Saturday, February 28, 2009

~Giveaway at Farm Chicks!!~

Do yourself a favor and visit Farm Chicks in your travels online today. You will find all the things I love about Farm Chicks as well as a giveaway going on right now, it's a surprise mystery bag type giveaway. Sounds like fun to me!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

~Just Listening~

Click here to hear a great message on marriage (scroll down to the little audio box on the bottom and click on the message from Alan Hlavka). It was very encouraging to me!! It's Joy's dad, and I want to thank her for sharing it with us all.

I listened to this message tonight and I LOVE his opening examples of how if someone you esteem greatly (John Piper was the example) to do something mundane you JUMP on it and consider it a great priviledge to do so, and it's the same way for us at home changing diapers and washing dishes because the KING, not A king, but THEE KING has asked us to be where we are doing what we're doing. Even if no one in this world gives you worth, the King has given you worth. WOW was that a very vivid example, something so relateable. It was also very encouraging and loving message, I encourage you to look it up above!

Monday, February 16, 2009

~Two Week of Eats~

Time to get my act together and round up another fortnight of recipes ;-)

Most of our meals are quite simple to make, there are a few time extensive recipes thrown in for fun, but that is not the norm. I am adding my procedures for most of the meals below...and gearing up to go back to low-carb. It really worked for us, and I am sorry we gave it up! Back to square one it's going to be REAL soon....

-yankee pot roast
all I do for this is take a spoon roast, coat with granulated garlic and onion follwed by flour, put in pan with hot oil and brown all sides. I crumble some rosemary in my hands and add to meat. Add 1.5 cups of beef stock, cover, and put on lowest setting for about 4 hours. I boil potatoes, mash and whip them with butter and cream on the side. I remove the meat to a cutting board and let rest while making the gravy. I strain the juices to a large glass pyrex measuring cup. To the empty pan I add 2 TBSP of butter and 2 TBSP of flour, whisking with nylon whisk until browned and smooth. Then I add some pan juices a little at a time, allowing to thicken to the desired thickness. Then with a salad previously prepared, and homemade bread we are ready to eat. We normally have this on Friday nights, and it's the only night we have dessert also.

-Overnight lasagna

for this I make a simple lasagna and prepare it ahead with REGULAR noodles. I do not cook them ahead, because I am going to let it sit overnight, therefore there is no need to cook them, as the sauce will soften them naturally and come out perfectly! Be sure to allow the pan to come to room temp before cooking, and do NOT preheat oven, I put pan in and THEN turn on oven to insure that the glass pan will not shatter due to a cold pan going into a hot oven. Been there, done that. Not. Fun!

-maple glazed salmon
I really don't care much for fish, but try to make it for Mike since he loves it. And don't tell anyone but I found some frozen salmon portions at the meat outlet, and for only $5!! They also look like a real portion size, which is a bonus. shhh...

-meatballs and spaghetti
just regular basic meatballs added to spaghetti and sauce.....

-chicken thighs with white wine, herbs and carmelized shallot pan sauce (never got to try it last time)

-beef stroganoff

-white hut style burgers (fried onions)

simply grill some burgers, thrown on some cheese and fry up some onions really well to top with. Simple and yummy!

-chicken alfredo and broccoli with egg noodles
for this one I simply pan fry some chicken breasts which have been cubed until fully cooked, steam some broccoli, then add it to the chicken with a jar of Ragu alfredo sauce over it. Done.

-steak pizzaiola

...for this all I do is cut steak into strips, pan fry with peppers and onions and garlic and onion granulated. Then I add a jar of Pizza sauce over it and Voila!

-homemade mac and cheese with steamed broccolifor this I omitted the bay leaf and onion and used granulated onion instead. It was good!

-individual tortilla pizzas

Simply buy some whole wheat tortillas and top with pizza sauce, mozarella and any other topping you prefer, heat in oven and it's done in no time!

Serves 4

* 1/2 cup honey mustard
* zest from 1 lime
* juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (each about 4 ounces)

Stir together first five ingredients and spread atop chicken breasts, covering evenly. Broil chicken until cooked through, 3 – 4 minutes for each side.
NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per serving: 191 Cal; 27g Protein; 1g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 13g Carb; 0g Fiber; 662mg Sodium; 66mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 4 points

No honey mustard? Just stir a tablespoon of honey into Dijon or another good mustard.
For the sake of appearance, save some sauce for brushing on after broiling.
Cook til the juices run clear. I personally take a whole bnls chick breast, break it apart down the middle into two, then filet each half into half. We get 4 portions out of one whole breast that way, and it's closer to a real portion size that way as well.



Lunches & break will be kept very simple while our dinners are more varied and fun.

Lunches will consist of turkey sandwiches, salads with leftover meats and cheese added, simple pasta or leftovers

Break will consist of various egg dishes or cereal and milk

For more menu ideas, check out Sandra's plan!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I figured I'd join in Kelli's show and tell for once....LOL

This is a bouquet of carnations purchased through my daughter's school on Friday. I love this unique fishbowl type vase which was my granny's. It has etched flowers on it and a criss-cross wire top to hold the flowers in place. Ideally it holds something like 2 dozen flowers and looks very full.

