Tuesday, November 15, 2011


By Laura Story
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Courtesy of lyricshall.com

I recently heard this song on the radio and absolutely LOVE it! It is such a good reminder that is sometimes hard to hold onto in the midst of the raindrops, the tears and the sleepless nights. It came on the radio at a time when I really needed to hear this Promise. I hope that it touches your heart too; that it can comfort you during your storm, and that you can hold onto the message for your hardest nights.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fry Bread

Tonight was our church's Progressive Dinner.This year's theme was Italian. If you don't know what a progressive dinner is; it is like a Gypsy potluck. We eat each course at a different house.
First we met at the church and dropped the kiddos off to be sat on. You know; babysat. Then a prayer, an icebreaker and some directions and we were off! The first stop was appetizers. Cheese, crackers, pizza, bread and toppings, meatballs and spiced cider; Oh My! I have to give a shout out to Russ for pouring! That was some good pouring!
Then we drove on to Soup and Salad. It was so hard to choose! I picked a soup that reminded me of the potato and sausage soup at The Olive Garden, green salad with pasta salad on top, homemade wheat bread, pea salad and a smidgen of a fruit salad. Ugh! This was all way too good and I was already full! But the show must go on!
So we drove to the main course. I tried to get just a bite of everything. Such good food and so much of it! This is also where my contribution to the night came in. I tried out a new recipe for fry bread. Marilee, a family friend, makes Italian fry bread for special occasions and it is the best! I love bread anyway but this stuff is the bombdiggity! When I heard we were doing the Italian theme I knew what I was going to bring! I  have to admit I was a little nervous about trying a new recipe to serve to everyone at church.What? I should have tried the recipe once before doubling the recipe and serving it to everyone? Naw. That's not how I roll. My dear, sweet, darling Noah joked, "I thought you like your church. What did they ever do to you?" But it turned out great and everyone else liked it too because there were NO leftovers! It also made me feel good to hear people talking about how good it was even when they didn't know I was the one who made it. I may be bragging a little but I'm pretty sure I have bragging rights at this point.
But we weren't done! We still had dessert. So many delicious things to choose from! Again I tried to take just a little bit of everything. Pumpkin bars, cheese cake, tiramisu with homemade lady fingers, and things that I don't even know what it was but BOY was it good! I do not consider myself a quitter but at some point I just couldn't eat any more. I was so full.
I loved getting to see the houses too. I laugh thinking about trying to squeeze all those people into my Little House! We were welcomed with such warm hospitality and beautifully decorated houses. I had an awesome evening eating and fellowshipping with my old friends and meeting new ones.
Besides the fact that our church rocks and has lots of talented cooks and bakers; the point of the story is that I made bombdiggity fry bread and wanted to share the recipe.

Fry Bread

1 cup milk
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sugar
2 packages yeast
1 cup warm water (somewhere around 100-110 degrees)
4 1/4 cups flour
(I doubled this recipe to make enough for the progressive dinner. It served a lot of people.)

Scald (I had to look this up) the milk, salt, butter and sugar. Let it cool.

In a large mixing bowl add the water to the yeast and dissolve. Add the milk mixture and flour and mix well. I had to knead it by hand at the end. It is sticky. Cover with a towel and let double in size. I put it in the oven and leave it but you have to remember to pull it out before you preheat the oven; especially if it is in a plastic bowl. My Grandma Mary Ellen always used to let the dough rise in the bathroom because it was usually the warmest room in the house.
Once the dough has doubled in size you will need to heat a few inches of oil in a pot or frying pan. I think Marilee uses a cast iron skillet. I prefer a large pot because it is tall so you don't have as many oil spatters to clean up when you are done. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a water drop go ahead and start your pulling, stretching and frying. I pulled off pieces of my sticky dough and stretched them out a little and dropped them in. I could fit about 3 safely, 4 when I got impatient. Noah was in charge of turning them over and taking them out when they were golden brown. He said 4 was too many because they would stick together.
We served them with pastas. You could also sprinkle powdered sugar, or cinnamon and sugar on them and serve them for dessert like elephant ears. :o)
Go make some bombdiggity fry bread, give a prayer of thanks for all you have and go brag about your bombdiggity fry bread skills.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lyon's Park

We don't usually frequent Lyon's Park because it is clear in College Place! Really it's not that far. I think we will be going more often. We had a lot of fun.

