Start Now: DIY Autumn Leaf Art

DIY ProjectsAutumn Project: Leaf Collage

Because I thrive in an organized and visually appealing environment I like our home to have a comfy, cozy, welcome, “Sit down and stay a while,” feel to it.  We had a big empty wall that screamed, “Lonely. Void. Help me!” Which led to this project.

The concept came from the desperation of wanting a large piece of art for the lonely living room wall. I found a beautiful painting of a turkey at a Missouri Conservation Artists’ sale but the $2000 price tag did not fit my budget.  Farm Boy is an excellent painter but since he already has a demanding day job I knew he did not have time to paint me a large — very large — turkey in an autumn landscape.  I brainstormed from March to September attempting to decide what to place on our large empty wall. Autumn descended and as I looked out my windows at the beautiful colors on the 100+ trees in our yard and I realized I wanted these colors; all year long. How? Bring them in? Hmm… I knew I could do it. Yes, instead of colorful turkey plumage on canvas I would place the hues of fall foliage on canvas. So I began.

Here is how I created my Leaf art:

In Missouri, autumn will be peaking over the next four weeks which makes it the perfect time for collecting colorful fall foliage.

Six years ago I drove around looking for deep purple and red leaves which I did not have in my yard. I found them at a local lake along with gold Ginkgo leaves.  I also collected leaves from friend’s yards so I could think of them when I delighted in my finished project.  To this day the red Japanese Maple leaves, from my friend Ann’s house, are my favorites.

I am going to estimate I collected around 700 leaves, from small flaming red Burning Bush leaves to a few large dark brown Sycamore leaves. It sounds like a lot of leaves but it doesn’t take long once your begin picking. Other leaves included: Bright orange Sugar Maple, deep purple Red Maple, yellow Silver Maple, several types of brown Oak, gold Ginkgo, red Japanese Maple, purple Sweetgum, pumpkin orange Sassafras, bright gold Shag Bark Hickory, deep reddish-brown Red Bud and various shades of tan and brown from Elm and Poplar. I also collected several very small branches with 4-5 leaves still  intact.

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I allowed the wet leaves to dry then placed them in large heavy books for pressing.   2/3 of the leaves remained pressed 4-5 weeks  1/3 of the leaves were pressed for 2 weeks then removed so edges could slightly curl.

In a large ventilated area, our garage, I set up 4 saw horses and placed large pieces of lumber or old doors on top of them. I covered the large flat surfaces with wax paper to eliminate sticking.

I watched for a 50% off sale and then bought a 4’ x 4’ wrapped painter’s canvas at Hobby Lobby  for $40.00.

For the base color of the canvas I used two coats of a coordinating trim paint which we had left over after painting trim in our house. You will notice in pictures we do not have baseboards finished yet. I will admit we have way more projects going on than we can keep up with or afford. As the cost of living continues to sharply and painfully increase our rehab budget keeps shrinking. Add to that doctor bills and therapy for a severe traumatic brain injury plus some newly added college costs and well; maybe we will finish the house during retirement — if we ever achieve retirement. Nonetheless, I still enjoy my home of perpetual autumn and I love the people who live in it.

I was after a natural look for preserving the leaves; nothing shiny, which meant wax was not an option. I watched the ads for Hobby Lobby and Michaels to purchase flat finishing/ polyurethane spray 50% off. I used 5-7 cans (memory is foggy here).

To preserve color and ensure my leaves lasted for years, I used a flat spray and gave the slightly curled leaves two coats on each side, allowing dry time between each application and making sure the leaves did not touch/stick together.  When completely dried I loosely piled the leaves in a box and brought them back in the house to deter bugs from feasting on them in the garage.

When the remaining 2/3’s were finished being pressed I spread them out on the saw horses.  Using the flat polyurethane spray I gave the leaves two coats on each side, allowing dry time between each application making sure the leaves were not touching/sticking together.

Attaching the leaves to the canvas proved to be tricky. I attempted just about every type of adhesive and glue a soul can find at the arts and crafts store. None held! Out of desperation I took a look through our garage. Neither wall paper glue nor wood glue worked. While considering Liquid Nails I spied: Henry Premium Multipurpose Carpet and Sheet Vinyl Adhesive. Out of curiosity I opened the tub and my eyes beheld thick goofy beauty! Just what I needed to grab hold of the veins on the back of the leaves. I applied this adhesive, allowed dry time, turned the canvas over, shook it and nothing happened. Nothing! It held the leaves in place. No falling off. No breakage.

