Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Smile - You're on Candid Camera!

I'm not quite sure, but I think I got a speeding ticket today.

I was driving down the road, listening to my music, minding my own business when all of a sudden I pass by an electronic sign that kindly lets you know how fast you are traveling and a flash went off.

I know that they are targeting that area, but really. An electronic sign giving tickets these days. I'll have to wait and see if something comes in the mail. Where are our tax dollars going I ask?

If it is a ticket, perhaps I'll take a picture of the money the ticket cost and send it in:)

Monday, April 28, 2008


Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

This is a wonderful, easy, tasty recipe that will become a "go to" when you need a great dinner in a short amount of time.

I've made it before, and it ALWAYS gets rave reviews. If you don't want to do the whole mashed potatoes from scratch, Country Crock offers mashed potatoes in a tub. Heat in micro for about 5 minutes, and they really are good!


For more great recipes, go to Organizing Junkie!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What Does Your Latte Say About You???

What Your Latte Says About You

You don't treat yourself very often. You find that indulging doesn't jibe with your very disciplined life.

You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.

You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.

You're totally addicted to caffeine... but you like to pretend like you aren't!

You are a child at heart, and you don't ever miss the opportunity to do something playful.

You are deep and thoughtful, but you are never withdrawn.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Congrats to Julie D and Nor_lou for winning Lysa Terkeurst book THE BATHTUB IS OVERFLOWING BUT I FEEL DRAINED!!
This was fun. I'll be doing more giveaways in the near future! Stay tuned!!

Get Yo Man Chicken

For any of you lookin for a man, wantin to keep your man happy, or just want a good, easy chicken recipe with or without a man, this one's for you!

I made it for my man last night, and let's just say, he was happy!

Easy and tasty... go here

Try the southern creamed corn, braised cabbage & carrots, and the hot rice to round out your meal.

Happy cooking! For more great recipes, go to Saturday Stirrings at It Coulda Been Worse!


I'm trying to publish a post dated tomorrow at 3:00 AM.
I'm not sure this will work, but I'm giving it a try.
I'm hoping it will not appear until Saturday at 3 AM


I work at a technology magnet school. This will really boost my confidence if I can figure this out!

P.S. I just looked at my blog page. This post was there - on this Friday night - at 9:15.
The blog says I wrote it on Saturday at 3:00 AM

Obviously, my confidence level is still at an even keel.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Have Not Fallen Off The Face Of The Earth!!!

Just a quick note.
Our computer has been down, Austin has been sick, the kitchen is in disarray (no surprise there!) and school is completely wacky!

Today was a gorgeous day. Austin is finally feeling better!! Todd bought a new computer!! They are working on my kitchen as I type this!! and it's Friday!! No school for 2 days!!

Carmen and I took Austin to the duck pond. I am one of those people that never remembers her camera until the perfect shot is right in front of me. I have made it Carmen's job to remind me to ALWAYS bring my camera!

Tomorrow is the giveaway!! Thanks to all that entered! I wish I had a book for all of you! Good luck!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

I'm so happy to have links back! It has been "one of those" days. I just got back from the doctors with Austin. He has a wheezy cough, but smiles just the same. Boy, I love that kid.

Well - for the carnival in town, I'm giving away 2 copies of Lysa Terkeurst's books The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained

This is a book to defeating Mommy stress!! Could I get an Amen to that!! I have recently found her post through Proverbs 31 women here

The book is divided into chapters that share her life and have a little bible study at the end that allows you to read scripture and jot down your thoughts and feelings. She's a great speaker and writer, and I know you will be blessed!!

Just leave a comment and I will pick 2 numbers randomly. Actually, I'll ask my daughter Ashley for 1 number and Kalie for the other. That's fair! The drawing will be held on Saturday by noon PST. I'll post the winners. Please leave your email or contact info so I can send the books. All US and Canadian friends are in the running!

Hope you win!


My link button no longer appears on my posting page, so here is the link
for a delicious CRISPY PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED COD AND ASPARAGUS SALAD I made last night. It is on my weekly planner this week.
It was really good and so simple!
For more weekly meals - go to I'm An Organizing Junkie's Monday Menus

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

There is a carnival coming to town! It includes lots of bloggers giving away wonderful things! I'll post what I'm giving away on Monday!!


Today I saw progress in several areas!

