Monday, September 21, 2009

Picture Post

Uncle Blake, Soren, and Uncle Stephen fishing....

Soren showing off his mad skillz.

Caroline wearing a dress I wore when I was a little baby girl! (note the purple? oh yeah, I was rockin' it back then, too)

Classic Caroline face! Love it!

Yeah, I'm already a bookworm. Cuz I rock like that!

Siblings! Oh boy do these two love each other.

Quick story before I forget:

Last night we were reading scriptures. Usually Caroline is eating and/or asleep by this point in the evening, but last night she was awake. So Soren starts trying to read and she keeps leaning herself over so he can see her and smiling at him. She did not want him distracted by this book! He needed to pay attention to HER! Every time he started trying to read, she'd contort her head so it was in his line of sight. We all ended up in giggles and laughed so hard we were crying. What a riot!

That's all for today. Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


There was a request for a few recipes I suggested to a friend, so I figured here is as good a place as any to put them all!

Pork & Cous Cous

This one is pretty straight forward. I buy the cous cous in the boxes at the store (Walmart carries it, but WinCo does not. Safeway offers it in bulk-ish packaging). Usually I need 2 boxes (4 adults, 1 teenage-sized boy), so I like to mix flavors. Here's what I do for the pork:

4 to 6 thinly sliced boneless pork chops
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste

Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the frying pan. Gently sprinkle garlic powder and pepper into the oil. Place pork chops into frying pan. Flip chops frequently for even browning and proper cooking. Cover between flips.

This meal is really very quick to prepare. I usually do a veggie on the side and/or a salad as well.

Chicken Rolls

1 pkg. softened cream cheese
4 chicken breasts
8 Tb melted butter (add 4Tb to filling, use other 4Tb for dipping)
2 Tb milk
2 pkg. crescent rolls
Onion powder (to taste)
Parsley (Dried)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 400. Cook chicken (microwave is fast and easy, but you can cook it on the stove if you'd like). Cut up cooked chicken and mix with cream cheese, milk, butter, onion powder, parsley, salt & pepper. Roll out crescent rolls. Fill crescent rolls with desired amount of filling and roll. Dip roll in melted butter, then dip into bread crumbs. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with ranch dressing or chicken gravy if desired.

We usually eat these with salad, rice, and broccoli.

Chicken Salad

If you have a food processor, this is a SUPER fast meal.

2 cups cooked chicken
1 cup chopped celery
1 Tb lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c mayonnaise (or more if desired)
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Toss first 5 ingredients together, adding enough mayonnaise to moisten to desired consistency. Fold in chopped eggs.

You can do lots of stuff with this - toss on lettuce, put on a croissant, put on regular bread, eat it all by itself... whatever. I like to have grapes on the side and you can also toss in cashews, green onions, or anything else that sounds tasty.

Taco Soup

1lb Hamburger
1/2 Onion - chopped
2 cans diced stewed tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1/2 package taco seasoning
2 cans beans (kidney or black)
1 16oz pkg. frozen corn
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 8 oz can water
1 pkg. Ranch Dressing (dry)

Brown 1lb hamburger with 1/2 onion. Toss everything into a crock pot, pot, or whatever. This needs to cook for a minimum of a 1/2 hour. Top with sour cream, cheese, crackers, or whatever sounds good.

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 package drumsticks (or any chicken with the bone; we use a mix of thighs & drumsticks)
1 onion

In a small bowl, mix up all the spices. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken evenly. You can let this sit in the fridge overnight, or use it right away. Slice onion and line the bottom of the crock pot with the onion. Add seasoned chicken to the crock pot. Cook on LOW for 8 - 12 hours or cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours. You do NOT need to add any liquid... trust me.

Sweet and Sour Chicken or Pork

1 Cup brown sugar
2 Tb corn starch
2 13 oz cans pineapple - crushed, tidbits, or chunks (or 1 20oz can)
2/3 Cup vinegar
2 Tb soy sauce
1 green pepper, chopped
2-3 pieces of cooked and cut chicken or pork
Bag of stir fry veggies (frozen)

Mix brown sugar & cornstarch. Pour in pineapple (w/juice), vinegar, and soy sauce. Heat to boiling to thicken. Add cooked meat and vegetables. Cover & simmer in sauce. Stir in green peppers. Serve over rice.

There they are! And now I'm hungry. Hee hee!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You know how....

You know how you love to read blogs and stuff? Well, if not, then whatever. But I do. I love reading updates on my friend's and family's lives and hear all the latest juice or the boring, mundane tasks of daily life. I like hearing news, funny stories, and things these people have learned that have helped them grow and become better in some way. I love seeing a big number next to my google reader update because that means I have lots to catch up and read and it makes me happy!

And then there are the blogs that aren't updated frequently at all! I get so frustrated, annoyed, sad (not in an intense way, just like - hey! I wanna know what's up!) and think to myself, "Why don't you update? I'm craving some info, please!" And then it dawns on me...

