Monday, July 29, 2013

Ranch Potato Salad

Most recipes that I use are not original to me.  I almost always use recipes from friends or the internet.  This recipe, however is one of my own.  After I graduated from college and before I got a teaching job, I was a waitress at a small restaurant in town, MD's.  Some of you may remember it.  They served a delicious potato salad...This is my version!

Ranch Potato Salad

  • 3-4 lbs. Red Potatoes, washed and sliced
  • 1/2  small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
  • 2 (3oz) jars real bacon bits
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes until tender, but still firm.  Rinse in cold water and drain.  Mix remaining ingredients.  Pour mixture over potatoes and toss.  Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's Been a Looooooong Time!

We've been busy, busy, busy!

No excuses, just life!  Between managing a full-time job and our home and family, there has been no time to blog.  I think about it often...I even go as far as thinking about what to say.  I just never follow through.  Mostly because I'm too tired to consider organizing my thoughts and actually uploading pictures!  So many things take up my time...not all are good!

Sometimes I feel like all I do is RUN!  I know I'm not any different than any other mother...but it does feel therapeutic to actually type it out!  Let's see...a typical day...wakeup, get ready for work, get Oki ready for school (no small task since she is NOT a morning person), run out the door like a shot heading to work, work (busy, busy, busy), hurry home, pick up kiddos, referee the fight in the backseat while driving home, cook supper while trying to get homework done, laundry, supper, clean kitchen while monitoring bath time, prayers and bedtime, then prepare for tomorrow (clothes, backpacks, lunches), fall into bed exhausted!  Are ya'll as tired as me?  Now, I don't want to give the wrong impression...I love my life, but sometimes it's hectic!  Well, MOST days it is...I know there are lots of women that have a much more difficult time.  I DO have a MARVELOUS husband that helps so much!  He makes my breakfast and coffee EVERY morning and helps with dishes, bathtime supervision and lunches at night.  By the time I throw in some Mommy/Daddy time and Bible reading/study...It seems as though there's just NO time!  Ok...whining is over!  I'm one blessed lady!  Check out our sweet kiddos below:

Let's see...a lot has changed in the 14 months since I blogged (Mainly our children have grown!).  Eli, Max and Oki have completed an entire school year!

Eli- 8th Grade, Max-5th Grade, Oki-1st Grade
First Day Of School 2012/2013

Eli - Last Day 2013
Oki Last Day 2013
Max - Last Day 2013

It's amazing to me that when school starts in August we will have a child in all three schools...OHS, OMS and OES.

Oh well, it's getting late.  Maybe I will post again soon! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Days

It's been a while, I seems that every time I blog I begin the same way! I can already feel it coming...we've been busy, I want to blog more, I will try to do better...blah, blah, blah! The truth is that in all honesty, it will probably be a while before I blog again! Anyway, we have been enjoying the wonderful spring days lately. Since the time has changed, we stay outside as much as possible in the afternoons. We really love living in our new neighborhood because we have a great place to ride bikes and walk without worrying about safety.

Since Christmas when Oki got a new bike, she has been learning to ride. She's come a long way, from this...

To this!!!!
Here's my little princess on her bike now...notice the costume, boots and skinned knee!!!

Now she's a whiz at riding and doing great! I have a hard time keeping up with her!

Last week Max got a new bike and he LOVES it! Of course he could already ride well, but he has had the best time every afternoon. We can hardly keep him off of it! He and Wayne took a special "them only" trip to WM to pick it out. A little one-one time never hurts!!!

The sad thing is...I don't even have a picture of him on it! The afternoon he got his bike, he went to see his friend play in a baseball game. As you might expect, Eli was feeling a little left out, so I gave him permission to ride Max's new bike around the neighborhood with Oki...

Too bad that he took a little tumble on the pavement and got these...

This picture does not do those wounds justice!!! He had tire burns up his leg and a skinned elbow. Thanks to some sweet neighbors, he got home. Oki was scared to death! She said, "I thought he was going to die!" She flagged some neighbors down to help her big brother!

