Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Home Remedy - Facial Masks

Well, last Thursday I gave you some recipes for homemade facial cleansers. Today I'm giving you some homemade facial mask recipes. I hope someone finds these useful.

Apple Facial Mask (oily skin that is acne prone) Mix 1 medium size apple (grated), 5 tablespoons of honey to make a mask. Smooth over skin then let sit for 10 minutes, rinse off with cool water.
Banana Facial Mask (dry skin) Mash 2 bananas with a fork...don't over mash or it will be too runny. Add some honey* if desired. Smooth over skin, let sit for 10 minutes, rinse off with cool water.
Peach Facial Mask (normal skin) Cook 1 peach until its soft, mash with a fork, add 1 Tbs honey and oatmeal until its a thick consistency. Apply to skin. Let sit for 10 minutes, rinse well with cool water.
*Oatmeal is highly absorptive, hypoallergenic, and helps to soften skin. Oats have the best amino acid balance of all the cereal grains (amino acids work as water-binding agents in skin care products). Oats have also been clinically shown to help heal dry, itchy skin. Oat grains and straw appear in shampoos, dusting powders, moisturizers, and cleansing bars and more.

Last night we were invited over to Ray's eldest daughter's (Stephanie) new house for dinner. Ray worked on the garbage disposal and then we sat down to a taco dinner. Ray really liked the cheese nachos. Steph used Doritos to make them and they were pretty good, even if they were slightly burned.

I was playing with Kaden (now 8 months old) while Ray worked on the garbage disposal. He is such a sweetheart! He has these big beautiful eyes that just light up whenever he smiles. Aubreigh (just turned 2 in December) is such a pickle and just cracks me up. When she doesn't like what someone says she gets this look on her face, then she points at them and starts telling them off. Of course, she has the prettiest curly red hair to go with that attitude too and such pretty blue eyes.

After dinner Stephanie and Joe got out the Rock Star game and showed us how to play while the kids played in the toyroom. We had a lot of fun with the game and I have a feeling that game is going to find it's way into our house in the not too distant future. Daddy said he wants to see me playing the drums, lol. I had enough trouble with the guitar. Silly ol' man. We must have been having a lot of fun because before we knew it, it was 9:30 pm and time for us to go.

Well, I've got some things to do around here before that baby girl wakes up. Have a great day and this Rock Star (I'm gonna have to come up with a stage name, lol) will see ya soon!
Jill Marie

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cleaning & Organizing your bedroom

Thank goodness I had this post already to go. Rylie is ill again today so I'm just popping on real quick to do this. I can't stand to have the bedroom a mess. I noticed years ago, that just by making the bed every day, the bedroom appears twice as clean as it did before that 2 minute chore. So my tip to everyone would be to make your bed every morning, it's a quick and easy way to make the room look cleaner.

Here are some tips I found last week (when I was attacking our room) at the Home Made Simple website.

Assess the Mess
The first thing you’ll need to determine is what you use your bedroom for and if that is affecting its cleanliness and organization. Maybe you’re the type of the person who lives in your bedroom, tackling activities from yoga to paperwork. Or perhaps your bedroom is a place you tend to dash through leaving clutter behind as you move on to the next part of your day.

Either way, you just need to remember one rule: your bedroom should only be used in the morning when you get up and at night when you’re going to bed. This cuts down on excess items and keeps it as a space for sleeping, relaxing and romance. Chances are, you can do most or all of your activities elsewhere in your home and come up with a routine that helps keep clutter off the furniture and the floors.

Cleaning Surfaces - Begin your big bedroom clean up by removing clutter from all horizontal surfaces in your room: floors, bed, tables and chairs.

