Sunday, June 25, 2017

Happy Birthday, A Recipe, and Rambling Thoughts

Yesterday was quite a day, for all of us really.

Lexi, our youngest, of four children, turned
EIGHTEEN!!!!!!

Talk about a wake-up call!  

Where does the time go?  It seems like only yesterday Kevin and I were going to the hospital to give birth to her.  Now our baby is all grown up.  It just doesn't seem possible.
Lexi had a very "low-key" birthday because she wanted it that way.  I tried and tried to get her to let us throw a big party, but she didn't want that.  

She didn't even want a cake.  She's trying very hard to eat healthy and exercise (she runs 1-2 miles everyday) and she has cut out all sweets from her diet.  I have to say I'm impressed by her desire to improve her health.  She inspires me and makes me want to do the same.  Love that girlie!
She did want a nice big dinner instead of cake.  Lexi requested Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo for dinner.  So, I got busy and made that for dinner.  It's super easy and we make it often enough.  I did "cheat" a little and bought a package of the shredded chicken they have in the deli section at Target (of all places) to throw into the sauce instead of baking and shredding my own like I normally do.  Dinner was super easy for me.  I made the noodles, then I made the sauce (from scratch of course), threw in the chicken and a little Parmesans cheese and it was good to go.  Everyone loved it, most especially Lexi.  
(I'll share my recipe below)
Then because Lexi does have a tiny weakness for a certain kind of candy bar, I bought a giant one and told her we would put a candle in the candy bar so we could sing to her and then we could all break off a piece of the candy bar.  She liked that idea.  Silly girl!!!  -smile-smile-
Some other interesting things that have happened to Lexi these past few days.....

1) She's all signed up for her first college classes
2) She finished all the requirements for her Young Woman's Medallion
3) She interviewed and was hired for her first real job and starts in a couple weeks.  They are doing their background investigation right now.  
4) She's really becoming good at photography
5) She will start going to the singles ward with her older brother very soon.  I think she wants to finish out the summer in our ward so she can go to youth conference and the tubing down the river trip with the youth.  (These are a few of the things she looks forward to every year)  And, she wants to get her Patriarchal Blessing too.

Our baby is growing up!  We knew this day would come.  I guess we just hoped it wouldn't come so far.  

We LOVE you, Lexi!!!

and, we hope you had a wonderful birthday!

In other news......

- I'm not liking this last steroid pack the ER doctor gave me to take.  (I've been on this particular one before and it didn't effect me like this)  Sure, I have all sorts of energy on them and I want to get all kinds of things done, but there is this "undercurrent", if you will, that makes me feel a bit strange and I'm not liking that.  I've got two more days of these pills so this will all wear off soon enough.  Thank goodness.

- I'm still breaking out in hives.  I even ended up with a fever blister or cold sore on my lower lip last night.  What the heck is going on here???  These past few days the hives have been a lot less than they were when I went to the ER, but come on already!!!  I'm so over all of this.  I just wish I could figure out what is causing them.  I'm now thinking the asthma and the allergies are somehow connected.  They have to be because the two seem to keep happening together.  Time to start living in a bubble I guess.  Can you sense my frustration here?  I'm going stir crazy here!  I need to get out of my house.  I'm tired of looking at these walls.  Please just let this pass and let me get back to my normal life.  Please.

- I turned in all of my paperwork to my employer yesterday for my time being out.  Eleven pages of stuff.  I love that I can scan them in and just download the documents to their website.  That is a wonderful thing!  Then they get what they need right away and I can scan them here at the house.  Love it!  

- Kyle put in his shift bid for this upcoming year.  Looks like he will be keeping the same shift.  He opted for it.  He said he didn't want to change unless he was guaranteed to not work Sundays.  Right now he can make it to at least Sacrament Meeting on the days he's not completely worn out.  Plus he really enjoys working with the officers on the shift he's on now.  They have a lot of fun together and that makes work a lot easier for everyone.  

- Curtis has been working a lot lately.  He even worked Saturday, so he's working some long days and a lot of hours.  He is still really enjoying his job and grateful for it.  He's been working with one of the other techs while he has been training and he seems to really enjoy his company.  It will be interesting to see what happens after Curtis gets his own truck soon.  He talked to the lady in charge of issuing trucks the other day.  It doesn't sound like he'll have to wait much longer.  I'm excited for him, but at the same time that's a lot of responsibility too.  I'm just excited for him.  He's working for a great company.  

- Yesterday I went to the mailbox and found three envelopes from the IRS and I got a little nervous.  I didn't open them right away.  Then it dawned on me that I requested documentation from them!  Oh what a relief that was.