This is what happens when a little busy girl gets still....

This is what happens when a daddy needs some quiet time in the woods...he brings some sweet flowers to his wife!!!

Happy Spring!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oklahoma 2011

Just a little background... God has given our church a heart for missions and our church has been listening and responding to God's call. During the last year our church has sent teams to Venezuela, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. During our Thanksgiving break, it was our turn! Our family participated in a missions trip for the first time! We traveled, along with 22 others from Ino Baptist Church, to Carnegie, Oklahoma to minister to the Native Americans in the name of Jesus. Our mission was to encourage others and demonstrate God's love by helping to provide a Thanksgiving meal to the people of Carnegie.

It all began like this...

Lots and lots of laundry!!! Haha! Packing for five people for six days is a chore! Of course, I was the only one that could do it! I'm a little OCD about packing...clothes must be in sets and in the order that that they will be worn. I don't really know why I bother, but it's just how I pack.

Thankfully, I took the day off of work on Friday to pack and get everything ready because we packed the bus on Saturday morning. I was so afraid that I would forget something, so I packed the whole house! ;) Anyway, we pulled out of the IBC parking lot at few minutes after 5AM on Sunday, November 20th. There were 27 people on the church bus! Of that 27, there were 11 children between the age of 13 and 4. It was a LONG ride! All jokes aside, the children were WONDERFUL!!! We traveled all day and arrived in Carnegie sometime around 11:30 pm. We quickly got most of our belongings out and set up in the church. Cedar Creek United Methodist Church was our home for the week. We slept on air mattresses in their Sunday School rooms and church sanctuary.

Here is our room all set up...we shared a room with our good friends, the Ashberrys.

On Monday, all the ladies and a couple of (young) men went to the next town over to stock up on our supplies at Wal-mart. We had to feed lots of people (our team) so we had to get lots of food!

Our children were also involved in ministering through music and puppets. Here's our Max practicing.
On Tuesday night, the ladies of CCUMC cooked us a delicious dinner of Indian Tacos. Boy were they a treat! The tacos were like a taco salad served in "fry bread". They assured me that it was not corn bread, but "fry bread!" It is a bread made of flour that they stretch and then deep fry, almost like an unsweetened doughnut. Anyway, they were tasty!

On Wednesday, we did a little sightseeing and traveled to the Kiowa headquarters in Carnegie where we visited their museum. We also drove to visit the Wildlife Reserve a few miles away. While there, we saw buffalo, elk and prairie dogs! The prairie dogs were super cute and would just stand there and let us look at them.

We also saw all of these neat windmills. They were everywhere!

Here is our little family as we toured the museum at the Wildlife Reserve.

Wednesday evening, we got to attend a pow-wow that was held to raise money for the Carnegie football team that was to advance in the state playoffs. That was a neat experience. I forgot my camera so there are no pictures! It was interesting to see how they honored the players, coaches, alumni, etc. to raise money. There were men beating a big drum and chanting as well as some children and adults dressed in their native clothing.

On Thanksgiving morning, we got up early and began preparing the meal. We all worked hard! There was so much food to prepare! Turkeys, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, corn and assorted desserts were on the menu!

During the meal, the children sang and provided puppet shows. The adults also provided some special music.
Here is our entire team after the meal in downtown Carnegie.

The meal, the trip, the ministry could never have been possible without a lot of teamwork!
First of all, we needed God's leading. We needed the willingness of His people to give up their plans for Thanksgiving. Also needed was the work and vision of the area missionary, Mr. Howard and the pastor of CCUMC, Mr. Gerald.

Our family was very blessed to get to serve in this way!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

For the first time ever, I actually had our Christmas cards created and ordered before December 1!!!! Too bad it took me 2 weeks to actually get them addressed and in the mail. I had to order more since I ran out...they were delivered to our old house yesterday...I hope they aren't wet! I just realized that they were delivered to our old address! It was my fault, though. Anyway, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if our renters have them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I hope you like the card. We love Shutterfly!

