Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Taco Fiesta Chicken Bake.
Okay... Taco Fiesta Chicken Bake.
Now, say it with a Mexican accent...
out loud... again...
Taco Fiesta Chicken Bake.... ole!
It was easy.... good... and did I mention easy?
The best part... you can make it the night before and put it in the refrigerator so all you have to do is pop it in the oven and bake it!
Here's the recipe... try it... you'll like it.
2 cans diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chilis, undrained ( I used 2 cans of tomatoes and 1 can of green chilis)
1/4 cup taco sauce - I forgot this but it needed it so I don't recommend skipping
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 16oz can refried beans
1/2 cup sour cream
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
3 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1. spray 13x9 glass baking dish with spray. In large bowl, combine tomatoes and taco sauce, mix well. stir in chicken. In med bowl, combine refried beans and sour cream, mix well.
2. Spread 1 cup chicken mixture in bottom of sprayed baking dish. Top with 4 uncooked noodles, breaking to fit if necessary. Spread with half the bean mixture and 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese and half of onions and olives.
3. Layer 4 more noodles, remaining bean mixture, 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining 4 noodles, chicken mixture, onions, olives and cheese. (Be sure top noodles are covered) cover with foil, spray foil with cooking spray and put sprayed side down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered lasagna for 50 minutes. Uncover baking dish, bake and additional 18-22 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro. If desired, garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream, chopped tomato, and shredded lettuce.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
But, he's home now (and I hear he has a bunch of "STUFF") and doin much better.
Say a little prayer for him as he continues to get better.
Here's a photo of him and the dog we got him...hey! every guy needs a dog in the hospital!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I am the baby born in San Jose to Jim Senior with a love for cool stereos, good music, and fast cars and Charlotte who drinks black coffee and has roses in the backyard where lizards climb the wall, who had three other children together and one other already and plenty of room for more love. I was born with my two front teeth popping out already. The baby of the family, and the spoiled one, says my siblings.
I am the child who played Barbies and hopscotch and neighborhood hide and seek yelling “Olly Olly Oxen Free”
I am the teenager who loved Prince and the Go Gos, REO Speedwagon, Chicago, and went to a Quiet Riot Concert just for the experience.
I am the woman who fell in love with Jesus and then Shawn.
I am the bookkeeper and organizer who desires neatness and organization and the volunteer who wants to serve.
I am the sister of Todd, Tammy, James, Jackie, and Cindy who each hold a special place in my heart like none can imagine. And the sister in law to Shera, Shelly, Shanda, whose friendships and love I treasure greatly. And the daughter-in-law of Barth and Marge, who I admire, respect, cherish.
I am the woman with a dry sense of humor and makes her family laugh with her dancing, who knows more silly songs than many others can claim to know.
I am the woman who desperately desires to make a difference in lives and leave a long lasting legacy, and never lets go of the present and holds on to the past, in only a good way.
I am the person who dreams of walking the streets of Gold and asking God silly questions and is grateful for the grace and mercy and forgiveness of my Heavenly Father
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
Monday, February 12, 2007
In honor of Haleigh's 20th Birthday, I share 20 memories I have of Haleigh...
1. colic.... what mother LIKES that word? I was a new mom and hadn't ever even really babysat much as a teenager. She cried and cried and cried. If it wasn't for Gramma Marge, I'd never have made it...
2. baby babble with cousin Jenna..... they are about a year apart, and even at 2 and 1, they talked and talked and talked. I remember the two girls babbling together just as if it were yesterday.
3. drawing. She was the only one in her pre-school class at age 3 that could draw every detail of her self-portrait. Should we have known then she would be an art major?
4. the ponytail on the top of her head. That thing drove me crazy. When she started school, she insisted on doing her own hair....and for at least an entire year, it was that ponytail on top of her head.
5. frogs. I don't remember how old they were... somewhere between K-3 grade, she and Phillip found a bunch of frogs at his pond and brought them home to our swimming pool. They didn't last long, but they were fun to catch and play with.
