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Friday, December 31, 2010

Those good ole picture shows

Day 7-Favorite Movies

Stripes is by far one of my all time favorite movies!! I love Bill Murray!Pulp Fiction is awesome and must be on this list!As well as American Beauty!Little Miss Sunshine makes the list cause it reminds me of my crazy family!! LOLand I am going to end this list with Juno cause of it's sheer awesomeness, plus I heart Ellen Page! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby Your A Firework

Ok so I know the video is a tad bit corny, but I LOVE this song. I have been listening to it over & over today as I put out job applications, it helps me remember to keep hope alive.

Things have gotten slightly worse as time goes on and there seems to be no end to this plight. I am having a hard time keeping my head above water, this may just be the end for us.. Then I remember the four little munchkins counting on us.. I try to smile and keep treading through all this mud.

Katy Perry - Firework - (Official Video) found on Pop

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy.

T-Man and his favorite present. :)Princess and her favorite present. :)
Spunky and her favorite present. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jeremy's Brisket Queso

We are still trying to eat up leftovers from Christmas dinner so for lunch today, Jeremy made us Brisket Queso. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first, but it was so incredibly awesome!!!

He made the Queso like he usually does with Velveeta and Rotel(sometimes he uses salsa) and then he improvised from there. It's funny we only use Velveeta for Queso cause it's nasty for anything else, but for Queso it's the bombdiggity!! lol

**Most of this was done by taste so not sure on all the measurements**
1 Jalapeno
1lb Velveeta
Minced Onion
Garlic powder
1 Can Original Rotel
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat up the Rotel on the stove and add cubed Velveeta a few pieces at a time until you have a nice thick Queso. Once the Velveeta is all melted add in your salt, pepper, cumino, onion, cilantro and jalapeno. All of this is to taste so make sure to taste it regularly to make sure it's how you like it!

I know it seems a bit thick right now, but the juice from the Brisket will thin it out. Next add as much Brisket as you would like(I think we used about 1 1/2 cups) and a few spoonfuls of the Brisket gravy. Ta Da you have Brisket Queso!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Day 5-Your favorite recipes

I have "most" of my favorite recipes already here, so I will post a few links to the recipes that come to mind first! :)

Grammy's Squash Casserole is the first recipe that comes to mind cause almost everyone loves it despite the Velveeta! lol

The Chile Rellenos recipe is another of the family's favorites and mine. It takes a lot of time and effort to make them, but it is SO worth it!

The Honey Garlic glazed Meatballs are one of the kids favorites so I am throwing them in there because how often can you make the kids and adults happy!? We serve this with rice and salad, it would be good with potatoes also.

Monkey Bread with Apple Butter. I make this every Christmas morning because the kids love it and honestly I am not a morning person, so it's one of the few breakfasts I am up to make...

These are just a few off the top of my head. There are tons more, so please feel free to search through my recipes by typing Recipe Rally into the search bar at the top left, then click on the words Recipe Rally under the first post and that will bring up all the recipes on my blog!

Merry Christmas and Happy cooking! :) :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Family relationships

Day 4-Your parents

When I was younger my parents would always say that the world would end if they ever split up.. I guess because they felt like they were perfect for each other and that nothing could ever come in the way of that love.

In 1998ish my parents split up and the world of course kept turning, but now quite a bit differently. I was 20yrs old when my parents split up so it affected me a lot differently than it did my brother and sister who were much younger than me. I have nothing but fond memories of my parents being together, they were perfect. Although now I understand and did see the issues that were happening and vowed never to do those same things in my relationships.

My dad and my youngest brother Blake. :)

My mom got remarried in 2000 to a wonderful man who makes her very very happy. My father was remarried a few years ago. They are having a bit of a hard time right now, but I wish them the best of luck.Mom and Mike @ this year's Thanksgiving! :)

Wordless Wednesday: A few pics of my beautiful Spunky!

