Thanksgiving Preparations! November 24, 2019

Thanksgiving Preparations! November 24, 2019

The last few days my mind has been racing with a list of everything that I want to be done before Thursday. I always stress about things that I know need to be done that are not done yet. It’s why I’m not a procrastinator. Friday I made myself put thoughts to paper. Making lists always helps to lower my stress level. I don’t have to worry about forgetting something if it is written down. I have a menu, a grocery list, and a cleaning list. All in hopes of having the perfect Thanksgiving. Okay, I probably have unrealistic expectations! Having three kids means while our house may be clean, it will most likely not be tidy. I can only hope and pray the food turns out tasting wonderful and is all put on the table hot. Thankfully while these things are important it’s not the most, or the best part of Thanksgiving. Spending time with family and friends, remembering our blessings, and having a humble attitude and thankful heart is what it’s all about! I pray everyone has an opportunity to do all these things this Thanksgiving.

Just in case you are still wondering what to fix this Thanksgiving, I thought I would share our menu and recipes!

Click on the links to get the recipe!

Turkey:Β I cannot stand by this recipe as I have never used it before, but I’ve done something similar in the past. So I hope I can give it rave reviews in the future! It’s also similar to how I roast a whole chicken.

Mashed Potatoes: I plan on making these on Wednesday that way all I have to do is bake them on Thursday!

Slow Cooker Glazed Carrots: This recipe is great because you can use the slow cooker and not worry about taking up space in the oven!

Green Bean Bundles: I had these at a church dinner not too long ago, and they are amazing!! I hope I can recreate the experience.

Cranberry Sauce: I’m generally not a fan of cranberry sauce, but even I like this recipe. Andrew really loves it! Also a make ahead recipe.

No-Knead Dinner Rolls:Β These are amazing! Make the dough a day or two ahead! Roll them out and give them plenty of time to rise on Thanksgiving before baking.

I actually do not have dessert totally nailed down just yet! I’m waiting to see what kind of fruit is on sale when I go shopping tomorrow. I want to make either a cobbler or some pies. Here are a couple of recipes I will most likely use!

Apple Pie: I have made this numerous times, and it is always delicious! It’s super easy to make too. You can either make your own pie crust or use store bought!

Blackberry Cobbler: I’m praying I can find a decent price on blackberries tomorrow! I’ve been craving this dessert for a while!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake: This is one of my favorite cakes. I rarely make it. I don’t know why. I should change that! πŸ™‚

I’m also having some help in the cooking department. My mother in law is bringing her most delicious sweet potato recipe. It could almost qualify for a dessert. Maybe that’s why I love it so much! πŸ™‚ My mom is bringing ham, deviled eggs (my parents raise chickens and have their own eggs!), dressing, pumpkin pie and pig pickin’ cake! Don’t let the name throw you off! I don’t know why it’s called pig pickin’ cake. It should be called heavenly cake or something like that! It’s one of my favorite recipes!

David doesn’t have school this week, and I’m looking forward to a week of togetherness. Last night in his bedtime prayer David prayed that his nine days off from school would go as slow as a snail going around the world. πŸ™‚ This made me laugh!

I pray everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for, and that it passes as slow as a snail going around the earth. πŸ™‚

I’ve been busy recording some music the last few weeks. It’s not complicated stuff, but I’ve had a lot of fun doing it! I hope you can enjoy it too! Check out my media page to listen to all my albums! Maybe play it for some background music this week!




Big Things!

Big Things!

It’s amazing how little ones can go from crawling to walking seamlessly over night! Samuel has been walking around furniture and things for several weeks now. Suddenly this week he gets the courage to let go, and he is walking everywhere. He looks so little and cute waddling around! Sniff, sniff! Where is my baby? He is growing up too fast! Speaking of doing things suddenly, the other day I walked into the kitchen to find Samuel sitting on top of the dishwasher lid! He first looked up at me like, “Ah oh, I’ve been caught” and then he gave me a big ol’ smile! He is such a cutie pa-tootie! πŸ™‚

I’ve been hankering to bake some cinnamon rolls, and so I did! I know I’ve said this before, but they turned out better this time than any before I have made! So I guess I keep getting better at making them. πŸ˜‰

I baked so many rolls that I decided to give some of them away as thanksgiving gifts! Notice I said some, we are also eating our fare share. I just love cinnamon rolls. They are so divine! Here is the cinnamon roll recipe by Ree.


