Thursday, December 29, 2016

Topic of the Day - Resolutions (First Posted in 2010), Post-Christmas Post with Pre-Christmas Pics, Tuesdays with Judith, Tater Tot Sausage Breakfast Casserole Recipe, Crockpot Hot Vanilla Recipe AND Pinterest Stuff (Unusual January and February Holidays to Celebrate with Kids)

Good Thursday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - TOPIC OF THE DAY - RESOLUTIONS - I wrote this post December 28, 2010. I'm going to re-post it this year because I still feel the same way about New Year's Resolutions!

Since the year 2010 (or 2011) is in our very near future, I thought we might talk about goals. I'm not a big advocate of the New Year's Resolution. I never have been. I think it must be the word "resolution." It sets you up for failure. You can resolve to change something beginning January 1 and ultimately fail by March 1 of the same year. Yuck.

In my way of thinking (Code for I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS THIS WAY IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE), the word "goal" is so much better. I can set a goal and if it takes two or three years to obtain the goal, I'm okay with that. I don't feel like a failure. I don't feel like I've let myself down. I just keep plugging away at my "long-term" goal and eventually, one day, I'll get there. (Or at least that's what I tell myself.)

Case in point, my Christmas card goals. It took years to get 65 Christmas cards. It took years to get 75 Christmas cards. It's going to take years to get 100 Christmas cards. I don't care. Don't get me wrong. I do want 100 Christmas cards at some point, but I'll be just as thrilled in 2021 to meet that goal as I would be if I met the goal in 2010 (or 2011... the count stands at 71 in case you're wondering).

I've had several goals over the years. Mike says my goals make absolutely no sense, and are therefore useless... but I enjoy them. I'm going to go against my better judgment and share a few with you today. Since I can't see you looking at me like I'm an idiot, it will make it easier.

I had a goal when the kids were little to NOT lock them in the car while it was still running... and they were buckled in their car seats. I know wonderful mothers who have done this. It's not a reflection on them. It's just something I wanted to shoot for... and I made it! (DO NOT ask me how many times I slammed my purse, hand and/or foot in the car door before it closed to help meet this goal!)

I had a goal my kids wouldn't have ear infections... ever. (I know you have that look on your face right now. You know the one. The "Belinda is an Idiot" look.) I realize this has nothing to do with my ability as a mother or nurse or whatever. I just thought it could be something to shoot for. And I thought I had made this goal... until one day when Josh was TEN YEARS-OLD.

"My ear hurts," he complained.

"Did you fall on it," I asked.

"No, it hurts when you pull on it and when I go to bed at night." Hmmm. What in the world could that be? I took him to the doctor.

"He has an ear infection," the doctor said, not even looking up.

"What? Are you sure?" I asked.

"Yes. I'm sure."

"Well, what do you call it when a ten year-old has an... you know... ear thingy?" I couldn't even bring myself to say the words.

"An ear infection," he answered slowly.

"Is there another name for this 'condition' when they are this old? Something in Latin perhaps?"


"Could it be swimmer's ear?" I tried again.

"It's January. Has he been swimming?"

"No. So for it to be swimmer's ear it requires him to have actually been swimming... recently?"

"Is there a problem?"

"No. No problem at all. But technically, if he isn't running a fever, we kind of caught it BEFORE it actually became an ear infection. Right?"

"He has an ear infection." Goal not met. It took me a long time to get over that one.

Here are a few more goals I've talked about (at great length) on A Simple Life. Let's see where I stand in meeting these goals.

1. I want to go zip lining. (Nope. Not yet!)

2. I want to swim with dolphins. (Hmmm. I'm sensing a pattern here.)

3. I would like to create 500 scrapbook pages this year. (Wow! According to my checklist, I've only created 130. However, there are still a few days left in 2010. Don't call me! I'm SCRAPPING!)

4. Much like my "No car accident before I'm 50" goal (which was annihilated this past summer when the Big Gold Van rear-ended a car), I still have the "No ticket before I'm 50" goal. I've been stopped on five different occasions over the years, but I've always gotten off with a warning. I tend to cry very easily when I see blue lights in my rear-view mirror. And just so you know I'm not pretending, it really does upset me to the point of tears when a police officer gets out of his car to reprimand me for my sub-par driving skills. Those tears are real, People. (So far, so good. I'll be 50 in August, and still no ticket!)

I'll probably get one today because I put an exclamation point behind that last sentence. I don't think I'll ever be accused of being too cocky. Thanks to the local Police Department, I stay pretty humble.

UPDATE - As of 8:28 a.m., December 29, 2016, I have still not gotten a ticket. FIST BUMP!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Oxford Christmas - As is our tradition, we spent the Saturday before Christmas in Oxford with Mikie's family. There were kiddos aplenty which, if you've known me five minutes or more, made me very, very happy.

Aunt Ro Ro and Judith before we left for Oxford.