Click photos to enlarge

For more Wordless Wednesday participants check out these wonderful blogs: Ma Vie Folle, Mommy's Joy and 5 Minutes for Mom.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Love we all need it

(Mike, Me, Bryan, Jeremy and Warren back in 2000)

Day 3-Your first true love

I have been married once in this short life and "in love" several times, but I have only had one true love. I met Jeremy my Freshman year in high school and instantly knew this was someone that would be important in my life. We dated for awhile and he was "the one" who turned me from a girl to woman, if you know what I mean. So of course from that moment on he has held a special place in my heart.(Us in 2005)

We remained friends throughout high school even though we moved forward with different romantic relationships, but always held the same social circles. We had a close group of friends that all hung out on a consistent basis so remained close through the years. As we grew into adults and I moved to New Mexico for several years and we lost touch, but every time I came back to Austin we would visit for at least a little while.(This past September)

I watched him go through many relationships and wondered if he would ever find the right person. I had no idea at the time that person would be me. We had know each other and been such good friends for so long it was not something that crossed my mind. I had not even considered him as an option.(New Year 2010)

When I came back from New Mexico in 2004 as a free woman we met back up as friends and the chemistry etc was still there as if we had never parted. Things were complicated and difficult for both of us to say the least, but we made it work and I am so happy that we did! I love him with all my heart, he is my soul mate, my one and only!!!(and at Thanksgiving 2010)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The hidden meaning in things

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name?

As I sat here listening to Christmas music on the "old people" radio station (it's AWESOME for Christmas music!!!) while making sure I have bought all the Christmas presents, stuffers, wrapping papers, ribbon, other odds and ends, double and triple checking my cookie recipes and menu additions for Christmas dinner, I realized I had not done the "Day 2" part of the Meme I started yesterday so here goes...

It's pretty simple, Phoenix is my "gamer" tag and I have always really liked it. The name or a variation on the name, I used when I played SWG and WOW. I still use it for pretty much any gaming related thing, for my phoenixxrises @ gmail email addy and of course like here on the blog as part of the title.

Since I wanted this to be a mommy blog or my idea of one I felt that Blogging Mama went well and kinda all rolled of the tongue. Now in hindsight I wish I had kept it a bit shorter, but all and all I am glad that I choose this name.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 1

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts.

Hello all :)

My name is Leanne and I am the proud mother to four wonderfully obnoxious, curious and well meaning children! I am in love with my high school sweetie, we are blended family and we try to face it all with a bit of humor since that of course makes everything easier. Some days we do better than others, but we always have love AND each other!

A recent picture of me from November when I had my cut and colored to cover all the Gray!!

15 Interesting facts about me:
  1. I have streaks of gray in my hair like the Frankenstein's bride. lol

    2. I am incredibly compulsive about how certain things line up on my desk.

    3. I HATE, I mean HATE the telephone with a passion! For no real reason either it just causes me anxiety and stress. Sad part is once I get started talking to someone I am comfy with you cannot get me to shut up.

    4. I kill plants! Well not on purpose, but I cannot keep plants alive any kind even ivy it's kinda sad!

    5. I am not myself if I do not have at the LEAST 8hrs of sleep! Thank goodness all my kiddos are old enough to sleep now!

    6. I am scared of butterflies or well anything that flies near my face.

    7. I pick things up with my toes a lot and I am deadly when pinching with them. lol

    8. I cannot touch anything made out of paper while my fingers are wet.

    9. My fingernails HAVE to be long or I cannot deal with touching anything.
10. I have serious OCD about certain things.

11. I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters, but I am the only one of my kind!(meaning the exact same DNA)

12. If I had the chance, I'd sleep all day long, every day. I'm always so tired.

13. My left foot is half a size smaller than my right foot and I passed it on to at least one of my children!

14. 7) I am an 1/4 Cherokee

15. I have a brother and sister who are the same ages as my two oldest kids!
I found this on a friend's blog and just knew I had to join in! This is such a neat take on the usual meme! So here we go jumping right in with both feet! I will try my best to do one of these each day for 30 days, if I miss a day here or there I will continue until I am done with them all. :)

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your favorite recipes

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-What's in your makeup bag

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-A picture

Friday Fill-Ins

1. What in the world do I think I am doing?!?

2. If I can say anything with certainty it is that my children are loved and well fed.

3. Go forth and multiply!!

4. My Granddaddy sent the best Christmas gift ever this year!

5. I keep thinking that this has to get better at some point! I will keep holding my head high, I will keep trying my best and I know I will succeed!!

