Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Survey Junkie


It's everyone's favorite day of the week again, Tuesday..
So that means it's time to link up & follow for
Follow Me Back Tuesday

Hosted By
& This Week's Guest Host's Are...
Michelle from Ace & Friends
Jacqui from Single Parent Retreat

Monday, February 21, 2011

Contact lenses!

Riley's contact lens FINALLY came in! We got up this morning and went down to Baylor Medical Center to the Alkek Eye Center. The most PATIENT woman in the world was Riley's optometrist this morning. She showed me how to clean Riley's contact lens. It's just a little different from my own lenses, but still simple and easy.

Then the hard part...

I had to put the lens in Riley's eye. Without an example first. However, this was easy! I got the lens in on the first try. I got a high five from the doctor and a great big hug from Rooster.

But then, we couldn't leave until I could show her I was capable to take the lens OUT! I should've known. When I got my own contact lenses, I wasn't allowed to leave until I could show my doctor I could handle it.

I felt so bad for Riley :( She had to be pinned down for this and it took me a good 45 minutes or so until I was able to get it out. This lens is more stiff than traditional contact lenses; I couldn't get a good grip while she was crying. But luckily I did get it out. Every time I NEARLY got it, I was praised by the optometerist for doing such a good job and not giving up. It really helped that she was so patient with me.

We let Riley take a little break and then I popped the lens back into her eye and we were able to leave.

It is definitely a two-person job. I'm glad my dad was able to go with us. I will have to teach Mr. Dye how we did everything. It is definitely a lot easier than I first thought. Thank goodness we are allowed to leave it in until Wednesday or Thursday, then it must come out one day this weekend for overnight cleaning. We just have to pick two days out of the week, one for taking it out over night and the other day to put it in. Once the eye doctor feels that Riley and we are comfortable with this task, (around 2 to 2.5 years of age) we will begin taking the lens out daily.

After the visit to the eye doctor, Dad, Riley and I grabbed an awesome lunch of bourbon chicken at the Mall and Riley and I rode the Carousel. Riley rode a "up-and-down" horse named "Flash!" He was a noble steed and did not throw my dear baby :)

Ahhh... this weekend was SUCH a good weekend! Friday while I was at work, I ordered some N*Fab steps for my truck. It's only a 2WD truck, but the steps are rugged looking and will make it more off-road like. I can't wait till we can get the wheels I want for it!

After work, we went to the mall to spend a little of our tax return on a new BED! We splurged for the awesome Sleep Number bed from Select Comfort. I did not know this about these beds, but, you have to order them and the bed is not even MADE until it is ordered. How cool is that?? We will have it within the next week. I can't wait!

Saturday, Mr. Dye and I got up SUUUUPER early and headed out to Victoria, TX to a Rabbit/Guinea Pig Show. I raised rabbits in high school and my BFF raised ginea pigs. Well, the BFF has gotten back into the pigs and was going to show some of her newly acquired ones. I decided that I would go, too. I had such a blast! I had forgotten how much fun it was. My dear husband and her boyfriend looked so out of place at this particular show, but even THEY had fun. Mr. Dye kept playing with some of my BFF's pigs and asking questions (even played sales man for her!). He even asked if they would make good pets for Riley-roo! (I think I see us being future guinea pig owners!) I'm so glad I got to attend this show. I was asked to take comments for one of the judges. I'm glad I got to do this, it reminded me of what judges look for in particular animals.

Sunday: Mr. Dye and I have been attending a Marriage Enrichment course at Church. It is a video bible study by Dr. Gary Chapman. It is absolutely wonderful. It's not for people WITH marriage problems, it is specifically to avoid maritial problems and to have a Christ-centered marriage. Some days we feel like the study doesn't pertain to us because we feel that we already do what is suggested within our marriage. However, we do get some valuable pointers through mini exercises.  Definitley worth the $16 in course material :)   After church, we went to Sun & Ski and purchased two new Haro bicycles for Mr. Dye and myself and even bought a baby seat for Rooster to ride with us! Once we finally got home to try it all out, Riley was tired (I hope) and didn't really like the ride :( We will have to try it again this weekend. we really hope she likes to ride with us.

