Friday, May 29, 2009

Blast from the past..almost 30 years!

I "know" alot of people. There are alot of different levels of "knowing". I do my blog thing here, I joined Myspace more to help Kierra's friends keep up with things too. The last holdout for me was joining Facebook. I knew nothing about it & figured it was just another Myspace. I finally joined & am so addicted to it. I even have it on my phone! It is the closest thing to grown-up contact I can get on such a frequent basis. I live a busy life. The few friends & family we have near us are very busy too. That leaves me with alot of kid time. Which, at times can be a blast, but not 24/7.
I had several people from high school contact me on FB (Facebook for the unknowing). I knew them, or knew "of them". It is great to reconnect with people who I may have otherwise never come accross again. Today I found someone I truly "knew" from back then. I wasn't sure they would remember me, but they did. It was fun to reconnect with someone who I had a genuine connection with so long ago. I have very dear friends from almost 30 years ago that I keep in touch with & am lucky to have close to me now. How wild it would be to not talk to them since way back then & just out of the blue one day say, "Hey, do you remember me?" & have them respond "WOW, yes I do"? I think part of that is because to me, I was invisible back then. I was among the un-noticed.
It was so funny several years ago, the girls & I went to one of the reunions that invited a couple years worth of Alumni, I think it was the 20th. Because I knew who all the popular people were (but never really "knew" them in school) & I am now fairly outgoing..haha.. they all thought I was someone significant. It was a blast. We are all grown up, in different worlds, but you put us all in a room & we tend to revert to who we were back then, or who we thought we were. We had a great time & I look forward to the next reunion. I think Brian's 30th should be this year, but we haven't heard anything about it. I'll have to check into it.
Anywho, this world is smaller than we think it is, & if we keep our eyes open, there's no telling what we'll see!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chicken Cheese Lasagna

This is dinner for tonight. I just have to get motivated & get it made! Just like traditional lasagna, it is even better the next day!


8 oz. lasagna, uncooked (about 9 or 10 noodles,)
2 c. cooked chicken, chopped
2 c. chicken broth
2 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
2 c. (16 oz.) Mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. (16 oz.) cottage cheese (I use Ricotta Cheese)
2 (10 oz.) pkg. chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 med. onion, chopped (approximately 1/2 c.)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I use garlic powder)
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. oregano

Melt butter in saucepan, add flour, garlic, salt. Cook, stirring constantly until bubbly. Remove from heat. Add milk and chicken broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add onion, basil, oregano, pepper, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

In ungreased 9x13x2 inch rectangular pan, pour 1/4 of cheese sauce (approximately 1 1/2 cup). Layer 3 or 4 lasagna noodles, overlapping if necessary. Spread 1 cup of cottage cheese over noodles, 1/4 of cheese sauce, 3 or 4 noodles, 1 cup cottage cheese, chopped spinach, chopped chicken, 1/4 cheese sauce, 3 or 4 noodles, remaining cheese sauce, sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese on top. (I also top with Mozzarella.) Bake in 350 degree oven about 35-40 minutes.

It only hurts when I laugh!

*I had a huge debate w/ Hunter about "Double Dog Dares" & wether you HAVE to do them. After this intense discussion where he kept defending that you HAVE to do double dog dares, & I insisted you don't...he explained that was why he made his milk explode at lunch yesterday! ( I really had to work at not laughing! What he did was not funny, well, kind of, but the whole debate beforehand to help cover his own butt was!) I hope I convinced him to be his own person, that he can, & should, say NO when others try to get him to do something that he knows is wrong, or unsafe, or he just doesn't want to do. It is so hard to impress upon kids that what others think is not so important. Even at just 8 years old, he is influenced by the kids he spends his school day with. It is very important to him to be liked. I tried to reassure him & let him know, it is usually the kids who won't really be a good friend that try to get you to do things they know are wrong, or will get you into trouble. I wonder if it is a futile battle. But I will keep trying!
*Alexa caught Brian & I both by suprise last night. He walked in the door & before anyone else could say anything she ran up to him & said "Dad, we need to talk!" I was in the other room & couldn't help but laugh at how serious she sounded. I had no clue what was so important. He asked her to wait for him to get changed. The instant he came out of our room she was ready & waiting.... to tattle about something one of the boys had done! It had already been handled. She was just looking for some extra support & sympathy. Being Brian's Princess she thought he would defend her. He handled it well, but was thrilled I think that she thinks so much of him. I am so concerned how he will handle her manipulations when she is a teenager!
*We have been waiting for the Night at The Museum 2 movie to come out. The kids loved the previews & we have the first movie on DVD. Brian was off Monday so we met bri, Justin & some of his family at the theatre to see it. Tristan was sitting next to me. I almost choked on my popcorn when he quoted one of the lines that "The Thinker" sculpture says. He flexed his muscles & said "Boom, Boom, Firepowa". It was so funny because he said it when he saw the sculpture in the background of a scene..before the actual scene when he says it. He did it complete with was hilarious! He can be quite the mimic when he likes something. He picked up a word from the bobblehead Einsteins in the movie too, but I can't remember it. It is a long word, but it escapes me! I will post a note on here when I remember. (it wasn't Dumekopf)
(it was Vundeba!)
Now he is waiting for the movie "UP" because he likes Doug the Dog from the previews..I should make a DVD of kids movie previews & sell it as entertainment!

