Monday, November 7, 2011

Yesterday, my friend Tonia and I got together to prep and prepare about a month of meals!  We cooked for about 12 hours.  We were exhausted, but it was completely worth it!  We prepped onions, peppers, and cheese.  We baked homemade breadsticks.  We made marinara and marinade sauces.  We cooked chicken parmiagana, sauted chicken breasts, chicken ticklers, smothered pork chops, mini meatloafs, tator tot casserole, king ranch casserole, peach whiskey bbq chicken, and chicken tortilla soup.  We also made mashed potato casserole and cheesy spoon bread.  We couldn't forget the sides!!  I know there are a few things we will do differently next time.  Such as, prep all items at home before the big cooking day.  I also would like to try to bake a few different types of bread next month too.  We had tortilla soup tonight and will have meatloafs tomorrow along with mashed potato casserole. 

Tonia will probably have more pix and recipes on her blog, itty bitty kisses...So check it out too!

The prepped items.  Shredded cheese, diced red and yellow onions, and red and green bell peppers.  Yes, that is a two gallon bag of yellow onions! 

Thai Peanut Marinade

Mashed Potato Casseroles

Cheesy Spoon Bread.  The big ones are Tonia's and the small ones are ours.

Cooking tons of chicken!!!

Sausage Balls

Chicken Ticklers
Peach Whiskey BBQ Chicken

Pioneer Woman Chicken Parmagiana and Marinara.

Basic Sauted Chicken Breasts.

My truck loaded down with all the loot!

Freezer full of meals!
Did I mention, all three kiddos were hanging around and were perfect angels!!!  Thank goodness for awesome Daddies!  We couldn't of done it without them!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Perfect End to a Perfect Month

I can't believe the month of October has already come and gone.  Or that my tiny little baby isn't so tiny anymore and will soon be two!  I'm sure by next year he won't have many memories of this past month, but I will have stories and pictures too! 

Marcus had his class party the Friday before Halloween.  I was heartbroken when I found out I would be unable to attend due to rehab on my knee.  It was a difficult day for me, but it was made better by his teacher.  I asked her if she would be kind enough to take pictures of the occasion and she was excited to agree!  His class went room to room and trick or treated each and every class.  I received a report from another mother that he wanted to stay in the pre-k class where they were enjoying a movie!  But, he quickly changed his mind when he found out more candy would be the cost!  I believe he truly enjoyed his party! 

The next evening, we went to Trick or Treat on the Trails and we had a party!  I was pleasantly surprised at how many local businesses set up a booth at the trails!  When we left, Marcus had over a bucket of candy and toys!  He was thrilled and seemed to love Halloween!  We came back home for our little party.  I made a spider web dip, an apple sangria, candy corn shooters, and we had a carmel apple dipping station along with other goodies!  The apple sangria was a huge hit and I will be making it again!  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  Then, I completely changed it and everyone loved it! 

On Halloween, we were invited to trick or treat with our friends.  I was very excited because I wasn't sure how Marcus would respond if he trick or treated alone.  We went with a fairly large group of children and he did very well!  He walked almost all of the way and didn't seem frightened by the "scary" stuff.  I dread next year when he's old enough to understand just what scary really is!  He really enjoyed himself and loved all the treats he received! 

I really enjoyed this month and can't wait to do it all again next year.  Well, maybe I can wait.  I don't want Marcus growing up any faster!

Ready to go to his school party!

Trick or Treating through the classrooms.

Ready for a Halloween Party!  Candy Corn Guessing Game, Costume Contest voting...

Gift Bags!

This witch is ready to party!

Spider web layered dip

Elmo and his Daddy at Trick or Treat on the Trails.

Carmel apple dipping station.

"Belle" and her apple.

Candy Corn Shooters!  For the "big kids".

Twinkie Witches!
A butterfly and a witch!
Tyler loves his apple!!!

Let the trick or treating begin!

Mommy and Marcus - trick or treating

Lily, Tyler and Marcus - such a wonderful experience!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Fun!

