Monday, March 09, 2009

Menu 3/8 to 3 /14

Sunday: Turkey Noodle Soup

Monday: Fried Fish, Hush Puppies, Green Salad

Tuesday: Pork Stew, Garlic Bread

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Red Beans and Rice with Sausage,

Friday: BBQ Chicken Breasts,

Saturday: Leftovers


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Care and Feeding of Your Pre-teen Daughter Or Day Nine

It's been a few days since I have updated my journey to being a better wife, mother, employee, person, friend. Today was a trip to good, or should I say better, mommy land. My 9 year old, Hannah, is growing up so fast! It's so hard to believe sometimes, and fastenating to watch. At the first of the school year we got her size 10/12 girls clothes. But she has shot up so fast. I have had to replace all her clothes in the past few weeks for a size 14/16. I got a call last night inviting her to a swimming party this weekend. So, I had her pull out last years swim suit. Needless to say, it didn't fit. So we went out last night to find her a new one. Luckily, the stores are starting to put them out. Unluckily, they don't have much of a selection yet. We went to Target. Disclaimer…. We don't DO bikini's. Target only had 2 different one pieces and all the rest were either bikini's or tankini's in the girls section. Well neither of the 2 one pieces had her size left. So we went to the women's section….. NOTHING….NADA…. Not one single suit would work. All inappropriate for a 9 year old. So…. Off to Wal-Mart we go. Girls section…. Again…only 2 different one pieces. So we found a tankini that she liked and I thought might work. We went to the young women's department. Yet again….. Only 2 different one pieces. But we found 2 tankini's in a size she might be able to wear. One was very adult in its fabric design. But the other was more youthful. We then went to the dressing room. Tried the one from the girls section first. Fit, but quite snug and not comfortable for her. Tried the more youthful of the other 2. Fit her very well. A 7/9. But the bust was padded. Luckily there was a place you can pull the padding out. Bottom was a good fit as well. The top was long enough and she really liked it. We tried the top of the more adult one on… just too big and not right. Sooooo…. It was #2! Very nice fit.

Well, I got to thinking, actually I have had it in the back of my mind for a while, this girl is growing and developing fast. With my boys, giving them "THE TALK" was a matter of them asking a question and getting answers from me. Just as much info as they asked for. With Hannah, it's different. She needs to know certain things. Things she hasn't asked about. Things that might scare her if she isn't ready for them. So, I went to Barnes and Noble and got a book called The Care and Keeping of You: The body book for Girls but The American Girl. It's a very informative book, without delving into the hairy area of sexuallity. It should help me open a channel of dialog that isn't easy to do sometimes.

Well, that got me to thinking about a few other things. I grew up with very low self-esteem. And I really want to instill in my girls something different, better. I had seen the The Dove Campaign For Real Beauty and decided to look into it a little deeper. They have this neat Real Beauty Workshop for Girls and after looking into it a bit, I signed up to be a workshop facilitator. I am excited about helping both my daughters and maybe some other girls to feel better about themselves. And maybe it might help me along the way. :) Later Gaters, Kai!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Menu 3/2 to 3/8

Leftover Hot Turkey Sandwiches and Sides

Turkey and Noodles Italian-Style

Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet

Stuffed Pepper Soup with French bread

Sweet-and-Sour Pork Chops, fried rice, egg rolls

The list isn't complete yet. But as soon as I'm done I'll update it. Later Gaters, Kai

Kristen's Chocolate Chunk Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1- 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
18 oz. Chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups rough chopped pecans

· Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
· In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.
· In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
· Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
· Stir in the chocolate chips.
· With your fingers, place golf ball-sized dough portions 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
· 7. Bake for 9-10 minutes or just until edges are light brown. Makes 30 cookies.

