Monday, December 28, 2009

Daybook......

Daybook
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...my best friend, my comic relief, my late night wrapping partner...and a wonderful Godly man that I'm so blessed to be married to!
FOR TODAY December 28th, 2009...
Outside my window...Softly falling snow....finally!
I am thinking...about laying on the couch soon by the tree watching a movie alone! lol
I am thankful for...Christmas break with my family for 2 full weeks, I miss them when it's over and being so thankful for a Savior who was born to save us so we can live a life for HIM!
From the learning rooms...Wii games? is that learning? lol
From the kitchen...not much other than some cookies later...another fun part of break, eating out or at someone else's house! I did make roast chicken a few days ago though! ha
I am wearing...jeans, t shirt, and black zip up hoodie
I am creating...a relaxing atmosphere for my family to enjoy for the rest of this week, candles, put away a few decorations and moved around the "snowmen" for the remainder of Winter!
I am going...to watch a movie, take a short nap and go to Cracker Barrel with Mike and the kids for dinner!
I am reading...Snow Bride, by Debbie Macomber
I am hoping...to have the most relaxing evening!!
I am hearing...PURE quiet...
Around the house...HOLIDAYS!
One of my favorite things...Christmas break....sleeping late, staying up late especially
A few plans for the rest of the week: Afternoon date with Mike on Tuesday, both girls are having friends overnight Tues. and I have a Gingerbread village kit for them, and a New Yrs. Eve get together with my parents, Mike's brother and aunt with supper, games and fun!! Hoping to go to the movies with Mike and the kids on New Yrs. day and relax! We'll probably take down the trees this weekend and leave up the frosty mantle and the Snowmen of course! What a wonderful Christmas it's been and and enjoyable and relaxing break......Just what we all need to refresh and prepare for a long winter! I hope we have mounds and mounds of SNOW!! Happy New Year to all my bloggy friends!! I hope you don't have too many resolutions to make! lol
Click on the word Daybook at the top to join the fun!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The day has come...Merry Christmas!


The Birth of Jesus
1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now obviously pregnant.
6And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
The Shepherds and Angels
8That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snowballs!







These are so good and remind you of Pecan Sandies or whatever your family calls those little powdered cookies! I added Christmas sprinkles to mine that's why they look green and red polka dotted! ENJOY!
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
(10-oz. pkg.) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE SWIRLED Holiday Morsels(or white if you can't find the swirls)
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in large bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in morsels and nuts. Shape level tablespoons of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. Remove from oven. Sift powdered sugar over hot cookies on baking sheets. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Spinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desires. Store in airtight contains. Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Friday, December 18, 2009

YUM!




These are in my top favs for Christmas cookies.....or goodies!! My good friend Dawn makes them every year and always brings them to my Christmas party and in the last few years has given me my own private stash to enjoy! ha All these years that I've loved them I've never made them so with her permission.....I did and am posting it! yum It's so easy and reminiscent of a Butterfinger!
1 Box Extra large Cheez Its
Peanut butter (I adore Jif myself!)
1 bag Milk Choc. chips (or you can use disks)
Spread peanut butter between two crackers, press together and dip in melted choc. As you will see I used an 8 x 8 glass dish and it was perfect for dipping with tongs. Place on Waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for half an hr. or so! You will love these! Sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles to add a pretty touch! ENJOY and thanks Dawn!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Trying things out!


This was an experiment that turned out to be delicious and everyone (accept Grace of course! ha it has spinach in it afterall! ha) Enjoy!
1 box No boil Barilla No boil noodles (have you seen these? they are awesome!) or you can use reg. and boil them
1 Jar Spag. sauce (I used the extra large one!)
1 Jar Alfredo sauce
1 bag fresh spinach (You could use frozen) NOT canned!
1 8 oz. pkg. Mini Portabella sliced mushrooms (or white button)
2 C. Mozzarella (shredded)
Parm. cheese
Saute spinach for just 1-2 mins. in a Tb. water, just until wilted. Drain if needed, and remove to a bowl, add 2 Tb. butter to pan and saute mushrooms for about 5 mins. Layer the first two layers with spag. sauce, spinach, mushrooms, Alfredo sauce, and make the two remaining layers with remaining spag. sauce and Motz. cheese! Bake according to the box. Let sit 5-10 mins. before cutting! Top with Parm. cheese! It was delicious and the spinach was so good! and the Alfredo was so creamy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Give Away!

My friend Danielle ishttp://yelliepooh.blogspot.com/2009/12/great-gift-idea-13-fun-little-magnets.html having a cute give away on her blog! Go check it out! She has cute and fun give aways over there alot! I've won some cute Coffee snuggies for your hot cup, a book and a 3 month membership to Jumpstart online games! fun stuff!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

tis the season for reindeer treats!




