Somewhat Sugar Free Lemon Pie

This is an easy, easy, easy, and quick dessert.


And did I mention it was easy?


Here is what you need:


2 Reduced Fat Graham Cracker Pie Crusts

1 large box of sugar free instant vanilla pudding

1 packet of Crystal Light Lemonade mix

1 1/2 cup 2% milk

1 16oz tub of Low Fat Cool Whip


Now, here is what you do:

In a large bowl, whisk together the vanilla pudding mix, Crystal Light, and milk until well combined. Fold in the Cool Whip. Pour half into each pie crust. Refrigerate until set and ready to serve.



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The New Pup and Lillie Belle

We got a new puppy about 2 weeks ago. Her name is Dottie Ann and she is a Blue Tick Hound. Our older dog Lillie Belle, who is 2, wasn’t quite sure about her and was certainly jealous. Dottie took over Lillie’s new pillow, so I ran to Tractor Supply and bought her another one, to go with the one our dear friends from Georgia brought for her.

The ChemE went out one morning to leave for work and called me out to the garage. Both dogs were lying on the pillow, with Lillie Belle curled around Dottie Ann as though she were keeping her warm. Both dogs jumped up as though nothing sweet were happening.

We knew better.

I looked out the window today and what do you suppose I saw?

Lillie Belle and Dottie Ann out in the back yard, playing. I knew if I went outside with my camera, I would lose the opportunity to create a conversation between them for you, my millions of readers.

Okay, 2 or 3 readers.

I stood at the back door in the den and took these. I would like to imagine the conversation went something like this:


L: “Is anyone looking?” D: “No”


L: “You okay?” D: “Rub my belly. It hurts.”



L: “My mouth is bigger than your head.” D: “Wanna bet?”


L: “Wait! What are you doing?” D: “Hee, hee, hee….”


D: “Gotcha!”


D: “Lillie? Lillie? LILLIE?!”




D: “That was NOT funny!” L: “Hahahahahahahahaha”


D: “Just for that….”


L: “Somebody count! Where’s a ref when you need one?!”


L: “I told you my mouth was bigger than your head!” D: “Girl, eat a Milkbone!”


D: “I….”


D: “WANT…..”


D: “THAT….”


D: “BONE…..”


D: “Whhhhoooooooaaaaaaa…….”


L: “Yeah. Right.” D: “No one saw that, did they?”

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Saturday’s Photo Shoot

I had decided early on in football season, that I wanted to do a photo shoot with my boys in their football uniforms. I had all these artistic ideas I wanted to try and just knew my boys would get it, and be enthusiastic about letting me shoot them.

I couldn’t have been more…..wrong.

Saturday, I got home from taking Prissy to a birthday party and found all three of my menfolk out in the back yard playing football. I watched, even threw the ball a few times (impressing my oldest child with my quarterback abilities. Never mind The ChemE called my passes ducks. He should be an out-of-shape-39-year-old-woman-with-bursitis-in-both-shoulders-trying-to-impress-her-Pre-Teen-Thing. Hrmph.) and then told the boys I wanted to get our photo shoot done before the good light disappeared.

I got crickets.

“Now, Mom?!” “But we’re in the middle of a game.” “Mooooooommmmmm!!!”

Yeah. The ChemE called a halt and told the boys to get changed into their uniforms. “Mom wants to do a photo shoot.” *snicker, snicker*
Then I told him he would be in it, too. That went over really well.

Of course Prissy wanted to know if she would be in it, too.


The boys got changed, and we started out in the front yard. I took a few test shots and well…middle son decided to be creative.

Then, he did this…

And I knew it was going to be a long shoot.

We went down the hill to the pond and the oldest was first. He was a little more cooperative, but not much. I did get some good shots of him.

Then, he realized his ride was leaving him…The ChemE had to take one of the 4 wheelers back up to the house to get the air pump. Apparently, the other 4 wheeler had a flat tire. Actually, it had 3 flat tires. I was informed it also needed new tires.

(I should insert here that my van needed new tires. The Durango, my 4 wheel drive winter vehicle, needs new tires. And now, the oldest 4 wheeler known to man needs new tires. Really?! Next thing the lawn mower will need new tires. Wait…I probably shouldn’t have said that out loud. Dang.)

This turned out to be one of my favorites. “HEY! Where’s Dad going with my ride?!”

“We’re not done yet. He’ll be right back.”

