Wednesday, January 1, 2014

An Intentional Year

My little sister, Toni, recently started blogging again and it has inspired me to do the same. My blog needs some serious work, but right now I am simply inspired to write.  I started this blog for my children, not necessarily an audience of strangers.

I think I will continue to write...for them.

To my children:

On this first day of January 2014, I want you all to know how much I love you.  "With everything in me. With all my heart.  I more than love you, I'm crazy about you."

Life is about to change for our family.  Nothing serious, but change is certainly coming.  It will be difficult at first, but everything is moving in a good direction. I want you to know that I'm nervous and a little scared, and I know you are as well, and that's okay.  But even more than that, I am excited and hopeful for our future! Our dreams that we once only talked about are finally within reach...I just know it!

We have a busy month ahead of us!  It will be stressful and hard at times.  February will likely be the same. But I am confident that March, and spring, have good things in store for us.

Here is a list of things that will certainly change:
-our address
-our schedule
-our personal space will be smaller
-$ (good change!)
-our yard and animals

Here is a list of things that will NOT change:
-home is where we are all together, no matter the address
-we are committed and determined to finding a home in the country
-we will ALWAYS have everything we need, and some of what we want
-life is hard and wonderful all at the same time
-everything Dad and I do, we do for you

I have 2 final thoughts for you as I close out this post.  First, our family verse for the year will be Proverbs 31:25.  "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."  We are an amazingly strong family with amazingly strong individuals. We are people of great strength... physically, mentally, and spiritually.  On our hardest, saddest, most aggravating days, we will draw from our strengths! Also, we will hold our heads high knowing we always do our best!  Sometimes our best won't be good enough, and in those moments there are things to be learned and improved upon...and learn, we shall!  Lastly, regarding our verse for 2014, remember to laugh, not worry.  Remember to laugh, not grumble.  Remember to laugh at the future!  Remember what Nanny always said, "It is what it is."

Secondly, our word for 2014 is INTENTIONAL!  We will not float through this year, or life for that matter. We will be intentional with our time, our money, our attention, our love, our family, our faith, our bodies, our education, our hobbies, our relationships.  We will intentionally give to others and each other.  My hope is that each day, each moment, we are intentional.  A life unintentionally spent is a life full of wasted time and lots of regrets.

We will be strong, we will hold our heads up, we will laugh, and we will be intentional!

I love you all.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

An Odd-sized Mattress

Several years ago my dad and step-mom gave us a twin-sized mattress that someone had given to them .  It was in great shape and we had high hopes that it could replace one of the twin mattresses in our home that had seen one too many middle-of-the-night accidents.

However, our newly-used twin mattress must have been specially made because it was oddly large, and we just couldn't make it fit. So we put it in our spare, catch-all room (affectionately called the yellow room) while we pondered what to do with this odd-sized, perfectly good, very comfortable mattress.

I'm glad that we decided to keep it.

Over the years we have used this mattress many, many times. Often on weekend nights, summer vacation, and Christmas break we'll pull our mattress out of the yellow room, down the hall and into the living room.  And there, some or all of my children will pile up on the couches and beloved mattress.  This mattress has served us well and been a big part of our ability to make sweet memories with our kiddos.

Just this past summer, we pulled the mattress into our tent in the backyard and had a camp out.  The mattress has been known to stay in the living room the entire week of spring break.  And of course, it's what we use on rainy or snowy movie-marathon days.

As I write this at some unholy hour of the morning, I hear the heavy breathing of Jeff and the boys sleeping in the living room in front of the fire...Colton and Shellby snuggled up together on the mattress.  They must have had a great 'boys night' together after we girls went to bed because strewn around the room are Battleship game pieces, Nerf guns, Wii remotes, a shot-gun instruction manual (JD got a new gun today, from my dad) and various snack wrappers.  Memories made.

I know when my kids are grown they will remember these simple, happy childhood memories.  And if they happen to read this post, maybe they will remember the oddly-sized mattress that helped make it possible.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Today Jeff and I decided that we should take the kids on a little trip.  With no final destination in mind, we knew that we wanted to visit the grave sites of our grandparents.  First, we drove to Bourbon County and visited my grandmother and grandfather's grave.

Forrest and Virginia Davis's tombstone.  Gina's dad's parents.

Then off we went to Harrison County to see the grave site of Jeff's grandmother.

Lily DeBruler's tombstone. Jeff's father's mother.
 Then the kids were turning into little beasts so we decided to feed them before something really terrible happened.  We were lucky to find a Mexican restaurant where Sydney and Colton could eat there favorite Mexican meal; chips and salsa followed by chicken strips and french fries.

Summer and JD, B.A.F..... Best Amigos Forever

Then we went to visit Jeff's papaw, Joby DeBruler, Lily's widowed husband.  Joby is now remarried to Jean, the sweetest little lady, whom Jeff's family just loves!  Then on the way home we stopped for some cold drinks.  Those who were allowed to purchase caffinated drinks were chatty and playful...

Those were not allowed to purchase caffinated drinks are now well-rested and will, no doubt, be up till midnight...

And this is the man who made it all happen...

