Monday, September 28, 2009

A Surprise trip

Last Wednesday we decided to make a last minute trip to Nebraska to represent the mission at the Orphan Grain Train Convention in Pastor Heimer's place. So...I called my cousin (Jaden's Godmother) who lives near the town we were to fly into and my parents who live about 6 hours away and arranged some family time! The Convention was great and it was truly a blessing to be there. And of course, seeing family was AWESOME!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Watering Day

Jaden had lots of fun with water and the outdoor toys. It's cool enough now that we can spend a good amount of time outside each day without roasting! Hopefully we'll have a nice long fall before winter comes!

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Telling Stories

I'm not too sure what got into Jaden this evening. But, he sure had a story to tell me!

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Lately I've been a bit inspired by this wonderful woman's blog. She takes fabulous pictures detailing every aspect of the preparation of each dish she makes. Of course, she also makes up most of her own recipies (she just published a cookbook). I'm nowhere near that level. has inspired me to detail my cooking - at least when I'm trying something new. In this case, it was something I made up. I haven't thought of a good name yet.....any ideas?

I don't know if this was a very revolutionary recipie or not. I thought it was genius when I made it up. But, as I ate it (and it WAS delicious) I thought that it was actually quite similar to some sandwiches I had made awhile back. And probably, common enough that someone else has already published this recipe somewhere.

The POINT is....I DIDN'T use a recipe to make it. I just thought of it and did it. For ME, that's big news!

Until someone gives me a better name....I'll call it Chicken Pesto Toasts

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
Loaf of French Bread
Pesto (I used store bought, I'm sure homemade would be fabulous)
fresh mozzarella cheese
2 Roma Tomatoes
Italian Seasoning

Slice the bread and top with pesto

Remove bones and skin from chicken

Shred with two forks

Top pesto spread toasts with shredded chicken

Slice tomatoes and add one slice to each toast

Add slice of fresh mozzarella cheese

Hmmm..I'm throwing this picture of my AMAZINGLY ORGANIZED spice cupboard because when I opened the door as I reached for the Italian seasoning I just went Ahhhhhhhhh......

For our 5th Anniversary my husband gave me two rotating spice racks and helped me sort and organize all of these. Not very romantic you might say. But, let me tell you, the last year or so of triple stacked spice jars and the inevitability of a spice jar falling on my head or in my pot (my stovetop is right under this cupboard) every time I reached for one has driven me crazy. My husband was romantic enough to remember this frustration of mine and seek a solution. Mission accomplished. Ahhhh......
Okay - back to the meal....The Italian seasoning is on the bottom rack of the middle spinner....just in case you are looking for it!

Sprinkle on the Italian Seasoning

Turn on the oven Broiler

Broil until nicely browned and toasted. I remember timing it to see how long it would take and now I don't remember. Somewhere around 7 minutes I think.

Mmmmmm....served with leftover eggplant pasta salad. A wonderful way to clean out the fridge!

Labor Day

Labor Day weekend we got visitors from some of Stephen's family. They had been living in TN and are moving back to the region. The three girls and Jaden had a lot of fun playing together.

Bethany made Stephen, Jaden, and I paper crowns to wear.

Here I am with mine....while eating yummy strawberries and homemade whipped cream. Jaden wasn't too sure about the white stuff at first. But, then I actually got some in his mouth and he decided that it was okay!

And OF COURSE we had to put on a show

GUESS what song we sang?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?

A New Drum

I think everyone who reads this blog will soon have Resucito memorized.....but - her is another version with a NEW drum!!!!

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A New toy

This idea came from a friend of mine.
You need:
an empty Pringles can (as good of an excuse as I can think of to eat some chips!)
a pack of unsharpened pencils

You cut a few round shaped holes in the top of the Pringles can and let the munchkins put the pencils in. They make a really fun sound when they clunk in the bottom and a LOT of fun sounds when you pick it up and shake!!!!

The first time Jaden played with this one it lasted about 45 minutes! He's been having fun with it ever since!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Drumstick Baseball??

Jaden and Daddy were reading the other day. We finally caught this crazy voice of Jaden's on video. We're still trying to figure out where he got it from!

Also, Jaden and Daddy invented a new game.....Drumstick Baseball.

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Italian Chicken Rolls

This recipe was made by a friend and is YUMMY!!!

First you take chicken breasts and you pound them flat. I've found that it works to do it between two pieces of wax paper or a sheet of plastic wrap.

You layer provolone cheese and proscuitto on top of the chicken breast

roll it up and secure with toothpicks
then you dip in melted butter and a mixture of breadcrumbs, seasonings and cheese. Bake and enjoy!

I made this meal with sauteed green beans - frozen green beans sauteed in a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. YUM! We also had Garlic Mashed potatoes. These were the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Playing with Beans

I've been looking for more and more new activities to entertain Jaden. He does really well playing on his own but I like to find new things - challenges - experiences to change things up a bit. This one was pretty fun.

I put out a bunch of cups, bowls, and measuring spoons with muffin tins and dried beans for him to "cook" with. He had a great time!

