Friday, February 29, 2008

Cooking in the Kitchen with Mommy

When I was growing up I loved to "help" my Mom in the kitchen. I always wanted to be in there helping or watching her prepare meals, cakes, and more. It was so fascinating.
Now that I have my own daughter I can empathize with this little cartoon my Mom had posted in her kitchen cabinet. It was a Family Circus cartoon and the gist of it was the little girl asking Mommy when dinner was going to be ready and the Mom answered 10 minutes if you don't help and 30 if you do.
CG absolutely loves to help, watch, and just generally be in the kitchen with me. She would rather do that than play. She even just likes to watch when I am doing something that she can't help with (such as stirring things on the stove or chopping things). She is so fascinated with the fact that simple ingredients when combined produce yummy results. She loves to mix, pour, and measure what ever I will let her do and then is really enchanted and amazed by the end result of whatever we made. It is so cute.
I love that she loves to be in the kitchen. Even right now when she can't do a lot of stuff by herself, she is being exposed to the process. It is such a learning experience. I really think that it will come back to bless her when she has her own home just as watching and working in the kitchen with my Mom throughout my childhood has blessed me in my kitchen!
Today we worked together to make cookies. She loves to sniff every ingredient and help me by dumping them all in the bowl. She was just enthralled with watching the mixer mix it all up. When the cookies were done she was so pleased and kept asking me if the flour was in them and where it was. I think she is still trying to work out in her head how all the ingredients transform into the finished cookie. It really is neat if you think about it. I wonder who first thought to combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs etc? How did they know how long to cook it and how much of each thing to use? However it came about they sure were yummy and such a sweet time for CG and I!

Purple Princess Toes

CG loves to have her toe nails painted. I haven't painted them in awhile since she has them covered up all the time due to cold weather. However, with some downtime this morning, we got out the nail polish box. CG of course chose the colors she always does: purple polish with a purple sparkle top coat. As you can see they turned out purply perfect. She is excited to show her favorite guy tonight when he comes home from work.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leaps and Bounds!

As most of you know, HJ has always been on the short skinny side. It has never really bothered him too much but does sometimes have questions. An example would be when he started in his 4 year old class in Ktown and came home and asked why he was the littlest kid in the class even though he is older than two others. When he does have questions about it, we try to explain that God made everyone different and different sizes but that he loves everyone equally. That it doesn't matter how little or big you are, it is what is in your heart that matters. Still it is hard to see him question it. I know a time will come when kids won't be as "nice" in their little size comments to HJ.
KJ and I started worrying a little when HJ went to his 4 year check up in June and had only grown about an inch and a half in a year. He was borderline needing to go see an endocrynologist to be evaluated. The doc even sent his records to an endocrynologist for a second opinon about whether HJ should be seen. The three parties decided to give it 6 months and if we hadn't seen some growth we would be going to see the specialist. Well God has answered our prayers! HJ has grown 3 inches since he turned 4!!!!!! That is just amazing to me since he grew so little between 3 and 4. I am so thrilled for him. He will never be tall but he is catching up.
My Mom has a growth chart at her house that the kids LOVE to be measured for. In the last 12 weeks HJ grew 2 inches! His goal has been to get to 40 inches. That way he can ride the Thunder Mountain ride at Disney in May. I had my doubts that he would grow the three inches needed to get there. When we were in town last weekend, Mom measured the kids again (she had just done so 6 weeks ago.) HJ had grown another half inch and was now exactly 40 inches tall. He and I were jumping up and down and hugging each other we were so excited! It truly is a blessing!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Does anyone have any fresh ideas for lunches? The kids and I eat lunch at home every day and I am pretty tired of the sandwich and mac and cheese bit we alternate almost everyday. I would love some fresh, kid friendly, and easy lunch ideas!

