The Gift of Beauty.

Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

The sun was setting in a cold February sky, sinking behind massive cloud banks to the southwest. The clouds were shades of blue and purple, surrounded with pink and gold and crimson. I turned and gazed at them as I rode along, my hands freezing cold inside the thin jersey gloves, my face icy in the wind.

It was my 14th birthday, and I was spending it in a dreary Midwestern winter, where the damp cold seeped into your very bones. I went to school in the morning, and there was singing and good wishes. But, as soon as I got home, I had to change into work clothes, saddle up my horse, and ride 3 miles to my dad’s sawmill to help him cut lumber.


I hated that sawmill, and never more than in cold weather. I was glad I had a horse to ride, (my begging had finally paid off) but the cold was just going clean through me, till I reached the sawmill.

Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

The sawmill.

Several hours later, we had finished that load of pallet lumber and I climbed back on my horse and headed for home. As the sun set, those blue clouds looked for all the world like a mountain range off in the distance. I gazed at them, soaking in their beauty, thanking God for such a wonderful gift on my birthday! Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

We were poor, and my birthday always fell in the winter when finances were especially tight. This year, mom either forgot about my birthday, or couldn’t squeeze any extra gift money out of her budget.

Anyway, she had a small pair of new sewing scissors that she’d bought for herself, but she wrapped them and gave them to me. I hated sewing, it gave me hot prickles on my neck! But I knew she wanted to give me something, and I appreciated the effort. I knew we couldn’t afford nice gifts. I used those scissors for over a decade, and thought of mom every time I snipped thread. :)

So, after a somewhat dreary birthday – this stunningly gorgeous sunset was a feast to my eyes. God knew I loved mountains! He understood my heart! He knew I wanted to live out West, and He ‘gave me’ some mountains on my birthday! I felt His love and kindness and understanding for me. I felt it deep in my soul. He cared about me! I rode the final mile in near-darkness, but the memory of that sunset has stuck with me for over 20 years.Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

As a child, I felt misunderstood. I got angry because I felt like I couldn’t be heard. As I grew older, I tried explaining myself,  but that didn’t help. I didn’t know how to communicate what I was feeling, without getting into trouble. It was very frustrating, and I lashed out in anger because of it. But there were times when I caught a glimpse of how God understood me. He understood my longings, my fears, my deepest desires. He understood how much I wanted to please Him, how much I wanted to be ‘good’, how I hated myself for my failures. No one else understood me – but God did.

Many times this glimpse of the Father’s heart came through beauty. Beautiful scenes, beautiful pictures, beautiful words, beautiful music. It was like He gave these lovely treasures – memories – that I could carry in my heart forever. I still can get teary about a beautiful piece of music, picture, or story. Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

This world is so broken, so ugly and messed up from sin. But God – our Father – He still loves beauty. He gives us these gorgeous gifts freely to enjoy. I encourage you to start noticing beauty. To begin accepting it as a gift from a loving Father.

God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world. Click To Tweet

God knows what kind of beauty your heart craves. Is it the sight of a perfectly conditioned cow? The gentle ripples in a pond? The mesmerizing flicker of a campfire, or the iridescent sheen on a trout? Does a soaring hawk give your soul wings? Does the sound of a harmonizing chorus make your heart want to burst?

Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

Is it the dance of a cutting horse or the flashing of grouse on the wing? Maybe the lush green of a hay field ready to cut that makes you smile, or the sight of dewdrops on grass. Does the crash of ocean breakers make your heart thunder? Does the unexpected sight of a bright desert flower, or the grandeur of a black starry sky make your eye light up?Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

Whatever makes you stop and smile – thank God for that gift. He is a good, good Father who loves to shower us with beauty and love. Let’s stop rushing through life and see the roses, at least. Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

