Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I have a lot of memories from my childhood.  Some I could close my eyes and really feel like I am there.  Many fun memories come from my lunch times in Elementary school.  I was a picky, picky, picky child, so, I never ordered lunch.  And in fact, I took the same thing pretty much everyday of my Elementary days.  (And on a side note, I took my lunch almost everyday right up until I graduated.  Not the coolest thing, but hey a girl's got to eat!)  It was comforting to know that when I opened my lunch box, there would be a PB and honey sandwich waiting for me.

I really wish I could get my girls to eat these little treats.  My lunch dilemma would be solved!  But sadly, they only prefer PB and Nutella... which I refuse to fix everyday.  It is their Friday treat for lunch!

Now days, I still find comfort in the combo of PB and honey.  So anytime I see a recipe with it, I must try it!  This recipe was on Pinterest and boast to be a 3 ingredient, no bake granola bar.  I did up it to 5 ingredients, but it is still no bake, and we all loved it!  I hope your family enjoys!

2 cups oatmeal
1 cup rice krispy cereal
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Microwave the PB and honey for 30 seconds.  Stir and microwave for another 20-30 seconds until melty and ooey and gooey and yummy.  Mix in remaining ingredients and press into a sprayed 9x9 dish.  I used a 7x10, but that is an odd size.  Place in the fridge for 1 hour or so until set.  I keep ours in the fridge because we like them cold.  Super yummy!

And yes there is one missing because I had to verify it was delish before I posted :-)

Today's Verse

"Let your light so shine before men"  Matt. 5:16a

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

Anything hot is what's cookin' this week.  Here in NC we are experiencing some of the coldest temps ever.  The snow and ice is melting in the sun this morning, but there might be more on the way and the temps are not expected to rise but only fall more in the coming days!  Yikes!  Where is spring????

Here are the soups I've made this week.  That's the best thing for these cold days.  It goes great with the breadsticks I made last week and stuck in the freezer.  They freeze so well.  Just pop in the microwave and honestly it's like they just came out of the oven!

Stay warm and I hope your family enjoys!

Chicken and Gnocchi

I used chicken breast instead of thighs, omitted the celery and used a little celery salt, and used regular cream of chicken soup and a tsp of garlic was tasty!

Black Bean and Quinoa Chili

I omitted the bell peppers and zucchini.  I did add about 1/3 cup of chunky salsa.  This was very yummy and warm to the tummy as well!


Check out Showing Joy for the experiments that have kept us busy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Old Habits

While folding clothes, I heard the beautiful voice of my almost 5 year old.  I smiled.  I love to hear her singing.  Then after I listened to the words, I laughed hard.  Not because the song was funny.  Not because her singing was hilarious.  No, I laughed because it was the end of January and she was singing Silent Night to the top of her lungs.  Next day, similar scenario, but instead I heard Little Drummer Boy.

What had her singing Christmas songs again?

The thing is, we sing them a lot, or at least we do at our house, for a month straight.  We hear them at church, on the radio, at the Christmas events, and they get stuck in our heads.  It's hard to make them disappear, and tuck them away for a year, just a few weeks later.

So, how do these songs relate to old habits?

Did you make a resolution of eating healthier, exercising more, saving more, spending more time in God's Word?  Any time you try to change a bad habit, it can be hard to change and not fall into old ways.  I'll skip today's quiet time...I'm just so tired.  I have to have that new shirt!  Just a few chips won't hurt.

Here's the thing, I actually tried to start my New Year's resolution back in the fall.  I knew 2015 would be here before I knew it, and I wanted to start it off on the right foot well in advance.  I didn't go for a diet...I went for a lifestyle change.  I started tracking what I ate on a free app.  I started using a small stepper in the evenings while the girls were winding down and supper was cooking.  I started measuring my portions and trying to eat more veggies.  It was great!  By Christmas I was already feeling better!  I made it through Christmas...I still ate goodies, just not quite as many, and I tried to make a real effort to keep exercising.  The stepper was really making a difference.  I have always enjoyed exercise videos, but this was new and challenging!

Now we're in January, and some old habits are trying to find their way back in!  A few chips here, and a few tastes there.  Not taking the time to keep track of what I'm eating.  Sneaking the 100 Grands that have been around our house due to the celebration of the 100th Day of School!  Habits are hard to break...especially when it comes to food.

