Monday, October 24, 2011

Leftovers that keep going...and going...and going....

Last night we had oven roasted chicken for dinner.  I buy 2 whole chickens and simple rinse and dry then add spices and salt and pepper.  Every time I make them, I use a different spice or herb.  Sometimes it's paprika, and sometimes poultry seasoning.  We love rosemary and occasionally, I'll go all out and stuff the chickens with onions and oranges and thyme then make a tasty honey and orange glaze.  But more often than not, we go simple and cheap. 

Yesterday's chickens were smothered with Montreal Chicken seasoning.  I always add butter too.  It makes for great sauce, which my kids love over their rice!  I bake them at 400 degrees for 1hour and 30 min.  Then lower the oven temp to about 325 until they reach an inner temp of 190.

This has become one of our family favorites.  All of the children (even the super picky one) manage to clean their plate on chicken and rice night.  I love it. 

Since we make 2 chickens, hubby has a nice big breast to take for lunch the next day, and I have plenty for the next nights dinner (and then some.)

Tonight, we had chicken tacos.  Here's how I made them.

I take the whole carcass leftover from the night before (2 of them) and the extra meat and boil it in a large stock pot.  Tonight I added a couple of tablespoons of taco seasoning to the water.  It gave the chicken a really great taco flavor.  I boil for almost 2 hours (the longer the better), then remove all of the meat from the bones and discard the bones.  I saved all of the tasty broth for tomorrows dinner!!

Now shred up the chicken with 2 forks and add to a skillet.  I added 1 onion and sauteed for about 15min with 2 more tablespoons of taco seasoning, and a couple of ladles full of that tasty broth.

Cut up an shred all of your favorite taco fixings and then serve!! 

So easy and fast.  And we still have leftovers for hubby's lunch tomorrow!!

That's a way to make a meal stretch for a couple of days!!

It really makes me feel great that I am able to make the groceries last as long as I can.  What are some of your favorite leftover meals??

Crunchy Katie 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Giving Birth Naturally

Hello, my name is Katie, and I'm a birth junkie. 

I have been since I witnessed my mom giving birth to my baby sister at a birth center.  I knew that when I had my own babies, I would do it naturally, with no drugs and at a birth center.

When I discovered I was pregnant with our first baby I began researching.  We found a birth center, a Bradley course and I was addicted to Internet researching.  I read books on midwifery, natural birth choices, and did everything our Bradley course taught us.  I was so excited the day contractions started.  After a 23 hour labor, our son was born in the water!  I was so proud of myself!!

I knew the next birth would be at home, and it was!  Our daughter was born after about 8 hours of labor in our home in the water.  It was glorious!

We went on to have a hospital birth with our 3rd (definitely not planned, long story, and basically military ordered) and it was a nightmare!!  After having the peace and freedom of homebirth I had a really hard time with fetal monitoring, no waterbirth, hospital gowns, nurses, and staying overnight! It was my most painful birth, and the hardest to recover from.  I knew, barring a serious emergency, that I would never step foot in a hospital to give birth again!

Our 4th birth was completely healing for me.  At home, 3 hours of labor, totally hands off midwives, and with my children present I delivered my baby by myself in water!

I never thought I would get another chance to deliver a baby.  But God is faithful, and he cares about the desires of our hearts!  He knew I dreamed of having another baby!  And He answered my prayers, he surprised us with another gift from Heaven.  He has changed my husbands heart about adding another baby and we are so excited to have our 5th baby at home in Feb!!

After experiencing natural, unmedicated birth, I have a hard time understanding why a woman wouldn't want to try it!  I'm not saying that other choices are bad.  Every mom should decide what's best for her, but I truly feel that woman have began to believe that they aren't made to give birth.  They believe when doctors say that the baby won't fit.  They agree to c-sections for reasons that are just ludicrous to me!  I long for women to feel empowered by birth.  To know what their bodies are capable of and trust in that.  I want for women to understand the true dangers of hospital interventions.  The effects of drugs on themselves and their babies and take a stand for natural birth!!  Not just for them, but for their babies too!!  Doctors are there for when we need them.  For emergencies and abnormalities.  They really know nothing about the way natural birth works.  Don't put all your trust in them.  Learn for yourselves and be informed about all things birth!  Below are a few great websites that I found while researching pros of natural birth if you are expecting or know someone who is, visit them and pass on the information. 

Ina May Gaskin is an inspiration to me.  Read about her on her site here:

The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
also called Husband Coached Childbirth

Bradley Birth is amazing.  Their education helps you to know exactly what your body is doing during labor.  Knowing what was going on, helped me to cope and accept a long labor.  I knew my body was working the way it was created to and trusted in that!

This is a great article, with references, about hospital birth and the dangers of interventions.

This is a book that I read which offers information on all types of births.  It was the most informative, easy to understand book I read while researching during my first pregnancy.  Henci Goer goes into detail on the safety and benefits of homebirth as well as the options for pain relief in hospitals and their dangers.  I recommend this book to every pregnant momma!

