Thursday, August 30, 2007

Our Daily Fight!!!

I just had to post this video I saw over at Annie's blog, it literally reduced me to a blubbering fool and I cried my eyes out. It so wonderfully depicts our daily fights as Christians.



Funny thing, it took me a couple tries to get this video up, everytime I put the video on my post my browser would shut down.....me thinks someone isn't liking what I'm about to share with other Christians....too bad!!!!

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!



Thank you to all the ladies who participate every week, I can't tell you how much I enjoy your recipes.

Here's mine for today, don't forget to leave a comment and your name on Mr Lin
ky so the rest of us can come save your recipes to try them out :)

I'm sorry I'm so late in posting this today, things are just hectic this morning, anyway, here's my recipe.



Ham, Eggs and Hasbrowns

1 pkg. hashbrowns (frozen)

2 c. ham (diced)

1 onion (chopped)

1 green pepper (chopped)

6 eggs

1 c. cheddar cheese (shredded)

1/2 c. milk


Layer in slow cooker as follows 1/3 of the hash browns, 1/3 of the ham, 1/3 of the onions, 1/3 of the green peppers, and 1/3 of the cheese. Keep layering till all is gone.

Put everything else in a bowl and stir well.

Pour over your layers in slow cooker.

Cook: Low 10 to 12 hours

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Tamale Casserole Recipe



INGREDIENTS

* 1 pound ground beef
* 1 egg
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 3/4 cup cornmeal
* 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
* 1 (1.25 ounce) package chili seasoning mix
* 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
* 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a bowl, combine the egg, milk and cornmeal until smooth. Add corn, tomatoes, olives, chili seasoning, seasoned salt and beef. Transfer to a greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours and 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How was I to know???


Remember my eye problems, being on the computer too much has given me eye strain and thenI was having this problem where I would wake up in the morning and my eyes were really red and remained that way all day long.

I finally stopped last night and decided to think back to when this started and if there was anything different that I had done. Then it hit me.....about 2 weeks ago I bought new make up, new mascara and eye liner. The minute I started using those is when my eyes started getting red and itchy. You would have thought that I could make the connection straight away but I didn't, so I continued wearing it everyday and I admit..............one or two nights I completely forgot to remove it.

I guess I'm allergic to whatever was in that make up, I removed it all yesterday afternoon and instantly saw an improvement. I've kept it off and I'm going make up-less today........which means wearing sunglasses everytime I step out the house, I refuse to traumatize the little kids at school or any adult that comes into contact with my bare face. LOL

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I was over at Barb's blog and she just amazes me, she continues saying she's NO Martha Stewart but again I beg to differ *snicker* She always has some sort of project going on, the cutest little things you can imagine. She just finished an Advent Calendar which is to die for and now she's getting ready to make the cutest Fleece Blanket.....so now she's motivated me to start or rather, FINISH some of the projects I have laying around. One thing I'm going to start soon is all my christmas decorations etc. Yes I know it's a couple months away but if you knew me, you would understand the need to start them this early.

Chances are, I will get sidetracked along the way or lazy and they will end up being put aside until NEXT christmas.

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I've been keeping up to date on my house cleaning, since cutting back computer time I get so much more done. I've decided that computers are wonderful but also addictive in a bad bad way. If you find yourself sitting at the computer desk for half a day or more, you know something is wrong.

Yesterday I got all the bed linens changed and washed, I swept the whole house and mopped, finished all the laundry and put it away, hung up my kitchen curtains and did my menus for next week.

Today I have some more laundry to do, I intend to stay on top of it so it doesn't accumulate, I need to make the grocery list for friday and I also want to go through my crafting supplies and fabrics etc and see exactly what I have and what I need. Should keep me busy for a while.


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Get this, the housing at this base is privatized. The houses are NOT fenced in, so the back yards are wide open, something that bothers me because I can't let the dogs out without being on a leash, or let the kids just go play unless one of us is out there. I just called to find out about getting a fence and aside from paperwork it will cost us about $12 a month or more depending on what we want.........I only have one thing to say "WHAT the HECK?"
Now we have to measure the pros and cons, the pros of not having a fence is that they come in and mow all the lawn, water, do the landscaping etc.....obviously the con is the kids and dogs.

Now do we want a fence bad enough to pay $12 a month or more and mow ourselves etc......or do we just continue to take the dogs out on a leash, let the kids play outside with us there watching and let the housing people do all the work???? I am lazy, I'm kinda leaning towards letting them do it all LOL
What would YOU bloggers do???

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I posted a recipe on my food blog, for a Blender pie. It's one of those easy desserts that you throw in a couple ingredients and VOILA, great custardy pie.



Now doesn't that look tempting??? It literally only takes a couple ingredients, dump them all into a blender, mix it up, pour it in a pie dish and bake it....it can't get any easier than that can it???

I'm keeping this one short, I have things to do and eyes to cure....doesn't that sound wonderful??? LOL

Besides, I just took a sip of my coffee without realizing it's gone ice cold, it's just nasty nasty nasty, this means I need a refill so I'm out of here. Have a great day everyone and please don't forget the Slow Cooking Thursday tomorrow.

Before I leave though, go on over to Mari's blog, her Works For Me Wednesday tip for today is about the Slow Cooking Thursday......she's a genius I tell ya. Go on and check it out.

God Bless,

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Trip to the Library!!!


If there's one place I love more than my own kitchen, it's the library. Anytime I go anywhere in the world, my first thought is to scout out the nearest library, I don't know what it is, maybe I was a librarian in a past life (if you believe in reincarnation or whatever lol).

