Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chicken Piccata

Last week, my brother-in-law, Matt, asked me for a good recipe that he could make to go with some fine Italian wine that he had brought home from Italy.  He wanted to cook for his friend, Leslie.  After thinking for a little while, I told him I'd send him a recipe for Chicken Piccata.  It is one of our favorites.

Of course I will!  Here it is!

Chicken Piccata

2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and flattened to 1/4 inch thick
Salt and pepper to taste
All-purpose flour for dredging
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 pound mushrooms, washed, stemmed, and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons capers (water-packed), drained
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 thinly sliced lemon

1.   Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess.
2.  In a saute' pan or heavy skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil.  Add the garlic and saute' briefly.  Add the chicken breasts and saute for 1-2 minutes on each side, or just until lightly browned.  Remove to a dish and set aside.
3.  Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute' over medium heat for about 1 minute.  Return the chicken to the pan; stir in the lemon juice and wine and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
4.  Add the capers and heat through.  Put the chicken breasts on a platter, spoon on the juices, and garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

We like to serve this dish with angel hair pasta.  It is yummy!  ENJOY!

Monday, August 25, 2008


...it has arrived!!

Today my first grader and my fourth grader got up and got ready for school.  Here they are posing in front of the fireplace, wearing their brand new clothes (that they picked out all by themselves), all ready for a brand new year.Here is my oh-so big Abby-girl, modeling her backpack as we get ready to head out the door.

And here's Kate, holding up 4 fingers to show that she's in the 4th grade.
Once we got to school, Abs sat at her big-girl desk and posed for a quick photo with her teacher.  She was excited, and got her crayons out right away so she could get to work.
Katie was anxious that we were going to make her late by making her wait to go to her classroom while I said good bye to Abby.  But, we made it to her room just in the nick of time!  Here she is, posing with her teacher before class.  She was embarrassed that I made her take a picture, and I jokingly told her teacher that I had embarrassed her, so my work here must be done.  He laughed and said, "Ah!  But now mine can begin!"  The rumor is that he loves to joke around with the kids and has a fantastic sense of humor!
I can't believe the summer is over already, and we are back to school!  Say prayers that we have a smooth year and learn a LOT!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Greatest Show on Earth!

Today we took the kids to see the Circus.  I LOVE the circus!!  We got front row seats and got to take in all the action, up close and personal.Here are they trained dogs.  Hmmm...  wonder if we could get them to spend a little time with Trixie?
Before the show started, we got to go down on the floor for a "pre-show" show.  The elephant, named Asia, painted a masterpiece while we watched.  After she painted, they fed her a whole loaf of bread.  It looked like a tiny little bite of bread instead of an entire loaf!
Once the show got started, we got to see acrobats, tigers, clowns, and horses, to name a few. 
Since we were seated on the front row, a security guard came around and asked us if we would like to be a part of the circus!!  He gave us special "Circus Celebrity" passes, and we got to go out and ride on the circus train during the big Circus Parade!!  It was awesome!!  The whole theme of the circus was "Bello-bration", because the main clown is named "Bello".  He has very tall, very orange hair.  Everyone in the parade, including the performers, the elephants, the dogs, and even the audience members wore big, tall, orange hair, just like Bello.  Here is a photo of Bello, riding in on the elephant.
And here is a picture of the Killian girls, riding in the parade with our orange wigs.  Except for Grace... she was not ABOUT to wear that wig.  No way, no how.  But, what do you expect?  She's her own person.  We were just glad that she got on the train without making a scene!! :-)
The circus was great!!  We loved it!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

13 Things...

For Amy and Kristi, I'll play along and list 13 random thoughts that swirl around in my head today...

1.  Why is there ALWAYS laundry that needs to be done, even when I had a totally empty and pristine hamper just yesterday?  Does ANYONE else in my home know how to operate the washer?

2.  Why does hubby take a day off to spend time with us, and then spend it mowing the yard?

3.  Why do I LOVE to watch the Olympics on TV?  (even when it is really late at night and I am stinkin' TIRED and need to go to sleep...)

4.  What is it about donuts that taste so GOOD first thing in the morning?  (We drove into town this morning just to pick up fresh, warm donuts, and I have to tell you, friends, they were GOOD, in a really bad sort of way...)

