Friday, November 8, 2013

TToT Week 23, You'll Be Tapping Your Toes the Entire Way Through This One

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.
-- Rabbi Harold Kushner


1.  I am thankful for the time and weather which allows me to get outside with the boys to burn some energy (theirs) and burn some calories (mine).  Two of the kids have had after-school activities, which leaves us waiting for 30 minutes or more after picking up Giant.  On the rainy Wednesday, there was a pocket of no rain at the time we could use it, and yesterday it was cold but bright and sunny after school.  Perfect.

2.  I am thankful for the unpredictable thoughts of/conversations with 4 year old Cuckoo.   I'm just going to give you a list of some of the gems he's dealt me this week.

Standing next to one of the big kids: "Who is taller, him or me?  Heads don't count."

"I want to be Spiderman, so I drew on my arm." 

As the kids got situated in the van in order to leave the house, I intentionally hit the gas to make Star stumble and fall onto Phoenix.  As the kids and I laughed, Cuckoo calmly inquired: "Did you run over Hershey?"  (Hershey is Cuckoo's favorite dog.)

After a looooong conversation over several days about animals that eat people, (in which I actually said, "Most lions have never tasted a person.") Cuckoo said, "A giraffe doesn't eat people.  Know how I know?  They don't have big mouths.  (Make sure you pronounce that "th" in mouth like it's a "v".)

Four times in one hour in the middle of the night he called to us from his room.  The first time, I expected him to tell us he had a nightmare, thanks to all the people-eating he's been obsessed with lately.  But no, seems he's moved on to a new neurosis:  "THERE IS A LADY BUG IN MY ROOM!!"  Four times.  No big, scary lady bug to be found.

"Mommy, look at all these beautiful purple leaves!  Can I take one home?"

The boy keeps life interesting, that is for darn sure.

3.  I am thankful for quick, easy, kid-friendly meals posted by blogger friends.  My pal Julia posted an idea for chicken cordon bleu wraps, knowing my kids love chicken cordon bleu.  I don't know if you've ever tried to make chicken cordon bleu (I really hope you are pronouncing that in your head with an exaggerated, botched French accent), but it is a bit of a hassle.  She has rocked my world, making wraps that have the taste the kids want without the hassle of making them.  All six kids and COW gave it a thumbs-up.  (Minor change:  She used chicken fingers, I used chicken off of a whole chicken I had cooked earlier in the day.) 

4.  I am thankful for the two CDs Lizzi took the time to put together and mail to us.  For some reason, I had gotten out of the habit of playing music at home.  We listen to music constantly in the car, and we used to at home, but with the big kids listening to their iPods, I just didn't think about turning it on.  With these two CDs, music has once again entered our home.  The little boys and I have been rocking it out, and I realize how much I missed it.

5.  Speaking of music, I am thankful for grocery store owners doing their in-depth research to come up with music to play depending on the folks who are in the store at any given time.  (Did you know stores did that?  It's true.)  The other day, this song was playing:


Besides the fact it is hysterical that they are playing "I Will Survive" during a time when the only people in the store are moms trying to shop with kids and old people, how can a person not be happy when listening to this song?  Sure, I may throw an extra item or two in my cart, just because I'm so happy, but it's worth it.   Those sneaky, brilliant grocery store owners...

6.  I am thankful for grandma-types who appreciate happy people.  I may have broken out into a wee bit of a dance while pushing the Cuckoo-carrying grocery cart through the aisles.  At one point I passed an older couple.  The woman gave me a funny look and said, "All I have to say is Get down!"  Back atcha Grandma!

7.   I am thankful for lovely people who give me chocolate.  As I waited in the school pick-up line, the PE teacher came to our van with a big bowl of our family's favorite dessert in all the world.  PE Teacher owns a catering business, and we've used her many times for a variety of events.  Well, a friend of ours had been to her house to fix a piece of siding, so she made him a dessert.  While at it, she thought, I bet (the coop boys) are wanting some, too.   How wonderfully thoughtful is that?  Sure, she said it was for the boys, but she totally meant to include me.  (Buttercup doesn't seem to get nearly as excited about it as the rest of us.)

There's brownies mixed in that there bowl of heaven.

8.  I am thankful for my Bible study group.  While we haven't actually studied the Bible in a while, we have become a lovely group of friends.  The best part is our kids are all the best of buds and play gloriously while we laugh and chat and simply enjoy each others' company.  With so many of my friends having older children (the ages of my big kids) and leaving our elementary/middle school, I needed some friends who have children the ages of Turken and Cuckoo.  Sure, these ladies are the age of babies compared to me, but they are wonderful women who make me laugh and think and feel good.

