Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I have come across some really good posts lately on blogs- too good not to share. So.... be sure and check out the following...
Tori at Almost There has some really great encouragment going for those of us on Weight Watchers or for anyone wanting to lead a life of healthier eating and living.
Mrs. C at Riverbend-Ramblings has a great post about praying for our husbands for 31 days!!!!
Bluebird Rose has a BEAUTIFULLY feminine blog! I just LOVE looking at all the lovely things she has to share.
Next week, Revee at Country Roads will be starting a series on homemaking for little ones. Not one I plan to miss, that's for sure!!!
The Serven family has a really encouraging blog. What stood out the most to me (only because I haven't read everything on the blog yet!! LOL!!!) is the post on "The Dress of War". A must read!!!
So what are y'all waiting for? Go read some great blogs!!!!!
Chicken and Ham "Pot Pie"
1 (7 1/2 ounce) package refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 Tablespoon butter
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 pound boneless ham steak, cut into but sized pieces
1 (16 ounce) package of frozen veggies (we use Asparagus Stir-fry blend)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves (actually, we use about 6 BIG cloves!!!)
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup skim milk
Prepared biscuits according to package directions.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and ham and cook until chicken is cooked. Add frozen veggies, onion and garlic. Cook until veggies are thawed and stir in chicken broth, thyme and black pepper. Cook until heated through.
Dissolve cornstarch in milk and stir into skillet. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Put the hot biscuits in individual bowls and top with this yummy filling and serve.
This is supposed to serve 8 people, but often, well, the three of us make it into two meals.
NOTE: I like to add extra veggies to our meal. I always keep frozen green beans in the freezer, so I will add a handful or two of those. Plus, I have a large bag of diced summer squash (yes, the yellow stuff) and I'll put a handful or two of that in as well. Mr. U actually LOVES the veggies in this!! Hip hip hooray!!!!!
Also, you can definitely make your own homemade biscuits instead of using the store-bought ones.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Our church hosted a prayer meeting last week. Most of the ladies in our church made some sort of appetizers to share with everyone after the prayer meeting. My goodness, the ladies in my church can cook!!! While many of them made beautiful AND great tasting food, I took very simple things. I took Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sausage Cheese Balls and Frozen Orange Balls. My sister and I actually called these Orange Basketballs when we were younger. Whatever you call them, however, just remember to call me when you make them!! These are GOOD!! Just make sure they are eaten pretty soon after you get them out of the freezer- they get kind of mushy when they start thawing. They still taste incredibly awesome, but they get a little messy.
Frozen Orange Balls
1 (12 ounce) box vanilla wafers
1 (6 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 box powdered sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1 cup nuts (optional)
Crush vanilla wafers and mix with sugar, butter, orange juice concentrate and nuts (if used). When thoroughly mixed, roll into balls and then roll in coconut. Freeze. Serve frozen.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Mrs. Wilt has inspired MANY of us to get creative in the home and this past weekend I actually decided to make a go of it and try to create a fall wreath for our door. Here's what I started with...
- a grapevine wreath
- some plastic apples
- a spool of some ribbon that matched the apples
- a plastic "zip" fastener
- hot glue gun
First, I decided which part of the wreath I wanted to be the top so that I could then wrap the ribbon around the grapevine wreath and hot glue it at the starting point and the ending point. I started the ribbon at the bottom of the wreath so that it would be hidden behind the apples and bow (you'll see what I mean with the finished picture). Then I used the "zip" fastener (sorry, I don't know the official name of the thing) to fasten the apples onto the back of the wreath. Lastly, I tied the bow and hot glued it into place. Voila!! A simple, fast and easy-enough-for-me wreath to welcome our guests to our home!!!
So, what do y'all think??
Friday, August 25, 2006
Amazing things have been happening while our computer has been down this past week!! Okay, well, maybe not AMAZING, but... do y'all remember me telling you about how long I've been working on my son's crocheted blanket? Well, lo and behold... drum roll puh-lease.....
