Tuesday, January 31, 2012

meals for the week: 1.29.12 through 2.4.12

happy end of June January...  while we've had a few chilly days, we've really been spoiled with some pretty weather...just ask the bulbs that are up in our front yard and the sweet little crocuses that are blooming their little heads off...  my hope, now, is one of two things...  1.  the weather stays nice for a few more weeks so that i can enjoy the gorgeous flowers that i love so much, or 2. they can survive cold weather.... 
i'm thinkin' my second wish is probably not going to happen...if it snows, those sweet little greens will probably die :(

it's also hard for me to see February there in the date...  Hannah's 1st birthday is so quickly approaching :(  so bittersweet...

last week's Beef Macaroni Soup  was pretty good...it was better as leftovers, i think...better taste!  it would be really good with some cheese -  maybe Velveeta?  it reminded me of something nacho-ish (mine wasn't too soupy), minus the cheese...and with veggies...  i added some garlic and onions to it, too...  not bad and will make it again.   :) 

so this week...  we're having some repeats from last week that we didn't get to...  we had a few changes in our plans for eating, so i'm glad to have them this week :)

Sunday:  scrounge...we had a big lunch at Hibachi (Chinese)...
Monday:  cube steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn
Tuesday:  BBQ out (supposed to be 62*) - hot dogs and homemade mac n cheese

Wednesday:  potato and onion omelets & toast
Thursday:  creamy chicken pot pie - crock pot (adapted from the new Real Simple magazine)
Friday:  leftovers or eating with friends
Saturday:  leftovers or eating with friends

a decent week of meals, for sure :)  looking forward to trying a new recipe while also eating some of my favorites, too :) 

hope you all are having a great week :)  enjoy the end of January...and just think:  this week, we'll hear what the Groundhog is going to say about winter/spring... what would YOU like?  snow?  the same warm weather???   :)  we shall see :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lived In

You may not find things all in place,
Friend, when you enter here,
But, we're a home where children live,
We hold them very dear,

And you may find small fingerprints
and smudges on the wall,
When the kids are gone, we'll clean them up,
Right now, we're playing ball

For there's one thing of which we're sure,
These children are on loan,
One day they're always underfoot,
Next thing you know - they're gone.

That's when we'll have a well-kept house,
When they're off on their own,
Right now this is where children live,
A loved and lived in home.

i saw this poem several months ago and copied it for another time... :) (i wish i could remember the author or where i got it...oops!  :-\ )  but, it seems like "now" is a good time for this poem :) 

one of my "hang ups" is not having people over to spend time at our house because it's so...untidy. i lack hospitality, i guess...  there seems to be clutter everywhere...not just kid clutter, but adult clutter, too... i can't stay ahead of the game, it seems...and when things seem like they're pretty neat and clean, within a day, the clutter seems to find its way back to the counters or side tables or kitchen table... :-\

we really need to simplify, too... we have too much stuff...

and, another thing that's the truth is that, in general, people don't really care or see what i see or think... in reality, i'm too critical about things that really don't matter all that much. :) i don't remember going to someone else's house and thinking, "oh geez, they have 4 magazines piled on their end table...how untidy." instead, i kind of get excited and ask if i can look at the magazines! :) i don't remember thinking, "man, their living room is cluttered with a lot of toys...." instead, i am usually impressed and, perhaps, overwhelmed, at how many toys kids can have and how awesome it is that a living room is really a LIVING room for a family... :)

it's important for people to feel like they can come into our home and enjoy themselves... and it's necessary for me to LET GO of the ideal that the house has to be perfect for friends. :)
yep, trying to teach this old dog new tricks... :)

Happy Friday :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beef Macaroni Soup

i found this recipe on Taste of Home's website...  i think i will probably tweak it a bit, but it looks like it's a good soup...and fast to make, too! :) 
if i remember, i will let you know how it is when i meal plan next week :)  
give it a try, if you'd like :)


