Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bright Star's Tartar Sauce

Doug insisted that I post the famous Bright Star's Tartar Sauce Recipe for you and our future reference.

Bright Star's Tartar Sauce
(Yields 1 quart)

1 qt. commercial-style salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
2 (10 oz.) jars pickle relish
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/3 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon

Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Refrigerate until served.



Friday, August 29, 2014

Crockpot Salsa Chicken Recipe

I had this recipe pinned on Pinterest in hopes that I would try.  Today was the perfect day to have this meal.  It's been one of those crazy weeks, with the kids' activities and school and trying to keep the house clean.  I needed some help with supper.  I don't know about you, but I LOVE crockpot or one skillet suppers.  They are the best for any mom!

Crockpot Salsa Chicken 

4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 oz.) jar of your favorite salsa
1 packet of taco seasoning

Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot on low for 6 hours.  Around the last hour or two, I shredded the meat with a fork.  The chicken is so tender, it just falls apart.  Yum!!

I placed fiesta shredded cheese, jalapeƱos, taco sauce, black sliced olives and 8" flour tortillas out on the table for my family to assemble their own burritos.  I also warmed up some black beans to go along with our  meal.  It was so good!  You can't go wrong with this dish.

Fall is right around the corner and I have to got the bug.  I can really feel it with football season starting and the trees changing colors here already.  We haven't had much rain in the past few days, so most of the leaves are turning brown and collecting on the ground.  I hate it because I love our autumns.  So many many colors, just like a painting.

In the next week or so, I plan to do my fall cleaning.  I put away all my everyday decorations and bring out the autumn decor.  The kids love it!  Some people like to change their furniture around, get new or refurbish the old.  I just like to change out the knick-knacks and other pretties.  It really does make a huge difference in the room; however, sometimes I think I go a little over board on the fall and Christmas decorations for our size home.  HAHA!  I use to joke about it and say that Santa just threw up all over the house.  LOL!

You might begin seeing more new recipes on here in the next few weeks because with fall season comes new comfort food recipes.  Plus, I'm wanting to try some new cookie recipes to prepare for Christmas.  Yes, I said the big word - CHRISTMAS!  Believe it or not, it will be here before you know it.  I can not wait to start making the homemade soups, chili's, pot pies, and dips galore for our chips as we watch Bama roll over their competitors.

I would like to wish you an awesome Labor Day!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Day of School

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First day of school was awesome according to Katie.  I know it wasn't awesome earlier this morning.  Let me just tell you before we went to bed last night, Katie came out of her room sobbing.  She was scared and worried about school.  Ugh!  There is absolutely no doubt that she is my child.  I would literally be sick at my stomach the first day of school.  Katie is just like me.  When I tucked her back in her bed, I thought I had answered all of her questions last night.  We said our prayers, asked God to give her strength and peace.  She seemed calmed before I closed her bedroom door.  The next morning was a different story.  First of all, I had a hard time getting her head out of bed.  Second, she walked into the bathroom with red, swollen eyes.  She told me that she stayed up crying all night.  Oh. Me!  I told her for the hundredth time that she will feel so silly once she gets to school and realize that it will be just fine.  For some reason, she didn't feel very comforted.  It wasn't long after my lecture, she began crying again.  I guess there are just times when a girl needs to cry.  She told me, she will miss me so much.  What's so bad is I really wanted to cry because my babies are getting older and my baby boy was starting Kindergarten, but I couldn't because I had to be strong for Katie.  I knew that if started crying, she wouldn't stop and it would just make things worse.  She was so upset that she couldn't eat breakfast.  No matter how hard I tried, she wouldn't eat a bite.  I wished I had thought about packing some soda crackers for the road, for her to munch on.  She was a wreck, sick at her stomach.  Poor baby cried all the way to the school door.  When I picked her up later in the day, she was all smiles.  She was a completely different child.

Colton on the other hand, got out of bed, ate his breakfast, finished getting ready for school and was ready to go out the front door.  He spent the rest of his time trying to calm his big sister.  He told her, "it'll be alright Katie".  He is also good at keeping me informed as to every time Katie began crying again.  He is a good little brother.  

The kids had a great day at school.  As soon as I picked Colton up, he wouldn't stop talking until we got home.  LOL!  He loves his teacher, play ground and meeting new friends.  I had him eat lunch at the cafeteria today.  He has never done this before, so it was a new experience for him.  He said that he ate just about everything.  I was pleasantly surprised because I didn't know how he would like the food.  Now, I can relax from needing to make lunches every day.  Yay!  Katie was so happy because she knew everyone in her class.  She loves her teachers.  The only thing she didn't care for was snack.  She said it was so boring because they had to sit for 15 minutes on the sidewalk and eat their snack before they went to gym.  I can imagine the girl reunion party at P.E.  Katie was thrilled to found out what classes her other girlfriends ended up going.  They had a lot of catching up to do, I can imagine.

