Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Don't tell my Crock Pot that I've been unfaithful...

I have a new love.

Have you ever seen these in your local grocery store? In my Harris Teeter, they are normally 1.99 a packet but the last few weeks they have been BOGO free. So, I was intrigued and picked up one.


This shrimp one was sooooo yummy!

So yummy that I decided to try another: Apple & Sage Pork Chops

No, it was not a fluke. This one was awesome too!

It seriously made boring pork chops like a gourmet meal! IN 35 MINUTES!

We're trying the Spanish Chicken skillet Thursday.

But no worries, Sunday is still Slow Cooking in the house. :-)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Newly single

Not the best title, but it caught your attention, didn't it? :-)

Well, technically we're MAKING a new single.

Grace Reigns Down is.

We were in the studio last week recording a brand new single for the band.

It should be ready to share reeeeeallllly soon.

But, if you just can't stand it and want to hear it, then come to Shout at 6:30pm Sunday night. :-)

[If you need details message me.]

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Slow Cooker Sunday: Cheesy Chicken

O.M.G. This was the richest, goo-iest, cheesiest chicken I have ever made.

In other words, it was good.

I would tweak it a bit, though, for next time (and oh, there will be a next time), so I just went ahead and gave you my directions on how I think it SHOULD be done.

6 boneless chicken breasts
2 packages of cream cheese
4 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cups of shredded chedder cheese

1. Mix 4 cans of cream of chicken with 2 blocks of cream cheese until smooth.
2. Pour half of the mixture in the bottom of the slow cooker.
3. Lay chicken breasts on the mixture.
4. Sprinkle chicken with any seasonings to taste. (I did salt, pepper, and a little Mrs. Dash.)
5. Cover with remaining half of mixture.
6. Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded cheese on top.
7. Cover and cook on low 6 hours.

Friday, September 16, 2011

If I knew how to "Pinterest"...

I haven't jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon yet. Not from lack of interest and intrigue, just lack of time. And it took Chad to tell me that it wasn't pronounced "Pin-interest." I'm just not there yet.

So, I am proud to say that I came up with this idea all on my own.
About 1 year ago.
And I'm just now getting around to doing it.
Since I was finally tired of looking at the Michaels bags on my floor....for a year.
(Hey- I never said that I was quick with creativity.)

Let me start by saying, "Do any of you moms have stacks and stacks of kids artwork that you just don't know what to do with?"

Me too.
I don't keep everything the kids bring home but I do try to save about 1-2 things a week from each kid. And, I really wanted a way to display some of this artwork in the house.

But I had run out of wallspace downstairs.

So, I decided to frame some of their art to hang upstairs in the hallway leading to the bonus room. I also wanted to include some pictures of the kids around the ages of when the artwork was created.

I ordered 6 black and white 5x7 pics of the kids together from Shutterfly and then bought 11x13 "floater" frames from Michaels. I only buy frames when I get the yellow "extra 25% off wall or tabletop frames" coupon in the Michaels Sunday or Wednesday ad. It comes pretty often now and made these 9.99 frames (which were also on sale that day one year ago) about $4.50 each. So, a pretty affordable project at about $35.00.

I couldn't decide on only 6 pieces of art so I doubled up and layered in half the frames and then used other art as mattes for the b/w pictures.

And here they are hung in the hallway...

Each "photo-less" frame has one piece of art from each kid. For example: The one below has

a "dot" painting from Jake under a ladybug made by Brooklyn.

So, I guess if you like this, you can put a pin in it.

Or however that works.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another Half Birthday!

Due to some technical difficulties, the cute video I have of Brooklyn presenting all her favorites will not be shown. Instead, I have sat down with my sweet eldest child and asked her to help me type out some of her favorites. Here they are typed out by the big 6 1/2 year old herself using her "fun spelling" method and not having any help from me.

