Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I wish

This pretty friend found her way into the kitchen earlier this week.

I wish that every morning could begin like Monday did, with cuddles and a cheery boy saying "get over here, snugglebug!"
I wish I was more patient.
I wish I could breathe.
I wish I could sing rodents and birds into a hypnotic state so they'd clean my house.
I wish that I knew that Stinky's little life won't be totally rocked or ruined by the addition of a little brother.
I wish we could fast forward to the baby's arrival, but still savor the summer.
I wish that I was more confident in who I will be as a mother of two. For that matter, I wish I was more confident in who I am as a mother of one.
I wish that my root beer float hadn't disappeared so quickly today.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Inspiration

"In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities. . . .We need to make our homes a place of refuge from the storm, which is increasing in intensity all about us. Even if the smallest openings are left unattended, negative influences can penetrate the very walls of our homes."

L. Tom Perry

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Friday Favorites: Delayed

Poor NoNuts just wants to play.
Either blogger, my computer, or this blogger is goofing something up with links. I'll try to get the Friday Favorites up sometime tomorrow, but if it just doesn't happen, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Recipe: Chicken with Leeks

My mother joined a CSA this year, and got to pick up her first box last week. She said it was the never-ending box of produce and they would certainly be sharing. No complaints here. One of this weeks treasures was a group of leeks. Leeks are super yummy. Stinky reacts to onions, so leeks can be a good substitute when a recipe calls for them. This chicken dish is one of my favorite ways to use them, and I find that it impresses people with very little real work.

You'll need:
2 leeks
2 chicken breasts
canola oil (or other cooking oil of your choice)
1 can or 1/2 a carton chicken broth
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
salt and pepper

The first step is to pretend that my stovetop and counters were totally clean when I took these pictures, and that the lighting didn't suck. Okay, we're ready to go.

To prep your leeks, chop off the bottom and top, from where the leeks turn a darker green. take the centers and slice them into 1/4-1/3 inch rounds. Seperate the rings out and soak for at least half an hour. This frees up any dirt that might be lurking inside the rings. It reminds me a little of kalamari, only I'm not grossed out by them.
While they soak, slice your chicken breasts on the diagonal and season with salt and pepper. (While I think leeks are milder than onions, they still have a strong flavor, and you don't want too many other flavors competing. )

Drain the water, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sautee for 3-4 minutes, or until the rings soften. See two pictures down for how they should look.

Take leeks out of the pan, and add your chicken slices (no picture, because raw chicken isn't pretty). Once cooked through, add the leeks to the top of chicken.
Pour in chicken broth until your leeks float- either one can or 1/2 a carton. Turn up heat to high to reduce, just long enough to load your dishwasher.

Turn off heat then add the ricotta cheese in spoonfuls throughout the pan. Stir until mixed evenly. You may be able to get a similar result with cream cheese, but I needed to use up my ricotta.
Turn up heat if necessary to acheive desired consistency on your sauce. Serve over pasta, or with mashed potatoes. Either way is super yummy. We added a side salad with dinner.

That's it! It's super easy and takes about 20 minutes, but your don't have to tell anyone that part. This should serve four, but WBH didn't eat lunch today, so no leftovers this time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How does our garden grow?

Our garden has been a bit of an experiment this year. We planted beans, but they never grew, and we're not sure why. We planted sugar peas and they've taken over the world. They get harvested daily now, with no end in sight. The broccoli didn't grow well and tastes funny. It feels like wasted garden real estate for so little harvest, and I don't think we'll do it again. We'll probably tear all that out soon and replace it with some zucchini starts. Our carrots probably won't grow too big, as they're planted really closely together (I had a jr. gardener helping me sow them). I want to try the seed tape method for them next year- check it out, it's really cool! The spinach was a big success. We had a huge harvest, and two tomato plants have taken up residence in their old spot. Living in a cooler climate, we can re-sow spinach here when the tomatoes are spent and get a second harvest. I'm thinking about trying some swiss chard at that time as well.

We transplanted strawberries from last year's container garden and have they ever multiplied and replenished. My dad has had strawberries as groundcover for as long as I can remember, and it always impressed those who sneaked a strawberry on their way to knock on the door. We added some blueberries and raspberries well, and look forward to future harvests from them.

My favorite part of growing the garden has been watching Stinky grab a pea pod right off the vine and pop it in his mouth (he still likes it better with some ranch dip). Next year, I hope to get more starts going early in the spring, and look at adding another raised bed so we can play with some more variety.

