Saturday, January 31, 2009


I'm in a Bunco group. A group of 12 ladies get together once a month, eat supper and play Bunco. Bunco is a very simple game played with 3 dice. Every woman/mother needs one thing that is hers. One thing that she can go and do by herself or, even better, with a group of her peers. Bunco is a time for us to come together, share stories, lift one another up and essentially just remind each other that we're all in this together. (how cheesy sounding)

Anyway, this article was in the paper today. It is a story about a group of ladies who have been getting together to play Bunco since the Depression. They decided to call it quits after years of gathering once a month. It made me think of my group. I hope we can keep rolling as long as they did.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Have you seen my spoons?

A strange phenomenon has come over our house. We seem to be missing quite a few spoons. I noticed the other day that there weren't many in the silverware drawer. I just thought the kids had eaten lots of cereal and they were in the dishwasher. Instead, our spoon supply seems to have dwindled.

When Robby and I married 10 years ago we started off with enough silverware to serve at least 12 and probably 14 (can't remember the exact number of place settings we received.) I haven't counted, but I think we are down to something like 8 spoons, maybe less. So where are they?
  • Were they inadvertently thrown in the trash?
  • Did the kids "borrow" them to play something and forget to bring them back to the kitchen?
  • Are they where the lost socks go to play?

I'm pretty sure that somewhere in another dimension are lonely single socks and lost spoons trying to figure out how to re-enter the world and find their mates and place in the drawer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Baked Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

This recipe is easy and yummy. I made it yesterday for mom's bunco group. I think they put "baked" in the title to make you feel better about the cheese, cream cheese and whipping cream.
I found this recipe in a magazine, I'm not sure which one. You can rest assured that I don't come up with any of my own recipes. Sorry for no pictures, I haven't yet mastered cooking and taking photos at the same time.

Baked Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups (12 oz) Monterey Jack cheese
10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup whipping cream

1. Stir together first 6 ingredients and 1 cup cheese in a large bowl until well blended.
2. Wrap tortillas in heavy-duty plastic wrap; heat in microwave according to package directions.
3. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each warm tortilla; roll up. Place in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish.
4. Cook diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and cream in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Pour tomato mixture evenly over tortilla; sprinkle with remaining 2 cups cheese.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese melts and tomato mixture is bubbly. Serve with desired toppings. (They suggest sour cream and shredded lettuce.)

Cook's notes:
  • I like to cook the chicken and mix up the chicken mixture and refrigerate it the night before. If you do this it may take a little longer than 20 minutes to heat up.
  • The diced tomatoes with green chilies is NOT Rotel.
  • When I heat the tortillas, I wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 45 seconds.
  • We generally serve this with guacomole and chips.
  • These heat up well the next day.
Mom served it with a good salad last night. I'll try to post that recipe next week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Still on my mind...

This story about the 100-0 blowout is still on my mind. There was even an editorial about it in today's Amarillo paper. I posted about it here. Rather than dwell on the negative, I decided to share this story with you.

Here is the headline for the story: "There are some games in which cheering for the other side feels better than winning." It's about a football game played between Grapevine Faith Christian School and the Gainesville State School this year. Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas.

It's a story about a Christian school going above and beyond to make a difference for some boys who are living in what could seem like a hopeless place. It's a story that should make you feel good and should restore your faith in coaches, kids, parents and sports today. It might even make you tear up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Picture(s) of the Day

For some more great pictures, check out the ones Sadie took today. She posted them on our family blog.
Our gate--Robby had to chip ice off of the handle to open it this morning.

I finally bit the bullet and went out to water the chickens and cats. Here are some pictures I took while outside. I'm experiencing camera-envy right now. I've seen some great photos on other blogs. If I had a camera with an interchangeable lens I could have gotten some neat close-ups of ice and ice crystals and some pictures of the seven (Yes, seven!) coyotes I saw running through the pasture. I tried to take some pictures of them, but my zoom is just not that powerful. I thought about coming in and getting the gun but wasn't sure which gun to use and figured I'd probably hit a cow or something instead of a coyote. I am keeping an eye on them to be sure they don't mess with the cows and calves in the pasture across the road.

