Sunday, September 30, 2012

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

This isn't an original recipe, though I can't remember the source!  
We enjoy it as a perfect comfort food, and hope you might as well.

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

1 c onion, diced
1 c mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c red pepper, diced
2 TBSP butter
1/3 c flour
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 c half and half
2 1/2 c chicken, cooked and chopped
1 c peas and carrots (frozen or fresh)
pie crust (make your own or buy refrigerated crusts)

1. Saute onion, mushrooms, and red pepper in hot butter 4-5 minutes.

2. Stir in flour, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.

3. Add chicken broth with half and half at once, cooking until thickened and bubbly.

4. Stir in chicken, peas, and carrots.  *I used canned peas and fresh carrots this time.

5. Pour into baking dishes (2 - 2 quart dishes or 2 loaf pans).

6. Top with pastry, cut slits to vent, and brush with egg.

7. Bake 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees.  Stand 20 minutes before serving.

(One usually remains "pretty" while the other leaks!)

dishes leftover from the morning don't help -
the "before" look!

If you're like me, the kitchen will undergo quite a transformation as you cook... a 30 minute baking time is just enough to restore order on a good day when my sweet girl is happily playing nearby!
"after" order was restored :)
so glad to have her company while I cook -
a button tin is big fun for her,
pouring, sorting, and examining tons of buttons!

fall/winter meal plans - week 2

from Espresso and Cream,
our favorite "fall salad"

Here's our week 2 of Fall/Winter Meal Plans... 

We're enjoying some of our favorites as the weather turns a bit cooler!

Sunday -
chicken and wild rice soup, apple muffins

from Martha Stewart
Monday -

Tuesday -
tacos, black beans (from a can), taco rice (from a Knorr's bag)

Wednesday -
*I use crescent rolls rather than pizza dough these days, though I initially made the recipe the way its written!

from Real Simple
Thursday -

Friday -
pasta with pesto cream sauce, bread, fruit/vegetable

from all recipes
Saturday -
waffles, eggs, bacon

*Again, I plot out our meals seasonally for about 5 weeks of dinners, then using that as a guide I specifically plan for the week and shop accordingly week by week.  If we have plans for eating with friends, contributing to a community group pot-luck, making extra food to deliver, or using up pantry/freezer foods I can adjust to fit our budget and minimize waste.

This week we'll mostly follow our plans, skipping the pasta with pesto cream sauce and moving waffles to Friday night.  We'll be attending a Pastor's Appreciation Supper on Saturday night so we don't need a meal planned then.  I'll also be using this lime chicken taco recipe from Pinterest that's new to us.  I'm cooking a smaller portion (using extra chicken tenderloins I have) and won't be using the Crock-Pot but plan to adapt the recipe to cook on the stove top.  The Lord always works things our perfectly!

from Taste of Home

Friday, September 28, 2012

weekly wrap up - end of September

Friday's play dough - if only I knew how to catch motion
on my camera without a constant blur, tips? :)
Tuesday was like most others, pretty laid back.  I went out to their house first thing today as I wasn't helping drop off or pick up Mr. S. today.  The girls and I enjoyed playtime (and Moriah's laundry!) then went off to the library for story time.  The main branch of the Oldham County library has the BEST story time in my opinion after visiting a few others in Louisville.  It's always well organized, and keeps the little ones on track from one read aloud, song, or activity to the next.  Tuesday was parachute day!  The little ones LOVED the big parachute and of course couldn't resist the chance to run under it :)  After story time, Ms. M.K. took an abbreviated morning nap while Moriah and I had a bit of school time.  Next was lunch, then play time again before resting.  After naps, Mr. S. and Moriah enjoyed starting a finger painted apple tree craft by painting a paper plate green for today (we left them to dry before adding a trunk and apples!).

a little bit of "school" -
God made the fish and birds!

