Thursday, April 30, 2009

mr. robot-o

Our little man loves 'art prochekts'. He's pretty darned creative in coming up with them on his own, or even getting creative after given a 'prochekt' to do. This one, he came up with all on his own.
On Tuesday he walked into the kitchen at about 7:30 am and said, "Mommy, let's make a robot." And so we did! I drew the boxes and he colored and cut them all out. He didn't just cut out the robot, he actually cut each box and then taped them back together so he "looked more real". If you look closely, I've been told he has special buttons that make him do "cool stuff".

In other news - Poppy and Mom-Mom came over to visit us on Friday and we had fun at a semi-local tourist gathering that features a village full of shops and eateries - complete with horse and buggy rides if you so desire (Hudson desired, but it didn't happen this time!). At the place we ate lunch, they gave the kids a token to get a gingerbread man and then decorate it for eating pleasure.

Anna just liked holding Poppy's hand the best. (She loves Poppy and woke up on Friday night in the middle of the night calling for him.)

I just have to finish with this shot I took at night time (I LOVE MY CAMERA :) of this gorgeous peanut that graces us with her delightful smiles everyday...I don't want to ever forget what she looks like when she is angelically sleeping her night away.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

my crazy concoctions

So I like to cook. Really, I guess the word is experiment. Yes, I can follow a recipe with the best of them (with much thanks to my Mama who is a culinary and baking wizard raised in the South), but I really enjoy experimenting. I like to look at what I have in my fridge/pantry, recall a recipe from general memory, and throw together spices and foods that our palettes savor. Much to the chagrin of my hubby, I often don't write my creations down and then he asks, "Can you make ______ again?"

I often then try to throw stuff together as best I can...and it usually comes pretty close. I like trying new spices (my new fave is ground chipolte - yum) and using cinnamon as an interesting taste that many can't identify when used sparingly but creates a yummy 'warm' taste. I also like taking full-fat recipes from online or cookbooks and paring them down and sneaking in more veggies and fruits. (Did you know that you can puree fresh spinach and put it in almost anything and you can't tell - ok, anything is a bit of an exaggeration). I am going to try now to write down as much as I can - or recall it from memory afterwards (if I remember).

So last night I created something loosely based on a recipe, and thrown together from stuff I had - and it was TASTY! Chris told me I had to make again sometime, so it is written down and since then, I have had a few ask me for the recipe (after his 'raves'). So here it is...

Cilantro Lime Marinated Fish with Apricot Mango Salsa
juice of a lime, 2T of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, two shakes of garlic salt, 1/4 bunch of cilantro finely chopped, a splash of OJ and 1t of chipolte (whisk all together but oil then slowly add oil while stirring to incorporate well). Marinate white fish for at least 1 hour.

Apricot Mango Salsa
1 mango (seeded, peeled, diced), 5 dried apricots chopped, 1/4 cup chopped red onion, salt, 3T frozen limeade, 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (1/4 after the chopping), big spoonful of apricot fruit spread (spreadable all-fruit jam) - combine, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Now, I would normally also add 1 small jalapeno seeded and ribs out, but last night I didn't because we were sharing the meal.

Bake/grill/broil your fish and serve on top of brown rice. Spoon mango salsa on top of fish....YUM!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Race Day

Runners, set. GO! Okay, so this was the finish, but I saw this and thought, wow, my form is pretty good for the end of the first road race of the spring...and then I looked closely at my foot. We think this is hilarious! Mom's camera isn't the kind for motion shots, and if you look at my lead foot, you can tell - it looks like it is 2 feet long! HA! No wonder I ran so fast - it's those boat size feet....oh, and the fact that it was 70 with no wind; that was advantageous as well.

Mer joined me for her first race ever, and she did awesome! She was convinced that she would hold me back, but not a bit at all - in fact, that last killer hill she got the go=ahead from me to kick my booty. She runs hills all the time and you should've seen her; that hill was nuttin' and I was dyin'. (As well as the girl on the side of the road that was reviewing the contents of her breakfast.)I was happy as I finished 2 minutes better than my last year's time at this run....Mer was about 20 seconds in front of me. We were probably an odd duo to watch running this together as we are about 9 inches different in height. I walked to take a drink and she had to keep running to keep up with my walk (at that point, I did feel rather giantous when she told me that! :0) My wonderful husband, Anna Banana, Hudson, Grandmom, Marion and Peter all came to cheer us on near the finish line. Here we are - we made it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

a few shots of easter festivitites

I had a blast at Hudson's preschool helping with the Easter Celebration (that's right -they celebrated the REAL Easter! I loved a really cool poem he learned about the women going to the empty tomb and am going to try to get him to do it so I can post it on here.) My friend Beth watched Anna so that I would be able to spend some Mommy and Hugs time at school. He thought it was so cool that Mommy could be there. (Man, I hope that lasts forever...don't tell me if it doesn't.)
pre- my new hair, I needed a change....

