Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall Comfort Food

Okay- since I do not get around to posting all that regularly, I might as well make it good, right? I got this FABO! recipe from some teachers at school and I ran right out and got the ingredients and made it that night! It was excellent and worth sharing and VERY EASY! Enjoy!

Southern Chicken and Dumplins'

3 cans of Buttermilk Biscuits (the 8 oz size)
3 cans of Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup (I used the Healthy Request)
4 cups of water (you will have to add more later as it gets thicker)
6 cooked and chopped chicken breasts
1 cup of chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste

Okay, here's what you do. Cook your chicken breasts in your crock pot on high until done, say two to three hours. Take them out and shred them. Then cut into quarters your biscuits and add them and the soups with the four cups of water to the crock pot, reserving chicken for later. Let this cook for a couple of hours on high stirring every 20 mins or so. 20 mins before serving, add your chicken and add more water as needed to get it the consistency you desire. This is so good served with a green salad and some fresh bread and butter for a great Fall Dinner!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fall Break

I love Fall! The weather turns cooler. The leaves start to change colors. Football, sweaters, marching band, hayrides, apple pies, chili, hot cocoa, and pumpkins! Everything seems fresher. I have more energy, when it is cooler outside. I think we also sleep better. Before we know it, the holidays will be here. It is very important to be thankful and grateful for each and every season. Find something you love about each one and find a reason to celebrate it!

We will be leaving for Destin with friends in a few days, and I cannot wait for a slower, more relaxer pace that comes with a vacation. It is a time to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life as we know it. To get away from cooking, cleaning, litter boxes, and laundry. To get away from homework, gymnastics, band practice, and bedtimes. To cook out, and eat out, and lay out in the sun! (and to sleep in!) I am looking forward to playing in the pool and lazy river, laying on the beach and reading a good novel, playing some good games, and just laughing with family and friends. We get so "busy" with every day life, weeks can go by with out so much as a phone call or a visit, for a friendly catch up. I NEED that. I am READY for that! Take time out, this Fall break, and enjoy the season, enjoy your family and friends, enjoy the cooler weather. We certainly are!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Wish I Could.......

I wish I could...................................put my children in a bubble and protect them from all harm. Forever. I wish there was a guarantee that if you do the best you can, teach them right from wrong, take them to church, rock them as babies, read out loud to them when they are small, that everything will be okay. Better than okay. Terrific! I wish that if you taught them to be kind to animals and all of God's creatures, to look both ways before crossing the street, to treat people the way you want to be treated, to speak words of kindness, to be helpful, to be respectful to their elders, and to clean up after themselves, that life would be incredible! I wish I could be guaranteed that they would be successful in life, in every area. I want them to have an excellent education, to obtain a great job, to live in a nice neighborhood, to marry someone who truly loves them for who they are, not who they WANT them to be. I want them to make beautiful babies, and to be happy and healthy and to be thankful for ALL Things. I want them to have the right kind of friends and TO BE the right kind of friend, to those who come in their lives.
I guess you could say, I want what we all want as parents: THE VERY BEST FOR OUR CHILDREN.
But, (you had to know it was coming) we do not have a guarantee. They come to us with NO DIRECTIONS attached. We live and we learn how and what to do, as we are doing it. It is truly, on the job training. We pray and we do the best we can, and we make mistakes along the way, and life goes on. We wake up one day, and that tiny little baby we brought home from the hospital that was 8 lbs. and 20 in. long is now 6'2 and 170 lbs. (The other little darling is 9 yrs. old and she is 65 lbs.)
When did that happen??? It happened while we were living life. While we were laughing and loving and crying and driving carpools. People say: "you better enjoy every minute of it! You will miss the chaos when it is gone!" So this is my prayer:

"Lord help me live today to the fullest. Help me parent this child in the way you would have me to. Help him make good decisions. Help him know that he has a good foundation on which to build on and parents who love him. Help him know Lord, that nothing is impossible with you. Be his protector. Go out before him and show him the way. Give him wisdom, direction and guidance. Thank you Lord, that even though I do not know what the future holds, you do, and you have a plan and a purpose for our lives. Above all else Lord, I pray for him to have a heart for you. I know that if he has a heart for you, everything else will be okay. That is my guarantee!"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mrs. Catherine

My Mother's office recently had a retirement party for Mrs. Catherine Hamill. She was an incredible woman. Few like her have graced this earth. She was beautiful, inside and out. I have many memories of her, from when I was a small child. Her hair and her lipstick were always in place! She was always dressed perfectly and smelt so good! Whenever I would go to my Mother's office, she always had a big hug for me and some sort of treat. She would ask ME about things that were important TO ME. (my school, my friends, my new puppy) She and her husband never had any children of their own. (They were content loving on everyone else's ) I have incredible memories of her helping my Mother at my wedding reception with all the food! My Mother insisted on doing the food herself and Mrs. Catherine was her right hand! This is a poem that she gave everyone who attended her Retirement reception as a little "Thank You." I think it sums up the way she has lived (and continues to live) her life. We all should learn a little something from it.

