Monday, January 31, 2011

Again!?! Seriously!?!

Kindergarten--you learn to read and write, you make new friends, and you catch every virus known to man. I'll be so glad to see it end.

My little one is sick again and has been since Thursday night. I will get back soon with another post, but now we're off to the doctor, for the second time in five days.

Be sure to check out the blog, beginning tomorrow and continuing through to Valentine's Day I'll be doing a little excerpt each day on "Love Is..." regarding the Bible's definition of love.

Thankfully you can't catch germs through the computer screen.

Lysol, take me away.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Peace, Part 2

We're back to it today--our study on peace. Remember last week, I left off by telling you that Christ not only makes a place in His family for us, He presents us with a gift as well. To find out what that is, let's look at John 14:27. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

What is our gift? It is His peace. That is the same peace that let Christ sleep in the middle of a tempest while everyone around Him feared for their lives. It is the same peace that strengthened Him in the garden of Gethsemane. That is a supernatural kind of peace. That's the kind I need more of. Did you ever notice in twentieth chapter of John that the first thing Jesus said each time He appeared to His disciples was, "Peace be with you." We don't have to be fearful. We don't have to be troubled. The reason is not because He tells us to be peaceful people or gives us a generic gift of peace. He gives us His peace.

Because we have His peace, we should give let it have first place in our hearts. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful." The peace that Christ gives to us is a gift. And like all gifts, it can be used or it can be stuck back in some closet and forgotten. What a waste that is!

A fearful Christian is a weak Christian. She is not remembering who God is or what Christ has given to her. I do not mean don't encounter fearful situations. I don't even suggest that our first response isn't fear, naturally it is. Christians don't live in some Pollyanna bubblegum universe. It's the real world and bad things happen to everyone.

It is when we get bogged down by our fears that we are forgetting Christ's peace in us. Something fearful may knock the breath out of us for a second, but it cannot knock us off the path if we are letting His peace rule in our hearts.

We were once given a GPS. When it came time to go visit relatives, we had two options. We could assume that we knew the way and leave the GPS in the box, after all we'd been this same way many times before, or we could use the gift. We could have made it there on our own, but we gave it a try. What a difference! Instead of having to stop to eat at every interstate McDonald's for 800 miles, we could just push the little food button and we had tons of options that were just a couple miles off the route that we never would've found otherwise. When we got to the cities, that sweet little GPS piped up and told us there was a traffic jam ahead and offered an alternative route. Left to our own devices, we'd have been left sitting in traffic. Life was certainly easier with a little help.

The same is true with Christ. His peace is a gift. We must dust off the box, open the gift, and let it lead the way. When we do, we'll find that we can discover a lot more with Him than we ever could on our own. He'll make a way when life piles up or offer us a detour when something comes along that could block our way. It's a great gift and we'll be thankful we have it--if we're willing to accept it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pass the Soup

January is winding down and, for most of you, it's cold right now. What's better when it's cold out than a nice bowl of warm soup? So today I'm sharing my recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup. The recipe card for this one is barely recognizable, splattered and faded from use. That's when you know it's a good one. Add some rolls and a salad and you've got a quick and delicious dinner that'll warm your stomach and your heart.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/4 c. chopped onion
1 Tbsp. butter
2 c. milk
1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, cubed
3/4 lb. Velveeta, cubed
1 (10 oz.) pkg broccoli (I only like the florets), cooked
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (don't skip this, even if you do think it sounds weird)
dash of black pepper

In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter until tender. Reduce heat to medium. Add milk and cream cheese, stirring until cream cheese is melted. Add remaining ingredients, stirring occasionally until cheese is completely melted.

Also wanted to let you know that my friend Amy over at is having a giveaway of the the book Made to Crave. I told you about the live webcasts on Monday nights that go along with the book. The book has been hard to get hold of, all the stores have been out of stock, so this is a great giveaway to be part of.

You know, we haven't had a Thankful Thursday in a while. What am I thankful for?

1. I'm thankful my husband woke me up this morning. I was having this dream where I was frantically searching for a coupon to turn in at a drive-thru. I can't remember what restaurant, just that I'd phoned in my order and they said I had to bring my coupon. Searching for coupons and discussing Jewish history in the car industry (not that I had much I could contribute to that conversation, I'm not even Jewish). When I woke up, I'd been gritting my teeth and contorting my neck. I don't like having to work that hard in my sleep.

