Monday, August 31, 2009

Fun with our small group

We were able to go out on a "group date" with our small group last Saturday night. We've been meeting over the summer and sharing food and the Word together. The ladies usually take turns cooking a meal and we come together and eat and the teenage girls take care of the little ones while we've been studying the book of Mark. It's been a great time of fellowship and Bible study. At the end of our study time, the guys and gals split up and share prayer requests and pray together. What a blessing! So we decided to go out together to a neat little Italian restaurant in Dublin, GA. Dublin is not far from Eastman, so we often go there when we want to eat at a new place. None of us had ever eaten there before, so I was wide eyed when we walked in and saw how neat it looked! I loved the high ceilings, huge brick oven, and exposed brick. After a great meal, Joe, Sophie, Isaac, and I headed across the street to a cute candy/ice cream shop called Scoops. I loved the atmosphere! Sophie and I just got a cookie and split it, but it was definitely a place I'd want to go to again. Overall it was a great night! Our small group is on a little hiatus right now, but we all have grown close and look forward to coming back and meeting again! I'm so thankful for brothers and sisters in Christ!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's cookin'?

Tonight I made Thai food....for the first time since we've been married, I think...from our Children's World Cookbook. I thought it was great! Joe and Sophie seemed to think so, too, since their plates were empty. It's called coconut chicken. It is made with coconut milk, onions, garlic, and the chicken was sprinkled with lime, ground ginger, salt and pepper. Yum! It reminded me of Thailand. I served it with white and brown rice (I started off with brown, but ran out, so I had to add some white :-D), steamed some broccoli and put a little shredded cheese on top. Then we had some Jello nobake strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Here's a look at the main meal...

I added some cucumbers, too, for Joe and Sophie. I typically don't buy foods that I don't like...kind of crazy, but just habit. Well, I knew that Joe liked cucumbers and I thought Sophie did, so I bought a few last time we were at the store. I cut one up and Sophie LOVED them! Between her and Joe, they ate the whole cucumber...and it was a big one! That's one thing I've got to remember to foods even if I don't eat them and they do! We also took the opportunity to pray for our friends who are missionaries in Thailand. Cooking foods from other places is a great way to remind us to pray for those who are serving around the world!

God bless!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Singin' and Steamin'

Here it is...a picture of my steamer that I have begun to enjoy (I got this off the net, by the way)! It's Black and Decker's flavor scenter steamer plus food and rice cooker. You can steam different foods at once (it's got the extra basket that you can leave in or take out if you're doing different foods). It's got a rice bowl (I haven't tried it yet, but I hope to....I can't wait to get some "good" Jasmine that they have in Thailand!). You can't see it, but it also has a piece that goes in that has a little mesh basket thing that you can put spices in. I really like this thing!

On a different note, this afternoon I told Sophie, "No more tv!" I haven't been feeling that great this past week and PBS kids is very entertaining for her. The shows are good and clean, but I don't like the glazed over eyes look that Sophie gets after a little while. So, after lunch, the tv went off and I told her she could look at books, play with toys, or play with her playdough. I also thought I would turn on some music. I may have recommended this cd before, but I wanted to recommend it again because I've enjoyed it since Sophie was little. It's got several different artists, including Christy Nockels (Watermark). It's called Sing Over Me. There are great songs/lullabies for adults and kids.

If you're able to get it, I think you'll enjoy it. I hope you all have a blessed week!

Monday, August 24, 2009

What's cookin'?

