Football and a Few New Recipes

Today the boys had their first flag football game.  I tried to get Lucas to sign up when I signed Logan up but he refused.  He didn't want to get tackled and I couldn't get him to understand that you don't tackle in this league.  He finally decided he wanted to play and he cracks me up.  Since he signed up late, he didn't get his uniform when the others did.  I wish I had a video of how giddy he was this morning when he got his.  He was beside himself. 

The other team didn't have enough to play so some of our players played for the other team so they could have a ballgame.  They didn't care☺

Lucas has his game face on!

Logan SCORED!!!  Woo-hoo!

Lucas pulled one flag and was thrilled.  I was SO proud of Logan!!!  He pulled six, threw two passes that scored, and scored one touchdown.  I wish Landon could have seen it...he had an auction.

I got a message from someone this week who tried several of the recipes that I posted in I Only Have a Kitchen Cuz It Comes With the House.  That made my day!  She liked several of them and told me to feel free to post more because it planned her meals for the week.  Here are a few more that I have tried this week. 

 Baked Spaghetti

8 oz spaghetti
1 egg
24 oz canned tomato sauce
8 oz can tomato paste
1 tbs basil
1 tsp ground oregeno
12 oz cottage cheese
12 oz mozzarella cheese
1 lb ground beef
garlic salt
1 small onion (I used some frozen onions because I hate cutting them)

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package.  Drain and mix in 1 beaten egg and coat with butter spray.  Place evenly into a 9x13 pan.  Top with cottage cheese.

Brown beef, onion, garlic salt.  Add sauces and seasonings and let simmer.  Pour over spaghetti mixture.  Top with mozzerella cheese.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 

Broccoli Cheese Soup (from Panera Bread)

1 tbs melted butter
 1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. melted butter
2 c. half and half
2 c. chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I am not going to include this next time)
8 oz cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Saute onion in 1 tbs butter.  Set aside.  Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Add in half and half and chicken stock.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add broccoli, carrots, and onions.   Cook on low for 20-25 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and cheese.  (also nutmeg if desired). 

I served the soup in a bread bowl with cheddar biscuits.  Landon said he wished I would have had more bread.  Ha. 

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 large russett potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 tbs butter, melted
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, white and green parts thinly chopped (I left this out)
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce holes in potatoes and place in oven for an hour.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Cut each potato in half lenthwise.  Use an ovenmit to hold the potato and scoop out potato into a bowl.  Leave a thin border so the skin isn't too fragile.

Mash the potato with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooth.  Stir in melted butter, 1 c. cheese, onions, sour cream, milk, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  Scoop mixture back into the shells and sprinkle with cheese.  Move rack 3-4 inches away from broiler and cook until golden (5 minutes).

Cheese Danish (otherwise known as Heaven in Your Mouth)
from Amber Weatherly

2 pkgs crescent rolls
2-8 oz pkgs cream cheese
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 T lemon juice
2 T sour cream
3/4 c. sugar

1 c. confectioner's sugar
1 T milk
1T butter, softened

Put layer of crescent rolls on bottom of casserole dish.  Beat together all other ingredients (excluding icing).  Spread mixture on top of crescent rolls.  Add another layer of crescent rolls.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Make topping and drizzle on top.   Serve hot or cold.  YUMMMMMMMMM!

Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie
Put chicken breasts into crock pot.  Pour in cream of chicken and cream of mushroom.  Cook all day and about 1-2 hours before serving, add peas and carrots.  I made biscuits and served the mixture on top.  My whole family (including Lucas) loved it!  Easiest meal all week!  I must start using the crock pot more.  

Happy Saturday!


The Long Awaited Day

Today we had our ultrasound to find out if it is a boy or a girl.  I have been so anxious for this anticipated day. 

We sent this picture to family and close friends, but some of them didn't get it.  The balloons are blue.  We are having another boy! 

I wanted to prepare myself for this possibility, because it is no secret that I really wanted to have a girl.  However, I prayed fervently for a baby, and I can't pray with stipulations.   I was at the point where it really didn't matter to me what it was, I just wanted another baby.  So, for me to be upset or disappointed in what I have been given, I think would be ungrateful.  When I found out it was a boy, I was truly okay with it. 

When the ultrasound began, she turned on lullabies and as soon as I saw the first picture of our precious baby, I couldn't help but crying.  It doesn't ever get old, even on baby number three.  It is truly a miracle to see a small little life inside of you. 

