"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Rainy, Muddy, Yummy Day!

This post is from the end of August, 2012.  Today I thought of it (because I need to whip up something healthy and delicious for lunch and am out of ideas).  When I went to look it up, I realized that it was still only a draft, and decided that it should be published!


Necessity is the mother of invention... which is a truth that becomes very real on those days when I have not yet made it to the grocery store (but desperately need to go) and my kids are hungry for lunch!  Today was one of those days, but I am very pleased with the delicious (and healthy) lunch we had, notwithstanding the many ingredients (like bread and tuna) that were not to be found in our house.  I was going to make tuna, but realized that I didn't have any - so I decided to do something with canned salmon instead...which turned out to be a good choice (not something I can claim every time, trust me). We had two different salads with some chips on the side, and since it was such a hit with the kids, I decided to share:

* One medium sized wedge of cabbage, pureed in food processor
* Some red onion also pureed
* 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
* 2 Tablespoons or so of finely chopped fresh parsley
* 2 stalks of celery (with tops), finely chopped
* 3/4 of a large cucumber, finely chopped
* 1/2 of a large tomato
* a little sea salt, to taste
* a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients together and take a bite.  Refreshing and delicious!  I had planned to make some kind of dressing for it, but it tasted so great with nothing on it that I just let it be!

* One can of cooked wild salmon (I always get Trader Joe's brand) - water drained off the top
* One large, crisp dill pickle, chopped up
* 1/2 large tomato, chopped into small pieces
* a little bit of red onion, pureed in food processor
* a little salt
* a little freshly squeezed lemon juice
* some mayo

The main thing with the salmon is to make sure that it is very well mashed up and mixed so that there are no chunks (it would be gross to see pieces of bones or skin, which I always leave in for the incredible nutritional value... neither of these parts of the fish make it taste yukky, they just look weird).

The kids, especially Weston, had a great time in the rain and mud!  It is such a treat here in the desert.  Here are a few pictures that prove we actually do get rain here in Las Vegas! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This week

This week was reading week at school. On Monday I got to read in Sophie's class. She picked the book, which was The Giving Tree (one of my all-time favorites). After, Brighton and I got to join her class at music time. It was SO MUCH FUN! I was on a high all day from going to preschool with Sophie. Seriously!
Yesterday was character day at the kids' school. Weston and Sophie wanted to dress up as Jack and Annie from The Magic Treehouse series...which they did. I thought it was absolutely adorable, although the only thing different about Sophie is that she actually wore tennis shoes (instead of sparkly shoes or boots)! Weston loved wearing the glasses, which I thought was super funny. I don't know if anyone knew who they were supposed to be, but they didn't care.  It was fun to see all of the kids at school dressed up as different characters.

I took this picture of Brighton today.  He is seriously the most adorable baby in the world!  I adore the baby phase. I am so thankful for this precious little man that God sent to our family.  He has a huge, infectious smile that I have yet to catch on camera.  No matter how jubilant he is, the smile completely dissipates the moment he sees that camera in front of his face!  I need an invisible camera.  Is that so much to ask?

Meanwhile, my amazing 88 year old Grandma is in town visiting!  She and my Aunt Sue (who I haven't seen in 5 whole years) just arrived last night and are staying with my mom.  They met us at Weston's t-ball game this evening.  It was the most b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. weather ever!  The last couple of days I have actually been leaving doors and windows open, which in my opinion is absolutely heavenly.  I am cherishing it because I know this kind of weather doesn't last forever.  I was so excited for Grandma to meet Brighton for the first time and for my Aunt Sue to meet Jason and all of the kids!