6. the chicken. Her first very own pet was a chicken she caught at the fair. We were SURE she couldn't catch one. She had her eye on one and ran straight at that thing. Chased it down until she caught it. We were dumbfounded. What were we going to do with a chicken? We put it in our garage and kept it there for a couple of days. Then, we found good ol Keith and Chris... they rescued us from the chicken. A while later, we went out to their house and she wondered where it was. I wonder whatever happened to that chicken... :)
7. Derek and Craig. The neighborhood boys who were potty trained right in our backyard. Childhood friends who they played and played and played together. They had so much fun and so many fights. I wish I had written down some of those days together... and recorded them in my brain forever. Although I am sure Haleigh will never forget them.
8. witnessing at school. I remember in 5th grade Haleigh came home and said they(she and hannah her best friend) led someone to the Lord at recess at school. They were so excited... little evangelists.
9. lipstick. She loved lipstick almost as much as me. At age five, she could put lipstick on perfectly every time. A chip off the old block.
10. the cubby in the corner. She had a desk in the old house that was built strangely and it had a deep cubby in the back of it. she would hide in that cubby and pretend it was a fort.
11. "benducing".... she could never pronounce this word and she taught her little sisters to say it wrong. It's supposed to be "introducing".
12. words. Haleigh-language we called it. I think it started when she would mis-pronounce things and we thought it was so cute we never corrected her. She still does it. It's still cute.
13. Rockin Robin. One of the first piano songs she memorized was Rockin Robin. She could play Rockin Robin like it was nobody's business. Seriously. She was a pro at that. Can you still play that Hal?
14. selling pinecones. Does every kid go through this stage? She would sell pinecones for poor people. (which was probably us at the time)
15. "Dee"- that was what she called her pacifier. She would say "I want dee".... until one day when we were driving down the road and she threw dee out the window. That was it. I was finished with it and dee was never heard of again.
16. Playwright. haleigh was the queen of writing plays as the kids were growing up. She was writer, director, actor, special music... you name it. It's a good thing she had so many sisters to be in them! :)
17. Bus People. On the first day of kindergarten, Haleigh came home and said "I want to be a BUS PEOPLE!". Apparently, the bus people got to line up first and they were LUCKY.
18. Riding her bike. She learned to ride her bike with the neighbor. We have a classic video of one of her first few rides when she was going fast and ran smack into a rope on a tree and wiped out. We could have won a million with that video. Maybe we should at least get it on youtube huh?
19. Worship. Haleigh has often shared how she feels called to be a worship leader or lead worshipper in life. She has an incredible gift for it. I don't know if its just because she's my daughter or what... but when I hear her leading worship, it is so easy for me to enter into worship and I find myself lost and blessed by her beautiful voice.
20. The last day of kindergarten I picked her up from school and when we got into the car, I burst into tears. She asked me why and I said "mommy is just sad because you are growing up so fast. For some reason, realizing that kindergarten was over was one of those "mom" moments for me. My baby was moving on the actual full day school and I didn't want to see her grow up.
Through the years, I have seen some amazing things that God is doing in Haleigh's life. She was an amazing child who has grown to be an amazing woman. I find myself at times wishing I could reverse time and go back to that small child and hold her one more time... and just let the world stand still as I memorize the smell of her hair and the breathtaking memories a mom holds in her heart. And yet, I wouldn't want to let go of the experiences we have had growing and watching her grow. God is doing an amazing work in her heart and her life and He has incredible plans for her future.
haleigh, you are beautiful. I am blessed to be your mom and to share not only this life with you, but the life to come. I love you so much.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Just as the posts before say, this is our birthday season. Shawn's day on the 5th, sister Tammy on the 6th, Haleigh on the 12th, Emily the 24th,...then March... Lindsey the 3rd, Aunt Shera the 14th,... April... Gramma Marge the 7th, Abbie the 24th ...May... Shell Bell the 16th, me and Uncle Todd in June... it's like every week or two weeks we have a bday to celebrate. Whew!
