Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear 2013: A Series of Questions

Hi, friends!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to great things in the New Year.

Today, I am linking up with Amanda at The Lady Okie and her friend Beka for a Dear 2013 Linkup post!

I loved Amanda's post, so I am going to use her awesome questions in mine too. So, here they are, with a few random pictures interspersed, because what good is a blog post without pictures?!

I am late with this linkup, as always.  But I hope you still enjoy!

13 Things You Should Ask Yourself 
Before The End of 2013

1.  What am I most proud of this year?
I think the one thing I am most proud of this year is how far we have come with our relationship with my husband's family.  We were able to attend his sister's wedding in September, which is a HUGE milestone considering the history there.  God is so good and so faithful.

2.  How can I become a better ____________?
Wife.  This coming year, I want to be more intentional about treating my husband with kindness, respect, and love.  Of all the women in the world, God chose me as the perfect fit for him.  He deserves my best.

3.  Where do I need to allow myself grace?
Oh, wow.  Everywhere!  I am always hard on myself.  In my opinion, there is a fine line between allowing grace and justifying your bad decisions.  In 2014, I want to give my all and do my best in everything I attempt, but also find that balance where I allow some grace when I fall short.  After all, God extends me grace  I should do the same for myself.

4.  Am I passionate about my career?
Absolutely!  My job drives me bonkers some days, but I love what I do.  I couldn't ask for anything more.  I truly enjoy the career path that God has laid out for me.

5.  What did my finances look like?
Overall, not bad.  We were able to save enough to pay cash for our vacation to the Smoky Mountains and for Christmas.  There were some tight months, but God blessed every time and saw us through.

6.  How did I spend my free time?
On social media.  Ha!  Seriously, though, I spent wayyyy too much time online in 2013. I definitely want to scale back in this upcoming year and be more present with my hubs and family.  I also spent a lot of time reading and trying new recipes.

7.  What projects have I completed?
This is a tough one, because I didn't have any "projects" in the works, per se.  I filled up my china cabinet that Hubby gave me last Christmas with loads of vintage Pyrex dishes.  And I added tremendous amounts of albums to my record collection. Do those count as a projects?  (Just kidding!  Sort of...)

8.  In what ways can I restructure my time?
See #6.  I will have tons more available time if I spend less on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  I also want to spend more time in the Word in the coming year.

9.  When have I felt the most alive?
It is hard for me to pick one particular time on this one.  I would have to say during church, worshiping with fellow believers and letting the Spirit move.  That's when I feel the most alive.

10.  How can I improve my relationships?
The top thing I need to do is pray for those relationships more often.  Anything nurtured with prayer has a much greater success rate.  Aside from that, I would like to call and write to people more often.  I want to focus on improving my attitude, because too often, I fail at extending grace to my friends and family.

11.  What lessons have I learned in 2013?
Things don't always turn out the way I planned, but God has it under control.
Turning over your worries to God is such a relief and comfort, when you actually do it and mean it.

12.  What old habits would I like to release?
Speaking before I think things through.
Being less judgmental and more compassionate.

13. What new habits would I like to cultivate?
See #8.  I want to study and pray more.
Daily exercise and healthier food selection.

Have a blessed New Year's Day celebration!

The Lady Okie Blog
Much love,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Best Lasagna Soup (My New Favorite)

Yes, that is a snowflake bowl I am using in October.  Don't judge.

October is my favorite month of the year, mostly because I can start making soups and stews again!  I got this month's issue of Taste of Home magazine in the mail and it was packed FULL of delicious soup recipes.  This girl was super excited to try out the Best Lasagna Soup.  It did not disappoint!

I changed the recipe just a little, omitting the green pepper (yuck!) and the corn, and adding only 1 can of tomatoes instead of two.  It was delicious!  


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium beef broth
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


In a large saucepan, cook beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Drain.

Stir in tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, corn, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in pasta. Return to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer covered for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Sprinkle with cheese.

And that's it.  Easy peasy!  We will definitely be making this soup again!

Check out the recipe at Taste of Home online here.

Until next time,

Friday, October 11, 2013

Life Lately

Life of late has been a whirlwind, y'all.  We have been so busy and so incredibly blessed in the last few weeks.  I just want to share a little bit of life lately with you.

On the 18th of last month, Abraham and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.  THREE YEARS that I have been wife to this sweet, amazing, Godly man.  Sometimes, it feels like just yesterday that I was getting ready to walk down the aisle.  Then other times, it seems like we've been together a good way, like I can't remember ever being without him.  Love my man so much and we are looking forward to many more anniversaries together.

