Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kolby's Birthday

Kolby is all boy.  He's my most rough and tumble kid.  He likes to be moving constantly.  He loves to ride his bike up and down the street, and occasionally will join his dad in one of his biking workouts, and he keeps up great.  Kolby makes sound effects better than anyone I know.  He loves to play the wii and he always has some sort of stick or light saber or cardboard insert roll...something to use as his weapon for fighting off all the bad guys.

Kolby still desires sugar every chance he gets.  He has a major sweet tooth, which I'm sure comes from his dad.  However, Kolby also loves refried beans.  Taco night (which we have weekly) is his favorite.  He likes corn dogs and mac & cheese.  He likes peanut butter sandwiches, meatloaf, and hamburgers.  He still eats his cereal dry, without milk, and he loves fresh fruit.

Here is our family picture for his birthday.  We were out hiking and playing all day, so he had a blast.


After all our hikes were over, we came back home to have his favorite meal :Chicken tacos with all the fixin's.  Then we played outside some more!  We had water balloon tosses...


Which turned into a huge water balloon fight...


We also played with some "marshmallow pipe shooters" that we borrowed from a friend, which the kids loved, but I think more marshmallows got eaten than shot.

Finally, he waited long enough.  We had him open his presents, which were a star wars wii game (he was beyond thrilled with that, since we don't have any games for the wii besides the original golf, bowling, and tennis game that came with it) and two nerf dart shooters (a huge hit) and a marble mania tower thing that he can put together and watch the marble fall through the maze-like structure (which has yet to be played but I know he'll love it) and our friends got him a fun game that is like horseshoes, but with disks.  He also got a cool car toy in the mail from his Grandma.

After presents, it was time for cake.  I made him a Butterfinger cake, at his request, and dyed the whipped topping blue.

It was a great day.  Happy Birthday Kolbers!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hiking

So Saturday morning, we met up at Garden of the Gods with our friends.  We got kids situated with sunscreen, water bottles, backpacks for the little ones, and friends for everyone.  As you can see, the kids formed their attachments right away.

We made sure to stop at a photogenic spot to take some family pictures.

Then we positioned the kids according to age, oldest first.  I think the ages went something like this: 10,9,8,7,7,6,5,4,3,9months.  Whew.  That's a lot of fun!


Don't worry about Kimble.  He wasn't sitting without help.  The Husband was hiding behind the rock wall, holding onto him very firmly.

Here are a few random pictures.  First up, I love it when self-portraits are mistakenly zoomed in; it makes for fun pictures.

The Husband wore Kimble on his back the entire day while hiking. I took over holding him a few other times, but for the most part, if we were hiking, Kimble hitched a ride on his daddy's back.  It was very cute to see, and also very freeing for me, as I've always had him in a front pack up until now. 



Then we took a lovely hike around the park that gave you a great view of the main rock formations.

After we had lunch, we took our standard out-of-the way drive on Gold Camp Road, which overlooks the city while winding on a very VERY narrow dirt road around the mountain, and ended up cooling down in the stream at the base of Helen Hunt Falls (not named after the actress).  We enjoyed the shade and cooler temperatures for a bit.

Then we hiked the Falls.  Kamy and Sofee enjoyed being with each other, and held hands the entire climb up.

This is all of us!  Ten kids; Four adults, with 20 years of friendship at it's base.

That day also happened to be Kolby's birthday.  More about that later!

Camping With Friends

Twenty years ago, I met Jenifer.  We went to Jr. High and High School together and were friends, but we never saw each other outside of school.  Then, we both landed a summer job (as well as some of our other friends) at the paper mill, where both our dad's worked.  For the next four years (summers and college breaks) we slaved away for 10 hours a day, cleaning up sludge overflows, painting, scraping, weeding, mowing, unloading, washing, hosing down, shoveling off, unloading propane (I was dubbed "shaina propaina" for years), fork-trucking loading, and doing any other type of labor you can think of.  It was terrible.  We had a blast working with each other.

