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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe (Pinterest tweak)

So I borrowed this from a couple pinterest recipes and combined them with my own ideas to come up with this final product:

Chicken and Dumplings

5-6 pieces of thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1 can mixed veggetables
1 can 8 ct. buscuits

Place chicken in the crockpot, add butter, cream of chicken and broth.  Cook on high 4-6 hours until chicken shreds easily.  Shred chicken and add can of mixed veggies.  Cut biscuits into small pieces (about 9 sections per biscuit) and add to the top of the chicken mix, make sure they dunk a little for flavor and cook another 30min-1 hr until they are no longer doughy.


So today was the midwest snowpacalypse.  We were buried under 11" or more of snow and it's still snowing again tonight.  It's been a fun day inside baking and playing and watching movies with my baby boy.  Hope everyone stays safe on the roads tonight and tomorrow.  Hugs.

Top 10 Most "Dirty" Things You've Never Thought About

This list is NOT based on any kind of data or research, but if you think about what I'm suggesting I think you'll agree that these things are filthy and often overlooked.

10: You vehicle steering wheel (do you ever clean it? nope. me neither. think of all the germs you have had on your hands all day that get displaced on the wheel. yuck)

9: Your credit/debit cards think of how many times per day you hand that card to someone else to swipe and they hand it back.  does anyone ever clean theirs?  they are probably covered in germs from other's hands and your own. ewww

8: Your purse/wallet both items are gross.  Your wallet contains your dirty cards and money which is one of the filthiest things on earth, purses often get put on the floor of bathrooms or the sinks where who knows what germs lie.  Also purses go on the table and spread all the bacteria they picked up off the floor to your dinner  tables. yuck

7: Light switches How many times have you ever wiped down the light switch in your home?  You touch them all day everyday as well as people out in businesses touch them in public bathrooms and such.  Think about it.

6: Your pillow case Now some people may wash them frequently but not everyone does.  Your head, slobber, and skin flakes are all over that thing nightly.  Please wash them!

5: Remote control/computer keyboards/cell phone These objects are all touched daily by several people in the household and no one ever thinks to wipe them down with disinfectant.  Now maybe you will do that.

4: Refridgerator handle Who remembers to wipe down back behind there daily? Not me.  We touch it often though. Imagine the ones in breakrooms not just at home.  Who's nasty hands have grabbed that handle today?

3: Stair/escalator railings and elevator buttons if you think of all the thousands of people going up and down stairs, escalators, and elevators in one day that's a lot of germs to place on those objects that never get wiped down.

2: Money most people realize that currency is exchanged by many people's hands and is not cleaned at any point.

1: Your belts/pants buttons or snaps Now you wash your pants we hope, but if you're like me you sometimes wear them for a few days before you wash them.  Think of the first thing you touch after using the toilet?  Usually it's your button or snap on your pants and then your belt.  No one that I know of ever washes their belts down but think of how many germs from your restroom usage over the course of a belt's life get  placed on that buckle BEFORE you ever wash up from the toilet.  Bet you are running to clean that belt now :)

Well hope you enjoy my random blog today about all the things that creep me out in this dirty would.  It's part of my OCD to be a bit grossed out by lots of things and overthink how germy things may be.  But we should pay attention to the things we use and clean them more often. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Discovery Bottles

So after yesterday I decided to be an active mommy and do something really fun for my son today.  This is what we came up with for some fun activity and discovery bottles to play with.

Ocean Discovery Bottle:

1/2 water

1/4 oil

blue food coloring

 When you shake it up it looks like waves and settles out like the salt water of an ocean.

St. Patty's Discovery Bottle

white rice

green sprinkles or glitter

Mt. dew bottle for the green tint

shamrock buttons (found them at Hobby Lobby or Michaels)


 This one he LOVES to shake up and see all the fun trinkets inside.  You could add some gold coins to make it fun too if you wanted.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Will this Battle Ever End?

