and the conversation went something like this

Setting: Me at Kroger
Time: 7:30 am

Ideal Bread Guy: Good Morning!
Me: Good Morning, how are you?
Him: Ideal, how bout yourself?
Me: Great, thanks! Me walking off. . . giggling!

Someone told me that the Ideal bread guys say that when asked how they are doing, but I forgot until after he said that!!

Also, another funny thing happened at Kroger. One of the guys who works there at Kroger asked me where the Parmesan cheese is!!! Oh my! All of this before 8 am. . .too much!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - steak (on sale at Kroger), loaded baked potato, broccoli and cheese, rolls (kidless- woah!)
Tuesday - Open Faced Stroganoff Sanwiches; one of my friends taught me how to make these and to me they taste like "po boys cheese steak sandwiches." I use swiss cheese instead of cheddar.
Wednesday - back to school and work!! Need to put that crock pot into action! Roast, potatoes and carrots
Thursday - helping with Becky's Bible Study; making ham and cheese sandwiches on hoagie buns, chips, pickles and drinks; need some cookies- how about No Bake Cookies
Friday - Chicken Packets; my daughter (6) loves to help me make these and even better than that she loves to eat them!!
3 oz cream cheese
3 T melted butter
2 cups diced cooked chicken (I use my mini food processor)
1/8 tsp salt and pepper
1 T chives
1 pkg crescent rolls
1/2 c. Italian breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Blend cream cheese plus 2 T butter until smooth; add next 5 ingredients; mix. Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Spoon meat mixture into center of each triangle. Pull corners together and twist slightly and seal edges. Brush tops with reserved butter and roll in Italian breadcrumbs. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. This can be make in advance and frozen; thaw for 1 hour before bakin gor cook at lower temp for 30-35 min.
Saturday - celebrating Christmas with extended family - how long can we draw this out???
Sunday - taco, taco salad!

Happy New Year!!

The Coolest Blog Post Ever

You can see that there is a gap in my posting and I promise I have a very good reason. . .not to mention celebrating Christmas with mi familia!

A few months back I was sitting at a restaurant with a friend and we started talking about what we could do for a mutual friend. Our friend is a single mom of four kids. That alone should make your hair stand on end. She is not only a single mom of four kids. . .she works full time as a vet technician at my friend's clinic as well as leads a Bible Study for about 20 neighborhood kids on Thursday nights. . .which includes feeding them dinner. Ok, and to top that off she helps lead worship at our church faithfully every week by sharing her talents on the keyboard. You get my drift, she is Elastigirl from the Incredibles. But before you get too jealous at her many talents, think of how bad her feet hurt every day after work, cooking, household chores, homework and getting four kids to bed. I mean, gee wizz, I can't even get my two to bed without a hissy fit (me, not the kids!)

Ok, ok back to the story of my friend. So that very day we started the thought process on what we could give her that would be meaningful and special. We decided to do an "Extreme Home Makeover" on her bedroom. At the very least, when she kicks up her heels at the end of the day we wanted her to have a cozy, comfy place!

The next step was the laborious act of shopping for everything :) We started around Thanksgiving picking up what we needed for her room and we realized there were a few things that we wanted to get for her kiddos. As we drew nearer to the project we got a game plan together. She was going out of town for Christmas and someone needed to check the house (wink, wink!) We got the key and entered the home of our sweet friend's answered prayers. We realized we were in for the long haul then.

She will admit. . . it was pretty bad when we got there. The week before she left to go out of town her second youngest was hospitalized for two days with severe abdominal pain and when she got him out of the hospital she was in charge of a Christmas party for her neighborhood kids. Can you believe it??!! She is giving a Christmas party for neighborhood kids when she had not been home in two days and was going out of town the next day! Would I do it, no way!? Party cancelled. . .everyone find your own toys and Bibles. Sad, but true.

Now you are about to see something really special. . .God's people working together to do something for someone who deserves it more than she will ever know. People, not fighting, but with joy in the heart loving on someone who has no clue. We got a lot of amazing donations from around town and several extremely generous donations of money from people within our church. I got to be Ty Pennington with my camera and yes we did yell, "Let's move in some furniture, people! and Welcome Home, __ Family, Welcome Home!!!" It had to be the most amazing, beautiful experience of my life to be included in such a project.

