Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chicken Quesadillas

The last time I was in need of a quick meal I was in the store and picked up a bag of frozen Chicken Quesadillas. When I cooked them I was sickened at the brown mush that was inside. It was a name brand but nothing I would want to serve my family. So, again I found myself needing a quick and easy meal as we've been on the run all day. So on the menu this evening, homemade Chicken Quesadillas. I love keeping cooked cubed chicken in the freezer for quick meals and today I was glad I could just pull out a bag and have a much better meal for my family. It saved me $20 from getting fast food and much tastier too. Hope you enjoy these!

2lb Cooked Chicken Breast-Seasoned with TS Seasoned Salt
4 c Shredded Cheese any flavor
Bushes Grillin' Beans - I used the Texas Ranchero
10 Four Tortilla Shells
Pam Cooking Spray
Prepared Fiesta Dip

Warm griddle and spray with Pam
Place Tortilla on Griddle
Add toppings in order - cheese, beans, chicken, cheese
Add additional tortilla shell on top and gently push down
Spray tortilla with cooking spray
Flip when both shells are browned slightly
Slice with pizza cutter

Use prepared Fiesta Dip for dipping and....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Are You Vinegar or Honey

Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Are your words like honeycomb? That is a lesson we've been teaching our children over the past few weeks. When they start to fuss we just ask are you being honey or vinegar? Its amazing how the mood changes. On Saturday night during our devotion time Mark gave each of them a visual illustration by first giving them a little cup of vinegar (they thought it was water) and had them dip their finger into the cup then lick their finger. Wow, did they hate that! He talked about how our words can often be like the vinegar, harsh and bitter.

We've been teaching them that its never okay to talk harsh and mean to one another. The other day in school we talked about encouraging one another and building each other up. After our talk the boys decided on their own to start a tally sheet. Each time one of them said something crude, rude, cut throat, even if in "fun" they would add a tally to that persons name. They were shocked to see how many times they were NOT encouraging one another. It was a real eye opener and a lesson learned. How about you? Are you an encourager? Are you raising children who are encouraging one another? Do you're words reflect a Christ like spirit or do you tear down everyone and everything in your path? When people see you coming do they think of you as uplifting and encouraging or do they see you coming and say; "Oh, boy, here we go, Mrs Negative is coming to visit!" Try starting your own tally sheet to see if you're an encourager or a discourager. I know it was a real eye opener in our home this week!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another Red Bird Gift

This past week I received some heart wrenching news. You know, the kind of news that tares at your heart strings. It overwhelmed me, consumed my thoughts then started to affect my attitude. I knew what was happening to ME so on my way home I did what I've done many times, I had another good talk with ME and told ME you are not going to take this home and take it out on your family, this has nothing to do with them so get your attitude right before you get out of this van. My husband and oldest son knew of the situation but they did not bear is like I was - don't you love that when someone is stable in the relationship!

On my way home I dropped off my nephews and when leaving their house I noticed a rather large mud puddle. In the middle of the mud puddle I noticed some splashing and could not figure out what it was. When I drove up to see, I notice a little red bird splashing around and having a grand time. My heart was blessed at the little gift God placed in my day. You see several years ago I claimed a Red Bird as my "I love you from God". When I see a Red Bird I know the Lord is sending a special message just to me. That night when things calmed down I got my Bible and a good book and enjoyed getting my focus back where it needed to be. Getting me back in order so I could enjoy a peaceful night sleep and put the situation back in His hands. I'm always reminding myself His Plan is so much bigger then my plan and His ways are so much better then my ways. Choose an "I love you sign" and see how God works in mysterious ways.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Father's Influence

An old story tells us about a man who asked three stone masons What they were doing. The first man said he was laying bricks. The second man described his work as building a wall. But it was the third man who explained with genuine concern for his work, He said, "I'm raising a great cathedral." When I read that it reminded me of our children and the power of a fathers influence.

Our youngest son has been playing basketball and since the games are in the afternoon Dad has been unable to attend. Last week Mark was able to get off early and make it to the game. I did not see him come in, but I noticed an extra pep in our son as he was playing. He was making shot after shot. I noticed a huge smile on his face as he would look over my shoulder. When I turned around I noticed Dad made it to the game!!! After another good play followed by a little gig on the court, someone around me smiled and said, "Its so much better when Dad is in the building, isn't it?"

A father has such a powerful influence, God's Word told us of a father's powerful influence long before our modern psychological studies. Psalm 127: 4-5 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Fathers can use their impact to build or destroy their child's life. Today I'm thankful for tremendous impact Mark has on our boys. He is not merely laying bricks, he is not building a wall, he is building a great cathedral.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Summer Is Coming! Are You Ready?

