Tuesday's...Wednesday's Question!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This week's Tuesday's Question has become
Wednesday's Question because sometimes life happens.

"So, what happened to me yesterday that I missed posting?"

If you are friends with me on Facebook then you know
the answer to this week's question.

But I'll give everyone else the lovely details to keep you all 
up to date on my life...because it's just so interesting.

Monday night I decided to go grocery shopping while Michael was at karate practice.
Of course, the Colonel was with me.
I mentioned to him as we were in the grocery store that my legs felt weird 
and I was really tired.
So tired that I went to bed right when we got home,
only to wake up at 2:30 in the morning with the worse pain in my stomach
proceeded by the worse vomiting I've had in YEARS.

The Colonel skipped Physical Training with the cadets to stay home with me
but I insisted he go to work because he had classes to teach.
Around 8:00 I responded to a text he sent me asking him to please come
home and take me to the emergency room.

I knew I needed help.
I couldn't stop throwing up.
I couldn't get off the bathroom floor.

My mother, thank the Lord, came over to try to help me get dressed
and, obviously that failed since I went to the ER in my pajama top and 
never even looked in the mirror to see what my hair looked like.

Yes, that is a HUGE CLUE I was sick.
I never leave the house without looking in a mirror.

We arrived at the ER and they took me right away.


I spent the next few hours hooked up to an IV, receiving medicines
to stop the stomach pain and more importantly stop the nausea and vomiting.

Thank God for medicine.

I was able to come home in the early afternoon
with a warning to return if the vomiting returned.

I spent the rest of the day in bed...


Which is so much better than spending my day HERE...



So, let me know what you all were up to yesterday!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Military Ball...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Well, I survived Saturday night.
It really was a lot of fun.
This was our second year attending the military ball up in Scranton, PA.

The ball is held in the old Lackawana Train Station
that has been converted into a hotel...


University of Scranton is part of the "group" of universities
for this ROTC northeastern PA section.

The ONLY way to look out the window in our room was to 
stand on top of the desk under the window,
which is what the Colonel had to do to take the picture; 
the window is so high up.
It was quite funny, but it's a converted train station and the windows
on the top floors are small.

The view from our room...


At the cocktail party in the hotel lobby.
Drinks only, no fun food...


A display table...


Some of the cadets that are in the program with the Colonel...


An outstanding cadet, James Gonzalez...


Our table...


This picture is from last year.
There is a a restaurant in the hotel lobby where we had breakfast last year...


Beautiful stained glass...


The highlight of the evening is the Grog Bowl...


Different cadets dress up as various soldiers throughout the years
and give a little "speech" on their life in the military and add
a bottle of liquor to the big kettle on the table.

The cadets have a lot of fun acting as different soldiers 
and the costumes are crazy.  

There's plenty of music, dancing and liquor being added and then
the graduating cadets all line up and have a glass of the concoction while
the commanding officer gives a speech.

(Thankfully the Colonel will never have to be a part of this!) 


The whole night was really nice. 
I was able to meet the cadets that the Colonel teaches but more importantly,
I was able to sleep past 5:00 yesterday morning and
wake up to the lovely bell chimes from the Catholic Church
across the street from the hotel.

Please come back tomorrow for 

Enjoy your day!

Military Ball...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In yesterday's post, I hinted that the Colonel and I have plans for the weekend.
We're heading up to Scranton to attend the yearly Military Ball.

I will be taking pictures and posting about our weekend on Monday.

But for now, you can read about our adventures
at the Military Ball from last year HERE.

Say a prayer for me, okay?
As much as I know I will enjoy this, I always get a little
anxious meeting all these new people
and of course, leaving Michael.

He's at Bible Quiz today and will be with my mom later.

Enjoy your weekend!


Cheescake Cupcakes...

Friday, February 24, 2012

This week's Something Yummy for My Colonel's Tummy is a dessert
I've been making for YEARS using my mini muffin pan.
Cheesecake Cupcakes.
I made around 100 for Olivia's graduation party last year and thought I was going to die.

Seriously.

The recipe calls for using a Vanilla Wafer cookie as the crust of each cheesecake cupcake.  
BUT,
I could not for the life of me get the Vanilla Wafer cookie to 
fit inside the paper cup and when I tried to 
spoon the cheesecake filling in, it went all over the place. 

But I kept filling the mini cupcakes as best I could and they were delicious and
looked beautiful with all the other cookies and desserts. 