We had a great Easter Sunday - it was so every Sunday should be, but as a believer, celebrating Christ's defeat over death and sin - PRAISE THE LORD! Chris had a busy weekend with Good Friday service and three Easter services and was ready to relax by the time Sunday lunch rolled around. He did a phenomenal job (as always) of leading God's family into an encounter with the Holy Spirit. He helps prepare hearts, through music, to hear and accept God's spoken Word.

So here are some attempts at Easter photos...these never seem to work out exactly as I have "pictured" in my head. I guess that's why you pay the professional some times.
after my new haircut....Ok, so I did get one good shot of my kids this week - they were opening a very special present from a very special family to us....Ms. Merle and gang sent us an Easter package (wrapped in Canadian Maple Leaf tape!) and Hugs and Banana were very excited; as you can see.

Foxy Lady

Yes, I am a foxy lady. Really. Not tooting my own horn, but I have now had an encounter with a fox....hehe, and you thought that I was going to post a picture of myself. At least my hubby thinks I am foxy - that's all that matters to me. :) I was in the kitchen with Anna washing the dishes on a rainy preschool morning this past week and I nearly fell over when I saw this creature of beauty prancing across our lawn.I looked about 4 times to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me...they weren't. First instinct - a coyote looking for a 'yote snack (that's what we called people's cats in AZ - 'yote snacks - people that move there are so dumb because they leave their cats out and then put up signs about missing cats all over communities. Get a grip, they are obviously already a pile of poop somewhere in the desert already. Sorry, I digress).

So moving on - after realizing it wasn't a coyote, I grabbed my camera, pulled Anna to the sliding glass door and we marveled at this beauty for a while. She pranced in the yard while crossing to the meadow, where I am assuming she lives. Speaking of poop, for someone that didn't have a dad that hunted, I amazingly am able to tell a lot about animals from poop. Well, more than the average housewife I'd say. Must've been those good classes at summer camp. Hudson and I have noticed many different animals that habitate in the meadow - but I never imagined a fox.

She stopped and looked at us looking at her and then began her journey back to her den. I like to think she was going back there to love on her adorable litter of little ones. But that's just the mama in me. Yup, I'm a foxy lady - and so is Anna.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2 movies, too much cuteness

#2 - What is wrong with PA in APRIL?!?!?!?!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chris' Music Hero Heaven

We recently attended the United Tour concert - I say it by name, because according to Chris, everyone should instantaneously know who was in this "union"....his musical heroes, his childhood and adolescent inspiration, his impetus for creating a fan website in HS and getting recognized for it, his look-alike older version of himself - Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith. (People tell him he looks like MWS.)

We travelled with Ma and Pa Smith ;o) and enjoyed the concert at a beautifully restored opera house...along with a sold-out crowd. The duo began the night with some incredible worship to bring our minds and spirits to the place where they should be, ventured into some friendly banter, and also did solo sets. Chris and I agree that it was neat to see how much they respect and loved each other. Between the two of them, they have written some of the most well loved and known Contemporary Christian songs; really, who can not get past a middle school dance with out Smitty's "Friends", or attend a wedding or shop in a mall without hearing SCC's "Cinderella". I loved MWS the most because of the amount of congregational worship he led us in - by far the best was "Mighty to Save" which has been a fave of mine since last fall. SCC's best (in my opinion) was "Yours", which if you are a Beth-blog-follower, know that I have referenced many times over the past year. I'd say that those two songs alone were worth the ticket; that and the fact that Pa treated us to some good peanut M&Ms during intermission.

We left the concert a little early (uh, it was slated to be a 3 hour and 15 minute concert) because of our little people at home with a very gracious and loving big person (thanks Mr. Dave - he deserves a medal of honor for the night he had!). Photo credits go to Steve and Whitney who were also at the concert, right up front! :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finally about Florida

It's taken me a bit to get my act together enough to post some pix from Florida. We did have a fabulous time in the sunshine, the pool, watching baseball, and spending time with Florida. It was also special for us because we were able to spend some time with my cousin Alli, my grandparents and my great-aunt. Some highlights (which if you watch the slideshow carefully) are: riding boat on the canal, scaring the birds from the backyard, watching baseball (Uncle B's team was there for Spring training), swimming, Bryan taking Alli and I to the Magic Game and then to Downtown Disney, DYE-ing mom's hair, and Sea World. Hudson and Anna's faves were writing books with Aunt Jean and Grandmother, swimming, playing with Grandmom and Alli and getting many treats. We had a blast - but were happy to come back after 10 days - we missed Daddy!