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Ava Elisabeth: October 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Potato Soup (in the Crockpot)



Adam and I both LOVE potato soup, so when I saw there was a recipe that I could freeze and then dump into the crockpot I was all over it! It ended up being so good, both of us liked it, so it has officially made it into the keeper pile!


30 oz bag of frozen, shredded hash browns
32 oz container of chicken broth. Veggie broth works fine too
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
8 oz cream cheese (not fat free, it wont melt in)



Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. About 1 hour before serving, add in the cream cheese and heat until thoroughly melted.


If you are making this and freezing it to use at a later date, jus combine all the ingredients in a freezer bag, except for the cream cheese since it will not freeze well. The day you want to eat it, just dump the bag’s contents into the crockpot and cook as the directions indicate.


It was super creamy and Adam even enjoyed it as leftovers (which is saying something!) We serve it with cheese and bacon.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Tailgating 2012


We usually try to tailgate at least once a season so when my Aunt and Uncle decided to come down and attend a game, we figured it would be the perfect time to do it. We had just gotten back from Atlanta the night before, so I had a lot to do over the next several hours. We decided to do chicken wings, usually we do hamburgers or hot dogs, but this year, Adam and I decided to try something a little different.

It worked out great, except for my poor oven. I cooked them that morning- 150 of them! But the juice dripped all over the bottom of my oven, needless to say, I had a big mess to clean up. I started cooking at 8:30 and finished just in time to walk out the door. We cooked them in the oven for an hour (but because there was so many, I had to cook more than one batch) and then once we made it to our spot, we finished cooking them on the grill. We had all kinds of sauces for everyone to use and then everyone brought a dish or two of whatever they felt like bringing. We had lots of good food.


This was Ava’s first Tailgate! She has been to almost every game, but we usually leave her home on night games, which tend to be the times we tailgate.


The official tailgate crew for our annual picture- its become a tradition!


After eating and cleaning up, we headed to the stadium. I typically leave my nicer camera behind, but this time, I decided to bring it, so we made sure to take pictures of everyone.






We ended up  being able to all sit together, so that worked out great! There were 14 of us all together. Mrs. Dot, Mr. Matt, and Aunt Robin all decided to get tickets as well so we just had a big party!


So while the game wasn’t the least bit interesting and while we haven’t performed so bad on the field since ever, we at least had a good time socializing. (Adam and Jason would probably tell you otherwise)


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Atlanta Adventures


After such a full day on Friday, Saturday was definitely more low key- but we knew we needed to do something to let the kids get some energy out. We ate breakfast at the hotel  after we all were up and going and then decided to drive around and sightsee a little. We ended up riding through some areas of Buckhead that have beautiful homes. We saw a party, that was obviously for a little girl, complete with pony rides and bounce houses going on at one house. I tried my hardest to talk Adam into letting us crash the party! There were so many people there, they wouldn't have ever known.  He didn't go for it :(


After a little riding and the kids getting anxious, we decided to head to Centennial Park and thought we would let them run wild. They kept asking where the playground was- but after a little while, they realized they didn't need a playground to have fun!


All of them trying to do flips or handstands, or something- it didn't matter- they were exerting some energy- that's all we cared about!


They had races...


They played Duck, Duck, Goose... and Jenny and I just had the best time laughing at them, particularly Ava. She would 'Frolic' instead of run. Every time. It was so fun. She was just like la la la la la...


The boys on the other hand were running and running hard to catch each other!


After playing and running and racing, and ducking and goosing, we decided to eat lunch before we all got on the road back home.


There is a hamburger joint in the middle of the park, Googie Burger and oh it was delicious. I had the veggie burger. Adam and Jason both got some kind of 'Beefy Pig Burger'. They both said it was really good, but before we were too far south of ATL it wasn't agreeing with Adam too well. We had to make a couple of stops for him...


So we were all sitting there eating and the kids went off to play in the grassy area beside us. Well, the next thing we know is that we see them all running this way and I look and Ava is carrying something in her was a dead bird y'all! A. Dead. Bird.!! She was carrying it like it wasn't a  big deal, bringing it over to us! I liketa died right there! We quickly told her to drop it- and she did, but still couldn't understand why we were making such a big deal. Well I grab, by the wrist no doubt, and tell her we need to go wash her hands. Then the next thing we know is Trevor now has the bird and bringing it closer! The table next to us was having so much fun watching all this! They were just a laughing! I told them as Jenny and I walked by with our two bird carriers that we were glad we could provide their lunchtime entertainment!

While we were in the bathroom washing their hands it was discovered that Brody, who wouldn't dare touch it, told Ava to pick it up! Which made a little better sense, it was totally out of character for my daughter who is scared of everything and won't even pet goats at the petting zoo to pick up a dead bird!

