Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday's Supper!

I'm linking up with Mrs. Homemaker over at Bluebell Country for the last Tuesday of the Month. She is calling it Tuesday's Supper and you will be able to get all kinds of wonderful ideas for dinner. I love seeing what other people are cooking to add variety to my menu. So here it goes. My first attempt to be a food photographer and chief! I must admit, I'm not that good at the pictures, so bear with me. I've already lost one of the pictures that I added!

Our menu was: Homemade Shake and Bake Chicken Strips, Roasted Potatoes, Biscuits and Spinach Salad. To make the Shake and Bake, I used a mixture of crushed crackers, potato chips that we didn't like the flavor of, and the leftovers of last times shake and bake that I had not used. I added some olive oil to my chicken strips before I dredged them in the mix. Then I baked them at 350 for about 35 minutes.

I also made roasted potatoes. I used sweet and white potatoes and some onion. I cut these up into bite sized pieces and sprinkled a bit of olive oil on them and some Canadian Steak Seasoning on them. You can find this seasoning at Sams Club or you can use Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick. We use this seasoning on many things. I baked these at 375 for about 45-60 minutes. The onion adds a wonderful aroma while these are baking.

In addition to the meat and potatoes, I made some biscuits from a mix my parents bought me at College of the Ozarks in Missouri. They were melt in your mouth wonderful. Not necessarily too good for you, but a nice treat for us. We also had spinach salad. Everyone gobbled up dinner and asked for seconds and some even thirds!

Well that's it, my first attempt at Tuesday's Supper! I pray you got some ideas for your family table. I pray that you enjoy making meals for your family. Have a wonderful day!

Hilltop Blessings,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Time For Another Menu!

For this weeks menu, I used several of the meals from last week. We had such a crazy week, that there were nights that I just "made do"! I'm so glad it's a new week! So ladies, here it is and again it is simple, but that's what works at our home!

1. Homemade Shake and Bake Chicken Strips, Roasted Potatoes, Spinach Salad and Fruit
2. Delicious Italian Casserole (You can find the recipe over at )
3. Creamy Italian Sausage (You can find this recipe over at )
4. Grilled Steaks, Baked Potatoes, Fruit Salad
5. Mexjita Chicken and Fresh Tortillas, and Avocados (Again nabbed another recipe from Frugal Home Living!)
6. Cincinatti Chili over Spaghetti with Onions and Cheese
7. Easter Dinner- I'm making Ham and everyone else is bringing the goodies!

I made the Creamy Italian Sausage last night with some changes. I used fat free half and half. The first time I made the sauce, the flame was too high and I curdled the cream! I washed everything off and tried again. This time, it didn't seem to get thick, so I added some water with corn starch in it. It thickened up nicely. I also made the mistake of "dumping" some Italian seasoning in it and accidently DUMPED waaay to much in! Oh well, it was still good, but next time, I'm sure it will be better!

As you can see, I love to get new recipes and put my own twist on them, sometimes it works and others.....well not so great!

Ya'll have another great week of cooking. Don't forget to go over to Bluebell Country and link up with her Tuesday Supper. It's going to be so much fun. I'll post recipes and pictures of my dinner tomorrow.

Hilltop Blessings!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ever Feel Like The Smallest Egg In The Basket?

As a woman, wife, mother, homeschooler, etc. I have often been tempted to compare myself with others. Of course whatever it is, I'm always either the worst or the best! I's a terrible confession. The temptation is always there, because we work so hard at doing whatever it is that is near and dear to our hearts.

There have been seasons that whatever it is that I'm doing that I want everyone around me doing this wonderful thing....Oh if they would only do "it" they would be as blessed as I am! Of course there is also the flip side....

If only I could homeschool like....or I wish my home was like...... Please tell me I'm not the only heathen woman out there who has felt this way! I can get so stuck in the muck when I start comparing my station with another sister in Christ. Lets don't even get started comparing our parenting styles!