There are many more sites that have great info.  Get out there and do your research!  It's the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby! 


Crunchy Katie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spiritual Fitness

A few years ago I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  I experienced something similar to what's described in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit fell on the early church on the day of Pentecost,  1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.  I didn't see tongues of fire, or hear the wind, but I did feel the love of God so powerfully that I began to shake and ended up on the ground for over an hour crying.  I just couldn't believe that he loved me that much that he would single me out in that way.  He loved me so much that he wanted to use me.  Little old me!!  I also felt the after effects as described in Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” .  I had a hunger for the Word like never before and I understood it like never before.  I spoke with unusual boldness about my faith in Christ and friends all over my neighborhood began to give their lives to Christ after hearing my testimony.  My husband, however, did not share my excitement.  He was scared.  He once told me that he was worried I was going to bring home some cool-aid and demand that he drink it!  As I began signing up for every Bible study I could get my hands on, he began to feel left out and used.  Something so wonderful as receiving the Holy Spirit was beginning to drive a wedge between my husband and I.

I have been praying for my husband since that time.  That he would come to know and love Christ and experience God's love tangibly as I had.  It has been rough.  There were days when I would cry out to God "Why is it taking so long??"  He would lovingly reply to me "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future!"  Peace would overwhelm me and again I would trust in my Savior's plan for my husbands life.

My prayers are being answered a day at a time.  My husband is changing into who God promised me he would be!  I am so grateful to God that I have no words to express to Him how thankful I am.  His faithfulness moves me to tears! 

Just this morning my husband recommended that I visit a site called CrossFit Faith.  I have blogged about CrossFit before.  It is an awesome workout regimen like no other.  Elite and challenging, and on most days, down right insane!!  But it is addicting and once you "drink the cool-aid" as CrossFitters like to say, it's all over.  You can never go back to the old way of working out.  He mentioned that he had been praying every morning and thanking God for another day!  He also told me of something he had read on the CrossFit Faith website.  Instead of saying "I can't believe I have to (enter your least favorite task here)"...try saying instead, "I can't believe I GET to (enter same task here)".  I tried it out immediately! 

You see, we have a very grumpy 4 year old.  He is not a morning person.  Every morning when I wake him up, I brace myself for the whining and crying and mean comments to come.  This morning I said "I can't believe I GET to spend my day with my wonderful whiny 4 year old!!"  So far, it has been a great day and I am so thankful that I GET to be a stay at home mom and be with him daily!!

I encourage you to visit CrossFit Faith and start the journey to Spiritual Fitness!!  And if you're up to it...visit a CrossFit gym near you and try a physical workout too!!


Crunchy Katie

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Busy, busy, busy...and other excuses!

I realize I have not posted in more than a week!!!  Geez, the days are really flying by!  I am working on a weekly list of great topics to blog about!  Here are just a few ideas I am toying with:  Since it's "flu season" I will write about the dangers of the flu vaccine, it's efficacy (or lack thereof) and ways to naturally protect you and your children!  I will also start talking a lot about natural childbirth as the birth of our 5th rapidly approaches!  More recipes will come to you, as well as fun fall projects to do with kids!  So stick around and see what's coming!! 

I also have a new review and giveaway coming soon from Arbonne.  I met a wonderful independant consultant who sells their products yesterday and she was so eager to sponsor a review and giveaway!!

Until tomorrow!

Crunchy Katie

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Favorite Fall Recipe #1

The leaves are rapidly changing color over here on the east coast and I can't tell you enough how much I really love this time of year.  I am in constant awe of God's beautiful creation!!  It becomes hard for me to drive because I am so distracted by all of the different colors of trees.  Purple, red, yellow, orange, even HOT PINK!!  I just can't stop looking! 

Along with the change of colors, comes the cooler weather!  And with cooler weather comes the tasty soups that I love so much.  Here are 2 recipes for you to try.  One is for a pot roast and the other for soup.  I always make double for my family and stretch it for about 3 days!!  Less work for me and we always save money!

Pot Roast

This has to be the easiest recipe ever. 

4lbs of Chuck Roast
2 15oz cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 large onion diced
2 cups of baby carrots
1 tblsp of minced garlic
salt and pepper

Toss the diced onion on the bottom of a 6 qt. slow cooker.  Cut the chuck roast into about 3 inch pieces (this helps it to get nice and tender!)  Arrange the roast pieces on top of the onions.  Salt and pepper the meat very good.  Rub garlic over the meat.  Pour the cans of tomatoes over the meat and cook on low for 8 hours! The last hour add the carrots and cook untill they are soft.  You can add potatoes or celery if you want.  We keep it simple on this night and save the leftovers for the best beef veggie soup ever!!


The next day my husband will take a bit of the leftovers for his lunch at work.  I use the rest for the soup for that night!

Now for the soup...

