Friday, February 29, 2008

Chili and Apple Dumplings!

Dinner is served.

Go on over to Full Bellies, Happy Kids for the recipes. I would offer to take you there myself but after eating both of these delicious dishes for dinner, I can't move, I really really can't without risking injury to myself LOL


Morning Sunrise from my backyard

"Home is where the Air Force Sends you"

Truer words have never been spoken, you see as a military family you never really get to place your roots down in one particular place, you're more like nomads going around, settling down over here and over there. There's no specific tree in my yard that I can point out to the children and say "when you were 2 years old, you used to.........".

But that's ok, we love our life and we love being in the military. How many people get to visit and live in so many different states, sometimes all over the world without actually having to pay for it? So we think of it as paid vacations, something we'll one day think back on and remember with love.

So after being in this house for 8 months, we're moving tomorrow, to another house on base, just a few streets.

I won't be here to post, I will be busy but I did go by the new house earlier and got some pictures, it all looks so bare right now, but give me a few days and I'll be posting the photos with everything done, our new NEWHOME.

This is the front of the house and you know what those three plants are under my kitchen window? awesome is that?

My kitchen, everything is pretty much the same as this one just that it's facing the other way. Just imagine we took my house now and flipped it.

The guest bathroom, with a skylight


Ohhhhhh Ohhhhh be still my heart! It's a Clothesline EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Excuse my clear excitement over something as trivial as that but I'm sure my older readers KNOW how much I miss mine back in South Africa.

I can already picture my sheets and my tablecloths hanging there in the summer sun.

From the backdoor facing the kitchen and the hallway on the left.

Now remember that ORANGE tree? LOL It seems that overnight it turned into a LEMON tree. No I'm not kidding, I could have sworn it was an orange tree so you must imagine my surprise when I got there today and saw it filled with lemons. HUGE lemons.

Lemonade, Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Cake, Lemon Muffins. Ohhhhh Yum!

Love my Honeysuckle!

So there you go a first look at my new home, there will be more to follow in the next few days, and just to show you how big the lemons really are, here's a picture of Nicholas with the one he picked.

I have to laugh that thing is almost as big as his head

What did we do with our first lemon??? Well it's really hot here today so when the temperature heats up, one of our favorites things is a glass or in this case a McDonald's cup *snicker* with ice, coke and a slice of lemon. Oh heaven!

I'll be back tonight with two new recipes for you.

Our dinner which is Mom's Firehouse Chili, it's been simmering in the crockpot all day and it smells divine.......and for dessert? Are you ready for this????

Apple Dumplings baked in MOUNTAIN DEW! My hips are rejoicing, my thighs are clapping along and my poor waist is crying because it's worked so hard exercising and now it knows what fate awaits it. But it's ok, the next few days I'll work out all the excess Apple Dumplings while pulling and hauling a house around.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oh my poor friend Susanne!

One of my favorite bloggers is Susanne at "Living to Tell the Story".

Unfortunately on Tuesday she fell down her stairs and broke her hand, apparently it's broken in such a way that she will need surgery on Monday so they can insert pins in her hand.

You know Susanne is one of those amazing women that you just can't help loving, she always has a way of making you smile and shares her love for the Lord constantly on her blog.

Shalee over at "Shalee's Diner" is keeping us updated on her and has asked us all to bring our friend Susanne to the Lord in prayer and petition starting today and covering her through at least next Wednesday. Praying at least once a day for her.

I certainly can do that and I know a lot of my readers know Susanne too, so let's pray for a quick recovery for her. She continues in good spirits and just asks that the Lord help her heal quickly so she may return to work soon.

The calm before the storm....or the day before the move?

Good Morning everyone, isn't that a beautiful sunrise?

You know I find myself squinting when I look at the photo LOL
I can just picture you all with your hands up to your foreheads covering the sun's glare as you gaze into your monitors.

It's thursday and I'm already mostly packed, I'm not packing the whole entire house, since we're moving just a few streets down, we're going to try and keep things built and together as much as possible.

Really, I just went through an ocean of packed boxes 8 months ago and it's not something I want to revisit anytime soon.

