Monday, December 17, 2012

Just a little Christmas dress...

Often I get so excited to find new things to make that my mind gets super clogged with TMT (TOO MANY TUTORIALS)!!  The other day I found a cute little peasant dress pattern and couldn’t wait to make a Christmas dress for my sweet Aspen!  Sorry boys {Keegen, Preston, & Mac}I’m NOT making a dress for you, it just wouldn’t be right!  The dress was a breeze to make!  I also learned a new simple techniqueShirring!  I love learning new things!  I followed a tutorial on the internet!  Although I don’t have a Brother sewing machine, the instructions still helped out tremendously!  I always forget how much I love to sew until I pull out my machine again!

Aspen has a new Frosty the Snowman DVD and she's been watching it over and over so when I saw ^this fabric... I couldn’t resist!  I can't wait to give it to her!

Monday, December 3, 2012

~Christmas Cards~

Have you ordered your Christmas cards yet?  You can't beat this deal and there are over 700 adorable cards to choose from!  But you better hurry...the deal is only good for today 12/3/2012!  I just had to share!  Head on over to Cardstore and get your Christmas cards for ONLY 49¢ ea. with FREE shipping!

Use PROMO code CCP2349

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

~Lorene's Dressing~

This time of year things get all C-R-A-Z-Y!  I have to tell myself it’s time to take a deep breath and remember that I’m Thankful for SO SO many things!!!  I could bore you with a super long numbered blog post about all of my thankfulness or I could keep it short!  Today I've picked "keep it short"!
I’m so Thankful for the family heritage I have of being in the kitchen baking!  Yes, I do love me some kitchen time!!!  {Matter of fact it’s where I should be right now instead of typing a blog post}
Family recipes trickle down from many generations!  Through the years I’ve acquired many new recipes from tons of different sources!  One of my favorite sources is my Mother in Law Lorene!  I had a simple little question just the other day about one of her recipes and was wishing I had a direct line to Heaven to ask her about it!  I love to be able to cook/bake the things my family loves and requests every year!  In my husband’s eyes, I’ve mastered some of his Mom’s recipes and it makes my heart happy to be able to bake that special dish and bring the memories rushing back to him!
I had a friend ask me today if I made dressing.  I said with a big smile…YES I do!  She asked me in front of my husband and I don’t think she had a clue that THIS is one of those recipes that I’ve worked really hard to get just right!  When my Mother in Law gave me her “recipe” for her dressing, she only gave me the ingredients!  NO MEASUREMENTS!!  She just said a little of this and a little of that!!  It’s one of Mike’s favorites!
Keeping the post short as promised, here’s that Dressing Recipe:

Lorene’s (Cornbread) Dressing
{measurements tweaked by me}

Preheat oven to 350°
In a large skillet melt butter {about 8 tablespoons} then sauté:
2 c. celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
Only until onions are slightly transparent!  Pour over the following…

7-8 slices of homemade bread “chickled” up and dried out overnight {chickled is an old family word…just go with it!} it really means cubed or torn apart in pieces! {or you could use dried bread cubes from the store}
8x8 pan of cornbread {recipe following}
1 box Stove Top Chicken Stuffing Mix {optional, I’ve done it both ways and it’s equally good}  If I have it I use it!
6-7 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. sage
1 T. poultry seasoning

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed then add:
3 eggs, beaten
{the eggs are my addition!  Lorene didn’t add eggs but I feel like it makes it hold together!}
Mix well!  You can even get your hands in there to get it mixed up even better!  Kind of fun too!!

Pour dressing into a greased pan and bake until done!  Approximately 45 min.

Preheat oven to 400°
½ c. corn meal
¾ c. all purpose flour
½ c. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3 T. vegetable oil
1 egg
½ c. milk
Mix all together and pour into a greased 8x8 pan.  Bake for approximately 20 min.  Pulling out of the oven when top is browned.  Let cool then “chickle” it up!  This cornbread is my recipe.  I’m not sure what Lorene used but this works for us!  I suppose you could use a Jiffy Cornbread mix if you wanted to cut corners!

Alrighty now go mix you up some Dressing!  You’ll have the best dressing at Thanksgiving!  I’ll make mine first thing in the morning!!!  You'll need to prep a little the day before!  My bread is made and drying and as soon as I post this I’m going to go make the cornbread for it!  Good Luck and let me know if it was a winner at your FEAST!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Birthday Weekend & NO title necessary!

Do you ever just want to get away and be “YOU”?  I did that over the weekend!  I was able to just be the “SISTER”!  We had a super fun weekend!  Don’t get me wrong...I LOVE being a Wife, a Mom, and a MiMi but sometimes getting to just be me is super neat and very refreshing!

The best part of the weekend is that we got to celebrate the first birthday of my niece Karmyn Ann!  It seems like only yesterday that she was born and we were traveling 4 1/2 hrs. to meet her for the first time!  Happy Birthday sweet one!

