Monday, November 30, 2009

my dad would be shakin' his head...

i (we) did something really stupid the other day.

it actually took place over several days. i thought about whether or not to blog about it because it is, well, embarrassing.

a pregnant moment, if you will.

at least, that is what i am blaming it on. my husband cannot use that excuse.

it started at around 2 am on a friday night.



honey..did you hear that? didn't we just change that battery?


ok. fine, i will get it. grumble, grumble, stomp down the stairs, get the 9 volt battery, listen for the chirp again (like watching water come to a boil), get the chair, replace the battery....

ahhhhh silence.

2 hours later?




ok. now on to dismantle the thing. they are electrically wired in our house. and the darned thing kept chirping.

every 3-4 hours it would chirp 4-6 times in 30 second intervals.

i changed ALL the smoke detector batteries (5 of them) in the house over the course of the day.

saturday night...10 o'clock.





2 am, we totally disconnect the one where the sound is emanating from.

this is getting ridiculous. i even called the fire department (non-emergent line) to see if they could help me.

apparently, ours are just old and need replaced. ok, no biggie, right?


$80 later and five new smoke detectors from home depot. sheesh!

i installed them myself (rather proud of that).

surely we will have a good night's sleep.

9 pm.


now, i am not a swearing woman, but i was definitely saying a few choice words under my breath. i mean, really. we have to get up in the morning at 4:30. this is getting silly! we disconnect the culprit again. silence.

1 am.

chirp. chirp. chirp. chirp.

i am going to kill someone or something. this is outrageous.

next day, i am searching for the chirp. i have taken all of the newly installed smoke detectors down one by one to hopefully eliminate the one that is the cause. i am imagining large bills to an electrician to come fix our system. i am imagining fires raging through the house and destroying us because we won't have any warning. it is awful.

but, it the doorbell? nah...couldn't be! but, i feel it on the wall during the next cycle of chirping and it vibrates with each chirp.

really? ok. i don't like the doorbell anyway. the KISA can just disconnect it when he gets home.

he does.

chirp. AUGH!!!!!

the really stupid part?

we have a carbon monoxide detector that resides in the electrical outlet directly below the doorbell and the supposed defective smoke detector.

it was blocked by 4 large bags of clothing we were donating. i couldn't see the darned thing, and i forgot we had it.

changed the battery.

the LOB on the display was a dead giveaway.

silence. no chirping. peace.

and utter embarrassment.

lessons learned?

don't let your bags of clothing reside in your hallway for any extended period of time.

be able to laugh at yourself...and your husband...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken Rollups from scratch :)

my mom made this great recipe when i was growing up. i have no idea where it came from, so i cannot give credit where it is due, sorry! she doesn't make it anymore, and for the life of me i cannot understand why. it is just so yummy! she could have made it weekly and i would have been happy. on trips home from college i would request this and dad's meatloaf (the likes of which will never be posted because it is one of those family secrets that can never be divulged).

not only is it yummy, it is easy.

e. a. s. y.

and i figured out how to make it even cheaper than it was before :)

the cheaper version takes a little more effort, but if you have any eager kitchen helpers, it can be lots of fun as well!

Cheap Chicken Rollups

  • make a basic bread dough in your bread maker. we made the wheat roll dough recipe.

  • while it is becoming yummy dough, take 2 chicken breasts, throw them in a pan on the stovetop and cook til the juices run clear. let cool and cut into smaller than bite-sized pieces. you are going to be stuffing the rolls later on and they need to be small. if you have the patience small shredding works best.

  • mix the chicken pieces with 1-1 1/2 cups cheese. we use colby jack. cheddar works nicely, too.

  • if you have trouble getting your kids to eat veggies, you can process the veggie of your choice down to near liquid and throw it in as well.

  • if you don't mind getting dishes dirty, throw the chicken, cheese and veggies into a food processor. you will be able to stuff more into your rolls.

  • after the dough is done resting (per your breadmaker directions) divide the dough in half. we got 12 rolls out of half the dough and that fed all 5 of us happily with leftovers for daddy's lunch tomorrow. freeze the extra.

  • split the remainder in half again and roll each out into a 6 inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. cut into 6 wedges. place a generous amount of filling into the middle of the base and roll like a crescent roll from fat end to point. place in a 9x13 greased casserole. repeat til you have 12.

  • let raise about 15 minutes, pour on a can of cream of celery soup (or whatever cream soup you like) mixed with 1/2 can of water, put into a 350 degree oven and cook til tops are lightly browned- about 45 minutes. serve with veggie of your choosing and devour!

CHEATER version:

aka: the more expensive route! (you can knock off over 5$ by using the above method)

use 2- 8 count crescent roll tubes found in the refrigerated section
use 1 large can chicken breast

same amounts of cheese, soup, veggies.

some great substitutions could be chicken, swiss and spinach with cream of chicken soup; ham, cheese, broccoli with cream of broccoli soup; turkey, cheddar and carrots with cream of celery soup.

breakfast variations: scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, sausage, tomato, whatever!!

have fun with it! let me know if you try it :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

serving of humble pie, please

ok. so i didn't really want this to eat, but i got it anyway.

humble pie can taste pretty good, with the right side dish*.

i have had to eat my fair share over the years. i must say, it was harder to swallow before i became a christian.

it isn't easy now, but certainly more palatable as i look upon how God uses it to change me.

my children humble me. daily. even minute by minute at times. (have you ever walked into a public restroom with any child under the age of 5? do it sometime. you will walk out a humbled woman!)

ok, ok. that is probably more an embarrassed humble as opposed to the more edifying humbling that God does in our lives. my most recent lesson in humility has been the use of a reduced food cost program called Treasure Box. they offer a box of frozen groceries that would normally cost between $65-100 and offer it up once a month for $30. local churches (mostly churches, but i suppose other places do it as well) gather volunteers on a saturday morning at the end of the month to distribute to the folks who ordered it earlier in the month.

i have never participated in anything like this before. i was surprised at the flood of emotion that came over me as i stood in line to receive my box. i was surprised that my "thank you" to the volunteer was choked out. i didn't understand why there were tears in my eyes as i walked to the van with the young man carrying my box.

i still don't quite understand it.

i know that it helped us stay under a very tight budget. and it will help us again this month. and probably next month as well. we are, as are many people, trying to make every penny stretch as much as possible to alleviate any financial burden. i never thought of myself as someone who might need a discounted food program, but there we were.

and here we are.

God is good. God is sovereign. i know that our future is secure in Him. this doesn't mean we will be wealthy, or even healthy. it means that my eternity is secure in the One who sent His only Son to die on the cross for my sins.

i could be bitter about needing to use Treasure Box. i could be embarrassed. instead, i find myself grateful for the generosity of others that is helping our family to eat. this serving of humble pie is rather tasty.

*by the way. the side dish?

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

John 6.35 NIV