Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: November 30-December 6

Lots of leftovers this week ... and turkey & ham recipes! I am going to try and post some of our favorite family Thanksgiving recipes later this week ... for posterity's sake.

Monday: Smoked turkey white chili, corn muffins

Tuesday: ham, broccoli casserole, homemade rolls

Wednesday: leftover chili, corn muffins

Thursday: ham & pinto beans (in the crockpot), cornbread

I'm off this weekend! We are headed to the SEC championship game to cheer on the Tide.

Check out other menu plans here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fall Fun!!

Well, I am finally managing to get some pictures up of the kids playing in the leaves. We had a really beautiful fall this year and we had a streak of mild weather where we could actually get outside and enjoy all the beautiful colors. Last year, our yard guys cleaned up all the leaves before we managed to get outside for some leaf pile jumping. We beat them to the punch this year.

Claire has been learning a lot about the seasons at preschool this year and really noticed the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. She made a comment about it every time we got in the car to go somewhere.

Claire had fun playing in the leaves, but ...

she much preferred to rake the leaves ...

or throw the leaves.

David did not love playing in the leaves at first. {notice Claire still raking in the background.}

David: "I'll just stand up here and watch."

Oh my ... I have quite the budding yard crew. I need to put these guys to work more often!

Okay ... now David is warming up to the leaves a little more.

Some other random pics from our afternoon outside.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Celebrations this week ...

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving ... Happy Turkey Day! (Claire has been saying this all week.)

And, a victory over Auburn in the Iron Bowl ... this one was too close for comfort for me, but still a win. Roll Tide!

On a side note: Big Al made his first and only appearance this year in our front yard. I'm sure that our neighbors were thrilled!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I have much to be thankful for this year ... my saviour, my children, my husband, my job, my family & friends, our health. But I think most of all this year, I am thankful for a church and small group that has challenged me to give myself completely to God. I have learned that stewardship is not just about tithing 10% of my income, but giving myself completely to God and His kingdom. That includes my time and energy ... my life. Many times, it will move us out of our comfort zone ... to help a stranger, to become more involved in the life of a friend on a much more personal level, to change the history of your family.

I have much to be thankful for this year ... and to whom much is given, much is required. Luke 12:48. I have been given much.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Indian Princess

We did not see Pocahontas when we were in Disneyworld, but within a week of returning from our trip, we had our own little Indian Princess.

Apparently, Claire has been learning about our Native American friends in preschool this month in honor of Thanksgiving. She made her very own teepee (it is very possible I am mis-spelling this word), dress and headband.

This is one art project that is probably not going to stand the test of time in our attic, so I decided to take a picture while it was all still intact.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Date Night & Pizza Night

Last Thursday, my mom was in town for a doctor's appointment and picked the kids up at preschool and took them home with her to spend the night. Will and I got to check out a fun new Tex-Mex restaurant in our area and we finished almost all of our Christmas shopping for the kids. It is amazing how much shopping you can get done in a short amount of time with no kids. We had a blast! Thanks Mom!

Friday night, my sister and her family came over to hang out and catch up and we had pizza. {If you have not had a $9.99 pizza from Sam's Club you are missing a good pizza and a great deal.}

I love it that all of our kids are old enough to sit at the kids' table together now. David is the youngest by 6 months and he finally graduated from the high chair. He was actually the only kid that actually stayed at the table and ate. We thought he would be roaming all over the place since he wasn't strapped down.

My niece ... Evie.

My nephew ... Ian.

My little man David. He got a major haircut on Friday afternoon. {He still has a little nap bedhead in this picture.}

We always have lots of fun with Aunt Ashley & Uncle Jon and tonight was no exception.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A few "notes" from our errand outing today

Dear Costco:

Please do not tell me that my pictures will be ready at noon if they will not be ready. When I arrive at 12:15 with both kids in tow (in the rain) and they aren't ready, it does not make me happy. When I go eat lunch with my kids in your store to wait on the pictures and I return 30 minutes later and my pictures still aren't ready (4-4x6 prints mind you ... not a whole order of Christmas cards), please offer me a little sympathy because now I will have to make a second trip to your store to pick up my pictures (that I need to give my family at Thanksgiving) tomorrow or Wednesday on days that I am supposed to work and when your store will probably be even more crowded.

On a positive note, we enjoyed our lunch for three that cost $3.81.

Your friend,


Dear Publix:

Please tell your cashiers not to scold my children for standing up in the shopping cart when I am standing right beside them. (1) Not only does it make me feel like a bad parent, it made my 3-1/2 year old cry. (2) I am their parent and I am not going to let them plunge to their deaths from a shopping cart. (3) Maybe if you would keep the seat belts in your shopping carts in good working order, my children would not be able to stand up in the shopping cart.

On a positive note, my son thoroughly enjoyed the pumpkin pie samples you were giving out in the store. He gobbled it up like I had not fed him in days.

Your loyal customer,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: November 23-29

Finally, we are getting back on track after being off of a menu plan for the last two weeks. I function much better with a little organization!

Monday: Creamy Pizza Braids, salad

Tuesday: Glazed tilapia, green beans, mac & cheese

Wednesday: chicken taquitos, corn, salad

Thursday: Thanksgiving lunch ... we're cooking fried turkey, broccoli casserole, potato casserole, apple dumplings and pumpkin spice bars. Our family is bringing the rest ... Yummy!

Friday breakfast: (my in-laws will be here) Egg casserole, home fries, muffins

Friday afternoon: (during the Iron Bowl) Wheeler Mountain Chili, corn muffins

Saturday breakfast: leftovers from Friday

Saturday night: Chicken Puffs, mixed veggies, mandarin oranges

Sunday breakfast: cinnamon rolls

Sunday lunch: leftovers

Sunday night: Ritz Chicken, stuffing, apple green salad

If you want a recipe that I have not linked to, let me know and I'll get it up. I don't have time to do it right now ... bed is calling!

