Sunday, September 26, 2010


From the Kitchen of: Lisette Meynders

4 pieces bacon cut into 1/2” pieces
1/2 lb sausage
3 c cooked pork roast, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
1/4 c cabbage, thinly sliced
Seasoning mix

Cook the bacon, sausage, onion, and celery in a wok or large pot. While that’s cooking soak the seasoning in about 1/2 c HOT water. Cook noodles according to package directions. When bacon mixture is cooked add cabbage and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the Seasoning with the water. Let it simmer. It shouldn’t be too wet. Drain the water from noodles and toss noodles with mixture in wok.

Gingered Chicken Breasts

Gingered Chicken Breasts

1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 cloves garlic
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Combine lemon juice, ginger, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a deep bowl. Pour the ginger mixture over the breasts, turning once to coat both sides. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat the skillet on medium-high until hot. Add the chicken. Cook, turning once, until tender, about 8 minutes.

Chicken and Raspberry Spinach Salad

Chicken and Raspberry Spinach Salad

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (abt. 12 oz.)
8-10 cups torn spinach or torn mixed greens
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 papaya*, peeled seeded, and sliced

In a screw-top jar, combine the vinegar, 4 Tbsp of the oil, the honey, orange peel, salt, and pepper. Cover and shake well. Chill until serving time.
In a medium skillet, cook the chicken in the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and no longer pink. Turn the chicken often to brown evenly. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Cut into thin, bite-size strips.
In a large bowl, toss together the warm chicken strips and the spinach or mixed greens. Shake the dressing well. Add the dressing and raspberries to the chicken mixture. Toss lightly to coat well.
Divide the chicken mixture among 4 salad plates. Arrange the papaya slices on each plate.

*You may substitute 2 medium nectarines, pitted and sliced, or 2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced for the papaya

Salsa Chicken

Salsa Chicken

8 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces
2 large egg whites
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz chunky tomato salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Divide the lettuce among 4 individual plates, cover and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the chili powder and cumin. Add the chicken, turning to coat. Lift the chicken from the bowl, shaking off the excess coating. Dip the chicken into the egg whites, then coat again with the remaining dry mixture.
Heat the oil in a wide nonstick frying pan or wok over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the chicken and stir-fry gently until no longer pink in the center. Cut to test (5-7 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Pour the salsa into the pan; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the salsa is heated through and slightly thickened.
Arrange the chicken over the lettuce; top with the salsa and sour cream. Garnish with Cilantro sprigs if using.

Stephanie's Muffins

Stephanie’s Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
2 large eggs
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl whisk together yogurt and eggs. Fold the flower mixture into the yogurt mixture until smooth. Fold butter into flour/yogurt mixture. Coat muffin tins well with vegetable oil spray. Evenly divide batter between all 12 muffin holes. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

For a berry muffin use 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed berries. Defrost under warm water until water runs clear.

Chocolate Layer Dessert

Chocolate Layer Desert

2 c flour
1 c margarine
1/4 c chopped walnuts
12 oz cool whip
2 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
2 pkg chocolate pudding, prepared
1 c cool whip
Chopped nuts to garnish

Pastry cut flour, margarine, and chopped nuts. Press into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mix cool whip and cream cheese. Add to 9x13 pan.
Layer prepared pudding on top of cream cheese mixture in 9x13 pan.
Top with cool whip and chopped nuts.


My sis-in-law posted a post today entitled "five more minutes".

A friend of mine posted a post today entitled "competition".

Both struck a chord with me.

I really like how Rach said:
"I need to teach my girls NOW that I am always there for them.
I will drop what I am doing and be there. No matter what."
 And how Melissa said:
"So there are things I can do that no one else can do. No one else can show Ammón love on a daily basis and build him up. No one else can make Zeke smile multiple times a day and feed him and shower him with attention and help him build his neck muscles by making him spend time on his tummy."
 I had these epiphanies earlier this year, but hearing these things again only helps me to remember and try harder to be better.  I am going to renew my goal to be a better wife and mother, be my best competition, and stop saying just one more minute.  Put down whatever I think is important and pay more attention to what is really, really important

Thanks for the amazing posts ladies.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cooper : 5 months

Dad... I will mention "breastfeeding" multiple times in this post... consider yourself warned.

