Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My 2009 Burpee catalog has arrived! I am soooooooooo excited!
Blessings, and garden wishes - Beth Ann

Rock Band

I spent the week-end playing with a rock band! LOL And it was soooo much fun! Ok, so it wasn't a 'real' band, but after playing the drums for over an hour straight it sure felt like one. And believe me when I tell you the feeling of rejection you get with a low score or being voted off for a different singer sure feels like the real deal!
My DS has a friend who spends every week-end at our house, and with public school out he has been here every day. He received this Xbox game, and all the paraphernalia, for Christmas and brought it on over. So everyone at my house has been playing in a rock band for the past few days.

Here is DH taking a turn singing.

Here is the band, DS on guitar and DD on drums.

Here is the friend, N, on drums.

My son on vocals.

DH and N playing back up for DS.
We had such a good time playing this, I was amazed. I had seen the commercials on TV, but didn't think much about it. We really don't do video games at our house. We have a few plug and plays, also great for keeping in the RV while traveling, and a couple game boys. That's it. So we feel blessed that N brought all this equipment over (enough that you feel like your traveling with a band) and we enjoyed such fun fellowship.
P.S. The game does have some parental controls and the boys were respectful enough to engage them so all members could play. I am big on content, some parents are not, including N's. Guess he has been here enough that he knows the drill - LOL
Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Know how the song goes . . . "It's the hap, happiest season of all . . . " ? Well it is the sad, saddest time of all for me at our house, the after Christmas season.

The Christmas music is off the radio, the gifts are gone from under the tree and good cheer is in short supply once more. Don't even get me started on facing the dreaded New Year resolutions - a.k.a. facing the scale! LOL We are however left with the memories, and thought I would share just a couple with you.

I ask you, "is there anything better than coffee and chocolate mixed together"? I recived this special treat in my stocking, Starbucks Espresso gingerbread truffles! They are devine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I gave one to DH, have missed it ever since.

We are a tad odd at our house and me and DS have the same sense of humor, an odd one - LOL Upon seeing the neck from the turkey carcase in the fridge, DS asks me, "what are you saving that for, going crabbing"? LOL LOL LOL Sorry, some low country humor there. LOL LOL LOL Sorry, still cracks me up!
Speaking of New Year Resolutions and leftovers, I am on a mission on tightening our purse strings even further. I know I have mentioned it in the past, but I have figured out our grocery budget to a penny and am going to stick to no more than $7 per a dinner for 6 people, 2 adults - 2 teenagers and 2 young children. I think that is high, but just can't seem to do it lower every night. So in the up coming year I will posting menus with dollar amounts and recipes as well. My first one is dinner tonight - Curried Turkey Salad, made with what else - leftover turkey!
Curried Turkey Salad
3c. chopped up turkey - free/turkey was a gift from friend for holiday
2 stalks celery - .20C
1/4 cup frozen pea's thawed - .10C
1/3 c. mayo (I use Smart Balance - won't compromise that) - .20C
2 TBS. sour cream - .08C
2 tsp. lemon juice - .o2C
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin total for all spices is .10C
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
1/8 tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 c. slivered almonds (I used crushed pecans because that is what I had in the house) - free/ gift from friend last holiday season and just now using last of what was in freezer
bed of lettuce - I used 1/2 head romaine - .74C
Total = $1.48
I am also going to toss in a 1/3 cup organic unsulphered dried cherries, I get these from a food co-op and keep them in the house for granola and what not. So add another $1.67 . Also going to toast up some English muffins I got at church today, we have a bread program (day old), so also free.
Making my new total $3.08. Not bad and the kids will pick at this. I might however get crazy and throw in a can of soup that is rattling around my pantry to add to mine and DH dinner for an additional $1.27. So our grand total for dinner tonight is . . . drum roll? $4.35 Now that does not include tax for my state, so food would have an extra 9.5% or another .44C so I guess real total is $4.79. I know took me a bit getting use to also, seeing as how we moved from a state with no food tax. Thought DH would pass out at the register the first time we grocery shopped down here! LOL
Now toss turkey, peas and celery in big bowl and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients except nuts and lettuce together in small bowl. Pour over turkey mixture and chill well. Mix nuts in right before serving, and serve on a bed of lettuce! YUM
Makes 4 servings
Will try to post a pic and a response from family here tomorrow.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

