Thursday, January 30, 2014

Worn

The past few days have been difficult.  My dad is very sick...and is in ICU.  He is on a ventilator, and the doctors are not sure of his level of brain function.  We are just waiting on tests.  Waiting on hope. Waiting on Jesus...to take him...to heal him...and I have felt so many emotions...unable to know how to feel...or even what to think at times.  I am tired...and grieving...and rejoicing when Dad does something like yawn, or squeeze a hand, or raise his eyebrows...just feel so confused...so I have just been praying for God's complete and perfect will.  Kris has been driving me to Joplin every day, and my friends have been taking care of my children...so faithfully.  My sister and brother, my mom, Aunt Gloria and Uncle Tom and I have laughed and cried and whined and whimpered and wept together for these three days.  Oh Sovereign Lord...we need your peace and comfort and intervention! I thought of this song by Tenth Avenue North this morning...and it just seemed to fit. My mom has to be completely and utterly exhausted, but she refuses to leave him...I know she is worn...

Monday, January 20, 2014

A few favorite slow cooker meals!

Someday...when Katie is in college, or has her first home, and she is needing a good recipe, my dream would be for her to come here...to my blog...to find some of the recipes that we use!  (So...future Katie...just know that I love you and I am so happy we made it through the early teen years :)

Here are a few of our favorite slow cooker recipes...which are super convenient, make your home smell wonderful while they are cooking, and are really very easy to make!  (Disclaimer: (lol) These are admittedly not our most healthy recipes, so please have a big healthy salad, a bowl of fresh fruit and a refreshing glass of ice water with each of these!)



Easy Crockpot Hash Brown Soup

1 26-30 oz. package of frozen, shredded hash browns (size varies depending on brand you use)
3 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1 package of regular cream cheese

In a crock pot, combine everything EXCEPT the cream cheese.  Cook on low for about 6 hours.  One hour before serving, add the cream cheese and heat on low until melted.  Stir to combine.  Serve with cooked, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, and sour cream!  Enjoy!

Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 26 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce, your choice of brand/flavor
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
24 frozen meatballs, your choice of traditional or Italian
salt and pepper
3/4-1 lb. cooked spaghetti
Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT spaghetti and Parmesan cheese in a large crock pot.  Make sure the meatballs are covered in sauce.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Serve over spaghetti noodles and top with cheese!  Enjoy!

Crock Pot Chicken, Veggies and Dumplings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 small onion, diced
1-2 cups of chicken broth
2 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 bag frozen veggies (optional)

Place the chicken in the crock pot.  Mix together the soup and onion and place over the chicken.  Pour enough broth in the crock pot to completely cover the chicken and soup mixture.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours if chicken was thawed, or 7-8 hours if chicken was frozen.

Once chicken has cooked completely, remove the chicken from the pot and shred with a fork, or place in the kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment on low until the chicken is shredded.  Return the chicken to the pot. 

2 hours before serving, stir in the veggies, if desired (let them thaw in the fridge while your chicken is cooking) and allow to cook for another hour on low.  1 hour before serving, cut biscuits up into bite size pieces and drop on top of mixture and allow to cook for at least an hour.  The liquid will cook the raw biscuits and turn them into dumplings and will be absorbed so that you have a creamy, delicious meal!  Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting...and future Katie...if you are reading this...call your mama!

PS-I will try and add pictures to this post the next time I make these---making the hash brown soup tonight and it smells amazing!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Made to Crave Online Bible Study!

I just signed up for an online Bible Study through Proverbs 31, and I am so excited about it!  I have always felt that I had a food addiction, or at least an extreme affinity for food...and I have had the the book, Made to Crave on my Kindle for a long time, and even borrowed the paperback before that from a friend...but honestly...I don't think I wanted to face what God wanted me to learn from it, so I have put off reading it.  So...I am going to try and start reading it...and hopefully turn my heart in the direction that God has for me...to crave Him...instead of the things of this earth. 

There is even an opportunity for a weekly blog hop, so I am going to try and link up to that each week!  We'll see how I do!

The first topic was to tell about your favorite scripture...and I have so many, but I wanted to share again about the scripture that my blog is based upon.  When I started this blog in 2005, and had only one sweet child, I never dreamed that God would eventually bless us with two more children...just no idea!  We had tried and tried to have more babies, and miscarried a baby in October 2004.  By 2006, I had given up on having more, and had that long conversation with God about acceptance...and contentment.  In 2008 I delivered our sweet boy, Asher, and then in 2011 our little Claire was born...God did immeasurably more than I could have asked for or imagined...and I am so thankful...that is why Ephesians 3:20-21 is such a special passage to me!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!"  Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our Valentine's Mantle!

