Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No longer in high school.... and happy about it

Matt is the athletic trainer at a local high school. I hadn't really gone to any games, except one, to which I took the kids, and so I really wasn't that invested in any of the teams. The girls basketball team was really having a great season, so I went to the first round of their state tournament, which was at home. I left the kids at home and I was hooked! The girls were so good and it was fun to cheer for someone. It was electrifying because they won and the crowd was going crazy! There were news cameras there taping it and asking people questions. It was really quite exciting. Matt had told me about the players and I felt like I knew them and wanted them to succeed.

The next week was the state tournament and it was only 35 minutes away, so I decided to go! I really wanted to be there to cheer them on to victory. Then, it all came rushing back. The viciousness of people and how sports brings out the worst in some people.

As I was sitting in the crowd, I realized I was sitting by some of the fans of the opposing team.
It got really heated in there. I was two rows away from a potential throw down and I found myself thinking some pretty ugly thoughts about the opposing team, the referees, and the fans!

I took myself back to when I was in high school, playing in the state tournament in a college arena and wondered what horrible things the people in the crowd were thinking, saying, and yelling about me, my teammates, etc. I felt a bit of shame for my thoughts and criticism of the opposing team, and reminded myself that they were just a bunch of young girls, who were fragile and probably filled with self-doubt. I also reminded myself that most of the people surrounding me were just human too, and I decided to give everybody a break and keep my mouth shut!

When it was all over, unfortunately we did not come out on top and I was just so glad that I have gotten past that stage in life and moved on to what I am involved in now. The pains of being a teenage girl (just look at some of the facial expressions on these girls -sheesh!)

As a side note, our team is really young and really good, so I am looking forward to next year!
(All you bulldog fans- notice the Georgia G- it is quite famous around here)

10 Fave Recipes from Jan/Feb

This is really hard for me to do because I really like all the recipes I have posted, but here are the top 10
Caesar Meatball Salad

Mini Cheeseburger Salad with Yellow Mustard Vinaigrette

Pan-Seared Tilapia

Mixed Bean Chili with Tofu

Carribbean Pork Tacos

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Ginger Chicken Soup (Maple Walnut Biscuits)

Spinach Pesto Manicotti

Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Chicken with Mango Salsa, Edamame, and Coconut Rice

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lunch ideas

I posted some lunch ideas on my food blog . So look them over and try some out!

Jonah's 6th Birthday

Jonah turned 6 yesterday! On Saturday we had a party with his friends and went with the Diego theme. Matt hid stuffed animals and toy animals in the basement and they had to rescue the animals in trouble. We had a pinata, ate cupcakes, and opened presents. It was fun!

Jonah taking a whack at the monkey pinata

Savannah enjoyed the food too

The all boy crew

Jaguar cupcakes

On Sunday, we had a family dinner, Jonah chose homemade pizza(the recipe is on my food blog), broccoli, strawberries, and ended with a yummy monkey cake for dessert. We are so glad Jonah is in our family.

Friday, February 22, 2008

More Sugar Waterfalls!

Now we have animals helping with the sugar waterfalls!

Post Valentine's Day Fun

Yes, we are still dancing to our Spirit soundtrack, but now we are using our Valentine's Day balloons as props! (notice Jonah is only wearing a necklace this time)

You can't get enough of me (tagged again)

1.Best thing I cooked last week? whole wheat bread pudding

2. If $, time, and babysitting were no object; where would you go and with who? to Europe- with Matt of course. I want to see it all- first the baltics, then france, italy, spain, netherlands, greece, etc.

3. Last time I cried. monday night- I was watching Matt talk on the phone to a friend and I was touched by how much he cares about people, his sensitivity, and how he reaches out to people that others ignore, becoming a real friend.

