Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What's for Dinner Wednesday~

This is a tasty dish we made last night.  I had picked up a copy of Thinner Dinners for Two, by Cuisine Tonight while shopping at Whole Foods.  We doubled the recipe as #2 was eating with us.

Cajun Jambalaya

Not the best picture, as it was taken from a quickly grabbed Iphone, but it tasted good nonetheless.

1 3/4 C water
1/2 C dry brown rice
1/2 C diced onion
1 dried bay leaf

Stir in:
6 oz. Cajun-style link chicken sausage, sliced (such as Johnsonville) *we used andouille as they were out of chicken sausage
1/2 C diced celery
1/2 C diced green bell pepper
1 Tbsp. tomato paste (such as Hunt's) (despite my slight allergy to tomatoes, this little amount I had no issues with)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. hot chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Sliced scallions (we omitted as #2 cannot eat them)

Combine water, rice, onion, and bay leaf in saucepan; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
Stir in sausage, celery, bell pepper, tomato paste, thyme, garlic, chili powder, and cayenne; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.
Off heat, let jambalaya stand, covered, until remaining liquid is absorbed, 5-10 minutes.
Garnish servings with scallions.

Tasty, hearty bowl of comfort food for a cold winter's night.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014 and the New Year~

When you are empty nesters, like the hubby and I, nothing brings you more joy during the holidays than to have your children back in the nest.  We enjoyed several days of the girls being home leading up to and then after Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve is full of tradition for our family.  Attending Christmas service at our church, coming home to take pictures before changing into more comfy clothes for the evening, hot oil fondue, the girls finding their pickles in the tree so they can open the boxes containing their new Christmas PJs, and then getting messy and a little carried away decorating gingerbread houses.

Our #1

and #2

Our biggest blessings...

Very proud mom...

and dad...

 Traditional hot oil fondue Christmas Eve dinner~

Let the mess fun begin...

and, the princess, of course (she loves her pjs but not so sure about the hair bow)

and lastly,  our traditional sour cream coffee cake waiting to be devoured on Christmas morning.

I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you (those who take the time to comment and those who just pop in for a look around) for making this a special place for me.   I cherish the friendships I have made blogging, but more than that I am beyond thankful for those who prayed for and with me this past year.  In a world where things aren't always so pleasant, people are hurting or in need, or facing a health crisis, it is comforting to know there are those out there who do truly care, aren't afraid to share as someone else may have or is going through what you are,  and willing to pray for one another.

I will be back in the next couple days with my thoughts on the New Year, and the word I have chosen for the year as well.

Many Blessings to each of you my friends!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Final Reflection of 2014~

My sweet uncle shared this quote with me.  How very true!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Had to share~

I know I had said I was signing off for the remainder of the holiday season, but a friend's daughter shared this on her Caring Bridge site. You might remember me asking for prayer for Brooke awhile back.  Keep those prayers a more round of chemo before the new year and then she will have to undergo radiation treatments.

I had not heard this song before, and after listening thought it was worth sharing with you all.

Thank you to all who prayed for us and for Josh's family as well this past week.  The service on Saturday was a beautiful celebration of his life.  He meant a lot to many!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Something to ponder in all the busyness~

While most will be running from store to store today, finishing up their holiday shopping, I will be attending the funeral of a life taken too soon.  It really hits home this time of year.  The second year in a row I have had to witness a dear friend bury their beloved child.

That brings me to the question above.  What REALLY is important?  The perfectly decorated tree?  The perfect vignette for a blog post?  The perfect gift?  1000 followers?  I could go on and on.  It truly is something to ponder.

While I have enjoyed all the perfectly decorated trees, the holiday fashion posts, the yummy holiday recipes, the one thing I will take away from it all is that in the end...none of that matters the minute a loved one is taken from you.  Someone else is suffering, whether from illness, loss of a job, or being miles away from home.

So, this will be my last post prior to Christmas (not that I post everyday anyhow, only when I have time and feel it is something worth sharing).  I will be spending my time with loved ones, friends, and maybe even the stranger that just needs a smile or a door held for them.

I know beneath all that pretty, for some, is a whole different picture.  May we pray and remember those who are hurting or in need this season.

Merry Christmas Everyone! May God bless you in the New Year!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The World Lost a Bright Light on Friday~

This was a rough weekend for our family.  A former, fellow high school cheerleader -college buddy and dear friend of our oldest daughter lost his life on Friday.  A life taken far too soon.  Josh was a bright light to all he knew, the life of any party.  24 is too young!

I can say, he truly will be remembered for how he made those around him feel...loved, accepted, understood.

My heart and prayers go out to his family, close friends and all whom he touched in his short time on this earth.

God bless you Josh, and rest in His everlasting peace.

***I will be taking a few days off to fly to Texas and bring our baby girl home for the holidays.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Home Tour 2014~

Welcome to our home...
I am going to keep it simple and let the pictures tell the story.

Y'all come on in...the entryway,

My home office,

Downstairs powder room,

The library/living room, 

The dining room,

The kitchen-the heart of our home,

The family room,

#1's room and tree to match,

#2's room and tree to match,

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year my friends!!