Thursday, September 29, 2011

Birthday Menu

I tried new recipes for Brooke's birthday and Kyle and the guest seemed to really enjoy the food. I thought I would post some recipes since everything I did turned out very nicely.

Chicken Kebabs
Rice pilaf
Tzatziki sauce
Pita Bread

Chocolate cake with chocolate and buttercream frosting.

The original recipe can be found here, but I changed a few things based off what I had available and what I wanted to spend time doing.

This fed four adults and two toddlers with some leftovers.

6 chicken breast cut up in chunks marinated for at least an hour.

Souvlaki Marinade

12 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 rounded tbsp smoked paprika
1 rounded tbsp of sweet paprika
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves minced garlic

After marinading the chicken for an hour I diced up half of a red onion, one green pepper, and one red pepper.

You can skewer the chicken and grill them, but I didn't realize that I was all out of skewers and tried broiling the chicken. It turned out SO yummy. I broiled the chicken for 20 min (I think), tossing the veggies and chicken half way through. The broiler caramelizes the chicken and veggies similar to the grill, but because it is sitting in juice keeps everything really moist. I would adjust the time in the broiler based off the thickness of your chicken.

Place the chicken with the rice pilaf and tzatziki sauce on the side (can be found on the link above or buy it from your local grocery store.)

*My changes to the recipe include adding two more chicken breast, not pounding the chicken out, doubling the marinade recipe and instead of two tablespoons of smoked paprika, one smoked and the other sweet. I also broiled my chicken instead of grilling it on skewers.

My friend does this amazing thing for salad dressing that is fresh and keeps a salad from turning into another way to eat fat.

Baby greens
Grape tomatoes
Red onion
Shredded carrots
Feta cheese
Persian cucumbers

Just put all the ingredients directly on top of the salad before serving

A good squeeze of lemon
Garlic salt

Then you can have fun with it by adding different herbs. For this salad I added fresh mint and dried oregano. Then experiment with vinegars as well. I used a good splash of red wine vinegar on top of the salad.

Toss thoroughly and enjoy!

As for dessert I used this recipe for both the chocolate cake and frosting. The only change I made was whole wheat flour. It actually tasted really good with whole wheat flour. The recipe for the vanilla buttercream turned out perfect and made a ton. I love being able to freeze homemade frosting for other occasions!

My baby is 2!

Having a two year old feels... weird. It is way weirder than having a one year old. I can't believe how fast time is going; each year has been faster and I need life to slow down. This birthday was extremely emotional for me. Brookelyn being two means she officially is a toddler! I know that she has been a toddler for awhile now, but the number is making a big difference in my head.

Brooke is such a blessing to our family. She is wild, sweet, cuddly, busy, dirty, and preppy all at the same time. She has just the right amount of girl and a little tomboy to keep it interesting. She is learning that she has the ability to make her own decisions and I am learning how to help her make the right ones. Being a parent is hard, but I am so glad that I have the Bible as my guide, a wonderful husband to lean on, Godly friends for support, and a gracious and forgiving child. Thank you Jesus for another wonderful year full of laughter, some tears, good health, and the Holy Spirit to help guide us through this process.

Here are some pictures from her birthday. We had a party in Fresno with family and friends and decided not to have anything in San Diego for her and just do our own thing. It worked out well since our friends came over dinner and they helped make the evening special for her.

I thought my Minnie Mouse cake turned out pretty good

Isn't that the cutest cake! My friend Sandee made it and it was delicious!

Daddy couldn't travel with us that weekend. We sure missed him!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Playing Dress Up

Brookelyn received dress up clothes for her birthday and she loves them. Yesterday she dressed up like every princess she had. I caught a couple of them on video. We like to tell her that she is a princess- an heir to the Kingdom.

She know the Cinderella song,"So This is Love." She loves to twirl and sing,"This is love, mmmmm, this is love." Pretty fun!

Brooke's Bible Study

Brookelyn took my Bible this afternoon and had a Bible Study. See what she learned.

