Friday, September 30, 2011

Thankful Thursdays {God Knows Me}

I am thankful that I have a Father in Heaven that knows me.
He knows my needs and wants and my desires.
He knows what I need even before I know.

photo 14

This past Sunday I got a phone call right after church from
a man in my church wanting to know if a high priest could come visit our family.
They are going to be visiting several families in the upcoming months and they chose ours to be one of the
first. Sure I said. That would be fine.
In our church, this member of the high priest group is a member of what we call the Stake Presidency.
He is a very kind and noble man.
Monday came and went and it was not good.
I found myself feeling quite anxious and frazzled and overwhelmed with the demands of my job and life in general.
I was so exhausted that night that I just got home, hugged my children and husband and wept.
Tuesday I stayed home and rested.
I figured my brain is still trying to get acclimated to the stresses of the world and life in general.
Since my stroke, I find it difficult to multi-task.
I find it difficult some days to just make it through.
Wednesday I went back to work and finally Thursday rolled around. I had forgotten about the visit and when I got home I found the house clean and dinner warming in the crock pot.
My husband had prepared barbecued brisket the night before and he had cleaned the house :)
Thunderstorms rolled in and we could hear the rain pounding on the windows.
Then the doorbell rang.
As I answered it I felt a peace envelop me.
There on my front porch stood the high priest and his companion.
They offered warm smiles and I offered a dry place for them to rest.
They had been visiting several families already in our congregation. We visited for a little bit and it was a lively conversation.
I instantly felt edified as President Rogers mentioned how the Lord knows each and every one of us.
We talked a bit about my situation and how it all happened. Then before they left
he recited a scripture from memory that burnt into the depth of my soul:
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
                             -Helaman 5:12  (bold emphasis mine)
And then I knew.
I knew that God had known that my strength was waning.
That my health was not only weakening but that my spiritual strength was also beginning to falter.
And so he sent me a reminder.
I wept when they left.
I wept in the shower.
I wept on my way to work today.
God knows us.
He knows us so well, that he sends us "angels" to protect us in times of need.
Whether YOU are someone's "angel" or "messenger" sent to deliver a message of hope and love or you are the one NEEDING
this message of hope and love, don't forget that you are loved and
you are KNOWN to God.
He knows YOU.
And you are important to HIM.

Enjoy your weekend :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mantle-Mania Autumn Edition

This past weekend fall decorating was in full swing over at our house.
I dug out all my fall decorating bags from our attic and started sorting thru them.
I used my Hobby Lobby coupons to get in on some deals and bought one of those fake carvable pumpkins so I don't have to keep buying the real ones year after year.
I figured I'd save myself some money and save myself the trouble and stench of throwing out the real ones.
I decided to make it real simple and clean reusing many of the items I currently own.
One of my favorite pieces is the white wooden shutter you've seen me use over and over as a Christmas door hanger and this past Summer in my beachy mantle vignette. I bought it for $5 at my go-to antiques store in downtown McKinney.
This time I simply glued some colorful leaves to it with my Mighty Mendit.
I love the simplicity of the white and rust colored touches with splashes of brown from my favorite clock.
I also took some of my old books, printed out some of my favorite Marquez sayings and simply wrapped the books with them.
Simple yet fallish!
Then of course I had to reuse my canvas triangles and hand stencil the word Autumn on them.
I love the way it all looks.
The small white pumpkin under the glass cloche is from the Dollar Tree. I simply gave it a coat of white spray paint. The white candlesticks are a garage sale find. I then filled in the space with a bit of raffia I had on hand.
I love that I can move it all around for Thanksgiving. I can reuse the white pumpkin for a dining table centerpiece, remember it's carvable :)

linking to:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Super Saturdays {Sharkarosa Ranch}

I've heard good things about this place, so several weeks ago when a Groupon deal landed in my inbox I jumped at it.
I bought the deal and off we went to the Sharkarosa Ranch in Pilot Point, Texas.
We were really excited but bummed out that the hubster couldn't go with us :(
So it was just me and the two boys.
We stopped by at our favorite Mexican place, Ernesto's in Pilot Point for brunch then drove down the road to see the animals.

As soon as we walked in I was smitten with her.
I took out the camera and began snapping away.
She noticed me and started galloping towards me.
It seemed as if she was posing for me.
I love her!
Just look at that face!

{My little guy's feet}

We also got to ride in a tram and get up close to the animals such as some gorgeous horses, camels and an assortment of other creatures!

