Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Claire turned one in October, and we had a wonderful time celebrating her birthday with some of her little friends.  I can't believe a year has gone by since this sweet, silly, cuddly, mischievous girl was born.  We love you, Claire!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cupcake Busy Bag

If you're on Pinterest or read any type of parenting blog, you've probably heard of Busy Bags.  I like to think of these as "Mommy Gets 15 Minutes Alone" bags or "A More Productive Alternative to Locking Yourself in the Bathroom" bags.  No matter what you call it, the activities are usually ones that can be done alone and quietly.  Recently, I came across this busy bag idea on Money Saving Mom and actually found the time to print the patterns, buy the supplies, and assemble the activity.  Find the Cupcake Busy Bag printable pattern here.

This felt cupcake (made by Abigail for me!) is the finished product.
So, what you start off with are cupcake parts.  I made vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and every color imaginable wrapper and frosting.  I figured the more options, the more busy time.
After your child assembles the cupcake, it's decorating time!  The printable pattern includes a few of these decorations.  The rest (strawberries, chocolate chips, marshmallows, cookies) I just made up and cut out.  My girl likes her cupcakes decked out.  Oh, and I found these nifty containers in the Target dollar bins.  The dividers work great for my very detailed girl (and me) who needs all the decorations sorted.

See? Super fun and easy to do.

And we keep everything in a plastic shoebox.  So I guess this technically is a busy box.

On a side note, I realized that is what kids played with before their parents let them play games on their phone like this:

Not that I let Abigail do that.  Just kidding.  This is her most favorite app EVER.  Also known as the "How Mommy gets 15 Extra Minutes of Sleep in the Morning" app. Download it here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Flower Girl

Abigail had the privilege of being a flower for friends of ours this past month.  She did a wonderful job, and I secretly had so much fun dressing her up.  Pictures of the Ellis wedding are coming, but I thought I'd post one of my favorite pictures of Abigail.  Plus, I just love the frame I found over at The CoffeeShop Blog.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Recipe: Chicken Medallions with Capers

This Pampered Chef recipe combines some of my favorite ingredients: capers and pasta!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. all purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. coarsely ground ground pepper
1 T. olive oil
2 T butter, divided
1 garlic clove
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 c. dry white wine
2 t. capers & 1 t. caper juice
2 plum tomatoes, seeded & diced
2 t. fresh oregano

Cut chicken into medallion-size pieces and flatten.  I like to put the chicken in a plastic bag and flatten it with the smooth side of the meat tenderizer.
Combine flour, salt, and black pepper in shallow dish.  Dredge chicken lightly in flour mixture and shake off excess.
Heat oil and 1 T. butter in skillet over med-high heat. Place chicken in skillet and saute 6 minutes or until browned and cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and cover to keep warm.
Add garlic and shallot to skillet.  I substituted half an onion for the shallot since I had that on hand.  Cook 1 minute or until tender.  Remove skillet from heat.  Add wine and stir to loosen browned bits.  Return to heat and simmer 1 minute.  Add capers, caper juice, and tomatoes.  Stir until heated through.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 1 T. butter and 1 t. oregano.  Return chicken to skillet and coat well with sauce.
Serve over spaghetti and sprinkle with remaining oregano. Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Frugal Friday: Totally Target

Did you know that you can use two coupons on one product at Target?  As long as one coupon is a manufacturer's coupon and one is a Target store coupon, you can use both, or stack them.  That makes for some awesome deals!  I was able to everything below for a mere $3.08.

Check out Totally Target, a blog that does all the hard work and lets you know what coupons are available for your Target run.  It's well worth looking at, and a blog I use on a weekly basis to plan my shopping trips.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


A close look into our budget the other day made me think about my eating habits.  Here are the top ten foods I could not live without, in no particular order:

1. Bread
2. Pasta
3. Cheese
4. Blue Bell ice cream
5. McDonald's chicken nuggets with sweet & sour sauce
6. McDonald's fries
7. Sour cream
8. Fried chicken
9. Mangos
10. Ramen noodles

I don't know what this list says about me.  Probably that I will die of a heart attack if I keep it up.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nick Vujicic's Story

The story of Nick Vujicic is amazing, and I'm looking forward to reading his book, Unstoppable (coming out in October). Below is a short video about his remarkable story. Look for a review in the near future!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Updated Blog

So I finally got around to editing my blog and sprucing it up a bit.  Most of the designs are the same (because I have a hard time dealing with change), but the dimensions are a bit different, so I apologize if previous posts and pictures look a little weird.  I love the graphics and tutorials from Shabby Blogs...thanks to them for all the downloads!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: 90 Days of God's Goodness (Alcorn)

