Friday, December 7, 2012

Oatmeal Apple Cookies

Hello blog friends!

Things have been so crazy at our little home. Thanksgiving was great; we got to  see BOTH my sisters and my parents. All at the same time! It was wonderful to spend some time with them.

After Thanksgiving we settled down back into our homeschool routine. We just love homeschooling. You can check out my other blog: Kind of a Hippie Homeschooler and see what we've been up to!

Last Monday, my husband was downsized. He is working hard to find a new job. We know the Lord has an amazing plan for us. We are waiting on His timing. (I find I'm not as patient as I should be.) In the meantime, we are enjoying spending lots of family time together. The hubs has even started teaching social studies in our homeschool!

I've got a great recipe for you! These are delicious, and they are even MORE delicious if you eat them the next day. These oatmeal cookies have bits of fresh apple scattered throughout, making them a semi-healthy treat. Half the kids liked them. The other half said he likes oatmeal cookies but without apples. Sigh. We skipped the raisins and walnuts. I give them an enthusiastic 5 stars on

Oatmeal Apple Cookies
submitted by


3/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups quick oats (not instant or old fashioned)
1 cup peeled diced apple
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)


 Preheat oven to 375° and grease cookie sheet.
 Combine shortening, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla in large bowl.
 Beat at medium speed until well blended.
 Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, soda and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix into creamed mixture at low speed until just blended.
 Stir in oats, apples, raisins and nuts.
 Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough about 2-inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
 Bake for 13 minutes or until just set. 
Cool for a minute or 2 on cookie sheets and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

I'm currently reading the Left Behind series. I know, way to catch up with the rest of the world. However, I'm fascinated by them. I think it's time to make some more cookies and get back to reading!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ode to Crockpots! Linky party

Can I just tell you how in love I am with my Crockpot? Or slow cooker, if you want to be non-brand specific. This handy little appliance has saved me on more than one occasion, let me tell you!

One of my most recent successes was making apple butter. Apple butter at the store is expensive! Oh my goodness, it's out of control. I got my recipe here. All together, I spent about $3 to make the whole recipe. I purchased apples for 67 cents per pound and used approximately 3 lbs. From this, I made about 2.5 cups of apple butter. My kids love it! The house smelled so yummy while I was making it, too.

This picture doesn't really do it justice.

I have two entire cookbooks devoted to slow-cooker cooking. I've been making good use of them. Crockpots use less energy than the oven or stove, so they're great for the environment. Not only that, but they are great for my sanity too. 

Tonight, I'm making Green Chili Stew, which I've modified from the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. Jeanne Allen from Rye, CO submitted the original recipe. The changes I've made were purely for convenience and/or to cut costs.

Green Chili Stew
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 lb ground pork (recipe called for 1 lb ground sirloin and 1/2 lb ground pork)
4 cups chicken broth (the amount in my box of chicken broth.)
1 cup water (recipe called for 3 cups stock, 2 cups water)
7 oz can green chilies
4 large potatoes, diced
1 can corn 
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp crushed dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt

Brown garlic and onion with pork. Cook until meat is no longer pink.

Combine all ingredients in to the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on Low for 4-6 hours, until potatoes are tender.
How easy is that?
Another favorite is Sloppy Joes. My husband loves Sloppy Joes. As in, if he could request his last meal, it would probably be Sloppy Joes.  In fact, when I offered to make him something fresh for lunch, he whined and said, "I thought we were having leftover Sloppy Joes." Yep, I'm married (thank God!) to that guy. 

This recipe comes from the same cookbook, and was submitted by Jean Shaner and Tammey Smoker.

Jean & Tammy's Sloppy Joes (makes 12 servings)

2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained (Recipe calls for 3)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup (Recipe calls for 3/4 cup)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or High for 3-4 hours. 
Such an easy recipe!

Now, don't mock my lame linky party thumbnail, icon thingie. It's my first time. I'll be better at it next time, I promise. Link up your favorite post with a Crockpot recipe! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What to do with buttermilk?

