Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bad blogger

So it seems as though there's been a lack of blogging again lately. Sorry about that. We've just been going about life as usual and haven't had anything much to blog about. Our pool was out of commission for about two weeks (FOREVER in the summer!) and is now up and running again. The boys are so happy. Zachary is now able to dive to the bottom of the pool in 3-4 feet of water and get a diving stick off the bottom! It's funny & amazing to watch that little guy kick his way down there but he can do it. Alex is just now brave enough to jump in from the side of the pool but only in the 3 foot end. Both boy think they can dive off the side but they really just put their arms down and then either jump in with their feet or flop in on their bellies.

When we were swimming the other afternoon Chris scooped out a baby bird from the pool. It was still alive but soaked. He put it on the ground and it hopped/walked a few feet away. We didn't see it the next day but I'm sure bad things happened to it. I don't know where it came from since there's not a tree next to the pool??

The boys have enjoyed watching the World Cup with daddy. I found them some cute shirts by accident while shopping for something else. Too bad they didn't have or were sold out of USA shirts. They still look cute in England and Italy. Our mega soccer lover Zachary was sure happy with his even if he doesn't look like it here.
We bought both boys soccer cleats last week in preperation for them joining a soccer team in the fall. I know they don't have to have cleats but daddy thought they needed them. The bad thing is that I won't let them wear them in the house so Zachary is kinda upset out that. Little does he know that he's getting some indoor soccer shoes for his birthday next week.....hog heaven!
We've got lots of family coming into town next week (my in-laws plus brother-in-law & his family) so this week I'm trying to get ready for it. I'm house cleaning, trying to plan a few meals so we won't have to eat out every meal, making a huge grocery list to get tomorrow, plus gearing up for Zachary's birthday party on Sunday. Then next week we've got lots of fun things to do while everyone is here. I will blog about it - I promise!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day to all the daddies and papa's out there. Especially to my own - I love you!

Chris as a new dad - the boys first week home.

Now a "seasoned" dad of 2 1/2 years.

My dad (aka Papa) with some of the grandkids.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

After a long break I'm back to menu planning this week. I'm trying to be good about calorie counting again so I've got several lower calorie favorites of ours plus one new one. (I aim for under 400 calories). Some of the higher calorie starchy sides I'm making just for the rest of the family. I'm really excited about the pork tacos that are on the menu for tomorrow!! The pineapple salsa sounds like such a great summery finish. Here's our menu for the week.

Sunday - Cheeseburgers (mine was on a deli flat instead of a bun & had 2% cheese) with french fries for the guys

Monday - Chicken Chow Mein (291 calories)

Tuesday - Pork tacos with pineapple salsa (345 calories)

Wednesday - Crunchy onion chicken (331 calories) with sauteed squash or green beans depending on what I can find and fruit

Thursday - Garlic-mustard grilled beef skewers (from Bobby Flay - Foodnetwork.com)with parmesan roasted broccoli and fried potatoes

Friday - Dijon chicken (286 calories) with roasted asparagus and rice

Chicken Chow Mein - from Parents Magazine

1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb. fresh or dry lo mein noodles
1/4 cup canola oil, divided
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated, sliced 1/8-inch thick
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 cups packed spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Mix cornstarch and soy sauce in a bowl. Add chicken; marinate for 5 minutes.

2. Boil the noodles in a large pot of salted water until al dente, about 5 minutes for fresh, 10 to 15 minutes for dried. Drain and transfer to a bowl filled with ice water. (It helps prevent the noodles from getting soft and sticky.) When theyre cold, drain and toss them with 1 Tbs. canola oil.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2-1/2 Tbsp. oil on high in a large pan. Stir-fry chicken until almost cooked through, about 6 minutes; remove. Add 1/2 Tbsp. more oil to pan; stir-fry ginger, scallion whites, and garlic until oil is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the noodles, chicken, and spinach and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallion greens if your child likes them.

For more great menu ideas go to www.orgjunkie.com.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Extended family

When my nephew graduated last weekend it meant that my younger sister and her kids came down for the event. So the whole family got to spend some time together, which is rare these days(except for my husband and brother-in-law - sorry guys!). So what did we do?
Eat lots and lots of yummy watermelon!

Play cards (Disney Uno).

Take a dip in the hot tub. (Check out those red faces!)

Catch up on reading.

And just hang out.

Can't wait to see you guys again!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Graduation Weekend

This past weekend my oldest nephew graduated from high school. It sure makes me feel old. His graduating class had almost 500 students so with all 5 little cousins there (including my two) the kids got a little antsy. I guess we could have left after Brandon was done (he was near the front part of the alphabet) but we knew several people and wanted to see them too. Plus, Brandon couldn't leave until it was all done. Really different from my graduating class of 43!

The big moment!

The moment we saw Brandon after graduation all five of the little cousins were so excited to see him.

Brandon with Mimi & Papa (my parents)

Brandon with his mom & brother Tyler

The proud mom & her new graduate

After we finally got out of the parking lot after graduation (what a mess!) we headed to a luncheon party for Brandon and three of his friends. All four of them had been on the soccer team (one of them obviously on the girls team) so they had a super cute soccer cake with all of their names on it. The new graduates were deemed the cake cutters and had to serve the rest of us.

All the graduates in this group are going on to college. Three of them are going on soccer scholarships - including Brandon. What a great group!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Weekend

For Memorial weekend my sister, her two teenage boys, and one girlfriend came to stay with us. We spent most of the time in the pool. This is when Alex learned to swim. Boy did he surprise us all!

It was decided beforehand that we were going to try a crawfish boil. We'd all eaten it before but never made it. Boy, it's a lot of work. You have to buy them live and my grocery stores didn't have them unless you ordered them in advance. So, Lisa bought them and drove them over an hour to get to me. We kept them damp overnight and cooked them on Sunday. You have to rinse them in salt water to get out all the dirt and poop, and then pick out the dead ones. The cooking part wasn't too hard but the prep work was long and stinky.

They were good. Even though we didn't make them spicy my little boys thought it was kinda spicy and didn't eat much. They had fun though. Now I've got two double bagged bags of stinky crawfish carcases that won't be picked up until Friday - yuck!!

We also celebrated Tyler's 16th birthday (a little late). The cake I made was called a rocky road cake. It's just regular chocolate cake with chocolate frosting but you add mini marshmallows, peanuts, and mini kisses (I couldn't find those so I used milk chocolate chips) all over it. The picture I saw also had a "road" made of marshmallows and peanuts but I made a big T for this one. It was yummy!

Happy Birthday Tyler!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another swimmer!

I can hardly believe it but Alex is swimming now too. Once Zachary ditched the swim float Alex decided he wanted to give it a try. He was doing great for a day or two with it. Then on Sunday he said that it hurt and took it off. The next thing I knew he was swimming!
He's not as fearless as Zachary but I think that's good. He doesn't jump in from the side or want to go in the deep end of the pool much but he's able to swim across the shallow end of the pool as you can see with his face in the water. Too bad daddy was gone on a work trip and didn't get to see it. I'm so proud of both of my boys!!