Saturday, August 31, 2019

Spinach Quiche

Sometimes it's difficult to feed my kids because they each have things they will not eat. I suspect this is normal for most families. Since I will not become a short order cook, I've been forced to find recipes that everyone loves. Enter spinach quiche. The breakfast of champions - or something.

“You mean my kids will actually devour a food with approximately zero sugar that is actually GOOD FOR THEM”, you ask?  Yes!  Yes, they will!!! (well...mine will, anyway). Quiche is the perfect food. Adding spinach is both underhanded and genius. Ideal for the evil mom in search of ways to force-feed introduce vegetables to an unwilling audience. Just call it Popeye Pie and you are golden. Because who doesn't love pie? 

This recipe is simple to put together in the evening, and easy to microwave for a quick breakfast to feed the “always late for the bus” crowd I live with.


6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 package frozen chopped spinach
1/3  cup finely diced onion
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pie crust*


Defrost the spinach and squeeze out the excess water.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together all ingredients (except, of course, the pie crust).

Prepare a pie pan with non-stick spray and lay the crust onto the pan. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.

Serves 6.
295 calories per serving

* pre-made pie crust for those of us who:
          a) Can’t make a decent crust,
          b) Don’t want to bother making a decent crust or,
          c) Operate in a world where we just don’t reinvent the wheel.

In case you were wondering, I am firmly planted in option “c”. Rarely do I reinvent any wheel, ever! It’s my homage to those who have gone before me and have labored to make my life easier. If you have an inventor’s spirit, and/or can make a great home-made pie crust, do that! I applaud your spirit and your skill. I’ll just be over here, truly impressed by your effort, but in no way inspired to not buy the pre-made crust. πŸ˜‚

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Man Needs a Goal

"Mom, I want a Lamborghini!" My oldest son announced via text.  "If I can save $100,000 will you kick in the rest?"

KICK IN THE REST?!?!?!  Like...will I just waltz on down to the bank and withdraw $300,000 so my son can have his dream car? Sure, Skippy...I'll add that to my errands list for tomorrow.

Just for grins, here's the car he wants. Yes...Purple! He has a very healthy self-esteem. Also, he's a giant man-child, so I don't see anyone bullying him over his purple car.

Did I mention the child is 14?
Did I also mention that he doesn't have a driver's license?
...or a JOB

Correction: he does have a job. He makes an allowance of $25 a month. Additionally, he earns another $50 a month for mowing the lawn...when he decides to actually mow the lawn. Now I'm no mathematician, but I think it will take, roughly, 584 years to save $400,000 at his current rate of earning. I'm not even going to do the math, because I'm pretty sure I'm in the ball-park with this one. 

Out of sheer curiosity, I did a quick Google search on "Lamborghini Insurance".  

"The costs of insuring a Lamborghini start at around $500 to $600 per month, assuming you're driving a Lamborghini Aventador with a base price of around $200,000. Your annual premiums should range from $6000 to $7200. Of course,Lamborghini car insurance quotes vary widely depending on your demographic information." (hat tip: › blog › lamborghini-insurance-cost)

"Insurance quotes vary widely depending on your demographic information". I think it's safe to assume an unlicensed 14-year-old male would be on the HIGH END of this sliding scale. Just a hunch. I'm just going to keep this bit of info to myself. $7,000+ a year is a tad steep for a guy who makes roughly $75 per month. And let's not even broach the subject of fuel at the moment. 

Oh... wait... hold on just one second. THIS JUST IN!

Can I, maybe, help with half?!?!  I'm going with "MAYBE!" (which my children know is mom speak for "NO!")  

So, that was good for a chuckle. But Y'all...then the texts started coming in fast and furious! The child is determined and he has a plan!

True story... I am NOT your basic billionaire builder when it comes to stocks. I am a total LOSER! I chose to invest in a company that actually went out of business three weeks after I invested. So... dude might want to seek advice elsewhere.

So, what kind of stocks does he want to buy?

The child wants to invest in TRUMP!  πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Listen, when you stay in a Trump hotel, and it's so fancy your younger brother picks up a British accent, you might get the impression this would be a good investment. I mean... it's TRUMP! And he's, like, a billionaire, or something...right?  I didn't want to crush his dreams, but the Trump Corporation has lost about a billion dollars in the past 4 years. Politics is a nasty game. But I digress...