Reindeer treats are the easiest and yummiest treats you can make! Grace has a bake sale today at her school and they like small individually packed treats so they are affordable to the kids! I found these adorable folding bags at the dollar store in packages of 4! so cute! there's a cellophane window to show what is inside!
Fill a baking sheet with small reg. pretzels, place a Hershey Kiss on top of each pretzel and bake at 300* for 2-3 mins. (I test if it's melting enough to push an M & M in it by pushing on it with my finger, if you don't feel a hard center you're good to go!) Place a red M & M in the center and push down. Let cool a few hours. If you need them quicker, put them in the freezer for just a few minutes!
Now I laid awake one night thinking of all the GREAT combos you could make with these since there are SO many flavors of Kisses these days, so here goes: Coconut kiss with a whole almond on top! Cherry kiss with a candied cherry! Milk chocolate Kiss with a Snowcap on top! Caramel with a whole Pecan! Mint Kiss with Mint M & M's......just to name a few of the combos you could do!! Off to the bake sale! ENJOY!



Monday, December 7, 2009

Outside my window...Christmas lights on the house across the street
I am thinking...about going Christmas shopping all alone with Mike tomorrow night!
I am thankful for...a big blessing in our finances we've prayed about a long time!
From the learning rooms...doing an Advent devotional each night and learning neat things about the nativity and Christmas
From the kitchen...Reindeer treats for a bake sale! a pretzel with a melted Hershey kiss and an M & M pressed on top to look like Rudolph's nose!
I am wearing...PJ's and a fluffy warm robe!
I am creating...a beach glass necklace for a friend (she collects it and gave me a jar for Christmas last year and I treasure it, and I thought long and hard so I hope it works! lol)
I am going...to lay in bed and work on the necklace!
I am reading...Mrs. Miracle
I am hoping...to wrap gifts tomorrow afternoon!
I am hearing...total quiet...BEDTIME!
Around the house...It's looks ALOT like Christmas!
One of my favorite things...that it looks ALOT like Christmas!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Christmas shopping, Macy's Christmas band concert, our church Cantata and lunch with an old friend on the weekend!
Here is picture for thought I am sharing....Grace as a Shepard in the kids musical!




Go to the Simple woman's daybook to join the fun: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 30, 2009

This is a previous post but I just made it again and it's so good!





I got a great, EASY, tasty recipe for Broccoli Cheese soup that you make in your crock pot from my sister in law a few weeks ago! I tweaked it to be low fat and added or changed a few things so hopefully she won't mind! haha this is a double recipe, I like leftovers!


Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 bag frozen broccoli

1 bag frozen broc./cauliflaur mix

16 oz. Velveeta 2% block cheese, cut in large chunks(this is 1/2 of the big block)

1 can Healthy request, Campbell's cream of chicken soup

1 can Healthy request, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup

1 quart light Half and Half (I'm going to try this with 2% milk and see how that goes when I don't have half and half on hand)


Add all ingredients to crock pot, place temperature on High for 3 1/2 hrs. Stir on occasion to break up the cheese if you are home! Fix it and Forget it. My sister in law cooked hers for 2 hrs. Depending if you like your veggies whole and slightly firm do 2 hrs. + the 3 1/2 hrs. makes the veggies break down and I stirred them in, it makes more of a creamed soup! I served this at a small dinner for girlfriends with whole wheat french bread, yum! I thought I "might" have leftovers but then my teenage son came home from church and that was that......ha so this doubled served 6 large bowls! If you had sandwiches too you could use less soup!

ENJOY! Ya gotta love soup during these cold days especially if you can throw it in and move on with your day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The holidays.....Oh how I love them! Right now it's quiet here in the house. Mike and the kids are playing Mario Kart on Wii, haha but tomorrow at this time of day the house will be BUSTLING with noise and activity.....Music to my ears!! Today Macy and I made 2 pumpkin pies and 2 Chocolate Pecan and it was smelling like a Yankee candle store around here! ha We also got the table set and we stole an idea from Aunt Ruthie at Sugarpie Farmhouse's blog. You get out all your serving dishes, put a small piece of paper in it that tells what food is going in that dish with it's serving spoon so you have all the dishes and serving spoons out that you need and you aren't digging through the cabinets to find a dusty bowl that you want to use!! Good idea aunt Ruthie!





We took a day trip to Frakenmuth, it's about an hr. plus ride from here and at the Holiday's it's magical.....we went to Bronners Christmas store and just had a ball looking at all the gorgeous decorations and unique things......We love all the different sized nativity sets from tiny to yard sized! We had a ball, Grace loved seeing the horse and carriages and said "I'm going to get a job here one day driving those carriages!" I wouldn't be surprised at all!





There are SO many things that I could list that I"m thankful for this yr. God has TRULY blessed us with MUCH! I pray for those who are less fortunate, who are grieving someone this season, who dont' have enough food, or money ......I pray they can still feel God's Joy and Comfort!! I'll be back on after we have a BIG OLE FAMILY WEEKEND TOGETHER with cousins and aunts and uncles and Grandparents.......by the time I'm back I'll be all decorated for CHRISTMAS! HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY BLOGGIE FRIENDS! I hope you're all counting your blessings as well!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Volunteering!




