Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 27-28 & Potato Soup recipe

30 Days of Thankfulness
Day 27:
I am thankful my school semester is almost over!  Turns out that I'm not so much a fan of World Literature.  I'm also thankful that after this semester, I only have FOUR more classes left!!!!  (If you listen closely, you just may hear me squealing!)
Day 28:
I am thankful for days off and crock pots.  With my new job, came new advantages.  Most importantly, I have every Wednesday off.  Some Wednesdays, I keep my boys and have a mommy/me day.  Others, I spend time doing school work, grocery shopping, cleaning, napping, or what-ever-else needs to be done.  Yesterday I tried a new crock pot recipe for "Baked Potato Soup" I found on pinterest.  I wanted to share it with you all!  It was sooooo good (and super easy)!

Pinned Image1 - 30oz bag of frozen shredded hash browns
3 - 14oz cans of chicken broth
1 - cream of chicken soup ( I used Family Size)
1/2 cup - onion finely chopped (I used 1/3)
1/4 teaspoon - ground pepper
1 - cream cheese

Garnish soup with:
green onions
cheddar cheese
sour cream
real bacon pieces

Combine frozen hash browns, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, onions, and pepper in a crock pot.  Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.  About an hour before you eat, add the cream cheese.  Serve when cream cheese is melted thoroughly  Garnish with baked potato toppings!

This yields enough to feed 6-7 people. 

It doesn't get much easier than this folks!  It's very, very good! 

If you have any other super easy (and good!) crock pot recipes, let me know!  I'd love some more.  I might end up being a little more comfortable in the kitchen after all! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 Days of Thankgiving: Day 20-26

Boy!  I've really gotten behind, haven't I?  I'll try to be brief!

Day 20:
I'm thankful for my Sunday School class.  Such a sweet group of students who make me laugh, think, and teach to the best of my ability--they deserve nothing less than my best, and I trust God to make me sound a lot smarter than I truly am.

Day 21:
I am thankful that I have some really awesome friends! 

Day 22:
I am thankful for the Lord's blessings on me and my family.  We have a roof over our head, clothes on our backs, food on our table, and shoes on our feet.  We are blessed

Day 23:
I am thankful that I choose to skip out on Black Friday shopping keep my sanity by shopping online.

Day 24:
I am thankful that almost a month before Christmas, I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping.  Actually, I was finished.  Then, we decided to draw names at Kyle's parent's house.  So, now I have an excuse to shop a little more...  Ha!

Day 25:
I am thankful for Sunday naps.  Actually, I am thankful for any-day naps. 

Amen!  Amen!  AMEN!

Day 26:
I am thankful for long conversations with friends.  Although it may feel like we've gone forever without talking, we always fall back into coversation so easily.

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 17-19

30 Days of Thanksgiving
Happy Monday, ya'll! 

Continuing with my 30 Days of Thanksgiving:

Day 17
I am thankful for my bible study group.  We are continuing with Kelly Minter's "No Other Gods,"  and I have learned so so much about myself the past few weeks.  I've put so many things before the Lord, some intentionally while others unintentionally.  The g-od (little g) I am truly struggling most with is people pleasing.  I put other people's opinions before the Lord's, and God is slowly opening my eyes to how I should only live my life to please Him.  This may turn out to be one of my most favorite bible studies. 

Day 18
I am thankful for my grandparents.  My Grandma Pat is such a special person.  She is always praying for others and putting others before herself.  She is a breast cancer survivor, and we are so thankful that God's healing hand has touched her!  My Grandpa Don is also very special.  He was the grandpa he didn't have to be, and I adore him.  He has a smile that is contagious, and I love his laugh.   

Day 19
I'm thankful for short work weeks and time with family.  We will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family on Thursday at lunchtime.  We will be celebrating Thanksgiving with Kyle's family Thursday evening.  I'm thankful for the prosperity to indulge myself into a Turkey coma multiple times on Thursday!