It's been nearly 14 months.  Some days I really wonder if my life will ever be normal again.  What is normal anyway?  There are days I feel so good, I get out and do something fun or get my house clean and feel good about myself.  Days when my hair looks great and my new makeup tricks are awesome, my clothes rock, my husband and I are laughing and happy, our son is adorable and fun.  So why is it that through all this good I keep going back down again.  Crying for no reason, feeling sorry for myself, lonely, missing people that are right beside me, feeling worthless and unloved?  I hate this roller coaster I'm on and can't get off it.  Meds only work for so long and then comes a monthly cycle and it knocks me back into this emotionless person.  I have lost the anger and outbursts, but I can't function now.  I'm always tired except after 10pm.  I sleep all day and am up all night with insomnia.  I hate that I can't seem to go to bed when my son does or even by 11pm and just sleep.  I hate that when he needs me to play and be awake I just pass out on the couch and I'm not even awake enough to watch or care for him sometimes.  I know he's probably hungry for a snack or a drink and he's playing by himself.  I know he's watching too much TV because it's sometime to keep him quiet so I can rest.  I feel horrible for all this.  I feel like crap when my house looks bad and my hubbie's clothing is never clean or folded.  I don't feel like cleaning house and it piles up until he's home to help me get it done.  This isn't his job though it's mine.  I feel like we never have enough romance.  Like he doesn't want me as much as I want him.  I feel like I'm a horrible wife and mother no matter how hard I try.  Sometimes I feel trapped in life and just want to be a carefree teenager again.  Other times I love it and don't ever want to leave my house.  Some days I want to be an awesome mom and take my son out to play or see new things.  Other times I'm too afraid to try to drive anywhere because it's a scary world out there.  I talk to my family and miss them so much.  Then other times I'm glad I'm so far away because they can also make me feel worse about my body and my life.  I just get so mixed up I don't know what to do.  I'm not organized enough, I don't know the answers or the solutions to fixing this.  I'm going to the doctor tomorrow and scared of changing medications because I know it's another long road of weeks of trying to get it right and feel better.  I need therapy but don't know where to really turn or what I'd say.  This battle sucks and I swear I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.  If anyone out there is reading this and has advice or wants to talk please feel free.  I need friends.  I wish I had one person that was there to really support me.  Make me get up and get going.  Help me get out and about and invite me along to things and bug me til I show up to them.  Help me get back on my feet and live life again.  I feel like all my friends abandon me and don't try to help.  If they were ever really friends at all.  I get out sometimes but once a month or every 6 months doesn't help.  And it's not always girl's nights that I want, I want kid time too.  Time to play with my son and others.  I'm great at coming up with every excuse possible not to show up.  I need pushed into it.  And that's scary because that's so NOT my personality.  What happened to the life of the party?  That girl that was so social and fun.  She's turned into a lazy pj wearing hermit.  I NEVER wore sweats in public before I had a baby.  I never ever stayed in all day when I could be out.  What happened to me?  PPD has destroyed Rachel and replaced her with someone I don't know or recognize.  When will it end?  How much longer do I have to live like I'm trapped in someone else's mind?  It hurts and it's not fun.  Spring needs to hurry up and get here so I can go outside and I need a friend or someone to help me.  Please someone just help....I'm feeling so alone and down.  Even with Jesus, it's just so hard.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fun Recipe Sunday...

This was a little something I whipped up a few weeks back for the hubs and myself to enjoy after our son was asleep for the night.

Recipe for Chocolate Puddin' Pie Trifles

1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 pkg graham crackers
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter or margarine
1/2 tub cool whip
mini milk chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips

Crush the graham crackers in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin.  Mix crushed graham crackers with the brown sugar and butter and layer in the bottom of the wine glass or trifle bowl.  Layer chocolate pudding and graham cracker mix until you reach the top and then top with whipped cream and chocolate chips.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Learning the alphabet through foods

Kids LOVE to learn with food!  So I created a list of all the letters of the alphabet and some foods that are as kid/toddler friendly as possible and healthy as I can find for you.

A: Apples, applesauce, alfredo, almond, avocodo
B: Bread and butter, Bean dip, Bacon (turkey), Banana, broccoli
C: Cheese, celery, cottage cheese, cream cheese, Cantaloupe, crackers (whole wheat), carrot
D: Dijon, dip, dill pickle, diced tomato, dino chicken nuggets,dates
E: eggs, edamame, ear of corn, enchiladas,eggplant
F: fish, fresh fruit, fries, fig, French toast,falafel
G: grapes, gorgonzola cheese, green onions, green pepper,
H: ham, honey nut cheerios, honey, humus, honey mustard, hotcakes
I: ice cream, icy pop, Italian sausage pizza, Iceberg lettuce
J: Juice, jam, jelly, jambalaya,
K: kiwi, kielbasa, kale
L: lemon, lime, leek, lima bean, lasagna, lentils
M: maraschino cherry, monkey bread, mayo, maize *corn, mashed potato, mandarin oranges, muffins, mud pie
N: nutella, nuts, nectarine, Nilla wafers, nutter butters,
O: oranges, oatmeal, oreo, okra, orzo rice,
P: pineapple, pimento spread, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkin, punch, pancakes, potato
Q: quiche, quesadilla, queso,quince
R: Raisin, raspberries, rice, radish, ranch, ravioli, red pepper, rhubarb, ramen noodles, rigatoni, ricotta cheese, rolls, roast, ribs,
S: strawberries, salmon, salad, salami, salsa, sandwich, spinach, steak, soup, squash, spaghetti, sweet potato, swiss cheese
T: teddy grahams, turnip, t-bone, tomato, tuna, trix cereal, taco, tilapia, tater tot, tenderloins, toast, turkey, tofu,
U: upside down cake, udon noodles, ugli fruit
V: venison, veggies, velveeta cheese, Vienna sausages,
W: watermelon, waffles, water, wafers, walnuts, wedding cake flavored anything
X: Chex, crispix, trix, kix,
Y: yolk, yellow pepper, yams, yogurt,
Z: zucchini, ziti, zebra cakes, zuppe (Italian for soup) Zingers

