28 July 2013

Mowing like a pro

Several weeks ago, Chris decided it was time for Avery's first ride on the lawn mower. He planned to have her help with the front yard only, but she loved it so much that she did the backyard, too!

Don't forget the ear protection!

Avery found some wild "strawberries" growing in our yard.

Just like Daddy, she's a lawn-mowing pro already!

26 July 2013

PW's Garlic Cheese Bread

We almost always have bread as a "side dish" at our meals. But we seem to have the same thing over and over again. So I was excited to try this bread recipe from The Pioneer Woman. To save time and dirty dishes, I slightly altered the recipe by combining softened butter and garlic powder with the mayonnaise and cheeses and didn't toast the bread in a skillet. Then I spread the mixture on the bread before baking. And the green onions can be omitted if you desire. This is so easy and delicious. It has become my go-to bread recipe lately!

3-1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cups Monterrey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (real) mayonnaise
4 whole green onions, white and light green parts minced
1 dash salt
1 loaf crusty French bread
1 stick butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced

Preparation Instructions
Mix cheeses with the mayonnaise and the green onions. Add a dash of salt to taste and set aside or keep in fridge until you need it. Cut loaf of bread in half, then each half into half again. Working 1/4 loaf at a time, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and add 1/4 of the minced garlic. Place 1 of the 1/4 loaves face down in the skillet, swirling it to soak up the butter and garlic. Allow bread to toast in the skillet, removing garlic if it starts to get too brown. Repeat with remaining butter, garlic, and bread. Spread cheese mixture on warm loaves and bake in a 425 degree oven until cheese is hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

25 July 2013

18 July 2013

15 July 2013

A fairly good time

It's the middle of July, so that means it's time for the Johnson County Fair. We try to go every year (see some of our past experiences here and here), but we didn't go last year because of the oppressive heat we experienced last summer. Last night, Mommaw, Poppaw, Avery and I went to the fair together. (Daddy unfortunately missed all of the fun because he's away on a business trip.)

Our trip started with visiting the animal barns. Before we arrived, Avery was so excited to see and pet all of the animals. But in typical Avery fashion, she clammed up when it came time to actually do what she said she would do. We saw pigs, sheep and cows, and she didn't want anything to do with them.

So we ate a quick dinner (corn dog and french fries for me and Avery) and then headed to the goat barn. Avery fell in love with the goats. In fact, she wanted to take one home with us! After that, she just begged and begged to go back to see the goats. So we did. She also enjoyed the chickens, roosters and rabbits...probably because they were securely caged.

Since she was acting so brave, we decided to try the cows again. Mommaw lifted her up to pet a cow. But apparently that was not a people-friendly cow because it snorted and head butted Avery and Mommaw. That was the end of looking at animals.

After some FFA ice cream, then we moved along to the midway. This was a little test to see how Avery would enjoy rides. We'll be taking her to her first amusement park in a few weeks, so we wanted to be sure she would have a good time there. I think the pictures speak for themselves!

We lucked out when we ran into Maren, one of Avery's friends from Mommaw and Poppaw's church. They rode several rides together, which may have helped alleviate any apprehension Avery was feeling.

First off was the carousel. She was so excited to wave at Poppaw...

...and me!

Then it was the cars. Avery made sure her passengers were safely buckled up.

Maren is the brunette in the backseat. We don't know who the blonde is, but apparently Avery made a new friend.

When they hopped into these planes, Avery didn't realize that she chose the gunner's seat in honor of Uncle Casey who works on ordnance. We're sure you're very proud of her, Casey!

"Hey, why are we going up in the air?" She looked a little spooked when the planes started to rise, but we made sure we cheered her on from the sidelines so she wouldn't get scared.

She decided to try the motorcycles and got this ride all to herself. She looked way too comfortable on a motorcycle.

But Daddy and Grandpa can rest assured that Poppaw made sure she didn't pick up any biker dudes on this ride.

We spent several hours at the fair and had a blast! Avery talked all the way back to Mommaw and Poppaw's house, trying to keep herself awake. Luckily, she was ready for bed by the time we got to our house. Mommaw and Poppaw, thanks so much for going to the fair with us!

13 July 2013

A bookworm in the making

This is how I caught Avery earlier today. She had "read" almost every book on her bookshelves and then piled them around her on the bed. I'm so glad that she loves books and reading!

11 July 2013

04 July 2013