Monday, July 20, 2015


This recipe is one I just throw together. I've never measured anything for it. My husband says my favorite saying in the kitchen is, "Just add enough to make it look good." These are great topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream.

Cooked Spanish Rice (I like using Zaterain's)
Enchilada Sauce
Cooked Chicken, optional

Mix rice, cheese, and enchilada sauce together. Add cooked chicken. Spoon into tortillas. Top with more enchilada sauce and more cheese. Bake in a greased pan at 375 degrees until cheese melts (20-30 minutes).

Skillet Variation

Instead of baking in the oven, cut the tortillas into bite-size pieces (a pizza slicer is great for this) and add to the enchilada filling. Heat through in a skillet and top with cheese. Fabulous!


The perfect fluffy scone for honey, cinnamon and sugar, or as a Navajo Taco

3/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. scalded milk
2 Tbsp. oil
2 tsp. salt
4-5 c. flour

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Add milk, oil, and water to yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt and stir until evenly mixed. Add enough flour mixture to the yeast mixture to make a soft dough. Let sit 5 minutes. Knead lightly on a floured or oiled surface and roll to 1/2 inch thick. Let rest another 5 minutes (I think I forget to do this). Cut into pieces (I like using a pizza cutter) and fry in hot oil, turning once. Cook until golden brown and done. Eat with topping of choice.

Navajo Taco

Top with chili, cheese, lettuce, corn, onions, olives, sour cream, pretty much whatever you like on a taco

Spaghetti Sauce

A Vidalia onion and orange bell pepper make this a little sweeter.

2 lbs. hamburger
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 small cans or (2) 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 pkgs. spaghetti seasoning
a pthuu of sugar (about 1 Tbsp.)
salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

Brown hamburger with peppers and onion. Add tomato sauce spaghetti seasoning and sugar. Add other seasoning if desired, but taste your sauce first because some spaghetti seasoning packets have enough salt and garlic already. Simmer 20 minutes and serve on cooked noodles.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

Well, I've tried out the Homemade Laundry Soap and have good news! It's AWESOME!!! We've washed lots of dirt, vomit, and urine. It's been an interesting week to say the least, but EXCELLENT for testing new laundry soap. Anyone who's washed anything that's been peed in knows it takes a couple washes for the smell to be gone. Same with vomit. But, one wash and it was out!!

Because we don't have grass in the back yard, Lilly's kennel is filthy. I have to vacuum it out every other day at least! So, I decided to wash her blanket with the new soap. I was amazed at how clean it was after washing! There were a couple little stains, but I don't know if they were there from before this wash or not. All I can say is that it looked amazing!

Another bonus - it didn't cost very much to get started!

So, are you ready for the recipe? I've seen lots of variations, but this is the one I used.

3 Gallons Warm Water (I used hot)
4 C. Water
1 Whole Bar Fels-Naptha* soap, grated
1 C. Washing Soda
1/2 C. Borax
Essential Oil, for scent if desired

Place 3 gallons warm water in a 5 gallon bucket. Bring 4 C. water to a boil. Add grated Fels-Naptha bar and stir until completely dissolved. When melted, add to water in 5 gallon bucket. Add Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until completely dissolved. If you would like to add fragrance, you can add 10-15 drops of essential oils to this mix. (I think it has a nice clean smell already, and I use fabric softener; so, I didn't do this). Place the lid on the bucket and let sit over night.

After it sits, the top will have turned to jelly. Stir well and use 1/2 cup per load. Enjoy!!!

*I had no idea what Fels-Naptha was, but I found it at Ace Hardware. It's a laundry bar not a body bar. Those who I've talked to, who use it, LOVE it. If you can't find it, I've also read that you can use: Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile, or Zote.

Also, the Borax and Washing Soda are found on the Laundry Isle. Washing soda is by Arm and Hammer and comes in a yellow box that's similar to the baking soda box. Just remember, baking soda will not work in this recipe.

