Okay, so maybe that title was a wee bit misleading. I am not actually having a baby, but my precious Emme is having puppies ANY DAY NOW. While my Hubby has been breeding boxers off and on for 25 years, I haven't. This is my first experience with my baby having puppies and I am a nervous wreck.
E and Emme (notice how I've nearly killed my mums? - UGH!)
So, y'all say a little prayer that our puppies get here safe, healthy and soon.
So, last weekend we went to a family reunion with the "favorite cousins". We traveled to the small town where my mother grew up, where I used to visit my cousins and dig for taters and slam the screen door. There is something wonderful about walking into a room full of family members that you've known your entire life. There is something soothing about the smell of the same recipes you eat year after year - dumplins, Myrtle's homemade yeast rolls, coconut cake, Sock-It-To-Me cake, fried chicken, the list goes on and on. This year was no different. The food was fantastic as always. I always bring some kind of dessert. This year I brought two. One of them is an old favorite, one of them is a new favorite. Today, I'll share the new favorite - Buffalo Chip Cookies.
When I was trying to decide which dessert to bring, Hubby suggested Buffalo Chip Cookies from his family cookbook. He insisted that we had made them before and I, of course, argued that I had NO IDEA what he was talking about and that I had never had them. He found the recipe, which verified to me that I had NEVER had these cookies and that he must be thinking of some other girl who had tried these cookies before. It wasn't me. BUT, he insisted that they were AWESOME and I had to make them. So, reluctantly, I agreed. You ready for the recipe?
Buffalo Chip Cookies
2 cups melted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Mix well and then add:
2 cups oatmeal (I used quick oats)
2 cups Post Toasties (I used Corn Flakes)
1 large pkg. chocolate chips (24 oz)
1 cups pecans, chopped
1 cup coconut
Using an ice cream scoop, put 6 cookies on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees on lightly greased sheet for 12 to 15 minutes.
Okay, thanks to my Hubby for talking me into making these cookies. They are my new favorite. YUM! In fact, they have Corn Flakes in them so, I'm thinking they make for a healthy breakfast. Right? Okay, so maybe I'm justifying just a little bit, but they are soooo gooood! YUM! Thanks to Hubby's cousin Sandra for the recipe!!!
Now, doesn't that look like a healthy breakfast to you? No? Well, I tried. By the way, in case you didn't get it by the "ice cream scoop", these cookies are HUGE! I have one more cookie left in my tupperware container so I better go eat it before someone else realizes it's there. Wink!
Well, it's that time of year again. That's right. It's time for field trips to the pumpkin patch. This will be a photo heavy post, y'all. L's class went two weeks ago and E's went last week. I decided I'd wait and post it all together. Your welcome. So, because my two youngest go to different schools, we went to two different pumpkin patches.
There were pig races. Can you see them in their gates?
L and his sweet teacher petting a donkey.
L playing on the hay playground.
L with his pumpkin
Hubby on the hayride.
E on the hayride on the way to the actual pumpkin patch.
E with her final pumpkin. She changed her mind A LOT!
E coming out of the hay tunnel.
This baby girl LOVED feeding the goats. She is so much like her daddy! Gosh, they need a farm.
I would like to point out that there are a few more photos of E's field trip because she doesn't automatically look away every time I pickup the camera. L, on the other hand, looks away every time he sees the camera.
Okay, we've been over my houndstooth obsession, right? I love me some houndstooth! Anyway, so I mentioned that I bought some houndsooth fabric.
Isn't it pretty? This actually came out several years ago. I had some in fuschia and I wish I had some in the gorgeous apple green that came out, but I don't. BUT, I did snag this wonderful, classic black and white houndstooth. So, wanna see what I made?
Okay, I'm sorry. I'm not bragging because it has nothing to do with my sewing skills, but I am totally in love with this dress. We all know that I love a peasant dress. I thought it would be versatile to wear with different colored leggings or in this case, with black boots. I just love how it turned out. I had to add some color with her favorite fuschia flower.
