Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Winter.......

Well we're in the heart of Winter here......The snow has really fallen in the last few weeks here! We're expecting a few inches tonight AND......10-12" starting Tuesday night! Now...sometimes these weather men are wrong but if not we're in for it! I already emailed Mike and told him to bring home more milk! haha

If Grace can talk Macy into coming outside to play (somehow they reach this age when they don't want to go outside and play anymore, boo hoo) they HAVE A BLAST! here they are striking a Diva pose because I'm sure they are disgusted I am always calling them to the window to take their pictures! they are currently working on a really cool fort and they have worked almost daily scooping snow into a pile to turn around and dig it out to make a fort!
A funny story about a fort....when my brother and I were young, I was probably 11 and he was 5 we were out playing in the snow! My dad always had the driveway shoveled and we had alot of snow that year so there was a huge pile at the side of the driveway at the end so my brother and I made a HUGE fort...I'm talking maybe 6 feet high and the length of the pile was maybe 8 my brother and I were in that fort collecting snowballs throw AT PASSING CARS!! (*gulp* ..yes this NOW makes me gulp since I'm a parent)......So we built up our supply and my dad was shoveling away in the driveway not far from us and my brother and I started our plan to pelt passing cars....
We got several good "thumps" as cars passed by......BUT....we got a pick up truck that we hit right in the passenger we took cover in the fort because.....he stopped that truck and jammed it in reverse and rolled down that brother and I were undercover....SO.....WHO was there shoveling away innocent as could be?? MY DAD! That truck driver yelled at him and accused that is so funny to me but it wasn't then.....AS DAD would throw a snowball.......then the guy drove off and my brother and I sat frozen listening for my dad to call out or come to US.......nothing but the scraping of the shovel...and what was that noise? ...laughter?? YES my dad was laughing.....out we scurried to a big smile across my dad's face my dad was not one to stand any shenanigan's when we were little but that smile is something we'll never forgot....He laughed and smiled and said "Now if you do that anymore....I won't be laughing anymore!" hahaha so funny....I can't imagine what I would do to my own kids today if they did such a thing.......although I think I KNOW I would NOT be smiling!

Here's my Jordan out using the snow blower....I honestly thought Mike was giddy the day he didn't have to cut the lawn or shovel snow anymore because Jordan was old enough!! haha We reward him well for these jobs...and now that Jordan drives well that even makes it better!

I have alot of people and friends that get after me on Face book for liking Winter so much and SNOW especially...not alot of my friends like snow for some odd reason....I think it's so pretty and it truly does make me HAPPY! Especially those stuck inside snow days when we've all been indoors together...I remember last year when church was cancelled on a Sunday morning and we had a blizzard....we made the best memories that day! we made 4 kinds of cookies, homemade hot cocoa and played was so much fun!

On the RARE occasion that I go out into the snow myself it's always so exciting to Grace...I heard her tell someone last night "My mom doesn't like to go outside that much in Winter!" haha I am truly a snow lover from the windowpane! but last Thursday I was grumpy and I was trying to take a short nap and the girls were outside my bedroom patio door where I TOLD them to play so I could hear them (ha sorta defeats the nap idea) and I kept grouching at them out the window to not throw icicles and hit each other with snowballs in the I thought it was so silly to sit there barking orders so I got on my snow pants and snow clothes and went out to JOIN THEM....we weren't out long since it was cold but there is something about sitting in a pile of snow.....
I hope you are all enjoying the Winter.....the biggest reason I love Winter is that it's the only season all year that we're all home for dinner almost daily, no one goes out after dark, it's snugly and cozy to sit by a fire, we read alot together and play games......and it's just SLOWER, I cherish every moment because I know it will end quicker than I can imagine...time is going so fast......Spring will come and we'll be outside in the driveway with chalk, no one will want to come in after dinner to snuggle up and read and we won't spend as much time eating cookies and snuggling in our pj' enjoy the WINTER WHILE WE HAVE IT!!! <3
"Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the North the cold. From the breath of God ice is made, and the expanse of the water is frozen." Job 37:9-10

Monday, January 24, 2011

For the birds....

