Monday, February 28, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

It has been so cold and dreary - good soup weather. So I made Renee's recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups chicken broth = 1 large can
1 14-1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn (10 ounce bag)
4 teaspoons minced chilies (I used 1 4-ounce can diced Ortega chilies)
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
3 skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced (I used 1 small rotisserie chicken)
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

Heat oil. Add onions and garlic, saute until tender. Add cumin. Stir. Add broth, tomatoes, corn, chilies. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until corn is tender. Add chicken and simmer until cooked through. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and diced avocado.

Note: Since we weren't eating this all at one sitting, I added cilantro to bowls as we ate it to keep it green, fresh, and flavorful. Also I had to use fresh lemon juice as the limes in my grocer's produce section were HORRIBLE! I told him I couldn't believe he would try to sell them. (Can you tell I was already grumpy with the weather?!??!) Lemons aren't quite the same with cilantro, but at least they do have a bright flavor.

Oh, will Spring ever come?

Sunday, February 27, 2011


On Saturday Brett, Esther, the girls and I piled in my van for an outing to the Wichita Center for the Arts to view the Scholastic Art Exhibit. The art in this exhibit was from middle school and high school students across Kansas. There was some amazing work! Brett had us pick out a favorite sculpture or 3-dimensional work and a favorite photograph or painting.

In my "funky" category... "Junk Gladiator". It was really fun to stand there and look at all the stuff the artist used in this work; forks bent at all angles, an ice pick (?), hair clippers, fan cover, electrical stuff, a doll, and what we thought might be a Bingo tumbler. Very creative.

In my "favorite" category... a watercolor called "Southern Fun". I would have called it "Kansas Cornfield". I loved the colors in the girl's dress and boots and the fact that her cute hat was shielding her face. What does she look like??

Actually I had two favorites... "Glory" ... depicted Christ in His shroud, the nail marks in his wrist, Hebrew letters, which of course I couldn't read, and other views of Christ. It was really something to ponder.

In the "profound" category was "Traffic" - a work portraying human trafficking. Unspeakable.

Brett's favorite 3-dimensional was "Geisha" ... a beautiful fashion work in blue silk with a bamboo leaf motif.

Being a lover of blue, it really spoke to me as well.

Isabel's favorite 3-dimensional work was this chair. She liked the different colors and patterns. We all agreed that it didn't look very comfortable though.

Isabel's favorite painting was this work which was part of a student's portfolio featuring lots of geometrics.

Moira's favorite 3-dimensional was this gold and silver eagle. Gorgeous!

Another of Moira's favorite was ..."A Day in the Life of a Wolf". Fascinating to look at all of the animal eyes, all of the moons and stars.

And I can't leave out another "fun" category... all of these footwear. They look so real.

Esther and I both like "Tissue Flowers". Beautiful pieces of tissue papers formed flower petals and vases. Look closely and you'll see text, all portions of Bible verses. We were both really taken by the human trafficking work and this fun, brightly colored floral work was a nice counter-balance to that.

Brett's favorite ... "Do Not Disturb". Look closely and you'll see that a "Do Not Disturb" sign is not just for a hotel room.

A lovely outing on a cold, dreary day. Rich wasn't feeling very "perky" so he couldn't join us. Such a shame! He would have enjoyed it. For my local readers, you should check this out. Exhibit runs through March 6, Tues-Saturday. It's free although there is a donation box.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I've been asked for up-to-date photos of Maddie and here are three that flew to our in-boxes tonight!

So you can see she's doing really well. She's a healthy, happy, smiley little baby girl. She is sleeping through the night AND can close her eyes to sleep at night!! Mommie and Daddy are VERY happy!

Just wish I could be holding her right now!

We ALL say thanks again for your prayerful support!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Black Bottom Cupcakes

I'm taking these to an event tonight - Black Bottom Cupcakes. So easy! Haven't made them in YEARS, but they just might be my new go-to dessert. Mix. Bake. Take out of oven. Done!

After lunch Rich wanted a sample! :)

The recipe came from Rich's cousin, Marlene, who gave me several of her recipes as a wedding gift - ALMOST 46 years ago! We had a lovely visit with them during our Summer 2009 trip to California.

Here's the recipe...

Black Bottom Cupcakes
Combine in small bowl:
8 ounces cream cheese (I use Neufchatel, 33 1/3 less fat)
1 unbeaten egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces chocolate chips
Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

Combine in large bowl:
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup Wesson oil
1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat above ingredients until well combined.

