Dinners, Parties and Holidays

First things first:  Look at my new poll question above and if you would like to cast your vote, please do!  We'll know March 1.


John Michael declared date night a couple weeks ago, which was fine by me.  We had a double date with Kayla and Bennett at Parker House.  I wanted a picture so we got Kayla to take one.

I wasn't pleased with it so I said let's take one more. I didn't know until later John Michael decided to smile like this. I told him just for that I was going to put it on Facebook immediately, he didn't like that very much so hopefully next time he won't smile like that when I'm trying to get a serious picture :)

Ryder is big on wanting to take his bible to church, I'm not real fond of this because it's one of those small little dainty bibles and he'll rip the pages out. But this morning he wouldn't give in and grabbed my book off my night stand and proudly carried it to the car. Once we got in he started "reading" to us.

After all Ryder's "tirate" talk last week, he was quite pleased that he got to go to a Princess and Pirate birthday party last Saturday.  His little buddy Swayze Jane turned 2, and Ryder was pretty fired up about it.  He jumped in the space jump and ran around until his hair was wet from sweating.  They dug for treasures and he even got a treasure chest tattoo that I could not get to come off before church the next morning.  He was proud of that. (just realized it looks like I meant he got a treasure tattoo on his chest, but I mean it was a tattoo of a treasure chest, just clearing it up).

Ryder sharing his cake with Levi, he's always feeding Levi his food.

I've decided to put a halt on Dora.  This is why... the party favors were princess tiaras and magic wands for the girls, and swords and eye patches for the guys (princess and pirate).  When I saw them sitting there I had a pretty good feeling which one Ryder would go for.  I was right, he went straight for the wand.  Then he starts going on about abra cadabra.  Of course he loved the eye patch and sword when we handed it to him, but his first pick was the stuff he sees on Dora!  OMG we are DONE!

I hate to see it go because crazy as it sounds, it has taught him a lot, not even kidding.  He can count to ten in spanish, no lie!  And he knows the words up, down, and come on in spanish, and several colors too.  Diego teaches spanish, so maybe we'll just stick to that.

Then Sunday we watched the Super Bowl at Kristen and Teddy's and so Ryder got to play with Swayze two nights in a row!

Luckily they still had the jump jump from her party in the car, so we blew it up right in the living room.  It gave us moms a nice break.

Thursday night some of John Michael's friends were in town by way of horse and buggy.  They are on a trail ride that goes so many miles over a weeks time in conjuction with the rodeo festivities.  He wanted to take Ryder and let him check it out.

They sleep in this buggy at night... brrrrr.

Ryder was a large fan of this contraption.

As you can see, we NEVER stop... so that night we went to eat at a friends house, and all the little boys got to catch up too.

Ryder, Gaines and Levi

I was baking the rolls in the oven to take over there to eat and Ryder opened the kitchen drawer, pulled out my oven mits, walk up to the oven and said, "get back mama, it's hot!!!"  He has seen me do this 100 times, I love seeing him do things that he has picked up from us.

Saturday night we celebrated valentines at Walker's, double yum!  My mom took a picture of us before we left.

Ryder got so upset that we didn't ask him to get in the picture, he fell out on the floor and started crying.

I wasn't expecting anything for Valentines day, I already told JM he better not spend $100 sending me flowers (it's very sweet, but...... it's $100). I always tell him if he is going to get me flowers I would much rather they be bought by him and delivered by him. This morning I walked into the kitchen to eat my blueberry muffins made by him, and he and Ryder had my favorite flowers and a gift certificate to get a mani/pedi sitting on the counter. I was actually really surprised!

Ryder delivering flowers and telling me happy valentines day, plus a little extra commentary.

If you couldn't understand his language, here is what he said: Happy Valentines Day, Happy Valentines Day, we gotta turn 4 o'clock, gotta turn 4, gotta turn 4 mama, CHEESE!


While we're on holidays, in honor of upcoming Fat Tuesday (Feb. 21) I wanted to share a fun recipe if any of you want to try it out.

Crockpot Jambalaya
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound smoked turkey sausage, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 tsp minced garlic
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
White rice or instant rice (exp: 2 packs of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice)
In a crockpot, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, garlic, celery, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme. (You can do this the night before and put it in the fridge and put it in the slow cooker before you leave in the morning.)

Cover, and cook 7 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Mix in cooked rice and cook for about 15 minutes to warm through.

Cheesy Biscuits
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbps sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425. Stir together all ingredients just until combined. Scoop into a mini muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden.

King Cake Knots
1 loaf refrigerated french bread dough
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk (may need more to get right consistency)
1/2 tsp vanilla
colored sugar - yellow, purple, green

Preheat oven to 350. Unroll french bread dough into a large rectangle, about 16 by 12 inches. Brush the dough lightly with softened butter. Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over butter. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into strips about 1 1/4 inches wide. Twist two stips together. Tie each strip loosely into a knot, stretching gently if necessary, and place on baking sheet about 2-inches apart.

Bake for 25-28 minutes. Cool. Mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Dip each knot into icing and then sprinkle with colored sugar.

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