November 27, 2011

Memories & Milestones

Last weekend, we enjoyed the company of some of our dear friends, Don & Amy, and their kids, Caroline (3) and Sam (1).  Not long after they arrived, Amy and I left all three kids with our husbands and escaped fled ran for our lives went to the Country Christmas Craft Show at Gordyville.  Nathan's dad, Howard, had a booth at the show to display and sell small rocking chairs and many other things that he has spent a lot of time making since he retired over two years ago.  Amy picked out some adorable gifts for Caroline and Sam, and I enjoyed browsing and listening to the Christmas music that was being played.  When we came back, our home wasn't a complete wreck, and our husbands and kids were all still alive.  The next morning, we had brunch together before our friends headed home to Elk Grove.  I think Sam and Garrett had fun together...

...and Caroline loved Solo.

About two weeks prior to the Alips' visit, Garrett had taken a couple steps on his own but hadn't shown any more interest in walking since then.  I think Sam must have given him the confidence he needed 'cause he's walking all over the place now!  (That's what friends are for, right?)

We have so much to be thankful for!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and families.

November 5, 2011

Garrett wants to tell you something.

Does Rosetta Stone teach this language?

Have I mentioned we're crazy about this kid?

November 1, 2011

Grandma's Chicken Spaghetti

If you're reading this, you're probably already aware that my Grandma Marge died on October 18th.  She was laid to rest next to Gramps four days later.  I honored her on her 89th birthday in an earlier post entitled Grandma Marge.  I also had an opportunity to share some of my favorite memories of her with our extended family after her funeral and promised myself then to finally attempt her recipe for chicken spaghetti, which I did today.

This is how I wrote down the recipe as she recited it to me years ago:

Boil or bake chicken.  Pick meat off.  Use broth to cook onion, green pepper, celery, and spaghetti (12 oz. - 1 lb.) in.  Add water if necessary.  Mix together chicken, spaghetti, onion, pepper, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, and 1 can cream of chicken soup.  Put in baking dish.  Place grated cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees until hot.

I was reluctant to try this recipe before now because whole chickens kind of gross me out, but I knew it just wouldn't be the same if I substituted boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Using Mom's instructions, I salted and peppered the whole chicken, covered it with water, and boiled it for about an hour last night.  After letting it cool, I picked as much meat off the bones as I could and saved the broth.  This evening, I cooked a pound of spaghetti, two stalks of celery, chopped, and an onion, also chopped, in the broth.  (I omitted the green pepper.)  Then, I mixed all that with the cans of soup and the chicken, put it all in a 13" x 9" glass dish, put about two cups of shredded cheddar cheese on top, and baked it for about 20 minutes.

I'll probably need to make this several more times before it tastes as good as I remember, but it was good.  Nathan liked it, too.

Oh, and unless you have five hungry sons like Grandma did, you'll probably be able to freeze half of it or give it to your friends who've just had a baby or your neighbor who's been in the hospital.