Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Menu 9/26/2011

Monday:  Grilled Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches & Chicken Club Soup
Friday:  Girls Night Out (this reminds me I better let Matt know about it) & left-overs
Saturday:  Mom's Club Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off (I'll be judging not cooking)
Sunday:  Chicken and Dumplings  (Taste of Home magazine, October 2011)

Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael are visiting for a couple of days this week after their Allure of the Seas cruise.  You can't take a cruise in Florida and not come visit us!  In honor of their visit I found some breakfast recipes to make up for them.  (Normally, I don't do breakfast other than cereal and toast.)  

Monkey Bread  Cooking Light, Oct. 2011
Brittany's Breakfast Bites  Taste of Home, Oct. 2011
Sausage Breakfast Pockets  Taste of Home, Oct. 2011

Chattahoochee Bend State Park

 Since Sunday's are now full of Red Zone Football for the grown-up menfolk we try to do something fun as a family on Saturdays.  This Saturday we met our friends at the newest state park in Georgia.
I was impressed by the hiking trails and numerous camp sites.
The kids were impressed by the playgrounds.

After playing for awhile we ventured out on the hiking path.  The kids did great with zero complaints about being tired.  I'm thinking the zero complaints had something to do with their hiking companions.
Kaden and Kylie
We are loving our Saturdays.  It's always "the best day ever" according to Lauren.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday: The Good and The Bad of it

I always choose the Bad News first (to get it over with) so here we go...

Lauren had a dentist appointment today and the Doctor found a CAVITY.
I was crushed.  Even though Lauren brushes her own teeth, at age seven her health and well being are still my responsibility and I feel I failed her.  Lauren, however, had no idea anything was out of the ordinary.  The Dr. talked to me privately and suggested I say nothing to her. "This will make the filling of the cavity much less stressful." (Do you agree with the Doc?)

I was sent home with the paperwork for our next appointment in a couple of weeks.
White Filling, Sealants for her healthy 6-year-old molars (standard procedure,) and Nitrous Oxide.

S'cuse me?  NITROUS OXIDE?!?!
I've never had the "laughing gas" and I'm crushed my baby is going to get it.
Hopefully, I can keep myself together enough to comfort her during her next appointment
  I'm getting myself upset again so now on the the Good News...

"Great News!" actually
Lauren is the Cub of the Week (Student of the Week)
She (we) put together this collage to tell her class all about her.
Picture of Herself:  Lauren riding her bike
Family Picture:  top right corner
Picture of Pet:  Chloe opening the door to the garage
"What I like best about me:"  I like being a Girl.
Favorite Food:  Strawberries
Favorite Book:  Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
Favorite Color:  Pink
"When I grow up I want to be...:"  a Teacher
"I am special because...:"  I was a Preemie, Just look at me know.
"I want to visit...:"  LegoLand California
Favorite Sport:  Basketball
Favorite TV Show:  Fetch with Ruff Ruffman

Way to go Lauren! 

In addition to the Good and the Bad of Monday here's a little bonus information:
the latest inDemand computer game is:
Our 9 year old neighbor comes over to just to play.
(don't worry I time their computer time)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Meal of the Week

I like just about EVERYTHING food related.
You suggest a restaurant?  I'll go and I'll like it.
You make me a dinner? You betcha I'll like it!

I make a different dinner just about every night and pretty much every time I do...gosh darn, I Like It.
I'm the perfect (easy) dinner date let me tell you.

Since I like most dinners I don't, however, think of them as anything special.  
Today though, I tasted SPECIAL!
This just may be one of my favorite dinners yet.
(ask Matt, he'll confirm)

Crock Pot Kalua Pork

3 lb pork shoulder blade or pork butt roast (not the pork shoulder picnic)
1 T. sea salt
2c. cooked rice

Spray crock pot with cooking spray (the clean-up crew will thank you.)
Place pork in crock pot and stab all over with knife or fork.  Rub sea salt all over pork.  Drizzle with liquid smoke.  Set crock pot to low and cook 12 to 16 hours (I let it cook all night and into the next morning.)  After 12 hours check temperature.  Once thermometer reads 160 degrees it is done.  Let rest 15 minutes and then (easily) shred.  Reserve juices for an AWESOME GRAVY and store shredded pork in the fridge until ready to eat.

20 minutes before dinner (or 50 minutes for brown rice,) make the white rice (follow directions on bag.) Warm up the kalua pork in the microwave and make the AWESOME GRAVY!!  

Awesome Gravy:
My crockpot yielded about a cup of juice from the pork butt.  Set the reserved juices to a simmer on the stove-top and once simmering add a mixture of 2 T. flour and 3 T. water.  Whisk together and continue to simmer.  Add by (awesome) spoonful to the warmed up kalua pork and rice.

