Monday, October 22, 2007


When my son was little, we invested in some Veggie Tale videos for him to watch. I loved that in addition to the cartoons being happy and clean, they also taught him Biblical ideals. If you've never seen a Veggie Tale video, you are really missing out. The stories and songs are very funny and sweet, and the tunes will get stuck in your head if you are not careful.

Alison now loves Veggie Tales as much as Zachary did. She is always running toward our video cabinet hollering, "BAH-LAH-LEDDY!" for Bob and Larry, the tomato and cucumber hosts of the shows. And when we bought her some Veggie Tale fruit snacks the other day at the store? You would have thought the child had went to sugar heaven. Now she runs to the pantry hollering, "Bah-Lah-Leddy Snack?!"

There is one particular video that has always been a favorite of mine, Madame Blueberry. It is the story of a very blue berry who is sad because her friends have much more stuff than she does. But lucky for her, a huge store opens not far from her house called Stuf-Mart. She goes on a wild spending spree there, but discovers that what she needed was not more stuff, but a happy heart. She passes a little girl sitting at a picnic table with her parents celebrating her birthday with only a piece of pie instead of a huge party. They do not have a huge tree house like Madame Blueberry, they only have a small home on the ground. Madame is surprised when she hears the little girl singing the following song:

I thank God for this day,

for the sun in the sky,

for my mom and my dad,

for my piece of apple pie,

for the love that He shares,

cause He listens to my prayers,

that's why I say thanks every day.

Because a thankful heart

is a happy heart.

I'm glad for what I have,

that's an easy place to start.

For our home on the ground,

for His Love that's all around,

that's why I say thanks every day,

that's why I say thanks every day!

Ali sings this song, or I should say tries to sing this song, and it is just adorable. I have been singing it with her to teach her the words a little better. And you know what? This song has really been speaking to my heart lately.

My attitude about certain things stinks. I should be happy for what I have. I AM happy for what I have. I have a wonderful boy, I have an adorable girl, I have fantastic friends, both here physically and on de Internets. I have a good job that lets me travel, I have a great family, I have a good home church. I have a God who loves me and takes care of me and keeps me from screwing up too badly. I have a roof over my head and food in my belly and clothes on my back. And when I crawl into my nice warm comfy bed at night, I am curling up next to my bestest friend and love of my life.

So the challenge for this week is to find stuff to be thankful for...and I bet none of us have to look too hard. Let's start noticing all the great and wonderful things that surround us that we are often too busy to recognize. Let's show our thankfulness to others and to God.

Then you too can be singing,

I thank God for this day, for the sun in the sky!

I thank God for all of you, and pray His best for your life. And if I could, I would send you all apple pie.

Why I say thanks every day...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Change the words, change the mind...

This week's gem of wisdom comes from my friend, Lynn. (can I tell you about Lynn? She is so sweet, and pretty, and she EXERCISES. FREQUENTLY. Like daily, even. She runs...where there are hills. On purpose. Because she likes it. And does marathons. All while raising two kids and working from home and being a loving wife and a nice person.) Sidenote: The running thing is completely beyond me, because I will only run on purpose if there is some danger to myself or my family that would necessitate me moving that quickly.

At last Friday's Weight Watcher meeting, Lynn's leader said this:


Isn't that profound? I don't want to loooooooose weight, I want to remove it. As in having it gone forever. Never to return. Never to find me again. Never to have to re-lose or "re-remove" the same pounds!

So this week, your challenge is to change the way you talk about this here weight-removal journey. Just see if it doesn't put you in a better frame of mind.

REMOVE yourself from the kitchen! REMOVE the trigger foods from the pantry! REMOVE the unwanted pounds from your life!

Then, re-move yourself on over to my house and help with all this laundry. The end.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sad News...

My friend Becki over at CookingWithWhine is going through one of the hardest times in her life right now.

She lost her dad.

Becki, we are praying for you and your family. May the good memories of your loving father sustain you through the dark times ahead.

