Monday, June 29, 2009

giveaway on the SSC site

Yeah!! I just joined the Secret Stitch Etsy site. I made 3 bath aprons, if your wondering what that is - basically an apparatus to keep you dry while your kids get clean & then use it to dry them off once they finish. You can see them if you look to the right (red, blue, and cream towelish looking aprons) aren't they pretty? Okay so to celebrate I'm giving away this kids apron that I made on the SSC site and Christie is giving away a lime colored apron she made adult sized. You can't enter the giveaway here - You have to go to the SSC page and leave a comment. I hope you win!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

kids lovin' on dad

to my first bff

I remember the first time Paige told me I was her best friend. She was about 2 years old and it melted my heart. I thought to myself, I am so lucky to be her first bff. I know it won't last and she will move on, but for this moment I will love every minute of it.

So, I thought I would take a moment to recognize my first bff, my dad. He will always be my hero no matter how old I get. His spirit has never aged (it still thinks it's 20-ish) while his body is looking more 60-ish. I am proud of the man he is and hope that my son will turn out just as great (this picture was taken on my 1st birthday, my dad was 34).

Happy Jason Day

This was my last pday in the mission field. Jason had already been home for 4 months. He was back touring with his family. My father-in-law asked me to come home and date his son while we were at the Colleseo. Good times... if they only knew what the next 10 years would bring them, ha, ha, ha)
This was Jason and I in the mission field (I apologize for the irreverence of the picture - what do you do when your twenty something in a foreign country and living like nuns - you get your kicks where you can)
This was the twenty year old I fell for ... what a smokin hot guy, even if he was a missionary.

This is Jason in our first apartment getting ready to move to AZ.

My crazy, wonderful, amazing trophy husband. I love him more and more as time goes by and I'm constantly reminding myself just how good I have it with him. Happy Father's Day to a guy who makes me laugh daily (and never reads this blog - so he never knows how "crazy" I am for him) Sei Grande!

Barbacoa Pork & Cilantro Rice

I've made this a few times now and every time it gets rave reviews. I think it's supposed to be true to Cafe Rio, but only having been there a few times I can not tell you truthfully... regardless it's mighty tasty (I got this recipe & pictures from Heidikins) - I've made this two different ways... a) super-spicy-so-you-need-a-sour-cream-chaser-to-wash-it-down-with AND b) yummy-with-a-pleasant-kick-to-it-so-your-kids-and-overly-picky-brother-in-law-will-love-it. I prefer it the second way.

Barbacoa Pork (Cafe Rio style)
4 to 8 pound pork loin or roast
21 oz. Dr. Pepper
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
7 oz. can chipotle chiles in adobe sauce
6 oz. red taco sauce (medium or mild)
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. cumin

Directions for pork: Cut your pork in about 4 or 5 large chunks. Fill the crock pot half way with water. Cook in the crock pot on low for 10 to 12 hours. After your pork is nice and tender, drain the water from it. Add the sauce, put the pork back in the crock pot for 4 to 6 hours. It will literally fall apart when you are ready to serve it.

directions for the sauce: Let the brown & white sugars dissolve in a bowl with the Dr. Pepper. Add the garlic, taco sauce, dry mustard, and cumin. IF WANT IT YUMMY WITH A LITTLE KICK: put the entire can of chipotle adobe sauce in with the Dr. Pepper mixture. Then either strain it as you pour it onto the pork or scoop out the huge chiles. IF YOU WANT IT KICKIN' SPICY: Leave the chilies in while you cook it for the last 4 to 6 hours and scoop them out when your ready to serve it.

Below is the recipe for the cilantro rice. If you want the recipe for the Cafe Rio Tomatillo dressing or a recipe for pico de gallo click here.

Cilantro Rice (Cafe Rio style)
3 cups water
4 tsp chicken bullion
1 tsp cumin
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 of a yellow onion
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 can (4oz.) green chilles
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs. butter
3 cups Jasmine rice (or reg. rice - not 5 minute rice), uncooked

Directions: Get you water boiling, add the cumin, salt, and bullion to the water. I put the garlic and onion in the food processor so they were chopped up fine. Chop up your cilantro, add it and the remaining ingredients. Turn the heat down to simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until rice is done. 

