Sunday, September 23, 2012


It's Fall in Texas Ya'll!

I decided to do something fun and take my little man to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens to see the Dinosaur exhibit.

Here are a few snapshots of the day.
The little guy was so excited about seeing dinosaurs around the gardens.  He had his map and was on a mission to find them all.

Brides everywhere!  There were brides all over the gardens.  When we'd run into one, the toddler would scream......"Look Mom, it's a bootiful princess!".

Also, there were photographers everywhere.  They were shooting landscapes, flowers, and families.

After we found all the dinosaurs there were to find, the little guy enjoyed playing in the gardens.

He had a great time!

We ended our visit with lunch at the Garden's Bistro.

My plate was incredible.

It was a delicious crepe filled with grilled chicken, brie, and spinach.  Nom - Nom - Nom!
It was a great morning with my little man celebrating the start of my most favorite time of year in Texas........ Autumn.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Heaven is For Real

Last Sunday at bible study, my new friend, Jaime, recommended that I read a book called Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo.

She wanted to minister to me and help me with some issues that I have with our recent loss.

Although I've been feeling great lately, there are days when I don't ... and Sunday was one of those days.

I picked up the book at our military library yesterday morning and finished it within four hours.

It was absolutely fantastic!

I loved every page in the book.

It arrested my attention and I devoured every - single - word.

My spirit needed that book.

My heart needed that book.

It felt like ONE BIG HUG from my Heavenly Father for four hours.

You know the kind of hug you get where you're completely vulnerable and your guard is down?  Gasping for air because it's hard to breathe through all the tears.  Comforted by the peace of the embrace that you don't ever want to let go?

I'm reminded that God loves me.  He understands my pain.  Not because he loves me as my Almighty Father, but because he too lost His son......for me.

It's such a wonderful book that speaks to me.

It's my world and my eternity as I believe it to be as a Christian.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is in need of comfort.

I can't wait to see my friend, Jaime, on Sunday and give her the biggest hug that I can give.

I'm so thankful!

"And he said:  "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 18:3

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce

I have a picky little eater in our house.

Here he is...

My little pirate.

Unlike most pirates, this one is super selective.  (I'm guessing that pirates eat least that's what I tell this one)

My husband and I both love food.


So we don't understand picky.  How did this happen?

It's so tough cooking for a toddler who only wants to eat grapes.

But, thankfully I found the secret recipe ...

Chicken Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce.

Praise God for this dish!  He eats it every time and doesn't complain one bit.  

The sauce is unbelievably delish, by the way.

In fact, I make the sauce separately sometimes.  I keep a batch in the fridge and mix it with pasta in a pinch.  It's a lifesaver when the little man is screaming and crying and pulling on my leg in the kitchen while I'm trying to get his lunch or dinner plate together.

He's 3.

I'm praying this phase will be over soon.

Anyway, did I tell you this dish was super yummy?

I stole this recipe from my sister, who stole it from her neighbor.

It's definitely a keeper.

And.... I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't finish their plate.

So here it is.  Enjoy!

Chicken Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce   *Printable Recipe*
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Montreal Steak seasoning
1/2 lb penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cube chicken boullion cube (knorr brand)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup fat-free cream
salt & pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh basil, chiffonaded

Rinse chicken breasts in cold water.  Layer between sheets of wax paper and pound to even thickness.  Season both sides with Montreal Steak seasoning.  In large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add chicken breasts and cook 5 mins each side.  Set chicken aside to cool. 

In large pot, boil water with 1 Tbsp salt.  Add pasta and boil according to package directions.  

Heat 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender, but do not let the garlic turn brown (about 3-5 mins).  Add water and 1/2 chicken boullion cube to the pan and allow to reduce by half.  Once the water has reduced, stir in tomato sauce.  Add the heavy cream and stir well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Turn heat to low.  Add parsley and basil to sauce and mix well.

Slice chicken.  Mix cooked pasta, chicken, and sauce. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

This recipe is from my sweet friend in Virginia, Kristie.

She brought these cookies to a welcome luncheon that we hosted at our home before we moved.

Actually the luncheon was in her family's honor since they had just moved from Alaska.

She brought these freshly baked and amazingly perfect cookies to share.

Lemme tell ya......they - were - fantastic! 

They were a BIG hit!  Everyone just devoured them.  

I was feeling a little melancholy this week, so thought I'd pull out her recipe.

Aren't they beautiful?

Every single cookie comes out perfect.

And ..... DE - LICIOUS!

By the way, you can make the batter ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you need to make them.

OR......if you're like me, just make one or two cookies in the toaster oven each day.

Goes great with coffee!  ;)


 Cocoa Crinkle Cookies     *Printable Recipe*
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven at 350.  Combine liquid ingredients and beat.  Combine dry ingredients separately then mix together.  Chill dough overnight or at least 1 hour.  Roll in powder sugar.  Bake for 8-10 mins.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just a little rain

Wow...I've been away from Texas too darn long!

Those were my thoughts today as I drove back home from church.

The armed police officer at the gate who stopped me to check my I.D. asked me with a concerned look on his face, "Do you live here"?

I said, 'Yes'.

Then he says, 'Well that's good because you shouldn't be out in this weather.  You should be home'. 


Blah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Are you kidding me?!

Is that why the downtown streets were clear?

Too funny!

After all those years of living in the Pacific NW and Virginia, I totally forgot that Texas folks like to stay indoors and wait for the rain to clear before venturing out.

Well that's so good to know.

All the better for me!

Here are some photos I snapped while out enjoying the rain with my little man.

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Heart is Happy

This post is for all the wonderful people in our lives who have reached out to us during this most difficult time.

God sure is good!

From the the bottom of my heart -- Thank You.

Words really can't express the joy felt in our hearts these days.

Dan & I can't explain it, but we know that it's an answer to all of your faithful prayers.

Thank you for loving us and blessing us abundantly with prayer.




and Humbled by your generosity.

We love you!

"For where two of three gather in my name, there am I with them." - Matthew 18:20

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Growing Up

Our baby's first day of school ...
My mom, his Lola, helped me with this day.

He was excited, curious, and walked in on his own.

His teachers were awesome.

He made a few friends.

It was a great day!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Storm

Recently, my little family lost what was to be the new addition to our trio.

We were pregnant.

We were starting to share the pregnancy with some family and friends, but several weeks into my pregnancy I felt something was wrong.

We lost our baby.

We're devastated.

Just devastated.

Words cannot express the sadness felt after a miscarriage.

And words cannot express the loneliness felt with my husband miles away during this painful time.

I'm sad.

My heart is broken.

And I'm exhausted.

One of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns comforts me...

was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say, Amen and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, "I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands
And praise the God who gives and takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are no matter where I am
And every tear I've cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

"Give thanks in all circumstances, because this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

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