The day was spent with last minute shopping. The evening spent cooking. Head was filled with a migraine, and the back aching in pain despite a second visit to the chiropractor. Twins sick again. Middle dd also sick, hope she doesn't vomit on my bed like Christmas morning '05. Just got home from church communion, actually taken from a manger. Ahhhh, the memories! Cooking Santa's cookies now and having crock pot apple crisp and crock pot Reuben fondue as an after church dinner. Hope you and your family are making some wonderful memories this Christmas Eve too.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, December 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Nobody panic! There are still 3 days until Christmas! LOL I was doing fine myself until yesterday. DH doesn't get paid until Christmas Eve, so guess what we are doing? Actually he can pick up his check at 6 a.m. so that isn't as bad . . . right? Plan is to pick it up, get last minute items and he wants to take me to breakfast at Shonneys - it's a southern thing :)
So I guess we all know that meals will be crazy this week, leading up to the big event on Thursday. This Christmas will be bitter sweet for us. It will be the first Christmas in a couple years that Grandma S and Grandpa D will be home and with us. Usually they spend the holiday in Vegas with their son. So that is the good news. The bad news is that they put their house on the market last Friday and are moving to Vegas after the first of the year. Bummer. So it will make our Christmas meal a little more sad, but I want to enjoy every last minute of it! We are hoping that when we go out west in Aug. we can stop for a couple days to visit them. Lets keep our fingers crossed, and lets take a peek at what our menu this week looks like . . .
Monday - Crock pot steak fajitas w/tossed salad
Tuesday - White chicken chili w/ cornbread and veggie sticks
Wednesday - Communion at church then home for finger foods, Reuben fondue, buffalo mozzarella cheese sticks, cocktail rye bread and crock pot apple crisp
Thursday - Honey glazed spiral ham/deep fried turkey, green bean almondien, mashed potatoes & gravy, cranberries, veggie/pickle/olive tray and pies - glorious grandma pies! LOL (who will make these next year?) sigh
Friday - Leftovers!!!
Saturday - Homemade pizza w/salad
Sunday - French onion crock pot soup w/ Bahamian crab & bacon rice
For more menu plan Monday visit www.orgjunkie.com
Whats for dinner at your house this week?
Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, December 21, 2008

He's at it again . . .

OK, I know the picture is kind of fuzzy, but my youngest son is at it again! Gotta love him! LOL
Remember the apple ornament grouping? LOL It is now my cell phone screen saver. Good thing all the lights are the same color huh? Man I love that kid.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cooking today . . .

Today I am making Crock Pot Chex Mix, man the house smells good!
Crock Pot Chex Mix
4cups chex cereal
4cups Cheerios's cereal
4cups pretzel stixs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/3cup grated fresh Parmesan
In a 6qt. crock pot sprayed with non-stick coating, toss in cereal, pretzels, salt and Parmesan. Drizzle butter over the top and mix well. Cover and cook on low 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Heavenly! May serve warm or cool and store in air tight container / zip lock bag.
*Note - feel free to add some peanuts or other seasonings, make it your own!
Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cracked up

