Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chicken spaghetti

**Please keep in mind...I am NOT a food photographer!**

So the first of the new recipes that I am trying is...chicken spaghetti! Tonight is a busy night at our house...Harmony has Achievement Days and Ben and the boys have scouts. So I was hoping to get this done before they left. Unfortunatley...that didn't happen! But I was the lucky one that got to try it out. Can I just tell you...yum! So good! The recipe I followed can be found here under her casseroles link on the side!

Besides the fact that I started later than planned, this was a pretty easy recipe.

For the chicken, she suggests you cook a fryer and than debone it. I happened to have a rotisserie chicken and a container of chicken that I had cut and frozen on one of my freezer days. Because of this, it went very quickly!

I accidently omitted the green pepper. Oops.

I did decide to make extra and freeze one. Well one recipe makes ALOT. I probably would have been fine just making one and halfing it. But I will just divide them and have 3 for the freezer. 2 portions from the extra, and 1 portion from the other. Does that make sense?!

All I can say is a good easy yummy casserole. The only things I had to buy were Velveeta and celery. I had everything else in the pantry. Not too shabby! If you try it, tell me what you think! Oh and just as a side note...the kitchen smells so good while you are making this! My kids kept coming in and out sniffing the air! (: Kind of like those cartoons where the person floats to the smell of the pie!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

My daughter is trying to earn money for a video game. So while she cleans up I am sitting planning my meals for the week. And I sigh. I have a notebook that I keep my weekly menu's in. That way if I get stuck for an idea, I can look back. Well guess what? All of them look eerily the same. I haven't tried a new recipe for way too long!! Which is probably why, I haven't looked forward to MPM for awhile! So I sat down at my computer and looked up my favorite cooking site. I decided to try a new easy recipe every day this week. So come back and see what I am making for "casserole week". Here is what my plan looks like for the week (dinners only for now!)

Monday: hmmm not sure yet ( I live on Guam and it is already Monday here!)

Tuesday: chicken spaghetti

Wednesday: Tater Tot casserole

Thursday: Cheesy Hash Brown casserole w/ ham

Friday: chili corn bread casserole

Saturday: Honey lime grilled chicken

Sunday: clean out the fridge

On Saturday I will also be making a Strawberry Pop cake.

All the recipes that I will be using come from one of my fav. sites Mommy Kitchen

Also, if you are interested, Amazon.com is offering a years subscription to Cooking Light for $5! I know that at the store, one issue is 3.99! So that is a total score!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

( My son as Harry Potter at school)

Whew! Feeling really under the weather today. I have not been feeling well since Friday evening. But I wanted to get this done as I haven't done one for so long! Here goes...

~Weather in my neck of the woods: blue skies, palm trees swaying in the breeze. Guam is gearing up for the dry season.

~Simple pleasure: big bear hugs from my husband and kids

~On my bedside table: Chocolate Chip cookie murder by Joanne Fluke

~On my tv:Scooby Doo season 2

~Menu for tonight: I am not 100% sure. Ben and the older boys have cub scouts, Harmony has girl scouts. I am thinking of just ham sandwiches, potato salad and apple sauce

~On my to do list:
fold the mountain of laundry sitting on the couch
afternoon routine
a nap since I am feeling yucky

~New recipe I tried last week: lol well I made a recipe called "ham and noodle bake". It was not good! I actually ended up tossing the whole thing and just making mac & cheese!!

~What is in the craft basket:getting my Christmas card idea ready to turn into reality

~Looking forward to: Friday. There is no school. Hoping to sleep in just a little!

~Homemaking tip of the week: my kids still struggle with cutting their food. Some meats and things like enchiladas etc. So I let them use a pizza cutter. It is easier for them to handle but they still feel like they "did it all by themselves!"

~Favorite blog post: I read so many it is hard for me to remember what I read and where!

~Favorite photo: at the top

~Lessons learned the past few days: I have been busy doing a lot of different projects for church, school, home etc. Some things have just not turned out the way I have planned. So I am trying to learn to let go a little. Things don't have to be perfect to be enjoyed.

~prayer list: family & friends

~Devotional: "If you unravel the family unit, you unravel the nation." -Bernard

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lunch bag blues

( Harmony's bag)

(my favorite container for their lunch bags. A rubber maid take a long)

( the counter on "bagging day"

Sometimes it seems like life hits a fast forward button!! I can't believe that is has been so long since I updated this blog! We have had a few sickie kids, a whole lot of church and school events. Throw in a few Girl Scout meetings and a sprinkling of homework, family movie nights and work (for Ben) and you have our life for this past little bit!

I am waiting for a cheese pizza to cook (boboli crust...no homemade this time!!) and decided to update. Yesterday I did some grocery shopping and did some "lunch prep" for the next few weeks.

Lunch bags. My enemy...my friend. My enemy on days when I have woken up late, or there is no bread, when the kids are bored with the same old stuff.

My friend when I have a fun idea ( I have a Halloween lunch bag idea that I will be sharing on Friday), or when I am prepared. Also, the fact that a school lunch for one child is $3.25...that makes it my friend.

We have all heard that to save money, we should buy the bigger bags of items ( cookies, crackers, chips etc) and put them in our own baggies. It is so simple to toss one of those pre-packaged snacks in right? But yes they are so expensive! Maybe I look at everything differently though. I always look at things times 4! At the commissary a 12 pack box of Scooby Snacks was 3.50! That doesn't even cover a whole week of lunches!! So here is what I do...

