Thursday, January 6, 2011


Okay, so my pictures are uploaded backwards. But here is my Christmas post...finally! Here is Rudy enjoying the Christmas tissue paper. He sat in the middle of us unwrapping gifts in awe...and when we were done, he had a ball tearing the tissue paper to shreds.
Here's the Christmas mess. And we actually tried to put most of the trash in a big box as we went. My daddy used to pick up the paper and throw it in the fire place in the middle of our gift opening. It's a wonder he never threw any gifts in there by mistake too!
Ah, here's our Christmas "before" pic. We never put gifts under the tree. Santa brings them all Christmas Eve night when we are sleeping. I just wish I could have been there to hear Paige when she first saw the gifts under the tree...but she got up at 5 am to peek, then laid in bed til 7 before the rest of us got up to open them.

Another view of the tree and gifts. My mama always used a code instead of names so we couldn't compare (or open) our gifts ahead of time. I use a code too. This year's code was a numerical one...and it bit me in the butt because I miscoded a couple, lol. Paige opened one of Jake's by mistake. She was wondering why she got a knife from Santa!

And here are my very favorite gifts....

And yes, those are underwear....everybody gets underwear, socks and pjs for Christmas. But no, Paige did not get a clothes basket, she was just using it to carry her stuff to her room. And if you are wondering like I was...that is a hat on Paige's head. (courtesy of her brother) My baby girl is not wearing a doo rag on Christmas morning.

We had a wonderful Christmas (other than being sick). We ate too much and got way more presents than any of us deserved. Paige's favorite gift seems to be her laptop, Jake's is definitely his Xbox, Frank's seems to be a UGA golf bag, and mine is my Kitchen Aid mixer...or maybe that is all of our favorites! I hope you all had a blessed Christmas as well!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

We started celebrating Christmas a couple of weeks ago. My sister and her family came to have Christmas with us. We had the big traditional country Christmas meal then. And it was good! But I knew I didn't want to do that again soon!

Last night, our pastor's family, our youth pastor's family, and our servant leaders/SS teachers came over for barbecue and the fixings. And once again, it was good! (I had every intention of taking pics of both of these events for my blog, but forgot!) After dinner, Frank took the kids for a ride on the mule to look at the neighborhood Christmas lights. We had a wonderful time, and hopefully were able to let these families know how much they mean to us.

Tomorrow night, our best friends are coming for a lasagna dinner. We don't get to see them nearly enough, and I am very excited about spending some time with them...I won't promise pics because we know how that goes.

Our Christmas Eve and Christmas plans are pretty laid back. We will probably go see a movie. We are going to have a nice hearty breakfast Christmas morning, but I'm hoping we can survive on leftovers and Christmas goodies for the most part. (I don't want to cook anymore!)

We will be heading south the day after Christmas to spend some time with Frank's parents and then on to my family in Florida for a few days.

I'm so excited about Christmas morning. My love language is gifts, so I am anxious to see what I get, but most of all, I can't wait to see the kids' faces when they open their gifts (and Frank's!). When I say my love language is gifts, I know people assume it's all about what I get, but it truly is more about giving gifts to me. I love to see everyone else so excited!

And of course, the greatest gift of all is the gift Christians were given...the gift of Jesus. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SHHHH! It's very, very quiet!

Frank and the kids are in Alabama for the weekend.

School is OUT!

The house is very, very quiet, with only the sound of the dogs snoring.

What is a girl to do?

Well, Friday after work, Sharon and I went to Macon to do a little more shopping.
We had sushi at Taki, and it was Soooooooo Good!
We were yawning as we finally headed 7:30!
Saturday morning I went to the Jewell Box in Jewell, GA for a high tea with the ladies at much church. It sure made me miss Tara's!
Saturday afternoon I went to Walmart for even more shopping.
I came home and wrapped gifts...this year I've been wrapping along the way so that I don't get swapped with wrapping on Christmas Eve like I usually do!
Sunday morning we had a Happy Birthday Jesus party with our 4 and 5 year olds in Sunday School. That was a lot of fun with those sweeties!
I have a little more wrapping to do today, and a lot of cleaning. But right now, I think Food Network needs me to do some watching and I may need to rest my eyes on the couch a little while.

My family will be coming home tomorrow...I have to be rested up and ready to bake cookies!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Taco Soup

Since I had a request, here's my Mama's recipe for Taco Soup. She always made this on Christmas Eve along with ham and cheese poppy seed sandwiches. I was supposed to make this yesterday when my sister was here, but we had so many leftovers from our big Christmas dinner that I saved it for tonight. And since it is soooo cold, that was a good choice.

