Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Action Research Paper/AKA Thesis

I am super proud of this email I just got from my teacher and had to share:

"You did an amazing job on your action research paper. In fact, it is one of the best papers I've ever had in EDU 654. Congratulations on your fine work."

I feel so proud and accomplished. thank you Jesus for giving me the will to complete it and thank you to my hubby for helping me with Brooke in the evenings so I could work on it. YAY!!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Brooke and Grammie

Give Grammie a kiss!


Look at all that lipstick!

My cutie pie!

I think her favorite ride was the train that goes around Disneyland

We have been to Disneyland more than a dozen times, but have only taken overnight trips a few times. This time we did Disneyland on Friday and Sunday and Brooke hung out at the hotel on Saturday while my mom and I got pedicures and went to lunch. Our passes are blocked out on Saturday's during the summer, but I think the break in between was nice for all of us!

Brooke didn't take a nap all day and stayed up until 10pm without whining or throwing a fit once. On Sunday, she took a thirty minute nap and other than a few times in the car on the way home she didn't cry once. Did I also mention that she is an angel? Now I am not saying she doesn't have her days, but for the most part she loves life and is pretty obedient, especially at Disneyland. It's like she knows it is the happiest place on earth.

Oh it gets better... she slept awful on Saturday night!!! She was up every 30 minutes from 3:30am until 5:30am. Kyle finally had her sleep on his chest and she slept until 8:30am. We don't know what was bothering her, but man we didn't get any sleep!! I don't know how we did it or more importantly how she did it without fussing! She seriously amazes me!

We ended up getting her a "baby leash" so that we could make sure she wouldn't bolt or get stolen. We really didn't want the leash to replace obedience so she had to stay near us and not walk as far as the leash would let her. I think it was more for peace of mind then anything.

She went on the Carousel, Pinnochio, Casey Jr. Train Ride, Storybook Land, It's a Small World, Jungle Cruise, Buzzlight Year, and Midway Mania. We also went to the Aladdin Musical, which was 45 minutes and Brooke sat through the whole thing perfectly. We went to Disney Junior on Stage. There was so much we would have liked to do, but it was busy. Kyle and my mom did Tower of Terror and I did Pirates of the Caribbean with my parents.

We saved money by bringing bread, lunch meat, jam, and peanut butter to make our sandwiches at the hotel. We also brought lots of yummy snacks and water. I love that Disneyland allows you to bring outside food and water.

Brooke loved hanging out with Grammie and Grandpa and she looked for them as soon as we left. We can't wait for our next trip to Disneyland and our time with Grammie and Grandpa.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Updated blog

I had about 5 blog post in drafts and 2 of them ended up in April. You might have to do some searching! Thanks and sorry about that!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Playing with friends

We have been so blessed to be surrounded by amazing parents with wonderful children. Brooke loves playing with her friends and I love the fellowship I am receiving with their mommy's. As you can see they love her just as much she loves them. Thank you for showing my family God's love. We are truly blessed!


Brooke has always loved to read, but lately she started reading out loud. She reads with so much intonation and I love listening to her.


Chicken in a White Wine and Artichoke Sauce

Oh my this recipe is so good I had to share! I wish I took pictures of the food but if you look at the original it looked like that. I served this with rice and steamed veggies.

Original recipe

Chicken with artichokes and wine sauce Serves 4-6 depending on how much people will eat

  • 5 thighs and 5 drumstick with skin on
  • a bit of butter and olive oil- I like the combination of the two for this
  • salt and pepper
  • 14 oz of jars/cans of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • zest and juice of half a lemon
  • a dollop of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F. Pat your chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, then generously salt and pepper them. Heat a bit of butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. Put the chicken in skin side down and cook on high several minutes, until nicely browned. Flip and cook until the other side is brown, a few more minutes. Then, transfer the chicken legs to an oven pan that fits all of them. The original says to leave space, but I was feeding more and squeezed them all in.
  2. Turn the heat on the frying pan down to medium and stir in the garlic. Cook one minute, then add the wine, stock, lemon zest, and juice and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let this bubble for about 2-3 minutes. Then add a dollop of sour cream. If you don't have any omit it, but it really added to the yummy factor.
  3. In the meantime, scatter the artichoke pieces over the chicken. Then, pour the sauce from the pan all over the chicken pieces. Then combine the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle all over the top of the chicken and the sauce. Put it into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve warm from the oven accompanied by a salad and some veggies, and some rice or bread if you wish.
I really think this is a must try. I had family over and that didn't like artichokes, but loved the flavor of the sauce. I ended up eating most of the artichokes.

Black Beans and Rice

I tried a couple recipes before I decided on this one to be the yummiest. The original recipe can be found here, but because I couldn't find some of these ingredients I switched it up a bit and it would be too spicy for Brookie. I think the changes ended up tasting great!

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 jar of roasted red bell pepper, chopped, not pickled
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 bottle of white wine
2 to 3 bay leafs
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of smoked paprika
3 drops of hot sauce
4 cans of black beans or you can make them homemade from dry beans. Recipe to follow
Yellow Rice- I couldn't find what the original called for so this is what I used

Saute onion then add bell pepper, jar of roasted red bell pepper and garlic. Saute until tender
Add lemon juice
Add white wine
Cook at medium high heat--medium boil--for about 5 or so minutes, cooking off some of the alcohol.
Add bay leafs, salt and pepper and smoked paprika
Cook another 5 minutes
Add hot sauce
Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring as needed
Cover and cook on low for approximately 1 hour, or put in crock pot on low for 2 to 3 hours (if you don't use dry beans). It is best when the beans are cooked soft. Let cool
Cook the rice at whatever point you choose...before, during or after preparing the beans.

The flavor is delicious and my family ate it up!!

Black Beans
makes about 36oz which I found to be enough for the recipe above.

1 1/2 cup of dry beans washed and examined. Make sure there isn't any bad beans or rocks in your bunch.
5 cups of water

Put in a crock pot for 5-6 hours

Do not salt until after the cooking process. I didn't salt my beans until after I cooked them with the mixture from above.

Sometimes when I am making beans I take out a cup of water and add a can of diced tomato, jalapeno, onion, garlic, etc. The best part about making your own beans is that you can add whatever flavor combination and don't have all the salt and preservatives.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First Day at the Beach in 2011

Our first trip to the beach was on Sunday and we had so much fun!!! Brooke loved the beach and despite the cold water she couldn't get enough of it. She kept running back and forth into the water. The waves would knock her down so we had to hold her hand the whole time. Here are some pictures from our adventure!

Feeding Daddy!

She loved playing in the sand too!

Splashing in the water! She has no fear so we have to be right there next to her always. It was a lot of fun and we are so excited to take her there again this summer.

As you can see in the video, Kyle is freezing the minute he gets his feet wet, but Brooke just wants to keep going again. Crazy kid!

Counting to 10!

She misses the number 6 and other than 5 that is smooched together with 4 all the numbers are very audible. I love the little rhythm she decided to put in between some of the numbers.