Thursday, May 31, 2007

Welcome to my weekly Crockpot Recipes Exchange. It's such a great way to share your avorite dishes or to learn some new ones to make for your family.

What do you think??? Do You have some great recipes to share, or perhaps you're looking for some delicious ones to give you a reason to pull out the ol' crockpot???
Time to pull out those crockpots and put them to good use. If you want to join in, just grab the banner and add your name to Mr Linky :)

Beer Beef Stew with Dumplings


1¼ lb (500g) beef, cubed
3 tbsp all-purpose (plain) flour
2 onions, medium - sliced
½ pint (300ml) beer (ale)
2 tsp prepared mustard (paste)
1 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper


3 oz (85g) self-raising flour
1 oz (25g) butter
1 tsp dried herbs
pinch salt and pepper
2fl oz (50 ml) milk


1 Put the flour in a plastic bag and add the beef. Toss around until coated.
2 You could now brown the meat if you desire - however we did not have time.
3 Put the beef and onion in the crock pot.
4 Mix the other ingredients together and pour over the beef.
5 Cook on low for 8-10 hours
6 Sometime during this period make the dumplings.
7 Combine all the ingredients, with sufficient milk (may need slightly more or less) to make a soft dough.
8 Shape into four to six balls.
9 About 40 minutes prior to serving, put the dumplings in the crock pot.
10 Turn on high, replace lid. And enjoy in 30-40 minutes.

Next time, I would make double the dumpling mix and make twice the number of dumplings. The dumplings worked very well.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

When is school starting again???

I'm not joking, when is it starting????? I'm counting the days already, as sad as it may be to actually admit but if I hear another kid fighting or screaming, bickering, crying or being jealous of each other, I will take my diet coke and run for the nearest hills, and being in mountain home, there's LOTS to hide out in.

I honestly feel like a referee stuck in the middle of a huge team that just does NOT get along and quite frankly it's tiring, it's frustrating and it's sad, the last thing you want to hear from your children's mouth is "I HATE my brother" or "I HATE my sister"...not that I believe they even fully understand the meaning of the word but it's nonetheless disheartening to hear as a parent.

Sometimes I wish I had superpowers, maybe one that could just freeze them in time, the minute bickering started, I could just snap my fingers and they would be frozen, just there looking at each other in menacing ways but not actually saying anything or flinging arms around trying to get a good shot on the other one. What is it with sibling rivalry???? I've mentioned it so many times on my blog and I guess I'll keep at it because it's just mind boggling to me.

The week is flying by and today I have to go pick up mine and Jasmine's dresses for the wedding on saturday, there's so much to do and so little time to do it in. Again, those "freeze time" superpowers could come handy right now.

Tomorrow morning we're heading to the school to pick up Jasmine's report card and then it's back home to pack for the trip, clean the house and last minute things.

I can't wait for this move to be over with, it's frustrating seeing the house full of boxes and I just want to get settled in the new house ASAP.

I've been so homesick lately, I miss my family, I miss my friends and I miss my greatgrandmother's cooking, she was such an amazing lady, cooking meals for 20 or so people....I have to tell you, I grew up cooking for big crowds so when I first got married I had the hardest time trying to cut down portions and learning to cook just for myself and Curt, it was actually pretty funny.

He would just laugh at me, but hey, we had tons of leftovers LOL

Talking of food and cooking, I've been adding new recipes to my food blog, I think I'm going to be using it as an online record for my cookbooks, as we get ready to move, I've found so many handwritten, some by my grandmother, stepmother, others by myself and I don't want to loose them, but in the event that any go missing at least I'll have them online right??

I have things waiting to be attended to, so I'm skidaddling out of here, I'll leave you with my To Do list for today.

God Bless,


Finish all laundry
Put laundry away
Vacuum and steam clean living room carpet
Pick up dresses for wedding
Get new tires for my Durango
Make a few phone calls related to the move
Bake cookies with the kids
Buy gift for Jasmine's teacher
Mail off Book Contest books....I'm SO SO sorry they haven't gone off yet.
Update Food Blog
Return books to library

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day!!!

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day to remember those who have died in our nation's service.

Always Remember
We bow our heads in silent grace;
Proud to stand upon this place.
To honor those who we love and lost;
Whose lives were taken at such a cost.
Through the pain and sorrow, for all the brave and true;
To always be remembered by me and by you.
To heal the minds and hearts, of those who still live;
Always remembering what they had to give.
Live your lives with pride in hearing what I say;
May God bless and keep you on this and every day.

Mike Baird

It's monday and we're supposed to be having a cookout, but we're not, with all this moving and packing we completely forgot to get charcoal and meat etc......oh well, we can still remember the Veterans and say a prayer for those that have passed, their families and those currently serving our country and families too. True Heroes!

I've posted my Menu Plan Monday over at my food blog and if you take a look on my sidebar, I've also added the Menu there, that way you can see what we're eating everyday, I'm not sure you even care but just in case you're curious LOL

I also posted some new recipes, Golden Bread Slices, Coriander Breaded Soup and Cod with Cream Sauce, I'll be adding some more during the day....oh and btw, they're all portuguese recipes.

But now I have to tell you about my shopping experience the other day, and be prepared because it's a bit of a rant. I decided to go shopping for a bikini *GASP* WHY, why do I do this to myself???

I would love to know who came up with those dressing rooms, who was the genius that invented the bright horrible lighting and the fun house mirrors???? Seriously, they're not fun at all....if you want to feel horrible about yourself then GO buy a bikini but make sure you try it on. There's dimples and bumps and wrinkles in places you had no idea existed and quite frankly I don't believe they DO, the mirrors just want you to believe that. I walked out of there so depressed and scowling at every single skinny hot girl that walked by me, wished burgers and fries on them and ended up NOT buying anything.