Through that, we became the best of friends.  They were the ones responsible for us joining the Air Force.  We haven't seen each other for six years, when she had only one kid, and I had three.    Now, we both have five kids.

They live in Oklahoma, and decided to come over here to beautiful Colorado to camp for a week.  We joined them at their campsite Friday evening, for some yummy fajitas and smores. Here's a picture of Jen and I (and Kimble!).


Next up, Heath and Jeff pose for a picture.
Then we took the ten kids to the play area by the campsite.  They could be heard a mile away, they were having so much fun with each other.

The Boys

The Girls
The next day, we took all day to hike Garden of the Gods and Helen Hunt Falls (not named after the actress).  Will post those pictures later.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stuck In A Rut


Somehow, Kimble manages to get himself wedged almost completely under the couch.  The more he struggles, the deeper under he goes.  I heard him howling like this yesterday, and although he was clearly annoyed that I wasn't getting him out immediately (I had to take a picture, right?) he quieted down instantly when I pulled him out, so he was just fine.

I've been stuck in a rut lately too.  Wedged in deep and can't succeed at what I want to do.  Basically, I'm stuck.  I'm referring to my weight loss plan.  I finally deduced, after a month of not losing  weight despite my drastically changed diet and working out  (although that part definitely needed an improvement) that while I'm breastfeeding, my body holds tight to what it has.  It always has.  In the past, I've never lost my weight until after I stopped nursing my babies when they turned one.

So, I get to be unhappy about my weight for a few months more, until my body gets on board with me.  It's something I wouldn't trade right now, though.  I love breastfeeding Kimble, and with him being my last, I've gotta savor the moment for as long as I can.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Once Again, Enchiladas!

As I sit here this morning, eating last night's leftovers for breakfast (I'm not a cereal and milk kinda girl), I think I have to admit that I really really love Chicken Enchiladas.  If it starts, or ends, with that name, I'm hooked.  Just look at the evidence.  We have some fabulous Chicken Enchiladas, done the traditional way.  Then there is the Chicken Enchilada Dip, which if you haven't tried, you haven't fully lived.  The Chicken Enchilada Soup was amazing; same flavor, just in a soup form.  I even have an enchilada one dish pasta skillet recipe that I've made and haven't posted yet.

Now I bring you another Enchilada recipe.  This one still boasts some amazing flavors, but caters towards those who don't really like, or can't digest, the red sauce.  I bring you White Chicken Enchiladas.  Yum.

A few months ago, after one of Kimble's surgeries, my friend Lori brought us dinner.  I'm sure it was just a coincidence that she brought an enchilada fan a pan of enchiladas, but nevertheless, the whole pan was eaten...and I shared some with the family too.  Then, a few months later, she emailed out the recipe to a group of us who were doing freezer meals, and I asked her if this was the recipe of the enchiladas she brought us that one night. She confirmed.  Yes!  I could now make it myself.  I love friends who share recipes.

So, last night I made these fabulous enchiladas.  Just like with any recipe, I have a serious problem sticking to the exact recipe.  I just can't help but change things up.  So I changed this recipe a little bit, while still holding true to the integrity of the dish.  I hope you are ready for another amazing chicken enchiladas.  You really must try this! I've added instructions for the "low fat" version, but feel free to fatten things up if you want.
White Chicken Enchiladas

1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp oil or butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 4 oz can diced green chiles, divided

1/2 pk cream cheese (reduced fat), softened
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
corn tortillas (I used about 30, but my tortillas are small.  Flour tortillas would require less, because they are bigger.)

Sauce
1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup (reduced fat)
1 cup sour cream (light or fat-free)
1 cup skim milk

Topping
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp slivered almonds

Cook your chicken how you like, seasoned lightly, and then diced up.  I LOVE to throw the chicken in the food processor so it's shredded.  It makes the filling more consistent and smooth.  So that's what I did.