****Edited to add: Although I'm still impressed with how well this soap works, and it really is amazing, I think it could use an extra enzyme boost to help with food removal. OR, I could just remember to rub a little extra laundry or dish soap into the spots before I wash the clothes. (Mostly, I'm just adding this as a mental note to help me remember to do it.) Happy washing! :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener "Sheets"

I am SO excited! I'm going to try making homemade laundry soap! I know...the things that amuse me... ;) Anyway, after I try it out, I'll let you know what I've discovered. One of the women in our ward has started making it, and loves it - and she was a Tide girl! She was at her daughter's softball game the other day and received the comment, "[Your daughter's] uniform is the cleanest one out there." If it works for them, it may just work for me - and you too!

Oh, and she told me how she started doing her fabric softener.

Fabric Softener "Sheets"

What you need:

5 gallon bucket with lid
Liquid fabric softener
A couple new sponges, cut in half

What to do: If your fabric softener is not new, mark the side of the container where it's filled to. If it's un-used, don't worry about it. Pour the fabric softener into the bucket. Fill the fabric softener container with water to the mark or top. Pour the water in the bucket. Fill the fabric softener container again the same way and pour it into the bucket also. (Our solution should have twice as much water as fabric softener). Now, throw your cut-in-half sponges in the mix and it's ready.

How to use: When you're ready to dry clothes, grab a sponge, squeeze out some liquid, and throw it in the dryer with the wet clothes. Now dry. It works like fabric softener sheets and doesn't leave those greasy spots on everything!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh Where, Oh Where Does it All Go?

It seems to me that more and more, time just slips away. Not because I'm not doing anything, but because there's so much to do. Recently I had a little experience. O.K., it wasn't so little. In fact it seemed quite large. So big that I felt like I couldn't keep up with everything that needed keeping up with. I know we've all been there. I know you know what I'm talking about. It's those times when everything seems so out of balance, like you can't do anything, yet you're trying to do everything you need do do. And it's just not enough. And instead of treading water, you just feel like the waves are crashing over you and it's taking everything you have not to sink.

I think every person has experiences like this. I know that we don't all have the same trials. They're all tailor made for each of us; but, our feelings may be similar. I really needed some special help, and I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who helped me learn that these are blessings I haven't yet realized.

Do you know what I learned? I learned that I needed to change the way I was thinking. Once I started changing my attitude, I realized that all of this crazy stuff, all the treading water, feeling lost and uncertain about what I was really doing, was teaching me and helping me become a better person. Was changing my thinking easy? No! Did it even cross my mind in the middle of all the chaos? NO! Not until a quiet voice reminded me that this challenge was a blessing. I am grateful for that quiet voice.

Six years ago, my friend Rachel told my about a very moving lesson they had had in Relief Society. The women teaching drew two circles on the white board and wrote "trials" in one and "tribulations" in the other. Then, she had each women tell her some trial they had had or were currently experiencing. For each one, she wrote it in a smaller circle and attached it to the larger circle - just a bubble graph. When they were all done talking about their challenges, she erased the words "trials" and "tribulations" and replaced them with "blessings" and "opportunities."


I don't think it's easy for anyone to have challenges. Growing's not easy. It hurts. But, I know we're not alone on this journey and that no pain is too big for our Savior who loves us.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Puppy and the Loves of My Life

Lily at nine weeks

Well, as of three weeks ago we have a new addition to our family - a little black puppy. O.K., she's not so little. Actually, she's over thirty pounds! This is Lily and she's a Newfoundland. She's almost thirteen weeks old now and big enough to snatch food off the table - if I'm not watching close enough. We have so many people ask us what kind of dog she is, and only two of them knew what a Newf was. Jake was walking her one day, and a woman actually pulled over just to tell him she was cute. Can you believe that?!

This is a picture of Mercedes with one of her science experiments. She had a lot of fun playing with the food coloring and figuring out what colors make what colors. Mercedes is also loving ballet. Today she was helping me do some rolly polly warm-up things they do, and she told me she gets her strength from ballet. This girl will forever be a social butterfly who loves all things friends and the colors pink, purple, and blue. (O.k., her favorite colors will probably change, but I don't think the butterfly thing will). :)

I just get a kick out of this picture. Christina would start out with one finger on each side, then two, three, and finally four. They were all pretty silly! She also had an awesome show and tell the other day. Monday, I showed her a potato that had started sprouting leaves. She thought it was so cool, she waited three days and took it to preschool to show everyone. Can you believe that? She is so funny! She wasn't feeling good the other day, and all she would say was, "The Lady Bugs eat my bones!" I don't think I want to know what that feels like.

