Friday, February 27, 2009

Trav's School Program

february is black history month and trav's class along with 3 others put together an great program honoring black american heroes. it was really fun! trav's class had the cutest song though :)
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Slow Cooker Thursday- Chicken Cacciatore

this recipe is from with my own tweats :)

i put it on angel hair pasta and used chicken breasts too. i read through the reviews and also added 1/2 jar of pasta sauce and added the mushrooms about half way done.

love slow cooker meals!!!

Prep Time:15 min
Total Time:8 hr 15 min
Makes:8 servings
What You Need
1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
3 lb. chicken thighs and drumsticks
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms (about 10 medium), sliced (about 2 cups)
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup each: red and green pepper strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3 cups instant white rice, uncooked

Make It
HEAT dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken, in batches; cook 2 to 3 min. on each side or until browned on both sides.
PLACE mushrooms, onions, peppers and garlic in slow cooker; top with the chicken. Combine tomatoes, salt and thyme; pour over ingredients in slow cooker. Cover with lid. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours (or on HIGH for 5 hours).
COOK rice as directed on package. Serve chicken mixture over the rice. cups instant white rice, uncooked

This says it all....

"God's love...God see us as we can be...but loves us as we are." On those really challenging days where nothing is going right, dishes in the sink up to your ears, laundry over taking the house, mismatched socks are all you can find, and you have no idea how to deal- it helps me to remember that i am first and foremost a child of God and He sent His son to die for me. if there had been no one else in the whole world- he love ME that much.

this song makes me cry like a baby every single time i hear it. i am so moved by it. with easter approaching and time of reflection here's one of my favorite needs no explaination- just listen.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sharing a Post from Jill Savage's blog

Wednesday's Words of Encouragement
Aromatherapy for the Family
by Jill Savage

It's amazing where your sense of smell can take you. One whiff of someone's perfume can bring to mind a special friend who used to wear the same fragrance. The smell of cookies baking will take you back to when you were grade-school age sitting in your grandmother's kitchen. Or the fragrance of fresh flowers can cause you to remember the first bouquet delivered to your door.However, scents not only cause us to reminisce. The aromatherapy experts will tell you that certain smells aid in emotional wellness.
For instance, lavender is supposed to ease anxiety, jasmine boosts confidence, and ginger fights fatigue.I don't know that I completely buy into all the claims of aromatherapy.However, as a mother I have come to understand what smells in our home mean to my family and friends.
When the kids come home from school and smell cookies baking in the oven, they feel nurtured and cared for. No matter what challenges the school day brought, it fades at the smell of fresh-baked cookies.When my husband comes home from work and dinner is cooking, he immediately feels that home is a safe place. A refuge. A place where he is cared for.Whatever stress was experienced at work begins to melt as he walks in and knows that food and comfort go hand in hand.When a friend stops by and smells a pot of coffee brewing she knows that someone was anticipating her arrival. She feels welcome.

There is relational warmth extended to her.When my family comes home to the smell of Pledge or Lysol they know that someone has been caring for the home they live in. There's something about the smell of cleaning products that says "everything's OK at home."Our home is designed to be a place where we can relax, find comfort, feel safe, and receive love. Smells can never substitute for quality conversation, physical affection or words of encouragement. But they can have a powerful effect on our emotions and sense of security in the family unit.

Several years ago I heard author and speaker Elise Arndt, a mother of five, share some of the things she had learned about homemaking. One of the things she talked about was aromatherapy for the family. She shared her secret of boiling an onion on the stove even when she didn't know what was for dinner. The smell of the onion soothed her and spoke volumes to the family because it said, "Everything's OK at home. Dinner is cooking. Mom's got it under control. Life is OK." And it bought her time to figure out what to add to that onion to feed her family of six!When I first heard her talk about spraying Pledge as an air freshener or boiling an onion I thought it was a bit deceitful.
Then I thought about the fragrance of a burning "sugar cookie" candle, or the smell of potpourri or melted wax chips. Many of us intentionally fill our home with the fragrance of our favorite candle or air freshener. Elise was simply creating her own scents to speak to the specific needs of her family.

One of the reasons I'm at home is to provide a home environment my family wants to come home to. As best I can, I can create a welcoming, soothing atmosphere to speak love to my family.

