I feel kind of silly posting this recipe, but my friend Deniz has been asking for it, (for months..) so I feel I must deliver.  Breakfast tacos are SIMPLE!  Seriously simple.  Just cook up some sausage, bacon, chorizo, ham or really just about any meat you want.  This day I was making tacos for about 20 people and I only made sausage and bacon breakfast tacos.
Fry up some taters....I keep it simple, chop potatoes up pretty small, toss them in a skillet with about 2TBL vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until tender crisp!  (I do NOT peel my potatoes first - leave those skins on!)
Once you have your meat and potatoes ready scramble up some eggs!  When making breakfast tacos I always add a little milk to my scrambled eggs to make them fluff up a little!
Once everything is ready heat your flour tortillas thoroughly in a dry skillet flipping once.  Once your tortillas are ready load them up with eggs, meat of choice (you can use more than one!) and cheese.  I typically use sharp cheddar, but feel free to use your favorite cheese.  Roll them up ~ wrap in aluminum foil (if you are not eating right away) and  toss into a roasting pan set to low or in the oven set on low to keep warm until you are ready to serve!  
And last but not least DON'T FORGET THE SALSA!!! In my opinion this is one of the most important steps....Make sure you have some super yummy salsa to top off your tacos with!  A bad salsa just makes your taco bad!  If you want to make my salsa just click here!
So, there you have it.  Nice and easy.  You can always buy salsa if you choose (I wouldn't, but to each their own!  ;)
And the good thing about feeding these to a crowd, you can always precook the meat and potatoes and just heat them up the next morning.
When we found out it was time for VBS at Grace United Methodist Church in Coppers Cove we KNEW we had to go!!  We only found out about it the night before, but knowing what we know from our previous experiences here we knew it was a MUST go!! 
True to form, Grace put on an EXCELLENT bible school ~ the detials were AMAZING!!
How fun is this?
Every single part of the church was decorated!!
The "recycle" wall.
As a part of VBS, the kids were encouraged to bring in canned foods to give to the homeless.
Seriously, it must have taken them FOREVER to decorate the church!!
I'm not joking when I tell you EVERY wall was decorated!
How fun is this?! A giant bowl of fruit loops!!
The kids had a BLAST!!  Thanks to everyone at Grace that made this VBS so special!
My BFF Staci has been waiting a VERY long time for this post. I told her about these tacos at least 3 months ago. I RAVED about them, telling her that they are my new FAVORITE taco - I kept talking about how good they are and how they even beat out my previous favorite - Mexican Street Tacos. She was so excited that she even went out and bought chipotles in adobe sauce at least a month ago.  She phoned me while she was at the grocery store and ask me to send her the recipe.  I'm a slacker; I didn't do it even though I had good intentions of sending it to her right away. Staci however is not a slacker - the past two months in a row I have called her at the last minute and ask her to help me with the battalion newsletter because I can't figure it out, and what did she do?  She dropped almost (yes, almost ;o) EVERYTHING and helped me do the newsletter which is no small task.  It is pain staking for people that have NEVER in their lives done newsletters. I am SO NOT computer savvy when it comes to this type of thing, but she is.  However it still takes forever even when you know what you are doing. Not many friends are willing to help you for hours on end without even MENTIONING that they would really like to have the Chipotle Pork Taco recipe that they ask you for months prior.  So Staci - for you, here is my new favorite, Chipotle Pork Taco recipe.  *Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine - I don't even know what month.

·         1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
·         1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime rind
·         1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
·         2 teaspoons oregano
·         1 teaspoon brown sugar
·         2 teaspoons chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce
·         2 teaspoons minced garlic
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         Cooking spray
·         1 cup thinly sliced shallots
·         2 teaspoons olive oil
·         8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Garnish with -
·         salsa
·         tomatoe
·         Chopped cilantro
·         Crumbled queso fresco cheese (if you don't know what that is, just use your favorite cheese...)

Place pork tenderloin between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet.  Remove plastic wrap - cut pork into thin strips. 

Combine pork, lime rind, lime juice, oregano, brown sugar, chipotles, garlic & salt.  Marinate for 2-8 hours.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat, coat with cooking spray & add shallots to pan; sauté till tender. 

