Welcome

Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

Tackling the Pumpkin Patch

I have one little green pumpkin growing in my pumpkin patch. The rest of the pumpkin plants are yellowed and spent and need to be removed. I still have a watermelon growing, a few cantaloupes, and lots of jalapenos and tomatoes. My squash plants are looking like the pumpkin vines. Planting, growing, and harvesting are so much fun, it's the pruning and the clearing away that is not so much fun. It's kind of sad to get the beds ready for winter.

While most of our days in Texas are still in the 80's, we have had a few nights in the 40's. I can't baby my plants like I did this summer so that combined with lower temps. are taking its toll.

My tackle was to clear out the spent plants and get ready to plant happy little spring bulbs that should bring joy and delight after winter.

But, speaking of pumpkins, I received a sweet email from a friend and thought I would share it with all of you:


A woman was asked by a coworker, "What is it like to be Christian?" The coworker replied, "It is like being a pumpkin." God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."


I really like that analogy.

So, from one pumpkin to another, let's shine for all the world to see!


Joyfully,
Kristi



Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Menu Plan Monday 9/29/08


Happy Monday to you! Can you believe we say goodbye to September and hello to October on Wednesday? I am almost to the halfway point this semester which makes me very happy! I am suppose to be on a business trip (he goes to the meetings and I sleep in and go shopping) to Chicago with Mr. Incredible this week but due to school obligations I am home. Boo hoo! Needless to say, comfort foods are in order. Here is my menu for the week:

Monday:
Continental Chicken in the Crock Pot

1 2 1/4 oz package of dried beef
4-6 Whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 10 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 C sour cream

Place a layer of dried beef on the bottom of the crock pot. Wrap each chicken breast w/ beef. Mix the soup and sour cream together and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. You can also use halved chicken breasts if you don't want larger portions. It's easy and elegant at the same time.

Tuesday:
Chicken Fajitas

Wednesday:
Family Meal at Church

Thursday:
Welcome Home Daddy!!


Friday:
Hamburgers on the grill w/
Crock Pot Potatoe Wedges

Saturday:
Ham and Cheese Fritatta

Sunday:
Crock Pot Italian Chicken


Joyfully,
Kristi

Gardening Galore!

BooMamaBeforeAfter


I have always wanted to try a vegetable garden planted in raised beds. So, I drew out plans for my dream garden last year. Life got a little too busy and it was left on the back burner.

I really didn't think much about the plans this year until Mr. Incredible asked me for them. He was headed to Lowes to buy the supplies.
For my dream garden? I was ecstatic.! Boy, does he know my love language! That, my friends, in the words of Paris Hilton was hot! Thank you Mr. Incredible! Okay, focus! Back to the garden.
Here are my Before pictures:


Lovely shot of the dirt, don't you think?


Here is my man making the raised beds:


(I must have channelled the Pioneer Woman or something. That shot of Mr. Incredible makes me giggle! Sorry, dear!)




Here are the 7 raised beds put together. We placed weed block in the bottom of each bed. I used a staple gun to secure them to the frames. We did not stake our beds into the ground nor did we bury any part of it we just set them on top of the ground, so easy! We filled each bed with a mixture of organic compost that had Miracle Grow fertilizer in it. Looking good:


It became a family project. Everyone pitched in!


Here is Rachel:


and Hannah who kept us cool:


Mr. Incredible had river rock delivered to line the beds for walkways. You should have seen us trying to put down the plastic and spread the rocks. It could have been an "I Love Lucy" episode."



And here are the After pictures!
This is the garden after several weeks. We planted tomatoes, jalapenos, chile pequines, squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkins, okra, rosemary, mint, thyme, and flowers. Everything was starting to grow nicely:


It kept growing and growing!


Finally! Harvest time arrived. Oh, joy!






We are still harvesting watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, jalapenos, squash, and pumpkins. It has been such a delight. I always wanted to harvest my own pumpkins. This was my first one. Isn't it cute?


Hannah asked me if we were going to carve it! Are you kidding???? It's proudly displayed in my kitchen. Here are pictures of some of the flowers that we seeded in the herb garden and watermelon patch:









This picnic table belonged to my husband's grandparents. It fits nicely in the garden and is always a welcome place to sit.


Here are 2 more garden helpers:




It has been a fun family project! I've gardened before but this has been our best garden ever! If you want more instructions, please let me know. Thanks for stopping by!

Joyfully,
Kristi
P.S. Please visit Boo Mama for more Before and After projects!

Thankful Thursday 9/24/08




Happy Thankful Thursday! There are so many things that I am thankful for! I'm thankful for a new day and new opportunities to praise and serve the Lord, and for the love and joy of our family and friends.


In order to keep this list a little shorter today, I still have 3 papers to finish, I thought I would show you a few of our favorite companions that we are thankful for.


This is our Bichon Frize, Tinkerbell.

I'm not so great at the Bichon cut, so we just keep her short. She is so sweet and beautiful and prissy, yet she LOVES to play in the mud!


