La Mia Famiglia

La Mia Famiglia

Just a tad about me

My photo
God's child. Nick's wife. Roman, Dallon & Rocco's mommy. These are the things I would never change.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day #25 I am thankful for... family and all that they are to me.

God has truly blessed me with the people that fit my imperfect puzzle piece.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day #24 "I am thankful for...

... a God who loves me in spite of myself.

... a God who gave me to a wonderful and loving mother.

... a God who has blessed me with a wonderful woman to help me (and I, her) through this life.

... a God who loves me so much that He would share the honor of parenting three beautiful boys.

... a God who loves me so much that He would lay down His life so that mine would be saved." Nick, age 45

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day #23 "I am thankful for... mommy, for Daddy, Roman, Dallon, Gammy, my dog Jack, my house, and God. I have a lot! Right Mommy?! Right?! A LOT. I'm thankful that Daddy goes to work & listens to his boss. I'm thankful that Mommy goes to work at church and the thing I love about Mommy and am thankful for is she takes care of me. Gammy leaves and takes me with her. OH! And, she like brings me to the post office with her. And I'm thankful for Dallon because he hugs me a lot. And the thing I love about Roman is that I let him play with my Bendaroos. He loves my Bendaroos. And I'm thankful for having school nights off and time with Mommy on Fridays and going to Publix with her. There are a lot of things I'm thankful for about Grandma Freckles too. I'm thankful she comes to our house & we pick her up from the airport. I'm thankful for chicken! I'm thankful for God! (I wish I could show you how he danced when he said this last one about God.)" Thadden, age 4

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day #22 "I am thankful for... family because Dallon makes me laugh a lot, Rocco is a mini me, Daddy because he is my punk & I love him, Gammy because she loves & cares for me in hard times, Mommy because she is my snuggle buggler. I am thankful for life itself. I am thankful for friends. They help me get through times and are there when others might not be there. Also I am thankful for my teachers because they work hard to help me learn. I am thankful for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins." Roman, age 10

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day #21 "I am thankful for... dog Jack and God sharing my hamster Hurley with me for a while. (Hurley died a few weeks ago.) I am also thankful for everything God provides for us. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my house. I am thankful for the cars we have and the motorcycle and our bikes. I am thankful for all the bathrooms we have. I am thankful for the mail we get. I am thankful for the clothes I have. I am thankful for school, a little bit. (Mommy, are any of my teachers on here? 'No Dallon.' Good.) I am thankful for CHURCH!! I am thankful for Jesus. I am thankful for pencil sharpeners! I am thankful for pictures. I am thankful for Mommy's job at church, Daddy being my twin, Roman (there's got be something) playing with me, Rocco (oh there's a lot of things) letting me play with his Bendaroos, & Gammy (there are hundreds) being my grandma. I am thankful for my cousins, ancestors, my grandfathers & all of my grandmas. And food, but especially APPLES!!!" ~Dallon, age 7

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day #20 I am thankful for...

...This chick right here.

Pam & I have been friends for about 12 years. So glad we both moved to the same little town.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu with Recipes

Our Thanksgiving Menu

I love getting new ideas from people! And swapping recipes with friends makes me smile. So for those who asked, this is our Thanksgiving menu this year. I also thought it would be nice to include this in my blog because I print it annually. This means the recipes I use will be printed in our keepsake book for our boys.

Monkey Bread (always on holidays)

2 cans of your favorite biscuits (I use Pillsbury Butter Flaky Grands)

2 sticks butter melted in a bowl

1c sugar with cinnamon powder stirred in until brown

**Optional - 1/2c pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350, grease a bundt pan. Cut biscuits in fourths. Dredge biscuits through butter then coat liberally in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place pieces in bundt pan until all pieces are coated.

Bake 35-45 minutes depending on your oven. When done the bread will be risen & darkened on the top. **If using nuts dredge them through the butter then place 1/4c in pan before bread then again midway through. Carefully turn out on to a cake plate & serve right away with milk.

Port Wine cheese ball w/crackers
Chips, dips & salsa

We usually eat around 2pm. What time do you eat?

~$.59 Publix turkey (YAY) Easy - UPSIDE DOWN, seriously!

Wash it off, make sure to pull the bag of nasties out (neck, etc), give it a rub down with butter, salt & pepper it, roll an orange around on the counter to break up the juices inside, cut in half then stick it in the turkey, then put it in a pan upside down (breast down) for the amount of time the label says. Keep covered until about 30min. before done. It won't be pretty but it will be YUM~O & fall off the bone! And no basting required, it cooks in it's own juices. This is how I've cooked mine for 15 years.

~Dressing - I am 99.9% sure I'm going with my friend, Dana's family recipe.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.

Makes 2 1/4 cups.