Lyon's Park

We had a picnic lunch. Can you tell by the peanut butter smear on Madison's cheek?
And then the girls played in the water

A nice lady gave the girls some bread to feed the ducks.

We named these guys Curly, Moe, Larry and Mary

They found a "Duck Village" that just happened to have some ducklings

Where was Benjamin?

While we were picking up our picnic supplies the girls spotted this wind sculpture.
I think one of these would look great in my yard. What do you think?

And on the way home...

nothing interesting happened.  :o)

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Lazy Song

Last summer was The Summer of the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.

So we have decided this is our Family Motto for the Summer of 2011. We dance around and sing like crazy to this song every time we hear it. Even Benjamin can sing parts of it! Not sure whether to be happy he is talking or upset that he is singing a song that is so obviously not a children's song. Whatever. The "Monkey Men" make him laugh.
I hope you like it too!

If you call our house and we aren't home you have to get to listen to this before the BEEEEP!
Thanks, Hubby!

I found the Kid Safe Version

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fun with the Cousins

What have we been up to?
Besides being Pirates Who Don't Do Anything; we are also pirates wo play hard and explore uncharted playgorund territory.

Green Park

                                                                         Rooks Park

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Farmer's Market and Fun with Friends

One of the things that we have in our town is The Farmer's Market. This is one of our my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning. This is how we spent last Saturday.

Eating tiny delicious cupcakes

Taking random photos

Thank you, Sarah.

Thank you, Madison

Listening to our favorite local band, Bizarre Love Triangle

And finding old friends

But the fun wasn't over yet!

Tramampoline + Sprinkler = Water Fun!

4 Wheelin'

Digging to China

Being cute

Being a stud

Get your weapons!


Water play date at our house!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teacher's gifts

I made Teacher Appreciation gifts for the girls' teachers. Sarah already gave Mr. Paul his gift but here is Madison's teacher's, Mrs. Pettyjonh's.

Some kind of cup or water bottle
Flavor packets for water
#2 Pencils
Pretty paper
Pretty String (I just used pretty yarn)
Pretty Scissors
Hole punch

The first thing I did was decide what I wanted to say. I found the pencil and Smarties sayings online by googling "teacher appreciation". The "thirst" quote was given to my by one of my students this year which is what got me started on these in the first place.
I just printed the quotes, cut my pretty paper with my pretty scissors and glued them on.
You will need to punch a hole on the pencil tag to string the string (:o)) through. I tied 5 pencils together with the string and then tied the tag's string to the pencil string. Got that?
Throw your flavor packets in the cup and put the lid on. The cup tag needs a hole on the top and bottom to fit on the straw. (You'll see.)

The Smarties tag says, "Thank you for making me such a smartie." I took 10 Smarties and rolled them in my pretty paper and tied the ends off to look like one GIANT Smarties. Then I glued my Teacher quote on.

 And put it all together to deliver.

Guaranteed A+

Monday, June 20, 2011

Best French Dip Sandwiches EVER

I make these all the time. So easy. So delicious. And it smells good all day!

Disclaimer: This recipe breaks the rule* about only using one dirty dish because you have to pan sear it before it goes into the crock pot. The rest is so easy and the taste is amazing so it makes up for the dirty pot.

*"I only have a few rules when making a crock pot meal: no browning or sautéing anything prior to cooking. Okay, I guess I only have one rule. The beauty of a crock pot is that meals made in it only require it to do the cooking. Why mess with a good thing by creating more dishes to wash?"
~Leila~ from Spinach and Skittles
She writes an awesome blog and just happens to be a personal friend from middle school (yes, I still have those pictures). She has tons of great recipes and recently took up marathon running. She inspires me to live healthier.

