Monday, January 24, 2011

Easy Beef Skillet Recipe—Looks good and easy

Zesty Beef & Rice Skillet
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 boneless beef sirloin steak, 3/4-inch thick, cut into strips (about 1 pound)

1 jar (16 ounces) Pace® Picante Sauce

1 cup Swanson® Beef Broth or Swanson® Beef Stock

1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice

Chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until it's well browned, stirring often. Pour off any fat.
2. Stir the picante sauce, broth and rice in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Sprinkle the beef mixture with the parsley, if desired.

Makes: 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What a trip…

So you ever been on the best trip ever and enjoyed it so much, you couldn’t wait to go again?  What if you had a child with a disability?  The ride of everyday life felt like a rollercoaster ride.  Trying to keep life in general going around the house for the other members of the family, plus your work life, and then on top of all that every appointment that your child with the disability has, and trying to be there for each and every one of them.  My hat goes off to you.  I am just tired looking at you.  Well, here is a story that someone sent me that kind of puts things into perspective:

A Trip to Holland

By Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability -- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans... the Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.

You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland!" "Holland?" you say. "What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy. I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place.

So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, " Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that experience will never, ever, ever, go away. The loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas Time and a Happy New Year

Well, we made it.  We made it through another year.  And I, for one am ready to begin a new year!  I am looking forward to this year!  Gracie starts Pre-K for one.  My baby girl is growing up.  WOW!  I know, we aren’t going to handle this well :)   Another reason to look forward to the new year, is that I hope our family all gets well and stays well.  I pray that this is the year of Good Health. 
Anyway, Gracie had a wonderful Christmas and got WAY too many presents.  I should have just bought her a cardboard box, she doesn’t really play much with toys I did buy her, except her guitar Brian gave her.  It is quite a funny site to see.  Although she loves her American girl doll, and all her Barbies.  AND don’t forget her Twinkle Toe shoes.  I haven’t gotten her to wear any other shoe but those since Christmas, so those were a hit.

The next week, Kara and I braved Chuck E. Cheese for the very first time, and Gracie and Jacob had a great time.  As a matter of fact, Kara is having Jacob’s party there, so all the kids will be so excited for that!  Parents, bring your medication! LOL!  Kara and I split 75 coins and we were there almost 2 hours.  It took forever, but it was truly fun!  Gracie was worn out and she said she had the best day ever.  The rest of my vacation, was spent cleaning, doing laundry, cleaning out junk, putting away Christmas stuff, and the list goes on and on…  I did not want to come back to work this week.  I have slept through my alarm once already this week
Oh yeah, Brian’s dad, Mike had surgery this past week for prostate cancer, he went home yesterday and all looks really well.  Please keep him in your prayers!
I am really going to try to do better with pictures this year and this blog.
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