Lauries Kitchen

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Catching Up!

Thought I would catch up on some recipes we've enjoyed over the break. The punch recipe is from Grace's AP English teacher. She made it for the class when they had an Oscar Wilde party. I've made two complete batches this break. The girls really like it. I made up the stroganoff recipe this morning. I needed to use some thawed out beef and just started throwing thing sin the pan. Turned out pretty good. The cookies are pretty much pure sugar. Not much hiding it in this recipe. I've made something like this before but never had the flavor from jello. I'm thinking i can make these for any holiday--just adjust the jello flavor. They are really simple since I have a stand mixer. Just turn it on, do something and then when I come back it is ready!

Almost Champagne Punch
1     2 liter Ginger Ale
1     2 Liter Club Soda
1     Jug White grape juice

Mix together and serve. I buy the ginger ale and club soda in 1 liter bottles and make 1/2 batch at a time.  I have no clue if it almost tastes like champagne or not!

Jello Cookies

3 eggs whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 T any flavor jello (I used strawberry)
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vinegar

Heat over to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with pam. Beat salt and egg whites until foamy. Add jello and sugar and beat til stiff peaks form--may take as long as 10 minutes---it will also be glossy! Gently add in vinegar. Drop onto cookie sheet or pipe onto cookie sheet. Bake 25 minutes., Turn oven off and leave in oven for another 20 minutes. Cool completely before eating--I can never wait that long. Just remember it's like eating pure sugar!

Stroganoff

1 1/2 pound beef--I used steak fingers and cut them into chunks after tenderizing
2 cans cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
1 cam french onion soup
wide noodles

Sear, season and cook beef in skillet. When done, add soups and simmer til ready to eat. Cook noodles and serve stroganoff over noodles.

This month we have 2 birthdays--mine and JoGail's! I still think it's cool that Grace shares a birthday month with Coy and JoGail shares one with me. JoGail was due (they thought) and my doctor was going out of town, so they took her about a week early. According to the sonograms, etc she was supposed to be an already big baby. Well, I think they missed everything on her. She was only 6 pounds and have major difficulties breathing, so off to the NICU she went. I went and saw her for the first time after the finished the c section. Then I told my doctor to knock me out and he did. She was out of NICU pretty quick--I think like 24-36 hours, once she could breathe well. Amazingly, she has not had trouble with her lungs ever since.

There are so many things to be thankful for this New Year's Eve. As a family we have a had a fun year. We have grown-especially the girls! Grace has adjusted to being a freshman and JoGail has ventured into Junior High. We vacationed in Florida and came back ready to tackle yet another school year.

IF I were to make a New Year's resolution, it would be to enjoy every minute and live so that others see God in me. That includes listening more and talking less, and loving others. Oh and I want to journal more in my book, so that the girls can reflect on it later in life and maybe remember some memories that may have gotten tucked away.

Happy New Year's!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What a wonderful Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas we had! It was so laid back and relaxing. I love those and hope we are teaching the girls that it's ok to just be us and do things our way! Everyone go ttheir gifts then played mopst of the day yesterday. Coy has had fun playing JoGail's new keyboard.I'm betting he teaches himself how to play before long. Luckily Santa brought head phones!! --The old fashioned kind--neither girl knew what they were!

For lunch we had ham, dressing, gravy, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes. green beans, rolls and cranberry sauce. Then later we have strawberry cheesecake and pumpkin pies. The girls made the pies on their own this year! They did a really good job, too. So now Grace san say she can 'cook' cereal, spaghetti, and pumpkin pies!!! JoGail's favorite part of the meal is the sweet potatoes and I must admit these were pretty good. I followed JoLynn's recipe and they always turn out great. You wash then  boil the sweet potatoes 2-3 days before you want to serve them. After they are tender, cool them. Them wrap them in saran wrap and place in a bag(to catch drips) in the fridge. When you are ready to cook them, just slide the sweet potato out of its 'jacket'. Seriously, they just slide right out. Then cook as normal. I mash them then mix them with butter and brown sugar before I bake them. Then I top with marshmallows. You will have the best sweet potatoes ever. There's something that happens to the sugars with them when they are in the fridge.

Normally I use Stacia's cheesecake recipe, but I was preusing my cooking magazines the other day and noticed one that I wanted to try. It, like Stacia's, was simple. It turned out good and now I have two cheesecake recipes to fall back on!

Simple Cheesecake
2 packages, 8 ounces each room temperature cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

graham cracker crust-9 inches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanill until smooth. Add eggs, beating until just combined. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or til center is set. Cool on wire rack. Chill for 2 hours. Use whatever topping you would like on top.

Weather wise, its still yucky and rainy. You think of winter when you look out the windows...luckily it' snot below freezing here. My sister Missy says there's snow up in Amarillo and I saw pictures where Lubbock had a white Christmas as well!

I have enjoyed getting up to a pretty quiet house, not having to think about what to wear, what's on the list to do at work. It's nice having a break.

~Laurie

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm up!!!!

I'm up and ready to get some final things done today! Lots of cooking going on today--making strawberry swirl cheesecake, more cranberry salsa, icing sugar cookies,  making Karen's taco chili mix she gave us, cooking the sweet potatoes, and who knows what else! I am ready and willing though to get going. Coy's getting his truck door handle fixed (don't even ask me how he broke it opening the truck door).  The girls are sleeping in for a bit. Seems like we have had something to do or somewhere to go every day of break so far. And that's ok... it's still been nice. We feel like we have accomplished many things already!

Lately my oldest daughter has been posting some things on facebook that have made me feel proud. She is posting things that show she is thinking for herself and that she realizes the love of God and having a relationship with God is the greatest thing. These are two things Coy and I have prayed she would learn as she grows up. I guess that means she is growing up. She amazes us with her depth of understanding.

JoGail is growing up, too. her body is looking more like Grace's (athletic) every day. She follows her sister and is outside alot kicking a soccer ball around or dribbling the basketball. She is witty and funny. I laughed yesterday as I watched her play her nintendo game while we were at Children's. She was holding it and looking over her glasses to see it. Made her look funny!

Made a date yesterday to see Coy's sister Judy and her husband Jerry and his nephew and his wife (Todd and Michelle). Always love seeing them--we have ALWAYS have fun! We are trying to plan a spring trip to Lubbock to see JoLynn. Of course Coy and I have different spring breaks this year, but I think we have a plan. Just waiting to hear back from JoLynn when her spring break is! Excited because it's been a couple of years since we have ventured out there. Coy was calling it a 'road trip'. Of course it also hinges on the track schedule..

I heard something the other day that I wished we had thought of when the girls were young. Only giving three gifts per person. The guy's reasoning was that three gifts were good enough for Jesus so it should be good enough for us. Made me think.

Ok, it's time to get moving.....it sure is quiet around here............I kind of like that!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A completely random post

Wahoo!!! Christmas Break has started here! I almost hate to see it coming because it seems like we are just adjusting to high school life and middle school life! Seriously, though, we are thankful for the break and grateful for our family time.  The time is flying fast. I sit here on the couch sometimes and think about how fast time is going by and how it won't be long til it's just me and Coy sitting here...ahhhh but I MUST enjoy the moment!!!

But before I get to that let me just say how thankful I am to the staff at Eustace ISD. I know I have said it before, but I cannot IMAGINE my kids having a better second family than the staff at the school and church. I always fret before my kids go to a new campus, but I shouldn't. God always sends someone to help my girls adjust and look up to.

I made this new recipe the other night when Coy  was at board meeting--hence all the cheese! It was a hit and the girls liked it. I think I got it off pinterest--not really sure because like any good recipe, this one is written down on a stray envelope.

1 box cooked penne pasta ( I found the kind that cooks in 3 minutes)
4 oz sour cream
1 jar chicken alfredo sauce
small container ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese to save $2)
1 pound cooked chicken
2 eggs
1/4 cup paremeson cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Mix together everything but the mozzarealla cheese and put in prepared baking pan. Spread mozzarealla cheese on top and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

We finally got some rain in this part of the world. Hoping for even more. Missy (sister in Amariallo) and I have a weather thing going right now. Dallas forecasters are calling for a sleet/thunder snow on Monday for Amarillo. Amarillo forecasters are just calling for rain...............We will see who's right!!!   Guess we could have at least betted  a coke or cup of hot cocoa or something.

Our annual dish exchange was yesterday at work. Unfortunately I didn't get to stay for the party since I was taking JoGail to the doctor, but there was lots of food and neat dishes there! Jill brought back some cheese curds from her weekend trip home to Wisconsin. I had never had them until she brought some last year and they were really good! Gina made a lighted up pumpkin roll for Bob and Jane made some candy for her person.  There were lots of other goodies as well! We always have such a good time doing that. We draw a name and then literally buy a dish that person wants and then cook something in it (we have a little questionaire) and then we eat buffet style and you get to take home the dish and whatever's left in it. It's so fun!

