Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Just An Update

I can not believe that it is almost 2012. Where has the year gone? Thinking past over the last year a lot has changed in my little world.

 In August I went from constantly having a child under foot with no more than a 2 hour break to all my kids in school from 8 -3. Now, I thought in the beginning that I would mourn this new transition in life. I totally over thought about it and went through the motions of licking my wounds and drowning in my sorrow even though....get this...I never went through it. I can't believe I am saying this, but I LOVE this new stage in my life. I enjoy my kids a lot more now too. Not that I did not before, but they are able to do more stuff with and we can have more grown up conversations with humor. It is great!

 I had a few health scares and have to get blood work done now twice a year for the rest of my life to keep it under control. From this I have learned that my veins run deep and slightly slanted. If I tell the tech that it does not hurt to have my blood drawn. Not feeling like a human pin cushion is such a good thing.

I never brought this one up, and it is totally TMI and I am sorry, but it was a huge deal in my little world just because it was such a PITA. What am I referring to? Well, the never ending period. Seriously for about 6 months I was only not bleeding for 4 days out of the month. I am not out of the woods with my girly troubles just yet, but I am almost there. I got to admit that even though I am totally done with having babies the thought that my body is starting to line up in agreement with my choice I made 6 years ago makes me sad.....I am getting old :-(

We are finally seeing some relief from the economy. Seriously, the last three years have been really hard. We actually had to talk about things like letting our house go into foreclosure and how long we thought the bank would let us live in it without paying on it. That was a brief conversation and only lasted like 5 minutes, but the thought of it was scary. I am happy to say that I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train coming to run me over....well.....I certainly hope not, but who really knows, right?

One thing that has helped our family soften the blow of the economy is our kennel. I am happy to say that we have breed Goldens and I really love it! I can work from home and fall in love with cute little furry babies. True, saying good bye to them as they go into their new homes makes me cry like a big ole' baby, but that is a small price to pay considering the blessings these little guys bring to families and therapy organizations.

Here is a very limited amount of pictures of the last year:

I leave you with this sweet photo of Parker and the BLUR. The Blur was one of our puppies from the last litter that Parker took a liking to. The Blur is now a Guide Dog for the South East Guide Dog association basically because of Parker dragging this animal everywhere and "training" him to be able to be hugged on no matter what :-)

Many blessings to you and yours in 2012!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cheeseburger Mac

This is one of those meals that is fast, cheap, and tasty. I have the full recipe on my webiste:
This also cooks up in one pan, so clean up is a breeze! It makes 6 servings -- great for family meals!

Brown the meat, drain, and add water

Throw in the ketchup.

Measure out the onion powder and mix that in as well.

Now you are going to toss in the uncooked macaroni. I know this seems crazy, but it will cook up with the water and once you add the cheese it all makes sense. Trust me......this works ;-)

Go ahead and add the cheese once the macaroni is tender. Stir it a few times to melt.

Serve with broccoli or salad for a complete meal.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Super East Crock Pot Lasagna

I love lasagna, but let's face it -- it can be time consuming to make. That is what I love love love love love...did you get that? I *LOVE* this recipe. It is made in the crockpot and is the best homemade lasagna I have ever had. Maybe my grandma's is better...yeah...hers is better, but this is the runner up. Just please make sure you get some crockpot liners. Otherwise the crockpot is a pain to clean. I hate cleaning the crockpot, don't you?  For the complete recipe you will need to visit my website at: Select the "In the Kitchen Tab.

First you are going to brown your meat.

Drain the fat and add the pasta sauce.

In a bowl combine the cheeses, egg, and parsley.

Take about a cup of your meaty sauce and cover the bottom of your crockpot. I am using a liner in my crockpot. That is why it looks like a bag ;-)

Take your non boiled noodles (still hard and from the box) and layer them. Just use regular lasagna noodles -- no need for the no boil kind. These cook up really well in the crock pot.

Make sure you get an good coverage. Don't worry if it overlaps and is not "pretty".

Now spread your cheese mixture over your noddles. Repeat with sauce. Then do one more layer of noodles.

Top it off with some Parmesan cheese.

Put the lid on and cook on low for 4 hours.

