Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have been wanting to go to Lifeway's dotMom conference for a few years.  Between moving and having Emma, I just haven't been able to get there.  When I knew we were moving to Kansas and found out that dotMom was going to be in Texas, I was determined to go!
The devil tried his best to prevent me from making it, but thankfully the Lord provided!  Due to the winter storm last week, my flight to Dallas on Thursday was cancelled.  When Bryan got home from work on Wednesday evening, he encouraged me to go ahead and drive to Oklahoma.  My friend, Marcia, lives at Ft Sill and was going to drive down and pick me up from the airport on Thursday night.  Instead I arrived at her house around 1am on Thursday morning and spent the night/morning.  After Marcia got off work on Thursday afternoon we drove down to Dallas.
We checked into our room at Towne Place Suites in Lewisville, Texas.  This was my first time staying at Towne Place and I was very impressed.  The whole hotel was cute and trendy and a great price.
On Friday morning we got up and headed over to the Embassy Suites in Frisco.  The conference kicked off just after lunch and continued until almost 5pm on Saturday.  We were refreshed, encouraged, uplifted and challenged by worship, breakout sessions and general sessions.
Travis Cottrell and his band led our worship.  We sang a mix of popular contemporary Christian songs and traditional hymns.  The music was SO good and you could just feel the presence of the Lord in that room!
Our speakers for the general sessions were Angie Smith (who I was so excited about seeing!), John Croyle, Vicki Courtney and Priscilla Shirer.  We were inspired and challenged by each speaker and I hope to write more about what I learned from their respective sessions.
The breakout sessions were a great opportunity for us to hear from speakers in smaller groups.  On Friday I learned tips on home organization from Kathy Peel, and Sissy Goff led an awesome breakout called Raising Girls.  Our breakouts on Saturday started with Fashion for Moms which was lots of fun and led by Melanie Shankle, and the last session of the weekend was Sex & Marriage by Blake & Ronique Wilson.
The weekend went by too fast, but I am so thankful that I was able to experience dotMom.  It was a much needed break from my wife and mom duties.  However the best part was getting to experience the conference with 2 of my dear friends from when we were all stationed together at Fort Campbell.  During the little time that we weren't in the conference, we were eating, (speed) shopping, and of course staying up late talking!
There will be a second dotMom conference held in Chattanooga, TN later this year.  If it is at all possible for you to get there, you must go!  I am already looking forward to dotMom 2014!

By the end of the weekend, our minds and hearts were full!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Snapshots

The past week in iPhone photos:

Miss M at Crown Center

Future Commander in Chief!

Miss E & Cupig

M's self photo


Our first apartment in Lawton - scary!

Our sweet friend, Miss K, taking a little rest in the car.


Priscilla Shirer bringing the word!

My beloved Army wife friends

CFA sauce anyone?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Shoe Organizers & Rubber Totes

Like crafting, organization just isn't one of my gifts.  When I realized Kelly's Show Us Your Life topic for this week was organization tips, I figured I'd have to sit it out.  I did eventually think of 2 very simple tips I could share.  They both require almost no work and are inexpensive.  I hope these are able to help you out just a little!
The first idea I'd like to share is using an over the door shoe organizer for more than just shoes.  Since it's the middle of winter, hats, gloves and scarves seem to be scattered by both our front and garage doors.  I bought a very basic shoe organizer at the PX for about $7.  I hung it inside the coat closet and it is such a great place for stuffing our winter accessories!  There are so many other ways you could use one of these.  With 2 girls in our house, there are Barbies and doll clothes everywhere.  This would work great for storing those too.  Oh, the possibilities!

I don't have a picture of this yet, but for my 2nd idea, all you need is a large rubber tote.  I have an open one sitting on the floor of each of my daughter's closets.  When I realize they have outgrown an article of clothing, I just place it straight into the bin.  This saves me from having to spend a lot of time going through their closets pulling out clothes that don't fit when the seasons change.  When the bin from Miss M's room is full, it goes into storage so the clothes will be ready for Miss E when she is big enough for them.  When the bin from Miss E's room is full, I sell or donate the contents of it and we start all over again!