Some of you may have heard about the nativity scene activity in Athens--we were unable to attend the rally but have heard wonderful things about it and are proud to be Americans.

Washed Grace's two ankle braces this morning....She pulled them out of her basketball bag and oh my! Those things could have walked to Dallas by themselves. They were wet, too. She said she sweated alot last night during the game in Leon. Man.....it's bad when SHE comes to me and says that they stink and need to be washed ! (Told you this was a random post!)

We have been watching alot of ICarly, Victorious, and even Drake and Josh (all nick shows for teenagers) as a family. They really are funny and of couse Grace and Coy catch things no one else does!  In alot of shows their characters overlap.

I didn't get my bed remade this morning. I was going to take off the wool blanket and put the electric blanket on....while I love snuggling under three layers of blankets Coy is not so fond of it and actually I don't like it when my foot sticks out. Somehow I usually end up with all the wool blanket on my side of the bed. I have daylight time left so I might get that done before the night's up!

I'm making chicken soup for Sunday lunch tomorrow.....it's going to be good and I hope it gets our JoGail to feeling better! She has strep again....yes, AGAIN....

I haven't even started the Christmas meal menu yet...I know we are having ham though....I figure I have a week! I'm sure Coy will want dressing and gravy and JoGail will want sweet potatoes....rolls and tea....have lots of sweets but Coy and the girls will make some pumpkin pies too.

I am truly happy Melissa ISD won the the football championship for our division! We played them in the Area Championship and lost to them. It's nice to be able to say we were beaten by the state champs!

I am glad I am not a chef. I don't think I was designed to handle the pressures they go through on a daily basis. Yes, I have stress at work, but it's unlikely I would kill someone or put someone in the hospital with food poisoning during a routine day as they might.

I'm late getting photo cards out this year. No real reason why, just haven't done it. I did get out the photo albums with all the photo cards from years past out, though! Some go back as far at 1993!!!!  It's so fun to look back and see how kids and families have grown. Just looking at how our girls have grown amazes me! But, I still put my favorite pictures of them with Santa on the mantle! Every year!

I don't care about politics. Really I don't. I know it's important to our country and state and all it just isn't me. Never really has been. I read it on the internet a little, but really don't pay much attention to it all. I have always tried to live by the by the 'be nice to others' and treat others they the way you want to be treated" theories and they don't seem to do that. Neither do the news stations. And that completes my thoughts on politics.

I'm thinking about buying some kale and making kale chips.....you just break it up and put some olive oil on it then bake. Anybody tried this????

I am getting used to my glasses. They are a pain when I want ot read something up close, because I have to take them off, but other than that no main problems. You'll be glad to know they really make a difference when I drive!


~Laurie

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Chocolate cherry bars

I found this recipe in a Gooseberry patch cookbook. We like them! They were super simple to make!


1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon almond extract

Mix together (You can do this by hand)
Then stir in 1 can cherry pie filling.

Bake in 350 oven for 20-25 mins. Let cool completely.

In a saucepan on low mix 6 tablespoons butter,
1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons milk

Heat over low til boiling. Boil 1 minute .
Stir in 1/2 c semi sweet choc chips until smooth. Spread over bars.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving

I've been reading about how everyone else does Thanksgiving cooking, etc. I'm not sure what different between me and them, but mine seems alot smoother! I get everything for the turkey out the night before. Then I set the alarm and get up and put it in the top oven. Now I admit I cheat a litle, but that'd because I don't like dressing. I buy the prater's frozen dressing and thaw it out. I mix two pans of it together and cook it in a cast iron skillet because Coy likes it crispy. Don't ask me why, I just don't like it. So if I buy it already made. then I know it'll be good and Coy loves Praters dressing and gravy! My sweet pototatoes are simple. Kim, Coy' sniece, told me how to do them and they turn out beautiful everytime. You wash and the potatoes and leave the skin onYou boil your sweet potatoes at least 2 days before. After they turn soft. Let them cool. Then store, wrapped in saran wrap in the fridge. I put them in the bowl to catch the drippings. The morning of the meal. take them out and let them get to room temperature. Then you just slide the potatoes out of their jackets. Mix in some brown sugar and melted butter. Heat. Them top with marshmallows and broil til marshmallows melt. (Watch them carefully they burn easily).  I promise these are the best sweet potatoes! I cheat and use sister schubert rolls, too. Last time I tried making something withyeast in it turned out harder than a hockey puck. So I just  don't go there!

I clean as I go and start with an empty dishwasher and an empty trash can. I think that is a big key to keeping the clean up under control.

I guess the main thing I try to not make it more difficult than it has to be. If I can cheat with premade things, and my family likes it,  then it's good enough for me. I like drama free holidays!!!!  No family dressing up (we usually just all have on jeans), eatunbg early (usually before 12), and everyone gets seomthing they love on teh menu.

So there you have it. How we do Thanksgiving....and we love it!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grace

Grace, you were the baby who drank the each bottle like it was the last one you might get.  You were the one who has been reading since the first day of your life when you proud daddy sat you in his lap and read the newspaper to you. Later, he and I would sit in the rocking chair in your bedroom and read to you. You have always loved books. You were the toddler who saw 'rectangles' instead of bricks. You were the one who would yank anything out of your hair your mama put in it. You were the one who remembers mama dressing in a matching outfit with JoGail (I think you are still mad at me about that). You were the one who took on the job of soccer goalie and never looked back-even when your mama was crinching during a shootout.
You are growing at church and in your faith. You have handled the changes well there. With David leaving and Bro. Paul stepping in, you haven't missed a beat. I am very proud of the young Christian lady you are becoming. I have enjoyed watching you go thru the crossover ministry.

This year you have started high school. You have hit it going full speed. Cross country wore you out alot but you stuck it out, even with bursitus in your knee. You have admitted that you enjoyed volleyball more than you ever thought you would--mainly because of your teammates and coach. Academically you are in all the PreAP classes you can take and are learning Spanish and about Ag. You still make me smile when we ask what you learned at school today. I have seen you get spitting mad becasue you didn't 'learn' something sometimes. You have always gone to school with the expectation that you woulld learn something that day.
Your personality is coming out. You aren't as shy and have participated in pep rallys-even rapping the Freshman Rap! You've competed in your first FFA competition as well.

I pray the you never forget how special you are--not only to me and daddy but to God as well. No matter how much Daddy and I love you, God loves you more! You are special talented and unique! Happy 15th birthday!

Friday, November 04, 2011

7up biscuits

My sister found this recipe on pinterest and shared with me.........these biscuits rock! They are good! And Easy!


7up biscuits

2 cups baking mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7up (I used sprite)

Cut sour cream into biscuit misx. Add 7up and combine well. Roll out and cut into biscuits. Bake in 9X9 pan the has some melted butter in it. Bake at 450 for about 8-10 minutes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What a wonderful relaxing fall day! Laundry is about finished and cooking is pretty much complete!
I made some stew last night (it's in the fridge for lunch tomorrow) and taco soup. I'm just learning to make taco soup and I must say that this batch is pretty good! At supper it was quiet except for the sound of spoons clanking against bowls! I made this dessert for JoGail. I though tit was something I remembered her liking, but she says now she didn't like it. Coy likes it thouhg, so it's still a good deal. I'm expecting JoGail to change her mind once she tries it-especially with a little honey on top!
Grace went to the doctor with her knee problems. It was diagnosed as pre pataller bursitus. Dr. Rich thinks she probably (at some point) pushed her knee pads up (without realizing it) and then dove for a ball. When she hit it inflammed the bursae sac. She is icing it and is styain goff it for 2 weeks. Hopefully that will help with her pain. They have just finished the 2nd 6 weeks of school. I'm telling you her freshman year is flying by! JoGail is her usual happy self. She is a little bummed out that her dad won't allow her to go trick or treating this year...guess it's just part of growing up. She wants to be a hobo. Grace was eeyore. They wore their costumes to school yesterday.

Taco Soup

1 can green chilis
1 pound hamburger meat browned
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can chili beans, drained
1 can rotel (we love this stuff!)
1 can chopped stewed tomotoes
1 can drained corn
1 can tomato soup

Mix all together and simmer in crockpot. Makes a good sized pot. Very low fat, too!
It's really good topped with some cheese!


Sopapilla Cheesecake

2  8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 packages crescent roll dough
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

 Beat first three ingredients together until smooth.
In 13x9x2 pan unroll first package of crescent dough. Lay flat in bottom of pan, pressing seams closed.
Top with cream cheese mixture. Unroll 2nd package of crescent rolls and lay on top of cream cheese mixture,  pressing seams together. Mix butter, cinnamon and sugar together. Pour over top of crescent rolls in pan. Bake for 30 mins at 350. Really good heated and topped with some honey.

Monday, October 24, 2011

They did it!