Check it out!

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Russell Sprouts, Anyone?

I was just wondering if anyone else has trouble getting their children to eat anything that is good for them?

In an effort to be good parents, Wayne and I want to provide healthy food for our children. We try to serve at least one green vegetable with almost every meal. Being the the good mommy that I am I served Brussels Sprouts tonight. Our menu was as follows: Savory Meat (Sirloin Steak), Mashed Potatoes, Whole Kernel Corn, Brussels Sprouts and French Bread. Yummy, I know!

As we stood around the bar in our kitchen serving plates and getting everything ready, I popped one steamed Brussels sprout into my mouth and gave one to Wayne. He didn't really care of it, but I liked it ok. Wayne went on to put one one sprout on the plate of each of the children. Immediately, they started to complain! Max, our good sport, tried one (of course he thought it was gross!) After a discussion about what they were, Oki announced that we could all eat our Russell sprouts, but she didn't want any!

That's the way our eventing ended green veggies for my kiddos and a laugh for Wayne and me!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Playing Catch Up!

I started this post way back during the summer...These pics were already uploaded so I just thought I'd share...

The first one is what I found as I looked out my back door one summer morning...Can you tell we're country folks? My kids love to deck out and play outside!!! Eli and Max have even corrupted my little princess!

We spent a tremendous time at the baseball field this spring.
Max and Eli both playing baseball+ different age divisions=6 weeks of M,T,Th and F nights at the field...Plus 2 practice sessions on Saturday. That was a lot of baseball!

Eli played Third Base, Second Base, Catcher and he even pitched one game...Max played mostly Right field. It was his first year in regular play (not coach pitch) and he was a little out of his element. The main thing was that they had a great time.

Here's Max up to bat and Eli waiting to field a ball...

This is what Oki did all those days at the ball field...she played!!! Here she is peeking in the dugout.

Monday, October 10, 2011


We've been EXTREMELY busy!

When I first started this blog, I thought it would be easy and fun to chronicle the goings-on of my family. Well, blogging is really fun and easy, but really...who has the time? It seems that all I do is run at break-neck speed all day and fall into bed exhausted at night, only to do it again in the morning! Now, please don't misinterpret me...I love my family, my life and my job, but sometimes it seems a little hectic! All funny business aside, I am a thankful woman. Seriously!

I have been trying to write this blog post for a month now, but haven't been able to find the time. Well, I've been a little under the weather for a few days so it seems that I have finally "found the time" to blog! Yea! There IS a bright side to everything!

Our summer ended, as has been tradition for the past few years, with our BIG family vacation in Destin. The weather was a little less than desirable, but we had fun none the less!

The first few pictures were taken our last day on the beach. The waves were crazy big and oh so much fun! This first picture is so funny to me...there's Max and my nephew, Trevor...with my sister's hand holding his shirt in a death grip! I never have to worry about my kids when she's around! She's super protective...and I love her bunches!

The kid caught this big sand crab...I had to make them let it go before they killed it...

Our handsome half-grown boy, Eli!

And here's our sweet Max...always "cheesing" for the camera!!!

Max again...the master of the boogie board. That boy can ride a wave like no other!

Our little starlet...Oki.

Our traditional facing the water picture...I've been snapping one of these for years!!!

The picture below shows what you will see on many afternoons in our back yard...Wayne and the boys playing some football. I absolutely LOVE seeing them tossing the ball around! I have so many pictures of this. I know Eli and Max will cherish the memories of this time with Wayne when they are grown...

The beginning of school brought with it a first and a last...Oki's first day of big school! Yipee!!! She loves school and her teacher, Mrs. Mikel! We are so glad she loves it! The last is that she's our last "first day of school"!!! *sniffle*

The first day of the 2011-12 school year...Eli - 7th! Can hardly believe that! Max - 4th Grade...Oki - Kindergarten...