Happy Eating!! My brother in law could not say enough good about it and swears it's better than the overly popular Cafe Rio. That's pretty amazing coming from Matt (who is so picky he eats a total of 10 food items)

Monday, June 15, 2009

because he is James


Today we went swimming with some friends and James wanted to go to the lazy river. I couldn't go with him because I was holding Abbey, he grabbed my hand and dragged me toward the lazy river, when I told him we couldn't go because of Abbey, he said, "Mom, you are ruining my life" "I didn't know you had 'a life', James" He shook his head and said again, "you are ruining my life" (where does he hear these things? I think Nickelodeon plays too many tween shows during James prime TV watching hours) 

Our washer is broke. It has been for a few days now. Clothes are starting to pile up. We are wearing things that went out of style a long time ago due to lack of clean clothes (don't fret Sears is coming over tomorrow)


Tonight James is getting ready for bed and I told him he had a choice 1) a pair of underwear with a hole in them OR 2) dirty underwear. He was really stressed out over the choice and when he responded "I just don't know, Mom" I couldn't help but bust up - then he replied "Your making a fool of me" (yeah, I think my kids watch too much TV)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

making dolls with dolls

I had some innocent victims over today. Sometimes it's just nice to play with other peoples kids instead of your own. My cousins kids were left up to my care and we had us some good times. 

I thought they would love the pool.They liked the pool... the whole 15 minutes they were in it. Then they liked the snacks and sitting on their towels in the shade chatting. I think they are still too young to check out the hoard of teenage life guards (who blew their whistles like mad and dove in to get James out quick as he strayed to close to the rope, while I was chatting up other moms not paying attention to anything much at all. yes, still going for worst mom of the year 3rd year in a row now.)

When we got back we decided to make dolls, like glamtastic Raggedy Ann dolls. These took 6 hours longer then we anticipated. Thank goodness for hot glue guns or they might still be over here working away like Santa's elves on Christmas Eve.

This is Macey's Annie doll. All she needed was a pill box hat and fly-esque sunglasses and she would have been a mini Jackie O. The cocktail dress and satin bow is just so demure and adorable.

This is Asia's doll - a bit more sass and check out those ballet inspired Mary Janes. I love the shaggy bangs.

Kristen showed up after five to pick them up, but they conspired against that and used all their persuasive powers to convince us they had to finish them tonight. I had amnesia and for some reason only thought we had another hour or two worth of work left. About 4 hours later Sara came by to take them home.

You have to admit - it was time well spent. And I didn't make them for them or design them at all. This was definitely a team project.... go team glam Annie doll! You girls are too much fun and can come back any time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

San Diego - Legoland

We had the great fortune of staying just a few blocks away from the San Diego temple. One night we had to run to the closest drug store and as we were driving I looked across the parking lot and out of nowhere was this amazing temple. It looked out of place. Here is a shopping center and just across the way is this amazing edifice. We spent some time walking around the grounds. The only disappointment is there isn't a visitors center, the area is super small but it is amazing. We went to the tiny distribution center and Ethan wanted to buy a combo, James got a Book of Mormon, and Paige got a gospel art kit.
My handsome guys.

The beautiful SD temple & three pretty great kids.

This selection of photos are the last for me to upload and share about our trip. We spent 2 days at Legoland and even if you are not a Lego enthusiast it is a pretty cool park, with a couple of exceptions. All rides are for 42' and up (4 years old or 5-ish) and the age that you max out at would be around 9 or 10 (maybe older if you REALLY love legos) - there are no rides for under 42' inches (oh actually. There is a storybook boat ride and a tiny train that circles a playground, but that is it, 2 rides) - Abbey spent a lot of time in her stroller.

We found a shark willing to oblige us, but Paige & Ethan tasted probably as stinky as they smelled and the shark just couldn't keep them down.

Another attempt - rats... nothing worked. We kept the kids after all.

whose having more fun? This is a little mini roller coaster. It's a fun ride, but I think it would be disappointing if the wait were longer then 20 minutes.

Here the kids are deciphering the ride. This is a fairly new "Indiana Jones" type ride with laser guns. It's not even a little scary and the targets are a little hard to hit. Kind of surprising that Abbey couldn't ride with us. 

The man himself with a greenish colored skin, he shouldn't have eaten the extra bread stick. Stay away from the carbs, Indy they are no good at your age.

