Monday, November 30, 2015

This & That

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  This was the first Thanksgiving in a long time that we've stayed home, and even though we missed seeing family, it was really nice to have 4 lazy days where we didn't have to go anywhere.  It almost feels like we've had a mini vacation.
We played cards.  Put together puzzles and read books.  It's been so nice.

I didn't really want the weekend to end... except it's Cyber Monday, and if I'm going to get any Christmas shopping done, I need a big cup of coffee and the place to myself. 

Thankfully, Dan and I finally decided on a big gift for each of our kids.  Now I just have to pick up a couple of small gifts, so that they'll each have a few things to open Christmas morning.  Are you all working on your shopping today? 

Happy a good one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Yep, it's already the last Wednesday of the month.  Which means that I'm linking back up with Shay, Mel and Sheaffer to share my What's Up Wednesday post.  

This post always sneaks up on me... the months just seem to be over before I even realize it.
I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures to go with it.

 What we're eating this week

I'm just focusing on the feast that we'll be having on Thanksgiving.  The rest of this week... I'm just kind of winging it with easy stuff like spaghetti.  We might do pizza tonight... just keeping it easy.

What I'm reminiscing about

The holidays always do it, but I'm reminiscing about all of the holiday meals and fun with my grandparents.  I miss them so much! 

What I'm loving

I'm loving these cozy days.  I made it out of town yesterday and stocked up at Costco.  Today is the last day of school for the week, so I'm planning on us just hunkering down and getting cozy.  We've decided to stay home this year for Thanksgiving, so we don't expose Dan's side of the family to all of the different things we've been fighting off lately.

What we've been up to

We've been fighting off different colds.  
Gracie finished up her basketball season with her team taking 3rd place. 

We've been decorating the house.

And besides that, just doing our day to day stuff.  Nothing overly exciting.

What I'm dreading

I need to make some decisions.  I have no idea what I'm getting ANYBODY this year.  I've started my list a month ago and haven't nailed down anything yet.  We don't need anything, and I don't enjoy buying things just to buy them.  It was so much easier when my kids were little.  Big kids are hard to buy for.  Well, hard if you actually have a budget.  So this weekend, I'm hoping I can corner Dan and make him help me, make some decisions.  ;)

What I'm working on

I'm trying to finish putting out the last few Christmas decorations.  Every year, I feel that my decorating continues to get even simpler.  I love Christmas decorations, but I do NOT enjoy clutter or feeling claustrophobic because of excessive decor.  That's not a relaxing feeling... so simple it is.  You can see my Christmas decor from last year, in this post. 

What I'm excited about

I'm excited for a 4 day weekend at home!   Even though we're bummed to miss seeing Dan's side of the family for Thanksgiving, it will be nice to have some time at home.  I think I have only spent 1 or 2 Thanksgivings at home since I've married Dan, so I won't mind hanging with my side of the family either.  It seems like forever since I've been around for our big Pinochle tournaments, and wreath making.

What I'm watching/reading

We've started watching some Christmas movies and shows.  

As for reading, I just finished 'Promised To Me'. It is a fun and easy read.  I think I've read it a couple times before.  It was one that I pulled off of my bookshelf upstairs.  It's one I can read once every couple of years. 

And I just started 'Patterns of Love', last night, which was also one from my bookshelf.
These are part of the 'Coming to America' series.  And I didn't even read them in the right order this time.  I love the way Robin Lee Hatcher writes.  Can you imagine, just moving to the other side of the world, knowing there was a good chance you would never see your family again and letters would be your only means of communicating?  Eek!  I'm not that brave.

What I'm listening to

Nothing, and I love it!  It was a whirlwind this morning getting the kids out the door.  So I am soaking in the quiet right now.  Once they come back through that door this afternoon, the house will most likely not be quiet until Monday morning.  Ha!  So even though, I enjoy them being home (most of the time) I am enjoying the quiet. 

What I'm wearing

Right now... I'm still in my comfy's.  I'm gonna need 2 more cups of coffee before I feel like tackling the day.  This lady is tired!

What I'm doing this weekend

I'm hoping we'll get our Christmas lights hung up on the house.  And when I say I'm hoping we'll, I mean I'm hoping Dan will.  Haha!  I offered to help him do it when it was still warm outside.  He didn't think he had time, so now that it is freezing outside, he's finally pulled all of the boxes out.  

I will cheer him on from inside the house and keep the coffee nice and hot! 

What I'm looking forward to next month

I haven't had much time to think about it, but I'm excited for Dan and I to get away for a night.  He has a board meeting in Spokane in a couple of weeks and I get to tag along.  They are having a big dinner at this gorgeous historical hotel that will be all decked out in Christmas decorations.  It sounds so fun and festive... now I just have to figure out what I will wear. 

