Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. We hope this day finds you surrounded by those you love and lots of hugs and kisses as we celebrate the precious birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

Reflecting back on this year we have been blessed beyond measure. Last year was a bitter sweet time for us as we lay on a ledge (we turned into a bunkbed haha) in Pediatric ICU over looking the Houston Zoo. We were so sad for our precious baby boy who had been through more than any 18 day child should ever have to go through in his life time, we were so sad not to be at home around our own Chritmas tree on Christmas day as we had always imagined to be, but we were for the first time.... not caught up in the gifts and the non sense of Christmas we were covered by the grace of Jesus, and we were given a HOPE and a FUTURE for our miracle baby. We had faith that could move mountains and we were over joyed with what the Lord was doing in our lives. We were able to minister to over thousands of people through our blog and journey with Hank's heart surgery. We were so excited for what the Lord had in store for us. He used us in the following ways: we received letters telling us how through our story of Hank they were able to give there own troubles in perspective and were encouraged that if we could get through than they also could, we were able to mentor a family that was going through the exact same thing with their son Jayden, we were able to collect 38 toys for the Children's hospital for Chrismtas, and we were even able to go to the hospital and give back with our time and help with a Chritmas party for the sick children.

The party was such a blessing. Being away from the hospital I had forogtten what it felt like to really be in the shoes we were in last year. The children from the hospital were all facing many different illnesses. Some were never going to be able to come home. Some were going through chemo and had lost all of their hair, had no energy to even write a letter to Santa, didn't even want to be out of their rooms. The truth is I have no idea what they were going through but I did feel a sadness in my heart for them. They were sad and it was written all over there face. There were children with IV's stuck in their precious little perfect hands, and some had halos around their heads, some were attached to oxygen tanks, and others were just in plain wheel chairs, some were in wagons with pillows and no energy to raise up their heads. But one family in particular touched my heart, I felt so much sadness for them, I directly related to the mom and the story goes something like this....

Derric was at the gingerbread ornament decorating station and I was at Letters to Santa. A mom, dad, and 2 boys came up to my station and wanted to write a letter to Santa. One little boy sat very quitely as his father kneeled down beside his wheel chair, the mother and brother sat beside me in the chairs around a round table. The healthy little boy next to me started to write his card to Santa. I helped him spell out words and keep his attention away from his sick little brother who was not feeling very well. The sick little boys monitors kept going off and the mothers eyes would get really big and would look to the father for reassurance, and it absolutely broke my heart. I remember feeling that same way, feeling so scared and so concerned for my little boy. I remember how my heart would stop and I would get a lump in my throat evey time I would hear the monitors go off and my eyes would race to look at the oxygen level of my little boy. I too would look to my husband for reassurance that everything was going to be okay. I got to talk with the mom for a little bit. Of course I didn't ask any questions just listened... She asked who I was and why I was there to help. I told her that I was just a mom of a little boy who was also invited to go to this same christmas party last year. I told her that my son had monitors just like her sons and that he had heart surgery. She told me that her little boy, who I learned was 5, has been in and out of the hospital for years, and has had multiple heart surgeries. She said he just keeps getting sick. It literally broke my heart, you know everyone says that if you had to choose one heart defect to have it would be TGA like Hank because once it is repaired sucessfully you shouldn't ever have to have another one. That is so great for us, we are so blessed but it crushes my heart for those other families who don't know if their child will ever recover. We really did enjoy bringing smiles to theses children's faces by talking to them and telling them how smart and handsome or beautiful they were and anything to just be an encouragement to them. It was a wonderful event and we can't wait to do it again next year.

It is truly awesome to be home this year with a healthy family around our own Christmas tree. I hope that every one has a very Merry Chritmas and a happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

YUMM-O Creamy Sausage Dip

This creamy, flavorful dip is wonderful served on crunchy Melba Toast. I love a good dip and this one is definitely a keeper!

1 lb sausage
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble sausage until no longer pink. Remove from heat, drain off drippings and add all remaining ingredients. Pour into baking dish. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly. Keep warm (a small slow cooker comes in handy here) and serve with Melba Toast.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, lean your ear this way, don't you tell a single sole. What I bout to say! Christmas Eve is coming soon now you dear old man. Listen what to bring to me, tell me if you can!

So we relly cheated and went to 2 Santa's this year, but look how much prettier the one with him crying was. Here's the scoop on the crying bit. When I took him by myself I didn't announce Santa I just propped him on his lap and took pictures with the focus all on me and the camera. I think he thought he was just in a chair becasue I didn't show him Santa's face. But when we went with Daddy he was like "look Hank it's Santa Claus"... and Hank was like Scary Man in Red Suit who hasn't shaved in years= not okay with me ME.

Oh the Joys of parenting. Too trick or deceive or not to trick and deceive? That is the question. I vote trick and deceive.... my picture was way better!

