Search This Blog

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

…it’s what’s for supper tonight!
  • 4 large green bell peppers
  • 1-1 1/2 lb  ground beef
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (12-14 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2  pound raw bacon
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2-3 chopped tomatoes (or a can of tomatoes)
  • up to 2 cups shredded cheddar (optional)
Cut tops off peppers and set aside (for later use).  After removing seeds/membranes, cut each pepper into 8 pieces.  Cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.  Remove and place in the bottom of a casserole dish.  (A 7x11 pan would be a good size.  This dish is EASY to add to if you want to use a 9 x 13)

Brown ground beef and onions.  Add salt, pepper, rice, corn, tomatoes and sauce.  At this point you can also add black beans if you like them…or pinto beans…and we really like it with jalapeno peppers sliced into the mix as well. Heat through.
Spread hot filling on top of peppers. 

Top with pepper tops, (only 4 pepper tops is never enough to cover the whole casserole, but it looks nice)  raw bacon slices and cheese (or cheese and then bacon…whichever you prefer.)

Bake stuffed peppers at 350° for 30 minutes, or til the bacon is done.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wow. Just….WOW!

It’s August, and I’m not ready.  Mentally…I think it must be, oh, about June or so.  I really, really, REALLY want to flip the calendar page over and discover that it is June again. 

It was really such a wonderful summer here this year.  Cameron was home and manager of the pool.  Rachel worked as a lifeguard.  We had no traumas, no sickness, no hospital visits, no deaths this summer.  Instead we had our niece Jenna’s wedding to the amazing Justin Brown (We’re SO glad you are now officially part of our clan!) and a graduation (Congrats to Adam!)  Caleb was able to be home for a long weekend or a week at a couple of different times.  Ron and I got a couple day trip in to a lake side hotel along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin (the trip also included some beer brewery tours and some shopping)  Ethan enjoyed low key time vegging out with his friend Uriah.  They ran a LOT this summer.

We all spent time alternately loving our dog to death and being frustrated by some dumb dog behavior (why does he want to run away from us?  He LOVES us!)

So, since it was such a nice…pleasant (although the hottest summer on record in a long time!) summer, I’d just like a do-over.  I know that reality won’t allow that.  I know that God has plans for my next few months (and years), and I need to joyfully walk toward that future and not spend too much time dwelling on what I WISH I was still doing.  But really….I do wish it were always summer, always sunny and I were always sitting by a lake …clear…blue, beautiful lake.

Part of my not wanting to face the year ahead is that it is Rachel’s last year home.  I’ve promised her already that I’ll cry at the silliest (to her) things. But that I won’t be able to help it.  She’s making big decisions, doing great things.  Running Cross-country…(I’m going to miss watching her run in those things!) Drum Major in marching band (she does AWESOME, and I love watching her), playing beautiful music on our piano(might the the thing I’m going to miss the most!), and her playing the organ at church.  She’s at a point in our lives where she isn’t stressful to be around.  She’s just a joy to sit and visit with and work with.  I’m going to miss her terribly.  But before I miss her terribly, I’m going to enjoy every moment we have together!

So….no pictures in this post (I don’t have my pics all on this computer yet, but had to give up on my old one til I get it cleared out).  I’m sure there will be some senior pictures posted soon, as well as band, cross country, music performances and who knows what else!

Praying that Jesus helps me to keep a positive outlook on what He has planned for me this week!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy 17th, Rachel!

We DID celebrate on her birthday.  I have pictures to prove it.  I just am not sure where the weeks have gone since then (although…my kindle has been in my hands almost constantly…I’m either on the couch reading, or out on the deck reading….have I mentioned that I LOVE SUMMER?)
Anyway, to celebrate Rachel’s big day, she told Ethan she wanted him to make her cake.  She wanted “white cake and funfetti frosting”.
So….we bought a white cake mix.  Does it matter if the COLOR is actually white or not?  I hope not, ‘cause we made her a tie dye cake.  It was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!
First, Ethan made the cake as directed on the package.  Then, he divided the cake into 6 fairly even portions.  He added food color til the batter was the color he was looking for.  I really wanted to try it with neon colored food coloring, but we had to go with what we could get at our little store here in town.
Then, he layered the colors.  He put most of the purple in the bottom of pan 1.  Then he put just a LITTLE less blue on top of the purple.  And then a little less of the green than he used of the blue…and so on with the yellow, orange and red (ending with just a fairly small spoonful of the red.
Then, in the second pan, he did the opposite, using all the rest of each color, but using lots of red, and then there was a little less orange, and less yellow, etc.

Then, we baked, cooled, frosted and decorated the cake.

Next, we took pictures.
The beautiful, amazing, talented, creative, funny, smart, adorable, kind and loving BIRTHDAY GIRL!!
You bring joy and laughter, sunshine and happiness to me.  I’m SO glad to have you as my daughter!  I really can’t wait to see what all God has planned for you!  I just know it’s gonna be AMAZING!