What else is new

I received my first Stitch Fix box last Friday.  I am hoping to share all about it next week!

 I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful and that you get to spend it with people you love.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and I am ready!  We will be busy with basketball tournaments, but I think I might just go ahead and pull out my Christmas decorations.  We always spend Thanksgiving with Dan's side of the family, so it's nice to come home on Friday and have the house all decorated and ready to go. 

I'm linking up again today with Andrea, Erika and Narci.

Here are some of my favorites from this week:


 Coffee and homemade apple pie for breakfast, 2 days in a row.  A favorite for sure!


I've been eyeing this Simplified Planner over the last year, and finally splurged and ordered it yesterday.  For the last couple of years, I've went with the Erin Condren planner, which I love.  I just thought I'd give this one a try and see what I think. 
I will be sure and let you all know what I think of this one verses the Erin Condren planner.


This basketball player, is definitely one of my favorites.  

She's not naturally aggressive.  She's a lover, so she really has to push herself to get in and fight for the ball.  She's doing great though, and she's really enjoyed this season.  Her tournament is today and tomorrow, so I'll be the loud one in the stands, cheering my head off.

It's also going to be a little bittersweet, as this will be the end of her playing junior high sports.  Next year, she'll be on the high school teams.  Eeeek!  This mama isn't ready for that yet. 



With all the red cup drama, that was all over Facebook, I thought I'd share this.  One of my friends posted this, and I laugh every time I see this.


Okay, so I know I've been ranting and raving about how good this bible study is.  And you all are probably sick of hearing about it.  I promise this could be the last time I mention it... but, just in case you are still on the fence about starting or joining a study.  Do it!  We just finished it up this week and I couldn't be more bummed, to be done with this.  I have learned and been reminded of so much.  We really dug into the word and we were all over the bible studying scripture.

  There's just a small group of us who meet up once a week.  We plan to start back up in January, and we're looking at starting Beth Moore's study of Esther.  I can't wait! 

Well, that's all for now.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

40... oh my!

Yesterday, Dan turned 40.  Seriously, where have the years gone?  When I first met Dan, he was only 24.  
 This sweet man of mine was not looking forward to the big 40.  But he's decided, it's not that bad.  ;) 

Every year, he wants the same thing for his birthday.  Chicken fried steak and apple pie.  

I don't bake very often.  I just don't enjoy it.  But once a year, I know I'm gonna get out my baking supplies and bake his beloved apple pie.  

 In case you are wanting the best apple pie you've ever had... here you go.

For one pie, I usually use around 6 large apples.  I prefer golden delicious. 
 You'll need to slice them up and put them aside in a bowl. 

 You'll need to mix 1/4 cup flour with 3/4 cup sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  After you mix that together, you'll pour it over your apples and stir it well, so all of your apples are covered.  Then set that back off to the side while you make your dough.

For your dough, you'll mix 2/3 cup crisco with 2/3 cup sugar.  Then you'll blend in 2 cups of flour.  Once that is mixed well, you'll slowly add in about 1/2 cup of water.  I can tell it's done, when it starts to pull together.  

I put it in a ball and then divide it in half.  The first half is for the bottom of the pie and the second is for the top.

Go ahead and roll your dough out.

Before transferring it, into the pie pan, I fold it in half for easier transferring.

 You'll go ahead and add the apples, and then roll out your top crust and lay it over.  Instead of tearing the crust off the sides, my family likes to take the extra that's left hanging over and roll it under, leaving you with a nice big thick crust.

Next put it in the over on 400 for 10 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 350 and bake until the pie turns a nice golden color.
I'm not a baker or a food blogger, so I hope I explained it well enough for you all.
If I missed something or if you have any questions, be sure and ask and I'll see if I can help.

Here's to good apple pie and birthdays and my sweet man!


Monday, November 16, 2015

A Refuge At Highland Hall

Now that it's the middle of November, with the weather getting colder by the day, I'm happy to be a homebody and snuggle up under a blanket, with a hot cup of coffee.  Since I'll be all snuggled up, I obviously need a puzzle to work on or a good book to read.

I received this book in the mail a couple of weeks ago, and boy, did I want to like it. 

Unfortunately, I never could get into it.  When I decided upon this book, I saw that it was a novel, but I didn't notice however, that it said it was the third book in a series.  Within the first chapter I started having doubts about choosing this book.  I prefer when the author pulls you immediately into the story, starting in the first chapter... that wasn't the case here.  I thought this book was just starting off slow and that it would pick up.  It did pick up a bit, but not enough to hold my interest.  I made it to the 7th chapter and finally gave up.