I have been suffering in pain for well over 4 months and decided today to do something about it. I have had this hip/sciatic nerve pain, and it gets worse at night. The longer I put it off the worse it got, surprise right? It's to the point that for the past month or so I can't even sleep. I get a fiery hot pain down my left leg/hip and when I sit up it feels like a steel dagger is being shoved up my spine. Well I have had back/hip problems since my middle dd was born, I blame the back labor. Anyway, I have always had success with the chiropractor. But our new insurance doesn't cover it, and they raised their price :( Not sure why today was the day, but I just couldn't take the pain and lack of sleep anymore. So marched myself down their and gave myself an early Christmas gift. Now I am kicking myself for putting off for so long. Guess I get my martyrdom from my mom. Anyway, I always feel worse when he is done, but feel better in the long run if that makes sense. He told me my 4Th lumbar was out of place and the inflammation was putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. I have no idea what all that means, just glad it wasn't in my head - LOL Well I felt and heard it go back in place and felt like a car ran over me! I jumped off the table and told the poor Dr. that I didn't feel any better. Wish you could have seen his face! Looked like someone kicked his dog. He recovered his dismay at meeting someone so forward and told me that I would start to feel better after the inflammation went down. He was right! HALLELUJAH!! I am still sore, but I can tell it is already a bit better. Why o' why am I so pig headed? I was certainly worth the price of that adjustment! Moral of the story . . . take care of yourself, be good to yourself. Your martyrdom isn't helping anyone, in fact it is most likely making you cranky and you will be giving the rest of the family a gift as well if you take care of yourself!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's a snap . . .

Last night was our annual church Caroling outing. Everyone looked forward to it with baited breath and talked about it all week. Friends made plans to rendezvous and kids brought their chums. Dinner was rushed through so that we could take to the streets as soon as possible. We went to the hospital, nursing home, retirement village; no helpless senior citizen escaped our clutches. We sung with great abandon, and zeal! We sucked. LOL Not sure what happened, but only two people out of the 30 were on key. It is going to be one of those things that every time you look back on it, you get fits of giggles :) I am sure enthusiasm counts right? If so, we rocked! LOL Afterwords we returned to church for hot chocolate and cookies, which is what the itty bitty kids really wanted any way. We stayed so late with good fellowship that it was almost past our bedtime, forget the kids! A good time was had by all.
I found a great new recipe for gingersnaps and made them for our caroling party. They were such a huge hit I wish I had tripled the recipe! They were the first cookie, and only cookie completely eaten up. Wow, that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling all over, might also have been the super sweet hot cocoa too (must be a southern thing). LOL Here is the recipe, and I DO recommend at least doubling this.
Fleece Navidad (from book of same title) Gingersnaps
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg, room temp.
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2 Tbs. freshly grated lemon peel
1/4 -1/2 cup sugar
Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Cream butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl, mixing well for at least 2 minutes until well blended, pale, and fluffy, scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in egg, then molasses and lemon peel until blended. Slowly add half the flour mixture, mixing with wooden spoon just until blended, then add remaining flour mixture, mixing it in well.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Then take out and roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls. Roll balls in sugar and place 2 - inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake just until puffed and cookies look dry -- anywhere from 10 - 14 minutes, depending on your oven. (Do not over bake or cookies will become hard.) Carefully remove with metal spatula to wire rack to cool.
Makes 32 cookies.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gift bag recipe

Honey-Chipotle Pecans
2 Tbs. Honey
1 1/2 tsp. dried chipotle powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups pecan halves
2 Tbs. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
Pre heat oven to 325' . In a skillet, warm honey with chipotle powder and cinnamon, over low heat; then add nuts and stir to coat evenly.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper, then spread nuts evenly in a single layer on the sheet. Bake in pre heated oven 10-15 minutes or until nuts are fragrant. Allow to cool slightly, 1-2 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and salt. Add warm pecans, toss to coat evenly. Spread out on a fresh sheet of wax paper and let dry completely.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Getting to Know meme

Getting to know you

I was tagged by http://www.2nd-cup-of-coffee.blogspot.com/ for this.

How did you come up with your blog name? Chatting with friends

What is a cause closest to your heart? Children's education

Do you or have you ever home-schooled? Yes, 4 years now

What was the biggest challenge homeschooling? Teaching different grade levels, I have one in High school, one in middle and my twins are Pre K!

What was your most favorite moment while HS? When my son came to me and said, "Mom I didn't know I liked to read until we started home school". Now he reads allllllllll the time - LOL

Do you like to bake or cook? I LOVE to cook!

What is your most favorite thing to bake or cook? I am a lean, mean, soup making machine!

