Thursday, August 25, 2011


Recently I have come across quite a few recipes for tomato pie. We had a late crop of tomatoes which we didn't think were going to produce. Much to our surprise they did, so it was time to try tomato pie with some of our fresh tomatoes.

Being the review junkie that I am, I reviewed quite a few recipes before deciding to try it. I took ingredients, hints, and user reviews/ratings from recipes here and there to come up with a version I thought we would enjoy.

I was not disappointed. It was delicious, and I will definitely be making this again.

I'm posting the recipe so that next year when we have fresh tomatoes I won't forget how I made it. :)
  • 9-inch deep dish pie shell - pre-baked (Thaw pie shell and prick bottom with fork to avoid bubbling. Pre-bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.)
  • 4-5 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small Vidalia onion
  • 8-10 pieces of bacon (in our opinion you can never have too much bacon)
  • Fresh basil (4-5 leaves)
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ c. mayo*
  • ½ c. sour cream
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used sharp)
  • ½ c. shredded Parmesan cheese**
Peel and dice tomatoes. {I sliced mine this go-around, but next time I will chop or dice – same with onion.} Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain. I let mine drain for a couple of hours but obviously it doesn't have to be that long.

Fry bacon, half it, and set aside. Reduce heat, add onions to bacon grease, and cook until tender.

Chop basil. {I chopped mine really small. Obviously you can use more or less according to your own taste, but I was afraid more would be too much. 4-5 leaves was the perfect amount for us}.

Lightly brush bottom of pie shell with olive oil (supposedly this helps avoid soggy crust - it must work because the crust was not soggy).

Layer tomatoes, onions and basil in pie shell.

Season with salt and pepper (Some recipes called for Italian seasoning as well. I didn't have any but probably would have used it if I did).

Sprinkle with one-half crumbled bacon.

Combine grated cheeses, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Spread mixture on top.

Sprinkle remainder of bacon on top and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

*Most recipes I saw called for a whole cup of mayonnaise. I like mayo but I don't love it, so I was afraid a cup would be too strong of a mayonnaise taste. So if you like mayo, you could use a whole cup. Or if you dislike it, I'm sure just sour cream would work too.
**Next time I may try mixing it up with some different types of cheese and add some jalapenos to give it a little kick. 

Sorry, there are no pictures because I couldn't wait to dig in. :) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Reid goes to preschool until 12:30. Which means that, now that Grant and Mac are both in big school, I have a couple of hours in the afternoons to spend with my Turbo, just the two of us - a fact that dawned on him Thursday of last week. So Friday morning on the way to school , he said, "Momma, when you pick me up today let's go have some fun."

It makes me happy that his idea of "fun" is a stop by Dairy Queen for some hot eats (french fries) and cool treats (ice cream of course) followed by a trip to Dollar Tree where I told him he could pick out anything he wanted.

"Anything," he said enthusiastically?

Yes son, ANYTHING. heehee
When Reid eats something he likes he gets real animated and says, "This is DEEEELICIOUS!"
You know you wish you could eat your ice cream cone like that and get away with it
First salty then sweet - a winning combination
Decisions, decisions
Everything was all fun, smiles, thank-yous and I-love-yous...
Until we were on the way home when, within three minutes he had opened and then broken that high-class dollar toy. He put it on the seat beside him, folded his arms angrily and said, "THIS IS JUNK. HMMPH."

Dang it. I guess our Dollar Tree days have passed. ;)

DT wasn't a hit but DQ certainly was. He said next time he wants to go back to "that ice cream place with the good french fries" and the "libary." Sounds like fun to me.
Especially if after a full belly and some fun I could enjoy one of those things I think are called naps?

Saturday while I was enjoying time with my two girls (I've always thought of Dawnie as my own although we're only five years apart - I call Bethany, Dawn and Dawn, Bethany all the time), Chris and the boys braved the madness that is the Buckmasters Expo in Montgomery. He said it was so ridiculously crowded they left without seeing all they wanted to see. So Sunday we decided to go back. I thought the crowd was still insane, but Chris said it was nothing compared to Saturday. The cause of some of the craziness?
Those two. Troy and Jacob from Swamp People. The boys love Swamp People, and it's been a regular in our DVR for quite some time now. I had NO idea, though, how much the show has taken off. We thought it would be fun for the boys to get to meet them. HOWEVER, we thought better of it when we saw the line to see them was wrapped through and around the building. We were told that at one point it was an almost four-hour wait. We don't like them that much. The boys at least got to see them and came home with their "Choot 'em" shirts so everyone was happy.

We made our way through the exhibits and lastly into the Young Bucks exhibit to wear the boys out let the boys enjoy all the kid stuff.