Using a small craft/paint brush I turned over each individual leaf and generously applied adhesive to the back then pressed it down on the canvas; wiping away any excess with a damp cloth. I covered the entire canvas with the flat-pressed leaves allowing overage along the straight edges of the canvas.

I allowed the pressed leaves to dry then sprayed two more light coats of poly on the entire project.

Next I generously applied adhesive to the curled three dimensional leaves on the spots where they would touch the canvas base of pressed leaves. I set them in place and allowed them to dry.

I allowed the newly adhered leaves to dry then sprayed three more light coats of poly on the entire project, allowing dry time between each coat.


My boys know when playing with Nerf guns that the guns may NOT be aimed at the leaves and they have been careful to obey. Someone did toss a pillow hitting a leaf and breaking a small portion off. To my knowledge this is the only damage to my leaf art. I have had minimal fading to the leaves but with the unfiltered direct light coming into our home I have had minimal fading on everything in the living room.  I do not have an expensive camera for taking quality photos but I believe I am showing a good representation of the final product.

I used just under ½ quart of the Carpet & Sheet Vinyl Adhesive for this project.

From start to finish, because of pressing time, this was a 2 month project.  My guesstimate on time spent is 25 working hours. This does not include dry time for the paint, poly & adhesive. Total cost was approx. $80.00. That’s $1920.00 less than the $2000.00 turkey painting!

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Above: View of the dimensional aspects.

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Above: View of edge                                                            Side profile

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I enjoy my little piece of autumn in winter, spring and summer too.

Happy Hour: 10/8/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Set boundaries with the intent of more relationship…not less. Then…let the other party/parties choose whether they want more too. That “1/2” is in their bucket…not ours 👍

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Boundaries and Priorities

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Reasons I Chose A Toxic Husband; and He Me

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

I was recently asked if I received counseling before, during or after my divorce from my narcissistic, delusional, abusive, sex addicted, first husband; who was also a pastor. This was followed up with an inquiry of what I learned.

Here are some details of my on Him in truth

Yes! Yes, I went to counseling…for several years I went to counseling; in fact, any time I feel like some aspect of my life is consuming my thought life or spiraling out of control, I seek a professional, Christian counselor or psychologist.

My personal opinion is: Strong people seek help when feeling weak.

The first nine years of my first marriage I had avoided counselors for three reasons. 1.) I was constantly told, by my husband, that our marriage and ministry problems were because of me.  2.) I could not afford a professional.  3.) By the time I realized it wasn’t all me I felt I didn’t have anyone I could tell. We were in the ministry and seeking help meant telling someone what was going on in my marriage, but a good wife doesn’t say bad things about her husband and I had some serious issues to reveal.

In year nine, of eleven, I decided I was seeking help no matter who I had to tell, or what I had to tell. God provided a safe person, a safe married couple, for me. And guess what? They already knew from observation that I was in an unhealthy marriage with a mentally ill man who was refusing help and healing. From there I sought a godly Christian counselor, who as God would provide for me, had also been married to a man with narcissistic personality disorder. So she had in-depth knowledge of a portion of what I had endured.

My question to my helpers, counselors and doctors was, “What is wrong with me that I choose someone this mentally ill; this messed up? I have to be suffering, untreated, from mental illness myself. Please help me find what it is so I can heal.”  Sobbing and pleading, I begged people to tell me what my mental illness was. After all, you can’t receive help and healing if you don’t know what is ill, or wrong.

I never asked myself, “Why me? Why did this happen to me?”

I knew why. It was a consequence of my own sinful choices and actions before marriage. Yet I wanted to know why I was drawn to him.

Here is what I found out about myself:

I gravitated toward what I knew.

There was some generational bondage that needed to be addressed.

My track record of boyfriends was heavily dotted by young men with emotional problems; not all of them, but most of them. In hind sight, picking an emotionally traumatized husband was no shock.

I was a huge enabler. Not only could I handle my own life; including, my own junk, I took on his too.

I did not know how to set boundaries. After all, having my own opinion about something had not been optional that I could remember. Voicing my own opinion usually landed me in trouble or an argument. Narcissists respect no boundaries so I was  textbook prey.