1 pound ground beef
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the mixed vegetables, tomatoes, broth and pepper. Bring to a boil; add macaroni. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender. Yield: 5 servings.


my blog has tended to always be the "sharing" type...not too much introspection or "personal" stuff...  i try to keep it pretty benign...  i know i don't have a ton of readers...heck, maybe a handful, if that many...  :)
but, today, i am taking a different approach...  :)
we are part of a church that we love...a lot.  ry and i have "struggled" a bit in the area of finding a place where we fit here in virginia...  we have attended several churches in our almost *gasp* 12 years here...  some we went to once...some had us in the pews for a year or so...  but we never really found our place...where we wanted to spend our sundays...
and, while we find it impossible difficult to get to church on time on Sunday (funny how a 3 year old wanting to set up her nativity set before leaving and refuses to get her coat on can be a challenge :)), part of me yearns for MORE time there...with the people... listening...worshipping...singing...learning... 
our church is filled with wonderful people...we have a lot of work to do, socially, so we can meet more of them. :)  but at the heart of the church is a talented and powerful pastor...  interestingly, he was the pastor of another church we attended for awhile...  we LOVED him and his messages, and he was even our marriage counselor before we tied the knot...  but, well, we never found our place at the church he was pastoring way back in 2002 or 2003...  but he, along with incredible musical worship, were the reasons we came back, week after week...
after we stopped going to this other church, we missed it and missed him more than anything...  but, as with most things, time lessens the "yearning" and desire to find something that good again... 
about a year and a half ago, i was reading the newspaper and saw who i thought was Lindsay, the pastor we loved so much...  the article was about churches without a church home.  he was in the Holiday Inn pool baptizing someone...and upon close examination and a look at the caption, i smiled, excitedly, and showed Ry my discovery.  see, Ry had been to the church he pastored at for awhile and we attended, too, but he was sad to not find Linsday in the pulpit when he went back in 2010 and 2011...  he asked about Linsday but was just told he was pastoring elsewhere... 
so, when we found that picture in the newspaper, i got excited...  :)
talk about awesome timing :) 
i called the Holiday Inn, where All Points (the church) was meeting, as stated in the article, but they couldn't give us much information...  i googled the church online and found out more...  Ry went for the first few weeks to "test" the waters, if you will... i didn't know what to expect, and with a 2 year old, we weren't sure if there was a place for her, etc.  and, well, i was also pretty pregnant with Hannah at the time (not like that should have mattered, really).  and, i think, honestly, part of me was tired of "trying" a church and being disappointed......
after ry attended a service with Linsday at All Points, Lindsay instantly connected to us, which was great...  he sent notes and communicated via email...  i shared my feelings as to why we had moved away from his other church almost 10 years ago, the church which he was no longer affiliated with... 
and perhaps one of the most amazing moments (one of many) was having Linsday come to visit us at the hospital on the day we were about to take our sweet Hannah home...(gosh, that was almost a year ago).  i was so nervous about him coming to see me...i had just given birth a few days beforehand and didn't feel very "presentable."  but how wonderful it was to see his face and hear his laugh that day...  :)  and to see him hold Hannah was such a blessing :)  i had to kind of "force" him to take Hannah; he was afraid he was going to break her.  :)

he came from a trip, which he had just returned from...and had trouble finding parking to be able to come up to see us...but he did it all anyway :)
and he prayed for us that day...
and he prayed for Hannah... 
and he keep us lifted up in prayer at church...even when we weren't there (we have friends who told us)... 
gosh, i was touched... 

and, well, that was the beginning of a new page in our life...  after a few weeks and Hannah got a little older, we started attending church at All Points as a family...  and while we don't know many people there (our fault more than anyone elses), we love it there...and we love the people that we do know...and we can't wait to get to know everyone else, too... 
and what i really love is that, when i leave our worship time on Sunday, i leave hungry for more...  i leave having learned...and i leave with a pile of stuff to think about... 
this Sunday was one of those days where i left with a pile of stuff on my mind...it was hard to not cry during communion on Sunday...talk about being emotionally overcome...

