Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Birthday" Girl P

This is one of those birthday posts that is way overdue so I'm making up for it now.  P is one of my "adopted" daughters, and her birthday was last month,!  Happy!  "Birthday" now!

I don't have many pics of P (something I need to remedy!), but here she is at her "sister's' wedding...

...and here she is at Pie Night 2013...P has never missed one!

I do have one more from Pie Night this year when Auntie P, aka The Baby Whisperer, took the kiddos downstairs to play.  All these kiddos don't phase Auntie P!  She LOVES it!

So this is an overdue birthday post, which means that I am sharing 5 things I have learned from P.  And trust me, P has taught me a LOT, so it was easy to find 5 things that she has taught me.  The hard part was deciding on only 5!

5 - Retail "math".  You may thing 500 + 100 - 75 = 525.  But trust me, it often = 356 and P has taught me to accept such things.

4 - How to read EDI.  If you don't know what EDI means, that's ok.  I don't read it as often or as well as P, but she taught me.  And I can still hold my own.

3 - How to speak P.  "If you were me, and you had been working on a spreadsheet about Germ-X sales in flu season 2007, what would you have called it?  And where would you have filed it?"

2 - Approved stops.  Not all places make the cut.  In fact, very few do for a road trip.  But Flying J always does.

1 - Excel.  Yep, pretty much the whole thing.  I could open Excel and do basic things, but anything I can do beyond that came from P.  And I know I'm not the only one she's taught.  She be good like that.

So Happy!  Happy! P!  Sorry this is so late, but I hope it brings a smile now and makes you feel special today!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Birthday Boy R!

Happy!  Happy!  Birthday to R!


Now before I begin to talk about 5 things that I have learned from R, let me admit up front that this man will most likely never read this, because quite frankly R doesn't have time to read this!  He is currently working 1.x full-time jobs / ministry, plus raising 3 boys, plus being a loving husband.  R doesn't have time for a birthday today much less to read this!  But in case he gets 3 minutes of "free" time, here are 5 things I've learned from or about R.

5 - Gaming is serious business.  Seriously.  R knows games.  He is even helping to develop a game that they hope to take to market someday.  Who does this?  R.  R does this.  Cause he be cool like dat.

4 - Gaming is all about relationships.  R has taught us many games - and done so very patiently.  We would so be gaming rookies for the collection in R's arsenal, but he never even so much as rolls his eyes at us when we are learning.  Cause gaming is about building relationships.  And R knows this full well.

3 - Music is life.  Not just a part of life.  Not just R's life.  Music is life.  Have you ever thought about where music came from?  How it started?  Why our voices (to various degrees of "enjoyment"!) can make music?  Did you know that the Bible talks about God singing over us?  I've heard pastors talk about how God didn't just speak creation into being but sang creation into being.  I like that idea.  It makes perfect sense to me that something as amazing as creation would elicit poetry and song.  It has for centuries by men, so why wouldn't it have done so from the Originator, the Creator?  Yep, music is life.

2 - Give until you have nothing else to give and then give a bit more.  Cause God's supply never runs out.

1 - Trust God.  Period.  He is leading - even if all we see is enough light to lamp our feet.  (Psalm. 119:105)
Happy!  Happy!  Birthday R!  We hope it is WONDERFUL and love you very much!  Like your dad says frequently, we are so proud of you, and I am one grateful lady to know you.  Thanks for letting your kiddos call me Grandma.  Warms my heart more than I could ever express.  Love you all!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Birthday Girl A!

Happy!  Happy Birthday to A!

I said a couple of months ago that I was going to post about 5 things I've learned from each family member on their birthday.  I've missed at least one birthday already, and I will try to make that up in some way.

But TODAY!  TODAY is A's Day!

So here are five things I've learned from this lady that I love dearly.  She has been such a gift to all of us, but most especially to S.  And A has been a most vital part in the gift that Lady L is to us.

5 - God is our ever present help in times of trouble.  Psalm 46:1.  A knows this from experience, and seems almost unflappable at times because she has learned it so well.

4 - Everyone has worth.  A never forgets this.  And lives it.  And not just for a living.

3 - A taught me that while grandsons are WONDERFUL, granddaughters are also WAY SPECIAL.  We got to watch Lady L a few weekends ago and had the best time with her - even if I did dress her wrong on the last day...sigh...Mimi still has much to learn!

2 - God makes beautiful things out of the dust...out of us...

1 - How to give good gifts.  A "wins" Christmas most every year for giving the best relational gifts. And she is teaching S and all of the rest of us about giving.  I doubt that I will ever learn half of what this lady knows about giving.

Happy!  Happy!  Love you Mrs. A!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

As promised and as some have requested!

It may look like a lot, but it's really not hard.  And if you make the filling ahead of time, it's really easy to put it together just before baking, and you're ready to serve in under an hour.  The whole pie can be frozen for 1 - 2 weeks, too, but the baking time would need to increase about another 10 - 15 minutes.

One other thing - I've allowed for flexibility in the recipe so that you can decide your desired thickness of the sauce.  It tastes yummy regardless of the thickness!  But if you want a perfectly shaped pie wedge, then go with the higher amount of flour to stock ratio.  I'm good to just scoop it with a big old spoon - or skip a serving spoon and bowl and just start digging in!

Hope you enjoy trying this!

Chicken Pot Pie
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup diced carrot (about 2 medium peeled carrots)
1 cup diced celery (about 2 celery ribs)
1 – 2 T. dried sage (to taste)
1 – 2 T. dried parsley (to taste)
1 – 2 T. dried thyme (to taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 T. olive oil
2 – 4 T. butter
2 – 4 T. flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 packet chicken enhancer
1 – 2 T. Dijon mustard (to taste)
1 – 2 T. Ranch dressing (optional, to taste)
Dash of soy sauce (optional, to taste)
1 t. brown sugar (optional, to taste)
1 cup frozen peas
Pie crusts for two-layer 9” pie
Egg Wash (1 egg beaten with 1 T. milk, cream or water)
¼ to ½ cup grated cheese (Cheddar, Parmesan, Pepper Jack, etc.)

Cut chicken into ½” to 1” cubes, removing any tough tendons.  Sauté chicken in 1 T. olive oil until lightly brown.  Season with salt, pepper and herbs.  Remove to plate and keep warm. 

In the same pan, sauté onion, garlic, carrot and celery in 1 T. olive oil.  Season with herbs.  Continue to sauté until vegetables are crisp tender and lightly browned.  Remove vegetables to plate and keep warm. 

In the same pan, melt 2 – 4 T. butter, depending upon desired sauce thickness.  Add 2 – 4 T. flour and stir with a whisk 1 – 2 minutes to cook and brown the flour.  Whisk in the chicken stock and cook until sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Add chicken enhancer, herbs, salt, pepper, mustard, ranch dressing, soy sauce and brown sugar and continue to cook to desired thickness.  It should at least leave a path on the back of a spoon when a finger is drawn through.

Return chicken and vegetables to pan and stir together.  Mixture may be chilled until ready to bake; sauce will continue to thicken in the refrigerator. 

Preheat oven to 375°.  Roll/place bottom crust in 9” pie pan.  Add frozen peas to chicken mixture and place in crust.  Roll/place top crust over meat mixture and crimp.  Pierce/decorate as desired to allow steam to escape.  Brush top with egg wash.

Bake for 35 minutes.  Remove and add grated cheese to top.  Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes until golden brown and bubble.  Let rest 10 – 15 minutes before serving.