Friday, August 20

Chicken Gyros

We've used some new recipes since starting our quest to NOT eat out. And, the recipes have been so good that we don't miss eating out and we're certainly eating healthier at home.  I think everyone can cook good food as long as you're able to follow directions. Right? Anyway, I'm notorious for combining several recipes to make one dish and that is what I did the other night when we made Chicken Gyros (AKA Chicken Souvlaki).  We were both so excited, because it turned out just like we imagined.  I've had some requests to share the recipe, so here you go.  I'm going to try to start sharing more recipes here and there that are quick and easy, like this one, for everyone that leads busy lives! Enjoy! Yum Yum

Chicken Gyro

Marinate chicken in lemon juice, Greek seasoning, and olive oil for at least 30 minutes. Then, you can grill or slice and saute. Serve with lettuce, tomato and flat bread (awesome grilled or pan toasted as well). And, don’t forget the Tzatziki sauce! (that is the best part :-))

The Greek Seasoning we use is Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning.  We use it to make Greek Potatoes (just sprinkle on seasoning and olive oil and bake in oven), and I use it when I boil chicken.  The other night we sprinkled the seasoning and olive oil on zucchini, and it was good that way too.

Tzatziki sauce

* *must prepare and let sit in frig for at least 24 hrs**
½ cup cucumber: peeled, seeded, and diced very small. Squeeze all excess juice; you can just squeeze it in the palm of our hand.
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon fresh dill
Mix and stir; store in frig.

Wednesday, August 18

Being the BEST we can be!

We're on a mission to better ourselves in many ways; I guess that is the best way to word that . . .  Life can be busy, and we'd love to make it as simple as possible so that we may focus on the most important things: serving God and our family! Of course our friends are our family in Christ too, and we're so blessed by them.  I just want so much to teach our children everything that they need to know. I feel a great urgency about it these days . . ."Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" Proverbs 22:6  So, things we've been focusing on:
* Getting Healthy* After having Cameron I knew it was out of the question to go back to Gold's Gym like I did after having 'B'. Austin isn't allowed to be in any kind of childcare setting, so I had to come up with something that I could do a few times a week in about 30 minutes. So, I started running.  It has been challenging, but I'm doing it! And, it feels awesome. I'm using a book my sister-in-law let me borrow and  combining it with a website is the Couch to 5K program to make a plan that best suits me.  Since, I wasn't able to exercise AT ALL with any of my last 2 pregnancies I had to start slow.  I started walking for 3 minutes and ran a minute, and I've now worked up to walking 2 minutes and running 2 minutes.  I warm up for 4 minutes, then do the cycles of walk/run 6 times, and then do a cool down for a few minutes which keeps me on the treadmill for about 32 minutes.  Chris is doing it too, and we're both loving the improvement in ourselves.  My joints don't ache, and I have much more energy to name a couple of things.  We hope to instill in our children the importance of taking care of your body. It's your temple, and you need to take care of it in order to best serve God.
* Saving Money*  I attended the Southern Savers workshop.  I highly recommend it to EVERYONE. Even the busiest people can do the buy one get one free deals and save BIG . . . I'm talking 50% or more on your groceries and personal care products!  Go check it out! Along with our getting healthier and saving money we're limiting ourselves to not eating out more than once a week.  Truly, we've enjoyed not eating out so much that now we're only allowing ourselves to eat out when asked by family or friends.  We went over our finances and were very disappointed to see how much we spent a month on eating out before we started this quest.  It was completely for convenience and we have no other excuse.  We want to make good use of what God provides for us.  It has been amazing to see how full our pantry and frig has stayed. We're going to try not to spend so much on the kid's clothes too which is what lead me to buying my first sewing machine.  We bought a refurbished one off of I have many people that are willing to help me get started.  My machine also does embroidery and applique, so if/when I get good perhaps I'll be able to make a little extra $$$ here and there.:-)  I'll be sure to post a picture of my first attempt as soon as I get a chance to get started.   You know me, I have to have it organized before I start! :-) 
We're paying down debt, and trying to save too.  We feel as though this is God's will and everything has gone so smoothly with our journey to better ourselves and make life simpler.  It has just been amazing to see Him work in our lives and provide.  If anyone has any tips on saving please share! You can facebook me, email, or leave a comment on here. Thanks! Have a blessed week!

