Saturday, November 21, 2009

Conversations With Bryson

Yesterday I went to run an errand and Bryson fell asleep on the way back. Which I thought was good. Except for when I went to get him out of the car, his hand was asleep so he started crying. I brought him into the house and laid him on the couch. I changed the channel on the TV so hopefully he wouldn't start watching it and could go back to sleep. I put it on NBC and was going to get some things done around the house.

Oprah came on. Yesterday she had someone I had never heard of on her show. Maybe I live under a rock, I don't know, but I have never heard of Mo'Nique. She is in a new movie called "Precious". I walk back into the room where is now watching Oprah instead of sleeping.

He looks at me and says, "Mommy! She looks just like you!"

Me: "Who looks just like me?"

Bryson: "Her. Dat girl!"

Me: "The big, black girl?"

Bryson: "Yeah! The girl in the blue shirt! She looks like Mommy!"

I know I have gained a little weight, but goodness, I didn't know it was that much! It is a good thing he is cute, isn't it?


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chelsea's Quilt

Today is Show and Tell Friday on Amy's blog. This is the first time I have ever participated, but I am hoping to do it more often. Which means I will hopefully be finishing up all the UFO's* I have stuffed in the closet.

*UFO's~unfinished objects

Chelsea's quilt

This is a quilt I made for a little baby girl. I babysat her mother when I was a teenager. Yes, that makes me feel old. Anyway, I didn't have time to make her one and have it ready for her shower because I was still working on Roman's quilt. I went to her shower with another small hand made gift. I told her I wanted to make her a quilt. She already knew she was having a girl and got a lot of pink stuff that day. When I asked her what she would like she mentioned a smaller quilt that would match her stroller. It was sage green and chocolate brown. I was all over that! Small, green and hard could that be? Well, I had the hardest time finding fabric for this one than I have ever had in my entire life! Those two colors in a combination was super hard to find. Everything was lime green, or if it was brown it had pink or blue. So I ended up finding a few pieces at the local fabric store. But everyone that I found didn't have very much left on the bolt. I think all of the greens could be considered sage but they are different shades. I was afraid it I picked just one that it would clash horribly with her stroller and that would drive me bonkers. So I bought what they had and went home to try to figure out what I was going to do with it.

I measured a little fleece blanket that Bryson had gotten for a baby gift. I used it with his stroller and it was the perfect size. Just big enough to tuck around him but not so big that it got tangled up in the wheels. That was the measurement I was aiming for. I cut strips 2 1/2" wide and alternated between the greens and browns. I ended up with it being 28"x37". It took me longer than I had hoped to finish it because I could never find the time to work on it. But I finished it Tuesday night! I machine pieced the top and hand quilted the entire quilt. I also added all the binding by hand. I took it to her mom at church on Sunday because she keeps the baby during the week and she was going to give it to me for her! I hope she likes it!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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

I found a recipe on last week and I used it as a base for a soup last night. There were things I didn't like about it, like beer, and how the chicken was cooked, so I changed it and this is what I came up with. It was really good. And you know how much I like a crock pot recipe! I used my 4 quart crock pot for this one and it was a perfect size.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
(I used corn that I froze from the garden. Nana Nana boo boo!)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
already cooked and shredded chicken
(I used 1 1/2 cups because that is what I had in the freezer from the last whole crock pot chicken)
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)
Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, chicken stock, already cooked chicken and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5-7 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

The verdict:
I used original Ro-Tel tomatoes and the spice was just right for me. The big boys added a blob of sour cream and it toned it down just right for them. Bryson looked at it and threw himself in the floor and screamed, "I don't like that!"

So, if you are afraid it will be too hot, use the mild Ro-Tel. And I think it comes in a hotter version if you are brave enough. I liked it just the way I made it. And I know that doesn't sound like much chicken, but I figured with 2 cans of beans we would have enough protein anyway so I wasn't that worried about it. So pretty much you can use whatever you have on hand. That makes this recipe even better doesn't it?

So now, for my Mexican eating friends (you know who you are!) this is a great recipe to make on nights when you have too much to do to cook dinner! The only prep I had to do was chop the onion and I got to thinking about all the onions that I let go bad at my house. So now I think I will chop some of the onions (because it is cheaper to buy the big bag) and freeze them in small quantities so next time I seriously will just dump it all in and go.


Monday, November 16, 2009

His Own Suitcase

Bryson has his own suitcase for when we go on trips. It is lime green ,which really tells a lot of you that it started out as mine. And it has wheels. Saturday afternoon he rolled it into my bathroom while I was putting on my makeup.

Bryson: "I ready!"

Me: "Ready for what?"

Bryson: "To go!"

Me: "Where are you going?"

Bryson: "Wit daddy! On airpane!"

We had to break it to the poor little boy that Daddy was going on a work trip and that he couldn't go. He was a little sad but once we explained that Mommy was staying home he changed his mind. I was expecting him to cry when we dropped him off at the airport but he didn't. He also asked when we pulled in the driveway and he saw his truck if he was already home. So obviously he didn't get it. It doesn't help that he couldn't see him actually get on the plane like we could do when Brayden was that age.