IMG_1866 IMG_1870

After the bird fiasco, they played a little longer and then we all got ready to leave. Luckily the kids were pretty worn out and they slept a good portion of the way home and the rest of the time they were either eating, watching tv, or playing with leap pads. We had such a great time and came back to hot Florida and had to get ready for a Jaguar game the next day.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken


A few weeks ago, I spent one Saturday afternoon doing what some call 'Batch Cooking'. Basically you buy all the ingredients  for several meals and spend a few hours prepping and bagging the meals for the freezer. I spent 3 hours and when all was said and done I had 16 different meals in bags, stuffed in my freezer. All I have to do now is pull it out and dump it in the crockpot to cook all day while I am at work. The great things is that all of these meals will last at least 2 nights, one meal on the day its cooked and another night for leftovers. So essentially I have at least 32 meals in my freezer, but only cook 16 times. I will post the recipes we try and like here.
This particular one I made previous to the batch cooking and included it again when because Adam loves it and it so simple! The first time I made it, I had everything I needed in my pantry!


3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1/2 c. Sugar

1/2 c. Vinegar

1/2  can of pineapple chunks (large)

1/2 c. pineapple juice (I just use the juice from the can of pineapples)

2 Tbsp. Soy sauce

3 cloves of garlic, minced



Combine all ingredients in crockpot (or bag if you are freezing it). Cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 4 hours.

As you can see, I typically shred the chicken in the last 30 mins to an hour of cooking, it should be easy to shred, so it if it isn't, let it cook a little longer. We have eaten it over rice both times.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Atlanta Braves Playoffs!

Life's pretty funny when you can go to a high school football game and leave heading to Atlanta Braves baseball game...confused? Well, that's exactly what happened. About 3 Friday nights ago, Adam and I went with Jason and Jenny to the Yulee football game that was being televised on ESPN, while we were there, Jason told us that Daniel (his brother) was chosen to be the Hometown Hero at the Braves game the following Friday night. He was conflicted about going, only because he had a previous commitment with his Sunday School class and something they were doing. We both were quick to assure him that this was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and he shouldn't feel bad for backing out. I mean how many people get to see a brother honored in front of 50,000 people (plus it was a playoff game for crying out loud!!)

Somehow during that conversation, Adam and I just invited ourselves along- Sorry J&J, we were coming whether you liked it or not at this point ;)









Friday morning, we loaded up in the Suburban and headed north- all 7 of us. It was sure to be an interesting trip, 3 kids in the car for a trip to Atlanta, we were either crazy or well lets just go with crazy...










Actually, everyone did so well on the trips there and back. Thank goodness for 2 DVD screens and headphones, plus 2 big bags of snacks! We were set!

Somehow (uh hum...Adam) we made a trip that should have taken 5 hours (5.5 hours tops) turn into a 7 hour trip and we were busting it to get to the game on time. I could tell you it was becuase I took us to the wrong hotel, but I wont' do that since it only cost us about 5 minutes of that extra 2 hours!

We quickly checked into the hotel (after Adam took us to the far back corner to park instead of letting us unload at the front door) and changed clothes.


We were catching the shuttle from the hotel to the airport and then the Marta from the airport to Underground Atlanta to catch the shuttle to the game. Did you get all of that?

We have always taken the shuttle to the game and this time, there wasn't an onsite parking and were afraid we wouldn't find any offsite parking since it was such a big game, plus battling Atlanta traffic at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon just wasn't my idea of a good time!


Well, it seemed this particular day wasn't in our cards. We made it to the airport okay and went to purchase our Breeze cards to get on the Marta and the machines stop responding in the middle of us buying the cards. After we finally get it done, we hop on, ride to Underground Atlanta.


We haven't ever had to wait more than a few minutes to get on a bus to the Stadium and I don't know if you have ever been to Underground Atlanta, but usually you come in from the Marta on one end and there is an exit straight out the other end, which is where the buses pick you up. I kid you not, we made it about 20 steps into Underground Atlanta and stopped, and I mean STOPPED!


The line was crazy long and it took us 40 minutes to get on the shuttle. I don't know what it was, poor Adam, he felt so bad. He tries so hard to make sure everything is thought through and planned out- and then we walk in and there are thousands of people in front of us waiting to get on the buses! It literally took us 40 minutes to get through the line. To his credit, even people that frequently go to games were complaining, they hadn't ever seen anything like this and even the security guard mentioned it was unlike they had ever seen and they definitely weren't prepared for it- people were skipping like crazy, which only fueled everyone's anxiety levels and wait time!


After we made it to the Stadium, we made it to our seats only to find out someone was sitting in them. Then they acted like they were offended we asked them to move-stating 'They are the same seats (they were in the next section over), but they only had 3 together- we had 8!


Eventually it was all sorted out and we were ready to enjoy the game.


