Thursday, December 22, 2011

. . .merry and bright. . .

Heidi 2011
 Well, Merry Christmas and most likely a Happy New Year too!  I hope that with all the busy-ness of the season we all have managed to keep our focus on the true reason for the Christian's Christmas.  I say Christian's Christmas because last night my mom was telling us that she had heard the history behind the celebration of "Christmas" which started as a celebration of winter solstice.  There were other facts about the Germans and their "yule" time celebration, and the Stonehenge creations  and how their seats are in the shadows every winter solstice, and many others that my tired, sleep deprived mind couldn't hold on to during our drive to look at Christmas lights.  But the fact that the "church" incorporated the celebration of Christ's birth into the traditions of the day in order to keep the people in the church and happy came through clearly.

Eddy 2011

In thinking about it all though, it doesn't really matter to me.  Of course we don't know the exact day--our modern day calendar didn't even exist at the birth of Christ and our calendar is different from the Jewish calendar.  What is important is that we do have a time to celebrate the birth of Christ and a time to teach our children about this miraculous event that God in His lovingkindness allowed to happen so that we who live today could be saved by faith through the blood of Jesus Christ.  And that we can use this time to look forward to the day when we will be in Heaven with our Lord.  And to remember that the things of this earth are only temporary and that we have so much more to look forward to in Heaven.  

Sarah 2011
I'm so looking forward to celebrating Christmas with our family and I'm even glad that Christmas is on a Sunday this year.  Maybe my thoughts will turn a little more toward things that matter for eternity and a little less toward the presents under the tree. . . .not sure if the almost 2 year old will have any such thoughts though. . .ha, ha, ha!

**typing at Les Schwab today while they align our car, in case you're wondering;-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

a scrapper!!!!!

**no pic 'cause blogger is messin' me up today. . .

You'll never believe what I finished today. . .Eddy's baby book and calendar. . .and he's only 8 1/2. . .whoo-hooo!!!!!!  We had a Ladies' Craft Day at church and I packed up the kitchen and moved in and took over a corner of the room and buckled down and got it done!  Of course my main purpose was to get Heidi's baby book started--she's 21 months old--and that happened too.  Poor girl.  She never even had an official picture taken until she was 10 months old and practically all of her pics were on my computer which had a melt down and everything was lost--yes, I cried!  I am so, so, so thankful for blogs and facebook which have an assortment of pictures that I can retrieve when the time comes to print them for her baby books and calendar.  My only problem is that I can't remember the first smile, or giggle, or tooth, or food but we will add in our own blurbs because she is a firecracker and something is always going on with her--except when she is sleeping which is right now.

Yes, we are sitting outside Starbucks again and I am hurridly typing with a mostly broken left middle finger--have you ever thought about how much you use that one finger?  Way much more than is comfortable but it's too slow to type one handed and I wanted to pop in here even for just a minute. . .or twelve;-)

Have you been to the pumpkin patch yet?  We haven't. . .maybe tomorrow. . .

Thursday, September 15, 2011

. . .reasonably sweet!

Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out
We just finished reading this book for our Ladies' Bible Study for church.  The book was so refreshing and so convicting!  Each week Joanna Weaver, the author, managed to say something that I exactly needed to hear and she said it in such a way. . . .   She has a way of saying things that hit right at the heart, bypassing all reason and previous ways of thinking.  She made me look at myself in a whole new light.  I am a perfectionist and she made me realize that God doesn't want a perfect me--I'm working on being perfect/mature/complete but while I'm here on earth it is a process of becoming perfect. . .I will fail. . .I will take two steps forward and one step back. . .I will keep falling into the same sinful habits. . .

"Realizing that God is more interested in the process than the product has transformed my walk with Christ because it allows me to concentrate on obedience, not perfection.  The goal of perfection only points out how far I have to go, but obedience marks how far I have already come.  Perfection frustrates and torments.  Obedience releases and makes whole.

"I can't become everything I ought to be overnight.  But I can proceed step by step if I'm obedient to what God asks of me today."