I liked to find the positive traits in people and overlook the negative. I greatly desired to please others and put their needs ahead of mine. I could not stand the thought, or feeling, of being disliked. These are highly attractive traits to a narcissist because they need an endless supply of reassurance that they are wonderful, beautiful, highly talented, intelligent, gifted, funny, extremely amazing, nice, and the utmost special person on planet earth. They surround themselves with, ‘Yes’ men and women who would never want to hurt the narcissist’s feelings by saying, “No.”

I was accustomed to being treated harshly while being told I was loved.

Narcissists are attracted to strong women. The problem is that once they have you the strength they were attracted to becomes an object of the narcissist’s wrath; they despise your strength. They hate their own lack of self-control so they want to control you. They want to absorb you; become you because they don’t have their own identity. They spend their life demolishing the essence of who you are; or at least, chipping it away piece by piece. They want you to believe the lie that everything is your fault, and since I was a young, boundry-less, enabling nineteen year old when I married a minister five years older than me; I assumed he was right. Even when he lied to me about me I thought there must be something terribly wrong with me.  They know you are strong and that you won’t put your problems on their shoulders. In fact, since your shoulders are so strong they want you to solve and take care of their problems too; hoping you will heal their wounds.

I was a pro at picking up subtle hints and catering to them.

Narcissists are experts at manipulation and control so he used my big heart for his own ill purposes.

Waiting for a narcissist to love you is like waiting for a person whose eyes are gouged out to see again; it is not possible for a narcissist to bond or love.

Although I should have known, I did not know crazymaker (gas lighting) was a real term that embodied human flesh.

I learned that being too nice can cost you and your child your safety, your life, and your sanity.

I also learned that when the line of safety is crossed with your child; fierceness like no other can come out of you.  It’s a healthy fierceness that should have been employed sooner than it was.

I’m grateful to say I learned I am not suffering from mental illness and I don’t have a personality disorder. My life’s traumas did; however, leave me with auto-immune diseases.

So…if you or a loved one is in a relationship with an abusive, addicted or mentally ill person who refuses to acknowledge their struggle and seek help; please know, they can’t stop you from seeking help, safety, protection and healing. There is help and there is hope.


You could not plan for this. No, there was no silhouette

Up against the pink horizon; to warn you of the hit

But you absorbed it all with grace; like a child you spoke of faith unmoved

That holds onto you.


This thing is going to try to break you, but it doesn’t have to

You’re showing us how. This thing is going to bend and shape you,

But He won’t let it take you. You know it somehow.

This thing is not going to break you.

You could take your loss. You could hide away from us,

With your grief lassoed around you, but you’re laying it in the sun.

And you stare straight into the light. You say you’d rather go blind than look away.

What can I say?


This thing is going to try to break you, but it doesn’t have to

You’re showing us how. This thing is going to bend and shape you,

But He won’t let it take you. You know it somehow.

This thing is not going to break you.

This thing is not going to break you. This thing is not going to break you.

Why Wait Till Marriage: What No One Tells You. What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Written by Ann Voskamp; this is by far my favorite explanation and sound reasoning for teaching why God’s way is the best in every way.  CLICK the above link.

Happy Hour: 10/1/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Troubles, trials and the pits of our lives are often very deep and dark, BUT beyond thoughts or imagination is God’s boundless grace and redemption…we are not our failures and trials…we are loved, cherished, and held by His loving arms, no matter what…and that is the truth! Believe and behold. :-)

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Stop…breath…look around. God has this. He really does. There is nothing that has caught Him off guard…nothing is a surprise to Him. Yep…He’s got this, He is holding you, and all of those you care so deeply for.  :-)  Rest your mind…and carry on in His Peace today.  :-)   

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom



Many churches continue to fail victims and the innocent by giving child abusers, molesters, and pedophiles the benefit of the doubt. Pedophilic offenders are a segment of the population who will never reverse their desires and will not stop acting upon those desires of their own free will.

Companion text: CLICK HERE

Originally posted on Spiritual Sounding Board:

Pastor Doug Wilson and Ed Iverson encourage marriage of Pedophile Steven Sitler, Christ Church

Sins are like grapes; they come in bunches. ~Doug Wilson

Doug Wilson, Steven Sitler, Pedophile

I read a disturbing article yesterday that sent me reeling. I think we always want to hope for the best in people, but after having seen this pattern taken place so many times, those who were familiar with the story could see the inevitable train wreck before it took place. Our fears were in fact confirmed this week, and I am heartbroken.

