Sunday, September 30, 2007

By George I Think I've Got It!

I think I've finally figured out how to show my 'signature' on my posts. It took me several tries, and searching several different blogs, but here's what I came up with:


Go to THIS website to create your signature

Follow the directions and copy the HTML code

Go to your Dashboard

Click Settings

Click Formatting

Go down to Post Template

Paste HTML code

Click Save Settings

Thanks Ally for your help!

Homemade Egg Noodles

Ryan could eat his weight in these! I double the recipe so everyone can have some. I can't believe I had this recipe for over 12 years before I tried them! So simple and delicious!

Homemade Egg Noodles
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
Measure flour into bowl. Make a well in center and add egg yolks, whole egg, and salt. Mix. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Form dough into a ball. Turn out onto a well floured board. Knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Cover; let stand 10 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a paper thin rectangle. Cut into thin strips. (Notice I'm using my handy dandy pizza cutter to do this, but you could use this!) Shake out strips and let dry. Cook in 3 quarts chicken broth (I suggest either using low sodium broth, or leave out the 2 tsp salt above, or both like I do) for 12 - 15 minutes or until tender.How do I dry my noodles you ask? Well, you could buy one of these little gadgets:
OR you could do what I do (we are trying our best to be as frugal as possible around here):


Chicken Club Wreath

Beth asked what is a chicken club wreath. It is a delicious meal in itself and I got the recipe from the P*ampered Chef. The best part of this dish is the taste, but the 2nd best part is how simple it is to make! Here's the recipe:

Chicken Club Wreath
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and chopped
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
2 cans crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten

I've made this several times now, and I don't measure any of it. I just add as much as needed to make it taste delicious! This also gets used as a quick meal by using canned chicken breast, and H*ormel bagged bacon pieces - can't get much easier than that! I'm using this link on my blog to show you how to make the wreath, which is very simple too! I hope you'll try it and let me know what you think!

1st Award!

I've received my very first bloggy award! It was given to me by Beth. Beth, you are such an awesome person! You make me smile, think, and even crack up at times. I miss you when you don't blog for a while, and I wish we lived closer because I'm sure we would have an amazing friendship.
This is what the person who created this award says about it: The thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading their blog. I have met many wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell, and I am grateful everyday for each person that I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the top 10 people that have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell and the lives they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement.
Now, I get to pass it on to others! I give it to:

Barb - I get so many great ideas from your blog.
Heather - Another great source of encouragement.
Karen - This post is a huge inspiration to me!
Sheree - My SIL - a private blog, but very encouraging
and last but not least, YOU! I want everyone to consider themselves tagged!

Menu Plan Monday

Wow, these days sure seem to be flying by! I really like how Barb says that when a person doesn't blog, it simply means they are busy with their family. This is SO true! I love being so busy doing things with Jim and the kids that there just isn't any time to blog. Of course, I've been keeping a running list of things I want to blog about (things will slow down eventually, right?). Here's our menu plan for the week:

Cheeseburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, chips

Egg salad, fries, cottage cheese

Pizza hoagies, flavored rice

Mac & cheese casserole, homemade bread

Taco, cottage cheese

Spaghetti, garlic bread, porcupine balls

Check out more menus at Laura's blog!


Christmas Countdown

Do you like my 'Days 'til Christmas' ticker? I know some of you are thinking "But it's September!" I know, I know, but I absolutely LOVE Christmas time, and besides that, the store ads this week have Christmas decorations in them. At least I haven't pulled out all of my snowman decorations ~ yet. LOL

Candle Giveaway

How would you like to enter to win a set of 3 seasonal Home & Garden Party fragrant jar candles from Heather? Just click here. Good luck!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

It's been forever since I've posted my menu. I've still been using one, just couldn't find the time to post it. You can head over to Laura's to check out other ideas!

Sunday ~ Salad and breadsticks

Monday ~ BLT's, macaroni salad

Tuesday ~ Pork patties, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans

Wednesday ~ Chicken club wreath, chips

Thursday ~ Fish sticks, homemade noodles, fries

Friday ~ *Appetizer Night* ~ marinated chicken legs, twice baked potatoes cheesy breadsticks, dipping sauces, cheese sticks

Saturday ~Breakfast bowls (hash browns, scrambled eggs, sausage gravy, mushrooms, onions, cheddar cheese)

Airplane Ride

We went to our local airport this afternoon for our first ever airplane ride! One family in our homeschool group is also involved in Young Eagles so we all were given this amazing opportunity! We (Megan, Ryan, and I - Jodi was chicken) rode in a 1958 Cessna. It was fun, exciting, breath-taking, and terrifying all at the same time! We went up to 3500 feet! Megan c0-piloted with Mike (the owner) and she absolutely LOVED it! Ryan and I sat in the back seat (a LOT bigger than it appears) and held on to each other for dear life! Neither one of us liked the turns at all! Mike took us over a couple corn mazes - that was too cool! Megan could've stayed up there forever, however Ryan kept asking when were we going to land! It was an awesome field trip!! Here is a pic of the type of plane we were in:
Here's a short clip of us taking off on the runway:
video

