Friday, August 31, 2012

My Girl

I may be biased, BUT isn't this the sweetest little thing you ever seen? 

 This little smile can ALWAYS brighten my day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012



Its a word I hate.

But its something that I do daily.

Its a battle.  A DAILY battle.

A battle that I try to fight on my own.

But its a fight that has already been fought FOR me.

And the fight was WON!  Oh Praise GOD He has set me FREE!   

This song has touched my heart in ways that cannot be explained in words.  It is a reminder to me that I REDEEMED.  My Father has already set me FREE!  I can shake of the shackles of sin and I can LIVE.  When I hear this song, I give in and let the tears stream down my face as I echo the line: 

Then You look at this prisoner and say to me 
"son stop fighting a fight it's already been won"
 I am redeemed, You set me free

Oh, I am so unworthy of His grace, but He gave it.  He fought my fight, and set me FREE. 

Big Daddy Weave - "Redeemed"

 Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me "son
Stop fighting a fight it's already been won"

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I'm redeemed
All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, "Child lift up your head"
I remember, oh God, You're not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be

Because I don't have to be the old man inside of me
'Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I've got a new name, a new life, I'm not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, 'cause I'm not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe every stain, yeah, I'm not who I used to be
Oh, God, I'm not who I used to be
Jesus, I'm not who I used to be
'Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu Monday

Ugh, its Monday again and I already miss the weekend.  I miss being at home with my sweet, sassy, silly little girl.  But, its Monday no matter what I do, so let's get this week started by figuring out what we'll eat this week.

Grilled Shrimp & twice baked potatoes (purchased pre-made from our deli).  
Our grocery store was having a big sale on seafood yesterday, so I was able to get a pound of large, fresh gulf shrimp for only $5.99/lbs. So I grabbed some and stuck it on the menu.  Here is my recipe for grilled shrimp:
Peel and devein.  Melt about 2-3 TSBP of margarine or butter in a bowl.  Add in about 1 TSBP of Tony Chacheres Creole seasoning.  Put the shrimp into the butter & let sit for about 2-3 minutes (make sure they are all covered in the butter - add more melted butter if you need to).  Put them on skewers and grill on the lowest setting possible for about 4 minutes on each side.  Before serving, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice.  Super easy & super delicious!

Shredded chicken quesadilas. 

Breakfast for Dinner:  Ham, onion & cheese omelet. 

Hot Dogs (real healthy, I know but we need something quick before daddy's softball game).

Grilled salmon with greek seasoning and Cesar salad.

Again - super easy and super delicious.  My way - just generously sprinkle your salmon with greek seasoning.  Thinly slice a lemon and put on top of each salmon patty.  Light your grill and put on low heat. Put the salmon on the top shelf of the grill - so not on direct heat.  Close & let it cook for about 15 minutes or until nice & flaky.  Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice before serving. 

Roasted Chicken Alfredo with a side of steamed broccoli

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What do you do with...Leftovers?

Two of my favorite things in life are my crockpot and saving money.  I LOVE my crockpot, y'all.  I would cook in it every night if I could.  There is something great and fabulous about throwing everything in before I leave for the day, then opening that front door at 5:00 and my house being filled with the aroma of a hot meal ready to be devoured. 

And saving money - well that is just an art form.  And no, I have not mastered it yet, I am just a mere bystander watching in awe and dabbling in the creative money-saving when  I can.  But one place I find that I can save money is at the grocery store.  I love going to the meat section and finding the "Manager's Special" packages that need to be either cooked or frozen within a day or two - they are always super cheap.  The problem is that it is typically a huge hunk-o-meat that I have no idea what to do with, but I buy it anyway.

My typical solution to the problem crockpot!  Its the perfect method for cooking my hunk-o-meat, but I always end up having tons of leftovers.  So, I have been using my culinary creativeness to discover new uses for my leftovers! So, here are 3 super quick and easy recipes you can make with your leftovers...make them with beef, pork, or even chicken!

