Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It Ain't Food Network, But They Eat It....Tuesday!

This is a recipe that I have been making for several years now. My entire family eats it (not sure about Bryson....I don't know if he has ever had it now that I think about it) and I take it to potluck meals a lot in the summer when I have cucumbers out my ears. In fact, I need to whip up a batch of these soon. Brayden and Blaine will come home from their dad's house Thursday and they usually it a weeks worth of vegetables in one day when they come home! They make up for what they don't get when they are there...

Marinated Cucumbers

6 medium sized cucumbers, thinly sliced (I peel mine but you can leave the outside on...it's good for you, but easier for the kids to eat peeled)
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil (you can use vegetable oil too)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp. ground mustard

In a large bowl combine cucumbers and onion. In another bowl, or even a jar with tight fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients and shake well. (Okay, so don't shake it if you used the bowl...just stir.) Pour over the cucumbers and onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. I like to let it sit over night so it takes more like pickles. Serve with a slotted spoon.

You can even leave out the cucumbers and do more onions. I love pickled onions from Cock of the Walk in Nashville! This is one of those recipes where if there is a spice in it you don't like, leave it out and substitute it with some more of the other spices. I really don't think you can mess it up.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

57 Varieties

That is how many day lilies we have in our yard. Some look very similar to others and some look very different. Some have big blooms, some small. Some are brightly colored and some are pale in color. Some even have ruffled edges. I like those the most. I haven't had a chance to take pictures of our favorites yet. They weren't blooming when I took these.

This is a hobby of Stephen's. The names range from Breakfast Delight to Volcanic Eruption. My dad got him started on this. We all went together last summer to a day lily farm in Tennessee. Dad and Stephen picked out the ones they liked and then made sure they didn't get any the same. That way they could split them up after a few years and share them and not have repeats. Every morning when we get up a different one will be blooming. It is always neat to look out the window and see which one we will get to enjoy.

My Uncle Bob and Aunt Kathleen in Indiana also enjoy growing day lilies. Uncle Bob even hybridizes some of his own and gets to name them. I bet that is hard coming up with a name nobody else has thought of. That would be like trying to name lipstick or nail polish!

It may seem silly to have this many day lilies (or more) in your yard, but I can't complain. I think I have him beat with quilt fabric and he knows it! I'm not saying a word....


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Huntin' Monkeys

That is what we did today. Stephen, Bryson and I went monkey hunting. Or hiking. However you want to say it. We headed up to Monte Sano Mountain to take Bryson on his first hiking trip. It would have been even more fun if his big brothers were there, but they had to go to their dad's house. He was very excited. He has new hiking shoes, little Keens, like his daddy. He thinks he is big stuff now! We packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, granola bars, bananas, Gatorade and water. He carried Blaine's Superman back pack with his extra pull-ups, wipes, tissue (never leave home without it!), blanket and sippy cup.
We hit the trails around 3:15 after an hour nap in the car while running some errands. We got their and woke him up. He looked at me like I was crazy when I woke him, but when I told him it was time to go hiking, his head popped up and his eyes got big.

We took his picture by the sign at the front of the trail. He could hardly contain his excitement! He saw the trees where the trail started and took off. We had to remind him not to run because he could trip on tree roots or rocks. He did everything that he was told and was a very good listener.

This picture was about 10 feet into the trail. He talked...and he talked...and he talked some more. He told us how fun this was, how he loved to hike, how daddy was his buddy and he loved him. Told me how silly I was...not sure why.

This picture was .2 miles into the hike. (I had on a pedometer).

The superman back pack? I ended up wearing it. Which I thought would be the case and that was fine. Not even half way to the end of the trail we heard a bird and he thought it was a monkey. He kept asking where the monkey was so Stephen told him if he kept hiking we might see monkeys at the end. That's how we got him to hike so far. He actually hiked at least half of the hike if not more. It was just a little over 3 miles there and back. He would hike the even parts and daddy would carry him through the rocky and hilly parts.

We saw dog tracks and deer tracks. We talked about how God made the trees, the grass and all the rocks for us to enjoy. We saw spider webs and got tickled by the plants as we walked by. Which were probably poison ivy. I guess we will know soon enough.

I realize now as I post this I should have told him to look at the camera so I can see his face. Hey...I never claimed to be a good photographer. He has on his Hard Rock Cafe' t shirt from Beijing. His Aunt Aimee brought it back to Blaine when I was pregnant with Bryson but it was too small for him. So I kept it out for the "new one" and it has been deemed his official hiking shirt.