His next idea actually made me spew coffee! For real! Coffee...on my phone, on my shirt, up my nose... 

SONY HAS FULL OWNERSHIP OF SPIDER-MAN!!! So that must be an excellent investment...right?  

I think my game plan here is to just encourage this dream. Because saving is not a bad thing, right? At some point he will realize this dream is not grounded in reality. And when his dream is shattered, he'll at least have a great savings account for something else.  Win/win! Right?  I'm going with RIGHT!!! πŸ˜‚

Look, a boy needs a goal. And I think it's never a bad idea to just dream big! 


So...I Did a Thing!

Pretty much since the day this blog began, way back in 2008, friends have told me I needed to write a book. "You are so funny", they said. "You must write a book; it will be a best seller". I filed those comments away and went about my life, corralling three boys and blogging about the hilarity of life as their mother. 

Eleven years and ninety-five posts later, (which includes a period of 4 1/2 years where I didn't blog at all. Don't know why...just got busy...or lost interest...or was completely lame...or something) I finally published the book. YES.I.DID!  

Available in print and digital formats on Amazon 

Now, I realize it is unlikely this book will ever be a best seller. But I must admit to being completely shocked when two days after the launch, it reached #15 in the "Military Families" category. Aaaannndddd... #1 in new releases in "Military Families". That was a cool day! Even more shocking was the day my book became #1 in "Christian Families" and #2 in "Motherhood" in the Free Kindle Store. That was simply amazing!

So here's the deal: I didn't write this book to make money or gain notoriety. I wrote it because I felt God calling. Every time someone said "you need to write a book", I felt a pulling inside, along with  a gentle whisper: Your stories are relate-able to other moms. Write a book to encourage and inspire. So I did.  And I hope it does encourage the mommies. I hope it uplifts and inspires and provides a warm hug along with some refreshment for the soul. I hope my stories can make a mama laugh through the hard days, with the knowledge that all the days won’t be so hard. I wanted to remind the mommies how fleeting life is and that if their preschool children are making them crazy...rejoice in the knowledge that their children are normal.

So, I published the book. People often ask why I chose to self-publish instead of seeking a traditional publisher. An entire book could be written about my journey from seeking a traditional publisher, and being solidly against self-publishing... to where I am today. Here's the short version: a traditional publisher requires a non-fiction author to have a giant following. Like... HUGE! The "following" would need to be at least 10,000 people before they would even read my book proposal. The truth is I am not at all interested in building a following. It's not about ME. It's about pointing people to Jesus. I just didn't want to spend my time posting things on social media with the intent of building a following. That's not my style. And... If God really did call me to write this book, I knew HE would get it to the mommies who needed it. So I chose to self-publish.

Christian recording artists, Casting Crowns, released one of my very favorite songs. Here are the lyrics.

 By Casting Crowns

Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself
Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else
Make a name the world remembers
But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams
I got lost in the light when it was up to me
To make a name the world remembers
But Jesus is the only name to remember

And I, I don't want to leave a legacy
I don't care if they remember me
Only Jesus
And I, I've only got one life to live
I'll let every second point to Him
Only Jesus

All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won
Will crumble into dust when it's said and done
'Cause all that really mattered
Did I live the truth to the ones I love?
Was my life the proof that there is only One
Whose name will last forever?

And I, I don't want to leave a legacy
I don't care if they remember me
Only Jesus
And I, I've only got one life to live
I'll let every second point to Him
Only Jesus


This is exactly why I am not interested in building a following. I'm not going to waste one day getting people to "like" me or "follow" me. I don't care who subscribes to my blogs or who buys my books. All I care about is this: Did I point someone to Jesus today?

So, here’s the book. If you buy it, I hope you love it. But mostly, I hope it will bless your socks off. And if it does, please leave a review on Amazon. If it doesn't, send me an email with your concerns. I am always open to constructive criticism and I may even edit the book accordingly. If you see typos, please let me know. I will fix them. Above all, know this: I am cheering for all the mommies. Your children will only be little for a short time. They will make you crazy; it's their job. But I hope my book will provide a new perspective and help the mommies to fully embrace the wild and bitter-sweetness the preschool years have to offer. 

So... this is my ministry. I might just write another. Enjoy! 

