Friday, January 28, 2011

Muffin Makers

I had so much fun making pineapple almond muffins with my little friend Anabelle this morning!  Take a look.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

A dream come true…

Ever since we moved to Florida I’ve had this dream of walking down to the beach with bare feet, holding Denis’ hand, dropping a big pile of wood, lighting it on fire, and then start dancing around the flames with the waves crashing in the background. Awesome dream right? The only problem was I couldn’t find a place to make this dream come true. You can’t have fires on the beach in Bay County (where we live). One night, when we were having dinner with some friends from church, they told us that you could have fires on the beach in Gulf County (where they live). As soon as I heard the glorious news my mind was already forming a plan for next weekend. It was going to be magnificent!

There was only one problem. It was windy and kinda cold the day we went, which wasn’t in my dream. I mean like not “Utah” cold or “snow” cold or anything like that, but pretty cold for Florida! So there was no dancing around the flames because I was afraid my face would blow off or freeze up completely. Instead, we bundle up in blankets, listened to the waves, and snuggled up together close to the fire as we waited for the fire to die down into hot coals so we could cook our foil dinners and roast marshmallows.

Even though it didn’t happen exactly like I was dreaming. I’d say it was even better. A lot of times things don’t turn out exactly how I plan, usually they turn out even better. 2011 0022011 0042011 0142011 0192011 0242011 031

For Mom, Steph, and anyone else who thinks this looks good, here’s the recipe to the delicious dinner Denis cooked on Sunday.

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Fresh Asparagus and Chicken Casserole

6 Servings, Prep Time: 30 Minutes, Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Description

Fresh asparagus and red bell pepper add lively color and tender flavor to this creamy, cheesy chicken and noodle casserole.

Ingredients
  • 1 (8 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken meat
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 8 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
  2. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, or until almost tender. Drain, and rinse under cold water.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook onion for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken, red bell pepper, celery, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and oregano.
  4. Spread half of the chicken mixture into the prepared dish. Arrange asparagus over chicken, spread cooked noodles evenly over asparagus, and top with the remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly brown.
 
Nutritional Information

Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 377

Sodium: 352.7mg

Cholesterol: 76.7mg

Carbohydrates: 32.7g

Fat: 20.1g

Protein: 17.3g

Dietary Fiber: 3.6g

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coincidence or Blessing?

I really don’t know why I choose last week to start looking for a piano in Florida, but I did. I started calling around to the very few music stores in Panama City asking if they sold upright pianos. I thought we would probably have to save for a year to be able to afford one, but I was wrong. When I called the Awesome Music Store and asked if they sold pianos the owner said, “We don’t. But I just had a lady call in 10 minutes before you did telling me she was going to drop off her piano because she needed to get rid of it before she moved. If you find a way to move it, you can have it.” I was a little shocked. Who just gives away a piano? And I just happened to call 10 minutes after the lady who was dropping the piano off?

Within two days of finding the piano I had three piano students wanting to sign up for lessons. Coincidence? I think not. I needed this. I’ve been looking for something to keep me busier. We needed something to give us a little more room in our budget. This is perfect. I know this was a blessing from our Heavenly Father. If you pay your tithing faithfully, many spiritual blessings will come to you as well as some temporal. It has happened over and over in my life and in the lives of those around me.  To some, giving 10% of your income may seem like a lot, but when I remember all that the Lord has blessed me with, it doesn’t seem like nearly enough.

(Malachi 3: 8-12: 8 - Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 - Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.10 - Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.11 - And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.12 - And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.)

Here’s a look at my new/old piano. It’s not in the greatest condition, but who cares? It plays the notes!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tyndall Tour

Before I met Denis I had never seen a military base. I had no idea what to expect. I know there are some of you who are the same way, so I wanted to give you a peak at our base. By the way,  the looks I was getting from people on base were awesome as I creepily took pictures from my car.
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This is our medical clinic. I was a little worried about how healthcare would work in the military because I had heard horror stories, but so far I’ve only had positive experiences here. It’s very nice inside.
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This is one of my favorite places on base and somewhere I visit everyday, the fitness center. They finished building it the month we moved here. I was going to take a picture of inside the main gym, but people definitely would have thought I was a creepy weirdo then.
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Not a very good picture, but this is the commissary (grocery store) and the BX.
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This is a view from one of the parks on base. Blue skies and water are plentiful in Florida. 
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Had to snap a shot of this sign in the park. Another common thing in Florida, alligators. I can’t believe they have to warn people NOT to feed them…isn’t that obvious?
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I wanted to get a picture of one of the highways on base so you could see how “shoulders” don’t exist in Florida. It’s just grass on either side of the road. This isn’t just on base, this is everywhere in Panama City.
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This is one of the many parks around base. This one is our favorite because it has everything…
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Volleyball.
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Tennis.
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Basketball.
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A lot of times I describe where we live as a tropical forest because I’ve never seen a place where so many palm and pine trees grow together. It’s pretty.
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This is our street on base. We are lucky enough to live in new housing, I love our house. There are a few different neighborhoods on base.
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Here is a picture of a “hiking” trail that goes around a lake. This is basically in our backyard. Denis and I walked it last Saturday.
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Here’s the lake the trail goes around.
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A bridge at the beginning of the trail.
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Some pretty lily pads on the lake. Too bad you can’t swim in the lake. Wanna take a guess why? I’ll give you a hint…they are green, scaly, and want to eat you.
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These trees surround the lake. I’ve never seen anything like them, pretty cool huh?
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And of course, the beach.
That is all the pictures I have for you, hopefully you liked my tour!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Too much and so many

I can’t bring myself to do it. I’ve sat down like a million times at the computer to blog about it, but it’s just too much and so many. When I say “too much and so many”, what I mean is…

Too much fun with my family over Christmas break

So many cute pictures (if you want to see them go to my facebook)

So many times where I just wanted time to stop so that I would forever be hugging or kissing my niece and nephews

Too much delicious home cookin’

So many friends and family we got to visit

Too much laughing

So many sweet memories made

Too much thankfulness to my parents who made it all possible

I might even say too much love, but that is just impossible.

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So in five simple words our Christmas, Disneyland trip, and New Years was too much and so many.