Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I got this one from a Kraft magazine. They suggest topping the cooked chicken with spaghetti sauce which would be fine. But honestly I like these better plain, served with a salad and piece of garlic bread.

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained (I only use half.)
2 c. mozzarella cheese shredded
10 Tbsp. Grated parmesan cheese
4 large chicken breasts, cut in half to make 8 small
20 Ritz crackers crushed
2 eggs beaten

Mix cream cheese, spinach, mozarella, and 6 Tbs. of the parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Crush Ritz crackers, add remaining parmesan cheese.
Flatten chicken to 1/4-1/2 thickness.
Spread layer of cheese on chicken, roll chicken up, secure with a toothpick, dip chicken into egg, then crackers. Place seam side down in a greased 9x13. Bake 45 min.- 1 hour at 375 degrees.

Here's the step by step:
Mix together your cheeses and spinach. Crush your crackers and add cheese to the mix.

Pound your chicken breasts flat. I like to place a piece of plastic wrap on top (keeps the chicken juice where it should be) and then whack them with the rolling pin. I also like to add a little salt to the chicken at this stage.

Put a gob of the cheese on top of the chicken, then roll it right up. Secure it with a toothpick.

Roll the chicken in egg and then the crackers mix.

I forgot to take a picture of them before I baked them, but you place them seam side down, in a greased 9 x 13 and bake 45 min-1 hour until chicken is done. (And yes, the cheesy stuff oozes out a little bit, but you can just scoop it right up and plop it on top.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Break Randomness

It's been spring break over here. Although it should really be renamed "winter break" with the nasty weather we've been having. 50 mph wind gusts, snow, the works. Unfortunately this meant a lot of staying inside.

Here are a few of the random samplings from the past week:

  • HOURS of play dates with friends.
  • Bags of junk removed from several rooms in the house.
  • A few rounds of Hullabaloo.
  • Hours of Pizza Palace on Webkinz. (Uh, me...not the kids.)
  • A few good books read (Junie B. Jones, Harry Potter, and The Thirteenth Tale).
  • A viewing of Monsters vs Aliens (pretty cute, worth seeing).
  • Wii party with cousins.
  • A zit the size of Mt Everest on my chin. (Seriously, it looks like I'm growing a second chin. Not to be confused with a double chin, which I already have grown.)
  • And church today where we silently laughed hysterically (shaking in our seats, tears running down our cheeks, and desperate attempts to not snort) at Carter wearing two left shoes. (Both brown, but two different pairs non-the-less.) This following last week's episode of Kate making it to church in her light up bright pink tennis shoes.

It's been a very fast long week. Did that make sense? I'm sure all the moms out there understand perfectly well. I'm ready for school to start again tomorrow, although with the howling wind and icy road conditions, I wouldn't be surprised a bit if they called it a snow day.

Happy Birthday Emily!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday dear Eeeemilyyyyyyy!!!

Happy Birthday to you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What is the DEAL?!

Today I went shopping to find a new spring dress. No black or navy or brown allowed. (That's all I EVER wear.) I forced myself to look at a rack with a little color and then glanced up at the sign..."Senior Citizen Discount". Okaaaaaayyy moving on to the next store. I'm looking again and hear women talking, I glance up and they're OLD. Granny old, white hair on their heads and white hair on their chins. Apparently I like the old lady clothes. Somebody HELP ME!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This is one I've been making for a long time. Probably since I was about 13. It was one of my very favorite desserts as a kid. And when I taste it now, it brings me right back.

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
2 c. sifted flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 c. milk
4 Tbsp. melted butter
Mix above ingredients well with mixer. Pour into 9x13 baking dish. In separate bowl combine 2 c. brown sugar 3 Tbsp. cocoa. Sprinkle over batter. Pour 3 1/2 c hot water over top and bake 45 min. @350 degrees.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

First mix up the batter and pour batter into a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Mix together brown sugar & cocoa and sprinkle on top of batter.

Pour hot water over top.

It comes out looking somewhat like a regular pan of brownies.

But once you cut into it, the hot fudge pudding stuff comes oozing out. (See it there in the bottom of the pan?) The top is crunchy and cake like, the middle sort of dumpling like, and the bottom is pure liquid gold. (Well liquid chocolate, but....)

It's not as sweet as you would think it might be and in my opinion MUST be served hot, over vanilla ice cream.

(Makes a great breakfast too. But don't let you thighs know.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Quin!

Natalie and Quin, Santa Barbara 2009
Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday Dear Quuuuuiiiiinnnn!