Snow Angels

Last night we got a wonderful dusting of snow. It was enough to get school cancelled! I have decided that the county we live in will cancel school for anything (I mean they cancel for even warnings), however, HJ's school rarely cancels when other schools do. Today it was cancelled along with about every other school in our surrounding area.
By the time we had breakfast and got dressed (it takes a long time to get two kids dressed to play in the snow!) a lot of the snow had melted but there was still enough to cause stars to shine in the eyes of my two snow angels. They so rarely see snow let alone get to play in it. There was not enough to sled but they loved throwing it at each other and tromping through the yard to explore. HJ even tried to make a snow angel but there just wan't enought there to see any results. Anyway, it made for a fun, cold diversion this morning!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Past Weekend

This past weekend we had the pleasure of going to Knoxville for a long weekend. It was a whirlwind of fun and sweet times. However, spending time in familiar settings with friends and family has brought back all my homesickness that I thought I had worked through. I have been a little melancholoy (except for Sunday night when I was on an ebay high) since we have returned. It just seems when we come in to Ktown it is so easy to slip back into the familiar groove and forget about this other life I am living in another city!
This has been a little of a hard week getting back in the swing of things here. I have cherished the unbusiness of life in Nashville but being in Knoxville reminded me of all the fun with friends and family that I am missing out on. I know friends will come here as we get plugged in, I just wish the pull to the familiar was not so hard!

In good news, I have joined a women's small group that meets Tuesday morning. This is the second Tuesday I have gone. It will take time for relationships to develop but I feel the potential is there with a few. It is funny how God connects you to people. HJ is in swim lessons on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. One of those days a few weeks ago, I got to talking to another of the Moms. Come to find out she is from good ole Knoxville and we know a lot of the same people! She and her husband even went to the same church we went to for awhile before moving to a smaller church. She has 3 boys: 5, 3, and 2. She told me about this group that was starting at her house and invited me to come. We are studying Becoming A Woman of Excellence. I have enjoyed the book so far and really look forward to getting to know some other young Moms.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Auctions Ended!

I am so excited about this I just had to share! My first week of auctions ended tonight and my total for just this week was $416.05! That is over $100 more than I thought I would make. I am thrilled! (I haven't subtracted out ebay and paypal fees but they don't run too much, this is definitely the way to get the most money for your kids clothes.) This weeks auctions started tonight and I already am getting bids and lots of watchers. I just LOVE ebay! It is so much fun. I will update you next Sunday on more winnings. WhoooHoooo!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back to Football

I think I have mentioned in past posts that my son is obsessed with football? I am not sure that you can possibly understand how obsessed he is until I tell you all of this. For awhile now HJ has suffered from night terrors. He wakes up half screaming half crying and scares the living day lights out of his momma. At first, they were every now and then. And then about a month ago, they started to be almost every night, and sometimes multiple times a night. Now night terrors are different from nightmares in that the person having them never fully wakes up. HJ will be sitting up in his bed with his eyes wide open looking at you and screaming and sometime talking in between the screams. He never remembers them in the morning and will often argue with me that he did not have a nightmare.
Now it is what HJ will be saying in his screaming fits that had KJ and I a little worried. HJ would be screaming about people playing the wrong plays, going the wrong way on the field, and not winning. It is really hard to understand him when he is talking during a night terror b/c he just mumbles and can't answer any questions. When I finally figured out what all the fuss was about (football!) I decided that this was not normal. My son is not scared of monsters, dragons, boogy men, NO, my son is scared of his favorite teams losing and not playing the right play. This is not normal for a 4.5 year old!
Both KJ and I decided that football was off limits for HJ for awhile. He has not been allowed to play or watch football now for awhile and it has worked! The dreams have stopped!
However, we couldn't take it away forever. He loves it to much. Yesterday, I allowed him to get his football and uniforms out and he played. We had no nightmares yesterday and hopefully with a little less enthusiasm from us and no football on TV (sorry KJ) we can keep them at bay.
My kid is weird! What do you expect with KJ and I as parents?

