What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Deeee-LICIOUSLY Easy Turkey Dish

Here is the recipe for the unpictured Turkey Dish I spoke about a few days ago...just for you SMILNSIGH! I got this recipe from my mother, who in turn got it from a very dear family friend and my 'adoptive grandma'-our old next door neighbor. The regular print is the original recipe, the bold print is what I used. Options are a good thing!

1 pkg. RoundHill Turkey Tenders (pkg. usually has 3-4 pieces) I used leftover cooked turkey from Thanksgiving-enough to fill the bottom of a 2 QT. casserole dish.

1 Stick of Butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. white cooking wine ( I used about 3/4c. because that is all I had left...)
2 small cans of mushrooms-or one if you are not fond of mushrooms. I used fresh mushrooms-again, all the rest I had-which was not enough. :-)
I also added about a cup of frozen corn-again, all that I had. (Picking up on any tendencies here?!? I am a throw-it-in-to-use-it-up kind of gal.)

Melt butter in pan...saute fresh mushrooms and add pieces of turkey-sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. (If using uncooked turkey, simmer until brown. If using frozen leftovers, just heat up a bit)

Place turkey and mushrooms in a 2 qt. casserole dish. (If using canned mushrooms, you can add them now.)

To PAN, add the soups and boil. Then add the white wine and return to a boil. (I added the frozen corn at this point, to dethaw in the boiling sauce)

Pour mixture over turkey and mushrooms in casserole dish. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours in a 350 oven. (That is for tukey that was not cooked. For turkey that is already cooked, bake it uncovered until it is heated through, bubbly and a turning golden on top-maybe 40 minutes?)

Recipe can be made the day before serving. Don't bake the casserole, just refrigerate. Next day, bake casserole.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007


My 'nothing to talk about' days are, unfortunately, short-lived and infrequent. Sorry! ;-)

On Valentines:

Yesterday after naptime, the children and I bundled up and headed to surprise Papa at work. Monday's are his LONG day and so I thought it would be a good idea to take him some hot chili and rolls.

This job is much less conducive to my spontaneous visits, for sure. The place is just too massive to ever know where he is and there aren't many places for little children to go. I think that he appreciated our attempt anyway though. Perhaps they will be more frequent in the warmer weather. When we first had Corynn we lived just a driveway away from the farm that he worked on and I remember several times heading over there and eating a picnic together on the grass. That would be really nice to do again some day. I know the children would love it just as much as I would.

After we left, we headed to the small town a few minutes away for a Kleenex run. Now I am not the sort of person that goes to town for just one thing. I cram everything I need to do in ONE visit so I am away from home once a week. But when the last box of tissues was gone and all our hankies were soaking wet-let's just say desperate times call for desperate measures.

The heart above is what I drove home to find on the driveway, along with the 'eye' shape and a 'u'. Matt had returned home before me and had drawn me a little valentine in the snow. How thoughtful!

Speaking of Valentine's~I am working on some top-secret surprises around here lately. One of which is a special Valentine's treat for Corynn. I am nearly done with it so I will probably post about THAT tomorrow, with pictures of course. I am very excited about it-I know she will love it, and it won't have cost me a penny!


On Food:

I am excited about dinner tonight. While Corynn ate her lunch, I looked through some cookbooks. Honestly, I love doing that. Could that be considered a hobby? If it could, it would be one for me! Funny thing is...I rarely follow a recipe to the tee. Oh well. I have grand plans for dinner tonight-which always happens when I peer into a cookbook.

On the menu: Shake and Bake Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Devilish Carrots, Onion Popovers and probably cottage cheese topped with Pinapple. Some of Corynn's brownies will top things off. Of course, everything here is homemade-not the boxed versions. It wouldn't be so grand if it were made from a box! hehehe If any of it is extra tasty I will post some recipes for it later.

