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Monday, April 30, 2012


Our kids are rapping, "Pants on the ground, pants on the ground. Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground!" Cora is cracking me up!

Kelvin and I shared the kitchen after church and made some extremely yummy seafood paella. It was soooo good! Here is the recipe...

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup cremini or white button mushrooms, stems removed, caps roughly chopped
  • 1 14 ounce artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • 1 pound scallops
  • 2 chicken sausage links, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cups quick-cooking brown rice
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and add the onion and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Mix in the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and saffron and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the white wine, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, shrimp, scallops and sausage; stir. Mix in the rice and chicken broth; cover and cook until liquid has dissolved, approximately 10 minutes.

    2. Top paella with the smoked paprika and parsley and serve.

    Serves 8
    Prep time 9 minutes
    Cook time 21 minutes

    Tomorrow morning I'm dropping Princess, our cat dog, at the groomer. It will be her first haircut since she came to live with us. She is the silliest dog. She acts so much like a cat. She sleeps in the window sill or under my feet at at the desk and jumps on top of the recliner and sofa and sleeps on the very edge. Hope the vet opens early enough for me to stop by and pick up a copy of her shot records. The groomer has to have a copy. Ugh! Such high maintenance!

    I'm about to start the process of cleaning out and making the office into Cora's very own room. She is still sleeping in our room, and only has a little space in an armoire in our dining room for her toys. It's time for her to spread her wings a little bit. I was hoping she could be Carleigh's roomie, and I guess it would work if it absolutely had to, but they are 7 years apart. In another year, Carleigh will be in middle school, and Cora will still be a preschooler, and I just don't see much harmony in that situation. So, off to work cleaning and organizing and rearranging I will go!

    Have a wonderful week!

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    That's what I'm talkin' about!

    I've had a project in mind for a veeery long time. I've been looking for the perfect frame or something I could use as a frame, but I wasn't willing to spend a lot of $$. Today while I was in Hobby Lobby, I came across this beauty.

    What is even sweeter than finding the perfect thing for my project is the price I paid...

    Now, that's what I'm talkin' about! :)

    I'll be sure to post about the project as soon as I start it. Maybe I'll even remember to take before and after photos. 

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    A few of my favorite things

    ...crab cakes, a good movie, times all of my children are getting along, a belly laugh, pants that begin to fit a little bit looser, rain on a metal roof, beach scented air, a good-fitting pair of sunglasses, cilantro, lime, fish tacos, the perfect tint of lip stick or gloss, a great straw hat, porch swings, eating al fresco, pretty wind chimes, snuggles from my kiddos, an "I love you" from a child, organized drawers and closets, clutter-free spaces, a good work-out, aprons, island kitchens, comfy bar stools, flip flops, smooth glass of wine, pedicures, rattan, dip in the pool, hammocks, magazines, photo albums, waterfalls, Pottery Barn catalogs, popcorn, soup, family and friends, jacuzzi tubs, eye brow waxes, giner peach tea, tostadas, a good book read deep into the night, the smell of Tropicana suntan lotion, a scripture that seems new even though I've read it 100 times before, seeing my husband pull in the driveway, dreaming about the future, no debt, grace...

    It's getting late, and my brain is shutting down. There is more to come. Won't you share some of your favorites too?

    Have a beautiful weekend.

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    One Month

    So, a month from today, on Sunday, May 13, I will set out to finish my first ever triathalon! Can you believe you just read those words?! Crazy, huh? Well, I had to do something to get motivated to lose some weight, and a triathalon is something I checked on the health assessment in January and was inspired to do after reading Karen's post. I found one for beginners. It is a super sprint, meaning it is super short. Meaning I might get through it without passing plum out.

