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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joy To the World!!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,

And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing. 

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy. 

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found. 

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Women Living Well December Challenge

Another week of Courtney's Women Living Well December Challenge has arrived!  I think I missed posting last weeks challenge.  It was great!  I went to bed super early one night, just like the challenge stated.  I was so tired, I didn't read Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, Jeremiah 23:5, and Isaiah 53 that night, but finally did tonight.

Here's this week's challenge: Christmas is just 5 days away (OOPS!  I'm even a little behind on this one!  Christmas is just 2- eek days away) and so much of our time is often spent helping the children to remember the "Reason for the Season". Now it's our turn. Once the kids are in bed get yourself a HOT drink (again we are warming the body as we warm the soul.) Get ALONE and turn out the lights by your Christmas tree, a lit fire, or a candle and just be alone with God. Pray, talk to him, I encourage you to sing Christmas carols or songs praising him, and just rest with Jesus.

Embrace the peace in your home that is there right before you in Jesus. Do not rush past his offer "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled." John 14:27.

Remember to keep your candle burning daily and each time you catch a glimpse of it, say a prayer for peace in your home.  I have also found myself spending a few extra minutes in prayer each morning when I light my candle and again when I blow it out.  I'm so glad Bath and Body Works has their large candles on sale still!  So for tonight, fireplace or Christmas tree??....  I think I'll take the warmth of the fire tonight. (pretend you don't see the reflection of my kitchen... it's a real fireplace, just no real wood and is behind a glass-  go figure!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My End Table is FINALLY done!

One night I was watching a movie upstairs in the media room with my hubby and I realized that I didn't have anywhere to put my popcorn and drink if I was sitting on the end.  The search was on!  First, I found some great scrapbook paper to Mod Podge onto a piece of furniture.  I have never refinished furniture before so I didn't want to spend much money on the furniture.  I stopped by every thrift store that I drove by for over a month until I finally found the perfect "canvas" for my art.  I drove by a thrift store that I didn't know was even there, made a U-turn and ran in.  I went to the back of the store and immediately found this little gem for $3.99.  YUP... three dollars and ninety-nine cents!!!  I couldn't believe it!  I snatched it up and took it up to the check out.  Sure it was a cheap piece of furniture with a little damage, but it was perfect!  The only thing really wrong with it was a small warped spot on the top.  No big deal.
The first thing I did was sand all the stain off of the legs.  The rest of the end table was a wood veneer, so all I could do to it was rough it up so that it would hold the primer a little better.
Next, I spray painted Kilz primer on the entire end table.  My media room has deep reddish maroon curtains in it, so I was lucky enough to find a clearance paint sample at Home Depot for less than a dollar that matched my curtains perfectly.  After the Kilz was dry, I painted a coat of the maroon paint on.
I wanted a distressed vintage look, so banged it up with washers strung on a small rope, a hammer and nail and the sharp edge of a screw driver.  I read on the internet that if you use wax on the base coat of your paint and then paint over it, it is much easier to remove the paint from the top for distressing.  I tried a tea light candle, but it just crumbled.  I found a white crayon in Sarah's crayon stash that worked great.  I colored on the maroon paint in a few spots.  Then I spray painted the table a dark brown. (I had to do this in the garage at this point because it was cold and rainy outside.... I did the "hold your breath, point, spray and run back inside method").
Once the brown spray paint was dry, I took a fine grit sand paper and steel wool to distress the paint.  To remove the paint that I used the crayon on, I just used the edge of a screw driver and gently scraped the paint all over.  In those spots, the paint simply chipped off. 
Next, I cut out the scrapbook paper to fit the table and Mod-Podged it on (LOVE that stuff!)
I read (or rather, watched) some helpful hints on the tutorials on Mod Podge Rocks blog.  If you are new to Mod Podge, I would highly recommend watching.
 And finally, it is dry.
And then, put together.
It's the perfect size for the spot at the end.  I LOVE it!
Isn't this scrapbook paper great??  I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and knew it would be perfect for our media room.  After a year, we still don't have any art on the walls up there.  There is more scrapbook paper in the pack, so I plan on Mod Podging it to canvas to hang on the wall.  Here is a link to the see more of the paper on Tim Holtz's blog.

Linking to:


Fantabulous Friday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pizza in a Pot

This is one of my favorite recipes. It can either be cooked in a crock pot or in the oven. It is so versatile, I usually use what I have on hand for the "toppings". When I make spaghetti sauce, I always double my recipe and freeze the left over half in a quart freezer bag for use in dishes like this. Serve it with some crusty Italian bread and a salad and dinner is ready.