As a gal who recently lost her dad in August, I understand some of what she is feeling now. My dad's 70th birthday would have been tomorrow. I am feeling rather...well, I don't know how to describe what I am feeling. My poor mom doesn't know what to do, should she mark it somehow or just act like it's another day without the love of her life?

When it comes to the death of a loved one, there are no right answers across the board.

Head on over to Becki's blog and leave her a nice message, will ya? It helps to know that people you don't even know are thinking about and praying for you.

And Becki? If you want to talk or vent or just..whatever, let me know.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Didya Miss Me?

I know, I know! I have already been nagged by Robyn about not posting for awhile and making those of you waiting with baited breath for my next piece of insightful wisdom pass out from lack of oxygen. But never fear, I am back. (I can hear the applause from all one of you.)

A few things happening in my life right now, in no particular order of importance, but just so you know are:

  • Waiting for husband to get back from deer hunting and hoping he bagged a big one.

  • Dealing with The Toddler and The TANTRUMS and The Potty Training...and feeling woefully inadequate.

  • Regaining approximately five, FIVE I TELL YOU, of the pounds I have recently lost due to traveling for business, family visits, and just plain not paying attention.

  • Trying to figure out how in the world to lose this five and another five before the rest of my business trips this fall which include...

  • (and this totally deserves it's own bullet point because...doggone!) Chicago for four days at end of October.....coming back home for three days, then going to Anaheim for four days.....home for eight days, then going to Missouri for a personal trip for four days.....home for about a week before traveling to Oregon for Thanksgiving with family....then home for three days before traveling back to Anaheim for another conference for three days....home for one whole day before my 37th birthday.

  • Trying to figure out if my husband and I should move our kids halfway across the country for an educational opportunity which could either be the greatest thing to hit our family ever...or give us the hugest most biggest unbelievably largest financial hit ever. But as long as there's no pressure, we should be fine.

  • Um, when am I supposed to sleep or exercise for the next three months?

Remember when I promised you guys that I would put recipes on this site? And then remember how I haven't done it yet? And remember how you guys thought I would? Wasn't that funny? Good times. No, seriously, today marks the inaugural post of RECIPE FRIDAY, and I have included some very good ones for you. (Now, keep in mind that RECIPE FRIDAY will not be every Friday, just whatever Friday I actually have a recipe worth sharing and the time in which to post it. And it may not even be on Fridays, because if I actually have a recipe AND the time at the same time? Then I am going to post it no matter what day, because...well, please refer to the bullet points above. Disclaimer Done.)

The first recipe is from a friend of mine that I have had forever, Kay. An interesting note about Kay, besides the fact that stuff happens to her that I have never heard of happening to another human being ever, and that she used to teach 4-H, so you know her recipes are good, is that she never calls me Missie. From just about the day we met, she has always called me Tilda. It started with her calling me Missie Matilda, then morphed to Matilda, then just Tilda. In fact, whenever she refers to me in a conversation with someone else who might know me, she has to stop and say, "Oh, I mean Missie." She is an absolute hoot and just a fun fun gal to work with and have for a friend.

This meatloaf is so good and easy to fix, that it should be a crime. This works great with any ground meat you have on hand. I have made it with combos of hamburger, ground turkey, ground elk, ground deer, Italian sausage, whatever you have on hand will taste great. And if you only have 1lb of meat, adjust your recipe accordingly.

Kay's Meatloaf

1 lb each hamburger and ground turkey

1 egg

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup barbeque sauce

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup oatmeal

Salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add more oatmeal if it's too sticky. Form into a large loaf shape in 13x9 pan. Cover with foil and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Remove cover, spread a little bbq sauce on top, and bake for about 5 more minutes. Let stand for 5-10 min before serving.

**you can also add chopped garlic for a little extra flavor. A little cheddar cheese on top would be delicious, too. The leftovers, if you have any, are great for lunch the next day.

