Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jonathan's birthday party

Double Digits! Do you remember what a big deal turning 10 is? Jonathan's request was that we be in Tupelo for his birthday. We had his party on his birthday at Tombigbee State Park. Very cool to have the party at a remote location. Easy clean up! The party's theme was Wipeout, from the reality tv show with the big red balls. The invitations were cool- we stuffed the invitations into red balloons and put a note in the envelope that said to get the invitation, pop the red balloon.
The theme continued at the party with an obstacle course
that started at the monkey bars,
with ropes to walk across
and swing on,
with large slip and slides to slide on
and to crawl up,
hidden balls in shaving cream,
and spider webs to crawl through.
Martha and Mitchell, Mark's parents, were able to come and Mitchell grilled out hamburgers and hotdogs for us. we had another treat for the party. My friend Carmen and her kids came for Jonathan's party all the way from Hattiesburg!

Other highlights from the party: shaving cream fights, disc golf, and water balloons!

Noah made Jonathan a very cool gift. Those are the best gifts!

Just in case you are wondering, we had three or four tries for the cake. Jonathan wanted to make his cake, and original plan was for it to look like a big red ball (get the theme?). When he dumped the cake out of the pan, however, it didn't hold together. Since we had company in town (the Huffmans), we didn't do anything special, just a cake with candles. The company was worth not spending hours on a cake! The other tries? I won't bore you with the details. They were tasty, though! So much for the tradition of birthday kid and mom with a really cool cake. Didn't happen this year for him!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Swim Lessons

We rushed back from the 4th so Cameron could attend her favorite activity this summer -swim lessons! We don't have a pool, so swimming is a real treat for us, and she loved every drop of water she splashed in. A friend of hers was in the class, too and that made it extra fun for both of us as I had a few moms there I knew that I could chat with in the mornings. That was especially nice since I decided to increase my workouts and give up coffee the same week. Grr! On Wednesday I caved and bought Starbucks on the way home from swim lessons. Next time I cold turkey it on the coffee, I'll make it when I'm not dragging from tough workouts. I'm just glad the tough workouts lasted longer than going without coffee! I'm into half decaf now. Baby steps.
Back to Cameron. She did great in swim lessons and only chickened out once on jumping off the big diving board. Our car rides home every day centered around big diving board talk. She wants to be a mermaid when she grows up, by the way, but she doesn't think that can really happen.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Batchin it!

I had some extra time on my hands (really, I am just procrastinating on writing lesson plans!) so I decided to do a bit of batch cooking for the start of the school year. I used my last freezer meal earlier this week (gasp!) and felt a little vulnerable. You know, getting caught without a backup meal plan if I was too lazy to cook! I tried out all new recipes today, so I can't tell you how they taste. Anita shared them with me. Here's the menu:
Little Cheesy Meatloaves
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1 pound lean ground beef or chuck
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste

In a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion, and salt. Add meat and mix well. Shape into eight loaves, place in a 9x13 baking dish. Mix ketchup, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper. Spoon over meatloaves. Cover with saran wrap and aluminum foil and freeze.
Thaw. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Little Saucy Meatballs
Make crumbs in a blender using 1 whole wheat bread, dry or toasted, torn into pieces, parsley.
Combine thoroughly in mixing bowl, shape into 18-20 2 inch balls and brown on all sides in nonstick pan:
1 lb ground turkey
bread crumb mixture
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup lowfat milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Add one cup water, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
Blend together and stir into pan with meatballs, bring to a boil, stir one minute to thicken lightly:
2 cups water
2 T arrowroot powder
1 t Worcestershire sauce
Cool and freeze. Thaw and reheat. Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.
A Sue Gregg recipe

Almond Lemon Chicken
Slice each chicken piece in 3 or 4 lengthwise strips and marinade in the remaining ingredients 2 hours or longer:
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast
5 T lemon juice
3 T prepared mustard
2 T olive oil
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t pepper
Saute nuts in butter until golden in fry pan and remove from pan:
2 T melted butter
1/2 cup almonds, slivered or chopped
Drain chicken, saving marinade and brown on both sides in same pan, 6 to 10 minutes, blend in broth and cook until broth is about 2/3 the volume:
reserved marinade
2 cups chicken broth
blend of 2 T each cold water and cornstarch
Stir in:
Sauteed almonds
2 T orange marmalade
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Place sauce and chicken in baggie. To serve, thaw, heat and serve over rice.
A Sue Gregg recipe

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

4th of July

The stars of the parade!
Hangin out on the porch
After my sister Karen's party, we spent the week at the Angelina River Lodge, aka the Fish Camp. We really had a great time! Our family would be joining us later in the week, so we had a few days with just Mema and Big Daddy. We rode jet skis, swam, laid around, read, hunted alligators, fished (the boys), went out on the boat, tubed, and probably our favorite, spent an afternoon on the lake. Mark built a jet ski ramp for the new dock. Mark and I even got to go for a few jogs while we were there.

The family started coming in on Wednesday, and everyone but my niece and two nephews were able to make it. We all really missed them. There were thirty one of us, including a few girlfriends and friends. We had the traditional annual parade and barbeque and boy, just like every year, the food was great!

Can you see the alligator? He lives way back in the slough beside the old dock.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Karen's Birthday Bash

Happy Birthday Karen! Happy 50th birthday big sis!

Ever heard of Sally OMalley? Google it (inside joke). Karen and Denise (my sisters) are looking at some blast from the past photos that resurfaced at the party.

The kids started the dancing off. What great attire! You should have seen the sparkle in Cameron's eyes when she got to wear this skirt!

Evelyn, Cameron, and Angela dancing. Mema is in the background taking a break from dancing with the little girls.

This is Evelyn dancing with Grandmamma (aka Mrs. Kulbeth, Bob's Mom)

Who is this? Oh, Robert, sorry I didn't recognize him for a minute (get it, haircut?). The boys were occupied with fishing. Robert was obsessed with it.

At least Luke knows how to dance Zydeco!

Drinks, anyone?

Everyone danced that night (when they gave up on the Zydeco!). Hopefully my kis will remember all the times of dancing with grandparents and aunts and uncles! Karen and Bob are in this picture with Robert and I (if you could have seen the sweetest look on his face when he was dancing with me! I melted!) and my parents Mema and Big Daddy, are on the left.

What a party! Karen, Mom, Denise, Kimberly, Kristie (with an arm extended to photo shop in Suzanna - ya know, I hear revisionist history is pretty popular right now.) That's Bob (Karen's husband) in the back.

We all had a great time! Once again the Kulbeths proved they know how to throw a great party!

I'm Back!

I'm back! Just trying to decide where to start? In the here and now, or where I left off? I think I'll start where I left off. I'd hate for any of you to miss hearing about my awesome family! I'm working on the posts now, so check back soon!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

After a while Crocodile!

Taking a break from blogging for a while this summer! I may sneak in a post about Jonathan's very cool birthday party in a few days. See you guys in a little while!
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