In a pan, saute your onions with the oil until they are translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add in your slivered almonds and toast for a minute or two.  Stir in 1 Tbsp of the green chiles and cook for one more minute. (The Husband requested more oomph, so next time I make this, I'll add in one diced jalapeno at this point.)

Pour onion mixture in a bowl, and add to that your softened cream cheese, 1 Tbsp of milk, and the cumin.  Stir to combine, then stir in your shredded chicken.

Now, here is where I changed the recipe up a bit.  I love corn tortillas, and use them more frequently than flour tortillas.  I get mine at costco, a big stack of them, for just a few bucks.  They are smaller than the flour tortillas, about the size of my stretched out hand, but I LOVE the flavor of them.  Anyway, these tortillas are great, but they tend to be difficult to roll without them breaking on you. So, I soften them in a little frying pan, with olive oil.  Enough to heat them through and make them pliable.  (If you choose to use flour tortillas, you can skip this step.  It still tastes great, but with an enchilada, I tend to prefer corn tortillas.  But, when you make it, it becomes your recipe, and your choice.)

Fill your tortillas with a few spoonfulls of the chicken mixture.  Depending on what tortilla you use determines the amount. For my small tortillas, I used about 2 Tbsp of mixture, then I rolled it up and placed it seam side down on a baking sheet.  Fill all tortillas in the same manner.

In a small bowl, combine your can of soup, cup of sour cream, and cup of milk together until it's mixed well.  (When I was first reading the ingredients, I read it wrong, and added 1 pkg of cream cheese, in place of the sour cream.  I must say, it was delicious, and I think I'll make it this way from now on.  If you are like me, you'll want to substitute it the same way.)  Once mixed, pour evenly over your enchiladas.

Bake enchiladas at 350 for about 30 minutes, until edges get slightly light brown.  Then, top enchiladas with shredded cheddar cheese and sprinkle with remaining slivered almonds.  Let cook for an additional five minutes, then serve!  Once again, my whole family LOVED these.  Long Live Enchiladas!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wow!

Seriously.  "Wow" was all I could say after I took my first bite of this soup last night.  "Newman!" was what I said this morning, when I discovered that the very last cup of soup that I had saved, was eaten by The Husband during his midnight snack run to the kitchen last night.

This soup is rich and creamy and seasoned perfectly.  It's simple but hearty.  It's cozy and comforting.  It's delicious and amazing.  I strongly suggest that you make this on your next blustery fall day.  It will bring you joy, and I'll place bets that the first word out of your mouth, will be "wow" as well.

I found this Cream Cheese Chicken Soup HERE.  I thought ham sounded better, for this kind of soup, so I changed it up a bit, but feel free to use the original recipe.  Either way, it's a winner.  This could also be a great vegetarian soup, if that's your groove.

So here is the way I made it.

Cream Cheese Ham & Potato Soup

2-3 Tbsp oil or butter
1 onion, diced
3 good size potatoes, peeled and chopped bite-size
1 cup carrots, diced
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
1-2 cups chopped ham (I used a turkey ham...Jenny-O)

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (feel free to use the low fat option, with no difference in flavor)

Add onions and oil to your soup pot over medium high heat, cooking onions until translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add potatoes and carrots to your pot.  Cook together for a few minutes just to blend all the flavors.  Pour in your chicken broth and salt and pepper.  If veggies aren't completely covered by the broth, add more until covered.  Bring to a boil, then turn on low and let it softly boil for about 10 minutes.  Add in your chopped ham and cook a few minutes longer.

After you add the ham, in a separate small pot, over medium heat, melt your butter and flour together, stirring, until it turns a nice amber shade of color.  Add in your milk and stir together.  Add in your cream cheese.  Stir until thoroughly combined and mixture is thick.   Once your potatoes are nicely cooked through, add the cream cheese mixture directly to your soup mixture.  Stir to combine.  Soup will become deliciously thick and creamy.  Now, taste.  It should be pretty much perfect.  Add additional salt and pepper if desired.