What is a kitchen appliance that you could not live without? Coffee Pot! LOL Does that count? Ok, tie between crock pot and bread machine

What color is your kitchen done in? Sunflower yellow

If you could live anywhere - no cost involved where would you live? Edisto Island, South Carolina

What size house would you live in? One of the big houses right on the beach typically for tourist/rent. I want to be right on the beach and they have more beds/baths and great decks.

Do you plant a garden? Yes

If you do what do you plant? Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, gourds and what ever else we fancy that year. No more okra though! LOL

What is your favorite bible verse? Jeremiah 29: 11- 13 "For I know the plans I have for you", says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen."

Do you take notes during church? Sometimes

Do you highlight your bible and write little notes in the margin? I use to highlight, but found it bothered me when I looked back and couldn't remember why that had importance to me and why . Now I use a journal or a small note pad tucked into my bible cover.

What is one of your favorite Christian blogs to visit? http://www.smellingcoffeetoday.blogspot.com/

Do you think this is too long and has too many categories? No

One more:If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things would you take with you? 1)My DH 2) Bible 3)My comfy couch, there is enough food, paper, pens, change, toys, ect . . . in there to keep me occupied for a long time. Besides, I hate to sleep on the ground! LOL

I tag everyone who visits me!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wonderful week-end

Despite the gray skies and high winds we had an awesome week-end with temps in the 50's. It was very Christmasy (sp?) around here. Friday we finished our gift bags by making Honey-chipotle pecans - YUMMY! I was surprised how easy this went together and how sweet/salty /spicy it was. I had about 5lbs. of pecans in my freezer from a sale last year and decided to use them in my gift bags.

Remember I am doing the gourmet salt? Here is a bunch more I finished and put in little shaker jars a friend gave me.

Here are the pecans cooling after being roasted and rolled in sugar/salt.

I put about 2 cups of pecans in a zip lock baggie and put matching tags on all the salt and pecans.

This is what the finished project looked like, one of each of the three gourmet season salts and a bag of spiced pecans - all have matching tags. I then pop them into holiday gift bags from the $ store and add a holiday card, also from the $ store. Then I take my home made blessings and deliver them to all the people who have blessed our lives this year.
I took one of our blessing bags to our new pastor and his wife today. It was a wonderful visit and I had a great time visiting. However it was odd to see someone else living in a space that my bff use to live in before she moved to the city. Pastor and his wife have not only done a wonderful job making their home their own, but the church as well. I have never felt some welcome and wanted by a pastor and wife before. It was a heart warming change. We also had the privilege of lighting the third advent candle, the Shepard candle, last Sunday at church. We were all pretty excited and honored. The kids were so nervous they didn't know if they would be able to read the scripture verse, Luke 2:8-20. They did fine but we did miss my DH who couldn't make. Since he is now working two full time jobs he doesn't get home until 8 a.m. Sunday morning. He was just toooooooo tired. He has Wed. off from both jobs however and will be able to join us for caroling with the church! Yeah! LOL Grandma S came to see the kids, that was so nice. Grandpa D was home sick with his new diabetes meds though. so lets keep him in our prayers. The church service was rich and beautiful, seeped in the Christmas story and ringing with traditional tunes such as "Go tell it on the mountain". If you get a chance you can check out my church and new pastor at www.cannoncommunitychurch.com
Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's all over

Well it's all over now but the shouting, as the old saying goes. DH did end up going to work last night and was fine. Actually no one called in on the night shift, but when he was leaving this morning there were already quit a few call-ins. But he made it home fine too, course he did take my 4x4 Durango instead of his old beat up F-100! LOL

Not sure if you can tell, but here is a pic from last night as the snow was starting to stick to the ground around my outside decorations.

Here is middle DD with her annual snowball. Look how wet her hair got from being outside long enough to get that little thing.

Here is a shot out my kitchen window this morning, it's all gone now.

Threw this pic of middle DD kitten in here just because she is so cute!
Stay warm and Christmas Blessings, Beth Ann

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Be careful what you wish for . . .

