Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Past Year and the New Year To Come

People do many things to ring in the new year. Usually I spend it with my husband, but unfortunately we are apart this New Years Eve. I have been pondering things that I would like to accomplish for the new year, but also reflecting on the past year too.

Some highlights of the past year:

1. My son was born and it has been an eventful, trying and joyful experience these past few months with him.
2. My husband acquired a job that will definitely give us a stable future.
3. I was given notice of termination of a job I have held for 11.5 years.
4. My daughter started her senior year of high school.
5. I saw myself get the biggest I have ever been in my life...but........see below..
6. I started Weight Watchers and lost 5.6 pounds the first week.
7. My son asked Jesus into his heart.

Some goals and highlights of the coming year:

1. I hope to lose at least 40 pounds by the time my husband gets home and well over that by the end of 2009.
2. I hope to get my house in order, the way I see it in my head.
3. My daughter will graduate high school. I hope to take in so much of her this I know my time is getting limited before she leaves and becomes an adult.
4. My parents will celebrate a big anniversary.
5. I want to maintain exercising.
6. I would like to perfect couponing and set a budget.
7. I would like to get more involved with my son's homeschooling and really make sure he is on track.
8. I would like to be a better child of God, not only in my relationship with him, but also in how I am with my family and others.
9. I would like to be able to get so good at Guitar Hero that when my husband comes home, I beat the snot out of him...teehee.
10. I would like to get going on knitting more.
11. I would like to learn how to sew aprons.
12. I would like to take some photography courses.
13. I want to keep trying to fine tune being my husbands lover, confidante and best friend.
14. I would like to blog more often.

I also saw on another blog to find a word or a phrase that would be your mantra for 2009....and I liked that. My word is SEEK


1. To try to locate or discover; search for.
2. To endeavor to obtain or reach
3. To go to or toward.
4. To inquire for; request.
5. To try; endeavor.
6. To make a search or investigation.

I will...

-Seek God when I may be stressing out about all sorts of things that should be meaningless when I know he is looking out for me.
-Seek to find what speaks to my children's hearts.
-Seek information on budgeting and make it.
-Seek to offer peace to my husband when he carries the entire load financial.
-Seek to know my husband even better than the year before.
-Seek to find a hobby or something that I enjoy..taking time for myself.
-Seek out new friendships.
-Seek to be physically fit.
-Seek out the right foods to eat.
-Seek to blog more regularly.

Above all else Seek first the kingdom of God...and all these things will be added unto you.

Seek and ye shall find....

Be well...God's blessings on your New Year...

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Simple Womans Daybook ~ December 22, 2008

FOR TODAY December 22, 2008...

Outside my window...Frigid breezes, thick snow, frosted windows, and quiet.

I am thinking...I should be cleaning, but I am tired. How long will the baby sleep. I don't want to go to the store.

I am thankful for...a warm home on such a cold, cold day.

From the learning rooms...School is on break for holiday.

From the kitchen...messy counters and chocolate chips ready to be used for cookies.

I am wearing...frazzled do, sweatshirt, jeans and baby spit.

I am creating...a rainbow colored dishcloth for my sister.

I am try and exercise this week.

I am reading...blogs

I am hoping...that everyone enjoys Christmas and realizes the true meaning and the greatest gift of all that was given.

I am hearing...the wind on the windows, the hum of the washer, the ticking of the clock.

Around the house...multiple started jobs that need to be finished.

One of my favorite things...finding new cool informative websites.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Spending time with family, shopping.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Star over Bethlehem Pictures, Images and Photos

For more Simple Woman Daybook entries visit the site here
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese with Stewed Tomatoes


1 (1 lb) box shell macaroni or elbow macaroni
3 cups milk
1/4 lb butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup milk
12 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided usage
2 cans stewed tomatoes

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain, rinse and set aside.

3 In a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat the 3 cups of milk, butter, salt and pepper until hot but not boiling.

4 In a small bowl or cup, combine 1/4 cup of milk with the cornstarch and stir until dissolved.

5 Slowly add this to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.

6 When mixture has thickened, remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of the cheese until melted.

7 Pour pasta into a large mixing bowl and add the cheese mixture and the stewed tomatoes.

8 Mix well until macaroni is well coated.

9 Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish or 3 quart casserole and top with remaining cheese.

