2017's Word of the Year

2017 word of the year- Enjoy- I will strive to relax and enjoy life more in 2017. My goal is not to get stressed about little details but to enjoy the things that God has given me, big and small.

Tuesday, November 30

Thanksgiving In A Pan

Thanksgiving in a Pan

Categories: Casseroles, Main Dish, Poultry

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 pkg stuffing mix

2 1/2 cups cooked turkey

2 c frozen cut green beans

1 12 oz jar turkey gravy

pepper

Instructions:
Prepare stuffing mix according to directions. Transfer to a 11x7x2 inch baking dish. Top with turkey, beans, gravy and pepper. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated throughout.

This recipe exported by PDACookbook Plus - http://www.wakefieldsoft.com/

Note: I use an 8 x 8 pan and make this and freeze it. It's great when I need a casserole to take to someone.

I'm thinking I may use this with leftovers since hubby will be gone this week.

Thanksgiving Review

It was nice to have all of my kids and grandgirls home for a holiday. When everyone left it got awfully quiet. I told hubby it's a good thing that we still have two boys at home or the silence would be deafening.

Here are some pics from our time together:

 Miss Lexie enjoying the swing

 The boys enjoying an early Christmas gift

 Kenny and Lexie

 The entire crew

 All my kids and grandkids

 Kenny, Lexie and Grace

 Molly, Jared and Kaitlyn

 The grandgirls who by this time were fed up with cameras
Me with the girls!

After our Thanksgiving feast our older kids gave us an early anniversary present.They had planned a 3 day getaway to Boulder, Colorado for us. They booked the room, bought us tickets to a dinner theater and DD2 is coming to watch the boys for us. They had even talked to hubby's boss about him getting the time off. We were so surprised and excited at the thought of getting away alone for a bit. Now we just have to wait the three months until we can go!

Wednesday, November 24

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving: the pie edition

I usually make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and then my second daughter will bring another type of pie or dessert. I typically use the pie recipe off the back of the Libby's can of pumpkin. I never use pumpkin pie spice, I use the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Hmm, come to think of it I may wing it a bit when it comes to adding spices. I like it spicy!

This year my new son in law has requested pecan pie. He is a southern boy and I guess that's traditional where he comes from. I have never made pecan pie before and have never been crazy about it since it's so terribly sweet. I sent a call of help to some of my closest friends and my friend Lisa was glad to oblige. So today I'm making pumpkin pie and one of these:

Lisa's Pecan Pie

1 pie crust, either store-bought or homemade
2 c. pecans, browned in a dry skillet
5 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
Pinch salt
6 T. (3/4 stick) melted butter
1 T. vanilla

Start by patting the crust into a pie plate and baking it until it’s golden brown. I usually poke the crust with a fork all over to keep it from slumping down in the pie plate.
Coarsely chop half the toasted pecans.
Beat the five eggs vigorously. Blend in sugar, salt, and butter and put into a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, heat this eggs/sugar/butter mixture until it’s very hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans and the vanilla.
Pour this hot mixture into the crust and bake at 375° for 30 or 40 minutes. The pie will be starting to set up and will still jiggle when it’s done.
Cool completely before serving.

If you want to make chocolate pecan pie, add 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate melted into 3 T. of butter to the egg and sugar mixture. Leave out any additional butter from the mixture.

Tuesday, November 23

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving: the roll edition

Although fresh hot rolls right from the oven are the best for a big family dinner, I have a limited amount of oven space. I have a feeling that turkey is going to take up the entire space for the duration of the morning so I'm going to have to make a few things in advance. This evening it's time to make the rolls. Hopefully my husband won't eat so many so that I have to make more. (don't laugh, he's done it before!)

This recipe is one that I got from my sister in law Julie who happens to rank in the top ten cooks that I've ever met.

Julie's Dinner Rolls

2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp salt
8 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in shortening, sugar, eggs, salt and flour. Knead lightly. Let the dough rise then shape into dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls

Makes 30 rolls or 2 dozen cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon Roll Option:
 Topping for rolls-
1 cup ice cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
Melt ingredients together, let boil for approximately 1 minute.

