Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Happy Thanksgiving"

(by Josey Nov. 2009)

"Give THANKS to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done."
~ 1 Chronicles 16:8 ~

Hope ya'll have a blessed day!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

"on the road AGAIN..."

We are headed back to IN this weekend for Thanksgiving. The children are totally beside themselves in anticipation of the whole trip... I wish that I could say that "I just couldn't wait to get back on the road again"... but I have never been much for 12 hour car trips NO MATTER what was promised. However- I really am VERY excited to get there & love on the ones that love us most!!! Hope ya'll have a blessed Turkey-Day (don't forget to give thanks for WHO pours the blessings out).

Guess who has been packed & ready since last week??
YES! You guessed it- Lucy Danyell... She will be making the trip too of course!

I asked Ashton what he wanted to take on the trip? He hesitantly said, "cars, trucks, & chips". (Have I mentioned lately how precious he is???)

p.s. get your glue guns ready ladies.... I'll see ya'll back here next week with some fun Christmas stuff- hurray!!!!

p.s.s. I'm just back from stalking the trash truck in our neighborhood. We (as in Ashton) missed it this morning & he watches for it every week from the time I take the dumpster out until the next morning? Anyway in the midst of packing... we missed it. NOT to worry- Joey promised him we'd (I) would take him around & find it! (the things that I do for these kiddos- yikes!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"where the wild things are"

Today I am thankful for my sweet Priss & her precious spirit! She drew this @ school & I must say, she is quite the little artist. Today her class is putting on a "talent show" in which you must show your talent, then explain how it can glorify God. She quickly tossed around some ideas- "Momma maybe I could show them ballet, or maybe I could fix Lucy Danyell's hair up really fancy, or maybe I could show them some craft stuff that I have made?" "Well Priss, how can those things glorify God?" I asked. "Huh- well.... dancing is like the angels in heaven, I could fix all the little girls hair in the world that have no Momma- (I think that He would like that), & crafting... well it makes the world prettier!" she said ALL smiles. I can't wait to hear which talent she decided on? In any case, I know that He will be pleased with His tiny creation & her big heart!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"the EXAM..."

Well... you'll NEVER guess what happened today! First let me tell you that Josey has been very persistent that "Lucy Danyell needs to get her eyes checked, "she sometimes squints when when she reads". This very discussion has come up multiple times at dinner lately! So yesterday while I was shopping at Michaels (with my 40% off coupon that was burning a hole in my purse) I watching in utter & complete awe as they stocked the shelf with mini glasses- perfect for Lucy Danyell... "Should I get those? Should I wait until Christmas? Would Joey play along with my little scheme? Am I really asking myself these questions... am I out of control?"... Well simply stated; YES, I got them- NO, I can't wait until Christmas- YES, he more than went along with the crazy plan- & YES, I am totally out of control!!!! The rest is history...

Lucy was such a perfect little patient- she felt right @ home with
the GOOD doctor...

Unfortunately- she did require glasses (I bet ya'll could have guessed that).
We went straight to pick Priss up from school after the exam- Josey was BEYOND excited! (I only wish that you could have seen her face when she saw Lucy wearing her new glasses- PRICELESS.)

p.s. Lucy Danyell was so brave that A-man decided he wanted a check-up too. The very friendly/hunky doctor was ALL too happy to check him out as well! But NO glasses for him- he had to settle for playing with the equipment instead- (I think he was fine with that- ha ha ha)!!!

p.s.s. Several of the ladies in the office have daughters with American Girl dolls too- I think he may be getting even busier very soon...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Good Gracious that's GOOD"

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First let me just say that I am NOT the sugar-police (contrary to what Cooner & Daddy think of me). I just know that sugar in small quantities is okay & that Little Debbie treats in LARGE quantities are NOT good for you... We (I) love desserts as much as the next person, but I also love healthy desserts & I have been known to serve "deceptively delicious" treats without telling a soul (shh). PLEASE do not tell Joey that the last time he ate "the best pasta sauce that I had ever made"- it had ground up carrots & cauliflower in it... This little bread recipe is also one of the Harris Family staples & it has no oil or butter in it. YUM-O!!!

~Banana Bread-Harris Style~
3 very ripe bananas (the size doesn’t much matter; medium to large works)
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For topping:
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter or spray an 8-inch square pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Add the eggs, and stir well to combine. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla, and stir to mix. Add ¾ cup of the chocolate chips, and stir briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan, and top with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

This is Priss & I trying our best to NOT think of the yummy bread baking... but coloring is really NO substitute...

Monday, November 16, 2009

"messy can be beautiful..."

I told ya'll that I have cleaned out & organized my sewing room... YES it is still a bit of a mess, but I dare say- messy can be beautiful!!! I love everything about this room, but mostly just that I can go in it & let my imagination run WILD!!!!!! Josey needs a Pilgrim costume for her school play (that we will not be here for, but she wants to participate in the dress rehearsals). What can I say? She loves the stage! Anyway I found myself in the land of forgotten fabrics (Goodwill) & found the perfect black coat to make her skirt out of.

