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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zucchini & Carrot Muffins

These were so yummy.  My kids enjoy these in the morning before school and I will actually make a double batch and freeze the second one.  They freeze great!

Preheat oven to 375 and grease muffin cups or add muffin liner to muffin trays.  This is what you'll need plus a grater or food processor.

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. carrots, coarsely grated
1/2 c. zucchini, coarsely grated
3/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in to a bowl.

In a separate bowl mix eggs and brown sugar until smooth.

Mix in milk and oil.

Combine wet & dry ingredients

Stir in carrots and zucchini and walnuts or raisins.

Mix together well.

Use a spoon or soup ladle to place mix into muffin tip.  I like to use an old fashioned ice cream scoop. Bake for approximately 15-19 minutes.

Let muffins cool on wire rack

Don't these look so yummy?  I prefer to warm them up and maybe add some preservatives.  My boys just like them slightly warm and Macgyver loves them right off the plate.  



Sunday, August 28, 2011

King Ranch Chicken

This is family favorite.  A neighbor made this 10 years ago for us when I had just given birth to baby boy number three and we've cooked it at least once every other month since.  It has just enough kick to it but not terribly spicy that one must drink after every bite.

Add cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, two cans rotel (do not drain) and one can of chillies peppers chopped.

Mix all the ingredients above together.  Keep the heat to medium-low as the filling will bubble and burp all over if it gets to hot.

 Chop up one medium size onion.

 Add the chopped onion. Mix.

Take the small tortilla flour shells and cut into quarters.  Then line the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan with them. No need to grease or spray pan.

Take two 12.5oz cans of chicken or you can cook and chop the chicken up and add into the filling mixture.  This chicken tastes the same way just cuts down the mess in the kitchen and time.

 Spread mixture over first layer of tortilla shells.

 Sprinkle LOTS of shredded cheese.  I use a mexican four blend cheese. 

 Repeat layers two more times, adding LOTS of cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until cheese edges become golden brown.  Let sit and cool 10 minutes before cutting to allow cheese to firm up a bit.

A very yummy meal.  I usually serve with a salad and rice.  Tonight the kids voted not to have rice.  I should have made it anyhow.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Please Vote

This is my darling and fun loving niece Mackenzie.  She is 9 years old and she is trying to win her school a computer lab.  You can vote once a day from each computer you have access too.  She needs the votes and would be over the top grateful if she won it for the school. Click HERE to vote.

The giveaway is being provided by Rack Room Shoes.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Creamed Chicken Crepes

Through my blog hoping, I have stumbled onto a blog called Comfy in the Kitchen which is written by Janelle.  Janelle has all kinds of simple, easy and fast recipes.  I have tried several so far, but actually took pictures this time because I was going to make something I have never attempted to do.  

 (Go here for Janelle's recipe)

These were SO easy and I think a caveman could do it!

For making the Crepes you need Milk, Eggs, Vanilla Extract, Sugar, Flour and Water

Then you mix with an electric mixer and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

This is what you drink while waiting that hour...Ice Coffee.  Go here for recipe from the Pioneer Woman.

You would then pour batter into a measuring cup for ease of pouring and then place just enough batter to cover the bottom of a small omelet pan.  (You don't want it too thin.)  If you notice, the edges begin to cook first and get firm looking.  Go ahead and flip them over.  Cook these on med to low heat so they don't burn.

You'll need either Chicken Tenders or you can cut up chicken breasts like we did.  Cut into bite size pieces.  I have been turned back onto using cast iron pans, just because it cuts cooking time and the clean up is SO much easier. 

This is the White Sauce you'll pour over the crepes and chicken.  I used a full cup on each dish.  

Here is where you would add the cheese to the top.  I used 4 Blend Mexican Cheese.  Janelle uses Swiss Cheese on hers.  After adding the cheese place in oven on a cookie sheet that has edges so the don't roll all over when you take them out and broil on low until the tops is golden brown.  