Of course, it all hinges on our heart attitude and desires. . .am I truly trying to please God and do what is right or am I just living day by day doing my best to get by, frustrated when I sin or slip up on something but not really convicted and saddened and move on and forget about what God has shown me--like that man who sees his face in a mirror and walks away, forgetting what he saw there or not even truly seeing what was staring him in the face.  I don't want to be that man. . .or that woman. . .I want to be changing little by little every day so that others will see Christ through me.

The author Joanna Weaver is extremely well read and includes lots of little extra things in her book to help explain or to illustrate what she has been talking about.  The ladies in my group and I found the following prayer to be hilariously true:

"Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.  Keep me from getting talkative, particularly from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

"Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.  Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy.  With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.  Keep my mind from the recital of endless details--give me wings to come to the point.

"I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others' pains.  Seal my lips on my own aches and pains--they are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.  Help me to endure them with patience.

"I dare not ask for improved memory, but for growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.  Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken.

"Keep me reasonably sweet.  I do not want to be a saint--some of them are so hard to live with--but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.

"Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people.  And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so."
--Written by an anonymous seventeenth-century nun

It mostly cracks me up that it was a nun saying all this. . .guess I have this expectation that a nun would be mostly. . .like a saint!

--a few days later--
I was typing at Starbucks while my little helper was taking a nap but before I could finish things up my computer battery died.  I am now back outside Starbucks typing again while waiting for big sister to get out of her youth group meeting.  I know, I'm really suffering here (ha, ha, ha) but I do feel compelled to purchase a cup of coffee (Pumpkin Spice Latte tonight) even when I sit outside the store so that if ever questioned by the proper authorities about abusing the Wi-Fi offered, all will be cope-a-stetic.  So tonight little helper is awake and since we are sitting for a while I let her loose--in the car--oh my!

All that to say, I forgot my book at home and cannot double check the above quotes to make sure they are perfectly accurate.  I proofread and will spellcheck but any other mistakes are totally mine and I take full responsibility;-)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

cool & cozy!!!!!!!!

I love, LOVE, L o V e fall!!!!!!!!!!  We took hubby & Eddy in to school today because Eddy has a book club meeting this afternoon and my little helper was asleep so I came to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte and some computer time so she could sleep and not have to be awakened again--thoughtful of me, huh? 

Anyway, I was checking in on some of my favorite blogs and saw this button and couldn't wait to change my blog to FALL colors!  Helper is awake now so I'd better pop out to find a new FALL look!!!!!


Happy FaLL days to you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

. . .ummm. . .hopeful?. . .

We have a new animal friend visiting us.  He enters the house through the laundry room somehow and seems to spend most of his time out there.  At first I was horrified and desperately wanted him G O N E. . .but now. . .we have never seen him and although we have set out glue traps have never caught him.  His little droppings are around the traps but he's way to smart to actually step on that yucky stuff!  He likes to sit on top of the washer for some reason (again, evidence has been seen there) but not the dryer which has Heidi's laundry basket with all her dirty clothes and which would make a wonderfully soft spot to hang out.  The only trouble he's caused, besides leaving disgusting little droplets in the laundry room and Eddy's room (rooms connected by a door), was to eat a corner from the bag of cat food.  I honestly think he just likes the pleasure of being in the laundry room and I am terrified of the day when he will accidentally step on that trap.  So I hope he stays off that trap!  and I hope he finds a nice little wife and they make their home in the field across the street, and I hope (oh so secretly hope) that he stays and will become our little friend and I can train him to leave his little poo poos in the litterbox!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Chicken in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

4 chicken breasts
1/3 c. flour
6 T butter
¼ t. salt
½ lb. sliced mushrooms
1/8 t. pepper
1 ¾ c. chicken broth
2 T half & half

In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil. Set chicken aside. Add 6 T butter to drippings and cook mushrooms about 5 minutes until golden. Remove mushrooms and set aside. Stir flour, salt, and pepper into skillet drippings. Pour chicken broth and half & half gradually into skillet, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened. Return chicken and mushrooms to skillet with sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 25 to 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Serves 4

Serve over warm noodles.

