Friday, December 28, 2007

Menu for the week, Publix Deals

Well, I feel like I haven't posted a menu in forever! It's only been 2 wks though! I need some HEALTHY menus!! I ate WAY too much this past week! Seriously.

Turkey Chili (using a recipe from the new issue of Everyday Food)
Chicken Fajitas, Corn
Cheesy Tortilla Pizzas, Salad
Toasted Ham Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
BBQ Meatball Subs, Potato Salad
Oven Fried Chicken Tenders, Broccoli and Cheese, Roasted Potatoes

I'm still in the process of using up those meatballs and instead of having spaghetti again, I thought meatball subs might be nice..

Since I am trying to cut my grocery bill, I've decided to keep a 'price book'. I'm going to attempt to write down prices of things that I regularly buy, from a few different grocery stores. Today I shopped at WalMart and Publix. I got about half at each place. Before I went shopping this morning I checked the Publix ad online. Here are some of the good deals I got:

Sour Cream 16 oz-$0.99
5lb bag potatoes, $2.00
Dole Salad, 2 for $5.00
Weight Watchers Smart Ones- 50% off
Publix Yogurt, 4oz/6pk- $2.00
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce- BOGO (saved $2.19, I mean who doesn't use BBQ sauce!)
Angel Soft Bath Tissue- 2 for $10
Progresso Diced Italian Tomatoes- BOGO (saved $1.65 on 2- 28oz cans)

I'm trying to only buy things that I will use in my weekly menu and that I know I can use later! They had some other things on sell but I didn't need them. I was tempted to buy some shredded cheese because they had that 2 for $4 but I have an unreal amount of shredded cheddar cheese left over from Christmas! I mean like almost 2 full LARGE bags because my mom brought one over and left it with us! They also had SeaPak shrimp BOGO which was a great deal but I just had to pass.

Well, I must go.. my son is crying because he must watch the "De-deer" movie (the clay Rudolph movie from the 60's) once more. I have a feeling we will be watching it long after the new year is over. Never mind the 5 new Veggie Tales videos he got for Christmas....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What Fun, What Fun!

We had a blast yesterday! Santa came!!! Luke got TONS of toys. Way too many! I mean we tried to be reasonable.. but everybody else did not!! Oh well, such is the life of the only grandson on all sides!! As of yesterday our den looked like this:

Yes, this is the damage of one child (and his father). Thankfully it only looks half as bad now.
I hope that your Christmas was filled with lots of love and family time! I thank God for the wonderful blessing of His Son, Jesus Christ! Without Him I would be nothing!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Leah's Recipe Exchange

I joined Leah's Recipe Exchange last week and just posted my second recipe. It's a yummy coffee cake that I'll be making for Christmas morning. Please go by and visit the page and browse all of the yummy recipes that have been posted!

ETA- for some reason the "link" isn't showing up (on my computer at least). You should be able to click on "Leah's Recipe Exchange" or you can also click the icon on my side bar!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Tour

So, I was late for officially getting in on Boomama's Christmas Tour of Homes, but I have had fun looking through all of the homes. You should definitely check them out.

Here's the wreath that hangs on the front door. Sorry it's at an angle, I wasn't about to go outside this morning in my pj's in the freezing cold! Plus we live in the parsonage.. so I'm not sure it's appropriate to go outside in my pj's anyways. It needs a bow or something at the top but I don't do bows.. my mom makes all of mine!

And here is our 'skinny' tree. In our previous house we didn't have much room so we bought this skinny little thing. I would love to upgrade one day.. but not this year.

Yep, my mom made that bow....

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments:

This one is from Christmas 2005. I was about 3 months pregnant around Christmastime and my mom and dad gave us this "Parent's-to-Be" ornament.

This little sweet ornament is from last year, Luke's first Christmas. A very talented woman at the church where R and I met made it. It has Luke's name hand painted and his little handprint on it.

Here is the hutch in the dining room. I am not one to take down everything and replace it with all Christmas things. I just don't have that kind of decorations, I've only been decorating my house for 4 seasons... so I've got some years of decorations to collect! The stocking is my hubby's stocking from his childhood.

Here is a little closer look....