We stayed with my sister Kayda’s Grandparents in Law {Jake & Esther}.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never met more hospitable people in my life!  They always open their home to us and treat us just like family!  It makes you feel as if you’ve know them all your life!  They are definitely blessed with the gift of Hospitality!  Thanks so much Jake & Esther for always making us feel SO welcome!  So many times I don’t feel like I can do enough to have guests over!  Esther made a bowl of cereal feel like we were eating at the most expensive restaurant in the world!  It wasn’t the food that made it so special, it was the fellowship, the devotion Jake & Esther shared, and their love of others that makes you want to keep coming back every weekend!

We did a little shopping...{Thanks Dad}!  We ate a FEW meals!  And simply hung out and caught up on everything!  Sunday we went to church with Joe & Kayda!  The speaker of the morning was a Missionary!  Now I have to admit I kind of most definitely had an attitude when I realized we were going to be listening (for an hour) to a missionary!  Sorry, just being honest!  Please don’t send me ugly comments...I LOVE the work missionaries do (far more than I do) and I pray for them but I really wasn’t in the mood to listen to them on this particular Sunday!  Don’t tell me you’ve never felt that way!  I’m sure my mood stems from the fact that they are out there doing God’s work while I sit at home and selfishly enjoy doing “life”!  That’s usually when God gets a hold of me and says... “Listen up Girly, I have a different plan for you today so LOSE the attitude!”
These missionaries are headed to China!  They’ve been in the training phases of it for the last 14 months!  They have 3 small children and are headed there for several years.  Bless them!
I just have to share with you one example he gave us that really tugged at me.
When a person witnesses a car wreck and is asked to testify, the jury doesn’t want to know our expertise knowledge on car wrecks in general!  They just want to know what we have just observed in that particular wreck!  It’s the same as being a Christian...We don’t’ have to be an EXPERT or a Seminary graduate to share about Jesus, we just need to share what we’ve experienced in our own life!  What He’s done for us!
Now isn’t that something!  I tend to think that I’m not smart enough & I don’t know enough so I’ll just let the experts do the work!  *Discipleship means becoming more Christ like!  I guess you could say I’m a work in progress!  SO it IS my job to share!  I don’t have to be a Preacher, Missionary, Evangelist, etc... NO TITLE NECESSARY to share what the Bible teaches!  I’m called to be a “missionary” in my own back yard so I better get to work!

James 1:22-25
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

I guess it’s time to get out of my selfish comfort zone and get to work as a “missionary” right where I’m at!  I’m not supposed to wait to be sent somewhere to share what I’ve experienced in my own life!  I AM a Missionary!  All I have to do is open my mouth and share what I know and what I’ve experienced myself!  How about you?  Are you doing mission work right where you are?  If not, you and I both need to “LOSE” the attitude!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A little overwhelmed!

I was beginning to think I was drowning in my clutter!  I had to swim from the door to get to my office chair!  It had finally sucked me in and I had to do something about it!  I REALLY DO like organization {remember I'm the oldest of 6}! Sometimes I just get so busy that I get lost in it all and then it gets way too overwhelming to tackle! When I finally got it all cleaned up I sat down in my new clean space, smiled, looked around once again then opened Pinterest and found a pin from Funky Junk, then it all made sense to me!  I really kind of wish I would have taken a "before" picture.  Yeah I would have posted it on here! HA!!  Seriously, go read her post and you'll want to go clean your "area" too! {Luckily I had cleaned mine before I ever saw her post}. Funny how you feel SO refreshed after cleaning and organizing!  DUH, why don't I keep it that way?
The holidays are creeping up on us very fast...don't you want a fresh clean organized space for that hectic time of year!  NOW, go clean so you can get creative and report back!

If you've been to my house and wondered what was behind the closed door, now you know!

Note:  {please don't hate me for the following truth}
5 Saturdays before Thanksgiving
10 Saturdays before Christmas!
If that isn't a reality check...I don't know what is!


It's hard to believe this little guy is THREE!!!

Where has the time gone?  I thought he would be the baby forever!

Happy Birthday Sweet Mac!!  Hope your day is extra special!
Love you so much...MiMi & Poppy

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Table for the little ones...

Well, I've OFFICIALLY completed the table and chairs!  I'm super happy with how it turned out.  It's been a long journey and I'm ready to move on to the next project.  Hopefully it won't take me a year to complete!

Here are a couple of the little darlins' enjoying it for the first time...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Only a year later...

Life got a little busy!  I'm just about to complete a project I started a year ago!  I'm so excited to finally put it inside my home.  Hey, at least I'm getting it finished before the Grands graduate from college!
I present to you {drum roll}THE FINISHED CHAIRS!

Just a little bit more and I'll show you the table!  It needed a little more bracing.  I had to wait to go to the store to get brackets! I should be able to get it finished today! I LOVE how the color turned out...what do you think?
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:  Florence & Emperor's Silk {then waxed with Annie Sloan clear wax}

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Sometimes I just need a little reminder of God's wonder...

Last night as I was diving home from the city, this was the view I had for several miles.  Finally I had to pull over and capture the moment!  About a mile on down the road...the "view" was gone.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bado and his best friend...

We were always told how "funny" basset hounds are... It couldn't be more true!!

Blurry, but I just had to share what we often look out the window and see! Bado and Mr. Grey on their perch!  Our vicious guard dog and guard cat!

