Mississippi Pot Roast

Y’all.  I love food.  Food loves me.  We have a relationship where I have made a secret vow to never ever ever become a vegan because anything green in major quantities might actually kill me.  There.  I said it.  Death to vegetables.  Bring me meat.

Just kidding.  Sort of.

I saw one of my friends on Facebook talk about this thing called Mississippi Pot Roast and I was interested in trying it out.  Mostly because every pot roast I have ever eaten is just awful.  Onion soup, potatoes, carrots, and a big hunk of cow and fat.  Sorry mom.  Might as well feed me those wax beans!

Anyway, I have tried all sorts.  I even tried that Dr. Pepper roast.  Gross.  Not a good choice.  Maybe I did it wrong – but it was still just too dry for me.  I’m not looking for a stew consistency, I don’t think, but I’m not looking to choke on stringy, dry meat either.

So, I wanted to try this one out.  And…I LOVE IT!  And, even better…my kids ate it!  (And don’t tell them now, but it was cooked with…peppercinis!  *Gasp*  *Shock* *Awe*)

So, let me tell you how this all worked!


First, I ran to the store and picked up some ingredients.  This one called for:

  1. 3 lbs chuck roast (I opt for very little fat.  Cause, gross y’all if it’s fatty.)
  2. 1 packet Ranch dressing mix (I’m not sure if there’s a difference in the dressing versus dip, so I made sure to get the dressing)
  3. 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  4. 8 peppercinis (get the whole ones so you can easily remove them if your kids don’t like spicy food and you can find these usually on the top shelf in the salad dressing aisle)
  5. 1 stick of butter (don’t even think about margarine)
  6. 2 tsp olive oil

I used my little Ninja crockpot – because I love to sear my meat in there first and then cook it in the same pan.  I got the pan nice and hot and then put those 2 tsp of EVOO into the pan and seared each side for about 3 minutes (including the sides).


Then, I added the ranch dressing, onion soup, stick of butter, and peppercinis.  No need to add liquid.  The butter and peppercinis will take care of that for you!  (And you might actually want to drink this liquid gold when you’re done, cause it’s that good!)


Then, just covered and slow cooked for about 6 hours.  You can go longer if you want your meat to be much more tender (which I would recommend), but my kids were starving.  So, the cow was dead and I pulled it so they could eat.    Then, just peel the meat into strips with your forks and let it soak in that juice.


Tossed some mashed potatoes and ranch broccoli on there and voila!  Dinner is served.  (See kid approved dinner, below!)


I would really recommend this if you’re looking to change up your roast.  The peppercinis weren’t spicy either.  If you wanted it spicy, you could easily leave them in the meat or pour some of that juice in, but I wanted my kids to eat this, so I took them out before serving.  They didn’t even notice.  It just gives it a nice flavor.

What a weekend!

I am still relishing over the Lil Stangs Football team.  I mean, look at this tough little crew.   Call me biased.  But, those faces.  That sun.  Those jerseys.  I’m not even sure which awesome mom took these photos, but I.  Am.  In LOVE!


Little bit watched the game with us.  She’s incredibly precious.  Something is a bit off with her though.  Sleepiness?  Hunger?  She wasn’t that little princess we know and love this weekend.  This little smile is a game with her, sometimes!  She’s a little player, for sure.

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Overall, it was a good game.  We lost, again, but it’s all about spirit, right? Silas is really learning how to play center well.  I’m pretty excited about him playing center and I need to work on practicing his ball snaps.

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We watched a friends dog this weekend, too.  Added to our pack for a couple of days.  She’s a sweet little mutt.  The kids LOVED her.  She’s twice the size of our dogs and can definitely pull a little harder on the leash and jump higher (like onto our bed!).  She was fun to get used to, but the kids were sad to see her go Sunday.


Saturday morning before the game, I spent some time mowing the front pasture while Daddy mowed the areas around the house. I prefer the pasture because I love the tractor.  My husband bought us an L series Kubota a while back and I love that it’s automatic and easy to drive.  He also bought us a zero-turn, but I’m not as fond of this one.  Mostly because we have hills and I can’t seem to drive this thing.

But, I really do love mowing first thing in the morning.  It’s early and I can put in some country music and just listen to music and mow away.  Just me and The Lord.

