Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fun With Family

Sunday we went to my parent's house for lunch. I thought I'd post a few pictures of our time together. I don't have pictures of everyone, but just so it's less confusing, here's how it is: I'm the second of five children. I have three brothers- Nathaniel, Ethan and Brandon & one sister-Chelsea. There are four grandbabies and one on the way.

My lovely mom, who is just as sweet-natured as she looks...

My little brother, Ethan, with Kathryn and my other brother, Brandon's daughter, Macy. He pulled babysitting duty for quite a while.

My oldest brother Nathaniel's lovely wife, Jenni, with their son Brody and our little Alex.

My dad (who loves babies) cuddling Alex while he sleeps.

The baby of the family, Chelsea, strikes a pose in the kitchen. She's nine years my junior, but old enough now that we have a blast together. (She's a senior in high school)

And Everyone Said...

ROLL TIDE!! Yes, college football season is in full swing. T-town (otherwise known as Tuscaloosa) is close enough that the excitement permeates everything and everyone. As the University of Alabama is our alma mater, we enjoy getting together with friends for fun, food and football (the football part is an acquired taste for me, the food part is not- this is unfortunate for my postpartum weight loss goals).

Enough rambling. My little sister (a rabid, albeit privately shrieking fan of the Crimson Tide) finally got to go to her first game in the stadium two weekends ago. Happily for her, it was a phenomenal game against Arkansas with lots of nail-biting and an eventual win in the last few moments. Chelsea is at heart a shy little creature, who would prefers to avoid strange places and people. I was curious as to how 92,000 strangers might affect her. Well, ever heard of crowd psychology? By the end of the game, she said she had screamed herself hoarse, had lost some hearing and had hugged people she'd never seen before :o) She testifies to moments of near tears, involuntary cheering, and heart-pounding adrenaline. I think she surprised herself, and she had a great time.

We humans do weird things when they mass together, don't they? Emotions are intensified, strengths and weaknesses alike are magnified, feelings of unity are produced among strangers.
It's just part of our makeup. Nathan and I began talking about this, and he brought up the largest crowd of all. Someday millions of redeemed humans will be worshipping our Savior in complete unity of heart and spirit. Well, perhaps I should say they already are- we'll just join in. Can you imagine the sensations, the emotions, the palpable excitement, Christ right there in front of our eyes? There's a good reason for glorification of the human body. I think in our present state, we'd probably have a heart attack (at least)! If an earthly crowd can build such excitement over a game of football, think of what a heavenly crowd will experience over an eternity with Christ!! And everyone will say... AMEN!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dreams DO come true!

Two asleep at the same time?! Ah, the sound of silence! :o)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fashion at Our House

Kathryn discovered my earmuffs today and thought they were just very cool! I'm sure the neighbors thought I was nuts as she traipsed around our front yard so adorned. Check her out...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Here are a few pictures I took of Alex tonight- almost 7 weeks old. This is also the first time I've caught a smile on camera! :o) Sorry the layout's so weird...





Friday, September 07, 2007

Here's two recipes since I skipped yesterday. The first is a wonderful new entree that I made for the first time this week. The recipe came from our friend, Lisa Messner, who is renowned for her great cooking at our church. I assume it could be broiled instead of grilled. The second is a fun recipe great for family nights around a Scrabble board or a chilly fall-time football party. I believe both came originally from Quick Cooking magazines.

p.s. I must say I'm dismayed at the lack of adventurous spirits in some of my friends. See previous comments on fudge recipes. ;o) OK, so it WAS a little weird, but where else can you get a low-fat, high-fiber candy?! Just think, you can skip your daily oatmeal and Citrucel...

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 slices of Swiss cheese
6 thin slices of deli ham
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs (I used Italian-flavored)

Flatten chicken to 1/4 in. thickness. Place a slice of cheese and ham on each breast within 1/4 in. of edges. Fold in half; secure with toothpicks. Brush with oil and roll in bread crumbs. Grill covered over medium-high heat for 15-18 minutes or until juices run clear.

S'more Drops

4 c. Golden Grahams
1 1/2 c. mini-marshmallows
1 c. (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1 T. butter
1/2 t. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine cereal and marshmallows; set aside. Place the chocolate chips, corn syrup & butter in a 1 qt. microwave-safe dish. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.
Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal mixture & mix well. Drop by Tbsp-fuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cool.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen
Tip: 1 box Golden Grahams and 1 bag marshmallows makes 2 batches with some left over...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Well, Labor Day IS the end of summer, right? So, maybe it is a little early to be thinking Christmas (although I've seen some stores already decorating- yuck!), but we're definitely looking forward to the cooler days here in Alabama. Here's a fun recipe that's especially nice on the holidays, although I've made it for parties. Actually, it tastes really good. And yes, I know it should be renamed, since everyone assumes the "surprise" is the RESULT of the main ingredient...

Surprise Chocolate Fudge
(from Light & Tasty)

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. baking cocoa
3/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 T. vanilla
7 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1 c. chopped walnuts

In a microwave-safe dish, mash beans with a fork until smooth; cover and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until heated through. Add cocoa, butter and vanilla. Mixture will be thick. Slowly stir in sugar. Add nuts. Press mixture into a 9-inch square pan coated with nonstick spray. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Yield: 3 1/2 lbs (81 pieces)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

When Nathan tasted this at a friend's house, he immediately renounced all other chicken casseroles! This is a must-try and a winner with all guests.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 8 oz. sour cream
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds, divided
2 pkgs. ritz crackers
3/4 c. melted butter

Cook chicken, shred. Preheat oven to 350. Coat 13 x 9 with cooking spray. Arrange chicken in dish. Sprinkle with pepper. Combine soup and 1/4 c. water in medium sauce pan; cook over med. heat 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until hot and bubbling. Remove from heat; gradually add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in sour cream and 1 1/2 Tbsp. seeds. Pour mixture evenly over chicken, spreading to cover. Combine crushed crackers, remaining poppy seeds and butter, mix. Sprinkle over soup mixture. Bake uncovered until sauce bubbles and chicken is heated through 20-30 mins.

*Charity's variation: Cook 1-2 whole chickens, use both dark and white meats. Reduced-fat cream of chicken soup. I only use about half that many poppy seeds. Whole wheat ritz crackers. Makes it very yummy!!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor of Love (of Cooking)

In commemoration of this Labor Day week (and because I haven't enough energy or time to come up with clever thoughts), I'm posting a recipe each day. Cooking is definitely a massive part of any homemaker's labors. Here goes:

Rice-Sausage Dip (showed up at my baby shower- very tasty!)
1 small box long grain and wild rice with seasonings
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb sausage

Prepare rice as directed on box. Brown sausage, drain well. Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 until bubbling well. Serve with choice of crackers. (Personally, I think it would be fine as a main dish, too.)