Then because apparently the dressing room experience wasn't enough to put me down, my bladder joined in by making me use the public bathrooms, or the GLASS CAGES as I like to think of them. Is there anything worse than trying to go in a public bathroom??? What is up with those doors, I always picture saloon doors, you know the ones that only cover half of your body???
Because that's not enough either, they have huge gaps on the sides, so I've started using my kids as DB's (door blockers), I stick one on one side and the other on the other side and then go as fast as I can.

Nothing like sitting there while someone is washing their hands and smiling at you....embarrassing.

Last night I finished watching the movies I had or "chick flicks" as my hubby likes to say. I watched "The Queen" which was just brilliant, Helen Mirren was outstanding.......I also watched "Marie Antoinette" with Kirsten Dunst which was really good too. I'm a huge fan of any movie during the Elizabethian or Victorian Era's.

Sadly I have none left to watch today, so I guess I'll catch up on my reading, most of my books are already packed away but I do have a few I got from the library to tide me over until the move.

Friday morning we're flying to Oklahoma City for my MIL's wedding, this will be the first time the kids are in an airplane so I'm curious as to how this will go. I think Nicholas will be ok but Jasmine is deathly afraid of heights and has already stated that she will NOT be sitting at a window seat. Any advice on flying with little ones???

I have laundry waiting for me and a house to clean so I'm leaving you with a video clip for this Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

There should be a law against waking up early

on the weekends. Is there one that I can use against the kids???

I'm telling you, it's hard enough being up early during the week when there's school and work and errands etc, but where does it state that on saturday and sunday mornings, that schedule is to be maintained STARTING with waking up at 6:30am. Do these kids NOT know that they're supposed to sleep in???

Anyway, come on in and have some coffee with me, there's PLENTY to go around.

The time is flying by so we're running around trying to get everything ready for the is finally over so we're done with that, but this week we have to go back on thursday to pick up the report cards, then friday morning we're flying to Oklahoma for my Mother in Law's wedding, we won't be back until Monday night.

The movers are coming the 26th of June, so it's really time to crank it up. I just wish that when you got orders, they let you go ahead and pack up and leave....this thing of "here's your orders, now you're leaving in 6 months" is just so frustrating...I don't like waiting, I'm impatient and just want to get to my new base and settle in.

Yesterday we had a yard sale and pretty much sold everything, by the end I was giving away things for free, that's how desperately I wanted to get rid of things, whatever wasn't picked up went to the Airman's Attic.

The kids had been asking for McDonald's for the past week, so we took them there to eat and actually went inside, not the drive-thru. We usually don't do that because honestly, it's so much of a pain in the behind with the kids fighting and yelling and screeching, it's downright embarassing to me so I just get the drive-thru and let them duke it out in the car LOL

By the time we got back home, I was tired and just wanted to sit down and watch a movie, the kids were happy playing with Curt so I got to lay down on my bed and just watch tv. I watched "Because I said So" which I really really enjoyed.

A meddling mother (Diane Keaton) tries to set her daughter up with the right man so her kid won't follow in her footsteps.
Then I got to watch "Shakespeare in Love"...amazing, truly enjoyed it. Not only is it pretty much the story of how Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, which is a classic, but Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes were brilliant.

A young and broke Shakespeare falls in love with a woman, inspiring him to write "Romeo and Juliet."
So what am I doing today you may ask? Well, Curt has weekend duty so he's at work right now and it's just me and kiddos....they're both playing games on the computer and I think I'm going to watch some more movies in between doing laundry and cleaning the's what I have in my TBW (to be watched) pile.

Marie Antoinette

Oscar® winner Sofia Coppola brings to the screen a fresh interpretation of the life of France's legendary teenage queen MARIE ANTOINETTE.

The Queen

Full of wit, humor, and pathos, Stephen Frears’ moving portrait of the British royals during the period after Princess Diana's death features not one but two remarkable performances, that of Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II and Michael Sheen as the newly-ordained Prime Minister Tony Blair. They embody their characters and lay bare the motivations behind these prominent people, giving viewers a glimpse into the inner workings of the British monarchy.
I'm also starting a new book by Jennifer Crusie called "Manhunting" which I'm really looking forward to, Ms Crusie is hilarious. The first book I read by her was "Bet Me" and it quickly became an all time favorite of mine, it's just one of those you can't put down :)

Now I need to get going but I wanted to leave you with some links to what is being discussed in blogland today, I have to tell you, I'm extremely lucky in the sense that my favorite blogs are by some amazing women, and I wanted you all to get to know them too.

Sarah is talking about True Beauty, it's an awesome post so go on over and read it.

Barb has her Sunday Meanderings up and I just LOVE LOVE them, I try not to miss them every week.

Annie is sharing her weekend reflections and posting loads of photos, some look SO yummy.

Andrea is sharing photos from the Memorial Day Parade her family attended, go take a look.

Jill is one of my new favorite bloggers, she's talking about Meat today, LOL, yeah you heard me, Meat....she just cracks me up.

And that's it, I've truly gotta get a move on, the laundry pile won't wash itself, no matter how much I ask it to.

Have a blessed Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Show and Tell Friday!!!

The wonderful Kelli over at "There's no place like home" has started this friday feature, here's what she had to say:

Welcome to Show and Tell Friday!" Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, a new antique find, an old love letter. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there's a story behind your special something, that's even better!
If you would like to join in, all you have to do is post your "Show and Tell" on your blog, copy the post link, come over here and add it to Mr. Linky.
I missed this last week, I had my mother in law visiting and didn't get a chance to come post with you all.

Again this is a treasure I had shared a LONG time ago but none of you were reading my blog back then so I thought I would bring it back and share with you.

