Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Quiz

I have had this quiz sent to me in years past... but I always think it is fun to see what every one's differences are at Christmas time... so here is

The Christmas Quiz!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping preferable with fabric ribbon!

2. Real tree or Artificial? artificial and prelit!!! What a great invention.

3. When do you put up the tree? Friday after Thanksgiving, Michael is usually at work and the kids and I get everything decorated and put the ornaments on that night as a family.

4. When do you take the tree down? Before New Years, this year it will be down Friday before New Years!

5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE IT. We have already gone through 3 gallons this season

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A Teddy Bear, that I asked for all year long.

7. Hardest person to buy for? This year it was my Mother in Law... but it is usually my dad

8. Easiest person to buy for? Jeanifer (my sister in law), it's like shopping for myself

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, but it is fisher price:)

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? What are Christmas Cards?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't know if I can say....
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I love the old animated cartoons, but I would probably have to say National Lampoons Christmas Vacation! So many One liners... hilarious!!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? in October.

14.Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas dinner (all of it) However, this year my mom is making fried chicken that I'm looking forward to!!

16. Lights on a tree? White, I love all white! On the house on the tree, everywhere

17. Favorite Christmas song? The Christmas Song, by Nat King Cole (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire) Its putting a smile on my face right now:)

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? We just like to be with family. Santa usually comes to our house early, and then we travel on Christmas.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes, but I have to sing them.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star. Made of Cardboard and covered with aluminum foil, it is a strange Caldwell tradition that I love and completely embrace.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We always do it before Christmas day, but we act like it is Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? No.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? We have a very country Christmas theme.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I think I would have to say sweet potatoes with marshmallows, pecans, and brown sugar. It's like getting to eat dessert early:)

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?  For all of you you to have a very Merry Christmas!! Ahhhhh...

There you have it.... Copy this quiz and copy it onto your blog... Then leave a comment with your blog link so I can see your Quiz answers!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday w/ Sweet Treats for Christmas!

Hooray for Christmas!

Well, we are going to be  joining family quite a bit over the next couple of weeks, so menu's will be a little scarse... but heaping with treats!! I love this time of year! I would love to see some of your recipes too, so please leave a comment with your blog address and let me and everyone else in on the goods!!

Meatball sandwiches, apple slices, chips

Lasagnua, green beans, garlic toast

Wednesday: Christmas Service at BAF 6:00!!! You should join us!

Thursday- Sunday: Let the fun begin with family and friends!
Hooray for mom's cooking! My request of the season, Mom's Fried Chicken (her's is the best, Love you mom!!)

Sweet Treats great for travel!

Pecan Tasties (Pampered Chef)


  • 2 cups margarine
  • 4 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the margarine and cream cheese until well blended. Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Roll into small balls, and press into the bottoms and sides of tart pans or mini muffin pans.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the pecans. Use a spoon to fill each of the crusts 2/3 full with the filling mixture.
  4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, until shell is light brown, and the filling has puffed up. Cool, and carefully remove from pans.

Sour Cream Pound Cake
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz.) Sour cream
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 1/3 c. water
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together for 3 minutes.
  3. Bake in greased/floured Bundt pan for 45 minutes
Easy Pretzel Turtle Candy
  • 40 small mini pretzels
  • 40 chocolate covered caramel candies
  • 40 pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place one chocolate covered caramel candy on each pretzel.
  3. Bake for 4 minutes. While the candy is warm, press a pecan half onto each candy covered pretzel. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
** Can also be done with Hershey's Kisses or Huggs and press down with an M&M Candy

Crock Pot Wassil
(one of my favorites)
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 2 cups gingerale
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 4 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup red hots candies
  1. Make a satchel with cheese cloth containing cloves and cinnamon.
  2. Pour cider, gingerale, and candy into a crockpot
  3. Cook on Low, as long as there is still wassil left... we usually continue to refill and keep it going all day Long!!  Stirring occasionally.
**This is so easy to take and make, or make ahead of time, pour into a travel jug, and just heat up a cup at a time!

Hope you all have a great week! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Easy Taco Soup

This is one super easy dinner that you can throw together in the morning... or better, put it all in your crock the night before, set it in the fridge and just set it in the cooker the next morning on low heat. At the end of the day come home to a wonderfully warm, ready to eat dinner your family will love!

Taco Soup
  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cans  (8oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cans (8 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (8oz) pinto beans with jalapenos
  • 1 can yellow hominy (drained)
  • 1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry)
  • 1 pkg. Taco Seasoning
  1. In a medium skillet, brown meat and drain.
  2. Add onion and cook until tender
  3. In a large pot  add remaining ingredients
  4. Add meat and onion mixture and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cover and Simmer for 30min. - 1 hour on stove top, stirring occasionally.
  6. OR cook all day on low heat in Crock pot.
Top with sour cream, cheese, and/or diced avocados.
Great served with Cornbread, Corn Chips, or Tortillas... and makes great leftovers!

Serves 8

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Simplicity in the Holiday!

As you all know, I am a girl of simplicity. I don't like to make a big fuss about much... but when it's worth it I put my all into it!
With the Christmas holiday knocking on the door, and shopping, parties, entertaining, projects, end of year reports.... the list goes on and on; with such a busy schedule and who has time for dinner with the family or traditions! Well, I DO and so DO YOU!! I know so many of us are so busy, but join me as I refuse to let my schedule run my family time and this season! We will make time for family dinners, soaking in precious smiles, and sharing the wonderful season of Christ's Birthday!

It just takes a little planning and some simplicity to pull it all together.  This year I challenge you to not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and instead slow things down and bit and enjoy it for what it is, A TIME OF REMEMBRANCE AND CELEBRATION OF OUR LORD'S BIRTH!

Here are a few tips to make this Christmas one for the books!

1. Specify the traditions that define your family.
Just because the Johnson family down the street does it and has fun doesn't mean you have to! Ask yourself the meaning behind your traditions? What does you family get out of it? Don't get caught up in having to do everything  because at that point usually nothing gets done well. Find the few that are meaningful to you and that you and yours really love and let the rest go, I promise you won't regret it!

