Pieces of Me

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is it Summertime??

With the weather being beautiful, we've been able to go outside and splash around. It kids love playing in the water!! The Elmo Sprinkler that Hannah got when she turned 2 (and was terrified of) has been a great hit. Here are just some pics of the kids having a blast.











And then, a few weeks ago, Stephen and I got to spend some one on one time with just Cayden. Grandma took Hannah to a wedding. So we took Cayden to a local park and played hard. Then we stopped by to see Grandpa. He and Grandpa had so much fun playing together. Cayden felt like he was super-boy. . . getting this special attention. Hard to believe he turns 2 on Sunday.













Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lots of Goings On

Our life has been so full this past week. 

First big news, Stephen and I bought a 2nd car.  We paid cash for a 1991 Ford Explorer.  It's in very good condition and after being a 1 car family for the past 2 1/2 years, I'm just sooooo excited to have a car of my own.  And it's big enough to get the stroller, 3 kids, and stuff in without feeling cramped.  I'm just so happy. :)

Second, my mom starts her new job on Tuesday.  Tonight, Hannah is spending the night with Mammaw.  She's so excited.  Cayden is already in bed, and I'm waiting for Stephen to get home so we can do our workout together.  And in addition to this small strength training workout, Stephen and I have started to go over to J & E's and walk/jog with them.  Of course, they leave for Hawaii in a week and then we'll be exercising on our own for 9 days, BUT I can do this.  I am committed.

Fourth, I was able to attend Hannah's final field trip this week.  This is the first "real" field trip I got to go on with her.  I went on the first trip, but that was to Build-A-Bear.  This time we went to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center.  Ever hear of a chocolate flower?  I think we're going to plant some in our front yard under our windows. . . . smell so yummy.

And finally, we have an odd leak in our bathroom/bedroom.  Thankfully, it's intermittent and not a continuous leak.  It's related to something with the tub drain, but we did have to pull carpet, cut the pad, and remove the tack (which was BLACK).  Ernie came over and helped get it under control.  We'll see what happens throughout the week.

Feel like I need to share the menu for the week.

Tonight - Skillet Beef and Beer Stew.  This was really yummy and says it feels 4, but I took it to church and it fed me and a ton of other people so if you feed it to a family of four, it's a crazy portion size :)

Monday - Tuscan Roast Chicken  (Prep - 10 min, Cook - 40 min, Serves 4+ leftovers) POINTS value - 7; Side dishes - corn and couscous

Ingredients -

  • 2 T chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t crushed red paper
  • 6 (1/2 lb) bone-in chicken breasted, skinned
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix the rosemary, garlic, oil, lemon zest, salt, and crushed red pepper in  a bowl.  Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  3. Place the chicken on a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.  Increase the oven temp. to 450.  Drizzle vinegar over the chicken.  Bake, uncovered, until chicken is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into a breast registers 170 degrees, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a platter and let stand about 5 minutes.
  4. Skim any fat from the pan juices.  Sever the pan juices w/ 4 of the chicken breasts.  Let the remaining chicken cool.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Tuesday - Tex-Mex Chicken Pizza (Prep - 10 min, Cook - 9 min, Serves 6).  POINTS Value - 5; Side Dish - Salad

Ingredients -

  • Prebaked thin whole-wheat pizza crust (10 oz)
  • Leftover chicken from Monday's meal
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese blend (shredded)
  • 1 scallion
  • 2 T pickled jalapenos

Directions - Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Shred leftover chicken and discard bones.   Place pizza crust on a baking sheet.  C0mbine the chicken and BBQ sauce.  Spoon over the crust, leaving a 1 inch border around the rim.  Top w/ black beans, bell pepper, cheese, scallion, and jalapenos.  Bake until the crust is browned on the bottom and the cheese is melted, 9-10 minutes.  Cut into 6 wedges.

Wednesday - Red Snapper and Black Bean/Pineapple Rice

Ingredients -

  • 3/4 c uncooked long-grain brown rice
  • 4 T orange juice
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 4 T finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pink (1/16 t sugar)
  • 4 snapper fillets (5 oz each), rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 3/4 c med. salsa
  • 1 can no-salt-added, black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c chopped pineapple

Directions -

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook rice according to package instructions
  2. In a large, shallow bowl, combine orange and lime juices, olive oil, 2 T cilantro, garlic, and sugar, please salt and pepper to taste.  Add snapper fillets and marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  3. In a 3-quart baking dish, combine rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and 1 T cilantro.  Place snapper over mixture, overlapping fillets if necessary.  Spoon remaining marinade over fish.
  4. Bake uncovered until fish is cooked through about opaque, about 25-30 minutes.  Sprinkle remaining cilantro on top and serve.