1/2 to 1 lb Italian sausage (casings removed) or ground beef or a combination of both
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 jar spaghetti sauce (or about 3 1/2 cups of homemade sauce)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large can black olives, sliced
1 can sliced mushrooms (or use fresh)
3/4 of a 6oz package of pepperoni
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 box of rigatoni (I don't use the entire box because we like a lot of sauce)

Brown sausage or ground beef and onions in skillet and drain very well. Add spaghetti sauce and let simmer for as long as you have time for (up to 30 minutes).
 Meanwhile, cook rigatoni pasta al dente and drain. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread about 3/4 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan (just enough sauce to cover the bottom thinly). Cover sauce with 1/2 of the pasta. 
Cover pasta with 1/2 of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle half of the bell pepper, olives, mushrooms and both cheeses on top. Layer with 1/2 of the pepperonis. Repeat all layers starting again with sauce and ending with pepperonis on top.  Make sure all pasta is covered or it will get crunchy.
 Bake in oven for about 35 min (until pepperonis and cheese look done).  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to oven just long enough for Parmesan to melt.
If one of your "furry children" is in the kitchen helping, you may need more pepperonis.  Funny how Dash was the only one "helping" me out.  He loves to be in the kitchen with me.
If you decide to make this in the crock-pot, cook on low for 3 to 4 hours instead of the oven.  I hope you enjoy it!  (This recipe was adapted from the Fix It and Forget It cookbook from a recipe on p.166 titled "Slow-Cooker Pizza"  I love this cookbook)

Linking to:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home: Steve and Danny Thompson Hymns -Three CD Giveaway...

I was reading my daily blogs this morning and I almost skipped over this one, I've got a lot to do today and I thought to myself "I really don't want a CD of hymns," but for some reason, I ended up clicking on it anyways.  I am so glad I did.  Steve and Danny Thompson are amazing!  Mrs June Fuentes at A Wise Women Builds Her Home is having a giveaway.  She is giving away 3 of their CD's.  If I am not lucky enough to be one of the winners, I am buying the CD (and I haven't bought a CD since 2002) downloading the song from I-Tunes (it's there for $9.99) Here is a link to her blog and the giveaway.  A Wise Woman Builds Her Home: CD Giveaway

If you want to hear part of another song, this link will take you to their website where they have samples of some of their music.  This song is done beautifully!  Oh, here is the link----->>  Nothing But the Blood

Have a great day and don't forget to enter to win.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Awww, Relaxation.

Doesn't this tub look inviting? I can just hear the nice relaxing spa music playing in the background.  The candles smell wonderful.... a little like warm lavender and chamomile.  I'm sure there is a nice glass of wine waiting for me................................................................

Oh, sorry, was I day dreaming again?  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  During this busy season, it is so important for us as wifes, mothers, friends, cooks, housekeepers, chauffeurs, carpenters, nurses, teachers, accountants, personal assistants (.... and the list of hats goes on forever) to take a moment to relax.  We can't continue to be our best for the ones we love if we don't take care of ourselves too.

But seriously, if you remember, I am one week into Courtney at Women Living Well's Peace on Earth December Challenge.  The challenge set forth for this week is to "SCHEDULE a night where you will take a warm refreshing bubble bath. Bring your Bible.Read the story of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1, 2 and Luke 1,2."   Hop on over to her blog for her wonderful post titled Girl- You NEED a bubble bath.  I couldn't wait for this week to get here!  I hadn't taken a bubble bath in ages.  Notice I said "hadn't", I did this last night after Sarah was in bed.  David was watching a movie that I didn't want to watch, I was tired and cold.  I filled up the tub with steamy water, lit 4 sweet smelling candles, turned the i-pod to Enya and soaked until I was a prune.  While in there, I reflected on how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family, food to eat, warm clothes to wear and a roof over my head.  God has been good to me!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Card

Here is the Christmas card we decided on.  It is really nice.  I wish I could figure out how to get a link in that shows the inside.  The text is fully custom, inside and out and I even have another picture of Sarah and Mackenzie inside. Take a look at Shutterfly and make your own.  Still time to get them before Christmas.
Elegant Floral Black Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shutterfly Card Giveaway

Go to the Shutterfly home page.

Shutterfly is giving away 50 holiday cards to bloggers!  YEAH!  We had planned on having a professional take our picture this year, but that idea fell through, so it's up to me.  I'm so glad I found this giveaway.  We use Shutterfly for all of our pictures.  I was on their site this morning looking back at all the great pictures we have downloaded over the last 8 1/2 years.  Where does the time go?  I couldn't resist posting this picture.  This is the one of the first pictures we downloaded to Shutterfly when Sarah was a baby (she is almost 9 now!)
If you read my last post, you saw a picture of a calendar that Sarah made me last year in school.  It's already December 2nd and no sign of her making me one this year.  Shutterfly has great calendars... I guess I'll have to make one for myself.  I't really cool because you can personalize dates with photos and text (and they are up to 30% off right now). I'm excited!
Wall Calendars
Click on ME-- I'll take you to the calendars!

I love Shutterfly's photo books.  I have made 2 of them from past vacations and my sister-in-law made us 2 from our family trip to Disneyland.  They are incredibly easy to make.  It can take just a couple of clicks or you can really customize it.  Take a look at the one I did from our Spring Break 2009.