I know, what a silly question. The kids and I recently made butter as part of our homeschooling. We'd been reading Little House on the Prairie and learning about the Revolutionary War. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

When you make butter, you actually do get buttermilk. So we made butter twice, and enjoyed this recipe from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
melted butter, to brush on top


1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
3 Slice cold butter into cubes and use a pastry knife or potato masher to cut butter into dry mixture until no large chunks of butter remain.
4 Add buttermilk and milk and stir with a spoon until dough forms.
5 Roll out to 1/2-inch thick on a floured surface.
6 Cut biscuits with a 3-inch biscuit cutter and arrange on a lightly-greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
7 Bake for 22 to 24 minutes or until tops begin to turn light brown.
8 Remove biscuits from the oven and cool for a couple of minutes, then brush each biscuit top with melted butter.

I actually used the food processor for the first time to make these biscuits, and I will never cut in butter by hand again. It's SO much easier to use the processor. 

 Are you like me at all? I ALWAYS roll the biscuits too thin. I think I have a fear that all my effort will be wasted because there won't be enough biscuits. So they get rolled too thin.

 Despite their small size, and the mutant biscuit on the left, they were delicious! I really recommend this recipe.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Brush with Fame

Hey everyone,

Long time, no post! I know, I know. I've been super active over on my other blog though. You should check it out. And follow along! :)

I met someone famous. I did. And he was so nice. Matthew West is an amazing artist. He did a free show/taping on Wednesday, and I got to go with my good friend Kara!

First of all, Kara is awesome. So it would have been great even had we not had our brush with fame. But, we did get to have it, and it was great!

I really recommend you check out his work. He's brilliant! It's amazing to see how God is working through him.

Friday, September 7, 2012

UNREAL Candy- Just how good is it?

Since I'm a BzzAgent, I get to try all kinds of stuff for free or at a discount. Yesterday, I tried a product right up my semi-hippie alley. UNREAL Candy is candy, unjunked. Now, I'm not saying this is super healthy candy, but it doesn't have high-fructose corn syrup, anything artificial, and no hydrogenated oils.

See how pretty they are?

I know what you're asking- Amanda, is it any good?

It is.

I, too, was surprised to discover this. I'm a child of the 80's. Candy should be bright, bold, occasionally neon colors. Don't mess with my high-fructose corn syrup. Hydrogenated oils? Like buttah. 

Ok, maybe not to that extreme. But, to me, candy should taste like candy. And this does. It's really, really good. 

I would buy it again, and I would choose it over it's rival M&M's. 

Well, not if I had a coupon that made the M&M's free. But on an even price comparison, UNREAL Candy wins, hands-down. And unless there's a sale, the two candies are pretty evenly priced. 

Give these a try. Seriously. You'll be glad you did. My kids have already asked for more.You can pick it up at CVS. The information I received said you can also get it at Kroger (or that family) stores, but I personally couldn't find it there.

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's hot...have a turkey burger!

It's roughly seven million degrees right now in TN. Most of the country is the same way, from what I understand. Summer means cookouts, right? But who wants to eat a heavy, greasy burger?

Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground turkey
1 small apple
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 buns, buttered and toasted

1. Mince onion and garlic.

2. Finely dice apple. You can leave the skins on.

3. Mix the veggies and fruit together. Add salt and pepper, and stir it all up. Add in ground turkey.

4. Thoroughly combine and form four equal patties. You can also make six patties. These don't shrink the way a regular burger does.

5. Grill or cook in a skillet on medium high heat until cooked through. They take me about 15 minutes in a skillet.

We served ours with fries and cantaloupe last night. Kimberly Carnevale of The Butterfly Express came to visit before her big tour begins. If you haven't checked this lady out yet, get on it! She is going on a year-long trip around the U.S. to raise awareness for brain injury. God is doing amazing things through her!

Hope you are able to beat the heat and stay safe this summer!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Taste of Summer

As a Bzzagent, I get to try all kinds of cool stuff. One of my current campaigns was to taste test some of Kroger's Private Selection products. Part of the package included a coupon for free 100% Angus Ground Beef.

Well, it's summer. And it's ground beef. So, of course, I had to make some burgers! (My oldest son would cheerfully eat burgers for every meal, every day of his life. He's told me this. More than once.)

