Friday, December 31, 2010

Oh, Brother!

Dan started calling his older brother "Brother" when he was little,
and it stuck.  
That's what we all call him now, including his parents, nieces and nephews, and sometimes even his wife!

Brother is something else.
Although he's tired these days (what with infant twins and all), 
his sense of humor is still.....well, it's still there.
It's his own peculiar brand of humor, and I caught some pictures and videos that display it perfectly.

These are the kinds of things that make Brother laugh:

And in case you are confused about what is actually happening in this picture,
here's a video.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dressing: a family recipe

A few weeks before we came home, I asked my mom and my mom-in-law if they would teach me how to make their dressing while we were at home.  I wanted to have both of our family recipes, and I wanted to actually make it with them so I'd know what I was doing!

Both were so kind to get all the ingredients and spend an afternoon teaching me how they make their dressing.
I didn't get all the pictures that I wanted, because let me just tell you - both of our mama's work FAST.

First up, Dan's mama's dressing:

You start with that cornbread in a cast-iron skillet.
One skillet for a small batch; two for a large.

Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning,
and celery and onions.

Lots and lots of chicken broth.
I think she used 5 cans or so total.
4 the day we made it, and then she added more the next day when we cooked it.

Crumble the cornbread, season to taste, throw in the celery and onion uncooked,
add chicken broth until you get the right consistency: kind of like jello.
Mmm, mmm, good.

And then my mama's dressing:

Start with the Holy Trinity of southern cooking: celery, green pepper, and onion.
Chop and saute until tender - about an hour.

Make some of that glorious cast-iron skillet cornbread.
Again, one for a small batch and two for a large.
Mama highly recommends doubling whatever size dressing you cook,
and putting half in the freezer.

Chicken broth, and herb seasoned breadcrumbs.

Mix together the crumbled cornbread, sauteed trinity, breadcrumbs (not too much - you want to taste the cornbread), salt and pepper, a little sage.

Ready for the oven!

This past Thanksgiving, we celebrated at home with friends in Wake Forest,
and none of us knew how to make a dressing.
That won't happen to us again!
Now I know how to make dressing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Richardson Kind of Christmas

After a few days with Dan's family,
we headed to Mobile to stay with my mom & stepdad.
My brother and his fiance live in Mobile, so we got to spend a lot of time with them, too!

We usually are with them for Christmas morning, but this year we didn't arrive until late in the afternoon.  Instead of doing our traditional breakfast on Christmas morning, they were so kind to wait for us to get there, so we did Christmas breakfast for supper!

Lana couldn't wait, though: we opened gifts first.

 One thing is always guaranteed at SueSue & Baloo's: we'll eat well!

My mom pulled out my baby photo album for Lana to see - she loved it!

Because mine are the only grandchildren (so far) on my side of the family, they get lots of one-on-one attention while at Sue Sue & Baloo's!

Lana even enjoyed a movie date with just she and Sue Sue and Baloo!

Mom, Allan, Ranae, Dan, and I played a fun game of Scrabble after the kids went to bed -
this brought back so many memories!
Scrabble was a "family" game of ours....that and Monopoly.

Baloo served up some serious game-time snacks.

Boys won.  By a point.

We gave Lana some "snow," and Tucker loved it as much as she did!

By the way, I can't even stand the cuteness of these Elmo's pj's.
Mom always got us a new pair of pj's on Christmas Eve,
and now she's getting them for my kids.  Love it.

One morning while Tucker napped,
Mom took Lana & I for pedicures!

We had such a good, relaxing time.
It brings a smile to my face to know that there will be many more pedicures like this.

The very best thing we do at Sue Sue & Baloo's is rest.
My mom and stepdad are very good at creating a calm, soothing environment,
and we all soaked it up.

Monday, December 27, 2010


There's this place behind Dan's parents' house that he and his siblings spent hours playing in.  
They named it "Dangerous," like a proper noun.
They'd leave the house and tell their parents they were going to "Dangerous."

There's so much I think about this....
how kids need to feel like they are doing something dangerous,
how they don't have those opportunities much anymore,
how kids need to run and explore without parents micromanaging them,
how if we don't provide them opportunities to take controlled risks,
that's when they begin to take uncontrolled risks.

Dan and his dad and sister took a bunch of the kids over there several times while we were visiting, and it made me so happy that my kids were playing at "Dangerous."

Finally, PawPaw figured out how to keep the kids together out there!
He's a smart one, that PawPaw.