I think my family is pretty special. One reason in particular is that my girls have a Great-Great Grandma. We enjoyed having all 5 generations together over Thanksgiving. Thankful that we have these memories to look back on. And thankful for all of these beautiful ladies!
I really enjoy cooking. I love making something delicious that brings our family together around the table. I am always searching for new, healthy and yummy recipes! Since I am, I figure you are too. Right? =) So here's a favorite from my kitchen to yours.....
I love making this meal. It's comfort food that warms you heart and soul---and it's totally delicious.
Thanksgiving-Style Turkey Meatloaf
with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce and Acorn Squash
2 Tbls. unsalted butter
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup bread crumbs (or stuffing)
1/2 cup Romano cheese (or whatever cheese you have handy)
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 cup milk
Saute veggies and apple in butter until onion is translucent. Let cool. Mix all ingredients except the turkey in a large bowl. Add turkey last-- don't over mix! Place in a greased 9 inch loaf pan. Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.
Serve with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and Cranberry Sauce.
8 oz. fresh cranberries
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup cold water
Bring all ingredients to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, until cranberries start to pop.
Acorn Squash (serves 2)
1 acorn squash, cut in half to make 2 small bowls. Remove seeds.
2 Tbls. unsalted butter
2 Tbls. brown sugar
Place cut squash halves face down in 1/2 inch of water in a 9x13 pan.
Bake at 350 for about 30-45 min.
Make rings out of aluminum foil. After baking, place squash face up on the rings.
Place 1 tbl. butter and 1 tbl. brown sugar in each half.
Fall here has been beautiful. We took a gorgeous drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway last week and our senses were on total overload. I knew right then that we HAD to get some pictures of our family, or at least the girls, while the leaves were still at their peak color. This week the leaves were starting to fall---and fast. I knew my time was running out, especially with hurricane Sandy on her way. Carey had a retreat at camp this weekend. We've spent most weekends apart since getting to Virginia. October is a busy month at camp! The girls were getting a little tired of Mommy.....and we'll not talk about Mommy's feelings. =) We had decided to go spend the day with Carey and I had already started dreaming of the beautiful pictures I would take. My mind wandered through the endless possibilities of adorable family photos right out of Pinterest. I also thought about how cute our Christmas card would be.....
Let's just say, children will not cooperate when you have such grand plans. The end.
What, Mom? You want us to look at the camera? And SMILE? Yeah right.
This was the best picture I got of the girls together. So much for Christmas cards. I do love the picture though. It shows their relationship. They really love each other. Annie is sharing her leaf with Lucy. So sweet.
Annie is usually really great when taking pictures. She will give me great big smiles and is totally adorable.
Like in her 6 month photos:
On this particular day, she was more into eating leaves. Apparently leaves are delicious (I wouldn't know) since I had to retrieve half chewed foliage from her little mouth more times than I would have cared to.
Annie refused to look at the camera. Her eyes were lifeless. The leaves were just too intriguing.
Thankfully Lucy saved the day! She's been really hard to get good pictures of lately. I'm so happy that she was in a sweet mood and I got some great pictures of her. Some of these are definitely getting put on display.
Lucy is getting to be so grown up. She's silly and fun. I was so thrilled to get some pictures that depicted her personality!
Now I'm desperately trying to decide what to do for a Christmas picture. Getting a good family pic might be hopeless. I'm beginning to think a collage might be nice.....Ha! Stay tuned to hear about my second attempt. Although it might be a few weeks before I have the courage to try again. =)
In other news, Happy Halloween! I have a little cowgirl and fairy today. Better run so I can get them dressed up to go grocery shopping. Might as well get use out of the costumes while it's actually light outside and people can SEE them. Just my opinion. :) We have Trunk or Treat at church tonight. Lucy has no idea that lots of candy is awaiting her. She's will be in absolute heaven. I can't wait. Pictures to come!
Hello! Welcome to the first installment of "A Few of My Favorite Things." These posts are meant to share my favorite products and why I love them and why they make me happy. =)
Favorite Thing #1: COCONUT OIL
I could go on forever for a while on why I love coconut oil. We only met about 6 months ago, but it has been a glorious relationship that is likely to last till the end of time. I owe this discovery to my friend over at I Thought of it Second.She's given me some great easy tips on healthy living. Check out her blog sometime!