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Great Toy

For Christmas, HJ received the Lego: World of Mosaics toy from an aunt. It is a toy that was in Parent's top toy list for the Christmas season in HJ's age group. We put it away as we do with a lot of the toys to reemerge later in the year, so we aren't so bombarded/overwhelmed all at once with a massive amount of toys . Well we got this out last week and boy is it a hit with HJ! I totally get why it was a top toy for his age. It is a great first Lego kit. You get these little plastic boards that fit over these pictures and then the kids build them with the legos by matching up the size, color, and shape lego to the picture. HJ will sit there for an hour building these pictures almost everyday. What a great thing to work on his fine motor skills not to mention hand/eye coordination. The pieces he is using are tiny!
KJ is excited about this because he remembers loving to build intricate things with Legos when he was a boy (he is even really enjoying the mosaic building) and he can't wait to do that with HJ. This is the first step toward HJ learning how to do that!
If you need a great gift idea for someone in HJ's age bracket this would have to be it!

Show Me The Love!

This past Sunday, we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day (or as much as we celebrate Vday). The way to KJ's heart has always and will always be through his stomach. KJ loves a good meal and I have always loved cooking for him because he appreciates it so much. The one thing he loves the most is a good steak and mashed potato dinner. In fact, almost every time we go out to eat (and his parents are paying -ha ha!) he will order steak and potatoes. He just loves it. I have never been a big steak fan. I am not a huge red meat fan period but steak least of all. I am not sure why. I also do not really care for mashed potatoes. I am not a big fan of that mushy texture and therefore don't like pudding or anything with that texture. (I am weird, I know) All that being the case, I have never made steak before and only made mashed potatoes once! So to really show KJ how much I love and appreciate him, I decided to make him his favorite meal of steak and mashed potatoes. (As a disclaimer, this meal did absolutely nothing to help with our weight loss goals for the year but it was a wonderful special occasion dinner!)
Luckily, my new favorite blogger, The Pioneer Woman, had done a whole series on making just this dinner for Valentine's Day and I decided to follow her recipes. I had so much success with the Super Bowl, I figured I could not go wrong. So I made her Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Pan Fried Ribeye steak, buttery thyme bread, and chocolate pie. It was all phenomenal! KJ said it was by far the best meal I have ever made and was on par with any restaurant steak and potatoes. In fact he said the potatoes were the best he ever had and thought the steak was every bit as good as Calhoun's steaks! He wants this dinner for his birthday, Father's Day, our anniversary, and any other special occasion that warrants it. He loved it! It was a success and I had one happy man on my hands. I even thought the steak was really good. It is the first steak that I have ever really liked and would be happy to make again (and the steak was easy.). My friend Jennifer had made the steak for her hubby and they both liked it but she warned me that it took a lot longer to cook than it did for the Pioneer Woman. Pioneer Woman either likes hers bloody or their steak was a lot thinner than ours. Mine was about 2 inches think and I cooked it to medium rare and it was perfect. The pie was wonderful too. I much prefer a cake to a pie (it is again a texture thing, the pie kind of has that mushy texture in the middle) but KJ much prefers a pie, so tonight, a pie it was. Again, it was phenomenal. I totally nailed Valentine's Day this year!
For the kids, I made a second dinner (something I never do). I wanted them to have a favorite too so I made HJ's favorite of tacos. Therefore, last night everyone was super happy with dinner and there were no complaints. (A bonus gift for me!)
KJ nailed Valentine's Day by finishing a project that I have wanted finished really bad. He made it possible for my car to fit in the garage! He worked all afternoon, showing me the love, and now I can park in the garage too. I am so excited! What a wonderful Sunday!

All Better

Well by Sunday we were all feeling much better! HJ was great by Friday and with CG and I two days behind we were both back to normal on Sunday! It was like God was celebrating with us too. He blessed us with an absolutely gorgeous, mild day. The kids spent the better half of the afternoon out playing with the neighborhood kids in our adjoining backyards. (I love the one big backyard we all share and am so thankful the kids are meeting some of the neighborhood kids!)

