Friday, October 29, 2010

Loaded Potato Soup

Per the request of my friends, Starla and Racheal, I'm posting my loaded potato soup recipe that I've not shared with many people.  

True story: I called my grandma, between contractions, to request her to make me this so I could eat as soon as I birthed my first child.  

It's my comfort food, and my kids and husband request multiple bowls every.single.time I make it.  Chris said every time he takes it to work and heats it up, all the guys hover around him to see what he's eating because they think it smells so good.

Cut up and boil a 5 lb bag of red potatoes.

Cube up 3/4 large box of Velveeta cheese.

You can use your choice of meat, but I use two skinless sausage links, or cubed smoked ham.

Dice up smoked sausage. 

8 oz sour cream. 

1 small onion diced.

Add all ingredients plus 1 stick of butter, 2 Tbsp seasoned salt, 1 Tbsp pepper, 1 Tbsp onion powder, and 1 tsp garlic powder.

Cover with milk, and cook on low until all ingredients are combined well.

Your juice will turn a rich yellow color.

Drain potatoes, and add to mixture.

Add one bad of shredded cheese.

Cook on low until cheese is melted and onions are soft.

And here's the taste test.

She ate three bowls!!!

Friday's Fave Five

It's that time of the week again...time to join in with Susanne, and take a look back at our often crazy, chaotic lives and focus in on those things that caused us to slow down and think, "I'm truly blessed."

Don't forget to hop on over to Living to Tell the Story and link up, and leave a blog comment.

1. Fall Break.  My kids are on fall break this week, and while yesterday we spent a lot of time running, today we are cuddled up under a blanket...watching movies.

2.  Almost being done with Christmas shopping.  As of today, I'm completely done with all Christmas shopping except for Breanna's and stock-stuffers.

3.  A break from fill's.  I've got three of them back-to-back weeks and Ryan said I don't have to have another one for two weeks.  

4.  Sweet notes from my husband.  We spend a lot of time every day talking.  Whether it be through text, on the phone, after the kids go to bed, etc.  This whole experience really opened our eyes to how much we took for granted that both of us would always be healthy, and that we'd have all the time in the world to spend together once the kids were grown.  We,  obviously, realize now, that that may not be the case, and we need to take advantage of the time we have now.  One of the things I love most is the 'just because' notes we write.  Even if it's just a simple 'I love you'.  It's just so meaningful.

5.  The calendar in my phone.  I don't know how I ever kept things straight without it.  Between my appointments, and appointments/activities for the five other people in my house, our schedule is often crazy.  Having my calendar right at hand is, in my opinion, one of the best inventions ever!

Happy Friday you all!  Hope you all have a fun filled Halloween weekend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tackle it Tuesday

If you want to join in, and tell us what you want to tackle today...or this week, jump on over to 5 Minutes for Mom, and link up.

I haven't participated in this blog activity for awhile, but man, oh man, I really need to.

My house is a mess!

Well, not all of it.

But my closets sure are.

Especially the kids.

Their idea of cleaning their rooms is throwing everything from their floors inside their closets and shutting the door, and they've not had a good cleaning out since I've been sick.

So, that's my goal today...

to get at least two of the kid's closets cleaned out and organized.

I'm saying two because that small rather large task will probably wipe me out for the day.

And it's quite possible that it might take me until it's time to take Ava to violin just to get two of them knocked out.

It's a good thing, I made tonight's supper up last night.

Tuesday's are always hectic and that's one less thing on my plate.


Well, I'd better jump off of here and get my behind in gear if I'm going to knock those closets out.

Is there anything you are wanting to 'Tackle' this week?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baked Chicken Parmesan

This is one of my family's favorite dinner meals.

It's so easy to make, and really doesn't take that long.

Dip your chicken in egg, and then bread crumbs. (I use Italian)

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Boil your pasta noodles of choice. 

Drain noodles and place in baking dish.

Add pasta sauce of your choice.