The chicken pen--I thought the ice on the chicken wire was cool. The chickens really gave me a talking to this morning.


I took these pictures from our front (South) and side (East) door. I'm hoping to venture out and get better pictures of the trees with ice/snow on them, but it is 11 degrees. I'll have to water all of the critters at some point, so maybe I'll be brave then.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What do you think?

I read in the paper where the basketball coach at a Dallas Christian School was fired this weekend. It appears that one reason he was let go stemmed from his girls' team beating Dallas Academy 100-0 earlier this month. You can go here for an article about the Dallas Academy coach's perspective; which I admire. (There is also a handy box on down in the article that will connect you to previous stories about this.) Covenant school posted an apology to Dallas Academy on their web site. The coach apparently disagreed with the statement and posted his thoughts somewhere.

The coach says the game, "just happened." What? I've played in some lopsided games and scoring 100 points doesn't "just happen." I remember one game where our coach wouldn't let us start playing defense until the other team got to the free throw line--then it was a 2-3 zone. On offense, we were required to pass the ball at least five times before shooting and then the coach called out the shooter's name.

Could we have run-up the score to 100? Probably. Did we want to? Sort of. Who doesn't want to play in a game where you score 100 points? Would that have been the right thing to do? No. Would we have learned anything? Probably not.

I could expound on this for a while, but won't. Read the articles and let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


We are debating the use of paper plates in our house. I generally just buy a huge bag of them at Sam's and we use them for snacks, light meals, etc. We love paper plates because they are so easy--just use and toss.

But here is the dilemma. In an attempt to save money I decided to quit buying paper plates. No big deal except we are running our dishwasher twice as much. So which is cheaper and/or more Eco-friendly paper plates or washing plates?

I realize you are creating more waste and causing more paper to be made by using paper plates. But, you are saving water and electricity and not putting waste water filled with detergent back out when you use paper plates.

I leave you with some questions:

  • Which is cheaper, paper or washing plates?

  • Which is better for the environment, paper or washing plates?

I'm not a tree-hugger by any means, but I want to do my part for the environment. After all, we can't go live on another planet when this one is used up. (Although if I have another week like last week, I may check into it.) I also want to make my dollar stretch as far as I can. So, do I buy paper, or spend money on detergent and electricity to run the dish washer and pump our well?

What's a girl to do?

Friday, January 23, 2009

What do your counter tops say about you??

We are recovering from stock shows, company and sick kids. My house looks like it could be declared a disaster area at any moment. We've got old coats, good coats, good shoes, chore boots and other clothing strewn from the back door through the kitchen and into the dining room. Our dining room table has once again disappeared as I attempt to make more necklaces (a post and pictures soon, I hope). As I attempted to clean the kitchen counters off enough to make supper I surveyed what was piled on top and wondered what an archaeologist might think if he discovered our ruins.

Items included:
  • a bag of mini-marshmallows
  • an empty bag of chips
  • two lamb drenchers (I ask Robby why we needed two. He says it depends on what we are giving the lamb as to what size we need.)
  • supplement for the lamb
  • 3 breathing treatment masks and a bag of inhalers and medicine for T.S.
  • an empty bowl that's supposed to be taken out to use to water the cats
  • half-eaten pan of brownies
  • cell phone charger cords
  • numerous pictures that were painted this morning and needed a place to dry

Please don't call CPS or the health department on me. We really do attempt to clean up after ourselves. I probably didn't mention everything I found, but you get the general idea. So what does this say about me? Probably that I'm not the best house keeper, but that I do care for the well-being of the kids and all of our zoo members. It also says that like the rest of the world we are trying to do too many things at once. The solution? I don't know. Everything but the empty bag of chips seems to be essential right now. I'm sure an enlarged mud room/laundry room would take care of everything.

A girl can dream, can't she?

Friday Fill-Ins

Here are the Friday Fill-Ins:

1. Oh, I am so tired!
2. Embrace changes, big and little.
3. During nap time, I enjoy the time by myself.
4. Breathing treatments every 2 hours; are you kidding me???
5. Right now I'd like to be in bed.
6.T.S.'s new airial chamber for his inhaler is my favorite gadget.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to very little, tomorrow my plans include taking Sadie to get basketball shoes and Sunday, I want to do as little as possible.

