Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday, it was great but I need it to be a few hours longer

I've gotten two days worth things done today.  More than I planned to do.  I came home from church and put a roast in the oven and decided to get a few other things fixed for the week.
It made me miss my sweet friend Jennifer and wishing she was near by for once a month cooking.
So, today I hadn't planned it, but made a few meals...It's not a month's worth but it's a start
I only remember having pineapple upside down cake once when I was a little girl at a friends house.  I thought this easy recipe looked like a quick one to try.  It turned out really good!

I had left over roasted chicken and remembered a Chicken a la King recipe I had seen.
 I remember being a little girl and my mother buying the "boil in the bag" version and serving it over toast and loving it.  I don't think I've had it since.  It tastes just like I remembered.

Chicken a la King

1/2 Cup chopped Green pepper
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes disovled in
1 cup water
2 cups milk
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup frozen English Peas

Pimientos and mushrooms optional

In a large skillet over med-high heat, cook green pepper (and mushrooms if using) in butter until peppers are crisp-tender.
Wisk flour in.  Add water slowly, stirring constantly.  Con't to stir or wisk and add milk.  Wisk till smooth.  Add peas.  Bring to a boil and con't stirring 1 minute. 

Serve over puff pastry, biscuits, toast or place in freezer bag and freeze or future use.

We also managed to get the little dog groomed today... she was waaaay past due!

oh, now she can see!

Got her nice and clean for the little bit of snow we might get in the morning...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A little dancing

We had a busy week... nothing new... just busy.  Last night both girls had friends spend the night.  Nothing like a house full of girls!  I'm very glad to have them at our house though! 

Today Katie had to dance in a Hospice of Lubbock benefit.  It was put on by the dance Sorority at Tech. 
My whole Sat. was spent running the girls back and forth to rehearsal, lunch, and then the benefit itself. 

It made for a very unproductive day for me but again, I'm glad to be the the mom they wanted to run them around!
Across from the theater they preformed was a little area with a few metal heart sculptures.  This one made me happy.

I know this is blurry but I had to take it... I look over before they started dancing and Katie is laying on the floor peeking out of a whole in the partitian to the side of the stage or floor rather, it wasn't really big enough to have a stage

My dancing girl.  Tonight made me hope she doens't do college dance.  Those intrepretive type dances they did were a lot longer and harder to enjoy than what she's doing now!  They really should provide a blurb in the program telling you what the choireographer was trying to say with the dance.  Then I wouldn't wonder - are they animals, are they sad, how much longer, why don't they just do some ballet or tap? 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Teaching Katie to boil water - Buttermilk Pound Cake

I had the cutest little grandmother ever.  She was actually my step grandmother, I think I was 4 when they married.  But, she is the only grandmother I ever had.  I'm pretty sure I was her favorite, even being part of the step family...

Katie is named after her.  Her name was Katie Bell.  I remember sitting by her when I was a little girl telling her how when I had a daughter I was going to name her Katie.  She replied "just don't name her
Katie Bell". 

She was one of those warm, fluffy, sweet grandmothers.

One who always had good food cooked. 
I remember that kitchen, how it smelled, where everything was, and how hot it was!  I'm pretty sure it was like 150 degrees in there every time she cooked...that window unit in the living room didn't help the kitchen...
She always had an apron on when she was cooking.  I remember her wiping her hands on that apron like a dish towel...She never took it off till my grandfather started the blessing.

If you were lucky enough to visit in the afternoon, say around 3ish, then there was always a little dessert and coffee. 

I can remember the smell and sound of the coffee pot percolating and knowing it was a sign that we could have a little afternoon treat soon.  I was always very excited if the desert happened to be her Buttermilk Pound Cake.  It was my favorite of all the afternoon treats! 

I have this recipe but don't make it often, but when I made it a month or two ago Katie, who doesn't like sweets, ate almost the whole cake.

Last night when I asked Katie to put water on to boil and she replied "I don't know how" I almost died!
Kellie could cook a meal with no help.  How did Katie miss all the cooking info.

So, today, in the first installment of teaching Katie to boil water and other essentials, we started with something I knew she would like to eat.... The Pound Cake from her grandmother. 

The best friend was here for the lesson so they both started with aprons

Katie learned to separate eggs, measure and fold today

She was very excited to get to use the mixer Kellie asked for at Christmas

Here Katie was telling her to "just wipe it out"

the pay off

Katie's Butter Milk Pound Cake

3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup butter, softened
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp soda
1 cup Buttermilk

Preheat over to 350.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks one at a time beating after each.  Add flavoring.  Sift dry ingredients and add to first mixture alternating with buttermilk.  Begin and end with dry ingregients.  Beat egg whites till stiff.  Fold into batter.  Bake in a greased and floured tube pan for approx 1 hour and 10 min.

It's all about the Timing

In all the Mike's unhappiness in his job lately, I have reminded him several times, talking about different things, that we would have to wait and see if works out because of the timing.
In all the things that have come up, none of them would work unless it was perfect timing, all the pieces would have to fall into place...
and through all of this I have really had peace that God would have all the pieces in place if we were to make a change.

All that said to say, I am still surprised by God's timing. 

We have moved between a few different churches since we moved here.  We joined one feeling like it was right were we needed to be but shortly after we saw that it wasn't the good fit we thought.

Lately we had been going to much smaller church and one girl loved it (the reason we went) and one girl didn't.  Today we went back to one of the first churches we tried and liked.  I'm not sure why we didn't continue to go there... 
Today we walked in and it felt like home. 
Both girls liked it. 
People were wonderful, the class I visited was great, and then, the sermon was completely for me I'm pretty sure...

So, in this time of feeling like we don't know quite what our future holds (again), God put us right where we needed to be.  I write this and realize that it shouldn't surprise me at all... but it was just a little gift today.  One area where I don't have to worry anymore. 

part of the lyrics in a song today:

A thousand times I've failed

Still your mercy remains

And should I stumble again

Still I'm caught in your grace

How thankful I am to have a God who knows just what I need when and who loves me when I fail.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The pants that took ALL DAY LONG

Katie has been telling me about a girl at school who has a pair of "sweat pants made out of old tee shirts" that she wanted me to make for her.  Oh, and if I can make them she has "some friends that are going to want some too"...

So, today since we had nothing we had to do, I offered to finally make the pants. Oh, and I've never seen the pants. I really thought this would be an easy project that would take a couple of hours... Wrong.

We started out by gathering up all the girl's tee shirts that had gotten too small and some of mine that were too big. Then we cut a lot of patches of fabric.

Then I tried to figure out what to do next... I ended up using a pair of pajama pants as a pattern... my first try was a little tight so I put a solid piece of fabric down the side of the legs. It worked and was actually cuter...

                                           The end result... She liked them.  Thank goodness!

                   Mike came home and wanted to know if we couldn't afford new pants for her...

They are some busy pants!  I never would have guessed she would want these...

My neck hurts. It took a long time....and now her best friend wants me to make her a pair tomorrow. ugh.

Oh, and because I was already playing with the fabric, I made a cute new headband too.

I'm going to take a hot bath and then make the kid with new pants rub my neck...
Happy Sat. night.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The same old things

It has been a long week.

By Tuesday I really was wishing for Friday.

Mike is having job stress again. Or should I say still... it really never goes away. He is absolutely miserable in his job and that is a big stress in daily life for us. My job is great. I have no stress. Except for his job issues so I can't even imagine working like he does and being unhappy. I've just never been there. I've had seasons of discontent in jobs but nothing like this.

This week we were teased with a mention of a job back in the Dallas area. I didn't want to get my hopes up and glad I didn't as it turned out to be only that, a mention.

I know we are here for a reason. I know the right job will present itself. One day. I know it's not this week. I know it's not from lack of prayer on my part.

When this job interview came up I called my praying friends. I love that I have that support! I knew the issue was well covered in prayer and I am so thankful for that.

Speaking of thankful.

Last night I got a text from a friend. I've mentioned her before... we worked together at the school in Flower Mound and she lives out here now also... her husband is on staff at a church in an even smaller town outside of Lubbock.

We met for dinner and coffee tonight.
We went to Rockfish and had the Ahi Tuna Nacho's. I wish I had taken a picture to post.
They were soooo goood!
We spent a long time there and then moved to Starbuck's to continue our time talking about what we miss, how different it is here and about adjusting to smaller town life.

It was just what I needed. It's amazing how refreshing it is just to visit with a friend.
I wish Mike could have a dose of that! 

So, if you've had a long week, call a friend, go to Rockfish and please please order the Ahi Nacho's. I may have to go back tomorrow and have them again.

Want to meet me there?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If I have it at 11 and call it lunch they won't know it's a tea party

When the girls were little I gave them a valentine tea party almost every year. 

The last few they have not allowed it, it was way to childish. 

So, this year I gave them a "luncheon".  It was very much the same thing but we called it by a more grown up name...We still had tea and fancy dishes, they wore dresses (which was completely their own idea) the were served girly food. 

So, it was really a tea party, don't tell them...

They all ate the soup and salads just to get to this...

Elvis stayed close by the chocolate fountain and drooled A LOT

sweet niece Jesse stopped by when she heard about party food

This is my sweet friend from work who when she heard about the party asked if she could come help serve... I turned around and found her doing dishes.  That's a sweet friend.

You can put them in dresses but you can't make them sit correctly

 (those are shorts by the way, she had already lifted up the dress to show us)
I just thought it was funny when I started looking at pictures and found this...

and we sent them home with a cute 'oreo pop' (wrapped up cute of course)

I think they enjoyed it.  I did.  Just wish they had left me a little chicken salad....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I wish I had known him better

I went to a funeral today.  I walked in without a tissue because I didn't know him terribly well and didn't even think about crying.  Now, I'm not sure why I didn't plan better since it would be a miracle if I didn't cry even if I had never met him.  Weddings, funerals, baptisms, school programs, 8th grade orientation, ok, pretty much anything, I might cry...

So, I cried.  I didn't cry for loss because, as I said I hadn't know him that long.  I cried because it was sweet.  I cried because he lived a life that made a difference and you could tell by the people who spoke about him.  He loved Jesus and  they celebrated that.  They told stories of a wonderful man who loved life so much that all the people who knew him seemed to have no choice but to have that same love.
I felt so proud for his children to hear what they already knew.  And I imagined how proud they must have been to be his child....It made me sad I didn't know all about him or know him longer...

Let me tell you how we met. 

One night shortly after moving to Lubbock an older gentleman called and inquired about who we were and did we spell our name the same as his... We had visited a church and someone there saw our unusual last name and decided we must be related to his friend so he called and gave him our phone number.  I was quickly learning that we had moved to a smaller town.

We did have the same last name and of course, my husband wasn't home to talk to him.  So between me naming the few in-law's I knew and him talking about some, we discovered that he and my husband were cousins.  His grandfather was also my husbands great grandfather.  That grandfather had a millon (or 17) kids so it's no wonder that they don't all know each other. 
A couple of weeks later, he called again.  This time he did visit with Mike and they discussed all the family.  He lived about an hour from here and we talked about going to visit him sometime...
He continued to call us about every two weeks "just to check on us".... Mostly talking to me.  He was a charming man and easy to talk to and with every conversation I learned more about him and his family. 

Several months into this he called to tell me that he and his wife had moved to Lubbock to an assited living apartment.  This is the first time I realized how old he was.  He certainly didn't sound that old.

Since they were right here in town, about a mile away actually, I made Mike and the kids come with me to meet them. 
There were the grandparent type people who made you feel like family from the first time you met them.  He was so interesting to talk to that Mike loved to go and sit and just visit with him.  He told him all about their grandfather.  He told him WWII stories.  He had been mayor of Plainview for years, he owned a business, he had children that he was so proud of... we enjoyed all the stories. 

We continued going to visit on a regular basis, enjoying every visit and every story.  We knew they appreciated the visits but we were doing it for us.  I'm thankful that we got to know him for a little while.  I'm amazed how much I learned about him today. 

I hope that one day I've left that sort of impression on people, on my kids, that I've made a differnce and lived for Jesus like he did.

I look forward to visiting with you again one day Gene.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super beauxl food

I grew up in South Mississippi where everyone is a Saints fan.  I was so excited to see them make it all the way to the super bowl!  And since I can't often talk the family into the good food I grew up on... in honor of my home area we had some cajun food for ballgame snacks. And it was SO GOOD!
Fried shrimp and Jambalya were the main things, Mike had to throw in some wings just for good measure.

(and it's worth the effort)
1 lb chicken chopped
1/2 lb sausage
1 lb shrimp peeled
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 green pepper chopped
1 C chopped celery
1 lg can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked white rice
2 tbsp parsley
1 tsp tabasco
3 tbsp oil

Slice sausage into thin slices.  Brown in skillet and remove. 
 Heat oil in dutch oven.  Sautee onion, green pepper and celery for 5 minutes. 
 Add chopped chicken and con't cooking on low for about 15 min.  Add can of tomatoes (do not drain) and 3 cups chicken broth.
Simmer for 45 min.
Add 2 cups rice, garlic, parsley, tabsco sausage and shrimp.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, stiring occ. for approx. 30 min. or until rice is tender.

It was almost like being in the French Quarter

Except we were home and Kellie made cookies

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A cute new book and a photo shoot

We've had a very routine week around here...Mike has been so busy with work however, that I have done all of the kid stuff... which compared to what he's doing is easy, but I was ready for the weekend.

Friday afternoon I got to spend a couple of hours out with a friend.  That was such a treat!  No kids with us and I only had one phone call from them.  That's a record!  Both girls had a friend spend the night so that kept them busy and that made for a relaxing night for me. 
Today is 'favorite' kind of day, there is a pot of soup on and I'm trying really hard to not leave the house! 
Then this morning a friend came over and we worked on making us each a new address book.  Of course I am copying the idea from another friend...

Now picture this with holes punched and all put together....

I didn't really need a new address book but really, really loved Kim's so I needed to copy it!  So here we are... I enjoyed using some of the Christmas card pictures we have gotten in it...

Everytime I go to upload pictures I find some pictures that I didn't take... seems there are frequent photo shoots going on by my girls....

who's this kid?
  no, just kidding, she's one of the friends that I think might be living here....
wonder what this was about????