Tyson Hugh Hooper

Tyson Hugh Hooper
Our son, Tyson Hugh Hooper, was born with coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic arch, and a transitional avsd. His first open heart surgery reconstructed his aorta and was on day 9 of life. His second open heart repair was not anticipated to be needed until two or three years of age. Ty had other plans. We spent the vast majority of his first 3 months of life at Vanderbilt as he went into heart failure and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. As a result, the medical team concluded that he needed the repair much sooner than usually recommended, and at just shy of 3 months old Ty underwent his second life saving open heart surgery. God has already worked so many miracles in Ty's life and the life of our family and we know he is using our story. Because of this, we are grateful for Ty's special heart and feel beyond blessed that God chose us to travel this road. We ask for prayers as Ty continues to heal. We are praying for a full recovery and life without restrictions for Ty. We are praying for God to use our family and Ty for His glory.

Thank you to each and every person who supports us through prayer, giving, or just by loving on our family! We are humbled and blessed by all of the ways the Lord is providing for us and know that he is using Ty and his story to do great things!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve...

is the BIG day!

In my family most of the "big" Christmas action actually occurs on Christmas Eve. It hasn't always been this way, but as our family and grown and changed it has become a tradition that fits this current chapter in our lives. So I thought I would share some of the goings on of the day with you... with lots of pictures!

First, a little introduction. Mom and Dad took in a dog named Toby...

This 2 1/2 year old dog that is already house trained and VERY well behaved is now a resident at my parents house. His previous owner has a new baby and decided it was time for the dog to go! He is especially partial to my mom and she to him... Tuffy (their Yorkie, is not so thrilled)!

So Christmas Eve started pretty early this morning as we got ready for Dad's side of the family to join us for our annual Christmas Eve brunch! The spread included quiche, scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, gravy, biscuits, pancakes, hot fruit, cold fruit, doughnuts, and I could keep going... so the cooking started pretty early!

Bentlee got in on the action... she placed all the biscuits on the pan and cracked all the eggs!

I made tomato-basil quiche... it was a new recipe and turned out great! I'll share it on Tasty Tuesday some time! Mom did LOTS, I can't even list it all... she's amazing!

And Dad fried most of the fried apple pies that mom made so I wouldn't get splattered! :-)

This is Bentlee and Elizabeth (my cousin's little girl) toasting before breakfast! They have a good time together even though they only see each other at Thanksgiving and Christmas!
After brunch we always do a Chinese auction (where each person brings a gift and everyone draws a number and then you can open or steal gifts up to three times, etc). It's always SO much fun, SO many laughs, and it's great on every one's budget! We used to gift everyone, then we drew names, but we landed on this years ago and it stuck! It's a real winner in our family! After many steals and some strategizing with my sister-in-law, I walked away with a beautiful pair of candle sticks!
After everyone left, Bentlee stayed with us while Ken and Sarah went to take care of some official Santa business. B fell asleep and had her nap (that she takes daily for about 2 hours - how nice is that!!).

She is so sweet! She sleeps as hard as a rock! We played music, cleaned up, and Toby even jumped on her a couple of times and she never even stirred!
When she got up she was rip roarin' ready to play! Here we are being silly~

And then Christmas Eve night we have our "family" Christmas, just me, Mom, Dad, Ken, Sarah, and Bentlee! This year Sarah and Malcolm chose to stay home for Christmas. We watched Christmas Vacation, had dinner (Paninis and Chili - Mmm) and then opened gifts and played!

At the end of the night we concluded with another tradition we have adopted in our family. It is an Old World Christmas tradition of hanging a pickle on the Christmas tree (we have an ornament that is a pickle, not an actual pickle). Mom always hides it and then the first person to find it get's the "pickle prize" which is always an ornament. My brother got it this year... again! He's good at finding it!
Overall, so far, it has been a wonderful and blessed holiday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I was reading Betsy's blog and she was talking about a Sunday school party she went to. She said they were discussing favorite Christmas traditions and telling Christmas stories. So, I decided to blog about my favorite Christmas tradition from my childhood and "tag" everyone else to write about their favorite Christmas tradition and/or story as well!