4. 5 things I was doing 10 years ago.

a. attending utah state

b. watching titantic, over and over again in the theatre

c. skipping class and going up the canyon with Heather

d. eating way too many generic cocoa puffs

e. freezing

5. 5 things I was doing 5 years ago.

a. running

b. finishing up at University of Georgia

c. getting ready to celebrate Jonah's first birthday

d. loving my hubby

e. living in Athens, Ga

6. 5 things I was doing 1 year ago.

a. counting the days until Matt graduated

b. holding Savannah day and night

c. losing my mind!

d. getting ready for a valentines date

e. wondering where we were going to move when matt graduated

7. 5 favorite hobbies.

a. cooking/baking/cake decorating

b. running

c. reading

d. thinking

e. loving my hubby

8. 5 places I've been.

a. Estonia

b. Cancun

c. Riga, Latvia

d. Vilnuis, Lithuania

e. Niagara Falls

9. 5 favorite foods.

a. Fresh fruit- watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, asian pear, etc.

b. veggies-edamame, red peppers

c. red lentil soup

d. my mom's potato salad

e. warm homemade bread

10. 5 favorite memories.

a. my wedding day

b. my mission

c. the birth of my children

d. the day I met Matt

e. our anniversary trips

I tag- anybody who wants to play-!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My new food blog

I started a new blog all about food and fun. It will allow me to post all I want about recipes and not take up the space here for my family. Check it out at Food and Fun. Enjoy!

Cool Kids

For some reason, Jonah has become obsessed lately with looking and being "cool". I guess maybe he has picked it up at school, but he wants to wear a hat backwards, a necklace, and sunglasses almost all the time. We recently purchased the movie Spirit, because Ryanne is obsessed with horses. I had never seen it because I really didn't think it could be that great. Well, I was wrong. It is actually a really good show and I like it alot. The best part about it is the fact the Matt Damon voices the main character, so it is like hearing Jason Bourne in the body of a horse. It threw me off at first, but now I can handle it. Anyway, we love the music, (even though it is all sung by Bryan Adams, who I don't like), so we bought the soundtrack. The kids love singing to it and dancing to it. You can dance "cool" to this music, so that is an advantage. The kids favorite song is " Get Off of My Back" (of course, some one posted it on you tube. give it a listen!) Pretty entertaining to hear Ryanne singing that at the top of her lungs while she is twirling around with her eyes closed!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Our Mayan Adventure

Jonah and Ryanne by the Jaguar Stone

Grandma Becky outside, after our adventure

Since Papa Frank and Grandma Becky were going to miss Jonah's birthday by 1 week, we
thought we would take them out to lunch and have some fun. We decided to go to The Mayan
None of us had ever been there before, so it really was an adventure. We had to wait for about 40 minutes, but there are so many things to look at in the waiting area that it didn't really matter.

We finally sat down and had a seat right by the diving pool and also the path that led up to the upper levels. If you have been there, you probably know what I am talking about. If not, try to imagine a rainforest looking atmosphere, with multiple seating levels, a large cliff wall, and a pool of water at the bottom of the cliff. A young warrior man started to roam the restaurant and we ordered our food. Then, the show started. Loud music, clapping, waterfalls, and crazy men jumping off the cliffs into the water. Pretty entertaining, I must say. We had a fun time and as we were leaving Jonah asked "can we come here again?" Once we made it back into the car he said "can we go here tomorrow?" That is when I decided that this adventure would be a special one that we wound share with Papa and Grandma, so I told him we could go back the next time they came to visit us!

The waiting area

Watching the divers with amazement

The waterfall/cliff (can't really see it too well)

The divers taking a break

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Monthly Menu Planner

If you don't want to do the work of menu planning, check out this link- it is a whole month planned out! Month of Meals (They kinda copied my idea of having a theme for everyday of the week j/k)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Papa Frank & Grandma Becky's arrival and Valentine's Day

Our Valentine Cookies

Papa Frank helping Savannah (by keeping her off the table)

Grandma Becky decorating

We enjoyed five days of sun that melted all our snow! When we went to pick up Papa and Grandma on wednesday afternoon, there was no snow on the ground. As soon as we pulled in the driveway, it started snowing. Grandma was very excited because it doesn't snow much in Georgia. I didn't think much of it. It kept snowing. They said on the news to expect 1-3 inches. No problem. A few hours later, Matt and I had to go somewhere and it had not stopped, we were close to a foot and it showed no signs of letting up. The next morning I got up to go the the gym, took one look outside and went back to bed.

