Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hamburgers - an All-American tradition

Hopie shared this link with me from the Discovery Channel. I thought it was pretty interesting to watch so I thought I'd share it with you. Now, granted it is basically a commercial for Burger King but at the same time it is so unique because BK sent people to travel all around the world to find people who had never tasted a hamburger before. It's really fun, I liked the personalities of the people and my children have liked watching it. Homemade hamburgers will always remain my favorite to eat though!

You may have to copy and paste to get this link to work:

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Christmas is nearly here and so I better tell you a little of how our Happy Thanksgiving went. It was so great to have Nathan join us this year! We really had a great time.

Our food was wonderful and untraditional. No turkey here, instead we had meat that was made on the BBQ like steak and sausages. We also had homemade cranberry sauce, stuffed celery, green beans and Nathan made his wonderful butternut squash and potatoes.

We also spent a day at the beach in Corpus Christi. One day just isn't long enough. We'll need to spend more than just one day next time, for sure. It was my first time going to the Gulf Coast and I didn't know what to expect but we had a really nice time. Noah and Gracie did just fine also.

I hope you enjoy the photos!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Quilts of N.E.C. Part 2

I wanted to showcase one of my most prized possessions today. It is the quilt that my brother-in-law, Nathan, made for me. I am still amazed every time I look at it. How bright and colorful it is which contrasts nicely with the black fabrics. Also, it has flamingo's in it which is my favorite!
I just love this quilt and I am so thrilled that Nathan took so much of his time to make it for me. I was also impressed with how he did his research and came to really know what I would love. It is simply fantastic how well the quilt turned out. I am in awe of how well he actually knew that I would love bright tropical colors and flamingo's. At the time he presented me with the quilt, I don't think many people really paid attention to that detail about myself but somehow Nathan did.
Thanks, Nathan, for my amazing, fantastic, wonderful, I can't say enough to express how much I really love it, quilt!
Just a cute notation from my day, Gracie was so cute because she was trying to say "flamingo" and it came out in her sweet, precious voice: "Mommy likes fing-go-goes!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

When Jared's not workin', he's cookin'!

Good painting is like good cooking: it can be tasted, but not explained

Jared loves to cook! He has made some amazing dinners over the years. Here's one of his specialties - Spaghetti! He loves to eat it and make it. He likes to tell the story of how he could eat spaghetti every day and never grow tired of it because its one of his favorite meals.
Here he's making his special, yummy sauce and I love this tomato-based sauce. He cooks up some hamburger and then adds a can of Barilla or Classico plus another can of tomato sauce - a few more spices especially black pepper and wa-la ~ it's spaghetti sauce. He also made some beautiful herb with light garlic crescent rolls that were awesome!

Here's the link to the Crescent rolls recipe.

Now playing: John Denver - Annie's Song
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is a very rich, dainty custard type dessert that you'll want to have only for special occasions.
Jared had us wake up before 7 a.m. on Tues. Sept. 2 and make creme brulee with him before he had to go to work. Jared, I, and Gracie helped make it. I think it turned out well for our first time. I still like cheesecake, or my all time favorite - a great cookie, better, I think. We did different variations like plain, orange and nutmeg, raspberries and dark chocolate, orange and dark chocolate. My favorite was the orange peel with dark chocolate while Jared liked the orange and nutmeg better. Overall, it turned out well and it was fun for something quite different to eat. It is definately a once in a while type dish.
Here is the link to the recipe we used: Creme Brulee at

Saturday, August 30, 2008

First week of school

Wow! We survived the first week of school. Hopie never missed the bus but our elementary school kids missed the bus on Tues. We're not used to catching it so early in the morning. It arrives by 6:30 a.m., so they've got to be out and waiting by 6:20 a.m. Needless to say, mornings in our house are a rush in more ways than one. But the kids are being helpful, laying their outfits out at night and slowly realizing Mom's strict bedtime is the right bedtime.

So far, Hopie is really excited about the prospect of her Pre-AP classes paying off for her as she's been talking about the new high school being built that will offer an opportunity to 100 students in the district to graduate high school with an A.S. degree. She wants to work hard to get into the program and do just that! If she does, she'll catch up to her Mom's education and be well on her way to making her own education get on the fast track. I'm happy that she is so driven and has such amazing goals! She's a beautiful person!

Cowboy (Brig) is excited this year to be in 5th grade. He has two teachers this year and one is a male teacher - his first male teacher ever. The other day Cowboy told me he couldn't believe that he was in 5th grade already. He has had fun doing the 'get to know you' projects in school. He collected different things that told people about himself, i.e., a Roald Dahl book, a purple chip, a Spiderwick figure, a dinosaur figure etc... I thought what he had chosen was clever and I was impressed that he didn't seem to worry about what other kids might think. I'm glad he likes to be himself.