Ferguson Family Vacation

I can't believe how fast last week has passed. For those of you who read my last post, I accomplished 90% of my list and technically 10% wasn't necessary anyway. We had a great time with Chad, Kelly, Alyssa, and Myles. The last few days Brooke keeps asking for Myles and Alyssa to wake up. After we remind her that they flew home she says, "Let's go to the airport." Kind of sad, right?

Some of my favorite parts of their trip were:

-Watching the kids faces as they walked through Disneyland observing all the new sights.

-Listening to Alyssa's laugh; she had uncontrollable giggles on many of the roller coaster rides.

-Brooke's excessive singing and new giggle.

-Their excitement to meet the characters and get their autographs. They held onto the autograph books like they were gold.

-Myles favorite toy that he picked was his baby Mickey. Although he got a Mickey sword and Buzz-Lightyear gun, it was baby Mickey that he loved and cared for the most. Too sweet!

-Listening to Brookelyn call Myles 'boy' for half of the week instead of his name.

-Alyssa, Myles, and Brookelyn watching the parade. They sat there nicely waving and smiling with enthusiasm at each new float.

-Disneyland coffee- yum!

-Nightly visits to Yogurt Mill.

-Watching the kids play in the sand and run from the waves.

-Alyssa and Myles boogie boarding for the first time and "surfing."

-Watching Kelly, Alyssa, and Myles jump the waves together.

-Grilling at the cove.

-Watching Brookelyn play with her cousins.

-Spending time with Chad and Kelly.

-Taking the kids to Sea World.

I am sure there are other GREAT things I am missing, but this all I can recall currently.

We love you Chad, Kelly, Alyssa and Myles. Brooke can't stop talking about Ucle Chad (not a typo), Aunt Killy, Myles, and Lyssa.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I totally don't have time for this post, but I have basically been writing it in my head since lunch. Brooke is napping the rooms of the house that I can see are picked up; I deserve a little break to write, right? Do you ever put expectations on yourself that are unnecessary? I do all the time! I decided to write this post, because I need to know I am not crazy, would love some prayers, and want to share so that in turn you could encourage me.

I have family coming in town for the weekend. If it was my parents, in laws, or even my siblings, this would be no big deal. But it isn't. It is family we don't see often enough visiting my home. My house can't just be clean, it has to be organized and squeaky clean. Right now I don't know if it is all going to get done without a couple late nights involved, which I was trying to avoid to stay rested.

Let's go back a little bit to set the stage...

I had a fun, but exhausting weekend. I drove home from Fresno Sunday night and when I woke up on Monday I felt like I had been ran over by a semi. I decided to take it easy; just like that Monday is gone! Tuesday, I ran some errands organized and cleaned out half the kitchen cupboards, cleaned and organized Brooke's room, did two loads of laundry, and put away laundry. TUESDAY IS GONE! Today is Wednesday and I have cleaned out the storage closet and reorganized it. Cleaned above the fridge, ran more errands, more laundry, cleaned out the freezer, and cleaned out the computer area. I would like to clean my floors today, dust, and organize the extra room. I have Thursday and Friday left. Here is the rest of my list:

Clean out fridge
Clean bathrooms
Change sheets
Clean my room
Organize my closet
Sew a dress
Finish sewing my toss pillows
Finish another dress
Run one last errand
Finish all the laundry

Now that list doesn't seem to bad, but if you could see the extra bedroom right now, my closet, the bathrooms, and my bedroom- you would think I was crazy.

With that being said, I know that most of these things aren't necessary, but what better excuse to clean out and clean up then when family comes to visit. I am so excited that they are coming and I am determined to get it all done! These are all things I have been meaning to do for awhile and I love the pressure of a time limit to get it all done. The best part about all this fun stress is that I have been very diligent about reading my Bible every morning and afternoon. YEAH for me! Please pray that I do not let the stress of my own busy-ness keep me from getting rest. How about you guys, do you do crazy stuff like this?

With all that being said I am doing this with a happy and thankful heart! I am ecstatic that our family is visiting and I couldn't think of a better reason to be busy.