Sunday, February 8, 2009

Trip #3

OK, so I skipped January trip #2: Asheville.  We went to check it out as a possible place to live...the verdict? Love the town, but more of a vacation spot.  

So, Trip #3: Utah to bless Mia.  Yes, I flew by myself with 3 kids to Utah.  No half as bad as I thought it would be.  Anyway, here she is on her big day.  My sister did the smocking and my mom made the dress.  How lucky I am to be related to such talented ladies!!! 

This is a 4 generation of sorts: Brig's mom, grandmother Ruby, Brig and baby Mia
Grandma Ruby and Mia
Brig was able to fly in Friday night so we got to spend Saturday together.  We took the kids to the Clark planetarium and watched a 3D movie about Dinosaurs.  Nathan wore his glasses until the end of the first trailor when a fish snapped at us.  Then he only put them on for scenery parts if the music wasn't ominous....
The kids loved to snuggle with Grandpa Steve (my dad) before going to bed.  I think Grandpa Steve liked it too.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells

I made this for dinner tonight, and it was a hit!  Easy to make, too, which is always a bonus in my book.

Here is the recipe (from "Favorites" cookbook):
32 jumbo pasta shells
2 (10 ounce) packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons fennel seeds 
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups bottled marinara sauce

Cook pasta shells, drain well and set aside. Squeeze spinach dry and put in large bowl. Add ricotta, 1/3 cup Parmesan, fennel, basil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir to blend. Spoon 1/2 cup marinara suace evenly over bottom of 9" x 13" glass baking dish. Place shells, filling side up, in the dish. Spoon remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*I left out the fennel (YUCK) and only used 1 package of spinach.  Next time I make it, I might only use 1 or 2 cloves of garlic -- I thought 3 made it a little too strong.

While I made dinner, I had the kids play with homemade play dough (this batch has lasted for MONTHS) -- I'm sure you can see Scarlett eating some.....
Since their attention span is about 30 seconds and dinner took longer than that to assemble, I also had the kids decorate some paper that we will use to make Valentine's tomorrow.  After those 30 seconds were up, I turned on the TV. (And I remembered why I usually make dinner in the middle of the day while Scarlett is napping.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Nathan (sees Aunt Kimberly with a set of magnetic letters on her lap): I know, I'm the mail man and I'll bring you some letters. 

Way overdue

January ended up being the month of travel for us.  Here are the highlights.  I'll start with the 1st trip (actually the end of December)

Trip #1 Mexico: where we learned that you get all the way into the right lane to make a left turn, that Scarlett loves shrimp and coke.  Where Brigham made a super cool sand monster (look glump-like to anyone else?), and where I wish I was right now.  A balmy 85 degrees sounds much more preferable than the single digits we are supposed to see tonight.