Many times when we hear of breaking scandalous stories, the focus is on the perpetrator and those who enabled the abuse. The background to this story can be broken down into several important topics, and I hope other bloggers will cover some of the other aspects to this story. (A little bird told me that The Wartburg Watch will also be covering part of…

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Chiastic Structure

I Received a Reversal of Destiny, He Did Too

Today I needed a reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness over an area of my life.

I am going to share excerpts of my personal journal from three years ago. This entry begins with a Bible study invitation of which I had no idea would bring about an answer to a long prayed over request. For the record: It was the longest petition, to date, that I had ever prayed over a matter with such intensity. This was not my first choice of a Bible study, due to the heavy dysfunctional life experiences it was geared toward, but it was the Bible study my daughter and her side kick wanted to do. As it turned out the videos for my choice of study were not available at the time through our church so I borrowed the videos the girls favored. I had been through this same study twelve years ago and I knew, back then, that one day I would take my daughter through it. I was so certain of this that I bought the study book for her twelve years ago. As I prayed over leading the study for our mother/daughter group I sensed God was up to something; something big.

I am going to leave blank a name and situation in my journal entry. Please know the day is coming when I will be at liberty to share the details.

On December 18, 2011 I sent this email to my Bible study group consisting of eight moms and our combined ten teen daughters:

Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life will be our next study and I am really looking forward to it. 

 Please email me your prayer requests that day if possible and I will print them out ahead of time to save some precious time on this first night.  I will attempt to send a courtesy reminder about this.

 I am excited about this study in a way I have not been for previous studies.  Can’t wait to see what God is up to!

 Blessings and Merry Christmas,


March 7, 2012

While viewing the week 4 video of Breaking Free: Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins by Beth Moore, I had something replay in my memory from an earlier study on Esther also by Beth Moore.  It was about a reversal of sorts called a chiastic structure. Think of it as a reversal of destiny or a reversal of fortunes.  Since doing the ‘Breaking Free’ study twelve years ago I have been delivered from the chains and bars of ________.  Now I will pray that to the chains and bars of prison, ____, will be delivered.  I’m reminded that my Jesus can do it! I will daily ask for it and not take no for an answer regarding the safety of my family, children, and children of other families.  _______ made war on us and many others through the years and I am declaring our victory over ______.  I will pray it into existence beginning with God’s word which is alive and active and sharper than any two edge sword. And I will pray it out loud of course because scripture sets the precedence that there is power in the spoken word.

Psalm 107:17 (NIV)

Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.

Proverbs 13:16 (NIV)

All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly.

Proverbs 16:22 (NIV)

Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools.

Proverbs 18:6 (NIV) – The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.

Proverbs 18:7 (NIV) – The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.

Ecclesiastes 4:5 (NIV) – Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves.

Psalm 52 (NIV)

Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor.
You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
You love every harmful word,
you deceitful tongue!

Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
“Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!”

But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good.

April 19, 2012

Early morning – Working on my Breaking Free bible study this morning, Week 9 The Steadfast Mind, Day 1 –“A View from the Old.”  “God will never send us into the valley and ask us to bow to His authority there without sooner or later bringing a harvest from the ground watered by our sweat and tears.”  The personal discussion question is, “By any chance, are you still waiting to see the first signs of fruit from a previous valley?  If so, can you think of ways God could use the lapse of time to bring forth an even greater harvest?”

I decided to see what my answers were twelve years ago when I did this study for the first time.

#1. Riley’s protection from _______. #2. My deliverance from ________ . # 3. ________ being permanently removed from the ministry.  As for the lapse of time I will wait, trust and obey.  God is so much smarter and more creative than me which once again makes me glad He’s my God.  I know He’s working it out; I just have no idea how.

Now I’m praising God for #1. Done! #2.  Done! God provided for our protection.  #3. I know God is speaking to my heart, soul, mind and strength at this very moment.  “Child, I’m bringing you full circle this week; week nine, day one from the time you wrote these words twelve years ago.”

