Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011

Here are my favorite moments from 2011 for you on this New Year's Eve...
In January, it snowed...and we were happy!
In February, we celebrated Hannah's 3rd birthday
In March, we went to Iowa for part of Spring break, and met our newest cousin, Kennady (born in January). It's always so great to get together with family.
Hello sweetie pie
April brought us Brooke's birthday and a girly party with pedicures, lunch and Orange Leaf. It was a great day celebrating my 7 year old!

In May, we set sail on our 3rd Disney cruise. You can read all about it in the posts that I have on my sidebar.
While on that cruise I met Chuck, who has become one of my dearest, best friends this past year. I'm so blessed to have met him...definately one of the highlights of the year! And Mark is pretty great too...but I didn't have a pic of him :)
The cruise was May 28-June 3rd so I get to use it as my June highlight too....Because our day on Castaway Cay where we had a private cabana for the entire day was by far the best day of the entire year. Picture perfect. Awesome.

The most important moments of 2011 came at the end of June, when both Matt and Brooke decided to be baptised. It was the highlight of the year that has eternal impact, and it was awesome.
Not to be outdone by June, July had some pretty awesome moments too. We had another trip to Iowa for a family reunion. Below is my grandma with all but two of her great grandkids.
Me and my fellow Goonies. (My brother and cousins)
Papa Terry and Grandma Diane playing at the park that I always used to play at.
On the way home from that wonderful Iowa trip, we added to our family. We picked up MAX, a Shichon puppy (bichon-shihtzu). It was a BIG DAY and a SURPRISE for the girls.

And still, July continued to be fabulous with a mommy weekend away to KC to go to the NKOTBSB concert with my cousin!
Joey. Be still my heart.
Danica and I at the concert. Cousins...your first best friends.
Nothing says August like the start of school! We were thrilled beyond words to get the teacher we wanted, Mrs. Henry. She is WONDERFUL and it has been a fabulous school year!
A week later, Hannah started preschool!!! Three afternoons a week.
In September my mom came to spend a few days with us and we had a gorgeous morning playing hooky and going to the zoo.
October just would not be October without a trip to the Pumpkin Patch, always one of my favorite days of the year.
But one of my proudest moments of the year was when Brooke got her Principal's Honor Roll award!
In November, we got family pictures taken for the first time in about 4 years.
And my December highlight, other than Christmas eve at our church and Christmas morning with the girls (the pictures which I have not yet downloaded), was seeing my little princess sing in her program at preschool, and being at Brooke's school while all those kids sang Christmas songs. It was awesome.
I am so thankful for 2011. It was a really great year in so many ways. I pray that 2012 is just as great for you and for me! Happy New Year!!!!
What was the highlight of your 2011? Leave a comment and tell me all about it! oxox

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A little creepy

Here's kind of a creepy story for you.

Bought a Wii game on Tues.

Couldn't find it tonight anywhere. I was sure I had put it away but it was nowhere to be found. Decided I must not have gotten out of Walmart with it.

Called them and they didn't have it in the "left behind" book but if I came in with my receipt they said they would replace it.

Go in with my receipt. Obviously it'd be a trusting practice if they were just to replace it, so of course it was not that easy. The customer service guy gets on the phone with a manger back in some office somewhere.

He tells them the purchase time and register number from the receipt.

Waits a few minutes while the manager pulls up VIDEO of the transaction.

Looks at me and says "the cashier put it in a bag and gave it to your oldest daughter who then put it in your shopping cart."

I gotta tell ya, kind of creeped me out! Makes me rethink my "run to walmart with no makeup on" practice lol!

So I went back home.

