Friday, January 29, 2010

Books I've read this year so far...

Every now and then I'd like to do a post about the books I've read thus far this year.  I'd love to see exactly how many books I can read in one year.  Since today is the 29th of January, and I find it highly unlikely I'm going to finish my new book by the end of it.  I'll count these books as my January finished reads:

January

The Host By Stephenie Meyer

I absolutely LOVED this book and recommend it to anyone who likes a good science fiction novel.  At the beginning, it did confuse me a little, and if you've read the Twilight books, this is NOT the same writing that you are used to.  Its definately for adults, and not tweens and up.  (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Twilight, it was just written for a younger audience.)  I started reading it right before I got on the plane to go to Texas for my vacation.  I didn't get much reading done since we were so busy, but when I got to my moms house, I didn't want to put it down.  Finally a few days after being home, I finished it.  I love a book that when you finish it, you are actually sad that its over, and thats exactly how I felt about it.  I've heard rumors that Stephenie Meyer will be coming out with some sequels, but until I see it on the preorder, or that its available, I'm not going to hold my breath.  The book could end the way it did, or it could have a sequel, either way, it was an excellent read, and a book I'll want to keep for forever!

Marked By P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

I have this fascination with all things vampire.  I've a lot of the Anne Rice books, loved the Twilight books, and I'm just fascinated with vampire type things.  I love True Blood (haven't read the books, but I want to, but I love the show), and I also watch Vampire Diaries as well.  So, literally when I saw these books in the bookstore a while ago, I thought I might be interested in them.  When I was in Texas, we went to Costco, and almost all of them were there, I got the first four books to read.  All for much cheaper than anywhere else I'd seen them.  After I finished The Host, I started reading Marked.  At first it was a bit of struggle, definately a younger audience type book.  But I was interested, and wanted to see where it took me.  This first book was only okay in my opinion.  But since I bought the first four I figured I'd better read them at the very least.

Betrayed By PC Cast and Kristin Cast

In this book, things definately got a lot more interesting.  I'm still a highschooler at heart I guess, and I liked the whole book, it was better than the first, but not as great as the Twilights in my opinion.

Chosen By PC Cast and Kristin Cast

Again, things got more interesting, and I really liked this book, so I was getting to the point where I wanted to read them, and I was reading through them pretty quickly.  Its a different style writing than in Twilight, and I liked it, so I read the next book in the series.

Untamed By PC Cast and Kristin Cast

Things were starting to get better and better.  The writing was now speaking to me, the thought processes were better, and I enjoyed this book as well.  My only complaint...these books are very fast reads, and they are kind of short.  They could have put some of these books together to make a longer book, but they are easier to hold this way!

Hunted By PC Cast and Kristin Cast

Very good, couldn't wait to get to the next one to see what was coming up next!

Tempted By PC Cast and Kristin Cast

This is my favorite so far. This is the last in the series for now. There is another one coming out soon. But I couldn't and didn't want to put it down. I read through this one in a manner of days, and really wanted to grab that next one, but it won't be out until April, I guess I'll have to wait!

Started: The Law of Nines By Terry Goodkind

My husband just read this book, he suggested that I read it, so last night I started reading it.  I love Terry Goodkinds The Sword of Truth Novels, so I am definately interested in seeing what comes up in this novel.  I'll probably have a more in depth review when I finish this book, probably in February!

So far in January I've read: 7 books.  Now the House of Night Novels were shorter, but hey I can count them too.  I'm excited to see what I read, and think about with Februarys books!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup...



This is by far and above, the absolute BEST chicken noodle soup I've ever had.  AND-I MADE IT!  Wow this soup was bursting with flavor through every bite, cleared out the sinus', and everyone in my family loved it.  I really wish I could give all of you a taste of it, it was really THAT good.
I used a basic recipe for my base from allrecipes.com.  But then I completely and totally made it my own.  I'm not even sure I can completely duplicate everything I did, I don't know the measurments at all...sorry!  I really wish I had measured, but why dirty up more dishes?  I hope in the future I'll be able to duplicate this deliciousness, and next time, I'll be measuring stuff out to try to get it just right, and repost again.  For now, here is what I did!



Chicken Noodle Soup
1 tbl butter (I used the light butter that LofL makes)
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cup sliced celery
2 cup sliced carrots
2 cloves garlic
about a tbl of olive oil
1/2 lb or so, of uncooked chicken breasts, chopped up into bite side pieces
2 boxes of Chicken Broth (you know the 32 oz box things of them)
1 can vegetable broth
basil
oregano
salt
seasoned salt
garlic pepper
pepper
poultry seasoning
thyme
garlic salt
condensed cream of potato soup
Tonys seasoning
4 cups dried egg noodles
First, make sure your pot is heated to medium-high.  Throw butter, onion, garlic, and carrots into a big pot (I used an 8 quart pot), I let those simmer for about 3-4 minutes, then I threw in the celery, and I sauteed for 4 more minutes.  Then I threw in the chopped up uncooked chicken, and mixed all of it up, so that the chicken was turning whitish, but not browning, I would say another 3-4 minutes.  Then add the chicken broth, vegetable broth, basil, oregano, salt, garlic pepper, pepper, poultry seasoning, thyme and garlic salt to taste.  Let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.  Add cream of potato soup.  Let simmer covered, another 10 minutes.  In the meantime, make the egg noodles in a seperate pot and drain. Add pasta to the soup mixture.  Then add some seasoned salt, and tony's seasoning to the mix, all to taste, make sure you don't over do it with tonys, he'll bite ya!   Simmer an additional 5 minutes to make sure the flavors meld together really well.  Serve, and enjoy!  I know I did!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GOOD morning!

This morning, as I was walking Sierra to school, I noticed something a little different.  The SUN was shining!  It was very very cold, but the sun was actually out...I think this is the first day this entire month that the sun has actually been out.  Immediately, my mood picked up, and I knew I wanted to take advantage of it somehow.  So I came home, grabbed the dog, and went for a little walk outside...

This is outside near my house, I just love the way it all looks with snow all over it!


I absolutely LOVE the pinelike trees in the distance covered with snow!


Lexi was having fun being outside, playing in the snow.



I should seriously save this picture forever and put it on my desktop...there is actual sun in Germany!


I think this tree used to be one tree, and then was hit by lightning or something, or it just grew that way into two tress, but I love this tree, its the backyard part of our building.



Run Puppy Run!



Another beauty



I love how this one turned out, if you look on the bottom left corner, you can tell I was totally trying to not get the dumpster in the picture!



Thats our building!



She just looks soooo happy doesn't she?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another giveaway...

I really really wanna win one of these, so I'm doing what I can for more entries!  =)

Check it out and enter yourself, but remember if you win, you have to SHARE!  ; )

http://armyhousehold6.com/2010/01/18/want-to-win-a-sony-reader-touch-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-9165

Boston Cream Pie...Cake!

Ohhhh my YUM!  There really are no words, other than those three.  AND this is out of my healthy cooking cookbook...meaning its GOOD and light, and HEALTHY!  You can't go wrong with this one!  (Adapted from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Cookbook 2009)



Boston Cream Pie Cake
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ff milk

Filling:
1 1/4 cup cold ff milk
1 pckg (1 oz) sugar free instant vanilla pudding

Glaze:
1 1/4 cup confectioners surgar
2 tbsp baking cocoa
1-2 tbsp ff milk (I actually ended up using a little more because it was too thick at first, but only a little more)


In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, and sugar until crumbly.  Add eggs; mix well.  Beat in applesauce and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk until blended.
Coat two 9 inch round baking pans with cooking spray (I used the kind with flour in it, so that it would come out of the pan easily), sprinkle with flour; add batter.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes (or do the toothpick test) Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For filling, in a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding together for about two minutes.  Let stand for about 2 minutes or until soft-set.  Place cake layer on a serving plate; top with filling and remaining cake layer.
For glaze, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa, and vanilla.  Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency.  Spread over top of the cake allowing some glaze to drape down the sides.


