Monday, November 09, 2009

Taking a break

My sweet little dumplin
What's more fun than burying your arms in the dirt?

Going higher

Sweet Gracen is always trying to entertain her baby sister

a thoughtful Grier
We took a much needed break from school...these pictures are old since I'm trying to catch up on these were early can tell it was still hot in Texas, with all those sweaty heads. I forgot sunscreen that day, so we all got a little pink...or we got our daily dose of vitamin D...however you want to look at it. We love our local parks.


The school room (at our old house)
Aiden working hard
Gracen coloring
Grier playing w/ magnets
Grier sorting animal erasers
Several people have asked how homeschooling is going, including family. I think people are curious, and perhaps worried about how I school w/ all the littles around. Well, for starters Evan is taking her morning that helps tremendously. And Gracen does some preschool work right along side us...Grier is a bit trickier. I put several activities together for her to play with while we do school. Those are two examples up above. She gets restless pretty quickly though, and she's not an alone time kinda kid at all. She wants to be right in the middle of the action.
So she tends to interrupt us quite a bit when she's finished with her activities. But we've got our little groove going, and I think we're all even enjoying ourselves. Homeschooling is a lot harder than I ever thought in my stage of life...but I really like having Aiden with us, and the girls do too...even if they won't admit it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again...

Last morning in our house. We let Aiden have a sleepover with the girls.

We took pictures like this when we moved from Dallas...and Gracen was wearing the gaucho pants that Grier is wearing coincidence.

Good bye house

Last time to run down our sidewalk...I was an emotional wreck that whole morning.

This is their thing...Gracen doesn't peddle things very well...but she loves to run after Aiden.

It's been a long time since I've posted anything. With our move, unpacking, and homeschooling...I haven't made blogging a priority...but I'm gonna try to slowly catch up and keep up now that we're more settled.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Here's proof that they love each other. They were watching Gracen's spring dance recital for the 100th time...and I looked over and couldn't believe they were holding hands. I snuck off to get my camera, peeked over the coffee table and caught it on camera...I now have it forever, and might just keep it handy so that I can remember there is true affection there...even if it's way down deep.

Grace Harbor

1st day of Grace Harbor

Aiden with his homeroom teacher, Mrs. Turner.

We stumbled across this program several months ago for homeschool families, and feel like we found a jewel. The name of the umbrella program is Grace Harbor. Aiden goes once a week and he attends art, p.e., music, speech, Spanish, and character building. I love that he's getting exposed to all of these different classes, and making friends. He has gone two weeks now, and his favorite class is SPEECH. I can hardly believe it. He certainly did not get that from me. I'm still haunted by my college freshman speech class, where I literally cried every time I got in front of the class. Nope...he gets that from his Daddy...who is extremely comfortable up front. And his second favorite class is art. I love that. I just knew p.e. would be his favorite class. Look at my big kindergarten boy. I couldn't be prouder if I tried.

They might just be related...

Aiden is slouching...Gracen isn't taller than Aiden. :)

There was excitement in the air on the first day of school...can you tell? The kids were unusually goofy...

First day of homeschooling

He's just a little bit excited.

My super handsome guy

Here's Aiden on his first day of home. He was so excited to start. I just had to do a first day of school photo like my Dad tortured me with EVERY year...same place...EVERY year. And now, it's my turn to do it with my kids...

Shaving Cream Fun

A little shaving cream goes a long way.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Making Baby Food

I'm not sure why I'm blogging about making baby food. But some people have asked me how I do it...and I kinda want to remember what it was like doing day when I have kids in college, and I'm way past this stage. I really enjoy making it...I feel like I'm giving my baby the best...and it saves A LOT of money. So, after I steam it, and puree it...I freeze it individually in ice cube trays and then pop the cubes out and freeze them in a big freezer ziploc all the peas together, all the sweet potatoes together, etc. I have bought jarred baby food a few times, when I'm in a pinch. I've kept the jars, and I use them to freeze individual portions for when I'm on the go. I just defrost it and throw it in the diaper works great.