i had intended that this post be about our Sunday at church this week...but i felt the need to describe our history, church-wise... :)  i'll write more about this past Sunday later..... 'cause right now, i just want to relish the fact that we have a fabulous church with a pastor who is on fire for God, preaches amazing messages and is, without a doubt, anointed with a gift that we share the benefit of receiving each and every Sunday...and for that, i'm beyond thankful :)
my heart overflows :)
it's a good thing :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

meals for the week: 1.22.12 through 1.28.12

seems like i just posted what we were eating last week... :)  time flies, i suppose...
it's a weird food week for us...  for some reason, nothing really "sounded" appealing as i was planning meals this week...  i'm such a "mood" person when it comes to eating...  :-\   ry is so good about things - he eats whatever is put in front of him, generally...  i'm thankful for that! :)

believe it or not, i meal planned this afternoon, went grocery shopping, and then changed what we were having tonight :)  figures, eh? :)  really, i changed things b/c it was around 7 when i got home from grocery shopping, and it was too late to have what i had planned (story of my life...big plans, time changes them :)) and my plan for tuesday was changed at the store b/c they didn't have what i needed... 
it's cold and icy/snowy today, too, and this week is going to be a bit warm...  so, these choices are based on my icy views... :) 

Sunday:  grilled cheese (girls)/Marty's egg sandwiches for ry and me
Monday:  beef stew
Tuesday:  beef macaroni soup (will post on Tuesday)
Wednesday:  pancakes
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  probably leftovers again
Saturday:  out to eat? 

sooo, there it goes :)  we'll see how things pan out...after today, who knows what we'll eat :)

enjoy your week! :)  hope that it's a good one for each of you :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

you better not pout, you better not cry...

Christmas was rough for our Hannah...  while we've had several Christmas times with our families, friends, and ourselves, we always seemed to open presents when she was at her most tired state... 
so she spent a lot of time crying and fussing...poor baby...
and she's not really a crying or fussy baby...
it's hard to be tired when you are supposed to be enjoying your first Christmas...
we took a lot of pictures from our holiday celebrations...so many cute ones of Katherine and her big smiles after her gifts...  i love those shots of her... 

but, equally wonderful, are our shots of Hannah... 

now ALL of the pictures of Hannah were not like these...but these, perhaps, really capture a sweet, tired, little girl's very first Christmas :) 
:)  momma and daddy will plan a little better next year... :) 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

good thoughts...

if God
brings you to it;
He will bring
you through it.

:)  love this....

meals for the week: 1.16.12 through 1.21.12

we're trekking our way through the month of January.  doesn't January seem to last forever?  maybe it's the after-holiday slump?  i don't know...but i feel like we're kinda just trudging along through this month... it's OK...i often say that i wish time would slow down a bit...so i will welcome the slowness of January :)
i'm still waiting for some snow...  seriously, it was almost 60* here today...  mother nature is a little confused...  i'm beginning to wonder if it will get cold and snow, honestly, but i know we still have several more weeks left of "winter," so i will keep my fingers crossed for some fabulous white stuff SOON! :)
plus, having Ry off on Monday made us yearn for a little time off during the school week... :)

well, we're eating nicely this week...  found a fabulous deal on pork tenderloin (buy one, get one free) at a local grocery store, so that kind of dictated a bit of our menu this week... :)  plus, a mid- and end-of-the week meal with friends seems to chop things up a bit! :)  looking forward to a break from the kitchen... :)

here's what we're eatin' this week... :)

