Friday, June 27, 2008

What a Task ...

Tonight for dinner I am making a chicken enchilada recipe that I got from my parent's neighbor, Tawna. While I was going to the store to buy the necessary ingredients I had a crazy idea! Maybe I should make some for the people that I just got on my new visiting teaching list. I bought all of the ingredients in mass quantity and headed for home. (In the picture you can see my 11 chicken breasts and a HUGE tub of the enchilada sauce. I also bought 64 tortillas, 5 lbs cheese, and 40 ounces of sour cream!) When it was all said and done I only had enough sauce for 3 pans worth. I will give 2 away -- and cook the last one for dinner tonight. It is a yummy yummy recipe! Let me know what you think if you try it.

Tawna’s Chicken Enchiladas

1 pkg Tortillas
2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese
¼ cup Chopped Onions
1 Tbsp Chicken Bouillon
4 oz Green Chilies
2 oz Pimento
3 cups Chicken (cooked)
8 oz Sour Cream
Flour (to make rue)
2 ½ cups Water
½ tsp Chili Powder
¼ cup Margarine

In saucepan cook onion in margarine until tender. Stir in flour, then water and bouillon. Stir until thick. Remove from head. Add sour cream. In large bowl combine one cup sauce, chicken, 1 cup cheese, chilies, pimento and chili powder. Mix well.

Dip each tortilla into remaining sauce to soften. Fill with chicken mix. Roll and arrange in lightly greased pan. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A New Pet ...

I have never had a green thumb -- one could take a look at my front yard and notice this. I don't keep plants alive for very long ... and have never really been that interested in it. Joe and I were shopping at Smiths the other night and I found a nice plant that was just calling my name. It was only $10 and I thought that it was worth a shot ... let's see if my luck has improved ... so I bought it! As we were driving home I noticed a new branch that was growing from the top. I have checked it every day to see how much progress it has taken. I am now obsessed with my new little plant ... and want to get another one. I have been looking on the internet to see if I can find out what type of plant it is. So far I have had no luck ... so in the mean time it proudly sits on my kitchen table getting much love and attention from me. I am pretty sure that my husband thinks that I am crazy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alta Basketball

Last week I was able to go to Colorado with my little sister and her basketball team. Rayma was going to be a driver, but because she took so much time off to be with my dad during his heart surgery -- she couldn't take four more days off to drive my sister and her team. I volunteered to drive, (if I could drive my dad's PRIUS ... SO NICE!) Some of these pictures are not from the trip -- my camera died ... so I took them from my sister's myspace page. I just like having a visual. Here is the top 10 memorable moments from the trip, (keep in mind that these are 15 - 17 year old girls):

10. The word "Stephanie" is long and is hard to yell. I found out that Steph's team doesn't call her "Stephanie" or even "Steph" -- they call her "Stohel" -- her last name. The best part is that there are members of the team that don't even KNOW her first name. I of course don't call her Stohel -- when I referred to her as Steph -- they looked at me puzzled ... "Who?"

9. On the first day there I decided to go out to lunch while everyone else was at the team meetings. I sat down all by myself at Red Robin with my book and ordered. I got my meal, took a couple bites of my chicken sandwich, and sat to enjoy my afternoon. I soon decided to check my phone to see what time it was. I had a voicemail from Steph -- "Jen we need you to be here at 1:30 to drive us to our game". I checked the time -- 1:22. "UM ... CHECK PLEASE! " I ended up leaving a $10 tip because there wasn't time to get my change.

8. Within 10 minutes of being on the road we had named my dad's GPS system Susan. We all called it that for the rest of the trip. On Wednesday I took one of the coaches and one of the players to the small airport in Grand Junction. As Coach L was leaving she said politely ... "Thank you Susan".

7. Since I was hanging out with a bunch of basketball players -- it was natural to keep track of the scores of the NBA Finals throughout the evening. The Lakers were getting KILLED! There were two girls on the team that were big Lakers fans. We couldn't help but rub it in a bit -- their retort ... "They'll come back next year ... just you wait and see!" I mean they lost by 40 ... shameful!

6. Being in the passenger seat, Steph was in charge of the music. I would guess that the average playing time was about 17 seconds before she had to move to another song ... man that girl has A.D.D.!

5. This camp was a co-ed camp. There were boys everywhere -- there was even an employee in charge of making sure that there was no "camp babies" when it was all said and done. Because there were boys everywhere one girl, Mae, found it necessary to say "Haeeeey" to each one she passed. At one point Erin yelled loudly ... "he isn't even that cute!" The response ... "SO?"