Thank you all for the prayers and thoughts for Jasmine, she came home from school yesterday and said her headache was returning but it wasn't very bad and it only really seemed to hurt when she ran or stomped around too hard. So I'm convinced this is all from her stuffiness and cold that's still lingering around.
She woke up this morning fine and with no aches at all, praise the Lord.

She's off to school, in her cute little braids and looking as sweet as sugar. Just love my little girl, one look at her face and I want to scoop her into my arms and hide her from the world.

So I tell you what's going on here, other than packing, I've been enjoying watching some good shows on the tv and reading my "The Constant Princess" book. I'm almost done with it and have loved it as much as I did the previous one. I truly truly enjoy Phillipa Gregory, what an amazing writer she is.

One show that I really enjoy is American Idol, I watch it every year since it started and I'll be honest and admit that usually it's the auditions that I watch for, I love watching the ones that can't sing. What can I say, it's like a train wreck, you know it's bad but you can't seem to pull away.

I do have some favorites this year, from the boys, David Archuleta is by far my number one pick, this kid can sing and wow, just amazed at him. If you missed this past Tuesday's performance, you have GOT to watch it....he sang Imagine by John Lennon and he had me in tears.

From the girls I enjoy Carly and Syesha.

But here is what annoys me on the show, the continuous fighting and bickering between Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell. I will admit right here and I may be in the minority, but I do like Simon, I think he's harsh at times but for the most part he is brutally honest and tells them what everyone is thinking but too afraid to say.

I find it disgusting that Ryan will go out of his way to attack him OR exclude him from the judge's names. What is that about? Where is the professionalism that is supposed to be part of this?

But moving on, I added a new recipe to the Food Blog for Crockpot Stuffed Green Peppers. They're SO good, the kids love the filling but completely obliterate the green peppers, it's very sad to sit there and watch them butcher the poor veggie. Tsk Tsk Tsk!

And if you have leftover filling, you can make yourself a burrito. That's what I did, I'm thinking next time I may add in some refried beans. YUM!

I want to stay and chat and catch up but I can't. We start moving tomorrow which means there's TONS to do and not enough hours in the day.

Curt is off tomorrow and the next week for the move, so I'm going to have him watch Nicholas in the morning while I got get the groceries. At first I thought I would wait until monday to do it, but people have to eat and unless I want to feed them some sour cream, or a couple olives and maybe a can of soup....I don't see how it will work.

So here's my to do list for today:

  1. Write up menus for the next two weeks
  2. Make the grocery list for tomorrow
  3. Write up the budget and bills to be paid, U-Haul rental and school yearbook etc.
  4. Put away 4 baskets of clean laundry
  5. Continue packing

I don't particularly FEEL like doing any of it, but I gotta do it.

Oh I have to tell you that for the past 3 weeks I've been doing the Slim in 6 Weeks exercise program. I do it every day, take a break on the weekends, I've dropped 4 lbs and I've lost 2 inches off my waist, my shorts and pants are actually baggy on me. I'm SUPER THRILLED and so glad. I've actually worked the exercise into my daily routine so that between 3:30 and 4pm, that's mommy time, it's great.

I'm extremely proud of myself AND my legs have never looked better either, nothing like toned shapely legs to make you feel good about yourself :)

With that I'm out. I may do a quick check in post tomorrow, probably towards the night when I'll have pictures of the new house for you and the beginning of the move.....but then you won't hear from me until monday of next week, if I'm lucky. I think I've left enough reading material on my blog to keep you occupied, it's not like you'll miss me being gone anyway, I usually just talk about random stuff, nothing that interesting and deep LOL

God Bless everyone, I leave you with this prayer for the family. It always brings me peace.

O Loving God,
bless our family with your love.
Guard us from all danger and harm;
deliver us from anger that leads to division;
empower us to forgive as we have been forgiven;
and send us into the world
to witness to your love and grace;
in the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Slow Cooking Thursday

All my slow cooking recipes are now online and starting today, I will add all the recipes shared weekly to my online site too. So if you're wanting to find ALL the slow cooked recipes that have been shared since the first SLOW COOKING THURSDAY, here is the link for you.

