Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chili Mac And Cheese

I'm so sorry. I don't have a picture of this scrumptious meal. But I can PROMISE you that if you make this, you'll thank me! I baked some cornbread to go along with it, and it was the perfect accompaniment.

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • c. 1 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • c. 15 oz. of uncooked elbow pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. 

2. Add garlic, onion, and ground beef. Cook until browned (crumble the beef as it cooks), about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

4. Stir in pasta and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Top with cheese and cover until melted.

6. Serve and enjoy! This makes enough to feed about six adults, I think. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Transportation Museum

I promised the boys at the beginning of the summer that I would take them to the Transportation Museum before the end of the summer. So, yikes, it was time to deliver on that promise! They were so excited when we pulled into the parking lot! Nathan said, "I knew it! I knew we were going to the Transportation Museum!"

Also, funny fact. So, I walked in and glanced at the sign with ages and prices. I saw that two year olds and under got in for free. Sweet! Jack is two! So, I said, "One adult and one child, please," to the lady behind the counter. {Please keep in mind that I'm standing in front of her with my two children standing right beside me.} Her response? "Oh, are they twins!?" "No," I replied, "He's five and he's two." She said, "Wow, they look like twins! Do you get that all the time?" Of course not, lady. There's two and a half years between them. So, needless to say, she did NOT believe me that Jack was two. C'est la vie!

The boys had a great time, and so did I! In a rare stroke of luck, they got along and behaved! Pinch me! ;)















Saturday, August 15, 2015

Life In August

June and July flew by! I mean, I actually got to thinking, "Wow! This summer is really passing quickly!"

And then. . .

August.

Dear Lord. . .

August.

I'm going to be candid here. Between the fact that I have a full-time, very demanding job--my career, actually, which I care a whole, whole lot about--and the fact that my husband has a more-than-full-time, extremely demanding job and is thus just about never around, and the fact that my family (read: support system) is a thousand miles away, I NEED SCHOOL. I do. And I'm unashamed to admit it. I need my precious, sweet, energetic sons to be in school getting their energy out, playing with friends, learning, exploring, and laughing, while I take phone conferences, write proposals, work on LOI's, prep financials, and feel like an adult who's glad she went to graduate school and worked very hard to get a good job.

There, I said it.

So, August hit me like a ton of bricks.

I've been struggling to find things to fill the time and to balance work. Aye, aye, aye.

So, here's what we've been up to so far this month {yes, I'm aware that August is only half way through}.

Canoeing! We took a super-duper fun canoeing day trip with the boys. It was the first time I've ever actually been in our canoe {which Scott's grandfather built by hand!}. We visited "Alligator Island," "Water Moccasin Island," and "Dragon's Breath Island," as so named by Nathan, Scott, and myself. We fished, too! Fun fact? Nathan threw the rod backwards, catching the hook on my head. YAY! #lifewithboys








Snow Cones! I cannot possibly describe in a single blog post this family's weird obsession with snow cones, and how we need them daily. So I won't. Here are some cute pictures.



The weather, y'all. I just can't adequately describe to you summers here. They're heavenly, really. We rarely get into the nineties. And there are definitely days that stay in the seventies! I MEAN. And the mountains? Oh my gosh, it's so freaking pretty here. I'm soaking up the weather and scenery for our last three years in Roanoke, for sure.


Zoo! Roanoke, Virginia has the worst zoo in the history of zoo's. Fact. But, they have a single poisonous frog, and so according to Nathan James, it's wonderful. So, we visited the zoo this month, for about forty-five minutes because IT'S A STRUGGLE TO MAKE IT LONGER THAN THAT. TRUE STORY.



Wading in the Roanoke River! The Roanoke River is the prettiest river! I love it! For my long run on the weekends, I always run right beside it.


Rock Climbing! Nathan is obsessed with rock climbing. He loves it! That climbing gear he's wearing? Yeah, it's his--as in, it hangs in a bag in his closet. He's pretty serious about his rock climbing.


Board Games! So many, many, many bored board games.

Golf! Nathan started golf lessons at the end of July, and to say he's obsessed would be an understatement. The boy LIVES for it. Little brother on the other hand? Taking him to Nathan's golf lesson {which of course I have to do every week} is exactly like bringing a hand grenade into a fine china store. So, we generally walk to a nearby park while big bro golfs.



Chillin'. Yeah, we've been doing plenty of that, too.



Science Museum! When I saw that our science museum was having a discount deal for family memberships, I pounced! You know I'm a sucker for not paying full price for things, so woohoo the Ryans are going to the science museum this year! :)





Dear August,

I'm over you. You've handed us some pretty sweet adventures. And I'm a gal who likes adventuring. However, I'm a gal who likes adventuring after getting a few hours to herself to think her thoughts and get her work done.

Sincerely,

Emily

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Outer Banks Vacay 2015

This summer, we went to Southern Shores in the Outer Banks for our family vacation. We had a relaxing, fun time with my parents and my brothers.

Nathan and Jack could not get enough of the beach. They wanted to spend every waking moment out there! We ate great seafood, soaked up the fam, visited a lighthouse, went shopping, and just all around had a BALL!