2 Corinthians 10:12-18
"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will continue our boasting to the field God has assigned to us.....For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends."

I don't want to be found "not wise"! I know that for me, the best thing I can do is to start thanking God for all He has done for me! He is my provider and positions me to be exactly where He wants me! What better place is there?

If I'm the smallest egg or the biggest egg in the basket, it's my perfect spot in the basket! I just loved looking at that little egg and thinking that God purposed for me to see it! Truly, He uses all things to teach us!

I pray that you have a wonderful day and enjoy your place in God's basket today! He is gathering us and using us as He will today! May we all be used for His glory and His purposes. Let us build our fellow sisters, mothers, teachers up in the Lord today! Grace and peace to you!

Hilltop Blessings,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Thankful Mama's Heart!

We have been so blessed with four wonderful children. We have been spared so many scrapes, breaks and bruises that I know God's army must literally be incredible buffers to my crew! Recently I posted that our middle son won the First To Get Stitches Award! Not an award he was seeking!

He has been so brave through this whole trial. When it first happened, his biggest concern was if he was going to get to go to one of his best buddies birthday party. That was even before I took him to the emergency care facility! He was brave during the prep before the stitches, shots and all!

We were sailing along really well until Tuesday, when I noticed that the cut was somewhat red around the stitches! I thought perhaps that meant it was time to take them out or that he might have a bit of an infection. The Dr. thought that the stitches did not need to come out and that he did have an infection. She gave us an antibiotic and warned us that if there were any changes, he should be seen immediately.

On Wednesday evening, right before we left for church, he commented that his foot was hurting. I checked it and it was the ugly red! The stitches were puckering and it looked much different than even that morning. I was beside myself. I'm not a hysterical woman, but this is my baby!

Immediately, I felt so sad for him, because I didn't want him to hurt. I called several people to pray for us and called my pediatrician. She asked us to go to one of the larger hospitals in Dallas. She even gave me her private cell number! That way, if they admitted him, she could get to him quickly. There is just something about thinking your child is going to be admitted to the hospital that puts you on your knees!

After waiting several hours in the ER, we were finally seen, and then seen again and so on, and so on! Finally after six people saw him, (each time, his foot looked better) they decided that he had had an allergic reaction to something! Is God a healing God or what?! They sent us home to take some Benedryl! Today he is resting and watching a movie and we continue to see his foot get better.

To sum it all up, I would say that this was one of those God opportunities that my children got to see God be real! We "know" that God heals, but this time, they got to SEE God heal! We are so thankful to a healing and powerful God!

I'm ashamed to say that I forget this from time to time! I pray that in the days to come, I will continue to praise God and trust Him in all circumstances!

Psalm 103:2-4
"Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits. Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of ] all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy..."

I'm so glad that I serve an awesome, loving God. He heard our cry and delivered us from a bad situation. I know sometimes, God says no. I know that His ways are higher than mine, but I will say, I'm so glad that He has said yes and my fella is better today.

I pray that today, the Lord would heal all your diseases and bring you comfort. I pray that you would find hope where these is none to see! I pray that the God of all comfort would comfort you and that you would know that you are precious in His sight and that He loves you!

Hilltop Blessings to You!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Menu

It feels really strange to post my menu. I decided that since I love reading others' menus that I should post mine. So here it is in all it's glory!

taco soup and chips
homemade shake and bake chicken strips, roasted potato wedges, salad and fruit
pinto beans made with a ham bone and cornbread
delicious Italien casserole, salad and fruit
ravioli with smoked sausage , broccoli
steak, potatoes, salad and some sort of desert
pancakes and sausage

I don't make them on a certain night. I just have the ingredients to make each meal. I do decide which night some of the less manly meals will be. For instance, pancakes and sausage is tonight, because Paul won't be home for dinner. I will also put the beans on to soak tonight because tomorrow night we have Awanna and I need an easy meal. I'll cook the beans in my crockpot and they will just be ready.

