Sunday, November 15, 2009

Memory Verse #22

Wow! We're almost there...only 3 more verses to go this year! I still haven't heard anyone take me up on the offer to do this together next year, but I'm praying that I will within the next six weeks!

Today I'm using Beth Moore's suggestion for the memory verse. She is using Proverbs 8:34...she talked about how we are to trust God to show us our steps each and every day and to wait patiently for Him to guide us...instead of asking for the end result ahead of time. It really spoke to me, so I looked up the verse and liked the verses on each side of it, so that is going to be my passage for the rest of the month.

Here it is...

Proverbs 8:33-35 (NIV)
"Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord."

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

McCarty Family Thanksgiving Traditions

I've had fun thinking of recipes to post all week and link up with this new blog friend I've found. Today, her challenge is to tell about our Thanksgiving memories/traditions. I absolutely LOVE our Thaksgiving traditions. For one thing, it seems to always get us in the mood for Christmas!

Because we moved to Texas from Illinois in 1978 (a long time ago), we had to create our own family traditions. I think there were a few times that we made the drive to Illinois at Christmas AND at Thanksgiving, but it was too much on Mom & Dad. So they had to make the decision to stay in Texarkana for Thanksgiving, so we could be with all of our relatives in Illinois for Christmas.

We always have a great traditional meal that Mom mostly cooks...she's an excellent cook! Now that we're grown, my sister, brother, and I try to help out some but it still ends up that Mom cooks most of the great food. We usually invite some friends or relatives to join us for a wonderful meal.

Two of my favorite traditions come in the afternoon (usually after a little nap because we're all so full). We always get all of the ads from the newspaper and start plotting our Friday morning shopping excursion! We go through every ad and find which ones have the best early bird specials and make our plans. That "day after Thanksgiving" shopping frenzy is the BEST!

After we rest up and make our shopping plans, we always go to a movie matinee. We try to go to a Christmas movie to get us in the spirit but some years those types are lacking. This tradition started about 30 years ago when we were stuck in Texarkana alone and had only lived here a short while. I think we were all pretty sad about not being with the entire family in Illinois, so we went to see Sally Field's movie, Places in the Heart. It's funny how you remember things like that, but we had the best time going to the movies. Our family did not go to the movies very often, so this was a big treat! And so our tradition was born.

Now that we've all grown up and are married and have kids, it's a pretty big endeavor...sometime up to 14 of us go to the movies together! And even though we are stuffed from our Thanksgiving feast, we still have to get the movie popcorn! It's a must!

I'm getting so excited about Thanksgiving's just a little over a week away. We've already started talking about what movie to watch this year. It has to be one that is good for all ages...from 3 to 64! :) Any suggestions?

I'd love to hear some of your Thanksgiving traditions too! Who knows...we may need to add them to our family traditions. :)

Thanksgiving Recipes-Desserts

Dessert. One of my favorite food groups! Especially anything chocolate! For Thanksgiving, though, we don't usually have much chocolate--it's more of the pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and my brother's delicious cream cheese/pumpkin bread. (I'm going to have to get that recipe from him so I can post it soon.) For our pumpkin pies, we usually just follow the recipe on the back of the pumpkin can. And for our pecan pies, we usually try a new recipe every year in search of "the best pecan pie ever." We haven't had much luck...except one Thanksgiving...we made a really good one but then we lost the recipe. :( So the search is still on. Maybe we'll find one through all of these blog recipes. :)

So...for my dessert recipe today, I thought I'd post my super easy and fairly dietetic spice cake recipe. (I got it from Weight Watchers several years ago and it's one of my favorites to make.)

Super Easy & Delicious
Spice Cake

1 box Spice Cake mix (or Carrot cake or Devils Food cake)
1 can pumpkin
3/4 cup water

Mix together thoroughly. (I usually use a mixer.) Bake at 350 according to package directions.

I usually make this in a bundt pan or into mini-muffins. The cake is so moist and you really can't taste the pumpkin! DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving Recipes--Main Dishes

I have a confession to make. I've never made a turkey by myself. (I have warmed up a smoked turkey a few times--does that count?) We always go to my parents' house for Thanksgiving and Mom is the turkey cook! I usually make the homemade rolls and help make the other sides & desserts. Instead of sharing how to make a turkey, I thought I'd share a recipe for what to do with all of the turkey leftovers. My Mom and my Aunt Sandy like to make TURKEY TETRAZINNI with our turkey leftovers, and it is YUMMMMMMMY!