Such a good weekend! I hope yours was just as awesome!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wreath: Completed!

I have COMPLETED the sheet-music wreath AND it is hung on our bedroom wall! I am quite pleased with this little project and am glad it is finished because now something cute and artsy (and pertaining to my past...) is hanging on our wall. The only thing is... it looks lonely up there :( I'm thinking about cutting out some music notes from ply-wood and hanging them to the right of the wreath! Enjoy:

Sorry, once again, my pictures are taken with an iTouch... I must get used to reaching for the GOOD camera... See the ugly tan wall?? MAN I wish I could fix that!

My next project?


It will go here:

Yes, that is part of my wedding attire from last July hanging on our floor lamp. As I was getting out of my dress I didn't want to fling my accessories on the floor like I am so apt to do, so this is where they ended up!

So, there is 15'' between the door fram and the intersecting wall, so, I want to put a low shelving unit here. I have not found any pre-builts that I like, so I am going to MAKE one! With my dad's help, because he has all the carpentry tools.

Here are the "Schematics" of the Anterior/Posterior view:

I said it could be front or back view because I don't plan on it having a back. It will be made out of plain-jane 1x12in shelving wood.

After I learned what lengths 1x12 comes in (4ft, 8ft, 10ft & 12ft) and their prices, I quickly did some math and came up with needing only two 1x12x12 boards. This comes to $37.xx before tax. I can live with this, as most pre-builts come with some assembly required for $100-ish bucks!

The only thing left to do is to purchase my wood, and decide on finish. I can't decide if I want to stain it to match the dresser/nightstands in our room or be creative and paint the shelf to match our bedding. Mr. Dye thinks it would be WAY COOL if it matched the bedding. So do I. So, we may match it to the bedding!

From the BB&B website, This is a better quality, but I wanted to show what our bedding looked like as well as the inspiration of the paint we may use on the shelf :)

You may be asking "Why all the odd measurements!?" My husband asked why I wan't dealing with 12'' increments. I came back with, "because it's my project and I'll do what I want!" :-P Well, I did say that, but I backed up my reasoning with: My primary use for this shelving unit is to hold folded clothing that does not fit into our tiny closet. But, we don't plan on living here forever so eventually we won't need to put clothes on this shelf. I also plan on it looking absolutely COOL and probably won't want to junk it. Therefore, I measured some of mine and Rooster's books and the tallest ones measure in at 11-12 inches. I don't like books being crammed into spaces, so I added extra room. Mr. Dye then complimented me on my smart thinking :)

P.S. While at our local lumber store, I was complimented on how well-thought my plans are by their wonderful lumber staff :) Made my day:)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{thirty} Days of TRUTH

I happened across this challenge, "30 Days of Truth," on this blog, Undeserving Grace. I am hoping I can keep up with it, as I think it will uncover a lot about myself. Why don't you try it, too?

30 Days of Truth

{day one} February 16, 2011

Do I pray like Jesus?

No, I don't pray like Jesus. I will say, however, that my praying skills have gotten TREMEMDOUSLY better since 2008. I read a book by Robert Whitlow, "The List," and it was boring, I'll admit. It took me a while to figure out why I was rading it. I think God put it in my hands not for the story line, but for the prayer lesson it had become. The characters prayed for EVERYthing. I have begun to do this, slowly. Since Mr. Dy have been maried/living together, we pray at dinner-time. I pray before I go to bed. I pray in thanksgiving for remembering where I put my keys! I pray when hearing of a prayer request on the radio. The one thing I want to get better at is praying on the spot. When someone says they are hurting or ill or what have you, I want to ask if I may pray for them AND DO IT RIGHT THEN, with that person. Aloud.

{day two}

Write a letter to what causes me stress bidding those things farewell from my life.

{day three}

Make a list of 5 difficult experiences I've had and the lesson(s) each one taught me.