8/19/10 *UPDATE* Thanks Jennifer B for the $ tip!!! We had been looking for the Dave Ramsey stuff and just borrowed it from some family. So, we're going to start that too! Thanks US & JT for letting us borrow it!

Friday, August 13

Beach 2010

We enjoyed our first family vacation in 3 years in June.  We went to Hilton Head, one of our favorite vacation spots.  It was wonderful and had been waaayyy TOO LONG since our last vacation, but we obviously had our reasons why it has been so long.  We stayed in a nice house about 1/4 mile from the beach, but we had our own private pool.  Lisa's brother and sister-in-law stayed with us the first half of the week, and Chris' mom, sister and her family were just down the road the entire week.  It was nice having family there to hang out with.  Every morning, after eating breakfast, we headed to the ocean for a few hours then would head back to the house to swim in the pool and have lunch before naps. The kids did great.  We had a little pop-up tent that worked out great keeping Cameron out of the sun since she is too young for sunscreen.  Austin wasn't too crazy about the beach, but got used to it after a couple of days.  He enjoyed hanging out in the tidal pools and had absolutely no fear of the waves.  Bradley like playing with his cousin, who is a couple of years older than him.  They played in the sand and chased the schools of little fish in the tidal pools.  A couple of times Chris did some fishing from the shore and caught some small sharks! He fished, on vacation, with his Dad when he was younger. So, he wanted to share that with our kids too.  Cameron just chilled out in the shade in her bikini and enjoyed snacking on frequent bottles and naps.  Austin usually fell asleep on the walk back to the house, and took a short nap in the shade while we swam. 
Our evenings consisted of some wonderful meals, some were home cooked and others were enjoyed at local restaurants.  Chris and I agreed to not eat at any chain restaurants while on vacation, and that made for some very enjoyable meals.  We took a break mid-week from the sun and went to a local children's play museum, The Sandbox.  It was nice to do something different for the day, and the big kids enjoyed it.  Some of our favorite seafood meals were enjoyed at the Sea Shack, Captain Woody's, and Marley's.  Chris and I love seafood, and all 3 were wonderful.  We also cooked at the house a couple times and enjoyed Ribs one night, and Chris' family made grilled chicken salads another night.  What can I say??? We like to eat! We also went to the Tanger Outlet and enjoyed eating at our favorite little restaurant there, CornerStone Grill. Then, we got some great deals at the Gap Outlet for the kids.  (it's pretty overwhelming to cloth 3 kids! :-) )  One evening we went to Coligny Plaza, which we were very close to our beach house, and had ice cream and another night we got cupcakes.  I was  a little disappointed because they weren't anything like Cupcake in town!  *the link to Cupcake in Columbia and Charleston*
We enjoyed tons of family time, played games, and just enjoyed being together.  It was absolutely awesome, and we can't wait until our next vacation.  (which will be in October, a long weekend in the mountains to pick apples- which the cool weather and vacation can't come quick enough!!!! :-))

Harbour Town
Hilton Head

"B" 4 yrs 3 months

"A" 18 months

"C"   11 weeks

Our ABC's

His "cheese" face

Silly Boy

We're ready for the beach!

Enjoying the pool

Time for a little nap

Having fun in the pool with Daddy

"A" loved to just float around the pool in his float

Another day at the beach

Relaxing in her little tent

Laying on the beach

The boys enjoyed the ocean

"B" enjoyed the sand a little more than the ocean

Children's Museum

Afternoon nap

Sweet treat

Time to go home, but it was fun while it lasted.
A wonderful tradition that we hope will continue every year!

Tuesday, August 10


Thanks for being patient while I do a little remodeling on our site! I'm wanting to add a few more things here and there . . . hopefully I'll be able to make my vision happen!