Sunday, November 28, 2010

so long Thanksgiving

After a whole week off for Thanksgiving the children go back to school tomorrow. I'm not sure who's more upset, me or the kiddos. (I'm not a fan of the 6am alarm.)

This weekend we feasted on turkey sandwiches, turkey quesadillas and turkey soup while we decorated for Christmas. (so long turkey)

The kiddos helped Matt put up the outside lights...

and then they helped me decorate the tree. Tyler told me he really loved the tree even though it's really really small. Sure it's small but it doesn't need water and comes already lit. It's too expensive to ship the good trees all the way from Oregon (Go Ducks!) so I guess I'm okay with a fake tree. I'll just light me a noble fir scented candle.
Today Matt and I said, "so long Thanksgiving" with a BANG. A vendor Matt often works with gave him two Club Level tickets to the Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers football game. Much to the chagrin of all Matt's poker buddies, I wanted to go!! Football is SOOO much better live.
I wore red even though my Dad was a huge Green Bay Packers fan and naturally I grew up a fan as well. I would have worn his puffy Green Bay coat I took after he died but the Georgia Dome is (domed and) heated. So I wore red. Maybe Atlanta is growing on me. =)
The fireworks at the beginning were awesome.
I did, however, make a mental note of the nearest exit because we were in the Georgia Dome. (which has a dome...a flammable? dome?)
I had a blast at the game. They didn't get out there and paint the yellow line marking every first down so it was harder to tell where it was but to see the action, the taunting, the tackles, the face-masks, the owner of the Falcons walking around like he owned the place made this the perfect way to say so long Thanksgiving. Bring on the work/school week.

Falcons won by 3.
(I like to think my Dad got to watch the game through me. I think he would have enjoyed it as much as I did.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

For the love of all things Turkey...I'm STUFFED (thankfully stuffed, of course!)

Thanksgiving dinner was a fancy feast shared by my favorite people.
Matt, Lauren, Tyler and Myself
the fancy table setting:
the spread:

The Main Dish:
Herb-Roasted Turkey
(Matt's splendidly-scrumptious contribution to the meal)
He basically carved the turkey before he roasted it.

The Side Details:
Turkey and (canned) jellied Cranberry Sauce

Southern Green Beans
(based on this recipe halved minus the potatoes, onions and butter)
(with all that salt pork and bacon grease...who needs butter?!)
Gravy from a packet
(a packet from Albertson's none-the-less)
(that should tell you how long I've had that packet of turkey gravy)
I'm not quite done talking about the gravy. Please notice my "gravy boat" in the above picture. Why didn't we get a "gravy boat" as a wedding gift? Did I forget to register for one? Our 10 year anniversary will be next August so if you need any gift ideas.....
(*wink* and now moving on)

Candied Sweet Potatoes
(cooked in a skillet on the stove instead of an electric fry pan)
(what is an electric fry pan anyway?)
Cranberry Popovers
Yeast Rolls

Mashed Potatoes
(the one dish I can make without a recipe)
and Stuffing Casserole
(recipe off the bag of Pepperidge Farms stuffing mix)

My Loves:
(L and T are sporting their Thanksgiving Shirts)

The Dessert:
Gormet Cherry Pie
(Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust and a can of Cherry Pie filling)
Both Matt and I thought this was our best Thanksgiving yet (as a couple.) (If our parents are reading this then our best ever Thanksgiving dinner was one you cooked, of course.)

I just may copy this exact dinner and serve it again next year. If you know me then you know I rarely repeat a recipe but this spread was THAT good!

I didn't even want to let the turkey bones (even the neck) go to waste. As I type this they are a-simmering on the stove getting ready to make some turkey soup for tomorrow.
I am disgustingly stuffed but so so happy and fulfilled and very Thankful for everything.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'twas the day before Thanksgiving

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed sleeping in this week. As a reward for starting school the first week of AUGUST! we got to take the entire Thanksgiving week off. I LOVE sleeping in until 8am.

Well it's already Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Today, Miss Ashley and I split our day with the kiddos. Jake and Dylan came over here to play for part of the afternoon. Everyone was on their best behavior and got to enjoy some party time in the basement.

They paused long enough to let me take a picture of the group.
(Tyler, Dylan, Lauren and Jake)

then it was back to crazy, wild, Rock 'n Roll
After I got the children all wacko'd out I sent them across the street to Miss Ashley's house. (sorry Ash!)

With the kids away...Matt and I played.

