Nacho Chicken Recipe

What a blessing to share this much requested recipe that I took to the Fiesta birthday celebration...and since I have had several requests, I thought it might be better to post without further delay ~

Nacho Chicken Casserole


One whole chicken (I slow cooked ours the day before, then pulled all the meat from the bones) cooked & meat diced
8 oz. Velveta cheese cubed
8 oz. shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz each)
1 can (approx. 10 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1/2 finely chopped onion (about 1 cup)
1 can (4 oz.) mild green chiles
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 bag (14 1/2 oz) nacho cheese tortilla chips (Doritos), crushed

Preparation Directions:

In a large bowl, combine diced cooked chicken, cheeses, soup, tomatoes, green chiles, onion and seasonings; mix well. Crush the chips and set aside 1 1/2 cups of chips to use for the topping; blend remaining chips into the chicken mixture. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish (sprayed with canola oil); sprinkle reserved chips on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling. Serve over rice. Enjoy! ~ Mrs. Smith, October 2009

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes...Sort, Sort, Sort...Store, Store, Store

Phew! Okay, six years of shoes. We are tackling a few closets this week and this was one aspect of it, shoes from six girl to be passed on to two more. :-) This morning, Alyssa was put to the task of sorting all her shoes by size and then pulling out the sizes that currently fit her, Kailynn and Elizabeth. The others have been neatly put in clear totes for future use. Now the girls' shoe organizer rack in Alyssa's closet are neat, de-cluttered, and ready for easy access for each of them. :-) If only shoes could manage to stay with their match to put an end to the ongoing saga of "Time to go...where are your shoes?" There never seems to be a match when we are trying to go somewhere ~ why is that? :-) That's 9 people, 18 feet...multiply that by at least 2 pairs (more like 4 pairs) per person...ugh! That's a lot of shoes to keep sorted, paired and in their proper place!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap...Update

Almost two months have passed since I first posted about our laundry soap making. Here is the update I said I would post about how it turned out and our experience...

The actual making of the soap was fairly simple and very inexpensive to make. The recipe for the liquid laundry soap is at the bottom of this post with step by step instructions. I have put the cost and purchase location next to the ingredients to provide you an opportunity cost analysis.

With doing as much laundry as we least one large load per day (sometimes 2), our detergent has lasted over 2 months (I have enough to get through the end of October). I figure we spent approximately $2.72 to make 6 gallons of detergent. I used to spend about $20 for a super-sized Gain powder detergent at Sam's lasting about the same amount of time...therefore, we are saving over $17 to make our own detergent.

My overview of this detergent:

  • I believe it is effective and the tea tree serves as an anti-bacterial in the soap.
  • It does not leave a heavy fragrance (faint if any) on our clothes.
  • It is not a sudsy soap...saving water needed to rinse thoroughly.
  • It is gentler than heavy chemical detergents, which will help preserve the wear and tear of our clothing...allowing them to wear longer (unless you have boys that play hard and then the clothes will wear out before they normally would anyway ~ we have our share of hard-playing boys )
  • I still pre-treat stains with diluted Simple Green (found in the automotive section at Wal*Mart for about $5) as I find it to be necessary in our home.
  • I would also recommend removing washed clothing soon after washing is complete, otherwise they may get a sour smell if they sit too long (I'm talking hours here.).
  • It is not too time consuming...about 15 minutes to make with an additional 24 hour waiting period...which makes it an money saving benefit.

Happy washing...Jarnette

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:27



1 bar of Fels Naptha soap (97 cents at Publix)
Arm and Hammer Washing Soda ($2.29 at Publix)
20 Mule Team Borax ($3.36 at Wal*Mart)
Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap...I use 16 oz Tea Tree scent ($8.39 at Target by the Burt's Bees display)

  1. Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap into a pot with water and melt over medium-low heat...stir often.
  2. Pour 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax into a 5 gallon plastic bucket.
  3. Pour 1 gallon of VERY hot water into the bucket.
  4. Stir melted Fels Naptha into the bucket and stir until well mixed. Add VERY hot water until the bucket is filled within a couple inches from the top and stir well again.
  5. Add 1/8 cup of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and stir again.
  6. Let sit for 24 hours before using.

