Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Darn my Uterus!

Oh I knew I would get your attention with this post name!!! I think I'm taking after my girl at Little Toes and Cheerios (check out her today's post and you'll understand!). Actually my son's here and said, "Uh, Mom is that really how you spell utters?" Oh I died laughing!

Well let me just tell ya about my darn utters, I mean uterus. I went in today for what should have been a simple 10 minute appointment to hear the babies heartbeat. I had my 10 week and first prenatal check up two weeks ago and the nurse couldn't get the heartbeat with the little hand held thingy. She assured me I shouldn't worry and that it was still a tad early. Well I prayed about it, gave it to the Lord and got on with my life. I would be lying though if I said I wasn't the least bit anxious about today's appointment.

Since the miscarriage last year I guess I've been a little more cautious this time around. Even though I dared not to admit it to myself or anyone else, I secretly told myself, "Don't get too excited until you hear the heartbeat." I still trusted God with whatever the outcome may be but it's like I put on this steel armor for the last two weeks in order to not be too disappointed. Does that make sense?

Anyway, so I get into the doctor's office (finally) and she got down to business with the little hand held thingamajig. She slowly and patiently scanned my belly for any signs of a really fast swishing sound. After what seemed like an eternity, still nothing. As I was laying there I prayed, "Lord, I know your ways are not mine and help me to understand your will. Help me to be at peace and to trust you Lord. Please help me to see what you want me to learn from this however this ends up turning out. I trust You, Amen."

The nurse then asked if I knew if my uterus was tilted and I replied no, not that I knew of. She then said she just could not find the heartbeat and would get me in for an ultrasound down the hall. The cutest and sweetest (David and I met her already when we had an ultrasound at 6 weeks because of bleeding) little ultrasound tech welcomed me in. As she was scanning my tummy I turned my head so if what I feared had happened I did not want to see right away. She then turned up the volume and I heard music to my ears, the most precious sound, a wonderfully fast little heartbeat! I immediately burst into tears and thanked God. The ultrasound tech told me to stop because I was gonna make her cry. Seriously, I really had to stop crying because every time my belly moved the baby moved making it difficult for her to get measurements! The baby was so sweet looking with their little hiccups and all! It looked like a little jumping bean!

She then discovered the culprit to our heartbeat hearing difficulties... Yep you Guessed it, MY Uterus! It's tilted towards my tailbone and therefore made it difficult to hear the heartbeat but it should work itself out as the baby gets bigger.

I'll continue to keep you all posted on baby updates as I get closer to our little ones arrival.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Favorite Appetizer Recipes

I was curious, did any of you try new recipes this Christmas that are now mainstays? If so, it'd be so cool if we could all share either by comment on this post or post your own on your blog. Just link back to me so I can come check it out! I'm always looking for new recipes to try!

I don't know if any of you visit Kraft Foods for recipes. It's one of my favorite sites. All their recipes usually use ingredients I already have or are easy to get and for the most part they're pretty quick and simple. Quick and simple is crucial in this house!

So for Christmas I wanted to have some appetizers while the rest of the Christmas dinner was baking but I needed something simple but tasty and I found two!

Creamy Crab Dip and Spinach & Artichoke Dip. They were both sooo good. You'll have to go to the Kraft website to get the recipes but I'll share with you my substitutions and omissions.

Creamy Crab Dip
The only changes to mine were omitting the shredded cheese, switching out the green onions with 1/2 cup regular yellow onion, and using imitation crab (not by choice, price won) instead of the canned stuff. I was skeptical about the Grey Poupon at first but it really gave it the zing it needed. Oh it was sooo good. We served this with the Town House Toppers Garlic & Herb crackers.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip
We made this just as is but served it with tortilla chips. I was craving the dip from TGIFridays and this was definitely a very close runner up!

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

An Ode to My Christmas Decorations!

So like I said in my previous post... I Love Christmas! I love the excitement and anticipation that comes immediately after Thanksgiving. I love the feeling of giving back to others (which I should do more often anyways not just at Christmas!) and finding new a creative ways to share the love of Christ. I love coming home from a long day of work to getting that warm and cozy feeling while being surrounded by all our decorations and lights. I love the swirl of outreach events our church participates in. I love looking at all the lights. I love all the food, the family visiting, sharing gifts, and the list goes on!

However, what I do not love is the break in my routine that the busyness of the Christmas season creates. Now I know this is my partial type A (I'm not a full-fledged type A, thank goodness) personality coming out along with a lot of selfishness. But I admit it, I am so looking forward to getting back to normal mode it's not even funny. I had to work the Friday after Christmas after having 6 days in a row off and I was really thrilled to get back into my old routine! So one of my attempts to "Get Back to Normal" is taking down the decorations, which I hope I can finish by Wednesday. We're going to Ohio to have Christmas with my husband's family and the last thing I want to do when we get back from our long drive is pack up stinkin' decorations! So I'm sharing some photos of my Christmas decor before they meet their demise!
Good Bye Christmas TreeGood Bye Nativity

Good Bye Kitchen Shelf DecorationsFont size


Early spring cleaning here I come!



Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Happenings

Well it's been a busy couple days! We had my mom, dad, sister, bro-in-law and their two kids, and my brother and his little girl over for dinner and presents. This is probably the best part of our Christmas routine because we don't have several houses to bounce around from. We can stay in our jammies all day if we wanted! Everyone seemed to have a good time. My hubby is going to kill me for posting this photo of him playing Santa but I just can't help it!!!


Here's my son with one of his presents, an apron. A friend of mine is super talented at sewing and quilting and she was nice enough to throw in this project in the midst of all the others she does this time of year! Thanks Ruthie and show her some love by visiting her blog. Eian's taken an interest in cooking this year. Not just cookies, brownies and other fun stuff but actual meals. So I figured I better nurture this new passion of his before it's too late!


Here's my niece with one of her new toys. Imagine that, it's another baby doll!!! She was sooo excited to see all the presents under the tree when she first got to our house that she tried to go straight to opening them when we hadn't even eaten yet.

We then went and visited with my uncle on my mom's side Friday night to see family we hadn't seen forever. G'ma made a yummy wiener chili and tons of desserts. My nephew wanted to spend the night with us at first but then didn't want to leave my uncle's. I wonder why... all the guys were found in the basement watching iron man on awesome surround sound and playing pool! A man's paradise!

We didn't get home too late Friday night but Eian had been dying to play his new Spiderman Monopoly game (thanks a lot Stace!). So we started at around 9:30 and didn't finish until shortly after midnight! Boy it's hard to count your money and net worth when you're dozing off let me tell ya!

