Nov 28, 2007

Has it been 11 years? YES!

Ethan is 11 today! (He thinks he has to smile big or else it won't count)
I remember my pregnancy, his birth, my lack of sleep, his lack of latching, my crying, his crying, his smile, his laughter, his crawling, his first steps, his first day in kindergarten, his first volcano, the first book he read alone, his giftedness, his seizures, his HEALING!, his baptism, his first communion, his first crush on a girl, his first yuck, no mom, I don't like girls, his surgery, his miraculous 4 day stay in hospital where he walked out on his own .... Thank you Jesus!

His smile, his hugs, his kisses, his prayers for himself and always others, his gentleness, his caring, his learning, his time with his baby brothers, his tears, his impersonations (Bill Cosby), his laughter, his smile.

My revelation that he can no longer order from the kids menu .. waaaaaaa

I love my baby, yes, Ethan, you will always be my baby and I am so glad God let me be your mom!

Nov 22, 2007

And for the food, we are truly thankful!

Let's just say we pigged out! I am soooo thankful!

Dinner: Turkey, Country Ham, Goat, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, Collard Greens, Broccoli Rice Casserole, pinto beans, potato salad, corn bread dressing, Gran Gran's homemade potato rolls, Sweet Tea

Dessert: Cherry Delight, Jam Cake, Yellow Cake w/ Caramel Icing, Custard

LOTS of laughter and memories were made!

Nov 20, 2007

Thanksgiving ... I didn't know I was so unthankful

Thankgiving has always been a time of reflection for my family for all the things we are thankful for, but also a time to laugh, create memories, hang out with family ALL DAY, sit at the feet of the women in the kitchen and gleen some widsom.

12 years (1995) ago changed all that for me .. my mom died just after Thanksgiving. We had just started getting close again. (you know how mother daughter relationship can be) I was starting to learn sooo much from her and really enjoyed being around her more and more. She went in the hospital in October and never came back to her physical home, but went to her eternal home with Jesus. AND I GOT MAD AT GOD

A year later, Ethan was born just ONE day before her anniversary death date which happened to be Thanksgiving Day (1996) and my husband and I decided to change our outlook and celebrate my mom's life and her grandson's new beginning.

My inlaws were also a HUGE help in transforming what had become a time of grief for me to a time of celebration each year. We would have Ethan's birthday parties in Kentucky on Thankgiving Day no matter when his actual birthday fell, since he graced this world ON turkey day. Ever since that time, we go to Kentucky every Thankgiving, barring any births and celebrate the goodness of God and Ethan's birthday. All my children have November due dates ...

I had stopped pouting and started praising!

Then in 2003 the floor fell out from under me ... Ethan was diagnosed with epilepsy and started having seizures, my daughter was born and died on the same day. AND I GOT MAD AT GOD. My whole outlook at life changed. This could never, would never be the same. Ethan had been tested and was in the 99%, he knew how to read at 3, and was extremely gifted. When the seizures began, so did his spiral to awful days of seizures and memory loss and later the diagnosis of the brain tumor. AND I GOT MADDER AT GOD! But my attitude AND my relationship with God did NOT change overnight, but was gradual and I think more meaningful, because I HAD no other choice to put my hand in His, my life in His and TRUST Him for every step of Ethan's journey and EVERYTHING in my own life. Boy howdy, let me tell you .... IT AIN'T easy to do that. BUT that is just one of the lessons my God was teaching and is still teaching with me. Four years later , (and 2 more children later) I am everso thankful of what God did to my heart and my head.

And so .......
I am thankful for: (this is not everything and it is NOT in order, but you get the idea)
1) That I am saved and going to heaven
2) God has blessed me with a remarkable family (mine and hubby's)
3) My favorite human in the world, my hubby
4) 4 children
5) We eat everyday
6) We have a home (inside and out)
7) God has provided for us in the lean and the plenty
8) We are healthy
9) God healed ETHAN!
10) God has protected us
11) God gave me a great childhood, parents and siblings, (I remember so much laughter)
12) A wonderful church home and family
13) My friend Gayle (she has NO idea how much I thank God for our friendship)
14) Reliable transportation
15) My new tires .. you have to have new tires when you are driving 2000 miles ..
16) My van (I never wanted to be a soccer mom, but I love my car)
17) My relationship with Christ (Boy has He loved me in spite of myself)
18)Laughter in my home with my boys
19) My sisters and brother, (especially MeMe who has made a profound impact on me these last 4 years)
20) I am just simple thankful for everything God does

Nov 16, 2007

This is what I am talking about ....

