Olympic Fever

The Olympics need to end sometime in the near future because I am dying from Olympic sleep deprevation! Wanting to stay up til after midnight when I have to get up at 5:45 is no fun…so I’m forcing myself to go to sleep, even though I don’t really want to! I have fallen on to the Michael Phelps band wagon! I am in love! He is amazing! I didn’t get to see him grab his 8th gold medal last night but I am so happy that he did! It seems like everyone has gotten “Phelps Fever”, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! I saw this video on the news the other day and thought it was so cute. Take a look!

Friday night I was so excited that I got to stay up and watch the women’s gymnastics all-around finals. I love gymnastics! It’s forever been one of my favorite sports to watch. Dominique Moceanu will always be one of my favorites. I’ll never forget when she and the Magnificant 7 took gold in Atlanta in 1996! It was amazing! Our team this year was pretty awesome- taking the silver in the team competition. As I sat there and watched Friday night (and EARLY into Saturday morning) I found myself crying as a I realized we had won gold and silver. Natsia Liukin became only the third U.S. woman to win gold in the all-around competition, and I bawled like a baby! Congrats to Natsia and Shawn Johnson (who took the silver!)

Okay, so that’s my Olympic Fever update for today! Just one more week to go…and then maybe I’ll be able to sleep again! 🙂

2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Last night we gathered around the TV with the rest of the world and watched the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. We love the Olympics! I have very fond memories of watching the Olympics, both summer and winter. I want to instill this same love in my children. There is something magical about the Olympic Games. A time when the world comes together to compete and enjoy one anothers company. It is wonderul and I enjoy every competition and every event! My dream would be to go to the Olympics one day (so Kyle, you better start training hard, because I’d love to go to London in 2012!!!!!!)
To start our Olympics celebration we went to a chinese resturant for really good take out. We love chinese food and thought it would be a good way to put us in the mood for the games in Beijing! The kids loved it all, especially the crab rangoon, chicken on a stick and boneless spare ribs. Jonah also loved the low mein noodles that came with my orange chicken. When mom went in to order the food the woman at the counter asked if it was a special occassion. Mom said “Yes, we’re getting it to celebrate the Olympics in Beijing!” The woman was so tickled!
Bri enjoying her chicken on a stick!

Yes…I’m cute!

After dinner the kids played outside for a little while and then we came in and made a sign. I’d been telling Bri all day that she could make a sign for the Olympics so this is what we came up with…if we’d spent more time on it, it would have been much better, but we did this about 10 minutes before the opening ceremonies started. I told her she can make another one soon if she wants to!

We were totally amazed by the opening ceremonies! They were the most impressive I think I’ve ever seen! I don’t know if anyone will be able to touch it in the future. China has set the bar high! Many times I found myself choking back tears and just sitting in amazement of the beauty and wonder of it all! Mom and I commented how sad it is that in our country we really have no traditions, not like the chinese. When you look at their history, the beauty in art, costumes, theatre, architecture, it just makes you stop and catch your breath! I think the chinese are such a beautiful people, and I loved every minute of last night. If you missed it, here is a slide show from You Tube that I really liked, and I thought it does a good job at capturing the essence of the ceremonies. I hope you’ll spend time to watch this games over the next two weeks, and root for your team, whatever country that may be. As for me….I’ll be rooting USA! USA! USA! USA!

Cinderella

I got word tonight on Fox News of the tragic death of Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest daughter, Maria Sue. Maria was 5 years old (only had been for 10 days). She was hit in the driveway of their Nashville home by her older brother, who was driving the family SUV. It was a tragic accident and no charges will be filed. Maria was the youngest of the Chapman’s six children. She was one of 3 that were adopted from China. A spokesman says that several family members saw the accident occur, but none of them were able to do anything to help her. My heart just broke as I read the story on the singer’s official website.

Maria and her sister were the inspiration for the singer’s latest hit song, Cinderella. The first time I heard the song I cried, and I’ve cried every time I’ve heard it since. Tonight I went over to YouTube and found the video for the song. If you’ve never heard the song, grab a box of tissues. Or even if you have, grab a box anyway because the song takes on such a different meaning now. So here, in honor of Maria Sue Chapman, is the video for Cinderella, as well as an interview with Chapman about the inspiration for the song.

My thoughts and prayers tonight are with the Chapman family. Know that the thoughts and prayers of thousands more are with you and your family as you endure these difficult days! Heaven has another angel today.