This post is a little late, but only 2 weeks... where as those other posts I was meaning to do just don't exist.
For those of you who haven't heard of "momnesia", I am here to tell you that it is a very real thing.
My mom and I joke (in a sad but true kind of way) that if it's not written down, then it doesn't exist.
Not too long ago someone called me to give me some information, I did not write it down as they told me, so when I got off the phone and tried to remember what they told me I could only remember half, had to call back and get the rest of the info.... a little embarrassing.

I can hardly believe that 5 1/2 months have already passed since he arrived.  The days keep on going.  I'm wishing that things would slow down.  That I could have a dozen more hours in each day.  But time keeps on passing, school just started, and before you know it Christmas will be here.

(you can see his eye's changing from the baby blue/gray to hazel/brown)

Cooper is doing great, he's growing up so fast.  He is such a happy baby.  His laugh comes so easily.  You know those baby coo's that you hear on TV.... that's him.  He coo's and laughs just like a happy TV baby.  He's also developed a little screech which I, of course, think is adorable.  When I use a cloth to clean his hands after he gets them all in his cereal he LOVES it.  He gets all giggly.  I should really take some video of him doing these things before he outgrows them.  
(I remember Maria stretching in the most adorable way, but she doesn't do it anymore which makes me a little sad because I didn't get any video of it.)

He does have moments though when he is not the perfect little baby...
... for instance, when he is tired and wants to go to sleep (especially at night) and I want to change his diaper/clothes/swaddle him and all he wants to do is sleep....he lets me know of his displeasure. 
... or we could get into the million times a day that he wants to breastfeed.  Now you ladies with overactive mammary glands may not enjoy leaking.... but there are many, many times when I would trade what I have for overactive mammary glands.  In order to keep my milk supply up it seems like I am CONSTANTLY feeding him, and it NEVER seems to be enough.  Nighttime is the worst.  Every. Single. Hour.  I long ago succumbed to just keeping him in bed with me (even though they say not to) just so I can get an OK sleep.  

We started giving him rice cereal this past week which is helping a little.  He is actually taking multiple naps during the day that last longer than 30 minutes...  but I'm not going to get into the subject of Cooper's naps....that one is a doozy.  When we started giving him cereal he didn't want to have anything to do with it.  He would move his face away and spit everything back out.... but now, less than a week later, I can't get the spoons to him fast enough.  We tried plain rice cereal, which he thought was dis.gus.ting. and then we tried it mixed with banana... yeah he actually threw up that time.... he did ok with peaches added in, but his favorite seems to be applesauce.  

Maria is enjoys Cooper.  She calls him Coop most of the time.  If he drops a toy and starts to fuss she'll pick it up and give it back to him (He is totally A.MAZ.ING. with grabbing and holding onto things)  She wants to hold his hand.  She has to say goodnight to him every night & when she goes down for her nap.  She likes to watch him eat, but since the first time she tried his food she hasn't even attempted to eat any of it. 

So, little side note.  The other day I was trying to get some silhouette shots of Cooper & Maria so I could a variation of THIS.  Cooper was super cooperative, he didn't care that I was snapping pictures of him.  Maria on the other hand wanted to pose for me.  Here is a sampling of her pictures:

Oh silly little girl.... how I LOVE you!!!

And me... how am I doing....besides being tired, having my hair fall out, and not remembering anything.... I'm doing great... really, honestly.... things are wonderful!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toddler Activites: Match & Glue

We have this LARGE roll of paper that we got last spring from a local newspaper.  (They sell the ends of unused rolls by the pound, and its CHEAP.  I think this roll cost us $7 & we've barely even made a dent in it in over a year)  We've used it for all sorts of things.  Mostly for coloring, but also for a "table cloth" and wrapping paper.  Today we used it for a match & glue game.

First draw two sets of shapes and cut one out.

or you could do colors.

Then let your toddler go at it matching & gluing with a glue stick.  

One day.... when I'm a little braver... I'll let her have a pair of scissors and she can help cut out shapes, but for now Mommy will do the cutting.

PS.  I totally have to give credit to my Mom for this idea...  Maria had the glue stick out one day and wouldn't give it up... a little bit later my Mom sat down with her and got her started.  Maria LOVES this activity.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Yes. We are still going.
We don't have a departure date set yet.... we're still working on getting a few things accomplished.

Marco has got a few projects that he needs to wrap up.
I have a big set of plans that I need to finish drawing (super excited for these to come together).
I also have a few crafty things that I'd like to get done before we head south.
... but the major thing that we're waiting on....
We are remodeling.

