Sunday, June 1, 2008

Random updates

Gosh, lots of updates to share! Here goes...

Just another reason I love Craigslist!

Check out this Craigslist find! 356 diapers (297 newborns and 59 size 1's) for $40! That averages just under $0.9 a diaper, which is especially awesome considering the majority are Pampers Swaddlers (my favorite, and one of the more expensive brands). Definitely a good start to the many of these we'll go through!

Family visits and house projects
Neil's sister, Lori came down from Greeley Friday afternoon and spent the weekend with us. We warned her beforehand that she might regret the visit since we'd likely put her right to work, but she didn't seem to mind one bit! And man, she was a tremendous help to us!

Saturday was pretty much spent outside. Lori and I made some progress on the trim (she painted along the roof while I worked on the lower areas of the house). And Neil spent the day shoveling out the remaining rock that was laying around the backyard, roto tilling and leveling everything out in preparation for sprinklers and sod.

Here's the yard, ready for action!

And let's not forget Daddy's little helper!

Ta da! Okay, so it doesn't look very pretty (yet), but it's a big improvement! I cannot tell you how excited I am to look out my window and see grass for a change! Just one more week!

Lori workin' hard on the trim

We're getting there...

Recipe(s) of the week
Food always seems to taste better when A) you're camping, or B) you've been outside workin' hard. That definitely proved to be true yesterday when we enjoyed some yummy grilled chicken that had been marinading all afternoon. It was so good, in fact, that I am going to share the recipe.

~Chicken Garlic Lime Marinade~
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
6 T. soy sauce
6 T. Worcestershire sauce
juice from 2 fresh limes
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Combine ingredients in ziploc bag and marinade up to 6 hours, but no longer as the citrus will start to toughen the chicken. Rotate the bag often to ensure even coating. I quartered the limes, squeezed the juice into the bag and threw the rest of the limes in too (I figured it might help intensify the lime flavor). I grilled 2 large chicken breasts and 4 drumsticks and it tasted incredible! This chicken would also be great the next day over green salad and Creamy Cilantro dressing. In fact that just may be on my lunch menu for tomorrow!

And while we're on the subject of recipes, Camille and Nells both asked for the "chicken and noodles" recipe (based on the picture from my last post). I had to laugh because I wasn't expecting those requests, but simply stating my latest pregnancy craving (and how grateful I am that my husband isn't a picky eater). I don't really have a recipe, but here's basically what I do:

~Chicken and Noodles~
I saute about 1/4 c. chopped onion over medium heat for a few minutes. I then add 1-2 chicken breasts (chopped into chunks), along with some garlic salt, cayenne pepper and basil (all to taste). At that point I add a little more butter (if needed), then let everything saute, stirring frequently, until the chicken is browned and the onions look practically burned - it's partly what gives the dish such good flavor. I then add some heavy whipping cream. I never measure, but I'm guessing I add about 1/2 c. At that point I turn the heat to low, cover and simmer a few minutes longer. A lot of the cream is absorbed into the chicken (which just makes it more moist), but what does not absorb only thickens to make a great sauce! I sometimes add red bell peppers in addition to the onion, but only when I have them on hand. Then I just pour it over some cooked noodles (egg noodles or fusilli noodles are my top choices). I really have to give my mom credit for this because she made it up! She cooked it for us several months ago when she was out here, and I've made it several times since (most frequently within the last few weeks). Somehow her version still tastes better to me than my own, but I suppose it's that magic touch that only moms and grandmas have!

New Calling
I received a new church calling today! I've been on the Enrichment board for almost a year, and was released today and extended a new calling as Activity Days leader. I'll be working with the 8-11 year-old girls in the ward. Don't really know much about the program, but I believe it's in preparation for Young Women's and the responsibilities that come with that transition. It should be fun. I've worked very little in the Primary program, and while this isn't really a typical Primary calling, I think it will be a refreshing change!