Yes the cold weather came through just like they said it would and I have made it halfway through my seasonal changes in our closets. YEAH! Although I heard this morning that by next Tuesday, we may be back in the high 70's, low 80's for a day or two, but I will not be moved.

Thanksgiving is around the corner and it WILL be nice and cool that day. It better be, I simply CANNOT imagine Thanksgiving in Kentucky with a short sleeved shirt and mules?
It simply should not happen.
Besides, I plan to only pack winter items ....

Anyhoo ... for the next few days my menu is soooo easy, that I thought I would share because what I am going to cook for the next few days ANYBODY can cook, make, throw together, (whatever term you want to use) cause it is all going in the crock pot ... but just know that your family's belly button will pop out from eating well and feeling fine. (Reciepes at the bottom)

Friday - Lasagne/Salad
Saturday - Broccolli Cheese Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Sunday - Crock Pot Rosemary Chicken w/ Rice Pilaf in Mushroom Sauce
Monday - Navy Beans, Mixed Greens w/ Smoked Turkey and Cornbread
Tuesday - Crock Pot Fajitas, Spanish Rice
Wednesday -On the road again, I can't wait to get on the road again (travel day)
Thursday - Gran Gran's House (Thanksgiving)
Friday - Black Friday Shopping

Crock Pot Lasagna
1 1/2 pounds Italian Sausage (Pork or Turkey) or Ground Round
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large jar spaghetti sauce
2 tsp Italian seasoning mix
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp minced onion
1/4 tsp thyme
1-15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
4 cups Italian blend cheese (shredded)
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
Spray crock pot with non stick cooking spray. In large skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink. Drain. Add sauce and seasonings, mix well, reduce heat to low. In bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 3 cups of the shredded cheese. Spoon 1/4 of the sausage mixture into the crock pot and top with noodles broken to fit. Top with half of the cheese mixture, then 1/4 of the sausage mixture and noodles. Make another layer of cheese, sausage, and noodles, then finish with remaining sausage mixture. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese, cover and cook 15 minutes until cheese is melted.


Broccolli Cheese Soup

2 onions, chopped
4 Tbsps. Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
2 cans chicken broth
4 broth cans water
8 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups milk
1 cup instant brown rice, uncooked
2 cups Velveeta Cheese (cubed)

Place everything in the crock pot for 4 hours on low. Serve HOT!
Top each serving with cheese.

Rosemary Chicken w/ Rice

Whole Chicken
Fresh Rosemary
Olive Oil
Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

Rub olive oil over entire chicken, season with salt and pepper, place in crock pot; fill with water to midway in crock pot. Add Rosemary on top of chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Cook rice and mix with a half can of cream of mushroom soup and add for desired consistency.

It's all about the beans and greens baby ... Use the same ingredients for both reciepes ...except switch beans and greens. I like turnip and mustard mixed together.

1 package of any navy, white, northern beans
Smoked Turkey Wings or Legs
1 roughly chopped Onion
Add salt as you like, I try not to use it when I can ... I am heavy handed)

Place in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Nov 14, 2007

Baby it's cold outside .. Again ..

Lately the weather has NOT been consistent. Two weeks ago we had a cold front come through and I was so excited to break out the crockpot(S), sweaters and hot cocoa. I went to the store, got some whipped cream, apple cinnamon candles, then trekked over to Target and got new hats, houseshoes and footed pajamas for the youngens. I came home and pulled the rubbermaids with all of our winter clothes out of the garage. For 3 days I had on my boots, pancho, and turtlenecks. The boys looked soooo cute adorned in their matching cords and sweaters and it was all she wrote. AND then smack dab in the middle of nowhere comes an 80 degree day. What? How do I dress for that? Boots look good in November, but not when the lady in line next to me has on shorts and flipflops ... mmmm .. it felt just a little awkward. Anyway, two weeks and 70 degrees later, we are supposed to have ANOTHER cold front come through tonite. So, I am working on beef stew, cornbread, and cocoa for dinner ....

