Sunday, October 31, 2010

Supper Sunday- Chili Dip


I have a treat for you today- a dip that is very very good, and SOOOO easy. We take it with us a LOT when we go camping, for a light lunch item, but it is good for anything from entertaining, to a cold evening at home, to I just want a snack that will hold me over :)

Super Yumm Chili Dip

1 Can Hormel Chili without Beans
1 Block of Cream Cheese
See- I told you it was easy!

Cut up the cream cheese into cubes to make it melt easier.  Put chili in a pot on the stove.  Heat at Med-high heat and add cream cheese.  Heat, stirring frequently until the cheese is melted.  Serve warm with Tortilla Chips :)

You can make this healthier using a healthier version of chili and organic cream cheese.  I haven't actually tried other brands yet, but I'll be sure to update you when I do, or if you do I'd love your comments! 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Singing Saturday- Wonderin

Wonderin' - by Toby Mac

Well I’m wonderin’ ‘bout the road ahead of me
Wonderin’ ‘bout the things you said to me
Wonderin’ if these dreams will ever do
And I’m wonderin’ ‘bout the way I spend my days
Wonderin’ if it’s even worth the chase
Wonderin’ if they’re stealin’ me from you
Uh! We didn’t know what to do
But you were lookin’ at me, and I was lookin’ at you
And we were thinkin’ it odd, but we were thankin’ our God
For the hope that He put down deep in our hearts
And yo, without a second to think
We was tourin’ around, and we were making that bank
And we was ridin’ in style, clockin’ them miles
With the songs that He put down deep in our hearts
Yeah, it’s been a minute, my friend
And you and I, we never thought it would end
But when we stop to pause, it opens the doors
On some dreams that were put down deep in my heart
But hey, I’m always thinkin’ of you
And I can see your influence in the things that I do
Thick and thin, forever my friend
‘Cause there’s a bond that was put down deep in our hearts
And hey, if I could turn back time
I wouldn’t touch a day, I wouldn’t shade the shine
‘Cause I do know this, I won’t be remiss
With the memories locked away in my heart
Wonderin’ if we ever had a clue

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Fun

Halloween is this weekend and I don't know about your house, but we have things we do every year. One thing I believe very strongly is that children take comfort and security in traditions.  It really doesn't matter what the traditions are, just that they can count on them happening regularly!
So, as the day approaches, we've purchased costumes (we don't do really scary around here), and we have pumpkins and I have a list of foods to make on Halloween.  We always watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" sometime before Halloween, and I am somehow always in the mood to watch "Beetle Juice".
 We carve pumpkins, and always have one for each child.  They can draw their own face and carve it or use some templates.  We also make good use of the safer carving tools to they can do more of their own.  And, honestly, they carve better!

Halloween night I prepare a feast.  I try to make fun foods.  One year I made "Worms in Mud", which the kids all turned their nose up and did not eat....  bunch of chickens!  All it was was spaghetti that I died black.  I put the food coloring in the water with the noodles while I cooked them and then I put a bunch in the sauce.  It did look really gross, but it actually tasted quite good!  I've also made an eyeball cake from a cake baked in a bowl and decorated it to look like a bloody eyeball among other things.

This year I'm sort of cheating...  I'm going to order the pumpkin shaped pizza from Papa Johns...  But with that I'm going to make a pasta salad with noodles that have been dyed, don't know what to call it yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with something...  Then I'm going to make "Witches Fingers" (breadsticks dyed green, then brushed with egg white and sprinkled with shredded parmesan cheese to look like hair and a sliced almond for a fingernail.)  I'll probably serve some sort of "blood" or tomato sauce for dipping :)  And I'm going to make these bloody eyeballs.

At any rate, it should be a lot of fun for all of us, and I look forward to enjoying the time together with my family.  And that, family time, is what it's all about to me....  No matter what holiday it is :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

12 Things Update

Well, we're on month number 2 of the 12 things in 12 months.  And I'm happy to report- so far so good.  Ok, so I did cheat a little on this month because I already planned to take the family to the Grand Canyon, but still, the point of this exercise is to stretch, and it is doing and will do that for me.  I'm hoping some of you have been making lists of your own, and if you have I'd really love a comment on this post about what you're doing!

