Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My day!

I got this idea from another blog and I thought it would be perfect for today since I have nothing to say LOL

Outside my Window... the hummingbirds circling the backyard and playing in the sprinkler

I am thinking...about the fact that my passport is STILL not here and I travel in two weeks (prayers please)

I am thankful for...not feeling as sick as before

From the kitchen... portuguese beans

I am give the kids a bath and settle in for the night

I am reading...The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillippa Gregory

I am hoping...that this awful virus will leave us once and for all!

I am hearing...the kids playing in the bedroom

Around the house...the dishwasher is running

One of my favorite things...warm bread with butter!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...packing for the trip, last minute shopping, grocery shopping

A picture thought to share for the day...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Well it's just April and we are at 96 degrees.......

makes me wonder just how hot it will be by July???

I was watching the news yesterday and they were saying that by summer time there will be some areas hitting 150º. SAY WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Am I supposed to be happy, scared, sad or should I start saving for an indoor ice rink?
I mean really, 150º, that's not even funny!

Anyway, needless to say it's really hot here, we've started walking to school in the morning and then just driving in the afternoon because there's no way the kids and I can handle walking in that heat, even in the car it's horrible.

I don't have much going on here, trying to get everything packed and ready for our trip which is just over two weeks away, I can't even believe it, I keep telling my family that I'll only really believe it once I'm there.

So what have I been doing to spend my time??? Reading and watching tv, mixed in with housework and not feeling too great......I'm seriously beginning to believe that I don't bode well with Arizona. I used to get colds and sometimes allergies back in Idaho once in a while but this is just ridiculous, I feel that ever since I moved to Arizona I've been constantly sick.

If there's anyone out there that has gone through the same or has any advice, I welcome it. I've been researching online and it seems that this area is just awful and they're actually telling people to leave if they have allergies or respiratory problems because the smog and the pollution is just horrible and a lot of people suffer all year long. Guess I'm one of them!

I can't wait to be in Africa for a month, I'll see how I feel there and if I'm doing good, I'll see how I react once I'm back here, if things don't get better, I'm going to the doctors for tests.

Anyway, just wanted to drop in and update you all on my goings on, I'm about to go do bath time with the kids and then I have American Idol and Dancing with the Stars to watch....hope you're all having a good Tuesday!

God Bless,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I bring photos....

One of my favorite things to do is look through photo albums, which is something I can tell you I will be immersing myself in back home in South Africa.

As a matter of fact, there is a certain plastic bag filled with all of my great grandmother's photos (circa 1900) that I would just love to get my hands one touches them, my brother's could care less about old photographs because they're boys after all LOL But me, I would treasure them and I would scan them and post them for you and place them into beautiful little albums etc. Oh the possibilities are maybe just maybe I will be lucky and my grandmother will allow me to bring those back, along with old cookbooks and bake ware that is no longer used by anyone but was my wonderful Bio's.

So the photos I have to share with you are not that old, as a matter of fact they're from last night LOL
First the birthday girl and her cake....I've said before I'm not a baker, well I'M NOT A BAKER and I am not good at decorating cakes, I got through Nichola's Yoshi cake with a lot of prayer and I'm sure God's hand leading mine as I went LOL
For Jasmine it was easier, she's a girly girl and her favorite color is pink, so really how wrong could one go with that?

I just LOVE this one, nothing like an unprepared photo and they're usually the ones to turn out the best.

So last night around 7:30pm the kids and I headed to the back yard. Curt was working and would be arriving home around 8pm, he had taken off a little early so he could be here for Jasmine's birthday cake. We waited until he got home to do that!

It was just gorgeous outside, the sun was setting leaving this beautiful orange pinkish glow in the sky and there were tons of birds around. I'm not joking, if only I knew what they were called but I'm not bird literate at all LOL I can tell you that they're big or small, black or blue and white or whatever.......but the ones that I DO know are the hummingbirds and I had never in my life seen one up close....until last night.

There we were hanging out by the swing set when what looked like huge bumblebees with a birds body came zooming by over our heads, then back to the grass, circling and flapping those tiny wings so fast you can't even see them.

I tried to get some photos but those little buggers are fast. I'll just be prepared from now on, we have Honeysuckle in the front of the house and I know they're around there so I'll grab some photos if I can.

