Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You like really like me!!

It was like Christmas came early when I found I had been awarded the Stylish Blogger Award! Many thanks to Wanda at for her encouragement and kind words of praise! Visit'll love her blog, too!

As part of accepting this award, I am required to share 7 things about myself ( I could cheat and just name each of my children....).  So here things that will never be answers on Jeopardy!

1. I'm a SUPER dork...just ask my kids...they love me anyway.

2. I still believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and do all I can to keep them alive for my children.

3. I go to Chick fil-A four times a daughters work there and can't drive yet (you'd think I'd get something free to eat out of the deal!).

4. I was a seafood chef and I really, really don't like seafood.

5. I want to be a writer-illustrator-designer-doctor-ballerina when I grow up.

6. I struggle and strive every day every minute to know God's will for me and walk with Him.

7.  I married my best friend and wouldn't trade one minute for anything in the world.

Now, I would like to pass The Stylish Blogger Award along to some of my favorite blogs....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

End of Year Menu Plan

In preparation for the new year I am trying to get use up everything in the pantry and freezer. Then, my daughters and I (and any of our friends who want to join in!) will have a big freezer stocking weekend. Last year, we spent an entire 2 days making casseroles, soups, meatloaf, waffles, pancakes and muffins. It lasted us the rest of the year! It was great to always have something ready to pull out of the freezer when we were short on time or when a friend needed a meal. In the meantime, we will be eating creative combinations of the bits and pieces of things we have left. Wish me luck!

Monday: Buttermilk batter fried chicken drumsticks, french fries, mixed vegies

Tuesday: Stromboli - Pillsbury canned french bread stuffed with bell peppers, pepperoni, Italian sausage, cheese and sauce.

Wednesday: Chicken pot pie - throw all of our leftover vegies in with some chicken, cream of chicken and cream of onion soup; throw a pie crust on top of it and bake. Yummy cold weather comfort food!

Thursday: Turkey Chili

Friday: Family Fun Night! Pizza and some Christmas movies

Saturday :Beef Stroganoff served on wide egg noodles, glazed carrots

Sunday: We're going to doing our Christmas baking: cookies, candy and other gifts from the kitchen today!
Sandwiches (grilled turkey and cheese and reubens) and tomato soup

For more menu ideas check out Happy Eating!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's beginning to look ALOT like I own a Christmas store!

Our Great Room Tree otherwise known as the Memory Tree- 12 feet tall and filled with every ornament our children have ever made as well as hand-me-downs and keepsakes from our mothers.
We've just returned from a wonderful trip to Washington D.C.. Lots of Irish dancing, friends and excitement! We braved a snow storm to get home and now I've got to get busy! Let me just be real honest when I say I get a little carried away at Christmas. I am very careful that the meaning of Christmas is not lost in our screams Happy Birthday Jesus!! I am nearing Clark Griswold proportions only on the inside of my last count we had nine Christmas trees (I know, I'm trying to figure out where to put the other 5 : ) )and an obscene amount of nutcrackers strewn about.  I'm building a Santa to sit on my porch next!
I hope your Christmas season is full of family, friends, love, sharing and joy.

6 For to us a child is born,
   to us a son is given,
   and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
   there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
   and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
   with justice and righteousness
   from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
   will accomplish this.

 Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV

...and I hope He likes Christmas trees!!!
Miles of Stiles

This is our Game Room Tree.  

The Kitchen Tree - Counter space? I don't need no stinking counter space!                              

Sunday, December 12, 2010

If you bring your crockpot to a high end hotel in Washington might be a redneck

We have survived Thanksgiving and managed to stay out of the Black Friday chaos.
This week our children are competing in the regional Irish dance competition in Washington D.C.. Needless to say, we won't be eating at home much this week! However, have crockpot, will travel! Feeding 9 people in D.C. is no affordable task so we will be slow cooking some of our dinners in our room while the kids dance and enjoy the local fare for lunch when prices are lower! I know...I sound like a redneck but the aforementioned pot was carefully concealed in a stylish suitcase!
We were guests at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, Maryland; a fabulous hotel with amazing and vast amenities...and $9.00 hot dogs! Now, we did not travel all this way to eat hot dogs but price-wise, you get the idea. Having done my pre-trip investigative work, I made the rogue decision to bring along my crockpot and the ingredients to prepare 2 dinners and one breakfast in our hotel room. I brought crockpot liners for easy clean up and made sure the recipes had few ingredients and required no chopping, peeling, etc... We made onion Swiss burgers, Enchilada casserole and apple cinnamon oatmeal with great success and we saved approximately $250 - 300!
Here are my recipes for the Amazing Traveling Crock Pot!!

Onion Swiss Burgers

1 pound lean ground beef
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 can beef broth
Hamburger buns
Swiss cheese slices
Shape ground beef into patties and place in crockpot. pour onion soup mix and beef broth over patties. Cover. Set crock pot on low and cook for 6 hours. Serve on buns with Swiss cheese and favorite burger condiments.

Crockpot Enchiladas

1 package corn tortillas
1 pound lean ground beef, browned and crumbled
1 can enchilada sauce (we chose mild to suit kid palates)
1 can corn, drained
1 can sliced black olives, drained
Cheese (we used grated Mexican blend but you can you Velveeta since it doesn't require refrigeration before it's open)
You're supposed to layer the ingredients into the crockpot like a lasagne but I was busy and texted the instructions to my husband who decided it was much easier to just dump everything in. It was ugly but quite tasty.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
I premixed all of these ingredients at home in a baggy. Pour into crockpot .
Add 1 envelope powdered milk and 3 cups of water.
Stir in dried fruit. I chose a bag of dried apples and berries. You can choose dates, cranberries, raisins, apricots, etc...
Cover and cook in crockpot set to low over night. Yummy hot breakfast that you don't even have to be all the way awake to enjoy!