We embarked on an incredible journey at the end of September which went into the beginning of October.  We traveled 4500 miles in 15 days.  Boy were we glad to be home when we got home!  But, we saw some incredible things and got to experience it together, and that was the main goal!  We did go to the Grand Canyon, and the Petrified Forest, and the Glen Canyon Dam, and Zion National Park....  It was a lot of fun.  I have like 5,000 pictures, but I'll share just a few of them with you here.  I really wish I could share pictures of the family, because I got some really cute ones of the babies, but just brace yourself for when these adoptions are final, because we're going to have a parade of pictures celebration!  ;)

Anyway, enjoy:

 The boys by the RV when we got into to Williams, AZ
The Train Coming back into to town
 Greg by the fire pit at the RV park :)

Boys at Grand Canyon

Isn't this a cool tree????

Auston taking pictures ;)

Awww...  they WUB each other LOL

And so do we :)

Glen Canyon Dam from the bottom where you come out of the elevator...

Zion National Park..  Beautiful for sure, but not fun to drive an RV through!

The Great Arch in Zion

Picking Apples at a Pick Your own farm near Zion

I have more pictures of the Petrified forest, but for some reason I can't get them off my phone....  So I'll save them for another post :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gratituesday- Technology

You know, when you're looking for something to be thankful about every week sometimes it gets a little difficult to not say the same things over and over and over!  So, sometimes it may seem like the thing I'm thankful for is a little.......  well...... odd.  But just take it at face value that I'm pretty much always thankful for my relationship with God, my church, my family, etc...  And my not featuring them this particular week doesn't mean I'm not....

Ok, so this week I'm thankful for the website My Fitness Pal.    An online friend of mine has been using this website to help her track her calories etc and it posts on facebook when she is under her calorie goal or loses weight.  (It has several other options, but those are the ones she and I use)...  After watching her little statuses show up for a while I decided to check this out.

Now, I've been through so many weight loss things, diets, websites, sagas, etc that I was skeptical, but figured I'd have a look at it.  Can I just tell you, this thing is so easy to use!  And that really is the thing that will make it work or not for me, because I just don't have time to mess around with all the kids I have!  You log your food diary, and it's really easy because everything (practically) is already in there.  Oh- and there's an app for your smart phone if you have one, so you can keep it up to date while you're on the go!

Best of all....  It's FREE!

So, if you've been looking for a way to keep better track of your healthy living goals, I'd seriously check it out!

Well, there you have it- today I'm thankful for technology..  Specifically My Fitness Pal.  LOL!!

This post is linked to Heavenly Homemaker's GratiTuesday :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Monday- 10/25

I'm doing a few things as we gear up for the holidays. The first thing I'm doing is getting out $10 a week when grocery shopping and putting it away for extra Christmas money. The second thing I'm doing it starting to buy some things here and there for Thanksgiving. I went to buy some extra cans of pumpkin last week and they were ALL OUT!!! This has me very concerned. I'm also starting to swirl around in my brain what I'll be making this year.... So, without further ado-

Monday:  Ham Fried Rice, Egg Rolls, Peach Cobbler

Tuesday: Southwest Chicken Salad

Wednesday: Chicken Dinner in the Crock Pot

Thursday:  Tacos

Friday:  Baked Potato Soup, Sourdough Rolls, Salad

Saturday:  Snack Dinner

Sunday:   Halloween Feast!  (More on that later)

Lunches:  Sandwiches, leftovers, quesadillas

Breakfasts: Granola, Fruit, Eggs

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Supper Sunday-Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff 
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg slice mushrooms
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Brown ground beef and onion.  Add mushrooms and cook down.  Add in sour cream and soup and cook until well combined and heated through.  Serve warm over Egg Noodles.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Singing Saturday- Come Thou Fount

For today's song I'm embedding 2 videos, because there are two versions of this song, both beautiful in their own way. The first is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing it, and if you've ever hear this choir sing, you can't help but appreciate the beauty.

This next version is the Jars of Clay version, a more contemporary version, and the way I know it best. Hope you enjoy :)

1. Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
 tune my heart to sing thy grace; 
 streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
 call for songs of loudest praise. 
 Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
 sung by flaming tongues above. 
 Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
 mount of thy redeeming love. 

2. Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
 hither by thy help I'm come; 
 and I hope, by thy good pleasure, 
 safely to arrive at home. 
 Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
 wandering from the fold of God; 
 he, to rescue me from danger, 
 interposed his precious blood. 

3. O to grace how great a debtor 
 daily I'm constrained to be! 
 Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
 bind my wandering heart to thee. 
 Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
 prone to leave the God I love; 
 here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
 seal it for thy courts above. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Family Time Friday- Chores

I'm curious.  I mean really curious.  What do you all do with your children where chores are concerned?  I've been through the gamut with mine and tried just about everything.  I swear!  It seems like if one thing works for a while, it will eventually stop working.  So we try something new for a while and then it will stop working.....

The latest thing I'm doing seems to be working well for my teenager and tweenager.  They each have 3 chores that they are responsible for daily.  One has pick up bedroom, clean guest bath, and take out the trash and recycle.  The other has dining room, living room and feed and water the pets.  These are their normal chores and we base their allowance on their performance on these chores...  Then there are extra chores that they can do if they want some extra money.  Their regular chores have to be done first, but then they can ask to do an extra chore.  I even printed out a handy dandy price list, so they can decide what they want to do, and we have an agreed price before hand :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday-Still Organizing

So, as I go through the months, it occurs to me that I'm reading a LOT of books on organization etc, but am I really doing anything?  I've established that I have a goal to become organized, and over the last few months I also really begun to understand why I want to become better organized.  Perhaps that is really the best place to start?  I see the stress that my lack of organization puts on my household.  I desire to be able to find things without throwing a tizzy first because it isn't where I thought it was.  I see that it is also manifested in my children, and that really, really bothers me.  It's bad enough that I am disheveled and organized, but I want so much better for them.

So, while I don't see a lot of progress in my house yet, I am continuing to press on with One Year to an Organized Life:  It may be that some months I just read through it, and don't implement much.  But I think this is a book that you can do year after year after year.  I can see myself cycling through this book long after I have a Better Homes and Gardens house :)

Here's an update of where I am so far:  September's goals were:  Make a plan for positive change this fall, Organize your child's room and bath, create chores and consider conssequences, and revisit the concepts of time and goal setting as they apply to the busy school and holiday season.  I plan for positive change :)  I thought about the kids' room...  And I did create a chore system (I'll share more on that tomorrow), and I've considered the concept of time and goal setting and determined I just don't have enough time LOL  :)

As for October, qe went on vacation, so I am late getting to October's tasks, but I'll do better in November.  Here are October's tasks:

Habit of the Month:  Completion.  If an afghan or throw blanket gets used, it will be folded when the user is finished.  When a toy is taken out, it is put back when playtime ends.  If a board game is taken out, the pieces are gathered when it's time to put the game away.  etc...  Sounds good!

Summary:  Week One:  Develop a mental blueprint for the way you want your dining room, living room, and family room to look and function.
Week Two:  Pick and choose from the organizing solutions offered for the dining room.  Think outside the box when deciding how this room will be used.
Week Three:  Rescue the living room from a dead zone to a room filled with vital energy.  Learn to use all the storage available in the living room.  Start your shopping list.
Week Four:  With tools in hand and a well-designed plan of attach, bring order to the rooms shared with family and friends.  Move on the organizing the all-important family room and decide hosw books, media and toys will be housed here.

In case your wondering, it really is worth it to you to buy the book.  Each chapter goes through simple tasks and asks several questions that really make you think about how you got here in the first place and why you are the way you are.  It's worth reading, for sure.

If you are on a quest to become better organized, please leave a comment below and share with us what you are doing as well!  I LOVE COMMENTS!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-The Grand Canyon

Note:  I KNOW this is wordLESS Wednesday, but I just HAVE to note that I've added a linky widget to the bottom of the Wordless Wednesday posts so you can link your own Wordless Wednesday posts here.  Won't you join us for Wordless Wednesday on your blog?  Oh, and PLEASE mention in your blog that you're linked up to us here...  pretty please?  Thanks so much...  Ok, no more words..  I promise....  really...  Ok Stop!  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

GratiTuesday- Bible Study

Are you in a bible study? I mean a good one? 4 years ago I started attending a Community Bible Study, making this my fifth year in the study. Over the course of these years we've studied Acts, Matthew, Romans, and 1 and 2 Kings with some Minor Prophets. This year we're studying Daniel, Collosians, and 1 and 2 Peter. We're about 8 weeks into the 30 week bible study, and now getting into the second half of Daniel.

