Friday, February 26, 2010

Why I Blog...

I found Top 3 Thursday a day late (hmmm...why do I always feel like everything in my life is running about a day late?), but it sounded like a lot of fun, so here goes anyway...

What are the top three reasons you blog?

3. Fun - I started my blog kind of as an experiment, not really sure if I would enjoy it or not, but I wanted to try it, and I've been really kind of surprised by how much fun I have with it.  I love reading other blogs, find fun things (like Top 3 Thursday), and learning (slowly!) to be a little more tech-savvy.

2. Stress relief - Yes, there are times I want to blog just to vent! 

1.  Finding other moms like me - My life is pretty insane right now, and it helps sometimes to just know that I'm not the only crazy person trying to juggle entirely too much.  I love hearing how other moms manage to get everything done - I get some really good ideas for things that help me in my own life!

Five Question Friday - the last one for February!

1. Do you sing karaoke? If so, what is your go to song?

I have never done karaoke, but I sing to the radio a lot!  My kids give me funny looks sometimes, especially when I start singing something like Toby Mac or Skillet...Third Day has a lot songs I love to sing along with, too.

2. What is your favorite coffee drink?
Oh, I am totally addicted to Starbucks white chocolate mocha with raspberry! 

3. If you could choose your own name, what would it be?
I love the name Sabrina (I also love the movie!), but I actually really like my name (which is Amanda Michelle).  I hated it when I was a kid, until I researched the meanings of it and found that Amanda means "worthy of love" and Michelle means "who is like God."  After that, I started liking it a lot more.

4. Were you ever bullied?
Not really, nothing major.  The one time a girl tried to I stood my ground (shaking in my boots but I did it anyway!) and she never bothered me again.

5. How often do you eat fast food?
It depends...we'll go weeks at a time without eating any, and then when life gets really crazy, we might eat it three times in a week.  I love to cook, and fast food gets pricey, so we usually avoid it unless we have to get it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Need I say more? Coffee has become my #1 "comfort food." It's what I reach for when I'm having a bad day or when I'm sick. I often say there are very few things in life that coffee and chocolate can't make better - they may not fix it, but they can certainly make it better. My biggest weakness is a Starbucks white chocolate mocha with raspberry…heavenly.

What's funny is the fact that I didn't even like coffee until a year and a half ago. I had tried it every way you can fix it and hated all of it. Then, after our house flooded in the storm surge of Hurricane Ike, I was sitting at our church (where we lived while we remodeled our house) eating an MRE that included a cappuccino mix. I was desperate for something sweet, so I thought I'd try it…and I've been hooked ever since. I'm really thankful for coffee…and for Starbucks gifts cards…which I've gone through two of since I started college in January…I don't know how I'd make it without my coffee!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grocery Shopping Made Easy (at least easier...)

I don't know about you, but I hate grocery shopping!  My goal when I shop is to get in, get everything we need for a week, and get out, never to return again...well, at least not until the next week.  I love Lisa Welchel's entire website, and she has great downloadable charts.  One that I use often is her grocery shopping by aisle chart...I just added in my store's aisles, and it's really easy to get my list together and get through my list without constantly doubling back for things I forgot.  You can find all of her charts here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Ok, I know "simple" doesn't exactly apply to the madness of my life, but I just found this on The Simple Woman's Daybook and I love it!  So here's my first entry...

Outside my window…it is cloudy, probably getting ready to rain again.

I am thinking…about the big test I have coming on Monday in anatomy and physiology.

I am thankful for…my incredible husband and boys.

From the learning rooms…my oldest is working on multiplication and reading Christians Courageous, my youngest is learning the letter I.

From the kitchen…a new recipe in the crockpot, cheesy chicken and rice.

I am wearing…a track suit and t-shirt (I'm ready to go to work).

I am creating…a family cookbook (but it's slow going).

I am going…to work, to college, and back home to my family later tonight.

I am reading…Crazy Love, by Francis Chan

I am hoping…that we can relax over spring break in a couple of weeks.

I am hearing…Toby Mac on my favorite radio station.

Around the house…things are pretty messy. :(

One of my favorite things…having devotions and prayer with my boys before I tuck them into bed…I love having time alone with them, chatting about the day and what's on their mind.

A few plans for the rest of the week: study, start getting ready for our big church Easter egg hunt, a birthday party for a friend of my kids.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...they are what makes my life so awesome!

Mexican Egg Rolls

For a healthier option, this is a great filling in a whole wheat tortilla...but the egg rolls are my favorite way to fix it!

