Sunday, May 31, 2009

One other thing...

The Miley Cyrus song that plays...

Well, I was asked why I have Miley on my blog and the answer is this. It's not that I particularly care for her. It's the song itself. I couldn't stand it when I first heard it. Then I listened to the lyrics the next time I heard it. I'm not sure that it fits her to sing it, I think it should be an slightly older singer singing it but the lyrics are what I love. It really hit home and I have made it my theme song.

I fight that stupid voice inside my head telling me that I can't make it all the time and I just keep my head high and keep trudging on. My life most days feels like an uphill battle but I keep climbing and that's why this song is on here.

Hope that clarifies everything for the person that asked.


Two weeks. Two weeks? When did that two weeks go into fast forward? I went through my second set of pre-semester jitters Friday. I went to campus for a little bit and came home a laid on the couch sick. I took some Excedrin and in a few hours I was better. Steve reminded me that I done this before Spring sememster also.

I look around and I have two, yes two room left to clean. Colton is on his own at this point but Paden and the living room definitely have got to have help. Colton sprung two laundry baskets of laundry from his room on me. Where did all that come from? I have done laundry almost daily for the last two weeks. Not over the top, throw the baby in the washing machine to stomp it down so you can get more in, laundry. Just regular loads. You know, daily towels from showers for one adult, one pre-teen, and one little person. And the little person tries to never wear anything but underwear so he usually don't dirty too much. He does like to change underwear almost everytime he goes but he's getting better. I let him do it. At least he has clean undies.

My kitchen is pretty sparkly and even after cooking a few meals I have kept it clean. I'm amazed!

I've decided to read two chapters in each of my two classes that I am taking this summer. I think that would be reasonable. I've never had summer courses so I don't know how many chapters we will actually cover during a class period but I'm sure I'm going to learn tomorrow.

Colton is at YHEC practice. He was going to practice two disciplines today. When I talked to Steve he was working on his compass and orienteering. He's pretty handy at it and if I was lost in the woods, I'd trust him to get us home with his compass.

We have approximately two weeks until his State YHEC contest. We practice two times a week with the group.

I have been farming today on FarmTown on Facebook. I got to upgrade my farm. This is my second upgrade in the last two days. I am hoping to upgrade again in two more days.

I have gotten back into contact with so many high school friends since joining Facebook but in the last two weeks I have really gotten to find a whole bunch and my friends list has more than doubled.

Well, I better go and clean my two rooms, so I can read my two chapters in each of my two books before my two wayward fellows return home.

Everybody check in tomorrow and see what I've cooked up for Blue Plate Monday with Kelly at (un)Deniably Domestic. I won't be creative with pictures because I am minus a camera battery. Mine went kaput. It's on my list of things I need to pick up at the store for Thursday.

See ya tomorrow!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

RITZ Broccoli Casserole recipe at

RITZ Broccoli Casserole recipe at

Shared via AddThis

Just Rambling...

I have a lot of things I can talk about but none that is really important. I have been so busy this last two weeks but I feel as if I have accomplished nothing.

I started cleaning last week and so far I've only made it through two rooms. My kitchen is looking mighty Spic n Span. (pun) My bathroom is clean and tidy and so many things that needed tossed in medicine cabinets and makeup drawers are now gone. I found a new cleaning solution by Mr. Clean that I absolutely love and as soon as I get my camera battery tomorrow I will put a picture on here.

Paden's mess has been moved into the hallway and into the living room. Well, I should say most of it. I really thought I would get his room finished and I have got to by Sunday night. Somewhere between shooting practice on Saturday and shooting practice on Sunday I have to get that done.

Bandit is making himself right at home and has fit in with Shadow, Hank & Frank quite nicely. I take that back. He has fit in well with everyone but Hank. Hank, he's kind of an outlaw. He really doesn't like anybody. Yes, I have four dogs during the day. Mom or Dad will bring the Bassetts over and put them in my yard during the day because the lober heads are like any other Bassett and have a mind of their own and don't listen, so they get to spend the day in my yard cause it's bigger than their pen.

My desk needs a thorough cleaning. I have piles here. Piles there. I have acquired things that I'm really not sure where they came from. I'm keeping all my notebooks from my first semester. Two of the classes I take this fall build on two of the classes I took this spring and I figure I might refer back to these notes.

I have discovered Facebook. I have had such a joyous time hooking back up with my high school classmates. Most of us still live around here but we never run into each other. I have became a FarmTown addict on Facebook, too. My brain is going to turn to mush if I play it much more.