Our seats weren't the greatest, actually we were only 3 rows from the very top of the stadium, but at least we were there. Jason and Brody were sitting down in the lower level with Daniel, Jessica, and Caleb.


You know it doesn't seem like it was 9 years ago that we were here on our honeymoon...We had better seats, no kids, less worries, younger-looking, and no boiled peanuts- but we were together :) I think we have only missed going to games 3 years over the course of the 9...I know we have gone to a game each year for the past 4 years, but there were some years I know we didn't make it up.


During the 6th inning they honored Daniel. They had a short video clip they showed and then he walked out onto the field.


Jenny and I had really planned to walk down further, but after it took us forever to get up to our seats we were afraid if we started down we would miss it and it would take us too long to get there and leaving Adam to handle Ava and Trevor might have been a feat he wasn't ready to tackle ;)


But we snapped away from the high-vantage point :)


Everyone cheered (of course)


As he was walking off the field, Chipper was on deck, so he stepped out to shake his hand- this is even cooler now that we know it was Chipper's last game and he retired after this game.


On his way up to his seat, which did I mention, were much better than ours?, Jimmy Carter stepped out to shake his hand. The former President Jimmy Carter. We didn't expect that to happen so we didn't catch it on any of our cameras, but I have it on the video camera. Too bad I had to video the video board to see anything, you know because we didn't have "the seats" ;)





I wasn't lying about our seats- they were at the tip-top!



Brian, Kristin, and Dalton ended up going to the game as well, but they opted to drive separate, and NOT with the 3 kids :)




So, I would be remiss if I didn't tell this story...

Sitting up high in the stands, it is obviously tight and it was sold out, we got the best available seats at the time we bought them if that tells you anything... so sitting close you are bound to get some bumps and rubs. Well, Ava and Trevor were very well behaved, and believe me, I'm not one of those parents that pretends my child is perfect- I will tell you if she had misbehaved in any way. And she had not! I couldn't have asked for them to be any better. They weren't loud, the only moved around and danced whenever it was time to move and dance, they did the tomahawk chop when the song played, along with the other 50,000 fans and during the middle of the game and old geezer turned around and made a smart comment about how 'these kids have been kicking me the entire game, can you reign them in?'

Ya'll I thought Adam was going to loose it. He started saying something to the guy, the which his response was, 'I'm not trying to start anything'... Well sir, you did, and did you know that when you turned around to say something it was our kids so called 'Kicking you' which I seriously doubt felt anything like a kick, it was two other kids walking past to get to their seats down the isle. Our 2 were in their seats, not moving. I hushed Adam down and just stewed. It ruined the rest of the game. How dare he? If you want to not be bothered either stay home or pay for better seats.

The way these seats are situated, you are almost right on top of each other, in fact, the guy behind me kept his feet on my seat the entire time, and it didn't turn around and ask him to stop 'kicking' me! UGH! I was so prepared to go off on his old... well this is something my child will read one day, so lets just leave it at that... but he left at the top of the 9th.

You know, just so we are clear, I'm not saying my child or Trevor didn't occasionally bump into him, but I can assure you it wasn't hard or intentional, or even constant, and he even stood for a large majority of the game blocking our 2 little ones' views. (plus he came late and left early- sounds like he should have just stayed home!)

At least getting to the stadium was easy.


Chipper's last at bat.


Chipper's Last Swing


After the game we walked down to meet up with Jason and Brody and to see Daniel, Jessica, and Caleb.


Me and Daniel, he and I graduated together, 10 years ago this do I feel old :(




After the game and speaking to everyone, watching Chipper's post-game interview, we headed to catch the shuttle back to the Marta station. All that was pretty easy, just crowded, but when we made it back to the Marta station we had to wait about 20 minutes. We soon found out why.

Poor Adam.

We got on and headed to the airport and we noticed we were going pretty slow. It wasn't a few minutes later the conductor? is that what they are called? came over the intercom and said they had 2 engines down so basically only running on half power. They were going to get us to our destination, it just wouldn't be as fast as we were accustomed to.

Poor Adam.

He couldn't have planned for more to go wrong if he had tried! We ended up all getting off at the next stop and another one picked us up and took us the rest of the way.


We all definitely gave him a hard time about it. We caught the shuttle at the airport back to our hotel and it was about midnight at this point. Ava ended up falling asleep on the short shuttle ride back and after calling to order pizza and realizing it would be another 45 minutes before it was even delivered, we opted to eat in the hotel restaurant that was open to 1:30- thank goodness! Ava slept the entire time and Trevor ended falling asleep in the middle of it dinner. We had made a full day of it- and LOTS of memories, so we would like to forget, some others would like to forget.

Poor Adam.




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Ava Elisabeth: October 2012

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Ava Elisabeth

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