2. I'm thankful for a son who asks for a new Bible and devotional book and to be awakened a little earlier so he can spend more time reading them. Makes a mama's heart melt.

3. I'm thankful for birthdays and watching my little ones grow up. It is happening so quickly!

4. I'm thankful for all my blogging friends. It amazes me what wonderful insights and creativity people have. We may even know these people personally, see them and talk to them all the time. But there's something about seeing it in print that reminds you of how wonderful they are and how important it is to listen to what they have to say.

5. I'm thankful for coffee, 'cause it sure is hard to get going this morning after Thankful #1. =)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Seeing Spots

Okay, I've had a request to see some of the nooks and crannies of my little universe. Here are a few spots for your viewing pleasure.

This is my secretary I picked up at a yard sale. I'd always wanted one, always looked at them in antique shops, then happened on this one. The Warren Kimble print is from my sweet friend Marie. The plate, tree, and little house are from cousin Johnnie who just gave us an even better gift, a new baby cousin to play with. Welcome Jake! Mrs. Ruth also gave the great board game set to the boys. I guess this was just a group decorate.

Joey and I wanted each wanted a barn ladder. Her neighbor had a huge one he gave her and she had her husband cut it in half for us. Mine became the quilt ladder, hers held pots, pans, and baskets in her kitchen suspended from the ceiling. The quilts are old and made by different family members.

Here's another corner. The old door came from a cabin in Kentucky. On the wall are sketches of places in Maryland near where my husband grew up. The lighted branches I picked up on my last trip back there.

Be sure to visit some of blogs that can be reached from my sidebar. Everyone has exceptionally good posts lately, like Brookhollow Lane's unbelievable dollhouse bakery and Rustic Victorian's sweet video share. I've got some more sites to add to my sidebar, I've just got to slow down a minute to add them. Also, don't forget to visit the other Rednesday contributors over at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Easy Cake Idea

I've got a little girl with a birthday this week. No fair. I really would love to squish her back down, she's growing up way too fast. They all are. I see my boys turning into men. I see my "baby" losing her baby look. It's hard watching them grow up. But it's exciting too. They are becoming such great people--funny, wise, considerate of each other. They have their meltdown moments, but generally, they are the best kids I could ever ask for.

Oops, I've started rambling and forgotten the cake. Well, we had a little get together this weekend for family to celebrate and I needed to make a cake. Remember that estate sale I went to a couple of weeks ago? I bought an old Duncan Hines cookbook. It was full of recipe ideas using mixes. This cake was one of them. Use simply use a box of cake mix, Meredith always wants chocolate, and two cans of icing, one chocolate for the cone and another for the ice cream. I used cream cheese and it was delicious.

Mix your cake according to package directions. Pour a little more than half in an 8 inch round pan. Pour the remainder in an 8 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. When the cake is cooled, cut each in half. You'll have two semicircles and two triangles.

Reserve 1/2 cup icing from each can for piping. Frost the chocolate triangles first and then pipe on the lines to create a waffle cone appearance. Now push the half circle "scoop" against it and the icing will be the glue that holds it together. Frost the scoop and pipe along the bottom to create a scalloped edge. Immediately sprinkle with sugars and toppings. Add a cherry on top and you're done. It makes two small cakes.

I guess you could even do two different flavors for the ice cream part. If you wanted to really be creative, you could flavor some vanilla with mint extract and color it green with food coloring and sprinkle the icing with chocolate chips. Whatever your favorite flavor, I'm sure you could make it.

It was fun and quick. And very yummy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Early Bird Has Returned

One of the hardest things with everyone being sick was my schedule. My husband usually goes to work early and I get up with him and get my blogging done, have my quiet time, and generally have a quiet moment to myself before the day starts.

Well, with his not feeling good, he went in later than usual (which for the rest of the world is on time). I'm glad. He really needed the rest. It just cut about two hours out of my day and kept me scrambling for about two weeks to try to fit everything in.

Today, we are back to normal. All is quiet here. You are all probably still tucked in your beds. This is how I like it. Since it's business as usual, I've got our weekly menus.

Monday--Chili, Fritos, Jello Salad
Tuesday--Spaghetti, Salad, Breadsticks
Wednesday--BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Glazed Carrots
Thursday--Broccoli Cheese Soup, Rolls
Friday--London Broil, Buttered Potatoes, Italian Beans, Rolls
Saturday--Homemade Pizza

Tomorrow I'll share some pictures of a cute--and easy--ice cream shaped birthday cake.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Peace, Part 1

Life is quieting down a little here and it's time to get back to our Food for Thought Fridays. I'm going to start a series for us on peace. It'll take several weeks, so keep checking in each Friday. I'd love to have you join us for each one.