5.  Why is it so easy to motivate myself to eat donuts and so hard to motivate myself to exercise?

6.  Why do girls squeal so much?  Why are they so dramatic?

7.  Why do puppies chew everything in sight?  (Trixie ate a hole in the bottom part of our couch.... Grrrrr... I'm trying to refrain from just BEATING her, because I've been told that's not such a good thing to do to a puppy.... Probably the person telling me that didn't have a HOLE in their couch!)

8.  What is it about new school supplies and fresh, unsharpened pencils that gets me so excited?

9.  Does anybody else out there really hate to answer the phone?  I don't know why, but I really don't like phones.... I think I'm turning into a hermit!!

10.  What IS it about cows that makes them want to wander?  One of our cows, Daisy, has found a spot in the fence where she can escape, and she just insists on doing it whenever she can...

11.  Will Gracie be OK in preschool?  Prayer would be good here...

12.  At what age do chickens begin to lay eggs?  I could probably look this little tidbit up on the internet, but hey, that would take time.  I think our chickens are starting to look mature enough to give us some eggs!!

13.  Does anybody really read my blog?  (Other than you, Mom.  I know you read it!!)

Ah!  That was fun!  Play along, friends, play along!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


...it is a'comin!

Last night was Gracie's Pre-School Open house / Meet the Teacher Night.  She did great!  She was excited to go and hugged her teacher when we got there.  She picked out her own clothes, and looked adorable.  It would be a great bloggy moment if I had a photo here, but you know me... I forgot the camera!  I DID manage to take a photo of her here at the house, and maybe I'll post it later.  Too tired, too much to do to take the time to upload the photo on the ole' country-fried internet service we have here!

Tonight was the Elementary School Meet the Teacher Night here in H-Town.  Abs is going into 1st grade, and she has Ms. Faust, who is new to the district.  Abs really liked her, and is really excited about going back to school.  Her best bud, Lainey, is also in her class, so life is looking pretty sweet.   Kate is going into 4th grade, and she has Mr. Christian for her home room teacher.  That's right... our first male teacher.  Kate is really excited about Mr. C.   The rumor among the kids is that he is really fantastic.  Everyone loves him!  Her best bud, Catherine, is in her class, so life is looking up!  Kate has said that she wasn't ready for school, but after tonight, she is pretty excited.  And, since I AM mother-of-the-year, no photos.  No camera.  It's hard for me to remember anything except that I should have three kids trailing along behind me. :-)

SO... one last weekend to go before we are back into the world of school. We plan to pack it FULL of fun stuff!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


OK, bloggy friends, my dear friend and very awesome bloggy designer, Shelley, has landed herself in the hospital with some kind of really tough infection.  She is feeling pretty crummy.  She also has three little girls who will be starting school on Monday, and so she needs to feel better ASAP.  SO... start praying for her to feel better soon.  I miss her, and her family misses her (probably even more than me!!)

Get well soon, dear friend!

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Vintage Grace-isms...

Ah, she provides so much material... the possibilities are endless!!

It is SO bedtime, but I'll just leave you with one more priceless quote from the little sassy-pants in our house.

In our house, Halloween is a big deal... the girls begin to plot their costumes MONTHS before the big day.  They change ideas almost daily this time of year.  Currently, Katie is planning on dressing up as a candy corn, while Abby intends to be sporting a cute kitty-cat ensemble.  Gracie, however, intends to be Wonder Woman.  This is good news, because Abby was Wonder Woman a few years ago, and so we already own this costume... I won't have to purchase it.  Gracie has been wearing it around the house quite a bit lately.  Our only problem, however, is that Abby is quite skinny and has a very flat hiney.  Gracie, however has her Mama's behind.  Let's just say, Baby got BACK! ha ha!  Her butt really fills out Wonder Woman's leotard.  Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, as Wonder Woman wears a long, flowing red cape that covers the backside quite nicely.  However, we ARE talking about Gracie here... she refuses to wear the cape.  Tonight I was explaining to her that when we go out to trick-or-treat, she will have to wear the cape.  She adamantly refused.  So, I showed her a photo of another Wonder Woman costume that had a skirt.  She scoffed at it.  Exasperated, I said, "You can't walk around with your BOTTOM hanging out!!!!  She cried back, "I WANT my bottom to hang out!"

Hmmmmm... I pray we don't have this same argument in about 13 more years...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Deep thoughts by Gracie...