Found the Wii game on the Wii shelf in the living room. Exactly where I had told someone to look when we were hunting. So glad I lost that 30 minutes of my life to being creeped out by Walmart for no good reason.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

Consider this a belated Christmas gift. Today I bring to you my recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. They are fabulous. I've been told they are 'restaurant quality'. You will love them.
(disclaimer, some of these pics were taken when I was experimenting with my regular follow my text and not necessarily what you see in the pic!).
You will need:
1/2 a diced onion
3 to 4 T. butter or margarine
Shredded chicken
8 oz cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
Shredded cheese (I use cheddar or a montjack blend)
Flour tortillas
Melt butter in large skillet. Saute onion until tender. Add in about 4 cups shredded chicken (a rotisserie chicken is handy for this!), a block of cream cheese, and about 3/4 cup salsa. Heat till cream cheese is melted and it is all well blended.
(You see in this pic below I had shredded cheese in the meat mixture. Didn't like that as well as my original recipe, so don't put shredded cheese in the meat mixture).
Warm your tortillas in the microwave so they are a little easier to work with. Put 2 serving-spoonfuls of meat mixture down the middle of a tortilla, roll tight, and place in a greased baking pan. I usually get about 6 or 7 tortillas in a 9" square pan with this recipe.
Leaving a bit of the meat mixture in the pan, stir in the can of cream chicken soup and another cup of salsa and heat till well mixed. Pour over enchiladas.
Sprinkle with some red pepper for a little color and flavor. These are NOT spicy enchiladas, so if you really want some kick, you could put some of this in your meat mixture too.
Cover pan with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
If you took your 'nice mommy' medication, while the enchiladas are cooking, you can make some quesadillas for your picky three year old. To do so, you may have needed to think ahead and set aside a wee bit of that rotisserie chicken. Toss a tortilla in a sprayed pan, sprinkle with chicken and shredded cheese, top with another tortilla. Once lightly browned on one side, flip it over. Press down a few times during the cooking process with a spatula. I do have a quesadilla maker but if I'm just making one, this is much easier.
Remove foil from enchiladas and cover with about 2 cups of shredded cheese. Return to oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted.
We usually eat this with corn, and chips and salsa. These are fabulous enchiladas.
If you make them for a friend who just had a baby or is having a rough time, they will feel loved. You can make them up and put them in a foil pan, then all they have to do is throw them in the oven.
We had hotdogs for dinner tonight, and just posting this made me hungry!
Hope you had a great Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fa La La La La...La La La La

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! I said I'd post this yesterday but not sure where the day went!

Wednesday was Hannah's Christmas program at school. It was so so precious. Since she's our baby (and our last one), I really try to soak up all these little moments.

Here she is in front of the tree before we left for the day.

Walking into the sanctuary ringing their bells.

They did several songs and most of them had actions. Hannah did great!
Hannah swears the little blonde boy next to her is on the naughty list because he always takes toys. In this particular photo, he had just picked a booger and was checking it out.
I can't remember what song this is, but I know they are doing the sign for 'please' right here and it was such a sweet little song. The blondie next to her is her BFF Jordan.
Once the program was over, Hannah and I took off back to Brooke's school for the sing-along they have there. Hannah loves getting to sit with Brooke at their assemblies whenever we are there for one of them.
I can't tell you how much I love hearing 630 students plus the staff sing Christmas songs. It is awesome. It sounds like that final scene in Polar Express when the thousands of elves are singing. It's so sweet. And they sing everything from "Silent Night" to "Up On the Housetop."
The last song they sing is "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and during the song, Santa arrives! Look at those faces as the kids catch their first glimpse of him walking into the gym!
After the kids were heading back to class, Hannah and I caught Santa, and he swooped her up for a picture. (And proceeded to hold her while I cleared some pics off my memory card to make room for the shot!). She didn't mind at all!
Now let me tell you.... Brooke has never wanted to go anywhere near Santa. I've never gotten a picture of her on his lap. One year, I got a picture of her clinging to grandma's arm standing next to Santa. Another year, Santa came to a Christmas party at our house and she took off to the kitchen and proceeded to stay in there and watch the other kids visit Santa.
Finally. This being her EIGHTH Christmas, I got a pic of her with Santa. I said "What, you're not going to pick her up too?" and up she went. (I was totally kidding Santa!). It was quite a moment! So behold, the first ever picture of Brooke with Santa, on her own. Not walking by him. Not being held by someone else. Brooke. In Santa's arms. (The funny thing is, she has always, since her first trip to WDW when she was 3, ran right up to every Disney character with no problems at all!).