I've titled this study "Peace, the Prickly Fruit". Why? Because, this is a fruit of the Spirit that is impossible to cultivate without getting poked and scratched! We do not have peace despite the storm, we have peace through and because of it.

Peace is produced through adversity. A cactus can't bloom in a lush, tropical forest. It needs a dry, searing heat to reach its full potential. So do we. We are going to study together three points of peace--peace with God, peace with others, and peace with self. We can expect the going to be dry, hot, and dusty, but the fruit at the end will be sweet.

The first point for us to examine together is peace with God. We'll start off by turning to I Thessalonians 5:23. "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." This verse tells us that He is the God of peace. Romans 15:33 also refers to Him as the God of peace. In Isaiah 9:6, one of the names ascribed to the Savior is Prince of Peace. And Matthew 5:9 says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

When we start to porduce the fruit of peace we are carrying on a family tradition. Peace is a family character trait. You can tell I belong to my mother's family by my eyes. Everyone on that side of the family has big, brown eyes. My children have those same eyes. The same should be true of us spiritually. We should be marked from birth. People should be able to take one look at us and tell we are from the family of God because we are marked by the characteristic of peace.

We have all the rights and privileges of a child of the King but we must remember that they are not our naturally. They are ours through adoption, through Christ. Turn now to Romans 5:1. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Without that justification through Christ, we could not have peace with God. It is only by the covering of Christ that we are able to stand before a righteous and holy God.

However, he does not stop here. He not only makes a place in His family for us, He presents a gift to us as well.

If you want to know what that is, you'll just have to wait until next Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do Guinea Pigs Oink?

Maybe they just squeal with delight. Oh ye of little faith, I knew the chicken pudding would be a good one. Did you trust me? No, I had to go first. How could y'all doubt me in the kitchen?

Seriously though, it was very good. It got rave review from all the little guinea pigs as well. For all you southerners, it tastes a lot like chicken and dressing. See, nothing to be afraid of. Next time, I would increase the poultry seasoning by 1/2 a teaspoon. It had a good mild flavor, but you know I like things a little bolder than that. It'd just be a matter of preference. This is a good comfort food recipe and makes a big batch. Below are some pictures so you can see how it turned out.

After boiling your chicken, you'll have A LOT of broth. The recipe uses 6 cups (you'll need a big bowl to pour it into) and I filled another container with probably 4 more cups.

This is how the hoecake part looked after I baked it. I just rolled it out right on the cookie sheet to the desired thickness. Keep an eye on it in the oven, I had to take mine out a few minutes early.

Give the chicken and hoecake pieces a good mix in the pan before you add the broth.

Here's the finished product. Yummy, yummy.

Guinea pigs rule the world. =)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chicken Pudding and some Pecan Pie

Here are some recipes you will love...hopefully. I haven't tried the chicken recipe yet. We'll all experiment together. With those ingredients, I think it'll be a winner. If you want to wait until tomorrow to try it, I'll be the guinea pig and go first. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow. I clipped the recipe out of an old Southern Living magazine. It reminded me of something I'd eaten at Groff's Farm Restaurant in Pennsylvania years ago. It was the craziest most fabulous thing--cracker pudding. Made with saltine crackers. They brought us a little bowl of it while we waited for our orders to arrive. I ate my bowl and could have eaten the bowls off everyone else's table as well. So I figure chicken pudding made with saltine crackers has to be good too.

The pecan pie I can vouch for, it the greatest. It's my mother-in-law's recipe. And I know some of y'all might threaten to take the 'southern' out of my name when you see the secret ingredient, but don't do it until you've given it a try. It isn't noticeable and does something magical to the pie. Trust me.

Chicken Pudding

1 (5 lb) whole chicken
4 carrots
4 celery ribs
1 large onion, quartered
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
6 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 c. shortening
2 c. self-rising flour
3/4 c. milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. coarsely crushed saltine crackers
1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Combine the first six ingredients and water to cover in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-hi heat; reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or until tender. Remove chicken and let cool.

