Monday, December 13, 2010

A little Christmas fun

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Turkey report

I have been such a terrible blogger lately. Lately, I don't seem to have the time or desire to write but I'm going to push through this bloggy funk and hopefully, it'll get better!
Well I'm sure all 2 of you who still check my blog have been wondering about how my turkeys turned out, or not.
I decided to use the Reynolds cooking bags for the turkeys. For one of the turkeys, I made a compound butter with some liquid smoke, garlic powder and some other spices that I can't remember now. I rubbed the butter under the skin, which is something I won't soon forget. Not really gross, just weird.
One of the birds had a pop-up thermometer and I put a meat thermometer in the other. I put them in their bags and put them in the oven. I had read that the meat should be between 170 & 180 degrees. So since I have a fear of undercooked poultry, I let them cook until the thermometer read 180. Amazingly, when the meat thermometer registered 180, I checked the other turkey and the pop-up thing had popped too.
I can't believe I didn't take any pictures. They were brown and gorgeous!
After they rested, I let Steven taste a bite and his exact words were, "Girl, you hit a home run with that!"

We had plenty of turkey on Thanksgiving and everyone enjoyed it.
So overall, my first cooking the turkey experience went really well. Next time, I think I would cook it on the same day because there's nothing like turkey that has just been cooked.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No pressure....

I mentioned in my previous post about being a little stressed about Thanksgiving. So, I thought I'd share with you the source of my stress. Since Steven and I got married, our Thanksgiving tradition is to have lunch with his family and then either later that day or on Friday, we get together with my family for a couple of days. Now when I came into my husband's family, they had a pretty well established Thanksgiving routine, meaning this person always makes this and this person always makes that. So the first year of our marriage, when I asked what I could bring, the response was something like why don't you just bring a dessert. So over the past 5 years, I have taken my role as the dessert maker very seriously. I have done my best to make a variety because for some strange reason, not everyone loves pumpkin flavored desserts!
How un-thanksgiving!
Anyway, last week, Steven tells me that he is getting a free turkey from his bus driving job. He calls his brother to see if they have bought a turkey yet. He tells Steven that they haven't and then he asks Steven, "why don't y'all just cook the turkey?" And Steven says, "sure WE'LL do that."
Y'all...even though my sweet husband used the personal pronoun WE, it really means SHE!

OMW!!! I just went from being the dessert maker to the turkey cooker, HOLY COW!

And since the free turkey isn't big enough to feed everyone, I'll actually be cooking two.
I've been a little freaked out by this responsibility. I've called my mom, been reading all kinds of websites, talking to complete strangers and did y'all know that there are about a million different ways to cook a turkey? To brine or not to brine, baste every 30 minutes to don't open the oven at all, rub butter under the skin to don't put anything on the skin...blah..bla..gooble..gooble..gooble! The sweet little lady in Wally World told me (yes, I told you I asked complete strangers!)that she completely wraps the turkey in aluminum foil and cooks it all night! But did you know that the FDA doesn't recommend cooking turkeys at a low heat for long periods of time because of the possibility of bacterial growth?
You can see my dilemma, I've over educated myself on this!
So tomorrow, I'm going to go ahead and cook our two turkeys. I'm doing it early for 2 reasons, we have to be at the in-laws around 11am so if I waited til Thursday, I'd have to start cooking ridiculously early. Secondly, if I totally mess them up tomorrow, I have time for a do-over!!!

At this point, I don't think I'm going to ask for any of your advice. It would probably do more harm than good. If you think about it, say a little prayer for me. And I guess if things go really bad, we could always just show up with some packets of ketchup.

Hope you have a very blessed Thanksgiving!
Love Y'all!

