Wednesday, November 22, 2017

{ Preparing for Thanksgiving }

Well it's here, without a doubt one of my favorite times of the year.

The food, the family, the atmosphere, the insane amounts of cooking and preparation that goes into it.

When we were an Active Duty family, it was just the 4 of us, and so I would wait until the actual day and then get into the kitchen early morning and prepare everything for us.  It didn't matter if I was in scruffy clothes, if food wasn't ready at a certain time, if something didn't go to plan and so on.  It was just us and we honestly didn't care, because Thanksgiving was just a day of indulging in some really yummy treats, relaxing, watching TV, napping and then enjoying leftovers for days.

Then my family moved to the States, and we now had someone to celebrate the holidays with, so it changed a little but not too much, we all lived together and so our Thanksgiving celebrations were just an extension of our previous ones.

But after moving to Texas, and closer to all of Curt's family, the holidays took on a life of their own.  Our get togethers went from 4 people, to 8 people (with my brother's family), to over 20 at times.

This year it's about 12 of us and so, I've had to make changes.  Namely in the sense that preparing for the meal, takes a few days.

I was actually looking over my to do list for today and wanted to run away.  No joke!!!!

I figured I would write this post, and jot down my to do list in here, just to keep as a memory for future years, because it's always fun to look back and see what we were doing, isn't it?

I'm also going to snap all sorts of pictures as I go about my day, and tonight I'll do another post recapping my day and what I've done.  It will probably be loaded with pictures, or so I hope, lest I forget while in my humdrum of chores.......but I doubt I will :)

I hope you're all getting ready for the big day, and I hope your to do lists are not as long as mine, though to be fair, I kinda hope they are so I won't feel so lonely LOL

So here's what's on the menu, followed by my to do list :)
Fried Turkey
Homemade Dinner Rolls
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole - DONE
Sweet Potato Casserole - DONE
Potato Salad
Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs
Roasted Vegetables
Tofu Turkey (for our Vegetarian)
Pecan Pie Bars

Chocolate Pecan Pie with Rum - DONE
Honey Pecan Pie - DONE
Pumpkin Pie
Truvia Apple Pie
Jello Dessert - DONE
Cherry Salad - DONE

And now for my To Do list, for today, I'm not including tomorrow's.

Empty dishwasher, refill
Wash turkey fryer
Clean turkey and start brining
Make pecan bars and the pecan pies
Make dinner rolls
Make Jello Dessert
Make Cherry Salad
Make Tofu Turkey
Make Green Bean Casserole
Make Sweet Potato Casserole

Dining Room
Move table and insert leaves
Set up serving tables
Make centerpieces
Carpet clean

Living Room

Clean toilet
Wipe sinks
Sweep and mop
Wash bath mats

Room where family will be sleeping
Change bed linens
Carpet clean
I really do hope I have the energy to get everything done.  I'm giving myself until 9am to have my coffee and breakfast and relax a bit, then it's full steam ahead.  Lord give me energy :)

Monday, November 20, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/20/2017 }

Good morning everyone and Happy Monday :)

It is almost 9am and I am still in my pj's, on the couch, snuggling with Marley and trying to stay warm.  I am freezing, I'm tired (as always) and I'm dragging my feet, which is not a good thing, considering it IS Thanksgiving week.  I have a lot going on, have another full house for Thanksgiving, some family arriving Wednesday and yeah, just trying to get everything done and taken care of in the next 3 days.

But yeah, I'm going to go ahead and get this post up so that I can start my day. It's time to start ticking things off the list.

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
Coffee with Vanilla Creamer and toast, which I ended up giving to Marley because it got slightly burned (think one of the kids turned the knob a bit higher than usual), and I do NOT like dark toast.  I'm going to finish this post, and then I'll make myself some Cream of Wheat, which I'm actually craving.

Right now I am::::
Typing up this post, thinking that I do not want to get up off this couch or get dressed. 

The weather outside::::
Currently 30 degrees but the real feel is 27.  It's going to be in the 60s the rest of the week and then 75 on Thanksgiving WHY? 

