Friday, July 29, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie the way my Mama makes it.

This recipe is a family favorite from way back. In fact, I can remember Mama making TWO batches of this dish so there would be enough for the 5 of us. Once you start eating it, it's SO hard to stop! ;)


CHICKEN POT PIE

Ingredients:
Boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenderloin
I use 4 or 5 tenders and 1 or 2 breasts depending on the size. Also, if you're in a hurry you can use 1 large can of shredded chicken.
2 cans mixed veggies
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
I buy the big thing of broth and use the empty soup can to "measure".
1 stick butter
Paula Deen would be SO proud. ;)
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425.

In a small saucepan heat the soup and broth until warm and well blended.

While the soup mixture is "cooking", add the shredded chicken and veggies to a 9X13 baking dish.
This is when I put in a little salt & pepper.

Add the soup mixture to the baking dish.

Melt the butter in a mixing bowl, and add the flour and buttermilk.
Sometimes I use the piping hot saucepan to help melt the butter instead of microwaving it.
Stir mixture until well blended. The topping should be thick but easy to pour.
Pour evenly over veggies & chicken.

Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes.
You want to be sure the topping is done on the bottom so you may have to go a little longer.
Turn the broiler on for a few minutes at the end to brown the top. 

Serve and enjoy!

Disclaimer:::: This dish stays HOT for a LONG time. Be very careful when serving it! I always plate it before we're really ready to eat.



I hope your family likes this. Monster J loves it (mostly, he loves the topping...and who can blame him?!) but he does eat the veggies, too. ;)







Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anti-Daddy Phase

J Baby is almost 2! I can't even believe it. It's going by too fast. I love this toddlerhood stage. It's my favorite age so far (I've said that about every age!) He's so independent. He's insistent on helping and sometimes even demands that he do something by himself. He loves to share and is so sweet. He gives hugs and kisses without too much begging from his Mama. ;) One phase I am beginning to want to do without, though, is the anti-daddy phase. It started a couple of weeks ago and I'm grateful that it hasn't gotten worse. Sometimes J is just fine sitting with David or letting David help him to the potty or get him dressed or fed. Other times (mostly bedtime, during the night and mornings) he only wants me. He won't let David get him juice, hold him or even be near him! He runs to me and hides his face while crying and saying "No, dada!" Other times he's perfectly content to be with David. He lets him give him a bath, play outside, sit with him for a snack...and then, like a switch he's running away from David again. We know it's just a phase but it's starting to wear on David's feelings and I completely understand.

Nothing has happened that would make him not want to be around David. There hasn't been any discipline or any other "event". J is very obsessive and once he gets something in his mind, he cannot be convinced otherwise (It's why we still have to spray for snakes in his room every other night or so!) He may have thought something or whatever and now is wary of David at times. Who knows!?!?

Anyone got any suggestions? Mama suggested we just ignore it. When he reacts to David just to say "It's okay" and go on with what we're doing. That's what we've been doing.

Help! :)


Monday, March 28, 2011

Karate Kid

While D was watching Karate Kid one morning, J decided to show off his karate moves. :) He saw the actors standing on the Great Wall of China and J said "Stand?" and he stood just like they were! We didn't even have to show him how to do it. 









Mr Independent

Josh has become quite the independent little Monster lately. He wants to wipe his own mouth, pour his own juice, put his own clothes in the laundry hamper (no complaints here about that one!) and although he's been feeding himself for quite some time, he doesn't want anything cut up or broken into smaller pieces. Not even a meatball sub!













Sunday, March 6, 2011

This little light of mine...

He's gonna let it shine. :)

video


Playing in the rain

Today was a rainy day. A perfect day for taking naps and snuggling with my guys. :)

After church we had lunch with the Woolard family and Brent (his family is in NJ visiting) :( We missed them.

The rain had stopped as we ate lunch and Silas said that if it started raining again he wanted to play in the rain. God decided to help him out and the rain began falling again! We finished up and let the kids play in it for a while before heading home to get warmed up and take naps.

