Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Getting Stuff Done Around the Farm

Dave is off some this week and he's been working around the house and outside.  This weekend he finally got the old piano off the front porch.

You remember the old piano . . . the one that's been there since October.

He started working on it at the beginning of the year, but then he didn't finish.  This weekend he got the whole piano off the porch.

It didn't take but about 30 minutes, and the boys even helped him! 

Of course, Alex wasn't interested in helping.  But Dave got the job done with his other two helpers.  Poor Dave.  Had to work so hard!  Ha!

The boys had fun and that's what really mattered.  It's so nice when we all work together on projects around the house.

I have really enjoyed planning our weekly menus.  I don't plan the weekend menus because I like to be flexible on those days.  Being flexible means that I sometimes don't have a whole lot to choose from when it comes to our meals.

This past weekend, we had breakfast for lunch on Saturday, ate KFC on Saturday night, corndogs and curly fries for lunch on Sunday, and then Sunday night . . .

I had nothing interesting to cook.  I could have made corndogs and curly fries again for supper, but I hate to do that to Dave.  He likes a little variety for his meals.  :)

I found a bottle of Ragu sauce and a box of spaghetti noodles in the pantry. . . plain sauce with no meat . . . Should I cook that ?

Dave and the boys loved it!  All the cooking I do throughout the week and plain old spaghetti sauce and noodles were a hit!

Shane ate 2 full bowls of spaghetti.  Dave gave him a bath after the first bowl, but then he came back and ate another bowl.

He had it all over his legs, face, arms, and pajamas!  I wanted to get a picture, but Shane would not cooperate.

I had to wash him down again and change him when he was finally through eating.

On Sunday, my sweet friend Charlotte came by to see me and the boys.  She had the boys' presents for Christmas.

She gave them each a huge styrofoam airplane.  Alex really loved his!  He immediately put all 3 planes together after she left.  Shane and Alex both played with their planes that afternoon.

Zach was only interested in playing video games.  But on Monday afternoon, all 3 boys went outside to play with the planes.

They had the best time . . . sailing the planes off  into the air . . .

Charlotte knows what little boys like . . . she raised two of her own!

Shane wasn't interest in throwing his plane . . . when he could just run around with it instead!

While the boys played with their airplaines, Dave and I did some practice shooting.

I love to watch Dave shoot.  So cute.

Then we all went to check on the cows and feed them.

 The boys love to feed the cows. 

It's always so much fun watching the cows eat up the hay.

I love my Ferrell boys.

Alex kept feeding the cows by hand . . .

Shane really enjoyed giving the cows the hay.  He wants to do it everyday. :)

And Zach was intent on actually "petting" one of the cows. 

He chose the bull . . . who didn't like it  . . .  He butted his head at Zach -- twice!  Totally freaked me and Zach out!  I don't think he'll be "petting" any cows any more!

Such is life in the country for . . .

                        the Ferrell boys and me!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Week of February 27th - Menu Plan

I've got my menu together for this week, and I can't wait to try some of these recipes!


Chicken/Onion Shish Kabob (using Grillmates marinade)
Cheesy bread


Meatloaf (using Hunt's Meatloaf Fixins)
Mashed Potatoes
Mac & Cheese
English Peas


Recipe & Picture from

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan
Spaghetti Noodles
Garlic Bread


Chicken Fettucini Alfredo
Caesar Salad
Garlic Bread


Mexican Rice

I'm trying to try at least one new recipe a week.  This week's recipe, the Crockpot Chicken Parmesan, got great reviews from the people who tried it.  My boys love spaghetti and sauce so hopefully they won't mind having a little chicken with it!

I usually make the alfredo sauce from scratch, but I'm doing a little research for a lower calorie recipe . . . I know I used to have one using the laughing cow cheese.  I've got to do something if I want to keep losing weight.  I didn't go to WW last Saturday because I just didn't feel like it, but I did go the week before and had lost another 2 pounds.  

That makes 18 pounds total since I started on January 2nd!  I've got to get back serious . . . I haven't been drinking my water or exercising so that's my goal for the next week.