We went to see the midwife after the ultrasound and she explained to us that there were some "spots" on the heart that she wanted to keep an eye on.  She said this wasn't anything to be concerned about but she wanted to have a follow up ultrasound in four weeks.  Right after that, she asked if I had the genetic screening test already.  I told her that I wasn't going to get it done, and Landon explained that we would keep the baby no matter the results.  There are a lot of false positives on those tests, and perfectly healthy babies are born with some false testing.  I almost started getting really emotional and in shock that we were even discussing this.  She said that it will probably go away, but she wanted to check and make sure in a few weeks. 

So, what does anyone do that hears medical news?  You look it up on the internet to see other stories...always a bad idea!  I ended up crying and an emotional basket case all afternoon.  I called Dr. Griffin, and he made me feel much better.  He didn't seem concerned about it at all and said it was very common.  I felt a huge burden lift off of me as I got off the phone and then I drove out of the pharmacy drive through, I looked up and saw a huge rainbow.  I know some may think this is corny, but for me it was a reminder that God is in control and I know that He knows what is best no matter what.   

As the ultrasound technician was getting everything ready to begin, Landon asked the boys what they wanted. Logan wanted a boy and Lucas wanted a girl. When she told us it was a boy, Lucas started crying because he said he wanted a girl. He got mad at Logan and said it was his fault because he wanted a boy. We have it on video, and I laughed my head off!  Click the following few videos to watch his dramatic reaction unfold. 

I do have two requests.  The first one is what I have feared if we have another boy: people's reactions.  I would appreciate you keep your disappointments and awws to yourself.  This happened to me several times when I told people I was having another boy when I was pregnant with Lucas.  Like I can pick the gender anyway!!  It really hurt my feelings, and I know it wasn't intentional.  I have learned not to do that to others, so if I have ever done that, I apologize!!

My other more important request is for prayers that everything is okay with this baby.  We aren't ever guaranteed a healthy baby, but I do pray for one.  I would appreciate everyone else's prayers as well.  


Happy Fall

Fall is my favorite season of all.  There are so many wonderful activities that I look forward to this time of year.  I found a Fall Bucket List on Pinterest that I fell in love with.  I modified it a bit for what I wanted to make sure we did this fall.  Feel free to make your own copy and do as well.  I printed it to an 8x10 and framed it to display.  I hope to be able to check them all off this season!  I emailed it to my cousin and she said there was too much cooking on there for her.  Haha! 

We can check off one from the list.  I made some apple cider last night. 

Happy Fall!!


Grocery Store Request

I have heard that in some bigger cities grocery stores offer childcare.  Some days I would pay big bucks for this service, and today was one of them!!!!  I thought I was going to lose my mind.  They usually behave very well in the grocery store, but for some reason today they were bonkers.  They were chasing each other, wrestling, not paying attention to others around them and running into people.  Also, I had a long list and I went to a different store than usual so it took me longer to find everything I needed.   Then to top it all off, Lucas pooped in his pants because he strapped himself in the child's seat in the bathroom and was couldn't get out.  (I was checking out right on front of the bathroom). 
Fun times in the freezer section.

I would like to request childcare in Wal-Mart and Food Lion.  ☺


Must Get for Kids

My friend, Trish, discovered some videos and was relentless until I tried them out for myself.  Once we watched them, I ended up getting them all.  I wanted to share with everyone that has children because they are WONDERFUL!  They are by Phil Vischer, the founder of Veggie Tales.  I heard a Focus on the Family broadcast about a year ago with an interview with him over this his regrets in selling Veggie Tales.   Here are the links if you want to listen:  Part 1 and Part 2

After selling Veggie Tales he decided to start a new project with telling the bible in detail with puppets instead.  So far he has five DVDs out.  They are FULL of information and there are many things that he shares in the videos that I just learned about a few years ago. 

We were eating dinner this summer and we started talking about the videos.  They had watched them  them several times in a row in the van.  The boys were telling Landon some details and he was impressed...me too.  Logan was telling details of the Davidic covenant and Lucas was telling what books of the Pentateuch were.  You will be amazed at what all children can learn and pick up on just by watching them.  

We have always been fans of Veggie Tales, but I have sometimes wondered if the changing the stories would confuse them in any way (the tickle feather in Esther for Haman's punishment instead of death, the slushies as weapons in The Battle of Jericho...)  I think they are wonderful and we have watched many of them, but I do like these better. 

