Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-14

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Embrace the Camera (Dec. 16)


Hello there!

Last Thursday night we had our annual M&M (May & Moon families if you are new) Christmas - one of my favorite nights of the year!

I love that Connor's tummy has a cameo in this one. ;) But I especially love that we are all LOOKING AT THE CAMERA! woohoo!

Opening Silas' gift - 2 books (The Christmas Story and Where the Wild Things Are) and some letter signs for his big boy bedroom. Ok - so the signs are really for Momma - Aunt Sarah knows what she's doing! I can't wait to work on his new room - one day. ;)

I hope y'all are Embracing the Camera this Christmas! Make wonderful memories and document them!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The latest.

Here's what has been keeping me up at night and making my fingers raw. :) It's been so fun watching them all come together.






I have one more set to finish tonight and then I'm done until after New Years. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Embrace the Camera (Dec. 9)


It was freezing here last weekend and this whole week (our bird bath has not thawed out in 3 days) but that doesn't keep a certain little boy from wanting to be outside. So Daddy bundled him up and out we went. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Embrace the Camera (Dec. 2)



Every single one of my EtC pics this week were taken by my SIL Holly and I totally stole them from her facebook page. :) Hey - I had to since I promised better pictures this week and my attempts only produced more pictures of me kissing a screaming kid. :/

Holly and Ricky came over for dinner and a movie (V for Vendetta on Nov. 5th - yes, we are nerds) and since she has a great DSLR she is always snapping away. :)

Right before bedtime Silas always gets this crazy burst of energy and this particular night he was in rare form running around all over and being a complete nut.

It didn't take him long to figure out that Momma is funny when you hit her on the head. :)

While it looks like he is being uber sweet and giving kisses, in actuality he is taking his paci back from me. ;) However, yesterday I got 5 completely UNSOLICITED kisses. Melt my heart.

I spent Thanksgiving week being sick with a sinus infection/cold and as crappy as that was (my family was here and I wasn't myself) it was 120938461029836401928364 times better than how I spent Thanksgiving last year...in the hospital. If you don't know that story go here and here. Anyway - this is from Thanksgiving night at Justin's family's dinner.

And just for kicks - here's Mamay Embracing the Camera too. :)
Go get your EtC on!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Adventures of Curious Silas

This is where I found him yesterday:

I was doing some laundry and went in our bedroom to get some more and when I came back he was on top of the wet clothes.

He LOVES to hide and close the doors on his hiding spots - cabinets, closets, and now dryers.

He was proud. And he didn't want to get out when it was time for me to dry the clothes.
I can't wait to see where I'll find him next! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The latest.

Here's what I've been up to - more random orders. :) Like them?

Embrace the Camera (Nov. 18)


My pictures for EtC are kinda lame today. I haven't had much to choose from and we've been running around so crazy busy lately that I haven't stopped and grabbed the camera as much as I should have.

Silas is OVER pictures right now. :(

But I try anyway.

A few weekends ago we kept Connor all day while the rest of the May family went to an Auburn game. Silas had so much fun with a friend all to himself! They don't get a lot of playtime when it's just them - there's always a big brother around - so they had a blast.:)

How are you embracing the camera this week?

Click here for the latest from Moonpie Designs.

Friday, November 12, 2010

To Write Love on Her Arms


A year or so ago I stumbled upon an organization called To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) by accident. I can't even remember now how I found out about it - probably from a blog, but it has become a movement that is dear to my heart.

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

We (I say "we" because anyone can be a part of this) want you to know that rescue is possible - that God is still in the business of redemption. Please go read THIS. (read it all, but especially near the bottom of the page where it says To Write Love on Her Arms)

Today we are raising awareness by writing LOVE on on arms and telling people about the mission of TWLOHA.

Here are some facts and statistics:

*121 million people worldwide suffer from depression - 18 million are in the US (World Health Organization)

*2/3 of people suffering from depression never seek treatment

*Untreated depression is the #1 cause of suicide and suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults (National Institute for Mental Health)

*Often times untreated depression leads to unhealthy ways of coping with the pain and hurt such as self-injury (self-mutilation, self-harm, self-abuse). It can be defined as the deliberate, repetitive, impulsive, non-lethal harming of one’s self, including but not limited to:

1) cutting

2) burning

3) picking or interfering with wound healing

4) infecting oneself

5) punching/hitting self or objects

6) inserting objects in to skin

7 )bruising or breaking bones and

8) some forms of hair pulling

*Experts estimate that 4% of the population struggle with self-injury. It has the same occurrence between males and females, even though in popular culture it can appear to be more prevalent among girls.

