Happy Birthday, Jonathan!!

In keeping with birthday tradition, Jonathan enjoyed the breakfast of his choice this morning. Here he is with his pancakes and bacon (and doing his best “Home Alone” face).

It was especially fun to have Uncle Andrew and Cousin Isaac here today for breakfast too! Happy eight years, Jonathan!!

Christmas Chicken

Our Christmas celebrations are spread out a bit this year, so today we enjoyed a quiet day at home with just our family. For supper, we ate one of our favorite chicken dishes, which I have meant to post before so our readers could enjoy it too…here it is at last!

We call this “Cornflake Chicken” but that was not its original name. I am printing the original version here as given to me by Leslie. She brought us this meal after our horrible car accident back in 2005, and it’s been a staple around our house ever since.

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

3/4 cup crushed cornflakes

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 envelop ranch salad dressing mix

6-8 chicken breast halves or 2 lbs chicken tenders

1/2 cup butter, melted


Grease a 9×13″ baking dish. In a shallow bowl combine corn flakes,

parmesan cheese and salad dressing mix. Have the melted butter in another

shallow bowl. Dip chicken in butter then roll in cornflake mixture to

coat and place in baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45

minutes.

Modifications:

When I make this recipe, I substitute liquid ranch dressing for the powdered ranch. I put the ranch (about 1-ish cups) in a bowl with a little milk added, dip the chicken in the liquid, then dredge in the dry cornflake/parmesan mixture.  Place chicken in the pan and sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over them. Drizzle with 1/4 cup melted butter before baking. Bake as directed.

I have also been known to substitute crushed Ritz crackers for the cornflake crumbs when certain Target stores have run out of the cornflakes cereal the day before Christmas!

One more note: the leftovers from this recipe are delightful when reheated in the oven (to preserve crispiness in the coating) then sliced and served over salad greens with your favorite dressing. Magnificent!

Since I cannot photograph food like Angie the magnificent, and since my camera is not nearly as fine as hers, my picture won’t be as tantalizing as I’d like, but here it is anyway….

Serve with baked sweet potatoes and a salad for a wondeful meal! Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to all!!

May God bless us, every one!

Everyone Should Have a Little Pirate…

to help them trim their Christmas tree!!

Christmas Coton

We received some Christmas money from Nana and Grandpa with their request that we use it for something the whole family would enjoy.  Now, my parents were probably thinking of some new games for the Wii, or maybe tickets to a play or movie, new light fixture for the front room (wait, no, that would be a gift for the Mommy, hehe), or any number of things, but most certainly never imagined we’d use their sweet gift for this:

Yes. The Hornes have a new family member. She is bigger and older and FLUFFIER than any other baby we’ve brought home before. We are all in love with Shasha (a couple of the kids are calling her Sasha since it is easier to say), and hope she feels the same about us.

Here is some back story:

We have mulled over the idea of a second doggie for some time. Jay has always loved cats but is allergic. Still, he missed the “lap pet” type of animal a cat is, and he’s yearned for a lapdog of sorts to round out our pet menagerie.

The children love playing with Lucy the Lab, but also have expressed interest for some time in a smaller doggie that they could cuddle and love on. As the kids have shown themselves so willing to help care for Lucy (they bathe her, feed her, pick up the backyard now almost all on their own) we felt it would not be a ton more work to consider adding a relatively manageable pet to our busy household.

So, we have spent time researching various breeds, wanting very much to acquire a small dog if we were to have a second join our family, but one who would have a good chance at being friends with our lab too. We learned about a somewhat new breed to the U.S., called a Coton de Tulear, Coton for short. Pronounced Cuh-tawn’. If you’ve never seen one, think Old English Sheepdog, but about a third of the size. Very cute.

You can read all about them here and here …but suffice to say they are wonderful family dogs, playful, affectionate, smart, great with children, long-lived with few health issues, adaptable to a variety of living situations, and perhaps most of all, Hypoallergenic. They also do not shed!!  Jamison, this might be a dog even you could get lovey with!