Favorite food: mack and chees

Favorite drink: milk

Favorite color: pink

Favorite subjects at school: reses and math

Favorite song: icarly sons

Best friends: Mallory and Abby

Favorite clothes: drese

Favorite TV show: icarly

Favorite movie: taglt (this one probably needs some interpretation- Tangled)

Favorite indoor activity: ball

Favorite outdoor activity: ball

*Ok, here is where I have to interject and say that I think she got tired answering questions because "ball" is a cop out answer. She loves to watch TV, play on the computer, play on the Wii, play baby dolls, dress up, do puzzles, and cook indoors. Outside, she likes to jump on the trampoline, go swimming, fish, garden, and go to the beach.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Carolina Girls...the Best in the World! (Seriously)

Saturday, I had the chance to celebrate the birth of this awesome girl....
Pimped out the minivan....

And drank a little bit of wine (several different times).

Saturday, the Carolina Girls of Granville Towers East took on Yadkin Valley.

And boy, did we take it on!

100+ miles of laughing, singing, dancing, laughing, drinking, celebrating, reminiscing, laughing, and eating....and some more laughing....and then a little more drinking.

I would not have wanted to spend my Saturday any other way.

In case you forget who my Carolina Girls are, you can click here. :-)

But if you know just how special these chicks are to me, you can keep reading about our adventure.

The true meaning of the day stemmed from celebrating the 30th annniversary of the birth of the "baby" of the group, Loryn. Loryn's only requirement for her celebration was "togetherness." But Loryn also loves wine :-). So, we decided to combine the love of wine and our love of each other to do a 4 stop winery tour in Yadkin Valley.

We started at Hanover Park in Yadkinville.

We enjoyed a fabulous picnic lunch at a Carolina BLUE table. :-)

Our next stop was RagApple Lassie in Dobson.

Due to a gnat problem, we kept our stay short and sweet. But took a few pictures (of course!).

Next up was Stony Knoll Vineyards. Also in Dobson, but the location for a wedding so we had quite a short and sweet tasting in the facility's carport. A bit ghetto, yes, but fun nonetheless.

Finally, we made our way to Shelton Vineyards. The Mecca. The Homeland. A gorgeous spot for our final destination.

We went inside and did their tasting.

And took another picture.

We had about an hour between the tasting and our dinner reservations at the Harvest Grill, the restaurant on-site. We took advantage of the GORGEOUS weather and had an "appetizer picnic" outside at one of the picnic tables.

Then, at 6:30pm, we headed inside for dinner to celebrate the birthday girl one more time!

After a delicious dinner, we went back outside to enjoy birthday cake and squeeze a few more minutes of "togetherness" out of the day. With (almost) 9 kiddos among us, having 9 hours of undivided attention is quite a feat. But we did it. And enjoyed every.last.second.

And I also enjoyed the cups Jennifer brought for our picnic. Loved this!

Happy Birthday, Loryn!! Thank you for being born. And thank you for being part of the greatest thing that college gave to me.

Here's to many more hours of "togetherness!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Try it! You'll like it!

These days when I am running I find myself singing that Yo Gabba Gabba song, "Try it! You'll like it." What? You don't know that song. Then consider yourself very lucky. :-)

But, regardless, that's kinda been in my head lately because that's how I have started feeling about this whole running business.

I kinda like it.

More accurately, I kinda like the size 6 pants I wear now because of it.

I have seen such great changes in my health and body since I started running, so I am quite motivated to keep up this new hobby.

And I am really excited to say that I conquered this:

This past Saturday, I ran my first ever 5K. Ok, to be fair, I walked the first .1 mile because I had always started my routes with a power walk and then a run. I was afraid my legs wouldn't know what to do if I started running immediately. Chad made fun of me a bit, so I did just 3 minutes of walking and then ran the rest of the course. That was the longest distance I have run at one time up to this point. And it felt great when I finished!

Here we are before the race. The HP Central Drumline was playing, which is why Brooklyn is blocking her ears and Jake is completely disinterested in taking a pic.

And here I am coming into the Finish!

And for the sake of "When I get around to scrapbooking:"

Official race results say that I came in 64th place out of 239 runners.

I was 11th out of 36 females age 30-39.

Gun time was 34 minutes and 23 seconds.

Chip time was 33 minutes and 54 seconds.

It was a 11:05 mile pace.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Slow Cooker Sunday: Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I got caught up in watching some of the great 9/11 tributes on TV last night and didn't get around to posting this recipe. It made me realize just how blessed I truly am to be able to do simple things like crock pot meals with my family when so many are still grieving. I just thank God everyday for how lucky I am and just how wonderful and free this country truly is.