Stockings were my favorite Christmas tradition as a child. From the time I can remember until I moved out (and even the first couple of Christmases after that) our stockings were hung on December 1st. Each year mom would fill our stockings with a treat or goodie for each day of December leading up to Christmas. When our stockings were hung on December 1st there were 24 curling ribbons hanging from our stocking and each day we were allowed to draw one ribbon from the stocking... attached to the end of each ribbon was something special just for us. The treats varied from candy and chocolate to ornaments, pens, pencils, and all kinds of little things. One year I got a tiny nativity scene one piece at a time mixed with other treats. One year we each got candy and ornaments and things as well as zip lock bags of puzzle pieces... we would beg each other to draw so we could put our pieces together each night and try to finish our puzzle! In addition to getting a special treat each day it served as an advent calendar of sorts as we could count the ribbons to know how many days were left until Christmas! I thought this was a WONDERFUL tradition and one that I look forward to sharing with my children one day!!

So, what is your single, most favorite Christmas tradition? I can't wait to get some great ideas and some wonderful holiday stories!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tasty Tuesday...

Another super fast, super easy, and super yummy recipe! This one is GREAT on a cold drizzly day!

Spicy Vegetable Soup
1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (30 oz) jar chunky, garden-style spaghetti sauce with mushrooms and peppers
1 can beef broth, undiluted
1 can Rotel tomatoes w. chilies
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups water
1 cup sliced celery
1 tsp sugar
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) package of frozen vegetables

Cook the ground beef, garlic, and onion in a large pot over medium heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Darin all fat and return meat mixture to pot. Add spaghetti sauce and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 or 30 min. Makes 12 cups of soup.

This is a recipe I got from my mom and I tried it for the first time about a week ago. It turned out SO great! It's spicy because of the Rotel, but not too spicy... if you make it for kids or someone who doesn't like spicy stuff at all, use "mild" Rotel instead. I served it with cornbread and it was sooooooooo yummy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow Day...

... a great way to start a weekend!

So Thursday night as I made my way through snow and ice to meet my cheerleaders at the basketball games that would be cancelled later that evening, the hope began to bloom! By 7:45 Thursday night, the word was out... our first official snow day would be Friday, December 12.

I got home from the games and settled in for a late night of tv and a morning sleeping in! The snow was SO beautiful... big, wet flakes perfect for snowballs! After watching the snow fall and the yard become white I had to go outside and make a snowman... who could resist! Don't be fooled... this is a little snow man on top of my car with chocolate chip eyes and nose and a scarf made for a wine bottle! lol!

Friday proved to be everything that a snow day is cracked up to be! I slept really late - which is just as well, because the roads were a mess! I met some fellow teachers and Moo at Toot's for lunch and then did a little shopping! My reward... I went to a new place in town and go Photo Shop Elements for $10. It was one of those "junk" stores that has everything from industrial fans to screwdrivers to shampoo and toys... items that have been returned, removed from the package, etc. My item had a ripped box! ha! I loaded it on the computer and although I haven't played with it too much, it seems to work great!

Friday night I was off to La's for our annual galz Christmas gathering! This year was a pajama party with breakfast food! We had yummy fruit salad, breakfast casserole, sausage balls, and my caramel pecan Cinnamon rolls - YUMMY!!!

Here are Moo and D-word... it's kind of an action shot! I think that's all you can get of Dawson these days, because he is on the go-go-go!

And here the three of us are sporting our Christmas colors! :-) I got THE COOLEST gifts... but I didn't take pictures yet, so I am going to hold off on posting about those just yet! :-)
I got a few other things this weekend too that I wanted to share, though, so that I could say a BIG thanks!!!

I got this really awesome pictures frame from my Aunt Jenni - she always gives the neatest gifts! I LOVE this frame! Thanks Jenni!

I got this ADORABLE Christmas card from Leigh Ann! LAH, this just makes me want to jump under the covers right between them and watch a Christmas movie... they could not BE more adorable!!!!

And I also go this too=too=cute card from Betsy! Does she not have a most gorgeous kids EVER! Thanks, Betsy, for including me!
I just was so excited to get these things in the mail... too fun!
Now, I'm off to finish my weekend! I hope yours is great!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Number One, Best Christmas Storybook Every...

