Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ashley snacks


I have been enjoying making Ashley's afternoon snacks so much! I didn't get to do it at all last week as he was off school except for 1 day (yes I fed him, just different stuff). He is really liking it aswell. I find he isn't grazing anymore in the afternoon and he still eats all of his dinner.

I am trying to think of more things I can include in his snacks. We didn't get any fruit other than bananas on the weekend so we will pick some up on the weekend plus celery etc.


I also cheated with the baby carrots. He saw them and wanted them, which saves time for me. I decided to add the yogurt to is this week to give him some dairy in there.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving

I promised to blog about Thanksgiving and what we eat and do etc.

First of all, Thanksgiving is the 3rd Thursday in November so the date always changes. The past 2 years we have had our family get together on the weekend after Thanksgiving so everyone can make it. This year Billy's Uncle Mike and Aunt Jane weren't able to come up from Georgia so we had it actually on Thanksgiving Day. Most people don't have to work that day, Billy had to go to work that night but he had the night before off.

We all sit around and talk or hang out outside with the kids while Jamey, Billy's brother looks after the turkey.

Typically people eat Turkey or Ham or both and a bunch of different side dishes, depending on the region or the family.

Our family deep fries our turkey.


See the hot oil bubbling away:


Here it is all cooked:


And you can't have turkey without cranberry sauce:


Devilled eggs, which are kind of like curried eggs without the curry!


Red Slaw, which is coleslaw with a tomato base instead of mayonnaise. I am not a fan:


Gravy:

Macaroni cheese, another thing I am not a big fan of:


Beans & corn:

Mashed potatoes, or Creamed potatoes as they call them:


Sweet potato casserole, which has brown sugar and pecans on top! So good!


And dressing, same as stuffing, but they don't put it inside the bird, they bake it separately. It's not bad.


Dinner rolls:


Jamey carving the turkey:


Dessert is usually either pumpkin or sweet potato pie. We didn't stay for dessert as Billy had to come home and sleep for a few hours before working all night. We did get some pie to bring home but I didn't get a photo of it. But here is one from last year:

Pumpkin pie

It was a great day with family and great food! We got to see our new nephew again and in the 4 weeks since we saw him he has already changed so much! And our nieces just keep growing too fast.

Here are the rest of the photos from the day:





Monday, November 22, 2010

Billy

Mowing Billy

I want to talk about my husband for a little bit. If you don't like sappy, mushy stuff, then you might want to skip this post.

Almost 6 years ago I was a sad, broken, lonely girl. I had just gotten out of a 6 year relationship that had not been happy. New Years Eve I decided I needed cheering up so I paid a visit to a funny website and joined in a few of the forum posts.

From those posts I came across a young man who I struck up a conversation with. Fast forward to today and we are married and have lived on 2 different continents together and been through more than most couples have in their lifetimes.

We never fight. We never degrade the other person. We laugh together all the time. We get each other so completely it scares me sometimes. We finish each others sentences. This is the kind of stuff you see in movies. Sometimes I want to pinch myself because it doesn't seem real. When he kisses me I still get weak knees.

This man would do anything for me and Ashley. He works so hard at his job, he is usually covered in bruises and scratches all the time from his job. He has to wear a knee brace most of the time.

But he does it for us. So we can pay our bills and eat and have this house. He never gets enough sleep. He rarely gets any free time. But he rarely complains.

He is my Knight.

And I will never stop loving him.

03/365 - Bokeh Billy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My stroganoff



I love sharing food we eat out on here so I thought it would be cool to show you stuff I make too. I do cook a lot. We only eat out on Billy's days off so only 1-2 nights a week.

Today I will show you my version of Stroganoff.

First of all it's not completely from scratch, I do cheat a bit. However I do add some extra steps and ingredients to make it my own and to make it much yummier.

The cheating part is that I used this:




But I make big changes to the recipe. First I get some bacon and slice it. Then fry it in the pan until it's almost crispy. Then I put it on a paper towel and sit it in the oven to keep warm.

Then I chop up an onion and a punnet of mushrooms. Fry them up until they are nice and golden. Add them to the bacon to keep warm.

Then instead of ground beef I use ground turkey. Brown that, then I add in the mushrooms, onion and bacon then the usual Helper ingredients. Cook it for the normal time, serve.

This particular time I kept some of the bacon in the oven so it went really crispy and I sprinkled it on the top. DELISH!

One of my favourite easy meals.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taste of China

Last week Billy & I were doing some grocery shopping in our little town of China Grove and it was about 1pm and we were both quite hungry. Now there isn't a lot to choose from in our small town, no McD's or any of the other fast food places we like. The only places are Hardee's or pizza places. Hardee's is WAY down the list of places for me. It's not that they are bad, it's just when it's the only burger place in town, you tend to get sick of it after a while.

