Thursday, March 29, 2012

God's Grace and Plan...

Wow, it sure has been a while friends. I have went missing in action for quite sometime now.

I apologize.

Life through a few more priorities my way, so I had to tend to them first.

I really have other things to be doing right now, but I had to get some type of feedback on something that I just came across while going through my FB newsfeed.

There was a beautiful picture of a woman who has became pregnant after surviving breast cancer. In the picture, the woman is topless (covering her remaining breast with her hand). In my mind, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the picture other than some of the comments made about it.

I am absolutely stunned by how many people there are out there who can push in the keys on the keyboard to make the statement, "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOD."
(and actually there are FAAAARRRRR worse comments made to go right along with that one).

Why would people be so hurtful? How can they be so blind to not see all of the blessings they are given. The answer is SATAN! He has these people wrapped on his pinky just how he wants them!

The most popular comment made, I think, was, "How hypocritical of you 'bible thumpers' to say that 'GOD IS GREAT' for 'blessing' her with a child, but why did your 'God' give her cancer to begin with? If he is so loving and gracious, why would he put such bad things on earth?"

This makes me cringe to read (and type)!!! It makes me fell obligated to try to explain to these people saying these things just how great our Lord is.

So, what do you say?

I say this:

God does not cause cancer. Man has caused cancer through giving into temptations from Satan. Most, if not all, cancers are caused by man (such as tobacco, sun exposure, and dietary imbalances). Why would anyone think that God is the reason for these things? Do people honestly believe that God makes them smoke, lay out for hours in the sun without proper protection, or eat unhealthly? I just can't see how these people would believe that! God HEALS lives through His mercy!

 "God did not give her cancer, Satan did. God gave her the smile. Life/temporal realm is a span of time suspended in eternity. It was given to humanity to do with as we choose. Two forces, good and evil, God and Satan, vie for our allegiance and influence our decisions. The fact is that the overwhelming majority has chosen and given authority to Satan. Consequently, our world is inundated with pain, war, death, disease, violence, sorrow, hopelessness, and other wickedness and distress. To blame God for what Satan is doing is like turning our home into a pigsty and then blaming the health department because we contracted hepatitis. The tragic part is that even Christians are subjected to the diseases brought into this realm because of rebellion and sin. That is because all flesh is under the curse of sin. But Christians don’t die of illegal drug overdose, alcoholism, and etc. God sometimes heals and other times calls them into His eternal kingdom. Satan wants everyone to suffer every imaginable sorrow on earth and then enter eternal damnation. It’s our choice…submit to Satan curse God and die, or submit to God praise Him and live." -Cedric Fisher, FB User

Another argument is, "God is non-existent, the good people are those who diagnosed, treated and cured her cancer. Those who researched drugs, tested them and found a safe way to administer them to defeat the cancer, the ones who spent years training to become amazing surgeons. Most of all, SHE is amazing for getting through it, smiling, and looking ahead, she is the role model here, not 'God'." - Anna Kullen, FB User

WHAT? Now we are getting into ANOTHER way to take credit and glory from God with this statement. Firstly, SHE IS AMAZING for believing in our Lord and putting it at His feet to handle. She is a role model that people who DO NOT BELIEVE should look to for reassurance in Him. Now, as far as the doctors and nurses and surgeons are concerned... that is God behind them with each incision, treatment, and therapy they give. People in the medical field are all God's hands to perform what they must.

The argument about why some people die from cancer but others live being contradictory is contradictory in itself. If your argument is that God must not care about the ones who die, but he does about the ones who live... my answer is:

If the ones who "die" know their Lord and Savior, then they haven't DIED at all! THEY LIVE in His Kingdom among fellow believers! And those who live do so because that is His plan. Only God knows when it is your time to come Home to Him. You can't spend your life wondering or trying to figure it out, or else you will have spent your life denying God. He is the ANSWER, the TRUTH, and the GRACE to us all!

The remarkable part of all of this debate is that GOD STILL LOVES THE PEOPLE WHO DENY HIM! He still tries to have them come to the light of His word so they, too, will be granted everlasting life! He doesn't give up. God will never give up! I am PROUD to say that I am a Christian woman who knows that my God is GREAT!

What do you guys think about this whole topic? What else can be said to those who do not believe? Please, help!