Do you have a great organizing tip to share?  I could definitely benefit from learning them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Recipe: Taco Casserole

We have Taco Tuesday at our house on a regular basis.  Miss M loves tacos and quesadillas so we know that she will do a good job of eating her dinner on these nights.  I, however, have a hard time eating the same things over and over, so I find taco related meals for us to work in.  
I came across this recipe and it has become one of my favorites for Taco Tuesday.  The first time we had it, I just thought it was okay.  Each time I have made it since then though, I have enjoyed it more and more.  It's actually a pretty low calorie meal, but you would never know that by tasting it!

Taco Casserole

1 (8.5oz) package corn bread or muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1-1.5 lbs ground beef with taco seasoning
1 can black beans
1 cup (8oz) sour cream
1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped or salsa
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1 can sliced olives

Combine the corn bread mix, egg and milk until blended.  Spread into a small baking or casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Combine taco meat, beans, and olives.  Spread over corn bread.
Combine sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese and onion.  Spread over meat mixture.  Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Top with tomato or salsa, lettuce and remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Make Your Own Snow Globe

I call myself a wannabe crafter.  I really wish I was a crafty person, but that's just not a talent that God blessed me with.  Every once in a while, I'll give a craft a try though.
Last year I came across this tutorial for making homemade snow globes.  I thought it would be fun to do with Miss M.  Little did I know, it would come to our rescue during a dramatic 5 year old's crisis!
We took a family trip to Zoo Atlanta last August.  We told Miss M she could choose one souvenir to buy and she chose a small snow globe.  As we were climbing into the car to leave, she dropped her snow globe!  The glass shattered and Miss M became hysterical.  As I was trying to calm her down, I somehow remembered the snow globe tutorial.  I assured her that we would make her another snow globe.  She calmed down and trusted that her mama would make it alright.  The pressure was on!

This is what we started with.  You can use any figurines that you would like for the base of the snow globe.

The only other things you need are a jar, water, super glue, liquid glycerin and glitter.    

I would have liked a jar with smooth, clear glass, but I just decided to use a small canning jar we already had.  

We glued the figurine to the lid and let it sit for a day.  The next day (or whenever we actually got around to it) we also glued the lid to the ring that would hold it on.  

After we were sure that was dry, we filled the jar with water and added a few drops of liquid glycerin.  I got the liquid glycerin at CVS.  I couldn't find it myself but as soon as I asked a store associate for help, he walked straight to it.  

I took Miss M with me to Hobby Lobby to choose her own glitter for the globe.  The color she wanted was only available in very fine glitter.  I didn't know any better so I allowed her to get that kind.  I would not recommend getting the finest one though.  It just doesn't have the same "snowing" effect that  larger glitter particles would.  

Screw the lid on tight and you're all done! 

Here is our final product.  It's not too bad for a second life snow globe, and now I know what to improve on for next time. 

This post was written as a part of the Show Us Your Life series at Kelly's Korner.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Recipe: Spinach Dip

Every so often I will come across someone who is new to spinach dip.  If you are one of those people, this recipe is for you!  Spinach dip is so easy and always popular with a crowd.  You can just throw it in a bowl and serve with crackers or tortilla chips.  If you'd rather make it a little more presentable, you can serve it in a bread bowl like King's Hawaiian.  
We went over to watch the Superbowl with some of our friends last night and this is what I took.  I almost wish that I hadn't though because I have already eaten too much of the leftovers!  At least spinach is good for you, right?! 

Spinach Dip

10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & excess liquid squeezed out
1 cup mayonnaise
16oz sour cream
1 Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix
green onions, chopped - optional

Mix together all ingredients.  Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.  Garnish with green onions if desired.  Serve with your favorite dippers!