Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gig 'Em Ags!

Tomorrow is our annual Aggie Bonfire at High Meadow. It happens each year on the driving range and is lots of fun. This year will be the eighth year. I took the kids up there today to get a few pictures.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The New Leaf

I am really trying to turn over that new leaf--turns out it's pretty heavy. Here's my progress so far...

I have started Weight Watchers and exercising. Exercise has never been something I've enjoyed. I'm really not sure why, but growing up, I hated it. Now, I am starting to look forward to getting on the treadmill and listening to the IPOD. It turns out that I actually enjoy it, and I feel so much better after. Maybe it's the peace of doing something just for me. Whatever it is, I hope it continues.

So, to keep myself accountable, I will keep you updated on my progress.

Here is my "before" picture... I'm the fat one on the right. :)

The skinny girl on the left is my sister. Love you and miss you Laura!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nonnie's Chicken 'N' Dumplings

Select fat hen (disjoint or leave whole), cover with water, add salt and pepper, cover, and cook slowly until hen is tender (2 or 3 hours or more depending on size of hen).

-Or if you're like me, just use skinless, boneless breasts.

Remove chicken from stock. You should have around 2 quarts liquid to cook dumplings in.


-They're actually more like noodles.

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 level T. shortening or chicken fat from stock
1 egg

Stir flour with baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening or chicken fat. Make indentation in flour, add 1 egg and with fork mix enough milk to make stiff dough, gradually picking up flour until dough follows fork around. Roll very thin on floured board, cut in 1 inch squares, place on cookie sheet in layers dusted with flour. In most cases, the flour dusted on dumplings makes the stock the desired thickness when the dumplings are added. Drop the dumplings (2 or 3 at a time) in rapidly boiling stock, being careful not to stick 2 together. By the time you have finished dropping the dumplings in stock, they are ready to serve. Cook until dumplings resemble cooked noodles, 5 minutes or less. When dumplings begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and serve, either strained, with dumplings piled on cooked chicken-the gravy separate or together.

-Nonnie says if it doesn't thicken enough to make a paste with flour and water to thicken.

Nonnie with two of her seven great grandchildren. Most of my memories of growing up include eating something yummy at her house. Too bad I didn't inherit the cooking gene.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Comfort Food

Jake and I made Nonnie's Chicken and Dumplin's today. I had never made them before, but they've always been a special treat that Nonnie would make for me (at least it seemed like she made it just for me). After 3 separate calls to Nonnie for instructions, I finally got them done. They turned out pretty well, but nothing ever tastes as good as when she made it. Her recipe is actually not really dumplings but homemade noodles, since you have to roll the dough out, cut it into small squares, and then drop them into the boiling chicken stock 2-3 at a time. Good thing Jake was willing to stand there and drop them in for me.

For those of you who know me, you know that it is not normal for me to be so domestic. I guess it's because I have an assignment due tomorrow, and I would rather do just about anything (even cook) than do my school work.

Here is Jake after the neighbor girls fixed his hair. Thank goodness it is finally growing out from the horrible hair cut he got a couple of months ago.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Center of the Solar System

On Thursday, we had the privlege of watching Josie in her 2nd grade play. It was called "Spaced Out" and she played the sun. She and a friend sang a sun duet. We're proud of our bright and shining star! Here are a few pictures.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Count Your Blessings

I've always loved that song..."count your blessings; name them one by one..." I wonder how often we really actually sit and think about how blessed we really are. Right now I am sitting on my very comfortable couch, watching my very large TV (well, okay, it is actually Cody's TV, but he let's me watch too). I am typing on my laptop while the air conditioner hums in the background. My two beautiful children are asleep in their beds upstairs. Everyone had plenty to eat tonight; we are all healthy. I could go on and on!

Today, Trey Morgan's blog really made me think about my family's many blessings. I honestly cannot imagine living in a dump as the people he wrote about in Honduras. I also cannot imagine living the way so many people do. I see children every day who live in very sad conditions. The best meal they have is the one they get at school.

You may be reading thinking, "Okay what's your point?" Give--give your time; give your talents; give your prayers. Give thanks!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turning over a new leaf...

Tomorrow, I am going to my first Weight Watcher's meeting. I am not really too excited about the thought of watching everything I eat, but I am excited about getting my eating habits under control. I know this it is not healthy to drink as many diet cokes as I do, and I am sort of thinking eating icing slathered on saltines is probably not a good idea. I am a sugar junky--anything chocolate sounds good, and I can't stop at just one. I know that I now weigh more than I did when I was 9-months pregnant with Jake. That can't be good!

SO... I have decided to take charge. No more sweets (except on special occasions). I will walk on the treadmill or in the neighborhood at least 3 times a week!

Can you tell I am giving myself a pep talk? Anyone who wants to add to the pep, PLEASE leave an encouraging comment! Let me know what has worked for you (or what hasn't worked). Help me hold myself accountable!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Day After the Election

I received this email yesterday, and thought it was worth posting. In light of current events, it really it home for me.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be the King.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one bit.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order - (1) the Kingdom of God, (2) America; not vice-versa.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the cross, not the government, will still be our salvation.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our children will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, "Jesus Is Lord" will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

No matter the outcome, I pray that you will remember who you are and who He is.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get out the vote!

I'm sure everyone is watching TVright now to see the latest election results. I won't get into particular candidates, but I know my children could tell you who Cody and I both voted for. Regardless of the outcome, I am fearful of our country's future. I pray that the outcome will be positive for the United States. Today at our weekly Bible Study, we discussed whether our parents or grandparents every experienced an election like this where they truly feared for the future of our country.

We had a mock election at school yesterday, and it was very interesting to see the results by classroom, for the school as a whole, and also on the website we used to cast our students' votes. Apparently Jake's Pre-K class also discussed voting. It's hard to imagine leading a discussion on voting with 3 and 4 year olds.

Here's how I can tell that this election has been different than in years past...

*My husband voted for the fist time in the 15 years he has been eligible.

*My 7 year old (very loudly) asks, "Mama, which line is the Obama line?" when we are walking by the polling place to get to the public library.

*My 4 year old tells me that he voted for "Mappew" today at school (aka Matthew--I think). He then throws in something about "John McCain" and says a name resembling "Obama."

I am thankful to live in a country where we can vote and express our political views freely. Right now in my school, we have a Wall of Honor to show our appreciation for Veterans past and present. It is very moving to see all of the pictures and names of all those who have served and are still serving. I love seeing my Pa Pa's and Granddad's pictures from World War II up there. It makes me very proud to know what brave men they were. On Friday, we will have a Veterans Day program to honor veterans. Whatever the outcome of the election is, I pray we are able to continue to instill this appreciation and respect in our children.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Birthday fun!


Sharpay from High School Musical and a very cute blue bear trick-or-treated Friday night. The blue bear wouldn't wear his mask and only made it partway around the neighborhood, but a good haul of candy did make it back to our house. I think we've already eaten all the good stuff, though.

Spooky Schoolhouse Pumpkin

Look at how creative and talented Josie's teacher, Mrs. Campbell, is! She made a spooky schoolhouse like this one for a classroom pumpkin decorating contest. How we got to bring this one home is a long story--a story that includes a silent auction, a mom who was unwilling to pay more than $50 for a pumpkin, a crying second grader, and a very sweet teacher. Anyway, thanks Mrs. Campbell!