1) Austin is now pushing up on his hands and getting ready to crawl. It is sooo cute. I can't help but hug and squeeze him all day long. After seeing Erin's recent post about Elijah at Embracing My Cup, I realize that I need to take many more pictures as Austin is growing so quickly!

2) Todd's guys were over working on the kitchen today. They took apart the refrigerator wall and changed one of the cabinets. Also, they finished the cabinet in the living room. Next is the trim, sanding, and painting.

3) I finally got my menu planned on Saturday morning. This is huge. It seems like it takes me until almost Monday to finish the planning and grocery shopping. I was able to post at the Saturday Stirrings at It Coulda Been Worse site, but I listed the entire weekly menu - because this week - it is just that good! I hope you try something..... tell me how it comes out!

4) and last, but not least, I've been walking lately trying to lose some unwanted pounds. This morning I stepped on the scale, and I am back down those 3 pounds that have been hanging around for some time now. I still have 5 more to go to get to pre-pregnancy phase, and 11 to get to when my clothes really fit, but hey - 3 pounds is progress!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Delish Dish

I have to tell you. The spicy shrimp (that wasn't so spicy) and cheesy orzo with roasted green beans was a hit tonight. In fact, I'm serving it for company in about a week.
A couple of tips.

1) I fill up a saucepot of water (3 cups or so) and just add the orzo into the water when it boils. Add salt to the water while it comes to a boil, but realize that the orzo really picks up the taste of the salt - so only a small palm full should do. I don't really use a tool to measure the orzo, but it is about 1.5 cups. You will drain the water and keep the orzo - so as long as the orzo has room to groove in the water, you're fine.

2) I used fontina cheese because I couldn't find manchago. Grate and keep to the side.

3) Next time, I will put the orzo in a serving bowl, then make a well in the middle for the shrimp and chorizo mixture. It is really good with the mixture served on top of the orzo. I then sprinkled the top with the cheese rather than mixing it in.

It took me less than 30 minutes from start to eating!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I've tried all of these, and the fifth one worked! I tried 112, but a recording said the number was changed. I know when my baby was choking in Target, someone called the 112 and it worked. I haven't tried the second, but I will. I typed in the code for the third one, but once it was typed in, it didn't change my battery. Maybe it will work for you. And for the fourth one, I'm not sure what a font is on the cell pad - remember, techknowledgy challenged - so I will trust that you can make it work. It's worth a try!

I would have only listed the fifth one, but God forbid one of you could figure out the other four. I would never want to stand in the way of your safety.


The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find
Yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an
Emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to
Establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly, this number 112
can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy
someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys
In the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on
their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot
>From your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock
button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will
unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no
object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach
someone who has
the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the
keys *3370#. Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument
will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you
charge your cell phone next time.

How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following
Digits on your phone: *#06#.< /FONT> A 15-digit code will appear on the
screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it
somewhere safe.

When your phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider
and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset
so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally
useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know
that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there
would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

And Finally....

Free Directory Service for Cells

Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for
411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not
carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation
even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information
option, simply dial: (800)FREE411, or (800) 373-3411 without incurring
any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now

For more helpful tips, check out Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just Another Day....

Some days are filled with unbelievable excitement, some days are filled with pain and suffering, and some days everything gets checked off the list and I am filled with satisfaction. But other days are like today. Just another day.....

Nothing exciting, nothing new, just another day. I went to work, and all my angels worked well together and accomplished quite a bit. No bathroom trashcans lit on fire, no bloody noses, no fire alarms went off, just a nice, quiet day.

Austin was rolling around on my bed when I got home. Carmen was finishing up some laundry, and we packed up a few things and I took her home. I picked up Ashley from school (her car is on the blink), and we ordered some Panda Express for lunch, and then I dropped her off at work. Nothing exciting. Just another day.....

The happiest part of the day for me was going to our local christian bookstore and picking up Matt Maher's CD "Beautiful and Lonely" which Rocks in My Dryer highly recommended. Can't wait to listen to it on my way to work tomorrow. And, I purchased 4 of Lysa Terkeurst's books. Can't wait to start reading them tonight. I'm going to start with the one with the flip flops on the front cover. I'm also reading Beth Moore's To Live is Christ about Paul's journeys. I've never tandem read before - so we'll see how it goes, but I'm that excited to start Lysa's book.

I got home and made the Steak Kabobs on my menu planner with the corn salsa and black beans. We cut up a tri tip for the 1" cubes for the kebobs and boy were they tender. Todd bbq'd and my sister came for dinner. She lives around the corner. Across the street from my Mom. Which is why she (my mom) always comes to my house at 6:30 AM to play with Austin and have coffee with me.