Now lest you get the wrong impression: I don't make meals like this every night. Meals at our house DO usually include a veggie, fruit, and bread along with a meat-but that could mean...frozen carrots, applesauce, and a slice of sandwich bread! Huge meals like this are made usually once or twice a week...otherwise, the leftovers overrun my fridge and we end up throwing things out. So-no, I don't put on a lavish spread every night. Not even every OTHER night! :-)

Since I am on the subject of food though...

The other day I made a DELICIOUS Turkey casserole and some heavenly Angel rolls. (Thank you Becky for sharing the recipe with me last summer! They ARE delicious!) I should share the recipes, but HATE doing that without posting a picture...something I didn't get. What should I do?

Oh and I have to tell you about another interesting concoction I just recently made. I LOVE to make things using leftovers and naturally, some are more wonderful than others. Remember me asking about baked beans last week? That meal was...baked beans, kielbasa, salad, corn and carrots, some biscuits and fruit. I had leftovers of everything except the fruit and salad. I also had leftover pizza sauce and tomato sauce.

I decided to make some chili to warm up our freezing patooti's over here and so browned some ground beef and onions, diced the kielbasa, added the veggies, homemade baked beans, and sauces and then doctored in up with spices and WOW! What a treat! It was REALLY good! The chili had a mild sweetness to it and the corn only perked things up! We ate it along side the biscuits and it was really delicious! If ever you have leftover baked beans and corn-throw them in a chili! I don't know how canned beans would work, they have a different texture and flavor...but hey, you could try it! The added benefit to that meal was: my fridge was instantly cleaned out! Yippee!

Okay-enough about food. :-)

But before I end this...here is a story less about food and more about one very polite Little Miss.

We had just begun to eat dinner when Corynn said, "Mama. You are a good maker. I mean...cooker. And Papa-you are a good worker!" I thought that was very sweet. In her own way, she thanked us for the work that we both do for our family. She recognized it and then was thankful for it. Good girl. It is a pleasure to serve you, Little Miss.
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While we did this...

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He Did this...

Proof that one mama can only be so many different places at once... Posted by Picasa

Bursting Forth

These days, my nostrils are tickled with the fragrant scent of hyacinth, one of my favorite flowers. After anxiously awaiting their dainty heads to show themselves for weeks, the scent and COLOR bursting forth just brighten my day and remind me that good things come to those who wait. Thanks Elizabeth, again, for these lovelies. Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 29, 2007

For Anonymous

A while ago, I received an anonymous comment from a woman who was distraught about her firstborn son. For that woman: If you still check my blog from time to time, please go here. I just responded to your comment and write this note here so that you will not miss it. I am so sorry it has taken me this long to respond to you-it was not because it didn't matter to me. On the contrary, it mattered more than any other comments made. Your words greatly saddened me and I prayed that I would be given wisdom is responding. I fall short in so many ways and I am especially disgusted with myself when I seek to give wise counsel. My words never equal my heart and for this, I am sorry. I wish that I was a much wiser and more well-spoken individual that could do a halfway decent job of conveying a message...

If anyone else would like to contribute to this conversation, please feel free. There is much yet unsaid and I am sure many of you are more eloquent speakers than I.


This weekend Matt had to work-ALL weekend long. :-( It was lonely...even more so because it was snowing and I hate driving in the snow...so we were homebound too! I don't know if it was the seclusion that got to me or just the sheer desperation of the matter but I did something I never thought I would ever do. Something that has brought shivers to my spine at the mere thought....

I cut my own hair and even lightened it a bit! I did it all by myself (yes, I sound like a child...) but I am so proud of myself. Of course, it is not all one LENGTH but at least SOME of the deadends are now gone. I hope never to do it again though. I think I should allow myself the luxury of a $14.00 haircut once a year (that is how often, if I am lucky, I cut my hair...) but with the kids...I just never find time.

