Friday, November 2, 2012

Weekend Happenings, If I Could Turn Back Time, Trisha's Chicken Tortilla Soup, Quotable Quotes, Special Event Bible

Good Friday morning!

I hope you've had a good week.

My heart and prayers go out to the people in New Jersey, New York and other surrounding areas hit by Hurricane Sandy. The devastation of property we are seeing on television and loss of life is heartbreaking, and I'm specifically praying for quick restoration of power for millions of people and food and water provisions for those in need.

I cannot begin to imagine.

RANDOMNESS #1 - I'm posting a couple more pictures of our Beautiful Katie this morning from last week's photo shoot. (I've got a million of them!)

She has had those big eyes since they day she was born. So pretty.

RANDOMNESS #2 - One of Roxie's friends walked up to me a couple of weeks ago and asked if we could have a Pumpkin Carving Party this year. (We've skipped the last two years because 14 and 15 year-old chicks are a little too mature. Luckily, 16 year-old chicks want to have Pumpkin Parties again! I was one happy Fall Mama!)

Ciara came early and helped Roxie start a rip roarin' fire.

I'm telling you...

These chicks are ready to try out for Survivor!

We started out with a Fall tablecloth, pretty pumpkins and a bunch of cutting utensils.

The girls have decorated pumpkins for years, but they all said they had never carved one by themselves (except for Roxie and her owl pumpkin a couple of weeks ago). I'll show you the finished products in a second.

I think you'll be impressed.

Because 16 year-old chicks can build fires (without adult supervision) and carve pumpkins with large knives (without adult supervision), I spent my time upstairs getting dinner on the table.

Josh picked up bread bowls from Panera Breads, and all I had to do was fix a pot of chili and a pot of potato soup.

Easy, warm and filling.

I didn't find out until Monday night I am a very BAD jack-o-lantern photographer. Very, very bad.

Please ignore the photography, and enjoy the pumpkins!

Roxie did the Halloween Penguin... a childhood classic!

Ragan impressed with her cat and pumpkin carving.

Ally created a giant "BOO."

Ciara made a cute non-scary monster.

And Kendall carved three little jack-o-lanterns stacked on top of each other.

I don't know about you, but I cannot wait until next year.

RANDOMNESS #3 - I found this on Pinterest (shocking, I know), and it is just too good not to share.

If your child is in college, and lives at home:

I sometimes surprise them by cleaning their room during a week that is particularly busy (exam week, a big paper is due, they are working a lot of hours).

On a particularly busy day, I will do their chores for them.

I will buy their favorite candy bar and leave it on their pillow.

I love grabbing them and taking them on a spontaneous lunch date.

In the morning while my daughter is getting ready for work or class, I sometimes will bring her a hot cup of coffee or tea.

I make sure they know that our home is always open for them to bring their friends over.

I allow them to have “study parties” in our living room, and I serve their friends.

On Saturday mornings, I make sure the house is quiet so they can sleep in a little.

As they run in and out of the house, in between work and classes, I make sure I tell them I love them, they are precious, and ask how they are doing.

I ask how I can pray for them.

If they didn’t do well on a paper or test, sometimes I will take them out for coffee or ice cream just to encourage them.

I ask them how I can serve them to make a busy day more bearable.

I work hard to get to know their friends.

If they are hanging out in our home with a friend, sometimes I will suggest that we jump in the van, and I will treat them both to Starbucks!

I text them and tell them I miss them, love them or am praying for them.

I try to treat them with respect. They are young adults.

I am working hard to learn how to relate to them in a new way since they are getting older. I make sure I am reading good books for tips, or talking to women who have gone through this season already.

I try to arrange a weekly family time to make sure we are connecting as a family and keeping caught up with each other.

Sometimes on Saturday morning, I make their favorite breakfast since most mornings during the week they are grabbing breakfast on the run.

I keep my eyes open for good devotional books or Bible studies I can buy for them to help encourage them to be in the Word.

If your child is in college, and doesn’t live at home:

Send a care package or letter stuffed with a gift card on a monthly basis.

When they come home for a break, clean their room and have a small gift waiting on their pillow. Make their favorite meal. Have a “Welcome Home” sign hanging on the front door.

While they are home for a break, make sure you are as available as possible to them. This is precious time. Make them WANT to come home again.

If it is their birthday, and they live too far for you to go visit, send them a “Birthday Party in a Box” care package!

If they are close enough for a day trip or weekend trip, make the effort to go visit them monthly. Take them out for dinner. Get to know their friends.

These ideas and thoughts came from a blog called!

Good stuff!