I like to serve it with Cesar salad and a fresh from the oven roll.
Remember to get the complete recipe on my website at: I took the recipe directly out of my cookbook that is coming out in a few weeks. If you are interested leave me your address in my comment section.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

As Big as Texas

I was totally not planning on doing a blog entry today. In fact, today I have very little time to myself. It is parent teacher conferences at school and the kids get out at 10. I was planning on using my precious two hours to edit my cookbook (I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!), but I ran out of my "Wen" two days ago. What I am about to tell you may seem gross and I am sorry, but it is the truth. I had not washed my hair in two days. I was hoping that my next shipment of "Wen" would be here by now. I know, you are asking "what is Wen?" It is the hair care system that I use. See, I am naturally a fairly dark brunette and I have my stylist make me blond. You can only imagine the amount of abuse my hair undergoes in the name of vanity. About two months ago my hairdryer was on it's last leg and ended up scorching a section of my hair. Did I mention that I am trying to grow it out to? Anyways, I needed something that was moisturizing. I fell victim to the info commercial and placed my order for "Wen". I love it. My hair looks great. That is why I had not washed my hair in two days -- I did not want to dry it out using my old products waiting on my "Wen". Regardless, I could not take it any longer so I washed my hair last night with the other stuff. I soon discovered that I was out of my "Wen" styling balm too. I then pulled out what I use on my daughter because I have nothing else to use. 
 What is it that I use on my daughter? Well Victoria Secrets "So Sexy". She has really fine hair and not a lot of it. So, whenever we have a big event to go to I make sure I use the "volume" products in this line. Why this line? Well, it smells delicious for starters. Secondly, it is a lot cheaper than "Big Sexy Hair". I know, you are amazed that anything in Victoria Secret can be considered a good deal right? FYI, when you catch their sales you can make out really well! It is actually my very favorite store ever! Anyways, I buy their style aides for 3 for $24 and they last for about three months (for my daughter). So, today I used the two products on the left. I did not think it would be as dramatic on me as it was because I have a ton of hair and do not have any problems with volume, so I thought it would just hold my style in place. Boy, was I wrong! First, I wet my hair down -- more like got it damp (I took a shower last night and was short on time. I am that Mom who would never drop my kids off at school in PJ's or without my hair and make up done.). Then I took my medium round brush and spent about 5 minutes blow drying it. I did blow dry the roots upside down and just curled the edges with the brush. I was amazed at the finished style.

Holy Cow! Can we say "Hair as Big as Texas"?!?!?! So, moral of the story is: if you need big hair go to Victoria Secret and let them hook you up with their Volume line. First I smeared the mouse through my hair and then I added the root lifter to the crown of my head and hair line and this is the end result.

 <---------------------------------------------Other side.

I would also like to take this moment and say that I am in my Pj's still -- hence why I am "droopy" if you know what I mean. I always do my hair and make up before I put my clothes on. Partially because I love this set of jammies. They are so soft and comfy.
Last, but certainly not least, check out my daughter's hair in this photo. I used the same products on her as I did on me and her hair was super full too! The cool thing with her hair is that since it is a bit finer and not as much hairspray holds her style all day long, whereas with someone who has lots of hair and body hair spray does not always follow through. Isn't she pretty? The dog is pretty cute too;-) Speaking of dogs, we are gearing up to do our next litter. I can't wait! It is so much fun and such a privilege to have a ton of babies at our house -- even if they are covered in fur. We are so looking forward to going through the infant puppy stage again and meeting some more great families through the process.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Heart for Missions.... what I have and that is why this choice is very hard for me to make. I have always wanted to go to China. Ever since I lived in Germany back in 1993 I had a longing to go to China. Why China?

Was it so that I could visit and see the beautiful sights?


Was it so that I could immerse myself in the culture?


Was it to learn another language?

See, the reason I wanted to go to China was for no other purpose than to do mission work. I wanted to work with the Underground Church and go over there for a year on a Visa that stated I was there as an educator. I was going to use the Bible as my source of text to teach English.

I had it all planned out. First get the degree. Next get the certification. Finally, head on over there and change the world.


I got married and all of my dreams of working with the Underground Church came to a screeching halt. Not only was my hubby not down for that, he really did not have a traveling free spirit like I did. So, I buried my hopes and desires of heading over there. Although I did still dream about it.

