Lasagna Style Rigatoni Bake with Sour Cream Cheesy Bread

  I started with a recipe for Baked Ziti, and somehow ended up with this delicious casserole we dubbed “Lasagna Style Rigatoni Bake”.  

  I think Rigatoni is a VERY under used noodle, and I am proud to give it a day to SHINE.  Rigatoni are the big, fat, round noodles that look like tubes. They hold all kinds of yummy bits of cheese and sauce when  you use it in a bake like this.

Lasagna Style Rigatoni Bake

{click title for printable}

Lasagna Style Rigatoni Bake txt


  • 1 pound Sausage
  • 1 pound Hamburger
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • 28 ounces, weight Peeled, Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14 Oz Each) Tomato Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • ¾ teaspoons Each Rosemary And Thyme
  • ½ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder


  • 1 box (16oz) Rigatoni Noodles, Cooked
  • 16 ounces, weight Tub Of Cottage Cheese
  • 5 ounces, fluid Philidelphia Italian Herb And Cheese Cooking Creme
  • 2-½ teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1 whole Egg
  • ½ cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2-½ pounds Of Freshly Shredded Mozzarella Cheese {Shredding Fresh Is SO Much Better Than The Pre-shredded Stuff!}
  • Dried Parsley, For Garnish

In a large family sized skillet or stock pot, cook sausage and beef with onions and garlic. Drain most of the grease.
Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes to meld flavors while you boil, drain and cool water rinse your Rigatoni noodles.
In a large, separate bowl, combine cottage cheese, cooking creme, one egg, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese and 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Stir in noodles.
Spray an oversized 10×14 baking dish, and over flow to a 2 qt casserole dish. That is because this dish is ALMOST too big for a 10×14, and rather than overflow it, we will make 2 dishes, one large and one small.

  Spread a layer of almost half the cheese covered noodles into main pan. Next, spread nearly 1/2 of the meat sauce, top this layer with mozzarella cheese.   Repeat layers, ending with more cheese.  Scrape remaining cheese covered noodles and sauce into your 1 qt baking dish, and top with mozz cheese.  

Sprinkle with dried parsley for pretty over the tops of both.

Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Pop the second pan into the fridge for an easy later day lunch, or run it next door to your favorite shut in.  

Serve with Sour Cream Cheesy Bread and a big salad.

  What is Sour Cream Cheesy Bread, you ask?  

  Well, it’s so gooey, creamy and rich, it makes me weak in the knees! YUMMO. 

  This recipe comes from my childhood, my pastor’s wife made it for us one time, and it was love at first BITE!

Please forgive me, I may or may not have forgotten the bread in the oven, and it may or may not look a little bit “DONE” in the photo. Boo.  

  Don’t burn yours, mk?  Just set a timer.  I did not, because I knew it would only be a moment until the cheese was perfect.  

Moment here, gone and good bye soft bread.


Sour Cream Cheesy Bread

{click title to print}

Sour Cream Cheesy Bread txt

  • 1 loaf Of Whole Wheat French Bread
  • 2 cups Colby Jack Cheese
  • 8 ounces, weight Sour Cream
  • ½ sticks Butter, Softened
  • Garlic Salt, to taste

Slice french bread loaf in half. Spread each side to the edge with softened butter, then sprinkle with a generous amount of garlic salt.
Next, spread a nice layer of sour cream to the edge, and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 350* for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. {set a timer!}

Dig in!


Italian supper collage


Shhh! Top Secret Pot Roast

  The kids have been out of school since last Wednesday because of all the snow!  snow collage

  A week later, we are finally back to regular schedule.  I am glad things are back to normal, I have a lot of work to do around here to get caught up, but I miss them already!  It was noisy and messy, I had a pile of wet, dirty snow clothes at the back door constantly, but how fun to be home, all as a family, for so many days in a row!    We loved it!

  Yesterday, we painted the Salt Sculptures we had made the day before.

