Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meal Planning Monday...A Day Late

Sunday - Bacon wrapped pork loin smoked on the smoker (by Michael), green beans, and red potatoes
Monday - Leftover pork loin, macarroni and cheese, twice baked potatoes
Tuesday - Chili
Wednesday - Stuffed Peppers
Thursday - Chili Nachos
Friday - Dinner at Nicholas' school program/dinner
Saturday - Date night!!!!

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
 Michael took a tenderloin and smothered in pork seasoning/rub, then wrapped in bacon.  He then covered in cling wrap until ready to cook.  It marinated for about 3 hours.  He cooked it on the smoker for 2.5-3 hours.  this is how it looked finished.  YUM!  It was unbelievably good!!!

Stuffed Peppers
4 large green bell peppers
1 box dirty rice mix, prepared according to box
1 lb hamburger meat, browned and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Rago Garden Combo)
Cut the tops off of 4 pepper and clean out the seeds.  Brown the hamburger and prepare rice according to package and mix together.  Fill peppers with the mixture.  Cover the pan with the sauce, cover, and freeze.
When ready to cook, thaw and cook at 375 for 30-45 minutes.  You can also top with cheese to cook.

(no pictures, but here is my recipe)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound of bacon
1 onion
pepper to taste
All cooked together over medium heat. Then added to a pot of,
1 can tomato sauce
1 can rotel
1/4 cup sliced jalapenos
3 cans of chili beans
1 pkg McCormick's chili seasoning (original)
Cook in crockpot for 6-8 hours on low.  Very tasty!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deck The Halls

When I got home from Black Friday shopping it was time to do my favorite part of the Holiday season...deck the halls!!!  I started with Nicholas' tree in the playroom. I LOVE how it turned out!
He has made me laugh so hard because he probably undecorated it five or six times before bedtime Friday night. Luckily, he hasn't messed with my big tree in the living room.
I always LOVE my big tree.  It is my pride and joy during the Christmas season. I spent about 8 hours on it total between Friday night and Saturday.  It is always worth it.
  I played around with my camera settings the other night and got this super cute pic of N in front of our family tree. He loves books and this chair was made for my by my grandfather, so it was a perfect photo op.
 Saturday night Michael worked on our outside lights, or as I'm referring to it as our LED wonderland.  I am not sure I am really liking our LED lights and the blue hue they give out, but my clear lights in my garland just didn't look right, so I strung a string of colored LED lights and I think if nothing else, N will love it one day. :-)
 Our elf appeared for the first time on Saturday morning.  He was hanging from our kitchen light fixture.  Silly Elf! :-)  Poor guy has his work cut out for him this year with our wild toddler!

Thanksgiving 2011

The Ledfords had a wonderful Thanksgiving 2011.  This is going to be a long, picture-filled post, but it is all stuff I want to remember, so be patient. :-)

I had to work Monday and Tuesday, so instead of doing my usual freezer meals for the week on Sunday, I did Thanksgiving casseroles and a pumpkin roll.  I made 2 sweet potato casseroles, one for our house and one for my mom's house, and a broccoli casserole.
Everything froze very well and tasted great on Thursday!  Here is a picture of the roll cut and on a platter.
Wednesday morning I had a list of several things I needed to get done around the house and sweet Nicholas woke up with swollen eyes, a nasty, barking cough, and a runny nose.  We ended up going in to see our doctor and found out he had the croup.  Lovely!  He was given a prescription for a steroid and after a few breathing treatments, he was good as new by Thursday!
 I got everything done and ready to go by eleven o'clock on Wednesday night so that I all I had to do on Thursday was cook casseroles.  It worked out great and I was able to visit with everyone when they arrived around 10:30!  I made this banner a couple of weeks ago with my cricut, but never posted it.  I was really happy how it turned out!
 Nicholas wore this super cute longall by Braylabee's for the Ledford Thanksgiving at our house (we got all of his Thanksgiving clothes there).
 Nicholas was captivated by the Macy's parade.  I took about 5 pictures of him, including one directly in front of him and he never moved! Ha!
 My table and centerpiece.  I love that we always host Thanksgiving for the Ledford Family because it gives me an opportunity to use my fine china and crystal.

