Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treats?

It has been TREATS this week at our house! I think I have cranked out about 100 of these... Ghosts ..and about 50 of these... Chocolate Spider Webs

On Friday all three children took Ghost Pops to their friends at school {well Owen took his to his teachers}... Friends Treats

Banks and Mary Reese took Spiderweb Cupcakes to their class party... Siderweb Cupcakes Spider Web Cupcake Tonight we are trick-or-treating with our friends. I was in charge of dessert... Ghost Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Carving the Pumpkin

Sunday afternoon was the perfect Fall afternoon, so we decided to carve our pumpkins. The kids were thrilled with the idea... Gross

...for about 30 seconds before they decided it was gross and moved onto other things... Leaf Jumping

But least I got my yard raked! {Did you notice the Star Jackson wrist band from Saturday's game?}

Each child gave me some instruction on how to carve their pumpkin. Banks wanted triangle eyes, a round nose and fang teeth. Mary Reese wanted flower eyes, a heart nose and a big smile. Here are the finished products... The finished Jack Don't throw way those need to roast them with a little butter and salt for about 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. They are delicious and delightful! Pumpkin Seeds Banks even took some to share with his class on Monday. I thought about cooking the inside of the pumpkin and pureeing it, but I just picked up a can at the grocery store!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alabama Tennessee Game Weekend

All my friends from college try to reunite at 1 game a year {usually the Ole Miss or Tennessee game...which ever one is home}. Jody and I headed down to Tuscaloosa on Friday afternoon... Pregame

We made a pit stop here before heading to Hotel Orrell for the weekend...
THE Booth
The {original} Booth was one of my hangouts in college. It use to be located on the strip. A couple of years ago...the strip underwent a major transformation {things like a Publix instead of a church}. Anyway...The Booth was forced to close to make room for something else the University wanted. In April, some guys {one being a rep for one of Jody's suppliers} opened it back up in a new downtown location. It is even smelled exactly the same as a remembered! After a few cold ones for old times sake...we headed to Lori and Bill's to wait on the rest of the gang!

We got up early Saturday morning and hit the Quad! Someone has gotten brilliant since my college days... Tailgate setup

They rent complete set ups for game days {some tents even come equipped with a big screen}! Lori and Bill {thankfully} are a part of one of these groups! She even ordered us barbecue to be picked up on the quad and beverages to be delivered iced down to our tent! Literally...all we had to do was show up! Yes there was a price to pay...but it was so worth it!

After tailgating all morning {and no of us ever took a group shot}, we headed over to the stadium to find our seats! Jody got to sit in a box with his supplier... After the game

...while I hiked it up to the upperdeck with my friend Amy. We ended up being 4 rows from the top surrounded by some lovely Tennessee fans! Actually they weren't that bad to sit with. Some of them might need a visit from Clinton and Stacey from What Not To Wear... What NOT to Wear

Does that look like an appropriate outfit for an end-of-October football game? I thought the rule was no white after Labor Day? Seriously the high was only in the low 60s. Until the sun hit us mid-game, it was quite chilly! She made me cold just looking at her!

It was a nail-biter of a game with {thankfully} a happy ending! Jody even got a wristband from Star Jackson for Banks after the game {His seat was right by the tunnel to the locker room}! Banks can't wait for show-and-tell on Friday! Thanks to Lori and Bill for being such wonderful hostesses for the weekend! We are looking forward to next year!

Thank you to all the grandparents {and great-grandmother} who pitched in to keep the kids for the weekend! Hope they were all on their best behavior!

Monday, October 26, 2009

CSA Fall Festival

Mary Reese {and Owen's} school had their Fall Festival on Friday. They got to wear their costumes. There was only 1 person from her class {and I think in the entire school} not in costume that day...Guess Who it was? c&m's class

You got to pick your battles and that was one I chose not to fight! {I did put it in her backpack just incase she had a change of heart!}

Here she is in her festive clothes with the class pumpkin... costumless Their school has gotten high tech! They created a facebook page and were posting pictures of the fall festival even before school was out {all these pictures except the last were borrowed off their page}! It is wonderful being able to see what your children are doing during the day!

From the looks of it, I think the festival was a hit... tunnel of love jumping fun Owen's class was suppose to go but I never saw any pictures of them. He did get to bring home his own pumpkin... Owen pumpkin

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ghosts Pops

Seriously {next to the chocolate pretzels} one of the easiest and one of the cutest Halloween treats ever... Ghosts
...White Chocolate Ghost Pops
{Martha Stewart inspired}

First I drew some ghosts on parchment paper to make me a template... ghost template
Martha freehanded hers...I wasn't that confident!

Then I put a bag of white chocolate chips and 1 ½ T. of vegetable oil in a quart sized zip lock bag. I melted the chocolate in 20 second intervals for 60 seconds {or until melted} in the microwave {squishing the bag in between intervals}.

Next, I put a sucker stick in the middle of each ghost template. {Make sure you flip your parchment paper over or you marker will bleed onto your ghosts!} I cut a corner out of the baggie and simply filled in the ghost! I added 2 milk chocolate chips for the eyes. Then just let them dry until hard! Class Treats
Once they dry...I wrapped them in cellophane bags tied with orange and black ribbons. I also added a little Happy Halloween tag from our family. My kids can't wait to take these to their classmates next week!

*1 (12 oz) bag of white chocolate chips made 10 suckers

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hostage Situation

Last night my oven took my dinner hostage... The Culprit

When I got home, I put a pan of brownies in the top oven and a pan of Chicken Tetrizzini in the bottom oven. The timer for the brownies beeped and I took them out without incident. About 10 minutes later, the timer beeped for the tetrazzini. When I tried to open the oven wouldn't budge! I discovered the oven took my dinner hostage!!!