Here is the link to the picture (I will warn you that it is a woman topless, but she is covering her breast. Once again, the distrubing R rated content of this picture lies within the comment thread).

Friday, March 9, 2012


WOW! Seems like it has been a CENTURY since I last posted something. Do not worry, I have been reading everyone else's blogs... I have just felt a bit down lately and didn't want to VENT it out on here to you guys. Good news is that I am GREAT now, and I only ask that you keep me in your prayers as I try to remain GREAT! To sum it all up, I have recently went through a MAJOR LIFE CHANGE. I am so glad that my wonderful husband and family have been here through it all with me.

Now, on with the blogging....

TGIF!!!! This Friday is even more exciting (yet teasing) because this time next week THIS GIRL and her BEST FRIEND will be heading to Chattanooga, TN to celebrate my big sister's BIG 3-0!! YAY!! Here is my LOVELY SISTER..(yes, I know.. she does not look like an OLD LADY... that is because she is still just as alive and exciting as she was when she was my age!)

Even though she is an Alabama fan, I still LOVE HER THE SAME!

I am so excited that our little ones will get to see each other and have some time to kill each other bond! Laney (Nicole's oldest, 8), Addy Bree (Nicole's youngest, almost 3), Kylie (Reva's, 3), and McKinlee (Mine, 2 1/2) are going to have a BLAST!!!! I will have to remember to take plenty of pictures of our exciting weekend and put them up for you to see!

Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL weekend! God Bless, everyone!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When a Diamond Turns Into Coal


 They are like DIAMONDS... Precious and Rare. And, they're forever, right? So we should do everything possible to keep all the friendships we have, right?

If we all remain exactly as we always have been without change, we could probably maintain many lifelong friendshipsBUT we all change in different ways and at different rates.

"The only constant is CHANGE." -Heraclitus

Sadly enough, there are friendships we may want or need to let go of.. As difficult as it may be to accept sometimes, it is the normal evolution of things. Ending a relationship in which you have invested time, energy and, most importantly, heart, is not easy.

But, do you keep a friendship that is unhealthy? By keeping friends who no longer make you happy, or who hold you back, you are risking your own happiness and well-being. Not only that, but YOU CAN"T POSSIBLY CREATE ROOM FOR A NEW FRIENDSHIP THAT CAN GROW INTO SOMETHING NURTURING AND REWARDING FOR YOU.
If your friend steals your spouse or anything else blatantly hurtful, then things are clear. GET RID OF THEM! Attempts to hurt are easy to see and acknowledge. But most of the time, signals aren't that obvious (thankfully!). We are always trying to make excuses because, naturally, we really do not want to hurt anyone's feelings (hopefully!). When things go wrong or we're hurt, we say to ourselves, "she didn't do it on purpose," ''she's just that way," or, "she's just been really stressed out lately" (even if '"lately" is over the past several weeks. months, or even YEARS). BUT WE ARE BLINDING OURSELVES TO THE FACT THAT WHAT WE HAVE IS UNHEALTHY!

There are several ways to acknowledge that a friendship is not worth fighting for any longer:

1) Ask yourself if you feel better after seeing/talking to that person. Do you feel inspired or motivated, or do you feel like you have been drained of all of your energy? Your energy and spirit are RIGHTFULLY YOURS! You should never allow someone to take it away from you. Do you feel better, or do you feel angry, disappointed, or fed up? Granted, everyone goes through "bummer" periods in life. Part of being a friend means sticking with friends through tough times, but if you always feel "sucked dry" when seeing this friend then things are not healthy. You deserve more power in your life to put the use of your energy and motivation towards more constructive things.

2) Also, ask yourself if this person brings out the best in you. When you leave from being with them, do you feel proud of something? Or, do you feel like you are a bad person; that something is not quite right? Take for instance, you may have lunch with this person and the entire time you two are constantly griping and gossiping about other people, friends, family---WHATEVER! Okay, none of us is perfect. Who doesn't participate in a "gossip session" once in a while? Even though it is something you do not take pride in doing, it happens. But when you take a step back and realize that you just spent all of your time griping and being rude/hurtful to others...what do you have? If you can step back and say to yourself, "I do not like what I just did, and I do not like the person I was being during that lunch," then things have went too far. You should never put on a mask and participate in something that is not what you want to be just to satisfy another persons "gossip craving".

