Tuesday, November 24, 2015

White Chicken Chili {crockpot cooking}

The food at Bunko this week was phenomenal and I asked for the recipe before I ever left the table.  My friend, Brianna, served White Chicken Chili, homemade bread, a Caesar salad, and a cherry dump cake and we were all bragging on her culinary abilities.  It had been extremely windy all day and we knew storms were looming on the horizon, so the food was welcoming and comforting.  We played all 21 games of Bunko before the rain arrived.  It was a fun night -- and I won a prize!  First time in a long time.

Brianna was gracious enough to send leftovers home with me for my family and they all enjoyed having a taste.  They actually enjoyed it so much, I made it for supper Friday night.  This is an easy recipe that makes a lot and tastes delicious.  I think you'll enjoy making it at your house.  It's perfect for crockpot or stovetop and can be adjusted according to ingredients on-hand.

White Chicken Chili

2 - 3 chicken breasts, shredded
1 stick of butter
1 package of frozen Seasoning Blend (I used Pictsweet.)
1 package of White Chicken Chili Mix
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese
1 pound of Velveeta cheese 
2 cans great Northern beans, rinsed
2 cans white shoe peg corn
1 can Rotel tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup

Boil chicken in water that has been salted and peppered to taste.  Shred chicken.  Reserve broth.  

Sauté frozen Seasoning Blend in butter while letting cheeses melt in crockpot.  Add all ingredients to crockpot and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours.  

OR if you can't wait that long . . .

Place all ingredients in stock pot and cook on stovetop to heat through.  Be careful to stir frequently so nothing sticks or burns.

I served this chili with warm French bread, but cornbread would be delicious, too.  

Let me know what you think.

I'm joining with my friend Lisa over at Home to 4 Kiddos.  Jump right over and try a new recipe today.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blessings of Peace {Scripture & a Snapshot}

Peace to you as you remember to be thankful,

I'm joining with my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life as we give glory to GOD through our photos.

Scripture and Snapshot
And linking up with my Crewbie Brenda over at Counting Pinecones.  I love sharing Scripture with my friends.

Counting Pinecones

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Random 5 on Friday -- November 20

1.  It's Operation Christmas Child week!   Did you pack a shoebox (or 2 or 3 or 4)?  You still have time to get it done.

2.  I love these Thursday night Bible Study girls.  They make my heart smile.

3.  The eldest is home for the holiday week and she's attempting to help me organize my life.  I used to be a very organized woman.  Then . . . life happened.  I'll let you know if she's successful in her attempts.  Maybe there will even be pictures.  So far, she's fixed the gaming cabinet so that nothing falls on you when you open the doors.

4.  I got real mail today.  I love real mail.  Real mail that I can touch.  Real mail that comes to my mailbox at my house.  It makes me feel super special.

5.  This new White Chicken Chili recipe I got from a friend this week is delicious.  And easy to make.  Wow to the Wow!  Soup's on at my house.

Random facts of life  -- gotta love it.  What's going on in your world today?

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

ESV Men's Devotional Bible {review & giveaway} #MENSDEVOTIONALBIBLE #FLYBY

I'm a Bible literacy momma.  I have a deep desire for each of my children to study GOD's Word and I like to make sure that they each have their own personal copy to use and read and treasure.  I believe that we should all be students of GOD's Word and we should mark it up and wear it out.  Not only do I want my children to have a Bible, but I want them to have a Bible that is age appropriate and relevant.  I want them to be passionate about knowing GOD's Word and diligent about hiding it deep in their hearts.

One of the ways that we encourage this inclination at our house is to make sure that each person is equipped with a Bible that makes sense to them.  I think that it is important to make different Bibles in a multitude of translations available for study and discipleship.  As my children get older, I try to make sure that their Bibles are applicable to their life.  Now I realize that the Bible is always applicable to all of our lives, but the way it is presented is important.  I know that if you like the packaging of your Bible you will be more apt to spend time reading and studying your Bible.  That's important to this boy momma.

My son got his driver's license last week and he no longer needs his mom to act as his chauffeur.  That's been quite an eye-opener.  He is responsible and I recognize that he is growing up.  It is important to me that his Bible grows up with him.  Because of that, I am pleased to be gifting him with the ESV Men's Devotional Bible for Christmas.  I know that he will be excited to replace the preteen Bible that has been his daily companion for the last few years with a grown-up version of GOD's Word.  The ESV Men's Devotional Bible helps to remove barriers to study as it is designed FOR men and contains features that speak to the heart of men.  How perfect is that for my boy on the cusp of manhood?

