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Thursday, September 19, 2013

TBT:: 4 years ago this week….

4 years ago this week I was still hanging diapers on the line
Savoring Summer Weekends 015
Henry was cruising around on his knees
Summer 09 002
Cameron was making his first PBJ by himself
Summer 09 001

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

garden gifts

Just before the rain rolled in this morning I walked through one of my happy places, the Green Acres Garden.  The place where we have for the past 4 summers toiled, planted, picked pesky bugs, slapped mosquitoes and for me, ruined many a manicure.  I love this little patch of heaven.

From our Inaugural Garden in 2009 to today.

Miller Family Ignagural Garden 2009 - Green Acres 001

Oh, how I love our Garden so.  This morning to my delight we found lots of Bell Peppers, jalapeno peppers and finally my tomatoes are coming around.  We have had a crazy tomato year.  Lots of vine, not many fruit and the fruit that was showing up was a salad bar for our new puppy and the tree rats.

So the question was raised ~ what to make today?  It looks like Tuna Pasta Salad, Jambalaya for dinner and possibly going to make a batch of pickled jalapenos for my Mr. Miller.

Yummy Crockpot Jambalaya

  • The Cast of Characters
    • 5 c. chicken broth 
    • 1 can black beans*
    • 4 peppers – any color you want, chopped
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 large can of organic diced tomatoes (leave the juice) or 2 small cans
    • 2 cloves garlic, diced
    • 2 bay leafs
    • 1 lb. large shrimp, raw and de-veined
    • 1 pkg kielbasa or Andouille sausage
    • 2 c. okra (optional)
    • 3 tbsp. Cajun Seasoning or a little less if you want
    • 1/4 c. Frank’s Red Hot (or hot sauce of your choice) 

  1. Put the Peppers, Tomatoes, onions, Frank’s, Broth,black beans,  garlic, bay leaves and Cajun seasoning in crockpot.  Set on low for 6 hours.
  2. About 30 minutes till end of time add cut up sausage and shrimp. Remember to take tails off and devein.
  3. While shrimp and sausage are cooking make up some rice or crazy some quinoa to change it up a bit.
  4. Serve over rice.
  5. Your mouth, tummy and family will thank you.
*My family loves black beans.  I know it is not a regular ingredient found in jambalaya.  The beauty of cooking is that it is your canvas, make it how you want. You could use chicken instead.

Friday, September 13, 2013

fins up!

Fins Up!  Are you ready for the weekend?  We are!
My little men love Jimmy Buffett as much as Mr. Miller and I do. 
Henry was rocking out a few weeks ago when Jimmy was on the Today show.  We take pride in the fact that
they can sing most of his songs by heart. 
It’s getting near the end of summer and finally we have a break in the heat.  Not truly complaining we had a rather mild
summer here in Missouri.  I feel an evening in the backyard tonight with a Margarita possibly.  First Tee for Cameron and Parish Picnic tomorrow. 
A visit from Mimi that the boys don’t know about yet. (Secret surprises are fun!)
Followed by my Ribbon Cutting for my Arbonne business and a double header of football games for Cameron on Sunday. 
Yep, full weekend indeed. Hope you enjoy yours as well.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

not a choice…

I have been facing a few challenges lately with being the Mama of that “kid”.  You know the one with the quirks.  The one who has the meltdown because things are not going his way.  The one who makes the noises.  The one that can’t look you in the eye and you think they are ignoring you. I am that Mama at the store that people look at and then away.
Yes I AM!  I AM the Mama to an amazing child and gift from God.  Yes, we may not be “normal” but what is normal anyways. We were chosen by God to be this beautiful boys parents. 
I AM the Mama to a child with Autism, Asperger’s to be exact with a side of OCD, ADHD and SPD.   I often joke that we have Alphabet soup behind our name.  I am writing this today to let my fellow “Superhero” Parents and friends that we are here for each other and to support each other.  Lately I have had some friends facing some rough times with “fitting” their piece into the mainstream puzzle and it has really spoke to me.  I have been there.  I keep remembering to take a deep breath, pray and I count to 10 a lot.   I have learned to speak up and am teaching Cameron to advocate for himself too.  Thank you Ms. Anna K for that reminder. 
I am grateful to be at a school that does a pretty good job of inclusion, not perfect but we are getting there.  We have STM for All and the support of Friends of FIRE.  These two programs help keep my “gift” and others in a regular classroom and help in the fight for an Inclusive Religious Education.
I am grateful to be in an amazing network of friends at that school.   (We refer to each other as the Real Housewives of STM or RHSTM.)  I am grateful to be on this journey with Mr. Miller.  I am grateful for my family and my faith.  Without all of these components I couldn’t do what I do.
I was cruising Facebook this morning and a gal I love at Autism With a Glass of Wine had a great picture and caption this morning.  Head over to her page, give her a big ol’ LIKE.  She might enlighten your world just as she has mine.  
“I am beautiful not broken.  Different not less.  Challenged not challenging. 
Overwhelmed, not spoiled.  Autism is not a choice.
However, acceptance is.”
Remember the next time you are at the store, park or wherever that child who isn’t “normal” in your eyes might not have a choice in how they are feeling and how they are reacting in the moment, but you do.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Pancakes for breakfast not such a crazy idea right?  I have a secret to admit here, I have never made pancakes truly from scratch.  Yes, I have bought the Krusteaz Mix and done that but when I say from scratch I mean pull out your inner Olivia Walton along with the flour, baking powder, eggs and milk.  I have often spoke of my unhealthy affair that I have with Pinterest well when Junior Mint asked for pancakes one morning I got brave.  Really it just gave me an excuse for a rendezvous with my obsession.  I looked and found a great and simple recipe, of course it was a “good thing” as it came from Martha.  Basic Pancakes, so easy that Junior Mint got in on the action himself.  I found some blueberries in the old Frigidaire (pardon my reference to Steel Magnolia’s) and threw them in too.  Let’s just say it met to Junior Mint’s approval.  Saved the extras in a container for the next morning.