Promise Yourself

Promise yourself to be so strong
That nothing can disturb your peace of mind
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
To every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel
That there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything
And make your optimism come true.
To think only the best,
To work only for the best,
And expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
As you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past
And press on to the greater achievements of the future
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
And give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time
to the improvement of yourself
That you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry,
Too noble for anger, too strong for fear
And too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Author Unknown

Monday, August 18, 2008

Today was Monday all day long........

Well wouldn't you know it? I got a phone call to sub at Anna's school. Normally, does anything EVER happen NORMAL around here?!? that would be great, except.......Dalton has been gone since Friday night, Tom left right after church on Sunday afternoon and my back was killing me. I. Mean. Killling. Me. But, not wanting to let that opportunity pass me by...I did it. They were Hillarious!!!! I went from class to class because the Insurance man was there trying to get everyone to up the anty on their insurance. I watched the classroom for the teacher while she went to check on her school benefits. Oh the Joy! The Kindergarten class was so adorable on their nap mats with their lullaby CD playing. The First graders loved reading the book, "Ruby the Copycat!" and they loved telling me who they like to copy! (for the record- it was mostly their big brothers and sisters) The second graders were reading and having center time and some were writing their spelling words. Can I just say they were one of the busiest bunches I saw all day long. They really know how to "Get 'er done!" The third and fourth graders were working on social studies and math, and covered quite a lot of territory today! I was impressed at their level of enthusiasm for learning. I did not see the fifth graders, but let me assure you- THEY ARE THE TOP DOGS ON CAMPUS- in case any of you were wondering... and we will NEVER be as cool as they are.....I am sure they were doing something very important. I came home to find that my first appointment for physical therapy is tomorrow at 10:30 and I could not be happier. I will sleep good tonight.
Oh- and Dalton got home at 2:50 a.m. and I woke him for school at 6 a.m. for school. He got home at 3:30 p.m. and has been asleep ever since. He will eat the whole house when he wakes up. He sure does love Music City Legends.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Doctor said...

Okay- here is what I found out. The Ortho Doc. confirmed what the MRI showed. I have Degenerative Disc Disease and a bulging disc. The good news is 70 % of the people with this problem are greatly helped by physical therapy and meds. (anti-inflammatory drugs-not narcotics!) So- I guess I am going to have to exercise after all! Those of you who know me well know how much I LOVE to exercise!
I have been VERY emotional about this whole thing. You cannot enjoy the life God has given you if you are in constant pain. You find yourself thinking of it all the time because it is always there. I look forward to finding some relief from this, this thing that holds me down. Thank you for your prayers, phone calls and encouragement. It TRULY means more than you will ever know.

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us ENCOURAGE
one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today was not a good day.
My back has been bothering me for some time now and I finally decided enough was enough. I went to the Dr. who sent me for an MRI. They called with my results this afternoon. I have Degenerative Disc Disease. It is in my L4 and L5 and I am to see an Orthopedic Dr. at Summit Hospital tomorrow.
This is not what I expected. I am sad and angry and mad. I am 37 and I want to scream, "I am not supposed to be in this much pain!" I want to shout, "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!" Then I remember, life is not a fair. The county fair comes but once a year and there are rides and popcorn, cotton candy and Ferris wheels! If you are waiting for life to be fair.....keep on waiting', cause it ain't ever gonna be.
We all have difficulties in life, and I have to now take a dose of my own medicine. You see, it is easy to tell someone else these things, but much more difficult to swallow them yourself! Remember when your Mama told you to "choose your words carefully, you just might have to eat them!" Well, it is my turn. I must now tell myself, "Shannon, the Lord Jesus himself made you and he didn't make any mistakes. He has a plan and a purpose for your life and if this is something you are to go through, then so be it. It may be so that you can encourage someone else when they suffer with this very same disease. It may be so that you can learn to "give thanks in ALL things." Yes, even this. It may be so that he can reveal himself to you in a new way, and show you that"his grace is sufficient for you, for his power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9 It may be so that he can work a miracle and heal you and then you can use it as part of your testimony. We do not have a testimony without going through some tests! He DOES NOT WASTE ANY PAIN. He will use this for his glory.
I do not know the Lord's plan, but I DO know this. He has not failed me yet. He is with me in this storm. "The Lord stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven." Psalm 107:29-30

"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all of his benefits-
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases." Psalm 103:2-3

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day of School!