I served this soup with THESE ROLLS from Our Best Bites.  The recipe was so perfect, that I didn't tweak it at all.  It made a big pan of rolls, so if you have a smaller family, I suggest you half the recipe.  It's been a while since I made white rolls, and these were so super yummy.

Oh, and EVERYONE in my family loved it, including Kimble, who kept opening his mouth for more, even when I wasn't bringing the spoon to his mouth at that moment, and Kolby, who has recently decided he doesn't like to eat anything but tacos and peanut butter sandwiches.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Liar Liar, Pants On Fire

Our Family Home Evening lesson tonight was on Lying.  While I was making our dessert, I had The Husband go to each kid and ask them for two lies and one truth.  They had a good time coming up with great lies.  For example, Georgie's lie was that she can speak chinese.  Keaton said that he hated rolled up newspaper fights.  Kolby said that he had glasses when he was 1 year old, and Kamy said she loved playing with dolls.   

Then we talked about how we are given a commandment not to lie.  Even if the lie is big or little, it is still a lie.  I hope the message got through to them.  There have been quite a few lies spoken lately.

Just for added pleasure, here is a picture of Mr. Kimble.  He loves table food now!!  Here you see the remnants of spaghetti.  Yum.

In other news, we are starting to go house hunting, to buy our first home.  Wish us luck!

Taking Pictures

The kids started school last week, but were only in school for three days before they had "testing days" which just means that they get those two days off, minus an  hour or two where they go to the school to get their base level testing done for the year.

So, we had a few things going on that were picture-worthy.  First up, I caught all the kids watching a movie on the couch.  I love how they always group together so closely!


I think Keaton took this next picture when I was holding Kimble, and Georgie was playing with  him over my shoulder.

Kolby fell outside and scraped up his elbow.  After The Husband bandaged him up, Kamy improvised a sling for him.  He wore it proudly for the rest of the evening.


Georgie took these next two pictures when we were at the mall getting 10 dollar jeans at Old Navy. 


I had just bought this hat for four dollars, so Georgie had me put it on for the picture.

Here's a self portrait, of Mr. Kimble and I.


On Friday, I took three kids to the Sunflower Market, to get ingredients to make Salsa.  It's so easy to make!  Don't be intimidated.  Try it.  Now is the time to make a batch, when all the tomatoes are on sale!  Keaton is holding up a bag of tomatoes and a bag of peaches.  Yum.  Oh, and look who can sit in the front of the cart now??
Georgie took this next picture when I was canning the salsa.  I love  the apron I have on.  My sister-in-law made it for me a few years ago, and I wear it almost everyday.


Yesterday, Mr. Fox and Foxie came back to visit and play in our backyard.  It's been a few months since we've seen them.  In this picture, they are under the trees, nuzzling each other.  After the picture, Mr. Fox caught a squirrel and shared it with Foxie.  We were happy to see them again.

That's about all the pictures we took this weekend.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Project Linus

On Saturday, I was invited to go up to Denver and participate in a blanket-making activity from members of Project Linus.  They get  together every month and make blankets to be donated to different organizations.  We are lucky enough to have our Blanket Donation be the recipient of many wonderful handmade blankets.

I met up with Julie and Adam (just to remind you, Adam was born the same day as Kimble and we were next door neighbors in the CICU in November, when our babies were undergoing heart surgery.  Teresa and baby Chance, our other cardiac baby, had prior commitments and couldn't make it), and together we spent half the day helping with blankets.  The boys played on the floor (mostly content, until it was nap time) while we hopped around to different tables, and sewed on labels or tied blankets.


As mother's, we tend to be multi-taskers!  Adam took a little nap in Julie's lap as she sewed on labels.