{day four}

When I look ahead 5, 10, 15 years..What do I want my life to have produced? What results do long for in each area {wife, mother, daughter, and woman of God}

{day five}

What do I need now more than anything?

{day six}

What aspects of myself and my life have I struggled to accept and why? Through His Word what has been said about these things?

{day seven}

How can I cooperate more with God in order to grow in Him? What am I resisting rather than receiving?

{day eight}

At this moment I have the inner strength to change what direction in my life? What direction will I choose to go on this day?

{day nine}

How do I nurture myself?

{day ten}

Make a list of all the behaviors and incidents for which I want to be forgiven for. Pray for these items at a scheduled set time each day of this week asking to live free from any resentments or stored emotions.

{day eleven}

What are 30 things His Word tells me that I'm grateful for today?

{day twelve}

I feel weak and vulnerable when...

{day thirteen}

Write a love letter to myself.

{day fourteen}

Set a certain amount of time to spend with God this week and write about my reflections of how He revealed Himself or something to me during that time.

{day fifteen}

What did I want to be when I grew up and how does that compare to where I'm at today?

{day sixteen}

Can God handle my problems, insecurities, and struggles?

{day seventeen}

make a list of my fears and include the worst possible outcomes with each one. Then go back to each one with a plan for what I will do if that outcome becomes my reality.

{day eighteen}

Find 5 scriptures that inspire me and personalize them by re-writing them with my name in them somewhere.

{day nineteen}

What hopes have I let go of that I need to find again?

{day twenty}

What defines me and why?

{day twenty one}

Write a mission statement for myself.

{day twenty two}

Write a love letter to my first love (Christ)

{day twenty three}

What does God's grace mean to me and where do I see it in my life?

{day twenty four}

What does trusting God mean to me? What does the Bible say about trust?

{day twenty five}

Based upon my day to day struggles where do I leave God behind and how can I change this?

{day twenty six}

Each day for the next week choose a verse that reminds me of how much God loves me and write my thoughts each day on the verse.

{day twenty seven}

What does the Bible say about being a child of God and how can I relate them to my life?

{day twenty eight}

Where have I traveled within myself since beginning these 30 days of truth and what have I learned about myself in the process?

{day twenty nine}

Where am I going from here? what do know to be true?

{day thirty}

Where do my loyalties lie and what will remain secure within me despite where my days go or where this life takes me?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's Tuesday!


It's everyone's favorite day of the week again, Tuesday..
So that means it's time to link up & follow for
Follow Me Back Tuesday

Hosted By
& This Week's Guest Host's Are...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm so Versatile!

I have been awarded another award! The "Versatile Blogger" Award by Jordan @ Military Spouse House

Thank you, Jordan!

The Rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award, and 
let the giver know you accept the award!
Here are seven new things about myself:

1. Once, for about a month, I had RED hair! I absolutely LOVED it.
2. My favorite sport to GO see is baseball. I have seen many many Astros' games. My wonderful husband and I are contemplating a trip to watch a Ranger's game for our aniversary. We are torn between our love for the Rangers and our love for the beach... hmm...

3. I hate golf. But I do have a SMASHING good time goofing off at mini-golf courses.

4. I know about 20 useful ways to use vodka for household cleaning reasons.

5. I don't watch television on my own anymore. I haven't for about 4 years. The only time I watch it is if someone else was already watching it. But then again, I'm probably not really watching TV. I'm most likely letting my mind wander. Thinking about homework or what to make for dinner, or how cute my toes would look in the peep-toe pumps I saw at Wet Seal...

6. Speaking of shoes, I recently went through all 87 pairs of shoes in my closet and under my bed. I DONATED about 50 last weekend to the Salvation Army. That felt good and I have more floor space (which means MORE SHOES!).

7. When my husband and I first started dating, he would go shoot trap with his buddies almost every weekend. I would go too, just to take pictures. One time, he MADE ME try it. Like coerced me would be the word for it. Just to make him stop, I did try it. They pulled two clays one right after the other and I shot BOTH of them. I also proceeded to hit my target the next fourty-seven times. I had never shot trap before. I now love this sport!

