Favorite Christmas Books

With it being Christmas Eve (yippee!!!) I thought I would share with y'all two of our all time favorite Christmas books for the kids.

The first one was given to us by my mom and the kids love it.  Actually, it is by far my favorite Christmas book.  It is funny and heartwarming at the same time.  I laugh in the beginning and can barely keep tears from my eyes come the end.  It is also why Ella called baby #3 "humphrey" before she was born. 
Humphrey's First Christmas

The second book was a gift for Ella from her Aunt and Uncle.  This is a simple book that I'm sure most of you have at home or have read before.  We love that it explains Jesus to the kids in such true, simple terms.
Both kids love this one, too.
J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told
There you have it... our go-to picks for Christmas season, nighttime reading.


Merry Christmas from the Quicks!

Merry Christmas!  Love on your family, enjoy the "seasonings" that are reserved for this special time of year, and remember the real Reason for the celebration!


Instagram Dump

I am getting in the habit of going on bloggy detox.  I will blog consistently for a few weeks and then take a little siesta.  I guess that is what happens when life gets crowded with lists of to-dos and kiddos need a mommy to play, teach, and love on them.  I think the blog willingly takes a back seat to the more important things in life- family time. 

Here are a few of my latest Instagram toppings.  

Christmas ornaments for the great-grandmas. Because, what else do elderly women need?  More junk to sift through when they should be enjoying their old age?  Not thinking so... 
It is filled with Christmas beads, snowflakes, and a pic of the kids.  Super cute and cost effective!!!
My precious #3 smiling in her adorable hat.

Liam feeding his baby.  What's he supposed to do?  We don't bottle feed, so this is what he sees me doing all day long.  Funny boy...

WhippyCake dressing up my dirty, blah hair for the day.  Love it!

Even four-wheelers, monster trucks, and tractors go to bow at the feet of baby Jesus.  

I hope you are all loving on your kids and enjoying these last few days before Christmas!!!


Chipotle Chicken Salad

I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  
Mark and I actually both thought that this would be so yummy wrapped inside a flour tortilla and served as a chicken wrap.  You try it and decide for yourself.  One thing is for certain... use fresh cilantro.  You can get away with dried cilantro in some recipes, but not this one!

Chipotle Chicken Salad
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
  • 1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained
To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.
To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
Tip: Add a spoonful of adobo sauce for a spicier salad. Kidney or pinto beans also taste great in this dish.
recipe adapted from Cooking Light Aug. 2006

Oatmeal-Blueberry Applesauce Muffins

I'm back with another easy, healthy recipe.  I have fallen in love with Smells Like Home blog.  That is where this recipe is from.  
My kids love these muffins and I even made some with chocolate chips instead of blueberries as a special treat. 

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh are highly recommended)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl stir together applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil and egg.  Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture.  Stir until just moist.  Fold in blueberries.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for 16-18 minutes.
Yields 12-15 muffins.

Master Bedroom {Bedding}

I love the rustic, shabby chic rooms that I see all over the blog-o-sphere.  I have wanted some white, shabby  bedding for a long time now.  I decided I would bite the bullet and try it out.  I was disappointed with the results.  
Here is my bed before with my brown, green, and blue.

Here it is with the white bedding:

I think the bedding is too bright for the paint color.  Maybe it's just too fluffy.  I don't know... I can't figure out why it just isn't right.  I think that maybe a flat quilt will work better.  But, who knows... maybe I need a lighter paint color.  

What do you think???


Sister, Sister

I have so many people tell me that Guinnyth looks just like Liam.  Hardly anyone tells me that she looks like Ella.  I keep thinking that it's because no one in the town we are living in saw Ella as a baby, but they all saw Liam as a baby.  I can see resemblance between Guinnyth and Liam, but I see Ella so much more in her.  

To prove to myself that I'm not going crazy, I did a side-by-side of the two.  The baby without hair is Guinnyth.  Ella is the babe with a head of black tresses.  Imagine Guinnyth with a lot of hair... can you see the resemblance???
                                                Guinnyth                  Isabella


Am I crazy??? Or, can you see the resemblance, too???


Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

I always make a big breakfast on Sunday mornings.  I try to make seasonal breakfasts to change things up from time to time.  This Sunday I made a pumpkin bread that was super yummy.  I will say, this was not one of my easy, quick recipes.  But, it was totally worth it in the end.  

 Here is an up-close-and-personal shot of the yummy-ness. 

Here's the recipe:

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread with Buttered Rum Glaze
(Adapted from Willow Bird Baking)
Bread2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Buttered Rum Glaze 
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp rum *
*If you’re not into rum you can sub a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

If you want to check out the rest of my Pinterest food pins... go here.
For more recipes... check here.


Ella {5 Year Pictures}

My little "Sugar Punkin" is turning 5 years old!
How did this happen?!?  Am I even old enough to have a 5 year old???
Oh yeah, I almost 30... 


see my other milestone photos here.

Homeschool {Regrouping & Kites}

Ugh... I am so late in posting this.  I had this scheduled for a week and a half ago, but am just now getting to posting it here on The Quick Journey.  This is what has been up with us and homeschool...

We have spent time doing Octo-Homeschool

enjoying our Fall party

and going on our first field trip to the Fire Station.

It was so much fun, but it's time to regroup and work hard these next few weeks so we can enjoy Thanksgiving and Ella's birthday.

Liam is working on puzzles, sticker books, lacing cards, magnetic alphabet letters, and doing some crafts with Ella.
kite printables from confessions of a homeschooler

Farm Puzzle

Liam is also working on his workbook pages that have him following pictorial directions and seeking-and-finding certain objects in a picture... see page below.

ABC magnets

Shape Puzzle

Ella is working on finishing up her ABC notebook, reviewing her ABC Bible verses, animal and plant lifecycles, blends, telling time, adding, counting teens, twenties, thirties, and forties.  She is also continuing in her Abeka phonics (which is getting pretty advanced!!!) and math workbooks.

She likes lacing cards... this was too simple, but she wanted to do it.

 Pattern Blocks... again, this was too simple, but a nice break from the "hard" stuff.

Phew, that's a lot!  More pictures to come...


Instagram {Photo Dump}

Here we are... enjoying another Friday.  Next week I'll be enjoying the Black Friday madness.

I couldn't ask for a better hubby.  He left me this sweet note yesterday morning.

Sweet cousins playing together.

Flipping my hair out... trying to figure out this new do.

You can follow me on Instagram here... 


linking up with LifeRearranged

Halloween {Part II}

At the request of family members... here is Halloween- Part II.  
Guinnyth was a flower, Ella was Tweak (the octonaut), and Liam was Farmer Bradley (the fella who farms Mark's family's ground).  

Guinnyth {3 months}

One way we try to save money is by me doing the Milestone Photos of our kids. 
I know they don't always turn out the way I want them to, but it's just not in the budget to get photos taken all the time.  

Guinnyth is now a big 3 month old.  I took several pictures... and obviously, I need more practice.  
I have trouble getting the picture super sharp, yet still having the shutter open long enough to get the light I want.

I prefer simple pictures without a lot of props and background "sound" going on, but the quilt in the next pictures was made by my Nene.  She was amazing with the needle and I feel ridiculously blessed to have this crazy quilt.  The cradle is from my aunt who used to use it for her dollies when she was a little girl.

Oh how my baby is growing up...
You can see my other Milestone Photos here.