30 September 2010

Yes!

Finally! I figured out how to add a playlist to my blog! :) Now you can enjoy music while you read!

New take on Tuna Noodle Casserole

So I've had tuna noodle casserole on the menu for two weeks now. (Meal planning just isn't the same when Mike is gone. One usual meals usually lasts 2-4 days around here . .. ) Anyway, so I finally made it because the mushrooms were going to go bad if I didn't. Maiden mentioned that she made tuna noodle casserole the other day and she mentioned that she put peas in hers. I don't put peas in mine, but it sounded pretty good, so I gave it a try. (Thanks Maiden!) I also added some colby-jack cheese because I really love the tuna-noodle helper, but I never buy it because it's so fattening and there's a ton of sodium and they must put crack in it too because I really crave it after eating it and always over eat when I make it.

So it turned out all right. I made it the usual way, then thawed some frozen peas in an unspecified amount and added them in and then I shredded about half a block of cheese right into it and mixed it up. It wasn't as cheesy as I would have liked. It added a lot of good texture, but not the taste I was looking for. The peas were pretty good.

I think next time I'll keep the peas and change the type of cheese I use. Maybe try cheddar or monty-jack.

And here's a Mommy's super tired, dead-brain moment: I have been giving Sophie tuna noddle casserole for dinner when I make it since she was 12 months old. But I haven't given her eggs yet because of possible egg allergies (there are some foods the "experts" advise waiting on, and eggs is one of them). I put eggs in my tuna noodle casserole. I guess Sophie isn't allergic to eggs!

Anyway, for anyone interested, here is the recipe:

7 oz can of tuna, drained
3 hard boiled eggs, cut up
2 cups noodles, cooked
1 cup mushrooms, chopped and sauteed
1 tbsp onion, minced (I don't mince mine,I just chop it), sauteed
4 tbsp butter
breadcrumbs (I omit the butter and breadcrumbs and use onion crunchies)

White sauce:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cup milk, heated
salt and pepper to taste (I don't use the salt)

To make the white sauce: melt butter. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it turns to a paste and bubbles. Add milk, continuing to stir. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, stirring 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Casserole: Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 quart baking dish (I don't butter the dish).

Combine tuna, noodles, eggs, white sauce, mushroom, and onion. Mix carefully and pour into baking dish. (This is where I added the peas and cheese.)

Sautee breadcrumbs, unless using storebought ones, and sprinkle over casserole. Or sprinkle onion crunchies. I bet ruffles potato chips would work really well too. Or you could use nothing, although if you do this, sometimes the top noodles get a little crunchy.

Bake 20 minutes.

Product Review - Click Clack Canisters

I finally bought some storage containers for my flours and sugars yesterday at Target (after waiting and searching for just the right ones). These are from Click-Clack, a company in New Zealand. They are supposed to be airtight and you actually have to squeeze the blue butterfly-like tabs to take the lids on and off. You can actually see the air being squeezed out of the canister. I originally was looking for something with a pretty design made of porcelain or some like substance, but those are all priced at hundreds of dollars (at least the ones I looked at). These are utilitarian and they'll do the job, and they are priced at $13.99 for the large ones and down. The only thing I don't like about them is when you wash the lids (which aren't dishwasher safe - the canisters are though) is that they retain water on the inside of the white-opaque disc on the inside. It did dry out over time, but that was a surprise in the morning (after leaving them out all night to dry). They also come with a manufacturer five year warranty. A company that takes the kind of pride in their product where they back it for that long (nowadays) is a company that knows its' product must be a good one! :D I'm looking forward to many years of use from them.

24 September 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in

  My answers to WifeOfASailor. It's my first time doing this! I really love the idea though! There are some creative women out there, that is for sure! :)

1. What characteristic about yourself has either been strengthened or weakened due to your experience as a Military Spouse? (from The Albrecht Squad) 
Hmmm . . .I think my wanting to serve other military spouses has been strengthened by my experiences as a military spouse. Being married to the military is the unique situation where we find ourselves married, but a single parent; moving often and having to start over again and again; dealing with unique situations (not every spouse gets shot at in their job) and so much more. I have tried to offer more of myself than I had previously . . . if I see a need, I try to fill it - whether it is reaching out in friendship, bringing a meal, smiling at a newcomer or inviting a relative stranger over to dinner or to a Bible study (actually I've done that one a lot!) It's the unique experience of: "Oh, hi, you just moved here? That's great! Welcome! Want to come over for dinner? How about Bible study Friday night?" - not even knowing what religion they are or what religious background they come from. How else do you make great friends though than reaching out? 