Courtney and Judith in front of our little tree.

Courtney does a good job of matching her little family clothing-wise for holidays like Christmas, 4th of July and Thanksgiving.

She speaks one of my love languages!

There were five great-grands running around the Faulkners' home (ages 18 months to almost nine), and I am happy to report they all played very sweetly with each other...

Which some might call a little Christmas miracle, but I like to refer to it as good parenting!

Who am I kidding?

They were all just trying to please Great-Aunt Belinda/Nana B!

And it worked!

I could take pics of this little boy all day long...

But I probably wouldn't be his favorite great-aunt if I did.

Handsome, handsome Micah.

Roxie and Santa Josh.

Blurry, but sweet.

Matthew is a huge reader.

Do any of you remember the first time you played Candy Land?

For me, it was about a million years ago.

A classic.

Just like me!

Lauren taking a selfie with Roxie and Uncle Mike.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Tuesdays with Judith - I use these bears as part of my Christmas decorations in the living room, bedrooms, etc.

Judith loves her some stuffed animals, so she moved all of them into the den...

And watched a Christmas cartoon with her new friends.

RANDOMNESS #4 - My Christmas Eve - This year, my immediate family celebrated Christmas together on Christmas Eve. We had a brunch...

Some of it homemade (Tater Tot Sausage Breakfast Casserole, Fruit Salad and Crockpot Hot Vanilla...

And some of it store bought (Jack's Biscuits and Gravy and Panera Cinnamon Crunch Bagels).

All of it was pretty good!

Next year, Miss Judith probably won't touch the tree.

This year, there was just a little touching of the ornaments. The tree was never in any danger of toppling over, and the smile on her face never went away.

The thing about riding Uncle Austin and Daddy as horsies...

If Judith doesn't hang on for dear life, the fall is going to be very dangerous.

Some people got circus tickets (and noses) in their stockings.

Some people played with the curly ribbon.

Some people took a break from the Christmas festivities to read in the reading corner for a little while.

And some people played this game.

Oh, yes. We did!

Judith hasn't heard the stories yet.

Uncle Austin was a BIG coloring nut back in the day.

Courtney, Judith and Josh.

FYI... Austin and Melia will not be attending the circus this year because of the new baby and all.

So they get to go to the theater this summer.

And maybe I will get to keep the baby!

I have no words!

Tater Tot Sausage Breakfast Casserole

You will need the following:

2 pounds hot breakfast sausage
1 (30 to 32 ounce) bag frozen tater tots
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
8 eggs
2 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink. Drain fat.

3. In a large bowl, toss together tater tots, cooked sausage and cheeses. Pour into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.

4. Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Pour over tater tot mixture.

5. Cover and refrigerate at this point if baking later.

6. Bake uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes, or until eggs are set.

NOTE - This was really tasty and easy to prepare ahead of time. I'll be making it again and again.

Crockpot Hot Vanilla Recipe

You will need the following: 5 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hot water
6 to 7 teaspoons Torani French Vanilla Syrup (I used McCormick's Organic Vanilla Flavoring, and it worked great.)

1. Combine sugar and hot water in large pan. Stir, and bring to gentle boil.

2. Transfer mixture to crockpot. Add milk and vanilla.

3. Stir, then cook on high for 2 hours {or low for 4 hours}, or until hot.

4. Pour into mugs, then top with whip cream and add a cinnamon stick.

NOTE - This was great. It's on the menu for next year's brunch, too.

Pinterest Stuff

Unusual January and February Holidays to Celebrate with Kids

January 4 – Trivia Day
January 8 – Bubble Bath Day
January 14 – National Rubber Duckie Day
January 17 – Kid Inventors Day
January 18 – Winnie the Pooh Day
January 19 – Popcorn Day
January 24 – Compliment Day
January 28 – National Kazoo Day
January 31 – Backwards Day
February 1 – National Freedom Day
February 4 – Thank Your Mailman Day
February 6 – Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
February 11 – Make a Friend Day
February 17 – Random Acts of Kindness Day
February 20 – Love Your Pet Day
February 22 – International World Thinking Day
February 26 – Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Have a wonderful rest of the week. I'll talk to you soon.


The Enchanting Belinda


  1. Merry Christmas Belinda & Happy New Year!!
    Ok that last picture of Judith is "precious." Print it, frame it and make a copy for the parents, great grandparents, too. And thanks for letting me know about Winnie the Pooh day... I thought I missed it as October 14th was the publishing date, so I was going by that for honoring pooh. Now, I have 3 weeks to plan out my party. Hip, Hip Poohray!! Thanks for the two recipes, I will be trying those out on NY day. Best to you and your family. Andrea

    1. Hey, Andrea! The January Winnie the Pooh Day honors the birthday of the author, I think. But it is always a good day to celebrate The Pooh. Have a wonderful 2017!


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