Friday, November 28, 2008


I have so much to be thankful for on a daily basis. To name a few:

My salvation
My family
My friends
My church
The fact that we're all healthy
My job (even though it's not what I want to be doing, there are so many people without employment that I am grateful to have a job)
Good food!
Yesterday we had a great and relaxing Thanksgiving. It was nice for all of us to be home together being a family. Rondell has been working a lot at Best Buy and he was tired so I let him sleep in. He has done that for me so many times, it was time for me to give back. The kids and I played and Jamison helped me make cornbread dressing. We watched the Thanksgiving Day parade and just relaxed.
For dinner we went to Rondell's mom's house. My mom joined us and I was thrilled to have her there. There weren't too many people and it was relaxing to just sit and enjoy each other's company (and the wonderful food!). I was also very thankful to Rondell's aunt, Aunt Peggy, for cutting up my turkey (Rondell's stepdad deep fries turkeys and they are so yummy, so he did one for me to take home so we could have leftovers...and it's A LOT of turkey!).

Aunt Peggy and my turkey

The girls: Jamison, Quinelle, and Ni Ni (these are Rondell's cousin's girls and Jamison LOVES them)

Maw Maw (Rondell's mom) and her babies
After dinner we went to Rondell's dad's house to say hello. Caleb is named after Rondell's father. Only Caleb was with us because Jamison was still at Maw Maw's with her cousins...of course. By the time we got to Ron's dad's everyone had gone home so we were really able to have a nice and quiet visit.
Overall it was such a nice day. Today I took the kids halfway so that they can spend the weekend in Cleveland. Jamison was beyond excited, Caleb not so much, but he's fine now. On Sunday Rondell and I go up there for the Browns game. I am so excited about going to a game even though it's going to be freezing. I'll post pictures from that event tomorrow (or the next day depending on how tired I am!)

School Friends

Hannah, Jamison and Allison
These are two of Jamison's school friends. For some time now Jamison has talked about eating lunch with Allison. Everyday she eats with Allison and then they play at recess, she says. What's funny to me about this story is that Allison is in the other Kindergarten class and so she and Jamison hooked up on their own. That is so cute to me!
Jamison and I talked about having Allison over, so that I could meet this new best friend of hers. She then told me about Hannah and how Hannah eats with them too (Hannah is in Jamison's class). So, I decided to have a little playdate and have Hannah and Allison and their moms over for pizza. It was postponed twice because of Caleb's stomach flu, but they were finally able to come over. It was nice to meet two of the kids that Jamison likes to play with at school. It was also nice to sit down with the moms and get to know them too.
The girls had a really good time, having a picnic and then playing in Jamison's room. I tried to be creative and attempted to make hand-turkey cookies but it didn't work so we just had plain sugar cookies and then decorated them with icing. They girls enjoyed doing that and they were quite tasty.
I'm sure they'll be over again soon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

If I Can Make It, You Can Make It Monday

Toffee Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup of butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package of English toffee bits (you can also use chocolate covered if you really like chocolate)

Combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla and beat until creamy.
Add flour, baking soda and salt and beat well at reduced speed until well mixed.
Fold in toffee bits by hand.
Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Note: I sometimes sprinkle sugar on top right when they come out of the oven.



I need to see less of this:

And more of this:

I don't mind the cold so much, but the gloomy, cloudy skies have got to go! Not to be a downer but I'm really missing the blue skies...come back blue skies!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Linens & Things

I am not the best at finding a deal, but I saw on an email that Linens & Things is closing. I went on its website and they have a lot of sales. They are all final so make wise choices.

I just thought I'd share that tid bit of information.

Have a good weekend. We have nothing planned...NICE!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Remembering Fall

(this is the tree in my front yard!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So now that there is snow on the ground and the high is only supposed to be 33, do I take down my fall decorations (sniff)?

Note: I've done a few posts in the last few days so be sure to scroll down.

Monday, November 17, 2008

If I Can Make it, You Can Make it Monday


1 box of lasagna noodles
1 lb of ground beef
1 lb of ground Italian sausage
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (I usually use Ragu Robusto)
6 cups of mozzarella cheese
1 package of slice provolone cheese
1 container of small curd cottage cheese (any size depending on how much you like it. You could also use Ricotta)

