Monday, May 31, 2010

Number Three's Baby Blessing

Two Sundays ago, we blessed Mr. Three.  We had much of Mike's family in town for the weekend.  The boys loved all the extra attention from their California and Arizona family, especially playing with their cute little cousin.  Here's a little rundown of what we did.

Saturday morning the men and Mike's mom went to the shooting range.  (Yes, you read that right, and she was quite the sharp-shooter!)  The girls and kiddos hit the mall.  We lunched at Gecko Grill (awesome Mexican food).  Several family members went to the hotel pool for an afternoon swim, then we had a burger cookout for dinner at my parents' home.

Sunday was the baby blessing, and Mr. Three looked so sweet in his little white outfit (the same one Mr. One wore so many years ago), and was calm and peaceful as his daddy gave him the sweetest blessing, full of love and specific direction for our little one.  There is nothing more beautiful than watching your husband performing a priesthood ordinance, and knowing he is invoking the powers of heaven on another's behalf.  (If you are unfamiliar with baby blessings in the LDS church, read here.  This is the lesson we used in our family to help our other boys understand this event.)

After church, we had a Cafe Rio style salad dinner (yum!), with an ice cream dessert.  It was such a fun weekend.  We loved visiting with our family and truly appreciate their willingness and eagerness to be part of the things that matter most to our little family.  We missed those that couldn't be there, but know they would be there if they could!

And finally, at the request of several family members, here are the recipes from Sunday's dinner.  This is the perfect plan and prepare ahead meal, especially for a warm summer evening.

Cafe Rio-style Pork Salad

Sweet Pork found here
Chopped lettuce
Tomatoes, diced
Olives, sliced
Avacados, diced
Warm tortillas
Corn chips
Cotija cheese (found in many Mexican markets)
Pinto Beans
Green Salsa (see recipe below)
Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing found here (I used my homemade green salsa in this recipe)
Rice (we cooked a basmati rice in chicken stock for extra flavor)

Set all ingredients out and build the salad with any or all of the fixings.
*When I was getting food ready for the weekend, I cooked the pork ahead of time and froze it.  All we had to do Sunday was put it in the crock pot to warm.  I also had the dressing and salsa made earlier and cooled in the fridge.

Shaunell's Green Salsa
(This recipe is from one of my friends who makes amazing salsas, and she kindly allowed me to share it with you.  Thank you Shaunell!)

1-1 1/2 lb fresh tomatillos (peel off outer papery skin)
1 poblano chile 
1 jalapeno
3 cloves garlic
1/2 large white onion

Set oven on low broil.  Pour some olive oil, salt and pepper on all ingredients and evenly coat.  Put in shallow baking pan on the lowest oven rack.  Roast all these ingredients for 20-30 minutes until almost falling apart.  Turn once during roasting time. Take jalapeno and poblano and put in plastic bag or paper bag to sweat (this will help you to get the skins off easier).  When partially cooled, peel skin off of jalapeno and poblano pepper and remove stem, ribs and seeds (unless you want your salsa hotter, then leave seeds and ribs).  

Place all ingredients in a food processor with a large handful of fresh cilantro.  Pulse until combined (you don't want it to be too smooth).  Add the following spices to your mixture and process until combined.

1/4 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon each of chili powder, paprika onion powder, cumin powder, cayenne (I usually leave this out), garlic powder and Mexican oregano (use regular oregano if you cannot find this)

Refrigerate when all is combined. 
*This salsa is also really great on fish or grilled chicken!

And don't forget dessert!

Annabel's Mansion Delight
(This one is from my Aunt and is a family favorite)

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 sticks melted margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix together and spread on cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until browned.  Cool, then crumble. Sprinkle half of the crumbs in the bottom of a 13x9 cake pan.  Take out vanilla ice cream (1/2 gallon) or use any flavor ice cream you like.  Drizzle 1/2 a jar of Smuckers caramel sauce over crumbs.  Spread ice cream evenly over the top of this.  Top with remaining 1/2 crumbs.  Drizzle with other 1/2 jar of caramel.  Freeze for at least an hour before serving.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Slice of Summer

Today was Mr. One's last day of preschool (sniff, sniff...) and so we are "officially" in summer at our house.

I love summer, especially for all the wonderful fruits that are in season.  One of our favorites?  Watermelon! 

Truly a slice of summer.

I had to post a cute and easy art project that my preschooler brought home earlier this week.

Watermelon Shakers:

You will need:
paper plate
dried beans (or any other small item that makes noise, small beads, rice, etc.)

Color the paper plate with crayons to resemble a watermelon round.
Fold in half.
Staple along edge about half-way.
Add your beans or other noise makers.
Staple rest of folded edge.
Turn on some music and shake your groove thang!