I cannot show all of the before and after's, it will be mostly after's because just like you wouldn't want me to show your before's I don't need to show hers! :) Got me? :)

We took all of her mini-blinds in her bedroom down and gave them a good washin' and a good talkin' too and said, "No more dust!!!" When I was a teenager I did not know that there were things other than music and friends. This gal is amazing, wouldn't you agree? There were several teenagers who came to help with our kids and to scrub toilets and various other things. This gal has to definitely make the blog!

Two amigos who know how to get after it and paint!! They helped paint her room and the trim as well as like a thousand other things that they helped with. They did a little shopping with me too :) Fun times, girls. . .fun times!

Oopsie, that was not what you were supposed to be painting!! :) Another laborer under my regime. :) You are awesome.

Ok, I am freaking out about how to introduce you to her new room. You may want to go over there and sleep in her bed! It is yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, I will give you an appetizer picture to give you a taste.

Are you drooling?

She needed a nook. Did you see the sign on the door. . .it says, Queen. . .do you hear that kids. . .don't wake up the Queen!!

Ok, on for the main course. . .I have led you on for too long.

You want to see her face? I know. . we're both grinning from ear to ear, but she is the one in the back with the fur on her black coat.

This is the way she looked the whole time. She clapped, jumped up and down, gave her kids high fives. . .mind you it was midnight when she got in and she had more energy than ever when she saw all that had happened "while she was out!"

This was just her room and I will show a few shot at my other favorite places that we set up for her.

Organization is a must with four kids!

her table is set

her kid's beds are made

and the kids are all tucked in. . .Night Night! God bless you, you sweet family!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Marinated Pork Loin, green bean bundles, broccoli salad, rolls and Christmas Eve Service
Tuesday - breakfast - Blueberry French Toast, sausage. . . snack around rest of the day
Wednesday - BBQ/coleslaw/beans
Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie, On this All-Recipes recipe I usually only add one can of veg-all and 1/2 cup of milk
Friday - Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas
Saturday - Concert
Sunday - TACO, TACO Salad!!!

Merry Christmas!! I am so glad to be part of your bloggy world!

Because I Promised Michael W. Smith I Would!

Yeah, Michael and I go way back. . .back to couple weeks ago when he let me try out his new CD for free!!! I have listened to a lot of his music before, but this takes the cake. It is beautiful! We listened to it at our gift wrapping day at our church. We listened to in the car on the way to mini-Las Vegas! It is beautiful. If you are looking for a last minute gift for someone who appreciates good Christmas music, then this would be a sure bet for them. Enjoy!

Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to put his click through option on because of my lame beginner skills so here is the link to his website where you can actually listen to the CD.

Talking Time Out

When we lived in Dallas we had a 45 minute commute to school twice a week for our kids. We carpooled with another family and so you can imagine that somewhere in that hour and a half there would be some sort of strife.

The bad thing about driving in the car is that when you have any kind of disobedience from your kids you either have to lean over the seat and give them a good talking to or you have to say, "You better hope that we don't have to pull this car over." You can't really put them in their "time out seat." They're already there! There are just not a lot of ways to discipline without having to take desperate measures.

My husband was kind of irritated with the kids for their bickering so he invented "Talking Time Out." Time out has always worked to some degree with our kids, especially our son who is very rule abiding. But this really worked. Basically, when they are bickering or using course language in the car they get "talking time out" for however many minutes we determine.

Let me tell you this has redirected our kids more times in the car and made riding with them much more enjoyable. So for those long holiday trips, try "talking time out" to help make great positive memories!!

It works for our family! Is there anything else that you have found to keep car rides sane? Leave a comment and share! To find out more great holiday ideas, check out Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Another Great Gift Idea

if I do say so myself!

I was visiting someone else's blog and she mentioned the sprinkles and cookie cutters. . .sorry I forgot who it was or I would link back to you. It gave me the idea to do Santa cookies for some of my friends and family.

The kit includes cookie mix, icing, sprinkles and Christmas Cookie Cutters. I am going to give them this sack of goodies so that they can make family memories and leave Santa some cookies on Christmas Eve. I might write a little poem or something to go with it if I get creative! I will update this post if that happens!

Do you think that they will like this, in lieu of making them cookies, or another gift? I would love to get your feedback on other gift ideas for friends and family! Just leave your link or comment below!

100th Post!! - Once Again Menu Plan Monday

Yeah, it is my 100th post! So I am celebrating by making something really yummy for my friends tonight! Lucky friends of mine.