This is what the finished product looked like. It was W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L!!! 

Now for the REAL options........

TWO Thumbs up from each kid!!!!  
It was a hit.  Dylan was trying to tell me he liked it with that BIG OLE' goofy smile and a mouth full of food.  He doesn't even look like that.  Funny!

**Note: I had to triple the batch because I have a small village of starving boys.  Trust me their NOT starving even though they'd be sure to tell you otherwise!  We did save about 6 crepes for dessert and added Ice Cream with Comstock Cherries and Whipped Cream on top.  I gained 2 pounds, just looking at it. :)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When to Stop and Listen....

When do you stop and say listen to God?  How do you know to stop and listen?  Do you hear Him or do you just do it?

I have been struggling with this wayyy to long.  I have been better about hearing that voice and stopping to do what it says to do.  But I can't help but to want more of Him to do more for Him.

I recently took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and that has SO ruined me!!  I always knew what I wanted to do in life and that was to become a nurse.  I love to help people.  A social worker wouldn't be bad either because I love to help those grow bigger and find themselves through bad time.  A Protector type person.

But do you know what my FIRST option was?  What the Number One job I was would be good at doing was?

Religious Educator!!!


What in the world, how did it know that?  I haven't done anything like that EVER!!  I love Bible Studies and I love to speak about God and share the truth with others, but seriously Religious Educator? 

I have one tiny problem.....I really don't know that much.  Shhh, don't tell anyone.  I tell the same stories I know to everyone.  I memorized about a dozen verses and pray that those will be enough to get by with. What is happening here?

I actually, texted my Pastors wife and his sister who are very good friends of mine and we actually laughed about it.   I said, I would be the next Joyce Meyers!  After a few good laughs, we let it go and chatted about something else.  VBS, Family Week and so on.

But as week's have gone by, I can't help but to think about that personality test.  Is it right, did I mess it up somehow?  I have always had a passion for God and have wanted to be closer to Him then I have been.  But, seriously can I do that now?  Can you teach an old dog new tricks?  My mind just spins on this because it is SO overwhelming to me. 

Where do you start? 


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Ups & Downs of Weight Loss

Well, today was another day on the scale and after a LONG weekend Celebration at Kennedy Space Center for the "We Made History" event, I gained only 2 ounces.  


There have been more days though that I have been on the wrong side of this darn scale.  I gave up 30 days of my life sitting here on blogs discussing a MAJOR event happening not an hour from me.  The Casey Anthony Trial.  I sat here day after day watching and blogging with friends over thoughts, evidence and so forth.I noticed that I was losing muscle more then I was losing weight.  No good when you have an issue with exercising anyway.

Well, the trial ended and I have been walking the BIG bridge we have here in town..  It's HUGE.  You can see everything at the Space Center if you stand at the very top of it.  How lucky am I?  I live right across the river from the Shuttle Launch Pads.

Any hoo, I have gained 6 pounds since I have been walking, but I keep telling myself that is the muscle you wasted while sitting for 30 days.  I am also still doing the Slim in 6 and enjoying it so far.  I need to be up before the boys,  otherwise they make fun of me working out. 

Yes, Mom.  I'm still drinking plenty of water!!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finally, The FIRST Giveaway!!!

After reading about a Pie Workshop over at the Pioneer Woman and sharing with a friend over lunch what our favorite pies and cakes were, we got to thinking.   My favorite all time pie is a good Old Fashioned Peach Pie.  Her favorite is Cherry Cobbler.   

We also decided that since we would probably never get to the Pioneer Woman's Pie Workshop, we would do our own pie workshop.  This should be a hoot.  So, ten of us are going to get together and make pies and have a good old Country Girl night. Wanna Come?

It just happens to be that one of the Country Girls, Donna offered to Giveaway this awesome Round Cake Taker from Tupperware to a lucky winner.  To enter, leave your first name, last initial, the state you are from and a comment about what your favorite pie or cake is.