**I would double the sauce and mushrooms. This recipe is delici-o-so!!!!!  My husband thinks the sauce should be tripled or quadrupled--it's that yummy!!!!!!!!

I also have lots of zucchini recipes that should be posted, but that's for another day!  A parent of one of my husband's summer school students has a tremendous garden and has been sending tons of squash and zucchini our way.  One squash weighs at least 7 lbs.  No joke!  I plan to make Ratatouille and cheddar zucchini puffs and something else with zucchini, bacon, and cheddar cheese. . .does that make your mouth water?

Gotta run. . .sitting at Panera Bread while waiting for tires to be fixed. . .back tire was absolutely flat this morning. . .not complaining though. . .have you tried the Fugi Apple Salad?  so, so, so, yummy!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

. . .peaceful!

A few weeks ago I learned that I had an enemy.  I've never really had an enemy before.  You know, someone who is truly looking for ways to harm you, slandering you and gossiping about you, sabotaging any good you might be doing, wishing and hoping evil toward you--a true enemy. 

I was shocked.

In fact my world kind of went spinning out of control and I didn't even know it.  All because of this enemy. 

The funny thing is that this enemy isn't even part of my life any more.  She is part of a world that I am no longer part of.  I didn't know she was an enemy and kept up with her blog.  Through Facebook I would hear of her because I'm friends with some of her friends.  The main part of her workings came as I was leaving our mutual world but I didn't know it at the time.  A friend recently told me about some things that were going on and some of the truth of the past came out. 

I was devastated.

I started doubting what and who I am.  Am I worthy to have friends?  It is my controlling nature that drives people away?  Are people even really my friends or do they just put up with me and sigh with relief when I leave?  I am irritating.  I talk too much.  I push and push to get my point across.

Then the Lord started to speak to me.  No matter what I had done, my words & actions could never make it "ok" for actions of my enemy--enemies.  Not if they truly were godly Christians.

I needed to get rid of the toxin of their influence in my life--I didn't realize it but I was almost morbidly driven to check out the blogs and FB updates and think--oh I used to be part of this group, she'll never call me her blessed friend again. . . ah, you get the idea.  I deleted their blogs updates from my home page updates, haven't checked FB--thanks to no online access at home (a blessing in disguise;-)~)

and a little peace came back into my life.

I talked with a friend who left our mutual world a year or two after I did and found out that my enemies had even more viciously attacked her and turned those in authority against her.  It was then I realized that we had been bullied by the "mean girls".  These girls look so sweet and innocent and godly and good on the outside but their actions and words toward those they choose to despise are so malicious and spiteful.  It was then that I realized that the self-doubting had come because of how I had been treated (not that I'm perfect by any means and there are definitely areas in my life that I need to actively be changing, but doubting my worth, thinking I'm not good enough to deserve or have friends, thinking that I only bring hurt and hardship in the lives around me not beauty or good).  We, my friend & I, had been bullied.  We felt little.  We feel like we might never trust anyone again.  We both have well guarded fences built that after two and five years have been breached by no one.  We were done wrong.

and a little more peace came back into my heart.

Up to this point, I had not wanted to let myself believe that my "friends" had been so hurtful.  I had made excuses, pointed the finger at me.  But looking back through this new perspective, I can see things so differently.  It hurts to think that my friends were not really my friends and to believe that they would actually be trying to harm me is almost unthinkable.  BUT seeing the past for what it truly was has helped me to see me for what I truly am and to give a huge burden to the Lord that never really belonged to me in the first place!

some more peace entered. . .

I guess God thought it was time for my heart to move on because this past week two BIG things regarding forgiveness have come across my path.  One was the movie Amish Grace about the shooting of 10 Amish girls a few years ago and how the Amish people chose to forgive the shooter and reached out to befriend and help the shooter's widow and children.  I've also been reading Body Clutter by Marla Cilley and Leanne Ely and yesterday's chapter was on forgiveness.  Wow!  writing out my hurt and anger and frustration toward these matters and friends/enemies. . .I didn't realize that I was angry or that I even needed to forgive them.  I mean, I knew I was hurt, that time had moved on, but I thought I was o.k. 

