Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I just need to ramble about some random things that I am so thankful for today.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all of the amazing blessings and gifts that God has given us.  So...here are just a few things I am just grateful for this morning:
  • I have Christmas music playing on Pandora right now.
  • I just made Claire a sweet potato for a snack...and the smell reminds me of Thanksgiving.
  • Kris brought me sunflowers yesterday...and they are so beautiful!
  • The weather has been beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
  • Our three children are healthy and happy and chubby. :)
  • Asher let me hold him after school yesterday...we just snuggled up while he watched Arthur. 
  • Katie curled her hair and wore a cute outfit to school today...and she looked beautiful...too beautiful!
  • Miss Claire and I have all day today to just hug, and read, and snuggle, and to just be home.
  • I am so thankful for our home.  It's never completely clean these days, but it's safe and comfortable...and that's enough.
  • I can see the sunshine dancing on the trees and grass outside...so pretty.
  • The leaves will be changing soon, and we have two trees in our front yard that will be beautiful very soon!
  • Neewollah is coming...and my favorite thing about Neewollah is all of us going to the big parade and then coming home to a yummy hot soup or meal in the crock pot...it's the official beginning of the holiday season for us...love it!
Ok...so that was completely random and all over the place, but I wanted to try and get some of my thoughts down!  Sometimes it helps me combat depression to read back through posts of happy things all around me!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Menu Monday...and it's autumn, and a pie recipe!

Hi.  I have to confess, I didn't stick to our menu last week...I made a few of the things on the menu but not on the right days.  We had a busy week, and our schedule looks even crazier this week so I am going to create a very "loose" menu this week that can be changed as needed.  This week we have parent teacher conferences, and I'm watching kiddos for friends on at least 3 of the 5 days this week.  I have also been working at the church on Friday mornings, so this week looks a little wild on the calendar!  It's hard to believe September is almost over...this month has gone by so quickly!  Our September's are usually still pretty warm, but we have had some nice cooler days recently and it's been so wonderful. 

We had such a good weekend.  Kris's parents came over for a visit before Friday night's football game, and we were able to visit and get in some hugs and kisses.  Kris's mom also brought me a cookbook that I had put a couple of recipes in from their church...it looks like it is packed with yummy recipes...can't wait to try some!  Saturday we worked out in the yard, mowing, trimming trees and shrubs, and we even cleaned out the guttering...and by "we" I mean Kris...ha, ha!  I actually did the mowing and he did the rest!  He worked hard this weekend!  Saturday evening we built a fire and had hotdogs and s'mores.  It was really nice to just be home all together getting things done. 

Yesterday we went to church, had lunch, and everyone took naps or had quiet time...it was so wonderfully quiet in our house!  I also tried my hand at making chocolate cream pies...from scratch...and they turned out so good!

Basic Cream Pie
(from Peggy Smith)
1 c. sugar
3 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch
dash of salt
2 eggs, separated
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. milk
In a large microwave safe bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Add milk and egg yolks; mix well.  Place in microwave on high for about 12 minutes, stirring and scraping the sides of the bowl every 3 minutes until mixture thickens.  Remove from microwave and stir in butter and vanilla until smooth. 
You can add anything to this basic filling, 1/2 c. coconut, a mashed banana, or 1/2 c. pineapple.  For chocolate pie, reduce sugar to 3/4 cup and add 3 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder...so delicious!  Pour into baked pie shell and top with beaten egg whites if desired.  (I popped mine back in the oven for about 10 minutes to brown the peaks of the egg whites!) 
And last but not least, our menu plan for this week:
Tonight:  Creamy white chili and cornbread
Tuesday:  The Big Enchilada (we didn't have a chance to have this last week)
Wednesday:  Dinner at church!
 Thursday:  Fajitas and rice
Friday:  Pizza Rolls and fries (keeping it real!) 
Saturday:  Sloppy Joe sliders for lunch, Cheeseburger soup in bread bowls for dinner!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A healthy menu plan...

