Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I have a new goal as of Sunday. I used to REALLY enjoy planning our meals, going to the grocery store (by myself), and cooking. But during the last 6-8 months I have really slacked off w/the motivation. We still cook almost every night of the week, BUT I have just not had the enthusiasm that I used to have w/our meals and new recipes. But now that school is starting back and fall is getting closer, I'm getting back on track w/our weekly meal planning and hoping to add some new recipes to my collection. I think part of my motivation is stemming from my uncontrollable hunger from being pregnant. I don't remember being this hungry w/Hayes. These days almost everything tastes really good to me.

Last night I made Paula Deen's Chicken Pot Pie. It was just a tad different from my old recipe that called for 2 pie crusts and I really liked it soooooo much better. I only made a few changes.

Paula Deen's Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie

2 cups boiled and chopped chicken breast
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups instant biscuit mix
1 cup milk
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a greased 2 quart casserole, layer chicken, eggs, peas, and carrots. Mix the soup and chicken broth, and season w/salt and pepper if desired. Pour over the layers. Mix together the biscuit mix and milk, and pour this over the casserole. Drizzle butter over the topping. Bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes.
*I left out the eggs, and for the peas and carrots I used the Publix frozen bag of vegetable soup mix. And I only used 1/2 stick of butter, it really did not need anymore than that.

We thought it was DELICIOUS. I woke up thinking about leftovers this morning! I'm sure this will be popping up on our menu again soon-like maybe next week?

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Day at the Zoo and a Recipe

The weather has been just a tad bit nicer this week in Birmingham and it's been great. 10 degrees cooler in the mornings makes a huge difference! Our good friends Amy Mc. and Mary Carmen invited us to the zoo this morning and we had a great time, especially with the not so sweltering temperatures! Most of the animals were out which was fun. I'm not sure how many Hayes could see up close but she still seemed to enjoy herself, especially w/the help of some snacks.

Amy and I taught K together at West and our girls are 3 months apart. AND, our next babies will be about 6 weeks apart!

Thanks Amy and Mary Carmen for a fun day at the zoo and a fun lunch!! Hayes is taking good nap right now b/c of y'all!
We're having a bit of an issue lately w/Hayes being in her stroller (like in the above picture.) I really can't believe she stayed in there the whole time today-actually this is more of a restraint issue altogether-does not like any sort of seatbelt holding her in. Yesterday I made a huge mistake of taking her to a consignment sale w/me thinking she could stay in her stroller w/some toys and snacks-WOW-it was such a debacle I couldn't even talk about how bad it was to Nathan until last night. COMPLETE NIGHTMARE. Any tips on toddler behavior, PLEASE let me know!! She's 19 months and into a whole new stage. I'm constantly praying that I'm disciplining her the right way-w/ firmness and consistency-this is a whole new phase of parenting and so far, it's tough!! An d a BIG apology to my sweet friend Lindsey D. for me not being a good shopping buddy yesterday-next time I'll be shopping solo!!
Hayes is still napping-so here is the yummy soup recipe! (I realize soup is not for everyone this time of year, especially vegetable soup, but I'm telling you, it's good and super easy, and full of vegetables!!)


1-1/2 lbs ground round
small chopped onion
2 cans diced tomatoes
McKenzie's or Publix vegetable gumbo mix-frozen bag-don't get the vegetable soup mix-get the gumbo mix-lots of corn, okra, and more tomatoes-much better)
3 or so cups of water
salt, pepper, sugar, seasoning salt
rice or elbow macaroni

Brown meat and onion w/a little seasoning salt and drain. Pour into large stock pot. Add tomatoes, soup mix, 3 cups water, and turn on med-high heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/2 tbsp salt, 3/4 tbsp seasoning salt, 1 tbsp sugar (or splenda), and enough pepper to make a thick layer on top of soup. Cover and simmer over med/low for 1-2 hours. Add handful or rice of macaroni toward the end, may need to add a little more water, just check consistency. Makes 5-6 large bowls of soup. If you put in the right amount of the spices it will be perfectly seasoned. Enjoy!!

*This recipe is from my sister, who has a million good recipes. Pretty much every good recipe I have came from her, which probably came from her mother in law in Elba-those people down there are really good cooks. Thanks Alyssa!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Happy Wednesday! I am feeling the need to update the blog since it's been a week! First, thank you all so much for the sweet comments on our baby news. This is why I love this blog world-to share fun and exciting news w/people I don't get to see everyday. Because really, the people listed over on the left side of the page are the only people I can keep up with these days. Phone conversations are very limited-is everybody like that or just me? And, I'm not a texter or a facebook person. I just don't think my brain can hold any more unnecessary information than it already has. So this is why I love this little blog! Okay so far my title fits this post perfectly-very random thoughts. We've been busy lately, not sure what all we've been doing but it seems like we never stop. Except for 1:00 naptime-that's a permanent thing in our days and we do stop for that. It's just hard to remember from one day to the next so I guess I need to be more consistent w/the blog so I don't forget stuff!