Dog Treat Recipes

My dog guru sis-in-law, Lisa sent me these for my lil sis Cricket to make for her new dog. I posted it on facebook & forgot to post it here!

Recipe #1
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered dry milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
6 tbs. margarine or shortening
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup ice water
Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine flour, dry milk, and sugar. Mix in margarine or shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal. Mix in egg. Add enough cold water so that the mixture forms a ball. Pat out dough 1/2" thick on an oiled cookie sheet. Cut with doggie biscuit cutter and remove scraps. Pat out scraps and cut with biscuit cutter as before. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Recipe #2
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp. corn oil
1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350F.
Blend flour, cornmeal, garlic and cheese. In a small bowl beat egg with 1/4-cup oil and broth (use rest of oil to oil cookie sheet). Blend liquids into the dry ingredients with a fork. On an unfloured board work dough just enough to form a ball. Roll to 1/3" thickness. Cut biscuits and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ham & Green Noodle Bake

Ham & Green Noodle Bake

1 Medium Onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 tblsp Margarine or Butter
2 Tblsp Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Dry Mustard
1 3/4 cups Milk
2 cups cut-up, fully cooked, Ham
1/2 cup shredded Swiss Cheese (about 2 ounces)
4 ounces uncooked Spinach Egg Noodles
2 tblsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
Garnish; (optional)
Twist of Lemon
Celery Leaves

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
Cook & stir onion in Margarine, (or butter), until tender.
Blend in flour, salt, pepper, & dry mustard.
Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly; remove from heat.
Add milk; heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
Boil & stir 1 minute, then stir in ham & swiss cheese.

Cook noodles as directed on package; drain.
Alternate layers of noodles & sauce mixture in ungreased, 1 1/2 qt casserole dish, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. *(I just mix it all together & use a 13x9x2 baking dish.)
Bake, uncovered, until bubbly & light brown, about 20 minutes.
Garnish with a twist of lemon & celery leaves if desired.
Makes 6 servings. About 260 calories per serving.

Had this in the freezer, made ahead. Thawed it out & dinner is done! One of Brian's favorites!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A long road..

Tha past 10 days have gone by in a kind of blur. One day seems pretty much the same as the day before. I have tons of nothing to do. I miss the kids, I miss driving, I miss sleeping in any position I want, I miss being able to do the simplest of tasks. And I have 4-5 more weeks to go! Even then, I will still be on restrictions, but alot of the daily tasks will be off the list. I am getting stronger day by day. Just taking a shower can wipe me out for a couple hours. I am trying to pace myself, but it is hard. I couldn't believe just cutting up some chicken put me in pain the other day. So I am being more careful. It is a long road, but I am walking it one step at a time!

Lobster, Crab, or Shrimp Bisque

From Paula Deen's The Lady & Son's Cookbook

I thought making bisque was going to be a big deal, one of those fussy recipes that takes alot of time. This was so easy & so very good! Brian likes texture to his soups so I didn't blend it at the end like she suggests. Sure to be a real crowd pleaser! Thanks to Brianne for bringing me fresh lobster from her trip to Maine. It doesn't make up for me not being able to go, but it sure makes being housebound easier to bear when there is Lobster Bisque to eat!

8 ounces of cooked crab, shrimp, or lobster meat
2 Tablespoons sherry, plus extra to taste
Pinch of thyme (I used dry, did fine)
3-4 green onions with tops, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
One 10.5 oz can condensed tomato soup
1 soup can measure of milk
One 10.5 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can measure of heavy cream
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Finely chop crab, shrimp, or lobster meat & marinate for 30 minutes in 2 tablespoons of Sherry & the pinch of thyme. Saute' the onions in 2 tablespoons butter until soft. Add the crab, shrimp, or lobster meat & cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes. In a seperate bowl, combine tomato soup with 1 soup can measure of milk, then blend in cream of mushroom soup & 1 soup can measure of heavy cream. Add the combined soup mixture to the saute' of onions & crab, shrimp, or lobster meat. Stir well, simmer for 3-5 minutes on low heat. Add more sherry to personal preference. (I didn't find it needed more for our taste.) Cool, then mix in blender until thick & smooth. To serve, reheat in double boiler. Garnish with fresh parsley & serve.
(I don't have a double boiler. I used a non-stick pan on very low heat to reheat & it was fine.)