I wanted to take pictures, but I was just kind of worn out. But it was good! I'm so thankful for Shake 'n Bake...let me tell you! We had pork chops with the shake on it, and it was awesome! Parmesan flavor. We also had some green beans with potatoes and I steamed some carrots in my steamer (again, why did I not get this thing out sooner?!). The steamer has a little basket in it that you can put seasonings in that will flavor the food. Apparently dill complements carrots. I didn't realize that. But it was good. And then the dessert....Deceptively Delicious' coffee cake. It is actually really good. It's made with 1 cup of butternut squash in the center. I don't think I even like butternut squash. But I like it like this! :-) The cookbook has a website if you want to check it out.
Enjoy and God bless!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Consignment shopping

I don't know about you other mom's out there, but I love getting cute clothes for my little ones...but I never like to pay the full price. I had never thought about consignment shopping until I had kids of my own. There's just no way to afford good kids clothes that aren't on sale or second least not for our growing family. When I was a teenager, I thought it was pretty cool to go with my friends to the Salvation Army store in Macon. I found some good stuff there. I've gone to the Habitat for Humanity and the Christian Life Center here in Eastman and found some good stuff. The reason this is on the brain is that I just went to a sale in Macon, off of Hartley Bridge Rd., and found some really cute stuff for Sophie and Isaac. I am also going to one in Macon in a few weeks...Sept. 9-12...that's off of Riverside Dr. It's called Kidz Replay and it's a great sale. They always have lots of cute stuff. I'm thinking some potential Christmas/birthday gifts from there, too. That's a great way to do some holiday shopping! There's another sale either the weekend before or after (not sure) at Hepzibah Children's Home that's very popular and has good stuff, too. If you're in the Savannah area, there is a sale called Coastal Kids Market that sells a lot of upscale kids clothing for less. If you know of a great sale that you'd like to pass on, I'd love to hear about it. My favorite find at this past sale: a pair of Bass little girl black shoes that Sophie can wear with pants or dresses. She wore them to church today! Only $6! They look brand new, too! Hope you all have a blessed week!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Health Begins with Mom

Health Begins with Mom: "'Health Begins With Mom is hosting an eco-friendly toy giveaway sponsored by All Children’s Furniture who carries everything from kid's furniture to toys. Stop by before midnight Aug 27st EST to enter to win! '"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Playdough fun

Today was a fun day! After doing some cleaning at the house, we had some friends, the Walkers, over for playing and eating supper. The kids played together and then we got the stuff out to make homemade playdough! It's very easy and the kids loved it! I didn't get any pictures in the process, but here they are afterwards. They were able to choose what color they wanted and enjoyed cutting out shapes with cookie cutters and played with different little spoons and things I had. This recipe also says that it won't stick to carpet either. Pretty good! Here's the recipe (I got it off of
Homemade Playdough:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

Mix ingredients in a sauce pan (I did it in the electric skillet). Cook over medium heat until it forms into a ball, stirring constantly. Food coloring can be added. Knead on waxed paper. Let cool.

Like I said, the kids loved it! We let each child put in a different ingredients and they thought that was fun. My mom used to do this with us when we were kids, so it brought back great memories!

I also made a chicken recipe that my mom gave me for supper. We had it with brown rice and Jiffy cornbread muffins. I'm not sure what it's called :-).


  • chicken...I used boneless/skinless
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar salsa

Layer your crockpot with chicken on bottom, drain your black beans and add them, drain your corn and add it, then pour your jar of salsa on top. Let it cook on high for a few hours or on low for the day. I doubled my recipe and I had a ton left over! You can also sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top...yum!

We also made Lamingtons (an Australian recipe) from the Children's World cookbook. It was delicious! Again, I highly recommend it!

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What's cookin'?

It's been a productive past couple of days and a great day of rest on Sunday. Me and the kids took naps for the first time in a LONG time. I miss Sophie taking naps! When she does take a nap during the day, she's totally awake at night. But she always sleeps for long periods of time at night, which is nice. As I was trying to figure out what to fix for supper tonight, I wanted to use up some buttermilk that I had bought to make my "healthy" chocolate cake with. So I gave Mom a call (she always knows a good recipe). She gave me an awesome recipe that I made tonight. Yum!
Buttermilk chicken:
  • bone-in or boneless chicken breasts (I used three boneless for our family...and still had one left over)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (I didn't have cream of chicken, but I did have a cream of chicken/cream of mushroom was still good!)
  • buttermilk--some for dipping chicken in and enough to fill the can of soup once it's emptied
  • butter
  • flour--enough for flouring chicken in

