Monday, December 14, 2009

Random Act of Kindness

Around noon today I received a call from the local library. Assuming it was in regards to Topher’s overdue book that has mysteriously vanished I only half listened. As the gal continued to talk it dawned on me that she was saying "Nathan." Well, instantly I was upset that he had a book that had some how eluded me too. Still not really paying attention I thought it was odd when she gave me someone's name, mentioned Toys 'R Us and gave me a phone number.


I replayed the message only to find out that a very kind woman had found Nathan's wallet in the Toys 'R Us parking lot and the only ID was his library card. Thank goodness he had that at least! The woman contacted the library, left her contact info and the library took the time to look him up and call the number on file - me.

I called the good Samaritan and she agreed to meet me near the Toys 'R Us right then to return the wallet. I thanked her over and over and she explained she also has sons and knows how boys can be.

Usually so careful, I have to admit I was disappointed that I hadn't even noticed he had dropped it. We were at Toys 'R Us at Nathan's request so he could spend the remainder of his money on a gift for Topher. It would have been so sad for him to lose his prized wallet after such a thoughtful trip for him.

At this time of year we have so much to be thankful for, including random acts of kindness by wonderful strangers.

Have you experienced or given any random acts of kindness this holiday season?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Soup-er Saturday


I feel like a need a nap just looking at this hearty stew.  All-in-one and so easy, what more can a busy Mom ask for?


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup water or red wine
2 reduced-sodium beef bouillon cubes
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
6 white onions or yellow onions, quartered
4 medium potatoes, cut into 1-1/2-inch slices
3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch slices
12 large fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced celery

Place flour in a large resealable plastic bag. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large skillet, brown meat in oil in batches; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine the tomato soup, water or wine, bouillon and seasonings; pour over beef. Add the onions, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and celery.

Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until meat is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve with noodles or French bread.
Yield: 8 servings.

Visit A List Makers Life for more yummy, cold weather must-have soups.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Babies

First snow of the season!

Even Curious went outside to see what all the fuss was about... and then quickly ran back inside, gingerly tip-toeing through the flakes.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dad and Me Cut a Tree!

"Children, listen carefully," said the man in the red knit cap.  "You are here to cut a Christmas tree.  What you may not know but soon will see is that the trees are scattered far and wide.   The good ones are cleverly hidden among the bare and sickly looking ones." 

"Also, to make it even more interesting, to us anyway, there are fewer good trees than families here to cut them.  On my mark you may rush through the pine branches searching for 'the one' or you may step over to the open hatch of my Subaru for a bite of stew, a homemade brownie baked by goodness knows who and some hot chocolate.  Of course, it is completely up to you which you do first." 

"Oh, you should know that we only have 3 saws to pass among all of you, they are small so I suggest allowing your children to do the cutting..., with that said - Good Luck!"

Thank goodness my husband is the master at making things right when it comes to our kids and overcoming a poorly executed community event.  Next year we will be visiting a normal old tree lot and skip this "experience" of cutting our own.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Soup-er Saturday


Here is what we are trying out this weekend....

{photo courtesty of Betty}

Cheddar Melt Chili

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1 1/3 cups hot water
1 box Hamburger Helper® Cheddar cheese melt
1 cup Old El Paso® Thick 'n Chunky salsa (any variety)
1 2/3 cups milk
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cans (15 oz each) spicy chili beans in sauce, undrained
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)

1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

2. Stir in hot water, sauce mix and uncooked pasta (from Hamburger Helper box), salsa, milk, chili powder and beans. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently.

3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.

4. Remove from heat; stir. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese and tomato.

Katie is heating things up at A List Makers Life with even more yummy soups, go on over and see for yourself.

Friday, December 4, 2009

35 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Me and Lilly, being so silly,

while Daddy reads,

and I sneak in for a snuggle!

I'm a little late to the link up but all of the other Moms were right on time, go see them at Forever in Blue Jeans, if ya fancy a gander.

********************52 Weeks********************

52 Weeks is a year long challenge for YOU to be in a picture once a week for 52 weeks. We are always the ones behind the camera, this is YOUR chance to get out in front and be in the pictures with our family. We are glad you are joining this challenge. More importantly your family will really enjoy having you in the picture. Thanks for playing along! Oh, you can just jump in now with 1 of 52, you're not getting off that easy! Now go take a picture!