9.  I am thankful for our big van.  Because of it, I am able to take a variety of kids home when their parents need some logistical help.  We have become somewhat of a bus this week, making our varied pick-ups and drop-offs, but I am happy to do it.  So many people help me out at the drop of a hat, I'm thrilled to be able to do the same for others.

10.  I am so, so thankful for Turken's fabulous outlook on life.  Two examples from this week:

 (1)I told Turken that the next day's agenda included his dentist appointment and some leaf raking.  He responded, "That is going to be the bestest day ever!"  Befuddled, I asked why he was looking forward to those things. 
"At the dentist, I get a new toothbrush, and at Mrs. G's I get to jump in leaves."

(2) In PE this week, the kids are learning how to juggle.  After school I asked Turken if he now knows how to do it.
"I know how to juggle, I just don't know how to catch."

Turken's theme song...



Aaaaaaand that's a wrap.

What good have you found this week?

Have a lovely day!




Ten Things of Thankful


 Your hosts

66 comments:

  1. I used to drive a mini-van. I loved being able to pile in my kids and a few of their friends and haul them all around!
    Your kids are too funny!
    Definitely checking out the chicken cordon bleu wrap recipe, sounds wonderful.
    That dessert looks so good!
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. As much as a hassle the big van can be sometimes (hello, parking garage I can't park in) I mostly love it.
      Thanks.
      You should. It is easy and yummy, which is the perfect combination as far as I'm concerned.
      It is delicious.
      Thanks! You, too!

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  2. I adore Turken's attitude. What a great outlook. I reckon we could all stand to learn from him.

    It's alright that I'm still giggling imagining you dancing in the supermarket and entertaining all the elderly shoppers, right?

    So glad the music's back for you :)


    (Also, that dessert, whatever it is, I'm sure is lovely, but it has chocolate in and I can pretty much understand Buttercup's lack of excitement)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I pay attention to that kid. The things that come out of his mouth sometimes astound me.

      Yes, it's fine. :)

      Me, too. Thanks again.

      We are just going to pretend you didn't say that.

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    2. If we have to. I can really take or leave chocolate, and usually leave it.

      It's aaaaaall about the sweeties.

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    3. Don't get me wrong, I like just about any kind of sweets. But Death by Chocolate?? (Yes, that is what it's called.) The bomb.

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    4. See, this is where it's a benefit to know me, because my presence usually means that there's more chocolate per person for everyone else ;)

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  3. My girls now write on themselves everyday, because they love to color and draw, but I have been yet to be told it is because they want to be Spiderman. Too cute and that really made me smile this morning. Glad you had a wonderful week and always love hearing about it here. Thanks for hosting as always and just happy to join again.

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    1. You must get the book Yellow, Red, Green by Robert Munsch. It's probably in the library. You and the girls will appreciate it, being it's all about markers and a little girl who isn't supposed to color on herself. ;)

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  4. OK, so let's cute to the chase...all the cuteness of your two littles aside, I need to know how to make that dessert...you knew I'd be asking and yet, you seem completely unprepared for the question.

    I'll be awaiting your prompt reply. :)

    BTW the video at the end was a lovely touch.

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    1. I don't know how to make it!! The only time we have it is when she makes it for us.

      I'll be whistling all day. :)

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  5. Nothing like learning from like learning from a child how to be positive!! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It seems to come so easily to him, too. I love it.

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  6. Life of Brian... classic! I think that was my favorite part of the movie. Your kids are a shiny bright spot in a day... Im sure there are days that are tarnished but man they are sweet! Was that a trifle your PE friend made... looks fabulous! I have a recipe for an Irish crème or kaluha one whichever you'd prefer... fab stuff... haven't had it in years...one of those things to have before You vacate this existence...just in case they don't imbibe in sugar on a higher plain!

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    1. It is COW's favorite movie of all time. I am so grateful to have this many kids. When one is irritating me, there's always another to lighten the mood.
      I'm guessing the recipe you have is similar. They've made an adult version with kaluha before. We try to have it at least 3 times a year. More would be great. :)

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  7. I'll try to be excited next time I go to the dentist and get that new toothbrush. That made me laugh out loud.

    You have much to be thankful for. Love this post. ☺

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    1. You'll never go to the dentist again without thinking about Turken and a new toothbrush, will you? :)

      I really do. I'm glad you liked it.