Happy Birthday to you!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Halle was assigned to do a report on John F Kennedy. There couldn't have been a better presidential choice. My mother-in-law is a democrat and JFK is one of her most favorite presidents. My mom is a republican and was a 5th grader in downtown Dallas at the time of JFK's assassination. (Two very opposing views on the same man.) So it was fun for us to be able to do the report and talk about everything.

Now as fun as learning the facts and history were, the best part about the report was making the presidential "doll".
Whether you are a fan of JFK or not, you have to admit that this little "guy" is adorable. Halle and I had such fun making him. Although, the entire time I was doing it I was wishing for all you people's talents. I didn't have a clue how to make a suit out of felt (I am SO not a seamstress and didn't even know where to begin.) but I think it turned out okay. And one try of making hands, was instantly turned into shoving his hands into pockets.

Halle was so funny with him. Before we glued him to the poster board, she would carry him around and say, "Hi, I'm John F Kennedy. Aren't I cute?" LOL! You know, he was well liked by all the ladies in his time. :)

(Oh, and it was a read in today at school. Hence Halle's pj's.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How I Love Thee

Oh American Idol, how I love thee! It's just. so. good!!!

Okay, tonight was "country night". I don't hate country, but it certainly is not my favorite genre. There were some nice performances and for the most part everyone did well. BUT....the performance of the night for me was (hold on to your pants everyone) ADAM!! Oh I LOVED it. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it!

I know I probably just rocked your world right there, but seriously I thought it was brilliant. Pink Floyd, Doors, The Cure, and Johnny Cash all wrapped up in Adam Lambert. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of country and this song was the farthest thing from country. Maybe because it took me right back to my highschool days. I don't know why, but I really loved it. And since I don't have permission from Hot Tub Lizzy to post her stick drawing of Adam on my blog, I'll just direct you all to her post. Seriously her stick drawings are to die for funny.

Oh, and I'm saying see ya later to Scott. He's just too boring and predictable. Nice guy, but he's gotta go.

Try-It-Tuesday St. Patty's Day Style

Like how I just now, half way through March, got my March header up? Yeah, I've been slacking a bit this month. I've also been slacking with my Try-It-Tuesdays. But not to worry, today I've got a yummy one for you. And it's the perfect St. Patrick's Day meal to boot. If you aren't a fan of the traditional corn beef and cabbage then you just might like Irish Stew. (I wish I had a picture for you; maybe tomorrow night after I've actually made the meal, I'll post a pic. UPDATE: picture added.)

Irish Stew
1 lb bacon (diced)
1 lb kielbasa sausage (cut in 1 inch pieces)
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic(minced)(yep, you'll have monster breath)
salt & pepper to taste
2 lbs red potatoes
1 sprig fresh rosemary
6 c. chicken stock

Cook bacon until crisp, add sausage and brown.Drain grease. Add onions, cook until tender, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add potatoes, chicken stock and rosemary. Bring to boil, simmer until potatoes are done. Remove rosemary and serve with a nice crusty piece of bread.

Leprechaun Slush

1 scoop rainbow or lime sherbet
1 1/2 c. 7-Up

This is our St. Patty's Day meal. We look forward to it every year.

Hope you have a wonderful day o' green. Maybe the leprechauns will find your house (and mine) and leave a chocolate coin or two.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sturdy Little Player

Alyssa has been asking to play volleyball for about two years now. At first I poo-pooed the notion thinking it would go away. After all, she is MY child and I can't play volleyball to save my life. I can't even serve it over the net. My sporty friend Miki, took pity on me once (about 2 years ago) and patiently taught me what I was doing wrong. (And I did get it over the net and about passed out with disbelief.) Alyssa was there watching the entire time and that's when her fascination with volleyball started.

So aside from being related to her non-athletic mother, there was one other problem. Alyssa is a shrimp. There is only one other kid in her class shorter than her. Afraid of her humiliating herself I just kept saying no. Jarom finally talked me in to just letting her try it. And you know what? She's pretty good! Gobs better than her mother.
We signed her up with the city league and Saturday was the first tournament. She loved every minute of the 4 long hours for those of us sitting on the bleachers.
She's number 5. I was amazed at how good these little 10-12 year olds were. Bump, set, spike on almost every turn. Serves that could knock the wind out of me. It was nuts, but really fun to watch. And Alyssa got right in there. Not afraid of any thing. And as long as she didn't panic and do her mother's little hop while serving, she got the ball over the net.
Afterwards the ref came to talk to her team. (See Alyssa on the end, the one a head shorter than everyone else?) The ref told her, "You're the sturdiest little volleyball player I've seen." I guess that's a compliment. Yes, I'm a proud mommy. Proud of Alyssa for not being afraid like me, proud of her for having some talent, proud of her for trying, and proud of her for getting the ball over the net.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hello Pretty!

