November 13, 2011

I was sitting at a stoplight when "He Reigns" hit the chorus and I turned my head to see this...
and then this...

 What an amazing visual. 
It felt like my own personal message from God. 
Thank you.

November 12, 2011

Bountiful Basket

6 Jonagold Apples
3 Oranges
2 Small Red Grapefruit
6 Bananas
Leaf Lettuce
Bag of Carrots
2 Cucumbers
5 Roma Tomatoes
6 Large Sweet Potatoes
3 Acorn Squash

I picked up all of these fruits and vegetables this morning for $15 thanks to the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op! The acorn squash is the only item I haven't purchased since I made baby food, but I've already found this recipe for Acorn Squash Soup and now can't wait to use it up. 

Most exciting item in my basket...those huge sweet potatoes. Yum! There is enough to make all three of these recipes: Sweet Potato Soup with Chipotle Cream, Chipotle Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Sweet Potato Fries with Dipping Sauce.

October 17, 2011

New Fast Food

I am not usually a fan of boxed meals or jarred sauces. Whenever we've tried them I've been disappointed by the plain taste or flavors that don't live up to the advertised promised. Since I'm always looking for quick meals to make on school nights that don't involve hot dogs, eggs or picking up pizza, I'm still occasionally willing to try something new and hoping it won't be another disappointment.

This hopefulness is how I discovered a pouch of deliciousness from Chef Rick Bayless at Whole Foods. Since I've enjoyed watching him on Top Chef Masters (wishing it was a 4D viewing experience) and love everything I've made from his cookbook Mexico-One Plate at a Time, I thought I'd give his sauce pouches a try. This is the one we tried first...
I could not believe how good it was and how quick it was to make:

I diced leftover roasted chicken and then mixed it with Cheddar Jack cheese before filling five corn tortillas. Into a small baking dish they went to be topped with the sauce and more cheese. Fifteen minutes later dinner was served!

Noah loved it. Joshua, not so much but he was determined not to like it. The leftovers were just as tasty warmed up for lunch the next day.

Another quick meal we've enjoyed lately comes from Nigella Lawson. I DO NOT tell the boys this since they're most hated meal ever, egg pizza, also comes from Nigella Lawson. By hated I mean they use it as a barometer for everything... would you rather do blah blah blah or eat egg pizza. Anyway, this meal is quick to throw together but tastes like you were in the kitchen for hours. Bonus: We always have leftovers!

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes on the Food Network

My adaptations: I get the family size package of chicken thighs which only has 8 thighs. Use whatever potatoes you have on hand. I used red fingerling potatoes last time. Season chicken and potatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil over everything before roasting.

August 7, 2011

Double Digits

Happy 10th Birthday Noah!!!

Now that he's older, Noah has more concerns about what I post. He will often make requests to have things posted on this blog or Facebook but it is even more often that I hear "and don't post this on your blog." So instead of embarrassing him with current video footage, we have a blast from the past.

We were watching old videos this weekend and came across this one of Noah's first magic show at almost 3 1/2 years old. At 10, he still likes to do magic but I can verify that his techniques have improved considerably.

It's hard to believe this boy is 10 today. Time to celebrate!

July 16, 2011

Rich 1, Chino 0

There was an invasion this summer. New mounds of dirt would appear each morning connected by underground tunnels. We thought our young, active cat (who has already killed her share of birds and bunnies this summer) would take care of the problem. Sadly, she did not and the destruction of our yard continued (every two feet)...
Using his best Caddyshack moves, Rich was able to flood the holes until this popped out...
No relatives were found and this little guy was entered in the mole relocation program.
It's amazing that something so small could do so much damage.

Moles by Mary Oliver
Under the leaves, under
the first loose
levels of earth
they're there -- quick
as beetles, blind
as bats, shy
as hares but seen
less than these --
among the pale girders
of appleroot,
rockshelf, nests
of insects and black
pastures of bulbs
peppery and packed full
of the sweetest food:
spring flowers.
Field after field
you can see the traceries
of their long
lonely walks, then
the rains blur
even this frail hint of them --
so excitable,
so plush,
so willing to continue
generation after generation
accomplishing nothing
but their brief physical lives
as they live and die,
pushing and shoving
with their stubborn muzzles against
the whole earth,
finding it

June 16, 2011

The Arts in Our School

The boys enjoyed many things throughout the school year especially the arts. Noah started playing the cello this year, both boys loved being part of their music programs and a favorite class was always art.