1) Look for the discounts. We do not have a sales ad here. The commissary is kind of hit and miss. So I always check out the clearance section first. Yesterday I found a box of wheat thins for .90 and a box of granola bars for .75. A case of Pringles mini's was $2 for 16 snacks. This wasn't the best deal but I needed something orange. You will understand what I am talking about in the Halloween lunch bag post!

2) Then I look for the good deal! The Nabisco snack sacks were all $1. So I bought 12 different bags. Well...three of each kind. I also bought 2 boxes of store brand snack sized bags (these were $1 each).

3) I came home and lined them up on the counter. I turned my ipod and started "bagging". I got 100 bags of snacks, for $15. This includes the price of bags. I used the wheat thins and all the other bags.

4) I looked in the pantry for bags that were almost empty and put the rest into baggies.

5) I have 2 baskets in the pantry. One for salty snacks and one for sweet treats. Every morning all I have to do is grab those and I am all set. My own pre-packaged treats. Lets pretend that I did buy those scooby snacks for a second. To get the same amount of snack bags, I would have to buy 8 boxes. (That is actually only 96 bags) it would cost $42!! I spent $15! Score!

6) My kids don't like sandwiches. They rrrrreally don't. I can get away with it about once a week. One thing I do is have a Mom's "cheat sheet". Harmony likes ham with mustard no mayo. Ethan likes ham and turkey with both. Connor only likes turkey with mayo etc. etc. Connor doesn't like pb & j but he does like pb & honey. So I keep track that way.

7) Uncrustables are expensive. At our commissary they are $1.85 for a box of 4. You guessed it, that is only one lunch! So I buy 2 loaves of bread. I buy one that is not the cheapest but is a nice moist wheat bread. (We don't have bread outlets here, that is where I used to buy bread and will when we are stateside again!)I make one loaf into pb & j and one into pb & honey. I use my circle cutter (from Pampered Chef) to take the crusts off. I then bag them and toss them in the freezer.

8) I like to have my kids lunches in containers not using a zillion bags. But sometimes it happens. I also prefer the kind of lunch bag that lays down. This way I can throw in a gladware container of leftovers.

9) My kids, poor babies,log a lot of time on the bus. So I also make sure they have a reusable water bottle. We fill it in the morning and they have it with them all day.

10) I used to stick a bottle of hand sanitizer in their bags. But they let all their friends use them, and the bottles were empty after a day or so. I want them to use it but...not that quickly! So I just put a wipe in there!

One last thing...Ivan doesn't eat lunch at school. Pre-k is out at 10:15. But I make his lunch bag anyway. That way if I am having to go somewhere after school, he already has a snack. Even if we are home...it is still fun to eat out of a lunch bag!

Well my pizza is done. Let me know any other lunch bag tips you have! I always love to hear them as it is something I have to do every day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Crashed Hot Potatoes

Last night as I was eating these yummy potatoes, I declared them my favorite way to eat potatoes!! We are totally a potato lovin' family. We like them mashed with gravy on top, fried, tater tot'ed, curly, twice baked...You name it, we love it!

I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman Cooks maybe a year ago? But I have been making them ever since. Ben LOVES these. When I first made them, I admit, I was a little intimidated. I am not sure why. I followed the recipe to a T and they turned out fantastic. I was going to take a picture of ours but...they are all gone! (: You should really try them. A new way to do an old favorite!

Sorry I didn't post the actual link. The recipe is listed under sides! And while you are there, look around. She has a ton of yummy recipes!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

My freezer shelf is bending. Seriously. I noticed the other day how it was bowing. With a MAJOR shopping trip in the middle of the month, followed by a smaller one, followed by a trip to stock up on emergencey supplies for the storm (I live on Guam and we were in the path of typhoons this past week) Plus another trip to the store on pay day. Can we just say that our family will not be starving any time soon?!

I honestly do not have a place to put all of the groceries. So I decided that I will absolutely not be going to the store again until I have weeded some things out! I am going to plan for the next 10 days. I want to see how far I can plan ahead but will just start from now. So here we go, our menu for the next 10 days.

Breakfasts: bagelfuls( have never tried these. They were on sale so I thought I would see if the kids liked them) pancakes, muffins, waffles, bagels w/cream cheese, eggs with ham, cereal, quick breads

lunches: ham & turkey sandwiches, pb&j, pb& honey ( I make my own "Uncrustables" and freeze them) wraps, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, left overs
Husbands lunch: usually leftovers or I pick up sushi for him

On to dinners:
10/5- chilli mac, rolls, salad
10/6- (I am at church that night)ham, fried potatoes, fruit, rolls (if any left)
10/7- stir fry made with teriyaki glazed chicken, brown rice, pineapple
10/8-mini meatloaves, twice baked potatoes (we are big potato fans!lol)vegi's,rolls
10/9-pasta, sausage and peppers, salad, leftover rolls
10/10- pizza, fruit
10/11- breakfast for dinner:pancakes, bacon, juice, hashbrowns
10/12- chicken and stuffing bake
10/13- hamburgers, hot dogs, baked fries, corn on the cob
10/14- stir fry(again)
10/15- fajitas, corn, spanish rice

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

(not the best photo but...)
I was a little sad to see that Show and Tell Friday was no longer being done over at There is No Place Like Home. I really have enjoyed looking at her blog and getting some fabulous ideas. But not to fear, My Romantic Home looks like a fun new place to look around & be inspired!

I haven't done a Show and Tell for a little while. What can I say? Life gets in the way sometimes.

This week I wanted to share this chest with you. I bought 2 of these big wicker chests about 10 years ago. I love them. I haven't found the *perfect* use for them but...so far this is my favorite.

