Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh dear...

Working on his cheerleading moves, just like his big sister!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Branching out...

Artichokes. I'm 37 years old and I have never eaten an artichoke. Truthfully, I've never had the slightest desire to... Rhys, however, is rather intrigued by anything with spikes (vegetable or not)! It seems our local Costco carries this odd culinary treat. Couple Rhys' curiosity with my rule of never denying a request for any veggie or fruit (particularly anything new to us) and we brought home four of these things...
I am not adventurous but I am on a mission to feed my family well. Alas, buying the artichoke is not enough. Apparently, one has to actually cook & consume them to reap any health benefits. (Sort of like the treadmill... one has to actually get on it AND turn it on AND run... Grrrrr!)
So, dinner with friends on Saturday became the occasion of choice to debut these green pokey globes . Jason did a little internet research and discovered that they can be microwaved in lieu of steamed (our steamer basket is too shallow). He did that and then grilled them for a bit. Served alongside melted butter, we dared one another to try them. Four adults and six kids trying to figure out how to eat those 2 artichokes. We liked them once we figured out what part is actually edible... but as Jason says, "Anything that hard to eat doesn't really want to be food."
Verdict? We have two more to cook. We will cook & eat those. Nonetheless, I'm guessing, short of a specific request, artichokes probably won't make my grocery list.
However, the rest of dinner was worthy of a repeat. We made Bangkok Chicken Satay (chicken skewers with peanut sauce), fresh cauliflower & broccoli (from the farmer's market) and wild rice (made in the awesome new rice cooker~ our old rice cooker wouldn't adjust for brown/wild rice).
I took no photos so you'll just have to take my word for it... Delicious!!!

Like father... like son...

Out for a run at 6:30 this morning! Rhys is training for his black belt testing at the end of August so he's kicking the workout schedule into high gear...

Cael laying on the couch, watching Bob the Builder, waiting for daddy & Rhys to get home from their run... (Yes, Cael should still be sleeping! Far too early for babies & mamas to be awake!)

Breakfast courtesy of Lou... again!

My enthusiastic child and her second attempt at breakfast! Lou made pancake bake and scrambled eggs with peppers & cheese. (Yes, that is George pouting... He didn't want eggs!)

Cael, on the other hand, loved them!!!!

Here he's asking for more!

Rhys has cooking class this week. I hope he's as excited to cook as his sister! (This is working out well for the mama...)


Rocking Brennen's trusty companion, Stuffy!

Boy, does this little guy LOVE watermelon!?

Friday, July 24, 2009

She's going to be a great cook!

We had Gordon & Amy over for dinner last night. I made Korean Ribs (my dad's recipe... yummy!) and Kjersten made dessert! She made Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes and they were fabulous!

I haven't had Korean ribs since childhood. They were my absolute favorites! In looking for another recipe in my mother's enormous collection, I found my dad's recipe. The ribs were as good as I remember and really easy to make!

Korean Ribs

  • 6 beef short ribs
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed, mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive or sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon MSG
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • pepper to taste

Cut ribs crosswise to bone in 2 or 3 places. Combine remaining ingredients to make marinade. Marinate ribs in sauce at least one hour. Place ribs in single layer in baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Notes: I use boneless ribs. I also use much more garlic and will use low-sodium soy sauce next time to cut down on the saltiness...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Want a "bahsterry"?

Kjersten made smoothies for breakfast this morning (a first in our house as I don't like fruit mixed together and squished...) She did a great job and the boys loved them!

I had to video Cael and his new pronunciation for his favorite fruit!

The occasion? Kjersten finished her three day cooking class at the local kitchen store. She now has a folder full of recipes she's dying to make for us. I'm sure you'll be seeing many posts of her cooking adventures in the future. (Rhys takes his cooking class next week. After that, I figure those 2 can be in charge a dinner or two each week! Yippee!!!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day at the Water Park

George was happy with the little slides... for a while!

Aspen spent all day playing with baby Cael and he loved it!

Kjersten playing catcher...

On to the big slides, this time with big brother Rhys... Kjersten never did brave the big ones, but I don't think George will ever go back to the tad pool willingly!

George catching some rays and Cael having a little snack!

Messy little boy...

Checking out the resident bugs.

Still working on those Popsicles!

Little girls talking and giggling in the wading pool!

Whatcha lookin' for Cael?

Clearing the deck of more bugs...

... and putting them back into the pool!

Monday, July 20, 2009

And they were going to throw out the box?!

We had to have our four year old furnace replaced. Seems we got a dud. Hopefully, its replacement is without issues for years and years to come!

The HVAC guys were here last week to tear out the (not so) old furnace and install the new one. Of course, the new one comes in an awesome box. Its potential seemed lost on the install crew as they packed it up and were going to take it to parts unknown.

Glad we rescued it! For days and days, it has been a fort, a house, a hiding place, a coloring board, and now... a sled! Against all the mama fibers in my being, I allowed the girls (Emma & Kjersten) to "ride" this deathtrap down the stairs over and over...

Sensing an end to this adventure, I snapped a picture of Emma, Kjersten & Brennen heading downstairs. Sorry it's blurry. By the time I realized this, the box had lost its bottom and was no longer sled worthy. Not sure what it's new use will be...
Here's the landing buffered by couch cushions from the family room.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gold medal winner!

Rhys competed in the Big Sky State Games this weekend. Despite the sweltering heat, we had a great time watching and cheering. He didn't place in Kata, but did a great job. In point sparring, Rhys won every match and took 1st place!

Watching all those kiddos swinging weapons and fighting. Absolutely intriguing, if only for a few minutes. He is only two after all...

Rhys & his buddy, Richard.

Waiting for the awards...

Rhys shaking Master Forleo's hand after receiving his gold medal.

George, the good ninja!

Brennen disappeared into the bathroom & I assumed it was for his usual business. A few minutes later, this is what emerged!

Brennen as a ninja.

I asked him to smile and here he is explaining that "ninjas don't smile, even if they're good ninjas!"

Good thing those were washable markers!

Riding bikes

Not sure why he has one sock on... Seems to be a genetic thing around here!

Not a huge riding area, but big enough to entertain this crew for hours!

Sleeping boys...

Nap on the big boy bed...

Refusing to nap on the big boy bed. (He did sleep for 2 1/2 hours. Must be more comfortable that it appears!)

Cael in the... shower!

Oh, he just loves the shower! Obviously...

Can you get a picture of two toddlers?!

I can't... Here are the results of my attempts....

Cael loves the train (duh!) on the ball (double duh)! His two favorite things...

Carol picked up some matching PJs at Cabelas for the boys. Too cute!

What do you mean?! This is sitting still!

Stuffy the bear...

Fourth of July (actually the 2nd of July!)

Our annual celebration with Daniel & Christian's family nearly met a soggy ending. However, the wild storm blew over quickly and sufficiently dampened the earth to quell the nervousness of potential fires! We had a ball, as usual!

Brennen and the first offerings of the Fourth of July...

Watching from a safe distance...

Cael kept saying "I scared..." but he loved every minute of it! He never quit smiling!

Rhys helping Brennen...

This is the daddy's idea (fault)!

What?! How do you watch fireworks?!