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Daddy Can Talk Funny

Last night at dinner, HJ discovered something about his Daddy! We were eating and HJ was talking to us about his Spanish words. He and KJ were practicing them and saying short little things to each other in Spanish. I don't usually participate in this because 1. I know no Spanish. I took French in school and never learned a word of Spanish. (As a side note, I know no French now either, I can't remember it).
2. I butcher any language other than English I try to speak (Just ask my college French teacher, who asked me to please stop talking French to her during my oral exam, b/c she could not listen one more second to my butchering of her language!) and I don't want my son to learn the improper way to speak Spanish
3. KJ has a God given gift for languages. He speaks German fluently, Spanish conversationally, and can read and somewhat speak French and Latin. (I think this is why he has a gift for computers too)
4. I have no gift for languages other than English (and that is debatable as my northern relatives think I talk funny English :)

So anyway, there the two of them were being cute at dinner when I happened to chime in to HJ that Daddy can speak German too. HJ was like what is that. So KJ started talking to him in German. Well you would have thought KJ was tickling him. HJ and CG thought that it sounded hilarious! They kept asking KJ to say all sorts of stuff and then laughing their heads off when he would.

I don't know why it has taken KJ so long to share this talent. I told him all along he should be talking German to the kids more. They are such sponges and could have KJ's gift for languages. Anyway, I thought I would share one more reason that HJ has for thinking his Daddy hung the moon: He can talk super funny!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

What a pitiful Vday it is for us! KJ and I don't really get into the whole Valentine's Day festivities very much. It kind of seems really forced to us. Years ago, we tried to go out to dinner for Vday and after that fiasco we said we would never do that again. We waited an hour for a tiny table in the bar area and ate surrounded by people all waiting for a table and watching you like a hawk to see how fast you were eating so they could have your wonderful table and be watched like a hawk. We never do a lot for Vday. I just typically cook a little nicer dinner than normal.
This year to celebrate, I was going to splurge and make a really nice dinner. I hadn't decided if we would do shrimp or steak or maybe a little of both. I was also going to make some favorite sides and a nice dessert.
Well all of that is not to be! Yesterday, going to the doctor drained me of all energy and wellness that I had left in me. It was all I could do to get the kids in bed yesterday for nap before I collapsed in a heap in my bed shivering from feeling so cold b/c my fever was so high. And then the nausea hit. I felt so bad I had to call KJ home from work. I think getting my self and the kids dressed, to the doc, and then the pharmacy, and then the driving around until the meds were ready, took it all out of me. Thankfully today, I am feeling a lot better (better in relation to yesterday). I have enough energy to sit here and write, surf the internet, and turn the TV on! (Thank heavens for the TV! My poor kiddos have watched so much TV this week. They really don't have the energy to do much else and neither do I)
Anyway, I had thought I would have enough energy to hit the grocery store but not so much. Our fridge and pantry were pretty bare so KJ had to go get the basics for us at the store too. I think our Vday dinner will have to wait until I can stomach preparing for it, shopping for it, and eating it! We are also going to do something really special with our kids to help them understand God's love a little better. I will post more on that later when we actually have the time and energy to do it. The kids and I are really excited about it!
We hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day! We love all of you so much! Thanks for all your prayers and get well wishes!

Internal Alarm Clock

Does anyone else have one? I really think I could do away with my alarm clock as I always wake up a few minutes before it goes off anyway because I have a really reliable internal one. Last night, CG was running a fever of 103.7 and she was due for meds and a fever check at 1:00 am. I had KJ set the alarm for 1am so that I would wake up. Wouldn't you know that I was up at 12:57? This happens no matter what time I need up. I am not sure how my body knows what time it is but it does and I wake up. However, I still set my alarm clock and I am not sure why, I guess it goes back to my irrational fear of being late!