We had the ravioli with smoked sausage last night. I sort of invented a meal. I added a can of pasta sauce and it actually was good. I have been trying to cook from my pantry this month and it has taken some creativity. I'm glad I did it and my sweet husband encouraged me that we are under budget so far this month in our groceries! If I can just keep it there!

I don't use many prepared foods, so I usually cook breakfast. I cook for Paul early and then later the children and I eat. Yes, I know that means I cook twice, but it's not so bad. It works for us.

One of the things I have been learning to do is to soak anything with a grain overnight. It makes my oatmeal mornings really easy. I just put my oats in a pan with about two big spoons of yogurt, salt and water. When I get up, all I have to do is turn on the stove. Talk about instant breakfast! You can do this with muffins and pancakes as well. When I get up, I just add the eggs and baking powder. You can even mix it up in the blender. I've learned a lot of this with Sue Gregg cookbooks and Nourishing Traditions. Both are really great. I can't say I do everything they say, but we are trying to make healthier choices when we can. Don't we all?

The pursuit of healthy balanced eating is a lifelong struggle for me. Someday, I pray that I get a handle on it, but until then I just continue to press on and trust God for victory. Some days are better than others. One of the things I have been learning is that I am not what I eat! I'm a child of God. I have struggled so often thinking that my value and worth are wrapped up in what I eat. If I eat well, then God loves me. If I eat poorly, then I'm in God's dog house. That's such a tool of the devil!

When I'm eating well, I have to really watch pride. Pride that I'm doing well and look at me, I have control! Yuk! It may be why I've never had victory in this area. I'm sure there are many reasons, but today, I just press on.

There is so much I could write on this topic and I may, but it's enough for today!

"O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him. "Psalm 34:8

I'd love to hear more about your menu's and cooking ideas. or your struggles and victories with eating. Ya'll have a great day and enjoy cooking and preparing food for your families!

Hilltop Blessings,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Snow on the First and Second Days of Spring...In Texas!

This is what we woke up to this morning. There has been over twenty inches of snow in Mckinney this year. Never before, have I seen this much snow in one winter. I must say, I don't care to repeat it! It's beautiful, but it's so cold!

The boys enjoyed it, but we are all ready to go back to warmer temperatures! We don't have the proper clothing, and we look a bit mismatched! Rarely do we use heavy winter coats. I'm sure we have some, but they seem so cumbersome! I layered the boys in fleece jammies, turtle necked shirts, and whatever else we could comfortably layer. Our biggest problem has been how to keep our hands warm. After our leather work gloves became soaked, we tried some other ways to keep our hands dry. We found our mismatched gloves and then used blue examining gloves to keep our hands warm. We did look a bit strange, but we were dry!

I was hoping to find something blooming in the snow and I was not disappointed. I found a whole mound full of these little grape hyacinth's. They faithfully usher in Spring each year. I like how they persevere through the harsh elements.

Jonathan (7) was determined to build a "snow house". He worked and worked, but there continued to be cracks in his foundation, as well as the roof. He finally decided that he should just come in to a home with lots of heat and a warm bath! It was jammies the rest of the day for everyone! I didn't want to have any more laundry than we already had from our snow play!

This morning when I looked out at the snow, I was just amazed. We were expecting about one inch. We received eight! The snow is beautiful. It covers so much of the ugly! It can even make dead trees and brush look like a piece of art. I think that's what the Lord intended to show us.

"Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;..." Isaiah 1:18

Truly, God can take the worst of people or situations, and refine them in to rare gems for His glory. I'm so glad I could see the snow one more time. I'm going to start praying for some "ugly" circumstances and pray for the Lord to make them white as snow. When sunlight hits snow, it makes it sparkle like diamonds! His ways are perfect!

Hilltop Blessings to you all!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Want List.....

Do you ever just have something you want so bad? I've got a long laundry list of things I want and I'm having to put it on hold. I sometimes feel like the child who wants just one more lego set! You know, please mom, please! (Can you tell I have a houseful of boys?)