YUM YUM YUM...thats all this needs!


Meatloaf

Another of my Money Saving meals.  Meatloaf...oh yum!  I love meatloaf, Paul, on the other hand, does not.  So I rarely get to make meatloaf, mostly when he's deployed, but I was really in the mood for some meatloaf when I made up my menu, and voila, he's going to have to suck it...jk, but he'll live.  He's eaten wayyyy worse...I mean helloooo, he's in the ARMY!  =)  (on the upside though, he LOVED it!)



This recipe is absolutely delicious.  Of course, I had to tweak it...a LOT.  And I didn't measure anything out or anything fun like that.  I just kind of threw it all together, but thats the fun of meatloaf.  Now I will say that mixing it up, is the best part...but I hate getting meat and gunk under my fingernails...and I have long fingernails.  Soooo...to compensate, I use my gloves...yes, I have special disposible gloves for such occassions, and yes, I know I'm a nerd!  Ahh well, here is the recipe!

Meat Loaf
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef (or turkey)
1/4 cup milk (I used fat free, but thats because thats all I use)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mustard (I did not have ground mustard, so I used regular mustard and added about a teaspoon full instead...)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 garlic clove, minced (because I'm a rebel, I used 2)
1 egg
2 slices bread, torn into small pieces (I let Sierra do this job, and I used whole wheat bread, Sierra had fun "helping" me though)
3 tbl chopped onion (Of course, all of my onions are bad, thanks Baumholder, so I used minced dried onion, and I used a little less, because thats what you are supposed to do)
1/3 cup ketchup, chili sauce, or bbq sauce (I used chili sauce because I didn't think I'd use the chili sauce for anything else)

Heat oven to 350, and mix all ingredients together except ketchup in large bowl.
In ungreased pan, spread beef mixture, shape into a loaf.  Spread ketchup on top and sides.
Bake, uncovered 50-60 minutes until meat and juices are no longer pink, or thermometer reads 160.  Let stand 5 min.

I do think that next time, I'm going to try ground turkey instead of beef, and we bought the cheapy meat, so next time I'll buy a little more expensive, there was a lot of grease at the bottom of the pan, and thats not really appetizing to me.  It was still delicious though.  I made it with some mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob.
I have no idea how much this meal was all in all.  Unfortunately, I lost my reciept from the grocery store.  =(  But it was a great meal, and according to the book it costs 1.02 per serving.  I've noticed that its usually pretty accurate, which means its on the higher end of the scale.  It makes 4 servings, but even though Paul and I had about 1 1/2 and the girls each had one, we still have another one left.  If you make it let me know how you like it!


Flylady...

I came across this website from another blog that I was checking out, and I thought it looked neat.  So I signed up for it, and am doing the baby steps every day.  I figured it would help me to do the things I need to do every day, and not feel so cluttered all the time.  Today, it was make my kitchen sink shine.  Now I need to buy some sos pads to really get the full effect, but my kitchen sink sure does look pretty.  Also, being in Germany, and not having two sinks (we only have one sink with a little side for drying your dishes, oh and its a small sink) made it a little more difficult to follow the directions exactly.  There are hard water spots all over the one side, but it still looks better than it did before.  I did everything I could to the sink according to the directions (except the sos pads, I'll try that on those water spots later), and the sink looks very pretty.  And she's absolutely right, it did make me smile!  I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing, today was day one!
http://flylady.net/pages/begin_babysteps.asp



(I will say though, that my house is never really that dirty or cluttered, but its fun to try new things, and I believe that this little program will help in other ways, not just for my house, but for my head too! )

Monday, January 25, 2010

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells


Another one of the recipes out of my Money Saving Meals cookbook.  This one was a winner.  Everyone loved it.  I served it with some garlic/parmesan bread, and some asparagus.  Yum!

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells
18 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
1 egg, slightly beaten
5 oz chicken
15 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
26 oz tomato pasta sauce (I used Robusto somethingerother, it was a cheaper jarred one)
2 cups shredded Italian cheese (I didn't need that much, I used about 1 cup instead)


Heat oven to 350, cook pasta according to package directions.
Squeeze out all of the juice out of the thawed spinach, then place spinach on paper towels and squeeze dry some more.
Mix spinach, egg, chicken, ricotta, and parmesan (I also added some minced garlic, because I love garlic).  Drain pasta, rinse with cool water.
Spread 1 cup pasta sauce in a 13x9 in pan.  Then spoon about 2 tbl of ricotta mixture into one shell (I used a Pampered Chef medium scoop for this, it worked perfectly).  Place shells, filled sides up.  Spoon with remaining pasta sauce.
Cover with foil, bake 30 min.  Remove foil, and sprinkle with Italian cheese.  Bake another 5-10 min.

Now, lets talk about savings.  How much did I save with this recipe, or rather, how much did I spend.  I already had the spinach at the house, and I also had the chicken, as well as the egg, and parmesan.  So those aren't being counted in my little estimate.  So I spent 1.35 on the shells, 1.69 on the pasta sauce, 1.96 on the ricotta, and another 2.47 on the Italian cheese (which I was supposed to use all of, but didn't).  All in all, I actually spent only 7.47.  Now I would guesstimate that the spinach would have been about 1.50, and the chicken probably more like 2.00, the egg, well, I'm just not going to count that, most of us have eggs, and the amount of parmesan, maybe .50.  So it would have cost something like 11.47.  Still, thats a pretty good price when it feeds all of us, and then some.  Autumn had 3 shells, Sierra had 2 shells, I had 3 shells, and Paul had 6 shells.  The serving size is supposed to be 3 shells per person.  And we were supposed to get 6 servings.  More often than not, the meals we make are usually one less (because the husband is able to eat a little more) serving.  So I would say 5 servings instead of 6.  Still, according to my calculations, it was 2.29/serving (thats wayyyy better than anything taco bell could do).  But if you really want to talk about money.  I also served asparagus (steamed), probably running 2.00, and then garlic bread which is about 2.00, so all in all, we ate our entire dinner meal for only 3.09.  Considering we just went to Mac Grill in Ramstein and spent about 6 dollars each for the girls meals alone, thats one heck of a deal.  It just amazes me that amount of money you save by eating at home sometimes.  But who wants to cook all the time, I certainly don't, and I love to cook!  But all in all, this was a delicious meal, and I'm loving the fact that it wasn't very expensive too!  If you try it, let me know how you like it!

Obsessed...

I am not a vegetarian...
I am not a vegan...
but somehow I am obsessed with veggie sausages.
I don't know or remember the first time I tried them.  It had to be sometime in the past two years.
I originally tried them because they are lower in fat than regular sausage.
I didn't think I'd like them.
I was afraid to try them.
But now, I LOVE them!
I love the smell when they cook in the microwave, I love the taste with a hint of spicyness (is that a word?) to them.  They have to be the links, and they have to be Morningstar.
They are the perfect thing to go with my fiber one (cardboard) cereal with banana.  Mmmm...deliciousness!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stressed!