Nessa has enjoyed seeing all of her friends and making new ones. She has the same teacher that Cowboy had last year. She's been diligent in reading to her little brother, Zayah, all week. Her week has been tough and she's been brave to not miss any school when she a great excuse of having a horrible toothache. We were able to get her into the dentist on Fri. afternoon and she did indeed have and abscessed tooth. She was very brave when the dentist had to pull it out and she requested, on her own, that she didn't want laughing gas. I made sure this was her own decision and after it was said and done I gave her a big hug. I also explained to her that she saved her parents $54 because she didn't have the laughing gas. She said she didn't know that you had to pay for it. Nessa, you are so brave. I'm glad you'll be feeling better now.

Zayah has been unusually quiet about school since he's usually a chatterbox about everything. All I could get out of him was that he thinks his teacher is nice. You can tell he's growing up. He has been asking each morning if it was a school day. This morning when he asked, he seemed surprised and thankful, when I said "No, it's Saturday." Besides being a bit tired and cranky at times, overall, he's adjusting to the all day school schedule.

You can tell Gracie is missing all the school kids being around although it hasn't slowed her down one bit. She is the most curious little girl and very able to get into mischief. This week she died her beautiful golden hair pink using a box of sugar-free jello. I washed it but couldn't get it all out for a couple of days. At first, I hadn't realized what she had used to dye her hair until the next day I found the jello packet safely hidden away in the food pantry with one of my clothespins clipped to it, you know, to keep it fresh. I use the clothespins all the time as inexpensive bag clips. Her thought process never ceases to amaze me.
I'm planning on getting her together with some of her friends from around here for play dates and preschool. That should help, right?

Noah has amazed us all by learning to crawl up the stairs. He's still a bit off balance about it, likes to sit on the edge of a stair and climbs each step differently. So, it scares us to death! He's fallen twice, luckily no damage done, so now the gate has to be there when we're not helping him climb up the stairs. Not before, he climbed all the way up the stairs once unbeknownst to me of course. Gracie tried to help him and when she tried to tell me I was really worried so I immediately checked on him and he had already made it upstairs and into Hopie's room. Happy and go-lucky as can be!
One thing that is funny about his name is that he never thinks he's in trouble. When he was a baby, my kids like to say "No-No" - "Nonah" to him so now when we "NO" he thinks we're playing with him. He just smiles up at us with a big cheesy grin and thinks he's never in trouble. It's simply cute but What are we going to do..what to do..?

Pictures, I've included in this post are of the first day of school and
Noah crawling upstairs. Oh, and also the bus but that really isn't from this school year it's just for effect.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Zayah's First Haircut

Before the much needed haircut.

In the stylists' chair, the process starts.

I found these pictures and I couldn't help but post them. They are adorable in my eyes. It is of Zayah, our Tex boy's first haircut. I know it happened a while ago (I think about July '04) but I think you'll still like looking at them.

All done with a precious lock of hair in hand.
Those curious locks so aptly twin'd,
Whose every hair a soul doth bind.
~Thomas Carew

Friday, August 22, 2008

Going down Memory Lane

I was looking at some old photo's of our family and I thought I'd like to share some of them with you. Normally, I want to post this on Thursday's but I forgot yesterday so I will now instead. I'm sure it doesn't really matter.
It's fun to remember back a few years. I'm pretty sure these photo's were taken from Halloween to Christmas of '03. Isaiah was a baby at that time - Yes, it's definitely Isaiah with the teether. I think you'll like looking at them anyway.
Since I'm not very good at posting captions very well on blogger, I'm not going to worry about it today. Anyway, I think these pictures speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy seeing how much our family has grown and taking a glimpse of where we've been.

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dessert for Breakfast?

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."
~Adelle Davis

Yes, we actually had dessert for breakfast on Sunday. Jared and Hopie had been dying to make this dessert again. It's actually quite a simple recipe that I'll share with you here if you care to have it.
One milestone of this breakfast was that Noah had his first raspberry. He made the cutest face ever!

Here's a cool fact about raspberries:

"Red Raspberry. The species is indigenous to Asia Minor and North America, (see above) although the epithet denotes Mt. Ida, in the Caucasus mountains of Asia Minor. Fruits were gathered from the wild by the people of Troy and the foothills of Mt. Ida around the time of Christ. Records of domestication were found in 4th century writings of Palladius, a Roman agriculturist, and seeds have been discovered at Roman forts in Britain. Hence, the Romans probably spread cultivation throughout Europe. The British popularized and improved raspberries throughout the middle ages, and exported the plants to New York by 1771." ~quoted from Mark's fruit crops

Fish Lake

Another one of our favorite things that we did during the Carter family reunion was to go fishing at Fish Lake. We woke up at 4 a.m. and after the car was packed, we were on our way at about 5:30 a.m. Here's some pictures from one beautiful day we spent at the lake. They show us fishing and kayaking. Also, I was able to capture beautiful scenery as well. A couple of my favorite pictures include Jared fishing solo and of Hopie and her cousin, Lauren sleeping on the rocky beach. Only the young have the luxury of sleeping anywhere. I don't think I could sleep on those sharp, jaggedy rocks.

"This planet is covered with sordid men who demand that he who spends time fishing shall show returns in fish." ~Leonidas Hubbard, Jr.

Well, even though we didn't catch any fish, we had a great time.