Monday, September 12, 2011

Always Something to Tell

Our first produce from the garden
Kaitlyn's birthday wish: Camel Ride. :)
 Kansas City Royals Game!
 My daugher, the author
 Liza was cold and instead of getting her a sweatshirt, I put her in mine.
 Kaitlyn's first day of school!!!
It's taken a bit to get my act together and back in the groove of life.   We have so many fun and adventurous things going on and the best part is we've never left the city!  We're SOAKING it up here in Lees Summit.  We have been out on the lake skiing with friends a lot and the hubs was able to do it before work regularly until he pulled a muscle in his low back 3 weeks ago!  He rested well for 1 week but couldn't help getting out there again and re-injured it... bummer.  So I gave him a massage tonight and he's still taking meds and trying to stretch.  Poor guy!  He's never hurt his back before and it's a shocker to him.  He's gotten some good perspective on what my lower back is always feeling like though, so at least it's been educational. :) 
Hubs says he had his best birthday yet.  He didn't really want anything except some necessities so we didn't have a big plan for the b-day.  I figure my signature gift is always great food so we had corn-flake crunchy french toast for breakfast, taco salad for lunch, and RIBS for dinner with Apple pie... YUM!  A gift to us all.  But he did decide on a b-day present that day at Home Depot.  We purchased supplies and built a fire pit in the backyard.  It's AWESOME!  We've had a couple fires out there already and it's been so much fun with the weather so nice.  We all worked in the yard and trimmed the trees, weeded, built a fire pit and felt like it was really productive and fun.  We feel like we're playing house a little since we're renting so it makes the home chores fun.
Kiatlyn is LOVING school.  Her favorite part is being picked up at our driveway by the school bus.  Mr. Mel, the bus driver, is so nice and she gets a huge kick out of it.  She's slowly learning kids names at school and starting to re-regurgitate real info to me about what she's been doing.  We have a neighbor that comes over every morning for an hour and 1/2 to ride the bus with Kaitlyn because he mom's a teacher so we've been enjoying the friendship they have together.  Kaitlyn's so sweet and smart.  She loves to make story books about puppies and kittens.  She's currently working on Charlie the Cougar kitten's adventures... keep you posted.
Liza's... so Liza right now.  She's been a joy to have since Kaitlyn's been at school and loves the 1 on 1 time together.  She's a great helper and such a great companion during the day.  Once her sister comes home, she is all over the charts with emotions.  One moment she's sweet, the next she's destroying something or bullying.  It's a full time job just keeping them alive in the same room sometimes.  We're working on it with a sticker chart for being nice. :)  That said... I feel for you all because I feel like I'm watching myself when I see her sometimes.  Sorry about the sibling abuse that I'm positive went on thanks to me.  Let's just remember that Liza and I are have/had extreme sweetness to balance it out.
Mary's decided to start a dance class in the basement.  You heard me right.  We took the kids to a festival in town and there was a little dance company performing.  I was so excited to show them what that was like and excited to get Kaitlyn involved in dance.  BUT, they came out to perform and I was appalled to see the 3-5 yr old wearing skimpy 2 piece costumes and doing embarrassing dance moves to totally inappropriate music.  YIKES!!!  I was floored and realized that I'm not in Kansas anymore... errr, or I'm in Kansas now.   So Inspired by Emma and Caroline's recital at the church last Christmas, we're doing a 3-4 class and 5-6 class.   My basement is one huge room with linoleum tiles and we purchased mirrors for the length of a wall.  Wish me luck!  I've also figured out a playgroup with 10 other mom's each week that rotates and we get to socialize while the kids enjoy and a mom's morning out with a few mom's each week so I get 3 mornings to be productive each month. Good stuff.
In other news... I got another calling today.  Prepare yourselves.  Call it Karma, but I've been called as the Choir pianist.  Gasp!  I was petrified today at practice.  They called me before church and I was doing it after church with no practicing.  It's just what the dr. ordered I think.  Lots of humility and hard work ahead.   
So between our busting at the seems garden, fire-pit, forest trails, play dates, school schedule, zoo pass, boating, church, and loving each other, it's been a great time.  No luck on the baby-front yet so send the prayers and please come visit us.  It's a joy here, sheer joy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hello Missouri

We are officially Missourians. I have to say this our change from being IN residency to A resident is a beautiful - beautiful thing. We are renting a home for the year and I can't even begin to talk about the joy that I feel about private property. Nor am I able to talk about the concept of THE GARAGE without tearing up. Yes folks... I'm happy. Our dinner table looks over a lake, so Zach's happy. :) Kaitlyn has a rope swing, so she's happy. We now have a 3/4 acre lot and Liza is hyper aware of anything that crawls, flies, or creeps so she's... scared, but to soften the blow there is a slide, so she's also happy. I'll send pics of our smiling faces.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dissertations and Dinners

Tomorrow is Zach's thesis dissertation. He took his boards last spring which was SOOOO nice to have completed and for him to not have to spend spare time in the basement studying. But he's still been working on his thesis which has taken it's fair share of time. So tomorrow is a REALLY exciting day for the both of us. The thesis defense is from 5-? It goes as late as it needs to but we're required to provide a meal. Well we decided to give them a taste of Utah and I'm making Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salads. Not the easy coke/brown sugar recipe, but this is the 3 days of cooking variety. It's an incredible copycat recipe my friend Kristen led me to and it's ROCKING! I've finished the rice and meat and tomorrow is guacamole, beans, tortillas and all the extra prep. Every time I try the rice and meat my knees buckle and I throw my head back in joy.
It's really fun for me to be able to directly contribute to something... I know it's food but it's a huge love language of mine. Wish me luck on the rest of the recipe and getting it set up and still warm when they need to eat it. :) My incredible friend from church is making a lemon lime cheese cake for me... I could cry I'm so grateful. I'll give you an update when the marathon is over. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Houstin we have a problem...