Amanda's Awesome Burgers (I know. But I couldn't think of anything better)

1.5-2 lbs of Private Selection 100% Angus Ground Beef
2 medium sweet onions
2 tablespoons A1 sauce
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 green pepper
4-6 large white mushrooms
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
6 hamburger buns

Prepare the patties

1. Cut one onion in half. Using a grater on the smallest setting, grate onion directly into a large bowl. (I love onion in my burgers, but I hate having chunks of onion fall out while I'm cooking. Plus, this way the kids don't know there are onions in them!)

2. Mix onions with A1 and Worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add beef and mix thoroughly. Separate beef mixture into six equal patties. Set aside to rest while you prepare the veggies.

Prepare the Veggies

1. Cut the remaining onion in half. Slice all onions and separate into pieces.

2. Thinly slice the green pepper.

3. Thinly slice mushrooms.

4. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add peppers and onions. About five minutes later, add mushrooms. (In my house, mushrooms are added to a separate skillet, because we wouldn't want to contaminate the Hubby's food with fungus.)

Once the veggies have been cooking for a few minutes, start the burgers. I make mine in a skillet over medium heat. The veggies and burgers should be done around the same time.

About five minutes before the burgers will be done (I usually cook mine for about 15 minutes), butter both halves of the hamburger buns. Stick them, buttered side up, in the oven at 400 for five minutes or until toasty brown.

After everything is done, it's assembly time! We top ours with the sauteed veggies. My husband added A1; I added mayo. We also ate the rest of the veggies on the side.

We were really impressed with the quality of the beef we tried. The price was reasonable as well. Our Kroger had it packaged really conveniently, with lots of weight options. If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you thought of it!

Happy Summer!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

No words...

Well, ok, obviously I have some words, because I'm typing this. BUT....they are not adequate words. You've been warned.

Today, I was baptized. Today, I gave my life back to God and acknowledged that Jesus Christ is my Savior. There are no words to describe the joy, fear, awe, and amazement that I felt during my baptism. But I am so happy!

Thank you to all who helped me reach this point in my life. They know who they are. :) I love you all.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Good Book Tote

Hey everyone! Hope you have had a great Mother's Day, however you celebrated (or didn't.) I had a great day and treated myself to some sewing. I've really been wanting a bag for my Bible, so I took a few hours today to make one.

Supplies Needed:

2 denim pant legs (from making cutoffs for the kids)
1 fat quarter in your choice of fabric
coordinating thread
denim needle for your sewing machine

I've never put a tutorial together before, but I've read a lot of them! If you have any questions, let me know.

First, cut out a piece of denim that covers your Bible (or other book) with about two inches to spare and square it up. 

 Then cut a piece from your fat quarter that is the same size plus about 1/2 an inch.(You'll iron yours. I did iron, but after I took the picture for some reason.)

If you'd like to add a pocket, cut an additional piece of fabric that is the same width. How tall is up to you, but remember you'll be folding it in half.

Fold the fabric right sides together and sew all three sides. Leave a space so you can turn it back right-side out. Turn it right-side out and press.

If you are adding a pocket, sew the pocket piece to one half (right side) of your fabric piece. I recommend folding the fabric like it will be as the lining, and then choosing where to place it. I put mine toward the top since I'm always losing my phone and keys (and mind), and I wanted easy access.

Fold your denim and fabric in half, long sides and right side of fabric together. Sew the short sides together and turn it back right side out. Press.

Now we are going to make straps. I tried just making denim straps, but I had a terrible time trying to turn them. So I decided to make binding out of my fat quarter fabric instead. I didn't bother with cutting on the bias. I'm lazy that way.

From your other denim leg, cut two straps that are the length you would like. Remember, your width will be folded in half. Stitch the long sides together wrong sides together. See that ugly seam? We're going to cover that.

To make your binding, cut a strip of your fat quarter fabric that is a little longer than your denim strap. I recommend making yours a bit fatter than mine.

Iron the strip in half, long sides together, wrong sides touching.

