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Friday Favorites…

It’s safe to say that during November there may be some baked goods overkill in these friday favorites.
November makes it so hard not to bake. Right?!
And Pinterest.  That place makes it nearly impossible.
I plan to practice some self control…I’ll only eat one helping of each item I bake. Pinky Promise.
This weekend I’m making these little apple pies, if it’s the last thing I do.

 

 

 

 

I

I’m making a pom-pom garland for Lydia’s room this weekend.
My obsession with pom-poms started when I made that anthropologie wreath. Now, I can’t stop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah. Here’s another one I plan to try soon. She had me a pear and cream cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carissa gave me a great idea for displaying Christmas cards this year.

Carissa gave me a great idea for displaying Christmas cards this year.

 

We have a distressed black bench at the end of our bed.   I think I need to plan to add stacks and stacks of my favorite books to it. Oh!  Wait a minute.  That would mean that I first have to do something with the piles of laundry that are currently taking up residence there.

We have a distressed black bench at the end of our bed.
I think I need to plan to add stacks and stacks of my favorite books to it.
Oh! Wait a minute. That would mean that I first have to do something with the piles of laundry that are currently taking up residence there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If ever I live in a farmhouse, I hope there

If ever I live in a farmhouse, I hope there’s a table like this. Except while I’m dreaming…I hope mine seats ten..the more the merrier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*WORTHY READS*

My dear friend Jackie is undergoing her 2nd chemo treatment today…you’ll want to read her post on this journey.

Sasha is selling this canvas for your Christmas decorating pleasure.

Becky wrote a post for when you’ve Been Hurt…good read.

Linsey wrote a post that confirms for me why Fall is my absolute favorite.

Did you buy Jeanne Oliver’s e-course called Home for the Holidays? I plan to catch up on the past couple of weeks worth of videos this weekend. You can see a peek at week 3 on Jeanne’s blog.

Okay…a few more favorites from Halloween.  A couple of the pictures are blurry, but I had to show you anway!

Is it just me or is this picture hilarious.

Is it just me or is this picture hilarious.

We had four families over for dinner and trick or treating....there were 8 boys between us who were chasing each other in the yard and running out their endless energy...it was glorious to watch them have so much fun!!! Meanwhile, these cute girls were in Lydia

We had four families over for dinner and trick or treating….there were 8 boys between us who were chasing each other in the yard and running out their endless energy…it was glorious to watch them have so much fun!!!
Meanwhile, these cute girls were in Lydia’s room sorting and organizing their candy. Oh the differences between girls and boys!

They win the coolest parents award.

They win the coolest parents award.

Here's another really amazing friend that showed up in costume!  I declare that next year, I'll wear a costume!!!

Here’s another really amazing friend that showed up in costume! I declare that next year, I’ll wear a costume!!!

Here's the whole crew of kids that we get to do life with...so, so, so thankful!

Here’s the whole crew of kids that we get to do life with…so, so, so thankful!

Remember last weekend when we didn’t have any plans? This weekend looks different.
Andy and I are headed to Scott’s Antiques with some friends today, after we drop the kids off at school.
Tomorrow, we’re taking the kids to see the UGA game…..hoping they pull out a win.
Sunday, we’ve got a thanksgiving meal with our friends and family pictures for the Christmas cards and a community worship service at our church that night.
yeah. it’s a lot.
what about you? Big weekend plans?

Kimber-Leigh - i look forward to these posts from you! i love that you shared the pear recipe (i just bought two bags full of ripe pears and needed a good recipe! and the pom-pom garland–what a great idea!

paige - off to check on your jackie…praying for her <3

Barbara - What a great Halloween you had and I love you Friday favorites, thanks for them, the pear & cream cheese hello!

Jackie - I’ve been hooked on making those pompoms, too, since making my wreath.
And that pear and cream cheese tart will be making an apprearance at the Kirsche home sometime in the near future. It looks Sooooo good!
I love the picture of your kiddos on the porch; Lydia’s beauty is magnified by the morph suits. :)
Enjoy the game today! I’ll be watching it on the couch and making pompoms. :)

Kelly Cach - LOL!!! Yes, that photo of your kids is hilarious!!! I don’t even know y’all, and I feel I could lean over on the floor holding my sides laughing :0.

After seeing this post, I ran out and bought crescent roll dough. I made the apple pie bites. My family loves me (and you) for it ;).

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family time.

Recently, the kids were out of school for a couple days for a fall break, and we decided to go on a big hike together.

Recently, the kids were out of school for a couple days for a fall break, and we decided to go on a big hike.

 

We walked and walked and walked and climbed and climbed and climbed.

 

We sat on rocks and let our minds get lost in the sounds of rushing water.

 

The kids played in the water and I took as many pictures of the trees as I could.

The kids let me get an occasional picture of them.

We all cracked up at how mesmerized I was with the lichen on the trees.  I promise you I took no less than 75 pictures of trees with lichen on them.

We all cracked up at how mesmerized I was with the lichen on the trees. I promise you I took no less than 75 pictures of trees with lichen on them.