On Sunday we went to a Youth For Christ banquet and we were given the heads up ahead of time that my dad would be getting an unsung hero's award for his volunteer work for them. My dad does the lawn and yard work at the YFChrist building and that allows them to spend the lawn maintenance money on more youth events etc! We love to click photos like this because my dad does NOT like to be "up front" so these surprised looks and red faces and tear filled eyes are priceless to us....(and it gives us a good laugh too!) In the picture you'll see my dad pointing towards the audience, he was saying "Jordan helped me all season too!" so Dirk Case, the director of YFC had Jordan come up too! Last year we were proud to watch Jordan receive the student of the year award!
As I was driving home after the banquet it really hit me that both of my parents really shine behind the scenes and........THAT'S MY PASSION....to be behind the scenes, getting things done and helping out others without needing any recognition! I love to take someone a meal, send an encouraging note, let someone know I'm praying for them.......and all of this came together for me on the ride home on Sunday and tears just poured down my face as I thanked the Lord for a wonderful Christian heritage. I'm watching both of my parents "behind the scenes" praying for people, my mom is a wonderful prayer warrior. If someone asks her to pray you can be sure she will, and my dad is over on the riding lawn mower far after the season, without pay at church mowing so the leaves will be chopped up and show a beautiful clean lawn for Sunday morning! My dad loves the old hymns, and what they represent and we've been sure to make sure our kids know them too....although we do get my dad into some of the newer chorus (he plays piano/keyboard) haha and just give my mom some good Ole Gaithers to listen to.....ha These are all the ways they've instilled in me that good OLD FASHIONED helping others and not needing recognition is what being a Christian is all about! That bible verse that says: (Matthew 6:1-4) - "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3"But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." This is my heritage and I'm so proud!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Prayer from my devotional book.....


Dear Lord, so far today I am doing pretty well. I haven't screamed at the kids or thrown anything in a burst of anger. I have not grumbled or gossiped or whined. I haven't been greedy or self-centered. I have not yet charged anything to the credit card, and I haven't pigged out on the chocolate cake in the refrigerator. However, in a few minutes I will be getting out of bed, and I am going to need your help to make it through the rest of the day. Amen.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

SUNSHINE!

It's amazing to me how much sunshine we've had here this week and temperatures in the 60's! What a boost that is to the spirit......let alone an encouragement to get outside and get the yard cleaned up! The last of our leaves will soon be swept to the curb and sucked up in a big leaf pick up machine that comes by and takes them away! the yard looks so clean and green and bare......the sunshine also shows me how DIRTY my windows are so since it's already 60* out I'm going to head out and get them cleaned up!!! Jordan has been out in the neighborhood picking up some extra money cleaning up leaves for people...he's a hard worker and I'm so thankful for that! He does his own Christmas shopping too so the extra money comes in handy right about now! Of course he does ours ON THE CHEAP! lol
The girls are in a Rollerblading stage lately and I've been grateful they are getting alot of fresh air and exercise lately! they also enjoy a great BIG OLE PILE OF LEAVES......lol Mike's cleaning our carpets today, we went in on a steam cleaner with my parents last yr! I HIGHLY recommend that.......I couldn't believe how dirty the water was in one yr! yikes!! I'm FOREVER saying "don't walk on the carpet in your shoes!" but it often falls on deaf ears apparently!!
I really enjoy these "busy" days of Fall prepping for holiday company......Mike's family of 6 will travel to spend a few days with us over Thanksgiving and it's a highlight of our year for all of us.....I think this visit and time together might even rate above Christmas!! we played a "getting to know you game" over my dad's Birthday in September and I was pleasantly surprised to see my dad answer this question: What's your favorite holiday? and his response was Thanksgiving! that was a high compliment since we host it at our house! I have to say "hosting" runs in my blood, it excites me and I just thrive on the vibe lol of hosting holiday parties and get togethers.......making lists and mental notes of recipes while listening to the holiday tunes (my girlfriends tease and laugh at me at how much I love the holiday tunes) and thinking about what desserts might be good and which ones won't be.......lol Anyhow just reflecting today on the JOY holiday's bring to my house, the excitement in my family and the "togetherness!" I think that's the key, the togetherness.....I'm SOOOO BEYOND blessed to have a family that loves to be just that....... A FAMILY...we hang out at home together most of the time and I love that.......Jordan is in 10th. grade already and the thoughts of these days being just memories sorta makes me panic but I'll savor his years home.....I've watched my nieces grow up so fast and one is now in COLLEGE yikes....and my sister in law and I will casually and "quickly" discuss the days when they will bring their own families into the mix.......but for now I'm just sucking up every bit of love and joy that this time of year seems to bring and with all this great weather and sunshine it is an added bonus.......especially when the guys can get the outdoor Christmas lights up while it's warm for the GRAND LIGHTING CEREMONY on Thanksgiving night!! lol I hope you are all enjoying this time of year with your family too!!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

MY DAYS......