I also made Beef Stroganoff for dinner one night this week! I had not had beef stroganoff in years. I was looking for some hearty dishes to serve during this cold weather, and came across this recipe. This recipe by Ree is so good! It is hearty, delicious, quick and easy to make! I’ll definitely be making this again.

I took the kids to the children’s museum this weekend. When we arrived the parking lot was full and in overflow. I was lucky to get a good parking spot. Anyway, I didn’t check the events calendar on their web page before going, and so we were surprised to find out that it was puppy love day. They had a paw patrol play room, and other puppy play stations set up throughout the museum. For better or worse, we had let Emma watch an episode of paw patrol only a week ago. She had never seen it before. She loved it! That is all she has wanted to watch all week, and so to go to the museum and find paw patrol was right up her alley! We had a great Big time!




Fall back, and all! November 9, 2019

Fall back, and all! November 9, 2019

Daylight savings time is a challenge for families with small children. I’m convinced that whoever thinks it’s a great idea to keep changing the time twice a year does not have children! The first morning Samuel woke up around four-thirty. I prayed for him to go back to sleep, and God answered my prayer. He went back to sleep and woke up around six-thirty, which is his normal wake up time. However, since that first morning, he has been routinely waking up at five-thirty! I lay in bed listening to him play and fuss, until I finally give in and get up around six. This is when the day begins around the Kjorlaug house! I have a dream that someday when my children are older they will learn to sleep longer, or at the very least learn to let me sleep longer!

David generally wakes up around six-thirty to six-forty-five, which is a good time for him to get up. This gives him plenty of time to eat breakfast and get ready for school without having to be rushed around too much. David still loves school :), and so I rarely have any trouble getting him to get up and get ready. This past week his grade had a field trip day to the zoo. Emma, Samuel and I went too! We all had a wonderful time, and I loved spending the day with my sweet boy! David was so excited, you would have thought he had never been to the zoo before! He loved being there with his friends! He has one particular friend that he has become good buddies with, and he hung out with us throughout the day. Emma had a good time keeping up with the boys. Samuel loved being outside riding around in his stroller! We were blessed with a beautiful day!

Samuel is playing at Barnes and Noble with the train table in the kids section. I had to take a picture because I have pictures of David and Emma doing the same thing when they were about the same size. It makes me feel all squishy and nostalgic! We used to go all the time to B&N to read books and play with the trains! Some stores have started removing the train tables, and that makes me sad. I love that the Barnes and Noble in Memphis still has theirs!

I can’t believe that Samuel will be a year old next month! Where has time gone!? He is such a sweet little guy. He has finally started taking some steps! Every once in a while he will get a surge of confidence and take off. He will go five or six steps and get so excited about what he is doing that he falls down. πŸ™‚ He can wave bye-bye, and can say Dada, Mamma, David comes out Dod, Emma comes out Ma, and Zoe comes out Z. He can also say ball and duck. πŸ™‚


This time last year we were having a rough time with Zoe. She was suffering from anxiety and was going off at us like a bomb. We were distraught about it and had no choice but to put her outside. It has actually turned out to be a good thing for her, and she is doing much better now! She adjusted to being outside, and now she actually wants to go outside! She has gotten to where she comes in and out pretty much at her leisure. It’s not uncommon for her to sleep inside most of the day, and then go out at night. We keep her food and litter box in the garage, and she lets us know when she needs to go out! She is being very good with the kids, and while I can tell she doesn’t particularly enjoy their attention, she is gentle and never does anything to hurt them, particularly Samuel who can be a bit rough. πŸ™‚


I had lunch with my little man at school yesterday! He requested that I bring him Wendy’s for lunch. He loved the food and the company, but I think he loved the toy in his kids meal the most. πŸ™‚ (By the way, Wendy’s has some awesome toys in their kids meals! I don’t remember toys ever being that cool when I was little!:) ) Actually, when I picked David up from school on Friday I asked him what his favorite thing about his day was, and he said “having lunch with you mom”. I know, I was fishing for it, but it still made me feel great! πŸ™‚


We are doing a lot of cooking in our new, amazing kitchen! I want to share a couple recipes with you that I’ve tried recently and love! The first is Hot and Sweet Drumsticks, by Terri. You will notice I did not use drumsticks, but leg/thigh quarters. You can use whatever cut of chicken you want. I just love the sauce/glaze recipe! It calls for apricot preserves, but I use peach. It taste awesome! I highly recommend trying this recipe. The other isΒ Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin, By Ree! Her recipes are always so large that I cut them in half most of the time. I also sliced my potatoes with my food processor instead of dicing them. It’s so easy to make and turned out great!



