Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Somebody had a crazy good time at the Lucas county fair.
and so did somebody's dad.  Kent got all nostalgic realizing that this would be our last Lucas county fair and he wanted to buy him fried cheese and onion rings and a giant lemonade slush. I assured him that while we may not be in Toledo for the fair- we'd certainly be able to attend elsewhere in the future.  He relented to not buying any outrageously priced nasty fair food, but we did let Zeb ride some rides.  They let Ike on for free- and made Kent ride with Zeb- so, really, we went on a whole lot of rides for one five dollar wristband!
Besides the heat index being over 100- AGAIN- the afternoon was fun. Kent had to go back to school and stay late- but it was worth it.  And the kiddos loved having Kent with us.  Even if he did try and get the horse to eat Ike.  Ike was laughing hysterically.

The "fancy poultry" category was my favorite. Check out the feathers on this chicken.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

*one in three posts

*There are three separate posts that I just put up today- but really they all belong to the same thought.  I posted them separately so that I could link them separately over on my recipes column.  

Cooking anything this summer has been such a chore for me.I don't know if it's the humidity or the fact that kent's home earlier or just shear laziness- but I don't think I've had dinner ready more than two times this whole summer. We eventually throw something together or just end up with cereal or sandwiches.  I can only imagine how much worse it's going to be once Kent leaves.  I'll really have NO motivation at that point.
This weekend I vowed to get better- and actually made some progress.  I found three wonderful recipes that are all keepers and do overs. 

#1. Symphony cookies. 
My neighbor, Lindsay, made these frequently and shared them often before she moved. I was craving them on Sunday and decided to try and make them myself. I'm not even sure if this is the same recipe- but it's amazing. Perfectly fluffy non flat cookies every time. 
#2 BLT bbq pasta salad
My new favorite summer recipe, for sure. This is from my friend, beth. It's delicious and so easy to make.  Nothing better than a nice cool refreshing salad for dinner in the summer. Plus- it's got plenty of protein so Kent was as happy as I was.
#3 Black bean and sweet corn Quinoa salad
I'm trying to jump on the quinoa bandwagon. ANY SUGGESTIONS?  what do you all make with it?!  This was good and easy and pretty darn healthy- but I need more options for my giant bag of quinoa.

#1. Symphony cookies.
1 C. Butter
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
1 Small box of instant vanilla pudding (or chocolate)
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 1/2 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Large Symphony Bar (with toffee bits),  I used chocloate nuggets of the same type.

Cream butter, sugar, pudding mix, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until creamy. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to butter mixture, stirring until combined. Stir in chopped chocolate. Drop by spoonful on ungreased cookie sheet. I used a plastic 1 tbsp measuring spoon to shape them nicely.  Bake at 375º for 9-10 minutes. Cool on rack.

BLT bbq pasta salad

This is soooooo good. I want it again, NOW.  The only change I made to the recipe was halving the mayo and doubling the bbq sauce- and even then I had extra.

BLT Bow Tie Pasta Salad
  • 6 cups torn romaine
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
  • 1 small box grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (I did a little less than 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoon barbecue sauce (closer to 4tbs)
  • 1 teaspoons white vinegar (you can add more- the original calls for 3.  I don't like that much)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • water
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a large serving bowl, combine the pasta, romaine, chicken, tomato and bacon. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, water (as needed to thin), barbecue sauce, vinegar and pepper. Pour over pasta mixture (I usually reserve about 1/3 of the dressing); toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

black bean and sweet corn quinoa salad.

  I stole this recipe and picture from Mel's kitchen Cafe. Please give me your Quinoa suggestions!!!

