Small Gatherings | July | 1st Birthday Party Brunch | Egg Muffin Recipe

My daughter and grandson were visiting from Houston this past week and since Levi recently celebrated his first birthday we decided to throw a small party so we could celebrate with him.    We did not want to interfere with naptime so we thought a brunch would be the perfect time to party.   I had recently seen some party inspiration at the blog Hostess with the Mostess.  If you are ever looking for birthday party, shower or wedding inspiration you must check this site out.  They literally have hundreds of pictures of theme decor and food ideas.  I totally copied this idea for my kitchen chalkboard.


Our menu consisted of:

menu Breakfast-pigs-in-a-blanket





The egg muffin recipe is one of my favorite breakfast items.   I have been making them since my girls were little and they became our traditional breakfast for the first day back at school.   Try them sometime, I promise you will like them!

Savory-Egg-MuffinsLinking to Inspiration Monday Party




Road Trip to Houston: Levi, Ikea and Food Trucks

The hubby and I took off a couple of weeks ago and headed south to visit  our daughter, son-in-law and this precious baby.  (I am not at all biased!)


We had so much fun watching Levi crawl and pull up on anything he could find, including Percy his dog.  Speaking of Percy, she has found a new favorite place to hang out, right under Levi’s high chair….there is always something to snack on!


While in Houston I had the opportunity to visit IKEA, something I have wanted to do for a long time.


What a fun place……walls of dishes, candles, frames and about anything else you can think of.


I need to find a place for these baskets in my house, love them!!


I may have found a couple of items that I could not live without and therefore had to bring home with me!  So excited for the Kansas City store to open this fall.

Our trip included an evening of music under the stars while enjoying dinner from Houston’s multitude of  food trucks. Our fare included Lobster Mac and Cheese, Tofu Enchiladas, Catfish Bites and Fish Tacos. Yum!



A really fun part of our trip was joining Levi while he attended the first birthday party of one of his friends.  I was able to capture him in a RARE moment of stillness.  I think he was watching the birthday boy walk all over the place and dreaming of the day he could do that!  I can guarantee it will not be long.


We had a great trip and I can’t wait to go back!










Davis Farmer’s Market

My three daughters and I,  along with my sister and niece made a whirlwind dash to California last weekend to catch up with my brother’s family and meet the newest addition to our family tree.

We all fell in love with baby Bella.  We also got to hang out the energetic nephews, Isac and Noah.  It was a great family weekend!!

The mid-seventies temperatures were perfect for a trip to the Davis Farmer’s Market which USA Today ranks as one of the “standout” markets across the country.  Besides the normal farmer’s market bounty of fruits and vegetables, this market includes stall after stall of nuts (almonds, pistachios and walnuts) along with every baked good imaginable, scones, cookies, pies and cinnamon rolls the size of a dinner plate.  I stared at those babies for several minutes before someone finally pulled me away.

The displays and color at the market were amazing.

The market even has their own Cookbook and on this particular day the authors were greeting visitors and signing autographs.

One vendor was selling pepper and tomato bouquets,  I really wanted one of these unique and colorful arrangements, but could not figure out how to get it home without crushing it in my luggage.

I love farmer’s markets.  Is it spring yet?

Big Mom

In our CSA basket last week we received tomatoes, green beans, onions, cucumbers and peaches.  Since it has been so hot I was trying to decide how to use all this produce without creating heat in the kitchen.  I decided to throw the green beans and onions in the crockpot, along with some ham for flavoring (and so Dave would think it was a meal)!  As I was ‘snapping’ the beans, a rush of memories came back to me of my grandma Alice, aka“Big Mommy.”

I can remember sitting on the front porch of her very modest home, helping her snap beans into the lap of her apron.  From my young eyes she had a huge garden that included corn, rhubarb, okra, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes and potatoes. For Susie and I, (the girl that lived next door to my grandma and my constant playmate when I was visiting) the garden was a wonderful place to play, run and especially hide in the cornstalks. Big Mom would get so mad at us and was constantly reminding us to stay away from the garden.  This picture is of my sister and brother in front of the porch.  I was not born yet!

Big Mommy got her nickname when her first grandchild, Sheila, called her own mom Little Mommy and her grandmother Big Mommy.  Alice became known as Big Mommy to all her grandchildren, her own children, friends and even casual acquaintances.   Alice grew up in a very poor family and her formal education ended when she was in third grade because her family could not afford to buy her paper and pencils.  When she was 15 she married a man, Luther, that was 20 years older than her.  Big Mom had 5 children, the youngest was my mom.  Luther passed away when my mom was sixteen so I never knew him.

