Italian Chicken Stew, the crockpot way!

Today I'm joining Kelly from Kelly's Korner for   "Crockpotalooza".  I'm not generally one for using the crockpot that often.  It's not that I don't love crockpot dishes because  I so do.  I like putting the ingredients in the morning, smelling the delightful aromas during the day and having dinner ready at the end of the day without having to plan dinner.  I guess I've just gotten out of the habit of meal planning since all of the kids are out of the nest now.  It's  become such a bad habit of mine lately to pick up dinner at a restaurant or go to the grocery store on my way home and buy ingredients  for a quick meal which are 1) generally not that healthy and 2) it's way more expensive.   I was just willing myself to be more purposeful in this area when I read about Kelly's crockpot link.  A great way to try different dishes which have been tried by others and obviously a hit or they wouldn't be linking it up.   

This is a recipe tried and really like.  It's simple and delicious.

Italian Chicken Stew

2 pounds of skinless chicken (the recipe calls for bone in thighs but I use boneless breast)
1 and a 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 large onion thinly sliced
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 and 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I use two cans because I like them)
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn in small pieces

Coat slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Place chicken in slow cooker and season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder pepper and salt. 
Layer onion over the chicken. 
Stir together tomatoes, broth and tapioca together then pour over the onions.

Cover and cook on high for 5 and 1/2 hours or Low for 7 and 1/2 hours. 
Stir in beans and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Stir in basil and serve.

Some people put olives (adding 1/2 cup sliced black pitted olives when you add the beans) in the recipe and serve over biscuits  but I don't like olives and I don't need the biscuits.  ha

It's really good on a cool autumn evening.  Maybe if I make it, that cool autumn evening will come sooner. 



The drought situation sweeping across Ethiopia and other African nations is desperate.   Extreme hunger is taking lives in East Africa.   Millions of people are affected.  Children are dying in their mother's arms.  Even more children left orphans.  The problem seems insurmountable.  How can you possibly help? 

Join Sarah Lenssen at her link below and find out how easy it would be for you to help be part of the solution.  If you can afford $5.00, that's all it will take.   That's a cup of starbucks coffee, a ice-cream cone at Cold Stone Creamery or a happy meal from McDonalds. 


On a praise note, the money for the Trees of Glory well has been raised and the work has begun.  Thank you for all who helped with the fundraiser.  The well will be even more far reaching than just the care-point.  It will also serve the local community.  

Soon a well like this will be operating at Trees of Glory

The Picture is from Karen Wistrom
Sponsor Coordinator for Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory, Ethiopia

                                              To God be the glory.

Makenzie's World at 4.


                                                                    Makenzie at 4

On your fourth birthday you are:

Height:      38.5 inches and  48th percentile

Weight      35 pounds  and  50th  percentile

You still take naps  3 to 4 times a week for about 2 hours

You go to bed at  8:30 p.m. and wake up at  7:00 a.m.             

 Your list of favorites are:

 Favorite number:                 1

 Favorite letter:                     C

 Favorite color:                    Pink

 Favorite food:                    shredded cheese
 Favorite drink:                   kool aid jammers (she had them for the first time on her beach vacation)

 Favorite fruit:                    strawberry

 Favorite Vegetable:           greenbeans

 Favorite dessert:                pie

 Favorite animal:                 monkey

 Favorite place to visit:       The Fair

 Best Friend (s):                Abby and Maggie

 Favorite thing to do with Daddy:   play games

 Favorite thing to do with Mommy:  play princess yahtzee

 Favorite thing to do at Pre-School:   play with Abby

 Favorite thing to do at home:    play tea party

 Favorite thing to play outdoors:  soccer

 Favorite book:    Dora  (actually all books)

 Favorite Movie:   Tangled

 Favorite TV show:   Good Luck Charlie

 What is the best thing you learned this year:    to swim

 What do you want to do when you grow up:   be a gymnastics teacher

I came across this idea on a  blog called "The Larson Lingo".  I thought it was such a great way  for them to look back and see what they were thinking at this age.  I wish I had been able to do this with my kids and oldest granddaughter.  :(


Multitudes on Mondays

                                            Joining Ann Voskamp 1000 gifts.

