Sunday, August 30, 2009

Church this morning

OH MY GOODNESS! Worship this morning was unbelievable! From the moment we went in, I knew big things would happen The enemy tried to stir up trouble in our family several times with frequent bathroom interruptions, a dad/daughter misunderstanding, and excessive heat in the room making Riss nearly gave a panic attack because she felt overwhelmed and like she was suffocating. However, he did not prevail!

The music was OFF THE CHAIN this morning, with real, honest and raw emotion coming through. The selected songs were perfect to precede Pastor's message. When he began to preach, it was like it was just for our family, specifically for our daughter and her anxiety about middle school. My favorite thing was when he said that you have to make your mind up each morning by saying "God made me, God made this day, and any junk that will be in my way just has to MOVE because He said so!"

It is amazing how much power is in just saying those words aloud. Start by setting your day up right, and see what GOOD THINGS God has in store for you today!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cheesy Chili Soup

I got my new copy of the Kraft Foods magazine, Food and Family, yesterday. This is a free publication and if you do not already get it in the mail, you can get a FREE subscription or view a digital version of the magazine online on the Kraft website

This issue is full of wonderful fall recipes. I really liked the sound and look of the salad they made with cinnamon pecans, sliced pears and dried cranberries. How beautiful would the colors in that dish be?

I am always attracted to soups and stews when the weather cools down, and today is rainy and cooler but not quite soup weather. As soon as it is cool enough though, I have found my first recipe to try!

It is called Cheesy Chili Soup, and it sounds wonderful!
I must add that this photo is from a previous issue of their magazine because this new digital magazine format would not let me import a picture of the current version. Although the ingredients are the same, the vegetables are sliced instead of chopped as shown above, which I think makes a prettier presentation although the taste wouldn't change.

Here is the recipe:

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup KRAFT Mexican Style 2% Milk Finely Shredded Four Cheese, divided

BRING all ingredients except cheese to boil in medium saucepan.
SIMMER on low heat 25 min. or until vegetables are tender. Stir in 1/3 cup cheese.
LADLE into bowls. Top with remaining cheese.

Special Extra
Garnish each serving with a dollop of BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro just before serving.
Use any variety of beans you prefer, such as black beans, cannellini beans or chickpeas (garbanzo beans).

I think this sounds wonderful just as it is, but I think it would appeal more to the guys if we added some ground beef or tukey (fully cooked before adding) and maybe a little chopped potato for some more stick to the ribs power.

I can't wait to try this! If you beat me to it, let me know how it turns out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A New Blog

My husband, Jamie, has started a new blog. It will be a place for him to share what is on his mind. The website is called Da Butcher's Point of View and you can access it here. Although he has just set it up, I encourage you to check it out in a day or two. It is also a private blog, so please send him your email address or a message to sign up.

I am excited to see what he is going to post!


WOW! My first blog post on my new private blog! How exciting! :)

I was really hesitant to make this blog private at first because I didn't want to lose any readers, but now I feel a lot more confident and will probably post more pictures and private thoughts than ever before because I know who is reading it. This makes me happy!

If you have any comments or questions about this, please feel free to comment or email me!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Privacy settings

Because I have had some nasty comments lately by people who do not know what they are talking about, I have changed my blog privacy settings to "by invitation only". I hope this is not too inconvenient for you, but please understand that I will not tolerate false accusations and lies about me and my family. Thank you for understanding.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Favorite Layout From Yesterday (part2)

This layout is my favorite one from yesterday I think, although the Beautiful Blue Eyes on comes pretty close. I like it partly because the photos are so clear and bright and happy, and because we were all having so much fun together! I also like it because I am actually in one of the photos, which is rare.
My favorite part however, is the title. Now maybe you will sit back and laugh because you did this technique 2 summers ago and I am slow to catch on, but I am pretty happy with it. Here is a close up of my title:

The title itself is pretty enough I guess but that part I like best is it's source:

Yes, that is a sheet of laser cut swirls paper from about 2 years ago ( called "Perm teal" by KI Memories) that I had been saving for a perfect use. After I cut out a block of it to put on the upper left corner of my page, I began wondering what title to use. Then something caught my eye in the of the swirls looked like an "s". I was inspired...what if I cut out the swirl and used it as the "s" to start my title? Then ~gasp~ I looked a little farther and saw the "A" in it. Now I was on a roll! I had 2 "s" shapes, one "a"...could I possibly find a shape to cut out for an "h" and an "l"????? Nah...couldn't be....
I searched, turning the paper carefully, looking at it from all angles until the letters popped out at me. I trimmed them, stuck them down, and decided they needed just a touch of glitter to give them some oomph.
Whatcha think????
And oh yeah, that is Julio's head sniffing the swirl paper :)

Yesterdays layouts

I was on a roll yesterday....completed 5 single page layouts and 2 double page spreads. Here they are in no particular order.
I must say that I have gotten instructions for Jamie D. on how to scan layouts rather than taking photos of them, so MAYBE I can figure that out and get better images for you soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Scrapper!