This guy = <3
Also in September, my sister-in-law got married and we were able to attend the wedding festivities!  Some of you who know our background with my in-laws know how special this was for us.  For those of you who don't know, Abraham is a former member of the Amish church.  When a member leaves the church, they are considered "outside of the flock" and are generally not allowed much communication with those who remain part of the Amish church.  It has taken many, many years to get to the place where we are with my husband's family now.  God has blessed us tremendously!  We had a wonderful time celebrating his sister's wedding day with all of the family!  (Unfortunately, the Amish do not allow their picture to be taken, so I have no photos of the wedding...bummer!).

In addition to all of that, my youngest nephew turned ONE in September!  Seriously, guys, where does the time go?  Is it just me, or do the days seem to be passing by quicker than ever?


Here are a few pictures of sweet baby Z at his birthday party.  He is such a cutie!

I am really, seriously going to try to be more regular about posting here.  I love all of the sweet friends that I have made through blogging!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Much love,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Never Have I Ever...

Tonight, I am linking up with Amanda from The Lady Okie for a fun little game of Never Have I Ever.  If you have never read Amanda's blog, you must go visit.  She is hilarious!  And an amazing writer, too!

Now, without further ado, my list of Never Have I Evers...

Never Have I Ever...

- Been drunk or done drugs.  Not once.  Like, ever.  (Did you just hear that Taylor Swift song in your head?  Because I totally did.)


Never Have I Ever...

- Swam in a public pool.  One word...GROSS!

Never Have I Ever...

- Watched Duck Dynasty.  I know, I know.  But seriously, I can't get past the beards.  They creep me out just a little.

 Never Have I Ever...

- Been to California.  I WILL visit there one day, y'all.  It's on my bucket list.

Never Have I Ever...

- Had a baby.  This is something I would like to do one day, but we are in no hurry.  We will follow God's lead on starting a family in the future.  In the meantime, here is my sis with my sweet nieces and nephews.


There you have it, friends.  My list of things I have never done.  What are some things that you've never done?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Canning Green Beans (With Bonus Cat and Kid Pics)

This weekend, I have been up to my ears in green beans.  Ten hours after picking up a bushel of beans at our local roadside market, I was wore slick out and staring at 24 beautiful quarts of Blue Lake green beans.  That, my friends, is some good winter eatin'.

So, in case you have ever wondered about canning and preserving beans (and even if you haven't), here's a quick run-down on the process, complete with pictures (because what kind of blog post would this be without pictures! Gasp!)

First, buy or pick yourself a big bunch of green beans.  Then, elicit the help of your hubby to break all of those beans.  If the sun is shining, this is best done outdoors.  If it's rainy and wet like it was for me on Saturday, you'll have to complete this step whilst sitting on your couch and watching TV.

Next, you'll need to wash and rinse your jars, lids and bands.  I always sterilize my lids in boiling water, but that's just my personal preference.

Wash beans then add them to a large pan and cover with water. Heat them up until they start to change colors and turn darker.

Put 1 teaspoon of canning salt into each of your jars then fill them with the beans and water.  Beans need a 1-inch headspace due to expansion during the canning process, so make sure not to over-fill the jars.  Put on the lids and bands and you're ready to put the jars in your canner.

Put jars, canning rack and 3 quarts of hot water into the canner. Put the lid on the canner and heat on HIGH until a steady flow of steam can be seen coming from the vent pipe.  Let the steam escape for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, place the pressure regulator onto the vent pipe.  Green beans should be processed at 11 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes.  Adjust the heat throughout the process as necessary to maintain 11 pounds of pressure.

At the end of the processing time, remove the canner from the heat and let the pressure drop.  This will take a while.  DO NOT OPEN THE CANNER TOO SOON!  When the pressure has completely reduced, the overpressure plug will drop.  Remove the pressure regulator and allow the canner to cool for 10 more minutes before you remove the lid.

Remove the jars from the canner and sit them out to cool. When the jars are completely cooled down, test the seal, label, date and store in a cool, dry place.

Then, enjoy your hard work by eating some delicious green beans this winter!

There you have it.  Your step-by-step guide to canning and preserving green beans.

And, now, a cat picture, because I love this cute little kitty!