Gracie is really a talker... she just sometimes gets her words messed up.  I've been trying to keep a mental list of some of her finer conversations, so that I can share them...I warn you - some of them are pretty funny!!

A few days ago, we were eating dinner with Luke's parents.  We were having a Boston Butt Pork Roast, and it was GOOD.  Gracie was really eating well, and when she finished her first helping, she said, "This is good!  Can I have some more porcupine butt?"  

A few days before that, Gracie had a little journal-type book that she was carrying around.  She was trying to call it her "diary". but she got a little confused.  She took it over to her Dad and said, "Daddy!  Look at my diarrhea!"

More "Gracie-isms" to come soon... It's time for bed!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Meet Charlie

We are puppy-sitting for Trixie's brother, Charlie, this week.  Oh, my, they are such PUPPIES!  Ever since he got to our house, the two puppies have looked a little like this...Or perhaps something like this.
But, every once in a great while, they slow down and look like the sweet little darlings that they really are.  Here they are, taking a break from all the playing.  (Charlie is on the left, and Trixie is on the right.)
Sometimes, family really is best.  :-)

Tri Pics

Thanks to Shelley, who was prepared and brought her camera, we have photos of the Triathlon!

Here is the Hamilton group (minus about 3 folks who weren't around for the "Team Photo" ha ha!)And here are the Killians, ready to race!  

We had fun - we're thinking we'll probably do another one some time... it was good exercise, and I have learned that I need a goal in order to make myself run and bike.  If I don't have a goal, I just always put it off until another day.

Thanks for the pictures, Shelley!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I did it!

Just a quick little update to let you know that I finished my Triathlon!!  I wasn't a "medal contender" or anything, but I accomplished all my goals... 

1.) I wanted to finish the race. (I did.)

  2.)  I wanted to not be the last person across the line. (I wasn't.)  

3.)  I didn't want to look stupid. ( I don't THINK I did... but I guess that one is up for debate! ha ha!)

There were people there who took cameras, but I wasn't one of them.  Hopefully they will be kind enough to share photos, and I'll post one of them later!!


Friday, August 8, 2008

The "Randomness" in my head is shocking...

...and I say that with real confidence.  I have been thinking all day about what I'd type when I had time, and the things that have come to my mind are so disjointed... you will agree with me soon, just you wait and see.

First, we have had some real interesting visitors to the farm lately... here is our latest guest.The other night, Katie came running in yelling that there was an armadillo in the yard.  I told her she could chase it, just for fun, but the armadillo wasn't interested in running.  He wasn't intimidated by her at all.  He came right up to the house, and wouldn't leave.  Trixie barked at Mr. Armadillo, but Mr. Armadillo just looked and went on with his business.  I walked up to him and took his picture.  He didn't care.  Oh, well, he wasn't bothering anything, so I guess he can stay...

Then, this morning, Whiskers the cat brought up the hugest mouse I've ever seen.  She was bringing it up for her kittens to play with, but Trixie saw it first... she was OBSESSED with it!!  Whiskers dropped it, and Trixie scooped it up.  I was screaming at her to drop it,  NO, NO, NO, etc.... Eventually she did drop it and come into the house, but the mouse GOT UP AND BEGAN TO RUN AWAY!!!  I was screaming at the cats to go and get it, and they were just looking at me like I was crazy...  it was quite a scene.  Finally, Pancho the cat saw the mouse and began to stalk it.  He was just following it, and I was afraid the mouse would get away.  Kate decided she could do something about it, so she went and found Scardey Cat, and took him out and showed him the mouse who was trying to scurry away.  He (with a small amount of help from Pancho and Lefty), took care of the mouse.  Thank goodness, because I HATE MICE!!!!  They are as creepy as cockroaches, in my book.

To make life wonderful, our Air Conditioner in our house went out yesterday, which was not so great, as it was nearly 100 degrees.  We got it fixed today.  Life is good again.

Our trusted house repairman thinks he has found the massive leak in our house.  Please pray that he is correct!

School is only 17 short days away.  No, No, NO!!!   I'm whiny about it... we have had a fantastic summer, and I'm not so sure I'm ready for it to be over.  My baby begins pre-school this year, and even though I KNOW she is ready and needs to go, I secretly don't want her to go... It's just the beginning of the end.  Next thing you know, she'll be 18 and having the AUDACITY to expect me to let her leave my house and go away to college! I'll have to be medicated...

