Archive for 2017

Our Merriest Christmas Surprise!

Friday, December 22, 2017
My hands are trembling and I have tears in my eyes (no one is surprised by this I know) as I have anticipated typing these words for months.  I am so excited to finally share a big secret we have been keeping.  We sent out our Christmas card and let our friends and family know some exciting news...


That's right, my heart is bursting with anticipation, joy and overflowing gratitude!  My momma heart is miraculously growing in love for a little one we don't know yet but are so anxious to meet.   We find such comfort that as we pray for our sweet new addition, God knows exactly who they are and hears our prayers.

I am sure you have lots of questions and in the coming months I will be sharing more.  God's handprint has been all over this from the very beginning, which started several years ago.  We have all the emotions but overwhelming peace and excitement as God continues to show us this is the path He wants us to take!  We are currently in the home study process, if you are familiar with adoption.  We are knee deep in paperwork at the moment!

This might just be my favorite post of 2017 so I will leave you with that and and say goodbye for the year.  I am looking forward to enjoying time with my family and extended family this holiday season.  I am beyond thankful for this tribe, affectionately known as KOKO's, and the relationships that have formed.  I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I will see you all in 2018!

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko

Linking up with ByBMG for High Five for Friday and Andrea for Friday Favorites

Make Now Serve Later Simple Quiche

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I love a good simple recipe and I love quiche so I am excited today to share this simple quiche recipe that can be tailored to your taste bud's desires.  There are just 4 basic ingredients and then you can layer in extra ingredients to make it your own.

A quiche is perfect for your Christmas morning festivities or a brunch at your friends house!  It looks dainty on a plate and makes your tummy happy.  Can you tell I love quiche?  It's also pretty hard to mess up which gives it major bonus points in my book.

Let's get to the recipe shall we?

Basic Quiche Ingredients --

1 refrigerated pie crust
8 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (quiche will cook for one hour)

Additional Optional Ingredients --

cooked breakfast sausage
cooked, chopped broccoli

Additional Tools --

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Then, crack 8 large eggs and 1/2 cup milk, whisk together.  At this point, I added in 1 cup cooked breakfast sausage as well.  

Then add in 3/4 of the cheese, reserve a little bit back to place on the top of the quiche right before putting it in to bake.  Then mix all the ingredients together.

Place the pie pan on a metal sheet pan for cooking to catch any drips.  Then, carefully, pour the contents of the bowl into the uncooked, refrigerated pie crust.  Use the whisk to make sure the meat or optional ingredients are properly distributed.  Finish by sprinkling the reserved shredded cheese on top.

The most difficult part is gingerly placing the quiche into the oven without spilling.  Cook for 60 minutes at 35o degrees.  It is done cooking when you put a fork or knife in the middle and it's cooked through.  It may rise while baking but allow the quiche to rest for a few minutes when finished baking.

I like to make 2 quiches at a time since the refrigerated pie crusts usually come in a 2-pack.  The last time I made this, I made an extra for Christmas morning.  I simply let the quiche cool and placed the quiche in a ziploc bag in the freezer.  The day before I will place in the fridge to thaw and reheat the quiche for 1 hour at 350 degrees covered with tin foil.  I can enjoy Christmas morning with my family and let my oven do the cooking.

I love to serve quiche with a fruit salad, cinnamon rolls, my favorite Trader Joe's almond filled croissants or doughnuts.  Do you love quiche? What do you put in yours?  There are endless variations but the basic recipe is so easy and doesn't take more than 10 minutes to whip together which makes it my kind of recipe.

What are you baking for Christmas Morning?  If you have company, this is a must have and make it now and thank yourself later.

Until next time, keep on keeping on with an intentional, joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko

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Linking up with Jenna, Johannah, and Heather for their monthly recipe link-up.  Head on over for more delicious recipe inspiration!

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A Very Fun Almost Christmas Weekend

Monday, December 18, 2017
This weekend was fun and maybe my favorite weekend so far this year and we have had some good ones but it was filled with lots of laughter #myfavorite, lots of fun, some down time, and a whole lot of Christmas goodness!  Just thinking about it makes me happy.  