Steve is out of town until sometime Sunday, most likely late Sunday evening.

Now, the news is talking about hugging being a problem in schools. What is the deal? Why can people not hug? This is stupid. Do we not, as a nation, have other things to focus our attentions on? Is hugging so wrong? Why don't the schools focus their attention on providing an above average education to the students and not worry about who's hugging who in the hallway? Is the issue at hand, someones going to feel they are not getting the appropriate amount of hugs?

Tomorrow, I have seven stops to make in Springfield. I'm going to work on whittling those all down. I have five I must make. The bike shop and going by Cox may have to wait. That's all on the south side of Springfield and otherwise I just need center city or eastern Springfield.

I also need to read at least a couple chapters in each of my classes so that I will be prepared for Monday. I may do that later tonight. I watched Marley and Me last night. It wasn't as good as the book, but what movie is? I started crying about 30 minutes before the dog ever died because I knew what was coming. I went to bed all red, puffy eyed, and sniffling. I woke up with a stopped up nose because of it but it went away soon after waking up.

I need to help find six more people to make up a Hunter's Ed class for this weekend. Anybody that's interested let me know. Remember your child must be 11 years old. It will be in Fair Grove if we can find enough people.

Now, that wraps up my hectic life. How is everybody in blog land?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Blue Plate Monday-Shepherd's Pie

Good Memorial Day Monday!!!
I was happy to see Kelly over at (un)DeniablyDomestic posted her Blue Plate Monday special last night. Come on and join us as we dig in the recipe boxes and find some scrumptiouly good meals to serve to your loved ones that we serve to ours.
Here's how my day went:
I went to Bass Pro today and fought all the tourists to find Colton some stuff he needed for YHEC and a new pair of hiking boots because his foot is growing so fast.

We stopped in Fair Grove on the way home and Steve got a new dog. He's a Blue Heeler named Bandit. He was a pup out of one of our friends dogs' and they had not been able to give him away so Steve decided he needed him. He seems to be pretty laid back and has slept all afternoon since he had a bath in my bedroom floor by Steve's side of the bed. I'll post pictures later but if anybody would like a little female they have one left.

So, anyway after spending way over the alotted amount at Bass Pro, Steve has to take leftovers for a couple days until payday. So, I was going to make Alabama French Toast for dinner but that changed. Instead, I made a Shepherd's Pie.

Colton, really enjoyed this and it should be relatively easy to pack and reheat for lunch tomorrow for Steve. I like making dishes like this because everything is almost all in one bowl. You just have to serve with a salad and dessert and you're finished.

I have made Shepherd's Pies before and basically I just made this one up as I went. So here it goes.

Gina's Shepherds Pie

2#'s Ground Beef
1 onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 can each
Green Beans
1 box Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes

1) You brown the hamburger and onions. And you fix the potatoes, at the same time in another pan.

2) Then, I greased a 9 x 13, casserole dish. I put the ground beef and onion mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish.

3) Then, I layered the canned vegetables.

3) I placed, the mashed potatoes on top and placed it in the oven at 350 degrees.
4) I cooked this until it was bubbly and the potatoes were starting to brown. If you want browner peaks you can broil for the last couple of minutes but I have a gas oven and I hate to use the broiler.

5) Yell, Dinner's Ready!!! Watch the troops head for the kitchen.

Friday, May 22, 2009


This morning I was going to get started cleaning Paden's bedroom, since I don't have either child here. Instead, I sat down at my desk and began following blogs. I started out with a friends daughter's blog. She is so excited that FINALLY they have a house. It's a long, complicated story and one that I am so glad has started it's final chapter. Soon, this group of lovely, hard working, God fearing women will be in their home after such a long drawn out, up hill battle. From there, I followed a link to another blog. Maybe some of you don't know this but I love to embroider quilt blocks. I also like cross stitch. Time for that has been short and almost non existent since begining my hectic life in January. But, I still love it and will pick it up when I get time. It's a medicine for me. So, I found this awesome quilting blog, then another, then another. The thing that I found so funny is that each blog that I clicked, I discovered they were nurses or healthcare workers. Deja vu'. Then, I also discovered that many were from Texas. My dream state. I always wanted to go to Texas and live. I will someday, too. My two best friends live in Texas.

So, I followed the blogs, and I ended up in Texas. It's amazing the people that you can meet here. It's even more amazing the talent that these people have. I've checked my blog daily to see what new, exciting things everybody was doing. I haven't took the time to post but I do stop by.

