Monday, October 26, 2009 is a "Chili" kind of day!

From my kitchen to is a "Chili" kind of day!

Cool, breezy and rainy days make me want to have warm and wholesome kinds of food like chilis and stews. I decided that we needed to have Chili tonight for dinner. I love my recipe so much, I thought I would pass it on. The recipe is one I got from my mother! Hope you and yours...enjoy it too!

1-2 lbs. ground beef (you can also substitute ground turkey or venison)
1 large onion

Brown meat and onion together, salt and pepper to taste and pour off excess grease

2 cans of diced or stewed tomatoes (depending on if you like big or small chunks of tomato)
2 cans of pinto or "ranch style" beans
2 cans of tomato sauce
2-3 Tbsp. chili powder (depending on if you like it mild or spicy)...I use 3, ha!
2 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder or garlic salt (I use garlic powder to avoid excess salt)
1/2 tsp. red pepper

Combine all ingredients, and let simmer about 1 hour---or longer. It is one of those great recipes that can sit on the stove for hours. This makes a fairly large pot, serving probably 8 people or great leftovers.

I usually add about 1 cup of water to make mine a little "soupier", too. If you like your chili thick then, omit the added water.

This is great with corn bread or saltines---and I like to top mine in the bowl with a little shredded cheddar cheese!


P.S This recipe is for obviously...a tomato-y version. I know some people don't usually have tomatoes in their chili. We like tomatoes in our family!

The final version!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Fun at the Dallas Arboetum

This last Monday, my friend Sarah and I ventured off to Dallas to check out the Dallas Arboretum for some fall fun. Fun it was, indeed! The Arboretum was truly breath taking. I have never seen more beautiful fall mums, pansies, and foliage. Also, I had never seen soooo many pumpkins in one place. There had to be at least 100,00 or more????

The kids seemed to enjoy just being outdoors. It was a breezy beautiful fall day! There were fun activities like pumpkin picking, face painting, petting zoo and even a professional photographer to take pictures in the pretty fall scene! We topped the day off with a McDonald's snack on the way home....and then Maggie took a 3.5 nap! What a day!!!

My little pumpkin, all smiles!!!!!!!

Next to the biggest pumpkin we could find!

Big fun in front of the "pumpkin house"!

Excited to be at the petting zoo!

Here horsey-horsey!

Poor little bunny, got lots of loving!

Fluffy sheep!

Sweet little goat!

This is a picture of my friend Sarah's sweet son Clayton and Maggie! They are super good you can see. In fact, Sarah and I have both agreed to an arranged marriage for the two of them! Good plan, huh! They are just precious together!

My pumpkin in the pumpkins!

Happy Fall Y'all!!!!!!
Love to all,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fort Worth Zoo

This last Saturday marked an exciting first trip for our Maggie. We took her to the Fort Worth Zoo. The day could not have been more perfect. The weather was sunny and 75 degrees. Maggie is such an animal lover that we knew she would have a blast. In fact, it was zoo-onderful, zoo-rrific and zoo-ooper dooper!

One of Maggie's favorite things was the small bird aviary. It was FULL of little parakeet and doves and such. You could buy little popsicle sticks with bird seed stuck on them and hand feed the birds. Maggie loved being so close to them. Several of them even crawled on her stick like it was a perch and ate. We stayed in the aviary for almost a half hour.
Maggie also really like all of the big cats...lions, cheetahs, tigers and jaguars. This was no surprise since Maggie loves domestic cats too (just like her daddy). We have even been talking about getting Max (our first 4 legged child---adopted after only 1 week of marriage) a sibling. A kitten is in the future for Mag, for sure. We even got to hear a lion and a jaguar roar. Whew, was it loud!

We recently found out that our Fort Worth Zoo turned 100 years old this year. It is a really special place, and exciting to see all of God's glorious creatures. We highly recommend a visit as soon as you can go.

There is just nothing better than quality time together as a family! I am blessed beyond measure!

Maggie's first smile of the day, as we got to our first animals!

Family pic at the monkey's habitat!

