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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One Lunch Changed My Life

Monday, November 28, 2011

What I Want For Christmas- BFF Prompt

My lofty ideals of the past and what I want for Christmas now has definitely changed over time. As a single mom of two teens, I have to keep it real.  I have always been an idealist, but a positive stark reality has taken over. That is not all bad either. I think the lessons learned in life and on my journey as a single mom have taught me my priorities in life. I have much more common sense than I did as a young mom and I feel proud of that.

We are living in a tough economy. Just one year ago I escaped a foreclosure on my home. This is the home that I was able to keep after a bitter, ugly divorce. This is the home my children have lived in for most of their lives.  I am so very grateful that US Bank worked with me to lower my home mortgage. I am sure that they felt safe since I have been employed with the same non profit for many years. I had like so many others, lost one of two great jobs. 

My Christmas wish is that I can buy at least one gift for each of my children. One gift that they really want. My kids are teens, so they only want those "pricey gifts" that we single moms wince at.  In their defense, I have them begging me to go to consignment shops now.  Ahhhhhh. 

I want to be able to pay all my bills all the way through the holiday season instead of the dreaded staggering pattern.  I know I am not the only mom that does this to stay afloat. Going paycheck to paycheck is a pretty common scenario in this economy of ours.

I work as a director at a non profit organization. I love getting up each and every day knowing that the work we do with families actually Saves families. I have such a caring and passionate staff and the volunteers are absolutely amazing. We help at risk families and children who are homeless, have a new start in life. Unfortunately, we are being furloughed during the holidays, so this rearranging of the little I do make, is being compromised once again.  I am grateful I have a job and know that others have issues far worse. I thank God for all I have.

I wish for Christmas that my children know how very much I love them and that money does not make life necessarily easy. In fact, at times when I have less than ten dollars left at the end of the month, we have spent more quality time  and laughed and smiled more than we did when we "Had" what we wanted.

My wish for Christmas is that each and every one of us can be conscious of those around us. During the holiday season, so many families struggle. Please look around you and do what you can to help. It may be just smiling at a mom in the grocery store when she is feeling overwhelmed as she shops.  Maybe you hear of someone close to you that can't afford Christmas dinner. I took over a complete thanksgiving dinner to a family in need.  Where is the need in your community?  Please, let's all pay it forward and remember when someone helped us at some point in our life.

You just never know how loved you can make someone feel at this holiday season.

Laura


Friday, November 25, 2011

My Thanksgiving Blessings






Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Garlic Cream Cheese Chicken Casserole

OMG. You must try this recipe. Seriously, it is so good that It's not right.


Ingredients


  • 10 oz. Savory Garlic Cream Cheese
  • 2 Chicken Breasts cubed
  • 11/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese shredded or cubed
  • 2 cans Green Beans
  • 1/4 C Milk
  • 1/4 C Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Stick butter
Fry up the chicken and cube it. 
Mix up the first five ingredients
Bake at 350 degrees in a baking dish for 25 minutes. Take out and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top evenly and sprinkle butter on top evenly. 


Wordless Wednesday- Gobble Gobble




Peace and Love
Laura


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Cheese Cake Heaven

1Cup Graham Crackers
5 TBSP Butter Melted
1/2 C Ginger cookies store bought (Optional) if choose not too add 1/2 C more Graham Crackers
1TBSP Light brown sugar
2/3 C Brown Sugar x 2
1/8 Tsp Ground Clove
1/8 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 C Ginger
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs- 2 eggs and one yolk
2 8 ounce Cream Cheese
2/3 C Sour Cream
1 Can Pumpkin Puree

Start with the crust. Pound Graham crackers and Ginger Cookies,  Add melted butter, 2/3 C light brown sugar, Mix and mold into the foil cheese cake pan.  Bake for ten minutes at 350 degrees. Take out and put in refrigerator till ready to pour in cheese cake mix.

In Separate Bowl, combine, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside.
In Mixer blend cream cheese for two minutes.  Gradually stir in the bowl of sugars you set aside. Beat till smooth. Then add in the egg one at a time. Now beat in vanilla then the pumpkin puree and sour cream.

Pour over graham cracker crust. Put a cake pan half full of water to keep the oven moist as it bakes. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.  Turn down to 325 degrees ten to twenty more minutes till the edges are puffed up and the middle of the cheese cake wiggles.

Refrigerate overnight.

Wordless Wednesday-Bridge & Lake Reflections





And They Call It Puppy Love

Monday, November 14, 2011

To My Survivor Friend & Soul Sister

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fun Florals Shoes from Zazzle.com

Fun Florals Shoes from Zazzle.com

Turkey Day- Saturday Smorgasboard

Thanksgiving holiday is slowly creeping up on us. I love sitting around the table with family and hearing all the stories going on.  The good, the bad and the ugly. Tradition has changed a few times in our family since my father died in 1997.  Life is all about change and going with the flow. Now we go to Carol and Jim's house for thanksgiving and it is precious.

Years ago when I was only thirteen years old, a lovely couple came to stay with my family.  They were from our church and heard their was a family of five that needed someone to stay with them while their father was in treatment for chemical dependency. Well that was all she wrote, we have been close ever since.  So to there house we go now for Thanksgiving.  I am so truly grateful for them and how they had the strength to stay with my crazy family of five.

This year we will have a new addition to our family.  My niece Lindsey had a beautiful baby boy. Life goes so fast and I treasure every moment of it.

 I hope you all have a very pleasant and heart felt thanksgiving.

Turkeys at Risk- Wordless Wednesday



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Autumn Walk To the Railroad Tracks


Hope you enjoy my autumn Railroad walk. 
Love and Light
Laura