One big key in the success of these cookies is to use REAL butter and vanilla. You can replace them with margarine and imitation vanilla but they will not be near as good. Be careful not to cook these too long. It becomes tempting to keep cooking these because they don't seem to be done after 10 minutes, but they will continue to cook for awhile after you take them out of the oven. When cool, will be nice and chewy.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Good Sunday

We are spending today cleaning and organizing. I will be starting my new job in the middle of this week. So, I am working on what needs to be done to have things run smoothly with me gone in the evenings. I will have to have all meals planned and figured out for Mark. Plus, the kids all prepared for school. I want to have 5 sets of clothes put together on Sundays for the whole week so that we won't have to worry about it the rest of the week. That's the goal. So….right now I'm working on putting together Caleb's new desk. I just finished the girls new cubby's. After the desk will be folding and putting away laundry. A ton I have on the couch. I spent yesterday resting cuz I wasn't feeling very well. The cough isn't quite gone, but getting better. Yesterday I hurt a lot. My chest especially. But it's better today. Dinner is going to be roast turkey, taters, stuffing, peas, and pie. I think. I don't know about the pie yet. I have to look into if I can find my pie plate. I have pie dough and pumpkin. So, maybe. I will be spending tomorrow doing more cleaning and organizing. More laundry. I am soooo sick of looking at it. That's all for now. I need to get back to work. Later Gaters. Kai.

Friday, February 27, 2009

French Onion Soup

By Kristen Ashby

3 T. Unsalted Butter
2 Medium Onions Sliced
1 t. minced garlic, fresh or jarred
4 cups water
5 t. beef base
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. dried thyme leaves

Melt butter in 3qt. pot. Add Onions. Sautee' until caramelized.
Add garlic and cook an additional minuet. Add Water. Bring to boil.
When boiling, lower flame to very low and add beef base, bay leaf,
and thyme leaves. Simmer over low flame for 15 minuets.

Yield: 4 appetizer servings or 2 main dish servings

Traditional serving is in a crock with a toasted crouton and melted
parmesan or Swiss cheese over the top. This is optional. I just like
it in a bowl all by its self, but that's me. And don't forget to remove
the bay leaf before you serve.KKA

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just for fun- Meme


For fun...

1. What do you think of when you see the color red?
Love, Blood, Life.

2. Which​ of your family​ members has the worst​ tempe​r?​
Mark. Me. Mark. Me. Mark. Me. UMMM…. I think it's a tie.

3. Have you ever throw​n somet​hing at someone out of anger?​
Yup. My sandal.
4. When you'​re mad do you prefer​ to glare and scowl at them or yell?​
I do both. But yelling is my M.O.
5. What'​s your main goal in life?​
No clue.
6. Do you want to have child​ren?​
Yes. Have. Do. 4 of em. Enough! Done!

7. Is it bette​r to have loved​ and lost than never​ loved​ at all?
I am glad there is love. I am glad I have love. I never want to loose the love I have, but will be grateful for what I have had if it ever happens.
I know that our love will last an eternity. That is my promise. I am glad for that.

8. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Nope. Only in love.

9. Does anyth​ing hurt on your body right​ now?
We have strep going around my house. So…yep my throat! My face full of schmutz. And oh did I say my throat?
10. What city was your last taxi cab ride in?
Kodiak, Alaska
11. Have you ever licke​d a 9 volt batte​ry?​
UMMMMM….NO!! But have caught my kids licking batteries before….. Sometimes I wonder if they actually come from me???
12. Have you ever been in a beaut​y pagea​nt?​
Never ever. Nor will I ever allow my girls to be either!
13. Have you ever won a trophy?​
No trophy's but a few medals for music in high school.

14. Have you ever had to wear a unifo​rm to schoo​l/​work?​
I' a chef. I wear a chef coat to work. Does that count?
15. Ever throw​n up in publi​c?​
Out the car door while pregnant. Other than that, no.

16. Who was the last perso​n you visit​ed in the hospi​tal?​
My hubs, Mark, after his stroke last fall. NOT FUN!
17. What is the message you have set up for your voicemail?
Just one with my name and info. Simple and direct.
18. What was the name of your first​ pet?
19. Is your first name a common/popular name?
Pretty much….unfortunately. I hate it too!!! I'd rather be Kate. Kristen is soooooooooooo boring.
20. Would​ you share​ a drink with a stranger in a bar?
Don't go to bars….so, um, no!

21. Would​ you ever becom​e a veget​arian​?​​​​​
Never ever. I love veggies, but meat is my friend. Besides what kinda chef would I be without meat!

22. Have you ever had a guy best frien​d?​​​​​
Not really.
23. Favorite food to eat after you've been drinking?
Don't drink, so I couldn't say.
24. Is your bedroom window open?

25. What are you listening to currently?
Emma singing. Nice sound since she hasn't been off the couch in a week sick with strep and all kinds of other crap!

