Friday, September 28, 2012

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Hubby would LOVE to have some breakfast before he heads out to work,  but I am NOT a morning person!!! Bless him, he is usually up and out before I've had a shower!!  So,  I've been searching for some recipes that I could fix the night before,  just a simple heat it up and it's ready!!  I found the oatmeal recipe over at  While I am not an oatmeal eater,  hubby and a couple of the kids do eat it and it's warm and ready when he gets up.  When asked what he thought,  he said, "tastes like oatmeal".  SUCCESS!!!

Here's what you need:
2 cups of steel-cut Oats (do not use regular ones,  it would be a mushy mess)
4 cups Water
5 cups Milk
1 large honeycrisp apple cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Combine all the ingredients in the slow-cooker and cook on LOW for 7. to 8 hours.

Now, obviously I make a larger batch than the average family and we had  a lot left over.  You can save it and warm it up,  but add milk so it won't be dry.  I would recommend cutting the recipe in half (but still use the whole apple).  The next time I fix this,  I will also add some walnuts for hubby.  You could add nuts,  raisins,  or other fruits if you wish.

As I said before,  I don''t usually eat oatmeal,  but I did have a bowl of this.  I thought it was pretty good!!  I will make it again,  only in smaller portion.

Another bonus,  the house smelled like I had been burning an apple-cinnamon candle all night!!!  You get the aroma without the danger of a candle.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

You Might Be a Mom If..........

Here are some I found on other blogs:

You might be a mom if........

you've ever crawled under a crib at 2 a.m. searching for a pacifier like your life depended on it.
you've ever stuck a pacifier in your mouth just to clean it off!!
you find yourself singing Old MacDonald in the car......alone!!
you don't even shut the door to go to the bathroom.
you can take a shower, do your hair and makeup in less than 10 minutes (with an audience)
you wake up with extra people in bed with you.
your spit has become a cleaning agent and a hair product.
you find yourself asking, "Did you flush?"

Here are some of mine (from personal experience)

You might be a mom if........

you haven't gone to the bathroom without an audience in months.
you can't take a shower without someone yelling through the door to get them a drink.
you find going to the dentist relaxing (without the kids of course).
you vacuum and steam your floors only to discover the toddler has dumped the cheerios on the floor and is now eating them.
your idea of a sporty car is a GMC Acadia.
you let your kids sleep an extra 30 minutes so you can have some me-time.
your cabinet has more plastic cups in it than it does regular glasses.
the plans you want to make are scheduled around the plans your children already have!!!
you can't have a telephone conversation without a child getting into trouble!!

I could go on and on.  What about you??  Do you have any You might be a mom if.................


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crock Pot Caramel Apple Cider

While I am not a big fan of apple cider,  I do have a child or two that really likes it.  Mr. Helper looks for it every year in the fall and my mom use to be his supplier.  He started asking last week when we were in WV for some apple cider, so I picked some up at the grocery store this morning and while he was drinking it plain,  I put some in the crock pot with a few extras.  I found the recipe here.  I must say,  it was very sweet and something I would definitely drink on a cool day.

Here's what you need:
     4 cups apple cider (stay tuned for a homemade recipe I'm going to try later on this week)
     3 tbsp caramel syrup
     1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
     1/4 tsp ground cloves
     4 tbsp whipped cream ( I didn't have any and the kiddos don't care for it,  but I will try it myself next                                                time)

Beyond the taste of the cider,  the smell while it was in the crock pot was absolutely amazing.  It definitely brought some fall to our house.  It made me want to get out the harvest decorations, so I did!!
 My mom's wash basin and stand
 Couldn't find my candles,  so I'll have to keep looking or go buy some more. 
 Inside of the front door
What guests coming to the front door will see.  

Not a bad start.  I still have a lot more to put out.  My porch display is by far my favorite.  I think I even like it more than my Christmas porch decor!!  I do love fall; Halloween and Thanksgiving!!  Let's not skip them and jump right to Christmas.  Let's enjoy the season!!!  I know I will.  Keep checking back,  I'm going to be trying several new recipes I've found as well as the fall decor.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Menu Plan September 24 Just a Day Late

We spent a quick weekend in WV with family and the leaves are already starting to change.  It is beautiful this time of year.  I just love it!!  I didn't get my plan together over the weekend since I wasn't home.  Then,  we came back to work and running errands and just got behind.  I really need to do better at this whole time management thing :)   But,  in my defense,  I do have a lot of things crammed into a 24 hour day.