Open it up, and fold the top half of the half (fun, right?) into the middle. Press that seam.

Do the same thing with the bottom half. The picture is just the beginning done so I could get the picture and then get to work!

 Do this again for the other strap.

Now we are going to use the binding on the ugly seam of the straps. Stick the ugly seam into the pocket made by the binding. No ugly edges. Then stitch, making sure the binding and the denim are included in the stitch. Take your time!

Almost done! Now it's time to make the sandwich that is The Good Book Tote.

Take your denim bag with the right side facing in.

If you made a pocket in your lining, and it's toward the top, fold the top part of the pocket down and pin it so you don't accidentally sew the pocket shut when you sew the bag together. Put the fabric bag in to the denim bag. Right sides of each should be touching. Take a handle and place the two ends on one side of the tote BETWEEN the lining and denim. Pin the handle ends in place, and push the handle down in between the layers. Do the same on the other side.

To sum up:

You should have the following layers working from the inside out:

Wrong side of lining should be showing

Handle should be inside the lining and denim

Wrong side of denim should be showing.

Here's a lousy picture of what I'm trying to explain followed by an equally lousy picture:

 Now, carefully sew the layers together, making sure to leave an opening to turn this beast right side out! This is why you need to make sure you use a denim needle. Take your time, making sure to catch all the layers of fabric. I use a pretty loose stitch for this, because if I make a mistake, I want to be able to fix it easily. Plus, we will topstitch this next.

Carefully turn the bag right side out. Remember, there might be pins in there!

Check along the top to make sure the only opening is the one you left deliberately. Once you are sure it's all sewn up, then fold in the opening and topstitch around the top of the bag. Again, take your time.

This is how mine turned out:

I love it! It is just the right size to carry my Bible, study books, pen, keys and phone.

Happy Mother's Day to me!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fixing Breakfast

Don't get me wrong, I love a good Eggo as much as anyone. They're convenient, tasty, and a decent buy when they are on sale.

But I LOVE homemade waffles. This is the recipe I use, which is from I typically double it, since I freeze them for fast weekday breakfasts. I also substitute vegetable oil for the butter most of the time. I'm lazy. Whole wheat flour can be substituted for some or all of the flour.

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs (separated)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter (melted)

Sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into mixing bowl.
Beat egg yolks well and add milk, continue beating slowly adding the sifted flour mixture, beating until completely smooth.
Mix in melted butter.
Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into batter.
Cook in preheated waffle maker. I usually use 1/4 cup per side of my waffle maker.

About the "burned" parts: My youngest son likes his brown, so I accommodate him. I'm a good mom that way.

I felt it important to show my really cool retro 1980's plates. I love them.
These could not be any easier!
We top ours with strawberries and Cool Whip. Yep, I said it. Cool Whip! If you are a purist, you can use real whipped cream. I go to the effort to make homemade waffles. I'm not going all crazy with real whipped cream, ok? Be grateful!
Let me know how you like this recipe!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I kind of love New Blogger

At first, I had some issues with new blogger. I had to use another browser to create a new blog, and it was kind of a pain.

But then....I started playing around with it. The stats tracker is AWESOME! I was surprised to see which blog posts were most popular. Turns out, it's the Dragonflies and Damselflies post. So maybe I should offer more like that?

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hey, everyone!

Just wanted to let you know I've started another blog called Kind of a Hippie Homeschooler. As you can probably guess, it's about homeschooling! I would love to see you there.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We have a serious problem

It's true. We DO have a serious problem. It's about my kids. My sweet, wonderful, amazing babies are addicted.....


I don't know how it happened. What started out as a way to get them to quit whining for dessert has become a nightly routine. When they get off the school bus, it's "Mom, did you make our Jell-o?" I shudder to think what might happen if the answer is no.

"What kind did you make? Did you get whipped cream for it?"

I actually thought not buying whipped cream would put a damper on their enthusiasm. No such luck.

"Is it time for Jell-o?"

Maybe if I make them eat their green beans it will kill the cravings...

"I like green beans. I ate them all. Is it time for Jell-o now?