Then...more exciting stuff! Eli turned 13! For the past few years, Eli has shared a birthday party with his friend, Cutter. Their birthdays are just a few days apart. For the past two years, they have opted for a skating party. Don't they look happy about having their picture taken? Typical teenagers!!! ;) Gotta love 'em!

Eli being sweet and letting dear 'ole mom have a picture with him on his actual birthday...things have changed a bit since 1998!!!

I had to snap this picture...This is the view I have from my back yard...If you will notice the house in the background...That's my sister's house. For 12 years she's been my neighbor. First just a few yards away, then from a short distance across a pasture once their house was built. When she lived just a few yards away, we would sit on our back steps and talk on the phone...when she moved into her new house I had withdrawals because I couldn't see her everyday!!! Well, now there is going to be more distance...only a few miles, but distance just the same. We are moving soon, so this will not be my view anymore. Adjustments will come as we move from the country...away from family. Not too far...just to town...visits will be frequent I'm sure!

I just wanted a pic of my kiddos and her house for the memory book!

Hopefully, I will have updates on the new house soon!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

Today I'm going to share a yummy recipe for Old Fashioned Banana Pudding, the kind you cook. My Papa loves it! I made it for him instead of a cake on his birthday, so I thought I'd take a little extra time to type it out for everyone to try. I wish I could take credit for it, but it's not my recipe. I got this a few years ago from a lady at church, Mrs. Betty Danford. I'm so glad she shared it! I am posting a few pictures so that you can see how mine looks. I wish I had more to share and that they were better quality!!! Anyway, here goes...

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

  • 3/4 Cups Sugar
  • 3Tbs. Plain Flour
  • 3 Large Eggs (separate whites into another bowl and refrigerate)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • 3 Bananas
In a heavy sauce pan, combine sugar and flour, mixing well.

Add milk, beaten egg yolks, and vanilla.

Cook on medium heat, stirring CONSTANTLY until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. In a casserole dish (I use a 8X8 baking dish), layer wafers, bananas and pudding mixture.

Whip egg whites until stiff. Add 2 Tbs. sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. They will look something like this...

Spread on top of pudding.

Brown top in the oven. Be careful not to over-brown.

Enjoy!!! It is delicious warm or cold!

Be sure to let me know how yours turns out!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Kid's World Academy Awards

I've got to get better at this! Promptness is definitely not my forte...and I've never claimed to be anything other than a procrastinator. I have so many pictures that need to be uploaded and blogged about. This post is an exception, though. I'm actually going to get this one done in a timely manner!!! Kudos to me! ;) Anyway...

Thursday night, our baby, our caboose, our little princess, our Oak Tree...Oki graduated from Preschool! I absolutely cannot believe that she is going to Kindergarten in the fall! Where did the time go? I guess the time flies when you're busy...and boy have we been busy!

First, I need to say that we have been very blessed to have the staff family at Kid's World care for all three of our children. Mrs. Pam and the ladies there are an outstanding group and have loved and nurtured Russell children since 2002. For ten years (wow! That seems like forever!) we have been leaving our kids there for care while we work. Not everyone can say that they have confidence in their daycare provider like KW parents can. The graduation ceremony the other night was just one more feather in their cap, too! Ladies, you did an OUTSTANDING job! The program was a great success and the children were adorable.

The theme of the night was "The Kid's World Academy Awards" so the kiddos had to dress up...

Here's Oki getting ready for her big night...She wasn't happy that I insisted that we roll her hair. Any other time, she would be begging me to do it!!!
Each child got to walk the red carpet and go up on stage. They stood in a line and waited for everyone to get on the stage...Here she is doing a little dancing!

Here are the little stars getting ready to sing us a song...Aren't they adorable!!???

Waiting patiently while Mrs. Angie talks to the grownups...Mrs. Angie helping them get lined up "just right."

Here's Oki with one of her favorite friends...Heidi. Such pretty little girls!

Here she is with another KW friend, Reeve.
Mrs. Angie, Oki's teacher...

Last but not least...our little family...I wonder what this picture will look like in 2025 when she graduates from high school??? Let's not think about that quite yet!!! ;)