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...Fall fun, the girls are really into roller blading lately...I'm glad they are getting outside alot!
Outside my window...SUNSHINE!!
I am thinking...about heading out to clean soon and how I need to work on a grocery list later! lol
I am thankful for...a house, 2 cars, health, enough money etc! we're so blessed!
From the learning rooms....talking about what we're thankful for, and others who aren't having such an easy time! GIVING!
From the kitchen...Oatmeal Raisin cookies, Spaghetti pie for dinner (grateful I froze one a few weeks ago! came in handy today....hence the need for the grocery list! lol)
I am wearing...Black track pants, black t shirt, pink baseball hat!
I am creating...a clean and organized house to get ready for the holidays
I am going...to clean
I am reading...Surviving the teen yrs, 144 Cranberry Pt. and Fearless
I am hoping...to have a productive and fun filled family weekend!
I am hearing...Worship music!
Around the house...looking cleaner and pulled together!
One of my favorite things...Holidays! Family!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Steam clean carpets (we share a steam cleaner with my parents, I would HIGHLY recommend them!) Shopping for Oper. Christmas child boxes, Family movie night with homemade pizza Fri. night, Sat. shopping and out to eat at McD's or Taco Bell most likely!! lol
Head to this site to make your own Day page! http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I love Fall...cooking yummy things in a nice warm oven!



A quick and easy recipe for Cinnamon rolls!

1 loaf frozen bread dough (whole wheat works well too, thawed)
Flour for dusting surface
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. raisins
1 stick butter, softened
1 T. ground cinnamon
3/4 C. chopped walnuts or pecans
Roll out bread dough into a large rectangle, maybe 12" x 15"
Spread entire stick of softened butter over dough, leaving a 1/2" edge on long end of dough
Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and nuts.
Roll up the long way, seal edges by pinching them
Stretch until it measures 24", cut at 2" sections
Place in 9 x 13 baking dish, it fits 12 perfectly (start with 3 ac crossed the width)
Let them raise in the oven until they double in size(usually about an hr), you can preheat your oven to warm while you are preparing the rolls and then turn the heat off and put them in the oven to raise with it off ........
..........OR I put them in a cold oven with a pie plate on the rack below the rolls that I poured boiling hot water in. Leave the light on in the oven if you have one as well, it adds some warmth! BE SURE to remove the raised rolls from the oven to preheat it for baking! Careful not to bump the pan haha they might deflate!
Cover lightly with foil just resting on top for 15 mins.
While they bake prepare icing:
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 -8 oz bar of cream cheese (reduced fat opt'l)
1 C. powdered sugar
1 ts. vanilla
Mix butter and cream cheese, gradually add sugar and finish with vanilla.
Spread over warm cinnamon rolls, store leftovers in fridge and rewarm in microwave 15 seconds!
Pick up some Cider next time you are out, warm up a hot mug of cider, cut up some Gala apple slices, plate up one of these ooey gooey Cinnamon rolls and curl up to a good old black and white movie on a Saturday morning in your favorite chair, wrapped in your favorite warm fluffy robe and slippers! You could even stay there all morning, I'm sure a child any age would love to crawl in with you!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stew


Savory Chicken stew
In a crock pot place:
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 C. Ketchup
1/2 ts. Vinegar
1 ts. Worcestershire sauce
1 ts. salt
1/4 ts. pepper
1 T. brown sugar
1 ts. crushed Rosemary
1/2 ts. Paprika
1/4 ts. Chili powder
Stir together.
Add:
3 boneless Chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced in large chunks
1 8oz. container of sliced mushrooms
Place chicken and vegetables in sauce and cook on high for 4 hrs. or 6-7 hrs. on low!
Serve over biscuits! This is a very sweet/sour/savory sauce! enjoy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Here is picture for thought I am sharing..This is 3 years ago...where does the time go?
Outside my window...A blustery day with leaves swirling swirling!!
I am thinking...about so many sick friends and friend facing "junk" and how Good GOD IS to us!
I am thankful for...having a flexible schedule and being able to just go lay down if I want to! especially after a good cleaning day!! ha
From the learning rooms...encouraging reading time to everyone, never a problem for our middle girl but for the others! ha
From the kitchen...Chicken Tretrazini for dinner, chicken is already cooked! yay!
I am wearing...Favorite black track pants and long sleeved pumpkin colored t shirt
I am creating...party plans for Mike's aunt Roz's 50th b day party this Sat. night here!
I am going...to try to just hang with my kids tonight and connect and enjoy some relaxing time with them
I am reading...Fearless by Max Lucaco (which somehow makes me MORE fearful...but I"m only 1/4 through! lol)
I am hoping...to have a restful and fun weekend starting tonight! lol
I am hearing...Dr. Oz on tv.
Around the house...Christmas music big time now, so soothing to me! and seeing too much CLUTTER!
One of my favorite things...Low lamps at night time, a nice clean kitchen and music! (guess that's more than one! ha)
A few plans for the rest of the week: Fri. date night, going to start a bit of Christmas shopping since I'm seeing some sales on "wished for" items, B Day party Sat. for auntie Roz.....REST RELAXATION FUN!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Deliciousness in a pan!


