Saturday, March 10, 2018

Skinny Jeans {A List}

Things I would give up skinny jeans for...

Tacos, Taco Salad, Burritos, You get the idea
Peanut Butter
Heavy cream in my coffee

Today I'm sharing two soup recipes that call for heavy whipping cream. This is an ideal soup because you will likely have cream left over and being the wise, financially aware, WASTE NOT WANT NOT! person that you are, you will want to use the remaining cream so the best place for it is your coffee cup.

Bonus points:: They're slow cooker recipes!

Sausage, Kale & Tortellini Soup
Maggie is a mama to 3 (almost 4!) who is all about fun painted nails, being debt free Dave's way and creativity. She lives in Michigan but I like to think that we'd be friends in real life if miles weren't a thing.

White Chicken Chili 
Via DesignMom via Julie G. I made this last night to rave reviews (although it does have some kick to it. One daughter gobbled it up while one kept saying it was spicy) I omitted the onion because WHO LET ME MARRY SOMEONE THAT DOESN'T LIKE ONIONS??

(she types as she sips coffee with heaving whipping cream while wearing sweatpants and a hoodie)

We opt for leggings these days, but I know someday we'll all be crammed into a dressing room and one of us will be crying. Probably about skinny jeans.

Monday, February 26, 2018

An Update

WHAT'S UP my faithful readers?? (hi, dad!) I realized it was time for an update. Many of you wrote and prayed for us during our Year of Trials and Tribulations last year and we're grateful for that. We lived with my former roommates of twenty-two years (hi, dad!) from September-January and then moved about 20 minutes away to a small town known for it's chickens and barbecue. 

Last January Kent and I talked about ministry and life while sitting in our car eating dessert. He was ready to sign up for a local church planting weekend-long seminar. I was walking at half-speed and all but wearing bubble wrap, trying to protect the baby that we'd just found out about. Towards the end of the conversation, I blurted out, "I have like, no desire to plant a church" Kent said "Good to know" and for that and other reasons, he didn't attend the seminar. 

In May, when he was job-less and looking, I said, "Don't you move me to some small country church!"

Fast forward to the fall and after applying literally EVERYWHERE (Colorado! Virginia! Pennsylvania!) the only opportunity that sat in front of us was a tiny church replant in a small country town. 

{I've learned to be quiet now. winkyface}

There are more details to unfold (like, gulp, raising support) but I'll save that for another post. Kent's working 30 hours at a local established church (hi, dad!) and a few hours at our new church each week until he goes full time as church planting pastor-- possibly in May or June, if not sooner.

We now live in the church's manse (parsonage) Which seems so quirky and rad to me! It's the biggest house we've lived in and we're thankful for the carpet, 4 bedrooms, natural light and big fenced-in backyard.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Scripture & Song {January/February}

I didn't pick a word for 2018 (If I did, it might've been "HALP") and my only two official goals contradict themselves-- bake bread and lose the baby weight. 

I did, however, steal borrow a family goal from Keith and Kristyn. They pick a hymn every month and memorize it with their girls. I bet they memorize the entire thing because they're Irish, musical and awesome, but for us...we're aiming for the first verse. Kent's a decent singer and I am not. I sing so quietly and badly that I'm waiting for the day when Caris says, "Wait. Is mommy lip-synching??

In the past five years of parenting we have STUNK all caps for emphasis at family goals. Tidying up the house, manners, bible reading BUT NO MORE. {Fist pump in the air} This plan is simple... at the end of dinner when you want to curl up in your closet or light your hair on fire, you take a deep breath and announce that it's time to do the song and bible verse. It's quick, it's simple, it makes you explain hard words to your kids like "vast" and the joy of hearing your daughter quietly sing, " make a wretch his treasure" during rest time really is wonderful. 

Tedd Tripp says we should speak the bible to our children because God promises that his word won't return void. Ours might, but His won't. BOOM. BAM. POW. Light bulb moment for me. 

Scripture: John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (Turns out Caris already knew this from church so technically we cheated)

Song: What Can Wash Away Our Sins

Scripture: Ephesians 4:32
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

Song: How Deep the Father's Love for Us

Other resources we use. Occasionally. When they're within arms reach.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day

Parents, all you really need for Valentine's Day is a couple of heart cookie cutters in different sizes. Toast! Pancakes! Sandwiches! Pepperoni! Brownies! 