Survival 101

Have you ever had one of those days when you think, "you can't make this stuff up!" I had one of those days last week. It was a typical school morning. Steven leaves around 6:30, so I get the kids ready for school. Usually, I let the little boys stay in their pj's but on this day, my plan was to go to Wally World after dropping Emma & Dougie off, so I had to get them dressed. Caleb was kind of grumpy about putting his shoes on, so I told him to bring them and we'd put them on when we got to the store. I couldn't find Asher's shoes, so I assumed they were in the van because that's where he takes them off.
So we left for school, we weren't running late and it was overall a pretty good morning. We drop off E &D and as we're pulling out of the school parking lot, I mention to Caleb that we're heading to W*l-M*rt, to which he says, "but I don't have my shoes on?" I tell him it's ok, we'll put them on when we get there to which he informs me, "I didn't bring them." Oh great. At this point I debated about going home(remember WM is 30 mins. from my house), but I really needed to go, so I told Caleb, "well at least you have socks on, you can just ride in the back of the buggy."
In the short ride between the school and the store, Caleb was begging me to stop at any & every place we passed that offered any kind of food. I think his exact words were, "puhleeeeze, Mommy, I'm starving to death!" Now realize that he had eaten a bowl of cereal before we left the house, so I knew that he wasn't actually starving.
When we finally got to the store, I went to put Asher's shoes on and you guessed it, they were not in the van. Once again, I debated on just going home but I was kind of stressed about what I needed to get in preparation for Thanksgiving (more on that later) so I opted to take my 2 boys and their socked feet to the store.
And of course, we saw several people we know, including a man from our church, who lives 30 mins. north of this store but was making a delivery. He just laughed and told me how his wife couldn't get their kids to wear their coats that morning.
So our shopping experience went smoothly and about half way home Caleb out of the blue says to me, "Don't worry about it, Mommy." When I ask him what he's talking about, he says, "I'm not hungry anymore." Oh, ok, why not? "Well, I ate some ketchup." WHAT? "Yeah, I found this little packet and I sucked the ketchup out of it."
And you know how I responded?

"You didn't spill any of it, did you?"

Love Y'all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Such talent....

Yesterday was a rainy, kind of cold day. So after taking Emma and Dougie to school, Caleb, Asher and I came home and just chilled. As you will see in the video, the boys pretty much stayed in their pj's and played all day. At one point, Caleb started playing with a 'carmonida' otherwise known as a harmonica. When Asher started showing us how well he could play it too, I just had to get it on video. He has quite a knack for playing the carmonida, I mean harmonica!

Untitled from Cheryl A on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This is embarassing.....

I can't believe it's mid-November and I'm just now posting pictures from Halloween.
Oh well!
Every year at Emma and Dougie's school, they have a big costume parade for the students and I mean from the Kindergartners all the way up to the high schoolers. Every year, students try to come up with the most clever costumes to win the contest. Dougie and his friend Cole were the cheese and evaluator from the Cheez-It commercial. Since all the 4th graders dress up, the competition was pretty tough and they didn't win.

Emma and 3 of her class mates dressed up like Ginger, Mary Ann, Gilligan and The Skipper! Since most of the 7th graders are too cool chose not to dress up, they won the competition for their age group. Although, I believe they would have won no matter what! They were too cute!

As you know, Halloween was on Sunday, so after our service, our church had a fall festival. The kids wore their costumes and played some games.
Here's Caleb, aka Buzz Light Year and some of his buddies.

And here's Asher, as a little boy in a UGA jersey. Great costume, don't you think? My plan was to have him wear a cute little skunk costume that Dougie wore when he was this age. But when I attempted to but the furry cap on his head a week before Halloween, he was having no part of it. And to be honest, since it was 80 degrees that day, I think he would have been a little hot in that! So I just put his jersey on him and called it a day! Lame, I know.

So that was our Halloween. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the kids together. Maybe next year!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Isaiah 55:8

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Please say a prayer for our family today.
Love y'all dearly!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cheerleading 2010

Emma has just wrapped up the 2010 football season. Here are some photos of her cheering.
This was their first pep-rally, or as Caleb says, pep-A-rally! Emma is a base for the middle group, she has her back to the camera.
This is one of my favorite pictures ever. About an hour before this game, we had a huge rain. But amazingly, the rain stopped about 15 minutes before gametime. So all the cheerleaders cheered in their rainboots! I wish I would have gotten a picture of the whole squad. It was too cute!
Don't be jealous of my awsome photography skills. But if you squint your eyes it doesn't look blurry at all!! This is a picture of the banner that Emma helped design. The opponent was the Crusaders and instead of using the typical "Crush the Crusaders", they came up with "Sack the 'Saders."

It was a great season and we look forward to many more to come!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

18 months!

So sorry I've been absent from the blog. For some reason, our home computer won't open my blog. I don't know what the deal is! I've deleted some things off my blog that I thought were causing the problem, but it still isn't working. I'm using Steven's laptop, so my pictures are limited. Anyway......

Last week, Asher turned 18 months.
Here's his stats:
Height- 30 3/4 in.
Weight- 23 lbs.
Head circumference- 19 in.

On October 8, 2010, you took your first steps, finally! You were standing at the toy box and were so excited to show Paps your toy, you took 2 steps toward him. I was sitting right behind you and Grandma was sitting on the couch, so we all got to see you take those steps. Since then, you've been taking some steps, but in typical Asher fashion, you are taking your time.

You have 10 teeth! Four on the top front, 3 on the bottom front and 3 chompers in the back.