We bought a home several years ago with a walkout basement. For those of you north of the red river that would be a normal purchase. Here in TX it's almost unheard of. We have steadily been updating our home since we purchased it as money allowed.

Now we are to the basement. My "want bone" is really itching. I would love to just quickly finish it out and be done with my "perfect" home. (Or at least until I can get on to remodeling the kitchen!) I think it's just one more of those opportunities to wait on the Lord. I found out this week that just to run a drain line about 4 feet is going to be $1000. Yuk!

Now we are not independently wealthy so there in lies the problem! My natural man side suggests that we just go and get a loan for the amount needed and get on with the project. Why I would ever think that, is beyond me! We have never borrowed for any project. It's amazing how my mind was able to just "figure" it out quite quickly!

I just think that's how the world's mentality really works. You don't have what you want? That's okay, you deserve what you want, go borrow some money and get it. I even had figured out how we could pay it back rather quickly. The problem is, that it would not honor my husband. It wouldn't honor his since of integrity or financial ethics.

So now what? I'm going to pray and see how God moves on our behalf. Our needs are met. We do have a bathroom on the main floor of our home. Most people would think that for a family of six, we could really use another full bathroom. Many would think that we could use quite a few more bedrooms. All seem like normal requests. But God knows what is best for us.

"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and mind in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:6-7

I have so much peace knowing that God knows my desires. I know that He will truly give us what is needed and maybe more! I also know that by honoring my husband and yielding to his way, God will be able to bless us in His timing and His ways. I'm so encouraged by the peace that came over me! I know that God loves me and our family. I don't want to be so led by MY wants that I completely miss what God has for us.

I don't want a home that's beautiful and "perfect" and filled with strife! I'm so looking forward to seeing how God helps us to build out the basement in His timing and in His ways! I'm thinking that it's going to be better than what I had planned!

I'd love to hear how ya'll have seen God work on fulfilling your desires and dreams! Have a great day and lets keep on trusting God to work in our lives today!

Blessings from the hilltop,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Here a Chick, There a Chick!....

Today the boys painted out new "chicken barn". It was a goat barn, until we got rid of the goats and made it for chickens. Right now it has 13 new little chicks that are just about feathered out. My dad was gracious enough to not only build it, but come back out and remake it for chickens and some storage. The boys had a good time painting. I'm so glad that I have boys!

Our little girl couldn't decide if she was going to feed herself or the chickens. I actually caught her doing a bite for her and a bite for the chickens. Once she even took a bite back. How a mother groans when a toddler does that, but hey, she is our forth! I must say she was redirected in her feeding techniques! She loves her "kickens"!

This was our other chicken yard when we had one of our snows! It was absolutely beautiful. We don't get snow like this in Texas! I had never in my life seen snow like this. We had a grand time. That day we got about ten inches! I can see this chicken yard out my kitchen window. I love watching the chickens in the morning. They are so busy. Sort of helps me get on with my day!

Until I had chickens, I did not understand how a mother hen gathered "her young under her wings". It has amazed me to watch a mother hen sit for days and days on her eggs. She fiercely guards them with her life. We had one mama hen go to her grave, when coyotes found her. She protected her eggs with her last breath! I have been pecked by a very angry broody hen trying to gather the eggs out from under her wings. Gloved hands are best in these situations.

All of this reminds me, how much our Father guards and protects us. Fortunately for us, He guarded us with His Son's very life! Jesus gave His last breath for me. I was the young he was protecting. You were the life He was protecting.

Praise be to God!

Psalm 61:4
"I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever; let me find refuge and trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I've been picking songs to go on my "playlist" today and I'm just overwhelmed! God is so good. I love worship music. I just see how good God is, even when I'm not. He is looking to show me His overflowing love. Worship for me points me to Jesus. I so want to radiate His love and compassion to others!

