Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jon's Welcome Home Party!!!

Today we celebrated my husbands safe return home.....by throwing a big ol' Hammie-Time Party!

I had brought up the idea to Jon while he was still over in the 'Sandbox' and he loved the idea! So I went ahead and picked out a day that I was pretty sure he'd be home by, and then sent out invites through FaceBook. To my surprise, my goofy husband decided to give me a heart attack and check 'MAYBE' as his RSVP! Nothing like destroying all the hopes and dreams of your wife who's been anxiously awaiting your return home by implying you may not be home by that day!

He's such a stinker!

But that's alright, I got back at him. I ended up renting a huge 20x30 tent to go over our driveway, 25 chairs and a bounce house for the kids. Plus I borrowed tables from Kiki. So my poor, skinny husband had to set up everything for his own party! Can you believe that? Poor guy. I feel bad for him....don't you? ;)

A few days before, my Mom called me and let me in on a little surprise. She had arranged for her, Dad and Kurtiss to fly down so they could be there for Jon's party to welcome him home. Unfortunately, my Dad's sister's husband (Uncle Larry) unexpectedly passed away and Mom and Dad needed to stay home. But Kurtiss was still going to come! It was a bittersweet surprise! They had intended to not say anything to me at all and completely surprise Jon and I but due to those sad circumstances, they had to let go of their plans. I was so thankful that Kurtiss was still able to fly down!

I had my husband home, my bFff was driving down to stay the weekend and party with us and my brother and sister would be here too! It was almost perfect...

That morning, Erin ran Jack to his soccer game while Jon and I picked up all our items that we rented. Jon spent the morning pitching the tent (heehee) and setting up the table and chairs.

I had run and picked up Kurtiss from Nicole's house and after cleaning the house and showering, Erin and I started prepping the food. My sister and her family had finally made it over after a morning full of soccer games. With them, they brought a very special surpise for Jon that my Dad had made especially for him.

Most of you know that we like to paint those 'paver' bricks. You've more than likely seen my 'Gnome' that I'm gnome...er...known for.  But what you may not know is that both my Dad and my sister make those bricks as well. Although, they make a lot more than just Gnomes. Dad had designed Jon his very own brick! Check it out!

 They look just the same! Love it!


As everyone arrived we had a hard time deciding what to do with all the food. There was A LOT! Everyone brought a dish (or two) to pass and drinks. At first, we were going to have it inside, but then found that most of us were lingering in the kitchen. Talking...eating...not taking advantage of the nice weather and tent outside. So we thought to move it to outside. We got about half the dishes out there when we were over run with FLIES!!!

So GROSS!

I don't know why our area is the melting pot for all fly species but every single fly that could possibly be alive was in my yard, swarming my food!!!

So back into the house everything went.

It actually worked out great! Everyone loaded up their plates inside and we headed back outside to sit and have a good time under the tent while watching the kids jump in the bounce house.


Jon and I....Notice my hand over my cup? I really didn't want a fly to go belly up!




Jon 'manning' the grill...


Some of the food before the move back inside...

My goofy daughter! Looks like she stole my camera......again.

 Love this pic of Jilly!

We hung the banner above the garage!

 I think we were all watching the kids perform their little tricks for us.



A few of my favorite girls....

 I LOVE my brother! I wish we lived closer. I really miss him when he's not around.

 One of my favorite pictures EVER! I've got my brother and sister with me. What a lucky girl I am!

 Kristy and BIG TIMMY!!!!! (PS - There's a joke there...but that's a WHOLE other story!)

Kristy had decided to get a hair up her butt and show all us lame adults how to do a real cartwheel!
She sure the heck rocks because none of us other adults could pull off such a suave move!

 Erin showing me how much she loves and adores me!

Another one of my most favorite pictures!

 Jon and Dave are the bread and Erin's the meat! Rawr!!!!





Doesn't Cameron look thrilled with all this Adult insanity?

Gathering in the kitchen for dessert!

Jon's Welcome Home Ghetto Cake. Word to the wise - don't buy your cake at Sam's Club. My kids could of done a better job!

For some reason, it always comes back to Guitar Hero. What can we say? We're all a bunch of ROCK GODS!
 




The man of the hour!

And no, that's not Jon's head nuzzled into Jilly's bosom. That's actually her husband Dave. For some reason with their almost bald heads, they look similar when using a crappy iPhone camera. Besides, the only bosom Jon's allowed to nuzzle is MINE!

It was a GREAT night with good friends and family! Jon and I couldn't of asked for a better time! What a way to welcome my man HOME!!!



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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cooking with Chef Erik (A repost with MORE pictures!)

As a member of the OWC, we get to attend these fun monthly luncheons. Most of the time, it's a 'themed lunch'.  And yes, I am now a lady who 'lunches'. 

Today was our first luncheon of the year and the theme was, 'Cooking with Chef Erik!"

As you can probably guess, it was right up my alley.

They had arranged to have the head chef for the O'Club demonstrate how to make today's lunch and well as have a pastry chef there during the mingling time frame to show us how to make Pecan Pralines. Also on his table were other desserts for us ladies to sample. 'Almond Joy' balls, chocolate covered pretzels, and an English Toffee candy. So yummy!

Here is our Pastry Chef using this super cool, (I want! I want!) laser thermometer! This is the best thing I've ever seen! It's basically a gun that shoots a laser into the pan  to test the temperate of the candy (or whatever else you may be cooking). No more awkward candy thermometers!

 
I wonder how much one of these bad boys cost?  When I asked him where get got one, he replied that 'The Marine Corp issued me one ma'am."  Gotta love it!


Here's our awesome chef preparing the Pecan Pralines...
 

Melt in your mouth goodness right here!


Going over the praline making process...


For about 45 minutes or so before the actual luncheon started, all of us ladies were mingling, drinking and watching candy being made. So you know Jill and I had to take advantage of this and get our picture taken.


Another shot of us two awesome chicks!

After the lunch bell was rung, we all sat at our tables and the head Chef comes out to start with the demonstrations. First he showed us how he made Creme Brulee and then our main course, Salmon Wellington.

Chef Erik doing what he does best....entertaining the ladies!

I believe he was draining the custard mix of the cream brulee to get all the vanilla bean stalks out...

Explaining the Wellington...


Lighting that Creme Brulee up!

Here's the view from our table....
 

After the demo's were done and we were waiting to start being served, Jill and I snuck up to the table and took a picture of the plate he made.

The devine Creme Brulee's....

Our charming table set up. Every table had different cookbooks on them. And we all got to take home those cute little olive oil carafes you see sitting there with the twine and rosemary tied around them.





All the beautiful ladies at our table...

My plate of Salmon Wellington. In case you didn't know, Wellington is a puff pastry that is usually wrapped around beef. It is delicious! The seafood version wasn't half bad either, with a chive butter sauce, served on a bed of arugala, fresh chopped veggies and asparagus.

I seriously wanted to lick my plate.

Lunch is SERVED!

Next months luncheon theme is 'Western'! Time to break out the cowboy boots and hat! We're gonna go saddle us up some yummy critters to eat!




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