9.27.2011

Let's Read

Do you get those little Scholastic Book Club order forms from your child's school?  We do.  They are always at the front of the school.  I have looked at them before but never ordered.  I am not even sure why I haven't ordered.  The prices are great.  Each grade level has a $1 book selection and there are about 4 different levels that we can order from.  Starting in October, we can order online and the school gets more points and free books.  Plus - parents and grandparents can order books for the children even if they don't live close by.
Taft's class has themes each week and for two weeks in September they are studying apples, autumn, and trees.  The Biggest Apple Ever was one of the $1 books so we got two.  One for Taft and one for his class.  We did the same with the Five Little Pumpkins.  I told him that we were getting some for his class and for him.  He seemed excited.
When I got to the school yesterday, the book orders where in their cubbies.  I picked up the books and he only had three.  Ms. Erin told me that he was so excited and wanted to give her the books.  He said, "Ms. Erin, these books for you."  She said that the class told him thank you and she had already read them both to the kids.  And Taft and I read Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch in bed last night.
I plan on doing the same this month with the book order.  I think that it teaches Taft how nice it is to share so that his friends can enjoy books that he likes also.  It also helps to built the library for his class for years to come.  He is making his mark on the world.

9.26.2011

RECIPE #36 - BALSALMIC CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS

This is another great Pinterest find!  This recipe comes from C+C Marriage Factory.  It is already on my favorites list!


Ingredients:
2 tsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (four 4 oz pieces)
2 cups mushrooms, small, halved
1/3 cup canned chicken broth
1/4 tsp dried thyme

Directions:
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a nonstick skillet.

In a medium bowl, mix 2 tbsp vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add chicken and turn to coat. Transfer chicken and marinade to skillet. Saute chicken until cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.

Heat remaining tsp of oil in the skillet. Saute mushrooms for one minute. Add broth, thyme, and remaining tbsp of vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are deep brown, about two minutes longer.

Serve chicken topped with mushrooms.

Print Recipe

Car Wash

I have had the photos added in this post for weeks and have never gotten around to writing the post. 
Taft has wanted to go to a car wash since watching the Handy Manny episode where a neighbor opens a new car wash and Handy Manny helps out.  So on September 7th, we went.  We pass the carwash in the mornings on the way to his school and they are closed but they are open every afternoon. 
I am not a car wash fan.  At least not of the ones that you drive thru.  This one has a Wacky Wednesday special and is only $3.  It is pretty long and you stay in the car.  I wondered if Taft would like it or if he would scream the entire time.
He loved it after it got started.  He loved the fact that the sign had a puppy on it.  He loved that the boys that work there do a little prewash before you go into the tunnel.  He loved telling everyone about it the next day.



9.21.2011

Whatnot Wednesday

I can't believe that it has been another week.  I have so many posts that are half finished and still not posted. I just truly have not felt like it.  Allergies and asthma are kicking my butt.  Even after a week on steroids, my chest is still not right. But - with that being said, it is Wednesday and time to link up with Whatnot Wednesday.

  • It is already the end of September and I have yet to decide on a Halloween costume for Taft.  This is the first year that he is really old enough to help pick one out.  He wanted to be a Fireman, then a pirate, then a Police Man....We will just have to see and hopefully soon.
  • With Halloween being so close, it means that Christmas is also getting close.  December 1st means that Quincy will be back.  I can't wait for Quincy this year.  Taft is older so I know that it will be a lot more fun.  Quincy has already sent me a little email letting me know what gifts he would like to bring so that I can help him get those ready.  I have 2.  Only 22 more to go.  Lucky for me, Quincy loves the Dollar Tree and Target discount aisle.
  • I am so happy that the new fall season of television is finally on.  I just have too many shows that I enjoy.  I never watch them when they are on and use TiVo for everything.  Mostly I get to watch them on the weekends when Taft is taking naps.  I am trying to not get sucked in to anything new but it is always hard. 
  • Speaking of Christmas, I have found a great Brunch with Santa for us to go to.  It sounds great and I am very excited.  I will tell you more about that as I get registered and find out more.
  • I am very depressed this week as it is the last week for All My Children.  I have not watched all the time over the past years but anytime I turn it on, it is just the same.  I love that.  I remember watching it as a child with my parents.  I know more about those families than I do my own.  And to replace it with a talk show about food is just sad.
  • I love the fact that Anderson Cooper has a new daytime talk show.  Have you seen it?  I just love him.  There is something about those eyes.... And to think that he got his start on Channel 1.  That brings back high school memories.  Of course, his hair wasn't gray back then.
  • I plan on working on my blog this weekend and getting the post finished and updated.  It bothers me to be behind.  It takes a little longer to do the food posts now that I am linking them to Google Docs so the recipe can be printed. 
  • I can't wait to get working on some Halloween shirts for Taft.  I hope that the long sleeves t-shirts will be in a Wal*Mart this weekend.  Pinterest has inspired so many great things that he could be wearing in October.
  • School has started in full swing and I was so happy to be asked to help with some crafts again.  Ms. Erin was Taft's teacher before and she did great projects with the kids.  She gave me a list of themes for the year and I am having a great time trying to come up with some ideas.  I need to post about the ones that we took in this week.  They turned out great.
But - that is what is going on in my head today.  Lots of randomness and things to put on the "To Do List".  Hopefully I will get some of them finished up.  Head over to The Wonderful Happens and link up with what is on your mind and see what other people are saying. 

