Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Highlights

January:

  • We had a snow day
  • I baked and cooked some new recipes
  • Bobby had a flat tire
  • Munchkin sold girl scout cookies
  • We had a tornado watch in the middle of the night
  • I spent time grading papers and teaching classes
  • We went to the circus
  • The kids and I met up with the Jacksons in Chattanooga to play at the Children's museum
February:
  • A house down the street from us burned
  • We went to Chattanooga again to hang out with the Jacksons at the aquarium
  • Munchkin stayed home one day due to feeling puny
  • Kiddos made Pampered Chef pancakes all by themselves
  • We had comfort food cooking club at Anne's house
  • I went to a Lovely Ladies brunch in my neighborhood
  • Bobby and I left our kiddos with Mark and Melissa and drove to Austin for the wedding of Chelsea and Phillip. I started babysitting Chelsea when I was 12. I felt old. ;)
  • Yogurt Mountain opened near us and our kiddos were immediately in love!
  • Little Man pulled his very first card at school. We didn't even have to discipline him because he felt so bad about it on his own.
  • Little Man also told us about his girlfriend that he went on a date with on the playground. Yeah...he was 7 at that point in time.
  • We hung out with the Wolthers for the Superbowl. :)
March:
  • The first Hunger Games movie came out so Bobby and I got a babysitter and went to the movie! At midnight.
  • We sold our trusty Honda Civic and purchased a Honda Element
  • I took the kiddos to Atlanta to hang out with Angela and her kiddos. We went to the World of Coke, the Olympic Fountain, and The Varsity.
  • I replaced a tire with a twisted belt so I wouldn't have a second blowout on the freeway
  • I did an image challenge with June Steckler that stretched my creativity
  • I made homemade pop tarts
  • Munchkin and I went to the 100th anniversary celebration for girl scouts, we also went to camp and got to ride horses
  • We grilled out with the Gustafsons in a thunderstorm
  • Little Man stayed home from school due to a fever. We made no bake cookies. :)
April:
  • Munchkin ran the ING Kids marathon
  • Spam and Anchovies met at my house for Italian night
  • We went to a fundraiser for a new sign for our neighborhood. Munchkin wrote a song for it and sang it to several different groups. A writer in our neighborhood gave her high praise for her song!
  • I took Munchkin to the Pure in Heart conference
  • Bobby took Little Man out to fly a remote control plane that he built from scratch. They crashed it!
  • Little man had to deal with rotten kids about his speech. :(
  • We met up with our friends Christy, Dan, their boys and Eric Shouse. All were in town and are friends from APU. It was so fun to catch up with them at the Pancake Pantry.
  • Kiddos went to a Duckworth Star Wars birthday party
  • Bobby and I took the kiddos to the opening race at the fairgrounds
May:
  • Bobby and I took the kiddos to the Smyrna airshow
  • We took the kiddos to the Memorial Day Ceremony in our neighborhood
  • Spam and Anchovies had Greek Night at Beth's house
  • There was a super moon this month!
  • I got to meet up with Amy from Amyruthbakes at Sweet 16th bakery
  • I posted portraits all month on my photo a day blog
  • Munchkin had final roll call for elementary school (tear jerker!)
  •  Munchkin also went to an end of the school year swim party. So fun!

  • Little Man got  A/B Honor Roll, best effort in science, and highest gpa in pe!
  • Munchkin received ribbons for the highest gpa in her class for reading, social studies and science. She got certificates for highest gpa in music, outstanding effort in pe, principals list, and was one of 4 kids to get the President's Education Award
  • Took a crazy, impromptu trip to Orange Beach to hang out with Bobby's brothers, Jon and Joe. We played in the gulf, saw a school of fish, bobby saw a sting ray and I am convinced I stepped on it, saw a school(?) of sting rays, saw mussels burying themselves in the sand, and, the coolest animal sighting of the day, a 3-4 foot shark about 20 feet off the coast in less than 3 feet of water.