I love spending the summer with the boys. Its a time in our lives that I have come to cherish. Its a time when we get to sit together and plan our "Fun Thursdays" for the summer months. I want my kids to look back and remember the days at home as days filled with joy, fun, laughter and memories. I'm not sure if my kids will ever say they remember the smell of PineSol, but I do know they will remember us having picnics in the back yard, camping for months on end, endless bowling, fun Friday nights and so much more. Whether my house was perfect or how it compared to others’ is not even on their radar.

Is it good to have order and structure? Sure. But I don’t allow the pressure to be the "perfect mom" keep me from having a happy home. The unmade bed will still be there when we are through, but I promise that the time with our children will go quickly, then I'll have time to have the perfect abode.

We look at our kids and we wonder why they laugh and smile with others, but I wonder how often our kids look at us and wonder the same thing. Why does my mom have such a great personality with that person or in that place, but not with me? Take a moment today and look past the clutter and the to-do list and enjoy your family. It will be a memory that they will one day say...remember when...

Summer is coming!! Are you Ready?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Is That SMELL??

Today I had to run a quick errand, I had to run to get sprinkles so I could finish a chocolate dipped order. I set the kids up with school and said; "I'll be back in a few minutes." Not noticing our youngest needed to be timed in Math, our oldest decided to go ahead and get him started. They tried to decide how to start a timer so instead of just watching the clock they decided to start the microwave!!! Don't ask me why, all I can say is....well, I have NO idea!! So, they set the timer for 10 minutes and went back to work. One being timed in Math the other reading in History. When I returned I was met at the van and I knew something was wrong. I hear these words..."Now, Mom, don't get mad but, well, ummmm, we burnt your chocolate!!" When I went to check it out, the whole bowl, 10 pounds of chocolate was so hot it actually burnt and turned into a course sand! When I started to scoop it out of the bowl it melted the trash bag and the spoon I was scooping! Lessons learned today...chocolate stinks really bad when its burnt & DON'T USE THE MICROWAVE FOR A TIMER!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Special Birthday Gift

Going to Wal-Mart on Saturday is NOT my idea of an enjoyable Saturday afternoon, but I wanted to get groceries because we were going into a week of revival services and I wanted my meals planned. I wanted to go Friday but did not get around to going. That was because God had a plan...

As I was running out the door Caleb decided to come along. I always enjoy the alone time with the boys because I get a glimpse into their heart. Caleb recently received money for his birthday and like any little boy he was trying to decide what to buy. For a few months he's been anticipating his birthday. He had a few things in mind that he wanted; however, he kept coming back to one particular item...a new paintball gun! He had been looking online and at the pawn shops for one but no luck finding what he wanted. We talked a few time about waiting on the Lord. We talked about faith and we decided to trust that the Lord had something special just for him on his birthday. While at Wal-Mart he found a $5 item that he wanted, it was not something he needed in fact it was really just a waist of his $5 so we talked about maybe just waiting. We talked about being wise with his money and not just spending it because it was in his wallet. I reminded him that God had something really special for him if he would just wait on the Lord. He had already split his money up into save & spend so what he had was his free to spend birthday money.

On the way home we had one of those special conversations, you know, the ones where he tell me what a great Mom I am! I love those! tee hee!! We had a nice ride home just visiting with one another and enjoying our alone time. As we pulled into the neighborhood we spotted a yard sale sign. Knowing I had groceries in the back he said; "Mom, can we go to the yard sale real quick?' I agreed but said; "I bet its over because its already after 2 and yard sales in our area close before noon!" Sure enough, as we drove by they had everything in boxes and it looked like it was all clothes anyway. As we drove by we noticed the yard sale sign we were following was past the house that was packing up so we proceeded around the corner to another one. Again I repeated what I said a few moments earlier. As we pulled up to the yard sale it was still in full swing! Junk...I mean stuff everywhere! As soon as we pulled up he yelled..."I see a paintball mask!" Now, let me just say this mask was on the back of a table behind some other junk and all you could see was the strap! He jumped out of the van, ran up to the table, talked to the man of the house for a few moments and ran back to the van. I could tell by his excitement that there was more then just a mask!!! He said with great excitement; "Oh, Mom, there is a paintball gun, mask, tank and hopper (only a Mom of boys would know all the names!) for just $70!!! I smiled and said; "Well, lets get your brother so he can look it over." He told the man in a calm voice, you know, not to give away he was really excited; "Ummm, sir, I'm going to get my brother to come look at your gun, we'll be right back". He got in the van and his mouth started running!! Thinking the Lord was about to give him his special gift I said we need to do a few things. One, we need to go home and see how much spend money you have and two you need to take your brother's advice. If he says its good and you have enough money then you can get it; however, if you don't have enough money or if Kyle says no then you need to just take it that the Lord has something better for you and this is a NO. He agreed! When he got home he counted his money and had $50. We decided together if it was good and Kyle said yes he would have to offer the man $50 and if he would accept $50 then he could buy it. Off they went to make a deal!!! They walked back to the yard sale and about 15 minutes later they came into the house .

