Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

As we take a minute to remember those who have given their lives for us to live so freely in the United States, I am both hopeful and sad at how far we still have to go. So many people cannot live their lives as they wish, and to me this is such a GREAT tragedy. I hope that one day my kids don't know of the discrimination that is still felt among large groups of people today!

After this public service announcement and a GREAT BIG "THANK YOU" to our amazing military personnel, I would like to share with you the most AMAZING BBQ sauce ever! Most especially enjoyed on Baby Back Ribs, my guess is that it could be used on just about anything you would like to BBQ!

Espresso Barbecue Sauce
by Michael Chiarello

4 T EVOO
4 T mashed and minced garlic
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cups ketchup
2 cups honey
Gray salt
1/2 cup strong coffee
Freshly ground black pepper

In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and saute until it gets light brown, about 1 minute. Add cider vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and honey and stir well. Add a pinch of gray salt, then whisk in the coffee. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Let cool and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jackson-in-the-Box

Was a doll Wednesday! Seriously a doll face. I told him I had a surprise if he was good at Tyler's End of the Year Party. Usually, you are not supposed to go to the party if you can't find child care for your other child, but this year the class has been such a DISASTER, that I didn't dare leave the teachers there alone. And, what do you know? Jackson and I set the table for them, served the food and drink, and we were all around awesome!

When we were done being awesome, I asked Jackson to go sit on the carpet, not to move, and don't make a sound. OK, that NEVER happens, but I kid you not, I didn't hear A WORD out of his mouth! NOT EVEN when the super amazing chocolate chip cookie decorated pie/cake thing from Paradise Bakery was busted out. He just kept coloring away on his Magna Doodle, drawing comics none-the-less, and not making a peep. The "devil" child from Tyler's class even came and ripped his magna doodle away, and I didn't hear a word!

WHY CAN'T HE BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME!????????????

I walk over with a piece of the chocolate chip pie/cake thing, and he has these GINORMOUS brown eyes, looks up and me, takes it and says, "Thank you, Mommy!"

My heart melted, and I fell in love all over again!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. I have just about NOTHING to say today!

2. My dear little Tyler split her lip open and had her fingers smashed in the door, we have spent the morning cuddling. Sweet thing!

3. It was REALLY nice not having to race anywhere this morning. I could get used to this whole summer thing, then again, it is the first day in a long time when we didn't have to be anywhere, get back to me in July!

4. Some friends and I are going for sushi tonight, SO EXCITED!

5. Jackson is sooooooooooooo much easier to be left alone with than Tyler. I swear he played his DS and watched movies the entire time Tyler was at school yesterday! Tyler won't sit still for 5 minutes while Jackson is at school!

6. I have always craved foods, I didn't notice anything unusual about having a craving when I was pregnant because I fixate on the food I want until I have it, even when I am not pregnant! I think Jackson is the exact same way. He wanted orange chicken last week, and seriously WOULD NOT stop talk about it until he got it. I had to give in because I TOTALLY knows how he feels! Tyler on the other hand, she doesn't have cravings, she only eats two foods: pizza and fruit. When she says she wants pizza and fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it doesn't really surprise me!

7. For Jackson to go to the dentist last week, it cost $210! That was for a cleaning, exam and some xrays. That was also with 5% off for cash courtesy because I paid with my debit card. I think that is an absurd amount of money for baby teeth!

8. I think my iPod is the greatest gift Pat has ever given me, well best gift since we have been married and he decided he no longer needed to win me over with material possessions!

9. Tomorrow is Tyler's last day of school, and it is water day! I have never had to deal with her wearing her bathing suit to school before, but I find it so weird because for Jackson, water day involved a bathing suit and t-shirt, and I didn't think much of it. But sending Tyler in a skimpy bathing suit seems weird to me! I don't have an explanation, I just don't like it!

10. I wish I knew how to grill. BUT, I have absolutely NO DESIRE to learn because it is (a) outside and (b) WAY TOO HOT FOR ME!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some of My Pioneer Woman Cookbook FAVORITES!