Oh Boy! Happy Birthday Emma! October 28, 2019

Oh Boy! Happy Birthday Emma! October 28, 2019

Three years ago Andrew and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl! It was a Friday night, and we had finished dinner at the local diner. We went home to put David to bed and to watch our Friday night show, Blue Bloods. We love Tom Selleck! I was having some contractions throughout the evening. We had just begun to watch Blue Bloods when the contractions started getting serious and close together. I reached the point that I could no longer focus on watching the show. Andrew finally insisted that we go to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around ten o’clock that night, and Emma Sue was born around two-thirty in the morning.Β  Β Emma is sweet, intelligent, red headed and stubborn to match. She loves playing with David and Samuel, and wants to keep up with everything David does. She loves Mickey Mouse, Disney princesses, and her favorite color is yellow!

Emma was very specific about the birthday party she wanted. She of course wanted a Mickey Mouse party! We looked through pictures of cakes to find the perfect cake that she wanted. We came across a picture of the cake that Mickey has in the episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse where it’s his birthday. That was it! It was the perfect color and everything! I was actually very happy she picked this one because it was pretty easy to make. I used my new favorite chocolate cake recipe with buttercream frosting! I used a nine inch pan for the head and six inch pans for the ears. I decorated the house with some mickey mouse streamers, and we had a party! We all had a hot dog time! (Sorry, I can’t resist! πŸ™‚ ) I love Emma’s face as we are fixing to have cake. πŸ™‚ Also, if you look closely at the first picture on the bottom, you will notice a little hand sneaking some frosting! Hahaha!! Since Samuel’s not old enough for cake and ice cream he had a frozen fruit cycle! πŸ™‚ I love that the kids had a great time! It got a little crazy during the opening of presents, and I don’t even know if Emma knew what was happening or what she was getting! I love it! LOL!

In other events of the weekend, there was Hullabaloo and trunk or treat at the church! We had a wonderful, crazy time, and we were all wore out by Sunday evening! Here are some of the pictures from Hullabaloo! (In case you are wondering, Hullabaloo is a like a big fall festival.) The kids LOVE playing the games and getting the prizes.

After Hullabaloo we went and got Halloween costumes for the kids. Emma wanted to be Mickey Mouse. Surprise! πŸ™‚ David wanted to be either a zombie skeleton or a lego ninja. He decided to go with the lego ninja because he wants to wear his costume to school on Thursday. At school their costume has to be a character from a favorite book. David is currently into Ninjago which is a show on Netflix that he likes to watch, but he also has some of the books. Samuel is the cutest dragon you will ever see! πŸ™‚ Here is a sneak preview of Halloween 2019!

Happy Halloween!


Fun on the Farm! October 23, 2019

Fun on the Farm! October 23, 2019

David had this past Friday off from school, so we (We includes myself and the kids. Andrew had to work all weekend. We missed him, but were able to still have a good time.) took advantage of the extra long weekend and went to visit my parents. The kids LOVE going to Papa and Nana’s house! They always look forward to seeing the chickens and the bunnies, playing outside, having hot dog roasts, spending the night in their own special bed at Nana’s house, and visiting with Papa and Nana. They not only got to do all that, but we also spent a whole day at a pumpkin farm! We did something similar a couple weeks ago, when I wrote about the kids picking out their pumpkins. However, the farm in Missouri was geared for a full day of fun and activities for the kids!

There was animals to pet and feed, games to play, tricycles to ride, a giant slide, a huge trampoline, tree houses with more slides, obstacle courses to balance on, a giant corn maze, and…, well you get the idea! We all had a wonderful time! The kids played all day, and Samuel had so much fun that he fell asleep on my lap during the wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch. He’s such a cute little pumpkin. πŸ™‚ The kids did not pick any pumpkins this time since we already had pumpkins at home, but we enjoyed the ride!