  • I went to the funeral of a friend, mentor, and colleague
  • We played trivia with the Gus crew at a Mexican restaurant 
  • One of the sweet teachers from our elementary school passed away. It was a sad time but it was a good time to talk about how we only have 1 life...not 5 like on Mario Bros.
  • Bobby went to see Avengers at midnight with our friend Grant
June:
  • Took the kiddos to the Science Center to see the Venus Transit
  • Little Man turned 8 and we had a party at Hobby Lobby for Men. I made a Thor hammer cake! We also went to the library that day and then went to a Sounds game.
  • APU Saints came and sang at a tiny Methodist church near us so we got to go see them
  • Bobby's dad came to visit and we took at trip to Pharmacy Burger in East Nashville
  • Summer was horribly hot.
  • I took Bobby's dad and my kiddos to the Frist
  • We had Munchkin's birthday party a little early at the Drive In. We saw Brave and had a picnic dinner. She requested Chocolate Covered Strawberry cake. It was tasty!
  • Munchkin fell rollerskating and we thought she broke her arm...just bruised
  • Kiddos went to Vivid Camp. Music and Environmental were the focuses
  • Kiddos also went to SKY VBS
  • Went to Chili's for Fathers Day
  • Munchkin was on a swing that broke and the chain smacked her finger...bruised.
  • We took the kiddos to Sara and Travis's sweet girl's birthday party
  • Went swimming with Beth and her boys and found a snake
  • Bobby won the grand prize from WSIX 98 so we got 4 nights in a suite at the CMA festival. Night one I was teaching so he took Munchkin. Night 2 he and I went and met Jana Kramer. Night 3 I took Munchkin. Night 4 I took Little Man. So fun!
July:
  • Little Man had an MRI due to frequent headaches. No changes from his initial diagnosis
  • Munchkin turned 10
  • I made hazelnut biscotti
  • We got some sweet new neighbors
  • We watched the Olympics
  • Angela and her kiddos came up to visit. We hit up a water play bounce activity and got to see Salient play at a back to school event at a local church
  • Munchkin and her bff made Chewbacca cupcakes all by themselves
  • Took Little Man to the Wrapper's Delight food truck
  • Go to see our friends Bryan and Aly and their sweet baby boy on our way to our family reunion
  • Hung out with our fun family at the reunion
  • Went to Cops and Donuts donut shop with my grandpa
  • Went to Frankenmuth in Michigan
  • Saw our sweet friends Jen and Don and their cute kiddos on our way home from the reunion.
  • Munchkin ran around a revolving door like she was in the movie Elf. She missed the doorway and ended up with an ice pack on her head for the remainder of our ride home from Cincinnati
  • Kiddos went to VBS at the local Nazarene Church
  • Starbucks had free energy drinks...they were not good.
  • Kiddos and I dressed up like cows to get free food at Chickfila
August:
  • Munchkin started 5th grade and middle school
  • Little Man started 2nd grade
  • I made a Julia Childs dinner in honor of her 100th birthday
  • Little Man and our friend that rides home with us got to check out a Golden Orb Weaver up close
  • Left the phone at home and taught the kiddos how to jump off a swing
  • Kiddos started the soccer season
  • Munchkin and Little Man made Yoda cupcakes
  • Bobby and I took the kiddos on a walk in the greenway. We let them bring their scooters but Bobby still ended up carrying Little Man part of the way.
  • Spam and Anchovies had Cajun night at Leanne's house. I took pictures and didn't blog...lame. The night was really fun though with delicious food!
  • Munchkin started playing French Horn, joined FCA, and was voted onto student council
  • Droid smashed
  • Started teaching flute again
September
  • I made Nectarine Chiffon Upside Down Cake
  • Started going to a Bible study in my neighborhood
  • Turned 38
  • Bought a new mattress and box spring for Munchkins room
  • Chose a photo for the community art show at the new coffee shop in my neighborhood
  • Went to See You at the Pole at both the elementary school and the middle school
  • Bobby and I took the kids on a mini hike to a waterfall
  • The middle school put on a family night at the roller rink. It was all fun and games until Little Man got kicked in the face. We stopped at Steak and Shake on the way home and a shake seemed to help.
  • Spam and Anchovies met at Urban Grub for dinner
October:
  • Ran the Nashville Color Run with Vanessa and Beth
  • My mom and dad came to visit. We went to Centennial park to take family pictures. We also visited Louisville, KY. We went to Glass works, the Louisville Slugger Museum, and Churchhill Downs. The first hotel we went to was horrible!
  • For Halloween Munchkin was Rapunzel, Little Man was the lizard guy from Spiderman, Bobby was Thor, and I was the crazy cat lady
  • I made 100 cupcakes for an FCA event
  • My dishwasher broke
  • Salient played at a local Harvest Fest
  • I made cheesecake for one of my classes
  • We got family pictures taken by a friend
November:
  • A storm rolled through with lots of lightning. I stopped and caught a few bolts on camera!
  • There was a really foggy morning
  • I made jicama fries
  • We started attending Roots. It is a more contemporary service at the Methodist church in our neighborhood
  • We had Thanksgiving dinner with some neighbors and friends at the new neighborhood coffee shop
  • Went and saw Twilight
  • Went to Melissa's for Spam and Anchovies. We had pizza and started a movie but then moved onto lots of fun/hilarious conversation
  • Went to the Rennaisance Center with Munchkin and Encore
  • Bobby played with our friend Andrew Adams at River Oaks Community Church
  • Little man went to his first sleepover party
  • Bobby and I voted in the presidential election
  • We went to Chattanooga to hang out with the Jackson's one more time before our aquarium passes expired. It was the weekend of the second largest regatta in the country. We watched the crews for a little while, walked across the bridge to let the kids ride the carousel and play at the park, and went to the aquarium. 
December:
  • Had a lovely visit from Bobby's brother Jon and Nurse Courtney
  • Went to see the Rockettes
  • Went to Melissa's baby shower
  • Bobby played with a band called Dirt Pies and Daisies
  • We have a visit coming up from Bobby's other brother and sister in law, Joe and  Rox
  • We are going to the Music City Bowl
  • We had a nice quiet Christmas as home.
  • We went to Munchkins first ever band concert, she went to her first ever dance
  • We decorated for Christmas and our block won for best block. Our next door neighbor won the Griswold award from the neighborhood association
  • We have new years and a whole new set of memories to make

