Friday, February 26, 2010

afton's growing up!

one of my favorite pics from this past week. wednesday afton wrote her name for the first time ever, and she did it all by herself! here it is:
and a fabulous video, afton pulled out daddy's scriptures and started "reading" i wish you could hear the words a little more clearly, but it's still great:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

elaine's recipe tuesday part 4

Pepper Steak

1 lb round steak, sliced thin (or whatever's on sale)
1 Tbl paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup sliced onions (green or yellow)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 bell peppers, sliced (any color)
2 Tbl cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 large tomatoes, sliced

sprinkle meat with paprika, brown meat and mushrooms in a little oil. add garlic and onions, cook til browned. add broth to meat. in seperate bowl combine: cornstarch, water & soy sauce (don't add yet). add peppers to meat and broth, cook about 5 minutes. stir slurry into pan, cook til thick. add tomatoes, cook til warm. serve over rice.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

fat tuesday

in honor of fat tuesday yesterday, i took a picture of myself :) 28 weeks down, about 12 to go :)
hooray for baby x
(who gives meaning and excuse to being fat on mardi gras)

valentine's day

we had a fun family valentine's day this year, starting with new valentine's socks for the girls (which they had to wear to church... perhaps not exactly usual, but definately fun). we took treats to some of our friends, and we had a "fancy" dinner, which the girls absolutely loved. it wasn't really that exciting, except we had "special pasta" (aka ravoli), and candles on the table :) and a couple little toys for the girls, and candy in the treasure box for dessert :)

rayna got a little boat and one of those velcro balls to make catching easier. afton's little toy was a ribbon wand thing, which she proved very adept with: (sorry the video seems to be really dark)

my valentine sure loves me though, i didn't do any dishes on valentine's day :) love you paul!

hope you all had a lovely day too!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

elaine's recipe tuesday part 3

Tortellini Soup

6 cups chicken broth
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp each paprika and italian spices
4-6 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 big package fresh tortellini (i like chicken and herb more than cheese)
14 oz can diced tomatoes (or 2-4 fresh diced tomatoes--whatever's handy)
+/- other veggies*

bring first 7 ingredients to boil, then lower heat and simmer about 1 hour til veggies soft. add pasta and tomatoes for last 7 minutes til pasta done. salt and pepper if needed. good with parmesean cheese, rolls, toast, etc... especially good when it's cold outside :)

(*i like adding frozen corn at the end too, or other root veggies at the beginning, whatever i have in my fridge)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a funny:

after church today, coming in the back door, afton paused by the diaper pail (we keep it just outside the back door for obvious reasons), opened it and stuck her face in it--almost all the way. then she stepped in the house and announced

"it smells funny out there."

Friday, February 12, 2010

snow pictures

i've been having a devil of a time getting pictures to upload today, but i figured i'd better keep trying. i'm including a few from my mom, cause they're really cool! thanks mom (and nicki and naomi and whoever else helped make them so fun.)
first, our snowman :)
rayna was very excited about the snow for about 10-15 minutes, then she started to get wet and cold and she was DONE!!!
(friday, the second day, we dressed her a bit better and she liked it longer)
sledding with friends! the kids LOVED it!
("it's like a slide" & "mo, mo, mo" {rayna's more} )
all the kids in a row, they made it most of the way down the hill :)
(ps, afton and rayna are the front two)
once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman
once there was a snowman tall, tall, tall!
in the sun she melted, melted, melted
in the sun she melted, small, small, small.
i love all the trees, though many couldn't handle the weight of the heavy, wet snow. this one is one of my mom's. there were dozens that came down and even more that lost branches.
paul used it as an opportunity to collect firewood for future campouts :)
a tradition carried on from childhood. if i heard correctly, my dad made this one thursday night, but it fell sometime before morning, so friday the girls made another one in the front yard:

you can see it in the background. they also made a castle/fort/igloo. isn't it lovely :) looks like it was a ton of fun too! love you girly-girls!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day!

this may not be anything new to those of you from way up north... but it's the first snow we've been home for this winter (and probably the last, as it's the fourth big snow of the year, which is huge for dallas, but we were in arizona for the last three storms). we were playing outside all morning, building a big snowman and starting a tunnel (which we had to leave unfinished because it was time for rayna's nap and she was NOT happy to be outside anymore!). thanks to our friends for sharing their yard (ours is really tiny). pictures will follow shortly. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

elaine's recipe tuesday part 2

salsa chicken

1/8 c. toasted almonds (sliced, chopped, whatever)
4 large chicken thighs (or 6 smaller thighs, or precooked shredded chicken*)
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c salsa
1/8 c water
1 Tbl dried currents or golden raisins (but purple raisins aren't very good)
1 1/2 tsp honey
3/8-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon

start to saute chicken with garlic in olive oil (about 4-5 minutes). mix everything else together in small bowl (except rice and almonds), and add to cooking chicken. add almonds just before serving. serve over rice.

*if using precooked shredded chicken, combine everything and just bring to simmer to warm through, still adding almonds last and serving with rice.

serves 4 (small 4: maybe more like 2 adults and 2 children)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

time for something new

i've been thinking it's time for another post, but i didn't have any pictures so there's nothing too exciting... then i remembered that i had a ton ofpictures on my camera and i just needed to upload them... SO here's some of what's new:

we now have late church on sunday (1-4 pm) so that leaves us lots of time to get into things:
(like mama's brand new mascara)
but it also leaves us lots of time to take pictures:
(these pics are all from the 24th, btw) and to be silly:
afton even had a turn at the camera, here's her view of rayna:
and rayna's view of daddy (yep, we really go all out, that's raman noodles for lunch):

but there's also lots of fun time for reading. (the 31st) this is I SPY:

one quiet afternoon (the 28th) this even happened (i just knew she was an angel!):
this one is actually a regular occurrance, rayna likes to throw her blankey down on the kitchen floor and run and slide on it, then she pretends to sleep for a minute before jumping up and doing it all over again, cute, huh? just in case you thought we were getting too calm, here's

and her good pal


Monday, February 1, 2010

elaine's recipe tuesday part 1

see here if interested in the details: cook-blog-share-event
green curry (not authentic, but yummy)

1/4 onion, minced
1/4 + c. chopped mushrooms
1/2 small zucchini, diced
1/4 green bell pepper, diced
1/2-1 stalk celery, sliced thin
4 oz can diced green chilis
1 can coconut milk
dash salt
zest of 1-2 limes (can use juice for garnish)
1/4+ tsp curry powder (sorry i don't really measure that could be way off, do it to taste if you're worried)
1/2 c cooked chicken (pork would work too), shredded or diced

simmer onion and mushrooms over med heat with little oil til soft. add other veggies and coconut milk, bring to simmer til veggies just starting to soften, don't want them mushy. add seasonings and meat. serve over rice. (ps, i cook the rice in chicken stock rather than just water to boost the flavor, but you don't have to). (my kids like it when i add a little green food coloring too so it's really a green sauce, but it's probably more appealing to adults plain)

garnish with peanuts, lime juice, cilantro, celery leaves, green onion, chives, etc... serves 4