Maybe I can make this Jell-o addiction work for me. I can see it now...No Jell-o unless they clean their room. No Jell-o unless they put away their laundry. No Jell-o if they whine about doing homework.

Just how far can I push this thing, I wonder?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Demon Bird

Ever been attacked by a nest-protecting male Canada goose? Lucky you!

Not that I was attacked. But it was close, let me tell you. This vicious beast decided that I must be out to hurt his eggs. I get that. And probably my dog didn't help either.

Wait, let me back up.

Probably you should know that I am terrified of geese. I love to look at them. I think they are so pretty. But somewhere in my youth, I was traumatized or something because I am scared to death of them. I don't know why. Maybe I saw them beat someone up or something. Regardless, I am S-C-A-R-E-D of them.

Yesterday the hubs and I decided to take our pet beasts (dogs) out for a walk at Drake's Creek park. There's a nice walking path, and the dogs love it. So off we go, blissfully unaware that danger was lurking around the curves and turns of peaceful Drake's Creek.

So here we are, walking along, minding our own beeswax when we see Daddy Goose #1 blocking the path. The hubs abandons me, just leaving me defenseless, to walk past this crazy bird. It's hissing and flapping and whatnot, but Mr.Big Stuff Husband just ambles on by. I proceed to inform him I will NOT be passing the bird and turn around. In his infinite wisdom, Mr. Man decides to tell me God put this bird in my path to face my fears. I don't know how true that was, but since my guy was willing to walk with me and past the demon bird...I put on my brave pants and walked by.

Off we go, back to reveling in our marital bliss, until we see Daddy Goose #2. Now, Daddy Goose #1 was plenty frightening. But he had NOTHING on Daddy Goose #2. Daddy Goose #1 was like Christopher Walken, a little scary, but not truly terrifying. Daddy Goose #2 was like Sylvester Stallone, complete with guns and scary face paint, on steroids. Daddy Goose #2 didn't just hiss, he hissed, flapped and came at us.

Of course, the hubs abandoned me again. He narrowly escaped disaster (well, he walked by, but it seemed like disaster was imminent). A group of people walk by, and I politely let them pass the Demon Bird from Below. They made it by ok. So then, everyone starts watching me to see if I will make it past this evil animal.

I looked at the bird. He looked at me, his beady red eyes glinting as the foam dripped from his beak. (On a side note, did you know geese have tongues? I do now.) I walked up to him, my idiot dog lunging at Demon Bird. Demon Bird lunges back at me. I squeal and back up. The husband shouts encouragement like, "He won't get you. Be brave. Man up. Oh my goodness honey, just GO!" He then helpfully points out that I can't turn around. There's another goose down the path.

The group from before is watching. I'm sure they were enjoying the drama. I tried to tell the goose I wasn't afraid of it. Demon Bird laughed at me, and I knew he was not convinced. After about six attempts at passing; an explanation to the group behind me, who I must confess were quite openly enjoying my shame; and the total loss of all my dignity, a man from the group walked behind me ready to run bird interference if needed.

I would love to say that I walked calmly and sedately past Demon Bird, but alas, I ran. With no thought to the shreds of dignity I still possessed, I ran. I shouted a thank you to the nice man who rescued me...and ran on for a good twenty feet. When I stopped, the nice fisherman who had also been watching me consoled me, saying they were scary birds when they had a nest.

Guess where we won't be walking any time soon?

Later that day, we took the boys fishing on the other side of the park. We saw some super cute baby ducks. Of course, I needed a picture. I would like to add that these are NOT demon birds.

Just ponder that cuteness for a few minutes.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is it Spring where you are?

I've lived in Indiana most of my life. Tennessee is the farthest south I've ever lived, and let me tell you, things are different here! Weather wise, it's a wonderful thing. While I was out walking the dogs today, I saw more trees with buds than not, and I even saw a butterfly today! Well, I've seen a couple others, but this was a big one.

After doing some research, I think I saw an Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Crazy, right? Turns out, they are active as early as February. Aren't they pretty?