My sweet boys, Shane & Alex

Hope all is well in your home.  Today's been a very stressful day emotionally.  A little boy disappeared from his family's yard yesterday, and he was found this morning in a pond . . .  gone forever from his parent's arms  . . . A sweet dear friend of ours also went to Jesus today after battling an illness for weeks . . .  I have had this all on my mind -- all day . . .

Dave and I spent the afternoon with our boys -- outside -- piddling around.  I think we both were thinking the same thing . . . how blessed we are . . . how life is so fleeting . . . how we shouldn't take these moments with the boys for granted . . . They are growing up so fast!

On top of all this . . .  I received a card from one of my dearest college friends today.  She's going through a lot -- battling cancer again (and winning!) -- so when I got her card, I decided to call her. (I had lost her number, but she put it in the card!  so smart!)

I enjoyed talking to her so much!  I wish I could see her smiling face in person!  She lives in Connecticut so I don't get to see her too often.  In fact, I don't remember when I saw her last!  But I miss her and wish I could see her.  She's actually going to be in Memphis this weekend and if I could, I would go see her there. 

But unfortunately, Dave is working this weekend and I wouldn't ever want to go to Memphis by myself with the Ferrell boys! 

So I'll just have to settle with phone conversations until she's back home in Mississippi again.

Hey Jane!  I hope you are reading this and know I love you!

The pictures of the boys -- I posted these for you - Jane!  Hopefully I'll see you sometime soon . . . so until then  . . . keep reading about . . .

                          the Ferrell boys and me!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ladies' Craft Night at Church!

Friday night was our first Ladies' Craft night at my church.  We are going to have crafting night once a month as a time of fellowship for all the ladies, young and old, at the church. 

We told all the ladies to bring a grapevine wreath and the materials to go on the wreath along with an appetizer to share.  There were so many delicious dips and sandwiches and sweets to eat! 

It was so much fun!  Everyone worked together . . . .and individually . . . to make their wreaths.

Karen and Mrs. Faye

Mrs. Marie and Amy

Mrs. Faye's wreath
Mrs. Marie's wreath

I brought a wreath that I had used last year for Easter.  I was hoping that some of the talented ladies at the craft night would help me to spruce it up for this year.  I knew it needed something . . . just didn't know what!?!

Julie working on my wreath.
 While everyone was working on their wreaths, I made a moss-covered letter "F" to hang on one of my doors.  Here's me and Julie with my newly-spruced up wreath and my mossy "F".

Some more Spring wreaths . . .
I love the "A" in the center.
Amy made two cute wreaths.


Julie with her wreath.

Shirley and Lena

So many really cute wreaths!  As you saw, I didn't make a wreath.  Since I already had a wreath that I could use, I wanted to make something different.  I'm very happy with my mossy "F".  I'm going to make another mossy monogram for my sweet friend, Charlotte, and I'll post the instuctions for how to do it . . . when I do it!  I forgot to take pictures while I was making my "F".  :)

I wasn't the only one that didn't make a wreath.  Mrs. Coleene and Laycee painted clay pots with acrylic paints and chalkboard paint.

And Angie made this awesome burlap cross!

And after seeing Angie's burlap cross, I know that a burlap "something" is going to be the next craft project for

                          the Ferrell boys and me

Recipes Reviewed: From the Ferrell boys & me . . .

On Monday night I made Baked Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes for dinner. I got the Baked Pork Chops recipe from a google search and they weren't very good.

The recipe involved battering and frying the pork chops for a few minutes on each side in a pan . . . and then baking them covered for 45 minutes in the oven  . . . AND THEN pouring a mixture of cream of mushroom soup, milk, and white wine over the pork chops . . . and then cooking the pork chops for an additional 30 minutes!

I was sceptical about the recipe and while the pork chops were tender and juicy . . . the breading was gross in the soup mixture.

I knew it was bad when Zach said it looked like the "chicken" had dissolved in the pan. Ha! :) The cats really ate it up!