This was the best picture I could get tonight of some of our funniness here on the farm! This was taken through the window holding back the blinds and hollering at sweet Bado hoping he didn't jump down!  Who wouldn't want a Basset?!?!
Never mind the poor drought stricken potted plants in the back ground!  They held on as long as they could!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recipe Randomness!

Yesterday I had a day off!  Well, I would call it a day off, some of you may call it more "work" than "work".  I got to spend my afternoon in the of my favorite things to do!
A friend had a baby so I prepared a meal to take to them and a meal for us while I was at it!  Taking food to another family always worries me!  "what do they like and not like" "what should I fix" "will it be done in time"??  So I went with good old fashioned Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots!  I tried a new recipe that I found here!  It's really close to one that I've been making for years.  I usually use Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup, Lipton's Onion Soup, Seasonings, and a little water!  Mike said that this one was the best roast I had ever made!  Hmmm...maybe he was extra hungry!?!

Fall-Apart Roast

3 1/2 – 5 pound beef roast {I used Rump Roast}
2 small jars or one large jar of beef gravy
1 can sliced mushrooms {any size you like}
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 c. pre-made Italian dressing

Mix everything up, pour it over the roast, and cook (covered) at 300° for 4-5 hours depending on the size of the roast. {I cooked mine on 350° for the full 5 hrs.}
Delicious, and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
*Add some potatoes and carrots the last couple hours to bake alongside the roast.

{NO picture needed...everyone
knows what a roast looks like, besides,
we ate it before I thought about it!}

I also made Arkansas Green Beans!  The best side dish EVER!!  A great dish to take to a pot luck supper!!

Arkansas Green Beans
  • 5 (15-ounce) cans green beans, drained
  • 12 slices bacon {or the whole pkg. like I did}
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 7 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350°. Place the drained green beans in a 9×13″ baking pan.
Cook bacon in a frying pan on your stove top until bacon strips are cooked enough to chop into large pieces (they should be done, but not real crispy) {I cut mine into smaller pieces BEFORE frying}. Sprinkle the bacon pieces on top of the green beans.
Combine the brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Pour this mixture over the green beans and bacon. Bake uncovered at 350° for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Then for dessert, I made one of my family's favorite {and most requested by my youngest Sister}...

Peach Pie {delivered to the friend}

Rita's Pie Crust {makes one crust}:
1 c. all purpose flour {not level! Dip measuring cup in flour and shake off excess}
1/2 c. crisco shortening
1/2 tsp. salt

Cut the crisco into the flour and salt until thoroughly mixed in. Then add 1/4 c. COLD water and mix with a fork until all water is incorporated.  Smooth dough into a ball, flatten and place on a floured surface.  Sprinkle a little flour on top of dough and roll out to desired size.
Note: Rita is my Grandma's sweet neighbor lady and when my Grandpa passed away she brought over a couple of pies!  I couldn't get over how flaky and wonderful her crusts were! She so graciously shared her recipe!  I will forever use this crust recipe!!

4 c. peaches
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. almond extract
3 T. corn starch

Mix together and pour into unbaked pie crust. Top with a few pats of butter and then sprinkle cinnamon over all {to your liking}.  Sometimes I use the cinnamon and sometimes I don't, depending on my mood!  I have to add that I worked REALLY hard on perfecting this filling!  Many flopped pies before getting it absolutely right for our family!

Crumb Topping:
1 c. flour
pinch of salt
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter {cold}

Work together with pastry blender then "crumble" on top of pie with hands.

Cherry Pie {kept here at home...Mike's favorite {YES, he's spoiled...peach is my all time favorite and I gave it up} I WILL BE MAKING ANOTHER PEACH!

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. crisco
1/2 c. COLD water
Cut the crisco into the flour and salt until thoroughly mixed in. Then add the COLD water and mix with a fork until all water is incorporated.  Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten one at a time and place on a floured surface.  Sprinkle a little flour on top of dough and roll out to desired size. Repeat for top crust after filling is added.

3 cans tart cherries in water 
4 T. cornstarch {not heaping but not leveled off either}
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. red food coloring
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Mix up filling ingredients and let sit for 20-30 min. while you are making your pie crusts.  After placing your bottom crust in your pie pan, then pour in filling. {be careful not to let the RED cherry juice splatter on you}!  Put a few slits {or designs like I do and sometimes with small cookie cutters} in your top crust then place it over the filling.  In a small cup put about 1/4 c. sugar in it and add a little bit of milk stir until you have a smooth workable consistency! NOT too much milk or it will be too runny {it should still be grainy}!  Using a spoon, spoon it over your top crust covering it all then use the back of the spoon to smooth it around.  This will give you a sweet crunchy top crust!
*Bake for 20 minutes at 425° then lower the oven temperature to 375° {you may want to loosely lay a piece of foil over the top to protect the crust from burning} Bake for another hour or so, start checking on it after 45 minutes, until the crust looks nicely browned and the juices bubble up thickly.  Let pie cool for 3-4 hrs. before cutting it!

 I was going to squeeze in my HOMEMADE ROLLS too but...I ran out of time!  Oh well, there's always another "day off" for baking!