Friday, November 21, 2008

Food for "thought" Friday

A good friend of mine has asked for help expanding her cookbook, and has suggested that her friends post a recipe each Friday. So Heidi, here you go! And to go with the rest of the theme, I thought I would actually also add to it a bit of actual food for thought. I am sure at some point in each week I stop to seriously consider a thought and expound upon it. So here goes nothing!

A great salad recipe for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Chicken Salad

1 bag salad greens (any kind)
1 10 oz can chicken (or turkey) chunks
1 cup (about half a can) whole cranberry sauce
½ cup mayonnaise
canned pears (for garnish)

Add chicken to the salad greens. Mix cranberry sauce and mayonnaise together. Pour over salad and toss well JUST BEFORE SERVING. Add 1 or 2 chunks/slices of pear on top of each serving.


Many people who know me well know that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Granted, I don't decorate my house for it (though I wish I could afford to!), I do LOVE the smells, tastes, and feelings of Thanksgiving.

I have spent a good deal of time dreading Thanksgiving this year based on the last time I had Thanksgiving with my in-laws. It was a pretty awful day for me, and it reflected so badly on my face that my husbands younger brother saw fit to confront my MIL and tell her in not so many words that I was being treated unfairly. Of course since that was brought to her attention things have improved a bit.

But still- I was feeling slighted from T-day two years ago, and had carried with me a pretty reserved attitude. I had decided to just hold my tongue and make an appearance at my in-laws house, food in hand and a smile on my face. But I was not going to call them and ask what to bring, I was going to wait for them to call me and assign me my one (maybe two) dishes. IF I don't hear from them, well I was going to bring the dishes I wanted and that was that! Well- as of yesterday I still had not heard from them. I do all my grocery shopping on Saturdays and since T-day is next week, they are quickly running out of time to assign me a dish and tell me when we are getting together! So I talked to Joe. I asked him what I should do about finding out the time we are getting together since I hadn't heard from them, but I didn't want to call... Just in trying to explain my attitude and feelings to him, and my reason for being so silent, I came to realize (though I am sure Joe helped here) just how childish I was behaving.

So after thinking about it, I have decided to grow up a bit and act like the adult that I am. I am still hoping they call me, but I will call them if I haven't heard from them by tonight. And I will help them in any way I can, and I will still probably bring a dish I want that I am sure they won't ask for (since it isn't their favorite), but I will also bring a dish or two that they want me to bring. I will also smile, and enjoy myself, and all will be well!

Now don't get me wrong, because I LOVE my in-laws. I really do! They are great, and wonderful, and nice, and some of my favorite people. I love seeing them, and spending time with them. But as with most people, we have had our rough patches, and to be fair, two Thanksgivings ago I was newly pregnant (and quite possibly hormonal) with Lacey. I am sure I over reacted a bit, but still the overall feeling I had that day was not good, and it has stuck with me far too long. It is time to put it behind me once and for all.

It is time for me to remember that I am beyond blessed to have such a great family, and such great in-laws. I am blessed to have nieces and nephews to play with my two girls. I am beyond blessed to have such an amazing husband, and he helps me to better myself constantly (even when he doesn't know he is doing it). I love him, and his family, and Next Thursday is going to be great.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving, and eat lots and lots of good food. Post some of your favorite recipes! I wanna try em all! (well- almost all of them... anything with walnuts or pecans are out since I am allergic...)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is this REALLY what we want to teach our children?

So I was playing with Lacey today while Lil was in preschool and noticed something a bit odd about her little sit and ride car. Just thought I would share it with you as well!

Here is the front of the car thingy (and my naked kid) complete with a sticker showing two people buckled into their seatbelts. That is GREAT! What a good (though subtle) way to teach kids to buckle seatbelts!

Now for the left side of the car. Wait a second- is that... it is! A woman putting on makeup and looking in a mirror! I thought you were supposed to be DRIVING! Hmmm... maybe this toy was manufactured in one of those countries where the driver is on the right...

So the right side of the car. Um... yeah, not a lot better. This lady is doing her HAIR! What a great thing for someone to be doing in the car! Here's to hoping they are back seat passengers!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Car Talk

Lil and I had a great (albeit, short) conversation in the car on Friday.

We were on our way to pick up Joe from work, and were running a few minutes behind. I guess she could tell I was frustrated at the pace of traffic. So we ended up stopped at a red light with a car in front of us. And here is how it went down:

Lil: COME ON CAR! You need to go home!
Me: Lil, who are you talking to?
Lil: The car in front of us! He needs to go home!
Me: Is he too good for his home? (Hehe... name that movie reference!)
Lil: No! He is mean to his kids!
Me:... (okay I didn't say anything but I was about to when she finished up by saying)
Lil: Because he won't go home. That's mean!

Should make Joe feel pretty special that Lil considers it mean to not come home to his kids... :)

I just love the insight you get from kids!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thankful Thursday (Extended Edition- A day late)

With Thanksgiving approaching, what better time than now is there for a post on all the little things that make me thankful. I have spent a good deal of free time the last couple days reading THIS BLOG. It is so inspiring and makes me so much more appreciative for what I have been blessed with. SO- on with the show.

This year, I am thankful for:
(These all rank the same in importance)

*Joe. He works so hard for our family, and he sacrifices so much free time to make our lives comfortable. He loves his girls, and we love him too! He is so good to me, and even when he doesn't understand me, he tries to, and I appreciate it.

*Lilia. She is so smart, and so funny, and such a character! She is a quick learner, with incredible wit, and to top all of that off, she is absolutely beautiful. She makes me so proud. She has an incredible sense of loyalty. She loves her family, especially her little sister.

