Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Midsummer Night

This summer Sayre has been putting on a Summer Concert Series in Elmer Park downtown in the square. Tonight was Kid's Night and they had Tom Knight, who's a puppet/singer/entertainer and Doc Possum which was a SUPER fun band singing kids song. I thought it was SUCH a fun night!

Fun, fun, fun!!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Better Days.

A family friend once told Aaron and me that there are hard marriages and bad marriages; that if you're not working hard at it, it's probably bad. I'd say that's usually pretty true.
I think the same can be said for a lot of parenting days; it's either hard or it's bad. There are lots of warm, fuzzy good days, but in this season there are lots of hard days too. There are so, so many hours of the day when I want to be selfish. I want to do my own thing. I want to sit down. And there is almost always at least one little face needing me to do something. And if I fight it and get annoyed and frustrated and all "mad mommy" then it gets bad and sad and just turns into an all-around poopy day. So ... In short: It's hard. It's. So. Hard. Even though it's my dream job, it's hard. Did I mention it's hard?
But, mixed in the hard days, there are good, good days. The stars align, the sun shines and I want to break out into the chorus of "What a Wonderful World." And lo and behold, today was one of those days.
I slept in ... Til an ungodly hour that I won't even document. But, my husband is a saint and provided me with QUITE a leisurely morning. I had coffee outside in the 75ish air having a long phone date with one of my besties from back home. And then something grand happened: we packed the kids up for a pool day. In Arkansas we live at the pool. Live. Our days looked the same most days: wake up, pack lunches, throw on swimsuits, head to the pool, come home, take lonnngggg naps, eat dinner, take baths, bedtime, REPEAT. Oh, the life. But, in PA they don't really have outdoor pools. I can't get over it. I loathe it. So today we drove about 30 minutes to Mt. Pisgah State Park where they had a public outdoor pool. It was nice. And cold. Because it's spring fed. Brrrr. The kids didn't seem to mind, and Aaron was super fabulous about getting in with them while I smiled and took pics from the side. Supermom.

Love that stinker.

And this one.

Cutie Pie, Trip.

Swim coaching.

The park had a great playground.

Even a sand volley-ball court we played on ... Embarrassingly enough.

Love this girl.

After this is started raining, so we changed clothes, grabbed some ice cream and went home for naps. It would have been a great day if it ended right there. But, it didn't.

Tonight I went with a friend to a really cool Yoga place. I loveeee Yoga and I've done it in several different venues, but this one was my all time fav. It was in this old historic building that I was a wee bit concerned about. We were walking up this crickety old stair case to the studio and I was halfway expecting to end up in someone's apartment filled with incense, chia pets, and ferrets.
However, I was more than happy to find a serene little space with candles and old beautiful hardwood floors, Jack Johnson music and a quirky little instructor that I totally loved. It was just what my body and soul needed. I totally intend to make it part of my week.
Because I'm a creeper, I snapped a couple pics:

Just a couple snaps. Invasive? Oh well, I won't do it again. Scouts honor.

I came home to eat with the fam and go on our nightly walk ... One of my fav things about our time in Pennsylvania.

Lots of pretty flowers and almost everyone has a veggie garden. Jealous.

My fav house on our block ... I'm not sure why, but I just love it.

Now for Big Brother and card games with my love.
Twas a good day.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Mmm Mmm Monday

I'm getting better about this whole healthy eating thing already, but I'm bound and determined to not lose some of our favorite flavors. We're really doing more plant-based, whole foods, which actually means no meat. Sounds so crazy. But, it's been easier than expected. We will definitely cheat here and there ... But for our day to day life, we're eating much less animal protein.
Since I'm doing so many veggies, I almost have to wait until I get in the grocery to decide what I'm going to make depending on what veggies are looking and smelling the best ... Which is not how I usually roll. The old-Rebekah tends to plan out a menu for at least a week, sometimes two. Anyway, today after going into the grocery store the tomatoes were practically calling out to me; they smelled like they had just been plucked out of the garden this morning. So I stocked up and rolled through my Pinterest files to a tomato-happy dish. Ding, ding, ding: found just what I was looking for: Creamy Avocado Pasta. This pasta includes one of my fav flavor combinations: avocado and tomato. Plus, one of my all time loves, pine nuts. It was entirely easy to put together, but still totally scrumptious. I wasn't here for the actual eating of the dinner, but Aaron said they all ate it up!