3) After being with this person do you feel careless or cheerless? People who always spend time criticizing others are CHEERLESS! Their cheerlessness is CONTAGIOUS... and you will SURELY catch it! Most of the time, these people are not capable of finding the best in themselves, AND THEY ARE CERTAINLY NOT INTERESTED IN FINDING THE BEST IN YOU!

4) Have you ever asked yourself is this friend is a positive influence on your life? Do they encourage you to grow and support what you love and want out of life (even if it differs from what they feel)? For example, do you feel like you have to compromise your values or morals just to hang around or talk to this friend? OR, does your friend make her problems YOUR PROBLEMS, or does her bad mood become YOUR BAD MOOD? If you are like me, you may have just settled down and got married, made a new family, got out on your own, etc. and that friend found someway to make ALL OF THAT GOOD NEWS negative to you! Friends are supposed to CHEER YOU UP, not BRING YOU DOWN!

5) And the opposite to all of the four above is HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU HAVEN'T BEEN IN TOUCH IN A FEW DAYS OR WEEKS? Do you feel guilty that you haven't taken the time out of your "busy" day to text/call her? Do you feel relief that your life is flowing smoothly in those past few days/weeks? Are you looking forward to catching up with her the next time you do? Never stay committed to s relationship unless it is WHAT YOU WANT! It really STINKS when things end, but like I is the evolution of life. Things always change.

Like I said in the beginning (for those of you still reading), we cling to our friendships because we feel like they are precious and rare. But when a diamond turns to coal, it's the time to let it go and move on!

Know that it's not really important whether someone makes you feel invisible, joyless, bullied, guilty, sucked of energy, or stupid. What is important is that this person makes you feel bad. That reason, and that reason alone, is enough to think about ending it.

I hope everyone was able to hold on during my ranting session today. I have personally been evaluating some relationships in my life, and I would like to ask for your prayers during this time of difficult decision-making for me. Life is tough sometimes, but I have to always remember to put my God, my husband, and my daughter at the top of my list in life. Thank you for reading today, lovelies! I promise to get you a recipe on the next post! LOVE YOU ALL!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tough to Chew...

Friends, I had to hurry as quickly as I could to post about this subject once I read something that SERIOUSLY disturbed me in a VERY emotional way just about three minutes ago. Why do people JUDGE what others do with their lives? Let me just give a quick run through of what I just read, and I will not use "word-for-word" quotes or even tell you where I read this because I do not want to upset who wrote this BECAUSE THEY HAVE THEIR OWN OPINION ON THINGS! Here we go:

This writer argued that she is more-or-less a better person than others because she took birth control and CONTROLLED HER OWN outcome of whether or not she had children through high school, college, settling down, etc. Who controlled it? According to this writer, SHE DID! She also stated that the reason her life is SO MUCH BETTER than others is because she went through college without children and got a good job after graduating (and in no way am I saying that those plans are not good plans, but I am saying that those plans are really not HER PLANS!). She lastly argued that her children will have a much better life because they will be able to afford things like vacations and nice clothes, etc. WHAT????? OOHH, how I try not to just comment and tell her off at this point! I was successful. I bit my tongue and said a small prayer to God.

"God please help me get through this anger and aid me to not pass judgement on others. You are the Judge, the Jury, and the Answer to it all. Amen".

I have a few points to offer those of you still reading...

1) It is not the right thing to do to argue that you (or anyone) is a better person than another. What you have/do does not reflect on what others have/do or do not have/do. I grew up materialistically poor and without things I wanted. There were times when my friends would all go to the beach during the summer, and I can remember wishing that I could be in their family because my life would be so much easier. I WAS WRONG! I had one thing that most of those people I envied didn't... I had the love of a WONDERFUL mother and sister and family! I never even stepped foot on a beach until I was 7 months pregnant with McKinlee (I was 20 years old). I am getting side-tracked on this point. LOL!

2) Who controls the outcome of YOUR life? Is "your" even the correct word to use in this instance, I am not sure? God controls it ALL! If God wants you to conceive a child, he will give that child to you. He is more powerful than any type of science (birth control methods)...and He is CERTAINLY more powerful than YOU! It rubs me the wrong way when I hear people say that they have control of what they are doing with their life. The only time you really have COMPLETE control of YOUR life is when you lay your life at GOD'S FEET and let him take the reins!