Also, a kid picture, because I haven't posted one in forever and they are growing like little weeds! (Spiderman cloth diaper fluffy butts are so presh!)

Have a fabulous week, y'all.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday's Love List #1

The Magnolia Pair

Linking up with Britt today at The Magnolia Pair to share with you some things I am loving this week!

1.  These gorgeous flowers in a pretty blue mason jar.  Seeing them on my table brightens my day.

2.  Fresh sweet corn in vintage Pyrex.  Enough said.

3.  My oh-so-comfy and incredibly hippie Birks.  The epitome of summer.  I love them!  Get a pair here.

4.  Today, I took the day off from work and did a little bit of thrifting/antique shopping.  It was so nice to have a stress-free day all to myself!  On the way home, I stopped at our local fruit market and got some goodies.  

5.  And, this picture was not taken this week, but I love this man of mine!  He is amazing and I am so blessed to be his wife.

What are you loving this week?  Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Saturday, June 1, 2013


We are leaving for vacation in less than 48 hours!  I.can.not.wait!  I am looking forward to this much-needed break from work and time to relax with my sweet hubby.  Lots of photos of the Great Smoky Mountains coming soon!

Now, without further ado (and because it's my blog, and I can *smiles*), here are my last few weeks in pictures.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen most of these, so I apologize for the repeat.  If you don't follow me, I'd love for you to look me up at kentucky_wife.

Hubby and I had the best meal ever at this restaurant.  They serve home-cooked, southern-style food.  And the best's all you can eat!

I took off work a couple of weeks ago to go watch Miss M sing "Amazing Grace" in her talent show at school.  She was fantastic!  Lil Man's class did a cute magic show too.  It was so much fun.  Here's me that day, enjoying the sunshine and some Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio.

Baby Z is growing so fast!  He sure is a happy little guy in the mornings. Uncle A and I love spending time with him!

I found some pretty vintage Pyrex pieces while I was shopping on Memorial Day.  I LOVE the adorable butterprint fridgie.  It's my favorite Pyrex pattern. And I got the Blue Iris dish for the low, low price of only $5.00!

Here's some of the fam at our Memorial Day picnic at Mammoth Cave National Park.  It's one of my most favorite places to visit.  We had a blast!

That afternoon, we visited our local Amish store and got these delicious, fresh-picked strawberries.  They made for a very tasty breakfast for several days.

I can't finish this post without mentioning those who have suffered so much loss and heartache from the tornado outbreak in Oklahoma.  I am so thankful that my Oklahoma bloggy friends are all safe.  I am praying every day for you all as you heal and rebuild.

That's what we've been up to around these parts.  Now, off to pack and prepare for a wonderful week of vacation!

Be blessed, friends!

 Much love,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Unplug and Go Outside

I don't know about you, but it seems like the more I engage with social media, the more I can't get enough of it.

Check in on Facebook.

Find a recipe for dinner on Pinterest.

What's happening on Twitter?

Any new posts on Bloglovin'?

Emails to respond to?

We are always connected these days.  Information is at our fingertips.  There is no real, face-to-face interaction anymore.  I can't even remember the last time I completely disconnected...from my phone, from the internet, from email and social media.

I feel like I am constantly fidgeting with my phone, texting, replying to emails, logging into Facebook or Twitter.  Am I so busy connecting online that I'm missing out on embracing life? 

If I am constantly on my phone, I am not present.  My husband knows it.  My family knows it.  My friends know it.  I am not really present in my own life.

The internet is a wonderful tool, but while the ease of communication has improved, our lives have become more impersonal because of it.  We are losing the quality of our relationships.

It's time for me to make a change.  No, I am not getting rid of my phone or any social media accounts I have.  But I am going to find some balance in my life.  

I am going to start being present for my husband, because he deserves all of my attention when he's talking to me.  

I am going to interact with my friends, face-to-face and not just thru Facebook.

I am going to embrace life instead of constantly sitting behind my computer.

So, friends, if you don't see me as often on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, don't worry.  I'm still here and I'll still check in.  But I'm going to be actually participating in my life instead of tweeting about it.

What about you?  Do you participate in social media?  How do you maintain a healthy balance?

Much love,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reflecting On The Word

Keep pressing on, friends.  God is good! 

Hope you are all enjoying a beautiful, blessed week!

Much love,

Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Savior Lives

via Pinterest

I know He lives because He lives in me!

Friends, I hope you have all had a wonderful celebration of the resurrection of our Savior!

Much love,