Friday, August 28, 2015

Random Bits of Summer

Sarah and Conner were married!

 Roman's awesome artwork!
 Jennie gets married

 Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry!
 Meeting a blog friend for the first time and LAX!
 Maine Berry Black Bear Icecream
 Emerson's House
 My dad's and my grandparents house in Dracut, Mass!
 Some American writers house who I can't seem to remember right now.
 San Francisco Pier!
 Spent our fair share of time in laundromats this summer!  So worth it!

Shawna got married

Summer has almost come to an end though one would not know it by looking at the temperature gauge.  We are still avering 91 degrees every day.  Our schedules are becoming increasingly busy and this year even three weeks back into school I am still finding it hard to wake up each morning.  While I will be sad to say goodbye to August, I am looking forward to September as it brings a trip to Europe for me and my friend Lucy.  Frank and my mother will hold down the fort and watch the children.  So need some time alone.   September here we come!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Curry Quinoa Salad with Cauliflower and Zucchini

2 cups of quinoa cooked according to package directions.  Set aside to cool.
1 head of cauliflower if the head is extremely large as was in my case, set half aside and chop the cauliflower into small bite side pieces.
2 zucchini quartered and chopped into 1/2 inch size pieces.
1 medium onion halved and sliced into bite size pieces
3Tablespoons of coconut oil.
1 cup of cashews
1 cup of raisins
2 Tablespoon of curry
1 Tablespoon of fresh grated ginger but can used powder if  you don't have fresh
2 Tablespoons of  minced garlic
salt to taste

After you have made the quinoa you will need to caramelize the onion in a sauteed pan in a tablespoon of oil.  Once onion is caramelized scoop out of pan and set aside for later.  Then in the same pan add the zucchini and the cauliflower to two tablespoons of oil.  While cooking add garlic, curry, and ginger.  Season with salt to taste.  Once cooked through  then combine with quinoa, add the onion, cashews, and raisins.  I plumped up the raisins before adding them to the bowl by adding a 1/2 cup of boiling water to them. Let them sit for 30  minutes and drain before adding them to the quinoa mixture.  This is great the first day, but even better the second day.  My husband who isn't a big fan of cold salads even enjoyed this.  This can be eaten cold or hot and is a  pretty perfect meal as the quinoa is full of protein and of course you have additional protein from the nuts along with veggies as a great source of vitamins.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Weekend in August

This weekend was exceptionally busy.  Friday night started off with driving Harris back and forth t.)o the high school for the football game where he worked the concessions to raise money for the FBLA club.  Then I spent two hours making panda cupcake for the picnic we were going to the next day with other families who have adopted.  Stupid Pinterest as it always makes everything look to easy. It was difficult, but really time consuming. The children thought they were cool! Then I made a quinoa curry salad (more on that later).

Saturday morning it was pourning down rain and all I could do was pray that later that day the weather would be good enough to go to the park for our picnic; however, before that we meet our friend Lucy and her two sons and went to Catch Air.  The girls had so much fun!  Then it was time for our picnic.  The clouds had cleared away and in rolled the heat. It was very muggy outside.  We had so much fun at the picnic.  Then we had to run over to Suzi's house for the baby shower of
Emily.  The girls behaved so well!  The food was delcious as they always are at these kind of
Off to bed it was for all of us when we got home.  We were beat!

Joshua, Avery, Owen, Sam, Addy, and Leah Grace

Sunday morning we all woke up late!  It was a mad dash to get in the car and get to church on time.  We made it though!  Just in enough time to hear our friends son speak.  He just recently returned home from his mission.  Then the Goulding girls and the McDonalds daughters sang this beautiful song.  Their wasn't a dry eye in the church.

After church, we had a simple lunch while I made a dinner for a family in our congregation had a baby on Thursday morning.  It truly was a wonderful weekend!  What did you do?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The First Time

I still remember that day so clearly.  It was August 19th, 2013 just 2 years ago, a beautiful sunny afternoon. I remember being in the play room with Addy when the telephone rang.  Across the TV flashed a Colorado telephone number and my heart started beating fast.  I ran to the kitchen to grab the phone before the caller hung up and when I answered the phone a voice said, "Hi!  It is Sarah from CCAI.  Do you have a minute to talk."  Well the rest is history.  That was the day we got the referral for Avery.  Frank wasn't home.  He was at the gym. I scooped up Addy and we drove as fast as possible to show him the picture of Avery. His phone was off and we had no way to reach him.  She was beautiful and she was mine!  We can't imagine our lives without her.  Often people will stop me and say how lucky Avery is to have us because they know the story about China and it's history with girls or their one child policy, but I always tell them no we are the lucky ones.  She has blessed our lives beyond measure.  Thank you Avery for coming to our family.  We love you!