I was trying to think back over this year and remember all we had done. It is fun for me to have some highlights from the year all in one place! :) I hope you have enjoyed this post (if you got through the entire thing) as much as I have. Also, not to self. o not post while half asleep....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winter is coming

A few mornings ago I had to run to the post office. It was the first morning I had to scrape the windows on my car. It is a reminder that I need to be ready a little earlier in the winter months so we won't be late for school. The frost was so pretty on the leaves, I couldn't pass up a quick pic.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lightning in November

 The other day I needed to run out to the store for a few minutes. Up until the point when I walked out the door it had been a beautiful day. The sky, however, was ominous. On my way home the rain had already started and I was seeing frequent lightning. I really wanted some photos and and a good/safe place to take them. I noticed to my left a wall cloud and found the perfect place to shoot in a neighborhood near mine. The following photos are 9 out of about 275 pictures. You can see the progression of the wall cloud from photo 1 to 9. I would love to hear what you think of these and which photo is your favorite so please leave me a comment! :)








Friday, November 09, 2012

Jicama Fries

The other day I was home and I was craving something salty. You know how that is, right? But we had no chips, no popcorn, no chocolate that I could sprinkle salt on. I really wanted fries. My family has not had McDonalds since last December thanks to a family New Year's resolution. The other day I walked by someone carrying a large order of McD's fries and didn't even cave. However, this day I wanted something like that. The only thing I could find in my house that I thought would work was jicama. I have eaten jicama at restaurants or on salad bars but I don't think I have even seen it at the store. My mom and dad were here a couple of weeks ago and they brought a jicama from Colorado with them. So, I turned to my trusty friend google and found this recipe. After peeling off the skin with the worst potato peeler ever I cut it into strips. Munchkin came and tasted the raw jicama and said she thought it tasted like sweeter raw potatoes. I think I may have used a bit too much olive oil..I didn't measure since I was trying to be a chef but I did add a good amount of salt for my taste. That is my daughter's hand up there with all of the salt.

I baked these at 400 for about 25 minutes, flipped them and baked for another 20 minutes. I was surprised to find that I liked my little jicama fries quite a bit. Call me crazy but I topped them off with Malt Vinegar. mmmm. It was just the right touch for me! Apparently these are good for those of you on Paleo diets too. :)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Foggy Morning

 This morning I woke up to a dense fog alert on my phone so I knew I needed to grab my camera on the way out the door. Dense fog doesn't last long around these parts and I knew it would burn off before 10. I took a few minutes after the kids were at school to shoot a few pictures. I love mornings like this!
These pics are quite large so they might take a minute to load.

