Wednesday, September 30, 2009

... and more crock pots...

Today's featured crock pot recipe was GOING to be Taco Soup, but my friend Shelley beat me to it!! ha ha!!  That is the EXACT recipe that she has on her blog today, so you can head over there and get the recipe from her... it's YUM-BO.

So... instead I'll give you my favorite pork chop recipe for the crock pot.  It's a little like a roast, but not quite.  The pork chops get so tender they fall apart, and it is delicious!  

Slow Cooker Pork Chop Dinner

6-8 medium carrots (about 1 pound) coarsely chopped
3-4 medium potatoes, cubed
4-6 boneless pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
1 large onion, sliced
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Place carrots and potatoes in slow cooker.  Top with pork chops, then onion, then dry soup mix, then cream of mushroom soup.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until tender.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crock Pots!!

My dear friend, Shelley, has gone back to work this year after 8 years as a SAHM... all her babies are in school, so now she's at school, too, teaching and loving children.  She has been featuring her favorite crock pot recipes this week, because she has been using it so much lately to help her get dinner on the table.  It has INSPIRED me... I *heart* my crock pot... REALLY, REALLY, REALLY... I especially love it when the weather starts to get cooler.  I love a good warm meal!!  SO.... I am going to copy-cat my dear friend and share my favorite crock-pot recipes!

Here is my ALL-TIME favorite... now, granted, this is not one that I use terribly often, but, folks, I kid you not when I say it makes THE.BEST.DRESSING.IN.THE.WORLD.  Seriously!  And, if you're making dressing, you're probably cooking a turkey, and this way you aren't using the oven to try and cook your dressing and get your turkey finished at the same time.  Brilliant!

So, here we go!!  Crock Pot Dressing

1 - 8 inch skillet of cooked cornbread, cooled and crumbled
5 cold, cooked biscuits, crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 Tablespoons sage
2 raw eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked, diced chicken (OPTIONAL)
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) hot chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a LARGE mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except broth.  Ladle hot broth over all ingredients.  Mixture should be very moist, but not too soupy.  (If it is not moist enough, add a little more hot water.)  Stir very gently.  Spray inside of crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour dressing into crock pot.  Cook on "HIGH" for 2 hours.  Reduce heat to "LOW" and continue to cook for 2 more hours.  (Or, cook on "LOW" for 6 hours).  

Also, my mom is gluten intolerant, and she substituted a few pieces of gluten-free bread in place of the biscuits, and it worked fine, as well.  

Enjoy!  Thanksgiving is JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!!!  :-)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Oh, blogger, why do you hate me?

Blogger has not been my friend this week.

I've tried numerous times to upload pics, all to no avail.  

So, I just haven't posted at all.

Lots of stuff has happened this week that I COULD have blogged about...

I had a birthday.  I was feeling a little "down" about being older and getting closer to the big 4-0, when one of my very good friends (who is exactly my age) told me that she LOVES getting older, because the alternative isn't so good.  Hmmmm.  When I thought about it that way, the birthday sounded a little better.  :-)

I got a new car. (Yes, I FINALLY let the Jeep go... it was time.  It was trying to commit suicide again, so I just let it pass on peacefully.  The fight was over, really...)  I got a Yukon, and so far, anyway, I love it, love it, love it.

The kids had their first soccer games.  (Kate's team lost their first game, and won their second game.  Go "Lime Lawn Lizards"!  Abby's team, whose name is the "Cheetos",  has only played once, and THEY WON.  I couldn't be more surprised and excited, as I AM THEIR COACH, and I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SOCCER.  I lost my voice from yelling, and pretty much all I said was "RUN!!!!!!" and "KICK IT HARD!!!!!"  over and over and over again.  That's the extent of my coaching knowledge.)

We are still doing the play "Cinderella."  Tomorrow night is the final performance, and I am happy and sad all at the same time.  Happy, because we are SOOOOOO busy, but sad because Kate loves to perform so much.  She just shines.  This weekend, the director decided that the play needed some little mice, so Abby was called in to be one of the mice.  She was super excited, and looked SO very cute.  I'd love to put a photo here, but alas, I don't feel like fighting with blogger tonight AND losing everything I've already typed, so we'll just leave it alone.

I joined the choir at church. ( Yes, yes, I know, I don't exactly SING, but that's a minor detail, isn't it?  I always intended to join when our old music minister, John, was here, and never exactly took the time.  So, I just did  it.  So far so good - I just sing quietly, and sit next to somebody who knows exactly what's going on.  It's a strategy that's working for me so far...)

Luke took off a couple of days of work and we both went to the Outdoor School with Kate and all the other 5th graders from her school.  It is an overnight field trip that they go on, and we were "official" chaperones.  It was so fun.  The kids worked on team building, climbed the rock walls, did a "high ropes" course, took a night sensory walk, learned Archery, and did tons of other things that were new, as well, including a new ball game called "ga ga".  (I still haven't figured out if it actually has rules, or if they were just making it up as they went along! ha ha!)  I will admit, I was a bit apprehensive about a large group of pre-teens going on such an adventure, but REALLY, they were SO good and SO well-behaved.  It was a ton of fun, and I learned a lot about Kate and her friends just by being able to watch them interact.  Good times.  Great memories!

SO much more, but I'm beat.  I'll try and continue the "catch up" session tomorrow.

But only if blogger is my friend again!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cinderella 2009

Kate has been preparing to be in our local civic theater's production of the musical  "Cinderella".  They have been working on it for a few months now, and this past weekend was "opening night!"  The entire cast did a great job.  I took well over 200  photos, but because my internet is so slow, I am inly uploading a few... 

