Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Stirrings

Growing up, this was my absolute favorite thing my mom made. We don't cook it often, since it's not exactly the healthiest dish, but we all love it!

She usually served it with cottage cheese, rolls, and salad.

Spam and Potato Casserole
6 medium potatoes
½ lb bacon
½ onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
½ - 1 lb cheddar cheese, grated
1 container of Spam, cubed
salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, paprika
accent and onion powder (optional)
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Boil potatoes. When done, cover w/ cold water. Peel and cut into large chunks.

Cook bacon in a large pan or skillet. Remove from grease, cool, crumble. Cook onion and green pepper in some of the bacon grease until onion is clear.

Add following to onion mixture:
Dash of all seasonings and lots of pepper, soups, and about ½ pound of the grated cheese (reserve some for top).

Heat over med-high and stir until cheese melts. Stir in 1/3 can water to thin.

Stir in Spam and potatoes. Transfer mixture to a large, square casserole dish, sprinkle w/ remaining grated cheese, some parsley and paprika. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until cheese melts and casserole is bubbling.

DeeDee has more delicious recipes at her site on Saturdays!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Momentous Occasion

History has been made! Yesterday, I was tagged for the first time in my long two months of blogging by Pam! And really, what could be more worthy of my first game than a display of my fridge for all to see? I can think of nothing better! Take a close look, because I change what's on there every six weeks when I change the color sceme in my living room.

Isn't that something? Seasonal postcards, children's art. . . Let's zoom in on a few items of interest.

This is a sweet homeschooling missionary family we have supported in Mexico:

Here is a close-up of a brand of magnets I love:

This is a brochure to remind me that I would really like to sign up for a clay sculpting class soon:
As if that wasn't cool enough, here is the side of the fridge not facing a wall:

It is adorned with a paper towel roll and pictures of the two children we sponsor through Compassion. I would show you the side facing the wall if I could get the camera in there. LOL! I know, I'm really funny. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that, learned something about us, and are inspired to wow others with YOUR fridge. I am now supposed to tag five others. Hmmm. . .

I pick Karla for pretty much everything, but she just moved. Her fridge is probably the cleanest it's ever been or at least since the last time she moved.

How about:

Rachel, whose fridge probably looks like something straight out of an interior decorator's house.
Kelli, who probably has amazing crafts by her children on the front.
Staci, whose fridge probably resembles the title bar on her blog (Vader pics?).
Lynn, whose fridge probably has a US flag, a map of the states complete with Hawaii and Alaska, a chart of other flags, and a little message about doing work . . .
Emily, whose fridge I am ecstatic to know more about!

That was some real fridge fun!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Another Nice, Relaxing Day!

Our Easter was very nice. We decorated eggs using a sports kit picked out by Kylen, read about Jesus' death and resurrection, and had dinner at Greg's parents' house. The meal included some items that would be typical of a traditional Easter meal in Romania, as that is where Greg's family is from.

First we had green onions, bell peppers, cheese (feta and cashcaval, similar to Swiss) and bread. This was followed by Ukrainian sweet bread and eggs. Two people pick an egg. The first person says, "Christ has risen." The second person replies, "Indeed He has," while knocking the tip of his egg on the first person's egg tip. They turn the eggs over and do it again on the other end. If one of the eggs is uncracked, his egg is now called a "champion." He proceeds to knock eggs with the next person, continuing until his egg is cracked. This Romanian custom is one of Kylen's favorite Easter traditions!

The main course was leg of lamb with garlic cloves, spinach salad, and baked potatoes. It was delish! For dessert we enjoyed fresh strawberries, ice cream, whipped cream, and pound cake.

Greg's parents gave Kylen a chocolate bunny and eggs. The chocolate, hollow eggs are unusual as each one has a plastic container inside with a small toy or puzzle. They can be found at Russian grocery stores.

There is a slideshow in the upper right corner of my blog with pictures from both Saturday and Sunday. I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Happy Easter!

Christian Easter Comments

A Nice, Relaxing Saturday

Yesterday we had our annual plastic egg hunt for Kylen. It was a nice, relaxing day. I hid the eggs, while the boys stopped by the library and did some grocery shopping.
After they got back, we began the hunt!
Most of them were easy to find!

Others were trickier, like this one. . .

Can you spot the egg?

At the end we played "Hot and Cold" to help him find the harder ones.

Eggs were filled with money, small novelty coins, his favorite -- an erasor in the shape of a Bible, and puzzle pieces.
LOTS of puzzle pieces!

He had to put it together before he could find his basket.

Three pieces were missing! We ALL searched for the lost egg!

Kylen found it by reaching into the cushion corners. This one had been pushed back too far and couldn't be seen.
Starving after the hard work, we took a break for some chicken soup and buttered rolls.
He finally got his basket!

