Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Locks of Love

In case you were wondering why I have added the Locks of Love image on the sidebar, there is a reason! We have been letting Mary Mac's hair grow for about a year now and it is getting so long. She has not wanted to cut it until just recently, but I wanted to make it a learning experience for Mary Mac to realize how blessed we are! You have to have a minimum of 10 inches to donate and we are almost there. As soon as we reach that point, I am going to either take pictures or a video of cutting it and post it on the blog -so stay tuned! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help Mary Mac understand the importance of donating her hair? I'm up for suggestions because everything I think of telling her sounds like it will be over her head.

On another note -and a Mary Mac funny- Sam and I got back from our trip on Sunday and Mary Mac and the babysitter had made cupcakes over the weekend. She wanted one after dinner that night so she pulled her stool up to the counter and she picked out the one she wanted. She took it into the playroom and within minutes she ran into the kitchen and had licked the icing off and threw the cake part away (UUGGHHH - Mommy would have eaten it!). When she asked for another one (standing back on her stool), Sam told her that she could have it but that if she only wanted the icing then give him the cake instead of throwing it away! So she starts laughing and tells Sam, "Well, blow me down!" Sam then blows on her and she falls off of the stool (being funny, of course). She jumps back up on the stool and continues to say, "I've gotta quit saying that!" It was hilarious!!! I guess, though, it's only hilarious to those who have ever watched The Wiggles - this is a famous saying of Captain Feathersword! It's amazing the things kids remember and repeat!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Future Player?

If only Mary Mac was a boy I could say that we may have an Alabama football player in the making! Oh well, she looked too cute not to post this picture! Roll Tide! And, yes, this is Sam's real helmet.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Veggie Lessons!

Ok, so I keep running out of time to actually schedule a time to have a class on how to "put up" veggies so I decided to just put it in a post and hopefully this will be helpful to more than people than could come to my house and do it. Here is a list of things you will need to get started:
1) Obviously, fresh veggies. I prefer to buy an assortment of peas (purple hull, crowder, lady peas, lima beans, etc - you get the idea), green beans, whole okra. Most of these items can only be found at a produce stand or farmer's market.
2) Large Colander
3) Large stock pot with a steamer basket/metal colander OR (my preference) a large stock pot with a pasta drainer pot in it (does this make sense?)
4) Clean towels
5) Quart sized Freezer Ziploc bags
6) Sharpie

Once you have all of these items together, you want to thoroughly wash the veggies (keep each type of veggie separate) in the colander. Put a small amount of water into the large stock pot and bring to a slow boil. Place the veggies in the pasta drainer/steamer basket/metal colander and into the pot of boiling water (make sure the veggies are not submerged in water). Cover and allow to blanch (or steam) for 5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and rinse under cold water. Spread veggies out on towels in a single layer and allow to dry. Place in bags (1 quart size is enough for 2 adults and 2 small kids), making sure to remove air. Label the bag with what it is, how much you put in the bag, and the date and place in freezer.

To cook, get out of freezer and run water into the bag to loosen the veggies and place in your pot. Season accordingly (fresh veggies usually require a good amount of salt). I prefer to season with salt, pepper, tiny bit of olive oil, and tiny bit of Splenda (the Splenda and oil replicate the flavor of bacon fat or ham hock which is what gives that yummy flavor without all of the bad fat). Bring to a boil and continue cooking until tender and done.

Okra - DO NOT DO THE ABOVE PROCESS FOR OKRA!!! All you have to do with the okra is wash and allow to dry then cut into small, thin pieces and place in bags and freeze - EASY PEEZY! When you want to fry the okra, dump it out into a colander and allow to thaw and dry out a little before breading it with cornmeal. Then fry! Yummy! Our family prefers it cut into tiny pieces because it is nice and crispy when its fried and not mushy!