Seriously, the books, the smell of the books, even the librarians themselves bring a huge smile to my face, I want to run up and wrap my arms around them and yell out stuff like "I LOVE you, you mean the world to me". Of course I may end up arrested and in a looney bin!!!

This morning, I grabbed Nicholas and headed to the library on base. I had an idea of where it was but had never been there before so I guess in a way it was like an adventure. Did I tell you the base is separated by a main road????? The housing and commissary and BX, hospital school etc is on one side, then across the road is where you find all the squadrons, the work areas, the post office, library etc. It's pretty annoying in a way because you have gates everywhere, so you get out of the housing area and have to show your ID to get into the other side of the base and then vice versa when you return. Yeah, a little on the annoying side, but that's why they're building a bridge to go from one side of the base to the other. And with all this I just realized I went completely off track of what I was talking about...........you'll have to excuse me I tend to just say what comes to mind LOL


Nicholas is suddenly obsessed with Scooby Doo, I mean, he can NOT get enough of it. Scooby Doo movies, computer games, books, toys, you name it, he wants it.
That was part of our mission today, finding anything at the library that he would have fun with.
We came home with 2 scooby doo books and a movie. He's a happy camper.

For myself I picked up:

Cooking for Mr Latte
by Amanda Hesser (A novel and a cookbook in one, I mean, come on, how lucky am I?)

With this ring, I'm confused by Kristin Billerbeck
She's finally found that nice, good-looking Christian guy who-gasp-actually wants to commit, but will she make it to the altar with her sanity intact?
The Best of Amish Cooking

Betty Crocker's 4 Ingredient Dinners

So anyway, I have been trying to open myself up to this new base and to trying to like it. Yes I say trying because I don't like the heat, I don't like the place, I don't like the people and of course when you're already going in with a negative attitude I doubt anything will make you happy. At this point they could be lining the streets with gold and I'm sure I would find something to say about it........wrong wrong wrong attitude to have. I'm changing it and I'm working on embracing the new base. We'll see how it goes, you know I like to babble about everything on my blog so I'm sure you'll be hearing about it more. LOL

One of the biggest changes I'm making is the time I allow myself on the computer. My eye sight has been deteriorating and then because they were so red, I was using Visine and Clear Eyes, which turns out is only making it worse. Great isn't it, I look like I'm on crack 24/7, it's NOT becoming at all. I've stopped with all the eye drops and this afternoon I'll be working on a new schedule for me, that includes assigned time for computer. NOTHING more and NOTHING less. There's no need for me to be on here all day long, it hurts my eyes, it hurts my back and it's just ridiculous.


I'm bringing out my fabric stack and my sewing machine and getting down to work. I also have a Recipe Scrapbook that I'm working on, I have books to read and the house to take care of, tons of recipes I want to try etc.....so finding something to keep me busy will definitely not be an issue.

I've also missed having my hour everynight, hubby keeps the kids and I get to crawl into bed and read a book or watch tv etc. You have no idea how it helps recharge me at the end of the day.

Anyway, I'm leaving you with what is around me, my thoughts etc. God Bless.


On my bedside table:
Dancing at Midnight by Julia Quinn
The Experiencing God Study Bible
With this ring, i'm confused by Kristin Billerbeck
Cooking for Mr Latte by Amanda Hesser

On board from Netflix:
28 Days Later
The Illusionist

Latest interests:
Scrapbooking
Baking the best Molotof (portuguese dessert)
Online Movies

On my mind:
My Uncle
Preparing Nicholas for Kindergarten

Learning:
How to bake the perfect bread
Making my own DVD's
HTML

Making:
New Schedules
New Home Office Filing Cabinet

Looking forward to:
Trying the new Seafood Restaurant
Watching movies in bed
Going to Yard Sales this weekend

Enjoying:
Watching Nicholas growing
Seeing Jasmine become independent and responsible
Trying out new recipes
Discovering new places around the base

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's a gorgeous morning!!!!


We've had thunderstorms for the past 2 days and it feels wonderful, it's been so hot lately that the rain coming down is a welcome sight....of course the humidity it brings is not that great, but I'll sacrifice some clammy feeling skin for it.

It's a gorgeous morning, the sun is peeking through the gray clouds and there's some droplets still left on the green grass. You can still smell the rain, is there anything better than that???

So what have I been up to around here???
Yesterday I worked on my computer, installing a new hard drive with 300GB because well, I'm a girl and I tend to download so much stuff that after a while it starts slowing down dramatically. I swear, the more space you give me, the more I use. So anyway, Curt installed the new hard drive for me and then I spent the day cleaning up old files, deleting programs that are no longer needed etc. Computers are like a house, you have to keep up with them.......I admit, I'm bad about it though, there's months that go by without a second glance at the recycle bin or anything else. Bad bad bad!!!!

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Then I decided to watch a movie, now I have a stack of movies that we've bought and gotten from Netflix, that I have yet to watch. So I neatly stacked them all in a pile and am determined to get through them this weekend. The first one I watched was United 93 and I have to tell you I went through a rollercoaster of emotions during that movie.

The first one was definitely anger, the minute I saw the terrorists right at the beginning of the movie and KNEW what they were about to do, anger overwhelmed me, I have never felt so much resentment for someone. This is not a movie for the faint of heart, it brings back way too many memories from that dreadful day.....the images replaying of the second airplane hitting the towers put me right back on September 11, 2001. Tears rolled down my face and I felt like I had been punched in the gut repeatedly....but I made it through the whole movie and ended with an enormous feeling of love and pride for the passengers and crew aboard Flight 93.