Use these tips to help get you started:
Make your bed: Taking a few minutes each morning to make your bed will help you get in the habit of keeping your room in order in general. Treat your bed as a refuge and prepare it for the next time you will use it. Try not to cover your bed in laundry, piles of worn clothes, bags or other items that will keep it from appearing inviting.
Off the floor: If your shoes are overflowing onto your floors, look into adding shelving, an over-the-door shoe holder or rolling boxes for under the bed. Organize your shoes by color and season for easy access. If you choose to keep your shoes under the bed, pick out the next day’s pair the night before so you don’t have to search around.
Bedside basics: Your bedside table may have accumulated a few things you don’t need on a daily basis. Hair accessories, glasses, books, magazines and medicine will all find a home there. Clear any unnecessary items off your table so you don’t feel surrounded by clutter when you go to sleep and wake up.
Put clothes in their place: Avoid using your floor, chairs or other bedroom furniture as a hamper. Hang up clothes you plan to wear again immediately, install hooks to hang up pajamas and robes and keep a hamper, laundry bag or basket in or near your closet for dirty items. Double hampers or baskets are wonderful tools for immediately sorting whites and colors.

The Best Bed - The bed itself should be as comfortable and inviting as possible, so try our ideas for keeping your linens in line and organized.

Smart Set up: Place the head of your bed against a wall and in direct view of the door or a window to help to make it feel stable and grounded while also governing good airflow.
Bed skirt savior: If your bed skirt is dragging the floor, getting dusty or looking askew, employ the help of bed skirt pins. These simple spiral pins are available at home goods stores and without any sewing or cutting, can keep your bed skirt from shifting or drooping.
Curtail your collection: You really only need three sets of bed linens per bed: one in use, one in storage and one in the laundry. It is a good idea to have a few extra pillowcases, especially if you find a unique pattern you love. They tend to wear out faster than other linens.
Storage solutions: If you do prefer to have a wider variety of lines for different times of the year, such as flannel for winter, try storing excess linens under the bed or in a chest at the end of the bed. Make sure to remove linens from the dryer while still warm to prevent wrinkling. Store in a cool, dry place and use a pillowcase as a holder for each group of sheets to help keep them from getting separated. Label shelves or boxes with the season and type.
Classic and Comfy: For a clean, classic look that’s also easy to maintain, limit your throw pillows to one large pillow for the center of the bed or two smaller pillows to set in front of each of your regular pillows. This will make your bed look cozy, yet uncluttered.

Bedroom Routines - Come up with a system that helps you stay organized and keeps your bedroom clean with a couple of simple tips for morning and night.

Avoid the morning rush: If you tend to be in a rush in the morning and end up making mess searching for shoes and accessories, set everything out the night before. Try installing a hook to hang your chosen outfit and designate a space on your dresser for a basket or container where you can place smaller items like jewelry and socks.
Bedtime ritual: A set bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare your mind and body for sleep. Everyone has specific activities that will help them relax, but taking a bit of time each night to tidy up and freshen your space will not only help keep it clean and organized, it also makes the bedroom more conducive for sleeping. Stick to your routines and organization plans and your bedroom will be a place for relaxing moments and sweet dreams.

Now, go clean and organize that room. Set some candles on the dresser and then mess that nice looking bed up tonight! =D LOL

Have a great day!
Jill Marie

Monday, February 23, 2009


Good Morning! I hope ya'll had a great weekend. Here are two quick and easy recipes, one is for dinner and the other for dessert. I hope you enjoy them!

Beef & Salsa Skillet
1 lb. lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 jar (16 oz.) chunky-style salsa (2 cups)
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, undrained
1 can (7 oz.) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese (2 oz.), if desired

1. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in salsa, beans, corn, tomato sauce and 1 teaspoon of the chili powder. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low.
2. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder and the water until soft dough forms. Drop dough by 6 spoonfuls onto simmering beef mixture.
3. Cook uncovered 10 minutes. Cover; cook 8 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover; cook about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Substitution: Use ground turkey breast instead of ground beef for a lower fat dish with the same great taste.

Chocolate Cherry Cola Cake
1 jar (10 oz.) maraschino cherries, drained, 1/4 cup liquid reserved
1 box devil's food cake mix
1 cup cherry cola carbonated beverage
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 container (12 oz.) whipped white frosting
1 cup marshmallow crème
24 maraschino cherries with stems, well drained, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour. Chop cherries; set aside.
2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, cola beverage, oil, eggs and 1/4 cup reserved cherry liquid with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed beat 2 minutes. Stir in chopped cherries. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 35 to 43 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4. In small bowl, mix frosting and marshmallow créme until smooth. Frost cake. Top each piece with 2 cherries.