• 2 c. cooked diced chicken breast

• 2 c. shredded Monterey jack or Mexican cheese blend
• 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
• 1/2 chopped red bell pepper
• 4-5 diced green onions
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. pepper
• 1/2 tsp. chili powder
• 1 tsp. cumin
• 1 (16 oz) package egg roll wrappers
• Oil for frying

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Moisten the edges of an egg roll wrapper and put approximately 2 tbsp. of filling in the middle.
3. Fold like you would fold an eggroll. (Picture and directions are on egg roll package.)
4. Make sure the flap is sealed.
5. Heat oil and cook egg rolls until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
6. Serve with sour cream.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 2/22

Monday Lunch: chicken sandwiches

Monday Dinner: Mexican egg rolls (I'll post my recipe for this tomorrow - we love these!)

Tuesday Lunch: chicken spaghetti
Tuesday Dinner: slow cooker cheesy chicken and rice

Wednesday Lunch: Subway $5 Foot-longs!
Wednesday Dinner: Mexican egg rolls

Thursday Lunch: ravioli
Thursday Dinner: slow cooker cheesy chicken and rice

Friday Lunch: slow cooker buffalo chicken lasagna (This is a new one for us, from A Year of Slow Cooking...I wanted to try it a couple of weeks ago but didn't get to.)
Friday Dinner: tacos & burritos

Saturday Lunch: pierogies and kielbasa
Saturday Dinner: chicken sandwiches

Sunday Lunch: slow cooker buffalo chicken lasagna
Sunday Dinner: tacos and burritos

Desserts: coconut pie, cowboy cookies

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Life is like a trampoline...

…up and down, no in-betweens…I love that song by Addison Road. That's how thing have felt for me lately! It's mostly up, but there are some downs, like this past week. It wasn't any one event, it's just a pile up of tests, research projects, work projects, and church projects, and I'm the one in charge of it all, and it all needs to be done ASAP.

I really hit a low Wednesday - that's when my seven year old (who was having a VERY bad attitude day) gave me an earful about how I don't really love my family or I wouldn't be going back to college. I was stressed out and hormonal, and I took it much more personally that I should have. Later that day I earned the "mean mommy" award, too. (He told me later he was sorry for what he said about school, and now seems to be his normal, sweet self, so I'm chalking it up to him having a bad day. We're all entitled to one now and then.)

On the up side, I got an A on my anatomy and physiology lab test, and my research project for my lecture class is almost wrapped up. My four year old starts tee ball practice next week, which he's very excited about. I'm excited about watching him practice and play his first game next month! My oldest is excited about joining the Junior Bible Quiz team at our church - I've never seen him study so hard! So despite some downs, life, in all it's craziness, really is good, and God is faithful to get me through the insanity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday

This is my first time to join Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are That Family. I love finding new tips and ideas to make my life easier, so I'm really excited to find this blog carnival!

One of my favorite "works for me" finds has to be the organizer shelves that I bought months ago for each of my kids.  You can find them for $15-20 normally, but I found mine at Ross for $8 each...I love a good bargain!  As I do laundry, I stock the shelves for the week with all their clothes, including socks and underwear, for each day.  It makes life so much easier on the crazy days, and I'm not digging around early in the morning before I leave for work, trying to get clothes laid out for the kids.

One wild week

I hate being off my blogging schedule, but wow, what a week it's been!  It's not really any one major event, but it's everything piling up on me all at, church events, tee ball practice (which starts next week), research projects, and more.  I'm majorly stressed!  I'm going to try to some blogging this week, but I probably won't be back on track until next week.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Juice Box Jungle

I just discovered this website and I'm already having a blast!  I just took the Truth or Dare/What kind of mom are you quiz and here's what they came up with for me...

They pegged me really friends would probably agree with the description!

Blog Awards!

Thanks to Tina at The Floundering SAHM for my blog award!  I'm doing this exactly as the rules call for - since I just named several bloggers for my first award, I knew I'd just be running through the same list again.  lol  But I do want to thank Tina.  She has a great blog - I hope you'll check it out!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Five Question Friday - Valentine Edition!

1. What is the one thing your love does for you that you can't live without?

I would have to say it's the fact that he really is my best friend.  As my blog readers know, the past few months have been full of major changes for me and my family, and Robby has been behind me all the way.  He's my sounding board for ideas, my cheerleader, my study buddy, and he's the one who brings me back to reality when my "dreamer" side takes a little too much control.  He gives his honest opinion when I need it, and he's my shoulder to cry on when I'm stressed.  He supports me and loves me, and I know I couldn't do any of this without him!