10 Bake for 35 to 45, or until golden brown.

For more recipes check out Grocery Cart Challenge
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Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Scent

2-4 tablespoons cloves (I used whole)
2-4 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves
1/2 orange, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced

Add orange and lemon slices to dry mixture of spices. Put in a small sauce pan with 4cups of water. Simmer on low to release the fragrance. IF you simmer it for a few hours, you will need to add more water occasionally so it doesn't boil dry. Store in refrigerator when not in use, to prevent molding. It can be simmered over and over again! Always add more water to equal 4 cups before each use.

TO GIVE AS A GIFT: put ingredients in a quart-sized decorative jar. Add enough water to fill jar. Add a few drops of red food coloring if desired. Close securely and give with a small gift tag explaining how to use it.

Note, I prefer to use the lesser amount of cloves so that they don't overwhelm the other fragrances.

(Found on recipezaar)

For more recipes visit The Grocery Cart Challenge
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White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon brandy
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

For more recipes visit The Grocery Cart Challenge
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Monday, December 8, 2008

JACK 4 months

What a doll in his matching sweater and hat...with those chubby cheeks....gotta love Children's Place.
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Popcorn Memories

I decided this year that I wanted to string popcorn for my tree with my kids.

Well, in order to do that I was not going to spend an arm and a leg to buy microwave popcorn to do it with. I was going to take out a pan and some oil and make it on the stove.

I started to do it and Courtney stood by concerned that something terrible might happen and proceeded to freak when she heard and saw the popcorn pushing the top off the pan. Something I realized though while doing this, is the wonderful memories I have. I stood there hearing the pan shaking against the grate of the stove and smelling the popcorn cooking in the oil and being in the house I grew up in and realized that I have memories, memories of popcorn. My Dad comes to mind.

There were two things my Dad was faithful too(well three, but we won't get into that), he was faithful to my mother and faithful to making popcorn every night. I would be in bed and the smell would come drifting into my bedroom. I have to admit that I would sit and stew wondering why THEY got popcorn and I did even the dog would get popcorn, but not me...I would wake up to find remnants of popcorn all around my father's recliner. Heck, when I moved in, there was still popcorn on the floor. Anyway, I just realized what a wonderful memory it was and I want my kids to have the same memory. I am going to incorporate it into their lives as much as possible...maybe try some different oils or different popcorn kernals...I have to admit the white kernel is not all that great...but who cares, its going on the tree.

So in summary, thanks to my Dad for the wonderful memory....and guess what Dad...I'm the parent and I am eating it now...and your probably not...he he!!!!!
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Friday, December 5, 2008

Pumpkin Crisp

Not the best picture above. The whip cream had melted instantaneously. We ended up putting vanilla ice cream on it which was much better.

Pumpkin Crisp

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Set aside 1 cup cake mix for the topping. Combine remaining cake mix, 1 egg, and melted butter or margarine. Pat into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, 2 eggs, spices, 1/2 cup sugar, and milk. Pour pumpkin mixture over the cake mix crust.
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup cake mix and 3/4 cup sugar. Cut in 1/2 cup softened butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle mixture on top of pumpkin mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 minutes.

For more recipes visit Grocery Cart Challenge
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I just found this site today and it is SUPER cool. I need help in the menu planning dept. and found this.


It only cost $15.00 dollars for 3 months or $1.25 per week. You can sign up for different meal plans. I happened to choose Points System Walmart Meal Plan. This utilizes recipes for Weight Watchers and also prints out a grocery list that I can take to Walmart with the average prices of the items and what I can anticipate spending per meal week on those particular meals.

They have Points System any store meal plans, low carb, low fat, vegetarian and regular meals...for family or for just 2 people. There is so much that is interesting about how this works, but please go to the site to really get the scoop. I am beyond excited. This has been on my mind for a while..getting on a menu plan...and this makes it all the more easier, because I can have meals thought out for me and it will help me out with finding recipes for Weight Watchers.
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