Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Monday, January 30, 2012

Expanding our palates!

This year I am trying to expand our palates and find some new recipes in the process! A few years back I took my Southern Living 2001 recipe book and cooked through the months. Not every single recipe, but most of them. From that experience we now have several recipes that our family really enjoys. So I am doing it again this year with my 2008 book. January has gone by pretty good. We had some good short ribs; some different macaroni and cheese recipes; several chicken dishes; some not so good roasted sweet potatoes; and our recipe for tonight...Peanut-Broccoli Stur-Fry! Nathan, who now has planned to go to culinary school, has been asking to have tofu. He saw it on Iron Chef and thought it looked good. I think it looks like a block of cream cheese. But we ventured into the vegetarian world tonight. This stir fry involved tofu! I have never even thought of wanting to eat tofu, even when Nathan asked for it. But it was tasty! I was impressed that it tasted just like going to a Thai restaurant. I will say this, however, the more I ate the stir fry, the less I wanted to eat the tofu. Maybe it was the thought of tofu, or not. But I would make it again; maybe with chicken though :)
Camden even ate the tofu that I called chicken for him
We didn't tell Dave what he was eating at first and he thought it was chicken. He said that he would have figured it out, but Nathan couldn't keep the secret for very long!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A tribute to letters

I started spring cleaning this January.  My thought was that why not clean during the cold months when I you don't want to go outdoors so that you are finished by the nice spring weather.  Well, if you are in Charleston, you know that it feels like spring most days this year!  Hard to work inside!

I haven't gotten too far, but I have the frig and kitchen done, and almost have finished my bedroom.  The biggest task in the bedroom was that I cleaned under my bed.  Moving a king size mattress is not easy.  Dave and I almost got buried underneath!!  Dusty boxes have been cleaned and I explored a box that Nathan and Camden will never have...a box of letters! When I used to go away to camp, the big thing was to get people's addresses. I guess now you just get email addreses! Or phone numbers to text each other. Long distance charges are a thing of the past! Or just look each other up on Facebook! Well I wanted to share a tidbit of my letter past. A letter that was actually from two crazy guys who lived close enough together to visit after camp. A Tim/Roddy letter where each of them could only write 3 lines before the other took over. And although I think it is sad that my boys won't have letters, I have to also be glad for technology that lets me not have to only have letters to remember people with. I am now friends again with many of my letters friends through FB! Maybe I should start saving emails in my cyber box to be able to read in the future! And hopefully saved emails will show up better than my old letters!! <

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spoiler alert!

I am adding some blessings today and ending with a reference to the Courageous movie. If you have not seen it, don't read on!

But first, my blessing #2. I am blessed to have a husband who has a job that allows me to be a mommy on the boys' day off from school. We visited the new park at Shem Creek. Well, it is really a long boardwalk/dock, but a very pretty view!

Blessing #3: Being able to teach Camden and the other Cubbies that they are a promise from God.

Blessing #4: Parents that live close enough for me to meet them halfway and give them Camden for the weekend. (Dave and Nathan were at a Father-Son weekend and I had the house to myself!)

Blessing #5: Being able to dance with my energetic son. We went to Moe's to eat after dinner with a gift card I received for Christmas (thanks Kathy!). Camden got up and started dancing to the music. He then wanted me to dance with him. I remembered the scene in "Courageous" in which the dad did not dance with his daughter and then she died not long after that. One regret he had was that he did not dance with his daughter. So I danced in Moe's. No, I did not get up, but I did dance in my seat and Camden was happy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I went to a ladie's luncheon in December at our church where our pastor's wife talked about counting your blessings. Specifically 1000 blessings. I made a plan to do so, but got sidetracked with all the blessings of Christmas! So I am starting today. I am not even going to say this will be a daily thing. But I hope that it will cause me to focus on all the things in life that do bless me. So here is number one: listening to my boys (all three) laugh and giggle (Dave doesn't giggle!) in the morning while wrestling.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Camden's Mater tent

The Christmas present Camden used the most last year was his Toy Story tent. He decided he would sleep in it all the time! When he started sleeping without pullups, this stopped, however, since I have a plastic cover on his mattress, but not on his carpet. This Christmas he recieved a 4 foot cardboard Mater that you can color and play in.
Well he calls it his Mater tent and says it is to sleep in. Well, he fits!

So here it is to many nights of not sleeping on his bed, but in his tent! I guess that makes for one less bed to make and less sheets to wash!! So thanks Jenn and family! Your gifts have been a hit for two years in a row!
Well, this picture has nothing to do with Mater! It was just cute...shows what happens when Camden delves into his dress-up clothes box!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Today is my niece Ashton's birthday. She was my first niece and I have been told she is a lot like me! Lucky her! Since her birthday is so close to Christmas, we generally give her her present at Christmas time. This year, however, we gave it to her at Thanksgiving. My mom and I took the boys to Memphis for Thanksgiving in 2011. While there, Jennifer mentioned that Ashton wanted a room makeover for her birthday. So I decided that her present from us would be to paint her room. She had definite ideas of what colors she wanted and didn't want. She wanted lime green and purple. Not mint green; not hunter green; not sage; lime! So we gave her lime green walls. The coloring of the pictures looks more yellowish than it turned out. And although we were skeptical about the brightness of her walls, it looked very nice for an 11 year old's room. I can't wait to see how she and her mom accessorize with purple!
Everyone loves to paint when they are young!!
What is also special about this birthday is that it is Nathan's spiritual birthday. Five years ago on January 12, in the back seat of the car, Nathan started asking serious questions about asking Christ to be his Savior. At home that night in his room, he accepted Christ as his Savior. So happy birthday Nathan and Ashton!!! You two are the best cousins!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Has anyone seen Cars 2?

And I don't mean seen the movie, but seen our copy of the movie! We had a great Christmas. Very busy and crazy and wonderful. My sister's family and our parents all came down here for Christmas. That makes 11 people in our house. (And I am very glad that this time, unlike last time this happened, we had two working bathrooms!). But as you can imagine, the hurricane named NathanAshtonDeclanCamdenJosiah left quite a trail of confusion. In all the confusion, Dave rescued one gift before it was thrown out, but we somehow lost our Cars 2 movie. In my mind, I know I put it in Camden's room on Christmas day, but I have looked all over that room, and it is nowwhere to be found. The question was at first, what to do about it. I have given up on finding it in our house and thought maybe the boys would forget about it (it was Camden's gift). This may have worked except I had Camden write a thank-you card to his Gramps and Granny. And guess what they gave him? Cars 2! "Camden, write your name on this thank-you card." "OK. What did they give me?" "Um, well, that movie we can't find." Oops! Now he keeps asking for it. He told me that it must have been taken away on the trailer to the trash. And when we buy a new Cars 2, we shouldn't leave it outside so that it gets taken away by the trailer to the trash. I guess I need to head to Target.