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Monday, November 30, 2009

What a wonderful time was had!

What a wonderful time we had this year at Thanksgiving. I am not sure if it was just the good food, wine and family or the fact that for the first time in years I didn't have to go to work in the retail industry on Black Friday. Whatever the cause it sure was fun. A couple of years ago the sisters decided that we would help cook dinner on Thanksgiving. We knew Mimi wouldn't give it all up entirely so we let her cook the Turkey, Ham, Potatoes and Gravy. Then the 4 of us girls split up the rest of the meal. A big Thank You to my sister, Kristin and brother in law, David for hosting the annual event.

For years now Mr. Miller carves the bird for Mimi.

Junior Mint anxiously awaiting that first bite.

Post meal entertainment. My brother in law, Jeff teaching us how to bowl with wine corks.
My sister, Kim just looks on in amazement at her husbands many talents.

Sisters, Erika and Kristin join in the fun.

My favorite views of my brother in law Randy. Every year after dinner he keeps his fork in his pocket just waiting for desert. I couldn't help myself. He tells me its because he is trying to think green and not waste a utensil. Mr. Miller and I are working on them getting away from Paper and Plastic goods, but Rome wasn't built in a day either.

Junior Mint having seconds with cousin Nichelle. The kid can put it away.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Real Men Do Eat Quiche!

Not to sound cliche, but I couldn't help myself with the title. I made quiche on Wednesday night with the extra GF pie crust. I adapted a Weight Watcher recipe from Bacon and Swiss to Spinach, Ham and Swiss. I will be posting the recipe soon. ( I have to get a little one down for the night. ) Junior Mint thought this made a great breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. He was so excited about it that I couldn't get him to sit in his chair.

By the way he is modeling his new bibs that Mama made for him. I will be posting these soon on the sight. Got some great fabrics today!

We have to make sure we get every last bite! Grandma Pat would be so proud to see her great grandchild eating of her beloved dishes. I so feel close to her every time I open the cupboard. I know she is smiling with pride at these two boys.

All done!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Blessings to you and your families...

During the hustle and bustle of preparing the meal, setup and take down, don't forget to be Thankful for the many blessings on this Thanksgiving Day. We will be spending the day in Topeka with my family. From our "farm" to yours Happy Thanksgiving and my God bless you many times over.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Well I stepped on the dreaded scale this morning and much to my surprise I am down 4.5 more pounds. That's 5.5 total. Don't mind me if I do a little happy dance.

Thanks to everyone who supported me during Cans for Comments we raised 15 cans. We will be going tonight as a family to "Fill the Mayflower". This is a local event here in KC every year. Star 102 sponsors this at an area grocery store. This year we are going to the Price Chopper at 119Th and Metcalf. They will be there until 7p and then from 7a - noon tomorrow. Please take a moment and look in your pantry, I am sure there are some things that you could donate. Don't you think?

Have a great evening. I need to make some Chili Macaroni that I found on the Weight Watchers website. Gotta love 5 point main courses!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What it is really about...

When I was going through Cameron's bring home folder from school this was the surprise I found. Mrs. Tanner had made a thankful book with the Children to bring home. There was a beautiful letter from her with a comment about every child. Then as you flipped through the children's letters this is what I came across.

OK, I know I am a sap but I was a puddle. My little Man wrote the sweetest letter. He wrote this. We were not ever sure if we would see the day that Cameron could focus enough to write his own name let alone complete sentences. And the illustration, I LOVE IT! He has really started to take to coloring and any artwork. I think this is going to be a great outlet for him. He will actually sit for a 20 minute period and work on art. Major breakthrough for those of you who have children on this spectrum. Yet again Mrs. Tanner you never cease to amaze us. Thank you for helping us with our puzzle known as Cameron!

Today I am Thankful for Mrs. Tanner and the light she has turned on in our Cameron!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My new Alpha Phi

Do you see this amazing girl?

This is my oldest niece Nichelle. She is my beautiful, talented, funny, and sweet niece, goddaughter and as of tonight my newest sister in Alpha Phi. She was initiated tonight in the Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. Mr. Miller's and my Alma mater.

