Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Veggie dishes

I was such a picky eater growing up. Peanuts were the only nuts I dared to eat, carrots and spinach, (yes spinach) were as crazy as the vegetables got. It wasn't until I was 25 years old and recently married that I realized how yummy food can really be. Now I LOVE to eat vegetables and I eat all sorts of nuts. I enjoy trying new things (with the exception of fish...it's a psychological thing, I'll readily admit that). I am proud that I have overcome picky eating and I find it fun to explore a variety of food choices. Just last week I went to the grocery store and bought eggplant. I didn't know what I was going to do with it when I bought it but I was determined to give it a try. It was pretty good, although I found all of those randomly dispersed seeds to be a pain. Anyway, I am currently trying to eat more vegetables and less unhealthy carbs so this is a shout out for all of your yummy vegetable dishes. Please share. Here are a few of my favorites:

Lemony Grilled Asparagus

2 Tbls. butter, melted
2 Tbls. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 bunches thick asparagus (about 2 pounds)

Combine all ingredients in ziplock bag and coat asparagus. Place asparagus on hot grill rack and cook 6-8 minutes or until lightly brown, turning over once. Serve hot.

Stuffed Peppers

6 large bell peppers (any color)
1 pound lean ground beef (I use ground turkey)
2 Tbls. chopped onion
1 cup cooked rice
1 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cut off top of pepper. Remove seeds and membranes and rinse peppers. Cook peppers in enough boiling water to cover them. (About 5 minutes). Drain.

Cook ground beef or turkey with the onion until browned all the way through. Stir in rice, salt, garlic and 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Cook until hot. (I don't eat a whole lot of rice so I separate a little bit of the meat without the rice for my own pepper).

Stuff peppers with meat mixture. Stand peppers upright in ungreased square baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over peppers. Cover and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes longer or until peppers are tender. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bon appetite!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another month of summer...

Well, summer is officially over. Kids are back in school, the leaves are falling off of the trees, and the air is starting to feel crisp. Although I LOVE summer, I also really love the Fall. I love the changing colors of the leaves, the smell of apple betty baking, celebrating my kids birthdays, and dressing up for Halloween. I love it all. If I could have Fall with out the promise of winter, I would be 100% happy. It is just that I know that Fall means that winter IS on its heels and that, with out a doubt, makes me anxious every year. I am NOT a winter person. I like the white, fluffy stuff for about a week and then I start to feel enclosed and chilled to the bone.

Colorado winters "aren't that bad". I know, I know. People never cease to tell me that every year. I even know that first hand after surviving an interminable winter in Rexburg, Idaho. But, being raised in southern California for the first 18 years of my life just kind of did a number on me and if I can't wear flip flops outside, than that is too much winter for me. So, what is a gal to do to survive another winter? Buy another month of summer, of course. And, that is exactly what I just did. I can't do this every winter, in fact, I will probably never do this again, or at least not for many, many more years. But, this is an opportunity that we just couldn't pass up. So, when January arrives, I'll be saying "adios" for a month and heading down south to Chile to spend a month with my parents and with Blaine's parents. Of course, Blaine and the kids are coming, too. I'd rather freeze in the snow WITH my family than bask in the Chilean summer sun with out them.

We had actually planned this trip for last Christmas. But, instead we were blessed with Ezra and so we postponed it to this year. Thanks to award travel miles and free lodging at my parent's Chilean home, this will actually be an affordable trip. So, although winter is coming, I'm not too worried about it this year because I just bought myself another month of summer! How great is that?!?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blog Book

Now I don't have to feel guilty about not scrapbooking and not keeping a detailed journal. My blog has become the "catch all"...scrapbook, journal, and family history. And thanks to Jolayne for letting me know about blurb.com, I have now created my first blog book. It was easy and fun to make and the price was reasonable (does this sound like a commercial?). I learned a few things that I would do differently when I create my 2008 blog book, such as go for the bigger book (this one is the 7x7 square book), and not to put more than 2 pictures per page.

I love the look of one picture per page. Four to a page is definitely too much and the pictures are too small to see much detail.

This is the back cover to our first blog book.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Girl's Slumber Party!!!

Bella was invited to a slumber party for Friday night. The funny thing is that I was invited, too. The invitation for me gave me a moment of pause as I haven't been invited to a slumber party for a LONG time but, when I found out it was a mommy/daughter slumber party, I was all over that! Oh, and did we have fun! We watched the new barbie movie and Bella and I painted each other's nails. She was VERY serious as she was giving me my manicure and pedicure and she keeps checking up on my nails in the days since to make sure they are still good. Of course, she put about 3 different THICK layers of different color paint on my nails (and skin) so I don't think it is going anywhere for awhile!

A night like this was probably overdue. Just the other night, I was getting ready to leave for a Stk. Young Women's training and Bella told me she didn't want me to go. I told her that I needed to and she said, "Mom, don't go. I'll give you a dollar." Her innocent bribe just about made me laugh and cry at the same time. When I repeated that I had to go, she tried to sweeten the bribe by making it three dollars. I was tempted to take her up on it. :)

Can you imagine all of the girly squeals we heard all night long!?! Bella was still going strong at midnight but I was crashing so we made our way to our sleeping bags and hit the sack.

Pink PJs and pink whoppers. I definitely foresee more mommy/daughter sleepovers in our future.

Oh, the choices!!!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ezra update

Ez is one little active guy. I swear Bella wasn't as active at this age as he is. Difference between a girl and a boy, perhaps, or just personality differences? He is pulling himself up onto everything and then after a few minutes he cries because he can't figure out how to get out or down from wherever he is, like under the table. He is also falling and bonking his head frequently. He is sooo fast at the army crawl now, it is funny to watch, especially on a slick floor like in the church gym. He is constantly trying to escape to the stairs and he is very quick and very good at going up them. He has had only one tooth for about two months now with no sign of others trying to pop through... we are tempted to call him snaggle tooth at times. He is waving bye bye and trying to say some words like "mama", "dada", and "bye bye". He loves to laugh and he can be quite the little clown at times. He also loves smiling and playing with everyone as long as they don't get too close. When they do, he starts to cry. He has a strong sense of "stranger danger" and separation anxiety from Mom and Dad right now. He is eating many more foods and keeping it all down so much better these days, he just eats in very small quantities and he is such a lightweight. He loves Ritz crackers and his baby oatmeal. He refuses to eat any baby food from a jar. He somewhat resembles a Chea pet because his hair grows so quickly! He has already had multiple trims. One more month and he will already be a year old! We can hardly believe it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

No, I didn't cry!

Today was Bella's first day of pre-school. The school is in my neighbor's basement (our backyards are literally back to back) so it wasn't too scary walking Bella around the corner and dropping her off at a trusted friend's house. Bella was so excited so you can imagine how long our morning was awaiting the start of her afternoon class.

In the 2.5 hours she was gone today, I was able to go grocery shopping in peace (Ez doesn't know how to beg for candy yet) and get some things done around the house while Ez took a nap. It was GLORIOUS!!! Bella loved her first day of school today and well, let's be honest, Mama loved it, too!

Bella and her BFF, Sophie, are in the same class.