Can you tell it has been an interesting week?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Beef Noodle Casserole

This is my "go to" recipe. It is easy, I usually have the ingredients on hand and the boys love it!

Beef Noodle Casserole
1 lb. hamburger
1/4 c. minced onion
1 clove garlic
2 (8oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 c. sour cream
1 c. cottage cheese
8 oz. medium egg noodles
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1. Brown hamburger, onion and garlic.
2. Stir in tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Simmer 5 minutes.
4. Cook egg noodles and drain. Combine the noodles, sour cream and cottage cheese.
5. Grease a casserole dish. Put down half of noodles. Top with meat; add remaining noodles. Top with cheese.
6. Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly.

Cook's notes: I think it is really tasty to cook the noodles first and let them kind of marinate in the cottage cheese and sour cream mixture. If you put the warm noodles in with the sour cream and cottage cheese, the noodles seem to absorb more flavor. Also, it finally dawned on me the other day to then cook my meat in the pan I cooked the noodles in and I only got a bowl and the pan dirty while cooking. Sometimes I amaze myself.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why I dislike days like today...

Today is one of those days that is mentally exhausting. Sadie had a great day at the county stock show Saturday. T.S., on the other hand, seems to have developed asthma and stock show dust seems to be the trigger. After a miserable day of coughing Saturday, he seemed a little better Sunday morning. By Sunday evening it was apparent he needed to go to the doctor. His breathing was pretty good and his color was good, but he was still coughing some.

Monday we headed to the doctor with the thought that he might have an infection or just needed cough medicine. The doctor thought differently. His lungs were not sounding good and his oxygen level was not good. You know it's bad when you start off seeing a nurse practitioner and end up seeing the doctor as well as both nurses. We were sent home with instructions for breathing treatments and to come back Tuesday to learn what things we could do as preventative measures.

So here we are today. The short trip to the doctor to get educated turned into another breathing treatment and coming back to the office a few hours later to assess where we were. His oxygen levels are still not where they should be, but his lungs sound better and his color is good. The doctor sent us home with instructions for breathing treatments every 2 hours and to check the oxygen levels and report in.

So, now we are to the exhausting part: keeping up with the treatment schedule, wondering if his oxygen is good or bad, wondering if we'd be better off in the hospital....
T.S. is hyped up on albuterol and steroids--a bad combination for a four-year old boy. He's bouncing everywhere and can't hold still.

Sometimes I think it'd be easier to go get a 9 to 5 job and hire a nanny.

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's Friday...

It's Friday, so where are my Friday Fill-Ins? Well, I read them and they didn't just jump out at me. My brain is terribly tired today, so I'm skipping them--maybe next week.

We are BUSY with stock shows. We love this time together as a family. It's fun to spend time with the other families in our 4-H club, too. Sadie has worked very hard--you might not could tell it is her first year if you didn't know her. We're looking forward to a fun weekend.

More on the stock shows when we have time to stop and see if we are coming or going....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Apple-Pear Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

I found this recipe in Southern Living Magazine. It has been a huge hit at our family gatherings. I like the dressing and the flavors from combining ingredients you might not normally pair together.
Apple-Pear Salad
1 (16oz.) pkg. romaine lettuce, washed
1 (6 oz.) block Swiss cheese, shaved
1 c. roasted, salted cashews
1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries
1 large apple, thinly sliced
1 large pear, thinly sliced

Toss ingredients together and serve with lemon-poppy seed dressing,

Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing
2/3 c. light olive oil
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
2 tsp. finely chopped onions
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
Process ingredients in blender until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to one week; serve at room temperature.

