Monday, September 28, 2009


I made Chalupas today (sorry the picture didn't turn out to clear) for a school family who just had their 5th baby (and for our family too). It was the second time I've made them (the other time for another school family when they had a baby) and they are sooo good.

it's one of those great meals you can throw in the crockpot in the morning, and when you get home in the afternoon the kitchen smells wonderful and you have a delicious dinner waiting for you. since i was gone ALL day today it was just what i needed.

i clipped it from the paper years ago...

1 lb. pinto beans, soaked over night
3 lbs. pork loin roast 2 cans green chiles
2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt water, to cover
10 flour tortillas 1 cup grated Colby cheese

*I also added chopped tomatoes, avocados and sliced limes as garnishings...

Drain beans, combine everything except tortillas and cheese in a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover. simmer until meat falls from bone, 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. remove the roast and shred the meat. (I'm sure you all know that if you do this with 2 forks when the meat is hot it shreds very easily).

*the beans actually need more time (than the meat) to cook, so i continued cooking the beans once i removed the meat for about another hour on high...cook them until they become tender.

warm tortillas and scoop chalupa mixture into tortillas, garnish with cheese etc...

*i served the mixture in small bowls because the broth it makes is so good...then the kids could put on their toppings (oh, we put sour cream on top too) and either eat it like soup or spoon bite size amounts onto tortilla pieces.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

my little shirley temple

i love Ella's straight hair...because mine is curly...and whenever I blow-dry her hair it looks so pretty and soft and it's done in 5 minutes. although she likes it too, every once in a while she wants curls. so, we put sponge curlers in her hair to sleep in . i try to just do them loosely on the ends, but she insists the curlers go up farther so her hair gets really curly...for those of you with girls you know they don't back down too easily...
so here's the before...

the during....

and the after...

she couldn't wait to get to school in the morning to see if her teacher would "recognize" her. oh, and the whole reason she wanted curly hair was "to look pretty for her 6th grade buddy because tomorrow is fun friday where we get to see our i want to look pretty for them!".

i tried to sneak in some fluffing into the curls but this was the look i got....
and then she got over it and skipped her way to the car so thrilled with her new look for the day.

my little shirley temple...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

question of the day...

"Dad, who do you think would win in a race...
Usain Bolt or Tyson Gay on a bike?"
so, we have a new bike rider at our house!! being in the middle of an older brother and younger sister who both took to riding a bike without training wheels fairly young, Andrew decided to take his time mastering (or even trying) this skill for himself. for the last couple of years, he has had really no interest in even trying to ride a bike. with cool weather around the corner and my dreamy thoughts of family bike rides, I thought it was time for us to really encourage it, and even force it if we had to. (it has been nice going on a ride with the other two, but anything we can all do together as a family with everyone involved is always very exciting.)

at first, Andrew resisted and outright refused to even try. but within a day or two he came around and sure enough, first try he was riding on his own (he is after all 7 years old, soon to be 8), but would ride just straight for a very short time and then give up (scared to turn or stop). those first few days he still wasn't that into it and we even had to threaten to take away some of his favorite things if he didn't practice and give it a try...after all 'practice makes perfect', right? we want our kids to give things a try and not give up right we stood firm. it took about a week and a half for him to get the hang of turning, stopping, and starting on his own (without a push).

and now.... we have an avid bike rider!! every day after school and before dinner he asks if he can ride his bike and says how fun it is, yes! bike rides here we come (or am I just dreaming...can all 6 of us really go on a bike ride together?...we'll see...yes, we can!...right?).

So, yesterday as Andrew was out riding his bike before dinner he calls out to Chris and asks,

"Dad, who do you think would win in a race..Usain Bolt or Tyson Gay on a bike?"

so there it is the question for the day....what do you think?

now we just need to get him a new bike helmet that fits!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Have you ever made monkey bread?

If not you've got to make it... it is so easy and with only a handful of ingredients you can't go wrong. Those few ingredients of course include butter and sugar so you may want to save it for a special occasion. Ella has already requested it for her birthday. I was thinking it would also be a fun treat to make for Christmas morning.

We made it for the first time over the weekend for my mother- in-law's birthday breakfast celebration. Chris referred to it as "breakfast dessert". You eat it fresh out of the oven and it is warm and sweet and melts in your mouth - kind of reminds me of a cinnabon, except in the shape of a cake.

All you need is
* Brown Sugar // 1/2cup
* 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
* Bundt Cake Pan
* Cinnamon // 2-3 teaspoons
* 3 cans of Buttermilk Biscuits (the non-flaky ones)
* Sugar // 1 cup

For the full recipe with step by step instructions with pictures go to

So go ahead, indulge yourself...mmm

Sunday, September 6, 2009

First Day of School

We always take a picture by our front door on the first day of school. I remember when Christopher started kindergarten and cute little Andrew and Ella were right by his side smiling for the camera. Then, two years later Andrew was sporting the uniform along with Christopher and Ella was standing there with her stuffed animal. And now Ella joins the boys...she has so been looking forward to this day. Wow, time sure flies.

This really is a new chapter in our lives...with three kids now in school all day. We have sure been blessed with wonderful kids and are so thankful to have John bringing up the rear and showing us again how truly amazing little ones are. He was still sleeping when we took these pictures.

It was, of course, a very big day for Ella - as it was her first day of kindergarten!

When she got home she had two very exciting pieces of mail from her two best friends...

and then when Daddy got home, he showed up with some flowers for the little kindergardener...

He brought some for me too...

It was a great first day!

Since John was sleeping and didn't make it in the first day pictures, here are some we took the next week.

The kids look much more relaxed in this next set of pictures (especially Andrew, our natural comedian), don't you think? I guess the first day of school butterflies had worn off!!