My oldest child does not know how to listen, and I am just sooo frustrated right now.  I've been asking her to get ready all morning...NOTHING.  She's been having some really hard times in the mornings lately, and I don't know what to do about it.  I literally have to yell at her nonstop for her to actually DO anything.  I want to cry because I don't know how to help her.  I don't know what to do.  And I put her in time out...and it doesn't phase her in the least.  I told her earlier...like an hour ago to get ready to take the dog out...well finally I got fed up and told her she could just go take the dog out like she was.  No socks, no shoes, no jacket (she did have jeans and a big sweater on).  Again, didn't phase her in the least.  It was like I wasn't even punishing her.  What am I supposed to do??  I've tried taking away things, I've tried spankings, I've tried time outs, I've tried yelling, I've tried being nice, I've tried different punishments.  I'm about to throw up my hands in the air and just literally give up, but then how is she going to even get dressed in the mornings.  I don't know what to do, and I'm sooo stressed out about her in the mornings.  She literally puts me in a bad mood every single morning because she will not listen.  I don't know if it has to do with her ADHD, I really don't, but whatever it is, its frustrating the hell out of me.  Every morning I feel so stressed out because of her.  Everymorning, I swear I'm going to give myself a heart attack because she can't listen to me AT ALL.  I'm just going to cry.  Ugh, this just out right SUCKS.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Its been a busy week...

So busy in fact, that I haven't been able to get on my blog, or anyone else's for that matter.  Lets see, Tuesday I had a doctors appointment in the morning.  Then I had to run to the commissary for a few things, and I finished right in time to grab the girls and go home, put away groceries, all that jazz.  Wednesday, I had to get up early so they could take blood from my arm...7 viles later...at least I think it was 7, I lost count, but I know there were a lot, and I felt a little woozy after it all.  But it was done, and I ran home to shower, and change, and go to a bcsc meeting.  It was purse bingo, it was a lot of fun, but unfortunately for me, I didn't win any purses.  =(  Then I had to run an errand, and grab kids.
Today, I mostly cleaned up around the house and had a snap meeting for Autumn's adhd that I had to go to.  Ran to the mailbox (which btw, hasn't been picked up in like two weeks, eeek!), then grabbed my girls and Tristin (Sierra's BFF).  We came home, and I wasn't expecting my honey to come home, so I figured we'd watch a movie and hang out, just the girls and I, well that didn't happen.  My honey actually got to come HOME!  I was thrilled.  So meanwhile, D came to pick up Tristin, and we chatted...ohhhh for about two hours, he he.  Then my sweet husband came home and said...are you dressed, we are going out.  We wanted to go up to the mall and eat dinner, but because of gas, and it being later in the evening, we decided McD's was in order instead.  It was a nice dinner though, the McD's here are really nice.  I mean in the states, you can't wait to get in and out of a McD's, but here, they are soooo nice.  I mean I'm just going to have to take pictures to prove it, but the whole place looks nice, its clean, the people are so very friendly.  When we first walk in they give the girls some gummi bears, then we order, they will actually bring you the order sometimes, we eat, and nobody was worried about how dirty it was or anything.  I went to one in Edelwiess that had candles lit at the tables, and had real flowers in vases at the tables too.  This is NO ordinary McD's!  All in all it was a great night.  Although I do have a headache that is really bothering me, felt it coming on earlier, and I just can't seem to shake it.  Well, it is time to get the munchkins in bed...and me too, so I'll try to update later on this week, or since its Thursday at least sometime this weekend!  =)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shoes...jewelry....clothes...

Over the years I've become more of an accessory girl.  I've never really been into IT all before, and somehow I've been more into it a lot lately.  So I get this payless email...yes I like to shop the cheap stuff...who can afford all those expensive thousand dollar shoes...umm...NOT ME!  Sooo, as I was saying, I go to the website, and my heart literally aches...and squeezes, and I yearn for shoes that are so cute.  So whats up with that?  I have been doing it with jewelry, clothes...purses, all kinds of things.  I don't know why..maybe its being over here in Germany that did it and made my shopping addiction into more than it should be.  But I tell ya, I really want some new clothes, jewelry, purses, and SHOES!  Of course, the clothes I buy are usually from walmart, or old navy (my favorite store EVER), or kohls.  My jewelry, from any place that sells jewelryish items for under $20, and purses...well I have spent some money on purses, I like the Fossil purses best, but still have not, and cannot bring myself to spend 200 dollars on a coach, or dooney purse...I just can't.  Not when Fossils are usually better, cuter, and better made.  Then there are the shoes...before coming here, I had NEVER spent more than probably 50 bucks on a pair of shoes...since being here, I once had to buy a pair of 86.00 tennis shoes (hey they have no selection and tennis shoes you can't buy online).  ICK.  I about had a heart attack!  Anyway, back to my new fetishes...has this happened to anyone else, or is it just me in all my weirdness?

How incredibly awesome is this?

My friend Ann (she's also my neighbor) got snagged up by Borders to give away an eReader to a military family!  Talk about cool!  Soooo...we get another entry if we blog...so I'm blogging.  Here is the website if you want to check it out...and also, she has an amazingly cool blog, she's a great writer, AND she is giving away a reader (hello!).  So please check out her site, become a fan, and even blog about her stuff if you'd like!  =)

http://www.household6diva.com/2010/01/active-duty-military-win-sony-touch.html

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just plain bothered....

Alright, I don't like to complain about the army, but sometimes...you gotta do, what you gotta do.
My husband came home from a deployment at the end of May last year.  We had a wonderful leave, and we found out that he was slated for BNCOC from October-Jan (missing all of the important holidays).  So he went...only 5 months after being home from a 15 month deployment, he had to go to the schooling.  I'm used to it, in a sense, but I didn't like it.  It sucked, all of my friends husbands were home.  I was lonely, I missed him.  So the girls and I decided to go out to Texas for the holidays since my husband wasn't going to be home.  Needless to say, AFTER we bought the tickets, and after he arrived, he found out that he was graduating early.  Mid Decemberish.  Soooo...we spent more money to have him go where we were going, Cozumel, and then to Texas to spend time with my family.  It was his MUCH deserved leave.  And I was sooo grateful to be able to spend some time with him.  But I don't really recommend being away from your husband for a few months and visiting family as soon as you are reunited.  It still takes time for you to get used to each other even after a few short months.  Anyway, we got back in January.  The girls and I got back before him, because the army (that doesn't make any sense whatsoever) had to have him fly from Augusta to Frankfurt, instead of from Atlanta (where we were flying him) to Frankfurt.  Sigh...not a big deal.  Then we got home.  And WHAM-here is a special detail just for you SSG Hirsch!  He's on this detail that the post is now doing.  Most people on post are doing this detail...well, except for his company only a few of them are actually doing it.  Anyway, he is at home, so I should be thankful right...well...its not exactly fun when he has to work, EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Literally all weekend...four day mind you, he has worked.  He has to pull guard duty about every other day next week, and this will go on until Feb. 11th.  Can we say LAME?  Sooo, I've just been really bothered by it all.  I want to do things with my husband, I wanted to go to a pool with him and the girls this four day....didn't happen because of his work schedule.  I wanted to go to the movies...again, couldn't happen because of the work schedule.  I want to go to Poland, and Amsterdam, and hit up Berlin too before we leave...now its looking like it probably won't happen for us.  So he'll be on this detail for a month or so...then they will leave about 15 days after that for Graf, which means more training...AND he'll be away from home again.  I believe they will be there for about another month.  He'll be home sometime in April.  At that time, we get to start preparing for our leaving Germany.  Unfortunately, they don't get four days hardly ever.  So when a four day pops up, we usually like to do something as a family.  This has just been really hard on me lately.  Having to deal with it all, and deal with being over here.  I just don't like Germany, there are things that I do like, but at the same time, I'd never want to live here.  Maybe go for a visit, but had I known what I know now, I would not have volunteered to come here in the first place.  Sure we've been able to see things....every now and then.  We did get to go to Spain on vacation after he came home from Iraq, which was cool.  We've been to a few places here and there when we had a chance, but he has literally been gone so much since we've been over here, that the excursions are few and far between.  I want to travel with my husband, since thats the only thing to do over here.  But I can't.  I'm just frustrated, and needed to vent.  This is the army, and its his job.  I'm used to it to an extent.  But I am not perfect, and I get frustrated with the best of them.  But I'm also jealous that my friends and their husbands get to do things, while we sit at home because Paul has to work.  I could do things on my own, but I want to share the experiences with my husband.  And to be frank, its much easier having one parent per child so to speak.  Sigh...just my little bitch for the day.  I hope it gets better, but right now I'm just really down about a lot of things, and I had to get it out.  Hopefully I'll feel more like myself again soon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Drink recipes...