We ran into Bucky:
And DropTine:
And they each had their turn at a hunting game.
Turbo needed a little help - big brother to the rescue. Grant is always willing to lend a helping hand. Well, that and it completely bugged the OCD, anal clone of myself to stand by and watch Reid shooting more trees and dirt than he was deer.

And then we left.

That is all.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 22, 2011


In the blink of an eye. That's how fast it seems my Sweet B is growing up. It sounds so cliche but I simply cannot believe I'm attending things like formals and lead out for her. Or counting down the days until she drives (SHE is counting them down, NOT me). Or talking about college plans. It's all quite surreal.

Yet when I look at her I still see my baby girl - my beautiful baby girl.
And I still marvel that she's mine.

This past Saturday Dawnie and I made our way to Decatur. I was thankful Chris decided to make Saturday a guys day. The drive to Decatur is 3 hours one-way, and that's if you don't stop which of course is impossible with kids. The boys are troopers when they go and of course love to see their Sissy, but it's definitely easier if I go solo. Snuggie's going was very last-minute because she was sure she had to work. Once she realized she could go, we tried our best to keep it a secret from B. Total fail. She 100% had us figured out, but she was nonetheless excited to open the door and see Dawnie there. :) After a late lunch (which was hilarious and wonderful), a quick stop by the nail salon, and a couple of errands, it was time for Bethany to head back for some last-minute touch-ups and to get into her dress.
See? Beautiful!

We won't even mention her date's name. He proved to be a less than desirable one. And I really wanted to insert a few expletives about him. Only it hit me that, among other things, he is only a kid and that I do have three boys myself. And, well... karma. Let's just say I will be disappointed in my boys if, when they're his age, they treat a date the way he treated her.

So there.

She didn't let it get her down, though, and ended the night having had a great time. I'm sure it had nothing to do with a certain someone who was waiting for her. ;)

A few pictures before she headed out. Into a boy's truck. Just her and the boy...

Thank you, Jesus, I only have one daughter. Goodness gracious, heavens to Betsy. Gag. Vomit. Barf.

Dawn and I had some time to kill before lead out so after you watch your only daughter drive off with a 16-year-old boy, it seems only fitting to head for the nearest restaurant serving adult beverages. HA! At dinner there were more laughs and conversations of some deep and some not-so-deep thoughts - the nature of which will never leave that table. heehee Dawnie, thanks so much for going. I know getting home late then having to get up at 4 am the next morning was torturous. You make my world a happier place. I love being around you. Your laugh is infectious. Your smile is contagious. You're a precious soul.

B with her friend, Ellie
Bethany, how can it be that you're growing up right before my eyes, and there's nothing I can do to stop it? You have blossomed into a smart, beautiful young woman with a good head on your shoulders and a heart for Jesus. You make me so very proud to be your momma! Much love!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Because Kindergarten at Redland uses "staggered start," Mac's first day was Monday with one-third of his class. Another third started Tuesday and another Wednesday. So today was his official first day with his entire class. Chris and I walked he and Grant to their classes Monday. We missed "Meet the Teacher" due to being at the beach. Thankfully we already know Mrs. Schweers, and Grant's teacher was so sweet to let us meet her at the school one morning last week. Not only was it Mac's first day ever at Redland, but they still had all their supplies to take with them, so the walking them in thing was a given. But since Grant is a pro  and Mac didn't go Tuesday or Wednesday, I dropped Grant off in the carpool line and he walked himself in. I assumed that because today was kind of like Mac's first day all over again that he would want me to walk him in. And since I was walking him in, I would also walk Grant to his class. 

So as we're on our way to school this morning I say, "Okay, Mac, I'm going to park today and tomorrow so I can walk you in. And then I'll walk you to your class, Grant. Then next week, Grant, you can start walking Mac to his class. Okay, guys?" 

You see, last year there were many, many discussions between Grant and Mac about Grant walking Mac in. Mac was so excited to start "big school" but was also a bit overwhelmed and needed reassurance that his brother would walk him to his class every morning. So more times than I can count, last year we would be in the carpool line getting ready to drop Grant off and Mac would say, "Grant, you promise you're gonna take me to my class?" Being the sweet big brother that he is, Professor always eased Bueller's fears telling him absolutely, yes he would walk him to class every single morning. 

Assume. Don't you love that word?!? 

Because I 100% assumed Mac would need/want me to walk him in the rest of the week at the very least.

The reaction I got from Mac about that?...

"NOOOOOO, Momma, I just want Grant to walk me in."

That was followed by Grant saying, "Yeah, we don't need you to walk us to class. I know where his class is so I'll just take him."


