Meal Time Monday

My shopping list/ menu notebook.

Planning a grocery shopping list and menu is a must for me. Don’t get me wrong even with a list, I still forget stuff! But if I didn’t have a list I would be lost. I have a spiral notebook that I keep all my menus and shopping lists in. I write the menu at the top of the page and my shopping list on the bottom. This way all of it is on one page. I have a lot of cookbooks so if I am cooking a recipe out of a cookbook, I make sure that I write the page number down. I also have a lot of recipes from magazines (I pull the recipes out of the magazines). If I am using one of those recipes I make sure that I put it in the folder of my notebook. All the information for dinners is kept in one handy dandy notebook. This system has helped me tremendously through the years!

Here is what we are having this week:
Monday: Not Stuffed Cabbage and asparagus
Tuesday: Grilled Pizza or regular pizza and salad
Wednesday: Italian Chicken with rice and broccoli
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: BLTs with egg and fruit salad
Saturday: Eggplant Parmesan, pasta, and brussel sprouts
Sunday: Leftovers

It seems like we are having a lot of Italian-styled food this week, so for your dining pleasure: That’s Amore – Dean Martin

nikki :)


Playing with my camera!

I recently got at new camera and I’m so excited about it. I really wanted a digital SLR, but it wasn’t in the budget. So I researched point and shoot cameras that are supposed to be close to a SLR. The Nikon P300 was in my price range. I got it and I love it. The main thing that people complained about in the reviews was that the camera does not save images in the RAW format. Since I don’t edit pictures that didn’t matter to me! I think it takes great pictures….

What do you think??

Hope you are enjoying your Saturday and that you are thinking What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
nikki :)

Take Time

Yesterday morning as I was helping the children get dressed, I stopped and looked at them. I mean really looked at them. Not long ago these chattering children were just newborns! They are getting so big, too fast. I was struck by they fact that these children were mine and how much they are changing. Bentley and Marseille are growing up before my very eyes! The whole day, I was very thankful to be their mom. I was also keenly aware of how often I put off things like their questions and request because I’m busy cutting vegetables for dinner, or checking the email. I made an effort to do their requests right away. The main one, “Mom can I have water and ice?” I did this not because I don’t want to make them upset, but because I want them to know that they are more important than what I am doing at the moment. My usually response is to tell them, “Just a minute…” Which really turns into five, and some times I forget. I really don’t like to be inconvenienced… a long sin pattern and struggle of mine!

I want to be the kind of mom that takes time. Time to enjoy the little things. To laugh. To point out the handiwork of our Creator. To be available to my children to talk and to gain their trust. To mimic the Savior. Is God ever too busy to listen to your request? No matter how little or big, God hears our requests! I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Psalm 116:1

I want to reflect God’s character to stop and lovingly listen and be in the details of my children’s lives. Their little issues now will eventually be bigger issues. I want to respond correctly now so when those bigger issues come… they won’t be so big!

Take time to stop and smell the roses!

Because children don’t stay children for long!

It’s Friday! Go make some memories this weekend! No matter how big or small!
Marseille’s favorite song right now is Hold Me – Jamie Grace featuring TobyMac. Enjoy!

nikki :)

Let’s start at the very beginning….

A very good place to start…. Sorry, a little Sound of Music! I HEART musicals!

Anyway! Have you ever stopped and considered your story? Life… choices… God’s providence. If you haven’t ever written out at least part of your story, please do!

“Human beings are story-shaped creatures. We are born into stories, raised in stories, and live and die in stories. Whenever we have to answer a big question– who am I, why am I here, what should I do, what happens to me when I die?– We tell a story. The Ur-Story, the foundational story, is the story of God’s love for his creation, and all other stories are to be measured against it. The single best way of conceiving of faith, and of a faithful life, is as a story in which you are a character. Your life task is to be a character in the greatest story every told. It is what you were created for. ~Daniel Taylor. The Power of Words and the Wonder of God.

A great way to encourage your faith is to recount God’s faithfulness in your life and others. In the coming weeks I will be sharing my story. My prayer would be that it points you to how amazing and faithful our God is!

So…. let’s start at the very beginning….

Considering the circumstances, I’m not sure why I wasn’t aborted. That is just beginning of God’s many graces on my life! My teenage parents were forced to “grow up”  the day that I was born. Despite their age, they worked very hard to stay afloat with a child in tow and remained in their relationship. I was three years old when they were married. I still remember that day with much clarity.  Not very long after my parents were married, they decided to move to FL. I may have been young, but I told them that I would not live there forever! I’m not sure why I was so adamant about it.