Why is it that teachers know just what to give to moms and dads on the first day of school causing  the flood waters to break loose.  I received a precious poem from Colton's teacher, thanking me for having enough faith and trust to hand over my child into her care.  Oh my goodness, talk about getting choked up.  I had a hard time to read it for tearing up.  I had to straighten up because I was way back in the school traffic line and I didn't know what shape Katie was in.  LOL!  I was thinking, "get a grip mom".

I started on one of many projects today.  I have this bookshelf in our house that is packed full of recipe books, photo albums, church material, genealogy, and simple books like address and phone books.  Trust me, it's packed.  I've been wanting to pull it all out and organize a little and put away some loose photos, newspaper clippings, etc.  Shew!  I filled up the photo album that I purchased and need to get another one.  HA!  I've got lots of projects in line for this Fall and Winter.  My sister told me the other day that she thinks I like staying busy.  LOL!  

I hope everyone else had a wonderful first day of school.  


Monday, August 11, 2014

Surprisingly Short Summer Vacation

Wow!! This seems to have been the fastest Summer vacation EVER!  I think it went fast because we have had the biggest and best summer yet.  Visiting museums (Helen Keller Birthplace; Jesse Owens Museum; Oakville Indian Mounds; The World of Coca-Cola) of all kinds, staying by the pool, enjoying the Wednesday night adventures at church and so many family gatherings.

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Our Little Girl turned 9 years old
She looks so growny anymore and her height has shot up over night.  Both of my kids have been like weeds this summer.  Surprisingly, I haven't been able to keep Colton full for the past week.  He is already tall (80% in average height) and I've had some people tell me that it sounds like he is going through another growth spurt.  I wish both of my children would just slow down.  I'm not quite ready for this!  

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Katie with her new American Girl, Isabelle
Instead of a big birthday bash, she decided that we would celebrate by visiting Atlanta, GA.  We stayed at the Marriott Hotel in Alpharetta.  Our friends have told us so much about the American Girl experience package and we just had to try it out.  It was one of the best birthdays ever for her.  She absolutely LOVED it!  She didn't have to celebrate alone.  We brought her cousin with us to share the AG experience.  I felt like a little kid again.  It was a lot of fun.  

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My husband and son had no interest in staying in an all pink room (beds covers; pillows; trash cans; robes; alarm clock; etc.), so they got their own bachelor pad and shared a king size bed.  Here is Colton crashing my bed, while the girls ate their cookies before bedtime.  

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Cookies and milk were delivered just in time, before bedtime.  I have to say, the cookies were pretty good.  Colton snuck him one before he went back to his room.  

While we were visiting Atlanta, we stopped by Legoland, The World of Coca-Cola museum, The American Girl Store and downtown area.  I recommend Legoland to any Lego enthusiast.  We rode a few small rides, played with Legos, watched a 4D movie, and played in the jungle gym.  Loads of fun!  Personally, my favorite was the Lego Mini Land.  It was NEAT!  It's amazing how these little bitty Lego bricks can make something as large as a skyscrapers.  You just have to experience it.

Us girlies enjoyed the American Girl store.  You could have lunch with your American Girl in the bistro or get her hair fixed.  The clothes and accessories that you can buy for your American Girl made my eyes explode.  So much to take in at one time makes me want a NAP.

The World of Coca-Cola museum was a little more than I bargained for, but then we did decide to show up there during the day on a SATURDAY.  HELLO!  Can you GENIUS?!?  If I could give anyone advice right now about the museum, it would be DON'T GO ON A SATURDAY.  We waited a century just to get inside and we bought our tickets online.  It was crazy, but the kids enjoyed it once we got inside.  The kids loved the bear and having their picture taken with it.  They also enjoyed trying all the different Coke tastes all over the world.  My favorite was Latin America, very good flavors.  After we left the museum, we decided to go eat and ride the Skyview next to the Centennial Park.  I loved it because you get to see all of Atlanta.  Very beautiful!  Colton got a little sick on us, he gets a little nervous when it comes to heights.  Thankfully, we had air conditioning inside our cabin.  The girls had a blast looking outside and pointing to all the landmarks.

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We had a couple new arrivals this summer as well.  May I introduce to you my new great niece and nephew and yes, they are twins.  They are just sweet and precious.  Us aunties can't wait to spoil them and send them back to their parents.  tehe!! 

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It is hard to imagine that school is back in session.  Both of my children start back this week.  They are both very excited and I'm excited for them.  