If I Could Turn Back Time - This kind of goes with Monday's "Turn Back Time" theme. (Remember? I said I would let the boys wear their underwear on the outside of their jeans in public... superhero-style.)

I would buy the boys the light-up tennis shoes. And I would let them wear them to church on Sunday and Wednesday nights... and to the mall... and to see Santa.

I wouldn't look at light-up tennis shoes like a 30-something, practical Mom of three.

I would see them for the very, very cool shoes they were meant to be, and I would have made Austin and Josh's little hearts so happy.

NOTE - If you see any Size 13 (MEN'S) light-up tennis shoes in your travels, please let me know. I think I'm going to make two "boys" very happy this Christmas if I can locate such an item!

Quotable Quotes

"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"

Is that a good question, or what?

And it's already on a pillow.

That is how you can tell a good quote from a bad quote. If it is on a pillow, it's a keeper.

Special Event Bible

This is another Pinterest idea, but I think you'll like it.

Purchase a new Bible a year before your child's special event (their 16th birthday or high school graduation). Take a year to read through it with a Bible reading plan making notations in the margin written specifically to your child.

Make comments about the verse’s special significance.

Mention how you’ve seen a truth of scripture lived out in their life.

Warn them of pitfalls.

Encourage them with favorite verses underlined.

Then, on their big day, wrap it up and give it to them as a gift.

Excellent idea. I'm currently working on a Bible like this to give to my first child (and their spouse) who has a baby.

Trisha's Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have watched Trisha Yearwood's cooking show a couple of times in recent weeks, and I like it.

Her recipes aren't super fancy or hard... and she eats like I do. Southern!

I have a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, but I'm always on the lookout for something "better," so I'll be trying this one very, very soon.

You will need the following:

3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 14-ounce cans chicken broth
4 cups half-and-half
1 10.75-ounce can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup prepared salsa, mild or spicy
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled, drained and shredded
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1.27-ounce packet fajita seasoning
1 16-ounce bag tortilla chips
8 ounces Monterey Jack, grated
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onion and saute until softened (about 5 minutes).

2. Add the flour and stir well, cooking for 1 minute more.

3. Add the broth and the half-and-half. Stir in the Cream of Chicken Soup, salsa, chicken, beans, corn, cumin and fajita seasoning. Continue to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

4. Crumble the tortilla chips into individual bowls and top with a ladle of soup. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and add a dollop of sour cream.

I've changed my mind. I think I'll make it today!

Weekend Happenings - Hold on! It's another busy Fall weekend!

Friday night Roxie will be roasting marshmallows with friends. Josh will be working. Austin will be getting ready for the JSU game tomorrow. Mike and I will hopefully be eating Trisha's Chicken Tortilla Soup and watching Amazing Race!

Saturday, Roxie and I have an annual standing date with Bev and Katie. We're heading to Christmas Village for a few hours. Mike and Josh will be hanging around the house (hopefully, working on a lovely "honey-do" list I've lovingly prepared for the two of the them). Austin will be doing his JSU thing.

Saturday night, Roxie will be celebrating a friend's birthday. Josh will be working again. Austin and Melia will be celebrating Melia's upcoming birthday.

Mike and I will be eating leftover Trisha's Chicken Tortilla Soup!

And Sunday, we are having our Fall Feast with my family at Bev's house. This year was the first time in 21 years we have not spent Halloween with my parents and my sister and her family.

It was odd.

It was strange.

It was unpleasant.

I was unusually grumpy Wednesday night.

But we're still planning on having a Fall Feast each and every year TOGETHER... watching a movie... playing games... visiting.

Otherwise, I will be having an unusually grumpy October 31 until Thanksgiving... from now until... Hmmm. I don't know when I'll stop being grumpy.

Have a glorious Fall weekend. I'll be back Monday morning with so much Fall goodness to share, you will be amazed!

Now I just have to live up to that last statement.

Take care, and I'll talk to you Monday.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Just to get you in the mood for basketball season, I have a little surprise for you. We played a couple of 21-minute games last night to give new referees in our area a little practice.

I think you can tell from the following pics, we're going to have a good year (I hope, I hope).

I love this stance. It's laid back and intimidating all at the same time. (I need to learn to stand like this.)

Can you spot the blurry basketball? (I'm going to have to practice with my camera settings again. Basketball is a little "faster" than volleyball.)

I wouldn't even have to think about it. I would just hand the ball over to one of the three chicks charging toward me.

It may look like Roxie is about to finish knocking this girl to the floor, but I can assure you, that is not what happened.

Well, that's my story... and I'm sticking to it!

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