I'm one of those people!!!

So I hope you don't get upset at me for not updating more. I get upset at myself when I realize the little things I am missing out on writing down for posterity. But sometimes it's more important to cherish the moment for what it is than rush to write it down. Or sometimes sleep is more important. Or sometimes just vegging out is... I dunno. Maybe I'm just coming up with excuses? Could be.


So what's the latest around here?

School is back in session and Soren is now into middle school. He's loaded down with much more homework these days, has adopted a bit more of an attitude (but not as much as a lot of kids his age, so I'm grateful), and has officially moved from the stage of "I love school," to "WHY must I go?" Yay for us. However, he now has a bit more independence and responsibility and I think that is helping him feel a lot more grown up. He continues to be an awesome person to have around and I sure love him. It's fun to joke around with him and be silly. He keeps me young and makes me old at the same time. We are waiting to see which sports he'll be interested in this year, but he is back in piano lessons (finally) and still involved in Scouting. Between that and all the homework, he keeps pretty busy. However, most nights we try to find times for a round of Mario Kart, a family favorite in our house.

Caroline has moved from our bedroom to the laundry room for the time being. She is sleeping better and longer and putting herself to sleep after she wakes up screaming in the middle of the night. We like this. It allows for much more sleep all around. Who doesn't love sleep? You know, aside from children. To offset the joy of sleep, she is now more mobile than I'm really ready for, but are you ever really ready? I dunno. She pulls up on everything and is now bonking her head a lot more, acquiring many bumps and her first bruise. I'm sure many, many more will follow. It's the nature of this stage. As for communication goes, she's managed to master the "more" sign, but uses it even when she doesn't want more. We're working on more signs, but she is stubborn, so we'll see how this goes. She can also say 'hi,' and usually at the correct time. Dadadadadada is still a favorite phrase, though she also tries to sing along to Aba Daba Honeymoon by saying "Abadaba" over and over again with me. It's adorable. All in all, she is at a fun stage and we all enjoy her smiles, laugh, and generally cuteness.

Life is good. We have our ups and downs and are praying for some changes, but if they don't come to pass, then it really could be worse. We try and focus on the good. We love our family, our friends, and our blessings. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School is on the Horizon!

Tomorrow is the first day of school! Woot! I think the only real reason I'm excited for it is so that we have a schedule/routine somewhere. Caroline is so unpredictable it almost is annoying. Haha! For example, all last week (Monday through Thursday) she woke up around 6:30am, ate a good bottle, then went back to sleep until close to 9am. Thursday night she decided to NOT do that and messed up my schedule (I was expecting her to be my alarm clock) and we were nearly late for Soren's allergist appointment (more on that later). She has proceeded to have whacked out sleep the past few nights, waking up and screaming for no reason and insisting on a bottle around 2am (though last night it was midnight and then she screamed until 2am). Seriously, I have no idea with this child.

So basically, I'm ready for some type of normal schedule. School provides that, thank goodness.

We have learned that Soren is allergic to: cats(!!!), trees, weeds, and grass. He also has Oral Allergy Syndrome. This means that he reacts to the pollen that is inside of fruits because his body is all like I AM ALLERGIC TO EVERYTHING. Does that make sense? Dunno. It made sense when the doctor told me. So we now have to drug him up daily so that his body isn't freaking out all the time.

The good news? The same day Soren went to the allergist, he also went to the eye doctor and his vision is rockin', so he lucked out in that department considering both Alan and I were wearing glasses by 5th grade.

I'm surprised at how quickly the summer has zipped by, but I'm excited for autumn because, quite frankly, it's my favorite time of year. Not too hot, not too cold . . . leaves changing colors and spilling themselves all over the ground, the cool, crisp, autumn breeze, Halloween, and - strangely enough - we celebrate Caroline's 1st Birthday in just a few short months. In 10 days she will be 10 months old. How did this happen?!?!?

Speaking of which, she is crawling all over the place and yesterday she had the audacity to pull herself up on the coffee table. I was not pleased. Especially because I was in the middle of playing Mario Kart with my boys and she distracted me. Haha! Seriously, it's exciting and fun to watch her grow and learn, but I'm not really ready for her to be walking. Luckily she's behind Soren, who was well on his way to running a marathon at 10 months (CRAZY!), but still.... it just makes me that much more baby hungry which is lame because she's STILL a baby!!

Speaking of baby hungry (my segues are repetitive today), no we are not expecting another addition yet (there was some rumor going around due to a poorly worded facebook status update), but my health is stabilizing so it's almost plausible now to really prepare for the procedures again. Which is what I'm in the process of doing - getting my body ready for another round of the nightmare that is fertility treatments. Woot! Don't worry, I fail at keeping a secret of that magnitude for very long (as evidenced by how quickly I spilled about Caroline) . You'll know almost before I do.

Ok, off to shower and then fight the crowds because I still have some school (clothes, not supplies) shopping to take care of today.