PER SERVING (2 Tablespoons): Calories 51(3%DV), Fat 0grams, Pot. 14mg(<1%dv),>

~Mashed Potatoes with Gravy

~Cheesy Green Bean Casserole - I make the classic Campbells recipe but double the batch (big family) & substitute the second can of cream of mushroom soup with a small jar of Cheez Whiz. We love it with the cheesy twist!

Classic Green Bean Casserole
From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes

Serves: 6

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request®)

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Dash ground black pepper

4 cups cooked cut green beans

1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions


Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

~Crescent Rolls - Pillsbury Big Flaky (don't skimp here)

~Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie w/Extra creamy Cool Whip

LIBBY'S® Famous Pumpkin Pie
Prep:15 mins Cooking:55 mins Cooling:120 mins Yields:8 servings

3/4 cup granulated sugar1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 large eggs

1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Nutritional Information
Serving Size 1/8 servings of recipe
Calories 280

The only new recipe I am trying is the dressing. I just haven't found that one that I want to use from year to year yet.

After Thanksgiving my mom makes a WONDERFUL Turkey ala king. Maybe she'll share her recipe. We save the dark meat for this! The white meat goes to make sandwiches. My FAVE is turkey on white bread with mayo, cranberry sauce & salt/pepper. YUM.

Day #19 I am thankful for... mattress pad warmer. Especially nights like lastnight when our temps were in the 40s! Some of my thankful posts are spiritual, some sentimental, some practical. About three years ago I was on the hunt for an electric blanket that had two different controls. Nick likes to crawl into a cold bed, I like to crawl into a warm bed. He could sleep with just a sheet, I like warm blankets. When I mentioned an electric blanket to him he gasped! In my search I found a WestPoint Home mattress pad warmer at JC Penney 50% off! We put it on every November & take it off to pack away approximately March. I turn my side on a higher setting a few hours before bed then turn it down lower when crawling in. Nick usually only uses his on freezing nights. I'm thinking Roman's about ready for his own.
To get one you can go to JC Penney or this link: mattress pad warmers

They just happen to be on sale! Don't forget to use a coupon!

This coupon is good through Tuesday, November 23rd. $10 off $50 or $15 off $75

Here's a free shipping code for you: BUYAGIFT

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day #18 I am thankful for...

...our boys teachers & Hilliard Elementary! We have the best teachers! Not one complaint. Praise God! This is Roman's last year in elementary school. Seems like yesterday I was bringing him to kindergarten orientation then meeting my friends Alana Isham & Jeni Johns at McDonalds to let the kids play. They don't even have a playground there anymore. Next year Roman will start middle school & Rocco will move up to elementary. Here is a stroll down Memory Lane.
(I wish I had more to post but these are the only ones I have on this computer.)
We love I Am A Promise Preschool too. This is Dallon with Mrs. Jessica, one of his wonderful preschool teachers.
Roman's first day of 2nd grade.
Roman & Mrs. Vanzant, 2nd Grade
In Kindergarten they have a few starting days, this was the first one.
This was the second & full day of Kindergarten for Dallon.
Dallon & Mrs. Graves, Kindergarten
Roman & Mrs. Lawrence, 3rd grade
4th & 1st Grade
Dallon & Mrs. Hutchens, 1st Grade
Roman & Mrs. Cason, 4th Grade
2nd & 5th Grade
Dallon & Mrs. Vanzant, 2nd Grade (Yes this was also Roman's 2nd grade teacher.)
Roman & Mrs. Boatwright, 5th Grade

This made me realize I need to get a picture of Rocco with his Preschool teachers as well as Roman with his other teacher, Amanda Moore. (Who was also his 1st Grade teacher.) Many of these teachers are also our friends. We have been blessed

Not pictured: Roman with his PreK teachers, Roman with Mrs. Stevens (Kindergarten), Roman with Mrs. Moore (1st Grade.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day #17 I am thankful for... So many blessings. God is good.
38 years ago today my mom gave birth to me at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, FL. The same hospital that I would later have three children at.
A few 1972 tidbits
Average income per year $11,800.00
Gallon of gas $.55
#1 song on my birthdate was "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Cash
#1 TV show "All in the Family"
#1 movie "The Godfather"
Chuck Berry got his first & only #1 record with "My-Ding-A-Ling"
HBO was launched
Apollo 17 landed the last men on the moon

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day#16 I am thankful for...

...home. Home is my most favorite place in the whole wide world.
It's not perfect but it's perfectly ours. Thank you Jesus.

My second favorite place to be is in the mountains.

This location was Chimney Rock, NC three years ago almost to the date! Oh how I will miss our mountain vacation this year. But we will be enjoying time together at home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day #15 I am thankful for...

...winning a photo session from Bella Blue Photography on Facebook last spring! I am embarrassed to admit that these were our first 'family photos'. I'm real good about getting pictures of the boys but not so good about getting Nick & I in the pictures. We met Dana at a little driftwood beach in our area on Thursday (Veteran's Day), just before sunset. She did an amazing job taking our pictures & capturing our personalties. Thank you much Dana!