It's a handmade silk spanish shawl. It's beautiful all on it's own, but even more so because my grandmother gave it to me. My grandfather (my mom's dad), was a musician, he played guitar for some of the greatest fadistas of Portugal. You can find out more about Fado here.
On one of his trips to Spain, he acquired this Shawl which he gave to my grandmother, and she later on gave to me, years after he had passed away.

Not only is this shawl a gorgeous piece, but the sentiment attached to it is MAJOR. It's like having a small part of my grandfather with me, forever. I first got it in Portugal when I visited my grandmother there, then brought it back home to South Africa, and now to the States. It's one of those items that if the house had to burn down, it would be safely tucked under my arm as I run out the door. :)

It's just gorgeous!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!

Welcome to my weekly Crockpot Recipes Exchange. It's such a great way to share your avorite dishes or to learn some new ones to make for your family.

What do you think??? Do You have some great recipes to share, or perhaps you're looking for some delicious ones to give you a reason to pull out the ol' crockpot???
Time to pull out those crockpots and put them to good use. If you want to join in, just grab the banner and add your name to Mr Linky :)


2 1/2 to 3 lbs. meaty chicken pieces
1 tbsp. cooking oil
8 oz. cooked smoked turkey sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. snipped fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. thread saffron or 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

1 141/2 oz. can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. water
2 c. chopped tomatoes
2 yellow or green sweet peppers, cut into very thin bite-size strips
1 c. frozen green peas

3 c. hot cooked rice

Skin chicken. Rinse chicken; pat dry. In a large skillet brown chicken pieces, half at a time, in hot oil. Drain off fat. In a 3 1/2, 4, or 5 quart crockery cooker place chicken pieces, turkey sausage, and onion. Sprinkle with garlic, dried thyme (if using), black pepper, and saffron or turmeric. Pour broth and water over all. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Add the tomatoes, sweet peppers, peas, and if
using, the fresh thyme to the cooker. Cover; let stand for 5 minutes. Serve over the hot rice. Makes 6 servings


2 Eggs, slightly beaten
2 1/4 cups Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 cups 1-inch bread cubes
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Raisins or chopped dates

In medium mixing bowl, combine eggs with milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, bread, sugar, and raisins or dates. Pour into 1 1/2-quart baking or souffle dish. Place metal trivet (or aluminum foil shaped in a ring to keep the dish off the bottom of the pot) or rack in bottom of slow cooker/Crock Pot. Add 1/2 cup hot water. Set baking dish on trivet. Cover pot; cook on high for about 2 hours. Serve pudding warm or cool. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I admit, I LOVE Electricity!!!

What can I say??? I'm glad I didn't live back in the day when there was no electricity, I honestly don't know if I would survive it without crying myself to sleep every night LOL

Yesterday afternoon I was all happily sitting on my computer and getting ready to go visit some blogs when all of a sudden.......BAM. EVERYTHING went off. Now I don't know how the rest of the ladies are out there but I'm the one that walks slowly up to the Electricity Box, open it up and just stare at all the pretty buttons.

I get this rebellious feeling because I want to just get in there and start snapping all the buttons to the side, don't matter if it's the right one or not, I just like hearing the SNAP as they's a question though, who the heck invented these things, I need BOTH hands and all the energy and force I can muster to move the dang button. After trying for a couple times I realized it wasn't just my house, it was the whole neighborhood plus the neighborhood behind us.

You don't even understand the panic that sets tv, no lights, no phone (I don't have a cellphone), no stove, no computer. Are you kidding me??? Is this let's see how much stress we can give Sandra day??? I sat there and whined about not having any of it and then I thought, how ridiculous, is it really going to kill me to have no electricity for a few minutes?

Well the problem is that the minutes turned into hours and we didn't get everything back up until 6pm. I was literally sweating bullets (not really but you know it sounds dramatic LOL), all these thoughts start going through my head, what if I miss the final Dancing with the Stars or American Idol, oh wait I can't cook dinner either and it's not fun using the bathroom in the dark. Go ahead and laugh I know you want to, I'm pathetic I admit LOL

Anyway, what matters is that it came back on and now I'm happy and I thank God for living in this day and age.

The moving is going slow, I'm sick of packing already and I am not even near halfway done, aren't there little magical packing elves that we can call upon to get things done while we sleep??? If there are I would like to be pointed in their direction!

Jasmine is at the stage of the school year where she fights every morning to get up.....she's DONE, I swear she does great until the last 3 days and then turns into a snotty princess. I'm just happy because it means that next week we don't have to get up early anymore, we can stay up late, sleep in and not worry about schedules and running around for the next 3 months....well as much as we can deviate from it while moving across states LOL

I have so much to do and no motivation for it at all, I think I'm still reeling over being told we can't have a trampoline. I'm the kind of person who likes explanations, don't just tell me they're banned at the base, tell me WHY and WHO so that I don't have to play the mean mommy who just told them their precious trampoline will be packed and boxed up until we get our own house, whenever that may be.

BTW I don't know what is going on with blogger (must be pmsing again), I can NOT for the life of me get on any of your blogs. It just gives me a 502 Server Error, I don't know what it is or why it's happening but it's been for the past two days and it's starting to work on my last nerve. If anyone else is going through this let me know so that I don't feel like the computer illiterate fool probably doing something really dumb and thereby messing with the Blog World.

Anyway, it's lunch time and I need to feed the little one...then I have so more laundry to get through and yet more packing. It's a busy chaotic life right now but we manage to smile through it all and you have no idea how tightly I've been clutching the Lord's hand, if it weren't for Him I would be a total mess right now.

Have yourselves a great wednesday afternoon, I'm off to indulge in some wonderful Portuguese Soup with Homemade Bread (sorry I would link it to my food blog but Blogger is MIA right now).

God Bless,

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Bet you didn't expect to hear that in the middle of May did you???