Speaking of having a fun time, I believe my parents had more fun than the kids! They went through the haunted house, which was for ages twelve and up. I gladly stayed with the kids while they were doing this. I’m not much for scary anything! There was also a few times I looked up to see them going down slides, riding tricycles, and playing games with the kids! πŸ™‚

That evening after the farm we had a hot dog roast! The kids love doing this, and if I’m going to eat a hot dog this is the best way! There is just something about a hot dog being cooked over an open flame that makes it taste so much better! We also had an early birthday celebration for Emma! Emma’s birthday is the twenty-ninth. She will be three years old! (Sniff, Sniff! How is my baby girl three!?) We are having her actual birthday party this weekend, but my parents have other obligations and won’t be able to come. So they wanted to have cake and gifts for her while we were there.

This is the first birthday for Emma that we are not buying her baby toys. We are actually buying her little girl toys, and things that she likes. She has been able tell me what she wants for her party, and of course she wants a Mickey Mouse party. πŸ™‚ I love my baby girl, and can’t help but feel sad that she is growing up so quickly. More on the Mickey Mouse party to come!



It’s Fall Ya’ll! October 14, 2019

It’s Fall Ya’ll! October 14, 2019

For the last month I’ve been told by my son, David, that it’s time to put out fall decorations. He would come home and say, “—- and —- have their decorations already up!”. πŸ™‚ He loves Halloween! The decorations, the pumpkins, the scary monsters, the costumes, and of course the candy! I guess he gets his love for scary things from Andrew because Andrew loves all the scary horror movies. However, if we were to take David to a haunted house or something he would probably freak out and hate it! So there’s that side of him too. Therefore we don’t over do it around here on the scary. πŸ™‚

I went fall decoration shopping last week, and found some really cute items. I then came home, cleaned house, and set up all the fall decorations. David was very pleased when he arrived home from school to find that we have a decorated house just like most other people. πŸ™‚ Here’s what our fireplace mantel looks like! I’m not an interior decorator by any means, and so when I do something like this I’m always hesitant to post pictures. At the same time, I’m feeling pretty accomplished! πŸ˜‰


All the fall decorating and cooler weather has really put me in the mood for fall! I love and hate fall for different reasons. I love the cooler weather, the festivities, and the food. I hate that all the plants outside are dying which gives everyone around here allergies, and the fact that really cold weather is just around the corner.

David has also been super excited about picking out a pumpkin, and so we took the kids to the pumpkin patch this weekend! The farm had bounce houses, a little train ride, animals to pet and feed, pumpkins, and more! Emma is afraid of the bounce houses, but David had a blast. So while David was bouncing away, Emma had her picture made and played on the playground, and Samuel hung out with Andrew. Literally. πŸ™‚

David and Emma had fun on the train ride. Emma was so cute. You could only see her little hands hanging onto the sides as they rode around. She also made sure to ride in the yellow barrel, her favorite color.

The most exciting part though was the picking of pumpkins! David wanted the biggest pumpkin he could find. Emma picked the most disgruntled, oddly shaped pumpkin for whatever reason. It was so hideous that we talked her into a slightly more promising pumpkin. Then we picked a Samuel size pumpkin. πŸ™‚

I love going to the pumpkin patch! It’s a great way to spend time together!

We can’t have all this wonderful talk about fall, and not include some of the hearty, sweet, and delicious food too! I am also very excited and relieved to tell you that our kitchen renovation is finally complete! They installed our counter tops just last week! They are so amazing! It completely makes the kitchen pop! I just sit and stare at them. I will walk through the house and suddenly find myself in a trance, forgetting what I was walking through the kitchen for! I also feel like a professional chef when cooking, like I should have my own show or something! Okay, maybe I’m that’s a little too far, but you get the idea! πŸ™‚

Let’s do a little Before and After review!



We’ve been doing some amazing cooking too! Emma’s helped me make pizza, David wanted to make spider cookies, and I also whipped up one of my fall favorite soups, broccoli and cheese soup, to name a few!

Pizza is a favorite around here. I guess kids everywhere love pizza, and it’s no different at our house! I generally cheat on the crust, and use the Pillsbury crust mix. It’s just faster than making my own from scratch. I make two pizzas. One pepperoni and one sausage. I brown some breakfast sausage, yes that’s right, breakfast sausage. I know it sounds weird, but it taste great! Top the crust with pizza sauce, the cooked sausage (drain the fat off), and cheese (I generally use Parmesan, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella). Bake at 475 until crusts look crispy.