Wednesday was not quite so laid back!  Ms. M.K. came to our house in the morning for a calm rainy day to play at home.  This portion of the day was very mellow as both girls were happy to play together.  Moriah's farm was the hit of the morning as farm animals came out with a Little People barn, lots of fences, and a few felt squares for grass and hay that the animals needed!  M.K. is teething this week so her morning nap was later than normal once she fell asleep, but some sleep is oftentimes better than none.  The girls had a little snack and then we were off to pick up Mr. S. from pre-school.  We drove back home and endured the wild man after school phase Mr. S. has tended toward on these afternoons!  Once he starts to eat, all is well again and he'll be more ready to talk calmly about his day at school.  Then it was naptime for all.  After naps, Mr. S. and Moriah played together and finished their apple trees.  Once Ms. M.K. woke all enjoyed snack time.  We hit a little bump in the road with wet pants on our way out the door but all was easily fixed with new clothes and a washing machine :)  We all headed out for the afternoon/evening and went to PetSmart.  Moriah's learning about God's creation in Genesis, and we've arrived at Day 5 "God made the fish and the birds" so a pet store trip seemed fitting this week.  Everyone enjoyed the animals we could watch as we walked around.  We were also able to pick up a treat and a new toy for Ruby, the Golden Retriever at Mr. S. and Ms. M.K.'s house (I've never known a dog so sweet!)  We walked through Half Price Books as well and didn't find anything that really caught our eye today (mostly I didn't see the clearance section until we were headed out).  We returned to their house for dinner and had everyone happily eating as their mom returned from her business trip day.  There must be something special about meals together, as Mr. S. really wanted us to stay and told me, "It'll be good news if you can eat supper with us, we haven't done that in a long time.  Will Matt come to help?" :)  Once we were all at the table Moriah looked over to say, "I love you Sully!" in her most sincere voice!  I'm so thankful for our sweet friends and the times we spend together.

looking closely!
Thursday the girls and I enjoyed story time in Louisville at the St. Matthews branch.  After storytime we headed to the Seminary to play with the train table in the Rec Center for just a bit before heading up to the campus clinic.  I had a quick appointment for a funny swollen and sore spot on my ankle, which the kind doctor explained to be tendinitis likely due to unsupportive flip flops and lots of "over use".  It's not really painful and winter's coming with more supportive shoes, so I'll just wait for that to go away!  Then we walked through the book store to pick up a couple of resources that I'm mailing to my mom.  After our morning, we were off to pick Mr. S. up from school then back to the house for lunch.  After lunch we all enjoyed play time in the basement before we called it a day.

this is SERIOUS business to two future farmers :)

such a nice new train table
Friday was another rainy and quiet sort of day.  We'd hoped to go to an apple orchard, but with the recent rain we decided against it.  Instead we went to storytime (we love books and libraries!) again at the Main Oldham Co. library and enjoyed more of the fun parachute.  Mr. S. insisted on holding Moriah during the reading and songs, and she was thrilled to sit with him - so sweet :)  We came back in time for Ms. M.K. to have an abbreviated morning nap while Mr. S. and Moriah made homemade cinnamon play dough with me.  It smelled "delicious" as Mr. S. said, though I did a good job convincing him that it wouldn't taste delicious to eat!  We took our decorative apples out of the sensory box and used them along with a few toy dishes, rolling pins, wooden spoons, and cinnamon sticks to make "apple pies".  They were SO CONTENT to play for at least 30 minutes, and forgot that it was lunch time!  Ms. M.K. woke as lunch was ready and we ate together.  After lunch all happily built a "clubhouse" aka fort in the basement with couch cushions... it takes lots of tools and lots of hard work to build our clubhouses these days :)  Mr. S. even added two "storage rooms" to it!

terrible quality that captures a common moment as they "work" on a "club house" or "work site"
with safety goggles and bungee cords to accomplish most anything

more play dough fun

can you sense her delight, even behind the pacifier?

Monday, September 24, 2012

a few simple joys I'm thankful for

sweet friends reading together, though someone's always moving!
1001. a meal and good fellowship
1002. the blessing of friendships strengthened by the Holy Spirit
1003. the help of a little girl during my cleaning this afternoon, cleaning is more fun with a sweet girl joining me!
1004. a day at home, some productive time, some play time, and home most of the time

painting last week!