Boil noodles according to the package
Brown ground beef and sausage together (I usually also add some garlic powder or salt)
Drain noodles and set aside
Drain meat and then put back into skillet
Add 1 1/2 jars of the sauce to the meat mixture and set aside
In a 9x13 size dish add a small layer of the sauce and meat mixture (this will stop the noodles from sticking)
Then add a layer of noodles to line the dish
Add 1/2 of the meat mixture
Add all of the cottage cheese
Add all of the provolone cheese
Add two cups of the mozzarella
Add another layer of noodles
Add the remaining meat mixture
Add two cups of the mozzarella
Add another layer of noodles
Add the remaining 1/2 of spaghetti sauce
Add the remaining mozzarella cheese
Top with foil

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes
Allow lasagna to sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes for it to settle (or it will be runny like mine was last night because we were so hungry that we ate right away)

NOTE: Of course you don't have to do the layering like I do, it's just what works for me. Add as much or as little cheese as you'd like. It's really an easy meal and makes for great leftovers. Add a salad and some garlic bread and you've got a complete meal.

Oh, also last night I thought that if I put toothpicks in before I put the foil on the top layer of cheese won't stick to the foil. I will have to try that the next time because the cheese always sticks.

I WON, I WON!!!!!

I entered a contest recently and when I went to the site today, I read that I won runner up. I'm not sure yet what I'm getting but I'm sure it'll be something exciting. YEAH!!!!

Shout Outs and a Weekend Run-down (no pictures, sorry)

We had a great weekend, well Jamison and I had a great weekend. On Friday, Renee and Toshianna were in town for Toshianna's gymnastics meet. Toshianna has been doing gymnastics since she was 4 and she has natural talent. I don't say that just because she's my sister and I love her, I am always amazed by her when I watch her.

Anyways, while we were waiting to leave for dinner Renee told me that she has Browns tickets, club seats, and would Rondell and I like to go. Rondell LOVES football and has never been to a game so I jumped right on that opportunity. THANKS RENEE!!! I thought about surprising him but I know I would not have been able to keep that secret for two weeks. I put them on top of the entertainment center thinking that I could still surprise him when he got home from work, but I feel asleep and the giant that my husband is saw them because the top of the entertainment center is eye level. Oh well. He's still excited.

We went to dinner, Renee, the kids and I, at Carrabba's. We joined Toshinna's teammate and her family. They were a fun bunch of people. After dinner Jamison went to stay with Toshianna and Renee at their hotel. She was so excited about that.

Saturday when I woke up and went upstairs (I have had a bad habit of falling asleep on the couch) Rondell informed me that Caleb had been throwing up. Great (grrr). Rondell stayed home with him while I went to Toshianna's meet (bless his heart). Toshianna did great. This was her first meet at Level 7 and she placed 5th overall. Her floor routine was so adorable. It was to the theme music for Inspector Gadget.

After the meet we all went to Mimi's Cafe. If you have not been to this restaurant and you have one near you it is a must. Their food is so yummy. We went with two of Toshi's teammates and their families. The younger girls, including Jamison, sat by themselves at the booth behind us and Jamison ordered her own meal. While I missed Rondell and Caleb, it was nice to hang with just us girls.

Later that evening I went to dinner with Jodie. We haven't gotten together in a while so it was nice sit down and chat with her for a bit. She even made me sugar cookies with yellow frosting. So thoughtful (my favorite color is yellow and I LOVE her cookies.)

Sunday Caleb was still kind of sick so Jamison and I went to church alone. It was nice spending the weekend with her. After church we stayed home and then I made Rondell a lasagna (which I will post for "If I can Make it You can Make it Monday" a little later) because he stepped up when I couldn't.

How was your weekend?

My Happy Place

I know that it is not even Thanksgiving, but I LOVE Christmas music. This morning as I was driving to work I got a feeling of needing a pick-me-up. Then I remembered that a station here plays Christmas music a little early. I turned to the station and BAM, I was in the middle of my happy place. Christmas music just makes me happy so now I have it on at work (turned down of course so I'm not made fun of too often!).

Where is your happy place? Another one is it time for the countdown yet?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cool GiveAWay

Happy Friday! Go here for a cool giveaway. These bowls are just adorable and her blog is really fun to read.

Good luck, well kind of...I want to win too. HUGS!

Monday, November 10, 2008

If I Can Make It, You Can Make It Monday

I decided to start adding something to blog to keep things interesting. So, I came up with "If I can make it, you can make it Monday." Each Monday I will post a recipe that I make all of the time or a new recipe that I've recently tried. The following recipe is one that I got from my friend Lyndsey. Now I make it a lot when we have appetizers (have I mentioned that I LOVE appetizers). My mother in-law has even requested that I make it for Thanksgiving. I'm honored!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

3 or 4 chicken breasts shredded (I usually boil mine for about 20 minutes and then shred)
2 blocks of cream cheese (softened for easier mixing)
1 container of blue cheese crumbles
4 oz of hot sauce (you can use more if you like it really spicy)
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese

Combine chicken, cream cheese, blue cheese and hot sauce in a bowl and mix well

Pour in a oven safe dish (I use a casserole dish)

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes; then added cheddar cheese and bake for another 15 minutes

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy! *(or you could just eat it with a spoon like Rondell!)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is the birthday. I had a great day today and I thought I'd share it with you.