Place chicken over pasta.

Top with a more spaghetti sauce.

Cover with Mozzarella Cheese, and bake.

Gotta love when mom comes over for dinner.  She does the clean-up. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window ... 
I see the beautiful color of fall and Big A and Ava jumping on the trampoline.

I am thinking ... 
about what I am going to make for lunch.

I am thankful ...
for life!

From the kitchen ... 
I successfully made Mozzarella Bites this week.

I am wearing ...
the most ridiculous looking, but comfortable pair of pajama pants I have ever owned, and a BC sweatshirt.

I am creating ...
nothing currently.

I am going ... 
to enjoy date night with my husband tonight.

I am currently reading ...
Chicken Soup for the Soul 'Tough Times, Tough People'....and it's very inspiring.

I am remembering ... 
how to think positive thoughts and be grateful for the small things.

I am hoping ... 
to get at least half of Christmas shopping done tonight!  That would be a HUGE blessing, and weight off my shoulder.

I am hearing ...
Breanna playing with her Dora and Diego figures, and Big A and Ava laughing outside.

On my mind ...
What are we going to get the kids for Christmas?

Noticing that ... 
My landscaping has been neglected the past few months.

One of my favorite things ...
The sound of my children laughing.
Pondering these words ...
While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.

Around the house ...
There is clean laundry, folded that needs put away, beds that need made, and dishes to be put in the dishwasher.

A few plans ...
Christmas shopping, surgery, Kinsey's birthday, and the Holidays.

From my camera ...

If you would like to start The Simple Woman's Daybook, then please visit Peggy at

Where do you stand on this?

I'm so excited about having a date night with my husband tonight.

My sister-in-law asked us a few weeks ago if she could get the kids for a few hours today.  Well, that's entirely true.  She really told us she was going to take the kids to do something fun while we had a date night.

Fine by me!

With my second surgery approaching quickly we decided it we really need to knock out our Christmas shopping, because I probably won't feel like doing too much between surgery and Christmas.

So, date night is going to consist of dinner and Christmas shopping.  

But nevertheless, it will be four hours to have uninterrupted conversation.  

That does not happen very often, and quite frankly, right now, we need it.

One of my favorite bloggers wrote a post about how no one tells you before having kids that sleep is the new sex.  haha  SO TRUE!!!

They also don't warn you that you won't be able to have many conversations that last over two minutes without interruption between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. 

But I think it makes these RARE date nights all the more meaningful.  It allows for us to feel a closeness that sometimes seems to be put second to our priorities of raising our four, small children.

How often do you all take time out for just you and your spouse?  I know this is highly controversial.  Some of my friends go out with their spouse every single weekend and leave their kids at home with grandparents and/or a sitter.  We go out maybe once every couple months, and most of the time it's because one of my parents tells us they want to have the kids for the evening.  I also have friends who have kids that are a year or two old and they have never left them anywhere overnight.  Which I get too, because Kinsey was almost a year old before I left her with my mom overnight, and I cried during dinner, and went back and got her first thing in the morning.  So where do you all stand?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mozzarella Bites

I promised a recipe blog since Dawnetta is up staying with me this week.  We all know I love to cook, but she is the chef of the family. It's what she went to school for, and she was the Dietary Manager for an area nursing home until just a couple months ago.

Big A is a cheese lover, so I always try to make a couple meals a week when he's here that are 'cheesy'. So, yesterday we decided to make homemade mozzarella bites.

Cut the mozzarella into squares.

Put bread crumbs into a dipping container.  We used Italian for extra flavor.

Add grate Parmesan to the bread crumbs.

A teaspoon of salt

And mix.

Put 4 eggs in another dipping container

And beat.

Now dip your mozzarella into the egg mix and then the dry mix.  Remember one hand is for the wet mix and one is for the dry.

Place on a foil lined baking sheet and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.

Heat a skillet of vegetable oil.

Fry your bites for 2-3 minutes...until golden brown.

Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

BON day

Thank you Lora for nominating me for this awesome award, and thank you WOW and my trusty blog readers for coming to visit me on this special day!

I've been stumped over what to post on my BON day as so much has transpired in my life over the past few months, and I've recently decided to not blog about a big majority of my personal life here.

I've decided this blog will be for recipes, scripture/devotionals/quotes that touch me, and the fun, weekly blog activities I participate in.

So, that's exactly what this post is going to be about.  My Friday's Favorite Five.  

Susan, over at Living to Tell the Story, hosts this fun activity.  What I like so much about it is that no matter how bad my week is going, this, essentially, forces me to look back at my week and focus on what was great about it.  Trust me when I say, I've had a few 'bad' weeks lately, but they are ALWAYS, and I mean A-L-W-A-Y-S infused with many wonderful blessings.

Without further's FIVE of my blessings from this week.

1.  Great neighbors. I read a quote earlier that said, "A good neighbor doubles the value of a house."  While I think that is a great quote, I would change that to a good neighbor doubles the value of your life.  Our neighbors have been AMAZING during the past couple months of my life.  From mowing our yard, to sending cards, to making food, and bringing goody bags...they have made many hard days that much easier for us.

2.  Great doctors.  A lot of my being at peace so much about this journey in my life is that I have such great doctors.  Doctors who take the time to answer ALL my questions, no matter how small they may seem.  I know so many people get frustrated in their medical care just because they are not kept 'in the know', or they feel like they have unanswered questions, or their doctor's just simply don't have bedside manner.  I've definitely lucked out in that department, in that all the ones dealing with my care, have been some of the most caring, compassionate people I have ever met in my life.  They get how 'tough' it is to be going through something this significant at such a young age.

3.  Music/quotes/scripture.  I can't even put into words how many times I've been having a moment, and I read or listened to something that just spoke to me, and somehow took away the anxiety of the situation.  That somehow made everything seem like it was going to be okay.

4.  My husband.  I know I always seem to include him in these Friday Fave's but I can not praise him enough.  I don't know if him going through this with his mom has made him more capable of handling what's going on or what, but he's been and continues to be amazing during this whole process.  He just gets it!  He gets that the 'Happy Birthday' songs that are playing on the TV this month often diminish me to tears.  He got my excitement when I was able to walk around our neighborhood without getting fatigued.  He gets that the past 14 months have left my body scarred and not my own and because of that I feel insecure sometimes, and he makes a point to tell me how beautiful he thinks I am all the time.  He holds me when all I want to do is cry. He has spent countless taking on extra household chores so I wouldn't feel compelled to get up and do them.  He loves me unconditionally, and that in itself is a blessing! 

5. Cooking.  Oh, how I've missed cooking while I've been recovering. I could spend all day in my kitchen if time allowed for it. My sister came up to stay with us this week while her husband was out, over the road.  We've made a few goodies, and I've got some picture recipe posts coming up very soon!  So, stay tuned for those.

What are you all thankful for this week?  If you want to join in, click on over to Susan's site and link up with Mr. Linky.  Don't forget to leave a comment.  You'll be sure to meet some amazing bloggers, and you'll walk away feeling inspired by all the blessings!

Also, don't forget to check out a few more of my favorites:

A wedding of our own

A fun post of favorite quotes and scripture

I got a new quote/scripture book this week...I love reading uplifting quotes.  Dawnetta and I have spent a lot of time laughing while I read many of the funny ones to her.  

I thought I'd share some of my favorites.

