mama

I know I’ve talked about this before Sugar Pies, ( but it is worth repeating over and over because we forget! Or at least I do sometimes…..) Be a friend to yourself! Know what your limits are, plan ahead for things so you don’t get so stressed out. Get a calendar/planner and write down appointments so you don’t miss them or schedule too many things in one week.  Talk nice to yourself ( you darlin’ thing you!).  Cancel that pity-party… it will steal your joy!  Come on now, pull yourself up by your cute cowgirl boot-straps! Try to stay on top of things in your home so cleaning the house won’t become so overwhelming (has your house ever looked like an earthquake happened at Walmart? That is not a pleasant feeling!). It’s really hard for us to think straight (and keep our joy) when our home is in disorder. A messy nest will only bring us unrest!  We need to take care of ourselves and our home so we can best care for our family! It’s amazing how our environment affects our emotions! And if Mama ain’t happy…well, you know the rest!

prayer

Let me just tell you, the best thing you can do for yourself is to meet with the Lord each morning.  (“Seek first God’s Kingdom and what God wants. Then all of your other needs will be met as well. Matthew 6:33 New Century Bible). The first thing I do before I even get out of bed is to begin thanking and praising God. I think about how He has blessed me and my heart is warmed. His love for you and I is so extravagant, full of  sparkling grace and  glowing mercy. He knows our difficulties and wants so much for us to trust Him with them.

“He’s walked in your shoes. He knows it’s hard! He delights to show you mercy and give you grace. He has compassion on you and sees your heart. Your need is not looked down on by Him. You are His beloved child.”  ~Mary Grace Birkhead

Spending my  first few morning-moments talking to God just feels right.  It’s at that time I ask Him to help me, to give me wisdom, joy and strength to accomplish the things that I need to do, to be mindful of my blessings and to bless others. Then I get up, read a scripture and meditate on it while I am showering and getting dressed. Throughout the day I talk to the Lord, He is my constant friend! I love that the Word says “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”! I don’t want to miss out on any of God’s rewards!

“Keep company with God. Get in on the best”.  Psalm37:4 (The Message Bible)

sugar-pie-mama

Oh my dear Sugar Pie homemakers, we need God’s help to do the most important job there is! Nothing can match the treasure of a happy home or the heartwarming memories that are made there….for you and your family!

Here are a few Happy Home Tips that have helped me keep a spring in my step and make me feel blessed to be the keeper of my home:

1. After I get dressed, make-up on, hairdo sprayed, I put brushes, flat iron, dryer and toiletries away. I wipe down the sink and put wet towels in  laundry basket. I don’t leave the bathroom until it is clean. I find that when I tidy up my bathroom each day, when it’s time to do the nitty-gritty cleaning it’s not that big of a deal.

Can I just tell you that I am not always on top of things?! There are days I get behind for one reason or another. I am not a born organized person, I have to work at it! ( Seriously!) I figured out that my days go smoother when I can find things so  I have  to remember my adopted motto…Clean as you go! Girls it’s just a fact, we are just happier when we are surrounded by  beauty and order instead of bedlam and chaos. Join me and make “Clean as you go” your new motto….it does take a little extra effort but you’ll be so glad you did!

2. I make my bed and tidy up my bedroom. I want to enjoy sinking into a fresh bed at night in a calm, clean and serene room. This blesses my husband also!

singin-mama

3. As soon as I walk into my kitchen, I start creating what I call My Happy Home Atmosphere…..light a yummy candle ( right now I am enjoying Fresh Balsam from Bath and Body Works and Give Thanks by Yankee Candle), I put on some music ( I’m listening to Christmas already!), and open the windows for some fresh air (unless it’s freezing outside!).  Generally speaking, I don’t turn the TV on because then I am tempted to sit and watch…and there goes my day! We record our favorite shows and watch them at night.

4. The kitchen is always cleaned after dinner. In the morning it’s really so helpful to empty the dishwasher right away. That way any dirty dishes or cups can be put straight into the dishwasher instead of  loading up the sink. (If you don’t have a dishwasher, fill half of your sink with hot sudsy water, put any dirty morning dishes in the water to soak while you are attending to other things, then in a short while it will be easy to wash them up, rinse, dry and put away!)

5. Starting a load of wash is next on my list of morning chores. I do laundry everyday instead of waiting for a certain day of the week. It’s too overwhelming to tackle mountains of laundry all at once.  (Trust me, raising four kids, I know about mountains of laundry!) Doing  a little each day makes it so much easier!

planning-a-menu

6. Mondays are usually my grocery shopping days, so usually Sunday  afternoon I sit down and make a list of meals that I want to make for the following week. I’ll go through a couple of my cookbooks (which I love to do)  to see if there is something new I want to try.  Come Monday I have  grocery list in hand with a pen to mark off the items as I find them. I always plan a simple meal on grocery shopping days because by the time I get home, make several trips to the car carrying in the bags then unloading them I’m not feeling like I want to spend two hours cooking dinner.

happy-homemaker

Many times I’ll pick up a roasted rotisserie chicken and prepare a meal around it. I have two recipes I’m gonna share with y’all today….they both have very similar ingredients (most of which you probably have in your pantry and fridge) but one is to bake in the oven (for about 35 minutes) and the other is for a crock pot so you could prepare it early in the day and let it simmer until you are ready to eat it. They are both yummy, easy, economical  and they start with  a fresh rotisserie chicken from the market! ( Of course you can roast your own chicken, but an already cooked one makes it so much easier! And remember girls we are trying to find ways to be a friend to ourselves!). In no time you’ll have a yummy meal to set on the dinner table for your family, and your time together will bless hearts and tummies!

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Corn Chip Chicken Bake

(This is a great bake ‘n’ take dish for potlucks and such! This is one of those dishes that you can’t mess up. You don’t even have to be exact about it….you can add more cheese or green chilies, onion or other ingredients if you want!)

1 cooked chicken -discard bones and skin, shred or chop into bite-size pieces

1 medium yellow onion -chopped and cooked

1 4oz. can chopped green chilies- diced

1 large can (26 oz. ) can of  Cream of Chicken Soup  ( or two small 10 oz. cans—one of the small cans can be Cream of Mushroom soup if you want, I’ve made it both ways!)

1 cup sour cream

1 bag of  Tortilla chips (or corn tortillas torn in bite size pieces)

4 cups grated cheese  (cheddar and jack )

Pre-heat oven to 350. Saute onion until soft. Mix together soup, chilies, sour cream and cooked onion. Stir in the cooked chopped chicken. In a greased 9 X 13 pan layer half of the chicken/soup mixture, then add a layer of  tortilla corn chips, then a layer of cheese, then repeat ending with the layer of cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with a crisp green salad,  fresh fruit and buttered corn.

This is very mild dish so if you want to spice it up you can offer chopped jalapenos on the side…that’s my preferance!

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Take a peek at how easy this is to prepare!!

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Saute the chopped onion until soft….

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Mix together soup, cooked onion, chopped green chilies and sour cream. Then add shredded chicken.

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Grease your pan….

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Layer first with half of the chicken and soup mixture….

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Add a layer of Tortilla Corn Chips…..

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Then layer half of the  cheese (feel free to add more if you want!)

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Add the remaining chicken and soup mixture….

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Add more tortilla corn chips and the rest of the cheese….You are done! Just cover with foil and bake at 35o for about 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

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Easy peasy and cheesy!

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To spice it up serve some more yumminess on the side! Chopped halapenos, sliced black olives, salsa, sour cream, Fritos and more cheese.

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How easy is that? It’s yummy to your tummy too!

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Now here is the Crock Pot version!

Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas!

1 large roasted chicken–discard bones and skin–shred or chop chicken into bite size. (if the chicken is a skinny little thing get two!)

1 medium yellow onion–chopped and saute in one tablespoon olive oil

1 small can Cream of Mushroon soup ( 10 3/4 oz.)

1 small can Cream of Chicken soup )10 3/4 oz.)

1 cup sour cream

1 can green enchilada sauce (10 oz.)

1 can diced green chilies (4 oz.)

16 corn tortillas–torn into chip size pieces

5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (reserving one cup for the last layer)

Saute chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Mix soups, sour cream, enchilada sauce, diced green chilies and cooked onion. Pour half of soup mixture into crock pot. Then add half of the chicken.  Add 2 cups of the cheese then a layer of the torn corn tortillas. Repeat the layers ending with the reserved cup of cheese. Cover. Cook on Low for 5-6 hours or on High for 2-3 hours.

Serve with condiments on the side to spice it up: Chopped halapenos, sliced black olives, salsa, sour cream, Fritos and more cheese.

I serve this with a crisp cold salad, fresh fruit and buttered corn.

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Saute onion in olive oil until soft….

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Stir the cooked onion into soup mixture then pour half of the soup mixture into the crock pot….

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Add the chicken….

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Layer on 2 cups of the cheese…img_1780

Add 8 torn tortillas….repeat layers ending with the reserved one cup of cheese….

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Cover. Cook on Low for 5-6 hours or on High for 2-3 hours.

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Serve with condiments on the side to spice it up: Chopped halapenos, sliced black olives, salsa, sour cream, Fritos and more cheese. Or eat it plain!

I serve this with a crisp cold salad, fresh fruit and buttered corn.

mama-cooking

You know Sugar Pies, every woman is a homemaker. Whether you work outside or inside the home. If we live in a home we are a homemaker. Anything you can do to create that “ahhh…it’s good to be home” feeling is the best gift you can give to your family and yourself! A home that is comforting, safe and happy will do wonders in providing a sense of well being and the sense of belonging your family needs! It’s up to us girls!  Fortunately we have the help of the Lord! If you haven’t read it in a while, I want to encourage you to read Proverbs 31: 10-31.  It talks about our role as homemakers and how we are worth far more than rubies! I can tell by the comments you leave me that your desire is to create a home-sweet-home, and I want to say how proud I am of you for that! Keep up the good work! The Lord will surely bless you!

Don’t forget Be A Friend to Yourself! There is only one of you and you are loved and needed!

Blessings to y’all!

Aunt Ruthie

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