Monday - Small Group Night; guys taking kids to Micky D's and girls to make jewelry together! :) I am going to make Starbucks Peppermint Brownies; they'll love me tonight, but not tomorrow when we are at the gym :)
Tuesday - Breakfast for Supper; Sausage Egg and Cheese Casserole, biscuits and fruit
Wednesday - Slow Cook Thai Chicken and Rice
Thursday - Chicken Fajitas
Friday - Roast, carrots and potatoes
Saturday - bratwurst, french fries and sauerkraut (Celebrating Germany and France :))
Sunday- leftovers

Baking To Do's:
Finish off baking for neighbors and friends presents. Wrap and deliver!

Boot Camp Blues

In an earlier post, I told you about my early New Year's Resolution. This week I have been paying for someone to yell at me. Prince Charming said that I needed to explain what I do at this 5:30 am boot camp. He also jokingly said that I might include a before and after in my undies and I decided that that might discourage blog traffic. :) Included is a link to one of my most dreaded exercises. . .the 8 count push-up!

Below is the exercise where I had to run a lap because I said the cussword "I can't" @#&*(&%T$#. It is an ab exercise where you do a crunch on an aerobic ball. (Yeah, I look just like her!) I said the cussword when he asked me to reach to his hands way up in the air. He said, "Give me a Lap!!" Upon getting off the ball, I quickly thought and tried to redeem myself by reciting a Bible verse that might get me out of the lap. . .I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nope, it didn't work. Everyone had a good laugh at my expense and carried on while I did my lap.

This is one of the most sadistic things to do to yourself. . .to pay money to have someone yell at you and tell you to do laps when you have a minor little slip of the tongue. Yeah, crazy, but rewarding, right!! Six pack abs here I come. . .or I would just be happy with my kids to stop telling me I'm soft and warm like a pillow. :)

Fun Gift To Receive

I wanted to let you in on something I already received for Christmas from a sweet family in my church. It's a popcorn bowl with mini-bowls so that you don't have to share! Yeah, that's what I teach my kids. . .get your own, kid!!! She even included yummy chocolates. . .so much for the early New Year's Resolution post!

This is a great gift if you are looking to buy a family with kids something and you are having a hard time thinking of something. She included the Veggie Tales Christmas movie which we have not seen. Yeah, I love Christmas and I love my friends! If you need more ideas for Christmas or great ideas that work for others, check out Works for Me Wednesday!

Early New Year's Resolution

Yep, that's right. Wal Mart can put out their Christmas paraphernalia in August so I can make my New Year's resolution in the middle of December. Some of you might know that I joined the ranks in a version of the Atkins Diet about this time last year. Well, there was a lot of success in dieting the Atkins way, like 25 pounds of success, but about 5 pounds of that success I gained back around summer time.

Last week, I hit a "poundage mark" that I made a vow to myself that I was not going to hit again. After all, I was supposed to be going down, not up! After some contemplation and some not-so-level-headed-thinking I landed at the gym every day this week at 5:30 am. The deciding factor was a shopping trip with my friends from church. We talked about how we could all use some butt-kicking motivation and that's all she wrote.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday's are our cardio days. Tuesday's and Thursday's we do "Boot Camp!!" Doesn't that just sound painful? Well, let me tell you, it is! Even the Cool Down is dreadful! :(

I will keep you updated. . . but for now just know that there are some days I may not even be able to get my arms up to the desk to type!

I am including in this blog post a picture of my friends from our fabulous shopping trip and time together. They would not let me take a picture of what they look like at the gym at 5:30 in the morning. Let me be the first to say that they are indeed beautiful not only in appearance, but in their hearts!

Menu Plan Monday

Ok, I will be the first one to say it. Not much of a menu this week! We are all about early Christmas festivities this weekend." Fun times!!!

Monday - BBQ/coleslaw/beans
Tuesday - chicken stir fry (a variation of this)
Wednesday - pancakes, sausage and fruit
Thursday – probably Wendy’s, Sonic or I’ve got a joke for you. What is a pirate’s favorite fast food restaurant? Drumroll. . . .ARRRby’s!!!!!
Friday – mooching off of in-loves
Saturday – still mooching
Sunday – same as here and here. . .you guessed it,TACO SALAD!

Although the menu plan is rather unfortunate, I have been a busy bee in the kitchen. Do you want to see a picture of my peppermint chocolate?