We had at least 16 inches, if not more. At 7 am I started to try and dig a pathway so we could walk outside and the neighbors told us that school had been cancelled. Happy Valentine's Day to us!
The kids played outside with Grandma and we thought of all the inside activities we could, since we were basically snowed in!

For breakfast we had cinnamon rolls with pink icing and these cute Healthy Hearts

For dinner the night before, I made Mini Cheeseburger Salad because it was such a hit the time before that I made it. I wanted to take a picture because it was kinda colorful and pretty. I highly recommend making this salad. Yum!
We went to a valentine's dinner at the church while grandma and papa babysat. We walked (since it is 2 blocks away), to avoid getting our car stuck in the parking lot, since they hadn't snow plowed it yet. We were participants in The Newlywed Game and somehow ended up playing a pickup game of basketball, with a bunch of teenage boys that Matt teaches in Sunday School, after the whole activity was over. After I finally got Matt to put down the basketball, we walked home and watched Scrubs reruns! Pretty romantic- I have to admit. It is funny though, because no matter what we end up doing for dates, we always have fun just being together. It was a pretty good day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I think I got tagged?!

Where were you born? Bountiful, Utah.

Middle name: I wasn't blessed with one.

How old will you be this year? 31

Nicknames: Mare, Mommy, Lovey

Are you taller than your mother or father? Father, no. Mother, yes.

Do you cry often during movies? not really

What is your biggest pet peeve? folding laundry

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite foods: Edamame, Watermelon, Strawberries, fresh Blueberries, Pomegranate, Red Peppers

Favorite restaurants: Big City Bread in Athens- the best food and a really fun place to people watch, Maggiano's, PF Changs, CHICK-FIL-A!

Favorite beverage: Cold Water, Root beer on occasion

Favorite cold cereal: Kashi High Fiber and High Protien, the yummy one

Favorite smells: Clean kids- right out of the tub and rain

Favorite time of day: 7 am- I am done at the gym and my kids are just waking up, so they are happy and cuddly and bedtime for me- Matt is cuddly!

What brand of shampoo/conditioner do you use? I have no idea.

Favorite make-up products? Don't really use any and I have probably had what I do use for way too long- I like shimmery stuff

How many pillows do you sleep with? 1, that is very flat

Do you play an instrument? Piano

Have you ever been skinny dipping? Well, I was a lifeguard

Did you do any sports in High School?Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball, Track- keep in mind it was Dugway :)

What was the last movie you saw in the theater? 27 Dresses- but I already mentioned that on my blog so, Juno and The Kite Runner

What is your favorite article of clothing? I am not really fond of clothing in general, but I wear because it is necessary (don't take that the wrong way)

What is your dream vacation? Baltics, of course!

Europe? Yes, Please

What was your first impression of your spouse? I thought that he was hot, fun, uninhibited (we went salsa dancing on our first date) and exactly what I wanted and needed in my life! I was sooo right!

If you were an animal what would you be? a baby jaguar- so I could be Diego's sidekick

What is your favorite "me- time" activity? running in the early morning, cake/cookie decorating or baking or cooking after the kids have gone to bed

Favorite TV shows: Scrubs reruns on KJZZ

What is your dream car? Honda Pilot- lucky me

What is one of your weaknesses? I have too many- sometimes I speak too quickly without thinking

What do you fix for dinner when there's nothing to fix? Cheese Tortillas broiled with Spaghetti-os (the meatball kind) with fruits and veggies cut up on the side

If you could live in a different decade/era which one would it be? the 60's- I would have like to seen Martin Luther King, Jr. in action and witnessed some of the Civil Rights Movement

Do you consider yourself outgoing? it depends on the situation

What is something you are constantly working on? my self-image and my spiritual being

Any hidden talents? I really can't answer that

What is a word or phrase you overuse? What are you doing in there?

What was the hardest thing that happened to you this past year? Battling a little bit of depression and low self-esteem

What is the best thing that happened to you this past year? getting over that and feeling like my happy, normal self

What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year? get in shape!

The best piece of advice you learned this past year? Happiness is a Choice.