So, I'm planning and organizing and budgeting (who am I kidding?)... Em is the only one right now who has a "kid Birthday". She has been talking for about a year (since Aunt Shera gave her the DRESS) that she wants to have a Chinese Birthday Party. I have learned a lot getting ready for this party... for starters, the Chinese New Year is a week Before, so I can get major clearance items for the party. :)
Tomorrow night we have gourmet club. A group of friends and us get together and eat basically.
We started it several years ago.... like in 2001 (wow! 6 years ago!). We got together more out of winter boredom than anything else. Whoever hosted the evening chose the country and made the main dish. The others did the sides, appetizers, desserts.... and we had to cook authentic food. Well, as authentic as you can get in this neck of the woods! Saffron doesn't come too easily around here.
Some people have card club... we just like to EAT.
After we did 24 countries, this year we switched it up a bit. We chose "ingredients". Last month, we had to each make a dish with coffee in it. It was GREAT! This month we are doing MINT. So, my minty side dishes are in the works!
Monday, February 05, 2007
In honor of his birthday, I give you this....
But, I haven't quite figured it out. Is he the lone ranger? Or a clown? Or a lone ranger clown?
You gotta love Moms and Halloween costumes...
Seriously, I have tried all day to make Shawn's birthday special. He is the hardest person in the entire world to buy a gift for, because he doesn't need anything. He is the man that has it all.... good looks, great wife, perfect kids...
Yeah, I'm stretching it with the kids aren't I?
In all honesty though... I have an incredible husband. He makes me laugh, he gets my jokes, and he loves God with all his heart. I appreciate him so much. He can fix anything like nobodys business, he doesn't mind living with 6 women and 2 female cats, he doesn't complain when our stuff takes up the whole house and he only gets a small spot to lay his briefcase. He does his own laundry, he lets me fall asleep before he starts snoring, he slows down when he realizes he's walking too fast, he starts the car, and the other car, and the other car. He shovels snow, he drops me off at the door, he picks up his own messes, he takes time to understand all our female emotions in this home.... probably better than I do!
I could go on and on about how blessed I am to have this guy in my life... really. When I was 16 years of age, he held my hand and looked into my eyes and called me friend. He then led me to the Lord and showed me that God's love is better than life. Every day I am grateful to him as my friend, my mate, my partner, and my love.
Happy Birthday Skippy.... you bless me beyond words! I hope your day is filled with nine hundred ninety nine twenty seven jillion billion zillion katillion kisses from heaven!
Friday, February 02, 2007
Yes, Shawn's birthday yesterday ushers in a host of familial birthday celebrations around here. I see it this way... at least I have something to post!
If I had a scanner I'd scan the old photos of Tammy in the dresses my mom made for us when we were kids. Purple material, white gogo boots and all. We were top notch California Girls.
I have the most incredible memories of life with my sister. I remember sleeping with her when the "boogey man" was lurking around my dreams... and holding her hand tightly as she helped me get to sleep. I remember sharing secrets (shhhh! we still do.) and dreaming of our future together. I remember lots and lots of mischief as kids. Our teenage years brought lots and lots of fights. Tammy was a schoolyard scrapper. She was a dangerous fight...really. And she could pull hair out like it was corn husk on a cob. And bite. I've never met a more unfair fighter in all my life. pinch and bite and pull hair. You know... a good old fashioned girl fight. But, usually, it was because I "borrowed" her jeans or something like that. You know. Borrowed. Really.
As we have gotten older, and both gotten married, and life has had it's ups and downs... we have managed to stay connected somewhat even though we live many miles apart -- like on different sides of the country. I cherish the phone calls and the updates, and look forward to spending time with her when we can.
Happy Birthday Tammy Jean! I love and miss you!
It's freezing cold out here... like REALLY FREEZING cold. Let me just say I talked to a friend today in California. The weather in Redding is around 49 and they are cold. I also spoke to my mother in the Phoenix area and she is really having a hard time because it was so rainy last week and cold every day -- and she would come home from work to take a hot shower every day and warm up. You know, being 45 and 50 and all. Today, though she said it should get up to around 60, which is "bearable".
