Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Reflections~

Happy Sunday my friends!  Praying you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I love this quote as a reminder going into the Christmas season.  He truly is what the season is all about.

Have a Blessed week.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving~

Wishing all of my friends and readers a Blessed Thanksgiving Day!  I feel so blessed to have connected with so many wonderful, thoughtful and kind people through the world of blogging.

This year I am especially thankful for the gift of health, as I know so many who have been handed a diagnosis that was not as favorable as mine.  I am also thankful for the many that prayed on my behalf while I was going through all the testing and the surgery.  God truly blessed me with an army of prayer warriors.

I would ask that as you say the blessing around your table today that you say a special prayer for all of those who are suffering, hurting, lonely, fighting disease, fighting for our country, without a job, homeless, hungry and cold.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Virtual Christmas Stocking~

Before I left for my Mom's weekend trip, Carrie of Cosy Carolina asked me if I would participate in her virtual stocking series.  I adore Carrie and her blog, so I happily agreed to participate!

The idea of coming up with things I would love for Santa to leave in my stocking this year intrigued me (oh, and it might be a good hint for the loved ones in my life who read my blog).

So, to see what I would love for Santa to leave for me this year and to "meet" Carrie head on over to Cosy Carolina.

You might even find a few things you would like to add to your stocking this year!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's for Dinner Wednesday~

This yummy recipe actually comes from a book, Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.  The book contains many short stories that involve gatherings for all occasions and usually revolving around food.  Many of the recipes are gluten free, or easy to adapt.

Steak au Poivre with Cognac Pan Sauce
adapted from The Chopping Block

6 steaks, 5 to 6 ounces each (filet mignon, New York strip, or rib eye) We used ribeyes.
1/4 C whole black peppercorns
Sea Salt
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter

For the sauce:
2 shallots, sliced
1/2 C cognac or brandy (we used brandy as we had it on hand)
2 TBS Dijon
1 C chicken stock or broth
1 C half and half


Let steaks sit at room temperature on a towel for about 30 minutes to draw out moisture.

Crack peppercorns using a cast-iron skillet. Salt both sides of the steaks and then press in cracked peppercorns generously on both sides. (we have a peppermate grinder we use)

Heat the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and one tablespoon of butter.  When the butter is melted, add the steaks and cook on first side until there's a dark sear, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the steaks, add remaining butter, and cook to desired doneness-2 minutes for rare.

Remove steaks from the pan.  Cover and let rest while you prepare the pan sauce.

Lower heat to medium, then add sliced shallots and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Deglaze by adding cognac or brandy and scraping up the browned bits from the pan.  Whisk in Dijon, chicken stock, and cream.

Turn to high heat and boil until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.

Serve steaks drizzled with sauce.

It was suggested to serve with broccoli and we had some on hand.  It was delicious with a bit of the sauce poured over it as well.


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Weekend and A Movie Recommendation~

All, I had a wonderful time with my #2 out in Texas for her sorority's mom's weekend.  On Saturday, they brought together the group (in two shifts as they are quite large) to paint together.  Let's just say, get 100 or so ladies in one room to paint the same thing, and you will get 100 or so versions of said thing. This time it was sunflowers.

Love this one's bright smile!

Suited up and ready to paint.  Don't want to ruin our cute Mom's Weekend t-shirts!!

The finished products!  You didn't want to see the process...CRAZY!!  Let's just say, the artist in charge was moving way faster than the rest of us.

They will be fun keepsakes to remember our weekend.  And, we are already planning to try our hand at something else along with her sister during the holidays.

While in Texas,  she and I also had the chance to see the movie Saving Christmas.  I highly recommend seeing it.  I know many of us are overwhelmed this time of year with all that has to get done, and sometimes we feel we have lost the true meaning of Christmas.  The movie makes a great connection between our modern day traditions and what Christmas is all about in God's eye.  I will say, we were wondering where the movie was going in the beginning as it looked like a really bad home movie, but stick with it, trust me, it will all make sense in the end. I loved the symbolism in the movie.  I will look at many different aspects of our modern day Christmas with new eyes, and a different perspective.