I love coconut oil for lots of reasons. These are some of my favorite uses for it:
*Cooking. Coconut oil can handle higher temps than butter and EVOO. It's great for sauteing. I love putting it in pancakes. It gives them such a fabulous flavor!! Just substitute it for the not-good-for-you veg. oil in almost anything. It's great drizzled over some popcorn. I put it in Annie's goat milk. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
*Facial Cleanser/Moisturizer. I've recently started using coconut oil to wash my face at night. I know what you're thinking. Oil? Doesn't it make your skin greasy and gross? Nope. I have dry skin and the coconut oil has eliminated my need for a moisturizer! It doesn't clog pores and leaves my skin soft, glowing and fabulous! WAY cheaper than all those cleansers and moisturizers too. You only need a small amount to do the job. Add a little baking soda every few days to exfoliate. LOVE.
*Coconut oil boosts metabolism, can also be used for cleaning, diaper rash, mosquito bites, dry skin/scalp, eczema (which I have and it has helped soothe the dry patches). Research has also shown that it is beneficial in fighting certain diseases. Amazing. Here's a link to find out more: COCONUT OIL.
So get some. Try it. Have fun. You'll soon find out why it's one of my favorite things!
I could spend a long time telling you all about every detail about our recent move. I'll spare you. For today I'm going to hit the highlights.
To make a long story short, we almost moved to Roanoke a year and a half ago. God closed the door at that time and we were happy to remain in Kansas while we waited for His leading. A few months ago, Carey and I felt the Lord working in our hearts and giving us a burden to pursue Camp Eagle once more. It all happened very quickly. Carey was offered the position again and knew that this was exactly where God wanted us! We packed up our lives within a few weeks and moved half way across the country. Crazy doesn't even describe it. =) God has been so good to us. There have been many little details that have shown God's provision and given us a greater peace that this is where we're supposed to be!
It was difficult for us to leave our dear friends, family and church family in Kansas. But we have made wonderful new friends in the short time we've been here and are loving being a part of Shenandoah.
I am getting used to a new city. It's a lot smaller than KC. I really only miss my beloved Trader Joes. If anyone feels led to send me a care package.....;) Oh, and we have no Papa Murphey's Pizza. Would someone go eat one for me? Living without take-and-bake is rough. Thanks.
Some perks about living in Roanoke:
1. MOUNTAINS. Hello. We're not in Kansas anymore. I have beautiful views at all times. Check it out.
2. Continuing with the mountain theme--we live on the Blue Ridge Parkway! Yes. You must visit.
3. Hiking. We can't wait to strap the kiddos to our backs and hike a mountain! We're planning on the Peaks of Otter this weekend.
4. Day trips to the beach, Williamsburg, Washington DC, Jamestown, Monticello, Mt. Vernon, etc. etc.!!!!
I. Cannot. Wait. And did you know that Thomas Jefferson had a vacation home? It's like a mini Monticello. It's called Poplar Forest and it's only about 30 mins. away. Pretty sure we'll be making a little visit within the month. I just can't take it. Ahh!! =)
5. Nice people. Ok, not all Johnson County people are unfriendly. But people here will just stop and say hello, ooh and ahh over my babies, carry on a conversation. Even the checkers and the grocery store and servers at restaurants are super friendly. It's been a nice change.
6. Slower Pace. I don't feel as rushed. There's less traffic. Things don't seem as busy (even though we're really busy!). Small town livin' might just grow on me.
That's my list for now. There's more but I need to get something accomplished since both of my children are actually napping!! This has only happened about 3 times since we moved here. Not sure what their deal is, but I've been close to losing my mind. Praise the Lord they're resting today! I needed a break.
Happy Tuesday. Here are a few pics from our little parkway getaway this weekend.
I have taken quite the hiatus from my blog. My last post was in April (hanging head in shame). Apologies. The good news is that I am resolved to keep this thing current. You have much to look forward to.
Our life has changed drastically in the last weeks. Don't worry, I have posts in the works to update everyone on our new life adventure.
We live here now. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.
For today, I am sharing a fabulous recipe from the kitchen of my aunt. It's a new favorite and I'm making it this evening I made it this weekend. See how long it takes me to get a post out? Blame it on my children who have refused to nap in a week. Since my mouth is watering just thinking about this dish, I figured you all might want an exciting new meal to try. Trust me, this one will not disappoint.
A few preliminary thoughts: Ethnic food is cool. This recipe just so happens to be Hungarian. My great grandmother was from Hungary. She claimed we were gypsies. Cool. Interesting at least. This recipe is also best served the next day. Can you hear the angels singing? Yes, make it a day in advance. So easy and great for company!
Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Yellow Onions, chopped
3 lbs. Chicken (thighs taste best), cut into bite sized cubes
3 Tbs. Paprika
1 tsp. Salt and Pepper (add more to taste after cooking)
4 Bell Peppers, chopped (different colors look nice)
1-2 Tbs. Unsalted Butter
16 oz. Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Flour
Egg Noodles (I like to get the nice thick kind. Makes it look more gourmet.)
*Heat oil over med. heat in a large pot. Add onions and cook until translucent. Increase heat and add chicken. Cook until chicken is slightly brown (approx. 8-10 minutes). Add paprika, salt and pepper. Coat meat. Add peppers and tomatoes. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Will make a bubbling stew.
*Mix sour cream and flour together. Add to cooked stew spoonfuls at a time. Mix well. Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes.
*Serve over buttered egg noodles. (Make the noodles fresh if preparing stew a day in advance).
Before I added the sour cream. My camera died. Just picture this all creamy and fabulous!
I always love Easter. The flowers are blooming, the weather is warming, everything is coming alive! The best part is celebrating our Savior, Jesus Christ, who is ALIVE!
I loved singing Glorious Day in church on Sunday--especially this verse:
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again
Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
After church we had a wonderful meal with family and friends. Lucy loved hunting for eggs! She takes the whole process quite seriously. She also ate entirely too much chocolate and has been on a sugar high ever since. We got her this great book for Easter too! I highly recommend it!!
Hope you all had a wonderful day
celebrating our RISEN Lord!
The girls had appointments with their pediatrician today. Remind me not to make any appointment so close to nap time ever again. Thanks. Lucy was wild because she was trying to stay awake and it was just a little crazy trying to talk with Dr. Kimmel while she was going nuts. Thankfully, Annie was a little angel. I wouldn't have wanted to add a screaming baby to the mix.
The girls look great! Lucy is right around 50th percentile in both height and weight. She is super advanced in speech and fine motor skills. She does these at 3-4 yr. old level. She's still at a normal 2 yr. old level for things like running, climbing and jumping though. Kinda clumsy this one. :) She had to get an MMR shot today. Poor baby. Yes, we are on a delayed vaccine schedule. I'm pretty picky about the whole process. She was not a fan of the shot but does like her blue Scooby band-aid. Lucy is also potty training! She's doing a great job at home. I am very proud of her. Gotta work up the courage to start taking her out in just panties! =O
Annie is a little peanut. 12.7 lbs. So tiny! It's no wonder she still wakes up every few hours to eat at night. I've started giving her a full bottle of formula before bed and it seems to be helping. Hopefully she'll start getting better about sleep!! She's 86th percentile in height though. And she's advanced in other areas. She's great at tracking and rolling. She loves to be standing up and jumping. She is such a little mover! Her legs just kick constantly. Not so cuddly these days. Life is too exciting! She is a very happy baby during the days.....as long as she's getting attention. Haha! She is getting better about playing on her own though. She loves to be sung to and played with. She will sing and giggle during "Pat-a-Cake" and other rhyme songs. She is such a smiley baby. I love it!
Side note-- Favorite Parenting Item.
We got out some of Lucy's baby toys for Annie to play with recently. My all time favorite baby "toy" are these flash cards. Lucy LOVED them as a baby. I liked flash cards because Lucy would roll/crawl around and pick one up at a time. I could tell her which animal (or thing) was on it and make the animal noise. They are touch and feel and super colorful. Lucy was doing animal noises at 8 months old because of these! We were looking through them with Annie today. It's fun to watch Lucy "teach" Annie this time around. HIGHLY recommend. You can get them at Barnes and Noble. DK brand. I use an educator's discount (early homeschooling!) and they are pretty affordable. Here's a video of Lucy doing the tiger noise at 9 months. Ahh! So cute! She has grown up too fast!
Some days I'm pretty sure I'll never sleep again. Just sayin'.
I love my Annie girl to pieces--- but I think she's plotting against me. I read this blog post from some fellow mommy out there in blogger land this week. Oh my, Annie definitely got the memo! (Or maybe she authored it?) Thanks to a mommy friend for posting this on FB! Totally hilarious.
I've seen these little guys floating around Pinterest the past few weeks and decided it was time to give them a try! Also, it's one of the easier ideas on Pinterest and I don't have much free time these days! Sorry for the lack of pics. Just use your imagination!!
