Sunday, February 27, 2011

easy lit.

For those of you unaware, the above is an actual photograph of an actual fort constructed in my front room.

What does one do in such a fort? Well if one were Jimmy, one would snuggle down with one's monster trucks and drive them all over and up and down one's sister's princess pillow. If one were Grace, one would re-read some favorites.

This particular day she was caught re-reading some serious H.P. (for about the 74th time).

Her recent out-of-fort reading has included "Oliver Twist" (she chose to do that while the rest of us were watching the Super Bowl) and "Little Women" (this one she decided to wake up early on a Sunday morning and dive into it). She is a ferocious reader and its hard to keep her in books.

Good thing she can quickly construct the Re-Read Fort.
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

bennett crater

This guy I know says some of the craziest things. While dropping Grace off at school yesterday he said, "Hey, that guy looks like Nicholas. Only he has the wrong face."

Today on the way home from preschool, he spotted a young gentleman sporting a rather impressive mohawk. Jimmy said, "Hey (as many of his statements seem to begin with "hey") look at that guy. He's a cock-a-d000 guy. He probably doesn't say cock-a-doodle-do, but his hair is cock-a-dooo hair."

And sometimes he uses his own set of naughty words.

In response to having to having to wear clean socks today he said, (in the meanest, growling voice he could muster), "BENNETT." I asked him to repeat it to make sure I heard him correctly. And sure enough, it was "Bennett."

Then upon hearing we were driving Grace to school once again, he said (this time in a more complaining, yelling tone) "Oh Craters!!"

So if you find yourself in a pinch, feel free to borrow from his vocabulary.
Oh no-
Hey, my water is boiling over....
Oh, Craters.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

a night on the town

The above was taken a few months ago by our fine photographer, Grace, in Tucson, AZ. I don't seem to have many pictures of Nate and I. I guess I'll have to remedy that.

In the past several years Nate hasn't always been available on birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines and other days when you really need a date! This has been one area I've been hopeful would improve once we made the transition from Fellowship to Real Job. And its been one area that still needs improvement. Although this time around I can't blame it on the job, I just have to blame it on real life.

Our anniversary last summer was celebrated with the children on a very hot day with a road trip between St. Louis and Chicago (how exciting that I-55 drive can be), just a mere week after we moved into our home here in Arizona. If I remember correctly we shared a milkshake in the car. How romantical.

Next, my birthday was taken over by Strep. Damn you Strep!

And moving on, this Valentine's Day happened to be our night to clean the church. For real. And of course it was also the day he had some real complicated patients and had several visits to the NICU. He missed the church cleaning and almost missed our traditional VDay dinner. I just kept reminding myself that at least we weren't the ones whose new baby was in the NICU. I always feel for those parents who's new, tiny baby is whisked away to the NICU. Certainly miracles happen there, but its so scary.

With all that said (boy do I sound like a complainer today!) we made up for it this past Saturday night. We went to the swankiest place I think we've ever been in all our days: Mastro's Ocean Club. The food was so fabulous and so well done, I just can't even put into words how wonderful it all was. But I will try:

Holy. Cats.

Here is what we dined on (you can start salivating now if you wish):
Alaskan King Crab legs with clarified butter
Horseradish Caesar salad (crisp & delicious!)
22 oz Ribeye, cooked to dreamy perfection (Nate)
12 oz bone-in filet, so good (me)
Seared scallops, (so perfect, so amazing, I could have just died)
Creamed spinach
Lobster Mashed Potatoes (for real, and if that doesn't sound indulgent I don't know what does)
And the most decadent 7 layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and raspberries. It was so dreamy I decided it was my birthday cake, just a few weeks late.

At least half of what we ordered came home with us in giant, fancy bags. And Grace polished off most of the steak the next day (man that girl can eat, sometimes as much as a truck driver one would find on I-55!)

It wasn't until last night that we finally finished the chocolate cake. Mmmmmmmmmm

So here's my lesson learned - good things will eventually come to those who wait. And next time (thanks to the knowledge of where one can find chocolate cake perfection), I just might be able to wait a bit more patiently.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

hanging by a string

Why is it so funny to watch people try and eat a donut hanging on a string?

I don't know.

But it sure is!

Happy Saturday!
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Friday, February 18, 2011

hello, my name is not martha

Jimmy's request for his birthday party theme first was Cars. Then it was cars. Then it was cars and monster trucks. Then it was Cars and fire trucks. I decided to just roll with it.

After initial research (i.e., I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and his response was "brown cake"), I thought the easiest approach would be to do a tire cake.