My family, including myself, just can't quite manage to get our shoes back into our bedrooms. So a shoe basket by the door is a necessity. I have had smaller ones that just didn't cut it.

I wanted to make a "landing spot" for my children as they come through the door. Including a spot to sit and take their shoes off.

So my always handy husband, used a piece of wood (repurposed from my daughters old loft bed) and made a nice sturdy top. I love it!! I can place things on it ( like 40 lb. children) to help with shoes.

I haven't quite finished my "landing spot" but when I do...I will be sure to show and tell it! (:

C is for...

Connor! My son and I got our signals crossed one night over dinner. He thought he was getting pizza...and he got chicken divan instead (poor baby!)The next day, Ben and I were supposed to go on a date. Unfortunatley, it didn't work out and we stayed home instead. However, I had already told Connor that he could choose what he wanted to have for dinner while the babysitter was here. So he chose corn dogs. While at the commissary, I noticed Cheetos were on sale. An idea started to form in my mind for a "C food dinner". On the menu was:

corn dogs
chocolate milk
candy corn for a treat

Then we all sat and snuggled watching Fred Claus. The kids tried to use as many C words as they could.

Now all the kids want a turn with their letter! We thought of other theme nights too, like favorite colors.

It just goes to show that it really is the little things that make a big impression! And it was so easy too! Next up: Ethan...I am thinking enchiladas and...hmmm, still thinking!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Monthly Round UP

( all the stuff after dumping it out!)

( trying to get a picture of the inside)

( not the best picture BUT everything is in it's place!)

( the black hole...I mean my bag!)

Over at Organizing Junkie she issues a challenge every month. Choosing some area of your home or life, to get organized. This is my first time participating because I felt like this one NEEDED to be done! LOL

The subject for the month...purses. My "purse" is actually a diaper bag. Yep, for day to day needs, it's a diaper bag. When I do go out without kids (not too often) I have an empty purse in the car that I just throw my keys, phone, wallet and ID in. But the every day bag...yep that big ole' diaper bag.

So I dumped everything out. I had coupons, chapstick(s), diapers, pens, reciepts ( ugh I hate reciepts), wrappers, hair tie, hand sanitzer etc. etc.

The inside of the bag is lined with pockets.

I decided to make it so that Mason and I each have our own side of the bag if you will.

On my side: a pocket that holds a water bottle, crystal light to go packet, a "just in case you forgot to eat breakfast and are starving" granola bar and a pack of gum (don't tell my kids, or it will disappear!). The next one holds "girly items" chapstick, pads (sigh)a pair of extra sunglasses. Next is one that is empty. But it is to place my cell phone and ipod in. I have one outside pocket that holds a pen, my planner and my menu planning notebook ( ok org junkie, do I get extra credit for that?!).

On to Mason's side, one pocket for diaper. One for a wipes container. One holds a roll of trash bags, hand sanitizer and diaper rash cream.

His outside pocket is a changing pad. It is just to big to have in the middle.

The middle of the bag holds his extra change of clothes, burp cloth and recieving blanket. My wallet goes on top, so I can find it.

I also use a carabiner hook for my keys. I only keep it on there while I am out though.

So there it is. As Mason grows and things change, I am sure the bag and what goes in it will change too. But for now, it works for us!

If you want to see more organized purses be sure to visit Organizing Junkie!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

( My 2nd to the youngest on his first day of pre-k)

Oh, oh, oh! Like my header says, when life gets busy, the first things to go are my house and home cooked meals. I was doing so well. My house was pretty clean, I was having fun baking and getting things in the freezer and then...I hit a wall. It started around labor day weekend. Since then I have just kind of...well...lost my mojo. The house is a WRECK. I am not lying. From where I am sitting I can see a stack of (clean!!) diapers waiting to get tossed in the basket, bottles needing to go to the sink, candy wrappers, shoes, blankets... I won't even mention the kitchen. It will not be easy to make a homemade dinner in there...considering there are no clean counters. Ugh. I am wondering...what do you do when it gets like this? Or do you never lose your home making mojo? I just can't seem to get with it!


The weather in my neck of the woods: windy and rainy. We are feeling the effects of a tropical storm. The winds were so strong last night, that our neighbors trampoline is in a tree!

One of my Simple Pleasures: going to bed early, and getting a good nights sleep

On my bedside table: My husband and I actually just switched sides of the bed. I know, sounds wierd right? Anyway, on his side of the bed are alarm clock, remote and *boring to ME magazines*

On my tv: my boys are playing Lego Indiana Jones

On the menu for tonight:
mini meatloaves, applesauce, carrot sticks w/ dip and...I am not sure if anything else will be added!

On my to do list: write a check for Girl Scouts and turn in enrollment papers
write a check for book orders
clean my house

New recipe I tried last week: I actually tried this last night and we all loved it!

In the craft basket: nothing

Looking forward too: no school on Friday. It will be nice to have a break from the commute.

Homemaking tip of the week: Don't let your house get as bad as mine!!

Favorite blog post of the week: Hmmm I haven't read too much lately. Although two friends recently had babies and so it was fun seeing all the new baby pictures!

Favorite picture of the week: at the top!

Lesson learned from this week: I have to set priorities. I can't let other things get in the way of what is important to ME.

On my prayer list: same as always, friends & family

Scriptures & devotionals:
Honestly, I have hardly read anything uplifting. Maybe that is why I have been struggling?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

Long weekends are...just that, LONG! With having all the kids and my hubs home, the house looks like a tornado went through it, followed by a hurricane! It is a complete wreck. To top it off, our water is almost completely shut off!! We thought our whole housing was having problems but nope, just us. I am waiting for someone to come out and fix it. Right now the water is so bad, you can't have more than one water source running at a time. So dishes are waiting while laundry runs and vice versa. Oh I hope they come soon!

