Monday, September 29, 2008

What's for dinner?

I'm not sure how this is going to work out but my sister wants me to post about different ideas for dinner. I don't know if I'm going to do this weekly or if it's going to be an every other day thing. Here's my experiment tonight...

Colombian Stewed Flank

1.) Heat 2 TBS corn oil in large skillet on med heat. Season flank steak with salt/pepper and add to the pan. *Don't you just love that sizzle!* Now brown on both sides (don't cook all the way through!) and remove from pan. (Sorry about this picture, I couldn't figure out how to turn it around!)
2.) Add sliced onions and minced garlic. I only used about 1/2 an onion because L is not a fan and only about 2 cloves garlic because I ran out and the commissary is closed today! Cook until onion is tender.
3.) Add your diced tomatoes. As for me, no diced tom toms here, just good ol' canned whole tomatoes. Recipe calls for 5 romas, diced so I "diced" or scissored, 5 tomatoes. Worked just fine. Add to pan...heat should still be around medium...we don't want burned tomatoes people!
4.) Add your seasonings.
5.) Return the meat to the party, add your water and boullion.
6.) Bring to a boil, cover and turn heat down to low/med (You still need a little bit of a bubble). Let it stew for 2 hours or until your meat is mucho shreddito...that's my version of very shredded in case you need it translated.
7.) Once the meat is tender, remove from pan and shred with two forks.
8.) Return meat to pan to mix with the juices and keep warm until your ready to gobble it up.
9.) Serve up on a warmed tortilla with some sour cream, lettuce (which was another thing we did not have!) and cheese. Steamed veggies and fresh fruit make a nice healthy compliment to this meal.


  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled


  1. Heat the corn oil in a skillet over medium heat. Gently lie the steak in the oil and cook each side until brown. Remove the steak to a plate. Add the onions, garlic. Cook and stir until the onions are tender. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and cumin to the skillet; Return the steak to the skillet. Pour the water into the skillet. Stir in the crumbled bouillon. Bring the water to a boil and drop the heat to low; cover. Allow to simmer until the meat easily pulls apart with a fork, about 2 hours.
  2. Remove the steak to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the meat. Transfer to a serving plate. Pour the onion and tomato mixture from the skillet over the shredded beef.
  3. Serve with tortillas, shredded lettuce and cheese, and sour cream.

VERDICT: This wasn't bad. The meat came apart pretty easy but if I make this again I'll definitely use the whole onion and possible add some other spices like chili and garlic powder. I think a jalapeno pepper but give it a kick too.

Ever been to Tennessee?

Wanna come visit us? This is where the Morrisons are headed! May/June we'll be saying goodbye to our lovely island and moving to Graceland...well not actually, but near it!

Messy faces, loud noises & Lego men

Yep, that pretty much sums up the last few days...

Homemade meatballs were a success with Ryland. The big boys liked it too...Chris on the other hand...wasn't too keen with the fact that I had to sneak in some ground turkey to make it healthier. I wonder if he knew about the organic tomatoes...
Brunch at the Hyatt was oh so yummy. By the way, don't ever pass up a chance to try warm toffee cake. Oh my heavens, was it good. Here the boys were enjoying the spoils from a chocolate fountain.
I found several lego knights at the thrift store today. The boys thought it was Christmas!

I have picked up after this little stinker umpteen times today. He goes straight for this cupboard door with the mixing bowls in it. See below for what he does with them.
Make sure to turn your volume DOWN before listening!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Apple Crunch in the Cast Iron Skillet

Pioneer woman, I am NOT but I've been feeling kinda pioneer-ish for the past couple of weekends so I think I'm starting my own trend....Pioneer Saturdays. But don't worry just as soon as I write this I'll forget about it. Seems to be the norm for me since having kids. I've acquired a bout of MOMnesia.


  • 4 to 6 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I thought this was a bit too sweet. Try cutting it back to 3/4 cup.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces
  • .
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg


Mix apples, 1 cup of sugar and cinnamon; place in a greased 8-inch baking dish. Dot with the 1 tablespoon of butter.

Combine topping ingredients; stir until blended then pour over apples. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Story in pictures

Ty is proud of what he built...
And then his baby brother comes along....
So he defends his creation...
And ends any future threats...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And on the menu tonight...