 Nicholas is a HUGE eater and he seemed to really enjoy himself! Ha!  He dug in and made a huge mess!  Needless to say, we had to change for round 2 at my parents' house! Haha!
 The buffet...smoked turkey, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, creamed corn, and broccoli casserole.  I cooked it all and I was ready to drop by the time we ate.
 Our 2nd wardrobe of the day.  I think this picture is precious because of how he has his hands in his pockets! Ha!
 Nicholas loves my Nana, who has always been my favorite person in the entire world.  She has dementia and it makes me so happy she has gotten to know him.
As you can see, we had a full, blessed, wonderful Thanksgiving.  We are very fortunate to have all that we do and to have the family that we have.  God has definitely blessed us beyond measure.  I always think back to all of those years hoping and praying for a baby and it makes me so much more thankful for our sweet miracle boy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What We've Been Up To Lately

Sorry I've been MIA for a few weeks.  It has been really crazy around here lately and I have been trying to get things done around here to host the Ledford Thanksgiving on Thursday.  Two weeks ago there was a rather large hand, foot, and mouth outbreak at daycare and guess who caught it...AGAIN?!  Apparently if you have had HFM you can still catch it if it is a different type virus.  This one was much easier and gentler than the one we had in August, thank the Lord!  It was mostly on his hands, feet, and sadly, his butt crack. :-(  He went home early on Tuesday and was out the rest of the week. 

He was back to normal by the weekend, yay, so last Sunday, Michael wanted to take a drive and enjoy the pretty Fall weather in the Ocoee.  It is a beautiful drive and area. 
 Yes, we even found a bear!  Don't worry, this was taken from the car and it appeared to be more scared of us than we were of it.
 One of Michael's favorite places in the entire world is a campground in the mountains in Ocoee and he wanted to take Nicholas there.  We took a lot of pictures there.  Here are a few of my favorite.
  Nicholas' favorite new thing to do is to "give a kiss".  Haha!

 Another reason I have not blogged much is that Michael has been working a LOT and Nicholas and I have been home by ourselves a lot and he is B-U-S-Y, to say the least.  He has discovered a love for the pantry, garage, and laundry room.  Nothing is safe because he can now open doors.  I will be investing in lever locks for our doors very soon!  (please excuse my messy pantry)
 The shirt speaks for itself.  Don't you LOVE his cute little belly?!
 Nicholas has completely taken over a corner of the living room, which was always my plan.  I don't want toys spread all over the house, and between this corner and his play room, I've accomplished that.  This picture is so funny. I think he thinks he is doing something he isn't supposed to be! Ha!

I also know I've been slacking with my frozen meals.  Again, I'm doing good to survive right now! Ha!  I'll be back with new ones next week.  This week I did the "freezer meals, Thanksgiving edition" by preparing all of our casseroles and desserts, then freezing.  I have to work Monday and Tuesday which are traditionally two of my busiest days of the year.  I made a spreadsheet of my to-do list by days, so hopefully with that I can accomplish a successful Thanksgiving meal! 

Annual Family Picture Sneak Peek

Two weeks ago we had our annual family pictures made at the Civil War battlefield near our house.  There are some really pretty areas there that make awesome pictures, so we thought we would give it a try.  Here are some of my favorites.

There are about 15 more that are being edited now.  I am ordering some canvases for Christmas gifts and a few later for our house.  I'm thinking the last one will be joining our wedding picture in our foyer as a 16x20.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

Nothing too exciting at our house for this week.  Just a pretty boring week...
Sunday - Grilled Chicken, Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms, Bread
Monday - Leftover Chili
Tuesday - Chicken Spaghetti, Salad, Bread
Wednesday - Crockpot Roast, Carrots, Mashed Potatoes 
Thursday - Leftovers (Little Gym make up class after work/school)
Friday - Mexican
Saturday -TBD probably something "football" themed

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Petting Zoo Birthday

Last Saturday we went to sweet Lauren's 3rd birthday party!  She had a petting zoo theme again and Nicholas LOVED it!  Here is my little farmer ready to go.  I bought him some adorable black boots at JBF the week before, but sadly, he was NOT a fan.  He refused to walk in them! Haha!  We ended up going in our tennis shoes! :-)
Nicholas wasn't sure about it at first, but once he warmed up he LOVED the animals and petting them.
The birthday girl was ALL about it!  She loves holding all of the animals.

Nicholas wasn't too sure about riding the pony...at first.  
He seemed to really like the llama.  Maybe because we love the Llama lama books! Ha!
Mommy got him to ride the pony and he seemed to have more fun that time! :-)
Becky made another adorable cake!  She always does such a wonderful job! 
Courtney also got some adorable barnyard cupcakes that were too cute!  The kids loved them!  My little piggie at his in one bite! Ha!

Everyone kept commenting on how well Nicholas did sitting at the table and patiently waiting on his food.  He sits at a table at school and eats, so I think that is just what he knows to do.  I love that they've taught him to be so patient, but sad that he is big enough to just sit there.  Ha!
We had to leave when Lauren started to open her gifts because someone was very tired and fussy.  This was what I saw when I opened the door to get him out.  I think someone partied a little too hard!
My boy loves to party and thanks to Courtney and Lauren for inviting us!  He obviously had a great time!