Marco has a house down there. It consists of a living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom. Not exactly ideal for a family, but it's a start. We are adding on a bedroom & a bathroom to the back, and converting the existing bedroom into a kitchen. We hope to one day add a second floor with a couple of bedrooms and make the downstairs bedroom a guest room for when we have visitors!!

We are excited for this move to happen. I have not met Marco's family yet, so this will be a great time for us to get to know each other. I'm excited for the kids to get to know their Abuelos. We're not exactly sure how long we'll be there... probably a year or so. If we're in the country for longer than 6 months we will have to do paperwork for visas of some sort... so we might come back to avoid having to do that (and take the kids to the doctors to get their shots.... and so we can take more stuff* back down)

Here's a picture of the town where we will be.
thank you wikimedia for the image

Lepaera. It is a small town in the mountains near Copan. The population is less than 5,000. For more information on Lepaera check out wikipedia.

*for those of you who don't know, I like
stuff. It will be an interesting experience to not have all of my stuff with me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What I Did Today.

Today I did laundry.... about 8 loads.
I even folded it & put it away.

I vacuumed.

We (Nana, Maria, Cooper & I) went to the dump.

Then we went to the library. I'm currently a big fan of the library, except on Thursday's when they don't open until 2.

Then we came home and sang (really loud) and danced to Cake's Stickshifts & Saftey Belts.
It was rad.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Quilt

It's done. Finally done.

This puppy took me 2 1/2 years to complete.

I started it shortly after moving here to Washington.I cut out HUNDREDS of little blocks.
Sewed them all together & I couldn't be more pleased with the final product.
It was sent off to the quilt lady in Idaho who did a MARVELOUS job of machine quilting it for me. I was worried that she would do something that would detract from all the hard work that were put into this, but she didn't. She did a great job.

I have to thank my mom a hundred times for the little nudges that she gave me to keep me going... being my ironer & passing me the squares to get them all together. Thanks.

Saturday Adventures : Twin Lakes/Mt. Baker

The Saturday of Labor Day Weekend (two weekends ago) we had another adventure. We (Nana, Bapa, Cooper, Maria, Marco & I) headed east. This time we went to Twin Lakes & then just continued a few more miles until we reached Artist Point up at Mt. Baker.

Now... the road to Twin Lakes is something else. To those seasoned outdoor enthusiasts with a Subaru it's probably nothing... but to me, who does not have a Subaru and could hardly claim to be an outdoor enthusiast let alone a seasoned one it was quite the drive. We went up in my Dad's Hummer, which is NOT a Subaru. (FYI- we probably saw a dozen Subaru's up there... thus the references... ) The Hummer is W I D E R than most cars, so maneuvering it up a one lane gravel road that pretty much drops off on one side and is a vertical on the other makes you want to squeeze your eyes shut and say a prayer. Now I don't think I am exaggerating much at all... I wasn't the only one trying not to pee my pants. But we made it to the top & back down again and have lived to see a whole 'nother week.
It was absolutely beautiful up at the top. Worth the drive. So green and fresh. It was COLD though, so we didn't stay too long. We walked between the lakes, took some pictures, lost the keys, found the keys (oops... didn't look in that pocket). There were quite a few people camping... crazies, do you remember me mentioning that it was COLD. September, and there was still snow on the ground. Maybe it's the mom in me that thinks that those people were crazy.... then again I didn't see any toddlers or infants hanging out up there. Maybe camping in the freezing cold wilderness is something you do when you don't have kids...

Even though it was cold Maria had a great time. At one point she was bundled up in a towel running around. She slept most of the drive up so she was a little ball of energy when we got to the top.

Cooper slept most of the way too, so once we got to the top he could only handle so much before he wanted to eat.
Here is the first switchbach going down the mountain. When I was a kid we attempted to get up the road in my Dad's king cab truck. We had to stop and do the forward-reverse thing to get around some of these switchbacks. Even in the Hummer, which is a lot shorter than that truck was & has a much better turning radius, we still had to reverse a couple of times.
Here is the view. After those wildflowers it's pretty much a drop off. See the road way in the distance. We saw people who had parked down there and were hiking up to the top. It sure is beautiful.
Here's a shot from the visitors center near artist point up at Mt Baker. My parents had never been all the way to Artists Point, so it was a treat to show them something. It's been two years since I last went (just after Maria was born) and it is still as pretty now as it was back then.

