Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#1 Christmas Tree

Well my team did it.
LSU beat Arkansas.
We are #1 in the country.  We are playing in the SEC Championship this weekend.
It is a good year to be a Tiger!

A bet is a bet.  If you read my The Boot post then you know what was on the line.
I am happy to say the team tree is up in all of its purple and gold splendor.

Geaux Tigers!

The Mom

Thanksgiving Festivities

I cannot believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone.  We had a wonderful time with our families and left with very full tummies.  Our Little Family went from Texas to Louisiana to Arkansas to Tennessee and back to Texas.  A few miles and a few dollars in gas, but well worth the time, money, and energy.  There really is nothing like the holidays with your family.

So here is a little recap of our Thanksgiving holiday.

We started with a Sunday night mini Thanksgiving at home.  I had been dying to make The Hub one of his family favorites:  Chicken and Dressing.  I ran across a recipe online and decided to give it a go.  I found the recipe on this blog Southern Plate.  Who cant find a million things to make at a blog called Southern Plate.  We adapted the recipe just a little to suit our tastes. 

I followed the chicken and dressing with another favorite that never disappoints.
Then there was dessert.  I have recently found I do not dislike pumpkin like I thought I did.  So I gave this little dessert a go from one of my most favorite blogs Plain Chicken.  If a pumpkin dessert may be your thing... or you need to give pumpkin another shot... this is the way to go!
I took a picture of the Pumpkin Crunch pre topping and then plated.  It was fabulous!  It will be making repeat appearances on our table.

Our Little Family loaded up Wednesday afternoon for a trip to my hometown in Louisiana to see my family.  We arrived just in time for Johnny's Pizza, a north Louisiana staple that I crave daily, and then to my Grandmother's house to visit.  Thursday morning it was a go as the family arrived and one of my most favorite meals was laid out.  We had fun with the cousins, some Amazing fried turkey (Shout out to my Aunt Sandra and Uncle Chris), all our favorite staples:  broccoli rice and cheese, dressing, stuffing, hash brown casserole, pea salad, roasted turkey, deviled eggs and good quality time with some of the best people I know.
Grandma's yard was screaming photo op... So here are some pictures of our little man celebrating Turkey Day!
How precious is this little lady, my niece, Aubrie.  Look at her pose.  She is a natural.  She is looking so much like her big sister these days.  She is about to turn 3 and has decided that she was the youngest for long enough... She bosses her little baby cousin all over the place!  He listens to her pretty well too?

After Louisiana lunch on Thursday we got in the car and headed to Arkansas to spend the evening with The Hubs family.  We arrived just in time for some cousin play time and then dinner.  Friday morning we got up bright and early to head to Tennessee for the Clanton Family Reunion. 
Craig's mothers family gathers in Jackson, Tennessee every year on the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It is the only time we all see each other through the year usually and it never disappoints.  I feel so blessed to be a part of all my "in-law" family and I enjoy our time with them as much as my Hub does... how many people get to say that? 
We all stay at a lodge in Tennessee so the whole weekend is spent together without having to separate and deal with logistics.  Not to mention all the logistics are pre-handled by a couple awesome folks whom we appreciate greatly (you know who you are)!
So lots of food, hand and foot, family board games, and visiting over a weekend that flies by way to quickly.  I was such a slacker with the camera, but I did snap a couple pictures to share.
Our little man was all about his uncles.  He apparently woke up from his nap the first afternoon and jumped right into his Uncle Paul's arms.  I wonder if Uncle Paul is feeling old since he is actually Great Uncle Paul??
This is the little guy with his cousin, Eva, who is a few months older.  Now she is a kissin cousin!

How cool is Cousin Josh!