His favorite gift was the new Smash Bro. game for the Wii. Typical boy!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Stirrings

You can tell from my previous post I have fruit on the brain. Maybe it has something to do with spring and Easter!

At a time of year when fresh fruit at the grocery store isn't all that appetizing (or affordable), this recipe might be just the thing! Or perhaps you are in much too much of a hurry to peel and chop apples? This will be perfect! Or maybe you'd just like to make one of the best tasting fruit salads I've ever had? You would? Well, here ya go! Just take it and make it! Comes from Grandma who got it from her daughter-in-law who got it from someone else in her family. And that's as far back as I know!

Creamy Fruit Salad
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
1 can (8 1/4 oz) sliced peaches, drained
1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup mini marshmallows
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
Walnuts, chopped (optional)
Maraschino cherries, sliced in half (optional)

Combine fruit, nuts and marshmallows. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, yogurt, and sugar until smooth. Pour over fruit, toss, and chill 15 minutes.

FiddleDeeDee has a really neat recipe for teaching the Easter story to kids. Check it out along with other wonderful recipes here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Fruit Painting

Kelli usually hosts the "Show and Tell" meme on Fridays, but today she is taking a little break for the Easter holiday. Sooooooo, I decided to show a little something anyway! This is one of my recent watercolor paintings. My teacher set up fruit arrangements around the room. We drew the pictures and did most of the painting right there. It was fun!

After we get copies made (which I will use to create cards), I plan to frame it and give it to my parents for their anniversary. I'm excited, as this will be my first painting to be framed and/or given. It almost makes me feel like a real artist, which is one of my dreams!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Won!

DeeDee over at It Coulda' Been Worse was giving away Creativity Express, and I won! Thank you, DeeDee and random number generator! I was one of 94 comments, which gave me roughly a 1% chance. Woo-hoo!

Creativity Express is an interactive educational computer software game that teaches kids art principles through animated movies and also allows them to create. They even have downloadable lesson plan to compliment the program. WAY COOL! I’ll be doing this with Kylen!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rainbow Spotted!

It's been one of those rainy, overcast days. Greg said that on his way home from work he could see a rainbow going down in the area where our house is! I told him his gold at the end are me and Kylen. Hee-hee!

Are you wearing green?

I've been too busy for much blogging the past few days, but I wanted to check in and say:

St. Patricks Day Comments

We are enjoying a homeschooling theme day -- wearing green, eating green foods and learning about St. Patrick! Blessings!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Stirrings

I wouldn't serve this to company, since it's pretty messy and needs to be made right before eating . . . but it sure is good!

If you're feeling Greek this week, be sure to take a peek at DeeDee's!

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Split Sandwich
2 (1-ounce) slices firm white sandwich bread, divided (can use wheat)
1 teaspoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons honey (can be omitted)
1/2 teaspoon semisweet chocolate minichips (I double this)
1 large strawberry, thinly sliced
1/2 small banana, cut lengthwise into 3 slices (about 2 ounces)
1 tablespoon pineapple jam (do NOT sub other pineapple combination jams, strawberry jam good)

Spread one side of each bread slice with 1/2 teaspoon butter. (Less messy if put butter on top slice after sandwich is assembled) Combine peanut butter and honey; spread over plain side of 1 bread slice. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; top evenly with strawberry slices and banana slices. Spread pineapple jam over plain side of remaining bread slice. Carefully assemble sandwich. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sandwich; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Praise the Lord!

Myspace Comments
I have a praise to share! You may have read my post about how annoying it is to get my medicine injections each week. Shortly after that, the nurse informed me that they would need to start charging us over forty bucks each time! Ouch! Forty bucks to do something that takes like five minutes!

Well, that was the last straw for Greg. He decided it was time for him to "bite the bullet," as he said earlier. This morning was the big day. He prayed first and then fainted. Kidding! No, he really did pray, stuck the needle in, and. . . guess what! I didn't feel a thing! It went off without a hitch! We were BOTH so relieved and thankful! Afterwards, Greg told me that he didn't think he could have handled having me do it to him if the roles were reversed. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Honey! LOL!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Our Weekend Trip

In the sidebar at the top right you can click on the slideshow to see pictures from our little weekend trip to Seattle! We left town Friday evening and headed back home Sunday evening.

All of Us ~ Spending lots of time together without the usual distractions such as blogging! Eating a fine meal at my friend, Kris’ house! (Somehow we forgot to take pics there! Oof!) Free awesome breakfasts at our hotel. The Washington State History Museum Exhibits

Farrah ~ Looking around gift shops! The Museum of Glass, especially an interesting film on Lino Tagliapietra

Greg ~ The Sci-Fi Museum The David Meece Concert

Kylen ~ Swimming at our hotel Going up in The Space Needle Laughing until he nearly cried at the David Meece Concert, who is a very good story teller

Low Points
We spent way to much time driving after we arrived, as everything was very spread out. If we could do it again, we would probably stay in Seattle.