I did get some of the kids out there:

And now I have to show you one of my latest obsession. The Trash Ties....oh Lordy what did I get into? If you don't know what these are, you don't know what you're missing, I'm by no means an expert at them, as you can see by my photo it's still a little messy but whatever, I love the pink (my favorite color) in the black of my hair, I think it looks cute.

And I got completely distracted LOL Anyway, Trash Ties are the brilliant invention of Heather from "HELLOmynameisHeather" you know her right???? She actually is located here in Mesa near me, how neat is that?

So she came up with these hair thingies that are just so much fun, I got some red ones and some black ones too and it's been fun messing with Jasmine's hair and mine, of course it's easier on her because I can't see what the heck I'm doing with mine LOL

Anyway, just thought I would share it without you, they're especially cute for little girls.

Now before I forget, Merideth from Crockpot asked me to pass this info along to everyone and she's been such a sweetheart that I couldn't say no.

The “Small Changes” campaign asks people to share a story about a small change they have made in their lives on the new site and with each story shared Country Crock Omega Plus will donate a meal to a family in need through America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network.

“Small Changes” encourages families to share the simple changes they make in their lives to better their family’s health and well-being. These little things can add up to make a big difference, whether that involves taking a bike ride after dinner, walking to work instead of driving or going to a concert to enrich the mind, body and soul through music.

We hope that you will encourage your readers to log on to to share the small changes they make to better the lives of their family members, and we hope people will borrow small changes from others on the site to enrich the lives of those they love. Again, for every small change shared, a meal will be donated to America’s Second Harvest to help a family in need. We can all make a big difference one small change at a time!

Isn't that a great idea? Please share it on your sites too, the more people participating, the bigger the impact we can all make.

So you wondering what I'm doing today right??? Aren't you??? I'm gonna tell you whether you want to or not LOL

Right now I'm about to go put my Cola Wings in the crockpot, just imagine chicken wings, coca cola, jalapeno peppers....mmmmmmmm. I'll let you know how they turned out.

The rest of the day will be spent doing laundry, putting it away and hopefully sneaking in my new "Road to Avonlea" disc. I just got it in the mail and I'm dying to watch it, but I'm getting sad because I'm pretty much near the end of the series.

I hope you're all having a wonderful saturday, get on out there and enjoy the day, I may just grab the kids and head to the park for some fun or even step outside to the backyard for some bird watching, you never know what you will find.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Jasmine!

9 years huh????

This beautiful child of mine has been the love of our lives, bringing us joy and at times heart ache and definitely keeping us on our toes.

Jasmine Savannah, a red haired green eyed little firecracker. She's impulsive and smart and quirky and sensitive and way too independent for her own good. She can amaze you with her knowledge in one minute and then drive you completely insane with her lazy streak in another but she's my love and I am so thankful and so blessed to have her.

I just hope that she continues to be this amazing human being, loving and respectful of others as she has shown to be since she could talk and walk.

She's a great big sister, yes she has her moments, the sibling rivalry kicks in at times, but there's nothing more precious than to see her hold Nicholas hand to help him cross the road, or get him a drink because he's thirsty or throw her arms around him and squeeze him tight as she says goodnight.
It's a bitter sweet feeling for me, here is my little baby growing up to be a beautiful young lady and I want to celebrate and smile but then my heart squeezes and hurts to know that she's getting older and as much as I want to shelter her and keep her under my wing, that time is quickly I loosen the cord and hand her over to the Lord and know that He will love, protect and watch over her the same if not better than I ever could.

So Happy Birthday my sweet daughter, we love you more than words could ever say and we're extremely proud of you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

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.

German Potato Salad

6 cups peeled and thinly sliced potatoes
1 large chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup water
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp ground mustard
6 slices cooked crumbled bacon

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Mix potatoes, onion, and celery in crock pot. In a small bowl, combine water, vinegar, sugar, tapioca, celery salt, and ground mustard. Pour over potato mixture. Cover and cook on low 8 hours, high 4 hours. Prior to serving, stir in cooked crumbled bacon. Serve warm.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pull Apart Caramel Coffee Cake!