I toss the apple and pear slices in lemon juice to keep them from turning.
I don't use the bagged lettuce--I'm never pleased with the quality of it at our store. So, I do quite a bit of guessing with the lettuce and the cheese amounts.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Snapshot of our Day

You know it's windy when shirts blow off of the line and over the fence into the yard.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Recipe of the Week--Buttermilk Cake

I'm going to attempt to post a new recipe each week. Yesterday, T.S. and I made a buttermilk cake. You can see pictures of the process here. This recipe is in my Rainbow Cookbook and is my great-grandmother's. It is very simple and appears in the cookbook just like this:

1 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
4 eggs
1 c. buttermilk with 1/4 tsp. baking soda added

Flavor to taste. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

I add about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vanilla.
For you novice cake bakers, don't just dump everything in, cream the shortening and sugar then add the eggs and vanilla. Finally alternate the flour and buttermilk. I bake this in a bundt pan (it belonged to my other great-grandmother).


Friday Fill-Ins

I can't believe it's Friday already. Here are the fill-ins:
1. It's January which means I'm a stockshow widow.
2. A Coke is what I crave most right now.
3. Cork and wine go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong.
4. Friends and family are so nourishing.
5. Let us dare to take a chance.
6. I love my home.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to helping with the pigs and lambs, tomorrow my plans include the Happy International Livestock Show and Sunday, I want to rest and recharge for another stockshow week.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hall's Kitchenware

Here are my pitchers again, both are Hall's. I did a little research. This was a useful site. On it I found out that my little yellow pitcher is a 5-Band small jug. This line was introduced in 1937. The red one is a ball jug, probably a #3 with an 8-9 cup capacity. These were introduced in 1938 and have been copied by many manufacturers. A Hall Ball Jug will always have a stamp.

This site was even more helpful with narrowing down when the pitchers were made. Both my stamps are pre 1970. The yellow canary color and the type of stamp on the bottom show that it was made between 1930 and 1970. The stamp on the bottom of the red pitcher shows it was made after 1932. The color narrows it down to 1937 or 1942. So, since this type of pitcher wasn't introduced until 1938 we can guess that the pitcher may have been made in 1942.

Are they worth anything? Who knows. On eBay, I found the red pitcher, although I don't know if it is the same size, bidding was starting at $9.99 and no one had bid yet (I should probably go bid, but am afraid that'd turn into an addiction.) Another pitcher was for sale for $59.99. I just like my pitchers because of the shape and color. Also, I believe they both came from one of Robby's great-aunts when they cleaned out the house. Surprisingly, I'm the only one in the family interested in pitchers. I'm probably sitting on a gold mine.

So, that's your Hall's Kitchenware history lesson for the day. The company is still in business, you can check it out here.

My Pitchers

Yesterday, Granny Sue had an interesting picture of vintage kitchen gadgets. I surprised myself by being able to name most of them and by having quite a few of them in my kitchen. I seem to have the larger pitcher that sort of matches her little creamer. I thought I'd share a picture of that pitcher and the yellow one I have. Both are made by Hall's.
These two pitchers that have no writing on the bottom:
I guess you might call them earthenware. I have no idea if they are old or not. The blue lines around them seem to be smeared or have run in places. I just think they look cool.

As Seen on TV

Sadie loves infomercials, especially the short "commercial" ones. She is determined we need to buy the pan that makes the 4 mini-hamburger patties. I can hardly wait to show her this site. It analyzes TV products in a sort of humorous way. The only thing Sadie and I keep wondering is why Billy Mayes has to shout. Just tell us about the product already.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


It is that time of year when everyone makes resolutions. My sister has a great list here. My blog-friend Amanda has a fabulous one here. We have a new year and a fresh start, so it only makes sense to resolve to do things differently. I've never made resolutions. I've never said, "I'm going to...every day. "

I'd like to exercise every day, I'd like to be a fantastic wife and mother every day. But, I know for me that "every day" is unrealistic. It seems to me that when we put terms on like "every day" we are setting ourselves up for failure. I am in no way knocking those of you who have made daily goals, nor am I saying they aren't achievable. I'm actually rooting for you, I want you to be successful with your goals. I'm saying that for me, if I put the words "every day" in, that when I miss a day or two, I'll use that as the excuse to drop the whole goal. So, I'm making my resolutions in broad terms. In 2009, I'd like to:

  • Be a better person.
  • Be more positive towards myself and others.
  • Exercise more.
  • Laugh more, worry less.
  • Have fun with my kids and husband.
  • Make a difference to one person.
  • Read a few "books of substance."
  • Spend less, save more.

