Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
The kitties have reached their 6 week mark, which means they are about ready for new homes. However, when we had a family come over yesterday to pick one out, we all decided that it would be best to wait another week or so before we separate them from their mama. Maybe it was the way she gathered them all in and nursed them right in the middle of the living room floor that did us in, I don't know. It just didn't feel right to take one from her yet.
With a little effort we were able to get our spa up and running. We use a mineral sanitizer and natural pH balancers in lieu of harsh chlorine chemicals. It makes for a much nicer spa experience.
And, being that it was a busy week with 2 dress rehearsals and 2 recitals, the crockpot played a big part in my menu planning. Here is my favorite recipe from the week:
I reduced the cayenne pepper by half and served it over Jasmine rice... mmm!
(This is not my photo. Ours was so yummy that we didn't think to take a picture!)
Rachel is four months old today and sleeps 11 hours through the night. She is working on grabbing things and bringing them to her mouth, using her voice, and strengthening her core muscles for sitting. We are enjoying every ounce of her!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Monday night: White cheese chicken lasagna
Tuesday night: Spicy beef kabobs with homemade Spanish rice (my own make-as-you-go recipe)
Friday night: Chicken with capers in cream sauce, Italian salad, homemade rolls
These were all new recipes, and I have to say that my family's hands-down favorite was the chicken with capers in cream sauce. If you are going to try any of these, make this one. I served it over pasta and oh my was it delicious! It really paired well with the salad and tasted like an authentic Italian meal. This one will definitely be going in the recipe box.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Since the beginning of my career as a stay-at-home mom, I have often found myself ending journal entries with these words: "Life is good." As of late I have often pondered the same feeling; life is good. On the one hand, having five kids has forced me to slow down in many ways. For example, it wasn't until after the birth of number five that I have felt the need for, and often heed to the calling of, a good nap. In my younger years, I viewed naps as a cut into my productive time. I shunned the thought. Now as an older and wiser mother of five, I see them as an opportunity to meditate, slow down my body and open my mind to the deeper dealings of my inner conscience. Sometimes I even get the added benefit of cuddling a sleeping baby across my chest. It is often during a good nap that I come upon bits of revelation, inspiration (call it what you will) that get me through the rest of my day or week. I can not tell you how many times I have received answers to some of my deepest concerns (usually dealing with my children) while retiring to the quiet solitude of my upstairs bedroom for a nap. It has been said that if prayer is talking to God, meditating is listening to God. I couldn't agree more.
Some time back I came to the conclusion that I had a choice to make: a clean house or happy kids. Not both, which is a shame because I love both. I wrestled with that thought for a long time, resenting my house on the day I chose happy kids and riddling myself with guilt when I chose the former. But now I realize being a mom is so much more than that. You can have a clean house and happy kids, and life will be good. However, you can also have the sick days where you stay on the couch and watch movies, and life will be good then too. I have learned to do less, much less, and try to give more quality to what I do, because after all, when we get to the end of the road the only thing that will really matter is the journey that got us there. I have learned to pause for a moment each morning and try to listen for what God wants me to do that day. Maybe I'll be blessed with a productive day, and be grateful for it. Or maybe this will be the day that I ignore the dishes as I fill up my glass with sun tea on my way to the backyard to sit and watch the kids do water balloons and search for lady bugs in the garden. Our kittens are a good reminder of just how quickly life passes. I try to take the time to sit and enjoy them as much as my children do, for they are growing fast and will soon be gone. It's not too often in life you get to have 5 kittens and 5 children under one roof, and I consider myself fortunate. I look all around me and see others in the same position; living a good life. Sure there's work, there always will be. Our kids will need us every day and push us past our limits, but therein lies our opportunity to grow. I told Forrest the other night that in my world, almost everything can be related to exercise. When we extend ourselves beyond our limits, we will be stronger than the day before. That is our children's job, and I am grateful for it. I am not the same mother I was ten years ago, and I have my children and my Father in heaven to thank. They are my best teachers and are shaping me into the mother I hope to be throughout all eternity. That is why we are here, right? It is a test run for our eternal destiny. I think there is a reason why, in hindsight, we always remember the good in every situation. It's kind of like a workout. When you're dripping sweat and squeezing out those last few reps, or running that last mile, you probably won't be saying, "Yes! I am loving this!" But you keep going, and afterwards you relish in the satisfaction of a good workout. Such is life. In the moment we focus on our trials, but in the end we see the big picture. Life is good! And I have five (no, ten!) little angels sleeping in their beds to show for it, and a husband who has patiently been waiting downstairs for me to finish this blog post. I'm not going to end with any grandiose conclusions or lofty promises of what I will do better tomorrow, just the premise that I am enough, I have enough, and life is good. Good night.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
We had a sick day. I suppose this is what happens when you open up your home to 25 moms and kids for a play date when the flu is going around. Can you guess which two were sick in this picture? Today we are on round two (hence the reason for my being home blogging and not at church.)