I AM FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I know, most of y'all that truly know me are probably having a heart attack right now, but it's TRUE!! Here's a picture to prove it.
Yup, that's him asleep with his new blanket. So, while it was hard being separated from email and the online world this past week, I did accomplish a good deal!! I've even started a blanket for our daughter, Elizabeth!!! I wonder just how long this one will take me, huh? Any bets?
Monday, August 21, 2006
I am sitting in our public library right now with some very sad news to share. Our home computer is out of commission for a few days. Yes, our family is floating around somewhere out in cyberspace until we are up and running again.
There are several words that I have heard Mr. U say lately like "mother board", "bios", "video card" and "processor". I have no idea what any of these words mean, but dear Mr. U does and will have our little problem fixed in just a matter of days (we're waiting on some part to come in the mail).
Friday, August 18, 2006
Deb over at Mountain Musings is hosting a Recipe Box: Show & Tell!! What fun!! She asked us to take a picture of whatever we use to store our recipes in. Well, this is mine. HAHA!!
I received this simple wooden box at one of my wedding showers almost 8 years ago. Underneath, you can see a manila folder. It’s ugly and unorganized, but chock full of really good recipes!! I’m not sure whether “the box” or “the folder” has more good recipes, but I love them both!!
A few years ago, a sweet lady at church gave me a beautiful binder so that I could organize my recipes. As you can tell, however, I have not done that. If and when I do that, I'll be sure and post about it here! But, that's a big "if"!!
Here’s where I keep all my cookbooks. I LOVE cookbooks and enjoy sitting down to read them just like one would read a regular book.
I’m planning on having some refreshments. Along with coffee and sodas, I’m serving my BEST Brownies (you know, the ones that are super fattening and delicious!!) and Sausage Cheese Balls. I hardly ever make these Sausage Cheese Balls because they are really fattening, too. I like to make them for special occasions. Mr. U just loves these and was happy to hear that tonight qualified as a “special occasion”!!!
Here is the recipe for the Sausage Cheese Balls. Very simple and very good.
Sausage Cheese Balls
1 pound uncooked sausage (I use hot)
3 cups Bisquick mix
4 cups of extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Crumble raw sausage into large bowl; add cheese, and mix well with hands. Blend Bisquick mix into sausage and cheese mixture. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Mr. U's Famous-In-Our-Home Reuben's
2 – 12 oz cans of corned beef
3- 14 ½ oz cans of sauerkraut
8 oz of thin sliced Swiss cheese
In a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, empty both cans of corned beef. Spread the corned beef to cover the bottom of the pan. Next, drain the cans of sauerkraut. If you don't drain them very well, the extra “juice” that is in the cans will cause your sandwich to be too “soupy” and very difficult to eat. After you have drained the extra liquid from the sauerkraut, pour the sauerkraut on top of the corned beef and spread it around to cover the pan. Last, layer the cheese all over the top so that every part of the sauerkraut and corned beef is covered. Bake in a 400 degree oven until it starts to bubble a little around the edges and the cheese is melted on top.
This will make 8 good sized sandwiches. Just cut into 8 sections and serve on whatever kind of bread you want (I believe it’s traditionally served on rye bread) and top with mayonnaise, mustard, thousand island or Russian dressing, pickles, or whatever you like on your Reuben sandwich!!!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
When you first go to the site, they will ask if you want to join. You can join if you like, but you can also click on “No Thanks” at the very bottom of the page and you can continue on to look at the movie reviews.
The next page will bring up different options. When in doubt, just click on “search” and type in the name of the movie review you want to read. A Google bar will then come up so make sure you type in the name of the movie and that “search Screenit.com” is clicked before you hit “Google Search”.
We use Screen It for ALL of our movie reviews. Some of the movies that come out look very interesting and some of them look quite funny. However, when we go to Screen It and read the review for a movie, it is often SHOCKING at the things that are said and the situations that are presented (and oftentimes, the body parts that are revealed!!).
