Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hey Mama, Do You Need to Breathe?

Why are so many mamas stressed out, worn out, overwhelmed, and frustrated?  Do you ever wonder?  Do you ever feel that way?

I have a few thoughts.  Thoughts I've gathered from a lot of years of feeling the tightness and thoughts gathered from countless mistakes I've made.

It just seems to me we women folk aren't taking time to BREATHE.

Do you spend your days breathing deep, or are your days more akin to holding your breath - like you do when you are underwater in the swimming pool? 

Breathe.

Psalm 46:10 BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.   

God wants us to know that HE is God.  Not me, not you, HIM!  He is God.  He has created the earth and everything in it.  He made you.  He knows your circumstances and every tiny detail of your life.  He has a plan.  He is on the throne.  Most importantly, He loves you!  Know that He is in control, (even when you are feeling out of control) and, as it is popular to say -He's got this.  He is God.  He's got the whole world in His hands.  He has YOU in His hands.

In order to know this, be still.  Know that He is God and know that by being still - still before Him, resting in Him.  {Breathing} We will know that He IS God when we are still.  We aren't knowing He is God when we are working furiously through a problem all on our own.  We know He is God when we are allowing Him to work.  We don't know He is God when we attempt to be in control.  We know He is God when we give Him control of our lives and breathe in Him.

Whatever you face, whatever trial or circumstance you are living through,please know that God IS.  Be still and breathe that in.  We should all find space to take some deep breaths today.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tis the Season

I finished up my Fall decorating over the weekend and I thought I would show you around today.  When it comes to decorating I don't do anything complicated and I try to spend very little dough.  It's sometimes surprising how thrifty you can be when you try. 

Here's our front porch area.




I made this wreath on Saturday.  It's just a grapevine wreath from Hobby Lobby, some stems I picked up there also, and a bow I purchased at a Farmer's Market.  I'm challenged when it comes to making bows so I purchased this one pre-made.  




My kids think I should take the flowers all the way around the wreath.  I had planned to only go this far.  What do you think?    






The dining room...



Would you believe I scored this tablecloth for three bucks?  I found it at KOHLS.  The original price was $25.99 but it was on sale for $12.99.  I had a $10 off coupon good on anything in the store.  My coupon brought the price down to $2.99 and with tax I paid $3.27!



These stems are from Hobby Lobby again.  My mother in law gave me the cool light up branches and I just love them.  I got the metal can for $10.  It was originally $19.99 at Hobby Lobby but was on sale 50 percent off.  (Have I mentioned I *heart* Hobby Lobby???)  I really like the chalkboard part on the front of the can.  You could write any sort of clever thing there. 

This is the area in the foyer I show you in pretty much every decorating post.  That's because I change it out a little bit for each holiday season.  



I picked up this little Halloween flag for a couple of dollars last summer when all things Halloween were very cheap.  



I didn't do a whole lot in the kitchen but I did put out a pumpkin tablecloth.  I prefer vinyl in the kitchen.  With six kids it's just too hard to have a cloth tablecloth on the table where we are constantly eating.  









Lastly, I'll show you the fireplace mantle in the family room - another little spot I change frequently.  I've gotten hooked on banners.  You've probably noticed that.  








Do you enjoy decorating for Fall?  Where's your favorite area to add some seasonal cheer?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Slow Cooker Monster Stew


This is an all time family favorite at our house.  I've been making it for years.  The recipe originally came from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook I picked up a long time ago.  (If you know me at all you know I love Gooseberry Patch!)

Slow-Cooker Monster Stew

Filled with all the things little monsters love!

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 14 oz cans pizza sauce
1 4.5 oz jars sliced mushrooms, drained
8 oz pkg rotini, cooked
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
6 oz pkg sliced pepperoni

Brown ground beef and onion together.  



 Add pizza sauce and mushrooms, heating thoroughly.



 Layer sauce mixture, rotini, cheese and pepperoni in a slow cooker. 








Heat on low setting for 8 hours.  Serves 6 to 8.


Delicious!  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Back to Blogging

Hello friends!

My girls and I just got home yesterday from a most wonderful road trip.  We spent time with the people we love best, eating (too much) delicious food, visiting and shopping.  We've come home with thankful hearts full of happy memories.  

I wasn't too great at taking pictures this weekend.  I'm not sure why but I think I was just having too much fun to remember the camera.  

We attended our favorite Autumn celebration and I fell in love all over again with primitive decor.  We ate our weight in kettle korn and shopped til we dropped (literally).  It was a blast.  

