Monday, December 14, 2009

Yummy Beef Stew Recipe

For many years I have used the same beef stew recipe. It is a favorite on cold winter days in Chelan. Secretly, I don't tell many people that it is an old weight watcher recipe, because it tastes so yummy you would never guess. I took this stew to a scrapbook event this weekend at my friend Carrie's house and everyone loved it. Toward the end of the day, I was asked if I ever blog recipes and I thought, well, why not so here it is - my favorite beef stew recipe (my family including kids LOVE it).

Yummy Beef Stew

1 lb stew meat (cut into small chunks)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with the juice
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 can (15 oz) corn with juice
1 can (15 oz) green beans with juice
small handful shredded cabbage
2 Tbsp dried chopped onions
3 Tbsp Minute Tapioca pearls
1 Tbsp beef boullion base
3 medium potatoes, cut up with skin on
about 1/2 cup sliced carrots

Place all ingredients in large crock pot and stir. Turn on to low for 8-10 hours. Stir a couple of times toward the last couple of hours.

Hope you enjoy this - we eat with rolls or cornbread and top it with Parmesan cheese

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rubber Duckies & Games

Good Friday morning! The Rogges hope your holidays are going well!

Ours are staying quite busy as I am making gingerbread cookies with 24 kindergarten kids today . . . should keep me out of trouble for the day! I love working in the class and think that this will be a fun day for them! I have it on good word that Santa may have delivered some more elves to the Chelan area last night so it will be interesting to see if any of our friends got elves for their families.

Our elves have continued to resort to their own devices when left unsupervised (but I am NOT going to stay up and at home all of the time watching them as the kids have asked me to do). When the kids got home from school yesterday the elves were missing from their bed so the kids went looking for them and this is what they found . . .

After dinner we enjoyed a snack of Christmas Popcorn while watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The Christmas Popcorn was a big hit and Kenzie loved helping me make it!

The kids tucked the elves in tight in their bed but alas the elves found something to do and were found this morning sitting on furniture playing the kids' Nintendo DS games! They have clearly been in contact with Candy & Holly at my sister's house as they played with games on Wednesday night! The kids thought that was funny!

The other big news from yesterday is that the University of Oregon (my alma mater sort of as OHSU is an affiliate of UO) won the Civil War Game last night beating the Oregon State Beavers in a nail-biter 37-33! Not only does that make the Ducks the PAC-10 Champions but it secures them a trip to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State! I smell Roses!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Elves on the Loose!

Well another day . . . another Elf Capade!

Yesterday when Dave got home from school with the kids, this is what they found!

On further investigation, look at the drivers!
The kids got very upset about this one and were sure that I would be very mad about it! Mackenzie again went to her paper and wrote and drew another letter to Santa reporting the mischief.

Evidently Santa is not in much control of the elves when they are away from the North Pole as this is what we found this morning . . .

But on a positive note, I hear that elves have arrived at my sister's house in Bothell and one of the elves, Holly, has been reported by my 2 year old niece to be pooping her pants! I guess I should be happy I don't have a pooping elf at my house!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hungry Elves resort to own devices

Well the kids learned a valuable lesson this morning as they did not leave out a healthy snack for their elves. We got up this morning and the elves had gotten snacks of their own . . . and made a mess in the process. Morale of the story is that hungry elves will resort to any mean necessary!

The bad behavior upset Mackenzie enough that she wrote a letter (on very BIG paper) to Santa reporting the elf mischief and drawing a picture of the mischief.

Elf Capades continue at the Rogges!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Visiting Elves

For those who do not know, the kids have requested from Santa to have a visitng elf this year from Dec 1 to Dec 24. They were very excited after I read them this book! Mackenzie even took the time to hide the soap in drawers as the book warns that elves may get into mischief including stealing bars of soap.

Then last night while they lay sleeping in their beds - we got visitors - yes not just one but two elves came to our house. The kids were very excited to see them. They each came with passports and letters from Santa. Bernard Buttons & Belle Blizzard are happy little visitors at our house.

