Saturday, November 28, 2009

(Not Your Usual) Chicken Soup

Well, today I'm headed to my youngest sister's house to finish a Christmas present for my mother.  Another sister is going to meet us there and I know we will also have lots of fun with my niece. I know my mother reads my blog, but she already knows what we're doing, so this wont be a big surprise for her.  Both of the boys have basketball games or practice today and I'm hoping that they will get a tree and then we can decorate tomorrow. 

It has been a while since I've been on Colleen's blog to check out all the recipes and even post one.  She has a great blog full of recipes for yummy treats, delicious meals, and cute crafts.  If you haven't had a chance to visit her blog yet, please try to visit soon - I'm sure you wont be disappointed. 

I know I'm a day late in my post for the Friday Homemade Holidays Recipe Swap, so I thought I would get this done early while I have the time.  I first had this recipe at Janet's house when we were doing Bible studies with her and she made it for all the girls.  Please don't think this is the same, run-of-the-mill chicken soup recipe that so many people have - it's definitely not that.  This is one of my "go to" recipes when I know I'm be short on time or just don't know what to make. 

Chicken Soup

4 chicken breasts, chopped
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. Uncle Ben's original recipe rice mix (not prepared)
1 (48 oz.) can chicken broth

Combine ingredients using only 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth.  Cook on low heat in slow cooker for 8 hours.  Break up chicken and add rest of chicken broth to desired consistency.

Note:  I usually buy a bag of chicken breasts and put the entire bag (frozen and not cut up) in the crockpot and add more broth in the beginning.  Once the chicken has cooked through, I shred it and add back to the soup mixture. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so excited!!! Look at what I made last night.  I used the Red Velvet Cake Ball recipe from Bakerella.com and substituted chocolate cake and chocolate icing for the red velvet cake mix and cream cheese frosting.  Can't wait to bring these to the inlaw's house today.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Keeping it real

Ok, I've decided to keep things real and start using our "real" names again.  I know that pretty much everyone that reads my blog knows us or at least knows our names.  Why did I start using pretend names??  Well, let me start from the beginning....

A friend's daughter started a blog and she was so excited about it.  My friend kept talking about her daughter's blog, I kept reading her daughter's blog, and the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to start a blog (check out the inspiration for my blog here).   So, I started my blog but I didn't want anyone to read it that was creepy or weird.  I don't want to offend anyone, but I don't know any other way to say it - that is exactly how I felt.  My blog had pictures of my boys and one of my nieces on it, information about us, our real names. 

You know - the usual (personal) stuff you see on a blog.

Well, my blog ended up having two people subscribe to it that made me worried.  These were people from other countries, young men, their blogs were written in languages I didn't understand, and their blogs had nothing to do with my blog.  By that time I had taken my niece's pictures down and changed names after the first foreign subscriber, but when the second one subscribed, I panicked!  All I could think about were stories I heard about pictures being copied from blogs and posted all over the internet and I wanted to do whatever I could to protect my family. 

Prince Charming pointed out that my blog address has our last name in it......I even thought about that when I created it.  Looking back on it, I probably should have been more careful in making that decision.  Well, I did talk to someone that has a blog which is read by so many people and I asked for her advice.  She was very helpful and now I have a few "tracking devices" on my blog which have helped to ease my anxiety.  Really, why have a blog and post if I don't want people to read it?  A blog really is nothing more than an online diary or a very public journal of your thoughts.  Sometimes I'm amazed at some of the things I read on other blogs.  People can be so open and honest and I wonder how they can share the things they do without worrying about who is going to see their post or where their words will end up.  Oh, I could change my settings and have everyone subscribe to my blog, but I really like reading comments that people leave, even people that I don't know..... just as long as the people aren't creepy or weird. 

I really like the blogs I normally visit.  I've learned alot by reading the posts and am truly thankful for the time and effort that is put into every one of them.  Today I read a post about authenticity and it really made me think about my blog and using our real names.  That's also why I've posted my "real" thoughts in this post.  So I've decided to go for it.  From now on I will be blogging about Carl, Pam, Kyle and Ryan Sacco with our two dogs and a cat.