Try Screen It and see what you think. I am so very thankful for their site and their reviews. There have been MANY movies that we have not gone to see after reading the horrible review. I have been very thankful that the Lord has made us aware of Screen It.
A home is a place of safety and part of making a house a home is protecting it from harm. Harm can easily come in when we allow movies that are not honoring to the Lord into our home. Little hearts and minds (including big hearts and minds) can be led astray by the world and its ways so quickly. Don’t let harm be brought in by you. Read the review of the movie BEFORE you watch it with your family. It’s worth it.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
When we first married, I asked Mr. U what part of keeping a home meant the most to him. His answer? Vacuuming!!! Before we married, I could not have cared less about vacuuming (just ask my mother!!). But, for Mr. U, I’d happily do it. You know what? As it has turned out (much to my mother’s surprise), I LOVE vacuuming!!! Look what I had been missing out on all my life!! Who knew?
My vacuuming days are usually Mondays and Thursdays (unless company is coming, then I’ll pull my trusty Bissell out and do extra vacuuming). Yesterday, however, I didn’t have time to vacuum (all those errands I had), so I vacuumed today. So, here I sit, at the computer, drinking a Diet Coke and enjoying all the fluffy carpet and wishing that I could walk on air for a bit so that it would stay just like it is- lines and all.
I just love a freshly vacuumed floor.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Here are the recipes that I promised from our meal of balsamic marinated chicken, mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Enjoy!!!
The balsamic marinated chicken recipe I actually shared in this post. Boy, is it good and easy!!
Red potatoes, washed and diced
1 T mayonnaise (that’s a Southern secret, y’all!!!)
Pinch of salt
Put your potatoes in a pan, cover them with water and bring to a boil. Let them gently boil for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Add about ¼ cup of milk, ¼ cup of butter, a pinch of salt and garlic to taste (either fresh minced garlic or dry granulated). With a potato masher, mash the potatoes and mix in the ingredients at the same time. You may need to add more milk or more butter (or both!) depending on how you like them. When you have mashed the lumps out, taste the potatoes and see if they need anymore garlic. If so, add it in and stir it up well. Now, stir in 1 T of mayonnaise. Yes, this seems strange, but TRUST ME!! You can’t taste the mayonnaise, but they make the mashed potatoes even creamier!!! Now just serve them to your family!!
(I mentioned using red potatoes, but that’s just me. Be sure and try whatever kind of potato you have on hand. Homemade mashed potatoes are SOOO much better than the boxed ones!!)
Fresh bunch of asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
Trim the asparagus ends by holding each stem by both ends and gently bending. The asparagus will “pop” into two pieces and the bottom half that breaks off is not as fresh as the top part. Discard the bottom pieces and rinse all the top pieces in a colander under cool water. Dry on paper towels then place them on a cookie sheet. Drizzle asparagus with about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper.. Using your hands, toss the asparagus around until each piece is coated with olive oil.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15- 20 minutes or until you smell the asparagus cooking in the oven.
This seems to cool quickly, so be sure and cook it right before it’s time to sit down and eat.
Today is a busy day in our household. I have many errands to run this morning, so I've already started lunch. Why lunch? Well, Mr. U is a pastor and we live right next door to our church and everyday he comes home for lunch. We decided about 6 years ago to make lunchtime our main meal of the day. So, come dinner time, we may have a sandwich or some leftovers, but we eat our biggest meal of the day in the middle of the day. We really enjoy it like this.
Anyway, since I have to leave early this morning, I got up and got some chicken marinating in a balsamic vinegar marinade. Just making the marinade made me hungry for lunchtime- it smells soooo good! Mr. U will grill the chicken for lunch. Yummmy!!!
