Friday, July 30, 2010

My favorites

These are my favorite photos from our visit ....

Remember when Paige and Ajay were playing in the gravel? Ajay tripped and did a face-plant into the driveway. He drew some blood on his knee, and was overall quite unhappy.

I feel peace when I look at this photo :)

The kids were really into catching the raindrops.

Alex dug his juicy peach.

And he enjoyed the cherries from the tree, too!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mom's birthday

Mom had a birthday while we were visiting. I won't tell what number, she might not appreciate that announcement :)

We made a cake for her before we left for Jenna's softball game. Also, before we left, Paige and Ajay tried to put together a little "play" for Nana - they said we would see some cool moves, so Mom and I assumed they would do some dancing. Turns out the moves were karate moves and they did a lot of kicking and punching.

Here is the "audience" waiting while the "actors" put together their little skit.

The two trying to decide who would go on "stage" first - "You go." "No, YOU go!" "No, YOU!"
(You can see the pink and yellow drawings the kids made for Nana on the lower half of the fridge.)

The yummy cake (it was a french vanilla cake with a delicious frosting - we used Almond flavoring instead of Vanilla - YUM!)

We weren't able to cut into the cake until we got back from the game, so it was around 11:30pm as we were celebrating. The kids didn't mind being up so late, so long as they got CAKE!

Alex didn't feel the need to use a utensil.

All three kids wanted to take some pictures. Here is one Ajay took of me and my parents (complete with Dad making a silly face!).

We drove home the next day, which was my niece Jenna's birthday. Jenna and her family had left early in the day for more softball games, so we didn't get to say good-bye to them, or tell her Happy Birthday. So Happy Belated, Jenna!! (She's 12 now, for those of you who are curious. I don't think she minds me announcing her number!!)

On our way out, we stopped by my aunts house (just a couple miles up the road) and said good-bye to my grandmother, who had been visiting from Texas. The kids got to snuggle some kittens, too.

What a fun vacation we had!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Recipe Wednesday - Cream Cheese Chicken Lasagna

This is a recipe I developed many years ago (before Ajay was born). It is very rich and not for anyone who is trying to lose weight :) But it is oh so tasty!

Cream Cheese Chicken Lasagna


  • 2.5 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast
  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
  • 12 oz sour cream
  • 1 pkt Good Seasons Italian Dressing packet
  • 1 bag Shredded cheddar Cheese
  • Garlic Powder
  • Lasagna Noodles (1 pack)
Boil Chicken then shred (your choice of spices).

Save broth.

Mix together all ingredients (except 1/2 of cheese).

Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of broth to mixture to make it creamier.

Layer Mix, Cheese, Noodles (I finished with Noodles and then covered with more cheese).

Bake at 350, 30 mins with aluminum foil over top, then 10-15 mins with foil removed.

Can be made ahead and frozen.

Servings: A TON!! An absolute TON!
Time to Prepare: About an hour to prepare and then 45 mins to cook

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Day After

The day after the Fourth was just as much fun as the actual holiday! (I'm super late getting the rest of our "vacation" pictures posted, my apologies.)

Alex started out the day playing hide-n-seek in Lazy Susan.

Brandi hosted a game of dominoes at her place. We set up two tables. The bigger table played Double 15's. The smaller table played Double 9's.

After the smaller table was finished, Alex spent time with my parent's neighbor, Margie, figuring out how to make the dominoes topple over. He loved it.

Since the day after the 4th finally provided us with some sunshine, the kids went wild shooting off the daytime works.

The menfolk gathered for some more clay pigeon shooting, too. The youngest of the group, my cousin Jesse (I think he's 13?? I can't remember, what a bad cousin I am!), won the shooting competition.

My aunt, Theresa, got in on the action with some guidance from my uncle, Eddie. This was the day my mom shot 3 for 3 and decided to quit while she was ahead. She still ended up with a whopper of a bruise in the shoulder/armpit area!!

Paige got a little BB Gun practice in, too.

Things that go BOOM!

Time for the big Fourth of July post!! As mentioned in a previous post it rained most of the day and the kids were disappointed they couldn't do a lot of daytime fireworks. That doesn't mean there wasn't anything going on, however.
My brothers, Matt and Jeff, had a couple of their buddies, James and Greg, over and the had a little fun shooting clay. My dad joined them and even Mom went out! The guys backed their trucks against the "back yard" at Matt's place and set up the little machine that flings out the clay discs. The machine they used on the 4th belonged to Greg and was triggered by a foot pedal. The kids were all assigned to the back of a truck so they would be safe.