An American Hero

Yesterday the Cincinnati tri-state area got the word that Matt Maupin, a young solider missing in Iraq since April 9, 2004 was found in Iraq over the weekend. The army has informed his parents that his remains were found in Northern Baghdad and DNA conclusively confirmed that they were the remains of Matt. Matt was a 2001 graduate from Glen Este High School in the Cincinnati area and joined the army. His convey was attacked in 2004 and he was considered missing/captured ever since. There was a video released a week after his capture and another a few months later claiming to be of his execution but that was never confirmed. He was the only solider still listed as missing in the Iraq war.

I was so sad yesterday when the news was released. I think most of us knew that this would probably be the outcome but we wanted so much to think there might have been hope for Matt. I’m just glad that his parents will now have closure and remains to bury giving them somewhere to visist to honor his life and his sacrifice!

My heart and prayers go out the Maupin family, his mom Carolyn and dad Keith, his wife and son. I thank you for such a wonderful son/husband/father who was willing to put his life on the line for his country! The whole country grieves with you now as this journey closes and we wish you peace as the new journey of moving on begins!

My heart and prayers go out to all of our other soliders and their families. I hope that we will be able to bring you home soon! Until then thank you for all that you do to keep America the country we love today!

Super Fat Tuesday

Super Tuesday is under way in 24 states around the country right now and I don’t know about you but I am super excited to see how it will all pan out! It’s also fat Tuesday. For those of you who aren’t familiar with fat Tuesday it is the day before Ash Wednesday which ushers in the Lenten season leading up to Easter. In the old days people used the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday to eat and drink as much as they could to prepare for the fasting and abstaining that was required by the church during Lent. The guidelines for fasting and abstaining aren’t as strict as they used to be but many people still enjoy the tradition of fat Tuesday.
I had quite a few people ask me to share the recipe for the Maryland crab cakes and the cheesy pepper quesadillas from this weeks’ menu plan, so here they are. They are both from Cooking for 2 magazine from spring 2005. I haven’t made the crab cakes before but the recipe sounded wonderful, not too bready (???). If anyone else tries them tell what your families think!

Maryland Crab Cakes
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp minced celery
1 Tbsp minced green pepper
1 tsp butter
2 Tbsp egg substitute
2 Tbsp mayo
2 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp seafood seasoning (like Old Bay)
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
6 oz fresh or canned crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
1 Tbsp canola oil
Tarter sauce, optional

In a small skillet, saute the onion, celery and green pepper in butter until tender. In a bowl, comine the egg substitute and mayo. Add the veggies, bread crumbs, seafood seasoning, mustard and Worchestershire sauce; mix well. Fold in crab. Shape into four cakes.
In a skillet, cook cakes in oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with tarter sauce if desired. Serving size: 2 cakes each
**This recipe only serves two people so you may have to up ingredients to feed the amount of people in your family that will be eating them.**

Cheesy Pepper Quesadillas

1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 flour tortialls (8 in)
1/2 C shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C julienned sweet yellow pepper
1/4 C julienned sweet red pepper
1/4 C julienned red onion
Garlic salt; optional
Salsa and sour cream; optional

Brush butter over both sides of tortillas. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Over half of each tortilla, sprinkle 1 Tbsp Monterey jack cheese and 1 Tbsp cheddar cheese; layer with peppers, onion, garlic salt if desired and remaining cheeses. Fold tortillas over filing.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Cut into wedges. Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired. Serves 2.
**Again you may have to double or even triple this depending on how many you have in your family.**

So I hope you all enjoy these. I know I’m looking forward to them! Have a great day!

Super Important Week

I’m sitting here tonight watching Superbowl XLII (which, I must admit has been a pretty boring game!!!!) and I was thinking about what a “super” week we have this week! Not only is tonight the Superbowl, but Tuesday is Super Tuesday, which holds the fate of the country in it’s hands! Or at the very least, the fate of who will be commander and chief for the country in it’s hands. And that’s enough for me to say the fate of the country rests on this day in many respects! I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a conservative Republican, who like most in this country is not too happy with the way things are going. But, I will not settle for a pseudo-conservative like John McCain as the candidate for the republican party for President. I am proud to support Mitt Romney and for those of you who still believe that McCain is a conservative take a look at this video from Morning Joe on Fox News.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViXv8KeemkU

If McCain gets the nomination this week, we have turned the presidency over to Hillary Clinton on a silver platter! And personally, I don’t want another Clinton in the White House!

But in the end what it all comes down to is this: Educate yourself! Educate yourself about the candiadates and where they stand on issues that are important to you, and then get out there Tuesday and vote! If you don’t vote- you don’t have the right to complain about the way things are going!!!!

Go Mitt!!!!