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Today was our school open house and it went real well.  Open house is just a great opportunity to drop off requested school supplies, meet teachers, find out where the kids' desk are located and visit with old and new friends.  I like to get all of the needed forms answered, turned in and all questions to teachers, answered.  I also take the opportunity to put money in the kids' lunch account, visit with other mommy friends and get up-to-date with school PTA.  

Katie gets to exchange classes once this year between math and reading teachers.  I am happy to report that she is very pleased with her new teachers and very excited to start school because she actually knows several people in her class.  It's amazing how a good first week of school is based on "who you know in your homeroom class".  Last year, she didn't have one girl in her class that she knew.  The first month of school was a nightmare, until she was able to get to know the girls in her class.  Of course by the end of the year, they were all big friends.  Last Saturday and Sunday, Katie began her pre-school jitters fear fest.  I warned her that I won't be the first in line to pick her up anymore because I'll have to get her little brother.  She began to worry if I would be at school on time to pick her up; if her friends would be in her class and if she would like her teachers.  Here we go Lord!  Lots of prayers were said for the next couple of days.  God does answer prayers and it just so happened that they were in Katie's favor this time.  

Colton had a chance to meet his teacher and classroom today as well.  He was so shy, when she spoke to him and asked him questions.  I was happy that he did answer her questions, but in a very low voice.  Let's just hope that voice stays low all school year.  Shew!  That boy can TALK!  I think he is going to LOVE his class and surprise, one of his friends from church will be in his class.  I love it when my kids know and like other kids in their classroom.  It just helps me breathe better.   

Ballet starts back up next week and Katie has decided to try jazz as well as ballet this year.  She was hesitate at first, but after long deliberations and her dance teacher talking with her.  It was final, she would take ballet and jazz.  HAHA!!  She gets nervous when it comes to change.  She eventually likes change, it's just getting there that's the problem.  Poor baby!  

I hope you mommas have a great "Back to School" month!!  


Monday, June 23, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Is It Hot Enough?

Doug and I are currently Jimmy Fallon fans. His sense of humor is so funny to us. This past week, he has been broadcasting from Orlando, Florida. If you don't know, summer arrived early for us Southerners. It's been in the upper 80s and 90s for the past few weeks with a humidity of 100%. Yeah, it's HAWT!  I thought as a tribute to the Southern Humid Summers, I'd post a few funnies.  'Cause all you can do is laugh about it.  So, go sit in the pool, with your fruity icy in one hand and enjoy the funnies.

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Stay cool y'all! 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Psalm 52

We are doing a study on Wednesday nights in the book of Psalm. I love the book of Psalm and admire the person that wrote it, King David. Yes, he made mistakes in his life and I think that is why I admire him. I am so blessed to have Bro. Steve to teach and enlighten certain areas of the Bible. I took lots of notes from this teaching and can't wait to share with you. I wanted to bring this lesson to you because I felt that someone could go away feeling a sense of hope and satisfaction.

To set the scene, King Saul was very jealous of David and wanted him destroyed because he felt a threat of his kingdom being taken from him. Ahimelech was the chief high priest to King Saul. David came into Ahimelech's presence. Ahimelech became very nervous because of King Saul and his dislike for David. Ahimelech just wanted David to go away because he didn't want Saul to be upset with him. David asked for food, but they didn't have any except for the bread that was offered to God. By law this was a big no, no in the time. David and his men were hungry, so they took the bread. Then, David asked for weapons. Ahimelech showed David the only weapon that they had in their possession was the sword of Goliath. David took it. While all of this was going down, no one noticed Doeg an Edomite watching. Bro. Steve said that in the time Edomites and Israelites didn't get along at all. Doeg wanted to be in the king's good grace, so he went to King Saul and told him what conspired and added a little information that wasn't true. Doeg didn't stop at pointing the finger at Ahimelech helping David, but also told Saul that all of the leaders were involved. This absolutely wasn't true. Does this sound familiar? Do you know of one person, group, or empire that go out of their way to cause trouble or wickedness? With the blessing of the king, Doeg went to Ahimelech and not only killed him, but all the leaders and their families and livestock. When the news got back to David, how do you think he felt? If you said angry or mad. You are right. He became enraged with what just happened and it caused him to write Psalm 52.

Is it okay to be angry if something awful happened to you or someone else that you love? According to God's word, yes. "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity" Ephesians 4:26-27. It's okay to be angry, but don't hold grudges. Anger should be balanced by God's justice. So what does this mean? I'll come back to this later. 

Worse yet, Doeg boasted about the slaughtering of innocent people. "Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The lovingkindness (faithfulness) of God endures all day long" Psalm 52:1. "Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit. (2) You love evil more than good, falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah (means take a moment and think about it) (3). You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue (4).