Do you remember your first day of school? Each year, the excitement builds as you pick out the new shoes and clothes, the new school supplies, the backpack, the new lunchbox! (I still remember my two favorite lunchboxes! Holly Hobby and the little red one from Tupperware!) You wonder whose class you will be in and what friends you will see from last year. There is nothing quite like the smell of a box of new crayons or freshly sharpened pencils. The bright, white notebook paper begs you to write upon it, all the while you sit and wonder who you will sit beside for lunch or who you will play with at recess. Yep. Those were the days. Or were they? Some days were good, others, not so much. Some days, you were the "Star Student," other days you felt as if you disappeared (or wished you could) into thin air. I find myself praying so hard during the school day for my children. I pray that they will MAKE the right kind of friends and BE the right kind of friend. I pray for their safety. I pray for a positive learning environment. I pray for their protection. I pray for their teachers. I pray that they find favor with both their peers and their teachers and all of those that God has placed in authority over them. I pray for their minds to be open to learning all that God has for them. I pray that they would be kind and sensitive to others, remembering that we get what we give. I pray for Godly Teachers and role models in their lives because these people are with them a large majority of their day.

Yes- as we begin another school year, I am reminded that we have them at home for such a short time. They really do grow up fast! Here are pics I took on the first day of school! Dalton going into 10th and Anna into 4th!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just what I always wanted......

My favorite time of the day...bedtime. Without a doubt. Everyone is clean and fresh and sleepy and mostly sweet. I cannot help but think to myself.....as the people I love most in the whole wide world get ready to turn in for the night, this is exactly what I have always wanted. These children, this husband, this marraige, this family, this home, this life. I AM doing exactly what I always wanted to do. Even on the hard days. Even when life is hard, and things don't go well, and people aren't always kind. God is good and we are blessed. I am so thankful.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I wasn't finished yet..anyway..we just got back from my sister's in Ohio.....see my beautiful nephews?!! We had a fabulous time! And we are leaving again soon for Charleston, SC to be with Dear Mom. In between all of that, Dalton has gotten his first car! Do you remember YOUR first car? I sure do! More importantly, I remember what it represented to me! FREEDOM!!!!! I was in such a hurry to grow up and get the heck out! Speaking of getting out....I hope you are getting out today and having fun with family or friends or both! We are. I was feeling so kind and generous that I thought I would share a recipe with you all. KEY LIME PIE is one of our fav's and it is fab for summer! Don't forget what today is really about ....and the men and women who fight for our country every day. I am so thankful I live in the Good Ole USA!


1- Graham Cracker Crust
1- 6 ounce can of frozen limeade
1- cup of heavy whipping cream
1- can of sweetened condensed milk
the zest of one lime

Mix the limeade, heavy whipping cream and the sweetened condensed milk until soft peaks from with mixer. Pour in crust and top with the zest of one lime. Excellent for summer!

Happy 4th!!!

Yea..I know...You are disappointed that I am not blogging DAILY to let you know what is going on in my super exciting life. All I can say is I am busy..and never home...seriously? Yes. Seriously. We just got back from my sister's in Ohio

Monday, June 9, 2008

While you were out....................

Okay...okay......I know.....I have failed miserably at blogging......on a regular basis that is....but just for the time being.....I have been VERY busy you know....where should I start? The beginning is usually a nice place. After last week's FUN day at Don Fox's park, I came home and got my second wind..so to speak! I stayed up painting until 1am! (and can I just say, I have not recovered yet!) Everything I have hurts AND I am sunburned and PEELING. It is NOT a pretty thing! The rooms however....... they are quite lovely! Tom's office was first because he was coming home first. I painted it tan with a rust colored accent wall. He loved it!!! Then I moved on to Dalton's room! His is tan with a chocolate accent wall. (Does anyone see a theme here?) It is awesome and he loved his well! I am glad because I am about dead. Now we have VBS this week. Wow......Lord give me strength...... Then today, Dalton had dental surgery to remove all four wisdom teeth. He is sleeping now. Just the stress of your child going under and then waking up TOTALLY OUT OF IT, is a very nerve-wracking thing. Do I hear any amens??? We came home with 4 prescriptions. I hope I can wake him up enough to get him to swallow them! And it is only Monday...............

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Boobie's Birthday

Today was our cat's birthday. As you can plainly tell, "someone" went all out! Anna Grace started the morning by searching for all of the birthday plates, napkins, party hats, blowers, and favors that she could find. I tried to convince her that cats don't have parties. She was having none of it. She insisited that Boobie (I'll explain the name later) have a party plate and napkin and that can food we bought at the grocery store for special occasions such as this. I stopped just short of the putting a candle in the oceanfish medley. Oh well, I regress. I finally gave in. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. We sang a lovely little duet of "Happy Birthday." The cat seemed afraid and tried to hide under the sofa, but once again, Anna Grace convinced her to come out and join the festivities! A delightful time was had by all!
We then spent the afternoon at the wade pool with friends and had a picnic at the park! It was the kind of summer day that makes me so very thankful for children, and pets, and sunshine and tunafish sandwiches (thanks for sharing Stef!) and fresh fruit and cool, cool beverages!!! So much for painting........oh well.......there's always tomorrow........

