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 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


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 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


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 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 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 clean
I am reading...Surviving the teen yrs, 144 Cranberry Pt. and Fearless
I am 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!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I love 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


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.
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 plans for Mike's aunt Roz's 50th b day party this Sat. night here!
I am 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 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.