Monday, December 27, 2010

Paula Deen Cheesy Ranch Potatoes

These cheesy potatoes were a little extra work, but well worth it. Enjoy!

• 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided shopping list
• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened shopping list
• 1 cup sour cream shopping list
• 1/4 cup butter, melted shopping list
• 1 (1-ounce) package dry ranch salad dressing mix shopping list
• 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled shopping list
• 1 (30-ounce) package frozen country-style hash-brown potatoes, thawed shopping list

How to make it
• Preheat oven to 350˚.
• Lightly grease a 11/2-quart baking dish.
• In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, dressing mix, and bacon.
• Add hash browns, stirring to combine.
• Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.
• Bake 30 minutes; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
• Bake 10 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I spent last weekend in Chicago to celebrate the holidays. On Saturday, my dad and I went on our annual Christmas shopping trip. I think we covered every inch of Michigan Avenue and Rush Street. The day was so much fun and went way too fast. These are pictures of us in front of the Macy's Christmas windows (the story was "Yes, Virginia, There's a Santa Clause) and one of us at our favorite little Irish Pub. My dad is the best! Thanks Dad for such an awesome day - more great memories with you! Our pursuit for a cashmere robe for mom was unsuccessful but I made out alright. :) We ended the day by eating a late dinner at Rosebud's - one of our favorites. The mussles, spaghetti, and ravioli were amazing. Thanks, Dad. Love you!
On Sunday morning, DJ, Justin and Heidi met me in Chicago. Justin had bought Heidi tickets to see Wicked so DJ and I tagged along for her birthday treat. :) It was FREEZING but we had a great time. Wicked was really fun - the costumes were awesome and the story was great. Guh-Lenda was my favorite. I loved the song "Popular".

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last night Jackson and I had some fun playing in the snow. It was his first time! Tucker LOVES the snow and made it fun for Jackson as he ran around us in circles and let us throw snow on him. Jack was having so much fun throwing the snow, laying in it, and eating it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ear Infection

Jack and I spent our evening at MedPoint last night after his babysitter noticed that he was being rather "clumsy" on Tuesday. She said that when her grandson used to get ear infections, he'd lose his balance and stumble quite a bit. Sure enough, she was right! Jack's left ear had a "couple day old" ear infection according to Dr. Carlson at MedPoint. The poor guy has had the stomach flu, a runny nose, a cough, and now an ear infection within the past five days! What a little trooper though - he held perfectly still while the doctor listened to his heart and chest, and examined his ears and throat. So proud of my boy. Now we're on the mend with amoxicillin. Yay! Thought I'd post this for my readers as I have always been told to look for him to pull on his ears as a sign of an ear infection. Apparently a lack of balance can be an indicator also. Moms, beware! Kids that look like little drunken sailors might actually need you to take a closer look.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bradley Bars

Last weekend my Grandma, Aunts and cousins got together for our annual bake-a-thon. My aunt Marnie brought a recipe for something called Bradley Bars. They. Are. Amazing. I'm including the recipe to share the love, but be careful - they are a little too yummy! :)

Mix Together:
Yellow cake mix
1 Egg
1 stick butter

Pour into a greased 9x13

Mix Together:
1 Box Powdered Sugar
1 8 oz. bar of cream cheese
2 eggs

Pour over 1st mixture

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes

Unbutton pants. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I had my carpets cleaned yesterday so Jack and I spent the evening at my grandparents house because everything was still wet at home. Grandma loves to give Jack baths in the sink. And yes...he was eating chocolate covered raisins WHILE taking a bath. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween from our Little Dragon!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Busy, Super Fun Weekend

Jackson was having a ball playing in the leaves and with his new wagon and tricycle yesterday...

Jessica's baby shower was a success! She received a lot of really adorable gifts and it was so fun to be with all of my girlfriends. I am so lucky to have such a great group of friends.