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  8. liked # 5 yeah, it's pretty strange when you start to pay attention to the peripheral signals we get when out in public (and not so public). my favorite is the music they play for people on hold... I have sat on hold hoping to not get answered so I could listen to the progression of the music (over hold time) and on a number of occasions I've noticed that they deliberately make the music as un-listenable as possible (when they want you to give up on the waiting).
    not much of a 'food guy' (yeah, I know knock you over with a feather...lol) but your desert item pictured in Number 7 is rather impressive.

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    1. Being put on hold makes me crazy. It seems the times I do have to call companies, thankfully, I'm not on hold long. Whatever they play, though, it's gotta be better than the elevator musak my orthodontist used to play in his office.
      It is pretty good lookin', isn't it.

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  9. I think I would have to just sit down to that whole bowl of chocolaty goodness with a spoon, all to myself, and stab anyone who came near me.

    I love when kids have wonderful attitudes towards stuff. It's so darn precious!

    chicken cordon bleu, eh? Maybe I'll check it out! The hubs would be soooo impressed!

    Loved it all, Christine! Beautiful list, as usual!

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    1. Believe me, if she wouldn't have given it to me in the parking lot and told the boys it was for them, they wouldn't have had a bite.

      Good attitudes in children makes life sooooooo much easier.

      Try it! It couldn't be easier.

      Thank you!

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  10. Well, doesn't everybody break out into dance when they hear "I Will Survive"? That and "Dancing Queen" and I'm all set! Your kids sound like they are so awesome! I bet there aren't many dull moments with your crew!
    I will definitely have to check out the chicken recipe because I agree that yummy and ease go especially well together!

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    1. Really, they should. By law. Ah, Dancing Queen is a good one, too! There are a few dull moments, but they are probably better called the calms before the storms. A bit of a rest before they break into mass chaos.
      Do try it! It was a hit around here.

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  11. I was at the dentist a couple of weeks ago. I failed to share the enthusiasm, but will repent before the next visit!

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    1. That's Turken, changing people's attitudes towards dentist appointments one person at a time. :)

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  12. Your kid is a dose of sweetness and light. And as always, your list makes me feel happy.
    I'm so bummed--I thought I had you loaded into my blog reader, but you ARE NOT! And I thought it was odd that you hadn't posted---here I find I've missed about 2 weeks worth of posts! Grrr...

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    1. Aw, that is sweet of you to say.
      I AM NOT!?!? How did that happen?? :) Glad you got it all straightened out and found your way back.

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  13. I burst out laughing when I read that you "intentionally hit the gas"....am STILL sitting here chuckling away. That is SO something I would do or ahem have done. :D

    Gloria Gaynor...I think I have the album downstairs.

    That dessert....OMG...HEAVEN!!!

    Your kids are THE BEST!!!

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    1. Ha! I wondered if anyone caught that. Of course it was you. :)

      For real?? Do you have a record player to play it on?

      It really is. They don't call it Death by Chocolate for nothin'!

      Aw, thanks.

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    2. I know...I couldn't believe nobody else commented on it?!?!? ;P

      Yup for real. I was a teen of the disco era and have 3 crates of albums to prove it. Haha! I still have my turntable although I'm not sure if it works.

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    3. I'm thinking it's time to pull that puppy out and give it a whirl!

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  14. "Out of the mouths of babes".... your kids are so delightful! Who wouldn't be smiling after reading this post?! I have to admit that I got hung up there on that chocolate brownie desert bowl there for a bit though. Mmmm! Turken is a child after my heart, even I would have to stretch some to find a blessing in going to the dentist! This was a winning list, Christine, you were blessed with a realty good week!

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    1. They had an extra delightful week it seems, coming up with some doozies.
      It is a very popular dessert around here.

      I told the dentist what Turken had said, and he could not have been happier. Even raised his hands and gave a shout. Never once had he heard a kid say a dentist appointment was a good thing.

      I was quite blessed all week long.

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  15. 5 and 6 made me think of some of my thankfulness this week. Were you ever embarrassed when your mother sang along with the music in the grocery store? I was. Mortified. And now...

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    1. I saw! Nothing like a good dance down the aisle of the grocery store. It is our job to embarrass our children as payback for all the public tantrums they threw to embarrass us. :)

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  16. What great kid stories! Love the Bright Side video - always cracks me up. Have to say I do indeed enjoy my grocery store music. However. My Fab Hub has been the primary grocery guy for the last several months...kinda wonder what they play when he's in there?

