Weekend Recap & Ramblings

Hello there! I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend! As I shared before, hubby and I celebrated 22 years this weekend. It was a great weekend! We opted to stay home and chill rather than getting out of town. Since our younger three left for a church trip on Saturday we really only had to deal with the 20year old, and he’s hardly home anyway! Saturday we spent some time exploring a flea market, eating yummy bbq for lunch, napping (which I never do, but apparently really needed), followed by some yummy Mexican food on the lake, and watching the sunset. And we got to witness a cute proposal – bonus!

sunset

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How’d We Do In 2015

Good morning friends and Happy New Year! 

I’ve never been one to write down goals in the past, but here on the blog I have. And, honestly, it’s interesting to go back and look at where I was a year ago and where I am now.

Here are my bullet points from last year

  • Spending more time with my Lord.  Reading the Bible and in prayer.  Working on refocusing my attention away from worldly things.
  • Family Room update – there are lots of ideas swimming around in my head for this room, many of which were re-kindled after seeing this year’s HGTV dream home.  Have you seen it?  Cape Cod beach home at it’s finest!
  • Kids/Guest Bath overhaul – this involves plumbing, tiling, and building. It may actually happen sooner than later, since I think I discovered a leak yesterday…
  • Pressing on with JOY through all the breakdowns.  And, I’m not talking emotional ones.  Although there may be a couple of those too if things don’t stop breaking down – appliances, cars, other house things like leaks.

So, how’d we do? My #1 has been off and on if I’m being honest. So, that is still a major goal – to be more consistent with my walk with God.

#2 – Many, many things happened in our family room this year!! The bones are completed, and some of the fluff. Furniture would be nice when the budget allows.  Always the budget..

#3 – The bathroom got a great makeover that did not include plumbing, tiling, and just a little bit of building. I would love to check these bigger parts of the reno off my list this year, but we will see – again with the budget.

#4 – I can honestly say that about 75% of the time I was able to press on without being overwhelmingly frustrated with life. The joy was truthfully there about 50% of the time. We have continued to deal with plenty of breakdowns – mostly centered around cars – praying 2016 is more positive in this area. 

So, overall, not too bad for 2015!!  This year presents a whole realm of emotional challenges – daughter graduating and starting college, middle son starting high school, you know just kids getting way too big in general!! Stop, or maybe just pause. Kiddos went back to school today, so I might be back with more thoughts and/or plans for 2016 in a couple of days. 🙂 Keep pressing on friends!!

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Sometimes I Feel Like A Skipping Record

Oh my, as I typed that title I realized that there are those of you younger than me that may not even know what that means. Bless your heart. So, back in the day, when you played music on a record player, sometimes the needle would get stuck on a speck of dust, or a scratch, or something and just stay in that spot playing that same second or two of music over and over again until someone fixed it by moving the needle. The dark ages of music, I know.



But, honestly, this is how I have been feeling lately. I wake up every morning praising the Lord for a new day and for new mercies, excited for what today will bring, and then I find myself at the end of the day wondering where the day went! I’m getting very little done. Many, many of the things that were on my brain in the morning to do, were never thought of again, until the night of course. 

I have struggled getting into a routine since the kids went back to school. And a routine is sooo what I need. I’m getting by with most of the necessities – you know food on the table, clean clothes – but the details are missing, things keep falling through the cracks. I have missed blogging regularly and I have so much to share, but the needle keeps getting stuck and I can’t seem to find time to make it on here! I have a growing list of projects as usual, but I am not doing a very good job of crossing things off the list! 

My baby girl is a senior, and this year she is only going to school half a day, then taking online classes at the local college. I LOVE having her home every afternoon!! So blessed to have this time with her! But, it seems the only thing that gets done is lots of quality time watching Friends!! Which is great, but as I said earlier – list is growing, dirt is collecting, you get the picture.

I’m great at making to do lists, not great at referencing them. Not good with planners. Terrible at goal setting. I’m a dreamer, I just need to learn how to make those dreams happen. I do my best to keep my eyes focused on the Lord throughout the day, and letting Him go before me and show me what is important. That’s a start! People before projects always. Necessities before details. 🙂

What keeps you from moving forward? What is it that makes your record skip?? Any good ideas on how to make a schedule work for a non-planner? If you made it this far through this gut-spilling post – thanks for letting me spill! 🙂 Have a great weekend my friends!! Hope to see you back here next week for some fun things!! 