Back to the roast. 
~TIP: I use a crock pot bag so I never have to worry about the messy crock pot. I think it cancels out the dirty pot so the crock pot doesn't actually get dirty so it doesn't break the dirty dish rule. It also comes in handy to save the aju sauce. I just stab it with a knife and let it drain into a Tupperware to put into the fridge for later.

I got this recipe from one of my favorite foodie web sites, Our Best Bites. They have tons of great recipes that even I can make.

2.5-3 lb. beef roast
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper or House Seasoning from The Best Fried Chicken EVER
2 packages of dry onion soup mix
2 c. water
2 cans beef broth or I used 3 beef bullion cubes and 24 oz boiling water
6-8 hoagie buns
I use mozzarella but you could use Swiss, or provolone, shredded or sliced. Go crazy with it.

What to do:
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat while you season the roast with salt and pepper or House Seasoning.
When you drip a water drop into the oil and it "fries" your oil is ready.
Carefully throw (oxymoron?) your roast in the pot and let it get nice and brown. Just a quick pan searing on all sides to seal in all the juicy roast goodness. This is also going to get the succulent smells circulating (alliteration too!)  throughout the house. I wish I could bottle this smell so it always smells like I slaved the day away.

It already looks and smells aMaZiNg!

Then you prepare your crock pot. *Place crock pot bag in crock pot.*
Again, carefully throw the roast into the crock pot.
Add the water, beef broth and onion soup mix.
Set your crock pot.

I have a probe on my crock pot that allows me to set a temperature. When the food reaches that temp, my crock pot stops cooking and just warms the food until we are ready to eat. Can't go wrong.

When you are ready to eat, cut your roast however you want. I prefer to shred it while the Hubby prefers his cut into strips.
Open hoagie buns and put cheese on top.
Broil in oven until buns are toasty and cheese is bubbly.
Place roast on buns.
Ladle aju into a cup.

*I would have taken more pictures but they were eaten so fast I didn't have time. :o) Next time I make this I will snap a few pictures so you can see the finished product.
Don't worry; it will be soon! :o) 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Crustless Quiche

I love this quiche recipe because it is so easy and delicious. The hardest part is having to smell its deliciousness while it cooks.

6-8 eggs
3/4-1 cup cottage cheese
1-2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
8 oz hashbrowns
1/4 cup salsa
diced green onion
diced, cooked bacon

Heat oven to 375.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into Demarle mold. I think mine is the Sunflower mold. I use the ingredient measurement that is more (8 eggs, 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 cups cheese).

Cook for about 45 minutes or until the center is set.
This of course is the bottom. You flip it over...

to reveal this:

FYI: It is not burnt. It is crustless but gets a little "crusty" around the edges.

Father's Day Part II

Here is the second half of our Top Secret Father's Day Projects.

I got this printable from oopsey daisy. I think I may be addicted to blogs. I just can't stop looking at all the cool tutorials and such.

Anyway, I couldn't think of anything the Hubby needs; or anything practical that he wants. So we decided on this since he likes soda and mom has a blog addiction found more Father's Day printables.

Warning: I had a hard time finding a six pack of soda that is "regular" sized. There are lots of mini six packs and lots of 12 pack cases. You may have to do some searching but the finished product is pretty cool.

I had a hard time saving it for Father's Day because it turned out so neat.

I can't wait to see all the excitement when the kids give him this and this tomorrow morning.  :o)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Smile

Thank you for the little coffee cozey. It is too cute. I am using it to keep my hands from freezing this summer with my iced coffee.

I got this from two of my students (twins) as a year end gift. I will miss those kiddos this summer but I think about them every time I look at it. And every time I look at it, it makes me smile. :o)