OK, I'm supposed to award 15 more bloggers for this award. I still haven't awarded the Stylish Blogger Award from last time, soo... what I will do is, award 15 bloggers both awards:
The following have been awarded the


4. Kara @ Happy-Go-Lucky
6. Tisha @ Inspired Moments
8. Michelle @ Loving Every Second
9. Amber @ Lucky Lees to Be
12. Jan @ Ozona
14. Sam @ The Junk House

I will be contacting each of you shortly!

Happy Blogging!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


It is only 9:35AM and I've already had a few moments make me feel EXTREMEMLY happy!

1. I continue to fit into my Wrangler 20X jeans that I bought in 2005.
======>This is awesome, however I may not wear them in public anymore because they are ratty. But. They. Are. My. Faveorites! I practically wore them to the barn EVERYDAY for two years because they are super comfy and let me move when halter breaking/ fitting/ getting out of the way of COWS. They got dirty, they got washed. I think I cried when I was pregnant and got to the moment I could no longer wear them. Oh! But I fit into them exactly two months after the Roo-ster was born :) Oh Happy Day! Now they are my go-to jeans for cleaning day...

2. Roo-ster and I went to Wally-world this AM for a few supplies. In the check out lane this man pointed to my left hand and said "Ma'am, you are by far the prettiest woman I've seen today, are those {rings} for real??" Riley let out a giggle for whatever reason, so did I, and thankfully I was done at the check out and was able to say "Why yes they are! Thank you for the complement," and walked away. Quickly.
=====> For whatever reason, I've never been one to get complements similar to this, and frankly, it made my day.  Hats off to you, man at Wally-world check out!

3. My favorite movie: Top Gun. Great Balls of Fire, I found it this morning! It has been lost since the Husband and I moved in together... Nine long months Maverick, Goose and I have been without each other.
====>  {Swoon}

I hope you have an awesome day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Sheet Music Wreath...Finally!...Well, sorta

So, here are a couple pictures of the sheet music wreath. I got this far on Sunday, and haven't found the time to finish it. I'm out of work early today and I don't have class on Fridays so maybe I should get it done today? I bet my momma would love for me to remove it from her dining room table, don't you think? Seriously, I'm over this one room apartment for three people thing!

Sorry, the only camera choice I had this day was my cell phone or my iPod Touch...this is from the iTouch.


Here is the whole thing. I love the spacing of the bigger cones and how they aren't perfectly close together. I think it will be a cool contrast between the white back layer of the wreath and my ugly tan painted walls...(we're renting, or I'd change that, too!)

Here is a close-up of the slightly contrasting layers of the wreath. I aged the second layer with soaked black tea bags. I may still go back and do some more aging. It's not as much of a contrast as I would like it to be. Especially after seeing it here.

I hope you are all doing well :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Riley and a New Grab Button ♥

Well, Riley went back to Dr. Yen at Texas Children's for another post-op appointment. Her eye checked out well :) Yay Riley!

Dr. Yen took away one of the three drops Riley has to have and then cut back the frequency of the other two. This sounded awesome to me! Also, the patch that she has been wearing no-longer has to be worn 24/7. Riley only has to wear it when she sleeps so that she doesn't rub her eye. (We cheated on the 24/7 part this past Sunday. We took it off to take family pictures...)

We were scheduled to go to Baylor Eye Center after TXC's so Riley would be fitted for her contact lens. But... they didn't have her prescription on hand and it must be ordered. Until then, my mission is to find baby's eye glasses without a prescription to serve as protection for her "good" eye.

Once we get her contact lens, Riley will wear a patch on her "good" eye in order to train her "bad" eye to see again. We got some really cool samples of eye patches today! They are decorated all girly. CUTE!


