Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Thankful List

1. I am thankful for my family and how they make me smile everyday. I love being around them and they are the ones that probably drive me crazy the most also.

2. I am thankful for all the new friends and new things I've learned in 2008, I am praying that 2009 will be a growing year as well.

3. I'm thankful I was able to run twice this weekend outdoors, I love to be outdoors and as silly as it is... I loved seeing all the animals out making their little noises to entertain me on a run.

4. I'm thankful for safety on the black ice this weekend.

5. I'm thankful my husband got me motivated and helped me declutter our playroom and basement storage... we have lots to do but it's so cleansing to get rid of stuff.

6. I'm thankful for this Christmas season, even in the stress it was very nice and meaningful.

7. I'm thankful for my little girl and reminded how 6 years ago this new years' eve she was brought into this world. I love her more than she will ever know.

8. I'm so thankful that despite what I do or say that God loves me just the way I am, with all my faults and all my gazillion failures.That His grace and His redeeming love is good enough, I am so thankful that I don't have to earn his love.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, December 19, 2008

35 things to be grateful

35 Things to be grateful for all year long

I got this from Good Housekeeping... I thought I'd pass it along. I changed a few or added my own comments to some ( of course... because you love my thoughts).

  1. Mistletoe ( and my husband under it)
  2. The holiday dress that still fits- too bad I don't have one
  3. Friends who are like family- I love you all
  4. Men who still open doors
  5. Online shopping
  6. Finding the perfect gift for a picky relative
  7. Waking up to snow
  8. A bank of poinsettias- not sure what a bank is..
  9. Logs crackling, gift wrap crinkling
  10. A lighted tree in a darkened room
  11. Baking cookies for Santa
  12. A babysitter you can trust... Amen to that one
  13. The family member who snaps photos at big event-and gives you prints.. thank you friends you do that.
  14. Hand-knit anything
  15. Nights so clear you can see tons of stars
  16. Taking a nap, then wrapping presents until 2:00 a.m.
  17. Gift givers who include batteries- grandparents are good at this one not me!
  18. All our soldiers, at home and far away- we love you
  19. Adding a leaf to the table for new family members
  20. Clear directions from a stranger when you're lost- Got the GPS baby...
  21. Express lanes
  22. Having the row all toe yourself on an airplane, or for us mommies- having the bathroom all to ourselves without your children
  23. A hubby who warms up the car for you
  24. A haircut that's truly wash-and go
  25. Cute shoes that don't hurt your feet- makes me miss my chacos
  26. Babies when they're babbling
  27. Teens when they feel like talking- I think my neighbor girl talks a mile a minute when she does this
  28. Our 9pm candlelight ceremony on Christmas Eve, it's so wonderful
  29. A sweet glance from your husband that no one else sees, my husband is wonderful at this and I love him so so so so much!!!!
  30. The recipe for your mom's pecan pie- in my case my mom's chocolate thin cake
  31. Knowing you watch It's a Wonderful Life any day this month
  32. Having everyone home for the holidays
  33. The luxury of few moments alone
  34. A prayer, answered
  35. Jesus of course, He's the reason for the Season

Hope you enjoyed this little list. If you have some things you are grateful for please post. Remember I love to hear some feedback.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Taste and see Thursday

Oh I'm so excited for this recipe today. This is such a fun little treat. Why is it my favorite you ask.... you did ask right? Okay it's because this is a gift you can give away! My family loves hot cocoa and it seems to be that we've tried every package on the market and like some.... some we dry heave over and some are just bland!

I found this Holiday Cocoa recipe from the experts at Gooseberry Patch Christmas Book. I tried this recipe on a whim.... (Imagine that) and I fell in love, and so did my husband with the hot cocoa he's already in love with me!!!

Last year I made this recipe 2 times, now some of you are probably laughing but I'm serious. I gave it to everyone as a gift and had so much fun doing it. If your a little crafty... which I attempt to be once in awhile, then you can put these in the cone plastic baggies they sell at a craft store like Micheal's and put your cocoa in there with marshmallows and present your gift in style, or you can use the Ziploc bags like nobodies business and put it in a little holiday bag or mug.

Here's the best Hot Cocoa recipe...... are you convinced yet?

Holiday Cocoa

6 c. cocoa
2 c. malted milk powder
7 c. sugar
2 T cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split in half

Blend all ingredients and let sit for 3 days; remove vanilla bean. Spoon mixture into gift jars. Include these instructions with your gift: Mix 1/4 cup of mix into an 8-10 ounce mug of hot milk.


Monday, December 15, 2008

The Real Polar Express

We went to the Polar express in Mt. Pleasant, Ia a few weeks ago. Here are some pictures from all the fun we had. In this picture Lindsey is getting a tattoo from the ice princess.