                       Hope you'll visit. Just click on Multitudes on Mondays picture above.

                        Remembering to be greatful in all things

I'm thankful for:
#332   the hurricane (although bad enough) wasn't worse.
#333   the goal has been met with the money for the TOG well  project and is on it's way.  Praise God!
#334   the new roof on my daughter's house.
#335   an elderly family friend home from the hosptial.
#336   my  first art project  with Mod Podge that I began and completed on Sunday.

#337   my best friend's daughter, Madison, getting her learner's permit on the first try.
#338   a quiet, relaxing and not quite so hot weekend with Mike.
#339   the look on an excited Koby's (our dogs) face when he got to go on a car ride.
#340   Mike's patience to spend 2 hours on the phone scoring us a better phone plan. 
#341   Mike doing the dinner dishes "every single" night.
#342   my quiet time talking to God becoming easier every day.
#343   the knowledge that fall is on the way.
#344   the book, Made to Crave by Lisa Terkeurst.

#345   trusting in God's perfect timing.
#346   christian "blogging friends" and their inspiring words.
#347   hugs
#348   for God's forgiveness of me even when I'm sometimes resistant to forgive others.
                  I'm working on that one.

#349   for my granddaughter wanting me to be her "friend" on facebook.
#350   time with Makenzie on the phone.
#351   Melissa's new test results and finding a good surgeon.
#352   baby lizards that hop.



                                          Apparently we have a bug infestation at our house.

                                                 As you can understand, we were shocked!!

                                                Luckily for me, Dylan was over visiting.
                                       First he studied them to see what he was dealing with.

                                              Once he came up with a plan, he captured them.

                                                 Thanks for rescuing my house little buddy.

                                     But most of all, thanks for visiting.  I love our time together.



Belated Birthday Post. Makenzie, You're 4!

                                            Happy Birthday Makenzie.  My big girl is 4.
                                                      (Belated Birthday Post)

           This a Makenzie's 4,  birthday post.  What an exciting year you've had baby girl.

                                     It was your first full year being a big sister.

                                            Modeling for Mommy before leaving for preschool.

Your visit to the Pumpkin Patch with Mommy, Daddy and Brody.

Your were a ballerina and Brody was a pumpkin for Halloween.

You had a Halloween Program at School.  You were not so keen with being on stage.
                           In November you went to Disney World with  Mommy and Daddy.

                                                       You met the real Princess Bell.
The real Princess Belle and the Little Princess Makenzie Belle
I think you look just alike.

You got to meet Mickey and Minnie and have your picture made with them.

You love playing dress up.

At your christmas program with your 3 year old Pre-school  best friend there, Lola.

Christmas with your brother.  So cute!

                              Pictures with Santa.  This is not one of your favorite things but you did sit beside him this year.

You love playing in the snow.

Your swing set/playhouse is a great place to be when you're out enjoying a nighttime snow fall. 

Your first snowman.  What a great job.

You love having tea parties with your friends.

Enjoying your easter basket surprises.

                                                        Easter morning with Mommy

At the circus with Abby.
Fourth of July Cookout with your friend Miranda

You liked seeing the fireworks, but I think they were a little loud.

Your first gymnastic competition.  We are so proud of you.
Your mom says it's the first routine she's ever seen where the gymnast did the routine with her
 eyes closed the entire time.  You're still a little shy in front of audiences.  :)

Birthday morning breakfast  out with Nana.
Your Florida birthday party with Brody.
Makenzie being 4.

