Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Easy Cheesy Chicken

  • Ingredients listed are how our family made this.  Original recipe can be found at allrecipe.com

  • Ingredients

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cheddar soup
  • 1 (8 oz) container of sour cream

  • Directions
  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Place in slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup and cheddar soup.  Pour over chicken in slow cooker.
  3. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.  Stir in sour cream about 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve with pasta, mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice and a salad or vegetable.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cheesy Italian Tortellini

  • Ingredients listed are how our family made this.  Original recipe can be found at Safeway.com

  • Ingredients

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 package of Johnsonville's Sweet Italian Sausage (casings removed)
  • 2 (16 oz) jars of marinara sauce
  • 1 package of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (9oz) packages of refrigerated or fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Directions
  1. Crumble ground beef and Italian Sausage into a large skillet.  Cook over medium-high heat until browned.  Drain.
  2. Combine ground meats, marinara sauce, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW heat for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. Stir in tortellini and sprinkle mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the top.  Cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes on LOW or until tortellini is tender.

**This meal was prepared for my clan of 6 (Eli doesn't eat solids yet), with the intent of having leftovers.  For a smaller portion, cut all ingredients in half.

**For a make ahead, prepare all ingredients for sauce mixture and vacuum seal in a bag.  Toss in slow cooker on the day of.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Moving to Hawaii

So, this is a post to let family and friends afar know some details of the upcoming adventure for the Waychoff-Shockley Clan. Our military tour in Colorado Springs has sadly come to an end (temporarily I hope). We've made so many good friends and made so many memories here and are sad to leave. In July 2012 we will be moving to Hawaii (the island of Oahu) and have been reassigned to D Company, 53rd Signal Battalion. I am so grateful to have afforded this non-deploying assignment and to be able to work with some of the finest NCOs in the Army, as well as an amazing commander and a small team of civilians. This is a subordinate unit to the unit that I work in right now. I'm excited, nervous, anxious, and motivated for both the change in scenery and the change in responsibility. I will likely be working as a Platoon Sergeant responsible for the morale, training and welfare of about 40-50 smart, dedicated US and Australian Soldiers. The last time I was responsible for this many folks was when I was in Kuwait.

We are not sure what our plan for housing is. Right now we own our home in Colorado Springs and intend to rent it out while we are gone. Once we get to Hawaii, our first choice will be to live on a base where elementary and middle schools are available (possibly Schofield Barracks). If this is not an option, we have about 60 days authorized in a hotel to look for a suitable house off base. Our #1 concern will be finding decent schools. The school system is somewhat on the bad side in Hawaii. A lot of kids go to private schools, but we'd never be able to afford that with our clan.

The government will pay for our Dodge Durango to be shipped over, along with all of our household items. We plan to pay to ship the Jeep over so we can have two cars. We will have to rent a car in the interim. Hopefully we'll ship it in early June so that it will be there when we get there.

Kooper will not be coming. He is very old and we are afraid he won't do well on the flight. He will stay with our good friends Bri and Jake and hopefully live the rest of his time happy and comfortable. The tentative plan is to leave Diesel behind until we find a house and then have her sent over. The military does not pay for the cost to ship pets, but it's not too awful expensive.

Dave will not work for at least the first year we are over there. This will be good for several reasons - we won't have to worry about finding childcare, the boys will be able to participate in any activities they want (karate, football, surfing lessons) without having to work around our work schedules, and baby Eli will have a parent raising him instead of a daycare provider. Some other perks - Dave will be able to keep his gym schedule, I won't have to cook or do laundry and Dave will be able to play golf and go to the beach at his leisure (aka his GTL) :-p

Gabe and Brian will be able to continue their Kempo Karate in Oahu. This was actually where Kempo Karate was founded. They have several schools throughout the island. The boys may even have an opportunity to meet Grandmaster Martin T. Buell while we are stationed there and maybe even train with him. If all goes well, they will both achieve black belt before we depart Hawaii.

We will be in Hawaii for a minimum of 3 years. We already have quite a few friends that live there and are excited about rekindling those friendships (Dani and Chris I can't wait to see you) as well as developing new ones (Jeff and Lindsey). We are excited that the boys will be exposed to a new climate and culture, with most of them being old enough to appreciate and remember it when they grow up. I absolutely love the idea of it being warm enough for them to go outside very single day, year round, and to the beach every weekend!