They literally "fought to the death".

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Anyway, I spent a while in the kitchen too, fixing some Crab Rangoon for dinner. They do take a bit of time to make but they're well worth it....add a salad and you're good to go. I still have a at least a dozen left so that's what we'll be having for lunch.


I used Wonton Wrappers for these and when I look at them they remind a lot of Samoosas, a popular indian street food. I remember eating them a LOT back in South Africa, it was one of our favorite treats......I haven't had them in years so I think it's time to make some, I will post the recipe for you all next week.

For dinner tonight I have some Pork Ribs in the CrockPot. I added some salt, pepper, garlic and a bottle of beer, layered the ribs with some sliced onions and set it on low for 8 hours. It smells heavenly right now, I can't wait for dinner time!

I've got the dishes done and I'm halfway through Mount Laundry, it's days like these that I wish people were allowed to walk around naked. It would save so much money, not just on clothes but on laundry detergent, water....get the picture??? LOL

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I'm about to go get settled down to watch another movie, I think I'm going with The Fountain.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Past, present, future. Through time and space, one man embarks on a bold 1000-year odyssey to defeat humankind's most indomitable foe: Death. Hugh Jackman plays that man, devoted to one woman (Rachel Weisz) and determined to protect her from forces that threaten her existence. His quest leads him to a Tree of Life...and to an adventure into eternity.
After that one I think I'll watch The Illusionist, I've heard such great reviews about the movie.

So there you have it, that's what I have planned for today. I'll also be getting some reading in, the Tucker Mills Trilogy and Julia Quinn's "Dancing at Midnight". Am I the only one that has 2 or 3 books going at once???? I wish I could just grab one and stick with it but I tend to loose focus or get bored and then I have a book in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, one in the living room.....reading them all at the same time. It doesn't seem to bother me, though I would think it would become confusing. What can I say, I have a passion for books like nothing else....well maybe, cooking.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone, I leave you with one of my favorite songs. Enjoy!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

A meme and some other stuff!!!

The sweet Michelle over at "Big Blueberry Eyes" tagged me for this one and it's been so long since I've done a meme, I am actually excited.


What's in a name?

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

For the facts:
C = Cooking fanatic
L = Love to read, anything actually, but especially cookbooks....as if you couldn't tell LOL
A = Air Force Wife and extremely proud of it
U = Understanding and Loyal
D = Definitely a daddy's girl, must be cause I'm the only girl amongst 3 boys.
I = I'm still on the spiritual journey to a closer relationship with God
A = Always looking for ways to better myself

For the tag:
C = Crochet the Blues Away
L = Life is a Journey
A = A Good Cup of Coffee
U = Unexpected Journey
D = Denise at The Knitting Den
I = I'm an Organizing Junkie
A = Air Force Family

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Image credit: Georgia Janisse
It's 7:30 am and I'm exhausted, yeah you read that right, I just got out of bed and I might as well not even laid down last night......Nicholas is now sick with the cold and he's cranky, running a fever and congested, so we were up all night.

Being the lazy mom that I am, I kicked hubby out of bed so he could get some good sleep (see I'm not that mean lol), brought Nicholas into bed with me and called it good.

I'm thinking the one pot of coffee I have ready will be my savior today or else I will be falling asleep on the computer, while doing laundry or in a corner of the house somewhere.

You know what I hate???? BUGS, creeply crawlies of any kind just give me the willies and unfortunately being in Arizona we're surrounded by them. I have the biggest cockroaches on earth, you could seriously ride these buggers, that's how big they are. Then the other night I went to the parent/teacher night and Curt watched the kids.....I get back and the kiddos tell me that we have a new family member......a orange and white lizard. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?

They're all going about their business like nothing is wrong and I'm standing there literally grossed out and getting the shivers just thinking that I'm sharing my house with black tiny little bugs, ants, elephant sized cockroaches and now a lizard. This is NOT a wild life conservation, we may get a little out of hand at times and the kids do act like animals on certain days but COME ON........I'm just waiting for one of these bugs to look up at me and say "hello". LOL

Right now I'm making some of Barb's Breakfast Burritos, she once said that I probably make them more than her and I think she may be right. I use these not just for breakfast but for lunch or a light dinner, I just LOVE them.

Curt is working weird hours this week, he has to be up at 3:30am which is just awful for him, he doesn't get that much sleep but thankfully next week it's back to the normal hours. He's also told me that here soon he will be spending most of his saturday night's at the Phoenix Cardinal Stadium, his squadron sells beer there during the games. Funny thing is he's NOT a sports guy at all, he doesn't enjoy football or baseball or anything and I think he only watches the Soccer World Cup because I DO. LOL
So anyway that is what is going on for him right now.

Jasmine is doing great in school, she's loving the teacher and her classmates. She's disappointed because this school has NO field trips. It's sad, I mean don't we all love field trips??? But anyway being in third grade they'll be doing Science and Social Studies etc, so she's excited for the hands on science class. Me not so much just cause I know she'll be filthy by the time she gets home......but hey, it's worth it if they have fun while learning right???

Nicholas as you all know is sick and being cranky and whiny, but he cracks us up with the things he says and does, he's just at that funny age.

Anyway, I finished my English Garden Series by Lori Wick and I'm sad in a way, I was really enjoying the books. I've started the Tucker Mills Trilogy though and I have to say I'm not into it that much, but I'll keep at it and I am sure I'll start enjoying it.

I also got some movies from Netflix today, got 28 Days Later and The Illusionist, both I've been dying to see.