BOOYAH!  Recipe of the Week!

Weekly Menu 9-19-2011

Monday:  White Bean Soup and Fall Vegetable Paninis
Tuesday:  Pork Chops with Caribbean Rub with (jarred Mango Chutney from the fridge) and Lemon-Parmesan Broccoli
Wednesday:  Mashed Chickpea Pitas and Spinach, Pasta, and Pea Soup (Will this many chickpeas make us gassy...we'll find out.)
Thursday:  Bacon, Tomato, and Arugula Pizza with fruit from the fridge
Friday:  Tortilla Meatball Soup and chips
Saturday:  potential cook-out with friends...if you read this Diane, are we on?
Sunday:  Quick Pastitsio and Quick Italian Bread

Have a great week.  Temps here are going to be in the 70s and 80s.  I love the Fall.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tyrone Founders Day Festival

Today was a good day.  Matt suggested we get out of the house and let the kids ride their bikes.
--Great Idea--
We opted for the bike path around the lake in Tyrone.  

Lucky for us, today was Tyrone's Founder's Day Festival.  We biked to the main street just in time for the parade.  
 We used the kids' bike helmets to hold the mass-load of candy they scored from the parade.

Not a bad turn-out.  Well done Tyrone!

 Lauren said, "after my birthday, this is the best day of my life."
(As parents we LOVE to hear this!)

When the parade was finished we did 3 laps around the lake.
(each lap is a half mile)

I love this picture of Matt holding Tyler's hand.

Lauren did great.  We put her training wheels back on her bike and she gained a lot of confidence.  She also got a great muscle workout on the (slight) hills.

She's a cutie for sure.

After exhausting ourselves at the bike path we headed over to the Tyrone Carnival.  Among other rides we enjoyed the swings...

 the dragon spinners...

and the carousel...
take one:  darn pole
 take two:  darn horse
take three:  well we'll take it

We came home just in time to listen to the Oregon vs. Missouri St. game on XM Radio (since our Direct TV did not televise.).  The Oregon slaughter win just complemented our Best Day Ever.

Monday, September 12, 2011

School Picture Day

Today was Picture Day (yes, already!)

Lauren is wearing her own outfit she specifically picked out for Picture Day.
Dress from Justice, Leggings from Old Navy and Twinkle Toes (the shoes)

Tyler is wearing a shirt from Carters, shorts from OshKosh and Mossimo flip flops from Target.
He's hiding in the corner because that's where he goes to mess up his hair immediately after I wet it down and comb it.  He also secretly snuggles with his blanket.  (Don't tell but I'm obviously onto him.)

After school neighbor Joshua came over to play.
He's in 4th grade but L and T love to play with him.
After they played on the computer for 20 minutes I kicked them off and made them play something else.
I suggested tag or something out doors but they chose a board game.
Operation: Toy Story 

After losing the game, Lauren did her best to bother them.
("maybe they won't notice if I slide my hand under the game and give it a big bump every so often")

I'm looking forward to seeing how their school pictures turned out.

P.S.  Tyler said something funny last night that I want to record so I don't forget.  
Last night as I tucked him in I did the usual hug, and nose kiss (he won't let me regular kiss him anymore.)  I told him I Loved Him and waited.  He didn't say "I love you too, Momma" (like he usually does) so I repeated myself.  He didn't say it once again so I called him on it.  He then told me that he did say it but " I said it in my brain."  I'll take it!  Love that boy.

Buffalo Chicken, Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes and the Weekly Menu

Lauren loved the Buffalo Chicken.  She's my hot sauce gal.  I used Frank's Original RED HOT sauce.  Yumm.  The smashed potatoes were too subtle in my opinion.  Next time I'll add more blue cheese.  Tyler is the only one who didn't LOVE tonight's dinner.  Before he even took a bite he asked me if I remembered the time he threw up his mashed potatoes.  He never threw up but after his initial comment I didn't have high hopes for the boy.  Maybe next time.  (He did, however, eat enough of his dinner to get a snack.)

Weekly Menu:
(mostly stolen deliciously borrowed from

 Tuesday:  Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe & l/o ciabatta bread (from the freezer)
Wednesday:  Root Beer Sloppy Joes (scroll down) & salad
Thursday:  Thai Chicken and Pineapple Stir-Fry
Friday:  Mom's Club Bunco so Matt and kiddos are on their own (pantry meal)
Saturday:  Bangin Good Shrimp & Egg Flower Soup (from a packet I will buy at the store)
Sunday:  Crock Pot Kahlua Pork (rice and lettuce roll-ups) & fruit

Sunday, September 11, 2011



(the kids loved this for days)

the veggies which inspired the 
(the end product is so delicious!)

soft TACOS!
(my favorite!)
This is one of the only dinners I don't rely on a recipe.
browned ground beef w/ taco seasoning
simmered, fat-free refried beans
shredded cheese

(love these!)
I froze what we didn't eat so these breakfast muffins of deliciousness will be enjoyed again very soon.

