28 April 2010

spatchcock much?

Now that I know how, I might do it more often... Mom signed Rene and I up for "Everyday Food." And nearly every month I find a couple fun things to try. When this month's issue came and I read "HOW-TO spatchcock a chicken." Well, let's just say I had to give it a try... and if I'm going to try something with a name like, "spatchcock" well, you better believe I am going to document it...The magazine had great pictures for how to actually do this thing called spatchcocking... which is basically cutting out the backbone & flattening the bird so it cooks more quickly (and maybe not more quickly, because it is at a much higher heat than normal - 500 degrees!) Julie, you would totally LOVE this, using your kitchen shears to cut up a whole bird!

There she is almost ready to go, with her thin lemon slices tucked inside the skin...
Add some quartered potatoes, an onion, a bit of olive oil & some s& p and she is good to go!
30 minutes later! Viola! (although she had to revisit the oven for a few more minutes cause she wasn't quite all the way done at this point... we had to throw our meat thermometer away because you couldn't read the print on it anymore... Can anyone recommend a good meat thermometer???)
I suggest you try to spatchcock soon. It seemed easier to rip all the extra meat off the bones, but that might just be because I was grinning about how well it turned out. (We had fish tacos the other day... no big grin on my face after that meal!)

27 April 2010

fun in the sun...

we busted out the sprinkler on Sunday afternoon (well, technically it's been out watering the grass...) we used the side yard because there is still straw in the backyard. The boys had a blast, of course...I love this one with his arms flung wide open...
thankfully, their old swim trunks still fit them ;)
They took a break to sun themselves on the driveway with their little chairs...
sidenote: There was also some hula-hoop-action, but blogger was whining about some internal error with that picture... whatever, blogger.

Then, of course, Daddy had to spray the boys down...
...and much giggling ensued.

What a lovely, sunny day that was.

Today is freezing (I use that term loosely.) Poor Wilson wore shorts to school too. I told him it was fine to wear pants since the high was only 70. I bet he'll listen next time. Brrr...

25 April 2010


One of the guys that Brad works with invited us over for a crayfish boil yesterday. This guy's dad was coming to town from Louisiana, and bringing 300 lbs of crayfish (pronounced craw-fish in the bayou) with him! The Clements kindly introduced to this concept of a "BOIL," but with shrimp, which is one of Wilson's favorite foods. We weren't sure what they would think of the crayfish...to be honest I wasn't sure what I would think of them!

We ate a ton at the boil and they sent us home with a box-load as well. Which worked out great so I could take pictures and prove that we ALL ate them! The box under my hands has all the heads that you rip off... and the tails, after the meat is pulled out and eaten... by the end, even Wilson could get the meat out himself!
Walker was anxiously awaiting more meat!
Don't you want a bite????

Seriously. The boys did not even act uninterested in eating it! Brad & I were both shocked! As long as I didn't look too closely at the bodies before I ripped them apart, it didn't bother me either. They had potatoes and mushrooms too. And were even playing some cajun-style-music...which Walker totally danced to. Naturally. It was a fun afternoon.

24 April 2010

its a heavy world...

...I first heard this song during the Help Haiti Live concert... a few months ago. I actually cried when I heard it (not an ugly cry, just a little cry). I can't begin to explain all of the reasons why I like this song - I mean, I could, but that would be a ridiculously long blog post.

So I will tell you this much, often when I find a new song I like, I google it. And I listen to it a few times repeatedly. (Kind of reminds me of my teen years, when I would listen to the radio for hours, hoping to hear my latest favorite song... tape in the cassette player, fingers on the record & play button... ready to capture that song for repeated playbacks... I know I am not the only that did this.)

So, from time to time in the last few weeks, I've googled, "Jars Headphones" and listened to my latest favorite song. And maybe hit "replay" once or twice here and there.

I didn't really realize how often I had done it until the other night when we were clearing the table after dinner. As Walker was putting a dish in the dishwasher, I noticed him singing, "Its a heavy world..." Kind of funny lyrics to hear from a 3 year old.

