Saturday, November 29, 2008

Someone ALWAYS looks like a dork

I pride myself on taking a good Christmas card picture. Every year, I start at Thanksgiving and it usually takes me until mid-December to get a picture that I am satisfied with. You see, with 5 children someone always looks like a dork. Sometimes several of them look like dorks. Rarely do they all look like dorks, but it has happened.

Here, the girls ruin the picture because the sun is shining and it's just too bright to open their eyes. Insert lots of whining here.

Here, we are torturing Ammy because it is just so much fun.
Here she's possessed as she figures out how to pay us back for torturing her. Doesn't her twin look like he's really sweet?
I totally missed the joke on this one.
The boys on the left side wrecked this one.
He thinks he is so funny.
We did get several passable photos.

This one would be perfect except that Ammy's mouth is open. We might have to use this picture anyway. I'm not sure I have it in me this year to go through it all again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

And the winner is...

How many men does it take to put together a turkey fryer?

After an hour, it is finally together.

Checking the ignitor.

Preparing the turkey with a turkey rub from Fresh Market. Note the two handed approach to spreading the rub.

Impaling the turkey.

Into the oil he goes...

Fry baby fry.

How many men does it take to make sure it's cooking?

Pulling the turkey out.


Carving the turkey.

Kellen gives the fried turkey Two Thumbs Up!

We never did determine the winner of the turkey cook-off. Some liked it roasted, some liked it fried. This may be the beginning of an annual tradition!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Well...Mom Don't Read!

My mom's birthday was back in October. Since I haven't seen her, I haven't been able to give her the gift that my brother's family and I have put together for her. I took a class at Big Picture Scrapbooking and the first assignment was to put together a gift bag full of things that we love and then give it to someone. I asked my brother and sister-in-law for some of their favorite things and this is what we all came up with.

Anyone who has seen this site knows that I love this cookbook. Every recipe I have tried has been great.

My brother loves Scor bars. Boy are they hard to find. I finally found them at 7-Eleven!

These are my all time favorite candy. They are sea salt caramels and they are to die for. I would eat the entire bag if they were for me. Bonus is that some of the proceeds are donated to cancer research and efforts that heighten public awareness of cancer associated problems.

My favorite Merlot (actually the only Merlot I like)...Henry's Passion. I bought a case a few weeks ago. There are only 59 cases left in Maryland and once they are gone, the wine is no more.

My sister-in-law's favorite coffee. It's very bold (and stinky if you ask me being that I don't like coffee)

We included a cd that my husband put together for my daughter, Allie. She went away for a week and he made it and gave it to her upon her return. I happen to think that it's one of the nicest, most meaningful things that he has ever done.
Songs include:
All That Matters by Addison Road
Unbreakable by Fireflight
We Live by Superchick
Stand In The Rain by Superchick
Never Alone by BarlowGirl
Set the World on Fire by Britt Nicole
Shine by Krystal Meyers
Mighty to Save by Laura Story
In My Arms by Plumb
I Need You to Love Me by BarlowGirl
You by Britt Nicole
All I Need by Brittany Dillon
Thirteen by The Rubyz

A book from one of my brother's and my favorite authors, David Baldacci.

I put it all together in this great straw basket that I got at Eddie' favorite grocery store.

We will be giving this to her today as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Hope you have a great turkey day! We will be back later with pictures and the results of our Turkey Cook Off. Mom will cook her turkey in the oven and my family will fry ours in the turkey fryer.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


X-Ray Inconclusive

MRI results came back and Tristan's wrist is broken. He gets his cast on Monday and is out of commission for the next 4-6 weeks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maggie Continued

Is this not the cutest thing ever?

My seven year old, Kellen, drew on the back of an envelope that we are sending to Maggie. Notice that everyone's name is spelled incorrectly except for Maggie's. The black dog (that looks like an elephant) is panting not laughing. Maggie is in a full body cast as you can see by the outline of her body. He came up with the entire concept for the picture himself. I was very impressed with the We heart Maggie he did on the top...especially since girls are yucky!

Oh, just so you know, all of the real Heckmans do have necks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Maggie Moo

This is Maggie. Maggie is 5. Maggie is a dear friend of ours and she is having a bad day... a bad week... a bad month. Yesterday she fell out of bed and broke her femur. She is in a full body cast from her nipples to her toes for the next 4-6 weeks. She will be flat on her back the entire time. Can you even imagine being 5 and having to lie in a bed (or hopefully a reclining wheelchair) for 4-6 weeks? Can you imagine being her poor mother for 4-6 weeks?We have decided to start a fun project for Maggie. We are asking people to send postcards or cards to her over the coming weeks. Her mom is going to track where all of the cards come from on a map. Our goal is to receive at least one card from each of the 50 states. If we could get some from other countries that would be great too.

