Tom's 70th birthday

Tom's 70th birthday
50 years of marriage this year September 2017

Monday, November 4, 2013

CHICKEN ENCHILADA LASAGNA


I have made this recipe two different ways.   One is with flour tortillas and rolled up individually.   The second way was with lasagna noodles and rolled up individually.  Sometimes, it gets a little busy and there's too many people to make it for so I've made it like lasagna and used flour tortillas instead of lasagna noodles.  IT WORKS.   These are the same basic ingredients, 
but put together a little differently.   I know you'll love it!!  We do!! 

Ingredients:

4 cooked chicken breasts, diced
3 c. cheddar or colby jack cheese, shredded
Jalepenos, chopped, as many as you like
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 can Rotel (tomato with chiles)
8 oz. sour cream
2 can cream of mushroom soup
3  T. melted margarine
1 small jar salsa or picante sauce (hot, medium, or mild)
10 soft   large flour tortillas

In a large bowl, mix the chicken, 3/4 of the cheese, jalepenos, onion, Rotel, sour cream and cream of mushroom soup together.  

Coat the 13 x 9 " pan with the melted margarine (butter) or cooking spray.

Lay the tortillas end to end in the bottom of the pan.
Spread the chicken mixture evenly on top of the tortillas.
Cover with more tortillas and repeat the process so you have two layers of tortillas and chicken mixture.  

Mix other can of soup and salsa together and pour over top of all the tortillas. 
Make sure to spread evenly to coat the  tortillas (as they will dry out when baking). 
 Sprinkle remainder of cheese over top.

Cover with foil 

and bake at 350 degrees for at least 30 to 45  minutes (more if needed) and bake til a little brown and the edges are bubbly. 
Let sit for about 10 minutes before you slice and serve.  You can even shut the oven off if it gets done a little early. 

Enjoy..  Yum Yum!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE


A very yummy addition to any breakfast, especially when there are people spending the night, or you want to have a nice warm breakfast for the kids before they go to school.   You can make ahead and refrigerate overnight ready to bake in the morning.  

Ingredients:
1 loaf French or Italian bread
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash salt

Tear the bread into big chunks and set aside in bowl.  Spray Pam  into a 13 x 9 dish.   Spread the bread all over the pan evenly.   In a large bowl, put the eggs, half and half , milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.   Beat well with a whisk until totally blended.

Pour mixture over the bread.  Make sure it's all covered evenly .   

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Bake for at least 45 minutes or until it's browned and fluffy and the edges bubbling.  

Remove from oven and serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar.  

TUNA BOATS


A really quick and tasty dinner for those after school days is Tuna Boats.  Ask my kids about it and they will smirk and turn their noses up to it.  In the "lean" days especially during Bible School and having a brood of seven kids, I really had to watch my budget.   So----Tuna Boats were made really only once a month.  But if you were to hear them,  "We had them ALL the time."

Ingredients:

1 pkg. hot dog buns ( 8)
2 cans white tuna, drained (which I prefer rather than the regular tuna)
1/2 chopped onion, fine
1/4 cup chopped celery, fine
3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (more if you like)

In a medium sized bowl, place drained tuna and flake it till all the big chunks are gone.  All the onions, celery, may and shredded cheddar until mixed well.

Fill each of the hot dog buns with the mixture.  Place each one in aluminum foil and close up on top and sides.   Put the open side facing up. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.      Bake for about 20 minutes.  Check one to be sure the cheese is melted.  If it isn't, then leave them in for another 10 minutes.   Take out and keep out til ready to serve.  

It's really VERY good.   I think you'll like it!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A VALENTINE TEA (from February 2013)

Having  a tea takes a little planning, but you first have to take into consideration the month or time of year. 

This was from February 2013, so obviously I chose the Valentine theme.   It was so much fun to do. 
It's so much fun to shop for Valentine things.  The old fashioned doilies are always a beautiful accent as well as rose petals and red candles.   I always buy and use fresh flowers.  Most times, I use tea pots as the vase to hold the flowers.


I found these delicate with  red and pink rose bud soaps that I decorated as a favor in the middle of the dessert plate (with doily beneath).    Each setting also had a mini cupcake holder with candy hearts AND of course, CHOCOLATE!!

I don't think there's anything more beautiful with a well set table.  Very appealing to the eye.  I always use my Grandmother's china.  And I have a collection of tea cups and everyone gets their own special one for the meal.  
I made home made chicken salad sandwiches.  I bought a heart-shaped cutter thus making heart-shaped sandwiches.  Yum.

Veggies are always a good addition to any luncheon.  What I loved about this was a "Pinterest" idea to make the dip servers out of peppers.  Very pretty, aren't they?

A favorite part of this luncheon was fresh fruit with a yummy fruit dip.   I had blueberries, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, blackberries and strawberries.  Delightful to any palate. 

Then, of course, what would a Valentine themed tea be without chocolate.  I found the most awesome, delicious triple chocolate cake and prettied it up with some hearts.  
Cheers!!!