Did I mention that Jason is coaching Weston's t-ball team?  He really does a great job.  Weston is having fun, too.  He seems to understand the sport just a little bit better than he did last year.
Waiting in line with his buddy, Camden, to bat.
More Brighton.  I pretty much take pictures of him whenever the camera is handy.  Wouldn't you?
Sophie is such a good helper when it comes to the baby (as is Weston).  She was sitting with the baby so I could get some laundry done this evening while daddy was out doing visits.  Weston didn't want to miss out so he had to jump in too (of course)...I think it is so funny how Sophie holds both of her brothers in such a motherly way, gathering them close to her. 
Brighton just looks shell-shocked from the camera flash!
A little while later the kids passed out on the couch (now if the baby would just go to sleep at a decent hour)!
Tonight while reading scriptures, Weston had some really deep questions.  I am so proud of him for actually thinking about the things we read and discuss.  Tonight he asked how Jesus could feel the sins and pains of the world if he was perfect and never had any of those problems himself?  How could a perfect person feel all that?  I was blown away.  He also asked some insightful questions about the resurrection.  I'll never forget him asking me how Jesus could love people that do bad things.  He asked me that when he was three!  I am glad that he's a deep thinker.  It was a great day!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Two weeks ago today Weston turned 6. Weston has always been emotional and sensitive, which has caused Jason some distress in the past. Since I was the same way as a small child, I always told him it was the price we had to pay for an obedient, sweet child...after all, look at me...I was super sensitive and moody, but I turned out to be an obedient child and teen (my mom might be laughing to herself about now because she remembers what a brat I could be)! But in all reality, I have always had a desire to do right and to please my parents. Well, turned out I was right about Weston. He is overall an obedient child...and it looks like he inherited my over-active conscience! He admits things that he has done wrong even when he doesn't have to tell. I am so thankful that he is a genuinely good boy. He also has such a sense of humor! I literally could write a book just of the funny things that come out of his mouth...and it is not just typical little-kid non-sensical hilarity either. What is so funny to me are the conclusions his deep thinking six year old brain comes up with! At any rate, we did quite a bit of celebrating for his birthday this year, and it started two Saturdays ago when he went bowling with Jason and Jason's dad and Sophie too. I was just getting over a terrible flu, so I didn't go - but I was there to take pictures when he opened grandpa's presents after. Grandpa always seems to score with kid gifts...including this pretty awesome General Grievous action figure.

The next day Grandma and Curtis came over for cupcakes and more presents...
Including this Buzz Light Year costume from me and Jason
And the new Spider Man movie... 
  Since Weston almost never gets cake due to the wheat allergy, he especially enjoyed the cupcakes - which were amazingly delicious if I do say so myself (even though they were gluten-free)!
Sophie was having a crazy hair day, which is just what happens when I am sick and no one is leaving the house anyway...
The next day after Weston's birthday, Monday, Sophie got to bring this special poster to school because she was the Star of the Week!  On Monday she got to present her poster to the class...which included pictures of her family, her favorite place (Utah where her cousin Lily lives - although they just moved to Idaho so I guess that makes the poster inaccurate now), what she wants to be when she grows up (a doctor and a mommy), her favorite thing to do (play with Weston), and a wish (go to Disneyland).  I have to admit that I prodded her a little bit on the wish thing.  I think her first wish was to have a Mary Jane or Spider Woman costume.  But since her wish kept changing every 5 minutes anyway, I didn't feel too badly.
I brought cupcakes (Spider Man  of course) to Weston's class that day for his birthday where they sang to him and Sophie was a Star of the Week too, so I thought it was an occasion that merited a photo shoot!

I love that my kids are young enough that they still love to give hugs and kisses...especially Sophie
Weston cannot get enough of Brighton.  He often comments that he wishes he could just cuddle and kiss the baby all day because the baby is just soooooooooooooo cute (I don't disagree)!!
The cheapest entertainment around...
I know you are thinking to yourself, "why doesn't she feed that baby!?!?" 
I love this picture even though it looks like he has a mini cast on his arm...I just have to keep socks on his hands as often as possible to prevent him from scratching that adorable face!  Love the expression...
At Weston's first T-Ball game of the year.  It was a bit chilly!
Brighton didn't seem to mind, although he does have that serious professor look here.
Sophie ended up sharing her blanket with her friend, Molly, whose big sister is on the t-ball team with Weston.
I probably should have taken some shots of Weston actually playing t-ball, but those pictures generally turn out blurry.  But at least we took some fun ones after!  Somoeone gave him a nasty sugary drink that left his tongue blue...which he thought was just hilarious.
The kids were having so much fun sticking their tongues out, we decided to do a family shot (minus the bambino who was happily sleeping at the moment).
Then I told everyone to do their silliest face, but apparently tongue-sticking-out was still the best thing the kids could come up with!
It's not very often that we take a picture together alone, because usually one of the photo-bombers jumps in (otherwise known as Weston and Sophie)!
Awww, cute!  Everyone says that Brighton is a "mini-Jason."
Weston took this picture of the baby.  I have no idea how he got the light to look like that, but I thought it was sort of cool.  Then I realized it looked "cool" because it reminded me of those faded photographs of me and my brother in the 80's!
You know when you try a recipe and it is such a success that you take a picture of it?  Well, that just happened Saturday night (two days ago).  These were called chicken lettuce boats, and they were amazing...easy to make, super healthy, and absolutely delicious!
Me and the munchkins before church yesterday.
One handsome little man dressed in his finest! I know I am biased, but I'm pretty sure we've got another heart-breaker on our hands...
This was taken last week at Weston's birthday party.  Even though it is chronologically out of order, I just had to include it! I LOVE his smile.  I have got to find a way to capture the really big ones on camera.