9.16.2011

Things You Learn From Google

And no, I don't mean the things that you can search for.  How many times do you open up Google and see the fun little way they have written the word itself?  Do you know that if you click on that "new" Google picture that it links you to the reason behind it?
I was a little shocked to find out that many people didn't know that.  I know that most people figured out how to play the I Love Lucy clips on the little tv (which I thought was genius) and how to play the little guitar this year, but not everyone paid attention to anything else.
So today  - this is what you see:
It's graphically cute and my first thought was "cute. oranges.".  But then it hit me, why oranges in September....

Today is the birthday of Albert von Svent-Gyogyi de Nagyrapolt, born in 1893.  He was the Hungarian scientist that was credited with discovering the citric acid cycle and Vitamin C.  He won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1937 for Physiology or Medicine.
Now - will I remember his name tomorrow?  No.  Will I give it second thought the next time that I eat an orange?  Maybe.  So why do I care?  I love little bits of info.  Useless in my daily life maybe, but I have a brain full of this stuff.  And if we can learn one new thing a day, it's a good day, and I bet that you pay a little more attention to Google before you just put in your search.  ;0

9.15.2011

RECIPE #35 - CREAMY CHICKEN CASSEROLE


This was a very quick and easy weekend dinner for us.  Even Taft liked it since it was noodles.  ;0
I am happy to announce that you can now print off the recipes on this blog.  Well - you can print this one and future postings.  I will be working on getting the older recipes added too.  Just click the Print Recipe at the bottom and start cooking!

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked diced chicken
1 package Egg Noodles (cooked)
1 to 1.5 cans of Cream of Chicken condensed soup
1 can of Cream of Mushroom condensed soup
1/2 cup of milk
Shredded Cheese ( I used Sharp Cheddar)
1 can of Vege All mixed vegetables

Preheat oven 350. Put cooked egg noodles, cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup, mixed vegetables,  and milk into casserole dish and mix. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Take out of oven. Sprinkle cheese on the top of casserole. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes.

Print Recipe.

9.14.2011

Oh, How Pinteresting

What was I looking at on Pinterest this week?  So glad that you asked.  I am linking up with
The Vintage Apple for Oh, So Pinteresting.  Head on over and see what other people are "pinning".

tablespoon.com

I am not a fan of Nutter Butter's, but these are cute.


 I just love art using buttons.  It kinda reminds me of the art we made in school using dried beans.

Source
I love this frame!  Now I am coming up with ideas for other cute Halloween frames to display all of our costumes.
Source
Halloween Bark.  Enough said.

9.13.2011

RECIPE #34 - HASSELBACK POTATOES


OK - I wanted to make these because they looked pretty.  But they taste great too.  Recipe is from Seasaltwithfood.

Ingredients:
6 Medium Size Potatoes
2 - 3 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
30 g Butter
Maldon Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 220˚C (425˚F). Put the potato on a chopping board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, at about 3 to 4 mm intervals.
Arrange the potatoes in a baking tray and insert the garlic in between the slits. Scatter some butter on top of each potato. Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bake the potatoes for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

9.12.2011

RECIPE #33 - BROWN SUGAR AND BALSALMIC PORK LOIN


We had this for dinner over the weekend.  It was great with some carrots and butter peas.  The recipe comes from C+C Marriage Factory.  Another wonderful Pinterest find.  If you still have not looked at Pinterest, you are missing out.
Ingredients:
1 (2 pound) boneless pork loin
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

Glaze:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions:
Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