Kylen asked nonstop questions at the museums and gift shops like, “How long will we be here?” “How much longer ‘till we leave?” “What time is it?” and about 500 zillion variations on those. Are other eight year olds this bad? Someone give me hope…will he reach an age when he actually enjoys museums? I dare not expect he will ever like gift shops, but PLEASE tell me he will start enjoying museums someday!

Our journey home had barely begun when we had a tire blowout. Thankfully, Greg was able to change it quickly. Unfortunately, everything was closed, so we were forced to drive 300 miles at 50 mph on the spare instead of 70 mph. Plus, Greg kept pulling over to take 25 minute naps at rest areas. The seven hour drive home turned into a nightmarish eleven hours. Our sanity was pushed to the breaking point, but PRAISE GOD we made it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

More of Him

This post would be appropriate for "Him In My Life" or "Scripture Speaks!"

Last week Jesus helped me break free from an idol I have been struggling with for a couple of years. I have a weakness for video games, and this one was the worst! Most games have an end…sort of like novels. When I start a book, it’s very difficult for me to do anything but read until it’s finished. For this reason, I only read a few novels a year. Well, this video game had no end in sight. It is a huge online, multiplayer game that is very addictive and always changing. It is also a live game where you interact with people all over the world, so even if you beat it, there is plenty of motivation to start over with a new character and do it all again.

A year ago, it wasn’t unusual for me to play 12 hours a day or more, and I knew many others who did the same. I could justify it, because my health was so bad there was little else I felt like doing. It took my mind off of my illness, especially at night when I couldn’t sleep. I knew it wasn’t healthy and tried to quit several times. This last year I finally got to the place I would only play once in a great while, like if I had insomnia or more trouble than usual with pain. Still, when I would play I didn’t like how the game would take over my mind – it was all I could think about it, I neglected my duties as a wife and mother, and it even plagued my dreams. I guess it was similar to binge drinking! Crazy, huh? Anyway, I had prayed many times, tried to impose various rules on myself, nothing worked.

The Lord kept bringing to mind scripture about God’s people and idol worship:

But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire…The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. Deut. 7:5, 25

We know a carved piece of wood or metal is not evil of itself. Neither is this video game. Lots of people play without showing any signs of addiction, and that’s fine. It isn’t an idol for them. An idol is anything that you put before God – it can be a hobby, money, TV, even another person! If it is taking time from the Lord and your duties or drawing you into sin, it is an idol.

God told his people to destroy all signs of idol worship, so that it wouldn’t be a snare to them. They couldn’t keep any of the idols for a house decoration or a keepsake or use the groves for something else. They had to completely get rid of all traces. Jesus showed me I needed to stop trying to play the game once in awhile and completely give it up…get it totally out of my life. Eliminate the temptation. That’s what I did last week. I deleted the characters in the game that I had poured hundreds of hours into. I cried. It was hard, as they were very dear to me. But I told Jesus He was worth it, and so He is! No more fighting, losing my peace and risking my soul.

Click here for other More of Him posts.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Concert

Today we are concluding a little weekend vacation by attending a concert by David Meece, my all-time favorite Christian singer. Even if you are familiar with Christian pop, it wouldn’t surprise me if you haven’t heard of him. His new releases are few and far between. He spends much of his time doing concerts around the world. In fact, he was one of seven musicians just inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame for dedicating his life to sharing the gospel through his musical gifts and talents.

Both of the concerts I’ve attended were free. Churches invite him to perform at their facility, and they collect donations on his behalf. He was a child prodigy in piano (am I saying that correctly?), and his testimony about forgiveness is extremely touching. If you enjoy his style of music and ever get the chance…go see him. You won’t be disappointed. Here is a link to his site which includes concert information.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


PAM!!!! Let's all take a moment to clap for Pam, the winner! *clapclapclap!* Congrats! I might even have your mailing address already! Expect a package in the next two weeks!

With a little guidance from the gal I mention quite often, I found a “random draw thingy” on the net. This one is supposed to be more random than others because it uses "atmospheric noise," whatever that is. Anyway, I’m satisfied that it is completely random!

And this concludes my Bloggy Birthday Celebration. Thank you to all who visited my humble abode over the past month and week, especially the most faithful and helpful, Karla, without whom there would be no blog! Looking forward to many more months and years!

Expect to see a new color scheme in the next couple days!

Saturday Stirrings

I am putting up this recipe especially for Fresh Girl, since it seems we both have a fondness for entrees with raisins! I had thought this was a curry dish, but I was wrong! Must have been thinking of the cumin.

It's a bit soupy, so white rice is highly recommended! Fresh green beans and bread would make good sides.