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Yea!!! Summer Break is here! I hope this finds you sleeping in and enjoying the hot, lazy "dog days" of summer with your family. Anna Grace and I made blueberry pancakes with all the fixin's this morning! She loves to cook and when Daddy and Dalton are gone, we do whatever we want in the kitchen! (We tend to be more traditional when they are here.) But hey, when they are gone, when can have ice cream for supper, can't we? Then, as we started to clean up the dishes, it remeinded me of all we had ahead of us today. I need to get ready so we can head to Home Depot and get the paint for the kids bathroom, Dalton's room, and Tom's office. Then I wanted to go to Tues. Morning that just opened here and look for a new shower curtain. I need to go to the grocery, get gas in my car, geez, that will not be pretty, :( Anna and I both need a trim. In all of this busyness, it reminded me of something I had saved from a Kindergarden Graduation ceremony.

Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.

Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park and play.

Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me me how to play that new game of yours.

Just for this afternnon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one when he comes by.

Just for this afternoon, I will not worry about what you are going to be whe you grow up, and second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them!

Just for this afternnon, I will take us to McDonald's and buys us both Happy Mealsso that you can have both of the toys.

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about the how you were born and how much I love you.

Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry when it gets all over the walls.

Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late and we will sit on the porch and count all of the stars.

Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss all of my favorite TV shows.

Just for this evening, when I run my fingers through you hair as you say your prayers, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given. I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children graves, instead of their bedrooms, and the mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can;t handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little longer and a little tighter, and then a little bit more.

It is then that I will thank God for you and ask him for nothing except one more day............

Author Unknown

Monday, June 2, 2008

I am so excited! This is my first blog! I could not decide what to blog about about at first....do I discuss those huge heavy things like politics, or going green, or rising gas prices? Do I talk about a few of my favorite things like, my hubby, or my kids, or friends, or my church, or Freezer Cooking!?!?! Or...do I discuss something no one wants to talk about... dealing with, or overcoming depression...... almost everyone I know has struggled with it at one time or another. Whether it was when you had a baby, or moved to a new city and knew no one or suffered a loss of some type, sooo..... that being said.... I found something.... or read something and simply added a few things to it and I now call it my "Medicine-Box for Depression." I hope this help you or someone you know. be blessed.....

Medicine -Box for Depression

Get some friends-
We all need them! they laugh with us and cry with us and always remind us it will get better nothing last forever!

Read- don't grab the oreo's, read away your cravings, esp. the big book, it always helps! put your mind on something else

Be Accountable to Someone-
Most 12 step programs have mentors to teach & guide & inspire them towards physical, mental, and spiritual health. When you tell someone something, or or write it down, you are more likely to do it!

Predict your weak Spots-
If you know mornings are your most difficult, plan something to look forward too, like an early morning walk, or a special cup of coffee, or a morning show on TV

Distract Yourself-
A cup of hot tea, de-cluttering your house, scrapbooking, looking at a magazine, listening to music, journaling, etc.

Ok- this one is proven- no better buster for depression than exercise! (hey- I don't have to like them all!)

Start a Project-
the fastest way to get out of your head is to start a project; putting together a family album, painting a room, planning a party

Keep a Record-
keeping a journal of thoughts & behaviors can really help you purge feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, etc. It is a way of "cleaning out the closets of our minds."

Be the Expert-
I always feel less depressed when helping someone else who is struggling with feelings of sadness. It is the 12th step in most 12 step programs- Give and ye shall receive. The best thing I can do for my brain is to find someone in greater pain than myself and offer them my hand. If she takes it, than I am inspired to stand stronger so than I can pull her out of her funk- thus helping myself in the process.

Grab your Security Item-
(Not the Oreos!) Everyone needs a blankie- ok- not everyone- but do you have a favorite shirt or pair of comfy yoga pants made from prima cotton that feel oh so soft? Or maybe you carry a little, tiny, cross in your pocket?Something that reminds you that the most important things ARE NOT THINGS. When I doubt that there is goodness in this world, I can close my eyes, and go to my happy place of comfort and security.

Get on Your Knees-
This is the FIRST thing we should do in every situation- good or bad, but especially think that the person struggling with depression needs several scriptures that you have committed to memory that you can quote, out loud even, on those particularly dark days

Do Nothing-
Some days we just need permission to take a "mental health day" as we like to call them at my house! or maybe you can't take a whole day, but I bet you can take a nap! Even a 20 minute nap, studies have shown, will refresh the brain and give the energy you need to tackle the rest of your day. After all- Tommorow is another day!