-->2. What is your favorite vacation spot and why? (from ‘Tis the Life of the Army Wife)

I would have to say my favorite vacation spot is Fredericksburg, Virginia. It hasn't been a vacation destination per ce, but I have gone back and visited (I spent most of my childhood and teenage years in that area) and it feels like a great vacation to me. I love the history of the area, I love the collection of warm, fuzzy childhood memories associated with the Virginia hills and trees and the Rappahannock River.  The pic is a church in Doswell, Virginia, about 40 minutes from Fredericksburg.

-->3.If you could have any fast-food restaurant in the food court on base/post what would you pick? (from The Only Pink in a House of Blue)  
Charlie's Steakery! They're Phil cheese-steaks and fries are so good! Not a healthy choice by any means, but sometimes you just have to some good greasy, salty food! And their strawberry lemonade is really good too!

-->4.Where did you go on your honeymoon?  (from Pennies from Heaven)
My husbandwy and I went to Disney World in Florida - Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney MGM Studios. We stayed at the Gaylord Hotel - it was really nice! We had a great time. We ended up going in December at Christmastime even though we got married in October, but that's ok - it was still an amazing time! There were lots of *pokes* and getting to know each other better. :)



-->5. If you could have any job in the world regardless of money, degree or experience, which job would you have and why? (from Proud to Be a Navy Family and The Calm Before The Storm)
If I could have any job, hmmm . . . well, I used to think it was to be a nurse. That used to be my dream. Then I had children . . . and now I have a hard time thinking about any medical stuff without putting them in the situation mentally, so I know I wasn't meant to be a nurse. There are other ways to care for people . . . With that being said, I love being a stay at home mommy, but after my kids are grown and out of the house, I think I would like to go back to being a Clinical Research Coordinator. I really loved that job, especially when I worked at Hillcrest Clinical Research. A little bit of patient care, some paperwork, a little bit of lab work - it was the perfect mixture! And you get to see all the new cutting edge drugs and devices coming out years before they are FDA approved. I do miss it so I hope one day I can go back to it.  

I received a blogger award!

I received a blogger award from Sierra! Thank you! Her blog can be viewed at http://tervotimes.blogspot.com. Wow - I can't believe I got a blogger award. My week just got a lot better! I met Sierra through PWOC here at Kirtland (she is one of the wonderful ladies who brought me dinner when I injured my knee). Sierra's blog is funny, insightful and an all around great read.  I am very thankful for the new friends the Lord has given me here in our new duty assignment.
Now for the rules of excepting this award:


  1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award to you as well as a link to his or her blog.


  2. Pay it forward to 5 other bloggers you have newly discovered.


  3. Contact those bloggers to let them know they have been chosen.
    The bloggers that I have chosen (in no particular order) are:

20 September 2010

Goose Bumps

"Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead! Jesus! Jesus! You're the one! You're the one! The Son of God, The conquerer of death, the King of Kings, the Sacrificial Lamb!" - Jesus Paid It All

Singing and worshiping these lyrics totally just gave me goose bumps. How awesome is our Savior who in His great love, mercy and grace chose to save us, horrible sinners who rejected Him. How awesome is our God!

Then Sings my Soul!

So I was fiddling on the internet holding Sophie tonight, reading a blog, and there was a song posted on this particular blog, worshipping Jesus. Great song, I'll have to try to post it later. Then I decided to go to youtube and look up some songs for Sophie.

I found "How Great Thou Art" so I played that with lyrics and sang it to Sophie. Then I found the Sandi Patti version and listened to that after I put Sophie to bed. Then I got my hymnal and started looking for other songs to listen to and sing. I listened to two others and then I found a great song in the hymnal under Jesus and the Cross section - "How Great Thou Art" (I'm really short minded tonight) so I played it again and realized I had already listened (and sang) it twice!! I guess I really needed to worship my Savior with that song tonight!!