HOWEVER,
I told myself I would not make them ever again.
But I did, for Thanksgiving, and the same thing.

WHAT A MESS.

Last weekend I decided to try ONE more time, only 
using my regular sized cupcake pan and not the mini ones.

Here's the result...



PERFECT and so EASY!

Ingredients for the crust:

16 Graham Crackers
1/4 lb. melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Ingredients for the cheesecake filling:

16 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Ingredients for the sour cream topping:

1 pint sour cream
1/3 cup sugar

(This recipe makes 24 cheesecake cupcakes)

I didn't use graham crackers because I didn't have enough.
BUT, I had a whole box of Vanilla Wafer Cookies and decided to crush those
and use them for the crust.

Begin by crushing your graham crackers or Vanilla Wafer Cookies.
I placed the cookies in a plastic bag and used my rolling pin...


Add the melted butter and sugar to your crushed 
graham crackers or crushed Vanilla Wafer cookies.

Line your cupcake pan with paper liners.
SPRAY each liner with a cooking non-stick spray.

Add one tablespoon of your crumb mixture to each cupcake holder.
Press down firmly.  
I used a juice glass which fit PERFECTLY.


Makes the crumbs nice and even...


Combine cream cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla in a medium sized bowl 
and mix until smooth and creamy.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into each cupcake holder, filling them about 2/3 of the way.  

I use an ice cream scoop...


Bake your cheesecake cupcakes in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare your sour cream topping.
Combine the sour cream and 1/3 cup sugar in a mixing bowl 
and mix until smooth...


After your cupcakes have cooked for 20 minutes,

remove them from the oven and cover each baked cupcake
with some of the sour cream topping, filling each cupcake holder completely.

Return to the oven and continue to bake for another 8 minutes...


Let the cupcakes cool before removing them so they get firm enough
to stand on their own when you remove the paper liner...


You can add fruit on top if you desire!

So DELICIOUS and so EASY...





Enjoy your day!

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This is a delicious and easy meal you can have ready in 30 minutes.
The sauce freezes well, so you can make extra for the future when life gets even busier


Cheesy Beef Enchiladas...




I posted the original recipe for this dish, Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
awhile ago and it was very popular here at Walking on Sunshine.


We enjoyed it with chicken, so I thought, why not Cheesy Beef Enchiladas.
The secret to this dish is the sauce.
It is FABULOUS.

Ingredients for the sauce:

3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapenos 

Ingredients for the Cheesy Beef Enchiladas:

Ground Beef
1 can refried beans
flour tortillas
cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese


Let the deliciousness begin...

In a pan, melt the butter.
Then stir in flour and cook 1 minute...


Add broth and whisk until smooth.  
Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly...


Stir in the sour cream, the can of chilies and the can of jalapenos, which I do NOT drain.  
Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream...


Sauce is ready...


Now on to the Cheesy Beef Enchiladas...

Brown the ground beef in a pan.
Once the meat is browned, add the can of refried beans and combine.
Spread the beef and refried bean mixture down the center of a flour tortilla
sprinkle with cheese...


Roll up and place seam side down in a baking dish...


Cover with the DELICIOUS sauce.
If you have extra sauce, don't worry, it freezes well.
Sprinkle more cheese on top...


Bake at 415 until bubbly, maybe 15 minutes.
Then turn the broiler on and broil until the cheese is 
slightly browned and looking DELICIOUS.
This only takes a few minutes, so do not walk away...


DELICIOUS...


Serve with a side salad and you have a very easy and fabulous meal.


Enjoy your day! 

My Son...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I've been a little sick.
And I missed wishing my son, Michael, a Happy Birthday on Saturday
here on Walking on Sunshine.

I love this boy so much.
Here is what I wrote about him a few years ago on his birthday.
It deserves to be repeated...


Happy Birthday to my son MICHAEL!
Michael's birth was very unpredictable. 
I actually went into labor with him 8 weeks early 
but was able to hold on till his due date.

However, by the time that date arrived I was very huge. 

I guess that's what 8 weeks of bed rest does!
Anyway, during Michael's birth he somehow managed to get stuck...
he was just too big, he weighed 10 1/2 pounds! 
All of a sudden 3 nurses were on top of my belly 
trying to push him out, 
his heart rate had dropped tremendously and 
I was in the worse pain I ever experienced as the doctor 
proceeded to break Michael's collarbone to save his life. 
He was born with no heart beat, not breathing and quite blue.
Thankfully the Lord had HIS Hand on my son and they were able to revive him. 
He has been a joy to us ever since!

Olivia and Michael, Easter 1999...


Six years ago pumpkin picking at a farm near our house...


Earning his brown belt two years ago...


Camping trip with the Royal Rangers from church...


With his sister, Olivia, last Thanksgiving...


With the Colonel last Easter at my sister's house...


Last summer in Phoenix, Arizona at the National Fine Arts Convention.
The temporary tattoo says, "Forgiven..."



And a picture I found on Pinterest 
that says it all...



Tuesday's Question...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday's post.
This real-life tragedy still continues to bother me and I hope
that by helping to spread the word this injustice will
soon be overturned.  

Now, on to this week's Tuesday's Question...

"How much is a gallon of gasoline in your community?"

AND...

"Has it begun to affect your life?"


A gallon of gasoline where we live in PA is $3.69 as of yesterday.

AND...

YES, it is affecting our life!

We have 3 cars in this family.
BUT all 3 cars are OLD and over 100,000 miles.
The car Olivia drives is a 2001 Ford Focus and has close to 180,000 miles.
It's a station wagon and GOLD.
She and her friends call it The Twinkie.
We're thankful that our cars run great and still look pretty good.


However, filling up all 3 cars is becoming very costly.
I'm thankful Olivia is down in Florida attending college
and her car sits in our driveway although
the Colonel does drive The Twinkie a few times a week to keep it running.

Filling up all 3 cars ONCE a week can run us close to $150 - $200...

It's a good thing I don't need to go out every day.
I try to stay home as much as I can and do all my errands/shopping
only once a week or have the Colonel stop and pick up something
for me from the grocery store since he is out every day.  


Give me an idea of how much a gallon of gasoline is in your hometown.
AND...
Let me know if it's affecting your life and what are some things you're doing
to help offset the costs.




HA! 


On the menu at our house tonight:

Tossed salad with Italian dressing


Enjoy your day!

And, yes, I'm feeling much better.
Thank you!

Sometimes Life Just Hurts Too Much...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

This has been a hard weekend for me.
It hit me Friday night...my throat was on fire again.
Thankfully I was able to get to my doctor Saturday morning
and am back on antibiotics; much stronger this time.

Seems I never got over this a few weeks ago
and it came back in a horrible way.
I couldn't even get a post written on Saturday to wish my 
amazing son, Michael, a Happy 15th Birthday.

Then I found out that a friend's mother was on her deathbed
Saturday, and passed during the night.
Another friend's brother is fighting a war with his heart.
Someone I grew up with had a liver transplant, a living transplant from his brother,
 before Christmas and now needs a miracle from God.

So much sadness.

And then I read Blondee's post last night
and my heart really was broken.

Please read.
And if you feel moved, please repost.  

I will try to be back tomorrow for Tuesday's Question.

Thank you...

Child Killer and Enough

 There is no relationship that lasts longer in this world than the relationship of siblings. God's gift of best friends to us in life. MeetLauren Belius and her twin sister Erica. Beautiful baby girls, aren't they?
 The girls were inseparable, Lauren being the brave 'older' sister, and Erica being the shy little sister.
Older brother Nolan didn't just have to share the spotlight with one cute little sister, but two! These three joined our Taekwondo studio last spring. Busy little kids that we all got a kick out of watching as they learned their counters, kicks and kata's.
 Lauren and Erica- blessings beyond words, beautiful memories made of first birthdays, milestones, holiday mornings and their sweet personalities.
 Until one horrific morning in July of 2011.
 David Trebilcock stabbed Lauren to death in her own bed as her twin sat inches from her in the very same bed, horrified and screaming for help. David had been plotting her murder, going as far as to lock the family dog in the garage and barricade the bedroom door with a dresser before approaching these amazing girls, naked- to fulfill his plan of killing a child.
 By God's grace, Lauren and Erica's mom was able to break into the room and attacked David, incapacitating him so she could get her girls out of his evil clutches. Lauren succumbed to her injuries, tragically the little girl with the big grin left her family that day and went to Heaven where she would feel no pain, have no fear, and never be harmed again.
 Now a little sister who was shy and dependent on her older, brave sister would be left to navigate the world alone. Her twin, her other half, torn from her right in front of her, torn from us all.
David Trebilcock admitted to murdering Lauren Belius. He did not take the stand in his own defense, instead pleaded not guilty by defense of insanity. He then requested a bench trial instead of a jury of his peers and last week was found NOT GUILTY of killing Lauren.
Our community has been devastated by the murder of this sweet girl, a family broken forever, and a mom has been left to look over her shoulder the rest of her life for a man who made statements that make us all concerned that her other children may be in grave danger when he is released. This man had the foresight to lock a family dog away from the girls it would have fought to protect. He shoved a dresser in front of a door that would have allowed these girls to escape. This man is not an insane man, he's a cold, calculating murderer who just worked our system and has been freed of all charges by Judge Dwyer of Oneida County.
Our laws need to be changed!
There should be NO plea of insanity if you murder a child, and there certainly should be no bench trial demanded by the murderer!
*
David Trebilcock can be out in the world amongst you and me in 12 months!! A man who admitted he had intercourse with a 12 year old child. A man who admitted to having drug problems in the past. A man who hid his past from others and left other states when he knew he was in trouble. The very same man who murdered Lauren in cold blood.
*
Allison, Lauren's Mom is asking for help in spreading the word of this injustice. PLEASE, I am asking all of my readers to help me spread the word! Repost this on your own blog. Make every community aware of what our laws really do. Help us gain national exposure to get the ball rolling and make it so David Trebilcock and other child killers can not get away with this!
*
Please do not just link to this blog...too many readers ignore links. Please cut and paste! Right click to copy the photos.

I thank you for your help.
Lauren's Mommy thanks you for your help!

Photos posted of Lauren, Nolan and Erica Belius are with written permission of their Mom. Photos of sadistic liar, admitted child raping, and confessed child killer David Trebilcock are copied from the Internet.

For my bloggy friends~ If you repost, please leave a comment for me so that I know you did so and I will plug your blog with one of your own original posts later this week. Thank you!

Blondee


Homemade Pizza...

Friday, February 17, 2012

For this week's 
Something Yummy for My Colonel's Tummy
I thought I would share our homemade pizza.

We have homemade pizza almost EVERY Saturday night.




I've made it many years using homemade pizza dough BUT have also
purchased pizza dough from a pizzeria or the grocery store.


But this post is all about the homemade dough.

Ingredients:
(For the dough)

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup water (110 degrees)
2 cups flour (or more)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar

Ingredients:
(For the pizza)

Tomato Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Your favorite toppings.


For some reason, many people are AFRAID of yeast.
The very first time I used yeast I also thought it wouldn't work.
  
Here are some tips that work for me:

I make sure my water is between 105 and 110 degrees.
I heat a cup of water up in my microwave for one minute.
It always brings the water to the proper temperature,
but I still always use my thermometer.  ALWAYS.

Then I add the yeast and stir to dissolve and wait a few minutes.
When the yeast starts to get bubbly and foamy, it's ready.

Happy yeast...



In a mixing bowl with the dough hook attached, add the salt, sugar and olive oil.

Once the yeast has shown you that it is "happy," add it to the mixing bowl.
Then start adding your flour, 1 cup at a time.
The recipe calls for 2 cups of flour.
I NEVER use 2 cups. 
For some reason, I always need 3 cups.

If after adding the 2 cups of flour, your dough looks like this,
you will need to add more flour.  Add another cup...


When the dough begins to pull off the sides of the mixing bowl,
you are ready to begin the kneading process...


Set a timer for 5 minutes and let your machine do the work for you.
After 5 minutes, your dough will look like this, 
BEAUTIFUL...


Place the dough in a clean mixing bowl with 
a little bit of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and set it aside to rise.
You want the dough to "double" in size.

One loaf of dough doubled in size...


Take the dough from the bowl and place it on a cutting board,
or work directly on your counter top sprinkled with extra flour so the dough doesn't stick.

You can shape the dough by hand into a prepared pan but
I like to use a rolling pin to get a nice even consistency.
Olivia gave me a great heavy rolling pin for Christmas that is made for yeast dough...




Place your dough into a pan that has been brushed with olive oil.
Let the pizza dough rise AGAIN, another hour.

Then spread tomato sauce over the dough and add your favorite toppings...


Bake at 425 until your pizza is done to YOUR liking.
We like ours crispy and it varies all the time as to how long I bake it in the oven.
This was about 20 minutes...


So delicious...



This is what we have for dinner EVERY Saturday night,  if we're home.
And we're usually home EVERY Saturday night.  
Right where we want to be.  

Home.
Sounds lovely, doesn't it?  

Enjoy your day!  


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