A few ladies left before we could get a group picture, but here are most of the ladies that came to help make blankets!  I'll have to get the official count from Julie, but I think we took home about 50 blankets to add to our stash for donation!

On the way home, we barely pulled out of the parking lot before our boys conked out.

It was a great day, and I'm so happy to be involved in such an amazing project.  Then, when I got home, my friend Katie came over with six beautiful flannel blankets that her and her mom made for us. 
Thanks for posing for a picture Katie!  Just a reminder to anyone who still wants to donate blankets, the deadline is in two months (Nov 1st)!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Winners!

Congrats to the random two winners, Katie Ricks and Shannon Richards!  Shannon, email me your address and I'll send it out soon!  Katie, I'll bring it to church on Sunday!

I appreciate your comments so much!  Thanks for all your bloggy support and love!

I had to add this picture Georgie drew on the first day of school.  She included "momma, Georgie, and Kimble under a pweety wainbow!"  I am the one with the big orange ears and the long dangly earrings.  Georgie loves to accessorize!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

3 Year Blogiversary Celebration! {and giveaway!}

Today is my 3 year Blogiversary!!  It seems like it's been much longer since I started blogging, but I checked.  Nope.  Just 3 years. In fact, here is our family picture from my very first blog post.

Look at how little and cute they all were!!

 Here is my 2 year blogiversary, and here is my first blogiversary.

So here is a quick recap of this year of blogging. It's been an eventful year, somewhat focused on Kimble (for good reason). 

If you are ever unsure, here are the Signs of Pregnancy.  And to make it more interesting, What happens all those times you wake up in the middle of the night, due to pregnancy?
My first Explanation of Heart Defects.
Then, our Discovery of cleft lip.

The happy day when Kimble was born!
After heart surgery.  The worst night of our life.

We had FABULOUS staff at The Children's Hospital!
After five weeks in the hospital, Kimble goes home!

No fluffy soft towels to dry off with?  Try This.  Or, ask Georgie for one, and then...wait 24 hours.
My most favorite picture of Kimble with his cleft lip.

Recovering from his Cleft Lip Surgery.
Recovering from The Glenn, Kimble's third heart surgery.

Copay Madness and the return to the same Doctor's office, which was the straw that broke the camel's back.

2009 year of pictures in review

Keaton got baptized!

My Recipe Book is done and for sale!

I made a few things, including Tag Monsters, a dollie for Georgie, a hat for Georgie, car seat canopies, The Krinkle, chenile burp cloths, cute bibs, and Kimble's crib set.

Think you did stupid things as a kid?  Well, I did too. 
Creepy creepy chair at church.

Cute pictures to tell The Husband that we miss him during the day!

Heart babies reunion with Adam, with Chance, then with all three!
Organizing a blanket drive for The Children's Hospital.

School journal stories, pictures, and writings, from Kolby, Keaton, and Kamyren.

Wanna know what I do all day?  Here is a play-by-play.

Usually I have many childhood stories sprinkled through the year, that are both humorous and embarrassing.  This year, I didn't write any.  However, they are still good reading, so look at the recaps of the last two blogiversaries, and you'll find the links to many entertaining hours of reading.

It's been a great year.  To celebrate it, I'm giving away two of my corduroy bibs!  If you are interested, just post a nice comment.  If you aren't interested in the bibs (you've gotta know someone who is has a baby, right?), then post a nice comment anyway!  Here are some pictures of a tired Mr. Kimble modeling them for you.  (Side by side, front and back shot)


I'm not too sure these pictures do the bibs justice, but they are super cute.  So leave a comment!  Become a follower!  Stick around for another year.  Here's to blogging!!

PS:: blurb is having a free shipping promotion!  If you still haven't ordered my cookbook, or want to have a fabulous gift to give someone special, then consider my cookbook!  You'll love it!   Promo codes good through August 31st.  Buy a cookbook.  Help with medical costs!