I think his plan is to go all the way through the bible, but for now he just has five Genesis-1 Samuel.  The links to Amazon are below the pictures.  It's the cheapest place to get them.

Coming soon...

My boys love them all, but their favorite one is #5.  I just wanted to share because I give them a great review.  They are entertaining and will fill your minds full of biblical truths.   

I Only Have a Kitchen Cuz It Comes With the House

I can't believe I am actually blogging about cooking because if you know me at all, this is unusual.  I didn't learn to cook growing up.  Many of you know my story of my first attempt at making spaghetti.  I will never live the story down because I didn't drain the noodles.  I won't take full credit for that blond moment either.  My mom left me detailed instructions, leaving out a crucial step that has haunted me for the rest of my life.  (I was in middle school, by the way). 

Before I got married, I had a a fear that Landon would be disappointed at my lack of ability in that department because his mother is an excellent cook.  He has never made me feel bad about it in any way our whole married life.  Through the years, I have managed to learn a few things and can follow a recipe without major problems.  However, I have never enjoyed any of the process.  Actually, I hated it.  Not long after we were married, I received a gift (I won't say who from) that was a wooden sign for my kitchen.  It said "I Only Have a Kitchen Cuz It Comes With the House".  It hung there for years and it was the truth.  For family gatherings and holidays, we are usually in charge of paper goods and two liters.

I know some may think this is strange, but I have actually prayed for God to give me the desire to cook because I know it is something I really need to do without despising.  It wasn't an instantly answered request, but over the last few weeks, I have actually looked forward to cooking...a definite first for me!!  I don't know if it is the fall weather, or if it is because I am pregnant, or if it will even last, but for now I am going to enjoy making new recipes. 

I went through my list of usuals recipes like spaghetti, roast and potatoes, chili, grilled chicken...etc, but then I was in the mood to try some new ones.  Landon has enjoyed my new found love for cooking immensely.  I am also really thankful that he isn't picky.  I have a good friend whose husband is extremely picky and her recipes are limited that he will actually eat. 

I don't know if there are others who share my struggles in cooking, but I wanted to share a few simple recipes of what I have made over the last few weeks.

Taco Ring: our family staple.  If it were up to Lucas we would eat this every meal.  If I ever ask what he wants for dinner, it is his request. 

Mexican Lasagna

1 pound of hamburger
taco seasoning
can of black beans
can of diced tomatoes
shredded cheese
refried beans
tortilla shells

Brown hamburger, add taco seasoning, black beans, onion, and diced tomatoes.  In casserole dish, layer tortillas, refried beans, beef mixture, and cheese.  Repeat.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

This is a must try for a cool night.  I actually liked it better than O'Charley's. 

Chicken Casserole (from Mae-Mae)
She used to fix this for me all the time and I am so glad I got the recipe before she lost her memory. 
It is also a family favorite...and super easy!

2 cans of cream of chicken
1 small carton of sour cream
chicken breasts
roll of Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter

Cook chicken.  In large bowl, mix cream of chicken, sour cream, and cooked chicken.  Pour into a casserole dish.  In a separate bowl, melt better and add crushed up roll of crackers.  Stir and put on top of casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Baked Ziti

2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb ziti pasta
6 oz mozzarella shredded cheese
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 lb ground beef
6 oz provolone cheese slices
spaghetti sauce

Boil pasta and drain.  Brown hamburger and add spaghetti sauce.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Layer 1/2 the ziti in a greased casserole dish, layer provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture.   Add another layer and top with grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sausage Balls

1 lb sausage
2 cups Bisquick
1/4 c. water
2 c. cheddar cheese

Mix together and form into balls.  Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits from Red Lobster
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cups cold whole milk
1/2 stick cold butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 heaping cup cheddar cheese

2 tbs butter (melted)
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine Bisquick with cold butter in medium bowl.  Don't mix too thoroughly.  Add cheddar cheese, milk, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.  Mix by hand.  Drop 1/4 cup portions onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 15-17 minutes (or until brown).  Brush on topping while hot. 

Corn Casserole
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can cream style corn
8 oz sour cream
1 egg
1 8 oz package corn muffin mix
1 tbs dried onion flakes
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased 8 inch baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.

Apple Cider Pound Cake...Logan's favorite!!!!

3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup butter
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup buttermilk 
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda

Combine icing ingredients in saucepan.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  While cake  is warm, drizzle icing on top of cake.