Oh speaking of seeing, you know what I'm completely addicted to??? Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, I mean, it's certainly not for the faint of heart, but I find it so fascinating and I love him, there's something about the way he explains things and takes us on his travels that I really enjoy. Of course the minute he starts chugging down thousand year old eggs, worms and frog hearts that are STILL beating........that's when I close my eyes or turn away.

Well I best get back to my burrito making. You all have a wonderful friday, I'll be back tomorrow with the Five Senses Saturday.

God Bless,

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!



Thank you to all the ladies who participate every week, I can't tell you how much I enjoy your recipes.

Here's mine for today, don't forget to leave a comment and your name on Mr Lin
ky so the rest of us can come save your recipes to try them out :)


ESTOFADO

Estofado is a southwestern beef stew.

2 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed of any excess fat, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks and blotted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup smooth or chunky tomato salsa
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Pinch of dried oregano or marjoram
1/4 water
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a zippered-top plastic bag or a bowl, toss the beef, in batches, with the salt, pepper and flour.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil until very hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes, then transfer to the crock. Add half the beef to the skillet and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Brown the remaining beef in the oil and add to the cooker. Add the salsa, vinegar, oregano and water to the cooker and stir to evenly distribute.

Pour the wine into the skillet and place over medium heat. Stir constantly, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan; it will reduce a bit. Pour into the cooker and stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. If the estofado is too thin, thicken it up with a little cornstarch. Serve with rice.




Sunday, August 19, 2007

Well there go the uniforms!!!!


I tell you, I have the worst luck in the world.

School started last week monday and I was thrilled that they were wearing uniforms, I even showed you pictures and had told myself that the $200 I had spent on them was a good investment.

Well thursday, we get a letter from the school. After 8 years of having uniforms, they are no longer going to be used....kids are back to wearing whatever they want. Are you flipping kidding me???? How's that for luck??? Couldn't they have made this decision BEFORE school started and before the parents spent a ton of money on the uniforms??? I'm livid, I'm disappointed and I'm frustrated.

We're back to fighting over what she wears for school, so now I have to go buy new clothes YET AGAIN. They told us that they can still wear their uniforms, but they can mix and match etc....which I guess is not too bad, because she WILL be wearing them. *Sigh*

I'm having a really hard time lately, I thought that the longer I was here at the new base, the better I would become acclimated and would actually start liking it, but unfortunately it seems to be having the opposite effect on me, on ALL of us. I miss Idaho terribly, the kids are constantly crying to go back home and even Curt is not happy at work here, he too wishes we could just go back to Mountain Home.

It's just too busy here, there's too much going on, it's too hot, the air quality is NOT great, my allergies are getting worse, Curt is having a hard time breathing and the people (the ones I've come in contact with) are extremely rude. Can you hear the whining in my voice???? I hate being whiny but goodness, it's overwhelming.

I pray every day that the Lord helps us get used to this place and that in time we will all grow to love it here. I'm just bitter and homesick and I think it's affecting my attitude towards it too, I don't think I'm opening myself to liking it anymore and THAT has to change. No worries though, I'm a tough cookie and I'll meet Him halfway.

It's sunday and I realize I haven't updated since Thursday. Thank you all for the wonderful Slow Cooking Recipes, YUMMY. I've saved them all and I'm getting quite the Crockpot Recipe Collection :)

I have some cleaning to do today but I'm holding off on that for a while, I'm not feeling too well, I think we're all coming down with a cold. Curt told me to just relax and leave the rest for tomorrow, I've already done dishes, laundry, swept and mopped the floors etc. I guess I COULD leave the rest but I'm such a neat freak, if things don't look right I get hives LOL

I may just lay down and finish my last book of the English Garden Series by Lori Wick. I am just absolutely loving this series, what a wonderful set of beautiful Christian stories. If you haven't yet read Lori Wick you really should give it a try, she's amazing.

I have her next series to start after this one.....The Tucker Mills Trilogy. I also just stopped by PaperBackSwap and picked up 4 more books....

Highlander in her Bed - Allie MacKay

The London Trilogy:
By Possesion - Madeline Hunter
By Arrangement - Madeline Hunter
By Design - Madeline Hunter

I'm ending this post with one of my favorite songs and my favorite soap couple, Jason and Sam from General Hospital. I just can't understand why the writers would ever break them up, I've watched soaps for so many years and I've never come across a couple that has so much chemistry. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!



Thank you to all the ladies who participate every week, I can't tell you how much I enjoy your recipes.

Here's mine for today, don't forget to leave a comment and your name on Mr Lin
ky so the rest of us can come save your recipes to try them out :)

Today's recipe is one which we really enjoy, I like making it on the weekends when we're not looking to have a sit down meal but just a light lunch or dinner.


PULLED JERK PORK SANDWICHES



2 1/2 lb pork boneless shoulder
1 tablespoon Jamaican jerk seasoning (dry)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup cola
2 cups barbecue sauce
8 sandwich buns or flour tortillas (8 to 10 inch)

1 - If pork comes in netting or is tied, do not remove. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Rub jerk seasoning over pork; sprinkle with thyme. Place pork in cooker. Spirnkle with onion. Pour cola over pork.

2 - Cover and cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.

3 - Remove pork from cooker; place on cutting board. Remove juices from cooker and reserve. Remove netting or strings from pork. Use 2 forks to pull pork into shreds. Return pork to cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved juices. Increase heat setting to High. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes or until heated through.

