Friday, July 31, 2009

Taco Soup

Tonight, some ladies from my Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF), others may refer to this as their Sunday School, met to make Taco Soup for the freezer. I made 3 batches. Here is the recipe:

Taco Soup

(makes enough soup for two 8 cup containers)

Brown two pounds of ground turkey with 1 pkg. mild taco seasoning and 1 pkg. dry ranch dressing.

Add remaining ingredients: (don't drain cans)

1 large can (29 oz.) tomato sauce (or two cans diced tomatoes)
1 can tomato soup
2 cans whole corn
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can black beans

Mix all together and freeze in the containers of your choice. To heat: Thaw completely and simmer about 20 minutes before serving. Top with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips or corn bread.

I highly recommend this recipe. It is especially good for beginning cooks who want to try Once A Month Cooking recipes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My menu for this week


Breakfast-Cereal (so exciting!)
Lunch-PB Sammies, Apple Slices
Dinner-Sausage Quiche, Canned Fruit


Breakfast- Fajita Fittata
Lunch-Lettuce Wraps (turkey, cheese)
Dinner- Possibly meeting friend for dinner or Chicken Soup, Watermelon


Breakfast- Oatmeal with Blueberries
Lunch- Chef Salad, more Watermelon
Dinner-- Rotel Spicy Meatloaf (extras for freezer), Corn on the Cob, Green Beans


Breakfast-Eggs and Bacon
Lunch-Good ole Leftovers
Dinner-Exceptional Pinto Beans, Cukes and Ranch Dressing


Breakfast-Mock Egg Burrito (no tortilla)
Lunch-Good ole Leftovers
Dinner-Picnic Chicken (extras for freezer), Baked Beans, Veggies and Ranch Dip


Breakfast-Banana Bread (from freezer), Yogurt
Lunch-BLT Wraps, Fruit
Dinner-Lovely Leftover Buffet


Lunch-Polish Kielbasa Stew, Sauteed Cabbage, Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
Dinner-Free for All!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A first for me

Today I had my first colonoscopy. It wasn't bad at all. Now, the saline laxative wasn't so great. I had to drink two bottles over two days. I also had to drink only clear liquids for two days, well actually two and a half by the time I got back home from the hospital. No food. That was the hardest part. I really think my insides were touching each other when I arrived at admissions this morning! My doctor was great. My results were excellent. He told me he doesn't want me to darken his door for 6-7 years. I'm okay with that.

Guess what dear Robert brought me in my recovery room? Dunkin Donuts coffee. He's just the best! I felt fine and drank it right down. I hadn't had coffee either. I was give the Michael Jackson drug and it was fantastic. I highly recommend it for any proceedure that requires sedation. It is called Propofol.

Dd has gone to spend a couple of nights with my parents and it gives me time to recoop and relax before getting back into the swing of things.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Menu Plan This Week:


Breakfast-Sausage and Cheese Muffins from the freezer
Lunch-PB&J Sammies, Apple Slices for me, Bread Fish Fillets and Oven Fries for Family
Dinner-Chicken and Rice, Asparagus


Breakfast- Pancakes, Link Sausage
Lunch-Egg Sammie, Celery and Dip
Dinner-Rotel Spicy Meatloaf (make extra for freezer), Macaroni and Cheese, Sauteed Cabbage


Breakfast-Egg McMoms (extras for freezer)
Lunch-Leftovers or Soup
Dinner-Shrimp, Fetticine Alfredo


Breakfast-Cereal and Toast
Lunch-Turkey Sammies, Apple Slices
Dinner-Daddy's Treat???


Breakfast-French Toast, Sausage
Lunch-Grilled Cheese, Watermelon
Dinner-Hot dogs in Cornbread, Coleslaw


Breakfast-Sausage Quiche, Fruit
Lunch-Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup, ABM Bread
Dinner-Refried Beans, Cheese Quesadillas


Breakfast-Cereal and Toast
Lunch-Pam's Chicken Dish for the Crock Pot, Sauteed Zucchini, Noodles
Dinner-Any leftovers in the fridge

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A New recipe I tried. It's a keeper!

Black Bean, Zucchini and Tomato Quesadillas

1/2 cup chunky salsa plus more for serving
1 c. drained black beans
1 zucchini, shredded
8 flour tortillas
Monterey-Jack Cheese, grated, 2 cups
Sliced grape tomatoes (optional)

Combine salsa, beans and zucchini (tomatoes). Spread over tortilla, top with cheese, cover with another tortilla. Heat pan over medium heat, brown on both sides about 4-5 minutes per side. Can keep warm in 170 degree oven while cooking the rest.