The epitome of a woman raising a family in the depression era, Big Mommy could not only fry up a chicken, but could also catch it from the coup, wring it’s neck, pluck it’s feathers and throw it in a large pot of boiling water.  I am pretty sure that smell of a fresh chicken being boiled, which I remember vividly, was the beginning of my aversion to eating anything that once had eyes.  She also sewed, quilted and made room size braided rugs from leftover fabric.  I still have a couple of the quilts she made, including my baby quilt.

Big Mom was able to make wonderful meals utilizing her garden and many things I eat in the summer such as fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumber and onion salad always remind me of her.

My all time favorite dish she made was fry bread.  She would cut dough into triangles and fry it in a skillet.  As soon as it came out, it would be slathered in butter.  We always ate it faster than she could make it.

The dinner I was in the process of making last night consisted of dishes my grandmother would have made,  so I decided to also try some fry bread (so much for not heating up the kitchen).  I am trying to watch what I eat these days so I needed to find a recipe with the nutritional information included.  Click here for the recipe I found.

I have to admit it was not nearly as good as what I remember Big Mom making and definitely not worth the calories, but then again,  I spent the evening remembering my grandmother and what a strong loving woman she was.

“There surely can be no death on earth as long as one is remembered with love by children and their children with loving memories passed on thereafter.”    Sheila Jensen

Happy Graduation Kindra!!

My oldest daughter is graduating this weekend in Houston with her MBA and her proud Mom is not going to be with her.  She will have her husband, her mother and father-in-law, and her grandmother celebrating with her, but she will not have her mom who is her biggest fan.

It just seems like just a short while ago I was sending her off to kindergarten.

Now she is all grown up with a husband, a job and a house of her own.  Kindra is an amazing woman;  a wife to Dave,

A Mom to Percy

A sister to Kayla and Molly

A writer, editor and marketing specialist extraordinaire,

A Bike rider

An  MU Alum

And now an alum of the University of Houston!

Happy Graduation Kindra!!!

National Resident Match Day

Eight years ago when my daughter was a sophomore in high school, she brought home a boy.  She told us that boy wanted to be a doctor when he grew up.

Two years ago that boy married my daughter.

After many years in school, that boy will be graduating in two short months.

The University of Missouri – Kansas City medical school holds a ceremony every year which almost eclipses the excitement of graduation.  Across the country all medical school soon-to-be graduates find out on the same day where they will be doing their residency and thus where they will spend the next few years of their life.  Although the students get to rank the specialty and program they prefer, the match does not always provide them with their first choice.  That also could mean they have to move to a city far from home.

Today is National Resident Match Day.  For many years we have been thinking about this day, wondering what it  would mean for Dylan and Kayla.

Dylan had a difficult time choosing a specialty because each new rotation he participated in, whether it was pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery or cardiology, was his new favorite.  Most of his advisors (also doctors) tried to steer him towards internal medicine or family practice because of his gift of relating to his patients.   Dylan is a kind and gentle soul, it is fairly obvious that the field of medicine in general  is where he was meant to be.

After a dramatic and stressful week, today we are celebrating the news that the soon-to-be Dr. Werth will be staying right here in Kansas City (YEAH) and will be a Family Medicine resident at Truman – Lakewood hospital.

Congratulations Dylan, you are going to be a wonderful doctor!!!!!  We are so proud of you!

Broken Bones and Chicken Enchiladas

Last week there was an accident in the family that resulted in this.

Kayla was hurrying into a new client’s office and accidently fell, which resulted in more than one fracture and a separation of bones that should not be separated.  Her ortho doc is hoping that the way he set the fracture will keep her from having surgery  (notice how her foot is curved slightly to the right).    For now, she is not allowed to put any weight on her foot.

So, besides feeling the pain of the fracture, she is also experiencing the pain of using crutches.  If you have ever used crutches you understand what I mean.  For the lot of us who have no upper body strength, crutches can be excruciating.  Fortunately, a new devise is being used these days that helps the situation a little, it is called the Orthopedic Leg Scooter.

According to Kayla, it is much more comfortable than the crutches, but there are limitations such as encountering steps and getting it in and out of the car by yourself when you are standing on one foot.

Kayla has been an incredible trooper through all of this inconvenience.   The only time she has missed work is when they put her cast on.  She even had to give up her St Croix business trip that was scheduled in a few weeks.  It seems airports, luggage and scooters/crutches do not mix well.