I found this picture on the camera. One of the kids must have snapped it. The kittens are now 4 weeks and very adorable.
We have been spending a lot of time in the backyard working, gardening, doing anything that gives us a reason to be outside.
Ashlee was given a book on crocheting care bears, and here she is working on her first one.
This is the desired end result.
We attended a birthday party for a one-year-old yesterday, and Forrest decided to hand craft a memory box as a gift. It turned out quite amazing.
He used a wood burner to etch the tree.
The family has a Roman theme going in their home, so Forrest decided to add some Latin writing along with the boy's birthday in Roman numerals along the side. A very crafty touch, I think.
Can anyone tell me the meaning of the words inscribed on the inside?
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Forrest was cleaning out the garage and had some scrap wood to get rid of, so he asked me what I wanted him to make. My answer? A picnic table for the kids.
He even drilled a hole in the middle for an umbrella. This is now the kids' favorite spot to eat dinner.
Thanks again honey! Your woodworking skills serve the whole family.
This is the place where we chose to purchase a family pass for the summer. We discovered it a few years back and have made a tradition of going ever since; my kids absolutely love it. What I love is the way it accomodates my very youngest child to my oldest. Rachel and I love the heated pool, Noah and Kaitlyn enjoy the play structure seated in the middle of the 1 1/2 foot deep pool, Jacob loves the water slide, and Ashlee always heads over to the high dive in the 14 foot pool. There truly is something for everyone. Oh, summer!
I love the face of the little guy (or girl) in the lefthand side of the photo. We are debating between it and the orange one for which one we will keep.
We will probably keep them around until they are between 6 and 8 weeks of age before we part with them. In the meantime, the kids are thoroughly enjoying them.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
· 2-3 lbs. chicken tender loins or sliced breasts
· 1 onion diced
· 1 red bell pepper diced
· 3-4 garlic cloves diced
· 2 Tbsp diced piquillo peppers or pimentos
· 1 1/2 tsp paprika
· 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (can be purchased at Bel Air)
· 2 tsp dried thyme
· salt and pepper to taste
· 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
· 2 cups sour cream
· 5 Tbsp flour
In skillet heat approx. 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add diced onions and bell peppers. Saute on meduim for 5 mins. Add garlic and Piquillo peppers and saute for another 5 mins. Then add all spices and herbs; saute for a couple of mins. Add a little liquid to deglaze pan and pour into crock pot. Add chicken strips and chicken stock, cook on high for 4 hrs. When done cooking remove chicken from pot and mix flour into the sour cream (it should be smooth and creamy) then add sour cream to pot and stir with whisk to incorporate. Then put back on high for 20-30 mins or until thickened, add chicken back into pot and serve over rice.
PEANUT BUTTER AND HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKE (this has to be paired with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream!)
· ½ Cup Flour
· ¼ Cup Sugar
· ¼ Tsp. Baking Powder
· ¼ Cup Milk
· 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
· ½ Tsp.Vanilla
· ¼ Cup Peanut Butter
· ½ Cup Sugar
· 3 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
· 1 Cup Boiling Water
In a bowl, combine the flour, ¼ cup sugar and baking powder. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla; stir until smooth. Mix in the peanut butter. Pour the mixture into the crockpot. In the same bowl, stir together the ½ cup sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually stir in the boiling water. Pour the mixture over the batter in the slow cooker, do not stir. Cover; cook on high for 2 – 3 hours.