Friday, May 30, 2008

Gas prices are bloated!

My brother just sent out an email full of a bunch of funnies relating to the insane price of gas, and these 2 had me ROTFLMHO. I'd just like to clarify that the G in the cost of "plus" stands for GOODNESS and the F in "premium" stands for FREAK. We are a family blog here after all! Thought you'd get a laugh out of this otherwise painfully gassy situation we've got going on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day weekend

We just got back from the land of the red rocks and warmer temperatures! St George is close enough to do over a long weekend, but far enough that it's a real vacation. We had planned to do some hiking at Zion NP, alas, Dad's injured toe prevented us from doing that. But the kids and I had no problem making due with the more local hiking venues. We had been up to the bluffs in the past, when Gunnar was just a couple of months older than Sydney is now, but it was a lot more fun with my 2 older mountain goats. They couldn't get enough of it, we went twice in 2 days. They loved taking pictures in caves, and "on top of the world." Dad even came with us the 2nd day and we had a picnic lunch together before the kids and I set out to do some exploring. There is a really narrow slot canyon that the kids could hike all the way through, it was impossible for me though with the baby backpack on!
It was amazing to me all the beautiful desert flowers that grow in that area. I think it must be prime blooming season right now, I can't recall it being quite so beautiful in times past.
We also went as a family to see the new Narnia movie, Prince Caspian. The kids were entranced the entire 2 1/2 hrs. It was as magical as the first. Definitely recommend it.
The kids spent a lot of the baby's naptime out in the yard of the house we stayed at, playing with water balloons, chalk, eating fat slices of watermelon, chasing lizards and catching a toad (that we kept for an hour and then released, he looked ever so grateful to be let go...poor thing).
All in all a good trip, that I believe they will have good memories of! ...which was the goal. Yay.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I HeArT Artichokes

Growing up in California, I don't think you have a choice in loving these prickly little suckers. I can't believe that for more than 2 decades I have only eaten them steamed. Chris mentioned a few weeks back that we should try them grilled, and that we did. Let me tell you folks, we have been missing out big time. It takes a little prep to get them steamed and marinated before hand, but all in all I didn't feel it was that much more work, and OH, the results were heavenly. For the sauce we mixed 1/2 mayo and 1/2 sour cream with some chives. They also mentioned you could add a tbsp of horseradish sauce, which we didn't happen to have, but feel free if that floats your boat. Tis the season! Enjoy.

(Recipe for 4 artichokes, 8 servings ½ artichoke each)
This recipe is perfect for the lazy cook, since all preparation can be done the previous day. The slightly smoky taste compliments the nuttiness of the artichoke and no dip is necessary, although some might want to use additional marinade for dipping.

4 large artichokes
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup water ¼ cup soy sauce
1 T minced ginger
¼ cup olive oil


1. Slice artichoke tops off, crosswise. Trim Stems.
2. Boil or steam artichokes until bottoms pierce easily, or a petal pulls off easily.
3. Drain artichokes. Cool. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scrape out fuzzy center and any purple tipped petals.
4. Mix remaining ingredients in a large plastic bag. Place artichokes in the bag and coat all sides of the artichokes. For best flavor marinate in the mixture overnight in the refrigerator but should marinate at least one hour.
5. Drain artichokes. Place cut side down on a grill over a solid bed of medium coals or gas grill on medium. Grill until lightly browned on the cut side, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn artichokes over and drizzle some of the remaining marinade over the artichokes. Grill until petal tips are lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes more.
6. Serve hot or room temperature

Friday, May 16, 2008

Back again

It appears I have been neglecting the blog, but as most Moms know, sometimes things have to take the back seat, and lately it has had to do so. I'm hoping now that my routine is getting back to the norm, so will my frequency of posts.

Poor little Savannah was sick with a 103-104 fever all last week and missed school ALL WEEK. Not only was it hard on her, but it threw our whole family's schedule out of whack. Then just as she was starting to get better Chris came down with a yucky cough/achy/cold virus, and I also got a touch of it and fought it hard for a couple of days, luckily it didn't get full blown in my case.

I'd always heard that a routine is so important to a baby because that is the only way they know what to expect and if they don't have one life seems chaotic to them....but I really think that is true for anyone. We live our lives in a delicate balance of schedules, one change in that can send you plummeting. Finally we're all getting back to normal and the kids are out playing on the swings and riding bikes and scooters and I'm breathing a HUGE sigh of relief as home life starts to resemble what it once was.