So, how do you jump back on the life style change when you've had a few days of over-indulging?  I start the next day with a yogurt with a little honey and almonds (all measured).  I have a salad with a very lite dressing (that yes I measure to make sure I only use 2 Tbsp) with a good fat or protein like edamame, avocado, walnuts or black beans.  I snack on popcorn and fruit.  I have a great supper, but really watch my portions and I do still have an after dinner treat...100 cal chocolate Popsicle (aka - the mommy pop - which is what the girls call it) or a very small piece of chocolate.

This is what I've been doing and I hope to continue to do.  I am feeling better, and hoping to avoid cholesterol medicine at my next dr. appointment.  I have also been experiencing less pains in my gallbladder area, which had also been very intense back in the fall.

I'm not going to say no to date nights to my favorite restaurant, or a good brownie every now and then,.. just like I will never resist singing a good Christmas song anytime of year. Last night when my little one wanted to sing Happy Birthday Jesus in the bath, we sung it very loud!

Old habits are hard to change, but new habits can take their place!  Tonight I think I will suggest we sing My God is so Big and put those 100 Grands out of sight!

Psalm 34:8 "taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Time for Soup!

Happy 2015! I hope it's off to a great start!

We have been getting back into the swing of things.  School has been a little difficult to jump back into this week, but we are finishing up the 3rd six weeks and that means we are half way there!

Christmas was busy, but fun!  Such a nice break when you have to think really hard about what day of the week it is!  The girls got a unique swing set, that has become my favorite place to relax. It is kind of like a big circle hammock.  My youngest loves telling everyone that their swing is mom's new happy place!  It's nice until they start to spin me around and around...then I am not so happy.

It's cold in our parts...well I hear it's cold almost everywhere.  So, it's time for soup!  We are having chili tonight, but I wanted to share a lasagna soup we had over the break.  Literally one of the best things I think I have ever had!  I've seen lots of versions of this on pinterest...but here's mine.  I served it with garlic knots.  It was so good, we all had seconds!  Yay!
I hope your family enjoys!

Lasagna Soup

1 lb Sausage - Browned and drained
3 cans of chicken broth
1 can Italian diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
10 lasagna noodles

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Combine all the ingredients except the cheeses and noodles in a large dutch oven on medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and reduce to low.  Stirring occasionally, cook for 1-2 hours.  (This could probably be done in the crock pot also, and we will definitely try it that way.  I just cooked it on the stove top and started it early evening and left it.)  Turn heat back up to medium high and add the noodles in broken pieces.  Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the noodles are al dente.  Serve with a dollop of ricotta and a sprinkle of mozzarella if desired.

Philippians 3:13King James Version (KJV)

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Failing at Christmas

I fail as a mom everyday!  Those failures can add up quickly, and especially during this time of year.  My house doesn't look like a magazine.  The recipes aren't always delicious.  And my wrapped presents under the tree are hideous.  They look like my kids wrapped them, no joke, but it was all me!  How do I handle the small failures that add up to equal one epic fail?

All these thoughts started recently with our annual making of the gingerbread house.  We've tried kits, graham crackers, and so forth, but nothing looks picture perfect.  This year we went with a different approach...a log Christmas cabin with pretzel rods.  We started off strong, but before long it collapsed...epic fail!  I was frustrated and disheartened.  But, on the flip side, the candy was good, the hot coco we drank while making it was delicious, and we did laugh at parts of our building process. And thankfully, we had a few more crafts that actually turned out great!  (Check out our snowman mason jars at

I burnt an expensive bag of almonds that I was trying to make for candy gifts...but I successfully made my first key lime pie for my hubby's b-day!  Yay! (Check recipe out below!)

I made Christmas crepes for my girls and the first one was a definite mess, but the others turned out splendid.  Try, try again when things don't go your way!  I tell my girls that a lot, and this little experience reminded myself of that!

I printed the cutest Christmas lists for the girls to fill out, and my oldest informed me there might not be enough spaces for everything she wants.  Ouch!  Sting!  That was a major epic fail feeling as a mom!  But,  I was able to look past it when a few hours later she quoted Luke 2:8-14 and my little one, on her own, wanted to make a birthday card for Jesus.  Yay! Maybe they do get Who we are celebrating.

