Friday, July 31, 2009

White Sands

It was a beautiful day at White Sands. During the summer, it gets so hot there, but this day, it was about 80 degrees. We took advantage of the cooler weather and went down to play in the sand. We had so much fun and got some great pictures. John found the sledding dishes in the cabin. We were so excited to use them as you can see...


We had a great time in Cloudcroft. It was beautiful! I just wanted to share a few pictures. We are heading to our family reunion, but have some great pictures to post from White Sands...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

St. Joseph's Mission

Yesterday, we headed down to Las Cruces to visit friends. As we drove through Ruidoso, John reminded me of this old church that we had seen on our last visit to Cloudcroft. As you come around the mountain, there is this amazing church hidden back in the mountain. Last time, we didn't have time to think about stopping, but this time, we decided to stop. Much to our surprise, the church was being restored. We got to go in and see the inside of this church that was built in 1920. There was a sign on the door to let visitors know that there were bats. As we walked in, Sarah was greeted by something flying swiftly past her. As it rushed by, we realized that it was not a bat, but a hummingbird. Still a little scary when there's a sign on the door saying 'beware of bats'. We enjoyed walking around and seeing this historic old building.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Light Sabers in Walmart

Yesterday, I was walking down the toy isle and behind me I hear these odd sounds of crashing and grunting. I turned to see what it was and it was my two boys, John and Hayden, fighting in the middle of the toy isle with their light sabers. I love that my man is still a kid at heart. He loves to play with our kids and have fun! They worked their way up and down the isle wielding their newly found swords. At one point, a Walmart employee walked around the corner and saw the commotion; he just turned and walked away when he saw it was a boy and his dad. Funny! And what would any mom do? Grab her camera and take a picture. See, this is why you should carry a camera in your purse. Moments like this should be shared... See, it's okay to pick up a sword in the middle of the store and fight your six year old boy. It will make his day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Penne Ala Vodka

I went to a Living Proof Live event this weekend and we talked about food on our way home. It made me think of this recipe. It is one of our favorites and I didn't know if I had shared it or not.

Penne Ala Vodka

1 package sausage (Italian Turkey Sausage)
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 (We like it spicy, so I use 1 teaspoon)
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. (At this point, you can put the sauce in a crock pot to stay warm. Sometimes I cook it in the morning and keep it in the crock pot all day to let the flavors marry and then we eat if for dinner.)

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 stove top or in the crock pot (High 2 hours or Low 4 hours). Serve over Penne Pasta.

The original recipe called for1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, but we altered the recipe to be low fat. We also are using turkey Italian sausage and the original called for Italian or Breakfast sausage.

Weight Watchers Points: (sauce only)
1cup= 4points
½ cup=2 points

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A trip to Panhandle Plains Historical Museum

A few days ago, all the sisters gone, so I asked Hayden where he wanted to go. "The museum", he exclaimed. So off we went on our historical adventure. he took the map in his tan dirty hands and off we went to the basement. For those of you that have not been to the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, the basement holds the animals and Indian artifacts. It's Hayden's favorite exhibit. When you don't have any sisters begging to go to "Belles of the Ball" exhibit, you can go wherever you want. He led the way with map in hand from one exhibit to the other. He had a grand time being the leader of our twosome. We only spent about an hour, but we had a great time and got to see a new exhibit of "Texas Panhandle Athletes". We saw some greats and can't wait to go back. At the end of the trip, Hayden posed in front of the Buffalo across the street.

The mom in the lounge chair...

We have been to the pool several times and I am enjoying my new stage of motherhood. I am no longer pulling on and off soaking chlorine scented swim diapers! I am the mom at the side of the pool, lounging in the pool chair reading a book. Not a worry in the world... I remember seeing them, the moms in the lounge chairs. Oh, how I longed for that day. Now, I am that mom. Even though I leave one stage of motherhood behind, I am jumping feet first into the new one. Our oldest is almost 14 and going into High School. Yikes! As I read her copy of "Twilight", I scan the pool over the top of my book trying to locate that cute little blonde girl. Ah, I spot her across the pool hanging out with all the kids from her youth group. Her cheerful smile welcomes those around her. Now, where are the others? Ah, there's the roommates swimming in the pool, playing games just as cheerfully as they share a room. Really! They make up their own games, their own rules and enjoy the warm sun and cool water. Now for the boy, in the shallow end, diving endlessly for a dive stick that is black with red flames. His blonde hair is getting lighter by the minute. What a day! I love summer and love spending time at the pool.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New Blog Title

Well, about a year and a half ago, I had to change my blog title. Remember..."Texas Roots with Air Force Branches". We were no longer in the Air Force and that no longer fit who we were. So, not knowing what to change it to, I had a contest... Ah, it's all coming back now. So, I've decided that though we may still be "Driftwood" in this world, it was a temporary name. I am not having a contest this time. I have been thinking about this for a while and had several ideas, but finally settled on "Just a small town girl...". I've always been a small town girl at heart. The Air Force may have taken us all around, but I was still a small town girl. Now, I am back in a small town in Texas and I love it!

Also, I've made this blog public so I don't have to update my blog and facebook separately. I can just add a link when I update my blog. Also, this way, my dad doesn't have to remember his password.

I hope you enjoy the new look and maybe some new content every once in a while...