As usual, this week is packed with things to get accomplished.  The most important is of course getting the kitchen back together. I have picked out my new stove/oven and hubby picked it up last night  Then,  it's also time to get the clothing switch out started.  UGH!!!  Since there are so many extras going on,  simple is the word of the week.

Monday - out to eat, since I still don't have a stove 

Tuesday - hot dogs and french fries

Wednesday - spaghetti and meatballs

Thursday - potato soup

Friday - Out to eat since it's game night for the Hurricanes!!!  GO CANES!!!

Saturday - homemade pizza

Sunday - Hubby is in charge since it's my weekend to work AGAIN (that seems to roll around quickly)!!

For more menu ideas,  check out  Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Menu Plan 9/17

The middle of September, already??  Where has the year gone?  Christmas will be here before I know it and I'm not even close to getting that started!!  UGH!!!

This week though,  I'm going to enjoy the cooler fall weather.  The next couple of days are calling for rain,  so there's going to be a couple days of soup on the menu.  I'll be doing lots of grilling, crocking, skillet meals, and deep frying for the next week or two since I set my stove on fire (you can read about that here).

So here's the plan:

Monday - Taco soup

Tuesday - homemade chicken nuggets, french fries, and applesauce

Wednesday - crock pot chicken noodle soup

Thursday - hot dogs/ hamburgers, baked beans, pasta salad, and chips

Friday - Eating at Grandma's house

Saturday - Eating at Grandma's house

Sunday - Out to eat

Visit Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie for more meal planning ideas.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Onion Soup Mix

I'm notorious for having a meal idea,  but not all of the ingredients.  I'm going to blame it mostly on the fact that my children eat EVERYTHING in sight and then when I go to get what I need,  it's GONE!!!  However,  sometimes it's just an ingredient I don't keep stocked.  In this case,  it's onion soup mix.  I've been trying a lot of crock pot recipes to make things simpler in the kitchen and several of the recipes I've found call for a packet of onion soup mix.  I had bought a box in the past and guess what???  You got it - GONE when I went to use them.  I know what you're thinking,  but no, they didn't eat it this time.  I had just used them up in previous recipes and had not replaced them.  So, off to the internet I went!!  You can find anything and everything on here.  I LOVE IT!!!

Here's what I found, homemade onion soup mix.  I wish I had bookmarked the page (so I could give credit where credit is due),  but I just wrote it down and went to fix supper.  You probably have all the ingredients in you spice cabinet!!

2/3 c. dried, mince onion
3 tsp parsley flakes
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Shake it up to mix it well!!  4 tbsp = 1 packet of onion soup mix.

 Use in your favorite recipes calling for onion soup mix!  I used it in a beef recipe just yesterday!!  Yep,  the very day I burnt my stove up, but that's another post!!

Lessons Learned : The Extremely Hard Way

I know everyone has stories they use to teach a lesson.  I am no different.  As a matter of fact,  yesterday gave me another on: a rather scary and embarrassing one!!

Let's just start at the beginning.  It was another typical day at the crazy, busy house; we finished school, headed out to lunch,  Wal-Mart, then the library.  Sounds normal so far, right?  Well, it was a typical rush-rush day.  The boys had football practice,  so we had to be home at a certain time and I had to have supper ready before hubby got home a little after 5.  We got home about 4:15, got the van of groceries and stuff unloaded, got a call from hubby with his estimated time of arrival home, and calculated dinner prep.  Fortunately,  I had put beef and gravy in the crock pot earlier in the day,  so all that was needed was noodles.  Easy enough??  I put the pan of water on the stove, turned it on, and realized I hadn't been to the bathroom since before we left the house (having had 6 kids,  that's pretty good).  I couldn't wait any longer!! Needless to say a quick bathroom trip to empty the bladder turned into side tracked and longer than planned!!  When I emerged from the bathroom,  I immediately smelled smoke and when I turned the corner, I SAW the smoke.  Oddly enough,  I had a child in the classroom oblivious and another lying on the couch in the living room (right beside the kitchen) also oblivious.  The only child aware of the fire was my 4 year old who was frantically looking for me!!  When I stepped into the kitchen,  I immediately knew what I had done.  I had turned the wrong burner on.  The one with the small bowl of grease with a towel over it was the one I turned to high!!!  Needless to say,  there was a fire!!!!  The grease had caught fire then caught the dish towel.  At this point, it was more than just a little simmering fire,  it was flaming above the top of the stove!!  
 Wall beside the stove with smoke damage!!
 Wall behind the stove with smoke damage!!