If you've never considered being intentional about creating a welcoming environment with fragrance, give it a try and see if it affects the mood of your family. Personally, I really don't know if peppermint improves concentration but what I do know that occasionally the smell of a boiling onion does wonders for my mindset and has an incredible calming effect upon our home.
And it buys me time to figure out what's for dinner!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table: for fun "breaking dawn" still. i have started on "the shack" though. i need to get more into it.

On my TV: tonight is guilty pleasure night- "the bachelor" is on and it's "the women tell all" LOL i get sucked into this show everytime!

On the menu for tonight: probably mexican casserole- something easy!

On my To Do List: wash laundry!!! i put a ton away yesterday - and surprise! it came back!

New Recipe I tried last week: don't think i tried anything new - made turkey and stuffing meatloaf yesterday- i hadn't made that in forever though!

In the craft basket: nada!
Looking forward to: tomorrow my little boy turns 6 years old! we'll have dinner and dessert with 2 of his fave people :)

Homemaking Tip for this week: i just ordered prints from i'll et ya know how they came out- i had an online coupon for 50 free 4x6 prints! look for good online coupons!!
Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other): i love stories about over coming obstacles and i guess my crazy apple cobbler blog was one to remember! yep- i finally made the cobbler on friday - it was yummy!

Favorite photo from last week: homemade pizza night

Lesson learned the past few days: there are somethings in life that no matter how much you prepare yourself- you'll never be in control. that's not our job, but HIS.

On my Prayer List: tim(xoxo) amanda & stella, and trav (birthday blessings big guy!) he is THE best hugger!

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Stella Bella

ok- her name isn't stella bella, but it's so catchy! sorry amanda :)
stella cassidy was born sunday, feb. 22, 2009. she was so comfy, they had to do a c-section. all is well and amanda and stella are doing really good. i spoke to amanda yesterday a few times and again this morning. she sounds super today and drs say she can go home either tuesday or wednesday. i'm so excited for a road trip this coming weekend to meet our new niece!
seeing pics of this new baby, puts me right back to the moments all 3 of ours were born. each with such different stories and so special.

so welcome stella- you are so loved already!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

$5 Dinners!

Check her out guys! She has lots of good ideas for menus and saving money tips :)

Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches :)

after a ton of prep work was done for a delicious apple cobbler- adam decided to add his "special" touch to dessert for lindsey's birthday dinner here. yep- you guessed it- i had to toss it. i was so sad! i spent yesterday morning peeling and slicing apples and toasted coconut, made the crumb topping and had it ready to bake right before dinner. nothing like hot apple cobbler! so, i had to figure out another dessert quick ! i had cookie mix and ice cream!
this is the first attempt to make these.
make the cookies and make sure they are really cool- or buy some
let the ice cream soften a bit , then scoop and kinda mold the scoop of ice cream in your hands- it works great!
make the sandwiches and set in the freezer for an hour.
i had some almond bark squares, so i melted those and dipped 1/2 of the sandwich in the melty goo :)
it's not pictured here, but i also made an icing/glaze that was supposed to go drizzled on the cobbler. just an easy mix of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and a little milk. it was good on the cookies too! i drizzled it on them and set them back in the freezer while we ate dinner.
super easy and everyone loved them! so when life destroys your apple cobbler, make ice cream sanwiches.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Aren't They Sweet!

these guys are the sweetest people we have met in a long time! they have an amazing little story about how they met...tim set them up and they didn't even know it! i just had to blog about how special their friendship is to both me and tim- and our kids love them like family already! tim and i have always wanted friends that we are both friends with-- it's harder than ya know! but god's timing is perfect and he sent these two into our lives for a real reason.- guys- i'm so looking forward to family trips together, more dinner nights, impromtu birthday parties & pot lucks! we are so blessed to know both of you-

my dad & linda came to town this weekend and so we had a early mini birthday party for trav on sunday. lindsey made him a spiderman cake- super cute and delicious! we had a little of all trav's faves and relaxed with some texas hold'em. what a fun day!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spring Break is Gonna Rock!

so my husband has just one upped himself!

we have such an amazing spring break planned! starts off with a couples weekend at lake travis- no little ones- a few days with family in SA and LV, and then end the week back in houston to see taylor swift on friday. great right?! well, tim just got us floor seats to the spurs game on tuesday when we are in SA!!! i always threaten to get tickets to see the spurs beat, i mean play the rockets here in houston, but omg- there's nothing like a home game :) i have only ever sat in the upper level at spurs games- which is ok really- the experience is so fun, but floor seats- wow! he's good!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Prayer Works

i have been doing this since feb 1st. if you'd like to follow along check out Diary of a SAHM. it's been so nice to share in something like this. tim's had a killer of a month so far at work, and i am feeling this has been my way of supporting him in a way that really matters.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh Little Did I Know...