Here's some of the action.

video



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Yanya"

Tanya has been more than patient with J Baby. She's been so wonderful in trying to figure out some ways to make Josh more comfortable while with her and the other kids. He took his lovey (a cloth diaper) with him to school Friday and had a much better day. Maybe it was the lovey...maybe it was all the prayers...either way, he had a great day!




Guess who asked to go see "Yanya" this morning?!


Guess who was smiling when "Yanya" opened the door this morning?


Guess who didn't cling to his Mama when she left him this morning?


Guess who only whined a little when his Mama left him this morning?


Guess who peeked and grinned at Emelie when she dropped Jake off this morning?


Guess who loves his new school?!



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

School

Josh seems to be adjusting well to his new school. It's only been 2 days (today's the 3rd) and his teacher said he did better yesterday than he did Monday so hopefully he'll be doing great soon. He was sick all night Friday night and neither of us got much sleep but he acted fine Saturday. Sunday he woke up acting a little puny and was for most of the day. He is slowly getting back to eating and acting like himself again.


I did want to ask all you more experienced Mamas about something. Josh's teacher says that he's been laying in the floor to play. For example, the other day he laid on his belly in the floor and pushed the toy airplane around. She made him get up because the classroom is small and she didn't want the other children running him over. She said he did it again yesterday and they would continue to work on it. His last sitter mentioned him doing it only when he was ready for a nap but his current teacher says he does it at all times of the day, not just before nap. He doesn't do this at home. I can't even really picture him doing that. It's just not like him at all. It's causing me some concern and I'm praying about it. I'm not sure if he's not feeling 100% yet and is maybe doing it when he feels bad or if it's a shyness issue. He isn't used to being around kids ages 3 & 4 (except for his church friends but he only sees them once or twice a week) and kids that age are a little more huggy and touchy than Josh is used to. The other kids have also been there longer and are more comfortable there. I'm not sure if it's any of that or if he's trying to zone out because he's uncomfortable and scared. The thought of him being afraid and sad makes me sick. It's the last thing I want. Please pray he'll be more and more comfortable each day and begins to act like himself asap! Also, if you have any ideas/suggestions/stories to relate to the laying down things, please share. I can't ask him why he does it (well, I could but he can't tell me) and it's got me boggled!


Otherwise, he's doing well. He is ready for his Dada to come home (and so am I!). Every evening we come in the house and Josh says "Dada hide?" I said "No, Dada's not here. He's at work." He doesn't believe me and checks all of David's usual hiding spots. ;) He'll be happy to have his Dada back home. (Only one more sleep!!!)



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Update on the update

I just wanted to give one last update on the amazing (yes, Amanda, it really is amazing!) thing the Lord has done for us. David got an e-mail saying that the bonus he'll be getting Friday is MORE than the $500 minimum! See, AMAZING! :)



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

 "Be strong and of a good courage; 
be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; 
for the Lord thy God is 
with thee wherever you go." 
--Joshua 1:9 



Well, you've done it again people! You've prayed for us and supported us yet again. You certainly prayed all of our (when I say "our" I mean "my") worry away and we feel confident that we're making the best decision for Joshua. You've been very encouraging and it means so much to us.


We had our meeting with Option 2 yesterday evening. (We'll call her T.) It went wonderfully! She is very friendly and welcoming. Josh was a little shy at first and didn't want Dave to put him down. But after a few minutes of our tour and talking with her, he felt comfortable enough to get down and play. She kept offering for him to come play and he finally did! Her son, M, was there and he and J played together while the adults talked. It was very sweet and J loved the Buzz Lightyear M had. ;) T is licensed with the state and county and is very organized. There's a sign in sheet, one whole room dedicated as the "classroom" with table and chairs. There are several stations set up all around the room. There's a play kitchen, a few shopping carts full of play food, a large rack of books, one wall is a shelf full of educational toys (shape sorters, color puzzles, etc.) and everything was clean and well maintained. She has a closet FULL of other toys (very neatly organized in bins and tubs) to be traded out every week or so so that the children don't get bored with the same 'ol toys. Each child has a bin in the closet with a change of clothes and there's a photo of each child on the wall. She has their birth dates on the wall as well. It's adorable. Each child has a little cot to take naps on and T washes the bedding each Friday. They're low to the ground, which I was glad of, so IF Josh falls off he won't have far to fall. ;) (He just started sleeping in a big boy bed and still rolls all over his bed while asleep) The children eat breakfast, lunch and snack in the kitchen. They wash their hands a lot and take lots of potty breaks. The back yard is HUGE! and very nice. There are 6 or 7 climbing things: a castle, a boat, a 6 in 1 slide thing, a tee-pee! We were really impressed with everything and with T. 