Mackenzie hid her baby elephant this morning before leaving for school for fear that the elves might do something to it (if they value their lives they will leave it alone). Mackenzie even shared her wooden cradle that Papa made her for Xmas two years ago in order to provide a good bed for the elves to rest in while the kids were gone. I was given clear instruction that I was to watch them today so I could be sure they didn't cause any trouble. Well, I did have an errand or two to run after dropping the kids off at school and look at what those elves did - they got paper and big pencils and are sitting ON the dining room table drawing!

The Elf Capades have begun at the Rogge house - stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Catch Up!

OK I have been made aware of my delinquency in posting to my blog. I have been busy getting ready for the holidays and enjoying a weekend away scrapbooking with the person who tells me I am behind . . . so this one is for you Megan - Luv Ya!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A New Leaf

So today is the first post of November, the first school day of November, the first school day off of Daylight Savings Time, AND, last but NOT least, the FIRST day of a new class I am taking found at and titled Blogging for Scrapbookers. I have taken a class from Shimelle at Creating Keepsakes a few years ago and I loved it. I have taken a few of her online classes and am continually amazed at how she makes me look at things differently. She is from England and there is a part of her verbage in her posts that I love as it is not the American way to do it.

She works doing things in the industry of scrapbooking and finds it difficult for people to understand all of what she does ass some people (particularly those of the male species) just don't "get it" as I am sure we all have experienced. She recently compared scrapbooking to blogging just using paper and pretty things. From that she developed this class and I am excited to embark on this journey with her.

My blogging is sporatic at best and is complicated by Facebook as it sometimes seems duplicative in nature. My hope through this class is to use my blog more often and to post more meaningful (AKA meaty) posts on my blog as I use it to save memories and things that make my life just that MY LIFE.

I hope you will visit and read my blog as I embark on this journey. I am not setting unreasonable expectations so I am making NO promises to my readers except that I am going to start this journey and see where it takes me.

Here is to a new leaf in my life and fun blog posts to come.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking

I have recently started dabbling in digital scrapbooking and find that I like it not as a replacement for paper scrapbooking but rather as an adjunct that gives me a little different creative outlet with the ability to do it on my laptop with little to no mess! Sometimes it is nice to sit on the couch and create a little fun with the ease of the computer.

I am at home grounded to the couch with bronchitis so today gave me some free time with my laptop. My little buddy Amos is keeping me company and making sure I stay on the couch . . .
My cousin is married to a now-retired fireman who has a very great relationship with all of my cousin's kids and grandkids. My cousin's first grandson Carson was born with Cystic Fibrosis. He has struggled through some challenges as they get him set with his meds and routine to manage it. Belinda and Wes have done so much to raise awareness and raise funds for CF research. A friend of Carson's mom's took some great pictures of Wes and Carson together in fireman gear. I have loved this picture for a long time -

Today I took a kit I got from with fireman stuff and used this picture I love and made a fun page of Carson and his hero, his grandpa Wes. I included this poem on the page:


There aren't many kids ~ so I'm led to understand,
Who can really and truly say, MY GRANDPA'S A FIREMAN?
My Grandpa never gets older like kids who grow each day;
He doesn't even have wrinkles 'cause God made him that way.
There's something' special 'bout him, and I know what he says is true;
For he wants me to be fair and honest in everything I do.
He takes me to parades, and I sit in his big red truck;
I push the siren so very loud ~ you'd almost think it was stuck!
At times his clothes smell funny; I hold my nose and say "PEEE-UU!"
But I know it's from smoke and the kind of work he has to do.
On Christmas and Thanksgiving ~ even Easter and birthdays, too,
We visit Grandpa and Grandma where there's so many things to do.
I know I'm really lucky; I'm the happiest kid in the land,
Since I have someone I love and can say, MY GRANDPA'S A FIREMAN.
-Author unknown

Here is the finished product - I love it!! I think it really shows the relationship between them!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hello Fall

Been a while since a post so thought I would post tonight just to prove I am alive. It is definitely fall here in Chelan. The temperatures have gone down to a high of 70 in the day and the high 30s to maybe 45 at night. Gone are the shorts and the hooded sweatshirts are out.