How about surprising your kids tomorrow morning with this for breakfast? It's really easy and super quick but OH so good.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Time to ask for your help!

I'm no stranger to trips with small children, not just car trips but airplane ones will be our first time doing such a long and exhausting international trip with the kids.
They are really good for the most part and they do enjoying flying but this is a treacherous flight, it's horrible enough for us adults and believe me, by the time we get to Europe I'm DONE and don't want to step foot in another airplane, so I can't even begin to imagine how this will be on the children.

I need your help, I need your advice, your tips, whatever you have to offer I'm willing to take and believe me, every single comment will be greatly appreciated.

Just to give you an idea of how long this is....we will be taking 3 flights, the first one is about 2 hours, then we have a 5 hour layover, then an 8 hour flight to Europe and then a 3 hour layover and the last flight to South Africa is 10 hours long. My eye is twitching just typing this out LOL

So I beg you, please please help a stressed mommy out????

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I finally got some sleep last night, after two nights of tossing and turning and this horrible cough keeping me away, I was able to get some rest.....I won't say it was a full night's sleep or that I slept like a baby, but it was something and I already feel much better just with the small amount I got.

At least today I can smell and taste. Is there anything worse than trying to eat or drink when you're sick and everything tastes like cardboard???? For someone who loves food the way I do, it's just torture.

I was so sick yesterday, fever, chills, cough and sore throat and my voice was pretty much gone. By the time dinner rolled around I was just done in and didn't have the energy to get up and cook so we had frozen tv bothers me. I'm serious, it really really bothers me having to serve it to the kids. They love it, they don't care but for some reason it just downright annoys me LOL I guess there comes a time when I have to say "look, you're sick and you're doing the best you can, just deal with it".

So they had kids meals and cake for dinner and they were happy....I was all proud of myself for getting through dinner time and thanking the Lord for giving me the strength for it when all I really wanted was to crawl into bed and not move an inch.......but Curt is working those weird hours which mean bedtime falls on me, sick or not, rain or sunshine.

I LOATHE bedtime. You think I'm joking but I'm dead serious, it is the one time of the night that I completely utterly LOATHE. The excuses they will come up with not to go to sleep are just ridiculous.

I'm thirsty
I need to go to the bathroom
There's a weird sound in my closet
What's that light on the ceiling
Where's my favorite teddy bear
But why didn't you read me a story tonight, I can't go to sleep without a story
Where's daddy, I want him to put me to sleep
I'm hot
I'm cold
I need another blanket
Take the covers off of me
Can I have a snack
But I'm dying of hunger
But I really need a drink of water
Can you turn on the radio
I don't like the dark
I don't like the light

I could just go on and on and on and you would think after doing this for years they would have figured out that no matter what they say they will STILL be going to bed, but no. Every night they push the envelope a step further and every night they try to come up with yet another excuse. Lord give me patience LOL

Anyway, I need to get going, we have to run to Walmart to get some last gifts for Jasmine's birthday on friday. She's actually upset because there's no school that day due to some Teacher Meeting or something, so she's insulted that on her birthday she has to stay home with us. Now I'm the one feeling insulted, are we not good enough? LOL

I tried to get her some stuff at the BX (Base Exchange) yesterday but again they were moving shelves and departments around so I headed for the toy section and ended up staring at lamps and comforters. Weird!

They had all the toys in carts and boxes so there was no way I could find anything.

Hope you're all having a great day, please keep me and the passport issue in your prayers, I am truly hoping it comes in soon, there's not much time left now until we leave.

God Bless,

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cloudy and Dreary!

That's what it looks like today and it matches the way I feel.

Whatever this virus is that is going around it's really persistent and annoying to boot. Last week Jasmine was home from school 2 days, she had a bad cold, a bit of a fever, sore throat, cough etc....I should have known it would come my way but I didn't think of it, see I was kinda busy dealing with the sore neck/shoulder whatever, so I kinda/maybe/definitely forgot to arm myself against a possible cold.

Needless to say yesterday my throat started hurting and last night, oh last night.....UGH, I spent the whole night trying to sleep through the knife that someone so kindly left lodged in there. Please remove it and take it back, I don't want it.