What is he doing now? Following daddy around the backyard like he isn't even tired! I think we will all sleep good tonight!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It Ain't Food Network, But They Eat It....Tuesday!

After a week off from recipe Tuesday, I am back! I am sure you all missed it greatly. Can you hear the sarcasm?

This week I am posting a recipe that I can't wait to make with cucumbers from our garden. Me and Bryson picked five tonight so I will hopefully be making this soon! This is a combination of several recipes that I found and none of them were quite right. So I changed things here and there and made one that suites us. So, of course, change things to how you want!

Cucumber Sandwiches

1-8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dill weed)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (woozy sauce for short)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. black ground pepper
2 large cucumbers, seeded, chopped and strained
1/4 cup chopped onion

In a small mixing bowl, combine first eight ingredients; beat until blended. Stir in cucumbers and onion. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours before making sandwiches.

This is supposed to be one of those recipes that you make for a tea or shower but we make them and eat them for lunch in the summer. Soon I will have so many cucumbers they will be coming out my ears. But all my kids are pickle eaters so soon my house will have the stench of pickles and they will be begging for pickles for a snack. Isn't that weird? But they are SO good!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Six Years Ago

Six years ago today, Brayden walked me down the aisle. Dad wore a tux just in case we had to go to plan B, which almost happened when Brayden decided at the back of the church after everyone had already walked in, that he would rather walk Kaylee down the aisle instead of me.

Kaylee was the flower girl and has been his friend from Bible class since she was born.

If you had asked him then about her, he would have told you it was his girlfriend and they were gonna get married. But now there are cooties, ya know.

We had discussed with the preacher how it wouldn't be a good idea for him to ask Brayden who was "giving me away". We had to come up with another way to phrase it. We had been having little talks here and there with Brayden about the day we would get married.

He worried about me getting married and not coming back. That had already happened to him once and he was worried it would happen again. I assured him that just because I was getting married did not mean that I was leaving him. We were just adding to our little family. We discussed that when he walked me down the aisle, Paul would ask him, in a way, who was giving Stephen permission to marry me. He had already told me many times he wanted Stephen to be his dad when his real dad couldn't be. He was glad about that part but still wasn't sure about the whole situation. We had talked about what he would say when Paul asked him this important question. How me and Stephen would go on a trip together and would come back in a few days.

Six years ago today I stood at the back of the church and told him that it would be very special if he would still walk me down the aisle like we had planned.

Even though Kaylee was there.

I told him that when he was a grown man he would be proud to say that he had walked me down the aisle to start my new life with Stephen. And him. And Blaine. And that I was just going on a short trip and I would be back soon.

He told me okay. He would still do it because he was going to get to walk out with Kalyee. He walked me down the aisle as he held my hand. He looked sharp and he knew it. He was wearing a tuxedo like Stephen! They had picked them out together. He walked me down to the front of the auditorium and when Paul asked him, "Who gives this bride this day", he answered in his proud little five year old voice, "Blaine and I".

Blaine was my ring bearer. He walked down with Kaylee's sister Abby, who was his girlfriend and they did get married the same day we did, by the way. He didn't last long. He saw one of my good friends in the audience and decided he would go sit with Kay-Kane. That would be Kana.

It is amazing how quickly time goes when you marry the right person. One that is your friend. One that you have so much in common with and the same goals. It doesn't seem like six years
ago. It seems like a short time. Although he may tell you differently. And I hope we have many more years together! I couldn't have asked for a better husband, daddy, or fake daddy! (That is what Brayden and Blaine call him.) He is a great role model for all the boys and does his best to show them how a man should treat his wife. He is a hard worker. He helps others in need. He teaches with words and actions. He teaches us daily how our ultimate goal in life should be Heaven and leads by example.

Thank you Stephen for being such a great husband, daddy and fake daddy. I guess that is a Happy Aniversary and Happy Father's Day all rolled into one!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Can't Blame Baseball Anymore!

Well....baseball is over and I still haven't posted for a few days. I guess I really have nothing to say! I know...that is hard to believe. Really I have had some things in my mind to post and have taken pictures to post with them, but I can't find my little doo-hicky to load them on the computer! I keep thinking it will turn up but has not so far. I know that if I go purchase one it will show up for sure! I think I may do that...it was only $15.00.

