Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Mexican Bake

1 box Penne Pasta shells

2 cups cubed chicken (I always use the cooked Perdue Mesquite chicken breast found near bacon at Kroger)

4 cups "Mexican" cheese blend (1 cup reserved for topping) OR you can get 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese (1/2 cup each reserved for topping)

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 Can (4 oz.) chopped Green Chilies

1 can Condensed cream of Chicken soup, undiluted

1 Cup medium or Hot salsa

2/3 cups Milk

-Cook pasta according to package, drain and rinse with cold water
-Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine chicken, 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, 1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, sour cream and 6 Tbls green chilies.
-In another bowl, combine soup, salsa, milk and remaining chilies.
-Put 1/2 of sauce in bottom of greased pan
-Add the pasta to the chicken mixture and mix. Pour on a greased baking pan.
-Pour the remaining sauce over past/ chicken mix.
-Cover with foil and bake at 350* degrees for 30 minutes.
-Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheeses and bake for 10 more mins or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tori's 4 month appointment at Children's Hospital.....

Today Tori had her 4 month appointment with the high risk clinic at the hospital. A few weeks late, due to scheduling conflicts with our favorite doctor, but worth the wait!

Tori now weighs 12 lbs 3 oz and is 24 inches long! Talk about a growth spurt! Her head is just under 16" which he was really thrilled about since it indicates normal brain growth, something they worry about with preemies.....he said that her head is actually on the charts! He has been working with preemies since 1974 and said that normal head growth is one of the greatest indicators of a positive outcome overall!

He completely agreed with me about delaying solids, saying that he would prefer that we wait until at least 4 or 5 months adjusted age (so 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 months actual age) to even consider starting and that if we wanted to wait LONGER that was fine with him. He is THRILLED that she is nursing and completely breastfed at this point.

She was cleared for her surgery next Friday to remove all of the hardware they placed when they did her bilateral nasolacrimal reconstruction. Surgery is scheduled for 1:30 PM, we have to be at the hospital at noon. Prayers would be much appreciated!

There are 2 issues they are concerned with:

1) there is a slight "turning in" or crossing of her left eye. He said it is very slight and something that the eye doctor may want to follow. He said it will most likely correct itself, but to be aware of it and alert the eye doctor if it seems to get worse.

2) Tori has "uneven tone". There seems to be a slight difference in tone between her left and right side of her body. Because of this she tends to turn her head to the right (or is it left, I am so confused!!) and only used her right arm to reach for toys. The uneven tone is most obvious in her neck and arms. The doctor mentioned that her head lag (head falling back) doesn't have to do with the size of her head but because the muscles in the back of her neck are tight. The physical therapist gave us a bunch of exercises to work on and we are going to start physical therapy in 6 weeks. They are hoping that since they caught it now that by the time we go in to start therapy the issue will resolve itself. Ironically I had mentioned to Jay a few weeks back that she seemed "tighter" than our other kids had across her chest and through her arms.

We aren't due back at the high risk clinic until near the end of May!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Favorite President

In honor of Presidents Day here in the United States, do you have a favorite President? Mine has always been Abraham Lincoln.....not so much for his politics (I honestly can't say I know much about it) but because he is my great, great, great, great, great, great cousin, so it is a family thing!

My kids had to pick 2 presidents to bring their favorite dish for 4H today....they picked Van Buren (whose favorite snack was apples) and Nixon (who liked his wife's homemade chocolate chip cookies)....can you tell we picked by FOOD rather than accomplishments?

Whether I agree with their politics or not, I am so grateful for the men who have stepped forward to lead this country. It isn't a job that I would ever want, despite your best intentions, someone is always opposed to what you are doing and how you are doing it. You are always in the spotlight. I pray that in the future, good men and women step forward to continue to lead this nation in our great tradition.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy 19th Birthday Hannah!

Hard to believe that my FIRST BABY GIRL is now 19 years old! Does it surprise anyone who knows here that she was in such a hurry to get here that her daddy didn't even make it into the delivery room before she made her grand entrance?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Snow Tubing at Perfect North

This is by far our favorite winter tradition!

The details:

Location: 19074 Perfect Lane Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
Perfect North Slopes is located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. From I-275
take the US 50 Exit 16, follow ski area signs north on Indiana Route 1
to ski area

When: Wednesday, February 16. 1:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Ages: ALL ages welcome (snowtubing is NOT recommended for toddlers or younger)

Cost: $20.00 per person


We always have a great time doing this! Last year most of us stayed from 1-8:30PM!! We are asking everyone to try to arrive no later than 1pm so we can collect the money and waivers, pay and get on the tubing slopes as soon as possible. You are welcome to bring your own food. They have a heated tent with picnic tables, outlets for anyone wanting to have hot food and/or drinks, and a concession stand for those who choose to buy. We recommend dressing in layers because you never know
what kind of snow tubing weather it's going to be.

Cost: $20.00 per person group rate. So that we can get the group rate you pay me when you get there or ifyou can't get there until after 1pm then you pay me before hand and I will have your tickets for you when you arrive. Or if it would work
better for you to pay on your own then you can pay $25.00 a person and show up whenever you like.

Feel free to invite others....friends, family, homeschoolers, non-homeschoolers. The more the better! Just make sure that if they aren't paying and being counted with your family that they RSVP.

Waivers: Everyone must have a tubing waiver -

Monday, February 14, 2011

Around the World Cooking Club

This month the cooking club focused on Chinese food in celebration of the Chinese New Year. We had so much fun making the wontons that we plan to make them at home again sometime soon. In addition to the fried wontons, we had rice, chicken, sweet and sour sauce and fortune cookies (which turned out more like sweet pancakes, not a recipe we would make again!). As always the kids had a really great time!

Friday, February 04, 2011

What: Invention Convention Simple Machines
When: Friday, Feb 4, 2011 10 AM to 12 PM
Where: Symmes Township Library 11850 Enyart Rd. Loveland, Ohio 45140
Who: Homeschoolers of all ages. Children 12 and under will be expected to have a parent/responsible adult on premises with them during activities, Teens 13 and up may be dropped off.
RSVP: Laura Riesenberg

The Idea---There are six simple machines: the pulley, the screw, the wheel and axle, the incline plane, the lever and the wedge. The goal of our project is to combine simple machines to make a marble maze. Each child or team will start with a similar sized cardboard background and will create a maze with the goal being that it takes the LONGEST amount of time for their marble to get through their maze. Once the mazes are assembled we will have each person/team run a marble through their maze and time them. The person/team with the longest time will WIN......the kids really seemed to enjoy the "testing" part when we built the bridges, hopefully this will go as well as that did!

If your child hasn't been exposed to simple machines, you may want to spend a little time explaining them so that they can use them in their maze.

Please bring any items with you that your child might want to incorporate into their machine. Suggestions from the original website (that I can no longer find since our computer crash) were:
Toilet paper rolls
Paper towel rolls
Pine Cleaners
Paint Stirrers
Molding Clay
Coffee Stir Sticks
Tape (duct tape, masking tape, clear tape)

I am going to try to find similar sized pieces of cardboard (I am thinking roughly 24"x36") and will let everyone know by Wednesday if I can get those for everyone. If not, Hobby Lobby has their foam core boards and project boards 50% off this week.

I will provide: glue guns w/glue, scissors, yarn, marbles

Any questions, please ask!