It is only playing in 400 theaters across the U.S., so you will want to google locations to see if it is playing in a theater near you.

We are expecting the artic chill to get here tomorrow.  High is only going to be in the 20-30s!  Oh, but it will be back to the 60s next week.  Cough, cough...sneeze, sneeze. Ugh!!

Have a blessed week everyone!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thank You and an Update~

I want to thank each one of you who has said a prayer for me sometime in the past couple months, commented on a post, or sent me a heartfelt email.  I feel truly blessed to have  so many wonderful friends in this blogging community.

It is with a grateful heart to God, that I am happy to share the news that the pathology report came back all clear, no signs of cancer.

I can however look back over the past couple months and see reasons for why God had me walk the path He did, and despite the worry, pain, and uncertainty, I am glad He did.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Baylor Homecoming~

First of all, thank you again for all your prayers, well wishes, comments and emails.  They are so appreciated and I feel extremely blessed to have so many wonderful, caring blogging friends. I am doing well.  Have had minimal, if NO pain at all!  Please continue to pray as I await the pathology reports...hoping to have them by Friday.

Thought I would share pictures of the float our #2 worked so hard on.  I cannot tell you the number of  hours that she, the rest of the chairs (guys and girls), and the sorority and fraternity put into making this a reality.  The details just blew me away!

First however, I will show you the winning floats...

Class A Winner:

Judges Choice Winner:

Now our daughter's, Mary Poppins theme...a Spoonful of Sic 'Em:

Along the parade route...

And, now for some close-ups (all the floats are parked along a campus street after the parade so people can see them up close and take pictures).

#2 and her fellow bestie float chair

The carousel and park seating.

Big Ben in the park.

Bears of course!

The beautiful willow tree, and yes, all the flower boxes were filled with fresh flowers!

So proud of her!!

One of my favorite chalkboard signs on the float (there were several).

A closer look at Big Ben.  The clock hands worked on all four sides.  My #2 hand painted all of the clock faces herself.  She got to keep two of them...I can't wait to bring one home to hang in our home.

Baylor cottage, again fresh flowers in the window boxes.

Another look at the carousel.  The blue in the picture is actually a working stream!

A side view of all the beautiful fresh flowers and bear bridge.

The willow tree looked so real.  Baylor's game schedule this year. Love all the bright colors.

Another look at Big Ben.

Another of the hand painted chalkboard signs.

Loved the detail on the stone pillars (they were textured) and the lanterns.

So much time spent on every little detail.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.  We are still in awe of the float they produced this year.

Sic 'Em Bears!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Thank You and Surgery Update~

First of all, thank you sweet friends from the bottom of my heart for all your sweet comments and prayers.  I am extremely grateful to have such wonderful, caring friends in this blog world!!

The surgery went well, and I am now back home.  I should have the pathology report back in a few days. At least this time I don't have to wait over the weekend!!

Thank you again!!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Reflections and Prayer Request~

I missed posting reflections this past weekend as we were out of town.  We headed to Texas to celebrate Baylor's Homecoming and to cheer our daughter on.  She was a float chair for her sorority. And, while their float did not win their classification nor Judge's Choice, it was hands down the People's Choice!  I hope to post pictures soon.

However, I wanted to pop in and ask for prayer.  Many of you remember I had to go in for a biopsy a few weeks back.  Well, tomorrow I am having surgery to have the radial scar they found removed.  It is an out patient procedure, so I will be home in a few hours.

I really do appreciate your prayers.  You have all been so encouraging and thoughtful with your sweet comments and emails.

So, if I am not around much the next couple know where to find me...plan to catch up on some of my favorites shows, read and relax.  The hectic holiday season will be here before we know it (actually I think it already is in some stores).