Also, I did a little above and beyond the call of duty this week and made Peanut Butter Blossoms (You know the ones that have the Hershey Kisses in the middle). Yum.

Hansel was so excited when I made the Peanut Blossoms. He loves peanut butter as much as I do. Do you know he likes peanut butter so much he eats Ham and Peanut Butter Sandwiches! Isn't that sooooo gross? He always wants me to try it and I just can't bring myself to do it.

On another note, in my inbox this week I got a note that said that the Grocery Game is in my area. Grocery Savings here I come. Boy, do we ever need it. I am the world's worst because what I crave goes in my cart at the store no matter how much it cost. I need some major discipline. I have another post coming about another area of discipline I about to work on starting at 5:00 am (aaaaagh!) Gotta go to bed!

The Dude I Love

A few weeks back, I went to a women's retreat with our ladies at our church. I think I did not mention too much about it here because it kept me pretty busy beforehand and when I got back I was tired. It was very refreshing in sooooo many ways though.

Throughout the weekend we visited with Beth Moore. . .(ah gotcha-no not in person- hehehe through the "Retreat In a Box.") The study goes over how to love people well, hence the title, "Loving Well". There are four people whom we get the "opportunity to love." There are the people who are a joy, those who are "testy," those who are our foes, as well as, those who are far (meaning we may not have met them yet, but they are who God may have sent to us).

That's partly why I did not mention the retreat, I was trying to forget what I learned so I would not be responsible for that information, especially for loving the last three! :) So, I guess that is the story of all retreats, you come back very ambivalent-should I have gone or should I have stayed home. Well, for sure I am a better woman for having gone. I got to know ladies I would not have known otherwise-now I have Shopping In Crime Partners!

Probably the most important thing that I learned though is a new recipe!!! Not just for the sake of learning it, but to love testy my sweet husband better. :) He loves soup and especially French Onion Soup! So, my dear friend Lynn shared her recipe with me that she made the first night of the retreat. It is yummo. I am not a soup, nor a french onion soup fan, but now I am a French Onion Soup Groupie!!

Here goes the recipe that saved my marriage! :)
  • 4 large onions, sliced into thin rings (I have a pampered chef slicer that worked well for this)
  • 1/2 cup margarine (melted)
  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth or I used 8 bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 8 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
  • 7 slices French bread


  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, saute the onions in the butter or margarine for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the broth, water and wine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. In individual oven-proof bowls (I used tin ones that look like they are for chicken pot pie), place one slice of toasted french bread in the bowl. Ladle in the soup and cover with Swiss cheese. Put bowls in the oven and allow cheese to melt on top.
Eat and imbibe!!! :)

The second posts of Branson

My time in Branson was just 24 short hours. In this post, I told you how we came to almost hit Rudolph in the first two hours of our trip. The remaining hour, after we had all snacked and had a little bit of a snooze, we talked about the deep things in life such as the meaning of the word "throw-up." The kids decided it either came from your stomach or your bottom. It is thrown up in the air.

Upon arrival at the beach house resort motel Gretel was gloriously excited that it included toilet paper. "Yes, when we travel Gretel, we go all out!" Thus continued the excitement. Soon we discovered we forgot to pack Hansel's underwear and he decided to not wear any that day. Lovely! So he got to prance around "undyless."

The adventures continue in the third posts of Branson. We have only begun!

I can do that in two ingredients!

The question from Rocks In My Dryer. . .what do you do if it is 5:30 and your kids are hollerin' and you only have three things in your pantry? What are those three things and what do you make for supper? I think if it were me we would have quesadillas. . . tortillas, cheese and the George Foreman Grill and that's only two ingredients! To make it a healthy dinner . . .add a can of pineapple or mandarin oranges! :) Yes, fresh is better, but hey we're desperate.

If you wanted to go all out and you have the extra ingredients. . .add chicken and salsa and yum I am getting hungry already!

Another alternative that we have regularly (like weekly) is pancakes and sausage or bacon. I make my pancakes from "Krusteaz pancake mix" and I usually get it at Sams for $5. It makes 200 pancakes. All it takes to make these incredible flapjack boys is water and a spoon!! Amazing. I usually whip out my griddle and dinner is ready in 10 -15 minutes.

There you go. . .to get more tips to help the dinnertime hollers go away, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Happy Birthday Lime and Socks!