Once again, don't be frightened by the list of ingredients. This recipe is pretty quick, otherwise I wouldn't cook it. Just line all the seasonings up, grab your measuring spoons, and measure all of them at once. Only takes a couple minutes.

Shrimp Vindaloo
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp canola oil (we used vegetable)
1 ½ cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼ cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp golden raisins, chopped (we used dark, left whole)
1 lb med. shrimp, peeled and deveined (we used cooked, frozen and thawed)

Combine all seasonings in small bowl. Add vinegar, stirring to form paste; set aside. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Saute onion 2 minutes. Add garlic; saute 20 seconds. Add paste; stir constantly 30 seconds. Add broth and raisins. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Add shrimp, cook 4 minutes until shrimp are done.

You can do more drooling over at the Fiddle's brain dump.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Location, location!

They say location is everything! Our Master bedroom is the spot my son picked as the prime location for construction of his latest Lego kit. Whee! I guess it’s not too strange, since that’s the room where we watch movies and play video games. Anyhow, this baby has over 1300 pieces and was $100, most of which he paid for out of his own pocket.

I’m pretty proud of him. You see, he’s always had everything he wants or needs, being an only child with two doting parents and all. I recently felt like he needed to experience working and saving. So when he asked for this Lego set, instead of buying it for the next holiday, we suggested he start saving his money. He had a great time collecting and counting all the coins from all of his piggy banks (He has accumulated several over the years.). After adding his birthday money, bribery money offered for playing better in basketball (story for another time), and money from some odd jobs around the house, he had almost enough. (Greg offered to pay 20% and the tax from the very beginning.) He’s already started to save for something else.

Incidentally, we just asked Kylen why he picked the Master bedroom to unload his kit. He answered, “Because that’s where Daddy plays Fire Emblem.” That would be the game with the guy who never gets off his horse…er, I mean woman. That’s just sad. LOL!

Monday, March 3, 2008

More of Him

What a wonderful blessing it is when God answers a question I’ve long been pondering! “Why does God allow horrible things to happen?” Recently, I heard a true story about a man who gave his heart to Jesus after carrying out an order to kill a large group of missionaries – men, women, and children. He had been amazed at their peace in the face of death and wondered if their God would forgive him for his horrific crimes – a man of war well acquainted with murder. This one precious soul was saved at the price of many lives.

I believe this is one of the main reasons bad things happen. God sees everything as revolving around souls being saved. As sad as He is to see any suffering on this earth, He is immensely sadder to see any soul lost for all eternity. Because of His great love for every single person, He will bring about circumstances just right so that anyone with a willing heart will receive Him. I’m certain every one of those missionaries would say it was worth dieing. Wouldn’t it be worth a million lives if just one more person made it to heaven?

When things don’t go the way I think they should, I often say, “There could be a soul at stake,” and it puts everything into perspective.

Click here for More of Him links.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Your Cross

A forward I got through e-mail: Think about this.

He made your CROSS the perfect size; its weight, width and length are exactly what he knows you need to get you to the other side. He will never, ever give you more than you can handle, no matter how fierce you think the storms are. They are exactly what you need.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Let's Celebrate!

Sing with me: Happy Birthday to Bloggy! Happy Birthday to Bloggy! The day you all have been eagerly anticipating is finally here! This fantastic, fun ride began exactly one month ago on February 1st, and to celebrate I am having a bloggy giveaway! My very first! Oooooh! I’m so excited!

All you need do is leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite color is and how much you like chocolate (or don’t like, as the case may be if at some point your taste buds were zapped by aliens and permanently damaged). I will do the drawing a week from today using one of those random draw thingies I am always reading about. Note to self: Learn how to use random draw thingy this week. All comments must be in by midnight on Friday the 6th. International entries welcome!

The winner will receive a package with lots of fun stuff representing my hobbies and interests. It will be a minimum $30 value and include random items from my favorite craft store and possibly chocolate (if your taste buds are in good order).

Saturday Stirrings

No blog party is complete without cake! This recipe is so simple and unusual, I just had to give it a spin. It's quite different from the usual cake texture but very tasty and rich...almost addictive. Serves 4 (6 if you add a scoop or two of your favorite vanilla ice cream).

Henrietta's Dump Cake
1 can cherry pie filling
1 small can blueberries or 1 cup fresh blueberries (I used fresh)
1 box white cake mix
2 sticks real butter, melted
1 cup nuts, chopped (I omitted)

In a 9 x 12-inch greased pan, layer the ingredients in the order listed. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Note: You read right! Don't mix the cake batter in the traditional way! Just pour it in the pan dry. I know it's weird, but be brave! Be bold! Be adventurous!
For more "high on the hog" ideas, simply visit the trough.
Don't forget to leave a comment in the above post to be entered in my blog giveaway!