Also, I chopped some red potatoes. I chopped up about 2 pounds of them after washing them. I like to leave the skin on them because there is so much fiber in the skin. I am leaving them in a cold pot of water on the stove. When we return home later, I will simply have to turn the eye of the stove on to get these potatoes cooking!
Last, I have the asparagus all ready to cook, too. I bought some fresh asparagus two days ago and can't wait to eat it! The stalks were very thin and green- perfect, in my opinion!! Asparagus isn't hard to cook or prepare, so there isn't anything to "ready" before I leave this morning. When I return home, I will rinse them in cold water and "snap" off the ends that are no good. Then I will roast them in the oven.
Oh, forgive me, I have to run. I will share recipes with y'all later this afternoon after our meal. Have a blessed morning and get in the Word!!!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
I LOVE the Spray n' Wash Stain Stick!! I unscrew the lid and swipe the stick on any stain and they ALWAYS come out. No joke. Ring-around-the-collar comes out. Grass stain? Yep, I get that out. Ink? Not a problem. Greasy burger dribble on your favorite shirt? Stain Stick removes it ALL!!
Sometimes I put it on the stain when I'm putting the laundry in the washing machine. Most of the time, though, I put use the Stain Stick on the stain when I take the garmet off and I just toss it in with the other dirty clothes until laundry day. Whether I'm pretreating an item of clothing or putting it on a stain I just discovered as the washing machine is being loaded, it doesn't seem to matter- this stuff works for me.
Stain Stick is such a huge laundry helper!! I always make sure that I have this in my laundry room!!!
Friday, August 11, 2006
Well, it's finally happened. Have you seen it at your house? Have you noticed? What? You don't know what I'm talking about? Well, here at my home, the sun is shining just a tad bit different than usual.
This happens about this time every year and I always look forward to it. Something about the way the sun is shining is out of the ordinary. Almost more clear. For years, I thought my mom and I were the only ones to notice this phenomenon. I've recently discovered that others notice it, too. So, while this may sound like strange ramblings on this post, I am ECSTATIC. Why? Do you know what this means? Fall is coming!!! Not anytime soon, mind you, but it is on it's way.
So, to celebrate the fact that the sun is shining in a rather uncommon manner today, I am going to light my favorite fall candle tonight!! Which one? Aaahhh- Pumpkin Pie by Yankee Candle. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! I'll be thinking of y'all tonight as I enjoy it's scent and while I'm STILL working on "the afghan".
Thursday, August 10, 2006
On Thursday, August 10, stop by a participating DQ® location and buy a Blizzard® Treat. All proceeds will be donated to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. With help from you, our loyal Blizzard® Fan Club members, we could raise over $2 million on this one day.
So you and your family just may want to take a trip over to DQ and enjoy a Blizzard today!!!
And, let's face it, any excuse to eat a Blizzard is good enough for me!! :)
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Have y'all ever heard of The Voice of the Martyrs? They are a wonderful ministry that works hard to keep all of us comfortable, well-fed, "I-own-8-Bibles-all-my-own" American Christians aware of what our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering for His Name around the world. Very sad stories, but they are true. We need to remember to pray for our fellow believers that are in chains for the gospel. They suffer what we will, hopefully, never personally experience. While it is hard to read of their persecution- and often it is gruesome- I think it is necessary. We all get so caught up in our self-made worlds, that we fail to see outside of our own little sphere. Look. Read. Try to imagine what Christians in Iran, China, India, etc, go through on a daily basis. Then, pray. Pray for God to give them great strength to stand. Pray for God to save their persecutors. And pray that we will stop looking at ourselves long enough to realize that this world is all about the Lord God Almighty.
Remember their chains.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Here’s just SOME of the benefits I found at the Mayo Clinic site in their excellent article entitled “Aerobic exercise: What 30 minutes a day can do for your body”:
-Increases the diameter and number of small blood vessels.
-Reduce your risk of coronary artery disease.
- Reduce your risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure).