I can say,  I kept the calm long enough to make sure the children were out of the house,  get the fire out, and throw the breaker turning all power off to the house (not sure that would have helped at all,  but my brain said to do it and it made me feel a little more at ease).  I then proceeded to go up into the attic making sure there wasn't any flames or smoke up there since the exhaust fan was melted and involved.

I then called the hubby!!  This is were the break down occurred.  I started crying as soon as I heard his voice,  I almost couldn't tell him what I had done.  I can say,  I have married the calmest, most understanding man on the face of this earth!!!  I just new he was going to flip!!  I MESSED up BIG TIME!!!  Oh,  did I mention it was my new oven, less than 6 months in place???  He very calmly asked if everyone was okay, was the fire out,  and told me he was on his way!!  LOVE HIM!!!
My stove is obviously ruined,  but my house is still intact with minor damage!!  That leads me to the very costly security system we pay monthly for.  When the fire alarm FINALLY went off (after I had the fire out),  hubby got a call from the system,  but was busy and didn't answer.  If I got a call,  I was a little busy fighting a fire,  so I didn't answer.  All that said,  they should have immediately dispatched the fire department!!  Well, 10-15 minutes went by and NO fire truck!!  I then received a call from the security system telling me they had received a panic fire alarm and was everything okay.  WELL,  yes and no!!  Yes,  there was a fire!!  Yes,  I think I've got it out!!  NO everything is not okay!  Where in the heck are the fire trucks you dispatched?  "Well ma'am,  I've spent the last 10 minutes trying to find a number to the fire department in your area.  Do you happen to know it?"  911 lady!!  Had it been worse,  I could have lost my whole house under the false assurance that my security system had dispatched the fire department!!!  I didn't call because I thought they had.  Thank you Lord for protecting my family and my home in my minutes of carelessness!!  Just proves a minute can change your entire life!!

On a positive note,  as soon as I yelled fire,  Mr Gamer grabbed the two little ones immediately and booked it outside to the pool (our meeting spot).  I found the girls in their room and told them and they booked it outside to the pool.  You go over these things and wonder if it really sinks in,  hoping you never have to find out.  I'm thankful it sunk in and they did exactly what they have been taught!!  

I'm so thankful it wasn't worse!!  I'm thankful I didn't lose more than my stove and hubby wasn't too upset.  


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

September 11, 2001  8:48 a.m. - Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower, unbelievable.

I remember clearly I was going into the grocery store after having finished a long 13 hours at the hospital.  I was listening to the radio trying to keep myself awake for just a little bit longer when the news of the first plane hitting the North Tower came on the radio.  I remember hubby called asking where I was and if I had heard what had happened.  Everyone was talking in Ingles about the crash.  Then,  just 15-20 minutes later,  I got another call, another plane had hit the South Tower.  This was no longer a freak accident,  but a planned attack on American lives.  I quickly rushed home to my boys; a 3 year old, 23 month old, and hubby.  While my daily life was effected only by the news,  many were risking theirs to go into those buildings to save as many lives as possible.  Many heroes losing their lives in the process.  Others who had started their day with their normal routine were fighting to get out with their lives, many failing.

We called family in disbelief, checking to see if they had heard the news and making sure they were okay.  We watched as the horrible news continued on.  There was no sleep for me,  I was glued to the TV.  I watched in disbelief as people jumped from the towers to escape the fire.  I watched as brave men and women ran toward the disaster doing their jobs.  I watched and cried knowing their would be women losing husbands,  men losing wives, children losing parents, and parents losing children.  Families would be wondering and waiting from afar hoping to hear from friends and loved ones.  While I did not know anyone personally,  the events did make me stop and think.  For years,  I lived in a secure world where it was taken for granted that our safety on American soil from such an attack was guaranteed.  I had never thought about an attack of that magnitude to occur here.  That day forever changed those thoughts.  The attack had been brought here.  Where  would they strike next?  When would they strike next?

My children were either too young to remember,  or not even born yet.  However,  every year,  we spend a few minutes remembering those who lost their lives and praying for those who are given the responsibility of protecting ours.  May we never ever forget the horror of that day!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Drama in the Kitchen

I know from reading the title,  you're automatically thinking this post is about food.  Well,  it all did start when I went into the kitchen to get the baby his sippy cup first thing this morning.  Hubby says, "Hey, look over here".  I assume I am going to turn around and see some cute little baby actions going on.  Boy was I WRONG!!!

I turned a saw THIS!!!

