Eating At The Big Boy Table

 This is post 2 for today, be sure to head to Post 1 for a DELICIOUS grilled sandwich and homemade tomato soup recipe. Yum! 

Now that Paxton is 18 months old, he thinks he is BIG stuff.  {Ahhh! I just realized that I still HAVE TO GO TAKE 18 MONTH PICS OF HIM! Oh my goodness, I totally forgot!} 

  Anyhow, none of that baby stuff is acceptable anymore, like letting Mommy rock him to that state of almost asleep.  Nope, he now points and grunts for his crib, where he quietly falls asleep on his own…SNIFF SNIFF!  😦

  The crib he uses is a mini-crib, due to space issues of shared bedrooms, so since it’s smaller than normal, 18 months old is when Avery went to a twin bed.  She did great, but Paxton? Oh boy! I am not sure I’d ever sleep again, for fear he was letting himself out the back door or something equally awful!


So we will wait a bit before giving him his reserved bottom bunk!

{Phew, still my baby a bit longer!}


   In going along with this 1 1/2 year old “Big Boy” stuff, Dale thought that Pax might like to join the family sitting at the dinner table.  The spot where we keep the highchair makes it impossible to walk around the table, so I was not sad to see it go.  HOWEVER, the whole “My Baby is growing up part” is a bit harder to swallow! I will let Paxton tell you the rest of the story:

I’m SO big sitting here at the table!  IMG_2459

See that Highchair over there?


I don’t even need it anymore! Yeah, big stuff, right?!


So, how does this eating at the table thing work? Do I still use this fork to eat or what?


Oh dear, I seem to have made a mess!


Er. Sorry about that, Momma!


I can still sit here, even though I made a mess?!!!!!


Awww, you are so nice, Momma!


I’m a good eater at this Big Boy table!


Thanks for letting me sit here with you guys, I sure like it a lot! 


Won’t you please put down that camera now so we can eat?




Tomato Soup and Salami & Muenster Cheese Sandwiches

This is another blast from the past recipe from my youth.  I had to QUICK make it before we turn to March on the calendar and I start putting away the soup recipes and getting out other things in preparation for the warm weather to come!

  This Homemade Tomato Soup recipe has always made me giggle a bit, since it calls for a can of Campbell’s Tomato soup, but hey, who am I to complain when it tastes SOO good!

Nana’s Tomato Soup Recipe

{Click title for printable}

Tomato Soup


  • 2 Tablespoons Onion, Chopped Finely
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons Pepper
  • A Dash Of Each: Garlic, Basil, Oregano And Thyme
  • 14 ounces, fluid Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • 2 cups V 8 Juice
  • 2 cups Milk

Saute onion in butter. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Stir in 1 can tomato soup and 2 cups V-8 juice. Season to taste with garlic, basil, oregano and thyme. Bring to a boil, stirring continually for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of milk and simmer until serving time, being careful not to scorch milk.
Paxton in particular found this Deeee-licious! He had 3 bowls. 

Dale had Ramen Noodles with his sandwich, cause he is a big baby and won’t eat most things that involve warm tomatoes.  🙂

  We usually serve this Soup with Grilled cheese, but when my friend Stephanie Johnson told me about her latest sandwich creation on Facebook, I KNEW I needed to make it ASAP.  She totally had me at the Muenster Cheese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Sweet Dale stopped by the store and got the things for me on his way home, so I wouldn’t have to wait until a WHOLE nother week to pass before it was grocery shopping day again.  Awww!  🙂  {Ramen? What Ramen? You mean someone made Ramen Noodles for supper?!?!?!?!}

Salami & Melty Muenster Cheese Sandwiches

Salami & Muenster sandwiches


  • 12 slices Beef Salami
  • 4 slices Sandwich Sized Muenster Cheese (or More Per Taste)
  • 8 pieces Whole Wheat Bread
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter

Heat skillet while you butter all the bread. Place first bread butter side down in skillet and quickly add 3 pieces of salami and a nice fat layer of Muenster cheese covering to the edge of the bread. Top with other piece of bread, and grill until golden brown, just like you do your grilled cheese. Flip to side two, turn the heat down a bit and add a lid to your skillet to steam melt the cheese a bit, watching your bottom bread closely.
Pull when it turns golden brown and has a crisp to it, but the cheese is nice and melty!!! Eat it while its hot so the cheese stays gooey!

  This sandwich is FABULOUS, and tastes great with Nana’s Tomato Soup.  A HUGE thank you to my Foodie Friend, Steph, for telling me about this!

