Happy New Year – Recipe: Taco Dip

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With the exception of taking Gabriel to the doctor for bronchitis, we had a quiet, peaceful New Year’s Eve at home.

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We had delicious snacks,

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watched football,

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and celebrated the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.

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I made this delicious taco dip, which we all love.  It is so easy to throw together, and it can easily be adapted, according to what toppings each family member desires.

Taco Dip

Taco Dip


1 pound ground beef

1 package of taco seasoning

2/3 cups of water

1 can refried beans (we usually use black refried beans)

16 ounces of sour cream

1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded







  1. Add ground beef to a pan and cook over medium high heat.
  2. Drain the grease and add the taco seasoning and water. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  3. In an 8x8 glass pan, spread the refried beans and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  4. Spread the sour cream onto the beans.
  5. Add the taco meat to the top of the sour cream.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese onto the taco meat.
  7. Garnish with cilantro.
  8. You can stop there, or you can continue to add your choice of toppings - salsa, avocado, jalapeno, onions, etc.
  9. Serve with your choice of chips.

Merry Christmas

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I always wonder if Christmas will be everything that my kids anticipate that it will be.  When I see their faces, I am always reassured.  However, as they get older, we are able to have more real conversations about Christmas and what it means to different people for various reason. Today, I asked Gabriel if Christmas is any less exciting now that he is older.  He told me that it is just exciting, and it becomes more and more about family.  His response made me so happy.  While I know that there are things that I could always do better or differently, I always try to keep our focus on our family.  To hear that family is what matters and that it is at the center of all that we do, filled my heart with immense joy.

Christmas began with the finding out what Santa brought followed by opening presents.

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Then, we had a Christmas Day breakfast of cinnamon rolls and breakfast casserole.

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After than, we had a day of playing and relaxing before enjoying Christmas with Nonna, Gran, and my sister’s family.

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What a perfect Christmas.  Family is what really matters.  Always.

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Thanksgiving 2015

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This year, for Thanksgiving, we went to Nonna and Gran’s house.  For the past few years, we have hosted Thanksgiving, but, Nonna and Gran decided to host Thanksgiving and then travel for Christmas.  For us, it was a win-win.

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My niece will be 16 in February, so she is learning to drive.  When she was driving my car, I was literally praying, “Jesus, take the wheel.”  She did a good job, but there is nothing that could really prepare me for my little niece driving.  It really is true that time flies.

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Since Kate was learning to drive, Gabriel thought that he needed some lessons, too. My emotional heart was not strong enough for that one, so Sean took over for those lessons.

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On Thanksgiving, we had a delicious lunch,

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put together a puzzle,

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played with their new cat,

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and played games.

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It was just the break that we all needed to really soak up family time, count our blessings, and rest our bodies and our minds.

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