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    1. Thanks! I don't know how anyone can not be smiling after listening to that song.

      Ha! I wonder... :)
      If my husband did the shopping, I'd lose my mind. He is very unpredictable. Once, he brought home a 5 pound piece of meat labeled "pork butt" he had gotten for 99 cents a pound. Another time, $15/pound salmon stuffed with some fancy cheese/spinach concoction. I don't let him anywhere near the grocery store.

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  17. Holy Hannah! That was breathtaking and hilarious! The fact that you finished it with Monty Python just makes this the best! I will now happily drift off to dreamland with "Got to look on the bright side of life...."

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    1. Well, I'm glad you liked it! I can't help but smile listening to that song. Hope you slept well. :)

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  18. This list is so chock-full of awesome! I really need to find that easy chicken Cordon "Bl-uh" which YES, I totally pronounce with an exaggerated Fron-say accent! Zut alors! I did a blog post on the birth of ballet, where I envisioned the conversation that caused it to come about, and I phonetically spelled out all the French words! hahahaha too funny.
    I love that "I WIll Survive" song, my mom used to say that was her theme song, one night when my sisters and I had a Girls Night Out that song came on, we called my mom and all sang it to her over the phone. Even though she was asleep, I'm sure she was touched by the gesture :)
    I love the things your kids says, those are so precious!

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    1. Thanks!

      *applause* Yay for the French accent!! :) That post about ballet sounds hilarious. Where's the link?? :)
      And yes, try the cordon bleu.
      Aw, how sweet of you girls. I love how some songs are have such importance and bring up such good memories in our lives. Your mom must be fun if this is her theme song.

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  19. "Always look on the bright side of life." That is a great one. And I hope to be that kind of older person.

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    1. A classic, for sure.

      I hope I'm still dancing in the aisles when I'm well into the age of being old.

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  20. Oh my goodness.. "I know how to juggle but I don't know how to catch".. Priceless ;-) We're definitely happy about our 7-seater, even though it wouldn't hold your family, I love packing in my parents when we all go out for lunch ;-)

    Maybe ladybugs are a little kid's thing. Lily had a t-shirt with a ladybug on it and loved it. So I thought she's be excited when a ladybug landed on her shirt.. Poor little girl panicked and completely freaked ;-)

    Have a great new week, Christine!

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    1. We were able to take my mom with us on vacation thanks to the van. So many good uses for it. (We used to have a 7-seater van, up until our youngest was born. That year and a half of a filled-to-the-brim van was long and uncomfortable.

      Oh, poor thing. I guess ladybugs are only cute and fun in theory. :)

      You, too, Stephanie!

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  21. They play music in the grocery store?

    I like to intentionally hit the brakes and make everyone's seatbelts lock them tightly against the back of the seat, like they are in the executioner's chair.

    They could give me 100 toothbrushes, and I still wouldn't want to go to the dentist.

    Heads don't count.

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    1. Surely even in MO they have music in the stores. Pay attention to your surroundings next time and see if it's playing. :)

      My favorite thing to do is drive like a drunk up our driveway, swerving, pumping the breaks, and flinging those unbuckled children all over the van.

      I'm with you. Dentists and I never do well together.

      Ever. :)

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  22. What a great list:) I love how you ended it with the Monty Python vid. Excellent! Your son has a most exceptional attitude for one so young...outstanding.
    Music. Earbuds are fine sometimes but really you need to put it on the stereo and turn it up! Music is energy, music is life!

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    1. Thanks! How could I not end with Monty Python? :)

      I couldn't agree more. Every single day should include some music cranked up and dancing like you mean business!

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  23. I love, love, love your list! The grocery store music...perfection! And I love our big van too. It's a tad unwieldy, but I love it! I keep threatening to paint it like the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo. That would either make it way more cool, or way less cool. For now, we will stick with white!

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    1. Thank you! Oh, the Mystery Machine would be awesome. I threaten flames, which would be voted unanimously as uncool.

      Delete
  24. Hi Christina..what a great list..yah, I hear you on not listening to music at home much anymore. I used to ALL the time..before the internet...I would sit on my bed and lay there for HOURS. I usually watch tv at home. I listen to music in the car, though. I love chocolate...mmmm:) Yah, kids are awesome:)

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    1. Thank you. I can't say I would sit and listen to music, mostly because the music I am drawn to is all about dancing.
      Chocolate is wonderful, regardless of what Lizzi says.