June 15th started the ex's summer visitation. He has the boys from then until July 15th, with me getting visitation on the 1st and 3rd weekends. It really stinks but this is when I try work on some of my "to do" lists. But now with Bryson here that probably won't happen. I did get a pair of pajama pants made for Brayden this week from a red baseball print that I got on sale. Now Blaine is whining because I didn't make him a pair. I made Brayden's first because every time he comes out of his room I laugh and make fun of his "capri's". He doesn't think it is as funny as I do! He is growing so fast we can hardly keep up with him.

Speaking of growing quickly, I am getting a taste of what it is going to be like to feed three growing boys. I know they are all growing now, but I mean cooking for growing big boys. Right now, Bryson only eats a descent amount every few days, which the Dr. has told me is normal. Blaine on the other hand, has usually eaten like a bird, but a couple of weeks ago he informed me he has "the worm". I wasn't sure what he was talking about but he quickly explained himself...

"Mom...I eat all the food you give me and I am still hungry! That means I have the worm!"

"Blaine, that doesn't mean you have the worm. That means you are finally growing!"

Of course, it would have been fun to see his reaction if I had gone along with the worm for awhile, wouldn't it?

Last week I made the usual amount of biscuits and sausage gravy for dinner one night. Normally I always throw away a little bit because it isn't good left over. Well, last week, they ate everything I put on their plates. Brayden asked for more and I fixed him some more. Then Blaine wanted more. But Brayden had finished it off. So Stephen gave Blaine what was left on his plate. Then they both asked for more again. Last night we had Cheese Ravioli with meat sauce. Brayden ate two plate fulls. I usually have a good bit left over but just a little bit this time. Then I made a peach cobbler with peaches I froze last summer. It is gone now too. So I guess I am gonna have to start cooking a little more each time. Which means I will really be putting my coupons to good use.

I had no idea what to post for my Tuesday Recipe. I guess everyone else was the same way. I rushed to my computer to find new recipes and no one posted one! I have a few in my mind that I think I will post ahead of time and set it to post on Tuesdays. Then I don't have to worry about it if I am busy.

The boys have to go back to their dad's house Sunday morning because of Father's Day, so we will be celebrating with Stephen's family tonight and my family tomorrow night. Tomorrow is VBS at our church. We are trying something new this year. An all day Saturday VBS. So this weekend will be busy and is going to go by quickly. Then the boys will be gone again until Thursday morning and will have to go back to their dad's on Friday. Now that they are older they adjust to the going back and forth somewhat easily, but Bryson doesn't understand. He wants Blaine to jump on the trampoline with him and asks where Brayden is. I guess when their "brother from another mother" starts crying for them, they (meaning dad and step mom) will understand some of the consequences of their actions.

But probably not.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and hopefully I will see you all here next week.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Can't Believe I Forgot!

The Friday before Memorial Day was the boys' last day of school. They were supposed to go the two days after to make up for all the swine flu stuff but we got letters home from the teachers telling us they would be excused if we sent in a note. I took that as "don't bring your kids next week because we don't want to babysit them" and none of their friends were going. So I let them skip. They went to friends' houses and had two fun days hanging out. While I worked, of course.

The day before their last day I woke up early that morning and remembered that I had COMPLETELY forgot teacher gifts! I couldn't believe it! I had so much to remember the last two weeks. Every time I turned around someone needed money for this or had to bring chips for that. I thought I was going to pull my hair out! Not to mention all the ball games. I know you all are tired of hearing me say that...but it was getting crazy. I had ordered myself a necklace from etsy.com which is now my FAVORITE website. It is even more addictive than facebook! I got myself a necklace with the boys' names on it. I had been looking at it for awhile and decided that since I am still trying to lose weight i didn't want to spend my mother's day money on clothes. It just so happened the lady I ordered it from lives in a town close to here and her kids go to school in town. I sent her a message on etsy and told her that I needed teacher gifts and asked her if she could help me out. And she was more that willing! We made plans to meet in town and about five minutes after I left my house she called and told me one of her kids were on the way to the E.R. and she couldn't meet me. She called a couple hours later to tell me we were going to try meeting again. Her child had a broken wrist and she still met me with my teacher gifts!
I forgot her website but if you go to etsy.com and go down on the left side and click on shop local. Then enter huntsville, al and it will pull up everyone close to here. Her store name is moppetsclosets. Brayden's teacher got the Petite Domed Flower with her name stamped. Blaine's teacher got the You Are My Sunshine, and I got myself the open circle with pearls. I have received a lot of compliments. I have told several friends about etsy.com and they all think it is addictive too! I like how you can see the items as they are listed. This is a website for all things handmade and vintage. You can search by a seller name, a topic, and even a color. I know. I am easily amused. But I think ya'll will like it so go check it out! I wish I had some space to make and sell stuff. Maybe one day!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don't Close Your Eyes to Pray!!!