Pour 6 c. of the broth through a wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard solids. Reserve the remaining broth for a later use. Whisk 6 Tbsp. butter, bouillon, poultry seasoning into broth until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Cut shortening into flour with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spread dough to a 1/2" thickness on a lightly greased baking sheet, forming 1 large hoecake.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack; break into pieces.

Skin, bone, and coarsely chop chicken. Layer chicken and hoecake pieces in a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish. Whisk together chicken broth mixture and eggs; pour evenly over chicken and hoecake pieces.

Stir together cracker crumbs and 1 Tbsp. melted butter; sprinkle evenly over top of chicken mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Grammy's Pecan Pie

3 eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 tsp. salt
1/3 c. melted butter
1 c. King syrup (you could substitute cane syrup, but use King if you can get it)
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. coconut
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all together and pour into a 9" crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Don't forget to visit all the great posts over at Rednesday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ick, Ick, They've All Been Sick

Pretty soon they'll declare my house a biohazard. I've had one with just the flu. He's over that and now has a sinus infection, going to the doctor today. I've had two with flu and strep throat and one with the throw-ups (why do they always eat something red before they get sick, guaranteeing a big stain?). The only one who has remained well is me! For those who know me well, they know what a miracle this is. I have a horrible immune system. God knew someone had to take care of everyone else. And I am ever so thankful.

In the midst of all my nursing duties, I didn't even notice that my last post was my 200th. We've packed a lot into the months I've had this blog. Thank you to all who love and support it, those I know and those around the world. You all add such a blessing to my life. I enjoy having you be a part of it.

Sorry I didn't get around to menus yesterday. Here are some ideas for the rest of the week. The meatball recipe I've given in an earlier post. You can use the search feature to bring it up if you need it. I'll be back tomorrow with the chicken recipe.

Tuesday--Meatballs in Gravy, Rice, Green Beans, Rolls
Wednesday--Chicken Pudding, Rolls, Salad
Thursday--out to eat (school function)
Friday--Grilled Sausage, Corn Pasta Roni (yes, even I use a mix sometimes)
Saturday--homemade pizza (this week I'm making English muffin pizzas)

Friday, January 14, 2011


First, thank you so much to my dear friend Jen over at Jennalane2 for fixing my header for me. She knows so much more about pictures than I do. I might have to make her go into the header fixin' business on a regular basis. It looks great. Thank you, thank you!!!

Now for the post. The following is a conversation I had with my child this morning. She was very serious. Poor baby is home sick with flu and strep.

Mommy, I want to tell you a secret.

What is it?

I'm gonna have to be a doctor.

Oh really? That'll be a good idea. You'll be great at that.

(I'm thinking it's because she's sick and had to go to the doctor last night. What's the matter with me, thinking all logical like that. I should know better by now, I've got three children.)

Yeah, (with a sigh) I can't be a teacher. I didn't come with those eyes in the back of my head like you've got and my teacher has. I've got to do a different job.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Treasures

My Aunt Betty and I went to an estate sale yesterday and I picked up a few things. I love these baskets, they're big, chunky, and very old. And I can never seem to have to many of these old Ball Jars with the glass lids.
This is my biggest bargain, a $3 rocking chair. It's old and sturdy. The seat needs to be recovered, but that's an easy fix. I'm planning on putting it in my bedroom. In the seat is a really pretty tablecloth I got for one dollar.
I saw this in the house and asked how much. One dollar. When I got it, it was black. When they handed it to me, I could tell it was heavy and not just blackened tin. What a nice little treasure was underneath the grime! I still need to finish cleaning it, but wanted to go ahead and show you.
And you know I couldn't resist getting at least one cookbook. I was so excited to find this one. Each recipe uses a cake mix or brownie mix as its base. There are some really great looking things for me to try. You know I'll pass along my favorites.

I also got a couple more books. I think that was it.

Not a bad haul for $10.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Queen of the Headbands

My hair has always seemed to have a mind of its own. It's curly and the amount of curl depends on the weather. I gave up trying to make it behave a long time ago. We had seemed to develop a fairly good relationship, or so I thought. I'd made peace with its wildness, it stayed fairly restrained behind the chains of some rather tough hairspray.

That's all changed this year. My hair's gone Medusa on me. Every morning I wake up to some hideous 'do that can only be undone with a shower. Take yesterday for example, I had to go to a breakfast for the teachers at school. I got up, fixed my food, got ready and my hair looked good. I even got a compliment on it.