Anyway, for the past little bit we have looked at a couple dogs here and there, and it’s never worked out, but we’ve kept our eyes open. Then last week, we learned that we had an opportunity to acquire a breeding dog who was retired very early (at four years) due to her propensity to have litters too large for her own good. The owner was a wonderful lady here in Dallas whom some friends bought a Coton pup from recently, and recommended highly. She hated to part with her beloved dog, but as a breeder she can only keep the dogs she is currently breeding, since she has them plus the puppies to keep up with.

Well, we went to meet Shasha/Sasha, and the rest…well, you know the rest. The children are thrilled, and Jay and I are happy to have found a beautiful dog who comes from a good situation, was obviously very loved and cared for, is up to date on shots, spayed, etc.

After a couple of days together, both dogs are getting along pretty well considering this is all new to them. I believe that at first Lucy thought we’d brought her home a Christmas pet of her own; Shasha made certain to communicate to Lucy that this was not the case in pretty short order.

The children are in love with the little white fluffball – she submits to being cuddled, dressed up, having her hair done in bows by Abigail, carried around like a baby, and appears to be just an all-around wonderful dog.

We are very thankful for our Christmas Coton.

As an aside, if anyone in the North Texas area is interested in learning more about Cotons, or possibly thinking of getting a puppy, we recommend Cotons of Fircrest in Allen.

Old Arboretum Pics

We made a family trip to the Arboretum back in March, and I just ran across the photos I’d edited but never added to our page. Enjoy!!

Doggie on a Rug

I don’t know quite what has come over Lucy Dog. Perhaps she read this post I wrote, where I complained a bit about her frisky behavior, and she vowed to change her ways. Perhaps she is just maturing past that crazy puppy stage. But regardless, for the past couple weeks, as we’ve dealt with various illnesses, and my very hurt back, as well as some other challenges, she has been a true joy to have around.

She has been calmer, despite no one having any time to exercise or play with her much. Many days she has laid faithfully by the side of Jay’s bed, where he’s worked almost the entire week, or followed me around the house as I sought some position which might relieve the terrible ache in my back.  She has been mostly content to keep us company, almost as if she sensed something was not right around here, and wanted to do her small part to help. She has succeeded in bringing comfort and cheer which only a furry member of the family can at times. We are very, very grateful.

Missy keeps telling me I need to post pics of the rugs we found earlier this summer, so Lucy, being such the agreeable dog these days(!) helped me with this first one. I snapped this picture of her posing in our front room – her tail is wagging, so it looks blurry in the picture.

For anyone who cares about such things, I spent more than a year vainly searching for some rugs to throw down on our beautiful hardwood floors.  Everything I could find that I liked, I couldn’t afford, and the ones I could afford, I couldn’t seem to bring myself to live with.

At long last, I was thrilled to learn that one can actually find very nice and very affordable wool rugs on Overstock.com. Shipping cost virtually nothing ($4.99 total for four 8 x 10 rugs, y’all!!), and they allowed me to send back what didn’t work, without charging me return shipping. Now that is a nice deal. But I digress….we were talking about the dog, weren’t we?

Lucy still does exhibit quite a lot of excitement whenever someone appears at the front door. In her exuberance, she continues to try to jump on every person who dares to visit our humble abode, so she hasn’t completely parted with her wild ways. But perhaps in time….

Which reminds me: many, many thanks to the sweet folks who have helped us out this past week, bringing meals, and assisting with needful chores around the house. How truly blessed we have been by all the help. You know who you are, and we are very, very appreciative of your generosity to us.  And also for your willingness to put up with sweet Lucy, even if she did act a little too excited to see you!

Conversations with Josiah

This morning, Josiah asked me if he could please have his cup of orange juice. I answered, “Yes'” and began getting a sippy cup ready for his drink.

Upon seeing the sippy cup, Josiah (whom, I should add, was decked out in a fedora, shoulder pouch, and brandishing a 6 foot long whip) protested loudly, “NO!! I don’t want a sippy cup! Indiana Jones does NOT drink from a sippy cup! He’s a grown-up! He uses a big boy cup!”

Just in case you weren’t aware…

Photo Contest!

One of Sandra and Keith’s beautiful wedding photographs was chosen as a finalist in Engaged Studio’s End of Year Photo Contest.

Go here to vote for your favorite. Unless of course, your favorite is NOT #20, in which case, just feel free to casually move on….heheh!