Eustace swept the cross country contests today! Both the varsity girls and JV girls had perfect scores! The Varsity boys and JV boys also won first place! The middle school teams rocked it as well! Both the varsity teams will be advancing. If I am not mistaken, every high shcool kid from Eustace who ran medaled....that's pretty awesome!:)   I have pictures of Grace I just haven't uploaded them yet. I'm telling you, my baby is growing and learning to have fun.

Tonight I threw together a Cowboy Casserole. Some of you may know it as tatter tot casserole. Not sure why I like the name change, but I do!

1 package hamburger meat
1 can whole kernal corn, drained
1 can cream of something (whatever you have) soup
1 bag tater tots
shredded cheese--if you want

Cook hamburger meat until brown. in an oven proof skillet.  Mix will corn and cream of something soup. Return ot oven proof skillet (I used a cast iron) --you can add cheese her eif you want---and top with tater tots (cover it good). Bake according to package directions.  You can add seasonings however you want.....I usually throw some slap ya mama seasoning on the browned hamburger meat.

The girls and Coy love this....so simple and yet so good!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

wow..where has the time gone??

I was driving the other day and thinking...outlloud...like I like to do. I realized that almost half of Grace's freshman year of high school is almost gone! Poof! Gone! Then tonight she was on the couch watching 7th voyage of SInbad iwth her dad and it hit me again that in 3 1/2 years she probably won't be sitting there doing that!

And I don't know if I have ever mentioned this, but I love hearing stories from my girls during their junior high years...they are just good stories! And I don't have much longer for that, either!

Oh yeah and only 6 more years of working the ocncession stand.............haha...you ladies know I enjoy that! Can't beat those BBQ nachos!!!  (Now before you go, eeewww, let me just state that our concession is well known fo rthe products we sell. It really is good, and we have a specific way of making nachos, BBQ or not......maybe one day I can tell our secret, but for now you just have to trust me on this! )

Good things are happening at EHS these days....Band perofrmed well at competition, FFA is in full swing of showing animals, etc, the girls volleyball team is playoff bound and the football is 7-0!  That's alot for a small school, but the BIG action is Monday.....the district cross country team. The cross country team here is a dedicated group of indiviuals. They train all summer long, run in the wee hours of the morning and sometimes double back and run again at night. Cross Country in Texas involves a team of 5-7 runners running a course. The higher you place the lower your score. The boys run 3 miles while the girls run 2 miles. The team with the lowest score wins. There's not alot of cheering at cross country meets. It's like, as a parent, you see them start as a huge group. Then you move to finish line to see them finish, dying from exhaust. Some courses are chilly, others straight. Some courses are on grass/dirt, some go on sidewalks and tracks. And rain or shine, hot or cold you run. (unless there's lightening). I've seen shoes unrecognizable because the runner ran through the mud. I've seen runners covered in clothing from head to toe and I've seen runner with as little on as possible. They just run and LOVE to run. And Eustace has kids who love to run. Both in high school and middle school. Kids that you look at and think that kid's not very athletic looking that will kick your tail in a cross country race. Kids that EXPECT to medal in a cross country race. Kids that pour their heart and soul into running. And I have one of those kids. Try as we might, she loves to run and train with the others. She can recite times and tell you when and where she was when she broke her fastest time. A kid who comes home from cross country meets exhausted for the rest of the day becuase she gave it her all. A kid who really doesn't want her parents at her meets because it might jinx her and her routine....(yeah, we went to the one here and we're going to the district race on Monday)...I love that girl and am proud of her dedication to the sport. She's a pretty good girl if I do say so myself!  I hope to have some pictures to post from the district meet next week. All too soon this will all be over and Coy and I wil lbe sitting here just looking at each other....well, him at the tv and me at my computer!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Lucky me!!!!!

Coy and the girls has last Monday off (Fair day).....I got to work.....My district's fair day is tomorrow.....and yep, I'm pretty sure I have strep throat....so I get to go to the doctor...I ahd planned on Hobby lobbying and birthday shopping.....not sure now what I'll do. Just depends on when I can get in at the doctor. I already know my regular doctor is out tomorrow (tried to schedule my thyroid checkup), so it'll just have to be whoever can see me, gag me with the strep test and write a good prescription.


My girl.....JoGail

JoGail and Justin

JoGail was recently asked to Homecoming for our local EASA football team. Now I'm not sure how other small communities do this, but it is a rather elaborat aaffair here. Football players and cheerleaders have someone walk them out on the field. There is no queen or king, everyone jsut gets to walk on the field. The girls get the guys garters and the guys get the girls mums. MIne was th eLAST order the florist was taking at Memories of Elegance......thank you ladies!!!)It's kind of interesting and neat to watch. JoGail was asked by Justin. Now JoGail and Justin go waaayyy back .They have the longest perfect attendance streaks in their class. They both go back to Headstart days. Now before you can ask how she has perfect attendance for so long, let me assure you that iIdo not send my kids to school sick. If they get sick it's over the holidays or spring break.She has had antibiotics only one time in her 11 years. My girls just really don't get sick. She did get poison ivy last year and the doctor assured us more than once that she wasn't contagious and I asked her about staying home and she went beserk. "How can I miss a day? They might teach me something good today? "So. How do you argue with that 5th grade logic???? So off she went. She broke her arm....at school....on a Friday, so she was good to go Monday. Anyway, back to my story, she fixed her makeup and got all ready and off we went at 6:30. She looked beautiful. They had them all lined up in numerical order...he was number 18.....it started sprinkling on number 1......we made it to player number 3 before the bottom fell out. It was mad chaos. People running everywhere...me trying as hard as I could to put my camera up. I waited to try and find her and ran then figured if she didn't have enough sense to ge to the car (There  really wasn't anywhere else to run to get dry) , well, I didn't know what I would do. I got in the car. I am soaked, sore throat, the works. A friend's mom called and had JoGail. They knew I was trying to get sick and offered to take her to their house and change her clothes then bring her back (there was a 30 minute delay). So I went home.  So here's some pictures of my baby.....love this girl and her heart....and her love of life....she has taught me how to have fun....I am not sure why it posted them all twice........

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Community

This has been an emotional time for the community we live in-Eustace. A 13 year old was tragically killed in an ATV accient last Sunday. Heath was lovable and loved very much. Knowing he is in Heaven with Jesus has helped my girls understand. Well, sort of. JoGail doesn't really understand why everyone is sad if Heath is with Jesus. I tried explaining it was because the people left behind will just miss him. But I think all she could think about was the fact that Heath has already seen Jesus.

I am so proud to be a part of this community. God has definately put people here for a reason. People who wouldn't normally visit with one another were visting. Junior High kids were being nicer to each other. And there were people praying-at school, at church, on facebook.....pretty much anywhere you look. Community has a new visual picture in my mind.....I picture people hugging and helping each other. I picture someone putting a slide show together. I picture someone helping get baseball boys all together in their uniforms. I picture an overflowing church. It's the high school kids circling around the middle school kids at the see you at the pole prayer.

I am so proud to be a part of Eustace.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls & Pumpkin Muffins

I've been amaking some recipes from pinterest! I have found two winners at my house. Both are super easy!

Pepperoni Rolls

Crescent roll dough
Mozzarella string cheese (enough for half a stick to be in each crescent roll)
pepperoni ( I used the little ones because I love them)

Unroll crecsent roll. Cut String cheese in half. Place half of cheese stick and some pepperonis in each roll. Roll up and bake as usual. I served with jarred mariniara sauce.

Pumpkin Rolls
(JoGail is making some more of these as I write!)

 1 box spice cake mix  (Can use butter as well)
1 small can pumpkin ( not pumpkin pie filling)

Mix together and bake. We used JoGail's cupcake maker, so I'm not sure how long! These things are truly addictive! Especially with a cup of coffee!


It's been a long, emotional week here in this house. I'm hoping things settle down next week. But if not that's ok. My God is bigger than any problem!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

aaahhhh fall!!!

I am so hoping I have more days of trying to do the couch to 5k with the same kind of weather I had yesterday! it was wonderful yesterday! It's been a little humid around these dry parched parts, but no rain yet. We are still watering the little itty bitty trees transplanted from my MawMaw and PawPaw's pond. I just realized that if only one of those trees makes it that we will have a tree from both of my sides of grandparents in the yard! I have a transplanted part of a fig tree (that was mailed all the way to New Mexico and then here) from Maw Maw Collin's yard (Thanks, TAC).  Those are about the only  trees in our yard (except two in the front)...so I'm hoping they make it.

Wow!!!  We had an awesome experience here in Eustace yesterday.....cross country varisty boys and girls won first place in their meet, all the volleyball teams won, and we won football!  Honestly, I am not surprised! We have an awesome group of kids who are devoted to what they do and coaches who love the kids.

Today has been a day of rest for most of us here. (Grace reffed some soccer games.) It has been wonderful laying around, lazily doing laundry and watching Texas football.  Yes, I still need to mop, but that can wait, besides, we really aren't sticking to the floors when we walk yet.