This is the other corner of the dining room with my mini tree. I hope to one day have enough gingerbread/candy ornaments to fill a large tree. And that little fellow in the mismatched pj's (and notice the black rain boots that he wore with his fireman Halloween costume, on the wrong feet mind you) is the reason why there are limited decorations at hands reach.

And here is an up close pic of some of the gingerbread/candy ornaments on the small tree, I just LOVE them!

I have a few other things out but these are my favorites. Thanks for stopping by.. and I'm so glad that it was a virtual visit. Because today my house is a mess!! I've got to shake this cold so I can do some cleaning! Hope you didn't catch anything while you were here! ;)

Luke 2:14“ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sugar Cookies w/ Candy Cane Kisses!

Well, I made those yummy sugar cookies with the candy cane kisses! They turned out so cute! I still have lots of them even though lots were eaten! It makes a bunch! Luke loves the cookie part but isn't too fond of the kisses in the middle.. so he eats around it! Here's the sugar cookie recipe (from a friend of mine) and I'll add the changes I made for these particular cookies at the bottom:

Rolled Sugar Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 TBS milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups self-rising flour

In large bowl combine sugar, butter and milk, vanilla and egg, blend well. Mix in flour. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.
*My notes: This dough is STICKY!!! So it MUST be refrigerated! You will think it needs more flour by how sticky it gets but it really doesn't. I honestly don't think an hour would do it. I always make my dough thenight before so it has all night in the frig! I just lightly flour the plastic wrap and dump the dough on it and wrap it up!

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick on floured surface. Cut with cookie cutter and bake for 5-7 minutes until lightly golden on bottom.
*My notes: I have made these sugar cookies many times rolling them out and they are wonderful w/ icing on top!! I usually take about 1/3 of the dough from the frig and roll it out... cut and bake. It's best to keep the rest of the dough in the frig so it doesn't get warm. It really works best when it's really chilled! They cook fast and will burn in no time. In my oven they need right at 5 to 5 1/2 minutes. They shouldn't brown on the top at all.

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies:

Prepare dough the same way as above and refrigerate. Heat oven to 400. Break off pieces of dough and roll into a ball about the size of walnuts. Arrange on lightly greased cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. Press each dough ball into a 1/4 inch thick flat disk with a glass (make sure to flour the bottom of the glass) making sure that each cookie has about 2 inches between them after being pressed. Bake 5-7 minutes. When the cookies come out of the oven press one candy cane kiss into the center of each cookie. Immediately move to a wire cooling rack. Be careful not to turn/tilt the cookies when moving them off of the cookie sheet because the kisses will immediately begin to melt thus resulting in a big blob of melted white chocolote. These must cool for a few hours for the kisses to harden back up. This makes 3-4 dozen.

And if you're interested:

Icing (for Rolled Sugar Cookies)
2/3 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 TBS milk

Beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and milk, adding enough for spreading consistency. Add food coloring if you'd like. Spread onto cooled cookies. This icing never gets rock hard but it does harden up some.

Friday, December 14, 2007

~Yum~ Menu (Inexpensive Meal Ideas Needed!)

All righty... we're tightening up the purse strings. My grocery budget has gotten out of hand. You all (all 2 of you.. ha) know how much I love Publix. And I still do. But Publix has caused me to go out of control on my grocery spending. Not because of the prices mind you.. but because of the wonderful selection of food! (oh, and the Bread Lady who loves to woo my son with sugar cookies therefore causing me to buy loaves of bread)... I do still plan to shop there some. They have good BOGO deals often and they take all of my printable coupons.. I did not tell you how impressed I was that they CALLED me the day before Thanksgiving because I had sent an email, on a whim really, to their customer service asking if they accepted printed coupons. Well, the manager of my local (30 minutes away) Publix called me and explained every detail of what coupons they accept and what they don't. I was very impressed with their customer service. I promise you that I don't have stock or whatever in Publix and they aren't paying me in groceries for saying any of this.. though that would be nice. Anyway.. I have got to be more frugal when planning my meals... meaning I need to start planning healthy (or my version of healthy), inexpensive meals by using what is on sale and coupons I have. I am actually excited about this challenge...
Yes, as you can see.. it doesn't take much to excite me. I am such a dork.
So, if any of you (the 2 of you) out there would like to share with me some inexpensive meal ideas, please do!
Maybe one day I'll get with the program and start posting my menu's on Menu Planning Monday. I usually shop for groceries on Thursday so my menu usually starts on Friday... which is weird, I know. So in my world, the whole menu Monday just doesn't seem right. There's some great menu planning ideas on there though! So, here is my menu.. on FRIDAY! :)