Even as a young believer, I didn't understand the love of Jesus. I was always looking out for Him to "get me". I knew I didn't match up to His standards, and I was sure He was going to come back and be find me lacking....

Truth is, I had no idea how much He loved me. I had no idea that I was precious in His sight and that He loved me unconditionally. That He loved me as much as He was ever going to love me. There was no place that I was going to arrive to and then be "worthy" of His love! I think that is why I so love worship music. Truly our God is mighty to save and He is worthy of our praise!

Psalm 40:1-3 (amplified)
"I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord: and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings. And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord."

I am forever changed! My days aren't perfect, but in the sight of our Father, I am covered by the precious blood of Jesus and old things truly are passed away and all things are made new! I had to realize that the old really is the old and I didn't have to hang onto it anymore! I didn't have to carry it around like an old baby "lovey"! Sometimes we don't even realize how comfortable we are carrying around our dirty old hurts and baggage!

The new is so good! The blessings and full heart of God is so good! We don't have to let our past destroy our future! God is good and He loves us so.

I pray that today you are encouraged and built up. Our God is mighty to save! He can save us from despair and hopelessness. Even when we have become believers, sometimes we have forgotten to put on the "new man". It's a walk. Regularly, I see the old man right there in front of me. Old habits die hard. I know that God can move the mountains in my life. Let's see them moved together as we journey up the hill he has put before us!

Let us press on and lay hold of all that God has already laid hold of for us! Let's look up and worship the One who can move those mountains! Blessings to you this day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ahh, the end of a tough weekend!

This was one of those weekends that quite frankly, it would have be more pleasurable to just skip it and move onto Monday! My husbands' back gave him a fit, my middle son earned the title of "first one to get stitches", and the littlest came down with pink eye! During the whole bloody episode with my middle man, our youngest ran through the house screaming "Is he going to die?"!

Okay, how do I get the happy heart in the middle of the muck? How do I not walk in fear that some freak infection is going to seriously harm our son? How do I not become a hypochondriac and think that every time my eyes water , I'm going to look into the mirror and see spooky red eyes staring back at me? How do I calm the little guy who has suddenly become fearful of everyone dying?

Ahh! God's word is a healing balm and just resting my eyes on it is like healing salve! Thank you Lord. You alone I can run to and find rest! You alone know our days. You alone love us and calm us!

Philippians 4:7-8 (amplified)
"And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly , whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. "

So that's how I do it. I change the thoughts that are trying to race through my mind! I literally arrest them! God has peace for me and I can't calm those around me if I'm going to be a wringing hand ninny!

There were many good things to think on today. We had a beautiful sunny day. My chickens have really started giving me eggs. Our baby chickens have begun to look like little teenage chickens. I love watching them learn their pecking order! It's quite amusing.

Thank ya'll so much for your encouraging words. I'll try to figure more of this whole blogging deal out.
Blessings and Happy Thoughts,

Welcome Howdy!

Well, here I am. Everyone has told me that I should write a book. I'm not sure that I'm the most interesting person in the world, but we do have a good time and LOTS of adventures! So welcome friends. Everyone is welcome and I certainly welcome your comments.

I will say, that I haven't the foggiest idea of what I'm doing! I'm going to learn, but until I do, things are going to look pretty simple around here. If I get around to it, I will change my header and all the decor that goes with having a blog. A blog is sort of like playing house, if you don't like it you can change it and it doesn't cost as much money as redecorating my home! Already a red line with the word "error" has showed up. I haven't the vaguest idea how to fix it or what it means. I guess that I will figure this out.

I follow several blogs and I'm amazed at how pretty they are and all of the gadgets that are on them. I think I will not try to compare my simple stumblings and just move on! Again, I welcome any help ya'll have or advice! Have a wonderful Sunday and I'll leave you with these words from the Scriptures:

Proverbs 3:5-6 (Amplified)

"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths."

Have a Blessed Day Ya'll!