Sunday, February 28, 2010


This soup is so Delicious and creamy, without alot of fat to make you feel guilty! Enjoy!
46 oz Chicken broth
1 Med. onion, chopped
4 T. butter, divided
1 small container of Low fat Half and Half
2 carrots, sliced thin (or frozen)
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices and then halved (or canned sliced)
1/4 C. instant brown rice
salt/pepper to taste
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
Saute onion in 2 T. of butter until softened. Bring broth to a simmer and add carrots, potatoes and sauteed onions. Add half and half, 2 T. remaining butter, rice, salt and pepper and simmer 20 mins. stirring on occasion. Add Spinach and simmer another 30 mins. ENJOY!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More give aways!

My friend Danielle is having more GREAT give aways! Go over here to check it out and you can also click on the Crayon button on my sidebar to check out her give aways! I've won a few times, and it's so much fun!!! enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Grace's Birthday!

Friday was Grace's 9th Birthday! She was so excited Thursday night when she went to bed....she's still at that age when the "gifts" are the exciting part! She woke up and we made French toast for her breakfast and Macy even got up to join us for breakfast an hour before she usually gets up! Such a good sister! We had just a few small gifts for her at her spot at the table! She chose a "dog" themed party (I wanted a Princess or Pony party but I went with it....she does have a strong adoration for dogs!) so we made dog bone shaped cookies for her to take to school as her treat! She had a great day Friday!

Mike and I went to a Marriage seminar at church Friday night and Saturday morning. The speakers were Bill and Pam Farrel and they were great! So we had Grace's party with family Saturday night! we had 14 of us and we had a ball!

Grace isn't a cake lover unless it's chocolate icing so we had Strawberry cake with Chocolate whipped icing! It was yummy but I wish it was all gone and not in the house! ha If you look closely under the cake I placed these GIANT Candy button candies I found at Cracker Barrel! they were so cool! I also found a GIANT candy necklace I had on the table too! it was fun!

We got Grace a new bible and had her name put on it in gold! I recalled her saying once, her bible wasn't "real" because it didn't have gold sides! ha I found a horse Bible with a horse embossed on the top! Grace also ADORES horses so it was an awesome find.....perfect small sized and she was really thrilled! She was fun to watch and my whole family still enjoys having someone young enough to get really excited!! ha
It's snowing really hard and all schools around BUT US are closed today! Oh well.....I clean today at another house and my laundry is screaming my name! So enjoy your week!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good reminders!

I thought this article was so good and such a good reminder for all of us whether we're married or not! It was from a Focus on the Family newsletter. Under Overview, you can click on some of the articles for more reading!

Keeping Romance Alive
by Mitch Temple
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Romance and Lifelong Intimacy
Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage
Does the Honeymoon Have to End?
Dr. Bill Maier on Romance
Next Steps / Related Information
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Life has a way of chipping away at our marriages: jobs and job related travel, in-laws, church activities, activities with the kids, conflict and misunderstandings. Most of us run at the speed of light, wake up one day and realize, "Huh. I don’t feel very close to my spouse anymore." The truth is that it happens to the best of us.
Here are a few simple methods I have learned throughout the years to revive romance in a stale marriage.
Start Dating Again
Go out at least once a week. It doesn't have to be an expensive date – just something simple.
A brown bag dinner in the park, a walk around the lake, a cup of cappuccino at a coffee shop or simply putting the kids to bed early and just talking will often do the trick. Or, revisit the things that you did when you were dating, like going to a movie, the theatre or a nice relaxing dinner for two.
After being "pulled apart" by all the pressures of modern life, it is imperative to reconnect each week. If you don't, you won't feel close.
Make Yourself Attractive
Here's the irony: If you make yourself more attractive, your spouse will often become more attractive to you. Quite often, changes that you make in your appearance can precipitate changes in your spouse just as positive actions often breed positive reactions.
Other suggestions:
Go to the gym together.
Walk with your spouse three to five times a week.
Buy new clothes, and throw out those ugly sleep shirts/pajamas.
Change habits.
Shave the beard (men only), or change your hairstyle.
Get new eye glasses, or try contacts.
Make a List
Determine what it is that makes you feel attracted to someone. What attracted you to your partner in the first place? What are the things that you find attractive that you would like to see in your spouse? What gets your attention?
Communicate Your Desires to Your Spouse
Do so in non-threatening, judgmental ways.
For example, you could say, "Honey, let's make some changes. We are both in a rut. We've changed over the years and lost some of the spark in our marriage. Let's change how we treat each other. Let's call each other during the day at work. Let's change how we look. Let's walk together each evening."
Avoid using "you" statements. Use "I feel" or "I need" instead.
Try writing a letter as an alternative to face to face communication, especially if you feel they will react negatively.
Do Your Research
Attraction doesn't just occur in a marriage. It is something that must be worked at. Often the process of bringing attraction back begins with education and basic communication. Read books and research articles on the Web that discuss reviving romance and attraction.
Do Good Things – Daily
Doing goods things doesn't necessarily require spending a lot of money. Simple things, like picking up your dirty underwear, giving a free back rub, preparing dinner, writing an appreciative note, hand picking flowers or taking on a chore that your partner normally does, build intimacy and closeness in your marriage like nothing else.
Attraction often follows on the heels of serving each other like you did in the early years of your relationship. Often it's the little things that count – not the big ones.
Copyright © 2009, Mitch Temple. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Baked fries!