I don't even like cooked apples and I loved this.

We typically have eaten out several times per week.  I have always felt guilty for this, especially when we would total up how much we would spend eating out.  Also, I have never felt like I live up to what a good and virtuous wife is...thanks to Proverbs 31:14-15, "She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family."  Umm...that's not me!

I didn't realize what that was doing to Lucas especially because when you go out to eat, everyone picks out what they want individually.  When I cook at home, our rule is you must try at least one bite of each thing.  I don't make them clean their plate, but only try one bite.  They don't have to eat if they aren't hungry, but I will save their plate for later.  Also, I don't make a separate meal for them if they don't like it.  (I'm doing good to prepare ONE! ☺)

We have had two of the worst melt downs ever in our history of parenting this week on this subject.  The first night was over Baked Ziti.  Lucas refused to try a bite, and it lasted the entire meal.  I knew he would like it because he likes spaghetti, so I didn't feel the request was unreasonable. 
It completely ruined the entire meal because he cried and carried on for so long.  It ended up in a spanking and him watching the rest of the family eat dessert.

Last night, we had another lovely meltdown.  He wouldn't try one chip in Rotel dip.  It was just the cheese on it too.  Another long, drawn out crying, hyperventilating fit soon followed.  I ended up making him eat it and he threw up.

I shouldn't expect anything less than to have my own picky eater. I have NO room to talk. I vividly remember my mother chasing my around the house, catching me by the couch, sitting on me and forcing me to try hashbrowns. To my surprise, I liked them. I am trying new foods still as an adult that I have simply refused to try, so I do have a little sympathy. However, when it is something I know he will like, I will not back down. 

On the menu for this week: 
Monday:  Baked Spaghetti
Tuesday:  Chicken, Twiced Baked Potatoes, and Corn
Wednesday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Thursday:  Chicken Tetrazini
Friday:  Craft Night..no cooking for me!!

Please feel free to share some of your family favorites!!


I Heart Faces: Back to School Photo Challenge

I wanted to make Logan's first day of second grade really special, and he was more excited than I expected.  I took a few pictures on the first day and usually he complains, but not this day.  This photo was all his idea--even holding up two fingers for second grade.  He was being a goof ball.  This is one of my favorite photos of him ever. 
This photo was entered into the I Heart Faces photo challenge – check out http://www.iheartfaces.com/ for more great Back to school entries.


Remembering a Date Etched Forever

It has been a frustrating day where every little thing that can go wrong does.  Technology seems to work against me just for spite.  I am positive it is the operator, and I hate that we are so dependant for our everyday lives to function.  So, when it doesn't work properly, it can send me in a terrible mood quickly.  I also had to fill in for a Sunday School class, along with play the piano for my mom who was sick.  Sundays can be stressful and hectic at times, but I remembered a verse to ease my tension..."Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9. 

I was quickly reminded through a memorial video that was played at church at how futile and small my little frustrations can become in comparison to so many things around me.   I don't ever watch TV anymore, so I haven't seen flashbacks that I am sure have been on for the last several days.  As I watched some videos, photos, and sound clips of that horrid day, I was taken back to the exact place I saw what happened ten years ago. 

I read stories of so many that remember exactly what they were doing, and I do too.  I was teaching my first year in Van Buren County when a middle school student burst into my room as classes were changing and told me to turn on the television because a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  I thought he was joking.  Seriously.  It took a few others to tell me the same story within a few minutes for me to actually take him seriously.  We all watched in horror and shock as we soon watched the second plane crash into the other tower. 

I was stunned, along with the rest of our country.  I couldn't believe what I was watching.  I didn't know anyone personally, but I was definitely impacted.  I was fearful of the future and what would happen next in our country.  I knew this meant war but I wasn't sure how it would affect everyone.  I just wanted to go home to be with Landon and all my loved ones. 

It is hard to believe it has been ten years because it is still so vivid when I see the images.  I can only imagine the pain survivors must be going through as they reflect on the day that changed their life forever.  My heart breaks for their loss and the heartache that was avoidable.

I am doing a bible study by Pricilla Shirer on the life of Jonah.  Of course, nearly everyone knows the "story" of Jonah, but I learned some things I hadn't ever considered.   I didn't really think about his strong resistance toward going to Ninevah, where he was so clearly called to go.  Ninevah was in Assyria, which was an enemy nation to Israel.  Jonah's ministry was focused on foretelling the expansion and prosperity of Israel. 