I've also been listing ways I am thankful for infertility on my other blog.  You can read more about that here

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 16 and Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipe

Occassionally, I cook.  For those of you who know me, this may come as shocking news to you...but occassionally I feel a little brave and venture out of my comfort zone and into the kitchen.  Kyle does most of the cooking while I do most of the cleaning.  If I'm honest, I like it that way.  I'm not a "neat" cook, and when I see clutter or mess it sets my OCD into full motion.  Imagine my surprise  when I'm trying to get those little mixing attachment thingys out of my hand mixer (see--I don't even know what they're called!), and I kinda sorta accidently turned on the mixer.  I had cake mix EVERYWHERE!!!!  So even though this recipe took me 3 hrs to make, I'm well aware it will probably only take most of you 30 minutes.  Stick with's good...and if my finished product was good, yours will be better! 

A friend shared the recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes on her blog, so I thought...what the heck.  I'll give it a shot.  And y'all--they were actually edible
Since the receipe isn't rocket science, I thought I'd pass it on to you.  Here's what you need:


1 Spice Cake Mix
1 Can of Pumpkin Puree

Icing Ingredients:
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Pkg Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Stick of Butter, melted
4 Cups of Powdered Sugar

Yields 20-24 cupcakes


In a large bowl mix together dry cake mix and pumpkin puree.  Add enough milk to make the batter as thick/thin as you want it.  Mix Well.

Fill cupcakes 3/4

Bake on 350 for 20 minutes

In a bowl mix together cream cheese, melted butter, and 4 cups of powdered sugar.  Add 1 Tsp of Vanilla and 1 Tsp of Cinnamon.  Mix well.

Apply icing to cupcakes once they are completely cool.  You can even use one of those fancy decorating thingy's and get something like this....

This is the finished product!
I actually made this!
Really, I did!
So, you'll probably wondering what this has to do with Thanksgiving and Thankfulness.  Today, I am thankful for trying new things and small miracles. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 13-15

Day 13
I am thankful for my job.  Last year at Thanksgiving, I was finding out that my employer was outsourcing our retail accounting department.  We were told MDI would take care of us and find us new jobs within the company.  Thirteen of us were placed among other departments, which ultimately separated a very tight-knit group of our coworkers.  I was so first.  However, I was moved into a new department and although I was at first concerned where I could fit in, now I can honestly say, I've never been happier working with a greater group of women/men in my entire 14 year career with MDI.  It's been an amazing transition for me, and I've learned so, so much which will open opportunities for me here (until I finish school, anyway).

Day 14
I am thankful that I have the support of my husband, family, and friends to finish pursuing my Middle Grades Education degree.  I have 5 classes remaining--which seems totally crazy to me--and I can't wait for God to allow me to stand in front of a group of students every day.  (I get a little giddy when I read that!)  It's my greatest desire that He will influence me and my lessons so that my students see Him.  It's a huge responsibility being an advocate for young students, but the Lord knows my heart and my intentions are to make a difference in students' lives as He made in my own life.  I'm thankful that I have a student's heart for learning.  I'm thankful that God has allowed me the resources to fund continuing in my education program. 

Day 15I am thankful for my co-workers who stepped up to the plate this year.  I can't delve many details, but I'll say that I know that I work with amazing people.  It was so exciting to be on the front lines of how one small seed was brought to complete fruition over the past few weeks.  I'm very thankful for their hearts and their willingness to participate.  And as always, when I asked God to do big things, He did abundantly more!

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 10-12

30 Days of Thanksgiving
 30 Days of Thanksgiving continues...

Day 10
I am thankful that this little fellow right here is TWO...I am thankful for all of our family who came out to help celebrate his birthday.  I am thankful that the weather was stunning, and thankful we were able to move his party (at last minutes notice) to the park!  He had so much fun! 

Birthday Boy




(more pictures to come)

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!
Happy Birthday to the US Marine Corp too!
Day 11
I am thankful for the veterans who serve this country here and abroad.  I am thankful for the sacrifices you have made to ensure my protection and freedom.  I am thankful for your willingness to watch your kids grow up in pictures as you serve overseas.  I am thankful for the courage you have to give all in order to protect and serve the land of the free.  I am also thankful for my family members who proudly call themselves veterans.

My Father In Law, former US Marine

(Not picturered are my late Grandparents:  Frank Miller Sr.,  Frank Miller Jr., and Otis Kennedy,)
Day 12
I'm thankful that my husband is able to enjoy a day off to rest (not that he will).  I'm thankful that he has a stable job and works so hard for our family.  I'm thankful that he is allowed time off to be with his family.  I'm also thankful that today is my Mother In Law's birthday!  Happy Birthday MJ!  We love you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9

Today I am thankful that my Mother in Love has finished her radiation treatments! She was recently diagnosed with the early stages of breast cancer.  Praise God that she was able to have radiation and a lumpectomy.  She is now in remission and a survivor!  No more radiation!  Yay!  It's a great day!

