Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I heard the best Christmas song today.  It's by one of my favorite christian singers, Francesca Battistelli.  It's called, You're here.  

At church this past Sunday my pastor talked about Mary and Joseph.  First, how shocked they must have been to learn of Mary, a virgin, was having a baby but also that the baby would be the Son of God.  During my Intentionally Engaging moms Bible study party yesterday I was reminded that Jesus came to Earth as a baby and grew into a man and died for us.  He died for me.  He saved us. This song is a great reminder of exactly that.  So, in all the craziness that this season brings just take some time to remember the precious gift that has been given to us. 

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chewy Banana Cookie

Yes, I just made up the name of this cookie.  The original recipe didn't really have a name so there's mine. It's super duper easy.  All you need is...

Oats (I used quick oats), a banana, and I used raisins. You can use craisins or real cranberries. Whatever your heart desires. ;)

Mush it all together with your hands in a bowl.  Scoop onto a baking sheet and cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes.  Wait until they are a beautiful golden brown. 

There ya go.  Is that it you say..? Yep, that's it. Now go and make some.  


Monday, December 3, 2012

9 more days...

Yep, nine more days until a BIG day!  A date that we have been waiting for somewhat patiently is December 12th!  Liam is getting his genetic testing done up at the Dell's Children's Hospital in Austin.  I'm not sure what all is going to go on but they will be drawing Liam's blood.  Last time Liam had his blood drawn, up in Oklahoma, He got stuck twice and I had to hold him down.  It was not fun.  Liam's doctors have been on the hunt for the cause of Liam's low tone.  If there is one! Liam has improved in so many areas and continues to make progress.

Just in the past few months Liam has taken off with his walking, his fine and gross motors skills have increased dramatically and he is making a TON of different sounds.  He can say mama (only when he's upset at me :)) Other than that, he doesn't have any words.  We know that they will come.  When it comes to Liam's development he has always taken his sweet Liam time, but once he gets it he takes off with it.  We know it will be the same with his talking.  Many moms say "be careful what you wish for", "once he starts talking he'll never be quiet". That is a welcome noise to me and John.  We are aching to hear that sweet little Liam voice. That little boy can talk my ear off all day.  :-) 

I will be sure to post how the appointment goes.  I know that once they draw his blood it will be a few weeks until we receive results.  It's all a waiting game.  I am very excited for 2013 and all that the Lord is going to do for us.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cold Weather Chowder

Yep, it's been getting cooler lately and what better then a delicious corn chowder for dinner.  There is nothing better then using the slow cooker.  I love throwing everything together in the morning and BAM come dinner time it's ready. Check out this great, yummy corn chowder recipe (via Pinterest).  It has become a household fave.

What you'll need:

1/2 pound bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
About 5 medium sized potatoes, NOT peeled, diced in 1/4 inch cubes
about 2 pounds kernel corn (I used frozen)
1 medium/large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped celery
6 - 8 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
32 ounces (4 cups) chicken stock
16 ounces heavy cream
salt and pepper

You will combine all the ingredients except for the heavy cream. 

John's favorite part..the bacon. Crumple it and add to slow cooker.

Put it all in a large crockpot. 

Give it a good mix.  Look at how great that looks.

Once all the ingredients are added, cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10.
Once cooked, you will take half of the soup and place into a blender or you can leave it in the slow cooker and use an immersion blender. I spooned half of the soup into my Ninja blender. 

blend and return to the rest of the soup in the slow cooker. 

now's the time to add the cream. Once added heat through for another 15 minutes or so. Salt and pepper to taste.

and here ya go. 

Serve with some corn bread and enjoy. 

Sorry, no presentation plate...we just dug in. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

With what does your heart wrestle?