Here's Kate, playing the part of the "younger bratty sister."
And here is the entire girls' ensemble.  Don't they look CUTE?
And here is Kate in her "ball gown", longingly looking at the Prince, and not understanding why he isn't interested in a younger woman... :-)
Of course, the whole family went to see the show, and my other two girls went in FULL PRINCESS MODE.  Here's my princess, grace, posing with Cinderella after the show.
And here is Princess Abigail with Cinderella.
It was really great!  If you can, go see the play this weekend!!  

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Those of you who know Miss Grace know that she does not mind peeing outside... She's a country girl, and has done this her whole life.  To her, it makes sense, because, after all, the animals all pee on the ground!  She has always said, "I pee like a puppy!"  And, we have always thought it was cute...  But, really, it's not so cute anymore when you're 4 1/2 years old...I present exhibit A:  Grace using the natural facilities here at home.
Last night after church, all the kids were playing on the front lawn, like they do every Wednesday night.  Grace was playing, too, when all of a sudden I watch her run over to the edge of the grass, whip down her pants, and begin to URINATE ON THE LAWN AT CHURCH!!!!  I could have killed her... Sadly, she HAS peed outside at church before, and we had the discussion about "appropriate" and "inappropriate".  I guess she just forgot.  Again.  

What do you do with a Grace like that???

Monday, September 14, 2009

My, Oh Maya!!!

Yesterday we went to the airport to see our friends arrive from Ethiopia with their brand new baby girl, Maya.  It was an experience that I am blessed to have had.  The love and excitement was palpable, friends!!  (And, I apologize... my pics are somewhat out of order, but with MY internet, once you get them uploaded, you certainly don't want to take the time to re-load them!!)

Anyway, here is a picture of 4 kid-o's who were all together at the same orphanage in Ethiopia.  And now they all have forever homes in Texas.  The little girls recognized each other, even though they are so young.  Little Ella (her Dad is holding her there in the back - she's in yellow) immediately said "Sitota!", which is Maya's Ethiopian name.  It was a surreal moment, and so beautiful.)
Here are some of our little "Hamiltonian" kids that made the trip to the airport to welcome their newest friend home.
And here is the little girl we have been waiting for.... Miss Maya Sitota Felton.  She's just as lovely and wonderful as we knew she would be.  Her Mom and Dad said she was fantastic on the plane ride... she slept for the first part, and then was awake, but happy, for the second part.  What a trooper!!  And now she's at home, where God has intended her to be all along.
A few friends and I decided we should make shirts that said "MAYA" to welcome the little one home.  We go there and put the shirts on and started to wait for the family to clear customs.  Sometimes this process can take a little while, and so we started to get creative with our spelling, just to pass the time...

But eventually... we settled down and lined up in the correct order, so that everyone would know who we were here to see.
It was an amazing, incredible, indescribable experience to witness.  I can't even begin to put into words how precious it was to see Carter and Dakota meet their baby sister for the first time, and how special it was to see Keith and Sharon's parents see their granddaughter for the first time... 

Thanks be to God for His indescribable blessings.

Friday, September 11, 2009


That's the only word I can use to describe what my friends, Keith and Sharon, are doing right now at this very moment.

Right now at this very moment, halfway across the world in Africa, they are adopting a baby girl. Her name will be Maya, and in a few short days, they are bringing her home forever.  


I am completely bowled over with admiration for them and what they are doing.  This is going to change this child's future in every way imaginable.  She is coming home to parents who love her and two big brothers who already adore her.  Their family is growing and changing, and I am watching and marveling in awe.  It's amazing.

If you have a moment, say a prayer for them.  They will very soon board a plane with their new daughter, who they have met just a few days ago, and will fly 20 hours back home.  That's right - I said 20 hours on a plane with a baby.  They need all your prayers!!  :-)

If you would like to see photos of them and their new baby girl, you can click here and see them.

It's amazing, folks, truly amazing what God can do.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Elusive Pictures

Well, finally blogger allowed me to upload a few photos of Miss Grace on her big "first day" of four-year old pre-school.  (However, I had to upload them ONE.AT.A.TIME., which took forever with my "country-fried" internet.  GRRRRRR!!!!!)  

Here is the Gracer, standing in front of the pre-school doors, ready to begin another fun-filled year of learning!
And here she is at home before we left for the day, showing off her super-cute new backpack.

Dear Lord, let this be a wonderful year for Gracie.  Let her learn not just academics, but also about you and your unending love, mercy, and grace.  In your name I pray.  Amen.

Gracie's First Day of Pre-school '09

Today my littlest baby went off to 4-year old pre-school.  She did so well.  She was proud and happy and confident.  She was so very happy to see all her teachers and friends from last year!

I DID NOT forget the camera!!  I have tons of photos.  I'm so very proud of my self.

But (of course) blogger isn't allowing me to upload any photos today.  I have seriously tried 5 times, and blogger laughs at my fervent and futile attempts.


I'll try another day, or maybe later on today.  

Those pics are really cute, and if blogger cooperates, maybe you'll see them some day...

Monday, September 7, 2009


 So, if you quit catching a million mice every day, does that mean you have caught all the mice, or does that mean the mice have gotten "smart" and are avoiding your traps?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Update...

Two more mice have met their makers...

We're up to 18 now, and the fight continues!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Infestation...

I guess that it might be really dry outside, with no food and water for native "critters".

How do I know this, you ask?

I know this because the cute little field mice have MOVED INTO MY HOUSE!!!!!!

We are INFESTED with mice who think my pantry is an "all you can eat" buffet!

I have now ended the life of 16 mice.

That's right - I said SIXTEEN.

There is a lot that I love about living in the country, but friends, having mice is NOT one of them.  

I have declared war, and will be victorious.

I'll keep you updated on the kill numbers...