The Hopper crew enjoying the best hot cocoa and cookies from Santa.

The Campbell boys enjoying the magic of the Polar express train ride.

Drew was really happy to see Santa... not sure why this pictures looks the opposite but he got his bell from him and kept telling Santa he wanted a Thomas. It was cute to see him see on his lap. He of course had his big sister and cousins go first and then he joined right in. I think when Lindsey was his age she just cried, she was way too scared.

Drew telling Santa he likes trains

Lindsey told Santa she'd like ice skates, as we have taught her not to ask for lots of things. Mr. Santa then keep asking "So what else do you want?", So Lindsey thought well I better tell him, she then told him she'd like "a Wii". That was a funny moment. You asked Santa... thanks
Waiting to see Santa.

Gunner and Grandma Vian enjoying the North Pole festivities in the warm craft room. I think Vian is hiding from the camera... maybe too shy she might make my blog!

My good friend Alisha and her little one Gavin making crafts. Bless her heart she's 9 months pregnant here and says this is her last outing before the baby comes.

Lindsey's craft ornament she made.

Brrr it's cold in this train...

Me and my precious little Lindsey. We all had a great time and I look forward to it next year. Although I think Chad is pretty much Polar expressed out since we went two years in a row. So someone else will have to join me next year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taste and see Thursday

Taste and see that the Lord is Good Thursday.

Today's recipe is my favorite Soup. I'm thinking it's comfort food season so I decided to share a little family recipe we have all come to love over the past year or so. It's very healthy and very good. For all you who do not do soup because you only do it if you can open up a can and pour in a pan.... this is a soup for you. Plus you'll be so excited that it's easy, and super good for you and you kids will eat it... that is if you don't use the regular rotel, but use mild instead. I'm choosing one of my recipes in honor of my birthday today. Oh this is one of those soups you can eat on for days.... everyone that has tried it has really enjoyed it and has added it to their repertoire of recipes.

Spicy Chicken Soup

2 skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove ( I used minced garlic in can)
6-8 cups of water, divided
1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes & green chilies (can or rotel)
2-3 carrots sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 cup uncooked small shell pasta or (use frozen Remes egg noodles)

1. Combine chicken, basil, salt, garlic and 4 cups water in large saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer covered, 1 hr or until chicken is done. Remove chicken to cool.

2. Add all the tomatoes & green chilies ( rotel) along with carrots, celery, pasta and 2-4 more cups of water. Simmer until veggies are tender - 30 minutes.

3. Put chopped chicken in.

Serves lots.

One helpful tool i use for this soup is the Pampered Chef chopper. I slice carrots until I'm tired then I chop 'em up with chopper. I chop celery and chicken with in no time. Very fun and a stress reducer. Add pepper and salt if you wish. If you want the soup to be even richer add some chicken bouillon cubes.

Enjoy and if you make it have me over!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fun things I like...

Okay so I'm into smelly things. Things that smell good not bad. One of my ultimate favorites is Creamy Carmel wallflower plug ins from bath and body. I just stocked up on some as they were on sale over the Thanksgiving holiday. Normally they are 2 for 2o bucks. I got them for 5 dollars a piece. Yeah!

Some little snacks I love are 1. I love Ocean Spray Craisins, they are so sweet and really good. Not a bad snack for you as if you eat 1/3 cup of these it equals one serving of fruit. I like to put these in my yucky kashi oatmeal I bought. I am making myself eat it till its gone, then never again buying that healthy oatmeal.

I love Propel fit powder, you add this little packet to a bottle of water and it tastes so good. It has vitamin C, B6, B12, Niacin and something else that I do not know what it is. I buy this and make my own with bottled water to save money. You can also buy it already made. My kids love to mix and shake up the bottle. This is a special treat for the kids at our house.

Next on my list of snacks, etc. is Special K protein bars. The come in lots of different varieties and my fav is the chocolate peanut butter. Great thing to have on hand so you aren't snacking on unhealthy stuff., or skipping meals. I get these really for chad as he tends to leave so early in the morning, then at least he's not missing a meal.

While we are on a snacky kick I just found this trail mix I love... so does my hubby. It's Planters Trail Mix. It is called Energy Mix. These too are fun because they are packed in a box of 5. As a mom I need lots of energy so once and awhile I will choose this. I have lately been using this as a treat to myself.
Another Nut I love is Almonds, what I try to do is portion up 1 oz packets myself of almonds. I then put them all over like diaper bags, car, and house for snacking. I'm sorta on a nut kick right now and think I could live off them.