The funny thing is, I now live by the mountains. Practically in them! I often stop and wonder how this is real?! This gorgeous place we call home. It may not be long-term (cowboys rarely stay one place for real long), but while we live here, I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I am overwhelmed with the beauty around here. I ride my horse through these mountain meadows and just get lost in the wild beauty. God has generously fulfilled my childhood desire to live ‘Out West’ and by the mountains. I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve any of the good things in my life. But God understands. He gives good gifts. Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

Lest you think: “how perfect your life is”, let me assure you that there are trials in every type of life. My floors get crunchy and my laundry piles up. Sometimes we have relationship issues we have to work through, and we aren’t gonna retire in Beverly Hills. (horrors!) But, we serve a good God, and if you open your eyes to His beauty all around you, you might start seeing how much He loves you!

Beauty is a gift from God. God uses beauty to soothe our souls from a sin-weary world.

My real life mountain! We live here. Pinch me!

Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Southern Kitchen®. All opinions are entirely my own.

If you are looking for a way to use up those Christmas ham leftovers – I have the perfect, delicious recipe! This cheesy ham and potato recipe is easy and filling. It is a great comfort food for those days after Christmas when you just want a simple meal.

Cheesy Ham and potato casserole, easy one dish supper for Christmas leftovers!


I know how it is to host a crowd for the holidays – after the big Christmas rush, you just want to kick back and relax, but then – you still need to make meals! With this casserole, you can use up the leftover ham, add a bag of frozen hash browns, and a few other items and there ya go! Just pop it in the oven and you have a hearty, yet simple meal.

Tips: 
– You can use any kind of frozen potatoes, with peppers and onion, plain, shredded, cubed, etc.
– I live at a high altitude. You may not need to bake it as long as I did. Just start watching it at 40 minutes.
– You can use less cheese if you want.
– Salt is optional. If your ham is really salty, you may not need as much, if any.
– It will be pretty runny when you get it out of the oven. Let it set a few minutes before serving.
– If you don’t want to use cream of chicken soup, you can use white sauce. Recipe here.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole, perfect for christmas leftovers. Easy, one-dish meal.

 

Dice up some bell peppers (I used those mini ones, because that’s what I had in the fridge!), and dice a half of an onion.
I loved using my sharp paring knife from Southern Kitchen! It made the dicing super easy. And it has a smooth handle – no sharp edge between handle and blade. That is my pet peeve with paring knives! ALL my paring knives have it. But not this knife! This has become my go-to paring knife, because it has a smooth handle-to-blade transition. (yes, I am picky about my knives!)
I used some turkey ham for this recipe, but I will probably make it again after Christmas, using my leftover ham.

This recipe makes a great potluck dish, also. Just put it in a slow cooker for 4 hours on high.

Cheesy Ham and Potato casserole, perfect for using christmas leftovers! Easy, one-dish meal.

Slice up some ham – leftover ham works great – cut the slices in strips, then cut the strips into squares.

I have been using these Cangshan series knives for a while, now, and they are amazing. Their weight is balanced perfectly, so it is a pleasure to use them. You know how some knives are just nicer to use? You reach for that knife over and over? Well, I have been reaching for these knives first. They just fit nice in my hand, which makes them fun to use. Plus, they are sharp! They sliced smoothly through the ham, no sawing needed.

Cheesy Ham and Potato casserole, perfect for using christmas leftovers! Easy, one-dish meal.

Place the potatoes in a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients, and stir well. I just use frozen potatoes, but you can dice leftover baked potatoes, too.

Cheesy Ham and Potato casserole, perfect for using christmas leftovers! Easy, one-dish meal.Cheesy Ham and Potato casserole, perfect for using christmas leftovers! Easy, one-dish meal.

Spread mixture in a greased 9×13 or similar size baking dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes. (60-70 minutes if you live above 5,000 ft elevation) I like to add a small handful of cheese to the top for the last 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Cheesy Ham and Potato casserole, perfect for using christmas leftovers! Easy, one-dish meal.Cheesy Ham and Potato casserole, perfect for using christmas leftovers! Easy, one-dish meal.