We will be keeping our current cell phone numbers when we move. We will provide a mailing address once we get settled. Hawaii is 6 hrs behind the East Coast so please keep that in mind when calling us (yes Dad, I am specifically talking about you!)

This is huge, exciting transition for us. It's the first time we will have moved cities as a family in over 8 years and the first time Dave and I have relocated together since we've been married!! The boys will have to make new friends, Dave will have to find a new softball league, and I will have to try not to lose my mind while everyone settles in. We will ALL have to learn to function without Mom and Dad Waychoff (aka Grammy and Grampy) and Dave's sister Katey, who have been a short 20 min drive away for the last 6 years. That will likely be the toughest part of the transition. They have been such a huge part of why our family has been able to function as well as it has for the last 6 1/2 years.

We can't wait to start this next chapter in our lives and hope you all have a chance to be a part of it. I can't promise a bed (unless you con one of the boys to give theirs up), but I can promise a floor or a couch if you decide to come visit. Pack some sunblock, a camera, and a swim suit and come on out for a visit. If you've always wanted to go to Hawaii but never really had a reason- feel free to use us as your excuse!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Top 20 Tips for an Effective Leader and an Effective Mom

1. Understanding how to manage your time efficiently will make all the difference in the long run

2. Ensure that both children and Soldiers do not mistake kindness for weakness

3. Understand the difference between efficient and lazy

4. Never forget your priorities

5. A hard right will get you better results then an easy wrong

6. A working knowledge of "Google" and an understanding of legitimate sources and bogus sources will save you from humiliation one day

7. When in doubt, feed them

8. Have a pen and paper everywhere you go; chances are if you don't write it down, you'll never remember

9. An ounce of kindness goes a really long way

10. "Because I said so" only goes so far

11. Set the example, for they will follow your lead

12. 100-mile-hour tape, gum, bandaids, and string fix just about everything

13. The sooner you accept that sleep is a crutch, the better off you'll be

14. Know when to pick and choose your battles; some battles just aren't worth fighting

15. You have to give respect to get respect

16. Remember to give praise for every reprimand you dish out

17. Remember that God gave you one mouth and two ears for a reason- use them wisely

18. Find someone... anyone...that you can vent to - one day you will need to

19. Read

20. In the end, no matter what happens, remember - He has your back, He won't give you anything you can't handle, and He has a plan

Creamy Chicken and Chile Enchiladas

  • Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 container of Philly Santa Fe Blend Cooking Cream 
  • 1 package/box of taco rice
  • 1 - 5oz Can of chopped green chiles
  • 10 - 6 inch flour tortillas
  • 2 - 10oz cans of green chile enchilada sauce (we use Old El Paso)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • sour cream, salsa, tomato, guacamole, lettuce, scallions (optional)

  • Directions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook Taco Rice according to instructions; layer in the bottom of the glass baking dish.
  3. Cook chicken over medium-high heat in skillet until no longer pink in the center.  Sir in cooking cream and chiles; reduce heat to medium.  Cook and stir until cooking cream is melted (approx 6 min). 
  4. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of shredded cheese on each tortilla; sppon chicken filling on top of cheese and roll tortilla and place seam-side down.  
  5. Poor enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with remainder of shredded cheese.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted. 
  6. Top with tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, scallions or sour cream if desired.

**for a make ahead, prepare and freeze.  Thaw in refrigerator over night and cook for 30-40 minutes.  

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

  • Ingredients listed are how our family made this.  Original recipe can be found at allrecipe.com

  • Ingredients

  • 12 leaves cabbage (two large heads)**
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cabbage leaves 2 minutes; drain.
  2. In large bowl, combine 1 cup cooked rice, egg, garlic powder, milk, ground beef, salt, and pepper. Place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in ends. Place rolls in slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over cabbage rolls.
  4. Cover, and cook on Low 8 to 9 hours.

**steaming the entire head of cabbage will make the leaves easier to work with and pull apart

**for a make ahead, prepare rolls and seal in vacuum seal bag; put sauce mix in a separate bag and store both bags in freezer.