Now, on to the Christmas cards.  We plan on taking a picture of the girls and Dash this weekend.  Here are some of the fantastic cards that I am thinking of picking out.  There are over 800 choices of Christmas cards and every one of them is beautiful.
Click here to see more at Shutterfly

If you are a blogger and want 50 free cards,here is the link.  Hurry, it ends soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Peace on Earth - December Challenge

I'm linking up to Women Living Well blog where Courtney is challenging us to find peace during what is probably the most hectic month of the year, December. The first part of the challenge is probably the easiest.  It is to write 1 Peter 5:7 on the top of my calendar.  The hard part will be actually letting go of my anxieties!  (side note...notice my calendar?  It is a home made calendar that Sarah made me last Christmas at school.  I have LOVED seeing the pictures she picked out each month and her art work.)

Sometimes when I see a verse quoted on the internet, I like to look up the "rest of the story is".  I mean, with a verse about letting go of my anxieties and giving my worries over to God, there must be some other really important stuff that goes along with it!  Right?  Here is 1 Peter 5:1-11 (from the NIV)....

  1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
   “God opposes the proud
   but shows favor to the humble.”
 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

I just thought I would share that with you because as a mother, I am entrusted to look over part of God's flock and sometimes it's hard for me to remember to not lord over my flock so much, but to be an example!

Another part of the challenge is to light a candle daily and each time the flame catches you eye, say a prayer for peace in you home.  This is also easy, because I love to burn candles in my home.  I love the way they smell and the way I can change the smell of my home, based on the season and my mood!

My candle is lit, how about yours?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Country Potato Frittata

Mackenzie had a friend spend the night last night so this morning I got up and cooked breakfast for us all.  I found a recipe on for a frittata that used most of the things on had on hand.  Here is what I ended up with after looking through my supplies.  Try it, it was really, really good!

4 slices of bacon cut into half inch pieces
2 large baking potatoes cut into half inch cubes
salt and pepper
4 green onions, chopped
6 eggs
2 TBS half and half
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

cook bacon in oven proof skillet.  after bacon is done, set aside.  Leave about 2TBS bacon fat in skillet and add  potatoes.  Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally (mine took about 30 minutes).  Add onions (I added a little olive oil at this point because they were too dry), salt and pepper to taste and saute over high heat about 5 minutes or until potatoes are slightly browned.  Beat eggs and half n half in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste.  Turn down heat to low and pour eggs on top of potatoes.  Cover and cook over low heat until eggs are set, but not done.  Remove from heat and sprinkle bacon on top.  Place skillet under broiler and cook until eggs are done.  Add cheese and return to broiler to cook just until cheese is melted.

 Potatoes and onions cooking

Eggs added to skillet

Put under broiler

 It's done!!  Come eat!

I've linked up to--

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dishwasher's Grace

I found a poem in Taste of Home that I wanted to post with a great picture of my dishes piled high in my kitchen sink, but luckily I have a great husband and a fantastic daughter who jumped in and started doing dishes (without any hints from me) before I could take a picture.  Here it is, minus a picture.  I'm sure you all can visualize your own kitchens late in the day today!  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Dishwashers Grace
Thank God for dirty dishes,
they have a tale to tell.
While other folks go hungry,
we're eating very well.
With home and health and happiness,
we shouldn't want to fuss,
for by this stack of evidence,
God's very good to us.
     -Kristen Emmerton

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Black Bean Chili-Mac Flamin' Hot Frito Pie!

YUM!!  I have to say this may be one of my favorite cold weather meals.  We have a friend who is always cooking up strange meals (such as spaghetti burritos) who posted a picture on Facebook of Chili-Mac Flamin' Hot Frito Pie.  I couldn't wait to try it!

On Friday, I cooked up a big pot of Turkey Black Bean Chili (really no recipe-- just add as I go, but I'll try my best to remember).  You will never know it is turkey and not beef... promise!
Here it is:
Olive oil
1 chopped onion
3 or more cloves minced garlic (depending on how much garlic you like and how big they are)
1.25 lb ground lean turkey breast (or 1lb... my store sells it in a 1.25lb package)
2+ TBS chili powder
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried basil
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 TBS paprika
1 TBS ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt (more or less depending on taste)
2 tsp cocoa
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 cans black beans (partially drained)
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
about 1/2 of a beer
1 TBS Tabasco brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; cook onion and garlic until onions are translucent.  Add turkey and cook, stirring, until meat is done  Season with chili powder, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and cocoa.  Mix well.  Stir in Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, black beans, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and Rotel.  Pour in 1/2 of a beer and drink the rest.  Add Tabasco.  Mix it all up and let simmer for an hour or longer (Until it is consistancy you like-  I usually cook for at least an hour, sometimes 2 or more).  Stir every once and a while so that it doesn't stick to bottom.

When chili is almost done, I cook macaroni and cheese.  Then we get a bowl and put mac-n-cheese in the bottom, a layer of chili, a dollop of sour cream and a layer of Flamin' Hot Frito's to top it off with.

I have had this for 3 meals straight and can't wait for lunch tomorrow to finish it off!  Hope you try it and enjoy!  You have to use Flamin' Hot Frito's-  There is something about them that just makes the entire meal!  I have to go down to the Love's Gas station to get mine because I can't find them at any grocery stores around here.  Well worth it though!  I hope you try it and enjoy!

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