Kris and I have been talking...and we need to try and get back to eating healthy.  I want to try and keep myself accountable by posting our meal plan and recipes here, and I am going to be recording my food diary on Sparkpeople.com.  I really feel so much better when I am walking those 2 miles and eating healthy foods every day.  There really is no substitute for those things...and I just need to remind myself of that...daily.  I know I am a better mama, a better wife, and a better version of me when I am healthier.  I am not interested in being 110 pounds, and even if I never make it out of the 200lb range...I will still be happy just to be making healthy choices.  So...without further adieu...here are my ideas for this week:

Monday-Baked Chicken Nuggets (with a little bit of coconut oil gently melted instead of half of the butter) steamed corn on the cob, and salad...because chicken nuggets taste "healthier" if you chop up a few and top your salad rather than eating 9 or 12 or 15 of them :)  They are very yummy!

Tuesday-The Big Enchilada (made healthy by adding your own cheese on each individual serving instead of all together)  I like to just make the filling, and then everyone can fill either a tortilla or a lettuce leaf  and choose toppings as they wish!  I think lettuce, tomatoes, Greek yogurt, and 2% Mexican cheese will be our toppings with this.

Wednesday-I help with the pre-school aged class and the kids love to go to Caravan on Wednesdays so we eat and help serve dinner at the church on Wednesdays.

Thursday-Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Friday- Grilled Sweet and Savory Chicken (I just rub my chicken breasts down with some chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little bit of brown sugar and let that sit in the fridge all day before grilling or nu-waving) Buffalo Cauliflower with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Saturday-Spicy Garlic and Pepper Shrimp  This is so yummy...we love this, but I decrease the red pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon, and add in any other vegetables we might have...zucchini, carrots, celery, extra onions...so good!

Sunday-Roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions in the crock pot...so good with a package of onion soup mix sprinkled on top!  (Then we'll use some of the leftover roast in fajitas for Monday night!)

We will see how this goes...I am excited about making healthy choices a little more often...doesn't have to be every single meal but more often will be good for all of us!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A few things...but no menu yet...I am a slacker.

I am still working on our menu, I am just feeling uninspired...I am now officially ready for fall weather, and fall soups and stews, and fun new recipes...it's been in the 90's here, and it makes me want to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible...plus I've really been spoiled and not had to make dinners this week because of revival...it has been so nice!

Charisse came over yesterday and brought an amazing lunch!  I wanted to share the recipe for these sandwiches but it's not really a recipe...It's just toasted raisin bread, spread with cream cheese, with honey ham and sliced apples...so delicious!  Our local coffee shop makes these and they are just really tasty!

Anyhoo...she also brought me a surprise...a new Vera Bradley bag!  I love it so much...I was so excited!  All of my stuff fits in it and it's so pretty!  I love navy, lime, and orange together!  I am so blessed to have her...not because she is a great cook or because she brings presents way more often than she should, but because she listens and cares...and loves my kids like they are her own...so thankful for you, Charisse!

Just wanted to share a little about our day.  I am going to try and get a little rest in this morning.  Claire was up at 3 this morning with tummy trouble, so this mama is tired...and she is too!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our week and menu plans!

This week our church has been in revival so I haven't had to have a menu so far!  Our associate pastor and his wife are preparing meals each evening...so that's been a huge blessing and change for me.  It feels strange to not worry about what's for dinner or what's on the menu, but it's nice to have a clean kitchen for a few days!  Ha, ha!  So I have been working on the menu for Thursday-Sunday, and I may go ahead and add next week's menu too.  I will share that tomorrow morning!

I am always a bit skeptical about revival.  I remember when I was little going to revival in Delaware, Oklahoma, and I loved it because we were able to see our church friends for four or five nights in a row!  As an adult, I've been to a few revival services, but I think the enemy has always tried to ruin it for me.  Sometimes, revival services can appear to be a little "over the top" on halleluiah's and amen's, etc. with too much "loud" preaching, or too many sad old hymns.  Now---I know all of that seems really negative, and I don't mean to be, but it WAS how I felt about revival services...until this week.  Either I am getting older and enjoying all of the above things more, or this revival is "different" than others!  It has been amazing!  Our speaker had been Dr. James Diehl and he has just been great to listen to.  His messages have been relevant and have spoken to my heart...so deeply.  I have prayed for my heart to be open to hear the message that is there for me, and I have prayed for protection against Satan, and the doubts and negative thoughts that he brings.  We have been to all of the services so far, and I am so anxious to go back tonight and tomorrow night.  I have needed to hear everything he has spoken about so far, and I just feel like for the first time, I really will be "revived" at the end of this revival...and I can't wait!