Contentment is a topic that seems to revisit me often. I catch myself wanting this or that, change this or that, move here and there. I'll be happy once this, I'll be satisfied once that. I have always questioned myself lots of times as to why I struggle with my walk with God.  Why I have never been content or why I do not let myself be completely overwhelmed by His love for me. To have an intimate relationship with Him. I would wonder why I would not hear from God or why I never felt a "closeness" to God that I know is possible.  I have in the last year strengthened my relationship with Him but there is always something that is holding me back from giving my all, to completely surrendering. During church last Sunday something clicked.  I love Jesus and I have always had one hand holding onto Him but my other hand has been gripped tightly to my past and to the things of this world that I just could not let go. I guess the older I get and as a mother I see how unimportant things of this world really are.  This world will pass away.  Where my treasure is, there my heart will be. Have you heard of that song by Jeremy Camp..? You can have this world...just give me Jesus.  I must always find my roots buried in Him. That is the only place I will find true contentment, rest, and peace. 

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." -C.S. Lewis

Got the wheels turning

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm feeling moved...

Have any of you been able to catch Katie Couric's new daytime show?  I've never really paid much attention to Katie Couric but I came across her show the last few days.  On Tuesday her guest was Aimee Copeland.  I'm sure you've heard of her. The girl her lost both hands and a leg to some rare flesh eating disease.  What an incredible story.  This girl has lost so much but WOW she seemed content even in her circumstances and is so brave and is going to do great things with her life and the lives of others. 

Well, yesterday's show was a good one!! Her guest was a woman by the name Brene Brown.  I have never heard of this woman but supposedly she's pretty popular.  She recently wrote a book which I am going to purchase called Daring Greatly.  I really enjoyed listening to her talk.  This women has a PH.D in pretty much the topics of vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.  She's research these feelings in people for years! I guess it hits home to everyone when you talk about being vulnerable at some point or just plain scared.  Maybe that's why people love this lady.  

What really got me was when Brene Brown stated a quote from Theodore Roosevelt's, The Man in the Arena.  Should I have known about this famous part of this Presidents speech?  Print it out! Put it someone you can see it daily! It is so good and I think everyone can take something huge out of it.  Here it is.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

I LOVE THIS!!  Gives me chills!  It's okay to FAIL!!  At least you are in the arena, right?!! So what if you fail! It's okay to put yourself out there...to be vulnerable.  Brene says you can be vulnerable and be brave!! Get those goals and dreams and desires and go for it! Do what you have to get them checked off your list and living them.  Dream BIG! Step out there! Would't you rather fail then never have tried at all?! Gosh, I would! 

"What's worth doing even if I fail?"-Brene Brown

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Delish Breakfast

Look what I had for breakfast this morning. 

If you don't read or buy the magazine Good and Fresh I would start.  They have so many delicious and healthy recipes.  Like this one I made this morning.  

3 Grain Pancakes with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce.  
Okay, I have never in my life bought rhubarb.  I had to Google rhubarb so I could see what it looked like to locate it in the grocery store.  Sad, I know.  Whatevs. The point is is that this dish was delish! 

Check it out. 

You will need:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup quick cooking rolling oats
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup fat free milk (I used almond milk)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup sliced rhubarb
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

 Look at all them purdy ingredients. 

I always get all the ingredients out before starting and as I use them I put them away.  Makes cleanup easier. 

1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a small bowl whisk together egg, milk, and oil. Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

3. Lightly coat an unheated skillet or griddle with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. For each pancake, pour a scant 1/4 cup of the batter to the skillet. Spread to 3 - 3 1/2 inch circle. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 4 minutes or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and slightly dry edges. 

4.  Meanwhile, for sauce, in a blender or food processor combine 2 cups of the strawberries, the rhubarb, granulated sugar and vanilla. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan; heat until warm. Quarter the remaining 1 cup strawberries. Serve pancakes with sauce and quartered strawberries.

I didn't quarter strawberries this time around but the sauce is yummo!!

Makes 6 (2 pancake) servings.
Per serving: 212 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 32 mg chol., 191 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, (13 g sugar), 4g fiber, 6g protein.

The delish sauce!

Okay, so my presentation isn't the best but they taste really good.

See..that's how good they are. My 2 pancakes gone.  
Since there are so many servings I put the remains in the fridge.  I'm heating them up in the morning. 
Let me know if you try them.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

{Way to a mans heart. Well, to my mans heart}

It's my hubby's birthday today and I always struggle with what to get him. So, this year I thought I would give him the gift of food. Most of you know that John is out of town a lot for work and I thought that he would like some slow cooker meals while away. Some yummy "home cooked" meals while at the rig. This is the first time I've made freezer meals for the slow cooker. From start to finish it took me about 1 1/2 hours or so to chop and get the meals in the freezer.
The original site I got this from is here.  You can find the grocery list and all the other goodies you need to try this out for yourself. 