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our Christmas-ified home! Today we are here to talk trees.  🙂

Our Christmas tree is a labor of love.  A family labor of love.  You may not find it on the pages of a magazine, but it is perfectly loved by this family, and perfectly beautiful to me.  
 
 
So much a tradition that our college freshman son INSISTED on decorating the tree while he was home for Thanksgiving – a three and a half day break – one of those days being Thanksgiving.  And, of course we did!!
 
 
We have a 9 1/2 ft slim tree that is packed full of ornaments.  Every single ornament has some sort of memory or meaning to them.  Some are ornaments given to me or my hubby when we were teachers.  Others have been gifts from friends and family.  Some are ornaments we have purchased to remember and event or trip. Many or ornaments the kids have made at school or church.  The only ‘fluff’ ornaments on there are ones my hubby and I collected at after-Christmas sales early on in our marriage.  And, even those aren’t really fluff because they remind me of our beginnings.  
 
 
The ornament on the bottom right is a new addition this year.  Given to me by one of my dearest friends and prayer partners (there are four of us, and we each got one) as a reminder of the bond that only God could have created.  We have prayed each other through SO many things.
 
 
So, there you have it.  A collection of love and memories that I love unpacking every year. {click here to see the easy and inexpensive way we store our ornaments each year
 
 
These memories are the reason I can’t wait to get the tree up (the day after Thanksgiving of course), and why it stays up at least until New Years, and sometimes past.  Well, that and the lights.  I love twinkle lights.  Ahhh.
 
Since my kiddos were small they have had their own trees in their rooms which they help choose how to decorate.  It’s fun to see their little personalities come out every year.  This year was hard for mama because I pretty much had to make them decorate them.  But, by golly the trees were going in.  
 
 
Even in my daughter’s packed tight room we got in a little tree with twinkle lights.  
 
 
Trying my best to keep the wonder of the season in the hearts of these too-cool teenagers, and pre-teen!!
 
Merry Christmas everyone!!
 
 

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Quick and Easy Taco Soup

Hey there friends!!  Is the month of December as crazy and hectic for you as it is for us?? Between Christmas shopping, kids sports, Christmas programs, and Christmas parties I find it hard to find time to cook! But, after a while eating out gets old, and expensive.  

This week I whipped up one of our family favorites that is really so quick and simple – Taco Soup. 


Maybe you have your own version of this, but I get asked about it all the time (cuz it’s so easy), so I thought I would share.  

Several years back I was looking for a tortilla soup recipe, but everyone I found had ingredients I didn’t have and I was not going to the store.  In my search, I also stumbled across a couple of taco soup recipes.  So, I took a little bit from each one, based on what I had on hand, and came up with this.

Taco Soup

1 – 1 1/2 lb. ground beef OR 3 chicken breasts
1 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatoes OR rotel
1 can of black beans 
1 can of kidney beans
Taco seasoning

First step – cook the meat.  If you are using chicken I have the best tip for some of you!  Own a kitchenaid mixer?  


Put the cooked chicken in with the paddle attachment, turn on low and watch that chicken shred!!  So much easier!

Second step – dump everything in.  

this time I did not have rotel but I did have a can of green chilies, so I added that
Third step – stir and heat.  Everything in that pot is cooked, it just needs to heat.  🙂


The longer it cooks the better it tastes, because it gives time for the flavors to mix together.  But if you only have 30 minutes for it to simmer, no problem, still yummy.  I have also cooked this in the crockpot.  Works great.  I use this homemade taco seasoning (tweaked a bit – I don’t care for cumin) 

Don’t you love my fancy container 🙂
which I love because I can put in as much or as little as I want


 – plus I know exactly what’s in it.

This recipe really is fool proof!!  


We like ours with a little shredded cheddar cheese on top and tortilla chips!  YUM!!
Have a great weekend friends and enjoy!!

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