It wasn't until I had written everything out, and prayed, and cried, that a relief flooded my soul. 

And I felt fresh and clean again.

and peace came!

It's funny how all this had been buried so deep in me that it took all these little events and conversations--almost like putting all the little pieces of a puzzle together without the box to look at.  I feel like before all this happened that I was a whole, complete, happy person and then bit by bit I was smashed to pieces and then the Lord started picking them up and putting them back together but BETTER!  He cleared up my eyesight, gave me a bigger smile, filled my heart with a little more joy, stilled my mind with a little LOT more patience... almost like the bionic woman!  almost like breathing again--my corset has been taken off--whoo hoo!!!!!!!

I'm sitting here at Panera Bread with a cup of Hazelnut coffee typing away in peace and quiet--the last steps of cleansing my person.  My soul has been filled with peace and my person needed some peace as well.  I just needed to be away from being mom, wife, dishwasher, laundress, diaper changer, daughter chaser and have a few minutes of peace {sigh}

Well, I hope all of your worlds are filled with peace and contentment.

Happy Saturday to you!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

. . .online!

So. . .anyone out there wondering where I am?  Well, two weeks ago my back was injured and for most of that week I sat on the couch messing around with Polyvore.  That was fun and a distraction from a house that desperately needed it's momma.  By the end of the week I could stand long enough to make dinner.  The next week was spent recovering the house that had been on it's own for a week.  It's easy to understand the disorder of Miss Havisham's house after many, many years of neglect.  Thankfully, my cakes were not yet covered in cobwebs!

I was also recovered enough to figure out what was wrong with my cute new little potato peeler.

Isn't it adorable?  Somehow or other my other peeler got lost and Mom brought me this fun one but I had the worst time trying to use it.  I'd been using a knife for a while and just figured that I'd forgotten how to peel--ha, forgotten how to peel!

Here's a normal peeler.  Do you see the difference?
Here's the angle at which you need to hold your hand in order to use the cute little monkey.  Do you see why I was having a hard time?  So the cute little guy is gone and I'm using the normal peeler but it also doesn't like my hand.  See that little black tip that sticks out over the edge?  It keeps hitting my hand that is holding the potato.  My hand is nervous now about holding potatoes and sometimes drops them out of fear of being hit and cut by the peeler.  I think it would be a good idea for companys to have actual housewives test their products.  I'd be a willing tester if any such job ever comes along.

What in the world you might ask?!?!?  Well, we were out of water in the water cooler and the jugs are way too heavy for me to lift and I was desperate for a cup of tea.  (I refuse to drink our tap water--it kills plants!)  Thankfully we had plenty of ice cubes and the day was saved;-)

So, anyway, where have I been isn't the question.  The question is where is our internet service?  I don't know and am sitting here in Barnes & Noble typing away while the little ones play and read with Gramma.  Yea for Grammas!!!!!!!  I wasn't able to read the Home Sanctuary Small Things for this week so made up my own:  soak and scrub the stove drip plates, go through Helper's clothes and take out too small and replace with just right clothes, actually put away all clean folded clothes sitting in hampers, continue scanning in pictures for the Graduate's photo book, and cut hubby & son's hair.

Hopefully we'll be back online soon and all will be back to normal.  I am at home 4 days a week with a little one far away from civilization on an island and with no internet.  Needless to say, someday I might go a little crazy. . .

Monday, February 21, 2011

come away with us


literally!  On Saturday we had company coming and I had some cleaning things to finish and all the food to make.  I finished blogging about the Spring Fling, played with the little ones, tossed baby up in the air a few times,noticed that my back which had been sore was a little more sore, went to start the cooking, unloaded N loaded the dishwasher, noticed that my back was sore, and I was having a hard time with the cooking--dropping things, spilling things, cut my hand--battling black dog day thoughts, and as I was putting something on the closet floor suddenly found myself crying.  "What is wrong with me?" I thought.  "I'm not a cry-er.  Things are not that bad.  Get yourself together and get busy!"  "I can't!  I can't do it!" I told myself.  "Why?"  "My back hurts!"  "Oh, well, take some of that 800 mg ibuprofen, rest a minute, and get busy!" 

