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Sunday, February 26, 2012

4 Pictures

Four pictures from the weekend that describe The Lee Kids PERFECTLY!

Hot Cocoa!  Ella and Miller love hot chocolate and love to pretend that everything is "hot cocoa."  So, when Miller saw this "hot cocoa" shirt at the store, he had to have it.  Usually I do not give in to begging at the store, but who could deny a little boy this awesome t-shirt!  Don't worry, Miller's hot chocolate has the exact number of marshmallows as is on his shirt!

Ella's Handstand.  This year in gymnastics has been a little different from her previous years because you do not move on to a different class until you finish all the skills, where before you moved up with your age.  Ella has been practicing her gymnastics every night, she does not forget about even when I do!  Two nights ago, it all just clicked with her handstand.  She has been really good at handstands, I usually just have to help stop her legs so she does not flip over all the way.  But she nailed it all on her own!  And now she has IT.  I was really hoping to capture her gigantic smile, but her skirt blocked her face.  (Also notice Sara Wells on the side in Ella's skirt.  You never know what this girl is going to enter a room wearing!  Lately she has been into Ella's clothes).

Oh Angry Birds!  I know I have said before that Miller is obsessed with Angry Birds.  Well, Miller is also obsessed with having t-shirts that promote whatever he is obsessed with (what 4 year old boy isn't).  Well, this t-shirt was a long time coming.  One day we were at the store to get it and because of his bad attitude we did not get it.  Another day we went to the store just to get it and, you guessed it, they did not have his size.  I told him we would order it on-line and for some reason the shirt he wanted could not be ordered.  So, I searched around a little and found that Kohls carries Angry Bird shirts for kids.  Miller survived a torturous day of errand running and was finally rewarded with his Angry Bird t-shirt (don't worry, he got one for Murray so they could wear them together).  I did not allow him to wear it to church today, but those are the only 4 hours he has not had it on since we spotted it at the store.  Here is Miller being Angry.

Side Ponytails...  What 2 year old knows about side ponytails?  And not only knows about them but will not stop crying until I at least try to put her hair in one?  Our Two Year Old!  Little Miss Priss wants to be just like her big sister!  If Ella's hair can go in a side ponytail then so can hers, does not matter that Ella's hair is about 8 inches longer!  Tim Gunn would have been proud because I Made It Work!  And do you see the joy on both of their faces?  

Oh What a Weekend at the Lee House!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Best Chicken Pot Pie Ever!

If your family is like mine, comfort food just makes the whole house calm and brings order back to the chaos.  There is just something soooo soothing about comfort food.  Chicken Pot Pie always makes it to the top of our list for comfort food.  I have tried several different recipes to find the perfect chicken pot pie and I think I have found it.  The first time we ate this, I knew my searching was over.  

What you need:
6 tablespoons of butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
6 tablespoons of flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
2 cups diced potatoes, blanched
1 to 2 cup diced carrots, blanched
1 bag frozen sweet peas
2 cups rough chopped chicken
pastry dough
salt and pepper

In a large pot, melt butter.  Can you tell this pot has been loved on?
Add onions and celery.
Be sure to salt those onions!  Just look at that buttery goodness, my mouth is already watering!
Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and celery is tender.
While onions are cooking, blanch carrots and potatoes.  (Just in case, blanching is when you cook vegetable very quick.  Add the vegetables to boiling water, cook for a very short time and then immediately put vegetables in an ice bath or under cold water to stop the cooking process).