We adore these easy to make Magic bars! there are many names for these cookies as I'm finding when I talk to other "bakers!" but this is what I call them!
If you want to have a quick recipe that impresses and tastes so rich and gooey and good this is the one! This recipe's ingredients are easy things to have on hand, watch for sales now that holidays are coming and stock up, these are almost all pantry items and who doesn't always have a stick of BUTTA on hand? So here you go, I added a few little taste twists that I love, like using CHOCOLATE Graham crackers!! yumm Try that in any recipe that calls for regular crushed Graham crackers, unless chocolate just wouldn't substitute which I CANNOT imagine! haha
Preheat oven to 350*, place a stick of butter in the pan and pop it into the oven while it preheats. This is a fast way to melt your butter while you get your other ingredients out.
Crush Graham crackers to make 1 1/2 cups (14 crackers makes just about this amount, meaning the full cracker) you can buy them crushed but it's just as easy to crush them in a food proc. or a Ziploc bag!
Remove pan of melted butter from oven and add in crushed crackers, stir a bit with a spatula. I find the best way to get it even is to pat the crumbs in with your hand but remember your pan is HOT! be careful!
Sprinkle crumbs with 1-1/3 C. shredded coconut
Sprinkle on top of that 1 C. chocolate chips
Add 1 C. butterscotch chips
Pour 1-14 oz can of Sweetened condensed milk all over the top
Sprinkle this with 1/2 C. coarsely crushed walnuts and
1/2 C. honey roasted peanuts (this is another twist that is so good, with that salty honey flavor!)
Bake for 25 mins. or until edges are getting golden, let cool COMPLETELY before cutting, cut into 2" squares, they are very rich!
This recipe can have so many different yummy tastes! I've substituted the Butterscotch chips with white chips and added 1/2 C. Craisins(or raisins), this is a good holiday one and reminds me of a Chunky bar. You can leave off the peanuts and do all walnuts......Use Caramel chips( sold in the chocolate chip aisle and they are actual little tiny caramel pcs. mmm) in place of Butterscotch and add Pecans instead of other nuts for a Turtle bar. Also use coursely chopped pretzels in place of 1/2 of the nuts too. I usually add sprinkles according to the season, like I did orange ones in this one!! These are best served within the same day you make them, they are still good the next day or so just not as crispy, BUT STILL GOOD! Mmm wish there were some left now!!! ENJOY! <3

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lovey ladies!


My friend Leanne awarded me with the lovely lady blog award! What an honor! Leanne is one of my "lovely ladies" as well....I don't know what I'd do without her funny one liner emails almost daily or a "venting" fest with her! haha She just "gets me" haha She overflows with God's love and Grace, she is a prayer warrior and you know you can count on her prayers! she makes her home a haven of learning for her kids as she home schools each day and makes it "real" as she does her day! I love her dearly!
I now have to award 5 ladies this same award and since Leanne chose some ladies I would choose go to Leanne's blog and check out the lovely ladies she chose so you can enjoy their blogs, they are all lovely in their own ways, and are so talented!
My first Lovely Lady award would go to Alyce! She loves the Lord so much and even though we've never met I know that just by the way she talks and lives her life! I love to chat with her several times a week sort of like my cyber pen pal! She makes her home lovely and is an awesome cook as you will see from her delicious recipes on her blog! She is a big part of her family's life helping out in their school and she has many talents for sure! She makes yummy scented soaps that she sells in her Etsy shop! Perhaps you'll go over to her blog and order some for Christmas gifts!!
My second Lovely Lady award would go to Laura! She's been doing my hair since I was pregnant with Jordan, 15 years ago now! I love her "funky" spirit and her great big smile! She is sooo talented and makes the most beautiful cards as you can see on her blog! You'll enjoy looking over page after page of her awesome cards and I would bet she would take card orders too, for gifts!! and if you need a local hair dresser I highly recommend her! hee
My third lovely lady is Aunt Ruthie from Sugar pie farmhouse....She just makes me smile each and every time I read her blog! She loves the Lord and is such an encouragement to make your house a haven of rest and relaxation....I think she called decorating her home "hugging" your family all the time! Her decorations are breathtaking....I get such great ideas from her! That's the great thing about her blog, you can take a few small ideas to make your house so warm and welcoming! Be sure to have your speakers on when you go to her blog....she always has such fun music playing on her blog....especially at Christmas! Be SURE to check out her recipe section, she's an awesome chef and be sure to go back in her archives to see her amazing holiday decorations......her house is just INCREDIBLE! and she is so loving and warm and her love for the Lord just overflows into each blog post she puts up!
My fourth lovely lady is Kelly, from Kelly's corner! I started reading her blog as a prayer request for her baby girl when she was born and have followed it for about 9 months now. She is just so fun and I enjoy seeing all her photos of her daughter Harper as she grows! She is such a snazzy dresser that little baby, her mama loves fashion and does it on the cheap! she's fun to read!!!
My fifth lovely lady Blog award would go to the Mennonite girls can cook! I ADORE their recipes and they do a "bread for the journey entry" each week meaning your daily bread and encouragement! If you like to cook for the holidays these ladies can set you up! You can search their sight by ingredient and I've made some awesome and yummy things from their site! they love the Lord and you can tell they mix that into each recipe they put up!
So....that's just a few of the lovely ladies I enjoy reading......of course there are dozens more to write about but I could only do 5!!! Hope you enjoy these lovely ladies and be sure to check out all these blogs for some fun.....perhaps if you've been in a blogging lull this will reignite your blogging ideas!!
The holidays are coming and these blogs have some awesome ideas.....Leanne is always doing a "theme" for her homeschooling and I've gotten some good ideas from her school ideas, and these other ladies are always creating cool things, or cooking up some YUMMIES!! enjoy!!! (you can click on each ladies name that is in bold within my post to go to their blog, ENJOY!!) So lovely ladies please accept this Lovely Lady Lovely Blog Award. Just save the picture and post on your own blog and award five of your lovely ladies.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Parties!