The kid are staying busy in school. Chase loves first grade and his teacher. He knows his sight words for first and second grade - all 400 of them and is started reading chapter books and loves it. He has gotten 100% on all 5 spelling tests so far! I am so proud of him. He has soccer practice two afternoons a week and had his first soccer game on Saturday. He was a very tired boy after that game. He even took a nap this afternoon which he NEVER does and was still ready for bed at bedtime. Mackenzie is started on her sight words and on her first books in kindergarten. She is tired by the end of the week as she has soccer practice one afternoon a week in addition to full day kindergarten 5 days a week. She has the same teacher Chase had last year and loves that she knows the routine. She really misses being at home with Mommy so we do a lot of encouragement some days to get her going and other days she is ready to go.

We are ready for fall and love the change of weather. Wishing a happy fall to all of you!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Events in Chelan

It has been an interesting week in the Chelan area. Not only did school start this last week on Wednesday but to add to the chaos, we had a tractor-trailer rig run into the side of the Beebe Bridge which connects the Douglas County side of the Columbia River to the Chelan County side. Our school district has 120 students and 5 teachers that live on the Douglas County side. This is not usually a big deal of a commute but . . .

as you can see in the photo, there is extensive damage to the bridge so the commute has become quite an event. The kids on that side are being picked up about 6 AM in order to ride the 1 1/2 hrs one way back to Chelan via Wenatchee and are not getting home until 4:30 or 5:00 PM. Mackenzie's teacher (Chase's teacher from last year) lives on that side of the river. She and her husband (Steve and Carolyn Burdick) are both teachers in Chelan and have a 4 month old son Jayden who goes to daycare in Chelan. They have a new commute as they began school on Wednesday bycoming to work by boat from Sun Cove area to Chelan Falls thanks to Mr. Blair (the husband of another teacher in the district).

Hopefully they will be clearing the bridge for pedestrian traffic by school on Tuesday. In the meantime there is a long detour and any traffic that needs to go north of the bridge has to be rerouted through Chelan making it a very busy traffic area especially with apple harvest in full swing. If you are from out of the area and want to see more pictures of this accident, which unfortunately resulted in the death of the driver and her partner, go to or

Here is hoping for a smoother week this week!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wisdom from a First Grader

Today after his first day of first grade Chase arrived home with homework. As he sat down to work on it, he asked me "Mommy do you know what homework means?" I replied, "No, what does it mean?" His sweet wisdom-filled reply "It means I am growing up!"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Gramma Betty - a Great 77 years

Saturday was my mother-in-law's 77th birthday! She is suffering with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and is no longer able to swallow at all and is only able to communicate in writing. We are all facing the fact that she is failing and this may well be her last birthday. In honor of her big day, we got all of the family possible together for her day. There were in total - 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, 7 grandkids, 8 great grandchildren and 10 friends! It was a fun day and she looked so happy to have them all there.

Here's to Gramma Betty - wishing you comfort and peace as you struggle through each day. Know that we love you so much and are so lucky to have you in our lives.

Megan made a fabulous scrapbook page for Gramma about the things she learned from her. i cannot say things better about Gramma so I will just include this picture . . .

Sunday, August 23, 2009


My best friend and I have been dealing with LOTS of apricots for a week now. We have a mutual friend who has trees of apricots that they just use for themselves but can never use all of them. She told us we could go pick all we wanted. Well, if you have never picked apricots, it is easy and goes very fast. That is a good and a bad thing. The good is you have what you need (and more) in less than an hour. The bad is that it is hard to stop as it doesn't seem like you have picked long enough.
Between the two of us, we have made nearly 70 pints of freezer jam (thankfully she has a clean nearly empty freezer to keep it in). I made 4 quarts of apricot syrup. I dried a dehydrator full of them. We have eaten lots as well.
We will remember these apricots well into the winter when we are covered in snow and wishing for sunshine!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Long Time Dream Fulfilled

Many of you know of the time and trials of the adoption of Chase. Being an international adoption it came with ups and LOTS of downs through the paperwork process. Getting his referral 11 days after he was born and then it taking nearly 9 months more to get the travel OK to go get him was tough on the whole family.