Who knows what danger might lurk beyond the fence?

A lovely morning for a jog.

Lovely park like setting at school.

Can you hear a train a comin?

Houseboat?

A foggy walk to school.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Color Run Nashville 2012

Once upon a time and long ago I was a runner...not really. I have never really been a runner. I did train for the Los Angeles Marathon and even got up to the point where I could run 8 miles. However, I went home for Christmas break, it was cold, no one would run with me and I got off track. I sold my ticket to a friend who ran the marathon in my place. (She don't tell anyone! I think that it is now against the rules to do that...it was at least 16 years ago anyway...)

Fast forward to about 7 years ago. Bobby and I walked a 5K for the Baptist Children's Home. It was fun. Munchkin ran with us and Little Man rode in the stroller. Aside from walking my neighborhood with my friend Sharon I have not been a runner since then. 
 
Several months ago at a Spam and Anchovies gathering (it may have been Greek night) Vanessa mentioned she was going to sign up for the Color Run.She told us you get covered in colors and that it is a lot of fun. I started to think about it, Beth started to think about it. Another sweet lady named LaRae started to think about it. If you run with a team your fee is smaller so Beth and I signed up with LaRae and Devoted Fitness.

Honestly, I don't think we really knew what to expect. I woke up with a massive headache which, I am sure, stemmed from the anxiety of the unknown. Was I going to be able to keep up? Where was I supposed to go? Would I hurt my leg again? All of those question were for naught. Beth met me at a grocery store parking lot and we rode together down to LP field and found a parking spot. It was early and chilly but we were glad to get there when we did. After a substantial wait in line for a port a potty we discovered no toilet paper. Someone told us just then that there was a bank of about 50 toilets somewhere else and we made our way over to those picking up free 5 hour energy along the way. These potties were clean and we were happy.

Not too long after we got to LP field, there was an accident to go along with the construction on the interstate which held up traffic for quite awhile. Beth had picked up Vanessa's packet so we kept in contact with her so we could meet up. In the meantime we took a bunch of fun pictures while we were still nice and clean. It just so happened that Vanessa was driving by as we got back to my car to drop off a couple of things so we threw ourselves on her car and scared her half to death! We thought we were pretty funny! :)

As race time loomed nearer we still hadn't found LaRae so we made out way to the back of the pack of 15,000 runners and climbed a hill to see if we could see her. Once we found her we also found Elvis! Did you know he is a Color Runner too?

The race started at 9 but we left the start line closer to 10. They let about 1000 people go at a time and we were in the 9th wave I think. Bobby and our kiddos came down to take pictures so it was quite a wait for them to see us. Vanessa and I ended up running about half the race and walking the rest. Beth walked with LaRae and the rest of the group from Devoted Fitness. We actually waited for a few minutes after the last color station so we could all go to the finish together. Bobby, Munckin and Little Man were waiting at the first color station. It was yellow and apparently they ran out really early so they were scooping it off the ground to throw at us. Munchkin saw what was going on and said she absolutely wants to run the next Color Run. Little Man took one look and said uh uh. He wants no part in the craziness of the Color Run. Those responses are exactly what I would expect from my kiddos! :)

After taking pictures of us at the yellow color station, Bobby and the kids took off to meet us at the finish. We made sure to pretend we were running at that point so we could get more fun pictures. After kisses and hugs they headed for home while Vanessa, Beth, and I headed in to the post race party. Tons more color was thrown, we got more pictures taken and then decided it was time to head out. Since none of us wanted to sit in traffic we decided to go to Shoney's for lunch. I think Bobby and I have eaten there once in the entire time we have lived here. We were glad to see we weren't the only Color Runners there as puffs of colored dust came off of us as we moved.