This morning, I woke up in a mood. Not a real good mood, mind you. I made some decisions this morning. I will blog more, I will comment more, I will make time for the little things more, I will keep my house clean. Okay, so maybe the last one might not happen. I keep thinking, in two years, I can hire a maid. (lol) Probably not, but in two years hopefully (everybody cross their finger) I will be living in something that has a foundation under it and is a lot larger and maybe, just maybe it will be in the great state of Texas.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Anxiously waiting

It's really windy out this morning. The sun's beginning to peak it's sleepy head over the eastern horizon. The boys' Bassett Hounds are barking, the birds are chirping and the cars on 65 Highway are zooming South starting the morning commute.

Me? Well, I'm sitting here typing. My stomach is sort of tied in knots. Today's my first two finals. I have never had a final before in my life. I'm kind of scared and really anxious. I'm waiting patiently to hear from the Junior High English teacher from Buffalo to see if she liked my English final. I already have it printed out and loaded in my notebook. My desk is askew with textbooks. Textbooks that won't be making the journey with me today. That seems odd. I'm not packing my backpack today either, which will seem even more odd. All that is making the trip today is me, my calculator and a couple of pencils and a pen. Oh yeah, and my English Final. Ms. A might give me a look if I was to forget it.

See ya in the funny papers!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Journey...

I passed Human anatomy yesterday!!! (With an "A"!) I now only have two finals that I have to study for because the English final is laying on my desk waiting for it's final stamp of approval before being handed in tomorrow. I have an "A" in Psychology and I plan on it staying that way. That's the only one that I have to study EXTREMELY hard for. Algebra I have studied most of the weekend for and I feel pretty comfortable with it, I will probably review a little bit this afternoon though because my final in it is tomorrow. I also have an "A" in it.

So, I have "A's" across the board. These little houselike letters were not easy to come by. Like building a house, these little fellows are a lot of work, sweat and a few tears. And now that this first semester is almost complete, it's like I'm standing back and looking at the foundation that has just been completed.

I was never a straight "A" student in school but I never applied myself like I do now. I have three finals left and the semester is done. In a way, it's kind of bittersweet. I'm not that scared, woman walking into the unknown now. I'm more confident. I know that I can acheive straight A's and I also know that even if I butcher one test along the way it isn't the end of the world. I also know that you study everything, not just what you went over in class.

This summer semester is going to be some framework. I have a chemistry class and a nutrition class. Yes, I know I'm crazy for putting a chemistry class on my summer schedule. I know that I need to get from point A to point B, as quick as possible, but I also know that if you cut corners your house will fall down.

I have also made the decision to stay at OTC for my ASN in Nursing. I went to St. John's and met with them and even though I would like to go over there, I don't particularly care for the late night classes. Something about starting class at 7am for clinicals and ending at 10:30pm in a lecture setting gives me chills. I would never make it home!! I'd have to nap in the parking lot!

I had mapped a pathway when I started OTC, now I'm moving the brush and finding there's a road hidden where I thought there was only a path. It's two years to an ASN, it doesn't matter which way I go. I'm going the path I started down to begin with. Then, I'll cross the BSN bridge when I get there. (There's a pun there, by the way.)

I've climbed my first hill, I got started. Now, I'm sure there will be some more peaks and valleys along the way but the boys got me new boots for Mother's Day and I've got lots of tread and traction. Bring it on life. Here I come!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Welcome Baby Aubree

Introducing Miracle Baby #2... Aubree Marie Carter

Ms. Aubree arrived today @ 2:44 pm. She was a whopping 6 lbs and 11 ounces and was 18 1/2" long.

You may wonder why I called her Miracle Baby. Well, she was born to two absolutely adoring parents that were told they would never have children. Her mother had internal "plumbing" issues and her very, proud Daddy was injured by schrapnel in an explosion while in Iraq. I'm sure big brother Shawn Andrew is glad she's here, too.

This is Steve's great neice, by the way. But since I don't have any sweet, little girls to lavish in Barbie's and baby dolls, I have already informed Mom and Daddy to watch out!!!

Just venting...

Sometimes you encounter people in your life that are just plain irritating. I know that I should just learn to let it go and turn the other cheek but these people just worm theirselves under your skin.

People that drive in the left lane, for instance. The left lane is the "fast" lane or the passing lane. If you are going to go 55 mph on 65 mph highway, DO NOT drive in the left lane.