I can't tell you how proud of her I am. It was so amazing to share this evening with her. I sat there and reminisced about my evening 20 years ago as I watched her and her fellow Phi's. Mr. Miller and I met in front of that Sorority 20 years ago on my bid night and tonight he picked me up afterwards as I waited in the foyer. For a minute I felt like a giddy school girl waiting for the cute Frat boy to pick her up. We may be a little grayer and more round in the middle but it still was fun.

I thought I would share some pictures of my new "sister".

Nichelle, your Uncle and I are so proud of the beautiful young woman you have become. The world is yours, embrace and live. We love you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Thanksgivings

As we celebrate this Thanksgiving season I thought I would share a few of my simple, yet meaningful Thanksgivings from the year.

A little boy that works harder than any other 6 year old I know. He just loves being outside with Daddy.

He doesn't work so hard that he can't stop to enjoy the fruits of his labor!

Sweet kisses between Wonder Mutt and her Mimi.

Loves from our Aunt Erika.

The understanding that is between the oldest and youngest members of the family and bond that they share.

Thank you for letting me share some of my blessings from this year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Potato Soup

Well I finished my first week on my new lifestyle. I lost 1 pound. At first I was "1 pound are you kidding me?" and then I realized baby steps Meg, baby steps. It might be that I should have drank more water, kept a better journal, OH who the heck knows. The fact remains that I lost 1 pound! Wahoo!
Thanks to the Deacon we had a fabulous dinner on Monday night. She shared some Weight Watcher recipes with me. We made a 1pt Potato Soup. That's right I said 1 POINT FOR A 1 CUP SERVING! It was delicious and Junior Mint loved it too. I added a few extra seasonings like fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Mr. Miller added his favorite Chipolte Tabasco Sauce. This is too easy to make and very filling. Enjoy!

Bring potato mixture and chicken broth to a boil. Mix gravy mix according to directions using water. Add gravy to potato and broth mixture, simmer until potatoes are soft. Yield - 12 1 cup servings.

Fiber 1g
Cal 70
Fat 1.5g
Total points 1

Don't forget "Cans for Comments" - Together we can make a difference. Please leave comments to help those in need.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cans for Comments and Followers!

Thanks to my buddy Renee at I am going to take up with the "cans for comments" cause this Holiday Season. This is how it goes. For every comment I receive between now and midnight this Saturday I will donate 1 non perishable food item to St Mary's Food Pantry that my church collects items for. To comment just click on the comments icon at the bottom of the post.

I am also going to donate one for every new follower I get. If you are not a follower please just click on the follow button and it is easy to become one. So please help me help others this Holiday Season. After all it is the season of giving and we need to take care of those around us.

A big THANKS in advance for your support. Together we can make someones day a little better and help fill some empty tummies!

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Favorite Pizza!

We had company this weekend! Grampie and Grandma Linda came to town. Mr. Miller and I had an event for Cameron's school on Saturday night so they flew in from Houston to watch the boys.
Friday evening we went to dinner. I asked Cameron what he wanted and of course it was Pizza! To any of you that have problems with Gluten in your diet you know how difficult and almost impossible this can be. We usually make our own pizza at home. NOT ANYMORE! We discovered Pizza Fusion. AMAZING! They have a gluten free crust, even gluten free beer! Bonus! They also have many vegan offerings on the menu. This pizza was great. Even Junior Mint ate some of the cheese pizza and loved it. I could not believe how thin and crisp the crust was and so flavor able. The restaurant was clean and service was amazing. The staff met every little need and was so attentive to us. If you are in KC check them out in Leawood at 135Th and Briar, you won't be sorry. For my other readers their website shares their locations around the country.
Thank you pizza fusion for bringing back one of my favorite foods into my life. We don't get to go out to eat often but this will be at the top of our list for special nights out!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Growing up

Junior Mint is discovering so many things every day. This week we really discovered that our fingers can be used as utensils. Here are some of his new "tastes" that he likes.

