Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving - Blessings Counted

This Thanksgiving my family was able to get together at my house. We were missing my brother Chad as his family welcomed a new little girl - Caitlyn to their (our) family. My grandma and mom came, as did Connie and Joe, my sis and brother. We had many things to be thankful for as we got ready for dinner, enjoying the fun of getting ready, snacking as we cooked, and eating the wonderful meal that we had worked so hard for. We were also able to spend some fun times together the rest of the weekend and we enjoyed letting the cousins renew friendships and play together. I was reminded of all the things that I am thankful for - the main blessing in my life is my family. Love you guys. Here are some pics of the great meal, and fun times we had this weekend. The eggs are our first eggs from our chickens - we are starting to see results from the months of feeding and caring for "our girls." We are now getting 7-8 eggs a day. The white egg is from the store. We took an evening to make gingerbread (cracker) houses and had a great time. We also gave my mom a makeover (Carene and Connie style) and colored/highlighted her hair and we also waxed her eyebrows for the first time. In your own words Mom, "That's the price of beauty kid." Below is a new recipe I found and fixed to use up some of the leftover turkey. They were to die for, and kind of fancy looking for entertaining. Hope you enjoy. My kids even ate this, just not in a lettuce leaf.

P.S. I have to cram all this in, as I seem to have a hard time lately finding time to blog. Hope all had a great holiday.

New Recipe: I adjusted the amounts as I had a big group to feed.

Lettuce Wraps

1 tsp oil
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used cut up turkey from dinner)
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup slivered onion
1 Tbsp. slivered green pepper
1 Tbsp. slivered orange pepper
1/4 cup water
1 pkg Ramen Chicken flavor
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
1/2 reserved seasoning packet
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp pepper
1/16 tsp chili pepper
1/16 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
8 leaf lettuce leaves

Heat cooking oil and saute chicken and onion together until chicken is no longer pink inside. Add carrot and peppers. Stir fry until veggies tender-crisp. Add water and noodles. Simmer for about 2 minutes until noodles are softened. Add seasonings, and stir until heated through. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve on platter surrounded by lettuce leaves. Serve 1/8 of chicken mixture in lettuce leaf. Roll up and eat. So yummy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A new me.. well sort of

Today I went and got my hair done. I had planned on getting it cut and colored to cover the gray (did I admit that out loud?). Well, between the enthusiasm of my hairdresser and my want to have shorter hair, we had an adventure. This is actually closer to my real color, but it has been enhanced a little. My family reacted in various ways, "Where is my wife?", "Who are you, and where is my mom?" or "Oh my gosh, what did you do to your hair?". That was fun in itself, but I do like it so it is here to stay.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Last Two Weeks

The last two weeks have been very busy for the Weinand household. Sadly, two weeks ago my cousin lost her sweet 19 month old baby to croup. She was a beautiful active little girl that was the joy of her parents' lives, and she has gone on to wait ahead for her family in heaven. I had the opportunity to attend the funeral for Kyla which was hard and hit a little close to home. It makes me remember, as if I needed to, that life is so short and that we need to enjoy our kids to the fullest. Our prayers are with Kasey and Brian as they learn to live without the presence of their little Kyla. Thanks to our friends Annie and Roger Davies for watching Rachel and Izzy during the funeral for me.
After coming home, it has been work, sleep, work, and a little sleep. In the mix we had Halloween and I added a few pics of the kids in their costumes. Rachel was a poodle, Izzy a dalmation, Kaleb was a spotted dog, Abby was Princess Leia, and Chad was the dog catcher. The little girls practiced wearing their costumes for days before we actually got to use them, and then, as luck would have it, Izzy fell asleep in the car on the way to Trick-or-Treat and slept through the fun. Her brothers and sisters were kind enough to donate their candy to the cause so that she wouldn't be too sad. (as if 5 kids don't get plenty of candy on a trick-or-treat expedition)

This weeks recipe I am also including, was one that my cousin Kelly had made for the family while we were getting ready for the funeral. It is called Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken, so good. Thanks Kelly! The kids and Brian all loved this, so it wins 4 stars in our house.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1 pkg. low sodium taco seasoning
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream

Place chicken in crock pot. Cover with taco seasoning, salsa, and cream of mushroom soup. Let cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Remove chicken and stir in sour cream. When serving, place chicken on bed of rice, cover with sauce, and sprinkle with shredded cheese. It is also so good with just a little bit of cilantro sprinkled on top.