Now go, quick and make this!  It’s February 29th, we gotta get our Soup fix before Spring shows up!



Cook Once, Eat Twice: Tilapia Edition

  I was raised in a “Waste Not, Want Not” Home.  We ate leftovers until they were gone, like it or not.

   The kids and I usually eat supper leftovers for lunch, or if there is a lot leftover, we have it for supper again a few days later.  Something I am always on a look out for, are recipes whose leftovers can be repurposed.

  Like the time I cooked 1 Pot roast and made 2 different dinners with it:

Cook Once, Eat Twice; pot roast

  You can head over to my friend, Mrs. Bakers site today, to find these yummy recipes.  She has allowed me to guest post over there and that is what I am sharing: Philly Cheese Steak Pizza & Texas Cowboy Pie! YUM!

 We will be doing this SAME CONCEPT over here, except with Tilapia. 

Yes, Tilapia is fish.

Don’t say Ew, it’s really good! 

  Tilapia is very light and buttery, not fishy at all, and you will be delighted to know, we will be smothering it in butter and cheese today. 


  This recipe got 6, 5 star ratings after I shared it on Tasty Kitchen, so don’t be scared, lots of people have gone before you and liked it!  🙂

Parmesan Tilapia

(Click title to be taken to TK to print)



  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ cups Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise Or Miracle Whip
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • ¼ teaspoons Basil
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoons Onion Salt
  • 2 pounds Tilapia

Mix ingredients (except fish) together; set aside.

Grease pan and evenly space the fish. Broil on the top rack for 2-3 minutes. Flip, repeat, and broil 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Spread the top side of fish with the butter mixture. Broil 2 more minutes or until golden brown. Serve fish with pan drippings.

   We like to serve this with Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice and steamed broccoli.

  Now for us, there was not enough left for day two, but remember, we have 6 hungry mouths to feed.  This is why I will always double the above recipe.  The kids devour this so why not make a bunch!?

  Here is what I have planned for day 2:

Tilapia Corn & Potato Chowder

{this recipe adapted from Mother Thyme}



  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Pressed
  • 1 small Red Onion, Diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, Diced
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 cans (15 Ounces each) of Corn
  • 3 cups cubed Potatoes, Skins On
  • 3 oz package of Pre-cooked Real Bacon Bits
  • 1 teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheese, like Cheddar or Colby Jack
  • Leftover Parmesan Tilapia, warmed

  Melt butter in your soup pot over medium heat. Add in garlic, onion and pepper and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add in flour and stir until combined. Slowly add in half and half, stirring well after each addition, making sure it’s thick before adding more.  Then gradually add in chicken broth. Stir in corn, potatoes, bacon, and seasonings.  Cook, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.

When potatoes are tender, add cheddar cheese into the soup and stir until cheese is melted.  Pour desired amount of soup into bowls and top with shredded tilapia.



Be brave, try the fish!

You can thank me later….. tee-hee.  🙂

Head on over to see Mrs. Baker’s site, and check out the original Cook Once, Eat Twice: Pot Roast Edition…..


Picnik collage fish


T-shirt Scarves

 I recently went to a fun Mom’s Breakfast and one of the gal’s there showed us how to make these fun T-shirt Scarves she saw off of Pinterest.  Isn’t everything on Pinterest these days?! SO FUN!

  Anyhow, I left before she was done, but was pretty sure I got the gist of it all.  During naptime I promptly got my Mommy Chores done so I could get started making some.  I went through our closets and found t-shirts nobody was wearing anymore and here is what I made:


This rosette is made out of the elastic cap sleeve from one of my t-shirts.  I don’t sew, AT ALL, so I just hot glued it together.




I wore this one to church on Sunday with pink and brown plaid dress pants, but OF COURSE, forgot to have Dale snap a picture.  


From 3 t-shirts I made 2 different scarves, one that is a yoke scarf, meaning it’s a continuous piece worn double looped around your neck, the other a traditional scarf with tasseled tails.



This last one I made as a gift for a friend who is helping me out this Spring, hope she loves it! {cause I sure do!!!! }  🙂


Destiny and her best friend made matching scarves, yes it’s that easy, and with their leftovers, I made Avery a yoke scarf.

She was SO proud!


Here’s how you do it:

Find an old t-shirt of hubby’s or yours that doesn’t have anything on the back, and not much on the front.  You are wanting to get as many strips as you can before graphics start.