We tried and tried to get that durn oven door open but had no luck! After about 15 minutes {and a couple of brownies each}, we turned to Plan B...
Backup Plan
The neighborhood Mexican joint!

I thought the oven door might open when it finally cooled down, but I was denied. I did a quick internet search {determined to save my dinner} and ran upon this article... The Solution
{It is amazing the kind of information you can find out there on the internet!} I gently lifted up on the oven door, moved it from side to side and wha la...the oven door opened! My tetrazzini was saved! The Hostage
Guess what we had for dinner tonight?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Owen's Baptism

Today was an important day in our youngest child's life...

owen cropped

...Owen Patrick was baptized in the church I grew up in, the church where Jody and I were married, and the same church were the other 2 children were baptized {all were baptized by the same minister}.

Jody, Banks, {Mary Reese from Popsy's lap} and I presented Owen for baptism. He took the entire service in... DSC_2356
...and behaved beautifully.

And as an added bonus, I managed to get a halfway decent picture of all 3 children... DSC_2398

After the ceremony, we had family and friends over for a luncheon at our house. The menu included Chicken Tetrazzini, Sautéed Carrots, Salad Greens with pears, goat cheese, spiced pecans and fig balsamic vinaigrette, Melt in Your Mouth rolls and cake {basically the same meal we served at the other 2 baptisms}.

The gown was made by my mother when Banks was a baby {I still remember the day we picked out all the lace} and has been worn by all her grandchildren... murphree gown1 Banks in 2003, Mary Reese in 2005 and Owen in 2009 {Cousin Carter wore it in 2008 and his baby sister will wear it on her special day}. Eventually {when we all stop having children} we are going to put their names and baptism dates in the hem of the slip and hopefully our grandchildren will continue the tradition!

The invitations were done by my sister's creative friend Mary...


The flowers at the church and our house were done by my talented friends Scott and Kathy of Willis Gray Floral Design {they did the flowers at our wedding and my sister's wedding}... DSC_2344

The cake was done by our dear friend Judi Moore {who did our wedding cakes, all our birthday cakes and my sister's wedding cakes. She did tell me I was pushing my luck because she had a wedding and several other events this weekend as well}... DSC_2410 Thankfully I am surrounded by many talented people!

We are extremely grateful to all our family and friends who supported us and Owen today on his special day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Family Favorite: Miami Chili

Great by itself or on a Chili Cheese Dog... chili cheese dog Miami Chili
1 lb. ground beef
3 T. olive oil
1½ c. chopped green, red and yellow peppers
1 c. chopped Vidalia onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes with chopped chilies
2 (16 oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
1 (16 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 0z) bottle Mexican beer
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. chopped fresh oregano
2 T. chopped fresh basil
2 bay leaves
1½ T. chili powder
2 t. salt
1½ t. ground cumin
Coarsely shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
Cook ground beef in 1 T. of the olive oil over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until browned, drain well. In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 T. olive oil over medium high heat. Add peppers, onions and garlic and cook until peppers are tender. Stir in beef, tomatoes with their juices, kidney and black beans, beer, vinegar, oregano, basil, bay leaves, chili powder, salt and cumin. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasonings. Remove bay leaves. Serve in bowls with cheese garnish {or on top of a good old grilled hot dog in a toasted bun with mustard} with a side of Homemade Potato Chips!
{This recipe came from my brother and SIL.}

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do you feel sorry for me?

...because my mommy does! Bustin Out Jody packed Owen's bag this morning. When I saw him this afternoon...I busted out laughing because he was literally busting out of his outfit! Jody had packed him a size 3-6 month onesie which according their size chart is intented for a 12-16 pound child who is 24-27 inches long. Clearly we have passed those milestones {about 3 months ago}! Only 2 of the 3 snaps would fasten and the long sleeves became 3/4 length! I guess I need to weed out some clothes...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Fall Break

This was last Fall Break...


How do you ever top a fabulous, magical trip to Walt Disney World? There is no topping it but we managed to squeeze in a wonderful mini-vacation!

Saturday morning, we all loaded up in the family truckster for a mystery destination {we didn't tell the kids that we were even going on a trip}. We headed south {and after almost a hour delay sitting in stand-still traffic on the interstate}...we finally made it to our destination: Ross Bridge
Ross Bridge Resort for a 2 night mini-vacay! The kids enjoyed swimming in the pool all weekend long {which must have been heated because it actually pretty pleasant}...
sliding pool time
We also caught up on some much needed rest...
And thanks to my thoughtful husband, I got to catch up on some magazines...
...while enjoying a much needed pedicure and massage at the Resort Spa!
I went with a new fall color...very unlike me {usually I am a pink/coral kind of girl}.

Sunday afternoon we surprised these three goblins yet again...
my little ghost
We took them to Boo at the {Birmingham} Zoo:
boo at the zoo
Where they played tons of carnival games...
carnival games
...and won cool prizes...
...and rode the spooky rides like the carousel backwards to Halloween tunes...
spooky carousel
They also snuck in some trick-or-treating as well. They had a blast! Our only disappointment was all the animals were "blocked" off! Oh well...guess we will have to plan another trip to actually see the animals!

We also managed to do some shopping....
target buggy the Summit and the new Super Target in Hoover {supposedly the "World's Largest Target"}!
And of course what would a vacation be without lots of delicious and delightful food...
...Saturday night we hit Iguana Grill and Davenport's Pizza on Sunday!

We had a fantastic time on our little Surprise Fall Break Road Trip!