Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tailgating Tuesday

Are you ready for Saturday?
 Are you ready to Call the Hogs?
What are you eating for the game?

Pepper Jack Dip
3 (8 oz) Packages of Cream Cheese, room temperature.
1 Cup Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
1 Finely Diced Jalapeno
1 Tbs. Fresh Chopped Cilantro
2 tsp. Chili Powder

Blend together all the ingredients.  Place in an oven-proof dish.  Bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

It isn't at all healthy but it tastes so good!  Serve with chips, veggies or a straw.  Whatever suits your needs the best.

Woo Pig Sooie!

Monday, August 29, 2011


One of the perks of Bferg's job is he gets summer hours.  That means every Friday at noon he gets to start his weekend.  It is AWESOME!  It has allowed us extra family time, time to start weekend errands or get a jump start on traffic out to the lake.
This past Friday I felt as if I was watching summer disappear before my eyes.  I wanted to do something FUN...an "Adventure" as Aubrie would say.  So, we packed some snacks & the girl's pjs and headed to Branson for the afternoon/evening.  Let's just say that I am thrilled that our kids are still at the age where Bass Pro Shops, 75 cent mall rides, the promise of soda at dinner & a trip to an old time ice-cream parlor equals a vacation/adventure.

It's not a road trip if you don't hit BPS!

"To Infinity & Beyond!" was being bellowed right here.

While Lily shouted, "Anchors Away!"

Aubrie snapping a shot of Mommy & Daddy.

My attempt at snapping their picture. 

The World's Largest Banjo.  Totally Random.

Daddy hit the jackpot at the Arcade!
Here's to Summer!  It was a great one & I cannot believe that it is almost officially over. 


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kickin' It

Ready for her FIRST soccer practice!

"Mom, this is embarrassing!"

But seriously, how CUTE is this?!?!?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leaving a Legacy

It is a phrase that is thrown around a lot.  "Let's strive to live a legacy."  "What kind of legacy are you leaving?"  "A legacy for your children & grandchildren."  Legacy is often associated with money or an inheritance.  Dictionary.com's second definition defines legacy as, "Anything handed down from the past."

These are my precious Grandparents.  F.E. & Alsie Spradley.  Two weeks ago they had a grand celebration.  One that many never reach.  They celebrated 70 years of marriage!  A marriage that started with a secret elopement because my Grandma's house had been quarantined due to small pox.  (She literally left in the middle of the night to meet my Grandpa!  Isn't there a country song about that?!?!?)  A marriage that survived WWII & four children.  A marriage that started with a firm foundation of Christ & is still that way today!  No marriage is perfect.  And I know that they would say the same thing.  But when my 92 year old Grandpa is asked what their secret is he laughs & says it is far from secretive, but only Christ.  He is the key to a long, happy & loving marriage.
My Grandparent's have left a fine legacy.  They have shown their 4 children (and spouses), 9 grandchildren & 16 great-grandchildren that while it takes sacrifice, God is all you need to build your life on & He is enough.
Thank you Grandma & Grandpa!  Thank you for your constant display of Christ!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Long & Wordy; But Truth

I have typed/deleted/typed again & then deleted an introduction to this post.  My mind is circling around a lot of different things from this week & I'm trying to make it all make sense on the screen & well, it just isn't working. 
I read the following excerpt from C.S. Lewis' God in the Dock on Monday & I cannot get it out of my head & more importantly off my heart.  Instead of trying to put all my swirling thoughts into intelligent sentences (while sitting at the table with 8 opened cans of Play-Doh & two sweet & creative girls) I'll just let C.S. Lewis do the talking.
Fair warning: It is long.  But so worth the read.

