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Monday, May 30, 2011

Thank You Rivers Family!

I loved growing up in Dalton, GA.  It wasn't too small or too big.  We were just close enough to bigger cities to enjoy some good shopping, but far enough away to not have all the traffic.

One of my fondest summer memories was every 4th of July when the whole town (at least I always thought about it that way :)) would gather on the hillside of the City Recreation Center to watch the fireworks show.  They would blare music from big speakers at the bottom of the hill while my brother, sister, I and a thousand of our closest friends would sit on the slope and enjoy the colorful display.

I've always been a sucker for a sentimental song.  And each year as I lay on that hillside watching the lively explosions overhead, my favorite part was when they played Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American".  I know, I know!  Cheesy yes, but it was always my favorite part.

I confess that in the past I haven't given much thought to the celebration of Memorial Day.  But this year the well-known chorus of that song is stirring my heart.  "And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.  And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me."

It stirs my heart because I've experienced countries where they don't enjoy freedoms like we Americans do.  Not free to worship as they choose. Not free to speak publicly as they believe.

It stirs my heart as I look at my two sons and think of what might be in store for them.

And it stirs my heart because on April 28, 2010 Lance Corporal Thomas Rivers gave his life fighting for freedom in Afghanistan.  His sweet family knew that Thomas was ready to give his life and they know that he is praising his Creator and Savior in Eternity, but I know the tears and pain are still very fresh.  Thank you Rivers family for your sacrifice.  Thank you for walking faithfully since Thomas's home-going.  A thousand times Thank You!

April 28th is marked on the Corley family calendar.  As a mother I want to be sure that my boys "won't forget the men who died" to defend our freedoms.  Thank you Thomas Rivers!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Comfort Food at the Corleyrosa

Two easy and scrumptious recipes are coming your way, but first let me brag on two of my friends whose cooking expertise far out shines mine.

My blessed friend Stephanie (and her hubby James) are fabulous chefs.  When they brought us dinner after William was born, they didn't bring just anything regular meal (like the mushroom chicken and rice casserole which is my "you just had a baby and need food" staple meal).  They brought us beef bourguignon with a strawberry feta salad and a delicious dessert tart.  It was fabulous!! (She is also one of the most talented teachers I know!)

My talented, organized friend Courtney makes just about everything from scratch.  Her 3 oldest children have been known to shun mac & cheese of the Kraft variety (a staple in our house) because they enjoy the real homemade thing.  She has made her own corndogs (which were wonderful) and I've even heard rumors that she has crafted her own marshmellows before!  I have the corndog recipe and that experiment will happen at the Corleyrosa sometime this summer!  :)

Now on to a couple of Corley favorites...

It has been a bit chilly around here lately.  I count the chill as a blessing because I know soon we will experience our 90 degree Alabama summer for 3+ months.  But this chill called for tummy warming soup and corn bread muffins.  Soup first...

Chicken Chowder...with a few pictures...not Pioneer-Woman worthy...but it adds some color!

Dice a medium white or yellow onion.

I love little smokies!  Cut up 15-17 little Smokies sausages.

You'll need about 2 cups of cooked shredded chicken.  

Now on to the canned ingredients...

Mushrooms, Cream of Celery, Corn, a can of vegetable soup, and large can of diced tomatoes.

This is my favorite veggie soup to use - Progresso Garden Vegetable - but any you have will be fine.  It needs to be veggie or chicken stock based and not beef.  Of course you don't have to use the reduced sodium version - I just found this $1 can of soup at one of my favorite places in Clanton, Darlene's Discount Grocery!

Now the secret ingredient - 1 Tbsp of Ground Thyme!

Now to build the soup - In the bottom of the soup pot sauté one small chopped onion over medium heat with a little olive oil .  Add 1 T of ground thyme to the cooking onion. Sauté for about another minute.  Add 1 can of mushrooms (drained).  Add a large can of diced tomatoes (don’t drain), then add 1 can of yellow whole kernel corn (drained).  Stir up these ingredients and let simmer for a minute.  Add 1 can cream of celery and 1 cup of water.  Add two cups of cooked, chopped chicken.  Add the chopped up Little Smokies to the soup.  Add one can of vegetable soup .  Add a little salt & pepper to taste.  Simmer over medium heat for another 15 minutes.

Now last but not least, the perfect compliment to Chicken Chowder - Corny Cornbread Muffins.  This recipe makes 18-19 muffins.

No pictures of my culinary skills at'll just have to imagine it!

You'll need to gather two 8 oz boxes of Jiffy corn bread mix; 1 C sour cream, 15 oz can creamed corn; ½ stick of melted butter; 3 eggs.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix ingredients well.  Pour into greased muffin pans.  Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Cook for approximately 25 min!

If you get a wild hair and whip up either of these recipes then let me know how you like 'em :)!

Here's to yummy food and full tummies,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jonas and William

The Hubbards spent the night with us last night on their way down to RUF Summer Conference.  Roy is the RUF campus pastor at Alabama A&M up in Huntsville, AL.  His better half Emily was headed down to the beach with him along with their two beautiful children Iris and Jonas.  Of course we didn't take a family pic (or even a pic of all the children) but we did manage to catch William and Jonas playing.  Jonas is five days older than William!

Check out more about Roy's ministry at A & M here!

Here's to wonderful friends,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Friends

Dear William,
I wanted to assure you that my new friends and I are taking good care of your toys.  While you were taking a nap, Superman took a spin in your jumperoo (of course with my help since his legs are a bit shorter than yours) and Moose sat in your Bumbo seat to watch all the fun.  And don't worry - Moose got his diaper changed before sitting in your Bumbo!
I love you little brother!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Favorite Things

If I was a really creative writer then this post would include my own version of that catchy song from The Sound of Music "My Favorite Things".  But since creating my own version would take far too much time to write considering that my "both boys are down for their naps" window will be closing soon, feel free to hum that catchy tune while you enjoy a few of my favorite pics from the last couple of weeks...

I'll get you started..."Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes..."

Now to pictures...

Easter egg hunts should always be in the favorite things category!

William can't wait for next year's egg hunt.  Bjorn baby carriers are one of my (and William's) favorite things! Thanks dad for giving mom's back a much needed rest!

Yea for new foods!  Squash and green peas seem to be a hit!  And for some reason I think I am trying to show him what to do with my mouth.  Am I the only mom who does this?!?

Weston's new favorite toy at Mimi and Dendy's house...the screen door on the back porch.  Weston has turned into my serious child.  One day I'll get a picture of him smiling again!

And Weston's favorite person...Dendy!  Yes, his name is Dendy because that is what Weston says when he attempts to say Granddaddy.  It is cute, precious, and it is stickin' like glue :)!

This is what it takes to get both my boys in a picture together...strapping them in so they can't escape!  One of mommy's favorite consignment sale finds...her double jogger!  Thank you Alana McCall!!!

Playing outside on our slide!  A gift from some of our favorite people - The Kings!!  Thank you King family for your many precious blessings and for stopping by to see us!  We love you!

Who needs cable TV when you can pull your favorite Elmo chair out to the porch and enjoy your snack while watching daddy cut the grass?!?  We specialize in quality entertainment out here on the Corleyrosa!
(At this point in the post, you can take a break from singing about favorite things and just sing the first line of Boot Scootin' Boogy.  Don't know it, well let me help you - "Out in the country past the city limit sign")

And a couple of momma's favorite things...two happy brothers!

Here's to finding favorite things in each new day,