I asked my MainMost to look over the ESV Men's Devotional Bible and share his impressions with me so that I could share them with you.  I thought you'd find it interesting to hear a man's opinion on a Bible that has been put together with men in mind.  Here's what he had to say:

The lines of this Bible are clean and streamlined (although the type is a bit small for these old eyes to read, I think our Eagle Scout will have no problems).   The devotions offer very helpful insights that tie in to the Scripture being read.   I like that the topics each day speak directly to integrity and honor and living a life worthy of the calling GOD places on men as they lead their families and walk in strength and character.  The devotions are spaced at appropriate intervals for daily readings and are all well written. 

About the ESV Men's Devotional Bible:  Our world presents daily distractions that can easily displace CHRIST as the center of a man's heart and life.  The goal of the ESV Men's Devotional Bible is to strengthen and encourage men through the life-giving Word of GOD and the sound devotional content aimed at nurturing godliness.  With 365 theologically-rich and gospel-centered devotions drawn directly from the Bible, this all-new resource was created under the editorial oversight of Dr. Sam Storms with contributions from over fifty Christian leaders.  Introductions orient men to each book of the Bible, exploring its unique contribution to a man's walk with GOD.  Thoughtful and instructive articles address the importance of sound doctrine, life in the local church, leadership, the heart, calling, and a host of other relevant issues for today.  The ESV Men's Devotional Bible will strengthen men in their walk with CHRIST, helping them apply the gospel and the truths of GOD's Word in their homes, churches, and workplaces. 

- 365 brand-new devotions
- Brand new book introductions
- 14 brand-new articles
- Dictionary of key terms
- Smyth-sewn binding
- Lifetime guarantee on TruTone edition
- Three Different Packagings available: slipcase (TruTone), L-card (HC), permanent slipcase (Cloth over Board) 

Retail Price: $34.99

About Crossway:  The purpose of Crossway has been, from its founding as a not-for-profit ministry in 1938, to publish gospel-centered, Bible-centered content that will honor our SAVIOR and serve his Church.   They seek to help people understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of GOD's Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of GOD. 

You can find out more about this ESV Men's Devotional Bible and Crossway Books by visiting the following Social Media sites:   

Is there a special man in your life who needs a new copy of GOD's Word to read and study?  If so, I'd love for you to take a minute or two and enter for your chance to win a copy just in time for Christmas.  You can enter on the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Stark Reality {almost wordless Wednesday} #womensforum2015

I attended the Women's Forum 2015 last week in Nashville, TN with 995 other women in ministry.  It was an amazing time to sit under some wonderfully-inspired Bible teachers and praise and worship and pray.  In the weeks to come, I'll be blogging about the entire Forum and what GOD spoke to me and over me during it, but today I thought I'd share a totally different side of it.  The food.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I want to share food -- more specifically, I thought I'd share MY food with you.  

You see, the MainMost travels more than I do and he often gets to eat some really good food.  He has been taking pictures and sharing them on Facebook for as long as I can remember.  His pictures of pure yum often make me green with envy since I'm usually home doing the ramen noodle/peanut butter/leftover thing with the kids for lunch when he's posting his latest culinary adventure.  The tables were turned last week, so we both laughed as I shared the delicious creations I was getting to taste while he was home having dry cereal.

I'm talking, I had some GOOD STUFF.  It started with Jerusalem Chicken and fixings upon arrival Wednesday night:

 And then there was this Pig Pocket with spicy red slaw for lunch Thursday:

There was a cupcake party Friday morning:

And of course, my favorite Chick-fil-a for lunch:

Supper Friday night was some of the finest barbeque and fixings that I've ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth:

And we had a tea party during our session Friday night.  Chai Tea in Turkish tea cups -- how fun is that?

On our way home, my dear friend and I even did a run through for a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, because we needed an extra boost to make the 9-hour drive.

I'm telling you, the food at Forum was GOOD -- and they treated us to big cookies and granola bars and fruit and cold water between sessions.  There was an abundance of deliciousness as they ministered to us and took care of us.  And I am thankful.  Oh, so thankful.  It was nice to be loved on and cared for and breathed into.

Isn't always great to know you are loved?

And then there was this . . .

