Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beef Manicotti

Beef Manicotti done right!
When the classics are done right, they can't be beat! Tonight we enjoyed a delicious meal from our freezer swap. Michal's Beef Manicotti were exceptional! The noodles were perfectly al dente, and the creamy salty ricotta and beef filling was smooth and flavorful. Served with garlic bread and a salad, it was a meal fit for a king! Thanks, Michal! This one was a winner for sure!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Katelynn's Story

     Today is Kate's 11th birthday. We had a great day! After school Michelle took Katelynn shopping, and then the whole family went to Kate's favorite restaurant for dinner. I couldn't help remembering her birthday 8 years ago.
     Each of our children is a precious gift from God no matter what the joys and trials He allows into their lives. Katelynn is no different. Eight years ago today she was recovering from surgery to remove a large malignant tumor that was sitting on her retina (retinoblastoma). Retinoblastoma is universally fatal if not treated in a timely manner by a pediatric ophthalmologist in collaboration with a pediatric oncologist who specializes in this disease. The tumor was found to be dangerously close to the optic nerve, so the best option was complete removal of the eye (enucleation). The weeks and months following the surgery were challenging to say the least, but we are thankful for God's healing. We love this little girl, but we know that God's love for her completely dwarfs our human capacity for love!
     Katelynn has since been fitted on three different occasions for prosthetic eyes. The last time, we were able to go visit the Jahrling Institute for Ocular Prostheses in Boston, MA. Our church raised money and paid for the trip. God has blessed us with this little girl!
     This video is just a collection of clips and memories from our battle with retinoblastoma. To learn more about this cancer and the importance of dilated pupil eye exams for infants and children under the age of 5, visit

Monday, February 27, 2012

Honey Garlic Chicken with Basil

Tonight is our Freezer Meal Swap. This is the second time I have done this with a group of good friends. Last time the meals were amazing, so I hope to be able to blog about each of the meals as we enjoy them. Tonight, we enjoyed the meal that I am contributing to the swap: Honey Garlic Chicken with Basil. It was sweet and salty with just a touch of garlicky zing.

Honey Garlic Chicken with Basil:
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons minced garlic

Place chicken into crockpot. Combine last five ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low heat for three to four hours (a little longer if chicken is frozen). We enjoyed our chicken with steamed broccoli, rice pilaf, and biscuits. YUM!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ribbons on a Rod

Rolls of ribbon wrapped 'round a rod
This was probably one of the easiest fixes I've ever done. I saw it done somewhere else and thought, "Where has this idea been all my life?" A few simple tension rods under the stairway and I was able to store all my ribbons in an out-of-the-way but accessible spot. Sorting them by color even adds visual appeal! I use stick pins to keep the ribbon in place. When I need a bit of ribbon, I just roll a section off and cut it! Easy as pie!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Photos for Katie

Photos for Katie
picture by Apples of Gold
On February 15th, four-year-old Katie Kuehl went to the doctor after she suddenly developed marked swelling on her upper left quadrant. After an ultrasound and blood work Katie was diagnosed with cancer. The next day (2/16) she had a cantaloupe-sized tumor and one of her kidneys removed. The pathology report showed that Katie has Wilm's stage 2. She will be undergoing 25 weeks of chemo. Her family lives in Michigan where her father just started pastoring a church. Photos For Katie is about helping this young family with their mounting medical bills. Dan Moore Designs is proud to be one of many photographers all around the country chipping in to help out! Click on the image to visit Photos for Katie and learn how YOU can help!

Emily, Senior

Emily shined at Kauffman Legacy Park for her senior portrait session.
I have to say that Kauffman Legacy Garden is beautiful at any time of the year, but it was a bit surreal to walk around the Kansas City tourist site in the middle of February with temperatures in the mid 60s! It was perfect weather for a late photo shoot and Emily was ready! The afternoon light was warm and wonderful! While Emily's mom crocheted in the botanical greenhouse, we walked the garden and got some great pictures. Emily even brought her flute...the music fit perfectly in the serene setting!
Emily's expert flute skills filled Kauffman Legacy Park with light and breezy tones.  

S'Mores in a Blanket

S'Mores in a Blanket make an easy dessert! And the kiddos can help!
Tonight, we had an easy and fun dessert! Simple crescent rolls are rolled up according to the package directions, but include chocolate chips and mini-marshmallows! Bake as you would normally and enjoy the  gooey goodness!