3) Another problem I had while reading this writing was that the writer believed that her children were going to have a much better life because her and her husband make really good money. WOW! This one really hit home with me the most and made me want to go through the computer screen and rip the text into tiny shreds! LOL! My husband and I have been searching for a job for him for almost 3 years now. Not everyone who graduates college with a degree can go out and find a job right off of the bat, especially in these times. He is proof. So, this writer is going to basically tell me that since my husband and I do not make enough money in a year to send our children to the BEST OF THE BETS private schools, take annual vacations, buy designer clothing (that they grow out of in a month, mind you - LOL!), and eat the fanciest restaurants every night that we will not provide a great upbringing to our children?!?! My child will know that she is loved by her parents, her siblings, her family, and most importantly HER GOD! If we are able to put back some money for a vacation, then she will get that experience. If not, then she will be just fine too. The problem with everyone nowadays is that everything always has to be BIGGER and BETTER than your neighbors. Why? Why can't what you have be the best it can be? My husband's lack of "luck" finding a job in his field is not the most ideal way people would consider our life to be, but it is in God's plan. We have to trust in Him to provide for us. I would rather my husband work for his daddy for the rest of his life and do it proudly and to the best of his ability than to ever find a job where his salary compromises his Faith and Belief in Him. I am so blessed to have the family and friends who are always there for me when times get tough. I have met some amazing people who inspire me daily to give more to my Lord.


Simply put, get over it and let God take care of your problems.... afterall, He is always the ANSWER!

Thanks for listening to my RANT! Here's a recipe for today:

 Smothered Steak and Veggies


  • 1 1/2 pounds round steak
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cube beef bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups water 
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups water


  1. Trim any fat from round steak and slice meat into thin 2 to 3 inch long strips. Remove the seeds and core from the green bell pepper, and slice into thin 3 inch long strips.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium to high heat add oil and cook meat until medium rare, add peppers and continue cooking until meat is browned.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer and add tomatoes, soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper and ginger. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Dissolve bullion cube and corn starch in 2 cups water and stir well before adding to simmering beef. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce resembles the consistency of gravy. Remove from heat and serve over a bed of rice.
  5. To cook rice: In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of rice. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
If you want to make this even more simple, you can buy a can of brown gravy, add whatever veggies you like (i.e. mushrooms, onion, broccoli, bell pepper, or carrots), and serve that over rice!

Have a BLESSED day, everyone! LOVE YOU ALL!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Prolonged Absence.....

I am actually at work right now, lovelies! I am not supposed to be doing anything on the internet for "personal" reasons, so I just wanted to get on here REALLY QUICK and tell you all that I am waiting for DirecTV and AT&T to come hook up internet at my house tomorrow. That is why I haven't been able to come on and chat with you all! I am SO SORRY, and I have missed you all SO MUCH! I am looking forward to my return tomorrow night!! YAY!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Busy Bee

I have just been a BUSY BEE this past week! I cannot begin to explain my absence, so you will just have to take my word for this one! Between work, my family, and breathing I haven't had much time to even SLEEP, let alone BLOG! I have been thinking about it though, just at times when I am not able to actually get online and type, but now that I am at the computer typing... I seem to have lost all of the thoughts and ideas I had compiled in my head to share with you!

Okay... Where to Start?????

I have had the most amazing week with my husband and daughter. Valentine's Day was a GREAT one this year! It was her first one at "BIG GIRL SCHOOL", so naturally I had a blast! They had a PJ PARTY and got all loaded up with PLENTY of SUGAR and SWEETS! The owner of the daycare said that this is the only day of the year when they are open that they get to hype the kids up and then send them home to their parents! She is having so much fun learning to interact with other children! I am so proud of all that she has accomplished so far in the last two weeks! #oneproudmommy

Brandon bought me the most amazing tulips and a box of DELICOUS CHOCOLATES! We also went on a movie night out to see "The Vow". GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It was so great! Brought many things to my attention about cherishing the life you have and THANKING our LORD for it every chance you get!!!

I do not know what is going on with my computer, but it keeps freezing up after every three words I type, so I am going to have to cut this one short today without a recipe. SORRY! :( Hope veryone has a great weekend if I do not get time to make it back tomorrow! LOVE YOU ALL!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Apple a Day Keeps the Jealousy Away!

Hello pretty ladies! I am inspired to dive in deep today because of what I just read on my friend Nicole's blog. So buckle up and hold on tight!