Place shallots in a large bowl.  Add oil to pan.  Add pork; sauté until pork is cooked thoroughly and no longer pink. Add pork to shallots.  

In a nonstick skillet warm tortillas according to the directions on the package.  Spoon pork mixture onto warmed tortillas. 

Top with cilantro, tomatoes, salsa and queso fresco cheese.   

Serve with black beans.  Devour.  SO FREAKIN' GOOD!
My family is full of ice cream lovin' fools (I do not fall in that category - I can take it or leave it, and most of the time I leave it). When Hubby is home all of his dates with the children end in a visit to an ice cream shop, or if we live in Texas a stop at Dairy Queen is required, yes -required.  So when a friend told me about this place The Waffle Cone, I KNEW I had to take the kid-o's here.  Now it is WAY out in Copperas Cove - but the 15 minute trek is well worth it, even for a non-ice cream lovin' fool like myself.  And since we were attending Vacation Bible School in Cove and the theme was "Shake it up Cafe, Where Kids Carry out God's Recipe"  it was like God himself was sending me a sign.  How could I refuse?  So the last day of VBS, I loaded the car with kids and headed to "Waffle Cone" for an ice cream filled LUNCH.  Yes, you heard me correctly, I said lunch.
The menu
OK, for lunch I did make them eat spaghetti......
Best spaghetti EVER!
After 'spaghetti' we ordered a "MEGA SPLIT".  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really did not expect this monstrosity!!
5 different flavors, cookie dough, birthday cake, mint chocolate chip, crazy colors and strawberry...each child picked a flavor and then shared the entire thing.
They were so excited and it was KILLING them that I made them take a picture before they dove in!
They were all going strong, I even pitched in to help them for a while, but there came a point when Girl, her friend and Boy 2 threw in the towel and they were done.....
This is the point where 3 of them dropped out.
Down to two.....
And then there was one.....
5 kids, 5 HUGE scoops of ice cream, 2 bananas, hot fudge, caramel, 2 cherries, oh and let's not forget the bowl of spaghetti they started with...  DONE!!  What a great way to end Vacation Bible School!
We can't wait to take Hubby when he gets back from Afghanistan!!
I don't really know why Boy 3 picked meatballs, this is one of his brother's favorite meals.  Oh, scratch that - I just ask him why he picked Spaghetti with Meatballs and he looked at me with that look my children get when they have that moment of thinking 'my mom has lost all her marbles' and then he said "I didn't pick it, you made me pick it."  Oh.  Oops...I'm thinking that might take some of the fun out of this venture... (Next time I will let him pick.)

OK, here we go - INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I know I should have used the frozen/fresh bread crumbs I have in my freezer, but I totally      didn't think about it until RIGHT now.)
1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 pounds ground pork (you can mix this up and used ground whatever you want really, chicken, turkey, veal...whatever suites your fancy just make sure you have 3 pounds total)
1 small onion diced as small as you can get it (you know to hide it from the kids)
4-5 garlic cloves minced (or more if you dare)
1 TBL oregano
Toss in some parsley if you have it, I didn't.
1 egg lightly beaten
ground pepper
2 TBL olive oil
2 jars of your favorite marinara (our favorite is Rao's - expensive but SO WORTH it!)
1 box spaghetti (No, I don't make my own pasta or sauce)
Freshly saved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese! (Seriously, if you don't do anything else, please don't buy that parmesan that you shake out of a can that DOES NOT require refrigeration.  JUST SAY NO!)

In a small bowl combine bread crumbs and milk.  In a larger bowl mix the ground meat with soaked bread crumbs, onion, garlic, oregano, egg, salt and pepper........
Then smush it all around with your hands!!
I know this picture is a bit blurry, but I LOVE the look on his face!!
Form into big ol' meatballs....
Brown meatballs over medium heat in a little olive oil, flipping until browned on all sides.
Add a jar of marinara sauce to the skillet, cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes turning meatballs occasionally. 
While you are waiting boil a large pot of water - cook pasta to desired cookness - drain, add the second jar of marinara sauce to the noodles (we like it saucy!).  Top with a meatball & some freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano -
And EAT!!!
I cannot take credit for this blog entry. My friend Bethany posted this question on her Facebook page.  After I answered the question I stole the question for my own page (of course I told her I was doing so...).  After that a couple of friends swiped it from my page....you know how Facebook works. Any-who, I got such great responses from the question I had to share with all of you!  These answers are from my friends and a few from friends of friends.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! 