Don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky and a link back to your SCT post so others can come by and see your recipe too.

Credit: Taste of Home Slow Cooker Recipes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 beef flank steaks (1 pound each), halved
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 can (28 ounces) stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, mustard, salt and pepper. Add steaks and shake to coat. In a large nonstick skillet, brown steaks on both sides in butter.

Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with onion. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar; pour over meat and onion. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

There's nothing worse than a parents worry!!!

Jasmine has been sick with a cold on and off. Yesterday she still had a bit of a cough in the morning but since then it seems to have dissipated, but last night when she came running to me to say goodnight, she suddenly grabbed the top of her head and yelled out that it hurt.

She went to bed and slept and when I woke her up for school this morning again she said the top of her head hurt. She got up and started walking around and said it was ok unless she turned her head from side to side or up or down, then it hurt really bad. I HATE things like that, as a mother your thoughts start going crazy and you start wondering what it is, what it could be, what it could mean. It's annoying and frustrating to me because the last thing you want as a parent is to see your child in any kind of pain.

Within 5 minutes the headache was gone and she was back to her normal bouncy self. Now I ask you parents out there, what do you think it could be? Have one of your kids had this happen before?

In my mind I'm thinking it's because she's been sick lately and coughing up a storm. I know for myself when I cough a lot it gets to a point where my head starts hurting.

So she's in school right now and I've prayed and I've placed it in the Lord's hands and ask that he make her better, but I can't get rid of the knot in my stomach or the constant worry. "I wonder if she's ok, I hope she's not getting another headache, what if the school calls?" I literally have to yell at myself to STOP and not make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Oh but isn't it so easy to do just that? With every single aspect of our lives? How often do we exaggerate things? Enter into panic mode and then later come to realize that all it was, was a waste of time where we could have been worry free.

It makes me think of the Nooma DVD's. If you've never heard them, they are by this wonderful Pastor Rob Bell, and my favorite by far is called "Rain". Here it is for you to watch.

I can totally relate to this, to being so caught up in the moment and so overwhelmed with my problems or worries that I forget and tune out the Lord's. I drown out His comforting voice and then start getting upset because He's NOT there. Correction, He is, I'm just too busy whining and complaining to realize it.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed today, the move is suddenly become that much real, I have but 2 days to get ready for it and I wonder how I'll get it all done.

There's lists and plans to make it go as smoothly as possible and of course I've been praying for help and patience through this all. My problem is control, giving it over to someone else and not allowing myself to just relax...but I'm sure I'll be fine. I think Jasmine's headache this morning was the *straw that broke the camel's back*.

You know I'm typically a very positive person and let things slide right over me, I don't dwell on things and I don't let stuff get me down, but I also have my days, the days that I just want to crawl into bed and have someone else take care of ME. Have someone else take all the worries and the thoughts that annoy me.

That's when I realize that I've once again left the door open to the devil. You know if you let just a little crack open, he will take it. He will come right in and start placing negative thoughts in your mind, making you questions yourself and your faith. He's a sneaky bugger, so I'm closing the door and padlocking it, no more starting right this minute.

So I leave you today with a question:

How do you, personally, discern when you run into a road block, whether it is God testing you or the devil trying to block the path and merely needs to be overcome?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I'll tell you that for me, I've noticed that when I become complacent and start putting everything and anything ahead of God, that is when I start facing trials, when things start going wrong, my health deteriorates or something unexpected comes out etc.

Then there's times that I'm never been closer to the Lord and something will happen that I know for SURE is the devil's doing, trying to break me down, trying to stop me from achieving what I want. There's no real way to tell, I just KNOW!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's time for dinner!

I know, it's late and by now most of you or probably ALL of you have already eaten so here's an idea for tomorrow night's dinner.

Some down home yummy comfort food. Go on over to Full Bellies, Happy Kids for the recipe.


Finally got word on the move!

