Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday thoughts

 My random Friday thoughts. . .

Love this.  So important to remember that our Lord is so very, very loving.  He just wants us to be happy.  He has given us commandments and a plan to make us happy.  We just need to follow His plan and do our best.  

Hope you have a great weekend!
See you Monday!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's up Wednesday--my chicken noodle soup

 I seldom have recipes that are uniquely "mine."  I usually always get them from somewhere else, but this one I am proud to claim is mine!  This is my chicken noodle soup recipe, and it is so good!  My kids really enjoyed it, even my picky boy will eat 2 full bowls of it.  There are usually no leftovers when I make this.  It is perfect for cold evenings and great with yummy rolls and a salad.  This is a pretty thick chicken noodle soup.  Thick and flavorful.  We adjusted the flavors to our tastes,so feel free to adjust to yours!  Enjoy! 
My Chicken Noodle Soup

2 cups cooked chicken, I cook mine ahead of time using this yummy way from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 Tab. chicken granules or 3 chicken bouillon cubes
3 cans chicken broth
1 cup chopped carrots, or 1/4 cup dehydrated carrots
1/4 cup chopped onion or 1 Tab dehydrated chopped onions
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
4 Tbls butter
1/4 cup flour
8 oz egg noodles
1 tsp Lawry's garlic salt with parsley
salt and pepper to taste

 Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large pot and add chicken granules or bouillon cubes.  Add in chicken broth and onions and carrots.  Cook until tender--about 20-30 minutes. Cook your egg noodles separately while this cooks. In a separate bowl which the cream of chicken soup with the mile until smooth.  Whisk in the cream of chicken mix into the broth and veggies.  In a small pot melt the butter and stir in the flour until smooth, then add to soup mixture.  Add in cooked chicken and cooked noodles and Lawry's garlic salt with parsley. Warm and serve.  Yum!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2015 Blue Jean Week 8

We had a good week.  Snow one day and sunny and beautiful the next.  Our weather is just crazy.  Basketball is finishing up.  Track practice starts right after.  Miss A got a part in the high school spring musical which we are excited about.  Always something fun going on here!  Take a look at our week. . .
We have a huge, beautiful field behind our house.  We looked out this afternoon to see all these beauties enjoying the field this afternoon.  Love living in the country!

So we got a little bit of snow and Mr J gets home from school and the first thing he says is, "I want to shovel the snow!"  Knock yourself out.  I didn't really see the point, but kept that thought to myself and let him enjoy the moment :)

Love the sister missionaries that serve in our area for our Church.  This cute lady is leaving us this week, so we had to get a picture.  We enjoyed having her with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  She will be missed!

A cold winter's evening, we enjoy reading books with a blanket :)  Mr J is reading The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen.  Ben is reading Firefight by Brandon Sanderson, and I am reading Visitors by Orson Scott Card.  Nothing beats a good book!

Mr J and Miss O were in charge of a family treat this weekend.  They made chocolate waffles which we enjoyed with vanilla ice cream on top.  Yum!  Good stuff.  Will have to share the recipe soon!

Thanks for visiting!  Enjoy your week and come back soon!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday thoughts

 My random Friday thoughts. . .
I think this is such good advice.  I think especially as women we hang onto things too long. When mistakes happen we need to right the wrong, and then move on.  Dwelling on it doesn't help anything, but like this says, "remember it enough enough so it doesn't happen again."  But the reality of being human beings is it will probably happen again, but be kind to yourself.  Learn from your mistakes, even if you make the same ones over and over and over.  I think so often, "I am not going to yell at/get frustrated with my kids."  But what do I seem to do everyday?  Yeah, yell/get frustrated at my kids.  But I notice, well, I didn't yell/get frustrated at them as much :) or I went a lot longer between yelling/frustrating times than I usually do.  Or I catch myself before I start to yell and think, "OK, breathe" then try to stay calm as I go forward.  Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn't. I am only human, but I keep trying, and I am grateful the Lord loves me no matter what and supports me in my trying and trying and trying to get it right. I am grateful for my kids who I really should not yell at or get frustrated with at all, but I still do.  They aren't perfect, and their mother is definitely not.  We are in this together to learn and grow and love each other, so that is what we try to do--sometimes we are better at it than other times, but the point is we keep trying.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's up Wednesday--chocolate strawberry trifle

Valentine's Dinner is a big deal in my family.  It has been for the last 5 generation.  So when I got assigned to make the dessert from my mom, I knew it had to be good.  Thank heavens Valentine's was on a Saturday so I knew we would have time and I would have extra helpers home to make something extra yummy.  Here is what we came up with. . .
Chocolate dipped strawberries.  Mel's Kitchen Cafe showed us how to do the super cute tuxedo ones.
Everyone was really impressed.