I have cooked my way through just under HALF of her cookbook. I didn't take pictures of much of the food, if you follow me on facebook, you have probably seen some of the cell phone pictures I have taken, but MAN, I am loving her food. There are some recipes I recommend NEVER making: skillet cornbread (DISGUSTING), spicy pulled pork (fine, but not spicy and not at all worth the time you have to spend turning it and cooking it), Penne Alla Betsy (not a lot of flavor), and the bacon-wrapped meatloaf (bacon doesn't crisp and the sauce is REALLY sweet-almost like a dessert)! HOWEVER, the good FAR out weighs the bad in this case. Here are some of my favorites.

1. PW's Potato Skins-these are the BEST potato skins I have eaten in my life.

2. Hot Artichoke Dip-HEAVENLY!

3. Basic Breakfast Potatoes-the online recipe calls for you to boil potatoes, in the book she says to bake, so I baked the potatoes, YUM!

4. Marmalade Muffins

5. French Breakfast Puffs

6. Pizza Crust/Tomato Basil Pizza

7. Chicken Spaghetti-even WITH the green pepper, I ate it and loved every bite!

8. Homemade Ranch with Iceberg Wedge

9. Oatmeal Crispies-minus pecans, but adding in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

10. Pineapple Upside Down Cake (In an Iron Skillet)-DELICIOUS!!!

This doesn't include any of the recipes I made from her website, just recipes in the cookbook. I will have to do website recipes later on, but I went ahead and linked the recipes that she has on her website that are in her cookbook talked about here!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. OMG, do you guys go through stages??? Forever, I thought that Jackson was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO photogenic, now I can't get a good picture of him for the life of me! Now, Tyler is the easiest thing thing in the world to photograph because she LOVES to pose like Hannah Montana!

2. Speaking of Hannah Montana, Tyler got a spaghetti strap Hannah Montana nightgown from Walmart. I didn't think it was appropriate, so I asked Pat, he said it was fine, OK!???

3. I want lasik!

4. Is it helpful that Pat occasionally empties the dishwasher? YES! Is it helpful when he asks me where everything goes the entire time he is unloading it? NO!

5. I had the most HONEST, wonderful interaction with Kathy Hubbard at Hubbard Swim School. We swim with Mrs Wyse, who is amazing, but I was trying to sign J up for swim team, and she told me at 5, it is a WASTE of money, so that made me feel sooooooooooooo wonderful about her establishment. (If you need affordable swim lessons for your child this summer, let me know, Mrs. Wyse is AMAZING!)

6. Has anyone been to America's Taco Shop? I am DYING to try it!

7. Jackson is down with school on Thursday! Tyler is done next Wednesday! I am sad!

8. HOW DO I HAVE A KINDERGARTNER!???

9. We have these gnats all over our house! I have talked to other people in the neighborhood, and I just want to state that everyone has them, they are DISGUSTING, and I want to know when they will go away!

10. I am thinking about having a 4th of July blow out this year. Party in the courtyard, then walk to the golf course for fireworks! What do you think? I think Tyler will cry through the entire fireworks display, does that surprise anyone?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

AMAZING WEEKEND

OMG, we had a FANTASTIC 3-Day weekend. Our plans to go up North were put on the back burner, so we made the best of it in Phoenix!

FRIDAY-Shirley Temples and Orange Chicken. It doesn't get better than that when the Shirley Temples are served in plastic wine glasses! The kids were BEYOND THRILLED! They also got to take a bath in our GIGANTIC bath tub, why didn't I think of this sooner?!



SATURDAY-HIKE, Einstein Bagels, Target, Dollar Store (I swear it was Pat's first trip there), Half Price Books, COSTCO, Albertson's. It was an incredible morning, and the kids absolutely ROCKED at hiking. We probably started at a trail that was WAY TOO ADVANCED FOR THEM, but they were troopers! Next time, I am dying to try the trail that is paved, but there are EIGHT parking spots! What time must I get up!? HA! They had some out door play time, and I am not kidding when I say these two kids have the most terrific laughs! OMG! Just listening to them laugh, makes me laugh! For dinner we had the most amazing crab legs, they were heavenly! Jackson even tried one and realized they weren't that bad, mainly I think he just liked cracking them!







SUNDAY-best Eggs Benedict ever, BOWLING, lunch at Five Guys (seriously it should have its own post-sooooooooooo good), Peter Piper Pizza, quality video game time with Daddy, and a water balloon fight!