We love fries, especially healthy baked ones! I've made these many times but I saw Emeril make them on Good Morning America the other morning and found out THE SECRET!! ha so here goes!
Preheat oven to 425* and THE SECRET: Put the rack on the lowest rung in your oven
4-5 large Baking potatoes, sliced in long strips with skins on
2 TB. Vegetable Oil
1/2 ts. salt (or more if you desire)
1/4 ts. pepper
1/4 ts. Paprika
Toss sliced potatoes in a large bowl with vegetable oil, salt, pepper and Paprika. Place fries on two baking sheets (I sprayed them because they do stick a bit at first) being sure the fries are laying as flat as possible.
Bake 15 mins. and then turn (if you use a metal spatula they won't stick so badly, only a few of mine stuck a bit) return to oven and bake 15 more mins.
I did put mine on Brown paper bags to drain a bit but you don't need to. If you wish to add salt or any other seasonings do it when they are just out of the oven and hot! I don't like mine salted because I use GOBS of Ketchup! ha Enjoy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mid Winter Break!

It's Mid Winter break for us. We have school off Friday and Monday this week and we've thoroughly enjoyed it! It amazes me sometimes at how much I get done in a week, how hard I work (sometimes ha) and how crazy our schedule can seem at times......and then a vacation day or two comes along and I'm vacationing like the best of em! ha It was all I could do to haul myself into a shower yesterday and it was to be taken TO LUNCH no less! haha I did and I brought my camera to Olive Garden and I snuck it out of my purse two times and took photos of my DINNER! HAHA my kids were bewildered at first and their expressions were priceless when I quickly snapped a photo of my food.....BUT....they didn't turn out so well so I didn't bother posting them.....You all know what Fettuccine Alfredo and their delicious bread sticks taste like....It was a divine lunch and the bread sticks were so fresh and so yummy!! and we had two bowls of salad! ha I had a gift card I got for Christmas so an almost free lunch always tastes better you know! We went around 2:00 so it was a late lunch /early dinner.......

After lunch we went to Barnes and Noble (another gift card) and we had a nice relaxing time wandering around......I pulled the camera out again and if you look closely you can see how embarrassed Macy was! haha I loved it...I took 3 pictures in there and it was so funny! There's a blog I read called Kelly's Corner, it's on my sidebar and she's always taking photos of her meal or her outings and I kept joking I was like her and they were laughing....most of the time! I doubt if those establishments want you taking photos in their stores! ha I didn't use a flash and I was very discreet! plus making my kids cringe was so worth it!!
I like to get the kids books for Valentine's day and not very much candy! Especially since we still have CHRISTMAS candy! It was a great day out with the kids! We had our Valentine's celebration this afternoon since tomorrow is church and we're going to my mom's for dinner and she will have JUNK, I mean Valentine's stuff for them I'm sure!(ha)

I wish I had snapped Jordan with a smile.....but he was looking over a new devotional book we got him. We also got him a Runners magazine, a Nerd rope, a box of Nerds (do you sense a pattern? ha just kiddin) Simple and fun!