I now have chills all over me and I’m laughing, crying and thanking God. Weeping. Tears of joy. Tears of awe. “I am overwhelmed at Your goodness.” Hot tears falling down my face. “Who I am I that you allow me this piece of information? This peace? It has been such a long wait but I’ve always known you were working it out. Oh my…this week?  It’s going to happen this week. You are so good, God. You are so good.  This is so like You!” I felt like God lifted me up from the depths of years of toiling through heartache and allowed me to reach the top of the mountain that I had been telling, “Move, in the name of Jesus.” God was allowing me to see that the time had come. The mountain had moved.

Unbeknownst and unseen by me God was using the lapse of time to bring, not just temporary protection and deliverance but, permanent protection and deliverance.  Protection and deliverance I could not provide.  How can He love us this much? He is such a magnificent mystery to me and His word is a stunning tapestry of which I never tire of finding beautiful new threads woven throughout the pages.  The Bible is like buried treasure and the more I study it the more wealth I find.  Wealth of who He is and there is always more of Him to find.

3:00 p.m.—Chasady, my sister, just called to tell me she googled ___________and found a forum post saying _____________ had been arrested and was sitting in jail. By the time I got off of the phone I wanted to find a place to just go have a good cry; however, I was in a doctor’s office sitting with my boys and didn’t have the liberty to ‘take 5’ for a very needed cry of relief and thanksgiving.  I did have my time alone with God after we arrived home.

I thought God meant He would be placing in motion this week the harvest of fruit from our sweat, tears and prayers, but no He meant: Today!   “Child, I’m bringing you full circle this week; week nine, day one from the time you wrote these words twelve years ago.”

I’ll never get over God! Ever. Not on earth. Not in heaven. I will declare His goodness, faithfulness, protection, provision and love all the days of my life. Then I will transfer to eternal praises! The best part of that is I will finally have a beautiful voice; pitch perfect praise.

There were some happy (and teary) moms and daughters celebrating and bragging on the goodness of our God for the answer of our group’s prayer over the last year. We had committed this request to God; asking Him what His heart and will was for this situation. We then asked Him for it; in the name of Jesus!

Happy Hour: 9/24/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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I especially like to come to the Lord in my mornings and “give” or “hand” Him my day and all it entails. I LOVE doing this, because I know (and believe) it’s the BEST place for me, my day, my life…everything and everyone in it…to be run through His heart and pumped back out in His Fullness of Love, Abundant Grace, massive Protection and Provision… all beyond what I could ever do, hope, or dream.

Father, I bring you all of me today…I know You Love me, and all those I so deeply care for, more than I can (until eternity life with You) comprehend. My heart has no safer place, than to be in Yours! My life has no better place than to be in Your hands. I release me and my entire day to You, and gratefully receive ALL You have for me today! Thank You Father beyond what I can truly put into words!! Amen! :-)

‪#‎confidenceplacedintherightplace  ‪#‎goingtobeagreatday :-)

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Happy Hour: 9/17/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Praying the other day… and just began to praise God for SO much! Especially Him teaching me and helping me learn to be content in ALL things…no matter what. No matter what things “look” like or “feel” like.

As I continued praying He showed me a picture from what looked like a mountain top. From the place we stood, and as far as I could see… dark, dismal, barrenness land. I looked over at Him and asked, “What is this place?” It felt cold and so void of life.

As I turned to look back out at it all again… He caught my arm gently and said, “Here, try these on.” …and handed me what looked like a pair of sunglasses… Yep, you guessed it! …Boy did things change as I slipped those suckers on!! Every inch and more was covered in unbelievable and unspeakable beauty!!! The hills rolled with the greenest of trees, and flowers burst out everywhere…the valleys covered in tall fine grass…every color was bright and looked as if it was all covered in diamond and gold dust…it looked like nothing I have ever seen…nature in all of its created splendor and glory!!

I definitely did not want to take those glasses off and hand them back!! However, as I did… the entire area looked SO different to me…Not quite as amazing as it did with my “GOD-glasses” on…but it held to a most beautiful place…it lingered…my heart was full…and I completely forgot what it had looked like before. I got a glimpse of how it always looks to Him… always good, always beautiful…always full of abundant life.

I heard Him whisper in my ear, “Keep your eyes on Me…and I will take you through life…through the tough times…through the parts of life that make no sense…If you keep your eyes on Me… I will show you The Truth and the beauty that supersedes this world. The hardest part will be in your willingness to put and keep on My “glasses”… to believe I have the best in mind for you, and those you love and care for… to desire to stay nose to nose with Me…so you can see through My eyes.”