-Improve blood fats
- Reduce your risk of stroke
- Reduce your risk of developing some cancers
- Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Ward off viral illnesses.
- Lower your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes
-Manage your weight.
-Strengthen your heart muscle
-Improve blood flow to all parts of your body.
-Relieve chronic muscle pain and fibromyalgia
-Boost your mood.
-Build strong bones.
My favorite form of exercise is walking!! I love to walk outside with a friend and talk or walk alone with headphones on. I love to walk on a treadmill, on a street near the house or on a high school track- doesn’t matter. But, I am most often not able to do any of these. Mr. U usually exercises the same time each morning that I do and I let him use the treadmill. So, I will pop in a workout video and do my second favorite form of exercise- Walk Away the Pounds with Leslie Sansone!!!
The next time y’all are exercising, remember that not only is it good for YOU, but it’s also good for your family. You are making your body healthier so that you are better able to take care of your husband and children and you are also setting a great example of how to live a healthy life.
So, I’m wondering, who exercises on a regular basis? What do you do for exercise? If you don’t exercise regularly, get motivated and be healthy for your future and your family!!!!
After all “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Tammy over at Tammy's Times is hosting a summer salad recipe swap!! What fun!! Pop on over to her blog and get all the details of how you can share your favorite summer salad!!
I posted this a little while back, but since it's our favorite, I just HAD to post it again. We just love it here at our home!!
1 bag of triple washed spinach (so you don't have to wash it yourself)
1 can of mandarin oranges (I like the BIG can!!!)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing
Put spinach, mandarin oranges and red onion in a serving bowl. For the dressing, carefully combine mayonnaise and Italian dressing until completely mixed together. Serve dressing on the side.
Everyone seems to really like this very simple salad (even those non-spinach eaters!!). You could even put in some sliced fresh mushrooms or even some sliced avocado. Recently, we grilled chicken and chopped it up into bite-size pieces and tossed it in with the salad. YUMMYY!!!
I definitely think this blog will be worth reading in the future!
While you're there, be sure and tell her "hello"!!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
We had the rare opportunity to visit another church tonight. On the Sunday we have Homecoming, our evening service is always cancelled. So, we visited another church in our area.
While the people were friendly, they weren’t warm and welcoming. All I could think was, “This is definitely not a church I would want to join”. As we left, though, I couldn’t figure out just why the people weren’t warm and welcoming. Sure, they all came up and shook our hands and smiled at us, but not one person introduced themselves. No one even asked our names. We felt like cattle being herded through the masses. “Hi! Nice to have you here!” smile… smile… “Glad you could join us!” smile… smile…I felt like I was looking at a bunch of smiling mannequins.
Though I didn’t have the best visit at this church (and please don’t ask me how the sermon was), I did learn several things about what members of a church, no, what Christians in a church should act like toward visitors.
- When you greet someone, smile. Not a quick smile, but the kind of smile you would make toward a friend. One that shows you are interested in them.
- Make and keep eye contact. LOOK at the person you are talking with. Don’t keep looking around at what all of your church friends are doing.
- Say more than just “Hi, my name is Mrs. U.” Something like “Hi, I don’t believe I’ve had a chance to meet you yet. My name is Mrs. U. What is your name?”
- Then, carry the conversation forward a bit. “Oh, Nancy, it’s very nice to meet you! Do you live in this area? Oh, over in Danville! Why, I drive through there all the time. It’s such a lovely town. How long have y’all lived there?” And let the conversation progress a bit.
- When you end the conversation, say something like “Well, Nancy, it sure was wonderful getting to meet you. I hope you and your family are able to come back next week. I’ll be looking for you. Oh, and I would love to introduce you to some of the ladies in my Sunday School class next week!!!”
Now, this is just a sample of what you could say and, of course, you could say a lot more. But it is A LOT more warm and friendly than I experienced tonight. Tailor a conversation that fits you. Some of us will often become friends with someone right away and, in that case, get their address and send them an encouraging note during the week. Some people are able to speak to new people a whole lot easier than others. Some people are more shy. But we ALL should push ourselves out of our comfort zones and out of the little “cliques” that often form in churches.