Well, that is probably enough for tonight, so all of you have a great night.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One of the "Girls"

OK, so I have been told that I have yet to put an actual picture of our chickens on the blog. This is one of the "girls" that we have. Rachel just loves the chickens. She screams if we don't take her on our jaunts out to the coop to check on the chickens. Then, if you don't catch her a chicken to pet, she is just upset with you. She just giggles and giggles to pet them, and will stand at the fence and watch them for ever. It is fun to watch her. If she is ever outside she can be found toddling to the coop to see who is out to visit with.

New Recipe

Hi all. I decided that I would put a new recipe on my blog each week, as I love to try new recipes. For now, I will just put recipes on that I have tried and then let you know whether or not they were "family friendly". I don't know if I can just put the recipes on here if I got them from a certain site, so I will just tell you where to get them for now. Tonight we had a recipe that I got off the internet from Paula Deen. You can find the recipe by searching her recipes on the Food Channel. We had Chicken Spiedini's and spaghetti squash. The chicken is wrapped around a chunk of asiago cheese and then rolled in olive oil and bread crumbs. These are great! The spaghetti squash I cooked up in the microwave and then put butter and parmesan cheese in it. I can't say that it was the best looking meal, but everyone ate it up. When feeding my family spaghetti squash, I always treat it like spaghetti noodles and serve it in some way related to the noodle and then my kids will eat it. How is that for tricky? Anyhow, give this a try and let me know if you like it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Little Music Director

Rachel is my one year old busy one. She rarely sits to watch TV, she will stop to laugh at something on the TV and then run off on her way. To our surprise during General Conference, she actually sat during President Monson's talk and then she led the Choir in their song. This is her leading the music, although it is hard to see anything but her flying hands. We were once told that it didn't matter if your kids went to church when they were little, as they wouldn't know any different. I beg to differ. I think that they are so close to the spirit and they can feel it. So now, when I go to sacrament meeting and wonder, "Why am I here?" while I wrestle between Izzy and Rachel for that hour, I will think of this picture and know why.

3 Generations

Last weekend my mom and grandmother came to visit. They like to be busy, if you only knew, and so I have to have projects for them to work on while they are here. There is never a shortage of projects in this house, so while we listened to General Conference they helped me finish my canning for the year, potatoes and carrots from my garden. My garden was a ton better than I had expected, as we just picked a spot, rototilled in some manure, planted some seeds, and then watered every few days. We were able to can 33 quarts of potatoes/carrots/onions and 11 quarts of beans. (This is why the hair is not so neat in the photos and the expressions slightly haggardly.) We also made bread, and my grandma is holding a jar of pickles that she canned for me out of her garden. In addition to the fact that I really appreciate these women for all they do for me, I am eternally thankful for the relationship that I have with them. Most of who I am is because of these women. They have taught me invaluable skills that I am able to use to care for my family. They are who I call when my days are long, or I am attempting some new thing that I need advice for, or when I just need someone to listen for a minute. I am also very thankful for the relationship that they have with my children. My children love them and look forward to their visits. They are also learning from them and becoming their friends. Thank heavens for family.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh the Talent..

Tonight we got to see our kids' talent in the Primary Talent Show. Abby played the top part of a duet of "Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam" I was supposed to accompany her, but was informed just prior to her performing that she would rather do it alone. I wasn't sure if I should feel upset or not. She did an awesome job though. She is getting to be quite accomplished and does well performing in front of others. Kaleb's talent was cookies. He came home from school today and made "Dipped Gingersnaps." I helped only in that I cracked the eggs and made a million little balls of dough to get ready to bake. I had to laugh at a comment that Kaleb made while cooking. We were talking about making mistakes and how a small one can ruin whatever it is that you are making. He says to me, "Well, Mom, it is OK that I make mistakes because I am a work in progress." Kaleb has had a talent his whole life in that he has these very adult words and phrases that just pop out at the correct time and make so much sense. He just tickles me sometimes with his wit.