I am willing Lord… can You super glue those on to me please!! ;-)
#‎betterview  ‪#‎reallife ‪ #‎seeabovethecircumstances ‪ #‎lovemynewshades  :-)

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


7 Meals From 1 Pork Shoulder Roast Recipe Pork Shoulder Roast Pork Shoulder Roast

I found Huppie Mama on Pinterest when I was looking to prepare pork shoulder/pork butt with a new twist and she provided the twist—of lemon and orange. I tweaked the recipe a couple of times and came up with my own Tex-Mex version.

I buy the pork shoulder or pork butt at SAMS Club for under $2.00 per pound. I served four people five meals with this recipe. SAMS packages 2 pork butts per package; approx. 7 pounds each. Use 1 of the pork butts for this recipe.

This recipe can be cooked, divided into 5 portions, and frozen in freezer bags. I sprinkle more spices on the meat before reheating because it tends to lose some of it’s flavor.

Here are seven meals I have made using the recipe:

  1. Pulled Pork, Cilantro Lime Rice (I add chopped cilantro and 1 juiced lime the last five minutes of the 20 minute cooking time for rice and stir,) 2 cans rinsed black beans in beef broth with ½ teaspoon each cumin, onion powder & chili powder. Chopped zucchini, yellow squash & purple onion sautéed in olive oil with cracked pepper and Greek seasoning or Adobo seasoning. (I like all the above ingredients piled on top of each other; my boys like the foods separate.) Watermelon.
  2. Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches (Spread butter on hamburger buns or Texas Toast {The yummiest} and brown in a warm pan. Serve meat on the bread with BBQ sauce {Head Country sauce is my fav), baked French fries, salad, grapes.
  3. Pulled Pork Nachos: Shredded Cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese, drizzled cheese or queso sauce, pulled pork and drizzled Chipotle BBQ sauce. (I used a medium aggressive heat, smokey Chipotle salsa from Cantina Laredo, the salsa they serve warm.) I made a mix of half Chipotle salsa and half Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. My guys were making happy noises the entire time they ate; except when the stopped eating to ask for more of the sauce. (Any BBQ sauce with smokey chipotle will work. If in the St. Charles county area, Sugarfire has delicious Chiptole BBQ sauce and Sweet Baby Rays Honey Chiptole sauce {at the grocery stores}) Serve with fruit; mixed melons.
  4. Large Yukon Gold baking potatoes with toppings of butter, sour cream, cheese and warmed pulled pork in its broth. Ladle the pork and broth over the stuffed potato. (My boys were not thrilled until they took the first bite; then they were in heaven!) Serve with salad or fruit.
  5. Pulled Pork Chalupas. Serve on warmed flour or corn tortillas with toppings of your choice: Cheese, lettuce or spinach, tomato, onion, lime wedges (for a squirt of juice), chopped cilantro and salsa. Serve with warmed tortilla chips and fresh salsa for dipping.
  6. Pulled Pork dipped in BBQ sauce, baked homemade sweet potato fries drizzled with olive oil—sprinkled with seasoning salt and Rosemary, veggie & fruit.
  7. Pulled Pork Quesadillas served on flour or corn tortillas with shredded cheese. Serve with sautéed or steamed veggies and fruit salad. I core and cut 1 red apple, 1 green apple, 1 cup green grapes, 1 cup red grapes, 1 can chunk pineapple, ½ cup whole pecans; spoon 1 small container of peach yogurt over ingredients and toss.
GiveMe Tex-Mex or Else
GiveMe Tex-Mex or Else

Pork Shoulder Roast Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion cut in chunks, plus 1 whole onion skinned with the slightest portion of ends cut off; just enough to remove the skin off the ends. You want the whole onion to stay together until finished cooking.)
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 fresh lemons juiced, choose the heaviest fruits—they have the most juice
  • 1 large orange juiced or several Clementines juiced
    • (the two lemon/orange juices combined should equal 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • One 5-7 pound, bone-in Boston butt (pork shoulder, pork butt – I used a 7.5 lb pork butt


  1. Place all ingredients, except the whole onion—NOT the whole onion, in a blender or food processor and puree.
  2. Pour half a cup of pureed mixture in bottom of crock pot.
  3. Place pork shoulder or pork butt in the crock pot and pour remaining mixture over the top and down the sides. Place whole onion is crock-pot. (I love onion flavor but putting one and a half pureed onions in the mixture messes with the texture of the finished recipe. The whole onion can be removed after cooking.)
  4. Cook on low for 9 hours. I checked mine at 7 hours. If it is still tough cut several slits across the top then turn it over and cut slits on the bottom.  It will finish cooking and be ready to shred at the end of 9 hours.


