Monday, February 28, 2011

Last WeeK Wrap-Up

Wow, Spring is in the air...and I can't believe it's 2 weeks until Spring Break! And, I can't believe last week came and went very fast! Last Monday, we met with the our realtor to get the house on the market and start moving this thing so we can Move! We had it for sale by owner since mid January but we had decided it was time to sale by realtor so we can show this home and move by summer!
Then, beside our normal work week, I had to clean the house so it was ready for the pictures to be placed on was a task in itself! Wednesday was Avery's field trip to the Zoo which I wouldn't miss..a day with my Avery girl and animals! :) We also had Skate Night on Thursday and Addie wanted to bring a friend so we all loaded up went to Chick-Fil-a and skate night. :) This year, Avery and Addie both have really blossomed their friendships and we love having them come over and hang out at the house or even load up and go places with our family! I want our family to be the "house" the girls want to be at...Ryan and I want to be the influencer in these girl's lives. It's fun and I have a feeling this is the beginning of our future. :)
On Saturday, the girl's and I headed out of town to Dallas area for literally a 24 hour trip for my pop pop's 80th birthday surprise. It was hard to make this trip in a 24 hr time span but I had to because these huge occasions don't happen all the time and you can't get them back! Plus, Pop Pop has already survived colon cancer and emphysema so making it to 80 was huge!
So, needless to is Monday and I'm moving slow but I remember how grateful I am for many things this morning.
~I made a safe trip to Dallas and back
~I saw Pop Pop & celebrate his 80 yrs of life
~Our house is on the market via realtor
~we had 3 showings on the home this weekend after 1 week on the market

Here are some pictures from our adventures last week. Wishing everyone a happy week and Monday. :)

1st grade field trip- Houston Zoo
(i love this first pic..he's so cute..i love animals ;) )

Skate Night

Pop Pop turns 80! (my dad's dad)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Some Good Eats

OK, let me just tell you that I would return to this Bed & Breakfast again all for the fabulous breakfast this inn keeper made! It was DELICIOUS friends, I mean like 2 new things that I've had never had before and a breakfast table set for kings and queens. ;)
On Friday morning, Judy (the inn keeper, hostess at Lamb's Rest Inn) served up a warm type of yogurt that was molded, served upside down with a fruit sauce over it. Then, she brought out a pancake bowl! Yes, a pancake bowl that was huge and you served up some cinnamon cooked apples and a little bit of syrup....awww, it was sooo good! I loved how unique her food items were but that was nothing because Saturday was AMAZING!
Ms. Judy started us off with a skinned pear that was cored out and stuffed with cream cheese (my favorite) and then cooked. It was so, so good. Then, they took that plate and served us scrambled eggs, peppered bacon, polenta, coffee cake, and then some breakfast rolls!!! Yes, I stuffed myself as much as I could and everything was so YUMMY. Ms Judy definitely has a gift in cooking. I loved her polenta which is like a grit but made with stone corn meal and she even cooked hers up with some cheese. I had never had polenta and I LOVED it! I'm gonna try and find it at our Kroger Signature and serve some up especially after finding out its high in fiber and iron. :) Next, I've never had a pancake bowl or a cooked pear especially stuffed with cream cheese. It probably was one of the best places I've eaten a breakfast at! (and i've eaten in Hawaii) ;) Ms. Judy and Mr. George have owned this B&B for 16 years after retiring from down here in Houston. Now, they are looking to retire for real they told us so they are trying to sell their B&B. I told them that I am going to try and get back before they "really retire" to enjoy once more their amazing hospitality and food!
So, yep, I probably gained a couple of pounds in those 3 days there but I loved how we really experienced a gourmet breakfast in every way! If you are ever in Gruene, TX anytime soon, stay at Lamb's Rest Inn... I promise, you'll experience some Good Eats! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Getaway

Ryan and I took off early Thursday morning and headed out to Gruene, TX! I couldn't wait to not only get away by ourselves for 3 days but to experience a new place in the Hill Country. I love the Hill Country, land, river, and anything TX theme rustic type, atmosphere and Gruene greatly met all those expectations and MORE! We had a blast...talking, laughing, sitting on the deck by the river, loving the HUGE gourmet breakfasts that were served, and so much more. :)
I am so thankful for my mom who came down and took care of the home and girls so we could get out of town and into a bed & breakfast in the Hill Country~our favorite!
So here are some pictures of our little getaway! It's a must place to go if you've never been. So, so fun with lots and lots of yummy food and a hop, skip and jump from New Braunfels! I really can't wait to go back~~~~~soon, I hope. :)

(View from back porch looking out toward river)

(Lambs Rest Inn- view from deck by the river)

(view of the river on the deck)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1000 gifts continued...

