbing out of my box and onto higher things. Who knows the things I'll be able to see and get into from up higher.

Wish me luck! It can be scary on higher things because if you're not careful...

... you can fall off...

The Shabby Nest

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mother Like Mine

She's the sky that holds the clouds. She's the lady of the house; a blind believer in all I dare to be. There's no safer place I've found than the shoulder of her white night gown. Oh I've got the best and the worst of her in me.

And I'd share her if I could

So the wars would all be over, 'cause she'd raise us all as friends. And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them. We'd walk on grass that's greener, and our cares would all be freer... if the world had a mother like mine

still one of my all time favorite pictures of mom and Audrey. Taken five years ago.

She's our father's one great love; she's the one he wanted most. She's the light in the window of the house I grew up in. She takes the midnight call. She's the bravest of us all; still she sings in the garden she lets her hair down in.

Oh the wars would all be over, 'cause she'd raise us all as friends. And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them. Tonight would be easier, and our dreams would all be deeper... if the world had a mother like mine.

The day brought our now nine month old baby home from the hospital. Mama was there the whole time.

She's the sky that holds the clouds. She's the lady of our house. We all need her, but no one more than me.

Oh the wars would all be over, 'cause she'd raise us all as friends. And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them. We'd walk on grass that's greener, and the dishes would all be cleaner... if the world had a mother like mine.

 Mama with my baby sister

Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you more than applesauce pizza.

The words in this post are lyrics from a song by The Band Perry called Mother Like Mine. While they aren't my original thoughts, I agree 100% and think they describe my mother beautifully. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How To Add Mouse Over Pin It Button

This morning I've added code to my blog's HTML that shows the Pinterest "Pin It" button when you mouse over photos in my posts. Try it and see! Now if you want to Pin a picture from this blog, all you have to do is click on that Pin It button on whichever picture it is that you are wanting to Pin and it will open Pinterest in a new tab ready for you to choose the board you would like to Pin to.

Cool huh?

I know I'm behind here in Bloggy world... but if you too are like me and didn't know how to incorporate this little function and would like to, I'd love to show you how!

I'm kinda lost when it comes to HTML but I found a super easy tutorial and I managed to make it work so trust me when I say if I can do it... YOU CAN TOO. :)

This tutorial is for Blogger (Blogspot). I'm not sure about Wordpress.


In Design, go to Template > Edit HTML

Now scroll down until you see </body> and paste this code right above it:

var bs_pinButtonURL = "";
var bs_pinButtonPos = "center";
var bs_pinPrefix = "";
var bs_pinSuffix = "";
<script src='' type='text/javascript'></script>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'></script>
<!-- please do not alter or remove the following code -->
<div id='bs_pinOnHover'><a href="">Blogging tips</a></div>

VOILA! Save your template and see if it works. It should. And now, when people are visiting your blog and see something they want to pin to a board on Pinterest, all they will have to do is mouse over whichever photo it is they want to Pin. Easy Peasy.

Giving credit where credit is due... I found this tutorial HERE
Blogging tips