Winner will be announced next Saturday, August 20. 

OK, so what are you waiting for, what’s your favorite pie??


**Tupperware has no earthly clue who I am.  This giveaway is for fun and I have never in my life sold Tupperware. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Choice No Family Should Have to Make

Today, while I was surfing the Internet, I came across an article that broke my heart about the famine and drought in Africa.  It truly made me feel horrible for what we have and that we take advantage of everyday. 

Food, water, a home, electricity, clean clothes, RAIN.

My heart broke for these families that have to make a decision I hope I never have to make.  These families are having to walk, yes I said walk with as little as 5 litters of water for a family of 6 or more from Somalia to Kenya.  It's a long distance and if you don't make it you either die in the middle of nowhere or are left to die.

One man, who was a farmer and is struggling to get work to survive.  He left his family behind hoping he could get them to Kenya, but the cost is too much and is money he doesn't have.  He's not giving up but does wonder if his family's even alive right now. They are looking for anything to get by to survive. 

The choice that these families are faced to make is horrible.  Beyond horrible.  But it's survival at this point for them to make this decision.  If they are walking with 4 children and one becomes so dehydrated that they can go no further, they are left there to die.  Some mother's try as best they can to encourage the child to keep moving or sprinkle little bits of water on their heads.

They have the attitude that children are from God and it's His right to take them back home to His Kingdom. AMEN.

If the child dies while the mother is there she will cover the body with tree branches and allow the child to be returned to God.  She has no time time or energy to dig a grave. 

The U.S has estimated that in the last three months 29,000 children have died from this famine and drought.

Other mother's do not have the time to wait and see what happens, they must keep going for the rest of the families sake.  They can only pray that the child or children will be found by someone who can help them better then they could before it's too late. 

As for the farmer's older children, who tried to walk with him to Kenya and we left to die when they could go no further were found and taken care of and have been reunited with their mother back in Somalia.

When I picked the kids up from school, they were bummed we had rain because it would ruin their plans with their Dad tonight.  Was I very quick to share this story and remind them of how lucky we are to have this glorious rain.  Without it nothing would grow, things would die and eventually this could be us.  

We prayed for these families and for Africa to get rain soon.  Not to flood but enough to bring back the life that is dying.  Tree's, grass, allow gardens to be planted and food to be found.  

Please God, bless them with sweet glorious rain and save the children from dying from the famine that they are suffering from right now. Do not break another mother's heart.

My heart just breaks for these families.  No one should have to make a choice over which child they have to let die to save another. 

Please pray for them with your family and keep them in your prayers.

In Him,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Eight Loads of Laundry

So this is the last weekend before school starts for us that I felt the need to really clean and get ALL the boys clothes sorted and clean.  Things must be in proper drawers, shorts and jeans must be all turned the SAME way.  And of course the biggest of them all is ALL shirts must be facing the SAME way and so must the hanger.   

I am an organized fanatic.  Bad thing!

My three younger boys attend a Montessori School and the older one is in college making me feel old...very old.  What I love about the three younger ones is that they wear uniforms to school Monday through Thursday and have a FREE day on Friday to wear anything non-uniform. They love that.  I love that. 

On the weekends and after school they wear jeans, barn shirts and boots.  Love that!

But while I was doing all this laundry, I would complain at how they go through so many outfits in a day, I would complain about the water usage and spending money on the water bill.  (Our sewer rate is TWICE the water rate and it's ridiculous!)  Plus, I really have an issue with folding and putting it all away.

But then I read a post over at {in}courage yesterday and it made me really think about HOW I do laundry and what it can mean to me and my boys.  Those little guys depend on me to make sure they go out looking clean and crisp.  With a good outfit on comes a great attitude and with that comes good grades and self esteem.  The only thing I never really thought of was to pray a prayer over their clothes, their bed sheets where they lay their little heads each night.  

As I folded the clothes knowing who would wear what shirts, shorts and jeans.  I prayed over each pile I folded for that child that they be safe, live life having fun, and be the best they can be no matter who says what to them.  