To Be Continued…. I have a lot of memories of my life in NJ, but I’ll share that another time!

For your listening enjoyment, Doe a Deer – The Sound of Music, sung by Julie Andrews, my birthday buddy!!

nikki :)

Fun in the Mountains!

This weekend we took a trip to the mountains with Danny’s parents. We had a great time looking at all the beautiful colors and admiring God’s creative work! We had a chilly picnic lunch on the the Blue Ridge Parkway and walked around Blowing Rock. It was a very fun, memorable and relaxing day!
A cool car made it into the picture!
Our chilly picnic — even the lettuce was frozen!
A great day with a great set of parents :)
Beautiful views!
We hiked to a really steep waterfall.

What a Creator!
A new form of discipline!
The boy loves cars! Especially sports cars :)

nikki :)

Silly conversations

Looking at a picture of  baby Griffin:
Marseille: Awww! So, yummy yummy!
Bentley: What?! You want to eat a baby!
Marseille: Yyy-eee-sss!
Bentley: Eww! That’s gross Marseille! Mom! Marseille wants to eat Griffin!!

Bentley: What’s that?
Me: Olive oil.
Bentley: Oh, are you going to put that in the car?
Me: No, I use this to cook with.
Bentley: What?! We are going to eat oil!!! I thought that was for cars!

Bentley: Mom, I have a problem.
Me: What’s that?
Bentley: All the mean cars are messing with Mater.
Me: Oh, that’s not good.
Bentley: No it isn’t. And I’m gonna them them. (pointing around) Kwewww. Kwewww. Kweeww!
Me: wow. (and he hasn’t watched Cars in over a month!)

Marseille: Mommy.
Me: Yes
Marseille: Tickle me!

Bentley: Mom. We are going to the “feater moo-bee” (movie theater). Okay? We are going to take the car.
Marseille: Bye, bye. I love you too. See ya! kiss.
klunk. slam. finding their seats and closing the closet doors.
Bentley: Okay!!!! We’re hear.
doors open.
Bentley: We’re back.

Holding the phone.
Bentley: Oh, I’m getting a text.
Me: Oh, okay.
Bentley: It’s Asha-ley. She says she misses me….. and I miss her.

Bentley: We’re AWAKE!!!!
Marseille: I awake. I sleep. Now, I awake! Please EEEEAAATTT!
Bentley: Please eat and listen to Get Up Forever?!

Get Up Forever – or as the rest of the world calls it: Get Back Up – TobyMac

nikki :)

Recipe Friday – Ribollita

It’s a chilly Friday, almost wintry! So I’m going to share the recipe for my all-time favorite soup. This soup was served at my sister-in-law Amy’s bridesmaid luncheon almost a year ago! I fell in love with the Ribollita on the first spoonful.  Serve it with a grilled cheese – caprese style and you’ll have a hearty and satisfying meal! Bon appetit!

Ribollita – FoodBrag Blog
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8

1 15 oz. can Cannellini beans
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 zucchini – sliced and halved
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 cup cauliflower, coarsely chopped
4 – 5 kale leaves (they recommended dinosaur kale)
1 cup shredded swiss chard leaves
1/4 cup minced fresh herbs: italian parsley, rosemary and sage
2.5 quarts chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 – 15 slices day old coarse country bread with crusts
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Drain beans and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute’ until the onion is golden, 3 – 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the kale, chard, zucchini and potato (in that order) and cook stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Add the mixed herbs and the beans to the pot. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook uncovered until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season to tast with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Ladle enough soup into a 13 x 9 baking dish to cover the bottom. Top with 4 – 5 toasted bread slices, trimming them to fit if necessary, and then with a layer of soup. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers of bread, soup and cheese. Bake until heated through about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with olive oil.

Ladle the ribollita into warmed soup bowls and serve.

IMPORTANT NOTE: After making this last night I think I would make one change…spread olive oil on bread and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place under broiler until browned and cheese melts. Place one or two slices in individual bowls and ladle hot soup over – serve immediately. (If anyone tries this recipe with this revision, please let us know if it works.)

Bentley is already a musician! He is singing Praise the Lord – Sovereign Grace Music, one of his favorite songs!

nikki :)