Friday, November 19

Skipping Thanksgiving

I've had several conversations with people in the past few weeks about Thanksgiving. To many people it's just a day to get off work and eat a lot of food. My daughter said that while in her MOPS group she mentioned that since it really was a Christian holiday we should take time to celebrate it rather than treating it as a jumping off point for the Christmas rush. Apparently one mother had never considered it to be a Christian holiday but just a time to give thanks. As my daughter was relating this to me I wondered who this young mother was giving thanks to. If we don't give thanks to God for our ancestors who sacrificed to make this country, if we don't give thanks to God for our freedom and our life, if we don't give thanks to God for the gift of salvation...then really what is the point?

This leads me to my subject. Are we as Christians guilty of skipping Thanksgiving? I have several friends who have already or are this weekend decorating for Christmas? They are putting up their lights and their trees...the whole ball of wax. Of course the store are already full of Christmas. Heaven forbid we don't make maximum use of that seasonal spending! Many people I know are completly done with their Christmas shopping. Even the holiday home tours and craft shows are before Thanksgiving.

I just want to stop everyone and shake them and say "It's okay, we don't have to skip Thanksgiving to have a memorable Christmas!!"  I want to focus on the gifts that God has given us throughout the past year, to focus on how blessed we are and give God the credit. And you know what? Christmas will still be there after Thanksgiving is gone. I will still have time to bake cookies, shop for presents, trim that tree. I will still have an entire month to listen to Christmas music and teach the boys about Jesus coming to earth to save people from their sins. Just for now...for the next week I want to focus on being thankful. I plan to savor Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 18

Thanksgiving Menu

Well, I know it's a week away but I thought I'd sit down and plan my Thanksgiving menu. Then if there are things I can do ahead of time I can make a note and get them done before some of the family arrives this weekend. I'm thinking I may be spending most of time getting reaquainted with my granddaughter who lives too far away.
So here is my first draft, which I'm sure will be adjusted some before next week.

Turkey
Sage dressing
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Sweet potatoes ?
Green bean casserole ( this is something new to our family because my son-in-law is used to it, I'm not really a big fan...but I love my son-in-law. )
Homemade dinner rolls...always homemade, always rolls not bread with homemade jelly
Sweet corn
Pickles
Pies- pumpkin and whatever my pie baking daughter brings, pies are her speciality. Oh, and I forgot I'll be baking a pecan pie for the first time ever because my newest son-in-law likes it. (He's a southerner, we're trying not to hold that against him. laugh)

I suppose we should have some kind of salad...but we probably won't. We're just not big salad eaters, and since I have limited frig space I don't like to clutter with food we don't really eat. Our son said he'll be in charge of "drinkage". I'm pretty sure that means beverages.  I told him ingredients for eggnog punch are a must.

So, now that my menu is posted maybe people like my sister will read it and think...hmmm I want to go to Kris's for Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe?

Wednesday, November 17

Throwdown

If you missed it you can catch it again on Saturday but Bobby Flay was challenged to a Thanksgiving Feast Throwdown by none other than Ree Drummond who is more easily recognized as The Pioneer Woman
Aw, doesn't Bobby look like a nice guy? And some of his food looked scrumptious. Those brussel sprouts? Mmm, I was wishing I could taste them. And a pumpkin bread pudding? What a great idea!! But Bobby...you can't come to ranch country and serve Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes! It just isn't gonna cut it. But you looked like you had a good time. Next time you just drive right on through that herd of cows, they'll move for you.

Aw Ree, you did a great job! And I see that Missy and Hyacinth were there pulling their weight too. What great friends. The food looked great, I'm going to try that butter smearing thing on my turkey. And my friend who happens to be an Okie gal too makes her dressing with cornbread and biscuits, I'd never seen anyone else use different kinds of bread. The meal looked divine...except where are the dinner rolls? Oh well, I'm sure you just forgot about it in the excitement. You've come a long way from that little blog I read a few years ago. I notice that Marlboro Man is still as hunky as ever. Thank you God for good looking cowboys!