Anyway, it is not unusual for my sister or my mom to drop over at anytime of the day or night. And they know I cook every night - or at least make a menu that says I will - so they come over at night often. Which I love!

So, just another day. How was yours?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Always Late For A Party

I pride myself with being on time. Something in me just feels that it is very necessary to be on time. My husband says it's that "Control Freak" thing acting up again.

Today, a good friend of mine had her 50th birthday party. A casual affair - lunch of BBQ hamburgers, chicken and potato salad.

Then I got home and blogged. I looked at the 5 Minute Mom blogsite and realized - I WAS LATE FOR ANOTHER PARTY!

It's true - better late than never. So, I'm glad to have finally arrived!!

I've been blogging for a couple of months now. It is so great to be able to gab with the girls. I do have 2 teenage daughters: 19 & soon to be 18. And, my husband has 2 teenage girls: 20 and 14. We have 1 son together: 8 months precious baby boy!!! What a thrill to do it all over again at 44! No, seriously.

I'm a special education teacher. I received my Masters in that area, and have thought about getting another Masters in Administration - to someday become a principal. BUT..... I really have another dream...

My husband and I would actually LOVE to open a Bed and Breakfast somewhere between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. He'd have a woodshop in the back, I'd have a big garden, and a wrap around porch filled with cozy rockers, overstuffed chairs with the aroma of peach cobbler wafting out of the large french doors off the kitchen..... you get the picture. Did I mention the elementary school nearby where the kids come over to learn how to make wooden objects and work in the said garden, with a cooking class thrown in for good measure?

Anyway, THAT is the dream. Right now, though, our piece of heaven is in Southern California with the beach 10 minutes away. For us, that works just fine, too!

Happy partying!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chicken Florentine Salad

This recipe comes compliments of the Macaroni Grill here on the west coast. I'm not sure if they're nationwide.

I order this salad EVERYTIME I go, because it is THAT good!

I've never asked for the REAL recipe, but according to my taste buds, here are the ingredients:

2 cups orzo
1 bag baby spinach leaves
2 chicken breasts - grilled and sliced -very light seasoning (maybe some garlic and onion powder)
1 cup pine nuts
3 roma tomatoes chopped
parmasean cheese - grated and about 3 thinly sliced pieces on top (you know, with that cheese slicer gagdet)

1/4 c Olive oil
squeeze 1 lemon
2 - 3 T apple cider vinegar

Now, I am not at all sure about the dressing. I've never made this at home, but I would mess around with the amounts until it tastes right.

Soooooooo worth it!!! For More Recipes go to Saturday Stirrings at It Coulda Been Worse

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Passing of Bo

It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of our dog, Bo. He was such a part of our family for the past 14 years, that it won't be the same here without him. Today, Ashley, her friend, Lizzy, Austin and I took Bo for a check up. His breathing has been extremely labored, his walking was failing him, and his stance gave a hint at the pain his back was causing him. With tears in our eyes, we agreed with the doctor to put him down.Bo was the sweetest dog ever, and everyday while pregnant with Austin I would pray, "Dear Lord, let this child be content to sit on the couch, play with a box, and be as sweet as Bo." God heard my prayers and the sweetness of Bo will live on through the sweetness in Austin. Our family was blessed to have the chance to love Bo for the past 14 1/2 years. We will miss him.

I emailed this to friends and family today. Thought I would share with you as well.

Organizing! Yippee!!!!

To have a blog named "An Uncluttered Life" must mean something, right??? Well, today at one of my favorite blogsites, Lysa Terkeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, challenged us to come up with an organizational problem area in our home.

This was a tough challenge for me. I love organizing and putting everything in its place. The thought of an unorganized area makes it hard for me to get through the day. I could never lay on the couch and read Rachel Ray's Everyday magazine if I knew that the bed wasn't made. I could never sit in the backyard and play in the jacuzzi with Austin, if I knew my family room was a mess. I know I need help, but having an organized home makes me sane!! And it's not that hard to keep up once the initial cleaning and organizing is done.

I do have a confession to make. Regardless of the fact that I truly am unable to function in a mess, I have a nanny that comes in 5 days a week to clean and help take care of Austin. God bless Carmen. My answer to sane living!

