Mar 31, 2010

Sharing a family favorite

Tonight we fed the missionaries. We always eat better when we feed the missionaries. Why? Because I hope that there are kind souls in Slovenia that are filling my valiant brother's belly while he devotes his life to God for two years. Elder Hone and Elder Wheeler were delightful guests.

The missionaries' visit coincided with my desire to clear out the freezer, so we had chicken pillows (several ingredients were frozen before noon today). I mentioned our menu on Facebook and a few friends requested the recipe, so here you go.

Chicken Pillows
36 frozen Rhodes rolls
3 cups chicken, cooked and diced
8 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 T dehydrated onions
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 cup bread crumbs

First, defrost the rolls according to package directions -- on a greased pan, under greased plastic wrap -- until they are soft but not raised. This took a couple of hours in my 65-degree kitchen. When they were ready I just stuck them in the fridge until I was ready to use them. (My cute sister gave me this great advice.)

Cook and chop up the chicken and mix with 1/2 cup of softened butter, cream cheese, onions, and pepper. It should look something like this.

Stretch out a soft roll into a flat circle, then scoop some chicken mixture into the center. Pinch the roll around the filling.

Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small bowl and pour bread crumbs into a separate bowl. Dip the newly-formed "pillow" in butter and bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet, crumb side up.

Take pictures of your children, who may or may not be watching TV in the buff.

Bake pillows at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes.

We like to drizzle the pillows with gravy (cream of chicken soup diluted with skim milk). Tonight we served the chicken pillows with strawberries, green salad, and Arizona-fresh lemonade. With two very hungry 19-year-olds and our always-ravenous Zachary at the table, we had about seven pillows left over after dinner. This meal was a lot of work, but it sure was yummy. I'm looking forward to lunch leftovers tomorrow!

Signs of Spring

At the end of March, it finally feels like Spring. I am noticing signs everywhere.

These wind chimes, powered by the near-constant Spring breeze, make me happy every day. Many thanks to my dad, who bought them for us last year when he visited for Lexi's blessing.

I am especially excited about the tulips sprouting in my flower beds. They have multiplied since last year! The tulips in the back yard are a few weeks ahead of those in the front. (They are different varieties.)

The tree out front is on the verge of blooming. I cannot wait for the green leaves to return.

The kids don't care about green -- they just like the warm sunshine.

Spring, of course, brings Easter. Our Family Home Evening lesson this week focused on Jesus Christ. While we talked about the Atonement, we frosted and decorated sugar cookies shaped like bunnies and eggs and birds and tulips. We delivered plates to a few friends in celebration of the season!

I look forward to seeing the changes in our yard and life that are bound to happen in the next month!

Mar 28, 2010

Random stuff

The last half of our Spring Break was pretty quiet. There was snow...and more snow...and lots of staying inside. We had grand adventures planned that didn't work out, so the kids and I stayed home, did laundry and chores, and bugged each other while Garry worked. The boys are excited to return to school tomorrow. I am very excited to send them!

Here are a few tidbits from our life lately:
  • I had the brilliant idea to organize Lexi's hair bands in a daily pill container. I love it! I wonder if there are other tiny things I could organize in this way.
  • Lexi cut tooth #5 this week. It neighbors her top teeth. I had no idea she was working on it. She has started sleeping better since I began bedtime doses of Tylenol.
  • We tried this fabulous soup for dinner tonight. Twelve thumbs up! It's a keeper - especially because it's a recipe for the Crock-pot.
  • Zachary is very interested in reading the Harry Potter series (and watching the movies, but we want him to read the books first). I think he is a little young, but he might read the first three anyway.
  • Garry is exploring (with the help of higher-ups at Wells Fargo) the possibility of transferring in his current position to an office in Gilbert, Chandler, or Tempe, AZ. If he can keep his current job and secure Arizona office space, we will most likely put our house on the market when that happens.
  • I taught Relief Society today. The topic was Elder Nelson's conference address. I am not the regular teacher and had a pretty neat experience preparing for the lesson this week.
  • On Saturday Gavin decided to start potty-training himself. He used the toilet, unprovoked and unassisted, several times throughout the day. He has been richly rewarded for this amazing behavior and now wears Pull-ups during the day. I am still not ready to commit to this effort, but it is fun to see him trying.
  • Our ward boundaries were realigned this afternoon. Our little neighborhood was carved out of the 9th Ward and taken in by another ward. I was surprised at my emotional reaction. I'm very sad! But all will be well.
  • Gavin LOVES to take self-portraits with me.
  • I had a major flashback this afternoon as I was baking Easter-themed sugar cookies. I remembered delivering plates of Easter cookies to the kids in our Quatama Ward Primary class in the Spring of 2002. It's hard to believe that eight years later, the kids in that class are now 12! We will frost our cookies for Family Home Evening tomorrow night.
  • While I was juicing lemons the other day, the kids were driving me crazy so I sent the oldest three out to play in the cul-de-sac for half an hour. During that time, Gavin left his scooter in a neighbor's driveway and the neighbor backed over it with her car. While I am sad that Gavin's Christmas present is destroyed, this incident was a good reminder that I can't leave the eight-year-old in charge. We are very glad that the only thing damaged is a toy -- things could have been much worse!

