Congratulations to our Graduates!

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Well, it’s taken me a little while, but I’m finally getting around to posting about our graduates! We are so proud of these two sons as they have achieved two important milestones in their lives – graduating this spring from college and high school!  Ryan completed his Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership from Moody Bible College and Tommy has earned his High School Diploma from our home school.  They have both worked so hard and a special dinner celebration was in order.  We took them out for a nice steak and Mexican dinner and were joined by our family, which made for a lovely evening.

I decorated the long main dining table at the restaurant, as well as a side table with framed pictures of the graduates, and another which held dessert and gifts. On the main table, I used a burlap runner, sprinkled with Hershey’s kisses, and then added candles, green plants, and an assortment of wisdom/advice quotes.

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Jeff gave a nice speech with teary eyes and Ryan spoke for a little bit too. We presented Tommy with his high school diploma and took some pictures (all photo credits to our daughter Sarah!). It was a very wonderful and special evening!

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We’re so excited to see where the Lord takes these two in the coming years. They are quite a blessing to our family!

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My Family Page is Updated!! (Finally)


I’ve been tweaking and testing things around the blog this week, trying to reaquaint myself with things, and am feeling a bit more comfortable on the whole.  One area that has been so woefully neglected over the past few years is my Family page.  My children have chided me on numerous occasions about how outdated it was and pleaded with me to please do something about it.  “Mommmm!  It still says I’m 14 years old!!!” (spoken by the current 17 year old).  “Mommmm!  You neeeed to add Jessica to the family page soon!!” (spoken by her youngest sister-in-law and flower girl).  “Mommmm!  I gave up ice skating two years ago! (spoken by the soon-to-be high school graduate).

In my own defense, I haven’t written a blog post in a year (until this week), and so I certainly wasn’t thinking about being up to date on everyone’s statuses.  But – I am now proud to announce – that I have finally taken the time, tackled the challenge, and typed in the updated information for all of these sweet little baby chicks in my coop.  You can hop over and take a look, if you’re interested, by clicking on the “My Family” tab at the top of this page.

I’m sure that my children will all sleep easier tonight once they know that they are finally current and all is well with the world.



Anna’s Snickerdoodles

Anna is working on the cookie baking badge for her Keepers of the Faith club. She needs to bake 6 different types of cookies to earn the badge. She has already made Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies for us and now has added Snickerdoodles to her list. We got the recipe from this book ~

This is a wonderful cookbook that I found at Half Price Books a few years back, and which Jeff bought me for a Christmas present. Many great recipes from everyday cooks around the country! This recipe is credited to Michelle Goddard of Memorial Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Anna almost didn’t get to make these the other night when I realized that I had no cream of tartar, called for in the recipe. I decided to just go ahead and let her try them without it and see how they turned out. I am happy to report that they were just fine, delicious in fact! And Anna was quite proud of herself as she served them to the family. Here is the recipe ~


1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Additional sugar and cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cream the shortening, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract. shape into balls the size of walnuts. Roll each ball in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes; watch carefully so they don’t burn. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

This was a good learning recipe for Anna, and she had a great time with it!


Welcome April!

It’s a brand new month filled with the rebirth of the earth – flowers, trees, warm weather, and blue skies are beckoning us outdoors each day. There is change in the landscape now on a daily basis and I love it. Spring porch weather is here and I am making the most of it – which may be one of the reasons I have been slack in my writing here.

We have a lot going on these days – birthdays, schoolwork, weekly activities, and the ever calling out of doors. Oh, and we have another little bird about to fly out of the nest – I wonder if the mama birds feel like I do when their babies spread their wings and fly off – a necessary and good thing for them to do, but heart-wrenching for the mama who feels their absence so deeply!

More to come on all of these matters – and I will get Sarah’s Chicken Finger recipe posted asap. Hope you are all enjoying the arrival of spring in your part of the world!


Sarah’s Cooking Night

Sarah decided last week that she wanted to cook one of the meals for dinner this week. She had seen a recipe for chicken fingers on a Bisquick box and this inspired her to want to cook a whole meal, something that she had never done before. She has made a number of desserts for the family over the past few years, but never anything as ambitious as a complete meal. So, on Tuesday, I made sure we had all of the ingredients she needed and joined her in the kitchen to supervise, teach a bit, and help her out. The menu she planned consisted of ~

    Ultimate Chicken Fingers
    Homemade Mashed Potatoes
    Green Beans
    Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies

Here are some pictures of her time in the kitchen ~

She started by making dessert – Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies. She has made these before, so she didn’t really need my help with this part. She gave the younger kids a spoonful of dough before she baked them.

Next she began work on her mashed potatoes. She used this recipe and learned how to wash, peel, cut and cook the potatoes. Her arms were a bit tired after scrubbing and peeling 5 lbs. of potatoes by herself!

