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Archive for May, 2010

Trampoline Fun I

Canon Ball

Nine Yr Old Boy Splits

Maybe he shouldn’t attempt that one again…

Hey, Dude!

Clark’s a Power Ranger…And Cade’s the Model…LOL

I mean, just look at that hair!

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Living in the Project

We are having work done to our house :0)  We’ve already done several things inside, but now it’s time for the outside!

Phase 1

And this is what I found in my back yard…looks like some kind of Noah’s Ark thing going on….

It’s just all the old awnings that were on the front of the house.  The kids think it’s a pretty cool new playhouse, though.

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Bran Muffins….are you serious?!  Aren’t bran muffins for old people?  Aren’t bran muffins dry and crusty and gross?  Isn’t there a rule about having grey or lavender or blue colored hair before eating these?

No way!! Not with these babies!!  These are soft and moist and delicious and they are seriously my favorite muffin.  I basically lived on these after I had my babies.  They were wonderful….and helpful (if you know I mean).

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

  • 4 c bran flakes
  • 5 c flour
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 5 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c butter, melted & cooled (or butter shortening or margarine or a mixture of these)
  • 4 c buttermilk

In a large (very large) mixing bowl, combine flour, cereal, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Stir well.  In another large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and butter.  Stir well.  Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir very well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Keep batter covered and DO NOT STIR.  Will stay fresh in fridge for up to 6 weeks (but mine never lasts that long!)

When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease or line as many muffin tins as you want or need.  DO NOT STIR BATTER!  Just scoop batter from the top of the bowl and into prepared tins. You make think that it looks a little questionable.  Trust me…all the good stuff as risen to the top!  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Here it’s been in the fridge overnight:

One scoop taken off the top:

Ready to go in the oven (and that’s my “cold coffee” in the background…lol)

Hot out of the oven:

And butter makes all things good…better!!

I approve

This kiddo approves

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The past 5 years have been a blur.  I really thought I had it all together after I had Reagan.  I remember feeling on top of the world.  Like I could do anything!  I finally began to get involved in our church…I had 2 kids, one boy, one girl…life was going great.

And then I got pregnant again….and developed depression.

Struggled between having joy over my 3rd baby and realizing he was going to be my last….because of my depression.

Saw our church struggle with one pastor leaving, one pastor retiring and losing his beautiful wife to a very sudden death, and another pastor coming to our church, only to leave….all within the same year.

Saw my parents struggling in their  full-time ministry (of over 20 years) at a children’s home…only to be knocked down even more and it rocked my world.  Turned it upside.

Saw my brother srtuggle with becoming a single parent.

Saw my sister and her husband struggle with a legal battle at his work place…ultimately making them uproot from their home and their former life.

I lost over 50 pounds…only to gain it all back…plus some…and sink further into depression.

Saw my aunt die from cancer and leave behind her two adult children….they’d already lost their dad to cancer in 1995.

Saw my aunt and uncle knocked down by the same ministry that parents had been in…which resulted in them also leaving the ministry.

Saw my grandmother battling sickness and dimensia.

I sunk even further into depression.  I even went to counseling for a couple of months.

I had a conversation with Mike the other day about how I can honestly only remember about 3 things from last summer.  How sad is that?  I can barely remember anything significant from the entire school year either.

Yeah, depression will do that to you.  It sucks your life away, and you don’t even know it’s happening to you.

However, the sun has come out….and the Son never left me, really.

And I’m finally ready for a fresh start.

I’m ready to quit just trying to survive.

I’m ready take on being a better mom.

I’m ready to bring order back to my house.

I’m ready for my family to not be fragmented anymore.

This summer is bringing changes…good changes.

I’m ready to see where this new path takes us…takes me.

I’m excited and hopeful and a little scared all at the same time. 😀

I’ll keep you posted.

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Like Father Like Son

Mike & Clark & Golf

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The weather is finally acting more like Spring/Summer, and I’m getting into the mood for salads.  And this one is yummy!

Yummy Chicken Salad

  • 4 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • dash of onion salt
  • dash of pepper
  • chopped red grapes
  • chopped pecans

Place sour cream, sugar, onion salt, and pepper in medium bowl.  Add shredded chicken and stir well.  Add desired amount of grapes and pecans.  Stir again.  Serve on favorite bread….this is especially yummy on these!

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Addiction

I’m here to confess.

My name is Shara Campbell and I have an addiction.

An addiction to Bags: purses, handbags, totes, etc.

I love them even more if I find them for a steal at Target.

Like this one that I found for $5:

Right after Mike went to Africa a couple of years ago, I went through a giraffe phase.  And Mike was able to bring me some really cool stuff from Africa with giraffes on all of it.  And they are still my favorite animal…so tall and graceful…but really I just wanted this:

I had it all of about 3 days when it got that lovely red marker print on it.  Thanks, Clark.

And I love this bag…the army green color and the softness of the material, but look at all those pockets!!  It can hold a lot of stuff and I love using this one trips:

I’ve gotten several from my mother-in-law, Sue.  And I’ve loved them.  My sis-in-law, Leslie, introduced us to a store in TX called Sam Moon….cheap, awesome bags and jewelry, and Sue has gotten a few from there.  However, she got me this one (not from Sam Moon, I think…):

quilted brown handbagAnd Mike’s immediate response: “Mom, did you skin your couch to make this?”