Fill 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers. Fill each cup 1/3 full with chocolate batter. Top each one with heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture. Use all of both batters. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Covered in Prayer

I have said it many times in the last two months that Jeremy, Renee, and Maddie have truly been covered by the prayers of many people - MANY people unknown to them or to us have been praying for Maddie. A perfect example of that is the prayer quilt that is covering her in this photo.

Emails have been sent by family and friends to their many "networks". Our dear friend Janet sent our prayer request to her "network" and man-a-live what a "network"! It eventually made its way to a ministry known as Sew Blessed Quilters from Inland Hills Church in California, who made the quilt pictured. As the threads used to quilt the pieces were pulled and knotted, prayers were offered for Maddie, Jeremy & Renee. This is just one example of what people totally unknown to us have accomplished on her behalf. The Body of Christ has truly been unified by our little granddaughter and her needs. In teaching Maddie how God has taken care of her, Jeremy and Renee say that they will use this quilt as a concrete example of how powerful prayer is and how the Body of Christ loves and cares for each other - even those we don't know.

We praise God for his answered prayer of a surgery date for Maddie before she turned three months of age!

We praise God for the surgeon and techniques to correct her eyelids so that she can see her world!

We praise God that she hasn't been in pain, hasn't had bruising and that the swelling is nearly diminished and that she's healing beautifully.

We praise God for the peace and strength He gave to Jeremy and Renee as they walked this journey and for the JOY they are experiencing.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 
Psalm 46:1

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:11

Amen and Amen!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Renee!

Today is Valentine's Day but MOST IMPORTANTLY it is Renee's birthday!

You know by now that Renee is married to Jeremy - three years now - is is mother to Maddie, and is our daughter-in-love! She brings "zip", laughter, and a very giving heart to our family. She's a wonderful soul-mate and help-meet for Jeremy and has grabbed on to her role as Mother to Maddie with gusto. We are thrilled she's a "Dewey"!

The descriptions of a "Wife of Noble Character" fit her well...

She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family...
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks...
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come...
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue...
Proverbs 31:15,17,25-26

We love you, Dear, and wish a year full of God's blessings for you!

Mom and Dad

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Madelyn Rose

We just received an update on Maddie and the best way to update all of you is to quote Jeremy's text (with his permission).

"Madelyn is doing awesome post surgery so far. She seems to have no pain, has had no bruising show up yet, been smiley, head on a swivel to see everything. It is so fun to watch her see. We give all praise to God for her quick healing. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers."

They had a pretty night at home. Her (really great) feeding schedule is understandably messed up a bit, but that will improve. They only had to feed her once in the night, with what Jeremy called "many check ins".

We add our heart-felt thanks to all for your prayers. There were many steps along the way where Jeremy & Renee clearly saw God at work in this situation. We are grateful for the medical skills and look forward to whatever advancements may come along in Maddie's continued care. The praise goes to God.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Maddie's Surgery

Here she is - already to go to her pre-op visit today. Surgery is tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 am. Please pray for Maddie's surgeon as he operates on her eyelids and for the preservation of her vision. Please pray for God's protection over Maddie as she will be under anesthesia. And pray for Jeremy and Renee to be at peace during surgery and for all of them in the coming days of recuperation.

Thank you for all of your prayers! We look forward to see how God takes care of our little cherub!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

If it's Tuesday it's BLOWING SNOW!

Last week we had 18+ hours of blizzard conditions. At the beginning of it our deck looked like this. You should have seen the snow sculptures the blowing/drifting snow made! They ended up about twice as high as in this photo!

Mom2Mom was postponed from February 1/2 to February 8/9 due to the poor weather conditions. So what does one do when snow-bound. CLEAN!

Rich and I tackled our storage room. This is a tiny glimmer of what it looked like. A huge mess!

Now it looks more like this! The little girls can color at the table. I took four boxes of books to the library - 86 in all, plus friends took a big box of books as well.

And find a game or two!

So TODAY - what do we have AGAIN?? Blowing and drifting snow! Even though you can't see the numbers on the yardstick, the drift at our front door measured 18" by late morning.

Mom2Mom scheduled for tonight and tomorrow was cancelled AGAIN! Oh how disappointed I am!

So what's the drill?  CLEAN! I tackled my really bad office closet. It's been driving me nuts for months!

Crazy girl that I am - a woman on a mission - made a trip to Walmart for storage tubs. Driving conditions not the greatest, but sure didn't have trouble finding a place to park!

So now my closet looks more like this! I am a happy girl - and feeling VERY organized!

Tomorrow?? I will tackle my desk. No photos. I've exposed enough of myself for now! HA!!

UPDATE: TODAY, 2/9/2011 - reports say we had 17 INCHES of the WHITE STUFF!!!!