This is my most favorite Christmas Storybook ever! I read it every year just for myself. Whether you have kids or not, this is a must read! It makes and excellent gift or a wonderful purchase just for you! Ever year it gives me chills to read it and the illustrations are fabulous! Betsy posted about a few books she like and I just had to share this story with you all! PLEASE, if you haven't ever seen it, find it, buy it, and enjoy it each year!!
I am interested... how many of you already have it?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tasty Tuesday...

Here's one that's quick and easy and GREAT for a night when you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

No Peek Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Rice
1 Can Cream of mushroom
2 Cups Water or Chicken Broth
1 Package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Preheat to 350 degrees. Butter or Pam a casserole dish. Put uncooked rice in the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Lay chicken breasts on top of the rice. In a bowl, whisk water or broth with cream of mushroom soup. Pour soup mixture over chicken and rice. Sprinkle top with Onion Soup Mix. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Don't peek!

This recipe turns out perfect every time and it's so easy that ANYONE could do it! No skill involved and a hearty meal at the end? Who can beat that! Serve up with some salad or broccoli for something green and you have a complete meal with practically no work involved!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christams Survey...

This was on Amanda's blog a while back and I have been meaning to do it!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper (only gift bags for the awkward gifts that won't fit a box!)
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, it's just easier!
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving
4. When do you take the tree down? Day after New Years
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but only in small doses and it depends who makes it
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember Pam Jilly (Cabbage Patch Kid) who I called Plum Jelly because I couldn't say her name! lol.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Usually my Dad.... what do you get the Man who has everything?8. Easiest person to buy for? Mom and my girlz
9. Do you have a nativity scene? yes! I have a regular size, really pretty one and then I have a tiny and I mean **tiny** one that I put in my kitchen windowsill! I would like a Willowtree one eventually!
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I have to confess... I don't send out Christmas Cards! Every year I say I will and it never gets done!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Can't think of a bad one!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas Vacation
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually early September... I try to be done or close to done by Thanksgiving! It makes December a lot less stressful and financially straining!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I confess... I have regifted... but only for a dirty Santa type thing!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cornbread Dressing! Mmmm!
16. Lights on the tree? Of course!, clear ones
17. Favorite Christmas song? Grown Up Christmas List, Santa Baby, and Let it Snow!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? A little of both!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? This year a bow for the first time... last year it was a star and as a child it was an angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas Eve with Dad's side of the Family, Christmas day with my immediate family, later Christmas day with Mom's side of the Family.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crowds! Everywhere you go!
23. What theme or color are you using? Red, Green, and Gold
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Dad's side of the family family does breakfast/brunch on Christmas Eve morning... I think that's fun!
25.What do you want for Christmas this year? There are a few little things that I think would be fun, but mostly I just want to spend time with the ones I love!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Have you seen...

Well... between being sick with a cold, basketball games, and a visit from Mom I have been a busy girl and posting hasn't made the agenda! So, in an effort to catch up quick, I thought I would post my "Have you seen...!" Three things that are on my wish list that I also think make great gifts for others!
First up...

Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Crock Pot! It has three different crock sizes so you can cook small things like dips and appetizers and large things like meals for many, or in-between, when you're just cookin' for a couple! I just think it's genius!


The Panini Press! My mom is the Panini champion! She does the best combos.... turkey and olive tappinade, Ham and caramelized onion, tomato-basil-mozzarella! SOOOO good! I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a good and affordable one!!! Any suggestions?

Last... and non-kitchen related...

Corn Hole! Okay, for anyone wanting to know the perfect and unique gift for the special man in your life? This IS IT! Any man who loves football, tailgating, or hanging out with "the boys" outside will LOVE this game! It's great at tailgates, great for family get together, great for back yard barbecues! You can play in grass, on pavement, and really, even inside if you have the space! It's great!

So, there are three things I'd like to get and that I think are just too cool and make excellent gift ideas!! What's on your wish list? I'd love to hear about the cool things you have discovered that you have or want!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tasty Tuesday...

Well it all started with a jar of capers! I had a jar of capers in the pantry that I needed to use so I decided to search for a recipe that would use them up!

I landed on a recipe for Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Butter, Capers, and Orzo! Mmmm. Tonight was the night I finally tried it and I was very excited about how it turned out! It was wonderful. I thought, "With a meal like this at home, who needs to go out?"