I am the oldest child and my younger sister had no children at that point either so this was the first grandchild for my parents. My Dad was over-the-top excited about a grandson to taking fishing, hunting, camping, etc. Mom was excited as well but Dad had dreams of things he would do with Chase before he ever got to hold him.

We lived from one picture to the next for that nine months as that was our connection to this little boy we loved so dearly. We were trapped in the system and had to wait it out. It was stressful for us all and some of us (namely me) were more vocal about the stress we endured. Others (like Dad) kept dreaming of this baby in his arms in silence. Dad had a heart attack summer of 2003 while we were in this waiting period. He spent several days in the hospital getting stents placed and recovering. During this time, we all became more aware of his emotions related to Chase. He worked so hard to recover and get his health in shape to be able to go to Guatemala with us.

Finally in November 2003, we go the plane tickets and Dad told his boss he would be back when Chase was home from Guatemala as he and Mom went with us. We took a red-eye flight to Guatemala City. Upon arriving after a long night of flight, we got to our hotel (Hotel La Casa Grande) and checked in. The agency had told us to call the attorney when we arrived. I did just that. We were told to be prepared as with it being a Friday before the election weekend in Guatemala we may not get to even see him and likely wouldn't get to have him till Monday. I was shocked when Leticia (our attorney in Guatemala) asked me if we would like to "get" him that morning. I inquired for more info as to what she meant. She told us she could be there with him and we could HAVE him that morning. We all raced through the shower (as we were all in one suite so the one shower was busy).
FINALLY we got to have him (we ended up waiting in Guatemala enjoying him in our hotel for 3 weeks while final paperwork was completed for travel home)! After a short visit with the attorney and the foster mother, they left and we were on our own. The poor little guy had just been removed from all he knew and he started crying. We all took turns walking the floor with him trying to calm him. Mom and I took turns singing to him (she had learned to sing Jesus Loves Me in Spanish) and rocking him. Dave took his turn too and finally Papa got his turn. He walked out onto an open landing area and talked to Chase and finally got him settled and he fell asleep on Papa's chest. What a sight as you can see . . .

I NEVER knew until a couple of months ago what Dad had talked to him about while trying to comfort him that day nearly 6 years ago. I now know that he was talking to Chase about the things they would do together and how he looked forward to teaching him to fish!

Chase and Papa have gone fishing quite a few time together and really enjoy one another's company as you can see.

Yesterday (August 17, 2009), Chase (with the help of Papa) caught his first BIG fish. He has caught several blue gill and perch but yesterday was different. He caught a 15 lb, 32 inch KING SALMON on the Columbia River near Brewster, WA. Boy was he proud and so was Papa - I think the picture says it all . . .

A Long Time Dream Fulfilled

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A fun card making evening!

I went to Jill's last night after kids were settled with Daddy and we had a wonderful time making cards and laughing till we hurt from laughing. It was a great time for both of us and a good end to a busy fast week. Here are the creations we made!

Using the CTMH Stamp of the Month to make stripes

Another use for CTMH stamp of the month

A creation using the Sweet Home paper set in the Autumn/Winter 2009 CTMH catalog

Same card but with the new Grace paper and the Childhood Portrait Stamps from new catalog

More stripes with Stamp of the Month

Love this circle card using a template from the CTMH Wishes Book

Love this card with the new paper Grace and Childhood Portrait stamp set
It pays that Jill is a Director with Close to My Heart so she gets goodies from the new catalog early!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Sweet Little Boy