I didn't mention the big game... it is coming in a follow up post... gloating,  yes!
We had a wonderful time with our always interesting families, We had safe travels, We are still waddling around... We are blessed everyday and so thankful to God to have each other, our health, food, our home, our families, friends, and pets. 
The Mom

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Boot

I would say it is arguable, but we all know that it isn't by now.  The Southeastern Conference is the BEST conference in College football.  It isn't my bias that forms this opinion... it is a proven fact by this Sunday's release of the BCS standings.  How sweet it is to see this:

We are a house divided... I am a Tiger Fan (#1... oh yeah:)  The Hub is a Razorback fan... The little guy is thankfully still neutral!  There are many opinions regarding this neutrality and one consensus among us:  Please Lord do not let him become a Texas fan:) 

A little story for you.  Several moons ago when we were dating and I was living in South Louisiana teaching high school C came to visit when it was time to put up the Christmas decor.  He and I went together to select a little tree for my house.  He helped me dig through rubbermaids and get everything ready.  He even lovingly put the lights on the tree for me (my least favorite part and now his exclusive duty as my man).  I always start with the colored balls and then move on the special ornaments.  I began decorating the tree and finished all the glass balls.  I then started on the ornaments.  C must have been doing a lot of television watching during this time.  I completed my tree and as I stood back in awe I looked to my loving boyfriend for approval and he said "Well that thing will never be in my house".  UMMMMM excuse me?  He then back tracked to say what a nice tree it was and that he never planned on having a purple and gold tree in his home. 
I lovingly told him that if we were to ever share a Christmas tree it would be because we shared a home and then it would be "OUR HOME". 

We realized then that we would have some fun compromises in the future.  Turns out we do share a tree and we do share a home, and now we share a handsome little fella. 

So why not have some fun?  Friendly little House Divided fun!

Our big game "The Boot" is this Friday afternoon.
Louisiana State University (#1) vs. University of Arkansas (#3)

The winner takes all in our house. 
As the last second of what we hope will be a good game (and I hope will be a Tiger victory) plays out the bragging rights commence.  The little guy will be changed into his mother or fathers favorite team jersey for the duration of the day (which just happens to be in Tennessee at the Clanton Family Reunion).  When we arrive home the victor will then decorate the team tree in either purple, gold, and tigers or red, white, and hogs.  Then we will spend the month of December introducing visitors to our team tree as they enter the front door and bragging about our team as we rub it in our significant others face.  Competition is healthy... in Moderation! 

Don't let me down Tigers... My little guy looks good in purple and gold and so does my tree!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Craig and I went away alone for the first time since the little man was born. 

We visited the Pumpkin Patch

We got a new yard guy

We made our first family trip to the beach.  Quality time with the cousins and the family.  Even an exciting annoucement that we will have another niece/nephew in May of 2012.  There is not much more exciting to me than the idea of a new little life... What a reminder of Gods Blessings.

"The cure for anything is salt water---sweat, tears, or the sea."  Isak Dinesen

We carved our first pumpkin and had a very Happy Halloween with our little Charlie Brown.

Our Little Family

My Little Turkey

Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like my little mans footprint turned into a turkey!  A few lucky grandparents are receiving these in the mail this week!  (He does have 5 toes... He was just a bit wiggly)

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!"     
Psalms 107:1

Love, Our Little Family

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

Thursday night dinner.  The Hub is very under the weather.  Our household is surviving only thanks to Lysol and mass amounts of Vitamin C.  Antibiotics have been started. 
Prayers that they work quickly.

So when I was sick a few weeks ago I was craving my comfort food, Chicken Pot Pie.  I was wondering aloud to The Hub about this and he said
"Have you not ever heard feed a cold and starve a fever?"

Ummmmmmm no I have not.  Does that explain why the second I get a cold I start craving a Pot Pie?  I dont know?  It does explain why I cooked something yummy for him tonight though. 
This is another pinterest find, of course, from Real Mom Kitchen
We really enjoyed it. 
We had excess lasagna noodles just like she mentioned in the original post.  We also agreed that we would probably make it in a square casserole dish next time. 
We had this chicken lasagna, bread and a salad tonight, and we decided we will be making this again!  Its a keeper.  So if you need a new idea...

