Slow Cooker Lasagna

September 21, 2008

First of all, we are glad to hear that Whitnee’s surgery went well and she is home with her purple casts!

I made this lasagna today in the slow cooker while we were gone to church.  A friend of mine gave it to me to try after I asked her for the recipe because she had talked about it being easy and good.  We really liked it and had it with green beans and garlic bread for Sunday dinner.  Definitely easy and nice to have ready to eat when we got home.

Slow-Cooked Lasagna

1 lb ground lean ground beef
1 (26-28 oz) jar tomato pasta sauce
1 (8-oz) can no-salt added tomato sauce (I just used regular)
1/2 (9-oz) pkg. (about 8 pieces) no-boil lasagna noodles
1 (1-lb) jar Alfredo pasta sauce
12 oz (3 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium high heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  Drain.
  2. Spray 4-5 quart slow cooker with non stick cooking spray.  Spread 3/4 cup of the tomato pasta sauce in the bottom of the sprayed slow cooker.  Stir remaining tomato pasta sauce and can of tomato sauce into ground beef.
  3. Layer 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce in the slow cooker, breaking noodles as necessary.  Top with 1/3 of the Alfredo pasta sauce, spreading evenly.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.  Top with 1/3 of the ground beef mixture, spreading evenly.
  4. Repeat layering twice, using 2 lasagna noodles in the last layer.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.
  5. Cover and cook on low setting for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours.  If desired cut into wedges to serve. 

Makes 8 servings. 

Was really yummy!

Thinking About Whitnee

September 18, 2008

I just read Nate & Anna’s Blog http://natestoddard.blogspot.com/ and about Whitnee having surgery.  She is just such a sweetheart and it breaks my heart to see her and Nate & Anna have to deal with everything they do.  It reminds me that I all my problems are just little things sometimes.  We will be thinking a lot about Whitnee Friday and this weekend and hope and pray that everything goes well.  Dillan will be worried.  He loves his cousin Whitnee and is always asking if Whitnee is okay and how she is doing.  He just seems to have this tender little spot in his heart for her. 

 

Harley

September 15, 2008

We’ve been thinking about our old Harley-dog a lot this summer.  There were a couple of times we wondered if he was going to make it through the winter.  We worry a lot about the upcoming winter and how well he’ll do.  He turned 14 years old this March.  We’ve had him longer than we’ve had our children!  He has been much loved and a great hunting dog for Dave.  He’s been doing really good this summer, with the exception of one scare where he fell in the neighbors ditch and it was too muddy and slick for him to get out.  The problem is with his back legs.  They just are so stiff and don’t have as much strength in them as they used to.  So if he falls he struggles to get back up which isn’t a problem on normal dry ground.  But on the snow, ice or mud this is really hard for him. 

Anyway… I couldn’t find him that night and he usually doesn’t go far especially around meal time.  We were going around to the neighbors and everywhere, and I finally walked out to the very back of our yard near the neighbors field.  It was almost dark and I saw a shape in the ditch.  It scared me because I worried that he’d drowned!  But he was just sitting there in the water because he couldn’t climb up the ditch bank.  I almost didn’t see him and I hate to even think what would have happened had he sat in the freezing ditch water all night long (shiver).  I just don’t want to see him go like that.  I just want to go out to his bed in the garage one morning and see that he passed away peacefully in his sleep.  I don’t want to think about his health getting bad enough to have to put him to sleep!  I just want him to go all on his own when it’s his time.  So, for now we’ll love him and take care of him and hope he has a good winter.  For all our concerns he still gets spunky once in awhile which makes me laugh and lets us know he’s a happy dog and has led a good long life.  There’ll never be another like him!

More scrapbook pages

September 10, 2008

I started scrapbooking one night last week and ended up getting several pages done over the weekend.  Yeah!  I was kind of on a roll and relaxed and had a lot of fun.  I have have read several books lately about scrapbooking, and they have really changed how I think about doing it.  The books are “Big Picture Scrapbooking” and “Photo Freedom” by Stacy Julian and the Clean and Simple Scrapbooking books by Cathy Zielske.  They both talk about not worrying about being caught up and doing everything chronologically which I was getting bored with.  They are all about scrapbooking want you like to and want to and not worrying about the rest.  Stacy Julian has a system that is divided up with a basic people, places, things, and family stuff.  Anyway, without boring you with more details, let’s just say it was really nice to just do some pages about what I wanted and not worry about finishing up my 2007 book or other years.  I’m totally converted and in the process of changing my albums and everything. 