6. This will work out one way or not.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my kiddos watching Christmas movies, tomorrow my plans include taking the kiddos on a hike(as much as Cameron's back can handle), doing some sorta craft and Sunday, I want to make Christmas cookies with my little sister Hannah, Mom and Missy!!! :)

For more Friday Fill-Ins participants click here!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Do you know the Muffin man?

See.. leftovers can be yummy!!

Today has been a decent day so far minus a bit of drama at the beginning.. which is honestly annoying, but anyways. I have put out about 15 job applications, swept and mopped the house AND even did some dishes all before noon...on a Sunday!! Will wonders never cease. lol

I realized after I was done that my tummy was rumbling, I never seem to eat when I should. lol So I decided to find something worth eating and use up some of the leftovers in the fridge at the same time. While searching through the fridge I found the rest of the Green Chile Fried Potatoes we had for Brinner yesterday, they were the BOMB!!

All three kiddos loved the potatoes and came back for more. This almost never happens so when it does I have to smile and thank god for it!! I also found a tiny bit of leftover Enchilada sauce and some salad from Grandma's garden which is always really yummy!

I decided to do a bit of wilted salad using the leftover grease from the breakfast pan. I added a tiny bit of Olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and cooked the greens for about 2 minutes. While they were cooking, I nuked the leftover potatoes and sauce. Then threw it altogether for an awesome lunch! I hope you are having a nice lazy Sunday! Love you all! :)
Click to enlarge

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Green Chile Fried Potatoes

Ok so I am beginning to wonder, maybe it's my cooking that is partially to blame.... We try to cook from scratch as much as possible and with every new recipe it gets even better. I have noticed though that my last few meals have been totally carb and comfort food related!

This is obviously my issue since I do the cooking, but I just did not realize how much I base everything around carbs... I will be meal planning this weekend and I am going to be much more aware of what I put on the menu!! I am very very lucky all my kids like most vegetables and if they help me cook it they are much more likely to like it, so that should make it easier to change things up a bit.

For now though here is the awesome meal I made for lunch/dinner today!! :)

8 potatoes
Dash Cumin
Dash Cumino
Half a white onion
2 fresh garlic cloves
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil approx 3 Tbsp
1lb ground beef (unseasoned)
Approx 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
3 Hatch New Mexico Green Chiles

Cook ground beef in a separate pan and place aside. Place half the olive oil in the bottom of the pan add potatoes, cumin, garlic, cumino, salt, pepper, onion, cilantro and cook about 20 mins. Add the remaining oil if you would like, I only used more because of how much the potatoes were sticking. Then add the chiles, ground beef and cook until the potatoes are done. Serve alone or with salsa, tortillas and cheese.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The follow up appointment and goings on with the boy's health issues

At last week's first appoint for Cameron we went to see the doctor for his back to see if we could figure out why he is in so much pain. After some x-rays and a few other tests we determined that he has a slight case of Scoliosis. At 18 degrees they would consider bracing his back, he is at 10 degrees so for now we are going to keep reevaluating the curvature every 6 months. The doctor did say that this is common for boys his age that are growing so fast. He has grown almost 4 inches in the past month!!!

We are making a few changes in the way he supports his back to see if that helps with his pain. No more doing his homework laying on the bed, less time spent sitting on the SOFT couch and his horrible posture is being fixed as I type this... He is allergic to Ibuprofen so he cannot take Advil for his pain which is what the doctor recommends and Tylenol is not doing much it either, so we are trying Aleve at the moment. It seem to be helping so far. We also set up a referral for the Orthopedic specialist to see what else we can do to help with his pain!

So on to today's Dr's appoint which was the follow up to the blood tests he had done Friday, after fasting. Which and let me tell you for the small amount of time he had to fast for was a huge PITA!!! This child is all about food! Which makes the rest of this all the harder.

We went over the blood tests with the doctor, blood sugar....fine, cholesterol...fine, markers for diabetes(which runs in his dad's family) are a bit high. Normal is 5.6 and below, he is at 5.8. Now this does not mean he has diabetes just that he has a predisposition for it and we need to make changes now to ensure he is on the right track to NOT getting it.