TaDa!!!! I told you all this is easy! It takes me about an hour to put up several bags of veggies! P.S. You do not need or want to do any of the seasoning during the blanching process! Hope you all enjoy!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Update to Phone Line

After reading my post about the phone line, Sam made it a point to fix it as soon as he got home Friday afternoon! See, I told you really is handy! Seriously, he can fix anything! Weeellllll, almost anything! If anyone wants to help him get this surround sound wired, we are taking volunteers. I decided to finish our painting projects yesterday and paint our bedroom and Sam decided he would finish hooking up the surround sound. Neither one of us expected to still be working on it until late last night. I certainly do not know anything about wiring the surround sound AND I was up until almost 11 last night painting (AND STILL NOT FINISHED!). Sam had to sleep with Mary Mac and I slept in the guest bedroom since our room was in shambles and covered in painting supplies. It was really weird to sleep in separate rooms in our own house knowing that we were both there. I mean I'm used to sleeping in my bed alone when he is out of town or sleeping in the guest bed if one of the girls is sick, but it was just plain weird! I don't ever want to do that again!

Friday, September 05, 2008

What do country boys, phone lines, alabama, and apologies have in common?

These are all things going on in our house these days!

1) This is a true testament to the fact that you can take the boy out of the country, but you can NEVER take the country out of the boy! I say this affectionately because this is one of the things I LOVE about my husband! He just got back last weekend from an annual hunting trip to Texas with his dad and brother and uncles. They drive to Senora, TX which is very close to the Mexico border and this makes for very long trip for them. They got back late Sunday night and this below is a picture of what I found the next morning soaking in bowl by my kitchen sink - I just wish the picture showed the detail of the "stuff" that he was soaking off! EEWWWWW!
2) My wonderfully handy husband has decided that he needs surround sound in his Men's Den. So, for reasons of which I still do not understand, he felt that the phone jack that was in the same box as the cable outlet needed to be cut (his defense is that he doesn't need or want a phone in there!). Well, after 2 days of fighting with what I thought was my internet connection problem, we realized that none of our phones had a dial tone! OOOPS! Apparently the one he cut is the main line coming into the house (although he will disagree). So if you've called our house and we still have not called back? Now you know!

3) Although last weekend was officially the start of football season, this weekend is when the fun really starts as this is the first home game! The girls and I are all decked-out in our Alabama gear today for Friday Spirit Day! Mary Mac took the one of Anna and I by herself - a photographer in the making!
4) Finally, and as a mom, most importantly! We have been have struggles lately with Mary Mac in pushing her limits on just what she can say to people before getting in trouble with her sassy mouth. Her class in school this year is more like a "real" classroom and less like daycare with the grandmotherly types that loved her and thought anything and everything she said or did was so cute and funny. Well, she came home earlier this week "On Yellow" for the first time which means we did not have a great day (Green for good, Yellow for not so good, and Red for Bad). The note said that she was talking back to her teachers all day. That night Sam and I sat down with her talked to her about watching our mouth, saying sweet things, minding grown-ups, listening with our ears and following directions, etct., etc. (You get the picture!) We weren't mad at her or getting on to her - we just felt like this was a perfect "teaching" opportunity since she was so upset about being On Yellow! Well, it made me feel like we had done our jobs as parents when she informed me that she had told her teachers the next morning that she was sorry for talking back to them. We did not tell her to do this or even mention it, but she felt in her heart that she needed to express her sorrow for acting like this. I wasn't sure if she really did this or just told me that she did, so this morning I asked them if she had apologized and they said that she came up to them first thing that next morning to say she was sorry. I guess she felt she needed to "clear the air" first thing and start off on a new foot that day! Will this last? Who knows, but it warms my heart that maybe, just maybe what we told her and tell her on a daily basis might really stick inside that little horse-obsessed brain of hers! I just love her to death!!!! And Anna, too, of course!
And these are some priceless pictures, especially for Mary Mac since she is not a girly girl! Anna really loves playing dress up and being a princess. And I have to admit that it is so wonderful to do these girly things for a change. Mary Mac is getting into it too now that Anna likes to do it. Sam walked in when I was taking these pictures and said that I was trying to corrupt his little country girl! Oh well, these may be the only pictures of Mary Mac in a princess outfit so I am enjoying them thoroughly!