Friday night DJ and I went to a Halloween party. About ten minutes before we left the house we decided to dress up. Hence, I'm dress as a ??? (not sure - maybe a pumpkin head girl?) and DJ was a soldier using the fatigues that Josh gave him.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cute Stuff

Jackson has really started talking to us more and more lately. It's so fun to be able to understand more about what he's thinking about. For example,

  • This morning we were playing in our basement and I had a large comforter laying on the floor. Jackson patted it with his hand and said "BED". :)
  • Yesterday, Jackson was riding in the combine with DJ and he stood up and patted DJ on the leg. This means he wants to sit on your lap. So cute!
  • Jack's FAVORITE word is OUT-SIDE. This morning when I went to pick him up out of his crib he was in the dark room talking to himself saying, "OUT-SIDE...blah, goo, gah, OUT-SIDE". Guess he was ready to go play outside!
  • When he's in the tub, I'll ask Jack to blow bubbles. He lays on his tummy in the (shallow) water and makes noise underwater. Then looks up at me with a huge grin.
  • He says the following words on a regular basis: tractor, doggy, OUT-SIDE (of course), keys, Daddy, mama, bobbee (bottle), and Moo (the sound a cow makes).

We are excited for Matcha Mangold to come visit us tomorrow! She will be here for a whole week! Can't wait to have her here to spend time with all of us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thistleberry Farms

The Reed family went to Thistleberry Farms on Sunday to celebrate fall and to have a little fun with Jack. It was SO MUCH FUN! There was a petting zoo, a cow train, a big jumping platform, a corn maze, a super slide, and a pumpkin patch! Jack enjoyed the super slide the most. It was pretty fast so we had to take him down on our laps. Every time he came through the tunnel with a huge smile on his face - so glad I got it on video on my Flip! He kept pointing and gesturing toward the slide so we took him on it four times! Here are some pictures from our fun family day...

grumpy face

headed out to pick out our pumpkins!

this is the one I picked. I'm really into white pumpkins this year!

Let me have it, Daddy!

This is Jack's pumpkin.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Grandpa Bill. Today he turns 75. We call him Grandpa "Shotgun". He's been calling Jackson "Shotgun" since he was born. I asked him why, and he said "...just a nickname (shrug)." I admit that I love it. Jackson is particularly close to his great grandfather as they spend an afternoon together every week. My grandpa is the most generous man you'll ever meet. He'd literally do ANYTHING for you. He has an amazing smile that makes me happy every time I see it. He's growing an awesome all-white fuzzy beard - a first! He has blue eyes, just like Jackson's. He's the best. He can return merchandise like no other. Love you Grandpa!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Yesterday Dawn, Grandma and I took Jack apple picking at Kerchner's in Goshen. Jack was most excited about picking apples from the tree and the hay ride! Here's a few pics...

Friday, September 24, 2010

I finally made time to have Jackson's 1-year pictures done (at 15 months) and they turned out so cute! He was all smiles (for the most part)! The hard part was that he wanted to crawl to us while the photographer was trying to snap his picture so we only had a few seconds for each pose. I can't believe how fast he's growing - he's definitely going from baby to little boy right before our eyes! This morning, I heard him calling for me from his bed. Saying "maaaaa maaaaa". Pretty easy to open your eyes when you hear that. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Psalm 90:4

Psalm 90:4 - For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. If Psalm 90:4 is true, if 'a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday' she will no sooner get her eyes open then all of us who follow Christ will be with her. There will be no time in Heaven that she spends without us. Heaven is all of us who believe in Christ.

I read this passage on my friend Amber's blog. She recently lost a very young cousin to cancer . I immediately thought of Josh and also our friends Luke & Allison who recently lost their brother, Jordan. It's so comforting to know that for our family that have passed away and are in heaven, they won't even know that we're not with them - they won't miss us at all. We might miss them, but at least they'll no sooner open their eyes and we'll be with them. Makes me feel better. I'm going to share this with my mother-in-law as I think it will bring her comfort in her grief over losing Josh and also as she deals with her mom's soon passage as she's declining with lung cancer that has spread. I wanted to post this on my blog so that my other friends and family who have lost loved ones might feel some comfort from this verse too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Josh!