Because I will probably never be able to post this on a weekly 1000 gifts shall come on any day of the week! ;)
Here are more of my 1000 gifts.

21. The sunny blue sky today

22. Little girls that will come curl up on my lap on the couch

23. Family Valentines at the girl's favorite restaurant~Texas Roadhouse

24. A mom that comes down for 3 days to take care of the girls so Ryan and I can take a mini-trip

25. Our mini-trip this week to Gruene, TX for a 3 day getaway without kids

26. The Hill Country of TX which I love and getting to experience a new place just me and Ryan

27. The yumminess of girl scout cookies

28. 3 girls sound asleep in their bed looking so peaceful

29. Girl's night out for pizza when daddy's out of town

30. The smell of a clean set of sheets

31. A God that always provides my every need

32. 2 Families that will now go with us from League City to help start the church in Katy, TX

33. The mentoring and leadership our church has given Ryan and I

34. My cat Hershel who rubs my toes

35. Ryan's funny antics that make me laugh...a lot

36. Making dinner for dear friends who just had babies

37. Running into sweet friends at the store that allows time for catching up

38. The telephone talks to my sister

39. The cool mornings, warm afternoons, and cool evenings

40. The book club formed with Jen, Kayla, Kim on this amazing book

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing all our friends and family lots of Love and Laughter this Valentine's Day from the Praters!

Much Love~

At Texas Roadhouse :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What's Your Favorite????

Its that time of year that if you were trying to exercise, stay thin, or at least watch your portion's out the window because Girl Scout cookies are in! ;) I love these little cookies and I really can't believe I spend 3.50 on a box.
Well, $17 later, I have 5 boxes ordered 2 which have already been delivered and 1 box that has already been open. :) So, as I sit here drinking a cup of coffee and eating ONE thin mint, I ask...What is Your Favorite girl scout cookie???? What is the one you just can't get enough? Mine???
Thin Mints
Peanut Butter
Thin Mints
Peanut Butter

Yep, you get the picture! :) So now your turn...which little scrumptious cookie can you just not help but eat, and eat, and eat????

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Satruday Morning Must

The other day, I had food network on and I was actually sitting down to watch it unlike having it on while I start getting things around for dinner and signing folders, checking homework, etc and I saw a must make breakfast recipe!
Saturday mornings are usually a huge breakfast day for the family. I always try to have pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy, or even homemade monkey bread or something just extra special to help start the weekend off scrumptious! One thing about my girls, is they are HUGE breakfast eaters which makes it fun.
So, when I sat watching the food network with Down Home with the Neelys and they had a breakfast recipe, I perked up. I always like a new breakfast idea. It was called Banana Stuffed French Toast...ummm YUMMO! :) Who doesn't like a big piece of bread dipped in cream & cinnamon and stuffed with mashed bananas and cream cheese! Friends...stuffed with cream cheese!! What is cream cheese not good with?!?! :)
So here is the recipe straight from the website. I hope to make this very soon and give a report back. :)

Banana Stuffed French Toast

* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1/4 cup light brown sugar
* Pinch ground cinnamon
* 3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
* 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
* 1 large unsliced loaf French bread, bread cut into 8 slices
* 4 large eggs
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1 1/2 cups whole milk
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon rum extract
* Nonstick cooking spray
* Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
* Maple syrup, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Once butter is melted add the brown sugar and pinch of cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts into the butter and becomes a sauce. Add bananas and toss together. Let cook until the bananas are soft and incorporated into the sauce. Remove to a bowl and let cool completely. Once cool, add cream cheese and mash with a wooden spoon.