Now I'm listening to "Jesus Paid it All". I have also listened to "Be Thou My Vision". Next: "Low in the Grave He Lay". I love that I can find these hymns on youtube! I just need to figure out how to play them all in a row so I can go clean the kitchen AND worship at the same time! Lol . . .

What a great end to a busy, draining day!

18 September 2010

A Year in Reflection

Well, today is my 28th birthday and I like to do a little reflecting. FB has really helped me to condense my thoughts a lot, I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

From FB:

It's a time for reflection (yep, it's almost that time of year). This year has been really rough, some bittersweet, but overall, just a rough, rough season of life. I never would have gotten through the year without my sweet Savior, Jesus Christ! Thank you Lord for saving me, loving me, forgiving me, teaching me, guiding me and leading me!

So to elaborate more on that (sorry about the bold, I can't seem to turn it off) . . . yes, it has been a rough year. The highlight of my year was the birth of my first son Edward, my sweet little man. Even the joy of his arrival in the world was marred by fierce depression, marital strife and later plagued by death, all around it seemed. Through the year I have constantly tried to rely on the Lord as my strength and sought Him as my shelter. At my lowest and my highest, my cry was to the Lord. In joy and sorrow, in life and death, in sickness and health, in moving and settling, in the every day of life - the Lord and His grace and mercy and love and shelter and comfort and sovereignty, especially His sovereignty, and how it all relates to His glory was on my mind. Because I have small children and was pregnant a good part of my 27th year, I was up a lot at night. Because my brother spent time in Iraq and faced trials of fire (real and spiritual) I was up at night. What was I doing? - praying. Or meditating on Scripture. Or reading Scripture - literally crying over Psalms at times and praying the Word over people in my life. I think I prayed the Word most over Thomas while he was in Iraq. And then over Sophie in raising her and dealing her incredibly strong, willful spirit that I fear to break and yearn to train the way the Lord commanded me. Praise the Lord for delivering Thomas from the enemy and bringing him home safely!

This year has really been rough for Mike and I. We sought Godly counsel and have been able to work through our problems and break down the barriers that we had set up for ourselves in selfish self-defense. We are learning the true meaning of what it means to be married, in the good and the bad.

Six weeks after Edward came into the world, a dear dear friend lost her beautiful daughter, who was born the day before Edward. I cannot imagine what my friend has gone through, I only know that I still, to this day, grieve for her. She and I share a bond that is so strong, forged by the love of Christ. Ten days after my friend's daughter died, another dear friend lost her daughter. My prayer was literally "How can this be happening again?? How??" I still grieve for her also. The burden I share with my friends is heavy. I know though that the Lord has given me strength through this. Strength to be with my friends. Strength to get over the overwhelming fear of "who is next?" (There was a lot of praying 2 Tim 1:7) I do not understand why those two beautiful, precious children of God were taken so early. I only know that the Lord is sovereign and He had a purpose for those daughters and their purpose on this Earth has been fulfilled. I am so grateful for the children the Lord has given me, that He has allowed to continue to this day. Everything is according to the Lord's will. I don't always understand what His will is, but I do understand that everything is for His glory. I may not see that in my lifetime, but that doesn't matter. That is where faith comes in. And I know that when I stand before my Savior and my God and worship Him with my dear friends, that their babies will be there too. I have no doubt of that and I thank God for that assurance.

 In the last year, we moved twice. We moved from out two bedroom apartment at Coachlight to a wonderful quad-townhome style house on Tinker AFB. I worked so hard to set up house, to run it smoothly, all while caring for my infant and carrying a child in my womb.  The day my son came into the world, my husband found out he got orders to Kirtland AFB. (Literally, within a hour of giving birth, he got the call). So we moved again. With a three month old and a 15 month old. My goal of setting up house as expediently as possible was foiled by a knee injury which took 2 months to recover from. Praise the Lord for people who serve Him by serving others in love! Ruth, Karen, Dad, ladies from the KAFB PWOC (who had never met me and I had never met them), people from Desert Springs Church (whom we had also never met) stepped up and selflessly gave of their time, their resources and their love to help us. It was a hard lesson to learn to accept help. The Lord revealed much to me in those long weeks on the couch.