I also picked this wool skirt up for 3 bucks- I got this idea??? (I know scary huh??) Anyway please excuse this VERY tired Momma picture- it seems my craft time has to take place while nearly everyone else in the world is in their REM sleep cycle!

Then I made a template & cut 2 out of the wool...

Then I tried that little "fabric stiffener" idea that we used to do in elementary school with felt- you know the one where you soak it in school glue & water? Anyway I found myself sneaking up to Prissy's desk & borrowing some...

Then I cut some strips & attempted to form some sort of rose figure? All the while I kept asking Joey if it resembled a flower? "I guess honey? I mean you kinda like things a little over the top!" he said! I'm not really sure what to say about that???

Next like the man said- I still thought that it looked a little understated (as though a huge wool flower can)? So I crept up to the sacred world of ALL things gaudy (Josey's room) again & retrieved a bag of glitter...

The rest is history- expect to say... that YES it is messy & NOT perfect, but I think it is beautiful & it will look spectacular pinned on a blouse, handbag, scarf, or even on top a present...

Friday, November 13, 2009


(click on the button for details)

Hey ya'll I saw this & thought it was a cute idea!!! Ashton & I have been busy wrapping Christmas gifts ALL morning (we are celebrating with the IN folks @ Thanksgiving this year). Have a blessed weekend.....

~my little helper~

p.s. Ashton & I were rocking out to Josey's ipod tunes & we saw this guy... He'll make ya chuckle. Be a BLESSING to someone today!!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"I'm thankful for..."

It is EASY to see what I am thankful for today... but if you don't know? I am thankful for these 2 little blessings that God lets me play with everyday!!! Who just so happen to LOVE snuggling up in my bed after bath-time......

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Happy Birthday Jo-Bo-Baby"

Ya'll know that I ADORE birthdays!!!! So today I get to spoil my favorite guy-
Happy Birthday Joey!!!
We LOVE you PICKLE & are Blessed to have ya!!! He has chosen chicken parm. for dinner (choosing is 1 of the perks for your day) & pumpkin cupcakes for dessert (this is the 1st year that I haven't made the birthday boy a pie, minus the bedrest year, since 1998)?

Joey's b-day 2003
(with blackberry pie)

Joey's b-day 2004
(with blueberry pie)

Joey's b-day 2005
(with blackberry pie & we had family pics that day too)

NO b-day for Joey 2006 (the A-man & I were on bedrest...
- although Cooner did make him a pumpkin pie)

Joey's b-day 2007
homemade milkshakes... & blackberry pie
(A-man went to bed too early to get one, but not before he destroyed the party hats...)

Joey's b-day 2008
raspberry pie- I know that ya'll are thinking, but he LOVES it!!!

(We went out to dinner for his b-day- no pics...)

p.s. Happy Veteran's Day DADDY & all those who have served our country. May God Bless ALL of you & your families!!!!!!

Wasn't he a little hottie???
(Cooner had these picture/postage stamps made while he was in Vietnam.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Our Super SWEET Scarecrows"

Ashton & I had Priss ALL to ourselves (her school was closed for Veteran's day) yesterday.... and we LOVED it!!! I had promised a fun-filled day & I think I delivered with this little project... These little guys were the perfect solution- NO BAKE, KID FRIENDLY, & YUMMY!!!

you'll need: vanilla creme cookies, white icing, candy corn, mini chocolate chips, candied orange slices, weave-it crackers, & a VERY eager clean handed little helper!!!

start by icing the cookies & having your helper add the eyes, hair, & nose...

Next dust a baking board with powdered sugar & roll out the orange slices. Then fold up the bottom to form the hat brim.

Finally taste one- we decided the BEST way is to "eat them apart"- start with the nose & work your way to the cookie...

Then pack them up in cute little bags to sent to school for all the other little kiddos to enjoy!!!
(but don't forget to keep some @ home for the little guys too)

Monday, November 09, 2009

"let's go for a walk..."

I have a VERY anxious spirit (although I joke about it @ times). It sometimes almost cripples me to the point that I question my own faith. Scary, but true! I find that my devotions are the ONLY glue that permanently secures my soul to the cross. I do not often even speak of these things (maybe it's pride or maybe it's the fact that saying it out loud gives life to it)! Anyway I am telling ya'll this only to ask for you prayers & to maybe somehow actually help someone too along the way? I was reading today in John about the man at the pool & I saw myself there for the first time. I was him questioning God & having reservations on whether or not I could be free of this?

God asked the man- "Do you want to get well?" "Sir," the man replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred..."

To me he asks- "Do you believe that I am in control (EVEN of your kiddos), Ashly?"

"Well, I do. But the thing is, I love them SO much that sometimes I think that I know them best. I worry about them ALWAYS. I want to be free of this stronghold of worry & anxiety but..."

And gently, I hear Him whisper again.

"Do you want to get well?

"Yes, Lord."

And that's what I should have said the first time. Because by saying yes to this question, I am showing that I have a little thing called faith. And it's kind of a big deal in the Bible. You might even say it's a theme!

It has nothing to do with the stirring, and everything to do with the stirrer.

Which is exactly why He asks.