Welp, when I laid down for a few minutes that was the end of it all.  My focus had been on all the things that needed to get done and when my mind let that go for a second, the pain finally screamed through.  And when I laid down, the muscles relaxed a little and that was it!  I was lying on the floor--with no intention of ever moving again!

Ever have one of those times?  I finally managed to drag myself off the floor to call our friends and cancel and crash on the couch.  We were so disappointed to miss visiting with our friends but  there will be another time.

The casserole for the day and cake were partly started so hubby finished them up and we had them at scattered times throughout the day.  The salad he put together yesterday and it was so yummy with the leftovers.

Here is the salad recipe:

Spring Mix salad sprinkled with:
dried cranberries
smashed candied walnuts
(you know, put them in a baggie and smash them to bits with a glass)
Feta cheese
Newman's Own Lite Raspberry Walnut Dressing


Served with Chicken Curry Bake, French bread, and Pig Cake from the Pioneer Woman.

Today I am sporking by blogging while resting with my feet up and a Tiger Balm patch on my back.  You can spork too--check it out here at Home Sanctuary. . .

Saturday, February 19, 2011

. . .a flinger!

this blessed nest

Come join the Spring Fling with This Blessed Nest!!!!!!!  Anything goes. . .fling something, create something, re-make something, a fun Spring thing you find or buy. . .anything!!!!!!!

Spring Fling takes me back to my high school days.  I went to a private Christian school that discouraged dating.  But in the Spring we had a fancy formal banquet where dating was encouraged!!!!  My freshman year I couldn't go to the Fling because I got in trouble for something and I was so sad.  I ended up babysitting for my youth pastor's little girl and had a good night anyway. 

My sophomore year I heard that a certain someone was going to ask me, but I was so hoping that someone else would ask me, so I avoided the first guy like the plague.  He was persistent!  Our church had a long, long hallway with stairs that led from the basement to the second floor.  I remember going rounds and rounds on those stairs because he would not stop searching for me.  Kind of like Mr. Collins searching for Kierra Knightly--Lizzie in Pride and Prejudice.  Finally I found a place of refuge--the girls' bathroom.  I turned off the light, went to the very last stall and sat up on the toilet so my feet weren't showing, and tried to stop breathing.  In a bit I heard the door creak open and the light came on, "S-h-e-r-i, I know you're in there.  Sheri, come out.  S-h-e-r-i, I'll come find you."  Well that was the last thing I wanted--people to find US together in the bathroom so I came out and stood by the sinks.  "Sheri, will you go to the Spring Fling with me?"  Oh man!  Now I was in a pickle.  My mom's rule was that if a guy had the courage to ask you out, you MUST go with him--remember my exposure to boys was at this Christian school and she figured they were o.k. guys on the whole with a few weirdos thrown in.  I missed the previous year and was determined to go this year, but I so wanted to go with a different guy--one who would have the sense to realized a girl was avoiding him and more dignity than to chase her into the BATHROOM!  So I said. . .yes.

My junior year I was again hoping that a certain someone would ask me to the Spring Fling--but someone else asked me again.  He showed up in a matador outfit and couldn't get out of the bullfighter attitude all night.  We ate at a fancy restaurant that night and to get there we walked along the river--in the Spring--very pretty and romantic. . .until my matador saw some dandelions that had gone to seed.  He picked one for me and as I was saying, "Thank you," blew with a very big breath and my mouth and face and hair were suddenly covered in white fluffy dandelion seeds.  Now my matador is trying to pick dandelions out of my hair and brush them off my face--but have you had a matador trying to do such a gentle task--someone who is used to wrestling bulls?  I BEGGED him to stop!  The night never recovered. . .