So, first you want to get your water ready.  Always add salt!!!  Put a lid on and try to to peek until you see the steam sneaking out the lid.
Chop your carrots and potatoes.  It is important to get them pretty small and to get the carrots and potatoes about the same size so that they will cook uniformly.
When the water is boiling, add carrots and potatoes.  Cook for 4 minutes.
Drain hot water and immediately submerge in ice bath (or take the lazy way out and put under running cold water).
When onions and celery are done (this should happen about the same time as carrots and potatoes are done), add flour to the onion/butter mixture.
Cook flour about 4 minutes (still on medium heat) until you have a blonde roux.  When the mixture turns a very light caramel color, you will know you have a blonde roux.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Be sure to stir to get the lumps out.  Reduce heat and simmer about 5 or 6 minutes...
until sauce starts to thicken.
Add 1/2 and 1/2 and cook 4 or 5 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Be sure to taste because this is the best time to get the flavor right!
Chop cooked chicken.  (I have said it before, but my favorite way to cook chicken that is going to be used in a dish is to cook it in the broiler.  It takes about 15 to 20 minutes on the second rack in my oven. I heat my iron skillet in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and then add the chicken that has been salt and peppered.  The flavor beats the heck out of the boiled chicken that we all grew up with!)
Add chicken, carrots, potatoes and peas to sauce (I usually am not exact with the amount of vegetables that I add, but I have found that if you add too many potatoes, they don't quite get cooked all the way.)
My family is a pastry dough kind of family.  I have tried pre-made pie crust, homemade pie crust and pastry dough.  We always like it best with pastry dough.  I use the store bought kind, maybe one day I will make my own, but for now, the store bought is good enough!

Make sure to grease the dish you are going to cook the pot pie in!  If not, all that delicious dough will stay in the dish and not make it to your plate!  Line your dish with pastry dough (or pie crust).  I take my pastry dough out of the freezer when I start cooking and let it thaw out.  Then I usually have to stretch it out a little bit so that it will cover the entire dish.
Pour in the delicious filling (that you have tasted and made sure there is enough salt and pepper because at this point there is no going back).
Top the filling with the second pastry dough sheet and then dot with butter.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour and then let sit for about 5 minutes before eating.

Now I am not going to tell you that this is a quick, 30 minute meal.  It will take about 45 minutes of constant work in the kitchen.  I usually have to turn on the t.v. for the kids when I am making this.  But, if you can chop vegetables and stir vegetables while they are cooking, then you can make this!  You can even make it ahead and then cook later that night (just be sure to take out of refrigerator about 20 minutes before you cook it.)

And I will tell you, the results are worth it!
Just ask the Lee Kids...
And trust me,
these are some tough critics!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Last Minute Trip

We took a surprise, last minute trip to the lake to celebrate President's Weekend (well really just the day).  The kids were thrilled.
I will be honest, it was great to get away, even if for a day, and enjoy a beautiful fire (which we sooooooo miss from our old house!).  And by enjoy I mean we built the fire, the kids roasted marshmallows and had hot chocolate and then we turned on a movie so that Murray and I could sit and enjoy the fire together, just by ourselves.  I think Murray may have even dosed off for a few minutes.
After Murray and I snapped back into reality and realized that we had three hungry children, we rounded up the troupes and made homemade pizzas.  Ella and Miller have been pros in the kitchen for awhile.  
Sara Wells has finally gotten to the point where she can help some without making a complete mess.
Although we still have to keep pretty close eyes on this little one.
There is nothing like taking a little break from craziness,
spending laid-back, time together
and then taking a little bit of that craziness with you where ever you go!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You Are Never Going to Guess...

What we spent our day doing...

And no, it was not playing with lizards...

Although, we have been doing a lot of that lately.

Give up???

We spent a good part of today looking for a New Rental House!

Yes it is true, we are moving again!  The family who owns the house we are renting is moving back to Birmingham.  We do not know when we will be moving or where we will be moving, but we will be packing up again in the next couple of months.

This house has been a great house for our family. When we first found out we were going to have to move after only a few weeks from the Yellow House that was next door to our "House" (I don't even know what to call our original house anymore) we could not imagine how that would be a good thing.  But this house, rental #2, has been a great house for our family.  While we really are still in a little bit of disbelief that we are moving again, we know that God is good, and this will be good for our family.  My prayer is that over the next few months I will trust in what I know to be true!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Sending lots of Love
from the Lee Kids!!!

We spent the past few days

 and tasting...

 Valentine Treats.

Today our day has been filled with


Happy Valentine's Day!
The Lee's