My gifts look like I wrapped them blindfolded, but isn't it what is inside that counts?

I may feel like the failures are huge, and our life this month feels like a whirlwind mess...and if I let my mind go to a bad place, I can feel like an epic failure...but isn't it what is inside that counts? 

 Isn't it Who is inside that matters?  

Am I letting the One we are celebrating rule in our lives and hearts?  Spending time with Him when it's busy, talking about His love and grace while we bake and decorate and wrap and be crafty.  Singing Happy Birthday Jesus all through the day.  

Keeping our eyes on Him and not the failures that make me feel frustrated...that's what can bring the joy instead of the heartache!

I hope you don't have the failing at Christmas feelings I have experienced over the last few weeks!
But, if you have, turn your eyes to the Savior we are celebrating for.  He looks past our failures and loves us unconditionally!  Epic fails and all, He loves us! 

Merry matter if it's not picture perfect...Merry Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:8-14

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Pie Recipe...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The easiest "pumpkin pie"

I blinked and it is Thanksgiving.  I can't comprehend where this year went.  I am not prepared for the chaos that is coming.  Deep Breath!!!!

I wanted to post a quick recipe that I tried last week for a gathering we had.  It was a last minute decision...and a pretty tasty one.  We are having a "pie and praise" night this Sunday at church, and I plan to make it again.  I love pies!  But, I do not make them that often.  I am also planning to make another homemade chocolate pie next week for my hubby's birthday.  I will try a different crust though.  I also saw the cutest pie bites on Pinterest, and I hope the girls and I can try them soon!

This does use a cake mix so easy is not even the word for it.  I reduced the sugar by 1/4 of a cup and only used 3/4 of a stick of butter.  With a scoop of ice cream, it was amazing.

Chocolate Pie

Pie Bites

If I am not back before Thanksgiving, I hope your family has a delicious and delightful Turkey Day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

That was awesome!

It's Monday afternoon. I should be running around getting school work finished, starting supper, finding cleats and shin guards, making sure the jerseys are clean, getting my husband's coaching gear ready, and so forth and so on...but I'm not.  Sniff, sniff, sniff!!!!

I thought I would be more excited about this day and more relieved that the season was over.  But after living at the soccer field for a few months, I am going to miss it!  I am thankful to have a normal Monday night at home, but I honestly forgot how to have a normal Monday night at home!  We miss the kids, the fun, and the excitement!  Three fields with three games all going at the same time.  Lots of cheering and whistles and running and kicking.  I didn't know being a real soccer mom could be so fun!

Neither of my girls had an undefeated season, but they both had great seasons!

It was funny to watch the difference in the two teams.

My oldest's team (in the 7-8 year old league) took things pretty seriously.  They were disappointed when they lost; they worked well together, and cheered each other on.  The goalies cried when they missed a goal, and we all encouraged them and said they would get the next one.  We cheered for the goals our team made, and we cheered for the other team after a collective "AAAhhhh!" was said.  They passed the ball.  They were excited to be there.  They improved every game!

My youngest's team (4-6 year olds) was a whole different story.  The kids just wanted to kick the ball.  They danced and chased butterflies.  They kicked the dirt and talked to each other.  They might have frowned when they missed the goal or they may just laugh, but it was no big deal.  They hardly payed attention to the game when it was their turn on the bench.  We all cheered no matter who scored...even if they scored in the wrong net.  And no matter if they won or lost, the kids only cared about the snacks!

We walked to the van after a game night where both girls lost.  One lost by only one goal, and the other lost by a lot.  The oldest was sad and disappointed, and the youngest was dancing and saying, "That was awesome!" (And she's the one whose team got creamed!)

If we could all have that perspective. We wouldn't take disappointments so seriously, and we would always see the bright side.  We'd pick ourselves up and still say, "that was awesome!"  But the older we get, the more losing hurts. It takes us a lot longer to find a bright side.

Today's Verse

"In the day of my trouble, I will call upon thee:  for thou wilt answer me."  Psalm 86:4

When I'm having a day when nothing feels awesome, and I feel like I'm losing...I will call upon Him.  He will answer.  He will help in my trouble.  He will help me find the bright side and give me the comfort I need.

I love that is awesome!