My Baby-Daddy


Friday, May 4, 2012

Leftovers...The Ultimate Convenience Food!

Here at the Taylor-DeBruler home we eat a lot of leftovers! 

I *believe* in leftovers. I believe in "waste not, want not."  I believe in "use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without".  I believe there are still starving children around the world who would graciously eat any and all leftovers that my family may lament about.

I believe if you do not eat what I put on the table, you may go fix yourself a PB and J sandwich and a glass of milk.

I also believe that I have better things to do with my time than stand in the kitchen 28 times a week (breakfast, lunch, supper, and snack for 7 days) and cook up new and exciting meals.

So I cook in bulk, freeze some, refrigerator some for later, and cook up some for the next meal. Here is an example:

I find chicken breast on sale so I buy a bunch.  I mean a BUNCH, shamelessly emptying out the chicken breast freezer display while other people stand behind me waiting their turn to choose their package of chicken breast, only to find that the lady in front of them (that would be me) with the brood of kids (those would be mine) has taken every last package.

Then I take my chicken breast home and put the majority of it in the freezer.  In celebration of finding a great deal, I decide we should have Ranch Chicken and Pasta for supper (my husband has convinced me it is called supper, not dinner.  He is currently trying to convince me that what I call lunch is actually called dinner.  I have explained to him that his brainwashing is not working, I have compromised on the whole dinner-supper issue and a girl has to draw a line in the sand eventually...I digress.)

I fix enough Ranch Chicken and Pasta for supper that night, lunch the next day and supper the following night.  See how this works?  I cook one HUGE meal and it lasts for 2 days!  And I still have a ton of chicken in the freezer. 

Let's say whole chickens were on sale, about twice a year I can find them for $.49/lb.  That's cheap, people.  I load my cart up with whole chickens as I listen to all the whispers around me regarding my shopping habits.  I often turn to the gathering crowd and explain that we have a 10 foot pet alligator and it's either whole chickens or the kids.  At this point, people start putting their whole chickens in my cart because they feel such pity for the dangerous situation my children are living in.  This is my goal.  Whole chicken may not be this cheap for a while so I gotta do whatever I can to stock up!  Don't judge me!

That night I fix a whole chicken in the oven and serve it with a couple of side dishes.  If there is enough left over, I'll fix chicken casserole the next night.  But if there isn't much meat left, I'll throw together a pot of Tortilla Soup and we'll eat on that for a couple of days. Essentially, I've make 2 meals and fed my family for 4-5 days.  That Rocks! 

Ya can't do that with laundry!  Boy that would be make two outfits last five days.  My laundry room would look a lot better than it does right now.  Here, I'll include a picture... nevermind.

Leftovers are a mom's best friend!  Think ahead and make good use of them!



Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a hit with my family...even Colton, my picky eater, loves it as long as I omit the "spicy stuff".  Hope you and yours love it too!


2-3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 packet of McCormick's fajita seasoning
1 cup of taco sauce
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies, mild (juice included)
6 cups chicken broth
2 cans of corn, drained
2 cans of seasoned black beans, drained
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. each: cumin, chili powder, salt, onion powder, cilantro, paprika, and garlic powder
1 bay leaf

Optional Ingredients (aka: things I would like to included but my family will not eat!)

1/4 cup each (diced and sauteed):  red and green bell peppers,  and onion
1 can of diced tomatoes (juice included)


4 soft flour tortillas
Mexican blend shredded cheese


Boil your chicken until cooked through, drain then shred.
Combine all ingredients listed above, including cooked chicken.
Make sure everything is mixed well.
Heat until right before boiling, then turn down heat and let it simmer for at least an hour.

While your soup is simmering, cut the flour tortillas into strips and fry over medium heat with a little butter until barely brown and crisp around the edges.

Top each bowl with a few tortilla strips and a generous sprinkle of shredded cheese. Enjoy!


*You can make this soup as hearty as you would like by adding more chicken, corn, and/or black beans.

*You can make this soup as spicy as you would like by replacing the fajita seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, and/or taco sauce with "hot" instead of "mild" ingredients.

*The seasonings listed are the minimum measurements, feel free to add as much as your taste buds crave!

Monday, June 27, 2011


I'm trying to jazz up and personalize my blog, so please bear with me. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Curse you, Stomach Virus!

For the last two days I've been sicker than a dog.

Sicker than a baby with reflux problems.

Sicker than my son when he gets co-hearsed by his big sister to get on one of those fair rides.

Sicker than a cat with a hairball.

Sicker than a person getting ready to have a colonoscopy who has to drink 4 of those awful lemon-lime carbonated drinks to "clean them out", as the sweet doctor likes to put it.

You get the picture. Other than a run to the local fast food joint to pick up supper for everyone else because the smell of anything made me sicker than a...(see list above), I have been on my couch, in my bed, or in the bathroom for two days and two nights.

But (so far) today I feel wonderful, and despite the fact that my home needs a good clean-up and the laundry is backed up and the linens need to be changed, I took a much needed walk! And it felt great.

So, I would just like to say HELLO WORLD! Momma's back in working order!

Until tomorrow, when the soreness sets in from that speed-walking aerobic work-out I just did.

I may have over-done it. Oops.