 Now I am making new friends at a new base and I praise God for these beautiful women in my life. They are amazing. I miss my friends at Tinker so much, but the time came for the Lord to move Mike and I. I hope my friends back in Oklahoma know that they are covered in much prayer. And that my new friends here are covered in much prayer as well.


"Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to your name." Psalms 18:49


And as I turned the page on my daily Bible calendar that was a gift from the Tinker PWOC Board, I read: "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. God is to us a God of deliverances; And to God the Lord belong escapes from death." Psalms 69:19-20 (NASB) Amen!

 Thank you Lord for my life - thank you everything that you have given to me, that you have taught me, thank you for using me as your instrument - thank you that everything is for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.

17 September 2010

Stats

Okay, so I checked my stats (thank you Virginia for showing me how) and I only have 66 views total. So I feel better that not many people are reading my blog. So I think I will make it public. I'll post something on FB when that happens.

Thinking

I am thinking about making my blog public . . . so if I do make it public, but then I change my mind and make it private again, I'll have to re-add everyone who follows it . . . Any suggestions?

08 September 2010

Check it out!

I'm published on another blog! Check out http://fiercemamas.blogspot.com - a paper I wrote on unnecessary medical induction of labor was published on there. (I submitted it for publication a few days ago).

05 September 2010

Fierce Mamas

I posted a link to a new blog I'm following on my side bar - it's called Fierce Mamas. It's an edited blog of women's stories of becoming and staying fierce for their children.  The first blog I read was posted by a FB Babywearing page that I follow - http://fiercemamas.blogspot.com/2009/10/saving-my-baby.html - Amazing, amazing story. I have a lot of comments about it and about an issue that this mom dealt with but I won't put them here. I know I have readers who will disagree with me. So I'll keep them to myself.

Check out that particular post for an example of what this blog is about.

03 September 2010

So far . . .

Well, I probably shouldn't be on my computer because I'm so tired I put my underwear on backwardS today and didn't notice until half way through the day, but when you gotta write, you gotta write, right?

Mike has been gone four weeks this coming Sunday (it's Friday night) and Ruth has been gone since early Wednesday morning.

It's very quiet around here . . . when the children are asleep. Actually, they've been really good. Except for Sophie's tantrums which involve lots of screaming. Very vexing. We're working on that.

It's really weird not having Mike around . . . three more weeks and I'll have been here twice as long as he has (in this house). I really miss him a lot. We didn't think we'd be able to talk on the internet or email or anything, but we actually have been able to, which is a huge praise. It's sketchy - we don't always know when we can email or anything, so we're always grateful. And Mike is able to call me for 20 minutes at a time 2 or 3 times a week. It's so great to hear his voice! So familiar and dear to me.

Ruth stayed I think 4 or 5 weeks to help out because of my knee injury and I am eternally grateful for her help and her comfort after Mike left. I really miss her and I know that Sophie does as well. Sophie has definitely been more clingy . . . And tonight I made eggplant lasagne in honor of Ruth, since she taught/inspired me to make it. (I'd never had eggplant before her stay. It's pretty good.)

My knee is doing much better. I'm down to just going to physical therapy once a week now starting this coming week. I have a lot of exercises to do at home, mostly to strengthen my legs muscles (especially my quadriceps) that atrophied because I was off of my knee for so long. I ended up not having to have surgery, which I am so thankful to the Lord for. Huge praise!!

Life with a toddler and a baby while your husband is gone is interesting . . . and very challenging in that you don't really get a break without sacrificing sleep (which is why I am here and not sleeping). And yes I still need to put 4 or so things in the dishwasher and mop the floor . . .and do my Bible study . . . I don't know how single women do it. I have the hope that Mike will return home at some point and I will have help again with the kids or can take a break if I need to. There's a good amount of crying because both are too young to know anything except instant gratification. That is probably the hardest part . . . I can't always do two things at once and we haven't gotten onto a smooth routine yet. I try . . . that's all I can do, is try to do my best and have a good attitude about it. And pray a lot.