Weater in my neck of the woods: hot and humid

One of my Simple Pleasures:
When I can sneak a nap in during the day

On my bedside table: word search book, hair ties, a couple of legos (courtesy of Ivan)ipod, lamp and clock

On my tv
: Diego saves Christmas (Ivan's pick obviously!)

On my Menu for tonight:teriyaki chicken, rice, steamed brocoli, breadsticks

On my to do list: Since we don't have any water, I am working on putting laundry piles away. I am also changing our front entrance so the kids have a "dumping ground" for backpacks, lunch bags etc.

New Recipe I tried last week:I must be getting old because I can't even remember what I made last week! Let's just pretend I made a new recipe and it turned out fabulously! (:

In the Craft basket:
So sad, once again nothing. Ever since Mason was born, I just don't really have the time!

Looking forward to: Ivan starting pre-k tomorrow! He will be in a regular ed class and we are so excited!

Homemaking Tip of the Week: Check your child's work. Do not let them have their free time until you have. My daughter got away with playing video games because I didn't check. When I went in later I was so upset. Had I just taken a few seconds to check, we would have both been happy with what happened.

Favorite Blog Post of the week: She is going to laugh, but it was my sisters! I don't remember if this was on her book blog or her personal blog. But she shared a story about her son, who prayed "Heavenly Fadder, please bless it to be Christmas tomorrow." Just about the cutest thing I have heard all week!

Favorite photo of the week: at the top. All my kiddos in their church clothes. Precious.

Favorite quote,scripture or devotional for the week:My husband and I watched a movie about one of the presidents of our church. While he was younger, his mother didn't scold him very often. Instead when he misbehaved she would simply say, "Remember who you are trying to be like." I loved it and wrote it on our chalk board as a reminder to our family.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Labor Day was just that...full of labor. With Ben being home, we tried to get tons of projects done. Unfortunatley, we tried to do more than we had time to do!!

One of the big projects though was Harmony's room. Her room is always a nightmare for me. She likes to stash things wherever. She is a pack rat. She hates to throw things away. She is...dare I say it? Lazy. I love her but...whew.

We had been working in her room literally for hours, when Mason woke up from his nap. I gave her a couple of projects and went on to feed Mason. Not 5 minutes later, she is sitting on the couch. I asked her why she wasn't working in her room. Her reply, "well I am waiting for you to tell me what to do." Hmmm..

I told her that I was feeding Mason but to go and get everything off the floor. Finish her room, right? So maybe another 5 minutes later, here she is insisting that she is done and can she play video games. I let her because I knew there wasn't that much work to do, and surely she was done right?

I put Mason down for his nap and go check her room. Stuff is everywhere...except the floor. She had literally "cleaned off the floor" by putting things on tables, shelves and shoving them into assorted bins. Ugh.

At first I was just going to do it myself. But I changed my mind. Do I really want to be cleaning her room for the rest of the time she lives here? I don't think so. We went through everything. Do you want it? Do you still play with it? Etc.

She did great. Her room is spotless. She gave a couple of bags of things away.

I learned today how important it is too...

1) check your child's work. It is important. Otherwise they will try to get away with stuffing things places. I am bad about checking. I get caught up in what I am doing. But I know if I want my children to be productive and helpful, they need to know that there work will be checked.

2)Children need to be taught HOW. Harmony takes everything literally. So by telling her to "clear off the floor", that is what she did. How can I tell her she didn't do what I asked? Show them how. Polly pockets go with polly pockets. If it's trash, toss it. Don't set it on a desk for later...etc

3)Don't let their rooms get so overwhelming that they don't know where to begin. Harmony used to have a loft bed, but we took it down. So her room was in complete upheavel as we moved things around. She honestly didn't know where to start. I gave her a bin and had her fill it. Then all I had her do was empty that bin, putting things where they go. And she did it over and over, until it was done.

Lots of lessons learned but I am going to continue this post later. I have a long way to go to teaching my kids to clean! However, Mason is calling! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Slow cooking Thursday

This blog is supposed to be for all things homemaking...however so far it is mostly recipes!! But it's just so fun! Anyway, I made this a little while ago. I loved it and so did the kids. Ben was out of town so...those of us who ate it, liked it.

I found the recipe in the Fix It and Forget it Cookbook.

Cheese Souffle Casserole
8 slices of bread with crusts removed ( I used white hoagie rolls that were getting old)
2 cups grated cheese( I used cheddar)
1 cup cooked, chopped ham
4 eggs
1 cup light cream or milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp parsley

Lightly grease your crockpot. Alternate layers of bread, cheese and ham. Beat together eggs, milk, salt and parsley. Pour over bread mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Once when my little guy woke up at 3:30, I hurried and put this in and went back to bed. It was so nice to have a nice warm breakfast when we woke up...again! I hope you like it.

For more slow cooking thursday go to Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A sad day...

***If you are looking for the link to the Homemade Oreos, it is in the next post down!

I have 2 magazine holders in my kitchen that are dedicated to cooking magazines. But I have promised myself that I won't get anymore. 2 is my limit. But I love cooking magazines. The other day I found a Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee cooking magazine. I love her show.

But bringing it home I knew I would have to say goodbye to a few of my other ones.

While I lived in the states, I loved getting the Kraft Food & Family magazine. Unfortunatley, they do not send it to Guam. It used to be free but I don't think it is anymore. Sigh. But I knew this was one I needed to toss when I saw that it had favorite new products of 2007!

