Friday, February 27, 2009

This has been a big day. I woke up around 4:00 this morning with a terrible headache. I took something for it and went back to bed until hubby had to get up. Sometimes, it can be really hard to start the day that way, but all ended well. We did our schoolwork, ate lunch, then headed to my oldest son's music performance. Today was Junior Music Festival. I really enjoy listening to all the students perform. My husband met us there, so he took my oldest son to pick up his glasses after that. My oldest son has always had great eye exams until now. He has trouble with his left eye seeing things at a distance. So, anyway, he picked a great pair of glasses and is on his way to better vision! Well, on my way home, the car started acting up. It is an older car, but I really need it to keep on going for a few years! So, after dinner, hubby and I go buy a new belt in hopes that will fix the problem. We will see tomorrow. We normally have movie night on Friday night, but we decided to move it to Saturday night instead. It was a great day, all in all. I am happy to be home with my family enjoying our evening together!

Have a wonderful Friday evening!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February is passing by quickly! We are so ready for Spring around here! I cannot wait to work out in the yard. I hope to start clearing some garden beds this weekend. Today I will share a couple of recipes and a book review. The first recipe is from the book Saving Dinner, by Leanne Ely. I really enjoy this cookbook. It contains menus, shopping lists, and good healthy meals with side options also.


3 teaspoons olive oil, plus additional for greasing foiled pan

6 cloves garlic,pressed

6 teaspoons brown sugar

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Line shallow roasting pan with foil, lightly grease the foil with a little oil.

Heat oil in small skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften. (Don't let garlic get brown!) Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar until well mixed. Set aside.

Place chicken breasts on greased foil-lined pan, spreading the garlic mixture evenly over chicken.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender and juices run clear.

The next recipe is from my cousin, Tonia. What a great dessert!!


1 box lemon cake mix

1 (3.4-oz.) box instant lemon pudding

1 (12-oz.) can Mountain Dew

3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, Mountain Dew, oil, and eggs. Mix at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

This makes for an absolutely delicious dessert! Thanks Tonia!

I recently finished the book The Duggars: 20 and Counting! by Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar. I loved this book. I couldn't put it down! The Duggar family just fascinates me anyway. This book was an interesting account of their family values and guidelines. All through the book, one can see how they put God first and how He blessed that. They are also very honest about mistakes along the way. I especially enjoyed the section on how they have handled finances. To handle finances God's way is something that is not promoted in today's society, but they had patience and endurance in this area and faith that God would provide and see them through. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned much from it.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Monday, February 23, 2009

It has been a very busy couple of weeks. I haven't been able to post much because there just hasn't been enough time. There has been lots of school going on here. I am still trying to iron out a cleaning routine that works with our schedule. Hopefully, I will post that later on this week. That has proven to be harder than I thought. I would like to work a schedule out where I do a little each day, so that on Saturdays we are not cleaning like crazy, but enjoying our day together. I need lots of prayer on the cleaning schedule.

Last Thursday, Chase and myself, attended The Engineers Banquet. His Mathcounts team was invited to attend. One parent and the student could attend, so the moms decided we would have a night together with the boys. It was a nice evening together. The boys looked so nice. We heard an interesting speaker and watched several awards be given out. I enjoyed my time with the other moms, but most of all I really enjoyed some one on one time with my son. I think that is very important to have one on one with each child. We have great family times together, but trying to have that one on one is important also. This can be hard to accomplish with busy days, but it is well worth the effort to do so.

The menu this week will be as follows:


Orange Thyme Crock-pot Chicken
Brown Rice
Green Beans
Spinach Salad

Honey BBQ Salmon
Baked Potatoes

Caramelized Garlic Chicken
Baked Sweet Potatoes

Crocked BBQ Beef
Whole Wheat Buns
Oven Fries

Homemade Pizza
Brownies/Ice Cream

Mexican Lasagna
Garlic Bread

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15


We make ourselves a place apart
Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
Till someone find us really out.

Tis pity if the case require
(Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
The understanding of a friend.

But so with all, from babes that play
At hide-and-seek to God afar,
So all who hide too well away
Must speak and tell us where they are.
Robert Frost

Monday, February 16, 2009

We enjoyed such a wonderful Sunday. Our worship services were very uplifting and encouraging. After services, we ate at Five Guys, which was a treat. We also spent some time outside walking at the track. The weather was great for walking. Last night, our small group Bible study met at our house. The fellowship was very nice! We enjoyed a nice devotion and some tasty snacks! What a great way to start the week.
On tap for the menu this week we have:
Pep Group Snacks

Hamburgers on whole wheat buns
Homemade Fries

Hillbilly Spaghetti
Garlic Bread

Chicken Casserole
Green Beans

Crock-Pot Chili
Corn Muffins

Homemade Pizza

Teriyaki Chicken
Brown Rice/Pineapples
Mountain Dew Cake

I can't wait to try my cousin's Mountain Dew Cake. Yum!!!