Special Touch: For chocolate-dipped cherries, melt 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon shortening in microwave; stir. Dip well-drained cherries with stems into chocolate; refrigerate to set.

We had a pretty good weekend. Friday night we went to a surprise 50th birthday party, which was held at a bowling alley. It was Rylie's first time bowling and she really loved it. We found a little 6 lb. bowling ball and she did pretty good. No bumper pads in the gutter lanes either. AND she even got a strike, all on her own. YAY Rylie! She was so proud of that.

Saturday was our "lazy day" and we spent it just hanging out at the house. Samantha and her boyfriend, Kyle, came over in the evening. Rylie talked them into a game of Hide-N-Seek, lol. The four of us played while Ray was on the computer. Actually it was kind of fun. Hey, it's playing those kind of games with your kids that keeps you young. And besides, I think I was the best hider. LOL

Then Sunday was our family dinner day. I made a ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, rolls and Candy Bar cake. Everything turned out real good, although the cake was a bit rich tasting. Just very chocolaty. Oh, I should give ya'll that recipe too. It's an easy one and something different to try.

Candy Bars Recipe
Ready in: 30-60 minutes
Serves/Makes: 15

1/2 cup butter
1 package devil's food cake mix
1 cup butterscotch chips
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk


Heat oven to 350F degrees. In large bowl, cut butter into cake mix with fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over bottom of ungreased 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan; press lightly. Sprinkle with butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts.

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over all ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool 45 minutes or until completely cooled. Cut into bars.

Well, than playing a few games of Apples to Apples with the kids, that was about the extent of our weekend. After the kids and grandbabies left, we sat down to watch the Nascar race (boring Fontana this weekend). That was about it.

Have a good day!
Jill Marie

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Home Remedy--Facial Cleanser

Hey ya'll. Here are a few recipes for homemade facial cleanser.

Facial cleanser
*Mix 2 Tbls. cornstarch, 2 Tbls. glycerin, and 1/2 cup water until smooth. Heat in a small pan placed in a water bath inside another pan. Heat until thick and clear; it will have the consistency of pudding. Do not boil. Cool completely, Use in place of soap to cleanse your skin. (If mixture is too thick, you may thin it by adding a little water, 1 Tbls. at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.)

*For a gentle facial cleanser mix 1/2 cup oatmeal or cornmeal and plain yogurt (add enough yogurt to form a paste). Smooth over entire face avoiding eye area. Wash off with warm water.

*Oat and Brown Sugar Scrub- Mix 2 Tbsp. ground oats, 2 tsp. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. aloe vera and 1 tsp. lemon juice in a clean bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto damp skin, and rinse off with warm water. You can triple the recipe for a fantastic smoothing body treatment. **Ground Oats: use rolled oats and a clean coffee grinder or blender to grind the flakes to a fine powder.

Well, I've been tearing our bedroom apart, cleaning, washing curtains, etc. and I suppose I better get back and finish putting it all back together. Woohoo! Too much fun, all in one day, for this gal to handle. LOL

Jill Marie

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Cleaning Tip--Car Odors

Good Morning! Here is a quick tip for removing odors from you vehicle. Well, besides the tip about making the hubby take a Beano before eating his world famous Blazing Hot Chilli. LOL

Odor-free Car: Place a few briquettes of charcoal under the seat of your car to absorb odors and keep it smelling fresh. Make sure to use the type WITHOUT the starting fluid on them or your car will smell of fuel.

