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Wordless Wednesday: Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon Tour

Wordless Wednesday.

Pictures from our Grand Canyon Rim Tour as we celebrated Munchkin’s high school graduation.

Spicy Crockpot Chicken Soup

Spicy Crockpot Chicken Soup Recipe #glutenfree #realfood

D has been on a soft foods diet for nearly a week now, so I’ve needed to come up with meals that don’t heat up the house and work for his restricted diet. I made a less spicy version of this soup for my mother-in-law and father-in-law when they were visiting by not including the cayenne pepper and reducing the amount of fresh ground pepper. It’s pretty easy to adjust to your family’s taste preference by adding or subtracting ingredients. If you want a more spicy version, just toss in some of your favorite spicy peppers.

I like to eat my soup without the toppings, but both Daddy and Munchkin prefer to add some cheese and sour cream. I do like to toss on some tortilla chips when we have them on hand.

This is a nice meal for when you don’t want to have to stand over a hot stove to prepare a hearty meal for the family. If it’s really warm, you could even put the crockpot in the garage or outside to minimize the heat added to the house. You just want to make sure you don’t have any curious pets that might try to get into the crockpot. 😉

Of course, I’m always happy when I can just dump the ingredients in the crockpot and, for the most part, forget about it until dinner. Any time there are less dishes to wash, Munchkin is also very happy.

Spicy Crockpot Chicken Soup Recipe #glutenfree #realfoodSpicy Crockpot Chicken Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups (1 quart) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 can organic corn
  • 1 can organic kidney beans
  • 1 can organic white beans
  • 2 cans diced green chilies
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium green/yellow/red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro (optional)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • tortilla chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Drain kidney beans, white beans, and corn.
  2. Dump the kidney beans, white beans, corn, chilies, and broth into crockpot.
  3. Add diced peppers, diced onions, and seasonings. Stir to combine.
  4. Add chicken breast. Push them down so they are covered with the veggie/tomato mixture.
  5. Cook at low heat for at least 5 hours.
  6. About an 2 hours prior to eating, remove chicken breast and shred. Put back in pot and continue to cook.
  7. Serve plain or top with cheese, sour cream, and/or tortilla chips.

This makes roughly 7 bowls of soup which means we usually have leftovers. It heats up wonderfully for lunches. You can even freeze it, if desired.

Spicy Crockpot Chicken Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups (1 quart) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 can organic corn
  • 1 can organic kidney beans
  • 1 can organic white beans
  • 2 cans diced green chilies
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium green/yellow/red pepper, diced
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro (optional)
  • ¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • tortilla chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Drain kidney beans, white beans, and corn.
  2. Dump the kidney beans, white beans, corn, chilies, and broth into crockpot.
  3. Add diced peppers, diced onions, and seasonings. Stir to combine.
  4. Add chicken breast. Push them down so they are covered with the veggie/tomato mixture.
  5. Cook at low heat for at least 5 hours.
  6. About an 2 hours prior to eating, remove chicken breast and shred. Put back in pot and continue to cook.
  7. Serve plain or top with cheese, sour cream, and/or tortilla chips.

 

John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography

John Shaws Guide to Digital Nature Photography

Special thanks to the publisher through BookLookBloggers for providing a review copy of this book. This post may contain affiliate links.

I have taken a couple of good photography classes over the years, but if I don’t use the information that I learn on a regular basis, I tend to forget some key information. What I like about this book is that it focuses primarily on nature photography. Yes, it goes over all the critical information like aperture, shutter speed, ISO as well as different settings and camera features, but it’s all about how to get the best nature photography pictures.

The book features stunning images with all of the key information about the photo, so you know how he got that shot. I know how important this is when you’re trying to create a similar shot (think moon photography) as it gives you a starting point for your own pictures.

John Shaw talks about how he uses (or doesn’t use) different features and settings on the camera and the whys behind those decisions. He gives plenty of examples of how to get the most out of the settings on your own camera. He even talks a little about photo editing.

I wish I would have had this book prior to going to the Grand Canyon as it would have allowed me to test out a few new techniques. I really appreciated how he talked about wants vs needs when it comes to cameras, lenses, and equipment. He’s actually not for having the latest and greatest but rather focusing on what you genuinely need for your type of photography.

This is a technical book, but it’s presented in a manner that allows all skill levels to understand the concepts being covered. His passion for photography shines through in his writings. I’m excited to get out there and try to find some interesting subjects to test out new techniques.

John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography

John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography Book Description:

Photography legend John Shaw returns with his much-anticipated guide to digital nature photography, complete with more than 250 extraordinarily beautiful photographs.

For over four decades, John Shaw’s authentic voice and trusted advice has helped photographers achieve impressive shots in the great outdoors. In his first-ever book on digital photography, Shaw provides in-depth advice on everything from equipment and lenses to thorough coverage of digital topics including how to use the histogram. In addition, he offers inspirational and frank insight that goes far beyond the nuts and bolts of photography, explaining that successful photos come from having a vision, practicing, and then acquiring the equipment needed to accomplish the intention. Easily digestible and useful for every type of photographer, and complete with more than 250 jaw-dropping images, John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography is the one book you’ll need to beautifully capture the world around you.