I could hear them laughing in the front yard before they even opened the door so I knew God had given him a special birthday gift. Sure enough the front door flew open and two excited young men came bellowing in the front door!!! Mom, they said, we got it for $50!!! My heart was filled with joy but little did I know....

You see, our oldest son had been praying that God would give him a new mask because the one he had was to snug. He looked up online a particular mask that he needed but it was $80 and he knew he would never spend $80 on a paintball mask so he decided to pray about it. Would you believe the mask he prayed for was the mask at the yard sale!!! Right down to the color!!! When he saw the mask he said; "My heart started pounding and I could not believe my eyes!" When he told his brother about it on the way home his brother decided Kyle would get the mask, Caleb would get the gun and Kyle would give Caleb the smaller mask.

Oh, and the gun, well, it too was the exact gun Caleb had been praying for and its only been shot about 5 times!! The total package was valued around $300 and God gave it to a little boy who was faithful in praying for a special gift! Don't tell me God does not hear the prayers of our children.

After they settled down Caleb said real quick "I'll be right back, I've got to go to my room!" He ran to his room and when I looked in he was kneeling along side his bed thanking God for the blessing of a special birthday gift. He was thanking God for a gift and I was thanking God for yet another lesson learned.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How I Know Spring Is In The Air

Do you know how we know Spring Is In The Air at our house? This goes up!!!
Every Spring it goes up and stays up for several weeks, sometimes a few months until it gets to hot. The boys have discovered if they put the tent over the top it will not rain inside so now it can stay up wind or rain! Are they roughing it?
ummmm NO!!! Grandpa received a new chair for his birthday so the boys adopted his old one and of course it went in the tent! My rug is in the tent! The bathroom trash can is in the tent! They are not roughing it all all!

They have their X-Box 360 out there and all the blankets in the house! Including my pink one! He is going to love that I have this photo of him in a pink blanket! LOL!

Even the dog has made her home out there with them! So far the tent has been up about a month and they have survived a few stormy nights, 37 degree mornings and a nice windy day. Is is killing the grass...yep, is it in the way....yep, is it blocking the view from the back door...yep, but I've had to ask myself does that really matter? No! I know one day when Spring comes that tent will be in the shed and I'll long to hear them laughing out there. I'll long for the words, "can we eat our dinner outside?" I'll long for the "we discovered stories". I'm going to enjoy knowing two brothers are building a strong bonding relationship. So for now I'm just going to enjoy the annoyance of an ugly tent at my back door and enjoy the sound of them laughing and building memories that they will one day recall. I'm going to enjoy going to check on them to find them sleeping because they think its later then it really is. I'm going to enjoy watching them "clean house"! I'm going to enjoy sitting in the yard watching them play catch. I'm going to enjoy all the sleepovers they have been having because they are "camping". I'm just going to enjoy the job of being a Mom of two fantastic boys because I know way to soon this house will be quiet. I hope you're enjoying your children too and creating a happy joyful home.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Got company coming over and you're not sure what to make for dessert? Ice Cream Sandwiches are always a hit! This evening I found these cookies on clearance so I thought I would make my boys a special treat! I made a dozen sandwiches for just .50 cents each. A special treat for the special men in my life!!
The best way to make an ice cream sandwich is to not only freeze the ice cream but freeze the cookies too. Pre freezing the cookies will keep the ice cream from melting once you build your sandwich. The same applies if you make an ice cream cake, pre freeze your cake too.
Use an ice cream scoop and get a full scoop of ice cream. Top with an additional cookie and push together gently. You can also roll the sides of your cookies in nuts, sprinkles, coconut anything that sounds good!
Wrap in foil and place back in freezer until ready to serve, then......

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Word of Warning!!

