Archive for January, 2010

Snow Day

Friday, January 29th, 2010

So we got a snow day today.  I was pumped when I heard the news.  A day off from school, an extra entire day with my baby, and snow to play in.  Then I looked outside and saw this:

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Nothing like a snow day in Kentucky!!  Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining.  The snow is supposed to hit later, I just found this to be humerous!  Enjoy your "snow day"!

Posted in Random |

Sweet Potato Fries and other yummy treats!

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Recently, Ben and I got a hankering for sweet potato fries.  We found a recipe, altered it a bit, made it our own and then made it three nights in a row!  Don’t judge us, they were delicious.  Make them, I bet you can’t eat just one! 

Here is what you need:

· 2 medium sweet potatoes

· ½ tsp ground red pepper or cayenne pepper

· 1 tsp cumin

· 1 tsp chili powder

· 1 tsp garlic salt or garlic pepper

· 1 tsp pepper

· 2 tsp brown sugar

· 2 Tbsp olive oil

· Gallon size baggie

· Ketchup (optional)

Step One:  Cut sweet potatoes into thin slices.  We tried both thin and thick and I prefer the thin ones.

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Step Two:  Mix cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, black pepper and brown sugar in gallon size bag.  Slowly add olive oil until a thin paste forms (around 2 Tbsp).

Step Three:  Add sweet potatoes, seal bag and shake until well coated.

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Step Four:  Place on cookie sheet (it took two for us).  Spread in one layer

Step Five:  Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until soft.  We actually baked ours until the middle was soft, but ends were a little crispy.  Serve with ketchup (if you are so inclined) and enjoy!

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These were really yummy with BBQ chicken and broccoli and cheese casserole (see recipe below) – this was night two.  We served them on night one with a simple Pasta Roni and green beans.  Then the third night we had bunless burgers with sautéed garlic and mushrooms.  Delicious!

Quick Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

Mix 1 bag of frozen broccoli (cook first), 1 can cream of mushroom soup (about 3/4 of the can), and 1/4-1/2lb Velveeta (depending on how cheesy you like it).  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.  Cook in microwave until cheese is almost melted.  Mix 1-2Tbsp of melted butter and Ritz crackers (enough to soak up butter).  Place on top of broccoli mixture.  Cook at 425 degrees until lightly brown (10-15 minutes).  Enjoy!

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Posted in Cooking |

Thinking of D-

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

I have been teaching for almost five years now.  In those five years I have dealt with a lot of sadness, heartache and illness.  But it wasn’t until this year that I ever had to deal with a life-threatening disease.  Just before Christmas one of our students was diagnosed with leukemia.  She immediately started chemotherapy and things were looking good…until today.  I just got a call from a fellow teacher and my principal saying that the reports are not looking good.  The cancer has spread to her bones and they have had to significantly increase her medicines  She is still at home, which is positive, but she is about to be a very sick little girl.  I am heart broken for her.  No child deserves to endure such a sickness.  I look at my little MLK and am so thankful she has had a healthy 9 months of life and I hope she remains healthy in the years to come.  It is just hard for me to grapple what this little girl and her family are dealing with.  It is so sad and hard to hear. 

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Posted in Work |

Chatty Cathy

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Sometimes we just like to talk…that’s all!

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Posted in Life, Parenting |

I Have A Dream

Monday, January 18th, 2010

In case you haven’t heard today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  A day we set aside to remember the awesomeness that was MLK.  He was a powerful, yet peaceful man who left a huge impact on our world.  He had such an impact on my husband and I we decided to name our daughter after him, Mikayla Lillian Kickert.  Here she is sporting her MLK shirt and marching (by marching I mean riding very snuggled up in her stroller) with us in the annual MLK march/service in BG interspersed with some MLK’s most impressionable quotes (in my mind anyway). 

2010-January 083I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

2010-January 085 Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

2010-January 092Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

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He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Mikayla can’t yet grasp the prophetic significance that her name holds, but my dream is that one day she will.  With that being said, here is my "I have a dream" speech for my daughter:

I have a dream that Mikayla will not look at the color of people’s skin, but rather their true being.  Befriend who she wants and love everyone, even those she hates.

I have a dream that Mikayla will treat everyone as equals.

I have a dream that my daughter will grow up in a world that is loving and non-judgmental.  A world that embraces everyone regardless of race, class or ethnicity.

I have a dream that Mikayla will succeed in her life dreams doing and becoming whatever she chooses.

I have a dream that my daughter will find a man that makes her as happy as Ben makes me.  I dream that she will be blessed with a loving family.

I have a dream that Mikayla will always have food, clothing and shelter to meet her basic needs.

I have a dream that Mikayla will embrace her namesake and strive to make the dreams of Reverend MLK come alive in her world.

I have a dream that Mikayla will live in a world where she is free to make her own choices and not be ridiculed because of them.

I have a dream that Mikayla will always feel safe and loved.

I have a dream that Mikayla will be open minded and adventurous.

I have a dream that Mikayla will keep her innocence and inquisitiveness her entire life. 

I have a dream that Mikayla will be a nurturer, lover and helper.

I have a dream that Mikayla will not only embrace the characteristics and qualities of MLK, but also those of Jesus. 

I have a dream that Mikayla will love the poor, embrace the outcasts, and rescue the marginalized.

I have a dream today!

I have many more dreams for my daughter, but these are the ones that come to mind this evening.  My speech is not quite as powerful as MLK’s was, but there it is. 

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Posted in Parenting |

MLK Update

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day, Mikayla’s namesake.  Check back later for pictures and comments about this and how we celebrated.  But for tonight, here are some recent pictures of our little MLK.

If you recall this post, you will be able to see how much MLK has really grown in 8.5 months.

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Mom got MLK this little zebra at a consignment sale, and while she isn’t quite ready to ride on her own, she is enjoying it.  Even Shiloh wanted in on the action! 2010-January 066   2010-January 068 2010-January 070


MLK was very eager to help me fold and put away the laundry yesterday.  She was a great helper!

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Posted in Life, Parenting |

Quick Potato Soup Recipe

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

This won’t be a long post, but I wanted to share this very yummy recipe I found.  It came from a food blog I subscribe to called Good Life Eats.  The recipe for potato soup can be found here.  It was quick, required ingredients most people have on hand, filling and perfect for a chilly, rainy evening such as the one we are having here in BG!  I am not going to type the recipe out, because it is already done so very nicely on the blog and that would just be redundant.  You can check it out for yourself!

I did make a few alterations, I mean after all I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t change a recipe a little!!  I added a generous Tbsp of garlic, an extra potato, 1/2 cup extra cheese, some Cajun seasoning, onion powder (I didn’t have onion so I omitted this), and lots of salt and pepper.  I omitted 1/2 cup of sour cream, mostly because I don’t like the flavor, and partly because I only had 1/2 cup.  We topped it with some bacon and some shredded cheddar cheese.  It was perfect!  And there was plenty left to eat on for the week.

Mikayla didn’t eat the soup, but sure enjoyed some rice!

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Posted in Cooking |

Fun Mikayla Pictures

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Mikayla is now 8+ months old, crawling, pulling up and one tooth in her mouth.  Here are some recent pictures of my little lady.

Here she is sporting a new outfit from her Great Aunt Dawn while lounging in her bean bag from Aunt Christa, Uncle Kris, and Cousins Tyson and Tanner.  She loves it!

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Ben took this photo the other day.  Napping has become somewhat non-existent in the last week.  She has never been a great napper (unlike her mommy, I can nap with the best of them), but in the past week she has refused to lay down for a morning nap.  If we can manage to get her down, she just sits in the crib and plays or cries.  We are lucky if she sleeps for 15-20 minutes.  The other morning she fell asleep while drinking her bottle, so Ben laid her in the floor.  This is what she looked like.

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Bath Time Fun!  Mikayla has gotten to where she really enjoys playing in the tub.  She likes to crawl around a lot, so this presents some problems, but we are managing.  She really likes to chew on her Rubber Ducky that determines the proper temperature of the water.

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Mikayla’s hair is at a funny stage right now.  She basically has two layers.  A long dark layer that she was born with and has grown for 8 months and then a bottom light layer that is just starting to come in.  It almost looks like she has a comb over because of the differences.  Ben thinks we should cut it, I am voting no.  I mean if we cut it, we can no longer give her funny hair dos like the one below during bath time!

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Posted in Parenting |

My growing girl

Friday, January 8th, 2010

It seems like almost everyday Mikayla “learns” something new.  One week it was how to pull out the electrical outlet covers (if you missed that video on Ben’s blog check it out here).  Another week it was moving from the “worm” to actually crawling.  It never ceases to amaze me all the things she knows how to do.

Most recently Mikayla has learned to clap her hands.  It is so stinking cute (I will admit I am a little biased, but what mom isn’t?).  Add in her cute personality with the clapping and she is just the cutest thing ever!  I can’t tell you how many times she does something and Ben and I look at her and say, “Could she be any cuter?”

In addition to clapping, she is pulling up on things like crazy.  She has been doing this for some time now, but is pretty consistent with getting up and down at this point.  She even “cruises” along after she pulls up a bit.  It is crazy.  Growing like a weed I tell, growing like a weed!

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Posted in Parenting |

Cake Pops to the Rescue

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Have you ever been extremely excited about a cake and then this happens:

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Well I have a solution for you – CAKE POPS!  This is a clever creation that I stole borrowed from Bakerella and adapted to meet my needs.  MckMama also made some the other day and inspired me to do the same.  She called hers Snow Pops, but whatever you call them, they are delicious!

Here is what you will need to begin:

· Standard cake mix (choose your flavor, I chose Funfetti).  I guess if you wanted to be adventurous you could make a cake from scratch, but I was on a time crunch!

· Icing (I used a cream cheese icing I made – see recipe below)

· Wax paper

· Sucker sticks

· Candy melts (I used both white and milk chocolate melts)

· Sprinkles

Step 1:  Prepare cake according to package (so I guess technically you will need oil, eggs and water).  While cake is cooking/cooling move on to Step 2.

Step 2:  Prepare icing (if making from scratch).  To make the cream cheese icing combine an 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese, 6 Tbsp of softened butter, 1 Tbsp of milk, and 3 cups of powdered sugar.  Mix until lumps are gone and it resembles icing for a cake.

Step 3:  Crumble cake (once cooled).  I used my food processor to do this and worked marvelous.

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Step 4:  Add in icing one cup at a time until the cake/icing combo can be formed into balls.

Step 5:  Roll cake/icing mixture into small balls and place on cookie sheet covered in wax paper. 

Step 6:  Melt a small portion of the candy melts in the microwave according to package (I melted in a coffee mug and this worked well).  Once melted dip the tip of your sucker sticks in and place halfway in cake/icing balls.  Place in freezer until firm.

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Step 7:  Melt a few candy melts at a time (I melted 1/4-1/3 of the bag at one time) in microwave.  Add food coloring or coloring gel until desired color is formed.  Obviously if you are using milk chocolate melts you won’t be able to change the color, but using white chocolate you will be able to.

Step 8:  Dip cake balls in chocolate until well coated.  Immediately sprinkle on sprinkles if desired. 

Step 9:  Dry upright until hardened (a minute or two should do the trick).  Styrofoam blocks would work best for this, but I didn’t have any on hand and didn’t feel like running to the store.  My sweet husband helped me improvise by taking a 2 by 4 and drilling holes into it.  It worked just as well I think!

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Step 10:  Figure out a way to present them in a fun way and enjoy!  I took them to a New Year’s Eve party and they were a hit!  This recipe makes about 50 and they were all gone before the evening was over.

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Posted in Cooking |