I had fun creating and sharing this recipe, using products from Southern Kitchen, and guess what? You can submit your own recipe to Southern Kitchen! Southern Kitchen has regular recipe contests – more info here: https://www.southernkitchen.com/recipes/new

You can go browse their website to find inspiration and beautiful kitchen tools. And, to make it even better, I have a special offer for you! I have partnered with Southern Kitchen to offer my readers a special discount for Southern Kitchen’s online store. You can get $10 off your first purchase over $50 when you use coupon code WELCOME10. Go check them out! Think Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, etc. Hey, any cook I know would be happy to receive this knife set under the tree! 😀
Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole recipe, perfect for christmas leftover ham!
The knives I used for this recipe are the Cangshan TC Series 3-Piece Starter Knife Set + Wood Sheaths. They are sleek, modern, and oh, so sharp! I chose the 8 inch chef’s knife for dicing the ham, and the 3.5 inch paring knife for the peppers. There is also a 5 inch serrated utility knife included in the set. I like to use it for tomatoes and more.

The knives come with beautiful wooden sheaths that protect the blades. The sheaths are magnetic, so the knives stick to them, plus, you can stick them on the fridge or your magnetic knife strip for storage. I was excited when I saw that the sheaths were magnetic, just ask my husband, haha!
I really enjoy using these knives, they make meal prep fun! You can go to their store to find them.

Southern Kitchen Knife set, sharp, beautiful, sleek, modern.

I love how the sheaths are magnetic! SO handy!

Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 bag frozen hash browns (21 oz)
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • ¼ cup diced bell peppers, optional
  • ½ onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (opt: plus ½ cup for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, optional
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, mix well.
  2. Spread in a 9x13 baking pan.
  3. Bake at 375 for 40-60 minutes. Start checking at 40 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with ½ cup shredded cheese during last 5 minutes. (optional)
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

31 Days to a better marriage: Speak well of him.

31 days to a better marriage: speak well of him.

Do you realize the power of your words? You can build up your husband or tear him down – by how you speak of him. When you speak well of your husband, you are respecting him, you are showing others you care about him, you are reminding yourself of your love for him. I am sure you have heard women who are sarcastic and derisive of their husband. It just doesn’t sit right, does it? I mean, even if it is a funny story or whatever – we feel bad when we sense the pointedness of the remarks.

We need to be careful to respect our men with our words. Maybe you are just sharing a funny story that involves him, but be careful – some funny stories should never be shared. If you are feeling defensive about it, ask yourself if you would like if the situation was reversed? What if he told stories like that about you? That’s an easy test to see if it is actually funny, or maybe should be kept to yourself.


Speak well of your man in public. Even if he has faults – maybe especially because he has faults! Praise the good things about him, tell others what a great dad he is, what a hard worker, what an awesome hunter, buckaroo, farmer, whatever. It helps YOU remember why you like him, for one thing. It will reach his ears at some point, too, and encourage him.

The way we talk about people shows how we expect them to act. Click To Tweet

The way we talk about people shows how we expect them to act. If you are always telling your girlfriends how your husband works late without calling, you will notice every time he does that. Soon, it will seem like that is how he ALWAYS behaves. That issue becomes bigger than it is. Mountains out of molehills, you know.

But if, when that happens, you brush it off with: “well he is working on that extra project”, and focus on how dedicated and hard-working he is – you will be grateful instead of complaining.

Action: Think of one area that you have been complaining about to your friends. Ask yourself what your husband is good at –  start focusing on the good side of this issue, and being grateful. Whenever that issue comes up – remind yourself you are only taking it to God from now on, and share only the good trait.

Example: Your husband makes a mess in the kitchen after you have it cleaned for the night. You could whine about to your friends, OR, you could be thankful for how he eats anything you make without complaining, etc.

Read the rest of the series HERE.

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking.