We have a bird feeder outside our front window and we have finch food it in specifically. We got the idea from our neighbor since she always has the most adorable bright yellow finch's on her feeders. She told us to get Nijer(?) seed. It's little tiny black seeds but the key is the finch feeder, it has little tear drop shaped holes so the squirrels can't get at it! which they tried hard to do......Well this Winter we've seen them all over the feeder and we have learned somethings too. Finches change color in Winter from their bright yellow feathers to a brownish color. We have some cute little fat white fuzzy bellied birdies on their lately too.
Well we found these little tiny feet prints in the snow outside our back door yesterday! We were sorry that we didn't hear this little birdie knocking on the door or else we would have definately let him in!! but these are so sweet so we had to share!
Bird feeders are such a small thing but create so much fun and it's actually very relaxing to watch them at the feeder without a care in the world nibbling away at the food. It's just another reason God is so amazing in His creation. There's probably no great reason for Finches in this world but I'm pretty sure they are here to create JOY and FUN for the bird watchers!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Soup recipe....

A great healthy soup on a cold day!

1/2 lb. ground beef, 1 lb. ground lean Turkey
1/4cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Minced (or 2 Tb. dry)
1 whole Egg
2 cloves Garlic or 2 ts. chopped)
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Black Pepper
¼ teaspoons Ground Oregano
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil to saute meatballs
7 cups Low Sodium Beef Stock(I used boullion cubes, 3 chicken and 5 beef for extra flavor)
2 cups Water
1 30 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or diced if you prefer) or sauce
½ teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
¾ cups Onion, Chopped
¾ cups Carrots, Chopped
¾ cups Celery, Chopped
1 cup Russet Potato, Chopped (do Not peel) *I didn't use potato
½ pounds Cabbage Chopped *I used fresh spinach leaves instead
Grated Parmesan Cheese To Serve
1 ts. garlic
2 ts. dried basil (or you could use fresh)
Preparation Instructions
To make meatballs, combine all meatball ingredients and mix well. Shape into small balls and chill for 30 minutes.

After chilling, heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a heavy pot. Briefly brown meatballs, then remove to a plate. To pot, add beef stock(or water and bouillon cubes and dissolve before moving on), water, salt, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then simmer 30 minutes.

Add onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Simmer 15 more minutes. Add spinach and meatballs. Bring to a boil, then simmer 8 to 10 minutes. Taste for salt, I sometimes add seasoning salt as part of the salt.

Serve with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top. I made this soup the night before and then rewarmed it and it was really good!

Monday, January 17, 2011


My Daybook, you can go to Simple Woman's Daybook to make up your own Daybook!

Outside my window....It's dark out now, we're expecting some snow and sleet...I still have twinkling lights in two little trees that I'll leave up for the remainder of Winter!

I am thinking.....about alot of stuff, I'm sorta melancholy today...thinking about alot of things that seem overwhelming for others around me, and praying alot and humbling myself ....

I am thankful for.....a warm home, and cars, and food whenever we need it, and a great family!

From the learning rooms.....reading fiction, starting Fudge-a-Mania tonight with Grace! so funny!

From the kitchen....Rosemary chicken, roasted potatoes and carrots.

I am wearing....Black track pants, pink turtleneck and a hoodie.

I am creating....a centerpiece for an upcoming registration table for a Parenting seminar our church is hosting in February!

I am watch Grace and Mike play Wii and then sit by the fire and read and watch the Walton's!

I am reading...This Side of Heaven, by Karen Kingsbury...I wanted to start her books this Winter since so many friends recommended her for years!

I am CHEER up and get out of this frumpy slump today! ha

I am hearing....the fire crackle, the Wii and the shower!

