Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stairway to sore legs...

I have discovered something today...I don't like stairs! Especially these...

Yes...I know these are way too  long for attic steps! Why I decided to get down our Christmas decorations  today in these cold temperatures...I'll never know! Weren't we wearing flip flops last week? Flip Flops,tornadoes and now freezing temperatures...this is Georgia weather for you, all in the same week.

 I really need to get that man of mine to build real steps to my secret hide away our storage area. It would be a great place for my sewing room an extra room. I guess I take after my mama! Put an idea in our heads and we will have walls knocked out and  new rooms built in no time!

So, after climbling those evil stairs several thousand times...we have all our Christmas decorations down gracing our living room floor. These are the before pictures...see all the boxes? That's how many times I climbed and how many days of recovery it will take my legs. Who needs a gym membership?  After my many many trips up and down those stairs balancing boxes on my head while holding the rail with one hand, we are in the decorating mood !  I like the Christmas decor so much I might even leave it up way past ...Valentines Day? Can you tell I'm trying to get out of a good workout?  That's enough time to build those stairs...right?

The kids have been a great help today. I love watching their faces as they look through all our ornaments.  Talking about Christmas past and loved ones who have gone...anticipating our Christmas morning breakfast and that huge...really really huge Holcombe family Christmas. Outside paper ball fight!!!!!!!!!!! I guess I should check with my sister in law about that one? 

I'm off to make my Home Depot shopping list....

and the kids are making their Christmas list....

I guess I better get busy...I have plans to draw decorating to do!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Loaded Potato Soup....For my friends

With cooler weather comes huge pots of soup...well in my house that is! One of our favorites is Loaded Potato Soup. Potatoes,cheese,bacon and green onions....yummmmmmmmmmm! It's a simple meal served with a basket of rolls and a salad. So for your taste buds good pleasure here is the recipe...the great big family wow we have leftovers version.

Loaded Potato Soup:
Soup Base: Ingredients
Velvetta Cheese- 1...1lb loaf-The largest loaf (you can substitute this with shredded cheese...Velvetta just adds to the creaminess of the soup and I do both too) Cut into squares for easy melting
Chicken Stock or Broth- 2...  32 oz boxes
Heavy Cream or Half in Half- 1 ....2quart container/jug
Corn starch for thickening- I use about 1/2 cup whisked with water to form a thick liquid. I don't mix this until I'm ready to put in the soup base.
salt and pepper

Potatoes- 5 lbs washed and cut to a little larger than bite size pieces
I leave the skins on but peeling them is fine too.

Crumbled bacon
Chopped green onions
Shredded cheese

I start with two huge stock pots. The first pot I boil my prepared potatoes to almost(slightly) tender, drain the water and set aside . Over cooking will cause them to fall apart. In the second pot I add my chicken stock,heavy cream, and velvetta cheese. Cook on a medium heat and stir frequently to avoid scorching the milk. Cook until the cheese is melted. Sometimes I do add shredded cheese to the pot for a more cheesy base. Remember you will be adding cheese for a garnish too. I then add my cornstarch mixture and cook until the soup base thickens.You can add more cornstarch mixture if needed...add in 1/3 cup cornstarch mixed with water increments. Depending on how many are eating at our house I will sometimes add milk to increase the amount of the soup base. Sometimes I have to add more cornstarch too. The thickness of the soup base should resemble a thick pancake batter.
Add cooked potatoes to prepared soup base. Stir gently to avoid mashing the potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes and serve. Top with cheese,bacon and green onion. Freeze any leftovers....if you have any!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Journey to a thankful heart...Please and thank you!

Day 30....Manners are not just for kids!

If your a mom...You have probably had the pleasure of teaching your kiddos the glorious task of learning manners. Many times trying to get them to say thank you and you ending up saying it for them. Eventually they catch on and you are free to just smile with pride.

I have lived in the south most of my life. Nothing says manners better than a southern raised child...well most of them. Southerners have even gotten away from teaching their kids manners. As with anything you do, repetition is the key to learning. Same is true for manners...practice makes perfect!

This journey has taught me how lax I have been to show others my appreciation for the things they do to give of themselves. I have always loved to be recognized for my sacrifices...but have failed miserably at the return gesture. As I have been on this journey I have focused more on my please and thank yous. Because of that I have made a wonderful discovery...people are actually surprised to even get a thank you. Many times I have watched them get distracted from what they were doing ...almost as if they were saying "Did she actually tell me thank you?" It's really funny but sad to see their expressions! Have we gotten to the place in society where we feel we deserve to have others serve us? Yes, they may be getting paid for their services. But wouldn't they do a better job if they were encouraged by those two simple words? A little encouragement goes a long way!

 As I continue this venture to put a little smile on others faces and let them know what they do heart will continue to change and grow more thankful.

 Just like memorizing words from a page...manners practiced repetitively will come with age. Thank you Thank you Thank you.......

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I hope you take something away from this blog and make someone smile!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Journey to a thankful heart...The whispers of my heart

Day 29...The journey is almost over...or is it?

I am thankful  for my God who always hears me.
I never have to shout.
 I never have to repeat myself.
 I never have to wave my hands in front of him...except to praise him!
 He loves me and patiently waits to listen to the whispers of my heart!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Journey To A Thankful Heart....Happy Birthday Lil Sis!

Day 27...I missed due to my need to clean house...I am still on the journey and thankful for what God is teaching me.

Day 28...I am thankful for my little sisters!

The one in the middle is our mama

Today is my little sister's birthday. I can still remember our parents telling us the good news of her expected arrival. I can still remember the waiting of her arrival. I can remember her dark hair and brown eyes...Did somebody make a mistake? My parent's older girls had blonde hair and blue/green eyes! How can they have a child so different from the two they already had? My dad was fair skinned, blonde hair and blue mom has olive skin,brown hair and brown eyes. And boy does she look like my mama!

My dad was hoping for a boy and Kathy is what he got! I don't think he even gave it a second thought once she arrived.  He was just as proud to have her as he would have had a boy. She was his buddy from day one! A true daddy's girl! Now this really caused a problem because Kelly,five years older and the second daughter, who had that she had to share the role!  A role that only lasted 5 years until the death of our dad. But all in all we were his 3 little girls! Sisters forever no matter how many miles apart we are!

Although our childhood was a difficult one...we all survived! Not what we would have planned...but all in God's plan. Learning to take one day at the time and rolling with the punches. Learning to be strong independent women...just like our mama.

Today I can say...I am proud of my little sister. She has grown to be a beautiful woman, loving wife and mama to four great kids! Although we live thousands of miles apart we manage to sneak in a skype or phone call every now and then. Sometimes staying on way too long and laughing until we cry. If only Honduras was closer to Georgia.

Happy Birthday lil sis!  I love and miss you! Maybe I should grab Kelly and fly down for some sister time!