Makes 4 servings.  466 calories, 10 g fat, 5 g fiber

Thursday -  Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin and Rice Pilaf

Rice Pilaf - Prep 10 minutes; Cook 15 minutes

Ingredients -

  • 3 T minced red onion
  • 1 1/2 T minced baby carrot
  • 2 t canola oil
  • 3/4 t thyme
  • 3/4 cup instant brown rice
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth

Directions -

  1. In a saucepan, combine onion, carrot, oil, thyme, and salt to taste.  Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes.  Add rice.  Stir to coast with seasonings.  Add broth.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cover so mixture just simmers.  Cook for 12 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork. 

Makes 4 servings.  188 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g fiber

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin - Prep 15 minutes, Cook 35 minutes

Ingredients -

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 t sage
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1/2 t minced garlic
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper

Directions -

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees
  2. Cover a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place pork on pan.  Drizzle oil over pork; spring with sage, thyme, garlic, salt to taste, and pepper.  Rub to coat evenly with seasonings.
  3. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 155 degrees and the juices run clear, about 30-35 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Makes 4 servings.  160 calories, 6 g fat, 0 fiber

 

Okay, that's all for now. . I have more recipes, but Friday is going to be unpredictable since we're celebrating C's birthday.

XOXO - RAM

Monday, April 14, 2008

I am Jesus' Little Lamb

Beautiful Savior has started a Children's Choir. Hannah has been going to church with my mom for the past couple of years. The Well doesn't meet in the mornings so we allow her to go with Mom. She really enjoys it and I think that Mom enjoys the time she gets with Hannah without Cayden. Every once in a while, the children's choir sings during the service so we will attend that morning to hear Hannah sing.

This past week, Pastor was out of town, so my dad led the service. He had the kids sing a song. It was soooo cute! Here's the video clip:

Now, the last week was full of so much activity that I ran myself exhausted. Saturday started with a birthday party and ended with supper at Chuy's with my uncles (the twins) who came to a visit. There was also a baby shower, hair appointment, trip to the zoo, and trip to the Strawberry patch. And this was all before Tuesday! Thankfully this week is a slower week. We did take Cayden to the park and over to see Grandpa on Saturday afternoon while Hannah spent some time with Grandma and her cousins.

Birthday Party

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Stacy's Baby Shower

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San Antonio Zoo

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Sweetberry Farms

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The kids with Uncle Kevin and Uncle Kenny

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Oh Wow!

I read about Stephanie using a new program to post on her blog so I asked her about it.  I'm completely amazed at how easy this is.  For those who don't know about it, Windows Live Writer is a blogger assistant (I don't know if that's it's official title, but that's what I'm calling it). 

I thought I would share some LOs with you.  Yesterday, my family took a trip to the zoo, and on the drive down to San Antonio, I did some digital scrappin'.  My first experience with taking the laptop on a trip.  It was really nice to have something other than sleep on the way down there.  Of course, the glare on my screen was a little much, but I was able to work around it.

I created two Bubble LOs using photos from the other afternoon.  For credits, click on the LO.

bubbles

bubbles2

Tag. . I'm it.

Nancy tagged me with this tag game - I am to list seven random things about me and then tag seven other people - - -Well, can’t seem to think of seven people but here is how it works:
1. Link to the person that tagged you and leave a comment on their blog, so that their readers can visit yours. -Her name is linked above.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share 7 Random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 random people at the bottom of your post, linking to their blog. Let each person know by leaving a comment on their blog. (if you don't know 7 bloggers, just tag who you know)

Seven things about me:
1. I have collections of 6 different things- porcelain dolls, Precious Moments, bells, souvenir pennies, snowmen, and Willow Tree figurines. Trying to downsize to just PM and WT. . I have way too many of everything else.
2. I can't say no to cake, especially if its served with ice cream
3. I'm severely allergic to morphine - went into anaphylactic shock in the recovery room after having my gallbladder removed.
4. I'm also allergic to aspartame which means I can't chew mint gum of any kind. . even double mint or Wrigley's spearmint. They reformulated and now contain aspartame and sugar.
5. If I hadn't lost my first baby, he'd be 7 years old.
6. I'd go back to teaching if I didn't have to deal with parents.
7. I've eaten 1/2 a tub of icing at a friend's house just so I didn't have to bring it home. . . where's the logic in that??

I am tagging Shelley, Kari (again), Candee, Shaunna, Jen, Nicole, and Suz. I'm also putting this on my personal blog so that the ones who don't visit my scrappin' one know what to do. :)