Around the house....Jordan is overwhelmed with a homework load tonight and upcoming exams to study for, Wii, showers, and "night time" stuff!

One of my favorite things.......SNOW DAYS! we've had a few recently and would love another!! haha and a nice heavy snow during the day when I can curl up with a book on the couch by the fire and watch the snow fall!

A few plans for the rest of the week...HAHA this makes me laugh because our week is very busy, bible study prep (I set up the snack table/coffee and do the opening game on occasion and that's tomorrow!), meetings for Mike, church activities, we NEED Toilet paper ha so I will have to do a Target run, getting things for the upcoming parenting seminar to decorate , track meets, and hopefully a longggg awaiting date night!! I think on our last date night we were Christmas shopping!! haha

A picture to share of my sweet friend Leanne...TODAY IS HER BIRTHDAY! she is a treasure, I can't tell you how many times that little sound of "bling" on my phone announcing a text from her, or how many times I text her during a yucky moment or a good one....She's that friend you always hope for, that you can cry with, laugh with, share private jokes with, complain about weight with, sigh over children who won't cooperate, share touching scripture with, prayers with and just a special someone to call friend!!! I love her so much!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Give Away....

My bloggy friend Marcia is having a very cool give away at her blog here. Plus even if you don't win, her blog is really fun to read, she's a neato mama!! hope you win!

Monday, January 10, 2011


I have a new favorite tip for making Lasagna very easy! I was watching Ina Garten on Foodnetwork, ie Barefoot Contessa and she put this great tip for making Lasagna on her show one day. You put a whole box of Lasagna noodles in a 9 x13 pan. Turn on the tap water until it runs as hot as it gets, fill the pan of noodles with the hot water just enough to cover them and let sit for 20 minutes.(I will warn you NOT to soak more than the 20 mins. or they turn to MUSH! I learned the hard way, more is NOT better here ha) They are partially cooked, easy to handle, they don't stick and they cook up beautifully in your Lasagna! No more boiling and broken noodles! I do like the NO Boil noodles on the market but my dear Mike the true Italian doesn't like how "pasty" they taste in that!

My recipes for Lasagna very greatly, depending on if I feel like making a homemade pot of sauce or not and what I have on hand but this recipe has become the fastest of all recipes for me to put together!

1 box Lasagna noodles
1 Large Jar Prego
1 Jar Lite Alfredo sauce (I use this in place of Cottage cheese sometimes)
1/2 C. Parm. Cheese
8 oz bag Shredded Mozzarella

Drain noodles that have soaked. Coat bottom of a different 9x 13 pan with some of the Prego, place a layer of noodles and then layer noodles, sauce, cheeses (saving 1/3 of the Mozzarella cheese for the top) until finishing with a layer of sauce only and the remaining Mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 for 55 mins. covered with foil. Remove foil and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is bubbles and melted. Add a salad and some bread and voila! Another great tip for cutting your Lasagna, let it sit 10 minutes before cutting so the sauces thicken.
*SECRET: I put 2 Cups of shredded Zucchini I pulled out of the freezer and thawed in the center layer...NO one knew until they saw it but they were several bites in before they noticed! great way to sneak veggies in without a strong flavor!! I LOVE to layer in chopped Spinach as well, that is a great addition to this dish! enjoy! You know this tastes better the next day!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chicken and dumpling soup...sorta!

I've tried several times to make chicken and dumplings but it's quite time consuming and I like fast when I'm making soup for dinner so I thought of an idea and it worked out great and tasted yummy...using cheese filled Tortellini as the "noodle" in chicken soup. It was a 5 out of 5 that liked it our house....It was very reminiscent of Won Ton soup at the Chinese restaurant as well! enjoy!

11 Cups water
10 Chicken bouillon cubes (you can certainly use broth)
2 Cups roasted chicken (I made a roast chicken the night before but you could use a store bought cooked whole chicken or 2-3 chicken breasts boiled and shredded/cut up)
1 bag frozen crinkle cut carrots
1 Can cream of chicken soup (I used the gravy from the roasted chicken I had made instead of the soup)
1 Tb. butter
Salt and pepper as desired
1 bag cheese filled Tortellini
4-5 green onions, washed and sliced even the dark green parts
Bring water to a boil, add bouillon cubes and lower to a simmer. Stir on occasion until dissolved. Add chicken, and carrots. Simmer for atleast 1/2 hr. Taste to see if you want salt added and pepper. Turn heat up and bring to a slow boil on med. heat, add Tortellini and butter and simmer 15 minutes....Add green onions and simmer 5 more minutes.
This served 5 with leftovers! Serve with your favorite bread or crackers! a very filling meal!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year.......

It's a new year......I don't have any real big resolutions necessarily this year! Of course I always think I need to be "nicer" to those I love...but that tends to be a theme EVERY year! haha
For the last few years I've read this book over Winter as my devotion time at night.....A few years ago a friend inspired me to keep a devotion journal.....I am VERY visual, I always need to write out lists or write things out, see them on paper etc. so writing in a devo. journal has turned out to be a GREAT growing experience in my spiritual life over the last few years.
I use a Composition notebook (since we always have a great supply of them in the school supply box) and after I read a few pages of the book, sometimes a chapter depending on how tired I am, ha I try to write out a verse that was in that section of reading and how it applied/applies to me or how I would like it to apply to me! ha
I think being a positive mom has huge affects on your kids, your relationship with them.......and let's face it, it's alot easier to pick out the negatives for some dumb reason than pick out those positive things they do! So I wanted to share about this book! I've had it for years......and I remember the first time I struggled through reading it, my kids were very little, thinking Grace was even a baby and I KNOW that stage is a hard time for a tired mom of "littles" to work on being more positive....But I also know HE KNOWS the stages we're going through in life, He knows we're tired and He knows our hearts are longing to be a better "prayer" a "nicer" mom or wife.......So I hope you might look for this book and enjoy it......HAPPY NEW YEAR'S WEEK ALL! We've had a lovely snow with a few new inches ....everything looks so nice and clean (outside anyhow! ha)........

Monday, January 3, 2011


Outside my window....gray overcast sky....dry snow yet...all melted and dirty!

I am surprised I am that I'm not more tired after being home with the kids for two weeks and sleeping in, back to reality today and it wasn't too bad!

I am thankful.....for a WONDERFUL Christmas with friends and my precious family, we had a ball!

From the learning rooms......back to school today!

From the kitchen........Roast chicken tonight!

I am wearing......track pants, red turtleneck and black hoodie.

I am up, putting some Christmas stuff away, less clutter hopefully!

I am get the chicken washed and ready, put away laundry, take Jordan to an eye
Dr. app't and hopefully fit in a trip to the library there somewhere!

I am reading......Sisterchicks go to Mexico

I am hoping.......for snow!

I am hearing........Bing Crosby...I'll keep my Christmas music out for a week or so yet!

Around the house.......less clutter, beginning to look a bit cleaner and organized!

One of my favorite things........reading in Winter, with the kids, myself.....especially if it's snowing and Grace still loves to read Winter/Snow books with me in Wintertime....

A few plans for the study, church Weds. night, taking down the remaining trees, groceries, laundry...the usual....back to the routine!

A picture to share........that special Christmas project I was keeping secret is done and given! It was scrapbooks for each child done up until present day.......they loved them and I loved watching them look through them. I hope to sit with each of them and look through them....hard to imagine only a year and a half left in Jordan's. Time is going fast and I wanted to catch some of the special moments!
You can go to the right of my blog roll to Simple Woman to make your own daybook! or read others! enjoy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


"Mom....can I have one of aunt Roz's "footprint" cookies......?"
"Do you mean...thumbprints?"