The lioness, having nap time.

The lion...king of the jungle.

Asian white tiger! So beautiful!
Amazing cheetah!

A crocodile...and YES...that is his lunch. It WAS a chicken!

Beautiful bald eagle.

Texas long horn bull.

Maggie and I checking out the Texas exhibit.

Daddy and Maggie...2 cutie pies!

Zebras getting some sun!

Maggie checking out this 20 foot bronze alligator.

Daddy and Maggie checking out the otter pond look out. Mag also loved seeing the otters swim.

Maggie and a brown bear...she was a little nervous about this big guy!

Maggie in the bears tunnel tree trunk look out.

Family pic on the zoo train!

Family pic on our way to see the elephants.

Daddy and Maggie checking out the elephants.

A tree view at the giraffe habitat.

Tall giraffes...a favorite of Maggie's.

Feeding the birds inside the aviary. Maggie loved this!

Maggie riding a horse! The best part was the "yee-haw" that just naturally came out of her mouth. Her Papa, Uncle JD and Uncle Bubba (all real cowboys) would be soooo proud! Ha!

Maggie all tucker out! This was about 5 minutes after we left the zoo. A tiring day for our girl. She had just had a little Cheetos snack...check out those orange fingers. She is a "laundry do-ers" dream. What a lady, even while asleep...still careful not to wipe her cheesy Cheetoh orange fingers on her clothes...ha~! And, yes...before you ask---that is a "camo" car seat. She has this car seat in Todd's truck. When we bought one for his truck, he got to pick it out. He said he needed a "man-ly" one for his truck!

Thanks for checking out this mile long post of pictures. I really did consolidate...I actually took 152 pics that day! Just wanted to share!
Hope everyone is having a blessed week! God is so good!
Love to all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain, rain...go away...or stay???

Two reasons all this rain and humidity is great for our Maggie?????

Well of course...

1. Extra curly hair! Where oh where does she get this light colored and curly hair????

2. And cutie pie rain boots!!!!! Ha!

Maggie loved splashing around in the rain puddles in her rain boots!
We heard on the news this a.m. that we have had rain the last 12 out of fourteen days this month! It has been so nourishing to our land, I know...but we sure do miss the sunshine!
Hope everyone is having a good week! We are praying for sunshine and clear skies for Saturday. We are planning to take Maggie to the zoo. This will be her first time there! We can't wait!
Love to all,

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What a beautiful Fall day it has been!
So, we decided to go for a flight with Daddy. If you have spent any time at all lately around our would know that one of her favorite things to see is an airplane. In her DNA, I think so!!!! She can spot an airplane miles away. She can hear one flying over, even if we are in the house. She jumps and skips and claps when she sees one close up. Todd thought it was a great day to head out to his airport and take the girl for a flight. She has flown, just once before and really could have cared less. Here is a link to that post last year. She had just turned a year old, and I think was just a bit too young. This time, she loved it!
She was excited to see the plane and climb on it's wings. She loved pretend flying the plane and looking out the window. She REALLY loved feeling the wind in her hair when Todd opened up the bubble canopy a bit while in flight! Whew, I think she is hooked! Her Daddy is beaming with pride!
We flew up to Decatur, and over Gigi and Papa's house. Todd did a little wing wiggle just for them, to say Hi!
I am so thankful that we can do things together as a family. We (Mag & I) are always so happy to be included in Daddy's hobby!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Man oh man, ours is a lot better than last weekend! Still Praising God, for Mag's recovery! Our yard is now "glowing" from all of the pesticide that has been applied to kill all of the fire ants...haha!

Pre-flight done...ready to go!

Todd & Leah....pilot and co-pilot...haha!

A view from the sky...

Maggie checking it all about 2000 feet!

Landed and re-fueling! Maggie liked the front seat much better!

Feeling the wind in her hair as we taxi-ed to the place to re-fuel!

Getting her feel from the pilots seat...her legs aren't quite long enough yet. Ha!

Daddy and his girl!

Loving every minute! I don't know which one is happier...Todd or Mag??? :)