2. When did you know your love was "the one"?
I think I really knew a few months before we even started dating.  We had a freak snowstorm in south Arkansas and got 16 inches of snow.  Robby lived just down the road, so he was able to come to my family's home for a snowball fight and a hot meal.  As he and I and my entire family were out playing in the snow, I looked over and saw him grinning from ear to ear, snow in his hair, and I thought, "Wow."  I think that's when it really dawned on me how I felt about him.

3. Does your love have a special ringtone on your cell?
No...I keep saying I'm going to download one of our wedding songs for his, but I just haven't done it yet.

4. What are you attracted to most in your special someone?
Robby's gorgeous blue eyes, and his sweet, caring personality.

5. Did you know when/where he/she was going to pop the big question?
Yes.  We were eating lunch one day - he'd picked me up from my college class - and I knew he was either going to break up with me or propose!  lol  I knew it was serious.  At the end of the meal (which neither of us really ate) he asked if I wanted to go look at engagement rings, so we did.  The "offical" proposal came three days later, and it was fairy-tale perfect!  He drove to the top of West Mountain in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  We had dinner, spent the day in Hot Springs, went back to West Mountain to watch the sunset, then ended the day with a horse drawn carriage ride through downtown Hot Springs.  It was perfect!  (I told you he's awesome!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My first blog award!

My first blog award - I'm so excited!  Thanks to Tara at One Moment in Forever for my award. :)

So here is my list of 10 things that make me happy...
  1. my husband
  2. my kids
  3. my friends
  4. getting lost in a good book
  5. coffee
  6. spending my lunch break at the park with my Bible and my devotional
  7. blogging
  8. cooking
  9. anything involving horses - riding, grooming, even just hanging out at the barn
  10. working with children's ministry
Now to name 10 other blogs...this will be hard because I enjoy so many!

  1. From the Trenches of Motherhood
  2. Mom Two Ways
  3. Mom's On Fire
  4. Peace and Craziness
  5. Monkey's Momma
  6. My Little Life
  7. Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy
  8. Sweet as Punkin Pie
  9. Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground - whose story and whose faith have amazed me in the short time since I discovered her blog
  10. And last but not least, my freind Melanie at Pressing Forward

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

This is such an easy recipe!  It can be cooked either in the oven or in the slow cooker.  When I make it for dinner, I usually put it in the slow cooker.  It's also our traditional Christmas morning breakfast, and for that I make it in the oven.  I'll put the recipe for both versions here...

6 - 8 biscuits, cooked and torn into pieces
1 pound ground sausage (we like it with sage sausage)
1 1/2 c. milk
6 eggs, beaten
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. dry mustard

Oven: Mix all ingredients except 1 cup of cheese; pour into baking dish that has been coated with non-stick spray; top with remaining cheese; cover and refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350 for an hour.

Slow Cooker: Mix all ingredients except one cup of cheese; pour into slow cooker that has been coated with non-stick spray; top with remaining cheese; cover and cook 2 hours on high, then 1 hour on low.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 2/8

Monday Lunch: chicken and chorizo sandwiches

Monday Dinner: slow cooker baked potato soup

Tuesday Lunch: hot dogs
Tuesday Dinner: easy Italian chicken

Wednesday Lunch: slow cooker baked potato soup
Wednesday Dinner: chicken and chorizo sandwiches

Thursday Lunch: hot dogs
Thursday Dinner: Leadership Banquet

Friday Lunch: tuna sandwiches
Friday Dinner: taco soup

Saturday Lunch: breakfast casserole
Saturday Dinner: Church Valentine Banquet

Sunday Lunch: pizza
Sunday Dinner: taco soup

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My new normal - how it's all going

Wow - it's hard to believe I've been in college for a month already! It's flown by. I was so terrified at the start of this while thing. I said back then that I was stepping out on very shaky legs of faith, but now I'm really glad I took those first trembling steps.

So, how's it all going? For the first two weeks, I was in survival mode, focusing only on studying, working, and keeping our house from dissolving into complete chaos, while all the while struggling to keep from falling flat on my face in exhaustion. I was dealing with the awkwardness of being an older student, surrounded by kids fresh out of high school who were giggling over their anatomy textbooks and calling me "ma'am" when I asked them a question.

By the third week, I was settling into my routine a little more and starting to work out again. The fourth week brought my first test, in anatomy and physiology - and much to my delight, I ended up with the highest grade of all my professors classes. I can't tell you how much that meant to me! It gave me such a huge confidence boost. When I found out what I made, in that moment, I really told myself for the first time, "I can do this. I really can do this, 10 years out of college, with a husband and two kids and a job and a ministry. It's real."