Toddler Lunch Made Easy

So as moms we are busy right?! Can I get an AMEN!  So in our busy lives we need to make lots of things easier.  ENTER pinterest...the best website ever invented.  A place to organize my thoughts and ideas, to learn about organization, to just put random awesome stuff in one place.  Well my pinterest was very DISorganized so I needed to clean it up a bit.  I'm happy to announce for those that want to start following me on there that I have now labeled everything into holidays, themes, and seasons so that my pinning is MUCH more organized and easy to find things you are looking for.  I plan in the next few months to really expand my stuff on there especially since the second Luke turns two it's ON for us to do snack and craft fun every day and have a more preschool style house around here.  So that all being said of my newfound love of my organized pinterest, I thought I would share my new favorite board with you.


Borrowed picture from

I'm going to try and post at least once a week on something that may make your life a bit easier and things at home go quickly for you.  Today I will post both my advice and some fun pinterest finds on TODDLER LUNCHES!

A few ideas of my own for a quick and easy (grocery shopping free) tot meal:

Peanut butter and jelly on bread, tortillas, or crackers
Cheese slices and whole grain crackers
Diced cooked carrots and ranch dip
Green beans or sugar snap peas (raw or cooked)
Cuties oranges
Peaches or pears (from a can with no added sweeteners)
Mixed veggies (frozen or canned low sodium)
Mac n cheese with 1 can of sweet peas, 1 can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup
Turkey or chicken pot pies, see pinterest for cupcake sized portion recipes
Gluten free or whole grain fries or tots, we get the smiley face ones
Aldi's dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets (Luke loves these)
Eggo brand Cinnamon French Toaster Sticks (Luke's fav breakfast)
Plum organics or Happy Tot pouches, for a quick and nutritious add on meal or on the go meal
Plum organics makes a great Jammy Sammy (granola with jam and peanut butter)
Lowfat yogurt plain or vanilla with frozen berry fruit mix and granola
Celery with peanut butter or cream cheese and raisins or pimento spread
Sliced fruit or veggies of any kind to add onto a meal quickly (watermelon is a fav here)

Anyone else have any great ideas for tot meal planning?  I like quick and simple.  I also like prepare ahead and pop it out for lunch ideas.  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

You have not lived until you've tried....

Chili Cheese Hotdog Pizza...yes that's right PIZZA!  We decided on a quick family outing tonight and stopped by our favorite local Pizza Street Buffet.  *"Pizza street, pizza street, the 4.49 buffet it's all you can eat, pizza street, great pizza, great price, all you can eat for 4.49." Sorry had to sing the jingle for you.

Anyways walking in with our giant baby stroller I see a big poster and low and behold upon this poster is a giant photo of a CHILI CHEESE DOG PIZZA!!!!

I'm not joking people this pizza is covered in chili, cheese, cut up hotdogs, relish, and red onions.

Sounds horrible doesn't it?  Well guess what?  It was the single most wonderful tasting piece of heaven I have yet to try on a slice of pizza.  And believe me I've tried a lot of strange things on a pizza.  I don't know why Cici and Pizza Street and various other establishments of the super cheap buffet variety keep trying to put strange stuff on a pizza crust, but I'm ever thankful now that they don't give up.

I've tried: baked potato pizza, chicken ceasar pizza, mac n cheese pizza, taco pizza, bacon cheeseburger pizza, chicken and spinach alfredo pizza, peach dessert, blueberry, apple, cherry dessert, and a few more wonderfully delicious strange pizzas, but this new invention takes the cake for the most out there yet wonderful pizza variety EVER.

So in closing I suggest before it is gone forever from the menu that if you live anywhere near the Pizza Street on Englewood in KCMO that you try this delicacy.  It won't be there forever and you are seriously missing out if you never experience it's goodness.