This is a story that I have wanted to blog for about a month but have been too busy to sit down and type. Baseball is mostly over now, except for tournaments on the weekends. Maybe I can get things back to normal here soon. Except we have to get the A/C fixed now. And of course, that just happens to be on the hottest day of the year so far. I am sitting in my kitchen next to the open windows so I don't have a heat stroke drinking my "go juice"...coffee that is.

I have always teased since having children about praying with my eyes open in church because I am afraid if I close my eyes and then open them when the prayer is over, I will find a child missing. You know...an escapee. We sit close to the front of the auditorium and the way our pews are placed is kinda weird. It is hard to explain, but where we sit you can see people in the back. And they can see you. Really good. So I have always used that against my boys. When they would misbehave I would put them in my lap and whisper in their ear, "See all those people? They are looking at you and they are seeing you be ugly." And that would be the end. Because even though all those people are looking at the preacher or song leader, it really does look like they are staring at you when you sit down front. They didn't like people seeing them get in trouble so that usually straightened them up real quick.

Until Bryson came along. He obviously doesn't care that people see him.

I have been praying with my eyes open during services now for 10 1/2 years and have had no children go AWAL. Until about a month ago. And it wasn't during prayer. Or singing. We have one guy that does the announcements at the end of our services. He has a radio announcer voice. And when Mr. Naaman gets up to do the announcements all the kids know it is almost over. Either time to go to Bible class if it is Sunday morning, or time to go play with their friends if it is after Sunday pm or Wednesday services.

So are you following me here? Do you know what I am about to tell you?

Mr. Naaman got up and started the announcements and Bryson slowly went to the end of the pew. The end that was further from me and closer to the stage area. He had seen Jack behind us go to the end of his pew and sit during services and Bryson loves Jack so I thought maybe he was going to imitate him. And that would have been fine with me.

But he didn't stop there.

Well...he did. Long enough to look back at me and give me that look. Yes...that one. And I gave it right back. And pointed to the seat next to me and mouthed, "Sit down right here...NOW."

He smiled. And he does have a cute smile, doesn't he?

Don't let him fool you. He can be evil, too.

He dropped the tissue (on purpose) and the thumb came out of his mouth. He looked back again. I gave him the look again but with a little more intensity.

Now keep in mind, I did plan what I was going to wear that morning around the fact that he had decided that week he was not going to wear diapers anymore. Could we not wait until baseball was over and we are home a little more? Of course not. In fact, the first day I had nothing but diapers so my child went naked. Yes. He went naked. And loved every moment. Until I diapered him to go to the store to get pull ups. So I didn't wear heels that day to church. I wore a long casual skirt and my sequined Yellow Box flip flops. I could get him to the bathroom quick enough in that. And we only went out once to go potty and he did really good. He only hollered, "I gotta go peeeeee!" loudly one time.

So at the end of services I thought all was well. Until Mr. Naaman got up there. And when we were giving each other "the look" I heard him mumble something.

"I'm gonna go play."

And he was gone.

Full speed to the front of the auditorium. To the stage. And I was at the other end of a long pew. That seemed to be getting longer by the second. I jumped up and ran after him. I grabbed him by his sleeve one step from the bottom step of the stage. I took him out and spanked him. And all he had to say was, "I want DADDY!"

I told him his daddy could have him. All day long. I guess I should be thankful he can't get his clothes of yet!

Do any of you have any good escapee stories to tell?


It Ain't Food Network,But They Eat It...Tuesday!

Grandpa's Black Walnut Ice Cream

So this is really Grandma's recipe since she is the one that "cooks" it, but Grandpa always modified it when she turned her back! This is our favorite by far, and I always think of going to their house in the summertime when I eat this...

3 Tbsp. flour
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
about 1 gallon of milk (I used 1 percent and it was good. Had more of a consistency of snow cream. If any of you southerners know what that is!)
2 small bottles black walnut flavoring
(That is the modified part. Grandma always says a couple Tbsp. but Grandpa says just put the whole bottle in. And when he would Grandma would always say, "Emerson!" Then she would huff and roll her eyes! That must be where my sister gets that....on to the recipe!

Mix together flour, sugar and eggs in pan and add a few cups of milk. That is just so you don't make scrambled eggs. Heat slightly. Keep stirring and be careful not to burn! Add flavoring. Pour all that into your ice cream container and all milk up to the fill line. Follow directions on your ice cream freezer and then eat it up!


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