I'd love to hear what's worked for others. Have you gotten a garden going this year?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me (a little mush)

It's this handsome stud's (the bigger one) birthday today. There really are too many wonderful things about him to name, but I'd like to share a few with you. Not trying to make you jealous or anything, but he's darn near perfect.
WBH, thanks for being the best thing that's ever happened to me. I think about how lucky I got every day to be the girl that got to marry you. I'm so grateful for your kind heart, your sense of humor, and what a good man you are. I love watching you with Stinky, and marvel at the great father you are, and will continue to become as our family grows. I count my blessings that I somehow found someone who is creative and pragmatic, and your work ethic never fails to impress and make me proud. I love you. I love being your wife, and your babies' mama. Happy 30th.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Inspiration: Father's Day Edition.

WBH and Stinky on Take Your Child to Work Day

"Let us not live a life . . . that would bring regret. . . . It is not going to matter very much how much money you made, what kind of a house you lived in, what kind of a car you drove, the size of your bank account--any of those things. What is going to matter is that dear woman who has walked with you side by side as your companion through all of the years of life and those children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their faithfulness and their looking to you . . . with respect and love and deference and kindness. . . . "The only things you will take with you, when all is said and done, are your family relationships. . . . God bless us to be good fathers, . . . good parents, and good husbands to our good wives."

Gordon B. Hinckley


I'm blessed beyond my own belief to be married to a man who knows this. Love you, WBH! Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Goals Check-In/Friday Favorites

Oh cold virus, you bane of my existance. You've teased and taunted me for a week, but launched your full-on attack on Wednesday. You drained me of all energy, allowing me to get sucked in by Facebook games that my old computer really is too slow to support. You drew my focus away from my goals, focusing it on simply getting through the day. I'm finally seeing signs of your retreat, and I couldn't be happier.

So, the goals. They're progressing, but slowly. A nasty cold virus is very detrimental to being more purposeful with computer time. Too much Tetris Friends, too little anything else. My home management notebook has gotten some work, but mostly, this week has been about surviving. I'm doing better, though, and looking forward to being back on track.

On that note, there has been a lot of really great stuff online, if you're not feeling to purposeful today.

Zipper Rosettes at UCreate: I love these. I have a pair of gold ballet flats I'd love to spruce up with some of these. So cute!

Speed Cleaning 101 at Crazy Domestic: What little cleaning got accomplished while I was under the weather, was based on this. Printed the blog out and added it to the binder!

Love with Muscle at Puddle Jumping Designs: This will be done on two little t-shirts, soon, for our house. Is it totally vain if I'm the one stitching "Mom" on the muscles?

To Be More Joyful: Simplify Your Life at Life As Mom: Some great reading here, and I'm working on applying some of her ideas!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Made it Monday: Tie Him Up

Stinky shared a scripture in church this week, for the first time. We'd practiced it since Monday, and he had it memorized. I figured this was a good occasion for a church tie.

We're pretty anti-clip on, and there aren't many boy sized ties out there that aren't. I studied a few online tutorials, but didn't find one that completely worked for me. I made and completely destroyed one tie, but was able to get the result above on the second try. Sure, it's a little 80's skinny tie, but it worked for today. I think I know the changes that need to be made, and I hope to get a tutorial up once I figure out just what needs to be changed.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sunday Inspiration

"Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes,' Decisions do determine destiny. The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be."

Thomas S. Monson

Friday, June 4, 2010

June Goals

First, I need to say that if you're blogging about summer break and sunshine, I'm blowing raspberries at you. It feels like fall here, and there are stillthree weeks left of school for WBH. It's hard to be motivated with the dreary weather we've been having lately.

Inspired by bloggers like Emily and Wendy, I've decided to put my monthly goals out there. I know I'm a little late to the party this month, but I'll just have to try a litttle harder, then. I'm probably looking for some accountability here.

  • Revamp my home management notebook (and use it, too). To include a few daily routines and summer schedules.

  • Do daily activities with Stinky. I used to be pretty good about this, but it's gone to pot.

  • Weather allowing, get outside more. It's good for everyone's sanity.

  • Be more purposeful with my time online. I see this being trickier to accomplish than all the rest.

So there it is! I'll review at the end of the month.

Sunday Inspiration: Courage

"Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes,' Decisions do determine destiny. The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be."

Thomas S. Monson

Friday Favorites: Delayed

Friday Favorites will return next week, as this weekend has gotten a little busy- I'll be back with my favorite,WBH this weekend, cheering on the Sounders, but this weekend we get to take Stinky and Littlest Sister, e. Stinky's first professional sports event- wish us luck!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Large and In Charge

Oh, this guy. He's giving us a run for our money lately. He's always been a verbal kid, and lately it manifests itself in arguments. Sometimes his arguments posess sounder logic than those of his parents. So, we have to fall back to something like "I understand that you want that, and maybe it can happen later, but for now, I am your mother, I am in charge, and I said no."

Stinky usually responds with "But I said yes, and I am in charge. See?" Then he does the "in charge" dance. It involves a fist held high, chin in the air, and some sort of marching in a circle. How do you argue with that? And do you think it would improve my standing if I marched with my fist and chin in the air around the house more often?