1 lemon, zested
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 shallot, diced
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
3 Tbs olive oil
4 (8 oz) tilapia fillets
1/2 pound orzo (cooked according to package directions)
1/4 cup drained capers

First you combine the lemon zest and juice, wine, and shallot in a small saucepan over high heat and cook until it reduces by half...

Remove from the heat and combine with the butter - whisk - and add capers. Set aside. (This can be made a day ahead, but must come to room temp before serving)

Heat the grill to high. Meanwhile, start cooking the Orzo...

Throw the tilapia on and grill about 3 or 4 minutes on each side until lightly golden brown and slightly charred.

Drain the orzo and toss with some of the butter mixture. Transfer the orzo to a platter or individual plates. Remove the fish from the grill and place it on top of the orzo. Top with the butter mixture and freesh parsley if you have it.

And, viola! It was SO quick, SO easy, and SO something I could have on hand for a quick-fix meal!!! I had this with ceasar salad and chardonnay, Mmmmm!
Note: Next time I will use fewer capers and more wine! :-)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I was so thankful for my Thanksgiving break! Now, at the close of my blissful break, I reflect and am still filled with thankfulness.

I am thankful that I have a family that is so loving, supportive, and fun to be with! I am thankful for the huge spread of Thanksgiving goodies that we stuffed ourselves with on Thanksgiving day! I am thankful for 5 days filled with nothing but family and friends and fun... all play and no work. I am thankful that I returned home rested and restored. I have so much to be thankful for and I have been so blessed! Thank you Lord for the blessings you have showered my life with and thank you for your continued blessings... I do not deserve.

I did it all over the break. Wal-mart runs, dinners in and dinners out, Wii playing, movie watching, golfing, napping, football viewing, fun! Every moment was filled, but every moment was relaxing and fulfilling! It was a wonderful break!

I didn't take too many pictures... I was enjoying life in the moment and not through my lens. I did manage to snag this family photo on Thanksgiving Day...

My sister and her husband were unable to attend, so this is only Mom, Dad, Me, Ken, Sarah M, and Bentlee.

And of course I snapped a few shots of my favorite (albeit, only) niece! Isn't she BEAUTIFUL?!?

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was a wonderful and blessing-filled as mine! I can't wait to catch up on all my blog reading and hear/see about all the Thanksgiving goodness!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


I feel like I have hit the jackpot! My own personal jackpot!

Allow me to explain. Many of you already know that I am an excellent house keeper... very organized, everything in it's place, you get the idea. I am not, however, a great house-cleaner! I despise mopping, scrubbing tubs, and cleaning toilets! Dusting and vacuuming aren't my favorite either. In short, I keep everything neat and tidy, but when it comes to keeping things clean I struggle... and I mean struggle!

So, here's the story. I was getting my hair cut the other day. I love my stylist... she is great at cutting, great at coloring, and great a waxing... what more could you want? She also cleans houses. I don't feel like it's a wise use of my funds at this point in life to have my home cleaned when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself, but it was very tempting. When I go get my hair cut, Gerri and I always talk shop because she home schools her daughter. This time we were talking about teaching and school and home school and she mentioned that she was thinking of getting a tutor for her daughter! She said (get this) she was getting everything covered except for social studies! (That's right - my subject!) I asked if she would be interested in trading services and wham, bam, (a little talking and working out details), thank-you-ma'am, I now am having my house cleaned... and tutoring a 6th grader in social studies!

Today was the first cleaning. Honestly, not kidding, couldn't be more serious... my house is cleaner than it was the day I moved in! It's AMAZING! I have no idea how she did it... it's phenomenal.

Now, onto the rest of my weekend.....

Saturday was spent, for the most part, recovering from Bunko/Poker night... not that I needed to recover (don't read too much into that)... just that I was up late and so I slept in and had the do-nothing, relaxing day I had been craving!

Sunday I headed to Chris' for a grill and chill and to watch the Titan's game! It was great!

I would have LOVED to have gone to the game, but couldn't get tickets... which turned out because the Titan's lost. So, Chris' was the perfect way to spend Sunday afternoon!! We had this yummy grillin' food, football, and lots of laughs! It was such a great time!

Here I am with some of my favorite guys enjoying the football fun! Nothing beats a Sunday that includes football, friends, and a grill... I'm just sayin'!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The week in pictures...

Since my last post on Tuesday I have been up to lots of fun things like...