Things you love to do at 4:

play dress up
have Tea Parties
do art projects (on any kind)
go to Disney World
make up songs and dancing routines and then have your parents judge like on "American Idol"
bake with your Mommy
go shopping with your Mommy (sometimes)
read books
watch dvd's in the car
swimming (which you can now do without your duckie)
play kitchen
play on your swing set
play with your friends and cousins
love on your brother
you weren't crazy about 3 year old preschool but you seem to really like 4 year old preschool (so far)
your a patient big sister, most of the time, and love teaching your baby brother things and you are very protective of  him

You're Nana's  beautiful, smart, sweet, stubborn, opinionated, wonderful baby granddaughter.  I love you exactly the way your are.   I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

I've decided to start a new tradition beginning at age 4 (the age I  think they'll understand)  for my grandkids.  An interview that hopefully one day they can look back on and see what they thought about  and how they have changed over the years.  I'll post Makenzie's soon. 

"Show us your life-baby showers"

I'm joining Kelly from Kelly's Korner today in her "Show Us Your Life" series.  This week is about baby showers.   I have to say I'm one of those people who LOVE baby showers.  I love giving them and I love going to them.   If you love to see all of the different ideas, click on the link above.

For the last "baby shower" I gave, click on the Celebration link.  It was actually an adoption shower and so much fun.  I've also given my girls, a few nieces and friends baby showers before but it was all done in my pre-blogging days.  I think I'll have to put my new printer scanner to good use and document them.  Especially the ones for my girls.  These are the times I so wish blogging was invented before they were born so that I would have the chronological history of important (and everyday)  events that I will have for my younger grandkids.

Have a blessed day.


My Man

                                                                  My man made this                              

                                                                  and this

                                                                        look like this

so I could do this.

                                            Thanks sweetie for all your hard work.

Multitudes on Mondays


                                                         Joining Ann Voskamp 1000 gifts.

                            Hope you'll visit. Just click on Multitudes on Mondays picture above.
                               Remembering to be greatful in all things

I'm thankful for:
#311      a successful garage sale to raise money for an upcoming mission trip.
#312      that my husband did the garage sale for me in 100 plus heat.
#313      that my niece and nephew let us use their house for the garage sale.
#314      the sweet baby shower to celebrate a new great-niece.
#315      the beaming smile on my SIL's face at the shower anticipating her new granddaughter.
#316      making room for my van in the garage after said "garage sale".
#317      grandkids spending the night on Friday (even Taylor).
#318      Randy's (my son-in-laws) birthday.

Happy Birthday Randy
#319      the time spent with my life-time friends at GNO.
#320      Taylor's over-the-top excitement about starting high school.

#321      that after a weekend of fuming and having hateful thoughts about a careless adult who
                said  hurtful things about a loved one with them in earshoot, I prayed for forgiveness
                (for both of us).
#322      the laughter (and a few screams and crying) that came out of my pool this weekend
                 when nieces and nephews visited.

#323      that my granddaughter asked me to give her a manicure yesterday in anticipation of
                her "first day of high school" and while doing it she told me about her new schedule.  :)
#324      that Makenzie begins pre-school this week.

#325      the phone call from a very excited Dylan on his way to "big boy class" at his school
                today.  It's Promotion Day.
#326      the laughter with my sister and daughter Thursday night.
#327      being forgiven in God's grace.
#328      the beginning of planning for fall.
#329      ice-cream
#330      Benedryl
#331      for the Chinese food Mike brought home for dinner.


GNO and The Help

Last night was GNO.  They just don't seem to come around often enough.  I've been going out with more or less the same group of girls  since about 1989 (can I still call us girls.......absolutely).  Usually it's just dinner but occasionally we get crazy and add a movie or outing.  Last night after dinner we went to see "The Help".

It was such a beautiful and poignant movie.  I'm so glad I was able to share that experience with "girls" that are so special to me.

I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone else but let's just say bringing a few (or more) tissues might be a good idea.  About half of us read the book first and the other choose to see the movie first.  Both sides enjoyed it equally and no one had issues following the plot.  The book has so much more time to develop the characters so my suggestion would be to read it first.

What I learned.....

Words matter

As a mother I certainly need to step it up in being more purposeful in my words to my children and grandchildren.  Well everyone really.

                                       Resource:    (The pictures are from The Help Movie facebook page)

The pictures above are of some of my favorite characters in  book and movie.

Even if your not much for going to the movies, you won't be sorry for making a exception for this one. 
I would say 5 stars.