Right in the foyer of the church where we met.
Bags of food being collected for families in need.

What a stark reminder of the hurt that is all around us.

I have a friend who will be travelling to Ghana in the next week.  She'll be taking rice because the children in the village requested it for Christmas.  Can you even comprehend that?  Rice for Christmas . . .  the very thing that I serve as a simple side dish "filler" to my family is a delicacy for others.  As she so eloquently stated:  Rice for Christmas - really made me think about the things I take for granted.  

Yes, this is a world full of hurt.

But I know there is ONE who can ease all hurt.  There is ONE who feeds the hungry.  There is ONE who gives HOPE to the hopeless.  There is ONE.  Praise GOD, there is ONE.  And HE allows me to walk alongside HIM and be HIS hands and feet to the world -- this world.  

HE came so that we might

and DO
and HELP
and LOVE
In HIS name.  Because our life is full of abundance (just look at my pictures again, if you don't believe me) and there are others who need HIS touch.

For today, let's be that TOUCH.

I'm linking up today with my friends, Wendy (over at Life at Rossmont) and Karen (over at Tots and Me).  Check out the link up for more "Wordless Wednesday" posts.

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

C is for Comfort: MeMe's Corn Casserole

I've heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.   (For Good)

People come and go in our lives and the reasons are manifold.  The memories that we share with them last a lifetime.  I just put Me-Me's Corn Casserole in the oven to take over to church this morning.  25+ years later and it's still one of our favorite comfort foods.

Food stirs such fond memories.  I remember the very first time I ever tasted her corn casserole.  I remember where I was standing in her kitchen, the sounds of family talking all around.  I knew from the very first bite that I'd have to have that goodness again and again.  I wrote the recipe down that very day and I'm so glad I can share it with my family and friends and those I love.  It emanates the kindness that was her to me.  She had the most angelic smile.  I will always and forever remember her smile -- and her hands.  They were soft and kind.  Surely hands can be kind, right?

Weird things I remember, huh?

When I shared this with MeMe's daughter, she responded with this:

GOD bless you.  MeMe loved you.  I remember she made mints for your wedding reception.  I am so glad you remember goodness of my Momma!  Sometimes, when I look down at my hands, I see Momma's.  Memories are peculiar sometimes, but whatever promotes them is a blessing.  Sometimes a smell brings another sweet memory!!!!!  Grins and giggles . . . seeing you and your people  on facebook makes me grin!!!!!

MeMe's Corn Casserole

2 cans ream-style corn (although I use fresh creamed corn when I can)
4 eggs
1 cup oil (I use Canola)
1 envelope Mexican Cornbread
Grated cheese, to top and taste (I use sharp cheddar)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix all ingredients except cheese.  Pour into a 9 x 13 dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Top with grated cheese and return to oven to melt and brown.

This is just pure comfort on a spoon.  Trust me -- you're going to want to make sure and keep these ingredients on-hand always.  It's really that good.

Sharing comforting finds along the way,

I'm linking up with my friends Cristi (over at Through the Calm and Through the Storm) and Meg (over at Adventures with Jude) for the Blogging Through the Alphabet Challenge.  Stop by for more alphabet adventures.  We'd love to have you join us on our journey from A to Z.

Blogging Through the Alphabet” style=

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Schoolhouse Review Crew 2015 Blue Ribbon Awards

2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards

The Schoolhouse Review Crew term has come to an end for 2015.  It's a little sad to see the year come to a close, but it's pretty exciting to anticipate the beginning of a new year of reviews.  As a group, we had the opportunity to review some really cool stuff this year and I have enjoyed sharing a ton of new products with you.  Fun, huh?

I really do love being a part of the Crew.  As a matter of fact, I wrote a note to all my Crewbies just last week.  I thought I'd share a little bit of it with you so that you would maybe understand what a great part of my life it has become.

I love the Crew.  I mean, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Crew.  I've been hanging around here for quite a while now -- I'm completing my 6th term this week -- and I have truly enjoyed every moment.