People that have always been through the same thing that you are going through but it's always 10 times worse. That just blows my mind. These people have evidently had an extremely tiring life.

People that like to throw stones but when the stone is thrown back, they are the victim.

People that have an opinion about everything, even when it's not wanted.

People that have to copy everything you do. I can't stand people that do not have an original thought. (That is one reason I will not live inside the city limits of a small town again.)

People that have to have something wrong with them. You know, whatever happened to just having a headache? Or a stomach ache? Or just being tired? Why do people now have to believe that their is an underlying health issue and remain adamant about it if medical tests prove otherwise?

Why is it that when people suffer a devastating loss due to storms, like an entire house or a school, others have to demean this by loosing a tree in their front yard or a plant from their garden? I'm sure that anyone of those people would be glad to have their home back and give the plant instead.

People who don't study but expect an A. That's annoying. It kills me to walk out of class and hear people going on about how they flunked a test but yet they never cracked the book or paid attention or showed up in class. If you don't work for it, it's not going to be handed to you. HELLO?

I'm sure I could go on forever and rant and rave but I won't. I feel better now. Thanks, for letting me vent.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blue Plate Monday - Mountain Food

It's Blue Plate Monday

Over at (un)Deniably Domestic, Ms. Kelly is cooking up something good I'm sure. She has a few of us dedicated "Blue Platers" that love to share recipes and we would love it if you would come join in. So follow her plate and come on over. She gave away a beautiful handmade scrap basket apron last week in her Blue Plate Drawing. So let's see what she has special cooked up to giveaway now. Though just joining in this weekly fellowship of recipe exchanging is worth it to me.

My grandma raised six kids and me. We lived on a farm 6 miles east of Buffalo. Grandma still lives at the farm along with one of my uncles. My mom goes out daily to take care of her.

Saturday, I made Kelly's Biscuit Doughnuts for the boys. Colton, Paden and Steve have decided that it is a must keep recipe. So Sunday when Colton went to Grandma's with my mom he had to tell them all about my doughnuts that I made.

When I got out there later, we got to talking about recipes and things that were easy to make. See, I remember growing up Grandma always had a sit down dinner every night. We always had meat of some sort, vegetables, bread and some sort of desert, too. In the summer, we had stuff from the garden and lots of wilted lettuce.

The recipe that I'm sharing today is one of Grandma's. Now understand, it's like everything else of hers. She just whipped it up. It's not really measured and needless to say. That's how I fixed it, too.

My uncles named this recipe, "Mountain Food". Even though this is Grandma's recipe Grandpa would make it when they went hunting out in Colorado in a big Dutch oven over open fire. It's really easy and the boys loved it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Storms hit Southwest Missouri - again

Yesterday morning started warm, too warm. I turned on the telly switching back and forth between 3 and 10. A wall of red was north of me and a wall of red was entering Missouri from Kansas to the south. I knew if I left, right then, I could get to campus before the storm hit. Once on the road, I made a brief pit stop at McD's for my mocha and a bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle. The traffic was a pain leaving Buffalo. Everybody was sight seeing the clouds that were rolling in from the west. Every five minutes, I said, "Please, just let me get to campus. Just hold out til I get on the lot. And please take care of my boys." I hit a few LARGE drops of rain between Fair Grove and Diamond K. It sounded almost like hail hitting the windows. The drops were brief. Almost, as if, taunting me. Once again, I would repeat my previous chant. At Fair Grove, I hauled butt to Springfield. I know that on a good day, I can make it from Fair Grove to Springfield between 10 and 15 minutes. I made sure, even with the increasing wind speed, that it was a good day. I was in the left hand running my usual speed. I slipped past a lot of traffic and once in Springfield, slid into the right lane and up the ramp at Division. I got through town fairly quickly and to the OTC campus. I started to park in my usual spot under a tree on the south side of the lot. I changed my mind as I looked at the tree which had been split earlier, most likely by the ice storm. The sky was the most eery green. Somebody on the radio compared it to pea soup and I agreed with them. I remember reading a few days earlier that the color of a green sky most likely meant tornadoes or at the very least, severe storms. I changed parking spots and proceeded towards the door. As I got halfway across the parking lot, the storm sirens in Springfield started blaring. I continued inside. I went to my normal spot and sat down. In a few minutes everybody was evacuated to the hallway where I was. I texted Steve to keep him apprised of what was going on. From my spot, where I sat rooted, I could see the trees outside whip and dance; touching the ground at times. I felt most of the younger kids around me were really not taking this seriously. Some even tried to leave. Later, I heard one say, "That was the longest tornado drill I have ever been through."

