Baked Louisiana Dirty Rice and Beans

Too often bean recipes are just...well, blah! But, this was by far one of the best bean recipes we have had. That can probably be attributed partly to the fact that there is meat in it...but only a 1/2 pound, so it does end up being cheaper!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (I omitted)
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I just used quarters, cut up, and we removed the bones as we ate)
1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I used dried and cooked beforehand)
Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bell pepper, red onion, and celery to pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in rice; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.


Finally...Christmas pictures, part 2

These are all from Christmas morning at our home....

Selah's first baby doll


Selah's first sentence

I could tell she learned it from Mckenna, as Mckenna says that same thing when she is looking for me. Yesterday, I was upstairs getting ready and I hear Selah coming up the stairs. She said, as she usually does, "Mama...Mama." But then she said, "Mama....ey ew" (Mama, are you? meaning, Mama where are you?). She said it like 3 times and I didn't respond right away because I was enjoying the moment. I knew right away exactly what she was saying. And I was freshly aware of how fast she is growing up!


Help needed and Random updates

Selah is upstairs sleeping away with a fever (poor girl)....Mckenna is over at K's, waiting to go with her, Nani and the boys to Keenan's birthday party at school (in his class the summer birthdays celebrate mid-year). It is unusually quiet here! So, I have a few moments to write out a post...

First, I have been trying to post some picturs for some time. I get this message that I have exceeded my photo upload quota. Apparently, I have used up my 1GB (4000 photos). Hard to believe. So, I purchased more space, but still can't post pictures as I'm getting the same message. If anyone has had this problem, let me know how you resolved it.

Mckenna loved this past snowfall we had. She was able to go out back and play in the snow. I got a few cute shots of her rosey face before she came inside. Hopefully I can post them soon (and all of the rest of the Christmas pictures). She keeps asking for more snow!

We continue to be quite busy with all of our house selling and moving adventures. We did find a house that seems to be a great fit for us. We put an offer down...then a counter-offer and are waiting to hear back. Hopefully we will know something by tomorrow. The packing has begun around here as well as organizing and purging. Moving really is a great opportunity to organize and clean out!

Ashley Taylor has again proved to be a major means of grace to our family! She has offered to come on Wednesdays to serve me. Yesterday, I got more accomplished than I do in many days combined! My girls absolutely love her!! She fits in like she is a part of the family. She not only took care of the girls so I could get the house cleaned, but she helped me get a closet cleaned out and organized and other boxes packed. Thank you so much, Ashley! You are answer to prayer and continue to be a picture of the Savior's love to our family.

That's all for now. Not sure how much I will be posting in the upcoming weeks, but will definitely try to keep updated on the house details.


Christmas pictures, part 1

These pictures are from our time with my dad and Patti. They came up the weekend before Christmas, and once again, generously lavished everyone with gifts. The kids were so excited...but did much better this year. They patiently waited for everything to get passed out before ripping into them.

Patiently waiting...

"How do I open this one?"

Big blue eyes

Dad was the official "go to" for getting all the toys out of their packages.

My Gracie


Selah is very attached to her green "nigh night." So, when it gets dirty, it's so hard to wash it without Selah falling apart. Well, Patti found the EXACT same one, so now we won't have that problem!

"Look, mom!"

"Look, TiTi!"

My lil' June Bug

The best moment of the day was, by far, the gift we gave my dad. We all went in together to get him a nail gun. We finally surprised him and he was blown away.


Each of the kids received these cool little toys that spun around and lite up...very neat. They loved them!

...and then there were stockings!


Feeew, it's been awhile!

Well, I have much to catch up on. First, we had a wonderful Christmas. All my pictures are still on my camera currently because of computer problems again. So I can't post any picture memories yet.

My dad and Patti came up the weekend before Christmas and we had a wonderful weekend with them. Christmas Eve was with Dave's family and then Christmas day with my mom. A few days later we hosted a party for all of Dave's extended family, which I always enjoy. We have made a tradition of this. It is much work, but so worth it as we get to see family that we don't see very often.

We have welcomed the new year, with much house searching adventures. Thank you to all who have prayed for us. We still have no idea where we will settle next, but are continuing to trust the Lord in the process. With that in view, I have started to pack, clean out and organize. Yesterday all our Christmas decorations came down and I decided to not put up any winter decor, but to start packing away. It's very bittersweet. This home has become just that...such a home for us. We have so loved living here and have been blessed with the most wonderful neighbors and neighborhood anyone could ask for. It is bittersweet indeed!

I'll hopefully have pictures soon.


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