Bad Days Can Have Good Endings

Alexander screening familybringsjoy.comSaturday our family had the wonderful opportunity to screen the upcoming movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  That is a very long title for a movie.  Try to say that fast!  I will refer to the movie as Alexander for the rest of this post. 😉  Oh and in case you are wondering what the full movie poster looks like (since I couldn’t squeeze it all in my selfie pic to the left.)

Alexander movie poster

I’m always super grateful when there is a movie in which every member (our kids ages 16 & 11) of our family can enjoy watching it together.  Family values movies seem to be few and far between these days.  I watched the following trailer once before going to the movie.  In case you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

I wonder how many other moms might have cringed a little while watching the preview…wondering to themselves, “do I really want to pay to see a bad day?”  To be honest, I thought that.  Yet, I knew Disney would make it right and they did.  Alexander has something for every member of the family to relate and laugh about.  It turns out the movie is based on a children’s book written in the early 70’s by Judith Viorst.  If you liked Steve Carrell in Date Night then you will like him in this movie as well.  Steve plays Alexander’s father.

“As a dad I can totally relate to this movie. Things tend to not go the way that you think they’ll go. But there’s always a contingency plan. There’s always a backup. Things go wrong in life and I think that’s part of the charm of this movie: Everyone experiences those days. It’s all about how you struggle through and keep your dignity and your sense of family and fun and the kind of love that is pervasive between the characters in this film.”  Steve Carrell

steve as ben

I am a huge fan of Alias, so I’m always excited to see Jennifer Garner.  I enjoyed seeing Jennifer play the mother roll in The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  She doesn’t disappoint in this movie too.  It’s interesting I brought up Date Night and The Odd Life of Timothy Green, because if you mix those 2 movies together, you can sort of sense how Alexander is (without the magic aspect.)

“I don’t think I’ve ever played anything closer to my real life. Not that I have days as bad as this, but just days with the chaos of having a bunch of kids in the house—when there’s a kid peeing on the floor, and the dog is throwing up and somebody’s about to step in it, and you’re trying to get dinner on the table. I can definitely relate to the idea of trying to do too much in a day.”  Jennifer Garner

jennifer as kelly

The family portrayed in Alexander does have a really bad day, but what I like is how the family deals with the bad things.  The Dad is an optimist and is always telling the children to hop on the ship of positivity.  Families can learn a lot from these characters.  My 16 year old son really laughed out loud during the driving test scene. He is about to take his driving test, possibly tomorrow.  I’m truly hoping it doesn’t go the way this one did.

Alexander driving test scene

There were so many good quotes I wish I had written down while watching Alexander.  Most of them were said by Alexander.  The following quote, however simple, is completely true. “You gotta have the bad days so you can love the good days.”

Alexander card

Alexander is a definite family values movie…a must see!  You won’t be disappointed.  Let me put it this way…I don’t like to buy movies or watch them more than once.  Yet when I left the movie I thought to myself, “We need to buy that movie when it comes out on DVD.”  Bravo!  Well done!  Take your family to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day this weekend.

Just for you, my awesome readers, I’m including the recipe to Ben Cooper’s Quiche he made in the movie.  Quiche is one of my favs.  Can’t wait to make it myself.

alexander quiche

Click on this link for a PDF copy of Ben Cooper’s Crustless Quiche Recipe

I will conclude with the Cooper family sitting down at the table for meal time…hope you’re family is sitting together for meals. (You know how I feel about that)

Hash Tagged blessed,

Simple Chicken & Dumplings Recipe

Chicken & Dumplings are yummy and perfect for a cold fall evening.  This meal is the closest I’ve come to making something from scratch.  The best thing about this recipe is my whole family loves it!  I posted on Instagram and many friends asked for the recipe.  So here goes…


To begin you will need:

  • A stick of butter
  • Half an onion chopped up
  • 1 clove of Garlic (I normally use fresh but didn’t have any on hand)

Put the above in a big pot and heat over medium heat until the onions are cooked to the consistency you like.

carmelizing onions

Now add your water.  Uh oh…I don’t have an exact measurement to give you because I just add water until the pot is almost full. Turn that heat up to medium high to high (depending on your stove.)

newpot filler

  • Cut up chicken & add to pot.  I usually cut up about 2 to 3 chicken breasts.

boiling chicken

While the chicken is boiling.  It’s time to get the dumplings ready.

new Ingredients for dumplings

Dumplings Recipe

Even though the recipe says drop spoonfuls, if I have time, I let the kids roll the dough into balls.  Otherwise, it totally works to just spoon up some dough and drop in.

