Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pioneer Woman's Scalloped Potatoes with Ham AND Pinterest Stuff (Different Christmas Traditions)

Good Saturday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS #1 - We babysat Judith last Saturday, and once again, she did not disappoint.

She looks cute and innocent...

Until she tries to eat my new ottoman.

This is my new "unhung" mirror, but I was glad she enjoyed it eye level for a little while.

Walking with Pop.

As you can see, taking a walk is serious business.

RANDOMNESS #2 - We had what we now refer to as Thanksgiving Sunday at Grandmother's house.

Obviously, Thanksgiving dinner is not as satisfying when it comes in a baby food jar.

Zac and his very sweet girlfriend, Mallie.

Josh, Courtney and Judith.

Judith is looking at Uncle Austin...

Also known as "Photobomber Extraordinaire."

Hunter and Roxie...

I am going to edit this pic as soon as I learn how to use my new software, but I am afraid nothing will get rid of the giant hands.

T. J. and Katie.

T. J. was working out of town, but not to worry...

He made it home for Thursday Thanksgiving.

I love Melia in orange.

Roxie and Katie.

One more time.

RANDOMNESS #3 - This past August, we had to put Sparkle to sleep.

This past September, Copper disappeared.

We added Sparkle to our family as a puppy, and we had her one week shy of 14 years.

Copper was already three or four years old when we "rescued" him, and he was with our family for nine years.

I have been missing the pups.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

On a whim, I asked Roxie to ride with me to Cleveland, Alabama to the Animal Rescue Center.


There are so many dogs available for adoption at this Center. If you're thinking of adding to your family this Christmas, I highly recommend visiting this facility.

My pick of the group was this little butterscotch-colored pup.

You cannot tell how pretty he is because not only is he a dog, but he is also a contortionist.

This lab was super sweet. It slowly walked up to Roxie and put one paw at a time on her shoulders and gave her a very big hug.

We melted.

We haven't made any firm decisions yet, but I know I will be going back in the very near future.

RANDOMNESS #4 - We celebrated Thursday Thanksgiving with Mike's family in Oxford.

Roxie was in charge of the apple pie.

She did good!

Meet the newest member of our family...


Son to Jared and Amber...

And brother to Mackenzie.


Great-Uncle Mike and Micah.

Cousin Austin and Micah.

Roxie, Josh, Austin and Melia.

Melia and Austin.

Don't ask.

Lauren, the majorette.

Lauren, the helicopter.

Pioneer Woman's Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

I made these for Thursday Thanksgiving, and I will most definitely be making them again.

You will need the following:

3 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold potatoes, washed thoroughly
2 tablespoons butter
1 whole yellow onion, diced
3 cups diced ham
1 1/2 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup flour
Black pepper to taste
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large casserole dish.

2. Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they start to turn translucent. Add ham and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Combine half-and-half and cream in a microwave-safe container and nuke for a minute or so, until no longer cold. Whisk in flour and black pepper until totally combined. Set aside. (You may add salt, but cheese and ham are salty, so add sparingly.)

4. Combine the two grated cheeses. Set aside.

5. Using a slicer, slice potatoes into 1/8" slices (very thin.) Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the ham/onion mixture, then 1/3 of the cheese and then pour on 1/3 of the cream mixture.

6. Repeat this twice more, ending with a sprinkling of cheese and a pouring on of the rest of the cream mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes at least, or until bubbly and hot.

7. Serve!

(Note: To speed along the process a bit, you may boil sliced potatoes for 3 to 5 minutes before assembling the casserole. Just drain and slightly cool before assembling.)

Pinterest Stuff

Kindness/Service Elves

The following was taken directly from Pinterest...

I recently went to a women’s activity at my church and someone suggested kindness or service elves. These are similar to ever-popular Elf on Shelf, but each day, the elves leave an act of kindness or service they hope the kids will do that day. It can be anything from smiling to everyone at school, making their sibling's bed or taking cookies to a neighbor. I love this idea, because it focuses more on helping your children to do good. The lady who mentioned it said that once they started doing this, she felt her child’s greediness and bickering started to melt away. I love it!

Open a New Game

This is an idea my sister started doing with her family, and I think it’s a great idea! On Christmas Eve, the family opens a new game, and they all play it together. The next morning if it’s not time to wake up yet to look at what Santa brought, the kids play the game together.

