Friday, March 30, 2007

Chicken Salsa Manicotti

Looking for a new recipe with a little kick? Well, this is it! My friend makes this dish as a freezer meal, but I made it yesterday as a "let's bake it now" meal. :) Here is the recipe:

Chicken Salsa Manicotti

1 package (8 oz) manicotti shells
2 c. cubed cooked chicken
2 c. (8oz) shredded Monteray Jack cheese, divided
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. sour cream
1 small onion, diced, divided
1 can chopped green chilies, divided
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. salsa
2/3 c. milk

Cook manicotti about 7 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 c. of Mont. Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, half onion and half of the chilies.
In another bowl, combine soup, salsa, milk and rest of onion and chilies.
Stuff the manicotti shells with the chicken mixture.
In a greased 9x13 baking dish, put 1/2 of the salsa mixture. Then lay the stuffed shells on top.
Then pour the rest of the salsa mixture over the top.
Cover, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Uncover and put the rest of the Monteray Jack cheese on top. Bake another 10 minutes.

This would be a great company meal. Everyone in our family enjoyed it very much.

Well, I've been working on a few crafty projects and I think I may have 3 going at the same time as well as 2 books I'm reading. I've also been doing spring cleaning, a little bit along. You'll be glad to hear that I've given away 2 more bags to Goodwill, and passed down a couple boxes of clothes to other people. So, I'm keeping busy and certainly enjoying the nice weather. Seeing the sunshine puts a smile on my face.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Family Trip

Our family had a wonderful few days at a lake a couple hours from here. We stayed in a cabin complete with fireplace and full kitchen. Each day we hiked a trail, with our oldest daughter as our fearless leader. She warned us of mud slides, protruding rocks and branches, and helped her sister navigate the trails.

Little sister was the adventurer and investigator. She delighted in checking in fallen logs and holes in the trees. Finding many treasures, I had to remind her that we needed to leave the forest where we found it.

Enjoying the view from a pack on daddy's back, the little boy took generous water breaks (it's hard work riding the trail, you know). He pointed at objects and tried to mimick the sounds of the birds.

The trip was relaxing and we had a great time being together.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Homemade Granola Bars

A friend and I made homemade granola bars on Friday. The recipe came from another friend who found it in a cookbook--although I do not have the name of it. These are very good and offer lots of opportunity for variety.

Homemade Granola Bars

2/3 c. veg. oil (I use olive oil)
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. honey
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt (I use less)
3 c. oats
4 c. crisp rice cereal
2 c. chopped nuts or sunflower seeds
2 c. raisins, currants, other dried fruit, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, peanut, butterscotch or carob chips, or any combination you can think of.

In a large mixing bowl, combine first five ingredients. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix well. With a large spoon, stir in oats, cereal, nuts, fruits, or baking chips. Spray a 9x13 pan or use parchment paper. Press mixture evenly into bottom of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Cool completely and cut into bars.
Note: do not overcook!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Apron anyone?

I made this apron today! Yes, I sewed it...okay, I had help. :) My friend Jackie came over and helped me, however now that we did this one together I'll be able to do the others by myself. I found the tutorial over here. It was a fun project. The towels are Martha Stewart brand and they are called "Pack a Picnic". I really like the towels! It was a pack of 7...for all the little girls in my life! Give this project a try and then let me know you did.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Baby Chicks

Nothing says "spring" more than new animal babies. Today we were able to see some new baby chicks. They are just 2 days old and very cute. Their pretty yellow down is softer than you can imagine.

Praising God today for making babies so cute!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Back into the swing of things...

It's been difficult to think and write lately...but I am trying to get back into the swing of things; like housework, homeschooling, etc. My dryer broke this morning, thankfully a friend came over and fixed it! :) The girls are outside riding their bikes, eager to "blow the stink off" and definitely striken with "spring fever". My Hunny is busily working on papers and such as this is finals week.

Forever changed by all the events of last week, I quietly think of the verse
Be still and know that I am God.

My other anchor verse is:
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my
righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Teach us to number our days

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."
Psalm 90:12

"How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house,
ever singing your praise!
Blessed are those whose strength is in You.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob!
Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your annointed!
For a day in Your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere
Psalm 84: 1-2, 4-5a, 8-10

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Friend Julie

My dear friend Julie went home to be with her Lord and Savior yesterday evening. I had the honor and privilege of being at the house with her and her family. Although unresponsive (to my knowledge), I spent precious time with Julie~~ talking, reading Scripture and praying for her just a short time before she was ushered into the arms of Jesus.

Please continue to pray for her sweet family. By the grace of God and the prayers of the faithful, they are doing well. The grief and adjustments have come and will continue to come in stages, and I trust that the Lord will carry them every step of the way.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


MaryJane says that farmgirl is a condition of the heart; so that no matter whether you live on a farm or in the city or somewhere in between~~you can still be a farmgirl! Well, I'm one of those that lives "in between" and I get together with a few other farmgirls for a monthly "gathering". This is our first year gathering together in this way and we have mostly done handwork (most of us learned how for the first time! :) We have plans to learn other things together, such as flower and vegetable gardening, candle and soap making, canning, etc. As you can imagine, our time goes much too quickly, but our hearts and hands always leave encouraged.

Meeting like this puts me in mind of "the older women teaching the younger women" in Titus 2, although we are certainly each learning from each other, but you get the idea. And there is one older farmgirl (just in age though, she can pretty much run circles around me), that knows a great deal about so many things. Patiently, she teaches us. I'm thankful for her...she's even been teaching my oldest daughter to sew.

I continue to pray for opportunities for me to learn from other women and for me to teach others, as well.

Friday, March 2, 2007

My Leap Year Baby

My oldest daughter was born on February 29, 11 years ago. To celebrate her birthday this year, she invited 3 friends over for a time of service and fellowship. She, along with her friends and her "Aunt" Lora, volunteered for an hour at the crisis pregnancy center in our area. The girls did a good job putting things away, sorting bottles, and switching winter to spring clothes.

Instead of giving gifts to Marissa, the girls brought items that the center needed, mainly socks, baby food and onesies. Also, family members that live far away have sent Marissa money that she will use to buy some more items for the center.

After volunteering, we all came back to our house and had homemade pizza and cheesecakes. I made this pizza dough recipe and it was yummy. And I also made my grandma's famous recipe for "cherry delight", except I left off the cherries and let each girl top her piece with blueberries, strawberries, crumbled up butterfinger candy bar or M & M candies. I had made the cheesecakes in individual little pie pans with graham cracker crusts. Everyone had a great time!