Cameron is NOT a happy camper about cutting out sugar and working on portion control. We were already working hard on exercise(cannot at the moment with his back pain per doctor's orders) and portion control, but I had not really even started on the sugar issue. This of course will kick my ass into gear!

I have questions and need help though, he is such an eater and always has been that this is almost making his overeating issue worse. He is now even more focused on food if that is even possible.... How do I help him change his view of food and the reason for eating? I struggle with this myself so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

and another thing...if you read this whole post you are awesome! Thanks for being such a great friend!!

Friday Fill-Ins

This is Friday Fill-Ins! I post a question and you fill in the blank!

1. I wish I had a job and a home! That's all I want for Christmas!

2. Will someone please hire me...that's what I'm thinking.

3. Please bring a positive attitude and donuts!! :)

4. My friends and family are so amazing.

5. One of my fondest hopes is that things will get back on track and this will all seem like a dream!

6. I am so thankful and I love you all so very much. I just wanted to say thank you.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching Ramona and Beezus w/my gorgeous girls, tomorrow my plans include taking Spunky to her BFF's for a sleepover and finally getting Princesses hands done for the Thankful Tree and Sunday, I want to hopefully get the Christmas photo done!!

For more Friday Fill-Ins participants click here!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Black bean, Green Chile & Corn Enchiladas

Tonight for dinner we had Black bean, Green Chile & Corn Enchiladas, Saffron rice and fresh Spinach & Arugula salad from Grandma's garden. I have never made my own red sauce until tonight... I have always used the canned Enchilada sauce cause I was totally intimidated to try & make it on my own.

Yes...it took more time. Yes...it was a bigger PITA than just pouring out the sauce from a can, but let me tell you it was SOOOOOO worth it!!! The kiddos all LOVED it and that is something that almost never happens!! So I am very thankful indeed! :)

Ingredients for the Red sauce:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 T flour
6 T chili powder (I used 3 T reg. chili powder and 3 T pasilla de ancho powder)
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, pureed in blender or food processor until smooth
1 (14 oz) can of chicken broth (or just under two cups)
1 t ground cumin
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion salt

Directions: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in pureed tomatoes, chicken broth, and spices into flour and chili powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt.

Ingredients for the enchiladas:
Flour Tortillas (Yes we use flour cause we are weirdos!)
1lb ground beef
1 can Corn (drained)
1 can Diced green chilies
1 can Black beans (rinsed & drained)

Cook the ground beef, drain and then add black beans, corn and chilies to the bowl, salt and pepper to taste and coat everything with a little bit of the red enchilada sauce.

Fry the tortillas in a bit of oil & then dip in red sauce, so that it is easier to fill them without ripping them. Coat the bottom of the baking pan with a little enchilada sauce. Fill the tortillas with the mixture, cheese and place in baking pan.

Pour about a cup or two of the enchilada sauce over the top. Then place in the oven at 400' for approx 20-25 minutes. After it's hot and bubbly add any leftover filling and cheese, cook until the cheese is melted. It's ready to serve, now top with sour cream.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Homemade Chow Chow or Hot Pepper Relish

I learned how to make Chow Chow today and it is SOOOO yummy!! I cannot believe I have never had it before! Thanks so much Shawn for teaching me how to make it and showing me how to can. :)

1 ½ lbs. ground jalapeno peppers
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups shredded cabbage and/or ground green tomatoes
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
¾ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 Tbsp. canning and pickling salt
1 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. celery seed
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients in a large non-reactive pot or Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Place in hot, clean jars and seal. Process filled jars in a hot water canner for 15 minutes. Check seals and if any fail to seal, refrigerate and use first. Makes approx 2 quarts.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

1. The best thing about a birthday celebration is spending time with my family and the laughter that comes along with it!

2. Not sure I like the passage of time.

3. I went shopping recently and the most interesting thing I bought was Aleve...

4. I love to play child's games with my kiddos!

5. The reason is not worth explanation..

6. I <3 snow and cold.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out w/my kiddos, eating pizza and watching The Sorcerer's Apprentice, tomorrow my plans include taking the kids to see Santa, raking the yard and cleaning up the house and Sunday, I want to finish getting Aubrey's mosquito costume done for her Christmas play!

For more Friday Fill-Ins participants click here!