And to add a little more ... here's the dessert I made for my hubby for Valentine's Day.  Scrumptious.

BEEF STEW



Ingredients:

1 lean round steak (2 to  3 pounds)
1 # baby carrots
1 large onion
4 stalks of celery (including leaves)
3 medium potatoes
1 can green beans
1 can corn
3 packets brown gravy mix
Garlic salt (or regular,  your preference)
Black Pepper


In a large frying pan, place round steak and cover with water. Put on medium to medium high heat and brown on both sides. As the water cooks down, continue adding water and turning the meat until tender. You have to keep a watch on this and not leave on the burner unattended so it will not burn. This can take up to 45 minutes. It should feel fork tender. When it is tender, remove from pan and trim the fat and cut into bite-sized pieces on a cutting board.

While the meat is cooking, in a 4 to 6 quart stock pot, place the onion, carrots, celery and potatoes, all cleaned and cut in the chunks and cover with water. Put on medium high and bring to a boil.  Turn down  the heat and cook until the vegetables are tender.

In the frying pan that you cooked the steak in, you may return it to the burner and put on medium heat, pour the liquid from the cans of beans and corn and enough water to compensate what is needed to make the gravy from the packet instructions. Mix well with a whisk and allow to come to a slight boil and thicken. Set aside.



  
When the vegetables are finished cooking and tender, drain the liquid and add the cut round steak pieces along with the canned vegetable  and gently stir with a wooden spoon, add the gravy mixture and again toss lightly. Add desired black pepper and garlic salt (or salt) to taste. Mix lightly again and if you need a little more liquid, add a little water at a time. Put the lid on the pot and allow to cook for at least an additional 30 minutes on medium low heat and make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.   Turn to warm and sit until served.


Can be served with biscuits or even white rice which the stew can be poured over. Noodles work with this too.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2017

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY.



THANK  YOU FOR YOUR ULTIMATE SACRIFICE AND SERVICE!!


Monday, May 6, 2013

REFLECTIONS



(This is what I share when I speak at Mother/Daughter Banquets or brunches, but well worth share as we prepare for Mother's Day this  coming Sunday)


REFLECTIONS

Psalm 139:13-18
 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother's womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
       How vast is the sum of them!

 18 Were I to count them,
       they would outnumber the grains of sand.
       When I awake,
       I am still with you.



The theme is “Reflections”… Let’s see what the dictionary says about the word.

Reflection -  careful or long consideration or thought
a of meditation
Meditation -  a discourse intended to express its author's reflections or to guide thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result others in contemplation

So the reflections we have as Mothers should be something we’ve thought hard and long about and as a result, we can share or help others with what we’ve experienced or learned.

First of all, as we read Psalm 139 we have to know and believe that God has a purpose for each and every one of us.    Your life didn’t happen by chance or was a mistake.   Jeremiah 1:5 reads,   "Before I formed you in the womb I knew (or chose)  you,
       before you were born I set you apart;
       I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

He had and has a perfect plan for each and everybody’s life.   You are special.   You are ‘one-of-a-kind’.    Not to be confused with anyone else.   Unique.  No one’s like you or equal to you.   Accept that.   Realize how precious and special you are.

Moms----you were chosen to be that very special someone to the child or children you bore.     Daughters-----before the foundations of the earth, God had your name written down and knew every little thing about you.     Your hair color, skin tone, eye color, special features, height, weight (??) yes even our weight (He counts the hairs on our heads, so surely He must know the pounds..), and your  attitudes, behaviors… EVERYTHING!!!!   You are UNIQUE.      Accept that ladies.   You are everything God planned you to be.

There’s a song called “Find Us Faithful”.

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we’ve left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find.

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

What are you leaving behind for your children, your daughters?   You know God never expects perfection from us, because we’re not and we never will be.  All He wants from us is our faithfulness to Him.   And that’s the key.  You want to be that perfect mother??  Then, the main reflection that our children should have from us is that they knew without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior and God the Father is the Lord of our lives.. They should know that we’re there for them… praying for them… loving them unconditionally (as Christ loves us) accepting them for who they are and  not putting unrealistic expectations on them.

They are the one-of-a-kind unique creation that God has entrusted to us as Mothers.

I have had no greater joy than knowing that each of my children have accepted Jesus as their Savior..  that my grandchildren have followed in their parents footsteps… and I hope and pray that after I’m gone that they’ll be able to say without hesitation  or question that I loved them with all my heart unconditionally…  prayed for them… and loved Jesus above all!!

What greater legacy can we leave them??  I really know how hard it is.  Believe me, with 7 children entrusted to my care, was at times, overwhelming to say the least.  I would question the Lord each time I was pregnant… why another one??  Sometimes I can’t even handle the one or ones you’ve given me.   But I guess, or shall I say…. God DOES know what He’s doing.   Remember, He did create the world, right??

I just want to leave these final thoughts with you.

1.    Encourage the positive traits of your children.  Don’t always look  for and see the negative things they do.  Lift them up.  Tell them what a great job they’ve done.  It’s easy when they are little and they go potty and you clap for that accomplishment, high five them or give them some incentive treat…..   It does get harder as they get older to see it but purposely look for it and go out of your way to do it.

2.  Spend one-on-one time with each one.  Take time to plan with your hubby or parents or friends to help with the others so you can do something even as little as going for a walk with them or to the park or mall just with them!!  Or just talk to them.. OR let them talk while you listen.

3.  Teach them responsibility!  If you don’t, someday, they may be living with you and not have a clue as to what to do or how to handle daily situations. Ex. (doing laundry, fixing some meals, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, yard work, car repair)   Do it while they’re young.

4.  Try not to be such a perfectionist yourself.  Cut yourself some slack.  Take a long hot bath with candles and aroma therapy bath salts.. “Take me away, Calgon”.   If you don’t take time for yourself or take care of yourself, believe me  nobody else will and you won’t be as productive.

5.  And last, but not least, remember to let every part of your life be a spiritual experience for you and your family.  Teach them early about Jesus and how He must be an integral part of their daily lives. Sing songs with them about Jesus while they’re little… Share about His blessings and share your answered prayers with them to show them how real He is. 
Love Jesus with all your heart, soul, and mind!!!!

I would like to close with a few things to read to you that are especially a blessing to me.

MOTHERHOOD
Motherhood is now! The good and the bad of it.   The rewards and the trials. Tremendous pressures ware placed upon you as a mother, for you have been chosen to work with God in the awesome task of nurturing the priceless treasures God has given you.
As a mother, you accept your children’s faltering steps toward independence with discipline, humor, patience, and a tremendous amount of trust.   At times the struggles almost become an endurance contest.  You wonder if you can handle all the confusion another day:  the ringing phone, the broken dishes, the blaring television, the hurtful words.  High temperatures,  school, conferences, dentist appointments, rebellious tears.  Is there ever an end?
But suddenly in the mist of turmoil you catch a broad grin.   You feel a warm hug.   At bedtime somebody prays, “Thank you, God, for Mom and for chocolate chip cookies… and for love. “
You renew again your deep desire to create a genuine God hunger in your children.  God has chosen YOU for such a task as this.
“Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises hers:  “There are many virtious and capable women in the world,  but you surpass them all!!”
Proverbs 31: 28, 29

Finally, I want to share something very special with you.  I’m asked one question as I speak to various groups.  “How long til you quit being a Mother?”   Well, you’re a Mom til you die, and your heartstrings will always be attached to those babies whether they're here with you or in heaven.   

"The Cord"

We are connected, my child and I,
by an invisible cord not seen by the eye

It's not like the cord that connects us till birth.
This cord can't be seen by any on earth.

This cord does its work right from the start.
It binds us together, attached to my heart.

The strength of this cord is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed. It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord man could create.
It withstands the test. Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone, though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there but no one can see.

It pulls at my heart. I am bruised, I am sore.
But this cord is my lifeline as never before.

I am thankful that God connects us this way
A mother and a child, death can't take it away


A special ‘Reflection’ from my son, Tim (37 years old)

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I have been thinking of you a lot this week and what it means to be a mom and raise a child.  Also, with the wedding season upon us I get to see a lot of ceremonies and two people committing to life together.  This led me to think of the similarities of wedding vows, and vows a mom gives to her child.

Here is an example:

I, your mom, take you, Tim to be my beautiful child. With deepest joy I receive you into my life that together we may be one. As is Christ to His body, the church, so I will be to you a loving and faithful Mother. Always will I perform my headship over you even as Christ does over me, knowing that His Lordship is one of the holiest desires for my life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my tenderest care. I promise I will live first unto God rather than others or even you. I promise that I will lead our lives into a life of faith and hope in Christ Jesus. Ever honoring God's guidance by His spirit through the Word, And so throughout life, no matter what may lie ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as a loving and faithful mom.

Now these vows are never said verbally, but are like an unspoken contract between mother and child the very first time their eyes meet on the day of their birth.  I believe you took these vows the day I was born and lived up to and exceeded each one.

There are so many moms that God could have lent me to, but I am so blessed that he lent me to you.  With your every day devotion, love, care, patience and direction I became the man that I am today.

Thank you for being my mom and my best friend.

I love you more today than ever, Happy Mother's Day!!!

Love your son,
Tim

Thank you  so much for allowing me to be with you and sharing and may  God bless you on your journey!!!!  And may the reflections of your heart keep you strong and happy and loving for many, many years to come. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

CHRIST IS RISEN/ HALLELUJAH


Easter is a blessed time at our home.  I have memories of weeks before Easter as I prepared by making the traditional Ukrainian  pysanky.

Above is a picture of the ten eggs I now have available for sale.   If you are interested, please feel free to email me for details.  
The last day I will be shipping this week will be Wednesday to hopefully make it to you by Easter.   

I know the Orthodox Easter is May 5th, so there's plenty of time to order before then.  

Each egg tells a story by the symbols and colors and I will be happy to share them with you.  

Some of these eggs are below for greater detail.  Thank you and Christos Voskres!!!!   Christ is Risen!!!!