This little cowgirl and I spent last weekend in Dothan from Thursday to Sunday. Hayes ended up getting really sick, and it was so sad. She had lots of chest congestion, fussiness, and was completely pitiful. That's the worst to see your little one sick and crying. She's feeling much better now thankfully. We had a great experience at Dothan Pediatrics-they were very nice (considering Hayes screamed almost the entire time, like over an hour b/c a MAN nurse picked her up to weigh her-strange men are not her thing) and they were fairly quick. This is how she felt most of the weekend :(

This morning I was able to hear our sweet baby's heartbeat. It was fast and loud, a precious sound! I love that. Due March 3. We will find out October 4 if this one is a boy or girl. We are both thinking boy this time, but we thought that w/Hayes too, and she is definitely all girl-sweet and spicy is what we like to call her. She fits both descriptions perfectly. She's become quite the helper w/the housework-loves to unload the silverware from the dishwasher, and really she is such a big help that I wait until she can help me before I start unloading it.

This week we have been at my school in the mornings getting our classrooms ready for preschool. We start back in 2 weeks. Hayes is NOT a fan of MDO. She's been several times lately so I can work in my room. She has pitched some terrible fits when I've dropped her off. Yesterday I dropped her off at 9:15 and at 11:15 the director from downstairs brought her to my room b/c she was still crying. Hmmmm. Not sure what to do but I am hopeful it will get better and one day she will like going!

I have a soup recipe to share-I know it's not fall yet but at our house it can always be soup time. I LOVE soups and we keep it pretty cold in our house so it doesn't matter to me what it feels like outside! Be back soon w/that. It's REALLY good!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We have some NEWS to share with you...

Hayes is going to be a BIG SISTER!
We are thrilled and can't wait to welcome a new little Kennedy baby into our family in early March! We're feeling extremely blessed, grateful, and excited about God's plans for our family. I'm feeling pretty good for round 2 at this point (besides wishing I could nap morning, noon, and night)...just trying to keep up w/a busy, funny, silly, sweet little toddler all day!!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:16-18

Thursday, August 12, 2010


It's crazy that it's already time for kids to go back to school! Today was the first day back for most kids, at least the kids at my old school, Vestavia West, so I always get very sentimental this time of year with the new school year starting. It's fun to see where all my old students are and I love running into them and their parents. Hayes and I took lunch to the kindergarten teachers today since they had their meet the teacher day and don't have children all day until tomorrow. It was SO good to see every one of them, although I still see or talk to most of them very regularly. I went to my old classroom and Hayes loved climbing in and out of the little chairs. I'm sure I have some pictures of my old room somewhere but have no idea right now where they are. I really miss that place-everything about it- and lately over the past month or so the missing part has really intensified!! We've been up there 3 times in the last 2 weeks just to visit and I'm sure the office people are already tired of seeing me push Hayes' big stroller and our many bags through the front door just to come visit! Hha! Not really, they are all wonderful up there.

It's so funny how when you are somewhere for so long, how that environment totally becomes your home. That incredible group of women at that school (all 40 or so) were just like family. I started at West when I was 24 and left when I was 30. So I feel like I spent all my "adult growing up years" since I've been in B'ham right there with those awesome people. They were my confidantes/mentors/some of the best friends ever. Our kindergarten group was very close which made working there that much better. I have so many good memories of funny stories, conversations, jokes, after school mexican trips, meals together, lake trips, Christmas parties, birthday desserts, Friday fun lunches, etc. Lots of good times have been spent with those people! I'm not sure about other professions, but it seems like with teachers, you have an instant bond. I guess it has to do w/working w/so many women and you all have crazy stories and funny experiences-but the crazy thing was how well everyone got along with that many females in one building!! I wouldn't trade my time there for anything. God was so watching over me when He put me there for student teaching and I had no idea what benefits, memories, and friendships I would walk away with, but He knew.

Anyway this is the beginning of my 2nd year away and they all had a meeting while we ate and seriously I was already SO lost with what they were talking about w/reading and math. Teaching and curriculums change super fast. I'll have ALOT to learn one day when I go back!!

For now I am beyond thankful for the season of life I am in now. The Lord of course was working way ahead of me when I got the opportunity to teach preschool at Covenant. It's part-time 3 mornings each week and it's the biggest blessing for all 3of us. I never knew such a fantastic, Jesus focused preschool like that place existed until I got there and I'm incredibly grateful that Hayes gets to be a part of it next year when she gets to the 2's. I wouldn't trade one single day of teaching full time for the time I get to spend w/Hayes. She's growing and changing WAY too fast. Every day she seems BIGGER!!! I know I will blink and she'll be starting kindergarten 4 years from today!