Catching Up

Last week we drove all the way to Omaha (5 hours) for Alex's surgery. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am and as we woke up Alex to head over to the hospital it became apparent that he had a fever. So no surgery. To say we were disappointed and frustrated would be an understatement. So it has been rescheduled for December 21st. What a rotten time for surgery and for him to be off his leg. I guess we're going to have to pray that he stays healthy and that the weather holds out that week.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. All of my kids will be home. This is the first time in two years that we will all be together. Since Thanksgiving two years ago we have added one son in law and two granddaughters to the family. It should be a busy and fun time. Guess I should start planning the feast eh?

I'm also heading into the last couple weeks of my class. I have really enjoyed it, and I think I'll take another next semester. But the thought of sitting for a realtor's exam is overwhelming to me. I guess I'll just take it one step at a time and see if this is the path I'm supposed to follow.

Monday, November 8

Overload

I am feeling rather overwhelmed today. I read my assignment for class and can't remember a word of it. I gave up on the math assignment because I didn't have a financial calculator...I didn't even know there was such a thing.
I had a long discussion with someone downtown today about the local economy and the failed school bond issue. We stand on opposite sides of the issue, but had a good discussion. I feel like I would like to be able to get more involved in community issues, in fact I had planned on it after my kids were grown. But things changed. Now all of my energies are used at home.
I'm feeling frustrated about school issues. It's very hard for someone who homeschooled their children for nearly 20 years to understand the way the school system works. From where I stand it seems their main goal is conformity and uniformity. I don't want my child to be like everyone else. I want him to be the person that God designed him to be. At the same time I want to find him help with speech and communication so that he can learn to express himself.
I'm trying to get everything ready for Alex's upcoming surgery. Room is reserved. Preston is staying with his aunt. All the paperwork is done. Schools have both been notified. Why do I feel like I've forgotten something major?
I think I need a nap.

Friday, November 5

Divine Redux

Awhile back I wrote about listening to the book Divine by Karen Kingsbury. The book started getting into the sexual abuse of a child and I had to quit listening. Well, I still had it on my mp3 player one day and needed something to listen to while I was driving so I finished it. I'm glad I did. Once I got past those few gritty chapters the rest of the book was a great story of redemption. I'm glad I went back and finished this.
Now, back to the library website and find something new to download.

Wednesday, November 3

Linden Trees

 Early October

 Late October

Our neighbors have a pair of Linden trees, they are just so pretty all summer long.

Tuesday, November 2

Daughter #1

This is our oldest daughter Grace with her husband who is one of our nation's finest, serving in the US Navy. This was taken yesterday on Grace's 27th birthday. Grace has traveled the hard road to adulthood, but I think she's finally headed in the right direction. After many tumultuous years it's good to see her happy again.

I voted!

Did you?

The nice thing about living in a small community is that you know everyone. The downside is that at election time....well, you know everyone. And sometimes there are divisive issues and tempers can get hot. If I happen to state my opinion and it's not the same as yours I would think that as mature adults we could have a polite discussion and exchange views. I would especially think that if you were a member of my church. I don't expect people to agree with me about everything. Shoot, even my husband I don't agree on all things. I just expect to be treated with respect when I disagree with you.

So today is election day. If the results are not what I hope for, I will be content with the fact that I voted my conscience. I hope everyone else will be too.

Good News About my Dad!

After nearly two weeks in the hospital it looks like Dad is going to get to come home today or tomorrow. I guess he still has blood clots in his lung but the meds are supposed to take care of that. I think just getting home will be the best medicine for him.

Sew Mama Sew Bag Swap

One of the blogs I like to visit is Sew Mama Sew. They are great about sharing fun ideas and sewing tutorials. Last month I joined a bag swap. We were given a partner with the likes and dislikes and made them a bag.
These are pictures of the one I made.


The handles have a red lining and a matching pocket on the inside. I used the pattern from Bend The Rules Sewing. The bag turned out cute and I hope my partner enjoys using it while she's out shopping.

The bag I recieved is a cute little clutch. You can see it here,

If you want to see other bags in the swap you can go see them at this Flicker site.

It was a fun swap and I'm glad I joined.