Friday, October 30, 2009

Life is Just Plain Good!

Just a note to say that I love my life! God is always so good to me and my family!

I can't think of one time where He has ever let me down. Even through the trials of life, God has always been amazing. We do have our fair share of trials but God allows us to go through them to strengthen us.

God has strengthened our faith so much just since Lyndsey left for college. To be honest, we didn't have even a penny to give to Lyndsey when we dropped her off at college. We just kept praying and asking the Lord to provide. And provide He has! Most of her school bill for the semester is paid and we haven't paid the bill except for what we made from a garage sale. The Lord has brought the money in!

We made almost $600 from the sale and we still have about half of our stuff left! Has anybody else made that much money from a garage sale? I haven't heard of it, but I suppose some people have. The people just kept coming! I think there were about 200 people or so that came. We handed out invitations/gospel tracts to each person that came and by the number of piles of tracts we went through we arrived at that number. We have been given quite a few more things to sell in another garage sale.

Walter and I continue to look for ways to sell things or earn extra money to help Lyndsey and it's amazing when you start to go through your closets the things you will find that you don't use that someone else will.

Our family continues to grow closer together and it's great! We are seeing our boys transform into young men and it's fabulous!

In fact, our church has started a remodeling project and we built a new platform among other things. Hardwood flooring was put on the platform and Phyllip was one of 2 guys that installed the flooring. He worked so hard and we are so proud of him. Tyler equally has worked hard for the last 3 days. Both of the boys have gone to sleep quickly each night after a hard day's work! I like that!

Life is busy and just plain good!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Yummy Recipes

I found a recipe last year that was a new take on Chicken Cordon (sp?) Blue. It's called Chicken Saltimbocca. I found it on Taste of Home's website.

It's very tasty. I however, tweaked it a little to fit my tastes and convenience.

Here are my tweaks:

1) I don't flatten the chicken breasts - takes too much time

2) I also don't roll the chicken and put toothpicks in them. I did this the first 2 or 3 times I made it and it was just way too much work for my liking. But you can do whatever you want

3) Because I started making dinner way too late yesterday, I cooked the chicken in the oven in a covered baking pan at 350 for 1 hour instead of the crockpot and it turned out the same

4) I did not use wine - I substitute with chicken broth

One of these days, I'm going to make the REAL Chicken Cordon Blue.

I served it with Twice Baked Potatoes

I don't have a recipe for it. I just winged it and they came out really good!

Here's what I used:

red potatoes - medium to large (remember that you cut them in half lengthwise so 1 potato can serve 2 people)
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cheese (I used Boursin cheese - my husband brought home an entire box of this cheese free and it's out of this world good - but you can use cheddar, swiss, jack, or whatever you want)
salt and pepper to taste

Bake the potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees until fork tender (No need to put them on a pan or cover with foil - just put them on the oven rack). Cool. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out potato leaving thin shells.

Put cooked potato into food processor. Add butter, milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until mixture is of desired consistency (I like it smooth). Scoop spoonfuls into potato shells (you can heap the mixture in the shells). Top with grated cheese of your choice.

Place potatoes in baking pan. Put in 350 degree oven uncovered about 30 minutes or until heated through.

Tip: My measurements are approximate - you may need more or less. Really, it's up to your taste.

I hope your family enjoys this meal as much as mine did!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn Chowder

In trying to get more (ha!) organized, I decided to make a monthly menu. It is working very well.

It's not quite that easy to come up with a month's worth of recipes off the top of my head so I resorted to the internet - Taste of Home to be exact.

I made one recipe earlier this week that I won't even try to tweak because it was just that bad. I'm not even sure how it made it onto the website. But, I'm willing to try recipes at least once.

Anyhow, onto last night's meal - Autumn Chowder. It was really good. And easy. I made baking powder biscuits to go with it and they actually turned out good, too. It's hit and miss with biscuits for me. I haven't quite figured out why that it, though. Maybe the weather.

Go to the website and print the recipe and try it. You won't be disappointed!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Should've Listened To Mama

Last Saturday we went to Riley's farm in Oak Glen. We went with a few other families from church.

It's harvest season and there were pumkins, squash, and apples galore!

Our family actually went to several different orchards/farms that day.

The weather was beautiful.

People were everywhere! And, oh, the smell of the food cooking! My, my, my! It was a heavenly smell! Corn on the cob, barbecued meat, apple everything cooking...mmmmmmmmmm! And then when you walked into the gift shops, there were butter, pumpkin butter, apple pie, etc. Might I add here that the apple and pumpkin butters were out of this world! I think I'm going to have to try making some homemade butters.

We made it to a place called Parrish Canyon. We went through the different shops there and one really big shop in particular.