Today was one of the most gray, wet, windy, drizzly, miserable days I have ever seen in the almost 7 years I have lived in middle TN. So of course I went out in it! LOL Today was pay day, so picked up my friend and went and did some running in the morning. Then in the afternoon grand pa D and Grandma S came over so that DH could run into the big city with me and we could do some Christmas shopping for the kids. I made the comment, "It sure is hard to get into the Christmas mood with all this cold, wet rain". Next thing we knew, bam - it was snowing! It was such an amazing surprise. It put a bounce in my step and a smile on my face. I came out of the store and there was the first bell ringer of the season, I couldn't wait to put something in the pot! DH and I loaded up our purchases with much enthusiasm. By the time we pulled out of the parking lot and could hardly see through our windshield, some of the excitement had diminished. By the time we were five miles down the highway and could only do 40 mph, our smiles had faded. By the time we were 10 miles down the road and doing 30 mph and couldn't see more than 2 feet ahead of us we were now slightly apprehensive. And so it went, all 20 miles home. Heavy wet, blinding snow, blowing at such an angle as to hit our windshield on a slant to make us feel like we were driving through a tunnel. We weren't the only ones, several cars ahead of us had slowed to 20 mph (us too) and we passed a couple of cars in the ditch. Frankly it made us feel like we were back home in northern MI. One big difference though, people in northern MI know how to drive in the snow. We were just as afraid of the other drivers as we were of the white out conditions! Well we made it home OK, but DH is suppose to go back into work tonight in a couple hours. My stomach hurt so much from our last trip, I just know I will be having kittens if he goes in tonight. I checked and we are under a winter storm advisory for this area until 3 a.m. The kicker? Tomorrow is calling for sunny skies and highs near 50! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. So Molly, you asked what we do on snow days? Don't know, we never have them here! LOL

Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, December 08, 2008

$5 Dinner Challenge

Here is an easy and very versatile recipe that you can make with what ever leftovers you have on hand! Get creative and make it your own.

Easy Crock Pot Chicken Al a King

1 1/2 lbs. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast $2
1 can cream of chicken soup (I make my own white sauce and this works just fine) .20 cents
3 Tbsp. flour (leave out if making own white sauce)
10 oz. pkg. frozen peas and onions, thawed .50 cents
2 Tbs. chopped pimentos .75 cents

8 slices bread toasted (I use homemade bread) .40 cents Total = $3.85

Cut chicken into bit size pieces and place in slow cooker. Combine soup and flour, pour over chicken . Cover and cook on high 2 hours or low 5 hours. Stir in peas and onions, and pimentos. Cover and cook on high another 20 - 30 minutes.

I serve mine over homemade bread toasted.

Serves 4

For more $5 dinner challenge visit www.5dollardinners,com

Blessings, Beth Ann

Menu Plan Monday

This is a sad, sad day in my kitchen . Over the week-end my twins broke the lid to my large oval crock-pot. . . I KNOW! Since they are only 4 I can't beat them and since they already live here I can't make them indentured servants. Sigh, one more thing to try and replace/take care of. I use that crock pot at least 2 - 3 times a week, so need a speedy solution to this dilemma. For this week at least, I am going to try and use foil to cover it while it cooks.
Had a resurgence of the "crud" over the week-end as well. Feel like I will never get it completely out of my chest. But did managed to get the kids to the Christmas Parade. I wanted to curl up in bed, but was out voted. So I did the next best thing and took them over to my friends house, she lives right on main street. So her dd and my kids stood at the curb while I stayed inside with friend and watched parade through picture window with big cup of coffee - grin. The next day I staggered over to Grandma S and Grandpa D house, solo (yeah) for a reunion party of radio employees. Their house was so warm, quiet and cozy I almost passed out on there sofa after being plied with great food and alot of warm cranberry punch. So glad they are home for Christmas this year and not going off to Vegas. One year they took my older kids with them, kind of lonley here without them. Anyway, will seem more Christmasy with the grand - p's here.
So today I am trying once again to reclaim my homestead and my health and get back in the swing of things, starting with cooking. Here is a look at what we are having for dinner this week:
Monday: Mongolian beef on rice (didn't get to it last week)
Tuesday: Broccoli, Potato and cheese soup w/ cornbread
Wednesday: Church/ mom's night off
Thursday: Crock pot Pork chops w/curry stuffing and salad
Friday: Hamburgers w/ homemade fries and veggie sticks
Saturday: Homemade pizza w/ tossed salad
Sunday: 15 bean soup w/ garlic bread (didn't get to last week)
For more Menu plan Monday ideas visit www.orgjunkie.com
Whats for dinner at your home this week?
Blessings, Beth Ann

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A book that spoke to me . . .