Sue and I couldn’t stop laughing and we both had tears in our eyes.  Mike can come up with the funniest stuff…but what’s even funnier is that he was half serious.  They really did have a couch close to this fabric…lol

My newest purchase was not bought at Target or given to me, but I bought it at Accessory City in Wichita, which is very similar to the Sam Moon in TX.

It’s a Bag Lady’s dream…..

And it still wasn’t over the top expensive: $20

But I love it!!

I’m also addicted to this but that’s another story…..

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I forget to show you Mike’s birthday dinner:

Steak with Ranch Potato Wedges and toasted French Bread…I added the Colorful Veggie Salad to my plate…and my plate only.  No one else likes it but me.

As I said, yesterday, Mike requested 2 desserts for his birthday 😀 He doesn’t usually get real specific about what I make or bake.  He’ll eat just about anything.  But  for his birthday he knew just what he wanted.  And since he requested no presents because he’s saving up for an IPad….the least I could do for him is bake what he asked for:  Key Lime Pie and this, Pretzel Salad.  The name itself is a bit deceiving, in that there’s a whole lot more going on in this “salad” than pretzels.  And just for the record…I don’t think it’s much of a salad, but a whole lot more like a dessert.  Not only is it one of Mike’s favorites, but Cader’s, too.

Pretzel Salad

Crust:

  • 2 c crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 c butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 12 oz carton of cool whip

Topping:

  • 1 pkg orange gelatin
  • 1 pkg peach gelatin
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 can diced peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare crust:  Combine pretzels, butter, and sugar and press into bottom of 9×13 pan.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Prepare topping: Combine gelatin with boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Add pineapple and peaches.  Place in refrigerator or freezer just until starting to set but not firm.

Prepare filling:  Whip cream cheese, sugar, and cool whip.  Spread over top of cooled pretzel crust.

Pour slightly set gelatin over top of cream cheese filling.  Place entire dessert into refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until gelatin topping is completely set.

You can see all the delicious layers….

Salty, sweet, creamy, smooth…yep it hits all the right senses.  A perfect dessert 😀

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Key Lime Pie

Today is my sweet hubby’s birthday.  I won’t tell you his age…you can ask him yourself.  I’ve posted about him a lot…he’s wonderful, supportive, funny, encouraging, Godly…he’s a fantastic husband and outstanding daddy to our 3 kiddos.  He didn’t ask for a lot.  Actually, he only requested 2 desserts…no cake.  The first one I’m posting is Key Lime Pie.  The other I’ll post tomorrow.

Key Lime Pie

  • 1 lg graham cracker crust
  • 3/4 c juice of key limes (about 20-25 key limes)
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Squeeze limes to get the required amount of juice.  Zest several limes to get 1 tablespoon of zest.  Combine juice, sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, and zest.  Pour into graham cracker crust and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until set but not browned.  Top with cool whip, if desired.

This is little pie is a bit deceptive….it seems so simple. Just stir everything together, right?!   However, if you don’t have a handy lemon/lime press/juicer or garlic press to juice all those key limes…or if you don’t have a zester/microplane to zest limes…this pie is a lot of work.  I don’t have those nifty neato tools.  But if this is going to be one of Mike’s new favorites for me to make every year…trust me!  I’ll be making a trip to Target to get me some new kitchen toys 😀  Then I’ll be able to whip up this awesome pie in no time!!

I don’t typically like sweets to be tart.  If it’s supposed to be sweet then it should be sweet…not sour.  Are you following me?  However, Mike goes for all the tart/sour “sweets” every time.  Sour Skittles…Sweet Tarts….Sour Twizzlers…Lime with his water…Limeades from Sonic….you see where I’m going?  Okay.  With all that being said…this pie was really good.  I’m not just saying that because I made it.  I’ve made lots of stuff that has bombed.  I actually attempted a Key Lime pie last year that was…uhhh…gross.  But this year I was successful.  Yeah!!  I really think the fresh lime juice and lime zest really made the difference.  And just for the record…it’s hard to go too wrong with sweetened condensed milk.  Can I get an amen?!

So, Mikey….Happy Birthday, Baby.  I love you.

The stinging citrus juice on my fingers was worth it.

The fact that my hands still smell like limes was worth it.

You are worth it.

(and since you didn’t want any presents for your birthday…I think I’ll  now go buy those new kitchen toys…you know, so I can make this pie again whenever you want me to :D)

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This is one of my favorite salads.  This is also the salad that inspired the Ranch Vinaigrette that is always in my fridge :0)

Colorful Veggie Salad

  • 6 c fresh broccoli florets
  • 6 c fresh cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 c cherry tomatoes, halved (though I used romas this time)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced

Dressing:

  • 1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2/3 c oil
  • 1/2 c vinegar

Mix all veggies in a large bowl.  Prepare dressing and pour over veggies.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy

But this, my precious 1st born…thinks this salad is vile and gross (because it’s all things veggie), but what does he know?

Could you believe these eyes?

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