Side note: When we checked CGs temp at 1:00 it was at 99.7 which was a HUGE improvement! She is still running around 100 this morning which I can handle. It is those super high ones that freak me out!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Flu

HJ has been sick since Saturday and CG and I for the last two days. I was getting nervous because rather than getting better HJ has seemed to alternate between getting worse and staying stagnant. I thought he was getting better yesterday but then he spiked a 102 degree fever last night. He even asked to go to bed last night before I was ready to put him to bed. That is something HJ has NEVER done. I decided that this was enough and that we needed to go to the doctor. CG and I are still pretty yucky so I made appointments for all of us. We went in today and the first thing they did was stick a swab up our noses to check for the flu. I was like the flu, we all got flu shots, this just has to be a bad cold. The nurse just looked at me like "We'll see" Oh, and let me tell you that the nose swab hurts like hades. She did me first so I could show the kids it was not big deals. It brought tears to my eyes it stung so bad. I just knew it was going to go over well with the kids. Next she did CG who screamed bloody murder. When it came time for HJ he wanted no part of it. I had to hold him down! So that was super fun!
The doctor came in and was talking to us and asking all our symptoms when the nurse came in and said all three of them have the flu. I was still in denial and was like "We can't we all got flu shots" The doc said there is a strain going around resistant to the vaccine and that is what we have. Lovely! He said we should all be feeling a little better in about a week and that we were all highly contagious since we all had fevers and yucky noses and coughs. Super! Poor HJ was devastated that he would be missing his Valentine's Day party at school and the field trip to see the groundhogs. I feel so bad for him. He has felt awful for way longer than he can ever remember feeling yucky!
The doctor then looked at me and asked how I was holding up and taking care of the kids? I thought about it and realized it is by God's grace that he gives mothers the strength and energy to deal with what needs dealing with ie: getting up 6 times a night to see to children who can't sleep b/c they feel so awful and are having chills and hot flashes while Mommy has her own, making sure everyone is fed (or at least attempted to feed since no one feels like eating), and just making sure everyone has what they needs. God really does provide what we need, when we need it. KJ has been working so much lately and is rarely home before 10pm lately and I am so thankful that I am so well taken care of in my father's arms! If you think about it please pray for healing for the three of us and continued energy and strength for me! Please also pray that KJ does not get this. Things are pretty stressful at work lately as they are going thru major changes and getting sick is the last thing he needs right now! Working late has probably been a blessing for KJ as it has kept him away from all this illness.
We hope everyone is having a wonderful week and are staying healthy! I pray the Lord meets you in your needs this week.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sick Day

Today (Monday) HJ is still under the weather but definitely on the mend! However, CG is now pitiful. She woke up with a 102 degree fever and very lethargic. I am also feeling under the weather so we will be having a house day today and just taking it easy! This pic is from the morning. How pitiful do the kids look?

Hiking in the Yard

When Mom comes down, the kids love to go explore our backyard and neighboring nature preserve. They call it their hikes. The love to find a stick to carry and poke in holes and generally explore with. My Mom is great about making up all sorts of animal tracks and snake holes and the kids really feel like they are exploring and discovering unchartered territory with Mom. She is so good at spinning stories and such.
On Saturday, HJ woke up with a runny nose. It was pretty gross but he seemed to feel fine and we went on to the zoo. By the time we got home he was feeling worse and by the time nap time was over he was running a fever and very weak. However, he was VERY upset at the idea of not exploring with Grandma. So we put the kids boots on and loaded HJ into the trusty backpack and away they went for a little bit. I took off to Walgreens to get some meds for HJ. He has been pitiful for the remainder of the weekend. Yuck!
Thanks Grandma, for coming and spending the day with us on Saturday. We had a lot of fun even if HJ was a little under the weather!

The Nashville Zoo

My Mom came in for the day on Saturday (she said she needed a grandchild fix :) It was an absolutely gorgeous, mild day so we decided to go check out the Nashville zoo. We all had a really good time. It is not as big as the ktown zoo but the exhibits in our opinions were a lot better done. All of the animals were in beautiful exhibits with water features and tons of room to roam. Our favorite was the meerkat exhibit. It was almost a two story exhibit and had little tunnels you could crawl in to see what was going on below ground and you could also pop up in the middle of the exhibit.
The whole zoo was beautifully landscaped everywhere with tons of shade and lots of shady picnic tables and benches spread out throughout the zoo. It was wonderfully designed and they are expanding it a lot over the next couple years.
The kids favorite part was the ENORMOUS playground. It literally was so big it would have taken me about 8 pics just to capture it all. The pic above is only a small part of it. The kids were wide eyed and amazed that such a huge playground existed! I think we will definitely be getting a season pass to enjoy it all year long! The only thing I miss is the Kids Cove area that they have in Ktown. I love that! The little frog pond was a favorite. The Nashville Zoo is missing a cool water feature for the kids to play in but it makes up for it in beauty and playground!