While the potatoes cooked, she started her chicken fingers. As I mentioned before, this recipe was on the back of the Bisquick box. She had to triple the recipe for our family, so she got a little practical Math practice along the way. It was her first time to handle raw chicken, but she decided that it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. I gave her lessons on why it’s important to wash it well, and then she trimmed it up and sliced it for fingers.

Her potatoes were ready to mash before she got her chicken breaded, so she put the chicken on hold and finished up the potatoes – I told her that timing was one of the hardest parts of cooking.

With the potatoes all mashed and covered to keep warm, she went back to the chicken, which she found to be messy job!

While the chicken cooked, Sarah heated up the green beans (canned) on the stove. Finally, everything was ready, and we sat down to a delicious meal!

This chicken was so wonderful – it had parmesan cheese and garlic salt in the coating, which gave it a scrumptious flavor. I will post the recipe as soon as possible (if you can’t wait, go out and buy a box of Bisquick – it should be right there on the back of the box) –

Homemade Mashed Potatoes – she did an excellent job on these – they were smooth and creamy –

A great dinner –

and a delicious dessert to finish it up –

See you again soon!


Anna lost her first tooth!

It popped out last night with a little help from her sister. She is very excited and is already working on the next tooth, which is ready to go at any moment as well.

We’ve been keeping the tooth fairy very busy this week – Michael lost two teeth the two days before Anna, so we have had fairy visits for three nights in a row now. If Anna gets the next one out before bed, that will make four nights in a row – that fairy might as well just pack her bags and move in with us!

Be sure to check out my 500th Post Giveaway ~ click here to enter the drawing for a lovely basket of goodies!

Have a nice evening!


Matthew’s New Car!

Our son, Matthew, bought his first car yesterday! He has been searching for the right one for weeks, driving many and coming home empty handed each time. Yesterday, the search finally ended, and he is now the proud owner of this new (to him) car –

I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be wearing a smile (at least on the inside) for some time to come.


Anna’s 6th Birthday!


Our youngest daughter Anna celebrated her 6th birthday last week. Her choice for a birthday outing was a girl trip to McDonald’s for lunch and then to the American Girl doll store. Jeff took the day off of work, so that all of the girls could go – Laura, our oldest daughter is our resident babysitter, and she was included in the trip.

Our first stop was lunch at McDonald’s. The playground wasn’t very crowded so she had lots of room to play –




We took a minute to check out Ronald’s shoes – aren’t they great?


After she had her fill of the playground, we headed off to American Girl, stopping by to pick up my Mom, who made our girl party complete.

Once inside the store we spent the next hour running around following Anna and Sarah as they explored every nook and cranny of the store. Anna was choosing a new doll – her birthday present, and Sarah was choosing a new doll outfit. They finally decided on their purchases, we paid for them, and then decided to have a little snack at the Bistro inside the store. I pulled out my camera and took a few pictures while we relaxed and had a bite to eat (thanks, Mom!) –

Here is Anna with her new doll, Elizabeth, enjoying one of her favorite snacks – strawberries!


And here is Sarah with her doll, Mia, who is wearing the new doll outfit that Sarah picked out –


When we left, I took our traditional picture in front of the store –


Dinner that night was Anna’s favorite food – fried chicken (she calls it “bone chicken”), with mac and cheese, cole slaw, and biscuits. She chose chocolate meringue pies for dessert. I found these sweet glittery star candles to put in the pie –


As you can tell, something else was put into the pie, too – David’s fingers, I believe!

Anna is growing up so fast – it seems that she just turned four and now she’s six. She is such a sweet girl and is loved dearly by each and every one of us.

Thanks for visiting! Have a lovely day ~


Because I’m a mother and I just can’t help myself . . .



Ryan and Matthew were in a friend’s wedding last weekend, and being their mother, I was snapping pictures of them the whole time. But then, how often do you get to see your sons dressed in a tuxedo and a new black suit – not often enough, I say, so I rest my case.

So, please humor me by allowing me to share my pride in my two boys, who just yesterday, it seems, were little guys running around the house, and now are all grown up and wearing suits.

Mattie leaving the house for the wedding ~


Ready to begin ushering ~


I didn’t see Ryan until the ceremony, as he was hiding out with the groom somewhere (probably hiding from my camera!). There are a few fuzzy pictures of him during the ceremony, which I won’t force upon you (remember I’m still learning with my new camera). At the reception, he spent some time dancing around with David on his feet – so cute ~



Mattie having a quick snack from the reception table ~


And I just have to share this one – I think it is so lovely of Laura (don’t tell her I posted it!) ~


And I really love this one, even if it is a little blurry ~


There was dancing, too, but I won’t share those as there are a lot of others in the pictures that I haven’t cleared it with, but I can share these two little ones, who enjoyed the music immensely ~


Oh, and the cake was wonderful, too ~


Okay, one last picture . . . because I’m a mother and I just can’t help myself ~