Playing with my boy Vance so his Mommy and Daddy could celebrate their anniversary out to dinner! We read, played with puzzles, watched back yardigans, and (as you can see) had fun running and crawling and climbing and hiding all of the place!

I also spent some QT with D-word!! He's now crawling, pulling up, walking around furniture, and saying a word or two now and then (SO CUTE)! Seriously, I could just eat him with a spoon!!!!

I spent some time with my girlz! As you can see by this picture, we sorted through TONS and TONS of maternity clothes for Moo!! We also had Chinese takeout which Moo has been craving (YUM) and watched grays anatomy! The best part of the night though, as always, was talking and laughing with La and Moo! I love you ladies... you're both so good for my soul!!!!!!

Friday night was Bunko night AND poker night, so I had to pull double duty! I had the absolute best time at Bunko (Kathy and Jenn hosted at Kathy's house and it was great)! I had such a good time that I even one with the most Bunkos! First time ever for me to get more than one Bunko... I got two!!!

After eating dinner at Kathy's and playing bunko and visiting there, I headed over to Rob's for Poker night! I only stayed for two Texas hold 'em tournaments, but it was still 1:30 AM before I got done with that... way past my bed time, but worth it! I had a great time catching up with everyone there! I didn't win anything this time, but I did hang around in both games pretty close to the end!
Now, it's Saturday and I have absolutely no plans! It's wonderful! Sometimes you just need a day to do whatever! So, I slept in and my only plans so far are a little bit of Christmas decoration and some grocery shopping!
I hope each you you have a fabulous weekend! Next weekend is Thanksgiving and I CAN'T WAIT!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh so good....

I thought I would participate in Lindsay's Tasty Tuesday today! I don't link up because my blog is private, but you can link to hers by clicking the button above and check out all the other Tasty Tuesday recipes!

This is probably my all time favorite soup for cold weather. The recipe is easy, fast, and fool proof and you can keep the ingredients on hand easily! Mmmm!!

Potato Cheese Soup

5 Lbs. potatoes (cut into small bite-size cubes)
3 cans chicken broth
2 cans cream of celery
1 pt half and half (I always just use milk since I don't have half and half on hand)
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese (cubed or shredded)
8 oz. Pepper Jack (or cheddar, which I use, because I don't like spicy stuff)

Simmer potatoes until fully cooked and fork tender. Drain. Add soups and broth. Simmer 5 min. Add half and half or milk and cheeses and simmer until cheese melts.

That's it folks! SOOOOO fast and easy and tastes SOOOOO good! It's a crowd pleaser! I always top it with cheese and some crumbled bacon! Mmm!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Spirit...

...strikes early!

Okay, so it's a little early for the Christmas look for the blog, but I couldn't resist! We had actual snow flurries this morning and I've been Christmas shopping... it's in the air people! I am pretty particular about the "rules" of Christmas decorations (up the day after Thanksgiving and down the day after New Years) but this year, I am breaking the rules (at least in blog world) and "decorating" early!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

35 Things...

I saw this on Amanda's blog and I thought I would do it too!! So here are 35 things about me...

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? yes

2. Do you own a gun? No

3. What's your favorite drink at Starbucks? Caramel Machiato

4.What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Caramel Machiato

5. Do you do pushups? Ha! I don't think so!!

6.What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My "M" necklace

7.Favorite hobby? Photography

8. Do you have A.D.D? nope

9. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? I'm a pleaser... sometimes its a good thing, sometimes not so much.

10. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I am ready to get up my Christmas decorations (the earliest I have ever even thought of it), I shouldn't put them up until the day after Thanksgiving, I might do it anyway! lol

11. Name 4 drinks you regularly drink. Water and Wine.... sweet tea and Cherry coke

12. Current worry right now? What time will I get to sleep since I took a 2 hour nap after my shop-a-thon with mom! lol

13. Current hate right now? Money... I wish it didn't exist... or that I was independently wealthy! lol. I hate worrying and planning and money matters in general.