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday's Thoughts

"How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You: Oh, Let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You."
Psalm 119:9-11

I hear you, little bird,
Shouting a-swing above the broken wall.
Shout louder yet: no song can tell it all.
Sing to my soul in the deep, still wood:
'Tis wonderful beyond the wildest word:
I'd tell it, too, if I could.

Oft when the white, still dawn
Lifted the skies and pushed the hills apart,
I've felt it like a glory in my heart-
(The world's mysterious stir)
But had no throat like yours, my bird,
Nor such a listener.
Edwin Markham

Friday, February 13, 2009

Show and Tell

Today I am participating in Kelli's Show & Tell Friday, over at There is No Place Like Home.

I would like to show a couple of cookbooks that I have recently received. The first one was a gift from my cousin, over at Be As You Are. I love it! It is a compilation of recipes from different church members. I cannot wait to start trying out all those wonderful meals. Church recipes are the absolute best!

The second cookbook is one that I found in a local antique shop. The Farm Journals have such wonderful "country fair" type recipes. This particular one is all about bread baking. Such great advice.

I love collecting cookbooks of all kinds. To just sit and read these recipes and the wonderful "tidbits" that usually accompany the books is inspiring. I hope you enjoyed my show and tell. Be sure to visit Kelli at There is No Place Like Home to see all the wonderful show & tell items!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I would like to share a couple of recipes from Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely that my family enjoys!

Crocked Barbecued Beef

2 pounds chuck roast, boneless and trimmed of all visible fat

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/8 cup honey

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

In a Crock-Pot, place chuck roast. Salt and pepper it to your personal taste.

In a large bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients until well blended. Pour on top of the roast, cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Remove roast from Crock-Pot and shred meat with a fork. Return meat to Crock-Pot, stirring well to coat evenly with the sauce. Cook for another hour and serve.

*I sometimes put this in the Crock-Pot the night before, to let it cook all night and all through the day. It really is good this way. Serve on buns with baked beans and fries and enjoy a wonderful meal.

Black and White Checkered Chili

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 can chopped green chilies

3 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic till translucent. Stir in remaining ingredients, except cilantro. Heat to boiling: reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.

I reference this cookbook quite a bit. Leanne Ely is also host of

Check it out sometime!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's on the menu this week:


Crock pot BBQ Chicken



Fruit Cocktail


Mac-n-Cheese Casserole

Baked Beans

Green Beans



Chicken Fingers





Homemade Pizza





French Bread


Chocolate Pudding

Enjoy your Tuesday

Monday, February 9, 2009

I had the most wonderful time at my sisters' baby shower yesterday afternoon. I was able to visit with relatives that I haven't seen in quite some time. It made me realize that I need to remedy that situation! I know everyone is busy . Sometimes I think wow, we can't fit one more thing in; however, family is important. I intend to work this week on how to see extended family more often. I want my boys to know their relatives and have that connection. I truly believe that connection is so important to all of us, but especially to our children. When I was growing up, I remember spending Sunday afternoons at my grandmother's houses. At my Mamaw Willene's house we would play football ( I was the only girl cousin until my sister was born 13 years after me!), have water balloon fights, run and play crazy games. Then we would eat, play some more, and get ready for church that evening. Those were great memories. At my Mamaw Frances's house we would have the most wonderful egg hunts. She would invite the neighborhood kids and we had a blast! Maybe it is because I am getting older, I don't know, but I do know that even though my boys are teenagers I want to revive some of these memories for them.

Back to the shower.... My sis received some cute little outfits, wonderful baby care items, and some of her big ticket items also. This is their first baby and supposedly they are having a boy. I am most excited to be an aunt again. I have 4 nieces, 6 nephew's, 2 great-nieces,and 2 great-nephews. I am happy to add one more nephew to the mix! We are anxiously awaiting you little Marshall......

What a beautiful weekend it was! The temps here were mid to high 60's. On Saturday my youngest son competed in the Mathcounts Regional Competition. His team placed 2nd. We were so proud of the team and of all the competitors. These students work hard to get to this point. It is very impressive to watch how they problem solve and work together as a team to come up with the solutions. The final round is the countdown round which is an individual event. The top 10 of all the students get to advance to this round. It is truly amazing to watch this round. One of the boys on our team took 1st place in this. I really believe this is a great way to get students excited about Math. They can actually see it applied in everyday life and a little competition helps to get everyone going!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday's Thoughts

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

There is a nook among the alders
Still sleeping to the catbird's "Hush";
Below, a long stonebridge is bending
Above a runnel's silent rush.

A dreamer hither often wanders
And gathers many a snow-white stone;
He weighs them, poised upon his fingers,
Divining each one's silvery tone.