The guys lined up and had a shooting competition - if the first guy missed, the second guy had a chance, if the second guy missed, the third guy had a shot, and so on. If the second guy busted the clay after the first guy missed, the first guy was out.

One of Jeff's boys, Thomas, wanted to play along so he got out his BB gun. That was some shooting fun for the younger ones - Ajay got to shoot for the first time and boy was he excited!

(Please ignore his ratty clothing - I didn't want him wearing anything nice for fear of not getting it clean again after all the mud!)

A tent was erected so people could stand outside with Richard, our Grill Guy. There was also another "tent" put up - a big blue tarp stretched between two vans and supported by a wooden "T" in the middle. Most of the people stayed outside despite the rain while a few opted to stay dry inside.

The kids tried some daytime fireworks in between downpours, but didn't get very far before it all started up again. That was the trailer used later in the evening to shoot off the nighttime works.

Around 9, Jeff drove Alex and I up to Mom and Dad's place so I could put the little guy to bed. I wasn't sure if we'd be shooting off the nighttime stuff and he was sleepy. After I got up to the house and Jeff had driven back to Matt's, we got a call saying the night-works were on, so Paige, Aunt Tina and Aunt Theresa and I headed back down (the others had gone up to the house to wait out the heaviest part of the storm). I didn't get many shots of the fireworks, but I was able to blind the onlookers - I had no idea what I was aiming at since the viewfinder on the camera only showed me a black screen. I think the pictures turned out okay, albeit a bit fuzzy.

(These two had fallen asleep before the end of the display.)

It was a wet and wild Independence Day. Lots of fun with family and friends and great food!
(So much for my diet!!)


I have a habit of taking pictures of flowers and other nature-y type things. While we were visiting the folks, I was called to all the flowers growing around the place. I tried to get some really nice shots. They didn't come out like I wanted them to, but then again I don't have the best camera for getting those type of shots. (Maybe the camera actually is able to, but I haven't figured out how to focus in like I want.) Here are a few photos for you to enjoy:

And while we're on the subject of nature, I got some shots of kids out in the rain. Ajay playing Frisbee (with Mom's Toy Fox Terrier, Nealy, chasing after him); Paige and Ajay sitting under a tree and those two, again, catching rain drops...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Recipe Wednesday - Tangy Cucumbers

Last summer I do recall the boys and I spending a week or so at my parents, sorta similar to this summer. Both times my mom nabbed a cucumber or two from the garden and made up this dish.

Slice up some cucumbers (2-3 depending on size)
Slice or dice up some red onion (about half of one)
Put slices into a seal-able container
Pour some water in
Pour some Apple Cider Vinegar in
(I asked Mom how much and she said about 2:1 water:vinegar)
Put in some sugar (I'm guessing about a half tablespoon??)
Stir it up and put the lid on it.

These can be eaten right away or you can let them sit a few hours/overnight in the fridge before serving.

Funny thing - I just noticed there is a similar recipe in the Everyday Food magazine for July/August.

There ya go - a quick and easy side for your summer meals! Let me know what you think!

Enjoying farm life

This peach, and the hundreds of others like it on the tree, was one of the main attractions last week on the farm. The kids spent a large amount of time gathered around the tree picking the fruit. The peaches were just a bit under-ripe and we adults warned the kiddos that they'd get a belly ache if they continued to eat so much. We later learned that they were picking a peach, taking a bite, tossing it on the ground, then going in for another peach. Not cool, kids!

There was also a cherry tree nearby. Its season had almost passed but we were still able to find a few juicy cherries! (Notice the red hands.)

On our first Saturday there, the kids did their thing with the fruit then helped Papa bring in the large hay bales - needed to clear some room for the big firework show the next day!

First they went out in the truck (notice Alex munching on a peach):

A little while later they headed to a different pasture in the tractor.

Papa actually let Paige and Ajay steer. I hear Ajay was all over the place while Paige did a decent job of keeping the tractor going straight.

Helping with the hay bales was a very "off and on" thing for the kids. Alex stuck it out the longest. I think he really enjoyed himself. This is what Paige and Ajay did some of the "off" time:

Yeah. They were filthy. And they loved every minute of it.