If you can't make it to the location I'll list a simple ingredient recipe below to try yours at home:

1 pkg. Pizza Crust Mix or Refridgerated Pizza Dough
1 can hormel chili with beans
2-3 hot dogs sliced
1/4 cup relish
1/4 cup red onions
4-6 oz shredded cheddar cheese or melted down velveeta if you like
Optional 1 tbsp ketchup and/or mustard

Make your pizza dough as directed on package and roll out into a circular pizza shape on your pizza pan or stone.  Spread your chili over the entire surface area of the pizza crust as you would a traditional sauce. Top with slices of hot dog then cheese, the drizzle relish and onions as desired.  Bake at the temperature required on the package of crust for the time suggested or until cheeses melt down. ENJOY!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Just" a Mom

So I've started a new Bible study called Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Pricilla Shire.  I can tell you right now that this study is amazing, but it's going to be a BIG BIG challenge for me.  You see God places things in my life that I don't want to do and things that I'm ok doing but don't really know how to do them or where to begin, but that's not my issue, my issue is that sometimes I don't know if what I feel like doing or I should be doing is really of God.  Does anyone else have this problem?  I feel like God should be able to speak softly to me and my heart is open to hear His voice and I should know without a doubt what He is asking for my life.  I know that God wants to use each of us for His glory, but I'm having so much trouble with what my place should be.  Maybe it's that stay at home mom mindset, you know the one where when asked about what you do for a living you say, "Oh, I'm just a mom."  Just a mom, is it really that hard to accept that being a mom is one of the hardest and best jobs out there?  But don't we all chime in and try to negate the fact that we work our tails off?  We try to make it sound so insignificant when we're asked about it.  So my struggle here is, I'm JUST a mom right now and I'm not really sure if that's all God is really asking of me or if I'm missing something else.  Should I be out there volunteering my time and making big waves in the universe?  Should I be serving people or children or the needy and homeless?  Should I be teaching or preaching His word?  What is my place?  What is my purpose?

And yet every time I pray about my place in this world I hear a tiny whisper, "Be patient my child."  Patience is very hard for me.  I want to know what my life holds.  I want to be bigger than "just" a mom.  I want more than that.  But what if my wants for myself aren't exactly God's wants.  Is that my interuption this study is talking about?  Is my interupted life simply that my plans were to be great and God's plans were that I'd just be an influence on my own kids and not the whole world.

Well let's look at a "just a mom" and see what God had in store for her.

How about the world's most famous Christian speaker, yes Mr. Billy Graham himself.  Who is to thank for teaching him so much about Jesus and raising him to be the man he is today?  Besides God of course a big influence in his life was his mother, Morrow.  Here is a quote taken from his website about his mother and his life as a child:

"In many Crusades over the years," wrote Billy, "I have devoted at least one message to the subject of the family. In my Depression-era growing-up years, I suppose we Grahams on our North Carolina dairy farm bore some resemblance to the fictional Walton family on television. It’s easy to feel nostalgic about simpler times, but they obviously were not easier times. Nor were they necessarily happier times.

"What we did have back then was family solidarity. We really cared about each other, and we liked to do things together. Jesus’ word picture of a hen gathering her brood under her wing fits my mother. She saw to it that we gathered frequently and regularly—and not just around the dinner table or in front of the radio for favorite broadcasts. She gathered us around herself and my father to listen to Bible stories, to join in family prayers, and to share a sense of the presence of God."

On August 14, 1981, Morrow Graham quietly left this earth in her sleep and entered Heaven.

"When word came," said Billy, "I wept and yet rejoiced at the same time. Of all the people I have ever known, she had the greatest influence on me. I am sure one reason that the Lord has directed and safeguarded me, as well as Ruth and the children, through the years was the prayers of my mother and father."

Speaking on Mother’s Day 2003, Billy told the audience in San Diego that his mother was a farm woman. "She and my father didn’t have much education … But my mother was a woman of God. She always had devotions with us, she always prayed with us, she always loved us, and did so many things, as I look back now, out of the way. And she and my fat

 her, when I was in Bible school, they would go up to a room upstairs and kneel down every morning at 10 o’clock to pray for their son in Bible school. Billy Graham Webpage

So you can tell from his recounting his life that she had a great influence on him and who he became.  I guess that means she wasn't "just" a mom.  But I bet back then she had no idea that God's plan for her was to mother this man who would change the world.  I bet when asked what she did for a living she probably would say oh I'm just a mom.  Course back then every woman was a mom and not usually a career woman like so many are today.

So I may not have this big career ahead of me.  I may not really change the world as far as I can see for myself, but maybe my purpose in life is just to exist as the best wife and mother I can for my children and husband and push them to their own world changing lives.  Maybe I'm "just" a mom whispering quietly the words of Jesus in their ears each night and praying faithfully each day for their happiness and that they would each find Jesus.

I'm okay being "just" a mom if that's God's plan for me.  Even if that's the interuption He has for my life I will accept it until further notice of any other plans He might want to bring my way.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.