Monday, October 31, 2011

Slow Cooker Sunday: BBQ Apple Chicken

Another yummy and healthy slow cooker meal for us last night!

BBQ Apple Chicken
1 package (about 6-8 Pieces) Chicken Thighs, Bone In
1-½ cup Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
1 cup Barbecue Sauce
1 Tablespoon Dried Mustard (did not have so I used regular mustard)
1 pinch of spices (to taste- I sprinkled some "Perfect Pinch" seasoning.)

1. Lay the chicken on the bottom of the crockpot, skin side up.
2. Pour enough apple juice to come just below covering the chicken.
3. Add the bbq sauce, dried mustard, and whatever spices you want depending on your taste preference. Rosemary, thyme and oregano all work well. Some of the blended spices are nice also. Experiment.
4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and be certain to pull out the bones and skin.

A little pre-Halloween fun!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A little tricking but mostly some treating...

Jake's school celebrated Halloween on Friday. Just another excuse for sweets in the afternoon. :-)

His teacher was kind enough to text us a pic of them getting ready to trick or treat around to all the classrooms. Such cuties!

This was only the beginning of all our celebrations for the weekend....more birthday and Halloween to follow soon!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jake's Big Day!

My sweet baby turned 2 on Wednesday. He celebrated with his friends at school...and an oral steriod.

Nothing like ringing in your second year with croup!Saying the blessing before birthday snack.

I could just eat up this sweet face.

After school, we ate dinner as a small family and then had all the grandparents over for cake and presents.
Jake was not shy about opening his gift bags.

And he did a great job blowing out his two candles on his "dirf-bay cake."

Happy birthday, Jake! You have blessed our lives more than you will ever know. We love you so much and love all the smiles and laughter you bring into our house everyday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy "Dirf-Bay," Jake!

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

He doesn't seem to be fazed...

...that he's turning TWO tomorrow.

Here is our wild man in some of his more "relaxed" moments. :-)

Turning two may not be a big deal to him, but this momma is in disbelief!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's that time of year...

It's the time of year where I dress my family up in coordinating outfits and make, er...coerce, um....bribe, ok.....ask my family to take some pictures for and with me.

I am all about supporting my friends from high school who are starting their photography businesses. :-) Molly Cook, Jennifer Rickard, and now, Elizabeth LeConey, are all Ragsdale Alumns who I would definitely recommend taking your precious family's pictures.

Elizabeth just started her business a few weeks ago, and I jumped on the chance to meet with her while she was home visiting her family.

We spent an hour at the Arboretum and did a lot of this...

But occasionally, we did convince Jake to sit for a second.

Thanks, Elizabeth! Good luck with your business, and thanks for a fun Sunday afternoon!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch!

This evening was our family's annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch. The kids were so cute, and I managed to snap a few good pics in between telling Jake that pumpkins were NOT softballs to be thrown.

Hey- whaddaya know...we were there, too! :-)

Carrying their treasurers to the carIt's so awesome to see how much the kids grow from year to year. I love this 20 minute annual family tradition!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken Divan

Tonight's dinner was a gem that I found on the Crock Pot Guys Facebook Page. I seriously have not been this excited about a meal in a few weeks, but this one is now a new favorite.

Chicken Divan

4 chicken breasts
4 cups broccoli florettes
1/2 cup mayo
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste for chicken
1 cup of bread crumbs
2 Tbl spoons olive oil
1 Tbl spoon worcheshire
1 Tbl spoon Garlic
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Pour 4 cups of broccoli florettes into the crock pot. (I used frozen that I defrosted in the microwave but next time I would use fresh because the frozen left a little too much liquid in the bottom of the crock pot.)
2. Cut the thawed fresh chicken into bite sized cubes 1-2 inch cubes.
3. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet over med. heat.
4. Cook the garlic (I used fresh cloves) with the Worcestershire for about 1 min only.
5. Add the chicken and lightly brown it, stirring with a spatula 1-2 mins. max. (Just a very quick searing.)
6. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the cut up chicken and evenly place it in the pot, covering all of the broccoli.
7. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, soup, and lemon juice (didn't have any lemon juice in the house so I just left this out and I don't think it affected the taste at all), and then evenly pour this mixture into the pot.
8. Evenly pour the breadcrumbs into the pot and then the cheese to cover it all.
9. Cover and cook 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's why I do what I do...

When you think of the Girl Scouts you generally think of three "C's."

Cookies, Camping, and Crafts, right?

I want you all to do me a favor, though, and indulge me while I introduce you to the other three "C's" of Girl Scouting.

Courage, Confidence, and Character.

I've been a Girl Scout for almost 20 years- 8 years as a professional.

I can tell you all day long why your daughter, niece, friend, neighbor, etc. should be a Girl Scout or why you should volunteer.

I kinda need to be able to because it's kinda my job.

I have heard more stories about how Girl Scouting has changed lives in girls 6 to 66. I have seen at-risk girls from the poorest neighborhoods get so excited about wearing the uniform and selling cookies at a cookie booth. All of them gaining the "courage, confidence, and character" to make this world a better place for everyone.

But last Saturday, I got to see Girl Scouts closer than I have ever seen it before.

I saw it in this little girl.

Last Saturday, Brooklyn and her Daisy troop participated in their first "day of camp" at their local Camporee- a camping weekend with multiple troops all from generally the same area.

We took Brooklyn's troop of 13 1st graders for the day- 8am to 5pm. And boy, was it a day!

In addition to tie dying bandanas (pic above), the girls went on numerous hikes (my pedometer says over 5 miles!).

They proudly wore their Daisy t-shirts!

And they did "Buddy Checks."

They did "low ROPES" (which don't really involve ropes and are more like "team building" exercises).

And because it pays to know people (ha!), we got a special tour of the Circle C Ranch and met Merlin, our retired horse.

This is where the day took the turn. Up until now, things were pretty normal....nothing out of the ordinary- nothing extreme. But, Brooklyn has never been this close to a horse before and when Charlotte asked who wanted to brush and pet the horse, LO AND BEHOLD, Brooklyn and Kate were one of the first buddy groups to jump in line! I was so proud of Brooklyn and she showed such confidence as she worked with Merlin.

From the horses, we went to tae kwon do. Again, nothing crazy. It started off like a regular PE class. A little stretching. A little jumping and running. And some (half hearted) punching (and no "hiya-ing") from Brooklyn.

But then the dude brought out boards.
For these girls.
Did I mention they were 1st graders?
That's 6-7 years old.
To break.
With their HANDS.
Brooklyn turned back to me and mouthed, "I do NOT want to do that."
And I mouthed back, "You do NOT have to do that."

I crossed my fingers and half covered my eyes when Daisy #1 jumped up to break her board. I said a silent prayer that (1) she would be Ok, and (2) we have a permission slip signed for this.

Board broken.
Daisy #2 up.
Board broken.
Daisy #3 up.

You get the idea.
The girls were jumping up and breaking these boards left and right. It was incredible!

Then it was Brooklyn's turn.

She didn't even look back at me!!
That girl just hopped up there and split that board like it was her job!

I was so proud of her, but more importantly, she was so proud of herself!!!
Oh my, I could have cried right there.

Except that the instructor looked at us adults and said, "Ok, your turn."


ha! But you know what?


It was awesome!
It's feels pretty good at thirty-something to say that I went to Girl Scout camp and "tried something new."

Where else can you do all that and more?

It's why I do what I do.
And I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

Because what other job brings smiles like this?

[But could someone please remind me next time I am attending a life-changing event to charge the batteries on my nice camera?]


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