Preheat oven to 400. Get your defrosted chicken out and dip it in buttermilk. After dipping the chicken, roll it in flour. Melt 1 stick of butter (I actually could've used was a little too much butter. You might could even use butter spray in the bottom of the dish). Put the butter in a casserole dish/pan and lay the chicken in it. Put the chicken in the oven for about 30 min. or until chicken is almost cooked. Mix 1 can of cream of chicken soup and pour buttermilk into the empty can and mix them together in a bowl. Then take the chicken out and pour the mixture over the chicken and put it back in the oven until it's bubbling and a little brown (I'm guessing it was about 15-20 min.) Good stuff!

I made rice to go with it (the gravy from the chicken is awesome over rice....or you could do mashed potatoes), fresh corn from the freezer, fresh peas, and for dessert I cut up some kiwi and apples. Very good! Sophie LOVED the kiwi. When I had everything put away, I noticed I had one pretty ripe banana and one partial banana that Sophie ate part of this afternoon. Normally I would just toss them because I didn't have time to do anything with them. Well, tonight I mashed them on a plate, put them in my mini-food processor and it made almost exactly one 1/2 cup of banana puree. I stored it in a baggy, labeled it, and now I've got banana puree to make something with! I also popped out all of my baby food from my ice cube trays, put the different things in baggies, labeled them, and back to the freezer they went. Honestly, I'm not really sure what is motivating me this much! Well...I think I do know. It's the Lord! That may sound weird, but I've been praying that God would give me motivation to eat and cook healthier for my family and also to keep up my house. He is so faithful! Not only did I do all of this cooking, but I also went through all of our files, threw out a bunch of stuff, and found a document of Isaac's that I had been looking for and praying I would find. Praise the Lord! He is so good! Even to help a struggling woman like me!

May the Lord bless you today!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mommy was busy!

Today I had an amazing burst of energy! I was so excited. I give much thanks to my hubby for letting me sleep late. It's amazing what the right amount of sleep can do. It's been so long since I've had that much was great. I got up around 11:45 (I know...late! But GREAT!), got dressed, got the kids dressed (yes, they were still in their jammies, too) and I got lunch going. I had lots of fresh veggies in the fridge because I wanted to finally use my Deceptively Delicious cookbook. Every recipe calls for some type of vegetable or fruit puree. Plus I wanted to do some homemade baby food for Isaac. I get the stuff out and get going. I was pumped. I had cauliflower, beets, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. The cookbook is so tells you how to prepare the vegetables for pureeing. I needed to roast some and I wanted to steam some, too. I have a steamer that I have never used (crazy!) that I got as a wedding gift. My thought was that it would take too long to steam stuff, so why do it? Well, I got it out today (I actually found the manual, too) and tried it. Ok....I LOVE IT! Even though it takes a while, you can get it going while you're doing other things and it doesn't seem long at all. I steamed cauliflower and enjoyed that, so I got some carrots out and steamed them for supper...and they were great! That was pretty exciting. So I got my veggies done and started pureeing in the blender. I bagged and labeled my purees in half cup servings and put some in ice cube trays for baby food. I'll pop those out later and put them in baggies. After getting all that done, I boiled some potatoes and cauliflower together with two garlic cloves. When the potatoes are soft, the cauliflower will be done, too. I drained them, put them in a bowl, added a little butter, salt, pepper, and milk and started mashing them with my hand mixer. They were great...Sophie loved them! We had that with the steamed carrots, some grilled pork chops that I picked up at the butcher down the street, and some Hawaiian rolls (they're awesome!). I also made a healthy chocolate cake from Deceptively Delicious. It has a special ingredient...beet puree! The cake isn't as sweet as your typical cakes, but it's tasty. I made it in a loaf pan. After it came out and cooled, I cut it in half, put some icing in the middle, then iced the outside. It's a cream cheese icing. It's good, but it's one of those that satifies your desire for chocolate, but you don't really want to eat a lot. That's good! Plus it's got the added bonus of a can't even taste it! After I did all that cooking, got the kitchen cleaned up, I sat down and did a mini scrapbook of our summer vacation. I can't believe all that I got done! I hope tomorrow is just as productive. As you look at the pictures, go from the bottom up. I first have the veggies out in the pan, then they're roasted, the cauliflower is steaming, all done with the pureeing and have them in the baggies/trays, and then the cake is at the top. Hope you have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Birthday party

