Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Time Flies....and I Love Potatoes!

Time goes by too fast.....my sweet **almost** 10 month old has started walking by himself, not holding on to anything for assistance. We got a video of some of his first steps, but I haven't had the chance to upload it yet, so I will share it eventually.  Am I ready for this?  NO!  Not at all.  I remember when he couldn't even roll over by himself; now he's on the move.  I can't believe how fast the past months have gone.  I am excited and ready for the future, but I am sad at how fast the time is going.....

Ok, so, this is sort of out of the blue, but I have an AWESOME recipe to share.   I have a new addiction to a website, Pinterest.com.  It's a website where members can "pin" different ideas for recipes, photography, decorating, etc... it's a great site.  I found this recipe today, and decided to try it for dinner tonight.  It was a slam dunk in my opinion.

I did adjust a few things:

**Instead of using 6 tablespoons of butter, I used three. You may not need to use butter at all. 

**Also, I melted the butter first, then put the spices and salt/pepper in with the potatoes and mixed it together.  The recipe says to just mix the spices in with the potatoes, then put pats of butter throughout the potatoes in the casserole dish.  Do whatever you'd like.  :)

**The recipe would probably taste just as good with fat free ranch dressing and low fat cheese.  I didn't use fat free.  I used regular Hidden Valley ranch, and regular colby jack cheese.  Again, do whatever you'd like. :)

Cheesy Ranch Potato Bake

Ingredients
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle Ranch dressing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Place the potatoes in the baking dish. Season with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Evenly distribute the butter over the potatoes.
  3. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven, and mix in the cheese and Ranch dressing. Continue cooking 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

ENJOY!!!! These potatoes were amazingly good!!

Have a good night, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust....

Really?  The weekend is almost over...again?  Seriously, they fly by!!

Friday was busy with work and errands.  Saturday was busy with more errands.  Today was busy with breakfast, laundry, cleaning, and whatever else. 

We watched the Bears game today, which was not all that entertaining.  They didn't play horrible, but they could've done better as well.  Whatever....I'm less than enthusiastic about anything today.

Here are some pictures we took of Ryder today in his Bears attire.  I guess the cuteness didn't help the Bears get a win...bummer. :(









He's such a little ham.  OH!  And, I'm happy to report that Ryder has extended his list of solid foods that he'll eat.  He loves all of his pureed baby food, but we are trying to introduce more solid foods to his diet.  So, he likes eggs, ham, sausage, pancakes and toast.  We went out for breakfast this morning and let him try an array of things.  He seemed to like most of it! :)

Let's see...what else....  I was messing around with my editing program today with some pictures I took last weekend.  I was trying out different modes on my camera, and these next few were taken out of the car window at speeds of 55+ miles per hour.




I am still trying to figure out the editing program.  The first few pictures I just sharpened up the color and didn't do too much.  The last picture I decided to change the tone a bit.  I like the look of older farm buildings in sepia or black and white. 

Also, this is completely off topic....but I've gotten a lot of slack from a picture I posted in this post...this picture to be exact....

Under this picture, I described it as big farm machinery.  Ok, so, maybe I didn't know this was a combine.  Well, actually, I think I did know...maybe.  Darren made fun of me, and so did some of my co-workers.  OK, I know I have lived around farmland for all of my life, AND, I work for a company that has a lot of farmers as clients.  I'm ashamed I didn't know this was a combine.  That's a lie.  But, since I got so much slack for this, you all know I had to bring it up, haha.

That's all I have for tonight. I'm going to eat dinner, and watch Lord of the Rings the rest of the evening...YAY! :) Have a good night, and thanks for reading! :)




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Totally Nuts?!

So, I made a pretty important decision today....a decision that I am extremely proud, excited and terrified for....Today, I decided to go back to school!! 

After I got my Associates, I got busy with work, planning our wedding, getting married, got busier with work, and had a baby...so I didn't go back to get my Bachelors completed.  All of those are excuses....I should have gone back sooner than this.  In a way, I feel like a failure.  I mean, I know I've done successful things, and I have done very well for myself at my job.  I've made wonderful friends and contacts, but I know I can do more.  I want to make my family, friends, and course, myself proud.

I know it's going to be difficult, but I know I can do it.  I have confidence in myself and in my capabilities, and I am excited to start this journey!!  What makes this even better is Darren's never-ending love and support.  We sat down tonight and talked this through quite a bit.  He thinks it's a great idea and he supports me 100%!  I know he'll be there for me through all of the highs and lows and will keep rooting for me and pushing me to succeed. I couldn't ask for a better husband!!