In the first half of the 8th century B.C., Ninevah was one of the principal provinces in Assyria.  The Assyrians had a reputation for inflicting physical and psycological terror on its enemies, including Israel.  Some of Jonah's loved ones may have suffered and been killed at this time.  Jonah placed no value on Ninevah or its inhabitants.  If Ninevah received God's mercy, they might stand in the way of Israel's prosperity.  To Jonah, God's directions to go and preach the message of hope and deliverance to his enemies didn't make sense to him, so he went as far as he could in the opposite direction. 

Jonah was an elitist and hypernationalist.  He was a patriot so dedicated to his people that he saw obedience to God's intervention as contrary to loyalty.  In actuality he had pledged allegiance not to God but to his people.

We were asked in our study if we grew up with a hatred or fear of any group of people?  We were to explain who and why.  I immediately thought of my feelings after 9-11-01.  I did have a hatred toward not only the group of terrorists who would do such a violent act but also the ones who stood by in other countries and cheered.  If God were to call me to go and minister to this particular group of people who are our enemies as he did Jonah, what would I do?  If I lost a loved one in the attacks on September 11, how would I respond to the calling to go and minister to the ones who had been responsible for their death?  Jonah is ridiculed by millions over many generations for basically the same thing.  

This happened a little over two years before Logan was born, and this is the first time he has heard of these events that took place.  He was asking me lots of questions today, and I showed him some pictures and explained some of the details.  I didn't want him to be afraid, but he was really concerned about what happened and wanted all of the details.  He said, "So our enemy came and died in the planes just to kill our people?"  Then I had to explain that they believe in a different god than we do.  Our God doesn't require acts of violence like that to be accepted into His own.  I explained that those people need Jesus just like so many others.  How I can casually say that without earnestly praying for the lost.  There are so many who are lost and willing to die for a false hope.  It is my prayer today that I have a genuine passion for the lost and will be willing to do and go wherever he leads without running in the other direction as far as I can go.  We are all called to love, even our enemies.  This is not possible at times with our flesh, it requires God working through us to pour out the kind of love He asks us to give. 

We remember and are praying for your families you left behind ten years ago....


Labor Day Weekend

This weekend, we had a family reunion in Indiana at Shakamak State Park.   We have been looking forward to going for months to spend time with the family and enjoy all of the things in the park.  I have never been camping (I am not particularly outdoorsy) so I thought it would be a good experience for the boys.  We had several cabins rented for the large Moore clan.  We found out the week before that the cabins had no air conditioning.  I admit...I am spoiled.  I can be the first to say that.  Also, there were record high temperatures for that weekend, reaching 100 degrees on some days.  It is difficult to sleep when you are laying there in pools of sweat. 

Logan and I just finished reading the first book in the Little House on the Prairie series.  After reading that book, I became extremely thankful for the generation that I was born into.  I really don't think I would have ever survived living in another time.  To read about what all had to be done just simply for survival was really eye opening.  How fortunate are we to have modern conveniences and yet I still can complain???  I am not comparing this weekend to any type of life they had to endure, but I was reminded of what all I can take for granted so easily.

The boys had a great time playing with their cousins.  I thought were were going to have a major meltdown with both boys when we said we were leaving to go back home.  Lucas said he wanted to move to Indiana. 

I didn't do a very good job of taking pictures this weekend.  I usually take many more, but I didn't this time.  Here are the few I took...

Poor Logan...he had an allergic reaction and his eyes were almost swollen shut.  I forgot their allergy medicine and this is what happened.  I felt horrible. 

Uncle Bruce helping Logan fish. 
Lucas lost interest quickly.  He would rather throw rocks in the water and play with the artificial bait.
Logan is much calmer and patient while fishing☺

Starting to get a baby bump.

Lucas in heaven...throwing rocks in the water.  When he was little and he would see a gravel parking lot, he would get so excited and yell, "I LUB ROCKS!!!"  When we got home, his pockets were crammed full of rocks.  I am sure that was uncomfortable on the way home, but he had his precious treasure nearby.  It's a wonder I didn't have a dryer full of rocks. 

One thing in particular the boys were excited to do was go horseback riding.  They didn't get to because they weren't old enough, but we got there in time to see some of our family off on their trail.
William said he almost got thrown off his horse. 

It was a fun weekend in spite of the heat.  I appreciate Bruce and Debbie Moore for organizing everything!