4 - Spoon pork onto buns. You can heat up the remaining juices in a pan and use it for dipping.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Little Annoying Things!!!

You would think that after almost 9 years of being a mom, I would have learnt some lessons by now and known to avoid certain things. Like, asking your child what they want to eat. WHY WHY WHY do I continue to do that????

It's so much simpler to get something and place it in front of them than ask them what they feel like because I can tell you in 30 minutes, yes it takes about 30 minutes for them to decide.....they will go from a sandwich to chips to fruit to jello...no cake....no applesauce.....no I just want a drink....no wait I want a cookie......ok cookie...no no wait.....I want a banana. OH MY LORD........I feel my body slowly sinking to the ground and I want to reach up to my hair and just start pulling it out. My eye starts twitching and I keep saying to myself "you just never learn do you???" LOL

That is one of those little annoying things that drive me bananas about being a mother. It's also one of the things that I'm going through a lot more lately with Nicholas, the boy just likes pushing our buttons.

For dinner last night I tried the Enchilada Casserole in the Crockpot, it was really good, it got a thumbs up from the family so I'm going to add it to our list of favorites.

I got a picture of the kids this morning as we left the house to take Jasmine to school. I can't begin to tell you how much I'm enjoying the school uniforms thing, what a relief in the morning, not having to figure out what to wear.


I apologize if I don't seem to have much to say today, I seem to be drawing a blank. It was my Uncle's Funeral so I'm sure you understand.

Don't forget about the Slow Cooking Thursday tomorrow, I am eager to see what kind of yummy recipes you'll be sharing.

God Bless,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It feels good to be back to a normal routine!


I love the summer and I love having the kids at home, but it does get frustrating at times, especially when they're fighting and bickering over trivial things such as who gets to sit where on the couch, who takes their bath first and who's towel belongs to whom.....and God Forbid either one drink from the other's cup, we have total shutdown, Threatcon Alpha, Call the President Drama.

School restarted yesterday and Jasmine was happy but also worried and scared, it's a new school and new teachers so she felt a little overwhelmed, it was hard to just leave her there and walk away. I spent the whole day doing what mom's do best......worrying and hoping she was doing fine. When I went to pick her up she was all smiles, talking a mile a minute about how much she likes the teacher and her classmates and she made a friend named Samantha etc. Isn't it always like this??? We worry for nothing!!!

Here's a picture of her AFTER school, I tried to take a photo in the morning but the batteries on the camera were dead.
She's not used to the heat though and since she's fair skin, she has a hard time being outside. Their recess is 45 minutes long and she made it through 15 minutes before having to go inside to see the school nurse, she said she was feeling really sick from the heat. Poor kid!!! I probably would have been right there with her though, it was 113 degrees here yesterday. Again, WHY do we need such hot weather, what for??? I'm perfectly happy with 90 degrees.

I've been missing Idaho lately, I mean, REALLY missing it. I've tried to keep an open mind and to get settled and accostumed to this new home but it's hard, one day I'm ok and then the next I just want to cry. We're seriously considering moving back to Idaho when we're done with our assignment here.

I managed to visit some blogs yesterday and I apologize to those that I didn't, but I've decided that in order for me to maintain some sanity and to not feel like blogging is a chore, I will first comment on the blogs that take the time to come and visit me and then if I can, I will get to the others. There's nothing worse than feeling like blogging is an obligation, it just takes all the fun out of it for me.

Anyway, not much going on here today. I'm hoping to get to the last box that needs to be unpacked, it's driving me crazy seeing it sitting here against the wall. It's like it's taunting me, everytime I look over I feel as if the box is crying out "For the love of God, just empty me already". LOL

Oh I almost forgot, I have to tell you about my new favorite cleaner, it's called Simple Green. It's what we used when we were cleaning the other house for inspection....let me tell you something, this stuff cleans SO SO well, I actually use it undiluted for my floors and they come out white and sparkly clean. I use it in my kitchen, in the bathrooms, the laundry room, the floors, everywhere. I just love it.


I have to work on my grocery list for tomorrow and a few other things. I'm going to cut this post short and I'm sorry if I babble about a million subjects at once, I could never just stick to one topic when it came to blogging. Guess I get bored easily LOL

Have a great day everyone, and to my family in South Africa, I LOVE you guys more than anything in this world, wish I could be there with you but know that we'll all get through this together....and Uncle Carlos, we miss you more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.





Right now I have an Enchilada Casserole in my new crockpot....it smells so good. I will make a salad to go with it and a Pecan Pie for dessert.




Just for Laughs
Singing Bee
Dirty Jobs



Wash the bed linens
Finish Grocery List
Write letter to mom and grandmothers
Finish Laundry and Put it away

Monday, August 13, 2007

A new week, A new beginning!!!!

Image credit: Laterlife.com

If you've been reading my blog you know how things have been for me, my heart is still breaking over my dear Uncle, but life has to go on right???

Well come on in and sit with me, I will tell you all about the great gifts I got for my birthday. Before I do so though I have to say, it's SO quiet in this house. Jasmine started school today, it was sad seeing her go off to third grade. You know we all want our children to grow up but as the years go by and they get older, I can't help but want to hold on to the "little them".

It's a new school, new teacher, new classmates and needless to say, she was overwhelmed and terrified. I stayed with her a few minutes, she was close to tears which of course means, I WAS CLOSE to tears. It's so hard to walk away from them isn't it???

Anyway I'm sure she will have a wonderful day and I can't wait to hear all about it :)

Now onto my birthday, it was bitter sweet, I have my wonderful husband who went out of his way to make it the perfect day, but I also had my dear Uncle passing away that day. I laughed, cried, laughed again, cried again, blew out candles and cried some more....it was an emotional rollercoaster I tell you.