After that, we worked on the side of the house.  It’s been a bit dirty and I bought some Scott’s Outdoor Cleaner.  Daddy got up there and started scrubbing.  Overall, it easily cleaned off the mildew off of our siding and was relatively painless.  Ideally, I guess you aren’t supposed to scrub this stuff, but because it was so high, we had to get up there since the hose pressure simply would not reach.

It’s summertime now.  So, this meme is accurate for the season.

Spiders.  Are.  Everywhere.


We finished up the day Saturday with a rodeo at Kings Trail Cowboy Church.  Loved every minute of it.  Especially the kids calf chase.  Silas even got in on the fun!  It’s always good to see these guys doing what country boys do best.


Sunday was a lazy day – not lazy enough though, I guess.  Daddy is working on rebuilding a truck.  If you’re interested in this project, go follow him HERE.  We emptied out the fuel tank last night (which by the way STINKS after years of sitting there).  And I complained. The whole time.

Glad he’s getting to enjoy himself.  But, I think I’ll stay inside and binge on Netflix. 😉

Friday Night Lights

Because Texas isn’t amazing enough with our country personalities, sweet tea, hummingbirds, and rocking chairs on our porches, we add Friday Night Lights.  And tonight wasn’t just any football game.  It.  Was.  Homecoming!


The kids had a blast.  Little Silas got to run on the field with his team before the game.  I might have noticed that of course, my child, decided to fall all over the field.  #onpurpose?


The football team was so much fun.  I loved Silas’ little ‘grr face’ that the moms kept asking them to make.

Look tough, they asked!  Well, you got it!


I really loved that they put together a program this year to include the little kiddos of the flag football team and cheer teams.  Shout-out to all our teammates and cheerleaders this year!  So blessed to see each one of these faces and do life together!

Elysha was busy being a little bit of a ham, as usual.  Running around, playing with the other girls, enjoying herself.  She even got to put on her ‘Future MCA Mustang’ shirt.  Just think, this time next month, I’ll be paying her application fees.  Sigh! I am so excited!


Pretty happy with this kids smile.  I mean, he’s a little social butterfly and easy to like, but I know I’m biased. Tonight’s #eyeblack #verse was 2 Timothy 4:7.


One of the coaches is looking to do a different Bible verse for each game.  I think we will use this one tomorrow.  I love that they use this as a learning opportunity prior to games and practices to teach the kids what the scripture means.  Best part of private school!


But, the best part of homecoming?  The drive home!



Texas is an amazing place. Just do a search if you’re not from here on Texas Homecoming.

We. Are. Fanatics.

Texas is definitely known for Friday Night Lights, but we are also known for our Homecoming traditions. Go do yourself a Google search on ‘Texas Homecoming Mums.’ Y’all. We are a mess.

So, in the spirit of being a mess, I love to peruse Pinterest in search of new ideas on mums, garters, spirit ribbons, and all things ‘homecoming’ related. Each year, I’ve made mums or garters for my sisters kids and I’ve never made them for anyone else. This year, my sister and I made the trek to a little store up in Balch Springs called The Saleplace. This place is HEAVEN for anything crafting! It’s like Christmas for Texas Homecomings!

I did pretty good. We bought ribbon, trinkets, etc., but we did our own cutting of ribbon versus buying those crazy spools of ribbon that I would never end up using it all.

So, I fashioned up some a garter and my very first bracelet mum this year. I’ve been looking at smaller things like finger mums and headbands, but my niece wanted a bracelet mum with her drama and painting hobbies, so we did that instead. Overall, it’s pretty nice. We used a tiny little corsage bracelet and then just fashioned a very short mum out of it from there.


The garter ended up pretty nice, too. I’m a little torn on garters some times because there is so much cool stuff to put on them. But, what do guys really want? So, I usually end up going with a miniature version of a mum.


I also got a chance to dabble in making spirit pins this year. Overall, I was pretty happy with how they turned out. They are actually pretty small – maybe 4 inches? We bought some wood helmets, cut the ribbon and then I just mum flower backing and cut it to the shape of the helmet to have something to use for ribbons and the pin backing I wanted to use to pin it on their shirts.



I chose the helmets because we had a few long names and these were the smallest letters I could find. My sister had the idea for those since it made it easy to get the longest name on there. Then, I just added the numbers to the helmet, too.