You might say though, Sarah those look like donuts, not tires. And you would be right for that particular group of goodies on the left is indeed donuts leftover from the donut-on-a-string game.

You might then say, Yes but the other ones in the middle and on the right really do not look like tires. And to that I would say, well that is YOUR opinion; but to me and this boy they are and always will be tires.

See, even Zac thinks so.

Incidentally, they (whatever they looked like) were really good. I cheated and used a cake mix, but the frosting was a homemade butter cream and boy-howdy was it delicious.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

its a numbers game

(please note their coordinating Christmas attire. Try as I might, I can't convince Nate his sweater vest is done. Well, we all have our own tastes, right?)

This post could also be called, "What happens in the living room, should stay in the living room."

Our latest family activity: Black Jack. Turns out its not just for Bond girls and villains, its also an effective tool to speed up math facts. Nate makes a fabulous dealer. Grace is a serious player. Jimmy likes to hold his cards so everyone can see them. Everyone especially likes the part where you say, "hit me." So far there have been no wagers...

It reminds me of the stories of lore from when Nate was a kid. When they would drive between Utah and California, they would find themselves in Nevada (if you could guess that, you are awesome at 2nd grade geography, but we're now in third grade and that is why we find ourselves playing black jack - all in the name of education I say).

His dad would talk to the kids about gambling and why it wasn't a good idea. He'd put quarters in the slot machine - to show them how wasteful it was to basically give away a hard-earned quarter. And wouldn't you know, each and every time more than a quarter would come out.

Next month we are taking a trip to Northern California. Too bad we won't be going through Nevada. I could use some new quarters.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

cloudy with a chance of meatloaf

Strange things are afoot here - its cloudy. Make that Quite Cloudy. Its a friendly reminder that it actually is "winter" (a fact that many of you are painfully aware of, and a fact that my kids wished they remembered more often).

In honor of this Slightly Breezy (did I mention that part too?) and Quite Cloudy day, I'm firing up the oven. We're having roasted fingerling potatoes and mini meatloaves. We'll counter all of that oven-cooked goodness with a crunchy green salad. I am pretty sure Jimmy will eat none of anything prepared. Grace will be a good sport about the salad and dive right into her meatloaf. Nate and I will counter our dinner experience with some serious exercise - I'll be doing a bike ride right before we sit down and he's playing ball tonight.

Have you given up on the meatloaf in your life (I've said goodbye to many a meatloaf recipe over the years)? This is the one that floats our boat.

And since I seem to be on a recipe kick, here's a fun after-school snack (that is if you have kids that are willing to dip fruit into things, mine are not - but that doesn't stop me from snacking!):

Apple Dip

8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Using a hand-mixer, mix together until smooth and creamy. Us as a dip for several cut-up apples. So good!

Monday, February 14, 2011

the way to my man's heart is paved in basil

I made this our first Valentine's Day when we were married (for those of you keeping score, that was a mere 12 years ago). I've made it almost every VDay since. Its not red. Its not steak. There are no oysters or other aphrodisiacs (that I know of). But there is basil. And lots of it. And he loves it.

The recipe comes from my friend, Mario. He calls it Leguria Pesto. I call it Valentine Pasta. (you say tomato, I say yum)

1 c fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 c fresh (ie. not from a can) Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c olive oil

Combine everything except the oil in a food processor. Start grinding and add oil in a slow stream to make a nice paste.

1 pkg cheese-filled tortellini
diced new potatoes
asparagus, cut into fork-sized lengths

You want to have equal amounts of potatoes and asparagus (btw, nice green beans can be substituted if the asparagus at your store is just out of the question, because as we all know good asparagus is good and bad asparagus is more than bad). The amounts of potatoes and asparagus should equal the amount of pasta. I'm sure there's an easier way of saying that, but it escapes me at this time.

Cook the tortellini according to pkg directions. With 5 minutes left of cooking (and really if you are using fresh tortellini, they may cook in less than that), add your potatoes. Add the asparagus with only 3 minutes left of cooking. Reserve a cup of cooking liquid before you drain. Drain, but don't rinse. Transfer to a large bowl and toss the pasta with the pesto you made earlier. If it is too dry, sprinkle in a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid. Serve with sprinkled Parmesan cheese and wear something skimpy (oh no, wait - what i meant was don't skimp on the cheese!)
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Friday, February 11, 2011

fly by

Seems like life is moving way too fast.

You peek out and before you know it,

life just flies by and you realize your baby is 5 years old.

Time sure flies when you're having fun.
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Friday, February 4, 2011

party time, excellent

Look who's 9!!!!

She even has lovely friends,

(well, mainly silly friends).

But she's all mine!!!!
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