Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

too good to wait for monday meals!

Yesterday was an AWESOME day for me at my weight watchers meeting! I lost 3.2 lbs this week, which brought me past my 5% goal in just four weeks! The weight is coming off faster than I anticipated, but I'm learning I'm doing better than I anticipated. :-) I have a little more fight in me than I though...

Anyhow, a lady mentioned the website Hungry Girl, and I just checked it out. There are some recipes for healthy fries that literally have me salivating. :-) They look to yummy to wait to post until Monday Meals, so I'm posting the recipes now.

Several of my friends are doing WW now, and one is starting just this week, so maybe these are well-timed - shouldn't be too frustrating of a week, J, if you're allowed to eat fries!

I can't wait to try out THESE recipes! Fries are my true weakness...

Hello Spring!

It's a BEAUTIFUL day here in Huntsville today! 70's, full sun, just perfect! HELLO SPRING! Please stay around for a while! ;-)

After storytime, we headed over to the park for a picnic with friends. Here are some snapshots from our lovely afternoon!

Jack found a friend. Currently, he is obsessed with "abc/word board books," and the pictures of the dogs always get him most excited. He's super into dogs right now :-) Dogs and trucks, as you'll see in a few more pictures :-)

"Head Hug!" This is how Jack 'loves' on someone or somthing...he began using this move on baby claire, but apparently it's not exclusively for humans ;-)

and the puppy gave him so love back ;-)

lucy and audrey

For at least five minutes, Jack sat by himself. Perhaps he was seeking some "alone time," or more likely, he was trying to get a few minutes peace from big sister. ;-)

and then he noticed the cars and trucks! He walked clear to the other side of the park and parked himself at the fence...

waving to the cars as they drove by...

some even got a "two-handed-wave!"

here's a close up so you can see his sweet lil' hands waving...

Bye bye trucks!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Diaper Cake for Elaine!

Molly, Nicole, and I threw a "Fill Elaine's Freezer" baby shower this past Sunday. Elaine is having her third child - and her THIRD boy! - so more than cute clothes or baby gear, she needed something to save her TIME! So, everyone brought a prepared dinner for her to keep in her freezer. There were so many yummy foods brought!

I had been wanting to try my hand at making a diaper cake, so I was excited to make the centerpiece for the shower. I followed this tutorial, and Voila!, here was our end result.

I say "our" because I had help from all of my family members: Jason cut the cardboard for the cake to stand on, helped roll diapers, and was my extra pair of hands; and Jack and Lucy "helped" me take the diapers out of the box so I could roll them up. Diapers were strewn across our den, but they had a blast ;-)

Overall, it was a very simple project, and considering that I've seen these things listed for as much as $130 (yikes!), I'd say it's well worth your own efforts. I spent 2/3 of that price and loved how it turned out!

Can't wait to meet the newest addition to your family, Elaine!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Meals!

I'm bringing this tonight to Supper Club for our dessert. It's not a Weight Watchers recipe, but a Lowfat variety. I've never had it, so I hope it's good! ;-)

Lowfat Orange Dream Cheesecake

3T. crushed graham crackers
1 package (85 g.) orange Jell-O
1C low-fat cottage cheese
1 (8oz) container fat free cream cheese
2 C. thawed cool whip
2/3 cup boiling water

Sprinkle crumbs on bottom of 8 or 9 inch springform pan or 9 in pie plate sprayed with cooking spray.

Stir boiling water into gelatin and stir until dissolved. Cool 5 minutes. Pour into blender.

Add cheeses, cover, blend.

Pour batter in large bowl. Add whipped topping, fold.

Pour into pie.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Final thoughts on Parenting by the Book

A few days ago, I finished Rosemond's Parenting by the Book. I can honestly say, with no dramatic effect or hyperbole, this book has completely changed my mindset of how parenting should be. And in areas where I may not have created a mindset (e.g. parenting issues I haven't had to deal with yet), I realize I have a clear vision and understanding of how I should handle it when the situation arises.

I am so glad I read this book!

So, I'll close this subject with a reflection of one of the last points he makes in his book. And like all the points in the book, it's incredibly simple, concise, and compelling.

"You can give your kids a reason for "why," but do not reason with them."

Basically, use "reason" as a noun, NOT a verb. After reading the example in the book, I realized I've done this myself dozens of times already with Lucy.