I wish I had known about this little tip when David played hockey. Goodness, you haven't smelled stink until you smell a hockey bag. Ugh! Gross. Sometimes my little trunk was too full and we threw it in the back seat for the drive to the arena. That was some stink that would really gag ya. LOL

Wish us luck. Today I am taking Rylie's application over the The Winterfield Academy. I hope she gets in. I don't know what we will do if she doesn't. TPS is just not an option. I should have taken the application over last week, but with Rylie and I both being sick, I just couldn't do it. {{{Crossing my fingers, throwing some salt and knocking on wood.}}}

Well, have a wonderful day.
Jill Marie

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Recipe--Casseroles

Yea! for casseroles. We can throw them together the night before and then pop them in the oven when we get in the door. Then before you know it, it is time to sit down and listen to your picky eater say "what's this 'spose to be?" LOL

Cheesy Potato Casserole
1 pkg. frozen hash browns, thawed
1 container low-fat sour cream
2 tbsp. chives
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups chopped ham
1 large pkg. shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg. potato chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix hash browns, sour cream, chives, onion, ham and half of the cheese.
2. Spray large glass casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in hash-brown mixture and cover with the rest of the cheese.
3. Top with potato chips and cook for 35 to 40 minutes until top is golden brown.

Pepperoni-Pasta Bake
1/2 to 3/4 lb. rotini pasta
1 12-oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 can mushrooms (optional)
Your favorite spaghetti sauce
4 to 6 oz. grated mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, and spread it evenly in the bottom of an oven-safe casserole dish. Arrange pepperoni slices and drained mushrooms on top of pasta. Pour spaghetti sauce on top. Top generously with cheese. Bake for 17 to 22 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
6 boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom and roasted garlic soup
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 can Chinese water chestnuts
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup onion
1 can bean sprouts
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 can Chinese noodles

1. Cook the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces; place in a mixing bowl.
2. Mix the soups and the soy sauce together (add more, if desired). Add the rest of the ingredients, except the Chinese noodles, and mix. Place in a large, ungreased casserole dish.
3. Cook the covered (you may use aluminum foil) casserole at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Fifteen minutes before serving, place the Chinese noodles on top to heat through.

Turkey Noodle Casserole
1/2 pound egg noodles, cooked
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups cooked turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups broccoli
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the cooked egg noodles into a 10x7 inch casserole dish. Whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, set aside. Place the olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, cook stirring until soft, about one minute. Add the flour/ broth mixture to the pan, stir to mix together. Add the remaining chicken broth, milk, nutmeg, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, cooked turkey, and peas.
2. Pour the sauce over the noodles and use a spoon to mix together and smooth out the top. Sprinkle on the Gruyere cheese and bread crumbs. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until casserole bubbles and the top crust is browned--about 8 to 10 minutes.

Everyone seems to FINALLY be over the flu bug here at the house. We had thought Rylie was okay, then we went somewhere and she started puking again. Sigh. So we came home and settled her down on the couch with her pillow, the puke bucket and a glass of room temperature 7Up. The next morning she was fine again, thank goodness.

I got two phone calls from David this weekend. He let us know that the medical problem he was concerned about was nothing to be worried about. Wait a minute...what?! Oh, yeah...he didn't tell Momma about it, he told Ray and told him not to tell me until they knew for sure what was going on. I'm kicking the kid in the shin for that when I see him. I had a feeling something was up and I thought it was medical. Thank goodness it was not the big C, which is what they initially thought it might be. {{{Huge sigh of relief}}}

Well, I am off to print out some articles on the Daytona 500 to send to David and a few other things for him to read. Ya'll have a great day.
Jill Marie

Friday, February 13, 2009

Better late than never, Thursday home remedy

Mornin' ya'll. Here are a few tips for dry skin that may come in helpful for some.

Dry Skin
*Combine 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup warm water, 1 Tbls. vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup baking soda in a blender or food processor until you have a smooth paste. Pour this paste under the running water while drawing the bath. Very soothing to dry, itchy skin.
*To relieve dry patches, massage in vegetable shortening like Crisco. Sounds gross, but it is emollient rich and full of vitamins and replenishing oils. It is also preservative and fragrance free.
*I've always heard, and I do this, that taking a very hot shower in the winter causes dry skin to be even worse. So I take a warm shower, then while I'm still in the shower I put on some Mineral oil. Then I rinse with cool water. Be careful not to spill the oil on the bottom of the shower as it will, of course, making it very slippery. Cold water on the skin is a great wake me up in the morning too. =) Very "refreshing".