9.08.2011

Alabama Trip Day 5 - Monday

Our drive home from Alabama was a long one.  We spent the night with Gran on Sunday to be able to get a head start on the drive.  It is further south than my parent's house so it would help with the timing.  But - it was storming.  A lot.  We got up later than we meant too. 
By the time that we were up, had baths, and had the car packed, it was about noon.  Then the storm sirens started to go off so we delayed a little to see how the weather looked.  I had mentioned to Taft that we needed to stop and buy mayonnaise on the way home.  When I got him in his car seat, I asked him where we were going.  I thought that he would say, "home" or "to see daddy", but he said, "to buy mayonnaise".  This is only important if you know my love of Bama brand Mayo.  I can't buy it in Florida so I stock up when I get home and have people bring it to me when they visit. 
Taft and I didn't get to Columbus, GA, until around 2 pm.
We stopped at Wal*Mart in Phenix City for mayo and then to get some lunch at a drive thru.  The drive was not too bad even though it rained almost the entire time.  I kept the radio on local stations and every county that we went into was under a storm and/or tornado warning.  It was a little crazy.
We did stop at the little store between Columbus, GA, and Albany, GA.  The Merritt Pecan Company has homemade jerky and lots of pecan candy and pecan logs.  Plus - they have very clean bathrooms and gas.  Taft and I stopped on the way in and out of town. 
It was after dark when we got to Florida and Taft was tired.  So was I.  We called Daddy when we got to Jacksonville, FL, so that he could order us some pizza for dinner and have it ready for us.  Taft was very excited to see his daddy and tell him all about his trip.  He wanted to show him all his new toys, clothes, and shoes, and talked about the fun he had until he fell asleep.

9.07.2011

Alabama Day 4 - Sunday

Yes - another post that I have had started but not finished.....

Sunday was our last day in Heflin.  We all had breakfast together and then Taft took some photos with his family to use in his collage at school.  Here are just a few...
 Taft with Uncle Patrick (my brother) and his new wife, Aunt Lori.  Taft really loved Uncle Pack.
 Taft and Mawmaw Geneva (my grandmother)
 Taft and Shemar.  Aunt Kristi's cat that is living with Mawmaw.
 Mallory and Travis with Shemar.
 Taft and Mawmaw (my mother)
 Taft and Pawpaw (my daddy) and Bit Bit, I think.
 Aunt Kristi (my sister), Taft and Mallory
Taft wanted to get his picture made with Pawpaw's car aka Lightning McQueen.
Taft completely fell in love with a weed eater toy at Mawmaw and Pawpaw's.  Pawpaw gave it to Taft and brought it out the car for us.  Taft was so happy that he held it all the way to Gran's house.  He even held it as he slept in the car.
When we got to Gran's, it was dinner time.  Mrs. Betty came to eat with us.  She is one of Gran's friends and the mother of Shane's best friend from school.  We always love to see Mrs. Betty.  We also ate with Scott, Izzy, Evan, and Jenna.  Aunt Chelsea wasn't feeling well and didn't get the house until later.
I can't believe that I didn't get anymore pictures at Gran's house.  Taft had a ball!  He loved Jenna's new fish and wanted to kiss the tank.  He also loved her new hamster (or mouse as he called it) and loved for me to get it out of the cage and let him kiss it too.
We also go to spend some time with Aunt Chelsea.  Her and Scott got married in March but since we had not been to Alabama in a year (gasp) we had not gotten the chance to meet her yet.  Hopefully we will get to stay longer the next trip and get to know her a little better.

Alabama Trip Day 3 - Saturday

On Saturday, we were awaken before 8 by Mallory to let us know that breakfast was almost ready.  We ate breakfast each day at my parents house with the entire family.  Taft and I went over in our pj's.  Uncle Pack was dressed and said that he would take Taft for a 4 wheeler ride before he and Lori left for the day.  I wondered how Taft would do this time.  He got right on and told me by.  They took a nice long ride and Taft loved it.  Later when we got dressed, he wanted to wear his camo shorts because they were just like Pack's.
Then we got ready to go shopping with Mawmaw, Kristi, and Mallory.  We went to a big Thrift Store in Oxford and to Kohl's.  Mawmaw got Taft 8 new shirts and a pair of shoes.  Now he just needs pants to get started for fall.  We also go lunch at Arby's.  "Roast Beast" is a favorite of Taft's.
By the time we got to Mawmaw Geneva's, it was time for a nap.  Taft and I laid down in bed but didn't get a lot of sleeping done.  Shamar kept wanting to sleep with us and could not be still.  I knew then that we had to lock him out for the night.
When we got up, Pawpaw was cooking dinner.  He did tuna steaks on the grill, salmon, and shrimp.  He also did pork chops for Mother since she is not a fan of seafood.  It was delicious.  We also had garlic bread and potatoes.  Pawpaw and Mawmaw had gone to the Fruithurst Winery while Taft and I napped.  We tried the strawberry wine, blackberry wine, and muscadine wine.  All were very good, but I loved the strawberry.
After dinner was over, Mawmaw took Taft and I for a ride on the Rhino out in the pasture.  Taft loved it since it was starting to get dark and he could see the moon.  He also thought that we were going very fast.
Somehow, I didn't take any photos on Saturday.

