Five things that Make me Happy Friday!

Well I am really excited the weekend is here!! In a few hours I will be heading to Branson with a good friend to the Women of Joy conference! I love women's conferences!! I can't wait for a girls weekend filled with fellowship and shopping! Here are some things that made me smile this week:

{Sometimes I just love being a girl!}

{Half price book fair...will always put a smile on my face}

{Packing for Branson}

{Hershey and her buddy...so cute!}

{I got my cap and gown in the mail yesterday! I can't believe graduation is almost here!}

Happy Friday!


Tasty Tuesday...Plus Tornados!

Last night was very eventful! Jonathan and I had two lovely ladies over for dinner. We managed to get dinner cooked between hiding in the bath tub and the electricity going out. It was definitely a scary night and I am so thankful that Conway was safe from the tornados!

For dinner we ate Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole. This is a Paula Deen recipe, from her cookbook The Lady & Sons, Too!

- One 6-ounce package long-grain and wild rice, cooked according to directions
- 4 cups diced cooked chicken breast
- Two 10 3/4-ounce cans cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
- One 8-ounce package Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Dressing Mix
- 1/4 cup butter

(I know sounds terrible for you! But you can use healthy cream of chicken, mayo, and butter. I even substituted some butter for spray butter. Shhh.)

Put the rice in a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Layer the chicken on top of the rice. Mix the soup, mayonnaise, and curry powder, and pour this over the chicken. Sprinkle the dressing mix over the casserole and dot with butter. {Or pour spray butter on top. Shhh.} Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

{We served with a yummy side and cookies!}

{Olivia, Leah, and me}

{Olivia had a light in case we had to eat in the dark!}



Five Things That Make me Happy Friday!

"In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." - Ephesians 1:7

Happy Good Friday everyone! I am really excited it is Easter weekend! I love Easter...just read the verse above. I am so thankful for this weekend.

I hope everyone had a great week! I have been sick all week, but still had a great week! Today we have an Easter egg hunt at school, I am really excited to watch all of the smiles on our kids faces!

Here are some things that made me happy this week:

{Super cute dog treats...they look so yummy I think I would eat them!}

{New coffee mug!}

{Beth Moore conference....still want to update you on that}

{New book I am reading}

{This was Hershey's birthday picture from last year when she turned 1. This week she turned two!}

Oh and one last thing. My supervisor at school sent me this message last night:

"You can now start celebrating! All your fine work has been scored, essays read, and end of semester completed!"

Yay!! I am finished with school!!!!

Hope you have a great weekend!!


Tasty Tuesday: Cheesecake

One of my favorite things to bake is a cheesecake. I was scared the first time I made one because I was always told they were extremely hard to make. Jonathan and I lived at the Links our first year of marriage, and our neighbors loved to cook. She always gave me good recipes to try! One day, she and I were talking about cheesecake and she said she had an easy cheesecake recipe. So, I got over my fear and tried her recipe. She was right, it is easy and yummy!

- 3 8-ounce packages of softened cream cheese (I use Neufatchel cream cheese)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 slightly beaten eggs
- 1 solid squirt of lemon juice

Crust recipe can be found here! I use the same graham cracker crust for everything! Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a 8 or 9 inch spring-form pan.

1. Mix cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined.

2. Beat in milk until smooth (will be creamy).

3. Stir in eggs and lemon juice (don't over mix; well blended).

4. Pour filling onto crust. Spread evenly.

5. Put the spring-form pan in a shallow pan to prevent spills.

6. Bake 375 degrees for about 45 minutes for an 8 inch pan and 35 minutes for a 9 inch pan; or until a 2 to 2 1/2 inch area around the outside edges appear set (not jiggly) when gently shaken.

7. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Using a small knife, loosen the crust from the sides of the pan. Cool for 30 minutes more. Remove the sides of pan and cool completely on rack. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

8. Top with your choice of fruit, nuts, and syrups!



Denver's Guilty Dog

So I am sure most of you have seen this video, but I hadn't until this past weekend! Beth Moore showed it at her conference and I was crying I was laughing so hard! I just love it because it reminds me of Hershey!!!

I hope to update you soon on my experience at the Beth Moore conference. It was amazing!!

Hope you have had a great Monday!


Five Things That Make me Happy Friday!

I am so excited today is Friday!! Why you ask....well because my mom and aunt are coming to town and we are going to the Beth Moore conference this weekend! I am soooo excited! I absolutely love Beth Moore. She is so funny, stylish, and has a huge heart for God! She is so inspirational and I can't wait to see her live.

