Saturday, October 31, 2009

So not a Shawna thing. . .

Not to be critical of anyone else that does this. . . but I so do NOT put recipes on my blog. Maybe it's because I don't EVER cook? I am shamed to say I have become a go out to eat girl practically every night. . . but several people wanted this recipe and I don't know if people reread comments after posting one?... so I figured I would have to post it on the actual blog rather than the comment section. . .

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup Ingredients:

-1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1. 1/4 cup chicken base
-1. 3 cups diced yellow onions
-1. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1. 2 teaspoons chili powder
-1. 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
-1. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1. 2 cups Masa Harina (Mexican flour)
-1. 4 quarts water (divided)
-1. 2 cups crushed tomatoes
-1. 1/2 pound processed American cheese (Velveeta works great!), cut into small cubes
-1. 3 pounds cooked, cubed chicken breast
-1. Mixed cheese shreds, fresh pico de gallo, and crunchy tortilla strips

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup Directions:

-1. - In large pot, combine oil, chicken base, onion, and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear (about 5 minutes).
-1. - In a mixing bowl, combine Masa Harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve.
-1. - Add Masa Harina "rue" to sauteed onions, bring to a boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from Masa Harina.
-1. - Add tomatoes and remaining 3 quarts water to pot. Let mixture return to boil stirring occasionally.
-1. - Add American cheese (or Velveeta) to soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese melts.
-1. - Add chicken; heat through.
-1. - Ladel into BIG ;) soup bowls.
-1. - Top with mixed cheese shreds, pico de gallo, and tortilla strips.

We 1/2 the recipe and still had leftovers. If you don't- I hope you have a dang big pot! Enjoy-- Happy Halloween!!

Oh and Yes-- Tate and Randi you are both wrong. We watched the movie "The Haunting of Molly Hartley."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Festivities!

Next Friday I have no work, so I decided that I will skip town for the weekend. That meant I had to do any fun Halloween celebrating this weekend! So I dragged my friend Nephi into doing a whole fun night of Halloween!

I brought caramel apples for dessert, but we were hungry, so we whipped them out for our appetizers.

Then we made Chili's Chicken Enchilada soup in bread bowls. . . yummy!

Then we carved pumpkins!

And for the finale? A scary movie!

It was a fun little eventful night. . . Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Reliving my College Days

Way back in the days of summer, Randi texted me asking me if I wanted to go to the BYU/UNLV football game that would be here in Vegas in the beginning of October. Molly was pretty much appalled that I agreed to go. "That was the beauty of moving out of Utah Shawna, we aren't expected to go to all those football games anymore!" Of course living in Utah right by BYU, football games had become somewhat of a tiring tradition, it was usually cold, and games were usually long. But having left Utah and the BYU scene a while ago, I thought it would be a bit of a funner treat going once again. So this past weekend (I basically left ragnar relay after having very little sleep- ran home for a quick shower, then was out the door for the game- it was a busy weekend!), my friend Michael and I trekked it to the UNLV stadium and met up with Randi and her family who had flown down for the game. I was basically adopted into their family a few years ago when Jaime went on a mission and I got to be the new sister so I am pretty familiar with Randi's family. We had front row seats, lots of fun company, and some yummy snacks. It was perfect sweatshirt weather, not too cold and not too warm and because Randi and I hadn't seen each other in some time, the game pretty much flew by as we talked the night away. It was a new experience participating as a visiting team fan, but it was pretty exciting seeing all those angry UNLV fans as BYU killed them! So it was a pretty good time. :) Thanks to my pal Randi for getting me out there once again. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Run, Drive, Sleep? Repeat

A few months ago, a friend of mine invited me to join her team in the first ever Las Vegas Ragnar Relay. Here is the online description that hooked over 100 teams in accepting the challenge. . .

Two vans, 12 runners, 171 miles. . . .
The first vehicle will drop off the first runner, drive ahead a few miles, cheer the runner on, and provide them with water, snacks, and plenty of love. That vehicle will then drive ahead to the first exchange point to drop off the second runner and pick up the first runner when that leg is complete. They will repeat this pattern for six legs until they hand off to their second vehicle. This leapfrogging pattern will continue all the way to the finish line.

So I took the day off work Friday and met up with the five other strangers that I would be spending my next sleepless 28 hours with. We were part of van 2, meaning the first half of our team (Van 1) started the race for us. Upon arrival at the entrance of Valley of Fire located north of Las Vegas, our van realized we got their a tiny bit late and I was practically thrown out onto my feet (pretty much not prepared) for my 8.7 first leg run located in the middle of a hot, dusty desert. It was a painful experience, and I was not happy. . . but my new friends brought me water, cheered me on, and it was over before I knew it! We then spent the next couple of hours cheering each other on and getting to know each other. By 10:30 at night we had "lost" two of our runners (It was REALLY dark out there) and had become fast friends with each other saying things and letting things "out" that you would never do in front of some new friends. We spent our small break in the middle of nowhere snacking a bit, and attempting to sleep. We got less than an hour of sleep before we had to head out to meet with our other van to begin leg 2 which we began at approximately 2 in the morning? (My times could easily be off though because it was such a blur). Leg two did not start out as we would of hoped however because our first van people got us a weeee bit behind and then our first runner got lost by basically running up the wrong mountain (our 3rd "lost" runner of the night). He eventually got a ride back down but now we were REALLY far behind and a little frightened of sending our fellow runners off alone in the dark dark night with a pretty poorly unlabeled course. So we made an executive decision to "cheat" just a little bit in order to catch us up. This is how we worked it out.... Runner comes in. . . checks in. . . next runner leaves. . . runs around the corner. . . is picked up. . . and then dropped off 1/2 mile before check in so they can check in and pass off to the next runner, who would promptly do the same thing. Luckily we did this because driving around on our second "cheat" run we drove in circles looking for the check point which was basically not there. If our runner had actually been running, we could have possibly not found her! So because we couldn't find that checkpoint, we could not drop off our third fourth runner. . . so we drove along and miraculously found the fifth leg of our run even though it had been detoured (turns out a runner on a different team had been hit and killed by a car in the dark and therefore the road was closed off). At this point, it was about 7 in the morning, it was light out, and there were several other teams in view, so we dropped off a runner who finished this leg and continued and finished the next. Our baton was passed on to van 1 again which gave us a few hours to hit one of our runners houses to get a few hours of sleep before we headed back out for the last legs of the race.