So, y'all know I have a slight addiction to Pinerest. I actually need Pinerest rehab. One day when I was looking at yummy stuff to cook on Pinerest, I came across the blog of Joelen. Her blog is called What's Cookin, Chicago. The picture on Pinterest that caught my eye was a shot of her freezer and freezer-friendly recipes. One of those recipes was for Pasta Milano. Okay, here's the deal, yes I love Mexican food and I am crazy about a good ole American cheeseburger, but my other love is Italian. I love Macaroni Grill. In fact, the day my oldest son, J, was born, my family said they would go get me anything I wanted to eat, so I chose Pasta Milano from Macaroni Grill. MMMM! It just doesn't get any better. So, you ready for the recipe?
4 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1 cup heavy cream (or half & half for a lower fat version - um, yeah right!)
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces dry farfalle (bowtie) pasta
water for boiling pasta
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
In a large skillet over high heat, brown the diced bacon. Season the cut up chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and saute until lightly browned. Once the chicken is cooked, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes and chicken broth to the hot skillet. Allow it come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Add the cream and bring to a boil; stirring.Take off heat and add the bacon, chicken and mushroom to the sauce and set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add dry pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, transfer to a bowl.
Pour the chicken and sauce over the hot pasta and toss. Place in a baking dish and top with shredded Parmesan cheese and bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until cheese melts.
Garnish with fresh basil and serve hot.
* To make ahead/freezer meals - Prepare as directed, however cook pasta to barely al dente. There should be a bite to the pasta where it's not completely cooked. Place pasta, chicken and sauce in an ovenproof container and allow to cool. Cover and freezer. When ready to prepare, defrost and bake in preheated oven as directed above.
Okay, so I didn't follow all of Joelen's directions. I actually finished the sauce and poured it over the pasta and ate it right away instead of baking it. It smelled so good that I just couldn't wait for it to bake. People, it was GOOD!
Okay, so I ate about three of these servings, but in my defense I was not doing calories on Livestrong at the time. That makes it okay, right?
So, remember back in the late 80's, early 90's when blazers were really in? I had one blazer that I was especially fond of. I nearly wore it out. It was from The Limited and was a large black and white houndstooth. It was very similar to this:
Only each check was a little bigger on mine, like an 1 1/2 inches each. And thus began my obsession with houndstooth. I love it! But it hasn't always been "in". But you know what they say, give something enough time and it'll come back in style. I'm so happy to say that houndsooth is back again and I am thrilled!!!!
Just look at some of the cuteness I've been coveting.
Okay, so I have a whole new respect for working mothers. I was a working mother, when I had just one child. I worked for a few months after I had two, but my babysitter in our small town went back to work and I had nobody to keep my new baby. So, terrified of being broke, but excited to stay home with my new baby, I quit my job. Now, nine years later, I am working again. I am a substitute teacher at my kids' elementary school and I love it. I work 2-3 days a week, normally. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. The problem is, I can't seem to get everything done. I am WAAAAY behind on blogging and visiting blogs. I am behind on laundry.
I am behind on cooking (we've had way to many convenience meals lately). I am behind on working out and boy can I tell it. I've gained two pounds and I get winded walking up stairs. Not good. I miss being strong. I miss being thin, although I can barely remember the last time I was.
What happened to this chick?
It's not as if I have unrealistic expectations. I mean, I know that picture was taken before I had four kids, when I went to the gym for at least an hour a day after work and had nobody to worry about but myself. It's not like I expect to look like this:
But if I'm not careful, I might soon be blogging about the application process on The Biggest Loser. UGH! So, I've decided I'm going back to using Livestrong.com. It worked last time. It's only the first step. I've also GOT to find more time to work out again. I need to learn to take time out in the evenings to work out, but it's so hard. The girls' have dance on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesdays are usually free. Some Thursdays are taken up by C's band performances at ball games. Friday is usually free but honestly working out on a Friday night? I'd much rather be snuggled up on the couch with my Hubby watching a movie and having mexican food. That's actually my favorite thing to do on Friday night. Obviously, I have some work to do. Wish me luck.
So, what do y'all do to balance work and well, everything else? Any tips for staying fit and healthy?