You know you are an Army wife when....

.....even though your neighbor says she has a husband, you have never met him. - Trish
.....you hear mortar rounds in the distance and somehow feel comforted. - Jessica
.....you don't freak out when you see a man in full uniform, carrying a weapon, walking around the PX  (the Army
      version of  Wal-Mart) - Jessica
.....you carry birth certificates, Social Security cards, orders, and other various paperwork (known only by and  letters 
      and numbers) because you won't get turned away from the ID card counter more than once because you didn't  
      have the right form of ID!! - Jessica
.....your freakin air goes out one week after your soldier deploys! - Nancy
.....you understand that sometimes sisters come not from family. - Lisa
.....you hurry and wait. - Stacy
.....you have 4 or 5 different colored moving stickers on the back of most of your furniture. - LeAnn
.....when you run to the phone every time it rings even after your husband comes home from deployment. - Stacy
.....you get annoyed when your non-military friends are sad when their husbands are away for one week. -Anita
.....someone asks you where you are from and you really have to stop and think about it.  - Meredith
.....entries in your address book are always written in pencil, never pen.  - Samantha
.....you've been married for 6 years but have lived alone for 3 of them. - Crystal
.....you know your husband's SS# by heart but have to think REALLY HARD if someone EVER happens to ask for 
     yours.  - Tammy T.
.....you recall the dates of historical events, songs, movies, etc. based on where you lived at the time. - Tammy  T.
.....you can strike up friendships and form bonds within days/weeks rather than years and you can set up a house
     in the same timeline. - Tammy T.
.....you can listen to your husband form a complete sentence using acronyms and know exactly what he is talking
     about. - Tammy T.
.....you can't decide where to settle down because you have lived in SO MANY awesome places. - Tammy T.
.....you swell with pride and shed tears during any patriotic song, event or ceremony.  - Tammy T.
.....you realize that you are married to an honest-to-God, bona-fide HERO!! - Carrie
.....you sleep with a photo on the pillow next to you and the phone in your hand. - Carrie
.....you pull out your Military ID when going into Target.  - Cyndi
.....you can't help goading your NAVY sisters!!  (Goat....goading...Making myself laugh - she also made Trish laugh  
     on this one!!) - Jefanna
.....your nephew (or any of your military family members) calls and says he will be driving through the town you live in 
     at midnight and needs a place to crash and you are more than happy toaccommodate.- Clint
.....3 years rolls around and you are asking..."When are we moving?".  - Kelly
.....your kids have had more moves than years in school! - Beverly
.....someone ask your kids where they are from and they sound like a map. - Beverly
.....sending care packages with skivvies in them is something you don't giggle over. - Roxanne
.....pb&j, cereal & pizza are approved for dinner.  - Roxanne
.....a house fire makes you freak out for less than 24 hours and then it is business as usual.  - Roxanne
.....you 'get' the term 'moving season'. - Roxanne
.....you mark where your kids were born, milestones etc by where you were stationed - Lauren
.....you know how to handle every situation and can rig anything to work in a house because you know 
     you will only live there for a short time. - Lauren
.....when asked what date something happened you say during deployment number
     1,2, 3 or 4... - Kelly
.....even though you are married, you haven't had sex in a year. - Celeste
.....when you tell your kids to get their ID and get in the POV to head to the commissary. - Christie
.....when you write out invitations to your son's b-day party and indicate the party lasts from 1330 - 1530. - Vickie
.....you totally "get it" when you're friends say its time for their hubby to go TDY!! - Marta
.....when you do more by 9 am that most folks do in a day. - Lara
.....when your kids know more about cultures of different countries than most Ambassadors.  - Lara
.....when a 30 day training deployment isn't a long separation.. - Rose
.....when your husband comes home from work and asks, "Honey, where is (kids name)?" and you reply "TDY until
     tomorrow." instead of saying "At a sleep over." - Tina
.....you can buckle military gear onto yourself correct so your soldier can check to see if it is clean for CIF. - Colleen
.....your husband refers to you as a dependent.  - Jeff
.....your husband refers to you as Household 6. - Trish
.....you comfort your kids about bedroom allocations by saying "don't worry, when we move next time *you'll* get the
     bigger room. - Kristin
.....your husband is retired and 4 years later you still cry for the things you miss, like FRG', your Army neighbors, and
     day to day camaraderie. - Tammy S.
.....having total strangers around you that completely understand you without a word spoken. - Tammy S.
.....when driving onto an Army post and knowing you are home. Tammy S.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to write about our FABULOUS 4th of July weekend!