Then we also made this chocolate strawberry trifle.  oh. my.  Trifles are so good and so easy.  They need to be eaten more in this world because if you aren't eating a good trifle every major holiday, then you are seriously missing out!  Trifles are super easy and can be easily changed to whatever flavors you like--different cake/brownie/pound cake, different puddings, different fruit.  Find a combination your family loves.
Our family really, really liked this one.  I think when you do make a trifle, you need to use real whipping cream.  Cool whip does not cut it.  Make it good and go with the real stuff!

We made a large pan (9x13) of brownies.  Let them cool completely.

We made up 2 small boxes of chocolate pudding according to directions and then stirred in 1 cup whipped cream into it.

We whipped up about 3 cups of whipping cream for this

And we used cut up strawberries.

Once your brownies are cooled, cut them into bite-sized pieces and layer on the bottom of your bowl.  Top with half your chocolate pudding, then half your strawberries, then half your whipped cream.  Repeat all layers again.  Miss E used some left over strawberries to make a heart on top since it was for Valentine's Day.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.  

Dig down deep and enjoy!!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

2015 Blue Jeans Week 7

This week I got our taxes done.  Always nice to have that over with.  I had to do extra this year and do Miss A's since she worked all summer.  Had 2 basketball games, did a school Valentine's party, enjoyed a family fun day in the city, Miss A got first in her forensics meet, and enjoyed a nice Valentine's Day weekend with my family.  Take a look at our week. . .
The joy of the tax season.  But they are done, refund coming, and it is all good!  

Basketball game #1 for the week.  Miss O is playing really well.  So proud of her.  She has a great coach and a great team!  Just a few more weeks in the season. . .and then track starts :)  Never a dull moment.

Mr J's class Valentine's party.  They had to open a Hershey's kiss with the gloves on :)  As you can see, he really liked the game :)

For Wednesday night church youth activity we made valentine's for the ladies in our church.  Lots of creativity going on here!

Kids didn't have school Thursday or Friday, so we headed up to the city for some appointments and then had some family fun.  Ben took the day off, and we went ice skating.  Usually it is really crowded, but we were the only ones there for about 2 hours.  It was nice to have the place to ourselves!

Mr J figuring out the ice skating thing :)

My beautiful flowers that greeted me Saturday morning.  I love roses! and I really love the guy that gave them to me :)

The girls making chocolate dipped strawberries for our Valentine's dinner.

Miss A had a forensics meet on Saturday.  She got a 1st place and qualified for State in original oration--which was a 10 minute memorized speech that she wrote.  Way to go Miss A!

Our traditional Valentine's Day dinner at my parents with the sister missionaries, my sister and brother-in-law and some other family friends.  It was a very nice evening!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a great week!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday thoughts

 My random Friday thoughts. . .
I love this quote.  I don't remember if it was from the same talk, but I remember him telling about a man whose wife died unexpectedly.  He was going through her things and found a brand new dress she had been saving for several years for a "special occasion."  She never wore it.  I think it is important to remember "Every day of your life is a special occasion." We need to cherish every day.  We need to value what we have and those in our lives that we love --every day.  Make every day of your life a special occasion--wear the dress, drink the sparking cider, make that special cake, put candles on the table for dinner--just because today is a special day because you are alive and are loved!

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's up Wednesday--easy meatballs

Wow, my Wednesday post is actually on a Wednesday this week--I am doing good :)  
This is a super easy meatball recipe that my family loves.  As you can see by the sub rolls and spaghetti sauce in the picture we had meatball subs for dinner this night.  Yum!  This recipe makes twice as many meatballs as you see here, so I always freeze half to use a different day--more meatball sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, or BBQ meatballs.  All of our favorites.  These just mix up so quick and taste very good.  Enjoy!  I got the recipe from my amazing mom!
Easy Meatballs

2 lbs ground beef
1 package (6 oz) stove top stuffing mix for chicken
1 1/4 cups water
2 eggs

Heat oven to 400.  Line two baking sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Mix ingredients until well blended.  Shape into about 1 1/2 inch balls--I use my pampered chef medium cookie scoop.  Place half the meatballs on a pan and half on the other pan.  Bake 16-18 minutes or until done (160 degrees).  Serve immediately with noodles and sauce or however you like your meatballs or allow to cool and put in freezer bag and store for later.  Thaw before using.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2015 Blue Jeans Week 6

First week of February was good for us.  It wasn't too crazy.  No basketball games or pepband which was nice for a change.  This next week will make up for that, but we only have 3 days of school and then 4 off, so we can deal with it.  Here is a look at our week. . .
We don't have "TV" at our house meaning, we have a TV, but no cable, channels, etc.  You can turn the TV on, but nothing is there.  We haven't had TV since Miss A--who is now 17--was 6 months old.  But with the internet now, you can watch a lot of things.  We love the PBS website and the shows they have (hello Downton Abbey :).  A recent favorite we have been watching--and you can watch all the past episodes online at anytime--is The Great British Baking Show.  So fun!  Each week the bakers have a different challenge and 3 different things they have to make in a certain time period.  At the end of the show 1 person is crowned "Star Baker" and one is eliminated.  It airs on TV on Sundays, but all episodes are available online anytime.  My kids--and Ben and I-- really love it.