Then Saturday morning it was off we go again! We had my Dad's family Christmas at Noon. Eian was so excited, heck we all get excited to visit my Dad's family! We all just have such a good time catching up, eating, and stealing family bags! Yep we don't do gifts for everyone anymore. Our family has grown to nearly 50 people if you count all the great grandkids and spouses so each family brings a bag. We then either do trivia or some other game to get the bags but you can always steal a bag too. There's always one bag that everyone fights over. The kids just love it!

I wanted to share some photos but I have several so keep on scrolling. This first one is of us getting ready for the gift bag swap. Yep, I told you we had a big family and so big that we've outgrown my G'ma or Aunt's house. So we have it at my Grandma's church's rec hall.

Yep that's me in the jean jacket and pink top but I'm not sure what I was looking at.
My sister and brother-in-law, aren't they cute?


Here's Grandma Cathryn. She's my inspiration! We always put her front and center and make her open her gifts first. You can tell she hates all the fanfare! She's such a humble woman, gotta love her.

And here's a photo of my sweet little niece (the green sweatshirt) who's not so little anymore, actually she's now a sophomore in college, but she'll always be my baby. I took a pic with her and our cousin Kay. Such pretty girls!



And finally to wrap it up, here's a pic of my cousin Jenny with her cute little guy. He's a sweet little cuddle bug too! Well hope you enjoyed my photos. I know there;s a lot but it was too hard to choose which ones I wanted. Don't worry... there will be yet more photos to post when we have Christmas with my hubby's family in Ohio next weekend! I love Christmas but I am definitely ready for normalcy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Here it is nearly 10 am and my boys are still snoozing so I thought I would take advantage and wish all of my family & blogging buddies Merry Christmas! This has been one of the best Christmas' and ironically it's been our lowest budget one so far. Funny how becoming humble and not having what you're accustomed to can actually be a blessing! My husband, son and I have learned a lot about trusting the Lord and helping and appreciating one another more. Thank you Lord for NEVER leaving us nor forsaking us and providing for us this Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone and I Love You All!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Living Nativity


It never ceases to amaze me that God blesses our church's efforts to reach out to the community through our Living Nativity. It's our 18th annual and each year the number of people who come to hear the gospel message gets bigger and bigger. I am by no means posting this to be boastful but simply to praise God for His faithfulness.


You can enjoy our nativity two ways. One is to drive through which is of course the warmest option but also the longest. The wait for drive thru's last weekend was 1 hour! The other option is to walk thru. This is the one I prefer because you get to be up close and personal with the cast and animals. The best part is going through Bethlehem and having the little "street kids" begging you to buy their fruit and the Roman guards asking you for taxes and if you have your papers! Too fun!
It was about 30 degrees last night which isn't brutally cold but it feels like it when you're out there for any extended length of time. With that said we still had over 400 people walk through and over 600 people drive through. God is just awesome! Every year we enjoy being a part of this ministry.
I posted a link in the beginning of this post. Feel free to visit and get the schedule for this weekend. We are however cancelling the nativity on Sunday night due to the windchill factor will be well below zero. Brrrrr!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm Still Alive!

Okay so I don't have much time to blog but I have received several emails wondering why I haven't blogged and if I'm still alive. Well I am happy to say that I am very much alive and living a full life. So full, that my blogging has gone by the way side.

There's a few reasons to my bloggy quietness...

One, we had my niece come back to live with us again. She's two, need I say more?

Two, it's Christmas and between baking cookies, volunteering, church activities, school programs, shopping, and visiting family there's not a whole lot of time left in the day right now.

Three, I'm pregnant! Yep, the baby is just a tiny thing at 10 weeks today but the little guy/gal is causing their Mama grief which means sleep had taken precedence over blogging.

Four, it's the season to get caught up in the busyness of Christmas and forget all the blessings God's granted us and made us accountable for. This means I have been trying to make a conscious effort to slooowww down and sit with my son to drink hot cocoa and watch a Christmas show or watching some classic cartoons as a family or going to look at lights or giving my niece extra kisses and hugs while I rock her when she's having a rough day. These have become precious moments to me that I just can't let blogging, or any other earthly thing for that matter, take away.

So I hope all of you gals understand my absence. I promise to keep in touch more often once Christmas and New Year's are over. My big sissy's coming in from Florida this weekend with her family so I'm sure she'll keep me busy. As if I wasn't doing a good job of that myself!!!

Take Care All & Have a Blessed Christmas!

Stef

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Home Invasion!

HELP, WE'RE BEING INVADED!
Living in the country has it's perks. The perks are not as noticeable however, when the weather turns chilly. This means we get all kinds of little "roommates" whether we like it or not. A few weeks I woke up to an awful scratching, clawing sound right outside my window. I kept banging on the wall and it would stop, for a minute, and then the persistent clawing continued until it eventually ceased. The next morning I'm guessing what ever "it" was the morning before, finally found a way in as I heard the horrid sound of sharp nails on metal from our heat and air vents in our crawl space.
Then, this week we've had 3 mice that we know of, all of which we've caught. We're not mice lovers by any means (Ohhh, trust me on this one!) but our son begged us not to hurt the poor creatures. So... for some unknown reason we thought it a good idea to just toss the mouse out in the front yard! We've probably been chasing the same stinkin mouse all week! I think his time was up tonight though if it's the same one. Yep, Mr. Frisker's chased the mouse under the sofa, my husband tipped over the sofa so he could shew the mouse out, but he wasn't there. We looked everywhere in the living room and started to give up. Hubby lowered the couch back down and there it was... one small crushed mouse. Eeewww, nasty! I think I need to go sanitize my sofa cushions now. Oh I can't wait until the little vermin hibernate, so bring on the cold weather! Wait, DO mice hibernate?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WFW- Peace



It's Word Filled Wednesday's again! Today I would like to focus on the amazing peace and quietness that our soul can be filled with by trusting fully on God!


I'm sure I'm not alone in this but often times we can get comfortable in our faith. We can be so comfortable in our faith that we can say we trust God and even trust Him completely even through a trial... until a trial comes that is and we REALLY have to trust Him!  Well that's where I have been the past week.  There has been trial after trial and not just tiny ones like losing car keys or spilled milk!  But God has been amazingly faithful in putting certain individuals around me to remind me that He is in control and that my actions speak louder than words.  I learned that through my actions last week, which I can now admit were NOT God honoring, were a result of not trusting in God.  By not trusting in the Lord what I was really saying, God is not a good God, He doesn't love me, and He's not a merciful enough or powerful enough God to give me the grace to get through this.

