Friday, November 30, 2012

Jaxson's BYOB Bring Your Own Bike 10th Birthday Party

My absolute favorite thing in the whole world to do is to celebrate the birth of the people I love. Here are some pics of how we celebrated Jaxson's 10th birthday this year. This was one of the best parties I've hosted, the boys loved riding their bikes through the trails.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Homemade Cream Of Mushroom Soup

I love to make a big pot of this delicious soup for dinner one night, and a casserole later in the week. This is so good and easy you'll never by canned again!

8 ounces fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons onions, chopped
1 -2 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 -3 tablespoons flour (separated)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cut the mushrooms into slices.
 Melt butter in large frying pan. Add in onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until onions are soft.
 Blend in 2 T. flour and stir.
 Add in the chicken broth and heat until slightly thickened while stirring frequently.
 Stir cream with additional 1 T. flour and seasonings. Add in cream to soup. Heat to thicken while stirring frequently.

Day 27, 28, 29....

Day 27:  I am so thankful for the friends that I have in my life. Living in a town without most of my family here, it sure is nice to have a great support from some wonderful friends.

Day 28: Thankful for this beautiful roof over my head that I call home!

Day 29: Today as I pray for and unknown child's health, I feel especially thankful for healthy children of my own!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Before I can start to prepare my self for the Christmas Season, I must first get through the denial that Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hate it! I hate that it came so fast this year! Here are a few pics from our Thanksgiving to remind me how blessed I really am.... Oh and pay no attention to my wrinkled tablecloth, of course my iron broke at a very inconvenient time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Throw it all in the pot......

Here is my easy, I just made a huge Thanksgiving dinner I don't wanna cook dinner idea......

I cut up potatoes, red peppers, yellow peppers, and a Jimmy Dean sausage link. Threw it all in a roasting pan, drizzled it with olive oil, garlic salt, pepper and old bay seasoning. Roasted it on 400 degrees for 45 minutes! YUM! My kids even ate the peppers! The sausage gave it all a great flavor, and it was so easy to make.

Catching up AGAIN!

I can't believe it's already November 25th, and of course I am a little behind and have more catching up to do.....

Day 23: I am thankful for lazy do nothing but hang with my family days...nothing more really needs to be said except for that WOW I was whooped the day after Thanksgiving this year!

Day 24: This is corny, but I am so Thankful for music. Sometime I just turn on the radio and it changes my entire mood, brings back a memory, or just honestly gets me moving!

Day 25: I am thankful for beautiful Texas weather and nice long family walks together!

Day 26: As I am spending my morning pulling out my Christmas decorations, I realize how thankful I am for Christmas! That Christ was sent to be born, and that we have the opportunity to celebrate his birth!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 22...

Today is my favorite holiday of the year, a day to be thankful for everything. A day of family, friends, good food, and relaxation. I am most thankful for my family and friends, the ones I will spend today with, and the ones to far to visit. I am thankful for our strong an powerful Lord, and for the ability to live in a country where I am free to worship.

Day 21...

Today I am so thankful for cousins. So grateful to have a brother and sister in-law who make a long drive every year to visit, and allow our kids to know and love each other.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 20

After spending the day with these girls preparing the Thanksgiving meal for hundreds of homeless, all I can really say is that I am so Thankful for the full bellies in my household. What an eye opening experience for myself and the girls.

* Tonight when I lay down I will be especially praying for all the homeless men, women, and children.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Shredded Chicken Patties

I love these chicken sandwiches. It's always my go to recipe when I have some leftover chicken, or if I just want to buy a quick rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (can use less if you like)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper 
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  1. In a large bowl, stir together chicken and cracker crumbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together all other ingredients. Pour wet mixture into bowl with chicken and stir until well combined. Cover with dish towel and allow to sit for five minutes. Form into 5-7 patties. Can freeze at this time and cook them later.
  2. To cook: Place about 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet and heat over medium high heat for a few minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add patties. Cook until well browned on both sides, flipping once. To cook from frozen, follow same instructions but allow longer cooking time. Remove from heat once hot through.
  3. Serve on their own or on buns, mayo (if you like it), lettuce, and fresh tomato.