For fresh Tex-Mex toppings see:

Black Bean Salsa Tex Mex Black Bean Salsa

Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip/Sauce IMG_0054

Fresh Guacamole IMG_0117

Pico De GalloPico De Gallo

Pork Shoulder Roast Freshly Pressed from Huppie Mama:

“{We often do family potlucks at my house with my sister and my parents. Usually it’s a ‘bring whatever you want’ kinda thing, and we end up with something like baked ziti, chicken…”

via Pork Shoulder Roast recipe & Caribbean dinner ideas.

Happy Hour: 9/10/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Many times in my life…which especially showed up in all of its glory when I became a mom, was the lie that I could fix everything for those around me I dearly loved. I remember sitting down and begging God to help me… I was beginning to feel like I was losing my mind…how could I possibly have these sweet blessings and NOT be TOTALLY equipped to help them through EVERY issue, pain, trauma, and problem?!

I remember like it was yesterday… God showed me a picture of my girls…and others around me…they all had “holes” in them! All different sizes and shapes. Of course, my first question was…”What the heck are those?!” And then…”Where did they come from?!”

He said, “Those are places I am meant to fill…I am the ONLY One who can fill them.”

I was amazed! I was worn out, because I had been trying to take His place! I was horrible at it by the way. He even showed me the ones I had been a part of actually putting in them!! I was horrified! And…humbled…I remember just bawling my eyes out… I had no idea.

He assured me of His deep love for me, and said while He worked in these places my “job” was to pray and love…and help if, and only IF, He led and directed me to… Whew!!!

I think I took one of the deepest, most relieving breaths ever as I took down my “Hole-filler” sign and put up my “I love you and I am here for you” sign! Much better!! :-) So now when I see a “hole” in myself and/or others … I simply look to Him and say, “There is a ‘hole’…it’s all yours.” 

#‎Hisjobnotmine  ‪#‎Hehasyourback  ‪#‎lookforthelovenottheholes  :-) 

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Tex Mex Black Bean SalsaThis Labor Day Weekend provides the perfect opportunity to use which ever fresh tomatoes you’re still harvesting from your garden. I usually plant a variety of tomatoes so I have optimal continuous harvesting through the summer season. The best time of year to eat this Black Bean Salsa is when you have fresh Roma tomatoes from the garden; although, any fresh from the garden tomato will work. If you don’t have a garden then pick up some Romas at the store. My daughter and I make this salsa throughout the year and often use store bought tomatoes.

My sister, one of the best cooks ever, introduced me to this recipe years ago and I have since adapted it to my taste bud’s preferences. I like Roma tomatoes, Serrano peppers and lots of lime juice.

Fresh ingredients
Fresh ingredients
Black Beans and Shoe Peg Corn
Black Beans and Shoe Peg Corn
chopped veggies
Chopped Veggies
Serrano Peppers
Serrano Peppers

This Jalapeno Corer tool is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It works for any type of pepper and also cores the tops of tomatoes. My favorite use is for coring Jalapenos. Cut the tops offs and rotate the corer down inside the pepper to remove veins and seeds. This allows you to stuff the Jalapeno for baking, grilling or placing in a smoker. The Serranos above are small and need to be cut in half, then deveined and seeded one half at a time.

I ordered my Jalapeno Corer at I also ordered the Jalapeno Roasting Rack for use in the oven, on the grill, or in a smoker.

Jalapeno Corer Tool
Jalapeno Corer Tool
Limes juiced
Juiced limes
Toss chopped veggies with lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder
Toss chopped veggies with lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder
Add tomatoes
Add tomatoes and mix

TEXMEX Recipes

Tex-Mex Black Bean Salsa

1 can black beans

1 can Shoe peg corn

1 bunch cilantro, minced

½ Bell pepper—any color, chopped

1 small or medium purple onion, to taste, chopped

4 cups Roma tomatoes, chopped

2 Serrano peppers seeded and deveined, minced

Juice of 2 medium limes

1 T. Canola oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Drain and rinse beans and corn. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add cilantro, bell pepper, purple onion, Serrano peppers then mix in lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder. Add and mix chopped tomatoes. Serve immediately. Refrigerate left overs.