  Lay it out flat on the floor or table:


Cut the bottom band off and then start cutting strips, about an inch in width. You can save the bottom band if you want and use it again as part of your scarf, but know it won’t roll up like the other strips will.


Be as straight as you can, but no need to measure, the raw edges won’t show.

Take the strip in your hand and stretch it.  Move your hand and stretch it again and again, like you are pulling a rubber band in and out.   Do this until your t-shirt rolls up like this, hiding raw edges:


Now, wrap it around your hand and set it down carefully in its ring shape:


Now cut the sleeve band off and discard.  Then cut strips of the sleeve as well, this is how you will be tying your rings together.


Like this:


You will notice in the first scarf photos, that some of my scarves I trimmed the extra off, some I left floppy, this is totally up to you:


Keep going until you have done the whole t-shirt up to the arm pits or graphic.  You can do the double looped yolk kind of scarf, which is one continuous strand, or the traditional scarf kind with tassel ends.  You can also do half long strips, half rings as you will see featured in the first sage green and brown rosette scarf.  The back of the scarf is the same tee shirt strips, just not in a ring shape.  


For this brown and pink one, I did a braided back and attached some brown chains leftover from another shirt.


I attached them so they hung above the loops in more of a layered necklace form. 

SKY’S THE LIMIT!!! Keep going, its tons of fun!


See those brown rings?  They didn’t roll up like the others.  Not sure why, it was a 100% cotton gap comfort t-shirt, but I just went with it and was still very happy with the end result.

To make the end tassel simply tie two loops to the last chain link then cut in half with your scissors!


  I am working on some others that involve cutting circles from the t-shirt first, but we all got VERY sick this weekend, so I will share those later in another post after I have completed them!


Thanks to my friend, Keri Lee, for contacting me with a link for some more tutorials on this subject! They will do a MUCH better job explaining then I did!

My Blessed Life Scarf Tutorial

Now Go, get your Craft on!  More 4 little Ferguson scarf ideas here. 



Nana’s Beef Stroganoff

I have a recipe to share, this is another one of our staples when this Momma doesn’t feel like trying a new recipe. It’s the version of Beef Stroganoff I grew up eating, and we L-O-V-E it!
It’s perfect for those on the go days. Just put your meat in the crock pot in the morning and it’s ready for you to finish out the dish when you get home.

Nana’s Beef Stroganoff

(click title for easy printable)


  • 1 pound Cubed Stew Meat
  • 1 cup Beef Broth
  • ½ cups Diced Onion
  • 16 ounces, weight mushrooms of your choice (I like baby bella)
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, Divided Use
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt And 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 14 ounces, fluid Can Of Beef Broth
  • Reserved Broth From Crock Pot
  • ¾ cups Sour Cream
  • 10 ounces, weight Extra Wide Egg Noodles, Cooked, Drained And Rinse

Meat for Beef Stroganoff:
Place 1 lb. stew meat and 1 cup beef broth in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

When meat is done, drain reserving juices, and continue below:

Boil noodles in a large stockpot then rinse and drain. Sautee onion and fresh mushrooms in 2 T. Butter. Scrape into meat crockpot for later.

In the now empty stock pot, melt 4 T. butter on medium high heat, and add flour and seasonings, allowing it to get thick and bubbly. Stir in the broth and crock pot juice slowly to thicken, whisking constantly.

Let it simmer for a good 15 minutes or so as you stir. This should thicken up like a brown gravy. (If it is doesn’t just add a dash of corn starch in cold water to help thicken faster)

Once liquid has thickened into a nice sauce, add cooked beef, onions,& mushrooms. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

Stir meat mushroom onion mixture and sour cream together, add noodles and stir well. Heat until just warm.

Enjoy! Tastes GREAT with whole steamed green beans and whole wheat rolls! Easily doubled for a crowd.

Please Ring Bell for Service

  The Toy Closet is one of the main hubs at our house. 

It gets 99% of our daily traffic, and when necessary, the privilege of getting toys out of the toy closet is removed.  Sorta like what happened here: “Closed Until Further Notice”.

    Losing their toys for a week was a really good lesson in what mommy means when she says “PICK UP!”

  Effective January 2012, when you walk to the closet you’ll see this:


Actually if you were a little person at my house, you’d see it more like this:


    The kids aren’t in trouble this time, we just decided to implement this new system after we worked so hard after Christmas, doing a Toy Closet Clean out. 

I gotta say, I am IN LOVE! 