But what about the clothes? Summer to Fall/Winter ... one of the MOST awful tasks I have as a mama is to deal with the seasonal change of clothes. Since that last two weeks, winter items have made a new home in my den, hoping just today, just today we can come out to play. So tonite we celebrate and try to change the clothes and clean the closets one more time. Help me! This change in the weather has made my mind go crazy ... BUT

I am so glad our God IS consistent! He is the same yesterday, today and forever more! I need His consistency OR a straight jacket ....

Nov 13, 2007

One Year ago today ....

Who could have imagined that one year ago when this beautiful 8 lbs. pound boy entered into this earth, that a year later, he would be walking with VERY high steps and arms OUT and saying mama, dada, bye bye and his personal favorite, cacker (with ooooo so much excitement!) God is soo amazing and so into details. DeClan looks just like Ethan did when he was baby only chunkier! My only proof is the date in the lower right hand corner that says 2007 instead of 1996. Even Austin argues that any photos of Ethan are DeClan, not Ethan.
DeClan wants what he wants, when he wants it. He loves the camera and as soon as you turn it on, he turns his head and smiles.
Lord knows I wasn't expecting to be pregnant again when Austin was 6 months old, BUT I am so glad the Lord saw fit to bless us with this wonderful Surprise Blessing!

Psalm 127.3
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Nov 12, 2007

Unexpected blogging break ....

Last week was SO VERY busy that I did NOT have time to put anything down on blog! We had couple of birthdays, some doctors visits, meal planning gone crazy, a payday (SMILE) and well ... LIFE!

I will write about it all this week, so please, please forgive me! God is so good!


Nov 2, 2007

So much for planning ...

When I posted our menu for the week, I felt REALLY good about well .. the week! As my daddy used to say, whodda thunk it, but my week did not go as planned and neither did the menu, although the thought was nice.

We did well Sunday and Monday well .. we ate the whole chicken, hense no chicken for the pot pie .. we NEVER eat the whole chicken, but now I must realize, I have 3 boys and a hubby .. and yes DeClan is eating from the table too! (SMILE) Tuesday Ethan did VERY well in school and finally conquered a math problem he has been working on for weeks, I told him he could have anything he wanted (within reason of course) and waht did he ask for? Tilapia. Tilapia? Yes, Tilapia! So I said ok .. we keep fresh to frozen in the deep freeze and I made homemade fries. That moved the roast to Wednesday.

I forgot we were going to attend the fall festival at church and I really wanted the boys to attend especially since the Ethan has been asking about Halloween and I wanted to show him what this family does as an alternative - - because as you know things are NOT the same as when I was 10. He had sooooo much fun. This is the first time in 4 years that he was able to play with anything, jump on anything, eat anything .. pure freedom!!!!! He hung out with one of his best friends and is still talking about it! Needless to say, the roast was in the crock pot and we ate VERY late, but we were all so tired after we ate, did homework, took baths, that I forgot to put the roast in the fridge, soooooooo now you see where I am going with this.
There was no roast to make Fajitas, so we made tacos and black beans instead and Friday we ate spaghetti with turkey italian sausage, because you see I had to use the ground beef for the chili to make tacos. URGHHH!
And today .. no we are not having totrilla soup, because it is cool now, but expected to be a little warm and ya'll I forgot AGAIN, that Darrell's birthday is tomorrow .. I didn't forget, I just had it scheduled for next weekend! (SMILE) Anyway, we CANNOT celebrate Sunday since my husband MAKES us attend the first service at church (7:50am) then we come home and HE fixes breakfast and then is glued to the sofa or the office chair for NFL FOOTBALL across the country. I can usually catch him between "breaks" for a quick question or two, BUT NEVER full conversation until at least 6:30 or so BEFORE the Sunday night game comes on ... whew!!! I see I have started another post .. please forgive me ...
Anywhoo ..... We are off to celebrate Darrell 40ish birthday with a scavenger hunt .. BUT I will say ... that although my menu and my plans for us FELL APART ... God already knew what this week would be like and guess what, we ate together all week .... and we are able to talk to one another ... Thank you Lord!
Jeremiah 29:11 ...
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future