~Vegetable Beef Soup, corn bread
~Spaghetti and meat balls (I bought some frozen meatballs 2 weeks ago thinking that Luke might eat them.. that was a huge negative! So I've got almost a whole bag left!)
~Loaded Baked Potatoes (with bacon, cheese and sour cream), salad
~Pancakes, cheesy scrambled eggs and fried potatoes & onions
~Tuna Salad or Ham Sandwiches w/ chips and salsa (Wednesday night is our sandwich night)

I know we'll have lots of soup leftover for another night plus we've got our first family gathering for Christmas tomorrow night. And I normally do not add this but Luke always has a green veggie offered to him at lunch and dinner. Now, that doesn't mean that he eats it but I always have frozen peas, broccoli, etc for him.

So, do you have any ideas for me?? I need some creative help!

I'm off to bake some yummy sugar cookies (with candy cane kissed in the center) for tomorrow. And in the morning I'm making a Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

~I AM~ Lesson 8

Time for Lesson 8 of The Preachers Wife Bible Study~ "I AM"

1. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to 'go back' to a place of shame or ridicule? How did that make you feel? Yes, sometimes 'those' things in my past like to come to mind. But I've been learning a lot lately about how to break free from those things (I'm almost finished reading Breaking Free by Beth Moore! Love it!).

2. Is there any circumstance in your life that still has you running for cover? Share if you feel comfortable. No, not a particular circumstance but I do struggle with things of course. The crazy thing about life is that there will always be 'circumstances' and right now I'm learning how to deal with those circumstances. I think that best thing is to remember that our life as Christians is to bring Him glory! At least that helps me out when I'm in a bind.. that is, to remember that it's not about me anyway! Even in the discouraging and even messy parts of life, God deserves the glory and we should be looking for ways for Him to get it! Sometimes that is easier said than done in the midst of turmoil but it helps me put things into prospective when I remember what everything really is all about... HIM!!

3. When is the last time you felt like an overcomer? Last week! I have not (yet) blogged about much of my 'struggles' but maybe one day I will. I won't go into much detail here but I will say that I deal with one thing almost on a weekly basis: FEAR! Irrational fear. I have overcome a lot in that area thanks to God's peace but I still deal with it a lot. Every situation that I make it through, I consider as a situation that I have overcome! And I definitely know that it is not of my own power, Praise God!!! (or I'd be in one of those insane asylums Lisa mentioned in the study!)

4. If you have not yet taken the serpent by the tail, are you willing to stop running, take hold and trust God to transform it into a tool for wonders? I'm not sure I have 'taken the serpent by the tail' yet but I want to!!! I want God to use every part of my life! That is my desire!! I think it's exciting to see someone like Moses, who we often think of being so strong and courageous, show his weaknesses. It reminds me of the verse that says that in our weaknesses, He is strong! And that definitely is the case in Moses' situation!

5. I would like for you to write down this statement based on 1 John 2:14 somewhere you will see it often this week: "I am strong, the Word of God abides in me, and I have overcome the evil one." Memorize it. Say it over and over until you believe it. Will you do this?? Most of the time, there are no right or wrong answers, but on this one, I'm expecting a 'yes'! Sure!! I'll put it above my sink by the window where I put other verses that I'm *trying* to memorize. You know.. that's where I spend a lot of my time... at the sink! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just what I needed...

Sometimes we just need a good song to cry to.. and I found one today. I love Natalie Grant and I love this video. Man, she's got a voice.. but the message is just what I needed today! I just had to share it...

Isaiah 54:10
"For the mountains shall depart

And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

Praise be to the Lord who has shown me great mercy!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Busy. Busy. Busy.