Here are a few video highlights from the last month of school involving the arts...

Noah had a piece of artwork chosen (along with other students from multiple districts) to hang at Project Harmony for the next year. These pictures are from the showing and video of Noah explaining what all the symbols in his artwork represent.

The first and second grade students put on a Buggy program. Joshua was thrilled to be a firefly.

Noah demonstrates his cello mastery with a couple selections from the final strings concert.

Arts Education Facts
Did You Know?

Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem

Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:

  • Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
  • Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  • Perform community service more than four times as often

    ("Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth Organizations," Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the Arts Monograph, November 1998)

May 30, 2011

Water Fight

They said they wanted to have a water fight.

I thought they would use these....

They had other ideas....

Hello Summer

April 30, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

No matter how I tried, my purse always ended up being the bottomless pit of receipts, paper and trash that made it impossible to find anything. I could dig for five minutes for my keys and forget about finding the ringing cell phone before it went to voice mail.

NO MORE! I discovered the Big Sydney by Baggallini over a month ago and I'm in love. It has pockets for everything and I've never been more organized.
Outside: pocket for my phone (my flip camera fits in with it), another pocket for my keys, a zip pocket for a book, and another pocket on the outside to slide receipts and papers into. Inside: hook for my school keys, an attached small bag for extra store cards, two deep pockets - one side for make-up and the other for pens and reading glasses, slots for cards and enough room for my wallet, checkbook, sunglasses, and regular glasses.

All of that and it's not too big or bulky at all!
Now to get the rest of my life this organized.

April 10, 2011


Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge? Job 37:16

March 24, 2011

Spring Break

Loving spring break! Yesterday I loved it from my bed where I watched movies, caught up on TV shows, and even played Sorry Spin with the boys. Sometimes you just need one of those days especially after we exerted ourselves so much on Tuesday....

We started with pottery painting at It's Your Pottery.I thought it would be fun it we all did our own versions of the same thing but that was quickly shot down. At least we were all there as a family. Yes, even Rich painted. Joshua is thrilled that the pieces will be ready on his birthday - can't wait for that French fry bank!

The second dream come true for Tuesday was hot wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. Not only were they delicious and gluten free but we discovered that they're only $.45 on Tuesdays! YUMMY.Joshua loved them so much that he wants to go back again for his birthday dinner. What? I don't have to cook on a Monday night? Okay, if that's what you really want.

Now that it's Thursday I feel break racing to a close. While Rich and the boys finish replacing the shower door today I'm going to get off my bed and shop with a friend. My main goal is to find big, fluffy, water absorbing bath towels. Wish me luck!

March 20, 2011

Crazy Takes a Week Off

Spring break is here and giving us a little taste of summer vacation - and we like it! Everyone has things they want to do this week.

Topping the list for the boys:
  • eating hot wings (Phineas and Ferb made them quite appealing)
  • a craft project (painting pottery)
  • a visit to the Joslyn
  • drawing for Noah
  • 30 minute drawing lessons for Joshua given by Noah (his specialty is dragons and multi-animals, ex. bird-shark) - this should be interesting
We're kicking off the week tonight by ordering pizza and watching Megamind with popcorn.

I intend to read, drink coffee, watch movies and work out five times. The movie watching has been easy to implement (thank you Netflix) and I've already knocked out "The Fighter" and "The Switch." Next up: "Morning Glory." Getting herbs started and doing a little scrapbooking would also be lovely additions to the week.

Of course, there is work to be done but as Sc
arlett would say, " I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

March 16, 2011

Sunrise Sunrise

Tired. All week tired. My 40 year old body refuses to adjust to the time change. Wondering why we have to put ourselves through this and then I saw the sunrise...

Definitely worth waking up early for!

March 5, 2011

Cousin Birthday Party!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you...

We did the dual cousin birthday celebration again last weekend. This time it was Maya, who turned 7 last month, and Joshua, who will celebrate his birthday at the end of this month, that led the birthday fun.

Coco Keys may not have been an adult favorite, but the 17 kids there certainly had fun. When I asked Joshua in the car if he had a good time he said, "Of course, it was my party."

Here are the cousins and some of those fun moments...

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