Monday, February 27, 2012

What I Cooked

I was pretty sick over the weekend, but I still managed to cook twice.  I cooked dinner for hubby and I over Friday night.  It turned out really good.  Here is what we had:

(I didn't get any pictures.  I'm blaming this on the fact I was sick.  To seek pictures, click on the links back to the original recipe sources.)

Ranch Chicken Packets
via Our Front Door

2 cups cooked chicken, diced small
4 oz. softened cream cheese (I used fat free.)
2 tbsp. Ranch dressing (I used light.)
1/2 c. shredded cheese
2 pkgs. crescent rolls (I used reduced fat.)
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 c seasoned breadcrumbs (I used Panko.)

Mix chicken, cream cheese, Ranch dressing, and shredded cheese together.  Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.  Preheat oven to 350.  Unroll crescent rolls.  Each pack will contain 4 rectangles of dough made up of 2 rolls.  Press dough along diagonal perforations so that the rectangle halves will not separate. Place a large spoonful (about 1/3 cup) of the chicken mixture into the center of one half of the rectangle of dough.  Fold the other half of dough over and seal the edges tightly.

Brush each packet with melted butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Place packets on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

This recipe make 8 packets.

Along with our Ranch Chicken Packets we had the following Zucchini Chips.

Zucchini Chips
via The Joy of Clean Eating

1/4 c breadcrumbs (I used the same breadcrumbs from the previous recipe.)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. flour (heaping)
1 c. cold milk
1tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 c. sliced zucchini (I used 2 smallish zucchinis.)

Preheat oven to 425.  In a medium bowl combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and black pepper.  In a separate bowl add flour, milk, and vinegar.  Gently stir until combined.  Dip zucchini slices in flour mixture and then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.  Place coated zucchini slices on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping the slices over once halfway through cooking, or until browned and crisp.

We both really enjoyed this and will definitely be having it again.  I also cooked a crockpot lunch for us and mom and Sunday.  I'll share that recipe tomorrow!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Girls on the Run

I have become a coach at my school with the Girls on the Run program.  Last week was the first week and I enjoy it so much more than I ever thought.  I never thought I would be the coach of anything, but this is so worthwhile and a whole lot a fun.

They were looking for adults to help after school and Tuesday and Thursday.  I volunteered without really knowing what I was getting into.  It turns out that what I got into is not just a running/fitness program.  It is a program to help young girls (I have 3rd-5th graders on my team) build their self-esteem and to empower them to make healthy choices in their lives.

After only two sessions, I have bonded with my girls so I can't imagine what all will occur over the next 9-weeks.  The time I spend with my girls is probably the fastest three hours in my week.  I love hearing them talk to each other when they come in, fill their water bottles, and have their snack.  I love hearing their thinking while we discuss the topic outlined in the lesson for the week.  I also love the time we get to spend together out on the track running, walking, jogging, skipping, and hopping.

I am so happy that these girls are developing friendships that they will be able to carry with them to middle school, which can be a difficult time in a girl's life.  I love the focus on positivity this program promotes.  I really believe that you can train yourself to be more positive.  At least, that is what I am trying to do for this team of girls.  I want to be a bright spot in their lives and to build trust with them so they will do that for each other.

I am not a runner, but I am working on it.  We will be participating in a 5K in May and I will be doing it with my team, which is pretty exciting to me! These girls are motivating me to become a better person and I will try my hardest not to let them down.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Long Weekend

I know I have been missing for the last several days, but I was enjoying a little bit of a long weekend.  Last week we had parent conferences after school, so we had Friday off if we had already gotten enough professional development hours.  After conferences on Thursday I drove to Central Arkansas for the weekend.  It was so nice and relaxing to have an extra day off.  Hubby still had to work Friday so mom and I had a girl's day.  We shopped, ate out, and I even got a few things done at the house I wanted to.

On Saturday we all headed to Little Rock for a little bargain shopping and ate out.  After we got home we watch some TV and ate out again.  On Sunday, we went to church and had lunch.  Then, hubby and I headed to NWA.  He got to come with me since he was off work on Monday.  We went out to eat Sunday night for our belated Valentine's Day celebration and to do a little more shopping.  This was the third year in a row that we have gone to Copeland's for Valentine's Day and let me tell you it did not disappoint.  The highlight of the meal for me was the King Cake Cheesecake in honor of Mardi Gras.

I know I mentioned a lot of shopping.  Some of it I will have to tell about at another time, but a lot of the shopping was to get some new Yellow Box flip flops.  Those are just about the only shoes I wear during any kind of warm weather.  Mom & I happened across some at Belk while we were there for the Clinique Bonus time, so we ended up going to different stores to find them in the right size for mom and myself.

These are the ones I picked up.

Having a long weekend and extra time with family was really nice.  I hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Is As Crafty As I Get

I was looking through some pictures today and found some of the cute little gifts I gave my school buddies for Christmas.  It's a little late, I know.  But hey, better late than never.  I always have a hard time figuring out what to give that people will enjoy.  I was on Pinterest and saw these little cuties and I decided I would give it a try.  Hop on over to Paper Wings to see the post where I got my idea.

Here are how mine turned out:

These were pretty easy and super fun to make!

Here is what I used to make them:

Clear 5 x 7 frames (I got mine at Wal-Mart.)
Post-It Notes (I bought mine in a 10-pack at Sam's Club.)
Double-sided tape
The rest of the items came from Hobby Lobby in the scrapbook section:
Scrapbook paper (I used 2 sheets for all the gifts.)
Ribbon scraps
Scrapbook stickers

Once you have the supplies they are easy to put together.

1.  Cut the scrapbook paper to fit in the frame.

2. Attach post-it notes to frame using double-sided tape.

3.  Tie ribbon around frame.  My mom helped me tie the bows since tying pretty bows doesn't seem to be my forte.

4.  Attach stickers or any other embellishments you choose.

Everyone seemed to like them.  I wish I had made an extra one for me to put on my desk at school to give me a little glimpse of spring!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Unromantic Valentine's Day

Well, here it is Valentine's night and I am sitting at home alone.  My husband is two and a half hours away and I spent most of the evening at work.  This is parent conference week and tonight was our night to stay late.  I know it may sound like I am complaining, but I'm really kinda glad that I don't have to deal with the pressure of getting all fixed up to go out tonight.  The truth is I'm tired.  It is nice to not have to deal with the holiday.

Don't worry, though.  Hubby and I really like to spread our holidays out.  He got me two bouquets of flowers a week and a half ago and they still look brand new.  Here are the pictures I took of them the day I got them.


pink bouquet

They still look like that today. Every time I look at them I think of my hubby and how far we have come. Our 4.5 years have flown by in one way, but it seems like we have been together forever in other ways.  We gave each other cards on Sunday, and made plans to go out to Copeland's this upcoming weekend.  Copeland's has become a Valentine's tradition for us since we moved to NWA.  Then, hubby called me this morning and told me to look in his nightstand, where he had hidden another card for me to open this morning.  What a sweet little surprise!

I wish we could have been together today, but since I have Friday off I will get an extra day to be with him over the weekend.  I am just so proud of him.  We found out today that he passed the last test he needed in order to get his standard teaching license when he graduates in May!  Now we just have to find him a job a little closer to me!  I know that God will give us the right opportunity at the right time.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not Much of a Post

I just have a lot of weirdness swirling around in my brain.  I'm going to blame it on the weather.  So I will be going with a list for today's post.

1.  We had our first blast of winter weather today.  There was quite a bit of snow that fell, but we still had school today.  The roads were mostly wet and not slick.  My brain knows this is a good thing, but in my heart I really wanted a snow day.  I will just keep telling myself how glad I'll be when May 23 is the last day of school.

2.  I found out today that my special education supervisor passed away this morning.  This was so surprising.  She hadn't been sick and she was relatively young.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all of her friends and family.

3.  We had a great time in Tulsa this past weekend.  We had a lot of good food and really enjoyed visiting the Oklahoma Aquarium.  It's not big, but actually has a lot to look at.  We did a little shopping .  I also saw my very first Star Wars movie.  It wasn't the best movie I have ever seen, but it wasn't too bad either.

4.  This is parent conference week, which means I get to work late every night.  I'm going to try to have a good attitude about this and focus on getting to visit with some of the super sweet parents.  I also get Friday off, which is definitely something to look forward to.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Five Question Friday

I am linking up with Mama M's Five Question Friday.  Hop on over and check it out or link up yourself.

1. How often do you shave your legs in the winter?  I'm sure not near as often as I should.  In the winter I only shave about once or twice a week, usually on the weekends when hubby is around.  I don't want to gross him out or myself for that matter.  After a while I just can't take it anymore.

2. Valentine's Day cards for your spouse: funny or romantic?  I tend to send the mushy romantic ones.  I know I don't tell him often enough my true feelings and appreciation I have for him so I take holiday cards seriously.  I will spend a really long time trying to find the perfect one to express my thoughts and feelings.

3. What are you most looking forward to about spring?  I'm looking forward to seeing the sun again.  We have been gong though a period of cloudy gloominess.  It will also nice to have mild weather and to see all the beautiful flowers and trees coming back to life. 

4. What's your favorite way to pamper yourself? In the winter, I love to take long, hot baths.  It lets me get nice and warm.  It is super relaxing and it gives me a chance to do some reading in peace and quiet.  In spring and summer, nothing can beat getting a pedicure.  They make me feel like a brand new woman.

5. Does your tax return go into savings or do you spend it instantly? We usually use our tax return to make our donation to the Razorback Foundation and to buy our season tickets for the football games.  This year, we will try to put some of our return away in our "baby fund."  For the record, we are NOT pregnant.  We are just planning ahead.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  We are heading to Tulsa for mom's birthday trip.  We will be taking in the Oklahoma Aquarium and other indoor activities because it is supposed to be really cold.  Hopefully, we will make it home before the winter weather hits.  The weatherman is predicting that we could get 2-4 inches Sunday through Monday.  Hopefully, not!  I would love to get out of school in May.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Work Willingly

I saw this bible verse on one of my friend's Facebook page today.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23

It really struck me because it seems I have lost sight of this lately.  I really do enjoy teaching and I love my students.  It just seems that there are so many other things that get in the way of actually teaching.  There is always paperwork and documentation to contend with.  Since I am a special education teacher, there is always conferences to prepare for.  None of that bothers me too much.  What does bother me is the lack of trust in teachers now.  "They" don't believe that we are doing the best we can.  I'm not even sure who "they" really is, but we are always working to prove that we are really doing our job.

Most teachers I know really care about kids and want all of them to meet their potential.   I think our biggest problem as teachers is that we have gotten too caught up in the expectations placed on us by people, we forget the real reason for our job and often times we lose the joy of our work.  At least I know this has become a problem for me.

I want my work to reflect God and his love for the children.  I want to be joyful in my work and not get caught up in the drudgery of it.  I want to be an encourager to my students and believe in them and the progress they are capable of making, even if that progress doesn't meet the expected standards.  These children are all loved by God and I want to reflect that love.

While I know there will always be standards for students to meet and paperwork and other things for me to do, I'm not going to let those things define who I am as a teacher.  My students and God deserve more than that.  I know God is always with me and I want him to see the joy I have for my job and for my students!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Here are a few of my favorite positive thoughts, reminders, quotes, and Bible verses I have collected from Pinterest.  I look at here occasionally to cheer me up or just to remind myself that the good in life far outweighs the bad.  It also reminds me that I am never alone no matter what I may be going through.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Just Grow Up

The thought that has been haunting me over the past several days is that I just need to grow up.  I have been having childish thoughts lately and have become rather cynical over things that really shouldn't amount to a hill of beans to me.  

I have been trying to read the motives behind Facebook and blog posts.  Why would so and so say that?  What are they trying to prove?  Are they trying to show off?  Are they trying to make me feel bad for what I post?  The list of questions that go through my head are endless.  Here is what I have decided:  It doesn't matter.  

Their motives should not matter to me.  I should just take the posts at face value.  If it is good, I should be happy for them.  If it is bad or sad, I should sympathize and pray for them.  If there are motives behind it, that is their business.  I realize that I have been spending way too much time analyzing things that are probably aren't even there.  These are my "friends."  I should treat them like that.

I hope people don't do the same with the things I write.  I try not to put too much on Facebook and post every 5 minutes.  I love my blog and have started enjoying it even more.  I don't keep it for other people, although it is definitely nice to get feedback and support from others.  I keep it for me.  It is a great way to journal about what has been going on in our lives and my thoughts and feelings about those things.

However, I am going to try to be more conscious about how I write about the events in our lives.  I don't want to seem like I am bragging about anything.  Bragging and too much pride in oneself only leads to hate and that it definitely something God does not want to see.  So I need to be aware of how I am presenting myself.  

I love getting to travel, go to ballgames, go to movies and plays.  I really do love those things, but what makes them so special is that I get to do these things with my family.  These are things that we enjoy doing together.  They are shared interests that bring us together.  I write about doing all of these things because when I look back at doing them I remember the fun we had as a family.

When I think about why I share about these things on Facebook and my blog, I'm sure those are the same reasons everyone also shares what is going on in their lives, too.  I am going to grow up and enjoy everyone else's fun family memories and stop looking for bad things.  Positivity is a good thing that I need to spend more time searching for.

Here is what brought me some joy this weekend.  When I got home Saturday from some training for a new program I am going to be involved in at school (I'll share more about that later.),  I found these waiting for me:
pink bouquet
There was no special occasion, just hubby being sweet.  It brought me joy and added a bit of color and cheer to the house!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Be Still...

I read a great devotion today written by our pastor at our church in Central Arkansas.

Over the past couple days I have been forced to deal with some issues I didn't even realize I had.  I am not proud of the some of the emotions I have felt, but now I can face them and move on.  The devotion I read today made me realize I could.

The devotion started with this quote:

"The central promise in the Bible is not "I will forgive you," although of course that promise is there. The most frequent promise in the Bible is "I will be with you." ~ John Ortberg

It's comforting to know that I don't have to face my emotions and internal struggles alone.  The devotion continued by having me read Psalm 46.  There could not have been a more perfect passage for me to read right now.

Here are the two verses that really spoke to me:

I will never have to face anything alone.  I just need to stop and ask for help when I need it from someone who is always with me, my heavenly Father.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That Darn Monkey Wrench

Don't you just love when life seems to be going along nice and smoothly and then the devil comes along and tries to throw a monkey wrench along the path?  Well, that happened to hubby this week. 

He has a math class late in the day that is made up of seven 8th grade girls.  Those of you that are around girls that age, know that they can be a bit challenging.  They are going through a lot of changes physically, emotionally, and socially.  It seems like everyone around them will pay.  On Monday this group of girls were less than perfect in class.  In fact, they were awful!  They wouldn't listen or do their work.  They were yelling out, singing, dancing, etc.  The school policy is that when students have behavior problems, they have to stay after school for detention and must be given at least a 24 hour notice.  They couldn't have detention yesterday, since there are faculty meetings held on Tuesday afternoons.  So hubby has to hold detention for them today, which is his birthday.  Yuck!

As if Monday's ordeal wasn't bad enough, hubby walked out to his car yesterday afternoon to discover it had been keyed.  We don't know for sure who did it or when it happened, but chances are really good it was one of the students.  Teacher parking is located in an area that students have to frequently walk through.

I'm trying to help my hubby stay positive in this less than ideal situation we are in.  It isn't easy, especially when thngs like this happen.  We have to remember that the devil is trying to get to us.  We have to stay strong and positive so that he doesn't win.  We aren't going to fall over that monkey wrench he has put in our way.  We will just go around it and looking ahead to all the good htings that are coming our way.