(just kidding)

Matt actually finished up the never ending basement bathroom! Hooray! Check out the pics:

baseboard molding is (finally) applied

shower fixtures are (finally) installed

shelf is (finally) somehow attached

everything is (finally) grouted, sealed and caulked
I'm not sure why I'm so excited for this project to be finished because it just adds yet another bathroom that will need to be cleaned. It's just been a long time coming. Great Job Daddy Matt.

Lauren mentioned yesterday that she doesn't ever get any mail addressed to her personally. (I told her that she actually does get mail sent to her....every Birthday, Halloween etc. etc.) She wasn't satisfied so she drew some pictures and sent them out to some of her favorite people. If you get one of these pictures please know she loves you and all but she is expecting something "addressed to her" in return.

Please enjoy your night before Thanksgiving.l

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the ends

I've been thinking lately about how quickly life changes, phases end and how doors open and close and yadda yadda yadda. I think I am missing my children's childhood before it has started to really run its course. I'd love for them to be dependent on me forever...but I know that's not the way it is intended.

MeMa and PaPa started me on this train of thought by telling me they couldn't believe how much L and T have changed as they've grown up. Lauren used to be afraid of everyone and everything. She used to cry if I wasn't within arms reach. She's still cautious but she now loves to talk to anyone friendly. And most of the time now she doesn't really care where I am as long as I'm there when she calls for help her find a toy, take a pony-tail out of her doll's hair or help her with an art project. And Tyler, my sweet Tyler, he will talk to everyone about anything until they tell him to stop talking. I sure hope that phase doesn't ever end.

During this season of Thanksgiving, I just want it to be known that I am very thankful for everything that has come my way. I'm a very lucky and blessed gal to have such a great FAMILY: the family I came from, the family I married into and the family my husband and I have created.

Would y'all like some wine with that "cheese?" (wink)

Moving on....
Saturday was the end of Tyler's U-5 Fall Soccer season. He had fun this season and he scored 4 goals. He'll be glad to tell you about them and show you four fingers to represent if you ever run into him on the street.

For all their hard work the soccer players were given certificates and medals. Below is a pic of Tyler receiving his medal from Coach Dave and Coach (Daddy) Matt.

Medal around his neck and after-game snack in hand.
Later that evening I caught Lauren doing this while watching TV (see pic below.) Normally she only does this when she is in her bed trying to fall asleep. It is yet another reminder of a phase which is sure to end.

I am thankful that I have a few more days/weeks/months? to enjoy my daughter in her carefree thumb-sucking days.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all.

Friday, November 19, 2010

PaPa and MeMa

We sure love PaPa and MeMa! They were our visitors this week and we all had a great time just taking it easy and enjoying the family time.

During their visit PaPa and MeMa took over the bedtime story ritual. Lauren read most of the books but the kiddos made PaPa read a couple...just to see if he could.
Tyler made sure MeMa didn't have any cilantro or parsley stuck in her teeth during story-time.

They got to see one of Tyler's soccer games. He scored a goal (4th of the season) but he had the most fun waving to all the girls on his team.

Other trips out included lunch with Matt in Atlanta (Carvers) and dinner out at Franks. The best times, however, were just hanging out at home.


Today I dropped PaPa and MeMa off to go catch their plane home. Afterwords, I headed over to Tyler's Pre-school Thanksgiving Feast. What a bunch of Cutie-Pies!
This was a great week with PaPa and MeMa and next week will be awesome as well. The kids don't have school so this tired Mama gets to sleep in!!

Happy Friday Y'all and go Boise State! (I can say this because Oregon has a Bye.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

hate to brag but my kids are AWESOME

If you know me I'm usually pretty humble and soft spoken (yes I am!) but when it involves my children I can't help but brag about their apparent superiority.

In yesterday's post, I went on and on about Tyler's great sense of humor. Remember, he found humor in the song that sounded like "eating pee." (I just love that boy!)

Well today Lauren paid her dues to this very talented family. She came home with 3 quarters in her backpack. (yes, I check her backpack pockets everyday) I asked her where she got the quarters and she said Jaylen gave them to her. I prodded and found out that Jaylen gave her the quarters in exchange for her showing him her school work. As in she lifted up her paper so he, Jaylen, fellow FIRST-GRADER could copy off her paper. She said her teacher wasn't looking. After I told her that she wasn't allowed to let anyone copy off her tests I took a percentage of her earnings and then bought her a big ice-cream cone. She's destined to do some GREAT things!! (I sure love my girl!)