Who are the 7 people you are going to tag to do this survey? Audrey, Jaime, Kim Murray, Tiffany Murray, Angela, Lar, and Matt

At the end of the survey post a picture of you that was taken within the last week! I just posted one of me last week, so I am going to wait until I get my free makeover (that I won) and then I will post it!

Best Banana Bread Ever

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze is the best banana bread recipe I have ever made. I have taken it to multiple mothers after they have had their babies and it always gets rave reviews. Give it a try!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Solo Ensemble, Goulash, Bread Pudding, and my first day of Official Half-Marathon Training

My brother Andrew nominated me to accompany him for his singing solo competition. I was practically forced into it and he waited until the last minute to pick a song. It could have been a disaster, but somehow we pulled it off. I am so glad I am no longer in high school!

Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of my mom's baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the beginning of the year we decided to have a Family Sunday Dinner once a month and February's dinner was on my mom's baptismal anniversary. I thought it would be fun to revisit some of my mom's dinner memories from her childhood, so the menu was goulash and bread pudding. As I told my family members about the dishes we were going to have, Matt told me he was not going to eat either of those things because they sounded digusting. Andrew agreed. I told them both that they had no choice and if they really didn't like the bread pudding, I would bake them some chocolate chip cookies after they at least gave it a try. Well, it was a success. Matt decided we should rename bread pudding- french toast pie. Everyone loved it and we ended the night with a hilarious game of charades. Andrew was the winner there with his enactment of fire.
I am so grateful for my mom. When she was baptized, she gave up her family and followed her heart in her decision. She couldn't have imagined how much she would impact the future generations with her choice, but she is truly an inspiration to me and such a great mother, friend, grandmother, example, and I love her! Thank you mom!

Getting back into shape after my third child has been a struggle for me. I love to exercise and need it to be a happy person.

After Savannah was born, it was hard to make time for exercise, especially because my sweet Savannah had to be held all day and all night (seriously). Luckily that phase has gone away and it is just in the past few months that I am finally starting to get back into running again. Yeah!

So, I decided I needed a goal. Salt Lake City Half-Marathon here I, I mean, we come! Matt is going to run it with me but he has opted for the no training method. He is going to continue playing basketball a couple times a week and hope that is enough.
I on the other hand, have a 10-week training schedule to get me ready. I know that there are other training options out there on the internet, but I chose one that has 4 running days a week, so that I can avoid injury, shin splints, and overuse. Matt's background in physical therapy/ athletic training, has influenced me to bike and use an elliptical the other 2 days of the week, so my knees can have a break.

Anyway, today I started my official training and I am hoping that on April 19th, Matt and I will be able to happily cross the finish line! I just want to be able to get back into shape and feel good about myself and exercise is a great way to accomplish those goals.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Snow Day

We have had so much snow! Finally, we had a sunny day, so we went out to play in it. Savannah was so bundled up that as soon as I put her down she went face first into the snow. She didn't mind though because she was right in it and could just open her mouth and eat it. The kids love to eat snow! Savannah just put her head down in the snow and got a mouthful and then came up and then went down for more. I tried to catch the humor of it on camera, but I don't know how successful I was.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Healthy/Fun Snacks

One of my friends called me and asked me to post something about new snack ideas for kids.

So, here are some of my kids favorites and some others.

Edamame- My kids and husband love this! I buy the kind in the pod that are lightly salted, in the freezer section and we eat them cold or warm. so yummy and so healthy.

Quick Pumpkin Muffins- Get a chocolate or spice cake mix and mix up the batter with one 15 oz can of pumpkin puree and a little milk-until it is a good consistency. Bake according to directions and you have a healthier, delicious cupcake/muffin.

Apple Pizza- Flatten a canned refrigerated biscuit. Spread with finely chopped apple and top with cinnamon sugar. Bake as directed for biscuits.

Sandwich Face- Jonah loves faces on egg salad sandwiches but you can do it on any kind of spread. Open Face Sandwiches are a great idea and you could just do it on lunchmeat, cream cheese, and use all kinds of veggies.

Smoothies- Any combo of fruit and/or yogurt is good. Jonahs favorite is Elephant, Monkey, Choco-delight- 1 medium banana sliced and frozen for 2 hours, 1 cup milk, 1 cup chocolate ice cream( I use Edys/Dreyer Slow churned 1/2 fat ice cream) and 1/4 cup peanut butter. Put all ingredients in the blender until smooth and enjoy.

