Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

John 3:16-17

Have a blessed Easter dear family and friends!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mud Pies

Today was gorgeous! Not sure what the high was but we were outside all afternoon doing some spring cleaning. I vacuumed out my van. Magnolia picked up sticks and rocks in the yard. Dan raked out the front beds and trimmed up some of the bushes. Henry and Boothe worked on the garden (see below). I don't know what it is about boys and dirt/mud but today was the first time Henry had ever met dirt and it was like they were long lost friends. He saw the dirt, he touched the dirt and 30 seconds later he was excavating for buried treasure, digging a new basement for the house, and planting anything that may sprout. He's never felt more at home.

During this nightmare of head-to-toe dirt (in my opinion) Magnolia stated that she doesn't like to get all dirty. I knew I loved her more. Ok, I really don't love her more....just when the other 2 are covered in mud, I may favor the clean child.

I see a long summer of stained clothes, muddy hand prints, and dirty fingernails ahead of me...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lent Winds Down...

And so does my brain!  I'm plum out of blogging ideas, pictures of the kids, things we are doing, things that are happening, and things I want to share.  But I pledged a blog post for 40 days during Lent and I'm not quitting when the finish line is so close.  So ill babble for a few minutes and then post an old picture just for the heck of it and then I'm going to bed.

Tonight we had a Maundy Thursday service at church.  We have an informal soup dinner followed by a short communion service each Wednesday in Lent and this week was our last.  The kids love going to church especially at times that aren't Sunday morning.  Boothe the other afternoon was jumping up and down because she was so excited to go to church and had forgotten that we were going.  Lets hope the enthusiasm continues for the next 90 years of her life.  And let's hope that she can jump up and down at 90 years of age.

We are so ready for spring and the sunshine today has opened up our crocus!  Woo-hoo!  I love those first blossoms of spring.  The girls have been annoyingly full of energy and expressing that energy in annoying ways.  We need to get outdoors and run and run and run or we may all kill each other before April is over.

Next week is spring break for our normal activities.  Magnolia doesn't have a spring break from school, which is kind of weird, but everything else is off next week.  I'm looking forward to not entertaining Henry for the longest 45 minutes of my week during Boothe's dance class.

Speaking of dance class, on Monday we dropped Magnolia off at the door and waited in the car for her like we do every Monday during her class.  This extended cold weather has frozen my brain cells because about 3 minutes after my cell phone battery died, my car battery died.  And I was parked next to the curb on one side and an unidentified car other side.  Looking around the parking lot all I could see we're rows and rows of empty spots where it would be easy for Dan to come to the rescue and actually park next to me to jump the car.  So after gathering the young-uns, I went inside to use the phone and then Dan arrived a little while later and found the owner of the car next to me who graciously moved his car.  Happens to be the same guy who I asked if there was a phone I could use.  But in the end, it was all worth the not having to chase after Henry for the 60 minutes of Magnolia's class.

Henry had his 15 month doctors appointment today and weighed in at a petite 29 pounds.  Petite if your 15 month old happens to be twins and you a weighing them at the same time!  My arms are killer stong but I'm think I'm shrinking because 30 extra pounds + gravity + walking with a slight stoop = 2 inch loss in height.

Now I'm off to bed to dream about what I could possibly post about tomorrow!  Here is last year's Easter picture.  Compare to the picture from the last post...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Pictures

Here is a Made-for-Facebook picture of the kids from their Easter session at Traditions. It was so funny watching Henry with the bunnies and ducklings they had on hand for the pictures. He wasn't scared of them and wanted to get really close to the animals and point at them but he did NOT want to touch them or have them in his lap!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who Looks Like Who?

All my babies at about a year old. Where has time gone?

Easter Egg Hunt

Last Saturday we headed to Jackie's for our annual Easter egg hunt. Last year the temperature was about double what it was this year! We still had fun though. The kids have been talking about the egg hunt for weeks and remember last years'. They will always remember their childhood Easter egg hunts with all of their cousins.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Recipe Week: Chicken Spaghetti

Another Pioneer Woman recipe that makes us drool.  Go to her website for the picture tutorial of this recipe.  I think I'll make this for dinner tomorrow night.  Dan gets back tonight (actually early tomorrow morning, 2:30am, because of current flight delays in Denver).  He has been gone wince Wednesday 8am.  Four long days without him.  He will need a nice filling home-cooked meal when he gets home and this recipe fits the bill.  

And this wraps up my recipe week.  At some point before my kids leave home for college (yeah, I do have a little while), I'd like to make them each a small cookbook with all the recipes I make for lunch and dinner, breakfasts, breads and desserts, and snacks on a regular basis.  So they have all their familiar foods and how to make them organized in a nice little book.
  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken, shredded
  • 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.
Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Friday, March 22, 2013

Recipe Week: Stuffed Pasta Shells

This is definitely one of my all time favorite dinners.  It just has such a fresh taste.  That's a nice change of pace once in awhile in the middle of winter.  Filling the shells takes a little hands-on time, but it is well worth it.  We devour them!