Check out other menu plans here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Little Houdini

I know I am supposed to be "catching up", but there was not much catching up for me this afternoon after this happened.

David typically takes a little nap after we get home from preschool and I work (from home) a little while longer while Claire watches a movie and has a snack. This afternoon, David never really fell asleep, but I left him in his crib for about an hour because he wasn't really fussing to get up. When I finally walked in to check on him, he was standing in his crib, fully clothed, and his diaper was laying on the floor.

You know where this is going ... after he somehow managed to get his diaper off while still fully clothed in a one-piece romper (that was still fully buttoned), he went potty all over his clothes and sheet. Just add another load to the laundry list ... literally.

I couldn't help but laugh because he was pretty proud of himself standing there commando in his crib. Maybe he'll be ready for potty training sooner than I thought. We're at least waiting until after the first of the year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Out of Pocket ...

I've been out of pocket since last Wednesday when we boarded a plane and headed to Orlando for a very-long weekend. We got back home this afternoon. We had fun. We got to visit with some long-time friends that just moved to Florida. We got to swim, eat some yummy food, watch some great shows and see a lot of princesses with our little princess. (David stayed behind with his grandparents. I missed him terribly. The felling was apparently not mutual!)

I have a lot of catching up to do in real-life before I can devote much time to my blog. I have about 500 pictures on my camera that have not been uploaded to my computer and about 8 loads of laundry waiting to be washed. Plus, I have to work three days this week, make a baby gift for a shower tomorrow night and get ready to host Thanksgiving at my house next week (for the first time since 2001). Yikes! I'm getting a little overwhelmed just thinking about it.

It will all get done ... and I will be back soon I hope!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Summer Vacations: Las Vegas

Still trying to catch-up on writing about all the trips we took this summer. Back in June, Will and I headed to Vegas. Will had been out there all week for a business meeting and I had a free plane ticket on Southwest, so we thought this would be the cheapest way for us to ever do a Vegas vacation.

This was my first trip to Vegas, and I have to say, it is one of the most fun trips I have taken in a long time. I don't know if it was really just that fun, or if I just really needed a grown-up vacation after spending the week all alone in single parent mode. Whatever the reason, we had a blast!

This is the lobby of the Palazzo hotel. We stayed in the Venetian, which is connected to this hotel. I love all the umbrellas!

The hallway off the main lobby in the Venetian. Beautiful!

We did manage to see a show while we were in Vegas. We saw La Reve at the Wynn hotel. It was amazing! The shows in Vegas are so expensive, but it was totally worth it.

A statute in front of Caesar's Palace.

The infamous fountains in front of the Bellagio. They have a show every 15 minutes.

Will and I before dinner one night. Our hotel is over to my right.

Ahhh Casino Royale ... you were kind to us on this trip. Most of the nice hotels in Vegas have pretty pricey minimum bets on their table games. Will found this little joint with some of his buddies from work and we spent hours there playing $3/hand Caribbean stud poker. We won pretty big too ... I mean, as big as you can win playing $3 bets. My goal in gambling is to (1) have fun and (2) break even. To come out ahead is a bonus in my book.

Will lounging by the pool. Over to his left, was the Tao pool, made famous by many reality TV celebrities (Lauren Conrad, Bill Rancic and the Kardashian girls). It was packed and people were lined up to get in.

Here's me lounging in the pool. R&R at its finest.

I loved all the tall shiny buildings against the brilliant blue sky. I have to say, the sky in Vegas is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

The Palazzo

Treasure Island

The Trump Tower

The Mirage

The Paris Hotel and Planet Hollywood hotel at night. You must see this in person to really appreciate it.

More gambling. I don't think I was supposed to take this picture on the casino floor, but no one caught me so I shot away. Will hit it big on the slots at the Wynn.

At dinner our first night there. I highly recommend making dinner reservations before you go. Most of the really good places book up fast. We did get to eat at Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay's restaurant) and it was amazing ... very expensive, but very good.

This is not a good picture, but I included it because it looked okay on my camera screen and the waiter talked to us for about 5 minutes about how good he is at taking pictures and maybe he should look into becoming a photographer. Suggestion: learn how to use auto focus before you undertake that endeavor!

Will got his picture made with an Elvis impersonator.

We took a little side trip out to the Hoover Dam. It was hot. And dry. And it made me a little queasy. An amazing structure though and truly a beautiful place.

Right now, the dam is the only road that leads from Las Vegas into Arizona (and on to the Grand Canyon), but they are in the process of building a new bridge that will bypass the dam.

On the other side of the dam.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Another football game weekend for us ... and this time we took the kids. Yikes! It was a much different experience, but we still had a good time.

The kids spent the morning at the tailgate site with us and then our babysitter came and picked them up after lunch so that the adults could go watch the football game. Our kids and our friends' kids had a fun time playing together at the house while we watched an AWESOME football game ... the best all year in my book.

Here are some pictures from our day out on the quad.

Claire and Hartley

Libba and Nikki

Chef David and his assistant Will frying up some yummy catfish.

The stroller brigade. The tiniest Bama fans gathered around for lunch.


Our kind hosts ... David & Nikki

Will concentrates on the game. It was a nail biter for sure.

A picture of the game.

Man, this was a good game. This was an important win for Bama as the winner pretty much determined who goes to the SEC championship game for the SEC-West division. Bama really turned it on during the 4th quarter and pulled off a strong victory. Bryant-Denny stadium was the loudest I've heard it ever.

Roll Tide!