Well, not this one exactly ( I wasn't risking it escaping while I ran for the camera), but one very similar.  It was HUGE!!  There it was just sitting along the base boards in MY kitchen. Now,  I'm very proud to say my reactions have tamed down considerably.  Usually, I would be jumping around yelling, "KILL IT, KILL IT"!!!  Since there are 3 able bodied males in my house (I don't  count baby Samuel YET,  I would NEVER make a little one get that close to a spider),  I should NOT have to deal with this.  HOWEVER, hubby is standing right by it and is not making any effort to remove it from my presence and my teenage boys are slowly trying to get themselves awake.  As a matter of fact,  I'm being informed that "these spiders aren't harmful,  they kill other bugs".  I DON'T CARE!!!  Is me having a panic attack not harmful??  That argument MIGHT have worked if I had come across it in HIS garage.

 They left me no choice!  It was up to me.  I could not risk it getting away and me not knowing where it might turn up later (my bed, my shower, my clothes, you get the picture).  I grabbed the nearest shoe and very quickly pounded that thing as hard as I could.  Multiple times I might add, wouldn't want to risk it crawling towards me while I'm that close.  Problem solved!!  Now,  who's going to pick it up and throw it outside??

Have I conquered my fear of "creepy crawlies"!!  Doubtful!!  I'm still going to yell for one of these guys that live in this house next time I come across one.  If I have to take care of many more of these on my own,  I believe some boys might be finding a lot of creepy crawlies in THEIR rooms (in a container they can't escape from, of course).  Well, not hubby, that would be putting them right back in my realm.  Insert evil laugh here,  whaahahahahahahahahah!!!

Menu Plan Monday

In an effort to make my week go smoother,  I've got a plan.  I have previously posted as my plan for the week,  however,  I'm joining up with Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie.  I hope to find some new recipes as well as fellow bloggers!  

I'm so glad fall is in the air.  It is my favorite season, by far!!  I love the cooler weather and of course, FOOTBALL!!  The second of which is mostly why my meals have to be easy and quick.  My boys have football practice three times a week with a game on Friday or Saturday.  That keeps up pretty busy,  add in school work, work schedules, church, church activities, and general housework; I stay pretty busy.  That's why I try to have a plan in place so that it's not 4pm and I'm wondering what's for dinner (which happens often).  So,  on to the menu.

Monday - tacos, chips and homemade salsa

Tuesday - homemade chicken nuggets, french fries, applesauce

Wednesday - Roast, potatoes, carrots (crock pot meal)

Thursday - homemade pizza

Friday - chicken n dumplings, mashed potatoes, corn, greenbeans

Saturday - FOOTBALL GAME  Greenville Hurricanes vs PAC Panthers   
                 Out to eat after the game, GO HURRICANES!!!!

Sunday - This is my weekend to work,  so hubby usually picks up Zaxby's after church.

Hope everyone has a blessed week!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mini-Me Turns 4

Today is Mini-Me's birthday!!  Has it been four years already?  That is so hard to believe, my baby girl is growing up way to fast.  She's in preschool now, as she so often likes to tell people.

I can remember the day of her birth so clearly.  Starting with my water breaking at 4am and barely any contractions.  Hubby was his cool, calm, and collected self, even though we had NO ONE to keep our other children since we had told his mom I definitely would NOT go early.  We called our neighbor around 7am so we could go on to the hospital.  Then, my friend Jill came after her morning class to stay until hubby's sister arrived from Alabama.  We gave her the early morning call as well, so she could start frantically running around her house packing up her clothes and kiddos since I surely wouldn't go early!!!  Babies and kids make a liar out of us every time!!!    

It was smooth sailing from then on...........well, kinda!!!  We sat at the hospital patiently waiting for contractions to start thinking surely since my water broke,  they would come soon,  but NO!!!  The doctor finally started some Pitocin (that is an EVIL medication) and then things started moving rather QUICKLY!!  In fact,  I almost didn't get my epidural and my most 'pleasant' nurse (note the sarcasm)  declared to my doctor that I "felt" like I had to push,  but that just wasn't possible because she had just checked me and NO ONE goes that quickly.  WELL,  I DID!!!  Maybe she forgot the fact that this was baby #5!!  Anywhoooo,,,,,  Mini-Me arrived safely at 3:38pm and she was BEAUTIFUL, if I do say so myself!!!
Now, she's growing up before my very eyes.  She is still struggling with not being the baby since Baby Samuel came along, but she's doing better.  She is realizing that there is plenty of love to go around.  We have been trying very hard to acknowledge her "big girl" behaviors and let some of the baby things slide under the radar.

Her cake request this year was a mermaid cake.  They are really starting to challenge my limited cake decorating skills, I must say!!  I gave it a try though and this is what she ended up with.  Hope she likes it!!