Fat Tuesday

On a school night, I consider a victory if I get dinner made. Unfortunately for my sweet husband, lately dinner hasn’t been my #1 focus. A few weeks ago, however, dinner came together! 11 friends and co-workers joined us for dinner. Why? It was Fat Tuesday!!

Here are a few pictures from our Boiling Pot Night!

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Spring Training in Arizona

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Spring Break was delightful! Delightful was my word for the week. The weather, the food, the games, everything was delightful! Robby and I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona with Danny and Kayla to watch baseball spring training. As you can see, it was a good time to kick my feet up and relax.

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Robby started off his trip by playing golf with a few of his dad’s long time friends. He really enjoyed playing with them.

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I got to go with Robby for a few mornings of golf. Amazing landscapes out in Phoenix. Pictures just can’t describe how pretty it was.

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And of course, we watched baseball. 4 days of games, sunshine, and relaxing.

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Pictured above are Danny & Kayla.

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Green grass! Y’all, I haven’t seen green grass in months, due to our drought in West Texas. My toes delighted in the soft, cool grass.

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Our family met up for dinner with the Jones family, long time friends of Greta and Bill. We ate in Old Scottsdale at the Pink Pony. Delish!! We enjoyed visiting so much with them that we all got together the next night at their house and grilled out by the pool. How nice to swim in March!

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I didn’t think I would  like Phoenix as much as I did. It was a pleasant surprise. Can’t wait to go back next year!

Strawberry Jam

After looking over the Pioneer Woman’s website and blog post on making strawberry jam, I decided I was ready to do it on my own.

I made mine in 2 batches, but here’s the recipe for the whole bunch.  Divide in half if you are making a smaller batch.  Here’s how it went:

8 lbs. of strawberries  (Thanks, Bountiful Baskets!)

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hulled and mashed up.

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Add 10 tablespoons of old fashion pectin, 2 fresh lemons squeezed for the juice, and 4 tablespoons of vanilla.   **Don’t forget to add a a few pats of butter.  That really is the secret to keeping the goop off the top of the jam as it boils!   Bring to a rolling “violent” boil for 2 minutes.

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Add in 14 cups of sugar.  YES, I know!   14 cups (7 if your making half the recipe) is a RIDICULOUS about of sugar.  In retrospect, I could have cut it to 10 cups.  But, y’all!  Jam is sweet.  You can’t skimp on the sugar!  I thought this bag of sugar was just obnoxious, until I used half of it and realized that it was a good thing I bought such a big bag.  Yikes!

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Bring the jam back to that violent boil for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let cool for a bit and skim off any goop stuff from the top.

Prepare your jars according to direction and seal!    I just love that popping symphony that occurs once all the jars are done.  The fantastic pot my grandmother left to me is the greatest thing for boiling and preserving.

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Label and there you go!

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I think the vanilla adds a nice flavor to it all, though next time I want to use more lemons and a vanilla bean for better flavoring.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know!

How Time Flies

During the heat of the summer when I was 8 years old, I highly doubted time would fly by as fast as my parents and grandparents talked about.   How could it?   The summer days were so long, and sometimes boring without friends to play with and things to do.

And now, I blink and the months have just flown off the calendar pages in my kitchen.  It’s March!?!?!  How did this happen?  Wasn’t it just November?  Surely it was just yesterday when Robby and I were only in talks and dreams of what our first home would be like.   And now we’ve lived in our home for 3 months now and still haven’t sent out our announcement postcards with the precious picture of us in front of the address.   Ooopps!   (I promise, I’ll get those sent out one day, promise!)

Though teaching does take up most of my brain and energy, the real  reason I haven’t found time to sit down and blog is….I have nothing to blog about!  Ha!

I could blog about food and AdvoCare and how I’ve now lost 22 pounds throughout the year.   But, to be honest, I haven’t cooked very much lately.  It’s embarrassing, really.   I have a meeting every Tuesday night, and Bible Study every Wednesday, we usually travel or have guests on the weekends, so that leaves my cooking time quite limited.  I might make my own Strawberry Jam this weekend.  If so, I’ll post how it turns out.   1st time to use my own recipe, so wish me luck!

What about blogging about Ranger?  The puppy does take most of our attention when Robby and I get home.   Oh, sweet Ranger keeps us laughing!   I’m not sure if I want to be the crazy woman who posts about her dog all the time.  (I’ve done my best on Facebook not to post too often about my pup!)  But, it’s true!   Ranger has our heart!  We love to go to the dog park, run around the neighborhood, play fetch, cuddle on the floor, and more.  My favorite thing about Ranger right now is how she loves to hang her head out the window and let her ears flap in the wind as we drive around town.  Just precious!  She’s going to be a good dog for our family.

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Blogging about teaching?  Due to privacy and law, I have to be very careful about posting about my classroom.    I’m not (at this time) the teacher that blogs about the cute items she’s created to enhance her mundane lessons.  I’m the teacher that wants to share the life lessons and funny moments of the students, the heart matters that tug at you and make you feel all warm and fuzzy when the kiddos over come their own mountains.  So the stories I want to share with you, unfortunately, I can’t on here.  Perhaps if I had started blogging when I was a single lady and had time to create fun things in the classroom, I could have blogged it.   Oh well!

The real reason I haven’t blogged is that when I get home every night, I just want to spend time with my hubby.   I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true.   I don’t want to miss a moment with him!

While Robby is out of town this weekend, I will try to catch up on the posts that have been sitting in my draft pile for months.  And if not this weekend, maybe while I’m on Spring Break (Yay for being a teacher and getting Spring Break!).