A few things I learned for next time:
1) Don't wear the fanny pack...it looks dumb (although I did carry all of our post race dust in it...
2) Wear extra fun costumes...our crazy socks were fun but we can be crazier
3) Don't worry..so there will be no headaches
4)  Bring a bandana for going through the dust stations...breathing colored cornstarch can't be good for you
5) Pay the $5 ahead of time (I did) for post race pics
6) Remember to have fun

If you have ever wanted to run a 5K this is a great starter one to run. It is not about the fastest time, or being completely in shape...obviously I have some work to do there...but it is about having fun. It's not called the Happiest 5K on the Planet for nothing! :) I am sure this is a run I will do again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hotel Horror Story

Since it is October, and all of the ghosts and goblins are out anyway I am going to tell you a story. It is a true story and only happened last Monday. The characters are real, the places are real, and I am not even changing any names! Bwahahahaha!!! Scared yet?

On a dark and stormy night....Ok, ok, it was a bright chilly afternoon...a group of people squished into a little car pulled up in front of a "quality" inn that had been booked through choicehotels.com. (It was me, my kids, and my parents...shh). The first sign something was not right was the "lady" of the night (ahem....broad daylight) selling her wares in the parking lot. The family didn't think too much of it but a still small sense of foreboding began to creep over them.

Into the "quality" inn they went and found their room. The kids were anxious because they wanted to jump right into the sparkling pool they had seen in the pictures on the internet. After a quick inspection their mother deemed it safe and let them change into swimsuits. The sense of foreboding grew stronger as they entered the sleeping room in their "quality" suite and found what appeared to be high velocity blood splatter stains on the curtains that wouldn't quite close. At this point the family should have just turned around and left the horror hotel but they were going to stick it out.

While the kids were in the pool the mother (yes me ;)) was reading the signs posted around the pool and noticing phrases like "if you have a contagious disease do not get in the pool" "if you have open wounds do not get in the pool" Ewwwww. The children had only been in the pool for a few minutes when their grandparents came flying around the corner to say "We cannot stay in that room, there is an electrical outlet hanging out of the wall AND there is no peephole!!". Needless to say the children were pulled out of the pool so the next step in the hotel horror story could commence.
Now you might think that it is not such a bad thing to have no peephole except when there is just a hole in the door.
from outside the room
The "quality" staff was helpful and gave the patrons keys to a new room, the new room that reeked of smoke. The patrons simply closed the door and headed back to the front desk. Upon entrance to the third and final room the mother of the two children (ok, ok, again it was me!) looked around and didn't want to put anything down. There was something brown smeared on the carpet near the couch, there was crud all over the couch the two children would be sleeping on, and something (no one could identify what) all over the coffee table.

The smart devices that had been plugged into the walls were charged enough that reviews could be read on the "quality" inn. Stories of bed bugs, unmentionables being sold in the vending machine next to the nutrigrain bars, and other nastiness finally sent the family heading for the hills. They didn't know where they were going but they were not staying there. A pizza place of good quality was found, a new hotel booked, and a happier night with no bed bugs was had.

To end our story though, the next morning the matriarch of the group (hi mom! ) was telling the story to the desk clerk of the "comfort"able inn we stayed in (they had fresh baked cookies when we checked in).  When the location of the "quality" inn was revealed the clerks eyes grew wide and she told of a body found in the wall of a hotel where we had been!!! Bwahahahaha....aren't you glad the family came back from their adventure alive?

Monday, October 08, 2012

Road trip

My mom and dad are here for fall break. So far we have gone to the mall, my mom got a haircut, they watched munchkin and little man while bobby and I went to talladega, and now we are headed to louisville.
We are planning on packing in at least 4 activities plus swimming at the hotel.
I hope to have pics up soon. :)



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

{TWD BWJ} Nectarine Upside Down Chiffon Cake

 Last Tuesdays recipe was Nectarine Upside Down Chiffon Cake. I decided I should make this before my kiddos ate all of the nectarines. Alas, I am still a week behind...at least I am not a month behind. Hopefully I will get the Whole Wheat Loaves baked and posted by next Tuesday.
 Anyway, Bobby, our kiddos, and I were invited over to watch opening day NFL. The Titans were playing the Patriots, the Jets were playing the Bills, and the Colts were playing....uh...someone. The only reason I know this is because there were 2 giant TV's set up in the living room and the Colts fan was watching on an iPad. There was also much use of cell phones to check fantasy football scores. My contribution? Not much smack talk as I know nothing about football but I did get to bring this lovely dessert as well as a pan of blondies.