2. Please, it is ok to say , "NO!!"
Of course it is good to help with the class parties, the block parties, the Christmas toy drives, and the food pantry. But maybe this year try to find one service that you want to dedicate your time to, and be "all in". Find a way to include your entire family and make it a two fer... I mean what's better than combining family time and service!

3. Stay organized!
Get your calendar out and plan out the days that you will spend serving and carrying out traditions. Consider when will you be out of town and what kind of meals will you be providing during the month. Make a menu for the rest of the season, and make sure to add any extra baking projects. With a schedule and a menu... grocery shopping, family nights, and the day to day business of life will go smoothly, keeping you within budget, and stress free and in the Christmas Spirit!

To get you started, here are some links to help you get organized!

OrgJunkie.com - Basic organization, Menu Planning, recipe ideas, and baking projects. Make sure to check out the download Tab for printable checklists and menu plans

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes

Check out my Recipe Index  for quick easy meals and party dishes that everyone will love!

If you are missing a piece of Christmas, or you would like to refocus your family, I recommend reading these two books

 Redeeming the Season by Kim Wier and Pam McCune, for great ways to refocus your family on the true meaning of Christmas!

 The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd, encouragement and advice on keeping God's vision for families and motherhood... A great section on making memories and how to pick and choose your family traditions!

Wishing you all a fantastic December! and a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS filled with family, friends, fun, and most of all Christ's love!

A silent Hallelujah!

A friend of mine posted this on facebook. Don't you just love YOU TUBE! :)  Thought it was worth sharing! Hope you are all enjoying the Christmas Season!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Did I miss Menu Plan Monday?

Well the season is catching up to me!  I have started a few projects personally and as a family our schedule has just gotten a little bit busier lately... and well as I sat contemplating my "to-do" list this evening, I realized I don't have a clue what I need to get at the grocery store tomorrow, due to the fact that I have no menu plan... oh and the best thing is... I forgot it was even Monday!!

The day started out with backed up toilets, and tubs.... 1 Hour and $100.00 later the plumbers left and we have had free and clear lines since!  Thank you Lord for indoor plumbing!! Well, after that I seemed to be in survival mode for the rest of the day! A relief came when we left the house at 4:30 on our way to a Jr. High Boys BBall game,and then to a impromptu dinner with dear friends... FREE from Whataburger (12 days of Christmas was a great deal tonight). 

So after all this rambling all I have to say is here is my Menu Plan.... a little late. But Hey, now I at least have a grocery list for tomorrow!! :) 

Monday: Crusaders BBall Game
Whataburger...Free kids meals!!

Hot Pockets, Celery & PB, apple slices

Wednesday: Awana's Store Night
Stuffed Peppers and Salad

Thursday: Christmas Tradition Night

Friday: Family Movie Night

Saturday: Church, Cookies, & Santa Clause is Coming to Town!
B: Cereal
L: Tuna Melts, veggie dippers, chips
D: Chicken & Dumplings, Salad, Garlic Toast

Sunday: Caldwell Christmas Morning! :)
B: Cinnamon Rolls & Kolaches, Coffee and Egg Nog
L: Ham, Crackers, Cheese, Fruit... snacking all day, it's Christmas!!
D: Taco Soup w/ cheese, sour cream, cornbread

Well, That's it... pretty simple. But a plan none the less! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Turkey Pocket Pies - Uses leftover feast!

Well, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is on it's way... If your like me I have a ton of turkey left in my freezer and more to come with Christmas Day. It is my experience that leftovers are one of those things that people either love or hate and well, I love them!! I love to use leftovers to make new creations. So here is a easy fresh idea to use us the rest of that leftover feast staring that is looming in your freezer!

Turkey Pocket Pies

  • Refrigerated Pie Crust (1 for every 2 people)
  • Leftovers
    • turkey
    • dressing
    • mashed potatoes
    • cranberry sauce
    • Optional: Cheese
  1. Preheat oven according to crust package directions
  2. Carefully roll out crust and slice in half with a pizza cutter.
  3. Fill each half with your choice of leftovers, We use stuffing, Turkey, potatoes and cheese
  4. Fold the half over to make a triangle, and press firmly around the edges to seal.
  5. Transfer stuffed pocket pie to a baking sheet.
  6. With a fork prick crust 2-3 times to allow venting.
  7. Bake according to pie crust directions.
When they come out you are left with perfect individual pies for everyone in your family! These are great dipped in gravy, cranberry sauce, or just plain with chips! We love Turkey Pocket Pies and I know you will too!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Family Tradition Tuesday

One of our Caldwell Christmas Traditions!!

Santa Pics and Ornaments!!

Christmas Throwback: 2008
As I unpack our Christmas decorations I always anticipate unwrapping a certain photo album. It's not because it's beautiful or expensive... in fact it is covered in red felt and cost $3.00 at old navy. I look forward to this album for the treasures it holds inside. After just 3 weeks of dating Michael and I were at a lighted Christmas farm and took a Polaroid with the Big Man, Santa. Then the next year we did it again and again, and it just kinda stuck! It is fun to look at each year to see how our family has grown, in number and in size! And it is something the entire family looks forward to! I'm sure as the boys get older they will get tired of Santa, but maybe we can create funny themes to get them involved... we'll cross that bridge when we get there! 
Also, we all choose our ornaments for that year! I love that when Michael and I got married we both had a collection of ornaments from our childhood that were given to us, to decorate our first tree with sentiments and memories! So now with two grandmothers and a mother that insist on buying each brother an ornament they will start their tree with quite a collection!
On this special night we also drive in the car and look at Christmas Lights with Christmas music playing and singing like crazy!!
This is a pretty big night. One that we all look forward to each year!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Just so you know, I'm all about salad this week!! I think we will be eating it for B L and D! :) Hope you enjoy! Good luck with your menu plan!!