Swallow extremely large lump which immediately entered my throat.

Ok that stung a little. When I pushed my hurt feelings to the side, though, I felt a sense of pride that they're confident enough to want to do that. I told them I thought it was a great idea and watched as they walked in. Alone. Without their mother. :)
Way to go, Bueller! You're such a big boy now. Professor, he's blessed to have you as his big brother.

And I'm blessed to be their mother.

Although I think I'll ask one more time tomorrow morning. You know, just to be sure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


This one is for me. There were quite a few pictures from spring ball I have been meaning to post but just never got around to posting. And since we're gearing up for fall ball (practice starts tonight) I thought I better go ahead and post them.

We had a great year playing league ball. Having Chris coach was an eye-opening experience for me in a lot of ways. We learned a lot. We won a lot (SO fun!). We lost a little (so NOT fun). We made some friends and had fun spending time with and getting to know the sweet families on the team. All in all it was a great experience. 

We won first place in our division and second in the tournament. I'm so proud of my boys and was quite impressed with Chris as a coach.

We had a mom on the team who volunteered to be the official "team photographer." :) She did a great job. There was no way I was going to be taking pictures during the game. I'm so thankful she offered. We have some great pictures we wouldn't have otherwise had.
Got him

Receiving trophies at closing ceremonies
Unless they were working, Mimi and Granddaddy were at every game. Every single one.
Aunt Dawnie was always there too unless she was working yet I have no pictures of her with the boys. I have no idea how that happened. I also don't have a picture of Sissy in her jersey with the boys. She did her fair share of rooting on her brothers. She gets into it like I do. Not sure if that's good or bad. Ha ha! I have no pictures of RaRa and the girls either. They made quite a few games themselves. I guess those were the games that were nail-biters - the ones where the camera was the last thing on my mind. :)
We were excited when Big Daddy and Grandmama Norton came
Uncle Donnie, Aunt Rae and Grey were able to make it to a game too 
We missed Haylie but she has now entered into what we call the real world. She was working.
The boys with Grey (who of course plays ball too).
Grey is the cool, older cousin who the boys look up to and enjoy spending time with. We don't do it nearly enough. 
Me and my guys

Team Picture
We're excited about fall ball and are ready to get back into the swing of things. I look forward to many more years of ball with my guys.

Monday, August 15, 2011


BUELLER GOES TO KINDERGARTEN!! I think he thought this day would never come. It's a day he's been looking forward to for quite a while now, and one I know without a doubt he's ready for. Today was Mac's first day of "big school." We were so excited to find out he has Mrs. Schweers who was also Grant's Kindergarten teacher. We joke that she can retire after she has Reid next year. She's an awesome teacher and someone who has become a sweet friend. I am confident my sweet Bueller will have a wonderful year.
Yesterday we made sure we had everything packed and ready to go.
All he asked for was an Auburn nap mat. Thank goodness for Etsy because that's the only place I could find one. I was able to surprise him with it. He loved it so much he slept in it the night it came in.

This morning he woke up around 6:15 ready to start the day and get to school. I can't wait to pick him up this afternoon and see how it went. At Redland the Kindergarten has what they call a staggered start. A third of the class goes Monday, a third Tuesday, a third Wednesday then they all begin as a whole class Thursday. I have a feeling it's going to be hard for him to sit out the next two days.

Grant started 2nd grade today. Ms. Turnipseed is his teacher. She seems very sweet, and I've heard nothing but great things about her. She doesn't believe in much homework (which of course Grant liked), and she believes children learn better if they're having fun doing it. First grade was a lot of work with very little play (which was necessary - I'm still amazed at how much he learned) but I'm hoping for a bit more fun this year for Professor.
And I think he's going to get it.
He was excited about some friends being in his class again
We're blessed with wonderful teachers at a wonderful elementary school.
Packed and ready

Today was Turbo's first day back at Kiddie Kollege.
He's in Mrs. Rita's class this year or as he says it, "the big boy class." He's the Kiddie Kollege Class of 2012. Mrs. Rita is a jewel. Grant and Mac both had her, and now Reid gets his turn. We love Kiddie Kollege. They're all like family, and we'll be sad to see our KK days come to an end. In the meantime, though, we're going to fully embrace and enjoy Turbo's last year of preschool.

Today wasn't just the first day of school for the boys but for Bethany as well. Today she begins her year as a sophomore. Seriously my baby girl cannot be in 10th grade. She loves school (yes, she still loves school) and was ready to get back into the swing of things. It was so hard not to have a picture of her to post from her first day, but I'm sure she looked fabulous!