  Salt sculpturesSalt scupltures

Once the sun came out, it was perfect play weather, so we all headed out to make good use of this final snow day. Dale helped the kids build this cool snow chair.
Snow day fun

Avery says, Let’s look cool, since I am the Queen!

snow queen

Destiny and I made a snowman and snow bunny rabbit

Snow collage

  Now, on to the TOP SECRET recipe.  I have been making and perfecting my Pot Roast recipe for 11 years now. 

  Ok, that’s not true, I used to not even make this dish at all when we were first married, because I got burned on it as a kid. 

Come on Mom, EVERY Sunday!?  Haha 🙂

  I’ve been making it for around 7 years now, and I have finally perfected it.  Know how I know? 

  My Grandmother tried it and said it was the best she had ever tasted, and she’s been making delicious Pot Roasts for like 100 years or something.  


Sooo, since I love you all so much, I’ve decided to share my Top Secret Pot Roast recipe with you today.  It has a secret ingredient.


  It’s creamy.  {Everything has to be creamy at my house if you haven’t already figured that out……}

  It’s zingy.  {Is that a word? It is now.}

  It’s Creamy Horseradish Sauce.

   After I rub the pot roast in coarse Kosher Salt and fresh cracked pepper, I literally smear the whole thing in creamy horseradish sauce.  Don’t be scared if you aren’t a horseradish fan!!! It cooks away and leaves this tender meat behind, with an incredible flavor you can’t QUITE put your finger on.

Top Secret Pot Roast

{click to print}

Top Secret Pot Roast


  • 5 to 6 pound Pot Roast
  • Kosher Salt And Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 cup Creamy Horseradish Sauce
  • 2 packages {2 Oz Total} Dry Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 whole Onion, Cut 
  • 8 oz Baby Carrots or cut 5 whole ones
  • 8 to 12 whole Small Red or Yukon Potatoes, cubed
  • 14 ounces Beef Broth
  • Water if needed

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Cut excess fat off of your pot roast and discard. Rub roast with coarse kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper on all sides.

Place roast in a large roasting pan. Cover all visible sides of pot roast with creamy horseradish, then sprinkle on one packet of the dry onion soup mix.

Cut into small even pieces, your onion and washes potatoes. Surround/cover meat with veggies.

 Open second packet of dry onion soup mix and sprinkle over veggies. Pour beef broth plus water if needed to fill half way. Tent with foil.

Bake at 325 F for a total of 3 hours. {Take off foil the last 45 minutes, so it browns up nicely}

Serve with additional creamy horseradish sauce, if desired.

Use leftovers for Beef Stew or make our fav, Texas Cowboy Pie! (Search recipes in here for that)


Now my secret, is YOUR secret!


Telephone Etiquette

  So way back in the olden days, when I was a little girl, I used to LOOOOVE to answer the phone.  “Hello Bontrager residence, Tonya speaking!” 

{Gotta love an 80’s perm, Avery just asked me why “Destiny” is wearing a wig?}

Scan_Pic0009 (2)

Anyhow, I guess I sound just like my mom, because I had to add “Tonya speaking”, or even as a second grader, these people would launch into a looooong story about what they needed before I could even sputter out the words,

“WAIT, you want my mom, hold on I will get her for you!”

  My parents talked to us about do’s and do not’s of phone etiquette.  And look, we even had this cute little book all about it. My mom just recently passed it on to my kiddos.  This book covers basics like don’t tell  people if you are home alone, use good manners, take messages for your mom etc.

PicMonkey Collage txt

   In addition to all these rules, we had a house rule that we didn’t answer the phone during supper.  This was back in the 1980’s, and guess what, we didn’t even have an answering machine to record that missed call. OR caller ID to know who we missed! 



                                 HOW DID WE STAND IT?!?!?!?!?

Unheard of now, right?  Funny how things change. 

  But I love what that taught me….family supper is more important than that phone call, and that person would call back later.  We have chosen to keep this rule at our house, and very very rarely, do we answer during a meal.