My five men stayed home while the girls and I took our annual trip and I have to tell you I was pretty nervous about coming back.  I mean, I knew the house would still be standing but beyond that I was a little scared what I might be walking into.  I heard stories the entire time I was away about newly purchased airsoft guns, and a chipmunk in the house, and Dad's cooking.  I was really bracing myself for the worst.  I'm more than a little happy to report that the house was in near perfect shape.  I planned to spend all day today working through a laundry mountain, but there isn't one.  I feared there may some damage to the house - after all there were five men watching football and celebrating their manhood here - but instead I came home to everything being picked up and a very small pile of dirty clothes.  I was shocked to say the least, but oh so relieved.  :)  

So today, it's back to work for me and I couldn't be more eager to get back at it.  One of the first things I'll be doing is grocery shopping.  The cupboards aren't bare but they aren't full of the kinds of things one can make a meal with either.  My honey and the boys are begging me for vegetables.  That should tell you something about their diet while I was away.  In addition to gathering some food I will do a touch of cleaning and a bit of laundry and I'll pick back up on driving my taxi service right where I left off.  One boy needs a ride to work and a lucky little lady gets to start sewing lessons today and I get the privilege of transporting her there.  We are both very excited.      

What are you up to today??  I'd love to hear!

Since I've decided to get back to blogging this week here are some things I plan to get posted - 

My fall decorating,

A wreath (I hope to finish),

A couple of new dinner recipes

and part two of 50 Days of Home School.

Stay Tuned!  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Very Easy Applesauce



This applesauce is very delicious and very simple.  I cannot make it fast enough.  The kids are eating it up as fast as I make it.

You need only a crock-pot and three ingredients - apples, water, and cinnamon.

Peel, core, and slice 8 to 10 apples.  Place them in crock-pot and cover with 1/2 cup water.  Cover apples with 1 tsp cinnamon.  

  
As you can see we use a little more cinnamon than the recipe calls for.  Our whole family loves cinnamon and it makes the applesauce super yummy so we add a little a lot extra.  I used several different kinds of apples in my applesauce.  You can use any variety.  

Cook apples covered on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Stir occasionally.  

Your house will smell amazing while this is cooking!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ringing in Autumn

It's finally Fall, y'all!  Are you as thrilled as I am that the Autumn season is here?  I won't tell you how many Pumpkin Spice lattes I've already had. 

We celebrated Fall's arrival with a trip to the Apple Orchard.  Oh.my.goodness.  We loved it!  (We visited Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia if anyone is interested.)



Only six of us could go.  Our oldest had class and our second oldest had to work.  I was thankful that my honey had the day off of work and was able to go with us.  We really enjoyed our day.  We picked sooo many apples!












Not only did we pick a lot of apples, we ate a lot of apples!






She thinks this should be her new nickname.




We enjoyed the tractor ride out into the orchard as much as we enjoyed picking our apples.  I kept thinking about the beauty of this place which led me to thinking about Heaven.  God's world is so incredibly beautiful.  Can you imagine what Heaven must look like?  I can't imagine! 














Thanks to our special trip yesterday we had Apple Donuts for breakfast, and I'm right now making applesauce in my crock-pot.  We've even got an Apple Pie tucked away in the pantry to enjoy tonight for dessert after church. 

I will post my {very easy} applesauce recipe tomorrow.  In the meantime, please tell me how you and your family are ringing in the Autumn Season.  

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chicken Corn Chowder

Hi, everyone!

How are you today?

I'm chilled out, relaxing.  After the week we had I felt like I really needed some down time- so I'm giving it to myself right now!  My laptop, my coffee, and I are spending some quality time together.  We've missed each other.

All week long I felt like I did nothing but run hither and fro.  We ended the week with a trip to the endodontist for a MAJOR root canal for our eight year old gal.  It had been a long time coming.  Her poor little mouth has had such a unique set of problems.  What a day Friday was and I am more than happy to have that behind us! 

At the end of every day (usually at dinner) we ask each of our kids what was the best/worst part of their day.  Taking my girl for that root canal was definitely the worst part of my week but here are several of the bests...

  • I started the Fall decorating around our house.  That is one of my very favorite things to do!  
  • Co-op is great this semester and we all love it.  I am thoroughly enjoying teaching my U.S. Government class.  
  • Awana is going very well and I just love my little class of third grade girls.
  • We managed to get a lot of school work done this week.
  • Olivia got to take a sewing lesson.  I think she's hooked.  

But maybe the best part of my week was this...



I tried a new recipe on my family this week and they absolutely loved it.  Everyone claimed it to be their new favorite meal.  I received a text message the day after I served it for dinner from one of our sons who was eating it for lunch.  He texted, "This chowder is amazing".  
You really should consider trying it out on your family.  It is sooo yummy!!

2 (10.5 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 (14 oz) cans cream-style corn
1 1/2 lbs cooked chicken, shredded
1 1/2 cups diced potatoes with skin on
1 1/2 cups carrots (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk
shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Stir together soups and broth in crock-pot.  Add corn, chicken, potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic.  Stir until well combined.

Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours (or high 3-4 hours) or until vegetables are tender.  During the last 10 minutes of cooking stir in evaporated milk.

Serve with shredded cheese.

*I made this in my 7 quart crock-pot.  This recipe served my family of eight well with leftovers.  

If you try my chowder recipe please be sure to let me know.  I'm going to stretch this coffee break out a little bit longer but soon I will have to get back to my cleaning and laundry.  I hope your weekend is a very cozy one!  The first day of Autumn is almost here!! 

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