Friday, December 7, 2012


I am no Martha Stewart or Susie Homemaker. It would be nice, especially if I got paid to do it, but I'm not. I can cook. I'm better at baking. I know how to follow a recipe. I can clean...sometimes I do clean. Anyway, back on topic, earlier this week I felt like I could be a Martha Stewart or Susie Homemaker.

1. I made a dish that is ridiculously easy, but it called for ingredients I don't generally have on hand, so I made my own. I felt awesome. The dish is Italian Cream Cheese Chicken (thank you, Pinterest). Four ingredients and a crock pot, how can one go wrong. I'm a little strange (and addicted) so I usually have cream cheese on hand. Cream of chicken soup and Italian dressing seasoning, not so much (again, I'm strange). So, I made my own cream of chicken soup and my own Italian dressing seasoning. It was awesome. Here are my tips if you do this:
- cream of chicken soup is easy to make and it smells delicious, why buy it
- in the seasoning mix, use garlic powder (I did) and don't use the 2 tbsp of salt (I used 1 tbsp and it was too much)

2. I made freezer meals. What, I was thinking ahead, bought lots of chicken and chicken sausage, and actually did what I was thinking of. It's true and I'm super excited. I made 6 meals (huge, we'll have leftovers I'm sure) and some spaghetti sauce (two quart bags worth). I still have one more meal to make, but there is currently no room in my freezer. It doesn't require meat, so I plan on doing it a little later. Here are the links to the recipes I used along with how I altered them in any way. I can't tell you if they taste good yet, but soon...very soon!

Loving My Nest
- Bean Stew - haven't made but plan on doing soon
- Sausage and Bean Supper - the sausages aren't pre-cooked, just in their casings. When it's done cooking I'll cut the sausage up (I meant to take it out of the casing so it would cook and the crumble when stirred but I got in a hurry).
- Spaghetti Sauce - I dumped everything in the crock pot (sausage not cooked, would probably brown it first next time) and used pureed tomatoes (about 10), diced tomatoes (about 5), and spices to make my own spaghetti sauce instead of using store bought. The idea for which spices came from here. I also added in some oregano.

6 cents
- Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches - pineapple was on sale so I cut up one whole fresh pineapple and I didn't add the chicken broth, I'll do that when I throw it in the crock pot

Stacy Makes Cents
- Chicken Fajitas - I've made this before and it's yummy. Again, I didn't add the stock, I'll add 1-2 cans (I use more than she calls for) when I put it in the crock pot.

Crepes of Wrath
- Shredded Chicken Chili - I didn't change anything. I did just as it says. :)

Ring Around the Rosies - She has some awesome tips as well.
- Sausage and Peppers - I halved the recipe.

Get Crocked
- Sausage, Potatoes, and Green Beans - I left the sausage uncooked and in it's casing. I'll just cut them up when everything is done cooking.

We Pass the Time of Day to Forget How Time Passes
- Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup - I haven't done this one yet, but I think it would be good to do. I'd only put what is mentioned in Step 1 of the directions into the bag.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Somehow three years have passed since the twins were born. There were days I wondered (and still do) if they would survive childhood through their own clumsiness and through the joys of having brothers. They are smart, funny little boys who bring a great deal of joy into our lives.
A few days old
1 year
2 years
3 years
Note: In all pictures, J is on the left and G is on the right.

December daily - modified

Last year I attempted to make a December Daily photo album. It turned into a daily post on my blog and an album that has yet to be finished (printing pictures every day doesn't happen in my world). This year I'm doing a modified version. I'm using some one word prompts to take pictures and adding in some photos of our family traditions and some new things we want to be traditions. Some will posted on my blog (not daily) and it may or may not end up in an album. My desire is that it would, but I'll be realistic about that part.

Dec. 1 - 64 degrees - view and joy
Joy - G
Joy - J
Joy - H (and his silly face)
Joy - W
Dec. 2 - 62 degrees - holiday movie
Our newest in the collection
Dec. 3 - 65 degrees - red and home decor
Red leaves
Red shirt (G - J in blue)
Our home decor (as I wait patiently to get a tree)
Advent/Nativity - Sunday started advent (we did it Monday due to children without a nap falling asleep early). Each Sunday we'll light the candle for that week (and the previous weeks) and add the corresponding figure to our nativity.
Candle #1 and the prophet

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tough questions

H is full of tough and interesting questions lately. Friday he started asking if Jesus was coming back down here and when. I explained that he was and we don't know when. Next he wanted to know why I don't know when and I told him it's a surprise. He has asked at least once every day since then if Jesus is coming back and when. He even gives me answers. I don't know why it's on his mind but I think it is fascinating and I hope he continues to ask and think about it. Saturday he asked me what a soul is. I was a little stumped at how to explain it in a way that would be fitting for a 5-year-old. Thankfully we have people to ask for help. I mentioned asking our pastor when we went to church, and that is just what he did. When we were in services he asked if it was time to talk to the pastor. Once services were over he ran up to him and asked. He was satisfied with his answer and now will tell me when I ask him (complete with hand motions). It is our whole person/being. He's a smart little cookie. I don't know that I feel totally ready or equipped for the questions I know are coming in the future, but I'll do what I can to get ready and be thankful he feels he can ask me.

Heart treasure

W recognized me and smiled. My heart melted. I can't say it's the first time, but I've never been this far away. Husband was holding him on the couch and I walked into the room. Even now, hours later, when I think about it it brings joy to my heart.