I know. . .we're weird, but I just couldn't resist. We found our cats outside of our house last year right before Christmas. They were probably born around this time. I mentioned the idea of a party to my kids and they were all over it. After all, what's a family without a little bit of fun every now and then. So we planned it. . .presents, place mats, cards, party hats, and to top it off canned salmon. Just a little side note on the whole lighted candle and salmon thing. . .make sure that your cat does not go bazirk smelling the stuff and accidentally singe his hair on the lighted candle because he cannot wait. Not that that happened or anything :) Please don't report us. . .we really love our cats; the kids told us not to light the candle or the cat might get hurt and we did not listen. It just smelled a little like singed cat hair and salmon for a little while.

Also, Lexy (the nine year old wiser cat) came in fashionably late to join in the fare. No, we do not normally let the cats eat at the table with us, but it was their birthday! :)

Tackle It Tuesday

I have a lot of tackles today, but the main one is this drawer that is driving me crazy!!! Everytime I open it it gets stuck on something. Can you imagine why?

The other is the Christmas Cards which I have given myself a deadline of December 10th! I hope to beat that, but sometimes I have to give myself a little grace :) Happy Tackle It Tuesday!

Menu Plan Monday

Here goes my Monday Plan! I don't know about you, but planning my meals helps me so much. I cannot tell you how many times in my married life that I have walked into the kitchen without a plan and it only ends in gloom and doom. This Menu plan is one of the best things that I can do for my family each week. Also, putting it in writing has helped me to see how I am feeding my crew. Veggies and fruit are good things, right? :)

Monday - Pigs in a Blanket - Hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls/macaroni and cheese
Tuesday - beef enchiladas (recipe on back of the jar)/refried beans/salad
Wednesday - pancakes and sausage/blueberries and yogurt
Thursday - Chicken Spaghetti/broccoli and cheese/crusty bread
Friday - chili/fritos and cheese
Saturday - BBQ/cole slaw - mom shopping with the gals; dad you're on!!
Sunday - guess what? taco salad!!!!

Fruit for the week: pineapple, apples and caramel, banana shakes after school

Holiday Baking:
Crock Pot Candy - Peppermint and White Chocolate
Crock Pot Candy - Chocolate Peanut

Mini Loaves of Bread - probably banana nut

The Five Posts of Branson

Twenty-four hours is all the time that we spent in Branson, MO codeword for "mini-Las Vegas Mickey Mouse style" this weekend and I have at least five posts from our time there.

The first experience I would like to share would be our time in the car. The travel time is only about three hours, but I can alway use a good snooze. I had just shut my eyes when my husband screamed, "Deer!" I thought he was saying "Dear!" so I said what? As soon as I opened my eyes I swear to you that a DEER was right in front of my side of the car and we missed it by a foot at the most. It had a full rack of horns and I am thankful that it was fast. Hansel was sad to have missed it because he wanted a deer rack to add to his hunting/camping bedroom decor. Well, the excitement gets even better from here so stay tuned to find out what else we did in the next twenty two hours.

Ok, I'm bragging!

I am two presents away from being finished with my big Christmas shopping.

The two that I have left are my son and a cousin of mine. Neither of them are that difficult, I just have not gotten to the place to buy the present. Yippee Skippee! I do have friends and neighbors to bake for, but that is it. The hard part is almost over. . .now I can enjoy my time with my family instead of being hmm. . .how could I say it politely?
Thought I would post this picture. Let's just say that my kids got inspired after watching Charlie Brown Christmas. Yeah, it's in my front yard and my neighbors are extremely thankful for us because we help their house value skyrocket with these decorations. I hope your family is having a memorable Christmas season.

Yummy Smelling Holiday Decorations

One of my very creative friends got me started on this and I my kids love to do it. . . Zesting lemons and limes. This is fun to do with girlfriends as well, but these are pics of my kids being creative.
I want to mention too (from a teacher standpoint) that this activity works with small motor skills, as well as, is very good with working with the senses. . .smell, possibly taste, and touch. . .it also lets the creative juices flow!
The how to:
  • buy a bag full of lemons, limes . . .you can do oranges as well, but lemons and limes work best.
  • Buy a couple of zesters and have your kids use rubberbands to make the design that they want to zest. It can be anything. My kids were 5 and 7 when they did this just to give you an idea at the skill level that it requires.
  • Zest out the design
  • stick cloves in the design to give it a little more umph.
  • Place in a pretty bowl for display throughout the holidays
Now this is the yummiest part. . .put the zested lemon and lime pieces in a pan with some cloves and add some water. Let it simmer on the stove to give your house the smell of Heaven. It works for this family! Check out more Works for Wednesday ideas with Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Holiday Baking Hour With Clappy Shoes

Here's the best thing you could do for your neighbors and friends. Spread the Love with cookies and candies! Guaranteed to mend any broken fences and hearts!!