Maw Maw holding Kohen after his birth

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 6-8

Day 6
I am thankful for the ability to build my character as I handle some of life's disappointments.  I was obviously way too emotionally involved in the election this year.  To echo what my pastor said so well, "We have strayed so far from God."  However, I am thankful that it's times of disappointments that God chooses to build our character (and reveal it to others!).  We've always been told that our actions speak louder than words, or at least I've always been told that.  When you are dealing with "life stuff," I think our actions speaking even louder.  I'm thankful that the election is over, and I know it didn't catch the Lord by surprise that the outcome wasn't what I hoped it would be.  Nevertheless, He is still in control.

My Mom
Day 7
I am thankful for my mom who takes care of my boys while I work.  How she handles the two of them day in and day out is beyond what I could ever imagine I am capable of handling. 
To add to the mix, she also keeps my niece Sarabeth...3 kids under 4...crazy!  I would be completely drained by the end of the day.  She is made to love on her grandkids.  I am so thankful that I can work and know that someone who cares as much for them as I do is taking care of them.  She kisses the boo boos.  She teaches them silly songs.  She's the best Nanny (hands down!) a kid could ever want.  I love you mom!  Thank you for all you do for us.

Sarabeth, Kohen, Kade, Josef, & Kenleigh
Day 8
I am thankful for my sister who has given me 2 sweet nieces and one handsome nephew to love on!  I am thankful that we get along better as adults and we seldom occasionally drive each other crazy.  (I think that means we are more alike than we are different now.)  I am thankful that she spoils my kids and takes all of my "worried mommy" phone calls about bumps, bruises, rashes, etc.  I am thankful that she fills in for my mom so I don't have to miss time from work as her schedule accommodates.  I am thankful she's my sister and for the way she has always encouraged me to do my best.  I love you too, Leigh Ann.  Thank you for being an AWESOME Aunt and sister.

Leigh Ann & Sarabeth

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 2-5

Wow, I'm already behind! It's November 5th already?!? Does that seem crazy to anyone else? So, I'm playing "catch up" today....

Day 2

I am thankful for my husband who loves me so well.  He works so hard for our family, and he continually makes us feel important by going above the call of duty for husband and father.  We celebrated our 9th anniversary this year, and I can only imagine how much sweeter my life will be as his wife in the upcoming years.  I love you Kyle.  Thank you for being the best husband a wife could want and best daddy a kid could ask for!

Day 3 & 4
I am thankful for my sweet miracle boys!  I am completely humbled that the kids I cried for now cry for me.  I am so blessed to be your mommy!  I can't imagine my life without either of you!  You make me laugh daily by the quirky things you say and do.  You melt my heart when you say you love me.  You have taught me so much about how precious life can be.  You give me "purpose" to always do my best for my family.  I love you both to the moon and back!

Day 5
I am thankful for my church.  I am thankful that you can feel peace as soon as you enter its doors.  I am thankful for my pastors who preach God's word and who have taught me so much about the Lord and being a Christian.  I am thankful for the Women of Grace who lift each other up in prayer and help edify each other.  I am thankful for the Lord's presences when He sweeps in our church services, and I am thankful for our pastors' obedience to follow His lead.  I am so thankful for all of the people in our church who spoil my kids--Ms. Debbie, Granny Jo, Ms. Yvonne, Ms. Marie, and so many others.  I am very thankful that the Lord led me back to WGBC in 2006...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 1

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Happy November 1st!  Its the season of Thankfulness, home cooking, and holiday shopping!  It's my most favorite time of year.  So many people do the 30 days of Thanksgiving to note what they are thankful for.  I love reading about the things which people find gratifying.  I also found this fun little article that you can use at home with your family.  It's dates are wrong (as its a few years old), but I assure you the content is very relevant.

Anyway, for the next 30 day's I'm going to be saturating my little blog space with things for which I am thankful.  Want to play?  Jump right in!