*The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.

I had no idea that suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death among teenagers. That breaks my heart. I also had no idea that self-injury was so prevalent. If you think that it isn't, just check out TWLOHA's facebook page and read some of the wall posts and comments. It's happening all around you and if you are like me, you probably had no idea. But now you know.

It breaks my heart that people are hurting themselves to TRY to cope with the crap of this world. They are believing a lie - that hurting themselves will help, that it's the only way to deal with the hurt and pain, and that they have to keep how they feel and what they do a secret.

TWLOHA is about a community - a worldwide community - of people loving people. A community offering hope and healing and rescue.

So today I write love on my arm and pray for the people in my life and the people all over the world that are struggling with these things.

And I hope for a future for each of them filled with redemption.


For more information please check out the TWLOHA website here.

The information shared in the blog post was taken from the TWLOHA website.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Creamy Potato Soup Recipe

As soon as I looked out the window yesterday morning and saw the gray skies and drizzling rain I knew that we needed Potato Soup for dinner.

It's like fuzzy slippers and a cozy blanket to my soul. Mmmmm mmmm.

I made this recipe up earlier this year, but I do not claim that it is original to me - there might be tons of you already cooking potato soup just like this. BUT - I call it "mine" because I didn't use a recipe, and that makes it feel special. :)


*DISCLAIMER: I am terrible at following recipes and generally start making it up as I go along even if I have one to follow. Since I actually did make this one up, you should know that all of the measurements are estimates and probably don't really matter anyway. I almost never measure anything (except when baking) so just know that this "recipe" is a very fluid concept.

Creamy Potato Soup

Ingredients:

red potatoes, peeled and sliced
chicken broth or chicken bouillon cubes
1 sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 breakfast ham (you know, the kind that is flat with the circle bone in it), cubed
half & half or whole milk
cheddar cheese
green onion, chopped
sour cream
salt & pepper

What I do:

Last night I used a 5lb bag of potatoes because I wanted to have some leftovers (and I had enough leftovers for lunch today and tomorrow for me and Justin). Put the potatoes in a large pot and barely cover with water. Throw in 2 or 3 bouillon cubes. You can use chicken broth or fresh stock for this too - but I usually don't have it since I refuse buy chicken with bones in it. Add the onion and garlic. Bring to a boil and let boil until the potatoes start to fall apart. Stir it often so it doesn't scorch on the bottom. When the potatoes fall apart easily, turn heat to low/med, mash up the potatoes until it's thick and creamy, and add in the ham. Add some milk or half & half - enough to make it relatively runny (see how professional I am??) - if you feel like it's too runny don't panic - it will thicken a lot and you'll keep adding milk up until you serve it. Check on it every once in a while and add milk if it is too thick. Salt and pepper to taste.

I serve it with cheese, chives, and sour cream. You can add anything that you would like on a baked potato - this soup is basically liquid baked potato. :) If you don't have ham but do have bacon, just fry the bacon and crumble it on top - it's delicious that way as well.

Enjoy!

It's lunch time now - I'm going to fix myself another big bowl. :)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The BEST chili recipe

It's not often these days that I cook something that people just go on and on about - I've not been in a cooking mood for a few months. The desire to cook, like just about everything else that I am sometimes interested in, comes and goes in phases. I think I like to cook more in the fall and winter because I'm not a cold.rainy.windy weather person and cooking warms me up and gives me something to do when I can't be outside. Also, a lot of my favorite foods are winter foods - gumbo, red beans and rice, potato soup, Mulligan, and...CHILI!

Sunday evening I made some chili for our friends (because Halloween just screams chili to me) and everyone seemed to love it. I wish I could say I made it up or even found the recipe myself, but alas, I did not. Justin found it and made it one day a few months ago and it was so good I added it to my favorites list.

It's an Apron's recipe from Publix. I know, right?! I never would have guessed.

Ground Beef Chili

Ingredients

1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 lb ground chuck beef
3 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (10.75-oz) can condensed tomato soup
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes/sweet onions (undrained)
1 (10-oz) can milder diced tomatoes/green chiles (undrained)
1 (16-oz) can chili beans in mild sauce (undrained)
1 (15-oz) can black beans (drained)

Prep:
Chop onion; divide in half.