1005. the campus clinic
1006. a Crock Pot dinner to look forward to tomorrow
1007. the blessing of babies for so many friends, this is a sweet season of life
1008. God's provision, down to the penny
1009. sermons available on-line, listening while I iron
1010. cooking with kids

making our little apple pies
1011. wasp spray to make our balcony welcoming again
1012. a fire pit and s'mores
1013. the joy of "bouncies" (inflatables) for little ones
1014. hearing of God's perfect provision in the lives of friends
1015. tasting fall in all things apple and pumpkin

little apple pies, thank you Pinterest!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

chili for fall and winter

Here's my recipe for chili... it's most like my mom's (I think so, though she's told me she disagrees!).  We all think our familiarities are "normal" though I've come to learn that's not the case.  Since moving to Louisville, I've tried chili from Louisiana friends which was much different with more vegetables and no meat (if I remember correctly).  In the local elementary school cafeteria, chili was served on top of spaghetti noodles (seriously!), I think that's a Cincinnati thing maybe?!  I also saw a picture of "Texas chili" on Pinterest, and it looked more like roast beef in a gravy of sorts.  To each their own :)  If you'd like a new-to-you twist you might enjoy ours!


1 lb ground beef, browned
1 c onion, chopped
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 cans tomato sauce (depending on the size of your cans, and the level of "soupiness" you like)
1/2 c water (only if I use 1 small can of tomato sauce above)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all and simmer to warm throughout.
Serve with cornbread muffins, crackers, tortilla chips, sour cream, etc.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

fall/winter meal plans - week 1

This is our first week getting back to pre-planned meal plans.  Instead of brainstorming yummy sounding dinners on a weekly basis, I flipped through our favorites and wrote out meal plans for a month of dinners.  I usually stick with these plans mostly, but not rigidly and tend to enjoy them more during the first two months or so of the season than by the end of it when I'm ready for something different.  We'll see how it works this time!  Here's the plan for week 1...

chili, cornbread, fruit
(while I like Sunday's to be restful, I also love to cook on Sunday evenings when I know I have ample time and Matt's happy to play with Moriah - it's a good time for the restful sort of cooking at a slower pace than any week night)

*I'll add my chili recipe soon too, I grew up with a meaty-bean chili and didn't know that all chili was't the same!  This one is just "normal" to us :)

(this is our community group night, every third week it's a pot-luck so we're often bringing a dish or needing something easy to eat before we leave)

Crock Pot whole chicken, rolls, fruit *I'll be using the chicken to make another batch of chicken stock*
(this is Matt's night class, so he comes home for a quick dinner before he's off and away, I'm hoping Crock-Pot recipes will be especially helpful on Tuesdays!)

does everyone know this roll recipe?
Bisquick, butter, and sour cream - so tasty and EASY!
thanks to my friend Christian :)

cashew chicken and broccoli, rice, crab rangoon
(the crab rangoon are frozen, not homemade and were at ALDI this week!  perfect timing)

this is a pretty easy recipe,
and is a "healthified" version from Live Better America 

(this is my Seminary Wives class night so again we need something fast with little clean up)

chicken pot pie, fruit *with leftover whole chicken*
(this is often my day off, allowing for more cooking time)

*I'll add the recipe soon as I can't find my original source on-line, it's "homemade" but with store bought pie crust (to speed things up!) if you take some shortcuts like me :)

baked oatmeal - or another variety of oatmeal, fruit, eggs

Friday, September 21, 2012

life in late September

Tuesday -
This morning Ms. M.K. came to our apartment to play!  The girls love play time together and do mostly well with it, though my Moriah is working on kindness and gentleness with her hands, the life of a two year old perhaps :)  We headed back to the house and started laundry while the girls continued to play.  Lunch was ready and waiting when Mr. S. arrived from school to join us.  After rest time for all we went to the library which we missed visiting last week.  We traded one giant stack of fun read alouds for another.  I LOVE the library, and browsing the children's books is so fun for my former elementary teaching self!  The only thing better than browsing is introducing new books to little ones and finding favorites they can enjoy.

