Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Avery's First Sleepover

Avery hit a milestone last night ... Her first overnight guest! Naomi came yesterday afternoon and was just delightful as they played, played, and played. I know they were bummed to not get to go outside, but it was just FREEZING yesterday (Seriously, it was 32 degrees and snowing). But they made the most of an inside day! They spent more than enough time dressing and redressing Barbie on the ipad, watching The Disney Channel and snacking it up with popcorn and Hot Chocolate- All girls favorite things.
The first time Naomi came to play I went downstairs to check on them and found them sitting side-by-side in A and D's little PB chairs that were pushed together with the ipad resting in between, blaring Taylor Swift. They each had their legs crossed and were looking at children's clothing magazines, pausing to show each other things and then replying, "Oh, that's cute!" I'm not exaggerating at all. That's when I knew they'd be life long friends. ;)
Through all the madness I didn't catch a lot of pics, but here is a peak into Avery and Naomi's big night.

I'm SO glad they have each other!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Update

It was a pretty low key weekend around here, which reminded me of home. We had a lot of rainy, dreary days and the temps dropped, encouraging us to stay inside.
Friday night we decided that Indian night was such a success we should have another themed dinner night; we went to the Hurst's house for a Mexican Fiesta. There was quite the line up of food: everything from Mexican Lasagna and Enchilada Casseroles to the Pioneer Woman's Shrimp Quesadillas (which were top notch). The yucky weather hadn't quite
moved in yet so the kids were able to play and we could eat outside. It was a good night.
We had a foster bunny this weekend ... Mrs. Bugs.

She had been Danny and Emily's rabbit, but they couldn't keep her anymore and so she used our fenced in garden as a halfway house before being released to the wild. The kids had a lot of funny checking on her and feeding her carrots. I would have let them keep her, but I was scared she was just sitting in there as prey and something was going to get her at night. All I could think about was that little white goat chained up in Jurassic Park waiting on the T-Rex ... Anybody, anybody? Anyway, we opened the pen yesterday to let Mrs. Bugs go free ... Good luck, Mrs. Bugs.
Sunday morning we went to the home church and studied Colossians 1. Afterward we had yummy pizza from Sopranos, a family meat market in town that has some of the yummiest pizza ev-ah. Then, Naomi came over to play with Avery. They are SO cute!! They constantly mention how they're best friends!

Thank you, Lord for providing friends.

Those aren't great, but I hate having posts without pics!

And then Sunday night Lisa and I went to the Sayre Movie Theater to see Hunger Games, which I was super pumped about since reading the books last summer.

Check out how old school this theater is!!! It was very cool.
As far as Hunger Games goes it was an excellent interpretation of the book ... However, I definitely had nightmares about it and I think actually seeing all the craziness acted out instead of just reading about it was a little much for my mother's heart.

Maybe that's why when this booger climbed up in my bed when I came home I was tempted to let him stay.

Oh, I just love, love my Dalton.

All in all it was a good weekend. Looks like another rainy day in the Northeast so we'll be having a PJ day.

Happy Monday!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pennsylvania Pre-K

I went back and forth on starting the kids in another Pre-school program since it was so late in the year, but, Avery was DYING for some socialization and was missing school dearly. After calling around in hopes of finding a program that would take all three hoodlums I quickly discovered Mothers Day Out was a Southern thing, so there aren't any options for Sawyer, (Will someone PLEASE bless my heart) and things were pretty well filled up. I finally found a great little program that had one spot left for Avery. It's only Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 12:30-3pm which is pretty much the most inconvenient time ever, but hopefully with Aaron's uber-flexible schedule he'll be able to help me out with the taking and picking up.
Today was her first day and she was thrilled. We went and toured yesterday and she was just giddy all night and this morning.
She had a little friend over, Naomi, to play this am. It was wonderful to have a distraction for her so she wasn't asking every 27 seconds if it was time to go to her new school yet.

She's so shy.

After school I took them to Wendy's to get some celebratory frostys and fries ...it was quite the treat.

I asked Avery her favorite part of her day and she said meeting all the new girls. Her class only has seven students and three of them are triplets! She also told me that today had been show-and-tell, but since she didn't know to bring something she just "show and telled her boots." I love her.

She's just my very favorite Pre-schooler.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Weekend in the Northeast.

It was a great weekend in the Northeast- ya know, because we live in the Northeast now ... (Still weird).
The weather was glorious and we had lots of fun to-do's.

Friday I started whipping up a new concoction ... Indian food!! I hadn't seen any Indian restaurants, and once I realized I couldn't have it my cravings started just ravishing. Thankfully, Danny and Emily (Aaron's co-worker and his wife who are some of our new good friends here) are Indian-food-loving folk too, so they came to try some of my new creations. One of my very besties in AR, Lisa, introduced me to Indian food many, many moons ago and every couple months we would go to our fav Indian restaurant, Star of India, in Little Rock. Lisa even cooks it often and she practically held my hand from afar while I started this new adventure on Friday (when cooking begins at one in the afternoon and you don't eat until 7:30pm, it's an adventure).

The first thing I made was Chicken Tikki Masala, also known as butter chicken. I couldn't find a bunch of the ingredients, and I had some random things on hand- so here is how I made it- it's kind of compressed from several other recipes into a crock-pot recipe so that it would be stewing away all day while I was busy trying out other new things.
Here's what I ended up doing ...