A little later I could feel it moving around. By the time I got home it was awful. My bangs had done some sort of weird flip, an apparent tribut to Farrah Fawcette in the seventies. Not exactly what I was going for.

Looking in the mirror I made a decision--I'm giving up completely. I'm gonna be a headband girl. I have several of them already. I always put my hair back when I'm cooking anyway. Guess this'll just be my "signature look".

Kelly, Queen of the Headbands

P.S. I'm working on the header. It always gives me trouble. Here's the picture it was supposed to show. Oh well. I'll have to come back to it later. For now you'll just have to understand I had the best of intentions.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Diet Tips Courtesy of John Wayne

My oldest is home from school sick today. He likes to watch old westerns, so he's lounging around, coughing and hacking, watching a little John Wayne on this rainy Monday. I'm not one for westerns, but I had stopped between loads of laundry to visit with him a minute. i ended up getting a big lesson out of it.

The western he's watching is called Red River. Apparently John Wayne and some other ranchers are taking cattle to Missouri to market. Well, there is one cowboy that loves sweets and is always sneaking a pinch of sugar. The old man who runs the chuck wagon is always getting after him to stay out of it. (I'm a lot like that cowboy...I guess my conscience runs the chuck wagon.)

Anyway, one night they're stopped and all the cattle are asleep. The fella goes to sneak a little more sugar (sounds like an evening snack to me) and bumps into a pot. The noise panics the cows and causes a stampede. When it's all over, over 300 head of cattle are lost and one man is trampled to death.

All over a sweet tooth.

That hit close to home. How often do I see my "sweet tooth" as something harmless? I need to see it as an addiction which would be a lot more accurate. My little snacks here and there do have disastrous consequences--at the scale, with my self-image, with the example I'm setting for my children.

The cowboy who causes all the trouble has to live with the effects of his actions. I'll have to live with mine. Maybe now's a good time for me to step away from the sugar bag before my life "stampedes" into diabetes or obesity or the problems weight gain can cause my asthma.

I'm glad John Wayne showed me just how serious "a little something sweet" can be.

A new on-line Bible study is starting tonight called Made to Crave. It's a free live webcast and I'd signed up a couple of months ago but haven't been really excited about it. It's about craving God instead of food.

I guess I wasn't getting the message the first time so He gave me a visual illustration. Now I'll be sure I'm sitting at my computer at 8:00 p.m. tonight. I don't have the web address in front of me, but you can search Made to Crave and find it.

Maybe I'll meet you there...if you too need to step away from the chuck wagon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Daydreaming

Okay, I'm a little late with my New Year's resolutions. But in my defense, my husband and kids were all home and I can't do a lot of thinking with everyone running around and calling my name and shooting me with Nerf guns. I was thinking on things, just in shorts spurts and with no time to write it down.

Yesterday we started back on our normal routine. Ahhh, a moment of quiet. It's unbelievable the amount of things you can accomplish when you're alone at home. I washed and put away four loads of laundry, cleaned the house, trimmed the flowerbed out front, baked a cake, did some PTO (oops, parent volunteer) work, hung a picture, blogged, scrubbed the bathrooms (that doesn't count as cleaning, that's torture), shuttled kids, cooked supper. I somehow even snuck in a movie in the middle of the day while I ate my lunch. I'm now in love with Netflix through the Wii. I just download a movie or television series. I might actually become a fan of the Wii.

Back to resolutions. I have always been itching for a move. I am a farm girl in my heart and often feel claustrophobic with my little yard. We talk new houses, looking for land all the time. At breakfast I was reading an article on the benefits of having free-range pigs. (I never said I was normal.) Well, we had looked at a place with gorgeous land that I loved. Of course, someone else with a little more money loved it more and already has a contract on it. I was washing dished and feeling sad about the whole thing when something occurred to me.

My two biggest "problems" are exactly the same. I'm always wishing for a different house and grumbling about the disarray in the one I'm in. Things seem to pile up. I'm usually behind in what needs to be done. I don't enjoy where I'm at because I constantly think of where I could be. Don't get me wrong, I work hard to make this a very nice home for everyone else--everyone except me.

The other thing isn't my home address. It's my physical address. Me. I'm always wishing for a different body and grumbling at the wiggle and jiggle of the one I'm in. Things (okay, pounds) seem to pile up. I'm always behind (translate--nonexistent) on what needs to be done, a.k.a. exerice and eat right. I don't enjoy where I'm at because I constantly think of where I should be and what everyone else looks like and "Does this shirt hide what I'm hatin'?". This home is in a state of neglect.