Friday, February 8, 2008

EBAY time again

It is getting to be that time of year again. The big bins of clothes from last spring/summer start appearing and I start sorting. It is time to get ready to start selling on ebay! Twice every year, I sit down and list all the kids clothes for the upcoming season. I make a lot of money selling their clothes this way, however, it takes a lot of time to take pictures of everything and write up all my descriptions. I am fairly seasoned in the best, most efficient way of doing this but it still takes time. However, it is so much fun to watch the bidding on your items! So if I am not as on top of my blog, please forgive me. I am going to try not to neglect it to much and you may see no change. It seems like when I get an idea for a blog, I can't get it out of my head until I write it, so there could be no change. Just in case, you know what is going on! I am busy making money so I can go spend it on this season's clothes!
I list every Sunday and will probably start a week from next Sunday unless I get enough written up to start this weekend. We shall see! I can't wait to blog about my earnings!


HJ came home yesterday excited to tell me that they had a tornado drill at school today. He thought it was very cool. He said the teacher's divided the kids up by 3 and 5 day kids. Since HJ is a 3 day kid, he had to go to the bathroom. He said the other kids got to go to the closet. He said "Mommy, I think the kids in the closet had more fun because we just had to sit in the bathroom and weren't even allowed to use the potty. I think the closet kids got to play with toys." I assured him this was not the case. He said "If there was a tornado why do we go to the bathroom, why not the bsmt?" I explained that the school doesn't have a bsmt so he would go to the next safest place the bathroom. He was still very concerned that they would not let him go potty while he was in there. I said he needed to be sitting down on the floor so he would be safe. I think he accepted all these explanation. He is excited b/c today they are having a fire drill "and you get to go outside during a fire drill!"
I remember I loved fire drills too when I was in school for the same reason!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

That NOISE is back!

AGGGGGHHHHH! I hear those tornado sirens and my blood pressure goes thru the roof. I guess at some point in time you get used to hearing them during thunderstorms but I hear them and my heart jumps into my throat.
But l try to remember I have a foolproof plan of action. All I have to do is listen for the freight train, grab the kids, and head to the bsmt. What could possibly go wrong????

I reminded KJ again tonight that no one explained these things to me in all the discussions we had about moving. I am halfway kidding with him but it is hard to laugh when your heart is in your throat!

Monday, February 4, 2008

For the love of Sausage Balls

As some of you know, I have carpal tunnel syndrome. It has flared up again and I told KJ that I would probably not be able to make sausage balls for the super bowl. He was devastated! However, he decided that he wanted them so much that he would make them himself! He did a great job. I told him from now on at Christmas this would be his job. He didn't like that too much!

Super Bowl!

Last night was the Super Bowl and how much fun was that???? It was a great game! The screaming in my house was deafening when the Giants scored that last touchdown. We were obviously for the Giants. KJ said that it may be the best Super Bowl game ever!
We had our friends DP and his brood over for the game and we all had a blast! Of course the food is a big part of the Super Bowl! One of my all time favorite bloggers is Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. If you haven't read her blog do, she is hilarious! Reading her ongoing saga of how she met her husband is a treat and a workout for your abs because you will laugh so hard!

Well she has a cooking blog: The Pioneer Woman Cooks! It is a great site full of yummy food and step by step instructions and pictures all done in her hilarious commentary. Another must read!