The Story of Jonah

I got this from my friends from Those Funny Looking Nails tonight, but couldn't help share. This is just too darn cute!

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

We had so much fun putting up the tree this year... Hank helped so much. Well, we made him think he did. I unrolled each and every Precious Moments and then Hank would take it from me and give it to Derric to put on the tree. We thought this was a great idea and he was very gentle and said "Whoa" and "Wow" with each new ornament unwrapped..... But, who was the genius that thought if we allowed him to help us put them on the tree, we wouldn't have a problem with him deciding to take them off. Duh? Anyway it hasn't been too bad. We all enjoyed doing that as a family so much. Hank literally fell in the ornament box, and played the drums with the candy canes and also used them as a cell phone. It was awesome!

Here are a few pics of our day together!

He is saying "Hey" and "Hi" like on a telephone.
We will just call him our lil' drummer boy!

(both of his feet are off the floor)

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hank & Hayes @ The Museum

A few weeks back my sister in law Jennifer and I took our little boys to The Children's Muesum. It was so cool because Hayes had never been before and Hank walked around like he owned the place. Hank and I hadn't been in over a month and Hank now is WALKING so he got to go everywhere his little heart desired. It was so stinkin cute.

Here are a few of our favorite pics! Enjoy! Double H Vet Clinic

Dr. Harughty and Dr. Harughty

News Anchors

In the balls, yea!

Hank found his favorite Red truck

Hayes found a favrotire Red Piano to bang

Hank really wants to eat the crayons not DRAW
Making some fun art

The boys had so much fun together!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Lil' Pumpkin Patch

We took a few pictures of our family this weekend at the Pumpkin Patch in town!
They turned out really nice, we hope you love them!
Thanks Gramms for snapping these for us.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 months

Happy Boy in the morning! He loves to push the chairs around
the kitchen for us....
This is Hank's favorite toy!

He can even play on his knees.

Hank is growing so quickly. He loves to play with this toy pictured, read books, and he absolutely loves CARS or anything he can pretend is a car (like our cell phones, or remotes).
He is also eating so many new foods. He currently LOVES bananas, avacados, and any kind of meat. He is not so sure about noodles, I think the texture kind of throws him off. He starts to spit it out at first then I give it to him again and again and he likes it. He is so funny. He likes to say: Mama, Dada, Whoa, WOW, Uh-Oh, and Go! I am also pretty sure he said Nigh nigh last night at Derric's game when I put him in his stroller. It was so stinkin cute. He is such a blessing to our lives and such a joy to have him to love on everyday.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Little Fall Treat... Yummy!

Okay I am totally stealing this...... from but it was so cute, I couldn't resist!
apple pie pops
I am a "simple" fanatic so when I saw this little edible project in the September issue of BHG magazine, I just knew that it was going to be next on my list to try.
Apple pie on a stick or otherwise known as "Apple pie pops". A portable finger food that is perfect to take along for a Bonfire, picking that perfect pumpkin at the patch, or maybe you'll visit a State Fair this Fall and pack these along for a satisfying snack. I'm getting happy just thinking about it. I love Fall and these perfect little treats and I know you will too.

First start with any apple sweet or tart that you wish. The firmer the better.

Dice them up, place in a pan and add 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon juice and apple pie spice

Add cornstarch and water mixture and bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes

Now roll out the dough

Keep it easy...use store bought dough. Oh, and use your cutest Fall cutter. I used an apple and leaf cutter to make them look like mini apple pie"apples"!

press a cookie stick in the center and put a tablespoon or so of filling in the middle.

Using your finger, wet the outer edge of dough with water then with a fork to seal edges. Pay close attention to the area around the stick

Brush with egg to moisten or use your finger and rub with water like I did.
sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and bake

Viola! The cutest, yummiest pies that your kids will love tucked away in their school lunchboxes. Or, you can just eat them plain and simple.

Apple Pie Pops

printable recipe
Things You'll Need:
2 large apples
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice blend
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
20 wooden lollipop sticks 1 package
(2 pieces) of rolled pie dough
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon cinnamon Core and peel your apples cut into small pieces.

Over medium heat combine the apples, 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon juice and apple pie spice into your pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small cup and pour over mixture, stir and continue cooking until the mixture is Thick! Remove from heat and set aside.Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and spray these with Pam. Unfold each pie dough sheet and using a glass or 3-inch round cookie cutter...cut 10 circles from each. Knead and re-roll the scraps as needed for more circles. Place a tablespoon of pie mixture into center of each circle and a lollipop stick, fold over and crimp or leave them round by adding a top circle, just be sure to crimp edges with a fork. Pinch the dough around the stick to make sure it is secureIn a small bowl whisk together egg yolk and water, brush it over each pop for the golden brown and flaky crust. Mix together the cinnamon and left over sugar...sprinkle over pops and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown!

Enjoy my stolen recipe and comment and let me know which filling you are going to try?