little did i know that 9 years ago that i'd be married to my sweetie of a husband! last night he gave me valentine's day gift- tickets to taylor swift at the houston rodeo! cayley and i love her!

glad i said "yes." whoohoo! and it's spring break week- so finally no concert on a school night :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

walking the fine line

my sweet baby girl cayley- who's not so much my baby anymore- she's turning 8 in april! i'm having some conflicting feelings about school and her. she's so bright, caring, and intuitive. i see a lot of myself in her - and lots of her daddy. but when it comes to school- she and i are so similar. she loves to help her teacher and fellow students...her heart is so big! what a reader too! she has just ran with it this year and i have lost count of all the chapter books she's read since school started. really cool!!! well, it that time of year again when the school's open up the referrals for the gifted and talented program testing. she was previously tested in kinder and 1st grade- and did ok on the tests, but not high enough to qualify. which is more than fine with me- all i want her to be is happy with her efforts in school and not feel overly pressured.

life's hard enough! so yesterday she came home with the referral packet for me to fill out. i KNOW she would benefit from and succeed in a gt class, and her teacher- who is so sweet- suggested that she be tested again :) i just love her so much and want her to enjoy being 7! then with a blink of an eye - you are 29.

she was telling me something funny the other day. ya know that song "i've been watching you dad. ain't that cool...." it's a country song about a 4 yr old boy and how he learns things from his dad and wants to be like him when he grows up. well, she was singing it, but changed the words to how she "wants to be like you, mom."
my eyes welled up with tears- that's the kind of thoughtful, sincere little girl i have. love you!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Slow Fade & Reclaiming

This song weighs on my heart every time I hear it. It was the most appropriate song to be in the movie"Fireproof". "Giving your self away" - left in your own interpretation can mean just devoting your time to something that is counter productive to the life you should be leading. "Families never crumble in a day" gosh! That's's a constant fight to keep our life's priorities straight. So, I'm waking up each morning in prayer for strength and understanding so that I can be the mom and wife my family needs.
The kids and I have been sick all week. That has been a struggle for me. It's hard to be everything to my family when I'm not feeling well, taking care of those sick and those not...and then my house has suffered from neglect. Today I am reclaiming my house! We are feeling 70% well and have got to keep moving. The kitchen has been started, laundry going, floors being picked up and I'll thro something in the crock pot for dinner.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

On my bedside table:
I'm re reading "Breaking Dawn". Like a movie in my head- wonderful!

On my TV:
Right now, "Bridge to Terebithia". Cayley's home sick today, so she got to pick something before lunch.

On the menu for tonight:
Making something easy...Mondays are my semi day off.

On my To Do List:
Dishes and countertops in the kitchen....2 small loads of laundry, keeping an eye on Cayley's fever.
New Recipe I tried last week:
Baked Potato Soup- and it was a hit here! So easy and simple ingredients!
i used 4 potatoes and baked them in the mircowave- peeled and diced when they got done.
cooked 6 slices of bacon, then sauted onions and bell pepper in bacon oils :)
boiled 1 large chicken breast- and save the broth-

crock pot stuff: throw in a can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of cream of chicken, seaonings like garlic powder, salt & pepper, italian seasoning.
add potatoes, veggie mix, bacon, and the chicken diced. and cheese!!! shredded cheddar/jack

mix it all together and top it with the chicken broth it till covers mixture and makes the soup consistency ya like...i left it in the slow cooker for for about 4 hours :)
about 1 hour till serving i added about a 1/2 cup of sour cream.

In the craft basket:
if online scrapbooking counts! haven't been very crafty lately.

Looking forward to:
Spring Break!!! so looking forward to a weekend at Lake Travis with Tim!

Homemaking Tip for this week:
see previous blog ;)
Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
i am following Diary of a SAHM as we pray for our husbands each day specifically every day in february.

Favorite photo from last week:

Trav and his DS

Lesson learned the past few days:

On my Prayer List:
my hubby, my sister and soon to be born niece, guidance for our countries leaders

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
What, then, can we say about all of this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32The one who did not spare his own Son, but offered him as a sacrifice for all of us, surely will give us all things, along with his son, won't he? Romans 8:31-32