I think she hits the subject of jealousy HARD on its head! Jealousy... everyone is guilty of it in one way or another. Whether we want the life someone else has or just one part of it, just a moment even. We are ALL guilty! I am going through a really challenging experience right now where jealousy and discontentment are trying to take me over!

Both of my sister-in-laws are pregnant (one of which has been trying for some time now). I think that it is GREAT that our God has given them this blessing, please do not get me wrong. I JUST WANT TO BE PREGNANT TOO!!!!! Yeah, I said it. There is nothing more extraordinary than going through a pregnacy (minus the sickness, uncomfortable sleeping anything, and body changes). When the day finally comes to have your little dumpling, the adrenaline and nerves are pumping inside of you as hard as fists pump on the Jersey Shore. Then, the moment comes when you are face to face with the one you love right beside you as it is time to welcome the blessing into your world. It is MAGICAL! Tears, trembling, sobbing, smiling... THE MOMENT YOU HAVE WAITED 40 WEEKS FOR HAS COME! She is HERE! It brings tears to my eyes just typing about it.
That is my baby!!! (Well, WAS my baby. She is definitely a BIG GIRL NOW!!!!!

What do I have to be jealous about, really? God blesses me EVERY SINGLE day with the moments I am given with my WONDERFUL family!

I have been fighting like the dickens to keep jealousy out of my life. Brandon is (actually) being the smart one when planning our family. He wants to make sure that we are stable financially AND spiritually. I understand his argument, I DO... I just have our life planned out somewhere along the lines of:

1) Get married. CHECK!
2) Have a baby. CHECK!
3) Have the next baby when the first baby is NO OLDER THAN THREE. NO CHECK!!!!
4) Have the last baby when the first baby is NO OLDER THAN SIX and the second baby is NO OLDER THAN THREE. DEFINTELY NO CHECK!!!!

I have this wild idea that my children should not be any more than 3 years apart mainly due to the fact that I wished everyday growing up that my sister and I were closer. She is 6 1/2 years older than I am! I was either her baby doll to dress up and drag around (literally) or her worst nightmare once I turned 3. She had REAL friends to play with then, and I just wasn't as fun when I could talk (tattle)! THE POINT IS that I do not want McKinlee to be too old before she has a younger sibling.


GOD IS IN CONTROL! I have to step back and let Him hold the reins to my life. He is the glory. He is the truth! I also have to turn my cheek to the GREEN EYE OF JEALOUSY! God will provide for me. God will give me what He has designed for me. I have to TRUST IN THE LORD! I lay it all out at His feet. He is the ultimate provider! He is the answer!

I stole this verse from a blog that Nicole is also a part of with three other young women called Fearless. This blog is one of the best parts of my day! I love reading what these four women share through our Lord. He has given all four of them such a beautiful way of communicating His love. Everyone should definitely CHECK THEM OUT! 

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that... Don't compare yourself with others." Galations 6:4

I hope that everyone has a WONDERFUL rest of their day! Love you, girlies!

Oh, and the recipe for the day is:

Apple-Cinnamon Cake


  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large baking apples, peeled and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. Beat 1 1/2 cup of sugar with the butter, vanilla extract, and cream cheese in a bowl until soft and creamy; beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, stir together the cinnamon with 1/4 cup of sugar. Stir 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon-sugar mixture into the flour mixture; reserve the rest of the cinnamon sugar. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture to make a smooth batter, and mix in the apples. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake pulls away slightly from the edges of the pan, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool cake completely on a wire rack before removing the pan and slicing the cake.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A not so SMOOTH(ie) transition for Mommy!!!