So anyway, she did a cooking post on what to cook for the Super Bowl. KJ had already informed me that wings were a must for the Super Bowl (apparently you can't watch the Super Bowl without them, it isn't allowed!) She had a whole post on how to make wings! So I made them and KJ and DP raved about them. KJ said they were every bit as good as a restaurant and DP said they were they best he had! What compliments. I also made her Bacon Wrapped Cracker Appetizers which were as wonderful as promised and KJ said a must for now on at any appetizer function! DP ate about 20 if that tells you how good they were and his boys ate a ton of them too. A real man pleaser!
I also made the Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever! It totally lived up to its name! It was so moist and good.
So if you are looking for recipes that are yummy, easy, and good try her site out! I can vouch that her stuff is yummy and very pleasing!
We also had sausage balls, nachos, fruit, chips and salsa (from Chili's of course!), and corn, black bean, and feta dip. As you can tell everyone at the party gained 5 pounds but it was sooooo goood!

Lost Boys

This weekend we got visit with some great guys we haven't seen in awhile. The first being Opa (okay granted we saw him over Christmas but not since then which is a long time to go without seeing him!) Opa came down and brought HJ's Christmas gift they gave him because it would not fit in our car when we came home for Christmas. It is the cool jeep that the kids love driving around the yard.

The second guy we got to see was a friend who moved to Kansas from Knoxville a few years ago. We were in a Bible study with he and his wife Jennifer before we had kids (they moved shortly after Hunter was born). He was in town for some military training or something along those lines. I am so glad he called and came over for dinner and to hang out! It has been too long! Maybe he can get his whole family to join him in Nashville in April when he has to come back! (Hint, Hint!) They would have free lodging and meals and really who can beat that!

Thanks for blessing us with your company Robbie and Shae! We had a lot of fun.

Friday Pizza Night

Friday night has for the most part always been pizza night at our house. In Ktown we often went to our favorite pizza place, Little Joe's. It is a dive of a place that you would probably never choose to eat at unless someone told you about it. However, the pizza is pretty good, they give you free breadsticks, and we never have to order b/c the wait staff knows what we want without having to ask!
Since moving, we haven't found a pizza place that can be our Friday pizza place. They are either to expensive for what you get or not super great. Therefore, I have been making pizza on Fridays. Until last Friday, I had been using the pop can pizza crust. However, I love to read this blog. She does a Meal Plan Monday, where people post their menus for the week. I love to browse and see what everyone is cooking (it goes back to my cookbook obsession, I think). Anyway, I noticed quite a few people are using this recipe for pizza dough. It is a bread machine recipe for pizza dough. I was very intrigued because it was used by a couple people in the posts and also the ingredients sounded wonderful.
My wonderful Grammy, gave me a bread maker a few years ago. She had one she never used and asked if I would use it. I said I would love it. Now, I really liked the idea of using it but somehow I had never used it until Friday. I don't know why, but I think I was intimidated by it. Not anymore! It was so easy to use and I will be using it a lot more now! My next thing to make in it will be whole wheat cinnamon bread with raisins. It is a certain little boy's favorite for breakfast.
Anyway, I put all the ingredients in and it said that 1 hour and 20 minutes later I would have pizza dough. (I substituted whole wheat white flour for the white flour in the dough). Just pulling the dough out of the bread machine, I could tell it would be good b/c it already smelled great! It was easy to work into the pan and while it was cooking HJ kept coming into the kitchen and telling me it smelled like a pizza restaurant! Well the pizza was wonderful and I will definitely be making this dough for every pizza Friday we have! It was great! If you have a bread machine, I highly recommend this recipe. It is also fun to browse and see what so many people are cooking for dinner this week. You never know if you will find a new family favorite!

You know you're country....

when you entertain your children and yourself by giving them tractor rides around your yard. (Yes that is Robbie driving them in the first picture but Kevin did it too! HJ was in the back but did not want his pic taken and hid under the blanket.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Apparently I am IT!