 We ate well these past few days but we also had a lot of fun outdoors.


Hiking at Line Creek
(pay no attention to me but focus on the cute half-pints with me)

T-Ball in the Yard
Lauren has a pretty good swing!

barefoot in the field

Nice swing Big T!
Today has been a nice balance of Food and Family.  

I love them both!

Nine Eleven, Two Thousand Eleven

I didn't plan on writing a post about 9/11/01 but I found myself working on another post for 9/11/11 and I thought it would only be right to share something in memory of the event.  Here is my insignificant experience of the tragedy from 10 years ago

5:45am (PST):  I woke up for work as usual, turned on the radio and hopped in the shower.
6:00am (PST):  I got out of the shower and heard the local radio DJs saying they are "speechless and there are no words to describe."
6:01am (PST):  I was extremely curious so I turned on the TV news to watch.  I don't know if I watched it live or not but I remember watching the second plane fly into the tower.  I thought "this is surreal."

Not long after:  I called Matt (my husband for less than a month) in Texas where he was working.  He hadn't heard anything yet so I had him turn on the TV.

The Next Few Days:  I went to work (at Holt International) and everyone was in shock.  We went through the motions.  Matt tried to come home but all flights were grounded.  His company ended up chartering private planes to get their employees home or as close to home as possible.  Matt and I lived in Eugene, OR at the time and the closest his company could get him was Los Angeles, CA.  After two days of waiting and a 15-hour car ride, Matt was finally home.  I remember needing him to be home with me.

Today I watched the 10 year Remembrance of the 9/11 attack.  I cried like a baby, my stomach physically ached when I watched the real life stories of the families who lost loved ones.  I cried the hardest when I saw the segment on all the babies who were in utero when they lost their parent (father) in the attack.  They were all almost 10 years old.  I can't believe it has been 10 years.
I remember the morning it happened so vividly and forever.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chicken Rollatini

Tonight's dinner was from one of my favorite blogs.  SkinnyTaste (She gives WW points with each of her recipes.)

Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini and Mozzarella

I accidentally added almost twice the mozzarella cheese.  (however, no one complained)

cheesy chicken all Rolled a tini and ready for the oven

sliced cutlet with side of random frozen bag of veggies

 Dessert tonight was Skinny Minty ice-cream.

Question for the Masses:
I'm wondering if it is a Southern Accent thing or not...  The darlings pictured above will often answer me in the negative with a "No-wah" instead of a simple "No (ma'am.")  Do you (y'all) get a two-syllable "No" from your children?

In response to their "No-wah," I always tell them that No-ah built the Ark.  =)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10 Years!!

August 26, 2001 - August 26, 2011

Holy Cow!  I've been married for TEN years!

TEN Years and TEN (or so) Photos

Wedding at Chateau Lorane
My Dad walking me down the Aisle.

My new Husband!

(Grand Cayman)

(holy thin-ness!)

4th of July, Crouch, Idaho
4th of July, Lake Tahoe, Idaho (or was it California?)

me and my preemie
Baby Lauren, 6 lbs 1 oz., born at 36 weeks

2-month-old Lauren on Uncle Brian's High School Graduation Day

my 10-year High School reunion
(HS-BFFs:  Jayme, Heather, Audra, Me, Jennifer)

the circus moves to Atlanta
(cats: Jack and Chloe in the carriers, Matt in the middle, Lauren in her car seat and me, pregnant with Tyler, taking the picture)

Baby Tyler
(full term)
9 lbs, 12 oz!!

my babies

Super Dad!

Cabo San Lucas
(first vacay without the kiddos)

August 5, 2007
(my 56-year-old father dies from a Heart Attack)

(Lauren and I are to the left)

Disney World, Orlando, Florida
(with Aunt Mili while Uncle Kevin took the picture)

North Georgia Mountains
(Deliverance territory)

with cousin Madison (who obviously adores me) in Boise, Idaho

beautiful family, beautiful life

August 26, 2001 - August 26, 2011

Wow!  These last TEN years have been AWE-MAZING.  I went from a young adult, to a wife, to a mother, to a suddenly grieving daughter (I think about and miss my Dad daily) to a perpetually improving wife and mother and sister and daughter and friend.

Bring on the next TEN years! 

(Thank you Matt for choosing me as your one and only.  Happy 10 year anniversary.)