Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A little comfort food

Does anything say comfort food better than chicken pot pie? I don't think so. I got to make this beauty last night.

I found the recipe on Bev's food blog. She is hiLARious! I love reading her stuff...makes cooking so fun! Anyway, check out the world's best comfort food recipe here. Adjust according to what you have and what you like. I didn't have pearl onions, but I did have a yellow onion, so I diced that baby and threw it in the skillet. I had a frozen bag of chopped kale (because don't we all? ;)) so I tossed that in the skillet too. I also had a bag of frozen peas and carrots and they got thrown in the mix as well. I bought the Kroger brand pie crust, because it was cheaper, and that's how I roll, and I haven't taken the time to learn how to make my own...don't judge!

The rest of the week we are having Italian Sloppy Joes, Blueberry Waffles, grilled steak and roasted veggies, and Salmon Burgers.

What are you having?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kind of a month in review

I guess this is kind of month in review, but starting from the most recent...kinda. Really, it's all over the place...welcome to my world...
It's that time of year again. He's getting some field time this year. Crazy thing...it was mostly cloudy, but I got a LOT of sun watching the game...major raccoon eyes!  

Saw this on Pinterest. Such a good reminder. 

We went to the Rice Festival cook-off Friday night. This little doll melts me. 

It's a blurry mess, but this is Luke and Kelvin on the upside down loopy coaster. Kelvin is holding his cowboy hat with arms outstretched. They had a ball! Luke, Cora, and I road the spinning teacups just prior to the loopy ride, and I almost lost the bbq and beans I sampled before we hopped on the cups. I was pretty green the rest of the night. It was sheer delight for Cora and Luke. 

A couple of weekends ago, we went to the Gator Fest. The kids took an airboat ride, and Carleigh got covered in mud. She was still pretty! ❤️

My precious friend, Courtney and her husband, Michael. I've been friends with Court since our freshman year in high school (which was just the other day.) I love her BIG! She organizes the Gator Fest Motorcycle Ride which gives a portion of the proceeds to Emma's Hugs...so awesome! 

Carleigh was thrilled to take a pic with Mr. and Mrs. Gator. 

Kelvin and I rode the bull at the Gator Fest...

And the following weekend at HOPE Under the Stars fundraising event for Batten Disease Research...

We are pretty much semi pros. We looked for the bull at the Rice Fest, but they didn't have one. Smh!

I love our time at the ranch...

This man makes my heart skip a beat...

Hope your September has been full of fun and surprises. Here's to a happy fall, y'all!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Back in the saddle again

In the spring, Kelvin and I had a heart to heart and decided I would return to work...like the kind that gives you a paycheck. The decision did not come without much digging in of heels on my part. I love being home and available for our kiddos, and volunteering for school functions and with other organizations. But, as our kids get older and closer to doing things like driving and going to college, I began to see the benefit (or should I say God began changing my heart) of me returning to work now to begin saving for later. And since Cora was starting kindergarten in the fall, this seemed like a good year to get back in the saddle. So, after a crazy summer of on again off again with different job opportunities, just one week before school started in August, I scored the perfect job as assistant choir director with a precious Christian lady in the same school district which our kids attend! Such a blessing! I would be lying if I said I wasn't worn smooth out. This transition has been the hardest thing I've done in a loooong time. When I say I'm tired, I mean like pregnant tired! I have a completely new appreciation for working moms. I had a feeling what they did was hard, but I really had no idea. We are in about our fifth week of school, and we are starting to find our groove. Laundry is getting done, as long as the kids bring theirs down, and we have eaten at home more often than not, even if it is at 8 o'clock at night. I'm still worn smooth out, but thankfully, I have the world's best husband to take up the slack. I'm thankful for a job that allows me to be off when our kids are off, and I can't wait for Thanksgiving break! Today, we had a little cool front come through. The air was so nice this morning. I hope our break is as lovely. But who am I fooling? Even if it's raining the whole week, I will enjoy the time at home snuggled on the couch with a good book, hopefully reading aloud to the kids. I know of at least one who will listen. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

More award festivities

We completed Thursday evening in Cleveland with a beautiful award presentation at the Ritz. The VP who introduced Kelvin was very gracious and invited me to the stage with him and Kelvin to take a photo since the award was given to Kelvin for his work with Emma's Hugs. I am SO blessed. We mingled, ate good food, mingled some more, and finished off the evening with some more good food. I probably gained five pounds over the course of the week! I was so impressed with all of the award winners. Lubrizol has some special people working for them. They were all superior at what they do. Kelvin was in good company. Of course, I forgot to take a single photo during the awards ceremony or the rest of the evening. :/

Friday morning we woke early and loaded the bus for Canada. OH.MY.GOSH! Y'all, I am in love! Canada was just plain gorgeous! We visited Niagra Falls first. There is a reason it is one of the seven wonders of the world. There are no words to do it justice.

Hopefully I can find some time real soon to post the pics of the rest of our time in Niagra on the Lake. It is one of the loveliest places I've ever seen. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Award-winning husband

Kelvin has been with the same company for more than 24 years. Lubrizol has been a good company for him. They have provided a platform through which his gifts and talents can shine. I was bursting at the seams with pride when one of his former supervisors called and asked me to help him gather some letters of recommendation for the Lubrizol Founders Award, for which he wanted to nominate Kelvin for his outstanding community service with Emma's Hugs. 