I just couldn't wait any longer to get started on our Valentine's Day mantle!  Last year we were in our house in Rose Hill and I didn't have a mantle to decorate, so it's exciting to be doing this again back in our own home! 


The most expensive part of this mantle d├ęcor is the chipboard "love" from Making Memories, and it was $3.00 from several years ago.  I mounted it on red and white cardstock and have used it over and over again for Valentine's Day!  The little bird salt and pepper shakers and milk glass bird candy dish were sweet gifts from my friends Sabrina and Charisse!  Everything else was from garage sales or thrift stores!  The cute subway print on the right was free from Eighteen25!  I printed it out and mounted it on red cardstock and polka-dot cardstock from my scrapbooking stash.  The bunting is also made from scrapbook paper and baker's twine from the $1 spot at Target!  I think my favorite things I have ever collected are milk glass and birdie stuff...I think because they are so neutral, and can be used season after season!

 



 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

This one...


...writes on the wall, any chance she gets, with any writing instrument she can find---buts writes sweet words on our hearts, like, "I wuv you, mama" and "I wuv your hair."

...climbs all the way to the top of our upright piano almost every day---but climbs into our laps so many times a day...just to cuddle or tell us she loves us.

...wakes up at least one time (sometimes more) each night, and hasn't slept through the night in her entire life---but she wakes up every morning with the sweetest smile and the cutest, "Good Morning, Mama" or "Good Morning, Daddy" or "Good Morning Kakie" or "Good Morning Asher!"

...gets into every drawer, cabinet, box, tote, bag, and purse she can find, and usually empties it out completely before we even catch her...but she sure can get into your heart...and she FILLS it up! 

Claire Elise...you are our last baby...you are, by FAR, the most "two" two-year-old of all three of our kiddos, into everything, constantly "meddling" in something...BUT...Sweet Girl...you are the most loving, engaging, entertaining, and endearing baby I have ever met.  You are just such an incredible blessing...and we are so thankful for you.



Monday, January 06, 2014

Snow Day!

No school today because of the beautiful snow and freezing cold temperatures here in Kansas!  It is gorgeous outside but so very cold!  Whether they would admit it or not, the kids seemed ready to go back to school today, but they are enjoying being snuggled in for an extra day of Christmas break!  Right now all three of them have piled up all of the blankets in the house onto our bed, and have made a giant nest...it's quite sweet...and no one is fighting at the moment...that's bliss for this mama (who was also ready for school to start!)



Saturday, January 04, 2014

American Girl Doll Pillow Case Dresses!

A while back I decided to try and make some pillow case type dresses for Katie's American Girl dolls.  I used this handy tutorial, and the instructions were so easy to follow!  They turned out so cute!  I had some extra fabric scraps so we also made some headbands and handbags for them too!  We were really excited with how they turned out!  Please visit Cindy's blog to learn how to make these! 
 



 

Friday, January 03, 2014

Birthdays...

We have birthdays coming soon...Claire's birthday is in February and Asher and Katie's are in April.  I am always excited to start planning for their birthdays, and Pinterest helps so much with endless ideas and inspiration!  Last year Claire had a Dora the Explorer birthday, Asher had a shark themed celebration, and Katie's birthday was inspired by her obsession with Paris!  I wanted to share a few pictures of some of their decorations.  Some of the ideas and parties I see on the web are just amazing, but way, way, way out of our price range, so we try and keep our parties inexpensive but still lots of fun!  You can do a lot with balloons, streamers, a computer and a printer!
For Claire's party, I still didn't have a working camera, and we mainly celebrated with family, so I don't have many pictures, but I took several of the shark party and Paris party that I would love to share with you!






 



Thursday, January 02, 2014

A New Soup Recipe!

My neighbor shared this recipe with us, and I can't wait to try it!  Sounds so easy and delicious!

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
1 Family size can Chicken & Rice soup
1 can whole kernel corn drained
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes with peppers
1 can chopped green chiles
1  8oz. block cream cheese
1 can white chicken (or already prepared chicken, 2-3 breasts, or a package of fajita chicken)
2 cups water
Heat all together.
Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips
 
Double this recipe for a large crock pot!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A Bright New Year-2014!

I am so incredibly happy that today is January 1, 2014!  This past year was a little bit of a rough year for us...and I am praying that 2014 will be a year of blessings, peace, and clarity for our family.  I know that I learned a lot during the past year, but some of the things that happened still confuse me!  I am just going to focus on each day of this beautiful year, and not look back at 2013, except to reflect on blessings!  Happy New Year!

And because I haven't blogged in such a long time, I wanted to share our Christmas family pictures with you!  I took these with the timer on my Nikon DSLR, and Katie edited them in Picasa.