So anyway we were thinking thinking what to get and right behind us was a Chinese take out that we kept talking about trying. It's called The Taste of China (in China Grove mind you haha)

So anyway, Billy didn't want anything too spicy as he had to have a nap before work so he got a large special fried rice:



I didn't get a chance to try it but he said it was ok. A little on the oily side but not too bad.

I got the Sweet & Sour chicken lunch special:



The chicken was GOOD! They use chicken tender pieces which are so good! It's like the best part! The S & S sauce was nice and tangy, but my rice, like Billy's was on the oily side.

We also got 2 spring rolls each:



Now I also assumed the spring rolls were what they called Egg Rolls here, nope, they are different. Egg rolls are in something very similar to what Chicko Rolls (Aussies you know what I mean) are wrapped in. Like a thicker, chewer pastry shell. The spring rolls were yum!

I had to take a photo of the little boxes the rice came in. I love these boxes!



Overall it wasn't bad. Not something we would get in a hurry again, but it wasn't awful. And it was pretty cheap.

Photoshoot

Recently I helped my friend Jen who has her own photography business Four Sides Photography with a wedding. I had such a great experience and was pretty happy with the photos I took. Jen must have thought so too because she asked me to take photos of her and her family!!

I was kind of nervous as I had never done a proper photoshoot by myself before but with her help I think I did pretty well for a first timer. Here is a slide show of the photos:


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The baby situation

So I am finding myself having to explain over and over why we can't have a baby in this place.

To give you an idea of how small this place is, we have 2 bedrooms, 1 living/dining room and 2 bathrooms, one of which the shower doesn't work well.

A lot of people have said "Well the baby can sleep in your room till its like 2 or so." But then they don't think past that.

Is a 18+ year old Ashley going to want to share a bedroom with a toddler? Because Ashley ain't moving out anytime soon.

This is usually when people realise that it is not possible for us to have a baby in this place.

And we are probably going to be in this place for some time. And I am 35 in 4 months. Getting ever so closer to the dangerous age to have a baby.

Plus the fact I carry the Fragile X mutation puts be at risk for early ovarian shut down. Which means my clock is running out even sooner than most people.

So you can see why I am a little sad about this whole thing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The whole house story

I wanted to write this post mainly for those people who don't know all the details of the new house and everything that's been happening. Facebook doesn't allow for long stories and a lot of details so I felt I needed to get the full story out there so people weren't assuming things.

Let's begin at the beginning.

In 2001 Billy was 23 and single. He had been living out of home for a couple of years, sharing with friends when he decided he wanted his own place. With his parents help he went and looked at a few places but they were all out of his budget. Then he found this place. A 10 year old single-wide trailer on an acre of land out in gorgeous farm land. He fell in love with it.

So he approached a few banks and they turned him down as he didn't earn enough and he had no real credit history. So his parents put the mortgage in their name. However Billy has always paid the mortgage. At the time because it was a single-wide trailer the interest rate was pretty high.

Then in 2005 we met online. At first we decided he would live in Australia with me. He moved there and we lived there for 3 years. During this time Billy's parents rented the trailer out to 2 different tenants. The first person looked after it really well. The second couple did not. The state it was in when we moved back in 2008 was pitiful.

During this time also the real estate market crashed. Plus single-wide trailers loose value very quickly.

Fast forward to this year. We had been here for nearly 2 years and the small trailer was just becoming too crowded. Plus we really wanted to have a baby. I am 34 and Billy is 32 and so the time is getting short. There is no way we can have a baby in this trailer. There just is no room. Plus its hard having company over as there isn't anywhere for everyone to sit.

One day in August we just happened to drive past a Mobile Home Dealership and decided to call in. We didn't think we were even ready to start anything but there was no harm in looking. We looked at 2 display models that were on the lot and fell in love with one of them.

We explained to the dealer our situation and he told us that we could just see if the bank was willing to lend us the money to pay off our existing mortgage plus the cost of this new home.

The bank came back with YES! We were ecstatic! So we decided to go ahead. We filled out all the paperwork. This was back in September. So we paid the money for the appraisal and were told it would take up to 2 weeks to be done. We waited. And waited. And waited. We knew that it all had to appraise for at least what we were borrowing otherwise we would need a down payment, which we really didn't have.

The dealer and our loan officer kept reassuring us that it would all be fine. We got a letter of conditional approval and so we were good to go, just as long as the appraisal was for enough.

It took them almost 2 months to get the appraisal done. Mess up after mess up with the bank with our address then phone numbers made it so they never got back to us.

Anyway the appraisal was finally done and this morning we found out that it all appraised for $50 000 less than needed. We were devastated. It didn't even appraise for the ticket price of the double wide.

And the sad thing is, Billy bought this place 9 years ago and hardly anything has come off the loan. So we owe almost double what it's worth now. It's awful just thinking about it. Because we can't even sell it. No one would pay what we owe for it. Plus most banks won't finance singlewides and the lien won't allow the trailer to be removed unless the mortgage is fully paid.

So we are stuck here. Unless someone can think of some way for us to do this. We are stuck. In a trailer that is literally falling apart.
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