29 January 2011

Warm Days!

I have a really hard time every January. I really can't stand cold weather. I can't stand being stuck in the house. I can't stand dreary gray days when you never really see the sun. Yup, I love places like the pacific northwest, but I just can't take it. It's all I can do to handle January each year. However... today was a good day! Michael sent me some beautiful lilies that have brightened up the house. And today we topped out around 57 degrees... and SUNNY! Packed up the boy after lunch and headed to the Nashville Zoo to meet up with Aunt Katie and Cousin Daniel. 'Twas a much needed time outdoors... didn't even need a jacket, just a long sleeved shirt! The boys needed it too! Nothing to cheer up the mood than a whole bunch of flamingos ruffling their feathers all up, lynxes doing some sort of barking/growling thing, and snow leopards walking up right in front of you! Not to mention chickens and cows and goats... I think the farm area of the zoo is my favorite. Odd, I know. It was a good afternoon!

22 January 2011

roll reversal

Ok, so I don't have pictures to go along with this... but couldn't forget to tell the story.

Just as we were finishing dinner, Caden got out of his seat and climbed into my lap. Looked up at me and said "You're the baby and I'm the mommy."

Of course, I immediately start "crying" to which he responds, "It's okay, it's okay!"

Then I switch course... "Mommy, May I have some juice please? Apple juice, please."

Caden looked at me and said, "How do you ask?" (*I had said please, but of course I had to repeat myself.)

He looked at my glass and said, "Since you asked so nicely, as soon as you finish your orange juice, you may have some apple juice."

I almost fell out of my seat laughing. Guess you just had to be there...

It only got better when he walked away into the living room, picked up his big red bat and took a swing. Then said, "Watch the ball, and step into the swing." Which was followed by several more swings and repeating himself.

He was in rare form this evening... :)

21 January 2011


the boys attempted to build a snowman... or at least something like that... :)

a snowy friday

So our friends Amber and her son Ethan came over and spent most of the day with us. We enjoyed some time out in the snow. We were going to make a snowman... and we started one several times. But every time I got the base set, Caden would come belly flop into it... thus smashing it down. *And it wasn't very good packing snow... too fluffy... couldn't even make a snowball with the stuff. **Also note, the picture where it looks like Caden is standing on the cement block, he is actually mid-air... he was jumping off into the snow, and I managed to catch the shot! :)

20 January 2011

nice words

2 things to point out... at the end of the first video, he was fine... didn't really hit the table with his head. and just after the 2nd video finished, caden's nice word to tell daddy was "camouflage".

myriad of videos

kid loves snow

Caden's first prayer

All BY HIMSELF without any prompting from me!

"Dear Jesus, Thank you for this day. Thank you for our friends. Please help Daddy feel better. Thank you for the snow. Amen"

Don't know why he said please help Daddy feel better, but hey, who am I to argue?! Almost cried right there. So proud of him! May he never know a day in his life when he doesn't know the love of Christ.


Carson came over and hung out with us this morning. He and Caden had a wonderful time pulling ALL the toys out of the ottoman.

So it ended up snowing from mid-day through early evening. We may get a bit more tonight, and are in line for more to hit us on Fri night/Saturday... then again on Monday. Yup... it's winter. So here are some more pics with the new camera! Lovin' all this resolution! (though it does make the files MUCH larger... which makes it hard to take longer videos)


So Caden totally wasn't feeling the whole "say cheese" thing this morning. Hopefully I will manage to get some good shots of him later in the day. It's supposed to dump a good bit of snow on us today... so maybe we will get out and play some... that always makes for good pics! Here are a few shots of the Christmas tree that is (yes) still up. The picture heart ornament and the snowflakes were made by a few of our soldier's family members.

11 January 2011

Zuppa di Orzo, Patate, e Carote (Italian Barley Soup with Potatoes and Carrots)

10 C low sodium chicken broth (i always just use my own)
1 C Pearl Barley
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP unsalted butter (I always just use salted)
1 lg onion, cut into 1/2" dice
1 lg rib celery with leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 C finely chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley (again, i usually use dried in the winter)
1 TBSP finely chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tsp dried** Or replace with oregano and reduce amount by half **
1tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried and crushed rosemary
2 medium to large boiling potatoes, peeled and 1/2" diced
2 medium to large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring broth to a boil over med/high heat in a large soup pot. Stir in barley, 1/4 C at a time. Reduce heat to a very slow but steady simmer. Cover and cook until barley is almost tender. ~30 min

2. Heat oil and butter in medium skillet over medium/high heat. Add onions, celery, parsley, marjoram, and rosemary. Saute until onion begins to turn golden (~5 min). Transfer mixture to soup pot with barley, scraping out skillet with rubber spatula.

3. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until tender. (~30 min). Season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve in warm bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

YUMMY IN THE TUMMY~ :) freezes really well too...

10 January 2011

a few notes for the day...

Ok, so I know there are no pictures. Hopefully soon that will be rectified... but until then...

Last night I roasted a chicken. While this doesn't sound all that impressive... I have actually NEVER roasted a whole chicken before. I finally put into practice what I know about roasting them... soon the house was filled with a wonderful aroma and the sound of crackling skin. It came out perfectly... crispy skin, moist meat falling off the bones. I immediately picked the thing (ate a good bit of it in the process)... so I could throw the carcass in the pot to make stock. And since the skin was so well salted, the stock came out perfectly. I was gonna go all paleo with my soup choice, but with the cold, snowy day all I really wanted was my Italian barley/potato/carrot soup. So that's what I did. And honestly, it's the best on I have ever made! And I didn't have to add a drop of salt, since the broth was already perfect! :)

All this to say, I am really excited, have decided there is no reason to ever buy a rotisserie chicken again, and stock from a roasted chicken is best!

On another note...
Caden stayed with Ms Anne this morning while I went to Physical Therapy. Shortly after arriving at the office, I got a text from Anne and this is what it said...
"Your son just said, 'well, my question is, how do we get the banana back after we do bad things like throw it? I got a time out, but mommy went outside.' and then he rambled about monsters under his bed for a while."

What am I going to do with this kid? Tomorrow, if the snow comes again tonight, we are gonna put on his boots and go "crunching" around in the snow. Caden loves to crunch snow. :) If winter keeps up like this, I might have to give in and get a pair of winter boots... lol... but probably not.

I love you baby... glad you are safe and sound. Hope you keep getting good sleep!