So you can bet that my kids went to bed on prayer covered sheets last night and out today in clean clothes with Mommy's prayers all over them.  I felt good, they felt good and we had zero fights this morning....(that was part of my prayer and a sneaky prayer request at that.) 

I'm ready to conquer Mt. Everest next weekend. 


Thursday, August 4, 2011

BabyCakes Cupcake Maker

Well today with the kids in summer school for a few more hours, I thought I would break out my NEW Babycakes Cupcake Maker and **TRY** to make these things without the help of four more hands helping me.

I used Krusteaz Muffin Mix to get the job done.  You can do anything in this nifty little machine.

The trick here is to "fold" the blueberries in without mashing them.  Tricky, huh?  These were not your frozen or freeze dried.  These were fresh from the can. 

I used a soup ladle to spoon them into the muffin cups and set the timer on the oven since there really is no set time to cook these.  I would say that for me somewhere around 6-7 minutes would be great for these muffins.  

I'm at 11 feet Sea-Level.

As with all cooking time varies from what your cooking to how high your altitude is.   I will tell you that these came out more on the squishy, spongee side.  I'm going to practice again later and see what happens with actual cupcakes. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Living the American Dream

This is MacGyver’s R.E.A.L. job. He has been part of the Space Shuttle Dream Team for the last 25 years.  

In 1981 when they first started to launch the Space Shuttle, he had just graduated from high school.  I was in third grade. 

My father did not work for the Space Program like all my friends father’s did.  We owned a hotel that did a ton of space business with Astronauts and visitors from all over the world.  I was jealous of them, but looking back I had the best part yet.  

This picture was taken at the last open house with the kids.  They were so excited to be that close to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).  I think they appreciate where Daddy works all those long hard hours when the “see” it for real.  The boys are mine; the girls are my FABULOUS nieces. 

Above is a picture of MacGyver and the boys inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) looking at the next Shuttle being prepared for launch.  The other picture is of the kids standing inside the track of the Crawler.  

It’s HUGE!!!  

You can walk SO much faster than that thing moves it’s crazy.  It takes eight hours to move 3 miles.  The Space Shuttle is so incredibly huge that it can fall over if the crawler goes too fast.  It a neat site to see.

This is one of my favorite pictures.  The boys are with MacGyver in his office.  Dylan will steal his Dads hard hat any chance he gets. I just may have to buy him one for Christmas. 

I think all my boys have a chance at working out there at some point.  The only problem is…We need a Space Program!  

MacGyver is still lucky enough to be out there since the program ended with the return of Atlantis in July.  Many of his friends are now jobless. It’s hard to find jobs when this whole area depends on the Space Race. 

However, I am confident that we, the United States, will still lead the Space Program.  It may be through private ventures, but we will get back up in time. 
This has been a great dream and we were lucky to be part of it. 


Monday, August 1, 2011

Our Niece, Kenzie-Girl

August 1, 2011

This post is about Macgyver and our niece, Kenzie-Girl.   

Kenzie-Girl should have been MY daughter.  Period.  

She loves to play outside with the boys.  She is NOT afraid to catch anything slimy or with more then four legs. She doesn't do dirty well and that is a major requirement for my family.  I guess that's why she is my sisters daughter.

Uncle Macgyver and Kenzie-Girl have a special bond.  If Kenzie-Girl wants to build something, well then we will.  She's a future architect, you heard it here first. Anyway, this had been on her list of things to do and one afternoon while she was here we let her do something with wood  

She chose to make a bird house. 

Uncle Macgyver cut out the wood and she sanded it and helped to put it together with the hammer and nails.  Some adult help was needed to bang those nails all the way in.  But overall, she did a fabulous job!

Here is the finished product that was given to Memere' & Opa for Christmas.  

Memere' loved it!!

I see Kenzie-Girl Construction and Land Clearing in her future.

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