Thursday, October 30, 2008

Souptacular Crockpotalooza














I'm excited to be a part of BooMama's Souptacular Crockpotalooza.

She is without a doubt one of my favorite all time bloggers.

I love crockpot soups or soups simmering on my stove in the fall and winter months. The aroma that you get when you come in from outside are heavenly.

I love too knowing that I have something ready and I'm not rushing around late afternoon looking for something to cook.

The Soup Recipe I'm submitting is from a good friend. She made this yummy soup for lunch last week for a kids/moms Halloween Party. The kids had pb& j sandwiches and the moms were in awe of this yummy fall treat. Here whole spread of food was yummy but I was truly blown away by this fantastic soup.

I mean it when I say this soup is one of the best ever. I am allergic to garlic so B did not put any in the soup (what a friend) and it was still delicious.

White Chicken Chili

One large chicken (rotisserie works well)
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Medium Onion, chopped
3 Cloves minced garlic
1 can green chiles
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Oregano
1 1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 Tsp. Cumin
2 1/2 cans chicken broth
1 can Rotel Tomatoes
3 cans Great Northern Beans
4 cups Monterrey Jack
16 oz. sour cream

Cook the chicken, let cool, pick the meat off the carcass. In oil, saute the onion, chiles, oregano, salt, garlic, cumin and pepper. Cook until the onion is tender. Combine all ingredients except cheese and sour cream. Cook 4 to 5 hours (I use my Crock Pot). During the last 30 minutes, add the cheese and sour cream. This tastes even better the next day!

Yummo!!

Make this soup this weekend for your family, I know I plan to.

To get more great soup/crockpot recipes go to BooMama's http://boomama.net/2008/10/30/souptacular-crockpotalooza/


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Toy Catalogs and Reality

The catalogs have started to arrive in our mailbox each day. You know the ones with the all the wonderful Christmas ideas. I really love the ones from the Travel Clothing companies. Who really needs undergarments with zippers to hide your valuables. If you are traveling to countries that you need to hide your valuables; best not to bring them along.

Come on people! Even the passengers on the "Love Boat" were smart enough to store their gold and jewels away in the ships safe. They didn't wear unmentionables under their swim suits on the Lido Deck and expect Gopher to serve them their Mai Tai's at the same time.

My kids love the toy catalogs. They have a system. Each picks a different colored highlighter and circles their choices. On the outside, they then write their names and circle with the color of choice so I can decipher who really wants the Barbie Princess Swimming Friend, or the pink Nintendo DS vs the table top air hockey game with 5 different games.

Seriously, do they not think I can figure out an 11 year old boys choices vs a 4 year old girl? Come on I wasn't born yesterday. Every 8 year old wants a swimming friend; don't they?

The littlest girl is just getting into this "Christmas List Making" and she is circling everything. My husband commented that on one page of a big blue toy catalog, she'd picked every Lincoln Log and Erector set there was.

She went to bed a few nights ago after circling away and asked me the following question.

"Now, when do I get all this stuff again?"

Guess we better get the Advent devotions out early this year and begin re-teaching our children about the "want bug" that is very contagious at stores, mailboxes and lunch tables across our great city. You know the bug that infects everything in it's path with the belief that want=needs=get and the bug that slowly moves the Baby Jesus further away from our celebrations this Christmas.

O Lord, I pray that this Christmas our family will keep it's focus on the wonder of Baby Jesus; God's only son come to earth rather than on the glitter and hype of the Christmas Shopping Season. May it be so.

In order to keep it real, I think I should rid our home of highlighters for the next few weeks. Better safe than sorry!

Friday, October 24, 2008

One Vote

I watched this powerful video today about the power of one vote. I know that elections/politics and this whole process of electing a President/Senator/Governor is controversial; but so are the issues at stake and we can't pretend we don't know about them or care about them.

When I was in college, I decided to run for the Student Government. I wanted to have a say in where my student fees went, how the university ran it's programs, and my interest in politics just made me want to get involved.

I did no campaigning, no buttons or stickers. I just relied on word of mouth. Just for reference, I went to big land grant university with 20 plus thousand kids. I was running to represent my "College" Arts and Sciences. I was a sophomore and while I was in College Republicans, a Sorority and active at my college church, I didn't know everyone.

