Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Picture Taking Fail...Sort Of

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!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things: Coconut Oil

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!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life in Roanoke

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. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm Back!

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)
3 Tomatoes

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 am so hungry now. Make this!! You will love it.