Josh was impressed too. He didn't want to leave and blew kisses to T and M. I asked if he liked it and he said yes. Then he asked his Daddy "yike?" Daddy said yes too. :) I asked him this morning if he wanted to go back and play with Mrs T soon. He said yes. :)


David and I have prayed about this decision and talked about it and prayed about it and talked some more. We've crunched the numbers and are determined to make it work financially. We really believe that this place is the best place for Josh. It will be so good for him and he will learn so much (not that he wouldn't somewhere else...he's a very bright child). I think it will be good for him to be around the other children. They're all a little older than he is and while I worry about him being behind them in coordination and comprehension, I know that he does many things kids his age don't do. He comprehends much more than he should at his age and is very eager to help and pitch in. I really believe he can hang with the 3 year olds. He'll be 2 in 4 months (which reminds me I have a party to start planning!!) and I'll feel a little better about him being there then. He just seems so little to me still. :)


We're thinking he will start at his new school on Monday, the 31st. We have some money issues to work out but I think this coming Monday would be the best time with our pay schedules, and it being the beginning of a new month, etc. So please continue to pray that the money works itself out. I'm trusting that it will.


Everything else is going well. The potty training is still going well as is the toddler bed sleeping. He has gotten out of bed once during the night but I think was afraid to come into our room because it was dark and got right back into his bed just as David was going to check on him. He has a play-date with Miss SKW Thursday. He's looking forward to that as it's been a few weeks since they've seen each other. I just hope Lindsey can keep them from kissing all day! ;)


We're having dinner with friends twice this week! It really does my heart good to be with our friends. We don't have family close by and it's hard for us. We're BIG on family in the White/Hand/Hall/Haynes/McBride house. We're blessed with wonderful friends here in Greenville and love spending time with them. They really are our family away from family. 


**UPDATE**

We thought we had the money issue worked out. We, with our feeble human minds. We, with our anxious, mistrusting hearts. We shouldn't have been thinking at all. HE had it worked out. HE, with His all-knowing mind. HE, with His loving, perfect plan. HE, with His willingness to provide for His beloved. I'm going to be completely honest about this because to leave anything out would diminish what the Lord has done (yet again!). 

We have a very dear friend who offered to borrow us the money we need to get Josh started at his new school. Honestly, we really had no choice as we wouldn't be able to get the money any other way than to borrow it from someone. Not only were we going to be short this month on a large bill and have to "borrow" from next month's budget, we're visiting family in VA to celebrate Christmas (late or early?!) with them and will need more gas money than budgeted for, David is taking a business trip for 4 days to WV and must pay for his meals while gone. He will be reimbursed but we were pretty sure his best option was to take a loaf of bread and some peanut butter! Yes, we thought we had it all figured out. It was all taken care of. Then...then the Lord moved. There's a bonus program in place at David's place of employment. It was laid out LAST YEAR. Just a few minutes ago, he texted me and told me that the bonus plan will appear in this week's check. I, of course, didn't remember anything about it. He refreshed my memory and told me that the minimum amount he will be receiving as a bonus is $500.00!!! I know, right?! I was amazed. I shouldn't have been. I've seen God move before. My child is here because God moved. (Or because He got sick of me asking for a baby. "Fine, lady! Take this one!" HAHA!) We've seen God move so many times. Why am I surprised every time? Shouldn't I trust Him by now? Shouldn't I trust by now that He'll be there for me, for us? There I was being all human and praying that we would just be able to find the start-up money for the school and He decided to look past it and love and provide for all the things we needed. THANK YOU, LORD! Even if the bonus isn't more than the minimum (would it be prideful to trust that it will be?), just the $500 will cover the big payment we need to make, re-pay our precious friend, pay for gas money to VA AND take care of Dave's meals on his trip. Hallelujah! 

