Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

What a wonderful Christmas Eve. We enjoyed a candlelight service at our church and the pastor had all the kids come down front as he told the story of the birth of Jesus. Afterward, we had Penne ala Vodka for dinner with homemade garlic bread. The most fun of all, at least for the kids, was opening presents! The kids had a great time. Kate was so excited to get clothes. Hayden got his first pocket knife. Sarah got a Turquoise fuzzy robe and Rachel got the exact Webkinz she wanted.

Penne ala Vodka

Penne Ala Vodka Sauce

1 package sausage (Italian Turkey)
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 large can crushed tomatoes (28oz.)
¼ cup vodka
½ teaspoon salt
½-1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
¾ cup fat free half and half
1 cup skim milk

Cook garlic in olive oil for about 2 minutes, add sausage; cook until sausage is browned. Add tomatoes and vodka and simmer for about 3 minutes (this cooks off the alcohol). Season with salt and hot red pepper flakes. Add the half and half and milk and simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve over Penne Pasta.

Freezing instructions: Cook as directed above. Allow to cool and store in freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator 24 hours before serving. Heat the sauce in the microwave, on the stovetop or in the crockpot (High 2 hours or Low 4 hours). Serve over Penne Pasta.

The original recipe called for1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, but I altered the recipe to be lowfat. I also used turkey Italian sausage and the original called for Italian or Breakfast sausage.

Weight Watchers Points: (sauce only)
Made with Turkey sausage
1cup= 4 points 188 calories
½ cup=2 points 94 calories

Made with regular Italian sausage
1 cup= 6 points 251 calories
½ cup=3 points 126 calories

Or, if you'd like to try this link, I uploaded the recipe to Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen Website.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hoggard Family Christmas

Today we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family. We had 23 people for a fabulous lunch. My dad decided to cook Chicken Fried Steak for our dinner. It was so good! We had a great time getting things ready and eating lunch and then a fun time watching the kids open presents. When they were done, we played 'dirty Santa' for the adults gifts. It was so fun! I really feel God's provision in this move back to Texas. It is an incredible feeling to be with family during Christmas. If you're struggling with that, just move away for about 14 years and you'll have a different perspective. We didn't know what we were missing. Last night, we drove around an looked at Christmas lights with Pa Bob and Meme while we ate popcorn. My kids love making these memories. Rachel even wrote about it in a project she did for Christmas. We are blessed beyond measure!

Lottie Moon Christmas Tea

We had a Lottie Moon Christmas Tea at our church this month. The idea is to have a grea time as we raise money for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. We raised about $3800!

1st Grade Musical

Hayden had 2 lines in his musical this week. He was so excited and did a great job with his lines. He spoke clearly and loud enough that you could hear him. We have had a busy last couple of weeks with plenty of extra things going on, just not a lot of extra time to post them.

Christmas Concerts

It's begining to sound a lot like Christmas! Kate and Sarah just had their Christmas concerts. They did a great job. We have an amazing choir program here in Canyon.

1st Grade Christmas

Hayden's class had their Christmas party this week. They had pizza, cookies, made a craft and did a gift exchange. They each brought a wrapped book and sat and listened to a story and passed the book each time they heard the word "snow". It was fun to be able to go celebrate with Hayden's 1st grade class.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Broadway Kids Perform @PPHM

What a fun night! Rachel's choir performed at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum Christmas Open House. Rachel was very excited to see that PaBob got to come. Schools from all over the area participated. It was a huge night.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

A little shooter!

The kids table.

They licked the platter clean!

Yum, Pie!

John gets a little help with the lights.

The Beatles Rock Band

Sarah plays a little football with the cousins.

We had such a great time celebrating Thanksgiving! We hosted my family the Sunday before Thanksgiving and had 23 people for lunch! Then, the kids were out of school and we headed to Lubbock to celebrate Thanksgiving with John's side of the family. Of course, when we go to Lubbock for Thanksgiving, somebody goes to shoot guns. Being back home sure is nice. We love being close enough to celebrate holidays with family. Don't get me wrong. We LOVE our military friends. They were our family for 14 years. We really enjoyed inviting friends over and having Thanksgiving dinner together, but there is nothing better than being close enough to celebrate each holiday with everyone. Our kids just asked me 'how many Christmas's ' we are going to have. I think that is funny. Until now, it's mostly been one. Now, we have my family, then Christmas with us and then with John's family. It keeps growing... We love it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cadillac Ranch

Some friends came to visit on a very windy day and we took them to see this odd tourist site.
The Cadillac Ranch was built in 1974 by Helium millionare Stanley Marsh. It is a collection of 10 Cadillacs buried nose down facing West. It is in the middle of a field just off I-40 (Route 66) West of Amarillo. So, if you're looking for quirky, this is it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Henry is growing so fast. He and Lily are becoming great friends. Lily plays with him all the time. At first, she wasn't sure about having a new dog in the house. She has quickly grown to like him. They play together everyday and can often be found in the kitchen chasing each other around.

Soccer Season Comes To An End

Hayden just finished his first soccer season ever. He loved it. It was a lot of fun to watch him play. I'm sure he'll play again, but he is really looking forward to basketball.

Meet the Buffs...

West Texas A&M University recently had a basketball camp for FREE! All the Buffs and Lady Buffs came out on a Saturday to play with the kids and teach them some ball handling skills. I thought I might drop the kids off and come back later to get them. NO! Once I was there, I couldn't make myself leave. There is something still in me that LOVES basketball. I'm quickly approaching 40. I thought I would have outgrown it by now, but I haven't. So, we all had a great time! Hayden and Rachel thought it was really cool to meet the players, the coaches and to play where the Buffs and Lady Buffs actually play.

Did I say I love living in a small town? This is just one reason why. No other town we've ever lived in has done anything like this. I LOVE it!