14. Favorite place to be? Home... or Tybee Island.

15. Do you like to travel? Yes!!

16. What color shirt are you wearing? Navy

17.Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Egyptian Cotton

18. Can you whistle? yes... but I wish I could do the REALLY loud, two finger, whistle!

19. Favorite color? Pink

20. If you could, would you be a pirate? I think not

21. What song do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower.

22. Favorite girl's name? Can't pick just one...

23. Favorite boy's name? Can't pick just one...

24. What's in your pocket right now? Don't have pockets right now... in my PJs

25. Favorite bedsheets as a child? flannel with sheep on them!

26. Worst injury? badly broken arm when I was in the 2nd grade... ick!

27. Do you love where you live? I do... it's home!

28. How many TVs do you have in your house? two

29. Who is your loudest friend? Rob, lol.

30. How many pets do you have? None... and I like it that way

31. Does someone have a crush on you? Ya never know...

32. What is your Favorite Book? The Time Traveler's Wife

33. What's your favorite candy? Peanut Butter Cups

34. Favorite Sports Team? Titans

35. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? I wondered if Mom was up because it was day two of our shop-a-thon!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yummy in my Tummy...

Well, it's no secret that I like to eat! I love food, I enjoy cooking, and delight in eating a wonderful meal! That being the case, I decided I better do something to compensate and I started back at the gym! I gotta be honest and say, it kicked my butt, but I felt SO good about myself and had SO much energy right from visit one! I just hope I can make it a part of my routine and stick with it!

Being that I am working out, I don't feel so bad cooking what I REALLY want to eat! Today was a cold, rainy day and my cabinets were bare, so I headed to the store to stock up. I was really wanting something warm and delicious for dinner and I got it in my head that broccoli and rice would be good.... and chicken... and something cheesy! From that, I landed on a combination of recipes and ended up with a darn good casserole that I can call my own!

1 pat of butter
1/2 onion chopped
1 can cream of celery
1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 package frozen broccoli florets (thawed)
1/2 (ish) cup sour cream
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
salt to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat to 325.
Melt butter and saute onions until tender. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 30 min. until brown and bubbly!

Mmmmm... so good!

And for a not new recipe that I didn't make tonight, but that was on my mind because I was organizing my recipes and because I have some potatoes I need to use...

Fried Potato Patties (Had these at Yatzi's and they were SO good!!!!)

2 cups cooked, mashed potatoes (really handy if you have leftovers!)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine first 7 ingredients; shape into 6, 3/4 inch thick patties. Dip each in egg and coat lightly with bread crumbs. Fry in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 12 min. or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

So... as Paula Dean would say, "Best Dishes!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Lake house...

...not the movie, the girls weekend!

This weekend me and 9 other fabulous women from my school (and one who used to be at my school) headed out of town for a weekend at "the lake house" in Alabama! It was SO MUCH FUN! There is nothing like getting out of town to help you unwind and relax!

This was the beautiful view we enjoyed each day! The 10 of us had so much time! A homemade chili dinner Friday night served up with lots of drinks, lots of laughter, and lots of fun!

We had a lot of laughing and a lot of lounging! Here you see Marsha, Beth, and Lisa all on the biggest bean bag I have ever seen in my life! Seriously... the thing was the size of a twin bed!!!!
Saturday morning we slept in, then got up and ate a HUGE breakfast spread... it was SO good! I'll be posting Beth's recipe for cheese grits when I get it from her - they were incredible!!!!
After hanging at the lake house all morning we headed out to a couple really cute stores in the little town of Guntersville, AL! Such a cute town. Then it was back to the house to do some more relaxing!!!

Here is a picture of Anne and I outside the house enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery!!!
Saturday night we had barbecue, baked beans, mac n cheese, cornbread, and cole slaw - MMMMmmmmm! And then Paige built a bonfire and we had s'mores and catch phrase and fun around the fire!!!!

Here we are around the fire! It's a little fuzzy because it was so dark, but you can still tell that we were having a big time!!!

This is Paige! The lake house belongs to her parents and she was so gracious to share it with us! I think we all agreed that we need to make this an annual event! Thanks Paige so much for having us for the weekend!!!!!

Sunday we had another BIG breakfast spread and then cleaned up, packed up, and sadly headed home! I think we all wished we could stay for the week! Maybe next time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Sunday was a WONDERFUL day!!!!!