It has been a doosie of a week. My body finally gave in and joined Rylie in the latest flu bug to hit the area. All I can say is...Ohmahgoooosh. This thing has no sense of pity and hits everyone differently. Rylie was puking none stop for 1 and a half days. Poor baby couldn't keep any bit of liquid down. Not even the any of puking stuff they gave us at the last Dr. visit. I'd give it to her and within minutes she'd be expelling it. Luckily, she didn't get the garwsh awful diarrhea that hits some.

When it finally hit me and took over my tummy I was violently ill. Mine started with a killer headache on Monday night. The "butt puking" hit me Tuesday morning. Followed by the tummy puking later in the morning. Let me tell you, being nauseous while your child is constantly puking...avoid it if possible. LOL Poor Rylie, it would hit her so hard and quick, she sometimes didn't have the time to roll over and hit the can. Poor Mom...lot's of laundry to do.

By Wednesday in the early afternoon we were feeling a bit better, but then I started to get this garwsh awful pain, in my upper back area, right around my lungs. Especially when I coughed. I began to think that I may have inhaled some nastiness during my vomiting. It just got worse and worse as the day went on. I was not able to sleep at all. Every time I layed down my breathing became very difficult. Then around 1:30 am, or so, it didn't matter whether I was laying down or not. My lips were getting tingly and the tips of my fingers. I looked in the mirror and the outer edges of my lips looked purple. I thought I had the beginnings of pneumonia or something like that.

I finally woke up Ray and told him that I needed to go to the ER. The drive seemed to take forever and my breathing seemed to become more and more difficult. I honestly thought I was going to pass out before we got there. I was sucking and sucking in air and it felt like I was barely getting anything. Luckily, once we got there, they got me right back to a room very quickly. From what they told me later, they thought from all my symptoms, that I may have a blood clot on my lung.

First they put me on all the monitors and did an EKG. I kept telling them it wasn't a heart attack, but they said the symptoms are different in men and women. They sent me for a cat scan (I don't even want to know how much that is gonna cost) and that's where they found what was going on. My lungs looked fine, however the wall surrounding my chest area was swollen. I have pleurisy. Great...I'm not exactly sure what that means, but they gave me some meds and a breathing treatment and I felt much better. So they sent me home with an inhaler, and 3 prescriptions. Hopefully, I will be over this thing quickly because the pain is just terrible. The good news, yes, there is good news...I lost 6 pounds during those 2 days. LOL

Now, the pain medication they prescribed was percocet. Let me tell you, I am not very good with pain meds. They tend to hit me twice as hard as they do other people. So this stuff makes me a bit loopy and nauseous. But the pain is pretty bad, so if I don't have to do any driving I'll be taking the stuff. The other good thing is that the quesiness the pills give me will keep my appetite down. LOL Well, they say to be positive and look at the good side of everything, right?

Okay, well I'm sure I've bored you enough with our sicky stories. Oh, by the way, yes, it did hit Ray. He had just the "bad booty" stuff for one night and he was better in the morning. Good thing, because I would not have been able to deal with him being terrible sick too.

Have a great day and stay healthy!
Jill Marie

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cleaning quickie--no wax floors

Hey ya'll. Rylie is puking today and I am fighting the urge to do so, so this is it.

No-wax floors: To wash no-wax floors, add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water.

Have a good day.
Jill Marie

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Recipe---3 Cheese Baked Ziti

Good morning. I know, I have been MIA for most of the past week. Things have just been so crazy. But I'm here now and I've got this recipe for 3 Cheese Baked Ziti. This sounds good and it sounds like something that you could put together the night before to put in the fridge and throw it into the oven when you get home from work.

Three Cheese Baked Ziti
1 Pkg.(15 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 package (16 oz.) ziti pasta, cooked & drained
1 28 oz. jar pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs, and parmesan cheese; set aside. In another bowl, thoroughly combine hot pasta and pasta sauce. In 13x9-inch baking dish, spoon in 1/2 of the pasta mixture; evenly top with ricotta cheese mixture, then remaining pasta. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until heated through.