Tonight was a very busy night tonight!  I made pumpkin shaped sandwiches for Marcus' class tomorrow.  They are having their class party in the morning.  We also carved the pumpkin we selected at Yesterland Farm.  Marcus was very eager to help with everything!  I just couldn't let the seeds go to waste.  So, I decided to make Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Seeds.

These are very easy to make and are a delicious snack!  You clean and dry the seeds.  It's ok it they're still slightly moist.  Melt 1-2 tsp butter and add to seeds.  I used 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp sugar.  They turned out pretty good, but next time we will add a little more sugar.  Next, you bake for about an hour at 300 degrees.  Stir about every 15 minutes. Cool and serve! 

For those who know Marcus best, they know Elmo is a "must have" in our home.  So naturally, we found an Elmo pumpkin pattern to use!  It turned out really great!  Marcus hasn't seen it yet, because I put him to bed while Daddy was still carving.  I can't wait until the morning when he discovers his Elmo pumpkin!  I can already hear his little voice saying it!

Tonight was a success and I can't wait to see Marcus' face light up while he's discovering the magic of the holiday for the first time!

Pumpkin shaped sandwich

Daddy digging out seeds.  Mommy separating pulp from seeds.  Marcus thinking we're nuts! 
It's a dirty job, but someone had to do it!

Marcus just had to have a bite!  He wasn't impressed!
Helping Daddy map out the jack o lantern.

Elmo Jack o Lantern!!! 

Adding melted butter to the cleaned and dried seeds.

Sprinkling cinnamon and sugar.

Stirring the mixture.

Pour to bake.

Finished product.  Yummy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The greatest time of the year...

I absolutely love the fall!  It's my favorite time of the year and October is my favorite month!  Well, to be honest, there isn't anything I dislike about the next few months!  I've been especially excited as my son, Marcus, age 21 months, is finally old enough to truly enjoy the season as well!  We've engaged in many activities this month and have enjoyed all of them! We always go to the Dallas Arboreteum and Marcus throughouly enjoyed it this year!  It was a fairly warm day and he mostly enjoyed playing in the fountains.  However, we did get some good shots with him in the pumpkins!
In the Fountains
Mommy and Marcus posing in the pumpkins
My silly little boy!
We also had a chance to visit Yesterland Farms in Canton.  If you've never been, I recommend it!  We had a blast and there is tons of family activites!  We enjoyed the farms petting zoo, pig races, corn maze, hay rides, freshly sqeezed lemonade and of course, pumpkin patch!  They have several other activites to engage in, but we will get to that on our next visit!
Petting Lola the donkey.

Marcus in the play houses.

Daddy and Marcus in the Corn Maze.

Mommy and Marcus on the Hay Ride.

Kisses in the pumpkin patch

This week we went to the State Fair of Texas.  My favorite activity was the Helping Hands on the Farm.  It consists of each child receiving an apron (Marcus was too little for one) and a basket upon entrance.  You then "work" the farm.  For example, you pick peaches, feed the animals, gather eggs, clip sheep, pick produce, etc.  At the end, you seperate all your basket items in exchange for your "pay".  Your child then takes their "money" to the General Store where they purchase one item.  Even though my son isn't even two yet,  he seemed to understand the concept and we were very proud!  My husband and I also decided to ride the Texas Star with Marcus.  It is the largest ferris wheel in Texas!  Marcus seemed to love it!  I hope he's never afraid of heights!  We enjoyed lots of different activites and even ate a fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich...yummy!  It was a wonderful day and I can't wait to go again next year!

Daddy and Marcus picking peaches in the Helping Hands Farm.
Daddy and Marcus feeding the camel!  I can't believe Julian put his hand that close!

Marcus really loved those lil piggies!
Fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich!

Mommy, Marcus and Big Tex!

We ended the day on the Texas Star.

I'm looking forward to the last week of October as we have parties and trick or treating!  I hope Marcus will look back on these pictures and smile!