My big brother Josh turns 38 years young today! He is now living in Jerusalem and from the looks of things is enjoying a little more free/fun time these days - happy to hear that! Happy Birthday, Josh. We love and miss you a lot. Be safe!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cashew Chicken

I'm always looking for recipes to replicate my favorite restaurant foods. One of my very favorites is the Cashew Chicken at Mandarin House in Mishawaka. Well...I have found the ultimate recipe. It tastes just like it! I ate HALF...yes HALF of this entire thing. Yum! Here's the recipe:
2 tsp chicken bouillon or base
1 ¼ c boiling water
2 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb cornstarch
2-4 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up
½ c cashews
Hot cooked rice

Dissolve chicken base in water. Set aside.
Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and ginger. Combine w/ broth over medium heat til thickened.
In large skillet heat oil until hot, not smoking. Stir fry chicken til browned.
Combine above w/ ¼ cashews.
Serve over rice. Sprinkle w/ remaining cashews.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day weekend was fun filled. I went out to ND's campus for a tailgate with Heidi, Heather, Alissa and Phil. So many of our friends came out to have some fun and I had a great time. It was like a big reunion too! I saw a lot of friends from high school and college that I hadn't seen in a really long time. Meanwhile, Dawn watched Jackson adn took him to the park and took these pictures. He has so much fun with Aunt Dawn!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


The soup was GOOD! I will definitely make it again. Here is the recipe in case you missed it yesterday.

Sausage and Corn Chowder
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 c. coarsely chopped onion
4 c. potatoes in 1/2" cubes
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. marjoram
2 c. water
1 lg. can evaporated milk
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole grain corn

In a large, heavy pan, brown sausage and onion. Drain on paper towels and return to pan with potatoes, salt, water, marjoram, pepper. Simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Add corn and milk, heat through and serve. Serves 6.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

my life is anything but boring

I love my dog! Here's the latest Reed family saga ...
Yesterday, while working from home in my living room, I let Tucker out to go potty aroud 1 p.m. He finished his business, barked, and came back inside to hang out by my feet (as he usually does when I work upstairs). Around 2 p.m., he got my attention again and gestured that he wanted to go outside. I let him out. I went back to work. Around 4 p.m. I realized that I hadn't heard him bark so I went outside looking for him. He had dug his way out from underneath our chain-link fence. Now, this isn't all that unusual - he has done this before. As a result, DJ poured some concrete in the hole he had dug previously. Well, Tucker's a smart dog, so he just dug a new hole right next to the concrete. Anyway, I didn't think much of it and opened the garage door as Tucker likes to wander over to the neighbors and play with Maggie and Dottie once in a while. 5 p.m. ... I really started to worry. Tucker wouldn't come when I called him. I walked up and down our half mile street calling his name for an hour. Still nothing. I drove around the block twice looking for him in the woods, corn fields, etc. Still nothing. Now I was starting to get really scared. I was thinking someone took him. We looked all night and I woke up with a lump in my throat this morning when he wasn't laying in his usual spot on the floor next to my bed. As soon as I got up and got Jackson and myself dressed, we headed to the human society. And guest what ... HE WAS THERE!!! I have never been so happy to see my little mutt in his four years of life. Yes, he might get on my nerves. Yes, he peed on the dining room floor three times last week. But I love him. :) Someone saw Tucker walking around on Ireland Road (scary) and called the human society yesterday afternoon. Poor guy - he looked tramatized when we found him at the shelter. Right now, he's sleeping by my feet - totally exhausted. I'm pretty sure he didn't sleep in that scary place last night. I seriously couldn't handle any more bad news today. Thank goodness we found him!!!
To cheer myself up, I decided to cook today. It's been at least a week since we've had a meal that I've made (although we did have swiss steak and mashed potatoes last night thanks to Grandma Ginny). So, I had some sausage dethawed from the pig we just got. After I dethawed it, I realized I don't know how to make much with sausage. So I decided to try a new recipe: Sausage, potatoe and corn chowder. Here's the recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out!
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 c. coarsely chopped onion
4 c. potatoes in 1/2" cubes
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. marjoram
2 c. water
1 lg. can evaporated milk
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole grain corn

In a large, heavy pan, brown sausage and onion. Drain on paper towels and return to pan with potatoes, salt, water, marjoram, pepper. Simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Add corn and milk, heat through and serve. Serves 6.