We saw rock formations with trees growing out of them...

We saw rock formations with trees growing out of them…

We took time to stop and turn our heads completely up completely, so we could see as far up into the trees as possible.

We took time to stop and tilt our heads completely back, so we could see as far up into the trees as possible.

We stopped to take pictures of leaves that kind of...sort of...halfway looked like hearts.

We stopped to take pictures of leaves that kind of…sort of…halfway looked like hearts.

Big brothers carried little sister at some points.

Big brothers carried little sister at some points.

We hiked for what seemed like forever, when we realized we were way past the 3 mile point.

We hiked for what seemed like forever, when we realized we were way past the 3 mile point.

Finally, after 4.7 miles, we reached the waterfall we had set out to find!

Finally, after 4.7 miles, we reached the waterfall we had set out to find!

Andy and I collapsed and the kids played in the water.

Andy and I collapsed and the kids played in the water.

Luke pounded his chest like he was standing on top of the world.

Luke pounded his chest like he was standing on top of the world.

We hung out at the waterfall for as long as we could before we had to start heading back...after all, we had 4.7 miles to get back to our car!!!

We hung out at the waterfall for as long as we could before we had to start heading back…after all, we had 4.7 miles to get back to our car!!!

I was amazed that our kids never complained...not even the 6 year old!   We laughed almost all the way back telling stories of other family days we have had together over the years.   Memories are good.

I was amazed that our kids never complained…not even the 6 year old!
We laughed almost all the way back telling stories of other family days we have had together over the years.
Memories are good.

About halfway back, the kids begged to take a break, so we gave them a few minutes to sit on one last rock and take it all in.

About halfway back, the kids begged to take a break, so we gave them a few minutes to sit on one last rock and take it all in.

You

You’ll be happy to know we made it back to the car. This old girl ain’t what she used to be. Andy was fine, the kids were fine…I, on the other hand, could barely shuffle my feet. My hips and lower back were screaming at me for pushing them to walk me 9.4 miles in one day. I battled with my pride…I used to be able to run 10 miles. But, I made it. We made it!
Time together refreshes us and makes us glad we’re family. Laughing about other shenanigans that we’ve had on family days was needed….laughing is good for the soul.
We loaded up, buckled up and all rolled down our windows and yelled out to that trail that we were glad to have met it but that we’d NEVER see it again. Done. Checked off the list.
Have you had any fun family days this fall?

Audra - It’s good to see you made it back “home”. Nature is putting the most beautiful display on for us right now. I love that hike. I’ve taken my family a few times too. It’s nice to get out of range sometimes.. You are a good Mama

Lori H - Lovely photos, Tara! I am fascinated by lichen of all kinds on trees. So sculptural. My two college kids haven’t had a break at the same time yet, so we have had a couple weekends with 3of us instead of 2. Looking forward to it being the 4 of us over Thanksgiving!

Maureen - Beautiful pictures. The trees growing out of rock formations is mind boggling. What a blessing to spend a day in nature with your family.

barbara - Wow that’s a beautiful place you found there. 9+ miles bless you and your feet.
Have a great day.

Megan - Great photos Tara! What a great way to do family time. I think I would have ended up lost in the woods though?

Becky - We just had our family nature walk. No waterfall though. So gorgeous!!!

Jackie - We did the Panther Creek hike to the waterfall, too! Once. :)

LLH Designs - That one of big brother carrying little sister…the sweetest! Love all your detail shots, too. Way to hunt for beauty! A camera is the best weapon! xo!

Nicole - What a great family day! And, the scenery. Wow. Just wow.

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Girl!!! This is my kind of place. I tell you, if you ever come up North I will take you up into the mountains! And I have never done 9.4 miles in a day. Holy Molley! Think I would have died half way up. LOL

michele fry - loved the picture of the of them on the log…needs a frame!!

Flower Patch Farmgirl - *that fall tree shot*
!!!!!!!!!!!

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A Month Long Menu Plan

novembermenu

The holiday season has officially arrived and so has basketball season for both boys.  This is the time of year when life gets turned a little upside down. Grabbing fast food is okay every now and then, but I’d rather cook most nights and sit down together as a family as often as possible.  It brings a certain “calm” to our week to enjoy a meal together in the comforts of our own home.

Well, at least “calm” is our goal for meal time.  We love to go over highs and lows from our day with each other, but don’t be fooled by what could appear to be hallmark mealtimes.  We get opportunities every night to remind a couple of boys that there are to be no bodily noises released during dinner.  And while I’m being transparent, we also have to occasionally put out the reminder that no one’s lows can include stories that involve their siblings.

Meal times can be hard, but we determined a long time ago to make them part of our family’s many traditions.  If you’re like me, then half the battle is actually making a menu plan!  After I spent an absorbent amount of time thinking about menus last month, I decided to attempt to head into this month with a serious battle plan!

