Wednesday, September 29, 2010

These are my people

Last Thursday night, my oldest niece (who is in high school now, which makes me feel OLD), had a volleyball game. My boys and I headed to the gym that afternoon. They had never been to a high school volleyball game (or football or basketball game either for that matter) so I wasn't sure how they would do. THEY DID GREAT! They actually watched the entire game without arguing or asking to get down and wander!

My niece did GREAT too! She scored a few points for the team and the Red Devils won! Great Job T!
We decided to go to dinner together after the game (the oldest niece had to stay behind and watch the varsity team), but my boys, my other niece, my brother and sister-in-law, myself, and my hubs decided to go EAT.
My brother and sister-in-law
Great food, good times!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adventures in Cooking

I’ve been reading here and there about people that do “freezer cooking”.  I decided to try my hand at it—I thought it would really help me out on nights when we had church or swimming, meetings, etc. 

Cecil made me a big ole’ pot of spaghetti sauce and boiled a chicken for me (for chicken n dumplings or chicken n rice).  I froze 3 bags worth of spaghetti sauce, so that’s 3 meals from that batch.  The chicken gave us 2 meals worth of chicken!  (I’m already lovin’ the idea of not having to “cook” 5 times!)

cooking 002

cooking 001

I cooked another chicken in the crock pot with some taco seasoning.  This gave us 2 meals worth of Mexican chicken for burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, chicken soft tacos, or any type of Mexican food!   My friend Annie, will definitely have some sort of comment about me going back to my roots! hA!

cooking 004

This is a pot of homemade pizza sauce.  This is the BEST stuff EVER!  I cannot believe how easy it was to make and how YUM it tastes!  I froze enough of this for 2 homemade pizzas!  Perfect for Friday nights around here!

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Carter, of course, had to get in on the kitchen fun and we made cupcakes in the middle of all this!

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I froze one lasagna for a meal as well.  I wanted to do 2, but I want to thaw this one, cook it, and if it tastes good, then I’ll go ahead and freeze another one.  I’m wondering how my noodles will do.

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Doesn’t this look great?  It’s the Mexican chicken cooling and getting ready to go to the freezer!  YUM.

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I’m planning to do a Chicken Cordon (sp?) Bleu dish tonight to freeze as well as some sloppy joes and taco meat.  I’m really into this now!  Let me know if any of you girls want to get together one day and do this!

Overall, it didn’t take that long to get all this together!  The crock pot really helped out too!  I’m excited that we have so many GOOD meals ready and waiting for us!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good Ol' Rocky Top

Let me be very clear here. I have NOT turned into a Tennesse fan!! I'm still a GATOR through and through, I just couldn't think of a better title for my post! ha-ha!

Our family (all of 'em) took a trip last week to Tennesee (i.e. Good Ol' Rocky Top) to see the Gators play! This has become somewhat of a tradition for us, as my in-laws always rent a large cabin in Pigeon Forge for the family to stay in while we're there. We usually take about 4 days and just hang out, go to the game, shop, etc.

This year, we all left on Thursday (at different times) and headed towards the mountains and some (hopefully) cool weather.

The trip wasn't bad at all and the sights were even better! It's just breathtakingly beautiful! I NEVER get tired of looking at this sight!

On Thursday night when we got there, the kids were wound up after riding in the cars all day, so they got to play outside and in the downstairs game room and have fun running and playing and being BOYS.

Here's the outside of our cabin. (Think our family likes GMC much? We could be their ad campaign).

Friday morning, my father-in-law wanted to head to Outdoor World (Bass Pro Shop) so we all loaded up and headed out. It's like herding cattle for us to go anywhere! You should see it. It's something I tell ya.

Carter got a stuffed bear, and named him Joey Bear. Who knows where he got that name from. But Joey Bear it is.

That night, we all wanted to go to Cades Cove to try and see some deer, bear, and other wildlife. We knew we had to leave early, and it was too early to eat dinner before we went, so we packed everything up in the trucks and had ourselves a picnic right there in the middle of one of the fields inside Cades Cove. It was a blast! We got several stares from people, but we didn't care!

We saw several HUGE deer and 2 bears! We stopped at one point on the trail, and there was a man and woman making sorgum, and we saw a HUGE HUGE HUGE deer so close we could touch him.

Sorry for the blurry picture, Cecil had the camer and this was a huge buck, so he was shaking! ha-ha

Saturday was the big game! Both kids were able to attend this year and were very excited. Previously, only Nolan was old enough to make the trip to Knoxville and Carter had to stay back at the cabin with a sitter. You'd have thought they won the lottery when my in-laws said BOTH boys could go this year!
The game was HOT (but not as HOT as previous years) and I was a little concerned there for a bit, but the Gators pulled off another win! Mine and Cecil's seats were WAAAAYYY at the top of the stadium (which I was NOT liking), but the boys had great seats with my in-laws just behind the Gator players.

We headed back home on Sunday since the boys had school Monday and I had to go back to work. (The real world stinks!) All in all, a great trip, and it was full of memories.

Oh yes. The GATORS won, so that made it a FABULOUS trip!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

All I Want for Christmas.....

is my two front teeth.......Nolan lost his other front tooth last night! He even pulled it out himself! I have to tell ya, that's one cute "toothless" grin!Our family took a big trip last weekend........a big post in a few days on that!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Peep was HOME

This past weekend, my peep Jana (that would be BFF) came HOME from Utah for a few days. Her grandfather unexpectedly passed away earlier in the week and she was home for his funeral. I was SO Excited to see her! It had been YEARS since I had seen her and even though we talk almost every day by email or Facebook, there's just something about seeing each other in person that is special!
We were able to get together on Friday night for some GIRL TIME! I took her to one of my favorite little spots, Carmella's, for some authentic Italian food. It is THE BEST! I do believe I have her hooked on this food!
Do ignore the half-eaten bowl of mariana sauce in this photo and look at that glorious, golden bread! YUM!
I ordered the Baked Ziti, which I always order, and it did not disappoint!

Jana ordered Steak something or other...I can't remember, but she said it was glorious! Look at all that sauce! How could it not be?

Because we're wild party girls, ha! And because we were without our husbands AND our kids, we hit the town at the local Wal-Mart for some early Christmas shopping in the clearance section. In our defense, we live in the middle of nowhere and there's nothing else to do. We were able to have just as much fun perusing the aisles of the local WallyWorld as we would have somewhere else! For us, it was about reconnecting and laughing!

I don't have a picture of our shopping cart from WallyWorld, but rest assured, it was full. If you want to see the picture, you can head to Jana's blog to see it!

We had a great time catching up and I'm so glad she came HOME for a few days!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tailgatin' Gators!!

I love some Florida GATORS football!! What I love even more than those well-toned, built boys in white tight pants, is a good TAILGATE!! And lawsie mercie if the people we tailgate with don't know how to do 'em up right!!!

Loud music, Great food, and Good friends make all the difference in the world!!! Our friends that we tailgate with come in early each Saturday morning and set up with their motor home. Nolan & Carter always enjoy going inside and pretending to drive it!
Here's the spread from this morning! YUM!
My kids thought so too!

Go figure that the two of them, out of ALL that food, wanted watermelon! ha!
Many times, Becky Burleigh, the soccer coach for UF will tailgate with us. She was there both last week and this week! I just think so highly of her--she is very down to earth and jumps right in with helping to set up and lots of times, she's the one running our music!

Nolan also loved the big Gator helmet (made from heavy-duty styrofoam) that our friends have set up!
One thing's for sure! This family.......
Loves the GATORS!!