We went from 90 degree weather to rain, strong winds and 40 degrees. Why is all I ask????
I thought we were all ready for warm weather, who was it that decided it was too hot and we were in the mood for some frozen fingers and sciatic pain???

I've always had sciatica and when the weather changes drastically, so do I....instead of finding little ol' me walking around you stumble across the hunchback of Notre Dame (minus the hunchback and the smile on his face, I'm usually not that chirpy). I drag my leg around and wince at every step and if you see me laying down on the bed, cover your ears because chances are the minute I try to get up I wail like a Banshee. Isn't that appealing???? LOL
In some parts of Leinster, she is referred to as the bean chaointe (keening woman) whose wail can be so piercing that it shatters glass.
Yep that's me, ol' glass shatterer LOL

Anyway, it's my dear hubby's birthday today, he's turning 34 years old but let's keep it hush hush, he doesn't like birthdays and has been known to threaten anyone who even mentions buying any sort of gift. This is why he's heading to the gym after work and mommy and the kids are heading to the store for a last minute gift, little does he know we've already bought stuff....again....HUSH HUSH. (and no, he hasn't been reading my blog lately lol)

The kids decided to make a little video for daddy, they both sang their own version of Happy Birthday and then ended with a little Hello Message....they crack me up. Watch for Nicholas especially, he seems to think that people enjoy being called monkeys and toucans on their birthday....*snort*

View this montage created at One True Media

So yesterday afternoon I decided to pack some things in the kitchen, please tell me why people do this to themselves???? Why do we accumulate so much crap during the years??? I have stuff that,

A. Have no clue how it got here
B. Is broken or missing some important piece needed to make it work
C. Is not even supposed to be in a kitchen
D. I've NEVER used it, it's still intact and in mint condition, safely packed in their little pretty boxes.

Are you kidding me??? Why, again, I seem to be asking a lot of why's today don't I??? LOL
But at least I got some stuff packed and others ready for the yard sale on saturday.

While talking to the lady in housing at the new base she told me that Trampolines are NOT allowed there. Ummm.....should I pass the phone to the kids and have HER explain that???
See our trampoline was a gift from my Mother in Law to the kids 2 years ago, that alone makes it special BUT the kids LOVE it (so do mommy and daddy but that's besides the point) do I tell an 8 and 4 year old that their precious trampoline is not allowed on base???

So we're taking it and if we get one of the houses with a garage, it will stay there until we buy our own house, if we don't get a garage we'll put it in storage, no problem. Somehow Arizona is not looking like much fun to me anymore LOL

Things are going to get hectic from now on (surprise surprise right?), this is the kids last week of school before summer break, then next week we're heading to Oklahoma for my mother in law's wedding, when we get back it's back to packing and within 2 weeks we'll be out of this house and in TLF (temporary living facilities). I know time is going to fly by, so within the next few days I'll start asking some of you to be guest bloggers for me while I'm offline, hope you will accept the challenge :)

Anyway, I have things to do around here and phone calls to all have a wonderful Tuesday and I'll be back tomorrow morning.

God Bless,

Monday, May 21, 2007

I did it again didn't I?!?!?!

The template I came here expecting pink and blue and got something completely different. Have I told you lately that I love you I get bored easily??? LOL

I'm sorry if I make your heads spin with all the different templates, I think I'll stick with this one for a while though so don't worry.

Come on in and sit with me, I have some Cinnamon Coffee and some Banana Nut Muffins waiting.....there's a chill in the air today and we're expecting thunderstorms this afternoon.
You should see the clouds outside, beautiful but scary looking too.....very low and dark just slowly creeping up on the base, gives you that ominous feeling.

I have packing to do today and need to go through every room and do an inventory of what we have, take pictures of stuff and also jot down serial and model numbers. Eden asked me if we're not letting the movers do the packing for us.......the answer is NO.....they will pack the bigger stuff but we're doing all the other packing ourselves just have to leave the boxes unsealed so they can check what is in there before taking them. We're doing a Partial Dity move so a bunch of things are going with us.

We're doing pretty good, we don't like leaving everything until the last minute so we're already packing and getting it all ready, obviously not stuff we need for everyday use but there's things like knick knacks, pictures, books, movies etc that don't need to wait until moving day.

A few months ago I talked about my daily schedule, I can't function without it, I think it also helps the kids know what is coming next and beats the boredom bug which usually leads to "sibling fights".
With so much going on here lately I ended up sort of falling off the bandwagon and not sticking to the routine so much and what happens when I do that???? Laundry is overflowing, I don't have time for anything and the housework tends to get left behind, so I went back to the schedule and I'm posting it for you so you have an idea of what my days look like.

You should have seen my face when I brought out my schedule again, big huge grin from ear to ear because I know my days are saved and I can use them to the fullest without wasting precious time. Have you ever gotten to the end of the day and realized you did NOTHING but also didn't have a free moment for anything??? How exactly does happen???

I've been going through my blog and rereading it all from the beginning, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it, it's really been fun reminiscing and seeing what I was doing this same time last year, here's something I realized though.......last year must have been my COLD AND FLU Year...honestly, how sick can someone be for a whole dog gone year??? LOL

I also came across a post I made with some photos Curt and I took while using our telescopes. We love astrophotography and have been wanting to get into it, but the amateur photos we've taken so far are just amazing so I can't even imagine the ones we'll have once we actually KNOW what we're doing. LOL

Here is just one, you'll have to go check out the actual post to see the others.

And that's it for me this monday, Oh, don't forget to check out my Menu Plan Monday, we're having the Asian Beef Wraps for dinner again tonight, they've become a huge hit at our house.

Have a great day everyone!

Vacuum living room
Inventory for Move
Packing Kitchen Appliances not being used
Post office
IRS and Social Security paperwork


General Hospital
Dancing with the Stars
Little People Big World


Asian Beef Wraps with Rice

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Packing or Blogging????

