November 30, 2012

Zoo! Ice Skating!

After church last Sunday, we headed straight to the zoo! It turned out to be the most PERFECT day ever. The weather was beautiful, and oddly enough, hardly anyone was there. We were shocked, but it felt like we had the zoo to ourselves! The greatest part of the day was probably watching Macey and Greg ice skate.

As expected, once Macey got some confidence, she turned into daredevil mode! She wanted to do it all by her "big self," as she puts it.

This little monkey kept running up to "talk" to the kids.

Let's go skate!

Easton just hung out on the sidelines with Pop!


Thanks, Easton. :-)

Notice Easton over on the left, hahaha.

November 27, 2012


Today, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I'm encouraging you to honor all the things you're thankful for by giving back!

I would love it if you celebrated #givingtuesday by donation to the National Foundation for Transplants. Any gift--big or small-can truly make a difference in the life of a transplant patient.

I have worked at NFT for a little more than four years now, and every day I learn about a new transplant patient in need. It's heartbreaking to see so many facing terrible, life-threatening illnesses, but it's also heartwarming to see people come together and raise funds for a friend or family member in need.

November 20, 2012

YUM--Creamy Crockpot Italian Chicken

Yum, yum, yum!

So, I made this for dinner:

Can you see the steam? Piping hot yumminess!
I came across this recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything's awesome website, and I was so excited to try it out. Oh her site, she said that everyone probably has this recipe, but it was new to me! Not only is it delicious, but it's super easy. Plus it kind of looks fancy, and who doesn't love fancy?

  • 4 thawed chicken breasts 
  • 1 packet of Zesty Italian Dressing dry mix (Didn't even know this existed. Seriously.)
  • 1 package (8 oz.) of cream cheese
  • 1-2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup (I made my own; recipe below.)
Put the chicken in the crock pot and sprinkle the Italian dressing mix on top. Combine the cream cheese and cream of chicken soup on low heat, then pour over chicken. Cook on low for at least 4 hours in the crock pot and voila! I let mine cook all day, and the chicken was so tender it just tore apart, which made it even easier to serve and eat. Serve the deliciousness over pasta. My personal favorite is whole grain angel hair pasta, but to each his own!

Now, about the condensed cream of chicken soup. I'm probably one of the pickiest grown ups you'll ever meet. I can't help it, but some things just don't taste good. Like olives for example. People who like those are lying. Anyway, I digress.

You know how when you buy cans of condensed cream of chicken soup it has those chunks of chicken in them? They always gross me out a little. Luckily, my friend at work (and her husband) are equally picky, so we share recipes and tips all the time! She told me they started making their cream of chicken soup from scratch for the same reason. I searched and Googled various versions, then came up with my own based on the different concoctions.

Ingredients for Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) of chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • A dash of paprika (No clue what a dash is. Good luck with that.)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of flour
In saucepan, bring broth and 1/2 cup of milk to a boil, then add in the seasonings. Stir and let them boil for a couple minutes. 

In a bowl, whisk together remaining milk and flour until it gets "gloopy" and thick. Pour that mixture into the saucepan and whisk away until it reaches the consistency you prefer!


November 12, 2012

She is Her Father's Daughter...

Last night Macey was in her room, and we hear this, "Mommy, come here! I want you to smell something. It's gross."

She is her father's daughter because he can't taste something nasty or smell something disgusting without wanting SOMEONE to do it, too.

Not exactly sure what she wanted me to smell, but I'm positive I didn't want to smell it...

November 9, 2012

Book Review: Love Finds You at Home for Christmas

While on a weekend road trip last month, I read Love Finds You at Home for Christmas--a two-part book series full of Christmas warmth and goodness.

If the fact that I started and finished the book while on a road trip with my two young kids tells you anything, I really liked it!

Sweet Southern Christmas by Annalisa Daughety, the first book in the series, tells a Christmas tale of years gone by. This story takes place in a small Arkansas town during World War II. Daughety truly painted the perfect picture Ruby, of a small town farm girl who wanted nothing more than to do her part for her country during a tumultuous time. And, like any good Southern girl, she accidentally finds a Prince Charming at the same time.

Ruby is dead set on doing anything BUT finding love, and it's exciting to watch a friendship blossom between her and Cliff, who by all accounts seems like the epitome of perfection to every other girl he meets. (Even I--a human--had a little crush on Cliff--the book character.) But Ruby was determined to make her own way, she'd been in love before and it cost her.

It was interesting how Daughety was able to weave in interesting tidbits of history while telling this heartwarming story of two friends who just might want to be something more. There were moments where I felt as if I was going to work in the Arkansas Ordinance Plant doing my part to help the boys fighting overseas. I wanted to be there and see it with my own eyes.

To make the story even sweeter, Daughety fits together pieces of Ruby and Cliff's love story by taking cues from her own grandparents, who met in Arkansas during World War II and lived happily ever after.

In Small Town Christmas by Gwen Ford Faulkenberry, we have a modern tale for the ages. Girl meets fledgling rock star and falls in love, leaving behind her nerdy best friend (who happens to be a boy who is completely in love with said girl), gets married, gets cheated on and comes back home to her hometown as a divorcee.

Somewhere over the years of being married to a musician, Sophie lost her way. When she comes back to the small town where she grew up, things are different. Her father has passed away, and Sophie simply doesn't know where to start until she begins a new venture opening a restaurant.

Over the years, Jon, the former nerdy best friend, has made a name for himself as an author. Despite the accolades, fame is not his motive, and he prefers to stay out of the limelight. When Jon and Sophie reconnect, they find familiarity, comfort and friendship in spite of the years spent apart.

Jon is easy to root for because, really, who doesn't love the nerd? It's nice to find Sophie take charge of a terrible situation and tackle things by creating a fresh start rather than running way.

Faulkenberry's characters are likeable and timeless--just about any girl can relate to falling for the bad boy and getting a rude awakening when it's all said and done.

Overall, this series really flowed well together and had an interesting twist to connect the two worlds.

November 7, 2012

Funny Words (Update)

In this post a while back I wrote about funny words the kids say, and I can't believe I forgot two of my favorites!

Macey almost always uses a D for an F, which means she says "dingers" instead of "fingers." It's adorable. Seriously, say it out loud as in, "Mommy, will you paint my dingers." I bet you're laughing a little.

She also says "a libble dit" instead of "a little bit." She says her Ts and Bs just fine, but that phrase always trips her up for some reason. It's even funnier because I think she can tell she's saying it wrong, but she can't quite figure out how to get it out right. I love it every single time!


(I know this is late.)

Trick-or-treat! Halloween was a blast this year! This is the year that Macey really understood that she could just walk up to doors and get candy, candy and more candy. And it was awesome. We had some friends over for snacks, then we all headed out around the neighborhood.

I don't know about your trick or treating group, but we had the cutest cowgirl, pirate, Captain America, bumblebee and rock star I've ever seen!

Granna and her favorite little pirate!
Our awesome group! Isn't Kristi the best Little Red Riding Hood?!

Macey girl got her face painted at school for their Halloween party!


Today I had lunch with my mom, aunt and cousin, who lives out of town. She politely reminded me that my blog needed updating (Hi Joanna!) :-)

Here are some pictures from the first Memphis Tigers game of the season. It was an exhibition game, so it was the perfect time to bring the kiddos and see how they might fare at games this season. Overall, they did great and had a blast! However, they probably won't be tagging along to big games because after the first half, they were over it. Even though we didn't make it through the entire game, it was fun to catch up with all our buddies who have season tickets near us!

Macey took this! I was impressed.
Chatting with her buddy Avery.

Popcorn makes Macey happy, happy, happy!