David’s favorite Spider cookies: I first did this a couple years ago, and it continues to be one of the things David asks for every fall. It’s a simple peanut butter cookie, with mini Reese’s cup on top. Then decorate with eyes and frosting to make the spider legs. Here is the peanut butter cookie recipe I use. They use a truffle or something for their spider, but I’ve found the peanut butter cups work great. A couple tips for decorating; Let the cookie cool almost completely. It helps if it is slightly warm because when you put the peanut butter cup on top you want the chocolate to melt just enough that it will stick to the cookie when cooled completely. There are also a couple ways to do the eyeballs. You can buy candy eyes and stick them on using the decorative frosting, or you can be like me and just use beaded sprinkles. If using the beaded sprinkles you may need to melt the peanut butter cups just enough to stick the eyeballs onto the chocolate.

My favorite Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheddar Soup by Ree: This is great for two reasons. It taste amazing, better than the soup at Panera Bread if you can imagine that. Two, you throw everything into the crockpot and that’s pretty much it! Don’t be like me and forget to buy some crusty bread to go with it! It really needs it to help sop up all that delicious cheesiness!

Happy Fall,


Beauty at the Beach! Sunday, October 6, 2019

Beauty at the Beach! Sunday, October 6, 2019


We just spent the last week on vacation in Navarre, Florida. It’s kind of an almost yearly tradition of ours to rent a condo with Jim and Alesia, Andrew’s parents, for a week at the beach somewhere. We always have a fabulous time, and this year was no different! The beach (and the company) never disappoints! When people ask me how we liked the beach, no matter what beach it is, I always say as long as there is water and sand, I’m a happy gal! πŸ™‚ I LOVE the beach. My husband tells me I have an unhealthy relationship with the beach. πŸ™‚

The kids did great on the long drive to and from the beach. If there is one thing I can brag about with our kids, it’s that they travel really well! Even Samuel did better than I expected. When traveling I always make sure to have plenty of snacks handy, books, colors and coloring books, and kindles charged! I have no shame when sitting in the car for eight or nine hours about letting the kids watch movies and play their kindle games! It’s how I keep my sanity!

When we arrived at the condo we unpacked, enjoyed the views from our balcony, and then headed down to the beach! That first walk down to the beach is always so exciting! I love the sound of the waves, the smell, and the cool salty breeze! We did not get into the water that evening, but walked along the beach and played in the sand. Later that evening we walked out onto the pier that went out over the ocean next to our condo. The view of the beach at sunset was spectacular.

The next morning we all (all includes Samuel, David, Emma and myself) woke up early! We always wake up early at home, generally before sunrise, but we never get to see the sunrise because we are busy getting ready for the day. At the beach the sunrise was right outside our windows over the ocean waters. I’ve never seen anything so spectacular and beautiful than the sunrises I saw last week. Yes, I said sunriseS! πŸ™‚ Several mornings we walked down to the beach to walk along the shore and view the sunrise.

Aren’t the colors spectacular, and the pictures don’t really do it justice at all! It’s amazing how fast it all happens too! A lot of mornings we scoured the beach in hunt of sea shells, jelly fish, crabs, and anything wondrously mysterious that might have washed up on the beach. I love the picture of the kids on the balcony, and Emma’s bright red hair. πŸ™‚ Her hair is as beautiful as the sunrise. If you look carefully at the picture of David holding his fish net and bucket, he has written his name on the sand. Plus you can see all our foot prints and a hand print. πŸ™‚

Our days consisted of going back and forth from the beach, to the swimming pool, to the condo, and then all over again. It’s the life! πŸ™‚ David is a lot like me and generally loves everything about the beach. He loved playing in the surf, getting buried in the sand, and playing in the swimming pool. Emma was afraid of the ocean, and would only play in the sand. The picture of her sitting on the beach playing with her sand toys was what she was happy doing. Emma is afraid of water anyway, but the sound of the waves I think made it even more scarier to her. Samuel was happy to explore all aspects of his surroundings. πŸ™‚ He loved to play in the sand. Yes, he even tried to eat it a few times.Β  He liked putting his feet in the ocean, as long as it didn’t splash in his face, and he generally loved pool time. As long as he still had his naps throughout the day, he was a happy guy. Oh, and that good looking fellow walking up the beach, he enjoyed beach time too. πŸ˜‰ Andrew is funny about the beach. He likes the ocean, but hates the sand. Go figure, Bwah-hahaha….!!! πŸ™‚ He is so hilarious! I figured out how to get him to help sweep the floor around the house too! Just sprinkle some sand around! He can’t stand it! He loves going to the beach because he knows I love it so much! He’s so sweet!