The sweet potatoes were a different story all together. My daddy went through a cooking phase last year where he was baking sweet potatoes in the oven. He would peel them and cut them into cubes and then bake them in the oven.  They were so good.  Daddy cooked them with brown sugar and honey. The oven would "candy" the sweet potatoes and make them divine.

When I put sweet potatoes on the menu for this week, I planned on cooking them the way Daddy cooked them . . . only when I called my daddy about the recipe . . . he couldn't remember cooking the sweet potatoes last year much less the recipe! Ha!

He was convinced that it was Momma that cooked them . . .  She said it was him! Back and forth and finally they worked out what it was they did! It's sooo funny because they cooked those sweet potatoes so much for Wednesday night church suppers that Michelle knew immediately what I was talking about when I told her this story . . . but not my parents! Ha!

Here's what they think they did when they made their sweet potatoes . . .

John & Lucy's Candied Sweet Potatoes:

First, they peeled the sweet potatoes and cut them into even little cubes.

Then they drizzled a little olive oil on the sweet potato cubes and tossed them around a little before spreading the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet or in my case, the Pampered Chef large bar pan. A layer of brown sugar is then sprinkled across the sweet potatoes -- in my case -- generously sprinkled.

Then bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are done. I kept them in there until my pork chops were ready, but Daddy says it doesn't take that long for the sweet potatoes to get done.

Once you take them out of the oven, you drizzle some honey across the top and toss them around to get the honey over all them.

They were really good. Just like candied sweet potatoes! The boys wouldn't eat them, but Dave and I both loved them! The hardest part about making them was peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes . . . those things are hard!

I also made Michelle's chicken and dumplings Thursday night, and I am going to disclose her top secret - never been revealed - chicken and dumplings recipe! She uses the one on the Bisquick box! Ha!

I have made chicken and dumplings many times -- from scratch -- and they have never been as good as the chicken and dumplings my momma makes! Michelle told me to use the recipe on the Bisquick box and ta da! They were great! I didn't do the drop dumplings, but followed the rolled out biscuit recipe for the dumplings. So good!

If I can do it . . . anyone can!  Here's the recipe for the dumplings:

Michelle's Chicken & Dumplings
  • 1/4 cups Bisquick mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
Stir Bisquick and milk together until soft dough forms.  Sprinkle some of the Bisquick on pastry mat so the dough won't stick to it and then roll the dough out thin.  Cut the dough into strips for dropping into boiling chicken broth.   

Before making the dumplings, I had boiled 4 chicken breasts (with the skin on) in water for an hour or so.  I took the chicken out and let it cool.  I drained the broth through a paper towel and strainer.  I poured the broth back into the large cooking pot
and brought the broth up to a rolling boil.  I tore up the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and put the meat back in the broth.  I then started slowly adding the dumpling strips into the broth.  I had too much chicken in mine.  Next time I will use just 2 or 3 chicken breasts.    Reduce heat and cook chicken and dumplings uncovered for 10 minutes.  Then cover and cook for 10 minutes longer.

And finally, this Sunday morning, I made a Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring for my boys.  It's very similar to monkey bread.  Here's what I did:

You melt 3 tbsp butter and mix with 1/2 cup of pancake syrup.  In a separate bowl, you mix 1/3 cup of packed brown sugar with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Pour 1/2 of butter/syrup mixture in bottom of greased bundt pan:

Then  sprinkle 1/2 of brown sugar/cinnamon mixture:

Layer a can of Grands biscuits next, overlapping the edges. 

The recipe says you can use 2 small cans of biscuits instead of 1 can of Grands.  Now pour the remaining butter/syrup mixture and the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the biscuits.

Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20 to 24 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 1 or 2 minutes and invert onto plate.

This is similar to monkey bread, but then again it's not.  I don't think monkey bread has syrup in it.  Anyway, it was delicious!  and easy!  And unlike some monkey bread that can get hard once it cools down, these sticky buns were still soft and yummy after church -- way after it had cooled down.  So good.  I ate 3 pieces of it! I wish my picture looked better.

That's this week's recipes worth mentioning . . . I'll be posting my menu for next week later tonight or tomorrow!  Hope you try some of these recipes and let me know what you think!

                           the Ferrell boys and me