Summer Smiles, Grad Gifts, and Great Giveaways
- May 31, 2023
OK, so I really need to start looking at the calendar. Not that it’s Monday or May 1st, but what the dates of actual holidays are. A few weeks ago, I emailed my column to Steph and told her to have a “Happy Hump Day” thinking it was Wednesday. She emailed me back saying “Well
OK, so I really need to start looking at the calendar. Not that it’s Monday or May 1st, but what the dates of actual holidays are. A few weeks ago, I emailed my column to Steph and told her to have a “Happy Hump Day” thinking it was Wednesday. She emailed me back saying “Well thank you, but it’s still Tuesday!” I’m like, where is my head!? These days all run together anymore! So, my point is, I not only was late on my Easter column but now I’m a week late on Mother’s Day! How could I forget Mother’s Day!? Such a special day. Women in our lives who have raised us and taught us so much. I am a strong woman because a strong woman raised me. She is tough as nails! Her faith in God has shown in her since I was young. He has gotten her through some tough years, and she still shines in positivity. I mean, she has me for a daughter, so what else could she ask for!? *giggles* You all should know my sense of humor by now! *insert big cheesy smile here*
My momma, Susan Metzger, was always and still is a very loving, caring mother. No matter what she was there. You all know she cooked all the time for us, having amazing dinners on the table after a long day of school, packed our lunches with little notes, and her homemade warm cookies after the bus ride home from school. But, did I ever tell you about the time she purposely drove down a road because she saw a boy I went to school with driving a tractor? I had to have been in middle school, and my mom grew up on a little farm. There she sat, right in the middle of the road, stomping on the brakes and pointing to me inside the car yelling “Hey! Andrea’s in here! ANDREA’S IN HERE!”
I was tucked so far down in the seat as far I could go, and just wanted to die!
“Seriously, Mother!!” A moment in life, I will never forget, and knew I’d never be with a farmer at that point in my life. Yea, I could sling hale bales with my pap, but I wasn’t gonna be scoopin’ up cow patties the rest of my life. Oh no! I was gonna be with some bada** biker or something. I had it all planned out. I knew everything.
Oh my momma, she’s a honey! Those teenage years with me, God bless her cotton pickin’ soul. Whew, what a challenge I was. The trying years, to say the least, but she never stopped loving me. Wanted to whoop my butt more times than I can count, but she never lost faith in me. As the years went on, I learned to appreciate her more and more until we became the best of friends. We literally talk on the phone every single day. We still remind each other of that splendid day she stopped and pointed me out to that farmer boy. Oh, the memories.
My mother-in-law, Marlene McElroy, has been a part of my life for over 21 years. Her son and I have been together since I was 14 — the start of my wonderful teenage years. Chris and I used to skip school, and because the teachers knew we were dating, and we were “sick” on the same day, they would call our parents. BUSTED. We were sick. Sick in love, baby! (Told you I was a knucklehead in those years.)
My mother-in-law pretty much stayed cool as a cucumber. Even on the worst day, I saw her, the day she and my father-in-law, John McElroy, came home to literally their whole house flooded, and we didn’t even know it because my brother-in-law, Darren McElroy, and Chris and I were upstairs. Well, somehow, the upstairs toilet overflowed, and it ran, and it ran, and it ran, and we never heard it. They literally had a waterfall running down their steps and water coming through the ceilings. The woman is a saint. How she didn’t kill us, I have no idea! She would then come home to a dozen import racer cars in her driveway of all our friends hanging out in their garage. They could never park in their own driveway on the weekends. Again, she never really lost her cool even though she had to carry in groceries twice the distance. She is the most thoughtful giving person and truly loves her sons, and well, ME. (hehehe)
I also have a stepmother, Chrissie Perry, who I have grown to love over the years. Stepparents can be a tough one, and I am so lucky to have two stepparents who truly love me and care for me. Chrissie would do anything for my family and me. You can’t help but love her. She would do anything for anyone and treats me like a daughter. Texting me saying, “Honey do you need anything at Walmart? I’m going there today.” Just small gestures that go a long way.
Mothers are so important, and it’s a day just to tell them you love them and go the extra mile to do something special for them. They carried us for nine months, birthed us, and they raised us to be the people we are today. Moms deserve their own day, and then some. Some mommas may not have carried you physically, but I’m sure she carried you through your life, and she is still your momma no matter what! Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful women out there!
Cheese Tortellini Bake
• 1 (24oz.) container of refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini
• 2 lb. ground beef
• 1 (24oz.) jar of tomato sauce
• 1/2 cup chopped onions
• 8 oz. cream cheese (cubed)
• 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan
• Seasoning to taste
Cook the tortellini according to the package directions; drain and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the seasoning. I use garlic salt, 1/2 cup chopped onion, pepper, and salt. Then add your sauce and let simmer for an hour. You don’t have to let it go that long, but do at least 20 minutes. It will really flavor your meat!
Remove the excess grease from the browned beef and stir in cream cheese. Mix well.
Gently mix your cooked tortellini in with the meat mixture and then pour it into your casserole dish; Generously top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake uncovered in the center rack of your oven for about 25-30 minutes until bubbly.
Enjoy with my homemade cheesy bread and a fresh salad.
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