Monday: Basket Ball Game
Monkey Bread, Scrambled Eggs, and Fruit Salad

Grilled Cheese, chips, and LO fruit salad

Wednesday: Awana's
Potatoe Ham Bake, Green Beans, and Salad

Mac N Cheese, peas and carrots, and salad

Friday: Visit Santa and Christmas Ornament Shopping (Family Tradition)
AT MALL - Fun times:)

Saturday: Thirty One Party
Breakfast - Smoothies, or Cereal
Lunch - PB&J, popcorn, fruit slices
Dinner- Totinos Pizza (Boys Night)

Breakfast - Cereal
Lunch - Crockpot Carne Guisada, rice, salad, guacamole and chips
Dinner - Leftovers :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Corporate Responses to Product Complaint

Those of you who know me know I am not one to complain. When it comes to bad products, I always assuming the bad product I received was a fluke and it wasn't worth my time to sit down and tell a huge corporation how a little nobody house wife from Texas had a less then satisfactory experience with their product.  I mean what were they going to do anyways?

But one day, I had enough. I was having quite a streak of bad products, most of which I have used for years, and I wanted them to know they were at risk of losing a loyal customer.

Picture from: Lipton.com
I was not going to spend hard earned money on faulty products or products that did not deliver what they promised.  I was disgruntled! :) So I decided to start giving feed back. Here is my experience...
Product  #1: Lipton Tea
Problem: Over half of the tea bags in a box of tea busted while brewing.
I wrote a polite, but short and to the point email on their website.

The Response: Within 2 days I had a response in my inbox with an apology and permission to mail a packet to me. Of course I obliged and low and behold a week later I had 4 coupons for FREE full sized boxes of the tea. That is over $8.00 worth of products for 10 minutes of my time.

And Lipton now has a loyal customer!!

Product #2: Tide Liquid Detergent
Problem: With a change of packaging also came a change of label. The amount of oz./load had changed, yet the product stayed the same. Making the loads per bottle less but the amount of detergent purchased the same. I was getting cheated out of detergent.
This time I called the customer service number on the bottle.

The Response: After some explanation, and a very helpful CSR, named Joan. A suitable explanation was given on a formula change and a few complimentary coupons for Free detergent were mailed again for the inconvenience and confusion.

Product #3: Pet Mate (A producer for dog toys) Dura Bone
Problem: Our dog is a STRONG chewer. I spent $25.00 on a chew toy advertised extra durable for large dogs and strong chewers. Sally(our pooch) had the toy for no longer than 3 minutes before there was a hole in the toy and stuffing all over the floor. I was so frustrated!!
I promptly took a picture of the product and emailed again a polite yet to the point letter, stating my complaint about the lack of delivery in the product.

The Response: Slow, a little over 2 weeks later I received an email response, with an apology and promise to replace the toy. I again gave them my mailing information with a strong emphasis on our STRONG chewer, I was a little frustrated, b/c I had seen the durability of their toys and was not pleased. About 2 weeks later I received this...

Not only did they replace toys, they sent what I would estimate as over $40.00 worth of toys specifically for Strong chewers and a few treats to boot. It was a nice surprise and so far all but one has lasted. The pink and yellow ring was gone in about 4 minutes. Sally loves all her new toys and will remember this when buying more toys!

When it comes to products I will expect to get what I pay for. I have been very pleased  and a bit surprised with the responses from all three of these companies, and believe I am a valued customer.

 I am still not a complainer! I didn't write this to say complain so you can get free stuff, but to say you are an important voice! What you have to say and what you have experienced matters! The company can not fix what they do not know is broken. 

I know today I have focused on complaints, but I do believe positive feedback is good too! Just a note: I did follow up with each of these companies with an email about the excellent customer service I received and the satisfaction of the replacement products.

Please Share:
What do you do when faced with a faulty product or excellent product?
 What are some of your Customer Service experiences?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful for Menu Plan Monday

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We traveled to Houston, and had a wonderful time catching up with family! As I look around me daily, I am overwhelmed with the blessings in my life. Family, Friends, Faith... and also for you guys. I am so thankful to all my blog friends. I look forward to your visits and comments everyday and look forward to getting to know you more and more! I missed you all last week, but we all need breaks right?  
I am also thankful for Menu Plan Monday!! I have to admit, although I don't always stick with my menu, I would be lost without it! Meals seem to be an after thought in our home, we get so busy and before I realize dinner time is upon us, and I have three hungry boys at my feet. Luckily at that point all I have to do is check my menu and start cooking, instead of digging through my pantry hoping something is there that might make a decent meal. It is a must for me to stay organized and Menu Planning is such a large part of that.

So here is my menu plan for this week. Many of the dishes will use MORE Thanksgiving leftovers!

Menu Plan Monday

Grandma's Spaghetti and Meat (recipe below), Cornbread, Salad

Turkey Pocket Pies (recipe tomorrow)

Wednesday: 1st Wed. at BAF
Black Bean Quessadillas strips, fruit salad


Friday: Family Movie Night
Pizza, popcorn, Peppermint Sundaes

Saturday: Christmas Shopping
Crock pot Turkey Soup, cheese, crackers

Hash brown Ham Bake, green beans, salad


Grandma's Spaghetti and Meat (exactly as she wrote it on a recipe card for me)

1 1/2 c. Small Elbow Macaroni
1/2 lb Hamburger meat
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 46oz can of tomato juice

Cook Macaroni in enough water to be loose. While it's cooking brown meat loose or in small balls. Drain off water on macaroni and add tomato juice, meat, salt & sugar. Heat to a boil. Very good with Cornbread or butter and crackers.

Southwest Sliders w/Chipotle Mayo

I have been inspired!  I saw some cute little home style burgers at a restaurant the other day, and thought I would give my hand at them, but because I can't leave anything alone... I decided to spice things up a bit and add a little Southwest pizazz!!