There are many books out there that address the problem of evil and seek to answer why difficult things happen.  90 Days of God’s Goodness not only addresses the theological implications spot on but is an amazing tool for a hurting person.  Grief usually lasts much longer than the time allotted to read a book on loss.  Alcorn breaks this book into ninety easy to read segments that allow a person a minimum of three months to process if they read one section a day.  What I like about this book is that it walks along with the reader as they slowly work through the feelings and questions related to the problem of evil.  I found this format encouraging to a hurting soul, allowing the reader time to read, digest, feel, and fight through what is true about God. Alcorn empathizes and allows room to ask questions and feel, but he does not shy away from the truth.   90 Days of God’s Goodness is a patient, but challenging process book, rather than a quick fix book.  As a counselor, I appreciate this perspective, as I believe grief and sanctification are processes.
"Truth matters.  To touch us at the heart level – and to keep touching us over days, months, years, and decades – truth must work its way into our minds.  Never seek comfort by ignoring truth.” (p. 12)
A theme that Alcorn weaves throughout all of his books is the idea of having an eternal perspective on life here on earth.  90 Days of God’s Goodness picks up on this theme, forging a way for the reader to understand (as much as we humanly can) how God sees His big story unfolding on earth and in our lives.  Alcorn continually points back to God’s glory shown through the Gospel as the ultimate backdrop.
“The Cross is God’s answer to the question, ‘Why don’t you do something about evil?’  God did do something…and what he did was so great and unprecedented that it shook the angelic realm’s foundation.  It ripped in half, from the top down, not only the temple curtain but the fabric of the universe itself…Evil and suffering formed the crucible in which God demonstrated his love to humankind.  His love comes to us soaked in divine blood.” (p. 75)
“Whenever you feel tempted to ask God, ‘Why did you do this to me?’ look at the cross and ask, ‘Why did you do that for me?’” (p. 92)
Alcorn also upholds who God is throughout the book and helps the reader wrap his mind around the problem of evil with God’s attributes at the center.  He never minimizes who God is or His attributes to attempt to explain suffering from the human perspective.  Alcorn is able to insert truth appropriately and point the reader to Scripture.  Overall, I would highly recommend this book to someone who is experiencing loss or to someone who wants to help a friend through it.  Alcorn does an amazing job of speaking heartfelt truth in these pages.

(Waterbrook Multomah Publishers/Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.)

Friday, May 11, 2012


I've been wanting to write this post for a long time.  Lack of time has kept me from getting the words down, as I've wanted to be responsible with this subject and address every angle and point of view.  Then reality slapped me in the face and I realized that desire was unrealistic.  So, as a disclaimer, I definitely won't touch on everything.  Nowhere near to everything.  Just so you know where I'm coming from, my Biblical convictions are foundational, and you can read a little more about them in a post my husband wrote on his blog.  This, however, is simply a post full of ramblings from my heart...
I have a 3-year-old daughter and a 6-month-old daughter.  They are sleeping now and I just went into check on them.  Sometimes I like to just stand in their rooms and listen to their rhythmic breathing as my eyes adjust to the darkness and I see their small forms laying peacefully in bed.  It's almost 1:00am and I know that in about six hours our day will start again.  I am exhausted, but content with my time spent with them today.  It was nothing special.  In fact, we left the house only once to get the mail at the end of the driveway.  And we did it in our socks and flip flops because we couldn't find our shoes.  It was definitely a teaching moment for Abigail about this particular fashion faux pas.

I smile as I catch myself say that our day was nothing special, because that's far from the truth.  Our time eating, potty training, reading books, cuddling, counting, playing word games, playing, laughing, and talking was precious.  I am blessed to have been able to be with my girls all day and wouldn't trade it for anything.  How grateful I am for the time spent together!

When I have a chance to steal away, I am able to step back from the busyness of my life and see it in light of eternity.  Having an eternal perspective changes so much in the present.  And sometimes I imagine meeting God face to face when my time on earth is done.  What will I tell him I did with the life he gave me?  I want to be able to tell him that, by his grace, I was able to fulfill the role he created me for and was a good steward of the lives he entrusted to me.  I'm not saying that nothing else is important, but how could I tell the one who created me that I didn't live out my calling as a wife and mother to its full potential?  Sure, I believe he's called me to other things as well, but in no way do I want any of those to trump this primary role.  What kind of excuse would I try to come up with as to why I put something in its place or made it just as important?  I think any excuse I could come up with now would seem so incredibly lame when face to face with God. 

