Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Seven

Today's Sunday Seven is going to be a catch-up of our weekend! It's been GREAT! We all were getting a bit of cabin fever by the time Friday night rolled around, so we headed off to the mall for a fun filled night!The first stop was at Gymboree for a quick check of the clearance bins...BINGO! All the waiting for a find of an amazing winter sale finally happened! The recipient of all the deals: Cloe! Lucky girl! The original total of the clothes would have been $154...on sale, final price was $29! This included a $60 Red Velvet Christmas dress for $6! I'm so thankful that God provides for our clothing "needs" above and beyond what I could ever imagine! The unfortunate part: as I was digging for deals, the kids suddenly thought it was riotous to yell, "FIRE! FIRE!"!
I'm really thankful for Chick Fil-A! Silly as it sounds, they are such a great restaurant and so generous to give out meals! The boys enjoyed their free birthday meals!
Next we headed off to Creative Kidstuff for a Carnival! I love this toy store! The kids had a blast getting their hands painted, making adorable paper bag hats, walking the cake walk, playing relay games, and getting super cool goodie bags! I'm so thankful for their generosity! Those goodie bags have provided us with hours of entertainment!
Our night probably should have ended here, but no...we kept going! The boys had been promised a trip to Build-a-Bear for their birthday, so we jumped into more excitement! Two monkeys...Boo-boo and Billy joined our family. Carson had come up with Billy for his monkey's name, but when we got in the store, he wanted to change it to....Lightbulb. Thankfully he went back to Billy before the certificates were printed, although Lightbulb would have been funny.

Waiting to stuff!

Some serious grooming going on.

Evidently putting together Birth Certificates is causing my brain some pain!?!

Pretty painted hands!

My little sweetie-pie, Clainey!

Carson's turtle!

Check out the hunk in line for cookies!

A sweet treat to end the night! Thanks to Jason @ Remax!
Everyone left the mall with big, tired happy grins! Although sometimes I miss my "babies", I love the fun times we have on family outings now that they're little on-the-go people! I wish I had a small tape recorder to catch all the funny little limericks that come out of their mouths, too!

Saturday was a rare day--mostly spent away from Cody and the kids but really nice, too! We have a small group of ladies at Willow doing a "pilot" of a Bible Study called "Apples of Gold". Half of the time is spent in the kitchen watching, learning, helping prepare an entire meal; the other half is an awesome Bible Study. The group is being led by two mentoring ladies in our church. I was just there as a "cheerleader" for the mentors and for any help needed. It was great!!! I'm really thankful for the willingness of these two "older" ladies to teach younger generations about Christ and share wisdom from their lives with us!

Here are the recipes the girls tried out on Saturday. Everything turned out really yummy!

Cream Cheese Potato Soup
1 large bag frozen hash brown potatoes
1 T. chicken base
1 8oz. pkg. 1/3 less fat cream cheese (cut into small cubes)
1 qt. whole milk
4 T. flour
bacon bits
chopped green onions

Place potatoes in Dutch oven, add just enough water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil. Add chicken base and cream cheese. Mix until cheese in melted. Add milk. Mix flour with a small amount of milk. Stir into soup quickly to thicken. Top with onions and bacon bits. may be served in bread bowls.

*Dill weed can be added to soup as it's thickening.

Four Bean Chile
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans
1 16 oz. can Bush's medium chili beans
1 15 1/2 oz. kidney beans
1 15 oz. can Bush's seasoned black beans
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 28 oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes / chiles
1 envelope Lipton's onion soup mix
1 t. cumin
32 oz. can tomato soup

Brown meat in Dutch oven. Drain kidney beans and cannelloni beans. Add all ingredients to meat. Bring to boil and simmer until thickened. Top with cheddar cheese when served.

Perfect Cornbread Muffins
1 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. oil
1 c. cornmeal
2 eggs
1 c. milk

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir in cornmeal. Add eggs, milk, and shortening. Beat with electric mixer until just smooth. (Do not overbeat.) Spoon into greased or lined muffin pan, filling 2/3 full. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with honey butter!

Apple Bars
2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. shortening
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Cut shortening into flour mixture.

1 egg yolk
milk (put egg yolk in measuring cup and fill to 2/3 c. full with milk)

Add milk/egg yolk mixture to flour mixture. Mix gently--don't overwork. Roll out 1/2 of dough. Put in small jelly roll pan.

8-10 apples, sliced
1 c. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 or 2 T. flour

Spread apple slices, sugar, cinnamon, and flour over bottom crust. Roll out other half of dough and place on top. Pinch edges of crust together. Cut small slits in top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until crust is golden and apples are done. Frost with glaze: 3/4 c. powdered sugar, 2 T. butter, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, small amounts of mix...stir until right consistency.

There you have it! All the recipes for a very nice meal!

The last part of my day was a little visit to...
Calli had given me a coupon for a free haircut at the Institute! It was a little time consuming, but the hair cut is really well done. I happen to have super thick, unruly curly hair (a.k.a. nappy!) ...this stylist got it tamed down! Yeah! I am so thankful for the connection I made, too! God has been giving me extra boldness in talking about Christ without shame or nervousness...two hours and forty-five minutes provided a nice amount of time to keep weaving it in! I'm really praying I'll be able to build a friendship with Heather. I invited her to Willow Creek and to our Drake Bible Study--it would be great for her!!!
Today was a great day, too! I am continually thankful for Willow Creek, but today I'm especially thankful for the other pastor's wives. They are the best cheerleaders, encouragers, prayer supporters, sympathizers, friends...they've got my back and I'm sooooooo thankful! (in case you're reading...I love you girls!)
Well, that's all for this Sunday Seven! This week looks to be a busy one...maybe I'll pray hard for another snow day!