 The first photo of her!

 Just a 8 weeks before we went to china!
Gotcha Day!

Her first night with us!

 While it doens't look like it in the photo, she has adored Winston from the start!

Forever Ours!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Thank you Facebook!

The other day I was checking my Facebook page and this recipe for lemon zucchini bread came across my feed.  I had to make it!  I love lemons!  This bread is amazing! It is tangy, it is sweet, and most importantly the bread it moist. Thank you Facebook! It turns out their are many versions of this on the Internet.  I had to do my own tweaking to make it my own.

Lemon and Zucchini Bread
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
The zest of one lemon and the juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs
2/3 cup of sugar
1 cup of grated zucchini

1 cup of powder sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon extract
 and the juice of one lemon

In a bowl combine dry ingredient and in another bowl combine the wet ingredients then blend the two together.  Spray a loaf pan and pour in the batter.  Cook at 350 for 45 minutes or until you stick a toothpick in the middle and it comes out dry.  Turn bread out onto a plate and let cool.
In a small bowl combine the powder sugar, extract, and juice  until smooth.  The pour over your bread.  Then do your best to only eat one piece because it is that good.

  • For more Facebook, check out this you tube video that has been passed around on Facebook!  If you are from the south than you will totally get this video.
I also thought this video was pretty funny!  Hope you are having a great weekend!  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Settling in and Beating the Heat

We are in the second week of school.  The children are settling in and we are starting to get into a routine.  I am grateful that we still have a few more weeks before their after school activities begin. This mama is the one who is having a hard time adapting from the summer schedule.  I am missing my lazy morning sleeping in as I am no fan of waking up in the dark. Getting up at 6:15 is too early for me.
Winston is going to continue with soccer this year.  Roman is doing Battle of the Books which is program where the children read books and then at the end of the year there is a competition where they gather in team and then go against other teams where they answer questions about the books they have read. He is also doing Cub Scouts.  Harris is continuing with FBLA and working towards completing his Eagle Scout project along with getting his drivers license.  Then I want to sign up the girls for something.  The last couple of years they did a mother and me music class, but I think I want them to do ballet or gymnastics.  I just need to see if we can find a class that will fit into our all ready busy schedule.  Lately we have been spending every afternoon at the pool.  It has been so hot here!  I don't think I have ever been so ready for fall to come.  In an effort to keep the oven off, I have been making lots of salads and sandwiches.  I recently found this recipe and while it wasn't a huge hit with the children I am pretty sure I will be making it again at least for my girlfriends.

recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Orzo with Arugula and Cherries
1 pound of orzo cooked
3 giant heaps of arugula 
3/4 cups of dried cherries
1 fennel bulb minus leaves sliced
1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1/3 cup of apple vinegar
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

In a sautee pan caramelize the onion in olive oil and salt. In a quart pan boil water and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.  Wash the fennel, cut in half and slice.  The combine pasta with onion, dried cherries, arugula, and fennel.  Then in a bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and mustard.  The pour over pasta.  Can be eaten cold or hot!  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Animal Kingdom, York, Maine

Located not too far over the New Hampshire border in York, Maine (which is a fantastic city by the way), is an animal park called Animal Kingdom.  I wasn't to sure what to expect, but I needed something for the children to do and  this turned out to be a fantastic place to go.  It is a combination of an animal park and carnival all in one and the prices were really reasonable. Bring quarters as their are plenty of opporutnities to feed the animals.  The children enjoyed feeding the Fallow Deers and I really enjoyed all the monkeys. The children really enjoyed the park and didn't want to go home.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Back to School

And just like they are back to school.  Summer has come to an end here in Georgia.  Well not really, but our kids get out at the end of May, so schools usually go back by the first week of August. Wishing my gang a sucessful school year. Harris begins his Junior year, Winston is and 8th grader, Roman is a 3rd grader, Addy is Pre-K, and Avery is Pre- K prep!