We're still sick here so I was not about to make dinner into an extravagant affair when my prime focus (Chris) could not even taste the food. So my good ol' stand-by, homemade chicken soup ala freezer came out as main course. Boy I sure am glad that I made a ton of that stuff. I was swimming in it when I first made it. We had enough to eat for two nights PLUS feed another family PLUS freeze for another dinner. I was going to make homemade biscuits but just didn't feel like it. I thought, man I'm really going with the easy way tonight...why spoil it? So I threw a few sweet potatoes in the oven and we had soup plus a sweet potato bar complete with all the fixins....butter, cinammon, brown sugar and mini-marshmallows! I didn't hear any complaints tonight which is refreshing since that's usually part of the dialogue every night at our table.

I was feeling so good about dinner that I decided to turn the ordinary, chocolate pudding, into an extrodinary dessert. Ok I'm exaggerating here but it WAS good. Tyler got to crush graham crackers while Logan stirred. I layered with whipped cream and set the timer for 5 know, because Logan needs that visual or else he would ask me every 10 it ready yet??? You know what made this all worth it? Tyler took a bite and said, "I love you mom."

Wow, just made my heart melt.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another idea for walls

Here's something that I've done that is inexpensive and easy to do. It adds such a dramatic flair to any decor. The instructions can be found here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Inexpensive way to spice up a wall

This post is for my sister. She's always looking for creative ways to make her house look nice and when I saw this I thought of her. You know what this is? Scrapbook paper and cheap frames. Yep. That's it!

STOP! Hamster Time!

Tyler is all about hamsters these days since Hammie joined the family. Unfortunately we gave Hammie to the boys' school because she slept all day and they never got any interaction with her. When they did she was nearly used as a bowling ball (in her little purple ball) several times so we were doing her a favor by donating her to the school. This way we get to visit with Hammie whenever we want and there is no danger of hamster bowling!

This morning we read Mercer Mayer's Trick or Treat Little Critter. There was a part towards the end that the kids made their own halloween mask out of a paper bag and Tyler was all about that. He loves to pretend that he's everyone and everything BUT Tyler. So you guessed it...he wanted to be a hamster. Of course the mask does wonders to cover the little shiner that is developing just under his eye. He so gracefully spun around on one foot and face met chair.

Showing off the book, the mask and the soon to be shiner.(It doesn't look so bad in the pick but it's a noticeable red lump.)
Christmas 2008 preview....Chris and I glued on little stickers of Jesus to magnets and then topped them off with glass beads. I'm going to put 6 of them in a altoid tin with a sticker on it that says "He's the reason for the season". They came out really cute and with Chris's help I got them done super fast although I don't think he enjoyed it as much as I did!
Last Saturday we were stuck in the house because of rain and sickies so I made a German Pancake. Ever had one of those? I was looking for a recipe to use for my cast iron skillet...I just love that thing...anyhow, I ran across this recipe. I omitted the cinnamon and added a little hot fudge, sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with whipped cream (not shown). It was devoured in seconds, of course, if I put chocolate on asparagus they'd eat that too! Chris thought it was bit too eggy but the boys liked it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Croup strikes again

Tyler is usually are croup patient but today it was Ryland's turn. We were up several times last night because he was having coughing fits with that tell tale sign of the "barking seal" cough. This morning he sounded better but I decided to go ahead and make an appointment for him anyway. The doc had two breathing treatments ordered and by the end of it he was not a happy camper. We were given oral steroids and sent on our way. He fell asleep but awoke shortly after with even more labored breathing than before. We were on our way off base to get something for lunch when I turned around and headed back. We took him straight to the ER and that's where we stayed for 5 hours. He had 3 more treatments with the last finally doing the trick although it wore off after two hours. He was discharged and here we are at home...and he still has a strong stridor (noise while breathing). We're going to monitor him tonight and Lord willing, he'll be better by tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Make shift montessori

I've been waiting on a plastic egg tray and some buttons (ahem...MOM!) to do a color sorting activity but didn't realize that I have the supplies already and just needed to rethink it. I took color chips that I got at a school supply store that went out of business and an egg carton that I've been saving for a project. Tyler enjoyed sorting the colored chips into little "cups" on the egg carton and the top of the egg carton was used for a tray to hold all the chips. So Mom, you're off the hook! ;-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our weekend

Saturday night we met up with our new friends, the Ramirez family as well as our neighbors, the Harris family (minus Rick!) for an outdoor movie up at Andersen Air Force base. We enjoyed Nim's Island, free popcorn and a refreshing breeze off the ocean. It was a great night and we look forward to doing it again.
After church on Sunday, Ryland fell face first onto the coffee table and nearly bit through his tongue. I thought for sure that we would have to take him to the emergency room because it would not stop bleeding but thankfully after a lot of pressure and ice cubes the bleeding stopped. He has two teeth marks in his tongue now and I'm not sure if he bit underneath because he won't let us see. He's in great spirits though.
We met the McManus clan at Outback for dinner later that evening. Pastor Steve is our pastor at church. He and Mrs. McManus also run the school that Logan and Tyler attend. Their daughter, Shannon, is holding Tyler (she's his girlfriend!). From Left to Right: Ryan, Siobyan (I hope that I spelled that right!), me, Chris, Ryland, Gavin, Ty, Shannon, Logan, Amayah (brand new beautiful baby!), Nina, Pastor Steve, Katie (baby's mama) and Tomas (baby's dada). We enjoyed their company so much and are so blessed to have them in our lives. They are a wonderful family.