Your speech is coming along slowly but surely. When we went for your check up, the Dr. asked if you were speaking 20-30 words, to which I answered no. But since then, Daddy and I have realized that you do know more words than I realized. You love music and love to sing. Some of your favorite songs that you try to sing are, Twinkle, twinkle; This is the Day; Bingo and you even sing the theme song to Sp*nge B*b! It comes out: bun-ba-bar-pan, the words aren't clear but you definitely have the tune and beat!

Your favorite thing to play with is any kind of ball! If you can pick it up and throw it, you will! Last night, you had Caleb's little Louisville Slugger bat and you took it over to the toy box and began whining and pointing in the box. I walked over to see what you wanted and you were pointing to a baseball. I handed you the ball and you were thrilled. You sat down with the bat and ball and began trying to hit the ball! But since you were sick (you've had a fever since yesterday), you decided to just lay down on the floor holding the bat in one hand and the ball in the other! So sweet.

This picture was taken after you took a nap in your carseat! Check out that hair! You have blonde hair and when you get hot, it gets so curly. I know it's time for your first haircut, I just know that once we cut those curls, they'll be gone forever!

I took this last night. Like I said, you've been running a fever since yesterday and last night you were feeling pretty bad. You finally fell asleep, so I laid you on the couch. You weren't sleeping very soundly and if you stirred, you would pat yourself on the chest. It was about the sweetest thing I've ever seen!

Asher Jordan, you are such a blessing to our family. Mommy, Daddy, Emma, Dougie and Caleb love you so much!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle

Asher's favorite song is Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
Here's a video of him singing the song. Unfortunately, you have to hear me too!

Twinkle, Twinkle from Cheryl A on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A 4th Birthday!

Well as the saying goes, better late than never!

On September 19th, our sweet, funny, adorable Caleb turned 4.

The statistics:
Height- ?
Weight- 36 lbs. You now weigh yourself everyday on Mommy & Daddy's new scale. The first time you did, you were so excited to tell me that it said you were 3 lbs. When I asked you to show me, I realized that it was flashing E, which was a relief because I was pretty sure I was going to have to return the scale if it said you only weighed 3 lbs.
We go next week for your 4 yr. check up and I'm praying that you don't have to get any shots. You can tend to be a little over dramatic lately. For example, the other day you cried for 30 minutes when I told you that we were out of frozen waffles. When I told you either eat some cereal or go back to bed, you gladly ate your favorite, Reese's "Pups". It always makes me smile to hear you say that.

You are a child of the 21st century. You love to play games on Mommy's phone, or on Emma's phone or on Dougie's ip*d. You've even made this statement before, "I need a cell phone."
Not long ago, I introduced the concept of the speed dial #'s on my phone. I had no idea what I was doing, because you now make calls & have conversations with family members without me even knowing that you have my phone! The other day, you called Grandma and Paps' house and talked with Paps. When he told you that Grandma wasn't there, you told him, "I'll just call her on her cell phone." Paps asked if you knew her number to which you answered, "yes, she's #4."

You have really started to enjoy playing ball. Football, baseball, basketball, it doesn't really matter. This summer, we spent many a mornings(before it got too hot!) out on the back patio playing baseball. Thanks to your big brother, Dougie, you've learned the concept of slow motion. So now, every time you make a catch or a hit, you'll say watch what I did in slow motion!

I know that there are so many more things I could share, almost everyday you do something "blog worthy." But I sometimes think, do I really want to stop what we're doing so I can put it on the blog or do I just want to enjoy the moment and savor it? Lately, I'm choosing the latter. These days are going so quickly and I don't want to miss anything!

Caleb, Daddy and I love you so much and we pray that you follow in the steps of your namesake and wholly follow the Lord.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Have you heard about this book? Have you read it? I can't remember exactly how I heard about it but I almost bought it for Steven for Father's Day. I ended up buying him something else. Then sometime this summer, he asked me if I'd heard about it. He said that several of his pastor friends were reading/recommending it and that he wanted to get a copy. So he picked up a copy and it took him a several weeks to read it. He doesn't read as fast as I do. I don't mean that in a negative way, Steven is just a v.e.r.y. deliberate reader. So he finished it and told me he wanted me to read it. By this time, I had found out about Marla and that she was going to start a book club through her blog to read this book and discuss it weekly. (The group can also be found on facebook, it's not too late to join our group!) I told him that I was definitely going to read it but that I was waiting until Sept. so I could be a part of this group.
So this post is supposed to cover Chapter One but to be honest, I've already read through Chap. 7. It's not that it's a "can't put this down" kind of book. Because honestly, at some points, you might actually want to throw it down! It's just that I've been so challenged by it that it spurs me on to keep reading. When I read a book like this, I like to underline and write thoughts in the margin. So for today's post I thought I would just share some of the things I underlined in Chapter 1. (In some instances I may not have underlined a complete sentence, so I'll share the page # also.)