Anyway, back to the challenge. I thought and thought about an area in my home that needed help. And I could not come up with a thing. It almost made me depressed. But then I remembered my trunk in the car. Now, I try to keep an organized car as well, but having Austin along means strollers, blankets, toys, diaper bag, extra clothes, and the endless supply of CD's Ashley throws in. I would like a nice organization bin to put all of these items in that looks cute and has easy access. I drive a Saturn Vue. The best car, which I'll rave about in another blog session. Anyway - that's the dilemma. Any help out there would be appreciated!!

You can also go to Karen's site to read about her since she is helping Lysa with the organizing tips!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

6 Unimportant Things About Me

As I was reading blogs today, I came across this one - and guess what - tag you're it! If you read this, please continue on the tradition and list the 6 unimportant things about you at your blogsite (and comment in mine so I can go to yours and read all the unimportant things about you!)

Let's see, well

1) I won over $40,000 on Hollywood Squares a few years back. It helped pay to remodel my house! I also won some secret squares: $2500 in jewelry from Micheal C Fina in NY (so of course we took a trip to NY), a stay at a posh hotel in San Francisco, and some other miscellaneous items...

2) I live in the same house I grew up in. My mom was 6 months prego with me when the folks bought it. It is completely redone (including the backyard) so it really feels like a new home with solid roots!

3) My son will go, and my daughters have gone (K - 12) to the same school I went to K - 12! We even had the same teachers. Boy was that scary - you never know what stories your old teachers will talk about trying to be cute while giving ammo to the kiddos!

4) If I had all the money in the world, or at least just a little more than I do now, I would hire someone to come to my house every night and remove my makeup and give me a mini facial before I go to bed.

5) My clothes are color coordinated starting at one end of my closet in blacks and moving towards whites - hence the uncluttered life kind of thing.

6) I was the only person in my grade school to win the President's Physical Fitness award all 6 years!

Now it's your turn!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Second Time Around

As I was driving along after a day of errands with Austin in tow, I noticed a mom and her little girl waiting on the corner for the stop light. The light was red, and as I stopped, I watched the two for a moment. They were holding hands and looked like they were enjoying their time together. Across the street from them was a park. A BIG park with lots to do. Perhaps they were on their way there.

The light turned green and without any warning, the girl let go of her mother's hand and ran back to a small hill filled with dirt, rocks and a few sparse dandelions. I could see the look of shock, then a bit of impatience, creep into the mom's face as she realized the light would soon change. The girl, however, didn't notice this and headed straight for some precious rocks. She grabbed a few, and I could see the mother's lips shouting, "Hurry up, Come on! We're going to miss the light!" Three cars before me, and then myself, drove through the light while the little girl came skipping back to her mom. I'm not sure if they made the light.

I can relate to this mom. I was reminiscing about the way I was when my daughters were growing up. Unfortunately, I think I was a bit impatient as well. Somehow I thought it was more important to make the green light, than to let them explore, discover, and enjoy the simple things at times. I was in a perpetual hurry. I'm not sure why this was, I just know it was.

Yesterday I took Austin to this same park. We walked along the path just like I did when Kalie and Ashley were little. But instead of walking this 3 mile loop in under 50 minutes so I could burn those unwanted after baby comes along pounds, I stopped under two different trees so I could watch Austin manipulate small little finger foods he is just starting to enjoy. I stopped again when I thought he might be thirsty and like to watch a dog playing. And again when a squirrel family popped up out of nowhere. There wasn't anything I was in a hurry about.

I do remember enjoying Kalie and Ashley when they were junior discoverers, but I know this time around I'm willing to wait for that second green light.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kitchen Update

It's quite in the house. Ashley and Todd are both gone, the babe is asleep, and Bo is just hangin out. So I think I'll take a few pics and give you an update!
It's coming along! I'm trying to stay positive! We had our big family party yesterday, and my general contractor worked like the dickens over here trying to get things done. It's amazing how long things take.
A few pics of the progress:

The microwave is finally in its spot. We need the oven to go below it - and the trim kit put around both, and the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and the knobs, and a few more cabinets, and the side panel for the fridge, but for now - it's lookin good! I'm just thrilled that the micro is FINALLY off the counter!! Eventually, the oven will be right below it instead of our canned goods!

The campstove is still in full swing, but did you notice the drawers to the right?? They now hide my spices - which will soon debut in the empty pull out drawers on each side of the empty space where the stove will live.

The view from the stove area is at least into a clean room.

