Monthly Archives: October 2013

the fave.



Baked steak means mom is a rock star! When planning Steve’s 40 th birthday surprise family party, there was no other choice for the menu. And now that the weather is beautifully crisp and winter is knocking at our doors, I am much more inclined to turn my oven on all day and bring the “Sunday lunch” aroma to our home.  My mom has made this recipe ever since I was little and it has become a never failing “go to” recipe.  If you don’t believe that this will bring happiness to the mouths of your loved ones, you should check out Steve’s smile as he sat down for his birthday meal—click {HERE} for complete happiness.

If you’re looking for comfort food, this is where it’s at. Pair with mashed or fried potatoes, a veggie, roll, and fruit salad and you’ve got a winning meal. Trust me on this…your family will love it!  And if it’s a family love, then I need to share at Tonya’s Weekend Potluck!  And as far as a Grandma’s recipe or any good cook will tell you—there isn’t an exact recipe.  Don’t you love it when you hear that?  My mom and grandmas are amazing cooks/bakers—but I do have to say, it sometimes irritates me when they can’t give me the exact recipe.  So, when thinking of posting this, the thought came through my head…”I really don’t have a recipe for this”—and I was instantly irritated with myself.  BUT, this is pretty much how you make it.

Baked Steak
8-12 pieces of minute steak
2 cans of Cream of Mushroom and Chicken

2  soup cans full of milk or half and half

Mix about 1 cup of flour with 3 Tbsp of Lawry salt and 1Tbsp pepper. Dredge each piece of meat and cover in flour mixture. Pan fry meat just until browned in skillet with about 1 inch of oil. Layer meat in roaster. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, mix cans of soups and milk and heat in microwave and stir to combine. Pour over meat.

Bake for 2-3 hours.

And then kindly sit back and accept your “Mom and Wife of the Year” award.

goodbye October.


And just like that, the beautiful month of October is gone. I saw somewhere just the other day a post that said “October is the last beautiful smile of the year”

Looking at this on our walk yesterday, I would have to agree. That beauty just takes my breath away. How awesome God is to give us color, no more vividly shown than in the changing colors of fall, if even for just a brief moment. I think the word “smile” in the whole midst of our world, is just about the mostperfect word for it. What a gift.

Don’t miss the chance to receive that “smile” here in the next few weeks.




I’ve kept up on a blog of a family going through building their new home. It’s move in week for them. So exciting! For months you plan, work, and suddenly it all comes together—just like that.

A few months ago, Natalie had a sleepover with the girls in her class as celebration of an ending of junior high and beginning of high school. The sleepover took place at the house we lived in for 10 years and sold before building just four years ago. The house that all of my babies were brought home to (besides Nat). It was the home that they were raised in their younger years. And dropping Natalie off that day after a quick tour of the house left me driving down that 1/2 mile long driveway in tears. Perhaps even the “ugly cry”.

I was certainly overcome with a surprising emotion I had no idea was there—because if I had, I never would have put myself in the situation.

It wasn’t the house—although I loved it. Although we had remodeled and made it our own throughout the years–as Steve grew up himself in that very house. I was not missing the house. There were so many things we struggled with in the house itself.

It was the memories. I was mourning those memories so heavily and so deeply. My little girls playing with kitties. Pushing their strollers, teaching chickens how to fly. The memory of Kourtney and Landon forever covering themselves in mud. The afternoon Landon escaped to the field behind us where a farmer stopped his tractor to bring him back home. (HELP ME—where was I?). The four-wheeler rides, the birthday parties, the swimming parties, the nights around our table with our littles who had nothing to do but be home together, the huge garden, and the long walks down the driveway. I miss all of that living life out there on the farm. No, it wasn’t the house that made the tears flow. It was what made that house our home.

{love this HOME tray from Mary & Martha as much as I do? Ask me how to earn it for $25 this holiday season…}

Look around your home you live in now. What is it that makes your house a home? What sweet memories do you see in that corner of your house? Or in the other corner of your house? What memories do you want to forget? Ha!