I have been reading the Nancy Atherton series, Aunt Dimity. Today I finished the 11Th book in the series, and as yet my favorite by far; "Aunt dimity and the deep blue sea". I won't boar you with details and opinionated synopsis, but I did want to share a little quote from the end of the book that spoke to me.
"Do you think he's . . . tainted the cottage?" I asked. "Bill wants to cut down the old hedge where he hid,,, Dimity, He says it'll always remind him of how close Abaddon came to killing us."
It's pointless to fight evil by destroying life.
"How do we fight it, then?" I demanded.
We kiss out children. We make sticky lemon cake for our husband. WE cherish our friends. We leave the garden hedge standing tall, to serve as a haven for birds and mice and spiders. We defeat evil every time we commit an act of kindness. When necessary, we hit it with a rock.
"I get it." I nodded slowly. "Fill each day with acts of grace, but keep a rock handy, just in case."
This spoke volumes to me as it seemed to be addressing my issues as to how I felt when our home was broken into and robbed 8 weeks ago. I love my home, it has "good vibes" if you know what I mean. I didn't want to blame my house for what had happened, but I did have issues with my "turf" being violated. Just the thought of someone of bad intent walking around inside while we were all gone, going through our things . . .
Is it to much to just want to feel safe and comfortable in your own little place in the world? Out of all things stolen, that has been the worse. We are still processing this and healing has begun, lets pray for the evil in this world .
Blessings, Beth Ann

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Who knew?

COFFEE FILTERS Not just for making Coffee....
1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.
2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.
3. Protect China . Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter bet ween each dish.
4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter..
7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.
11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows?? Use strips of coffee filters.
13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, french fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. Soaks out all the grease.
14. Keep in the bathroom.They make Great Razor Nick fixers
Wow, coffee filters! Who knew? My friends D & S did! Thanks guys.
Blessings, Beth Ann

OCD Christmas

I have mentioned in the past that both my boys and I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder - think "Monk"). My youngest son who is 4 1/2 has the strongest symptoms and started displaying them as soon as he could walk. It can be a real hassle to deal with some days , but some days you have to laugh.

Today is one of those days! This morning while decorating the tree we encountered an obstacle so to speak. I didn't realize what was going on at first since he IS only 4 and like 2 feet tall. I just thought he couldn't reach all the branches and so forth. Everything he was hanging on the tree was on like only 4 different branches, so like 26 ornaments on 4 branches. So we reminded him of the rule, one branch - one ornament. No dice. Then middle DD noticed a pattern.

In his mind all alike ornaments hang together in groups! This is a grouping of frosted mini apples on our tree.

So what we do is wait for the newness of the tree to wear off and loss it's allure, and then every time we walk by we move an ornament to a more needy location. He is wrapped up in other things by then it doesn't matter to him.

Just wanted to share a glimpse of our daily life with you. It's nice to be reminded that "it's the little things" that make memories. You just know when he is like 30 we will be reminding him of these things. Heck, we still bring up the year that middle DD came upstairs and said Merry Ch --barf, all over my bed, every chance we get! Ah, good times - good times.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Salt

We are all about not spending money this year, since we don't have any = LOL So we are trying to be creative in our gift giving venture, using things we already have around the house. I am currently making counted cross-stitch cards/ornaments with scraps of adia cloth I had, more on that later with photos when they are done. Today I wanted to share the Christmas gourmet salt we are making to give out as thank you and hostess gifts this holiday season. Since I already keep most of my jars, free. I also have many scraps of fabric and left over raffia, so also free. I also have every imaginable spice, so all I needed was the salt. I bought a box of kosher salt for $2 and will get 4 gift jars out of it, so 50 cents a gift; not bad.