Then, slice up a real watermelon and eat up.

Happy summer friends!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oh What a Night...

How do you afford your rock and roll lifestyle?

Guess who had a wild night? 

Dear Mr. Three, too much late-night snacking plus tossing and turning does not make a handsome morning hairdo.

I think it's time for a bath!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

How is it that it has taken me two weeks to post about Mother's Day?  Better late than never.

My Mother's Day was wonderful.  I only have two big requirements requests when it comes to what I want on my day.

Number one, I don't want to cook or clean.

Number two, I want to spend time enjoying my family.

Andrew made me a sweet flower, magnet and card at school.  He couldn't wait to give them to me, so he hid them as soon as he got over to my parents' house Friday after school and lead me on a treasure hunt for my gifts.  I love the enthusiasm!

On Sunday morning, Mike cooked breakfast (French Toast, yum!).

I read stories with my boys, lounging in our pj's.

We got ready and headed off to church.

In church on Mother's Day, the kids sang a medley of Mother themed songs.  They also filled out a cute little questionnaire about their mothers.  I love this activity.  Here are Mr. One's answers.  Oh, the wisdom of a five year old.

All About My Mom:

How old is your mom?  20 (Good boy!)

What is your mom's favorite color?  pink

What is your most favorite meal that your mom cooks?  pancakes

What do you like to do with your mom?  play games and have snacks

What is your mom's favorite thing to do?  stay in bed (Can you tell we have a newborn in our home right now...)

What color of eyes does your mom have?  brown

What's your favorite thing about your mom?  she spends the night with my brother (I'm not sure what that's all about.  The baby is in our room now, so maybe he likes not hearing him cry at night?)

After church, we had a yummy dinner of fancy mac and cheese, artichokes, salad and bread.  Dessert was crepes smothered in Nutella and covered with bananas, strawberries and whipped cream.  Yum, yum, yum!!!

And the best part of dinner, no clean up duty for me!

I am the luckiest mommy to have three beautiful boys to love and a wonderful husband to share the joy in the journey.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Why Sometimes It's Good to Talk to Strangers

As a child, you learn early on, never to talk to strangers.  As an adult, sometimes talking to strangers leads to some sweet rewards.

Today, while cruising the isles of our Safeway...

(Really we were cruising.  Have you seen the car shopping carts.  This is why my boys cheer when I say we're going to Safeway.  They love driving the isles, steering like race car drivers, and honking at fellow shoppers.  Albertsons only has the edge in grocery store popularity because of the free chocolate chip cookies.  Sorry back to the story...)

I stopped in the baking isle while a fellow shopper was dropping some Betty Crocker cookie mixes in her cart.  They were on sale, and I made some comment about trying to figure out if it was a good deal or not.  This fellow shopper and I then started in on a conversation about the mixes and prices and she mentioned that she combined the sugar cookie mix with the lemon poppy seed muffin mix to make the best easy cookies.  Of course I wanted to know more.  I laughed and commented that I needed all the quick and easy cooking tips I could get with three little boys.  She dictated the recipe to me and I quickly scribbled it down so I wouldn't forget.  The muffin mix was on sale as well (score!), so I made them for FHE tonight.  So awesome!!

So, thank you, dear cute Safeway shopping stranger, for the fabulous recipe.  Now I will pass on the goodwill to all of you, my dear reading friends.

Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies

1 Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1 Betty Crocker lemon poppy seed muffin mix
1 cube butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the above ingredients together.  They will make a very stiff dough.  I had to use my hands to mix it all together.

Use a small cookie scoop to shape cookies on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for approximately 10 minutes, until slightly browned around the edges.

Place on waxed paper and drizzle the lemon icing from the muffin mix over the tops of the cookies.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Try not to eat a dozen by yourself...

Because sharing is a childhood lesson that should still be followed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nie's Mormon Message

I just viewed this video this morning with teary eyes and a heart full of gratitude.  Gratitude for the blessings of motherhood, marriage, trials, and my faith.  I know we are here for a reason.   I know we each have things to accomplish in this life that no one else can do.  I know we will be helped and guided as we seek to know what those things are.  This video is beautiful and I knew I had to share it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cards, Anyone?

Do your kiddos love to play card games?

Do they get frustrated with not being able to fan out and hold the cards like the grown ups do?

Do you have any plastic lids hanging around?

Here's your solution, a little tip I picked from a teacher friend:

Take two alike lids and trace a line of hot glue (or use duct tape) along the center of one lid.

Place second lid on tip, with the lips of the lids facing out, and you have an instant card holder.

Just slide the cards between the two lids!

Mr. One loves this little gadget!

Uno or Go Fish anyone!?

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