Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An Early Proposal

During a visit with some dear friends yesterday, the oldest boy who is Liv's age, rushed to the door on my way out to ask me a question. It went something like this:

Um..Jen, I wanted to ask you something!
Ok, what is it?
Um, when I get older, if I can't find someone I love more, I was hoping that I could marry Liv.

Of course, I told him that I would run it by Mr. Wieber.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Snow Day

Kids are different in the snow. More daring. More excitable. More creative. And in Holland's case: More cold. She is not a huge fan of being cold and is quite miserable every time we venture out in the Winter. Nonetheless, she did seem to have fun this year building a snowman in front of our home. Liv, on the other hand, LOVES to be cold and has ever since she was a baby. We got chastised so many times while touring Europe with her in December 2003. She was 2 months old and though clothed and blanketed, she was not wrapped up enough to bystander's expectations. In my head, I remember thinking..."Ok....I'll wrap this little one up like a mummy, and you can enjoy the aftermath: wild, uncontained screams, and thrashy kicks that could knock your lights out. Liv is still this way. We have a rule where she must wear clothes to the dinner table. And it's written on a sign. In the car, if it's too hot from the heater blaring, she pants like a dog and can barely get out the words, "my mouth needs air! My breath is so hot!", as she frantically attempts to roll down her window. In the bathtub, a common argument is: Mo-om! It's too co-old! No it's no-ot! It's too HO-OT!!!!

So, snow days can be challenging. Liv wants to run out with sandals and a t-shirt, while you can't get enough clothes on Holland.

Even when you do, the poor thing will be holding up the side of the garage door, seeking some sort of sheltered solace, while looking at Liv and all her friends play in the snow. Not sad. But glad that it's not her out there.

Last weekend, the girls got to play with their friend Mary at Maddie and Jake's house. They had a ball. Well, Liv did. :o) What we learned from this snow day: Cookie sheets and snow shovels can successfully lead double lives as snow sleds!

And yesterday, we played in our own front yard. I call this our first successful snow day...Holland is smiling!

And here is Grandma, placing the ninja cap upon our snowman's head. I've never met a ninja yet who wears suspenders. Well, at least I've never met one who would admit to such a fashionable accessory choice.

Merry Christmas week to you all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Healthy Crockpot Soup

I have very few soups that I love to make and my favorites all happen to be cream-based. This is unfortunate, as I have to stay pretty clear of milk most days, so I don't make them very often. I haven't been able to find a healthy soup I really love. Finally, though, I have found one! And the bonus is that it's super easy and quick to make. It also features my most favorite vegetable of all: Green Chiles, or Pablano Peppers. This is not a spicy soup, though you can make it so by choosing hot chiles instead of mild. Brian spiced his portion with his usual half cup of Tabasco. I added some cilantro to my soup as a garnish. And the ultimate test: The girls even liked it! This was found in my Southern Living: Our Best Easy Weeknight Favorites Cookbook.

Green Chile Soup
1-1/2 lbs skinned and boned chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 (4.5) cans chopped green chiles, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 C. water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed

Toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped avocado, sliced green onions.

Place first 10 ingredients in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 4-6 hours, or LOW 8 hours. Serve soup with desired toppings. Yield: 10 cups.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thanksgiving Adventures

We headed to Birch Bay, Washington for Thanksgiving. We got a late start, as Brian ruptured his bicep tendon and we had to get MRI's and doc appointments done before we could go. He also fixed our Blazer's intake manifold gasket with a left hand and the help of his priceless friend, Scott. Once there, we had a great weekend visiting with Brian's sister and her family, Grandma Jan, Aunt Charlie, and Grandpa Phil. The girls logged in some much needed "cousin-time". We pulled into their driveway at 3am...this is usual for us to keep plowing through the drive. Well, actually, it's normal for Brian to do so. I get to rest my eyes in the passenger seat. I know...I'm spoiled. Anyhow, we pull in and tell the girls where we are. Now, normally, we would need about 5 whole minutes to get the groggies out, stretch, and then begin to comprehend our surroundings. Not this time. Giggling erupted and shouts of, "There here! There here!" could be heard from Holland. Inside, the house, a celebration enused. At Mark and Tami's house, EVERYONE celebrates at 3am when you arrive. It's really a very nice way to enter into a visit.

While there, we:

Snuggled with bunnies.

Went on a nature hike.

Got Clean.

and Went sledding. Without snow.

I also got trounced 3 whole times while playing board games with my nephews. Be afraid boys. I will come back to redeem myself and get back my honor.

On the way back, we stopped in Yakima to surprise my parents with a quick visit. They are there for a brief stint while my dad fills in as a P.T.


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