As I blogged yesterday, Mackenzie is in KinderCamp this week and next. While I am missing her and the things I am used to her doing around the house, I am also enjoying the reconnecting with Chase that is happening when he has all to himself 1:1 time with us while she is at school. He was only 15 1/2 months old when Mackenzie was born and we had only had him home from Guatemala for 6 months so it has been a long time since there was just him. He is a totally different kid when not competing with Mackenzie over every little thing. While we have not done anything spectacular while she was gone, he has been tickled nonetheless just to share the couch with one of us and not have to share. He is all of a sudden the snuggle bug I remember from those days over 5 years ago. He is so helpful and wants to make everyone happy. We have enjoyed a trip to the park with our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We have played Fishing Master on the Wii. He and Daddy have tossed football and shot baskets with the basketball. He has sat and read Biscuit books to me. He has been right under my feet in all that I do while Mackenzie is gone. What a joy to get to have these special alone times with him that we have not had for so long. Memories in the making . . .

Now, don't be mistaken, he does miss his sister as he is right out there to greet her as she gets off the bus and runs to give her a love but he also loves to snuggle with me and tell me of the fun things we did that just he and I know about! How sweet my little boy is!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Baby Grows Up

Well, as the beginning of school approaches, I am realizing how much the kids have grown up. Mackenzie is spending this week and next week in 4 day a week 9 am - 2 pm KinderCamp at the elementary school in order to get the routine down. She is absolutely loving it and I am having separation anxiety. Chase has been in school at least part time for 3 1/2 years and Mackenzie has been a constant at home. Even last year she was only in preschool for 3 half days - and that 2 1/2 hours flew by for me. In a mere 3 weeks, I will be sending both of them off to full day school. How do they grow so fast?

Mackenzie has really enjoyed her first few days of KinderCamp. On the first day, I drove her to school and when I went to pick her up, she wanted to ride the bus home with her friends. Thankfully Mr. Peck (the fabulous principal at MOE) could quickly arrange for that so Chase and I drove home and waited for her to come home on the bus. I asked her what she did at school and got some fragmented little snippets. I thought a more pointed question would give me the information I was looking for so I asked what her favorite parts of her day were . . . her reply - riding the bus home ang getting chocolate milk for breakfast AND lunch at school. I asked what else she had for lunch - her reply - I can't remember exactly but maybe a corn dog but I DID have chocolate milk. On day two, we waited out front of the house and the bus came down the hill, she was so excited to run out to meet it. She climbed on the bus and sat down. I stood in the driveway waving - - - she didn't even look out the window at me - she was busy visiting with her friends . . . I cried! She arrived safely home on the bus after day 2 - her favorites that day - recess and chocolate milk! She is on the bus on her way to school this morning as I type (again no wave for Mommy, but no tears either). I am sure she will have fun. She comes home and hugs Chase immediately but doesn't seem at all worried about what she "missed" by not being home. I wonder what will join chocolate milk as her favorites today - guess I will find out at 2:45 pm when she gets home. . .

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just a thought

I got this off of "The Art Of Choosing Joy" blog (Kolette Hall) and it was so perfectly timed with my life right now and the current theme of sermons at church that I just had to share it. Hope it enriches your life like it did mine.
We are having a busy and fun summer with lots more plans for the coming month.
In September, I will have a first grader and a kindergartener - what will I do with both of them in school? I am sure I will find something.
Enjoy your summer

Thursday, July 2, 2009

7th Anniversary and Family Pictures

After a LOT of static from my mother about needing a "more recent" family picture (our last was Christmas 2005 - the kids have changed a bit since then), we finally managed to connect with Richard Uhlhorn at Riverwalk Park today (our 7th anniversary, by the way) and got some pictures done. He did a great job. I will not bore you with all 123 but just a few to get the idea that yes, we have changed since 2005 (some have grown up and others have grown out - Jillian Michaels is working on that part).

My parents came and watched the kids tonight so Dave and I could go out for a nice dinner for our anniversary. We went to The Bamboo Shoot in Chelan and it was delicious!! He got me a pedicure and acrylic nails gift certificate and I got him a salmon fishing pole and the Love Dare book (from the movie Fireproof - HIGHLY recommend this movie to all people). Overall a great day and I look forward to many more happy years to come!