I’ve Moved

If you’re looking for me… you can find me over here:  http://chicachick.wordpress.com/

FYI

I am no longer posting on this blog.

Baby, baby

It seems like as soon as we moved to Virginia all of our friends in Arizona started having kids.  I’ve missed seeing all those scrunched up newborns, the chubby infants, the wobbling toddlers…  And I’ve had baby-on-the-brain…  I know that we’re done having babies of our own but that hasn’t stopped me from wanting another baby.  If only there were more babies around here for me to love on….  YES!  Two of our dear friends are having their first child.  She’s due the end of June.  Woo-hoo!!  They kept it quiet until the first sonogram so she’s already 12 weeks and has a tiny belly peeking out. 

It’s so fun just thinking about what they have ahead of them.  They have no idea.  Having a child is one of those things that you can read a hundred books about, you can babysit a thousand kids, you can even get a degree in child development but until you have one of your own…. There are no words to fully describe parenthood, not really.  I wish them all the best.  We’re all praying for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.  But most of all.  I am excited to see their faith take on a whole new level of understanding and growth.  Congratulations S&S!!

Calgon take me away…

A friend of mine posted a status update on FB that said: Is wondering if anyone else ever gets on the interstate alone & gets the ya-ya urge to just keep driving til she hits Mexico & “disappear” for awhile??

She read my mind.  Especially today.  I don’t know what has gotten into my kids but they are just snippy and rude and loud.  One of the younger kids ripped Chickie’s shirt.  Chickie spit water into the Boy’s eye.  Beans is on maximum volume WHINE.  They’re pushing the limits today.  They know that if they don’t shape up they won’t be going to the Christmas party tonight.  That hasn’t stopped them from getting as close to the line as they can…. Don’t make me go all Grinch on you – I have no problem making you stay home and miss the party.

I could use a vacation.  There’s a rumor – a possibility – that we may be heading to Phoenix the end of January/beginning of February.  I hope so!  I’m sure I’ll be ready to get out of this dreary cold, ready to pawn off my kids and enjoy some one-on-one time with my hubby, ready to hang with my family, and ready to visit with my friends and all of their babies :)   

Ah, the yelling and arguing continues…. Here comes the Grinch… oh, wait… I just heard my son tell his sisters, “You’re going to choose to play by yourselves.” and the girls actually calmed down!  I’m still looking forward to Mexico.  Or Phoenix.  Whichever comes first!

Calm

I don’t know about you but this Advent season has been very calm.  None of the hectic shopping or rushing from party to party or over the top decorating… just a peaceful house.  Well, as peaceful as you can get with three kids running around! 

Not only has it been a calm season – it’s also been one of de-cluttering.  We’ve purged quite a few pieces of furniture and re-arranged the basement family room.  Today the kids and I are tackling the toy boxes.  I’ve already filled a black trashbag 3/4 full with garbage from Beans’ room.  How do they multiply trash so quickly?!  Maybe I need to slip a few dollar bills under her bed and see if they multiply!

The de-cluttered calm brings a clarity to the season.  Without all the busyness of shopping and wrapping, decorating and partying it’s so much easier to see the manger – to stay focused on the reason for this season.  We started a Jesse Tree this year.  I love being reminded each night that every step of salvation has been planned – each story points the way.  Right now on my tree are ornaments that appear to be random; a tree, an Earth, an apple with a snake glued on it, a rainbow, a camel, baby footprints, a ram and a ladder.  But if you ask any of my children they can tell you a story that’s as old as time that weaves together God’s love with the ancient faithful.  A story that will ultimately lead to a Savior – a tiny babe, born in a stable, laid in a manger, hung on a cross, resurrected from a tomb and reigning on high!!

Dinner, take 2

I’m late, I’m late!

Monday – pizza
Tuesday – the kids are having Crockpot chicken while we go out to a Christmas party (woot, woot!)
Wednesday – leftover Crockpot chicken
Thursday – sloppy joes
Friday – small group – drinks
Saturday – lasagna

I know it’s not two weeks…. but this is as far as we’ve gotten.  Anyone care to share ideas for next week???

So what’s for dinner?

I’m starting a new category for my blog posts called “What’s for dinner?”  The idea is to post my 2 week meal plan and share some recipes.  I don’t know about your house but around here we frequently have this conversation around 4:30-5:00:

“What’s for dinner?” 
“Food.”

Let me just tell you, the kids don’t consider that an acceptable answer.  Although I did read about a lady who wrapped all of her frozen goods and labeled them “food” so whenever they couldn’t decide on dinner they would just grab some “food” and be surprised!  That wouldn’t work so well here because we’d end up with a pound of bacon, a single serving of edamame and an orange.  (yes, we have oranges in our freezer)

That brings me back to my plan.  I am horrible about meal planning but when I actually do sit down and plan out my meals – and shop accordingly – amazingly my life runs so much smoother.  Ok, at least the meals run smoother.  Hopefully we can be partners in this endeavor.  I need you to hold me accountable and demand a meal planning post every two weeks.  In turn, I’ll provide you with at least 10 (give or take a few) dinner ideas. 

We’re already into week 2 of our meal plan but I’ll go ahead and share last week’s meals along with this week’s meals.  Here goes…. oh, and you’re on your own for sides!

Last Sunday: Tacos (make a huge batch of taco meat as we’ll be using that in another meal)
Last Monday: Pizza night (make it, bake a frozen one or have it delivered)
Last Tuesday: Spaghetti (be smart and make extra for another meal)
Last Wednesday: Crockpot Chicken (use your favorite recipe)
Last Thursday: Meatloaf (we had leftover mashed potatoes on hand for this one)
Last Friday: Ice-cream!  (ok, we have small group on fridays and we were on to bring dessert.)
Last Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday (yesterday): Taco Soup (anyone on facebook knows we cheated and made this earlier in the week) (this is where you’re using the extra taco meat)

That brings us to this week:
Monday: Pizza night (we go for something easy on Mondays as we frequently have meetings on this night)
Tuesday: Church Thanksgiving Potluck (we’ll be bringing a brownie dessert)
Wednesday: Baked Chicken (normal Wed’s are crockpot meals as we have church)
Thursday: Baked Spaghetti (did you make extra spaghetti last week??)
Friday: Small group night again
Saturday: Leftovers

This plan was fairly simple and easy on the checkbook.  We’ll mix it up a bit next time with the recipes but the schedule will be the same:
Mondays – easy night
Wednesdays – crockpot
Fridays – small group
Saturdays – leftovers
Sun., Tues., Thurs. – varying recipies

If you have a favorite recipe or a meal plan that you’d like to share please, PLEASE feel free to share it in the comments or link to your blog.

I found the original taco soup recipe.  I’ll share that along with how we tweek it for our family:
Original version:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn ,drained
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes – mexican style
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning mix -(opt.)
  • 1 pkg. original hidden valley ranch dressing(dry)
  • 2 1/2 cups water or more, to make soup broth
  • Brown ground beef and onions in a large pan, drain off fat.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer.

    My version: (btw – this is great in a crockpot too)
    Use leftover taco meat (however much you have on hand)
    1 to 2 can(s) pinto beans
    1 to 2 can(s) black beans
    1 to 2 can(s) kidney beans
    (the above ingredients vary depending on how much meat I have on hand.  less meat = more beans)
    Corn (only if we have some on hand)
    1 can crushed tomatoes (no chunks for our family)
    No extra taco seasoning if we’re using leftover taco meat.
    A couple of tablespoons of the ranch dressing (dry)
    Water added until desired broth consistancy.

    Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and corn chips or corn bread.



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