I like to call them Southwest Sliders, but William refers to them as  SKY BURGERS. ( free iPhone app, you'll have to check it out)

Southwest Sliders w/Chipotle Mayo

  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 1 (10oz) can Rotel original
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  1. Mix Beef, rotel, eggs, onion powder and garlic salt
  2. Form into 2 inch balls and flatten into a patty (making middle slightly indented)
  3. Preheat Grill on Medium heat  cook for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

Chipotle Mayonnaise
  • 1 c  mayonnaise or light mayonnaise (do not use salad dressing, it will be too watery)
  • 2 chipotle peppers with 1 tbs adobo sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  1. Chop peppers,adobo sauce, and lime juice in a food processor until smooth texture.
  2. Stir mixture into Mayonnaise
  3. Keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks. Use Mayo on Burgers, Sandwiches, and Fajitas.
Spread mayo on both sides of potato roll, add a southwest patty, and top with all your favorites.
We used American Cheese, lettuce, tomato, and red onion.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: The one with the turkey! :)

It's Thanksgiving week, and I'm anxious to see what all of you have planned for your menu this week. I'm hoping it includes some yummy recipes.
 I'm super excited today b/c I'm roasting my very first turkey!! We have always been given smoked turkeys by my husbands employer, so I have never had to cook one. And although we are still getting a cooked turkey, I just have to try out this roasting thing for myself! So get ready for a whole lot of turkey dishes on my menu plan! :) YUM... I love TURKEY!!!

Poblano and Cilantro Roasted Turkey, Twice Baked Salsa Potatoes, Mexican Corn, and Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Grandma's Spaghetti & Meat and Cornbread

Wednesday & Thursday: In Houston with family!
Taking snacks. Chex Mix, Sausage Balls, and Pumpkin Muffins.

Friday: Christmas Pizza Movie Night- THE TREE GOES UP TODAY!!
Pizza, Popcorn, Fruit Salad, and Mint M&M Brownies

Thanksgiving Fried Pies with Salad

Leftovers Leftovers, and More Leftovers

Did I mention I love turkey!!! YUM!!!!
Hope you all have a very blessed Turkey Day and are surrounded by those you love!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Safeguard your Marriage

I am very blessed to have a husband that adores me, as I do him.  I am also very blessed to have a husband that is under the same opinion of how to prioritize our marriage. Although, we are definitely not perfect at it, we both try very hard. 
I never want to look back at my marriage and think... "if only I would have told him how much he means to me!" I want him to know everyday that he is MY MAN!! and that I would Fight for him anyday, anyplace, anytime!

I beg you today, make your Husband and your marriage a priority! Don't fall into the busy trap of life... remember how important it is to a model strong relationship to your children!

Here is a great way to start! The Six-Second Kiss

I know my husband is going to LOVE this, I'm sure yours will too!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thomas the Tank Engine : Toy Review

Can I just tell you how much I adore Thomas the Tank Engine! All things Thomas are fantastic in my eyes. If you have never seen Thomas, let me encourage you to check out a book or a movie.

Thomas the Tank Engine originates from the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, as a way of entertaining his young son Christopher as he recovered, in isolation, from scarlet fever.  Eventually, the oral tales were turned into books and then into movies, toys, and an entire aisle at Toys-r-us. :) 

My boys love the smiling faces of Thomas and all his friends and I love what Thomas represents. Each character has a specific personality and each story illustrates how the engines interact with moral dilemmas, and biblical concepts.

As mentioned before, there is quite an array of Thomas products. For today, I'm going to focus my attention on the Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Railway

Things I love about Wooden Trains (especially Thomas the Tank Engine):
  • Classic:   Unfortunately, sometimes the classic toys get pushed to the side while the toys that light up buzz and ding demand the most attention. I adore the quiet imagination that emerges from my boys when the trains are brought out and set up. The conversations that begin to take place as the
    boys choose the personality of the train they become.
  • Sturdy: As most Classic toys are, the wooden nature of the train and accessories is very durable. The paint may get chipped a bit, but those are just "love dents".
  • Compatibility: I have yet to find an off brand wooden track that is not compatible with the Thomas tracks and Trains. However, I do love the name brand and they do seem to be a bit more sturdy, it's nice to have an alternative.
Things I do NOT love about Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • Price:  Ok, here is the deal. Actual Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Railway Products are a bit pricey. You will pay $10-$25 for one engine. But in our house, we had to step back and look at it this way... Our Trains are an INVESTMENT!! This is a toy that we will keep for generations to come. They are a special toy that carry special memories in our house, and we will continue to purchase them! 
    • I really do believe that the Brand Name Tracks are best, but we do quite a bit of store brand tracks and brand engines and bridges. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One Year Ago Today! November 17th, 2009

I was looking at my pictures today and here is what was in the folder dated one year ago Today! The STORY, William was such a trooper through it all! Wow, that seems like so long ago!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

God What are You Teaching Me? A Life Interrupted!

Have you ever been in a moment, when you were able to look back and see the tapestry of your life?   A tapestry not completed by any means, but at a point that you see  the beauty of the creation, and not so much the snags and knots that seemed impossible at the time. Each beautiful thread touched by God's own hands, woven into a magnificent story. A story that at that very moment has a clear purpose in your life.

 6 weeks ago, I started a Bible Study titled, Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer. For several weeks now, I have attended weekly, studied daily, and really enjoyed the discussion; but found myself thinking... How does this apply in my life?  The other girls in my group seemed to have been going through a season of "interruption" or just come out of one... Of course, God has "interrupted" my life before, but what was happening now? 

And then, His word spoke to me... I was looking back over the study, and this verse Hit me like a ton of bricks!

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."  Psalms 139:23-24

I began to pray that prayer.... Which is so scary!!
What was God going to show me? Did I really want to own up to it? Was I ready to do this?

But I continued and day by day, God began to reveal to me that there was a huge part of my life I had not given to him. A part, that I didn't want to give up, I didn't want to let go... it was much to precious and I wanted to keep it for myself, and make sure nothing ever happened to it!

Can I just tell you what a hard time I was having! I am talking major inner struggle, a big knot in my tapestry!!  I want my children to love God! I want them to grow to be warriors for Christ. I want them to have a relationship with God and to know the unconditional love and grace, that covers them daily.
I also know good and well, that  I can't do all that by myself...

But, if I let go, what if something happened to my boys? What if God's plan was different than mine? Could I bear that.. what would I do? What if it wasn't all pretty and sweet as I have planned it in my mind?