Turkey Tetrazinni

1 (8 oz) pkg thin spaghetti
1 small onion (chopped)
2 T. oleo
1 c. broth
1 t. salt
1 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. pepper
1 large can evaporated milk
1 small can sliced mushrooms (we use more)
3 c. diced cooked turkey
1 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 c. parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti and drain.

While spaghetti is cooking, saute onions in oleo until soft. Remove from heat. Blend in flour, salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Return on low heat. Slowly stir in evaporated milk and broth. Stir constantly until sauce thickens slightly.

Pour white sauce into drained spaghetti. Mix in turkey and mushrooms. Pour everything into a greased 9x13 pan.

Sprinkly cheeses on top. Bake at 425 uncovered for 20 minutes. ENJOY!

Thanksgiving Recipes-Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year! I LOVE getting together with our family and friends! I LOVE getting to help my mom cook all of of our favorite foods! And I LOVE eating all of those foods too! :) I also LOVE all of our family traditions...but those will come on Friday. Today is about sharing recipes...
I'm a day behind on keeping up with the Thanksgiving recipes, so I'm going to try to catch up now. :)

We always have my favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving--sweet potato casserole, mashed potato casserole, dressing, homemade noodles, cranberry relish, overnight salad, and homemade rolls...note the excess of starchy foods! They are all SOOOO good!

My two favorite are the sweet potato casserole & cranberry relish, so I've included those recipes below.

Sweet Potato Casserole

1 large can yams TOPPING:
¾ c. sugar 1 c. light brown sugar
1 stick margarine 1/3 c. melted butter
1 t. vanilla 1/3 c. flour
2 eggs 1 c. chopped pecans
Dash salt

Heat and drain potatoes. Mash and add other ingredients. Place in baking dish. Prepare topping and sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes. Cook for 35 minutes at 350˚.

Cranberry Salad

1 large box cherry jello
Juice from 1 orange
1 bag cranberries, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/2 c. pecans, chopped

Prepare jello using half of the recommended water (do not let it set up). Mix all ingredients together and let it set up.

**This recipe is from my Aunt Sandy in Illinois. She and my mom are the best cooks I know!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Recipes--Appetizers

I found this blog last week when I was searching another blog that I found in the November HomeLife magazine. I really liked this blog for 2 reasons--her name is KIM and she likes to cook! She is collecting recipes for Thanksgiving...each day she's collecting a different type, so I thought I could join in on the fun. Why don't you add some of your favorite recipes too?

Here is my appetizer recipe. It's one that my cousin, Jeni, made when we went to Illinois to visit a few years ago. It's so yummy!

Stuffed Peppers

1 jar Pepperocini peppers (drain & cut in half)
1 pkg. cream cheese (softened)
2 t. milk
1/2 pkg. bacon, fried crisp & chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 shallots or green onions, chopped

Mix cream cheese & milk. Fry bell pepper & green onions in 2 T. bacon grease. Mix all ingredients and stuff in peppers. Enjoy! here's the hard part. I have to figure out how to link this to her blog. Thanks to Jenna's expertise, I think I'll be able to do it! Here I go!

Fun Times with the Family

Last weekend, Mom & Dad came to visit--we always love having them come! They met us in Athens to see Evan's Upward basketball game at 10. Evan is doing really well this year in basketball...he's made several shots and stolen the ball a few times too! He's improved tremendously from last year! He even scored a few points this weekend! He was so proud to have Grammy & PawPaw there to watch!

After the game, we went on a little excursion to Kemp to the Amish bakery. How cool is that place! I highly recommend it to everyone! They have so many spices for such low prices! They also have all kinds of homemade goodies! We LOVE visiting unique places like that! They had a really nice furniture store too...kinda pricey but really nice! We took a few pictures on the outdoor furniture...

Aren't these chairs HUGE? I don't think they'd fit in my kitchen. :)

We really liked this swing!

