Kelsey's Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup

My sister sent this recipe to me via email...her words this time ;) Try it!! So delicious!

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with sweet onion in it)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped yellow, green, or red bell pepper (I used red, which is my favorite pepper)
  • 1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce (I used mild)
  • 1 10.75-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1½ cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper jack cheese (4 ounces)
  • 2 chicken breasts

*In addition to Kelsey's recipe, I added a can of green enchilada sauce, a can of chili beans, minced garlic, 2 Tbl lime juice,  a can of evap skim milk in place of the milk...and cilantro at the end! 

  1. In a 3½ to 5 quart slow cooker, combine drained beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, and bell pepper. Place 2 chicken breasts on top of mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together enchilada sauce and soup. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Pour sauce mixture over ingredients in cooker.Cover; cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Remove chicken and cut or shred into bite sized pieces (I shredded it). Add chicken back into soup.
  3. Top with pepper jack cheese (I used Mexican Four Cheese - not as spicy!) and serve. Can also be topped with avocado, sour cream, or crushed tortilla chips (definitely added chips!). Note: if the soup is too thick for you, just add a little more milk after it's all cooked.


Froyo together

view full image

"Froyo date with Hollyn Joy! She is...just a dream come true. #someonepinchme"
(taken at Blu Berry Frozen Yogurt)


Apple Crisp

Whenever I want to make apple crisp, I end up searching my email for hours (it seems) to find this recipe. This is my mom's fantastic recipe and her exact email to me after She told me over and over...but I could never remember! So instead of searching for the email again, I'm saving it on here & sharing it with you all. Make it. And it never hurts to add more crisp to the apples!

The Main Thing is the Main Thing ! So...with a crisp the Main Thing is the crisp part. 
Yes, you need the fruit. so let’s just say 4 cups of tart, peeled and sliced apples (for a small recipe)
Now... the Main Thing:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup oats
dash of salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
mix all these dry ingredients, then add 1/2 cup cold butter cut in tiny pieces
use a hand held pastry blender to begin the combining process and eventually get your hands into it
When it is all crumbly and well blended put the Main Thing on top of the apples which can be piled in a pie plate
or a larger baking dish if you are wise and double the recipe. Larger amounts of the Main Thing never hurt either. 
Bake about 45 minutes at 375 degrees or till apples look tender and the Main Thing is crisp
Serve warm with ice cream to your impressed and salivating guests.


Ski day

view full image

"Gorgeous day up on the mountain with friends! @erikandchrista @jmtmohart "
(taken at Mt. Spokane)


Dancing queen

play video

"She is my favorite girl in the whole wide world! 💕💕"


Real thing

view full image

"Don't let this picture fool you. These two boys don't often get along, but today we've had relative peace and it feels so good. Battleship and lunch at home. And no fist fights or tears. I'll take it. #hopefor2014"
(taken at home with the hooligans)


getting artsy

Before I forget, I want to share some of the beautiful art my kids have created lately. Although they do lots of art here at home, these are some from school. And yes, I know that this is not an equitable post and that G and H each have two contributions. However, 2nd graders don't bring home quite as much as much as the younger ones...that is my excuse. Maybe someday I'll post an excellent spelling test or something...?

As you can see, Parker had some Picasso inspiration...

Griffin's self-portrait

And his chicken thingy...

Hollyn's dinosaur!

And finally, this cute T-Rex with ginormous orange teeth.

They are my favorite artists.


On another note...

Life of Amy
This is some of my most favorite music of all time. A couple of my friends have recently gifted me their "life soundtrack" & some of those tracks have become favorites, for sure! So I've gotten started on.my own list of favorites. Just click on the "life of Amy" link. Here we go!


Why we choose public school for our kids

I've been thinking about a post like this for a couple of years, actually. I wasn't sure quite how to word it all and how to come across passionate but not proud and preachy. But recently, a friend wrote to ask me about how I felt about public school and it gave me an opportunity to articulate my feelings in a personal way. It was actually so good for me to write out how I feel...quite affirming, really. So here is part of my response. Please know that that this is not meant to be anti-anything...just my heart.