I did get a LOT of great gifts....my favorite has to be my new crockpot. That's right, hubby got me a NEW crockpot. I Love it, it's a Hamilton Beach 6 Qt. programmable with a Thermometer Probe too. I can NOT wait to use it!


I also got a ceramic hair straightening Iron, Shower Gel, Body Lotion and Body Spray from Bath and Body Works......Sea Island Cotton and Dancing Waters.

I got 2 cd's, Hinder and Casting Crowns - Lifesong which I LOVE LOVE LOVE, I don't think there is one song on the Casting Crowns CD that I don't like.

I also got a couple DVD's....United 93, Disturbia, Ghost Hunters Season 2.

I also got perfume, a cookbook, flowers and balloons, chocolate and a Vidalia Chop Wizard.
So there you have it.....I got spoiled and I'm just so blessed to have the family I do.

I don't have much planned for today, other than the usual household chores and by the way, Jen, I am so sorry I forgot to post my Routine, this is pretty much the one I follow when the kids are back to school. I may have to tweak it a bit here and there because it's the one I had in Idaho and now things are slightly different here in Arizona....but not much will change at all.


Oh before I forget, I also posted my menu plan for this week, over at my food blog. Some of the recipes are being brought over from last week because I ended up not making them, we went out WAY too much and I'm literally sick of food that is not homemade.

Last night for dinner I made a quick Onion and Potato Soup, the same one my greatgrandmother used to make for us. The family loves it, Curt actually had 4 helpings LOL
I have tons of leftover soup, so that's what Nicholas and I will be having for lunch.

Well ladies, I have things to do around here so I'm going to let you go, hope you have a wonderful monday. I will be coming by to say hi either this afternoon or tonight after the kids are in bed.

God Bless,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Remembering Uncle Carlos


Praise Through the Storm

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On friday I was talking about my birthday and the fact that this was just any other day, nothing memorable, nothing that would make me forever remember my 33rd birthday. Then the phone rang and for the first time in my life, I didn't want to answer it, I could hear my brother Miguel asking me to pick up and I had this overwhelming feeling of just letting the machine pick up. I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT when it's my family. Sure I'll do it if it's a telemarketer or a weird number I don't know, but NEVER with family.
(1 Peter 5:7 KJV)
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Then I picked up the phone and got the news that my Uncle Carlos had passed away. I literally felt like I had been punched in the stomach, in just a few words my whole world came crashing down around me. He was my Uncle, I loved him more than I could ever say and I can't believe that he has passed away.

When you get news like that you go through different emotions, the denial, the shock and then this feeling of pain, deep in your heart. Pain like you never feel before, pain that is kept I'm sure just for situations like this, the news of a loved one moving on to a life in Heaven.
(Matthew 5:4 KJV)
Blessed {are} they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
I think for us what is the hardest part is that it was sudden, there was no grief preparation unlike when someone is ill and we know that death is inevitable.

Uncle Carlos was a beam of shining light in our family, he was the kind of man that everyone clinged to, he made you laugh until you cried, he was an amazing cook, an amazing family man and an amazing musician. He spent his life doing what he loved best, singing and performing for some of the most well known hotels.....he was the One Man Band entertainment that indulged listeners in the oldies, the songs that we love to hear. I still remember watching him playing "Hey Jude"...."What a wonderful world"....."First of May" and so many many more.


Through the grief and the shock of knowing my wonderful Uncle is gone, I remember bits and pieces, it's like a puzzle to the memories I have of him. I remember visiting him in Cape Town when he was living and working there at one of the hotels.....we laughed so hard, I swear if anything weird or hysterical was going to happen, it would happen TO HIM.

I also remember going with my brother Bruno to stay with him in Botswana when he was playing and working at one of their well known hotels and casinos. Again, I have nothing but wonderful happy memories.

I don't think I ever saw him upset, he was such a calm and gentle man, he took everything in stride, not ever letting the small stuff get him down. He loved his family with all he had and there's nothing he wouldn't do for one of us. I thought of him as a father, not just an Uncle, and I vividly remember the last time I spoke to him on the phone, it was 2 years ago. I remember his voice, I remember him telling me he loved me and missed me, I remember his laugh and it's so heartbreaking to know that I will never be able to do that again.

Heaven has won another angel and just like my Aunt told his little girl Emma "See that star??? God wanted someone special to go play piano for him and he picked daddy". He sure did, He couldn't have picked a better person, the Heavens are blessed with his beautiful music and I'm sure my grandfather and greatgrandmother are rejoicing with him, they loved him so much too and he loved them.

And the rest of us are left behind, knowing we will get through it and will continue on, but missing him terribly and pushing through this immense pain and heartache, content in the fact that he is now with God and with his dad and grandma, but also selfish enough to want him here with us, to play and sing yet another song, to cook another delicious meal, to laugh with us over the crazy stories in our family, to pick on my dad for all the medicine he takes or to shower my grandmother with hugs and kisses while naughtily smiling at my dad, knowing that he would say something like "Good Grief Carlos, enough with the kisses and hugs".
They were brothers, they were best friends and I know my dad's heart is breaking right now.

Tio Carlos, we love you so very much, you leave behind so many people that adore you and will miss you every day that you are gone, but you also leave behind a legacy of love and I know that you're smiling down on us and probably laughing thinking we're all being too mushy. There's a place in my heart that will forever be etched with your love and I can not wait to one day reunite with you in Heaven. Until then, I will miss you more than words could ever say. You were our life and I would give anything to have just one more moment with you, just one more hour to hug you and tell you just how much I loved you, but I know that you are well aware of it.