Quick Project

I'm gearing up for a bible study that I'm starting on Thursday and I pulled out my NIV which has become my favorite version of the bible. Only my NIV has seen better days! I've thought of getting a new one with a nice pretty cover but then start to think of the less fortunate that don't even have a single bible and here I am with several versions! (I know, I'm great at giving myself guilt trips!) I do not have any pretty scrapbook paper to cover it with so I decided to use some of my new fabric that I brought back from Japan. I'm in L-O-V-E with this one because it reminds me that we are all the Lord's sheep.
I simply folded this like we did to our school books back in the they even do that anymore? I turned the flaps inside out, stitched them, and slid the book in. It was so easy! I did make another one before this that was made with my faux leather fabric but I miscalculated and it turned out a bit smaller than the Bible. I put straps on that one. For this, I left the straps off but I'm thinking of putting a tab with either velcro or a snap to keep it closed.
This is a quick and easy project that virtually anyone with minimal experience with a sewing machine can do. Here's an idea...make a bunch to sell at a craft fair! Buy some funky fabric and coordinate the straps with a different print. Oh, the possibilities are endless! (I'm talking specifically to you, Brownie girls!) Here's a link to a free pattern.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ryland's Day

For Ryland's birthday, we had to run a not-so-fun errand of getting the oil changed in the van but we had a lovely view of the ocean while we were there. I would have taken more pictures but this area was littered with trash and Mr. Ryland never fails to pick "interesting" things up. Afterward, we went to Denny's for lunch. He enjoyed a big plate of mac n cheese with a side of applesauce....lunch of a big boy! Next stop was Underwater World which isn't out of the norm for us but this time we went stroller-less and let him run around in the tunnel. He loved it! He was running and pointing at all the fish while yelling. Plenty of entertainment for the Japanese tourists, as usual! And last but not least, the "party"! We didn't have much of a party because I wanted to keep things quiet (Logan is having a big party next month) so we had our neighbors over for dinner and some cake/ice cream. Believe me, with the noisemakers I purchased, it was nothing but quiet! He dug into his cake like a champ and very much unlike his brothers who preferred to keep it clean. He enjoyed the unwrapping of his presents but liked playing with the balloons and running with the kids much more. I think that Ry's first birthday was a success! Maybe next year we'll rent the jumpy....

This is the cake right after I finished it. Now the next morning, that's a different story. I didn't know that it's not a good idea to keep it in the microwave. After all, it's an odd shape and I didn't have anything to cover it with and I didn't want to put it in the fridge (I think cakes taste nasty after being in there!). I opened the microwave and lo and behold...the duckie's head came off AND his face melted off of his head!! The boys stood beside me with looks of'd have thought that I literally killed a duck! I did the best that I could to salvage the massacred carcass. Lesson learned....
Who cares what the cake looked like....this is how it ended up! That's the head.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Valances for less!

I told Ms. Rie from Tyler's preschool that I would make her some valances for her room...back in August. I sort of forgot about them until I ran across these little doozies! At the NEX (navy exchange for all you non-military!) they are having a sale right now, additional 50% off of clearance. I picked up 3 tablecloths for $4 each and I have enough material to make valances for 4 windows (two of them are pretty big) plus a couple of oversized throw pillows. All for $12! So I'm posting this for all my Guam friends that are in search of cheap valances for your to the NEX now! Pick up a couple of tablecloths, sew a rod pocket on top, a hem on the bottom (unless you use the hem from the tablecloth!) and voila! Instant valance! I love a deal!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Ryland!!!

Just one year ago today my baby boy was born. He did not waste ANY time being born either. He decided at 2:25 am that he was ready and two hours later he was here! It was by far the roughest pregnancy for mom but the end results were so worth it. He's my happy baby. He is content to play on his own and very, very determined. It's hard to distract him from what he wants. He started walking at 10 months and is now running!

Happy 1st Birthday baby boy!