Tuesday, May 31, 2011

April/ May Recap

I realized I forgot to post about April, so this will be a blend of two months. I am doing this mostly for us-just to keep track of the highlights of each month. If you really, really love us, keep on reading.

We have been super busy! I was in a friend's wedding, so we had several things to do for that- along with Easter, Mother's Day, our anniversary, school and sports banquets, cookouts, soccer playoffs, and birthday parties! Sadly, we have not been able to volunteer to help with the tornado clean up effort. I did get the opportunity to pack lunches for Pratt City, but Will and I want to devote at least a full day to help in whatever way we can. We hope we can do this soon. Here are our specific updates:


Hudson can now take around 12 steps at a time. He has been slowly starting to walk since his birthday. He can now walk to something and get his balance, and then, walk to something else. He is very proud of himself.

He loves it outside. He kicks and screams when it is time to go inside. He plays with his red wagon for at least an hour a day.

He doesn't point to people or animals in a book, but he will kiss them when asked. Therefore, we can conclude he knows what we are asking. Secondly, we know he likes to kiss.

He likes to imitate us.

He is a snuggler now. I love it!

He says Uh Oh, mama, dada, and bye. He will sometimes bark like a dog.

He loves the pool. He grins ear to ear as soon as we get in!


We have little green tomatoes! We only ended up planting tomatoes and parsley, but we feel prepared for the next planting season.


We loved the Hunger Games. It is a definite page turner. Will is taking them on the cruise to finish reading them. I also read:

Water for Elephants...a little risque. I didn't like it.
Heaven is for Real. I am still developing my opinion on it. I wish it shared the gospel better.
The Pioneer Woman's love story. Great read. I couldn't put it down.
I am still reading The Mission of Motherhood. I usually only read at night, so it takes me longer to get motivated to read the meaty knowledge books. I try to read a chapter during my quiet time, but reading at night is really just a way for me to relax! I am excited about reading on the cruise! I am taking the Glass Castle and The Devil in the White City.

We are looing forward to the summer ahead- I forsee cookouts, pool parties, picnics, and last minute trips

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dinner Time-Part 2

I have not decided to shift my focus to cooking. This is probably my last cooking post for awhile. I just wanted to finish with more of my staple menu items. I couldn't have a part 1 without a part 2. I will probably have a part 3 one day. Who knows? Keep reading, I will finish this post with my whole chicken update.

I enjoyed sharing some of our staple menu items. Here is the continued list:

(our newest staple)

What to do: Heat the roast for a few minutes on all 4 sides with olive oil and put it in the crock pot. Add one can of beef broth and half an envelope of onion soup mix. I also put rosemary twigs in with it and cook on low for 4 or so hours. Throw in some potatoes and carrots while cooking.

The next night, I chuck up the leftovers and mix with barbecue seasoning or sauce. Serve with fresh corn. Yum.

Chicken Pot Pie


diced cooked chicken
mixed veggies
cream of chicken soup
cream of mushroom
sour cream
dashes of marjoram, parsley, creole seasoning, oregano, and garlic salt
2 pie crusts

What to do:

Place on of the pie crusts in bottom of pan. Mix ingredients. Dump on crust. Top with other crust. Slit middle of pie. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Taco Soup

Who doesn't know this one by now? Lots of ways to cook this. Here is ours.


1 1b cooked ground beef or diced chicken
black beans
light and dark kidney beans
1 packet ranch seasoning
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cans rotel tomatoes and green chilies
1 to 2 cans water.


So easy! Dump and simmer. Usually a winter dish, but we eat it year around. Top it with shredded cheese and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips.

Chicken Parmesan


2 chicken breast
whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles
spaghetti sauce
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg mixed with water
Mozzarella cheese


Dredge chicken in egg mixture. Them mix with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake. Add cheese at the end.

Serve over noodles with sauce.