The Christian & The Materialist
"If Christianity should happen to be true, this it is quite impossible that those who know this truth & those who don't should be equally well equipped for leading a good life.  Knowledge of the facts must make a difference to one's actions.  Suppose you found a man on the point of starvation & wanted to do the right thing.  If you had no knowledge of medical science, you would probably give him a large solid meal; & as a result your man would die.  In the same way a Christian & a non-Christian may both wish to do good to their fellow men.  The one believes that men are going to live for ever, that they were created by God & so built that they can find their true & lasting happiness only by being united to God, that they have gone badly off the rails, & that obedient faith in Christ is the only way back.  The other believes that men are an accidental result of the blind working of matter, that they started as mere animals & have more or less steadily improved, that they are going to live for about 70 years, that their happiness is fully attainable by good social services & political organizations, & that everything else (e.g., vivisection, birth-control, the judicial system, education) is to be judged to be "good" or "bad" simply in so far as it helps or hinders that kind of "happiness."  
Now there are quite a lot of things which these two men could agree in doing for their fellow citizens.  Both would approve of efficient sewers & hospitals & a healthy diet.  But sooner or later the difference of their beliefs would produce differences in their practical proposals.  Both, for example, might be very keen about education: but the kinds of education they wanted people to have would obviously be very different.  Again, where the Materialist would simply ask about a proposed action, "Will it increase the happiness of the majority?," the Christian might have to say, "Even if it does increase the happiness of the majority, we can't do it.  It is unjust."  And all the time, one great difference would run through their whole policy.  To the Materialist things like nations, classes, civilizations must be more important than individuals, because the individuals live only 70 odd years & the group may last for centuries. But to the Christian, individuals are important, for they live eternally; & races, civilization & the like, are in comparison the creature of a day.
The Christian & the Materialist hold different beliefs about the universe.  They can't both be right.  The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn't fit the real universe.  Consequently, with the best will in the world, he will be helping his fellow creatures to their destruction."

Even worse than needing an introduction to this is that now I need to finish this post.  :)  Just know that God is using this to soften my heart this week on how I see people.  How my actions & words can either hinder or advance the Gospel.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

~Tasty Tuesday~

The Farmer's Market.  Nothing gets me out of bed quicker on a Saturday morning than knowing we are headed to the Farmer's Market.  (Well, that & a two year old yelling, "I have to go potty!" from the top of her lungs while still in her crib!)
Today's recipe uses all the Farmer's goodies & can be adapted to suit your family's likes or what is in season at the time.  While slightly labor intensive, the result is to die for.  I had Bferg drooling from the moment he smelled the kitchen!

Roasted Veggie & Hummus Tart
~Veggie Prep~
1 Small Eggplant, sliced
2 Medium Zucchini, sliced
1 Medium Red Onion, sliced thickly
2 Medium Tomatoes, sliced
2-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced or grated
Salt/Pepper to Taste
Red Pepper Flakes to taste (optional)
A good drizzle of Olive Oil
Herbs of your choice

Whisk olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs, crushed pepper & garlic.
Place all sliced vegetables in a single layer in a baking tray; drizzle the olive oil mixture over the veggies.  Roast at 380* for 30 minutes tossing halfway.

~Tart Prep~
2 Cups Flour
1/3 Cup + 2.5 Tbs Olive Oil
1/4 Cup + 1.5 Tbs Very Cold Club Soda (Use a little more or less to make a soft but not sticky dough.)
1 tsp Salt
Dried Herbs (Optional-You can use any of your favorites.)

In a bowl combine flour, salt, pepper (herbs) with a whisk.
Whisk together the olive oil & club soda until creamy (about 2 minutes) and then add it to the dry ingredients.  Combine with a fork until it forms a ball.  (If needed add more club soda or water to make the dough come together.  It should be soft but not sticky.)  DO NOT over work the dough.  It will not be very stretchy but rather tend to come apart.  Handle it as little as possible.
Divide dough into two parts and roll between two pieces of parchment paper.  (I used my Silpat & Parchment Paper.)  Slide bottom parchment on a baking sheet & prick dough with a fork.  Bake the crust at 400* for 12 minutes, or until golden.

~Assembly of the Tart~
Let your crust cool slightly before adding a generous smear of hummus.  (Any flavor your heart desires.)  Layer on all your vegetables.  Repeat on the other crust.  Drizzle with extra olive oil, salt or crushed red pepper flakes if you wish.
Serve at room temperature or pop back into the oven just to warm the veggies through.