I know that the people in it are what matters. That no matter where we live, we are “home” where we are together.





Know what those pumpkins say to me? We have some intentional family time on its way…tonight. And I can’t wait. It’s a picture of cozy.

We are entering a time when things slow down ever so slightly between sports seasons. The holidays are quickly approaching. And for us? That means bring on friends and family. The colder weather and winter bring our family together. And I have been waiting for it since last year.

And speaking of cozy, here is a tried and true recipe that came across Facebook. So with my trusty iPhone, I took a screen shot of it and am posting it that way. Clever, huh?! I am not even sure of the original source, as with many Facebook recipes that fly through the newsfeed. The only change I made to this is that I used a whole chicken and made my chicken broth with water and chicken base.

This is going in my crockpot today. It’s almost as cozy as those pumpkins waiting to be carved. And it’s almost as cozy as those new babies I got to snuggle with last night. Almost.

lots o’ good…


Did we really just have a 3 day weekend with our kids? I don’t believe it. Not sure how that even happened and here it is Monday morning. Start of a new, fresh week. I like Mondays…I really do. Planning the week is energizing—but putting the plan into action isn’t always that easy. Especially when you’re out of milk…(and eggs, bread, cereal, ummm…grocery store here I come!)

Mondays are great, especially after a weekend of so much good. Not sure I could get a picture that is much happier than this for Kourtney. After hours of intense volleyball, our team dug deep and came home with a Sub-State victory! So fun.  I think she had the time of her life cheering on the lady cats with her big sisters. Pretty awesome.


To get to be a “big kid” and go with her sisters does her heart well. She loved it. And to see the awesome student section cheer the lady cats on to victory? Sweet. It was worth the Sunday morning whining we all endured from a certain 11 year old fan. And the Sunday afternoon, evening and little bit of Monday morning…ha!




The good just continued as we pulled off our first ever Kid Jam at Journey@McPherson. A few glitches for our first time, but overall it was a blast and the kids seemed to enjoy it.

To top it all off…we are getting our grandma back!!  After a week in the hospital, she finally seemed like “herself” last night at our visit.  Praying for a dismissal and continued health this week.

This Monday morning, I am thankful for all of the good.

you won’t be able to stop.


Seriously, this week’s recipe for Tonya’s Weekend Potluck is that good. Steve had to shut the fridge and walk away and declare he would EAT NO MORE.

Another fun and yummy recipe from a wife of a coworker of Steve’s—many year’s ago. I know it’s got to be a family favorite. No doubt a Kaufman family favorite. But I must warn you—you know when you think in the back of your head that Rice Krispie Treats are a fairly lowfat and low calorie treat? These aren’t. It could have something to do with the sweetened condensed milk in addition to the butter, marshmallows, and rice krispies. Oh–and you pretty much triple your butter. You’ll see…

Gooey Rice Krispie Marshmallow Roll

1/4 Cup Butter

4 Cups Mini Marshmallows

Melt on low on stovetop until just melted.

Then add:

1/4 tsp. vanilla (or more if you love vanilla like me)

4 Cups Rice Krispies

Pat into well greased cookie sheet. Cool in refrigerator.

1 Cup Butter

1 Cup Brown Sugar

4 TBSP Light Corn Syrup

1 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Cool this mixture just a bit in a sink of cold water.

Pour over rice krispies.

Cool in refrigerator until cold. Then roll. Cut into thin slices.

You can see the gooey goodness oozing through the Rice Krispies.  My kids loved them, but Steve could not stop eating them.  And that makes it a keeper over here.

my love language.


Used to be that the kids didn’t even think twice about an early dismissal from school. It was exciting and they never gave it a second thought. Not so once you get to high school. It becomes a very calculated and thought out “is this going to be worth missing class for” decision. It’s hard getting older…


I remember when we would schedule road trips around nap time. Gotta say, I was thinking they’d be awake and chatty and able to keep me awake…hmm.