We are making the day a family affair, and the REAL lover of our soul is Christ I am hoping to teach them today. As wonderful of a husband I have, and as much as God has blessed us, it is not a husband/boyfriend that fulfills people, only Christ can give us all that we need, and highly above what we could ask or think, we are lavished with His care and concern. His riches. There is no thing too small or too big for the Love above all Loves.

Isn't this cute..I really think retro images of families are sweet!

We are going to make a few love/heart themed goodies today and enjoy them as a family, after daddy is back from his class, Ryan's basketball game and any appointments he has for work. Then tonight after the children are in bed for the night, hopefully early since they were up early, we will watch Fireproof together, while enjoying some chocolate dipped large, long stemmed strawberries. The move has had great reviews so I can't wait! ;-) I'll show more pics later...

sweetheart brownies...sheet pan of brownies cut out with a cookie cutter.

I personally like the look of strawberries with the leaves, so I left them on.

Sweetheart late night snack...I got the ideas from Joy: sprite and cranberry pommegranate juice topped with whipped cream and sprinkles with our chocolate dipped/drizzled strawberries

Just for fun I took this 5 love languages quiz and my results are below, my two languages are in bold....

Profile Results

Score Love Language
5 Words of Affirmation
7 Quality Time
5 Receiving of Gifts
2 Acts of Service
11 Physical Touch

My primary language is Physical touch, and secondary is quality time
My dh's profile results:

7 Words of Affirmation
6 Quality Time
1 Receiving of Gifts
7 Acts of Service
9 Physical Touch

How to interpret your Profile Score:

Your highest score indicates your primary love language. Your second highest score indicates your secondary love language. If two scores are identical, you are bilingual (you have two primary love languages). If the scores of your primary and your secondary language are close (for example, 10 & 9 respectfully), it indicates both are important to you. Whatever a significant other does to express love in either of these languages will get emotional points with you. The highest possible score for any language is 12.

Having a clear picture of your primary & secondary love languages will explain much of your past behavior Think back over the past and ask yourself "What have I most often requested from significant others?" Chances are your answer will lie within the scope of your primary & secondary love languages. You have been requesting that which would meet your deepest need for emotional love.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

~Some Homemade Fun~

On Tuesday, the little boy that I babysit had a hard time leaving daddy. I decided to cook up some fun to get him in a more cheerful mood, as well as planning ahead for Thursday's (today's) playdate. I wanted to make some pink playdough, and we would try it out ahead of time ;-) Here is the basic recipe,

Cooked Play Dough

3 cups flour
1-1/2 cup salt
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 full squeezes of red Food coloring

Dump dry ingredients into a pot. Measure out the oil and water, dump the food coloring into the water so it will blend uniformly into the dough much easier. Combine it all together over medium heat and stir until it becomes a dough ball. Here are a few pics of the process....

this is it after being mixed real well in pot for uniform coloring

about halfway done

just knead until smooth and beautiful

This kept them happy, busy AND at the table for quite some time. ;-)

Monday, February 2, 2009


Well, last night we had a full house, which doesn't take much since there are 9 of us to begin with. We had two of Autumn's friends join us for the game and food, which there was too much of to say the least. We watched the entire 5 hours of pre-game, which was pretty interesting!! Of course, Mike wanted to watch a movie which shocked me because I was enjoying the pre-game stuff, and Bucci suggested a game of Risk! I am SO glad they didn't break that out for once, it's the SUPERBOWL afterall people!!

Mike with his cousin, Eric

Mike and I

Mike Jr kissing momma

We started out with some chips and dips which I didn't partake of too much since I didn't want to get full on that junk. Some even broke out the cheese and crackers, no thank you. The pizza arrived from Spiro's and it was pretty good. There was combo, pepperoni and plain cheese to choose from. I don't normally eat pork, since it's a scavenger animal and not clean/healthy at all, but I threw caution to the wind and indulged in the combo anyhow. Next I had been simmering some chili for a couple hours since Mike really wanted that. Only two people had any since, like me, they were holding out for the wings!!! Guess who will be eating chili several times this week for lunch?

This weekend alone, I have stocked up 9 lunches for Mike in the freezer. That is terrific! I feel I could do better in this area lately, and cooking for this event certainly helped attain that goal! A few hours later I reheated the wings that had come from Quicky's on Saturday and boy did they hit the spot!

Autumn with Mike B

Aiden whispering in papa's ear

Mike Jr. with Spot

the crew after eating..did you know that after a lion eats he needs to sleep up to 24 hours?

Spot enjoys some grooming, courtesy of Mike B

My tuckered out sugar-kid

Felicia came out of hiding and Mike Jr stole a shot of her..good job kid!

After the second quarter we shut the TV off and did our usual nightly bible reading & discussion, everyone present taking a turn reading, sometimes two. After that, the younger children were brought to bed and the game resumed.

I was rooting for the Cardinals, since it's such a big deal that it was their first Superbowl. How nice would THAT have been for them? New England wasn't playing so what did I care anyway?! LOL Boy, it got close there at the end and the tension was certifiably cuttable but alas, they missed the mark. I went straight to bed after that and have no clue what happened afterward other than the starting and pulling off of Bucci's car.