Yep...that's me! I was a bit shocked but very, very pleased when Jamie managed to procure me some shelves for my scrapbook room from Cecile. (THANK YOU!!!!) I was just browsing through her store, which sadly, is closing, and all of a sudden Jamie starts banging away on something in the background. Since this is rather commonplace around such rednecks stomping grounds as ours here, I ignored and kept shopping. Then all of a sudden I heard Jamie D. say "Hey Michelle, looks like you are getting some shelves!" I said "It appears that way!", as my beloved loaded the shelves into our truck.

Luckily, my scrapbook room used to be the garage so there was PLENTY of room for these wonderful 8 foot shelves! Jamie assembled them for me and I am all set to load them up and organize my stuff!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Schwan's update!

Today I received my FREE gallon of chocolate ice cream from my friendly Schwan's delivery guy. He will be back in two weeks, and Marissa is quickly making a list of what she wants me to order next time.

Even though the computer showed I owed 5 cents (LOL!), the delivery guy wiggled it around and I didn't owe ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can't wait for dessert tonight!

I am making bruschetta and trying a recipe I found over on the blog "Cooking During Stolen Moments". I will let you know how it all turns out and post recipes, photos and link tomorrow!

In the mean time, if you missed my post about the FREE FOOD at Schwans, go to this link and check it out. I am not sure if the promotion is over or not, but try it and see for yourself and get some FREE FOOD!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My baby is growing up too fast!

Marissa has discovered her hair straightening iron that I bought her last Christmas.............
She looks so grown up!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tonight's Layouts

I have managed to complete 3 layouts tonight. I should be ashamed to say that two of them are seriously scraplifted from other sources, but I figure it is all part of the plan so I'm not. :) Besides, imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?
This first layout is a BLATANT scraplift from the cover of Scrapbooks Etc. I even used their paper piecing pattern for the beach ball. First paper piecing I had done since, oh, about 1998. Seems it is making a comeback ladies!

I love that Lime Rickey paper from Basic Grey and it came together nicely for this page!
This next layout is done with some older paper by K & Company, Wild Saffron. I like how the colors in that paper matched with the sand and dune vegetation of these pictures. (Don't you love how I managed to work the term "dune vegetation" into a normal sentence? The signs on our beach always crack me up...."Disturbance of dune vegetation is strictly prohibited!!!!!!")This pattern too was scraplifted from an old issue of Scrapbook Trends, I believe.

This layout is an original. No sketch, just my idea. My sister took the picture from our cousin's backyard in Arkansas.....what a beautiful view!!!! It is meant to highlight a special relationship in my life, about my step-dad, who has always been a part of my life.

Here is a closeup of part of the page.

The journaling is hidden, because it is very personal, about how my step father has always been part of my life, although in recent years he has become a bigger part of my life. Sorry folks, but that part is personal and I prefer to keep it that way! :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I follow a blog called Tripping Around The Sun, written by a pastor's wife. I urge each of you to go read wheat she posted today. It was a serious eye opener to me and gave me real encouragement in an area of my life that I am lacking so pitifully in!

I mean it! GO READ IT!

Just click on this link:

Cassandra's Blog

Monday, August 10, 2009


As a special promotion, the Schwan's frozen food company is offering $10 in free food to the first 500,000 people who shop on their website. There are a couple of restrictions, such as they have to deliver to your area already and you can't have ordered in something like 14 week, and you pay the taxes. I just placed my order for a gallon of their rich chocolate ice cream, delivered to my door in a few days, and it is costing me 5 cents!!!!!

So what are you waiting for? It's free food people! GO SHOP NOW!!!!!!!!!!
Click this link and enjoy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Baby Girl's Newest Blog

My daughter has created another fun blog, and this one features FOOD! Go check out what she is coming up with, and leave her a comment please! I really want some of that lemon sorbet stuff.....
Food Glorious Food!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Beach Trip

Last week we spent a few days on the beach. The beach here has three sections, known as North Beach, The Strand, and Back River. Back River (where the river runs into the ocean) is great for jet skiing and kite boarding. The sand is soft and full of small shells. There is a very narrow sandy beach part, and since it faces south you can watch the sunset here. Not bad for an East Coast beach huh? The Strand is the most popular part of the beach, with all of the shops, restaurants and hotels. There is a long pier with a pavilion and it is where most people head when they go to our beach. The North end is quiet, it is where the lighthouse is and has great views of the forts. You can catch sunset pictures here as well. Dolphins are plentiful off this end and you can watch all the shrimp boats pass by as well as the big cargo ships heading up to the ports upriver. (Keeping my husband in business)This is my favorite part of the beach. Here are some pictures I took this week.