9.06.2011

Alabama Trip Day 2 - Friday

On Friday, we woke up and had breakfast with Gran before packing up to go to Heflin.  On the way, Taft and I saw a cotton field.  I decided to stop and get out and let Taft see the cotton.  I told him that it was cotton and he said that it was "cotton balls".  He was a little hard to get to smile for a picture but I got a few that are a "kinda funny" as he says.  Then we picked a little piece of cotton to take home and got back on the road.


When we got to Mawmaw's (my grandmother), I told Taft to go in and say surprise. When we went in she was asleep in her recliner.  I think that he surprised her and maybe scared her to death.  She was very happy to see us and we were very happy to see her. 
Mawmaw Geneva has a new cat living in her house.  Shamar.  Kristi found him at the feed store and brought him home.  Then they found out that he has been fixed and declawed.  He is a beautiful cat and huge!  I weighed him and he was 20 pounds.  He and Taft were pretty close in size.

After a few minutes, Aunt Kristi came over to see us before she had to go to work at the school.  She asked us to come have lunch with Mallory and her Pre-K class.  So we made plans to do that.
Before we left to go to the school, Uncle Patrick and his new wife Lori came over.  Taft looked a Patrick a little funny at first.  I told him that Patrick might eat him.  Finally he went over to Patrick, who he started calling Pack, and said, "Pack, I want to hug you.  Don't eat me OK?". 
We went to Pleasant Grove Elementary School when I went to school to see Miss Mallory.  First we took a tour of the library with Kristi.  Then we waited on the Pre-K class to come through.  Mallory was excited to see us.  We had a great lunch of hamburgers.  Travis saw us and came over to say hello also.  One of the funniest things is what the Pre-K kids will tell you.  One asked if I knew her mother.  I told her that I didn't and she said, "she is Brooke and my dad is Brett, "  I guess I was supposed to know know who that was.  They were all pretty funny.
Aunt Kristi, Mallory, Taft, and  made a trip to the Dollar General also.  We saw the milk man while we were there.  He was making his delivery.  He told us to come out to the truck before we left.  He let Mallory and Taft get on the truck and gave them each a chocolate milk.  In the photo, they kinda look afraid, but they said that they loved it.

Later, everyone had dinner at Mawmaw's house.  Then we went to my parents house for a little while and a tour.  We had not been to Alabama since their remodel was finished.  It looks great. 
Then it was back to Mawmaw Geneva's to get ready for bed.

9.01.2011

Alabama Trip Day 1 - Thursday

Taft and I left Florida to come to Alabama.  We left this morning at 9am and started north.  I wondered how traveling with him would be this go around.  He has not been on a road trip in over a year.  It went very well.
The first place that we stopped was at the Georgia Welcome Center.  I thought that Taft would enjoy going in and picking out some books and maps.  He did.  They have a special book for kids, a Georgia Travel Guide, and then Taft got a "smile".  It is a smile on a stick.  He thought that it was funny.
Taft looking at the Cabbage Patch Kid Display at the Welcome Center
 
Taft with his "smile" on.
We made great time and he loved getting out of the car to stretch when we stopped for gas.  He also got a kick out of getting lunch at Krystal.  He loved the square cheeseburger.
We also stopped at one of my favorite places - the store in Weston, GA.  It sells pecan logs and candies, homemade beef jerky, and has clean bathrooms and gas.  The last two are a plus.  I may have gotten a pecan log and I may have eaten it all before we got to Columbus.  ;0
Once we got into Ft. Benning, Taft was thrilled to see all the tanks and "army mans".

Our plan was to get into Phenix City and stop to see Aunt Teresa, Izzy, and Evan.  We made such great time that we were very early and Aunt T was still in school.   Lucky for us, she just had us come by the school and visit.
Then it was off to Gran's house.  We got in, had dinner, and then Taft went out to help Gran water the plants.  We are going to bed soon and will get up in the morning and back on the road.  We are going to Mawmaw's (my grandmother) in the morning to surprise her.