I have been snapping shutters for many years, but only in the past 2 years have my photos begun to really show the mood and personality that I want in an image. The reason I am beginning to capture great photos, is largely due to two secrets I’ve learned. I am shooting with the same entry-level DSLR camera that I was using 5 years ago – but the quality of my images has greatly improved.

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranch

Last week they preg-checked about 800 cows. It was an ambitious undertaking, even in good weather! With shorter days, just getting it all done in daylight would be a challenge. As if things weren’t interesting enough – a snowstorm rolled in during the night, and preg-checking  would happen in an all-day snowstorm!


But ranchers are tougher than most, and they bundled up, saddled up, and were out at the first gray light – pushing cows through the alley to the chute. The vet was there, apron on and wand in hand. The snow swirled as they worked – a couple guys in the back, pushing cows, a couple in the alley, moving the cows into the chute, a few guys at the head – checking numbers, running the chute, writing down info.

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranch

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #wyoming #cowboy

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranchTwo secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranch

One man sat in the truck, out of the snow, so he could write down each cow’s information. That seemed like the best spot to be, on this stormy day! (Although he’s the kind of guy who’d rather just be out there working with the others, I think. ) Anyways, each man had his job to do, and they did it well. I didn’t help, but I did go out and take pictures. As Dave Stoecklein said:

“The worst weather makes the best pictures.”

He is so right! My photography made a huge leap when I read that and started implementing it. I wanted great photos, but my natural instincts and personality make me stay indoors (or at least in the truck) when it is bad weather. Especially cold! But I read that by Stoecklein, and decided to put it into practice. It worked! I started getting images far more interesting than those I captured from the comfort of my truck or house or behind the fence.

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranchTwo secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranch

I started getting up early to catch sunrises. I bundled up to get snow images. I just got wet capturing spring rainstorms. (maybe I should get a slicker? 😀 My fingers went numb from standing on a cold hillside on a chilly fall day. But my pictures began showing mood and interesting elements that they’d been missing.

I still dislike cold. I would much prefer to live somewhere tropical – somewhere that palm trees grow and the worst weather is storms over the ocean! But for now, I am here in Wyoming where weather is usually bad and always cold. And I will continue capturing the ranch life through snow and below-zero temps. 😉

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranchTwo secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranch

Another secret to great photos is one I learned from Chris Dickinson. I stumbled across his images on Instagram several years ago, and was immediately struck by the amazing action moments he captured! In your face brandings, over-your-head horses, and hooves just inches away. (that’s how it looks, anyways!)

“Don’t be afraid to get in close to the action!” Chris Dickinson

Chris is not afraid to get in close! He will let calves nearly run him over – and his photos show that intensity. It is mesmerizing – I study each picture at length, feeling the whoosh of air as hooves rush past, smelling the cow-trampled dirt, hearing the swoosh-and-thwack of the rope as it settles around the neck.

You don’t get that kind of action from the other side of the fence! You have to be in there, smelling, hearing, feeling. I have no desire to become the next CD Photog, (even if I could)  but I did learn to get in a lot closer, feel the action, not insulate myself from the experience. Again, my photos improved. I began catching the cowboys’ expressions, the cattle’s motion, the mood of the moment.

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranch

You can read all day about photography, but the best way to improve is to get out there and start experimenting. If you make some terrible shots, ruin some perfect moments – that will teach you faster than anything else, what not to do. It will force you to learn how to fix it and get better! :)

Another great way is to invest in a photography course or workshop. This will give you hands on help for your specific issues. It will teach you how to get great photos faster than just google or experimentation.

Leave me a comment and tell me what is your biggest challenge in making great photos?

Two secrets to great photos, and some preg-checking. #Wyoming #ranch

Two Secrets to Great Photosand preg-checking on the ranch

 

31 days to a better marriage; Hormones and Women.