I am also home with a sick baby boy today so I have some time for some blogging. :-)

Last night's recipe came from the awesome Mama Carson, who found the recipe and posted it on my Facebook wall. I invite any of you to do the same. :-)

The recipe is here, but I tweaked it a bit as I indicated below.

And my picture does not do justice to just how yummy this meal truly was. I served these sliders with Bush's baked beans (not pictured).

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches


6-8 boneless chicken thighs (Using thighs was perfect. The meat was so juicy and super easy to pull apart.)

1 can of pineapple chunks, drained

1/2 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce

Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

*The recipe also called for one small onion, diced, but when Chad cut into our onion it looked a bit sketch so we chose to toss it and do without.


1. Place chicken in crock pot.

2. Place onions (if not nasty like mine) and drained pineapple chunks on top of chicken.

3. Cover everything with the 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce. (And if you are not using Sweet Baby Ray's you are truly missing out.)

4. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

5. Remove chicken, shred with two forks, and then add back to the crock pot to mix with the sauce. (Now, I did not see in the beginning of the recipe that the chicken needed to marinate about an hour like this to soak up all the sauce. We were hungry so it sat maybe 10 minutes and was still really good. But, I bet after an hour it would have been awesomely soaked and flavorful.)

6. Spoon chicken BBQ mixture on hawaiian sweet rolls and serve!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting Our Lake On

On Saturday, we had the great fortune of spending the day on High Rock Lake. Jake had wonderful one-on-one time with the grandparents back home, while Chad and I took Brooklyn and met up with friends.

It was Brooklyn's first time on a boat and actually it had probably been a decade or two since I had been on one. She quickly grew right comfortable.

Brooklyn was awesome in the water, and I was only a semi-nervous mama. :-) I made sure that Chad or I were always in the water with her [cropped him outta this pic below] and she kept that jacket on the whole day practically- in the boat or out. :-)

Thanks to Misty and Joe for sharing their friends (and their friends' lakehouse!) with us!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Slow Cooker Sunday: Creamy Chicken and Potatoes

So, because it's a holiday weekend I find it excusable that I forgot to post this last night, right? :-)

I'm not sure if you have heard of a group on Facebook called Crock Pot Girls. They have just a few 1.1 MILLION after about 2 weeks!! While I can silently congratulate myself for hopping on the crock pot train way before Facebook made it cool (hey- just like Glee), I am a bit close to slapping myself saying, "Why the heck didn't I start a "Slow Cooker Sunday" page?

But, I digress. And just to show I am a good sport, I decided to utilize this new resource and try one of their recipes.

The bad news? It actually kinda stunk. The good news? It actually kinda stunk.

But, I do see possibility and if you tweak the recipe a bit, you could actually have a great, filling meal.

Creamy Chicken and Potatoes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8-10 small new red potatoes
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
black pepper, to taste
poultry seasoning, to taste

1. Sprinkle poultry seasoning on chicken and lay in the crock pot. (This is where I would tweak and really add more seasonings. It was pretty bland with just the little bit of poultry seasoning.)
2. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken.
3. Mix the sour cream and cream of chicken soup and add a generous amount of black pepper.
4. Pour the mixture over the chicken and potatoes.
5. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
*Ok, here is where we must have had issues because I did 4.5 hours and the chicken was perfect but the potatoes were way under cooked. If you go longer, you will have cooked potatoes but tough chicken. I think instead of the small potatoes I would either do the teeny red potatoes in the store and do 5 hours or use bigger, fatter chicken breasts so I could cook everything longer. The flavor had potential but wasn't knock-your-socks-off.

So there you have it.

Maybe I will visit the Crock Pot Guys page next week. :-)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Trying it out

I downloaded the BlogPress app on my phone. Just trying it out so humor me. :-)

It's been one of those days...

Went to get oil changed.
Place near me closed so had to go out of my way.

Went to buy groceries.
Left my coupons in the car that Chad took to work.

Went to run.
It started raining.

It's just been one of the days.

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