Day 18/19

Day 18:  As I have been preparing for our family to come in town, I feel very thankful for hard working kids. They help me without even being asked to help.

Day 19: Today I am thankful for quiet slow morning with no school and no rushing to get anywhere!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hash Brown Casserole

This is the copy cat Cracker Barrel recipe, it's perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even as a side at dinner!

  • 1/3 cup of salted butter
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup ( I make homemade cream of chicken soup)
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 pound bag of frozen southern style diced or shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons of salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish; set aside.

    Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion just until soft, but not browned. Stir in the soup, sour cream, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Stir in the cheese until blended in well. Add the shredded potatoes and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Turn out into prepared baking dish. Mix the 3 tablespoons of melted butter with the cracker crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Day 16 and 17....

Day 16:  Ok this is a silly one, but I'm really thankful for coffee. I have been staying up a little too late watching lifetime Christmas movies, which makes it hard to get moving in the mornings. I'm thankful for a nice hot cup of coffee in the mornings.

Day 17: Thankful for slow Saturday morning with nothing to do. We don't get too many of these with 3 busy kids, but when we do they are cherished!

Friday, November 16, 2012

5 Layer Carrot Cake

This has a lot of ingredients and takes a little time, but it is definatly worth it.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups grated carrot 
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts 

  1. Line 5  round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.
  2. Stir together first 4 ingredients.
  3. Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.
  4. Bake at 350° for 25  minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Day 15:

Today I feel grateful for school holidays. I can't wait til next week when I get to spend the whole week at home with my kids! I hope they are ready for some mommy time!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14:

Today I feel thankful that my husband is a hard working man who loves me and our kids enough to give me the opportunity to stay home with them.

Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry

Here is an simple stir fry recipe that is quick and delicious....perfect for a weeknight!

1 pound of flank steak
2 cups of sugar snap peas
Half red pepper – cut into strip
Half yellow pepper – cut into strip
2 tbl garlic powder
 1 egg white
1 tsp of grated ginger
 3 tbsp of soy sauce
½ tsp of sugar
1 tsp of cornstarch

1. Cut the flank steak across the grain into very thin strips about 1 1/2 to 2-inches long. Marinate it with egg white, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and cornstarch. Marinate the beef for 15 minutes.
2. Heat up 3 tbsp of oil in a hot pan. Add the beef and cook briefly until lightly browned (2 to 3 minutes). Remove the beef from pan.
3. In the same pan add in 1 tbsp of oil, add ginger and garlic, stir-fry until fragrant. Add the snow peas and peppers. Stir-fry for 1 minute and add the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and the sugar. Add the beef back into the pan. Mix everything together and serve.

**** I made mine without the red peppers, and served it over whole grain noodles

11, 12, 13......almost caught up!

Day 11:  I am so thankful for this precious little man! He is so sweet, kind hearted, and loving. He makes me smile everyday!!!

Day 12: Thankful for technology,  I really don't know how our mom's and dad's survived without it. It really is what keeps me organized of all the things going on in my life.

Day 13: Thankful for family, as the Thanksgiving week approaches I am reminded how much my kids look forward to their cousins visiting. It makes my heart happy that they know and love most of their Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How do I get my kids to eat these.....

Brussels sprouts are a new favorite in my house. Believe it or not my kids, and hubby love them! Now I'm not so sure the way I cook them is low fat, but hey at least they are getting all the other health benefits from them! Here is my secret ingredient for making them taste so good.......

Yes it's that easy! Just cook some bacon, and saute the Brussel sprouts in the same pan that you cooked the bacon, chop the bacon, add some salt and pepper, and serve together.

Day 8......9...10

Ok I am going to play a little catch up on this post.....

Day 8:  I am so thankful for a handy husband. Seriously as corny as it sounds there is something to be said about the fact that if something breaks in this house, Paul can always fix it. I was reminded of this when my 12 year old oven broke last week, and my sweet hubby swooped in to save the day. Yes I'm exaggerating a little, but a broken oven in this house is not a good thing. So yes I now have a new oven (yay...right before thanksgiving), and Paul installed it all by himself! :)

Day 9:  Yes I am thankful for the warmth of my home. It has suddenly turned cold here in Texas, and I being from Florida, don't like it. I am so thankful to have a warm home with a heater that I can turn up every morning to warm up my babies!