This week was Homecoming and my girls got all giddy when they got their mums from Melissa in the mail. She always does such a great job. They just got all giggly and excited this year....guess they are growing up and turning into young ladies! I'll try to upload some pictures tonight.....I am resigned to the loveseat with my ankle on ice...hoping I can get some swelling down. Ok, I was leaving the ball game last night and had an armful....I made it to the end of the aisle and a kid (i have no idea who) was running up the bleachers and hit my shoulder and i fell down. I think my ankle is just a little sprained...we're icing it today...hopefully it won't be as sore tomorrow....we'll see though! But for tonight it's me and bag of peas on the love seat!

I refuse to stop doing the couch to 5k because of this. I have done it for two week sand KNOW that the first time I have an excuse and don't do it will make it tens times harder to do.....

Speaking of couch to 5k....anyone know of a local 5k I can plan on doing? I know there's some in Dallas but I prefer a smaller, not in Dallas one.....

I am cravin gpumpkin mnuffins and pumpkin crunch......just can't bring myself to make it yet...I am also craving one of Mrs. Adams fresh apple cakes....she made the best when we were in Evant. They were so moist !!!!  I'm so happy fall is here.....hope the rain comes and temperatures stay out of the 100s!!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day!

Wow! What a restful day this has been!!!  Got up, took Grace to workouts then got some stuff done around the house. Cooked a good do it yourself breakfast--breakfast burritos-- and got some more stuff done around the house. Ate some leftovers for lunch then made a good Monday night supper. Lately we haven't been home enough for me to do this, so it felt really good to do. We have had a good family day today....watching tv and movies....very relaxing. Here's my super supper menu.....

Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken (From Mommy's Kitchen  scroll down)
Rachel 's San Antonio Squash Casserole 
Deviled eggs
Roasted red potatoes
Kool Aide (Lemonade) Pie (http://www.mommyskitchen.net/

I have never eaten at a Cracker Barrel ( I have been told this is a sin that I must correct) so I can't tell you if it really tasted like theirs! Coy and I loved the chicken. The girls, not so much....Strangely there's no leftover chicken...It would be easy and great for me to cook up and take in my lunch. I did switch out the lime juice for lemon juice (I thought I had some but I didn't)...oh the joys of aging!  The squash casserole hit the spot for an easy side dish full of flavor. I still didn't put cheese in it but put some on top of mine.

Well,  it's time to get everything ready for the rest of the week. I might get a chance to cook again on Thursday...we'll see! Tomorrow's a volleyball dual match (FYI they take forever, because it's basically a 3 team thing), then church, then a break then volleyball and football in Edgewood on Friday. Whew! I get tired just thinking about it all!





Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ahhhhh!!!! Random thoughts....

Yes that's me screaming! We are so busy.....but I really wouldn't have it any other way! I think I fell into the bathtub awhile ago....the house is about as clean as it normally is and laundry is just piling up....But I have spent time with my girls and even got to watch Grace play volleyball....I was thinking today how 'proficient' I am getting at leaving work at 4:00 on the dot on Tuesdays and Fridays (ball game days)....there will be a couple I will miss....(just too far-I would have to take off half a day to get  there by 4:30!) Both girls are just blossoming at school. I feel so priveliged to have a school family like the one in Eustace for my husband and girls. I know they are the superintendent's kids, but still....I never have to worry abouy my girls--I had someone tell me tonight that she was Grace's 'mom' at school (Focus Family) and it just made me realize how special this district is..even the cafeteria workers watch out for my girls....(thinking about chocolate chip cookies here).....and it's not just for my girls...they do it for others as well...I truly feel blessed......

I even feel blessed in the concession stand--everyone always gets along, laughs and gets the food out. I think I enjoy working it becasue we do have so much fun! OK scrubbing the crockpots is not always fun, but we don't mind......kids always come up and say," Can I have.....?" I always want to say I don't know, can you????  The booster club ladies are always doing stuff for the kids....it is really amazing....making goodie bags, painting paws, going to buy concession stand food, designing and ordering shirts......they do an awesome job. I am limited in time, but I don't mind helping when I can.

I feel blessed....very blessed!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Evening

It's Sunday evening and we are preparing for another busy week ! We are in the full swing of  high school volleyball and conccession stand working....truly making memories...The Lady Bulldogs won consolation at the tournament here in town. They only lost one game, so we still have a great record going! More volleyball and lots of cross country running this week. It still blows my mind my daughter has the energy to do all this....) Get up, run 3 miles or an hour, 3 hours of volleyball and then back that night for another 3 hours of volleyball. While I can't imagine it, I know she has been preparing for it for years....Never in my wildest dreams would I think Coy and I would have a daughter who absolutely loves volleyball and smiles her heart out when she spikes the ball down someone's throat....just shows that God has bigger plans than we could ever imagine!

JoGail has been a huge help, cleaning around the house, making goodie bags for the volleyball girls and cheering her sister on at the games. She and another younger sister have pompoms and stand in the corners like the high school cheerleaders do at basketball games.....yes, folks, our freshman volleyball team has their own cheerleaders! I cooked this afternoon so the kids will have good food to eat for lunch and I have stuff to take in my lunch. It's the last week before school start!!!! We will officially have a high schooler and 6th grader!!! :)  


My new meds are lining out. They started me on a thyroid medication and a new diabetes medication. SO far so good for both. One is a shot and I have been pretty good at giving myself so far. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. It's been wonderful feeling good. Really, it's something I don't take for granted.

I survived a full week back at work last week. Even worked the concession stand Sat. But boy I felt it this morning. I was wiped out. Yet we went to church and something spoke to. It was about asking God what he wants us to do when we have already pretty much made up our minds.....we should ask him to guide our minds to the right decision. That really made sense to me and is something I will incorporate. It really amazes me sometimes what you can learn from the Old Testament. You think it's just stories, etc. But there's so much in there that is so applicable to today.

I'm rambling today so bear with me....I have realized today (probably not the first time) how lucky I am to have wonderful friends here in Eustace. Yes, I left good friends-Cathy, Stacia, Lisa) in Evant when we moved over ten years ago, but I am realizing I also have friends here in Eustace.  No we don't live in Eutopia and we aren't perfect, but my goodness what a family type environment both Coy and I have at school. Both schools put family first and mean that. I have seen both schools demonstrate this. We take care of each other and love each other. I am so thankful for that.......




Monday, August 08, 2011

Changes.......

Gosh,m there are so many cahgne sin our family right now!!!! Some we were preparing for and others that just happen! You know, I have always heard that change is good.....and that change means you are growing.....we'll see!!! 

A few of our changes.....

Grace is a freshman and JoGail is a 6th grader.....no more mandatory meet the teacher nights to see who their teacher is....   :(

Volleyball.....games 2 times a week now......

Volleyball.....2 a days......someone has to take her and pick her up four times a day.............cross countrey workouts are included in these trips

No more dropping a kid off a tthe intermediate school....

Binky (cat)  has left us.....we do not know where he is, but we are certain he is not in the house, attic or garage....so we are believing he snuck out (he rarely got out) to quietly pass on......(This is a huge change, especialy for Coy and Grace) .....

Grace has finally finished her AP reading assignment so the change is my not having to ask her to go finish it! :) '

I'm back at work on a regular basis......so that's another change.

JoGail managed to shave part of her eyebrows....so that's a change.....

The youth minister at our church resigned, so there's another change.

JoGail can reach the shelf the gluegun is stored on....yes, we have a new glue gun queen! She even made us some designs that were just the hot glue in a certain pattern.

No more family supper right now......Grace is at volleyball so she gets all the leftovers! (Hopefully this will change again to where she can eat with us!)

Like I said change is good.....it means we're growing.....means it will take time to adjust and reset our sails. But trust me, we will,  and onward we will sail together (insert picture of a sailboat here).....









Tuesday, July 19, 2011

 Man, it's been a while since I blogged......
It's crazy around here~~especially for Grace. She is trying to finish her Summer Reading for her AP courses and is currently at running camp. It's the cross country team at a lake house. They run about 3 times a day. If you get a chance say a prayer for her and Makenzie  because I 'm sure she and Makenzie are getting tired. They are the only two freshmen there. Then when they get back they have volleyball camp and 2 a days.....while cross country is still going on. It's going to be crazy! I am truly thankful she has a friend like Makienzie to go through it with. Both are Christian girls and lift each other up.

JoGail and I hvae been going ot VBS at night this week. She hurt my feelings when she came home and said that her favorite parts or the mission stories and Bible stories. Then I realized she has her priorities straight.....mine were a little querky! She has such a love for learning about the Bible. She is looking forward to Church camp next week. She loves going to Fish camp. She is helping me with some of the baking for snacks tomorrow-we're baking cookies to turn into pennant cookies.

Coy is busy finalizing the budget, personnel~~ everything he has to for the upcoming school year. I get spoiled in the summer being able to go visit him and give him little breaks. We took the girls to see Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh last weekend. They were both good movies. It was so fun listening to the girls giggle in Winnie the pooh. Of course Grace came home and dug out the book to reread Winnie the Pooh.