I wasn't here to see it all plated, but even warmed up for leftovers it was
Especially with one of my new favorite beverages: Sooo yummy!!

10 - 12 small Campari tomatoes, quartered (My tomatoes were the on-the-vine variety and that worked great, too!)
3 - 4 tbsp olive oil
4 servings of fettuccine noodles
2 ripe avocados, seed and skin removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted makes them SO much better!)
grated fresh Parmesan cheese
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 300 ºF.
2. Wash and quarter the tomatoes. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Bake for 1 hour in the oven.
3. Ten minutes before tomatoes are finished, fill a large pot with water and a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Add the dry fettuccine to the water and cook until al dente.
4. While the pasta is boiling, add 2 tbsp olive oil, avocado, garlic, salt and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are smooth and creamy.
5. Strain the pasta, and combine with the sauce in a large bowl, until all the pasta has been covered.
6. Add the roasted tomatoes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Add some salt and black pepper to taste.
This was a big hit! It was super creamy, deliciously flavorful, and just the right amount. However I'm sure some grilled chicken or shrimp on the top would have been divine.
I still had a bunch of tomatoes left, so I served the pasta with one of my fam's favorite salads: Summer Tomatoes and Boursin. Slice up fresh tomatoes, crumble Boursin cheese over the top, some sliced scallions and then drizzle Newman's olive oil and vinegar dressing (or your fav vinaigrette) over the top. I can't get enough of it, I would eat it several times a week. Not to mention it's so pretty!
I had some whole wheat rolls that I threw on the table too ... Because I'm a bread-a-holic.
I actually made a dessert today too ... And it was a good one. I love carrot cake. Loooooove it. I found this recipe on Cooking Light and tweaked it just a bit to make it into some yummy cupcakes.
10.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
Cooking spray
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ounce fromage blanc
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 2 cups grated carrot, tossing to combine.
3. Place granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 6 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
4. To prepare frosting, place softened cream cheese and next 4 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt) in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at medium speed until combined (don't overbeat). Spread frosting evenly over top of cake. Sprinkle evenly with toasted pecans. I chose to do cupcakes, and I baked them around 24 minutes. Yummy!

Thankful for lots of helpers! :)
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back in the Groove

I feel like we kinda had to "re-enter" our Pennsylvania life after being back in Arkansas for such a long time. It just took a bit longer than expected to get back in our groove. This was a fun, relaxing weekend with just enough busyness ... It was good.
Saturday Danny and Aaron umpired the church softball league's Championship Playoffs. The kids and I had fun going out to the ball field and mingling with the other families cheering on their team. There were lots of kids and lots of Popsicles, so my kids were happy campers.
That evening we got to go to the Wesleyan church's (where I think we've finally decided will be our church home for our Pennsylvania stay!) softball-end-of-the-year bonfire. It was a great time. Their church group has been incredibly welcoming and is filled with so many sweet people. I am loving getting to know the women, they are such a great group.
At the bonfire we roasted hot dogs and s'mores, the kids played in the creek and ran all over the Gorsline's BEAUTIFUL property, I indulged in my first "mountain pie," and everyone just enjoyed the cool night. It was so strange to be sitting outside in mid-July crowded around a fire because there was a chill in the air ... Definitely not something I've experienced in Arkansas!!
While Emily and I were sitting by the fire snuggling babies and snacking on mountain pies we got tickled. She said, "do you ever just sit and think, how did we get here? Like how am I all the sudden friends with Rebekah Boone and living in Pennsylvania? We laughed. And laughed. And laughed some more. Being here has been such a big lesson on how insignificant my plans are, and how big God is. We aren't promised tomorrow, we don't know what the future will hold, all we can do is put our trust in Him and believe He has good for us. And I do.

I have an itsy bitsy crush on Isaiah Knox ... And he knows it.

We had sucha fun night! Dalton has not stopped asking to go back! Thanks Wesleyans for including us!

Today we had a restful day and then got to go on a date with the Knox's. They were SUPER sweet to take us out for Aaron's birthday. Our options were kinda limited after our Sunday night dinner since most everything was closed. Somehow we ended up at the Tioga Down's casino. It was a sight to behold. I do think we'll bring the kids back soon when they're racing ... Dalton Boone would love that.

Thankful for a fun-filled weekend with friends!

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