Friday, December 30, 2011

a few christmas bits

Ha ha ha!  I couldn't wait to share this picture!  He looked hilarious in his Captain America mask!!  

A funny to share: 
This week Audrey was crying about something.  After she got over it, I asked her if she was ok.  She says yes, so of course Christian wants to let me know that he is ok too.  My dad says to him, "you're good!"  Christian responds in a very matter-of-fact voice, "well, I am kind of awesome."  You just never                                                                    know what that kid might say!

 An up-close shot of Audrey's new dress up accessories.  She loves to be a princess!  
Memaw and Papa (Chris's parents) got the kids these learning tablets...which they are definitely calling iPads.  Pretty cool stuff. :)

I love it that they have had such a good time playing Cootie and Don't Break the Ice!  I remember playing those games with Andrea when we were kids! 

The boys just before bed on Christmas Day.  We had a great day, spent entirely at home!  
It is SO difficult to get a picture of this girl without her hands in her mouth, and when she's actually smiling at the camera!  
At about 9:00 on Christmas night, I realized that there were no pictures of the two of us together.  I set up the camera with the timer.  We got so tickled that it took about ten minutes to get anything decent.  I love this guy!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I just have a few recipes that I wanted to share.

The first is for the totally awesome candied pecans that I tried today.  As a rule, I'm not much of a pecan eater.  Recently I was given a lot of pecans (thank you!) and so I decided to do something with them.  Let me just say that shelling or cracking pecans...whatever you're supposed to call it...was a little more involved than I thought it would be, but it was totally worth it!
This is a really simple recipe, which you know is often the first thing I'm looking for. :)  Instead of just tossing them in a bowl as the recipe suggests, I put the egg and water mixture in one gallon storage bag and the dry ingredients in another.  This way they all get coated evenly and I can toss the bag after.
Even the kids loved them!  I'll definitely be adding some of these to my homemade gifts this year.

Next on the list and totally not a gift-giving sort of recipe is one for pork chops.  Normally Chris cooks pork chops on the grill.  One evening he wasn't going to be home from work in time to cook them, and I absolutely do not grill.  I searched for some way to bake them.  This was the first one I came to that didn't look scary to me, and I already had the ingredients- score!  These golden pork chops haven't been made exactly to the recipe even once in my house.  I love this recipe because it is super-versatile!  I do not use onion or mushroom, but I'm sure it would be good with both.  As for the soup, I have used combinations of golden mushroom, beefy mushroom, and cream of mushroom.  All are really good!  I always have at least one of these on hand.
Whether or not it takes the entire sixty minutes to cook just depends on the number and thickness of the chops.  If you don't have a meat thermometer, they are definitely worth having.  This way, you know for sure when it's done without over-cooking.

The last one for today is by request.
For years (and by that I mean at least 8 or 10) I have been making Artichoke Dip and taking it to most every party and family get-together.  I'm pretty certain I've never eaten artichokes in anything else.  Not that I know of, anyway. This is not your run-of-the-mill spinach dip.  It is fantastic!  I serve it with Fritos, but it's also good tortilla ships or baguettes.  This recipe came from a Longaberger recipe book called Fresh From the Pantry.  Although I looked on their site, I didn't find the recipe in their current selection.  It's easy to make and sure to be a hit!

8 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into cubes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (trust me when I say buy the real stuff)
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon dill
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all ingredients into a food processor (mostly I use a blender).  Process until blended.  Pour into a pie plate or 9X9 glass baking dish.  
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  For best results, do not reduced fat mayonnaise or sour cream.

Friday, December 16, 2011

pine straw and snot

I am feeling a little guilty about the fact that I still have not been back on the treadmill since we got back from the cruise...
Instead I have been spreading pine straw for three days running (with two little darlings underfoot, I might add).  
Those little darlings have been awfully whiney at points since they both have the snots (just in time for Christmas).  
Speaking of that, I took both of them to the doctor yesterday.  I'm not sure why, but I actually made an appointment.  An hour after that appointment time they saw fit to put us in an exam room.  I explained that previously when Audrey had these same symptoms, she was given a prescription for Claritin.  No.  She doesn't need that.  I also explained that I was trying to keep Christian from getting into the whole coughing-until-he-can't-breathe business.  For him (and maybe for a lot of kids with asthma- I don't know) a cold turns into breathing treatments.  I was informed that there was nothing to do but wait.  When he gets to that point, then I should start the breathing treatments.  Grrrrr.  I did not leave there a happy Mama. 
Even when they don't feel awesome, they are insistent on "helping."  I love my babies.


Just a hilarious side note:  Audrey somehow managed to get pine straw in her pants.  This may or may not have been from rolling around on the ground playing some kind of game by herself.  After that, she just kept trying to take her clothes off!  We didn't stay long after that.  I thought that may be a tad difficult to explain.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Holy. Moley.  
We just got back from a cruise on Monday.  Chris and I have been on two other cruises together before, and it's always awesome!  Going to the Bahamas in December is pretty spectacular since it's nice enough there to wear shorts, but not so hot that you can't think straight. 

There is something so fantastic about being on a cruise!!  It's something about the fact that you're not just out of town, but removed from reality.  We for sure missed the kids, but not being responsible for them for a few days is rather freeing.  Eating and drinking whatever you want, napping whenever the mood strikes, staying up late, and in general just being on vacation is so lovely!  

Since all your food is already paid for, there is no pressure to like or eat what you order.  Add to that the fact that you can order as many appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you like at one meal, and we were set!  I even tried escargot if you can imagine that!!

The last night (when we were cruising back toward Port Canaveral) the motion was pretty out of control.  Although I get motion sickness in a car or bus, I don't normally have any issue on a cruise boat.  The swaying on last night was more than I care for, but I had some Dramamine with me so I did alright.  

We were short a couple of our peeps, but we had a great time!!