Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Velveeta Cheesy Broccoli Soup

VELVEETA® Cheesy Broccoli Soup recipe

(I added shredded carrots to the recipe)

What You Need

Tbsp.  butter or margarine
1/4 cup  chopped onion
Tbsp.  flour
2-1/2 cups  milk
3/4 lb.  (12 oz.) VELVEETA®, cut up
pkg.  (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, drained
1/8 tsp.  pepper

Make It

MELT butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add flour; cook 1 minute or until bubbly, stirring constantly.
STIR in milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 1 minute.
ADD remaining ingredients. Cook until VELVEETA is melted and soup is heated through, stirring occasionally.

Kitchens Tips

Healthy Living
Save 50 calories, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat per serving by preparing with 2% Milk VELVEETA.
Substitute frozen chopped spinach; frozen cauliflower, chopped; or frozen asparagus spears, chopped, for broccoli.

I found this recipe on  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Anniversary Hike

Back in September Brad and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary.  We spent the weekend in Ludington, MI.  We LOVE Ludington and spend as much time there as we can.  My in-laws had Mallorie so it was just the two of us.  It was a fairly cold weekend but we had a great time shopping, eating out, exploring, and hiking.  Sunday morning we planned on hiking to Big Sable Lighthouse.  It was a sprinkling a little and it was kind of chilly but we decided to go anyway.  It was a 1 1/2 mile hike tot he lighthouse from the Ludington State Park campground.  (click here for more information)  Before we even got to the trail I saw a deer run from the campground up into the woods we were heading too.  We kept an eye out for them in the woods as we walk.  A few minutes later we saw a about 6 deer in the woods eating.

Two of the deer.

 Close up

Eating!  This is how close we could get to them!

They just stared at us!

We continued on our hike.  You can see in the puddle that it was rainy but it was well worth the hike.  This is the top of the lighthouse over the dunes.

Big Sable Lighthouse

The lighthouse was no open so we could not tour it but during regular season (May - October) you are able to tour the lighthouse. We did not know why they were not open in September when we were there?!?!  I think it would be fun to stay in the lighthouse for a week!

The lighthouse is 112 feet tall.  You can climb the 130 steps to the top!

There is a historical marker that tells that a dozen shipwrecks in 1855 and the importance of safe transportation through area to Michigan’s then-booming lumber industry led to an 1866 Congressional appropriation of $35,000 to build the lighthouse.  Then in 1867 was placed on the National Register of historic places.

Looking out over Lake Michigan

We were getting wetter and colder so we started to head back on the mile and a half hike back to our car.  Until next time...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Good Choices

We try and help Mallorie make good choices but love when she makes them herself.  She has always been a good eater and has loved her veggies and fruits.  But like any kid she does like her chocolate and fruit snacks.  I try and trade out the fruit snacks for raisins when I can but she is a kid.  The other morning I was getting myself come cereal (Special K) and also some for her (Trix).  When I gave her her bowl she did not want it she wanted mine.  So i set the boxes next to each other and asked her which cereal we wanted.  Here is what she said.

She ate every bite and then asked for seconds.  How can I say no.  I hope she keeps making these good choices!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Growth Charts

This past Friday my Friend Heidi came over with her son Bryce.  Mallorie and Bryce are best friends.  They are exactly one month apart and love to run around the house copying each other.  I had seen a growth chart craft on Pinterest and fell in love with it.  My husband got some free wood from work that would work perfectly.  We waited until nap time and both kids were sleeping and then started crafting.  (I only have finish product pictures.  I forgot to take pictures while we were working on them.)  

We had gone to Michaels and bought paint and stencils   Heidi also bought some little wooden animals to put on the growth chart.  We started by using Magic Eraser on the wood to make sure that it is clean.  Then we started on Heidi's chart.  We measured out every inch and started to paint using the stencils.  It went fairly quickly and was pretty easy.  We were able to just talk and hangout while painting.  Once all the lines were painted on then we did the same to mine.  At this point the kiddos woke up.  After we got them playing again we went back and painted the numbers on the growth charts.  We also glued the animals on Heidi's.  I love the way both of them turned out.  I decided not to put anything on mine.  I love the way it looks plain.

Below are our finished products!!!

Here is just mine!  I can not wait to get it hung on the wall and tracking Mallorie's growth!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Starting Again

I am starting again... Insanity that is.  I have started this a couple of times now but have never finished it.  I am determined to finish this time.  I am part of a Facebook group "Mommy Friends in Fitness"  I commented on someones post and found out that she had just started Insanity too.  I told her that I would do the program along with her.  That way we can hold each other accountable.  So far so good.  I have two days down.

Insanity is just the type of program that I need.  It pushes me and does not let me quit.  Here is a link to their website.  Check it out and see how the name fits it perfectly.  I also love to see the body transformations.  I hope to keep you updated!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Shepherd's Pie

With the colder weather lately I have been making more warm casseroles and dinners.  I have been trying a lot of new recipes and I found one that was VERY good.  Here is a link. or the recipe is below!  I knew that I would bee making it so the night before we had mashed potatoes so I made extra so I could use them in this recipe too.  It made the recipe so much easier!  ENJOY!