I decided on Southwestern salt blend first.

Look how pretty the colors are in the salt.
Finished project topped off with some pretty green fabric with cardinals on it.
Pretty simple huh? I have 3 different recipes and am glad to share them with you!
Southwestern Salt Blend
2 cups kosher salt
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground chipolata chili pepper ( I used crushed red pepper flakes)
Mediterranean Salt Blend
2 cups kosher salt
1 Tbs. basil
1 Tbs. marjoram
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
Moroccan Salt Blend
2 cups kosher salt 1 Tbs. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Hope you enjoy these and can put them to good use. Let me know if you have other ideas on how to use these.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, December 01, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Chilly greetings from middle TN. ! There is a rumor of those rare, elusive white flaky things going around the area here - LOL

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! We ended up freezing our leftover turkey, as the day after we were gifted with two large whole chickens that needed to be cooked ASAP. What a wonderful gift! I decided to roast one for dinner that night with all the trimmings, and do a "rotisserie" style one in the crock pot. Then I skinned it, easy peasy while still warm, and made chicken salad. I use to do that all the time when I worked in a deli, for ten years! It was soooo yummy for lunch yesterday after church.

Here is the chicken after I skinned it. For crock pot rotisserie simply spray pot with pan spray, put 5 or 6 aluminum foil balls in bottom of pot and cook on low for 6 hours. Don't forget to clean chicken, and season as you wish. I used lemon pepper.

Here is a shot of our roast chicken with all the trimmings, I seasoned with Italian Herb seasoning that I found in a neat new grinder!

This week our menu is much more pedestrian. For more Menu Plan Monday visit www.orgjunkie.com

Monday: Tuna Fettuccine w/ spice oat muffins

Tuesday: Crock pot meat loaf w/potatoes and broccoli

Wednesday: Church/Mom's night off

Thursday: Chicken a-la-king in a crock pot on biscuits

Friday: 15 bean and ham soup w/ garlic bread sticks

Saturday: Crock pot Parmesan chicken w/Hawaiian carrots and corn pudding

Sunday: Mongolian beef on rice w/ salad

Whats for dinner at your house?
Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Advent Sunday

We all made it to church today for the first advent Sunday of the season. Well all of us, minus my DH who gets home from his second job at 8 a.m. The day before he had only two hours between jobs! He was bushed. When we returned home he was sleeping so deeply I feared he had passed away! It is so amazing that God is with him as he has been given this opportunity to take care of his family. Just when we didn't think we could hang on any more . . . this second job turned up. It is less than his "real job", but since they are not taking out for insurance and dependents it is almost the same. It is a sad statement to this economy when a full time job only pays the same as a part time job. So my DH is having to work two full time jobs to equal enough to meet our monthly needs. Before you all start emailing me, I am not complaining - I am grateful for his jobs. And no, we are not in debt. We have absolutely no credit card debt, and no mortgage; just a home equity loan equal to about 1/4 of most peoples mortgages. It is just that the rising cost of fuel, utilities and food for a family of six is almost impossible. I pray nightly for this land, our leaders and our people.
This was the first week no one in my house had the "crud" and I could actually talk! Sad to say our song leader seems to have gotten it, sorry A. The picture above is the Nativity at our church, picture doesn't do it justice. The star is beautiful! The message for Advent was "I have you in my heart", Philippians 1:2-11. I encourage you to look these few verses up sometime this week and get your heart in the spirit of this season.
Blessings, Beth Ann

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Holiday Meme

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Character Meme

I was tagged by Lois at www.lowdownfromlois.blogspot.com for this holiday meme

You remember Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer don't you? This TAG requires you to pick a Christmas character you think your most like and explain why? Santa, Rudolf, Hermey, Cornelius, Bumble, Snowman etc. Then tag 3 other people...Have fun...