Pre-Teen Thing’s look of disgust. He needs to work on it some.

Then, it was the middle child’s turn. He was chewing gum. And was in a mood.

After this, we went down to the front side of our property, next to the dirt road. There was a beautiful white horse in the pasture beside us. As I was setting Pre-Teen Thing up for his next shoot, the horse wandered into next pasture and, well…

You can kind of see it…to Pre-Teen Thing’s right.

*sigh* My middle child. I was trying to get him to do something totally different than this. But this was all I got out of him. His “supermodel” look. Nice, huh?

Then, I wanted a picture of both boys together. This one is by far my most favorite…

Not sure what it is about this picture, but I love it.


Now, it is time for The ChemE to get in the picture.

I’m really not sure why he looks so pained. Maybe because after taking about 15 pictures and declaring I had it, I realized I had been shooting in black and white. So I had them stand there again while I shot in color. Maybe it was because I was having a hard time getting the middle child to not make goofy faces. And Pre-Teen Thing was complaining.

And Lillie Belle was chasing anything with wheels.

Then, it was Prissy’s turn with her boys.

I managed to get some really good shots of the boys in their uniforms. And I did manage to get some goofy shots of them. They all raced home and quickly got out of their uniforms, shedding clothing as they went to their rooms. All changed and immediately wanted to know what was for supper.

And I knew all was right in our little mountain home.

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Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

I found this recipe in an email I received from $5.00 Dinners. I made a couple of adjustments. The recipe is first, followed by my adjustments….



  • 1 pkg (about 1.5 lbs.) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 3 Tbsp maple syrup, drizzled over chicken
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • About 1/2 lb. baby carrots (or 4-5 peeled carrots sticks)
  • 1 small red onion
  • Salt and pepper over the top


  • Place the chicken the base of the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the maple syrup all over the chicken.
  • Place the cubed sweet potatoes, baby carrots or carrot sticks and chopped red onion over the top. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over it all.
  • Set the slow cooker on low and let cook for 8 hours.
  • Serve Slow Cooker Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Baby Carrots.
  • (If you don’t like chicken thighs, use 3 chicken breasts.)
Okay, my adjustments… 
  •                 I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 5 of them, all on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  •                 I seasoned the chicken before pouring the maple syrup on top, salt and pepper only.
  •                 After putting the carrots, sweet potatoes, and onions in, I seasoned with salt and pepper,                       then put a few small pats of butter on top of that, and sprinkled brown sugar on top.
  •                  To top it all off, I added about 2 TBS of maple syrup. 
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Peach Whiskey Chicken

Today, for supper, I made Peach Whiskey Chicken. It was interesting and something I may make again, with a few tweaks. Here is what I did….


6 chicken thighs

4 chicken legs

season salt

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tbs garlic, minced

1/2 cup whiskey

4 -5 peaches, peeled and sliced (remove the pits!)

1 bottle BBQ sauce (use your favorite)

1/4 cup peach preserves

Preheat oven to 350*F.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 Tbs cooking oil on medium high heat. Season the chicken with season salt then add 3 or 4 chicken thighs to the hot oil, cooking about 3 – 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel lined pan and continue until all chicken has been cooked. Add the onion and garlic to the remaining oil and let cook until the onion begins to soften. Add the whiskey (if you are using a gas stove, please, please, please, take the Dutch oven off the heat, then add the whiskey!) and allow it to reduce…maybe 5 minutes. Add the peaches, then the BBQ sauce, and the peach preserves. Stir together, and allow to come to a simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes, then add the chicken back to the BBQ mixture.

Put the lid on the Dutch oven, and place in the oven. Cook about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is done and falling off the bone.

I found the recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s site. She used more chicken than I did, and therefore used more of several other things to compensate. I tweaked the recipe a bit, and will most likely tweak it again. It was good the way I made it, and even The ChemE enjoyed a second serving.

Below is the link to The Pioneer Woman’s recipe.










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Wordless Wednesday 7.27.11

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Gone Fishin’

On Saturday we took the kids fishing!

We walked down to the bottom of the our driveway and went to the pond. The kiddos were beyond excited!

We got set up and the kiddos started fishing.

Dragonflies were everywhere!!! There were two beautiful dragonflies buzzing around and they would land near us every so often. One hung around long enough for me to focus in on it.

It was a good day! We caught nothing but sunshine, but we had fun and the kiddos learned how to cast their lines.

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