Sorry, I have no pictures for these drink recipes, but they were pretty good.  We have a bunch of liqueurs lying around the house that we are desperately trying to finish off, or figure out what to do with them.  One of them is called Lemoncello...no its not the limoncello...at least thats not what it says on the bottle.  So I've been wandering all over internetland to try to find a decent recipe or two to use.  I managed to make two of them last night.  They were really good, I thought, so I figured I'd add these recipes to my lil blog here.  So I can find them easily in the future if need be.

Raspberry Lemoncello Sangria
1 cup frozen raspberries
3 oz pink lemonade
2 oz lemoncello
750 ml Lambrusco wine
3 cups ice cubes

In a large pitcher, mix raspberries, lemonade and lemoncello.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Slowly add wine to pitcher and mix together.  Pour over ice, enjoy!

Lemoncello Sunrise
1 oz lemoncello
3 oz Orange Juice
dash grenadine

I doubled the recipe and threw it in my glass.  It was delicious all mixed together over ice.

Lighter jalapeno thingies



10 jalapenos
1 light cream cheese package
tonys
minced garlic
onion powder
turkey bacon
toothpicks

Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise, scrape out membrane and seeds, you should probably wear gloves for this, otherwise the juices may burn your hands for a while.
Throw the cream cheese, tonys, minced garlic, and onion powder in a small bowl, all to taste.  Mix together thoroughly.
Cut some turkey bacon in half.  Stuff jalapenos with cream cheese mixture, roll a half piece of turkey bacon around the jalapeno, then put the toothpick in it horizontally.  Vertically just doesn't work right!
Cook at 375 for 30 minutes!
What an awesome appetizer!

Yummy Greenbeans...

This is a recipe that I love to make...but usually I make it differently.  Last night however, I didn't make it as I usually do, but it still turned out fantastically.  Soo, I'll post how I made it and let you decide if you'd like!

4 slices of bacon
bag of frozen greenbeans...I think 20 oz
salt
season all


bake 4 slices of bacon in oven at 375 for 10 minutes or until bacon is no longer pink.
warm up green beans in the microwave for about 5 minutes.
Remove bacon from pan, and chop up into tiny pieces (I used a chopper for this).
Mix warmed, but not hot greenbeans, and bacon bit pieces all up in the bacon fat in the pan.  Add salt and season all to taste.  I sprinkled quite a bit over it.  Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Money Saving Oven Fried Chicken...


So I bought this new cookbook, its all about money saving meals.  We can use all of the money saving ideas we can get right now.  Including in our cooking.  So I figured I'd try an experiment and see if we really are going to save money if I cook this two weeks out of this particular cookbook.  Most of it is definately just main course dinner meals.  But breakfast and lunches usually aren't the expensive meals.  Sooo...last night I made this oven fried chicken.  I ended up having to buy only three things for it.  I had the rest at home.  I needed to buy the whole 3 1/2 lb chicken=6.82, butter= 1.99, and some tony's seasoning=1.89.  Now, I did use the whole chicken, although I probably could have boiled up the carcass and made some chicken broth with it, I decided against that, just because, I really didn't want to go through more trouble yesterday.  I didn't use all of the butter, I only used 1/4 cup which is a half of a stick, and there are four sticks, so honestly the butter cost: about .25 cents.  The tonys season, I'll say that I only used .10 cents worth.  So for 7.17, I had the main course of our meal.  Pretty good price.  Now here's the other thing though.  Cutting apart a whole chicken, was NOT my idea of fun.  Next time, I think I'll just buy the pieces, or some drumsticks and thighs instead.  But still, the chicken ended up being very yummy, and we are still eating off of it.  We fed the girls, my husband, me and my friend last night.  My husband and I today for lunch.  And there is still a half of a breast and a drumstick in the fridge for leftovers.  So for just about 9 meals out of it, which is awesome if you ask me.  Of course I had sides, but this is just on the main course of the meal.
Now cutting up the chicken, was not a pleasant experience for me.  I'm one of those people who can get grossed out pretty easily with raw meats of any kind.  Especially when there are still feathers and skin attached....ick!  But luckily, my hero of a husband was around to take apart most of the chicken.  He did most of the dirty work.  I still had to seperate the thigh and the drumsticks myself, and the wings and little drumsticks (I'm not sure what they are really called, biceps, lol?) all by myself.  Again, not pleasant, but I was able to wear my gloves (seriously think that I'm one step away from a hair net, ha ha), and it was a good experience.  Other than taking apart the chicken the rest was easy.  But if you don't want to, or know how to take apart a chicken, then by all means, just buy the already cut up chicken, they had one at the commissary called select pieces, it has drumsticks, thighs and breasts, so that would have probably worked.  You could also use just thighs or drumsticks if thats your preference.  I like the breast, so if I wasn't trying the recipe the way it called for it, I probably would have just done some boneless, skinless breasts.  But thats just personal preference.  So here's the recipe:

OVEN FRIED CHICKEN
1/4 cup butter or margarine (I used butter)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 heaping tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
(I added a tsp of tony's seasoning)
1 cut up whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 lbs)

Heat oven to 425, melt the butter in a 13x9 in pan in the oven.

In a large food storage bag, mix dry ingredients (flour down to tonys).  Put the chicken in the bags and shake really good to make sure its completely coated with flour mixture.  Place chicken skin side down in a single layer on top of butter in pan.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, turn chicken, using tongs.  Bake another 30 minutes longer.  If chicken sticks to pan (mine did not), gently loosen it with fork or turner.


Now I will say that I like to cook my chicken with the skin on, to get the juices and what not.  But when I'm ready to eat it, I take the skin off.  I'm not a skin eater.  But the flavor still turned out great.  You can always lighten up the recipe by removing the skin before cooking, and not melting the butter in the pan, but drizzling a bit of it (say 2 tbl) over the chicken after turning it.

Blackberry Cobbler...


Very yummy, absolutely delicious!  Also very homemade...didn't know if I could pull it all off, but I managed to make some oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes, my special bacon greenbeans, and this wonderful blackberry cobbler.  It was very yummy.  Of course I tweaked it to make it my own, as always.  And it wasn't the easiest recipe to make, so all of my hardwork and effort came together.  The ingredients were easy though, and that made things better by far!

BLACKBERRY COBBLER
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
*1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
2 cups frozen blackberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used a bunch of sprinkles of sweet caramel sprinkle made by Pampered Chef, of course)
2 tbl sugar

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a 10 inch round baking pan. Set Aside
In a saucepan, heat sugar and water until melted.  Set aside.
Place flour mixture in bowl, cut in remaining butter until crumbly.  Add milk, stir until dough leaves sides of bowl.  Turn out onto floured surface.  Knead 3-4 times.  Roll to about 11x9 rectangle, about 1/4 in thick.  Spread berries over dough, sprinkle with sweet caramel sprinkle, or use the cinnamon. (I used more than 1/2 tsp of the sprinkle, I probably used about a tbl worth or two) Roll up jelly roll style.  Cut into 1/4 in thick slices, carefully lay slices in baking dish over butter.
Pour sugar syrup all over slices.  Bake at 350 for 45 min (Since I was making other things, I had to bake mine at 425 for 30 min). Sprinkle with sugar over top, bake another 15 minutes more.  (Again, I ended up baking for the same amount of time, but the heat was at 375 instead).