So here are my two favorite "semi homemade" recipes from the magazine.

First off...mini meatloaves. My nephew Vale used to call it meatlove. (: Anyway these are a HUGE hit around here. Ben just picks them up right out of the pan and eats them. But they also freeze well. I am actually going to be making some today to put in the freezer.

1 lb. ground beef
1 box Stove top Stuffing mix
1 cup of water
bbq sauce ( I totally eyeball this, I just put enough in to make everything moist)

Preheat oven to 375. Mix meat, stuffing,water and bbq sauce.
Spoon into muffin tin.
I like to drizzle a little bbq on top also.
Bake for 30 minutes.
You're done. Seriously,that is it.

The stuffing has all the seasoning you need.
To save your muffin tin, feel free to put them into a liner.
You might be wondering why bbq and not ketchup? Well I don't know, but it gives it a little sweetness and a little tang at the same time. Yum!

Taco Bake
(recipe is straight from the magazine)
1 pkg. macaroni & cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
1 cup salsa

Preheat oven to 400.
Prepare mac & cheese according to pkg. directions.
Brown meat and drain.
Add taco seasoning and water, let simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir sour cream in to mac & cheese.
Spoon half of that mixture into an 8 in. square or 9 in. round baking pan
top with meat mixture, 1 cup of cheese and than rest of mac & cheese
Bake for 15 min.
Top with salsa and remaining cheese.
Bake for 5 more minutes.
I like to crunch up tortilla chips for the top.
I also like to make two at a time. One for now...one for the freezer for later!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Yesterday was my kitchen day. I spend the day slicing up vegi's & fruit, and getting things into the freezer. I was very productive yesterday...

In my freezer I now have:
2 pans of beef enchiladas
bannana bread w/ nuts
bannana bread w/ choc chips (no nuts)
bags of chopped onions, green peppers
chopped apples ready for an apple crisp
4 bags of shredded cheese
4 bags of turkey
4 bags of diced ham
2 bags of diced chicken
6 bags of red rice

Now before you think that I did all that in one day... I didn't. The turkey & chicken were cooked on a different day. I just cut it up and froze it. Ben made the rice, all I did was put it in individual portions. The breads were all made earlier.

However, the best part of my kitchen day came at the end! The cookie jar was empty and you know we just can't have that around here! So I made the Homemade Oreo cookie recipe on Mommy's Kitchen. It was sooo easy and soo good!

Harmony's eyes actually rolled back in her head a little and she exclaimed, "these are delicous. You need to quadruple this recipe!"

Ben said, "you made these?!" ( I tried to not be offended)Even the chocolate cookie part? Wow, these taste just like Oreo cakesters!" He thought I bought them! Oh it was a good day. I would highly recommend making these cookies. I really enjoy her site and have tried lots of her recipes. If you want to visit you can go here

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

It is amazing how fast a week can get away from you! Sad I missed the last week. But here we go...

The weather in my neck of the woods: hot and humid, just like every day!

A simple pleasure I enjoy: getting a new itune :)

On my bedside table: a book of word searches, ipod, pen, chapstick

On my tv: a Perry Mason movie (my husband loves to tease me about watching "old people shows"

On the menu for tonight:
enchiladas, corn bread, steamed vegi's ( I am going to make 2 pans worth and freeze one of both the enchiladas and bread!)

On my to do list:
4 phone calls that need to be made
whole house clean up
re-do my kids chore/routine charts since school is starting next week
send a card to my sister for her anniversary

New recipe I tried this week: I don't know if it is a "new recipe" but I did make my own pizza(for the first time!!) using Sandra's pizza dough recipe

In the craft basket: nothing, but wheels are turning for a Christmas card idea

Looking forward too: school starting next week, and my husbands job turn over finally being over

Homemaking tip of the week: I am really bad about keeping my car cleaned out. So every time I get out, I always take 5 things with me. Garbage or items to be brought in. If my kids are with me I make them do it too!! It makes it a lot quicker to clean up.

Favorite blog post from the week: I have been reading a series on menu planning on the website Like Mother Like Daughter. It has been really helpful!

Favorite photo of the week: at the top! My two youngest watching Clone Wars on my bed

Lesson learned the past few days: I am on facebook a lot and some of my friends from school have been struggling with the "fathers of their children". I learned that I need to be grateful for my husband. He works long hours and that is hard, but he is doing it for us. I am so glad that I have him in my and my childrens lives.

On my prayer list: family and friends. Ecspecially my kiddos right now as there are lots of big changes coming their way!

Devotionals/scriptures: A friend quoted this for me, " Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says "Oh crap, she's up!"

Have a great week everyone!

In the craft basket:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


While I was doing Close to my Heart,I taught a lot of beginners how to scrapbook. I was always surprised when they would get worried about ruining their piece of paper. I would hear that frequently. I would always answer, "it's just a piece of paper. If you ruin it, you get another one out." I didn't see the big deal.

Well when it comes to cooking & baking, there are certain things that have just seemed too hard! It's easier to just buy it right?

Our family eats a lot of pizza. It's my favorite! :) Our favorites are a certain brand that rhymes with Figornio. Those are about $4-5 a pop. So I decided to try to make my own. After all, if I mess it up, it's just yeast and flour right?

So I made my own...and it tastes great! I even made my own breadsticks! The kids devoured them. Oh to much fun! So easy and so cheap. Love it.

Trying to decide what I should try next...