Dumpling Dough2

When you are mixing the dough, at first you will think you don’t have enough milk…keep stirring and it will form into a dough.

Dumpling Dough

The kids love to mix the dough and roll it.

girl scooping dumpling dough

Dumplings and Dough

girl rolling dumplings


By the time you are done with making the dumplings, your chicken will most likely be cooked.  If not, let it boil until the chicken is cooked through.

before dumplings

After the chicken is cooked, if the water is not boiling, turn up the heat to high and wait for the stock to boil.  Once it is boiling, add your dumpling dough.

adding dumplings

If a child is helping you with this, make sure you remind them the pot is hot and to carefully drop the dumplings into the soup.  Otherwise, the mixture might pop up onto their and burn them. (I know this by experience)

newdroppings dumplings into pot

  • add some salt and pepper to soup

After you have carefully dropped your dumplings into the pot, turn down the heat to low.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes then cover with lid and cook for another 10 minutes.  It is completely normal for the liquid to have a white creamy consistency.

ENJOY!  Sometimes I double the dumpling recipe because that is everyone’s favorite part!

new bowl of chicken and dunplings

Feel free to pin the following collage to your recipe or food boards on Pinterest so you can find it when you want to make it. 🙂

Simple Chicken and Dumplings at

Simple Chicken & Dumplings Ingredients:

  • Salt & Pepper
  • Stick of Butter
  • Half of Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • Chicken (around 2 to 3 chicken breasts)
  • 2 Cups of Bisquick
  • 2/3 Cup of Milk
  • Water (depends on the size of your pot…about 3/4 full)

Always LOVE to hear your feedback. Please let me know if you tried this and you & your family liked it.

From our family’s kitchen to yours,

Best Cake Recipe Ever!

I have a real treat to share with you today!

I am generously sharing with you the recipe of my most favorite cake in the whole entire world.  So good thing you stopped by today. 😀

It is a family recipe passed down from my husband’s side of the family.   I am sure it will soon be one of your family’s favorite as well.  Before I continue, I want to say “Hi!” to my Mother & Father-In-Law who are finally online.  I’m glad they can see what we’re up too since I don’t use snail mail much anymore.  Hope you don’t mind me sharing our recipe with everyone. 😉

Above shown are the family cookbook of recipes and the cook book my Mother-In-Law made for my husband to take on his mission for our church {when he was 19.}  Looks like Mom inherited the recipe from Aunt Doris.

Here is a close up of the front of the small (wire post bound index) cook book my Mother-In-Law made him.  Isn’t it cute?!  DH continues to cook recipes from this book to this day.

On to the recipe:

Few pointers and helpful hints…you can use another brand of cake mix to make this.  However, it is not as good.  I made this cake recently using another brand of cake mix.  It was the only one I had in the house and I wanted to make the cake while my friends were visiting from out of state.  My friends, who had never had it before, loved it.  It wasn’t bad, but my kids & I could tell a difference.  I am not being paid to advertise Duncan Hines.  {I should have contacted the company, though!  Oh well, enjoy this free publicity Duncan Hines}  The same weekend my friends came to visit, my husband was visiting his home town for his 25 year high school reunion.  He stayed with his parents and guess what my Mother-In-Law sent home with him?  Yes, this cake.  So even though we had some of the cake I had made with the other brand, my kids ate my Mom’s first.  It didn’t hurt my feelings because I could tell the difference. 😉

To all of my local Church friends: I call DIBS on this recipe for the cookbook we are compiling recipes for.  It’s the ONLY recipe I contributed to the cookbook. 😀  Thanks!

{By the way, this is only the 2nd post I have ever written about food.  Read the other one about flour tortillas HERE.}

Tomorrow is the LAST day for a chance to win the

Winnie The Pooh movie DVD & Blu-Ray Combo Pack.

Enter in the post below this one.

Good Luck!

Bake on,