I have been tagged by Jennifer and her blog Lemons and Lemonade to share 7 things you probably don't know about me. This is really hard as I feel like I am a pretty boring/dorky person. By sharing these, I feel like everyone is going to know that now (if they don't already from reading my blog, which is most likely the case!) Okay, here it goes:

1. I love to read! I love to curl up with a good book and get lost in it. Here is a list of some of my favorite authors: Francine Rivers (if you haven't read her yet do! She is a treat. Start with her Mark of the Lion series. It is the best!), Maeve Binchy, Phillippa Greggory (I lover her Tudor England series. And for all you non history buffs, that is a series of books set in the England of King Henry VIII, you will remember he had 6 wives. One of her books, The Other Boleyn Girl is coming to the big screen this month! I can't wait to see it!) , Jodi Picoult, and Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind is one of my favs of all time!).

2. Okay, I can't believe I am going to share this on a blog my grandmother reads but I am! Sorry Nana, this is something that may change your image of me! I have a tattoo. Yikes, did I just share that? Yes I do. I got it when I was a senior in high school on our spring break trip. It is on my bottom. It is a very small outline of a three leaf clover (because when I was 17, I thought that would be really cool forever!) Most of the time I forget about it but every now and then, Kevin likes to throw that bit of info out to people he thinks it will shock and embarrass me! There will be no pictures of it, EVER!

3. Now for those that know me, know that I have never been a morning person. As long as I can remember, I could have happily slept until at least 10:00 am every morning. Well since I have moved, the Lord has had other ideas for me! I now get up no later that 6:00 AM happily!!! I have even been known to get up at 4:30 AM (yikes) to go to a 5:00 am spinning class on days when I have a lot to do. KJ thinks I have lost my mind and doesn't know who this morning person is anymore.

4. I love to cook! I love to bake! Since moving, I am really enjoying learning how to bake with whole wheat flours. I think I am getting pretty good. My friend Aimee has been doing it for years and has been sharing her wisdom with me. I can now mix flours really well and make great muffins, waffles, and breads using a combo of different whole wheat flours. No one misses the white flour because the stuff is so good! Thanks Aimee for all the wisdom. I want to try making brownies with whole wheat next! I also love to just cook dinners and meals for my family and friends. I will probably start doing some posts on what I am making because I can and want to. I will probably bore all of you to tears but I stated above I am a pretty boring person so you are warned! I am so excited to be cooking today for a Super Bowl get together! I am making a couple things I have never made before (mainly wings!) so I will let you know how it goes!

5. Almost everyday, the kids and I troop into the study and have a dance. Our current favorite song to dance to is the YMCA song by the Village People. We go through phases of songs. I dare anyone to download that song and dance to it and not be happy. It is simply impossible to listen to that song and not have your mood pick up and smile! It is fun and the kids love it!

6. This goes along with number 4. I have a cookbook obsession. I have about a million and am always looking for more. I don't know why but I love looking at them and seeing all the possibilities that I could cook.

7. I have an irrational fear of being late. I drive my husband and kids to tears in my need to be on time where ever we are going. It literally pains me to think about being late. I don't know why or where it comes from but something inside me cringes at the thought! I really need to relax a little about it because I really can become a nazi dictator and not a nice person when it comes to being on time.

Okay, I think that wraps things up. I am going to tag Aimee because I can't wait to read what she will write! I would also like to tag a lurker to my blog, my friend from Murfreesboro, Alison, because I have a sneaking suspicion that she has a blog that she has not told me about and if she doesn't have a blog should start one because you have some hilarious stories about life in Murfreesboro (I may not let your parents know these stories as they may file for custody of your kids!) So Alison, if you have a blog, you have been tagged and please leave a comment with a link to it!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Sports Day

Today rounds out a week of celebrating 100 days at his school. For today, the kids could dress in sports attire. HJ was all over this! It was a huge decision as to which team he would wear (he could choose from: UT, Titans, or Predators, as that is what we have). He originally chose to wear Titans wear, as I think with college ball over now for awhile, the NFL has been the focus in the house and freshest on his mind. However, at breakfast, I was going thru the junk drawer and found some leftover UT tattoos. Well that sealed the deal for HJ. He quickly changed into his orange sweatshirt and happily picked out two tattoos for each cheek. Here he is ready for school this morning or a trip to Neyland Stadium!