Since then, Brad has purchased it for me on iTunes. He's really nice like that.

22 April 2010

beginning to bloom...

well, we've been here for more than 6 months now, and I do believe we are beginning to bloom!when we got here, I felt strongly that God was telling me to sit quietly. Not to jump in and volunteer here, there, and everywhere; but to establish our family rhythm. My last day at PWOC at Fort Sill, my dear friend Crystal read a devotional that deeply touched my heart. It was about a rose bush that was in full bloom, and that it was time to cut some of the roses so others could enjoy them. I loved that word picture... it comforted me to think about how much I had grown... and also to know that my time growing in that place was over...
...at least until we were here for a bit, and then I felt like I was a rose dying in a vase on someone's table. Not quite as comforting.

But I still felt like God said, "wait." And I have. Last week, at PWOC the lady that gave the devotional spoke about our lives as military spouses. The ups and downs of moving our family around and trying to settle in; just to get up and go again. And referencing the book, After the Boxes are Unpacked; she compared us to a bulb.

A bulb blooms... it pollinates and leaves some of itself behind. But it also can be dug up and planted in a new place to bloom again. The thing is, when a bulb is planted... you can't really tell for awhile. Its just there under the ground waiting for the right time to bloom.

I think its time.

*the flowers were free from our neighborhood office. They are filling in our urns so beautifully.

20 April 2010

round here

Wilson is finally getting more comfortable riding his bike! I sort of blame the deployment for interrupting his bike-riding progress, but whatever. He can start and stop by himself now! I tried to get a bit of the starting-in-action.... ready, steady......GO! He even admitted that he was "kinda having fun." the other night when he was riding!
I'm not sure, but I think Wilson got more motivated after Walker said he was ready to take his training wheels off. Not yet though.
Walker has been asking me for days if he could paint his "van." He got it in his stocking for Christmas, I guess it was about time. He LOVES to paint. {love that cheeser grin}
Oh, and we had our first little trip to the ER today. Walker got hit by a door today at church. Not only did he fly onto his little booty, but the corner of his eye was split open by the door handle. He still wanted to play (of course!), but when it was still bleeding when I picked him up, the medic suggested I call the doctor. Instead we just drove to the ER. A little dermabond and he is good as new...
He was a trooper, as usual. The folks in the ER were pretty awesome about rushing us when I said that I had to pick up my other son from school! You better believe I filled out a gushing-comment-card for them!

p.s. The lady that opened the door that hit him, called me this afternoon to apologize. She felt so bad. We were standing in front of double doors with the little window on top, so she couldn't see Walker. I told her there were no hard feelings, and that Walker was totally fine. There have been so many times that I have said, "Please don't stand in front of the door, someone could open it and hit you!" Of course, today was not one of those days.

18 April 2010

weekend update

Friday before school, Wilson noticed that our 2nd butterfly had emerged from it's chrysalis......the butterfly pavilion was a clever Christmas gift from Aunt Denine. When the larvae arrived last week, I have to admit, I wasn't hopeful. But we had two little fighters that survived... We let them go today. Walker has said a few times tonight, "I miss our butterflies..."
Brad put some final touches on the yard-spruce-up... well, not really final...
...with our meager water pressure, we are still trying to figure out the right sprinkler for the front & side yards. our dry, sandy patches are a welcome habitat for the fire ants right now.
Yesterday afternoon we headed back up to Pine Mountain for a little hike. It was quite beautiful, we hit a different part of the trail this time. Much rockier, but lots of good views. We did a bit of drive-around exploring after the hike and came home for steaks on the grill. Lovely.

13 April 2010

and now...the rest of the story.