I relate most with Rudolf himself! He feels like he doesn't fit in, people don't understand him, he just wants to help and be part of a community of peers. Besides, his nose is the same color as my hair! LOL

I'm tagging Amy at www.thisthatandlifesjoys.blogspot.com, Risa at www.somepeacenquiet.blogspot.com and Jennifer at www.smellingcoffeetoday.blogspot.com . If you want to play? Consider yourself tagged! Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, November 29, 2008

All over but the groaning

Well Thanksgiving 2008 is now nothing but a wonderful memory. I would have to say it was one of my most favorite. We had a few friends over, deep fried a turkey, crock potted, cooked, stirred and baked! All this after spending the night before doing last minute shopping. We went to two different Wal-Marts (a full contact sport the night before Thanksgiving), a Publix and drove up the side of a radio tower to pick up some items from a friends house. So it was nice to kick back and relax. Also have to say that I believe this years Macy's Day Parade was also one of the best I have ever seen!

I was gifted with two whole chickens yesterday! What a wonderful surprise! So as we speak, I have one roasting in the oven with all the trimmings and one in my crock pot cooking faux rotisserie style! Yummy! Roast chicken for dinner and rotisserie chicken sandwiches for lunch tomorrw after church. Speaking of church, need to make it there tomorrow, first advent Sunday of the year. We have been so sick here for the past two weeks, but think it's licked now. First DS and middle DD had it and gave it to me. Then DH got it, so did the twins and they gave it to me again. Oh joy, I got it twice! Ain't it wonderful being a mom? LOL

Here are a couple pictures I took over the week=end and wanted to share. Hope you enjoy.

Here are my two youngest DD helping cook on Turkey Day.

Here is twin DD doing her school work, while middle DD cat, Tina, watches. Tina was the runt of the box dropped off at our house, and the only one to make it. It is amazing how big she has gotten. She was just 4oz. when we found her, now she is 1 pound 6 oz. Cool huh?

Here is Tina looking a tad guilty perhaps? Maybe she is just trying to learn through osmosis as she lays on the kids school books?

Finely, here is Tina in the twins barn. She use to fit real good, now it's getting tight. I just know one day soon she is going to get stuck! The barn makes noises and it's nothing to be sitting on the couch trying to read and hear a goat or a horse. First it startles you, then you realize it's just the cat - LOL
Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving fun

I have been borrowing from www.2nd-cup-of-coffee.blogspot.com again. Here are a couple of holiday quiz's to wrap up your turkey holiday in a fun way! Sorry, my graphics didn't download. I am sooooooo computer illiterate. Hope you enjoy.

What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?
You Are The Stuffing
You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

Are You a Pilgrim or an Indian?
You Are a Pilgrim
Like the pilgrims, you've felt persecuted for your beliefs from time to time.You have a strong sense of right and wrong. Your morality sometimes makes you feel out of step with the modern world.You may not go as far as moving across the world, but you still identify with the pilgrims.Well, except for the whole stealing land and killing Indians thing.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Last of the vacation pictures - I think

Here is what I currently believe is the last of our vacation photos. Even though something terrible happened to us and we had to cut our trip short, we did have a great time and I hope you enjoy this photos as much as we enjoyed being there!

Here is a shot of our camp site, and the salt marsh behind us. The pumpkins were done by my middle DD.
Don't know if you can see this, but this is my mini doxin, Howard. He looks so sad staring out our screen door on our RV.

Of course we had to bring our bikes, here is DH helping the twins on their.

LOVE, love, love this picture! Twin DD running on the beach with Howard. You can see his back is still slightly curved from his back injury last year.

Excuse the mess. DH and twin DD on our bed playing guitar. DD likes to turn the music for her dad.

If your at the beach, it must be kite flying time! Here comes oldest DS with his kite high up in the air.

Here is the backside of middle DD, trying to get her kite up. Down by the water is DH and twin DS working on his kite.

Oldest DS is making a kite repair as twin DD proves she is a master kite flyer (see the shadow by her feet).

Middle DD finely gets her kite up, as little twin brother cheers from behind!
Thanks for spending some of your time with us, on the sandy beach's off the coast of South Carolina. Hope it helps to keep you warm in these up coming winter months. I know it will for us.
Blessings, Beth Ann