Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today is my oldest son, Philip's, 25th birthday!! He was born on a really warm February day that year. We had taken our little Westie in to be groomed that morning -- I guess so the dog would be clean for the new baby -- who knows what I was thinking!?? When I called Mr. Tennis to tell him it was time to go to the hospital, it took him 45 minutes to make the 10 minute drive home. Oh yeah, he had stopped to get gas on the way home! I was freaking out only slightly. On the way to the hospital, he hit every single pothole (chuckhole) in the road - OY!! Philip was born only about 6 hours later, weighing in at 9 pounds! Whoa -- what a nice big baby!!

And now he's married with a baby of his own! He is thoughtful, kind, sweet and one of the best sons ever! And what a great bonus for our family -- he has an incredible wife and now adorable baby!

Philip and Catherine (2008)

Happy birthday sweetie! (Moms can always call their sons sweetie -- no matter how old they get!) :) Have a fun day and we will celebrate with you soon!

This year, his birthday is even more special as he has his sweet baby girl here and now shares his birthday month with her!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fun With Zhu*!

Shocking that we would be latecomers to any of the newest toys, but Maddy did not find out about the popular zhu*zhu pets until just recently.

Don't worry stuffed animal lovers, she still loves those too and is always eyeing a new one! Lucky for us, she didn't know about the popular zz pets before Christmas. I must admit they are kind of cute, even though they almost remind me of a mouse the way they scurry around!

She had a friend over last Sunday and they had lots of fun racing them and trying to terrorize me and send the little critters after me!!

Lining up to race at the photographer - moi!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

Yay -- time for Black & White Wednesday again! This makes the week fly by, doesn't it! Of course, it would be better if I had some more current photos -- but our weather has just not cooperated lately at all.

So, here's an oldie from October, 2008! I love this location and the old wooden bridge. And so do a lot of other people! I'm almost surprised they don't have a "take a number" machine as there were that many people out there that fall day when we visited!

For more lovely Black and Whites, visit The Long Road to China!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sugar and Spice!

Sugar and spice and everything nice,
that's what little girls are made of!

Catherine and Baby Jane -- Don't they look so sweet!?

All is right with my world again!

Yes, I was able to meet my adorable little one-week old granddaughter, sweet baby Jane!
She is simply incredible -- so beautiful and sweet! I can already tell that she is very bright! She has long fingers -- a piano player perhaps . . . a surgeon, maybe? She is really darling! Philip and Catherine are so at ease and naturals with her -- just like I knew they would be. You'll be happy to know that Larry, their dog, seems to be adjusting quite well too. Reports are that he does seem to like her binkies, but otherwise, he is doing great. Jane is sleeping and eating well and charming everyone who meets her! We are so blessed!

Mr. Tennis and Jane

I think we wore her out a little bit and she was getting a little tired and hungry here!

We can't wait to see her again soon!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

Here it is Black & White Wednesday already! Check out Lisa's blog for more!

Thank you so much for your kind comments and congrats about the birth of Granddaughter Jane. I'll bet you thought I might have a photo of Baby Jane up today. Wish I did! Unfortunately, due to the terrible, awful, no good, very bad weather we've been having, we haven't been able to get there to meet little Miss Jane yet. To say that we are disappointed is a big understatement. I cried last Sunday when we were supposed to go meet her, but couldn't (that sounds kind of silly now, but I was really heart-broken)! The horrible windy and blowing snow and white-out conditions prevented us from getting on the road. And, although I was so disappointed, at least we weren't one of the hundreds of cars that ended up in the ditch (or worse) that day. Hoping to meet the sweet baby soon. I've heard all kinds of good reports about her and the photos that her parents have sent show her to be an incredibly cute girl with dark hair like her Daddy!

Anyhoo, back to Black & White Wednesday, here is Miss Maddy from December, 2008, reading one of her favorite books. That Junie B is funny, but sometimes a bit naughty!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love . . . Marriage . . . Baby Carriage

It's a GIRL!!

After a very long day of labor and me waiting by the phone, pacing and wringing my hands, little Baby Boo made her grand entrance in to the world at 11:58 PM on February 11th, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces! Mom, Baby and Dad all doing great!

Her name is Jane Louise -- don't you just love that name!
Her parents, Philip and Catherine, are over the moon and so are we!

We can't wait to see their little bundle of joy. No photos yet, but hoping to meet my very first granddaughter very soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Father/Daughter Dance

(Look -- her dimple is showing!)

Our local YMCA recently hosted it's first ever (at least I think it was the first) Father/Daughter dance. Maddy said it really should have been called the "Daddy & Maddy" dance -- I suppose because that rhymes and she felt so special going to it! In fact, Mr. Tennis reported it was really crowded and . . . fun! Even though I wanted to tag along, I didn't --because it was for daughters and their dads after all.