Anyway, here’s a slideshow of the most recent pages.

Frustrations!

September 9, 2008

Okay, this is going to be kind of a whiney blog entry, so if you don’t like it, well… just move along and read the other stuff on my blog and ignore this one. I guess I just feel like venting a little and no one else is around, and this is part of the reason I started this blog – to write about stuff!

Change is good, but slow moving and frustrating. It’s really hard to leave a job you’ve worked at for almost 9 years (even though you’ve stopped enjoying it, it’s still comfortable) and go to another job where you feel like there’s so much you don’t know and you’re feeling awkward around your new co-workers. I wish I could just download all the information I need to know – I hate  not knowing stuff.  It’s a control thing with me.  Talk about taking you out of your comfort zone! Not that I didn’t expect it – I knew it would be like this for awhile, but it’s still hard. It’s also why I still feel change is good, and it is good for people to try new things and take on new challenges. So none of these feelings are unexpected, but still frustrating.  It’s also hard to be going between the new and the old job.  It stresses me out trying to get stuff from the old job finished up when I am just ready to move on.  Oh well, it will all work and I am really going to enjoy the new job as soon as all the initial awkwardness wears off.  If only I could inherit a pile of money from some long lost relative or something.  Or win the lottery (like I even play it).  Then I just wouldn’t have to work and I could stay home with Dillan all day long.  Now that would be a dream come true!

Besides my work Dave’s job is driving me crazy!  He’s had some things going on that we seem to have to put everything on hold for and every time I think it’s done it’s not.  (Yes, hon, I know its not your fault.)  Sure, we’ve gotten to go do a few things here and there, but I just get this almost panic feeling that we only have a few weeks of good weather left and there’s things I’d like to go do before it’s gone.  There’s also a lot of things that need to be done on the outside of the house before winter.  It’s a depressing thought to wonder why you’ve felt so busy all summer, but at the same time you feel like you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing!

Okay… enough of the complaining.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  A new house (which I love), great husband and kids, Dave’s family & mine, good friends, and I could go on and on.  We could definately be worse off!  So I will shut up now and cheer up and move on.  Even now I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t even publish this, but I will share it with everyone anyway.  It’s good to go outside my comfort zone!  Right?

Dillan started preschool on Tuesday this week.  He goes on Tuesdays and Thursday for 2 hours each afternoon.  He was so excited!  He’s been bugging me for a week with “Is today the day”, and then getting pouty when I had to tell him – not yet.  He got to wear his preschool t-shirt with Little Cougars preschool on it.  He should actually be a little “Digger”, but I was very proud to have him be a Little Cougar.  It’s still a little strange for me to think of my kids being Diggers and not Cougars.  I will be okay with it, and will have to be if they play sports, but for myself I will always be a Cougar.  Anyway…I’m sure he’ll learn a lot and I’m glad to see him be excited and so outgoing about being at preschool.  I saw other kids being dropped off that seemed a bit klingy, but not my kids.  My kids have never really been that way by the time they get this age.  They are just ready to take off which is good.  Dillan is already developing a willingness to learn.  He loves figuring things out, and boy does he sure like books.  Not only does he love to have me read to him, but he will just sit on the couch with a whole pile of them and look and study the pictures.  Once he actually learns to read there’ll be no stopping him! 

On to new adventures

September 2, 2008

Well, it’s official.  I am no longer a City Clerk-Treasurer as of Friday.  Whew!  It’s been nine years, and it seems like a long time in some ways and really short in others.  Nine years for heaven sake!  Can time really go by that fast?  I’m excited to move on to my new job, but have thought a couple of times “what the heck am I doing” and then answer myself, “getting a life”!  A life other than at the City – this all consuming, stressful, multi-duty job that had become my life.  What it really boils down to is that I just don’t want the responsibility anymore.  I don’t want all that on my shoulders.  Whether I’ve just taken it all so personally and brought it all onto myself, I don’t know.  So I am making a choice to just have a normal, regular job.  One that doesn’t involve tv and newspaper interviews, night meetings, and local politics.  It’s really a relief for me to make a change; one that I think that I’ve needed for awhile.  I’m also hoping that I’ll have some more flexible time with the new job since things at the City had pretty much become 8-5 M-F. 

So here I go!  I’ll be going back and forth between the new job and training my replacement at the City.  My 1st day at the new job will be on Thursday.  Wish me luck, and I’ll let everyone know how it goes!