Then on the opposite side where my "view all" pantry used to be - now only houses a few baby essentials:

Last, but, certainly not least is the removal of this TV from the counter. A nice, new flat screen will hang on the wall next to the shelves. Did you notice I now have shelves for the dishes?? Beats the heck out of the floor!

It might not look like much to you, but it is heaven to me! Sunday morning we made a big breakfast and had so much counter space I almost cried. I'm in awe of the openess of it all. We used to have a solid wall - floor to ceiling - that separated a tiny, little kitchen from the rest of the house. Having a tri-level where a lot of the action takes place downstairs, you tend to feel a bit out of it. But now - my dream is coming true, and it is open and airy.

I can see the big screen downstairs, the kids in the pool in the backyard, kids running around in the front yard, and even into my bedroom upstairs. I LOVE IT!!

Oh, and here is Bo. He's doing ok. But my step mom said yesterday that she would put him down. She said that he is such a sweet dog that he would never let on how much pain he is in. Todd disagrees. I'm still not sure, and I really don't want to do anything until Kalie comes home for Ashley's graduation in June. I think he'll be fine until then.....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What Punctuation Mark Are You?

You Are a Colon

You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

I love quizzes. I found this one on 2nd cup of coffee's blogsite.

To say I am a colon is sweet. Others have called me worse.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I'm blogging strictly because I'm committed. Not that I don't want to, I'm just sooo tired. I had Open House tonight, and a great turnout. It always encourages me when parents take the time to go visit their children's school. Staying connected to their educational journey. Awesome.

GREAT UPDATE: My general contractor has worked on the kitchen for the past 3 days. I'll have pictures tomorrow - or Saturday at the latest. We are going to see Arturo Sandoval tomorrow night. My husband is a big music fan - so another time I'll blog about all the concerts I've seen in the last year - Everyone from Peter Frampton (bald, but still rockin) to Eric Clapton (love that man) to Gypsie Kings (flamingo guitarists whom I never heard of before that night....) I am musically handicapped. I can sing the lyrics, but I could never tell you who sings the song.

Ashley asked a friend to the prom tonight.... and he said yes! I have one happy camper here at home. The bummer is that we have tickets to go see Kalie in Virginia for Mother's Day weekend, and yes.... they picked THAT Saturday night for prom. Ashley said she would like to see Kalie on a different weekend. Soooooo, I will be with Kalie in Virginia while H#2 will be helping Ashley get ready for prom. How sad is that? I'm bummed. But I can't wait to see Kalie..... It's been 2 months - not counting Skype. Anyone out there with Skype? It's the best thing ever. If you have a camera on your computer you can talk/see the other person anywhere in the US - maybe even the world. I haven't gone that far yet to know.

Let's see... anything else. What else could there be? My kitchen is lookin good. Life is grand, and I love my husband.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Never a Dull Moment

Did I mention that I'm a teacher? of special education? of 4th - 6th graders, mostly boys??

Well. Life is never dull in my classroom.

This year I took a 75% position to be able to stay home with Austin as much as financially possible. It allows me to work 8:45 - 12:45 and keep benefits. A very necessary commodity these days.

The gal that comes in the afternoon to teach my class for the rest of the day has a very different teaching style than me, which has forced us to be very creative in keeping a cohesive, well managed classroom. Most days it doesn't work.

Tomorrow we have been invited on a field trip with another classroom to explore life on a mission up in Calabassass. Due to behavioral problems, not everyone will be attending.

Everyday I leave work with a pep talk to my class about being leaders on the campus, doing the right thing, and mostly "just get through the next 90 minutes with no problemos". I then walk through the teacher's lounge and announce to anyone sitting in there that, "Today, my kids are going to have a wonderful afternoon!" Everyone smiles at me. That quirky kind of smile. Every morning, on the following day, I call my husband while I'm driving to work to wish him a wonderful day. And he always replies back, "And I hope you have a wonderful day, too!" Then I get to work. Then I walk into the lounge. Then I'm always told about what problemos occurred in the afternoon on the previous day. Today I was told that 4 of my cherubs released stink bombs in the girl's bathroom. Everyday - something new.

My life is exciting. Tomorrow I will be staying at school with 8 of my cherubs that are unfortunately unable to attend the field trip due to misjudging outcomes of various situations in which they needed to use a) common sense b) self control or
c) a little restraint.

I will call my husband tomorrow morning and wish him a wonderful day. He will do the same for me. Then I will get to work. We'll see what happens after that.