Now let me start off by saying I was in desperate need of a break. I could feel the tension building – my shoulders were tight and I was becoming more and more snippy by the day.  I had piled so much on my plate that is was overflowing into a big puddle of mush all over the floor. I just needed a few days away to regroup and have fun.  The 4th of July weekend with friends came just at the right time.

The kids and I were SO ready when we hopped in the car on Saturday the 2nd of July and headed to Shreveport, LA to hang out with some dear friends.   This was my friends 9th annual 4th of July party and it really is a sort of “family reunion”.  Now mind you, we are not family in the sense of ‘blood’ relations so my oldest was a little reluctant to go.  However Kim and I have been friends for (insert *gasp* here) over 20 year. We met while waiting tables back in college and then we moved to Wyoming together to work on a dude ranch (go figure) - in fact that dude ranch is where she met her Hubby (Yes, there is a little history there). Any-who, we lost touch for a few years in between and just reconnected a few years ago on Facebook - AND we picked up right where we left off so many years ago.  This past year  in April 2010 I had the pleasure of becoming reacquainted with her family as well.  It was wonderful - so much so that they have invited us to spend 4th of July with them year after year.  AND after this year I have become Momma S's favorite daughter.  She even said so.  ;o) 

The reunion weekend is held at Teri's house each year.  Teri, her husband and their children were more than welcoming and had us stay with them in their house, along with 28 other houseguest.  I think there were 33 people staying in their house and in RV's on their lawn.  I thought I might go a bit crazy, but I must admit it was some of the most fun chaos I have had in a long time!

After hugging a few necks I couldn't help but notice this beauty that was sitting on the mantel in T's living room. And of course there is a story behind it...
I posted this picture on FB a few hours after I arrived and several of my friends ask about it. This is what Teri wrote:  "This is one of my most treasured pieces. It means so much to me and my family. When my little girl was in Kindergarten, her teacher painted this beautiful "Lady Liberty" when celebrating America. If you look closely, you can see that she ...then pasted the little classmates onto the "viewing deck" as though they were actual "tourist" on this national landmark. Long story short, I went crazy for it when I first saw it even taking pictures of it and sending her a note if admiration. Well at the end of the year, I was called into the office to "pick up a poster". Rolled up in the corner was this painting!! I immediately picked it up, hugged everyone in my path and headed straight to. Frame shop where they framed it for me! THEN, as a gesture of kindness (after my dad passed away) the frame shop wouldn't allow me to pay for the frame! It was their gift to me and my family. It still puts a lump in my throat when I think about it. :)
It normally doesn't reside atop my mantle, but for every 4th of July, it absolutely will! Thanks for wanting "the story". And Happy 4th everybody!"