Lemon Garlic Fish


A couple of your fave fish fillets
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp parley
Parmesan cheese
creole seasoning


Saute the garlic, lemon juice, and parsley in the butter. Sprinkle fillets with creole and salt and pepper. Pace in dish. Pour mixture on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake.

Well, those are a bunch of our staple meals. By staple, I mean I cook them lots. The rest of our menu choices are those rarely cooked meals-usually because they are expensive. Of course, every week or so I like to try something new. After a new meal, the Hubs and I decide if it should go in our little white menu book. This means we will eat it again. It doesn't mean it is a staple. If it is cooked ten times or so, it might be considered a staple.

Please feel free to share with me your staples!

So, I cooked the chicken. It was so much easier than I thought. I know people do this all the time, but this is one of those things that seemed so hard to me.

I cleaned the chicken by removing the insides. Very easy. I rinsed the inside and outside with water. I then placed it into my Pam sprayed slow cooker.

I then sprinkled the chicken with paprika and garlic salt. I added a little water and some fresh parsley.

It cooked on low for 5 hours or so. We ate it with red potatoes and squash. It was yum. I diced up the remainder of chicken. I used some of it in a pot pie that we ate the next night. Even after two meals, I had this much left:

Hudson ate some of the rest. I also added it into a soup we are eating tomorrow.
Three meals for a 6 dollar chicken. Not bad!

After the meat was off the chicken, I took all the bones and skins and put them back in the crock pot. I added the juice from when the chicken cooked and covered the rest of the carcass with cold water. I added 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This is supposed to pull the calcium off the bones of the chicken. It is really good for you and helps heal your stomach! I also threw in some onion and carrots. I cooked on low for around 15 hours. I think you are supposed to cook for 24 to 48 hours, but it was boiling and I was scared to leave it! I have issues with anything plugged in for too long!

Anyway, our house smelled so yummy this morning. Our chicken made so much stock. I used 4 cups of the stock in my soup for tomorrow and still had this much to freeze:

I will do this again soon!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dinner Time-Part 1

I thought I would share some of our staple menu items. These are tried and true! I usually include at least one of these meals in our menu plan each week. They are easy when you can't think of something!

Greek Chicken

Our friend Nikki shared this recipe with me, and I love it! You can substitute the chicken for fish.


boneless chicken breast or fish fillets
red potatoes-quartered
lettuce--We use spinach leaves.
Cavendar's Greek seasoning
feta cheese
olive oil
lemon juice
salad toppings--olives, tomatoes, etc..
salt and pepper

What to do:

Greek dressing: Combine olive oil with lemon juice, oregano, and feta until it tastes right. Shake and refrigerate for an hour. Shake before serving.

I season the potatoes and chicken with olive oil, feta, oregano, Greek Seasoning, and salt and pepper. I bake for about 30 minutes and serve it over the lettuce. I pour the dressing over all of it. I usually serve with hummus and pita bread on the side.

Pizza Pasta


whole grain penne regatta noodles
1 cup of ricotta cheese
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
1 jar of marinara sauce
pizza toppings--pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, etc

What to do:

Cook pasta and drain. While hot, mix with ricotta cheese. Layer it in a casserole dish. I use a 9 by 13 pan. I never use all the noodles. Pour the sauce over the noodles. Then layer your toppings. Pour cheese over all. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Poppy Seed Chicken

Our friend April gave me this recipe. Will requests it weekly.

2 cream of chicken or 1 cream of chicken and 1 cream of mushroom (I do 2 chicken soups)
shredded chicken
poppy seeds
sour cream
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers


Mix soups with chicken and some sour cream. I usually do a little more than half a cup of sour cream. Add in poppy seeds. Pour into dish. Sprinkle Ritz. Pour melted butter over all and add more poppy seeds. Cook for 20 min on 350. Serve over rice.

PS--Use real butter! It is good for you. Who knew?

Ritz Chicken
My roommate Rebecca taught me how to make this in college, and I have been making it ever since.