Now I have to brag - my family, and especially my husband, have been absolutely amazing through this huge transition. My oldest son has really stepped up to the plate, helping out more, without being asked! But my husband…I married Mr. Incredible! (Actually, we hear all the time that he looks just like him, so I really did!) Robby is my study buddy, my biggest fan and cheerleader, the one who always tells me, "You can do this." He's taken on more responsibility around the house and is always finding ways to take pressure off of me and give me more study time. He is the greatest man ever! I could never do this without him. I love you, Robby!

Friday, February 5, 2010

5 Question Friday - 2/5/10

I LOVE 5 Question Friday!  I look forward to this probably way more than I should.  LOL

1. What are you most afraid of?

Tornados...I grew up in Arkansas where they are BIG and happen often...I'm terrified of them.

2. Do you use a flat iron or curling iron?
Nope.  My hair is naturally curly, and years ago I figured out that working with it instead of fighting it is so much takes much less time to get ready, too!

3. Hands-free or phone to the ear?
I'm to the ear...often while driving since that's the only time I'm not working on something or studying!

4. Do you have a matching bedroom set?
No, in almost 10 years of marriage we've never had everything matching, but we need a new one, so there's hope!

5. Do you believe in the paranormal?
As is ghosts?  No.  Not even a little.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today's thankful post is short and first major college test is over!  I think I did well on it, but probably won't know my grade until Monday.  I'm just so glad the stress of such a major test, and especially my first one, is over.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My First Working Mom Wednesday!

I just discovered this awesome linkey a few days ago at Sweet as Punkin Pie - this is my first Wednesday to be part of it, and I'm really excited about it!

What do you about work when your child is sick?  Whose responsibility is it to stay home when daycare is not available?  Should Mom be the typical caregiver or should Dad step in?

Well, our family is kind of unusual when it comes to balancing work schedules.  My wonderful husband Robby (who is a pastor) has a lot of flexibility when it comes to office hours, and he can take our kids pretty much anywhere with him.  Since we homeschool (or I should say, at this point, he homeschools) our kids, we don't have to worry about day care or me taking off work.  Robby is the caretaker when the kids are sick.  Our family doctor knows him a lot better than he knows me!  I have, however, taken off work when Robby is sick and not able to take care of the kids.  But, as a general rule, Robby is Mr. Mom when I'm at work and at school.  (In case I haven't mentioned it already, my husband is incredible!  I couldn't do what I'm doing now without him.)

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Sorry, y'all...I planned to do a Tasty Tuesday post on time, but as I blogged about this weekend, this week is here it is, one day late...our family's favorite beef stroganoff recipe, one day late.

• 1 1/2 to 2 pounds cubed beef stew meat

• 1/4 c. chopped onion

• 2 (10.75 oz.) cans golden mushroom soup

• 5 oz. sliced mushrooms

• 1/4 tsp. black pepper

• Salt to taste

• 1 cup sour cream

• 6 cups wide egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

Spray inside of crock pot with non-stick spray or use a slow cooker liner. Add the beef, onions, soup, mushrooms, and pepper; mix well. Sprinkle on desire amount of salt. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours. Thirty minutes to an hour before serving, stir in sour cream. Cover and continue cooking until stroganoff is hot. Top cooked noodles with prepared stroganoff.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 2/1

This week, I'm trying to simply things a little. I realized last week that I've been to ambitious when it comes to cooking and juggling everything else that's happening in my life. I thought I would feel like spending more time in the kitchen, and I also thought I'd have more time to relax and cook - I don't. By the time I work and go to school, then get home to studying and housework, I just don't have the energy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

I've been using my slow cooker once a week - now I'm moving up to twice a week with it. I'm also picking up some emergency quick fix meals for the nights when dinner plans fall through or leftovers don't go as far as expected - chicken nuggets and canned ravioli may not be the healthiest choices, but it'll be better than fast food.

Monday Lunch: eat out
Monday Dinner: slow cooker beef stroganoff

Tuesday Lunch: sandwiches
Tuesday Dinner: easy Italian chicken

Wednesday Lunch: slow cooker beef stroganoff
Wednesday Dinner: chicken and orzo frittata

Thursday Lunch: easy Italian chicken
Thursday Dinner: slow cooker baked potato soup (a new recipe from the "A Year of Slow Cooking" blog)

Friday Lunch: sandwiches
Friday Dinner: tacos

Saturday Lunch: slow cooker baked potato soup
Saturday Dinner: breakfast casserole

Sunday Lunch: tacos
Sunday Dinner: chicken ricotta bowls
Related Posts with Thumbnails