The soap will transform as it sits into a watery, gloppy gel. You can at this point (after waiting 24 hours) transfer some of the gel to an empty liquid laundry detergent pump container, filling container with equal parts of the gel soap and additional water. Shake well before each use and pump one cap full per load for standard washers...1/2 cap full for front loading washers. (I didn't have a pump container so I use 1/2 the recommended amount, as it is concentrated in the 6 gallon bucket...hope that makes sense.)

Looking Back Over This Week

Much is to be said about this past week...

A ray of emotions and adjustments have taken place...

The joy of having the long awaited arrival of Elizabeth Hope was experienced...being greeted by all her brothers and sisters. Marveling at God ~ the Creator and Giver of Life ~ the intricacy of how He grows that little baby in a womb for months, being totally dependent on the mother to nurture the life He has given...the way the baby lives and breathes in that water protected environment AND then directly after birth takes the first breath of air. How the Scripture about laboring to eat comes to a literal reality when now this sweet babe that has been fed by umbilical cord now has must 'work' to eat.

The adjustments (physical and emotional) a mother goes through. From having sleepless nights due to size and discomfort to sleepless nights due to nursing. :-) The bonding that takes place from feeling all the little bumps when the baby is growing in the womb to bonding that takes place from actually holding that precious gift in her arms.

The roller coaster of emotions one goes through as the body's hormones adjust...tears (which is one way these hormones are released), the sense of 'how am I going to do this?', 'the need for getting back to normal routines' (which is now learning what the new normal will be), not to mention the physical changes...milk coming in (engorgement) on day 2, after-birth contractions each time you nurse, the angst of that sweet little babe 'latching on' knowing the pain associated with it :-), and the back aches and head aches lingering from labor position and blood pressure adjustment.

Praise the Lord for the encouragement He gives through good friends...those needed reminders they provide...the care and love extended by the dear sisters in Christ of caring for our children and ministering to our family through the gift of meals. Truly not having to fit meal planning and preparation into full days is a great ministry to any family that has just had a baby! Visits with friends (for me and the children) as meals have been delivered...having my husband home for that first week was a tremendous blessing, too.

Taking a few days 'off' from bookwork (school) was not what I had originally planned to do, but under wise counsel, did do. This gave some time for the children to bond more with Elizabeth, spend time with me and their daddy and even the blessed time of going to several friends' homes for play time (which allowed time for their dad & I to get some needed rest). By Monday though, I felt the need to start our schedule again, which was equally good for them. Having the routine in place gave them focus, kept the home functioning peacefully and did help to provide those times of rest needed (for them & us) in the afternoons.

Yesterday was a dad went back to work and oldest brother had classes in the afternoon, then rehearsal after that. Testing did happen with computer slow-downs challenging business that needed to be done, the fact that it took all morning to accomplish business work that should have only taken 1/2 that time, that sweet little one not sleeping like she should have in the morning, a few glitches with chore time and extra help being needed to keep on track with school work. It made for a very full morning and caused some discouragement in me. BUT...the afternoon was redeemed by enjoying the beautiful autumn-want-to-be weather, which seemed to bring rejuvenation in us all. Good naps were taken by the younger children allowing peace in the home before dinner. Some encouraging words from a friend and a visit from another friend along with some play time for the children with their friends was a blessed way to bring the day to a close.

Elizabeth Hope is now 9 days young today. She is doing very well ~ gaining weight (not losing the usually several ounces most babies do after birth...she's a Smith) ~ learning to sleep better and other than bouts of belly bubbles, is a sweet wee one. She is the apple of her siblings' eyes and is not lacking in attention... ;-) My physical and emotional well-being are close to normal. Maternity clothes have been packed back away for this season, sleep patterns are adjusting much better than a week ago, lessons are taking place daily (deeper than bookwork and surely will be longer lasting), relationships are deepening as one more has joined the sweet word called "FAMILY" and God continues to be the center of all that takes place.

And the mediation of my heart these days is "My grace is sufficient for thee...".

Joyfully His,