He drops them! When the stream makes music,
Fair visions with its vault-voice swell:
And so, for us, the future rises,
As thought-stones stir our heart's "Farewell!"
Robert Frost

Friday, February 6, 2009

I love Friday's! We can start our day around here a little slower on Fridays. Usually we finish up the week's school, tests, and writing papers. I also like to play some board games that enhance what we do through the week. Such as math games, grammar games, chess, etc... Then to top it off we usually watch a movie that goes along with our history studies. Right now we are doing a study of World War II. Along with that, we are watching some 20th Century Movies by the decade. It is just nice that we can do that at a little slower pace today. Today is grocery day though, so we will have to put that in later in the day.

We have really been trying to put an emphasis on our Friday Family Nights. So far, things have gone well. The boys seem to be really enjoying this time. Before, we did movie night with pizza, but that would sometimes get pushed aside for something else. We all decided that we really want to protect our Friday Family Nights. Tonight we will go eat in downtown Chattanooga ( love those coupons!!). I hope we will be able to walk around some and enjoy the sights. Then we will come home for dessert. We might have to cut it a little early tonight because Chase has an early morning on Saturday. He is on a Mathcounts team and the competition is tomorrow morning. But, I think it will be a wonderful evening!

One thing I need to do this weekend, is get a housecleaning schedule in order. Mine has kind of gone crazy and rooms are getting cleaned just "whenever". I don't like that. I do much better with an organized cleaning routine, so I really need to pray over that and get to it! Oh, I also need to get the boys Valentine's Day gift bag together. I might go in the candy store by the Tennessee Aquarium and get something different!!! I also like to put a Barnes & Noble gift card in their bag.

I am not sure what to do for my hubby. He is trying to lose weight, so I don't think candy would be a good option. Hum......maybe a nice backrub and watching one of his crazy movies together????? Cheap and low-cal, I think it is a winner!!

I posted some pictures today of the boys eating at Rembrandt's. I love this little eatery in the art district of Chattanooga. My youngest son had to be at UTC Thursday afternoon, so we went a little early and grabbed a snack at Rembrandt's. All the seats indoors were taken, so we braved the cold and sat outside. Now you know I have got to love it to do that!!

Have a great Friday!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yesterday was a big day for us. My middle and youngest sons were pages for our state Senator. This was the first time they paged for the Senate. They have paged in the House before and enjoyed it. This is such a great learning experience. I have always enjoyed watching the session from the gallery. One year we were able to meet some of the judges and learn a little about their job. We also have talked with one of the lobbyist about their job. It has been interesting to actually hear first hand what these people do. Anyway, the boys had a good day and earned some money too! (Pages are paid $10.00) We did not make it to church last night. I have not felt too good lately, so I went to bed early. I think that was what I needed, because I feel alot better today. I am hoping the temps rise a little today. I would love a big snow, but I am getting a little tired of the cold. I think my mind is gearing towards the garden and outdoors. Last year we had great tomatoes and peppers, but our strawberries didn't fair too well. I don't think we will do those again this year. I love looking at the catalogue to see what we will put in this year. I also want to put in a rose garden. My husband used to grow roses when we first married. Maybe I can revive that interest in him again!!!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wow!! It has been a busy week so far. We had a wonderful worship on Sunday, followed by a dinner and baby shower. The couple received some very nice gifts. Sunday evening we had a family from church over to watch the Super Bowl. It was so much fun. We laughed at the commercials, enjoyed good food, and just had a great time of fellowship. It just reminds me so much that our homes are to be used for hospitality. I want my home to be a place of firm foundations for my family. A place where we grow together, make traditions and memories together. I love the inspiration that I receive from other blogs about blessing the home. I think that is so important in this day and time. Alot of things can be uncertain, but having a family in a safe and loving environment is unbeatable. Of course, for all that to take place, God has to be at the head of that family and home. Proverbs 31 tell us so much about the running of our homes. It is an important job! Sometimes the laundry, dishes, and spills on the carpet can seem overwhelming, but I believe when we come back to the true purpose of what our homes are suppose to be and trust in God that He will see us through, then we begin blessing not only our homes, but our families as well.

I have started the book, HOMEKEEPING HANDBOOK, BY Martha Stewart, and I am really enjoying it! It is a large book. It covers topics about caring for everything in your homes. I really enjoyed the introduction, where she states why a book like this is important and how she came about putting this book together. I believe it is more of a resource to keep going back to instead of a "read straight through" book.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Wednesday!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday's Thoughts

"Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left."
"You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess."
Deuteronomy 5:32,33

God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather
Far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance
To a land that's free;
Let us all be grateful
For a land so fair,
As we raise our voices
In a solemn prayer.

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam,
God bless America
My home sweet home.

A Patriot's Handbook
Caroline Kennedy