Sunday, November 30, 2008

We're back...

Did this happen to anyone else after too much turkey this past week?

We have returned from our Thanksgiving vacation. We took the opportunity to travel to see some of Mike's family since he was off of work (the benefits of being a teacher!).

We first went to Alpine, AL to visit his grandfather. When we were outside taking some pictures, he handed me a handful of pecans that had fallen off of the trees that are behind his house. He shared the story of how the three pecan trees were planted from pecans he took from Mike's boyhood home down in Mobile, AL, 20 years ago. He then said that this was the first year they bore fruit!
After visiting with Pop, we then went to Tuscaloosa, AL to be with the rest of Mike's family...parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, in-laws...all 23 of us were able to spend the holiday together! The picture above is one of Mike's second cousins, Jacob.

One of his cousin's wife is expecting as well, so Ashley and I got to spend a lot of time together talking about our babies (she is due within the next couple of months..we can't wait to meet Colten Seth!). Whenever we get together there is a lot of laughter and good times.
As a surprise for Ashley, some of the family members threw a baby shower for her. The same sweet baby pictured above also managed to get a handful of cake before it was cut. I walked into the kitchen to see an icing covered smile on his face and the top corner of the cake missing.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now it's back into the swing of things to get ready for Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Gonna Be Girly!

This past weekend my mom came down for a visit. She has offered to make the bedding for the baby and anything else that I might need for the nursery. Our goal this weekend was to find some fabric to match some already existing fabric that I have in some curtains that I want to use. Mission accomplished!

When she arrived she had a few surprises for me! This handmade gown is the same gown that my sister, Christy, wore when she came home from the hospital and it is the same gown that I wore 5 years later when I was born. We have a picture of my mom getting out of the car with me (in the gown) and Christy standing there looking at me. My niece, Jessica (Christy's daughter), wore it as well when she was born in 1991! I can't wait to find the perfect little outfit for her to wear underneath it for when she comes home!
These are the baby shoes that both of us wore and my silver baby cup too. I am going to polish the cup (you can barely see it, I should have done it before taking the picture) and display them on a shelf we are going to hang in her room.

We have decided to paint and hang wallpaper, divided by a chair rail in her room. The paint is a light lilac and the wallpaper has tiny green leaves on it. The middle fabric, the darker purple, is what is on the curtains. My mom found the lilac toile (it has little girls and bunnies on it!) on ebay and then we found the additional fabric at JoAnn's. All three will be incorporated into the bedding and into a quilt that my mom is going to make for her.

We found the exact kind of crib I have been looking for on Craig's List for next to nothing and a friend recently gave us a glider rocking chair. It is all coming together and I can't wait to see the finished room.

Mike is still working on the bathroom. He is working so hard; he comes home from work and then tiles for a couple of hours. With the holiday, he will have a couple full days to work on it and then we will paint! Here is a sneak peak of the tile job he is doing...

We are heading to Tuscaloosa to visit his family for Thanksgiving so I will be back towards the end of the week!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What a great way to start the week!

Monogram Chick is having a 100th post giveaway! Visit her site to see what all she has--there are some great ideas for Christmas presents!

If you register to win, be sure to mention where you heard it cause then...we BOTH win!

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

One of the best Christmas presents...

I ever received was from my sister, Christy. After graduating college she made me this recipe book as I prepared to move out on my own. As you can see by the stains, I have used it A LOT over the course of the past 10 years.

I am thankful for this recipe book today. Just this past week the ribbon that was glued to the front of it fell off. And I was sad. This book is something that I treasure, not only because my sister made it for me but because it holds (secret!) family recipes that have been passed down for several generations. On the first page of the book, Christy wrote me a little note that says, "no matter what people say, I know you will be a wonderful cook!" I guess at the time there was some speculation on whether I could cook something other than Ramen noodles.

Most of the recipes are ones that I have almost learned by heart--the Corn Souffle recipe my grandmother always made at Thanksgiving. The Buckeye recipe we make at Christmas (it gets doubled every year so that we have enough to get us through March!) and the Poppyseed Chicken recipe that is on the monthly rotation of menus in both of our houses. Along with these, Christy included recipes that she used to make for her children when they were small; simple recipes that were easy to throw together when time was limited. Everything from drink recipes, main dishes, vegetables, pasta, breads and desserts---they are all in there!

I too have started a collection of "my favorites" that I hope to pass along to my daughter when it is time. I'm sure by then the recipe book will have doubled in size, but what a treasure to share with her!

PS. This idea would make a great gift if you have family recipes to pass along to someone who is getting married soon or moving out on their own. She printed the recipes on card stock and then decorated it with embossed stamps of different designs. She used the rings to bind the book together.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Any suggestions?

Look who has a friend! Georgia is so funny, she thinks she is a dog! She runs around with the dogs, follows me down to get the mail like the dogs and even sleeps with the dogs! She couldn't be any sweeter and loves to be held and loved on. As soon as you start petting her, her motor gets to running. We have a corner in our garage for the dogs to sleep in during the night and this is what I found this morning.