2 boneless chicken breast
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of parsley
melted butter

What to do:

mix the crackers, Parmesan, and parsley together. Dip the chicken in the butter and then dredge in the mixture. Bake. So easy! I usually serve with this red potato recipe:

Quarter red potatoes. Boil. While boiling, saute garlic, parley, and butter. Pour over drained potatoes.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Oh the wonders of tuna! I often serve this casserole or tuna melts. We also have made tuna patties over lettuce.


2 cans tuna
1 can cream of chicken soup
crushed Ritz crackers
cooked whole grain noodles
shredded cheese

What to do:

mix tuna, soup, peas, and noodles together. Place in dish and pour crackers over. Pour melted butter over all. Sprinkle cheese. Cook for 15-20 on 350

Easy Peasy Lasagna

From my friend Jennifer.


2 cups of mozzarella cheese
2 cups of shredded
1 big jar of spaghetti sauce
ground beef--cooked and drained
6 lasagna noodles-cooked

layer sauce, beef, cheese, noodles, sauce, beef, cheese, noodles, and then a final layer of sauce, beef, and cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I also serve breakfast for dinner at least once every other week. We do bacon, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, omelets, pancakes, fried red potatoes, hash browns, yummy oatmeal, etc.. Breakfast for dinner has endless possibilities.

Like I said, these are just a few of our go to recipes! I will add my pot roast next time and maybe some of our breakfast and lunch items.

On a related side note:
I am trying to learn to make healthy decisions for our family. So far, this has meant using whole grains, free range eggs, organic yogurts and milk, and fresh fruits and veggies. I also am trying to steer clear of boxed foods. We have been eating lots of real potatoes, and I have been buying dry rice and beans. I know it is best to buy organic meats due to the hormones, and the way they are fed, but we are not there yet! I also have been researching pesticide exposure in fruits and veggies, and it sounds scary! Again, not there yet-I usually buy fresh but not organic. So, anyway, I have some really close friends that eat healthy and answer all my questions in a very encouraging way! I really want to grow in knowledge here and provide healthy meals for my family.

Next week, I am tackling a whole chicken. I am usually a frozen chicken breast kind of girl, but I am excited! I am going to use it for two meals, and I plan on making my own chicken stock. It will be the highlight of my week. Just call me Betty Homemaker.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

3 Years

Three years ago, Mr. Patridge and I said our vows in front of our friends and family, and then, we danced under the stars and lighted trees. It was a fairytale. In our time together, we have had our share of other fairytale moments…surprise dates, candlelight dinners, vacations, etc. Although those are great and make up a tiny percentage of our day to day life, I also love when the movie moment stops. The rest of life is filled with those not so picture perfect movie moments. You see each other in comfy clothes. You know what each other is like on a bad day. You fight. You may even witness something gross….like the other person attempting to shave their back or pick their nose. In these moments, I think marriage is the most beautiful. I love that in marriage we uncover our masks and get to know another person in a real way. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it is downright hard, but it is always worth all the work.

Happy Anniversary to my number one in this life! Thanks for loving me and committing your life to me! I love you.

Funny story….the Hubs and I exchanged gifts this morning, and we gave each other the exact same thing! We both made photo books of our history together. We even used some of the same pictures. I guess you really do grow alike over time!

Monday, May 16, 2011

the big 1

Hudson finally got to celebrate his first birthday with all of his little buddies. We had a great time.

We had a hot dog bar complete with tons of options. We even had types of hot dogs on index cards for ideas!

Since hot dogs pose a serious choking hazard, we had sandwiches, goldfish, crackers and cheese for all the sweet babies!

We had lots of yummy cake and cupcakes!

Daddy was the master griller.

He had tons of fun with his friends...mostly girls!

He was a little smitten with a little girl named Sumner-we even caught him giving kisses.

He looked so cute in the outfit his cousin Molly made him.

He loved his smash cake. I am a mean Mommy and only let him have it for a couple of bites.