As I sat one day thinking about all of this, contemplating God's work in my own tapestry, I knew what God was asking me to do. I had to obey and willingly give God control to interrupt my sweet boys' lives. So I did,  I committed to fight the temptation to control. I made the choice to step back and give God the control!  No matter what God's plan is for our family, individually and together, I will trust in HIM! I will follow unconditionally! And can I just say, God never fails to amaze me! 

Almost everyday since, God has opened doors of discussion with the boys. Over the last week we have talked about Heaven, Death, Truth, Love for Others, things that we talked about before, some alot, but this time it was different. These discussions were on Gods time, and not mine.

Priscilla Shirer says, "When we come face to face with God and respond in obedience, we will see supernatural results."   and I expect nothing less! God will do great things, just look back at the tapestry He has woven in your life and each life around you. Even the lives that refuse to believe, are covered in God's amazing work. 

I am so thankful that I have a God, that never lets me down. Even when I'm not sure of His plan, and I can't see my way through the tangles and snags of my "interrupted" life, God never fails! And I know He will not fail my children either. They must face there own "interruptions"... and I will watch from the bleechers cheering encouragement and guidance as God, the faithful, unwavering, loving, God;coaches them through life.   

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LeapFrog Tag Reading System - Toy Review

Christmas Toy Review #2:  LeapFrog Tag Reading System

William received his Tag System from his Grandparents last Christmas.  It is all he wanted and was so excited to see that green box emerge from the wrapping paper! I have to admit I was too!

The Tag System is comprised of a Tag "pen" and a variety of books.  You download electronic files onto the pen and it matches up with to books you own. The pen can hold up to 10 books at a time. Then you can point at a variety of settings within the books to do various activities: Games, reading word by word, sound out words, reading entire page, and spelling.
The Tag  uses 2 AAA batteries, but don't really have to change them out very often. Comes in two colors Green or Pink.

What I love about this toy:

  • Really does work!! I'm not saying this will teach your child to read, but I can  say I saw a significant improvement on Williams word recognition after he started using this toy! We also have books that focus on certain vowel sounds that have come in handy during schooling.
  • Ease of use: William received this toy at age 4 and was a pro!, but even Cade (3) is able to use all the functions and Brennan (2 1/2) can use some of the functions. All with a print rich toy! We also have a friend with a 7 year old daughter who still loves to play with her Tag system, and has asked for more books at Christmas
  • Book: There is a huge variety of books! Some gender specific, others not. I also love that there are classic titles included, ex. "The Cat in the Hat" and "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom".  Most of all, I love that the book look like regular books. Most of them have hard back covers and paper pages, just like every other book on the shelf. Williams quote, "Mommy, these books are just like the ones you read to me". 
  • Compact: You can buy a storage case for the Tag Reading System, but we keep ours in a small toddler backpack. The books are all the same size, and store easily. And the "pen" is no bigger than a soup spoon. Great for travel! 
    • Also the software for the books is kept online. I love that I don't have Cd's for every book we own floating around in our house. Just the pen, the books and the cable to connect to the computer.
I honestly can't come up with anything I don't like about the Tag.

It is a great buy!!!

Does your family own a LeapFrog Tag System?  What is your favorite Learning Toy? 

Happy Toy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Easy Loaded Yams

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but I am craving the seasons flavors NOW!!! This recipe is one that holds all the taste of that traditional Sweet Potato Pie w/Marshmallow Sauce, but takes half the time!!  Enjoy!!

Easy Loaded Yams

  • 1 large can of yams (drained)
  • 1/4 c.  brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. miniture marshmallows
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecan pieces
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Pour yams into an 8x8 baking dish
  3. Sprinkle top of yams with sugar, marshmallows and pecans
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Yep, it's that easy! Enjoy this dish anytime you need a delicious, quick sidedish!

Menu Plan Monday

It has been a crazy weekend! But it is leading into another typical week, which I like.  I am planning on spending all week home and no extra running around. But I am in the mood to cook lately so watch out! I'm testing out several Thanksgiving dishes too! Have fun menu planning.

Breakfast Pie, w/ Fruit slices

Grilled Pork chops, Easy Loaded Yams, Salad, Dinner roll Wreath

Wednesday: Awanas

Chicken Fajitas, beans, rice

Unknown(Small Group)
Chicken Noodle Soup, w/ crackers, veggie dippers(if home)

Saturday:Pizza Movie Night
Lunch: PB&J, fruit salad
Dinner: Pizza, Popcorn, Strawberry-Peach Slushies

Sunday:Small Group
Lunch: Spaghetti with Meat sauce, Cesar Salad, Garlic Parmesan Poppy Seed Bread sticks
Dinner: will provide side for small group

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Best Cream Corn Ever!

I love corn, as do my children and my husband. I could eat that sweet, yellow, goodness any way: grilled on the cob, cold in a salad, with salt and pepper straight from the microwave, but as the holiday's draw nearer, I start to crave the smooth sweetness of Cream Corn!  This is a dish, that was introduced to me by my mother-in-law ; and I love love love it!!! The other great thing about this cream corn is, it's so easy and almost better the next day (great leftovers)!! You will definitely find this dish at our Thanksgiving Dinner! Confession: I usually make a double batch when, just so we can eat it for a few days... I have even been known to heat it up and eat it for a snack... Yes it is THAT GOOD!!

Cream Corn
  • 24oz. Frozen Kernel Corn
  • 4Tbs. Butter
  • 3Tbs. Flour
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Heat corn according to package directions. (Hint: I usually use the microwave(keeps my burners open for other dishes) and you don't actually have to add any water, I never do)
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter.
  3. Whisk in the flour to make a rue.
  4. Whisk in cream and sugar on medium heat, until thick gravy forms.
  5. Stir gravy and corn together.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
Optional: Garnish with fresh parsley, or mint.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Now, just for fun, I saw this little tag on someones blog and thought it fit well w/ My Husband Rocks, so here it goes!

Where did you meet? We met @ Lubbock Christian University (Go Chaps!!) We actually met about 3 times before it actually stuck, obviously we didn't make that big of an impression on each other. 

How long did you date b/f you were married? 9 Months

What does he do that surprises you? His humor constantly surprises me. He is always throwing out the funniest things, they always take me back at first and then I can't stop laughing.