Ah, my senior year and the guy I'd secretly been in love with all of high school had graduated the year before.  I was so relaxed and planning to go with friends--forget this encouraged dating stuff!  When a decent guy from my class invited me.  We were friends and were going to double date with some other people in our class--not dating just going to the Spring Fling together.  We had such a good night.  Then we girls learned that the boys had wanted to take someone to the Fling that year and didn't know who so they went through all the choices, narrowed the list to us two girls, and then flipped a coin to decide who was taking whom.  Well, this kind of took some of the fun out of the night. . .but I felt much better after socking my date in the arm!

Needless to say, I have much higher hopes for this year's Spring Fling;-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Company Girls Coffee

Can it possibly be Friday again?!?!?!

Where has this week gone?  Monday--recoup from weekend company & church, Tuesday--homeschool, Wednesday--teach at school, Thursday--take daughter to Fairfield, cancel Fairfield trip, rush home so baby can nap, go pick everyone up again, Friday--here we are! 

Well, the house looked so nice for our company this past Saturday that hubby said, "Let's have company every week so the house will stay clean!"  So we're having company tomorrow--lots of yummy food planned!!!! 

picture by the Provident Woman

This past weekend we had The Pioneer Woman's Red Velvet Cake for dessert.  (I used her recipe from her wonderful cookbook but don't find the recipe at her Tasty Kitchen site.  Here's a similar recipe from the site by the Provident Woman.)  My hubby who doesn't like said dessert even had some.  Everyone liked it and one of the husband's has already requested it for himself again.  He said, "Not today, but soon. . ."  He is a very funny man and kept us well entertained.  He and his wife are from India.  He is a well educated man with a job that allows him to travel so he's been everywhere.  He is also very on top of political things.  He told us story after story.  Did you know that in the world abroad they don't have a very high opinion of Americans?  They think we are arrogant bullies who always want something for nothing.  I was shocked!  He also said that America's political thinking is "Our enemy's enemy is our friend."  Thus way back when we were not so friendly with Iran we were friends with a certain bad guy and helped to train him to fight the Iranians but then when we were finished with him we stopped being his friend and that is when he went looking for new friends and found those really BAD guys.  He said, "America doesn't want this man caught and put on trial for the things he would say.  So we keep a very close eye on him.  Really!  Yeah, with all their satellites and tracking devices that can pinpoint you at your dining room table--they know where he is!  It's either that or kill him.  And we can't do that because we're America!"  And he laughed and laughed. 

Guess it's a good thing I'm not a politician because I don't understand that type of thinking at all.  If someone is your friend, he is your friend!  Where is loyalty?  And I am very sad that people don't think so very highly of my country.  I guess I can see it though--all around us.  People are out for themselves and what they can get and it is very rare that we see RANDOM acts of kindness let alone constant, steady kindness.  Those type of people are few and far between and their friendships should be treasured if we are so blessed as to cross their paths. 

It was so nice out last week that many of our trees think it is spring and are blossoming beautifully!  As much as I was out and about this week, I forgot my camera every time but these pictures show what the trees look like.  Yesterday we had such hard rains that I thought all the blooms would be destroyed but they are still hanging on--yea!!!!!!!

With being gone so much, there's lots to do here.  We're going to some friends' house for dinner so I'm making a cherry chip cake--from a box.  Have you tried it?  Delicious!  When I was a girl, they even had pink cherry frosting to go on top.  Now I just make do with vanilla.  All my little maids are working:  washer, dryer, dishwasher, swing for sleeping baby. . .and I am off to take a shower.  I'm so excited. . .going to use a scrub during and lotion after--wonderful points for today.  Thank you, Rachel Anne!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

. . .a hostess.

Friends are coming!!!  What shall we have for lunch?  Chili!