The Vet

I've been trying to teach the kids how to play imaginary games...does that seem ironic? I LOVED playing school, house, library, and "Kids In Cooperated" (anybody else play that??), and anything else I could think of. Oh, my best friend Jo and I would play 20/20 when we were in like 3rd joke. One of us would be Barbara Walters, and the other one would be the mother who just gave birth to twins. Oh, I'm laughing just thinking about it. But we called her Barbara Wa-Wa. We must have heard one of our parents imitate her or something. Anyhow...the imagination is amazing. Okay, maybe my kids are too young to think of those kind of scenarios...but I'm trying to help them along. So, one morning we played "Vet". Mommy was the vet, and if you'll notice they each have an animal with them. This is them hanging out in the "waiting room", waiting to be called in by the doctor. Doesn't this look for real? It was making me laugh...I just had to snap a picture.

Who needs a pool??

Catching Rain

I think I've mentioned before that my mom is a Master Gardener. She took a class this summer on rain water harvesting, and is now licensed to do it for other people. I'm not sure what all that means, but I do know that she has been hired by several people to do it for their houses. It's pretty cool. There are huge barrels that you install at the corners of your house, and they capture the rain water that comes off your roof. I can't remember the exact equation for determining how much water you can get, but it has something to do with the square footage of your house (roof). Anyways, it's an unbelievable amount of rain...and it's free! My little suburban mom is turning into something of a hippy lately, and she's starting to rub off on me.
So of course, I'm cloth diapering...mostly because I want to be a good steward of God's resources: Earth and money. And we are recycling everything allowable...We use mostly sunlight during the day to light up our house, and I'm line drying most of our I thought...let's catch a little rain. Now, I don't have a barrel system yet...but as you can see from the picture we have gotten pretty creative with our containers. The kids love it, and I love that they are learning to be good stewards as well. As soon as the buckets get full we dump them in yellow spots on our grass, or we water the trees, or flower beds, and then we set them back out to collect more free water. And a total bonus...the kids get to play in the rain. As a side note, our lawn is one of the better looking ones on our street.

Oh, What A Father's Willing to Do for His Girls....

I know it's a really busy picture...and I tried to make it simpler by changing it to black and white...BUT I just had to get a shot of this. These girls have it pretty good! They both love to have their backs tickled. So Blake decided to tag team them, and do it at the same time. He is the sweetest ever. Have I mentioned that he gives me a 30 minute massage at least 3 times a week?! I love him! And he loves his girls...


I know this is kinda unusual...but I LOVE these beans. My friend Kendall's mom introduced us to them awhile back...and I have been hooked ever since. I feel like at this point that it's just cruel for me not to share them with you...because they are THAT good. They are dehydrated flakes, and you add water, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes. That's it...seriously. I add salt, pepper, and garlic powder...and WOW...totally fab! I ALWAYS have them on hand. I try to tell everybody about them, including every checker I get at the grocery store. I seriously think I should be getting some endorsement money for this product. In fact, the last time I picked some up at HEB, the checker asked me to do an impromptu commercial right there at the cash register featuring these marvelous refried beans. I had NO trouble coming up with my little's like I'd rehearsed it in my head 100 times. Go buy a bag or 3 and let me know what you think.

Budding Artist

Gracen has recently really gotten into drawing, and coloring. She was very proud of her ladybug.

Dreaming of Better Days

I caught Grier in the baby's exersaucer the other doubt, dreaming of better days...when SHE was the baby.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Meal Idea Monday


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup quick cooking oats
6 1/2 ounces evaporated milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup ketchup
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a medium baking dish. In a bowl, mix beef, egg, oats, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and 1/2 cup onion. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and arrange in a single layer in the baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix ketchup, garlic, sugar, 1/4 cup onion, and liquid smoke. Pour evenly over the meatballs. Bake uncovered 1 hour in the preheated oven.

*This recipe is really you might already have it. I got it from my friend Stacey...when Evan was born, but then I started seeing it everywhere. It's really good. My kids love it too.

Meal Idea Monday Make-Up

Parsley Pesto Breadcrumb Pasta


1 pound spaghetti

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped or grated

2 bunches flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/3 to 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 3 tablespoons, divided

Ground black pepper

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Boil Spaghetti noodles according to package direction. Drain thoroughly.

Parsley pesto: Place the garlic and parsley leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Add some salt and pepper, and pulse until roughly chopped. With the machine running, pour in 1/3 to 1/2 cup EVOO (just enough to make a thick, smooth paste). Turn the machine off and reserve.