I got 'the letter' (actually it was acute poem this year) announcing my return to school date. I' mready to see everyone but not have the stress! Lots of loose ends to tie up from last spring, so we will hit hte ground running, so to speak!

The girls and I were able to go visit some kinfolk in Louisiana. We saw TAC, Joey, MawMaw, Toot, Dino, Baby Joy, Mr. Miller. We took TAC and Joey out to eat at he Mongolian Grill. That wsa interesting (first time we had been to one). Then we cruised the mall for awhile....Got to play and hold Baby Joy....such is a sweet baby. Of course we s[pent time with MawMaw and Toot. Maw Maw is doing pretty well. The thing that amazed me this trip was her attitude. Doesn't bother her that someone has to tell her to pretty much do everything. She just does it. Equally amazing is how much Toot and Dino do for her. Our family is VERY BLESSED to have Toot and Dino be willing and able to take on such a rsponsibility. Thank you!

This is JoGail, MawMaw and Grace......

Monday, July 04, 2011

Vacation 2011

We're home!!!!! We had a great vacation but of course are glad to be back! We started off headed to Ft Walton Beach when Coy got in from his conference in Austin. We made it to Jackson, MS the first night! We chose to eat at Sonny's BBQ (chose it form an app). The service was quick. JoGail made her salad and didn't even get to take a bite before her meal was served! It was really good and had a great smoky flavor. All four of us sleeping in one room was an adjustment. Those who don't snore talk in their sleep or flop around all night. The next day we ventured up to Tuscaloosa to see the tornado damage. It was unbelievable! Like on house is perfect but he next one may have a car through it. It was a good reminder to be thankful. We travelled some back roads to Florida, stopping at Fat Girls BBQ for lunch. We just saw this one on the side of the road and stopped. Coy and I knew it would be good when we saw the cook. And let me tell ya she can cook! I had the best fried squash and field peas I have had in a long time! Coy said the BBQ was also awesome. We also saw a Piggly Wiggly!This was one of our favorite places to eat on the trip. We made it to Ft Walton that afternoon and we wandered around the beach. We had had supper at hte Old Steam Bay Restaurant. Most fo the food was steamed. Grace tried the steamed oysters, but said she would rather stick with the raw ones (YUCK).JoGail ordered a child's plate of something and ate all the leftovers off everyone else's plates! I had grilled fresh pineapple and shrimp and it was good. The next day we hit the beach. all. day. long. There wasn't hardly anyone there, so it was very peaceful. I think this is the day my family realized that I truly meant to sleep and read on vacation this year! We picked Pandora's steak house for supper that night from the app. We were not disappointed again. I knew the steaks were good because both Coy and Grace didn't even put A1 sauce on their steaks. We tried Fried Blue Crab Claws and were hooked. Those things are awesome! Our waiter said they were so good because they were fresh and have never been frozen. Regardless of why, there were awesome and fun to eat. We also tried some FRESH key lime pie, too..Grace was so surprised she liked it!  Some where in here we visited the Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin AFB. That was interesting. Coy loved that. The next morning we found algae (we think) all over the beach. It was the texture of wet tissue paper and very green. We didn't get in the gulf much that day. It was everywhere. We played goofy golf that afternoon, visited an Army/Navy store and washed clothes that afternoon. We ate at a local cafe, the Seaside cafe that evening and enjoyed that. We followed it with baskin and robbins which the girls had never tried. The next day was beach day again. Somehow the algae was ALL gone. Coy and the girls (I was sleeping) saw lots of dolphins playing just watching from the beach. The beach was so clean. White sands and emerald green water. By now more people were getting there, but we still managed to boogie board and stay in the water most of the day! JoGail announced that when she grows up she wants to live in Ft Walton Beach and be a lifeguard...even though we didn't see any lifeguards there.....The next day we left and ventured to Baton Rouge, via New Orleans. Grace had travelled there once this summer already with the youth group. No one else can remember going there. Well, let me tell ya. New Orleans is just one LONG bridge after another. You just never really get off the bridges! By the way, this is where Grace has wanted to live when she grows up for a long time, so we will see. If we can just get her to quit calling beignets 'bayonnets' we will be ok! We stopped in Gonzales at an outlet mall and got some great deals on some back to school clothes fro the girls. They are getting sooo close to the same size. It's amazing because their body types are so different at this point! We got the see Death Valley and where Braden will pitch. (Braden's a Eustace kid who signed with LSU as a pitcher.) It was kind of neat. Then this morning we got on up and came on in. We picked Crawdaddy's kitchen to stop at for lunch from the app again. And again we were not disappointed. Awesome cajun food. The girls tried fried alligator tails and absolutely loved them. The stuffed shrimp wasn't bad either!!!  Again JoGail ate a little of everything off everyone else's plate! IT was a good trip, full of good memories and lots of laughter and that's what counts! (Oh and the fact that we didn't get a phone saying someone had done doughnuts on the turf football field made it a great, too!)


~Laurie

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rachel's San Antonio Squash Casserole

I made an 'alternate' version of this casserole. Rachel friend from work, made a 'modified version'. For those who know about the various versions of TAKS tests, this is a play on words. She orignally modified it for what she had in her pantry and I did the same. So feel free to do this as well!

San Antonio Squash Casserole

2 large squash-cut up and boiled til just tender
1 can rotel drained (Rachel used a cooked down onion and a can green chilis)
1 can cream celery soup
2 cups cheese (I didn't use this)

Mix and heat in oven til bubbly. (350)
Ten minutes before serving sprinkle top with bread crumbs and bake til golden.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Squash-A blessing!!!

Summer squash is everywhere in my kitchen!!!!!!  What a blessing for someone who loves the stuff! (we do!)  At some point I concocted this recipe. I'm sure someone else already has a name for it but I am calling it Summer Squash Chicken! I will probably double this and get out the extra large cast iron skillet next time. This will become a summer staple around here!!!


Summer Squash Chicken
2 medium sized squash --washed and diced
1 can rotel, drained 
2 large chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
Splash chicken stock
salt/pepper to taste
Splash olive oil

Heat olive oil in skillet. Salt/pepper chicken and pan fry for just a minute. Add other ingredients and cook with lid on about 15 minutes or until squash is tender and chicken is cooked. JoGail and I also topped ours with cheese.
 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My summer of Blessings

Some people I know choose a word to focus on throughout a year. Well, I am simplifying it. I am choosing a word to focus on this summer. First and foremost, I give thanks to God my Father for all these blessings. He
blesses in so many ways so often that I often overlook the little things. But the little things often add up to BIG things, ya know? So I will focus on the BIG and little things that I perceive as blessings. You may or may not agree with my perception, but it's my blog so my perception counts on this.

First of all my family is my blessing. Coy is such a blessing. So calm and collected when I am ranting and raving about something or MORE LIKELY when I am obsessing over something.

The girls. Each is so special in their own way. I really don't even know where to start.

My extended family...my parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles....each has accepted Coy and I as we are and loved out girls unconditionally. That is a blessing. Being far away from each other,  it's easy to overlook this. But trust me. IT is a blessing.

My friends and 'family' here in Eustace and Mabank. Wow. God has prepared some neat people to bless here. This includes our work family and church family. So many have taken us in and loved us. Thank you!

Some little blessings.......my couches that the girls cleaned....the feel of clean sheets on my bed when I slide in.....free books to read from the library....sweet tea....bath soap that smells good....an air conditioner that's working....a netbook that works!!!!!

I'm planning on a few more posts that highlights my blessings this summer.......stay tuned!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

2 new recipes

Saw this recipe and new I had to try it for the girls one night when Coy wasn't home to eat supper with us. Oh my goodness.......we all three loved this. I will be making this again--probably on a school board meeting night! I have seen this recipe all over the internet so I am not sure who to really give credit to. I'll go with The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond at Tasty Kitchen. I omitted the meat in ours and some of her spices...I personally thin kthe bowtie pasta is what mimics the lasagane noodles so well and make syou think you are eating lasagne.


BowTie Pasta
1 box bowtie pasts
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 small tub sour cream
2 cups grated mozz cheese
Italian seasonings

Cook bowtie pasta. Drain. Return to pot. Add  other ingredients. (Can add cooked hamburger meat if you want). Stir. Heat on stovetop until cheese melts.


My other new recipe is really a chicken marinade. My friend and co worker Gina saw this on a Paula Deen  episode and sade it was awesome, so I had to try it. Lots of sodium in it, so be ware! It is awesome though! I will use it alot this summer for grilling chicken!  Super simple, too!

Chicken Marinade
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce

Marinat chicken in this at least 30 minutes before cooking, grilling, etc.