    A couple of friends of mine and I have signed up for and have been training for the TriGirl Super Sprint on Mother's Day. It is a girls only race...a little less intimidating, I think. You can click on the cute logo (doesn't it just make you smile?) and go to their website to learn more. Basically though, we will swim 200 yards in a lake, bike 8 miles in and around a couple of parks, and run 2 miles through a park. I'm excited to cross over the finish line. I hope to have a cool Emma's Hugs jersey to wear, but I don't know if it will be here in time. I will have on my cool Emma's Hugs hat though. Anyone who wants to show some love to Emma's Hugs in support of my race, feel free to visit and click on the donate tab. Thanks!

    And if you were wondering, I have lost a few pounds. I'm down about 5 since I started making myself do something in January. I have about 15 to go. I would really like to be a bit smaller than that, but 15 more pounds would be just peachy. Bummer thing...all of the race participants have to write their age with a big black marker on their calves. I don't turn 40 until December, but I have to write the age I will be at the end of this year on my calves! Has to do with some stinky race rule. I think that is just plain mean!

    So, what have you been doing?

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    He Lives

    I serve a risen Saviour; He's in the world today.
    I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
    I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
    And just the time I need Him He's always near.
    He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
    He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
    He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
    You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.
    Stanza 2:
    In all the world around me I see His loving care,
    And though my heart grows weary I never will despair.
    I know that He is leading, thro' all the stormy blast;
    The day of His appearing will come at last.
    Stanza 3:
    Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian! Lift up your voice and sing
    Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King!
    The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find,
    None other is so loving, so good and kind.
    Happy Easter! I hope you know the One who walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way. He is risen indeed.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Recipes and other stuff

    What's for dinner at your place this week? We're having...

    Stuffed Zucchini Boats

    New York Strip with side salad and broccoli or asparagus

    Pizza Quesadillas

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

    Szechuan Beef Stir Fry (not sure where I found the recipe)

    2 beef shoulder center steaks (Ranch Steaks), cut 3/4 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
    1 package (10 ounces) fresh vegetable stir-fry blend
    3 Tbsp. water
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 cup prepared sesame-ginger stir-fry sauce
    1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
    2 cups hot cooked rice or brown rice, prepared without butter or salt
    1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts

    1. Combine vegetables and water in large nonstick skillet; cover and cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove and drain vegetables. Set aside.
    2. Meanwhile cut beef steaks into 1/4-inch thick strips.
    3. Heat same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1/2 of beef and 1/2 of garlic; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Repeat with remaining beef and garlic.
    4. Return all beef and vegetables to skillet. Add stir-fry sauce and red pepper; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with peanuts.
    Four cups assorted fresh vegetables, such as sugar snap peas, broccoli florets, bell pepper strips and shredded carrots, may be substituted for 1 package vegetable stir-fry blend. Your favorite stir-fry sauce flavor may be substituted for the sesame-ginger flavor. Nutritional Information Nutrition information per serving: 351 calories; 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 64 mg cholesterol; 1147 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrate; 3.0 g fiber; 32 g protein; 5.4 mg niacin; 0.3 mg vitamin B6; 2.9 mcg vitamin B12; 4.1 mg iron; 33.0 mcg selenium; 6.6 mg zinc.

    We're having gumbo Saturday. I can't wait! I never get tired of gumbo. It's always soooo good! If you live in Chambers County in Precint 6 (Pinehurst, Beach City, neighborhoods south of I-10 and all along Hwy. 146) come out and join us! Kelvin is making the gumbo for this...

     Our good friend, Marc is running for Constable (click on the highlighted words for a link to his website.) Marc and my good friend (and his wife), Lesley are great people! You can read their story on Lesley's blog here.

    Not sure where we're headed for Easter dinner. Hope somewhere super yummy! Wishing you a week full of reflection for what our Savior did for us...the reason we celebrate Easter.

    "But this is how God will rescue the whole world. My life will break and God's broken world will mend. My heart will tear apart--and your hearts will heal. Just as the passover lamb died, so now I will die instead of you. My blood will wash away all of your sins, and you'll be clean on the inside--in your hearts."-- Jesus

    a quote from The Jesus Storybook Bible
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