And when Jesus hears my the man's rambling, doubtful answer, He tells him to be obedient and to disregard the pool. He doesn't need water, just a willing servant.

"Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (John 5:8)

So he did.

Now, at this point I need to state the obvious. He may not heal you the way you may think that you want Him to, or do what you think is "best" in your timing.

I've been sitting by this darn pool my whole life. I've relied on others & myself for most of my years. I'm sick of complaining about the stirring and making excuses when things aren't going the way I want them to go.

He is in our midst, and if you love Him the way I hope you do, listen for Him in the stillness of your thoughts.

"Do you want to get well?"

In my mind, I hear Him asking it a little differently..."Do you believe I can take take care of them & your anxious spirit?"

Well, yes. Of course I do.

I'm not relying on feeble statistics and human ability. My God is asking me a question and I will do the only thing I know how to do.

Kneel deep and nod yes, believing that He can handle the rest.

After all, it's His house of mercy. His unending grace and love.

Whether it's been 31 minutes or 31 years you've been waiting, one thing is for sure. He is the same God now as He was in Jerusalem years ago.

So get up, friend.

It's time to walk.

Friday, November 06, 2009


After MUCH prayer... we are finally beginning our Home Group tonight- (basically a bible study that includes 3 other couples & meets bi-monthly).We alternate hosting- & I love it being personal & comfortable that way! Also- I love that we get to stay together as families (the kiddos all get to eat & play together too). I have not been a part of a small group since Josey was 2 & this is WAY over due!!! We are hosting the 1st meeting tonight & we are keeping it simple with pizza (take-out), salad, & desserts... But I wanted to make one extra appetizer.... I know that Catherine loves White Queso too- maybe we can convert the others??? I gotta run & switch the couch cushions over to the "company side" while I'm thinking about it..... Have a BLESSED weekend!!!!!!

~White Queso Dip~

  • 1 package {24 slices} of white American {not the Swiss American– white American}
  • a couple spoonfuls of chopped jalapenos {the pickled ones in the pickle aisle, they come sliced you have to do the chopping}
  • a couple spoonfuls of chopped tomatoes
  • milk to thin
Unwrap the cheese and break/cut into small pieces and place in microwave safe bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of finely chopped jalapenos & tomatoes. I like to chop mine in the mini-food processor. I throw a little jalapeno juice in too. Microwave on high for 1 min. Stir and add some milk to thin. Continue to microwave, stir and add milk until you’ve reached your desired consistency. I prefer mine a little runny. I keep it in the crock pot to keep it warm while serving! Enjoy!

p.s. this is the verse that inspired our group:

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
~Hebrews 3~

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"velvet mittens"

~Thankful Thursdays~

Today I am thankful for moments spent holding hands with my little ones! They know that whenever we get out of the car we ALL hold hands- they never protest (they know I will win)! Ashton now holds his little chunky hand up for mine- I LOVE THAT about him. It feels just like a little velvety mitten- perfectly smooth & sweet!!! I pray that I never take these precious times for granted...

p.s. I have been going over somethings in my journal this morning & this spoke to me about "leaving a legacy" for my children. Scripture says that "a righteous man will be remembered forever". I want Josey & Ashton to see me:
1. living with INTEGRITY
2. serving with INTENSITY
3. giving with GENEROSITY
4. succeeding with HUMILITY
5. sharing Jesus with URGENCY

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"memories on a heart string..."

Today as I was in the craft room- I stumbled across a big bag of old clothes (they would be pure-T junk to most of ya'll), but they are PRICELESS to me. They include stained night gowns, ripped Tu Tu's, patched blankets, my FAVORITE maternity dress, & YES even the little dress that I wore home from the hospital. I am SUPER sentimental, but the bag has gotten a bit ridiculous (even for me)!!!!! So I saw this precious idea from the Nester (one of favorite sites) & then I thought about my Priss:

and how she once looked like this:

Then I grabbed the bag out of the trash (now let me be honest- I was ONLY throwing away socks..) & found myself knee deep in this:

(this is just what it looks like- scraps of fabric that I have made her dresses out of, old stained clothes, ribbon, trim from her nursery curtains, maternity clothes, lace from her fancy socks, & lots of other FANTASTIC memories for me...)

Next I cut them all into 10 inch pieces (with a VERY heavy heart) & then tied them onto a piece of jute. I must admit that I was questioning the WHOLE idea of this little endeavor to the FULLEST degree...

Then I called Cooner to tell her what I had done... It's funny I still tell on myself- even as an adult. She was (to my surprise) very happy with the idea & she recognized many of the prints. I hope that my little Priss can point out some too -(I bet that Joey will notice the dress that I wore basically EVERYDAY while I was pregnant)??

Next I placed it where I could see it EVERYDAY & remember just how precious all of those times were. (I also added some curtain clips throughout it to hang special things on- like her 1st pair of ballet shoes, bonnets, & whatever else I fancy..)

p.s. I LOVED this so much- that I am thinking of making a Christmas one for the mantel with jingle bells, old Christmas morning pj's, hats, gloves, & other fun Harris Has-Beens...