Two blonds and what is up with Paige's ensemble? She looks like some Bohemian child. It's so fun when your kids are old enough to dress themselves. You never know what you are going to get.

This was the main show that got top billing. We like Bob, but the show was disappointing (like watching an episode with 3-D glasses). After coming from Sea World where they know how to put on a good show - Legoland had little to offer and not very good ones from what we saw.

The kids with Bob's understudy.

I blame Aunt Jen for Paige's pose in this picture. Every missionary picture Jason had from home when Jen was like 15 or so had her in this pose. Really? I call this ride Bionicle Teacups. It was fun and had no line which was an added bonus.

Look what we fished out of the sharks mouth. He wanted to keep this one - but she is a tasty little morsel and what would have to kiss on if the shark got Abbey? Two boney, sassy kids - just not the same. Abbers is way too kissable to give up.

Darth Vader humored Paige while R2D2 got some James lovin'

Legoland has really inventive rides. For being for younger children, they have some really creatively fun twists. In this ride you can shoot people walking by or playing on the playground, only trouble is that they can also shoot you back.

James & Paige love the small villages, cities, and towns

The Curse of the Mummified James

almost all their tiny rides have pictures to go along with them... good times.
This is the build-a-bear ride. You get to bleep, blop, beep, boop, punch in a few tricks and this thing shakes you up one side and throws you down the other. It's fun to watch, but I opted to sit out with the kids. There are serious restrictions to this ride - no moms over thirty who would probably puke on the innocent bystanders.

This was another pretty inventive rides. You pull yourself up by ropes and then get the "free fall" down. I didn't get a chance to ride it - but it looked like a little bit of a workout.

James & Jason showing off thier muscles.

Here is the temple from the shopping parking lot.

running to get on a ride - but there is no line.

Ethan & James flying high.

Ethan and James had a photo shoot in the hotel room - kids can only stay sane in a confined space for so long.

My cute girl - Paige

She is a dragon tamer as well...

This ride reminded me of Mary Poppins when the carosel horses break free and race in the derby. These go up and down in the same way.

This is the cave of wonders - watch out for the low hanging ice cicles - maybe the bear will kiss her better.

My attempt at Legos, Jason and Abbey were asleep so we amused ourselves.

waiting for the "big kids" so we could go on another ride.

I truly hate spongebob squarepants. I can only handle so much potty humor, good think Nickelodean plays it for at least 6 hours every day.

This was Paige & Ethan's favorite ride - the Volvo driving school. Did you know if you go to the park driving a Volvo you actually get preferred parking - not so if you drive a Honda.

Paige, Thomas and James

more from the hotel photo shoot - is that a "steamy scene"? or just a lens with too many fingerprints on it?

James making me laugh - something he is quite good at.

Abbey's one ride - yeah. The kids got to ride in their very own boat.

No lines at the entrance - that is always a good sign!

Ethan & Paige flying planes

King James getting ready for the dragon mini roller coaster ride - just outside this ride is where they sell the "apple fries" - really good stuff. Like eating an apple pie, but they are fries. Really good stuff. In fact I was pretty impressed by the food we had in this park. They have really good stuff (pricey) but good.

JAmes, Ethan & Paige in the cute tiny train in the play park area.

still a little confused by what they are trying to tell us - but we'll take our chances on this ride.

James & Jason having fun

James and his bff, Thomas

This ride almost seems like the rides in the mall that cost a quarter. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Paige proving she has the mad skills to survive driving in Southern California.

Worlds Best Baby Award... and the winner is "Aburps." SHe really was so amazing to sit and squeal on demand.

Ethan mozying along.

Ethan takes on a bionicle

Ethan & Paige

This ride actually looked cool, but you had to be 9 years old and it was a 45 minute experience. So what were the rest of us to do while we waited? Most of the rides had to be accompanied by an adult... 

Sir Ethan-a-lot

Paige & Ethan get close to a dino. This little roller coaster was fun & they let you go twice back to back.

Ethan makes friends with friendly pups in the cave of doom?
Ethan & Jason feel what it feels like to be a Jamba Juice smoothie.

James & Jason showing off for the ladies.

Abbers, being the sweet little stinker that she is - no wonder she's my favorite. She always lets me kiss on her, she doesn't sass (yet), and she does what I tell her to. You got to love babies.

The End.