Mid week we decided to take the kids miniature golfing. They had never been before. It was so great! David is old enough to actually learn how, so we worked with him on how to hold his putter, and hit the ball. Emma had one of those little kid putters and she was so funny. She would swing it with one arm, and then run up and put her ball next to the hole and hit it in. πŸ™‚ This golf place also had twenty-four flavors of ice cream, which we then indulged in afterwards! In case you are wondering, Andrew won. πŸ˜‰

Most of our days ended with the best kind of tired you can be! In fact, the kids were so tired they actually did not want to go crab hunting, but one night! David loved it that night though when we caught several crabs to put in his bucket.

A couple mornings it was just me and Samuel walking the beach to see the sunrise. He was my walking buddy. πŸ™‚ Almost every morning we saw dolphins not far from the shore too!

One afternoon we all dressed up, and went down to the beach to take a few pictures. Jim brought his professional camera for the job! We all then went to dinner. (Speaking of dinner. I ate some of the best broiled scallops, shrimp, and fried alligator I’ve ever had! Yes, I ate alligator) The pictures turned out great! Here are a few of my favorites.


Now back to normal life! LOL!



Grocery Store Happenings! Sept. 19, 2019

Grocery Store Happenings! Sept. 19, 2019

Last week while David was in school Emma, Samuel and I went to the grocery store. We went through the produce section and picked out fruits and vegetables. We then went towards the juice and yogurt section. While picking out yogurt I looked down and noticed that Samuel’s leg was stuck in-between the two medal bars in front of the cart next to the big opening where his leg was supposed to be. I tried to slide his leg out. It wouldn’t budge. I tried every angle, and his leg was not moving! At this point I’m starting to get a little panicked! Plus, Samuel is getting frustrated too. We walk over to the deli area and I ask the sweet lady there for help. She looks down and noticed the problem, and goes to get some crisco butter spray. We lubricate Samuel’s leg. Samuel’s leg still does not budge! By this point we have created quite the scene, and people are starting to come over to help. A couple guys try bending the bars, but cannot. A couple store managers go get a crow bar. Do I even need to even mention how freaked out I am at this point? Emma seems oblivious to what is happening and she is over getting her beloved white powdered donuts to throw in the cart, which she does. Finally the store managers are able to bend the cart enough to get Samuel’s leg out!! Talk about relief for everyone!!! Samuel was just fine and stopped crying immediately, he only had a small bruise. I needed a drink, and I don’t even drink! πŸ™‚ I profusely thanked all the people for helping, and I know those store employees are never going to forget us! We then continued to finish our grocery shopping. I carried Samuel on my hip for almost the rest of the time, I did put him back in the cart for a little while to check out. I didn’t want him to be afraid of sitting in the cart after that! How he managed to get his leg stuck like that I will never know!

Samuel is nine months old today! He is getting big too fast! He crawls like a champion, and walks around everything. He FINALLY cut his four front teeth! Samuel can say Mama and Dada, has the thickest head of hair, is VERY LOUD when he wants something, and is the most cuddly of all our babies.

In the pictures Emma and Samuel are playing in the sand. Emma says she is making the beach. She puts a pile of sand with some sea shells, and then pours a puddle of water. πŸ™‚ We are in beach thinking mode around here because we are headed to Florida in a couple weeks! We are all so excited and ready for a vacation!

Emma had her first day of PDO (parents day out). She goes twice a week, and loves it!Β  (Notice the Zoe photo bomb! πŸ™‚ )

The very day that I took Emma for her first day of PDO I was feeling really depressed! I miss my babies when they are at school! So I decided to go have lunch with David! I was very glad to go spend a few minutes with him.