Grace had her Halloween party today in school and this is the treat we brought! It was fun and I have to say I LOVE chocolate covered pretzels of any kind so we decided to make "ghosts!" it was really easy and fun!
I used white chocolate disks, we get them at our bulk food store. I used about 1 1/2 Cups but you could easily use a bag of white chocolate chips. I made 52 pretzels with this much chocolate.
Melt the disks in a glass bowl 25 seconds at a time stirring between times, it doesn't take long to melt white chocolate. It's much faster than milk chocolate.
Stir well. Dip 3/4 the way down the pretzel, let excess drizzle off and lay on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
Melt just a few Tbs. of milk chocolate chips in a small bowl, pour into a ziploc baggie and cut off a tiny end on the bag, make it tiny maybe like a toothpick size or it will come out too fast, if it's too fast put it in the freezer for a minute. Use milk chocolate to "pipe" on the eyes and mouth! VOILA! place in freezer for a few minutes and package any ole cute way you want to!!! fun times....This was Grace watching the Halloween parade in the halls after her class had already walked through the parade! She's a pirate, a girl pirate....couldn't talk her into Tinkerbell this year! lol

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Share a little thing!


Operation Christmas child is an AWESOME ministry and I'm so excited and proud to be a part of it! This Sunday our church will start putting out the word that it's time to fill a shoebox with goodies for a child and donate it to Operation Christmas child. A child somewhere "out there" will receive this box and it might be the ONLY gift they get the entire year. I hope you can be part of this ministry somehow this year! Our family is planning to make a "family date night" out of it and go shopping for our shoebox items this Friday night! Our kids decided last year they wanted to make a box of their own and they paid for the contents themselves, wrote a letter and put a photo in the box! It's exciting to see a spirit of "giving" in your children especially during a time of year where it can be about "getting!" If you have never done a shoebox or heard of it go to Samaritan's purse website and read ALL ABOUT IT! Basically you fill a shoebox for a boy or a girl with goodies they would enjoy ( suggested items are listed on the sight) and find a drop off point, donate $7 for the shipping and off it will go to a delighted little child! God told us to spread His love, this is a perfect way!
I hope you enjoy this video clip too that Veggie Tale put out to go along with Operation Christmas child! it's so great to see the looks of delight on these kid's faces and realize how blessed we really are! I hope I'm that excited about receiving Christ's gift to me!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saving on holiday shopping!!


Well....like it or not, the holidays are just around the corner, and if you've been inside of any store you're finding that out!! If you happen to be a bargain hunter NOW IS THE TIME to searching out those great deals and coupons. I have some friends that have pointed me in the right direction for some great deals! In my blog roll there's a button for Frugal Girls and in the list one for Money Saving Mom, just two great sights for finding good deals for holiday giving.
Can I stress HOMEMADE HOMEMADE HOMEMADE....Now I'm not so crafty as far as actually "making" a gift....but I do enjoy making tags, or cards and FOOD items! I love to find a unique gift and add something homemade to it. For instance one year a friend gave me a pair of cute gloves with some really nice hand lotion tucked into the gloves and tied with ribbon. Another oldie but goodie, a cute basket (which you will find everywhere right now on sale especially if you have Hobby stores) with cookies laying on a cute Christmas towel. Another great one I received from a good friend just last Christmas was the DVD set Holiday Inn (a good old fashioned holiday movie) with the cutest old fashioned ornament attached. This same friend who is always so creative (BETH!) got me an adorable Santa Mug with a matching Tea towel, a cool knife and a g. card to a Kitchen store........So as you can see HOMEMADE doesn't have to mean your painting something or sewing something, unless you know how then that's even better! ha I love to make Friendship tea (it's in the archives of my blog) for gifts and you could put that in a basket with a cute mug. These gifts can be as expensive as you want them to be......I guarantee when someone gets a thoughtful gift from you they will love it!! If you don't have alot to spend, go all out on the "presentation". There are tons of blogs and websites for holiday giving, if you want more ideas get Googling!! Hope you enjoy these......I'd love to hear any great ideas you have! I know some of you make awesome cards, crochet, bake, knit.....on and on!!! Why am I talking about CHRISTMAS gifts now? Well.....this time of year alot of Hobby stores start their holiday sales, grocery stores are starting to put holiday staples on sale and the coupon booklets start adding in candy, toys, games and movies.......it takes a bit more time than something store bought but if you have the time ....take it!! ENJOY!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Daily life.....



Here is picture for thought I am sharing
FOR TODAY October 17th

Outside my window...The sun is setting and it's really cold!

I am thinking...of snuggling up on the couch for tv. time with my family soon

I am thankful for...all the times in the past God walked with me in my dessert places

From the learning rooms...making October crafts and one daughter learning to knit!