Monday, February 12, 2018


May your Monday be free of doctor visits that result in an ear infection and medicine 
But if it's not... may it also include frosted sugar cookies from yesterday's bake sesh
and these life-changing almonds.
 *Warning, nuts are high in calories and once you start eating these, it's hard to stop. I just ate enough nuts to hike 9 miles of strenuous terrain in Wyoming

Sunday, February 11, 2018


We've been hit!
(Battleship, anyone?)
We're knee deep in thermometers, fevers, tears, piles of tissues that hardly get used the first time and a bored older sibling.

I don't want to brag, but I kind of excel at parenting during this kind of sickness. Jammies, Ginger-ale and TV for everybody! ...Until day 4 when I'm suddenly like, Holy Smokies, make it end.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bread {January}

One of my goals for twenty-eighteen is to bake more often so that I can eat my feelings become a better baker. Originally my plan was to make a cheesecake every month because they're fun and look more impressive than they actually are. I balked on that idea because I couldn't justify buying the ingredients or feeding my kids copious amounts of cheesecake. I switched to bread because it seems more family friendly (and cheaper!) I'm not really a "bread person" but this plan will hopefully ensure that I won't be lying on my deathbed kicking myself for never having made The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls. Each month I'll rate the bread based on 2 important things...

1. Ease of baking/clean up
2. Taste, duh.

braided sweet bread

Where: The Baker Upstairs via a Pinterest search

warning: sweet bread is also like, cow intestines or goat brain. if you choose to google it, you've been warned... 

Why: A lady from our former church in South Carolina (S. Skelly for you locals) makes a loaf of bread that will bring tears to your eyes. It's soft and sweet and sticks straight to your hips. I think it has won awards at the state fair no joke. I have yet to straight up ask her for the recipe (maybe some day?) so I'm doing my own informal Skelly Bread Recipe Search. 
When: A Monday afternoon in late January. I was abnormally tired (does that say one teaspoon or tablespoon of salt?) and my kitchen counters were cluttered, but I forged ahead, because around here there's rarley a perfect time to bake. I mean, half way through the process, this walked in...
Result: This bread was easy to make, bake and clean up. I think the bread was under-baked, but that didn't stop my little family from eating an entire loaf at dinner. noshame It was tasty, but not Skelly Tasty. The search continues. 
Rating: 3/5 (insert three cute wooden spoon pictures here)

L: Auds was a faithful encourager R: The finished product 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Super Bowl

BIG congrats to the Eagles on their win last night! We enjoyed watching the game together last night, but only after we ate cheesesteaks ("American wit" Did I do that right?) and cheesecake (for dad's upcoming birthday)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Letter {3!}

Sweet Li,

The big three! It's hard to believe that it's been three years since my dream delivery (You're my favorite birth story to date. Don't tell your sisters) and you joined our family. We have had the pleasure and joy of watching you grow into a fun little girl. I find myself whispering to your dad SHE IS SO ADORABLE multiple times a day.

You are very active and physical. You love to wrestle with your daddy and you love to tackle him. You're a daddy's girl and get giddy when you see that he's home from work. You will be a willing participant in Caris' scripted play-time for hours and hours and then when you don't want to play her way, you make it known. Yikes. Recently we've been talking about self control and learning to tell us how you feel and what you want. You have a tender heart and discipline & correction has been fairly easy with you.

You're picky about how your clothes fit and what types of clothing you want to wear. Sometimes this causes tears and confusion and me wanting to slowly bang my head repeatedly against a door.

Right now you like Disney princesses, dressing up, twirling, dancing, playing "lost kitty cat" and the color orange. I often find you singing to yourself, taking care of Audrey (putting a blanket on her, giving her toys and her lovey) or looking at books. Every morning you wake up before your sister, come into our room and whisper "It's seven!!" Your excitement and zeal for life is fun to watch.

I am looking forward to watching you grow in new ways this year. You'll likely learn more numbers, colors and shapes. Maybe even how to ride a bike?

We love you, Leezel!!

So glad you're mine.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Happy THIRD birthday
(2 days late because of internet probs) 
to our active, silly and sweet Liza!

Skinny Jeans {A List}

Things I would give up skinny jeans for... Oreo Delight Pizza Tacos, Taco Salad, Burritos, You get the idea Peanut Butter Heavy ...