I feel like a complete goob for not posting in five days, but in my own defense I have had a pretty hectic (yet exciting) past five days. I am THRILLED  to announce that we have finally enrolled McKinlee into "Big Girl School" (as we like to call it instead of "daycare"). I dropped her off for her first day this morning before heading into work. She is in no way a fan of mornings, so I was not surprised at all when she refused to wake up at 7:00 this morning. I tried tickling, kissing, STANDING HER UP ON THE FLOOR (which resulted in her SCREAMING and CRYING lying with half of her body on the bed and the other half dangling on the floor). She refused to take her medicine, cried the entire way there, and wanted me to carry her in the door to the school (which is very UNLIKE her to want to hug/hold me...she is not a very affectionate child). I thought for sure she would not want me to leave her there! So I put her things in her cubby with her right by my side, spoke with her teacher for a few minutes, and then walked down the hall to the room where all of the children who had been dropped off so far were playing. Before opening the door, I turned to McKinlee and said, "This is it big girl! Time for your first day at Big Girl School!" She buried her head in my shoulder and whined. I put her down on the floor and started to open the door to the room and before I could get the door open enough to where she could fit through, she squeezed through it and ran in and immediately starting playing with the others like I had just disappeared! I was amazed! I knew that she would not have a HARD time (like some kids who scream, "NNNNNNNOOOOOOOO, Mommy...don't leave me here!!!!!"), but I never imagined she would have an EASY time with it all. I was thinking somewhere in between---silly me, huh?

Well, I got out to the car and realized that I forgot to take a picture of her playing at school on her first day, so I hurried back in. When I opened the door to the classroom, I saw her crying her eyes out. I asked the teacher if she was upset because I left (now, in the back of my mind I am wanting the teacher to say, "Yes. She ran to the door and did not want you to leave"), but instead she replied, "No, she just got hit by another child because she took his toy." WHHHHHHAAATTTT???????!!!!!!!! That killed my heart. It's kind of reverse from the way you would think I would feel. I should be excited and proud that my little girl adjusts so well to school and doesn't cling to me like annoying plastic wrap, but I am completely devastated that she didn't care at all! Needless to say, my 30-minute ride to work was occupied by tears and phone calls to my husband and momma.

This is one of the emotionally hardest things I have had to go through with McKinlee thus far. Letting go of my baby and allowing her to grow up and learn new things from someone other than myself or her family is VERY HARD! I know that it is a great move for her to be a part of a social environment, so I am content with our decision to enroll her now. The best part about the "BGS" is that it is a CHRISTIAN-BASED facility. They have bible studies every day, and everything they teach has a splash of our Lord with it. Take for example, they have a new letter every week. They print out the letter, have the kids color it however they want to, and then they go over words that start with this letter. If the letter is "A", they relate it to Noah's Ark because ark begins with an "A". They tell the story of Noah leading the animals to the ark two by two, and they sing songs about it too. It is a GREAT facility, so I could not be any more pleased with our decision!!

In the spirit of children, I'll post a FUN and HEALTHY recipe for kids (adults too!!):

Yogurt Smoothies

  • 1 banana
  • 2 8oz. containers of yogurt (any flavor, really)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 pint strawberries or blueberries or peaches...YOU PICK! I would definitely make sure to use the same flavor of yogurt, of course. But add the banana in any flavor! IT IS GREAT!
  1. Clean and wash the strawberries and make sure they are dry. Peel the banana and slice it into smaller pieces.
  2. Place the fruit into a blender.
  3. Add yogurt into the blender with the fruit. Pour in the milk.
  4. Blend it on the puree level for approximately 2 minutes or until smooth. Makes roughly 32 ounces
  1. To make this into a frozen snack, pour the mixture into a mold or cups and insert a popsicle stick.
  2. Freeze for 4-6 hours, run container under warm water and serve.
                                                       Makes 6 to 8 popsicles
Hope everyone has a GREAT

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lo que amo los MiƩrcoles

Happy February to everyone! I guess I should start participating in the "WILW" posts, so here ya go:


<~~~ Yup, there he is acting like he is "someone special" (He is!)

 I love the month of February for two MAIN reasons. *ONE* My wonderful hubby's birthday and Valentine's day come around, and *TWO* this month has been notoriously known for dropping in some snow (if that is what you want to call it) for us Mississippians.


I am LOVING my new promotion and having my own store to run!!!!!

*The front parking lot view of my store*


My BIG GIRL is starting daycare Monday! :( I have mixed feelings about this, as any mommy would, but I know it is what is best for her in the long run. Thrilled to let her have some interaction with other kids!