4. One night when we were walking back from a game Mae and Erin were ahead of two girls that they thought were their team mates. They were yelling all sorts of obscene names to them -- thinking that they were just playing! These girls started yelling back challenging them to fights and such. It didn't take long before Erin and Mae realized that these were not team mates -- but two girls that they just ticked off. It was hard for them not to run away ... but they definitely picked up their pace!

3. After one of the games Steph's teammate, Lexi, asked Steph for a drink. She returned the water bottle and Steph threw it into her backpack. About 5 minutes later when Steph was getting ready to go she opened her bag to find a puddle of water at the bottom and her phone floating in the middle of it! Apparently the lid of the water bottle wasn't closed! She had a mild tantrum right there. She was yelling at me, at her teammates and was frantically trying to dry her phone. The poor boys next to us were trying so hard not to laugh! "I can't deal with this ... I'm going to watch JV!" she cried ... I took the phone from her and went to buy a small bag of rice so that it would dry out the insides of her phone, (she asked if we could go to the cafeteria and ask for some of the rice we ate at dinner ... um cooked rice won't really work dear!) She probably had to tell the story 7 times that night. Poor Lexi -- she felt bad. The rice worked -- her phone is still kickin'

2. My little sister's team did quite well! Their ending record was 9-1 losing in the championship game to this - almost pro - team. During one game the previous day Erin was going in for a drive and the ref was in her way. She yelled ... "MOVE!" I could tell that the coach was a little embarrassed -- she said: "We have a fast team -- you have to keep up!". HAHA

1. The best 7 seconds happened at the end of the 7th game. Alta was down by one. A girl shot, missed and Steph rebounded. There were 3 girls on top of her and Steph was fierce. She ended up getting fouled. They took it under the basket -- passed it in -- Becca shot ... but missed. Hayley put up a shot -- the buzzer rang -- SWISH! They won by just one point. AMAZING!

Steph -- thanks for letting me go! I hope that I wasn't the biggest tag along of all time! It was a lot of fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My $50 Toes

I am currently in Colorado with my little sister's basketball team. I was the official team driver. Everything that they need to get to is within walking distance from the dorms that they are staying in -- so I get to pretty much play for four days! I have gone to a couple of games each day and it is so fun to watch Steph -- or Stohel as I now know her as -- do her "thang". Today, while I was roaming around the Mesa Mall, I found a nail salon and thought -- hey I've never got a pedicure before -- why not on my solo vacation! SO I sat down and they worked their wonders! The nice man seemed to keep trying to upgrade my pedicure -- so my toes went from a $25 trip to a $50. I figured for my first time ... why not? I don't know how much I especially like my toes -- although I think that they will be fine in a week or two once they grow out a bit -- but my legs feel SO SO soft and clean! I will definitely have to do this again ... I'm thinking once a month!

So my camera kind of died while I am here in CO -- long story -- so here is my best shot of my feet using my computer camera ... it took me several tries to get anything but my ankles! hehe!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Why Try? Update

Two. Two pounds is better than nothing -- I just wish that it was more. I guess that this journey is more of a marathon than a sprint. I have to keep on -- keepin' on I guess.

Here's for a good week!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why Try?

My goal for the summer is to come back to school a slimmer version of myself. I have been very careful this week to eat only what I should and to exercise every day. I peeked at my weight this morning before my weigh in tomorrow and it hasn't changed. I weigh the same today as I did last Sunday. I don't get it. I have been working so hard. I have been eating fruits and veggies when I want to go to Cafe Rio. I didn't eat the cookies and ice cream at my stamp club on Tuesday -- I usually eat the treat. I recognize that it is only the first week -- and my body is probably just getting used to everything ... but it is frustrating. It makes me want to go out and to give up. I have struggled with my weight my entire life ... and i know that I need to get it under control. I wish it was easier. Jeeze ...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"If You've Had Knee Replacement ... "

Today was my first day in my new water aerobics class. Lynsey, (a good friend from work,) and I have committed to this class every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings at the Kearns Rec Center. There were approximately 25 50 - 70 year olds ... and us! It was fun watching all of the people in the class. Right when we got into the pool we were bombarded by the social chairperson. I am now a member of the "easy does it" social group! My favorite line of the entire day was ... "If you've had knee replacement surgery, keep your knees bent." It is just not a phrase you expect to hear everyday!

Monday, June 9, 2008

No More Funky Faces ....