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

NO!

Josh likes to say "No!" whenever he doesn't want to do/eat/wear something. It's a normal toddler thing. A few weeks ago, while riding back home from a week (or weekend...) with his Poppa and Grammy he told Grammy "No!" She asked him to not say that because it sounded not nice and turned back to face the front. Just then she heard a little voice in the back seat saying "Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh!" She looked back to Josh and told him not to say that either because it meant the same thing as "no" and wasn't very nice. Thinking the little issue was resolved, she turned back around and when she looked back to check on Josh he was sitting there shaking his head back and forth, back and forth in a silent, but deliberate, "NO!" :)


I'm telling you, that kid is just too smart...and acts A LOT like his Daddy. ;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Baby-sitter Shuffle

I've been thinking of writing about this for a few days now. Here's a fair warning that this will probably be choppy and random and ALL over the place. I haven't worked it all out yet and am still processing all that's going on. 


We're having to find a new sitter for J...again. It makes me sad for me; that D and I have to make this decision again. And it makes me sad for J; that he's getting sent off to yet another person he doesn't know. Before I even get started let me say right now that we LOVE his current sitter. She's wonderful with J and he loves her so much. I've literally had to peel him off of her the past few days to take him home. He screamed all the way down the driveway to the car for me to put him down and go away so he could stay with her. Leaving her and going to someone new will be hard for him. :(  


I have a few weeks to find someone new but I'm concerned that whoever we find will quit on us in a few weeks/months. It makes me nervous and anxious. Being nervous and anxious makes me stressed out. I don't do stressed out. Being stressed out gives me migraines and wrinkles. Yuck. I like for things to be settled. Worked out. In place. I don't like being in between sitters. Or in between jobs. Or in between places to live, etc. I don't like when tensions are running high. I don't handle it well. I know that and D knows that. He's been so great. Have I mentioned that I love him? Well, I do. He keeps me steady. He keeps me moving. He helps keep me all put together. We've grown a lot in our marriage in just the past few months and while it's never fun to have growing pains, it was so worth it. (Told you this was crazy random.) This is the 3rd, maybe 4th, time we've had to do this since I went back to work last March. J's old enough now to know that he'll be in a new place with different people and even though he's usually very laid back, he doesn't always like being left with a sitter. Especially one he doesn't know very well. I don't like leaving him either. I know he'll be okay. I know he'll adapt and adjust; and will do so probably fairly quickly. That doesn't make it easier to do.


I feel like I've failed J. I feel like I've made wrong decisions in the past and that's why we've been doing the baby sitter shuffle for almost a year. Maybe they were the best decision at the time, but it still feels wrong. Having to get a new sitter every few months isn't fair for J. He gets sad and scared when I leave him with someone new. That makes me stressed. You know what stressed does to me! Just knowing that he'll be upset makes me upset. It's a vicious cycle. So this time I want to be sure the decision is good and right. I don't want to rush into it. I just want to be sure.


I am not taking this decision lightly. This is my child we're talking about!


Anyway...that's where we are. On the hunt for a new sitter again. We have a few options. We've been praying and talking about what would be best for J and what we could do financially.


Option 1: 


PROS: In-home care, 3:1 ratio, $5/week cheaper than we pay now, won't have to pay when J isn't there, J knows one of the kids there


CONS: Sitter has option to quit on us and we'd be right back where we are now. We're a little wary about the grandma/grandson thing. We'd have to provide juice, snacks, lunches, etc.


This option would be easier on our budget BUT we run the risk of losing her if she decides she can't/won't keep kids anymore for whatever reason. I really don't want to have to find another sitter again and I think I'd rather pay the extra $40/month.


