Sunday, March 27, 2011

Updated Pics From Uganda

After I returned from my trip to Uganda, I made a video with my favorite pictures from our "journey". Well, much progress has been made at the orphanage that Project Hope Worldwide is building since December, so I just updated my video with a few of the latest pics sent to us from Calo Me Lare. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sew Much Fun!

I recently got together with some of my creative friends for another Craft Night. We made these super cute hobo bags! Unfortunately, I am not a sewer, so my only contribution was cutting and ironing the fabric. I'm thinkin' I could whip one out pretty quick with a hot glue gun but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't hold up as well as sewing it ;-)

Here's pics from our fun night...

My finished bag...

And here's a few recipes from the snacks we brought...

Cheese Ball
Submitted by Nicole

1 block cream cheese
1/2 pkg grated mild cheddar cheese
1-2 tbsp ranch dressing
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 small can black olives, drained and chopped

Combine all ingredients. Set 1/2 the pecans aside. You really have to use your hands to get this mixed well. When well combined, form into ball. Roll in remaining pecans. Serve with crackers or raw veggies.
If it's a larger crowd, this doubles easily. Keeps well in fridge up to a week, so it's great for making ahead. Enjoy!

Vegetable Dip
Submitted by FAB Jess

1 cup mayo
16 oz sour cream
1 package of knorr vegetable soup mix
10 oz frozen spinach
Small can sliced water chestnuts

Combine mayo, sc and soup mix. Add spinach and diced water chestnuts.
Serve w/Triscuits or potato chips

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies
Submitted by me ;-)
(This is my favorite recipe ever for chocolate chip cookies. We make them ALL the time!)

1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 C. flour
1/2 C. quick cooking or regular oats
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
6 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat sugars, butter, peanut butter, vanilla and egg until creamy and well blended.
Mix in dry ingredients, then add chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2" apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Warning: This cookie dough is sinfully yummy!!! ;-)

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan Tsunami - March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011 marks a horrible day in Japan's history. While we are all still grieving over this horrific tragedy, it does seem to bring out the good in many people. People from all over the globe are donating their time and monies in recovery and clean up efforts in Japan. And most of all, it is bringing people closer to God in prayer and people are searching out ways they can help those in need. While I do not take this day lightly, I do think many lessons can come from it. Many prayers are going out to the victims of the Japan Tsunami and Earthquake.


Earthquakes & Tsunamis (Mr. Donn)

Big Wheels, Big Dreams

Check out this great video of 2 of my girlz closest buds. Looove it! ;-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Field Trip to the Zoo

March 11, 2011

MNO: Crockpot Cookin'

The moms in our homeschool co-op got together recently for a Mom's Night Out. We had a Crock Pot theme and everyone brought something that they liked to make in their crock pot along with their recipes. We put everyone's recipes together in a book to take home. All the food was soooo yummy!

Here's a few of the recipes from our fun night...

Crock Pot Chili
Submitted by Kati

3 cans of kidney beans
3 cans of chili beans
2 large cans of tomato paste
2 lbs of hamburger or ground turkey
1/2 onion/diced (optional) could substitute with powder
Chili powder to taste (I use about 3 TSP)
Pepper to taste
2 cups of diced tomatoes

Brown hamburger meat, drain. Dump all ingredients into crockpot, cook on low all day. No need to drain beans or add water to recipe; crockpot will create moisture.

Recipe Tips:
I recommend fresh garden tomatoes, simply because if you have a garden, you have a lot of tomatoes ; ) You can dice and freeze your garden tomatoes into 1 cup measurements and store in ziplock bags. No need to defrost, just dump into the crockpot frozen.

If your chili is too runny you can always mix in another can of tomato paste right before serving or mix a rue (small amount of flour and water mixed) to thicken it up.

Meat is optional, you could have beans only. If using meat, I rinse the hamburger or ground turkey with water in a strainer before adding.

I try to use organic Chili powder. Available at most bulk herb stores, and cheaper too!

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with cheese and crackers; or tortilla chips and sour cream.

Garlic Chicken Farfalle
Submitted by Jennifer


16 oz. Farfalle pasta
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed OR garlic salt (I do a spoonful of crushed garlic)
1/2 Tbsp. pepper*
1/2 c. butter
1 lb. bacon, crumpled**
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (12 oz) Lawry’s mesquite marinade with lime juice

*Seems like a lot of pepper, but it has a wonderful flavor when everything mixes together. If you’re apprehensive, do less pepper. You can always add more.

**We like to cook our bacon in the oven (400 degrees, convection). Way less messy. And it’s crispy every time. Time varies, so you just have to watch it. I think it’s usually around 30 minutes. Allow to cool and then crumple (I totally wear disposable gloves for this part – surprise, surprise).


Crock pot chicken and bottle of marinade on low for 6 hours. Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred (I pull it apart). Set this aside. About a half-hour before serving, boil the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through. Sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.

I changed the recipe from 1 tbsp of pepper to 1/2 tbsp so you can change it back if you like a lot of pepper!

Hot Parmesan-Artichoke Dip
Submitted by Dana


1 ½ cups mayonnaise
2 (12 oz.) jars marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 (4.5 oz.) cans chopped green chilies, drained
1 (7 oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
2 cups freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced
Toasted baguette slices or assorted crackers

* Stir together first 6 ingredients. Spoon into a 3-quart slow cooker
* Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours. Stir well before serving. Serve with baguette slices or assorted crackers. Makes 6 cups.

Peach Dump Dessert
Submitted by Christy
(Recommended by my Fab friend, Jessica)


2 cups frozen peaches, sliced (undrained)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 -9 ounce Jiffy white cake mix (or 1/2 package of a 2-layer size cake mix)
4 tablespoons melted butter


* Lightly grease the slow cooker/Crock Pot; place peaches in the bottom.
* Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss.
* Drizzle with vanilla and sprinkle brown sugar over all.
* Sprinkle with cinnamon then cake mix.
* Drizzle melted butter evenly over cake mix.
* Cover and cook on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Submitted by Angela


• 2 pounds shredded, cooked Chicken
• 2 (15 ounce) cans Rotel
• 1 (20 ounce) can Enchilada Sauce
• 1 medium Onion, chopped
• 1 (4 ounce) can Chopped Green Chile Peppers
• 3 cloves Garlic, minced
• 4 cups Chicken Broth
• 2 teaspoon Cumin
• 2 teaspoon Chili Powder
• 2 teaspoon Salt
• 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
• 1 (15 ounce) can Corn
• 1 (15 ounce) can Black Beans
• 2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
• 1/2 cup shredded Cheese


Place all ingredients into a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Serving Options:

Top your bowl of soup with an extra sprinkle of shredded cheese, a small scoop of sour cream, and/or crumbled tortilla chips.

Smokin' Chili
Submitted by Leah


1 lb lean chuck
2cans black bean
2 cans corn (drained)
1 can Rotel (tomato & green chili)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1tbl spn chili powder
1 tbl spn garlic powder
1 tbl spn garlic salt
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn cumin
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt to taste


Place Chuck in Crock Pot on high for 4 hrs, then add in the rest of the ingredients & one 14 oz can of water. Cook on low for remaining hour. Serve with fresh from the oven cornbread ;) Enjoy!

Southwestern White Chili
(Voted "Best Recipe")
Submitted by Shelley


1/4 cup chopped onion
3 heaping teaspoons fresh garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3  15 1/2-ounce cans Great Northern beans,
   drained & rinsed
1  7-ounce can of chopped green chilies
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese


1 - Place onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, beans, chilies, broth, and cooked chicken in a slow cooker. Stir to combine.

2 - Cover and cook on low heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

3 - Stir in the cheese until melted or leave the cheese to top each individual bowl of chili. Ladle the chili into 8 bowls.

Sunday Chicken
Submitted by Cheri


4 to 6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans (10.5 ounces) cream of chicken soup, condensed
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup sour cream*


Place frozen chicken breasts in greased 3.5 to 5 quart slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients (except sour cream) and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high hear 4 hours or on low hear 6-8 hours. One hour before serving, stir in sour cream. Makes 4-6 servings. Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

*For a richer taste, substitute 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese.

(Photos by Jennifer W.)

And here's a few websites that have great Crock Pot recipes online...

Lunch With My Girlz

The girlz and I recently went to the Belvidere Mansion in Claremore for lunch. Eating at Tea Houses are one of our favorite things to do - we especially love to do lunch then go antiquing downtown.

Here's a few pics from our fun day...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Field Trip to the Tulsa International Airport

Our homeschool Co-Op took a field trip to the Tulsa International Airport today. We had so much fun seeing everything that goes on "behind the scenes"! We got to see the airport's fire station, the location of the weather station and where they make school busses, where our checked luggage goes, how they do security checks, and we got to go into an airplane simulator. This was by far one of our favorite field trips. So much fun - thank you, Joey, for planning it for us!

Here's pics and videos from our fun day...