Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tried and True

Potato Soup with pepperoni and nutmeg

Ingredients needed:
2 T coconut oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 Large potatoes diced
2 celery stalks chopped
1 small orange bell pepper chopped small
1/2 small onion chopped
15 slices pizza pepperoni chopped small
1 Qt Chicken stock
2 cups water
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t basil
1 cup shredded blend of Mozzarella, provolone and mild cheddar cheeses
salt and pepper to taste

Combine oil, 1/2 water, garlic, potato, onion and celery in a hot med/large soup pot. Cook, stirring on med/high for a couple of minutes then add the rest of the water, chopped bell pepper and pepperoni. Cook, stirring a couple more minutes. Add stock, basil and nutmeg, Bring to a boil then turn heat down to med/low. Cook covered for 15 min. or until potatoes are soft. Salt and pepper if desired then serve in bowls and sprinkle cheese on top.


And for dessert, why not try this SCRUMPTIOUS bar cookie!
Ingredients needed:
*graham cracker crust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter or butterscotch chips
3/4 cup shredded coconut (or more if you LOVE coconut :)
Take a 9x13 baking pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the bottom and sides with *graham cracker crust. Pour a can of sweetened condensed milk on top of the crust, then take the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips and sprinkle an even layer on top of the milk. Top with shredded coconut and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Let them cool completely before you cut into squares and then ENJOY!
*Graham cracker crust recipe
4 cups graham cracker crumbs
12 T butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
Mix all ingredients well in bowl.
So there you have it... a couple of tried and true recipes that are simply delicious!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mysterious wonderment

Everyday, as constant as the sun, despite badgering weather, marches an army boot clad man with a white grocery bag in hand. Through my window panes, I catch glimpse of his slightly bent weathered frame slowly making his way to an unknown destination-then back again-steadily lifting one foot and placing it down in front of the other with a slight limp... trudging on the snow(as it may be on this day), down our rarely quiescent street.
His eyes fixed downward, as though completely alone; somewhere bound, dutifully called and thoughtfully purposed, he steadily treks on-unaware of my rapt curiosity. I find his enduring dedication inspiring; quiet mystery surrounds this grey-haired man's faithful daily ventures. Surely my curious wonderment would disappear into reality if we ever did meet.
-Amy Smith

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Christmas

I recently asked my buff husband to use his brawn to move his UPS'd boxed Christmas present, which had conveniently come in the mail AND which had also been lamely conveniently bought online from Stacks & Stacks, from the front porch to the attic to await being wrapped! I checked it out and being it was wrapped well, in a box, didn't have any pictures of it's contents on it's outer packaging and my husband would have NO idea what I bought him for Christmas, I didn't foresee any problems with him bringing it indoors for me and sparing my shoulders the pain.

To set the reason straight for WHY I bought him this gift, since it may sound like a pretty hilarious gift for a guy, here it is: He had recently decided he wanted to iron his clothes more. He knows, and God love him for it, that I don't have time to iron clothes. Oh, I could make time, but he and I both would rather me worry about more important stuff like; reading with our kids, homeschooling, Bible reading, quiet time, sleep, good meals or just for goodness sakes getting all of our clothes clean in the first place, etc. The list could go on for paragraphs.... so, at the thought of more ironing being in his future, I thought I would surprise him with a Wall Mounted Hideaway Ironing Board! I thought it would be perfect as we don't really have room in our laundry room to store a normal sized one. I knew he would thoroughly enjoy the project of putting it together, staining it, installing it and conveniently using it instead of the top of our washing machine... hehehe, I was so smart, he'd never figure out what I bought him for Christmas, or what is was!! It's one of those gifts, you just can't WAIT for them to open... Oh, the anticipation! He has NO clue, NO idea what I would've gotten him... Hehe, sometimes, I just am so pleased with myself... Ahem, anyway...

...So after nicely asked, he gladly went to the front porch to use his pumped up forearms to do the job. I heard him open the front door. I smiled with contented satisfaction as I pictured him looking at that huge box wondering what in the world it could be. Then there was silence. "Amers?" he asked questioningly. "Yes?" I called from the kitchen. "It's the big box right?" he asked, and I could tell he was smiling. "Uh, yeah, it is." I replied and out of growing curiosity, I started making my way to the front door, not really sure why he was asking. "I think I know what it is." He said with a laugh. "What?! How?!" I gasped. As I quickly reached the front door and studied his smiling face, his twinkling eyes motioned for me to look at the box... Well, as my gaze rested on the box, my peering eyes were presented with this hilarious picture...


Ah, well. Merry (early) Christmas, sweetie!!