      They really are.

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  25. So, so cool to be able to just look on the bright side automatically, like Turken does, rather than the years of practice it takes most of us - not to mention the gratitude blog hops. And as we discussed last week on my blog - this gratitude thing is infectious, so no wonder you are able to make such a great list. I love your observations about music in grocery stores - and the "grandma type" who cheered you on with your dancing.

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    1. Wouldn't it, though? I just have to watch him and think, "What would Turken say?" It really is infectious. Good word.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  26. Hee hee, heads don't count - that is so funny! Ladybugs can be scary sometimes.... like the other day when I thought hubby was growing a third eye with the ladybug he was sporting on his upper brow. Ha!!

    I love people who give me chocolate. And those wraps sound AMAZING! Yum! Need to try!

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    1. The funny part is, he has the biggest head, with the highest head of hair, of all of us. He is only hurting himself. :)
      Ugh! On his eyebrow?? We seem to have made it through without the horrible, plague-like infestation of beetle/ladybugs this year, thankfully, but we still have some.

      Especially such good chocolate. They were good. Give them a try!

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  27. I love that picture of Cuckoo and of course the stories that go along.

    Gifts of chocolate = always good

    Yes, I did know that grocery stores play music according to the demographic shopping at a given time of day. However, around here, they all play the same thing --country music ...or the NE Huskers' football games. .. ;-/ I'd love to hear disco instead! ;) AND dance in the aisles! I love what the older lady said to you! Awesome!

    I always love your lists of thankful!!

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    1. p.s. I also have a fast 'n easy chicken cordon bleu recipe. The family loves it...rather 4/5 of the family love it. But with that ratio, I make it anyway! Did you say yours was on Pinterest?

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    2. Thanks!
      Always.
      They play the football games in the store? You really do live in a tiny town! :)

      Mine was not on Pinterest. I have boycotted that site. It was a friend's blog. What is your recipe?

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    3. Oh yes... and it isn't just in the small towns. If you go to the mall or Target or Sam's Club in Lincoln or Omaha, if the game is being aired, you can bet it will be playing over the intercom/speakers. Yes. Huskers are a big deal here. Not to ME, but.... nearly everyone else. I need to write a whole post about it sometime... *shakes my head*

      Here's the site I got my recipe: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2011/06/chicken-cordon-bleu-the-easy-way.html

      And here's the recipe (I thought I should give the link to give credit where it is due):

      CHICKEN CORDON BLEU (yields: 6 servings)

      Note: fresh bread crumbs here make all the difference. I save the heels of my bread stashed in the freezer for just a recipe like this when I need to grind up fresh bread crumbs quickly in my blender or food processor. Also, try to find really thick chicken breasts – it makes it easier to cut them in half lengthwise and still have a good-sized portion.

      INGREDIENTS

      For the Cordon Bleu:
      3 large chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise (to form two thinner chicken breast cutlets)
      12 slices deli ham
      1 cup bread crumbs
      2 tablespoons butter, melted
      1/3 to 1/2 pound thinly sliced swiss cheese

      For the Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce:
      2 tablespoons butter
      2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      1 cup milk
      1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube, crushed)
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
      1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
      1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

      DIRECTIONS

      Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Set aside.
      Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the 9X13-inch dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham and top with 2 slices of swiss cheese, shingling across the chicken breast to make sure the entire chicken breast is covered with ham and cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.
      Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden.
      While the chicken bakes, in a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly, while cooking the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules and salt. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking.

      Serve each chicken cordon bleu portion with warm sauce.

      NOTES

      Make Ahead Instructions: Assemble the chicken, ham and cheese according to the recipe. Store the prepared bread crumb/butter mixture in a resealable plastic bag or other container. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and store it and the bread crumb mixture in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. When ready to bake, sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and bake according to the recipe, adding anywhere from 5-15 extra minutes since it was refrigerated prior to baking. Make the sauce while the casserole bakes or make it ahead of time, let it cool, and store it covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, reheating over low heat and whisking to recombine before serving.

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    4. Well, thank you very much! Not as easy as a wrap, but totally doable. Thank you! I'll be making this one of these days.

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  28. I read Chicken Cordon Blue like the french cook from the muppets. And I also can easily juggle but the catching is a bit of a bother for me too!

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    1. Perfect! :) Yet another way we are friends.

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  29. "Heads don't count." LOL. What a fantastic list! Keep dancing!

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!