Available in print and digital formats on Amazon 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Vacations with Boys

We are making memories, I reminded myself, while trudging through the sticky, swampy, gnat infested Capitol Mall on our way to the Lincoln Memorial. We are providing an educational and cultural experience to enrich their lives, I thought. We are impressing upon them the blessings of their heritage. Do you know what else we were doing? We were providing the perfect scenario for them to whine me into an early grave.

I'll just get straight to the point...Vacations with boys are no vacation at all.
Let me be more precise. Vacations to historic places with teen/tween boys stink like the chicken skin I put in the trash under my sink...five days ago. (Note to self: have this week's trash boy do his job.) Vacations to Six Flags, Disney World, or any water park - anywhere, are SUPER FUN...for the kids. But yeah, still kinda stinks for the mama.

This summer we decided to introduce the boys to some culture and history, so we planned a vacation to Washington DC. Since they have all learned about American History in school, I was super excited to show them the monuments and take them to all the historical places they had studied. Army Guy and I loved it. We were moved by the WWII Memorial, which is incredibly stunning! Bravo memorial designer guy. Bravo!  

Another favorite was Mt. Vernon; the home of President George Washington. The museum at Mt. Vernon was actually better than the Smithsonian's Museum of American History (the section on the American Revolution, anyway). I absolutely love American History and I am in awe of historical places. But do you know who isn't such a fan of history and historical places?  The Ducklings. Sigh. Here is the background soundtrack to our vacation. (I'm not even kidding)
  • How much more walking?
  • It's hot.
  • Can we get an electric scooter?
  • I hate this.
  • I don't want to see anymore monuments to dead guys.
  • Can we get an electric scooter?
  • I don't want to learn anymore.
  • When can we go back to the hotel?
  • Can we get an electric scooter?
  • We should have brought the Xbox.
  • How many more floors are in this museum?
  • Why didn't we stay in a hotel with a pool?  (Answer: so you wouldn't spend every day doing what you can do at home while ignoring the rich history of this nation. You'll thank me one day.) 
  • I want hamburgers for dinner (And lunch. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.)
  • Why can't we get an electric scooter?
  • Why doesn't Washington DC have a Whataburger?
  • There are bugs in my face!
  • Cemeteries are boring 
  • Can we use an electric scooter in Arlington?
The list goes on. Let's just say, the Ducklings didn't really enjoy Washington DC, (except, of course, for the subway...they thought that was COOL!) I should make them write a paper for being so annoying. One day they will appreciate this experience and will want to go back. And then THEY CAN SPEND THEIR OWN DANG MONEY to repeat an experience they didn't appreciate in their teens.'s a big 'ol "WHATEV" to my kids. I say that with love.

After four agonizing wonderful days in Washington DC, we flew down to Columbia, SC where we got to visit our dear friends, the Long Family.  The boys finally got to swim, relax, watch movies and play video games. They were in heaven...and so was I because I got to hang with my sweet friend, Kelly. For six days all was right with the world.

So here are my lessons learned from our sticky, humid, July visit to DC:
  • The pool really is important. Don't assume the sheer awesomeness of your 5-star hotel will in any way make up for the lack of a pool for the teenage people.
  • Staying in a super fancy hotel will bring about a British accent in a thirteen-year-old boy. Who knew? Fancy digs = fancy speech...or something.
  • Burgers every day will not kill you...but you might wish otherwise.
  • Get the dang scooter.
  • Traveling with an American-to-British translator is quite amusing.
  • Hotel pizza delivery service is genius! So is a steak dinner for two at the uber fancy, and shockingly pricey, hotel steakhouse. WIN/WIN!
  • It is fallacy to assume that visiting the Capitol Mall at night will be better because "it won't be so hot". 
1.     Every person in America will have the same idea. 
2.     Fourteen TRILLION gnats live in/about the area of the reflecting pool, and they come out at night. Why yes...walking into swarms of bugs in the dark was my ideal dream vacation. Pro tip: walk along the lighted path. The bugs will swarm near the street lights and not your face. 
3.     It is actually possible for the night to become more hot and sticky after the sun goes down. WHAT THE HECK IS THAT ABOUT?

All-in-all the Ducklings actually did have a great vacation. (Except for the museums, walking, humidity and gnats). Next time, however, I splurge on the stupid scooters. Wait…. NEXT TIME?
First Day. Not whiny...yet! 

Second Day: This photo pretty much sums up the entire trip! 

And also... why DOESN'T Washington DC have a Whataburger? Valid question, my son!

Copywrite 2018 - Loretta Monroe