I decided to buy some apples I'd never tried before - Arkansas Black apples to be exact. We were standing in line and I glanced to my left. I noticed a tortilla maker. I walked over to check it out. Then something on the shelf above and to the right just a bit caught my eye. I looked at it and couldn't figure out what it was. I picked it up only to discover that there was a base underneath it that was hidden. The base fell to the ground and I heard a pop kinda like the pop when a light bulb breaks. I still didn't know what this contraption was and didn't realize it was ceramic yet, either. I picked up the base and discovered that it was broken. Sigh. I still didn't know what this thing was and had to buy it because I broke it.

You know that old saying, "Don't touch. If you break it, you buy it!" Well, my mama told me over and over (probably thousands of times during my childhood) not to touch things in stores so I didn't break anything (I've said that to my kids probably thousands of times, too, down through the years). I don't remember breaking anything as a child. Now, at the ripe old age of 40, I still should've listened to mama.

My boys hopefully learned a lesson from their mama this weekend. Boy, did I feel like an idiot! At least it only cost $5.50.

It turned out to be a toothpick holder. Just looking at the thing, you wouldn't have known it. We had to look at the display of them to figure it out.

I learned my lesson - don't touch if you don't want to buy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It Was Great and Bittersweet at the Same Time

A couple of weeks ago Lyndsey put in a request to be gone from the college campus for this last weekend. It was accepted and we kept it hush hush and told no one she was coming home. She likes the element of surprise.

The boys and I drove up to Lancaster to pick her up. We had lunch with her and loaded her up and took her to the mall to hopefully land an interview. She is in need of a job and has been filling out applications everywhere but nothing has turned up just yet. If you think about it, would you pray for her about this? I will say, however, the Lord has provided miraculously for her college bill. The money has been coming in and He continues to amaze me with His marvelous ways! You know who you are that have/are helped/helping and from the bottom of our hearts (including Lyndsey's) THANK YOU!!!!!!! To those who have and continue to pray for Lyndsey, another big THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

My plans didn't work out like I thought they would. It seems they don't most of the time these days. Hmmmm, maybe I should try something different???? Anyway...I wanted to be home around 3:00 or so Friday afternoon, but we didn't get home until 7:30 p.m. Then we were supposed to have a family night but it went 'bust' because of the time and because her computer has been acting crazy since before she left for college. We did get the computer fixed but ONLY after spending almost the entire weekend working on it.

Saturday came and went. She was with us the entire time, but we were all so busy getting things done that HAD to be done that we didn't exactly spend the quality time as a family that I would have liked. But at least we were together, right? Lyndsey spent a good chunk of the day doing schoolwork. I am thankful that she is motivated to get it done and even get it done early.

The plan for her to come home couldn't have been more timely. Lyndsey needed to come home for a few days. She had somewhat of a rough day last week and she just needed familiar surroundings and family to help get her focus back.

I have a hard time admitting it, but it was kinda weird having her home. I know it's only been 5 weeks since she left but we've gotten used to her being gone. (Has anyone else experienced it so quickly? People told me that I would have a major 'meltdown' after she left, but that didn't happen. I guess I had accepted that this day was coming so long ago that it didn't really phase me. Weird, huh.) She even commented that her room didn't feel like her room anymore. It felt more like a guest room. Sigh!

We got her back to the campus 30 minutes before the evening church service was to start. Again, another one of our plans that went 'bust'. This one was not our fault. It was because there was a forest fire and the main road we take was shut down.

One of the surefire ways to know that Lyndsey is happy and feels at home at college is when she got her suitcase back in her dorm room, she announced to her roommates that she was 'home'. Ya think she's happy? I'd say so!

This whole 'send your child to college' thing has been different. I thought our relationship with Lyndsey would stay the same. Silly me, right? I guess I thought she wouldn't grow up so fast and not need us as much quite so fast. We still talk about 4 times a day and for that I am happy. But I guess I was blind to the fact that I wouldn't be 'raising' her anymore. It's time for her to 'spread her wings and fly' on her own now. In the back of my mind I've known this, but to actually experience it was odd. This is now the time when our relationship becomes 'adult to adult'. Wow! I don't feel old enough to have an adult child (oxy moron, right?)!

We left shortly after the evening service was over. It didn't hurt to leave her this time. I guess it's 'welcome to the new normal' for our family now. I've heard people say that your relationship with your kids gets better as they get older. I'm sure it will, but it's getting used to a new normal that is so strange.

She is doing so well at college. Her grades are excellent and we couldn't be happier. She is growing in her walk with the Lord and she's making friends at the drop of a hat and having a great time. was great and bittersweet all at the same time.