Here's the funny thing: Last week my core leader called to check in (they regularly do that) and asked me what I thought of the lesson. I told her that I was kind of disappointed because the study of Daniel so far had been so easy. One thing I really like about CBS Bible Study is it really stretches you. We study very in-depth. And I actually crave that. She agreed, and encouraged me by telling me that when we start Peter it will be much more difficult. I told her I was glad to hear that, and regardless I was still enjoying studying a book I hadn't before.......................................... Then I opened up this weeks lesson................................................... Oh. My.

Who knew that in Chapter 7 of Daniel it goes from a prophetic story here and there to visions that rival Revelation?????? (Which by the way rumor has it we're studying next year)....

You know, God is so funny.. He created us, and He knows us inside and out. I often wonder if when I say things like, "This book is just too easy," if He isn't just up in heaven chuckling to himself thinking, "Just wait until next week- you'll be floored!".......

Which reminds me of a simple truth. We go through life often quite full of ourselves, really.  I mean even the "humblest" among us has moments of pride.  It is the truth.  And, I'm the first to say I don't know anywhere near enough about the Bible...  in fact the more I study the more I realize I don't know.....  but I'll admit, I was feeling a little prideful...  I was thinking to myself, "I've been through several years of this type of bible study now, and I'm really starting to get the hang of it...  It only took me 5 years...  Yay me!"  LOL...

Only to be reminded this week that I STILL DON'T KNOW JACK  :)

So I'm very grateful for being stretched.  Sometimes it's a pleasant surprise, sometimes it's painful, but always it's for God's purpose in our lives.  And always it's for the best.  Sometimes we know why, sometimes we don't.

This post is linked to Heavenly Homemaker's GratiTuesday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Monday 10/18


Ok, we made it home, I've made it through the laundry, and we're back in full swing with our busy busy lives.

Monday:  Chicken Tenders, Peas, Fries
Tuesday:  Steak Fingers, Mashed Potatoes, Salad
Wednesday: Beef and Bean Burritos, Spanish Rice
Thursday:  Waffles and Sausage with Fruit
Friday:  Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Salad
Saturday:  Snack Dinner
Sunday:  Chicken Sunday Dinner in Crock Pot

Lunches:  leftovers, bean and beef burritos, sandwiches, chicken salad

Breakfasts:  breakfast tacos, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Supper Sunday- Mexican Beans and Rice

Mexican Beans and Rice
WW Points+= 5 points per 1/2 cup serving without the sour cream
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can pinto beans (drained)
1 onion (diced)
2-3 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup salsa (I like chunky)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups cooked rice
3 TBS olive oil
Sour Cream
Fresh Cilantro for garnish

Place the olive oil in the pan and turn on med-high heat to warm.  Add the onion and let cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic.   Cook until onion and garlic are translucent.  Add the beans, salsa, garlic salt, onion powder, and chili powder.  Stir and cook until heated through.

Serve over rice, top with cheese and sour cream.  Garnish with cilantro.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Singing Saturday- Get Happy Now

Everyone Get Happy Now-Wayne Kerr Band

Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
Doo Doo Doo Get off your grumpy couch
Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
How now brown cow everyone get happy now

I've got a good feeling about today
Gray skies gone away
You're knocking on my window pane
Let's go outside and sing-

Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
Doo Doo Doo Get off your grumpy couch
Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
How now brown cow everyone get happy now
I've got a good feeling about tonight
Fireflies are burning bright
Even on the darkest night
With you everything's alright!

Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
Doo Doo Doo Get off your grumpy couch
Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
How now brown cow everyone get happy now
Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
Doo Doo Doo Get off your grumpy couch
Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
How now brown cow everyone get happy now
Meow Meow Meow Meow
Everyone get happy now

And even if it's raining out-
Let's go walk

Even if you're feeling down-
Let's go talk
Let's go talk it out
Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
Doo Doo Doo Get off your grumpy couch
Doo Doo Doo Everyone get happy now
How now brown cow everyone get happy now
Meow Meow Meow Meow
Everyone get happy now
Thanks to you I see I'm really happy now!