This next recipe comes from my new friend, Geanne from New York. We met on a Weight Watchers chat room site and instantly hit it off. We started emailing each other pretty frequently, and the phone calls came soon after. She is just hilarious and I love love love her accent! Her husband was worried that she became such fast friends with some person she met online and said something like, "How do you know she's not a stalker and will show up at our door and kill you or kidnap our kids?" And yes, he is in law enforcement. When she told me that, I just laughed my head off, because seriously? I do not have the energy to regularly post on my blog, much less become a cross-country stalker. As far as her kids go, while they are incredibly adorable, thank you. I have two of my own that I would sometimes like to foist off on other people. I do not want to be adding any more to the tribe.

Anyway, this chicken recipe is so good that my husband has actually asked me to make it again. If any of you knew me well, you would know what a big deal that is. Because chicken? And me? Not such a good combo. I can take a perfectly good chicken and do things to it that make it dang near inedible. It's a talent...try not to be jealous. It strikes fear into the heart of my guys when they ask what's for dinner and I reply with "Chicken." I asked Geanne, who is part Italian and therefore should know how to cook well, if she had any good chicken recipes that wouldn't add 47 lbs to my rear after eating and be completely dork-proof, and she sent me this. I consulted with my friend Becki over at Cooking With Whine (see the linky over there on the right? Go check her out for she is hilarious. I want her to move by me and be one of my new best friends) who gave me some great ideas for add-ins to the filling. Make this for company and I guarantee they will think you were slaving in the kitchen all day. And then they will buy you better presents for your birthday. Moreofawoman--world peace and presents through chicken. Catchy, no?


1 pkg cream cheese, softened

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (10oz) thawed, drained

1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided

6 tablespoons parmesan cheese, divided

2 cloves minced garlic, or more if desired

1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste

1 tsp Italian seasoning

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded out to 1/4 inch thickness

1 egg

10 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated

Spaghetti noodles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning until well blended. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts, then spread the filling over chicken breasts. Starting at one of the short ends of the chicken breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with toothpicks or kitchen string, if desired. Set aside.

Beat egg in shallow bowl or pie plate. Mix remaining 3 tbs parmesan cheese and the cracker crumbs in separate pie plate. Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place seam-side down in a 13x9 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve topped with spaghetti sauce and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles.

**Becki's Ideas for Additions were chopped sun-dried tomatoes. My friend Katie who is also a gourmet cook suggested artichoke hearts and feta cheese. I think she may have said pine nuts, too. Go ahead, get all crazy with it! Live large and in charge! Embrace the ingredients!

Moreofawoman--freedom through stuffed chicken breasts. Catchier?

This is some good stuff, people. Try it this weekend and let me know what you think.

Next week's recipe: Toddler In A Box

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's So Hard to Find Good Help These Days..

Sorry for the long pause between this post and last, my friends. I could bore you to tears with all the events that conspired against me getting time to blog, such as my Projectile Vomiting Toddler, my Ever Increasing Workload, my Never Done Laundry Pile, blahbittyblahblahblah, but you know the song just as well as I do.

It's really not my fault, though. It's my maid's. See, she hasn't been coming around here much for about the last fifteen years, so I have been forced to do all the housecleaning myself. I think she spoke to my personal assistant, because I haven't heard from her in a long time either. More like never. So all those pesky little errands that I had previously delegated to her? Now guess who gets to do them. Then there's my chef, the one who shops for, puts away, and prepares the healthy nutritious food my family and I require. She hit the road sometime around 1992. I think she ran off with my personal trainer. That's the only thing that can explain these love handles of mine. If he were here, they wouldn't be. And don't even get me started on my masseuse. Ungrateful little twit. And after all I'd done for her! Like think about hiring her! She wanted paid and a set schedule? What's up with that?

So, folks, I am sorry but it really really really isn't my fault. If you find these guys, let them know I am seriously ticked...and they are all fired.