My little guy was so happy to be so close to all these cool animals!

This pot bellied pig was so cute but the animals in this corral, we couldn't pet.
Then we went over the camel area! YEA!
We could pet those!
All the camels were girls except for one called Thirsty. He was the only "painted camel". One of the few in the world and he also had blue eyes. He was a charmer :)

All in all a great time was had by all.
I highly recommend this ranch.
They announced that they are building a new black bear exhibit and we can't wait to go back.
It's low cost and close to home.
It beats having the kids stay inside bored or playing video games.
Next stop the State Fair of Texas!!!
Have a great week Y'all :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Foodie Fridays {Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites}

The minute I saw these here
I knew I HAD to make them.
I love me some peanut butter.
And chocolate, well, you've just gots
to be crazzy not to make 'em! And did I mention
they are super EZ!
This chick loves EZ :)
I changed a couple of things in the recipe and made it non-dairy.
Here's what you'll need:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tbsp margarine (at room temp)

1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar

1 bag 9.25 oz mini pretzels

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or more if you like)


Combine peanut butter and softened margarine in a large bowl a stand mixer and mix for about a minute. Add the sugars and mix to combine while scraping sides of bowl. Do not overmix. Stop and check to see if the "dough" is soft and malleable enought to roll into balls easily. It took me about 3 mins. total mixing time. It if sticks to your hands, add a little more of each sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.
Prepare a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Roll the "dough" into a small ball, then sandwich them between two whole pretzels. Place them on the cookie sheet. When all the balls are rolled and successfully sandwiched, stick the cooke sheet in the freezer for about half an hour.

Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Or my method is to heat it double broiler style over a small sauce pan with a bit of water over an open flame. I then take a stainless bowl and put it over the sauce pan and heat my chocolate in that bowl slowly heating it and melting it. It doesn't scorch as it would in the microwave but you can try any method you like. You can even buy the chocolate candy that comes in a tray ready to MW.
Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate. Return to the cookie sheet and repeat with remaining sandwiches. When all are dipped, return the sheet to the freezer to set up completely. Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.
Enjoy the sweet-salty goodness :)

::adapted from a stupendous recipe at
linking to:

Pantry Organization

UPDATED 9/22/2011 Original post appeared in March 2011
We go to Sam's Club about once a month. We buy our usual staples and since there are 5 of us it's convenient and worth the trip. So we get home from the store and we start to put away things and I quickly realize that our pantry needs to be organized REALLY, REALLY bad; and I was in the organization mood, so what are you gonna do?
Three hours later and the pantry is organized. I still need to get a few more Tupperware containers to put in more things but I won't get my order in 'till next week. Something to look forward to :)
It's amazing to see how the lack of organization gives way to wasted food and money because things go bad and you forget you already have cornstarch and get more! >:/
So I cleaned out all the food that was expired, gave some away and consolidated lots and lots of containers. I had made some vinyl labels previously so they were handy.
The black vinyl labels are very easy to make. I simply get my vinyl (that I purchased from Expressions Vinyl you can find the link on the side bar button) and punch it with my scalloped punch that I bought {here}.
I then used my White Chalk Ink marker to write whatever I needed to. I like this method because I can easily erase it later and relabel it. I also used my labeling machine for other containers when I ran out of vinyl. The labeling machine I use is this one:

Dymo Label Maker
It is economical and very easy to use. So easy in fact, that the little guy has taken a liking to it and has begun labeling his boxes to store legos, wood blocks and other necessities that a little boy has.
I remembered I had some wooden tags that I bought a looooong time ago for a fundraiser and that I had been saving for just the right time. Well the time is now.
I used the tags to put them on each shelf so maybe this way my kids can remember what goes where.
I bought a big, beautiful basket at one of my favorite stores, Home Goods, last week and was wondering where I would put it to good use. I decided to put my bread in it.
I think it serves its purpose. Pretty and functional. I think I'll go back and get another one, maybe smaller to put all my paper plates, party ware, etc.

I decided to put all the drinks on the door rack because they are easier to find. This way we can move them into the fridge to replenish them when needed.

So there you have it. A three hour project just because I went to Sam's. And such is life-unexpected and unorganized until of course you run out of options ;)

linking up to
Amaze Me Mondays!
Thrifty Decor Chick
Elements Interiors
Full of Great Ideas

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fun Photos

I've always loved taking pictures
Ever since I was a little girl
you could always find me with a camera.
I always begged my mother and grandfather
for a new camera for my birthday or any
Lately I've been indulging more and more
in my hobby (obsession).
Here's a few pics I've been working on.
I took these years ago but I thought I'd share them again.