I thought I should finally unload the rest of my pictures from our fabulous week with Grandpa Carl and Uncle Nate! While Brad was at work on Wednesday, the rest of us went to the National Infantry Museum here on-post. We knew it was supposed to rain on Thursday so we thought we should hit the outdoor-portion of the museum while the weather was still sunny. This is actually the only picture I took though. =) Thursday we all went back to the museum - handy that the admission is free! The only part of the museum that you can take pictures is this little part where the kids can dress up. Brad made Wilson try on the Drill Sargent hat. Truthfully, I wanted Brad to try on the "round brown."
Walker got all the gear on... well except for pants, but you can hardly notice because the shirt is long and the boots are tall...
Oh, and I had four free tickets to the omniplex at the museum, so we saw a 3-D movie about the Hubble. LOVE the glasses!
Friday was spent just hanging around for the most part. Here's a shot of Uncle Nate being a fun uncle at the playground!
Dad convinced Wilson that he could do the climbing wall...and once Wilson realized that Grandpa Carl was right, he just went ahead and did it with some encouragement from the bench!
Our final stop in here in town was the Columbus museum (also free!). Here's Brad helping the boys build with some gigantic Lego's...
And a family shot out front.
We decided it would work best for Dad & Nate to spend the night in Atlanta Friday so there would be no early morning anxiety about whether or not they would make it to the airport on time. We planned on having dinner just south of town, but we made such great time that we decided to take a detour to the little town of Newnan. Here's a family shot on the street - notice someone is texting...
We had dinner at one of Ted Turner's joints. Seriously yummy burgers. And Nate had some super-tasty-looking pot roast. And Wilson was bummed that there was no steak on the kids' menu but was satisfied with his salmon. Walker liked the pre-dinner entertainment... wikki-stix... which he fashioned into glasses.

We had a great time together. I think Nate and Dad enjoyed themselves as well. Tonight when I was loading the pictures Wilson said, "I miss them."

07 April 2010

seeing the sights...

Yesterday we went over to Andersonville National Historic Site. Our visit began with a movie about POW's. It was moving to say the least.The boys were great through the POW museum, they were patient and respectful. There was a lot to see in the museum & it was very interesting.

After the museum we toured the prison site. (Andersonville aka Camp Sumter held over 54000 Union POW's during 14 months of the Civil War, during that time nearly 13000 died). We had a CD in the car that told us about the stops around the prison grounds. We got out of the vehicle a few times for a closer look. Here we are by the creek that flowed through the camp.
This monument was built around "Providence Spring" in 1901.
This is an example of what the prisoners stayed in. They are called "shebangs." Prisoners built them with whatever they had or could find. After awhile new prisoners had to wait for others to die so they could have a space of their own. Walker makes a cute prisoner, huh?
Dad & Walker checking out the inside of a more elaborate shebang.
Here is a picture overlooking the prison site. It looks so beautiful and peaceful now; its hard to imagine the horrors that the prisoners faced.
There are a number of monuments from Northern states to honor their soldiers that were held here. This is the Michigan monument.

We also drove through the national cemetery that is at this same park. We didn't get out and let the kids run around there. They did such a great job at the prison site, we didn't want to push their limits!

It was a wonderful day trip. One we would be happy to repeat with future guests!

05 April 2010

company came!

here are the guys killing a few minutes outside the Atlanta airport while we were waiting for the plane to arrive... (we made it to the airport in great time!)and here are the arrivals... they don't look that thrilled in this picture... but...
I think this picture tells the story better! Happy to have arrived; and Walker is quite pleased to have company in the van! (we stopped for dinner and listened to the 2nd half of the State game on the way home... not a great game.)
I didn't take any pictures yesterday morning although everyone did look quite handsome for church! We had a great service celebrating our Risen King. The boys each did an Easter egg hunt during their classes. We came home and had some snacks before eating our ham & fixins' shortly after 1pm. After sitting around for awhile, we decided to head down to the River Trail by the Chattahoochee... we discovered that they have fountains for the dogs! Koka was thrilled...
A shot of the gang on our way back up to the street level....
It was rather warm and we were happy to have discovered this little park with the fountains...
it was a good way to freshen up before we headed back to the car =)

...Walker kept asking if Uncle Nate and Grandpa Carl would still be here after Easter. He was really thrilled to find out that answer was "yes!"

No big plans for today; enjoy the weather, enjoy the company, and go from there!