Monday, August 17, 2009


Last night I went out with our spouse club, and watched the movie Julie&Julia. It was very cute and I enjoyed it. I had read a review of it from a fellow blogger and so I braced myself...only to find that I didn't think their review was accurate. I thought the movie was fun. Anyway, this story does have a point!

At the beginning of the movie Julie is talking to her husband about why she feels she never finishes anything. After a while she says, "it's because I am ADD."

Her husband looks at her, shocked and says, " you are ADD?"

Her reply, "yes it is why I am such a lousy housekeeper!"

That is how I have been feeling this past week. My husband came home Sunday night. Any time he is gone, no matter if it is a deployment or just a couple of weeks, I want the house to be perfect for him. It is kind of like nesting.

That was my focus last week, and so this week I feel tired and un-focused. I spent the majority of my day yesterday on facebook!

Today the fridge is looking a little empty, the dining room table is piled high, and the Mt. Wash Me is over taking the laundry room. So even though I am behind on Meme's and want to participate fully, I am going to wait until I have some more order around here.

I am going to plug in my ipod and do Flylady's crisis clean until I get the house looking nice. It won't take long, but I need to dig in!Too much time on the
computer = not enough time doing things I need too!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

Sometimes I forget what day I am supposed to do certain Meme's. I think it is because I am a day ahead! Ah well! Still fun, even if it is Tuesday for me!

The weather in my neck of the woods: sunny with a light breeze

One of my simple pleasures: naps

On my bedside table: The Time Travelers Wife (not a good book to start when you have little sleep! It's kind of confusing!)

On my tv: the kids are watching Scooby Doo

On the Menu for tonight: a ham and egg breakfast casserole cooked in the crock pot

On my to do list: finish paperwork for the kid's enrollment in school, laundry always, refill the cookie jar

New recipe I tried last week: Easy butter cookies

In the craft basket: still nothing :(

Looking forward to: talking to my husband and him coming home on Sunday

Homemaking tip of the week: clean as you go!

Favorite blog post of the week: just new recipes :) I love food blogs

Favorite photo of the week: My daughters 10th b-day (at the top)

Lessons learned this past week: sleep is very, very important

On my prayer list: husband and kids always, and my grandma who is not feeling well

Devotionals/Scripture Reading: I haven't really done anything. I need to make the time!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Slow cooking Thursday

Every day from about 4:30-7:30 my (almost) 4 week old son is fussy. This is the only time of the day that he is. However, he goes all out! Screaming, crying and doesn't want to be put down. I am unable to make dinner without holding him. With my husband being out of town, I have no one to either A) pass the baby on to while I make dinner or B) make dinner and serve my other 4 kids. Dinner time is now known as the "bewitching hour" at our house.

So I decided to turn to my trusty crockpot. I was eager to post today and join this meme so I looked through my Fix It and Forget it Cookbook. I used a recipe for chicken, adapting it just a little bit.

At dinner time my 8 year old son, who is probably my #1 fan when it comes to cooking/baking said, "what are we having?" I told him teriyaki chicken from the crockpot. To which he replied, "I REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE THAT! IT WAS SO DRY THAT WE HAD TO DIP IT IN RANCH!" Out of the mouth of babes right? Well...to be perfectly honest...it's true!

I have had success with ham, roast, soups, chili etc. But never with chicken. Ever. So instead of posting my less than successful recipe, I just wanted to ask if anyone has tips for cooking chicken in the crock pot? Am I cooking it too high? Too long? Anyone know? Any advice would be appreciated. Next week I hope to report with a successful recipe! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

Ooh, very excited to find fun new meme's! This is my first time! I know I am a little late so please forgive me! Here goes...

Weather in my neck of the woods: I live on the island of Guam. We are currently in the rainy season! So it is wet, grey and windy!

One of my simple pleasures: going to my inbox and finding an email from my husband (he is out of town right now!)

On my bedside table: does this mean what I am reading? Or is it what is on my table? I'll just do both, book I am reading "The Sane Woman's Guide to a Large Family". On my table...lamp, clock, binky, a burp cloth

On my tv: nothing! Tonight I will be watching the movie "New In Town"

On the menu for tonight: stroganoff, peaches, carrots, toast

On my to do list: put laundry away, clean up kitchen (again!)

New Recipe I tried last week: Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole. Very good!

In the craft basket: **big sigh** nothing

Looking forward to: a nice quiet evening

Homemaking tip of the week:I have an almost 4 week old baby, and I find myself on the couch or rocking chair a lot. With my husband being gone, I find myself sending my 4 older kids to fetch a binky, or a diaper, wipes etc. So I got a basket and filled it with: diapers, wipes, binky, burp cloth, extra outfit, extra onesie, socks, chapstick, a pen, notebook. Every night I look at what has been used and than I restock. It has made it so much easier to have everything right at my fingertips!

Favorite blog post of the week: Hmmm, I am not even sure! I will have to pay more attention next week!

Favorite photo from the last week: It is at the top!

Lesson learned from the last week: With a newborn and my husband gone I have been really tired. I mean REALLY tired. But it doesn't give me an excuse to be grumpy with my older kids. It is not their fault.

On my prayer list: always my husband and kids

Devotionals, scriptures or key verses:once again I will have to pay more attention. Right now I just keep finding that the ones that mean the most are about relying on the Lord and not myself

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

Today for Show and Tell, I thought I would share something that my husband built for me.

I am a very lucky lady. My husband is very handy. However he also has this incredible gift, to look at something (a piece of wood, a piece of furniture etc) and see what else it could be. Does that make sense? This was "just a shelf". He built it when our boys needed a little extra storage. Nothing fancy, just a shelf.