Crock Pot Candy

1 lb. chocolate almond bark
1 pkg. chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 Tbsp. oil
1 jar (24 oz.) salted or lightly salted roasted peanuts (I usually buy Planters in the jar)


In crock pot, melt bark and chocolate chips. Add oil, cocoa and peanuts; stir well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper (Pictured above with my cute dude). Cool. And it is cool to give to your neighbors! :)

An alternative and something else that I am going to make that is yummy!

Peppermint Bark:

1 lb. white almond bark
1 pkg. white chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 package of crushed peppermint; I sometime buy the candy canes and crush them, but that is a lot of work (but cheaper)!


In crock pot, melt bark and chocolate chips. Add oil, extract and peppermint; stir well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper. Cool. And it is cool as well to give to your neighbors! :)

Now my friend just gave me this recipe and apparently it is to die for so I will be making this for a Christmas party that I am having at my house.

Copycat Starbucks Peppermint Brownies

Another of my specialties of the season is this adorable Snowman.

My son helped me make this last year and we had so much fun and it was a super big hit at our Christmas party.

Ok, that is enough to keep you and me both busy for awhile. Happy Holiday Baking!!!

Menu Plan Monday

I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to think about food! We ate so much last week with our friends that we are still stuffed turkeys! So here is the scoop on "The Week of Cooking Dread!"

Monday - leftover BBQ/cole slaw also leftover turkey pot pie (recipe below)

I love my own pot pie-way better than the kind you buy at the store!

1 lb cooked ckn or turkey chopped
1 can cream of chicken
1/2 cup milk
1 can of veg all (brand name. . .located by green beans and corn in a can)-drain liquid, but keep a little
salt and pepper
2 pie crusts

Mix all of these ingredients together and pour in bottom pie crust

I get deep dish from Kroger ( cut edge off of top one and place it on top of the bottom one with ingredients in the bottom one)

Cut an X in the top so that it will not spill over.

Place it on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until golden brown on top. My kids love this recipe and ask for it a lot. Plus, it has veggies. Yay! Make sure that you let it rest for a minute because it is not only juicy, but very hot!

Tuesday - sausage and pancakes and I better add fruit before the fruit nazi's get onto me for neglecting my children. . .dad has a meeting this night

Wednesday - chili/cheese/crackers

Thursday - Mushroom-Chicken Bake, rice, green beans and rolls

1 2 1/2-3 lb broiler fryer ( I will probably use chicken thighs)
1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place chicken in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Drizzle dressing over chicken; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp paprika and pepper. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes basting occasionally. Turn ckn and add mushrooms; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining paprika. Bake 30 more minutes or until ckn is tender.

(Prep 6 minutes and and Cook 1 hour)

Friday - Homeschool Trip to Governor's Mansion; I will probably be tired when I come home; may go to in-laws, but if I don't. . .Grilled Cheese with Chips and Salsa

Saturday - Local Christmas Parade. . . our church always hands out hot cocoa and cookies for free because we are located on the parade path. Fun stuff! May run by Sonic or may have leftovers.

Sunday - you guessed it. . .Taco Salad

Holiday Baking- (recipes coming next week cuz I am running out of time on this post. . .lots of work today)

Peppermint Bark
Mini Banana Nut Bread Loaves-bought pampered chef mini loaf pan and will give these out as Christmas presents to friends and neighbors
More Crock Pot Candy-since we just about ate all of our Christmas presents last week! :)

Just When You Think You've Got Stuff Cleaned Up

Isn't that just the pits? Just when you think you've got things cleaned up, you move a piece of furniture and there's some more junk. Do you think that is how it is in life? Just when you think you're presentable to the Creator; you've got things just spic and span. Then, He moves some stuff around and there she blows. . .more junk. More junk to work on.

I guess that's the whole refining thing that He does to make us look more like Him. For now, we're just pretending things are all cleaned up. . .please don't look under my cushions. :)

Nurturing All Things

I hope this isn't what all the things I nurture and take care of look like. Surely not, right?