USD $ coupon code: SHIPPINGFREE
GBP £ coupon code: SHIPPINGFREE1
EUR € coupon code: SHIPPINGFREE2
AUD $ coupon code: SHIPPINGFREE3
CAD $ coupon code: SHIPPINGFREE4

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sleep

Sleep determines whether you have a good day or not.  I mean, really, if you were up all night for one reason or another, and then morning comes before you want it to, it pretty much defines your day.

I've been labeled by my sleep since before I had Kimble; since we found out about his heart defects one year ago.  Sleep didn't come any easier when he was born either.  In fact, he was born on a Wednesday, and I didn't really sleep from the night before he was born, until Sunday night. By Sunday, I was an uncontrollable weeping mess, and was at my breaking point.  That's as worse as it got.

Since then, sleep has occurred, but in small chunks, and fitful, at best.  I kept Kimble right next to me in bed, because if I actually stayed awake every time he nursed through the night, I would have gotten NO sleep at all.  Besides, I like to sleep with my babies, so it worked out fine.

The past few weeks, however, sleep has become harder and harder to hang on to.  I was up all night with Kimble, and then in the morning, my back would be so sore from how taunt I must've been holding my body, next to Kimble.  I decided that enough was enough.  I finally needed more sleep.

So almost a week ago now, I decided to have Kimble sleep in his crib.  Since his crib is in another room  (our guest room) and I was having issues with him being so far away from me, I decided to sleep in the guest room too.  The first night, I laid him down about 10:30 pm (I was hosting a baby shower that night, so we got off to a late start). I was determined that I would let him cry himself to sleep if he woke up before 3am to eat.   If it was after 3am, I would feed him, then put him right back to sleep in his crib.  Essentially, the co-sleeping was over.

Imagine my surprise when he didn't wake up until 4:15am.  This, coming from a kid who previously thought he had to eat every half hour throughout the night.  So I fed him, then put him back in his crib until he woke up for the morning at 6:30.  Since I actually got sleep that night, I felt exuberant that morning!

The  next night, I laid him down when  he was awake and  he only cried for a minute or two before he put himself to sleep.  He slept until around 1am, but I let him cry himself back to sleep (only a few minutes) and didn't feed him until he woke up a few hours later.  Then, he was back in his crib to sleep for the rest of the night.

This went on for the next few nights. If he woke up before 3am, I didn't get him.  After 3am, I fed him, and then returned him to his crib.  By day 5, I felt confident in sleeping in my own room again (with the monitor on) and allowing him a once-a-night feeding.

Everything has changed!  Kimble is sleeping so well at night.  He even pacifies himself if he wakes up, and goes back to sleep on his own.  Now I am able to get two good chunks of sleep in. I am feeling more normal now, instead of the tired zombie I've been for a year.  Ironically enough, this change has even influenced his daytime naps.  Before, he was taking one nap a day, and it wasn't very long. Now, he takes two naps a day, and both are at least two hours long.

I feel so...rested!  Yay for sleep!

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day Of School

It's the first day of school.  5th grade, 3rd grade, and 1st grade.  This is also the last year that all my kids will be at the same school, since Kamy will be in 6th grade next year, and be in Jr. High.  But we won't think about that right now.

So the kids were all excited.  Last week they met their teachers.  Kolby has one of Kamy's old teachers, who changed grades to teach first grade this year.  Keaton has a brand new teacher to the school, and Kamy has a teacher that did some 4th grade level work last year, and is now her 5th grade teacher.  Should be a great year!



They laid out their clothes last night.  We packed big lunches.  I made them lemon-cottage cheese pancakes this morning for breakfast with orange honey butter (which Kolby said was a keeper) and even Kimble munched on a pancake.  Then we took a few pictures and they were out the door by 8am.

Just for fun, here is their first day of school LAST YEAR.  They really have grown up!

With no plans today, Georgie and Kimble and I are all hanging out in our pajamas.  We may even take a big nap together later today.