That has been the jest of the past few days for me. Lots of baking and cooking and cleaning. I really do love it.. but I am looking forward to a slow day of doing nothing Monday! Luke and I spent 2 nights with my mom since R had to go out of town suddenly. I do not like to stay by myself. I stayed by myself Wednesday night and was fine but I just would much rather my hubby be with me. I missed him so very much.

Saturday night I had a movie night with the youth/college girls from church. And though it was a small group we had such a good time. We had some really good food.

And we watched The Nativity Story, which is so good! Oh what a glorious King we serve to come so humbly and lowly to save our souls! Ok, I could keep on going.. but I'll just refer you to here!

One more thing.. what in the world is up with this weather??? It was 75 degrees today!!!! As I speak there is a fly buzzing around my head. Seriously, it's about to drive me insane. I thought to myself when I first heard that annoying thing.. 'What in the world is a fly doing? It's December 9th!!' But then I remembered that it has been so WARM... plus our house is surrounded by cow pastures.. so you know...
Ok, that's enough nonsense!! ;)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Luke is 18 months old!

My baby is officially 18 months old today. A year and a half. We had his checkup yesterday and the Dr said he was perfect. I already knew that though! :) He did say he was slim, like his daddy, who was with me (thank goodness, because he sure doesn't get 'thin' from me!). He was 24.18 lbs and 33.75 inches tall...

So, in light of his year and a half birthday I'd like to post a few new things he can do.. and just some random cute things he's been doing.

Just 2 days ago he said his first compound word: house shoes. It sounds kind of like 'hoseshoows' but it's house shoes. It's so cute!

He likes to brush his teeth while I brush his teeth. Meaning that he has 2 toothbrushes.. one that I use for him and one that he uses. This is really the only way he will let me brush his teeth.

He has a hard time with the L sound. So our dog, Lily, is 'Niny'. :)

He can now successfully open 3 doors in our house. The door to the living room, the 'what exactly is this room' room and the laundry room(all 3 rooms that we'd rather him not go in, of course). We have the doorknob covers on them now. The other doors have older knobs so they are harder to turn.. but I'm sure it won't be much longer until he has mastered them as well.

He has started asking for 'more' when he wants more milk. I'm trying to get the 'please' added but it hasn't come yet.

He likes to 'talk' on the phone but only when no one is actually on there. He would much rather pretend than really be talking to someone.

He still uses his paci but he knows that the paci stays in his bed. We no longer take it with us anywhere... unless of course we are staying over night. When he wakes up and I come to get him, he knows that he has to put the paci down before he can get out of bed.

If you ask to see his 'cheesy grin' he will give you the cutest cheesiest grin you've ever seen... full of all his little baby teeth! Adorable! By the way.. he has 12.. and more coming soon!

When he sees any kind of football on TV he yells, 'touchdown!'. His daddy is very proud!

Despite the snubbing and wailing that he did yesterday while the Dr examined him, he still politely shook the Dr's hand and said 'byebye' when he was leaving the room (snubbs and all).

He loves the Christmas tree! Every morning since we've had it up he comes to the living room door and says "on". It must be turned on the minute he gets up. When I turn it on, he says, 'Oh Wee!"

He HATES having his picture taken. I mean who has time to stop and smile when there are cars to push around and balls to bounce (or in the case of trying to take Christmas pictures by the tree.. ornaments to pull off).

He is a very inquisitive child and studies everyone he meets. No, he will probably not smile at you.. but he will stare you down like he's in it to win it. I promise you though he is a very happy child. He just needs time to figure people out.

There are no words to say that could express the love I have for that little boy! He is such a joy!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Baby Jesus and King of kings

Today ends my "No sweets for one week"! YIPEE! I must confess that I did have a chocolate chip cookie and a cup of hot chocolate. For me, 7 days and only one cookie w/ hot chocolate is a big deal. Such a big deal that I lost 3 lbs!! Now, if that doesn't tell you how big of a sweet tooth I have I don't know what will! I really found that it was easier to do than I thought. I may try it again after this weekend. I'm doing a lot of baking and cooking for the girl's movie night Saturday so I'm not even gonna torture myself.