I kind of started celebrating last night because we got Tommy's (my 2nd favorite pizza place, Giordano's in Chicago is #1). It was so yummy and the four of us just sat around and hung out.

This morning I got to hang out with the kiddies (Rondell was at an early morning meeting). They were so sweet. When Rondell came home he gave me my card and my gifts (2 CDs) and then I went to breakfast with my friend Lyndsey. The food and the company were great. After breakfast I went to Hallmark...I love that store. I had to buy a gift for a friend whose birthday is tomorrow.

I went home and Jamison was so excited to see me. She immediately gave me a card, which she signed herself. She started talking about my party, and when my party was going to be. The sweet girl loves a good party. Later in the day when I was in the basement doing laundry, Jamison was down there with me. She happened to find this sign below and insisted that we put it up. She's so sweet and I could just squeeze her.

Jamison took these pictures of my Happy Birthday banner.

During the day Jamison wished me Happy Birthday over and over and continued to talk about having a party. I told her that my party would be with her, Caleb, Rondell and my mom and that would make me very happy. She was OK with that (she did say that she wanted all of my friends to come over and I told her maybe next year).

Me and my sweet babies (please excuse Jamison's hair)

Jamison was all about the camera today!

I got so many nice phone calls today too! My grandfather called me and that was major. My grandmother (Granita) was always the one who paid attention to our birthdays. But today he called my dad and asked for my number and called me. That was so meaningful to me.
My mom came over in the evening to make one of my favorite meals, cabbage & noodles, with smoked sausage and corn bread. Oh my was it yummy! I'll have to get the recipe from her...or I can just have her keep making it :). She was also going to make banana split cake for me but it got late so that is something to look forward to. Jamison and Caleb ate my birthday cake that my friends from work bought and Jamison sang me her own, newly created just for me, Happy Birthday song. If I can figure out how to get it on here I will add it. It was adorable. I told her over and over how special she made this day for me.

Next weekend my Cleveland family is coming to town so the celebration will continue!

Friday, November 7, 2008

And the Celebration Begins...

My name is Kelli and I LOVE my birthday (it's tomorrow)! I have always loved my birthday and while the excitement has become less the last few years, it is still a day I very much look forward to.

When I was little I almost always remember having sleep overs. I remember them being a really fun time. I'm sure if I dig deep enough into my mom's stack of pictures that I could find some from the sleepover days. My grandmother always called me first thing in the morning to wish me a happy birthday. She knew how to make me feel special.

I remember my 15th birthday because my family came from Detroit (my father's side) to help me celebrate. I remember going to Friday's for dinner and the staff putting balloons on my glasses. Gosh that was a fun day. I think that's when Renee (my stepmom) bought me my coat with the real fur lining on the hood. I was fancy.

My 25th birthday was memorable too. That was the first and only time I have been intoxicated. Don't ask me why I chose to do that because before then I was not a drinker. But for some reason I did and I tell you what, not fun. I remember calling my mom and telling her and saying how this was not something I ever wanted to do again. Apparently too I'm a crybaby drunk because I cried when I thought Rondell was leaving the restaurant. Crazy and interesting experience. One never to be had again. Now I don't even drink at all...give me a Coke and that does just fine (except I can't have Coke until December 19 because of a fast that I'm doing).

Since working at my current job my friends here have always done a birthday celebration for me. They bring in good food and I get a lot of love. Today they brought in bagels, donuts and a cake!

Last year I celebrated with girlfriends. My friend Karynda opened up her home and we had appetizers (my favorite) and just hung out. It was perfect. I called it the celebration of the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday.

Last night Rondell took me to Abuelo's (which is becoming my new favorite restaurant) for my birthday. We had a great time, even though he kept me up way past my bedtime (wink). We were able to enjoy each other's company along with some great food. We both ate WAY too much. Our server was so nice too. When I ordered my nachos I asked for extra sour cream and he brought me some. Then when he brought us our meal he brought another side of sour cream. Talk about good customer service. We tipped well.

Tomorrow is the actual day. My friend Lyndsey and I are going to breakfast and then I'm just going to relax and enjoy my family. Mommy is coming over in the evening to make dinner, cabbage & noodles with smoked sausage and cornbread. YUM!