Election Day arrived and I came in tied for 3rd place; top three vote getter's have a seat on the Student Government. So if one more person had voted for me I would have won.

How did we solve this problem? A toss of the coin. The heads person took a seat the tails person lost and had to try again next year. I am not a gambling person. However, on the day of the coin flip, I won! I bet my opponent to this day wishes they had talked their roommate into voting for them!!!

All this is to say that you can't underestimate the power of your vote. Pollsters and pundits can say all they want, but until everyone goes into the voting booth on November 4th this election is up in the air. No winners until then.

Please watch this video and think about the power you have to shape your future, your children's future and the future of this country. I don't mean to be so melodramatic, but it's that important this year. Don't sit on the sidelines and complain about the bozos in the media, the negativity of the campaign, or the fact that your little vote means nothing.

As one who has watched an election come down to a coin flip, trust me it matters.


video

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Funny Things Happen on the Way...

I need to record a few of the funny things my 4 year old has said lately. They are priceless and remind me so much of her older brother and sister and their funny ways at the same age.

She is very observant, quiet and often gets right to the point when she has something to say. She might go with me to lunch with friends, not say anything the entire timel and then repeat almost word for word our conversations.

Wednesdays are our crazy days. We have preschool/bible study, a little break for lunch, dance class at 2:00, kids coming home at 3:00 and 4:00, and then piano lessons followed by dinner at church/confirmation and pioneer club that night. It's busy, but I've given up trying to "get anything done" on that day of the week.

Last week as we were driving away from dance this is what I heard in the back seat...

"I've been so busy today. Preschool ...Check.... Watch Movie and Lunch...Check...Dance Class...Check...Pick up Icee ...Check."

It was as if she was checking her items off her to do list..

No idea where she gets this from. HA :)

We've been working on writting her name. It's long, but it has many letters that repeat themselves. The other day she was copying letters that M wrote for her to practice.

I said Great Job A. Those letters spell your name. You just need to write them in the right order and we'll have your name written.

Her response: It doesn't matter if the letters are in the right order as long as they are there.

Guess we are going to do word searches to find her name now.

That conversation took me back some 4 years ago when M, who is now 8, was in preschool. She would constatnly write only the letter M on her papers. I asked her why she never wrote her whole name, it's beautiful and I knew she knew how to do it. Her response? I only need to write the M. I'm the only one in my class with that letter and the teachers already know the rest of my name.

Guess we should have been smarter parents when we named our children and just given them one letter names. So much easier for Preschoolers to conquer.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Seven Random Things MEME


I've Been Tagged-Yippee!!!

I've never been tagged before. In fact so few people read my blog I don't even have seven people to send this back too who know me or have ever been here.It's so exciting.

Seven Random things. No problem. Lately, my whole life has been filled with random things.

1) I have lived in one state my whole life. Went away to college, but it was in the same state. Traveled a lot here in USA and abroad but have never had an address that did not have NE in it!

2) I used to work in the political field; before kids and marriage. I've met Presidents, Senators, Governors, etc. It was exciting, but I don't think I realized how exciting until I look back. My candidates always seem to lose the election, but I am figuring that it was not my fault.

3) One time in my political life, I worked as a personal aide to a female governor. We were on a commuter plane ride across state to a parade, and I had a Big Gulp before we got on the plane. Let’s say the fog at the airport was quite heavy. When the plane finally landed (1 hour late after circling and circling) the door flew open and I ran for the terminal. The State Patrol officer aboard cleared the way. What class!!!

4) I am petrified of snakes, mice etc. That's why I take the Girl Scout camping in Lodges. No bugs or critters.

5) As a child, I was allergic to chocolate. It is still not my favorite, but I will hunt down Chuckles in every gas station on a road trip. Nothing stands between me and candy that claims "Even it's name means fun".

6) Pregnancy and I do not get along. I love the child to be and am anxious to have it in my arms, but between the constant throwing up and the feeling like I'm going to throw up the only pregnant glow I ever got was the flush of the gag. Delivery was wonderful. Maybe it was the drugs.

7) My husband and I don't fight much, except about College Football. We are both Big 12 Fans. Texas and Nebraska. Let's say he's had more to cheer about lately, but get real he lives here in Cornhusker territory and should switch alliances to the Big Red. Burnt Orange is an ugly college color. He's so going to kill me!!