Sunday is the big day... I haven't said anything about it yet, but I'm running in my very first Triathlon this Sunday.  I am nervous... I just want to finish it, and I don't want to make a fool out of myself.  I'll let you know how it turns out (unless I end up in the hospital or something, in which case I'll never mention it again!!! ha ha!)

We have lost the remote to our TV and our Satellite dish... WHERE could it be?!?!?!  I know we had it this morning, but now it is GONE.  I have looked everywhere I can imagine that it could be... I even went through all the trash.  Nope!  Can't find it!  Any ideas about where it could be, internet-y people?

There is much more randomness, but it is bed-time for three little girls, who are all exhausted from swimming for 4 1/2 hours today.  

Thursday, August 7, 2008

When it RAINS...

 I know, I know, the next words in my title should say "It Pours!"  But, I'm going to change it to "When it Rains, it FLOODS!!"  Our house, that is... we got over  inches of blowing rain here in H-town this week, and, once again, our house flooded.  This is the third time we've had water in our new house since we've moved in... We are WAY frustrated, and, of course, our builder is LONG GONE.  (I am actually thankful for that, since I'm not sure he would or could fix the issues.)  We do have someone we trust, and he thinks he has found the leak.  I pray he is correct!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

SMC Photos

I finally am getting around to loading some pictures from Summer Music Camp last week.  Elizabeth Marquess took all of these photos, and she did a GREAT job.  She has a website where you can check out more of her work.  It is www.bylizajane.com.  Check her out when you have time!!

Summer music camp was not all about music... on Wednesday, the entire camp was treated to "Water Day".  We had a giant inflatable water slide and sprinklers, and the fire truck spraying us... it was perfect for a more than 100 degree day.  Here is Abby on the slide.It wasn't just the campers who tried out the slide... some of the staff members might have gone sliding just a little bit!   Oh, what a flattering photo of me!

Abby made a new friend this week.  Reece, whose Grandma is a member of our church, came and spent the week in Hamilton.  She and Abs became fast friends.  Here they are on the playground in their "cool" purple glasses.
Here are Abs and Reece watching the bigger kids at a mass rehearsal of the musical.
Katie had a solo and then sang a trio in three part harmony.  Here she is with her partners, Julia and Sunny, singing for the residents of Dove Hill Nursing Home on Thursday afternoon.  We transported all the campers over to perform the entire musical for the residents.
Here is a photo of the entire cast, practicing with our Music Minister, John.  You can se Abby right there in front.
Here is Kate, intently listening to some instructions from John.  I know I've said it before, but Mr. John is SO amazing with these kids!  They just absorb what he says like little sponges.
This is maybe my favorite photo of all... It is John rehearsing the kids.  Look at how ALL of the kids are staring right at him.
Gracie attended camp only on Monday.  The rest of the week she stayed with Ju Ju.  But, here she was playing in the nursery on Monday.
Here is Katie in arts and crafts class.  Instead of making individual crafts to take home during the week, the campers spent their time painting and constructing the set for the musical.  In this picture, Kate is helping paint the icicles on the top of the banners that decorated the stage.
And here is Abby, listening during Bible class.  The children learned the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  
I DO have more photos of the actual performance, but they will have to wait for another day.

Hope your weekend was fabulous!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

And now it's already Friday...

HOW did this week fly by so quickly?!?!!?  I just can't figure it out!  Summer Music Camp 2008 is now history.  The performance was tonight, and, friends, it was FABULOUS.  I continue to be amazed at what kids can learn in a short amount of time.  Katie had a speaking part which was TWO PAGES of dialogue, and she did great.  Then, she sang a trio with two other young ladies which was in three-part harmony.  I was moved to tears!  It was beautiful.  They sounded like little angels.  Naturally, since I AM mother of the year, I didn't take my camera, but FEAR NOT!!  We had a photographer there, and we will be able to upload the photos soon.  There was also a videographer, and I purchased the DVD (which frankly was SO MUCH BETTER than video-ing it myself because I was able to actually watch the show!)  I was so proud of all the children- they did a fantastic job.  And our church's music minister?  He is an amazingly talented and gifted man.  We are SO lucky to have him!!

Happy Weekend!