What do we do? Do we sit back and do nothing or do we do something about it? Our human nature wants to do something about it. Doesn't it? Why should he (Doeg) get away with this? Murder! It isn't fair for the righteous to have to walk the straight and narrow road, while the unrighteous does whatever they want. Naturally, we want to avenge those that have been done wrong. Whether it was you personally or someone else that you know. What does God say? He says for us to be patient. "But God will break you down forever; He will snatch you up, and tear you away from your tent, and uproot you from the land of the living. Selah (5). And the righteous will see and fear, and will laugh at him, saying, (6) 'Behold the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and was strong in his evil desire.'" (7). It would be so hard to sit back and wait on God's justice to be delivered to the unrighteous. David trusts God's lovingkindness forever and so should you. Don't take matters into your own hands because your reaction to your anger will swallow you up and you will NEVER be satisfied and at what cost to you. You could loose so much more than what you had before you became angered at a situation that happened to you. "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,' says the Lord." Romans 12:19. "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;" Psalm 37:7a.

What can you do then, if you are not to avenge the wrong doing? God says, be thankful. Remain focused in the Lord's lovingkindness. "But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. (8) I will give Thee thanks forever, because Thou hast done it, and I will wait on Thy name, for it is good, in the presence of Thy godly ones. (9)" "Wait for the Lord, and keep His way, and He will exalt you . . . when the wicked are cut off, you will see it." Psalm 37:34. ". . . thanks be to God, who give us the victory through our Lord . . ." 1 Corinthians 15:57. In 2 Timothy 4:14 Paul wrote "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:" Don't you know Alexander had countless days to his demise.

Bro. Steve added in conclusion, "In fact, in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 

I hope this message brings to you a sense of understanding of God's word and what you need to do. A sense of hope and strengthening of your faith in Him. Sometimes, we put our faith and trust in other things and people and not necessarily in God. Instead, put your loving faithfulness and patience in God and his vengeance or justice will be met.


Happy Father's Day!

I want to wish all of our dad's a very Happy Father's Day! We are blessed to have a few great dads in our family. They are awesome!!
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My children are so blessed to have such a great dad.  He is an awesome Godlike leader in our family. He loves his babies and loves being a part of their lives.  Dad encourages his children and supports them in every way possible.  That is what it is all about - Love for your children.  

The picture on the right is very special because my niece and her husband sprung some exciting and happy news to most of our family.  They are expecting their third child.  It is such a surprise for everyone because they said it wasn't planned.  "God had other ideas" said Whitney.  I thought it was sweet on how they presented the news to her dad.  Her oldest, Zayden, which will be 3 years old this September, gave his Papa Kevin two Hershey's candy bars.  Each wrapper was highlighted in either blue or pink.  One highlighted bar spelt out the word "He" and the other was "She".  Such a cute idea.  We are just so happy for them and WOW, I will be praying for them.  I'm sure she would appreciate the prayer warriors to remember her and the baby from now until it's arrival.  The baby's due date will be in March 2015.  

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I took this picture for our Father's Day cards to Doug, and the kids' grandfathers.  Doing this was harder than it looks.  Keep in mind that I drew the background on our driveway and it wasn't on a hill.   I got the idea from Pinterest.  It's suppose to look like the kids are standing on the grass.  Well, I had a hard time getting Colton to cooperate.  Plus, I had to move my truck in the driveway just right, so I can stand in the back with my camera, get the kids to act silly and get that perfect picture.  The guys loved their special Father's Day pictures, so I think it turned out great.  On the inside of the cards, I wrote poems that reflected the person's relationship with their grandchildren.  I hope I got it right.  My dad said that I was just trying to get him to tear up.  Katie wrote a special poem inside her dad's card.  He loved it.  

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I'm posting this picture for my sister, Sandy.  Dad loved his weather station.  He said that Doug will have to come over to his place and install it.  LOL!  It's a good thing these older folks have younger kids to keep them up-to-date in the tech world.  (tehe!)  I told Doug a while back that we will be the same way with our kids.  

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I don't know what the deal is with Doug and his face.  Other than that this is a good picture with him and his dad.

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Me and my dad

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Our first time parents-to-be
I loved Chase's shirt.  It says "Real Men Make Twins."  I love it!

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Dad and three of his five girls

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Daddy and his babies

Giant Hogweed Beware
I also wanted to add this tidbit before I ended my blog today.  I've never heard of Giant Hogweed before until I saw a news report from the state of Michigan, calling for concern. I've included the actual Facebook News report post link, if you would like to know more.  Post by Ken Spiegel.  I've done a little research and this plant is not known to live in our region, but you never know.  Reports say it is very toxic.  If you brush up against it, mixed with sunlight and water (sweat) can cause blisters and later scares.  The plant's damage can be as severe as blindness.  I encourage you to watch the linked video in order to see the actual plant and know it you own this tropical looking toxic weed.