I finally created a "Grab Button" for this blog! With help from my good buddy, Amber. Take a look-see:

Isn't it cool?? I ♥ it :) :) :)


Oh yeah, I was totally unprepared for the winter weather we are having today. I didn't know it was going to happen! We left TXC's this morning at 9:30 and it was 45* outside, according to my truck mirror. When we got back to town, my truck mirror said 30* at 11:00. A 15* difference within an hour and a half! Crazy!! While here at the shop, it has dropped to *24 and there is ice on all the cars in the parking lot. Classes tomorrow at SHSU are delayed until 10AM, so, I get to miss English class and not get in trouble ha ha! To bad classes aren't cancelled all day, oh well :-)


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rants & Crafts

Today has been an all around irritating day AND its not even over.

I had to drive the 40 miles to campus just to find out that my first class was cancelled due to a family emergency in the prof's family. I checked my email to see if there was an email sent to the class about it. There wasn't. Of course. So I wated in the student center for three hours doing homework and other misc stuff till my next class started. I walked over to that class and found a note on the door saying we wouldn't meet today. Talk about a MAJOR "woo-sah" moment for me! I'm paying money for my prof's to cancel class?? I seriously dislike this about college life. At least in grade school we had substitutes. I could have had a full day at work. Grrr...


Riley has taken to tensing her body and letting out a frustrating little grunt when she gets irritated, doesn't get what she wants, and just whenever she wants to. This frustrates me beyond no end. When she does do it and Dear Mr. Dye is around, he does it right back to her and they both errupt in a fit of giggles. I usually point and give a stern "NO"  which ends up with Riley getting this hurt look on her face; or, say calmly, "That's not how we get what we want" which doesn't get much of a reaction out of Riley. None of these approaches seem to get the point across to Riley to remain calm or the like. Everyday is something new, and I love that about motherhood. But lately there are more negative days and my daddy constantly says I'll be called to the principle's office daily starting in kindergarden... HA!

After I left campus, I stopped in at Hobby Lobby on my way to work. I have SEVERAL PROJECTS running around in my head. I needed to get some ideas. I bought a few pieces of clearanced scrapbook paper, mod podge, and pre-stretched canvas. After wandering around, looking at all the goodies, my wayward project ideas have since slowed from a run to a fast walk.

Now I am at work. I am sooo lucky to have an easy, laid-back job that gives me more freedom than most jobs. After work, I plan on finishing my sheet music wreath. I have the whole first layer finished. Top layer, is a quarter of the way done. I need to age about 15 more sheets of music and put them together. I can't wait to see it completely done! The whole wreath is about 32.75 inches in diameter. I think it will be an awesome addition to our bedroom wall, since there is currently NOTHING there!


Link Party

New Link Party!

Follow Me Back Tuesdays

Survey Junkie
Follow Me Back Tuesday

Hosted By
& This Week's Guest Host's Are...

Holly from Diamond Potential
Tisha from Inspired Moments
Also, I'm still doing Homemaker on a Dime's Swap Party, too! Check them out here:


Saturday, February 5, 2011

I want to make this

I want to make this.

It's a sheet music wreath! I have TONS of sheet music for being in band for 7-8ish years...

I am going to start today. In fact, as soon as Riley wakes up and has b*fast, we are out the door to my momma's to scavenger for old books of Region music...


I hated region.

What better thing to do with something you hate than to make it something awesome??

I will post pictures later.

By the way, I found this project at {Primp} blog!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

SO, I have been blogging for a week now. Nothing special. Just little tidbits of my life. And already I've been awarded from lovely SJ @ Homemaker on a Dime this "Stylish Blogger Award!"

Thank you so much, SJ.
Homemaker on a Dime

Here are the guidelines when receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

So, I have completed #1 above, now on to more exciting things in life! I'm going to share 7 awesome things about myself :) Enjoy:

1. Hello, My name is Courtney and I am a wife and mother in wonderful Montgomery, TX. Birthplace of the Texas Flag. Matt and I have been married since July, 2010 and we have Riley, our 15 month YOUNG daughter.

