Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Project 365... week two!

Another great week of photos!  
Delicious food...
SNOW and RAIN...
New Goals...
Hardworking kids and hubby...
Working on projects...
Comfort food... 
A few of the members of my family have been feeling a little under the weather... Bowls of brothy, Chicken Soup make anyone feel better!
OH and yummy flat bread cooked up on our grill!
First piano lesson of the new year. 
Thanks to the great confidence in my ability, 
from my awesome piano teacher, 
I'm going to learn and perfect "Clare De Lune" this year! 
My 11 year old son is going to be in heaven when I accomplish this goal because this is his favorite song!

I just love Susan! She is so motivational! When she asked me today what my goals for piano were going to be, I said I would love to learn Clare De Lune, or, MalagueƱa, but, they had 6/4 and 9/8 timing (one had 5 flats the other 4 sharps) and that they would probably be way too hard for me. She responded with: "Tell me what would you be gaining to put off learning this song for one more year? You grow and become better and more accomplished by stretching and pushing yourself"! I chose Clare De lune! Susan is truly a blessing in my life! She makes me come away from piano each week feeling like YES I CAN do anything I set my mind to!
It was a dreary winter day today. 
The frozen water that was at the opening in the downspout of our rain gutter looked like cool art sculptures to me!
The snow came down and down and down!
 Recess is never cancelled when it's snowing, so I got to enjoy the big beautiful flakes on lunch recess duty!
LOTS of snow today...
I had to run some errands after work
 and I came home to two boys hard at work shoveling the driveway!
I seriously have the BEST life, hubby and kids!
Those amazing blue eyes!
My hubby hard at work trying to solve a problem!
Beautiful sunset as my husband, the Scout Master, headed off to go on a winter campout with his Scouts tonight!
Good Morning after a cold night of 
winter camping with dad and the Scouts!
...And today it rained! 
It should have been snow, but, it rained instead! 
Hopefully, we'll get another good snow storm soon. 
I love the snow!
Tracy and I enjoyed some time in the workshop...
Being married to a wife who's the Cub Master, during the month of Pinewood Derby means making awards and stands!

Chipping away the rest of the ice from our driveway after the rain and thaw that we experienced yesterday.

Only two weeks into the new year and I can't complain!
Life is SO good!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Potato and Ham Casserole

We have a new favorite recipe at our house...

When I had surgery,
one of our sweet neighbors brought in the most delicious meal that my men just LOVED! 
Who would have known that Potato Casserole 
with a little bit of ham mixed in it
makes such a delicious dinner!

Serve this with a LARGE serving of steamed vegges, OR, large salad and you have a great, filling, frugal meal.

I usually make my Potato Casserole 
and serve it with ham, or, roast, on the side, 
however, this way is much better, 
because you don't over indulge with eating too much meat.

It's "Lagom"...
There's just the right amount of meat to give it some flavor and to make you feel satisfied!
SO, if you have some leftover Christmas or Easter ham in your freezer, this is the perfect recipe to use you ham in.

AND, the leftover Potato Casserole is awesome to brown up and scramble in some eggs and serve for breakfast!
As usual, I have made my own cream soup replacement for this, but, if you don't want to make your own, just dump in a can of Cream of Chicken/Mushroom soup and 1-2 cups sour cream and it tastes great too!
(that's what my neighbor did and my men thought it was delicious and begged me to get the recipe)

(original Potato Casserole Recipe here)

Potato and Ham Casserole 

Boil 8 large potatoes until tender and then run under cold water and then peel and dice them into chunks

2 Tbsp. Melted butter
1 onion finely chopped
1-2 cups chopped ham
(one recipe of sauce below) (or, just add in a Can Cream of Chicken Soup and 1-2 cups sour cream)
2 cups grated cheese of your choice (I use SHARP cheese)
salt and pepper to taste

3 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream 
Melt butter and then add in flour and whisk until well combined
Add in chicken broth and whisk together and boil until thickened (about 5 minutes)
Add in sour cream and stir until smooth.

Mix together diced potatoes, chopped ham, melted butter and onions.
Then add in white sauce/sour cream mixture and cheese.
Stir until well mixed.
Put in 9x13 pan... 
Bake covered at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes—
uncover last 10 minutes  Enjoy!

AND remember if you have any leftover casserole you can turn it into a great breakfast, by browning up the casserole in a little bit of butter and then scrambling in some eggs!  
Kids and hubby LOVE this for breakfast!

(I apologize for photos that are not the best coloring/quality. I forget that in the WINTER months if I want to blog about a recipe and take photo, I need to make sure I make it early enough in the day where there is still some day light to capture some great photos. I didn't quite bake this in time to get that...you live and learn!).

Monday, January 6, 2014

Project 365... week one!

 I've decided to try another year of Project 365.
I did this challenge back in 2012, but took a break in 2013.

While it can sometimes be a little overwhelming, it's so rewarding to try and capture the day in a photo AND it's fun to look back and see a years worth of photos and memories and especially see how much your kids grow up in a year.

I've captured a few more photos than "one a day" 
(mainly, because some days were more exciting than others).

Here's to a GREAT year of photos and memories!
Freshly fallen snow...
a clean slate for a new year!
I SPY...
the face of a sweet hubby 
staring back at me through the hole in the snow pile!
(noticed this cool place to take a photo when we pulled up to Tracy's work)
 "Take your wife to work day"!
Our boys had to go back to school today
(BOO...no fun for them!)
and so Tracy took me to work with him.
SO much fun... we had a ball!
Goals for 2014...
Simple is the best!
After taking care of some things at the office,
 Tracy and I went and splurged on lunch at Chiz's.
Delicious shrimp & the boiled egg on my Chef's salad 
was even a "double yolker"!
 I'm quite certain that's a sign this is going to be a prosperous year
We've had a warming trend the past few days.
Noticed this as I was stepping out of the car in our driveway...
love how the snow, ice and rocks looked together!
It's like a piece of art! 
 Weekend sunrise...
Weekend sunset...
The sunshine lit up our room beautifully Saturday afternoon.
Best part about this photo? The sweet guy in the background that's washing dishes while I dry them!! The sun is shining brightly in the window while we stand and talk and work! This is one of the many benefits from having a broken dishwasher.
Life is SO good!!
First Smith family snapshot of 2014!
The first time we dressed up and my men donned shirts and ties for the year!
I love these handsome men!

SO my friends, I encourage you all to get out there and capture your world through photos!
You won't regret all of the wonderful memories you'll preserve by taking a photo a day!

Life's too short not to capture each and every moment that you can!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe that another year has just flown on by! 
2013 ended with a little bit of crazy FUN!  
Here's to another year of great opportunities,
LOTS of fun and adventure
 and LOTS of great memories!
Bring it on!