Just us. 

Using our real names. 

No pretending. 

Being authentic.

Just trying to keep it real.


Bakerella

I don't know if anyone else has been on this website/blog, but it is all about baking goodies!  This lady makes these cute, adorable, delicious looking cupcake pops. They are cupcakes on a popsicle stick and she has sooooo many cute decorating ideas.  Here is the information on the "about" section at www.bakerella.com:

Welcome to Bakerella.com. I started this website to help keep track of my baking and decorating attempts. I got the bug after taking an introductory cake decorating class and just haven’t stopped. The site focuses on fun and easy baking. It’s a place to explore recipes, desserts, decorating and even photography with a few giveaways sprinkled in along the way. You’ll find ideas for cupcake pops (a Bakerella creation), cakes, pies, cupcakes, cookies, brownies and more. You may even find yourself smiling from all the sweetness.

I definitely see cupcake pops in my future (and probably on my hips) and this is going to be a great family afternoon project with the boys.



Friday, November 6, 2009

George's most recent artwork

My youngest son loves to draw.  When he is working on a drawing, he really concentrates on what he is doing.  Usually it's some type of underwater scene, or something to do with the Army, or robots.  This is his most recent drawing (similar to the chalkboard drawing that I recently posted), and he was so excited about it that he colored it and brought it to school.  I managed to get it back from him and post a copy on my blog.  Maybe Santa will be bringing art supplies to our house this Christmas.

I'm so proud of you George!!


Be Watchful

This was on a FB page that I was reading this morning and they are powerful, thought provoking words.  I know this person who I copied this from likes to write and she had many great phrases, thoughts, etc. on her page.  I like this one so much that am going to print it out and post it on my fridge for the entire family to see. 

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

The weather forecast calls for a beautiful weekend and I'm looking forward to finishing yard work, vacuuming out my car, and putting up Christmas lights if I can talk Prince Charming into it.  Why wait until it's freezing out to put up lights?  And here's another tidbit that you may not know about me.....I start listening to Christmas music in October; however, I haven't played too much this year.  Lots of family stuff happening:  Boscoe and George are both playing basketball and having a great time; Prince Charming has been very busy with work; we are trying to finish some home improvement/remodeling projects; our yard needs to have leaves raked (about 3 acres - ok, we mow most of them and burn the rest); and my dad's health is not good - that has resulted in almost daily communication with my mother and siblings. 

I hope this holiday season leads you to think about what you are thankful for.  When you spend time with family and friends, I pray there is lots of love and laughter and you leave with wonderful memories of your visit.  My dad says "don't sweat the small stuff", and I'm learning more and more not to do that although it's not often easy.  So, take some advice from my dad and don't sweat the small stuff, enjoy life, be thankful, forgive others, and share love.

Enough of my thoughts today.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


This was one of the hills that the amateurs had to go up.  Can you see all the ruts across the creek.  Some of the ruts were as deep as the tires on the bikes.  I felt sorry for those guys because as soon as they crossed the creek, their bikes would sink in the mud and then they would struggle to get the bikes free.  Then they changed the course and the pros didn't have to go up the hill.  Hmmmmm......I don't think that's fair.

This was a harvested bean field before the race. Then it turned into a big, muddy parking lot for the race.  Tractors pulled campers in and parked them so they wouldn't get stuck.

This is one of the big hills that everyone camps out at to watch the bikes.  People get so close to the bikes it's sometimes scary.  Prince Charming has seen spectators get hit, riders tumble down the hill, ATVs and bikes tumble down the hill - I don't think this picture truly shows how steep the hill was.  To watch actual videos of the race, go to YouTube and search for GNCC Ironman 2009. 

George and his bike after the race.  He can't wait until next year to do this race again.

Boscoe's bike after the race.
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