White Stocking

Throughout the month of December, there is a simple white stocking hanging on the mantle. Everyone is encouraged to write down something that is their gift to Christ or someone or something they are thankful for during the past year. On Christmas Eve, read them aloud. It’s anonymous, but have fun trying to guess who said what.

Homemade Doughnuts

On Christmas Eve, we make homemade doughnuts for everyone to enjoy. It’s fun to come up with different flavors and ideas, and there’s nothing better than a freshly made doughnut.

Christmas Bucket List

There are always so many different Christmas activities going on during December. While you can’t do everything, at the beginning of the month you could sit down with your family and come up with a bunch of different ideas of what you want to do during the month.

Okay, my Friends. That's it for this week. I'll be back next Friday with Christmas Tree Farm pics, stories, traditions and more.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, November 27, 2015



I am shopping today, and all of my plans to have a post up and running did not quite work out.

I WILL BE POSTING SATURDAY AFTERNOON WITHOUT FAIL! Mostly pics, but I have some pretty good holiday stuff from Pinterest and a Pioneer Woman recipe I used this week, too.

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Here's a little Thanksgiving 2012 for your enjoyment!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekend Happenings AND Pinterest Stuff (Stocking Stuffers, Verses for an Anxious Heart, Christmas Movie List on Netflix AND Pizza Object Lesson)

Good Friday morning!


Guys, I am averaging one or two jobs a week, but I would love it if it grew to three or five jobs a week.

That being said, here is my relevant info ONCE AGAIN...

I will stay with your kiddos for one to three hours. (Not over three.)

I will come to your home. (No judgment about messy, lived-in homes. Been there, done that, know how it feels.)

My NANA-FOR-HIRE services are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

I am available for Moms in the Fultondale, Morris, Mount Olive and Gardendale areas.

Reasons you may need a NANA-FOR-HIRE:

1. Your regular babysitter cancels at the last minute.

2. You have a doctor’s appointment for you OR one of your kiddos, and you would rather not take the whole crew to the doctor’s office.

3. You have a haircut/manicure/pedicure scheduled, and you need uninterrupted time.

4. You need to run quick errands alone.

5. You need an uninterrupted lunch date with husband or a friend.

The list goes on and on and on.


1 - 3 Kiddos - $10 First Hour; $10 Second Hour; $5 Third Hour - Total $25 for Three Hours

4 - 6 Kiddos - $10 First Hour; $10 Second Hour; $10 Third Hour - Total $30 for Three Hours

Contact information:

You can private message me on Facebook.
You can e-mail me at mfaulkner1306@charter.net.

All about me:

My name is Belinda Faulkner.
I am a Christian.
I am a 54 year-old wife of one and mother of three grown children.
I am a recent Empty Nester striving to fill my time in a useful, productive, Christ-honoring way.
I have a very old Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Development.
I love working with children. Always have, always will.

RANDOMNESS #1 - As I type this sentence, The Chick is 48 minutes away from the house.

I am beside myself with excitement...

Because she is going to get to stay home for NINE WHOLE DAYS AND NIGHTS, you see.

How long has it been since that happened?



Actually, it has only been three months and 14 days since she has been at home for nine days and nights in a row.

And I've seen her at least two, three or four times a month during that time.

Some people would say, "You are a typical helicopter Mom!"

But I would respond, "There is NOTHING typical about me!"

RANDOMNESS #2 - I didn't take one picture this whole entire week.

Not one.

And you know what that means, don't you?

You have to look at pictures from LAST Thanksgiving!

Pinterest strikes again.


T. J. and Katie pre-wedding.

Brad trying so hard to unwrap the "Holiday Tape Ball."

Yet another Pinterest idea...

Gone bad!

As you can see, small children would not have been able to even attempt this game.

The guys were smiling for the camera, but flop sweat was very prevalent.

Melia and Austin.

Roxie, MamMa and Katie.

Josh and Zac.

Brad and Stephanie...

And Grandmother's Pilgrim Peeps.

Pinterest Stuff

Verses for an Anxious Heart

It has been difficult to watch the news the last few weeks. Months. Years.

And since I happen to be a person who suffers from an overly anxious heart, I pinned some verses on my "Scripture Board" to have handy...

Night and day.

Day and night.