*Lacey. She is such a cute and charming baby. She has a great personality, with the most intense blue eyes, and knowing smile. When she sets her mind to something, she doesn't rest until it is accomplished. She has the most insane love of climbing (except stairs- she doesn't like them). She is sassy, smart, funny, and absolutely adorable.

*My family. They bring me plenty of laughs as well as support and love.

*Joe's family. They have made me feel welcome, and part of the family from day 1.

*The Savior's sacrifice for me. I am not perfect. I don't claim to be. I try. And I will keep trying. But to know that all that is asked of me is my best- that is such a relief.

*The gospel. The joy I feel from living the Gospel Plan. And from being a part of something so honest and true- even if the members aren't perfect- the Gospel is.

(and the rest- in no particular order)
*My house.

*Financial security.

*Lilia's preschool.

*My ward cookbook.

*Kung Fu Panda.

*My temple marriage. Because being without Joe would be like being without breath. I need him, and want him with me forever.

*Smiles and giggles during the girls bathtime.

*The ability to laugh at some of the things my kids do, and then to clean up after their shinanigans.

*Lilia during her nap.

*Lacey playing with her babydolls.

*My health.

*Joe's minor midlife crisis last year (which lead to both of us getting our diets and heathy habits in order).

*The dog not running away in almost a month (gotta find some way to be thankful for the dog)

*The medicine clearing up Lacey's facial rash...

*Lilia's new found love for full length Disney movies (bye bye Barney and Dora!)

*Laceys toothy grin.

*Lilia's love of reading. She is so smart!

*Joe's height. (I know, this one sounds silly, but truth is, I love that he is only slightly taller than I am. When we got to bed at night we fit together like Legos. He is super comfy and just the right size for me to cuddle with.)

*Cute shoes.

*Music. Especially inspirational music. Those songs that always make you smile, or maybe cry, or just feel peace.

*My temple marriage. Did I already say this? :) Because it means being with my girls in heaven. It is like an insurance I have taken out on my family. If anything happens to them, or me, I will be with them again.

*My parent's temple marriage.

*My grandparent's temple marriage... (I am sure you can see where I am going with this...)

*Insurance. All kinds- Life, Health, Car, Homeowners...

*Thanksgiving. My favorite time of the year. If I could choose one holiday to call my own, to repeat often, to replace all others, Thanksgiving would be mine. The smells and tastes, the family and friends. It is wonderful.

*Friends. The real ones. The ones who stood by me years ago, the ones who have seen me at my lowest points and have been there to help me stand. The new ones I am making who like me for who I am.

*One friend in particular... Ju- you are awesome. And amazing. And you make me laugh. Hey- wanna come over for dinner the day after Thanksgiving? I am thinking of T-Day 2... whadda ya think? (Steven, you can come too- bring Kevin)

*Lilia's smile

*Lacey's eyes

*My girl's independence
(Lil making herself some chocolate milk)

(Lacey helping herself to some homemade bread- yes that is a really large and really sharp knife... Good thing I was holding my camera when I saw her- I caught this picture as I was walking to the table!)

*Family portraits

Most especially, I am just extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a wife, and a mom.

(I may come back and add to this list as I think of more to be thankful for. Stay tuned!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I am not a photographer, but...

I am pretty proud of these pictures. Lacey thought it would be fun to wake me up in time to watch the sun rise a few days ago. This was a few of the pictures I got of it...

I know they aren't professional quality and such, but I am happy with them... :) Hope you have a great week!

Halloween (a bit late)

I never did give a Halloween rundown, so here you go!

The day before Halloween, I finally decided it would be wise to carve our pumpkins. So Lil helped me choose the patterns... Lacey watched some Backyardigans on TV, and I set to work poking the holes in the pumpkins to transfer the patterns. Once the hole poking was done, Lil got to help me removed the carved sections of pumpkin. I would cut out a piece and she would poke it into the center of the pumpkin, reach in, remove it and giggle at the grossness of it all.

What a great helper she was :)

I didn't get any pictures of us actually CARVING because Joe wasn't home, and I wasn't touching the camera while my hands were all gooky... BUT- I do have a before and after of one of the pumpkins and a before (no after) of the other...

After that, while I was positioning our newest porch decorations, Lacey stripped down to her diaper (and a sticker on her forehead), and came outside to keep me and our pumpkins company. CA-RAZY that she can do that in late OCTOBER! Usually there is snow on the ground by Halloween!

The next night I scrambled to find all the pieces of both the girls costumes (never did find the red hair spray for Lil's costume! Grrr), then proceeded to get them ready for trick or treating. The girls had all kinds of fun. Dad stayed home to pass out candy, while I took the girls around the neighborhood. About half way through I brought Lacey back since she was getting grumpy. All in all I think Lil walked a good 2 miles that night. Funny how the kid who is "too tired" to walk the half a block to preschool is not too tired to walk half the city for candy!

My little Geisha Girl

(Let this be a warning to all of you who have babies... Never, never, EVER paint your 1-year-old's face! And even MORE important- DON'T HAIRSPRAY their hair a different color! I had black hairspray on my walls, couch, carpet, chairs... and the white "no smudge" face paint? Hah!)

My little Mermaid

(She chose to wear her pink crocs instead of her blue and green shoes... such is life, I guess... She wanted makeup too, so I ended up adding sparkles to her face and red lipstick. I think there are STILL some rogue sparkles on her, and she has been bathed plenty since Halloween!)

I've done mypart- have you?

Yes. I voted.


(yeah, yeah- I know it looks like LACEY voted, but really, she just stole my sticker... mean kid!)