After eating lunch, we drove to Powell to the Pecan House to buy some pecans and other goodies there. Dad LOVES to crack pecans & eat them. I think he bought about 10 pounds of pecans! :)

When we got home, it was time to rake the leaves in the back yard. We all kind of like raking the leaves...there's just something about piling up all of those crisp leaves that just makes you want to run & jump in them! While I raked, Evan & Ethan decided to load some of them in their John Deere truck & empty them in our huge pile. (Not really productive but a lot of fun for them.)
Now it was time for the fun! We made a HUGE pile and Evan & Ethan just kept running and jumping in them. Evan even buried himself in the leaves for a few pictures too!

Isn't this the cutest 3-year old you've ever seen?

And what a jump!

OK, one of the main reasons Daddy came to visit was to help Eric hang Christmas lights around the outside of the house. Well, first Eric decided to climb up on the roof to see if he could actually handle being on the roof without falling and/or having a heart attack from fear! :) He was really terrified up there! Then, they tried to hang them around the gutters and found that they can't because have these gutter guards on them. what? I think we're going to consult our expert friend...Keith. Maybe he can help!

So...those were a few of the highlights of the weekend. We also enjoyed taking a walk, playing several rounds of Uno, cooking & eating, and going to church together! We appreciate Grammy & PawPaw so much and love spending time with them! God has blessed us with a wonderfully close family!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Memory Verse Catch-Up

So...Beth Moore gave us a challenge on her LPM Blog at the beginning of 2009 to memorize 2 verses a month for the entire year. I was so excited because I need that accountability. I have faithfully been posting my verses and writing them in my spiral all year. I practice them as much as I can...especially when I'm getting ready in the mornings. I also found another great time to work on them is in the car when I'm driving quite a distance. This summer I had to drive to Texarkana without Eric a few times, so I kept the spiral in my lap and practiced my verses as I drove. (I kept my eyes on the road...just put the spiral up by the steering wheel when I needed a hint.)

Now, Beth Moore is hosting a Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration at her church in January for those that have kept this up all year! I am SO EXCITED!!! My sister and I have both been working on memorizing verses, so we plan to go together! We can't wait! It's going to be so much fun! What a thrill it will be to finally be in the church where she tapes a lot of her Bible studies!

Well, now I need to catch up posting the verses here. I didn't realize how behind I am on putting them here, so there are quite a few.

Colossians 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:16-17
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

2 Corinthians 10:3-4
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up.

Whew! That was a lot! I have enjoyed finding verses to help me with whatever I'm going through at a particular time and to remind me of God's great promises.

This has been such a great experience...maybe we can do it again next year and post verses to each other on our blogs. Any takers??

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Don't Think Ethan Likes Halloween Costumes

So...for about a month, we asked Ethan what he'd like to be for Halloween. He kept saying, "I just want to be a BOY!" We walked down many costume aisles at Wal-mart, Target, and other stores and had him look at all of the costumes to see which one he'd like to be. He just kept saying, "I just want to be a boy!" We were ok with that! But then, about a week before Halloween, he started saying he wanted to be a pumpkin. So we started looking for a pumpkin costume. They don't sell pumpkins in size 3T evidently. So I decided I could make one with an orange pillowcase and my friend, Mandy Hancock. Last Wednesday afternoon, I took Ethan to the school to have Mandy sew the pillowcase together and help me figure out how to assemble it. Ethan did NOT want any part of the pumpkin any more! Mandy was so sweet to help me, and I thought I could talk him into wearing it for a little while. Well, by Saturday afternoon, I was good to get the few pictures I did before he took it off! So...he went to the Fall Festival as a boy. And he was still as cute as can be!

Evan was thrilled to find his Star Wars costume! And Ethan really enjoys running around with Evan's mask on....just not the pumpkin!

"I am not happy! Please get this pumpkin off of me!"

Despite the costume frustration, the boys had a blast playing all of the games at the Fall Festival.

Eric decided he was a stage hand...they dress in all black!

Ethan, Evan, and Gavon enjoyed a hot dog after playing all of the games. Evan enjoyed the cake/cookie walk the best! I think he won about 7 times!

This is the shirt that Ethan made at Kids First last week. It was so cute! A bat made with his hand prints & foot print! How creative is that!