As for something I could not live without is the Steamfresh vegetables. Drew is a big vegetable eater and I love them, quick easy, cheap and great steamed veggies in like 5 minutes. We live off the sweet corn and peas.

So what do you like or can't live without?
Guess my list is all about smell good house and food this time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Thankful List

1. I am thankful for my family and how precious my two little ones are. I love them more than they will ever know.

2. I am thankful for my new Beth Moore bible study on the Psalms of accent and how neat that is.

3. I am thankful for quietness in the house time for me to think, reflect and get things done.

4. On the opposite side I am thankful for little feet that run through the house screeching with laughter and sometimes snorting. I am thankful for my little guy and how he asks first if he can "Make a mess?" meaning take down all the cushions to the couch and jump on them.

5. I am so thankful my house smells good again as I have some great plug ins and they smell the house up without always having to have a candle going. Creamy Carmel wallflowers are the way to go.

6. I am thankful that I had a loving father that set a great example to me of what a humble servant is and I now can pass that on to my kids. This week will mark many years since his passing and I am thankful that It never gets old.... I still miss him dearly, but can rejoice as I know whose he is and where he is.

7. I am thankful that my husband and I are going to spend Thursday together without the kids to Christmas shop and enjoy one another.

So what are you thankful for? Please post

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Taste and see Thursday

Today I'm excited to post a recipe, finally. I have enjoyed doing this and I hope to make it done on Thursdays again! So much has been going on and as always their isn't enough hours in a day to get all that I would love to see done. I'm okay with it as the most important things get done, and well things not so important get done a little bit slower... like laundry, Tee hee hee hee.

Today's recipe is a fun one, well it's fun if you like lots of gooey chocolate. I had this real healthy treat for breakfast once and well let's just say I probably ate all my calories for breakfast and lunch for the day. I got the recipe from Dawn Farris. For some reason she calls the recipe x bars as she got the recipe from her teenage son's x as stated. I find that funny, I think I need to name one of my recipes after someone. Preferably not any X's my husband or I have had.

I appreciate Miss Dawn, as most call her for her deep passion for children and love for God.
One thing I am thankful for about dawn is that she is honest and tells you the truth and always points you towards God with her wisdom. Thank you for all that you do, especially all the stuff that people overlook or do not ever realize you do for children's ministry. Great is your reward someday that you may be able to lay that crown at Jesus' feet as you served your life to the fullest for Him. As, I'm almost tearing up writing this.. I love using verses to describe the people I write about on Thursdays. One of the first ones that comes to mine is " As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"- Proverbs 27:17.
Thanks also for being a friend and allowing me to text you like a zillion times for really no reason at all, or just to show you what I'm making for supper!

X bars
by Dawn

MIX at low speed until crumbly:
1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup softened margarine
1 egg

Press into bottom of ungreased 9x13 pan

Bake at 350 about 15 minutes

Put enough mini marshmallows on to cover the cake and then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes.

While the cake is baking:
Stir & Heat:
2/3 c corn syrup
1/4 c butter or marg.
2 t vanilla
12 oz choc chips

When the chips are melted, remove from heat and add"
2 cups Rice Krispies

Stir it up and top the marshmallowey cake with the chocolate goodness, spreading to cover.
Refrigerate about 1 hour to set.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wrapping present time

Lindsey is so into wrapping presents, that is presents she has made for us. It is so cute to see, she first draws some sort of a picture then asks me to get out the wrapping paper, tape and then she makes a tag. It is so sweet as she knows her brother loves Thomas the train stuff so she decided to draw a Percy green train for her brother, she saw to every detail of her drawing and actually getting his Percy out so she could draw it and put his number on it too. It was such music to my ears so see her enthusiasm, because she knows the one who will receive will love it so much more. She continued to draw one for mom and dad. I then had to draw her one so she could have a drawing paper gift under the tree. What's more impressive is that she really didn't care if she got anything else for Christmas, now maybe that was just talk because she knows she has gifts already under grandma's tree.

What I kinda learned tonight and reflected on is the attitude in which my little one expressed. So excited and giving unselfishly. I too want to give more, give more with enthusiasm. Not just this time of the year, but other times as well. 2Corinthians 9:7 says " God loves a cheerful giver" , Luke 6:37 states" Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over , will be poured into your lap..."
I want to be a cheerful giver of my time, my resources, my energy and my attitude. Not because I'm expecting something in return but because I know whom I belong to and want to honor God with everything I am.

So thank you Lindsey for teaching mommy to give, not just this once instance but it's what you do most days and how you always want to give to others because you know they will like it or will enjoy the toy more than you do. Sometimes I want to hold you back and not let you give your stuff away and I'm sorry...thank you for teaching me not to hold on to earthly things too tightly.
I love you - Mommy