Monday:  pork tenderloin, potatoes, carrots
Tuesday:  blintzes and leftover french toast casserole
Wednesday:  open face pork tenderloin sandwiches & mashed potatoes, left over veggies
Thursday:  out to eat with friends :)  Mexican :)
Friday:  leftovers or cube steak
Saturday:  take out here with friends - Christmas with the Strongs
Sunday:  cube steak (if not on Friday) or soup

hope you have a great week... :)  it's almost half-over at this point...so enjoy the view from the "hill" as you slide down to the weekend! :) 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

meals for the week 1.9.12 through 1.15.12

before we talk about food... :)

we had our first "real" snow of the season here...nothing that's sticking around for long (supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow!), but it snowed and sleeted for the better part of the day...and it sure was pretty to look at! :) so exciting to finally see some of the "white stuff" around here...now we'll just pray for a snow day sooner rather than later! :)
i guess, technically, it wasn't the FIRST snow of the season...we had snow at the end of October... couldn't believe it was snowing when i was icing K's cupcakes and cake for her 3rd birthday party :)
here's the little snow man we built out on the deck (my sister in law and me) that night in October... he was a cute little guy :) love his pepper corn eyes, nose, mouth, and buttons :D

well, i haven't been too good with posting meals for the week... last week, i meal planned and didn't post... but we had another "ham" themed week to get rid of our THIRD Christmas ham :) we had homemade fried rice, leftovers, a rotisserie chicken, and macaroni soup with grilled cheeses. :) we were going to have omelets, too, but we ran out of ham! :) on another note, we're on a serious grilled cheese kick around here... :)
i am not sure what meal will be eaten on which day... we have a few things going on this week (Dr.'s appt., me working after school, etc.), and we're kind of "punting" with the schedule... sometimes we need to make something quickly when we didn't expect it... :) but, for the sake of "organization," i will put the things down on days i think we'll be having on the given day...
Monday: bbq chicken in the crock pot, scalloped potatoes, and french bread

Tuesday: hot dogs & mac n cheese & baked beans (for ry :))

Wednesday: french toast casserole (Pioneer Woman) :)

Thursday: tacos

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: we'll be attending a birthday party; not sure if dinner is provided or not... :) we'll be having leftovers if need be, however...

Sunday: not sure yet - something yummy, i hope! :)

thankfully, Ry has off on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day :) so glad to have a "long" weekend...there are so many projects i need to get finished that can really only be accomplished on the weekend when Daddy's home to be on kid duty :)
hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous week :) enjoy each other and keep smiling... :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

a little bit of heaven :)

i'm not a puffy marshmallow girl...
i love those freeze-dried marshmallows like you'll find in Lucky Charms...
and i may or may not have bought boxes of Lucky Charms just so that i could eat all the wonderful sweetness of a shaped marshmallow... :)
so, when chilly weather approaches, you know that i have to have the hot chocolate with the little marshmallows... :)
love those little fellas...
well, imagine my surprise when i was shopping a few weeks ago and found these...
yep, it's a whole container of those little, fabulous marshmallows like you'd find in hot chocolate...but we ALL know that there is NEVER enough of them in a packet of hot chocolate... :)
(i don't know why they're "Jet Puffed" brand because they are NOT puffed at all...)

see!!! look how much happier my cup of hot chocolate is with some extra marshmallow love...

and, on an early morning, since i don't drink coffee right now, this little addition is my little bit of heaven :)

close your eyes and drink it...mmmmmm....yummy :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

halloween (a little late)

yep, you read that title correctly...we're doing Halloween right now... :)
i just finished editing about a million pictures from August through November... i haven't even tackled December's yet...
but that means we have some halloween pictures :) yay!!! :)
we didn't dress Hannah up in a costume... she doesn't eat candy, and she looked too cute in her Halloween shirt and striped socks :)

Katherine had the same cute Halloween shirt...we took a picture of them together but it didn't turn out too well... :) but this one is quite entertaining and funny :) Hannah loves her big sister... :)

here's the little Spunkster... :)

she wasn't too happy to go trick-or-treating... she had a late nap and woke up grumpy, so getting her dressed was A LOT of fun (kicking and screaming)... we got her puppy costume on her, finally, but she wasn't even about to smile :)

of course, she's a cute little puppy :) love her little brown nose and freckles...and yes, even that pouty lip... :)

and she manages to give a fake smile :) gotta love the pup... :)