So, it is funny you ask about this public school thing because I am so passionate about it that I often fear that I am going to give people an earful and say too much! So please keep that in mind:) I think it is because I grew up in the land of education and was around public educators all of my life, but public schooling our kids was a very intentional choice for us. I am around a ton of parents who choose other options for good reasons and I certainly don't think I have it figured out, but I can tell you why WE chose public school...just can't tell you what to do!

First, as a Christian, I can't think of a more natural way to live a missional life in our community than to have our kids in the local schools and be actively involved as parents. I realize that many parents drop their kids off at school and don't feel the need to get involved, but I try to be a very familiar face at school. I love seeing my kids at school, but I also love being around the other kids in the community. It gives me a chance to get to know other parents and the teachers...to have an opportunity to talk with people who are not just like me. I think we're called to it, but I also enjoy it!
Second, I love teachers and think the majority of them go into it for the right reasons. Of course, there are bad apples, but I love that my kids are being taught by well-trained educators. They simply offer my kids more than what I could give them in a teacher. We live in a fantastic school district, which certainly makes this decision easier, but we moved here intentionally because of the schools. I do realize that teachers can have opportunity to teach values that are different than ours, but honestly, I don't think we give our kids enough credit sometimes. We still should be the most influential adults in their lives and our kids know what they've learned and seen since birth. I remember having teachers in school that held different beliefs than my parents, but I was well aware of that. I think it was more of a faith-building experience than anything because I knew we were different for a good reason. Granted, our oldest is just in 2nd grade and we've had minimal issues come up, but I value the ongoing conversation we get to have about being Christ-followers and different because of it.
And finally, we desire our kids to be relevant in our culture and have relationships with kids and families much different than our own. This is a really delicate balance and we wrestle with it sometimes. I really value having other parents in our circle of friends who are trying to also figure it all out along the way. It is a work in progress, exposing my need for Jesus and his guidance, my trust...ALL OF THE TIME. Like any parents, we want to protect our children from everything harmful. But I don't know anyone who has grown and matured without struggle. I would love to avoid the BIG struggles that often occur in middle school/ high school, but we have no guarantees. My hope is that our kids are faced with just enough challenges early on and to work through them together in order to lay the groundwork for the days ahead. For us, having our kids in public school is a great opportunity for this kind of thing to happen.
And here is one last thing...and I know I've probably said too much already! Aaaahhh!!! But we NEED more good families in our public schools. We need more Jesus believing children and parents and people who care deeply about kids--not just our own, but all of them. I am concerned with the number of Christians taking their kids out of public schools. I think it is a dangerous thing for our country.
Ok, I will get off my soap box now:) I told you I was passionate! Shoot. Like I said, half of the people I am around choose to homeschool or private school for very good reasons. Many of them do a very good job and I really respect them. I just think that public school can also be a great option for the Christian parent and, I believe, such a wonderful opportunity!



It occurred to me that I had never stayed in my sister's home over-night. I was having babies, she was in college/living in far-off places/newly married...blah blah blah. She has stayed with me and we've been together a lot, but for whatever reason, it took until this past week for me to pull the trigger. I decided at the last minute to make a quick trip over to Redmond to visit my sis and her husband and their doggy. I also decided to bring Hollyn with me...which I may or may not regret ;)

It was my first time seeing Kelsey in her Redmond home and I just loved getting a taste of her life there. Now I can actually picture her in her bright, spacious apartment and wooded, quiet street....within walking distance of everything important (Target, Trader Joe's, Panera, Thai food, etc.). We shopped, we ate yummy food, we drank good coffee, stayed up late talking...and kept track of our dueling juveniles! All good!

Love you, Kels and Bryant! Thank you for letting us stay with you! Miss you always. xoxo



Sometimes I wonder if I should have been a bear, allowed to hibernate for the winter. I really do love living in a place with four, distinct seasons. I love the snow. I even love the dry, cold air. It is beyond beautiful. But my goodness, I was just not designed for wintertime. I am cold all of the time. I wear coats indoors. I have the urge to eat and eat and eat--more than usual. And I mean EAT as in GORGE. I don't...because I know better. But the worst part is the fatigue. I believe it is the lack of light, but I fight the urge to lay down on the bare floor for a nap at all hours of the day. And sometimes I do. But it doesn't help. I'm sure I don't even have to explain this, but being tired all of the time affects so many aspects of life. Everything, really. Grrrr!!