Mott's Healthy Harvest Flavored Applesauce- I like this kind because it has no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup, just natural flavors.

Hummus or other fun dip for veggies.

Cut shapes out of cheese slices, vegetables, toast or sandwiches with little cookie cutters.

Frozen cherries and frozen blueberries

yogurt parfaits


hard boiled egg

Fruit Cones- 1 large banana, peeled, 4 wafer cones, 4 Tbs. strawberry yogurt, 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, 1/3 cup each blueberries and diced canteloupe, 1 kiwi, peeled and diced, 1/2 tsp. honey- Cut four 1-inch pieces of banana and place one in bottom of each cone, Drizzle with 1 T yogurt. Dice remaining banana and toss with remaining ingredients. Fill cones with fruit.

Frozen Fruit Shapes- puree 2 cups chopped canteloupe, honeydew, strawberries, or kiwi with 1/2 cup white grape juice and 2 Tbs sugar. Pour into fun-shaped ice-cube trays and freeze for at least 3 hours. EAT!

Be Adventurous- take your kids the the grocery store and let them pick out a fruit or vegetable that they have never tasted or seen before or try some seasonal fruits and veggies that are inexpensive. You might find a new favorite. My kids love Asian Pears right now. Pomegranates and jicama were big over the holidays. Brussel sprouts are actually tasty!

Frozen Go-gurt

Refrigerated Breadsticks or Frozen Bread Dough- You can make this into fun shapes or letters and sprinkle nuts, seeds, or dried fruit on top.

Fruit, cheese, veggie, and meat kabobs


X-Balls- this is a favorite of my younger brother. Mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup + 2 Tbls. powdered milk, 1/2 cup + 2 Tbls. powdered sugar. Take small pieces and form into a letter X or make into small balls.

Frozen banana pops- melt chocolate chips or some other kind of chips, roll banana half( with popsicle or craft stick stuck in it) in the melted chocolate and then roll in sprinkles or nuts. Freeze until chocolate is harden.

Spread peanut butter between mini vanilla wafers and make a sandwich

Apples and cheese

Parents Magazine 20 Best Snacks for kids- I keep this in one of my recipe binders. It lists the 20 best snacks for kids and has some great recipes. The Smart Parent's Guide to Healthy Snacking is also helpful.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Interesting Article

My mom just pointed this article out to me in the Sunday Paper. Pretty interesting
Americans commiting nutritional suicide with bad choices

Recipe Notes

My dad used to make Nasi Goreng all the time because he served his mission in Holland. I found a healthy version that is so good! Also, the other night we had a dinner that consisted of salmon with citrus vinegar sauce, orange and almond salad, and citrus green beans. I couldn't find the recipes on the internet so if anyone is interested in them I will type them up and post them. Let me know.

Sugar Waterfalls

Ryanne loves to help me in the kitchen. Everytime I make something, scrambled eggs, cake, or whatever, she wants to be right in there with her hands. One day she told me she wanted to do "sugar waterfalls". I didn't understand then, but now I do. She loves to play in the sugar and dump it out into a bowl to make a waterfall. Now, she has her own little bag of "reusable" waterfall sugar. It is so cute to watch her. Kinda fun!

Sprinkle Pancakes

Last St. Patrick's Day, We decided to make green pancakes. I added green food coloring to the batter and sprinkled them with green sprinkles. I even added mini chocolate chips- sprinkle pancakes were born. My kids love these and I love them too, because they add just enough sweetness to the pancakes so that we don't use syrup, honey, jam or anything else like that on top. Less sticky clean-up for me.

We now have sprinkle pancakes a couple times a month and my kids always ask for them. I just put the sprinkles on the batter after I put it on the griddle and when you flip it, the sprinkles get baked in. The top picture shows us using up the last of our Halloween and Christmas sprinkles.

Sometimes I even make them a little bit tastier for adults by adding pumpkin puree, pecans, and pumpkin pie spice or craisins and walnuts. Any kind of chocolate chip is also delicious!