I really should be packing more but I haven't touched the computer since thursday and I really really really wanted to catch up with everyone.

It's been super busy for us, my mother in law came in on thursday morning and left yesterday, yes I know, not long at all but it's better than nothing right???

You remember last year August I broke the news that she had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, well she's been through the treatments and a mastectomy and she's still going strong but through it all she found love again.

My father in law passed away 4 years ago from Cancer and she's been lonely and sad and obviously missing him terribly, but while going through her own battle with cancer she fell in love again and now they're getting married in TWO WEEKS. Yes TWO WEEKS.....that's what we've been busy with the past 3 days, I'm the Matron of Honor, Curt and Chris (my brother in law) are giving her away, Jasmine is the flower girl and Nicholas the ring bearer. We're so excited for her and she's happy as can be.

Here's a picture of the kids with grandma before leaving for the airport:

This of course means that we'll be flying to Texas for the wedding in the middle of packing our house to leave. The next 2 months are going to be extremely busy for us and I'm going to try and keep blogging, but I won't make any promises, my hope is that I can find a way to blog and email while we're getting settled in. Isn't it amazing how obsessed attached we become to the internet and tv.....just the thought of not having them sends me into a frenzy. Sad I know, what can I say, I like technology a bit too much???

I'm not sure what I'll be doing today, I do have more packing to get through but I don't want to, yes you heard right, I DON'T WANT TO....I could stomp my foot and change my voice into a whiny annoying tone, but you get the picture. I'm just going to use the excuse of having to return books to the library so that I don't do anything else LOL
I wonder how long I can stay at the library without causing suspicion or panic in my family?!?!?!?!

I have 3 movies and a mountain of books to return to the library, you may be laughing but I'm not joking, you can't really go by there without coming out with AT LEAST and I use that term very loosely, AT LEAST 10 books.....but we're a family of book lovers so we zip through those real fast.

There's cleaning to do around here and I want to start my Caldo Verde (Portuguese Soup) for dinner, before I do so I will come by and see what my favorite bloggers are up to.

Have a wonderful blessed Sunday,


Well I promised another book contest and this one I'm sure you will all love.
I just got a copy from Karon Phillips Goodman, it's her new book entitled "Pursued by the Shepherd....Every Woman's Journey from Lost to Found"

At one time or another, most of us have tried to find our way by ourselves. Like sheep that wander away from the shepherd, we wind up in undesirable pastures and in need of rescue.

Whether misguided by mistakes, lost in muddled priorities, or alone in denial, we all need encouragement, understanding, and guidance on reuniting with God. Though we don't always follow, the Lord waits patiently for us to answer His call. He will come after us every time, and the reunion leaves us forever changed.

If you have wandered, you can rest assured that God, in His grace, mercy, faithfulness, and unfailing love, will find you. If you're feeling weary, know that you can have a renewed sense of purpose, energy, and devotion. Karon Phillips Goodman reveals why you are never so lost that you won't be Pursued by the Shepherd. Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection or group study.

The winner for this amazing book is Eden at "An Air Force Family". Congratulations!

Eden, send me an email with your addy again please :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!

Welcome to my weekly Crockpot Recipes Exchange. It's such a great way to share your avorite dishes or to learn some new ones to make for your family.

What do you think??? Do You have some great recipes to share, or perhaps you're looking for some delicious ones to give you a reason to pull out the ol' crockpot???
Time to pull out those crockpots and put them to good use. If you want to join in, just grab the banner and add your name to Mr Linky :)

I'm trying these recipes next week, they sound good so we'll keep our fingers crossed.

Lazy Day Crock Pot Brunch
Credit: Better Recipes

A "shell" of shredded hash browns is made in the crock pot and filled with bell peppers, ham & cheese. A mixture of eggs & whipping cream goes on top.


• 8 slices bacon
• 28 oz pkg frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
• 2 teaspoons EACH salt and pepper, or to taste
• 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
• 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
• 1/2 cup onion, diced
• 2 cups ham, cut into cubes
• 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
• 12 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
• Pam


Cook bacon, drain grease and set aside. Spray inside of crock pot generously with Pam. Press potatoes on bottom and 1-inch up the sides to form a crust. Season with half of the salt and pepper. Crumble bacon over potatoes. Sprinkle green and red peppers, onions, ham and cheese over potatoes. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, remaining salt and pepper, mustard and cream. Pour over potato mixture. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until eggs are set.

This is easy and great tasting for a brunch or a morning when you have overnight guests.

Number of servings: 8

Three Potato Soup with Fresh Rosemary
Credit: Better Recipes

Rich and full of flavor, this crock pot soup is flavored with rosemary, onion and three kinds of potatoes.


• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 1 yellow onion, chopped
• 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
• 1 medium russet baking potato, peeled and chopped
• 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• 2 cups water
• 1/4 cup margarine
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary)
• 6 sprigs fresh rosemary for garnish

Set crock pot to high and stir in olive oil and onion. Let this cook about 10 minutes, while peeling and chopping the potatoes. Add potatoes, stock, water, margarine, salt and rosemary (reserving the rest for a garnish). Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and let cook for 6 to 8 hours. Puree soup in crock pot with an immersion blender or a hand mixer. Ladle into 6 bowls and garnish each serving with a sprig of fresh rosemary. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where do you eat out?

I was tagged for this great meme by the wonderful Laura at The Sunflower Family....did I mention that Laura is portuguese and lives in Portugal??? Just talking about it makes me happy and brings me wishes of being there right now eating at one of the great Portuguese restaurants...YUM!

These are the rules:
1. Link to the name of the person who tagged you.
2. Include the state and country you’re in.
3. List your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location (locally).
4. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

We're stationed at Mountain Home AFB right now which is in Idaho so the closest place to get a good meal is Boise, although Mountain Home itself has a few restaurants but very very few.