 I served this for our dinner last week.  But served at room temperature & cut into small squares it would be a really great appetizer for a party.  Next time I make it I will probably try a flavored hummus & use more tomatoes.  The possibilities are endless!

Recipe modified from ecurry.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Favorite Thing Friday

My last trip home I remembered this little beauty in my parents basement.
After measurements confirmed its perfect size for my slightly awkward entryway, I asked my parents if I could have it.  My parents were thrilled!  Not only did I help them clean out some clutter but turns out this piece has been in my family for over 60 years!  It is in amazing condition & the only thing I might do is switch out the knobs after my wall of pictures is complete above it.
I'm in love!  I love the way it looks in my home.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Are you READY...

For some Football?!?!
I am currently watching Thursday Night football with Bferg, who is wearing his lucky shirt & cheering for the Broncos.  I don't care if it's just pre-season & doesn't really count.  There is football on my T.V. & thanks to the rain this morning the temperature outside is matching the temperature inside that our A.C. has been set on.
Tim Tebow in spandex is also a plus.
I'm suddenly fighting off the urge to make a huge pot of chili!

Go Broncos!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Giddy Up Cowgirl!

We had a "yee-haw-n" fun time celebrating Aubrie's 4th birthday! 

Every cowgirl needs a pink bandana & sparkling sheriff's badge.

Cowgirl Cupcakes!
Birthday Girl.

Love her smile & her sister's in the background!
Big Girl Bike!

Sweet Cowgirl Reagan.
Avery & Peter Michael staking out their spots for dessert.
Birthday Overload!  Cuddling with Aunt Lindsey.

We actually had two Cowgirl Celebrations (that is why she is in different outfits) one with family & one with friends.  Both parties were SO much fun & both made Aubrie feel so blessed & happy.  We are incredibly thankful to have such amazing friends & family that took time out of their schedule to celebrate Aubrie!

She is already planning next years....  :)


Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Four years ago today, this sweet bundle of pure joy was placed in my arms for the first time.  My life long dream of being a "mommy" was fulfilled & the ability to love at first sight was not only proven true but seared deep into my heart.

"Little girls are the nicest things that can happen to people.  They are born with a bit of angelshine about them, & though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart--even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in Mother's best clothes."  Alan Beck


After these first picture came sleepy parents, the art of the swaddle & the eat, wake, sleep schedule.  Life as we knew it was different but so much sweeter in so many different ways! 

Happy 1st Birthday!
Happy 2nd Birthday!

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Happy 4th Birthday!
"She is the loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, & the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again....  But when your dreams tumble down & the world is a mess--when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all--she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee & whispers, 'I love you best of all!'"  Alan Beck

We love you Aubrielle Raye!  Your quiet, gentle spirit is a blessing to all.  Your love for people shows the depth of your kindness & compassion at such a young age.
Happy Birthday Bug!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Laugh Until...

You Cry!
Oh Lily, you are so funny & bring so much JOY to our family!

Happy Wednesday!

Please note: The dinosaur bucket easily slid on & off her head.  There were holes in the bottom for breathing purposes & there were no dinosaurs injured in this crack up moment!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

~Tasty Tuesday~

Hello August!  I am not sure where July went...but it is gone & the "Dog Days of Summer" are upon us.  Today's recipe isn't one that I have tried yet.  My #1 reason for blogging it is so I don't forget it...it looks too peachy not to try!

Cheesecake Stuffed Peaches

6 Peaches, Halved & Pitted
1/4 Cup Butter, Melted
3 Tbs. Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture (3Tbs. Sugar with 1tsp. Cinnamon)
1/2 of an 8oz. Pkg Cream Cheese, Softened
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*.  Line a baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
Trim a very thin slice from the round side of each peach half so the halves will stand flat on the baking pan.  Dip the peach half in melted butter to coat.  Arrange peach halves, cut sides up, in prepared pan.  Sprinkle tops with Cinnamon/Sugar mixture & set aside.
In medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add sugar, egg yolk and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  Spoon cream cheese mixture into peach centers.
Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until lightly browned & softened.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe taken from Better Home & Garden August 2011 issue