David loves school! He is doing excellent and making super grades! At his school they have house teams. There are four houses, Emberhart, Finchfeather, Grizzledash, and Oakrivet. Students are placed in a house based on personality and character traits. (If you are familiar with Harry Potter, it’s a little bit like the houses of Hogwarts! πŸ™‚ ) They have a reveal party where all the new kids find out what house they are in, and David was placed in Grizzledash (house traits: courageous, leading the charge, unafraid, responsibility, charisma, passion, and resourcefulness). He was so excited!! A couple weeks later they also have a parent reveal party, and Andrew and I both took the quiz and where placed in Oakrivet (house traits: integrity, honesty, strength, patience, wisdom, and persistence). All traits we are going to need an extra heavy dose of in order to raise our children successfully! πŸ™‚

Ever since Leah and I returned from our trip to Pawhuska, I have been trying some new recipes! One of the pastries I tried at the shop was a blueberry scone. They were divine! I wanted to see if I could recreate them at home. I was pretty close! Not bad for a first try. Mine are not as pretty, but the taste is almost the same. There are a few more recipes I want to try before deciding on my favorite one. Here is the recipe I used for my Blueberry scones. Please don’t think it is the wrong one. It will say Maple Oat Nut Scones when you click on the link. (Yes, I could have just made those, but I wanted blueberry! I never take the easy road!) Here are the ingredients to the recipe: Three cups of flour,(leave out the oats)1/3 cup of sugar, 5 teaspoons of baking powder, 1tsp of salt, two sticks of butter, 1 large egg, 3/4 cup of heavy cream, and blueberries (I cut the blueberries in half, about 1 cup). I then made my own glaze. Just a simple powdered sugar glaze.


I also loved the “blistered” green beans at the restaurant. I wanted to see if I could make them as well. The recipe is really simple! It’s just fresh green beans, sauteed in butter. Then after the beans have softened add some soy sauce, and pepper. They taste really good! Here is the recipe for blistered green beans!




Sister Trip! September 10, 2019

Sister Trip! September 10, 2019

What was a trip planned for four, my mom, mother in law, sister and I, turned out to be a trip for two. Unfortunately my mom and mother in law came down with unexpected illness! Don’t fret, I believe they are both doing better now! While my sister and I missed them, we had a wonderful trip, plus it means we get to plan another trip back soon! πŸ™‚

Leah and I visited Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Home to Ree Drummond also known as the pioneer woman. received_496051517898760

Friday evening after a LONG road trip, we went to the Mercantile for dinner. The food never disappoints, and the service and atmosphere is friendly and fun! I ordered the chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, Leah ordered the chicken parmesan, and we split an appetizer of cowboy fries! We both tried each others entrees, and I have to say while my chicken fried steak was good, it does not compare to the chicken parm!!! The chicken parmesan was amazing! The portions were huge, way more than we could eat, and so we ended up taking home leftovers!

The next morning we went to the lodge where they film the television showΒ The Pioneer Woman. It was beautiful!!! I was very excited to take this tour as I did not get to when Andrew and I went three years ago. The open fields of Oklahoma are stunning! It’s like looking out over an ocean of fields and prairie grass. There are not words to properly describe the beauty and serenity, it’s one of those things you just have to experience. Even pictures don’t quite do it justice, but here is some anyway! πŸ˜‰

After taking in the beauty of the outdoors, Leah and I began touring the inside of the lodge! Looking around inside where they do all the filming, seeing familiar settings from watching the tv show, peeking inside all the drawers, cabinets, and spaces was so much fun!! πŸ™‚ We may have gotten a little carried away, as you can tell by the overload of pictures! πŸ™‚

I love the open shelving on the walls. They are so beautifully staged. I also loved seeing what was inside the bottom cabinets! They are filled with all kinds of baking utensils, cake decorating stuff, flatware, etc. One had band-aids :), and there were sticky notes everywhere from guests such as ourselves! (I wonder if Ree found the note Leah and I left?) The two pull out drawers on each side of the sink are dishwashers, and a couple on the opposite side of the counter are crispers with apples and brown sugar inside! Probably my favorite part however, was the prop closet. It’s literally filled with all of Ree’s props! I loved seeing all the different colors of stand mixers, insta pots, crock pots, and every kind of dish, baking pan, and kitchen doo dads you could imagine!!

After the lodge tour we went back into town to do some shopping! We toured a lot of the boutiques down town, and then went for lunch at P Town Pizza! One of the top dishes I ate all weekend was the delicious Not Knots that we ordered for an appetizer! They are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, covered with a garlic butter and parmesan cheese, served with ranch and a marinara sauce. It’s making my mouth water as I type! I have to learn to make these!