Speaking of GREAT THINGS...tonight's dinner:

Pasta with Sugar Snap Peas, Feta & Basil
(adapted from this recipe)
8oz Rotini pasta
8oz sugar snap peas
1 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
3 T. chopped fresh basil (or 3 t. dried basil)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to directions. Add the peas 3 minutes before the pasta is ready. Drain.

2. In the same pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest, and saute 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Quickly add back the drained pasta and peas, tossing well to combine.

3. Add the feta and basil and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

I was anxious for a light meal and the pasta alone hit the spot but for the kids I added grapes and garlic toast.

They obviously enjoyed their meals.
Miss Lauren ate it all.

Mr. T is still working on it.

We're all waiting on Daddy to make it back home. He's been working out of town for a few days and he flies in tonight. He's in luck because his tasty dinner is waiting for him in the fridge.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Things That Make Him Laugh

I love this boy!
(photo credit to Abby's Mom)
(I simply/obviously? took a photo of her photo.)

Tyler cracked himself up today and it's too funny not to share. My favorite little boy has such a unique and quirky sense of humor. (Now where did he get that from?!)

The giggles came on during the car ride to school. As usual we were listening to Kids Place Live on XM Radio. The following song came on:

There's a Pea on my Plate
by Bill Harley

You should really click on the link to hear the music demo and see the lyrics. But if you are like me you just won't do it so I'll copy and paste the important parts.

Anyway, the Pea on My Plate song came on and I listened to the first verse. I thought it was kind of cute and had a catchy tune so when I heard Tyler giggling in the back seat I thought he was enjoying the cuteness and catchiness right along with me.

first verse:
There's a pea on my plate that my mother put there
She knows I don't like peas but she doesn't care
She says come on try it now it's not the worst
If you want some ice cream, you must eat that pea first

After the third verse Tyler was just in stitches (aka "laughing uproariously.")

the third verse:

There's a pea on my plate that my mother put there
She knows I'm not hungry, but she doesn't care
I tell her if she makes me eat it, I'll die
She says that she's sorry to hear that, bye bye

We got to Tyler's school just as the song was ending and Tyler was still back there giggling.
I mean the song was cute and all but seriously!!?

Tyler then told me the song was about "a Mom who put pee (urine) on the boys plate and wanted him to eat it but if he did he would die."

Out of left field, no?
And that's one of the reasons why I love that boy so much.

PS. After school I showed him a real pea but I couldn't talk him out of his initial interpretation of the song. Thinking about the song made him laugh the whole day long. I may just have to buy the album now.

PPS. I hope you weren't eating while reading this post. If so, you have my apologies.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Change Sunday

I am beat but I still have an hour until it is time for the kiddos to go to bed. Why can't we just remain on daylight savings time all year long?

I was sneaky (or accurate?) and changed the children's clocks back last night and it worked. They stayed in their bedrooms until 7am. (They are not allowed to get up until their clocks say "seven: zero zero") My plan for an extra hour of sleep was a success.

Dinner tonight was based on Rachael Ray's recipe for Buffalo Chicken Stromboli.
I made the pizza dough in the bread machine.

While the pizza dough rests, saute 1c. chopped carrots, 1c. chopped celery & 1/4c. sliced green onions in 1T. butter &! 1T. olive oil until tender.

Add 1 1/2c. chopped cooked chicken and a scant 1/2 c. Frank's Hot Sauce.

Roll out dough into a rectangle (sort of) and add cooled Franks chicken veggie mixture.

top with 1c. monterrey jack cheese and 1/4c. chopped scallions
(also add the 4oz. blue/bleu cheese or forget to add like I did)
((I'd recommend adding the blue cheese.))

Roll up the dough starting with the long sides and tuck ends under.
Brush with egg white and then sprinkle with black sesame seeds (or whatever you want because you won't be able to taste it.)
Pop it in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes and then go downstairs to the basement to check on the boys and kiddos.

Lauren and Tyler wrestle, fight and do their best to distract Daddy and Mr. Mike from watching Sunday Afternoon/Night Football. With three TVs to watch the kiddos don't stand a chance.
Finally dinner is served. Since I forgot to add the blue cheese I sprinkled it on top. (It was a little too strong I would have been better added to the filling.) I also served a side of edamame in the pods.
After dinner we bathed, cleaned up and had our snack...

(yes I am aware Tyler's PJs no longer match nor fit him)
and read our bedtime stories.
Now we are just waiting for BEDTIME. This time change has really messed up my evening planning. I think I'll just go to bed early and enjoy the extra sleep until I get used to the change.

G'night Y'all.