Friday, December 4, 2009

small hands

A Christmas decor cluttered living room... Christmas music softly drifting throughout the house... outside, the sun shines brightly, seemingly piercing through the crisp wintry air... the smell and oddly comforting sound of fresh vanilla coffee brewing... many small voices filled with joy and anticipation, accompanied by those same many little children bouncing up and down with unbundled excitement! These are just some of my favorite things.
This was our Sunday morning recently as it started out with heavenly homemade doughnuts topped with sweet maple frosting, piping hot coffee and 'notsohot' "coffee" aka hot chocolate, for all of those excited little ones of ours. It is hard to tell now, but this Christmas tree stood there bare. stark. cold. overnight. Awaiting the magical touch of many tiny hands EAGER to play a part in beautifying our traditional Christmas tree.
It's not about the decorations... it's about the warmth of family, of lights, of grateful hearts, in the midst of this cold season. Celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was not just an ordinary baby. A baby is just that, a baby! A beautiful miracle indeed, but He was also God! Full of the Father's love, longing to close the rift between man and their maker, so He can have a close relationship with us and give us a life lived with His Spirit's guidance and hearts that are forever united with Him. In baby Jesus' beautiful small hands was the sacrificial love of our heavenly Father's big hands longing to save the whole world! The world He made. Just the same a tree is just a tree. Beautiful indeed, God's handiwork. But it's the family bonding love you put into it, time spent together around it-whether in conversation or in reverent silence-singing may it be, or Bible reading, maybe Advent participating-the special memories you hang on it, that's what makes it even that much more beautiful and meaningful-it brings our hearts even closer together every year.
Small hands helped beautify this ordinary tree and turn it into something pretty special. Memories were made as we treasured and relived our past memories and pondered with amazement that glorious night 2 thousand years ago, the birth of our precious Lord and savior, Jesus.
I remember fondly, the year My main man and I weaved this beloved popcorn string... it was December 2001, our second Christmas as a married couple, but our first in our 'own' more permanent home. We lived in Fort Worth, Texas in a rented little one bedroom apartment. Our firstborn was a sweet little 6 week old. We were so young, just big kids ourselves at barely 20 years old! We were newly moved away from our families... on our OWN! My Main man worked at a CSN station positioned in our church Calvary Chapel Fort Worth... it was a harrowing job at times. Time consuming, yet rewarding. We were homesick, yet overwhelmingly thankful for all of the wonderful friends we had made since moving there January of that year. Our young friends, old friends, new friends and 'parent' friends... we loved them all and we're blessed. Blessed to be where God wanted us, where God had brought us and where we still have friendships today.
Just as we started something new that year, in lovingly weaving our own popcorn string and hanging it on our meager Christmas tree, it's a tradition that we still have today... and Lord-willing, will have for many years to come.
God's sovereignty reigns!
Come again, quickly Lord Jesus, come.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Me and my dearest.

Our beautiful Thanksgiving table!

Thanks to these two beautiful Memaws.

Enjoying some playtime to work off some of those calories! The ladies were blessed with a long walk earlier in the day. It was beautiful outside!

We played the annual Smith tradition of Yahtzee!

Somewhere there is a picture of my firstborn taking a picture of my second in command taking a picture of my firstborn taking a picture of.... well, you get the picture.

My mother's famous potato rolls! Everywhere we go, she's asked to bring these delicious rolls with her.

The guys went out before dawn and scoured the mountains for Elk in their 4x4 rig! They only spotted some deer but we're happy all the same to have watched the sun come up out in God's beautiful countryside! God is so good to give us all that we need. That is what we thank Him for today! His goodness, His mercy and His gracious, forgiving hand that tenderly sustains us daily. He is all we need!

...and in everything, we give thanks to the Lord!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's glimpses into my children's honest souls, letters spawned from
thankful hearts and smiles spilling out from the overflow of gratitude that make all of this worthwhile.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child;
Bless me and remember me;
Savior, let me come to Thee.
Loving Jesus, gentle Lamb,
In Thy gracious hands I am;
Make me, Savior, what Thou art;
Live Thyself within my heart.
I shall then show forth Thy praise,
serve Thee all my happy days;
Then the world shall always see
Christ, the holy Child, in me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Darlings!
My oldest two daughters have both recently had birthdays and are now proud 8 and 7 year olds! I still remember when they were born (amazing, I know)! We lived in Texas, we had been married only two years, and had these two sweet girls only 12 months apart! It definitely made me realize I'm definitely not all about the 'no birth-control' thing. Really, that realization and decision was also based upon the fact that, because of my first being breech, I had c-sections with both of the girls and have gone on to have one with all 5 of the births of my children as well. It is totally and utterly different than a natural birth... much harder to recover from and many, many more lasting effects from the surgery than having babies the way God intended.
Today I couldn't be happier and more delighted in the children that God has chosen to gift our family with. He knows best, He carries us through and He sees the ending. His control over every situation is there whether or not it seems that way to us.
I'm loving life with these sweeties!

Rainbow Cake!

I totally went all out on the cake and the celebration this year. Don't ask me why, I'm not sure. In hind-sight it may not have been the best idea as we ended up starting to come down with swine flu a couple of days before their party...along with being sick with the stomach flu and colds, ALL in the month of October! Whew, we made it through, though and had a great time celebrating the life of my two eldest along with this new season, FALL! We weren't going to let a few hardships stand in the way of our enjoyment. We stuck it to those hardships and sicknesses and came out more content, more dependent on our Heavenly Father because of them.

Memaws and aunties, know just how to make a b-day memorable. We love them so much! Plus, they are quite the riot, don't you think?

We decorated pumpkins with frosting and candy...

Ate buttered popcorn and enjoyed treat bags with glee!

Coutryman farms is a GREAT place to be!

We had potato sack races, three legged races and jumped in the leaves...
and for participating in the fun, picked a lolly from the lollipop tree!

mhm, Mhm, MHM!

It was a beautiful fall day, sunny and crisp! Their friends joined in the fun and they all had a blast. So thankful for who these girls are becoming... they are beautiful souls with hearts that are soft.

Praying for them, thankful for them today and always.
Happy birthday my dear daughters.
I love you.