I think this turned out pretty well. However, it was not quite cooked all the way in the middle so it was a little gooey. The bottom before flipping was very angel food cake like, the nectarines were delicious covered in brown sugar and butter, and the struesel inside was pretty tasty.

 Only about half of this got eaten at the party. The blondies had chocolate so I am sure that had something to do with them being devoured. Overall, I thought this was a nice cake that I would make again if I need something fancy. :) For the recipe you can check out Marlise at Double Trouble Kitchen or Susan at The Little French Bakery. Check back next week for Whole Wheat Loaves! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Hubs Has My Back....sort of.

So this morning we hemmed and hawed about going to church but finally decided to go. I got dressed and asked my sweet husband if I looked ok. He said yes I did. Now, I know that sometimes this is a loaded question with one required answer. However, usually when I am asking I want to know if I actually look ok.

We got to church, got the kids checked in and went to the service. We were in the balcony singing along with the songs when I thought "huh, the buttons on my shirt feel weird". I reached back and discovered the tag of my shirt poking through my hair. I leaned over to my darling husband and said "well, I know I asked if I looked ok this morning....I am going to the restroom to TURN MY SHIRT RIGHT SIDE OUT!".

The moral of the story here boys is if your wife asks you if she looks ok you can give the required "you look fantastic" answer but if something is inside out please tell her! ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

{TWD:BWJ} Catching Up

Once again I am behind in posting. I got a gym membership and my laptop broke. Being the social person I am I don't want to hang out in the room with our computer by myself. I would rather hang out with my kiddos and hubs. Hence the lack in posting lately. Anyway, this week's recipe (on time) for Baking with Julia was Popovers. I make Pop up Pancakes on a fairly regular basis so these were a breeze to whip up. They did take quite a bit longer to bake though as you are drying out the center. My family loved these even though all of the popovers had craters in the middle. That made them perfect for filling with blueberries! For the recipe you can pop over (see what I did there?) to Vintage Kitchen Notes with Paula or Bake with Amy. Both of their batches of popovers turned out beautifully. Clearly my custard cups were too big. :)
 The last recipe I missed was Mixed Berry Galette. I think I missed this in the first book as well. But I finally made it. I may have mentioned once or 600 times that my hubs and my girl do not like cooked fruit. At this point I think it is just words. Both of them loved this delicious tender treat. The recipe did say to use only a few strawberries as they are typically too watery. However, I didn't read that part before going to the store...you think I would learn. So this is blueberry and strawberry galette. :) This week was hosted by Lisa of Tomato Thymes (whose post was pinned on Pinterest) and  Andrea of the Kitchen Lioness who has fantastically gorgeous photos on her site and a lovely 100th birthday tribute to Julia Child.


 The recipe that I missed before that was Nectarine and Blueberry Pie...which I still haven't made. I bought nectarines and my daughter ate them all. What can I say? She likes fruit...raw fruit...perhaps it was a conspiracy so I didn't cook the fruit.... It will get made eventually. However, you can still see lovely photos and get the recipe by visiting Hilary at Machengo's Kitchen (who really made a summer fruit pie or Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

Last (or first, I guess it depends on how you look at it) but definitely not least was Semolina Bread. I miscalculated my rise cycles and ended up having to instruct my sweet hubs on baking this while I went to teach a class.  It was a little flat and a little crunchy on the sides but dense and chewy on the inside (not my hubs fault). It was pretty tasty but the kids thought it was a little salty. Hm..I may have to try this one again. Anyway, the hostesses with the mostesses were Anna of Keep it Luce and Renee of The Way to My Family's Heart. Both are lovely blogs and their bread turned out fluffier than mine.

Onto another week and more baking! Make sure to check out the LYL to see how other bakers around the world enjoyed this week's popovers!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Julia Child

 If you were on Google yesterday you know it was Julia Child's 100th birthday. Since I have been cooking through Baking with Julia (don't worry, there is the mother of all make up posts coming soon) I decided to celebrate by making Julia Child recipes for dinner last night. In true me form I hadn't made any of these before. I decided first on Coq au Vin or chicken in wine. If you know me at all I am not much of a wine drinker. Red tends to give me a migraine after the first couple of sips so I generally don't partake. Yesterday I was running around like crazy and didn't get to the liquor store until after I picked my son up from school....Awesome...I looked like the alki mom who drags her kid into the liquor store. I did ask before I took him in though to make sure they wouldn't get in trouble for him being in there. They said as long as he wasn't buying it would be fine. If only the grocery stores in Tennessee sold wine, this would not be an issue. Anyway, the recipe called for red: Zinfandel, Merlot, or Pinot noir . I had no idea what I was looking for but found an inexpensive bottle of Mad Housewife. After reading the description on the bottle I decided it was the one. :)