And because I highly doubt I am the ONLY person out there with an overly anxious heart, I am going to share.

"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7

"Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22

Stocking Stuffers

I'm always looking for something different, so if I share with you, it just means it is new to me.

You've probably been giving it for years!

Frosty coupons from Wendy’s
Pez dispenser and Pez refill
Fuzzy socks
Turbie Twist hair towel (These are really, really good gifts.)
Bath toys
Screen protectors for a tablet or phone
Roll of coins (quarters, dimes or nickels)

Christmas Movie List on Netflix

Christmas with the Kranks
Christmas Cupid
All I Want for Christmas
Christmas Crush
Christmas Kiss
12 Dates of Christmas
I'll Be Home for Christmas
The Christmas That Almost Wasn't
Christmas Town
Ernest Saves Christmas
Christmas Angel
Muppet Christmas Carol
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
White Christmas
Mickey's Magical Christmas
Santa Baby 2
A Christmas Puppy
Casper's Haunted Christmas
One Magic Christmas
A Holiday Engagement
Dreamworks Holiday Classics
Kung Fu Panda Holiday
Snow 2

Pizza Object Lesson

I love object lessons! If you want to grab kids’ attention and teach them a valuable lesson about learning the Bible, try this pizza object lesson. It is a good idea to have some pizza on hand for snacking later.

You will need the following:

Pizza recipe on an index card
Pizza crust
Pizza pan
Jar of sauce
Shredded cheese


Chef’s hat
Fake mustache
Rolling pin

Say, "Today we will learn how to make a pizza! I’m not sure how to do it so I am going to use a pizza recipe. Luckily, I have one. This is from Italy’s top chef! Aren’t you excited? Let’s see. The first thing we need is a pizza crust. Check! I’ve got one! You know this pizza crust is like a foundation.

"You can’t have a pizza without a sauce, can you? No! That would be crazy. Trying to live life without understanding the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule is crazy, too. You need a spiritual foundation.

"Next comes the sauce. The sauce reminds me of the books of Psalms and Proverbs. You smooth the praise (smooth the pizza sauce on the crust) and wisdom over your life and it keeps everything in place. Singing praises and understanding wisdom make life so much more "flavorful."

"Guess what comes next? Yep, the cheese! We sprinkle it everywhere, like the Word of God. When we sprinkle it into our lives, our heart will receive it, and all the good things in the Word come into our life. (Sprinkle on the cheese.)

"Lastly, we have the toppings. I love pepperoni, but you can add lots of other foods, too, like pineapple and bacon. The toppings are the first thing you see, right? Most people decide if they want a slice just by looking at the toppings. When people look at your life, do they say, “I want to live like him or her?” If you show patience and gentleness (which are just two of the Fruits of the Spirit) then perhaps they will. However, we can’t have good toppings (or the Fruit of the Spirit) without knowing God’s Word.

"So you see, learning God’s Word is important. His precious words don’t just affect a few things. They can influence your whole life.

"Who wants some pizza?"

Weekend Happenings

I am so excited about this weekend.

1. Tonight will be easy, breezy. Chili dogs, movies and a whole lot of whatever.

2. Tomorrow will be a cookin'/pre-Thanksgiving prep day. (We're having an early Thanksgiving at Grandmother's on Sunday, and we'll be going to Mikie's parents' house on Thursday.)

Also, it looks like we'll be seeing Miss Judith Saturday, as well as doing other fall, Thanksgiving-type things.

3. We'll head to Grandmother's after church Sunday for lunch with my side of the family, and while we had planned on trying to eat outside on Grandmother's very large/very pretty front porch, it now seems the weather is not going to cooperate.

With only a high of around 46 degrees, we're eating inside!

But we might play some basketball, corn hole, etc. after lunch to help keep us warm.

And when I say "we," I mean the kids.

Have a terrific weekend. I'll be back next Friday with lots of Thanksgiving pics, recipes, stories and more.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Here are a few more November pics from LAST year. (I should have plenty of new ones to share with you next week.)

Roxie touring Auburn and sharing a Toomer's lemonade with her Dad.

Nuff said.

Courtney and Josh.

Remember basketball season?"

Katie and Roxie playing Blurble for the very first time during our Black Friday getaway.

Josh, Roxie and Mike picking out the perfect Christmas tree.

Just Mike...

So cute.

Melia and Austin.
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