Rest in Peace Uncle Carlos!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Friday and it's My Birthday!!!!

UPDATE: I was just saying that there was nothing memorable about this day, nothing that would stick out in my mind. Boy was I proven wrong. A few hours after I wrote this post, I got a phone call, my heart is breaking and I'm sad and completely distraught, my uncle passed away. I loved him to death, I can't even begin to express how heartbreaking this is for me, and on my birthday, there's just no words. He leaves behind a wonderful wife and a sweet sweet 3 year old girl. Please send some prayers their way and for the rest of my family too, this was my dad's brother and I know that his heart is breaking too along with my grandmother's.

Uncle Carlos, I know that you're in heaven and I know that you're in a better place but we will never be the same without you, you have left a hole in our hearts that will never be replaced. I love you and I can't even begin to tell you how much I'm going to miss you. The heavens have won another angel but we've lost an important part of our lives.



Today is my 33rd birthday and although I reached a point a couple years ago, more like 10 years ago or so, where I don't get excited about birthdays, for some reason this one has me a little freaked out.

There really isn't anything exciting about turning 33, other than being a year older and lot wiser....well wait, I guess the wiser part could be the exciting thing??? But this one of those birthday's where you don't find a special section at your local Hallmark, and you don't hear anyone talking excitedly about turning 33 and the big bash they're about to have. It just IS!!!

It's quite frightening thinking that there's no going back to 20 or 21 years old and then I start to wonder just what exactly could be coming my way. What does life hold for me, by this time next year, will I still be sitting in the same chair, on the same computer, at the same time and blogging about how pathetic I was complaining about turning 33 when now I'm turning 34??? Will I be healthy or sick, have the same circle of friends, have finally gone back home to South Africa to see my family????

If you let yourself start wondering and asking the what if's, you may as well book a bed in the nearest asylum because that's where you will end up. So I'm taking the high road, I'm just going to sit back and let it play out, just enjoy the day (it's one like any other for me, except for the birthday presents), eat cake which my thighs are already having a party of their own at the anticipation of another slice of heavenly rich cake being ingested.

Oh make no mistake, there WILL be cake and not one made by me either, not that I wouldn't do it but hubby refuses to let me bake my own cake so he's getting me one.

I was sitting here trying to remember what I've learnt the past 33 years and I'm typing this and I've got tears in my eyes. Has that ever happened to you?? You don't even know why you're starting to cry, you just are. I must the most emotional person on earth, good grief.

There's been ups and downs and joys and heartaches but everything that I've gone through has made me the woman I am today and for that I'm thankful and I'm blessed. The Lord has had a firm grip on me from a very young age and he does let me stray but it's only to show me that I can't do it all on my own.........the minute I become complacent that's it, it's like a warning sign ringing out in my head "You're heading for a fall, You're heading for a fall....wake up wake up". And yet, just like a child who's been told over and over not to do something, I just do it allllllll over again LOL

But anyway, I've had a good life, I have a wonderful husband and children, I have the best family in the world who I love more than life itself, the best parents and stepparents and grandparents and brothers and sisters (I consider my sisters in law my actual sisters) and nieces and nephews and dogs and allergies and unmanageable hair and 33 year old thighs........you get the point!!!

So anyway, I'm going to have a normal day with my kids, eat cake, open presents and just hang out. Hope you all have a wonderful day, and have some drinks for me!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!



Thank you to all the ladies who participate every week, I can't tell you how much I enjoy your recipes.

Here's mine for today, don't forget to leave a comment and your name on Mr Lin
ky so the rest of us can come save your recipes to try them out :)

I tried 3 crockpot recipes, 2 of which I had shared in past Slow Cooking Thursdays, and they were a hit with the family. The Rigatoni and Sausage and the Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken....the other one was a Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya which I substituted Smoked Sausage for the shrimp. They were all SO good!!!

Here's the one for today:


ORANGE THYME CROCKPOT CHICKEN

6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Dash ground nutmeg
Dash garlic powder
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Combine thawed orange juice concentrate (not regular orange juice) in bowl along with the thyme, nutmeg, and garlic powder. Dip each piece of chicken into the orange juice to coat completely. Place in Crock-Pot. Pour the remaining orange juice mixture over the chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for about 4 hours.

When chicken is done, remove and keep warm. Pour the sauce that remains in your Crock-Pot into a saucepan. Mix the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water well (no lumps) and stir into the juice in pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Serve the sauce over the chicken.

Serving suggestions: Serve with rice


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Taking the Proverbs Challenge!!!

I'm taking the Proverbs Challenge, do you want to join me??? August has 31 days and Proverbs has 31 Chapters, PERFECT!!!

If you want to read the rules or find out how to participate go check out this post and then join me and others.

You know the funny thing is that when my MIL and her hubby were here visiting he was telling me about Proverbs and how it's great to read a chapter a day during the months that have 31 days.....how neat is that??? Ok Lord, I get the message, I'm on in, reading Proverbs is what I need to do this month, I may not know exactly why yet, but I'm sure it will come to me.

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I've been spending way too much time on this computer, so much so that it's giving me headaches and messing up my eyes. No matter how much I sleep my eyes are still bloodshot and burning and itchy, yep I think it's time I cut back on the computer time and let my poor eyes heal. I often wonder how the people who work on computers daily, ever survive the beating on their eyes.