Confession time…yes I do still occasionally buy the frozen pre made cakes but I am going to do my best effort to make batches ahead of time and use my sealer to keep them ready and in the freezer.  The from scratch ones that is.  I am truly amazed at how easy, tastier and healthier it is to make “Simply From Scratch”.   We are trying to keep a handle on funds and so if I can stay on the exterior of the store to buy fresh and not the interior for processed it does help.  The other factor is trying to clean eat.  With Cameron’s Asperger’s clean eating is essential. Disclaimer:  We are not perfect nor experts but simply parents who want to do the best for him and ourselves. 

Junior Mint channeling his inner Bobby Flay.


A hot cast iron griddle, not a must have, is a big help.  Thank you Erika and Randy for this gift from years past.  I love it still to this day.



Voila’ breakfast is served.  If you haven’t tried the Organic Syrup at Aldi you are missing out.  At $3.89 a bottle you can’t beat it.


The clean plate and purple stains around his mouth say it all.


Monday, September 9, 2013

UTH:: weekend find!

UTH, you probably read that and went what is she talking about?  I LOVE Thrift Stores, Garage Sales and Craigslist.  Let’s face it I love a deal, you might as well call me “Second Hand Rose” yes, I love Barbra Streisand too but that’s another story. I have in the last years named these adventures Urban Treasure Hunts aka UTH.  We used to only do them in Big Red the Explorer but since we got Gertie, Mama’s new Passat wagon – she was a UTH too, we take her also.

Mr. Miller and I were driving through Mission this weekend after a visit to Diaper Daisy and we came upon a yard sale and he had these wonderful wash tubs on a stand.  That definitely caught my eye but alas he wouldn’t budge on the price so I moved on.  I walked the yard through all of his lovely treasures, since all were 50% at that point.   I came upon this gem tucked away and filled with other treasures.  I looked at the tag and it said $5 so that meant $2.50 call it SOLD!  I paid the man and it got loaded in Gertie on top of Cameron’s golf clubs that I forgot were still back there and away we went.



When I got to the car Mr. Miller gave me “the look”, you know the one where they are saying “now what is she going to have me do”.  I re-assured him this was an easy project.  I just simply wanted to use it for the garden hose in the back yard.  It already had a rusted hole in the bottom so I thought we could bring the hose up through the bottom and coil them in.  He agreed.  Sometimes this Mama is pretty clever.  I love the challenge of repurposing old into new.


Mr. Miller did a great job with placement.  He set it up on some pavers so the hose didn’t get kinked and put it out by the kitchen so I could get the garden easily and the rest of Green Acres.  Nice job Honey!



Warning the cute Puppy in the next picture is not for sale or trade.  Introducing our newest member of the Green Acres Family, Penelope Karolynn aka Penny.  She is a 20 week old German Bulldog who loves to pose for pictures.  We are working on commands, she thinks she gets a treat whenever she sits Pretty for us.  What you haven’t heard of a German Bulldog?  She is a Pedigree German Shepard and English Bulldog.  We love her to bits.  I will share her story soon.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

T B T ... Turn Back Thursday a glimpse from the past.

I thought I would try something here, TBT... Turn back Thursday a glimpse at the past.   I was sitting here this morning pondering over many ideas to write about.  Of course I got side tracked, hard to believe.  LOL.  Maybe Cameron's ADHD is rubbing off on his Mama.  I had just spent a lovely morning on the patio with my girl, Beth, I really feel that we are sisters from another mother.  We really get each other.  Our children go to school together and met there.  When we met we couldn't believe how much we had in common.  See what I mean I just got sidetracked again. When Beth left and I decided to get onto my day I got turned to my to do list and on it was Menu.

Ugh the dreaded MENU planning.  I do love it at times and well others not so much.  Menu planning does help save money and keep the rhythm of the Green Acres Kitchen together. So this is where the TBT comes into the story.  Remember when I did this story last November?  November 2012 Menu Plans  I decided to give monthly planning a go again.  This way it is done and I only have to make my weekly list for the store.  Simplicity at its best.

Here is what is on the Menu for September 2013 at Green Acres.  I have some new adventures ahead for us here at Green Acres in the City and on the home front.  This will truly help keep things in check.

September 2013

Fish Tacos
Fried Zucchini
Tomato Basil Salad
Corn on the Cob
Greek Festival
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Open Faced Sandwiches
Parish Picnic
Hot Dogs
Crock pot Stroganoff
Dos De Oros
Grilled Cheese
Tomato Soup
Mac and Cheese 
Green Beans
Crock pot Pizza
Enchilada Casserole

Potato Soup

Here are some links to a few of the recipes.  Pinterest is truly an addiction and blessing.

  1.  Mississippi Roast
  2. Crock pot Pizza
  3. Crock pot Stroganoff