  Now days it seems everyone can be reached anytime via home phone, cell phone or messaging.  If we can’t get them one way, we try the other two.  I think with the good of that instant gratification, comes some bad……

  It’s like we think we owe those people an immediate hello, even if we are in the middle of a bedtime story, or family time. 

Honestly?  We don’t!

If family comes first, then it’s ok to let it go to voice mail, and call them back after the kids are in bed!  If you are reading a book, and you are at a good part, fine! Don’t answer! You can call back later.  Be empowered, you control the phone, it doesn’t control your life!

  I think in this day and age, of constant access to various forms of communication, we need some written rules about it.  So I decided to write Telephone Etiquette 101.

Rule #1:  No Being On Your Phone At The Park.


That was in honor of all of those people who misunderstood the point of Dear Mom On the iPhone!  🙂  If you go to the park to have a break from your kids, be my guest!  But please, don’t forget to put it down and go running up to them for a surprise “YOUR IT!” attack, with a fun game of tag ensuing now and then, either.

iPhone, Texting and Cell Phone Etiquette 101

1)  Have “Phone Free Zones” In Your Home.
  Like at the dinner table, or your bedroom.  Have those places be ‘sacred’. A place where you connect with your family and spouse, not the world, or the world-wide web.

  If that doesn’t appeal to you, then choose “Phone Free Times” like no phones during family game night, during your bedtime routine with the kids, or devotions with your spouse.  The phone needs to be out of arms reach, preferably in another room, so that text or call will not be begging for your attention.

  I have heard a lot of people say when they enter the house, they and their children with cell phones, are expected to park them on a docking station in the mud room until the next morning.  No phones in the evening and no phones up in bedrooms!  LOVE that idea!

2) Have “Phone Free Zones” Outside Your Home
  Like date night.  Or a ball game.

   Give your spouse 100% of your attention, or root on your child and his team with your whole heart.  Be there.  Be ALL there, not surfing the web, or scrolling through Facebook!  Put your phone on silent and give the ones you love your full attention. 

   What about when we see people’s play by plays of their date night on Facebook, plus lots of other comments along the way on other’s posts?  Facebook is so distracting!  Try to just put the phone away, and enjoy your spouse!  Face to face, eye to eye grown up time.  Holding hands and having fun!!!!!  You can post your great time later, after you get home!  {If you still want to.} Winking smile

3) Little Pitchers Have Big Ears
  WAAAY too many grown up conversations happen with little ears in the backseat of the car listening.  Be aware of your surroundings, both in the car, at the store, and in your home.  Your children are listening, heck, grown up people are listening!  Just because you can bring your cell phone into a vehicle, restaurant or store, does not mean your personal life needs to come, too.  Go excuse yourself, or wait for another time to have your conversation.

4) Speaker Phone Is For When You Are Alone
I know there is fear in getting brain damage by being on your cell too much, but people, making us all listen to BOTH SIDES of your LOUD conversation on speaker phone, is NOT the answer. 

5) Get Off the Phone
  I love to talk to my kids about their day, or what we are seeing as we drive.  There is nothing better than talking to your captive audience, your kids!  You will be SHOCKED how much they have to say, when there is nowhere to run off to.  Smile at them in the rear view mirror and ask about their days. Make this a special tradition at the end of a school day. You will open up lines of communication for years to come.

  I try not to make this a habit, but there are some days that I have several phone calls to be made, so the obvious choice is while in the car, or waiting in car pick up lines, which I do multiple times a day!!!  The kids get to listen to an Adventure in Odyssey CD, and I get 14 calls made for the upcoming Bake Sale. It’s a win-win.
HOWEVER, when I enter the school, I want to do better about being off my phone. I want to show respect to the teachers and parents that I am coming in contact with.  And, if they need to talk to me about my student, I will be available.

This also applies when checking out at a store. You may be the only ‘Jesus’ that clerk comes in contact with that day. Your “Good Afternoon, How are you doing today?” might be the nicest words they hear all day.  If we are to be Jesus’ hands and feet, then we better not always be on our phones!