Within the hour of last night's post Joe came upstairs and commented on how the picture posted of him was one with a funky face while mine was relatively normal. I would like to point out however dear that if you enlarge my photo -- I am making a face too! I promised him that I would post more photos of last Saturday's adventure so that I can show him looking good to make up for the funny faced shot. Bless his heart ... I didn't know he cared so much about apperances! Here are three more shots of us playing. I felt like I was always saying "oops" or "dang it" when my frisbee didn't go the way that I wanted it to. Joe was able to catch a picture of me in the middle of a "grown-up tantrum". I think that I just threw the frisbee far into the trees -- no where close to the hole.

Sorry Joey -- I couldn't help but put this one in. Hehe -- check out that stance! A face like that could never be posed! What a cutie I have!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lucky Number SEVEN

Today is our SEVENTH anniversary! I can't believe it. Because it landed on a Sunday, we went out to celebrate yesterday. The morning started with a new haircut for Joe, (I hate cutting his hair ... which is why it always gets so long!), a trip to Old Navy, and lunch at Einsteins Bagels. After this we went to see "The Wizard of Odd" at Desert Star Playhouse. It is customary at this particular play house for the entire audience to celebrate when special occasions are present. We were the only couple that was celebrating their anniversary. Now I love Joe dearly -- but I am not a big fan of PDA. They had us dance to "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" while we danced in front of everyone there. Joe spun me a couple of times and I thought that I was going to fall! As we were leaving ... a couple of strangers wished us a happy anniversary.

After this we went to Sports Authority and bought two "disc golf" Frisbees. Last week Jake and Cody introduced us to frisbee golf -- neither one of us had played it before! There is a beautiful park in Murray that we found online. It has 18 holes of golfing goodness. Here are some of our best shots:

Joe always made the funniest faces in ALL of his photos.

Most of my pictures showed me getting upset.
I would be clenching my fists -- pouting -- it made Joe laugh every time! I think that this is the only photo where I am not angry with my shot. Notice I haven't ... thrown the frisbee yet!

Joe and I are best friends. I can't believe that we have been together for seven years now! It doesn't seem possible. He know each other so well. He can tell what I am thinking, (most of the time), by the faces I make, or by what I don't say. He is my other half -- and I love him!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lazy Scrapbooker

I love the first two days of summer vacation. I take a moment and rebel against being human. I ignore all responsibilities and do whatever I want -- because it is the only two days that I feel like really can. This is a picture of myself being "anti-anything" -- enjoying the "Lazy Days of Summer".

It has been a long time since I have sat down and spent the entire day scrapbooking. It has been a long time since I scrapbooked period. I was inspired by a post by my dear friend Brandi. She spent the entire memorial day scrapbooking with her aunt and completed 31 pages! It sounded so fun -- I had to give it a try. I invited a friend over and we got to work. I don't know if I am really slow -- too much a perfectionist -- or easily distracted but I only finished 4 pages and 2 cards. BUT that is 4 pages and 2 cards more than I got done in the last 6 months or so -- SO I am feeling pretty darn good. Here is my best 2 page spread:

If you can't tell it contains pictures of Joe's 29th birthday. We got together with the Boucher crew to celebrate. We ate dinner at Macaroni Grill and then went bowling together. It was so fun to be able to spend it together!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Last Day of School

I am always emotional at this time of year. It is hard for me to gain a friendship with many of my students and then walk away in June. I am so lucky to be able to work with so many great students. I sometimes feel like I spend more time with them than I do with my family. They become family. What do I say to these exceptional kids when it is time to leave? The phrases "Don't forget me", "Good Luck", "I'll miss you" don't seem appropriate! For most of the students I want to say ... "Don't go!", "Stay in middle school forever". I obviously know that isn't possible. Each student holds a special place in my heart -- and they will forever!

I love learning. My favorite part about teaching is being able to help students reach their goals. There is a quote that says: "A teacher's goal is simple ... to help you reach yours". I feel honored to be a piece of their history -- a piece of their life.

I feel so proud that I can go to work and have it not feel like work. I love my job -- it is so much a part of who I am. I am a teacher. I come home and I am a teacher -- I go to the movies, to the store -- and I am a teacher. I am feeling SO lucky to be me right now!

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Sister's Keeper

I have just finished reading "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. It is about a girl who at the age of 2 was diagnosed with Leukemia. Their parents soon after got pregnant again so that they could use the cells from the umbilical chord to help save the daughter. Kate, the sick daughter, has survived 16 years with this disease and is now in the need of a kidney transplant. The younger daughter, Anna, hires a lawyer to sue her parents for rights of her own body. If you can get past the language ... this is an excellent book.

I think about my own cute sister Stephanie. We are best friends! I don't know what I would do without her. She is a ray of sunshine in our family! She is my favorite and I love spending time with her. We were talking one night about how we are glad that there are only two sisters in the family -- that way we don't have to pick favorites -- it is just us. I love you STEPH!!