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I’m still here!

Well the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has definitely set in. Hope everyone is enjoying it and trying to maintain low stress levels.

I’m working on several recipes to share with you and look forward to being back with you in a couple days.

Thanks for hanging in here with me!


Freezer meals revisited (I)

Last week I wrote about a group of my mom friends getting together to swap freezer meals.  Tonight we had our first meal from the swap…Chicken Parmesan.  I’ve never made Chicken Parmesan for my family because I always thought it was too difficult.  After seeing the results tonight, I’ll be adding this to my recipe planner.

I added a side of whole wheat spaghetti that I mixed it with the marinara sauce that wasn’t used on the chicken.  Our veggie for tonight was Parmesan and garlic broccoli that I steamed in the microwave.


Speaking of a recipe planner.  I use a service called Plan to Eat (affiliate link) to store my recipes.  It has a calendar planner (including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) that I love and takes what I plan and puts it in a shopping list for me.  I’ve been using Plan to Eat for almost a year and I love the functionality of the program.  The normal yearly subscription fee is $31, but they are having a 50% off Black Friday sale from November 28th to December 1st.  If you know someone looking for this type of service, what a great time for an inexpensive Christmas gift.

Adoption News

We found out today that our adoption home study has been approved and we are now ready to start the matching process.  We look forward to the day we can meet our future birthmother and then our daughter. The adoption process has been and will continue to be emotional and resource intensive.  We cannot continue to go through this process without encouragement, prayer and financial support from our friends and family.  We would like to invite you to journey with us through this process.

Will you partner with us and support our family in bringing our daughter home to our family?
If you have the financial means to support our adoption, no amount is too small or too big; $5 to $5,000 – any and all funds will help! Our goal is to raise $25,000. And, 100% of your financial support will go toward our adoption costs, thanks to Adopt Together.  Donations made through this site are tax-deductible.  

My Superhero family

What happens when you bring Spider Girl, Captain American and Ironman together…you have my Superhero family!!  Our family really enjoys Halloween.  My husband has always been big on the whole family being dressed up and sharing in the experience together.  Yesterday was no different.  We enjoyed time with some awesome family friends while watching the kids make their way around the neighborhood collecting their spoils.

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Today I shared a wonderful covered dish lunch with some very sweet ladies from my church.  We love Reuben sandwiches and casseroles in this house, so I wanted to put a little twist on a traditional sandwich and try an appetizer version.  Here is what I came up with.
Reuben Dip

32 oz sauerkraut rinsed and well drained
12 oz sliced deli corned beef chopped
10 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
10 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup
1/2 cup Russian salad dressing (or Thousand Island)

In a bowl mix all ingredients together, place in a 9×13 baking dish coated with Pam or Olive Oil.  Bake on 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

I used Boar’s Head products for the deli meats and cheeses.  More expensive but the quality is worth it and no added nitrates / nitrites.

I served mine with chips or you could use any variety of crackers.  I brought the leftovers home to my husband and lets just say their are no more leftovers 🙂


No updated news on the adoption front.  Our social worker is in the process of writing up our home study document and we are completing the paperwork and setting up the appointments to get our fingerprints completed again because it’s been several years since we had those done.  If you are interested in reading our story please see the previous posts related to our family or check out our adoption profile and our fundraising page .  As a reminder, Hoping Hearts Foundation, the parent organization for Adopt Together is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) organization making donations tax-deductible.

New Food Wednesday!

Ok, so that’s not really a thing in my house, but I was so excited today to have my son try something new.  During a shopping trip today I picked up these little sweet peppers at Sprouts.  I’m not a fan of peppers myself, unless they are in a stir-fry, but I thought lets give it a try.


In the months before I became a stay at home mom, I started following a blog on how to remove processed foods from your diet.  This family is no where near being completely processed foods free, but we’ve made some major changes over the last year and a half that have greatly benefited us.

Almost daily on the blogs Facebook page, she posts pictures of what her kids take to school for lunch.  I was blown away by what these kids will eat.  I thought we’d give these peppers a try…and voila!!!  He loves peppers…and the homemade ranch dip doesn’t hurt either!!

Speaking of homemade, the link above for the ranch dip also includes how to make your own taco seasoning and several other recipes.  Since making these myself, I can taste such a difference in the packaged version.  I never realized just how much salt was in the prepackaged stuff.  Check it out, you’ll love it.

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that my family is in the process of adopting a baby girl.  We hope that you would continue to keep us in your prayers as we move through the process.  We completed our home study over the weekend and our adoption agency is finalizing the background check and we found our today we need to have our fingerprints completed again since its been a couple years since those were first done.  On my personal Facebook page, I shared a challenge in honor of Halloween.  We are hoping 31 people would consider giving $13 or $31 (or any amount) to our adoption fundraising page.  We’ve had 3 people donate $1050, which has just blown us away and we are so grateful.  Would you share in our journey and be one of our 31?

Thank Goodness for Freezer Meals

When I get in a grove, I like to make a double batch of a favorite freezer meal and keep it for weeks just like this when I really don’t feel like cooking.  There are tons of recipes out there that can be frozen and cooked at a later time.  There is a bit of an art to the process of freezing meals.  Certain ingredients need to be under cooked, such a pasta, so as not to become a mushy mess once it gets baked in the oven.

Making freezer meals that can easily be set out the night before and popped in the crock pot the next morning were a life saver when I was still working full time.

Here’s a link to what Caleb and I are having for dinner tonight with a piece of baked chicken.  I love to add extra veggies when I can, so I did modify this recipe to include mushrooms and used colby jack cheese instead of sharp.   I also used Basmati Rice since that was all I had on hand at the time.

Oh winter…

I don’t know about anyone else, but this is the one time of year that living in Texas has always gotten to me.  That point in the weather where it’s just starting to cool off, but we have those pop days of record temps…It’s killing my allergies and poor Caleb is right along with me.

I love fall/winter.  It’s my favorite time of year.  The ability to get outside even more and it be enjoyable; to bad time change is just around the corner and it will be getting dark at 6pm before we know it.  I also love food in the fall.  It’s a great time to dust off the crockpot if you’ve been cooking on the grill most of the summer to keep the house cooler.  Time for soups and stews and any number of chili recipes that can be found.  Can’t wait.

With Kevin traveling this week, I find I get a bit of a lazy streak (please don’t tell him :)) and don’t cook much while he’s gone.  Hopefully Caleb won’t get to use to the occasional hot dog or chicken nugget or Annie’s ravioli’s this week.

In other news, we completed our adoption home study interviews this weekend.  What a physically and mentally exhausting process.  But now that step is behind us and once the report is written it’s just a matter of God’s timing when we get matched with a birthmom.  We will definitely keep you updated.

Our fundraising is in full swing since we could potentially be matched at anytime.  If you would like to consider supporting our journey financially, please click the link below.  We issued a challenge on Facebook today, we’d like to see if we can get 31 people to donate $13 or $31 or any amount in honor of Halloween on Friday.  Will you be one of them?