Last night's leftover recipe:  Crockpot BBQ Baked Potatoes

 Y'all, these were so delicious!!!! I had cooked a huge porkloin in my crockpot a few nights ago and had so much left over.  So yesterday I put some big potatoes in my crockpot before I left for work.  When I came home, I put some of the pork in pan, threw in some barbeque sauce, and let the flavors marry by cooking on low for about 20 minutes.  Then open your potato, add some butter (if you desire), put in your bbq, shredded cheese, onion, then top with a dollop of sour cream - DELICIOUS!

(And yes, the crockpot is my preferred cooking method for baked potatoes!!!  How to do it, wash your potatoes, drizzle a little EVOO on the skin, sprinkle with salt and wrap with foil.  Put the potatoes in the crockpot, cover and bake on low for 6-7 hours.  They will be so soft and cooked all the way through  no matter if your cooking 10 or 2.  It really is fabulous!)

Next, make BBQ Sandwiches. 
So simple and so delicious!  Same as above, just put your left over meat in a pan and toss in your barbeque sauce.  Let the flavors marry by cooking on low for 20 minutes, then full your buns!  I like pickle and onion on my BBQ sandwiches, but you feel free to make it any way you like!  If you are feeding a lot of people, you can always put your meat in the crockpot with the sauce and let it cook on low for about 3-4 hours. 

Feeling some good ole' mexican food?  Make some "street" tacos or quesadilas.  All you need is tortillas, cheese, and your desired "fixin's".  Take your meat and toss in some fajita seasoning.  Let it simmer on low for 15 minutes, then add it to your tortillas.  Top it with your favorite fixin's. 

Super easy and I promise you that each one is super delicious!  What are your favorite leftover recipes?  I'm always looking for new ones!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

She's A Happy Girl

Can you believe this happy little girl is already 16 months old?  I certainly can't.  She is just the sweetest, happiest, but sassiest, little spit-fire I know! I just love her! Some of her favorite things are puppies, her cousins, her baby doll LuLu, being outside, and food (yes, this child LOVES to eat).  She is so much fun to be around, and certainly keeps us on our toes.

(DISCLAIMER:  Please pardon all of the blurry photos - babies in action are hard to capture! )

On Saturday, we had our first Chuck E Cheese outing to celebrate Cousins Aeson's 6th birthday.  Em had so much fun.  Her favorite was the monster truck (although she thought it was more safe to sit on the floor instead of the seat). She wanted to ride this over and over and over!

She just happy playing and exploring everything she could.

We had so much fun celebrating.  These two love each other so much! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Fun List Update

Well, the summer isn't over yet, but I just thought I would give you a quick update on what we have accomplished from our "Summer Fun" List. 

Here is our original list:
  • Pick Berries at Gnismer Farms
  • Go to Hawaiian Falls
  • Spend a day on the lake 
  • Wagon ride through Rose Memorial Park
  • Go to a petting zoo
  • Blow bubbles 
  • Take Dax to the park
  • Fly a kite
  • Have a picnic
  • Plant an herb garden
  • Read books
  • Feed ducks at the park
  • Go see 4th of July fireworks
  • Fingerpaint
  • Plant a flower
  • Dallas World Aquarium
  • Make cookies
  • Play in the rain
Although we haven't done a lot, we have done a few things and certainly had a ton of fun!

We have definitely spent our fair share of time at Hawaiian Fall.  Emmalee LOVES the water and loves to be outside, so Hawaiian Falls is a great place for us.  

We've also spent some time at the lake, and will spend quite a more this weekend.  With Granda and Grandad living on the lake and having a boat, we always have the chance to go to the lake.  This weekend we'll be spending some relaxing days on Lake Whitney at the White Bluff Resort.  I can't wait to leave. 

Sometimes I look back at this list and laugh because it seems like we read books on a nightly basis.  Emmalee LOVES her books, whether she is sitting in your lap, or reading herself.  She definitely gets this from her momma! 

On the 3rd of July we went and saw the fireworks in our little town of Mansfield.  It was great.  Brant's family came, and my sister met us out there with a few of her kiddos.  With colors filling the skies, a slight breeze and lots of friends and family, its was a GREAT evening.

And of course, I was the mom that let her child play in the rain.  You can see my post about it here.

What have you crossed off your "Summer Fun" List?