31 Days to a better marriage; Hormones and us

Do you ever feel like you are so OVER dealing with hormones?! You know how it is with hormones and women; first you get weepy and cry over spilled milk. But the next two days you are just mad as a cow who’s stuck in a bog! Your husband can’t do anything right – you become like your 6 year old who screams: “Mooomm!!! He’s looking at me!” If you are lucky, you may get one week of feeling somewhat normal, before starting the whole cycle over again.

Hormones and women, 2 tips to help pms

Cow stuck in a bog. (we got her out)

OK, so that may be an exaggeration. But you get my point. It is hard. Our hormones change all over the place, and these changes happen every month. Up and down and sideways, till we just want to curl up and sleep for a week. Maybe that is actually what we need.


Anyways, my point is, you KNOW that your cycle does crazy things to your feelings, so do not, I repeat: do not make big decisions on your crazy days. Don’t get all crazy because “he doesn’t really love me…” or “he never does so-and-so, he must not truly care about me…”  Don’t go down that road! Chances are, he will seem totally lovable again in 2 days. And it is not fair to your man, to take out your physical problems on him.

Know your cycle. Track your symptoms for several months. See what days you feel cranky, and which you feel weepy. Keep track. Yes it is a pain, but it will help you tremendously to know what is coming – to know what to expect. You may feel like this is real, but then you look at your calendar and say; “you know what? maybe I’m overreacting.”

Take care of your health. It is your responsibility to take care of your health. Why should everyone around you suffer because you are too lazy to research what could help you? Or because you are too stingy to pay a few extra dollars per month for a product that would help. I am not a fan of drugs, for the record. I have found much better help in the natural remedies. But either way, try some things.

My best results have come from two things: Red Raspberry Tea and essential oils. I alternate them, some months taking tea daily, the next rubbing ClaryCalm™ on my abdomen. They both help a great deal! I found the tea helps more with cramping, and the oil helps more with mood swings. Try them both and see what helps you the most!

Ask God for help. We cannot separate our daily life from our spiritual one. Our holiness on Sunday is no higher than our holiness on Monday. Is your God bigger than your hormones? Do you use your hormones as an excuse to be crabby and unpleasant? While you get a handle on your health, you can still be Christ-like and kind. Ask God to fill you with his Spirit, to give you control over your emotions.

Yes, it can be tough. But think of it as a higher grade in school – once you pass the lower evel, then you move on to the higher grades. If you always stay in first grade, you will never go to college! But God wants us to grow and learn! Let’s not use physical problems as an excuse for our human nature. Pray for a sweet spirit when you are feeling yucky. Pray for wisdom in how you plan your days. Pray for wisdom to know how to treat your body.

Our holiness on Sunday is no greater than our holiness on Monday. Click To Tweet

Work with your body. Don’t plan too much on the days when you feel bad. (This is why you track your cycle) As much as possible, keep your schedule easy. Plan bigger things for those days you feel ‘normal’. On the worst days, remind yourself that it is the hormones talking. Don’t do or say anything rash. Don’t set up marriage counseling, or comment too much on social media. One snippy text when you are in ‘bad hormone mode’ can ruin a friendship. (related: don’t throw a friendship out the door from one snippy text. Maybe she was hormonal that day!!)

On the worst days, remind yourself that it is the hormones talking. Don't do or say anything rash.… Click To Tweet

Take naps, go to bed on time, eat more than chocolate and coffee. (raises hand) Sometimes I tell my man: “I am feeling emotional today – it will be better in a day or two. I’m sorry, it’s nothing to do with you!” That way he knows it is just hormones, and not to worry that I am losing my mind! Ha! That doesn’t give me excuse to be mean. It just helps him understand why I break into tears over a picture of a baby on facebook. 😀

Some folks find real relief from network-marketing type products. I have tried several, but the  only one that given me relief, is essential oils.
You can find those here —>  Essential Oils. 

Homones and women, two home remedies to help with monthly cycle

And with red raspberry leaf tea (must be from the leaves, not the berries). I drink one cup a day and if I am faithful about that, it helps with cramping tremendously! You can find that here —> Red Raspberry Tea.