A special treat to meet Grandma for dinner. At a restaurant that doesn’t even serve “kids’ meals”. Whoa…

If you think I look giddy, well, you’d be right. Broadway shows are my love language. Truly when I grow up, I’m doing one every weekend. Or shall I say when I retire with loads and loads of $$. IF that were the case, herein lies my first choice for entertainment. I adore musical and broadway shows. Do I have a secret desire to be on stage? Or is it the chills of harmony? The characters, the plot, the resolution?

Yes, yes, yes. It’s all of that. But when it comes to WICKED it is all of that and so much more.

WICKED is the “prequel” to The Wizard of Oz. Meaning it sets up the entire background for what happened before the story of Dorothy and the yellow brick road. If I could be a walking billboard for this show, everyone would see it. It is amazing. The plot and music—absolutely beautifully and brilliantly written. I’m sorry, I just can’t even help myself. If there is one broadway show I would have to see, it is this one. Perhaps that is the reason I have lost count to how many times I have gone to this. It is that good. I promise.

The twists and turns, the background of how the witches came to be, and the clever use of characters from the Wizard of Oz specifically the scarecrow, tinman, and lion…oh my! I want to go again. Please go. If musicals and shows aren’t your love language like they are mine, this is the show to go to. It’s amazing. Have I convinced you? I will be done singing it’s praises…until it comes to our area again.

Spending it with these special people made it even better. And I got to wear my new Zulily mustard coat I purchased for $22. Doesn’t get much better than that…

jumping in…



You know when you see this in publication, there is NO turning back.  No matter what….YIKES!!!!  Ha ha… {I really am joking—kind of}

In all seriousness, we are so looking forward to a “Family Production” for our families and families of the community to share God’s love in an entertaining way.  With high energy worship and God’s truths and how they can be applied to our everyday living.  And I think what everyone will find is that ALL of us, whether we are two or 102, will find some way to use the information shared in our every day life.

Praying, praying, praying.  Yep, that’s what I’m doing.  Praying it all comes together—but mostly praying a big, huge blessing over everyone involved in let’s see…T-minus 4 and half days!!  Production and meal will be held at the McPherson Middle School, brought to you by Journey @ McPherson.  If you need more information or would like to sign up to come, please let me know by replying to this post, via facebook, or giving me a call.

Family Production 4:30 -5:30

Light Supper to follow 5:30-6:00

Hope to see you there!

the game changer


So, shaking my way all the way to the hospital—anxiety like I have never known—Steve could NOT understand that being a labor and delivery nurse and knowing all about the process is actually NOT one bit of benefit. Not one bit.

Like for instance, being adamant in doing this labor thing without an epidural. What was that all about anyway? I was all naturale’ and as stubborn as I was, that is exactly how it went. Until I met my best friend named, Stadol.

This one very experience was a game changer for me as I now actually knew what my patients were feeling. And actually knew how to best take care of them after two years of really not having a clue. Little did I know that this was the most intense form of labor and delivery nurse orientation—actually going through labor. Game changer, I tell you, in my life as a labor and delivery nurse.

Seventeen, yes 17(!!!!!) hours later, I had the most incredible experience of my life. A game changer in this game we called “life”. I became a “mommy” and Steve became a “daddy” to a 5 lb 15 oz bundle of sweet, pink goodness. Never, ever in my existence up until then had things ever been so right with the world. Overwhelming love and joy for Natalie Janelle Kaufman.

Unfortunately, for Nat, she is our guinea pig for every new stage of parenting. But you know what? God placed her right there for a very specific reason. And there is no other better to be our firstborn than her.

First baby, first grandbaby, and first great-grandbaby —this girl has a big job to fill.

God has showered us so lavishly with love in this very gift of Natalie Janelle.

Not a better way to spend the last 15 years. Oh wow…I could barely type that.