Example: Lucy wants to do something that is not appropriate (for a variety of reasons). And instead of just telling her ,"No" and following it with a simple, concise explanation of why, I might have begun a dragged out, exasperated, speech sounding something like this: "Lucy, don't ask my why? Because we don't eat chocolate right before bed. The caffeine and sugar in it will likely make you hyper; plus, we just brushed your teeth, and I don't want to have you fight me on that again. Why can't you just do what I tell you to do?!? Stop whining about the chocolate! You're not going to get any more food tonight." yada yada yada.

And really, do I expect her to turn around and say, "Thank you mom for such a thorough explanation. Based on that sound reasoning, I no longer want any chocolate. Thank you so much." ????

Rhetorical questions, of course. But seriously, I must expect her to understand the reasoning I set forth, otherwise why in the world would I expend so much energy and time trying to explain myself?

But that's absolutely absurd! Think about it...do I really expect my not yet two year old to understand an explanation about why she can't do the thing she wants to do more than anything else in the world THAT VERY MOMENT!

Sheesh! If I had ever given my behavior much thought, I'm sure I would have realized how stupid I was being.

Now, I don't think I go about my parenting decisions and actions without much thought. Quite the opposite my mom and dad will tell you, for they're always jesting about how many parenting books I like to read and how I unnecessarily obsess about things being just right and just so. They took a much more laid back approach to parenting, and they'd tell me to just put the books down! :-)

But, there are some ways I parent that I guess I just didn't think about ahead of time, and I just let my natural reaction be the way that it happens. And when Lucy whines, there's a switch in me that just flips, and I loose all ability to think reasonably and rationally! ;-) I HATE whining!

But Rosemond explains the only REASON(s) you need to give your children should be the following:

1. You're not old enough.
2. You might get hurt.
3. We don't have the money (or will not use it that way)
4. We don't have the time (or won't make the time).
5. We don't believe in that
6. We don't like those kids.

He continues, "And when you have given your chosen reason in five words or less, and your child stomps his foot and yells out that he doesn't agree with your reason, thinks it's dumb, or wants to tell you why you should change your mind, simply look at him with great compassion and say, 'If I was your age, I wouldn't like that decision either.'"

"Then turn around and walk away, leaving your child to - I'm going to steal one of Grandma's favorite lines - 'stew in his own juices.'"

I love it! So simple, and effective. I've begun using this technique, and the few times I had to, it's been incredibly effective! Lucy's quickly learning that there's no arguing. It reminds me of the bible verse about letting your "yes" be your "yes," and your "no" be your "no." Whether dealing with adults or children, it's perfectly perfect!

And with that, I'll bid you a clear and concise "Good Night!" ;-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I am so in love with my children!!!!

That's all I can think about when I look at these pictures! How blessed, how blessed, how blessed am I! God is so good! But, I'll stop gushing now ;-)

Inspired by this blog post (I LOVE this blog, btw), I decided to snap some "real" shots, nothing posed, no one directed, just capturing real life as it happens. And yesterday, I was perfectly inspired when Jack woke up from his nap. His hair was as disheveled as I've ever seen it, and he was drunk from a hard sleep! I plopped him on the guest bed, and started snapping away.

Like, I mentioned before, none of these pictures are posed. I just sat on the floor with the camera, waiting for moments to capture. And I got so many! I just LOVE these pictures!

"So sleepy..."

The hair!!!!

Starting to perk up and smile! There's my Jack!

Oh yeah!

If there were audio, you'd here his new laugh, which is like a wheezing old man about to die! It's hilarious!

It wasn't long before Lucy came in to see what was going on.

Now, you may look at these and think, "Not posed - my tush!" but remember, this is Lucy...she loves to ham it up! ;-)

A "sarah chin" if I've ever seen one!

This is great because her "princess dress" is being worn over her shirt. Every day when she wakes up from nap, she wants to put her dress back on, and we usually just throw it over whatever she's wearing. No fuss! ;-) She's so happy in her dress. She literally twirls herself all over the house!

This one right here is my very FAVORITE of the whole bunch! Lucy's face is priceless - "I'm going to pretend I"m bored with this, even though I'm eating it up!" - and I love Jack yawning in the background. I could eat 'em up!!!

Yep, Lucy still sucks her thumb on occasion! ;-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

funny quote

I'm working on a birthday project for Lucy (which I can't really explain yet, because I'm doing something similar for Audrey, whose mom, Tiffany, is a kind follower of my blog and I want it to be a surprise for her too ;-), but anyhow, I was looking for a quote about growing up.

While this quote isn't exactly appropriate for a 3 year old, ;-) but I thought it was pretty funny...