Chloe's say
So like many expectant parents with a toddler, we've been asking Chloe the common questions: "Are you going to have a little sister or a little brother?" and "Is Mommy going to have a baby girl or a baby boy?" At first Chloe would go back and forth with her answers, or even change her mind two seconds after she'd told us. But for the past week she has consistently informed us that she is going to have a "little stister!" She is absolutely determined, and actually corrects us when we even suggest that it might be a brother. Kind of makes me wonder... What do you guys think? What has your experience been with this type of thing (for those of you who have more than one)? Are the kids usually right? I tell ya, I would sure be thrilled with another girl! Wouldn't have to buy her any clothes, seeing how she'll practically share a birthday with her big "stister". Time will tell, time will tell. We are pretty positive we have names picked out, but until we are positively positive, I think I'll wait to share. Hehe. :)

Happy June, everyone! Yay for summer!


Stelene said...

The house & yard are lookin great. I'm glad to see that was your sister-in-law up on the ladder & not you. When I was outside on Saturday I thought it was you & I was going to give you a bad time! The recipe sounds delicious we will have to try it and with the siblings guessing the sex of the baby, for us they were never right. Brynlee has always wanted a sister so with both of my boys she wanted a sister so bad that she thought they would be girls. It didn't turn out that way but you never know Chloe might be right. Can't wait to hear the names you have chosen!

Paula said...

Good job on the house. We will be in that boat soon. Looking forward to it. Since I only have one, I don't have much to comment on and Kya just keeps asking for a "litto broder". So good luck with that. We did have a neighbor friend that named his "soon-to-be-sibbling" and was convinced that the baby would be named "Carrot", even after she was born, she was "Carrot" for sometime. hee hee

Wendy said...

Looks like the house and yard are coming right along! I was the Activity Days Leader when Brandon and I were first married. It was a fun calling. If you need ideas I'm sure I could remember some of things we did.

When Brandon's cousin was pregnant with her second, Andrew (the oldest) kept telling them that he was going to have a baby sister. Sure enough, it was a girl. It will be interesting to find out if Chloe is right...even though we have to wait until the baby arrives! :)

Rebekah said...

Love your blog and the recipes!! I tried the chicken and sausage tortellini last night and it was great!!

When I was pregnant with my daughter (our 3rd) I asked my oldest son what he thought we were going to have, and he looked me straight in the eye and said "Heavenly Father told me we were going to have a sister." Sure enough he was right. Good luck with your pregnancy!

Nells-Bells said...

Thank you for the recipe! We are going to try that tomorrow night. Looks SOOO good! I was an activity days leader for a while and really liked it. Good luck with that! My husband and I now team-teach the 6 and 7 year olds in primary. It's a blast! Your hous is looking awesome. Can't wait to see the grass!

stephschmidt said...

Isn't it so fun to see home improvements coming along? I love that! I love the pictures of Chloe helping Neil; she looks thrilled! I'm so excited for you to be Activity Days leader. I was just released from that a few weeks ago and put into the primary presidency, but I miss my girls :) You will love it, and the girls will surely love you!

Cristi said...

My nephew has always been spot on about his siblings (even about miscarriages-- he knew even before they happened.)So get ready for another round of pink! ;)

Mamamanya said...

Hey, I'm the Activity Days Leader too! We'll have to share ideas :)

Camille said...

You'll do so great in activity days - that is such a valuable calling to the primary presidency (we're working on getting new ones in our ward right now). Your house & yard look great -- I guess since you posted the chicken & noodles recipe for me I'll actually have to cook it, eh? :) As for older siblings knowing about younger ones, when I was pregnant with Jamey, Cameron felt my stomach and said that he was sure I was having a girl because he could "feel the squiggly wiggly hair that girls have." And I'm pretty sure Jamey is a boy. :)

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so much fun to look at!

One of my favorite callings was as Activity Days leader. It was called Achievement Days when I started, and then switched over. It was always so much fun to come up with valuable things to do with the girls. And they are so full of life, and easy to please at that age! I found that there are some wonderful ideas on line.

Good luck!

Aunt Carolyn