I haven't really found anything that works to relieve the fatigue--other than warm sunshine. I mean, I exercise, eat well, get plenty of sleep, etc. One of these days I will stop fighting it and just except that hibernation is the best option. Problem is, I don't have the luxury of choosing hibernation yet--a few people depend on this mama bear. Until then, I have been trying a few things to brighten my home in these dark months. I try to have music playing constantly, light many candles, keep the blinds always open, etc. Lately I've been trying to keep fresh flowers in the house. It reminds me that this season won't last....that spring will come! Does anyone have any other ideas for me??! Please share!


Family Pictures

December is busy, right? Might be the understatement of the year. Of course, my big plans for a Christmas letter to tuck in with our picture/card have gone...no where. I'm still sending out our pictures, of course. If you want one and don't get it by Christmas, it is probably because I "misplaced" your address. Let me know and I will send it out.

I love our family pictures from the fall. Andi Mae did some beautiful work, once again. These are just some that I didn't choose for our card...that one is a surprise:)



I just love that November is right between October & December--two ridiculously busy months. October was full of soccer practices/games & cross-country practices/ meets, Halloween activities and parties, plus all of normal busyness. Of course December will be crazy-busy with all of the festivities of Christmas. It promises to be a full and joyful month, for sure, but I am already trying to scale back my plans and expectations for the season ...because there is such a thing as too much Christmas for a young family ;)

November is a month for giving Thanks & for us, a time to pause just a little bit as we have finished up with Fall sports and haven't yet started basketball for Winter. I recently came across Psalm 100 in The Message and it unofficially became my theme for the month. You will see why.

psalm 100
On your feet now—applaud God ! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God  is God, and God, God . He made us; we didn't make him. We're his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: "Thank you!" Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him.
For God  is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.

I just love that password part! Sometimes I have no direction, no idea how to approach worship. But this psalm makes it very clear! How appropriate to give thanks as our password into God's presence during this cold and blustery month of November & to prepare room in our hearts for Jesus during the month of Advent.
my shiner ;)

I have felt a bit beat up lately-- both literally and figuratively;) My middle darling smacked me in the eye with a matchbox car while he was playing ninja yesterday. It was an accident, and he felt terrible, but I had to laugh at the fact that my face now matched how I've been feeling in my heart. Nothing has really felt easy lately--parenting, relationships, health--it all has been hard work and I feel slightly defeated and beat up. Nothing horrible, I have just grown weary of the hard work. So it is perfect that this month is full of Thanksgiving and the reminders are all around me. Even on Facebook, I see daily thankful status updates. How simple: I can turn my heart away from myself and towards God just by thanking Him for His good gifts. Simplicity is so refreshing right now.


new design

My lovely friend, Jenn, decorated my blog for Christmas! Similar to painting a room or rearranging furniture, a fresh blog design can make you love your space again! Love you, Jenn...and your mad skills.


star of the week

I just finished printing this out for Parker and thought it would be a fun thing to share and look back on. He is "star of the week" at school and these are the lists he wrote to share on his poster. Sometimes I have a really hard time with this little guy. Mostly because he shares some traits with me...and that is so hard and humbling sometimes. Mostly, though, I love him for his sensitive spirit and inquisitive personality. His lists brought a smile to my face.

coin collecting
riding my biking

Joel (Dad), 34 * 1-29-78
Amy (Mom), 31 * 5-19-81
Parker (me), 7 ½ * 4-17-05
Griffin (brother), 5 ½ *2-7-07
Hollyn (sister), 2 ½ *5-3-10

Favorite Things

About Me

My Photo
*WIFE* to a great man *MAMA* to Parker, Griffin & Hollyn *BLESSED* to be living out this dream & always... longing to be *LOVELY*

Our Family

Our Family


Designed By:

Munchkin Land Designs

Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2013 • All Rights Reserved