  • It's easy to be pleasant when everything is going like a song; But the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile when everything's going dead wrong.
  • People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs.     Proverbs 19:11
  • Everytime you give someone a piece of your mind, you make your head a little emptier.
  • The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear it if the spirit is crushed?   Proverbs 18:14
  • Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
  • Courage is the quality of mind that makes us forget how afraid we are.
  • If care is too small to be turned into prayer, it is too small to be made into a burden.  <---I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!
  • Regardless of circumstances, each man lives in a world of his own making.  Joseph Murray Emms
  • The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.  Flora Whittemore
  • Don't grumble about each other, my brothers and sisters, or God will judge you.  For look!  The great Judge is coming.  He is standing at the door.    James 5:9
  • He who forgets the language of gratitude can never be on speaking terms with happiness.
  • The emptier the pot, the quicker the boil -- Watch your temper!
  • Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.    Proverbs 18:2
  • Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Aldous Huxley
  • We wouldn't call him a liar.  Let's just say that he lives on the wrong side of the facts.
  • A happy family is but an earlier heaven.   John Bowring
  • It is not by the gray of the hair that one knows the age of the heart.   Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.
  • Anyone can overcome depression.  The first step is to simply realize that there is hope.
  • He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has EVERYTHING!
  • Hope is that which makes us live today as if tomorrow were yesterday.
  • What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life.  Emil Brunner
  • Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be happier. Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  • The most thankful people are the humblest.
  • The person who looks up to God, rarely looks down on people.
  • Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.   Proverbs 11:17
  • Hatred and anger are powerless when met with kindness.
  • Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.
  • Be kind to unkind people -- they need it the most.
  • A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems to short.  Andre Maurois
  • A good neighbor doubles the value of house.  German Proverbs
  • The Lord despises double standards of every kind.  He is not pleased by dishonest scales.  Proverbs 20:10, 23
  • The fellow who has a good opinion of himself is likely a poor judge of human nature.
  • But all who listen to me will live in peace and safety, unafraid of harm.    Proverbs 1:33
  • What the world needs is peace that passes all misunderstanding.
  • There will be no peace as long as God remains unseated at the conference table.
  • Optimism is man's passport to a better tomorrow.
  • No one ever injured his eyesight by looking on the bright side of things.
  • Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'. Viktor Frankl
  • Keep your ideals high enough to inspire you and low enough to encourage you.
  • Prayer doesn't get man's will done in Heaven; it gets God's wills done on Earth.  Ronald Dunn
  • The quickest way to get back on your feet is to get down on your knees.
  • Don't pray to escape trouble.  Don't pray to be comfortable in your emotions.  Pray to do the will of God in every situation.  Nothing else is worth praying for.   Samuel M Shoemaker
  • Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble; prayer is a life attitude.   Walter A Mueller
  • Pray when you don't feel like it; pray when you feel like it; pray until you feel like it.
  • Everyone should fear death until he has something that will live on after his death.
  • When your shoulders are carrying a load of responsibility, there isn't room for chips.
  • The ability to accept responsibility is the measure of a man.  Roy L Smith
  • Silence is the voice of the convinced; loudness is the voice of those who want to convince themselves.  Dagobert Runes
  • Prayer must mean something to us if it is to mean anything to God.
  • The devil is sincere, but he is sincerely wrong.  Billy Graham
  • The best way to knock a chip off your neighbor's shoulder is to pat him on the back.
  • The world needs more warm hearts and fewer hotheads.
  • The best way to be understood is to be understanding.
  • Humanity's greatest need is not for more money but for more understanding.
  • Instead of putting others in their place, try putting yourself in their place.
  • A simple rule in dealing with those who are hard to get along with is to remember that this person is striving to assert his superiority; and you must deal with him from that point of view.  Alfred Adler
  • When rejecting the ideas of another, make sure you reject only the idea and not the person.
  • When it comes to spotting the faults of others, too many people seem to have twenty-twenty vision.
What are some of your alls favorite quotes and/or scripture?  

All quotes taken from Wise Words and Quotes by Vern McLellan

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blake Shelton - Who Are You When I'm Not Looking

Wordless Wednesday

I know this is supposed to be 'wordless' but I must say, the very sight of THIS brings tears of joy to my eyes.  There are few things in my life that are sweeter than this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've been contemplating this for some time, but I'm reluctant to turn this blog completely private since my blog readership has grown in the past few months.  I also don't want to shut it down completely and start a new (private) one because I have so much of our lives from the past couple years chronicled here. 