I Want My Money Back

This post inspired me to buy these cute photo calendars for Christmas from Lillian Vernon. I was so excited and I ordered them right away. Then after I accidentally signed up for their promotional emails, I saw that they went on sale for $3.00 less than what I bought them for only two days after I purchased them. It would not have been worth it for me to pitch a fit and demand my money kindly call them and explain my situation and ask for my $3.00 back, but I ordered 6 of them.

After going through about ummm 5 customer service gals I explained what happened and she credited my money back to me with no problem at all. The queen of customer service said they always credit your money back there if it has been within 30 days. Hey, that worked for me!! How about you!?

Are there other stores that have credited your account after you bought something only to find it went on sale shortly after? I would love to hear. To see more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Scary or Exciting? You Vote!

In just two days time span, there have been two incidents of random acts of kindness by my children.

My son apologized (without me asking him to) to his sister for yelling at her. It was about 15 minutes after the incident and out poured from his sincere little lips "I am sorry for yelling at you for throwing my Webkinz." You vote. . . scary or exciting?

Yesterday, while I was under extreme duress and frantically making dinner and working at the same time I was not paying attention to, carefully watching every move my children make when my daughter walks in to let me know she had a surprise for me in the bathroom. Wince, Shudder. . ."oh, wonderful honey. . .what ever could it be?" I doth not exaggerate. . .she started a load of clothes for me. She is six years old, ya'll! She had also cleaned out the sink with one of her moist wipes that we use for her little bottom. I did ask if she wiped first. . .I know it was wrong. ..but I couldn't help it! You vote. . .scary or exciting. I know my reaction was probably the scary part.

They are growing up indeed. I am savoring every little morsel.

The Beauty of Community

This picture is taken of my community group stuffing candy bags for Halloween Night in our little town. We passed out candy and an invitation to a free pancake breakfast for the following week. Last night, my family and I celebrated Thanksgiving with these sweet folks. It was absolutely fabulous. We indulged in turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, my (if I do say so myself) yummy potatoes and green bean bundles!

For dessert we were so stuffed and full of food that we could barely get the dessert down, but we managed! We had a plethora of pies. Oh my! Then we went around the room and told what we were thankful for (appropriate, ey!) Our community group has families, singles and tons of wild well-behaved kids running around.

We all have a story of where we have been and where we are going. We circled around the room, everyone of us thankful for the church and the love that we feel there. The sense of unity and the bond of peace. Wow, amazing. As a pastor's wife, I never dreamed that the first place where God would put us would be so loving and gentle and beautiful. There are so many saints in our church that I never feel alone. All of my burdens they are eager to bear with me. Yes, indeed we have much to be thankful for this year.

Enough of the mushy stuff, well our community group is also full of laughter. . .much laughter!!! My hubby jokingly said that we need to loosen up when we meet back again in January. If we loosened up much more I think we would all be burping and passing gas together. I'm telling you that we hoot and holler and snort and laugh together as much as we pray together.

We share our daily lives together and I tell them about my blogging world. They think I am a silly little blogger. One in particular thinks that computers are a phase! :) We kidded him about that last night. They ask me how my blog is doing each week and I tell them the fascinating facts and that they could hop on the internet anytime and see what I cooking up for supper. They were not as interested as you are! :) They decided that if I get enough traffic and I start having critics that the critics would rename my blog, Crappy Shoes or Crabby Shoes :) Crabby Shoes strikes again, the critic would say. Naughty people. They just don't know what their missing, do they!? Of course, all of this is in jest and we just laugh about it.

In future posts I will tell you more about Stan the Sloth Man and his adventures and The Shoe Extraodinairre and her Adversary! But for now, I need to go teach Hansel! Have a wonderful day and I hope you have much to be thankful for this week!

The Things We Do When We Don't Have Time

Only four more days till company's coming (Hip hip hooray-I'm super excited) and I decide to make them some privacy curtains for my french doors which shows into our living room! No funny business while you are at my house :)

and put up some more curtains

and touch up paint the room where they will be staying

and make a goody basket for parent teacher conferences - to ensure that my gal gets all A's! Just kidding!Oh, and make some curtains for the bathroom. Yuck, it looks like camo in my bathroom-never mind the curtains. . . .how about table napkins.

I am getting ready to head out the door for our Ladies Retreat for my church. I am in charge of food. . .yikes. . .and decor so I better hop off and cook! :) and go to Wal Mart! Happy Weekend to everyone.