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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Book Review- Blessings

Blessings is the third book by Kim Vogel Sawyer in the Sommerfeld Trilogy. Trina Muller, a member of the old order Mennoite community of Sommerfeld has always had a passion for healing abandoned and injured animals. Her parents encourage this tenderness towards God's creatures until Trina confesses her dream of going to veterinary college, which is prohibited by her faith. Graham Ortmann loves Trina, but worries about how can he possibly marry someone who is determined to go against the dictates of the Old Order Mennonite fellowship. Trina can never be happy if she is outside of God's will for her life. Just when she thinks she has God's will figured out for her a new Veterinarian takes over the old vets practice and then an accident happens. Will Trina be able to see all of her dreams that she thinks are God's will? That's what the story is all about and counting our Blessings! I really loved this whole series and highly recommend it!

Book Review- Bachelor Girl

Bachelor Girl is the final book in the Roger Lea MacBride series The Rose Years. This series continues in telling the story of Laura Ingalls Wilders daughter Rose. This book shows how much Rose grows up as she finally leaves home for the big city of San Francisco where she becomes a telegrapher. She has a rough time starting out, but finally makes it on her own. I really enjoyed this book as all of them in the series. I never read them when I was young so I read them when I was old lol. I really enjoyed them. Any Laura Ingalls Wider fan would love them!

Tasty Thursday-St. Patrick's Style

Trista has asked us to share St. Patrick's Day recipes this week. Here is mine. As always now I post WW point recipes, enjoy! I loved this light bread taste, the raisins make it, don't be skimpy on those they do help add some moisture to the bread.
Helen Doyle's Irish Soda Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups nonfat buttermilk
Vegetable cooking spray
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Add buttermilk; stir well until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 3 to 4 times. Pat dough into an 8-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and bread is golden. Let cool in pan 5 minutes; loosen edges of bread with a knife. Remove from pan; let cool on a wire rack. Cut into wedges. Yield: 12 servings
Calories 171 Fat 0.6 grams, Fiber 1.5 g, WW Points 3 points per serving
From Cooking Light, January 1995
Trista over at The Pumkin Patch is the host of Tasty Thursday, head on over to her blog to see more tasty St. Patrick's Day recipes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Morning Weigh-in

Well today is weigh in day and after gaining some ounces last week, I was determined to lose something this week. I not only lost, but I reached my first goal of getting under 300 pounds!!! I weighed in at 299.2 today! Last week I weighed 302.4, so I lost 3.2 pounds! I could not be happier! I reached my first goal. So, now I need to set another goal. I thought about 250, but I think I would really get frustrated with that, so my new goal is to get below 270, that is like about the same amount that I did in this first goal, so I really think it will be a good goal for me. I can't remember weighing 270 pounds. I think probably I weighed that in college, but that was over 10 years ago so for me that would be wonderful. My WW Points also go to 31 points now. That scale right now looks pretty good to me, but I know I got a long road ahead of me! Baby steps are going to get me there!!! Thanks to all of you for being there for me! Come visit me on my Honey, I Shrunk Myself Blog.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for Feb 25- March 2

I went grocery shopping today, so I have my menu ready for next week early. Last week we tried the Manwich Tater Tot Casserole and everyone liked it. I bought a big bag of frozen corn and Tater Tots so we are having again so I can use up my ingredients. This week we are trying a new recipe Sesame Chicken, see recipe below. All the other ones are family favorites. Here is my plan for this week:
  1. Manwich Tater Tot Casserole 6.5 points, salad
  2. Deep Dish Pizza Casserole- 6 points, salad
  3. Chicken Divan-4 points, rice
  4. Busy Day Chicken and Rice 3.5 points, green beans
  5. Chunky Tomato Soup-1 point with Thin Spaghetti, garlic toast, salad
  6. Mom's Cheese Pizza-4 points
  7. Sesame Chicken- see recipe below

Treats: I did not try these last time I had them on my plan so I plan to try them again.

Black Bean Brownies- 2 points each(these sound nasty, but everywhere I read, people love them! I think there is also a black bean fudge recipe, who knew you could do so much with black beans that was sweet and tasty?

Sesame Chicken
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Cooking Spray
4 (6-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds; cook for 2 minutes or until toasted; set aside.
2. Coat pan with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. Combine sesame seeds, honey, soy sauce, and ginger; pour over chicken, and cook 1 minute or until chicken is done.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 4 ounces chicken and 1 ½ teaspoons sauce.)
Per serving: Calories 233, Fat 2.9 grams, Fiber 0.2 grams.
WW Points 5
From Weight Watchers Five Ingredient 15 minute Cookbook page 58

Go here to see more plans.