I felt that there was very little character descriptions, such as what they looked like and their unique personalities, so it made it really hard to imagine the characters and take much interest in them. Also, there seemed to be too much description over things that weren't important, such as random, uneventful, day to day happenings, when there was such important information still lacking.

I have to say though, that this book has gotten a lot of high ratings, from reviews on multiple sites.  Obviously people are loving, it.  It just wasn't for me.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books, in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Favorites

  I'm linking up again today with Andrea, Erika and Narci to show you my Friday Favorites.

Today, I'm showing you some of my favorite Pinterest finds from this week.



Thankful ABCs Sheet FREE Thanksgiving Printable {}:
   I don't care how old we all get, I think this would be fun for anyone to fill out.  It's good for us to take time to reflect on all that we have and are thankful for.  I'm planning on printing these off and handing them out to all of our family.  Plus how fun to see how everyone answers... young and old.  



This is like happiness in one perfect little picture. Autumn nights:
Well, this picture makes me want to bundle up my family and get out into nature.
I need to make sure that we shut down our electronics, and take time to enjoy this time of year.  This picture couldn't look any more cozy to me.



This salad looks so good and quite festive looking as well. 
Pear, Pomegranate and Spinach Salad - Cooking Classy:
 If I get motivated, I might try making this in the next couple of days.  If it passes the test, I'd love to bring something like this for Thanksgiving as one of the side dishes.   



This Pin was discovered by Tina Brazzeal. Discover (and save!) your own Pins on Pinterest. | See more about sweater fashion, grey sweater and sweater boots.:

I love this outfit.  I plan on wearing something cozy like this for Thanksgiving.  I don't have the exact pieces, but I think I should have something similar in my closet that I can piece together.  Plus, I did something, I shouldn't have... I signed up for Stitch Fix.  Eeek!!!  I just want to experience it one time.  My first box should be here next week, so we'll see how my stylist did.  Have you all signed up for Stitch Fix?  Am I the last to give it a try?  I've been holding out for so long.  I'll keep you all posted on how it goes. 



worth remembering.:
I thought this saying was a perfect little reminder for us to always be thankful for all the big and little blessings in our lives.


Ashley is one of my favorite bloggers.  She inspires me daily through her blog to be a better Mother and photographer.  Here recently, she wrote a post called, 'Embrace The Camera'.  I'm still loving it even weeks later.  If you have a couple of minutes check it out.

If you are interested in following me on Pinterest, you can do so here.  And if Instagram is your thing, you can find me here.

Have the best weekend, friends!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fried Rice

The kids have been home sick this week, and with not knowing what our days will entail, I decided I needed to make a couple of meals that I could put in the fridge, so I don't have to worry about cooking for the next couple of days.  

This is one of the most basic meals, but I thought I'd share it with you guys in case it's not on your dinner menu's.  If it's not, it should be.  It's a meal, I can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

4 cups of brown rice
1 sweet onion
1 green pepper
1 package of bacon
12 eggs

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, and add 4 cups of rice.  
Cook on low for about 45 minutes with the lid on.
Drain the water, and rinse the rice in cold water, then set aside.
Scramble the eggs and cook them in a pan.
Then cook the bacon, diced onion and pepper in a pan.
Add the scrambled eggs to the bacon mixture and then add in the rice.  
Mix together and drizzle a little soy sauce over the the whole thing.

When dishing up, we like to add a bit more soy sauce and sprinkle our rice with shredded cheese.

We have 5 of us to feed and all of my family likes this dish, so I usually make a big batch.  If you don't want as much, this would be easy to scale back on.  

Do you all make fried rice and if so, what do you put in it?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Jesse Daniel!

Jesse turned 11 yesterday!  Every year that my kids turn another year older, it's bittersweet.  I'm so thankful for each year, but yet I see the years slipping by and that makes me a bit sad.

Jesse was such a quiet and sweet baby.


He has always had such a great belly laugh!

Always so strong and independent.


He has always loved the longer 'surfer dude' hair style.  To this day there are tears if I cut it short.

He is the best brother that I could ask for, for my girls.  He may fight with them regularly, but he has their back if anyone else picks on them.

We couldn't ask for a better son.

He is compassionate, loving, smart, and quick witted. We're just so thankful he's ours.

As long as I can remember, he's been asking for a brother. This year for his birthday, he asked again for a brother.  He said he's been waiting his whole life for a brother.  That he doesn't care how old he is, that he can even be 2.  He also told us, that getting a brother could be his birthday and Christmas gift for the next 10 years.  Geez... this boy sure knows how to touch this Mama's heart.  It's so hard and sweet, because I've been wanting to adopt for what seems forever... 

Happy Birthday Jesse!  
I hope you had a great birthday and that you get everything you've dreamed of.  :)