Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Salads

I just simply LOVE salads in the summer! They are light and refreshing! (especially when you have no air conditioning and you don't want to heat up the house!) We usually just grill chicken and throw it on top of some lettuce with lots of other yummy vegetables! I am always very content after one of these salads and not to mention the cleanup is SUPER easy!

Yesterday I was making a meal for a friend that just had a sweet baby boy and I came across this salad in my recipe box that a friend made for me when Baker was born! It was so delicious and I made it several times last summer but forgot about it until I made it for her yesterday! It is on the menu for tonight and I am SO looking forward to it! It is an expensive salad to make up front but once you have all the ingredients you will use them over and over again!

Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 lb spinach (or however much you need)
1/2 of a red onion (I usually use a little less then half of the onion)
3/4 cup sliced almonds (I eye it)
diced strawberries

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

You will really have to shake or stir this dressing to dissolve the sugar and it will continue to settle on the bottom so really stir it every time you want to use it!

This salad goes REALLY well with yummy chicken parmesan! This is the recipe I use for chicken parm:

chicken breasts
1 egg
italian bread crumbs
2 jars regular spaghetti sauce
mozzarella cheese
2 limes

1. preheat oven to 400
2. put aluminum foil on a cookie sheet
3. dip the chicken in the egg and then the bread crumbs
4. place chicken on cookie sheet
5. put chicken in oven and cook for about 25 - 30 minutes
6. put 1 jar of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and put in a handful of chopped cilantro and squeeze 1 lime into the sauce. (gives it a fun taste)
7. Put chicken in sauce and add more sauce to cover the chicken. I always add more cilantro and squeeze another lime on top!
8. Add mozzarella cheese on top
9. cook for another 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked all the way.

This is so yummy and the cilantro and lime give the sauce a really delicious taste!


Let me know what your favorite summer salads are or some favorite meals you make during the summer that don't heat up the house!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Seasons of Life

As I sit here this morning watching the boys play outside, digging in the dirt, climbing up the slide, hiding behind the tree they call their fort, getting along for the most part:), I can't help but feel how blessed I am. I am also thinking about how much my life will change in just a little over 8 weeks (probably more...I am typically late with the babes!)

I sit here sipping my coffee with my feet up just watching my boys go on their many adventures. They don't really need me right now..they are completly fine on there own...and enjoying their freedom too! Thats how life is right now...typically pretty easy when it comes to entertaining the boys. Yes, sometimes I do feel like a WWF referee breaking up the constant fun of wrestling and tackling that has gone a little to far and isn't fun for one of them anymore. But really I can't complain. We put the boys to bed at 8 and I pretty much don't see them till the morning, there is the occasional visit in the middle of the night that is fixed with a quick kiss, a re-tuck in and a rub on the head...and maybe a prayer or too...but they go back to sleep. With a good nights sleep this means I am able to get up at 6 to pray and shower before I see the beautiful faces of my boys. (believe me when I say I am such a better mom if I have had a cup of coffee and some prayer time before we start our day!) When we go out I don't have to bring a diaper bag and remember the million things that a newborn might possibly need. I don't have to think about the type of shirt I need to wear that will work with nursing while we are out. We can go out in the mornings without wrecking anyones nap schedule. They eat the same thing at lunch and they can feed themselves! They go down for nap at the same time..on their own and sleep. We have routine. This is the season of life that we are in right now...but it will soon change.

When a new baby enters the picture EVERYTHING changes for the time being...but it is such a short time and soon things will become routine again...probably a different routine but non the less a routine. There will be many awakenings in the middle of the night. There will be the constant nursing that a little one desires. There will be the carrying of the car seat into the grocery store. Things will get the picture!

But how we look forward to this change, how exciting it is to hold a sweet, tiny baby in your arms again. One thing I have learned and I will continue to learn with every new baby is that this season goes by SO FAST! They are only little for so long and then soon they will be running with the rest of the pack. That they only sleep peacefully in your arms for a short period and they only need you in the middle of the night for a brief time. I know that with Jacob I did not treasure the newborn time I had with him like I should have. I worried about things like sleep schedules, nursing...was he doing all the things he should be doing at this point in his life. What will it be like when he crawls...when he walks. I wished for the next period of his life to come and did not really enjoy the time that was present with us at that moment. But I have learned and the time I have with a newborn is treasured and looked forward to.

So yes, in 8 weeks or so I will not be sitting here watching the boys play outside, sipping my coffee with my feet up. I will most likely be sitting here nursing and enjoying the sweet baby smell as the boys play outside...But how we look forward to Beau John Paul becoming part of this family outside the womb.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Whats Happening with The Staples...

Looking back I have not blogged very much over the summer...sometimes life just gets busy! But here I have found a few moments to sit down and update you few readers I have:)

1. We just got back from a three week trip out to Michigan. It was really very nice to spend time with Dave's family and catch up with several of our mission partners we have out there. On the way out we spent two nights at Mahoney State Park in Nebraska. Last year we camped but being 7 1/2 months pregnant I voted for the air conditioned lodge! We had a blast! We hiked, paddle boated, fed fish, played. played. played, and spend an afternoon at the water park. It was really nice to have some family time together and just relax! In Michigan, Dave's family lives in a VERY small town..its very cute and quaint. There is no cell phone service...well hardly any:) And lots of farms. "I see cows! Hold!" was all we heard Baker say. (Thats his new favorite thing to say..."hold!" he wants to hold EVERYTHING, no matter the size! Its really pretty cute:)!) The humidity was crazy..being a Colorado girl... but we managed to get through it! The boys enjoyed seeing their gramma and papa out there and had lots of quality time with them...they were spoiled! Always nice to visit! We miss them for sure!

2. WE ARE MOVING! In 10 days...and I haven't even started packing yet:)! Dave will be serving FOCUS at Colorado State University (CSU) next fall so we will be moving to Fort Collins. We are so excited! I grew up in Fort Collins and thats where my family is and several of my aunts, uncles and cousins. We will be living 1.8 miles from my parents house...some of you might think this is CRAZY;) but I am so excited to live close to them! It will especially be nice with #3 coming along here! I am so not looking forward to packing, that is why I have been putting it off! I wish I could snap my fingers and everything would hope in to boxes, just like Mary Poppins! I guess the positive is we get to clean out everything and find all those missing toys!

3. I am 32 weeks pregnant and feel that way too! I don't know if it's the heat or all the traveling that we just did but I am so tired...ALL. THE. TIME. I am not as "quick" to get up for sure and I have swollen ankles too! But enough of this complaining...we feel blessed! Beau John Paul is an active little guy in the womb so I can only imagine what he will be like when he is born. I sit and daydream about what he will look like, what is smile will be like, holding a sweet, tiny baby again, his smell and all the joy another life will bring to our family. 3 of my friends have had their babies in the past week and I am getting baby envy...I want to meet little Beau so much with all my heart...but I will just have to wait! It's not quite his birthday yet!

Not a very good picture...but here is Baker resting on my belly!

4. Baker will be 2 July 17th. I cannot believe how much this little man has grown up in the past couple months. Everyday he surprises me with something new he knows. His vocabulary and the way he communicates with us has grown leaps and bounds! He is just plain funny and makes us all laugh...including Jacob! Even though he does NOT listen, his favorite word is "NO!" and he doesn't sit in timeout unless you are restraining can not help but love the kid!

5. This is my new favorite song...