What is your favorite quality of his? His integrity. He is just a very trustworthy, loyal, and honest.

What is your favorite feature of his? ooohh, that a toughie...I love that he is so tall. but his eyes and smile make me melt!

Does he have a nickname for you?  We call each other "babe", Nothing too cutesie... That's just not how we roll. :)

What is his favorite food?  He really likes... hmmm. I don't know if there is an all time favorite. He's very easy to cook for!!! :)

What is his favorite sport? basketballl....although I think he likes them all!

When and where was your first kiss? In front of his apartment, he was walking me to my car... 

What do you like to do together? Everything. We really enjoy being together. A lot of our dates are spent at Barnes and Noble. We do love exploring the books there.

Do you have any children? 3 boys

Does he have a hidden talent? Are you kidding? I can't share any hidden talents.. Then they wouldn't be hidden!

Who said "I love you" first? Ha! I did. Michael and I had been friends for a while before we started dating, and I knew before we started dating that I loved him... I told him on our 2nd date! I just couldn't hold it in! I was so glad when He responded with "I love you, too" :)

What is his favorite type of music? He has pretty broad taste. I don't think I could say his favorite!

What do you admire most about him? He really has so much wisdom. The way he is able to step outside of situations and really think them through is amazing to me! We have been married 8 years and I learn something from him everyday.

Do you think he will read this? There is no doubt!  He knows this blog means a lot to me and he is so supportive in all I do! See the unselfishness, and loyalty... He is amazing!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Christmas Toy Review - Little Tikes Easy Store Picnic Table

Sweet Cade and Sally Dog.. Cuddling and Enjoying the backyard view.
So with Christmas right around the corner, My hubby and I have started our  search for those things that our kids will actually play with long term! Not just that toy that gets played with and then tossed aside... I know that many of you are in the same place. Money is tight, so we all want to make those purchases count. I thought I would take this opportunity to share with all of you some of the toys that know for a fact kids (my kids) use and love! So over the next several weeks I will be reviewing on of our toys each Thursday. Please feel free to comment on any toys you would like to know more about or if you have an idea for a review. Also, please feel free to click the Amazon link to find more reviews, specifics on dimensions, or for any of your Holiday Purchases!

Christmas Toy Review #1:  Little Tikes Easy Store Large Picnic Table

We have owned the Little Tikes Easy Store Large Picnic Table for about a year and a half, and I have to say it was some of the best money we have ever spent on a toy!! We literally use this toy every single day.

My favorite Things about this Table:
  •  Sturdy design:  Holds up well to the wiggling, climbing, banging, and jumping that my three boys and the dog dish out! There is not a dent, scratch, or ding in this table. And please take my word when I say,"we are rough on this table!"
  • Cleans easily:  Because it is made solely of hard plastic, I can take this table out in the yard and scrub it down and hose it off. (I do this almost weekly) But I also wipe it often with cleaners, no sign of wear!
  • Versatile:  We have many different uses for this table. It is our craft/snack table during school time,  dinner table on Fridays, and general play area the rest of the time. Oh and the dog uses it to climb on and stare out the window, when she needs to go out... Don't worry we clean it often, remember it cleans easily!
  • Light Weight:  Like I said before, we use it often and everywhere. So it is important that it moves easily!! It is so simple to move from the playroom to the living room, to the backyard, Without any hassle!! The boys even move it for me sometimes.
  • Raised edges: So on the table top, there is a slight raised lip around the outside edge. I can not even begin to express the amount of clean up it has saved me over the last year. It catches almost all drinks spilled, paint dripped, or glue squished. Such a great thing!
Other Positives: I also like that it can hold so many kids. We use this during gatherings to serve the kids dinner, it can hold 6 kids (1 year to 8 years) easily! It also folds flat to store away, under a bed or in the garage. But lets be real here, you are going to love this table so much you won't ever put it away.  It also comes with a cute umbrella, we never use it because our table really stays inside most of the time, but it is really cute.

Ok, so now you know this is a great table! I love it!! But there are a few things I could do without... so I better share them too.

Negatives: There is an indention in the middle of the table that contains, two cup holders and a hole to support the umbrella.  The cup holders do not hold all of our cups and a few times it has been the leading cause of a spilled drink. Thank goodness for lids!!  Also, even though the raised edge catches most of the spill and keeps it contained on the table top instead of all over the floor; some dripping will occur from the hole meant for the umbrella. Personally I would like to see a raised edge added around the indention. That's it.... nothing to keep me away from this table!!

Hope this gives you some ideas!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bleach Alternative=Peroxide?

Bleach vs. Peroxide

For years, bleach has been my go-to cleaning supply... but I have been looking for a few budget friendly cleaning supplies for the last few months. I can't seem to get away from bleach... bleach is the epitome of germ free to me. NOTHING can live through that right! I have tried using more vinegar, but honestly I would rather smell bleach. But after I got this email I had to share, I thought this was quite interesting, and honestly had never thought of cleaning with Peroxide before. I haven't tried it for all the things listed below, but so far the ones i have used worked.  I have used Peroxide on my wooden cutting board and it has taken out onion smell; I never cut raw meat on it, so the salmonella thing didn't really apply. I have also used it to clean the bathrooms, and my mirrors did sparkle and so did the porcelain throne (even in the brothers bathroom!!); and there was no lingering smell like with bleach.

What is your go-to cleaning supply? Please share with a comment below.

"VERY interesting and inexpensive. This was written by Becky of Indiana  (a doctor's wife). The benefits of that Plain little ole bottle of 3% peroxide you can get for under $1.00 at any drug store. My husband has been in the medical field for over 36 years, and most doctors don't tell you about peroxide. Have you ever smelled bleach in a doctor's office? NO!!!

Why? Because it smells, and it is not healthy! Ask the nurses who work
in the doctor's offices, and ask them if they use bleach at home. They
are wiser and know better!

Please think about this:
1. Take one capful (the little white cap that comes with the bottle)
and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, then spit it out. (I do it
when I bathe.) No more canker sores, and your teeth will be whiter
without expensive pastes. Use it instead of mouthwash.

