Super Harry and the Lettuce Patch

May 8, 2024

Eventually I'll take a break from weekly recaps and dive into old style blogging. I've got a post I've been sitting on for a year an a half. 

I literally wrote it over the course of a few weeks and then deleted my blog domain for an entire year. I briefly mentioned in an Instagram story what was going on, but IRL friends heard at the time. The last couple years has just been a roller coaster.  

This past weekend we went to a friends house for the Kentucky Derby. As you'll see from the photo, this is why I don't wear hats. I've got a big ole noggin' and there is no need bringing attention to just how large it it. 

I'm still a touch traumatized when I think of the year a student gave me a beach themed gift and my giant skull wouldn't fit in the beach hat. 😂

We haven't taken the kids bowling since Elliot has been of bowling age, so Friday night we went. I told them this big elaborate story about how terrible Jeremy is at bowling and had them convinced I could beat him, so they weren't too happy to find out my wrist isn't healed enough to bowl.  He whipped their butts and they were shocked. I'm really surprised they continue to believe my stories. 

I pulled something on the ulnar side of my wrist in December and it's finally on the mend, but not mended enough to lift weights yet or risk killing myself bowling. 

I've been absolutely shocked at how well the lettuce patch is doing. I threw some seed out in January thinking that it would do nothing, the little seedlings took ages to sprout. One variety finally popped up and we are cutting leaf lettuce for salad with dinner every Thursday night. 

Plant the lettuce people. 

I'm tempted to do a blog post on my tiny garden. This has been my solution to not having raised beds up. I think I've said it before, but Jeremy doesn't want to bother with installing beds or a chicken coop until the wood fence is in. Which I totally understand, no one wants to work around it. 

My biggest issue with a raised bed is going to be rats, City Park is a rat haven (near sanctuary level) and they ate every single bud that popped up on my pumpkins this past year. I plan to try again and plant them in a different area, but still. I doubt they will work. 

Dill and Harry watching squirrels. We've got quite the family of tubby little squirrels in our yard and they live it up in that big old Oak tree. 

Dill is so funny about how he has to be where we are. I had dachshunds previously and Ellie was more like a cat. She came around when she wanted to. This cockapoo though, he is always laying down where we are. Jeremy prays before the kids go to school every morning, as soon as he starts here comes the dog to sit in the middle of us. 

At bath time Dill lays in front of the bathroom door, as if he is guarding his children. If he was a girl I would have long since changed his name to Nana (Peter Pan). Sometimes I call him Nana anyway, but only when he's guarding the children. Come to think of it, when Elliot was hiding from us the other day I should have know he wasn't outside, the dog was inside. Dill typically follows whoever goes out the door. 

Weekend before last Jeremy put on a one day conference/retreat for the teenagers since the Winter Retreat was last minute cancelled by the venue. 

From what I hear (I don't take the kids to youth events often) the speakers were great. We snuck in after bath time to hear the band before everyone was done and wanted to go to bed. Jeremy brought in Zeal House Music, our youth group in Alabama had heard them at Fuge Camp one year and were impressed. They did a fantastic job, and Elliot loved it. 

These events don't get Harry excited, it's all the over stimulation. Elliot on the other hand had a great time dancing around and singing with his Daddy. We stayed in the back to make an easy exit for the moment everyone had seen enough. About half way through their set Elliot declared it was bedtime, and we snuck out. 

My little artistic child has been drawing Super Harry and making Super Harry books lately, so one Sunday when I was cleaning out kids clothes he saw we had some white t-shirts leftover from school project and put me to work. He designed it and picked the colors, but I did the painting. 

Elliot also wanted one, insisted he has glitter, and is now not happy that his shirt has "sprinkles." 

Personally I don't see the need to correct him, I'm going to be so sad when all of his Elliot-isms disappear and he not longer speaks like such a little boy. 

I did the math the other day and realized just how fast the school years are going to go, especially with Harrison. If we could pause the little kid stage of life I would have. We could loop Elliot's first 5 years of life for the next 40 years and be happy to do it. Or maybe just the summers when I'm home. 

We've had our fair share of grief in these 5 years, but the little boy stage has been so fun.

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Gluten Free Pastalaya with Mountain High Organics

May 6, 2024

 For Celiac Awareness Month I am super excited to partner with Mountain High Organics. We have used their gluten free pastas for several years and I am always impressed with the quality. But not only quality... if you've bought gluten free before you know not all are created alike and texture is different between brands. 

The biggest kicker for me, outside of being gluten free and organic, is the texture of Mountain High's pasta. Some pasta varieties tend to fall apart or have a grainy mouth feel, this one is so well made that I would bet you can't tell a difference between this penne and a regular gluten penne. 