The funny thing is I didn't have any big expectations for the weekend and decided to totally unplug.  I deleted most of the apps, including all social media, on my phone which is harder said than done for me!  By the end of the weekend, I was grabbing for my phone a whole lot less.  #goodexercise  So, let me recap our weekend!

Little Red Riding Hood and I headed to story time on Friday morning with our dear friends.  Following, they got to try out some homemade snow but Lucy was not a fan of getting her hands dirty so we opted for puzzles and trains instead.

After the library we stopped by the Dollar Tree to pick up a few things and left with a few more things that we didn't know we needed ;).  We made it home in time to meet my cousin and grandparents and head to a little early Christmas lunch before they all head other places for Christmas.

After lunch, my cousin headed home with us and we introduced her to Scotts' favorite Christmas movie, "Its a Wonderful Life".    She made us her famous Southeast Texas gumbo for dinner and we enjoyed family movie night watching Home Alone!

Saturday morning we were lazy before the kids headed out with their Nana to do a little shopping for us.  They each had a little spending money and came home with wrapped presents they can't wait to give us.  While they were gone, Madelynne, Lucy and I got to work baking in the kitchen.

We made Scotcharoos and 2 batches of puppy chow before we called it quits for lunch.  The kids arrived home and so we started round 2 of baking some peanut butter star cookies and caramel corn.  While they were all baking, we actually won a game of Oregon Train and taught Madelynne how to play Qwixx before settling in to watch Elf.

Then, Saturday night we headed over to our dearest friends house for our annual "Framily Christmas".  Years ago, we introduced them to our love of raclette and now every year we get together to eat a "fancy" meal, exchange gifts and play games!  We all had so much fun and went to bed way past our bedtimes!

Ring the Moose Antlers Game

Then, Sunday we took Madelynne to the airport so she could head home for Christmas and went to church.  Then we came home and got ready to host our annual church small group "Friends-mas".  Everyone brought something to share, there was no shortage of delicious food.

We did an adult white elephant gift exchange and laughed so hard playing the game "Never Have I Ever".  You say something you have never done and then everyone who has done that thing gets up and tries to find a new seat.  The last person standing has to say something they have never done.  It's very g-rated but a hoot what you learn about people ;).  The kids told us we were being too loud and they couldn't hear their movie in the basement - ha!

Then, we invited the kids up to play a couple rounds of bingo and make reindeer food before we all took some group photos before parting ways.

These last two photos sum up our group to a "T".  We love to laugh and live life together.  We have been through the best of times and the hardest of times with these folks and have grown deep relationships with them all.  Clearly, they don't like to have fun at all ;).

And yes they dropped me but I am no worse for the wear.  We had a good cry-laugh out of it :).   The guys headed off to basketball league after we cleaned up and the kids and I chilled on the couch watching Solon's beloved Seahawks and the Steelers before cozying up in pajamas and watching Trolls Holiday before bed.

These sorts of weekends just are the best of life - good company, good food, good fun.  I am so thankful for it all.  We are looking forward to all the fun with both our families this Christmas.  I don't know if I will have them attempt to hold me ;).  I hope you have a great Monday!

Until next time, keep on keeping on with an intentional, joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko

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Linking up with Johannah and Heather for Oh Hey Monday!

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5 Simple Tips to Stay Sane this Christmas

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If I could I would hand you a hot cup of something (I prefer water, yes I know #oldlady) and give you a hug while I turn on the Christmas tunes because it really is the most wonderful time of the year even if we feel slightly crazy!

I was talking with my dear friend the other day and she mentioned she feels bad about herself because she doesn't have everything purchased and wrapped by early December.  It's so hard to not go crazy comparing, let alone getting everything done.  I am sharing 5 tips that keep me from going totally crazy at Christmas.   Friends who can encourage you is not included on the list, but a given! Amen?

1.  Make a Master To Do List

I don't know about you but sometimes I get so overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done ON TOP of all the normal stuff, you know like clean undies and dishes.  You will feel so much better once your brain dumps it out on paper and you can see it all.