It didn't take the little kids long to feel right at home, in fact all I heard about two weeks before our trip was Mrs. Teri this, Mrs. Teri that.....blah, blah, blah, Mrs. Teri.  I was considering leaving them with Mrs. Teri, but I know her and she would have kept them.  Now after they saw the pool and the garden, sweet Mrs. Teri was chopped liver. ;o)
It wasn't too long before the big boy started having fun as well.  Even though he just knew he would be the outsider and he was worried about coming into this group of 'cousins' that grew up together - they were VERY welcoming and he is now considered one of them.  I love how friendships work.
Check out their 'old men socks'!
Our weekend in pictures....(Just FYI - if you click on the pictures it turns into a slide show where you can click through and read the captions.)
OH, and one of my favorite picture that I took this weekend is this one:
I just love how peacful it is.
The room I was staying in had this sign on the wall, it is now one of my favorite sayings:
Thanks to all of the "S" family for making my family feel so welcome.  I love you guys.
The only thing that could have made this weekend better is if my darling Hubby were here.  JT - I missed you and thought about you constantly.  You are always in my thoughts and prayers.  I love you & can't wait for you to come home.
I realize my promises mean NOTHING.  I realize I posted on Tuesday promising to update you on Wednesday about my weekend.  I got busy - writing here was in the front of my mind, but I just couldn't make time for it.  I had a million things going on including 4 doctor appointments, drivers ed, driving teens all over town, catching up on e-mail, returning phone calls, unpacking, mailing packages to Afghanistan, putting together the newsletter for the battalion, which is still not out because I SUCK at putting them together - I spent 10 hours on Wednesday TRYING to get it out and I only got about one quarter of it done.  My friend is helping me tomorrow.  I hope to have it out on Monday.  I hate being late and I hate breaking promises, but here I am late and broken promises, for that I am sorry.  AND, I promise not to make promises to you guys anymore!!  ;o)  Really, that was the last one!!

OK, so back to last week.  On Friday a dear friend I have known for years was on a mini vacation with her son in Austin and the surrounding area so we set up a date to hit up Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown.  Georgetown TEXAS that is. Now, if you have never been to a cave before I say GO!  If you don't have high expectations, GO!  I've been to Inner Space Caverns, I mean this IS our 3rd time to be stationed at Fort Hood, and this is a 'must do' for folks that haven't spent much time in a cave.  The first time I went I thought it was AWESOME!  Now that I have traveled and been to many different caves.....well I would have rather just sat and had a nice margarita with my friend.  However the little kids enjoyed it very much!  But Boy 1 nailed it on the head when he ask....."what am I going to see in this cave when I have been to the biggest cave in the world?"  He was talking about this cave...although it is not the biggest cave in the world, it was HUGE and super fun!!
Heading underground....
Boy's 2 & 3 with our friend.
Cave straws..
Our guide in the purple...he had to have been all of 16. Very nice, funny and put up with the little boys heckling him the entire time! (I have no idea where they get that from!)
One of the mini bats living in the cave. He is about the size of a chicken nugget.
All in all we had a pretty good time.  The kids had fun which is really all that matters.  My girlfriend and I chatted the entire way through the cave which was fun and we kept it quiet as not to disturb the people that were actually there to learn and enjoy.  I thought it was a bit pricy for what you got - the military rate was $15.95 for adults and  $ 8.95 for children and the tour lasted about 1 hour.  Our guide was very entertaining and made it worth the money. (Well, kind of.)
Boy 3's parting remarks about the cave.... "I love the cave and I want to go back to it one more time!" 
We had an amazing weekend, but truth be told, I am WAY TOO tired to write about it tonight.  Instead I'm going to leave you with this awesome Mixed Berry Spoon Cake recipe.  Enjoy!  I promise to write a little more tomorrow.  

4 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 pints blackberries
2 pints raspberries
1 ½  TBL crystallized ginger (http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeyscrystallizedginger.html)
 ¾ plus 2 TBL sugar
2 TBL cornstarch
Mix all ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes.

1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 ½ TSP baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ sticks salted butter - melted 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium bowl mix together all dry ingredients.  In a small bowl mix together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredient and mix together until evenly moistened (I can’t help but think of a friend ‘Nickie’ when I say the word moist! Hehehe) – then add the melted butter and mix till smooth.  

Spread the filling a 13x9 inch baking dish (or into three 8 inch rounds like I did – I was giving 2 away and keeping one).  Spoon the batter over the top leaving small gaps. Bake for 1 hour – the fruit should be bubbling. Let cool for as long as you can stand it, and then serve – it is yummy by itself or served with vanilla ice cream or homemade whip cream!  (Fine, buy Cool Whip – I won’t judge ;o)
This recipe is very versatile...you can change up the berries to your liking. If you fancy blueberries, throw them in....don't like raspberries, leave 'em out.  The choices are endless.....

***Recipe adapted from Food & Wine "Our Best New Classics"

Good night all....