"Life is all about ass; you're either covering it, laughing it off, kicking it, kissing it, busting it, or behaving like one"

Spring Art Project for the kiddos!

I can NOT wait for Spring! This winter has seemed particularly wet and cloudy...I'm ready for the sun and mild temperatures!

Lucy and I finished her Highlights magazine yesterday at breakfast, and there was the cutest little art project idea on the last page. You make these fun "spring flowers," and all you need are paper plates, scissors, tape, and wrapping paper.

Lucy's flowers! My favorite "ribbon" was lucy's choice to use Spiderman! :-)

Lucy LOVED using the tape, and it was a simple project she could do mostly on her own :-) Ellie and Evan came over to make the flowers with us.

And speaking of Highlights magazine, I love them! We read them together at breakfast time while we eat our english muffins. It's a fantastic way to work reading into the day, the stories are super short, so you don't need a lot of time to read some of the magazine, and my favorite part is watching Lucy have so much fun on the "I Spy" page trying to find the hidden objects. She loves drawing a circle around the object in the picture (which, consequently, is good practice for her fine-motor skills.)

And I get double-duty out of them, for I use them sometimes with the kindergartner and first-grader I tutor. Bonus! :-)

For Lucy's age, we subscribe to "High Five."

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Meals!

See, I can still enjoy french fries while on WW... ;-)

Weigh in #3 is tomorrow...I'm down 6.6 lbs in two weeks. I'd love if my weight loss was at least 1.5 lbs tomorrow! (Fingers crossed!)

Cumin-Spiced Oven Fries

side dishes

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Works with Simply Filling
Enjoy these slightly spicy potatoes as a snack or as a side dish with your favorite oven-fried fish or chicken recipe.


1 spray(s) cooking spray
2 medium sweet potato(es), scrubbed and cut into 12 wedges each (about 1 pound)
2 medium Yukon Gold potato(es), scrubbed and cut into 12 wedges each (about 1 pound)

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, extra-virgin

1 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste


  • Preheat oven to 450ºF. Coat a large nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray.

  • In a large bowl, combine potatoes, oil, salt, pepper and cumin; toss to coat.

  • Spread potatoes in an even layer on prepared baking sheet and cook 10 minutes; flip potatoes with a spatula and cook 10 minutes more. Flip potatoes again and cook until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes more. Yields about 12 wedges per serving.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Outdoor Cushion Slipcovers and Table Runner

Not surprisingly, after I made Lucy's little bubble dress on Friday, I got inspired to sew something else.

After a trip to Sirs fabric store in Fayeteville, TN on Saturday, I came home - not with my #1 priority which was to find flannel fabric for a new rail fence rag quilt for Jason and I to use - but with several yards of fabric that I fell in love with! (Sadly, the flannel selection currently is not anything that I need. It's a small selection to start with, and every print was a licensed Disney character flannel print or a drab, not cute solid flannel color. Looks like I'll have to pay a premium at Creative Sewing here in town for my fabric.)

I'm going to make slipcovers for the outdoor cushions I have, which are perfectly fine, except for 1) I don't love the blue and white striped pattern, and 2) have become a little dingy after the ties loosened and Toby figured out how to pull them off the chairs and use them as beds :-)

But, problem solved...I made new slipcovers, and I love how they turned out. I had just enough fabric leftover to make a table runner too.

So, after a few more hours of sewing this weekend, ta-da...

My friend Jamie went with me to Sirs...check out this adorable Easter Basket she made for her cutie-patootie daughter, Hastings. So great, Jamie! I love it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bubble Dress

In preparation for the new rag quilt I'm going to begin making, I was sorting through my miscellaneous and leftover fabrics I've accumulated over several sewing projects. I found a favorite fabric (a fabric that brings me such nostalgia, for I used it to make pillows in my first classroom :-), and decided to use this tutorial to make Lucy a fun dress.

Fun project, and a great way to make use of old white onesies that may have stains around the crotch area (you cut that off anyway!!! :-) and extra fabric you may have.

I'd say this took me about three hours total to make (I started yesterday), and it was great practice to practice "gathering" and sewing with elastic.

I consider this project a huge success for several reason:

1. Lucy helped me pick out the ruffle print, and she's SUPER excited to get to wear this. She was responsible for bringing the swatch to the store so we could choose a ruffle fabric to coordinate.

2. I did not cry once during this project. :-) (Sewing usually brings me frustration, which brings on the tears...) Actually, I haven't cried during the last several sewing projects I've attempted.