Steps:
1.Preheat large saucepan on medium-high 2–3 minutes.
2. Place beef, chili powder, seasoned salt, pepper, and one-half of the onions in pan; cook 4–5 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, or until meat is brown and no pink remains.

3.Stir in remaining ingredients, including remaining one-half onions. Bring to a boil, stirring often.

4. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 10 more minutes to blend flavors. Serve.

**I use Tony Chachere's for the season salt and I used Tomato Sauce instead of tomato soup because tomato soup makes me want to gag just thinking about it. In my mind this chili is waaaay better with the sauce instead of soup. :) I used Rotel Mild (for these GA tastebuds) and then everything else was Publix brand.

***I served it as Frito Pie with lots of cheese. It's also great with a little dollop of sour cream. Oh, and just because I love hot sauce in almost everything, I added a dash or two of Tabasco Chipotle to my personal bowl. Mmmmm mmmm. If you have not tried that new flavor of Tabasco, drop what you are doing and go get you some (that link is to a coupon). And while you're at it pick up some Tony's too. You'll thank me. :)

This is a super quick meal, but it tastes like you grandma's chili that probably had to cook for 5 hours. Save yourself the time and give this recipe a try and then come back and let me know
what you think!


Monday, November 1, 2010

More Halloween

I swiped some more pics of the evenings activities from the Mays.

Smiling! You can just see his stitches under his bottom lip. I'll tell that story later, but he ended up in the ER last Wednesday night. All is well though.

Weeeee're off to see the Wizard...

Connor put down his sword for a second and Silas took advantage of it. :)

The whole group at the Merritt's house - our first stop for Trick or Treating

Halloween 2010

Happy Halloween! However you decided to celebrate or not celebrate, I hope you enjoyed a day of worship with family and friends.

Our morning was great, our day was frustrating (which was oh so annoying), and our night was fun. We had friends over for chili and dessert and then we went Trick or Treating in the HoneyCreek Subd..

Once again the pictures are in no particular order.
(apparently blogger has changed how pictures work and you can't move them around in your posts unless you do it in html - and who has time for THAT?!)

Sorry this one is blurry - all of our family pics were blurry except for one. :( At least we got one!

Our little lion. :) Silas was sooooo good last night! He would walk with us up to the door and hold out his little bag and then he rode in the wagon and never even whined at all (and I'm sure the Skittles he was snacking on had nothing to do with that). We were very proud of him. :)

Scarecrow, Lion, and Dorothy

I'm not a scary lion!

Love.

Trying to get a group shot of all the kids was ridiculous and funny. This is the only decent one I got and it's missing one. Raggedy Ann and Andy, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, and Lion

Can't wait until next year. What did y'all do?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

YoungLife Llamaween 2010

Every year Rockdale County YoungLife has an event called Llamaween and it's the week before Halloween and everyone dresses up in complete ridiculousness. It's a total blast. I went as an 80's aerobics instructor. :)

This year we had Dodgeball Llamaween so we were in a gym and basically played a twist on Dodgeball called War Ball all night. That and lots of Ultimate Ninja.



**the pics are in absolutely random order because blogger is being dumb right now**

My best attempt at 80's makeup. :)

With WonderWoman aka Jessica

Ready, Set, GO!

Savannah trying her best to nail someone :)

In War Ball, if you get hit instead of being "out" you go behind the opposing team and then if a ball comes out of bounds you can grab it and hit the team from behind and then if you do, you get to go back in the game. This is us waiting for a ball to come. :)

I am awful at War Ball.

Oscar the Grouch aka Shelby

with Savannah my 80's workout friend

with a Chilean Miner aka The Godfather aka Zach

Click on the next 2 to make them bigger.

Llamaween 2010 :)

Leaders: WonderWoman, The Old Spice Man ("I'm on a horse"), a Chilean Miner, The Tooth Fairy, a blackberry, a monkey, a pirate, a cheerleader, 80's aerobic instructor, and a coach. I'm laughing like a loon because there was inappropriateness going on behind me. :P

So there ya go. I already can't wait until next year! I'm weird and LOVE LOVE LOVE to dress up, and basically I get to do it twice a year - Halloween and Llamaween. :)