This past week was just too crazy for me and I couldn't seem to find the time (nor the inclination) to get on here and make any post's. Tuesday Ray ended up coming home from work and insisting that I go to the ER. It appears, that in my old age, I am developing some rather odd allergies. The ER doctor said that I had an acute allergic dermatitis. To what? We're not really sure as I didn't try anything new over the weekend. No new soaps, detergents, etc. The only thing I had, that I had never had before, was one teeny tiny sip of my nieces blue raspberry soda. All we can think is that maybe I was allergic to the blue coloring or flavoring.

They gave an IV (major ouch! that nurse was so bad and spilled my blood all over the place) with meds that seemed to help a lot. By the next morning the swelling and all had gone almost completely away. Within a few days I was able to put my ring on again.

Thursday I took my mother in law back to the hospital for another day of physical therapy. I grabbed a book on my way out of the door. I figured I would enjoy my hour of peace and quiet to the max. I haven't been able to sit down and just read since last summer. Maybe next time I'll take one of my counted-cross stitch projects. I haven't worked on any of that since I was pregnant with Rylie. Of course, my eye sight has changed so much in the past 5 years, I'm not even sure I'll be able to see the thread. lol

I really need to get in and get my eyes examined. I know my prescription has changed...a lot. But the exams are just so fippin' expensive. There is always something else we need to spend the sixty dollars on. Like electricity or heat or groceries. LOL I keep saying, one day, one day...we'll see.

Saturday Ray, Rylie and I went to Winterfield Academy for a meeting and tour of the school. Rylie starts kindergarten next year and there is just no way I can send her to Toledo Public Schools. We really liked what we heard and plan on submitting and application and I am hoping, beyond hope, that Rylie will get into this school. Their school is based on four "philosophies":
1. Academics-They will do everything to make sure your child is learning what they need. They test throughout the year and if your child is weak in certain areas, they will re-teach if needed. If your child is extremely bright and bored, then they will set up new things to challenge your child.
2. "Morals"- At the beginning of the month they have an assembly and introduce a new "moral characteristic" like courage or wisdom. They then continue the use of the word in the classroom during that month. It has nothing to do with religion, it's about teaching the kids how to be a good person. I really like this aspect of their teaching philosophy.
3. Student Responsibility-They want the kids to learn to become responsible for their own actions . Or lack thereof. If your child keeps forgetting to bring in their homework, they don't want you to pick up the slack and bring it in. They want the children to learn to be responsible for themselves and take the consequences for themselves. I think this is a good thing to teach. How many young people today think that the world owes them something? That they should just "get" just because? You have to work for what you want and that means being responsible. Yes, it does sound a little strict or disciplined...but that is what I think so many kids today are missing in their life. Discipline and structure.
4. Parental Involvement- Every child's family is required to volunteer 10 hours at the school. I think that this is so important. How can our children realize how important their education is if we aren't involved in it? That works fine for me, especially since I don't think I will go any farther away from that school than the parking lot for the first week. LOL

Another selling point for us on the school was their level of security. You cannot enter the school without going through the Main Office. Once you arrive in the office, your drivers license will be swiped. If anything comes up on the license, they will know about it and you may not be allowed to enter the school. I love the fact that they take the safety of the children so seriously. If they screen the parents and visitors so closely, can you imagine the screenings of the teachers and workers at the school?

So I've got Rylie's application all filled out and I am hoping, hoping, hoping that she is accepted and will be going to school there this fall. If she is accepted, then she will spend a partial day there in May so she can experience a school setting. Then they will have some days during the summer when the kids (kindergarten) can come in and spend some more time there and become adjusted to the new environment.

They also gave us a list of things that they like the children to know when starting kindergarten. Rylie knows most of it, so it will give us some things to work on here at home this spring and summer. She is starting to get real excited and loves to talk about her new school. She is being extremely helpful around the house too. Showing us how she is a "big girl" and ready for school now. It is too cute.