Original Recipe:
Taco Soup
2lbs ground beef
2 cups chopped onion
2 tbs cooking oil
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
4 16oz cans of tomatoes
1 15oz can of kidney beans
1 15oz can of pinto beans
1 16oz can of whole kernel corn
1 4oz can of chopped green chiles
1/2 tsp of salt
Saute onions in oil. Add ground beef and continue stirring until browned. Add seasonings and then all other ingredients (undrained). After mixture begins cooking, simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally. Serve with doritos, grated cheese, and sour cream. Makes a gallon so use a large pot.
I did a little tweaking to the recipe. I only used 1 lb of lean ground beef to cut calories. I did not use any oil. I just browned my ground beef and onions together. I used 2 big (24oz I think) cans of petite diced tomatoes because I don't like hunks of tomato in my soup. I used more beans than the original recipe to replace the other pound of ground beef. (It's an easy way to make it more healthy without the people in my house realizing what I'm doing.) I also used two packs of ranch and taco seasoning because I like things heavily flavored.
This is one of my very favorite soups. I HATE canned soups, and can be pretty picky about soups in general. As much as I would like to load it up with sour cream, cheese, and doritos, I simply ate my bowl with a little Texas Pete and some non-fat plain yogurt that I try to convince myself tastes just like sour cream. And I lusted after my family's bowls. No, not really, I actually went ahead and packed up a bowl to take to school tomorrow. My students will flip when they see me eat something other than a frozen meal, lol.
I also made the dough for Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls tonight. I'm not so sure of it. I put the yeast in when my liquid was too hot. It was much hotter than I thought it was, and I am very impatient. It didn't rise like I thought it should, so I did a little research online and decided to add another packet of yeast to it. It did finally rise a little. The dough is in the fridge now, and I will attempt to make the cinnamon rolls tomorrow. If they turn out, they will be Christmas presents. If they don't turn out, I will be making a trip to the grocery store for some Pillsbury Grands.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


We had a fabulous Thanksgiving. We left Wednesday morning to go to the Florida panhandle to visit with my daddy's sister and her family. As soon as we got there we started eating and ate the whole time! My aunt is a phenomenal cook and her cooking is just like my granny's was. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and sausages Wednesday night, and we got into some of our Thanksgiving desserts a little early. When we got to my aunt's house, her daughter and her grandson were cooking together, and it was so sweet! They had made magic cookie bars which I loved when I was a little girl, and they are still fantastic! We spent the night at my cousin's house because another aunt and her family were coming in and they were going to sleep at my aunt's house. When I got up Thursday morning my aunt already had her stove full of Thanksgiving goodies. You can not imagine how much food we had. We filled the dining table with the real food, and filled the kitchen counters with the desserts. You couldn't put another plate down anywhere! And it was so good, I mean, SO GOOD. We ate and visited, and ate and visited, and ate and visited some more! We had at least 30 people there, and it felt so good to be with family. Friday we went to visit my daddy's best friend. They seemed so happy to see us. He was sitting in his recliner watching tv when we got there and he reminded me so much of my daddy. We had just eaten breakfast when we went over there, and they insisted we eat some dessert with them. When we got back to my aunts we ate bbq and leftovers. (I told you we ate the whole weekend!) Saturday morning we left after breakfast to go to Callaway to spend time with Frank's best friend. I hated to leave my family because I enjoyed being with them so much. They want us to come back for Christmas, but we think we are going to wait until the day after Christmas to go back and spend the week between Christmas and New Year's with them. We went to see the lights at Callaway, and visited in the hotel room with Heath and Andrea. And yes, we ate a bunch with them too. We took a long, lazy route home and enjoyed some fall foliage and lots of old houses along the way. Since we got home, Frank has been writing a paper, and I've been catching up on laundry. Tomorrow it is back to work...but only for 3 weeks!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Super Saturday

So, I survived the shopping! Yay! I actually had a good time. Sharon and I left about 9 and went straight to Kohl's. The sale wasn't as good as I was hoping, but I did find Paige a lil something and Frank some things. Then we dropped into the Goodwill store to waste a few minutes until Taki opened. We had some fabulous sushi at Taki, then we headed across town to Ulta. I love Ulta. There I bought the only thing I bought for myself today...some make up primer. I can't survive without primer and am always looking for the ultimate one. This time I'm trying the Olay kind. Yea, I am that old. Then we went to Bass Pro because Frank needed some wood chips for the turkey he is smoking and apparently was unable to drive across the street to Walmart by himself. Men! But the joke's on him because we had the best time at the Bass Pro! Sharon did not know that they have women's clothes at Bass Pro and she bought as much there as she did at Kohl's, lol. And I may or may not have gotten a few Christmas presents there myself. After all the excitement of Bass Pro, we were pretty whipped, and headed back to Milledgeville. I am attempting a 12 layer chocolate cake for tomorrow night's Thanksgiving dinner. Please pray for me. I baked 4 layers tonight using two cake mixes and a yummy recipe from the cake mix dr. I am a firm believe in the cake mix dr. This recipe is a white cake mix, 1 cup of whole milk, 3 eggs, 1 stick of melted butter, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. The batter whips up really thick. I baked the layers tonight and will split them tomorrow using my handy dandy Wilton's cake leveler. It is awesome! I plan to make 3 layers from each layer and I am going to ice them with homemade chocolate pan favorite! If this turns out well, I will look like quite the baker. If it doesn't, I will be picking up some Paula Deen caramel pecan pies from the Wally World!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shop til I Drop?

Tomorrow I am doing something I never, EVER do. I am going shopping with a friend, without Paige, for Christmas gifts in a real store . I always do most of my Christmas shopping online. And if I do go real shopping, I take Paige with me. It gets even weirder though...I have no idea what I'm shopping for. I always have an idea of what I'm looking for when I do actually venture into a real store. I make lists, lots of lists, of what to get everyone on my Christmas list. And the reason I make multiple lists is because I usually lose the lists. But tomorrow is a new day for me. I'm going to go to Macon, to real stores, with no real ideas, and just look around and see if I can actually purchase Christmas gifts. I may not make a lot of progress on my Christmas shopping, but I know I will enjoy some girl-friend time, and I am hoping to get a good lunch out of it. I just hope Paige isn't forever scarred by me going without her. And vice versa.