If you have found help with your monthly cycles, please comment and share with us what has helped you!

How to make pancakes.

My kids love pancakes for breakfast! I have to say; their syrupy sweetness also goes pretty good with my morning cup of black coffee! :) So, I thought I would share my super easy recipe for fluffy pancakes.

How To Make Pancakes - Easy recipe!

The great thing about this recipe, is that you can just put all ingredients in one bowl and stir! I use a whisk and beat it good, till it is well mixed. You can also use an electric mixer – or even a blender. But the fastest way is just to whisk it good. It is ok if there are a few lumps in the batter. When you fry the pancakes the lumps will disappear. The batter is pretty runny, so you can add less milk for a thicker batter – which will also make slightly thicker pancakes.


How To Make Pancakes, easy recipe

You can use any skillet – but for our large family, I like to use my electric skillet. I can fry 4 at a time, which really speeds things up. Sometimes I make the pancakes a bit smaller, and fry 6 at a time. My Presto® electric skillet was a wedding gift – 17 years ago!! I didn’t use it much the first 7 years, but for the past 10 years I have used it quite a lot. I can also throw an egg on there with the pancakes, or some sausages…

It is non-stick, which makes cleanup a breeze. I usually think nonstick will get scratched too easily, but this skillet has lasted a long time. The spatula pictured is steel – probably not the best choice! But I am careful, and so far it has been fine.

How to make pancakes, easy recipeHow to make pancakes, easy recipe diyHow to make pancakes - easy recipe diy

We like syrup on our pancakes – but honey, maple syrup, or fruit is also delicious! Right now the days are getting colder, and somehow pancakes seem like the thing to make for the kiddos! They like peanut butter on theirs – which I encourage for the protein. :)

How to make pancakes, easy recipe diy

How to make pancakes.
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 14 pancakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in bowl.
  2. Mix will with whisk or electric mixer.
  3. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to pour onto hot griddle or frying pan.
  4. Fry till there are bubbles all over pancake - about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Flip to other side and fry for another 1 minute or till golden brown on bottom.
  6. Stack on a plate and cover with towel to keep warm.
  7. Spread with butter and drizzle with syrup.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 pancake

 

11 Delicious Beef Recipes for a Crowd

Ranch cooking is usually centered around beef recipes. And often – crowd-sized! I have to double or triple most recipes, when I am feeding the cowboys! I decided to go searching for all the beef recipes for a crowd that I could find, and compile them in one place for us ranch wives. :) Hopefully this will help simplify your meal-planning, the next time you need to feed a bunch of cowboys.11 delicious beef recipes for a crowd.

The Ultimate List of Beef Recipes for a Crowd

Here is a recipe from Dinner Then Dessert: Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
Serves 10


The Ultimate List of Beef Recipes For a Crowd

Here is a large batch of sloppy joes from Shaken Together Life: Big Batch Sloppy Joes For a Crowd.
No serving size stated, but I would guess it makes 20-25 sandwiches.

The Ultimate List of Beef Recipes for a crowd.

Here is a roast beef recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Roast Beef For a Crowd.
Serves 20-25 people.

The Ultimate List of Beef Recipes for a Crowd

A fun appetizer from Host The Toast: French Onion Beef Sliders.
Makes 24 sliders.

The Ultimate list of beef recipes for a crowd.

Easy beef recipe from Owl Haven: BBQ Beef Meatballs for a crowd.
Serves 24.

The Ultimate list of Beef Recipes for a Crowd

This looks wonderful for cold weather!  From Thriving Home Blog: Crowd-Pleaser Mexican Soup.
Serves 10-12.

The Ultimate list of beef recipes for a crowd.

Here is a big chili recipe from Allrecipes: Boilermaker Tailgate Chili.
Serves 22.

The Ultimate List of Beef recipes for a crowd.

