Monday, January 31, 2011

Trying to be Thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:15-19

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

I have been thinking back to my high school & college days.  In college everything in my apartment was so clean and neat.  Everything had a place & everything was in its place.  Fast forward 20 years... You can do that little blurdledble sound that they do in Wayne's World, and make sure you do your hands too. 

I arrived home from church yesterday around 2:30.  I walk in my beautiful home & it is trashed!  Dishes from lunch everywhere, Hopson's papers are covering the kitchen table, dirty clothes thrown on the floor, stinky lacrosse pads smelling up my laundry room, backpacks have thrown-up a lot of their contents onto my counters, toys scattered over the floor, hunting clothes scattered all in my bedroom, guns in a corner.  UGH!  I'm looking around & wondering why I spend any time doing any thing for these messy people.  I just wanted to lay down & cry.  I work all week cleaning, folding & putting away.  The weekend comes & it's all undone.  For any dads reading this, imagine you've been working on a HUGE project all week working a lot of overtime & then in one stroke of the keyboard it's all deleted.  That's how Sunday was for me.  It was bad, and to top it off we had a crazy day.  Can anyone out there understand where I am at this point in time, or am I the only one who has a messy family?

Well now it's Monday.  Last night I spent a fair amount of time having to point things out to the 5 & tell them exactly how I wanted things picked up.  Wow, I thought I was out of the toddler phase.  I felt like I needed to start singing 'the clean-up song'.  You know which one I talking about.  They did pretty well, it's not totally pristine, but I guess it will pass. 

When I have days like yesterday I find it very hard to be grateful.  "Give thanks in all things" was not my attitude last night.  I kept thinking that if they all would clean-up & quit stressing me out I could be thankful.  But that is not what God calls me to do.  I should find something to be thankful for.  There is plenty there, but as I sat there looking at the upheaval, I had a very hard time finding it.  Does anyone else struggle with this or am I the only ungrateful wretch out here?  I know that how I felt about my family is how God should  feel about me sometimes.  I've cleaned this mess up so many times & you keep making a mess of everything!  But, God has something I so desperately need...more of Him & less of me.  So for today, that is my prayer, that there will be more of God & less of me.  As I do things I will do them for His glory.  It doesn't matter that it is picking up & washing dirty clothes, cleaning dirty dishes, vacuuming the floor & putting the last bit of toys into the toy box.  I'm a mom, it's my job, ordained by God himself & I will do it & be grateful that I have the honor of being the mom.

Finding thankfulness in today & Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Monday, January 24, 2011

"I just put the love in the pan"

There are days that I will look in the fridge hoping dinner will just suddenly appear; beautiful, warm & looking like it came out of a Southern Living cookbook.  Unfortunately, it doesn't.  It's on days like this, when dinner needed to be ready 15 minutes ago, that I become really creative.

Tonight was one of those nights.  I had some leftover Mexican corn bread, an avocado, and some green onions that needed to be eaten.  OK, what do you do when this happens?  You throw it all together & 'just put the love in the pan.'  (and then pray it turns out to be ok so they'll eat it.) 

The phrase "I just put the love in the pan" came from the show The Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker on TLC.  We love this show.  If you haven't seen it we highly recommend it.  On one of the challenges the teams had to bake a HUGE cake as well as prepare an Italian meal.  One of the bakers trying to win & be the next great baker is also a chef.  When they were asking him about what he cooked and why he said:  "I just put the love in the pan."  Elizabeth & I looked at each other & both agreed that this is a great phrase.  Isn't that what you do when you cook or bake?  I cook because I like it, but also because I love my family.  I think even if you just fix your family a box of Kraft mac & cheese you're putting some love in the pan.  It's a heart thing.

Anyway, back to my items that have to be eaten or thrown away...

I decided to brown some ground venison & some onions together.  (if you don't have any venison, use ground turkey or lean hamburger meat)  I seasoned the meat with chili powder, ground cumin & cilantro.  I like to taste the spices so I tend to use a lot.  I crumbled the cornbread in the bottom of my baking dish, drained a can of diced tomatoes & spread those on top with cut-up avocado.  I then layered the meat next.  In a separate bowl I mixed cheese, sour cream & diced green onions together; spread that on top of the meat & baked it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  I tossed some raw shredded cabbage with some Hidden Valley Ranch together for a veggie & voila...dinner of champions!

They actually liked it, even the picky one.  :)  Joy is mine:  I didn't have to slave over dinner & they ate it.  That always makes for a happy mommy.   Even though it was a simple fair, I just put the love in the pan!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Baby it's cold outside

At the beginning of fall 2010, Hopson and I were talking about the Farmer's Almanac & how they were predicting our winter weather to be mild this year.  We always playfully argue about how much snow we will/won't get.  I think the almanac was a little off.  We have had some mild days, but we've also had a lot of very cold days.  We're in Alabama.  We don't do cold very well.  If there is a hint of the 'S' word, there is no school, bread, or milk.