PWOC has started. The Fall Kickoff was Aug 25th, while Ruth was still here. Met some really great ladies. A lady by the name of Maiden and I have started hanging out. We went to the Airman's Attic yesterday (which was awesome!) and we're going to hang out tomorrow. Maiden has an 8 year old son and an 18 month old daughter. And she too was in nursing school until she got pregnant with her daughter. I think she might have even been in at the same time I was. She's really nice and I like her. She'll only be here until December though because her husband is here for training and they'll be moving on to their next duty station soon. I've also made friends with a lady named Sierra. She has a 3 year old son and a 4 month old daughter. We're also going to hang out tomorrow (all three of us together hopefully).

I've also made friends with the wife of the guy that Mike is TDY with. Her name is Cassie. She has three older children. She's really sweet also and has invited me to dinner tomorrow night. We've also had a play date at this awesomely huge covered playground on the base next to the McDonalds. Of course Sophie didn't venture 10 feet from me, but Cassie and I got to chat and start to get to know each other.

Anyway, back to PWOC. There were a lot of ladies there (they had 20+ sign up for each study)! Things were done a little bit differently than at Tinker, which was fine. I was really happy to see that a lot of the ladies were young moms - there are over 20 children in Wee Church, which is called Children's Ministry here. What a blessing! And there were at least 4 or 5 babies that stayed with moms in the study (Edward included). I was really surprised at the turnout because Kirtland is a relatively small base people-wise. Much smaller than Tinker I think.

The two studies are "Gloriously Frazzled" and "Daniel" by Beth Moore. I chose to do the latter because I have been wanting to study Daniel since I did the Daniel study at Tinker (or didn't do because I missed so much that semester). So far it's been really great! Although the evening before the second PWOC meeting (which is on Wednesdays here), I got a call from the Spiritual Life board member to co-facilitate the Frazzled study since they had so many ladies sign up for it. I was reluctant to agree (I didn't say that) and said I would pray about it and then before I really had a chance to pray about it, she called back and said that someone else really wanted to step up. I was actually relieved since I had really wanted to do the Daniel study. And I don't really feel up to leading a study at this point in my life. I have so many internal conflicts going on . . . I don't know if I'll write about that or not.

However, despite internal conflicts, I have gotten myself into something that I feel a little over my head with. The PWOC here is in desperate need of a Watchcare/Nursery Liason - basically they are a go-between the Children's Ministry contracted person who works for the chapel and PWOC. No one had signed up and no one had signed up and I really saw the need and I prayed (I just want to serve where the Lord wants me to serve) and felt the Lord leading me to speak up. So I emailed Sherry, the President, and said that if no one had volunteered yet, that I would be willing to step up into that position. No one had and so now here I am, the liason between the chapel and PWOC in regards to the Children's Ministry. This is something I have no experience in what-so-ever (or so I feel) and I really don't know what I'm doing. Definitely lots of steps in faith here. I will definitely be praying very fervently for the Lord's will and direction in this position - it is so important is so many respects. If women feel comfortable that their children are well looked after, then they will come to study. The tricky part is getting woman to serve alongside the chapel contractor. We have so many children that a mom will only have to serve once a semester. I have seen though that if a same person is called upon again and again to serve, they will leave the study. I don't want women to leave. I want women to come to PWOC! I am so passionate about PWOC! Sherry also wants me to broaden the horizons a bit and make plans for a Homeschool Room for homeschooled kids that can come and do their work while their mom is at study and so on and so forth. I only know to begin with prayer, but what the second step is . . . we shall see.

I also feel very unsure of myself because the last time I tried to help [Michelle and Nikki] set up childcare coordinating efforts [with the Bible study on Friday nights] it ended in total failure and because of responses of some a lot of people were hurt and offended and ultimately people left the study. I carry that. I am not responsible for the responses that were generated, but I was responsible for "the speech" to get people to serve.

I feel that I will really have to set aside any personal feelings one way or another and just try to serve the Lord, serve the children and the Children's Ministry Coordinator and bring women to PWOC.

Why is so uncomfortable when the Lord is growing us? I must remember Prov 3:5-6!