3. I finished it despite the fact that halfway through yesterday, I was convinced I'd scrap the whole project and toss it in the trash. (The ruffle and gathering it properly were causing me major headaches!) It's true the ruffle doesn't look great up close, but from far away the whole dress is completely adorable!

4. I achieved the "bubble" effect I wanted...to mimic the bubbles in the fabric just for fun! ;-)

Can't wait to see my baby girl wear it!

Little Lots

Now, I'm not nearly as savvy a shopper regarding coupon use as my friends, April and Jamie, who can save unbelieveable amounts of money when they use coupons, but I have discovered a little gem on 431 south.

In the New Hope area, on the right hand side of the road (if you're heading south), there's a store called Little Lots, or maybe it's little big lots, or perhaps I'm confusing the two stores. But whatever...the point is, you can find amazing deals there WITHOUT coupons. I usually stop by every other time I go to new hope to tutor.

Some of my favorite deals, let's see:

paper plates (8pack) cute turquoise color, $.29 a pack

sturdy pocket folders in fun animated styles, $.10 each

Valentines's Day cards, $.50 a package

Easter Egg Dying Sets, $.50 a package

Dog Shampoo, $2.50

Kids Playclothes, $1.00 and $2.00 new.

lipstic/gloss, Cover Girl, 5 for $1.00 (I kid you not!)

prune and/or cranberry juice, 48 oz. (that's a huge container) for $.69 (This is when I wish they sold milk and bread too :-)

It's not a pristine store, very much a dig to find the goods store, but so worth it I think! I love shopping there just to see what I can find!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Pattie's Day!!!

Top o' the morning to ya!

We headed out to the St. Pattie's Day parade downtown with our playdate group. It was SO COLD! Miss last year's St. Pattie's Day weather! But a great time was had by all! Hope you're having a great day!

letter to Damson Honda

Those of you who follow my blog may remember when I sent a very forward, direct letter of complaint after I had a terrible visit at Phoenix Emergency Care. Click here if you want to see that post.

Well, I do want to let you know I'm not a person who only lets my voice be heard when someone behaves in an inappropriate way. I really enjoy writing letters condoning a business' high standards which they act upon.

You may remember a week or two ago when Jack locked himself in the car in the Costco parking lot, and how the Honda service department came to save me! Well, I sent them a letter letting them know how much I appreciated their help.

I think it's important to give feedback - no matter what kind it is...a company can only learn if they're meeting the expectations of their clients if they hear from you!

Here is my letter to Jerry Damson Honda:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mrs. Kelly Martin


Jerry Damson Honda Service Department

2402 Leeman Ferry Road

Huntsville, AL 35805

Dear Honda Service Department,

I want to take an opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for your help in saving me from a very unfortunate situation. On Tuesday, my fifteen-month old managed to lock himself in our Odyssey. I was loading groceries in the Costco parking lot while my son entertained himself with my keys (in hindsight, I should have foreseen the potential hazards! J).

With our spare set of keys locked inside my house, every neighbor I knew unavailable, and my husband unreachable at work, I was quickly running out of options. I thought there might be a chance that the dealership might have some universal key that unlocks all Honda cars.

So, with a shaky voice, choked with small sobs, I called the service department where I spoke to a very nice man who kindly reassured me that everything would be fine, that we’d get my son out of the car. He told me they would make a key for me from the VIN number, which they had since we were stored in their computer from our purchase and service occasions.

In fewer than fifteen minutes, my knights in shining armor – or perhaps I should say in a shiny bright blue courtesy car – came to my rescue in the Costco parking lot. My nerves were shot, and my hands felt frozen cold from the freezing temperature outside, but I was able to join my mischievous toddler in our car. All was well, thanks to the very nice men –whom I don’t even know their names because I was hardly thinking clearly – who saved my day!

Again, thank you so much for coming to my rescue, and so very quickly! I know your dealership prides itself on providing excellent service. Not only does it excel at that, but it’s obvious to me that you hold yourselves to an even higher standard. I was treated like a “family member,” and I am so appreciative of that.


Kelly Martin

Monday, March 15, 2010

Botanical Gardens

Jack crawling up the "worm hole."

How he decided to get down the hill... :-)

He loved banging on the musical instruments inside the "music house"

I LOVED this wall...it's like an "I Spy" wall...it was the kids favorite thing. They spent a long time in here!

Isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen?!? Little flower "beds"... I love it!