Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kevin and I Buy a Car!

Kevin and I bought a car together! A first for me, that's for sure. It's helping build his credit and it's making life easier for us. With Kevin going to school at Pike's Peak and working, and then AJ going to UCCS we were stretched trying to figure out how to accomodate both of their schedules with only one car. It wasn't going to work. And with the price of gas I saw nothing but $$ flying away.

We decided to get a little car that Kevin could use since he will be doing most of the driving. We looked for a used car and wound up purchasing a 2003 Ford Taurus. It's a great little car and will be wonderful for him. Things will run much smoother this fall when the two boys are so busy!

Of course, I'll still be without a car most of the time, but I guess that'll just leave me more time for writing!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Waldo Canyon Fire

A fire started right near Colorado Springs on Saturday, June 23rd. It has been a devestating experience for us to watch the destruction and see as this fire grows exponentially each day. I'm sharing some photos for friends and family.

We are doing well. We are far enough away that we are not terribly affected by this. Ash and smoke are making things difficult for AJ and his asthma. Most of the toll is emotional to see what has happened to our beautiful area. We lost Flying W Ranch, which was heartbreaking, along with hundreds of homes.

The firefighters have been simply amazing! And the community has really been pulling together to support those who've been evacuated and those who are fighting this disaster. Here are some photos:

 Helicopters, C130 Tankers and hundreds of men and women on the ground.
It may take awhile, but they will get control!

 Even the Air Force Academy has been affected.

 Our beautiful mountains .... so sad!

 This fire is like none the fire fighters have ever seen.
One day going north, then south, then east.
It's a beast!

 The fire jumped containment lines and two ridges in about 20 minutes.
It was so frightening to watch!

 An aerial shot of the Flying W Ranch
One of our favorite places. Hopefully they'll rebuild

346 homes and 2 lives lost.
Overall, I think we're pretty blessed.

This map shows the growth of the fire.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One of Stan's Favorites

Stan had to work Father's Day, so we had his special dinner tonight. One of his favorite desserts is the Mixed Berry Pavlova. If you don't know, a Pavlova (named after the famed ballerina) is a large baked meringue. It is covered with homemade whipped cream, then topped with a mixture of fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in a homemade raspberry sauce. It is to die for.

Since he requested it I made it for him. Actually, twice. The first one didn't turn out. The second one came out perfectly, but then the heat made it start to crack. As a result, I couldn't take it off the parchament on the cookie sheet; it was too fragile. But it looked pretty good, and tasted even better!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Father’s Day Poem
by Stan Mullis

To all the fathers near and far
You all know just who you are
You who gave and kept on giving
Working hard to earn a living

Putting food upon our table
Doing more when you were able
Willing to go that extra mile
Payment expected? Just a smile

All these things you do and more
Nobody’s even keeping score
What do we owe you for all you bring?
In one simple word -- Everything!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Graduation Pictures

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Rachael Sherwood took some graduation pictures of AJ. I got them today, and I just LOVE them! My son looks so handsome and sweet and sooooo grownup. Obviously, he is grownup, but sometimes I look at him and still see that little baby I had in what seems like just a few months ago. I'm so proud of him and his accomplishments. He earned an Associates of Science, Physics and graduated cum laude. He'll be transferring to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs this fall. Can't wait to see what he'll do next!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Never-Ending Quest

I dislike having to come home from church and make dinner. I am constantly on the lookout for meals that I can put together in the morning and cook in the crockpot or in the oven with the timer so that when I come home it takes just a little bit of work to finish up the meal. Now that it's summer and the temperatures are rising, the crock pot is a good way to fix a meal without heating up the kitchen.

I found this recipe online, I don't remember where, and we tried it today. It was easy to do, and I made a couple of adjustments and took a few steps to make Sunday prep smoother. First, I chopped all the veggies on Saturday and put them in a ziplock back. I used a large can of sliced mushrooms rather than fresh ones. Instead of chicken broth, I put in the measured amount of water and added a scoop of chicken base which you can purchase from Sam's Club or Costco. Rather than buy the chicken breasts and slice them up, I used chicken tenderloins (3-4 per person), putting them directly in the crockpot and tossing them with the flour before adding the remaining ingredients.

Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles (more traditional) or rice. We made rice in our rice cooker, again to keep the house from heating up, and it was off the charts amazing. A crisp green salad and you're set!

Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash

• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch strips
• 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
• 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
• 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
• 1 cup shredded carrot
• 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I used granulated garlic)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
• 16 oz sour cream

Combine flour and chicken in a medium bowl; toss well. Add chicken mixture, chopped onion, and the next 8 ingredients (through mushrooms) to an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Stir in sour cream.