Me, Riley and Matt December 2010 Galleria Area, Houston

2. I am currently a Junior at Sam Houston State University. I graduated high school on a Saturday in May 2005 and Started at Sam the FOLLOWING Tuesday. I am a General Agriculture major while minoring in Secondary Education. I plan on teaching high school agriculture. To gain teaching experience I often substitute teach in our local school district. My first ever sub job was a long term position in a 3rd grade classroom teaching Language Arts, Social Studies, and Reading. These kids' original teacher up and quit 3 weeks into the school year. They were already three weeks behind the other third graders. I had no prior teaching experience AT ALL and was able to get them caught up within a week. That felt awesome. Also, I'm now that school's favorite sub and get jobs regularly Yay! :)

Eat 'Em Up Kats!                                                  Agricultural Education Logo

3. I just went through my most heart wrenching motherhood experience (So far. I know, I'm still new at this...and there are others out there with worse stories, but poo poo... this is MY baby!) January 23rd, I noticed Riley's left eye was clouded over. The next day she had a well-baby check up scheduled so I mentioned it to her pediatrician. He told me it could be a TUMOR! I was in official freak-out mode. My side of the family has a long history of cancer. Luckily for us, we were sent to a pediatric eye specialist at Texas Children's where Riley's eye was officially diagnosed to have a cataract. However, she would need surgery immediately so she would have a chance at regaining vision in that eye. That was February 1st. All of the week inbetween the initial visit and the surgery I was an emotional wreck. You can read about her surgery day HERE and find out all's well that ends well :)

Riley right after cataract removal surgery

4. I have two part-time businesses of my own. I am an independent consultant for Arbonne International. I have been a consultant since 2007. I love how all of their products are botanically based and that when I wash my face with their FC5 product my face actually FEELS clean! Next, I am a part time photographer. You can see some of my work HERE. My husband chides me for having more cameras that anyone he knows. And I am forever playing with images in PS.

5. I will eat green beans STRAIGHT out of a can. There is no greater love of veggies for me :)

6. The worst day of my life was 2008, when my little brother died from a single car accident October 21. However, the best day (so far) is 364 days later on October 20 when Riley was born :)

My favorite photo of my brother and I. His senior year HS, the first high school football game we got to watch together, outside of band.

Riley, day after she was born

7. I have done A LOT of extra curricular activities. In high school, I was in Marching Band (Flute) where I was flute section manager for 2 years and social committee's president for my senior year. I was in FFA where I showed Rabbits and was FFA Secretary my junior and senior years.
My dad, brother, me, & Mom my senior year, brother's freshman year. Best year ever!
 Cody, Mr. D., Kim, & me (with rabbit)

In college, I did SHSU's Beef Cattle Show Team where we showed Angus cattle. I think I went to every show for 4 semesters straight... wore me out! I also was secretary of the Horse Judging Team, member of SHSU Block and Bridle club... I THINK that is all I did... Now, even though I'm still in school, I'm no longer a member of any clubs. Well, I am a member of a different kind of club. It's the Wife & Mother's Club! Ha!
9/2006, Washington County Fair Showing #9009 Angus heiffer


So, There is task #2, telling you seven things about myself. Now, I must pass this award onto 15 bloggers that I find to be awesome. If only I knew 15 bloggers! I will complete this task as I visit blogs :) Watch as the list grows!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ooooh Soooo Yummmmy!!

A couple weeks ago, my good friend (and boss, and surogate mom...) Kara gave me a recipe out of a Southern Living Magazine. Ohhh it was so good. And I don't even LIKE cabbage. Well, I do now ha ha ha!

Fiesta Cabbage


  • 1  pound  kielbasa, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices*
  • 1  medium-size red onion, diced
  • 1  medium-size green bell pepper, diced
  • 1  medium-size cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds), chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  pepper


Saute kielbasa in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Set aside.
Saute onion and bell pepper in hot drippings over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Stir in cabbage; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in cooked sausage, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook until thoroughly heated.
*1 pound ground pork sausage may be substituted. Sauté vegetables in 2 tablespoons reserved drippings.

Homemaker on a Dime

I wanted to share a blog that I came upon from my good friend Amber @ Lucky Lees to Be

It is called Homemaker on a Dime. I love all of SJ's cool projects. I especially like a remake of a $10 garage sale dresser!