 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen sweet white corn
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).
Stir in the frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm or chilled – it is delicious both ways!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

 Happy Pioneer Day! 
I really wanted to have a Pioneer Day party this year since it was on Saturday- so I talked Kent into having the Elder's Quorum sponsor one and provide the food :)  We did a Pioneer Day 5k Trek, 3k walk, and then children's parade!  We played games- and enjoyed time with friends at the Park.  Besides the humidity being atrocious- the day couldn't have gone better!  Kent ran the 5k with the stroller the entire time- and it was great to run by myself.  No pictures of me are included because I looked like sweaty death.  The heat index was 105 that day.
The kiddos made plastic bag kites, had a tug-o-war, and played kickball. It was a great morning.

Today the weather was much much more pleasant. Mid-eighties with lower humidity. We decided to celebrate by playing kickball with the boys after dinner.

Kent helped Zeb pick out his clothes for the afternoon. I really can't stand the sleeveless shirt thing and I gave Zeb my opinion. He looked very shocked and replied: "But, mom! It's a muscle shirt!".  I think Kent coached him on that one. He knows of my disdain for the shirts.   Here's the rugrat proving that he's tough enough to pull it off.
Every day Ike acts more and more like Zeb.  A lot of it is because Ike idolizes Zeb and copies everything he does.  Some of it must be genetic, though.  These pictures of them are so funny to me.  People ask if they are twins ALL of the time.

Oh- and in my defense- I did not give them these chips. We have the most ridiculously nice new neighbors and every time they see us they give us whatever they are carrying. Literally. Today they insisted on giving us their food. We ended up with two ears of corn, one bottled water, two pops, and two bags of chips! Kent and I tried to say no repeatedly- but they wouldn't listen. They are from Syria and it must be cultural. Last week they gave Zeb and me fried eggplant in lavash (really thin paper like tortillas). They were actually pretty tasty.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ike scarfs down black beans like I do peanut butter m&ms.  Do you think there are any ill effects to eating this many beans (besides the obvious fact that his diapers look like black bean molé)?  It's seriously a little unnatural.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Somehow I missed my thousandth post last week! Happy one thousand (and four) to us.  I would like to make a celebratory post- but it will have to wait.  For now- it's just normal us doing normal stuff.

We've been really busy with normal lately. We're gone a lot- or playing- or cleaning- and sometimes just reading.  But, for whatever reason I haven't been the best blogger. I have, however, finished a lot of good books.

Zeb's been sleeping in the tub since we got back from Utah. One night he kept waking up Ike and I told him if he did it again he'd have to sleep in the tub.  I've got to be careful with my threats because he ended up loving it and now won't give it up.  It's dark and quiet and away from Ike so we've let it stick for the time being.

 and here is my favorite Zeb face.  He's been such a fun kid lately- but he also has such a little temper.  When he gets really upset he stands- fists clenched- and growls "I'm annnnngry.  I stomp my feet!" and then he stomps his left foot repeatedly.   Next time it happens, I'll get it on video.

 Ike is all about "choo-choos" and "kachows". Kachows are race cars and here he is cheering them on.  He yells "vroom-vroom" and "kachow" over and over as he watches the movie "Cars" or hears anything rev it's engine.  Here's the rascal in action.

Monday, July 19, 2010


These little monkeys LOVE to wrestle around.
And it's usually all smiles and giggles-
until Zeb gets taken down and can't get up.  Zeb is such an emotional little dude and his little brother thinks it's so funny to make him squeal.
Did you notice the strange markings on Zeb's back? I'm an awful mother and forgot his swim shirt and then did a terrible job at sunscreening the kid at the beach on Saturday.   I got his upper back- but realized I had forgotten his lower back- so I just took the sunscreen stick to it.  I think you are supposed to blend it in afterwards- or maybe it's just for the face?!  who knows.  Thankfully he hasn't complained about the burn at all but I still feel rotten. 
These two have been having so much fun together lately. Zeb sings Ike songs to sleep at night- and Ike plays tag and hide and seek with zeb all day long.  We are finally to the point where I can tell them to go and play in their room together and they'll stay for longer than five or ten minutes!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

take us to the water!!

