Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I would like a million dollars for Christmas.
I couldn't help but laugh.
Then, in true Jonah style, he said, "And if Santa does give me a million dollars I'm NOT sharing it with you."
Monday, December 14, 2009
1/4 c margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
In a large bowl, cream magarine and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add egg and salt and continue beating.
Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and add alternately with the flour. Mix until blended.
Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.
In a well greased loaf pan, pour half of the batter, then half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour the rest of the batter and add the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture to the top.
Swirl through the batter with a knife to the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
I grew up in South Florida, and we had orange trees in our backyard. The type of oranges we had were at their peak in the winter. I remember when I was a kid, our church would give stockings to all the children in the congregation, and we always had an orange in it along with the candy. So to me, oranges are a winter-time fruit. Crazy, huh?
Anyway, I found this recipe in my trusty Rachael Ray cookbook last week and thought I'd give it a whirl. It was so tasty!! The hubby didn't give me any suggestions on making it "different" (read: better) the next time, so I took that as him saying it was perfect. Good old R. R. didn't disappoint!
3 tbsp EVOO
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
salt & pepper
1 lg yellow onion, sliced
2 lg carrots, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp flour
zest and juice of 1 orange
2.5 cups chicken stock/broth
10 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (I omitted these)
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat a large skillet over med-hi heat w/2 tbsp EVOO. Add the chicken, rosemary, salt & pepper. Cook and stir for 3-4 min, or until lightly browned. Then add the onions, carrots & garlic. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
Dust the chicken and veggies with the flour and cook for one minute more. Stir in the orange juice and chicken stock. Bring up to a simmer and cook until the liquid has been reduced by half, then add the olives.
While the liquid is reducing, combine thebread crumbs, orange zest, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a small bowl.
Transfer the chicken and veggies into a baking dish and top with the bread crumb mixture. Place under broiler until the topping is brown and crispy (about 2-3 minutes).
Serve immediately after removing from oven, and enjoy!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
(Noah wanted me to take pictures of his head, but I thought I'd spare everyone the image. Your imagination will be enough.)
The way we had to shave around his head makes it look like he's wearing a crooked yarmulke.
I guess I should look on the bright side- we already took pictures for Christmas last weekend. And Noah finally got the haircut I've been begging him to let us give him.
But considering the track record the last couple of years, maybe having Christmas pics done is jinxing them?!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Now, I'm not expecting to get all of them, like I said it's just for fun. But since my hubby and my sister (who was lucky enough to get my name for the gift exchange) keep asking me what I want, I figured this would be the best way to show you. Enjoy!
Boots like this (found some for $25 @ Target...size 7.5 or 8!) would be PERFECT for all those chilly hours spent watching hockey!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Yes, I know that it's not December until tomorrow, but I am too impatient. Plus, Mmmm Mmmm Tuesday just doesn't flow. So if you are a November purist, don't read this post until tomorrow.
First up is a recipe that I stumbled on in Walmart last year. You know, those recipe sheets that they have in little clear holders on the side of their holiday baking displays? Yep...it's one of them. I actually grabbed the sheet for the other recipe on the page, but made this one instead. And let me tell you what...it was a HUGE hit! My hubby & my kids are always my taste testers, and I got RAVE reviews. They almost ate the entire batch before my parents, sisters and grandma could get here for Christmas and try them. They were that good.
Anyway, here you go!
Easy Oreo Truffles
1 package Oreo cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 packages (8 squares each) Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Mix 3 cups of cookie crumbes and cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 1 inch balls. I found that a regular size cookie dough scoop is perfect for these!
Dip balls into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. (We used red & green sprinkles for Christmas).
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover (haha, yeah right. Leftovers. That's funny.) in tightly covered container in fridge.
*I will be making some of these babies this week, so check back for pictures!*
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Anyway, here is my list of things that I am so grateful for.
- My husband. He sacrifices so much for this family, and does everything he can to give us anything we could dream of. I don't tell him enough how much I truly appreciate him. He is everything that I could've imagined when I was envisioning my soul mate and I'm so thankful that God gave him to me.
- My kids-Noah, Jonah and Sophia. They are all so different in their personalities, and even though I get stressed with them from time to time (okay, ALOT), they each know what little things to do to make me smile. They truly are gifts from Heaven and I have such a huge responsibility to ensure that they grow up fearing God and loving others. While that sometimes seems very daunting, there is nothing I would rather be doing with my life than being a mother to my three precious children.
- My extended family. We are so lucky to have a supportive family. We may be seperated by a few states and lots of miles, but whenever we need anything they are just a phone call away. My parents have raised me to be the person that I grew up to be and I couldn't have asked for better ones. My in-laws are as involved in my kids lives as they can be and we are truly blessed for that as well. My sisters and my husband's siblings are the best aunts and uncles around, and my kids worship the ground they walk on. Hubby and I each only have one grandparent left on earth, and even though we don't get to see them nearly as often as we'd like to, we couldn't be who we are without them.
- My husband's job. Yes, I complain about the military alot. There are so many thins that I wish that I could change. But we are so fortunate. He has job security, which in this day and age is a blessing in and of itself. We are currently in a non-deployable slot, which means we are some of the lucky few (for the next 6 months or so) who are guaranteed to have the head of our household at every family function imaginable. And for those of you who are in the military you know that is the best gift of all. I could choose to look at the downsides, like the fact that if we don't get an assignment by next summer my hubby will be deploying for 6-9mos late next year. But instead, I am going to focus on the here and now, and soak up every minute of togetherness that we have. And how can you not be thankful for the opportunity to help other less fortunate that we are...the military is needed and I am so proud to call myself a military wife.