Wednesday -
Moriah and I drove out to see Ms. M.K. this morning and then went back to town for a play date of sorts at ChickFilA!  Moriah worked on a sweet puppy puppet craft then enjoyed playing in the tunnels with friends we met there.  Mr. S. was happy to have his daddy home today and completed lots of serious work throughout the afternoon - construction vest and working gloves required!  After rest time we worked on a fall craft, adorning tree trunk cut outs with "leaves" painted on using toilet paper rolls to stamp in red, orange, and yellow!  Crafting with three under 4 years old, was mostly good until hands dipped in paint starting clapping, and spraying poster paint - everywhere!  Oh my :)

Thursday -
We picked Mr. S. and Ms. M.K. up this morning in time to drive through Panera for a blueberry muffin that we could split while we waiting in line at pre-school carpool to drop Mr. S. off.  Then the girls and I drove to the park for some morning playtime, and then were off to the library story hour.  I think we'll try to visit a toddler storytime next week, as they're the oldest by far in the "baby" group we've attended thus far.  After storytime, we headed back to their house to make lunches and play.  Then rest time, and we needed some rest!  After resting, the two big kids and I ran to Kroger for green apples and pumpkin puree as cooking was on our minds.  We made Pinterest inspired "pumpkin poppers" today (leaving 2/3 of them without the cinnamon and sugar coating).  Cooking with two little helpers is an adventure for sure, at one point Moriah dipped her hand into the bowl with cooking oil!  They enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

Friday -
We went out to a bouncy today at All About Kids.  Things went well until, Ms. M.K. bonked her head on a baby slide as she went down, her teething fussiness meant she just needed to be held.  All was getting settled, when Moriah walked out of the little red toddler car she was driving around only to have wet pants!  So I tried to coax her out, she's resistant when she's already had an accident, while Mr. S. got his Crocs on (which ended up under the car as someone else jumped in to drive it).  Coaxing one while holding another (both of which are the same size) is hard!  We finally made it, only to have a wild time in the family bathroom, with a step stool for hand washing (accessible to a 16 month old) and one needing a change of clothes, and the door locking and unlocking...  I'm SO thankful for family bathrooms though a fly on the wall would've been entertained :)  Now we're off for another Pinterest inspired baking afternoon - apple pie roll ups!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

meal plans September 15-21

Think back to the weekend as you read my meal plans for the week though I'm a bit behind posting them on a Tuesday :)

Saturday - lasagna, peas, garlic bread
(I really like lasagna but don't make it often so it's stayed off the "burn out" list for me, I also think it's so much easier to use the noodles that don't require any pre-cooking!)

Sunday - out for birthday dinner to Hillbilly Tea

Monday - apple cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches, acorn squash, leftover baked beans
(I just microwave the whole acorn squash after making a few slits in it with a knife, we halve it, scoop out the seeds, and enjoy the cooked squash with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cranberries, and pecans)

Tuesday - poppyseed chicken, rice, roasted broccoli

Wednesday - BBQ meatballs, frozen potatoes
(I rarely buy frozen things, but I'm usually a sucker for samples!  I tasted the yummy Green Giant "natural" Steamers recently and took advantage of the coupon I received when I picked up the sample!)

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - omelets, muffins

I also enjoyed trying these recipes this week from Pinterest!
Pumpkin Poppers (think donut holes!)
*don't be confused use the baking powder as the ingredient list says rather than baking soda like the directions mention!

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer

In the past I've tried to plot out a month's worth of meals seasonally to give me a weekly meal planning springboard.  Lately, I've gotten away from that but wanted to get back to it.  I spent Friday night at Starbucks for a quiet break and did some monthly Fall/Winter meal planning.  I hope to share the full four week's worth of meals soon and then share individual recipes afterwards.  While I'm not rigid in sticking to my plan I like having a starting point as it makes the process of planning, and grocery list writing much easier on a weekly basis!

Monday, September 17, 2012

giving thanks for birthday blessings

951. for God's grace abounding, 28 years of His goodness even before I knew He was at work
952. a wise mentor who is such a dear friend, even when our talks span the distance from Louisville to Naples, Florida
953. a little birthday treat from my mom "pretend this is a Starbucks gift card"
954. a quiet night to think about meal planning during the fall and winter, when comfort foods abound
955. learning that time at home is just as sweet, perhaps even more so
956. a pedicure to look forward to as a gift from a generous boss
957. listening to a little voice singing "Happy Birthday" on my voicemail, saving it for a day when I need to remember the sweetness

from Moriah's birthday, but he also sang my sweet song
958. my precious girl looking at me so many times this weekend and saying, "Happy Birthday Mama" so sweetly and so seriously (though she didn't understand my lack of a birthday party with a tractor!)
959. little friends at the zoo, my friend pushing a stroller and enjoying time to catch up
960. God's multiplying provision, so so faithful
961. the Word being proclaimed drawing us to the obvious conclusions as the Spirit works
962. 33 years married, in spite of difficult times, the testimony of Christ loving His church
963. blocks and wooden animals, the simplest of toys and hours of play for Moriah

so hard to get a good picture, their creation
964. a neighbor generous with her time, willing to play with Moriah
965. a birthday date, and a thoughtful husband who chose such a wonderful place, Hillbilly Tea (for my Louisville readers) was great!