I was so hoping one of our favorite college kids who happens to be gluten intolerant could come by last night for dinner to taste test the pasta, but they had all headed back home after church. While we don't have to worry about any intolerance in our own household, we have had students who do. 

This makes such a difference when we all get together to hang out or for a game night, being gluten intolerant puts many stipulations on where you can order food from or what you can eat at a get-together. 

I really love that this pasta is made in a dedicated gluten-free facility (so no worries for customers), and certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group. It's also been tested to contain less than 5ppm of gluten. Plus you'll notice the American Masters of Taste Gold Medal endorsement on the front of the box, showing you just how great this product and company are. 

The next time our little group of friends get together I'll be making this pasta dish again for everyone to taste test Mountain High Organics pasta themselves. In fact if you were around the blog several years ago I made this Party Sandwich Pasta for some friends and they loved the taste and texture of dish. 

On to the recipe steps. Y'all forgive my awful lighting. It was a gloomy day of sprinkling rain in South Louisiana yesterday. 

Also, against my blogger judgement, I won't run all through the recipe here and then give it to you again. I just want to give a few pointers before I leave you with the recipe below. 

We are actually working on a church cookbook right now and I am finding my biggest issue with entering my own recipes is that I want to go full blogger and leave massive explanations in the notes sections of each recipe. 😂

So let's get going. 

First off, cut all of your meat up ahead of time. It will make cooking so much faster. This recipe also is only 1/6th of the original, so it is super easy to scale up for a big crowd. 

The recipe calls for Cajun Seasoning. I personally use Cajun Red Head for anything that I want to have a more authentic Cajun flavor. Tony's comes off as more of a house blend seasoning and not super Cajun tasting. But use what you love, I get this particular seasoning at Rouse's grocery store. 

While you're browning your Jimmy Dean and chicken, grab your seasoning blend. I've mentioned seasoning blend in previous recipes over the years and anyone not from the South is always confused. 

It's just simply an onion, bell pepper, celery blend with a bit of parsley added in. You can find it in the frozen foods section here. Another popular brand is Guidry's, it is in the produce section and fresh. 

When you make it to the andouille chopping section of the recipe, after the chicken is removed from the pan. Make sure that your andouille is in a small dice. It is spicy and you really don't want some huge piece of it in your mouth. 

As I mentioned above, this is 1/6th of the original recipe. It's meant to be cooked large scale for a crowd. Because I only make a small batch when I cook, I have a gallon bag labeled "for pastalaya" in the freezer. 

You are going to use the whole package of regular Cajun sausage and chicken, but the Jimmy Dean Hot and the andouille are 1/6th of the package. Because of this I like to go ahead and cut my link and Jimmy Dean package into 1/6ths and freeze for the next time we make this. 

Finding the Cajun sausage you want can be a chore. Ideally I would have gone to a local meat market, but it was Sunday when I finally had time to run out and grab the sausage (Walmart doesn't carry the brand I like) so I headed to a local grocer. The recipe calls for Savoie's, but if you are not in Louisiana you can use Manda or any smoked sausage. Just know, more andouille is not the answer. It adds a different spice and you don't want tons of that in your pasta. 

When slicing the Cajun sausage I just cut it on the diagonal. Nothing tiny, just bite size. 

After browning your meat the bottom of your pan might have built up some browning. When I put my sausage into the pot I just went ahead and added my frozen seasoning blend. The frozen onions let off enough liquid that it deglazed everything easily. 

You'll then add your garlic and cook everything down really well. Notice the swap between camera and phone photos, the lighting was really a pill.

After all of my meat was cooked through, I tossed it back into the pot with all of the liquids. Brought it to a boil and weighed out 1lb of my Mountain High Organics Penne Pasta. Which by the way you can order from their website or even through Amazon. 

Once your pasta is cooked, you are done. 


1/6th of the original recipe


1 lb penne pasta
1/2 bunch green onions, snipped
12 oz seasoning blend
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups heavy cream
5 tbsp whole milk
1 patty Jimmy Dean Spicy 
1 lb chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 lb Savoie sausage, sliced
1/6th lb andouille sausage, diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 quart chicken broth
Cajun Red Head Seasoning to taste


Cook Jimmy Dean sausage, breaking into crumbles. Set it aside. Cook diced chicken thighs, season well with Cajun seasoning. Set aside. Brown all other sausage, add in seasoning blend and cook down. Add in garlic and season with Cajun seasoning again, cooking for 2 minutes. Add all meat back into the pot with heavy cream, milk, condensed soup, and broth. Heat to a boil and then cut down to simmer to thicken. Add pasta, cover, and bring to a light boil. Cook according to package directions on pasta. Continue to stir to prevent sticking. Add in your green onions and stir. Serve. 