Looking around the house::::
It's not too bad, but Marley has all his toys laying around so I need to pick those up and start getting the house clean and organized for Thursday. 

On today's to do list::::
Laundry.....All laundry was done this weekend, so nothing to do, aside than putting it away which I loathe doing. 
Cleaning.....Empty dishwasher, refill again.  Clean kitchen.  Clean and tidy living rooms.  Wash all the glass panels in my doors and wash windows. 
Homeschooling.....We're on Thanksgiving Break but Nick has a bit of catching up to do, so I'm going to have him work on some things, while I'm busy. 
Cooking....Hubby is coming home for lunch, and I'm not sure what he wants to have, but I picked up a pouch of some Tikka Masala Chickpea Curry for myself, when I went grocery shopping, and I'm really craving that.  Dinner will be Breaded Pork Chops with Mash and some roasted corn. 

Currently reading::::
The Austen Escape and Soulful Simplicity.

On the TV today::::

Last night's Outlander
General Hospital.
Binge watched Alias Grace on Netflix and loved it
Been binge watching Poldark on Amazon.  I had seen Season 1 when it first came out, but none of the other seasons, just didn't have time.  So I started it again from Season 1 and am watching it all through. 

On the menu this week::::

Monday - Breaded Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Corn. 
Tuesday - Crockpot Smoked Sausage and Hashbrowns
Wednesday - Slow Cooked French Dip Sandwiches, Potato wedges
Thursday - Thanksgiving - Fried Turkey, Ham, Mashed potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Stuffing, Deviled Eggs, Salad, Roasted Vegetables, Gravy, Homemade Dinner Rolls, Pecan Pie Bars, Pecan Pies, Pumpkin Pie, Jello No Sugar Dessert (my father in law is diabetic), Truvia Apple Pie (again so my father in law can eat it), Cherry Salad and Tofu Turkey (my brother in law is Vegetarian) 
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - General Tso's Chicken, Rice
Sunday - Potato and Onion Soup, Sandwiches

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Continue watching Poldark and maybe crack on with some crochet.  I actually made a wool shawl/poncho kinda thing for a my niece for her birthday, and she loved it.  I need to get some more yarn and make a few more for Christmas gifts. 

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::

It will be my first time attempting to make a small Turkey out of Tofu for my brother in law.  We will see how that turns out hahaha

Looking forward to this week::::
Celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, really excited to sit around the table and enjoy delicious food, laughs and good company.

Favorite photo from the camera::::
Love my handsome boy, he has brought so much love into my heart and has helped me heal tremendously from losing my baby girl Lola. 

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses::::

Saturday, November 18, 2017

{ Crazy busy day }

I used to look forward to weekends because I knew that I would be sitting around, doing nothing but either catching up on tv shows or spending time with family.

The past few weekends have been nothing like that for me, actually the more I think about it, the minute we moved to Texas, my life became a flurry of activity.  I won't say I completely dislike it, after all, I don't much care to sit around doing nothing.  Even when I've been on the go for hours and sit down for a bit, I get this immense guilt feeling, like I shouldn't be allowed to sit and I need to be up doing something else.

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, or if this is a mom thing, but good gravy, for once it would be nice to sit and do literally nothing without feeling bad about it.

Last weekend I was busy and by the time I blinked, I was getting into bed and setting my alarm for Monday morning.  Nope, not the kind of weekends I enjoy LOL

Today was again, what has become a pretty typical Saturday for me.  Wake up early, enjoy my coffee, and then it's go go go.

 First thing this morning, grocery shopping.  I don't like going on Saturdays because of how busy it gets, and with Thanksgiving looming around the corner, it was pretty insane.

I did manage to get everything I needed, went over budget (typical for the holidays), and wasn't able to record a grocery haul.  I am starting to think that grocery hauls and weekly meals will be more on a *if I have time and can manage to film, so not on a set schedule* kinda thing.  I'm by no means getting rid of them, just not going to worry about it because I do them for fun :)

I came back home, hubby helped me get everything brought inside and then I put it all away.  By far the most boring and annoying part of the whole grocery shopping process, am I right?