  The kids think its super cool to ring the bell for service…..and I don’t trip over a bazillion toys all day long! 🙂



  Pax thinks its pretty cool too!  He gets a running start, heading towards the jingle bells with arm raised…..And WHACK!  He hits the bell for all he’s worth!


029After he smacks it a couple of times, he decides enough is enough, and proceeds to let himself in. 


Anybody in there?


Lil’ Stinker!


  Here’s how it goes:  Bell rings, child seeks permission to get out a toy basket of their choice, mom says yes after checking to be sure the former basket was completely clean up first.  They enter the closet, put away one basket and choose another.  Repeat. And repeat.  AND REPEAT.  But it works like a CHARM!!!!!!

  Another thing I have been trying in the mornings, is rather than letting the kids go in the closet to pick their toys, I’ve been getting out just a few toys of the same “Theme”, like this:


It’s been a while since these vehicles were played with regularly, and guess what? They played with them ALL MORNING long! And it was just a few vehicles!!!!!!

  Another day, when Ty was in school, we played with the Doll House.


Or sometimes we get out Stamps, Paint, Play Dough, or play a game. 


   Sometimes I set up the Little People construction site, farm-house and doll house.  They love that! Especially now that Pax is older.  Last time we did this “Tankzilla” came to visit, and the kids weren’t too thrilled about it.

  This method of play reminds me of “Centers”, which we used to do when I worked at a preschool.  It makes for really good structured play and I feel like we are really utilizing all the toys we have at our disposal this way.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love creative play too, and the kids do a lot of it, especially after school! 

  I don’t know how long this Ring Bell For Service method of Toy Control will work, but this Momma is one happy camper! 🙂


Some pics of playtime from the archives:

The Singing & Dancing Show

Mr. Postman, delivering the mail.

Mrs. Pennyfeather and her children.

Amish Cheeseburger Soup

I am guest posting at Marathon Mom again today, and I will be sharing this delicious Amish Cheeseburger Soup recipe plus several more, come see me!


Amish Cheeseburger Soup

(Click recipe title for easy printable)

Amish Cheeseburger Soup


  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
  • 1-½ cup Carrots, Sliced or Roughly Chopped
  • 1-½ cup Celery, Sliced
  • 1 whole Small Onion Chopped
  • Fresh Parsley, Snipped
  • Basil, To Taste
  • 6 cups Chicken Broth
  • 8 cups Peeled And Cubed Potatoes
  • ½ cups Flour
  • 3 cups Milk
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces Velveeta or a more real cheese like 16 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated is lovely
  • 16 ounces, weight Sour Cream

In a skillet, cook ground beef and set aside. In a large stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons butter and saute carrots, celery, onion, parsley and basil. After 10 minutes, add the chicken broth and potatoes, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.

In a saucepan, make your roux by melting the remaining butter. Add flour, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until bubbly, about a minute. Slowly, add milk and cook on medium, stirring constantly until thickened. Add to the broth and veggies. Turn the heat to low and add the cheese and beef. When the cheese is melted, stir in the sour cream. Taste and add more seasonings according to your liking.


Mozzarella Meatball Sub

  This Meatball Sandwich came together quickly and easily after a busy day of running errands.  Don’t skimp on the real Mozzarella!  You can thank me later.  🙂

Mozzarella Meatball Sub

Mozzarella Meatball Sub text


  • 2 packages Meatballs (14 Oz Each Of Italian And Original)
  • 1 jar (24 Oz) Of Your Favorite Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 whole Wheat French Bread Loaf (Get A Wide Loaf)
  • 4 ounces, weight Ball Of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons Softened Butter
  • Garlic Powder, To Taste

Preheat oven to 350*. Cook meatballs according to package directions. I did mine from frozen, on the stove top for 25 minutes, covered in spaghetti sauce.

Slice bread lengthwise, being careful not to go all they way through, then spread with butter. Sprinkle with garlic powder to taste. Toast in warm oven a teeny bit while you slice fresh Mozzarella with a serrated knife. You don’t want the bread hard and crunchy like toast, just a bit crusty, as the butter melts.

When meatballs are done, add sauce covered meatballs to your slightly toasty bread, stuffing clear to the back of your non cut side of the bread.  (They won’t all fit.) You can add a bit more sauce if you have any left from the bottom of the pot.

Cover in sliced mozzarella and wrap in foil. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes to get the cheese nice and melty.  Slice and serve hot!

ENJOY! Hugs, T