Friday, October 17, 2008

A Proud Moment

He can pass . . .

And he can run . . . the ball!

I'm a proud mom this morning! Justus had the opportunity to show what he is made of last night. Due to some incidents on the Varsity team, the JV's starting Quarter Back was pulled up to Varsity this week to back up their starting QB. (I hate this for Nic, because he is such a good kid and unless Keaton (Varsity QB starter) gets hurt, most probably Nic won't see near the playing time he has on the JV squad - and this was not a situation of injury, but of foolishness on the part of the Varsity backup QB's. Nic has been a great leader to this JV team! We will miss him.) So, with all of this going down, you might suspect that nerves might be jolted a bit last night with Justus' first start at JV QB and with the fact that there is no backup to him. Talk about pressure! But my kid took that pressure and turned every bit of it into a marvelous show of leadership and toughness! He is an outstanding athlete! He's already a starting Running Back, a Kick-off Return Receiver, a Defensive Safety and he did a great job as Punter in a game in which our starting Punter was injured. And, he has a strong arm as evidenced in his being the starting QB on his 8th grade team in Ft Worth. He also is tough both physically and mentally. (Hardheaded is the technical term!) He is a COMPETITOR in every way! With all of this under his belt, he still has never once started as QB here in Hamilton. And, he has been OK with this because he knows the importance of being a team player even when his own dreams and aspirations have to be put on hold. For this I am a proud mom, but last night, I was impressed by something more from this great kid. . . his ability to be a TEAM LEADER! He took control from the very beginning and never looked back, even with a rocky start (His first pass was almost intercepted). He played so tough and so did his team! Our defense played phenominally! In fact,both teams played tenacious defense as is obvious by the score. . . 8-0. . . not many points at all. Also, in the first half, our team had the ball at the goal line twice and both times were denied entry into the endzone. (The second time was due to the most beautiful long pass by Justus I've ever seen him throw and was caught by the intended receiver about 6 yards shy of the goal line where he stepped out of bounds and then we ran out of time just before the half.) But with these two close calls in the first half, our team did not lay down. They came out in the second half and played almost flawlessly! Our TEAM did a great job as did their leader,Justus, who came in and stood in the gap!
Now, for the stats of the game. . .at least the ones that pertain to this mom's kid: Justus playing on defense had a beautiful interception. On offense he only had one turnover...a fumble when he was running the ball, but our defense again came out and held the other team. He had some beautiful passes, a couple dropped, but some were really beautifully caught for major gains. He also had some great QB keepers that he ran for and made good forward gains. And, to top it all off, he passed for the winning touchdown and then ran in on a QB keeper for the 2 extra points to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a very exciting victorious 8-0 win over the McGregor Bulldogs! (One other sidenote: This team beat up on us last year with a devastating huge defeat. So, this was SWEET V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! ) Our team played a great game on both sides of the ball with the kind of toughness we've not really seen all year! Mainly because that's how it should be... improve with every game, with every week get stronger! I am proud of them all, but of course as a mom, my proudest moment came in seeing my oldest son with head held high go in there and lead his team to victory! Justus, you know that we often spar over issues that deal with your attitude, but last night, your attitude SHINED! I am very proud of YOU!

(P.S. I have not figured out how to use my camera under the stadium lights, as of yet, and I'm very mad, I didn't think about trying the the pics above are actually from last season - sorry! I am commiting myself to reading my camera manual before next week!!!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall - the Season for Food!

Ground beef stuffing mix for cabbage rolls

Cabbage leaf ready to be stuffed

Stuffed cabbage roll

Placed rolls in casserole - I have enough to fill a large casserole dish and a small one.

Cabbage rolls with tomato soup sauce just out of the oven

Stew meat and onion about to be browned

Vegetable Beef Soup ingredients to add to meat and onion

Here's a spoonful...Mmmm!

Perfect with a pan of homemade cornbread!

I don't know about y'all, but every fall when the temperatures begin to cool down, I get the "Cooking" bug. My family loves it, because they are sure to come home daily and find something brewing on the stove or in the oven to a most heavenly aroma! With the cooler temps, I can swing open the back door in the kitchen and the front door to create a wonderful flow of cool breezes through my galley kitchen. It makes for a delightful experience, not feeling the heat from the stove. In every house we've lived in, though, I must say that fall is the time of year that I most enjoy cooking. Thanksgiving has always been, (even before I was married), my very favorite holiday! I have fond memories of waking to the aromas of my mom saute'ing chopped onions, bellpepper and celery for her cornbread dressing and to the smells of homemade pumpkin pie baking in her oven...Mmmmm! With all of this in mind, I decided to write this post and take some pictures of a couple of my most recent indulgences!

The first are pics of my cabbage rolls, which I must admit were not as good as they usually are because I forgot that instead of following my recipe's directions, you SHOULD DEFINITELY cook the rice first, making sure not to over cook it. You don't want the rice to be mushy! However, in my case of mixing it in raw, the rice was crunchy - another unacceptable outcome. When done, right, though this dish is wonderful! My family doesn't like cabbage, but likes it in this dish. (I actually first ate cabbage rolls in a Lebanese restaurant and I was hooked!)

The next pics are of my homemade vegetable beef soup. I make it 2 ways - one using ground beef and the other (the way seen here) with stew beef that you can find already cut up for you in the grocery. I always sprinkle the beef cuts with meat tenderizer and then brown them with chopped onion before adding all of the other ingredients. I took a pic of the ingredients I use, but I forgot to put the package of frozen okra in the shot (okra is optional). I also used beef stock that I made using beef bouillion cubes instead of canned beef stock this time, but I liked the outcome better because I didn't have to add any salt to the soup at all. If you would like the recipes for either, let me know and I can email them to you...both are very simple!

Simple...these are the pleasures near to my heart! Good food, family, friends and fall! Thank you, Lord! "You thrill me, Lord, with all You have done for me! I sing for joy because of what You have done!" Psalm 92:4

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Colorfully Sweet

I'm not sure how I missed posting these pics back in the summer. I took them on a Sunday afternoon after we returned home from eating out at one of our favorite places here in Hamilton. We actually went with Richard's parents while they were visiting. It is a place called Dutchman's Hidden Valley. We usually just call it the Dutchman for short. They have a gift shop, an antique store, a wonderful deli with homemade german style cheeses and meats, and a homemade oldfashioned candy shop. They of course make homemade chocolate confections as well as homemade hard candy. They even have a place where you can watch them make it in the back. We always have a lot of fun when we go; it is out from town a bit, but not too far. We love the family who own and operate it - the Chorenziaks. Kara (the wife/mom) is the daughter of one of our church members, Mrs. Naomi, and Justus is friends with their son, Ben. They are a sweet family in more ways than one!