When we were teenagers, my brother TJ was working on getting his Eagle Scout, and one of the Merit badges that he was doing was bike riding. He had to do two 50 mile bike rides. So he along with my mom & some friends rode bikes from our house to the lower lifts at Mt. Baker (over 60 miles... the last dozen uphill) My mom has always been a little sad that she didn't go the extra few miles to the very top (but it was 4:30, they had been riding all day, and they had places to go that evening). While we were driving from the upper lifts to the top we passed a guy on his bike, he got to the top while we were up there. My mom being the outgoing person that she is did a little interview and found out that he is from just across the border and this was his (i believe) third weekend in a row riding from his place up to the top. He starts early in the morning, gets up to the top early evening... takes a picture, then heads down the mountain to the first town (Glacier), stops for dinner and a few drinks, and then rides the rest of the way home and gets there about3 in the morning. The guy was 63 years old. The ride is over 70 miles long.So, it was another wonderful Saturday Adventure. Hopefully this is a tradition that keeps on going.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I feel like fall is already here. It took a long time for summer to arrive, and now it's already gone. Don't get me wrong, I like summer... playing in the water, suntan lotion, otter pops, trips to the beach... but I LOVE fall. The days get shorter,crisper, fresher... the anticipation for the holiday's that bring family together grows, the trees change color, and school starts. I love school. I miss school. If I could be a professional student and go to classes all the time I would. I am a total dork that way... and I always have been. I love knowledge.

One thing that is not so great about the fall here is that this is when the rainy season starts... and it will last until about May. Sometimes we will go a whole month without seeing the sun. Yes, what they say about Washington raining 9 months of the year is true. It rained this past weekend and the ground was all soggy... Yesterday was nice though, and so was today... today was a beautiful day. Unless it rains tomorrow, I think the ground might just be dry enough for me to lay out the quilt (the one that took 2 1/2 years to do) and take some pictures!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

Today it rained all day.

Marco went paintballing.
He also picked blackberries with my mom (remember that part about the rain.... they came back soaked!!)
We also celebrated his birthday (a month late).
He got a cupcake (that looked delicious!!) and a mini container of ice cream.

The kids and I hung out in bed for a while.

I finished binding my quilt,
but due to the rain and the fact that there isn't enough floor space to lay it out full pictures will have to wait until another day.... in the meantime, here's a little sample:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Adventures : Deception Pass

Last Saturday after Maria's nap we all loaded up in the car and headed off to Deception Pass. I can't remember if I have ever been there... if I have then it has been YEARS.

We pulled off just before the bridge so Marco could see... it's quite impressive.


The tide was coming in while we were there and it was quite a site to see all that water rushing thru that narrow pass.

Maria LOVED the beach. She loves swimming and would walk right out into the water if we didn't watch her. The fact that the water was FREEZING didn't phase her at all.

Here she is with Bapa picking out rocks to throw into the water.

And here she is with Nana walking in the water.

Cooper even joined in getting some much needed vitamin D.

Ria enjoyed dumping sand all over Bapa's legs.... and amazingly he let her.

We tried to get Marco to go wade thru the water and climb up on the rock... he didn't though.... that water was COLD!

Maria & Bapa had a little fun on a beach-made teeter totter.


I love this shot with just her little leg.

It was all fun and games until she fell off.... but Daddy was there to comfort her.

And then Nana took her walking.

We had another Saturday Adventure that I will blog about soon...

These activities are the brainchild of my Mom. I think that she wants to get out and have a good time, but I also think that she wants us to experience all that there is to experience here in the "Great Pacific Northwest" before we make the plunge and head south. I'm sure thankful for her and the fun activities that she's planning (no pressure though!!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Maria is TWO!!

Yesterday was Maria's 2nd Birthday.
It's hard to believe that she was born 2 whole entire years ago!!
The time has sure flown.

In the morning we had a little puppy themed party with the kids from church that are her age.

We had an obstacle course that included the "balance beam" which was walking a stick, then crawling under the kitchen table (which is Maria's cave) and then thru the tunnel & jumping on the chair.

We had puppy chow, scooby snacks, jello jigglers, carrots, grapes, sandwiches, & cupcakes picnic style (aka. on the floor). The cupcakes had a paw print on them... I tried to do a fire-hydrant one also, but that didn't work out so well (as you can see)

Maria got some great gifts & had a WONDERFUL time. She keeps wanting the other kids to come back to play more!!