My kids have great talents and I am so glad that I get to watch and see what comes next. We are all works in progress. Don't I know it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Six Random Things About Me..

I saw this tag a while ago from my friend Viki and then again from Annie so I thought I would try it for myself. So here goes..

1. I think that ice should be it's own food group. My favorite treat is a full glass of crushed ice from the hospital (good thing I work there) with Diet Coke over the top. I will eat enough ice that my body temperature drops so low that I am shivering.

2. I have an almost obsession with lip gloss. If I don't watch myself, I will buy one from every store I go to. Pink, of course, is best as that is my favorite color.

3. When I cook I like to imagine myself a great chef and will try to cut/dice things like the pros. Luckily I haven't removed any fingers yet. I am a good cook though - even if I do say so myself.

4. I am willing to try anything at least once: strange food, weird outfits ( in the dressing room only), and crazy carnival rides. Things that I have surprisingly liked are the raw tuna appetizer from PF Changs and the Screamer from Disneyland. You will still never catch me in bell bottoms though.

5. I have been married to the same man for almost 14 years. I say that as being strange because where I work that is definitely an oddity. And I still even like him - well, most of the time. Ha, Ha. He really is great - he even carries lip gloss in his pocket for me so that I will have some no matter where we are.

6. I have worked in Labor and Delivery for almost 5 years, and I still have to choke back tears when a new little spirit enters the world. Sometimes I am more emotional than Mom and I have to step out to wipe away the tears. No matter what, it is a beautiful moment.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All is safely gathered in..

Abigail got back from Mallo Camp yesterday. She was so full of news about all her adventures. She loved it, and wishes she could go again. I was thrilled to hear of all her fun adventures, and just as thrilled to have her home once again. A hymn came to mind last night as I checked on all my sleeping "chicks" before going to bed. There is a line in Come, Ye Thankful People Come that just echoed in my mind "all is safely gathered in." The next stanza is e're the winter storms begin - I am not ready for that, but I still know that all is well when we are all together. The times that we are all together seem to get farther apart as activities and schedules keep us going. Chad left this morning at 6am for a scouting activity so tonight I will be able to once again think, "all is safely gathered in." I am thankful for my family and that we can be together forever.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Favorite Camper-girl off to Camp

Abby left for Mallo Camp this morning. She was so excited to be heading off on her own for a few days. Mallo Camp is an "Environmental Educational Experience" offered by our school district for all 5th graders. This is the highlight of the 5th grade year, and she has been so excited and looking forward to it. Weighed down with her 35lb backpack fully equipped with anything and everything possibly needed to be prepared for our crazy Wyoming weather, she happily left Mom for camp. Can you believe it? I will miss my favorite Camper-girl.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Drumstick, Gravy, Nugget, and all the rest

Many of our friends have asked us to send pics of our chickens. We decided to get chickens to see if it was cost effective to raise our own birds for the eggs and meat. We also wanted to have a use for some of our 14 acres of land that we moved onto last year, also giving some responsibilities to our kids. Well, here is our coop that my husband built for me to house the chickens. We have been told it's the Taj Mahal of coops, but I love it. Brian worked on it all summer while the chicks got big in the garage. He used all the "leftovers" from our house, so it matches. The windows are from my mom's house, as we replaced hers this summer. We hung our antique tools from my grandpa on the back and the run faces the southern sun. Our chickens love their home, and have even tried to be "free range" when the kids have left the door open. As for the cost effective part- it remains to be seen, but we are also trying to raise our kids too and is there a cost limit on that?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Where to Start? Today!

This week started out with a bang as after church we came home to find all our boxes of peaches ripe (nearing too ripe) and ready to can. So we did a family home evening with our kids and discussed being self sufficient and the benefit of food storage. So does this count even though I was canning on Sunday? 67 quarts later we have some beautiful peaches to look at. Now that they are all done and so pretty on the shelf, I don't want to eat them. My husband has harrassed me for years that I can't eat what I have canned. I do have a hard time eating the food in the pretty jars on the shelf. As my husband says, "it was not put there to look at." I heard an old wives tale from years back that supports my thoughts however, and it is that you are not allowed to eat the new food until after Thanksgiving. This is to encourage you to finish the old food and rotate what you have. That will give me a little more time to enjoy my "pretty jars".