Leftover Pot Roast
1 large container of chicken broth
1 bunch of celery
1 bunch of kale
extra carrots
thyme fresh stem
bay leaf
rosemary fresh stem
celery salt
salt and pepper

Get your large stock pot and add the leftover meat and juices.  Cook until warm!  Add the celery (leaves too) and extra carrots to the pot.  Then add the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.  Add the stems of fresh thyme and rosemary.  Then add 1 tsp of each of the others.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the ribs from the kale and chop coarsely.  Add to the pot and simmer for 15 min!  Savor the flavor!!! 

I hope these recipes find their way into your recipe box.  Add and delete anything you want and just experiment!! 

Take some time to enjoy the changes of the season. 

Crunchy Katie 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thirsties Winner!!

Hello All!!

I am super excited to announce the winner of the Thirsties Giveaway!!

Congrats to Carolyn H.  You have 48 hours to reply to the email that has already been sent to you!  Hurry or I'll have to choose another winner!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Too busy for a schedule??

Is it possible?  I am beginning to believe it is!  After a couple of days trying to get on a better schedule I am realizing that it is a lot harder than it seems.  I think the most important times of the day to keep a routine would be the morning before school, after school, and of course the beloved bed time routine!!  Those lovely 7 hours during the day when 3 of the babes are at school is time for me to get stuff done around the house, hit the gym, and run my errands.  It's amazing how fast 7 hours seem to go by!!  I am going to relax about it though, tweak it a bit, and just go with the flow!  Hubby has been very gracious and understanding about the chores so it takes a bit of pressure off me.  I still want to work hard to show him that I know the clean house is important to him though.  So here's to trying a bit harder, maybe getting up earlier, and skipping a cat nap to fold the laundry.  If it means hubby feels loved and respected, than I know it's worth it. 

Stay tuned for a couple of awesome recipes that take minutes to prepare and can feed the family for at least 4 meals!!


Crunchy Katie 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dinner and Discipline

So, as you may know, we have 4 little ones.  They range in age from 8 years down to 4(in 2 weeks).  Having a peaceful dinner is not common around here.  My husband and I usually spend more time saying, "Sit up!  Don't wipe your face on your sleeve!  Stop rocking in your chair!!  Use your fork!  Small bites please!!" than we do actually talking to our kids during the most important family meal of the day! 

The older they get the more we are realizing that what they learn now will shape who they are when they are grown.  That is a little unnerving when I read the above paragraph!  I really want us to raise well rounded, respectful, God fearing people, who will be great citizens.  It really is an overwhelming task, and definitely the most important job we have right now. 

We have been talking lately about ways to make changes in the way we discipline our kids.  We have noticed lately that we spend more time talking at them (sometimes with loud scary voices) than we do actually talking to them and teaching them how they should act.  I learned a few years ago that the word discipline comes from the word disciple, which means TO TEACH!!  Quite a revelation when you think about what most people believe discipline means.  When you hear the word discipline, what comes to your mind?  I first off think of spanking.  Time out.  Punishment.  All of these words provoke a fearful feeling in me.  I certainly do not want my kids to be afraid of me.  I would much rather them feel like they can come to me for anything.  Ask me anything.  And I want them to expect me to always teach them something, even when they have behaved badly. 

Kids are humans just like us big, smart adults.  They want to be treated just as we do.  The Golden Rule applies to everyone!  Treat others as you want to be treated.  I don't want to be spanked.  I don't want to be yelled at or told I'm bad.  And I certainly don't want to feel like I've completely disappointed the ones I love!  When my husband and I discuss things that make us feel heated, neither of us wants to talk it out if we are yelling or accusing each other.  We both shut down and usually nothing gets resolved.  I really don't like that feeling.  I'm sure our kids don't like it either.

So tonight, we decided to make dinner a little different.  We would like to have calm family conversations during dinner.  That can't possibly happen without boundaries and rules.  Our plan of attack tonight was simple.  We laid down the ground rules before the food hit the plates. 

-Everyone sits on their behinds with their legs in front of them. 
-No one touches their plate or utensils until the food has been distributed.
-Forks and spoons are used to eat, not our hands.
-We use polite words when we want something like, "May I please have more rice?"
-No one leaves the table without being dismissed.

The consequence for breaking a rule...TIME OUT.

Time out in our house means standing in the corner with our hands at our side and face in the corner.  No moving, talking or whining or the time starts over.  This helps them learn self control.  They are told that a rule has been broken and there are consequences.

You spend the same number of minutes in time out as you are old.

We did have 3 of the 4 in time out. Once their time out was completed, they were asked if they understood why they went to time out, then they were allowed back at the table.   

I have to say it was a great dinner.  They all tried very hard to use their self control while at the table.  Remembering all the rules and manners is hard for a kid.  But as we all know, making mistakes is how we learn!  They all learned something today.   I was one proud momma!!  I hope to continue the teaching tomorrow!!

Tomorrow the challenge continues.  Our morning schedule needs a bit of tweaking to insure a peaceful day for all.  A rough morning, makes for a rough day!  I'm all about starting the day off happy!  I'll see you back here tomorrow night with our new morning routine outcome!!


Crunchy Katie