2. Let your toothbrushes soak in a cup of peroxide to keep them free of

3. Clean your counters and table tops with peroxide to kill germs and
leave a fresh smell. Simply put a little on your dishrag when you wipe,
or spray it on the counters. 

4. After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour peroxide on it to
kill salmonella and other bacteria.

5. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water and
keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic
system like bleach or most other Disinfectants will.

6. You can also add a cup of peroxide instead of bleach to a load of
whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is blood on clothing,
pour it directly on the soiled spot. Let it sit for a minute, then rub
it and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

7. I use peroxide to clean my mirrors. There is no smearing, which is
why I love it so much for this.

8. Another place it's great is in the bathroom, if someone has been
careless & has peed on the floor around the toilet & it's begun to
smell of urine. Just put some peroxide in a spray bottle & spray. In
the blink of any eye all the smell will be gone & the bacteria

I could go on and on. It is a little brown bottle no home should be
without! With prices of most necessities rising, I'm glad there's a way
to save tons of money in such a simple, healthy manner!
This information really woke me up. I hope you gain something from it,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cherry Lime Cake

So the girls are coming over for coffee? Family is coming for dinner?
Oh and you need a simple quick recipe to wow them... Here it is!
This is a to die for recipe!!!
Seriously, so easy and so worth it!

Cherry Lime Cake

By: Audra Caldwell

Monday, November 1, 2010

Game Day Face!

We are defiantly a football family! The boys are getting bigger and the realization of football is ever growing. I love to see all 4 of the boys (Michael and the brothers) sitting on the couch, cheering and examining every move the players make. So... here is my favorite Game Day Face! All I can say is whoever he is up against, better watch out!! We are out to win!

Also, a friend of mine is giving away an amazing Game Day Pack on her blog A Southern Fairytale... Check it out! 

Menu Plan Monday

A new Month and a new Menu:  I am really looking forward to this week. Looking at my calendar, it seems to be a little more laid back. (Last week got a little crazy) Which means, more time to try a few new recipe creations this week. I'll link the recipes here, if it all turns out yummy! I also have a new recipe being published at BlissfullyDomestic.com tomorrow... come back and check for the link to Cherry Lime Cake. IT IS OH SO GOOD!!!

Breakfast Casserole & Vanilla Monkey bread

Grilled Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Almond Green Beans

Wednesday: Awanas
Bean & Cheese Tostadas w/ salad

Cheeseburger Pie, salad

Friday: Family Movie Night (Grand Prix check-in)
Frozen Pizza, popcorn, smoothies

Saturday:Grand Prix
B: Yogurt
L: Black bean quessadillas with fruit
D: Southwest Burgers with chipotle mayo and  french fries

Sunday: Small Group
B: Cereal
L: BBQ sausage, veggie dippers, rolls
D: Small Group???

Friday, October 29, 2010

Public School Parents Guide to Homeschool Parents by Kris

We are a first year homeschooling family, and when we began to share that decision with family, friends, brief acquaintances and those random people in the grocery store that want to know how old your kids are and when they start school, where they will go...etc. Many conversations went something like this...
Person: Your kids are getting so big! How old are they?
Me: William is 5, Cade 3 and Brennan 2
Person: Oh William will start Kinder in the fall?
Me: Yes, he is so excited.
Person: Oh, do you know his teacher yet, what campus will he be on?
Me: We are going to be homeschooling.
Person: Oh.......(insert strange awkwardness here).....
Me: Yes we are really excited... (enter change of subject here)

I didn't change the subject because I was ashamed, or because I didn't want to talk about school. We are so happy with our decision, but I just wasn't sure what to say, so many people are uncomfortable about the subject. Which is why I loved the following article... It is a must read for all parents... Home school and public school alike. Just a sound understanding to help us both through the "awkward silence".

Public School Parents' Guide to Home school Parents  By Kris

A must Read, so true!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Minute , Budget Friendly, Halloween Costumes

Well, as I have mentioned before I am all about simplicity...especially when it comes to Halloween costumes! I love love love to make costumes every year and until this year we have succeeded with that. I know with fall comes busier schedules and not a lot of time. Here are a few costumes you can throw together in about the same amount of time as going to buy those super expensive costumes at the store, but these are budget friendly, so simple, and so cute!!

Puppy Dogs  To be a puppy dog, I took solid shirts and glued patches of fuzzy fabric all over, For the ears, I stitched two "beagle" ears out of the same fabric onto a solid toboggan (the boys still wear these all the time), the Collar is just a ribbon tied around his neck.  An eyeliner eye patch, nose, and whiskers... and you have a cute and cuddly costume, that your kid will actually wear. This can also be done on a sweatshirt or hoodie if you live in a cooler climate.

Pirates: To Make a Pirate costume. We stuck with the basics. We did purchase two eye patches and a few pirate hats for the boys, but they didn't last the night (waste of money). Some old pants, cut to look ragged at the bottom, and an old white shirt with the collar and bottom hem cut out and sleeves ragged. a few yards of red and white striped fabric, was more than enough for "do-rags", belts and a wrap for me. We made guns and knives from a box . What's a pirate without a weapon? Eyeliner beards and a few temporary tattoos.... AArrrgggg!!!

Baseball Theme: I am a fan of homemade costumes, this was probably one of the easiest and cutest costumes so far...  We were everything baseball. Pic your local ball team for easy finds on shirts and hats.
The Fan: completed with a team t-shirt, and red hair.
The Coach: Team shirt, whistle, and clipboard 
The Player: team shirt, ball cap, black eye, and glove 
The Ball: A white shirt, in this case a onesie, with laces drawn on with a red fabric marker.

Sorry for the sideways pic... but isn't this the cutest ball you have ever seen? Complete with bald head! So Kissable!!

This year the boys are using their super hero dress up clothes, but Michael and I will be
Super Mom: Made with a beauty sash, with iron on letters "Super Mom" a mask of fabric and eye holes to match. Be creative with your powers. I will be using an oven mitt as a shield, and a pair of tongs and whisk as my weapons of choice. I may stick a cleaning rag in my back pocket to clean up the messes too. And of course I will be wearing pearls. :) he he.
Super Dad: Super Dad will be sporting a super man shirt and a fabric mask with the word "Dad" on the side in Iron on letters. Complete the look with a utility belt of grilling tools, wipes, and band aids. 