Those shouldn't be too hard, should they?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How to Tell if Your Church is "Kid Friendly"

I am very thankful that our church is "kid friendly." We don't send the kids out after children's time and for the most part, the low rumble that comes with the numerous kids in our congregation is not only accepted but welcome. Here are some signs that your church is "kid friendly." (in no particular order)
  • No one minds that your 4 year old son takes off his shoes and socks five minutes into the service.
  • Peppermints are provided in the foyer and no one stands guard over them limiting each kid to only one. (Although sometimes I wish we did, but I don't want to be the peppermint guard.)
  • It is perfectly acceptable for your child to run up the aisle (barefooted) to children's time and "slide" into his spot on the floor. It is also acceptable for him to run up the center aisle and slide into his pew. (We did discuss this today and T.S. promises not to make a habit of it.)
  • Your preacher stops in the middle of the sermon to acknowledge the child (usually his granddaughter) that is waving/talking to him.
  • Members of the church tell you that you are being too hard on your kid (when you take them out to discipline) and you should, "just let them be kids." These are the same people that would have never let their kids get away with what you are trying to stop your child from doing.
  • When you get a new preacher, he is often confused about which kids belong to which parents because babies are handed off and kids take turns sitting with their friends regularly.

Is your church kid friendly?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fire-Safe Cigarettes????

While watching the news the other night, I was surprised to hear that Texas is now a state that requires the sale of "fire-safe cigarettes." I immediately thought, "Isn't that an oxymoron? Is there such a thing as a fire-safe cigarette?"

Apparently there is. They are cigarettes that have special paper that is designed to let the cigarette burn out if it is not puffed. You can read the AP article here. Some smokers say they taste bad. That made me wonder, "If they taste bad, they are probably treated with a chemical. If they are treated with a chemical, that means they probably cause cancer. If they eventually cause cancer, there will be huge lawsuits in the coming years."

This is apparently a big deal. There is even a Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes. (I'm thinking that anything that has its own coalition is a big deal.)

I don't care for smoking, but I think if someone wants to make that choice it is his/her choice. I think it is interesting that people are trying to make cigarettes "safer." (another oxymoron) I also understand that fires caused by cigarettes are a big problem. I'm not trying to take a stance on smoking or start some heated debate.

Two things made me find this topic interesting: 1. the thought of fire-safe cigarettes and 2. the government is regulating one more thing.

Does this seem to be a little crazy to anyone but me?
I'm thinking about forming a coalition--The Could Someone Leave Us All Alone and Let Us Make Our Own Decisions Even If They Are Bad Coalition.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

Friday Fill-Ins:
1. The world is getting smaller everyday.
2. Goodbye was the last thing I said.
3. I wonder who'll stop the rain. (Sorry, couldn't resist. Really I wonder about a lot of things like how airplanes fly, what really makes kids tick, what we'll have for supper, will we ever have world peace...)
4. Love is at the end of all things.
5. There's something to be said for good home cooking.
6. At home on the farm with my family is where I want to be.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hopefully doing very little, tomorrow my plans include a fun wedding reception and Sunday, I want to get everyone in bed on time so we'll be ready to start back to school on Monday.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Here is our recipe for black-eyed pea dip. We serve it warm with Fritos.
2 c. Ranch -style black-eyed peas, drained (no snaps)
3 jalapeno peppers (adjust according to your taste)
1/4 medium onion
1 can chopped green chilies
1 garlic clove
1/4 lb. Old English Cheese (This comes in a little jar--I found it in the grocery store next to the jars of pimento cheese)
1/4 lb. butter

Mix first 5 ingredients in food processor. On medium heat in saucepan, melt butter and cheese. Mix processed ingredients into sauce pan. Heat through.

I use one can of black-eyed peas and one can of black-eyed peas with jalapenos and omit the 3 jalapeno peppers. (I know that is more than 2 cups--but it turns out okay.)

We'll be eating it today to celebrate the new year and Bonza Bottler Day!