On another note, I am beginning to look for some good parenting books. I will be getting a copy of Babywise, but wanted to see if anyone else had any good recommendations...I would love to know what you enjoyed and what worked for you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Weekend

We had such a great weekend! Christy and Jessica arrived Thursday afternoon for the weekend. It was so good to have them here--we always have so much fun and laugh and laugh and laugh!

On Friday, we went to Gigi's Cup Cakes. Oh so good! They have a 2 page menu of all the different kinds from Wedding Cake to Nutty Butty--the icing is about about 3 inches thick! We picked up a few....well 8!

Mike was so happy when I showed up with a chocolate one for him!

On Saturday we headed to Opry Mills, a big mall that has some outlets in it. Jessica wanted to do some shopping and I was on the lookout for some good bargains for baby clothes. Jessica thought she looked silly in this hat, but she has so much style, I think she can pull off almost anything!

Meanwhile, 1985 called and they said they want their sunglasses back. Christy and I couldn't believe how much all of the clothes resemble what we wore growing up. I knew I should have kept those leg warmers and the sweater with the rainbow hearts going across the front! We made sure Jessica didn't see us taking this picture, otherwise she would have been mortified!

For a mid afternoon snack as were walking through the mall, we stopped at the Apple Barn Store and Restaurant and had ourselves some warm apple fritters with fresh apple butter. Oh so good!

Here's Jessica with our the kitten. We decided to name her Georgia. Mike and I have both liked the name. There is absolutely no significance to the name, other than we both like it. I think she is going to stick around. The left over tuna I gave her today after my lunch might have sealed the deal.

On Saturday we went did a little more shopping and I was able to find a few things for the baby. Then that night we headed to Mike's school where he teaches. Every fall they put on their fall musical. This year it was The Sound of Music which happens to be one of our favorites. The students did such a great job!

Jessica had school today so they had to get back to Ohio. I was sad to see them go, but am already looking forward to Christmas when we will be together again!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A kitty and casserole

Look what showed up last night on our deck! She is so sweet and after a bowl of milk, she decided to spend the night in our garage with the dogs where it was warm. When we woke up this morning, she was still here and as we speak, she is hanging out in our backyard. Looks like we have another pet! Honestly, we've been wanting an outside cat to keep the mice and other critters away here in the country. Mike had a cat before we got married, it's name was "The Kittidiot." If she decides to stick around, I'll be naming her.

I fixed this for dinner the other night...

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

8 oz. dried bow tie pasta
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tb. butter
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 tsp.l crushed red pepper (optional)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I baked a whole chicken with seasonings for the added flavor)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack (8 oz.)
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 Tb. butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to directions, drain. In medium skillet cook onion (I added some garlic too) in 1 Tb. butter over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In bowl whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and crushed red pepper. Stir in chicken, cheese, artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, half of the Parmesan cheese, pasta and onion. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish.
3. Bake covered, 20 minutes. In small bowl combine remaining Parmesan, bread crumbs, paprika and melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over pasta. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more or until golden. Makes 6-8 servings.
Christy and Jessica will be here this afternoon! We'll take some pictures and share them!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do you wanna know?

Guess what's inside.....

It's a GIRL!

She is growing and is healthy and strong! I felt her kicking this morning before we went to the doctor and I was a little scared that she would end up in a position where we wouldn't be able to find out, but she kept on moving and we were able to see for sure that what we have been calling "the baby" is now fondly called "she" or "her."

She is measuring "perfectly" according to the doctor. We do have pictures but don't have access to a scanner anymore (it was at my work) so I can't post anything. I might resort to taking a picture of the picture because we got some really good shots of her. She has her hands in front of her face in one of them and she looks like she is praying.

Mike is beside himself. So am I. We couldn't be anymore happy, anymore blessed or anymore thankful for this little girl that is inside of me.

Thank you Jesus for this baby!

PS. Two of my most favorite people in the world are coming this weekend for a visit!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

2 days to go!

No, not election day, although that is very important--but Tuesday is the day we find out what the baby is! We can't wait. Seriously, it is all we can do to not call the doctor to see if we can move the appointment to tomorrow.

So far in my family there are 3 votes for girls and 1 for a boy. I don't know what my nephews think, although, I know they are excited because my nephew, Ben, asks Christy everyday if we have found out yet. Me, I have no clue....I really don't have a feeling either way. I just want to see that heart beating away!

Along with our excitement, there is some anxiety as well. This appointment is scheduled at the exact same time in my pregnancy when my water broke with the girls. It also happens to be at the same time of day and same day of the week. It's so interesting how you remember those details. Thankfully, my doctor and ultrasound tech have relocated so we will be going to a new building and a new office. That alone puts me at ease (somewhat).

We are so hopeful and so excited for Tuesday to get here, but would certainly appreciate your prayers.