I came across a beautiful "back to school" prayer that I want to share:

Dear Heavenly Father,
I seek Your presence, coming before You with thanksgiving for the wonderful blessings You have given me through my children.  Raising a child is an awesome and often overwhelming responsibility, yet You have entrusted these children to me, so I come to You now to lift them up to You as they begin a new year at school.  Please, Lord, keep my children safe from harm and evil.  Please keep the buses and carpool vehicles safe.  Please let Your presence be in the school to keep it safe, positive, and a place where children can be comfortable and able to learn.
Although we cannot speak of You or pray outwardly to You in many schools, let the Christians in the schools share Christ’s love and the lessons He taught by their words and actions.  I pray that my children will be positive influences on those around them, conducting themselves in a Christ-like manner and resisting temptations to behave in ways that are not acceptable or allowed in school.
Lord, I thank You for the many gifts, talents, and blessings You have given my children and pray that they will continue to use and grow those gifts; and that their actions and accomplishments will be pleasing to You and bring glory to You.
Lord, I also pray for myself as a parent.  Please help me to be there for my children in the ways that they need me to be.  Help me to understand them and to know how to support them, even ‘fight’ for them, if needed.  I pray that You will give me the wisdom to know when to help, when to encourage, when to motivate, and when to sit back, being more mindful of their needs and what is best for them instead of giving in to my protective and dominating tendencies.  I pray also for wisdom in helping them when they face difficulties and challenges.  Help their father and I to rule with patience and grace – even in the most frustrating of situations.
And Lord, I pray that You will instill in their hearts the desire to learn, grow, mature, and thrive in their educational settings.  Most importantly, please keep in them the desire to keep You in their lives, not allowing less godly influences to push You aside.
Please also help us to communicate and stay close.
I pray for every parent who shares these prayerful concerns and ask that You guide and bless them as they love and care for their children.  I pray, too, for the children who don’t have someone to pray for them.  May those children find people in their lives who can lead and inspire them.
To You, my Heavenly Father I pray, with Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and in the love of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

I think it's the perfect prayer.

Today the man I love celebrates his 37th birthday. In a couple of weeks we will celebrate 8 years of marriage. Only 8? That cannot be right. Surely it's at least 28. HA!
When we dated 18 years ago, no one could have imagined we would be where we are today. Chris, you are the person who drives me crazy yet keeps me sane all at the same time. :) I love so many things about you...
I love that you live life to the fullest every day. You are passionate about what you do, and everything you do you do to the best of your ability. It's all or nothing.

I love that you love me in spite of my many moods - there are a lot of them, and they can change without warning. I also love that you can usually snap me out of a bad one pretty quickly (even if it makes me ill that you made me laugh). :)

I love that you work hard to provide for our family.

I love that you gave me our three boys. What would life be like without them? I don't want to know.

I love that you hold my hand while we're in the car and out in public.

I love that you do the grocery shopping.

I love that for the most part you decide what's for dinner and cook it.

I love that you still say "yes ma'am", "no ma'am" and "yes sir", "no sir" to your parents.

I love that you aren't afraid to take risks.

I love that you provide a housekeeper for me. It sounds shallow of me to say that, but it's a HUGE help and something I look forward to twice a month.

I love that you can say "I'm sorry" when you need to.

I love that you have a big heart for people less fortunate.

I love that you still look dang hot in a pair of jeans that showcase that magnificent booty of yours, even if you kinda know you look good. heehee :)

I love that you never meet a stranger.

I love that you love our family and love being together and doing things as a family. In fact, you prefer it that way.

I love that you recognize the importance of "us" time.

I love that you have great taste in jewelry (again, shallow but... just being honest).

I love that no matter where you're going or what you're doing you want the boys to be a part of it.

I love that after we tuck the boys in bed every night we sit on the couch together watching Y & R and either hold hands or you lay your head in my lap.

I love that when you walk past me you can't keep your hands off me (even if it doesn't always seem like I love it). :)

I love that you are close to my dad.

I love that you go after what you want and usually get it.

I love that years ago when you saw me in Castlewood at my parent's house you told CV, "If I ever get the chance to date that girl again, I'm gonna marry her." And you did. See previous.

I love that when a lot of people would've run the other way, you stuck right beside me and helped me through a very ugly time. Without a doubt I know our marriage is stronger for having been tested. Not that it wasn't hard getting through that ugly time and not that we don't still have our struggles, but I think we both agree we're in a completely different place now than we were a few years ago. And it's a great place to be.

Most of all I love YOU. You're my best friend, the glue that holds our family together. I'm so thankful to have you as my life partner.

Happy Birthday, honey, and Happy (early) Anniversary! Here's to many, many more.