It was an amazing weekend. I wanted to call Claire Friday morning and redo my RSVP to Lauren's party soooooooooooo bad, but I knew that if someone changed their RSVP to one of the parties I hosted 24 hours in advance, I would FREAK! And, after reading Jaclyn's blog last week about all her preparation for Porter's party and craziness with the crazy glue-I am pretty sure she would have too! So I didn't, and as much as I could have REALLY used some QUALITY friend time, this family had an amazing time!!!!!!! I know Claire is going to post something about how she wouldn't have cared, and she probably TOTALLY would have been fine because she is sooooooo amazing and calm, I just wouldn't have felt OK, if you all know what I mean!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Be the Match

Yesterday, Phoenix Children's Hospital hosted Be the Match and had a Bone Marrow Registry drive. It was SUCH an incredible event. Really, all you had to do was fill out some paperwork and swab your cheeks. I felt so happy being there, and I am all about events that don't require you to do much but could help out in the long run!!!! GUESS what, you haven't missed your opportunity to register. If you go to Be the Match online, they will mail you the kit, and you can register! Seriously, the chances that you will ever get called are slim to NONE, but if you do, you can only be called once, and you will TOTALLY be changing some one's life, and my guess is that it will change your own!!!!

Was I secretly hoping that someone from Phoenix Children's Hospital would stop me while I was there and ask me to be on the Board, YES!!!! Since I totally only have ten years to do that? Unfortunately, no one asked me, but there was a VERY positive vibe running through the place!

Pat wants to know why he is always on the other side of the camera, and my answer is simple. I always remember the camera, therefore, I get to decide what gets photographed, and his 5'10" 150 pound body is much cuter than mine (I saw his form as he was turning it in, and I threw up a little in my mouth!)! Tyler was BORED out of her mind, but on her very best behavior! I can't ask for more than that!





YOU GUYS. . .it is sooooooooooooooo easy! It takes twenty seconds to rub the swabs in your mouth! You could be changing some one's life! Please go and sign up for your kit now! If only one of you does it, I will be happy! If a bunch of you want to register, and I can come help you swab, I would totally be willing! A SUPER CAUSE!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Delay Post Your Post!

A while back, Jaclyn talked about how she doesn't like more than one blog posting to appear each day, and I am with her! I don't like if I have two posts on one day! Why? I don't know. . .something to do with looking like I have too much time on my hands! BUT, sometimes, something is on my mind, so I will write to posts in one day, and then I will delay post it for the morning, middle of the night, whatever! Most likely, if a post is listed as 3:30 AM, it means I wrote it at 3:30 PM, went in and changed the date, and the PM to AM!

If you want to delay post, you enter your Blogger Dashboard, click on Post Options and change the Post date and time! EASY EASY!

I don't want anyone to think I have gone off the deep end, and that I am pouring my soul to the world in the middle of the night! Remember I am still trying to kick my Tylenol PM habit before I am 40! I am SOUND asleep in the middle of the night!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ten on Tuesday-Mother's Day

1. I think this was the BEST Mother's Day I have ever had! AND, I thank these two for making me able to celebrate Mother's Day!





2. I am sorry to say it, but The Farm was VERY DISAPPOINTING! VERY! The food was decent, but NO Eggs Benedict, so in my opinion, that is a GIGANTIC FAIL! BUT THE FLIES, I don't think I have ever seen so many flies or gnats in one location. They were crawling over my body, food, kids, drinks, etc. It was DISGUSTING! I understand that it was an outdoor brunch, but I kind of lose my appetite when I am scooping some potatoes and flies from the serving dish!

3. We had to get our own drinks. If you know ANYTHING about this family, you know that we love to drink. . .whether it is ice tea, coffee, juice, water, milk, Diet Coke, wine, WHATEVER it is our cup needs to be full and getting up and down every thirty seconds to refill some one's cup is NOT my idea of fun!

4. THEY DIDN'T HAVE DIET COKE!

5. THEY DIDN'T HAVE A BLOODY MARY OR MIMOSA.

6. Oh, but the brownie, I think that made up for it all! I am not a sweets person, but I love brownies, especially brownies with frosting-Pat doesn't like frosting on his brownies-WEIRDO! This brownie was covered in fudge-like frosting and then topped with caramel! WONDERFUL!

7. On the way home from brunch we stopped at the park, the kids loved it. I loved it to until these two itty bitty kids were playing, and I was afraid my gigantic children would mow them down, so we had to leave! BUT SERIOUSLY, when did my kids get so big?