The original recipe calls for chicken breasts, but honestly I am just not a fan of the texture. So if you are one of the anti dark meat people, just sub in chicken breasts. 

One thing I really like about this is that is has plenty of sauce. There is nothing worse than a dry pasta recipe when it touted to have sauce and you even made the sauce... but the sauce just seemed to vanish in thin air. 

I really hope you give this a try! This is honestly my favorite gluten free pasta brand that I have tried. When we eat this as leftovers for dinner the pasta will still be holding it's shape and not falling absolutely apart like some of the brands on the market. 

Mountain High Organics Pasta

Mountain High Organics on Amazon 

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All of Last Week

April 28, 2024

Call it a catch up post I've been meaning to get up. 

I made a deal with the boys that any time Jeremy is out of town they can sleep with me. They're (specifically Elliot) are always wanting to sleep with us. Jeremy has a conference at the seminary, so last Friday they got to cuddle up with me. Harrison read Elliot books, and then shockingly the octopus child slept very still the entire night. 

I find it funny that the kids are on a Dr. Seuss kick with a mother who isn't a fan of the author. Not for the usual reasons, but I just don't care for the illustrations or writing style. I get that they are easy beginning readers, but I don't (didn't previously) own many of his books. 

How do you like that face of a child who was beside himself with getting to sleep by Mama. 

After what felt like two months of searching for Distylium I finally located some. We also replaced the Lobelias with Lavender. I just didn't find them to be sturdy enough. They require too much water for me and look pathetic so easily. 

I make dessert for Monday Night Bible Study at our house ever week, and I've recently been sick and tired of the labor of cookies. So for three weeks in a row I made a bar something, the kids finally revolted last week. 

Harrison told me when he grew up he was moving out of the country and not telling me his phone number. Elliot immediately started sobbing that he didn't want to be alone. I told him that eventually Harry would move out anyway.... more tears. He "doesn't want to be old and alone." He also said he wanted to start over from a baby again. The crying and gnashing of teeth carried on until bed. 

I had to finally swear I would redeem myself by making cookies on Tuesday. The kids opted to only bake half the batch and eat the other half raw. 

Elliot had a field trip to the park for the end of the school year. I don't know if you can tell from this photo how he feels about Cool Ranch Doritos. 

Last on the list is this poor old dog. He can not stand to be left alone. What I find most interesting with him is that I am the primary person, until all the boys leave and he's left with just me and acts like he was dumped on the side of the road. He cried for 20 minutes when Jeremy took the kids to gymnastics Thursday. 

 That about wraps up the highlights from last week. Hopefully this week I will be better with updates. 

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An Easy Spring Weekend

April 16, 2024

 I love an easy weekend at home. I know I'm dipping deep into introvert while I'm married to an extrovert who wants to go places and see people. I don't, I want to stay home and be quiet. 

Blame it on this time of the school year, as things rev up I slow way down. 

Friday night we finally got to have dinner at The Flats in downtown Lafayette. The food was great and the atmosphere was amazing. The restaurant opened up to their courtyard that had additional outdoor dining. We stayed inside and watched the Master's. 

Saturday I got back at it on fixing my backing for the quilt. This has definitely been a lesson in fabric sizing as well as understanding why quilters have fabric stashes. My attempt to be conservative left me making another trip to the fabric store and fixing errors. 

On the upside I finally basted it and will start the actual quilting this weekend. 

After yardwork we shoved the kids outside to play in the water in this gorgeous weather. The boys jumped on the trampoline until everyone needed snacks. 

In gardening news that no one cares about, I have my first pepper on the plant.  I seem to remember the Marconi producing early last year and then continuing to produce until Fall. Also, if you want leaf lettuce let me know. We HAVE leaf lettuce galore. 

It's high time to pressure wash this old house. There are even a few boards we need to change out. I really think the board issue will resolve itself when we install gutters one day. 

I'm really wanting to paint our bedroom while Jeremy is in Brazil this summer, but I'm afraid these boards might jump paint in the project line. 

As far as house projects currently go the want/need list is as follows: 
***Find 3 distyliums for the front flower beds (everyone is out of stock)
1. Paint the bedroom
2. Finish bedroom decor
2. Paint the back room (all wood paneling)
3. Pressure Wash/spot paint outside

Surely I'm forgetting something. But on the "when the fence is done" list is putting in two long raised beds, and then eventually a chicken coop. 

Granted, none of this "has" to be done. It's all a want list. Minus that wood that needs replacing outside. I'll be forever grateful that a good, much wiser, friend told me when I bought my first home to not just buy thing to fill it up. It's best to wait and buy what you really love. 

That waiting until you really love something idea has been helpful in not feeling the rush to do a project, waiting and really saving up for items, and even just taking the time to make a decision. 

