Friday, January 25, 2013


In celebration of Martin Luther King, we decided to stay home and work on some science experiments. Patrick got a few kits from family this Christmas and since kids are naturally inquisitive, it's easy to wow them with these kinds of activities

I am totally intimidated with science so I was relieved the kits he had pretty much all of the supplies included and were ready to go. I mean I can do rubber bands and paperclips but you lose me when you start talking about kitchen chemicals and such!

After we were finished experimenting, we decided to make videos of them explaining back what they learned for your enjoyment. (Really, my mom is the only one I expect to actually watch these).

The missed countdown. This was actually take 2! We are all beginners at this.

Here's a little out take for you. We are still learning to be on camera!

This is my first attempt at video editing. Its apparent I will not be making millions at this but a valiant try I think.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1st Time for Everything

Friends, Tyler and Ryan show us how it's done.

Or so the saying goes. The boys have been asking to go ice skating lately. I can't believe we have lived in the land of ice hockey for the past 5 years and have yet to try it. I've honestly been a little reluctant to try it again since Montana (holy smokes, 10 years ago!) when I tried a spin and cracked my wrist. I honestly thought I would be bending over and holding Aeneas up the whole time. So we splurged last early out Friday afternoon and met our friends at the ice rink to give it a whirl. I was totally surprised. The boys took right to it and even though they spent a lot of time on the ice horizontally, they hit the ice gliding from the get go along with their friends. I leisurely skated around the outside in a circle thinking if I had made the all time annoying mom decision of making my kids wear their ski helmets.

Patrick gaining some speed before an epic wipeout!

The boys found the best part of ice skating was getting a running start and then sliding on their butts as far as possible like baseball players. Sometimes the slides were planned and then sometimes they weren't and they smacked their heads against the ice or took another kid out along the way.

Snow pants and ski gloves were the best idea ever,
thanks to Kristen who is a seasoned ice skater.

I didn't think too long about the helmets and quickly moved to wondering if they had any 80's love music and a disco ball to skate to...

Ryan and Aeneas, beasties!

There's nothing like a best friend!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dear Santa, Why did you leave sardines in my stocking? your mom could make you a delicious meal from them!

Santa had a sense of humor this year and gifted both boys with a selection of canned meats. Kippered steaks, anchovies, sardines and nasty little vienna sausages (which I actually liked and ate as a child). And speaking of vienna sausages, in the south they are 55 cents a can, however in the convenience store out west, where you could legitimately get stranded in a snowbank and need them as your last resort before starving and being rescued, they are over $3! So if you are heading west, be sure to stock up before you come. 

I was so impressed in the grocery stores in GA that you could get pickled pigs feet and snouts (very recognizable with the nostrils pressed up against the glass sides I might add) in your choice of a pint, half gallon and gallon sized jars! What a bargain! 

AND...the aisle markers that tell you what is on each aisle? One of the three labels were GRITS! You turn the corner and there in all it's glory, with the angels of heaven singing in the back ground, they have devoted most of the aisle to a very extensive selection the beloved breakfast delicacy! Instant grits, grits with fake bacon flakes, cheese grits, extra buttery grits all with 5 or more brands to choose from.

Whoa! Where the hell am I any way?

I was writing to post a recipe that had something to do with anchovies. I am kind of tired of my recipes right now and was honestly looking for something to make with the 40 lbs of Italian Elk sausage I have in the freezer. Justin has only told me what I am not allowed to use it in and not given me much direction on things it would be good in. All I can think is why didn't we make breakfast sausage anyway?!?

So Martha and Emeril save the day! I found this recipe online. It calls for anchovies and I thought, "Yeah. I have anchovies on hand!" SO I whipped up this pasta dish and it is to die for. And while it was cooking, I was tapping my fingers trying to think of another something I could use some of the anchovies for...Caesar dressing! It was on the grocery list and I totally flubbed and forgot to get it. Heck, I'll make the real deal home made Caesar! So in went a raw egg and the rest of the salty little fish to the blender and out came a kick a$$ dressing. When the kids, with empty plates say, "Thanks mom for making us really good food for dinner this time," you know you have scored!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back to the land of Sprawling Oak Trees and the South Georgia Salt Marsh

For New Years we headed back to my roots on the South GA coast. There is nothing like the feel of the humidity on your face and the smell of the marsh. I drink it in with relish every time I'm back. It was warm enough for the gnats to be out which I don't care for however still cold enough most days for a roaring fire in one of Dad's 3 fireplaces.

You didn't know I was married to a squirrel. Climbing trees is one of the first things we do when we arrive on the coast!

Wild Holly is at its peak right in time for the holidays and the wild turkey are everywhere. Found even on the salt marsh if you look hard enough ;)

Deda teaching Aeneas to throw a 13' cast net was priceless...and very WET! We ate lots of seafood and went through the motions of fishing on the dock. We pretty much suck but it was still fun to pretend.

And a Georgia is a place where it's not uncommon to serve $100 bottle of champagne with none other than BBQ. Why of course is what I say!!! We spent some time with some our favorite people, and made an afternoon run to the sand and surf of Jekyll Island!

There is something special about seeing my kids at the beach with nothing but their own imaginations a few broken shells and an endless supply of sand. They LOVE it and no matter how long we stay we have to peel them away!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

McBrayer Family Chaos...I mean Christmas!

Nina and Big Daddy don't have enough lap to go around!

To start, I have to say that there are very few families that can "do" what we did this Christmas to the extent that we did it and all come out claiming fun or at least claiming to be alive at the very least! Here it is by the numbers:

1 house
7 BR, 5.5 BA (1 tub!)
1 scamper
15 kids from age 8 down to 8 weeks old
12 adult kids with spouses
2 very gracious and loving grandparents
1 set of bunk beds that slept 4 at a time
4 sleeping bags
5 pack and plays
1 Live Nativity
1 Santa visit
2 Christmas videos set on a loop
7 rib, 20-something lb rib roast
1 bazillion diapers
1 trillion sippy cups
lots of whiskey

A heaping bucketful of patience and a truly remarkable Christmas celebration.

The kitchen pretty much stayed open 24/7. We ate in shifts, entertained, gave baths, food, and discipline to droves of children at a time to kids that were rarely our own. We disabled squabbles  attended dance shows, rode four-wheelers, hunted deer and ducks, played cards, ate popcorn, pushed swings, hiked through the woods, built forts, got our feet wet, took lots of ibuprofen and truly thanked God for a family that not only gets along but all signed up to spend our Christmas holiday all under one roof! Whew! How lucky we are!

I think there were enough ipads floating around to keep the kids entertained  on the rainy days!

A eating party. Eat where and when you can.

Santa came to visit with a special gift for each kid!

What's the weight limit on this swing set? I think we had it maxed out!

The getaway. After a card game and drink you were required to tap someone else in need in. NO KIDS ALLOWED in the Scamper!

Getting dressed to go outside was interesting to say the least.

Hike on Jasper 1

Hike on Jasper 2