Happy summer!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Easy Chicken Parmesan

My measurements may be a little off in this recipe. I fed the family spaghetti and then tried this recipe with the leftovers. It was good!!! and not too difficult!!!

chicken breasts
italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
cooked spaghetti
spaghetti sauce
mozz cheese


Pam spray a baking dish. Preheat oven to 350.
Pat chicken dry then dip in eggs then bread crumb.
Place in pan and bake until chicken is done-depending on how much chicken about 30 mins at 350.
Take chicken out of baking dish and let rest on a plate.
Put cooked spaghetti n baking dish and pour sauce over. Put chicken back in pan. Heat in oven. When almost ready to eat, put mozz on top of chicken and heat til cheese melts.


Yummo!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Getting ready for summer !!!!!

Yes, it's almost summer time!!!! We had a mini cookout today. Coy cooked and the girls had friends over. My girls are so blessed. They have good, quality friends. They pretty much wiped out a half gallon of bluebell!!!!(In their defense there were 5 of them!)

Ok, confession time....I have started watching Pawn Stars and American Pickers on television. I just can't believe some of the things these people bring in and actually want money for. It's a guilty pleasure....but I figure it's better than watching other things on television. You have to admit it IS interesting and better than watching those extreme couponers and feeling guilty when I go to the grocery store (even though I know I do not have 6-8 hours to devote to EVERY trip to the grocery store.)

I am almost finished at work.....almost!!!!  Wednesday should be my last day if I get everything done. It'll be close ... and I will try.....we'll just have to see!!! I am starting to get excited. I love summers. I walk more, get to see friends I don't normally get to see, and try  new recipes. I'm thinking about trying to let JoGail pick and try a dessert recipe every week. I don't know if she's quite ready for that yet--planning, making a list, etc. We'll probably try it and see how it turns out. Last summer the girls learned how to do their own laundry-and do most weeks. That has been such a blessing! I'm not sure what their life lesson will be this summer. Any suggestions???

It's been a year since we learned about Grace's illness. She's come so far! She is sleeping through the night now and is mostly having very good days. She absolutely can't miss her meds and we still have to remind her every night to take them, but we're making improvements. She hasn't had any side effects, which is a true blessing. She has summer workouts, finishing up spring league volleyball, and church camp this summer. Her church camp is M Fuge which focuses on mission activities.

JoGail is signed up for Pre AP classes next year. We have to let her try and you know, she is always one who performs when she is expected to, so we'll see. I'm suspecting it will be challenging but that's ok. I just can't believe my BABY is going to the middle school!!!!!!!  Friday will be her last day at her beloved intermediate school!!!! She has volleyball camp and Fish Camp (Church camp) this summer. She absolutely loves church camp and feels like she is a pro at going! She's also going to do part of the summer workouts (the agility parts). She also gets to spend a few days with Jaci in a couple of weeks and she is SOOOO looking forward to that!

Coy has a lot to do this summer. He still doesn't know what the state legislature will do for its part of funding Eustace ISD, he's still in a holding pattern for completing his budget. That's one of the big things he accomplishes in the summer, so I know that's frustrating to him. He and I always talk about how he does more in the summer than the rest of the school year!!!!

We are going to celebrate our 17th anniversary in a couple of weeks. That just seems unbelievable to me. What seems even more unbelievable is that I love him more today than when we got married. Just amazing!!!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blessings Are All Around Me

Yes, all around me in little old Eustace Texas! Let's see.....I got to see JoGail perform in a talent show this morning...Alyssa sang and she did her version of sign langauge to the song "Mine" by Taylor Swift. In addition to seeing her perform I got to see and catch up a little with the best teachers in the state of Texas! Some of my dearest and best friends are still teaching there. I love how they make every kid feel important every day. Then I got to type some more reports! Now I finally realized that the blessing in this is that I got another one finished!!! I am slowly and I mean slowly eating the elephant called initial referral reports. Another blessing is that I am beginning to feel like the end of the school year is near. It's a good feeling. Then I was blessed by having a room full of friends to work with today! Almost every spot was taken by someone! We were all little worker bees, though. Not much chit chat today. A surprise blessing was Jayme making dips, cheese balls,. etc and bringing them to work! I love her corn dip....love, love , love it! Then I was blessed to be able to come home and cook supper (it's been awhile since we have been busy). They ate just about every bite, too....even more blessed to cook squash and zucchini from our garden! Coy blessed me with spending time with me. I cherish every minute we have alone and truly enjoy catching up with him.  I had a headache coming, so I went outside and was blessed by the sunshine. I pulled weeds in the front flower bed....my blessing there was that they sure are easier to pull when the get tall and it has rained! Then I came in and JoGail wanted to cook. So we found a new recipe in a new cookbook from my Secret Sister at church -Philadelphia cream cheese recipes--and made cherries in the snow. It's sweet but good!!!! Now it's my turn to bless.....I 'm going to surprise Coy and get his attire ready for graduation on Saturday. Trust me, he'll be surprised it's done before Saturday morning! :)


Cherries in the Snow
from Philadelphia Cream Cheese Recipe Book
1 brick cream cheese room temperature-or microwave a little
1/2 cup sugar
1 small tub cool whip (Grace ate a bowl full of this, so I actually used a little less and it turned out ok)
1 can cherry pie filling--you can use others but you will have to change the name!

Beat cream cheese and sugar. Stir in cool whip. Place a little in a bowl and top with the pie filling.


Laurie

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday night!!!

Today I feel.....very proud. Proud to be a BULLDOG!!!!!  Just got in from the sports banquet. It was awesome watching the kids all dressed up.

I am thankful......I got a nap in today. Not sure what I am going to do next week when we have a teacher workday on Saturday!    :(

Tomorrow I am....going to church and hopefully taking the MSAN (Mandatory Sunday afternoon nap)! Of course I have a gajillion other things to do, but church and the MSAN come first! :)



I am wearing..my marcy ladybug shirt!    No shoes!!!!



I wish......it would just rain and rain and rain. No storms, though. Just rain! Unfortunately we have had storms lately. We came home from volleyball last night to the electricty being out due to storms. I went on to bed. Grace downloaded a flashlight app for her phone, so she stayed up awhile. JoGail had the crank flashlight and played with toys. It sure was dark! Made me really think about the days when there was no electricity. No tv. No fans. No lights. Just darkness. It was a good time to just BE STILL.




My schedule this week includes..one more banquet (the Top Ten Banquet....I know I'll cry at this one!), more volleyball, a school board meeting for Coy, Baccalaurate, and more volleyball. Oh and a workday at school on Saturday. Makes for a long week, but it is what it is....


I am reading.....another Lauraine Snelling book. This is a book of four Christiam romances back at the turn of the century in the Dakotas. The grasshoppes keep eating all their crops!

I laughed today....oh gosh, which time? Coy provides me with a reason to laugh amlost daily. His personality isn't wuite as straight and stiff as some people like to believe. He is full of one liners and keeps us girls laughing.


I am working on.....or rather should be working on......reports for work. So many to complete and so little time. I got quite a bit done this past week and hope this coming week is just as productive.
God really kept my distractions to a minimum and gave me the words to type.
Yesterday I.....celebrated Boss's week with the best friends anyone could ask for at work. We are truly a family in our department. We finally got to explain what CODFISH meant to our fearless leader!We had so much fun teasing her with clues all week. I am still impressed that we all kept it a secret all week!


I am hoping..that my girls know how much I love them. Yes, I love their accomplsihments, but even more I am proud of the personalities and love for God. Yes, Grace had the highest GPA and was selected as best all around girl.in her class.  And JoGail won the sack race at field day. But even without this, I would love them as much as I do. They are precious!

I bet you didn't know..it's rare for me to be awake at 10 p.m. Acutally 9 p.m. I have always been a person who needed sleep and still am. I don't like to get up either. Just ask Coy. So I am neither a late night person or an early morning person. I have been that way as long as I can remember, too.

Have a good week!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Mama's Breakfast

I generally take my breakfast to work and eat it there. I usually get there around 7:40 so I have time before 8:00. Since I am not a 'morning person', this gives me a little more time to wake up and get going before I eat. I have been making my own version of egg mcmuffins and taking them. Make a little egg omelet, take 1 piece of cheese and some ham. Sandwich between an egg muffin and microwave. Pretty good. But alas, I am tired of eating that. I am not my husband who has probably eaten the same thing for three years in a row, pretty much every morning. So I decided to try and make a recipe my mom used to make when we were growing up and travelling. She would make these things up and we would just eat them from the bag. I have no idea where she got the recipe. Take a package of sausage and brown it. While still in the pan, add in a jar of Old English Cheese. Stir til melted and well blended. Spoon onto English muffins. Refrigerate until ready to eat. She would cut them into small bite size pieces. So I went to the store to get the ingredients. Sausage-check, muffins-check. Old English was $3.84 a jar!!!!!! And that's that little itty bitty jar!!!!! So I opted for the $1.57 jar of cheese whiz......we'll see how they turn out! I told Coy it's amazing how the price of groceries has gone up. Just a simple box of spaghetti has gone from 89 cents a box to over two dollars a box! I am not a Wal-Mart fan.....at all.....but I am I am hoping I can save us some money this summer by ad comping. Maybe if I start in the summer when I have more free time I can get in the swing of it. I have tried couponing but there aren't many coupons for the things we use on a routine basis......turkey ground meat, spaghetti, ranch style beans, hungry jack biscuits, english muffins, etc....if you have any suggestions or tips, please feel free to leave me a comment. I need organizational tips.....any advice is appreciated!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I really should write an original post, but......