~~Now back to regularly scheduled programming~~

The other night my hubby was preaching and he made a comment that I have been pondering over all week. Now, I don't remember the exact phrase but it went something like this:

The world loves baby Jesus, it's 'adult' Jesus that they have a problem with.

You know it's Christmas season and a lot of people get that warm and fuzzy feeling when they see that cute little baby Jesus in a manger. They might even shed a tear when they get an email with a picture of a star and three wise men and the faint sound of "Away In a Manger" softly playing in the background. Now is there anything wrong with that in particular? No, not at all.

But let's talk about 'adult' Jesus. You know, Jesus as a grown man was not a liked fellow back in His day. And not surprisingly He isn't today either. Now, many people will 'say' they love Jesus.. they will proclaim with their mouths, chain emails, or sporadic church attendance that Jesus is great. But the real evidence is the way they live their lives. In thinking about all of this, let's remember who Jesus is. Jesus is God. And God hates sin (Jeremiah. 44:4). If we are a child of God with the Spirit of God living in us, will we continually let sin reign in our lives... thus proving our love for sinfulness?

Ok, ok most of us will admit that we hate sin, right? I mean *most* people hate murder, rape, child abuse... right? Right. But sin is much more than just these things. Sin is any rebellion against God. Selfishness, prayerlessness, forsaking the assembling of believers together, lying, hatred, jealousy, infidelity, adultery, lust, gossip, putting other things/people before God {idolatry}, premarital sex, slander, laziness, gluttony, homosexuality, avoiding God's Word, not tithing, greed... watching a TV show with adultery, lust, infidelity or singing a song that is vulgar is agreeing with what you're watching/hearing, which makes that a sin as well. And I know God doesn't find sin entertaining. I could go on but you get the idea. There are no BIG or small sin in God's eye's. I found this quote today by John MacArthur on sin.

And, of course, there's just no interest in the public forum talking about sin today. I mean that is absolutely archaic. Sinful nature? To say that people are corrupt at birth? To say they inherited a wicked nature from their parents because they were all genetically, as it were, in Adam? They were all there and sinned in Adam in his loins, and everything that came out of that cursed man and that cursed woman bears that curse? Unacceptable. To say people are all born with an evil bent; that they are all born with a desire to violate the law of God and to dethrone God and replace him with themselves? To say they are incapable of doing anything good? To say that they are rotten to the very core, that everything about them -- everything they think, everything they say and everything they do -- is only evil continually? To say their heart is deceitful and desperately wicked? Frankly, folks, that is just not acceptable in the public forum. Our culture has really declared war not only on sin, because they don't want anything defined as sin. Everything is just a lifestyle choice.
Nothing is a sin. So our culture has declared war on sin and, consequently, declared war on guilt. The very idea of guilt is considered medieval, obsolete and certainly unhealthful.

Pretty true of what our culture today thinks... "Everything is just a lifestyle choice." Wow... speechless.

Why does the world love all kinds of sin and therefore hate Jesus? Because of what He stands for {purity, holiness, righteousness} and what He stands against {sin}.

Listen to His words....

"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:20

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt. 6:21

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13-14

"Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"Matthew 7:22-23

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33

Jesus is the King of kings. He will reign forever. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.. either today or on judgement day.

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Matthew 13:9

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Check it out! ~Contest~

I just came across this great contest @ GREENSTYLEMOM! Click here to read about it and enter! Perfect for all of your Christmas baking and gift giving! Super cute! Hurry.. the deadline is Dec. 4th!


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Noodles and Bananas.

We had a small victory last night. Luke ate spaghetti! We're making small progress every day.. well, maybe not that often.. more like every month... progress none the less. I must admit to you how I got him to eat it though. I taught him how to slurp up the spaghetti noodles. (picture lady and the tramp.. minus the dogs) He thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was so proud of my little noodle slurping boy! He ended up eating about half of what I gave him.. and that is a huge accomplishment! So, this morning he was eating breakfast. His usual- waffle and banana. I got a bowl of cereal and sat down next to him. I hear him giggle and look over...
He's slurping his banana slices. Great.
Oh well. Whatever works.