12 oz. dried jumbo pasta shells (about 35)
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 (28) oz cans whole tomatoes
1 (15) oz carton whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/3 cups grated or shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook pasta shells as directed on box.  Meanwhile in a large skillet heat 1 T olive oil.  Add beef and 1 garlic clove.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until no pink remains and transfer to bowl, set aside.  For tomatoe sauce, in a second skillet, over low heat, combine remaining olive oil, remaining garlic, and undrained tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until somewhat thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.  Stir 1 1/2 cups of tomato mixture into ground beef, add ricotta and 2/3 cup of cheese.  Stir until combined.  Spoon 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce into 3-quart casserole dish.  Fill each pasta shell with about 1 T of meat and cheese mixture.  Arrange shells in baking dish.  Spoon remaining tomato sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Recipe Week: BBQ Comfort Meatballs

This, is absolutely delish.  I haven't been able to make it in quite awhile.  Ever since Henry established a monopoly on my hands, I haven't been able to tackle many recipes that require 2 hands.  Hence meatballs have been put on the back burner.  But they will be back.  You can mark my word.  This recipe I got from my Pioneer Woman cookbook but it is also on her website so head over there, look at all of her beautiful pictures she took while making these meatballs, and try some of her other recipes.  Haven't tried one we haven't loved.
  • 1 1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • 3/4 cups Oats
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 3 T Very Finely Minced Onion
  • 1 1/2 t Salt
  • Plenty Of Ground Black Pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup Flour (coating For Frozen Meatballs)
  • Cooking Oil

  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 2 T Sugar
  • 3 T Vinegar
  • 2 T Worcestershire
  • 4-6 T Onion

  • Combine all meatball ingredients.  Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.  After 5 minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.  Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown.  Place into a baking dish.  Combine all sauce ingredients.  Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipe Week: Chicken Enchilada Bake

I tore this one out of a magazine a year or two ago because most all of the ingredients are things I have on hand all of the time. I like that about new recipes. Making new combinations of the things I already have in my pantry or freezer. I'm also a big fan of 1 dish meals/casseroles. With 3 very distracting and needy little people hovering around me daily, especially between the hours do 3 and 5, I love dumping the ingredients together and throwing it in the oven. Done. I love this dish and if you like cilantro then you will too!

 Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, orange and yellow, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup sour cream
2 T lime juice
1 cup fresh cilantro (if you use dry, just use about half as much)
4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)
8 sheets fillo dough, thawed

 Heat oven to 425. Boil chicken, let cool, and shred. Heat 2 T oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add garlic and peppers and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender. Stir in the corn, sour cream, and lime juice. Fold in the chicken, cilantro, and cheese. Transfer for a 2 quart casserole dish. Scrunch sheets of fillo dough loosely and place on top of chicken mixture. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recipe Week: Corn and Potato Chowder

I make a lot of chili and soups and stews in the wintertime. We usually top them all off with a little sour cream and shredded cheese and a side of bread. This chowder recipe is one of our favorites that I make all of the time. It's actually what's for dinner tonight!

2 T butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
7 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
4 medium potatoes, diced
1 cup heavy cream
3 T flour
Black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan or medium soup pot. Stir in the onion and celery. Cook until the onion and celery are soft. Add the chicken stock, corn and potato. Being to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes. I a small bowl whisk together the cream and flour. Stir the mixture into the soup and add the pepper. Being the soup back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 8 minutes.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Recipe Week: Poppyseed Chicken

This whole week I'll be posting some of our favorite dinner recipes that the whole family likes. This first one came from a friend of mine about 5 years ago and I have been making it religiously ever since. See my notes at the bottom of the recipe for changes that I have made.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream

1 T poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled
1 stick butter, melted

Boil chicken for 15 minutes. Place chicken in baking dish. Mix soup, milk, and sour cream and pour over chicken. Mix melted butter, crumbled crackers, and poppyseeds. Sprinkle over chicken.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

**We like this dish with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans**


I don't buy chicken breasts so I used a whole chicken. I boil the whole chicken, shred the meat, and place the shredded chicken in the baking dish. I then pour on the toppings as directed.

As for the Cream of Chicken soup, I can't encourage the use of Campbell's soups since they are full of chemicals (blech), but I also know its sometimes hard to make your own cream of anything soup. I found a Cream of Chicken soup made by Pacific Foods that is organic and all natural. It also comes in a tetra-pak box so no worries about a BPA lined can.

Although, even I would admit that the Ritz crackers taste the best in this recipe, any plain butter type cracker would work.

Lastly, I cut down the amount of butter to 3/4 of a stick instead of a whole stick and that much butter worked just as well

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ballet Watch Week

In the middle of the dance semester the parents, grandparents, anyone can sit in on the class to watch the kids and see what they are learning. This past week we got to watch the girls classes. They just make me smile when they are in their cute little tu-tus doing their ballet moves.

Magnolia is in Primary 1 and Boothe is in Creative 1 this year. Their classes are on 2 different days and it is really hard taking Henry there twice a week and having to entertain him during their classes. I can't believe I have made it this far...since September. Only 2 more months and then we will break for the summer. Next year Magnolia will be in Primary 2 and Boothe will be in Creative 2 and the good news is that their classes will be held AT THE SAME TIME!!! It's my motivation for these last 8 weeks of classes!

Here are a bunch of pictures from this past week during their classes.