All in all, a good recipe!  Enjoy!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stir Crazy??

Lately, because of the weather, I've been stuck in the house.  But I haven't felt up to doing anything, or going anywhere.  First, I don't want to drive with all of the snow on the ground...I never used to be afraid of driving...then my accident happened about a week ago, and now I just don't want to while there is snow on the ground.  Not such a bad idea, but its been snowing nonstop since we got back from our trip.  So I have not left the house pretty much for a week.  Its rather depressing.  Then to top it off, the weather has been awful and dull and gray.  I think I may have that seasonal disorder, you know, the one that affects your mood with the weather.  I'm the type of girl that needs some sunshine.  And lately there has been NONE.  Not to mention the fact that my weight for the day also affects my mood.  I don't know why, but it really does.  Sooo, all in all, I've been really down and out lately.  I haven't felt good, and I've just felt really blah lately.  I don't want to do anything, but sit here on the couch.  So I'm going to make an appointment to see the doctor.  This isn't normal.  I used to feel soooo good, and actually feel okay to do things around the house, and now I just don't feel up to it.  Maybe I'm not feeling all that great anymore, maybe I'm getting sick, but whatever it is, I would like a Dr. to help me out a little bit.  It probably has to do with the fact that I just came back from the states as well.  That probably has a lot to do with it.  But I shouldn't feel this horrible.  I'm also extremely irratible too.  My kids are irritating me to no end.  But I know something is wrong with me, so I'm trying not to take it out on them.  I don't know what to do, but I might just go get a tanning membership to start feeling like I'm getting some sunshine.
Its really hard to diet over here.  They don't have the foods I need to buy to diet.  They don't even have SOME of the things I could use.  I mean they have no fiber one cereal, I have to special order it online.  They don't have the bread I'd like to buy.  They don't have the fruit and veggies I'd like to buy.  I'm thinking about going on this sacred heart diet...wonder if I could manage it.  Hmmm....I don't know, but its interesting.  Or maybe I'll try something else.  A friend of mine got the lap band surgery done, and its something that I'm thinking about doing when we get back to the states.  I hate feeling so overweight, its one of my biggest issues with myself.  Its one of the reasons I don't want to go out of the house.  At the same time, I constantly feel hungry, like I can't get enough food.  So, I've been thinking about it, and it may be a good option for me.  I eat well, I just eat too much, and I also enjoy working out, so I think I could be really successful with it.  Tricare will cover the costs of it, but it may take a while for them to consider me a good candidate.  For now all I can do is do what I've been doing, trying to eat well, and trying to get some exercise in.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Busy morning

I really didn't think today was going to be such a busy day, but so far its been quite busy, I got up and got Autumn ready for school, as she was eating breakfast, I got Sierra up for school. As she was eating breakfast, I started five loads of laundry, and then we looked all over the house for her snow things (she's been losing all of her snow things lately). Then I walked her to school, and when I came home, I put the laundry in the dryers and started 3 more loads of laundry. Now I'm waiting for all of it to dry so I can fold and put it away. 8 loads of laundry....on one hand, its really nice to get it all done in a matter of a few hours, on the other hand, I would have been doing like one load a day if I had my own laundry machines in this place. Sigh...
I'm about to do my slim in 6 workout again. I did it yesterday as well, although, as I was doing a reverse lunge, all of the sudden my butt cheek cramped up real bad. Then the other one did it. I was sore after my workout yesterday on my bum. This morning, I'm just sore all over. But I'm going to go ahead and do my workout anyway. Its only 25 minutes long, and I need to workout again, get back into the groove of it all. My weight has not been pretty lately. Its been going all over the place. Oh it was great on Friday, then we had a party, now granted, I made some light drinks, but we also made some not so good for you foods, so that was a definate downfall. Then Saturday rolls around and we were just wasting the day away hanging out, then we ate Popeyes, and Sunday we had cheese fries for lunch and dinner...I mean seriously cheese fries? Yeah...so, Paul is a bad influence, but its really my fault, I should be able to say NO. Food is just like a drug to me, I love it all, and when its the really super yummy stuff that I know I really should not ever eat again, I do it anyway. Then I feel bad about it. I also love salads, and the good for you foods, so I'm not a complete junk food addict or anything, just a food addict. I'm going to have to figure out some light appetizer recipes to make for our parties too. I have a million of them, I just have to make them. I'm always so paranoid that people won't like what I'm serving though. Oh well. We aren't going to be having parties unless its like once a month though, so that should definately help. I think I might try to talk Paul into all of us going to the bowling alley for some bowling on Friday night if I can. We have another snow storm heading our way though, so that may not end up happening.
I'm starting to go a little stir crazy. I haven't left the house in a while because one, its been snowing like crazy, and two, I don't want to get in another accident. I'm traumitized or something. Literally, I'm afraid to drive my van right now. I will get over it, I'm just a little freaked out because of the accident at the moment. I have driven since then, just not much. Needless to say, I've been bored. Sometimes when I'm bored I find things to do and just do them, other times I feel lazy and don't do them, just think about them, lol. So yesterday, I cleaned up my little mess in my room...although most of the mess in that room is all due to Paul. He's like a tornado. My house is usually very clean, but when he's home, its a mess, almost 24/7. I don't know what to do about him, he's as bad as the kids.
Today, I have plans to do laundry of course, do the dishes, make a blackberry cobbler, and straighten up around the house. My house smelled weird when I walked into it earlier today from outside. I opened up a window, but I'm not sure what the smell is coming from or if its just the musty smell. I'm used to having windows open over here, so when it isn't open its probably molding somewhere in the house.
Now that my mind has gone just about everywhere on this page, and I really hope it makes sense, but even if it doesn't, it is what it is. I'm going to head off of here and get to working out, and all of the fun things I have planned for today.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Easy blueberry jam




I tried this recipe yesterday for easy fast blueberry jam, I figured I'd give it a go. It was really easy to make, I will give it that, but maybe I'm just not used to the whole blueberry jam aspect, but I think I'll be using it as a topping for ice cream rather than jam more often than not. It was still yummy, and like I said really easy, but I think I'll try it with other berries next time!




4 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups sugar
1 (3 ounce) package lemon flavored gelatin
2 tsp vanilla
In a large saucepan, combine all three ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Blend a little bit in blender, pour into containers; refrigerate.




Sunday, January 10, 2010

Roads are red.