From the kitchen...Chicken fajitas, mmm

I am wearing...blue track pants, a t shirt and my robe! I told you it was cold!

I am creating...order around the house, or trying to, getting out hats/gloves etc. and putting away BEACH TOWELS!

I am going...to sit on the couch the rest of the night, or until I move to a hot tub later!

I am reading...316 Pelican Court by Debbie Macomber

I am hoping...the rest of the weekend lasts a long time!

I am hearing...Mickey Mouse DVD!

Around the house...only 2 loads of laundry left (for today anyhow) and candles lit

One of my favorite things...Hot baths in cold weather, hot cider with a plain donut dipped in!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Lunch with friends Sunday, getting a notebook ready for Christmas shopping, I've already bought a few things and I want to keep track of what I've got! haha

http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ Go here if you want to join in the fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cookies!


I have to say, these are probably THEEE best oatmeal cookies I've every had!! I tweaked a recipe I found in a Cookie cookbook I have! delicious!! It's the first time I've made these!
Oatmeal Cranberry Crispies
1 stick butter
1/2 C. Shortening
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. white granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 ts. vanilla
2 1/2 C. old fashioned oats
2 C. flour
1 ts. baking soda
1 ts. baking powder
1/2 ts. salt
1 C. Craisins
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1/4 C. shredded coconut
In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Beat in vanilla. Place oats in blender or food processor until slightly ground. (I think this was key to the texture of the cookie, you wouldn't have to do this but like I said, I think it really made the recipe and you could fool anyone into thinking it wasn't oatmeal if they don't like it). Combine oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in Craisins, nuts and coconut. You may have to stir these in by hand, since it's stiff by this point.
(Bake at 350* for 12-14 mins.)
Place in balls/or scoops 2" apart, flatten with fork in criss cross design. Remove to wire racks. Makes 4+ dozen
I was thinking these would be fabulous with 1/2 dipped in white chocolate and dipped in crushed Pistachios at the holidays! "MMM I LOVE ME A GOOD OATMEAL COOKIE, as Paula would say! "

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This was so cool!!

I got this in an email today and thought it was SO cool and encouraging!! enjoy!

CHEROKEE LEGENDDo you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage?His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until, the rays of the morning sun, shine through it.He cannot cry out for help to anyone.Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm.The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.If you liked this story, pass it on. Moral of the story: Just because you can't see God, doesn't mean He is not there. 'For we walk by faith, not by sight.'

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And again apples!







Are you all starting to figure out I love APPLE stuff? the funny thing is I don't really enjoy an apple all on it's own very much! I like a wedged up apple with CARAMEL dip! As a matter of fact I remember the year I was pregnant with Jordan I ate a ridiculous amount of apples and caramel dip at a Harvest party we went to at a friend's house! I was SOOO sick in the night I don't think I ate an apple for a long time after that! haha Apples are just one of my families favorite things to eat in Fall especially!!! mmm mmm Today it's apple crisp with Vanilla butter sauce! of course the sauce is Optional, you can always just eat it plain...less fat that way! ha Or icecream is a favorite too!
Apple Crisp
6-7 apples, cored, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 ts. Cinnamon
1/2 ts. Nutmeg
1/4 ts. Pumpkin pie spice (if you have it!)
Toss the apples in brown sugar and spices and pour into sprayed 9x13 baking dish
In same bowl cut in:
1 stick butter
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. dried oatmeal
1/2 T. cinnamon
1/2 C. chopped nuts, walnuts or pecan are good
Cut all these ingredients together in the bowl and sprinkle over apple mixture! Bake 40 mins. at 375*.
Vanilla Sauce:
1 stick butter
1/3 C. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 C. water
1 T. Vanilla
Melt butter in saucepan, add sugar and cornstarch, water and Vanilla, and stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes until it comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute, serve over apple crisp!! ENJOY!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Daybook!

I am thinking...About Fall things and holidays coming up particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas
I am thankful for...being a mom and wife!
From the learning rooms...to pray for someone daily we normally might not think of
From the kitchen...Funfetti Vanilla Cake!
I am wearing...Pink sweater and jeans
I am creating...bookmarks
I am going...to church tonight to teach 1st-5th grade
I am reading...Parenting your teen: Being the Mom your kids need/311 Pelican ct. by Debbie Macomber
I am hoping...the weekend is great! and relaxing!
I am hearing...Kirk Cameron pledge a renewed love to his wife, a GREAT movie!!
Around the house...lots of clean clothes piled up ha
One of my favorite things...Fall and holidays and holiday music!!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Making Apple Crisp, going to the movies, making steak, making cards, lovin on my family!









Here is picture for thought I am sharing






http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ This the website where you can join in the fun for the Daybook!!



Monday, October 5, 2009

Prayer

I heard a man speak yesterday on Prayer and he said so many great things but one thing that stuck out was how when we pray we forget the times He's been so faithful to us and we forgot to keep on praying! So I hope to find more time and just "pray!" When the day gets so busy it seems that prayer and time in the word is what goes on the end of the list sometimes! The man also said "God LOVES to hear us pray!"