Yes I know my template has changed, I got a craving for green. Everyone is going green nowadays, there's all these programs and shows and all this green splash of color everywhere and I HATE to be out of the loop, so why not?

I hope you like it, it's simple but it's making me happy, it's like a perpetual summer time on this blog. Think of it this way, I'm trying to provide a hideaway for all of you that are still dealing with the crazy cold and snow out there. See? I do love you all! :)

I'm not sure what my day is going to be, actually, I have an inkling because this poor old (lol I love referring to myself as old lately I don't know why....maybe it's to see Curt's annoyed look) body of mine is going nowhere. I will blame it on the clouds and the fact that I'm sick and maybe climb into bed with a hot cup of tea with honey, pop in my "Road to Avonlea" and just drown out the world.
Forget the laundry, the floors that are asking to be mopped, the living room that the kids have messed up while playing last night. I'm going to rebel today and do something I NEVER do.....I'm not making any beds. YIKES! *I literally felt the gasp of shock around the world*

Jasmine is old enough to make her own, Nicholas can just pull the covers up over his and mine, well mine is going to be holding my little body in, so no use making it right??? If you only knew how it gives me hives to think of unmade beds and an untidy's like my fingers are itching to go, but NOPE, I'm putting my foot down today. It's MY turn to lay down and recuperate and get's less than a month now for our trip and there's no way I'm showing up there after 10 years with a snotty nose and a croaky voice.

Dinner tonight is whatever the kids and daddy are fixing, I guess. I was supposed to make some seafood gumbo but I'm not sure I'll be up for it....that will have to be tomorrow's meal.

Right now Curt is running to Taco Bell....Oh I love him, I love love love this man. He sees me not feeling well and he knows what will cheer me up.....a Bacon Chalupa! YUM!

I'm out of here, my head is pounding and the knife is still hanging here waiting for it's rightful owner to claim it, please be don't be scared to step forward I promise no charges will be filed, as a matter of fact I'll be so thrilled to have it gone that I'll cook you dinner. Not tonight, read above for details....but maybe another time?????

God Bless you all.....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Darn Yummy Pasta!

So I was standing in the kitchen, wooden spoon in hand and staring at the refrigerator. I have a menu planned but for some reason I somehow messed up and didn't buy anything for today.........must have been during my "really tired just want to crawl into bed and sleep the week away" anyway, I had to come up with something.

In this house, pasta is the staple. You can't go wrong with it, I'm serious, you can't, so I pulled out a bit of this and a bit of that and box of this and a can of that and before I knew it I had dinner on the table and big rave reviews from the kids.

So here you doesn't have a name other than,

It's Friday and I couldn't be happier!

Because this week was crazy and because I need a break and because it's another week down before my trip home.

I know you're probably sick of hearing about it but for me it's a dream come true, the thought of my children seeing my home and my family for the first time is something I have thought about for so long and I plan on catching everything on camera. The first time their little toes feel the sand on the beach, the first time their eyes meet the ocean or a lion or elephant at the Kruger National Park......the first time their little hands hold their grandfather''s those little things that I'm just thrilled to see.

So we've been planning and deciding and talking and laughing and reminiscing and hoping but I know that as with any other plans sometimes things change, but instead of worrying about it, I'm going to throw care to the wind and say "I don't care because I'm home".

This morning I checked on my passport and it seems that it's FINALLY being printed and I couldn't be happier, it's been a worry but something that I've managed to put in the Lord's care and NOT worry about it at all. If you know me and you've been reading my blog for a while, you KNOW the issues I have with this, I'm more of a "Here you go Father, I am putting this problem in your hands"..................................then I wait 5 minutes............................bite my nails for another 10 minutes..............................start looking up and wondering if I did the right thing..................and then:

Me - You know I gave you that problem and said I wouldn't think about it? Well I've been thinking and is it taken care of?
Lord - You just gave it to me, remember things are done in MY time not patient!
Me - Right but you know I have a problem with control, so why don't You just give it back to me and I'll do it my way.
Lord - Are you sure? You know you need My help?
Me - yes I'm sure, just give it back, thanks.....