*Seems like just yesterday we were giving her first kisses to her... my baby is growing up so quickly!!!*

I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL start to their month today! I will leave you with a DELICIOUS recipe, of course:


  • 1 pound ground beef (or chicken) 
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) can  tomato sauce
  • 4 (8 inch)  flour tortillas
  • 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • OPTIONAL for garnish (black olives, sour cream, salsa, cheese dip, diced tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos)
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown beef and onion.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour (stir constantly for about 20-30 seconds). Add broth, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce to pan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes (stirring occasionally). Add 1 1/2 cups tomato mixture to beef mixture (set aside 1/2 cup tomato mixture).
  4. Place 1 tortilla in a 9-inch pie plate. Top with 1 cup beef mixture. Repeat layers, ending with tortilla. Spread reserved tomato mixture over tortilla. Top with cheese (I like to add jalapenos, black olives, diced tomatoes, etc. as well). Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges just like a pie. Add sour cream, lettuce, salsa, cheese dip, etc. to the top, if desired)
NOTE: If you use chicken, it is best to boil the chicken (also use chicken broth instead of beef broth).

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Heat of Expenses

It's FINALLY Friday! Wow. It has been one hectic week, to say the least. The hubby and I have still not settled into our new home completely, but we are getting there. We still have to find a dining room set, a TV for the living room (because the ancient dinosaur BOX-style big screen TV just isn't cutting it anymore), and an entertainment center. Pray that we do not have to spend too much money, please. Moving in a new home is EXPENSIVE for sure!
I wish I could plant one of these out in my back yard! (Then, I would probably have a problem with theft).

I have settled down a bit in my thinking about McKinlee's child care dilemma. It is just one of those times when the idea is FRESH and NEW that it excites the dickens out of me to where I am rambling ON AND ON about things. And then those thoughts lead to new ones...and so forth. I know that God will help guide me through my choices and deliberations. BELIEVE!

Have I mentioned lately how incredibly blessed I am! God has given me such wonderful things, and without Him present, I know that nothing would be possible. THANKFUL!

I am feeling inspired after reading my friend and fellow believer Nicole's post today. She is amazing; I only hope to get to know her more and more each day. The vulnerability and boldness of her post has made me more aware of my relationship with God. God speaks through her so fluently and graciously that I am baffled after even just reading what she has to say. I can only imagine what a DAY with her would be like!! I guess this is me calling you out, Nicole! We need to have lunch or do something sometime soon so I can get to know you better. 

Aside from all of that, I will be leaving you with a WONDERFUL recipe today. A great idea if you are hosting a party or event (SUPERBOWL PARTY):

JALEPENO POPPERS (or any other pepper you like)


12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 package of shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. bacon bits
12 oz. jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved
1 cup of milk
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of dry bread crumbs
2 qts. of oil for frying


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.
  2. Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.
  3. Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken Legs and God's Glory

Happy Tuesday to everyone! I am glad to see I have just a few followers since the last time I was here. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. The hubby and I had a great time with friends at the concert (I LOVE BRANTLEY GILBERT!). It was mind-blowing to see how many people turned out for this event!  The crew from 95.3 FM even announced that this was the BIGGEST crowd to EVER fill the building since its making.

Yes, those are cell phones... It almost looks like a sky full of stars. :)

At one point during the concert, I remember looking over at Brandon (while he was singing along to one of the songs) and thinking to myself, "Clara, you are so lucky to have this man in your life. He is caring, he is humble, and above all he is a man of God." I know that we have "bumps" in the road here and there, but what makes it all worthwhile is the undeniable love we have that strengthens everyday, thanks be to God. 

Well, the cupcakes cake turned out very YUMMY! I got halfway through the recipe before realizing that my cupcake pan (I thought I had) had vanished from my cabinet. So I turned the recipe into a cake, and it was still magnificent. Life threw me a speed bump, but I cruised right on through (with the much needed assistance of my mommy, of course). The old saying, "You are never too old that you don't need your mom," proves true just about everyday day in my life.

We have had a tremendous overflow of blessings that have come our way over the last few weeks. We just moved in our new home, I have been offered a salary-based promotion at my workplace, and it looks like we will finally be able to afford a daycare for McKinlee (if you do not have children, I bet you would NEVER guess the cost of this LUXURY). Yes, I am calling it a luxury because, in my case, I am fortunate enough to have a mother and a mother-in-law to watch my child whenever I need them to. I get the satisfaction of knowing that my child is comfortable and being taken care of by someone who TRULY cares about her and her well-being. The only downfall to this arrangement I have is that she is getting no social interaction with other children. It is said that children who DO NOT attend a daycare when young are 18 months behind when entering into kindergarten. I do not want to be responsible for holding my child back....