Macy, as always loves to get books, I got her two (of a series) of books about an Amish girl and her lifestyle. They are comedies and look so cute! Macy is a CHOCOlate lover so we got her a heart of chocolates, a Nerd rope and an American girl magazine that was really cute! I also made each child a homemade bookmark and embossed a verse on it!

Last but not least, Gracie monkey pie got a Chocolate heart as well, a book Nate the Great and the Mushy Gushy Valentine, The Bernstein Bears Say Their Prayers (which is young for her I know, but we collect them and I had not ever seen it before), a Nerd rope and bookmark too!

Mike got me an old movie I love and I rent from our library at least 3 or 4 times a year! It's called Every Girl Should Be Married. Cary Grant plays a Dr. that a young cute gal named Annabelle wants to nab as a husband....and the antics she goes through to get him are so old fashioned and have to rent it!
Leanne brought her daughter Lydia over to spend the night. Lydia and Macy are best buds and Leanne brought me a bag of DARK ChocoLATE Peanut M & M's.....Considering she helped me polish off a bag Thursday night at a meeting(well I should admit I ate the rest on the drive home) she must have figured I needed MORE! ha Thank you Leanne for that sweet treat!!
I have many more posts for this week because this weekend we made Oatmeal Cherry Walnut cookies, Gingerbread sugared hearts to take to Sunday school, Brownies to take to my mom's tomorrow, homemade DELICIOUS pizza tonight for supper AND I made a to die for recipe of Emeril's for baked healthy fries...WOW.....he taught me a trick that is KEY to great crispy yummy fries....but like I said, that's for another post!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More of Grace's funny stuff!

Grace made this heart at school for a Valentine's gift to us! It was so funny! The teacher laminated the front and it says Proverbs from the Heart by Grace Wurmlinger
The teacher writes a prompt proverb on the bottom of the page and then Grace fills in the rest of here goes:

Don't count your chickens feed them.

When the cat's away the comes back!
Two heads are.........together.

AND MY FAVORITE: People who live in glass houses shouldn't.........DANCE! lololol So cute and a clever idea!!
Hope all of you have a wonderful Mid Winter Break if you're having one and a HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!! Love Jeni

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lovin my skillet!

I love my skillet....My friend Beth got it for me for Christmas! she is so sweet all the time!! Kindred cookers we are! lol So Friday night Mike and I decided to have a fire, watch and movie and cook at home! So Fahitas was what we chose!! So here ya go! (I wish I had taken a picture of all the yummy sides but I'll tell you about them at the end anyhow!! ha)

2 Tb. Olive Oil (plus 1 ts. for veggies)
2 boneless Chicken breasts, cut in 1/4" strips (and about 2" long)
1 Pepper (we like red or orange) sliced in strips
2 Onions slices in long strips
8 oz. container of sliced Portabella baby mushrooms (or reg. mushrooms)
8 oz. bag shredded Jack cheese
Sour cream

Heat Olive Oil in skillet and let it get very hot, almost smoking. Place chicken in skillet and let saute for a few mins. before you move it around. If you try to move it around right away it will stick or tear. Using tongs, turn chicken to brown on the other sided. Remove chicken and place on a plate. Add 1 ts. more oil, add onions right away and saute until carmelized, add mushrooms and then the peppers last. You can sprinkle on salt and pepper if you wish and I sprinkled it with about 1/4 ts. Cumin for a bit of Taco spice flavor. Cook until mushrooms are just browned a bit and turn off heat. Push veggies over and add chicken back in on half to warm!
Serve on Whole Wheat Fahita shells, with sour cream, tomatoes diced, and sour cream of course! We had Blue Tortilla chips on the side and I made Guacamole!
1 large avacado, soft (look for purplish skin NOT green if you want to serve it that day or close to it, and you don't want it to mush when you squeeze it but be pretty soft...soft enough to mash with a fork!)
Chop Avacado coursly in bowl, add 1/2 ts. lemon juice (or lime if you prefer), add 1 finely diced Roma tomato, 2 T. sour cream, salt and pepper and a few dashes of Red Hot sauce! DIVINE!!
We also had Salsa, I love Target's Archer Farms Pinapple Mild salsa! it was yummy!

Lovin my iron skillet!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Grace... a February (Non) Valentines baby!

I thought it would be fun during the months of my kids Birthday's that I wrote some little things about them! Grace was due LONG before her Birthday which is February 19th. She was due the 11th. haha and when February rolled around in 2001 I was ready to go.....I was huge (I hope to find a photo to copy because it's so funny how big I got when I was expecting!) and uncomfortable and I had a 7 yr. old boy and a 3 yr. old little girl that were busy little people to take care of! And as you can imagine when Valentine's day rolled around I was NOT a happy camper! I was overdue and fat and swollen and......Not happy! ha I did not want to be induced but after being a week late I was willing......and it took most of the day until she was born!
Grace was my 5th. pregnancy.......After I had Jordan our baby girl Olivia died at birth....actually I went to my 25 week appointment and there was no heartbeat and I remember having to drive home about 20 minutes to tell Mike....and he wasn't home he was at a meeting I forgot about.....and I didn't want to call my mom because I knew she was hosting a ladies Bible Study Christmas dinner......and there were no cell phones then either. So...I waited it out, not for long as I was a horrible night and the little snippets I remember are my dad making calls to family and friends from the phone at our house......I hardly slept that night knowing I had to go to the hospital the next day to deliver her.
I didn't want anyone but Mike to be at the hospital so it was just he and I through that horrible day.....I had to finally be induced and NEVER thinking it would be a regular kind of labor I didn't ask for an epidural or anything (I had a C Section with Jordan so I didn't know what labor pain was yet) and was I in for some pain......She was delivered and we named her Olivia and I had a soft pink blanket for her and little pink booties .....I didn't choose to see her or hold her, and I would never fault anyone who did do that....all women handle their grief differently and I can't say that I'm sorry I didn't see her....Mike saw her and that was enough for me. I remember well the cries of the othe babies that were born and I remember being wheeled down the hall the next day to go home with my head down and empty arms and a broken heart.
We had a sweet little burial for her at the foot of Mike's mom's grave. This was in December and Mike's mom had been killed in a car accident on her way home from our house in September just a few months before. So you can imagine it was a treacherous time for us. If you know me well you know how much I love Christmas and wouldn't you know this would Christmastime practically. I remember being at my parents one day shortly before Christmas for a family party and went into the laundry room and came accross a double stroller meant for Mike and I for Christmas.
Months passed and I was expecting again......and I knew it was too soon most likely, my body hadn't had a rest but I just wanted to fill that void. I miscarried at 12 weeks with that baby too. So a year later I was expecting MACY! and it was hard for my family to be excited.....but after a year of heartache and growing I was ready and excited and I knew what the worst case was by now!
During that year I just broke down and gave my whole life over to Christ....I knew he had reached down and held something precious and took them to heaven and I was ready to surrender to Him, not having to know why and knowing I wanted to be fully committed to serving Him. I would say that was the time I became fully committed......I had been a Christian practically all my life really but this was so much more precious!
Anyhow.....Macy came along and became the balm that soothed every one's wounds especially my own! She was a precious angel and I was secretly so grateful for a girl! Well I wanted one more and I wasn't sure Mike would go for it......but he likes his bride to be happy (haha) so he said sure let's go for it, I selfishly and secretly (ha) prayed for another girl so she would be close in age to Macy since Jordan was already 7 by now and......and along came Grace! I was so grateful for one more baby and I thanked God over and over for being so "GRACIOUS" to us......and I sang Amazing Grace most days during that pregnancy and we named her Grace.....and it fits her so well! God's Grace was amazing to me and my family and she was a delight to us all and still is!
Her name is easy to find in scripture and I pray that she will always be grateful for God's grace and also show grace to others!! She is such a joyful and spunky little gal. A bit stubborn (I'm sure that's from Mike) She ADORES animals of all kind but has a special connection to horses and Husky dogs.....So you can imagine when she got to ride a sled dog this Winter she was thrilled to pieces!
Grace cracks us up all the time and I've tried to write down so many funny things she would do and say...For instance for her entire year she was 2 she wore her Winter boots EVERYWHERE....even in summer.....Bathing suit and boots, nightgown and boots.....Diaper and boots.......NAP and boots! we were able to con her into no boots after bath time but they were right by her bed! ha and a funny thing she said about 2 years ago: "Mom I'm going to marry a crumb of cheese when I grow up so if he makes me mad I'll eat him on a cracker!" I'll be delighted to share that story with her spouse one day.......haha She's a delight and she is God's Grace to us!!! <3

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Daybook

My Daybook.....(click here to enjoy the fun!)

For today: February 2, 2010
Outside my window....tiny snow falling (hoping for more and bigger flakes) and gray skies.
I am thinking.....about how I always wanted to be a mom and stay home and do "homey" stuff and I am privileged to do so and that makes me feel very blessed!
I am thankful for.....the freedom to pray, to go to a church without being persecuted, to be able to drive to the store to buy food, to have the money to buy things......
From the learning rooms: Reading aloud to the kids at night, The Cabin Faced West suggested by Leanne (even Jordan has hung out to listen!)

From the kitchen..... Cabbage roll casserole and Broccoli with Mushrooms (Macy will hate this! haha)
I am wearing...Jeans, t-neck and Jordan's ADIDAS hoodie because it's so warm
I am creating....nothing at the moment but I did make the twig tree you see in the photo down below..I sprayed branches you can buy at Hobby Lobby (or get outside ha) white and glittered them a bit, filled a jar partially full with plaster and placed the branches in ....sprinkled the wet plaster with glitter as well.....let it set up over night and I used lights called Craft Rice Lights, they are SO adorable and the lights are the size of rice, and in Winter I had snowflake ornaments hanging off and now I have hearts! I love this kind of primitive decorating!
I am read a bit and then pick up Grace and Jordan and then SHRED! blah ( it's my workout I do 3x a week, I do the treadmill 3 other days)
I am reading....Love Comes Softly, a really old book that is actually a series...I love reading about the main character Marty, she is such a Proverbs 31 woman totally and it inspires me! I love the movies too but they are NOTHING compared to what the books are!
I am hoping.......IT SNOWS BUCKETS!! (aren't you shocked I said that?)
I am hearing.......Ok I see your eyes rolling.....Charlie Brown Christmas CD (hey it's the ONLY Christmas music I have left out in this house! ha)

Around the's actually very tidy at the moment, laundry is almost caught up (for today anyhow) and it's pretty Candley and quiet! (for about 45 more minutes though!) ha
One of my favorite things.....This is always so hard because I have so many but I guess since I just had a friend mention it.....Old music....talking 1940's style....My mom always says I am an old soul! I like that!
A few plans for the rest of the week.......Thursdays I clean a friends house for 3 hrs. in the morning(I really enjoy that and I plug in my IPOD or listen to Christian radio sermons and it's actually relaxing sort of! ha) and I do alot of praying for people when I clean! Grocery shopping Friday, and a date night too hopefully! Sat. I'm going to a ladies Valentine prayer tea which will be fun! and of course it's SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!! I'm on kitchen duty for snacks! ha
And.......I shared several pictures this time......just of a few spots in the kitchen I decorate for Valentine's Day......I put away all my winter and snowman decorations yesterday and I did pick up a few new things for this season on BIG TIME clearance...for instance the scene with the Geraniums ... white bird statue $1.20(I just thought it was so cool!) the fabric heart $1.50 and the Geraniums $2.49 and the cutest .....LOVE letters sign was about $ it......the candle goblets on the kitchen table were $5 each and I got heart shaped tea light holders for .75 at Hobby Lobby to go inside!! and candy hearts go a long way.......And last but not least!!! Remember the shadow box my friend Beth got me........Well I got her the same ceramic Cupcake and mini cake plate and I had to get myself one.....haha So I have several pictures just for fun!! HAPPY VALENTINES SEASON MY FRIENDS.........Hope you are loved, and also love too!!