The first thing I did was look at my calendar.  I wanted to know exactly how many meals we needed.  We’ll be traveling for Thanksgiving to see family, and we’ve also got a staff retreat with the church one weekend.  I went ahead and planned to grab take-out once each week, because I know that’s just reality for us this month.   Plus, a night off for me sounds like a pretty splendid plan. It ends up I need about 18 meals for this month.  I went to my Pinterest boards and picked all of the tried and true recipes that I’ve cooked before and love.

I hope this will help ease some of the stress that can so easily creep into the holidays.  I’m sure you’ll notice that most of the meals are very much “comfort” foods.  Nothing says November like comfort foods, right?!

What all does November hold for you?  Do you cook most nights, too?

 

Shepherd’s Pie

Easy Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Picatta

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Cheeseburger Soup

Chili Colorado Burritos

Crockpot Mongolian Beef with Rice

Chicken, Bacon & Wild Rice Soup

Southwestern Chili Con Queso Pasta Bake

Homemade Chicken & Dumpling Soup

Quick Lime Cilantro Chicken served in bowls with all the fixins {like chipotle}

Chicken Pot Pie

Spicy Jalapeno Philly Cheese Sliders

Mexican Chicken Lime Soup

Pan Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti

Chicken Taco Salad/Tacos for the boys

Chili Tortellini

 

 

paige - i am so impressed with you!!
i just bookmarked this & maybe it will solidify my weirdness factor for you to know that i’m planning on cooking several of these same things. right along with you.
xo

Jackie - Wow! I’m super impressed that you plan for the month! I am a weekly planner, though this month I’ve got Thanksgiving on my radar. Still going to host this year; grateful it falls at the end of my treatment cycle.

michele fry - Thanks for doing all the prep work for me…love it!!

Megan - I love your approach! I have done weekly and monthly meal planning, and I always love it when I make the effort. It makes life so much easier. That being said, monthly gets tricky for me because I try to fit everything in on the calendar perfectly and unexpected things always come up or we end up having leftovers, etc. I love how you just listed the recipes-such a simpler way to tackle it! I am going to check out your links…they sound lovely!

Now, any advice for a picky 10 year old eater?

barbara - This is awesome i plan but not that far in advance thisis great.
Happy eating.

did you feel it? » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] november are the april for tax accountants. like hello. meanwhile i will rise up and call blessed my friends who just so happened to post a full flippin month of recipes that i have bookmarked!  i’ll […]

Janet - Oh yum! I will be trying to copy you! So impressed!! I think even my picky eater will enjoy your menu!

Lemonade Makin' Mama - I have got to get a new routine. I think I make the same 12 things over and over. LOL I am soooo bored with what we make.

Adrienne - I made the pulled pork and everyone loved it. All 3 kids said it was great! Thanks for recommendation!

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Friday Favorites {on Saturday}

Heather has a series called Home Made Lovely.
Have you seen it?

 

I come from a looong line of women who cook deliciously.
I really want to make one of these with all the recipes passed down through the generations.

 

 

I like this.  Maybe someday I

I like this. Maybe someday I’ll paint the kids bathroom in black and white stripes.

 

I don

I don’t like pink, but pink mixed with this charcoal grey?  It’s perfect.

 

Shannan wrote this post on Dialing back the day.   Don

Shannan wrote this post on Dialing back the day.
Don’t pause. Go there now.

 

Alicia finished up her 31 days of writing about real life.
Every post was amazingly transparent, but this one?
It’ll give you perspective, and you’ll laugh hysterically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had every intention of posting this yesterday, but it just never happened.  I think I’m still recovering from last weekend.  Hopefully, a weekend full of nothing but family and pajamas and a big pot of homemade soup and a couple of early bedtimes will get me back to normal!

Hope you’re having a great start to the weekend.  What are you up to?

Jackie - A breakfast date and shopping with Hadley–the girl has grown out of every stitch of clothing she owns! Plus I got half of my Christmas shopping done! Cleaning out the shed–got to capitalize on these weekends when I feel good! Oh, and watching football, of course. :) xoxo

Lori H - Tara, You know how you pull up a blog post (mine are in Feedly) and when one comes up you think, “oh good” and you just want to grab a cup of hot tea/coffee/apple cider and spend plenty of time going through it. And the anticipation is ALMOST as good as the reading of it. That is how I feel about your Friday favorites.
Just returned from an overnight in D.C. My cousin retired from the Airforce and we attended his retirement ceremony. Time spent with one whole side of my family is awesome, in small doses, and this was just right. I see these folks once, maybe twice a year, and it feels so good to catch up and laugh at how we were as kids, etc. We will be with my husband’s side of the family for Thanksgiving this year, so it was a bonus visit with my side. Plus all the cousins are going through the same issues with our parents, health and how-do-we-start-moving-them-out-of-their-homes kinds of things. Nothing like family :)

Bevky - Loved Alicia’s posts too. Hope she continues to spill it:-)

Christy - OOOOH! A weekend full of nothing but PJs, a big pot of soup and early bedtimes…I think that sounds wonderful! We had a full weekend. The weather was just lovely. Wish we could have more of the same throughout fall. :)

Lemonade Makin' Mama - I always love little tid bit teasers like these. I have got to try a post like this some day. just seems so fun!

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