We recently moved and I was having a problem finding places to put our office/desk items. At first we just put the shelves on the floor and called it good. But he had something different in mind.

So he took the shelf and added these doors to it. I picked out the handles but he did it all. The colored squares and rectangles were all of his own design. Now I can put the majority of my stuff in and put it behind closed doors. The other great thing about this shelf? The only item that we bought was the hinges. :)

Thanks for looking at my show and tell. I could have a whole series on just things my husband has made! :) If you want to see more, just go over to Kelli's.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In the kitchen...

(Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

( Banana Crumb muffins)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE recipes. From tv shows, to magazines, to websites...I love looking at them. I have a whole section in my favorites devoted to cooking/recipe blogs that I love.

The night before last, I learned a good lesson. Never wake a sleeping baby. I moved Mason while sleeping, and he woke up. And didn't go back to sleep for a looong time. I was so tired and not in the mood to clean. So I baked instead! :) Ethan let me know a few times that the cookie jar was empty, and we can't have that!! I wanted to share the recipes for what I made. Just in case anyone else wants to try them!

First things first...I had bananas that needed to be used. The kids and I love banana bread BUT I like mine with walnuts, they don't. I found this recipe for muffins and it is a good compromise...although no nuts! I found it at the site "There's No Place Like Home". I am not sure of the link but I will link it up later if you want. Here is the recipe:

******Banana Crumb Muffins********* (Ethan's favorite muffins!)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter melted

Struesel topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/8th tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP butter

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the next 4. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture. Spoon batter into muffin tin. ( I tend to oversimplify directions. If you have a question just ask!)

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut the butter into mixture with a fork. It should resemble a corn meal type texture. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Way yummy!

The next one is a very easy shmeasy recipe from one of my favorites, Paula Deen!

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
1 (8oz) brick cream cheese, at room temp
1 stick butter, at room temp
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 box (18oz)moist chocolate cake mix (any kind)
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg, then vanilla. Beat in the cake mix. Cover bowl and refridgerate dough for 2 hours. Roll firm dough into balls and roll in sugar.
Bake for 12 minutes.

**My new oven doesn't cook things as fast as my others. I had to up the time to 15 minutes. So start with 12 and than go from there.

** I was trying to do more than one pan at a time. One batch I baked on my baking stone from Pampered Chef. The other batch was on a regular cooking sheet. The ones on the stone did not set up right. They tasted fine but were flat and very soft. It was hard to keep them together. The others were perfect. I don't know what happened but I transfered the ones from the stone to the other sheet and baked them a little longer and they turned out fine. Hmmm...


road map

As I have been reading about getting my home clean and organized, there is one thing that I find repeated over and over again. That is that you need to have a routine. Something really basic. I have tried to have routines. I have. For example I will have a morning routine that looks like this...

Make bed
unload dishwasher
start load of laundry
make breakfast

And I know what you are thinking. That seems pretty easy. And it does. But...what happens? I will get up and Ben will be asleep. So I can't make the bed! So I will go unload the dishwasher. I will think yeah I am on a roll. I go in to start a load of laundry but wait, we haven't taken showers. I don't want to use the hot water on laundry. I will wait on that and go to make breakfast. But then one of the kids wakes up and I haven't made anything. So they eat cereal and then the milk gets spilled and we have to clean it up but they got it on their uniform shirt so now I have to send them back upstairs...you know what I mean? Or I sleep in. Or someone gets sick. Or I spend too much time checking my email or, or, or...you know what I mean? LIFE gets in the way of my routine.

BUT I see the importance of a routine. I was looking at a fun site called simplemom and in her back to basics she talks about designing your routine around your day.

This is much more fitting to me. Every day is different for me. And now that Mason is here, and to young for a schedule...well things are kind of a mess.

The only things I know for sure today (time wise) is that I need to leave our house around 4:15 to pick Harmony up from camp. I also know that Mason gets fussy every day around 5. Of course...dinner time.

So my road map for today? (and btw Mason is asleep)
**finish blogging :)
**start a load of laundry (showers are already done)
**do a load of dishes
**plan and make as much dinner as I can during the day

As time (or should I say kids?)allows:
**sweep floors
**clean out van
**put laundry away (mine, towels &blankets etc)
**vacum living room

Kids jobs for today:
**put their laundry away
**living room clean up
**whatever else I come up with...

What about everyone else? Do you follow a routine or just go with the flow and do what you want?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

Wow, it has been a loooong time since I updated this blog!!

I don't know if this really counts as a show and tell but...I am hoping I will be forgiven! :)

When I first got this blog up and running, I participated in a lot of meme's. I really enjoyed doing challenges, planning menu's etc. I got a lot done and enjoyed my time at home.

Last October, I found out that I was pregnant. I was very happy and excited but found morning sickness and exaughstion to be my constant companions! Taking care of 4 kids, my husband and all that they require...well blogging and home care took a back seat.

I am one of those women, and I know it sounds awful, but who doesn't enjoy being pregnant. But once the baby comes I have this newfound energy. It is amazing to me, how much better I feel when the baby is born.

Now, with 5 kids to take care of, I find myself craving cleanliness, organization, home cooked everything...so I am going to start participating in meme's again!! I am so looking forward to it. So for my show and tell, I am introducing the "newest thing" to come into my home...

Mason Charles born on July 10th. He is a sweetheart and I am enjoying all the fun that comes with having a newborn in the home!

Looking forward to sharing something just as fun next week!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Making your Home a Haven

Oh how happy I am!! I missed the Making your Home a Haven series the last time it was done. So I was really happy when I looked on Biblical Womanhood and found that it was on again!