Established in 2001, the Lubrizol Founders Award is the highest recognition that Lubrizol offers to its employees. The award celebrates the rich tradition of excellence and accomplishment in the workplace and the marketplace established by Lubrizol's founders. Recipients of The Founders Award consistently ensure that internal and external customers receive an exceptional level of service. The Founders Award also recognizes those employees who, like the founders, dedicate their time and effort in service to the community. The Founders Award honors our hidden heroes—those men and women who contribute to the pursuit of our vision by going far beyond what is expected and giving their best efforts every day.

the photo on the company website announcing Kelvin as one of the winners 

What a blessing to know others see Kelvin in the same light I do and want to honor him for his hard work and determination, as well as his big heart!

The company does things up right for the employees (and their guest) who win this prestigious award. The festivities are based out of the headquarters in Ohio, which began Wednesday evening. A limo delivered us to The Ritz Carlton, in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, where we have stayed in one of the penthouse suites! Eeeek! So cool! So far, I haven't tripped and fallen or anything crazy like that! Wednesday evening we had cocktails at the Ritz and dinner at a place called Johnny's in downtown Cleveland.

Riding to the Ritz in style!

A room with a view! 

Veal on the bone at Johnny's

Let me just say, Cleveland has done a super great job of revitalizing their downtown district. It is beautiful! I was thoroughly surprised and impressed! Thursday, there was a reception at two of the company's locations in the area, and man, was that an incredible experience. When the award recipients and their guests walked in the doors, the second floor foyers were packed with every single employee, from the CEO to the head custodian, and everyone was clapping and cheering. The applause lasted for a solid five minutes. It was something very special.

I'm so glad I got to be a part of something so cool. The rest of the day was spent around Cleveland visiting the different venues the founders founded and continue to support through their foundations today, including the Botanical Gardens and Severance Hall. We also had a photo op at Pier W. The view was amazing! Last night was the big dinner and award presentation at the Ritz. The company did not disappoint! Again, the award winners and their guests walked in the gala hall to roaring applause. Each recipient was asked to come to the stage where he was presented with a beautiful award and just as beautiful accolades. The rest of the evening was spent meeting some of the most gracious people on the planet. We have been treated like royalty so far, and the weekend is just beginning! This morning, we are headed to Niagra on the Lake in Canada!! I can't even tell you how excited I am. We will stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel, do the Maid of the Mist boat tour at Niagra Falls, go on a jet boat ride, take a helicopter ride, take a winery and brewery bicycle tour, go for a couples massage, get a pedicure, and more! It's good to be the guest!!

More to come...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Babies...proof of God's possibilities

I got to squeeze (ever so slightly, of course) my sweet new nephew today. I'm in love. Don't you just stare in amazement at a newborn? They are such perfect miniature people. I'm just in awe. 

I thought it was precious how Luke wanted to hold him. Hope we can get in some more squeezes real soon. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

On the Table for the Week of July 28th

Some days I wish I had a chef, and a house keeper, and a grocery shopping service. A girl can wish, huh? I'm having one of those days today, but I think I shall persevere...I think. We'll see. ;) Here's what I'm thinking will be on the menu this week:

Monday-Salmon Patties with Dill Sauce over a bed of lettuce
Whenever I find a good recipe for a dill sauce I'll update this post. Just assume it will probably be something like a little mayo, a little sour cream, a bunch of dill, and some salt and pepper, probably with a splash of Tabasco. You're welcome.


Tuesday- Slow Cooker Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos

Slow Cooker Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos | Melanie Makes
I love tacos...and slow cookers...and other stuff. Tacos are so easy. Add easy with slow cooker, and you have just become my best friend. :)

Wednesday- Asparagus and Artichoke Frittata
Frittata is Italian for "whisk some eggs, pour them in an oven-proof skillet, and throw in whatever you have in the fridge." It's one of those things I just love, because there are no rules. If you have some leftover broccoli or veggies or a jar of artichoke, or even some pasta, it's all fair game. Give the veggies a rough chop, add some salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you like, a little chopped garlic (or not), add some Parmesan or Swiss cheese, and pop it in the oven until the eggs are firm. Here is a recipe from Suzanne Somers' book, Get Skinny on Fabulous Food. It's one of my faves. I discovered her books more than a decade ago (that can't be right. I'm not that old! Geesh!) She's so inspiring...and has great recipes!

Thursday- Hamburgers  Taco Turkey Burgers
Because why do the same ole thing when you can kick it up a notch or two? Our big kids will arrive home from camp and be pleased as punch that we're having these babies for dinner. We will probably cook up some sweet potato fries too. I can't wait! I wonder if ours will look like this?

Taco Turkey Burger on RachelCooks.com

Friday- Something on the grill outside with lime and cilantro and a cold drink, because have you been outside lately? It's like a meeeellion degrees. I might melt.

Saturday- Carolina Style Hot Dogs
I think I should have been born in North Carolina...seriously! I love everything about that sweet state, and I've only visited a couple of times. Will you just look at this awesome dog?!

Carolina Style Hot Dogs with Homemade Slaw
Saturday can't get here fast enough. And, I get to meet my newest nephew! Baby Easton is so precious! Can't wait to kiss his sweet cheeks!

Sunday- I don't know. Maybe we can go out. Or maybe we'll all just eat cereal for dinner. Reminds me of my Memaw and Papaw when I eat cereal for dinner. :)

So, do tell! What's on your menu for this week? Hope it's a good one. I have garage sale planning on the agenda and taking Cora to the pool. She's solo this week with the big kids at camp and all. She misses them. I do too...a little. They have all started fussing and getting on each other's nerves, like all.the.time, so it's kinda nice to have the respite, if I'm honest (and I usually am.) What are your plans for the rest of summer break?

I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday. Click the link to visit the linky party on Laura's blog and see all kinds of other weekly menus.
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