26. How old will you be in 3 birthdays?
3 years older
27. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping. With feaverish 4 year old feet crammed into the small of my back.

28. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
Yep. The right side.

29. Do you know how to drive a stick?
Yep. Sure can.

30. What are you allergic to?
No clue. Junk in the air. Other than that couldn't say.

31. What is your favorite salad dressing?
32. Would you rather wear a big poofy​ dress​ or a short​ party​ dress​?​
Um…a long one is fine. Nothing short. Nothing "poofy"

33. Do you ever cry durin​g a roman​tic movie​?​
Not usually.
34. Would​ you ever leave​ the house​ witho​ut make-​up on?
All the time. I hate putting the crap on. But gotta with my new job. YUCK!
35. Would​ you kill for choco​late?
I wouldn't kill for anything. Espicailly something as unsubstantial as chocolate.

36. Do you think it would be possible to kill someone using shoelaces?
Probably not. They are not strong enough. Ok…is it scary that I would know that.

37. What is the largest sum you are willing to spend on a haircut? Just a cut, nothing fancy.
Whatever super cuts charges I guess.
38. How often do you wash your bed sheets?
Once a week.
39. If you could change one thing about your work schedule, what would it be?
No clue. Don't have my new schedule yet. Should be getting it later today.

40. Do you believe that online social networks (such as Facebook and MySpace cause more drama in people's lives?
Don't spend much time on either. So don't really know. I do have a myspace page. But don't mess with it much.

To pamper or Not to pamper? or Day 3

Okay, yesterday wasn't very fruitful around the house. But it was productive. In a way. I wear glasses. I would like to have contacts, but can't afford to have both contacts and a back up pair of glasses and won't do contacts unless I have a pair. So, once every other year, I get new glasses when we get tax returns. Well, I wasn't going to get them this year, because we have no income right now. But, between my best friend and my husband, I was convinced that it was a real need and not just a luxury.

So….. Yesterday I went out to the mall and got new glasses. I had to wait 2.5 hrs for them to be made, so I spent some time shopping, something I don't get to do very often. I only ever shop clearance or really good sales. I hit a few clearance racks in Penny's and Sears. Didn't find much worth my time or money. Did get Caleb 2 shirts and got myself a sweater and one top. I also went to Bath and Body works. That is where, "To pamper or Not to pamper", question comes into play. So, is it wrong to spend money on something that you can live without but you only do once a year? I buy cheap shampoos and use cheap deodorant body soap all year round. When I realized I may have a job coming that I am going to be in front of customers while I work, I decided that I am going to have to wear makeup on a daily basis. Not something I usually do. But am determined to because it makes me feel more confident and out going. Something I am going to need in this perspective job. The other night, I went to Wal-Mart to get some eye makeup remover. I came out of there not only with what I went after, but a total of $50 worth of stuff. All just for myself. Face cleanser, nice shampoo and conditioner, a woman's razor and shave gel, a new brush. Stuff like that. Plus a tub to keep it all in on my bathroom shelf.

But wait there's more! I also went to Bath and Body works in the mall. Had a coupon for 10 off a 30$ purchase. They had buy 2 get one free. So I got myself some of their new fragrance. Black Raspberry Vanilla, YUMMMMM!!!! I got shower gel, body spray, and some body lotion. That plus two other small $1 things, and I came out of there with $40 worth of product for only $20! First and foremost you must know about me. I said it earlier….I don't buy things, except food, unless I get a good deal. Either it's clearance or on a good sale. I saved 50%!! So…. That's good, but I feel bad. I spent money on something that could be construed as frivolous. Is it bad to get something for yourself? Something that you could live without? All year I don't do for myself. I do for everyone else. Husband and children always come first. They eat first if we are low on food. I buy them clothes first before me. So am I wrong? I just don't know.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It will be done or Day 2

I am very much determined to do better! I have troubles following thru though.

I get this way about once a year. Usually towards New Years. I just don't how to follow through with it. I am making small doable daily goals. Not over thinking things. And keeping it simple. I just hope I can find a way to make it work.

Getting new glasses today. I'm pretty excited. Going to go to the mall and have a little fun shopping and picking out new frames. Wish I had a friend to go with me, but Stacie and Mary are working and Rhonda bailed on me. Oh well…. I will just have some alone time.