I know it's been a really busy last few months so maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention to the kids' growth spurts, but durn if E hasn't grown out of almost everything she could wear a few months ago. I decided she needed something a little more fallish. Is that a word? Oh well! As far as clothes for the E, I love to make things that are long wearing. I love pillowcase dresses and peasant dresses because they can be worn as dresses and later as tops. I looked through my stash and found some fabric I really like and whipped it up.
What do you think? I love the toile and the zebra together. I like something sweet and girly with something a little wild. My mom didn't like it and neither did my oldest, C. Hmmmm. E liked it okay. She thought she looked like a princess. Although, the flower in her hair doesn't match AT ALL. Yikes! I need to work on making a bow or something that matches a little better.
I think this dress kind of speaks to E's personality, sweet and sassy. What do y'all think? Do y'all like sweet and spicy together, in clothes I mean?
I married a Mama’s boy.I mean, all boys love their mother, but I guess I really didn’t realize how much of a mama’s boy my Hubby was until we had been dating for awhile.You see, I was head over heels for him within about two weeks.I’m not one to hide my feelings, so I wrote him this long sappy love letter telling him exactly how I felt about him.A few weeks later, he let it slip that he had read at least part of it to his mother.I was completely humiliated.She lived out of state and I had never met her.I could only imagine what she must be thinking of me.He explained that he and his mother were very close and that she was thrilled that he had found someone that obviously loved him so much.I felt better about it, but still extremely embarrassed.
A few weeks later, I found out that his mother was coming for a visit.I was so nervous about meeting her.I was 29 at the time, recently divorced with a two year old daughter.I was aware that I might not be exactly what she had in mind for her youngest son.I was terrified.When we were introduced, she threw her arms around me like we had known each other for years.She immediately made me feel welcome.She even asked me to spend the night with them while she was in town.We ate pizza in our pajamas while we watched movies.She told me family stories about my future husband.She even brought presents for my daughter and treated us both like we were part of the family already.
My mother-in-law had this ability to make everyone feel important.She had one of the biggest personalities of anyone I ever met.Her father was a Baptist minister so God played an important role in her life.BUT, she was always a little irreverent.She loved jokes, even dirty jokes.She loved practical jokes as well.She preferred sleeping naked and loved ice cream.My Hubby jokes that the truckers that drove by their house at midnight probably got a free show as my mother-in-law’s silhouette was illuminated by the light of the freezer as she ate from the Blue Bell container.She was kind and generous, always the life of the party and she raised two amazing sons.
She was a single mom.She raised her boys to be independent and they are.My Hubby loved her so much, but the one time she and I had a little tiff, my Hubby took my side.I know she was secretly proud of him for standing up to her in my defense.That’s the kind of son she raised.
She was generous with everyone.She always thought of the little things. She brought my youngest daughter a birthday cake to the hospital the day she was born.She had a big caricature of my Hubby and I made for our wedding reception.
She was a wonderful grandmother.She was just a big kid herself really.She was all about capturing the little moments.When my son was little, he took a pencil and drew on her wall.She didn’t want us to clean it up.She wanted to put a frame around it instead.When our youngest son stuck his fingers in her sweet potato pie on Thanksgiving and ate the cranberry chutney with a spoon out of the jar, she took pictures of him doing it instead of making him stop.She was a bit of a rule breaker and saw no problem with them doing the same, as long as no one was getting hurt. She also loved having the big girls over for sleepovers. She even hosted "Camp Cousins" for her great niece and grandgirls. They had their nails done, went horseback riding and had a photo shoot.
I loved my mother-in-law very much.I will always be grateful to her for raising the man who is the love of my life and for accepting me and my little girl into the family.I am so grateful that I didn’t have the complaints some of my friends do about their mothers-in-law.I am so grateful that she was my friend.
My sweet mother-in-law went to be with Jesus on her 62nd birthday.Her favorite poem was When I Am Old, I Shall Wear Purple.My brother-in-law preached her funeral and we all wore purple in her honor.We are all so blessed to have known her.