 I finally got my son home and started trying to get some preparation done. Before I knew it we needed to be out the door to get my girl. Once we were home it was on to cooking...finally. I whipped up Julia's Chocolate Mousse and was able to get that in the fridge to chill. Then prep began on the Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin. This was not difficult to put together and actually came out quite tasty. I think I may have eaten eggplant one other time in my life and before yesterday had never ever bought an eggplant. Munchkin really liked this but picked out the tomatoes. Bobby liked it but (tried them first) picked out parts of the egg plant. It was all I could do to get Little Man to eat just the zucchini. So, a fun recipe to try out and a success overall. It did call for Herbs de Provence, which Walmart did not have. I called Publix to make sure they had them before I made the extra trip. They did but the lady on the phone said "oh, you mean her-bs dee province?"......yeah.
 Once the veggies went in the oven it was time to work on the chicken.
That is my kitchen up there and looks pretty good. Of course that is when our house was on the market. Now, see if you can picture this: I went on one of those we are out of everything and anything grocery runs yesterday. Perishables were all put away but the cereal, crackers, all the junk full of preservatives were all still in the plastic bags next to the cabinets on the left. My son was sprawled on the floor next to that doing his homework, The sink (and the counter next to it) was full of the dishes from the mousse and the stove had several pans from use as double boilers and for blanching bacon. That corner over there under the open cabinet has all of my hoarded cookbooks and food network magazines. Needless to say, there was not much room for cooking. But, I made it work. I made Bobby go next door and have our wonderful neighbor open the bottle of wine for us...note to self go get a corkscrew that actually works. You may remember when I tried to open a bottle with a corn cob knob...not useful! Anyway, even without much space this turned out fantastically. My pictures are horrible this time since they are cell phone pics but you get the idea. The Coq au Vin probably could have browned a bit longer but it was quite tasty. Both my hubs and my daughter devoured it. My son took a little more convincing because the Mad Housewife turned it purple, but once the chicken was off the bone he seemed to like it pretty well. He held up an onion and asked  (rather whined) what it was. We said an onion and he looked like he was going to protest. I then said the magic words which were "There is chocolate mousse for dessert!". He popped the onion right in his mouth!

Last but not least we pulled the mousse out of the fridge. This is one of those recipes you cannot go wrong with. Bobby and I both loved it. Munchkin ate some and said there was a bit of a bitter taste to it. That could have been the rum or the coffee.  (I said rum and she pushed it away, she is reading Treasure Island and one of the pirates died from too much rum.) I assured her that the alcohol had burned off as I cooked it.

Overall, this was a very satisfying meal. The only thing that could have made it better is if I had had time to make some french bread to go with it. There is always next year. Happy birthday Julia!! :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ACC..no not the Athletic Conference

If I have said it once I have said it a hundred times. I am a blogging slacker. It is summer time though, my kiddos are home and we have been working hard to have a fun summer. We have spent lots of time swimming, reading, going to the library, had a visit from Grandpa, checked out Folk Art at the Frist, had an MRI, have gone to camps, and have had an all around good time.

Oh, MRI caught your attention...it would mine too. :) Little man has been having serious headaches on and off for awhile now and we have no idea what is causing them. They come on suddenly and fairly frequently. Because of his Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum diagnosis his doctor decided to send us for his 2nd MRI. Even though he was a little worried and we had a few tears with the contrast injection he was able to settle down and stay quite still during the procedure. I am sure watching Star Wars Episode VI kept him busy.

We got good news and bad news. Good news there was no difference in his brain than when we got his diagnosis when he was one. Bad news, we don't know what is causing the headaches. Several people have suggested dehydration but he drinks liquids frequently, and recently a lot more water than milk or juice. Sometimes they happen when he is a little overwhelmed with too much noise or too many people around. Last night was a bad one. He was in his room playing and then all of a sudden he was crying because his head hurt so bad. After some children's advil and about 20 minutes of cuddles he seemed to get better.