pork loin with great vegetables
966. a season to learn who we are and to realize that we love each other for it
967. a slow day to let my face and hair rest without makeup or much "fixing"
968. uncontrollable giggles as we ran up and down the hill together, Moriah was thrilled
969. books held at the library
970. a public library with SO MANY good options
971. the gift of books - 3 new must-reads for me
972. greetings via Facebook, while not real life an interesting smattering of life with those wishing me a Happy Birthday
973. working on a Christmas gift that will hopefully be just right

an alphabet photo book of our adventures!
974. knowing that there are far more gifts than an number to be counted, I'll keep listing them!
975. homemade lasagna (with no boil noodles)
976. a new raincoat for Moriah and a fitting day for it
977. helpful pediatricians who explain little bodies in helpful terms
978. a brother who calls
979. time to talk with a good friend, mostly about everything and nothing, the sort of calls that make me thankful for our friendship
980. a free park with rescued animals, a great destination for little ones

she fed the camel :)
981. meeting together for fellowship and the Word tonight
982. a little church that sings a personalized "Happy Birthday" when the time comes, during Sunday morning announcements
983. pumpkin donut holes to share
984. friendly conversation at the park with other little ones and their moms
985. a book that makes me think about myself and helps me to see from a new perspective
986. birthday cards in the mail
987. learning about Creation and listening to Moriah remember the Lord's work during each day
988. customer cards at various stores and the free birthday rewards earned
989. a camera with a timer so we can snap a picture together

not too bad for a quick dash across the room!
990. a husband who doesn't mind ironing, gives me a break during Moriah's nap today
991. Matt's kind boss and an afternoon class, lets him be at home for an extra night during the week
992. the variety of wisdom gained in my Seminary Wives class each week, last week as we considered starting, serving, and ending well in a church
993. the Lord's work in maturing those in my family
994. letters from bootcamp, funny to read the mind of an 18 year old boy away
995. a home full of things given to us
996. life here 5 years later, God's perfect timing
997. hosts who kindly open their homes to a big community group full of young families and kids
998. favorite friends for our little girl
999. a creative imagination and the stories that come, about Baby Jane, Cubby Bear, and a purple car
1000. the welcoming of a front door wreath

Sunday, September 16, 2012

28 Things

As I celebrate my 28th birthday I'll share 28 things about myself... I thought this was a great idea after seeing a similar list at Passionate Homemaking!

1. I played soccer for a long time, then became our team's manager in high school to my dad's dismay, I loved the game but didn't need to keep playing!
2. I would love to be a librarian some day, especially a children's librarian, after any children I have are all grown up
3. I thought I wanted to be a forensic scientist for a little while when I was in high school
4. I loved my days as a kindergarten teacher, but felt like 3rd graders were very grown up and way too cool for me, when I met people in those days I was often told I looked like a kindergarten teacher! (I was never too sure about what that meant, but took it as a complement of sorts)
5. I wish I had more energy to read, I tend to fall quickly asleep after any lengthy read, even a great book
6. I'd love to live in a more rural area, though I'm enjoying our city life and it's conveniences now
7. I really don't like driving if I don't have to, thankful for Matt who gladly drives us here and there as a family
8. I don't listen to the radio as I drive and haven't for years, instead I'd really prefer the silence, though I've also adapted my ear to "enjoy" children's music which helps my little one on our daily commute
9. I met my husband in college as a summer intern with a student ministry, at one point in our friendship he thought he was feeling called to celibacy and told me so (I was sad to hear that news!)
10. 2 months after the conversation in #9, we started dating :) - to clarify he was finally being brought to a place of contentment as a single man serving the Lord which was a work God needed to do before drawing us together
11. we don't have a TV and really consider it one of the greatest choices we've made for our family as a whole
12. I never expected to go away to college, though my mom always encouraged me to, I'm so thankful for the Lord's work in my life during my years at SBU about 3 hours away from home
13. I hope to serve in the mission field again overseas with Matt and possibly our family some day, likely on a short term basis, those opportunities (to Belarus and Brazil) were so helpful to my spiritual life in college and I've missed knowing more of the Lord's work in this first hand way
14. I love writing letters and sending cards, and hope to do so more often
15. I've always had a sweet tooth, except when I was pregnant, unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps) my husband does not, so I try to reserve my baking of sweets to sharing with friends
16. I've never been bothered by my millions of freckles, and Moriah thinks they're made for kissing, she only has 2 thus far as we kiss them often :)
17. the Lord prepared me in His perfect ways for life as a pastor's wife by giving me a godly and loving mentor in my former pastor's wife, I'm still so thankful for her wisdom and influence
18. 4 (or more) seems like a great number of kids for me, though I pray that I'll gladly submit to my dear husband and our all knowing God when the time comes!
19. I love the movies Anne of Green Gables and Little Women though I've never read either of the books fully, I'm waiting to enjoy them with Moriah now
20. I'm so thankful to eat dinner together as a family most nights, and enjoy memories of my family doing the same as I grew up
21. I enjoy cooking and find it pretty restful, Pinterest has been such a recipe inspiration, though I'm afraid I've lost track of some favorites
22. I hoped that Moriah would have red hair and brown eyes like me, she does, though otherwise looks a lot like her daddy!