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk (not fat-free)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) lasagna noodles, cooked (I recommend reducing it to 8 oz to 12 oz)
1 1/2 to 2 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 to 2 C mozzarella cheese, grated

Cook the chicken and noodles first at the same time.
Once noodles are done–rinse in cold water and set aside (it keeps them from sticking together). Combine evaporated milk (don’t use fat-free version) and Ranch dressing in a 3 quart heavy saucepan.
Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved.
Stir in chicken and pepper.
Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes (don’t do any less), stirring frequently.
 Layer half of lasagna noodles, poultry sauce, and cheese in well-buttered 9×13 pan.
 Repeat layers again. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
 Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy, The Mom

Hat Season

When I think of cool weather I cant help but smile thinking of this precious picture of my little man.  (Courtesy of our amazing photographer, Casey Sturrock, at Haute Photography) It was in the 50s today in Texas... Finally some cool weather... It feels like fall has arrived, finally, when its actually supposed to be the beginning of winter.  The second it gets a little cool I go overboard with the warm weather gear on my little guy.  He is very hot natured, but I still get scared he will get cold.  One of my cold weather weaknesses has been hats.  They have got the cutest hats ever for little people these days!  We have a couple for this winter, and yes, we live in Texas.  One would be sufficient, but if you know me then you know I have never been good at moderation.  We also recently got a fresh new hat from our sweet friend, Jane, in Denver.  Our guy will be sporting this for the next few months and I must say I think he makes it look pretty good!  
I am going to squeeze one more picture in.  Indulge me.  How much fun it is to be The Mom to a little guy... Tshirt, Diaper and some boots to go outside and play with the puppies.  Every day is such a blessing.

Love, The Mom

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

I love making a meal that I wouldnt ever pick for myself, but I know The Hub will love. 
On the menu this week were Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes.
Thanks pinterest... The source of every single new recipe I try lately.
This one came from Taste of Home Cooking
They were a success and The Hubby was happy.
This has made our rotation! 

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
Adapted from Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 softball-sized onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 cup beef stock
Salt and ground black pepper
1 pkg dinner rolls
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup provolone, shredded

In large skillet over medium-high heat add the oil and then brown the ground beef, about 5-6 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables start to get tender. Stir in the steak sauce and beef stock, season with salt and pepper, bring up to a bubble and cook about 2 minutes.

Split open rolls and remove most of the soft insides, leaving a bed to hold the meat mixture. Toast the rolls and set aside.

While the meat is cooking, melt the butter in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, bring up to a bubble and let thicken, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir the cheese.

To serve, place a scoopful of the meat mixture onto the bottom of the rolls, then top with the cheese sauce and replace the top of the roll.

The Mom

Far and Wide

My little man has fallen asleep and I have found myself with a rare few minutes of silence.  Hearing his deep breaths as he naps renews me on many levels.  It has renewed me enough that in these last few moments of "mom time" I started to think of what I needed to do next... That list is endless. 
I have laundry in the dryer that is dinging... I have a pending grocery trip... I have lists to be made (and lists of my lists to be made if I am keeping it real here)...I have people I need to call... and I have Thanksgiving and Christmas creeping up on me way too quickly! 

All of those things get pushed back daily because I am blessed to be raising the most amazing little boy.  He is the light of our lives and when I look at him and I see the little person he is becoming I am so thankful and proud and amazed.

Our families and friends are spread so far and wide.  We try our best to keep up with each of them and more often than not we never find enough time in the day or week or month.  God knew what he was doing when he put us into the families he did. He gave us another blessing by putting us with each other.   I hope by finding the time to keep up with this I can also find the time to share it with all of the people who mean so much to us....

So here is a snapshot of the quiet moment I am having, and the quiet moment our little person is having.  Thank you Lord for this peaceful Tuesday afternoon. 
Love, The Mom