Serve with Restaurant style white corn tortilla chips or Tostidos Scoops.

Happy Hour: 9/3/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

I am not a natural hoarder of things. However, a long time ago, the Lord gently pointed out to me that I was a “hoarder” of my hurts, pains, trauma, etc. I had several “closets” that needed major overhauling. I am thankful He loves me SO much, and knew if we cleaned those out…I would experience true freedom, love and peace beyond all understanding. I still have a “junk” drawer…and He faithfully comes along and lets me know when it’s time to clean that out too.  :-)

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So very thankful that God showed me my past hurts, pains, abuses, losses, mistakes, and even stupidities…are not WHO I am in Him…grateful for His healing and loving hands over my life.  :-)

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Thankful God sees me through His Son glasses!!  :-)

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Update: Detoxification—You Can Help

Here is an update on a previous post, Detoxification—You Can Help, about a woman named Krissy who recently had her world turned upside down when she found out her husband had molested a child. Her husband was arrested, he admitted to the crime, and he remains in jail.

Burden clipart

I want to share a Facebook post by Krissy so you can glimpse a snapshot of her life, her heart, her need…her trust in the One who is trustworthy in all circumstances—including when life seems it can’t get any lower…but does…again and again.

I need your breath of life again. Without it, I won’t exist. I need you to recreate me. Like dry bones, I am nothing. Yet, I’m waiting. I cannot say I am hoping, because Lord, hope hurts too much. Instead, I just am waiting. Waiting for you to restore me, fulfill me, and make me new.
Is there yet more in me, Father, that needs to be broken before you can reshape me? Reveal it, and don’t wait any longer. Break me. Make me. Then again, God, if you don’t, I will choose to accept it and understand that some of your work is done in the waiting. As much as it hurts, God, even this I will accept. May not be as graceful in the accepting, but I will try.
You are amazing, My King. None of this matters in the face of who you are and how lovely you are. How amazing is my God! How awesome He is. He knows what we need when we need it and He is a good father who gives to His children what they need. Praise you, Jesus.”

Please click this GoFundMe link or the link below and help Krissy, and her children, during their time of need. ~Thank you.

The McCuen Cause: GoFundMe link—CLICK HERE

Happy Hour: 8/27/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

Nothing seems to prepare me for God’s blessings, breakthroughs, and answers to my prayers like being in a place of resolving to be grateful, content, and joyful while I wait. ;-) :-)

 ‪#‎ahamoments ‪ #‎beingagratefulbucket  ;-) :-)

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One of the best gifts we can give someone… is to celebrate with them in their blessings while waiting on ours.

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Someone else’s success does not rob you of anything. – Christine Caine

‪#‎exactly‬! ‪#‎truth‬  :-)

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It’s weird…I have noticed and realized that EVERY “negative” I have taken to The Lord has been turned into a positive in my life! ‪#‎wow‪#‎socool 

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Happy Hour 8/20/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

Feeling grateful today for maturity.

Loving how God has brought me, ever so gently, from a place of believing that others were responsible for how I felt…what I thought…and even what I did. I remember God saying, one day, “I gave that power to you…not them. I also gave you the ability, through Me, to change all of this…to believe differently.”

I was like, “I am willing Lord…please come to my rescue! I am worn out trying to be me through other people’s lenses.”

And He did!! Rescued me right out of that pit! The one that says…Our value is determined in what others say about us, how they treat or have treated us in the past, etc. God had given me a lot of power…but I had “given” it to others…and in that choice…I had no peace. So…I began to take it back…to trust in who God says I am…in who He created ME to be. When other people said things, and/or treated me in ways that did not line up with that…I chose to believe God, and let all of that go! It wasn’t mine to take in…to believe. All that stuff was in their buckets to deal with…not mine! God taught me to run things through His “Heart filter” …over myself and others…what a difference it makes to have the right belief system in place!!!

Peace is available in all things and with all people! I did not say it was an easy process, BUT it sure has been a worth while process!!

Seek Him and ALL these things will be added to you! God is SO good!!

‪#‎andpatient ;-)  ‪#‎letitgo ‪  #‎littlethingsturnintobigthings   ‪#‎becarefullittlemindwhatyoubelieve 

Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom