Monday, October 31, 2011

A Princess, a Cowboy and a Chicken...

All the babes are tucked sweetly into their beds. Visions of M&Ms, Hershey bars, and lolipops dancing in their heads.
I cooked a yummy lasagna for dinner. Sounded just perfect for a night of Trick'or'Treating. While it was cooking, the big kids and I made cakeballs and crack, I mean Apple Crackle. (recipe in previous post)

We have the sweetest neighborhood. Seriously, the sweetest neighborhood. We have been blessed with amazing neighbors. If we ever move, it will be super sad to leave these people. Let's not even go there.

A gaggle of neighbors and their children all ventured out to see if we could indeed overload on sugar.
*Did you know that a "gaggle" is a "disorderly or noisy group of people"? I didn't either! I knew it meant a flock of geese, and I was being silly by using that word. But upon looking it up, I found how truly appropriate the word really was:)

A little known fact about my kids' chosen costumes: They already had everything you see them wearing! Ben, the little chicken, is wearing the same chicken costume that Emma wore when she was his age. The same chicken costume that Jacob wore as well. I LoVe it when something pays off like that chicken costume! Emma's beautiful princess dress is the same one seen here. Yes people, that was in 2008. And sweet Jacob decided he just wanted to be a Cowboy, as he "basically already is a cowboy anyway". Hmm, yea, ok!

Here are some pictures to document our fun night...Enjoy!
Apple Crackle and EyeBall~CakeBalls

This is as SpOoKy as it gets over here!

Our crew...Love them! (Ben is chowing down on a cake ball!)

My Cowboy

Sweet Chick

Please...don't ever grow up!

Enter precious neighbor friends:)

Here come two more...

Minnie did NOT want her picture taken! Carrie, I want to see your picture!!

Typical of each child. Notice Ben is eating a RingPop:)


Bye! Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Apple Crackle...Also Known As: Crack

I first had this dish straight from Heaven at a homegroup gathering. A sweet and talented friend, Tara, brought this for us to enjoy...and enjoy we did! Tara shared with us that she calls this "Apple Crack"because it is just that addictive. I had to change the name when we made this for an apple recipe for my child's kindergarten class. Call me cautious, but I didn't think they would appreciate the name "Apple Crack" coming from a 5year old. Anyway, this is like a caramel covered apple, but with a twist. It is now a MUST at our family gatherings. My family insists that I bring it, and gladly I do!:)
3-4 Granny Smith Apples
Powdered sugar to taste. (1/4-1 cup)
8oz Cream Cheese (Room Temp)
16oz Caramel Apple Dip (Room Temp)
4oz Heath Toffee Bits
In a mixer, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy. Add as much powdered sugar as you wish...we add a bunch to take away the cream cheese taste and make more of a frosting taste. I trust you to decide when it is sweet enough:)

For a visual, since I can't seem to find any photos of it, this dish presents as a layered dip~like goodie. Just are going to LoVe it!
Spread this cream cheese mixture on a medium size platter.

Stir the tub of room temperature caramel. Then spread it on top of the cream are close to finding out why my friend Tara calls this Crack!

Sprinkle the toffee bits all over the top of the caramel.

Wash and cut the apples into bite~size slices. Place all around the edge of the platter...Enjoy! Oh, and you are welcome. I know. It is really delicious. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Love These Lil' Pumpkins

Tummy bug of '11 hit our home. Ugh. When you have three little ones, you are just praying and praying that it stops on the first child. Only to find yourself praying that it doesn't hit the third. Only to find yourself on your knees praying it doesn't hit YOU...I.Hate.Throw-up.

When the kids were not throwing up, they felt great. Today we decided it would be best not to go to church and share our yucky germs with sweet friends. We are all about sharing, but not tummy bugs. No, thank you.

So we bought some adorable pie pumpkins and painted them. The kids had a blast until they went crazy thinking they were famous French artists and started slapping their brushes FULL of paint all around. Yep, it ended then.

The famous French artists' results:
My sweet Jacob

Joyful Emma

If you only knew!

This child was a HUGE mess...and I love it!

He looks like he is concentrating. He kept saying, "I need quite a bit more brown.":)

My sweet girl and me.
Getting near the finale...the messy finale!

Friday, October 28, 2011


                                                                             life rearranged
Linking up with Jeanette with Life Rearranged today!  
Ben in the backseat with a Pull-up on his head. He kept saying,"Mommy, I got hurt! Mommy, I got hurt!"

It was Grandparents Day at the kids' school. I made delicious Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread.:)
Sweet boy practicing the Ten Commandments on the driveway.

That's all I have for this week! Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside....

It is getting cooler here in North Texas...and I LOVE it! Actually, I am a lover of all the seasons. It seems that once one ends, I am perfectly ready for the next season to blow in. And last night it did:) Let's hope it lasts!

Since the weather is cooler, fireplaces are glowing and our Texas Rangers are playing in the World Series, I thought the timing would be perfect for a comfort-food-type recipe. Get ready, 'cause this is a good one!

I first tasted this yummy goodness last year when my husband went on a mission trip to Sudan. My sweet and culinary talented friend, Melody, brought it over. Let's just say the kids and I DEVOURED it! Now it is a favorite in this family and always on our Family Meal Plan.

We usually eat this with coleslaw and baked beans. Yum. Can't wait! Let me know if you are interested in some great bean and coleslaw recipes. Our children completely scarf down the coleslaw EVERY time!

3 lb Chuck Roast
Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder ( to taste )
1 Bottle Kraft brand Sweet and Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce (Locally, this can only be found at Walmart)
1 Bottle Sweet Baby Ray's brand Honey BBQ Sauce
don't panic...
here we go...
1 bottle of beer
are you still with me?
I am sure any brand will do. I use Shiner Bock, for no other reason than we don't drink beer and I chose the middle price range brand.

Spray your crock pot with cooking spray of choice.
Season your meat generously on all sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place meat in crock.
I think it is funny to say "crock".
Cover meat with one whole bottle of Kraft Sweet and Spicy Chipotle BBQ sauce.
Pour beer over top and sides of meat.
Cook on high for 7 hours.

After 7 hours of slow cooking, this meat will be crazy tender. Remove the meat to a large platter and shred it. Pour out all of the sauce in the crock, yes...the word is still funny to me, and discard. You will not need this sauce anymore.

Put shredded meat back into the CROCK. :) Pour Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce over meat, enough to coat.

Set your CROCK, hahahaaaahaaaa, to warm until time to serve. Serve on rolls, hamburger buns, your favorite bread or all by itself if you don't eat bread.

"Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." John 6:35

Nothing Like It

There is just nothing like a beautiful picture of someone you love. Nothing.

Are there photos from your wedding that you just adore? Photos that you stare at over and over wondering how on earth the Lord blessed you so incredibly with the one that you married? It's amazing how photos from our wedding can bring back such vivid joyous memories. There is just nothing like a beautiful picture of someone you love. Nothing.

Do you have a favorite first picture of you and your first child? Isn't it strange how a picture can make you remember certain smells, sounds, and physical touches? I have a photo of my firstborn and me in the hospital room that makes me cry EVERY single time I look at it. This was the first life to look into my eyes that was my very own. The first one to cry out for me to feed her. The first one to call me mommy. My first child who ever told me she loved me. There is just nothing like a beautiful picture of someone you love. Nothing.

Photos of first birthdays, second, thirds and so on. Pictures of family and friends gathered in celebration of life...laughing, plates-full-of- food in hand,  happy, joy-filled pictures. There is just nothing like a picture of someone you love. Nothing.

I know some precious friends have lost babies...and the photos they have of their precious little one are worth more than most anything. Proving that this child was here, alive, real, smiling, crying, laughing, breathing...There is just nothing like a beautiful picture of someone you love. Nothing.

Well, let me share with you a little bit about a sweet friend of mine.
She is beautiful. She is a daughter, wife, mommy and friend. Her precious Dani has is one of my son's oldest friends...and we just adore her. Her second blessing is a sweet as honey and as cute as a button. We love this family. Tons.

Dawn has become one of my favorite photographers. I love looking at her site because I know her heart. I know that she is not just shooting pics for some cash. She is doing something she truly loves. She knows that there is just nothing like a beautiful picture of someone you love. Nothing.

Dawn graciously came over a couple of days ago and shared with me photos she had taken of our family. I loved them all. Truly loved them all. Even the goofy what-in-the-world-was-he-thinking pictures of our sweet Ben. He is a character, and Dawn caught it on camera. I love it because I never want to forget the crazy joy this child brings to our family. I love it because Dawn doesn't either. Dawn let Emma choose her own poses...and they are beautiful. Capturing innocence and beauty from an 8 year old girl. Jacob climbing up a tree and positioning himself in a most dangerous place, yelling "Get this one, Ms. Dawn!" She did. Priceless.

The photo at the top of this page is one of my favorite photos ever of our three blessings. I could seriously stare at this picture all day. I think I may have actually done this once or twice;) I mean, look at those faces! There is just nothing like a beautiful picture of someone you love. Nothing.

I would love for you to check out her site. Our family photos are not up yet, but you will find shots of our very own Ben:)
 If you are in the area, I encourage you to book her for your next photo session. I promise, you will not be disappointed.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I woke this morning to the sound of the trash truck on a nearby street. My husband is out of town, so I jumped out of bed and quickly dragged the trash and recycle cans to the curb.
When I opened the door, I was shocked to find dense fog all around. It really did scare me for a moment. (If you know me, you know that is not hard to do!)
As I was walking back in, the Lord gently reminded me of the words He gave James in James chapter 4 verses 13-17. I have not been promised tomorrow...I have not even been promised the next hour. What am I doing that is of eternal significance? It is a joy of mine to be able to have my children home with me three days a week for school. We feel this time should not be wasted and that it is a beautiful opportunity to teach the children from the time the sun come up until the time the sun goes down of His commands. I'll be honest with you, there are times when laundry, cooking, cleaning, piano, football and other ministries seem overwhelming. But, if I am completely honest, when those things become overwhelming I find I am trusting in myself and my own strengths instead of the Lord. 
Today, I am thankful that our gracious King gently reminded me that my life is but a vapor. Here for a moment. Oh, that my children would remember the joy of the Lord in my life! That they would remember that I was constantly pointing them to the Savior. Jesus, pilot me. You are my hope, my joy, my song, my love, my strength, my peace, my calm, my breath, my all. I pray these are not only words, but how my children truly see and remember me...