8. We made it to my very favorite destination of the day. JAMBA JUICE!!!! Where Pat did the wheat grass shot. I don't think I have laughed that hard in FOREVER!!! People were staring at us. I am sure no one knew it was a Mother's Day gift because who would want something weird like that!? ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has the most delicate taste buds and can barely stand the sight of an onion, I knew what the grass shot would do to him!

9. He claims it wasn't that bad! I think the pictures prove otherwise!





10. The kids got smoothies. . .all was right in the world!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kite Flying

It was a GORGEOUS weekend here in sunny Phoenix, and the kids LOVED flying kites. Jackson's main goal was to knock Tyler's down when it was up in the sky, but she didn't even mind! Patrick was the photographer, and I am thinking he knows what he is doing, he got some GREAT shots!






Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. The kids had soooooooooooo much fun flying kites this weekend. At one point the kite was stuck in the tree, Pat was very high up in the tree, Jackson was sprinting back to the house to get me, and I was running around the back area in my Santa hat pajamas, but all was resolved and the kids are still talking about all the fun they had flying kites! I am still hoping no one was looking out there back window and caught a glimpse of me! I may or may not have been wearing a bra, and trust me when I say I NEED ONE!

2. Speaking of bras, I am in DESPERATE need of new ones, but I HATE setting foot in Victoria's Secret. I don't want any of your super cute bras, just some comfortable ones that will serve a purpose, and the young teenagers working there just don't seem to understand why!???

3. AND, in other bra news, this guy at the new casino/hotel was hitting on me Sunday morning. I was VERY VERY VERY uncomfortable. He actually said, "Soooooo, what do you do for fun?!" Do these lines work on unattached people because I REALLY wanted to respond, "YOU! Let's go up to your room right now!" Just to see what he would say! What do I do for fun? I play blackjack at the five dollar table on a Sunday morning, and NOW YOU ARE RUINING THAT FOR ME!

4. My disposal STINKS, and I have done everything in hopes that it will smell better! Any new ideas out there for me?????

5. TWO T-BALL GAMES LEFT-can you tell I am excited or something?!

6. I won Mother's Day Brunch at The Farm at South Mountain-I am thrilled! A place I have always wanted to go, and I don't have to pay! HOLLA!

7. The month of May brings soooooooooooo many things to do! I cannot keep all the things straight, although I am REALLY trying!

8. I was MAD MAD MAD this morning, but I was able to move past it and get a lot accomplished. Thank you Claire for helping me through it! My response is my responsibility, and I am REALLY good at not responding when it is NOT my family. I feel like my family should love me no matter what my response, BUT, that hasn't been working out so well for me because I don't think anyone really understands me, soooooooooooooooooooooooooo they are joining the people that don't get a response!

9. I think I am going to start a journal or something so that I can express what I want, kind of like a blog, but no one has to see it, and then no one will get their panties in a bunch!

10. Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, go hug a teacher! If you are a mom, you are a teacher, so give yourself a pat on the back!

PS-I used sooooooooooooooooooooooo a lot today! In my opinion, I used it a lot of different ways :-)!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mommy and Tyler Breakfast

Tyler and I had a WONDERFUL breakfast at her school last week! She wore her fancy new dress (really not fancy, she just thinks it is, and that's all that matters), and I got many compliments on how great I looked (really didn't look great, just put on a dress with my flip flops and did my hair)! It was a great morning together. As defiant as she has been lately, it is amazing how much she is attaching herself to me. I know it won't be long before she can't stand me and acts much like the girl in Modern Family did a few weeks ago (PLEASE TELL ME YOU ARE ALL WATCHING IT!), so I am trying to enjoy the fact that she doesn't want anyone else to get her out of bed in the morning, SO SWEET! Here are some pictures from the event! AND A VIDEO!
video

Saturday, May 1, 2010

LONG LOST VIDEO!



OMG, this brought tears to my eyes! Now that I have a computer that works, I feel like a new person!

Look at how cute she was. . .long before her days of RIDICULOUS temper tantrums, talking back and STUBBORN personality!

I look so happy as well! Makes me smile!

Saturday Morning Learning

Here's how Pat and the kids spent the morning. . .





cutting up a whole chicken or TWO!

Nothing says Pioneer Woman like your kid screaming, "Eeeewww! I can see blood!", OR asking questions like, "Is the chicken scared!?"