I've been told countless times by wise women that have gone before me that these moments go by so quickly.  It's not what they say that gets me, but the look in their eyes.  A bittersweet longing for days past.  Sometimes I can tell they drift into their memories for a split second.  And it seems that they always want to say more, but can't seem to find the words to explain the immense joy of raising a child.  But I can see it in their eyes, pleading with me not to take it for granted, to cherish the mundane, and to be present in body and mind with my babies.  And that I shall do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What I'm Reading...

"The church becomes irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation.  We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God." (Chan, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Recipe: Creamy White Chicken & Artichoke Lasagna

After a few months of hemming and hawing, I gave in and joined Pinterest.  My caution had everything to do with the look of awe and wonder (almost a glazed over look) from my friends that recommended it.  Conversations usually went like this:
Friend: "Ooooooh, I saw this really cute ____ on Pinterest.  I so want to make it!  There are sooooo many good ideas on there!  I'm spending way too much time on there!"
*** Friend's husband standing next to her rolls his eyes
Me: "Nice.  I can tell how excited you are about this.  I'm slightly scared of your enthusiasm."
Alas, I drank the Pinterest punch, and am rather glad I did :)  Within a mere 48 hours, I've planned about 10 new recipes, 8 crafts to do with Abigail, 8 crafts to do by myself, 25 ways to redecorate my house, 5 ways to make a doghouse for Jackson...oh, and read oodles of quotes that seem even more quotable because they are written out in a pretty font.  With all that being said, here's my first recipe I made from Pinterest (originally from

Creamy White Chicken & Artichoke Lasagna

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes.  Beat cream cheese, milk, and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil.  Mix half with the chicken mixture.

Spread half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of a 13x9 baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture.  Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice.  Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.  Bake 25 min. or until heated through.  Sprinkle with remaining basil.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Big Brother Jackson

Big Brother Jackson, here.  Yes, that's right.  I now have two little sisters.  If you've been around our home lately, some of you may have heard Mommy complain about me, yell at me, or shut me in the bathroom.  All very commonplace things in the Schoolfield household.  So commonplace, in fact, that Abigail also complains about me, yells at me, and shuts me in the bathroom. 

So, I thought I'd give you an update on how I'm doing with two little sisters.  In all honesty, I love having them around and am usually excited to say good morning to them in their rooms when they wake up.  Some may remember my affections towards Abigail the first week of her life.

So when news came that Mommy and Daddy were having another baby, I was happy.  The more people, the merrier.  That's my life motto.  I looooooove people!  Here's a picture of Mommy telling us that she and Daddy were going to hospital for a couple days.  I think she has a weird expression on her face because she was having a contraction.  I may have been listening to Mommy or trying to steal a few pieces of cereal from Abigail.  I don't remember.

And when Claire was brought home from the hospital, I was busting at the seams to introduce myself to her.  For some reason, Daddy found it necessary to hold my scruff pretty tightly.

I think I got to lick her pinky.

Overall, I am still the same friendly dog and am so incredibly gentle with my sisters.  Not so much the rug or doorframe, but all I have is love and kisses for my sisters.  The biggest change for me is that I have become an emotional eater and have to eat super expensive dog food so that my stomach won't get upset.  It's just my little way of reminding Mommy and Daddy that I'm important too.  Important enough to shell out a pretty penny for my food every month or so :)  That's my way of sticking it to the man.  Oh, and this too.

That's what they get for not making their bed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Season of Firsts

This past holiday season was marked by a slew of things that we did for the first time.  Rather than an elaborate post on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I thought I'd highlight the holiday season with our "firsts."

We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time, and I made my first turkey.  Little did I know that it takes a few days for a frozen turkey to defrost.  I bought mine the day before Thanksgiving and had to do a quick thaw in the cooler.  Lesson learned.
Matt carved his first turkey.  Look at that intense concentration :)
Our friends played our XBox 360 (Thanks, Dad!) for the first time...
...and fell asleep after a big Thanksgiving lunch.  Sorry, Kahleel, just had to put this one in :)
Christmas brought about Abigail's first Christmas program at preschool.  This was about the time that Matt and I realized we had become those parents armed with a camera and video camera.
We hosted Christmas for the first time and were blessed to be able to celebrate with Matt's entire family.
Claire celebrated her first Christmas and was given a thorough tutorial by her sister and cousins as to how to open presents.
And lastly, we made our first gingerbread house.  Yum!

Wordless Wednesday


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