....we have a choice. p. 3

You and I can choose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the church as a whole..... Or was can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed him and really obeyed him. p. 3

But if Jesus is who he said he is, and if his promises are as rewarding as the Bible claims they are, then we may discover that satisfaction in our lives and success in our church are not found in what our culture deems most important but in radical abandonment to Jesus. p. 3

....that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. p. 7

....making it clear from the start that if you follow him, you abandon everything-your needs, your desires, even your family. p. 10

....certainty for uncertainty, safety for danger, self preservation for self-denunciation.
p. 12

These statements convict me, challenge me, and inspire me. I want to know more, be more and do more!

If you've not read this book, let me encourage you to grab a copy and join us in this journey!

The first time I ever heard David Platt preach was in June 2009 at the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. He stood before the convention and asked this question-

"Are we going to die in our religion or are we going to die in our devotion?"

Some things to think about today.
Love you dearly!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Newest Food Stars!

Emma and Dougie have always loved helping out in the kitchen. A few weeks ago, Emma and I were talking about the duty joy of cooking supper. I shared with her that some friends of ours have each of their teenage children be responsible for one supper a week. Well, Emma thought that was a great idea and asked if we could do that, to which I responded, "SURE!"

So this past Saturday, we were doing basically nothing. I was napping in my our room and Emma came in and asked what we were having for supper. I think I mumbled something like, "I have no clue." and then rolled over. Then she asked if she and Dougie could cook something and again I mumbled, "sure."

After a few minutes (I think), they came back to tell me what they had chosen. They would be making Parmesan chicken, spaghetti and a fruit dessert. At this point, I realized that they were serious about this so I gave a quick lesson on cooking with chicken safety. They informed me that they had the chicken thawing and everything was under control. I went into the kitchen to make sure they had enough chicken for all of us. Once I heard them put the chicken in the oven, I peeked in to see how things were going. Emma was opening some packages of ramen noodles. When I asked why, she informed me that we didn't have any kind of spaghetti noodles or pasta, so they were going to use the ramen noodles without the seasoning. I thought that was pretty inventive! After that I was banned from the kitchen, which you can see from the sign on the door.
Within an hour, dinner was served!
Parmesan Chicken (that's a tomato on top. Notice the noodles!)
Garlic breadsticks!!!
They even went out in the yard and got some fresh flowers! So sweet!
Everything was so good! The chicken was cooked to perfection and tasted so good. Emma told us that the recipe called for italian bread crumbs but we had plain bread crumbs. So she just took some different spices and seasoned the bread crumbs. My girl is definitely not afraid to cook!
I forgot to take a picture of the dessert. We were all given a choice: blueberry, peach or strawberry. (Because that's what we had in the freezer.) They took your choice of fruit, put it in the blender with a little bit of sugar and blended it. They placed it in a bowl and put it back in the freezer. It was soooo yummy, light and refreshing!
It was a wonderful evening and I was so proud of Emma and Dougie. We will definitely be letting them cook dinner again, soon!
Here's the recipe for the Parmesan chicken:
4 chicken breast
4 tsp. Italian bread crumbs (not sure what spices Emma used)
1/2 c mayo
1/4 c parmesan cheese
Combine mayo and cheese and spread on chicken. Then sprinkle on bread crumbs. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Day of School 2010-2011

Emma and Dougie started back to school today. Emma is going into the 7th grade (I can't believe I just typed that!!) and Dougie is going into 4th. They were both a little nervous this morning. Emma was nervous about being in the "high school" hall. At our school, 7th -12th are on the same hall. Dougie was nervous about having the "meanest" teacher in the whole school! ; )

Dougie wasn't happy that I made him take a picture without his cap!
But Emma helped him turn his frown upside down!!
Hope you have a great day!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

St. Augustine 2010

Warning there will be A LOT of pictures!
We had a great time at the beach this year, as we do every year!
Asher loved bonding with my cousin's new husband, Jacob. Not sure if he was overwhelmed by the trip but we sure had fun getting to know him better!
The kids had a little too much fun riding in the raft....oops!
Hanging out on the beach.... Learning to boogie board..... Loving the boogie board........ Catching sea critters...... Eating snacks...... Sharing secrets....... Reading and relaxing.......Smiling........Family pictures........ Getting spoiled......... Loving.......
Surprise baby showering..............
Feeding sea gulls......
Running from sea gulls.......
Eating ice cream........
Eating sand................. Building sandcastles........Loving the water...on the LAST day......
Playing in the waves....... Eating....can you guess what? sleeping......... Entertaining........laughing.......
One last sunset........
And making memories that will last a lifetime!