So, once we were released and back in class, I heard about Fair Grove. I immediately started texting Marilyn and Terri checking on some of Colton's YHEC teammates. Little did I know that Colton, himself, was in the path of the tornado. As I went through my day, Colton was experiencing being caught, away from Mema, by himself, in the storm.

When I got home, Mom told me about the excitement they had at Nanny's earlier in the day. At my house, we were lucky and didn't experience the really bad weather; just downpours, flooding and some wind. Dad kept Paden calm. So calm in fact, he slept through the worst of it.

BUT...Colton, well he had a little more excitement than that. My uncle, as some know used to have a small engine shop. Well, Colton goes down to the shop usually when he goes out to Grandma's with mom and he piddles and tinkers down there. You know, boy stuff? Well he had came to the house and checked in and decided to go back. It was raining but not real hard...yet. He made it back to the shop and then all hell broke loose. It started pouring. Mom said at first it was from the east. She knows this because she had to go shut the glass on Grandma's screen door. Then just as quick as it came from the east it switched to the the south. Mom could not see across the parking lot to the shop. Colton couldn't see Mom's car parked about 15 feet away from him. He watched the rain for awhile, then we he watched it spin in what he calls a mini tornado on the parking lot he backed away from the door.

Around that time a car appeared at the front door of the shop. Colton peeked outside and let a woman in. Her car had apparently been blown into the ditch. She shoved it in reverse and backed out of the ditch. Barry's driveway was the first that she seen and she actually thought it was a highway (because it's paved). She asked Colton if he was alone and he told her, "No, Redly is here with me." Red is my Uncle Terry's Redtick Coon Hound. He has been Colton's protector since Colton was a baby. Red used to walk across the field daily to check on Colton when he played in the backyard when we lived out that way. Red is now really old, about 15. He has been hit twice by cars, that we know of. He limps...a lot. He can't see out of one eye. He's basically deaf. But he still thinks he can protect Colton. Well, anyway, I guess it proceeded to be pretty bad. They tried to figure out where they could hide. The decided on the hallway and found a piece of plywood to put over the top of them. When the rain and wind let up, they made a dash for her car and drove to the front gate. Mom and Grandma said they were both scared to death when they got to the house.

Being a mom I said, "Colton, you got in a car with a perfect stranger." Calmly he looked at me and said, "Mom, we'd been through a tornado together. I figured it would be alright." He also assured me she wasn't a "perfect" stranger because she lived down the street from his uncle that drives a gray pickup. She was Bonnie Strickland's neice and she was related to Uncle Ray. That made her family in his eyes. Besides that, she had a 13 year old, an eight year old and a four year old.

After watching the news last night, I realized how close both of us had came. If I hadn't have left when I did, I would have been caught in it in Springfield. Or, if I had decided to skip my English class because it was optional yesterday, I would have been right in the middle of it at Fair Grove. Either way, God was looking out for all of us yesterday.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Blue Plate Monday-Come Join the Fun

Ms. Kelly is still serving up wonderously good dishes over at the (un)deniablydomestic site. She's also having a little giveaway to boot. So come join us in our fun search of easy, breezy recipes that we love to share.

So here is my recipe for the week. I sure do hope you like it because my boys (ALL of them) did. I received this recipe a couple weeks ago and when I made it last Tuesday the boys cleaned it all up. I didn't have so much as a smidge in the dish. I served this with a loaf of garlic and cheese bread and a salad. It's easy, quick and most of all...YUMMY!!
Lasagna Rollups
1 lb ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage
1 small onion (chopped fine)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 carton cottage cheese
1 pkg Kraft Shredded Italian Four Cheese Mixture (reserve some to sprinkle on top)

1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1/4 tsp onion powder
6 lasagna noodles (cooked)
Cooking Instructions:
In a large skillet cook beef, sausage, onion and garlic until the beef and sausage are no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the pan. Add the spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Spread half of the meat sauce on the bottom of a greased 9" baking dish.

In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, mixed cheese, egg, parsley and onion powder. Spread mixture evenly over each lasagna noodle.

Roll up and place seam side down in rows in the baking dish. Top with remaining sauce.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. About 5 minutes before the dish is finished cooking remove from the oven and top with the remainder of the cheese. Return to oven and cook until the cheese has melted.