Katie and Asher are still doing so well in school!  Katie is really enjoying her classes, and I think she loves the social part too.  She comes home talking about different friends she has made every day.  I am so glad she is settling in.  I was so worried about that, but she is doing so much better than I expected.  Asher is doing well too.  He still wants us to walk him in, and he doesn't want to go to the gym and wait on his teacher, so we have been staying with him until his class walks to the classroom.  He says that the gym is too loud, and I think the noise and the amount of kids (probably about 400) all in one room just scares him.  I am hoping that once he has gone to an all school assembly he will see that it's not too bad in there.  For now, we are just making sure he feels safe and trying to encourage him to have confidence about going in the gym eventually. He has made some friends too, and talks about Tavin, Eli, and Allen all of the time!  He says that they have running races at recess and Allen is the fastest! He has been staying on the "owl" status every day, and hasn't had any "stinky skunk" days yet...thank goodness!  Ha, ha...love his teacher's discipline techniques!

And one more thing before I close today...my husband is home...for keeps...and I am so thankful.  We have been trying to adjust since he has been home, and we've had some rough patches this week, but I am so thankful that we are all back together.  We feel like we are "home"...at least until heaven...here at our home that we have shared for over 7 years.  It is a little crowded, but we are making it work and just feel blessed that we have a home, Kris has a job that has been so accommodating to our moving situation, and we are together...just so very thankful!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Menu Planning Monday and Happy Labor Day!

Hello!  It's Monday, so I am attempting to make a plan for our week.  The big kids are home today for Labor Day (or Neighbor Day, as Daniel Tiger says:) so we are just hanging out today!  Kris is working, but will be home after this rotation to stay!  I can't wait...been missing him so much on this four nights of work!  The kids miss him too, they almost smother him when he comes home, but I know he loves it!

Our Menu

Monday-Leftover Cheese Tortellini soup for lunch (was so good, can't wait to have some more) and Spaghetti, Salad, and Garlic Rolls for dinner.
Tuesday-Creamy White Chicken Chili, cornbread muffins, mixed veggies
Wednesday-Eat at Church with Caravan!
Thursday-Mississippi Pot Roast, Roasted Red Potatoes, and fruit
Friday-Chicken and Noodles and Mashed Potatoes (Going to try and make homemade noodles...ha!  We'll see how that goes!)
Saturday-Leftovers for Lunch, Beef and Bean Burritos, Rice, Aunt Jill's Salsa and Chips for Dinner
Sunday-Chicken Fajita Quesadillas with pineapple with all of the trimmings and leftover salsa

I am really enjoying having a menu each week.  I had planned on linking up to other menu planning Mondays, and I might still try and do that from time to time, but I am finding it difficult to find time for all of the copying, pasting, linking, etc.  I would love to know how people do that all of the time---whew...just typing out the menu while corralling kiddos wears me out!  Hope everyone has a beautiful 2nd day of the "ber" months!

I really enjoy visiting these blogs for great recipes and menu planning ideas! 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Autumn is on it's way!

Ok, ok...I know I said that I wasn't tired of summer yet, but this morning, on September 1st, we woke up to overcast skies, a light drizzle, and I just couldn't help myself!  I broke down and hauled my autumn stuff from the garage and went to town!  I also tried a new recipe tonight...Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup and it was so, so yummy!  I added a can of Italian Diced tomatoes to the recipe, just to add a little more texture, and it was wonderful!
I also learned how to make a collage on picmonkey...I never knew how but found a great tutorial and now I might just be hooked!  It's so much fun...I am new to instagram too...ha...I am so behind...so I am just trying all kinds of new things!