You know it's my birthday next week, on the 10th??? I'm turning 33 years old and it feels so darn weird to me because it seems that just yesterday I was graduating high school. I don't feel mature and old LOL I feel like the same old Sandra, still quirky and crazy and weary of responsibility, do we ever outgrow that feeling???

So, it's saturday and we're staying home, usually this is the day we run around and do all our errands in, but not today. For one, Curt is on weekend duty standby which means he has to be here in case he gets called in but I also don't feel like going anywhere, I think I want to lay in bed and read all day, maybe watch some movies or something. I need a quiet day after the craziness of moving and jumping right into normal life and not to mention school restarting on the 13th.

I have a question for you all...........do you also go through the Spiritual Rollercoaster???? I call it the rollercoaster because I've noticed that at times I'm extremely faithful and connected to the Lord, devouring everything in the bible and spiritual books that I can find and then suddenly, a month goes by, two months go by, three months and I realize that I've lost that connection, well maybe not LOST but definitely misplaced. I stray and that is usually when things start going wrong and I find myself wondering why.

I've been on the down side of the rollercoaster for a couple months and I miss the peace and the harmony I felt when I was closest to the Lord....having something happen and feeling nothing but peace and comfort in the knowledge that God will take care of it.

Well I'm happy to say that I'm back heading to the top of the rollercoaster, the past week I've felt this yearning for the Lord's word. It's quite scary when that happens because I literally feel like a scavenger, searching and searching for the christian music, the bible, the christian books and the devotionals and nothing seems to quench that thirst. So I'm throwing myself into it completely and letting it happen.

I've been listening to Michael W. Smith which has always been one of my favorites, I'm reading the Bible, I'm taking the Proverbs Challenge and I'm also reading Grab a Broom, Lord. . . There's Dust Everywhere!: The Imperfect Woman's Guide to God's Grace!!!
Oh and I've also rewatched my Nooma DVD's which if you have never watched, you really really need to.........my favorite is "Rain" go here to see the whole clip.

Things don’t always work out the way we want them to, or the way we think they will. Sometimes we don’t even see it coming. We get hit with some form of pain out of nowhere leaving us feeling desperate and helpless. That’s the way life is. Still, it makes us wonder how God can let these things happen to us. How God can just stand by and watch us suffer. Where is God when it really hurts? Maybe God is actually closer to us than we think. Maybe it’s when we’re in these situations, where everything seems to be falling apart, that God gets an opportunity to remind us of how much he really loves us.

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For dinner tonight I'm making the Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken, I can't wait to try it, I'll let you all know what we thought of it.

With that my dear friends I'm leaving you, have a blessed saturday.!

Friday, August 3, 2007

It's Friday already?!?!?!?!


Michael W. Smith - Healing Rain

Morning everyone, I can't believe it's friday already, I feel like I've been on a never ending race this week, I'm tired and I still didn't accomplish all that I needed to get done.

I'm starting with one of my favorite songs "Healing Rain" by Michael W. Smith, isn't he just amazing??? He's actually going to be on tour in South Africa and my brother and sister in law are dying to go see him, I told him to go because it's worth it. Can't wait to hear about it :)


Last night I fixed the Rigatoni and Sausage for dinner, it was really good, the family loved it and the kids even had seconds.....now that is when you know you have a winner.


When I was at the library a week ago, I picked up this book called "Saving Dinner", it's from the Saving Dinner site and the Food For Thought Column at Flylady.net, who doesn't know the FlyLady??? The great thing about this book is that it's separated into the 4 seasons and has menus/shopping lists and recipes for every week. BUT it gets better because each week has one crockpot recipe.....how cool is that???

If you happen to see this book at your library or bookstore, be sure to pick it up, I think you'll enjoy it.

I still haven't made it out to your blogs, things have been hectic to say the least.

Two days ago we had another of the good Arizona rains, so much so that I walked into my laundry room only to realize I was splashing water........yeah, the water was coming in from the outside and flooding my laundry room. THEN my toilet in my bathroom started leaking....when it rains it pours right????

One of the great things about living on base is being able to just pick up the phone and call Housing Maintenance, having them come in and fix or replace whatever is needed and we don't pay a single thing. I love it.

Oh I have to tell you, I walk into the commissary the other day and almost threw a party, I was at the bakery and see Portuguese Bread Rolls....do you know HOW long it's been since I had one of these beauties???? I couldn't believe that they make them just like the original ones and every day. Guess where I go for my bread every morning???? LOL

Well ladies I have things to do, hopefully get caught up on everything soon so I can spend the afternoon visiting your blogs.....please stop posting for a while so I can catch up. LOL No???? Oh well, it was worth the try wasn't it???

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. God Bless,

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!



Thank you to all the ladies who participate every week, I can't tell you how much I enjoy your recipes.

Here's mine for today, don't forget to leave a comment and your name on Mr Lin
ky so the rest of us can come save your recipes to try them out :)

CROCKPOT CHICKEN TACOS


6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cans tomatoes with green chilies
1 package taco seasoning mix

In a Crock-Pot, add all ingredients and cook on low 7-9 hours or until chicken is tender and easily shreddable.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with warmed corn tortillas, shredded cheese, salsa, and whatever else you like with your tacos. Add a bit salad and you're set.


REALLY EASY MIXED BEAN CHILI


1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 jar salsa
1 10-ounce package frozen corn
1 sweet potato, cubed

Dump everything into a crockpot, set on low, and cook for 6-8 hours. Mix well before serving.

Serving suggestion: Serve with a big green salad and some corn muffins.