Dylan started his ER rotation yesterday and was not going to be home in the evening to help Kayla, so Dave and I took dinner over and let their wild mustang of a dog outside.

Because I know Kayla likes enchiladas, I made this Chicken Enchiladas recipe that I found on Pinterest.


Chicken enchiladas with green chili sour cream sauce

10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don’t want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

I think it turned out pretty good.  Happy Thursday!


A few weeks ago I received an early Christmas gift from my sister and brother-in-law, Steve.   I was so excited because I had seen something similar at their house a few weeks before and had gushed over how much I loved it.  That phenomenon is not all that uncommon given the many cool things at their house, many handmade by Steve.

Steve is a retired trim carpenter by trade, but in reality, he is an artist who not only can reproduce about anything  he sees in wood, but also comes up with many unique ideas on his own.   He has incredible vision and can go out on his wooded acreage, pick up a downed log and carve it into something spectacular.  On that particular visit to their house, I fell in love with the Dough Bowl replica that was sitting on their kitchen table.  A dough bowl was used many years ago for bread rising before it was baked.

Here is the gorgeous hand carved bowl I received as a gift.   At first I just put a few simple candles in it.

Then I decided to put my fruit in it.

I had also thought about arranging evergreen sprigs with some pine cones but did not get around to it for this Christmas season.  I have lots of ideas for other centerpieces and cannot wait to try them out as the seasons change.

Steve has just opened an ETSY shop called WOODSTALK and has several other items available, including this cutting board,

And this spoon rest which I just love.

Here is another rustic dough bowl which happens to just look like ones being sold on Pottery Barn for up to $250.00.

He even has a firebrand on the back to identify his work.

Steve has created many things for me over the years including shelves, bookcases, filing cabinets, tables, and even all the trim in one of our houses, but I think this dough bowl is my all time favorite.  I love the idea of it starting as piece of wood from his backyard and hand carved into this wonderful piece of art.

Check out his ETSY shop by clicking here.

Roadtrip to Houston

We traveled south this week to visit our kin in Texas for the holiday.  It has been a long time since I have been on a twelve-hour, one-way road trip.  We decided to take the gas-guzzling Explorer for the extra room it would provide our back seat passenger, but it was well worth it.  You know if Molly is not happy, no one will be happy.

In the early afternoon, we decided to stop for lunch at some place other than fast food. We saw several great places to stop, but, of course, by the time we spotted them we had already passed the exit to get off the highway. After repeating this process for a few miles we decided we would get off at the next exit and take our chances of finding something.  At the end of the exit ramp we found ourselves in the left-turn-only lane so, of course, we turned left.  We immediately saw a sign directing us to “Historic Downtown and Dining.”  After about two miles we found ourselves in the middle of downtown McKinny, Texas, which was fabulous.

The town square was surrounded by blocks of small, unique shops with several dining locations.  The entire square was decorated for Christmas, and many people were strolling around shopping and dining on the patio of the small cafes.  We decided this was the perfect place for lunch, so we drove until we found a parking place then walked a couple of blocks around the square and settled on a place called Churchhill’s.

The food was very good, and the walk around the square was just what we needed after six hours in the car. I would have loved to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring all the little shops. During our next trip to Houston I might just schedule an afternoon there.

We finally made it to Houston after spending multiple hours in traffic jams in Dallas and north Houston, a total of fourteen hours in the car.  It was really only the last couple of hours that were difficult, but I was really stiff the next day.

Thanksgiving was fun with great food, games and lots of family time.

We took Percy to the dog park and walked on some of the trails.  Percy was determined to get a squirrel  even if it meant climbing a tree.

Friday was spent doing some shopping and taking in a movie, “The Descendants.” The movie was entertaining, but it was a little depressing.  Today we are going to an MU-kU watch party with the Houston Texas Tigers (the Houston chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association) then heading home.  It has been a great visit.  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, eating good food and spending time with family.

Note: If this post looks more grammatically correct than normal posts it is because it was professionally proofed!!!  I think it might have actually caused her pain to read this.

Congratulations Kayla!!!

The first order of business today is bragging on my middle child who just found out she has passed all parts of the CPA exam, plus the required Ethics exam, on her first try!  Way to go girl!

No more studying for school,

or for the CPA exam,

or dressing Dakota up because you are so bored………

now only work, work, work,

but at least it comes with a paycheck!!

Congratulations Kayla!!