Chicken Tikki Masala, or Butter Chicken
4-6 boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
**Stir fry chicken, onion and garlic in frying pan on medium heat until the chicken has some color and the onion is translucent. Then pour entire contents of pan into crock pot. Then add:
1 jar of Patak's "Butter Chicken" Simmer Sauce
1 tsp garam masala
1 can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 5.5 fl oz can of tomato paste
Salt to taste
Mix gently and cook in a slow cooker on high heat 4-6 hours or low heat 6-8 hours.


Next I made one of Lisa's recipe's that was soooo yummy!

Coconut Shrimp Curry
Sauce base:
1T. good quality curry powder
1 T. garam masala
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can coconut milk ( 14 oz.)
1 can chopped tomatoes (14 oz.)
1 can tomato sauce (14 oz.)
1 chopped onion
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
bell pepper, finely chopped
3-4 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp grated ginger (or the ginger paste)
butter/ghee or coconut oil
1 # peeled, deveined shrimp

Heat butter/ghee in a heavy skillet. Saute onions, bell pepper, garlic and ginger until soft and slightly caramelized. Add spices, cook until fragrant. Add coconut milk, chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce, stir and bring to a simmer. Add shrimp and cook through in simmering sauce (around 10-15 minutes). Top with chopped cilantro and mint leaves.

Both are served traditionally over rice. I put a little oil and butter in a skillet and toasted my spices of black peppercorn, garam masala, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne. When those started getting fragrant I added my rice and water, plus a bag of frozen peas, and then just covered with a lid for the cooking time on my package.

I also made Saag Paneer which is kind like a creamed spinach dish that is my favorite thing at Star of India.
Here is another recipe Lisa gave me...

Saag Paneer
1 # paneer, cubed (SO, my grocery store didn't have Paneer cheese so I had to make my own, which was way easy. I just watched a YouTube video and presto! Homeade Paneer Cheese!
2 T. butter/ghee
2 T. coconut oil (or just use butter and olive oil)
1 pound fresh spinach
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
crushed ginger paste in a jar
1-3 small green chiles, seeded and chopped
1 T. mild, medium, or hot curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 T. garam masala
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 cup of heavy cream
salt, to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, optional

1. Heat half the butter and oil over medium heat in a large nonstick pan. Add paneer, frying until each square in browned on two or more sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the paneer and shake pan occasionally. Remove from pan, set aside.
2. Wipe out pan. Heat remaining butter and oil. Add onion, ginger, garlic, and chiles. Fry over medium heat until onions are soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.
3. Add curry and cumin, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add spinach to pan, stirring until well blended. Transfer spinach mixture to food processor or blender and add enough yogurt to render the mixture creamy. If you prefer a coarser mixture, reserve 1/3 of the spinach before processing.
5. Return to pan, adding reserved unmixed spinach, if using. Add warm water, if needed, to thin.
6. Stir in paneer, heating gently until paneer softens somewhat.
7. Top with cilantro, if desired.

I got stuff to make the Naan Bread and Mango Lassi's for dessert, but I ran out of time ... Next time maybe!

My Homeade cheese .... Who am I?!?!

Cooking away ...

This plate is just CRYING OUT for some Naan Bread! Still sad I didn't have time to make it. If you want to take a walk on the wild side and try something new, I highly recommend these recipes!

Saturday morning we went on a family outing to Farmland Animal Park in Chemung, NY. We had originally planned to go to Vestal, NY to the zoo, but it doesn't open until April here. Usually there is still 3 feet of snow on the ground apparently!
Farmland wasn't technically open yet either, plus they'd had a lot of flooding and were still cleaning up the farm, but there were still lots of animals to look at and the kids loved it. Of course I took a ridiculous amount of pictures, as usual. I have GOT to pull out my real camera- but iPhone pics are so convenient!

And what farm day would be complete without a new farm animal ... Dalton begs to go the Tractor Supply store to look at the Schleich animals every. single. day. So between Farmland and Tractor Supply I think he had a great day!

That afternoon we went and got a grill and some outside fun things to grill out with friends and enjoy the weather. While Aaron and Avery were out he got Avery a new b-ball ensemble ... I died laughing when she came back in this:

She's the cutest thing I've ever seen ... Black tennies and all. ;)

We sat outside, grilled lots of yumminess and then the men watched basketball and the kids played hard. It was such a fun Saturday.

While I was inside cutting up some veggies I had my country music blaring, my windows open, I could hear the kids running and playing out back with Aaron and I just had this moment of thinking, "I'm happy here." It TOTALLY surprised me, because I've kinda seen it as just surviving here until we can go home ... But, I know it's God's GRACE and the peace He promises in Phillipians 4:4 "Then the
Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." It's so beyond my simple understanding, but His infinite grace is sufficient for me. Hallelujah.

This morning we visited the home Church; Aaron had to go work for a little while this morning/afternoon since he's been sick with a TERRIBLE sinus infection the last few days. Our friends invited us to their home and so I took the kids and we had a great morning. It was good discussion, fellowship, and I felt like it was just an all together great morning. Afterward we ate lunch and let the kids play outside and came home for naps. I think Aaron is going to go shoot pigeons or shoot something this afternoon with some guys and I'm kinda tuckered out, so I'm guessing we'll lay low and have leftovers for dinner. And that's sounds pretty perfect to me!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Blog Design © Designs by Linds 2011