About the Author:

John Shaw is one of the world’s leading nature photographers and the author of many enduring bestselling books. His photographs are frequently featured in National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, Natural History, Sierra, and Audubon magazines, as well as in calendars, books, and advertisements. He lives in Colorado Springs.

Book Details:

  • Amphoto Books
  • Mar 17, 2015
  • Paperback; 240 Pages
  • 7-1/2 x 9-1/2
  • ISBN 9780770434984
  • $24.99
  • Digital Edition also available

Creation Rim Tour at the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

To celebrate Munchkin’s graduation, we headed over to the Grand Canyon to take a rim tour with Canyon Ministries. Our day started rather early as we needed to meet our guide – Guy – in Williams by 07:00. We all piled into the tour vehicle, and Guy began to tell us a little about Canyon Ministries and what we’d be doing that day.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

Unfortunately, Munchkin was not feeling well, but she was not going to miss this opportunity. She immediately started peppering Guy with questions which I think he liked as she was totally engaged in the tour. She was soaking up the information even though she felt yucky.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

Our morning began at Mather Point. Each stop along the way included information about the canyon from both a Biblical perspective as well as an evolutionary prospective. Munchkin enjoyed asking questions as did others in the group. In fact, there was more than one occasion where we got a little ahead of Guy, so he had to give us a brief answer since he’d be covering it in more detail later.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

At each stop, we had other individuals who listened in on the tour. Guy is pretty animated. When he knows that others outside of the group are also listening in, he tends to get even more excited about the topic. That was something that I enjoyed seeing and listening to throughout the day.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

We took a short hike on Bright Angel Trail down into the canyon. Going down isn’t bad, but you definitely have to be careful how far down you go if you’re not prepared for the hike back up. As a group, it wasn’t the time to take a really long hike into the canyon, but it was fun to at least go down for a little hike as it provides a different perspective.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

We took a break for lunch. Daddy, Munchkin, and I were pretty excited when we saw that the cafe offered gluten free bread for their sandwiches, and they used safe practices. It meant that we got to eat meals rather than just snacks. (Had I understood the setup in our tour vehicle, I probably would have gone ahead and packed us a full lunch. I didn’t know how much room we’d have, so I just packed us snacks.) It was a nice break, and a perfect day for a lunch outside.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

The second half of our day was spent visiting different locations in the canyon and talking about specifics geologic aspects of the canyon. The last stop was where we discussed the different theories of how the canyon was formed including evolutionary and creationists theories. It was a good conclusion to a beautiful day filled with fun, learning, and exploration.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

As we headed back to Williams to pick up our vehicles, we discussed a variety of topics and eventually made it back to the canyon. Some of the talk about the canyon and geological formations were pretty technical which Munchkin ate up. Even though she was wiped and feeling pretty bad by this point, she was more than eager to interact with the conversation. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her get so excited.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

It was in Williams that we said goodbye to part of our family – Grandma, Grandpa, and my sister. Their vacation had come to an end. We were thankful that they were able to come out and join us. We were also very grateful to Grandma and Grandpa for taking us on the wonderful rim tour at the Grand Canyon. It was very special, and honestly, it helped reinforce our thoughts that geology/biology/paleontology is the field for Munchkin.

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

The rest of us headed back to our place and most of us crashed. Munchkin ended up being down for the count for the next few days as she tried to recover from her illness, but she said the trip was worth it even if she probably would have been better resting that day. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the end of her high school journey and the beginning of her new adventure.

Family Movie Night: The Adventures of Mickey Matson – Pirate’s Code

Family Movie Night: The Adventures of Mickey Matson - Pirate's Code

It’s time for another Family Movie Night viewing courtesy of Flyby Promotions. As always, this review is based upon our personal opinions about the movie.

Munchkin and I watched the first Mickey Matson movie, The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure, some time ago, but we realized last month that Daddy had never seen the movie. Since we were looking for a fun movie for family movie night, we decided that this time we would watch it with Daddy. It had been long enough since the last viewing that Munchkin and I had forgotten exactly how the movie played out. It was a fun viewing, and we were pleased to see that a new Mickey Matson movie was soon to be released on dvd.

In the newest Mickey Matson movie, we meet back up with Mickey and his best friend Sully roughly a 1.5 years after the first movie. They’ve been living ordinary lives as they waited to hear from the SOP about new missions. Suddenly, they are thrust into a new mission after being introduced to a special training facility. Mickey is shocked by who he meets at the training facility, but he doesn’t have much time to digest the information before he and Sully have to dive headfirst into their mission.

As with the first Mickey Matson movie, Pirate’s Code is filled with cheesy, funny moments that made us chuckle. It was well-made and entertaining. The actors did a great job in the film. The adventure is true to the original Mickey Matson movie style. Don’t expect a National Treasure level of entertainment, but it’s a good, clean movie for family movie night.

DVD Details:

  • Actors: Christopher Lloyd, Derek Brandon, Ernie Hudson, Lee Arenberg, Francesca Derosa
  • Directors: Harold Cronk
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Screen Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2013
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • ASIN: B00CEAXE7U

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this dvd to help facilitate the writing of a frank and honest review based upon my family’s opinions on the movie.