Me and the kids had a great time Monday night celebrating my Grandma's 90th birthday. It's the same Grandma who just lost her husband, my Grandaddy, a few months ago. It was a fun night of good food and laughter. We were able to see baby Noah for the first time, which was exciting. We also got to relive some good memories with my cousins about my Grandaddy. It's always fun to laugh about good memories!

Here is my Grandma with one of her best friends, Dot McDaniel, and there's cute little baby Noah. We had a great time!

The next day we were able to get Isaac's 6 month pictures made. They turned out really well. We usually go to the Picture People. That's who we did Sophie's pictures with and they always came out really cute. We've been pleased so far.

This is random, but I also wanted to mention a website that my friend, Keisha, put on her blog. I looked it up and it's so neat if you want to get organized in your home. The website is: . It's also got a link to how to get organized if you're a homeschooler. I thought this was great! I also have a new tv show that I love. Let me just preface this by saying that Joe and I don't have very many cable channels. We have the most basic cable you can get with about 2o channels. We had an antenna for the first 2 or 3 years and I just about couldn't take the fuzzy picture and sometimes not being able to see the shows any more. So we got cable. But we don't pay very much for it. Anyway, every time we go to Macon or stay in a hotel, one of the exciting things is getting to watch cable! The "good" cable. My favorite channels are TLC and HGTV. I could watch them all day. Well, at my Mom and Dad's I've discovered TLC's Cake Boss. I LOVE this show! :-D I love watching how he decorates cakes. Amazing! So if I'm ever near New Jersey, I hope that I can stop by Carlo's Bakery.

I hope to hear from some of you out there in the blogosphere. Comments make me feel happy :-D. God bless!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A few of my favorite things

Who out there loves movies? I do! Honestly, I haven't watched as many lately as I used to, but I still love to watch a great movie. I'm not opposed to cartoons, long as they're good. One of my all time favorite movies is Pride and Prejudice. There is more than one version, and both are excellent in my opinion. I have seen both countless times and have recently been thinking about pulling at least one of them out. I also love Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion...also by Jane Austen. Wonderful!
I also love good books, as I've mentioned before. Another kind of book I like are cookbooks. I have many cookbooks! I have had a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for a long time and enjoy it a lot. I probably use the cookbook that I can write my own recipes in the most, just because it's got some of my favorites in there. But I have also enjoyed a cookbook called Eat Well, Live Well. It's got a lot of good healthy recipes and an eating plan. It's a very informative cookbook. I also love Deceptively Delicious...well, I love the idea of it. I've yet to actually make a recipe from it. But I plan the near future! :-)

I also love doing photo albums. I've found that I really enjoy the memory books on It's the only thing I've tried so far, but I've been pleased. I've done albums for us and for other family members.

Something that goes along with photo albums is photography. I love taking pictures. I'd love to get a nice digital camera one day. I'd even taking a photography class if possible. I'd love to hear any of your camera recommendations. We've got a decent digital camera that I'm happy with, but would love to have a camera that would take REALLY good pictures! I've got a canon rebel that takes film that I used for years before I got a digital camera. I love it, but don't really like using film not that digital is out there!

I'd love to hear some of your favorite things! Blessings!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Busy week

As the title says, this week has been busy...busier than normal. Especially today. Wednesday Joe had two of his wisdom teeth out. We decided to head to Macon and stay with my parents so we wouldn't have such an early morning. The kids did a great job as we waited in the lobby for Joe to come out. It was pretty fast, actually. Joe has had a rough time recovering, though. He had a lot of nausea and some sickness. We ended up staying with my parents for an extra night so I could have a little extra help. I was thankful for it! We headed back today and little man had his 6 month check up.