This recipe came from:

Yum-o! Dear hubby swallowed these down with zesto. He really loved 'em. He's been a good sport about all the zucchini lately too. Who knew you could make so many yummy dishes with it?

Try this one. I think you'll like it too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Freezer Cooking

Okay, besides the Sausage and Cheese Muffins I froze yesterday, I froze some Cornbread Muffins (six I think) and today I made stuffed green peppers. I really don't have a recipe for this. I cooked some ground chicken and seasoned to taste with various seasonings. When this was done I added 16 oz. of tomato sauce and about a cup or so of frozen corn. Then I added cooked brown rice. Then I halved the green peppers and stuffed them. After it cooled I individually wrapped the halves and placed them in a container for the freezer. Now all I have to do is just grab how many halves I want to fix and then either bake them or put them in a crock pot or even cook them in a pan on the stove. I probably would throw in a can of diced tomatoes to make a sauce or use spaghetti sauce when I cook them. Easy Peasy!

Oh, I also made the Deep Dish Pizza Casserole that was on my planned menu this week. It was soooo good. I ended up just making a small one for hubby and I and them made 3 more small ones to put in the freezer. I used those 8x8 Glad reusable black pans with the clear lids that you can also bake in. These are not much more expensive than plain old foil throw away pans. So I have 3 of these meals in the freezer for future meals. Yay me!

I haven't posted my menu for the upcoming week yet, but I already have a few things planned to double for the freezer. They are: Chicken and Rice and Rotel Spicy Meatloaf (I like making little loaves). I didn't get around to making the Breakfast Burritos this week so that will be moved to the upcoming week along with some French Toast and possibly some Egg McMoms. These already made breakfast meals will make school day mornings so much nicer. School is just around the corner!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sausage & Cheese Muffins

This is probably my all time favorite breakfast recipe. I make these all the time to take to my Sunday school class. You can make then in mini muffin pans but most times I just use my regular muffin pan. These freeze well. Today I am making up a double batch so I can put some in the freezer for quick breakfast treats.

Sausage and Cheese Muffins

1 lb. sausage, cooked and drained
2 cups self rising flour
½ stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 ½ c. Cheddar cheese

Make a well in flour and add butter, egg and milk. Mix until blended. Stir in sausage and cheese. Bake in greased tins 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I love coffee!!!

I have coffee first thing in the morning. Then I have another cup. That is my usual limit but have been know to have another if I am out at a bookstore or visiting a friend. I like mine with Splenda and Half and Half or a flavored creamer. How about you?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Menu for this week:

Meals this week are incorporating our abundant supply of zucchini from my garden. I am also trying to get more fruit and veggies into our diet. I am making several meatless meals as well as feeding my freezer with breakfast foods and a dinner meal or two. I like to have these things on hand once school starts back up and our lives get really busy. I'm not much of a morning person. Strike that - I'm NOT a morning person at all, so having ready to heat and eat homemade breakfast items in the freezer really helps me out a lot!!!


Breakfast- Cereal, Toast, Strawberries
Dinner-German Supper (Turkey Smoked Sausage, Potatoes and Kraut), Mayonnaise Rolls


Breakfast-Oatmeal, Banana
Lunch-Leftovers or Egg Sammie
Dinner-Zucchini Parmesan, Pasta, Salad, Garlic Texas Toast


Breakfast- Sausage and Cheese Muffins (extras go into freezer), Pineapple
Lunch-Leftovers or a Wrap
Dinner-Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas, Chips and Salsa, Cantaloupe


Breakfast-Pancakes (extras for the freezer), Link Sausage
Lunch-Leftovers or PB&J
Dinner-Deep Dish Pizza Casserole (double recipe for freezer meal(s)), Salad, Garlic Texas Toast


Breakfast-Cereal and Toast and Cantaloupe
Dinner-Bean and Ham Soup, Cornbread Muffins (extras for freezer)


Breakfast-Breakfast Burritos (extras for freezer)
Lunch-Leftovers or Wrap
Dinner-Fish, Popcorn Chicken and Oven Fries, Slaw


Breakfast-Oatmeal or Banana Bread (freezer) and Yogurt
Lunch-Grilled BBQ Chicken, Slaw, Corn on the Cob, Some Yet to be Decided Yummy Dessert!
Dinner-if we are hungry we will scrounge for leftovers or make a sammie

A Prayer for Women

A Prayer for Women by Pastor John Piper

My earnest challenge and prayer for you is . . .

. . . That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God.

. . . That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing.

. . . That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in Heaven.

. . . That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching; that meditation on biblical truth be the source of hope and faith; that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.

. . . That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God will be opened to you, and so the power of faith and holiness will descend upon you; that your spiritual influence may increase at home and at church and in the world.

