Saturday, November 12, 2011

I couldn't resist...

First, I apologize for the multiple blog post today. I'm behind and I've got a bit to catch up so I'm power blogging! 

Onto the totally inappropriate, albeit, innocent post....

The Lazy 5 Ranch has this cute wooden ship play area... it has a fireman pole... Parker didn't quite get it at first.... and I, as any good mom would, made sure to capture the moments on camera.

For your viewing pleasure....

Eventually, he figured out he had to go up the ramp and THEN slide down the pole... but watching him figure that out was PRICELESS!

Lazy 5 Ranch

A little over a week ago (I'm behind on my blogging!) my mom and I took the kids to the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, NC. WHAT A COOL PLACE! We choose to drive through the ranch instead of doing the open air wagon and I'm so glad we did. Basically, you pay to drive through this huge ranch where buffalo, deer, llamas, pot belly pigs, zebras, alpacas, longhorns etc come up to your car for you to feed them. It was the wildest experience! I'd be taking a picture of my mom and Parker feeding a llama and an ostrich would peck my shoulder! I can't wait to go back when I get to be the passenger instead of the driver. Not hitting the animals was stressful because they chase your car for food!
Can you tell I rolled my window up when I saw this dude heading my way!?!

I don't even know what kind of animal this is but it was in my car!
I had my car washed afterward and the kid asked me "what is that on your windshield?" and I got to answer.... "Buffalo snot."

This face is called "cautiously excited"

Why hello

Parker was obsessed with this pamphlet!

Cutest little deer with baby spiky antlers

He cited the zebras! So cool!

This was taken out of my sun roof. AMAZINGLY cool experience!

on giraffe patrol

Yeah... that's a zebra.... this place is bananas.
We loved this old swing!

She was a good sport in the car all day!
Bottom line.... you must visit. They have an area you can feed camels, donkeys, sheep and goats. There is also a big play area, picnic shelter and garden. I definitely recommend the Lazy 5 Ranch for a fun family day!

Girl's Mountain Weekend!

I have 6 best girlfriends from college and it is my life's mission to keep us in contact! So far, so good! We typically get together once a year as a group but many of us see each other even more than that a couple of times throughout the year. It's always a blast! 

Last weekend we all met up in good ol Gatlinburg Tennessee for the weekend. As always, it was a weekend of laughs, over eating, college story telling and not a lot of sleeping. 
Aren't these rocking chairs so inviting!

Avery got to come to mountain weekend ;) I hope she finds girlfriends in college and has weekends like this too!

Whitney, Erin, Amy and Beth.... Amber was puking because SHE'S PREGNANT (YAY!) and Cassandra was being a good friend supporting her.

1st time siting in a high chair!

The beautiful Erin and Amber

We are old... and we talked about insurance and mortgages WAY too much so we tried to be young and shotgunned a beer off the patio.... it was a huge failure for most of us!

I can't begin to describe how beautiful the leaves were!

I feel so blessed to have these girls in my life! I hope you have some special girlfriends too! They're invaluable to me!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Taco Soup!

In the fall and winter we LOVE to eat soup! I usually make a vat of it and freeze 2/3 of the batch in freezer bags for easy, yummy meals! I am NOT a cook. I do; however, go on kicks of making meals and when that bug bites, I try to make large quantities. Please never take cooking advice from me unless it's soup, baked goods, other something that doesn't involve anything more than combining cans of things. 

This recipe involves two of those things: soup... and combing cans of things.

It's TACO SOUP and it's TASTY!
Here are the ingredients: (I doubled the recipe because I wanted to make one vat on the stove and one vat in the crock pot)

1lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
2 16oz cans of mexican style chili beans 
1 16oz can of corn
1 16oz can of diced tomatoes
3-4 cups of liquid. (I used 3 cups v8 and 2 cups chix broth per vat because I wanted mine less thick)
1 4 1/2oz can of chopped green chilis
1 package of taco seasoning
1 package of ranch dressing mix
1 16oz can of black beans

I browned the ground beef
Then, I combined everything in my stock pot. I made a 2nd batch in the crock pot for a little experiment.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. It's SO tasty with toppings! Avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, onions, tomatoes and those YUMMY crunchy tortilla strips make it perfection!

The result of our experiment is.... drum roll..... it tasted the SAME in the crock pot as it did in the stock pot. We've now got a few bags of taco soup stashed in our deep freezer for a lazy, cold football Sunday! 
If I can do it, you can do it!

Trick or Treat!

I'm not gonna lie.... I wasn't super excited about Halloween this year. It crept up on me! I have SO LOVED the fall weather and doing all of the pumpkiny festivities that I really didn't want Halloween to come because then all that fun stuff ends! I also sort of see Halloween as the beginning of cold weather... I SO love the 70's and 80's. I have a very small range of temperature comfortablity. I don't want it to be cold! BOO! On the bright side... the kids in their costumes were PRECIOUS!

Back to our trick or treat.... Parker was in some kind of mood and would NOT put on his costume despite the fact that he wears it at least ever other day around the house... so he wore his Woody jammies and boots. It was cold but he refused to wear a coat so basically, he sat in the stroller, cold, wearing his Woody jammies while eating 5 suckers at one time. He got out at a few houses if he knew them but refused to say "trick or treat" or even "thank you"... so we took him home and put him to bed by 7:20!

Avery wore a butterfly costume that I was SURE was going to be too big but sure, enough, it was almost too small! I can't believe how big she's gotten! She was nice and toasty and quite content eating her shoe in the stroller! 
I just love how they're looking at one another! Avery is ALL about Parker. Most of the time he's cool with it but now that she can get to his toys, we're starting to hear a lot of "NO AVIE'S!"

Happy Butterfly

He spilled his Nerds and despite me telling him the birds would eat them, he wasn't ok sharing his Nerds with the birds!

Strollin' for candy

One to the few houses Parker trick or treated at

Why eat one sucker when you can have 5?

Is that a smile, Mr Parkerman?

Me and my Avery bug!

Daddy and Avie
Hopefully we'll have 2 kiddos fully adorned in cute costumes with good manners next year! Happy Halloween!