Shepherd's Pie

Updated Shepherd's Pie recipe

What You Need

1-1/4 lb.  red potatoes (about 4), cut into chunks
large  cloves garlic
lb.  extra-lean ground beef
Tbsp.  flour
cups  frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, peas), thawed
3/4 cup  fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth
Tbsp.  ketchup
3/4 cup  BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream
1/2 cup  KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided

Make It

COOK potatoes and garlic in boiling water in large saucepan 20 min. or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, brown meat in large nonstick skillet. Stir in flour; cook 1 min. Add mixed vegetables, broth and ketchup; cook 5 min., stirring frequently.
HEAT oven to 375°F. Drain potatoes; return to pan. Add sour cream; mash until potatoes are smooth and mixture is well blended. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese.
SPOON meat mixture into 8-inch square baking dish; cover with potatoes.
BAKE 18 min. Top with remaining cheese; bake 2 min. or until melted.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cowgirl Party

For some reason the other day I got to thinking about my blog and I thought....I don't think I every posted about Mallorie's cowgirl birthday party.  I looked back and sure enough I didn't.  So here it is only four months late!!!

Mallorie loves to gallop around the house and pretend like she is a horse.  so when it can time to plan her party we thought what would be better than a cowgirl party.  I love to go all out for her birthday parties and my hubby thinks I am a little nuts but I was surprise how involved and how he jumped on board too!  We went to a western wear store about 40 minutes from our house and bought Mallorie some "real" cowgirl boots.  She LOVED them and wore them everywhere.  We invited family and friends to her party and we had a great time! I forgot to get a picture of the food but we had barnyard dogs (hot dogs), Cow chips (potato chips), Pig slop, (Pasta salad with olives, pepperoni, Italian dressing), Watermelon, Hay bales (rice krispie treats), and cow plops (no bake cookies)!

Sorry for picture overload!!!

I made a banner for her!  She also loved the cow print balloons!

We used hay bales as seating.

 My Hubby made troughs for the drinks!

We even had a mechanical horse for the kids (or adults) to ride on!

We had ask everyone to wear their western wear to the party.  It was fun.  Even our dog Carter dressed up!

The Birthday Girl in her Cowgirl outfit!

We had friends and family over for a cookout.

Mallorie loved opening her gifts.

One of her favorite gifts was a quiet book my Mom made for her!  

I made her cake again this year.  I cut the boot shape out of two 9x13 cakes.  It was pretty easy.  then I just piped the best I could a design on them to make them look like real boots!

Singing happy birthday!

I had goody bags for the kids to make.  Candy, little toys, and tattoos tied up in bandanas!

Mallorie was scared to ride the horse by herself so Daddy had to ride with her!

 We got pictures of all the kids on the horse but this one just makes me laugh.  (it is so Lewis)

She had so much fun at her party!  (She even got a Jeep!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I love these gifts from your friends.  They are missionaries in Kenya and brought these home for us.  A little basket and zebra carved from wood for Mallorie, and cute bag with tea inside for me!  I love them and so does Mallorie.  She had to bring the "Zeba" to bed with her that night!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Great News

Well it is official..... I will no longer be a third shift worker!!!!! In a few weeks I will transfer to first shift.  a little over a year ago one of our officers was deployed to Afghanistan.  well he is now back and with him coming back we now have an extra person so instead of having to let another officer go we talked with HR and they approved to keep the "extra" employee.  That said, I will move to first shift, and one of my officers will be promoted to my supervisor position.  I will not be on first shift until we re-train the returning officer and train my replacement.  I have been working third shift for over 7 years and very ready for the change.  I will keep you updated with my venture to first shift.  I just want to thank everyone that has supported me and  prayed for this transition.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I am so excited for Saturday.  We are having some friends over that we have not seen in a long time.  They are missionaries in Kenya!  There are back in the states for a year to relax and raise more funds before they go back. (check out their blog here.)  I am so excited for them to come over to our house and see where we live.  Four years ago when there they were here we met them at their place.  I am also excited for them to meet Mallorie.  They have only every seen pictures of her.  I met Jeff (the dad) when I was in 7th grade.  He was my youth leader at church until my Junior year in High school.  He has helped me through a lot and I was heart broken when he and his wife, Joyellen, decided to move to Kenya and be missionaries.  I think what they do is amazing and such an adventure!  I can not wait to hear stories and just spend time with them and their kids!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

My Nephew getting interviewed by local news before his break dance battle in Illinois this past weekend.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Prayers Please

I will take all of the prayers I can get today.  I can not say much but that there is a chance that I maybe able to move to first shift.  it all depends on the decisions of the company we are contracted to.  We currently have an "extra" employees and then decision is to let us keep the "extra" person or if we will have to get rid of the last person that was hired.  We really do need the extra person because we are swamped but it all comes down to budget and profit.  If the extra person is approved I will be able to move to first shift.  I love the company that I work for and most of the people I work with.  I have been here seven years and really do not want to leave but I NEED first shift.  I can not do thirds anymore.  with a 2 year old and a family I need to be on first shift and have a "normal" schedule.  I have noticed myself moody, depressed, and super emotional lately and just can not shake it.  I know that it just everything is catching up to me...lack of sleep, stress at work, laundry, cleaning, second job, cooking, family logistics, and just day to day life.  but I am ready for a change.  (I don't want this to be about my stress and hard times.)  please pray that the human resource department will see that we are extremely busy and that we are spread thin.  Pray for wisdom, thoroughness, and understanding for my supervisor as he presents this to the HR department, and in their decision.

Thank You <><

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cheers to the New Year

We did a little celebration with Mallorie at 8:00 to ring in the new year.  She thought she was big stuff drinking from a glass with no lid. (Yes is is a tall shot glass!)  Don't worry she only had apple juice!  I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year!