My Dad's 70th birthday is tomorrow!! I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he could not decide between Red Velvet or Mandarin Orange so I decided to make him a Red Velvet for tomorrow and a Mandarin Orange for our family gathering Saturday...but a word of warning! When your son finishes vacuuming and puts another can on the counter double check before spraying your cake pan because you might end up spraying your pan with....
Yep! I sprayed the cake pan with Carpet Fresh!! What are the chances of both cans having blue lids!! At least I discovered what I did before putting the cake batter in the pan!!
Lesson learned. Now on to the next one....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Girl Among Men

After going to the ladies retreat I came home to a decorated house!
Our youngest could not wait to turn the fan on!!
How do you know you're in a house full of men when everything around you is pink?
The decorations are hung up with DUCK TAPE!!! LOL!!!
Got to love being a Girl among Men!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Laughter is Good Medicine

This weekend it was my birthday! Can you believe I get to have another 39th birthday? Yep! All year last year I thought I was 39! Then a few months ago someone said 2011 in a conversation and I thought....wait a minute 2011, I'm not going to be 40 this year I'm going to be 39!! I had a good laugh that I get another 39th birthday!!! Not only was it my birthday weekend but it was the weekend of our ladies retreat which I look forward to each year!

You know how you are with your girlfriends at a ladies retreat? You stay up to late laughing and being a girl! This year they had a surprise birthday party for me so of course we ate, stayed up to late, laughed and enjoyed leaving all the cares of the world for just a little bit and became girls! It was great!!!

The next morning when waking up of course you're tired! Its a good tired and waking up with a renewed spirit and focus is a wonderful way to wake up. It was a beautiful morning in the mid 60's so we had the front door open. As I sat down to put my make-up on God gave me a good laugh in the form a little visitor!
This little guy came to greet me! Not only did he greet me but he kept trying to come in and join me! As my sister and I sat at the table he kept watching us I'm sure waiting on something to eat. He would put one foot in the door and all I had to say was "No, No!" and he would step out. Then a few minutes would go by and he would put one foot in the door and again I would say "No!" He would turn around, make a circle on the porch and come right back. He stayed there the whole time I was getting ready and the two of us had a nice little conversation!
After I finished getting ready he walked me to the van as I packed. Then he came back to the condo and waited for me to come out again. After getting in the van and going to the main building for our meeting my heart was blessed at the little giggle I had as I enjoyed God's creation. Little did I know my friend followed me! As I was sitting in the meeting I was sitting near a glass door and who but my little friend was standing next to the glass door as if he too wanted to attend the meeting!

Sometimes I think God has a sense of humor if we just take time to look for it in our day! Today my heart is overflowing with His goodness towards me and I am truly blessed at His love for me. I count it all joy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Special Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day! Any day set aside for me to show my husband and boys how much I love them is special! I know some say; "Its a commercialised holiday" but I just say bring it on! Any day to say I love you is special in my book! This year I was pondering on just what Valentine's Day means to me. I remembered back to when Mark and I were dating and our first Valentine's Day. He was one of those guys who thought it was just another day...well, that was until our first Valentines Day. After cooking him a home cooked meal in my new red dress he was hooked! tee hee!!! Then I started thinking about the Valentine's Day's in the past that our boys cherish. This year we celebrated much the same way. Waking up with a special gift from Mark for me and the boys, a fun home school day, Heart shaped pizza for dinner along with a yummy dessert. All that was special but what made Valentine's Day special for Mark and I was what happened the Friday before....

The Friday before Valentine's Day Mark took the day off work. He had been working a lot of extra days so we were all happy he had a day off! That day I had to deliver chocolate to the market downtown so Mark got up early and went with me. While out, we decided to enjoy the morning together doing some shopping as well as going out to breakfast.

While at breakfast I was looking around the restaurant thinking to myself what a nice time it was to spend this time together. I looked around and saw the busyness of life as people were texting, reading the paper, talking on the phone and even some older people eating all alone. I sat there pondering how special it was to be sitting together with Mark and how it made me feel special that he chose to wake up early on his day off to come with me. About that time an older couple came and sat at the table behind us. They both walked with canes, he came to the seat before her pulling out her chair. She sat and he went to the bar to fix his plate. As he fixed his plate she got the table ready placing a napkin on his side, unrolling the silverware, ordering their drinks, fiddled in her purse and got ready for their time together. He came to the table, helped her up and she went to fix her plate. As I watched them my heart was blessed at the tenderness between them. Once she fixed her plate they enjoyed a quiet conversation, at one point we heard him say to his bride, "You're hair sure looks pretty today!" Mark and I both looked at each other and shared a smile between us. I wondered just how many Valentine's they'd shared together. As I watched them I could see the love he had for her and she for him. It was a simple meal but when they walked in the room the simple breakfast turned into a special Valentine's Day. As I sat enjoying the company of my husband I realized even more how blessed I am that God chose to give him to me.
As Mark and I were walking out Mark said "Why don't we pay for their bill?" I had no idea he was being blessed by them just as much as I had been. We went to the register and wrote them a note, paid for their bill and walked out of that restaurant feeling a little bit closer to one another and looking forward to our future together.

God is so good.....

As we walked out of the restaurant my phone rang. It was for a chocolate order $5 more then we just paid for their meal! He never ceases to amaze me!