I decided to use Greek yogurt because I really love Greek yogurt. It's better for you, has less sugar, it's thicker, it's yummier, etc., etc.... Plus the little A&E cups are 99 cents this week at Hy-Vee. I got a few different flavors but today I tried Almond Creme. I'm thinking a fruity flavor would be better for these after trying them. But almond was still tasty!
Super easy--- I spooned the cup of Greek yogurt into a small ziplock baggie. Cut a little hole in the corner and squeezed little dots of yogurt onto wax paper. BTW, it's like this yogurt was meant to be squeezed out of a baggie. It was so fast and easy and fun!
Anyway, I froze them for a bit and out came pop-able yogurt-y treats! I think these will be great for summertime. Hoping Lucy loves them too! Carey told me they are too girly for him.....but I might be able to get him to convert. He'll probably sneak them. :)
Hi. My computer has been having issues this week. I finally got it to work today. In honor that, I am writing a little post about what's been going on around here.
Tuesday was my birthday! I'm 26. It's kinda crazy how fast life goes by these days. I'm in my late twenties. I'm going to blink and be 30 and my babies will be all grown up and I might just cry. Ok, anyway.
The weather has been absolutely glorious this week! Record temps almost everyday. I am in heaven! I even had to turn on the a/c. Trust me, it went against everything I believe in about saving money. But, since Annie must be wrapped up like a baby burrito to sleep and she was getting sweaty and I was afraid of her dying from over-heating, we turned on the air. Speaking of my baby burrito....I just bought her a new light-weight swaddle blanket. SO CUTE!
So back to my birthday. It was 80 degrees. The flowers were out on the trees and I wore shorts and flip-flops. It was perfect! My mom came over in the morning and we went out to grab an Orange Julius. Carey took the afternoon off work and we had a picnic at the park. Then we walked to Starbucks. We ended the day with dinner at Red Robin. The girls were extra sweet that day too. When Lucy woke up I told her it was my birthday and she got all excited and said, "OH! Happy Birthday!!" She even sang to me when we had cake. She's at a really fun stage. :)
I look a little tired in that pic.....We've been fighting colds AGAIN this week. We've had really bad coughs and runny noses. I even got it this time! Poor little Annie has been congested most of her life. Maybe this warm weather means the end of colds! I hope so!
Here's a sweet picture of sister love. Lucy was reading princess books to Annie. This was the Ariel book and Lucy was saying, "See Annie! See Ursula?" Haha! Love my little princesses. :)
Not to self: Never leave children unattended. It may result in this--
Thankfully, no babies were harmed during this incident.
Tomorrow we're having a little family day. We're celebrating Carey's 1 year anniversary at Rockhurst! Woo hoo!! This job has been the most wonderful blessing. So we're planning on eating out and maybe spending a little birthday money. Should be fun!
By the way, I LOVE daylight savings. Extra hours of daylight make me happy. Totally enjoying our early spring!!
The view from our place. But not for long! We found the townhome we'll be moving into next month! I am SO EXCITED! Lots more space and a playroom for the girls!
Tuesday was Carey's birthday. Rockhurst gives you a paid day off for your birthday. Isn't that nice of them? We think so. :) My birthday happens to be a week after Carey's. The best part about this? FREE birthday meals. And we can use them at the same time. Bonus. So we went to IHOP for breakfast--basically for free. We did get Lucy a kid's meal and we had a couple of coffees. It's great paying less than $10 to go out to breakfast!! This week we plan to do the same thing at First Watch (yum!) and Red Robin.
We had planned on taking the girls to the zoo since Carey had the day off. We almost didn't go because the weather decided not to cooperate. It was almost 70 degrees.....but 40 mph winds. We decided to brave the elements and go anyway. It was very windy. But still fun!
Lucy is at a great age for the zoo. She had tons of fun. I was so proud of her for walking almost the entire zoo! The Kansas City Zoo is a big place. She probably walked 2 miles. Annie liked being carried around the zoo--only happy in her stroller sometimes. Probably because she couldn't see any animals from in there. :)
Lucy really wanted to see the giraffes and zebras. Both were not out!! Are you kidding me? Maybe the giraffes are too tall for wind advisories? Would they blow over? Doesn't it get windy in the Savannah sometimes? Come on. Oh well, the polar bear never disappoints.
Lucy got to ride the carousel. She LOVES carousels. She was excited about riding the gorilla.
Lucy has a big personality (in case you didn't know). Here are a few pictures to give you a little glimpse. She's one crazy lady!