Not just physically but spiritually as well. It's been a hard year with lots of curveballs and little time, but that's no excuse. I feel like a spiritual zombie. In my quiet time yesterday I prayed that I would wake up, out of this sleep-walking trance I've been in and really come alive. I was taking the kids to school and got an image in my mind. It's not just sleeping to wake up and carry on that I want to do. No, the picture was of something like the guy in Gulliver's Travels. When he wakes up and realizes he's tied down. He stands up and he's a giant. I want to wake up and be a giant. Not so others can cower in fear or "look at me, look at me". You know what I mean. God didn't call us to mediocrity or smallness. He called to great things, to stand out. If we are only willing. I'm willing. I'm standing up and shaking off the things that have tied me down and realizing that most of those ropes were of my own making.

There's my heart and my mind and my insecurities served to you on a platter. I'm changing this year. I'm not giving up on the farm. God gave me that desire and I'm not going to shelve it, just try to be a little less fussy with Him about it. What I will do is work on the houses I do live in--constructed, bodily, and spiritually. I'm not writing some list down of "I'll do these projects by this date, lose this number of pounds by bathing suit season," or so on. I will commit to live each day in His grace and for His glory and to do it fully awake and making wiser choices to be who He called me to be.

What about you?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Up and At It

Everyone is headed back to school today so I'm back on my normal early morning blogging schedule. That means blogging in my fuzzy red slippers. Meredith helped pick them out, thus their bright color and sparkle. Notice where she helped herself to some of the rhinestones when she needed a little red "diamond" for a project. She was after more but got caught in the act.

I also snuck a peek at my little man who was busily reading his new book. It's one his big brother had picked him out for Christmas. You have to read it in 3D.

Have a happy Rednesday and be sure to visit over at

I almost forgot to give you the recipe for the chicken casserole for tonight's supper! I am rusty from the break (or maybe my early time). I'm thankful for the edit tab.

Cheddar Cheese & Chicken Casserole
This is a quick and easy one. You can use leftover chicken and rice or make them earlier in the day.

2 c. chopped cooked chicken
2 c. cooked rice
1/3 c. chopped red pepper
1 (4 oz.) can green chiles
1/2 c. sour cream
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except half of the cheese (1 c.). Bake, covered, for 25-30 minutes. Top with remaining cheese; bake five minutes more.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Manner Jar

Sitting on our dining room table, next to the bowl of lemons from Aunt Jean's tree, is a manner jar. Being home from school on Christmas break, it became apparent that we needed some work on our manners. I've learned over the years that with these three, the most effective form of punishment is taking money. All the reminders, rewards, charts, etc. don't do a thing. Take a nickel and you can change the world.

So with our social skills seriously lacking, I whipped out a pretty little jar. How many times can one mom say, "I shouldn't see your knee while you're eating"? Who sits with their knee in the air to eat anyway? Apparently one of mine thought he should. The Manner Police thought differently. Back to the cure. I put the jar on the table and had them bring some loose change. It's five cents an infraction--elbows on the table, knee in the air, talking with food in the mouth, and so on.

It only took a few meals. I've earned a whopping $1.60 in money, but a much more pleasant eating experience. It even keeps my husband and me on our best behavior because they're constantly watching to see who is having bad manners.

Maybe I could make a "Get a Shower without a Fuss" jar or a "Clean Up Your Mess" jar or...

Monday, January 3, 2011

All Dressed Up...

Yesterday was rainy here, so once we got home from church we just stayed in. It was a good time to watch some movies (yep, we got a new tv for Christmas)and just to play at home. As you can see, Meredith got into some dress up clothes. I'm not quite sure if she's Pippy Longstockings, Raggedy Ann, or the spokesmodel for Wendy's.

I've had a request from Jack for cheese soup for supper so I guess that'll start out our menus for the week. Thankfully it's a little cooler here and it feels a more like soup weather. New Year's Day they were all running around in short-sleeve shirts and barefeet. Winter in the south.

Monday--Cheese Soup, BLT Sandwiches
Tuesday--Meatloaf, Green Beans with New Potatoes, Rolls, Fruit Salad
Wednesday--Cheddar Cheese & Chicken Casserole, Peas, Rolls
Thursday--Beef Tips & Rice, Asparagus, Cornbread
Friday--Ham & Pasta Bake, Mandarin Orange Salad