Friday, February 22, 2008

FIF- Sides: Corn Casserole

I really like this Festive Corn Casserole, but this recipe is even lighter. And while I am watching points and what I eat, that's important. I also added some of the red pepper to this one yummy!
Corn Casserole
2 T. Fat Free margarine
2 cans of corn
1 can of cream style corn
1 bunch of green onion, chopped
16 oz. Fat Free sour cream
1 pkg. Jiffy cornbread mix
Spray 9X13 pan with nonstick spray. Melt the margarine in the pan. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the melted margarine. Stir. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes until set and browned.
Makes 12 servings- 3.5 points each
For more great side dish recipes go to Overwhelmed With Joy!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday- Chunky Tomato Soup or Spaghetti Sauce

Chunky Tomato Soup
1 (28 oz.) Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) Can Tomato Paste
1 (10 oz.) Can Tomato Puree
2-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
4 Packets Splenda
Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together and place into crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours.Note: This soup is pretty thick. It also doubles well as a spaghetti sauce.
Serves: 7 (1 Cup Each)Per Serving: 101 Calories; 1g Fat (7.0% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 23g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 514mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 4 Vegetable; 0 Fat.
1WW point
This was really good, kind of like a tomato basil soup. Dh did not like it by itself. He ate it with spaghetti noodles and he said it was fantastic that way. The kids ate it as spaghetti too. I really like this low point soup/sauce and will make it again. This is super easy to make too!
Slow Cooking Thursday is sponsored by Diary of a SAHM go look there for more recipes.

Tasty Thursday-Pasta!

Tasty Thursday is all about pasta today! Here is a recent recipe I tried!
Baked Ziti with Beef (6.5 points)(From Cooking Light) (and Nancy)
4 cups Tomato Sauce
1 pound ground round
4 cups cooked ziti or rigatoni (about 2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
Cooking spray
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble. Drain well. Combine beef, rigatoni, Tomato Sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Serving Size = 1 cup
Original recipe called for Rigatoni, but all I had was Ziti, this was really good! We will have it again. I served it with a tossed salad.
Trista over at The Pumkin Patch is the host of Tasty Thursday, head on over to her blog to see more tasty Pasta recipes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Hi, have you all missed me? Sorry to post so much this morning. I think I have all of my book and movie reviews caught up! I guess I have been busy with my diet and diet blog, but this is my main blog. I gained .6 pound this past week so I am working even harder this week! I just hope I do better and can get out of the 300's. This diet thing is a one day at a time thing. If it is not, it just gets me down!
Many of you asked about my Valentine's Day outing. We went with 15 other people from our church and ate at the Chinese Restaurant all you can eat buffet. I had a really good time and enjoyed the free babysitting, but I think I would have enjoyed Valentine's Day better if we had just went out by our selves. It was kind of weird with everyone at the table, but at the same time nice to be with other adults. I love Dawn's idea of watching a love type movie, I think she watched The Notebook, with her dh. I think I want to do that next year!
Well, hope you all have a great day! I plan to post some recipes on Thursday and Friday, so check back!

Movie Review- Chisty, The Series

I wathched this about a month ago, only I have not gotten around to writing a review about it. I love my library because you can check out the whole set of a series for a whole week. This series was so adictive! I watched it all in about 3 days, no joke! It is really good. They do not make a whole lot of series on TV like this one, these days. I read the book and watched the movie and really loved them both. So, I thought I would check out this series. The series is about a well to do young woman who goes to teach school in Cutter Gap Tennessee and her many adventures there with the poor families and love. I really loved this series!

Book Review- On the Banks of the Bayou

On the Banks of the Bayou by Roger Lea McBride, is a book in the Rose Years Series. I have always loved the Little House Books and a couple of years ago, I found out that there are other series about other relatives of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have read all of them except for a few of the Caroline years and a few of the Rose years. I have only not read those because I could not find them at the library. Well, the other day, I was in the library searching for a book for my son to read, well he was searching, and I noticed this book. I am now reading the final book in this series. I know I am reading middle school material, but hey it is soo good! Anyways this book starts where the last book left off when Rose. Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter, decides she wants to go to high school only there is not one available where she lives and actually she is really bored with school in her area. So, Rose goes to Louisiana to live with her Aunt Eliza Jane to goe to a new high school there. This is a really good book, but the back of the book says this is the best in the series and I would have to say that I do not agree with that at all. I thin the first few books of this series are so much better! These are quick reading and really great books. If you like the Little House books you will enjoy these too.
Pages: 232
Total Pages read in 2008: 1502

Children's Book Review-Junie B. Jones Series Books 1 and 2

My eight year old has to read for 20 minutes every night. He has been reading this series at school and loves it. So, I let him buy the first two books at Walmart. Junie B. Jones is the first book in the very long and popular series by Barbara Park. I liked the storyline. The story is about a little girl who has to go to Kindergarten for the first time and has to ride the school bus, which really scares her. While I thought the story was funny, the little girl is a 5 year old terror! She is just plain bad and says not so nice things. My son just loves to read those part! Overall and okay book.

After he finished that book, we started on the second in the series, Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. This book is hillarious when Junie B.'s mom has a baby that everyone says looks just like a monkey only Junie B. takes that litterally and thinks her new brother is a real live monkey. Very funny book.

Movie Review- The Christmas Card

This is another find at my library! In the midst of war in Afghanistan, Cody Cullen is touched by a lovely card sent by Faith Spelman from the small, picturesque town of Nevada City, California. As months pass, the card never leaves his side, giving him the strength to survive and setting him on a mission to find her. Only he has to compete with another guy. The scenery is really nice in this movie and I just overall really enjoyed it!

Little John-Movie Review

I saw this movie at the library and had to check it out. I love Hallmark movies and had not watched this one. I was not let down, the movie was great! The unmarried daughter of a Teaxas rancher gives birth to an unwanted child. Her father refuses to help her and she lives in a home for unwed mothers and gives the baby up for adoption,only she does not know that the nuns call her father to come and get the child to raise him. Twelve years later, she is a successful family court judge in L.A. She has refused to see her father and knows nothing of the child. All that changes when her father decides it is time for her to know her child and he wants to reunite with his daughter because he is getting sick and could soon die. A secret is revealed at the end and that may change everything. This is a fabulous movie and I would highly reccommend it!
I wish I could figure out why my spell checker will not work because I am a terrible speller and it has been forever since I have been able to use that feature on blogger?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! Hope you all have a special day! Our church is having a Valentine's Date night. We are all going to eat at the local Chinese Restaurant. It is an all you can eat buffet with seafood and I do not have a clue what any point values will be for anything I eat. So, I am going to have to be real good today so I will be able to eat tonight. Dh says I better eat something because the buffet is $14 a person. So, I know I am going to eat. Also, our church is providing babysitting. They did this for one other time we had a church trip and it was really nice. Well I hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day. Don't eat too much candy. My favorite Valentine's Candy is the Conversation Hearts and I have not had one.

Tasty Thursday-Mexican Style

Crockpot Sour Cream Salsa Chicken (3 Points)
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix (I did not have so I used Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning)
1 cup salsa
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup light sour cream
Spray the crockpot with cooking spray. Add the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with Taco Seasoning. Top with salsa. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, remove the chicken from the pot. Place about 2 Tablespoons cornstarch in a small amount of water. Stir well. Stir the cornstarch mixture into salsa sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup of sour cream. Pour Sour Cream/Salsa mixture over chicken.
Per Serving: 170 Calories; 2g Fat; 28g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 70mg Cholesterol; 403mg Sodium. 3 POINTS per serving
This was yummy! I had green beans and brown rice with it.
Trista over at The Pumkin Patch is the host of Tasty Thursday, head on over to her blog to see more tasty Mexican recipes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Neil's First Birthday Party Pictures!

Book Review- On Her Own

This was the second book that I have read in Wanda Brunstetters Brides of Webster County Series. In this book on her own, we learn more about Barbara Zook, who was Faith's friend from book one. Barbara is devastated when her husband David is killed after going to get there anniversary present. When harness maker Paul Hilty arrives in Webster County, Missouri, he finds himself agreeing to help run Barbara's shop. Things are going fairly well until widower Bishop John Frey comes a-courting Barbara, and Paul's jealousy takes everyone by surprise. The decision she makes is really what the whole book is about. This book as always uses scriptures to guide the characters. Another great book! I can't wait to read book 3!
number of pages: 286
Total 2008 pages read: 1270

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Morning Weight-In

Well I weighed in today at 301.8. That is my scale in the photo. The glass seems to make it harder to take a picture with the glare it gets, but I think you can still read it! So, that is a 3.2 pound weight loss for this week. I am really happy with that! It was a really hard week too with birthday and anniversary, so I probably would have lost more if I had not had those. So, this week I am hoping to get out of the 300's!!!!! I planned in some low point treats for Valentine's Day in my menu plan this week to help me stay good. lol! You can see my weight loss ticker if you scroll down, but I have lost 22 pounds!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Here's my plan for the week a few new things and a few old!

  1. Deep Dish Pizza Casserole- 6 points, salad
  2. Chicken Divan-4 points, rice
  3. Teriaki Sticky Chicken-4 points rice
  4. Chunky Tomato Soup-1 point, Light Garlic Biscuits
  5. Manwich Tater Tot Casserole 6.5 points, salad
  6. Stovetop Meatloaf Muffins- 2 points each, green beans, mashed potatoes
  7. Baked Rigatoni With Beef- 6.5 points, salad

Valentines Treats For this week:

Black Bean Brownies- 2 points each(these sound nasty, but everywhere I read, people love them! I think there is also a black bean fudge recipe, who knew you could do so much with black beans that was sweet and tasty?

Frozen Peanut Butter Cups- 2 points

Go here to see more plans.

Friday, February 8, 2008

FIF-Valentine's Day Chocolate Edition

No-Guilt Chocolate Cream Pie

In a mixing bowl, combine:

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey

2 cups of rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)


1 package sugar-free fat-free chocolate pudding

2 cups skim milk

Spray 9-inch pie pan with no-stick cooking spray and press cereal mixture into pan. Freeze for 1/2 hour. Prepare pudding mix according to directions on pudding package except only using 2 cups of skim milk. Pour pudding mix on top of frozen rice cereal mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours.Makes 8 slices of pie at 3 Weight Watchers Points per slice.

Here's the website that I got this recipe from. I used the Rice Krispies, the person who posted this used quick oats instead. This was a VERY yummy dessert. I will make it again, My kids even ate it, which shocked me because it was sugar free Jello.

If you would like to see my results from my first month of getting healthier go here. I have had an 18 pound weight loss!

For more great pie recipes go to Overwhelmed With Joy!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Neil!


Happy 1st Birthday to my last baby, Neil! He was born 1 year ago today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-My 18 pound weight loss!

A-Z Reading Challenge

Joy from Thoughts of Joy is having a great Reading Challenge
~ align the author's last name or the title of a book (excluding "the", "a", etc.) with its corresponding letter in the alphabet
~ enter a different book for each author and title (total of 52 books)
~ complete the alphabet lists anyway that suits your fancy
(i.e.: complete each list separately in alphabetical order, read both "A" entries, then "B" entries, fit whatever you're reading into either list, etc.)
~ complete the challenge in the year 2008
~ enjoy the experience!
Below is my list, will work on it more as I keep reading.
A-Z Titles
B-Beginnings by Kim Vogel Sawyer-finished Feb 5
C-The Christmas Shoes by Donna Van Liere- finished Jan 1
D-Death by Pantyhose by Laura Levine- finished Jan 2
G-Going Home by Wanda Brunstetter- finished Jan 28
O- On Her Own- Wanda Brunstetter-
A-Z Authors
A-Aarsen, Carolyne
B-Brunstetter, Wanda
C-Collins, Brandilyn
E- Evanovich, Janet
F- Fluke, Joanne
H-Hunt, Angela
J- Johansen, Iris
K- Kingsbury, Karen
M- Montgomery, L.M.
W- Woodsmall, Cindy

Book Review-Carnival at Candlelight

This is Mary Pope Osborne's 33 book in the Magic Treehouse Series. My son and I read these together. I enjoy them as much as he does. This time, Merlin has asked Jack and Annie to help on another Merlin Mission. This time they head back into history to Venice, Italy. With the help of a research book, a book of magic rhymes, and a set of mysterious instructions from Merlin, the heroes will save the beautiful city from a flood!

Book Review-Beginnings

This is the second book in the Sommerfield Trilogy. Beth Quinn is struggling to find a place to belong in the Old Order Mennonite Community of Sommerfeld, Kansas. When she starts a business designing stained glass windows, two men-one a Mennonite, the other not-begin to vie for her attention. Andrew Braun, a member of the Sommerfeld fellowship, is dedicated to family and faith. Sean McCauley, the son of a successful businessman, may only be interested in Beth's talents. Will Beth look to her heavenly Father to fill the emptiness within, or will her desperate quest for love shatter more than one heart? I really enjoyed this book, it really places the importance on make family a priority in life. I recommend reading the first book in this series before reading this one. I cant' wait for the finaly book!
pages: 284
total pages read 2008: 984

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Book Review- Death By Pantyhose

This is the sixth book in Levine's Jaine Austen cozy mystery. In this book, Jaine takes a job writing jokes for Dorcas MacKenzie, who is a standup comic that uses pattyhose at the end of her act. Dorcas's comic rival, Vic, ends up dead and strangled by a pair of pattyhose, the same kind that Dorcas uses in her act. Jaine goes out to find the real killer. Vic had plenty of enemys and so it really is a mystery for Jaine to solve. Another good book in this series that leaves you wondering who done it til the end.
pages 244
total 2008 count 984

Weight Loss Update With Pictures

I did not update on this blog yesterday. I lost another pound.
Everyone has been saying they can tell a difference after I have lost 18 pounds. I feel a little different but really did not see it for myself until this picture! So, do you see a difference, other than me being happier?

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