And, this Sunday is promotion Sunday and our sweet girl is moving up to the next class-Older ONES-WHAT!! She is well on her way to 2 which is scary. She absolutely adores her Sunday school teachers, Miss Carolyn and Miss Betty, and sweet helper Hannah, and thankfully they are moving up with her class so she won't have to adjust to new teachers, just a new BIG KID room. She won't even be on the nursery side!! I'm not ready for all these changes!!

Sorry for the long post, it's more for documentation of my memories at WEST! It's been heavy on my mind ALOT lately!

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecc. 3:1-3-clinging to this verse when I think about which side of my brain is used most these days taking care of a busy toddler- haha!-one day I hope to have another fantastic "season" of teaching at my old school!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Playday in Montgomery

We met Pop Pop, Aunt Alyssa, and our cousins in Montgomery on Monday for lunch and play. We needed to squeeze in a quick visit before the big girls start school this week. We had a yummy pizza lunch where we all shared at least 100 pieces of pizza thanks to Pop Pop. My Dad really enjoys fixing other people's plates!

Holley, the big 3rd grader. She is the BEST big cousin to Hayes, so sweet and follows around right after her helping her with everything! Carson is about to start 4P this year and MH will be a 1st grader. They are all 3 so excited about their teachers for this year-just found out yesterday. I remember those days-so fun to start a new school year!

They are all crazy about each other. Every time we're together Hayes does a whole lot of happy squealing and laughing!

We had ice cream at chick fil a before we left and Hayes rode the cow forever. Carson we're still sorry about Hayes stepping on your hand, buddy. She didn't mean to!

Yea! He's happy again!

Now we get to see our other cousin, Baker, on Saturday and we can't wait! I'm so thankful Hayes has these sweet litle people to grow up with.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Odds and Ends

It's hard to believe it's already August. The summer has totally flown by way too fast. It has been lots of fun though and we've made the most of everyday by doing alot of playing! Hayes just takes one nap a day now-since about 16 mos. (which I love and is very nice b/c we're totally free in the mornings) but, that means we need a morning activity EVERYDAY! That can be tricky and exhausting. Because seriously it's way more exhausting to stay home and play all day until naptime than to get out in the heat to go somewhere-is that just me or do others w/toddlers feel that way? We've been by-passing the pool though as much as we can. I've decided it's just too much work w/an 18 mo. old for the amount of time she is content there climbing in and out of the pool! Plus, there's always the danger of her falling asleep on the way home, which could greatly interfere with afternoon naptime. No way can we risk that!

Just a little catch up from the last week or so...
1. We went to the preschool playday at church last week, called pools and popsicles. Hayes had a ball splashing in the buckets and pools and running around. My friend Ashley has cuter pics on her blog than I have from my camera. Her little Parker man is a little cutie pie and getting so big. Hayes enjoyed getting all in his face (this is her form of a hug!)

2. Nathan and I spent a few days at Rossbridge for our anniversary and it was heaven on earth. Everything about our time there was soooo nice and lazy. I highly recommend that place if you are local, or even not local! And, thanks to Nathan I was able to spend the day there on Saturday for a girls day with some friends-all the men kept the little ones! Pool, spa, food, and friends- it was a very good combination!

3. Hayes has decided she wants to become a secretary. Haha, just kidding! But, she has taken a big interest in "typing" on the computer and playing w/the mouse. She thinks she is so big climbing up in that chair. I have to push her all the way up so she doensn't fall through the chair and desk. She is SO content and quiet her for at least 5 minutes or so. We've been playing alot of Starfall and she really likes the silly man that sings the ABC's. I always used that website w/my kindergartners and there are lots of fun things to do on their site, very interactive for little ones.

4. Last but not least I decided last week that morning was coming way too early for Hayes and her naptime was getting shorter everyday. So when she slept from only 1-2 last Friday, we ventured to Bed, Bath and Beyond for some much needed black out shades. I never thought she really needed these b/c she's always been a fairly good sleeper, but our mornings would start at 6 which is very early to me. So we hung them in her room Friday night and Saturday morning she slept until almost 8:00!! If you have children you know what a major difference this is!! Her room is pitch black now even in the middle of the day for naptime. I'm hoping the later mornings and longer naptimes will become habit!! If you are in need like we were, these are the ones I bought from BB&B. This is the wisest purchase I've made since she was born!! Aside from our sound machine which I am in love w/too. We can't live without that little machine!

I think our cousins are coming in town to play this week. We surely hope so because they bring lots of entertainment with them. Have a great week!