Its Sunday mornning at 9:09 am in the Hirsch household. One of my daughters is sleeping, the other is curled up on her little "couch" watching Kai Lan, I hear my husbands soft deep breathing as he's sleeping soundly on the couch. The snow is falling lightly outiside, the clouds are making the morning a dull gray. The snow plow hasn't come by yet, at least not that I'm aware of. The roads are covered with snow. The house is a little cold because we don't have real heaters, and the radiator heaters we do have, half of them don't work. I have to do laundry today, but I'll probably have to wait, we have 5 washers and 5 dryers in the basement to share between 9 families. All of the families have at least 4 people, some have 5, some have more. Most military families have smaller children, so the laundry is piled up higher for them, and don't forget the teenagers, I don't know about you, but when I was a teenager, I threw clothes on the floor trying to find something to wear and by the end of the week, my laundry was piled up to high heaven because I couldn't remember what was clean and what wasn't.
I'm sitting here on my little dark brown leather recliner thinking about the laundry, thinking about the dishes and kitchen that need cleaning, thinking about the fact that we don't have much in the way of food, and a commissary run would have been nice today, but with the roads, I'm thinking throwing something together sounds more feasible to me. I'm also thinking about the closet that needs to be gone through, the books that need to be put away, the clothes I have to go through, and any other things that I should be doing. I'm thinking that tomorrow I'll make it to the gym, or at least do something at the house if I can't get to the gym. I'm thinking that maybe I should walk to the dental assistant information meeting tomorrow, so I don't have to drive on this...but its cold, and my van is already wrecked, so I guess it doesn't much matter, maybe the roads will be more clear tomorrow.
My mind is running a million miles a second, what Mom out there has a one track mind? My mind is everywhere all the time, since having kids. I really should write down all that needs to be done, but then again, I just want to relax, and curl up on the couch and read to Sierra, or make something in the kitchen with Autumn, or even play a video game with my husband (shhh...don't tell him that). The eerie quietness in the house is so soothing. I enjoy waking up early and while today I only woke up at 6:15 and read in bed until about 8:30 when Sierra wanted to "snuggle." Then she was too hungry to snuggle and we ended up tiptoeing our way into the living/dining/kitchen area, and getting some kix together for breakfast. Now she's watching tv, and nobody else is awake in the house, with the exception of her and me. The dog is even snoring soundly on her bed, and the cat is probably curled up with Autumn this morning, sleeping as well. Must be the weather.....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I almost forgot!

I completely and totally almost forgot about my razzy-rita that had last night (raspberry margarita). It was fantastic, and it was a light recipe. It has ONLY 105 calories, read 105 again! Yesssss! Hey, I really don't want to stop drinking entirely, I enjoy having something to drink with my friends, and as long as I don't overdo it, I'm doing okay. Like I said this was a good overall drink. It wasn't too alchoholicky (is that a word?), and it actually had really good flavor. Recipe anyone? Here you go: (P.S. This is from the lovely ladies over at hungry-girl.com)
Rockin' Razzy Rita
(Entire recipe: 105 calories, 0g fat, 5mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 0g protein = 2 Points)

Ingredients:
*1.5 oz. tequila
1/2 tsp. Crystal Light powdered drink mix, Raspberry Ice
5 oz. water
1 oz. lime juice
Optional: lime slice for garnish and salt or no-calorie sweetener for rim of glass

Directions:
If desired, run some lime juice along the rim of the glass and dip into a dish of salt or sweetener. Combine all ingredients, mix well, and serve over ice. Or, for a frozen one, place all ingredients (dissolve Crystal Light in water first) in a blender with 1 cup crushed ice, and blend on high until well mixed. Optional: Garnish with a slice of lime. Serves 1!

Party, part 2

Sadly, I did not get any pictures last night. I was focusing more on the food, and the friends than taking pictures at the time, so I'm pretty upset by that fact, because I really had some great photo taking opportunities. Sigh...
Rundown of last night. First I tweaked the heck out of the chili, I added diced tomatoes, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, garlic galore, cilantro, onions, hot sauce, tonys, season all, pepper, red pepper flakes, oh and corn. I'm sure I'm probably forgetting something, but thats the gist of it. It turned out fantastically. I still have some left, and will probably be enjoying picture taking opportunities later, lol! Everyone enjoyed it, and thats what I love. We also made some chili cheese dip, basically the revised chili mixed with mexican velveeta, very good, and it was all gone by the end of the night, I bought two bags of chips and both of them were eaten. Paul and I also made some stuffed mushrooms which were very very good, and some jalapeno popper things (thanks PW). I revised that recipe as well. I revise most recipes, but thats just what I do. The stuffed mushrooms were delicious: http://www.recipezaar.com/Stuffed-Mushrooms-57228. These were fantastic, but of course, I tweaked it a little. First off, I didn't use real bacon, why use real when bacon bits taste sooo much the same, and are easier to use? So I dumped what I considered 3 bacon strips worth of bacon bits in the pan, and I don't usually measure out my ingredients to things, so the oregano and salt were just kind of added in. We stuffed the mushrooms and they were delicious! Try them, they were actually really easy to make, and I used larger mushrooms than the small button mushrooms, just because I like to them to be a little bigger than a bites worth.
The jalapeno popper things, is what I'm calling them, but the base for the recipe was copied from Pioneer Womans website: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/07/bacon-wrapped_j/
She has amazing pictures on her site, how to photos, everything you could think of. I love her site, for her recipes. But of course, again, I tweaked it, I'm sure it would taste delicious even if you didn't, but these were a HUGE hit. My recommendation, WEAR GLOVES when messing with jalapenos, your hands will thank you later. I wear gloves when I mess with a lot of different smelly type things, like meats, onions, garlic, and jalapenos. So this wasn't new for me, but Paul did it, and I even made him wear gloves. Who wants their husband complaing about burning fingers later? Anywho-he cleared them out and all that, I made the cream cheese stuffing, basically I mixed together some onion powder, minced garlic, and some Tonys seasoning (http://www.tonychachere.com/), I don't know how much I added, like I said, I don't usually measure things like this out. Anyway, we stuffed the jalapenos, wrapped them with bacon, put them in the oven, and voila, we had an easy, healthier, cheaper jalapeno poppers, that everyone loved and gobbled up. This is going to be a mainstay recipe for me, I love the frozen breaded jalapeno poppers that you find in the grocery store, and now I'm thinking this is farrrr better for me, its yummier in my opinion. I think I can definately make it lighter too, use some turkey bacon and some light cream cheese. The jalapeno isn't bad for you, and spices aren't bad either, so you'd have a lighter jalapeno popper, I think I'll try that next time.
All in all the food was great, the company was even better, and we all had fun. We met some new people, and had a great time all around. We got to play some rock band, and just chat. It was awesome, and it was what a party should be for the most part! We won't be having another party for about another month or so, not like that, so I'll try those jalapeno poppers again, and this time I WILL take pictures! Promise! And who knows, maybe I'll have more recipes up my sleeves to try. Please let me know if you do try these recipes, I'd love to know what you think!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Party at the Hirschs

Yeah, I can't tell you if thats proper English, is it Hirsches, Hirsch's, Hirschs', or just plain Hirschs. Whatever, it is in proper english, I'm just going with the easiest I guess.
So tonight we are having our first party in 4 months. A platoon party, well ,at least we invited everyone from the platoon, who knows if they will actually show up or not. I LOVE entertaining, so I love having parties and having guests over, and since I made so much chili, I'm going to be feeding everyone chili cheese fries, chili cheese dip, and frito pies if they want them. Of course, there will be drinking, there will be laughing, there will be games. After this week, a party, or rather drinking is entirely necessary, lol.
So today will be a day of grocery shopping, cleaning and preparing. I'm tweaking the chili recipe even more. Adding a bunch of things to it, some cilantro, lime, ground sausage, a little beer, tomatoes, ect. It should turn out for the best. I'm excited! Post pics later!

Fully Loaded Chili...Milk Free Cornbread



I LOVE Chili, but this chili wasn't my favorite. I still thought it was good. Now, just a warning ahead of time, most of the recipes I use, I just base my recipe off of. I usually add or take away a few things, and make modifications as I see fit. But here are the recipes.

FULLY LOADED CHILI



1 lb ground beef
1 med onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion, because the other onions at the commissary looked puny)
1 med green pepper
1 3/4 cup water
2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15.5 oz) great northern beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo or chickpeas, rinsed drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed, drained
1 tbsp baking cocoa (weird right?)
2 tsp. Louisiana style hot sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder ( I definately used wayyyy more than that )
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Garnishes:
reduced fat sour cream, baked tortilla chip scoops, reduced fat cheddar cheese

In a dutch oven over medium heat, cook th beef, onion, and pepper until beef is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in the water, tomato sauce, beans, cocoa, hot sauce, and seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes ( mine sat for a lot longer, I like the flavors to meld well together ). Garnish each with whatever your heart desires!