enjoying the Crayola Cafe during our trip to Kansas City a few weeks ago
23. I'd like to cultivate more homemaking skills someday when I'm home full time, sewing is high on my list of skills to learn along with vegetable and flower gardening
24. while I like to try and maintain a tidy home, if you walked in unexpectedly mid-day you might find yourself amazed by our messes, especially if we're cooking or in the midst of playtime, by nighttime it's mostly back in order :)
25. I didn't know how to really clean until I was married, my mom was quite a cleaner growing up and I never cared to learn (she didn't make me either) - oftentimes I still call her to ask why I didn't know that I should be cleaning a funny spot once I realize how yucky something can get (the drawer of the refrigerator or a vacuum filter for instance)
26. I love to go out somewhere once on the weekends (a local festival, new shop, new exhibit, etc.), and wouldn't really consider myself much of a homebody, I'd also always like to have a friend along on my adventures if Matt's not up for them (though he's a good sport most of the time)
27. I'm so thankful for long time friends and wish they were closer, it's hard for me to feel outgoing enough to make good friends initially though I love to "keep" them once we've clicked
28. I wish I took more pictures, or knew more about photography to capture memories of my blessed days as a mom and wife (thus the lack of photos in this blog!)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

a pretty quiet week

We've enjoyed a calm week here which is really nice...

Tuesday -

Ms. M.K. was surely wondering
"what are you wearing Moriah?"
The girls and I played in the morning and took a nice walk to the mailroom on campus.  Double strollers are SO helpful!  We picked Mr. S. up from pre-school, ate lunch together, and played a bit in the afternoon with new birthday gifts for Mr. S.  We also enjoyed time in the sandbox again as we haven't played there quite as much this summer.  I secretly (and selfishly) try to coordinate our sandbox days with the every-other-day baths :)

working hard!

Wednesday -
While Mr. S. was at school this morning, Moriah and Ms. M.K. enjoyed a playdate with some sweet twin babies.  It was fun to play at the park and we also got some exercise walking the loop!  I didn't realize when we set out that we'd walk 1.2 miles, but walking is nice exercise and the weather was lovely.  Mr. S. came home for lunch and then it was time to rest.  We had plenty of watermelon to use, so after naps Mr. S., Moriah, and I enjoyed a yummy watermelon smoothie.  It was really refreshing and so easy!  We used a Pinterest recipe with watermelon (3-4 cups), vanilla yogurt (1/2 cup), and ice (6 cubes) - very good, and one to remember next year. *Naturally now I can't find the smoothie recipe again, I'm pretty certain those were our measurements though I'd trust your own judgment if you make it at home!

Thursday -
This was a funny morning for us!  Matt was at home, going in to work late, and wanted to do some birthday shopping for me.  We brought Ms. M.K. along with us (with her mom's permission!) and headed to the mall.  The girls loved the fountains, and we were able to buy Moriah's fall/winter shoes as well.  We picked Mr. S. up from school and headed back to the house.  After naps we all played with Play-Doh and tried out Mr. S.'s new pizza set for Play-Doh, the cheese grater was our favorite!  Since all have been a bit puny lately Ms. M.K. was headed to the doctor this afternoon so we left a bit early.

