Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Rush

Once I tore myself away from the snowman, Christmas tree and Santa legos this morning after having found the mother load of  instruction booklets on their website. I have since been covered in flour up to my elbows. I am on batch three of home made dinner rolls (a quest to match the rolls of an ex boyfriend's mother back in college, whom I have only one regret, and that is to not have snagged that darn recipe while I had a chance. That would have been cheating, I know but no one that I know of makes them in my own family.) I have put together two pie crusts. (Thanks Josh Schlup for the staple recipe in our house) and I am moving on to the Spinach Artichoke dip. I'm not even making the turkey but I've been up before 7 every day this week in anticipation of pulling off the mound of food I am preparing to go with the meat Nellie is making. I finished my shopping yesterday. I can't believe that people bring their grown children in numbers upward of 7 to one of the busiest grocery shopping days and have them saunter like teenagers do while the rest of us wait to get through the aisles. Can't they go look at the electronics or car air fresheners or something. And I'm probably a little excited about my side of the family coming out to celebrate with us. The boys are in the lobby making couch forts and I am secretly listening to Christmas music while Justin is busy grading papers. I love Thanksgiving break. It really is the best. Amazing my mom and grandmothers pulled off the feast all those years. Amazing anyone trusts me to do the same now that I have come of age. Wish me luck. I'm almost there. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Here is a game that the boys and I made the other day. Pretty fun. Using dice, everyone just plays all the way through using the 2x8 and 2x4 bricks only, adding and taking them away as shown. The one with the tallest tower at the end wins!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Primavera

I just ran across a new vegetarian recipe in a book my mom sent me that is awesome and easy. I thought you ladies might want to try it on the family so here it is.

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2" pieces
3 carrots, sliced into coins
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 red and 1 green pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
4 roma tomatoes cut in half
1 large container of mushrooms, cut in half
(sweet potatoes and broccoli might be good, just use what you like and have on hand if need be)

Put them all on a shallow baking dish and toss with olive oil, seasoned salt and any kind of mixed herb bled you might have. A little oregano and rosemary would do too.

Roast at 400 for 1 hour, turning and mixing a few times. Turn the broiler on for the last few minutes to brown things up.

Take the tomatoes, pull off the skins and put in a blender with 1/4 cp olive oil, 1/4 cp raspberry vinegar (or you can just use that Brieanne's dressing which is what I did), 2 tsp mustard, salt and pepper and puree it.

Toss the veggies with prepared fettuccine noodles and pour the sauce over top. Stir to combine and garnish with parsley if you have it. WALA! SO easy, SO seasonal, and pretty darn healthy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Surrogate Family

Maybe we have told you about Kip and Nellie before. They are some of our closest friends and actually some of our first friends here in Durango. They took us to lunch the first Sunday we attended St. Mark's and we were hooked. They have a way with taking both the young families and college students under their wings and spending time with them which results in nothing less than us all falling in love with them. They are great and have become our surrogate family out in the Rockies. Their kids live far away and our family does too so we've sort of found each other. 

Kip, although is a medical doc by trade is a passionate armchair philosopher. He teaches a medical ethics class up at the college on occasion and is always pulling Justin's ear about some book or philosophical topic. 

Nellie never comes over without a book from her own kids collection and no matter how busy and crazy our visit, always manages to find a quiet corner (even if it's the floor!) to read a story to the boys before she leaves.

They love to have the boys over for some hang time. It's good for us, them and especially for the boys. They always have something fun up their sleeves. Last month, they spent the afternoon, reading about and identifying real flies in all their developmental stages and the fishing flies that correspond to them over lunch.

 They then packed up and headed to the river to catch them like real entomologists. The boys are fascinated and come home chitter-chattering about the day, all they found and of course little vials full of writhing critters!

Who's more in to this?!?! Kip or the boys?

More recently, we have heard the sad story of the castle legos that were bought for their girls years ago and never really loved to their full capacity. But alas! The McBrayer boys LOVE legos. So the long forgotten legos have been resurrected (and added to thanks to Ebay and Nellies expertise in finding just the right thing on there). The boys were invited over for a reading of King Arthur comic strips (one of Kip's childhood favorites in need of an very attentive audience!), smoothies and castle lego time.

Smoothies with Nellie. Way better than the ones I make at home. 

Nellie getting a lesson on how these things work.

These two are comparing castles and tackling a book of directions for a hand cart.
Very special people, these two. And that is precisely why we asked them to stand next to us as God parents to our boys as Patrick was baptized today. Just one of those days you will remember for the rest of your life. A true blessing to all of us!