Mar 27, 2010

A taste of summer

Along with some fantastic memories, I brought several bags of lemons home from Arizona. My mom's back yard lemon tree was overloaded with fruit, and several out-of-town family members were the grateful recipients of the harvest.

It took a couple of days to recover from our trip and round up a juicer to borrow. (Thanks, Julie!) But on Thursday afternoon I turned my attention to the lemons -- all 104 of them!

With the frigid wind swirling snow through the air, I'm glad to have a bit of summer stored away! I am also looking forward to making this delicious-looking lemon dessert. The only ingredient I lack is...lemon zest. Isn't that funny?

Mar 25, 2010

Blue lipstick

It's not really Easter without Robin Eggs, is it?

Gavin found my stash behind the computer...
...and shared with his sister.

Lexi was quite enamored with such a tasty treat!

Mar 24, 2010

Let it snow (because we have no choice)!

We left Phoenix yesterday as a torrential rain storm was beginning. Apparently we missed the worst of it, as well as the worst of the rain-induced snarling traffic. But we hadn't been gone too long when we started getting texts, both from Mesa and Colorado Springs, about the predicted weather in Colorado: snow, and lots of it.

The roads were mostly dry during our long journey. Just was we hit Colorado Springs city limits, a light rain began to fall. Ten minutes later, as we exited the freeway, the first snow flakes fell. An hour later we had three inches of snow on our driveway, and this morning the whole world was under a thick, wet blanket of white.

Most of our yard was buried eight inches deep, as proven by this ruler. But some of the drifts were much higher. They reminded me of the peaks of meringue on my mom's lemon pies.

Garry set to work shoveling our driveway. It was a slow process since the snow was much wetter than usual, and since so much had accumulated overnight. Gavin wanted to be involved, so he put on rain boots over bare feet (after I nixed wearing my shoes). Then he came in for socks and ran through the snow in those. Then he decided being inside was a good idea.

Zachary definitely lasted the longest in the snow today. This afternoon he built snow people all by himself. Maybe tomorrow he'll add to the family. This stuff isn't going anywhere soon!


This afternoon Gavin wanted a sandwich for a snack, so he brought me bread, peanut butter, and a knife when he got too frustrated with the process to complete it himself. He is two, you know, and the intricacies of spreading peanut butter are a little beyond his grasp.

I asked if he wanted jam. He said, "Hm....I want honey. No, dam. Peanut butter and dam." We looked in the freezer for the jam. "Dere it is! Dere is da dam!"

I tried to coax Gavin to say jam correctly. "Gavin, say juh-juh-juh-jam."

He said, "Ch-ch-ch-DAM!"


So he took his little sandwich to the table and that was that.

Two hours later, I heard some clanking in the kitchen. I was sure Gavin was downstairs...but he wasn't.

Guess he wanted another dam sandwich.

Remember when Eric got married?

When I think about my brother's wedding weekend, I might remember the arduous 15-hour trek our family took to Mesa. I might remember how we all slept in one bedroom (plus the closet), that Garry forgot his dress pants, or that our credit card was on fraud alert. I might remember the stresses of finding matching clothes and of keeping the kids out of the way during reception set-up, of feeling awkwardly fat in all the pictures, or that Lexi slept badly during our stay and cut her fourth tooth. I might remember all of those crazy things.

But what I will remember most about the weekend Eric and Jentry got married can be summed up in one fabulous word: family.

I will always remember how much I enjoyed being with Angie and Rachel and seeing our three little girls together. I am really looking forward to the day when park dates and game nights and pedicures and family dinners are a regular thing.

I think it's so cool that once upon a time these three ladies, my mom (in pink) and her sisters, once had three baby girls in the same year, and that we are the lucky second generation that will have close cousins.

I will remember the time spent with grandparents who rarely see my kids. I will remember play time and story time and dinner time with all the cousins. I will remember the way Gavin called his cousin "Little Pink Iris" every time he saw her.

I will remember laughing with my own cousins...laughing and laughing and laughing. I hope that the cousins who are thinking about moving to Arizona will actually move there! What a party we could all have together!

I will remember missing Elder Dixon, but being thrilled that he still attended the wedding festivities in spirit (and in cardboard).

I will remember the glorious day, March 19, when Eric and Jentry were sealed for time and all eternity in the Arizona Temple. I will remember holding Garry's hand during the ceremony, reminiscing about the day that we made the same sacred covenants that seal our family together forever. I will remember the sweet friend who watched our children during the sealing, and the miracle that kept Gavin in the stroller the entire time. I will remember the feelings of love that surrounded me as my family gathered on the steps of the temple. I love that I am related to all of those wonderful people!

I will remember the gorgeous reception in my mom's backyard that night. (For some fantastic pictures of the event, visit my sister's blog.) I will remember how much I laughed as we tried to pose nine kids under 9, and that for a small moment I didn't care about how I looked -- I cared about how happy Eric and Jentry were, and how glad I was there to celebrate their special day.

I might remember the long drive home, we were packed together for 14 long hours, how the van became a toxic waste dump, how we just beat a giant snow storm, and how the door to the house was open when we finally arrived.

But I'm sure I'll mostly remember the love...for these four kids, my dear husband, and all the family we are blessed to call our own.

pass it on!

Bookmark and Share