- My friends. Living far away from family for so much of my married life (all of it actually), friends have become so crucial to my well being. The people who have so readily welcomed my family into their own have touched my heart and I will never be able to thank them enough. Recently, some of our non-military friends here in Charleston invited us over for Thanksgiving. We accepted but asked them if they were sure they wanted non-family members over at their house when they'd be having their own mothers and fathers and siblings and neices and nephews at the house that day. They told us that yes, they did want us to come because we were extended family and it wouldn't be the same without us. That brought tears to my eyes. I am also incredibly thankful for having friends that, even when months (sometimes even years) go by without seeing one another, as soon as we are reunited it's like we were never apart. True friends are so hard to find these days, and we are so blessed to have so many people, both military and civilian, like that in our lives.
- Trials and hard times. I know what you're thinking- "Why in the world is she thankful for hard times?" But it's the hard times and the trials that make me reach deep down into myself and remember that everything happens for a reason. God gives us these trials to bring us closer to him, and closer to the people who mean the most to us. Sure, life would be so much easier if everything went my way. But it is when things don't go that way that I realize that I am stronger than I think I am. I will get through, I will persevere, I will survive. I have to keep reminding myself that "this too shall pass" and that God won't give me more than I can handle. Sometimes I think that maybe He forgets that I'm not Superwoman, but in the end I always get through it and I am even more aware of the good times that follow.
There are, of course, so many other things that I am thankful for (like running water, my car, my computer) but when I have all of the things I listed above, those things seem so small and almost insignificant. All I really, truly need in my life are my God, my family, my friends, and my country.
Thank you Lord for all that you have given to me. Help me to realize how blessed I am each and every day, not just on Thanksgiving. Remind me daily that I need to look for the positives in my life, instead of dwelling on the negatives, and that every day is a blessing.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Oven Ranch Chicken
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1 pkg (.4 oz) ranch dressing mix *I used a 1oz package becuase that's what I had*
1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts *I used 5 becuase of five family members. The amounts of other ingredients yielded enough without having to increase*
Heat oven to 375*. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a shallow dish (or pie pan), mix bread crumbs and ranch dressing mix. Place sour cream in a seperate dish (pie pan).
Dip chicken into sour cream, turning to coat. Roll in bread crumb mixture and coat both sides evenly. Place chicken on cookie sheet. (Discard any leftover sour cream and bread crumbs)
Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature is 170*.
Friday, November 20, 2009
So if you're in the Charleston area (or know someone who lives down here) spread the word and stop on by the Hoiday Bazaar at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, SC from 9am-3pm tomorrow (21 November).
And please wish me luck!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I was standing in the kitchen and she came up behind me and smacked me right on my keester. I turned around and said "Sophia, it's not nice to hit."
Without skipping a beat she grinned at me and said "I not hit you, Mommy, I high-fived your butt!"
Heaven help me, my 2.5 year old is as smartassed as the rest of them.
Monday, November 16, 2009
It's been pretty crazy around here. Seems like from October through March my house is always in upheaval. Not only are we in the middle of the holiday season (can you believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK? I can't!), we are also in the middle of hockey season. Hubby coaches a squirt travel team (8-10 yr olds), assistant coaches a high school varsity team, and also helps out with the coaching of Noah & Jonah's termite house league team. In case you're wondering, the answer is yes, he is at the rink almost every day of the week.
But there are fun things going on for me right now too. I am busily preparing for a craft show on Saturday. THIS Saturday. The 21st of November. I found out about it just two weeks ago. So I've been sewing and crafting my butt off. My kitchen counter is covered with ribbon, hair clips and hot glue sticks. The dining room table holds my sewing machine and piles of fabric cut for skirts. Our bedroom, which now doubles as my craft room, has all of the finished products laying around ready to be put in the Rubbermaid for transporation Saturday morning. My hubby is counting the days until this show happens. He wants his house back.
Anyway, if any of you blog-readers are in the Charleston, SC area, come to the Holiday Bazaar at Stratford High School in Goose Creek on Saturday 21 November from 9-3. I'll be there with bells on!
Ok, not really with bells on, but maybe if you're lucky I'll have some bells somewhere...it's a Christmas show afterall!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Well, technically not start, as I've already bought a few stocking stuffers here & there.
But today is the day that I start buying the big ticket items! Both boys want a Nintendo DS, so the plan is to get one today, and then get the second one after the next paycheck. I have three kids to buy for, plus nieces & nephews, so spreading out the expense is key.
I'm super excited for Christmas this year, too. We're going to be heading down to FL this year. December 23rd and 24th with the in-laws, and then Christmas Eve and Christmas day/weekend with my family. A few more days in Daytona with hubby's family and then it's back to Charleston to unpack, do laundry, and repack to go to a hockey tournament over New Year's weekend.
Okay, maybe I'm a little un-excited for that last part.
I am so tempted to bring along my Christmas cd's in the car today to get me in the spirit, but I will try to show restraint since my friend is coming along with me and I have already been teased about listening to Christmas music way too early. That's usually something I do when the kids are in school and the hubby's at work and no one is coming over to the house. I'm a closet "early Christmas music listener."
Hey- at least I'm not donning red sweaters with reindeer and Santa knitted into them!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
(In my defense, I was working on holiday items and needed inspiration via music. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)
But I'm not the only one in my house getting into the Christmas spirit. Last night the kids picked a Christmas movie to watch at bedtime. Then today, Jonah came home from school with a Christmas book from the library.
So HA. It's not just me, folks.
Apparently my whole family is crazy.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Now, I realize that this last one is an EXTREMELY unflattering picture of yours truly. But the story behind it is so funny that I couldn't delete the picture. We were feeding the cows, and the split second before this picture was snapped, the very hungry animal had wrapped it's horribly disgusting tongue completely around her arm. She was disgusted, and I was cracking up!