I have typed ALL week at work and it just isn't in me!!!!  So you get the template again......

Outside my window..it's 91 degrees. Severe storms are headed this way! We still need rain! The radar is colorful again tonight !



Today I feel.....pretty relaxed. Worked on school work this moirning and got a little of that out of the way.

I am thankful..my washing machine!!!Yes it is duct taped together, but it's still agoing!!!!

Tomorrow I am....going to church and hopefully taking the MSAN   (Mandatory Sunday afternoon nap)! 

I am wearing..UT t shirt, black shorts and tennis shoes!!!!  Finally I am wearing shoes!

I wish......it would just rain and rain and rain. No storms, though. Just rain!

My schedule this week[end] includes..resting, making rotel chicken for lunch tomorrow, going to church and MSAN. 

I am reading.....The Seeker. It's about the Shakers in Kentucky during the Civil War. Did you know that the Shakers believed there was a lady who was equal to Jesus? Yep, Mother Ann....Interesting. Also bought a Reader's Digest to read. I'll probably read all of that tonight!


I laughed today....while eating with the family. We really are quite a hoot if you just sit back and listen to us all. JoGail thought a sign we passed said Vetarinary Clink.  Oh the joys of living with JoGail! Can't beleive she is going into the 6th grade!

I am working on..trying to figure out my menu for next weekend. My parents are coming!

Yesterday I.. worked and finished some reports at work. Had two meetings and worked on a ton of little things. TAKS testing is over, so now we just have the pack out! For those not in education, the pack out can be every bit as grueling as the actual testing. Everything has to go in specific boxes, in a specific order, using a specific amount of tape. It's also we were figure out if everyone got all the accommodations, etc they were supposed to.
I am hoping..that I always remember the fun times this little family of four has. I want to always remember our fun times!

I bet you didn't know..Rachel didn't get to go camping so she missed out on seeing the fields of blue!!!! Maybe next year! Here's another one.....every year I send the girls balloons, a coke, candy bar etc....on one day of their TAKS testing. (They get it at the end of the day) Just kind of a little reward for working so hard. Usually I make it and take it myself, but I ran short on time. So I went down to Memories of Elegance in Mabank and they did an awesome job! (Plus the price was right!!!!!) Thank you!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just a day in the life!

Outside my window..it's 91 degrees. Sever storms are headed this way! We still need rain! The radar is colorful tonight !


Today I feel.....happy. There's so much to be stressed about that I am just laughing at it all!


I am thankful..for my friends. The ones I work with! They will get me through this last month or so of school! The ones at work who keep me laughing and make me feel important. They appreciate (well some of them) that I am trying not to wear clothes that are too springy (or white on the bottom) until after Easter. I told them today it's cramping my style since I can't wear that until almost May this year!
Tomorrow I am....having meetings, testing a kiddo, and going to AWANAS tomorrow night.


I am wearing..grey shorts, lavendar shirt and NO SHOES!!!!



I wish..we didn't ahve taks testsing herr ein the great state of Texas. TAKS testing is the federally mandated testing that Texas administers every year. It's so much stress on the kids and it's just a one day snapshot of how a kid can really do. One day. If the kid heard mom and dad fighting all night and didn't sleep, got himself up and off to to school and didn't eat breakfast, he could blow it. Just seems we would be better off without it. I will be sure and tell the apporpriate people when they ask me, though.


My schedule this week[end] includes..Easter out to eat.....Easter church service....relaxing getting ready for teh TAKS testing week.....I have so many reports to write, so pray I can focus and get them done.
I need to start..walking. Enough said.
I am reading.....The Homeplace by Gilbert Morris. It the prequel to a book I read last month. I'm headed back to the library tomorrow. (Yeah!)


I laughed today....just visiting with Coy.  I am so thankful for him. yeah, he's older but sometimes that experience helps me chagne my viewpoint. I just love him so much. He's a great provider for the family and keeps us all in check.

I am working on..paperwork so I Cna write reports next week during the downtime!
Yesterday I.. worked, went to a meeting at church  and make Easter peep mests with GRACE!!!! Yes, I bribed her ot help me--she got all the leftover peeps!
I am hoping..JoGail finds out soon if she passed her reading and math TAKS tests. She is chomping at hte bit to know and is a little miffed that Grace was told already and she hasn't been told! She has bene praying hard that she passed and won't have to reatake them.


I bet you didn't know..II love Texas bluebonnets. I mean, absolutely love them. I am jealous of my friend Rachel going down to Central Texas this coming weekend because I KNOW she will get to see some gorgeous blue fields....She's from OK I have been trying to prepare her for how gorgeous it's going to be! Yes, I am turning green with envy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Strawberry Jello Pie

Well most of you reading know how much of a Friday night partier I am (yeah right) so here are my plans for tonight......nada.....nothing....catch up reading blogs and go on to bed. I know-- you are surprised!!!! (NOT)

That medicine I took last night fro the hives really threw me for a loop. I slept for almost 12 hours and woke up in a fog. I don't think my brain woke up today until after lunch. Coy and Grace said the smoke alarms went off last night (they do when they get dust in them and we have to clean them out). I have no recollection of them going off.

Tomorrow Grace refs and we clean (again). This time we are cleaning floors and dusting in the living room. Come on over if you want!!!! Binky is accumulating cat hair everywhere right now. Right now my cleaning strategy is to clean on the weekends and then do as little as possible during the week. It works for us (most of the time!)

Tina brought jamablaya for lunch today and it was so good and so filling! It was chicken and sausage and really good!

I have taken the subtle hints (OK maybe not so subtle!)  from God  that I need to start counting carbs again to make sure my blood sugar is under control. I found a neat app for my phone that will log it and create graphs etc. We'll see if that makes it a little more fun. So anyway, I am going to commit to working on my carb intake. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist at Baylor in Dallas in May to wee what can be done about the two 'buffalo humps' on my neck and the hives. My initial feeling is that they are related to my blood sugar. but we'll see. I don't think the humps are dangerous, other than they are putting pressure on my spine and hurt.

I found this recipe in an old Taste of Home magazine. I'm sure there are all variations of this on the internet.

Strawberry Jello Pie

1 small box strawberry jello
1 cup boiling water
8 oz (1 brick) cream cheese at room temperature
8 oz whipped topping (like cool whip)
1 prepared shortbread crust  (or graham cracker crust)

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Cut brick of cream cheese into chunks and mix with mixer with dissolved jello and water. Use a splatter guard if you have one because it will go everywhere! Fold in whipped topping and pour into crust. Refrigerate 2 hours before sesrving. (It will get firm)


Carb count for me ( I made me some without the crust)

Total carbs:
Jello                                19 carbs for whole box
Crean cheese                   3 for whole brick
Whipped topping            100 for entire tub

So,  122 for entire pie, if I ate it all by myself in one sitting. I am not and will not do that, so I figure there are 8 servings......so that's 15 carbs per serving and 6 servings would get me just 20 carbs---not bad for something satisfying and sweet.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm getting older!

Sitting on the couch with my feet propped up! This has become my after supper ritual! I have been testing alot at work and let me tell you that just wears me out. I know, you would think we don't do that much while testing, but I think it just wears me down mentally. Actually y mind is going 90 to nothing from the moment I meet the kid.

I started itching on my arms this afternoon and looked down and sure enough there are hives coming. So I am taking some meds and heading to bed tonight. We had a long night (for us) last night since we attended the final running events of the district track meet. We saw some awesome races and had a good time catching up with friends. Of course, we sat on the brick wall (near the finish line), so my butt feels like it has bruises or something on it. You should have seen Coy keeping up with totals and figuring out all the possible scenarios.....those that really know him know what I am talking about. The varsity girls won for Eustace and the boys came in a close second! There are lots of Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs going on to regionals.

Coy emailed me the basketball schedule fro Grace this afternoon. Yikes!!! Do I really have a daughter going to high school next year? Plus my baby (and I mean BABY) is leaving the intermediate and going to the middle school!!!!  Yikes!!!!!!!!

Grace had a flex day today and both of the girls have them tomorrow. I was wishing this morning I had flex days.......flex days is a program Eustace participates in through TEA. They are allowed so many  "optional flex days" per year. The way Eustace uses them is for TAKS preparation (I think it's a reason their scores are so consistently good). THey plan theirs around TAKS testing and when they need more tie for the lower kids. There s criteria, like behavior, grades, attendance, etc, for a student to get the flex days off. If you get them off, you are basically counted present. If you don't you have to go and are counted absent if you don't go. EISD has participated in this for about 4 years and it seems to work well for both the students and teachers. Even if you earn a flex day you can still go to school that day for enrichment. (Ask JoGail-we've made her go just to get her AR points). Teachers seem to like it since, they get  more one on one time with the kids who need it right before the testing.