Day 1
Above all else, I am so deeply grateful for the love of a Risen Lord and Savior who makes me want to be a better person.  My life was once chaos and filled with sin.  I was lost and traveling on the super highway strait to the pits of Hell.  The Lord swept right in and gave me new life, forgave me of my sins, and set my feet upon solid ground--walking day by day with him.  

I recently read this verse and fell in love with it.

"Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand."  Psalm 73:23

Thank you Lord for holding me by my right hand throughout my journey of life so far.  

Liebster Award

My sweet friend Caroline nominated me for the Leibster Award.  Thanks Caroline!

What is the Liebster Blog Award? Well, I'm so happy you asked. The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. I'll answer 11 questions and then nominate another person to participate.

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging when I was undergoing Infertility treatment.  My friend Deidre had shared with me her blog, and I thought it seemed like a really quick way to connect with others who could understand what I was going through.  You can read about that journey here.  I loved blogging so much that I created a family blog (which is what you're reading now).  I also created a religious blog so I could document what God was teaching me through His word and everyday life.  Lastly, I started a book blog where I would record the books I was reading...  I may be a blog-o-holic, but I love it.  I still hop around on each of my blogs posting when time permits.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is the smell in my mom's kitchen.  I can remember as I was a little kid, I would wake up to the savoring smells of a turkey baking overnight.  The smell would fill our entire house.  As soon as I would get out of bed, I would be greeted to the smells of cooking: turkey, potato salad, dressing...what's weird is that as I type this, I still know this smell--and Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away!

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?
This is easy!  Hot!  I am super cold natured.  I love basking in the sunshine and just feeling the rays hit my face.  I'd much rather be hot than cold--any day.

What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Before going to bed, I typically carry my kids to their room and tuck them into bed.  After that, undress, watch 15-20 minutes of the news, and I roll over to my left side and go to sleep.  Not sure why it always has to be the left side, but I've always told my doctor this is why my blood pressure is so good... ;)

What do you do for a living?
I work for a large food distributor in NC.  I've worked at my employer for 14 years in accounting.  Last Fall our department was outsourced so my coworkers and I were moved into various departments.  I was moved to Customer Service and forced to take a demotion.  It didn't bother me so much because I had already decided to return to school to be a middle grades teacher.  I'm currently 5 classes away from having my 2nd bachelor's I hope one day when I'm asked "What do you do for a living?" that I can say, "I make a difference." 

If you could go on a trip tomorrow, where would you go?
Anywhere tropical.  My husband and I traveled to the Dominican Republic a few years ago, and I'd love to go back.

If you could go back to any age, what would it be?
I don't think I would go back to any age.  My school years were that would be out.  My early 20s were filled with marriage and infertility woes--so that's out too.  If I'm answering honestly, I'd have to say that I'm content being 32.

What is your favorite quality in your spouse?
Wow, there are so many qualities that I love about most favorite would be his patience... HA!  That's a joke.  Seriously, my favorite quality *if I'm only picking one* is his thoughtfulness.  He is probably the most thoughtful person that I know.  He loves me well.

What have you or did you learn on your infertility journey?
The most valuable lesson I learned from infertility is that I am not in control.  That was a difficult area for me to relinquish control of.  It's my body--I couldn't understand why I couldn't get pregnant with my body.  I think God really opened my eyes to ultimately His being in control.  I've also learned that even as a parent, it's still very much a part of who I am and who I'll always be.  I constantly pray for people in waiting.  I don't think it will ever leave me.

If you could only shop at one store for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Walmart.  One stop shopping at its finest.

Do you have a favorite quote, verse or song.
My favorite song ever is Matchbox Twenty's "Long Day"  I love all things Matchbox Twenty actually.    My favorite verse is Phil 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content."  (This verse has been prayed over and recited a million many times.)   I don't really have a favorite quote that I can think of off hand.  

That was fun!  Here are some questions for my nomination, Cat.  I'll borrow a few questions from the above list and add a few of  my own:

Why did you start blogging?
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Who has been most influential in your life?
What is one quirky fact about you?
What is your favorite book, movie, or TV show?
What is your favorite quality about your spouse?
How did you meet your spouse?
What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?
How has God recently revealed Himself to you?
Do you have a life verse?  If so, what is it and how did it come to be?
What else can you tell me about yourself?

I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.