It's never too late to start and write a few things you have already done so you can get the sudden sensation of crossing something off that list!  Make sure if your kids can see your list, you watch you write.  #takeitfromme

2.  Do a Christmas Morning Dress Rehearsal

There is nothing worse than realizing you need batteries #beenthere or you don't have enough for one kid's stocking.  Lay it all out and check your list twice.  I even like to place all the stocking items in the stocking just to see that it all fits.  Then I place all the items in a grocery sack and write each kid's name on it so that on Christmas Eve, all I have to do is stuff and know I have everything I need.

Also, some toys take forever to put together (I am looking at you play kitchen) so if you can plan ahead to have that built and ready to go, you will thank yourself.

3.  Do a Little Every Day

As you get deliveries, open up the boxes and place everything where it goes.  Wrap the items you can.  My favorite hiding spot for Christmas presents is in the empty Christmas decor bins in my basement storage room.

Check your master to do list and pick a few things everyday to do.  If you are making a dish for one event, think can I make 2 and plan ahead for Christmas.  I just made a quiche for a neighborhood lady get together and made an extra for Christmas morning.  Now all I have to do is rewarm it Christmas morning.

I love having my gift wrap at my disposal in my front entry dresser.  I have tape, scissors, tissue paper and tags all there so it's easy to wrap a gift right when I get it.

4.  It's Ok to Say No

I wrote a guest post on my friend Sarah's blog.  (You can read it here)  I also shared my thoughts on saying no this Christmas on Facebook live.  My biggest takeaway is that saying no this season doesn't mean no forever.  Maybe, it's just not the year for Christmas cards or you can't attend that charity Christmas party.  It's okay to say no so that you can say to the best stuff this season!

5.  Give Yourself Grace

My other encouragement is that "some" is the name of my game this year.  Our Elf is lazy and we have not gotten to our evening devotion more times than we have. We even missed a few of our 25 days of activities because LIFE.  It's okay.  Some is better than none!  

So there you have it.  Do a little planning, do a little something everyday, don't be afraid to say no and give yourself grace.  After all, the very reason we celebrate the season is our Savior.  The one who gave us ultimate grace!  If you have lost your Christmas spirit, you aren't alone, read this post.

Until next time, keep on keeping on with an intentional, joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko

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10 Favorite Pictures of 2017 | 10 on the 10th Linkup

Monday, December 11, 2017
Today, we are wrapping up 10 on the 10th for the year.  Thanks so much to everyone who joined me this year and linked up!  I am so thankful you all enjoyed it too!  If you have post ideas for next year and want to continue, will you comment below and let me know :).

Today's post was so fun and so hard at the same time.  Choosing just 10 favorite photos from the whole year was challenging but how sweet to look back at all the amazing memories we have shared with our little family, extended family and friends this year. 2017 was a FULL year and we can't wait to see what 2018 holds!

Let's take a look back at my 10 favorite photos from the year, shall we?


We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary late with a January Caribbean cruise.  It was as lovely as it sounds #takemeback.  I recapped Day 1 & 2 here, Day 3 & 4 here and Days 5-8 here.


We love our backyard views, watching the corn sprout in the spring.


Hiking, playing and adventuring as a family is a favorite!  We celebrated Father's Day with a trip to our favorite state park, Ledges!


I am cheating a bit but these are my favorite photos of each of my kids and show their personalities perfectly!


We love the lake, jumping in and letting go of the responsibilities at home.  We clearly love silly photos too!


At the lake and free promotional sungglesss...

These 3 photos are my favorite photos of my 3 kiddos together.  #cheatingagain #itssohard 

First day of school!

Cheering on our Cyclones!


Our family adventure day to the Omaha Zoo!


Watching harvest come to our house!


Family Halloween!


I love photos because it captures a sweet moment in time so you can savor it for a lifetime.  The last photo is one I used for our Christmas card.  Such a sweet reminder of my kid's love for one another!  

So, now it's your turn to share 10 of your favorite photos of 2017 and then link up.  Don't forget to let me know if you want to do it again in 2018 and any topic ideas you would like to cover!  

In case you missed it - 

Until next time, keep on keeping on with an intentional, joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko

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Linking up with Johannah and My Glittery Heart for Oh Hey Monday

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