February 26, 2008 - Luke AFB

After waiting around for a week or so, Housing called Curt at work yesterday and asked him why he wasn't moving....YESTERDAY! All I have to say to that is *bwhahahahahahahahahahaha*

Oh come on, really, yesterday?!?!?! So they forget to call us to tell us to pick up the paperwork and the house key, then just call and want us to move THAT day. Alrighty then, let me get right on that. LOL

So anyway, our move is now scheduled for Friday, so I'll be away at least for the weekend and Monday, I should be back on Tuesday, if everything goes according to plan. But I've learnt that things sometimes don't quite work the way you want them to, so I'm not sweating the small stuff and I've allowed myself room for mistakes and unexpected things.

Today I'm going to be packing, taking down pictures and shelves and whatnot.....anything that is NOT a necessity for our daily life is coming down. Curt has the whole of next week off for the move, so we're going to take the opportunity to go and get my social security taken care of, then drive on over to get the kids passports taken care of too.

Not too much time left now....... before we know it May will be here and I'll be packed and heading to the airport on the way to South Africa. Please continue praying that we're able to get everything done on time and make this trip's been way too long since I've seen my family, almost 10 years.

We had one of the most beautiful sunsets last night. I don't think I'll ever get used to the Arizona skies, every single day there's something new, something standing out and making us aware of the beauty that is the Lord's work. He knows that I am not thrilled to be here, if I had my wish I would still be back in beautiful Idaho, but He also knows that I'm trying my best to adapt and to embrace our new home for the next 2 or 3 years and I think being aware of the beauty around me makes it so much easier to deal. I find that after I've witnessed yet another gorgeous sunset, I smile, I take a deep breath and say "I can do this, it's not that bad" It really isn't!

So grab your cup of coffee and be prepared for some stunning sunset pictures....the progression from late afternoon to dark skies is amazing.

You all know that I LOVE television and love watching all the different shows but there are some out there that make me sick to my stomach and I refuse to watch.

One of them is that disgusting new show called "Moment of Truth", it's appalling to say the least, the lengths some people will go to for some money. I watched the very first episode and didn't even make it through the whole thing, I got about halfway and turned it off, but yesterday while I was watching Little People, Big World (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE), I was surfing through the channels during a commercial and caught a piece of it. Some woman who sat there in front of her husband and admitted that she should be married to her ex boyfriend and then admitted that she had sexual relations with other people during her marriage.....I mean REALLY.....gross, gross, gross.

But as I was saying some shows I do love, like the one I mentioned above about the Roloff Family and Jon and Kate plus Eight, about the couple who have twin 6 year old girls and sextuplet 3 year olds. I enjoyed watching the one last night where they took an airplane trip to Utah. LOL
Curt had just gotten into bed and he watched about 5 minutes of the airplane ride and turned to me and said "Oh heck no......there is NO way I could do that" LOL

I'm going to get on the packing wagon right now, I have so much to do and so little time.

But I won't leave you without anything to do, I'll give you some ideas on what is being talked about in Blog Land right now.

If you go on over to Brandy's site, she has put up a link to the webpage for Erin, the 14 year old little girl that is still so very sick, please continue to keep her in your prayers.

If you're hungry and craving some Winter Breads to go with this nasty cold snowy weather some of you are getting....go visit Kelli, she has Banana Bread and Orange Spice Loaf with Marmalade Butter....*drool*

Katy has a great post on Proverbs - A guide to successful living in Christ, and the theme today is about marriage and not straying. She would love your thoughts on it :)

Speaking of great posts that make you think, the sweet Sarah had a great one yesterday, I have had to reread the article again because there's so much in there. Go on over and take a look.....there's some great discussion going on in the comments section.

If you're hungry (I know I always am LOL), the wonderful Barb posted a great beef stew recipe which I'm going to try this coming week, AFTER the move.

Monday, February 25, 2008

You in the mood for some biscuits????

I just made these for dinner to go with our spaghetti, they're great for when you don't have any Garlic Bread available.......they're quick and easy too, I promise!

AND I dare you to eat only one *wink*

Quick and Easy Garlic Cheese Biscuits!