We went shopping at the mercantile after lunch! We needed to walk off a few calories! πŸ™‚ I went with a list of things that I wanted to buy for my own kitchen at the mercantile, and found most of them plus some. We had an amazing time! Then, as if we needed any more calories, we went to Charlies sweet shop. It is such a cute and sweet little place. The ice cream is smooth and wonderful. I had cookie dough and birthday cake. (I’m celebrating early;) )

We went later that evening for one last dinner at the Mercantile. I decided to go a little lighter and just order a few side dishes. I ordered the fancy mac n cheese (okay, maybe not so light! πŸ˜‰ ), blistered green beans, and the whiskey glazed carrots! They were all stunning, and I can’t wait to try making them at home! However, I’m not sure I will ever be able to make mac n cheese taste that good. (they brought the green beans later, and I forgot to take a picture)

Leah and I had a blast, and one of the best parts of the whole trip was spending time with my sister! We are both busy people, and while we talk on the phone, our phone conversations more often than not go something like this. “Leah, I have to call you back, Emma just fell and busted her lip.” “Hi Leah! How are ya?…, we’re fixin’ to eat dinner.” “Hey sis, how was your week… Brandon and I are fixin’ to go out on the town”! πŸ˜‰ So it was good to spend some quality time together! We spent over fourteen hours in the car together this weekend, and we still LOVE each other! πŸ˜‰

I also want to point out that my wonderful husband survived a weekend all by himself with the kids!!! He is amazing!! And although a little worn out and slightly frazzled by Sunday evening, he did an amazing job! πŸ˜‰ I missed them all very much, and was happy to be home and give them all lots of hugs and kisses!




Cooking Again! September 1, 2019

Cooking Again! September 1, 2019

We survived a whole week without a kitchen! I had enough food for breakfast and some sandwiches, but let me say I don’t care if I ever eat out again! (At least until like next weekend! πŸ™‚ Going on a girls trip to Pawhuska!!) The kitchen cabinets are installed, our oven and microwave hooked up, dishes and food put away, and we have been cooking again!! As a matter of fact we had the best Sunday pot roast I think I have ever cooked today! It tasted amazing!!! We are still waiting on our counter tops to be installed. Hopefully that will be in the next couple weeks! I can not wait to have it all finished!

Here is what the cabinets look like! I LOVE them! Not only are they beautiful, but we have at least doubled the amount of storage space. I no longer have to put things on top of our cabinets. πŸ™‚

With going out to eat for dinner this week, it was a struggle getting the kids bathed before bed. They got a bath at least twice this week. πŸ˜‰ I usually bathe Samuel in his little blue tub, but I was needing to get bath time done quickly, and decided to just put Emma and Samuel in the same bath. It was actually really sweet! πŸ™‚ Samuel loved splashing the water with Emma! I needed a rain poncho while bathing them, but they had fun. (I have a picture of David and Emma in the bath together when Emma was about Samuel’s age.) Just so precious!

We had a family day at the zoo yesterday! The kids wanted to play in the water, and so we took them in their swim clothes. I took a picnic lunch and we ate at the zoo. It was great to spend time together and just enjoy family.

David has been pushing my buttons lately in church. I don’t know if he thinks he can get away with it because we are in a public setting or what. But today was the last straw for me. It’s hard enough being a “single” mom on Sundays anyway. I say this because Andrew leaves to go to church super early on Sunday mornings, and for obvious reasons he can’t sit with me during the service to help with the kids. Any discipline that needs dished out during church has to be done by me. I’m generally just fine with this role as a parent, but during church I find it difficult.Β  I just want quiet! I want to be able to pay attention to what’s happening in the service. I want to worship Jesus! This is particularly true on Communion Sundays since there is no children’s church. Today David threw his quarter at the offering plate instead of putting it in normally. (I practice putting money in the offering plate with our children. I hope to teach them the importance of giving back. I tell them we are giving this money to Jesus, and then have them put it in the offering plate as it is passed.) David’s quarter hit the offering plate, made a loud clang, and then went flying somewhere. Later in the service as Andrew is preaching David loudly makes a remark in response to something Andrew had said in his sermon. That was it! I had enough! I ended up taking him out! Let me just say I need prayers with this child! Sometimes I just …. He is six years old and should be able to sit and behave for forty-five minutes! Wednesday evening he was also a nightmare during church, and I made him sit for thirty minutes in a chair in the corner when we got home. I thought he would have learned his lesson! Apparently not.

Sometimes a mom needs to vent. Thanks for listening to me! I appreciate it, and any mom advice you feel led to share!