Thursday, December 9, 2010

IPAD giveway!

Gourmet Mom on the Go is giving away an IPAD!! I have entered and my fingers are crossed!
Gourmet Mom On-the-Go

Sunday, November 28, 2010

As Seen On T.V.

I bought one of those "as seen on t.v." products yesterday. And it was the best $20 I've ever spent! (well, kinda). I got this pan at Bass Pro Shop (who knew?):

So I began making cornbread bowls, biscuit bowls and brownie bowls. I was making bowls ALL day.

It takes a lot of batter to make each bowl. For instance one box of brownies only made 2 brownie bowls. 1 box of Krusteaz honey cornbread only made 2 cornbread bowls. And 1 tube of Pillsbury pizza crust only made 2 biscuit bowls. But they were good! I got the mixes at super Target for about $1 each (except the pizza dough at about $2) so it wasn't an unreasonable expense. Here's the biscuit salad bowls:

We must have eaten the chili bowls too quickly because I forgot to snap a picture! Here's a picture of the brownie bowls:

There was a smaller pan that would be better for desserts-which I have put on my Christmas list. The outside of the brownie bowl got a little too done because it was soo big! I also wouldn't recommend having 3 bread bowls in one sitting. It was a little much. My guests were in a carb coma by the end of our meal!

My First Thanksgiving...


I hosted Thanksgiving at my house this year for the first time. I loved it! There was only 8 of us which was probably a good thing since they were my guinea pigs for my first turkey!

The table was set...

The desserts and food were prepared...

The favorite dessert was the mini apple pies. I got the recipe here.

One of my favorite parts about having Thanksgiving at my house is that I could walk around in my comfy, fuzzy socks all day.

It was a perfect, relaxing day. We definitely have lots to be thankful for! To God be the glory!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks Challenge

Things to Be Thankful For

· Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.

· Be thankful for the mess you clean up after a party, because it means you have been surrounded by friends.

· Be thankful for the taxes you pay, because it means you're employed.

· Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because it means you have a home.

· Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.

· Be thankful for the laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.

· Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means you can walk.

· Be thankful for the lady who sings off-key behind you in church, because it means you can hear.

· Be thankful when people complain about the government, because it means we have freedom of speech.

· Be thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means you're alive.

Taken from Ann Landers' 11/22/01 column.

Weekly Plans

Bible Study:
Don't have one going on right now-not good-So praying for God to point me to the study He would have for me right now!

Memory Verse:
James 5:5-6 (memorizing this whole chapter)

Husband Encouragement:
He has a lot of adversity at his job. I need to try to be a good listener.

Train Them Up:
Trying to have patience as we are on vacation this week and the bickering has already started!

Personal Goals:
*Spend lots of quality time with my family this week!

*Prepare for Thanksgiving and our camping trip.

New Habit of the Month:
Steam mopping the floors every weekend.

M -Oven fried parmesan crusted chicken, macaroni and cheese, salad and bread
T -Penne pasta with sauce and garlic bread
W -Sonny's (kids eat free)
Th - Thanksgiving (for the first time I will be hosting!)
F -Black Friday shopping then camping-Chili for dinner
S- Camping-Bacon, Egg, Cheese biscuits, hot dogs, then BBQ chicken for dinner
Sun-Heading home-

FUN Things!!
*Camping with the Sophie's
*a week off from school
* Thanksgiving at my house with my family

3 Things I'm Thankful For Today:
1. The renovations at our house are complete!
2. My van is running great!
3. Our family camping vacation this weekend!

Visit Monday Meanderings at In the Light of the Truth.

Three Musketeers Cheesecake Goodness

Gather all these yummy ingredients and make a delicious Thanksgiving dessert!

Chop up candy bars-& the beauty is you choose whatever kind of candy bar that tickles your fancy. I had an excess of 3 Musketeers from Halloween.

Crunch up some oreos for the crust. I used the Target brand to save a $1.

Add the candy bars to the cream cheese/egg mixture.

Supposedly the secret to prevent your cheesecake from cracking is to put a shallow dish with some water in it on the rack under the cheesecake. My cheesecake didn't crack!

About an hour later I had (as my dear friend described it) "restaurant quality" cheesecake! Here's the complete recipe:

1.5 cups crushed Oreos (the store brand works fine) about 25 cookies
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter melted
2 packages 8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
20 fun size bars cut into quarters (about 2 c.)

1. Mix cookie crumbs, sugar and butter. Press in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan sprayed with cooking spray.
2. Beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla and candy . Pour over crust.
3. Bake 40-50 minutes until edges are separated from the side of the pan but center of cheesecake still jiggles a little. Run knife around edge to loosen. Turn the oven off and open the oven door about 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven about 30 min. Then cool on cooling rack for 30 min. more. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's Love Got to Do With It?

I apologize in advance for where this post may go. I have tons of thoughts going on and I'm not sure how they all will translate in print!
I just finished reading Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to See

It's an amazing book of the Chapman's sorrowful journey, yet somehow they still find hope in everyday life. It was an intense, emotional read. At least for me. It made me want to cling tightly to my children. Since I've started the book, I can't tell you how many times I've prayed that God would never let my children be taken from me. But I know living with that kind of fear is not what God would have for me.
As I was cooking dinner tonight, Dylan was studying for a Bible verse test and reading aloud I Corinthians 13:4-8:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

I've been thinking about my children and those I "love", and as Dylan was reading that, little did he know how much of that verse was speaking to me. Am I being patient and kind in my home? Sometimes, not so much. "It is not self-seeking". Many times I am all about self-seeking. I want my kids to behave because it's more convenient FOR ME. I want them to be kind to each other so "I" don't have to deal with the bickering. I want them to show responsibility so "I" don't have to do more. Do I "keep no record of wrongs" with my husband? Ouch.
A lot of this comes down to pride. I don't want to be prideful-ever-especially with my family.
For our family devotions tonight, we read through a list that I received at work about prideful hearts vs. humble hearts. We played a little game. I read a description and everyone had to guess if it was a description of a prideful person or a humble person. Some of the characteristics of a humble heart are:
*Surrenders control vs. maintain control, must be my way
*Giving spirit vs. demanding spirit
*Dependent spirit;recognizes the needs of others vs. independent, self-suffficient spirit
*Esteem all others better than self vs. look down on others
*compassionate, forgiving, looking for the best in others vs. self-righteous, have a critical fault-finding spirit

Oh, how I want to love my family with humility. And putting aside what I feel, I know that I don't have what it takes in me. It is only through Christ that I can love like I Cor. 13. Amen.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holly's Lemonade Stand

Holly has been asking to have a Lemonade Stand for forever. So with our community yard sale planned, we decided this was the time. I found these cute door hangers online. We hung them around the neighborhood Saturday morning.

We also made these yummy cookies to sell as well. (Tip #1: Any cookie looks special & cute if you put it on a stick.)

No Lemonade Stand would be complete without a sign! (Tip #2-A black background sign is always more interesting than a white background)

The end result is a happy little girl selling lots of lemonade and cookies!

Holly made about $27 and change. I was so proud of her when she decided to use the money to make more than one Operation Christmas Child Box. If you're not familiar with Operation Christmas Child watch this video.

I'm so glad we cleared the schedule for our little Lemonade stand. These are the things that memories are made of!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Parenting Advice Needed

My son has been texting a girl. He is 12. I have been reading his texts (he knows this and could care less). The texts really are innocent. They mostly consist of things like, "I'm bored, Me too, whatcha doing?, nothing, where r u?, home, k, bye," I've noticed she usually initiates the texts. Now, the dilemma is-we need to decide now what kind of boundaries we will set about texting-while the texts are still innocent. Texting was not something we dealt with when we were teenagers, so I can't even follow my parents' lead on this. The thing that bothers me about texting is the level of secrecy and the absence of boundaries, unlike a regular phone call on the family phone line. So, I'm looking for advice from people who are trying to "raise kids God's way". I know the world would say, "Let them text, what's the big deal?" But my Christian sisters understand my concern here-and I want to hear from you! Help!

Giving Thanks Challenge

I am thankful today for God's Word. Between the lesson in my small group and the word from our Pastor at worship, I am reminded of how much I should and do depend on God's Word.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giving Thanks Challenge

I am thankful for cool weather this evening! What's better than cool weather in South Florida? Cool weather on the weekend!! It's Friday night. The a/c is off and the windows are open. My new curtains are blowing in the breeze as we are curled up on the comfy couch in our sweatsuits and socks watching Marmaduke and laughing like crazy. I love that tomorrow morning, when it will be about 49 degrees, I DON'T have to get out of the bed! So thankful...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Results Are In! not those results! (You did get out there & vote, didn't you??) I'm talking about my downstairs reno results. I'm finally posting the pics that so many of you have requested. We officially finished about 2 weeks ago. If you need a reminder of what the kitchen used to look like, go back to my previous post.

We also painted & put wood floors throughout the downstairs.

A huge shout out to my parents-I'm sure they did more work then we did! We could not have completed it without them! And of course,Thanks to my brother and Naya-who hooked us up with the awesome cabinets!!

Now that all that madness is done-I can get back to blogging regularly-I have to say that I really missed it!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekly Plans

Things are finally (almost) getting back to normal around here. Brian is permanently home from his work in NC-PTL! The hustle and bustle of "back to school" is finally settling down. My kitchen is 99% complete. Now we are working on the downstairs 1/2 bath, then we can lay the wood floors and paint for the final step. I can't wait for that! We've been living in construction mode for 6 weeks and hopefully it will only be 3 weeks more max until completion. Of course, I will post lots of pics of the finished product. is time to reconvene the weekly plans-for my own sanity!

Bible Study:
Continuing One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer-loving it!!

Memory Verse:
Hebrews 13:6
So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Husband Encouragement:
I need to help and encourage while he's working on the bathroom this week-not nag and complain!

Train Them Up:
We're continuing to work with Dylan as he adjusts to middle school. He's doing well but every once in a while he gets a "what's the big deal about schoolwork and homework" attitude! So we're praying and training through this process!

Personal Goals:
*Finish my personal Bible study-One in a Million
*Start my walking dvd once again.

*clear the downstairs for the floor installation

M -Homemade Pizza (also making pepper steak to take to a friend)
T -Pork Chops w/ mushroom gravy in the crockpot, rice, rolls
W -Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole, green beans, biscuits
Th - Beef Stroganoff with noodles and salad
F -Burgers on the grill
S- TBD after I grocery shop
Su - TBD

FUN Things!!
*I am mystery reader for Holly's class on Thursday, so I have to pick a book and a snack to bring in
*Getting closer to completing our renovations/shopping for new bathroom & kitchen rugs

3 Things I'm Thankful For Today:
1. My kitchen is done!
2. My van is not overheating
3. My family is happy and healthy

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baby Mama's

After reading a post on a blog that I frequent, I began to think back to the days when I had babies and preschoolers. I look back on those days with fondness...and STRESS! I remember constantly feeling out of sorts. I felt undone physically and mentally. My house was always a mess. Laundry was never caught up. "Things" were just never done. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of my babies. I have precious memories of holding them, nursing them, nurturing them and just being in awe of their cuteness. But in spite of the overwhelming joy of that season of my life-it was hard! In retrospect, I wish I would have clinged to the Lord more during that time. He certainly "grew" me. But now...awww...I'm in what's called "the quiet years". Holly is no longer a preschooler and Dylan is just under the radar of becoming a teenager. Life is good. My house is clean most of the time. Laundry is a "non-issue". I cook most nights and love it. I have good systems in place in my home. And a huge difference is-I love homemaking! It helps tremendously that I have trained my children to help out. They clean their own rooms. They put away their own laundry. They help out all around the house. None of which was possible just 2-4 short years ago! So if you are in that toddler/preschool stage of life. Take heart! Enjoy every minute of it. But remember, this too, shall pass. And things get better (in a different kind of way)! Be encouraged. Do your best as unto the Lord! As for the teen years loom ahead-I will be taking my own advice and hopefully in that season, I will draw near to the Lord and cling to His promises.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Teacher Blog

Visit my sister blog- "I {Heart} Teaching"! Just in time for the new school year!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crockpot to the Rescue!

We have started our downstairs renovation! I'm super excited it about it-but I'm not looking forward to the mess that precedes the finished project! We have lived in our house for 16 years and have desperately wanted to redo our kitchen. But refused to do it until we had the cash to do it. So thanks to God's provision through my brother's repurposed cabinets, we are able to redo our kitchen and get new wood (laminate)floors throughout the downstairs!

My kitchen used to look like this:

And now it looks like this...

And as a result my living room looks like this:

(What is that cartoon on the t.v.???)

Ugh!! But the end result WILL be worth it...The end result WILL be worth it...I just keep repeating this!
Part of staying on budget with this project is to keep the eating out to a minimum, which will be tricky with no kitchen...but my plan is to pull out my handy dandy crockpot. I have 4 crockpots so they will be earning their keep! Here's the plan for tomorrow:
Crockpot #1 (6 qt.) Meatloaf-recipe from the side of the Lipton Onion Soup Mix.
Crockpot #2 (6 qt.) Quarter potatoes and add about an inch of water. At the end of the cooking time, I'll mash them and add sour cream and milk.
Crockpot #3 (1.5 qt.) 2 Cans of mushroom gravy (I'll cook these on low for about 1.5 hours)
I have some rolls to put in the toaster oven (my only available appliance other than the frig.)

It will be a challenge. But I am determined to not eat out this week! I definitely will be trying Holly's Fantastic Chicken recipe!

I'm always up for a challenge-So here we go...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Phil. 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing.-- Can I do this for an entire day??? Can you???

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Love on a Dime Book Review

Love on a Dime was a pleasant romance novel. It was full of a Christian perspective and had plenty of Scripture in it. The characters were very likeable. The mystery element of the story pertaining to Fannie Cole was quite intriguing. The happy ending was a great culmination to the story.

I was provided with a copy of this book from and Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Morning Bible and Coffee

Pour you coffee and grab your Bible and curl up on the couch...

Job 42:5 "My ears have heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."
Isn't that what we want? We've heard of God and what He can do, but we want to witness it for ourselves.

Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Nor are your ways my ways." declares the Lord.
Isn't that the truth? So many times we don't understand why God lets things happen. This verse gives us the answer to that. Sometimes we can't see the greater good that God's ways lead to.

I Peter 1:6-7 You may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proven genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor.
When we go through trials we HAVE to trust that the result will bring glory and honor to the Lord. Our trials have purpose. God grows us, loves us and makes us more dependent on Him through our trials.

Moms, here's the food for thought here, straight from my personal Bible study this morning:
Why am I so determined to give my kids the best of everything and go to great lengths to make them "comfortable" when God sometimes chooses difficulties as the best teaching tools for me, His child?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Have a New Kid By Friday...

My latest summer read was Have a New Kid By Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman. Let me just tell you, this is a "must read" by all parents. Whether you have an "ankle-biter" or one of the members of the "hormone group" as he calls them, I promise this will be a worthwhile read for you. I heard about this book from James Dobson. And went ran to the bookstore to get it. My oldest child, Dylan, is turning 12 this summer and I have been seeing glimpses of that teen attitude. Nothing major-but I see my sweet, compliant, people-pleasing child changing before my eyes. I am not convinced that the teen years have to be "hell" as I see and hear all around me. So I've been reading AND praying! I just finished Bringing Up Boys and loved it and gleaned so much from it. Now I just finished Dr. Leman's book and "WOW"! Such great, practical strategies in this book.
How do you know if you need this book? Here is one of the checklists in the book:
About your children:
*Do they have to be asked to help around the house on a daily basis?
*Do they disrespect you and not value what you have to say?
*Do they fuss about obeying you?
*Do they lack for nothing?
*Are they engaged in one or more extracurricular activities?
*Do they need to be reminded more than once to do something?
*Is bedtime a battle zone?
*When they slam the door in your face do you write it off as "that's just the way kids are"?

If these topics resonated with you or you answered yes to even one of these questions then you need this book!!

I would say you could borrow it from me-but I will be carrying it with me for the next week...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Organization Projects Pt. 2

It's the moment you've been waiting for! Well maybe YOU haven't been waiting, but it's the moment I'VE been waiting for! I've been working for a couple of weeks organizing and finally decorating my bedroom. Partly because it was way overdue! My bedroom has been the same for many, many years. And unfortunately, it's always the last room that I get to. But I also wanted to redecorate the room as a surprise for Brian when he comes home 4th of July weekend. So I finished 3 days ahead of schedule. Go, Me! Did I mention that I did my little makeover for about $175?? Yes, I love Ikea!
Once again, I'm embarrassed to show you the before pics! I started tearing stuff out and almost forgot to take the pics.

And here's the after! I was going for a hotel-like feel. I got the white duvet and shams from Ikea for $50.

I love the blue and brown color scheme and it was super easy to find these colors in the stores.

We took down the worn out slatted closet doors and put up soft white curtains from Ikea. They slide open and closed really easily.

And of course, I organized the inside of the closet. I tried to put like colors together. I also put all of my shoes in clear plastic shoeboxes that I got at the dollar store. Then I labeled them all with my label maker.

The dark brown curtains are from Ikea as well. They are light blocking curtains, which enabled me to sleep until 9:15 this a.m.! This could be bad...
I was able to do the whole window including hardware for $50, in spite of this window being 145 inches!

My absolute favorite part of the room is the black and white pictures above the bed. I used my cricut to do the vinyl lettering. The wording is from Jer. 31:3. I got the frames from Michael's for $5 each. I used printed scrapbook paper in my color scheme to cover the plain white matting.

I have to thank my mom and dad for all of their help. I could not have finished so quickly without their help!


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