For more recipes check out my food blog "Full Bellies, Happy Kids"

Hey Blogger, just a thought.....

but do you think you could maybe, just maybe, try using verification words that require normal eyesight and not x-ray or telescopic one ????

See I am a Stay at Home Mom and contrary to belief that we sit on the couch eating bonbons, I'm usually quite busy and sneak in a little blog time when I can, so it defeats the purpose if I spend oh....10 minutes just trying to get the right word combination out? Your m's look like n's....your r's look like I don't know what, so I tend to just go with what MY eyes are seeing, but apparently it's not up to your standard because you keep spitting out my comment and telling me to "Enter the letters as they are shown in the image."

So while attempting AGAIN to decipher your verification word, the conversation between me and Jasmine went something like this.....

Me - Dagnabit what is that?
Jasmine - Mommy that's a M...see?

*I type in blah blah blah M blah blah and enter, wrong........I did it wrong*

Me sighing - that was not a M. Jasmine - Well....that's what it looks like..... Me with my eyes almost glued to the monitor..... - it's an I and a N but it's stuck together so it looked like an M right? I mean that's what it was? Jasmine - I don't know, can I just go back to reading my book now.?

Pffttt, if I could SEE the right words I may get it, but as it is, I usually only get it right after the 5th or so attempt in every single blog I go to that uses these words. See this is affecting mother/daughter relationships everywhere. So please, fix it?

Guess I'll get an email from Blogger saying "it's not us it's YOU". I'm ready for it! Those are fighting words LOL

Now that my vent is out of the way, why don't you come on in, I promise I won't make you verify words to enter my house *snicker*

It's a nice day outside, we're still a little cloudy but it's hot and no rain in sight, which makes it a joy to be outdoors.

Jasmine is home sick today, she's been coughing and was a little warm today, she also complained of a headache and this is a child that LOVES school, so unless she's really feeling sick, she won't ask to stay home.

She's laying on the couch watching her favorite movie "Sky High". She LOVES anything to do with Super Heroes, Justice League and X-Men, Superman and Spiderman, Catwoman and Wonder Woman and all of the above. But she never watches movies alone, the pugs love watching tv with her, so if she's on the couch, we will always find one or both of the pugs with her.

This is Jasmine and Lola, the youngest Pug, she's such a lovable animal, she'll be perfectly content laying in someone's arms all day.

Nicholas is playing on the computer while his sister watches tv. He said she could, he was allowing her to watch her movie, I would just like to know since when has he become the master of the house, the one that makes these decisions LOL

I have never seen a 4 year old that is so good with computers. This child has been around computers and technology since he could walk and he's developed a real understanding of it.

He can turn on the computer on his own, go to the internet, click on his kid websites, play his games....turn them off, go to another website etc.

Before you freak out, we have a blocker on that doesn't allow ANY x-rated or weird sites to show up, so he only goes to the kid friendly ones.

But it's not just that, he has managed to do things to our computers that we have NO IDEA how to do ourselves. Nothing like that to make me feel like an idiot LOL

I'm taking it easy today, yesterday Curt took the kids over to the neighbors for their little girl's 4th birthday party. He knows how much I prefer staying home and having some time to myself, so he always takes the kids for me.

While he was gone, I finished all my laundry, put it all away, changed all the bed linens, swept and mopped the floors and watched "Matilda" on TV. I love that movie, it's so cute.

So today I have a sparkling clean house and all that I have to worry about is fixing lunch, dinner and snacks. Pretty neat huh?

I'm hoping to get some more reading on my "The Constant Princess" by Phillipa Gregory. The first 2 or 3 pages were a little boring for me, but now it's starting to get really good, so I'm excited to watch.

For dinner tonight I'm fixing good ol' spaghetti, garlic bread and a salad. It's easy and it's quick and everyone loves it.

For lunch I'm about to go make some scrambled eggs with sausage, cheese, onion, green pepper and bean sprouts.....I'll make some mixed veggies too. Everything the kids like.

But now I'm heading out, I need to print out some coloring pages for the kiddos so they'll be entertained while I make their lunch.

God bless,