Thursday, December 27, 2012

My 2 Criteria For a Good Recipe

I never knew until recent years that black eyed peas were good luck if served on New Year's.  While I don't believe in "good luck", I do believe in good food.  So here's a black eyed peas recipe that I tested for you today.  It's easy and it's good-those are my 2 criteria for a recipe.  Enjoy!

1.  Rinse 1 pound of dry black eye peas. (Is it "eye" or "eyed"? LOL)
2. Put them in your slow cooker with 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water.
3.  Add 1 tsp. of cajun seasoning.
I used Tony Chachere's.  It's yummy.  Try it.

4.  Add some ham if you choose.  I added the ham bone with some meat on it left over from Christmas.  
5.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  

That's it!  My kind of recipe. 
Happy New Year!

Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas
1 lb. dry black eyed peas
4 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of water
1 tsp. cajun seasoning
ham (optional)

1.  Rinse the black eyed peas and put in the slow cooker.
2.  Add chicken broth, water, seasoning, and ham and stir.
3.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why My Kids Don't Make A Christmas List

The reason is quite simple: 
I don't want to raise self-centered children.
You know the old acronym: 

A Christmas list definitely doesn't fit into the Jesus and others category.

This is not to say that I never had my kids make a list-a couple of years ago they made one-probably about 2 years in a row.  And it just felt wrong.  
There's all this TALK about keeping Jesus the reason for the season- how does making a list of everything I WANT keep Jesus the center of our Christmas.
It doesn't.  It can't.

How do I know what my kids want for Christmas?  
Firstly, I buy them what they NEED.  This is the time of year that I restock -socks, underwear, clothes the next size up, shoes, etc.  Are my kids disappointed-No! They love getting the new things that they need.  We've always done this and they have appreciated it.  

Secondly, I know my children.  I know their interests and their hearts.  So I know what they want.  They share their desires from time to time when a commercial comes on or they see something in the store.  I take mental notes.

In my mind it makes sense-don't overindulge them and the children are appreciative and not self centered. 

I don't want to give the whole "Jesus is the Reason" lip service.  In our home, eliminating the Christmas list, has been a simple way to help us and our children stay focused on Him.

Psalm 119:36 "Turn my heart toward your statutes
    and not toward selfish gain."

Monday, November 26, 2012

I've been Elf-ed

For a couple of years now, I resisted this little guy-

The "Good, Christian doctrinally-sound Mama" in me said this is no good, I want the focus of our Christmas to be Jesus.   
But the "Creative, want-to-make-memories Mama" in me said this would be so fun!!!  
As my son enters his 14th year, I realize how quickly time goes.  My 8 year old daughter still believes in Santa, but I know that gig is almost up.

Years ago when I was a new Mama, a well meaning experienced Christian Mama said to me, "How can you let your children believe in Santa? What if, when they find out Santa isn't real, they question if Jesus is real?"  I thought long and hard about this.  She brought up a good point.  I thought of my own childhood.  I believed in Santa and never once questioned Jesus.  Why was that?  Then it hit me, Jesus was (is) a part of our everyday lives-Santa wasn't.  We talk(ed) about Him, pray(ed) to Him, and depend(ed) upon Him.  Jesus that is-not Santa.  I am confident that Jesus is King of our home and my children would never interchange the King with Santa.  

So, I draw on that confidence as I make the decision to let the Elf into our home.  I don't plan on using him to "make" my children be good.  I have "Mr. Spanky" for that LOL.  But rather my goal is to make memories and have fun with my children.  Even though my 14 year old tough guy won't believe it for a second, I know he will laugh with us and REMEMBER it.  My 8 year old is so tenderhearted that she will absolutely LOVE it.  

Our Elf will be making his first appearance on Saturday, December 1st.  I can't wait!  In the meantime, I'm gathering all kinds of fun ideas!  
Visit my Christmas board on Pinterest to see what I've found so far!

I would love to hear any of your creative ideas for your Elf!

Blessings to you,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall Off The Bone Ribs- No Grill Required

The method I used to make these ribs was done by mistake and they came out so yummy that I had to share.

Here's the recipe:
THE DAY BEFORE put the ribs in the slow cooker with 1 cup of beef broth on low for 4 hours.  Let cool and refrigerate until you're ready to cook them.
THE NEXT DAY Put the ribs on a baking sheet.  Coat them in Baby Rays BBQ sauce.  (I used one bottle for 2 racks of ribs)  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour and a half.

What made them so tasty?  The ribs were tender but not so tender that they fell of the bone and you couldn't eat them.  Putting them in the oven allowed the BBQ sauce to carmelize on the ribs just right.

AND they were super easy!!

We had these this afternoon after church.  Before church I put potatoes in the slow cooker on low for 4.5 hours.  They were perfect by the time the ribs were done.  Be careful not to overcook the bakers.  5 hours on low should be the max time (unless you have crazy big potatoes, then you might want to add more time.)

Happy Sunday,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 7th

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say, "I can't wait for November 7th!".
November 7th...the day the political ads stop, the flyers stop filling my mailbox, the Facebook ranters "get over it" and all will be right with the world again-or maybe not...

Things will never will be "right with the world".  It won't be "right" until we get to heaven.  The "right" president won't make it right, if fact he doesn't exist.  Knowing that is why I've tried guarding my lips through this whole election process.

I'm not a fan of Romney.  I don't believe he's the answer.  Do you know what Mormons believe? You might want to check it out...

I'm not a fan of Obama.  I don't think he deserves another chance.  However, {brace yourselves}, the financial mess the U.S. is in isn't all his fault.  People took out mortgages they couldn't afford, wracked up debt they couldn't pay and then blame the government???  Ummm, really, people?  That's all I'll say about that.

The purpose of  this post though, is to share a simple thought I heard on the radio the other day.  Some people may be struggling with whether or not to vote.  (Unfortunately, I think most of the people willing to waive their right are Christians.) The freedom to vote is a huge privilege and responsibility.

To be really simplistic,  think about it this way:  If someone gave you $100 to buy groceries but you couldn't go to your idea grocery store, say Publix, would you just throw away the $100 instead of going to Winn-Dixie or a Super Walmart?  Of course you wouldn't, you would make the best choice with what is available and be a good steward of the money.   Simple yes, but the thought is relevant.  Although neither of these two men are ideal, I will make the choice to be a good steward of this freedom and vote.  I hope you will do the same.

Blessings to you,

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dylan's 14th Birthday-Minute to Win It Style!

It all started with this invite!

The red and blue decor was perfect for this theme.

The cake was my first attempt at fondant...and probably my last :)

The food had no particular rhyme or reason except they were Dylan's favorites.

I found all of the games at

We kept score on a large poster board so everyone could see their progress.

We laughed. A Lot.

Chocolate Unicorn


Noodling Around

Suck It Up

Candy Elevator

Spare Me

Elephant March

On the Rebound

Nose Dive

What do you put in goody bags for teenagers? Chocolate and cash, of course!

Good times :) Now I'm off birthday party planning duty until next May!

Blessings to you,


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