It was a fun day! Hudson has a blast with his buddies, and we had a blast with ours!
It was a great way to end Hudson's two week long birthday celebration.

Monday, May 9, 2011

2 down...1 to go!

We hope Hudson doesn't get a big head because he has already had two birthday celebrations, and the big shindig is yet to happen.

First, Hudson had his very first kids meal at Chick-Fil-A with the Patridge clan. He ate it so fast! I think he thought I would realize what it was and take it away.

His sweet Ge gave him a recordable storybook!

This past weekend we had a little triple party, 2 birthdays and Mother's Day, by my brother and sister in law's pool. The water was a little too cold, but Hudson loved the fountain.

He also got another cupcake:

Thanks for making them, Hallie!

We opened a few gifts! Hudson racked up with a big wagon, soccer ball, farm toy, and book!

Nearly three years ago exactly, I was dancing with my new groom on that same lawn. Crazy how time flies!

As for Mother's Day, the hubby was good to me. He gave me a sweet card, my favorite candies, and some cash for clothes shopping. He also gave me the day off. He took care of Hudson all day! He said, "So, is Mother's Day just when the Dad becomes the Mom?" Exactly.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To My Wonderful Wife

Heather, You are an amazing wife and mom. Thank you for everything that you do for this family. I am truly blessed to have your company for the rest of my life... Hudson agrees. Happy Mother's Day, bubs.


p.s., I hope I didn't mess anything up by making a post...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I love you, Mom!

Happy Mother's Day to my sweet mom! My mom has always been a true servant to all-especially her family. She has never hesitated to go the extra mile to make sure we were all taken care of and happy. My mom had no choice but to work a full time job while I was growing up, and yet, I don't remember many times in which I didn't have clean clothes, a spotless house, and a warm meal on the table. She was the first one awake and the last one in bed, and if you needed her in the middle of the night, she never complained about how tired she was the next day. Even though she was busy with "both" her full time jobs, I have endless memories of simply spending time with her. She is the one that instilled in me the joy of reading and the dangers of idleness. Most importantly, she is a woman whose faith is in the Lord and has always been a great source of encouragement.

My mom is still one of my closest friends, and one of the very first people I call when I have news to share. I am so thankful for her and blessed to be her daughter. I love you, Mom!

Monday, May 2, 2011

feliz cumpleanos

I thought the title was appropriate since our little man was born on Cinco De Mayo....

One year ago today, we welcomed William Hudson into our little world. Although we had a little bit of a shaky start-like many first time parents do, our days with Hudson have been filled with so much joy and laughter. He has made life sweeter, and since we love him so much, he has made life a little scarier too.

It is hard to believe that our big boy celebrated his actual birthday like this:

One of the reasons we blog is simply to have a journal of our life, so we thought we would write Hudson a little note in hopes he reads it one day.

Sweet Hudson,

Happy 1st Birthday! We know you will not remember these first days we have shared with you, and yet, you have filled our home with so many sweet moments. We hope that we are building the strong foundations of the man you are to become. We pray for you everyday. We pray you would grow and learn new things as you take in the world around you. We pray you would be healthy and strong and that you would enjoy life. Most importantly, we pray every single day that one day soon you would know the great love of our heavenly Father. We pray that you would see the depths of your sin, and gaze at the cross of Jesus who paid the price for them. Your daddy often asks the Lord to make you a man after God's own heart, and sweet boy, we are confident that He will! If we ever teach you anything, we hope and pray that you remember these truths because without them you will only continue searching for something you will never find.

We are excited about the years to come. We often say we wish we could freeze the time because these moments are passing too quickly. You are beginning to take a few steps, but very cautiously. You are an expert crawler. Your temper sometimes frightens us. Your laugh can change our mood. You are a messy eater but you love to take baths and get squeaky clean. Everyday you surprise us with something new you have discovered.

So, today we are celebrating the year that has past and praying that God would give us many more to come!

We love you,

Mommy and Daddy


Six Months:

With his birthday muffin: