Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I have a group of friends that get together often for celebrations and such. This past Thursday, we celebrated Tamalas birthday. We had a pot luck which is easy on the pocket book, and easy on the host which was me this time. Nothing fancy, just good friends, and good food. What could be better? I kept the decorating simple as well because we were leaving out of town the next day and didn't have much time. I used fall colors and instead of flower vases used some old shortening tins. It turned out lovely. We had a terrific time. Actually the party was still going strong when I left to pick up my daughter from school. I hollered over my shoulder as I left, " Don't forget to lock up!"When I got back everyone was gone and the house was tidied up. What a great bunch of friends I have!
From left, Cathy , my mom Kathleen, Joli, Yadira, Jodie, Birthday girl Tamala, her best buddy Vicki, and Little Joshua.

sweet friends!

Joshua, my friend Jodies little boy recently turned three. Isn't he a cutie patootie?


my dear friend Tamala the Birthday girl!

Can you see our sweet kitty Pansy hiding in the picture?

These are so delicious. Remove the meat from a rotisserie chicken and place in a mixing bowl, add 1 brick of room temp. cream cheese, 3/4 cup chopped green onions 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and 3/4 cup of your favorite salsa. Mix it all up, spread about 1 Tbs. evenly over a tortilla and roll it up. Continue until the mixture is gone.Cut all in half and serve.

chicken roll ups

This tea is yummy AND sugar free! Make one pitcher of Lipton cold brew and add 1/4 cup of Toranni sugar free raspberry syrup. Stiir and enjoy over ice. If you're feeling fancy, you can add a few raspberries in the glass.

easy raspberry iced tea

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I am getting ready for a womens retreat with my church this weekend, and boy am I looking forward to it! The speaker will be Maureen Schaeffer, from TX. I was able to hear her speak about 5 years ago. She is an awesome lady and I can't wait to be ministered to again through her messages. Needless to say, I will be away from my blog for the weekend. I promise to bring back some beautiful pictures. My photog buddies Isabel Hill of Hill Top photography, and Melina of Rustys Photography and I will be taking pictures of the beautiful surroundings on Saturday during the break. We will be staying at Calvary Chapel Conference Center in Murietta Hot Springs, a theology school. It is gorgeous! The food is amazing, with Chef Lance Roll spoiling us with his gourmet cuisine. Have a great weekend!Till the next post! Jodi

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Dana is my dearest friend. We met in fourth grade in Mrs. Fishers class at Franklin Elementary school in Redlands. We had many things in common including fathers in military, two brothers, our faith, our school of course, and a wicked sense of humor.We would often do mischievious little pranks including locking all the doors in the bathroom with a penny, and passing notes in class. We thought it was very naughty to secretly chew gum during school and would go to great lengths to avoid being caught by Old Eagle Eyes (Mrs. Hargrave the science teacher). As we continued in our education, our friendship became stronger and came to include talks about boys (our favorite topic). We progressed to Junior high. In 8th grade Dana moved out of state. I was devistated. Other friendships came and went, but no one could compare to Dana. Years passed and I thought of her often. When my brother was about to graduate from Army medical training, my Mom and I decided to fly out and watch him get his certificate. I remembered that Dana had moved nearby that military base so I tried looking her up. My dad eventualy was able to find her parents number online, and I got ahold of her and asked if we could come by to say hi while we were out there. Being gracious and generous, she insisted that we stay at her house while we were there. When I saw her for the first time in about 9 years, she gave me the biggest bear hug. And when we began to catch up, it was as if NO time had passed. We picked up exactly where our friendship had left off. Since then, about 9 years have passed. We have been there for each other through the storms of life, and the good weather. When I need advice, encouragement, or a good kick in the rear, I can pick up the phone and call Dana, and she will give me what I need. We try to see each other at least once a year and when we do we have such a great time! Yard sales and thrift stores, shopping and eating. She even became my childrens God mother. I have such peace knowing that if anything ever happened to Jeff and myself, that Dana would raise my children in a God centered, wholesome loving home. I would not want it any other way. I trust her completly. God has truly blessed me with Dana and our friendship. She is my sister of the heart. I hope you have a friend as dear as mine. Life is so much sweeter ! I'd love to hear about your "Bestest Friend". Leave me a comment and tell me about the Dana in your life. Till next time, Jodi

Monday, September 14, 2009

On the way to the beach we drove through the city of Brea, and happened upon a Cheesecake Factory. I don't know why, but we have never been to one. I thought it would be fun to have dessert for dinner and dinner for dessert, so in we went....After eating the wonderfully creamy, flavorful, (I could go on but I won't, JUST GO!!!)delicacies they serve, I have come to the conclusion that there WILL be cheesecake in heaven. I just know it!

LAAAAAA!!! Red Velvet, Raspberry white chocolate truffle, Oreo mud pie, Peanut butter cup, and Key lime....O! MY! GOSH! And every bit as good as they look! (I know because I felt it my duty to try a bite of each one...for blog purposes you know?)

If I was alone I would have licked the plate...but I wasn't so I kept my dignity and politely pushed the plate away from me(But inside I was licking it!).

After church Sunday, we decided to take a drive to the ocean. It's around two hours away, but well worth it! The weather was perfect, a little overcast and about 75 degrees. We enjoyed listening to the crashing waves while eating our picnic. A very relaxing afternoon.

This picture of my three monkeys was taken last year.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oh how I love the ocean! This is our favorite beach in California. It ALWAYS looks like this. We enjoy going in the late afternoon and bringing a simple picnic of a sub, chips and drinks. Then we go down to the water and get wet. What is your favorite Daycation? Ocean, mountains, theme park or something else?I'd love to hear about it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

simple and healthy chicken salad
This is great for a hot day and takes about five minutes.
meat from 1 rotiseire chicken
shredded lettuce
1/4 cup freshly shredded parmasean cheese
1/2 cup black beans
1 cup pearl barley cooked
Mix all ingredients except fot the cheese, and top salad with the cheese. Serve with a crusty loaf of french bread and ranch dressing on the side. You can substitute any protein for the chicken, my friend Jodi suggested shrimp, and any other salad ingredients you feel your family would enjoy(or not notice).

We have a dog,(OK OK we have MANY dogs!) named Tornado. We call her Nado for short. She is the best dog in the world. Now don't bother arguing with me about this because she really IS the best dog in the world. I am sorry to tell you that your dog, as sweet as it may be, just dosen't measure up to good ol'Nado. We had just moved back to California from Florida and were in San Bernardino looking for a crib for baby number 3. As we approached a store, I saw a dog laying in the gutter. I went up to see if it was OK thinking it may have been hit by a car. I asked her if she was allright in my nicest doggy voice (You know you have one too!) and she got up and started licking my hand. After that, she follwed me into the store, After being kicked out, she waited patiently for me to come out. Of course I took her home.She has been with us since that day way back in 1998. This dog is loyal, kind, gentle and loving. She is not happy unless you are touching her. She has protected us when a pit bull charged us on the way to school, racing in front of us to get between it and us, and charged the pit bull scaring it away. I mistakenly thought she was fixed. She gave birth prematurely on the 4th of July. I think the fireworks scared her so bad, her labor came prematurely. When we got home, she jumped onto me and gave me her lifeless puppy. I did what I could but it was already gone. She kept picking it up and giving it back to me as if she wanted me to make it all better. I could not. She has been a part of this family for over 10 years now, and she is slowing down. Her eyes have cataracs, and she can barely see, but she manages to get around just fine. Recently she has started barking at nothing. This usually starts around 1 in the morning and continues until about 3. I took her to the Dr who says she is in excellent health for her age. The reason for the barking? Senile Dementia. My dog is crazy. So now we have to give her a tranquilizer so she will sleep through the night. I know this may sound odd to some people who are not animal lovers, but love her we do. So every month we order our pet meds through the mail (It's much cheaper this way) and everynight we drug our dog to keep her from barking at Pookas. What extreems have you gone to for your dear animals? I would love to hear from you. It would make me feel as though I am not as crazy as I sometimes feel. . I look forward to hearing your animal story! Till the next post! Jodi
As we all remember those who died 9-11-01, lets also remember those who are still here. Those who remain, and do what we can to make their lives better. This is the only satisfaction in life. To serve others. What else brings us lasting joy? Does a new car, or house? How about those cute shoes? Could another yard of that beautiful fabric? No. The happiness we get from having those things always wears off. I challenge you today to do something for someone else that will bless them and NOT benefit you. Bake some cookies and give them to a neighbor, read a story to your child, look the checker at the grocery store in the eyes and smile at them, cook your husbands favorite dinner. What you do to bless others, will in turn bless you. Let me know what you did today. I look forward to hearing from you!

What are some of your families favorite meals? I have found that the simpler and heartier the meal, the more my family likes it. Heres a favorite that I made last night:
Pizza Roll ups
1 package of pizza dough (enough for 1 pizza, check out the local pizzaria)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozarella cheese
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup pepperoni chopped (my familiy swears they can tell when I use turkey pepperoni)
1/2 teaspoon oreagano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
roll out dough, mix all other ingredients together and place on the dough evenly. Roll it up. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with non stick spray, cut slits into the roll, spray with non stick and sprinkle with freshly grated parmasean cheese. Bake at 350 till golden.
Serve with pizza sauce for dipping and a fresh salad. Yummy! I always double this, so the kids can take the leftovers to school for lunch.
Till the next post, Jodi

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I am in love...with this fabric. I want to marry it.Yes I know, it's unreasonable, silly and some would even say insane. But I am. Head over heals as a matter of fact. I am wondering what to do with it, curtains, throw pillows, a tote, recover a cushion...And of course the four yards I purchased earlier seem to be not nearly enough now. I wonder how much the ENTIRE bolt would cost?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Now if you know me, you know I am not a princess. As a matter of fact,
I'm more Homemaker than Home wrecker
more Hillbilly than Rockabilly
more Norman Rockwell than Rockafeller and
more 90's than 09.
But the other day I decided to get a pedicure. The place where I go is a Jewelry/ nail salon, and I have to say they give AWESOME pedicures. Not only do they do the regular stuff, but when they are done they do a hot stone massage. It feels so good I can barely talk when they are done. Now imagine my suprise when the lady who was working on me accidentally cut me...I of course said,"Uh, I'm bleeding..." to which she replied, "Don't worry, I clean." And went about her buisness. So I tired to pretend I wasn't the big baby that I actually am. What is wrong with me, that I am so concerned with hurting someones feelings that just CUT me? Good grief! Anyway, when she was done I asked her for the "Bloody-stump"discount, but I think it was lost in translation, because she didn't knock anything off the price. Ah well, my foot is healing nicely now and I must say that my Piggys are beautiful! Will I go back? Of course I will! I wouldn't want to hurt her fellings now, would I?

I don't know if you loved watching The Food Networks "Next Food Networks Star" as much as I did, (go Melissa!) but if you haven't watched the $10. Dinners show, you oughtta! Here is a recipe adapted from Melissa De Arabia that I tried tonight:
Braised pork
Enough pork for your family
1 entire celery bunch chopped
2 medium carrots cut up
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
2-3Tbs flour
After seasoning, brown pork on all sides in a little olive oil and remove from pan. Saute vegetables (adding garlic later) then add flour, red wine and beef broth. Put meat back into pan, and bake in a covered dish for 3 hours. Oh so yummy! Almost my entire family loved this. With the exception of course of my ultra picky eater. BUT she did eat it all, so maybe she DID like it, but just wouldn't admit to it...I wouldn't put it past her. I have a theory that my children are conspiring to drive me insane. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We are fortunate to have a farmers market near our house. Every Thursday at the college, Local farmers and crafters bring their wares to sell from 8am to 12:30. It is a feast for the senses. The scent of BBQ mingles with sunflowers and sweet peas. Vegetable stands offer samples, and the locals walk along enjoying it all. The last time we went there was even a stand that sold deep fried pickles, Twinkies and Snickers bars! We tried the Twinkie. I expected that it would be coated in a tempura batter but it was not. At least we can say we have tried one. The strawberries were insanely delcious, and the apples were perfectly tart and sweet. I tried a new one called Jazz. It would be great for an apple crisp. The kids and I all enjoyed the trip, and I will be sure to come back when they are in school. Speaking of school, The youngest starts on Tuesday, the middle one started 8th grade two weeks ago and my oldest started college! Where does the time go? I am looking forward to the routine of school and Bible study that starts in October. I guess I'm too undiciplined to get much done without a set schedule to abide by. How about you, do you like the carefree days of summer, or the strict schedule of school days? I'd love to hear from you. I will be posting some tasty fall recipes soon....