Now, we have: Rachel's dog Lizzie and Hannah's dog Rocket. Lizzie believes she is in charge...and Rocket lets her be in charge. (Lizzie is a Chihuahua and Rocket is a miniature Australian Shepherd.)



Smile for the camera, Lizzie. Or should I say, "Sonreir para camara, Lizzie."


Okay, Rocket, you too!



They are our sweet companions who love to see us at the end of the day.

What are you thankful for today?


Joyfully,


Kristi

Word Filled Wednesday 9/24/08

"...My Cup overflows with blessings." Psalm 23:5.

God blesses us far more than we deserve.
What a joy to be His child!

For more Word Filled inspiration please visit my friends at 160 acre woods.

Caramel Goodness!

Friday is my grocery shopping day. I try to have my list ready so that I can shop after my class. This past Friday, I treated myself to a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino from Starbucks after going to Sams and HEB. It was delicious! Pumpkin Spice Lattes or Frappuccinos are my love language this time of year.

I haven't made a stop at Starbucks since Mr. Incredible gave me this amazing Anniversary present. It really is an amazing machine. I can use the Starbucks Coffee pods, add a little milk, Pumpkin Spice Creamer, and sprinkle a tiny bit of Pumpkin spice on top and I am good to go!


But, on Friday, I let Starbucks fix it for me and I didn't spill a drop because Starbucks coffee is better than tea any day!
Hannah and I had fun making these treats over the weekend:

I told her about my friend, Amy Deanne, making mini caramel apples. She was having trouble with the caramel sticking to the apples. Hannah had the bright idea of putting the cored piece of apple on the bottom and the part that still had the outside of the apple on top. We tried it both ways and she was right. The caramel stuck to the skin of the apple that was on top. I didn't dip them in lemon juice, so we had to eat these right away. So, I don't think those calories counted! Aren't they cute?


We saved a treat for Rachel and Mr. Incredible too.

Then I saw my cook top and remembered why I normally buy the caramels that are ready to cover the apples instead of melting the caramels myself. It was messy, but fun. Now, I've got to go tackle 3 papers for school! What are you tackling today?

Joyfully,

Kristi





Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Our Family Photo Shoot!

Remember the surprise I talked about two weeks ago? The surprise is, I can't keep it to myself any longer. So...surprise...we had family pictures taken together! The last family photos were taken for the church directory and then 7 years before that. Needless to say, it was long over due. The plan was to give them as Christmas gifts but I just can't keep it a secret any longer!

We met the absolute BEST photographer ever. Her name is Sarah Green and what a talent she is! Right away we felt like we had made a new friend for life. She and her husband met at Baylor, just like us. She has a daughter named Hannah Rachel. Our daughters are Rachel and Hannah. She is a preacher's kid...me too! We felt like we had known her our whole life.

She took the pictures that I have always wanted! They capture our closeness...our laughter...our joy...our love. I was overwhelmed to the point of tears when I saw these photos. There are many more to choose from but I just had to share these pictures with all of you.
Do you have a favorite?

Look at my girls! I know I am their mom, but wow!



Thank you Sarah! We are telling everyone we know about you .
Joyfully,
Kristi

Menu Plan Monday 9/22/08

It's that time again. This week's theme is Family Favorites at orgjnkie.com.
I've listed 2 of our current favorites with the recipes. Enjoy!


Monday:
Crock pot Fajitas (recipe below)
We LOVE this. It makes a ton of food and it is delicious!

Tuesday:

Tortilla Soup in the Crock Pot (recipe below)
There are many recipes
but this one is the absolute best ever!!!

Wednesday:

Family Meal at Church

Thursday:

Salmon Patties
(Carried over from last week.)

Friday:
Pizza Night

Here are the recipes:
Crock Pot Fajitas

1 small arm roast

1 1/4 C dried pinto beans (rinsed but not soaked)

1 chopped onion

1 can chopped green chilies

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 cans Rotel

1/2 C water

2 t chili powder

1 t cumin
garlic salt and pepper

I use those handy dandy crock pot liners for easy clean up. Place a layer of spices on the bottom. Put in roast and sprinkle with more of the spices. Layer beans, onion, and green chilis. Add soup and Rotel. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours. I just shred the meat and serve with tortillas, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, etc. So delicious and so easy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
from Fix-it-and-Forget-It-Lightly

4 uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 15 oz can black beans undrained

2 15 oz cans Rotel

1 C salsa

14 oz can Tomato Sauce

Cheddar Cheese

Tortilla Chips

Combine all ingredients except for cheese and tortilla chips in your crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Just before serving, remove the chicken breasts and cut into bite size pieces and stir into soup. To serve, add a handful of tortilla chips in each bowl, ladle soup over chips and top with cheese. Enjoy!
Clearly, I'm in the mood for Mexican food. I'm off to make some homemade salsa. Ole!

Joyfully,
Kristi