It's hard to believe that we've come from 7lbs 4oz and about 19 in to 16lbs 12oz and 25 1/4 little man has grown! He's doing well (except his ear thing...fluid) and thriving! I'm so thankful for his sweet, smiley personality. He really brightens my day. So does my Sophie girl. I'm thankful for my kiddos.

Hope all of you are having a great week. God bless!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fun for kids...

I love fun music for kids. Especially when I can hear my Sophie girl singing along. When we were in the car a few weeks ago with my mom and niece, my sister had purchased a music cd and we were listening to it in the car. I had never heard of this musician, but a lot of the songs were very cute. Apparently she is on the show/channel Noggin. We don't have that channel, so I had never heard of her. Her name is Laurie Berkner. I am going to attempt to put in a video from You Tube (something I've yet to figure out). If you know how to do this and I'm not successful...please tell me! :-) Here goes...
Ok...I don't know what I'm doing. Oh, well. But I thought you might enjoy the recommendation.

Another fun website that I love to recommend is It's a fun website that you can use to make up funny stories with your kids/students. I used this a lot when I did ESOL and when I taught in a regular classroom. Hope you enjoy it! Here are some other websites that I've loved over the years:
  • : this site has some great funny/educational videos. Unfortunately, to view all of them you have to subscribe. But it's still fun to look at the free ones.
  • : great for teaching economics as you run your own lemonade stand via computer for 30 days. Lots of fun!
  • : fun stuff for kids
  • : the only kids channel we have is PBS, so I love the shows on there. Especially Franny's Feet...that is such a cute show! You could easily do social studies lessons with this...and even do your own version at home! (Franny's grandfather has a shoe repair shop and with each pair of shoes Franny goes on an adventure and always comes back with something to put in her shoebox of treasures. I think it's adorable!) We like Super Why, Sesame Street, and some others, too.

If you have any to share, please feel free. I know there are more out there that I enjoy...just can't think of them all right now! Hope you enjoy these!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Loaves and Fishes

It's been a busy weekend, but not too busy. We've had some good relaxation time, and also some good fellowship time. After being gone last week on vacation, it was great to be back at our church and see our church family. I feel very blessed to be in the church that we're in. Our pastor is a wonderful leader and teacher, and most importantly, a man who loves the Lord. Joe and I also enjoy and appreciate the other staff members. It's great to be in a church that has staff that work well together. Tonight while we were at church, we started a new dollar offering. Every Sunday night our church does a special offering in which members are encouraged to give at least a dollar to a different ministry. This month it's a ministery called Loaves and Fishes International. It's an orphanage/foster home in China that ministers to children with special needs. We watched a short video about this ministry and it brought tears to my eyes. To see these precious little ones--their names and faces--spoke to my heart. I am praying that God would affirm to Joe and I if adoption is in His plan for our family and when/where He wants us to adopt from. We are open to what He leads us to do. Here's the link to loaves and fishes: . If I count it out, I know and am friends with at least 9 families who have adopted children. I don't think that is a coincidence. We'll see what God does. I would love your prayers!
On a totally different note, I told a friend of mine that I would give her a homemade granola recipe that I had. I thought it might be good just to post it on here. I thought I had posted it before, but I didn't see it. So...hope you enjoy! This is a great snack or breakfast granola. It's also good on top of yogurt or ice cream.
Homemade Granola:
  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 1/8 oz sesame seeds
  • 1 pkg. salted sunflower seeds
  • sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dates

Combine first 5 things in a large bowl ( I don't really care for the seeds, so I usually leave those can basically pick whether or not you want the seeds, almonds or coconut, but you must have the oats!). Combine honey and next 5 things in a bowl. Pour honey mix over oat mix and stir. Spread mixture in a pan (I usually use a cookie sheet that has the sides on it so nothing will run over into the oven). Cook at 325 degrees for 20 min (I usually get it out after 10 min, use a spatula and flip it over as best I can and then let it cook another 10 min). Add raisins (and I guess the dates, too) after cooking.

This has got a great taste to it! Hope you like it! God bless!