Friday -
Moriah's been feeling a bit sickly, so we all went to the doctor's office together this morning.  Turns out, Moriah is teething with her top 2 year old molars (they're the last baby teeth she'll get in!) which we knew and also had a hard time with Kentucky's seasonal allergies.  As you might guess, a visit to the pediatrician with three little ones is an adventure in and of itself :)  After our trip, we visited a favorite place, Henry's Ark and fed the animals their favorite carrots.  Everyone enjoys walking and seeing animals here so all were happy for the outing.  We ate lunch, played with the apple and acorn sensory box, and rested.  After naps I enjoyed an early birthday celebration complete with tasty peanut butter chocolate cookies and a picture from Mr. S.  I'm so thankful for their kindness in remembering to celebrate with us as well!

who knew camels would eat carrots?

Monday, September 10, 2012

so many thanks

921. a fall transformation in our home
922. warm scents from candles
923. homemade chicken noodle soup
924. my husband's hospital visit that encouraged a family
925. Moriah telling us "missed you" no matter how long we've been away
926. sharing with Moriah that our good God created all things
927. the fun of googly eyes and sequins for craft time
928. a church desiring to give of all they can
929. the campus Fall Festival, a great "Wild West" theme
930. yummy homemade pies
931. a Sunday evening family walk
932. half price things from the children's consignment sale
933. one day off a week to serve my family from our home
934. a generous mom who gave us her coffee maker, perfect for fall
935. family pictures as a birthday gift, looking forward to them
936. my husband who is willing to serve even when it's not the most convenient to him
937. a little helper for mommy
938. maintenance coming to remove a wasp nest we discovered
939. a 4th birthday party complete with a hayride for Mr. S.
940. card writing, trying to love and encourage
941. a comfortable skirt
942. the Lord's pursuit of me, unending
943. growth as a couple
944. learning to trust God as we walk into a season of unknowns
945. loving our life right here, trying not to rush ahead
946. a well organized storage unit
947. the craftiness of the Lord to design seasons as He has
948. my sweet pea who's extra snuggly as the last two molars grow
949. the LAST two molars, teething will be finished for this growing girl
950. a hug that holds on as I lay her to sleep

Sunday, September 9, 2012

what we're eating! September 8-14

Back to sharing our meal plans!  I'm starting to feel like fall foods, so we'll slowly move in that direction, this week we added soup back into our meal plans.  I look forward to lots of pumpkin and apple foods in the weeks to come.  Enjoy!

Saturday -
macaroni and cheese, baked beans, watermelon
(the macaroni and cheese was homemade and leftover in the freezer from our small group last week, thus a really frugal meal!)

Sunday -
chicken piccata, pasta, edamame

(I was thrilled to use up some things we hand on hand, as this meal wasn't made last week when we originally planned - we already had capers, lemons, chicken, homemade chicken broth, noodles, and edamame)
*follow the link and scroll down to find the chicken piccata recipe

chicken piccata is a new favorite to me,
the family I work for makes it frequently
and I've enjoyed leftovers for lunch :)
Monday -
Hawaiian chicken, rice, sweet potato fries
(we had chicken tenderloins on hand, the sauce for this recipe is also easy since we had green peppers, BBQ sauce and soy sauce here as well)

Tuesday -
chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese
(I'm using my chicken stock from the whole crock-pot chicken a few weeks ago and also have some of the chicken remaining in the freezer from that meal)

from 100 Days of Real Food

Wednesday -
pesto chicken pizza
(I use mozzarella instead of Fontina as a less expensive substitute)

Thursday -

Friday -
banana nut pancakes, scrambled eggs
(the banana nut mix is from a muffin mix I bought on sale a few weeks ago, the recipe on the back gave instructions to expand the mix into pancakes, a perfect change of pace!)

This week we're so blessed to use up lots of surplus foods and turn them into full meals.  By next week our freezer and pantry will look pretty empty but we have more than we need to enjoy a week of yummy meals now.  We'll plan again next week and start more fall-ish meals!