Friday, December 16, 2011

Sneak Peek at Christmas and an addition...

Here's a sneak peek at Christmas and an addition to the mantle at Dede's house this year....

See the stocking nestled right in the middle--that's a new one for our little Elizabeth Katherine--"Lizzy"!

We picked out the name when I was pregnant with Jay so it was already done when we learned we were to anticipate the arrival of a little girl this spring. Just a few days after our gender ultrasound I went to Christmas Village and picked up a bracelet and had it engraved with her initials--(her initials will be the same as Dede's so I knew I wanted to tell Dede her name that way) and some frames for Jay and Lizzy for Christmases to come.

I realized that I had not really included little Lizzy in any of the blogging at this point, but she is on our minds and we will really start to prepare for her arrival after the holidays. It's a little more difficult since we are still on the house hunt and are not sure where we'll be when March rolls around and we become a family of 4!

Note: Dede wanted to line up all of the stockings and holders to make sure everyone fit on the mantle and we do. Since then all of them have come back down as they are well within Jay's reach and Dede and I both thought that he could easily pull them down and conk himself silly with a falling stocking holder. I can't wait until Christmas Day and the rest of the family gets to see our VERY full stocking display!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Husband Hates Pot Roast

Oh, the hubs and his preferences! Just teasing-in general he's a traditional guy--a meat and potatoes man. Just don't put the meat and potatoes in the crock pot and simmer for a few hours-then he's a "I'll just stop and get something on the way home" kinda man.

I personally like pot roast and have had to adapt a bit throughout our married life to try to replace this universally well-liked go-to dinner from our menu. This week I had two success stories that were inexpensive, easy and well received. I thought I would share them here if anyone else is looking for new family dinner recipes.

Pork Loin
(this should have a better name, but I kinda made it up so name it yourself and call it your own!)
1.5 lb Pork Loin
Dijon Mustard
Lipton Onion Soup mix
Salt (few dashes), Pepper (1 tablespoon?)
Other spices on hand ( i used dried ginger and allspice) probably a tablespoon of each.
Most of a 10 oz. jar of CHUNKY Applesauce

I patted the pork dry, then coated with Dijon mustard, mixed the spices together and sprinkled over all sides of the pork. Browned the loin on all sides in a heated skillet with evoo, then set aside. I added the onion soup mix and 1/2 water to the hot skillet to "de-glaze"and recapture the lost spices and mustard and renderings from the pork. Placed the pork in the Crock Pot on low for 4 hours, poured the contents of the skillet and most of the jar of applesauce on top.

Jay had the rest of the applesauce for lunch. :)

It was really good, I served with shredded cabbage and John's Slaw Dressing and mac-n-cheese.

Tomato Beef Bake (you could call this roast)
2 lb. Oven Roast
Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Salt (dash) Pepper (several grinds)
Sprinkle of flour
Jar of Sliced Mushrooms, drained
can of Hunt's Diced Tomatoes w Onion and Garlic

Coated the Roast with dry soup mix, pepper, salt then dusted lightly with flour. Add mushrooms and tomatoes, cover and bake (could Crock Pot this and it would be awesome, but I didn't have 4 hours to spare) 350 degrees-90 minutes. Serve over rice. I served with green beans.

One day, when I don't have a 16-month-old on my hip and a baby in my tummy, I might try to photograph some things while cooking. Right now, it's impossible. That's life. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hey, Santa!

We enjoyed Breakfast with Santa on Saturday with the Junior League of Tuscaloosa.

Jay had fun waiting in line and seeing everyone but was a tad anxious when the "big moment" arrived. This photo turned out well since at first he just reached for Mommy and thought about crying for about 2 seconds.

I'm proud of my little serious fella for being so brave! He did manage to muster the courage to tell Santa he wanted a "taaact-DER" (Tractor). So we'll see if he makes the Nice list and Santa delivers! (That was a surprise to Santa and Mommy!)

Tradition Begins Here

**I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today for a SUYL about Traditions. Thanks for visiting. We're continuing this tradition this year, but doing  it this weekend. Here's the fun we had last year. Thanks for visiting and keeping up with us! Merry Christmas to you!!**

I asked Dede what she would like to do with the grandkids every year as an annual activity they could share. She chose cookie decorating and we had our inaugural Decorating Day with Dede on December 3. The boys had fun, made a mess and Jay ate lots of cookies. He thought we were having a snack party and was the only one eating, but I think he got pretty full!!

Before we started. (Note someone reaching for a taste??)

Weston's cookies were awesome!
Love at first bite. 

With a little guidance, Davis was a decorating machine!

Sprinkles are delish!

Lots of red....

Davis was serious!
So was Jay! Yum!

Davis' finished product. Great job for a 2 year old-no mess at all!

The 1 year old at work!

Lots. Of. Sprinkles.
Chew them up, Buddy!

Jay needed some help from Dede.

No assistance required!!

Eat, work, eat, work. 


This may be the last photo of Davis and his paci--I heard their Elf took it during one of his nightly visits! Oh my!!

Christmas Cards and Photo Session

Season's Greetings!!

Photos courtesy of Images by Naomi and cards from Social Circle Cards

Our photos were taken at Tannehill State Park in late October when Jay was 15 months old. 
They are all amazing! 

Thanks, Miriam for your time, talent and being who you are!

Welcome to everyone visiting today from Faith's Christmas Card Carousel!
I've loved seeing all of the great cards and beautiful families this year!

16 going on 17

We're wayyyy behind with the blog which is a shame since Christmas is right around the corner. 

At his 15 Month check-up Jay was 29 lbs. and 35 inches. I know he's taller now. 24 month clothes are making way for 2T. Size 7 W shoes will make it into the New Year. 

He talks and repeats words all of the time. Tractors and Lawn Mowers are his favorite topics. He wants to "Go" somewhere all of the time. Literally, from the moment he wakes up until bedtime he is wondering where we can go or who he can get to take him there. Anytime a new person comes home (Daddy, Dede or Papa he greets them, then sweetly takes their hand and begins his process of sweet talking them into going somewhere.)

Our sleep schedule has been unpredictable to say the least. Often Jay is waking up sometime between 3 and 5:30, ready to start the day. I try to rock him back to sleep and he is cooperating this week, but my-oh-my have there been some struggles. This also throws our nap schedule into chaos since sometimes he is ready to go back down by 8:30 a.m. It does seem to be getting better so let's hope that this is soon a thing of the past. 

Jay's 1st Alabama Basketball game! Bama Wins!!!

I wish there was time to document all of his words and cute little things he's learning, but I have no idea how to really keep track of it all. We're having lots of fun and time is flying by. I feel like he will be off to Kindergarten the next time I turn around!!

We took Jay to his 1st Christmas Parade in Homewood the first week of December. It was so fun, Jay loved it and Weston's Cub Scouts (pack? den?) were in the parade. Weston (and Jenn's) 1st too! I think it was also the 1st time Davis had been to a parade, we had a blast. 

 Big-eyed boy!
 Santa on a fire truck!
Hey, Santa!
 Weston (far left) and Jenn (far right). This was the best I could do.