. . . That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God which undergirds all these spiritual processes; and that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers of these things.

. . . That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific calling; that you not fritter away your time on soaps or women’s magazines or unimportant hobbies or shopping; that you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.

. . . That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to God (the way Jesus and Paul and Mary Slessor and Amy Carmichael did) and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.

. . . That, if you are married, you creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of your husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that you encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that you influence him spiritually primarily through your fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.

. . . That, if you have children, you accept responsibility with your husband (or alone if necessary) to raise up children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord—children who hope in the triumph of God—sharing with your husband the teaching and discipline they need, and giving them the special attention they crave from you, as well as that special nurturing touch and care that you alone are fitted to give.

. . . That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home, the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world; that you not only pose the question: career or full-time homemaker?, but that you ask just as seriously: full-time career or freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom—to work for someone who tells you what to do to make his or her business prosper, or to be God’s free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God’s business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or upward lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the faith of the family and advance the cause of Christ.

. . . That you step back and (with your husband, if you are married) plan the various forms of your life’s ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God’s will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else’s chapter or whether it has in it what only another chapter will bring.

. . . That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might and maximizing your joy in ministry to people’s needs.

. . . That in all your relationships with men (not just in marriage) you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and provision and a pattern of initiative; that you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting the tone of your interaction with men.

. . . That you see the biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for men and women not as arbitrary constraints on freedom, but as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God’s ideal of complementarity; that you not measure your potential by the few roles withheld, but by the countless roles offered; that you look to the loving God of Scripture and dream about the possibilities of your service to him.

Excerpted from Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism by Pastor John Piper. (Crossway Books.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I heard this song last night by our Praise Team at Fireproof Your Marriage. I highly recommend you listen to it and also to read the lyrics. Very moving.

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what you see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Cumberland Gap National Park

Yesterday we went to Harrogate, Tennessee to take Robert to Lincoln Memorial University. He is going to be an adjunct professor for them teaching Marketing. It is only a part-time position, don't get excited. It's for their distance learning students in Knoxville. Anywho, Robyn and I went to their museum. They have a nice little museum and shop dedicated to Abraham Lincoln.
We drove through the Cumberland Gap Tunnel. It is huge!
Afterward, we had a picnic in the park and then drove up to the Pinnacle Overlook. On the way, we stopped at Fort McCook and after a short walk found this original Civil War cannon. What a view from there too.
We also saw a couple of deer!
Then we went to the Pinnacle. Wow wee! We could see Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. It was a beautiful day. It was interesting to look down on the town of Harrogate and also out to Fern Lake in the mountains.

Looking down on a soaring bird was different. We were above him!
It was a beautiful day for an hour and a half drive to this beautiful destination. We intend to go back when we have more time and explore more interesting destinations in the area like the little town of Cumberland Gap, the Wilderness Road and the Hensley Settlement.

We got home just in time to attend our Fireproof Your Marriage class at church. We are halfway through this class and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend the movie, Fireproof


Sunday, July 5, 2009

What's on my menu this week:

Here's my plan for feeding my family this week. Everything is subject to change depending on my mood. lol


Breakfast-Oatmeal and Whole Wheat Toast
Lunch-Egg Sammies with Cheese and Baconnaise (yes, this is real- dh bought online)
Dinner-Roast Beast Supreme Casserole (made from leftover roast beast from the freezer)


Breakfast-Chocolate Chip Muffins, Yogurt, 1/2 banana
Dinner-Chicken Tetrazzini, Salad, Roasted Zucchini (thank you little garden), watermelon


Breakfast-Cereal and Whole Wheat Toast
Dinner-BBQ Turkey Wieners, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, more Watermelon?


Breakfast-Scrambled Eggs, Turkey Sausage, Whole Wheat Toast
Lunch-More lovely leftovers
Dinner-Zucchini Parmesan and spaghetti (thank you little garden)


Breakfast-Blueberry Scones, Yogurt
Lunch-More of those lovely leftovers (see a trend here?)
Dinner-Game Night with friends-a smorgasbord of yummy snacky thingies


Breakfast- Pancake Sausage Wedges, Maple Syrup
Lunch-PB Sammies and Sliced Apples
Dinner-Grilled Chicken, Pasta Salad, Garlic Bread, Cantaloupe


Breakfast-Eggs, Bacon, Biscuits
Lunch-Turkey Burgers, Chips, Strawberry Shortcakes
Dinner-Lovely Leftovers-clean out the fridge night!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh wow, she took the words right out of my mouth!

Honest and for true, I could have written the following:

I can be joyful but I can also be a kvetch!