After a long hot summer I'm always ready for the weather to cool down.  When it's cold outside I love to eat soup.  I don't know what it is about it, but it just makes me happy.  In high school, my friend, Dennis' family owned a restaurant called Incahoots.  Mr. Deason made the best beer cheese soup I've ever eaten.  I asked him for the recipe one time, and he told me that it started out with some chicken lips.  Needless to say he didn't give me the recipe.

Last year I was craving beer cheese soup & now with the miracle of the internet I found a recipe that is pretty close!  Oh happiness is mine.  I'm thinking I may make some this weekend.  YUM!  The recipe makes a lot, so if your family is like mine & doesn't really care for soup :( then you may need to reduce it.
We still have a few more months of winter & then as usual we will skip spring and go directly to summer.  But, right now, I'm going to enjoy the cold weather, my roaring fires & a bowl full of yummy creamy soup.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's official, I'm a dork

Well, it's official.  I have been confirmed as a dork by my teenagers.  I guess I knew this day would eventually come, but I hoped I would at least be 40 when I became a dork to my kids. 

If they only knew...

I remember when I dubbed my parents as dorks.  We were dancing in the kitchen & my mom started doing 'the skate'.  She was born in 1948 and came of age in the '60's and apparently the skate was hugely popular.  Um, yeah, well in the '80's the skate was not cool.  My sister & I could mimic my mom so well it was scary!

Jump forward to 2011.  We're in the kitchen, listening to music & 'All I do is win' comes on & Hoppy and Harry (especially Harry with Hoppy egging him on.  The scene was eerily familiar) start making fun of me.  Every time they hear the song now they start to laugh and now mimic me. 

I don't remember waking up and feeling like a dork.  When did this horrid transformation take place?  For some reason the song 'White & Nerdy' keeps playing in my mind.

The only good part of becoming a dork this early in life is that in about 10 years I should grow out of the dork phase, and then I'll just be old. 

If any of you other parents have been dubbed dorks by your adoring offspring, I would love to hear from you.  Misery loves company; or is it birds of a feather flock together. 

We're having beef tips & rice for dinner tonight.  Click here for the recipe. I did change it up a little & instead of using beer I used Marsala cooking wine, salt, pepper, rosemary & a little olive oil.  Should be yummy.  I'll let you know later.

I hope you enjoy the laugh & have fun remembering when you thought your parents were dorks.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little ice & a lost tooth

WINTER STORM 2011  no Winter Weather Situation 
um... How about a little ice and maybe a lost tooth?

Well, at the bottom of the mountain we have been a little disappointed.  No snow, and not really any accumulation of ice.  It reminded me of Winter Storm 2010.  (You know when you say it you have to be dramatic.)  Last year when I was in the grocery store picking up food stuffs I was laughing about the "huge winter storm" coming while talking to Hopson on my cell & people were staring at me like I had lost my mind.  I have a husband, 4 kids, and 2 dogs, of course I'm a little loony!

Anyway, we tried to have fun in the ice.  Elizabeth & Henry found ice on the trampoline and had a blast jumping on it.  Later they went around the corner to do some ice sledding with friends.  I know they had a great time.  We received a phone call after a little while from our neighbor telling us that Henry's mouth hit another little boy's head while they were sledding & knocked out Henry's loose tooth.  He was very upset because the tooth had fallen out of his mouth & they couldn't find it.  Our Tooth Fairy is a total slacker and forgot to take his last tooth when she finally showed up to leave him his dollar.  This time she remembered to bring the money on time and take the baby tooth, so all was good.  Yea tooth fairy! 

My 4 are a little stir crazy; are tired of doing chores; and I think they are ready for some routine & seeing their friends.  I think I am too.  I did have fun spending time with the fam,  hanging out, and then letting them stay up until very late to watch Auburn win the National Championship game.  It was fun!  Just remember the number is 32.  Elizabeth kept dozing during the game and we gave her a number to remember during the game so we'd know she was awake.  LOL! 

Anywho, it's been a great 4 day weekend & now the 4 will have a 3 day school week.  For those of you up on the mountain, know we're jealous because we really wanted it to snow so we could have a snowball fight.  Oh well, maybe Winter Storm 2012 will have a little more humph to it. 

My you be blessed beyond measure,

Henry and Elizabeth on the trampoline.

Henry after he lost his tooth.  Notice his left upper lip is a little fat.

And now we know...

No recipe right now, I'll post one later.  For now it's just a big War Eagle where we're not fans, just family!

I borrowed this from Lisa Talley who was at the game.

Taken by Shelley Shaw at Toomer's Corner!
WAR EAGLE!  It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

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