Now I will say that I tripled this recipe, as stated above, I like chili, and I froze some, made chili dogs out of some, I'm going to make chili tacos, chili cheese fries, and frito pies with this chili as well. I also added some rotel and didn't think that it would be too hot, so I added more spices. It turned out hot, we had to add some sour cream to cool off the girls bowls enough so they would eat it, they also drank a lot of milk, lol. It was a good recipe, but it wasn't my favorite chili recipe either. But its healthy with a total calorie count of 351 calories for a full cup, which is a lot for chili, so I was very pleased with the health factor!




MILK FREE CORN BREAD



1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup rice drink ( the one I bought was flavored vanilla for a slightly sweeter taste )
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp, unsweetened applesauce



In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In another bowl mix together all of the wet ingredients. Stir together both dry and wet just until moistened. Transfer to a 9 in square baking pan coated with cooking spray.



Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm. ( make sure to add some butter and some honey to make it that much yummier! )



ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weight control...

For the past few days I've been doing okay, weight wise. I mean I came back to a weight of 208.0, today I was 204.6, which is a definate better weight. Still not great though. I'm still jet lagged, so I haven't been hitting the gym as I should. But I'm eating okay. This morning another bowl of fiber one with ff milk and banana. Its definately not as bad as it sounds, lol. I actually enjoy it pretty well. But then around 9:30 comes and I have been eating something, usually the size of lunch...then not eating lunch because I'm not hungry, then eating dinner. Last night though, I didn't even do that. I actually went to lay down in bed to read, and was out by 4:30....I didn't wake up until 4:00 this morning. Ummm..yeah...still jet lagged, much? I'll get back down there, it doesn't help that I went to the states and pigged out where ever I could. Or when Paul came home that we both kind of let go, and I just piled on the weight. It sucks for me, because Paul doesn't gain weight like I do. We each had Popeyes the other night. He weighed himself the next morning, he was the same weight as always, I on the other hand, had supposedly gained 1 lb. I swear, you put a brownie in front of me, and even if I don't eat it, I'll still gain weight. I've gotten to the point where I don't care as much about it. I mean of course, I want to be thin and healthy. But I don't want to dwell so much on it. I just bought a sign that says, "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, screaming, "WOOHOO, What A Ride!."" Thats my new motto. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be thin again, I would love to look good again. But that sign is right. Whats it going to matter when I'm passed on? I don't want to obssess with it. So I mean, I'll do my best, I will work out again, I will eat well as much as I can, but I'm not going to berate myself when I fall down. I'm not going to scream inside my head when I gained a lb. I'm not going to kill myself trying so hard to lose weight as much. I'm just going to take it one day at a time.

This has relieved a HUGE weight off of my shoulders. I've always been so obsessed with getting thin again. Not necessarily healthy, just thin. I don't like being overweight, and I would obsess about it. What the scale said, strongly affected how I would I feel for the rest of the day. If the weight was up, I was depressed, if it was down, I was happy. Thats not the right way to live your life. At least not for me. So, I'm going to take it one day at a time, I'm not going to obsess anymore, and I'm going to see where this takes me!

Thrift Store???

A few days ago, my husband had to go get a haircut at the barber shop. So I went into the thrift store to check it out. I was looking at some of the furniture that they have in there, a lot of it is actually really neat because its all German, but then I looked at the price. I thought...wow, isn't this a THRIFT store. Thrift, meaning frugality, prudent use of money, etc.? One of the dressers in there, which btw, had issues of its own, was 165.00. I mean ARE YOU SERIOUS? I know its an old dresser, maybe even an antique, but 165.00? I can buy a brand new dresser for that much money, even less. Now it was solid wood, and it definately was old, but there was a handle missing, and it needed some paint, but I just thought to myself, that is entirely NOT thrifty for me. Maybe it is for someone else, who knows? I'm sure they have some good deals in there. The books are probably only a dollar each, but I do remember being at goodwill in the states, they were anywhere from .25 to .50 cents. Dressers, no matter how old they were, were never more than 100 bucks. I saw cups in there going for 2 bucks a piece. I can go to the px and still get plastic cups for only a dollar. So I was very confused. There was a coffee table that looked kind of neat, it was 120.00, I wouldn't have spent more than 50 on it, being its at a thrift store. So what gives? Why have things in a so called thrift store be outrageous prices? I was stumped. I will tell you one thing though, I can't wait to get back to the states to go to a normal goodwill when I need to with normal prices. I can't wait to get back to the states where I can just go to Walmart and get a 125.00 dresser for my kids...I know, its not solid wood, its not made all that well, and it won't last but maybe five years, but its cheaper! I've had to notice where our money is going lately because 1.) my car was in an accident and that = $500.00 deductible, and 2.) we have to save up as much money as we can before we go back to the states. Oh, but I am counting down the days until we can be back in the states. We really want to buy a house when we get back to the states, as soon as we can. Which means back to frugality. I mean, I will more than likely be getting a job when we get back. I need something to do with my time other than attempt to take care of the house. I want to be able to do something. I would like it if I could work at the school cafeteria or something, I know not an ideal job, but its something, and I wouldn't have to work when the girls were out of school I don't think. But like I said, back to being frugal, and thrifty, and not just spending money all the time. Unfortunately over here we don't have a lot of choices as far as being frugal. I mean you either buy the food or you don't, they don't have walmart brand prices, or a variety of places that you can shop around. So I'm noticing more and more what the prices around me are like. We were just in the states, we were able to buy a whole Turkey dinner for about 50.00, over here it would have cost us around 200-300 dollars. Its ridiculous. And we even had to buy spices. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have just about every spice known to man, so for the price to be so low, it shocked both Paul and I. Soon, we will be able to head that way though. Soon, we won't feel as if we are bending over. I mean why does the army even pay us Cola over here, it just goes right back to food/clothes/etc. The amount that we pay vs. the amount we would pay in the states is entirely different. Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us, we have to save as much money as we possibly can in the next few months, and it won't be easy. But we'll manage.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Driving me crazy!




My oldest daughter, Autumn is a sweet girl. She's a beautiful girl. She's probably the nicest kid you'd ever meet. She does have a few problems though. We aren't precisely sure that her problems are being treated to the best of their ability, but we are trying to get her help. At first the doctors thought she had siezures that you couldn't see. But I never once thought that fit. I told the doctor after a while of taking anti seizure meds that it wasn't working. So we tried what I think may be the issue. ADHD meds. She doesn't have the H (hyperactivity) so much as just the attention deficit. She constantly loses focus, and on the parental side of things, it gets very frustrating. Especially when I have other things to do. I'm still not entirely sure this is what she has, or that the medication is working the way it should, but it has helped her. Especially in school, which is where she needs it the most. In preschool she was nicknamed the Daydreamer...which describes her almost to a T. In Kindergarten, her teacher thought she was behind schedule of the other kids until she started working with her, but she was surpassing the other kids, she just couldn't focus long enough to show it. By the end of Kindergarten, she was on the siezure medications. They really didn't help. Before she started 1st grade, we'd finally gotten her on the adhd medications, and her teacher thought that she was doing great. This year, she started a different ADHD medication because the Ritalin only works for a few hours, and I needed her to be able to do her homework. So she started Concerta. She is doing much better in school with the exception of the days that she forgets her medicines, then her teacher does notice the difference. Still, I wonder whether or not, she really has ADD or its something else. I can't wait to get back to the states to get her tested again, and find out if there is something else going on. I never thought I'd be a parent who touted medications for their kids. I don't even like taking medications, but I do when necessary. I just always thought that maybe ADD or ADHD was just another form of way for dr.'s to get more money out of us. But its a very real situation for me now. My Dad and stepmom don't agree with me giving her the medications. They think that kids don't need them. But to be honest, she wouldn't be doing well in school, and she also would drive me nuts at home if she didn't have them. Being a military wife, and my husband being gone 70% of the time, I get frustrated easily with her sometimes.
For example, this morning, I have to keep calling her name to remind her of what she should be doing. She's 7 years old, she should be getting herself ready for school. She's very capable. She just doesn't do it. I have to keep asking her if she has her clothes on, if she has her socks and shoes on, if she has her hair brushed, if she has her teeth brushed, etc. It takes her almost an hour just to do those few things. I even get her up much earlier than needed so that she can finish it. Usually in the mornings, I'm putting away last nights dishes, cleaning up a little bit, doing things that need to be done, and I shouldn't have to be in her room watching her get ready for school. Sometimes I have to though. A lot of times it seems like she just isn't listening, but its more than that. She has a disability. I only found out because my 5 year old is quite normal. When told to get ready in the morning, it takes her about 20 minutes by herself to get dressed, shoes on, hair and teeth brushed. It doesn't help that her sister is usually there to talk and play though. Like I said, the whole focus thing is frustrating.
I just had to talk about it this morning, because I'm frustrated right now, and I'm going to have to go in there, and sit with her until she's done getting ready for the day. Right now, I hear her whispering in the bathroom, and I told her one minute ago to brush her teeth. No water is running, no teeth are being brushed. She's just playing, making faces in the mirror. Sometimes she acts like a 3 year old, and I have to wonder if everything is okay with her. She's such an amazing child though. She's innocent, sweet, beautiful, caring, she has amazing qualities. But not being able to pay attention is the downfall of it all. I love my daughter very much. I want her to be okay, I want her to make it through this life not relying on drugs to get her by. I want her to be successful, and smart, and be who she is. I just have to pray for patience to be able to handle the things thrown my way. I have to pray for the patience to wait...7 minutes later, the water is finally going, but she still isn't brushing her teeth. Its time for me to try to help her.

Picked up Paul, car accident, oh my!

Sunday afternoon I went to pick up Paul at the Frankfurt airport, after driving around the airport for almost an hour, he finally got in the van. I found out that his bags were not with him. The airlines had left them in Atlanta, just great fun. So we decided to stop off for some lunch/dinner at the KMCC mall. I had a delicious bbq chicken wrap and some loaded fries from Charleys. Very yummy, but very bad too. We were all exhausted by then. So we came home, as I was driving over the hill to turn into the area where we go through the gate, the vans brakes locked up, and I went sliding right into a rock and a sign. It was HORRIBLE. The accident happened around 4:30 or so, we were all exhausted at this point, and I know that maybe if I wasn't so tired, I could have made a better decision about where the van ended up, but it happened, and there is nothing I can do about it now. The van was stuck. We waited for the MP's to show up, and they had to take statements, yada yada yada. We were literally there for almost 2 hours. We had planned on picking up Lexi, but of course, our plans went completely to hell. We finally came back to the house, still with the MP taking our statements, asking questions, and he left around almost 7 o' clock. I was miserable, crying off and on. I mean the last thing we needed was to have another 500 dollar deductible. Needless to say, we are going to have to really watch where we are spending money. Seems like one thing after another.
Monday, Paul had to go in for formation, they almost made him stay, but luckily he was able to come home (he didn't have his uniforms from Delta yet). We both ended up passing out for a good four hours in the morning, and then ran to the commissary, and ran a few more errands. He had to get a haircut, we also got all of our mail, and ran to the px to get a few things as well. We came back to pick up the girls from school and went over to Danielle's house to pick up Lexi. When we got home, the dog puked, I don't think she's sick, I think maybe it was just some car sickness, so she's okay. Paul finally got his bags around 6:30 pm last night and we just ate some Popeyes for dinner. We've GOT to stop doing that. I love Popeyes, but my waistline really does not....speaking of waistlines...
Yesterday my weight was 206.0, it went back up from all the crap that I ate last night to 207.8 this morning though. I was examining my body in the mirror after my shower today, and was just utterly grossed out. I've got to work on losing some more weight. Today I decided against going to the gym though. I still don't feel all that great, so I took some cold medicine and I feel a little bit better. I still don't feel up to working out though. I'm really going to have to EASE into working out again. I really wish I had a treadmill, but between us maybe leaving in July, and now the van has to be fixed, we really don't have the money for anything that big, or that extra righ now. Nor do we really have the room. I could make room, probably, but I don't really think it will work out. Hopefully we can save enough money for us to be able to buy one to put in a house that we buy in fort hood. We'll see though, and that really isn't for quite sometime. Hell, maybe I'll even be able to buy one off of craigslist or something crazy. I feel so heavy and gross right now though. I mean I haven't been this heavy since before Paul left for Iraq since we've been here. I was about 211, and before that my heaviest was 223. Talk about gross. Now I'm only a few lbs away from all that. Its got to stop. Sooo, I'm trying to resolve to do better. My food is what hurts the most. For example: today I ate some fiber one cereal with some banana, and some ff milk. Good breakfast right? I was still hungry around 9:30, so I ended up eating the leftover mashed potatoes and red beans and rice from last night. Ick. I mean well, its very yummy, but ick for my diet. I'll pick myself back up and try again though. I'm going to have a turkey wrap when I get hungry later, it has hummus, turkey, red bell pepper strips, and lettuce on a whole wheat tortilla, so its yummy. I usually have an apple to go with it. Tonight for dinner, I haven't decided if I am going to in fact make the tuna helper, or go ahead and go for the chili that I've been wanting. Either way, I'm going to do one or the other today. Tuna helper isn't exactly healthy, but I'll make a salad, and some reduced fat crescent rolls with it. The chili is healthy though, and I'm going to make some milk free cornbread with it...just a new recipe, and I'm also going to make a light boston cream pie cake too. I'm making a lot of chili, so that we can have a chili dog tomorrow, and a frito pie the next night or something. Hopefully it will end up being cheaper that way. Can't be spending thousands of dollars right now. Or just dollars, period.
I woke up this morning with Paul, I think I'm going to try to keep this up, waking up with him in the mornings. I was able to do the dishes, clean up the kitchen a bit. Get Autumn up and ready, get Sierra up and ready and Autumn had time to play for a little bit. Sierra has just been taking forever eating so she hasn't had much extra time, but I like doing this, and I think I'm going to keep it up. Plus I can eat breakfast at 7 and by 9 workout until 10 or 11, and come home, shower, eat lunch and do anything else I need to do. I think thats a good schedule personally. I had planned on doing some of the laundry that he's piled up, but I have to go back to the commissary for the rest of the chili fixin's. I may try to start a few loads later when I get back or something. My house is soooo messy right now, Paul has all of his stuff piled up all over in the living room. He swears it will go away...but I'll believe it when I see it. He pretty much emits messes, if it wasn't for me, he'd probably live in filth. But wouldn't most men?
Alright, I better be going. I have to drive the van again sometime, putting it off won't do me any good when I have errands to run. The bumper looks just plain awful, dented, paint scratched off and orange paint scratched on it. I can't wait to get it fixed, but I may have to wait till the 15th to ensure that we have enough money to pay for it. I refuse to dig into savings anymore. Really sucks that we have to save so much money too, I really wanted to go back to Poland, and Italy and Amsterdam, but I'm not sure we'll be able to now, sigh....until next time.....
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