Other than that, life trudged on as usual. I started making myself a skirt this weekend, I need to go get a zipper and that project will be done. I have mixed feelings about it. I don't know if I will get to wear it though...it looks kind of, um..big. So it would stink if I made myself a skirt that doesn't fit. But if I CAN wear it...ummm. That stinks in a different way. :-)

Andrew's gums have broken to invite two more teeth to his mouth. That would mean he has SIX now...and I only nurse him at night thankfully. I nursed Corynn much longer, but when Andrew started chewing holes in me (no, I am NOT exaggerating...) I decided enough was enough. With the pains of teething, along with the selfsame colds of his Mama and sister, the little Panda has been a real basketcase.

We are down to one box of tissues in this house-and that just doesn't happen! Anyone who knows me and my allergies, knows I need a box in each ROOM! It has been a real challenge. I have trained myself to carry the lonely box with me where ever I go, have a hanky in my back pocket (for myself) and Corynn carries around a little hankie with her. No fun, no fun.

Well. Boy, this post is so cheery and fun! (Said in a very sarcastic tone, mind you.) Hopefully I will have more interesting tidbits as this week progresses. Until then, have a great week!
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Friday, January 26, 2007


For all those that have put my on a very high pedestal (clear throat: ELIZABETH! hehehe) I am here to brutally expose myself as the procrastinating, not-all-together lady that I really am. And there is no better time than the present, since I took part in an anti-procrastination challenge!

As you can see- instead of dirty clothes HAMPERS, we have a dirty clothes CLOSET which, for the past few weeks, has been SO cushy and soft it was near impossible to get hurt in there. Of course, it was also nearly impossible to get to the clean clothes....but we won't go there.

Today I have worked tirelessly to lesson the great fabric mountain. I am not there yet, but I am well on my way.

So-you see, yes. I DO have fun with my children and I DO take lots of pictures making it appear that all is well with the Newman house, but the Closet of No Return is never pictured for a reason.

Here IS a soapbox I am willing to get up on: Please be careful not to set bloggers up on a pedestal. It is far too easy to do and I see it ALL the time...that said to myself as well.

After all, it is VERY easy to sugar coat things to appear the all-wonderful person that you want to be. But we all have shortcomings and we all have weaknesses. Remember: the blog world is only one-sided and there are two sides to every story. It is the job of the Blogger to represent themselves as honestly and humbly as they can (and NOT take advantage of the obvious ability to appear better than one really is...) and it is the job of the READER to remember that no one likes their shortcomings advertised and so you only get the one side of the picture.

Now-to step down, must get back to that laundry. AND the vacuuming. AND the bathroom cleaning...
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Not even finished yet-but made a BIG dent!

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My favorite Christmas gifts

I was so blessed this Christmas with wonderful gifts, large and small, that it is hard to chose just a few favorites. And interestingly-I am just as enthralled with these smallish items as I am my large lamp!

These absolutely stunning notecards are one of my FAVORITE Christmas gifts this past year, given to my by Linda, my mother in law. They are so lovely, I can hardly part with them. I am an avid snail-mail writer and just LOVE anything to do with the subject. I can go quite overboard with it all, truly, but it is a love of mine.

My MOST favorite gift of all, I would say, would be the wax candles and seals that my hubby (donning his bright red Santa Suit) gave to me.

I have had one candle and one seal since I was about 15 years old and I have HOARDED the wax, sealing an envelope only on envelopes which held great treasures within, not knowing where (or IF) I could find more candles. My husband knew this and searched some out. Perhaps for this reason these are my favorite gift. I have waited a LONG time for them, and the thought behind them makes them that much more special to receive. I now am the proud owner of red, silver, and gold wax candles as well as a rose, and monograms 'R' and 'N' seals. I think every letter, henceforth, will be graced with a seal of my very own. Such an elegant touch.