Sunday we had "Sunday Dinner" and we had a lot of fun. We are going to try to have all the kids and grandbabies over every other Sunday for dinner. Just a day to catch up with everyone, have dinner and play some games. It was a real good day, even if all the kids couldn't make it. I want to look for a new game we can play the next time. So if ya'll know of a good board game or card game for group, please make a suggestion. This time we played Apples to Apples and it was a lot of fun.

Well, I better get off of here and get started with laundry. Ya'll have a wonderful day and I'll see ya later.
Jill Marie

Monday, February 2, 2009

Help, please...

I am going itch crazy. This is weird. Yesterday I seemed to develop an itch on my right hand, between my ring finger and middle finger. The area was red, hot and very itchy. Eventually it became a wee bit painful as I could feel the skin stretching. It is slightly swollen.

Today I have developed the itch on my left "pointing" finger and a bit on the small finger. Now, here is where it gets weird. I have a small area of swelling and itch near the outside corner of my left eye. Also...near my tail bone. It feels hot, swollen and itchy.

I can't figure out what this is. Does it sound like an allergic reaction? Dermititis? Eczema? I always tell the kids, "just don't itch"...ha! This is killer! I just can't itch enough. I've tried calling the doctors office, but I don't think anyone is in today. I'm about to get some sand paper and start tearing it all up!

Thanks for any advice or suggestions anyone can make. I'd really appreciate it.

Jill Marie

Monday recipes-Pork chops, Chicken & Tater Tots

Good Morning! It's a bright, new, shiny week. Slap on a happy face and be ready for anything, right? I'm trying on a new positive attitude, how does it look? =D LOL
Okay, here are some entree recipes I found that sound interesting. I hope one of these sounds tempting to at least one of ya.

Breaded Baked Pork Chops

6 pork chops
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 egg, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned. Transfer the chops to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk and white wine in a medium bowl. After the pork chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.

Serve with stuffing, hot rolls and a vegetable.

Saltine Fried Chicken

30 saltine crackers
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dry potato flakes
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Place crackers in a large resealable plastic bag; seal bag and crush crackers until they are coarse crumbs. Add flour, potato flakes, seasoned salt, and pepper to bag and mix well. Beat egg in a shallow dish or bowl; heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. One by one, dredge chicken pieces in egg beat, then place in bag with crumb mixture, seal bag and shake to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook coated chicken in skillet for 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown and juices run clear.

I've used saltine crackers and sometimes goldfish crackers as chicken coating. This is the first time I've heard of adding potato flakes. I'll have to try it, but I'll have to buy the flake taters for just that use as I never make instant taters. I just don't care for the taste of them.

Tater Tot Casserole

1/2 pound ground beef
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
10 3/4 fluid ounces skim milk
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (14.5 ounce) can French style green beans
1/2 (32 ounce) package tater tots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef and drain fat. Stir in condensed cream of mushroom soup, skim milk, garlic salt and green beans. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized casserole dish and layer with the tater tots. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until tater tots are browned and crispy.

Things have been going pretty well around here. Just a little over a month and a half until David graduates from AIT. Hopefully, we'll be able to afford to go. I think I'll just cry and cry if we can't go. We are planning on going, but work has been real slow and sparse here. Ray only worked one day last week. So if we don't have the money come March...well, there's not a lot we can do about it. But I can tell you I will be broken hearted. I've heard that seeing the boys graduate is one of the most touching things you could see and it is a moment I do NOT want to miss. I wonder if the family would have me commited if I tried to hitchhike to Georgia. Probably. Well, I guess it is what it is. I'll just have to try to keep a positive outlook until March.

I've got a letter all ready to send to David, short of the postage. I guess I better add a note and tell him he ought to tell them he needs a flight back home. That way if we can't go down, he'll already have a ticket to get back here. I hate this. I know he was really looking forward to us coming down and the drive back with us. We were going to stop by his uncles place in West Virginia for a quick visit on the drive back. Now, thanks to this economy, everything is up in the air. Is it too soon to want to cry? Cuz I sure feel like it.

Happy face, positive's still not too late for things to make a turn. Right?

Have a good day.
Jill Marie