Place a large skillet over medium heat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring every now and then, until very lightly toasted. Add the breadcrumbs, stir to combine and toast until the breadcrumbs are golden and the pine nuts are a dark golden color, 2-3 minutes. Add the pesto to the skillet with the breadcrumbs and cook 2-3 minutes (just enough to cook out the raw garlic taste). Add the lemon zest and juice and season with some pepper. Add the drained spaghetti and parmesan cheese to the skillet and toss to combine.

*This is a Rachel Ray recipe. I'm usually not a huge fan of hers, but I came across this and decided to try it...and Mmmmm good.

Meal Idea Monday Make-Up

Shortcut Lasagna

1lb. ground beef
Chopped onion (I omit this, but add onion powder)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (28oz.)
1 bag of cheese ravioli (don't know the exact measurement)
2c. mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground beef, adding salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Drain grease. Pour in spaghetti sauce, and let it simmer for 5 minutes. In an 8x8 baking dish, spread enough sauce and beef to cover the bottom, and put a layer of ravioli down end to end. Spread a layer of sauce, and then cheese just like you would with lasagna. Keep layering with sauce on top. I think I usually get 3 layers in. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

This is so good, and we always have leftovers. We had this last week, and the kids LOVE it.

I'm Behind

Yeah, I'm so behind on blogging. We've had a lot going on over here at the Magee house. We're moving at the end of September, and so we've been attempting to pack, and look for a new house...etc. I'm preparing for a garage sale, and a consignment sale, and new ministry commitments at church. Aiden also started kindergarten last week...and like I've mentioned before, I'm homeschooling him. It's a decision I know that God has asked of us, but I've questioned him several times in the past week...because it keeps me really busy, and it's been a challenge to school him with his little sisters around. But the one thing God keeps bringing me back His grace. We're still new at this, and I believe that He will equip me for this journey...I'm just waiting for that to happen. :) In the meantime, I'm gonna try to catch up with blogging, because I enjoy writing. It's become kind of an outlet for me. And I want to "scrapbook" our family events, since the paper kind just isn't going to happen.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meal Idea Monday

Mexican Lasagna

1lb. ground beef or turkey
1 pkg. dry taco mix seasoning
1 c. water
12 (6") corn tortillas
1 c. salsa
1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (4oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
1 (4oz.) can mild chilies, drained
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown meat; add seasoning and 1 cup water. Cook until thick. Spray a 9 X 13 pan. Place 6 tortillas on bottom of pan, overlapping them. Mix salsa and tomato sauce; set aside. Top tortillas with half the meat, corn, olives, and chilies. Pour half the salsa and sauce mixture over this and sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat, finishing with cheese. Bake 20 minutes. Serves 6-8.

I got this recipe out of a kid friendly cookbook, and it's a hit w/ the family...including the kids. I omit the olives though, and it still tastes great to us.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Practical Theology for Women

I started this book recently, and I'm really enjoying it. For those of you who know my husband you know he's a seminary grad, and a HUGE historical theology guy. He loves talking about all things theology. In fact he's recently started a blog (It's in my blog list to the left) appropriately named "Traversing Theology". Anyways, because he is passionate about good theology I have started to become a lot more interested in the subject. One of the ways that I can be his recreational companion is to read books like this one. Funny huh? I mean, yeah, he likes it when I watch a football game with him or go listen to music at Waterloo Records...but he LOVES it when I read books about theology. He has been giving me a hard time about having not read his thesis yet...but I seriously don't even understand the title. So maybe after I'm finished reading this book, I'll be ready to tackle the thesis. That should make up for all the romantic comedies he's had to watch, and the shopping bags he's carried.
Okay, well back to the's really well written, and I like the way it's laid out. I included a picture of the back of the book, so you could read it, and hopefully it would peak your interest. And did I mention how pretty the book is too? The woman knows women. I would have picked it up in the store just because it's pretty! Hmmm...I might have some others issues as well. It's broken down into 3 sections: (1) What is Theology, (2) Who is our God, and (3) Communicating with our God. Ladies, it's only 152 pages...super thin. You will be doing yourself a favor if you read a copy of this book. Sharpen your mind, and be ready with an answer....we should have solid theology as well.
Here's the author's blog:

Monday, August 03, 2009

7 months

I am totally smitten. Really. I'm proof that it can happen again...on baby #4. Evan is my sweetest baby yet...I'd say that they just get sweeter every time...but there was a 'Grier' thrown in there somewhere. Evan is now 7 months, and we just took her for her 6 month check-up...a little late....but what's a month, or so. She weighed in at a tiny 15lbs. flat. Just for fun, I'd thought I'd post my other children's weights at 6 months:
Aiden-18.1 lbs.
Gracen-19.12 lbs.
Grier-17.5 lbs.
I'm a tad concerned, but I'll keep an eye on it...and maybe weigh her at HEB next time I go. I'm sure she'll be fine. She eats maybe there's no need for concern.
Evan is sitting up, and also getting up on all fours for a few seconds at a time. There is no sign of teeth yet, but she is drooling, and chewing on I'm sure it's around the corner. I don't think my babies get teeth until at least 8 months...that's probably why nursing is such a good experience for me that 1st year. I just discovered some cradle cap...yuck. She's my first baby to have it, and I'm pretty sure it's because she doesn't get bathed as often as my other 3 did...oops. But we've got a good regime of daily "Head and Shoulders" and it's already going away. Evan gives us belly laughs constantly. She's funny. She seems to always have a smirk on her face, like she's just waiting for someone to do something goofy or funny...which happens often around here. It's like she's saying, "Come on guys, just meet me half way. I'll pretty much laugh no matter what." It's awesome. She's also trying to hold the spoon when we feed her...
Uh-oh. I'm still rooting for a personality like Blake's...but we'll see. Gracen fooled me like this. In my experience, you just never know.

Meal Idea Monday

Honey-Glazed Chicken

2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
3 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. corn starch
2 Tbsp. oil
4 cups cut-up veggies-I use broccoli and carrots

Cut chicken into bite-size strips and set aside. For the sauce, combine honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, and corn starch in a small bowl; set aside. Pour oil into a large wok and heat over medium-high heat. Add vegetables to the wok; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from the wok. Add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring, or until chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from the center of the wok. Stir the sauce, add to the wok’s center, and cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return cooked veggies to the wok; combine veggies and chicken with the sauce, and stir until heated through. Serve over white rice or Asian noodles.

This is super yummy! Blake and I love stir fry, and so I'm always trying new recipes. Some don't work out, but this is a keeper.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Meal Idea Monday

The VERY best "Baked Chicken & Rice" you've ever had...for real

1 ¼ cup uncooked rice
3 cans of: cream of chicken
¼ cup melted butter
½ cup milk
¼ cup French dressing
1 package sliced almonds
parmesan cheese
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Spray a 13x9 pan. Mix all liquid ingredients together. Add rice to half of liquid ingredients and pour in bottom of pan. Lay chicken on top; pour remaining liquid over chicken. Sprinkle generously with almonds & parmesan cheese. Bake at 325° 1 ½ hours, covered with foil for 1 hour. Uncovered for 30 minutes.

This is so good, so easy...and the leftovers are AWESOME!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Backyard Bible Clubs

Day 1 Group Shot w/ Aiden and Grier

First Freeze Pop


Day 2 Group Shot

Singing songs
Backyard Bible Clubs are this week for our church's association. Gracen has Princess Camp, thanks to our amazing dance studio....Dance Emotions. So I've been going with the other 3. Backyard Bible Clubs are so cool. They are one of the highlights of the summer for me. It's like VBS, but more outreach oriented, b/c they are in people's backyards. The idea is that you will invite your neighbors to come and participate. It works out well, b/c most kids are already bored from the summer break, and most parents are looking for something to entertain their kids...perfect! They are led by each of the churches youth, who go away to boot camp for training. I LOVE to see the youth stepping up and serving in this way. It really helps me to have vision for my own children 10 years down the road...and how exciting for the parents of all these teens to know that their kids can share the gospel like 5 different ways...pretty cool stuff. Friday night is the big "party" (Summerfest) where all the families are invited to come and celebrate the week w/ games, food, and fellowship. It's a blast. Aiden is really into it this year, and Grier is just along for the ride.

The Cutest Baby Ever

Evan-almost 7 months she not a doll?! Those cheeks get LOTS and LOTS of kisses.