These were all taken in Laredo a couple of years ago by me in Sergio's dad's garage. It actually used to be his grandad's garage. I love to play with the light and shadows in all the shots.
The shot of the plane is an actual toy my husband carved out of wood when he was a little boy.
How fun to go through that garage and find such treasures!
My sons can now see what their dad created as a little boy.
It's fun for me now, to go back and play around with these photos.
I plan to print these out and have them framed for my children to enjoy later on in life.
I'll have more later.

Keeping A Stiff Upper Lip Or Whatever

Well this week I didn’t post a Super Saturday because I didn’t have one.
My weekend kinda stunk.

On Friday morning I woke up so happy but on my way to work, as I was driving I started to feel a horrible pain on my side.

It got worse very quickly and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to make it in.

I finally did make it in and staggered into the building and begged my coworker to take me

to an urgent care center {I knew better than to go to the ER}.

They promptly checked me in, infused me with an IV full of narcotics (thank GOD for that!)

And ran a CT scan that showed a myriad of white specs on my right kidney: STONES.

And on my left kidney one lone spec of white.


Is my name Job?

You know like from the Bible?

Ok, I get that I get to face all these trials and sufferings, and maybe I am all beloved of the Lord and what-not, but GOD, can you please tell the devil to lay off me please? Just cut it out. Thanks.

Anywho- So after that I got discharged and sent home to pass them. I lay in a drugged out stupor most of the weekend to numb the pain whilst I passed said stones and battled the nausea that so often accompanies this malady.

Now I have to make an appointment with my Urologist so that he can run the stones through

some tests to see what they’re made of. Of course they’re probably caused by something that I love to imbibe in like my beloved Coca-Cola. Because that’s what’s usually the case, right? Right.

So hopefully I’ll pass all the darned stones and I won’t have to have them

blasted out like I had to have them several years ago. 

But that’s another story.
And it's a painful one.
Of course.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Foodie Fridays {Oven Fried Chicken}

Lately my family has been trying out
themed weeks where we eat
a certain week's food from different
parts of the world
One week we eat Italian,
another week Mexican,
Home cooking, etc.
The boys write down the menu and we
look thru the pantry to see what we do
have to work with and what we need to buy
We then head out to the market to get the things we need
We often buy things in bulk and freeze them
to get more bang for our buck.
The boys are quickly learning to budget this way
and cook!
It's been a fun experience for all of us
This week is Italian week and one of the recipes we tried out is this one that we found
in this month's Southern Living Magazine
Now, it's not exactly Italian but you can make it so by adding pasta sauce and shredded cheese!
It comes out yummy and flaky and not greasy at all!

Oven Fried Chicken

Makes: 4 Servings Hands on time: 20 min.

Total time: 45 min.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 pound)

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

2 egg whites

Vegetable cooking spray

¾ cup crushed cornflakes cereal

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp dried Italian seasoning (we used lemon pepper)

½ cup all purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Whisk egg whites just

until foamy.

2. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray in a 15 X 10 inch jelly roll pan. Stir together cornflakes, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.

3. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip chicken in egg white and dredge in cornflake mixture. Lightly coat chicken on each side with cooking spray; arrange chicken on wire rack.

(note: I did not have wire rack or jelly roll. I just used a roasting pan lined with foil to cut down on the mess and it worked just fine.)

Bake at 425 for 25 to 30 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 180 when inserted into thickest part of chicken.

To print this recipe out go here

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blog-O-Sphere Finds {Free Printables}

From time to time
I stumble upon some really awesome blogs
and I think to myself I really should share these
with my readers
So here's what I found today:
I'll try to post these as I find them and
organize them into themes.
Today's theme is free printables.

Kendra at made this classy printable with the 9Bs
perfect for any room in your house. Go to her website to click n print :) or

And isn't this just the prettiest printable? Just perfect for fall.
at the they have so many cute printables

And last but not least one of my favorite blogs
Blooming Homestead!
She has some of the coolest free printables
Like these just in time for Halloween!

or this cool subway art

Or for some inspirational Subway Art like this one I have in my own home
 These will get you started. :)
I'll look around some more and if you want to find more cool things follow me on pinterest on the right hand side over there>>>>>> I come across recipes and othere cool finds, you don't wanna miss it!


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