This morning the challenge was too pick 5 things that you want to have as your morning routine. I am the kind of person who tends to have a list of 15 items on her routine, and than only gets 1 or 2 done! So I am excited to start small and go from there! So here are my morning five...

**Normally I would have laundry & dishes as a first thing in the morning BUT we are having water heater issues. I have talked to our housing (we are in military housing) and they have told us it is "fixed." Such is not the case though. So I don't do anything having to do with water until after my DH has taken his shower! :)

1)make my bed
2)"swish and swipe" (Flylady's term) the Master bathroom
3)gather up all dirty clothes from upstairs
4)make kid's lunches
5)unload the dishwasher & reload if necessary

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I am now in my 2nd trimester,my busy month is wrapping up this week, and I am feeling a touch of, dare I say it? Nesting! So lots going on for me. I wanted to get my menu plan ready because we have a busy week. What am I saying? We always have a busy week!

Breakfast: oatmeal, fruit, leftover muffins

Lunch:(kiddo's lunch bags) noodles with sauce (each kid chooses which sauce they want), boiled eggs, juice, treat

Dinner:Sweet & Sour Chicken, rolls, pasta salad

B-waffles w/strawberries and cool whip
L-hot pockets, mandarin oranges, granola bar
D-Shepards potatoes, ham slices, rolls

B-muffins, oatmeal
L-sandwiches, fruit snacks, treat
D-sweet chili pasta, cornbread, salad, carrots w/ranch dip

B-fruit, toast, yogurt
L-noodles/leftovers, pears,
D-Baked mac and cheese with ham, green beans, cresants

B-english muffins with ham slices and cheese
L-crackers & lunchmeat
D-leftover night!

Treats I am making this week:
Choc. Chip Toffee Bars
Cuppa, Cuppa's
Banana bars
banana bread

Emergency dinners:(to have in the freezer just in case!)
Stouffers lasagna

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I am currently about 16 weeks pregnant with my 5th child.My youngest just turned four. I honestly had forgotten how hard a pregnancy can actually be on a girl! 3 straight months of morning sickness,2 weeks with a nasty head cold, to be followed the next week with a flu that hit everyone in the home. The next week ( a week ago Sunday) I had a major headache that would just not quit. I still had it by Tuesday, and went and saw my doctor. She felt I was still dehydrated from my flu bug. I spent the rest of the week in and out of the hospital.

While all of this has been going on, there have also been other things going on. Like...a lack of regular meals, a lack of laundry being done, homework neglected until last minute, grumpiness, lost items, stepping on toys in the middle of the night, dishes piling up in the sink...and the counters.

It has been really hard to dewal with. I find myself saying "...but I am pregnant and I just don't feel well." Which is true. But my family is really starting to suffer.

So I decided to join with Crystal over at Biblical Motherhood to get "Back on Track". Starting with going to bed early, waking up early and a morning routine. I want to start slowly with my morning routine so here is what I would like to do...

**unload dishwasher
**put a load of laundry in the washer (but don't start it until AFTER hubby takes a shower!)
**take the dog out, feed and get him water
**make children's lunches
**eat breakfast and take a prenatal
**check email& do computer things (limit of 30 minutes)

Wish me luck. I really want to do this for myself but also for my family. I don't want them to have to deal with the craziness that has been going on around here lately!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

**3 months of morning sickness nearly knocking me off of my feet.
** 1.5 weeks of a head cold that would just not quit.
** A weekend with the flu which affected all 6 members of my family.

What does all that add up too? A seriously messy house and a lousy eating schedule. I am feeling somewhat better and so decided to throw together a quick menu plan. We have a really busy week, and some of us are still not quite feeling 100%. But it is important to have something planned.

It was not easy to look at food magazines/cookbooks when you are feeling a touch nauseas but I did it. So here goes...

Tuesday: spaghetti w/meatballs
Wednesday: (all boys are at basketball until 6)
meat loaf
mashed potatoes and gravy
rolls & a vegi
Thursday: (cub scouts in the afternoon)
scrambled eggs, sausage, muffins and juice
Friday: (B-ball until 6)
crockpot bbq chicken
potato salad
root beer float cake for dessert

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


October was the last time I posted? Hmmm...that is interesting. I wonder if it has anything to do with me finding out I was preggo at the end of the month? Hmmm, something to think about.

The last 3 months have been an overwhelming time for me. Morning sickness hit fast and hard. Not to mention being absolutely exaughsted 99% of the time. A busy holiday season. 4 kids in various activities. A husband who is always busy with his work and church committments and well...life can get very crazy.

It is the middle of January, and I am already looking ahead to February. It will be a busy month for me. Very busy. I have to finish up Cub Scouts & prepare for the Blue and Gold Ceremony. My son in a different cub scout den was picked to be the den's assistant for the month. Which means I am the den's assistant for the month! My Mom is coming (yeah!), Girl Scouts has picked up again, I am teaching in our Primary all month (sharing time)oh and I have 3 birthdays in February. Whew. It kind of makes me tired just thinking about it.

Well I know that I can't go how I have been. I just can't. It's too tired and too stressful. So what is my plan? A routine. This is not easy right now because I am having a hard time waking up in the morning!But I know how much it helps for me to get up before my kids. So here we go, this is my plan!

**5:30 wake up time, take a shower and get dressed for the day
**start a load of laundry
**unload dishwasher
**make kid's lunches
**prayer and scripture time
**get breakfast together for kids

To be honest, this is all I am going to plan for now. I know it doesn't sound like much but we all have to begin somewhere!

Want to contact me?

Feel free to contact me at hecimommy@gmail.com