Through every pain every tear there's a God Who's been faithful to me
When my strength was all gone when my heart had no song Still in love he's provided
Faithful to me
Every word He's promised is true What I thought was impossible I've seen my God do
He's been faithful to me, faithful to me
Looking back He's the love and Mercy I see
Though in my heart I have questioned and failed to believe
He's been Faithful to me, Faithful to me
when my heart looked away

The Many Times I could not pray
Still my God was faithful to me










The days are spent so selfishly
Reaching out for what pleased me
Even when God was faithful to me










Every time I come back to Him
He is waiting for open arms
and I see once again










He's been Faithful to me
Faithful to me









These are a few of my Fall decorations! I love the relaxing feeling of Fall!









Friday, October 2, 2009

Calzone!!







Stuffed Calzones....just the word sounds yummy! This was so good, I saw it on Food network so I tweaked a bit to fit our family!
1 loaf frozen whole wheat bread dough (thawed) OR any pizza dough you like (keep in mind it takes several hours to thaw frozen dough!) we loved the Whole wheat bread dough!
1-16 oz. container of Ricotta (a cheaper idea here that I use: Put a 16 oz. container of low fat Cottage Cheese in a food processor and it
will thicken it up like Ricotta in just a few seconds)
1 bag reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
1 bag frozen broccoli
Olive Oil
Parm. cheese
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
Roll dough out into a large circle like you would for a pizza, place on baking stone or pizza tray. Steam Broc. for 3-4 mins. in the microwave. Mix Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese and steamed Broccoli together in a large bowl. Spread this cheese mixture over half of the crust. Fold the crust up to meet the other side, like a half circle. Pinch edges together and seal with a fork. Cut 3-4 slits in the top to let steam escape, brush the top with Olive oil and sprinkle with Parm. cheese. Bake at 400* for 20-25 mins. until golden brown. Let sit for 5 mins. before cutting!! Serve with Marinara over the top or on the side!
This just oozed cheesy bubbly goodness and reminded us of stuffed shells or stuffed pizza......definitely what we call a 5 for 5 meal...which doesn't happen often! meaning 5 out of 5 of us liked it!! This served us for dinner with 2 pcs. leftover! MMM MMM GOOD!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Apple Butter!















Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. James 5:7
This recipe is making it's rounds....I got it from my friend Danielle, her blog is at the right of my page on my blog list! http://yelliepooh.blogspot.com/ It smelled so great in here all day! This is how it looks after a few hours!
In a crock pot place: 9 apples peeled, cored and chunked. Add 2 C. sugar, 2 ts. cinnamon, 1/4 ts. salt, 1/4 ts. ground cloves. Cook on High setting for 2 hours and then turn to low up to 12 hours. (Mine took from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. to look just right! mmm) Set a timer and stir every hour.....So be sure to make this on a day you're home during the day. I think if you missed one stirring you would be ok!










Here's how it looks when it's done!












I hear this is delicious spread on a piece of buttered toast.....Knowing how much we love apples dipped in peanut butter I think this is going to be great on a good old PB & J......and served over oatmeal and best of all.....would be served with pork of some type!! mmm mmm good stuff.....Put on a pot of this luscious goodness and lose yourself in a book, and let the spicy scents of Autumn mesmerize you !! Can't wait until breakfast!!

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

Thursday, September 24, 2009

APPLES APPLES APPLES!




IT'S APPLE PICKING TIME...oh how I love this time of year because we love anything "APPLES!" Pie, Applesauce, Apple turnovers, Apple pastries......mmmm It doesn't hurt that usually some Cider and a warm crunchy Cinnamon donut are usually part of our apple picking day! So here's a little twist on a yummy apple pie we love!
Caramel Apple Crumb Pie
5-7 Tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced (Whatever apple you like for baking)
1 -9" Pie crust (now there's NOTHING like homemade here but I have to say I LOVE Pillsbury Roll out crust the best of any pre made crusts, it's nice and thin and crispy and buttery!
1/2 C. sugar
1 ts. Cinnamon
1/2 C. Caramel apple dip, such as Marzetti (Mike laughs because I use the Low Fat one! ha, hey this is always a staple in my house for snacking)
Topping:
1/2 C. Sugar
3/4 C. flour
1/3 C. Butter or Marg.
Preheat oven to 400*
Press crust into 9" pie plate
Toss apples with Sugar and Cinnamon (you could add 1/4 ts.Nutmeg if you like, I do! I also add 1/4 ts. pumpkin pie spice for a change sometimes in addition to the Cinn.)
Sprinkle apple mixture with 2 Tb. flour and stir in. Let sit while you make crumb topping.
Cut butter into flour and sugar with two butter knives, a large meat fork or a pastry blender ( a very inexpensive tool and well worth the money) until it resembles pea sized shapes, it will be floury!
Pour apples into pie crust, I warm the Caramel until it's pourable, do 10 seconds at a time and stir between intervals. Pour caramel over apple mixture, don't worry if it's globby....wait until you bite into a warm glob of CARAMEL! Sprinkle crumb mixture over pie and bake 40 mins. until golden brown! If you can eat it warm and the Caramel oozes out throughout each yummy bite!!
A little tip...I use a melon baller to scoop out the apple seeds/core that get missed when coring the apples!