As you can see my pastor's wife did not sugar coat things when she was counseling me on this. Thank you so much for being straight forward Janet!  So once she got this into my thick skull, I realized how prideful and sinful I was being and repented.  

As I was seated in court Monday (sorry, I shouldn't discuss details) I could honestly believe and live Phil 4:7.  Thank you Jesus!  

It was just one of the greatest feelings in the world to sit there and honestly and truly be at peace with whatever the judge through our way.  The hardest part was knowing our innocence and knowing that even with that truth she may not let things fall in our favor despite our innocence.  Trusting God was crucial through this and knowing that whatever the judge's decision was was what God was allowing and would use it.  The peace in my heart that I felt was like receiving a BIG HUG from the Lord himself.

I feel like my trust in Him was good but now it's more than I could ever have imagined.

I pray that everyone can and will know this kind of peace, it's amazing!

Go visit 160 Acre Woods for more inspiring photos and verses.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall Fave Recipe- Loaded Baked Potato Soup

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Kim at a Homesteader's Heart is hosting a giveaway for a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook. One of the ways to enter is to post one of your favorite fall recipes on your blog and let Kim know about it.

One of my fave's that we have quite often in cold weather is Loaded Baked Potato Soup! I can't remember where I found it but thank you to whomever or what ever site I got it from, it's so good and easy!

Please keep in mind that the amount of ingredients listed is a good amount if you have a small family or want no leftovers. I usually double this since we usually have seconds and I like to take it to work for lunch!

Ingredients:
Soup:
1 can cream of potato soup
3-4 cups milk (depends on how creamy and thick you like your soup)
2 cups of home style (cubed) frozen hash browns
1/2 stick of butter
salt & pepper to taste

Topping:
2-3 tbsp bacon bits
2-3 green onions chopped
Shredded cheese to your liking

Directions:
Mix soup, milk, frozen taters, and butter in a medium to large saucepan and preferably non-stick. Heat until a slow boil (watch carefully so it doesn't scald the milk) and simmer for about 10 minutes or until frozen taters are heated through and tender.

Top with bacon, onions, and cheese. Viola!!! A delicious semi-homemade potato soup in less than 15 minutes. We like to eat this with grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches and dip them. Hmmm, so good! I hope you gals like this one.

My First Blog Award

This is my first award and feel blessed that Kim would nominate my blog because most of my posts are just me rambling! Kim over at Home Steader's Heart gave this award to me, thank you Kim. I love Kim's blog for her candidness, her love for the Lord and her love for homemaking so show her some love by paying her a visit!

So I'm told this award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.

The rules are:

1. Accept the award and post it on your blog along with a link to the person who has awarded you.
2. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.So here are my nominees for this award:

1. Bethany- Happy to Be Called Mommy

2. Blue Yonder

3. Stacy- Mom in Training

4. Katy Lin- The Great Adventure

5. Kim- Coffee in the Morning

5. Lori- Beyond the Garden

6. Little Missy Homemaker

7. Monica- Beautiful Ordinary

8. Tamy- 3 Sides of Crazy

9. Chelsey- Joyfully Living

10. Jenn- Country's Girl's Ramblings

11. Joyful Living

12. Ashley- Putting God First Place

13. Alexis- Talse from Back Acher

14. Sunny- A Damsel No Longer in Distress

15. Little Toes & Cheerios

So go visit all of these wonderful gals and tell em I sent ya!

Thanks Kim,

Stef

Monday, November 10, 2008

At the Well Mondays-Getting to Know Me

Chelsey over at Joyful Living hosts Living at The Well Mondays and this week is all about getting to know one another. So I thought I'd join in and tell a few random things about myself.

I love to cook comfort food on dreary and rainy days.
I'm a lover not a fighter.
I appreciate those who are honest with me , even if it's brutal. I find it hard to do the same though, being brutal that is.
My sister teasingly calls me Polyanna.
I strive to find the best in people (hence my nickname!).
I'm rarely negative unless it's with money.
I like lavender and vanilla fabric softener.
We eat spaghetti here at least once a month.
We do not eat out much.
My favorite candles are baked apple pie, vanilla, and any other candle that smells like dessert.
My feet get extremely cold at night, even in the summer so I usually where socks.
I love to pray while taking a shower.
One of my first Bible verses I memorized was 1 Corinthians 10:13.
I currently work outside the home as I have been before becoming a believer and follower of Christ. I once felt as if my place was at home and still do, it is impossible at this point financially though but is a goal of mine and my husband's.
I consider my work place a mission field God has given me.
I have two believing co-workers I fellowship with and we pray once a week for co-workers, the economy, our boss, etc.
I am beginning to really loathe TV and would get rid of it if hubby was all for it.
I love it when hubby puts his hand on my back while we're singing on Sundays in church.
I have a fear of worms and they send a shiver up my spine when i have to tiptoe over them after a hearty spring rain...eeewww!
I LOOOVE to blog!

Okay, now it's your turn!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lessons In Love- Be Transparent


So I found another blog that hosts Lessons In Love Saturdays. Yes it's becoming a sickness, blogofever! This one is yet another great tool for me though to honor my husband
and the Lord by sharing what I have learned from my three years married, but nearly nine years total with my wonderful man!
This week's topic for me is to be transparent. We continue to hear that a secret to a great marriage is that yucky word for us who are challenged in this, yep you guessed it....Communication!!! One thing I've learned in my own marriage is that I can't expect my husband to communicate with me if I'm not open and honest with him, hence being transparent.
So what does being transparent look like in a marriage? A wise pastor's wife at church told me if I want to honor God by being a Godly wife I have to help my husband be the leader. Most men I've been told, have a built in or God given desire to lead, but that desire diminishes each time a wife criticizes, belittles (even if you think you're just joking, it's not a joke to him), continually nags (which really means you don't have faith in or no trust in your husband) or under appreciates her husband.
A way to nurture his God given desire to lead is by being his biggest supporter and helper. Ironically enough one of the best ways, my pastor's wife told me, to help him to lead is by showing him how to help you. Weird huh? Now I'm not talking help as in having him do your honey do list! I'm talking emotionally and then yes we're back to my point of being transparent. Most men cannot confidently lead his wife if he doesn't feel he knows what makes her tick. If he doesn't really know his wife then he'll be less likely to be secure in making big decisions in the home. He may feel as if he'll be criticized by you and so on.
So see ladies... Our men feel secure when we gently help them to see what we need from them which makes us better helpers! I sure hope I didn't just confuse everyone and if I did, then just shoot me an email.
Happy Communicating!

My Husband Rocks-Taking Charge!



Okay, so I know it's not Friday but I really wanted to participate in this. I stumbled upon
Katy Lin's blog, who started My Husband Rocks Fridays! I thought, what a great idea! Learning to appreciate and support my husband positively is an area the Lord has been asking me to grow in. This is a great tool to help me get there. Each Friday you list an attribute of your husband that you're thankful for that day or from the week and how it impacts you and your family.

I would like to say My Husband Rocks in growing to be a better leader of our home! My husband will tell you that he and I are not on the same level spiritually and admits he still has a lot of growth. But really though, who is ever done growing, spiritually? I know that I am definitely a work in progress. So therefore he really, until recently, didn't quite understand God's role for him as a husband in the area of leadership in our home. To my hubby's defense, it doesn't help matters to have a wife who can be overbearing and has the "Oh, just let me do it!", attitude. I am thankful that the Lord is also working on my role as his wife which includes having a gentle spirit who helps him to lead.

So anyway, the past two week's have been very trying with multiple family issues and to top things off, our septic tank backed up in our tub and toilets! Talk about NASTY! David handled it like a champ though. The old David probably would have gotten very angry and maybe even put it off and procrastinated until he got tired of bathing and doo dooing at someone else's house. Nope, he was calm. cool, and collected! he made all the phone calls, shopped around for the best price(I was so proud), asked my Dad to find and dig up the septic cover, and cleaned out all the tubs and stand up shower before I got home so I wouldn't have to clean it.

I love that he handled the stress of all this in a way that honored God. I think that was great for Eian to see what problem solving and honoring God at the same time look like.

What a guy, you ROCK Honey!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gooseberry Patch Giveaway!



I wanted to share with all of you a giveaway Kim over at the Homesteader's Heart is having. She is giving away a book from the Gooseberry Patch. You are missing out if you've never read one of their cookbooks or craft books. They are actually two Midwest gals who were neighbors and started the business while talking over their fence in the backyard! How cool is that? They have down home, pratical recipes that use most items you already have on hand. I've also used a lot of their crafts for Christmas gift ideas.


So go visit Kim's blog and get signed up today!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Word Filled Wednesdays

JOY Pictures, Images and Photos

I know Wednesday's almost over but I've been wanting to participate in Word Filled Wednesday's for awhile. A blogger hosts it over at 160acrewoods .

I chose this verse because I think it's so easy for us to get caught up in everyday happenings, good or bad, and forget to just simply rejoice in the Lord! I also think we take the wonderful gift of our undeserved salvation for granted. We should be doubly rejoicing of the hope and joy of our salvation is in our Lord Jesus Christ!

This verse helps me put all the "crud" we're dealing with right now into perfect perspective.

Election Thoughts

Isn't it nice to know that God's in control and can use all things? Well I had to remind myself of that today with the election results being as they were. If God didn't want Obama in office then he wouldn't be there. Plain & Simple!

I read an analogy today on one of my email daily devotionals. Politicians are like ants on a log in a river. You get one who scrambles to get up front and thinks they're steering the log downstream. However, the log is just floating along no matter what the ant does and the log's going to end up in the place it was meant to anyway. God's the captain, not the politicians.

Just food for thought!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kids Say....

Kids say the darndest things don't they? However, the funny things you get to blackmail your kids with later, seem to come further and farther between the older they get. That's how it's been with Eian anyway. Every now and then he'll say something he's totally serious about but used a word out of context or something.

Well I wanted to guide us all down memory lane with this blast from the past. Of course, I think it's hilarious but it may have been one of those moments where you had to be there. Okay so anyway.... It was two years ago and Eian was in kindergarten. We were on our way out the door and to my surprise Eian was done before me and was patiently waiting and watching me as I put English Muffins in the toaster. He asked me what they were when I took them out of the toaster. I told him, "They're called English Muffins honey." I explained to him that it's kind of like a bagel but smaller and not as "bready".

So then to make small talk, he proceeds to interrogate me about them, are they good, are they better toasted than not toasted, what all can you put on them and so on. He then asked me a question I was sooo not expecting. "Hmmm, they sound good but do they also come in Spanish?" So I realized that he was hung up on the fact they're called English muffins and I begin laughing uncontrollably!

He then gives me that look like he has no idea why I'm laughing and then says, "What? Well, they make French Toast why wouldn't they make a Spanish bread?" Oh my goodness I nearly died laughing but then had to quickly gain my composure when I realized he was serious and did not appreciate my finding humor in it all! But boy, it'll be one that I'll never forget and probably tell his kids some day!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Casserole Queen

I was not an experienced cook when David and I met nearly nine years ago. I had just turned twenty-two and although did not have a plethora of dishes I made I felt I had a little more to offer in the culinary category than my fellow twenty something chicas.

We lived in Orlando at the time and I was slowly becoming homesick. So therefore I loved making comfort food that made me feel back at home and thus my future hubby dubbed me The Casserole Queen!

He may tease but there are a few staples to our cooler weather eating habits that have become a mainstay in our home. I'd like to share a few with you. I should point out that a few of these are new ones that I've attained over the past nine years.

Tater Tot Casserole (thanks to Crissy for this one!)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Ingredients
1 lb hamburger
1 small onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 cups frozen tots (about 1/2 a regular pckg)
Velveeta slices or chunks

Directions
Brown hamburger and cook onion with it then drain. Add soup, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to skillet and stir till blended. Pour into a 13 X 9 casserole dish. Cover mixture with velveeta slices or chunks. Top with an even layer of tots. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and tots are browned.

Taco Pie
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Ingredients
1 lb hamburger
1 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
taco seasoning packet
1 small can of tomato paste
1/3 cup water
10 small refrigerated biscuits
2 cups colby jack cheese
sour cream to taste for garnish

Directions
Brown hamburger, green peppers and onions together and drain. Place back into skillet. Add seasoning packet, tomato paste, and 2 tbsp water or whatever packets directions call for. Heat mixture on medium high heat until simmering and thickened.

Add biscuits to bottom of 9 inch pie plate sprayed w/ cooking spray. Press biscuits into bottom of plate until they form a continuous crust. Add half of the meat mixture and spread to cover crust. Spread half of cheese evenly, add remaining meat mixture and top with cheese.

Place in oven for about 20-25 minutes or until biscuits look browned.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a salad.

Well there's just a sampling of the Casserole Queen's recipe box. I hope you enjoy them as much as our family has and continues to!

Blessings,
Stef

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Unexpected Change

Yep, it happened! My seven year-old is on his way to manhood, already! Now us mothers would gasp at the thought and say "He's only seven!" but the fathers however say (with a deep masculine tone), "That's my boy!".

Thank goodness I'm not talking about signs of chest or facial hair or God forbid any other bodily things changing on my son. It was unknown to me that this sort of thing could happen so young. The "thing" in which I speak of is this....

I was going on about my business on the computer the other night with blogging, putting bills on the calendar, checking email and so on. It was close to bed time and I knew Eian was in our bedroom watching tv and winding down. Then IT happened! I heard a loud boisterous "Yeah, Yeah! Go, Go, Go! Touchdown- woo hoo, woo hoo! It sounded kind of boyish but I quickly looked in the living room to where I thought hubby had been. Yep, he was still there.

I proceeded to go in the bedroom to my dismay I found my little baby sitting on the edge of the bed with one arm rested on one leg and the other arm and clenched fist were waving vigorously in the air as his team scored! I didn't even know he had a team much less hoot and holler for them!

Nobody warned me that this would happen and at SEVEN! I thought ya know sure he would get interested in sports and watching them with Dad at maybe 12 or 13, NOT 7!!! I asked him naively, "Watcha doin honey?"

"Oh, nothin mom just watchin the game. You just missed it though, so and so (at this point all I can hear is, I am not your little boy any longer) just kicked a 40 yard field goal and now they're up by three! So and so also just made two interceptions, man he is awesome!!! The whole team's looking better this year than last. Their record's really improved."

Huh, what? I wanted to scream "What the heck is a field goal and what's an interception? How do you even know what the team's record was last year and why do you even care?" However, I refrained from such commentary and politely asked what happened to the Disney show he was watching. His response? Na, I'd much rather watch the game! Now mind you, my husband's not even in the room. So my son did this all on his own. I now feel like an outsider because I don't just have one but two men speaking the foreign sports language!

So I guess the next thing I should prepare for is boxer's only and the Go Diego pj's will go out the window! Oh well, this is just a sign my little guy's growing up and I find it an honor that God would let me be a part of it. I guess I need to learn to go with the flow and enjoy my guys while I have them and by a NFL dictionary of sports terms!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grandma's House

Okay so these are a little late coming but here they are anyway. I took a few days off about two weeks ago. Hubby, the kids and I went to visit my grandma up north. We only had a few hours but it was still great. She was so happy to see us. All of us grandkids (all 29 of us) just love her to death but we all get busy with our own lives that she rarely has visitors. It made me realize we should appreciate the time more the lord gives us with her here.

We arrived right before lunch time. Good timing for us because we received the royal treatment! She made us homemade mashed potatoes (no boxed stuff for granny!), homemade chicken and noodles and fresh homemade apple pie. Mmmm, Yummy!

We went to a park to let the kids play right around the corner from Grandma's house. It was a really nice park for being a itty bitty town. Then we let the kids play in the playroom while we talked about things of spiritual nature with Grandma. Then as we had to leave we were sent home with about 10 bags of pears! Mom canned some and since I don't have time to can I've just been sharing with friends, co-workers and anyone else who'll take the stinkin things!

Here are some photos of our visit:

















Table for 2 Please

Aha, you thought I fell off the face of the Earth, didn't you? Well I am actually adding a new post with new pics!


This was from last week and thought it was too sweet not to share. Eian's been under my feet so to speak when I'm in the kitchen since he was little. We've made cookies, brownies and other stuff to BAKE but never over the stove really. So you can imagine I went into protective mama mode when he told me this past February that he wanted to make me dinner for my birthday. Now it was just hamburger helper but what if burned his teeny weeny finger? Just kiddin, I loosened the strings and let him do it and he certainly felt a since of accomplishment.


He hasn't really asked to cook since and I haven't encouraged it for no real reason. So the other day I was scrambling to find something to make for dinner quick, since it was already 6:40. He stepped in like the little hero and asked to make hamburger helper and there was already meat thawed. He did a great job and loved the satisfaction from serving Paige and I. He asked if we had one of those big white chef hats but we don't. I think I have a new gift idea for him!


So here's my little chef, isn't he cute, oops I mean handsome?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yeah, I Know!

I know what you're thinking... I said I was going to blog up a storm this past weekend and here it is almost a week later and nothin! I reeeaaalllly do have tons to update all of you on but I guess I've been too busy living life that I just don't have time to blog about it!

I know I sound like a broken record but we're STILL adjusting to having another little person in the house, or should I say... I'm still adjusting. I honestly don't know how ya'll all do it with three four or even five little ones at the same time. All of you women who God has blessed, A LOT, with oodles of children are my new heroes, except for Jesus of course!

I promise I'll finally put up the photos of the kids when we were at Grandma's and get some other stuff I keep meaning to post up.

Later Taters!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Latest Niece Update

Yay! I get two days off! Eian's school has fall break/ teacher conferences tomorrow and Friday. I had time left to burn before the end of the year and I'm so glad I reserved the time off. I never knew over a month ago when I put my request in that we would have my little niece living with us. It's true that she has been a wonderful addition to our home and am grateful for the opportunity to help her, my brother and to serve the Lord in this way. However, this wonderful blessing has not come without some growing pains, so to speak. My husband, son and I have all felt the pressure of a hectic schedule as we arrange for her supervised visits with her dad, giving up space and just re-configuring our routines in general.

So with all that said... a two day break is definitely welcomed! I say all of this gingerly because I certainly do not want to seem as if I am complaining or trying to get a pity party! I guess I'm posting this to vent a little and ask for prayers. Please pray for continued guidance, patience, meekness (oooh... I just learned the true Biblical meaning for this recently & I'll share more on this later!) for all of us and that God will be glorified though this. Pray that He keeps us humble and we recognize our need to rely on Him to see us through. Pray that all of my family involved will have their hearts opened and that their innermost being would be stirred by the Lord.

Thank you so much to all of you who have prayed so far. The next hurdle in this journey is coming this Friday. We will be having a 4 hour in home inspection. I'm not real sure what to expect other than I know he'll ask tons of questions and look over the mound of paperwork he asked us to fill out and go through and jot items in the house he wants corrected to make our home "child-safe". I'm trying real hard to remember God's in control because my biggest fear is that they find some reason for my niece not to stay here. I don't know why because it's not like my home's extremely filthy and we have the room for her (well we created room for her that is). So I will be praying about this in the morning and ask God to help me to trust Him. It's so easy for us to praise Him one day and then next day question Him when we're fearful, isn't it?

Anyway, we all felt a need to reconnect with one another and have some family time. So we're going an hour north to the sleepy little town my Grandma lives in. It's been awhile since we visited and she's just thrilled to have us. We'll just be going up for the day. So we're all looking forward to getting out of our normal environment for a day.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings and I hope to post up a storm this extended weekend! I have all kinds of posts drafted but not finished because it's just too hard to find time during the week. So stay tuned for more blogginess....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Fireproof Movie

Oh I cannot wait to see the movie, Fireproof. We may have to wait until January when it comes out on dvd though. Oh well, I can live through those of you who've seen it. So share your reviews with me if you've seen it. I would love to hear them. I know a few who've seen it and just loved it. I over heard one woman at church say her husband even got a little choked up!

It's so awesome to see that God is using a church body from Georgia to make His movies! I also heard on the radio that the movie is #4 in the country! So go see your movie with your hubby or heck even if you aren't married, you should go! They interviewed one woman who went and isn't married but dating. She thought it was great to see some of the pitfalls couples can get in and felt like she now has an advantage to "fireproof" her future marriage.

So my anticipation grows and I look forward to snuggling on the couch with David when the dvd's released!

Sailin' Through Saturdays

I just love my Saturday's these days. I used to feel like I DESERVED to sleep in till 10 and then slither to the recliner and veg on TLC and HGTV shows and throw my kid a pop tart if he got hungry. I used to play this poor me act and deceive myself into thinking I needed my "Me" time after a long week at work.


Well I am so glad that I have been saved from a self-centered lifestyle! I still have my moments but I realize that no day truly belongs to me. They are all days the Lord has given to me as a gift. We all know, believers or not, that you can be here today but gone tomorrow so why shouldn't I make the most of any day, especially Saturdays, to be a blessing and to make the most of them?

So my NEW Saturdays include getting up around 6:30 or 7am (most days), Bible study, exercising, catch up on chores, soccer game mid-day, lunch and then get caught up on tedious projects at home that I can't get done during the week, grocery shop and sometimes a playdate at the park. Today however, I have been feeling a little "sluggish" and have been blog lurking. I turned my "lurking" into productivity though!

This afternoon I made homemade tomoto soup that I got from Tammy's Recipes. My mom and dad had a great crop of tomatos this year and I needed to do something with them before they went bad. I have to say, this is the BEST tomato soup. It beats the canned stuff for sure! It does take a lot more time obviously but I made a large enough batch to have a few bowls right away and then froze the rest in baggies. It made so much soup that I'll have enough for several months. Not to mention that I can turn some of the soup into pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce. The best part? It's super cheap.

I also decided to try to make my own iced coffee. It's a great recipe I got from another blog I lurk in from time to time. How ingenius is it to freeze leftover coffee? Why didn't I think of this before? I always have just a wee little bit left in the pot when I leave for work and now I just pour the last few drops into the ice tray. I just made mine and it is delicious! I made a little different variation though. I added a little vanilla extract and some of Eian's Nesquick to make it an Iced Coffee Vanilla Mocha! Instead of feeling guilty for being wasteful and leaving a few drops of leftover coffee I'll now look at those last wonderful drops as my little Saturday treat!

Well I'm off to have some Momma and Son time and finish a few chores! Enjoy the rest of your Saturday and I pray you have an even better Lord's Day tomorrow!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gift Exchange or No Gift Exchange?

Gifts or no gifts for Christmas? That's the question I've been asking myself lately. I'm sure the idea has been triggered by our playing catch up on bills and just the conviction from the Lord lately to be better stewards of our money. It may also be triggered by the "trap" you get into with gift exchange.

I don't know about all of you but I feel extreme pressure to make sure everyone knows how special they are to me by giving them a gift. I tell myself when I'm standing in line at 4 am wrapped around a Best Buy store freezing several body parts off that, "This is to show ________ how wonderful I think they are. I really want to warm their hearts this Christmas with this awesome gift. They're going to be soooo surprised!"

I also have that voice telling me that it'll hurt their feelings if I don't buy them a gift. What will they think of me if I don't get them this or that they've been wanting? It'll show them I don't care and then what'll they think of me? I say it's because it's in the spirit of giving, which should be to make the other person feel special, but who is it that I'm really trying to make feel special?Hmmmm.... I'd have to say ME! Where's the Christmas spirit in that huh? Kinda sounds like I'm really not thinking about anyone else at all!

I haven't ran it past any of the fam yet but I am tinkering with the idea of suggesting we maybe give to a charity or help a less fortunate family this year instead of gifts. It may get completely shot down, we'll see.

It's not just the fact that we are tight on money this Christmas, but the more I grow in my walk with the Lord the more I see the true meaning getting lost in the sea of useless kitchen gadgets and toys the kids never play with. I mean... how many foot spas and ugly sweaters does one person need?

I wanted to be brutally honest about some of my own personal thoughts and wondering if I'm alone?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Blessing

I had to take a break from the blog world this week, but I'm back! I posted last week about our "unexpected blessing" and that blessing has caused me to have to re-prioritize and my blog got pushed down to the bottom of the list.

You're probably all on the edge of your seat wondering what the blessing is aren't you? I knew you were! Well the blessing we received last Monday is my two-year-old niece. We have temporary custody of her while my brother trys to get himself to a more stable position to be able to put my niece's needs first.

We love having her and she has taught all of us, including the cat, that we all had a lesson to learn in being flexible and realizing it's not always about us! I've really been proud of my husband especially, who admits he is a man set in his ways, but he has really embraced the situation and is a great uncle. My son has been handling it like a champ as well but he did ask to have a movie night the other night just him and I after my niece went to bed. I 'm trying to be mindful that he has been an only child for 7 years and a two year old takes up a lot of my time.

I may be the one (other than the cat of course) that's having the most trouble adjusting. My niece has helped me to realize how self absorbed I can be and that I have to learn that I don't have to be super mom. I think I sometimes try to make up for working full time by working my tail off here at home on the weekends. It's that constant struggle to find balance and it makes it even more difficult when you have a busy two year old under foot.

Don't get me wrong though, I am NOT complaining about having her. I know God has her here for a reason and I feel honored to be a part of His plan. Thank you for all your prayers and please don't stop. Please continue to pray for my brother and that he would open his heart to the Lord and commit to live his life for Him.

Gotta go for now but I'm sure I'll have many mis-adventures to post on now! I forgot how interesting life can be with a little one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just a Quick One

Isn't it funny how God has a way of answering our prayers but not always how we expect Him to? Most of you know about God's slight change in our plans to have another child. We were expecting our second child last year but God thought otherwise and took our little one to Heaven. All I can say at this point, until it's made official, is that He has given us a blessing beyond imagination, even if it is a temporary one. He has entrusted us with a very important responsibility and I pray that David and I can be strengthened as a couple and grow in our ability to work together as a team and in our communication as a whole.

Please pray that the Lord would be glorified and others involved in this ordeal would be brought to their knees through these circumstances and recognize and admit there need for Jesus Christ as their Savior. Wow! Lots to pray for so I better go and get busy!

Good night all and God Bless,
Stef

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Hubby Turned 40!

So my husband David is officially an OLD man robbing the cradle with me as his lovely wife! It's hard to believe how fast time has flown and that he's now 40 and we have been together for nearly 9 years! No really I tease when I call him old because to me, age really is just a number. It's what's inside a person that really matters and what's inside them that makes them young or old.

Still though, I felt extreme pressure to make David's 40th a great birthday. Most people who know Daivid, know he's hard to buy for and really doesn't have a lot of wants or needs. The only thing I could come up with that he really wanted was to see his mom. David's job situation has made it difficult financially to afford the gas to drive 4 hours to Ohio and visit her. So her and I conspired together to surprise him with a visit from her. Geesh, he's no fun! He called me from work the day she was "sneaking" in and asked if she was here yet! He suspected the whole time. Oh well, I know he enjoyed having her here and that's all that matters.

Lack of funds made it difficult to go out and buy him this super great gift so Eian and I did the next best thing.... a homeade (with the help of Pilsbury)strawberry cake (isn't it lovely?),






a handmade card with some of my scrapbooking supplies,















and a customized crown fit for a KING!








The King & His Queen!



Dad and His Boy!




Happy Birthday Sweetie, we love you!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Glad I Went

Let me know if any of you have been where I was tonight.

I have on several occasions tried to talk myself out of going to a church function, a Bible study, a small group meeting, a serving opportunity or just church on Sunday all together. Well I have learned from experience that the more I struggle with the decision to go or not to go and then just do it and go, the more the Lord blesses me. He blesses me with revealing an awesome truth form His Word to me, an encouraging word from a pastor or touching my heart deeply while serving His people. The more I struggle, the more I realize there's something God wants me to learn from Him that Satan obviously does not!

Tonight, I thought, was no exception. I struggled within myself as whether to go to Wednesday night church classes or not. I wasn't feeling the greatest, I wanted to spend more time with my mother in law visiting from Ohio, I was tired and the list goes on of reasons why I wanted (keyword here being wanted) to stay home but then as if the Holy Spirit took over, I said "Nope, I'm going. I need to go!." I even told my husband that I couldn't wait to see how the Lord was going to bless me tonight because that's how this usually works. So to make a long story short, I went to class.

It's the fifth week in this class titled Women of Character. Each session has been powerful and has revealed a deep rooted lie taught to me over the years from the world's view. Each session leaves me feeling incredibly free. So here I am driving to church assuming this great and powerful blessing is coming to me. Then this thought came to me, "Is that why you're going? Just to be blessed? You need to go just because you want to be obedient, period." So I went to class and it was good, very good. Here, let me share some of the "blessings" from tonight's lesson.

The basic premise of tonight's study was taking what we learned from the previous week, the lie of self love, and turning our focus from within ourselves to outward and upward toward God. The world teaches us that we have to love ourselves before we can love others (I totally bought into this one), you deserve happiness, we all need and deserve our "ME" time, self esteem is the most important thing a person can have, etc.

We learned last week that this is such an empty promise because if you finally learn to love yourself then we, being sinful creatures, will soon start wondering why everyone else doesn't love as much as we love ourselves. A person then spins into a whirlwind of trying to get everyone else to love them just as much, gets angry or bitter when they don't and is just left feeling empty all over again!

However, when we have the love that Christ offers us and we accept it, all our needs are met. He loves us not because of who we are but because of who He is. He is an amazing God who loves us no matter what we do or don't do, He just loves us unconditionally. There is nothing we can ever do to lose it nor is there anything we can do to attain it, it's just there.

So why in the world would we ever want to settle for the love that we would ever be able to offer to ourselves alone? We know, and God knows, that we are incapable of that kind of pure love. Man what a sham, was all I could think about all those self help books I've read in the past! Another lie the world teaches us is that denying ourselves and putting others first is weak and obviously shows our need for approval from others and thus proves our lack of self esteem and validates our need to love ourselves!

Thank the Lord though for verses like these, that tell us differently: Phil 2:1-5, Matt 22:37-40,Matt 16:24-26, Luke 9:23 Then another point which I know is a basic truth of the Christian faith and a phrase we hear quite often at our church is, "It's not about me!" The only reason we are even here at all on this earth is because of Him and we are here and created to please God, not ourselves Matt 6:33, 1 Cor 10:31, 2 Cor 5:9-15.

Ahhh... "ding, ding, ding", the Lord seemed to say to me. Then I started thinking "Now what was I saying on my way here? I wanted to see what blessings were in store for me? How selfish of me, how could I expect God to bless me? I should want to learn more of Him and grow in my walk with Him and do things for Him just because I love Him and I have been called to follow Him and want to be more like His Son. Ah man, how stinkin selfish can I be?"

I left class feeling FULL from the awesome teaching and began my drive home. I immediately began praising Him and thanking Him for many things... our church family, for the woman teaching the class and the work He's doing through her, His unconditional love for me and for all of us who are so undeserving and finally for teaching me about obedience and that tonight was never about me and blessing me. Tonight was about Him. I asked for forgiveness and thanked Him for the gift of forgiveness He freely gives because of what Christ did on the cross. I finished my prayer and said my "in Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

My mind then went silent for a moment and for just a minute I felt extremely close to Him and then it was as if He was saying, "A Ha! You finalllly, get it my dear." And you know what... I felt extremely loved, comforted and "blessed" by the time I pulled into my driveway. Isn't God sooo AWESOME?

All I can say to sum up this post is.. "I Am Glad I Went!"

Good Night All
Stef

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hope for Climbing Out of the $$$ Rut

My Husband and I have not been the best savers I guess you could say. Now with me at the ripe old age of 31 and my husband approaching the BIG 40, we realize that retirement really isn't that far off, let alone our baby heading off to college in a blink of an eye (okay so we've got about 10 years)! We have finally agreed that if we keep doing what we're doing then we'll keep getting what we've been getting, which isn't much!

Some friends of ours' church is offering a money management class called New Focus. Has anyone heard of this or taken the classes? I tried to find a website for them but couldn't. Anyway it's a faith based organization that offers this FREE 12 week course that teaches the ins and outs of money management, budgeting, saving, pitfalls, etc. I love that they are striving to make this as less hassle for their attendees as possible (they try to eliminate ANY excuses!). They offer free dinners, childcare (my son's best bud will also be there so he's super excited) and at the end of the open lecture session each person/couple is given 30-45 minutes with their own financial coach.

Hubby and I just went to the call out for more info and signed up. It starts next Monday and I think we both felt a huge weight lift from our shoulders as we walked out of the church. I found this verse that describes how I feel about the relief now that we are taking action, Biblically to better our situation.

Nahum 1:13Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away." Debt is our yoke right now and though I know we didn't get in this bind by accident and this won't be easy, my hubby and I are willing to begin being faithful in this area of our life for Him.


So I can't wait to get started and share the helpful tips I learn with all you gals!

Inspiring Quotes

I've had two quotes that have been lingering on my mind and thought I would archive them down in blog history so I won't forget them. Okay so here they are...

"The owner of a falling apart Bible, ISN'T falling apart!"- Author Sharon Jaynes

"Bleach won't clean you up and make you "presentable" for God, only BLOOD, His blood, can." My Pastor, Steve Viars @ Faith Baptist Church

I love these. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did and do. They just bring a smile to my face =0)!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I am domestic, hear me roar!!!

I had always considered myself pretty"domestic" in my own right. Until... I discovered the Blog World (darn you Sami!) and found all these blogs by seemingly normal women. It wasn't until further inspection of their blogs did I discover their hidden talents. Most of the blogs I was reading were from SAHM and Homeschooling Moms. Ironically enough, I am neither but felt drawn to these blogs (maybe the Holy Spirit's trying to tell me something?)

Long ago when I first became a mother, I used to think of SAHM's as whiney crybabies. I remember thinking, when I briefly became a SAHM until my son was nearly 2, "What the heck are they complaining about? Why do women think being a SAHM is soooo hard? Big stinkin deal, you get stay home and play with your kid all day, so what? The REEEEAAAAL work is out there in the REEEAAAL world, not at home!" Now just hold it right there and wait a minute before you click on my comment link to shoot me a few nasty words!

Please keep in mind that I was first of all, not a follower of the Lord and was very selfish. I resented staying home (which was mostly my husband's desire) and bought into the lie of the world that a women's real worth has to be found in a job, a career or anything else outside of the home. Secondly, I found no real passion in really wanting to keep up my home let alone wanting to make it my family's retreat. I did keep things fairly clean though but it was just routine, no joy put into it what so ever.

I was saved nearly 3 years ago and that's when my viewpoints and outlook on this began to change. It hasn't been until recently though that my respect and admiration for SAHM's has really grown strong. So here I am, a Working Full Time Out of The Home Momma (posts to come soon on why I do this) who is learning through my Bible study on my role as a woman, wife and mother and comes onto the blog scene. I soon discover this wonderful network of SAHM's who are Amazing Domestic Diva's! You girls rock!

I have learned to make my own homemade buttermilk and now my new fave... 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread (using the homeade buttermilk =0) and learned more ways to stretch a buck than I can list! My next project may be homemade yogurt and cream cheese, we'll see! I've also gained so many new recipes and cooking tips that you just can't get in the Betty Crocker Cook Book! My Domestic Senses are tingling and I love it. I think my hubby does too! ;o)



You can check out Candy's blog http://myblessedhome.blogspot.com/ for the recipes.



My Son Going to Town "Punching" the Bread

Homemade
Buttermilk










Pancakes I made
With the Buttermilk!



My son loves pancakes but weekday mornings around here are too crazy for homecooking in the AM hours! Soooo... I made a whole batch of these over the weekend, let them cool and wrapped them up in plastic wrap to freeze. This allows me to take 2 or so cakes out of the freezer, stick them on a plate and nuke for about 20-30 seconds and viola!! Homemade pancakes!

Helpful tip: Put plastic between each cake so they don't stick together when you take them out of freezer!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Me

As I said in my first entry, this is brand new for me and have tons of things I would like to post but where do I begin? So sharing a little about me might be a good place.

1. I am a Christian as of almost 3 years ago. I am grateful to God for my testimony and the dramtic transformation He made in me. I am by no means complete or perfect. I am a work in progress and believe that I will not fully arrive to a place of completeness until the day I meet Jesus in Heaven.

2. I have been married to my wonderful hubby for over 3 years but we have been together since 2000. We have one child and would love to have more but are trying to be patient knowing that it's up to the Lord.

3. I really do consider myself a simple gal, hence my blog name, and love being "simple". I'm sure my husband would disagree though as he has been trying to figure me out for years and would consider me anything but simple!

4. Family is important to me and I could easily become one of those Family Tree fanatics if I had the time. My Mom seems to be doing a good job of tracking down our families' roots for now though. So I must get it honest.

5. I am a work full-time outside of the home Mom but envy those who stay home. BEWARE... this Does Not mean I want to hear about everyones wonderful work at home schemes, been there done that! Pleeease do not bombard me with your business offers.

6. I love living in the country and love the midwest. Most people look at me like I'm crazy when I say that, but it's true! I moved to Orlando for about 3 years and thought I was one of the lucky ones and getting out of the small town rut and was on my way to bigger and better things! Then I met my hubby, had a baby and got extremely homesick. I missed the change of seasons, the harvest time, down home cooking, friendly farmers waving at you as they passed on their tractors, old and ready to crumble barns in the middle of an empty field, my family, and yes I missed SNOW! There is honestly no place I would rather be than right here.

7. Some of my interests are reading the Bible and other books to help me grow spiritually, Bible studies,yard sales, spending time with hubby and son, festivals, trying new recipes, crafting, scrap booking, gardening (although I don't have one yet), TRYING to keep a clean and organized home, getting back to basic cooking methods (like grandma used to do), and drinking tea & coffee.

8. I also love frugality and finding new ways to pinch a penny. I clip coupons, scan sales ads, comparison shop, and am now trying to bake from scratch more if time allows. I can't just grocery shop like a normal person either and my hubby hates to go with me ;-). I'll write more on my grocery shopping strategies later.

9. My sister jokingly calls me Polyanna. Apparently my sister views me as this lil' angel that onlys see the good in all things and floats around on my lil' cloud as if all is right with the world and I wouldn't harm a fly. Well, I do try to always see the good in ALL people and ALL things. I especially try to trust God with the uncontrollable things in my life and keep one of my favorite verses close during these times: (Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.) I have learned the hard way that I cannot control what happens to me, how others treat me BUT I can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, control MY actions, MY thoughts, and MY words. Funny thing about that, when I focus on my behavior and pleasing the Lord and stop worrying about trying to change others, they start to take notice. Sometimes they change their ways and sometimes they do not, but I at least know I am pleasing the Lord and that's enough for me! By the way, I have been to kill a fly or two and... maybe a few spiders!

10. So I guess that's pretty much me in a nutshell!