Ladies, we call ourselves Christians, followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But are we acting like Him? How would Jesus react/ act toward new people that He was around? Truly, He would be “kind”, but don’t you think He would also be “warm and welcoming”? Let’s all ask the Lord to give us awareness of new people around us at church and that we MAKE the opportunity to reach out to them and welcome them in.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Well, today I think we may have found a scent that we both like!!! It is by Bath & Body Works and is called Breathe Romance. It smells somewhat warm, but also has a very clean scent that I am drawn to. I bought the body lotion, so if this goes over well, I may go back and buy the fragrance mist, too!!!
So what about you? What fragrances do you AND your husband like? Have you found one that you both enjoy to smell on you? :)
Anyway, I think the upcoming posts from this link should be very eye-opening. I, for one, need to be more aware of cults and not just turn a blind eye to them. They exist- even here in my small town. Oh how I want to protect my family from being blindsided by something that could so easily lead them (us) astray.
Friday, August 04, 2006
After the service, we will have a covered dish supper. I am taking a chocolate cake (Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake) and a hashbrown casserole. I made the cake layers tonight and put them in the freezer and I will put the frosting (or "icing" for some of us) on the cake tomorrow night. A lady in our church owns a bakery and told me that it is easier to frost the layers when they are frozen PLUS the layers are more moist when they thaw. YUM! I've been doing it this way for years. People must like the cake because I never have any extra to take home with me!!
The hashbrown casserole is sooo easy and delicious!! I don't make it often, but when I do, it usually gets eaten quickly! I will put this together in my 9 x 13 pan tomorrow night. I pull it out to come to room temperature Sunday morning (about 45 minutes) and then bake it. I LOVE when I can prepare things ahead of time. Oh, and here's the recipe. It's always a crowd pleaser. My husband LOVES to have this with a big, juicy steak off the our grill.
Hash brown Casserole
1 (32 oz) bag frozen hash browns
1 can cream of mushroom soup
12 oz grated American cheese
8 oz sour cream
½ cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
2 cups crushed corn flakes
½ cup melted butter
Grease casserole, empty hash browns and smooth out. Mix soup, cheese, sour cream, salt and onion together and spread over potatoes. Cover with cornflakes and drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
(Just in case y'all wondered, NEITHER of these recipes are Weight Watcher friendly!! LOL!! But it IS a special occasion, right?
|Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino|
Oh, how I LOVE fresh smells! The smell of a freshly mown lawn, homemade bread coming out of the oven, freshly picked flowers in a beautiful vase, just washed babies, clean laundry, etc. You get the picture. That's why this post from Homeliving Helper meant so much to me. Lady Lydia's article entitled "Home Scents" really points out some much needed areas that we all need to keep clean and tidy in order for our home to always smell clean and welcoming. Well, don't just take my advice, read the article for yourself. Then let me know what part of her ideas you are going to actually use in your home.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
The Lord sure does grow some awfully nice flowers, doesn't He?
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Tami over at Time with Tami recently asked "How about you? What is your favorite room in the house - and why??" Good question, Tami!!!
My favorite room, by far, is my kitchen. Not because it's the most beautiful, but because it's the most FUN!!! Our kitchen is very small and I hardly have any counter space, but I love to get in there and "play" and create wonderful, healthy (and sometimes not-so-healthy! LOL!), great tasting meals!!! I love to look out my back window and see the tomatoes that are VERY slowly turning red. I have sunflowers that making their way out of the soil, too. We have two dogs (Martin and Katie) that I watch play in the backyard. So, while it's not my dream kitchen, it's the kitchen that I dream in!!
So, what about YOU? What is your favorite room in YOUR house? Why? Share your story and link and let's share and learn from each other!!