Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cooking with Lisa

Okay, a few months ago we decided to start eaten more healthy: not necessarily always on Weight Watchers, but healthier. I purchased two cookbooks, which I love. 1: Better Homes and Gardens "New Dieter's Cookbook" and Betty Crocker's "Healthy New Choices". The first one has pictures of every recipe as well as the nutritional information, and the 2nd has many pictures as well. I like to see what it's supposed to look like anyway! Last night we tried "Chicken with Apples and Sage" on page 300 of the New Dieter's Cookbook. It was a wonderful array of flavors mixed together. We had it with Uncle Ben's rice with vegetables, corn, catelope slices, reduced fat crescent rolls, and black olives. If you are counting points on WW, a serving of the chicken is 5 points, the roll with the "I can't believe it's not butter light is 2 points, the olives and canteloupe each are 1 point and the corn was also 1 point. With the Crystal Light to drink, the whole meal was 10 points! That's not too bad for dinner. We had gingerbread sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar for dessert. This was another 4 points. Anyway, here is the recipe:

4 skinless, boneless chx breast halves
1/8 tsp salt
nonstick cooking spray
1 cup apple juice or cider
1 red or green sweer pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 close garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp snipped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP cold water
2 med green and/or red cooking apples, sliced

1. Sprinkle chx w/salt. Coast an unheated large skillet with spray. Preheat over med-high heat. Add chx: cook for 8-10 minutes or until chx is tender and not pink, turning once. Remove from skillet:keep warm.

2. Add apple juice, sweet pepper, onion, garlic, dried sage (if using), and pepper to skillet. Bring to boiling: reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 minutes

3. In a small bowl combine cornstarch and cold water: stir into mixgture in skillet.

Stir apple. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. If using, stir in the fressh sage. Return the chx to the skillet: heat through.


Sunday, August 27, 2006


Did you ever wake up on Friday and decide you didn't want to be home over the weekend? Where to go is all you can think about. Brad and I did that. We started our quest by hurrying to get the work done at S&S, then clean the house, do the dishes and the laundry, and pay the bills due that week. Then onto the computer to destination shop. We started with the thought of going up the coast towards Santa Barbara and couldn't figure out how far we wanted to go or where to stay. So we headed down the coast toward Balboa Bay, or Coronado Island...no...no...no.... Then we investigated Catalina Island, but you cannot stay a single night there in the summer, so our ventures turned towards Long Beach. We discovered a great summer weekend package offered by the Queen Mary. We went down there Saturday around lunch time, visited the ship, took the Ghosts and Legends tour, ate dinner at the Promenade Cafe, and rested in a beautfiul stateroom. We watched The Break Up on the movie channel before turning in for not a very good night sleep. Sarah woke me up 4 or 5 times saying she was scared of the dark, but wouldn't get up to turn on the light. She finally did, and we slept with the lights on. We woke up to a giant Carnival Crusie ship out our port hole, which was kind of funny. You know how sometimes you wake up a little bit disoriented? Well imagine going to sleep in a docked ship and waking to the sound of the ships horn, followed my messages of how to get your luggage and get of the ship. For a brief moment, my dreamy head transported me back to the day we departed from our Bahamas cruise 3 years ago. Then I woke up! BUMMER! Anyway, we had a nice, relaxing breakfast, then was off the the Aquarium of the Pacific. It sure is beautfiul there, with so much to see and learn. We stopped in Downey for a small "flashback" at Frantones Pizza and Spaghetti Villa. I havn't been there since I was a little girl! Still takes as good as I remember, too! Anyway, we picked up Buster and headed for Apple Valley. What a fun weekend we had. Can't wait until we can make another last minute vacation. Just wanted to share these photos.....

August Birthday Party

You know...everytime we get together, it gets to be more and more fun watching these kids have fun. In their faces you see the joy of being with one another, each loving the other more each time they see them. It is such a joy watching the little ones grow up...and how fast they do that! Don't you wish you could put these days ina bottle and savor them whenever you want? I imagine being able to create a real snow globe of these events, lining them all up on a special shelf to enjoy each and every day. Here are the rest of the photos.....ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Harriet the Spy

Okay, so I asked Sarah is she remembers Harriett the Spy. She said NO!!!!! For those of you even remotely are close to our family, you'll understand why this through me into oblivon! KIDS!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

8th Grade

Today is Sarah's first day of school. She looked like a million dollars, but was very nervous. She's growing up way too fast for me......

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Let's Go Camping

camping fun
Last week we went camping. It was a great week, with the best weather we'd seen around here in a month. As a matter of fact, the first night it was so cold and rainy that Brad had to bring extra jackets and sweatshirts back to camp with him after work. We camped with Teresa, Wayne, Cameron and Cris for the second year in a row. This year Kim, Matthew and Trevor joined us for the first time. To round things out, James and Deana were there as well. Honestly, it was a great week. We'd had our moments of 7 separate sets of hormones, attitudes, and moods, but for the most part, it was a fabulous week Buster and Spencer were there, and to add some spice to the week, Spencer went for a run not once, not twice, but three times during the week. It was all okay though, we used those dogs to get our exercise, walking them some days 4 times!

A couple of weeks ago, Cameron and Cris were scheduled to go to YMCA camp, but their camp was cancelled due to those horrible fires that started out in the desert and made their way up to Big Bear. They were very dissapointed. We decided it would be fun to creat some extra fun during our camp by including their themed night at our camp, complete with some coordinating activites. On Tuesday, we had Hawaiian day. The kids all got dressed up. We had a limbo contest after dinner. You should have been there. I've never seen anyone bend like Cameron did! He could bend in half backwards and hold it, all the while, his ankles were supporting him completely bent in half! I was busy holding the limbo pole, and forgot to take any pictures. Kim got pictures of this night though, so hopefully she'll share them with us.

On Thursday, Brad and I went to work, but brought Sarah and Deana home with us. Sarah had to take some math tests for placement at her new school, which starts tomorrow, and Deana required new glasses, thanks to some rough housing with Trevor. The girls spent the afternoon at the country club. When we got back to camp, we had Retro Night. It was so much fun. The pictures of that night are found here. The boys were John Lennon, Ozzie Osborne, and hippies. Deana was the perfect flower child, and Sarah looked just like Jan Brady. I even got into the act with my retro find from Goodwill. I was told I looked like Alice, from the Brady Bunch. Honestly, sometimes I feel like Alice. The kids had a disco dance off for their activity. It was too much fun. Teresa, Kim and I finished the eve off with our own rendition of Last Dance with Donna Summer!

Friday was fishing day. It was the most amazing day. Papa took the day off work to join the kids at the lake. With just a short casting lesson, each and every one of the kids was casting their own line into the lake! They didn't all bait their own hooks though, or untangle their lines....seems I still remember how to do all that! Every one of those kids caught fish. We were fishing for catfish, but they were all sleeping, so blue-gill it was. Between them, they must have brought in 36-40 fish! James caught the most with 10. They were all thrown back, but only one of them didn't make it. Deana caught the last fish and the smallest, but ended up with two before we were finished. Here are the fishing pix...

About 6 hours after we started, we had to pry the kids away from fishing to have our pirate night. Boy, was that fun. We all dressed as pirates and had a cannon ball fight....adults against the kids. I'm not sure who won, but the adults looked a little bit wet to me! Here are those pictures. Well, Saturday was here before we were ready. We are already planning next year's camping trip. We have have requests for more to join us. I plan to learn the rules of entertaining a group up there. Maybe Joleen, Alex, Aimee and Vince can join us next year! The more the merrier....