On a (somewhat) related topic:

The other day I had a meeting with some church ladies to plan a Valentine-Making party for the Women's Fellowship. During this meeting, one of the ladies brought out a few resource catalogs. When she handed me the Victorian Trading Co. stars lit up eyes and I couldn't bring myself to look anywhere else. The oohs and ahhs that proceeded from my mouth must have convinced her that I needed it more than she and so I got to bring the treasure home. I am in LOVE. Granted, I can't afford ANYTHING in the catalog-but just LOOKING through it (for two hours yesterday) made me feel happy inside. Is that weird? Yeah-probably. But, I have always known that about myself.

I got online to request a more RECENT catalog at their website and realized that they also have clothing, furniture, stationary and candle catalogs. I will not give in to THOSE temptations though...

If you are a days-gone by kinda gal, go and request yourself a catalog and if you are a lucky lady with extra bills burning holes in your pockets-spend extravagently and tell me about it (or better yet-post pictures on your blog!) so I can live vicariously through your wealth! :-)

Victorian Calling Cards

I saw them in the catalog and thought-"Oh, I need some of those!" and at the very same moment, "I can do that!" So I spent entirely too long fiddling on the computer during naptime to create my own Victorian calling cards! Actually, it was really quite futile since soon enough all of our information will be changing...but UNTIL then, I will be READY!

Matt saw them and smiled and said they were very nice and then said I had too much time on my hands! :-)

Here is what my favorite one (I made three different styles) with, of course, the information changed for this blog. Posted by Picasa

Just because...

Matt surprised us all with the day off yesterday since he has to work this whole weekend. I just thought this was precious. It is so true. When Papa is home, the kids can't get enough of him and they just FLOCK to him. Such a good Papa he is. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Makeshift Studio

This is a picture of my 'makeshift studio', for Paula. Basically, what I do is take my drapes down (they are just long pieces of fabric) and then clothespin them back onto the rod to cover the entire window, after creating a soft drape on either side. I laid a white tablecloth on the floor. In some of the photos I used a beanbag for seating, which I laid UNDER the tablecloth. To the right, I have my sewing desk (which is usually in the window...so I just moved it out of the way) and I put some more white fabric there with a light bulb next to it. This was my makeshift lighting-which did not really work very well. But, hey, I tried. I guess if I wanted all NATURAL lighting, I shouldn't have done it at dusk! ;-) The dark spots on the white are pieces of dried rosepetals-now crushed to smithereens.

I have been meaning to do a 'photoshoot' for MONTHS now but have been procrastinating. Seeing what it does to my living room, can you blame me?!?! Well, I DID it and I am happy and I hope that my MOM is happy.

Not all the photos I posted are 'frame worthy', but each one is dear to me-whether in the expressions on the children's faces or in the portrayal of the fun spunk of it all. So, I hate to be so redundant, but I had to post all my favorites, even if the differences are subtle. VERY subtle! If you think THIS is a lot, I hate to say it, but I only posted about half that I took!

(Mental Note: Taking 'posed' shot of the Panda was near impossible. Don't try this again for a LOOONG time....)
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SOOO professional!

This is for you, Paula. The black background was simply a throw that I propped onto my sewing desk with a weighty book. It is black fur and I only recently purchased it from Target. It was discounted because it was out of it's original package. I got it for a little over $10.00 and I bought it purposely for pictures. Of course, knowing it would be a nice warm blanket for cold, cold nights helped too.

As you can see, the *lighting* needs a bit of help. Isn't that awful?!?!? Posted by Picasa

And it begins...

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Andrew is saying Hi in this picture, which sounds more like "Ha!" but is always accompanied by a wave. Posted by Picasa

These kiddos crack me up.

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See a resemblance?

Corynn and Andrew have the same OPEN mouthed laughs! While Corynn is rarely WITHOUT a giggle now, but when she was a baby, she had a very similar disposition to Andrew. It is rare to hear him laugh. He smiles A LOT but hardly laughs-and when he does, it is usually at his sister. Posted by Picasa

Like sister, like brother

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Keep your mouth closed Corynn!

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Petal Toss? What's THAT, Mama?

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Being a Bride...

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