Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sorry I've been MIA again

Seriously, I stink at this blogging!!  Sorry about that!  I don't see it getting much better over the next few weeks either because life is going to spiral out of control soon!  You see, I was asked and I volunteered to do the sound for the Christmas program at church.  I went for my first practice on Tuesday night and it looks like it's going to be fun but the real business starts this week.  Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights with me at church on Wednesday as well to do my regular work.  I'm back there on Friday for more of my job and then I'm there all day Saturday for practice and the first play is Sunday afternoon.  So Sunday is another day I'm at church all day.  The following week is Tuesday and Thursday nights then the play is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  So busy is on my plate for the next two weeks but I'm looking forward to it.  I'm trying to get the house in shape and food planned so I don't have to go crazy trying to keep up with everything and I've already lowered my expectations for school through this time.  We'll just work through the Christmas vacation week with taking a few days off right at Christmas.

So what I have to do for this play is to load all of the song music and sounds on the computer, which I did on Tuesday, and then to play each thing at the right time.  That's the songs, the sound effects and the music.  Fun stuff and the new computer program we got in June ROCKS for this sort of thing!!  It was beyond easy - I just need to pay attention and make sure everything is triggered at the right time.

The play was written by one of our pastor's wives who is amazing at writing plays and it's based on A Christmas Carol but set in modern NY.  My husband wrote one of the songs - "The Meanest Man" - that the kids will sing so that's kind of fun.  Oh - weird thing about that.  5 years ago, when DH had fallen off the roof and broken his foot, Mary (the woman who wrote this play) asked DH to write some songs for the play she wrote for that year and he wrote a few great songs.  Well, she asked him to write a few songs for this play.....and he injured his foot again!  So I told her that if she's going to ask him to write songs for a play again to give us a heads-up so that we can make sure we protect his feet well.  :)  Too weird!  LOL

So I will try to get on here and there but you never know.  "Busy" might make it kind of hard.  God bless you all during this holiday season and may you not forget the One who made a reason for this season.  :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Maple-walnut Chicken

This recipe is one I've had on the menu for a while now but haven't yet made it so I have no assurance that it's good or now.  However, it looks really good and we WILL try it this week.  I'm going to use the fresh spinach but a boxed pilaf to make enough for the family.

Maple-Walnut Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6-7 oz. each)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. packed fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup walnuts
5 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 pkg. (8.5 oz) precooked whole grain pilaf
1 bag (9 oz) microwave-in-the-bag spinach

1.  Rub chicken breasts with oil, then rub with thyme, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.  Let stand.
2.  In 12 inch non-stick skillet, toast walnuts on medium 4-6 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Transfer walnuts to dish; do not remove skillet from heat.
3.  Add chicken to same skillet; cook 12 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a knife, turning frequently.
4.  To same skillet; add vinegar and cook 1 minute, stirring.  Add syrup and 1/2 cup water; simmer 6-7 minutes or until mixture has thickened; stirring occasionally.
5.  Meanwhile, cook pilaf, then spinach, in microwave according to package directions.
6. Stir walnuts and any chicken juices into sauce.  Divide pilaf and spinach among 4 dinner plats.  top with chicken and spoon maple-walnut sauce all around.

Crockpot Italian Wedding Soup

As requested, here are two of the recipes from this week.  This one is a yummy recipe that my family loves.  :)

Italian Wedding Soup

1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp. plain bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 large carrots, chopped
1 small head escarole (8 oz) washed, trimmed and cut into 1/2" strips
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/4 c. acini di pepe pasta

1.  In large bowl, stir together egg, beef, onion, bread crumbs, 1 Tbsp. Parmesan, 1 Tbsp. parsley and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.  Form into 1" meatballs (abotu 45) and place on baking sheet.  Refrigerate while preparing soup.

2.  Combine broth, carrots, escarole and oregano in slow cooker.  Gently add meatballs.  Cook, covered, on LOW for 6 hours.  Stir in pasta for last 20 minutes of cook time.  Stir in remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.  Sprinkle each serving with remaining parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This week's menu

Just sat down, figured all of this out and ordered my groceries.  How wonderful it is for me to not have to go for an hour and a half to the grocery store to do all my shopping, then come home, unpack, process the food and put it all away.  Now I get the groceries brought into my kitchen and I'll I'm left with is the unpacking, processing and putting it away.  This is done when I'm not tired from shopping.  :)  LOVE it.

Monday - pizza (a local pizza joint has a special- large pie, large hero - we get chicken parm - and ziti for $20.  I'll add in a greek salad for another $5 and we're set for the whole family.  Not too bad.

Tuesday - chicken pot pie, salad

Wednesday - Italian wedding soup in the crockpot, biscuits, salad

Thursday - probably FFY since I'll be riding then we have a church plant meeting.  I'll be lucky to get a shower between those to (as will everyone else be lucky if I get a shower between those two).

Friday - wine braised Italian sausages, salad (requested by my 9 year old)

Saturday - maple walnut chicken, steamed spinach and rice pilaf

Sunday - chicken enchiladas, salad

Monday - five cheese mac and cheese, salad.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Desiring God

You can download John Piper's Desiring God for free this month!  Go to and pick out the download version of the book.  At check-out, put in the code NOV2009  This book is WELL worth getting and I'd highly recommend it.

Monday's Menu

OK - I sat down to quickly do my menu since I had to get my order in for the groceries before 3PM.  I'll get them delivered around 10 AM tomorrow while I'm sitting at home schooling my children.  How wonderful is that???  So our menu for this week is:

Monday - Quesadillas and salad (using up one lone dry pork chop from last week)
Tuesday - Ginger chicken stir fry with rice
Wednesday - Baked ziti and salad
Thursday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and creamed spinach
Friday - I'm out for the whole day so it's a "FFY"  (fend for yourself)
Saturday - "Good salad" (lettuce, blue cheese, glazed walnuts, mandarin oranges, grilled chicken and a balsamic vinaigrette
Sunday - Pot roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, salad

An update on our deacon who I posted about

George lost his battle to cancer on Thursday, November 5th.  We had his funeral last night and it was apparent by the 700 people who attended the wake and service that he had touched many hearts.

It makes me evaluate what people will say about me upon my death.  Did I reflect Christ or myself??  George definitely reflected Christ and his dying wish was that each of his children, their spouses and THEIR children would walk in a relationship with the living God.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Please pray as one of our deacons is losing his battle to cancer today

George is a dear man who has fought cancer twice already, being told each time he was going to die. He was one of the first successful bone marrow transplants in this country years ago. It is looking like he is going to lose his battle with leukemia today. Please pray for George that his homegoing is peaceful and that God will comfort his wife of 34 years Cindy. She is involved in our deaf ministry (she actually founded it) and he is one of our deacons so they are close family in our church. They have 5 grown children.