I've got several emails telling me that talking through this stuff has helped someone talk to someone they know that's going through the same thing.  I'm thankful for that, because like I've said before, if this situation helps one person deal with a similar situation in their own life, then it has purpose.  I don't want to quit writing about it.  It helps me to document my 'baby steps' and look back each week and see the progress I'm making.  It's encouraging when nothing else seems to be. 

I realize I am on a public forum with a public blog, but there are some things going on in my life (my treatment, my emotions dealing with where my life is now, etc) that I just don't want certain people reading about.  

I know there are always going to be people who take your heartache and pain and try to use it to try and further make the situation difficult.  I guess that's life, but it's discouraging to realize people really are that cruel sometimes.  It's also discouraging when you've been through this time and time again and ask to, please, stop being cyber-stalked.  And even though nothing is being said by them right at this get on your traffic feed and see that the same person keeps frequenting your blog, and you KNOW without a doubt it has NOTHING to do with them being concerned for your well being and has EVERYTHING to do with their selfish desire to know as many details of your personal life as possible.  Knowing you are under a constant microscope, and someone is waiting for you to 'mess up' so they can gripe about it is very disheartening.  I guess more than anything, I just really feel like we are all just trying to do our best, and instead of picking each other apart (every chance we get), we should be more inclined to be supportive.

Because this is not the case, I just don't want the possibility to be there, for anything I post, to be brought up, out of spite, in future conversations.  It makes me sick as I write this because I'm about 90% positive this post will cause that exact thing to happen as soon as it's read.

I've decided this blog will return to it's originality and will only have my recipes, scriptures/devotionals, and the fun blog activities I participate in during the week.  I'm starting a second, 'private' blog to document the rest of this journey, working through the aftermath, and our personal family doings.  If you want to continue to follow along with that aspect of our lives, shoot me an email ( and I will add you as an approved reader.  

Thank you for understanding.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Locks of Love

I took Kinsey to get her hair cut yesterday for her Locks of Love donation.
This picture was taken two weeks ago, but it's the best one I have to show off how long her hair was.

Getting it sectioned off so it was easier to cut.

I had a VERY proud (and tearful) moment when we were all discussing where her hair would be going, and why she was donating it.

She told Tracy it was going to Locks of Love and that it would make a wig for someone like her mommy with cancer but with no hair.

She got a little tearful when the first ponytail was cut off.  I asked her if she was okay, and she responded, "Yes, but this is shocking."  Tracy (along with all the other stylist working) assured her it looked beautiful and that she was such a brave girl to do something so special for someone else.

Starting to style it.

Note Tracy's haircut...someone else's ends up very similar.

My gorgeous (way too grown up) Kinsey.  When did she get so big?! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A real class act and the return of Rylie

Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan were in Evansville last night.  Chris had mentioned it, but when the tickets were for sale everything was going on with getting a surgery date set, and we weren't sure how I would be feeling, etc.  So, it didn't seem worth it to spend money on tickets and then possibly not go.

My cousin texted me from the concert last night after Mr Aldean announced that ALL proceeds from the concert would be donated to the Susan G Komen Foundation.  $132,000 in proceeds were made last night.

I think that really says something about his character that he would donate all that money to help other people.  

Not just him, but I think it's pretty terrific that so many celebrities use their 'star power' and donate their money to such great causes that affect so many people..not just within our nation..but in the world.

In other news, Rylie came home from my *step* grandparents house.  While I know they enjoyed dog sitting for her while I've been recovering, everyone in my house was ecstatic that she was home. Ava carried her around like a baby for nearly two hours after Leah dropped her off.  I think Ry is enjoying all the attention ..not that she didn't get lots of attention at Leah and Larry's, because I know she did.  I think she got a little spoiled sleeping with them in their bed.  haha