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pink Dyson Giveaway

5 Minutes For Mom is giving away another Dyson vacuum - this one is PINK! Click here to sign up now!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Feeling Invisible

I just read this, and thought it was too nice to keep to myself - so I share it with all my friends :o)

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going ... she's going... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of
what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease
that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep
the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to
sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's
bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cookies

The other day Jim said he wanted some chocolate chip cookies, and me being the loving wife I am (cough, choke) I went to the store and bought the mix. I know, I should've made them from scratch, but I wasn't feeling THAT lovey then. hehe. Ryan mixed it all up and we started baking. Here's where paying attention would've paid off - I didn't read the package that said each package made 3 dozen cookies! How many packages did we mix up you ask? THREE! We baked well into the evening and had 9 DOZEN cookies! How many cookies did Jim eat that night you ask? ONE - a single cookie! THAT made me happy (yeah, right). Good thing is - Beth loves cookies, and she even found out that you can send them through the mail. Beth, send me your address! LOL

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

School Days

It seems like since we've started school, there just are not enough hours in the day! That, and cooking meals, and baking this delicious bread almost every day, and reading. I've discovered the Amish stories by Beverly Lewis and I don't want to put them down. I've finished the first two and started the third one today. Megan wanted my full attention today, so after 20 minutes of listening to her "chatter" I thought of the brilliant idea to grab my book and hide out in the bathroom - NO GO, she followed me and sat on the floor and continued to chatter. I gave up, marked my page, and sat on our comfy couch and gave her my full attention. She was happy and I'm still trying to figure out what all she was talking about! hehe

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Delicious

I have tried just about every wheat bread recipe I could find, looking for one that all of my family liked. We even ended up with bricks (so hard and dense, even the electric knife couldn't go through it)! Then yesterday I used this recipe from Crystal's blog - it was light, airy, and most importantly, delicious! There's usually at least one person in my family who doesn't like whatever I made - not this time! Everyone loved it! The best part is, it is also probably the easiest recipe I've tried! The only thing different I did was mix it in the mixer instead of bread machine. I hope you try it.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fun, Fun, Not So Fun

We went to the Great Wolf Lodge yesterday - we had a great time playing in all the water and watching Jim go down the kiddie slide. It is SO funny to watch all these little kids slide down, then all of a sudden here comes this 40 year old man barreling down this tube, and when he gets to the bottom, his head goes under water (he can't hold his breath without holding his nose), and his feet go straight up in the air!! Then, he stands up and gasps for air. HILARIOUS!! Then he'd do it over and over, we were laughing so hard our faces hurt!
Then we decided we were water logged enough for one day, so we were ready to head home. Megan didn't get to ride one of the tube slides and wanted to before we left, Jodi said she didn't want to ride with her because she was cold (Hello, it was like 105* in that place), so Megan and I went and got in line. Jodi was waiting for us at the end. When the tube hit the pool at the end, I flipped out of the raft (which is why they love to ride with me), I looked up at Jodi and she was kinda looking around so I was yelling to her that she missed watching us - she wouldn't even look up at me. Then I start yelling for her to get her attention. She looked down at the ground and passed out!!! I was screaming "No" and because I was in 3 ft of water I felt like I couldn't move. Then a little bit of sense came over me and I started screaming for "HELP". I made it through the water and got over to her, nobody was coming our way. I looked a lifeguard straight in his eyes and screamed "Come and help me" as loud as I could. He stood there and looked at me! Did not even get out of the water! I ran over to Jodi and picked her head up and she came to and started crying. (I know, you shouldn't move anyone with a head injury - but I was one scared Momma) a man and woman jumped out of the water and came over to help me. Some employee come over and the woman with us asked him if he was a medic, he said no, she asked him if there was a medic in the building, he said no, then I looked at him and asked if he'd called 9*11, he again said no. I asked him what he was doing to help us - he said he was following procedures - shouldn't it be right up there to get medical attention asap?! He then started telling me that blah blah blah procedures - I looked at him and told him to call 9*11 and then not to confront me about his procedures until she was ok. Jodi was shaking pretty hard and said she needed a blanket, so the woman with us went and asked that guy for a blanket - he handed her a wet towel and walked away. Then I heard her going off on him, I just let her do it and focused on Jodi. I looked at the man who was helping us and told him Hubby was there somewhere and I couldn't go look for him - Megan turned around and took off flying to get him, he got there, then Ryan started getting sick from looking at what was (not) happening and took off to the bathroom to get sick. Finally, the ambulance got there, I rode in it with Jodi, sopping wet and not wearing any shoes. We got to the hospital, they did a CT scan and took x-rays. Said everything was fine, it was probably a combination of heat, chlorine fumes, exhaustion, and dehydration. So, we finally made it home around midnight and Jodi is just a little sore today. The woman from the waterpark who took the accident report called and checked in on her - that made it better. I'm sure it was just a teen aged lifeguard who was scared half to death and couldn't move, hopefully next time, instincts and training will kick in.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

FUN FUN FUN!

We were blessed with passes, so today we are off to the water park at Great Wolf Lodge! Thought it would be better to post now, because this evening we're sure to be completely wiped out! Hope everyone has a great day!