- I went to the grocery store yesterday to pick up a couple things.  While I was standing at the deli counter I saw this guy with an arm full of groceries walk right out the door with them without paying.  I turned around from the deli counter, which happens to be right inside their door, and the produce guy watched him walk right out too.  He didn't even follow or go after the guy.  It was crazy!  When I asked the produce guy if that man just did what I thought he did he said they have people doing that all the time.  Frankly, I think it has to do with the design of their store.  If everyone was required to walk past the checkouts they would have less theft.  Even so, what goes through people's minds?  I can't even imagine a day where I would remotely think that walking out without paying for the things I went there for.  It was crazy!  When I came home and told my husband about this he said some places will fire their employees if they chase after someone like that.  He said, "that never stopped me from chasing them"!  I remember when Kevin was working for this tool store years ago and he would chase after a thief for a couple of miles on foot.  Then when he worked at Home Depot or Lowe's he use to love catching them especially when they tried to return something they never bought.  Stories Kevin could tell you.  Working at Home Depot all those years ago as a sales associate, department head, and then store manager sure gave Kevin a ton of experience.  He spent countless hours training with their HR Department Directors, Local Management Team, Regional Managers, and the then Co- founder and also the CFO of that company learning a lot.  I'm amazed by some of the things Kevin still knows today that I had no idea he was aware of.  There were times Kevin would get personal phone calls from Arthur Blank asking him about why he did certain things the way he was doing them when we lived in El Paso.  Kevin said he wasn't very happy with me at all for lowering the price of something below the price of their competitors at the time.  Kevin was selling for less than the company could buy it and that wasn't good.  Kevin was doing it so they would make the sales.  Well, that's not exactly the best way to get noticed by the owner of the company.  Later when Kevin was attending a regional Sales Meeting in California the owner called Kevin out about it right there in front of everyone.  From that day forward the owner knew Kevin and every time he came into any store he was at he made it a point to seek Kevin out and they became friends too.  Kevin has a way about influencing people.  He always has.  It's a gift and a trait he received from his Dad.  His Dad knew everyone and was always running into someone he knew everywhere he went.  Kevin does the same thing.  It's crazy to see and pretty cool at the same time too.  

- Curtis stayed home all weekend and didn't even make it to church today.  He said he started feeling sick on Wednesday with a scratchy throat and things.  This is the most he's been home since returning from New York.  It's weird.  I had a scratchy throat this last time this all started, but I thought it was because of our hot weather.  Maybe not.  It's been about ten days and that would be right about the time if someone else was going to catch whatever this is.  Frankly, I'd feel better about it all if I knew it was catching.  You know, less like there's something wrong with me and more like it's just a cold or flu or something they goes away.  

- Lexi is spending her afternoon today reading some new books she got and playing around with her camera and her new lenses.  That's what she wanted for her birthday.  She still has some birthday money to spend, but she's saving that for the things she going to need to buy for her new job.  She's got to wear certain colors and certain shoes.  Her new boss even said they'd work around her school schedule if she wanted to continue working in the fall.  At first Lexi was just going to work this Summer and stop when school starts, but we'll see what happens.  She's planning ahead and I am thrilled for her.  

Here is my Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo Recipe

1 pound fettuccini noodles
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes or strips, whichever you prefer
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons salted butter
2 cloves, garlic, grated
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions, about eight minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper.  Dredge in the flour and shake off the excess.  Heat the oil and the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter melts.  Carefully place the dredged chicken into pan.  Add the grated garlic.  Cook until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.  4 to 6 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Pour the cream into the same pan and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the Parmesan.  Add the pasta to the mixture and toss to combine.  Add the cooked chicken and gently toss.  Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.  

- I found this recipe I want to try sometime too....

Morning Energy Muffins

½ C. applesauce
3 C. Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Cereal
1 ½ C. milk
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. white flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ C. packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400ยบ.  Place paper liners in muffin tins.  {This recipe makes about 2 dozen muffins.}  In a mixing bowl, combine the milk and cereal.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes until the flakes get soft.  In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Stir the applesauce, egg and brown sugar into the cereal mixture.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Divide the batter between your muffin cups.  Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Then I could make these ahead of time and my family could grab a couple muffins and a piece of fruit for a healthy breakfast when I'm not around.  This would be perfect for Kevin too since he tends to gravitate to sugary stuff a lot lately.  This would certainly be less sugar, not completely gone, but less is better.  It's would be a start that's for sure.  I'm going to make some and I'll let you know what everyone thinks.

Well, that's about it for me.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.


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