Once that was done, we had to go back out.  My niece is turning 21 tomorrow, and I needed to get one more little thing to add to her birthday gifts.  Also stopped at Walmart and picked up milk and eggs, which are cheaper than the commissary, at the moment.

Back home again, and then it was full on house cleaning and washing laundry, then making dinner.  By the time I sat down at 5pm, I was so tired and so achy.  My feet were killing me from being on the go since early morning, my lower back was aching and my neck was still sore from a few days ago I really need to invest in a good neck pillow, because the two I have right now are not working.  One is too soft, one is too hard and I'm constantly in pain with these. 

I told the family to go ahead and eat without me as I wasn't too hungry just yet, and went for a nice long soak in a hot tub with Epsom Salts.  It worked miracles and I feel so much better.

It's now not even 8pm yet, and I am in bed getting ready to watch Ghost Adventures and then some more Poldark.  I feel like a very old lady, but you know sometimes we have to stop and listen to our bodies and if it's demanding bed and rest, that's what I'm going to do.

Tomorrow we have a lunch and then cake at my brother's house for my niece's birthday.  I'm going to take my camera because I would love to get some good pictures, and if I get any good ones, I'll be sure to share with you all.

Right, I'm going to turn this laptop off and get that much needed rest.  Have a beautiful blessed night, friends :)

Friday, November 17, 2017

{ When life just won't let up }


I'm incredibly sorry for not being around much, life has gotten in the way, worries and fears and health, schooling and work and family and just all sorts of things going on.  It's been quite difficult to maneuver around life at the moment, and unfortunately some things have been left behind

I didn't get a chance to do the grocery haul two weeks ago, and I didn't get a chance to do my weekly meals video for last week either, OR this week, which I've found myself not able to record either due to time constraints.

As we approach Thanksgiving, it's getting even more busier around here and I'm struggling, I'm really struggling.


I hate moaning and complaining because there are so many others out there who really are going through some difficult moments in their lives.  Beautiful friends and family battling cancer and other health issues, heart break and financial woes and so on.

I tell myself that I should just be content with what I have, be grateful and not whinge but it's human nature isn't it?

With everything going on, I'm forcing myself to slow down, or rather, my body is forcing me to slow down, and you know sometimes that's what we need because given the choice we won't do it for ourselves, and so we find that suddenly we are made to stop, breathe and restart.

I've turned to my Bible app again in an effort to reclaim my closeness to the Lord, and to find strength and encouragement.

It's helping, it's not instant gratification because I'm a definite work in process, but it helps.


So in between the chaos, I've loved seeing the seasons change and finally getting some cooler weather here in North Texas.  We spent many years in Arizona where everything was a constant shade of desert brown, so to be able to look out my window and see this, is bliss.


One thing I love about this time of year, is that we always get a lot of deer running through our property.  I've seen them daily, just walking around my yard, or prancing off into the field across the street.


It really is a daily sight for us, one which I thoroughly enjoy.


These guys don't like it too much and usually get in quite a tizz over it.


Something else they don't very much enjoy, and I have to say it's not just them because Marley gets quite excited watching from inside.....are the flocks of Starling that swoop around in my yard.


Funny enough I saw them do this the first year we moved to Texas but they weren't around last year, and this year they're back again.



The first time I saw them in my yard and trees, all I could think of was Hitchcock's The Birds Hahaha

It can be quite intimidating to see, hundreds of birds swooping up and down through your yard, and they sometimes fly straight towards the house and swoop up right before hitting the door.  It's insane.

But it's beautiful at the same time and I find it contrasts with my own life at the minute, after all, you can always find beauty even in the darkest moments, right?


So yes, it's been crazy insane around here but I still give thanks to it all, so much so that my chalkboard has been bearing this message for the past week and a half.  Just a reminder to be thankful, because like I said above, it could be much worse.

Hope you're all doing well and getting ready for Thanksgiving.  There will be 12 of us this year, so I have a lot of preparations and cooking to do, but I love every minute of it and am really looking forward to celebrating with family.