Please help put a smile on Maggie's cute little face. Everyone likes to receive mail. If you would like to be involved in this project, please e-mail me at and I will send you Miss Maggie's address.

Day Two in a full body cast!

P.S. If anyone has "been there, done that" before and has any helpful hints for making this experience easier, please leave a comment.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Almost 13

Allie went to her first real Bar Mitzvah Party last night...the kind that runs from 7 p.m. - 12 a.m. She got ready at a friend's house so I did not see her until I went to pick her up. I actually had to go into the party and find mortifying I know. As I stood in the background and watched her dance with her friends I realized that my baby girl is growing up. I also realized that she was wearing makeup! OMG! When I asked her about it in the car she told me she was only wearing bronzer (what the heck is that) and lip gloss. I have to admit that it looked pretty good!
Really Mom. You want to take my picture right now. It's 12:10 and I'm ready for bed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Highlights from Yesterday

We had snow showers on and off all day.
Big beautiful flakes.

The kind of snowflakes that you can catch.

A nap with your best friend.

Dinner cooked by my 16 year old.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh, the Irony

This morning, I was supposed to be leaving for five days in Napa Valley, Ca.
Several months ago, Tony turned 45. For his birthday, I planned a surprise (sort of) getwaway. I checked with his secretary and there was nothing on the calendar. I booked the airplane reservations, the car, the activites, the hotel, etc. Then I made a little scrapbook of our plans and presented it to him on his birthday.

We were going to stay at the Cottage Grove Inn in Calistoga.

This was supposed to be us, enjoying a nice breakfast without any children around. Our cottage in the background...

I made spa appointments and we were even going to try a couples mud bath.
I made reservations for the Calistoga Sip N Cycle. I figured we needed to exercise after all of the wonderful dining that we were going to do at Bouchon, 25 Brix, and The Rutherford Grille ...not to mention all of the other fabulous places that we would have found.

I even made reservations for a sunrise hot air balloon ride. (So the scared of heights thing might have been a problem, but the alternative was sky-diving and I took the safer way out.)

Last weekend, Tony found out that he was going to have to go to New York for a trial and we would have to postpone our trip until February.

Yesterday, he found out that one of the witnesses that he needs to meet with before the trial is unavailable until Monday. You'll never believe where he is...


Oh, the irony.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Paella Soup-Three for Three

Yet another recipe from Sunday Soup. So far, I am three for three with awesome soup recipes! I made this soup tonight and was told that I could make this for company! Always, the highest compliment from 6 critics. Anyway, it was super easy to make and very good.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup long-grain white rice (I used brown rice)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pound large uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into thins rounds or diced
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup diced cooked chicken, preferably white meat
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat. When hot, add onion, carrot and celery, and saute until softened, for 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add rice, saffron, wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat. Cover and cook at a simmer until vegetables and rice are soft, for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

3. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor, blender, or food mill, and return soup to the pot. Stir in the cream.

4. Set soup over low heat and when mixture comes to a simmer, add shrimp, chorizo, peas and chicken. Cook until shrimp have turned pink and curled, for about 3 minutes. Do not overcook or shrimp will become tough. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed.

5. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of chives.

*Note: My gang likes things spicy so they kicked it up a notch with a few shakes of hot sauce.

Nie Nie Tee

We got our For the Love of Nie t-shirts today! They are so cute. I like the colors of mine better than the one Ammy is wearing. Nie is short for Stephanie. Since 2005, Stephanie has had a blog where she has written about her husband and her family.

This past August, Stephanie Nielson was in a plane crash with her husband, Christian Nielson, and his flight instructor, Doug Kinneard, near St. Johns, Arizona. Doug Kinneard passed away soon after arriving at the Maricopa County Hospital.

Christian has sustained burns on over 30% of his body. His wife Stephanie’s body was burned over 80%. Christian has since been released and is rehabing at home with his parents. Stephanie has recently woken up from a medically-induced coma. You can follow her journey at her sister, Courtney's site. Courtney is taking care of 3 of Stephanie's four children. Stephanie's fourth child is being taken care of by another sister.

It is truly amazing to read their stories and to see complete strangers help out this family that they've never met. The blogging's an amazing thing!
Related Posts with Thumbnails