6) Leave It In The Car
I know there are people on call, or times when a babysitter is at home with little ones, or a loved one is dying, or you are waiting for word on some big deal at work, I get it. But be FREE.  Don’t be chained to your phone any longer.  Sometimes, it really is ok, to just leave it in the car.  You might be surprised how much you enjoy that freedom.

7) Multi-Tasking Is Disrespectful
  Texting is quiet, I get that. But it is very disrespectful to look down during a face to face conversation, to answer a text.  Have you ever watched that other person, the one that was visiting with you and sharing their heart?  Their words slow down, their eyes dart back and forth between you and your phone.  They aren’t saying it, but they are waiting for your full attention before continuing.  It is very accepted by culture today, but I say it feels disrespectful!

  If this was “real life” and 2 people were trying to talk to you at once, would you not tell one of them to hold on a minute?  You sure wouldn’t carry on two conversations at once!  Oh, it happens in real life sometimes, but it’s awkward and un-productive for everyone! 

8) Some Conversations Are Better Spoken
  Save texting for those quick, “I am going to be late,” “I miss you,” “Praying for you today,” messages.
If you have 7 paragraphs to say, then use your phone the “old school way” and actually call your friend.  Real time talking with real-time emotion.

9) Talk To Your Kids About The Power They Have At Their Fingertips
If you decide to get your teen or preteen a Smart Phone, then please have some rules in place. Be ready to take the phone away when those rules are broken.
Talk to them about the beauty of real voices with real emotions on the other end of the phone line. Teach them not to send sexy pictures or inappropriate words just because they are hiding behind a screen. And please, don’t allow your child free rein to the web without some sort of filter or rule system in place. We want our children to succeed and grow up to respectable adults. Filling their mind with garbage at an early age, will only create them heartache in the long run.

10) The Movie Theatre Is Dark, But Your Phone Screen IS NOT
Listen, you probably just paid around $20 to get you and your date into the movies. I know it seems dark and private and un-disruptive to quickly check your emails, but guess what?  Even though the theater is dark, your phone screen is NOT.
Watch the movie!  Shut your phone off and be present.  If you can’t go two hours without doing a “drive by” on your phone, Facebook or Email, it’s time for a phone DETOX.

Bonus Tip:  If Your Hand Maintains Cell Phone Shape After You Set It Down, You Have A Serious Problem. {tee hee}  🙂

Have some more iPhone, Texting or Cell Phone “rules”?  Feel free to add them in the comments section.

Hugs, T

More about this subject here.


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Mercy Ink Heart&Home Link Up

Winter Wonderland

  If you follow 4 little Fergusons on Facebook, then you have already seen the following photos, but there are a lot of you that haven’t, so these are for you. 🙂

We have had a very dry last few years, this year was proving to be no different….we barely have had any snow. And if we did, it melted right away!  If it is going to be brown and dead and cold, we need snow to brighten things up at least once a month, right!?


I had nearly given up hope of ANY big snows this year.  Oh well, Spring might as well come. I packed up all my “Let It Snow” winter décor and THEN……..

Then they started forecasting this BLIZZARD! YES!  I should’ve packed up my décor a month ago!? lol  🙂

  They were predicting 2 days of snow!  Like 16 inches worth!  I prayed soooo hard it would come. The kids joined in my plea. When we woke up……………..

  It was Snowy Heaven. 


Big fat flakes falling most of the day.  No school, no work for Dale, just 2 days of fun in the snow and cocoa by the fire. 


Oh man, we LOVED it!

  There was even MORE snow by day 2.

Here are the photos from our days at home:

  I headed out to help Dale with chicken chores. He was super sweet and made a path for me to follow.  Except, I think he forgot how much shorter 5 foot 3 legs are than 6 foot 1 legs.  I hollered at him that these steps were TOO BIG! 

He said, “I am already taking steps half the size of normal up here!” 