It's also a little "Swap Party" if you will. Visit other blogs, follow them, and they'll hopefully follow you back! Neat-o!
Anyway, I just thought I would share :)

Childhood Memories

Many MANY years ago, My mom found a yummy and easy desert recipe that I could do as a younger teen. I think I was about 14. It is for Chocolate Eclair Squares. It was so easy, I had the recipe memorized after making it a million times. Around the same time I was in Eclair Heaven, we went to visit family in Tennessee. I even made it there for my Memaw.

Back in November 2010 my family was visiting in Tenn for my Memaw's funeral I learned that I hand wrote the Eclair recipe and my aunt had kept my recipe. I was so happy to see that recipe after nearly ten years! I took a photograph of my hand writing with my camera phone so that I would have it handy.

Now, two months later, I am finally getting around to making my Chocolate Eclair Squares. I thought I would share:

Chocolate Eclair Squares

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups  cold milk, divided
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
22   HONEY MAID Honey Grahams
4 squares BAKER'S Unsweetened Chocolate
1/4 cup  (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Beat pudding mix and 1-3/4 cups milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in COOL WHIP. Layer about 1/3 of the grahams and half the COOL WHIP mixture in 13x9-inch pan, breaking grahams as necessary to fit; repeat layers. Top with remaining grahams.

Microwave chocolate and butter in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 min., stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar and remaining milk; stir until well blended. Immediately spread over grahams.

**After doing some searching, I found that this recipe is VERY similar to a KRAFT recipe....Actually, I'm pretty sure this CAME from a Kraft magazine 10 years ago. So, since I don't remember if it did or not, I think I should give credit to Kraft, because it is SOOOO similar. Also, the Kraft website gave a really awesome substitute:
***Instead of milk to prepare the vanilla pudding, use brewed coffee. I can't wait to try this variation soon. (Not today, I want to savor my childhood memory!) It reminds me of a WAY easier version of Tiramisu. Which, by the way, I adore Tiramisu!

My Chocolate Eclair Square

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Riley's Surgery Day

Bright and early this morning, we headed out in the sideways-blowing rain toward Texas Children's Hospital for Riley's Surgery.

Yesterday afternoon, Riley was running a low-grade fever. Now we are pretty sure it is due to her teething. Going into surgery, it spiked to 101, however, going through with the surgery was ok since she didn't have any other signs of sickness.

We waited in the waiting room for about an hour and a half. Riley got to play with all the cool toys and books. 9:30 is when everything got started. A nurse called us in to explain everything and to take her vitals. Soon after, she was given eye drops and we were instructed to change Riley into the awesomely bright yellow Texas Children's hospital pajamas (which, we got to bring home!).

We waited for another hour in a smaller waiting room until the whole surgical crew came to meet Riley to take her back. The anesthesiology nurse handed Riley an iPad with a child's memory game on it and Riley was hooked. She fussed just a little bit as the crew took her back. It was a little heart-wrenching watching her go with the doctors.

Matt, Dad, David and I went downstairs and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A and then came back upstairs to wait for Riley to be moved into a recovery room. All in all, the process took about two hours. It was relieving when we were finally called back to see her in recovery. Riley was really fussy as she was being woken up. Matt and I were so happy to see her! She got to have a cup of juice and sit in our laps as she was being monitored to see when she could leave the hospital.

So... In the cataract surgery, the original plan was to remove the cataract (which they did) and replace the lens. However, the posterior chamber (where the new artificial lens would rest) had deteriorated. This had possibly gone on for 6-10 months. Once it fully disintegrated, the cataract lens filled with fluid... hence the cataract. Replacing the lens was only for my and Matt's convenience. Instead, we will be putting contact lenses in Riley's left eye. If this works well, she won't need to have another surgery in the future to put in an artificial lens.

Since we got home, she's been doing great! Still fussy, but able to enjoy a real meal and play a little. Tomorrow Riley goes back to Houston for a post-op check up with the surgeon. Thank you all for the prayers and thoughts!

Playing in the waiting room

Reading a book with Granddad

At home, still in the awesome yellow hospital pajamas with the eye patch