By all reports, it was a great success. They danced to some Taylor Swif*t songs and, of course, everyone's favorite . . . Y M C A (Maddy says Dad needs to work on his YMCA actions)!! Maddy received a beautiful red rose and after the dance, they went to out to dinner -- Maddy's choice - McD's What a special evening! I think Mr. Tennis has been talking about it even more than Maddy! :)

Are you wondering about Maddy's dress? She couldn't decide what to wear, so we picked this Matilda Jan*e "cowgirl" dress/top with leggings. Maddy's brother said -- "what -- she wore a cow dress??" Yes, a cute cow dress!
I'm glad she wore it because I think she has just about grown out of it already! I love that you can see her dimple in these photos -- I hardly ever get any photos of them -they are very elusive, but oh so beautiful! (I'm not biased at all, am I?!).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Recipe Monday!

It's Recipe Monday!

(Photo from Cooking Light -- their dish has shrimp - yum!)

I think I posted this recipe before, but it's so good that it deserves a repeat! This is a great Heart Healthy meal straight from our local Hospital's Heart Healthy Cookbook! Very appropriate for this month and all the heart-stuff going on, don't you think? I just made it the other night and it is scrumptious + heart-healthy and low-fat too - bonus! Plus, it is colorful --what could be better!! Mr. Tennis loves this dish and will eat the leftovers day after day after day!

It's Spanish Chicken Paella. Here's the recipe:
1/2 med. green pepper, chopped
1 tsp garlic clove minced
1 pound (or so) of chicken breast (skinless, boneless)
8 oz. diced tomatoes, canned, low sodium
1/4 tsp pepper
1-3/4 cup rice, white, long grain, uncooked
1/4 tsp oregano
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
16 oz chicken broth, fat-free
1 cup peas, frozen
1 tsp paprika
Cut chicken into bite-size chunks. In large skillet, add the canola oil to medium heat. Cook chicken 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken and set aside. Coat skillet with cooking spray. Add chopped green pepper and onion. Cook until tender. Add rice and cook until slightly browned. Return chicken to skillet, add chicken broth, tomatoes, peas, garlic and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until chicken is tender and liquid is absorbed. Garnish with chopped cilantro and chopped olives - if desired.
Prep time: 30 minutes (or less); cooking time 25 minutes; Serves 6; serving size 3/4 cup. Calories 258 per serving; total fat 3.8 grams.
Enjoy! And the leftovers are just as yummy warmed up the next day!! For more yummy recipes, check out Colleen's Recipe Monday linky party!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Look What She's Reading!

My little cutie and such a beautiful book -- even though it just arrived in the mail (for me!),
she nabbed it and started flipping through the pages.

It is such a great little book! I've been a big fan of Nicole's "A Little Sussy" blog for some time and am so excited that she wrote this incredibly helpful book. Plus, she has just started an on-line class for those of us who don't live even remotely close to San Francisco or any of the other cool locations where she teaches. I'm hoping to get into the on-line class when registration starts this week.

I took some photography courses a few years ago at my local community college, but it seems that work and life in general kept me from practicing what I learned, so I've all but forgotten most of it. Sometimes I'll get a photo I really like, but there's definitely room for improvement!I'm hoping Nicole's class gets me away from my point & shoot camera and back to my dslr more. Keep your fingers crossed that I get into the class!

I was kind of on the fence about signing up for it or not, but then I read Jeanne's blog the other day and a little light bulb went off. Of course, I keep dreaming and hoping to improve my picture-taking, but if I don't practice and work at it, it just won't happen, will it? So, I'm going to adopt her motto -- "Training is the Opposite of Hoping" and get busy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

It's Black & White Wednesday again!

This is a photo from the fall of Oct. 2007 -- yes, I'm still posting older photos -- the weather just has not been agreeable to get outside lately! I'm hoping for an early spring no matter what that dumb groundhog forecast! Who believes groundhogs anyway!?!!! Love the texture you can see in the wood and the little teddy bear.

For more black & white photos, visit Lisa! Thanks for organizing the B&W Wednesdays!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipe Monday

It's Recipe Monday!
A blogger I just met is doing Recipe Monday (Hi Colleen!) Check here to see some other great recipes!

I love new easy recipes and this is one my son and his wife gave me for Chicken and Rice with Mushroom Soup! It is so yummy, I could eat it every week! The first time I made it, we had it 3 nights in a row for dinner and nobody minded! :)


2.5 cups chicken broth - 99% fat free, low sodium

2 cans cream of mushroom soup --
1 can cream of celery soup
(we use the Healthy Choice versions and it didn't affect the taste)

1 pint half and half

2 cups wild rice
(get one small box of Uncle Ben's wild rice and make it according to the instructions)

2 tablespoons cooking sherry
2 chicken breasts cooked and chopped (or use 2 cups of rotisserie chicken)
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1- 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
(I get the whole mushrooms and chop them up a bit myself
or if you have mushroom haters, just leave out entirely and
switch the mushroom soup to cream of chicken or celery)

Parsley (optional)


1. Melt butter in the pot you will make the soup in, saute the onions in the melted butter on medium to med. high heat for a few minutes; then add chicken broth, all the cans of soup and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients

3. Simmer for 30 minutes

4. Season with salt and pepper according to taste

This makes a LOT of soup. We freeze some by putting it into ziplock freezer bags on a cookie sheet squished down and put them in the freezer so they freeze flat. Remove the cookie sheets, then stack your bags of frozen soup. It defrosts quickly. Enjoy!