Blog collage 1

  Needless to say, even though he took smaller steps and I made it out to the coops, I did NOT end up helping him with chores. 

Probably because I had my camera in hand?! 



Blog collage 3Blog Collage 2

I ended up walking the whole property before heading back in.  I could hardly walk it was so deep, but it was worth it! 🙂

Blog collage 4


After quiet reading time, we let the big kids go outside. 

Blog Collage 5

Poor little Peanut, she couldn’t walk and kept falling down.  She’d just sit there so quietly in the snow, watching everyone else have fun.


Daddy came to the rescue

Blog collage 6

She soon came in, but not before playing in the cool “Fort” the big kids discovered under our evergreen tree.  It really was like a little snow house under there, so fun!

Blog Collage 7

You know, I used to want to move somewhere tropical SO bad!  But days like this, I am thankful to live in a place that sees ALL four seasons in all their glory.


 Bringing you Winter Wonderland-Midwest Style…..


PS  Guess WHAT!? They are forecasting 12-16 MORE inches today and tomorrow.




Let It Snow

Oh the weather outside is frightful…..

They are forecasting 10 inches of snow {16-18 in some areas} and I sure hope they are right! We have 14 inches this morning!

But the fire is so delightful…..

Orrison Family Session 052

And since we have no place to go….

Let it Snow

Let it Snow

Let it Snow

14) White as snow

Speaking of cold and snow.  I’ve been wanting to tell you about something.

Here is the BEFORE:


This is the 1930’s style fireplace we tried to heat our home with. 

30% efficiency,  $150-250 gas bill depending on how hot we could keep the fire all day.

{If you wanted to be toasty warm, you stayed RIGHT by the fire!}


DURING: Mr. Do It Yourself saved us $900 by installing the fireplace insert himself, woo hoo!


Hour 5 of the Installation Process:

What? No more smiles, Mr. DIY?




We now heat our whole house with this fireplace insert.  It is listed to heat 2000 square feet.  That means the heater hasn’t been turned on once!

87% efficiency, $25 a month gas bill. {for heating the water heater}


  Our house went from an average of a nippy 60* in the side rooms and a drafty 71* in the living room, all winter long, to a warm 71* in the side rooms and a toasty 76* in the main living, dining and kitchen areas.   {We shut bedroom doors now, to keep the main rooms warmer, plus, I think we all sleep better in a cool bedroom with lots of snuggly blankets.}

With this wood burning fireplace insert, we are going through a third of the amount of wood, too because it burns hotter, slower.  Meaning Dale loads the wood bin the morning and I can keep the house warm all day without heading out back to refill it. It lasts until he gets home in the evening!

Why, oh WHY, did we wait 10 years to do this?! 

  If you have a fireplace and you are interested in heating your home with cozy, wood heat, we highly recommend a Regency Fireplace Insert, we sure love ours. 

Now, like I said earlier!




Nacho Supremes

   Yesterday I shared Gun Smoke Chili.  It makes a nice big batch which I love, because I have 2 favorite things to do with it, make Oven Chili Dogs, or… favorite is to make Nacho Supremes!  This very delicious homemade cheese sauce recipe comes from my Momma’s recipe box, and starts with a simple roux. 

  Now, don’t stop reading just because I said the word, roux. {pronounced roo} I promise you, it is very simple to make and the end result is a gorgeous, silky, nacho cheese sauce to drizzle over your chips and chili. YUMMO!  

This is a large batch of cheese, we easily served 10, so feel free to half it.

Nacho Supremes

{click title to print}



  • 1 stick Butter
  • ¾ cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3-½ cups Whole Milk, Or More As Needed
  • 2 pounds Velveeta Cheese
  • 6-10 cups Warm Leftover Chili
  • Optional Garnish: Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Lettuce Shreds, Red Onion, Green Onion, Jalapenos
  • Yellow Corn Chips, To Serve

Melt butter in a large family skillet. Slowly whisk in flour and salt until it makes a paste. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly and until thickened. Add cubed Velveeta and stir until melted. Add up to 1/2 cup milk more at the end to thin down the cheese if it’s too thick.