You've got to LOVE frosting! Especially chocolate frosting that your mom let's you lick out of the container when she's done with it. This is my snuggly buddy and he's quite the big helper! He loves setting the table at meal time; oh, and the other day at dance, he was dancing around where the moms all sit, and decided this wasn't good enough. He put on a tutu, walked onto the dance floor, and danced the last couple minutes with Mercedes and the other girls. Boy am I glad Miss Barbara didn't mind because it was really cute! (Even in a tutu).

I think of all the things we do, the thing I love the most is being together. I also love that my children play so well together. Yes, they still have their squabbles, but they love each other and look out for each other too. I couldn't have asked for better children and I have truly been blessed because of them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Road Home

Earlier this month we made a trip to The Road Home. It was awesome! We collected all of the children's clothes my kids couldn't wear any more - everything from when they were first born. We had so much that we filled my parent's Expedition and still had six boxes and two huge garbage bags to squeeze in. But, after a prayer and repacking the entire thing, it all fit! We took it to my mom's, sorted it, boxed it up, and delivered it. It was so neat to know that we were going to make a difference in the life of a family. Some where out there, some little child is going to have "new" clothes! I was so excited that my children helped with the whole process too. Mercedes was a big helper sorting and packing; and, they both had so much fun unloading all the boxes into the gentleman's cart who was helping us. I hope my children will have many opportunities to serve those around them. And, I hope they continue to feel joy in doing so.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Long Over Due

Well, it is way beyond time for a new post! What do you guys think? I tell you what, being in school really messes up blogging. I don't write. I don't read. I feel so out of the loop!!!

It has been a good holiday season. Mercedes is in Ballet and has had five recitals since Thanksgiving. It is so fun to watch her! Miss Barbara is a sweet heart too. She's let Christina and Alex join in on the last dance number a few times and they enjoy it so much! It's also been good because we've been out to some of the community events that we wouldn't have gone to, like Holly Days and Breakfast with Santa. Mercedes is also quite busy with school and really loves it. In fact, K12 just had their winter event for the students, their friends, and family. We went ice skating, ate lots of pizza, and the students had a gingerbread contest. All I can say is, "Thank goodness for pre-assembled gingerbread houses!" Otherwise we probably wouldn't have had one. Of the 25 houses entered, Mercedes actually won one of five special prizes. She won Best Use of Frosting; but sh, we wont tell them that was the only part I did. (Although, I didn't do it all). Everything else was the kids' work. K12 also had an extra medal, so they gave it to Christina. She and Mercedes were all grins from then on.

Christina is really enjoying school too. She went through a little phase where she would scream and cry if I tried to take her, and there were a couple times I took her home. But, her teacher said she would be fine and to leave her. Miss Dana is a really gifted person and a huge blessing for Christina. I'm also grateful for her Primary teachers who have been amazing this year!

Well, Alex had surgery last month and just had his follow-up. His hernia is healing nicely. It was kind of weird that he had a hernia just after Jake, which I don't know if I ever got around to writing about. But they both had one within a month of each other. I'm SO glad they're feeling better! Alex is also crazy about trains right now. He loves them and is so much fun to watch as he plays. I just enjoy watching the children's imaginations bloom. It is so fun!

As for Jake and I, we have one more semester finished. WOOHOOOO! It is so good to be going to school, (Jake just read this and said, "No, no it is not,)" but it is also a lot of work between everything else. We had finals last week and now we can do something else for half-a-month. Maybe we'll clean house. Maybe we'll just talk about cleaning house. Who knows. ;)

And dud...dun...dun...tis the season for cheery greetings and warmest wishes. Merry Christmas to you and your family! We hope you find much peace and happiness as you enter the new year!

Love you all!