Me, Moo, Web, and Chris loaded up bright and early and headed to see the Titans take on the Greenbay Packers!!!! We met Chris and Web's friend Stephen to tailgate with some friends of his! Let me just say, these people do it up right! Under two large tents they cooked a spread on the spot... bacon, eggs, ham, biscuits, gravy, sausage balls, pancakes... (you get the idea, and this doesn't even TOUCH the amount of food they had)! There was corn hole and a football to toss and drinks, of course! It was THE BEST TIME!!!!

Here's Chris, Web, and Stephen - they are so funny... all three of them crack me up!

Here are Chris and I at the tailgate! It was so bright and sunny - a beautiful day and perfect weather for the game!!

Here are Moo and Web.. notice Web's sporting his packers shirt! lol... now that's a real fan! I guess this qualifies as the little bit's first game ever! Poor Moo had to tote her sprite around and couldn't enjoy the full bounty of the spread of food, but something tells me, she doesn't mind one bit! ;-)

This is actually in the game! This is Chris, Yatzi, and I! Yalitza (whom we affectionately call Yatzi) moved to Alabama a couple of years ago and we miss her SOOOOOO much! She has meant so much to us and done so much for us, it was SO great to see her and Wayne at the game! Everyone say a little prayer that she gets into the doctoral program at MTSU so she'll be commuting back and forth to Murfreesboro and we'll see her more often!!!

Overall I can't say enough about how much fun I had! There is NOTHING like tailgating with good friends and then going to a great game!!! It was, the perfect day! Thanks Moo, Web, Chris, and even Stephen for making a wonderful memory! I can't wait to do it again!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cookbook Party....

This past Saturday Lauren and I hosted a Junior League Cookbook Party at La's house! It was a lot of fun! Lauren made a delicious baked ham with mustard glaze, broccoli salad, cornbread, and a blueberry cobbler and I made sweet potato casserole and the best squash casserole recipe I have ever had (which I will share at the end of this post)

This is what the table looked like! It was so much fun visiting with friends and eating good food! We even sold a lot of cookbooks (which was the goal) and had a great time doing it!! :-)

Here are La and I at the party! Thanks, La, for volunteering your home! It was beautiful as always and worked out just perfect!

Squash Casserole... seriously, people... this is GOOD stuff!!!!

2 pounds squash (roughly chopped/small cubes)

1 large onion (chopped)

2 eggs

6 Tbs butter

1/2 cup milk

2Tbs brown sugar

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

2 1/2 cups bread (cut into cubes - no crust)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the squash and onion in a large pot until tender (stir often)

In a large bowl beat eggs, add butter, milk, brown sugar and salt.

Stir in squash.

In a buttered 2-Quart casserole dish layer bread, squash, cheese, and repeat. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven at 350 for 45 min.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or Treat...

I have decided to blog about my weekend in stages instead of covering it all at once and I am starting with Friday... Halloween! Not my favorite holiday, but still cuteness with the little ones dressing up and all!

I live on a very quiet, very short street and so I rarely have any trick-or-treaters... this year was different though! I had two VERY SPECIAL trick-or-treaters ring my doorbell and come in for a visit!

First, Vance came to see me...
He was SOOO cute! He got some candy and a little pack of Teddy Grams! Megan and Web were with him (of course!)...

They were all dressed as farmers! So cute and very clever since they will soon be moving to farm! Vance was on the go-go-go as always and cute as a button! I just love these guys to pieces!!!!
My next guest of honor was Dawon (aka D-Word)!

Is this not the cutest baby costume you have ever seen! He was a sweetest little puppy dog and he even had down in "woof, woof!!!!" TOOOO cute!

Dawson, obviously too young for candy, got Gerber's peach cobbler from Aunt Meag! LOL! He was the sweetest... all smiles and a little wiggle worm to boot! He showed off his new "pulling up" skills while he was visiting!
A BIG thanks to the parents of these two little guys - y'all are the best and you just made my Halloween!!!!!
Side note: I, myself, went trick or treating at Best Buy! I had to sign some things and use a little plastic card, but I walked away with a BIG treat.... a new lap top! YAY! I have been in pretty serious need of a new computer - I have had this one since college (ha!) so it's time for an update. I am keeping this desktop as a back up - it's not totally useless, just slow and the CD/DVD player-burner doesn't work anymore... oh, and I have to unplug and replug the mouse every time I get on it! lol. Anyway, Geek Squad is coming today to get my wireless set up and to network both my computers to my new printer! WooWoo!!!!