Serve over a plate of chips, add chili, drizzle cheese, and garnish per your taste. Delicious!


Gun Smoke Chili

I know every family has their FAVORITE chili recipe.  After many years of looking when we were first married, this one is ours.  It has enough meat for Dale, beans and “juice” {broth} for the kids, and chunks of veggies for Momma.  

  This makes a BIG batch, so if your family is small, just cut everything in half.   Keep in mind, chili freezes with no trouble at all, so you might want to do the whole thing anyhow, and plan to tuck some away for later.  

 But WAIT! Don’t freeze those leftovers just yet, we have something else to make with leftover Chili tomorrow……. 🙂

Gun Smoke Chili

{click title for easy printable}

Gun Smoke Chili txt


  • 2 pounds Ground Beef Or Venison
  • 1 whole Green Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 whole Red Pepper Chopped
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 2 stalks {up To 4 Stalks} Of Celery, Chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • ¼ cups Chili Powder {LESS If You Don’t Like Heat!}
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 can {10 Oz} Rotel (you Decide The Heat)
  • 1 can (4 Oz.) Chopped Green Chilies
  • 1 can 14 Oz Tomato Sauce
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 cans {15 Oz Each} Kidney Beans, Drained
  • 1 can Chili Beans In Sauce, Undrained
  • 1 can {14 Oz} Zesty Chili Style Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

In a large pot on your stove top, saute the ground beef, bell peppers, onions, celery and garlic. Drain. Add all other ingredients, slow cook all day, or at least an hour. Remove lid if chili seems to be getting to brothy, and continue simmering.  Serve with cornbread. 

Nana’s Perfect Cornbread recipe here.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about what to do with the leftovers…….

Hugs, T

Dirt & Worms Dessert

   I figured there’d be a few of you that wanted the recipe from Tylan’s birthday treat in the first post, so here it is!

This is a VERY popular dessert with my kiddos for their class treats at school, so we’ve made it several times.  I have tried many versions of this, some with butter, some with just pudding, but this one is by far the best we’ve tasted.  A nice creamy, but not too rich pudding, made by combining it with cream cheese and cool whip!

Dirt & Worms Dessert

{click to print}

Dirt & Worms Dessert txt


  • 1 package {15 Oz} Oreo Cookies
  • 16 ounces, weight Cool Whip , Thawed
  • 2 boxes (3.4 Oz. Each) Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Softened
  • Gummy Worms

Preparation Instructions

Mix cool whip, softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together milk and pudding mix, whipping until thickened. Stir them together and spread in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
Crush Oreos in a food processor until fine crumbs remain, cover pudding completely. Tuck worms all over the surface.
Chill for a couple of hours before serving.
For fun, I’ve seen a clean garden trowel as the serving utensil and this served in clean, lined terra cotta pots.  Up to you how far you take this “theme.”

Dirt and worm dessert

Dig in! 


Dirt & Worms Dessert Collage

Birthday Fun & Layered Ice Cream Cake

   I told you on Friday, that sweet Tylan has been waiting 6 WHOLE MONTHS, for his turn at a birthday!  All 3 of his siblings were born in the summer, AND he had to endure the girls’ two half birthday celebrations at school yet, too. 

FINALLY, his turn came!

  The rule at our house for the Birthday kiddo, is you don’t have to do ANY of your normal chores, the other kids have to do them.  They get to pick the food we eat, and the cake they want for dessert that night.  They get 3 gifts, just like at Christmas, that are opened before dinner.  Oh my, was he ever on cloud 9!

  He received a wooden marble works set, a stomp rocket and a bike from us.  {Someone gave us this bike for free. What a blessing!} 

Collage 1Collage 2Collage 3Collage 4Collage 5

  From other family members he received $6, Target gift card and new roller blades, which he insisted on wearing to dinner.