Option 2:


PROS:  Structured schedule, 5:1 ratio, is much like a preschool so he'd have lessons and would learn numbers, letters, etc., we wouldn't have to provide juice or food, J knows one of the kids there, J could stay there until he is old enough to go to Kindergarten (which we all know doesn't matter because he's promised to never leave his Mama) 


CONS:  $10/week more than current sitter, we'd have to pay when J wasn't there or when the "school" was closed for holidays, we'd need a back-up sitter on holidays the school was closed and one week in the summer (I'm sure Poppa & Grammy could help in the summer) ;)


We like this option except for having to pay when she's off or J's not there (like this summer when he's with my parents). I know, I know....everyone who has their kiddo in daycare has to pay for 52 weeks a year. AND I know that most everyone who has their kiddo in daycare pays much more than we'd be paying. BUT $40 more a month would mean less money in the budget for groceries as that's the only place we could borrow it from. We could do it, I'm sure. But it wouldn't be fun or easy to stretch our budget even more. Especially when we have to pay for when J wasn't there. ;) We also have friends who's son goes to Option 2 and they're very pleased with everything there. I called the lady about Option 2 today. I hope to hear back from her this evening with a definite yes or no as to whether she'll take J or not. 


So, once again I covet your prayers. Please pray that Option 2 will give me a definite answer soon. Please pray that we will be able to find the money we'll need in case Option 2 is the right one. Please pray that we will hear the Lord's gentle prompting as we look to Him for guidance in this decision. Please pray that J will have an easy transition wherever he ends up. (Please pray that I will have an easy transition!) Please pray that when we actually make a decision we will be able to do so without hesitation or regret. 


***UPDATE***  


I just spoke with Option 2. She's willing to take J, will have an opening starting next Monday and we're going over for a meet & greet and look around this evening at 6:15. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dant Chu





Setting: Food Lion, Aisle 9
Characters: Josh, Mama, Yum-yums (fruit snacks)




Josh: Mmmmm
Mama: Are your yum-yums yummy?
Josh: Jesh
Mama: Good, I'm glad you like them.
Josh: Dant chu
Mama: (While crying just a little) You're welcome, bubba. 




How could I deny that precious child anything after that?! ;)









Thursday, January 20, 2011

Big Boy Bed

We've been toying with the idea of making Josh's crib a toddler bed for the past week or so. He is newly potty trained (yippeee!) and while I'm glad for that, the transition from crib to toddler bed was just too much for my Mama heart to handle. :) But, I've gotten braver and since Josh agreed never to leave me, I figured sleeping in a big boy bed would be a good compromise. (Don't even say it Mother, he is NEVER leaving me!)


We borrowed a bed rail from the Myers' and Josh helped his Daddy take the side rail off this evening. I took some photos and Josh took some photos. Most importantly, no one cried! 


Last time in his crib!

Are you going to document EVERYTHING???

He was excited & tried to get in bed before it was put back together.

Josh's messy room (taken by Josh)

Josh's messy Mama (taken by Josh)

An action shot of Daddy (taken by Josh)


Look, Mama's NOT crying!

Taking a break for a little horn playing.

(Yes, it's a part to a breast pump...we're BF friendly around here)
Making sure the construction is sound.

Time to get in!


I LOVE this one!

Telling Daddy "way" (go away)

Getting out

Cheese!

This posing stuff is annoying!

Getting in...

Getting out...
Getting in....

Test, test.


Getting out!


I'm hoping he does well tonight. He's used to standing in his crib and did a few times tonight after the rail came off. He wasn't sure how to get out of the bed at first and asked for help. We told him it was like getting off of the couch. He really could use a stool to get in and out. I'll have to keep an eye out for one. 



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Speechless

5 minutes. That's how long it took for God to answer my prayer!


A sweet, gracious friend (a couple of them, actually) has offered to pay my way to the conference.


I'm speechless.


I'm thankful.


I'm blessed!

Mom Heart Conference

My sweet friend, Lindsey, is attending the Mom Heart Conference in Raleigh the first weekend of March. She invited me along and it sound like a great conference. Sally Clarkson (the author I blogged about yesterday) is scheduled to be there and I'm glad. I have a few bones to pick with her. ;) I think it would be good for my Mama-soul to be there. 


I really want to attend the conference and need to find the extra money to pay for the registration. I don't have the opportunity to work over-time at my job. And unless something major goes wrong, David won't either. So....I'm gonna sell stuff! 