After several trips to the store, a few hours, and some choice words, Jarom had my new best friend up and running. So far it's done a great job getting my dishes clean. And I couldn't be more happy not having to do them by hand.

Someday in the future, I plan to remodel the kitchen. This plan also includes switching out the white appliances with either black or stainless steel. The store only had a stainless steel dishwasher in stock, so the decision was made for me. However, the top of it is black so if I decide I can't handle all the finger prints (which you can clearly see in the picture), I might just go with black for the oven and fridge when the day comes.

For right now though, I have a stainless steel dishwasher, white fridge and stove, and gold hardware on the cabinets. It's like a rainbow in my kitchen. :) Just know that over the next 5 or so years, it will all eventually match.

So any opinions as to black vs stainless steel? What do you have? Pros/cons?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm a Big Kid Now

Yesterday Carter got his kindergarten immunizations. He's all ready for school to start now and thinks August is WAY too long to wait.

He was very brave for his shots. I told him 2 days prior that they were going to happen. (My girls I can't tell until 10 minutes prior.) He asked a few questions and was very matter-of-fact, no drama. He walked right into the office, hopped on the table and smiled.....until that first poke came. And then his eyes about popped out of his head and the tears started falling. Poor little guy.

I hate immunizations. I feel like such a mean mother, holding my babies down while sheer shock and pain register on their little innocent faces. I'm a firm believer in the good the shots do, so it is no question to me whether or not to have my children get them, but still I feel mean and sad every time we have to do it.

A trip to Dairy Queen took the tears and sting out of the process. (As did some Tylenol.)

This is my 3rd child to receive their kindergarten shots and each time I am reminded of Alyssa's experience. The one where I won Mother of the Year.

Alyssa is not our toughest kid. In fact, there's quite a bit of drama any time ANYTHING happens to her. (Don't worry, she has strengths in other areas.) So when it was time for shots I dragged her in kicking and screaming. Seriously, she was like a wild cat trying to claw her way to the top of my head. And they all but had to call a third person to help us hold her down.

Fast forward a few days and she is still boobing and bawling and carrying on about the pain from the shots. I had had enough and a little forcefully picked her up and sat her down in the van to put her seat belt on her. While doing so I told her, "Alyssa that is ENOUGH. The shots are done and over with. Your leg is just a little sore now, STOP crying about it!" As I sat her down, the little sun dress she was wearing floated up her thigh a bit. And then I saw it...Her poor tiny thigh was about as big as my own and was flaming red. Oh I felt so awful. Worst mother ever! She had had a reaction to her DPT. They put her on antibiotics and circled the red area with a permanent marker. We had to go in daily for several days to be sure it wasn't continuing to spread.

Needless to say, I've been a little more patient with the drama and a lot more observant with shots. Yeah....Mother of the Year I tell ya.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time for some American Idol!!

As you all know, I absolutely LOVE, L.O.V.E., American Idol. When this show first came on, I was the leader for the youth girls, ages 12-13 for our church. They were NUTS for this show. So in order to have something to talk about with them, I started watching just bits and pieces. Slowly, bit by bit, year by year, I have become a full blown addict.

I have been waiting and waiting for the top 12 (this year top 13) show to come on so I could predict my winners. (Just like I did last year.) Tonight was finally the night. Last year I chose 3 girls and 3 guys that I thought might win. (And, uh...I didn't include David Cook. Whoopsies.) This year I am going to try to pick the final four. Not easy to do from the first real night of performances, but fun non-the-less.

Adam- At first I couldn't stand this guy. He was so over the top and theatrical. But the more I've seen of him, the more I really enjoy him. When he started singing tonight, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the rocker scream and tongue to show. And he delivered. I think he's a lot of fun to watch and really does have a great voice.

Danny- Oh Danny....I've loved him from the minute I saw him at try outs. Great voice, but not so great on the stage performance. At least he is a self admitted awful dancer. I hope to see some more fun, upbeat stuff from him. And I hope he quits trying to dance. LOL! Poor guy.

Allison- How can she honestly be 16?! Where does that voice come from. Wow, that girl has some lungs. And although she is not my most favorite singer, I do think she is certainly talented and has something. Now if she would just stop jutting her chin back into her neck during interviews.

And the final of the final 4....this is a tough one. I'm torn between Lil, Matt, and Alexis, oh and Kris-really nice voice on that guy. Hmmmm....I'm going with...

Matt- I think we have a lot more to see from this guy. He's kind of the dark horse in my opinion.