Tidy Mom

I know it doesn't sound very elegant or fabulous BUT
everything can be made ahead of time and simmering in the crockpot, throw in some yummy sweet cornbread, salad all prepared, dessert ready to go and I, as hostess, can visit with my guests rather than run around like a chicken with my head cut off while everyone else sits and visits.  There are times for something fancier but my thinking is KISS~Keep It Simple, Sheri~did you think I was going to say something else;-)

Here is our tried and true chili recipe:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
2- 28 oz. stewed tomatoes, undrained
2- 16 oz. cans kidney beans, undrained
2- 16 oz. cans chili beans, undrained
1 t. pepper
2 t. salt
2 T chili powder
1 t. cumin

Simmer in crockpot on low for 6 - 7 hours.
makes 8 - 10 servings

Some of our guests were Hindu and did not eat beef.  At first I panicked because this realization hit me only hours before their arrival.  BUT then a friend said, "Just make two pots of chili--one with beef, one without."  Brilliant!  And since I was behind in the normal recipe time schedule, I put the meat in the crockpot chili for 4 hours on high and the meatless chili in a pot on the stove to simmer about 2 hours--it's the simmering that brings the flavors together.

Everyone loved both types of chili and afterwards we "married" the leftovers and had a big batch of chili still.  We're finishing it off for lunch today!

Come join Soup-a-Palooza with TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers

Happy Soup Day to all of you!  I'm off to see everyone else's soup recipes. . .

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Pioneer Woman

KitchenAid mixer designed by Ree Drummond--picture by Ree Drummond

Look at this mixer designed by The Pioneer Woman!!!!!!!  She's having a giveaway over at her place!!!!!!!  All you have to do is tell her the name of your first sweetheart.  I SO want this mixer that I called my husband to find out his first sweetheart so he could enter the contest too.  He said, "You are my first and only sweetheart--everyone else was just a fling!"  Boy does he know how to say the right thing or what?!?!?!

Go, go enter the contest--if I can't win, it would be wonderful if someone I knew could win!!!!!!!

. . .contented. . .

Happy Valentine's Day!
I "woof" you!
That's what my son's valentine's day candy said. 
My hubby took care of getting the treats this year and he did such a good job.  Even got some candy for me;-)

Last week my mom brought me this magazine to look through called Through the Country Door.  If you have any inclination toward country decorating, you must check them out!  I was so excited and told my husband that if we had the means and room, "there is something on every page that I would buy!"  After making such a FINE comment, I sat down and looked through the magazine again to see if there really was something on every page. . .and sure enough, there is something on every page that tugs at my heart a little.

So on this cloudy, windy, rainy day while baby naps I shall inhale nibble my chocolate and share some pictures with you. . .

Set of 2 Dessert Pedestals with DomesSet Of 3 Prep BowlsPolka Dot Casserole With LidSonoma Drink Dispenser and StandFun Tastic Dinnerware Mixing Bowls And Teapot SetHampton Hutch and BuffetLyric Oversized Reversible Cotton Quilt and ShamYour Choice Oversized Cotton Quilt And ShamClassic Floral SheetsGwendolyn Leaf Cotton ThrowRose PillowMaldives Table ClockSet Of 2 Mesh Baskets With LidsThe Zephyr Table Fan by Deco BreezeBordeaux Hanging ClockHorse FigurinesWash Day Woes Plaque2 Piece Ruffled SlipcoversSet Of 2 Americana TrunksLeaf BedSpace Saving Laundry CabinetHand Painted Blue Floral BureauEaton Coffee and Side TablesDining Chair Solid Color SlipcoversHand Hooked Sunflower RugsBradford Floral RugMountain Apple Wreath And HolderGarden Pitcher, Salt and Pepper Set and Soup TureenSet Of 4 Little BirdsCeramic PitcherSunflower ArrangementCat BookendsSet Of 4 Family Tree PrintsChelsea Nailhead...Cherub Tapestry...Eaton ChaiseFirehouse Toy ShelfHalf-Round Tree...Solar Cascading...Sunflower Bouquet

Thanks for browsing with me.  Of course you know that a catalog picture is much better because it puts all the pieces together so if you would like your own catalog to enjoy with a cup of coffee and chocolates, click HeRe

and just so you know. . .I am content with my house, my life, my surroundings. . .oh, there are things I would change, like the hole in the kitchen floor that is covered by a huge board that covers 3/4 of the floor, but all in all I love our little "spot".