Dear Lord, help me to accept and apply Your loving discipline to my life. Thank You for loving me enough not to overlook my faults. You want me to be all that You have planned. Forgive me when I stubbornly stand in the way of the work of Your great love. It warms my heart to know that You accept and cherish me in Your heart, even enough to discipline me when I need it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Today's prayer:

Father, Thank you for all my blessings.

Thank you for my loving family. Thank you for my health and home. Thank you for all I have and am able to do. Help me to make the most of my day and life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Today's prayer:

Father, Thank you for all my blessings.

Thank you for my loving family. Thank you for my health and home. Thank you for all I have and am able to do. Help me to make the most of my day and life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

A New Beginning Day 1

Here is my goal: Become more organized.

I know that is kind of broad. And I will be narrowing it down to something more workable. But for now become more organized will have to do. I go thru this about once a year. I get a strong urge to clean up my act. Be more "adult". And now that I have a degree and career it is also along the lines of be more professional.

As a wife and mother, I have an urge to make a comfortable home for my family. To please my husband. To have a safe and healthy home for my children, and to teach them responsibility along with that. To do as Heavenly Father wants me to and lead and teach my children the right.

As a professional woman, I want to be able to find a balance between my home and work life. To be the best employee I can be. Being unemployed , currently, I wish to find work, and keep it.

So, those are some basic, beginning ideas. My first step is to get up at 6am and spend some time organizing my thoughts. Writing out my goals for the day, and get a head start on the family.

Today's Goals:

Clean off counter
Take pictures of house

Today's Prayer:

Father, Grant me the ability to go forward in my life. Help me to be a better wife, mother, friend, employee, and all around person. Open my heart to thy will. Give me strength to do all these things so that I might be closer to thee. In Jesus name, Amen.

Kristen Kai Ashby

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wordless Wednesday word of explanation....this is is a pic from my classes Grand Buffet. We have 2 of them. One for bakery and one for Garde Manger...that's the cold kitchen. We had to have 1 hot and 1 cold appetizer. I did 2 hot and a cold. It was lots of fun. Our theme was Hells kitchen. We decorated like a Haunted house. It was tons of fun and very successful. Later Gaters, Kai.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

7 random facts.....

about me.....I have been tagged by here goes....

Seven Random Facts about me...Kristen....

1- I have more fabric, notions and crafting items then sense!
2- I really do love to bake and cook.....honestly!
3- Like Kayla, I do not like baking in the summer!
4- I'm scared of the future.....really scared!
5- I'm tired of my life and am determined to change things!
6- My #2 and #3 toes on both feet are stuck together half way up. I have a brother who's toes are stuck all the way up.
7- I love my as I may.....and as often as I do....I really do love him.

Okay..that's me....


She's the only one I can think go girl! Later Gaters, Kai!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A few minutes.....

It took me a few minuets to decide what I'd like to post about today. And I truly only have a few minutes to spare, so here's my thoughts.
I know I have neglected my blog for the past 6 months. I am still trying to get used to being out of the house most of the day. After spending almost 20 years at home with my kids and only working part time occasionally, it is a new experience for me to not be in control of my home at all times......not that it is ever under control but you know what I mean.....LOL. Anyway, I am looking to, again, try to gain some kind of peace and contentment with my life. I am very tired of the way things have been in the past and am determined to change that. That's why I'm in school. BUT....I miss being at home. I miss having the time to spend with my kids with no worry about the next assignment or test. I spend a TON of time doing school work at home and it's really taking a toll. Not to sure what I'm going to do, but leaving school is not an option. I have to do something to better our life. Anyway, today I'm going to spend the day working on the house, being with the kids and sewing Halloween costumes. We are in a very sorry state financially so we are improvising this year. With little extras purchased I'm putting together things we have here to make Hannah into a devil girl, Emma into a flower fairy and Caleb into a Poe....which is a ghost thing from the Legend of Zelda games. So...I may be spending maybe 15$ altogether on their costumes. That's only 5$ per kid...not bad I think.
The picture I have posted is from the American impressionist artist Mary Cassatt. (I had an art class not to long ago) Even before I took art I loved her work. She does alot of mother with child studies. They are all so beautiful. This piece is called "Young Mother Sewing". If you do a Google image search under her name you can see many of her paintings. Here is a link to a site you can go to to read more about her..... Mary Cassatt. I hope you take th time to look her up. I think you will enjoy it. Later Gaters, Kai!