I finally got around to unpacking his bag tonight while he was in the shower. You know, when he couldn't see me. It contained two pair of shorts and a football.

You know....the necessities.

But I guess when you would rather go nude, who needs more? And wouldn't he fit in well like that in Las Vegas?

When I told him tonight that it was shower time, he got all excited and said, "I take showder with Bane, and I wash my hair, and I wash my body, and I won't touch Bane's boo hinee any moe! I keep my hands on myself!"

Obviously we had a little problem with that the other night and I told him he would have to keep his hands to himself.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am so thankful for my Miracle Muffins cookbook! I have had this for several years. I don't remember when or where I purchased it, but I have used it a lot. All the recipes we have tried everyone liked. Brayden's favorite is the Fresh Cranberry Muffins. I buy the cranberries this time of year and freeze them so we can have them longer. I make the Fresh Blueberry Muffins in the summer with the blueberries we grow and then when we run out of those I get them when they are on sale at the grocery store. I can't decide which ones are my favorite because I like them all. And they are low fat. They are also the biggest muffins I have ever made!

Some of the ingredients include buttermilk and ricotta cheese. I don't normally use these things except for these muffins. And one big can of pumpkin will yield 4 batches of muffins. Since making homemade muffins is so time consuming and some of the ingredients go bad quickly, I mix all the wet ingredients together and put it in Ziploc freezer quart bags. Then I label what it is, the date, the cookbook and page and put what I need to add (dry ingredients). The night before I put it in the fridge to thaw and mix the remaining ingredients in the morning when I am ready to bake them. Sometimes I even mix the dry ingredients in my big mixing bowl the night before, cover with plastic wrap and then add the wet ingredients in the morning right before I bake them.

Find something to be thankful for today!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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

This was a recipe that one of my best friend's mother made growing up. She would pack it in Rebecca's lunch and then pack me a piece, too, because she knew how much I loved it when I spent the night at their house! She was such a sweet woman. She passed away our Senior year of high school from breast cancer. If my memory serves me correctly, it was Sept. 15, 1992. Our principal came and announced it to our 7th period class 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave for our volleyball match against Westminister Academy. That was one of the only two games we lost that season because we were all a wreck!

This is the moistest apple cake I have ever eaten! I haven't made it for years but found it when I was digging through my mess of a recipe box. It is written in her Jr. High handwriting. Maybe I can make it soon.

Fresh Apple Cake
Ingrid Hicks' recipe

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, well beaten
3 cups sliced apples (Winesap)
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix ingredients in order given. Pour into well greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Conversations with Bryson

This is something that I had typed out back in November and had saved a draft, but never did post it. Don't remember why now, but here it is. This is obviously before he was completely potty trained, but I thought I would post it as it was written anyway.

The other day I walked into Bryson's room and he was stark naked. I know....that is so surprising isn't it? This is what he told me as he "gave me the hand":

Bryson: UH UH UH UH....STOP! I'm netched. Get out."

Me: "You do remember that I just changed your dirty pants 2 hours ago and saw you as naked as can be, right? I guess if you don't want me to see you naked you need to start pooping in the potty."
Bryson is also a HUGE fan of Thomas the Train. In fact, Sir Topham Hatt called MY HOUSE the other day on my calculator! Can you believe that!?! That led to this conversation as the train went by our house:

Me: " you hear that?"

Bryson: "Yeah. Dat's a choo choo."

Me: "Do you think that might be Thomas?"

Bryson gives me a look here like I am the stupidest thing ever.

Bryson: "NO."

Me: "Maybe it's Percy?"

Bryson: "NO!!!"

I went on and named every train character from that movie that I could think of and he was getting very irritated with me!

Me: "Well, who is it then?"

Bryson: "It's just a train!"

So Sir Topham Hatt can call OUR house on my calculator but Thomas and his friends can't go down the tracks by our house.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Conversations with Bryson

Stephen was talking to Bryson at dinner tonight and telling him he is going on a trip with work to Las Vegas next week. He asked Bryson if he was going to miss him.

Bryson: "NO."

Stephen: "You're not? Why won't you miss me?"

Bryson: "Cause I go wit you!!"

Stephen: "If you go with me, what are we going to do?"

Bryson: " hide and seek!"


In the car last week:

Bryson: "What dat smell?"

Me: " What does it smell like to you?"

Bryson: "Smell like a 'kunk!!"

Me: "That's what it is!"

Stephen: "It's a what?"


Bryson: "Mommy! Play ball with me!"

He hands me a little toy baseball bat. I put it up to get ready to hit the baseball.

Bryson: "Do dat...say batter batter!"

Dat would be tap the bat on the ground two times. Not once. Not three times. Two times.


Bryson: "Mommy, can I get dum?"

Me: "You want gum? That is fine. It's in my purse."