1 - Chili's - We love going there to eat, it's pretty inexpensive and they have the BEST ribs, I always get their chicken though LOL Kids love it too and their portions are pretty big.

2 - Outback Steakhouse - Aussie Fries and Blooming Onion, need I say more??? LOVE it, though it's pretty expensive for us.

3 - AJ's Restaurant in Mountain Home - We actually love going there for their breakfast buffet, it's only $5 for the adults and $3 for the kids and they have everything from bacon and sausage to eggs, french toast, pancakes, fruit, biscuits, gravy, different kinds of potatoes...muffins, cake...tons of stuff.

4 - Red Robin - If you love burgers then this is the best place to go....I tried their mushroom burger and not only was it the BEST burger ever but goodness it was huge, their fries were amazing and their beer is pretty good too LOL

5 - Red Lobster - This is one we love but don't go very often, it's really expensive for us LOL But their Cheddar Bay Biscuits are to die for, their lobster amazing too and it's just really good, I don't think I've ever tried anything from them that I didn't like.

I'm going to tag:

Sarah - Because she's become such a good friend and I just love her to death, plus she's in England so I'm dying to know where she eats LOL
Eden - Another one of my favorite bloggers and also a military wife.
Sue G. - She's new to blogging and such a sweetheart.
Andrea - Fellow military wife and one of the sweetest bloggers around.
Annie - She's such an inspiration to me and I just love visiting her blog.

Ladies consider yourselves tagged...

Is it almost over????

School I mean....I swear every year it gets down to the last two weeks and I'm practically counting the minutes until it's done, I don't know why I do it because after 3 days of having both kids home fighting, yelling, bickering and complaining I'm ready to send Jasmine back to school LOL

Curt just laughs at me, what he doesn't understand is that I will gladly sacrifice my sanity for extra sleep in the mornings and not rushing to get anyone ready while walking around like a zombie with a coffee cup clutched in my hands.

Isn't it amazing the craziness every morning??? I'm telling you if they would put moms and kids on the Amazing Race we would win it hands down, you'd be surprised at the obstacles we go through and what we accomplish in those last 30 minutes before we head out the door.

You all know that Jasmine is 8 years old and she's at that stage where she is independent and downright snotty at takes all the patience I can muster not to pull my hair out and run for the hills. The back talking, the deliberate not listening topped with the NOT WANTING to do anything around the house is enough to make me question my ability as a mom, did I mess up somewhere or is this just the norm with all 8 year olds?

This morning we were doing great and pretty much ready to go with time to waste.....then it begins.

Jasmine - "Mommy where's my shoes?"
Me - "Ummm where did you leave them?"
Jasmine - "I don't know"
Me - "well look for them please, standing there is not going to make them magically appear"
Jasmine - "but I can't find them"

Yes she can't find them because she's laying on her bed staring at the ceiling like maybe they decided to hide up there just for fun....or maybe the ceiling has become a special storage area for lost shoes, could it be that we're all walking around with a cloud of shoes above our heads holding the ones we misplaced and can't find????

I think these are the things that we're not told when we decide to have kids, I think some wouldn't be that quick to do it LOL

But you know what, I don't mind, it's frustrating and it's nerve wracking and let's not even mention the constant worry we have from the minute they are born and through the rest of their lives......but it's so rewarding!

The move is coming along well right now, there's actually a site online that I use which is very helpful for the military. It's called Military Homefront and there's tons and I mean TONS of great info, tools etc to help you make your move.
They even have a calendar for you with the dates of your PCS move from one base to the other, and each day details what you should be doing, which is great because you get so overwhelmed and don't want to end up forgetting important maybe forgetting to empty the trash before the great movers come, unless getting your trash nicely wrapped and brought over to the next destination is something you would enjoy. LOL

I'm going to be super busy today, I have a house begging to be cleaned good, not that I don't clean it, but it needs a real good scrubbing top to bottom, not to mention with the move we have stuff that needs to be shining before the dreaded House inspection.

I'm by NO means a Martha Stewart, actually I would bet that if she ever came by my house she would pass out at the door. I DO keep things clean and organized...well, after following the wonderful Laura's blog, I realize I'm not that organized compared to her....something I'll work on when we get settled in the new house. LOL

I'm going to leave you with my to do's, I'm telling you I'm holding on to the Lord's hand so tightly today I'm sure I'm cutting off circulation but He's great as always and loves being included in everything I do. He'll put up with me through toilet scrubbing, laundry, mopping and sweeping and I'll be babbling away as usual.

Have a wonderful day everyone, please don't forget the Slow Cooking Thursday tomorrow and thank you to the ladies who faithfully participate every week and also don't forget the book contest, seems that only 4 people entered LOL

Image credit: GettyImages

For dinner tonight I'm making Chicken Florentine with Mashed Potatoes, yes I changed my menu around AFTER I posted it on monday. (the recipe will be up later on my food blog)

Image credit: GettyImages

Thank God You're Here - *New* - NBC - 7pm
Jerry Springer makes an appearance in the first-season finale. The comic actors performing scriptless comedy are Wendie Malick, Bill Bellamy, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Wayne Knight.
American Idol - *New* - FOX - 7pm
One of the three remaining finalists is voted off.
Medium - *New* - NBC - 9pm
Neve Campbell and Jason Priestley guest star in the third-season finale, in which the murder case involving Walter Paxton (Priestley) continues. Meanwhile, Allison's life turns topsy-turvy when her psychic abilities are revealed to the public.

Image credit: GettyImages

Changing Bed Linens
Vacuum living room and bedrooms
Clean upstairs and downstairs bathrooms
Mop kitchen and hallways floors
Clean up computer area
Clean couches......dogs are shedding and it's messing up my allergies

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

God is SO good!