And these are her amazing friends, Alexis and Katelyn.  I love these 3 girls! 
And then we sang.  And then we ate it!  And it was beautiful AND delicious!

Happy birthday, Rachel!!

Memorial Day

Fredericksburg always has a really nice Memorial Day service.  Our Middle School band performs the theme songs from the different branches of the military.  They did a great job again this year! 

One of the highlights of the program is always a flyover , but they flyover so fast that I rarely get a picture!  This is one from 2009….the last year that I was able to capture the shot.

Then we came home, grilled out and had a relaxing day.  I LOVE summer time!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Are you tired of hearing about our dog yet?

If so…sorry.  He’s just a BIG part of the activity around our house right now!
We really want him to learn to play fetch/Frisbee.  He loves, loves, LOVES to fetch…but he’s not so good at the bringing it back and dropping it part yet.  But we’re working on it!


and the tired boys walk home…

Monday, May 21, 2012


I made a really yummy cake to celebrate the fact that everyone was going to be home for the weekend.  Cameron and Caleb quite successfully completed their first and third years at the University of Iowa.  We are so proud of them!

Cameron will be managing our local pool for the summer, so he’s home for a while.  Caleb has a job in Iowa City so he just came home for the weekend.  We enjoyed having everyone here for that brief time.

In celebration, this is the cake I made.


I simply made a double layer 9 inch chocolate cake following the recipe on the box (I also added a cup or so of chocolate chips into the batter, just because I could)  After the layers were baked, I cooled them, and stacked them together with a layer of frosting in the middle.  I frosted the entire cake with chocolate frosting.  Then, I just covered the outside of the cake with mini Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Is it ok to admit that I even impressed myself with this cake?  It was SO easy, and oh.  my.  goodness.  Was it ever delicious????  Yes, is the answer!

Ron felt that he had an entire year’s worth of chocolate with just one serving.  Others of us…not so much, LOL.  It was (obviously) VERY, very rich.  But amazing. 

Try it for your next celebration.  You won’t regret it!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Our family has been without a dog for almost a year.  While we enjoyed the freedom of being able to get up and go when needed, we REALLY missed being greeted at the door by a loving friend when we got home!  Rachel left notes around the house for her dad, asking “Daddy, can we please get a puppy?” 
It just so happened that within a day or two of the notes, Ron got an email from Chickasaw County S.N.A.P. with this gorgeous fellas picture in it!  Our entire family went “awwwwww…..” when seeing this picture. 

We went to meet him and we just fell in love!  We decided that HE was THE ONE for our family!

When we went to pick him up (his name was Buster at the time), we had to wait a little while.  Ethan was almost beside himself with anticipation.  He sat right down and petted the dog the whole time we waited.  And the dog (formerly known as Buster), stayed right there in the corner of his kennel the entire time.

Finally, the two (high energy!) boys were together!  Ethan has waited for this moment for a year now, and he is just so very excited to have a new dog!

We can only hope that Moses is just as excited to have US as his family!
He is HOME!
And he is adjusting pretty well to life in our household.  He’s high energy (did I mention that already?)  We’ve commented more than once that it is like having a toddler around the house again.  He definitely takes a lot of our attention, but we are happy to give it.
Look at that beautiful face!  He loves his treats, he enjoys taking walks, and he likes to relax outside on the deck while someone reads a book.  HE LOVES his toys!  We are working on not jumping on people, and we are working hard to get him to walk nicely on a leash.  He does tend to run away if he gets outside, so we are also trying to work on “come”.  We are all looking forward to being able to play fetch with him and have him actually drop the ball when he gets back to us. 

Mother’s Day, 2012

Moses has provided hours of enjoyment, entertainment, and love for our family.  We are all looking forward to many more years of love ahead of us!

Relay for Life

Rachel and Ron participated in the annual Relay for Life Talent Share. 

Rachel performed a beautiful song on the piano.



Ron and Rachel’s Talent Share song


Rachel attended the Prom this year.  She had a great group of friends and they had a good time!  High school is definitely about making memories!


Rachel and Alexis


“Just hurry up and take the picture already!”


beautiful flowers from Katelyn!


The girls…aren’t they lovely?


probably my favorite photo of the evening!



And then off they went in the “short bus”



Saturday, May 19, 2012

The kids kept us hopping

with all of their various activities this spring!  It’s fun to watch them participate in things that they enjoy!

Rachel had her spring band concert in April.  It was a treat because Grandma was still here, and was able to attend!


and Ethan ran track for the first time.


This was the 4 x 800


and this was the 100 meter dash.


And he threw discus



Handing off to Uriah

Ethan also had an awards/fine arts night.  He got awards for participating in several music events.  He had a very successful year!




Great job to all the SF-MS fine arts students!  You’ve had a GREAT year!