The downside of an 80 year old home is definitely the projects, but at the same time a benefit is the projects. This is the first house we've had that I've been able to really make decisions on exterior and interior paint colors and decor. But we've also lived here longer which has also allowed for more time to think and save, and then spend those project savings. 

The other benefit to taking my time with these projects is that I have all the time to change my mind. Y'all I think I looked at couches and living room furniture for 5 years before we finally bought a new couch to replace our Facebook Marketplace find. 

This has somehow turned into an "Emily talks about saving money for projects" instead of a "weekend review" blog post. 

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DIY Monogram Bunting Baseball Cap

April 12, 2024

 I saw someone post these adorable baseball caps on Instagram several weeks ago, but the price tag on the website was far out of my price range. If you've been on this blog for any length of time you know that I am not shy to try and DIY a project. 

The only thing I really changed from the original design was writing out our kids whole names on them. I know I use their names on here and on social media, but to be out in public with more than a monogram has always been out of bounds for us. The boys are such church/pastor kids, that they are comfortable with many people speaking to them and knowing their names. In an effort to keep that kidnapping chance down, in the most "child of the 90's way possible", I avoid having their names on them where some stranger could see it, call them by name, and they'd happily walk off with the. 

This was incredibly easy, I learned a bit as I went along. 

You'll need:
- A baseball cap 
- 3 colors of embroidery floss 
- an embroidery needle
- white felt
- your good sewing scissors
- white thread

It's not necessary but embroidery wash away paper would make placing your monogram so much easier than hand sketching it on the felt. 

Step 1:  You can use a template, or just hand draw your bunting. I drew out one and traced it so the boys would have the same bunting size. 

Step 2: Anchor your felt bunting down in place with two little stitches. This is where your white thread comes into play. You can't even see those anchor stitches when you're done. It just made the rest of the embroidery much easier. 

Step 3: I then outlined the triangle of my bunting in light blue embroidery floss. 

When I tell y'all this was so easy and the boys loved it in their Easter baskets, I sat in bed after the Palm Sunday picnic and had this stitched up in no time. 

Step 4: I did a single line of red embroidery floss on each little tail of the bunting. 

Step 5: I sketched out their initials on the bunting with pencil and then stitched over them. 

I wanted to chain stitch, but was not having the best luck. It would probably benefit me to get a hoop and practice a few embroidery stitches. If you don't have a problem with names, this would be adorable with a name or nickname written in cursive. Wash away paper would make writing it out super easy. 

The kids barely took these off of their head for all of spring break. 

The total cost in the end was under $20 dollar for two hats, verses the $58 I saw for one hat.

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Weekly Meal Planning on Wednesdays

April 10, 2024

Two blog posts in one day? Who is this... maybe it's just someone who hasn't been keeping up worth a dern. I felt awful Monday and was just making it. A solar eclispe on the first day back did not help my get-up-and-go levels either. If you ever thought teaching during a full moon was fun, let that moon swipe by the sun during a school day. 

This week's meals include a girl dinner, a new baby meal train, and the regular rotation required by the kids. 


Thursday | Grilled Porkchops, Chopped Salad Kit, and Baked Potatoes

Friday | Eating Out! Making Elliot the cookies I posted about a few weeks ago, they were really good.

Saturday | Men's Wild Game Supper at church means I get some girl dinner time  - Honey Soy Crispy Beef & Noodles

Sunday | BBQ Boneless Country Pork Ribs, BBQ Beans, Potato Salad. 
I'm cheating on the beans and potato salad and using the Marketside brand from Walmart, shortcuts save time after church friends. The ribs are just seasoned with Tony's and then basted with Sweet Baby Ray's while grilling. 

Monday | Euna Mae's Poppyseed Chicken, Rice, Salad (The kids will probaby still eat Breakfast for Dinner) 

Monday Night Bible Study Snack | Fruity Marshmallow Treats

Tuesday | Spaghetti Night with French Bread (I need to share my go to recipe) 

Wednesday | Sam's Club Chickfila Knock Off Nuggets and Fries.

Lunch for the Week | Cottage Cheese Dip with Mini Peppers 
(blended cottage cheese, ranch seasoning mix, shredded cheddar, and sometimes I add Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Sauce if I want something spicy)

Strawberry Glaze Smoothie 
(1 c almond milk, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/4 avocado, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 dates - I'll likely add some chia seeds, then glaze the cup with a tbsp of coconut cream and strawberry preserves. I'm not bothering with the other supplements that are added to the shake at Erwon, but if I can locate some Sea Moss gel I'll add that in. I already put collagen in my coffee so I might as well use protein powder in the smoothie.) 

That about wraps us up! Share in the comments what you are cooking this week.  
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