Bryson: "Tank choo Mommy! You a nice Mommy!"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

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

Today I decided to post something that isn't necessarily a recipe, but maybe some advice on something that I cook/make very often. I don't know about you guys, but I religiously use crock pots. I have two, a 4 qt. and a 6 qt. I use them at least twice a week especially when my kids are playing ball, which seems to be non stop now.

My topic for today is whole chickens. I didn't grow up with my mom buying whole chickens. I don't know if it was because she didn't have to, so she didn't, we didn't eat enough, she wasn't home to cook one that long...who knows. She did have a crock pot, but I only remember her using it for soups and stews. But I have been watching the sales at the grocery store and I stock up on whole chickens when they are on sale. Friday I bought 2 at $.99 a pound and the month before I bought 4 at $.79 a pound. I have an extra fridge in the garage so I freeze them there. The day before (usually right after dinner while I am thinking about it) I take it out of the freezer and just sit it in the sink to thaw. Then the next morning I unwrap it, pull that bag of who knows what out, rinse it and pat it dry. Be sure and rinse really good...lift up the wings and rinse in the cavity. Pat it dry with paper towels. I usually wad up about 7 balls of foil and put in the bottom of my 6 qt. crock pot. Sit the chicken in on top of the foil. This lets the heat circle around the chicken and makes it like a rotisserie chicken. DO NOT ADD WATER. Season how you would like. I usually quarter an onion and stuff it in the cavity. Sometimes I add a lemon to that. Just wash it and cut it in half. the lemon helps tenderize and the onion is just for taste. Rub it down with a little olive oil and salt and pepper it. You can pretty much add whatever spices you want....garlic powder, paprika, McCormick makes some mixes you can sprinkle on too. The choices are endless. Cook on low for about 7 hours. Of course, don't lift the lid and leave it alone for those 7 hours.

You can eat it just like this for dinner and then pick the bones and save/freeze for another use. Chicken salad, soups, stews, casseroles....just think of all the things you can do. My kids like it just like this with a vegetable or whatever. The leftovers I freeze and then throw into White Chicken Chili that I posted here.

But don't stop there! Take the foil out and throw the bones back into the crock pot into the broth that it made. Add 5-6 cups of water. You can even quarter an onion, add some carrot chunks and a couple of stalks of celery. You don't have to cut it up will have to strain it out later. Cook it on low over night. In the morning, strain out the bones and veggies, and then put it in the fridge. This makes the fat come to the top and then you can scrape it off once it has cooled. I measure mine out into 2 cups into quart freezer bags and label. This will equal about 1 can of broth. Think of how much money that will save. When I don't make broth, I usually have these vegetables in the fridge anyway and some of them get thrown away because they go bad. And the last chicken I cooked in the crock pot I got lazy and threw the bones away. Gasp!! Friday I ended up buying 2 cans of broth and they weren't on sale. Gasp again!! Oh, the horror!

So watch for chickens to go on sale and get cooking!



We looked high and low.

We called.

We looked again.

We called Publix. We asked them to check the race car carts. We went to Publix and looked ourselves. We looked at the Rec. Center. We looked in the parking lots. The car. The diaper bag. The house. The garage.

There is no doubt about it!

It's LOST.

It's been lost before but we have always found it. Not this time. It's lost for good. As in really lost, not as in glad we lost it.

We've lost "whiteblankettissue". That is what Bryson calls his blanket. We call it his "nasty rag of a blanket". Poor baby was up until midnight Friday night looking. We took Brayden to ball practice at 7:30 pm and headed to Publix. We had to shop and get back to get him by 9 pm. I remember telling Bryson to grab his blanket when we were paying because it was in the bottom of the race car cart. I don't even know if he picked it up because I was paying. We got to the car and I put him in his car seat while Stephen and the bagger put our bags in the car. By the time I got back around to the car he was walking off with our cart and I didn't even think to check to make sure we had it. I don't remember if he had it then or not. We raced to pick up Brayden. Stephen got Bryson out of the car and put him down when we got close to the door. He ran to me and he didn't have it with him then.

When we went to put him to bed he asked for his "whiteblankettissue". That is when we realized it was nowhere to be found. He cried. He looked. He cried and looked some more. I called Publix at 11:30 pm and told them we had lost a blanket. It was white. Not really white, but dingy white with holes all in it and ketchup stains. They said they hadn't had one turned in. I asked the nice girl if she would check all the race car carts for us, as Bryson was standing at my feet crying. She came back and said they didn't see it. Yesterday we went back to the Rec. Center for another ball practice and looked there. We asked the lady at the concession stand if anyone had turned it in. All they had turned in was a jacket. So I drove all the way back to the grocery store to make sure no one had turned it in and they still didn't have it. We checked the parking lot. We checked the whole side of the parking lot where we parked. Bryson described it to anyone that would listen.

"My white blanket's lost. It's this big (holding his hands up) and it's white. I can't find it!"

It's gone. For good.


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