Collage 6Collage 7

  Speaking of dinner:

Tylan LOVES Mac & Cheese.


Not Mom’s homemade, nope, the boxed stuff.  Bleh.

  Ok, buddy, good thing its your birthday, cause this is a special treat!


  I told him we needed to make his dinner selection a bit more filling, since Great Grandpa Beckler got to come home from the nursing home, and others would be joining us.

So we turned 2 boxes into Mac & Cheese Lasagna, click picture below for recipe.  With served this with regular Mac & Cheese on the side.  Now that is a high quality meal right there, folks.  OH, and a big tossed salad so we had SOMETHING healthy!!!!!!  🙂


He got to pick 2 desserts, one for his school party, and one for home.

For school he picked Dirt & Worm Cake, which I will share the recipe for in Post 2 for today.  I loved hearing him whisper to everyone, “Don’t worry, it’s not REAL dirt.”

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For home, he picked a childhood favorite of mine.  Ice Cream Cake!!! 


It’s very simple actually:

Bake an Angel Food Cake, cool then divide in 3rds if its round, 4ths if you do 2 loaf pans like I did.  {discarding or consuming the extra layer}

Have your birthday boy or girl select TWO kinds of ice cream, allow them to soften just a bit for easier moldablity.  {ice cream combo ideas listed on recipe}

Fill as pictured above, trying to keep cake level.  I used over half of both ice creams.  Then cover the whole thing in Extra Creamy Cool Whip.  Freeze until serving.


  Soooo simple, but soooo good!  Printable recipe here.

Time to sing and EAT!

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  Our Florida family even got to sing Happy Birthday with us, via Facetime!

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  Ty says it was the best day EVER!


birthday collage

A Birthday Wish & Weekend Potluck #54

  Hi there, and welcome to Weekend Potluck, where Friends & Foodies meet and eat, alllll weekend long!

Weekend Potluck Banner

  Today instead of Flashback Friday, I want to take a moment to wish a very, very special boy a Happy Birthday!!  Our anniversary baby was due on Valentine’s Day, but he wanted a day of his own, so he made me wait a whole NOTHER 24 hours before arriving.  That means…..

Tylan turns 6 today!


  Tylan Zachary was born after 4 miscarriages in 2 years.  We were all but sure we’d never have another child on earth with us again. 

“For this child I prayed, and the Lord hath granted me that which I asked of Him.”
I Samuel 1:27

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God is so faithful, and He gave me my hearts greatest desire….another baby.

A BOY even! Now we had one of each!

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Even though I had always wanted 4-6 kids, I knew we must be done, right?  After all our troubles, I figured having one of each meant we should be thankful for what we had and be done.


2 more babies in 2 years, THEN our family was complete. 



You bless our home with sweet giggles, your mischievous grin, and such a tender heart. It blesses me so much when you come to me with a deep thought about being a Godly man, or a gentleman. I know you will make such a great Husband and Daddy someday, because you are already aware of the things that make a Godly man great. You are so special, and we are sooo blessed that God gave us YOU!


Happy 6th Birthday, Buddy!  We love you SO much!  Mommy & Daddy   xoxo

Happy Bday Collage txt

Now, time for Weekend Potluck!  Let’s take a quick peek back at last week

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

”Fried” Ice Cream

”Fried” Ice Cream by Everyday Mom’s Meals

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Strawberry Lemonade Bars by Turnips to Tangerines

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna by Julie’s Eats & Treats

And, a personal favorite ~

I am not a huge chocolate fan. I don’t crave Hershey’s bars or anything like that. HOWEVER, I WILL eat chocolate to get to the caramel in the center, make sense?

So when I saw this Chocolate Roulade, I was amazed at how delicious it looked, and how bad I wanted to make it.
You know what I like, right???

The CREAMY middle! Mmmmm!!!!!!
Chocolate Roulade

Chocolate Roulade by Comfy Cook

Your hostesses ~

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