I best get on out of here and get started with my day, I have a house to clean, a second cup of coffee to drink (it's one of those days), and a pretty busy weekend ahead (again). 

Blessings and much love to you all, and thank you again from the bottom of my heart, for always checking on me and continuing to follow me along even where are no updates for a while.  I'm so blessed to have readers like you :)

Monday, November 13, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/13/2017 }

Hi everyone, I am so sorry this is going up so late today.

I've had my mother in law visiting, she arrived Sunday morning and spent the night with us, and she just left to go back home to Sherman.  I was going to try and get this posted early this morning, but I didn't get very good sleep last night and am dealing with a whopper of a headache, so slept in a little later than usual, then made a delicious breakfast for me and her and we've just sat and visited, chatted and enjoyed each other's company this morning.

I'm so sorry, but I know you understand :)

Right, let's not waste anymore time and jump right in.

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
We both had coffee with coconut cream creamer, and then I made scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, toast with butter and jam, and we had some leftover Victoria Sponge cake which I made to celebrate her birthday which was on Saturday.

Right now I am::::
Sitting on my couch, I literally just saw her off and am finally sitting down to relax and get this post up.  I've had a very busy weekend, was visiting or off with family every single day.  Kinda feel bad because I didn't get to spend much time with my husband this weekend.

The weather outside::::
It is 57 degrees and we're staying in the 50's this whole week, which I'm absolutely loving. 

Looking around the house::::
It's clean and tidy.  I cleaned pretty much everything yesterday morning before my mother in law arrived so I don't have anything to do today.....aside from the usual dishes and cooking etc.

On today's to do list::::
Laundry.....I have Nick's laundry to do today, some time, not sure when but will probably be after lunch.  Everything else is washed and ironed and put away.
Cleaning.....Just dishes from breakfast and then dishes later tonight. 
Homeschooling.....Have quite a bit to catch up on with Nick, last week was just insanely busy and we didn't do any schooling on Friday.  He will be doing a lab portfolio with Curt tonight, it's all stuff Curt has done in his College Chemistry classes, so they will have fun.  
Cooking....I had a big breakfast with my mother in law, so I'm not having any lunch today.  Dinner will be Oven Baked Spiced Chicken with Garlic and Butter Red Potatoes. 

Currently reading::::
The Austen Escape for an upcoming review. 

On the TV today::::

Last night's Outlander
General Hospital.
Alias Grace on Netflix (new Period Drama and it looks fantastic)
Lore on Amazon (hubby and I have been enjoying this one)
Have two Walking Dead episodes to catch up on.

On the menu this week::::
I did not do a Weekly Meals video last week, we ended up switching meals here and there, and my mother in law took us to dinner on Thursday so, yeah, just didn't work out for me to record.  I'll try to get back on it today, so look for that video next week :)

Monday - Oven Baked Spiced Chicken, Garlic and Butter Red Potatoes
Tuesday - Pork Patties with Spices, Homemade Mac and Cheese, Salad
Wednesday - Spaghetti, Homemade Garlic Bread
Thursday - Stuffed Crust Pizza - Pepperoni and Hawaiian
Friday - Grocery shopping (will be making the new menu sometime this week)
Saturday -
Sunday -

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Honestly, no clue, I need to keep cracking on with my crochet, but haven't done much of that the past week.  So I might actually just read if I have more time to myself.

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::

I have been trying to be better about uploading the recipes to the food blog, last week I added the Christmas Fruit Cake recipe.  Today I'll be adding this Strawberry Poke Cake.

Looking forward to this week::::
Getting closer to Thanksgiving.  My niece is arriving this weekend and I'm so excited to see her, she's turning 21 years old AND she is also expecting her first baby.  I'm giddy with excitement at the prospect of a baby in our family next year.

Favorite photo from the camera::::
Love this time of year, we always have deer in our yard.  This one I saw on Friday, and this morning we had another two just jumping around our front yard.  Love them. 

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses::::
"Because all flesh is as grass, and all glory of man as the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, and it's flower falls away." - 1 Peter 1:24 NKJV