This taco soup looks delicious!! from At Home With The Barkers: Easy Crowd-pleaser Taco Soup.
No serving size mentioned; I would guess around 8-10. Doubles easily.

The Ultimate List of Beef Recipes for a crowd.

These beef sandwiches would be a hit, from Aunt Bee’s Recipes: Hot Roast Beef & Cheese.
Serves 8.

The Ultimate List of Beef Recipes for a Crowd

More delicious sandwiches from Spend With Pennies: Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches.
Serves 12

The Ultimate List of Beef Recipes For a Crowd.

Here is a recipe for nachos! What a great, beefy, game-day snack! From Glitter and Spice: Loaded Beef Nachos
No servings listed, but it makes 2 large pans, so I would guess 10-12.

Pin this post for the next time you need a delicious, easy beef recipe for those hungry men. :)

11 delicious beef recipes for cowboys

31 Days to a better Marriage: Teaching the kids respect.

31 days to a better marriage, teach the kids respect

One huge way to show your husband love – is to teach the kids to respect him. They pick up on your attitude and opinions, so if you are always respectful and loving – chances are they will be, too.

When they are small, make a big deal about Daddy coming home. Rush to the door with them to greet him. Let your husband know that you and the kids can’t wait till he gets home!


Give him special treatment sometimes. Or all the time! It is a sign of security – not submission – when a wife finds fulfillment in treating her man special because she loves him. Get the kids in on it by bring him hot drinks in the winter or cold ones in the summer. Make it an honor to do special things for him like cleaning out his truck or folding his clothes. Little kids enjoy doing special things for the people they love. This practice will help them see their dad as someone who needs to be respected. (for his position, if not his character)

As they get older, don’t ever talk disrespectfully about him whether he is present or absent. Kids naturally don’t like when someone speaks ill of their father – just like they naturally don’t like anyone to speak ill of their mother! Sometimes they will come to you with questions when you must tell the truth – don’t ever lie – but you can still be respectful.

“Yes, dad made that decision and we might not agree, but we still need to respect him. Sometimes we disagree, but God has placed Dad as the leader in this family, and we are going to honor him.”

Never fight in front of the kids. Always present a united front. If Dad tells them no, but they come to you – you say no too. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with your husband. You stand with him. You back him up. Let them know that you will enforce dad’s rules. You can discuss disagreements privately, later.

My kids know I am the pushover! (I’m not proud of that) So every once in a while they come to me. Sorry but no. If dad said no, then I say no too! It won’t hurt kids to be disappointed occasionally – but it may hurt them to have parents who are not united.

Respect your husband by teaching your kids to respect him. It may change your marriage!

Read the rest of the series HERE.

Easy Jello Pudding Cake Recipe for your Holiday party!

When I was a kid, my mom made easy jello pudding cake often. It was one of my favorite desserts! The pretty jello paired with the creamy pudding was just great. Especially in the heat of a Southern Illinois summer – it was so refreshing!

Easy Jello Pudding Cake Recipe

Mom used strawberry jello most frequently, but sometimes she experimented with green or orange. I have used a white cake with blue jello(raspberry) for July 4th, green jello (lime) with pistachio pudding for St. Patrick’s Day, or red (strawberry) for Christmas. So many fun options!


The pudding is one of my favorite parts. I am not a huge fan of thick frosting, but this pudding is  just right. Creamy and sweet, but not too sweet! :)

The other great thing about this easy jello pudding cake, is how simple it is. First, you bake a cake mix according to directions on box. I use yellow but you could also use white cake mix.

When it comes out of the oven, let it cool 10 minutes while you mix up the jello. Mix 1 package jello (any flavor) with 1 cup hot water. When it is dissolved, add 1/2 cup cold water.

Poke lots of holes in the cake, with a fork. Make sure you get around the edges.