What do you like to do for your birthday?

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I will be so happy when all of this election talk is over. I've gone from really enjoying blog reading to being so frustrated with accusations, judgment, disrespect, etc. I don't understand how we as Americans and Christians can judge so freely. It's great to read up on what you believe, but listening to the media is not always the answer because the media is definitely NOT always honest. Just be careful... James 2:1 says "My dear brother and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?" James 4:12 says "God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?"

I will be happy when I can go back to reading about good reads, child rearing, decorating ideas, recipes, etc... I don't like all of this division and anger. I need joy! And I miss blogging...:)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So Kelli, What Have You Been Up To?

I thought you'd never ask. It's not that we've had so much going on, but rather things have just been hectic around here. NOTE: I have no idea why blogger won't space between my paragraphs. It's very frustrating so if anyone can help that would be great!

Well you know last weekend Caleb was sick with a stomach virus (he's fine now). Since he was sick and I didn't want Jamison to get it, she went to Rondell's mom's for the weekend (she escaped the wrath!). While she was at Maw Maw's house, Jamison pulled out her other loose tooth. So now she has two new teeth. She's growing so fast!
Then comes sad cousin Tasha, 36, passed away on Tuesday. Everyone was asleep and we got a call from my aunt (the one who cares for Jamison and Caleb) around 1:00 am. Calls at that hour are never good. My aunt told Rondell that she had to call the ambulance for Tasha and that she didn't think she was going to make it. My cousin had been sick for a little while with some infections and apparently her body couldn't take it anymore. I quickly got dressed, called my mom (who was already at the hospital) and was on my way. She passed right before I got there. Tasha was the cousin that I wanted to be when I was younger. She and I played a lot when I would come to Columbus with my mom. She's was the cousin I always wanted to stay with. We've grown apart over the years for various reasons, but she will be missed.
So, because Aunt Roni has been dealing with the loss of her child, me, Rondell, and other wonderful family members have gathered together to take care of the kids. Wednesday I stayed home. Mommy watched them on Thursday and I stayed home again on Friday. Paw Paw (Rondell's step dad) came over on Friday to watch Caleb for a bit while I went to Jamison's Fall Party at her school.
Jamison's Fall Party was a lot of fun. She talked all week about me coming to her class and staying for her party. Mrs. Dutko had four stations set up and each parent manned a station. There was one where the kids frosted cookies and decorated them, one with Halloween bingo, one with pin the nose on the pumpkin and then my station where we made bracelets. It was so nice to get to talk with the kids that Jamison plays with each day. I didn't take my camera because I didn't know if that was appropriate, so there are no pictures, sorry.
Then it was home to finish Jamison's costume. Have I told you what she wanted to be....a strawberry poptart. I'm glad she told me this about two months ago because it allowed me to really think about how I was going to put something like that together. My mom helped a lot with the idea. I ended up taking an off white pillow case and putting a white piece of fabric on top for the frosting. Then I took glitter glue and made spots all over for the little sprinkles that are on top of poptarts. She wore a red sweatsuit for the filling. I think it turned out pretty well:

Here's my little poptart (it's hard to see the glitter, but it's all over the front)

Trick or Treat was fun. Jamison's cousins came over and Caden, next door, went too. It's turned into a tradition for Rondell, his mom and the neighbors to go and then Mommy and I stay and hand out candy. Mommy and I love seeing all of the kids' costumes.

My poptarts. Rondell decided to make Caleb a brown sugar poptart. So he has on a pillow case with brown frosting and a brown sweatsuit for the filling.

The kids ready to go, Caleb, Jayshawn, Ni Ni, Jamison and Quinelle

Jamison rounding up her troops. Caden was a train conductor.

The little trick or treaters, Caleb and Carissa (Caden's little sister).

When everyone came back Rondell updated me on how popular Jamison is. He said that as they were going through the neighborhood quite a few kids would come up and say "hi Jamison." Rondell was so tickled. Then a child two kids came to the door and saw Jamison and said "hi Jamison." They were like 4th graders. Too funny! I wonder if this is a view of what's to come.

So that's been the deal around here. Our house is messy (and driving me crazy) and schedules are off. We even missed church this morning! I'm sure we'll be back to normal here in just a little bit.

Oh and I found two new blogs that I like to read. You can see them here and here. I have also added them to my sidebar. These ladies are so creative and it has really inspired me. I'm not very creative but I love to make things around here homey and these blogs are great tools.

OH!!!! And my birthday is just one week away, the big 3-2!