You do have to be a bit careful with this depending on your child and their age. Jaden did try to put one dried bean in his mouth even though he is past the "put everything in your mouth" stage. But, once he tasted it he spit it back out. We talked about not eating the beans because they aren't cooked yet and he didn't do it again.

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Life Lesson #3 & #4

Surely I've had more life lessons in the last 9 months than I've posted about but, this particular morning made me remember I had once invented that as a category on my blog. This incident seemed like it would make good material.

We eat a lot of frozen berries in our house. My routine with serving frozen berries is
1) empty the portion desired into the bowl
2) seal bag and return unused berries to the freezer
3) continue thawing berries in microwave or use however else you were going to use them.

Note - step 2.

Life Lesson #3 is - don't deviate from your routine when it comes to frozen berries. There is a reason you have that as your routine. In about 30 seconds (the time it took me to walk from the table to the sink to the microwave - my kitchen isn't very big remember) the berries left in the bag melted enough so that they shifted enough to tip the bag over thereby spilling berries ALL OVER the floor.

Thankfully I had my nice new Hoover Floormate. After picking up the berries, rinsing them, and returning them to the freezer (yes - they are fine and floor's not THAT dirty!) I ran the floormate to get the stains up.See...nice and shiny.
except, of course, the grout. GRRR!
Next attempt - all purpose clearer and some good old fashioned scrubbing.
YEA! Sparkling clean
Hmm....Life Lesson #4 - don't allow a toddler to eat thawed berries unsupervised while you clean up spilled berries from the floor unless you want another clean-up job!
Jaden was apparently intently watching me scrub the floor and did some scrubbing of his own....spoon on tray "cleaning" the berries
What a good helper! :-)


You'll remember back here I posted that 3 of my cousins came to visit! Well, I finally got some pictures and thought I should share!

Even though some of the places we visited were a bit of a drive - it was nice to show them a bit of our corner of the Southwest.

We visited a market in Mexico. We were going to visit a mission church but didn't get meeting someone to guide us there coordinated so, we made the trip to Mexico to just visit the market. When we got there we went in, walked up and down a few aisles with them following close behind Jaden and I. A few times I stopped and said, "If you want to stop anywhere or look at anything just let me know." To which they responded, "no," "I don't need anything." "that's OK." After about 15 minutes I was thinking - oh no!...we came all the way into Mexico for THIS and they don't even want to be here!??!?!?! What else should we do this afternoon??? So, we went out to the little restaurants outside and got a few sodas. They slurped theirs down pretty fast and, while I was still sipping and Jaden was still sleeping in the stroller they decided that they wanted to go back in to look around. 15 - 20 - 30 - 40 minutes later they reappear with big smiles and a story about how they thing (If Lyle's dad wants to) they might buy this longhorn skull that they can get a really good deal on. Apparently Lyle's dad has been looking for one and this one is much more affordable - we'd just have to ship it to their home since it would be probably too big to take on the plane. "Okay," I say. "We can ship it this week before you leave."

Little did I know................................... that it was GIGANTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me tell you...I was sweating getting this into the 4 door sedan we were driving home!
Stuck somewhere on my old-nonfunctional camera (or else forever lost) there are a few pretty funny pictures of Lyle climbing inside a HUGE box to cushion the skull for shipping and a friend and I carrying a literally COFFIN SIZE BOX to Greyhound to be shipped! Did you know that Greyhound ships packages? It's a good deal and apparantly the skull arrived just fine. Last I heard my aunt Trish was HOPING it might someday soon be REMOVED from hanging outside on her front porch! :-)

Lane also purchased a nice giant sombrero....and they got a few chair hammocks and other little items.

Another day we visited the zoo
It was Jaden's first visit to the zoo...but you can see the big kids had a good time too!

Hmmm...apparently I don't have any real animal pics....but there were real ones too!

The Sunday they were here we took them to visit one of our mission churches in Mexico. Nothing fancy but Lyle got to use a bit of his Spanish talking to a little kid. Lyle was surprised by how much he COULD say! :-)
Stephen and I led the music for the worship service since they don't usually have musicians. The people were SO happy to see us. And, they loved meeting Jaden! Jaden and I hadn't been to this mission site since he was born! Woah...that's WAY too long! I miss visiting them often!
We also drove on a day trip to Carlsbad Caverns - a HUGE cave!

Jaden insisted on walking part of the time - which was good - cause it was a long walk! He was really cute wanting to hang onto the handrail. He thought it was SO funny!

This is the time of year when there are loads and loads of bats that fly out of the cave at dusk so we stayed to watch that (no cameras allowed) even though that meant returning home REALLY late!

Another day trip to White Sands National Park - - dune jumping...
trying to sled....but we didn't have a dune quite steep enough for it to REALLY work
burying each other....

and all around general fun. The wind picked up and millions of grains of sand pelting you isn't too fun so we didn't stay long. On a less hot day it would be fun to go back!

There you have it. Not nearly a complete account of all of our adventures but - at least a little. This officially means that on September 15th I am now caught up in my blogging to the point of the current month!

Only 15 more days to catch up on!!!!!!