I actually blog because of the Crew.  A sweet real-life friend of mine invited me to check it out way back when and I had to start a blog to apply.  Scary!  But I did it -- and I haven't looked back.  I started that original blog way over on homeschoolblogger. Remember it?  And then a few years into that, we all had to move elsewhere.  Now, that was a scary thing.  I was so afraid that I would lose all of my content like I lost all of my followers.      Now I look back at some of those early posts and I think    hmmm . . . who was that woman?  There's some stuff there that just makes me wonder what I was thinking.  As a result of blogging, I've learned more about who I really am way down deep and who I want to be when I grow up.    
Anywho, like I said, I have enjoyed EVERY term on the Crew.  We spend a year getting to know each other and welcoming each other into our homes through our fingertips.  It's a privilege to pray over each other and laugh together and celebrate the victories.  The people on this team make it easier to travel the homeschooling journey.  I like them!  I really, really like them!
The Crew changes just a little every year.  Some friends leave the Crew as different seasons of life come.  New friends come along and join us.  New friends, new opportunities, new ways to invest ourselves in the homeschooling community.  How exciting is that?

It's been a good year.  A really good year.  The kids and I had the most fun reminiscing together over all of the things we've had the opportunity to review this year as we filled out the Blue Ribbon voting form.

I think we ended up doing somewhere around 50 reviews this Term.  I like doing this.  I enjoy trying new things and seeing how we can make them work for us.  We are homeschoolers and that's our superpower.  We definitely don't fit the mold of those around us and I think that's grand.  We accept every review as a challenge to make it fit us and we look for ways that they can all make us better.   Whew!  It's been a SUPER year with some really cool stuff!!!  How blessed we have been.
To everything there is a season.  That definitely fits my family's time on the Crew.  When I first started, I had four children at home and we fit into all categories of reviews -- from elementary to college prep.  Now, I have a daughter in Grad School, a daughter who is married and in the workforce, a high school Junior, and a high school Freshman.  WOW!!  What changes I have walked through with my friends on the Crew.   I've even met a few of my Crewbies in real life and I have HIGH hopes of meeting others.  It's fun to put faces and mannerisms and voices to those people who invest in my daily life.
Today I will rejoice in the fact that I have been a part of a very special team.  The Crew  is wonderful and I treasure the time that we've had together over the past year.    I am thankful for the friendship, thankful for the laughter, thankful for the understanding of my life because we walk a similar path,  and thankful for the love.  
Once a Crewbie, always a Crewbie!

All righty, now, it's time for you to see what the Crew voted on.  There are LOTS of neat things here so hang on.  This is FUN!

Favorite Reading Curriculum: Reading Kingdom
Favorite Writing Curriculum: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Favorite Vocabulary Program: Dynamic Literacy
Favorite Spelling Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Phonetic Zoo
Favorite Grammar Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Fix-It! Grammar
Favorite Penmanship Program: CursiveLogic
Favorite Literature Curriculum: Progeny Press

Favorite History Curriculum: Home School in the Woods
Favorite History Supplement: Heirloom Audio Productions: In Freedom's Cause
Favorite Science Curriculum: Visual Learning Systems
Favorite Science Supplement: Ann McCallum Books: Eat Your Science Homework
Favorite Math Curriculum: CTC Math
Favorite Math Supplement: SimplyFun

Favorite Christian Education Curriculum: Grapevine Studies
Favorite Christian Education Supplement: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum: Middlebury Interactive Language
Favorite Fine Arts Product: Maestro Classics
Favorite Elective Curriculum: Apologia Educational Ministries: Field Trip Journal
Favorite Audio Drama: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Video: FishFlix.com

Favorite Preschool Product: La La Logic
Favorite Elementary Product: Star Toaster
Favorite Middle School Product: The Critical Thinking Co
Favorite High School Product: Writing with Sharon Watson
Favorite College or College-Prep Product: Freedom Project Education
Favorite Parent Product: Koru Naturals
Favorite Planning Product: Apologia Educational Ministries: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Best Resource I Didn't Know I Needed: Homeschool Planet
Best Online Resource: Super Teacher Worksheets
Best e-Product: Home School in the Woods
Just for Fun: USAopoly
Kids' Choice: La La Logic
Teens' Choice: YWAM Publishing
All Around Crew Favorite: Institute for Excellence in Writing

That's a pretty comprehensive list of some of the most wonderful things for your homeschool journey.  Check out the reviews and see what their use looks like in real-life homeschool environments.  I think you'll be pleased with what you find.

Thank you for trusting our opinions.  Thanks you for sharing life -- even though it may be virtually.  Long Leaf Academy is looking forward to our next Crew term after the holidays.  Stay tuned for more reviews and introductions to fabulous products.  This next year may just be the best one ever.
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