Well, it's medicine time.....I guess that means I'm getting older!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Taking a deep breath!

Outside my window..it's 87 degrees and we are waiting on thunderstorms. Hopefully we will all be asleep when they all roll through. We desperately need rain. 

Today I feel.....relaxed. Ready to take on the challenges I have waiting for me at work. 

I am thankful..for my family, especially Coy. Words cannot express how my love for him has grown. From someone I prayed for daily because I hated him so much to someone I cannot imagine living without. We didn't grow up together or even in the same generation for that matter, but we have created some special memories together. He takes care of me and loves me regardless of my flaws. He even eats my cooking every now and then! (just joking) 

Tomorrow I am..working and making meat patties in gravy for supper.  Laurie B's recipe!!!!! 

I am wearing..navy shorts and a blue shirt. No shoes!!!!!

I wish..Stacia and I still lived close to one another. She would have my big butt out walking every day! I miss talking with her and Cathy. I know we can never go back to the way we were since we are all spread out, but I miss being myself with them.  I thought of those two soo many times last week when I wore a lime green shirt. I felt like I was wearing lime sherbert all day! I could have told them that and they would have had a smart remark !   

My schedule this week[end] includes..Not much! Pretty quiet week here.  Coy has a board meeting Tuesday night, church Wednesday and that's about it. I suspect I'll be tired when I come home from work since I am planning to work with some kids this week. testing kids wears me out. i guess since the whole time they are testing I am trying to figure them out and what makes them tick. 

Just  side note that Grace did awesome at her track meet! I was so proud of the effort she put out. She was all smiles and that's what I love to see! We got in around 10:30 then she had to get up and go ref Saturday! 

I need to start..remembering that God has made me an encourager and you can't do that if you're griping. Just sayin'!

I am reading..Where My Heart Belongs by Tracie Peterson. It was really good. It's a story about a prodigal sister and how hard it is to let the past be the past even when everyone involved has pure hearts and wants to let the past go.  The sad part is that life doesn't usually involve both sides having a pure heart. 

I laughed today....while talking with JoGail. She cracks me up and is a gift from God. She can lighten me heart up quickly. I also laughed when Grace picked on me. She's smiling so much these days! 

I am working on..accepting that when God tells me he will will take care of something that he will. Doesn't mean I get to sit on my duff and do nothing, but rather I am to be still and listen to what he's guiding me to do.Being still and listening is sometimes the hardest part.  Guess I am still working on that, too.....I tend to ramble on and on and on..... 

Yesterday I.. cleaned house with JoGail. We did the laundry, grocery shopped, birthday shopped for Zoie and just generally cleaned the house together. I had so much fun with her. 

I am hoping..I never forget how special my relationship with Coy is. He is so much more than I ever imagined, even the day I married him in the sweltering heat in a small Nazarene church in Buffalo Gap, TX. He is my best friend. His love for God has gotten stronger and stronger and I am so thankful. Our relationship continues to get better and stronger. I love him so much! 


I bet you didn't know..I love barbeque chicken and my PawPaw Cole used to make the best. But my mom would also make it in the oven  and I loved that and asked for it as my birthday meal for many years. I eat it over rice and with corn as a side. Nothing else--just BBQ chicken, BBQ sauce over the rice and corn on the side. Another thing my mom makes the best of is potato salad. Yes, potato salad. hers is the best and I really never even try anyone else's. My parents are coming to visit in May and I can't wait to eat some of her potato salad!!!!!!!  Of course I can't wait to see them either! There's just something about sitting around the table or living room visiting with your parents and your kids. Ok I am going on and on now, so I guess it's time to close. 

I have two specific unspoken prayer requests, please. Friends are hurting and our family needs to have the wisdom to know how to minister to them. One lives close and the other lives way far away. Both families have been crucial to our family as we have grown.. thank you! 


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sunday night 4/2/2011

Outside my window..it's 73 degrees. Supposed o have a cold front come through and the high tomorrow is 68. It's nighttime, so the stars are shining bright here in Texas! 

Today I feel.....   Puny. No other way to put it. Medicines are messing with me. Doctor is working on an appointment fro me to see the endocrinologist. Hopefully that doctor can give us some answers and direction.  I have been praying fervently the whoever I get referred to will have the wisdom needed to help me feel good all the time.  

I am thankful..my sister stopping by and visiting yesterday and Coy. He rubbed my neck tonight and it felt wonderful! I am also thankful I work with people I like. I know I say that a lot, but really the people I work with make it all better. ....afterall, we are a WOLFPACK! 

Tomorrow I am..working like a mad woman at the office. Lots of reports to get caught up on. I will also be praying continuously for my duaghters who are taking their state mandated math test toorrow. Not sure what planet TEA way on when they decided to give a test on a MONDAY, but that's the way it is. 

I am wearing..my most comfortable Marcy t shirt. It's huge. I love sleeping in it. Makes me think of her and reminds me that we never know how much tie we have here on earth. We have to make the most o our time here on earth. She sure did. Let many memories and smiles! 

I wish..I was all caught up at work. I know, that may never happen, but still a girl can wish can't she? I also wish everyone could see how Coy organized the pantry. Came home from the grocery store and he was helping me put things up when HE decided it was time to reorganize. i wasn't particularly in the mood to do that at that specific moment, but I must admit it looks much neater. Who knew we had 8 cans of rotel????

My schedule this week[end] includes..Cheering my girls on as they take their reading and math tests. Then celebrating their finishing it on Tuesday by going to the movies (during the week, oh my) to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid II. Then we have the junior high district track meet on Friday. Haven't decided for sure if I am going, it's about two hours away and since it can't start till after school it will take all night! We'll just have to see. I'll probably go if I am not too puny or wimpy. 

I need to start..walking in the afternoons.  I want to be going good when our gang started meeting up to walk this summer at the track. It's an  'odd' group of ladies, but oh the stories we tell! It's ladies I rarely even see during the school year.  What's said at the track stays at the track! 

I am reading..mostly magazines. I am reading another Lauraine Snelling book as well. It's set in the civil war era and quite frankly it's hard to read. She spells like the slaves talk. I just finished a book called The Cradle. It was ok. Weird ending, but otherwise ok. It was short. 

I laughed today....when we watched the Andy Griffith Show as a family. My girls are the only kids I know who thought Barney was Barney Fife, not the big purple dinosaur. I also laughed when we watched America's Funniest Videos. 

I am working on..realizing the my husband and daughters have a special relationship. While it's not like the one I had with my dad, it's definitely  a special one. Yes, I can tell the girls to put their clothes up or clean their rooms unti Li am blue in the face. But when he tells, they listen. Shopping with mom is also not like shopping with dad. Grace loves to clothes shop with Coy. I took her Easter dress shopping and all I heard was will daddy like it? So, they are planning on going Easter dress shopping next weekend, if time allows. I am coming to the realization that she will also want to prom dress shop with him as well. While it hurts me a little, I also realize how special it is between them. 

Yesterday I.. went grocery shopping then the reorganizing of the pantry began. Then we stopped and went to Dallas in hopes of meeting Mike and Amanda. It didn't work out, but that's ok because we'll get to see them again soon. (plus we got to eat at Hook Line and Sinker!) Then I did a ton of laundry. (Like so many I am surprised my duct taped washing machine is still holding up!) 

I am hoping..that the rest of the school year flies by. I am ready to start walking full time again! 

I bet you didn't know..I rarely eat cake. Not sure why. I just don't. My family loves it when I make a double layer devil's food cake. (Probably their favorite dessert) But I don't even lick the bowl and never taste it. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Green Light Salad

This is a salad I often forget about, but I love it ! I made some this weekend and it's good, even as a breakfast salad! 


For those that read my last post. I got most of the things on my list done. I didn't get the work computer out though, I just had too much to do. I went nonstop yesterday!  The garden is pretty much planted. Yes, Grace and I helped. I even got a little sun! We'll see how my allergies hold up! Plus I got a ton of stuff done on the inside of the house. Grace reffed most of the day. JoGail and Jaci played outside all afternoon. The weather was beautiful! Then the cold front came through and it was chilly today! 


Church was wonderful this morning! It was senior adult day ( I think). We got to hear some interesting testimonies about what God is doing in some lives. So neat to hear those stories.  I listened to them and thought about how much these people went through and yet God still USES them....


Ok, the Green Light Salad Recipe. I think I got this from a diabetic cookbook a long time ago. 


Green Light Salad
1 small package green jello
1 small can chunk pineapple, drained 
1 carton cottage cheese 


Mix all together and refrigerate before serving!