Made for a pretty fun project and how precious will it be for the kids to wear these to school on Friday. Homecoming, here we come! Go ‘stangs!


ADHD – 6 steps to working with it

Being a mom has been the single most difficult job in my life. Being a wife is hard too, but being a mom can sometimes mean making decisions I don't want to make. Finding ways to answer questions or come up with creative way to get our children to eat.

But the hardest thing I think I have ever had to come to terms with has been the ADHD diagnosis with Silas (and now Daddy).

I still think ADHD is often misdiagnosed in most cases. I think there are a lot of pediatricians out there that cater to moms and dads who want to medicate their child because they fail at disciplining their child. I also think there are families like ours where medication is such a turn-off but in so many cases…necessary, too.

The stigma and judgment we get from other parents (or heck, even people without kids), is mind boggling. Suddenly, everyone is a doctor, a dietician, a psychologist, a friend, a teacher…whatever. Never mind that we already have a team of doctors, counselors, psychologists, teachers, friends and more. (Oh, we don't have a dietician yet. That spot is still open if you're qualified!)

ADHD is so much more than a label. Did you know it's actually a neurological disorder? Imagine that.

That means that despite your best intent, spanking my child isn't going to help him stop running in circles. Putting him in time-out isn't going to be beneficial. And more than likely, you'll go crazy first because he won't sit still anyway. Changing diet helps some, but let's face it. He's a kid. He's not going to drink shakes or eat lean protein and brussel sprouts for every meal. He loves Kraft mac and cheese, pizza, and orange juice.

He's. A. Kid.

Glaring at me won't work either. I've become immune to the "judgy parental laser death stare." And I've also got an ice cold shoulder when you give me that "why don't you take him outside" look, too.

But hey, I'm not all cold shoulder. There are things you can do to help!

1. Recognize that ADHD is difficult for my six year old to understand. Yes, we talk to him. But, he's 6. Sometimes, words that contain the word "brain" don't compute yet. Also, unless it has the word "zombies" or "Star Wars" in it, he probably isn't paying attention anyway.

2. Ask questions. He will talk to you. I will talk to you. I'll probably talk your head off, but I'll tell you anything you want to know. And if I don't know, I'll ask and find out!

3. Forgive his shortcomings. Listen, it's gonna happen. He's gonna overstep. He's gonna lie. He's gonna forget. He's gonna get squirrelly and not be able to complete a task. Please be patient.

4. Talk to him. Notice I didn't say "talk at him." Don't converse with him like an adult. Small sentences. Have him repeat. Don't yammer off 10 sentences and then ask if he understands. I guarantee you, he heard the last 5 word and will say, "yes." Why? Because his mind is already off doing something else.

5. Partner with him. Believe it or not, he's a really smart kid. He's got a whole noggin full of intelligent things up there. Get on his level and talk to him. You'll be surprised what you could learn, too.

6. Wait patiently. Truth? Meds wear off. And when he comes crashing off them, it comes at full force. Anger, sadness, confusion, frustration…it takes about 30 minutes and when it hits, it hits. Love him through it. And repeat the above lessons. He's in there. I promise. You just gotta wait.

Good luck to all you mamas and daddies dealing with your kiddo (or spouse) with this. It's a big deal. It's not just something they can "get over."

Love them through it. Recognize the pain they go through and always keep communicating!

Why I love User Experience

First, let me preface this with the following:

I am not a UX expert, nor am I a UI expert.  Nor can I tell you the major differences between the two.  

My primary job is in Product Management.  I love managing roadmaps, budgets to ensure we are successful and working with development teams to ensure the processes are smooth.  I also love working in places where I have an impact on the organization.  I’ve been in companies before where the contributions I put forward were met with resistance – just has I have been in jobs where the ideas have been welcomed and able to be used.  What I have never done though is true UX/UI.

Now, that’s not to say that I’m not sensitive to what it is.  Or how it’s used.  I have worked with some amazing UX/UI designers in the past that have really jaded me towards being sensitive towards the overall experience in software.  I have found that this has also made me sensitive towards the general experience in my shopping life.