This past Sunday in church an opportunity presented itself to finally get to live out this 18 year dream I have had of going to China. I presented it to the hubby and ironically he told me to investigate it more. I was honestly expecting him to smash the idea. However, that is not what he did. He actually encouraged me to do it. He told me that it is something I have wanted to do for the majority of my life and I should try to do it if God was leading me in that direction.



So with excitement and a little bit of fear (I mean after all it is a Communist country and not a fan of Christianity) I did dig. I even came to the conclusion that I was going to do it.

So, I prayed. You know I had to convince God that I should do this for Him. Don't we do that all the time? Tell God what we are going to do for Him then ask him to get on board and bless it.

 Then I started to doubt my motives and question God....was I doing this to see the world thus helping me get one step closer to crossing off my bucket list visiting all the continents on Earth? Was I trying to do this so I could live out some silly childish fantasy? God was silent.

I am not a fan of silence from the Almighty. It drives me crazy.

This conversation I have been having with God has been going on for a couple of days now and finally today on my morning walk I had my answer.

Did I want to go to China so that I could prove to myself that God was really there?

Was I doubting my choice to go to China because I was a big fat clucking chicken? (FYI I asked my husband this question and he did not even have to think about it. He said that I was by far the least cowardly person he has even known and usually he is having to slow me down when I make up my mind...not speed me up.)

Do I have some hero complex that I want to feed?

Did I want God to prove to me that he still cared about me through China?

Silence...sigh....I just wish God would scream from the heavens at this point. It would it make it easier.

Did I want to go to China to prove to God that I was willing to die for him, sit in prison, or be persecuted in his name?

Then He spoke to my heart "I don't want you to die for me. I want you to live for me. You don't need China to do that."

So, there you go. I am not going to China. I need to stay on US soil and take care of my home front and teach my children how to live.

Speaking of home front (oooo I am so going to make a plug for my new website and did not even plan too!), I have a website now. Check it out:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Down on the Farm

One of my favorite things about Fall is going to the farm and picking out a pumpkin. Usually I nab two of three baking pumpkins for pumpkin pies, but this trip we just wanted three to carve for Halloween.

However, before we picked a pumpkin (or 2 or 3) we had to walk through the farm. First up were the cute little chicks :-)

 Next up was the "Rubber Duck" race. Annie had fun watching it get pushed down stream by the water that she pumped out.
 Logan took it very seriously....
 Of course they had to go on a farm train ride. Mental note: Logan is too old for this now. He was a good sport about it, but I think he was a little embarrassed.
Time for the goats. How did they get up there? I don't even know if I could climb up there.....

 "Mom can we PLEEEEEEEEZZZZZE do the corn maze?" Have I mentioned that I am not a fan of corn mazes? It was like 100 degrees outside and they wanted to walk in circles for up to three hours in which we most likely would have to call the farm hands to come and rescue us because we can not find our way out of a bag.
 Guess what is in corn mazes? Corn!
 Look up and what do we see? Corn and sky....
 30 minutes later we still see sky and corn.
 Then heaven departed and an angel heard my children sobs of boredom and my aching feet and lead us to the entrance (no.....we did not even get to the exit. We had to come out with our heads hung low in an humiliated state coming back through the exit. Did I mention that it took us 45 minutes just to get back to the entrance? Yeah, for "normal" people it is suppose to take an hour to get through. For the "Weird stupid" people it can take up to three. It would have taken us 5 least....)Parker said he would rather play in the hay....
 Then we had to see a pony...
 and a cute little pig :-)

Then we saw a turkey. As I took this picture I tried to not picture it on my Thanksgiving table. Is it wrong that it made me hungry?

Next up cute little baby goats.
 Finally, a cool old school tunnel slide.
 Of course after all the kids went down the slide (Parker being the first) I discovered that Parker had goat poop on his butt.....ewe....
 Time for some go karts. I see Quads in our future.

 Then more animals....

 Finally some good old fashion rope swinging.
 Last, but certainly not least (I mean it was the main reason we went to the farm), pumpkin picking!
Overall it was a fun time. I am so happy that we have a local farm to be able to go to and play. Do you know what else is neat? Between the months of Decmeber and September I can go out there and pick my own prooduce. Hee-haw!