 I do hope this has given you a few good ideas, or at least inspired you to keep it simple, make your costumes comfy and enjoy the time with family and friends. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Columbus Day

The boys at the Nina
So Columbus day was like two weeks ago... October 11th. But I didn't get a chance to post any pics of our fun outing until now. We are fortunate to have replicas of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria here in our city. We took advantage of Columbus Day and headed out to the ships.  I can't even imagine going a mile into the Gulf in a ship like this, however Columbus and his crew traveled across the entire Atlantic ocean, No thank you!

What a blessed nation we live in to have the freedom we do. Just stop and think about the history of our great nation for a minute. One day a long time ago, God put it in a man's heart to try something new. Something daring, and something that most people thought was idiotic.... God has a plan, I don't understand it, that is for sure, but I can't deny God's guiding hand in America's history or mine.

Thank the Lord for Christopher Columbus, and for the freedom you have provided to our current generation through so many that have come before us.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shake the Nation Album Release!!!

The Release of Shake the Nation's first Album, is HERE!!!

If you don't know who Shake the Nation is, just wait.. you will. This band has totally embraced God's will in their life and I, along with our entire church family, have witnessed the great things He is doing with their open hearts and musical gifts. Please consider ordering their album today and know that by doing so you are not only gaining a great uplifting, life changing album, but also helping to "Shake" up our great Nation and  reach people for Christ!

Shake the Nation Homepage

My personal Favorite:  Satisfy!!!  Check it out!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday and My Freezer

I have a confession... Please don't judge... You promise?  Ok, here it goes....... I am in love with my freezer!!!  There I said it, It's out in the open.  Glad to see you are still here.:)  I freeze everything!!For example, that left over wine from dinner a month ago, freezer.  The half onion from that casserole, freezer.  The bananas that were starting to turn a little too brown, freezer. I could go on and on... but I think you get the idea. I have found that my obsession with baggies and the freezer have come in quite handy.

Every so often I find myself in a budget pickle. There seem to be more days in the month than money in the wallet; That girls is where the challenge begins!  I find some sort of accomplishment when feeding my family with a good freezer clean out, $25 dollars, and a whole lot of cooking imagination.  I have to admit, there have been some creations that didn't turn out so good, but for the most part I have found success. Good, healthy, filling meals, and a clean freezer!! So this week is one of those times... You may look at the menu and think... RANDOM!! But rest assured, you are not alone, that is probably what my family will be thinking too.  Menu Planning is so fun!! :) Hope you find inspiration to turn to your freezer too!! You never know what you might find... and I mean that in a good way; not a creepy something is lurking in the depths, kind of way! :)  Make sure to leave a comment with the creation you found in your freezer.


Everything in purple is something I already have on hand... aka in the freezer or pantry! :)

Stuffed Bell Peppers and Salad

Baked Ham and Pineapple, Green Beans, and Rolls

Wednesday: Trunk or Treat

Chili , veggie dippers, and Grilled Smoked Gouda Sandwiches

Friday: Family Movie Night
Homemade Pizza, Popcorn, fruit cocktail


Sunday: Halloween Small Group (Here)
Mummies (pigs in a blanket), Spooky Snickers Cake, Almond Bark Popcorn, Pumpkin Juice (orange kool-aid), and Tea

This will be my first attempt at Snickers Cake, but I'm thinking it is going to be a must... Click the link to see the recipe!!

What creation did you find in your freezer?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back to Basics with Meatballs

A friend of mine emailed earlier this week asking for my meatball recipe. So I thought if I was sharing I might as well share for all to see.  I have to say first, it's pretty basic; but you are guaranteed good moist, meatballs to add to any dish, home style or Italian.

Homemade Meatballs
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 1/4 c. of bread crumbs or old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
1. Heat Oven to 400 Degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together, I find it is easiest to use my hands.
3. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a greased jelly roll pan or (2)9x13 pans
4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Until center is no longer pink and juices run clear.

*sometimes I add 1/2 c of grated cheddar cheese and 1/4 c of grated Parmesan cheese  Depending on what I'm serving with.

These are great to add to any pasta dish or with mushroom gravy and rice, YUMMY!!! Try them at your next family movie night! What do you serve with your meatballs?

Top 5 Ways to Pull a Loose Tooth

Well, no matter what I do, my sweet boy just keeps growing. Last week, William had the nerve to actually lose the loose tooth that has been hanging on for the last month. His very first loose tooth... It was so tiny!!! And of course, He handled it like a champ. He now looks so much older, but so precious too!

So for any of you other mothers, with children who have yet to lose a tooth... Here are my

Top 5 Ways to Pull a Tooth
 (disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk, Always check with you dentist first)

1. The Door:  Tie a string/dental floss to lower part of the loose tooth... tie the other end to a door, and proceed to slam the door shut. Make sure there is no slack, as this will not pull the tooth and terrify your child, who probably won't let you attempt again.

2. The Car: Same as number one, only this time tie the opposite end to a high powered, remote control vehicle. Vroom Vroom, Let'er Rip... literally.  Be careful of flying teeth, you don't want to lose these little treasures.

3. Sugar daddy's Carmel on a stick candy...(MY FAV.)  Just get that Carmel nice, warm and melty; bite down using loose tooth, and pull the caramel out... Viola, you have one tooth stuck in the candy. No risk of lost teeth flying through the air, but you may eventually lose extra teeth from the sugar bugs.

4. Eating apples, carrots, or other food that forces you to bite with your front teeth... or like my nephew; you can just bite down on your desk at school. ( I know gross, pretty sure mom and dad had a talk with him about that)

5. The Original:  If all else fails and you can't come up with anything more creative. Give daddy a washrag, have your child open wide, grip and pull.  It will be out in a jiffy. (this is what we eventually reverted to)

Happy Teeth Pulling to everyone!!