Using a paring knife, cut a 2-inch-long slits in 1 side of each bread slice, cutting 3/4 of way through bread and creating pocket that leaves 3 sides of bread intact. Divide banana mixture equally among the bread pockets.

In a large bowl, add eggs, heavy cream, milk, cinnamon and rum and whisk to combine. Pour mixture into a 13 by 9-inch casserole dish. Put the bread into the egg mixture and let soak for 3 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the bread from egg mixture, using a spatula, letting the excess drain off.

Spray a wire rack with nonstick spray and put the rack on a baking sheet. Put the bread on the rack and transfer to the oven.

Bake the French toast until it is golden brown and filling is hot, about 25 minutes. Transfer the toast on a serving platter and garnish with confectioners' sugar and maple syrup

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My One Thousand Gifts

So many of you know that I am currently reading this book with 3 very dear friends, Ann Voskamps book A Thousand Gifts~ A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.
My, o my... it has already been an amazing read! This book beams with wisdom and digs deep into the heart of women and what we truly struggle with in so many ways, discontent! But, we are to live a life overflowing in gratitude right where we are! After reading chapter 3, I was inspired to start my own 1000 heart of gratitude, after all, she highly encourages that dare to be FUllY alive... to live FULL ..FULL of gratitude! So here today, I 1000 Gifts, my journal of the gifts God has graciously bestowed upon me. (I will post weekly)

1. A new year of hope and joys.

2. A husband that has an amazing servant heart and loves & cherishes me and our marriage greatly that I love more and more with each passing day.

3. 3 Healthy, beautiful girls that have captured my heart and who I absolutely adore.

4. A warm home that is already way more than what I really need.

5. A warm cup of coffee made by Ryan that greets me each morning.

6. My 2 fuzzy cats and 90lb dog that make me smile.

7. Clean water.

8. Warm jeans straight out of the dryer!

9. A burning candle filling a room with my favorite scents.

10. A cup of green tea at night, curled up on the couch and conversations with Ryan.

11. Late night walks with my 90 lb dog and the prayer time that comes with the peace and quiet and night.

12. A hot bath.

13. Amazing friends that spur and encourage me on.

14. My church and the body of believers that have helped stretch and grow me spiritually.

15. My 3 girls laughter.

16. The chance to learn more by reading the bible chronologically in a year.

17. Ryan who greets me always with a hug and kiss..a husband who loves to hug!

18. Dinner conversations around the table with my 3 girls..its amazing what lessons/discipleship happens around the meal

19. Fun hats because it makes life easier with the hair

20. A sisterly embrace and laughter after a disagreement...always brings a smile.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Could this be the Day?

The day that my girls get to see snow!? And by snow, I mean enough to at least make a mini-snowman! LOL ;) Addie and Avery so excitedly put on their fuzzy scarves and hats on the way out the door this morning to school and I couldn't help but think....come on moisture bring us some snow! Not ice or sleet, some white SNOW! :) Then, poor Annalise has been asking like every day.."Is this the day its gonna snow"? "mom, today is it gonna snow"? :) She's already claiming it so I sure do hope so.
I have to admit that I do love the cold and some snow but I really don't want all that mess that my family in Dallas area and Abilene have been experiencing. They are all on day 3 of no work/school and starting to get cabin fever. That is not fun when you are not use to this dramatic arctic weather.
So, as we all anxiously wait for this winter mix that's headed our way, I hope you all stay warm, get some down time with the family, and really enjoy our chance for a real winter/snowy type of day! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mini Ryan

Annalise Grace Prater was born into this Prater family a spunky little girl who is a true joy! :) When you are around her or talk to her, you can't help but smile because this sweet girl oozes joy out of her and she is always smiling!! She truly has a fun spirit and reminds me a lot of her daddy!
Her smile,
Her laugh,
her dance moves,
her strong will,
her optimistic attitude,
her toots & burps,
and most of all her sensitive heart.
She is a mini Ryan for sure! On Thursday at PeeWee school, it was donuts with dad. I loved walking across the room to them as I was snapping pictures of my own class to see these two crazies of the family making memories.
I love Annalise and I love how she is totally becoming more and more funny just like her daddy. :)