I honestly can't keep up a current blog list. Last night while I was diligently adding to my list I accidentally canceled the entire gadget instead of just the address I was putting in. I am a fairly capable individual I'll have you know. But I have this incredible ability to make my blogging life more difficult. Sooooo, if your address isn't over there in the column and I know you... :) Can you please give me your site info because I'm determined to be a better communicator.

This is how we felt last night when the list was deleted. The crying came after the screaming...

I spent the last 45 min. finding some of you... but I'd like to have all of you... and I can't keep searching because the children have fed themselves breakfast and Kaitlyn even helped herself to her own vitamins. hummm... Let's hope the noise coming from upstairs is both of them putting on their clothes, brushing their teeth, braiding their own hair, learning to read and scrubbing my baseboards. :) I'm just going to keep thinking happy thoughts and get going.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I have Conquered Tofu!

So I'll have you know that I've had a long and at times painful relationship with tofu. We should be a match made in heaven, it's got everything I love in a food product. Tofu is nutritious and versatile and CHEAP! The trouble has been that in the past it's not been a great substitute for Chicken or Ground beef because of the texture and taste. WELL, I THINK I'VE GOT SOME GOOD TIPS I'VE FINALLY FIGURED OUT!

Tofu Tip #1: Don't cut the block of tofu! It will never feel like meat in your mouth if it's in perfect cubes. This has been my mistake from the beginning. Instead, either break it apart with your hands which makes it crumble or put it into a food processor and chop it up into bits. I'm a food processor fan.

Tofu Tip #2: Fry it with Onions. I've experienced fried tofu from others that tastes great, but I've never been able to achieve it. Throwing it in with minced onions insures it tastes like something!

Tofu Tip #3: Don't fry it too long! Tofu turns into hard plastic when it's left on the stove frying. Also the oil can't be too hot. This is all trial and error.

Tofu Tip #4: I like to use it in recipies that already have lots of flavor, specifically mexican dishes. Works great as a filler in Taco Soup, replace the chicken in Enchiladas, and last night we devoured it with taco salad. :) Hurray! You could also easily do the same with a teriaki sauce or curry and coconut milk.

Here's the Taco Salad Recipe:

I block of Tofu:
Crumble or food processor
1/2 onion: chopped or food processor
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 package Taco seasoning
1/3 cup Salsa

Saute the onion and tofu together in the oil. When onions are cooked add the taco seasoning and let it combine for a couple minutes. Turn the stove off and mix in the salsa. Use it for the chicken or beef substitute in enchiladas, burritos, or salad.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I love London in the Fall

Life always keeps going on at a faster and faster pace. I noticed 2 posts ago (last year) I said I'd be a better updater... well that didn't work out. We've got so much to be grateful for it's good to stop and take a moment to write it down and record it.

Kaitlyn is nearly 4 1/2 and is growing like a weed these days. We do school together at home and she can read about 40 words. It's really rewarding to see her growing up and asking all kids of questions. Yesterday she said, "Daddy, will you be my prince? Every princess needs a prince." She changes out of her clothes about every other day and into a ballerina tutu and then dances around the house. She swims like a fish and is picking up a lot of speed on her bike.

Liza's turned 2 and speaks in sentences at 2 volumes: moderate and ear piercing. She cracks us up with her constant stream of thought which usually centers around Princesses and wanting to see neighbors, family, and dogs. She doesn't make a move without a purse on her arm and frequently gets her shoes on and her purse and tells me "Bye Mama! I going to the temple, it's Sunday." She's creature of habit and every night she asks me to sing "I love to see the temple" and "I am a Child of God". It melts my heart.

Zach has 5 months left in school! The end of a decade long process. We got married 6 months before he began dental school and we'll graduate a month after our 10 yr anniversary!!! This is a big year. He defends his thesis in a week and a half and I'm going to cook the dinner we have to provide to the panel.... :) I'm looking forward to it - I think. We're set on where we are going after school and after we settle some legal matters, we'll make a big announcement but we'll be returning to the States. We've LOVED living in Canada and we'll miss our friends here but it will be nice to get in closer proximity to family and friends and to not have to cross the border. :)

As for me... my parents just came to visit us last week after being released from a church mission. It was SO NICE to have them here and be around our kids and see how we do things. We really love having house guests and grandparent guests are the greatest. While Mom was here we finished a project I started when Zach's Mom was here... a quilt for Kaitlyn's bed. It's my first one attempted on my own, but as you can see, it required help to start and stop. So I can't say I can sew yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Psychoanalysis Session #1

FOOD = HAPPINESS. I don't mean in the normal way. I mean in a feed me or I'll scream sort of a way. And who wants to be screaming at the kidlets. It's just a hypoglycemic state that needs some balancing out. So in an effort to maintain "love at home" I need some suggestions on good snacks... MOM SNACKS. I feed the kids stuff all day but don't stop to munch something. So I'm looking for your best complex carb/protein packed/sugarless suggestions out there. My sugar levels appreciate your concern and comments. :)