The last legs went very smoothly and we cheered each other on, didn't get lost, and finished the race! Van 1 decided not to come to the finish line, so only our van actually crossed the finish together.

It was a great experience. . . and I decided that knowing how everything worked and what I would do different next time. . . I have already (easily) convinced both my sisters to join me next year in creating our very own team! If I could have this much fun with a group of strangers. . . I can't even imagine the possibilities with 12 friends that I know and love! So give me a holler if interested. . cuz next October. . . 12 Kelly friends are going to be on the run of a lifetime!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

For Andrew...

One of the worst things about teaching is being observed. . you just never know when someone is going to pop in-sit down-and take notes of everything you do for the next 30 minutes... doesn't matter how comfortable you are with your job. . . it just kind of catches you off guard no matter who you are. . . besides the fact that there are 20 eight and nine year olds in there with you who don't always understand the importance of this occasion.

Thursday was my lucky day. . . and even luckier. . . it was math time! Though I am a girl that have always loved math. . . I am not a girl that loves teaching math. It's the end of the day. . . kids either get it and are bored, or don't get it and are confused. It was part way through the lesson meaning the fun beginning intro part of the lesson was behind us, when not only the principal, but the man learning to be a principal came wandering in- note pad and all. They take a seat and the lesson proceeds. We are learning the properties of addition: Communative (X+Y=Y+X) , Associative (X+(Y+Z)=(X+Z)+Y), and Identity (Anything plus zero=the original number). Kids are bored. . . you can tell. . . but being surprisingly good. . . I mean. . . way good! They are quiet. . . they are paying attention (or appear to be) and we make it through the boring practice. Then it is time to do work on their own so they each get the worksheet and begin the four problem review.

Now in my class, when a kid finishes early and it is language time, they read a book. . . in math time though when finished. . . they cut out the flashcards I have made for them to practice their basic math facts before our daily fun quick math fact game. Anywho. . . one of my little students is finished with his work and therefore cutting out flashcards and I am wandering around the room like a good teacher should do (especially when being observed!) I am circling, circling, when I end up right by the principal and that's when this little boy comes excitedly skipping up to me with two flashcards in hand.. "Look Miss Kelly! These flashcards are examples of the communative property of addition! See... 11+6 and 6+11!" Sure enough they are! And sure enough out of the corner of my eye I see both the principal and the shadow beaming at my little student. So this post is for my little Andrew who will never see my blog. . . but who assured me my "A" on my first observation of the school year. . . thanks Andrew!

Weekend O' Fun!

So I signed up for a 180 mile relay race (which is TODAY by the way- more posts to follow!) and a marathon in December with my sisters. I ran our half marathon last month, went to the gym a few times after that, then totally got lazy and stopped running. Every night that I skipped going to the gym, this relay race on October 9th would be eating at my mind. . . but I didn't go anyway! So a week ago Thursday (I know- I have been busy/lazy and this was a while ago) Bonnie posted on her blog that she was looking for a Saturday running buddy to go 16 miles with her. I have definitely not kept up with our running schedule, didn't even know the last time I looked at the dang thing, but knew that if we were supposed to be running 16 miles that week, I needed a buddy too because honestly I had become such the slacker. Well- no weekend plans had really been made as of then and it had been a whole month since being in California, so I thought- what the hey- I should do this! So on Friday after school I hit the road and made it to California in time to hit the end of Aubs softball practice, and for a birthday dinner for one of Bon's friends.
I honestly didn't think I would make it 16 miles so I tried to compromise with Bonnie who would only cut it down to 14 for me. I decided that I would go as for as I could (maybe 8 miles?) then I could walk the rest of the way while Bonnie finished, who then could come pick me up! She wasn't super fond of this plan, but I figured she would deal with it when it happened.

Well we woke up Saturday morning (5:30 am) and set off on our predetermined run that we mapped out using some mapping thing on the computer. We chatted the whole time, never even putting on our ipods and realized that we weren't positive where our turn around 7 mile point was. We watched for the road that we couldn't remember the name (but I swore I would at least recognize when seeing it) but ended up at McDonalds which we knew was the 8 mile point! So we turned around and went back- and I completed the 16.5 mile run even though I only thought I would go 8! Ok- so the last mile I ended up walking because my knee was having major stabbing feeling issues and I finally had to put on my pod and ignore Bonnie who kept talking about who knows what! I kept telling her to go on without me which finally she did! Sorry Bon!! But overall the run was fantastic and I am so glad I did it. . . made me feel much more confident about the runs I had coming up.

Then I finished the weekend by watching several soccer games, several softball games, and eating! It was great fun! Thanks Bonnie, Aubrey, and Cayden for my wonderful sporadic visit!

The next day- what is the text I receive from Bonnie? Oops-- read the calendar wrong- we were only supposed to do eight miles this weekend!! (No joke!)