February 26, 2007
Menu Plan Monday

Ready for another week? This plan makes life a little easier for me.

I like to be organized -- but it is a work in progress.

Visit Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie for more great plans and recipes.

Monday: Double Easy Mexican Casserole (recipe below w/my healthy changes)

Tuesday: Turkey Sub Sandwiches

Wednesday: Low-Fat Frankfurters, Buns and Veggies
(Bible Study night)

Thursday: Going to try a new crock pot recipe -- thinking Pasta Fagioli Soup or Fajitas -- saw it on another blog ... need to find the recipe.

Friday: Anniversary Service at our Church (Dinner there!)

Saturday: Homemade Pizza and
Italian Cheese Bread and Salad.

(you have to try the Italian Cheese Bread -- its yummy. I ended up making it twice last week and my kids loved it. Going to make 2 Saturday, one as a pizza and one as the original recipe. The dough is so easy to work with, and for someone as in-experienced with dough as me, this is a breeze!
Double Easy Mexican Casserole
Original Recipe:
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 8 oz. can taco sauce
1 8 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 4 oz. can green chiles
2 lbs. ground beef
shredded longhorn cheese
Doritos (corn)
Brown the meat. Add meat to other ingredients, except cheese and chips. Layer in casserole. Start with chips, meat mix, then cheese. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
My Way -- Double Easy Mexican Casserole

1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1 8 oz. can taco sauce
1 8 oz. can enchilada sauce -- I use green
1 4 oz. can green chiles
(or I will add a can of Rotel tomatoes and leave out the green chiles. Aldi has their brand of Rotel so its more economical to use the Aldi Rotel.

2 lbs. ground beef -- I use chicken (2 boneless/skinless breasts and 1 can of chicken or 3 breasts) Boiled. I always rinse the canned chicken.
shredded longhorn cheese -- I use mozzarella
Doritos (corn) -- I try to find the least fat version.

Boil the chicken breasts. Rinse and drain the canned chicken if using that. Then I combine all the ingredients except the cheese and chips. I bring that to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. I like to mix this up the night before and then refrigerate. Layer in casserole. Start with chips, meat mix, then cheese. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Top with lettuce, diced tomatoes and/or fat free sour cream. Yummy!

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February 24, 2007
A Story
This is one of the stories that I've seen in email a few times.

I love this story. I'm not sure if its a true story, but it could be.

One day, when I was a freshman in high school,I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he wascarrying all of his books.
I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on aFriday? He must really be a nerd. "I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with myfriends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.

He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.

As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. "They really should get lives." He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!"

There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.

We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some seriousmuscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors we began to think about college, Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.

I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would neverbe a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous!

Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech.
So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. " Thanks," he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends...I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.

I am going to tell you a story." I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told thestory of the first day we met.
He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.
He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.
He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile."Thankfully, I was saved.
My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.
Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.

With one small gesture you can change a person's life.

For better or for worse.

God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.

Look for God in others.

Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is a mystery.

Today is a gift.


February 22, 2007
Slow Cooker Thursday - Sante Fe Chicken

Santa Fe Chicken

4 to 6 breasts of chicken (boneless/skinless)
1 can of corn drained
1 can of black beans drained
1 jar of salsa
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 package flour tortillas (or make your own!)
Place chicken in crockpot, along with beans and corn. Add salsa.
Cook on high (time depends on individual crockpot but for us about 4 hours).
30 minutes prior to serving add cubed cream cheese and stir, and turn to low setting.
I am making this recipe today -- it is cooking as I type. I have heard great things about it, so thought I would give it a shot. I also put the breast in frozen. I am not a SAHM so I put it on low before I left the house.
I also have a pot of Brown Rice soaking to make with it.
I will definitely post what we thought about it.
Notes from recipe: The chicken turns out SO tender that it just shreds with a fork. Add spoonfuls of the mix to a flour tortilla. We add rice as well. I like cheddar in mine too. VERY yummy!
For more Slow Cook Thursday Recipes, visit Sandra.
***EDITED: This came out great. My kids loved it. And I made Brown Rice (I made it soaking it first with a T. of yogurt for 7 hours. I think we can officially switch to brown rice. Josh ate it without saying it was gross! LOL! I will definitely make this recipe again. I also tried my hand at making tortillas. The dough was easy -- rolling it slightly more difficult. Needless to say they didn't come out perfectly round, but they sure tasted good. I used the recipe of another blogger -- I will link it if any one wants it. ***


February 19, 2007
Silly, I know!

But .. I have comments!! Laughing and giddy with joy!!