So, I will be completing my bachelors degree through an online accredited college.  They also have a campus, but it's out of state, plus, online works better for me anyway.  I've always excelled with online courses, so I'm not too worried about that aspect of this.  I've already talked to an advisor about everything, and I will be starting in a few months.  I would start sooner, but I want to finish my insurance designation course at work first.  One school project at a time! :)

 I will be pursuing my Bachelors in Public Relations and Marketing with a specialization in Project Management.  I really like the marketing aspect in business.  I've taken a couple of courses about marketing before and LOVED it!! Plus, I was able to choose the specialization of project management.  I've done a few projects at work and loved doing it.  I am super excited for all of this to start!  This program will also give me 9 credit hours towards a Master degree, which is icing on the cake in my opinion.

So, that's my big news for today!  OH!  One more thing....I GOT MY PURSE TODAY!!!  I will take a picture and post it later.  It's beautiful, and I LOVE IT!!

Today was a good day! :)  Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Weekend Comes to a Close

The weekend is almost over...again.  Is it just me, or do the weekends go by much quicker than those days during the week?  Ugh.

Anyway, a continuation of our day/night yesterday.  Since I had serious camera withdrawals all week, I kind of went a little nuts yesterday.
Here's the stinker, standing by himself

He's such a little stud

He loves walking around with that toy.  Probably one of the best purchases we have made.  He's loved it since we bought it months ago!

Awww, even though he's not smiling, I still love this one.  sidenote: please pay no attention to my lack of landscaping.  That is our on-going project.  We've come to realize that when you have a child, a lot of projects don't get finished right away.....or started when they need to be started...

Saturday night we went over to Cullom to Slingshots for pizza.  It was pretty tasty, and it was nice to get our of the house for awhile.

Jeffro and Ryder bonding time

Lovely picture Jeffro

Much better :)

Darren is tired....

So am I....getting up at 5am will do this to you.  Thanks again for that early wake up call, Ryder! :)

Ryder enjoying himself at Slingshots

Aunt Lorri and Frank

Me and Darren

Mom and dad

Today, Ryder and I went up to Lost in Time for Sam's baby shower.  Due to a battery issue, I became the last minute photographer of the event, and if you know me at all, you know that I loved every minute of it.  I will share just a few of these pictures, because I think I took 50+ at the shower.
Here is the mommy-to-be with my little stinker

Ryder got to meet Kristin's little boy Brynner today.  Brynner loved Ryder, and Ryder wasn't sure what to think :)

She looks beautiful!

Sarah spending some time with Ryder

The next few are of Sam opening some of her gifts








When we got home, I watched what was left the Bears game, and they lost. 
Ryder was less than thrilled with the Bears performance today
Aww, finally, a cute picture of the two of us :)

My blue-eyed monster

Darren and Ryder

Well, that's all for now.....I plan on eating dinner, and attempting to relax the rest of the night. 

Have a good night, and thanks for reading.

P.S.  I have yet to watch "Thor."  I am NOT HAPPY!!!! :(


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pumpkins and Gourds Galore

Today has been a pretty busy day.  I really hate it when we have little to no plans over a weekend, but we still end up being extremely busy....grrr.

Anyway, we went to Pontiac this morning for a few things, then came home and started our weekend "chores."  Then, me, mom and Kinzey went out to Maley's farm to get pumpkins and gourds.  We took Ryder along for this spectacular journey, and I really don't think he was too impressed...

Here we are at the start of the pumpkin/gourd journey, wagon completely empty except for little man

We found a "Ryder-sized-pumpkin"

Lots to choose from!

Ryder was keeping the gourds company

Lots o' gourds and pumpkins

Mom was doing most of the heavy lifting. 

Not too excited

I think he was ready for a nap

Touching one of the weird gourds

Out of his wagon prison and walking around a bit

Weird gourds....I like them though :)

Old lookin' pumpkin

Kinzey and Ryder in front of the big farm machinery

More weird gourds...which we bought for decorating :)

When we got home, Ryder took an amazing 3 hour nap, in which time I was able to catch up on "Beverly Hills 90210."  It was AH-mazing!  Then, Darren decided to test his culinary skills....
You may think this is a Big Mac from McDonalds....but it isn't....

Darren found a recipe on how to make your own Big Macs at home.

I must say, these were spot on, and completely delicious.  Darren did such a great job!!  I was very surprised at how much these resembled and actually tasted like a real Big Mac.  I really couldn't tell a huge difference between these and the real ones.  Good jon Dar!!


I took more pictures after these, but I have yet to upload them.  That will be something to share another day. :)  We had more "adventures" after this as well, but those go with the pictures I took....oh the suspense, right?  haha

I think I am going to retire upstairs and finally watch "Thor!"  How excited am I?  VERY!

Have a good night everyone, and thanks for reading!!

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