Child care is always so tough to get a grip on. Just as soon as you feel like you are doing a good job, something pops up and slaps you around in a circle. Of course I am being metaphorical, but sometimes it does feel like I can ever get ahead with McKinlee. If I am not worried about her health, it is her development. If I have moved past that, it goes onto her well-being... I never believed it when I was younger, but a mother's job is 24/7. Even if she is sleeping in her bed, my thoughts are about what she is going to become and how will we deal with it...... it goes ON AND ON! I know these things are inevitable, but I do not want to see my little girl grown up and moved out anytime soon. It will be here before I know it, though. I just have to remember to take each day for what it is and make the best of it. I treasure every moment spent with McKinlee, and I hope she will know that one day when she understands. Above all, I trust that God will guide Brandon and me in each and every parenting decision we have to make.

Enough ranting today... here's what is for dinner tonight at the Gregg home:

Mediterranean Chicken

1 lemon
2-3 tsp. of dry oregano (depending on your taste)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs. of EVOO
salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken legs (or any other cut, but I am using legs)

Preheat oven to 425.
In a large bowl, grate the peel of 1/2 of the lemon. Squeeze out the juice from the entire lemon (I cut in half and hold in my hand upside down to ensure no seeds slip through into the bowl). Add oregano, oil, and garlic to the lemon peel and juice. Set aside.
Put chicken legs into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Pour in the lemon mixture. Seal the bag and shake the chicken around, coating each piece evenly.
In a 9x9 baking dish, pour the entire contents of the bag. Cover the dish with aluminum foil (or lid).
Cook for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and baste.
Reduce heat to 400 and bake for another 30 minutes (turning and basting the chicken every 10 minutes)
Serve the chicken with pan juices.

I will be accompanying this wonderful chicken with roasted garlic potatoes, cheesy green beans, and dinner rolls.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Sweet Sound of Music

Hello out there! I hope everyone is doing well. I can't wait to get started exploring the creativity of cooking throughout this blog. I hope that you will bear with me, as I am very new at this. I couldn't think of any other way to kick this off  than sharing a WONDERFUL recipe! I will be making these this evening for my family and friends.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes (makes 24 cupcakes)
for the cupcakes:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 muffins pans with cupcake papers and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in eggs, milk, oil and extracts. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour in boiling water and whisk to combine. Batter will be thin.
Fill each cupcake paper 2/3 of the way full with batter and bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
for the frosting:
6 egg whites, room temperature
1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbs of sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of butter, room temperature
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tsp peppermint extract
green food coloring, as desired
Whisk together egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a small pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves. You know it’s ready with the you cannot feel the sugar when you rub a small amount of mixture between your fingers.
Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, about 10 minutes. The bowl should be cool to the touch before you move on.
Switch over to the paddle attachment and set the mixer to medium speed. Add the butter 2 Tbs at a time, letting it incorporate before adding another piece. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the frosting comes together. This will take a while, so don’t worry if it looks soupy or curdled at any point. I find that it helps (if it’s not cooperating) to briefly chill in the fridge for a few minutes and then remixing.
Place half of the butter cream into a small bowl and whisk in vanilla extract. Set aside. Using the remaining half of frosting in the stand mixer bowl, mix in peppermint extract and green food coloring. Alternately, you can mix 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of peppermint into each bowl if you want the peppermint flavor to be consistent through both colors. I’ve done it both ways and don’t have a particular preference. Place frosting in piping bag as detailed above and pipe as desired. Sprinkle cupcakes with chopped Andes or other chocolate mint candies.

To get the green and white swirl effect, I placed my prepared piping bag in a skinny tea/kool-aid pitcher and cut a piece of poster board to fit right down the middle of the bag, vertically. Then I filled one side with green frosting and one side with white frosting and carefully pulled the poster board out. I would suggest doing a practice cupcake first (I always pick the ugly duckling of the bunch) so the white and green is coming out evenly.

We will be having baked cabbage, corn, twice-baked potatoes, and pan-fried herbed pork chops for our entree before eating devouring these YUMMY treats!

Afterwards, it is off to the...

to see...

with special guest...

I heard one of Brantley Gilbert's new songs on my way to work this morning... take a listen...

Beautiful lyrics. I am not even going through a break-up, but this song brought tears to my eyes. I am THRILLED about tonight, and I hope to see some new reader-friends soon. Thanks for reading today, and I hope you have a GREAT day!