Friday, May 15, 2009


I came home last night. Settling in today. Trying to rest, eat right, & drink lots of fluids. Very limited on what I can do, walking is enough exertion for me right now. I am not a huge pain pill person. I am taking one rather than the 2 they say I can take. It usually makes me feel loopy & sick if I take 2, so one works for now. They ended up having to do the full open abdominal procedure which is more painful & more restrictive recovery. It is what it is, at least it is over & I am on the mend.
Lisa Spradlin came by to visit & check on me today. It was good to see her. Terri & Dwight brought the kids over. It was really good to see them & get some hugs. Dwight rescued an earring I dropped down my sink drain this morning, & he tried to set up a camera & skype on my laptop so I can communicate with the kids more while they are at their house. Have to find the driver for the camera. I hadn't thought of that, great idea!
Had to go online & handle some paperwork for my horses so thought I would update here real quick as well. I get tired so easy, & the pain can come on strong when I sit up for too long. I am not superwoman, & trust me, I do not want to prolong this recovery at all! I will keep in touch when I can. Thanks for all your thoughts & prayers. ttfn

Monday, May 11, 2009

Surgery & Recovery..

I will be having a total abdominal hysterectomy today at 2:30. They are doing the open abdominal method instead of a laparoscopic method so I will be in the hospital a bit longer & my recovery will be a bit more restricted & extended than I had originally planned. But it is what it is so onward we go!
If all goes well, & I am sure it will, I should come home from the hospital on Thursday afternoon. I will try to keep in touch with everyone in the next day or so, depending on how I feel. I will have plenty of time to blog during my recovery, so I will catch up on things then.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Fun in the Sun

Today Brian & I took the kids to the Fernandina Shrimp Festival. We used to go as a family with the older 3 kids & then with Hunter when he came along.We haven't been able to climb over the hurdle of grief since Kierra died to all go together. I think Bri & I came last year. So this was a big step for Brian to go. It was a good day. As with everything we do with the kids that we used to do with the older ones, it was different, and we are different too. And sometimes that can be a good thing. It helps us make new memories, it helps soothe the pain that can come when we are reminded of what we have lost.
Memories like these;
Tristan gave us a new word..Whisbee. That is his version of frisbee. Even when we told him the correct way to say it, he stuck with Whisbee!
Alexa tends to be "in charge". When we were driving home she was heard saying "Boys, I am talking now, boys..I am talking!" (I thought for a moment she was channeling her mother!)
So it was a great day! And to finish it off I am going to see Wicked (the musical) with Brianne tonight. It is my un-mother's day gift from her. More memories to make!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Seeing Both Sides..

I talk alot about parenting, mostly because that is the focus of my life right now.. again.. still. But I have not always been a parent. Some younger people may think I don't know what it is like to have parents who don't understand. I do not speak of what I do not know.
I worked & went to school. I didn't do much else & didn't have a car. But I did have a boyfriend, one they didn't approve of. Most parents don't approve of anyone when their daughter is only 16 years old! I babysat my younger brother & sister because both my parents worked full time. I did the majority of house chores for the same reason. By the way.. we did not have a dishwasher, were not allowed to use the everything got hung on a clothesline, and although we lived in central Florida, we did not have central air conditioning. I was not allowed to have anyone over & I was not allowed to go to anyone else's house. Life was not fun & it was not easy. I moved out of my parent's house on my 17th birthday while they were at work. I left after several weeks of constant conflict & ultimatums.
It wasn't much more fun or any easier when I left their home & moved in with my boyfriend. I thought it would be, I thought I had all the answers. I had alot of hard lessons to learn & did not have my parents help or support to learn them. I didn't speak to them for several months. It changed our relationship forever.
I may not always agree with how my parents did things, or sometimes how they do things still. But they did the best they could with what they had. I always said I would never have so many kids. My mother had 7. I will have raised 6 including the twins. Never say never!
I love my parents, I am who I am because of them, good, bad & indifferent. All the parts of my life have molded me into the person I am today. Even the bad parts. I see things from a different perspective than I did on my 17th birthday. I thought alot about my struggles back then when I was making decisions about my children during the difficult teenage years. I could have shyed from what I felt we needed to do because I didn't want my children to suffer or struggle. But they had a part in those choices as well.
Life is a constant struggle, wether we are thriving or just surviving. I have 3 more children to raise up through those teenage years. Every child has been different, and I know these 3 will have their own challenges & obstacles to get through. I am not sure what those years will be like. I do know I will do the best I can for them, and for us. Whatever may come.