Isn't it amazing when you see a miracle happen or when you have been asking for something or completely feeling overwhelmed and BAM He does something that knocks you off your feet???

Be prepared, this may be a long post, you might want to grab a cup of coffee or top off the one you already have, hey maybe a pillow and blanket too in case you fall asleep. LOL

It's always been like this for me, maybe I'm one of the lucky ones who need only ask and I receive, you would think that would be enough to keep me in line and stop me from straying at times, but I am only human so I find myself thinking that everything is fine and I can handle it on my own. "Thank you Father but I'll take it from here, things are good now", pathetic I know because I'm only setting myself up for my disappointment.

You know yesterday Susanne reminded me that God is interested in every little detail of our lives, and that is SO true, nothing is too trivial and too uninteresting for Him, and if we would only believe that we would be so much happier.

So yesterday Curt and I were stressing and worrying (surprise surprise lol) about the whole house thing. See not always can you get a house readily available when you go to your next base, some bases have a waiting list of 4 or 5 months, sometimes 18 months, which means you have to find somewhere else to live until there is an opening for you on base.

It makes it even worse when you get your orders late and pretty much only have a month or so to contact the Housing office and find a we were preparing for that, thinking that we might have to live in an apartment or something for a while.
Curt contacted the Housing Office at this base and was told they couldn't put in for a new house for us at the follow up base UNTIL the day we left here.........OH MY GOODNESS.

We would be walking blindly into this situation and not having anywhere to stay. When Curt told me this I went into pray mode, I put it in the Lord's hands and asked for his guidance, if there was anything we could be doing to fix this let Him show us the right way.

Boy were we in for a turns out that 2 of Curt's new co-workers JUST came from the base we're heading to and told him exactly what to do. Curt called up the new Housing Office and requested a house and was told "we can give you a 3 bedroom house RIGHT NOW, you don't have to wait at all, when you get here your house will be waiting for you". PRAISE THE LORD INDEED!!!!

But He didn't stop there, remember the school issue? I was actually considering Home Schooling because of not knowing where we would live and therefore not knowing which school she would be attending, we would have missed registration etc.....well now there's 2 schools that Jasmine would fall into, depending on which base neighborhood we live in and one of them we are extremely excited about, it sounds wonderful, the teachers sound amazing and the curriculum outstanding too. Everything just falls into place when you put it in the Lord's hands and quit trying to do it yourself....the minute you start trying to control and manipulate things around you you're sure to fall flat on your face.

I've got to get groceries this morning so I need to finish my menus and grocery list, I like going right as the store opens so I don't have to feel rushed or wait for that lady in the aisle just staring at the food, willing them to magically jump into her cart.....or the lady with the Borg Ear (cell phone attachment) asking very loudly if her husband would prefer the steaks or the pork chops, like I REALLY care to know what they're eating for dinner.

Anyway I have errands to run and things to do, my mother in law is supposed to visiting us on thursday so I'm trying to get the house in order while packing stuff to move. When it rains it POURS!

Have a blessed day everyone and don't forget the book contest, guess only 2 people are interested in winning it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

And so the stress begins......

It's starting people, time is starting to zip by and I'm realizing that there is a lot to do and not enough hours in the day.

We finally got our official orders on friday of last week which really doesn't leave much time for us to get new housing at the new base and arrange for the movers, coordinate TLF (Temporary Living Facility) at both bases, find a school for Jasmine, pick up medical and dental and school records etc etc etc.

It's exciting to be going to a new place but it's just the actual GETTING there that's frustrating.

Have I told you before how I hate driving long distance??? I'm not looking forward to being in the car with the two kids for days LOL

I don't know how long I'll be out of internet once we leave here and get there etc, so I'll probably be asking for some of you to be guest bloggers and I really do hope you will take me up on this offer, I'm sure whatever you blog about will be ten times more interesting than my usual long rambles about everything and nothing at all.

This coming weekend we're having a yard sale, it's time to start getting rid of things because quite frankly there's stuff that does NOT need to be going to a new house, it shouldn't even have been at THIS house but since we weren't planning on moving anywhere soon we weren't too worried about getting rid of it.
Nothing like a move to make a huge purge of your stuff.

So while I'm plowing through all the zillion of things to get done, I'm going to tell you about my next book contest.

The post is just below and it will run through this week so check out the details.

I wish I could chat for longer but I really need to get cracking on a lot of things, have a blessed day :)


Well I promised another book contest and this one I'm sure you will all love.
I just got a copy from Karon Phillips Goodman, it's her new book entitled "Pursued by the Shepherd....Every Woman's Journey from Lost to Found"

At one time or another, most of us have tried to find our way by ourselves. Like sheep that wander away from the shepherd, we wind up in undesirable pastures and in need of rescue.

Whether misguided by mistakes, lost in muddled priorities, or alone in denial, we all need encouragement, understanding, and guidance on reuniting with God. Though we don't always follow, the Lord waits patiently for us to answer His call. He will come after us every time, and the reunion leaves us forever changed.

If you have wandered, you can rest assured that God, in His grace, mercy, faithfulness, and unfailing love, will find you. If you're feeling weary, know that you can have a renewed sense of purpose, energy, and devotion. Karon Phillips Goodman reveals why you are never so lost that you won't be Pursued by the Shepherd. Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection or group study.

I've just started the book and it's wonderful, I can't wait to read it all. I went out and got another new copy to give away, so that is the one you'll be receiving if you win.

The way this will work is easy, first you need to leave a comment on this post, then you need to mention the book giveaway on your own blog or site, thirdly I want you to go over to the author's blog and leave a comment on there too (just say hi and that Sandra sent you).

The contest is open to everyone and from anywhere in the world, you can be in the US, Canada, Africa, Europe, Asia whatever, it doesn't matter, I will ship it to anywhere.