Strawberry Cereal Bars

Grilled Cheese

Its seems just like yesterday he came home! Why do they have to grow so fast?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

Since I have been talking about Thanksgiving this week I thought I would share my Sweet Potato Casserole. This is probably one of the easiest, crowd pleasing additions to your Thanksgiving table!
You have to realize that the picture is of a much smaller batch I made for the year it was just the 3 of us and I had to work that day at Starbucks.
This is Cameron that Thanksgiving. He had just turned 3 and had made his own Thanksgiving Place mat at school.
Memories of my sweet Fruitcake growing up, that is what I am thankful for today!

sweet potato casserole

8 cups cubed, peeled sweet potatoes

1 cup sweetened, dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup half n half

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp salt and vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 large eggs

For Topping:

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tbsp sorghum flour or regular flour

2 tbsp butter, melted

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

To prepare puree, place sweet potatoes in a stockpot, and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add cranberries and next 7 ingredients (through eggs); beat with a mixer at high speed or until smooth. Spoon puree into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, combine pecans, brown sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over top of potato puree. Bake at 350 for 30 - 40 minutes.

OK I know this is not totally low fat but this year I am going to try it with fat free half and half, I know this is sacra ledge but I have to stick to plan! Enjoy and you will be the hit of Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Well I made it! I made it that is to see 39, I am sure that my Mom and Dad never thought that I might see it more than a few times in my life. I have had a wonderful day so far and it is only 10am.

I woke up with my little fruitcake, Cameron, curled up next to me. I love our morning snuggles. He sang "Happy Birthday" to me, Daddy gave me birthday wishes and Henry gave me a big smile and shriek this morning. Pretty good gifts I should say.

I had a wonderful weekend with my Mom and Uncle. It was so nice to have Mom to myself. We laughed and rolled yarn into balls, talked, played with the kids and just relaxed.

I am going to put a roast in the crock pot for dinner and just plan a nice evening with my boys. I told Mr. Miller I have an abundance of gifts in our life and that is all I need.

I did give myself a gift, I decided that I have to do something about my weight. I know we all have our own issues, but this is one I have dealt with my whole life, and I know I have said I was going to do this before but somehow I feel differently this time. I have been trying to figure out what is missing in my life, and it is the fact that I know I have a smaller being inside of me. My husband loves me how I am and my boys know no different but I need to make this change for me! There I said it, this is for ME! I am going to follow the Weight Watchers Plan at home. It is going to take a while I know, but I am worth it. So starting on Tuesdays I will share tips and keep you posted on the progress here at Green Acres.

Here are my starting out pics, as you can see I am putting it all out there.

So Happy Birthday to me and here is to "one more trip around the sun" and a much smaller me at 40!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Giving Thanks

We have been talking a lot about what Thanksgiving means here at Green Acres. Cameron, being a typical 6 year old, seeing all of the Holiday Decor around town that is popping up of course is talking about "I want". I know you all have been there. I have been reminding him that Thanksgiving comes first and that we need to be thankful for all of the blessings in our life. These blessings include our toys and other material items, but also the love in our family, our home and food in our tummies. It was time this last weekend for Project Warmth KC. It is a great opportunity to give back to the community and help those in need. They have a website, for more information. They had area drop off sites for gently used coats and blankets. We explained to Cameron what is means to be homeless and not have a coat and that if we looked in our closets and blanket chest I was sure we could find items that we aren't using but that others could. We loaded up the Jetta and went to the drop off.

This was the trailer at Ward Parkway Center.

Cameron helping Daddy load the bag they gave us.

I think it is a good thing to remind our little ones that blessings are abundant in our lives and that not everyone is as lucky we are. Check within your communities I bet they have something very similar.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What a difference a year can make...