To check it out click here: picture perfect moments {the m family}

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day #14 I am thankful for... new soup pot with bowls & stand that my sweet mother bought for me yesterday. I've been looking for a good soup tureen for a while. Kirkland's had this set in three different colors & while it is a tad smaller than I'd prefer, I love how it looks in my kitchen! I can't wait to use it!!

Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?!
Thanks Mom!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day #13 I am thankful for...

...Melissa Booth, Lynn Kearnes & these websites for turning me into a couponer! My family has reaped wonderful benefits! My favorite stores to coupon at are & My favorite website for creating a shopping list is, but I do like how gives me the % I'm saving. And I also am thankful for these other money saving sites that I follow on Facebook:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day #12 I am thankful for...

...Fridays off. I have to start working 1/2 days starting in January. But until then I will continue to LOVE my Fridays with Rocco. He's my last baby at home. Next year he starts Kindergarten. Just so happens he doesn't have preschool on Fridays.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day #10 I am thankful for...

...the seasons.

Winter is cold & we get to bundle up & snuggle. It's also has Dallon, Uncle Stephen, Nick & Ben's birthday months, January & February.
Spring is beautiful! It's when all the new growth starts. This is my personal favorite. Time to freshen up the planters & fly Grandma Freckles out for a few weeks! It also has Rocco & Roman's Birthday month, March.
Summer is usually a little too hot for me but school is out, Nick is off & the pool is open!
Fall is a very close second in my list of faves. It's a time to decorate, dress up, reflect & draw close to those you love. It also includes Grandma Freckles, Gammy & my birthdays, September & November.

Thank you Lord for the seasons.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day #9 I am thankful for... brother Stephen. When I was a teenager I would always ask him how I looked before going off with friends and he never said, "Fine." He would stop what he was doing & give me his input. One weird thing I remember being thankful for was that he always had a bag of brand new socks in his drawer & always let me wear them first. That's back when it was popular to have the bunched up sock look. I love my brother. We have always been close.

Stephen we need to have a recent picture taken.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day #7 I am thankful for... mommy. She is also my best friend. She knows the good, the bad & the ugly & still loves me. Thank you Mommy.

Isn't she pretty in purple?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day #4 I am thankful for...

...being important to God.

'Oh me..' That's what my late Grandma Cooper would say. I miss her. She went home to be with the Lord January 23, 2001.

Lately I have been feeling invisible. Know what I mean? I walk by someone & say hello, but they don't see or hear me. I sit down somewhere & people I know walk by & sit somewhere else. I'm in a conversation with someone & they trail off into another conversation with someone else. I know this isn't how I am supposed to see things. I know that I should speak louder, or reach out with a kind hand on the shoulder, or get up & go find someone to sit by. I know these things. But sometimes we don't do what we know to do. Sometimes we sit up under our juniper tree feeling sorry for ourselves.

It's difficult for me to write this post because..well..who wants to reveal their vulnerabilities? Should I? Should I not? Should I just keep this between God & I? Maybe, probably. But I'm choosing to share a small bit of what I've been struggling with because I know I'm not alone. In two senses; 1) I know I'm not the only person that has these internal struggles 2) I know God is with me.

When we moved to this small town (almost eight years ago) everyone was so friendly, they still are. We found a wonderful church where we were warmly welcomed. We adore the preschool & elementary school & hope to have a similar experience at the middle school next year. We just love Hilliard. However, since moving here I have had a struggle that I have never experienced before. While we have many acquaintances, a few friends & many sweet, precious church family members (that I know would be here for me in a crisis), I have not had the pleasure of experiencing a deep, close, personal friendship. I think I've gone through a range of emotions regarding this. Asking myself what's wrong with me, to reaching out to others which has produced short spurts of friendships, to getting angry & closing off those around me. Do I appear unapproachable? I hope not. Shyness has always been an issue for me & I know sometimes that can be misread. I do have a wonderful family that loves me very much & reminds me of that love every chance they get. I am so thankful for them.

OK, now l'll shift focus from me to God, because that is what my life should be about. I think God has revealed to me in this struggle is that He, Himself, is the only one that can satisfy me. I need to focus on Him, on His love, His grace, His purpose for me. As I read back through the first paragraph I wondered how we do the same things to God, treat Him as if He's invisible. We don't see or hear Him around us, we don't take time to sit down with Him, we start to pray but trail off into other thoughts. Yes, I am guilty of those things. Forgive me Lord.

Today I will choose to stand up & walk forward, to encourage someone who needs encouragement, to reach out and touch someone who needs to be touched, to sit by someone who needs someone to sit with & to listen to those speaking to me. Especially my Lord. Please Father, help me to be a good disciple. Help me to love others & glorify You. After all, that is why I was made.

I'd like to close this post with this video because I think it sums it all up.
If you've gotten this far in the post you will enjoy this.
I Was Made to Love You ~ Toby Mac