I first put all the food on the counter. Look at all that food.  Wowza!

Begin to chop chop and chop some more.  It's really not that bad.  You can divide the veggies in each bag while chopping.  This made things pretty easy.

Labeled the bags with the meal, date, and directions for the day you make it. 
I put the meals in gallon freezer bags. 

Bam! Each bag is 2 - 4 servings.  Two bags for each meal and I made 4 different meals (Teriyaki Chicken, Healthy Barbecue Chicken, Traditional Beef Stew and Goulash Beef Stew). 
The 2 packages of chuck roast steak that were in the grocery pic up top are in the slow cooker as we speak. I am making this recipe. I only wish John were here to eat it.  That's a lot of food for me and Liam. 

Anyway,  Happy birthday to my darling husband. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Let me try this again.  I thought for sure I would have some more excitement about these delicious, little pieces of Shakeology heaven.  I thought, well maybe it was my presentation.  Maybe if I make the Shakeology balls look more desirable.  Maybe if I stop calling them Shakeology balls.  I have decided to call them Shakeology squares. So I have given it another shot. {This recipe is originally from Chalene Johnson} 

well...what do ya think.  Pretty I know.  Even more delish! Did I make these? Ummm...YES!  How did I make these? I'm so glad you asked. I just happen to have to recipe. 

6 Tablespoons PB2 (found at local grocery store or Amazon)
Mix PB2 with small amount of water until like paste
Add 3 Tablespoons raw honey
1 Tablespoon organic peanut butter
1/2 cup quick oats
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
place in the fridge for a few so they can firm up a bit.

Mix until ingredients are well blended.  Use your hands to shape the mixture into your desired shape. I added the rasberries and sprinkled PB2 on top.  I'm trying to work on my food presentation. :-)

NUTRITION: (serving size 1 square)
 Calories: 80 
 Carbs: 10g
 Fat: 2g
 Protein: 7g

Where in the world can you order the key ingredient, Shakeology? Right here!

These little squares are a great snack that is not only extremely healthy but it takes care of that sweet tooth. Did I mention that they take less then 10 minutes to make. OMG! 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Another update on Little Liam

Liam recently, as in this past week, started speech therapy twice a week.  The therapist and myself think we will see some amazing results by having him there two times a week instead of just one.  Liam  is also starting Occupational Therapy (OT) at the same place where he receives speech.  We usually have the Occupational Therapist come to the house twice a month but lately Liam seems distracted by his toys and our daily schedule. When we physically go to the clinic it's like he knows he's there to focus and work.  Liam will be starting OT once a week starting next week (hopefully). We just had his evaluation for OT last Tuesday so it takes a bit to get our goals written down and the action plan in place.  Liam's gross motor and fine motor skills are at a low level.  Compared to where he should.  None of us including the therapist think that it will take Liam very long to catch up.  He amazes me everyday with new things. It's all in Liam's time. I pray all the time for the Lord to make Liam's feet and ankles strong and to make Liam say some words.  I know he'll answer my prayer. 

Liam also got some brand new braces.  They are way more breathable and flexible.  We have been slowly lowering the braces and now they are currently at his ankle.  This makes Liam have to engage his core more which will in turn help his balance tremendously. Stronger every day! Liam will be in theses braces for quite some time.  We'll have to replace them every 6 months to a year and he will most likely have these until school age.  We are hoping that Liam will eventually be able to move to just a shoe insert. Liam has a lot of strengthening to do in his precious feet and ankles. He'll get there.

You can see the difference.  Liam's toes are free now and his ankle is able to bend. They are much lighter and more breathable.
Yes, we have a busy schedule but we still have plenty time to play.  Liam loves his new play set.  Especially the swing.  he can't get enough of the swing.  He would swing all day if I let him. 

We love walking around outside.  We hang out in the front yard. The grass is very soft. 

Liam has started to get pretty good at using his spoon.  He loves yogurt! 