The next day................darnit nothing ever works the way I want it too, I don't understand. Problem is I DO understand I just don't want to admit it LOL

So this time I honestly didn't worry, didn't flinch, didn't cry, didn't have a pity party. I did think about it, I did wonder and I did my part, I did everything in my power and everything that I could possibly do, no stone left unturner, the rest I left it up to the Lord and as always, He embraced it and dealt with it.

Now onto something else, I've been craving chocolate, and NO I'm not pregnant LOL If that were the case I would be having children every month.........

I didn't have candy bars in the house so I just made my own using Jared's recipe and let me tell you, this is just sinful and dangerous and SO bad....but SO good. Here, help yourself to some:

Now if you want some for yourself, just grab 2 bags of chocolate chips, 1 bag of walnuts and 1 bag of dried cranberries and go check out Jared's recipe, you won't believe how easy it is.

I'm off to watch the last episode on my "Road to Avonlea" Disc. It really is my getaway to a simpler time, I love it.

Wouldn't you just love living in Prince Edward Island? I'm thinking a vacation there is in my future. :)

Have a wonderful day everyone, I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

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.

Yesterday I tried the Dark Chocolate Walnut Cranberry Clusters and they are just
divine....thank you Jared.


Yield: 10 servings
2 lb Chicken breasts/skinless Boneless/ cut in 1' cubes
2 c Fat-free chicken broth
3 c Potatoes; peel, cube
1 c Onion; chop
1 c Celery; sliced
1 c Carrots; sliced thin
1 ts Paprika
1/2 ts Pepper
1/2 ts Rubbed sage
1/2 ts Dried thyme
6 oz No-salt-added tomato paste
1/4 c Cold water
3 tb Cornstarch

In a slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients; cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Mix water and cornstarch until smooth; stir into stew. Cook, covered, 30 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pork chops or Chicken?????

The recipes are posted on the food blog, go forth and conquer the kitchen ladies.....or whatever LOL

Bloggy Love!

You know when you have those days that you just draw a blank and have no idea what to blog about???

That's when you turn to what's going on in bloggy land because let's face it there are so many wonderful bloggers out there and there's always a contest or a fun meme or even prayer requests going on.

Jeannene at "Love Conquers All" is celebrating her first bloggy anniversary, we all know what a big deal that is right? So she's having a giveaway and according to her:

*Stay tuned and be ready in "TWO DAYS", trust me, there will be not one, not two, not even three or four but more winners for my "special one year giveaway" just for YOU!! All you have to do is just let me know you "READ" this post and drop me a comment and will draw a name the night of my Anniversary.

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Looks like another Bloggy Giveaway Carnival is getting ready to launch on April 21st, go on over to Chilihead's blog for more info.

Annie is having her Time Travel Tuesday today and it's all about the prom baby. That's right, she wants to hear all about it, your dress, your date, memories etc. So go on over and share that with her :)

Niki at Nostalgia at the Stone House is taking us on a trip to Bath, you'll see such beautiful pictures as this one.

Karon is talking about "Aging Gracefully" today, boy do I need to read that LOL Lately I feel like even though I'm not old, my age IS starting to show. Pains hurt more, last longer and seem to show up out of nowhere......weight doesn't come off as easily, the doctor has told me to start taking calcium and just like Karon mentions in her post.....people under 30 have started calling me "ma'm" *blink blink*

Bev at "Scratching the Surface" has posted something that has left me amazed and wanting to go out and get it NOW, right this minute. Problem is that I can see myself using it all over the house and then it might feel like I'm living in a book or something with words all around me. But I know for sure it's going in my kitchen....and living room.....and bedroom......Oh Bev what have you started?

One of my favorite blogs is "Simple Folk", I just truly admire Amy, she's a sweetheart. Her and a couple of other ladies who live on farms are doing a six week blog-a-thon and the first week was all about aprons.....ooohhh aprons. Go and take a look.

And then we have our friend Kelli at "There's no Place like home" and today she's trying to corrupt me with yumminess.
If you don't believe me, I have proof, just look what she's sharing today....tsk tsk tsk LOL

Sheila has a GREAT post today on "When you don't see eye to eye with your husband". Is she talking about me?? LOL

And that's it, I think I've covered all the major bloggy happenings. I'm off to finished laundry and then I have floors to sweep and mop. HATE doing that.

God Bless,