How's that for an honest blog post title? If you are not familiar with the Yiddish term kvetch, here it is. Being joyful is a choice in attitude. Being joyful is something you choose to walk out - when times are good and when they suck.

However if I want to be completely transparent and honest, sometimes I choose to be a total kvetch. I choose to act badly toward my husband and kids. You know how it is....chronic sleep deprivation, feeling unwell, a perpetually messy house that no one seems to want to help me clean.

You know, I am so serious about owning my kvetchiness (did I just make up a new word again?) that I registered a new domain name: Yup, I sure did. No, I am not creating a new blog - it will just redirect here. You see I can be both joyful AND a kvetch. I am kind of complicated (and highly flawed) like that.

Sometimes it is hard to choose the right attitude in marriage. I even struggle with it sometimes when things are rosy and running smoothly. Sometimes it is hard to choose a joyful attitude as a know when you are cleaning up vomit at 3 am off the carpet. Or maybe it's after listening to them whine continuously for four hours straight. Or maybe the kids haven't really done anything wrong per se, but you are just cranky.


Don't get me wrong. I STRIVE to be joyful in attitude. My heart is to be in that space all the time. But that is not my reality. Is anyone else feeling me on this? I just had a conversation last week with GodTalk host Greg Glatz and we were talking about what integrity means to us. We both had very similar definitions. Integrity isn't about having it all together - or even presenting ourselves as if we do - because then their is incongruence which is the opposite of integrity.

Integrity to me is being really honest about all parts of who I am. The things I do well with AND the things I fail miserably at. There is something freeing to both myself and hopefully other people when they can see other people being honest about their shortcomings. "*Phew* she isn't perfect." In fact if you are looking for a book that talks about how important transparency is, I recommend Quinn's "Building the Bridge as you Walk on It". Great book - convicting and empowering.

I digress...sorry for the rabbit trail.

This post brings me to some recent and sad news that perhaps comes as no surprise. That is the demise of Jon and Kate Gosselin's marriage. We all know divorce stinks. I was married at 21 and went through the humiliation of my first husband's adultery and divorce followed. I am also a child of divorce so I know it stinks from every angle. I have read with keen interest the variety of posts and comments about the news that broke last night.

Some people were highly compassionate and merciful in their responses. Others were not. Listen, the divorce rate is about 50% and sadly it is NO different when it comes to Christian marriage. So out of the persons responding judgmentally and scornfully about Jon and Kate's behavior toward one another over the past seasons I am left wondering. How many of those people are having similar issues in their marriages? I would hazard a guess and say a lot.

I would hate to see how I would come across on television. 'Reality TV is NOT reality' as one smart cookie said on Facebook. It is edited for entertainment. Drama and controversy are entertaining. So what we have seen of this couple and of this family is not balanced, right? I have three kids and I can get pretty cranky. Sometimes, I don't act respectful to my husband. I would love to say that I always INTEND to act respectful toward him but, alas, that would be a big fat lie.

Sometimes he ticks me off. Sometimes my 'flesh' gets in the way and I don't FEEL like turning the other cheek and being joyful, okay?

Sometimes I am a big jerk on purpose.

Sometimes I feel like I am standing outside myself watching me act like a big jerk yet I can't seem to stop it. I see myself, at times, being disrespectful to my husband, or barking orders at my kids, yet I can't (or won't?) stop.

Back to Jon and Kate. I believe their intentions starting out were good. I believe, like every couple, that they felt like they would beat the divorce statistics. Apparently, the divorce rate for parents of multiples is three times higher. I don't think they looked into one another's eyes at the altar, standing before God, and said "Honey, one day I am going to treat you like total crap and quit our marriage." Come on, seriously.

I am not making any excuses for their behavior. The cameras have clearly captured some poor choices and poor behaviors. But hey, if I was on camera and under public scrutiny I wonder how much better I would look? I think some other people should seriously consider the same question. It's so easy to knock down and criticize other people but lets take an honest look. Statistics was never my strong suit in university. However even *I* can quickly calculate that at least a fair number of individuals throwing stones at Jon and Kate also live in a glass house. And, yes, if you have read my blog before you KNOW I point the finger right back at myself.

So this is me being honest. I am a Christian wife. Sometimes I am joyful. Sometimes I am a complete kvetch. On purpose. So seeing that I am such a highly flawed creature, albeit with the best of intentions, I will extend mercy and withhold judgment on their hearts and intentions and instead I will keep them in prayer. May wisdom and peace prevail.

As I have mentioned in past posts, I NEED mercy big time...and well, you reap what you sow.

Just Keeping it Real,

This came from the blog

I wish I had the talent to put into words about how I feel about things. I am not a good writer. But I feel this woman really hit the nail on the head. I feel the same way.

How about you?