Now that I have revealed some deep meaningful things about myself it's your turn. I tag 7 random people. All of these women have so much Godly wisdom. I love to read their blogs.

Kim at httphttp://mercydays.blogspot.com/ ( she's the one who encouraged me to start this blog)
Erin at http://embracingmycup.blogspot.com/ (deep faith and a fellow public school mom too)Katrina at http://www.callapidderdays.com/ ( loves books as much as me)
Mary Beth at http://www.marybethwhalen.com/ ( great wisdom and her recipes rock)
Bev at http://www.lifeofgrits.blogspot.com/ ( my knitting advisor, this is her new home)
Wendy at http://swbbm.blogspot.com/ ( fellow Midwesterner-picture lover)
Linda at http://2nd-cup-of-coffee.blogspot.com/ ( My husband loves Muncie I love Linda's humor)

Thanks to Shalee at http://shaleesdiner.com/ for tagging me for this fun activity.
If you participate let me know....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday



Second Attempt at Menu Plan Monday

This is my second attempt at participating in orgjunkie.com's Menu Plan Monday.

First week was not so successful. Big Hopes for this week. It's a quiet one; which means we'll get swamped with something or another. But at least I'm ready with Fall Favorites and even a new one I found in Good Housekeeping this month.

Monday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Fruit Salad and Apple Bundles from http://dineanddish.net/

Tuesday: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with Reams Noodles, French Bread, Salad

Wednesday: Dinner at Church/ Confirmation and Pioneer Club Classes

Thursday: Lo Mein With Stir Fry Vegetables from Good Housekeeping Oct 08 with Mandarin Oranges and Pineapple Salad.

Friday: Boys to the Lake for weekend: Girls night at home with Mac and Cheese. Healthy Choice for Mom.

Saturday: Chili in the Crockpot with Fritos and Salad ( husband watching OU/Texas Game)

Sunday: Grilled Chicken and Dijon Kabobs with Pineapple and Veggies served over a bed of Rice

Be sure to check out http://orgjunkie.com/ for more Menu Plan Monday and other great ideas.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Step Up to the Plate

Volunteers No Longer A Dime A Dozen Caption coming soon to a newspaper near you. Or maybe not as most of us no longer read newspapers.

Where have all the volunteers gone? Seriously, I look around and every organization, church and school around me is begging for people to help them. They need scout leaders, classroom helpers, Sunday school teachers, blood donors and everything else under the sun.

We've become such a "have it my way" society that we just assume others are going to run the programs, be the leaders, and step up to the plate. We'd rather just drop our child off and run. Sure we want them to experience all the activities, sports and programs available; just don't ask us to be involved.

Volunteering might cut into our "me" time. As parents, we have too much on our plate to be the soccer coach so why not just pay someone else to do it for us.

You might say that I'm discouraged with my com padres. Step up to the plate people. I'm tired of watching organizations beg for volunteers and I'm even more tired of seeing the same people over and over again get talked into helping out.

Sometimes I wish I could be a drop and run parent. I wish that I didn't feel so bad when there is no one to coach soccer next spring for my 4 year old that I feel compelled to say that I can.

But you know what, I wish even more that my generation would realize that the joy and blessing of giving of time, energy, and self to help out does not compare with things, awards, or monetary blessings.

Yes giving blood takes time and it's a challenge to fit it in, but did you know that people might die without it? I am scared of needles, I have terrible veins and have often terrifed nurses with them. But you know what, I do it.

Being the girl scout leader is not easy. I'm really not a public speaker or have the skill sets that prepare me for 19 little girls and their energy. However, I do it because I want my daughter to experience the joy, the leadership skills, and the fun that only a weekend away at camp can teach.

I'm not here to toot my own horn. I am learning to say no sometimes and let others fill that awkward void when a group/person asks for help. Too often, though, it seems like no one fills the gap. No one wants to get involved.

Churches especially should be turning volunteers away not begging and scrambling to fill the spots on committees and teaching positions. As recipients of the greatest gifts, shouldn't we feel compelled to serve others and share that great blessing.

I know that a few posts back I said I was overwhelmed with the meetings/ planning and responsibility. But you know what, as long as my family is taken care of and my house is presentable (notice I didn't say clean), I'll be out there filling in the gaps, and praying that one day the rest of the spaces will be filled.


Tomorrow's post: How to support the volunteers in your life.