The thermometer in my little corner of the world hasn't reached zero yet. And with the wind...it feels like about 26 below zero.
So, yeah, it's COLD. FREEZING COLD. It's even don't-go-outside-unless-you-have-to cold. Even our cat who likes to escape to the outdoors at every chance she gets isn't going outside. She tried. She ran out and then right back in. I think she thought she was going into the deep freeze.
So, yeah, you know it's cold when...
1. you don't use the dishwasher - you wash dishes by hand just so you can warm up.
2. it's been hours since you came home from anywhere and you still don't think to take off your coat.
3. your bank account has more cash than the temperature.
4. the pens in your purse won't write because the ink is frozen.
5. you keep your leftovers on the back deck
6. you can't leave your pop in the trunk of the car in the garage or it will burst all over
7. you can't tell if your nose is running or not.
8. you keep your furnace at 60 degrees and it's WARM and TOASTY in the house
9. you sit in the hot tub and when you get out your hair has ice in it.
10. your eyes tear up from the cold ..then start to freeze ...so you have to blink rapidly in order to keep your eyes from freezing shut.
So, today... I'm making bean and ham soup and cornbread.... watching movies.... and wearing sweatpants in my nice warm house!
Happy Freezing Cold Happy Soupy Day!
The school lunch menu lately is a bit interesting. Yesterday they had "California Burgers". What exactly is a California Burger? Is it some sort of west coast thing I don't know about? My dad is in California visiting my sister right now. Maybe I should call him up and have him order a California Burger and see what they say it is. Cuz I asked the girls... "What was the California Burger". The answer? It was just a regular old hamburger. So, what makes it a California burger as opposed to a Midwestern Burger? We have good beef in the midwest... maybe the California burger is some kind of processed meat that isn't really meat at all because they don't have good beef. And maybe... just maybe... the school is calling it a California burger because they know the kids in the midwest would balk if they called it a hamburger.
Now, I was born in California... and sent a good part of my life there. Growing up I had a friend who would invite me over to her house and I'd end up staying into the "meal" hour. I remember one time we were at her house and it was lunch time. They only had one hamburger. Her parents weren't home so we decided to "share" this hamburger. We cooked it up... and she put it on a bun and added some ketchup and such. Then, she did the strangest thing.... she had a strange way of sharing. Me? I would have cut the thing in half. But, she took the hamburger off the bun and put it on a different bun. She gave me the bun with no meat and said "taste it". "Even though it has no meat, the meat WAS on there...so it tastes like there was meat there".
So, what did I do? I ate it! And she was right.... if you're hungry enough in the middle of the afternoon, you don't care if it's a hamburger or a hamburger juice with ketchup sandwich!
So......... MAYBE....... that's what the school lunch means by "California Burger"..... maybe the meat WAS there... but now it's not.
Today? Groundhog pudding. I can't wait to hear what THAT is!!!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
escapade: a reckless adventure or wild prank. an escape from confinement or restraint.
so... a sleep escapade would be a reckless adventure of sleep or an escape from reality (confinement) into sleep.
okay..yeah..that was me. I took my beloved Nyquil at 7pm on Tuesday night. I fell into an escapade of sleep at 8:15, which didn't end until 7am Wednesday. 11 hours of sleep STRAIGHT! Ah...but the escapade didn't end there. I got up... got the kids off to school... and went back to bed at 8:45am. Until 10am. Only an hour and 15 minutes but I thought it was enough. So, I got up... and decided to try to read. Only to find that I was sluggish still...you know after only 13 hours of sleep in the past 14 and a half hours, a person sometimes just feels sluggish and tired. I kept falling asleep reading... so I did what any sleep deprived person would do.... I went back to bed. at 11am. I slept until 2pm. Then, I drug myself out of bed. Yes, I could have slept LONGER.
My first fear of course is that after 16 hours of sleeping I would have a hard time falling asleep Wednesday night. But, alas that was not a problem. I slept from 10pm to 7am -- and got 9 more hours!
So, all said... my sleep escapade lasted 36 hours. Of that 36 hours, only 10 of them were waking hours!