My mom-in-law got us a new TV for Christmas and we have our old one just sitting around. So, I'm selling it to get some (or all!) of the money I'll need for registration, hotel and food money. My sweet (and technologically savvy hubby) posted the TV on Craigslist for me. Here's the link: Awesome TV for sale!  


I'm also selling my old crock-pot (I got a bigger one for Christmas!). I don't have a post for that. It's a 2 or 3 quart (maybe 4?) but is too small for our family. I'd like $8 or $10 for it. It works fine, it's just too small. 


Anyone need a date night? I'm available to baby sit for a small fee. :)


I'm really hoping I can find the $89 I need before the middle of February. The price goes up again next month. Once again, I'm trusting the Lord to provide the money if He's cool with me going to the conference. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

My heart's desires

 I've written before about how I loved being a SAHM for most of Josh's first year. It was a wonderful and special time for me and I didn't want to get a job outside of our home. But I needed to because our family can't make it month to month on just David's income. He didn't want to ask me to go back to work. I didn't want him to ask me to go back to work. I didn't have a choice in the matter, unfortunately.


I've started reading The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson and she's really laying it on me. I agree with almost all of what she says. That's the sucky part. Like Mrs Clarkson, I believe that God has specific expectations of each member of a family. Specifically, He (according to Clarkson) has designed the Mother to be a teacher, nurturer, comforter, encourager and to do all of that while maintaining the home and those in it. To be honest, she's stepping on my toes a little. I desire to stay home with the Monster but financially, I can't afford to do that (at this time). I wholeheartedly believe that God intends for me to be home with my child(ren). I have no ambition or desire to work outside of the home. No profession sounds super interesting to me except that of being a Mama. I also wholehearted believe that my Lord wouldn't let me desire it so much if it weren't possible and part of His plan for me. That being said.....I will pray for guidance and clear signs that it's time to quit working outside of the home and turn ALL of my attention to my husband, child and home. That doesn't mean I will quit doing my best at my job. It also doesn't mean I won't wish I was at home with my baby instead of an office! :)


Also, like Clarkson, I'm not trying to say that women who desire to work outside of the home are wrong in their thinking or are giving their families less than their best. For me personally, it's hard to divide my time between work and home. I come home tired and not wanting to make dinner or do laundry or play play-doh with Josh. Then I feel guilty for not making Josh (or even David) my highest priority. I don't handle the stress of it all very well. I'm working on it. ;)


I say all of that to say this: On this day, Jan 17, 2011 I will begin asking the Lord for the desires of my heart. I will ask Him to provide a way for me to be able to stay home and make raising our family my job. I will ask Him to make it clear to me when it is the perfect time to do so. I know it probably won't be tomorrow (but I believe it COULD be if He deemed it suitable) so I will wait. I prayed for a baby for 4 years and God provided. He was faithful, just as He promised. He'll be faithful again, just as He's promised!


Please pray with me? Please pray that David and I will make good, well-informed decisions for our family. Please pray that Josh will still feel as loved and cared for as if I were at home with him. Please pray that I will stop feeling guilty for providing for my family financially as well as emotionally and physically. Please pray that we will see God's will and move when He tells us to. And please pray that we (mostly me) will have the patience to wait for the Lord.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mommy and her Monster

I don't have many photos of just me and Josh. And when I get the urge to take some, I usually don't have anyone to take one for us. So we do it ourselves. And of course it takes a few tries.


No now Mama, I'm drinking!

I believe his exact words were "Bright!"

Yea, the flash was bright.

TOO bright!

At least he smiled that time!

There we go!

New Favorite Book

Josh and I have a new favorite book.


Can you tell what it is?



 He likes the photos.

 I like the recipes.

Pioneer Woman, we here at the White house love you.

:)



Fun-Day with Daddy

Josh's sitter wasn't feeling well a few days last week so David took a couple of sick days and stayed home with Monster J. They had lots of fun. ;)


Helping Daddy stir the shrimp

He couldn't wait to eat them.

Getting some practice in on the Nikon

He likes to put the camera on the floor and THEN take the photo


Very original, don't you think?



My sweet Monster

Building a fort with Daddy!

Singing!

Singing AND dancing!