Not only did we do the MRI we also went to the eye doctor and got checked out there as well. He is the teeniest, tiniest bit nearsighted but not enough to warrant glasses or to cause headaches. I was diagnosed with cluster migraines when I was around 7 so I hope that is not what is going on with him. I guess it is on to possibly eliminating foods to see if that is the culprit. To find out more about ACC check out www.nodcc.org.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Double Digits!

10 years ago today I was having constant contractions. I was adamant that I was not going to the hospital until my appointment time though as Bobby and I had already been sent back home twice over the two previous days. When we finally got to the hospital a lady pushing a stroller got on the elevator with us and said to me "It looks like you are in labor!" She then proceeded to run off the elevator so she could sign in before us at the desk.

I had to stop twice between the waiting room and the exam room to have contractions so when the doctor said "We are sending you home" I thought I was going to punch him in the face. But he said "Just kidding, let's get you checked in". That was around three in the afternoon. Bobby and my mom hung out with me, Marissa and Kristina, Joy and Amy all visited. Bobby's mom and dad were on their way from Louisville. We watched Ever After on VHS that we brought from home and passed the time.

Finally at 9:26pm it was time for the sweetest surprise. We didn't find out we were having a girl until she made her debut. And a grand debut it was, Bobby nervously cut the cord. She was blue and was whisked away by the nurses to be suctioned. It wasn't long though until my sweet princess was in my arms. Her daddy cried, her grandma cried. 

10 years later we have the most beautiful, creative, joke cracking, craft making, brilliant, avid reader, loves her brother (even though she sometimes finds him annoying), loves Jesus, loves me and Bobby, H2O watching, board game and Wii playing, almost in middle school, sweet friend girl. We love our sweet Munchkin and pray for another incredible year!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

{TWD:BWJ} Not Hazelnut Biscotti


 Here it is July and I missed both June recipes...I take that back. I made the French Strawberry Cake. It was delicious but it was ugly and my photos were terrible...I may post them later. They are on another SD card.

Today's recipe, Hazelnut Biscotti, hosted by Jodi of Homemade and Wholesome and Katrina of Baking and Boys, was quite easy to put together.

If you are looking for the actual recipe for Hazelnut biscotti you can check out their sites. Since I did not have hazelnuts or hazelnut extract I opted for reducing the flour and including 1/3 cup cocoa power, orange extract and semisweet chocolate chips. I did consider dipping them in chocolate but we are about to head out the door for fireworks so that is not going to happen tonight.
My little family of four are big fans of the chocolate orange combo so these mini ( I didn't make my loaves quite chubby enough for traditional sized biscotti) biscotti were an instant hit. None of us are coffee drinkers though so these may last awhile...or make their way to a neighbors house in the near future (they are far away from the edges of the counter so the darn dog should not be able to eat them while we are out). The recipe said that tightly wrapped these stay good for a month. I suppose twice baking them so they are crispy help with that. :) Make sure to check out the LYL to see how other bakers played around with the recipe this week. :)

G.I. Joe Can Fly

 One of Little Man's favorite birthday gifts was Parachute G.I. Joe. It was one of my favorites as well since it was on clearance at Target.This guy came with a few little parts like goggles and guns. But, the best part was the parachute. We attempted throwing him off our deck and managed to get him to fly a little bit. He needed about 15 feet though to really float.So what did we do? Took him to a hill near our house and had Little Man throw him as hard as he could.

 At one point Little Man threw the GI Joe and the parachute actually covered my entire head! I am sure none of us could make that shot again if we tried!
 Munchkin took a few turns throwing G.I. Joe but spent the majority of her time rolling down the hill getting filthy and chasing a friendly little dog that took a liking to us.
 I love this silhouette shot of Bobby helping Little Man get everything untangled for another throw.

 Little Man got so excited every time he threw the action figure. It was always a surprise if the parachute would open and float or if he would get tangled and crash.

 One of the fun challenges was trying to see what positions G.I. Joe would fly in. We tried cannonballs, splits, and other random ways. The best way seemed to be this one though:
 Sometimes, your kids have toys that they play with but are not terribly attached too. This one I think will continue to be a favorite for awhile though. :)