I've also seen all sorts of daffodils too. In Indiana, daffodil time is a good month or so from now. My part of Tennessee is Zone 6a-6b. Where I lived in Indiana, we were a Zone 5b. Each Zone is 10 degrees F warmer or colder in winter. So my part of TN is 10-15 degrees warmer in winter than where we lived in Indiana. Since we live in the East, relying on the USDA Zone Map is a pretty safe bet. If you live in the West, though, the map is less reliable.

The Zone Map can be found here, along with an explanation of each zone and other great gardening tips. When looking at plants or seeds, always use the Zone guidelines to know when to plant.

I'm going to explore a patio/porch garden this year. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Happy Spring!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pizza, anyone?

Now, I know that I have blogged about pizza with you before. I must confess my deep abiding love for pizza. I like it so many different ways: garlic sauce, bbq sauce, pizza sauce, buffalo sauce...thick crust, thin crust, deep dish crust...veggie pizza, chicken pizza, pepperoni pizza, sausage pizza...well, you get the idea.

I've learned that pizza loves me too. Ours is a passionate love affair. In fact, pizza loves me so much, it decides to stick with me for months, even years! I'm very certain at least 30 of my pounds are pure pizza.

Since starting the lifestyle change, I've realized that I have to live like this forever. And I am not willing to give up pizza. It's not going to happen! Fortunately, ladypit at has a great pizza crust recipe that really cuts down on calories and fat. Plus, my kids love it and can make it (almost) by themselves.

Without further ado:

Super Fast Low Fat Pizza Crust


2 cups white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 (12 oz) beer (any variety, but light lowers the calories even more)

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Top and return to oven and bake until crust is browned and cheese is melted, about 5-10 more minutes.

Yep. That's it.

The original recipe makes 8 servings, but we spread it thin to make 16 servings on 2 pizza pans.

The nutritional breakdown is for 8 servings and is for the crust only:

Calories: 178
Fat: .6 grams
Carbs: 36 grams
Protein: 5.4 grams

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A blog post! A real, live blog post!

Hey fellow hippies,

I'm back! With a real blog post! I know I have a lot to make up for, so let me catch you up on the crazy life of Amanda. As you know, we moved to TN in June. By August, when school started up, I found myself overwhelmed, and unfortunately, Kind of a Hippie took a back seat. So, here's what's been accomplished since:

I graduated college. Yay! I have an Associate's Degree now. This was huge for me.

I started a business. I'm sewing dog clothes and pairing up with Kimberly Carnevale from Canine Ability Dog Training. She rocks, and I love pooling our talents together. She's also training my beast Maggie, and I could not be more grateful.

I started a healthy eating/exercise program. Since January 1, I've lost 17 lbs! Woohoo! I've got a ways to go, but I'm getting there.

The boys have caught up in school. The difference between Indiana schools and Tennessee schools is amazing. Jerimiah boy was almost a full year behind. He has worked so hard to get caught up!

My hubby started a new job. Training was 6 long weeks in Dallas, TX.

So we have been busy busy. I feel like I have a good handle on my life now, so it's back to blogging.

How about a recipe to welcome us back? This one is delicious, healthy, and a great way to sneak veggies into the kids or husbands.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins


1 box chocolate cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1-2 tablespoons water, as needed.


Mix pumpkin and cake mix together. Add water if needed to incorporate the cake mix. This will NOT look like regular cake batter. It's more like brownie batter, but it's pretty stiff.

Bake in a muffin tin at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Each muffin only has 148 calories. Pumpkin has a lot of Vitamin A too. You can also substitute a spice cake mix.

I think I should post a picture too. A week or so ago, my hubby and I went to Bledsoe Creek and hiked a combination of Owl Ridge and Lakeshore trails.

We walked down these stairs after a pretty steep climb up. It was a gorgeous day...the kind of day people move South for! We did this hike in the summer, and it almost killed us. We got a good workout this last time, but I didn't feel like I was going to die. That's a good feeling!

Until next time!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I'm a bad, bad blogger

I've not been a very faithful blogger, have I? I will get back to it and blog faithfully. We love living in TN; in fact, we love it so much I haven't had time to write about it! I promise to get a good blog post together in the next couple days.

Bad blogger! Bad blogger!