Our little baby is growing up.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chalene Johnson's Shakeology Balls

These are slightly different from the original recipe.  Either way these things are delicious. If you know me at all I have a sweet tooth and these little things satisfy it! YUMMO!!

First you need to gather all of the delish ingredients:

- Chocolate Shakeology
- PB2 (so good!)
- Quick Oats
- Organic Peanut Butter (Chalene's recipe calls for peanut butter with flax, I didn't use flax)
- Raw Honey

Once you get these items together you can start to mix up this goodness. 

Take 2 tablespoons of PB2 and add some water until you get a paste like substance.  I didn't add the water until after I added the peanut butter.  It still worked just fine.  (I got all excited and skipped ahead)

1 tablespoon peanut butter. I love peanut butter! Yep..I licked the spoon.

Then add 1/2 cup Chocolate Shakeology

Add 3 tablespoons of raw honey.

Then add 1/2 cup quick oats.

When you start to mix it up you're going to think you skipped a step.  It's hard to mix and very powdery at first. You know it's a Chalene recipe because you get a good arm workout while mixing. :-)

It will look something like this!  Then get down and dirty and roll it up like meatballs. The recipe says you should have 12 balls but I have 9.  Stick them in the fridge or freezer until firm and then enjoy. Seriously...these are oh.so.good.


NUTRITION: (serving size 1 ball)
 Calories: 80 
 Carbs: 10g
 Fat: 2g
 Protein: 7g 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dresser Overhaul....

I have to say that I am very happy about this project.  I was a bit nervous before I started because I wasn't quite sure how this project would turn out.  Just to let ya know, I am very excited to show the before and afters of my dresser overhaul. Let me start by saying this project took me a total of FIVE days.  FIVE days...that's it.  Who would have thought.  Plus, me painting our dresser saved us a cool grand and from searching for a brand new dresser.  

Here is the before photo of our dresser.  Me and John bought this dresser along with the matching  pieces back in 2007 when we lived in our very first apartment in OKC. It's a great dresser but we have been trying to get rid of it for a while now.  Then I came up the idea to try and paint it.  Thanks Aleasha Brandon for the advice on what to buy (you were right...sooo easy). 

Another before shot.

The hubs helping me clear things off to get started.  That mirror came off and I will be using it for another project here shortly. Just can't throw away such a nice mirror so I plan on reframing it.

We went to Home Depot and bought a few supplies. A drop cloth is a must.  I painted the dresser right in our bedroom and did not want paint and such on our new carpet.  Plus, it's a hundred degrees in the garage = not fun to paint in. I suggest getting a nice big one! Plus, for the glazing process we bought a big bag of cut up rags, old t-shirts and such.  These were perfect for this project and pretty cheap.

We bought Behr paint.  Yes, we bought TWO gallons and YES I only used about 1/4 of the first can.  Owell, paint for future use right! It does have primer in it which made to project much easier.  You can choose any paint color you wish we just like the off white.  It was a close match to our bed and we are going for the bright and airy feeling in our room.

This glaze is what made the dresser look as fabulous as it does.  Cheap and glazing is so in right now.  It gives the furniture that distressed used look. 

Whoever invented Sander Deglosser is AWESOME! I did not sand one part of this dresser. Thank goodness! You soak a rag in the deglosser and in small circles rub this stuff on the furniture.  Let it dry and Viola! That's it.  Ready to be painted.  Amazing..I know! It gives it that just sanded feel so the paint will have something to hold onto. 

And of course, we got a couple paint brushes, cheap paint pan and painters tape.  The painters tape was for the mirror that was my "let me try painting the mirror that I want to throw away anyway so I don't mess up the dresser" project. :-) Once I started the dresser it was so easy.


I decided the mirror will be thrown out or I'll just take the mirror out and use it for something later as well. 

Dresser painted white. I put two coats of paint on that bad boy.  

Dresser glazed.  It was nice that the dresser had some digressed areas.  So the glaze got down in the cracks to give it that more distressed look.  You can always rough it up if ya need to though.

Final project.  Seriously..who would have thought.  This is something we would buy from a store. This project was neat and I feel accomplished.  We have a brand new dresser.  Now, onto the other dresser and mirror. What do y'all think?!