It's been kind of sticky here. Pretty miserable actually. We've been flocking to the water to try and find some relief!  
Luckily kent has been in charge of Ike. This kid is water crazed.  He loves to dunk his head- and swim around like a little fish.  He also loves to drink the water. I wasn't super worried at the Ymca pool- but this weekend at Maumee Bay we had to stop him several times.

I still can't believe that we've got a nice beach like this in Ohio! Who would have guessed?!  Yesterday we went with a bunch of friends and had a blast.
The water isn't exactly crystal clear or a nice blue- but it feels really good!  and anything's cleaner than Utah Lake and that's the best water we had back In Orem.
Zeb and his pals loved making "chocolate milk" in sand pots.
It kind of looks tropical? at least a little- right?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

family pics

I totally forgot that we did family pics with Kent's family while we were in Utah!  This is the best of our immediate family.  No tears=best. 

The kiddos used up all of their smiles in the extended family pic so at least it turned out!
and I'm considering making this pic the one that goes up in our house. Because honestly- this is what our life is really like. Both kids are whining and begging to go and play with dirt and climb the mountain.
Maybe it's because my little guys look so cute dressed as cows- but this is one of my favorite freebies of the year!  you dress like a cow and basically get whatever you want to eat for free at chic-fil-a!!
Or maybe it's because the polynesian sauce and chicken nuggets at chic-fil-a remind me of wandering the mall as an awkward junior high student on saturdays with friends.  Plus- their food really is very very good!
The kiddos love meeting the giant cows every year, too.  And it doesn't hurt that we have two children's cow costumes already! 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

the rest of our trip in a GAZILLION photos.

The real reason we went to Utah:
I was dying to try out a new dessert cafe in Orem (The Chocolate)and taste their cazookie. It did NOT disappoint.  Totally worth the 184 dollar plane ticket. 
Kent and I went to his 10 yr high school reunion (which was really fun- especially since I didn't get to go to mine last year) and then we went out to 'the chocolate' for dessert.  
We had so many child free days/ nights and I really needed it.  Thanks again to everybody who took our kids for us :)

On the actual fourth we had a splendid water party/brunch with the Millers.  the food was so good! and the boys had so much fun with all of their cousins and second cousins!

 And then that evening we went with my fam to see the fireworks.  It was really windy and pretty darn cold!  Zeb and Ike loooooved the fireworks and loved being entertained by his aunts and uncle Clair.  Ike loves his uncle Clair!!

In our attempts to keep Zeb warm- he ended up looking like a ragamuffin!
And finally- on our last Sunday we had a giant cousin party to celebrate us coming out - Shannon and Jason moving away for med school - and Steve and Hailey finsihing Steve's PhD and heading out to Chicago!

I love this pic of Jack and Zeb tackling the rock wall!  Zeb looks so grown up!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I took 400 pictures in Utah- luckily you only have to see about 30.   Hopefully I can wrap our trip in these last two posts!

Wednesday I went up to girls camp to spend the day with my mom and sister! I love the mountains and the drive was beautiful.
I also absolutely love girls camp! I don't get to go with my ward this year- so it made it nice to spend a day with my mum and sis at theirs.

 Here I am with mum waiting out a crazy lightning storm and finding out that laney had her baby!  Oh- and I only took one long sleeve item with me to Utah but I needed it alomst every day. That's why it appears that I am wearing the same things every day of my trip.
Kent stayed behind with the monkeys and helped his sister move into her new house.   He has moved  A LOT of people in the past month!!  
The rugrats also got to try out sprinklers for the first time at my parent's house!  Ohio doesn't really do sprinklers but they were an integral part of my summer days so I'm glad the kiddos got their fair share while In Utah.  Zeb begged to do it every day!
 The next day we spent at BYU's finest (free) museums.  First stop was the Bean.  One of my favorite places on BYU campus.  I had most of my senior year classes in the museum and some of my lepidopterans are in this amazing mosaic!!

Ike's pointer finger nearly fell off after the museum. He LOVES to point.
And our second stop was BYU's paleontolgy museum. 
Lots of big dino bones-
 and fights over fossils.