Here are some pictures from my week:

{My students are such awesome writers that I had to hang their Easter writings in the hallway to show off!}

{I finally had a night where I propped up my feet and snuggled under my favorite blanket while watching....}

{You've God Mail...one of my favorite movies of all times!}

{Coffee mug I painted a couple of years ago}

{New spring candle...Kiwi Berries. Smells delicious!}

Happy Friday!

Glorious Day

The reality of my internship ending finally hit me this week. I am really excited about graduating and getting my teaching license, but I honestly do not know how I am going to say good bye to Mrs. Rooney and the students I have been working with this semester. I absolutely dread my last day. I am praying now that God would prepare my heart for that day. I had a melt down the other night. I started picturing their smiles and the funny things the kids do and I lost it. I am going to miss them so much. I just never thought I could love a group of students the way I love them. I know this is something I will have to get used to every year...saying good bye to one class and welcoming a new one. Children are so special. Their smiles can make my bad day an awesome day! I am so thankful that God placed me at Guy-Perkins with Mrs. Rooney and her class. It has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life!

Matthew 18:1-4 says:

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said, 'I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.' "

Kids are a special gift from God and I am so thankful that I get to work with them everyday!

This has nothing to do with kids, but have you heard the song Glorious Day by Casting Crowns? It is an awesome song! Here are the lyrics:

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

I tear up every time I hear this song. This song is such a great reminder of God's love.

I hope you are having a great week!!


Tasty Tuesday

The other day I posted about the pizza party we had with our friends, so I want to share the pizza recipe with you today! I got the crust recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. You know, the red and white checkered one that everyone has in their kitchen?! We love seasoned crusts so we changed it up a bit!

- 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour (we use whole wheat flour)
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil or olive oil (we use extra virgin olive oil)
- Salt, pepper, and oregano

1. In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/4 cups of flour, yeast, and salt; add warm water and oil. Beat with a mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. (I cover with a clean dish towel and set it by the heated oven, this will help it rise.)

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough half into an 11-inch circle. Transfer dough circles to prepared pans. Build up edges slightly. (Brush extra virgin olive oil onto crust.)

{These are mini pizzas so they didn't fill the entire pizza pan}

4. Bake about 10 minutes at 425 degrees. (Once it is finished baking, brush more evoo onto the edges of the crust and top with crushed black pepper, sea salt, and oregano.)

5. Spread pizza sauce onto crust and top with desired meat, vegetables, and cheese. Bake another 10 minutes or until bubbly. (We grill ours the last 10 minutes.)



Weekend Projects

This has been the first weekend for us to be at home in a long time! It is so nice to spend Saturday mornings at my own house and wake up in my own bed. I love to get up and drink coffee while sitting on my own couch, cook a yummy breakfast, and not have rush to be at work! I love Saturday mornings at my house! This weekend has been very productive. I saw this super cute table and chairs in the Ballard Designs catalog. I love the green color but not the price of $299! So...I decided I would paint my table and chairs that color too!

{This is our table before. I have had it for several years and it was starting to rust. It was in major need of a makeover!}

{My mom told me about this spray paint that stops rust. I found the perfect color!}

{And a couple of hours later, I have a brand new table! Now I need to plant some flowers and find a cute pillow for the chair!}

{Next on our agenda was the clean up the yard. We raked for hours! I am so sore today!}

{I have now waited until the last minute to work on some homework. I get to teach again this week and I am so excited! I am going to have some fun Easter activities planned!}

Now if I could just motivate myself to get out there and go for a run!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Burgin Pizza Party!

Jonathan and I had three of our favorite people over the other night for a pizza party! It was sooo much fun! I made 5 personal pan pizza crusts and everyone got to choose their own pizza toppings. Jonathan then took them outside and cooked them on the grill! Grilled pizza is the absolute best!

{Pizza toppings!}

{Katie, Macy and Jonathan}

{Macy and Hershey}

{Pizza on the grill....yum!}

{Rachel making her pizza}

{Macy and Katie}

{Rachel's veggie pizza}

{My pizza - turkey sausage and turkey pepperoni}

{Time for Baggo!}

{Katie, me, Macy and Rachel}

{Katie and Rachel}

{Jonathan, Macy and Hershey}

{Katie and Rachel}

{Macy and her bff Hershey}

You should all try a grilled pizza! I promise it is delicious!