Now as far as who will go home tomorrow. (And there will be 2 since it's the Top 13.) I'm saying asta la vista (I have no idea how to spell that) to Anoop and Jorge. I can't stand Jorge and Anoop sucked it up big time.

Want to play along? Pick your final four and let's see how close we get this year.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Farewell Old Friend

Dear Beloved Dish Washing Machine,

Why do you hate me? What did I do? You might think that I was only using you. Which I did, every day, but every time I pushed that glorious start button, it was only love I felt for you. And now, here you go and abandon me! Why have you stopped working? Why? WHY?!

You know I hate, loathe, despise doing dishes by hand. I hate it more than I hate scrubbing the tub (and I REALLY dislike that a lot). I would rather leave dirty dishes in the sink and wait for a second less full load to finish them up, than do them by hand.

The sudsy water up to my elbows, soaking my sleeves. Trying to find a place to let the dishes air dry or tyring to dry them quickly with a towel that is soaked after the first two dishes. The water that has to be refilled 10 times so I feel like I'm cleaning my dishes, rather than swishing them in dirty water. Trying to get the water hot enough that it feels like it cuts the grease and then not scalding my hands. The permanent wet ring around my waist from leaning over the soapy sink. I hate every minute of it.

Oh yes, I am well aware of the bigger problems in this world. And also have a knowledge of the poor suckers who don't have a dishwasher. But honestly, I might just go crazy without you. Please come back to me!

I guess I have no choice but to replace you with a better model. One whom I will be even more happy with. Until that day, you have been turned into a drying rack, and my sopping forearms will never forgive you for leaving me.

Farewell Old Friend, Now Turned Enemy

Friday, March 06, 2009

Island Park Cabin Trip 2009

Have you missed me and wondered where I'd gone? If not, just say you did anyway so you don't hurt my feelings. :)

Well, I won't keep you in suspense any longer...I've been in Island Park with Jarom's family doing our annual Cabin/Snowmobiling trip. Island Park is basically the west side of Yellowstone National Park. It is beautiful country and always has plenty of snow in the winter time for us to play in. We play hard and eat too much on these trips. And the cousins get 24 hour access to each other. They absolutely love it.

Jarom and Kate (Right as we were packing to go, Jarom bumped a scar on his nose on the tailgate of the truck. It busted wide open and we had to do a quick super glue-tape up job on him to hold him together. Dr Brandon fixed him up properly once we made it to the cabin. Boy are we glad to soon be getting our own medical guru in the family.)




We all bundle up good to enjoy our day playing on the snow machines in the open meadow.



The more cousins the merrier. They would pile as many as they could onto the tubes and sleds. Such fun memories these kids will have.

When we're inside, we do a lot of sitting around relaxing. (Or working if you're Jarom.) (FYI-take note of the staircase/banister in the background. Good story about it coming up.)

Playing games is a MUST at the cabin.

Sleeping whenever and where ever you want is a big perk too.

We felt so bad for poor Justin's and Amber's family who arrived and then started up with the stomach flu. Nothing is worse than being sick on vacation. They cleaned more carpet, clothes, and towels than was even imaginable.

Then, just so I could really understand their pain, the night my family was trying to get back home, Carter puked all over the banister I previously mentioned. Seriously, vomit down every stair, over the side of the banister onto the second floor, and down the wall to the basement. I have NEVER seen such a nasty mess in my life. THANK YOU THANK YOU to Justin and Amber for sticking around and helping me clean it up. Without them I think I would have cried. (What is it with us and vacation? Thank goodness we're not going anywhere else for a long time.)

Other than the stomach flu nightmare, I think we all enjoyed ourselves and had fun spending time with family. This is a trip we look forward to every year!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Carter Turns 5!

I don't know how or when it happened, but my little baby boy turned 5 today. Carter has been such a joy to have in our family. He's starting to turn into a wild little boy, which is fun, but also has its moments. He is definitely a rough and tumble, full on boy, and we're glad for that. At the very same time, he is as sweet and snugly as they come.

He wanted a "whale cake " which I thought would be easy enough, until he started describing a 3D version of Santa Barbara with a whale jumping out of the cake. (I'm not the Ace of Cakes!) After much discussing, we settled on bouncy balls. Thank you to Kaylin for letting me borrow her awesome ball cake mold. It was a wee-bit tricky transferring the round cake from my house to the party. Alyssa did a good job holding it, but we did get a few finger prints in it when the cake tried to roll right off the platter.

We held the party at Blast Off, the local indoor playground. These kids played hard.

We had many friends and cousins helping us celebrate and Carter came away with more loot than Christmas day. Such fun!

Make a wish, big kid!

I think it is fair to say, he had an awesome birthday!