Haven't done an update on our Art Wall lately.  Mr J brought home this snow globe from art last week, and I just loved it!  So cute!  The snowflake is his too.  

Getting ready for Valentine's Day.  Everyone got working on their Valentine's.  Always a fun thing to do.  

Sunday evenings we always have desserts.  Sunday night treat is what we call it.  This week I had seen the chocolate strawberry shortcake on Mel's Kitchen Cafe, and decided I was going to do it.  Yum!  The kids said, "Wow!  That is fancy!" and we all enjoyed it.  Always fun to try something new, and it is nice when it turns out good :) 

Got our traditional family Valentine's box done.  We decorate one every year and then fill it with Valentines for each other.  We open it and give them out on Valentine's day.  

Each of the kids decorates a side, and Ben and I do one together.  It is a great tradition. 

Thanks for visiting!   Come back soon!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday thoughts. . .

 My random Friday thoughts. . . 
My quote for the week.  So true.  So much to be learned from the past, but you can't live in the past.  Just learn from it, apply it, appreciate it, and move forward.

Speaking of learning from the past.  I remember watching this movie as a kid and loving it.  Something made me think of it a few weeks ago, and I requested it from our library for my kids to watch.  They were pretty impressed.  It is a WWII movie about a German prison camp and how the British and Americans do everything they can to escape.  They ultimately build a 300+ foot long tunnel and over 70 escape.
 It is a true story.  I had only just watched the movie.  I didn't know there were books about it.  

So 2 weeks ago I read this one.  About how they tried to capture and put on trial the Gestapo gunmen who killed 50 of the 70 plus men that escaped.  It was really interesting. There are so many different facets of WWII.  So many sad and horrible things happened, but so many good people.  Makes me think of Unbroken (which I read the book and loved, but I will not see the movie) and The Monuments Men which I thought was a great movie and let my kids watch also.  

Currently I am reading the true story account of the event by one of the men in the prison who helped plan the escape and build the tunnel.  So interesting!  A great piece of history to learn about and share!

Trying to read more non-fiction books this year, and these were great reads!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What's up Wednesday--again on a Thursday

Behind still the word here :)  Thank you for sticking with me!!  Don't have a specific recipe today, just some thoughts and a few favorites. . .
These Waffles  I have posted them before.  I have made them once weekly this past month.  I double the batch and freeze them so they are easy to heat in the morning for breakfast.  My whole family loves them, and they are so good for you!  I always make them with coconut oil which makes them extra yum!

And this is my favorite coconut oil.  It is the kind that smells divinely like coconut.  Love coconut oil!  I try to use it whenever I can.  This cold morning (we have snow on the ground you can see in the background!) I am making this granola with it. Good stuff!

And another staple in our diets is this Greek yogurt.

Specifically the key lime--but they like the vanilla and strawberry too.  My kids love it and eat it all the time-for breakfast, take it in their lunches, as a snack after school.  It is good stuff!  I just wish it wasn't so expensive!  Thankfully our Wal-mart starting carrying a big 8 pack value pack. That helps a little and lasts a few more days (like 3) at our house :)  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2015 Blue Jeans Week 5

Mr J had a big week this week--cub scouts pinewood derby and county spelling bee!  Both went extremely well!  We had a weird and wonderful 70 degree day in our January which is not normal, but we enjoyed.  We celebrated our state's birthday with a cake which we have done for the last 15 years we have lived here.  Traditions are good.  Take a look at our week. . .
Mr J got his star reader award and t-shirt from school today.  Super reader!  He is loving The False Prince trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen and The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan which Ben is reading with him.

Our weird and wonderful 70 degree day on which I did allow Miss E to wear shorts to school.  Shorts to school in January, who would have thought???  And she enjoyed riding her bike after school in the shorts she wore to school :)

Pinewood Derby time!  Mr J won it!  He also won the "Cub Choice" award and the "Most innovative design award."  His is the red card with the black stripes next to the 2 blue and gold awards.  Way to go Mr J!!!! He was super excited to win this year!

Mr J helping me to decorate our sunflower cake for our state's birthday.

And our traditional picture with the kids and our sunflower cake.  

Today was the county spelling bee.  Mr J woke up to this on the kitchen window left by his sweet sisters who left the house at 5:50 a.m. for seminary/band/school and wouldn't see him until tonight.  It sure made his day!  

And the county spelling bee.  He tied for 4th place!  Pretty impressive for a 4th grader up there with kids up to 8th grade. And spelling really isn't our family's thing, but he sure did great on it!  Way to go Mr J!  What a week you had!  You worked very hard, and we are sure proud of you!!!

Thanks for visiting!  Come back soon!