So, let me tell you about an experience I love.  I love technology.  I love software.  I love computers.  I love gadgets. I love apps.  I have several hundred apps that I’ve downloaded over the years and still have a handful that I truly love and use every day.  As for my computer, I’ve moved off a PC onto a MAC.  Now, all you PC users, stop for just a second before you light me up.  It’s an experience thing.

Today, for example, I needed to buy another power adapter as a spare for my MAC.  I went to the Apple Store on my phone, bought it, paid for it with my Apple Pay, and then had the order sent to me when it was ready to be picked up and put in my wallet.  I went to the store, gave them my phone to scan the code and they shortly brought out the box.


I love Apple packaging.  I almost want to buy Apple products based on packaging alone.  I love the experience in the store.  I love the ‘minimalist’ approach they have taken on walking into the store, ordering, and even delivering product to their customers.  It’s thoughtful.  It’s clean.  It’s simple.  It’s an experience that leaves me feeling ‘up to date’ and ‘trendy.’  They even put my name on the product.  As if to say, ‘We thought about you after you ordered and had it waiting.’  It’s the details, folks.

I love my MAC.  So much that I gave up my PC.  I have been an iPhone fan since they came out – even despite some of the issues.  Why?  Because Apple has always taken care of me.  And I’ve been happy to pay the price for good customer service and thoughtfulness when it comes to an experience.

User experience is important.  It’s subtle things.  The shape of a button.  The size of a font.  Scripted versus not.  The colors of a page.  Smokey blues versus harsh blues.  There’s a whole psychology behind this, I’m aware.  But when I purchase a product, when I am using software, I want to feel good.

How does experience impact you?  As the folks at Apple said, “Think different.”



Jesus loves all the little children…


Can I just say how much I know these two are going to get me into trouble?  These kids offer me a lot of insight of being a mama and trying to keep my own sanity in check sometimes.  But more important, that boy in that pic…that heart for Jesus.  He is a constant reminder of how much the Lord loves me.

You know, I used to listen to these women at Bible Study and their ‘love stories’ of their relationship with the Lord and I must admit, there was a little envy in my heart.  What was it like to be in love with my Father?  Was it the same love that I share with my husband?  And was that weird?  I’ve been able to put my finger on it a little more.  Let me share.

Husbands and wives have a different kind of love than what The Lord has for us – as His children.  It’s a passionate love, yes.  It’s a bond we share with our spouses.  We are one – in His Image.  We are created by the Lord – placed together by the Lord.  We are blessed with two children – not even blessed.  Trusted maybe?  Children that are not ours – wholly – but are ours on this earth.

Anyone who knows my backstory knows I have had all kinds of crazy struggles throughout my Christian life.  Being raised Southern Baptist, falling out of the church, falling back into the church, falling into work and out of church again, and then coming to terms with God knocking on my door again.  And each time, it’s as if He uses my son to reach me.  He knows I listen,  I guess.  I mean, if you aren’t going to listen to the One that breathed life into your lungs, perhaps you will listen to the child  you birthed, yes?  I mean, perfect logic there to me.

Anyway – kind of back to where I am at.  This morning, Silas shared with me a little bit about what he was feeling.  The overall theme?  He was listening to Hillsong’s song Stronger (You’ll notice this is an Amazon link.  Never intended for you to purchase, but Amazon gives me a small amount back if you do!) because he wanted to ‘feel Jesus’.  At the end, the next song that came on was This Is Our God.  He said ‘Mommy, I feel like I’m gonna cry.  I can feel Jesus.”

Yawl.  If there was ever a ‘sucking-my-breath-out’ moment, that was it.  More so because I know that I can barely even sing these songs without going into some ugly crying.  It’s almost embarrassing.  I don’t even know what causes me to go into crying fits like that.  Is it the fact that I am too far from God?  The fact that I truly have that ‘I-am-in-love-with-Him?’ moment?  It kind of reminds me of how when my husband says something super nice or does something really nice (like hanging up my clothes!), I get all choked up and try not to show that.  Not because I don’t appreciate it – but because I do not want to look like a baby.

…rambling.  I know.

My point is, I’m not sure where you are in your life.  Where you are in your walk with the Lord.  But, He’s there, waiting on you.  And there really is a chance to have a love affair with your Creator.  Just as  you love your children – that unconditional, relentless love.  It’s possible with God.  He loves you.  What are you waiting on?

Blessings to you all,