This made my day!! {big grin}

Ladies, you will never know what you did for me today.

Thank you!!

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Menu Plan Monday - February 19

Monday - Spaghetti and Homemade Meatballs

Tuesday - Grilled Ham and Cheese

Wednesday - Tuna Sandwiches on Whole Wheat Bread / Soup

Thursday - Chicken Tenders and Mac & Cheese

Friday - Soft Tacos with Spanish Rice and Corn

For more Menu Plan Monday participants, visit The Organized Junkie

** Missed last week due to sickness. I decided I needed a plan when mom gets sick!
We have an extra church service this week because of revival, so will have some short/quick dinners. **


February 18, 2007
Ultimate Bible Quiz
You know the Bible 98%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes


February 15, 2007
The Silversmith
Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.
She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire.

If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment.

Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it"

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.


February 14, 2007
Happy Birthday and Valentine's Day!

Today is doubly special, as my husband made his debut on this date about 40+ years ago! And I am so glad he did.

Sometimes (...entirely too many) I don't appreciate him enough.

I tend to let past hurts rule future happiness, and while its easier said than done -- we all really need to let things go. I guess its easier to wallow in self-pity than be stronger and let things go.

In any case ... Happy Birthday Babe, I love you!!

P.S. Changed my blog ... what do you think? Although I have not figured out how to change the links on the side yet ... not enough HTML knowledge, need to ask my son! And found that no one could post comments ... not sure how that block got checked. {sigh} Please do post a comment ... I know people look ... but a comment would be appreciated!

P.S.S. Since it is my dh's birthday on Valentine's Day, I prefer to let it be HIS day. But my daughter and son came to work today bearing gifts. They didn't have to. But it was so very nice. I recieved tulips (I've wanted some since seeing at Ali's blog!!) and a Rose and a gift card to the ... Panera Bread! Yum! A blessed day ... and I even got some kisses and hugs. Will share photos tomorrow .... its birthday day today!!


February 8, 2007
Here I thought that I was getting pretty organized and I must have pitched the paper I had written my menu plan on!
So, I had to look at this blog to find out ... but .. of course I didn't look at it until after lunch, Thursday and have NO way to open the freezer at home and take out a package of meat to thaw ... {sigh} LOL!

Anyone know of blogs or websites that cater to Christian moms with families that work outside the home ? So many are for SAHMs ... but I am looking for ladies like me ....


February 4, 2007
Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Crockpot Roast w/Potatoes and green beans

Tuesday: Pasta with salad and garlic whole wheat bread

Wednesday: Tuna Sandwiches and Soup

Thursday: Homemade Chili

Friday: Homemade Pizza

It promises to be a busy week with doctor visits and such.
Trying to get ahead ... and hopefully succeeding.


February 1, 2007
New York Crumb Cake

My husband and I were in the car and ending up talking about the different ways we grew up. I had mentioned a few of the better memories ...

I can remember going down to the Italian Bakery and getting a slice of the crumb cake for us. It was a HUGE cake and the slice that cut off was probably 12x12. And that was your "slice". Good stuff, craving it right now! LOL!

I used to dunk it in hot coffee after I became a little older ... I had been wishing for some and tonight I was just doing some searches and it is actually called New York Crumb Cake. Imagine that?

Here's the recipe:

New York Crumb Cake

Makes one 9-by-12 1/2-inch cake
New York Crumb Cake is quite a popular item at Foster’s Markets in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Owner Sara Foster estimates that her shops sell three to four pounds of crumb cake every day, mostly to transplanted New Yorkers.

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for pan

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 1/2 tea
spoons ground cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Confectioners’ sugarfor dusting

1. Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 325°. Lightly brush a 9-by-12 1/2-inch baking pan with canola oil, dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

2. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.

3. Transfer pan to oven, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

4. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Random Thoughts

Its been a very insightful week ... been doing much thinking, planning, changing, rearranging thoughts and figuring out how to take the next step ... in this thing called life.

If you read Ali Edwards' blog -- and YOU SHOULD ... she had in her newsletter to choose a word that would describe what you want, who you are or what you desire to be ... {have not done back to see her exact words} Her word is Peace. Love that!

I've debated and thought about it ... and still could not decide on one, but I think it is going to have to match hers.


If I have peace ... and contentment in all things ... there is no more stress and worrying.

So very many things going on in life right now, but I have been analyzing my life and finding that I am seriously lacking in so very many areas. I am realizing that I need to work on things and I am formulating a plan ... and its going to have to be one small step after another ...

With God, all things are possible. Amen? Amen.

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