Take a large spoon and spoon the jello over the cake, slowly. This is somewhat tedious, but keep at it. Pay special attention to the higher areas where it just wants to run off. Keep spooning jello until it is all on. It seems like a lot but it will be fine. 😉 Then set your cake in the fridge to chill for several hours. Easy jello pudding cake recipe

After the cake is cold, mix the pudding and pour it over.Easy Jello Pudding Cake Recipe #holidayEasy Jello Pudding Cake Recipe #holidayEasy Jello Pudding Cake Recipe #holiday ;

Jello Pudding Cake Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 yellow or white cake mix
  • 1 box jello (any flavor)
  • 1 box vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
Instructions
  1. Prepare cake according to directions on box.
  2. Cool cake 10 minutes.
  3. Mix jello with 1 cup hot water till dissolved. Add ½ cup cold water.
  4. Poke cake with fork.
  5. Slowly spoon jello over cake.
  6. Chill cake for an hour.
  7. Mix pudding with milk.
  8. Pour pudding over cake.
  9. Serve.

 

31 Days to a better marriage, No disrespect.

I have covered this topic throughout the series, but today I wanted to point out several specific ways that we disrespect our husbands – sometimes without knowing it! I have been guilty of some of these, sadly. I ask God often to show me where I can grow in respecting my man.

31 days to a better marriage; no disrespect,

  • Correcting him in public. There is a time to speak, and there is a time to be silent. When your husband is telling a story or recounting an experience, it is a time for you to be silent. Does it really matter if he said it happened in January, when it really happened in February? Does it really matter if your uncle Fred is 76 years old instead of 74? I cringe when a man is trying to tell some story but he can’t get through 2 sentences without his wife correcting some minuscule detail. This is disrespect, ladies, and it needs to stop. Let him tell the story.
  • Telling him what to do. There is a fine line between asking for help and ordering him around. I am a firm believer in asking for help. But I am just as firm, that ordering your husband to do things is disrespectful. Let’s be careful of our tone of voice…

    “Her voice was ever gentle, low and soft, and excellent thing in woman.” Ma Ingalls, Little Town on the Prairie.

  • Never wanting intimacy.  I know — your hormones are all over the place, you are drunk-tired, you are tired of little people touching, hugging, pulling at you all day long. But If you never want to get sexy in the bedroom – he will feel disrepected. I love this article from Sheila Gregoire. (my favorite resource on intimacy)

    “You know the things that drain you: talking to certain people, housework, running around after kids, paid work, chauffeuring, scheduling, all the things that go into a normal life. These things aren’t necessarily bad, but you need to figure out what also charges you…” Sheila Wray Gregoire

  • Don’t correct his parenting. It’s ok if the baby doesn’t get his hair washed with a special soap, or the diaper gets on backwards, or he lets them eat more sugar than you would. If he is helping you – be thankful. There is no reason to disrespect him because you are Type A or whatever. It is 100x better to have a loving, involved dad who feeds his kids sugar, than to have a absent dad. (research the crime rates in homes with no father) Besides, it smacks of pride to think your way is best! Let him parent how he wants. If it is a big issue – talk to him privately about it.
  • Thank him for providing for your family. If he is working, thank him! If you are also working, you still need to thank him. Remember the Golden Rule. Men like to be providers – let him know you appreciate it.
  • Get excited about his dreams, and help him pursue them! You may not be interested in tagging sharks off the coast of California, but if he is – learn a little bit about it! Help him research  his dreams and encourage him. He will love you for it.
  • Take care of yourself, physically. Don’t ‘let yourself go’ because you have your man. Get dressed daily. Comb your hair. And by all means – take a shower daily!! (I won’t hear any excuses) I have raised 7 babies and moved 12 times and been sleep-deprived more than I would like to remember. But there are not many days when I didn’t get a shower. Please, for the love of your husband, take a shower! (3 kids under 3, anyone? been there)

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. Feel free to comment with your ideas and tips on how we can show respect to our husbands.

Read the rest of the series HERE.