Wow what a difference one year can make. It was one year ago this week that I found out Harold's was closing and I had some decisions to make or rather Mr. Miller and I had some decisions to make. I remember feeling so empty, betrayed and lost. I really enjoyed my job and my life at that point. It was 3 days before my birthday, we were getting ready for the holidays and the impending debut of Junior Mint. It is amazing how one phone call can change your life. I still remember the look on Jack's face when he came out of the office and said "it's done!" We just looked at each other and knew what the other was thinking, how do we tell these wonderful people that we work with that they will no longer have a job after the first of the year? I will tell you that I don't care to be in that position again.

As for me it has been a year of chapters ending and new ones beginning. We have made necessary changes for me to be home with my boys and taking care of the them, our home and Mr. Miller. I love our simple life. We may not have a lot extra but there is a lot more love, laughter and life in this house we call a home than when I was working full time. I may not have understood God's "post it" at the time but I get it now, loud and clear. OH, there will still be rough spots ahead but the key is to look for the blessing in any situation. One for me is this blog and the many friends I have made. My friend, Heather, at talked once about surrounding yourself with a circle of stones.

How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you?

A place for you to go...A place of women, to help you learn the ways of woman...a place where you were nurtured from an ancient flow sustaining you and steadying you as you sought to become yourself. A place of women to help you find and trust the ancient flow already there within yourself....

waiting to be released....

A place of women
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you....A place of women, where you were received and affirmed? A place where other women, perhaps somewhat older, had been affirmed before you, each in her time, affirmed, as she struggled to become truly herself.

A place where, after the fires were lighted, and the drumming, and the silence, there would be a hush of expectancy filling the entire chamber.....a knowing that each woman there was leaving old conformity to find her self.....a sense that all of womanhood stood on a threshold.

And if, during the hush, the other women, slightly older, had helped you to trust your own trust it and quietly and prayerfully to nurture it...

How might your life be different?

`~Judith Durek, Circle of Stones

The circle of stones being the friends that you choose to keep in your life and what they bring to it. She was so true, look around and see what stones you keep. So, Heather thank you for opening my eyes and thank you to my stones for all of your continued support.
Here is to the next year and all the surprises that come along with it. May I be able to continue what I am doing and sharing my families life's lessons an antics here at Green Acres!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Washing your Woollies!

We washed our woollies here yesterday, the weather was amazing so I knew I could lay them out to dry. It really is simple process and your hands feel so soft afterwards. We lanolize the wool to keep them water resistant when wearing them over our diapers. These woollies can also be used just as pants if you don't cloth diaper, of course then you wouldn't have to lanolize!

Here are the products that I use. Lanolin and wool wash are a matter of preference, I find that baby shampoo works just as well as the wool wash and it is more cost friendly plus we already have it around the house. Wool only has to be washed once every 2 or 3 weeks unless of course it gets soiled. Wool has a self cleaning property in it called lanolin. If your wool feels damp or wet after wearing it, simply lay it out flat to air out and let the wool do its job of self cleaning. When the lanolin properties get too low, its time to lanolize them. Lanolizing only needs to be done every 2 or 3 months depending on how often its washed. The instructions below will help you care for your wool, for washing only, omit the lanolin step.

Here are the steps to caring for your wool:
1. Run your hot water until its good and HOT in the kitchen or bathroom sink, allowing it to drain, once its hot turn it off for a few seconds to do step 2.

2. Put the plug in your bathroom sink and put your lanolin in the bottom of the sink, I use about a 1/2-1 inch glob of the lanolin.

3. Run a little hot water in the sink and add baby shampoo or baby wash to the water (wool wash may be used too). Only run enough hot water in the sink to break up the lanolin.

4. Run room temp water to fill the rest of the sink up.

5. Turn your wool wrong side out and submerge into the mixture in the sink and let soak 30 minutes (longer if you feel it needs more lanolizing).

6. After you're done soaking, lay a towel folded in half for you to lay your wool on; take the wool out of the water and gently squeeze the excess water out, do not ring.

7. Lay your wool on the towel and roll the towel up with the wool inside, gently squeeze as your rolling.

8. Lay flat to dry, I like laying them on my patio chairs, they are mesh so very similar to a sweater rack. They take 24 hours sometimes to dry.