Good Luck Everyone!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Image credit: Moonlight & Roses

I shouldn't even be on the computer because I'm spending time with the family BUT I could not just stay away and not come in to wish my Mom, Stepmom and Grandmothers as well as SIL's and MIL AND my bloggy Mom friends, a wonderful wonderful wonderful Happy Mother's Day.


space "M" is for the million things she gave me,
space "O" means only that she's growing old,
space "T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
space "H" is for her heart of purest gold;
space "E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,

"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell
A word that means the world to me.

Howard Johnson (c. 1915)

Every single one of you have touched my life in one way or another, and I do mean everyone, even the bloggy friends that I have never met personally.

You bring a smile to my face everyday and you've been there with me through the ups and downs, the laughs and the joys of being a mom, but I know that we all have one thing in common, no matter how tough things may get and no matter how many days we have where the only thing we want to do is pull our hair out and run for the hills, WE WOULDN'T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD.

So I hope each and every one of you have a blessed and wonderful Mother's Day....hope you're

sleeping in and being brought breakfast in bed, getting tons of hugs and kisses and handmade cards and pictures from your little ones (or big ones)....and most of all I hope you know how special you all are!!!

Curt and the kids fixed breakfast for me this morning and then Curt and I got to sit at the kitchen table, sipping coffee and playing a game of cards.....PERFECT!

Curt then presented me with tons of jewellery, I got a tennis diamond bracelet and a matching diamond mom necklace, a Tiffany Style Heart Necklace and matching bracelet (like the one Jennifer Aniston wore on Friends)

A rope chain necklace and diamond earrings.....yeah, I couldn't believe how many beautiful pieces I got. Isn't he just a wonderful husband?

Jasmine showered me with handmade gifts she had been working on for weeks, literally, I'm not joking :) She gave me crafts made at school and things she put together on her own....needless to say I had a good cry.

Nicholas gave me the biggest hug on earth when he saw me this morning and without any coaxing from anyone, said "Happy Momma's Day".....then he broke my heart, not in a bad way, but when everyone started talking about gifts, he started bawling because he hadn't bought me anything. Is there anything more heartbreaking than that??? WE got to hug for a long time while he cried about "I didn't get anything for you", so daddy told him he'll take him to the store this afternoon and he can pick whatever he wants to give mommy....his reply "LOTS of big candy"...THAT'S MY BOY! LOL

So I'm spending my day watching movies, reading books and doing whatever I want to, yes it's MY day and I've earned it, I've worked hard for 363 days out of the year just to have this one day for myself, to be the boss, to let my hair down and eat extra cookies if I want to....*sigh*

I'm going to leave you with some pictures I took yesterday afternoon when we went for a drive, we just jumped in the car and drove, sometimes it feels great to do that, no time restraints, no rushing to be somewhere or worries about things left hanging while we drive....try it sometime, you'll be surprised at how much fun it is and how good for the soul.

Have a great day!

Get Your Own!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wow it's hot today!

I took this photo on the way to Strike Dam last summer, love the sunflowers

We're actually going to be in the 90's today and I am assuming this weekend too, hence the pool being filled with water as we speak.

I am lucky because I tan easily so right now my hubby and kids are all jealous of me, they were commenting on how dark I already look just from walking to school every afternoon to pick Jasmine up, and it's great, but the only thing I hate are the marks left on my feet by the flipflops LOL
It's so funny because if I walk around barefoot it looks like I am wearing white flipflops, the little line is so prominent you can't help but see it.

So yesterday afternoon when we got home from school, Curt was already here and ready to go to the park with the kids, I usually stay home so that I can get stuff done in peace and quiet and without having to continually clean up after know what it's like, you pick something up and before you know it's back out and a mess.

It was so hot and so nice outside though that I decided to go along, it was fun, I got to swing, something which I haven't done in years and I truly enjoy. Nothing like sitting in that swing pumping your legs and going higher and higher, you close your eyes and imagine you're 5 years old again just out enjoying a summer afternoon. It is very healing spiritually, all the stresses and the worries seem to melt when you're out in the sun.

We got back home and we were all tired and hot and starving so I had to make something fast, I decided to go with the Asian Beef Wraps and OH.MY.GOODNESS. They were absolutely delicious, Curt actually took some to work today for lunch, that's how much he enjoyed them. Not only are they quick and easy to make, they're light, they're healthy and they're so yummy, really, give them a try you won't be disappointed :)

While you're there check out my "Favorite Ingredients Friday" I'm sharing some picnic recipes.

Now switching gears to books, I finally finished my Fannie Flagg book and LOVED it, actually that doesn't even come close to how much I enjoyed this book, Ms Flagg is now one of my favorite authors.

I just started Pursued by the Shepherd by Karon Phillips Goodman, it's amazing, it's just what I needed at this point in time of my life and it brought tears to my eyes. Here's the great part, I am going to be giving away a copy of this book next week on my blog....I'll have the details for the contest up on monday so if you're interested and think this is a book you would enjoy (I think every woman would benefit from reading this one), check back next week.

Misguided by mistakes, muddled about priorities, alone in denial . . . life is forever found wanting until we're found by God! Exploring how women may lose their way, Goodman reveals that we can never stray so far that the Shepherd stops seeking us. Gain forgiveness for wrong paths---and guidance back to the Lord of green pastures.

Just below you can find my "Show and Tell" post, if you want to play along go on over to Kelli's blog and add your name to Mr Linky.

I'm leaving you with a look at my day, God Bless,

Image credit: GettyImages

For dinner tonight I'm making Crisp and Creamy Baked Chicken (the recipe will be up later on my food blog) with Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Image credit: GettyImages

Most Haunted - Travel Channel 11pm
Castle Keep; Newcastle

Image credit: GettyImages

Changing Bed Linens
Getting Pool set up
Prepare for Yard Sale next week