Day 10: Feeling thankful that my kids have some amazing teachers. Everyday I send them off to school knowing that they are loved, and knowing that they truly matter.  :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Still behind.....Day 7

Instead of griping and complaining about how busy it is to have 3 children, I am going to stop and say...." I am so thankful for 3 active, busy, healthy children!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Catching up! Day 6.....

After spending four days camping with Susie, and a lot of other 5th graders I am reminded how thankful I am for the beautiful canvas that God has created for us. I am so lucky that I had the opportunity to wake up to this beauty for four days.That I was able to spend four days with great kids, teachers, and parents! All I can say is thank you Lord for the reminder of the beauty that surrounds us!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5....

I am thankful for this girl!!! There isn't a day that goes by that this girl doesn't make me shake my head and laugh. She has more personality than anyone I have ever met. I can't wait to see what God has in store for her future!
              AND....I get to spend the next 4 days camping with her! Now that's something to be thankful for!

Wish me luck as I take on the adventure with her the next four days!!! Yikes!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fire Crackers

This picture does not do these crackers justice! The best way to explain to you how good these are is just to tell you that every single time I make these they disappear and people ask for more. They are sooo good and very addictive!

1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 package ranch dressing mix
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes

Place the vegetable oil, garlic powder, ranch dressing mix, and crushed red pepper flakes in a 2-gallon plastic zipper bag. Seal the bag and smoosh with your hands to thoroughly combine the oil and spices. Place the crackers into the bag, seal, and turn the bag over to cover the crackers with the spice mix. Let the bag sit for about 1 hour, then turn again. Repeat several more times until the crackers are well-coated with spice mix. Remove crackers and serve.

Day 4......

Today I am simply thankful to be able to live in a world where I can worship every Sunday morning. Thankful for my right to raise my children in a good strong Bible teaching church!

Day 3.....

I am thankful for this man! I am so blessed that God chose him to be my husband. There isn't a lot more to say than that. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the man he specifically chose for me. He has been a knight and shining honor for Taylor and I, and through good times and bad he's the one who is the rock of our family!!!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2.....

Today, I am thankful for sibling love! Yes that's right my kids truly love each other. I hear other parents talk about how their kids fight, bicker, and argue constantly, and it makes me so happy to have the opposite! My kids occasionally go through a little bit of that, but really not very often. They have a true love for each other, its the kind of love that can't be explained!

Easy weeknight Red Beans and Rice

Here is a quick simple yummy red beans and rice recipe. It's that time of year for really good southern comfort food, and this is definitely one of those recipes to add to your weeknight dinner list!

  • 1pound smoked sausage, thinly sliced 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  •  cooked rice
  1. Sauté first 4 ingredients in hot oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add beans and next ingredients.( I skipped the bell peppers, because I didn't have any, and no one noticed)
  2. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over rice, or mix rice in skillet. I served with cornbread!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness....

Day one: 

Today I am thankful for prayer! I am reminded daily that if not for the ability to pray I would not make it through the day. I would live in constant worry. I am definitely as my mom would say a worry wart. I worry about things that most people don't even take the time to worry about. Oh and I don't even want to mention how much worry is added to my plate just because I am a mother of a  teenage daughter. I send my kids and husband out the door every morning with a cloud of prayer, and because of that I can make it through the day. Just knowing that God is listening to me and loves them even more than I do is what will always get me through!!!

I love this girl!!!!

Every year, I choose to make my 10 year olds costume. Every year we struggle! She's my middle child, and my  child with the most spunk! She has an opinion about everything, some years she says she just wants to be "normal" like everyone else, and just go to Target and buy a costume. When this happens it makes me sad. What I struggle with the most is what I love the most about her! This year.....there was no struggle...yay! She decided that she wanted to be a clown, the very minute she saw that giant sunflower that squirted! I bought the sunflower immediately, and began to work on how to make her the cutest clown ever! She of course still had her opinion, and she actually helped! This is what we came up with, and this is my absolute favorite year! Not because it's the best costume I have ever made, but because we had so much fun making it together, oh and because she LOVED it! Sometimes I need a little reminder that what really matters is how she feels!!!!!!