Sunday, January 31, 2010

Park Play Time!

Our weather here has been GORGEOUS lately! So the kids and I took advantage of it yesterday and went to our neighborhood park for some fun sand, slide and swing time. They all had a blast! Here are some pics of the kids (as I promised :D ). They are just too cute, silly, sweet and funny these days! The 5 of them make me laugh!! :D

FYI...check out this blog post for the last time I took pictures of the kids at the park. Man! Have they changed since then!!!

Bethany, focused on her mission, which is to have fun in the sand!
Brielle with sand shovel in hand. I forget what she was telling me here ;)Bethany, again, with a yellow wiffle ballAnna Pie!Suzan found a pine cone. Ooooooo!Anna chose to sit down and dump sand all in her lap. Hey, you have to get down and dirty if you are going to have some fun ;)Jared building a sand building. He pointed out to me that the long "roads" are actually wheelchair ramps. I don't know where he comes up with this stuff! A very kind and thoughtful heart I tell you!Suz again, this time with another yellow ball we brought alongI just like this one of Bethany. She's ALWAYS reaching out for "mama" :DHa! This is my Curly Suz for you! She turned the bag for the sand toys into a purse. Ha! My little fashionista ;)Jared wanted me to take a picture of his sand building. See the ramps?A sweet pic of Peanut, aka BrielleOkay, now some swing time. I can still seat two girlies (1 big and 1 small) in each swing bucket seat...FOR NOW. I think they are growing too much, though, and outgrowing this. Ha! Bethany enjoying the swing time.Suzan swingingHa! Suzan decides to play "peek-a-boo" with me. Suzan - "you can't see me mama!" ;)Yup Suz, I can't see you at all :DAnna having fun swingingBrielle and her big grin, swinging :DThe other girlies wanted to get out and down from the swings but Brielle insisted to keep on swinging by herself. Having fun going solo!Mama had to "direct traffic" at the top of the slide. "hellooooo down there Bethany!"Jared telling me some crazy story of his. Oh, I think we were pretending that the play equipment was a boat or island and the sand was hot lava. He's too funny! :DAnna Pie's sweet grin! I can't get enough of her and her sweet smile :DAnd can't get enough of my Curly Suz either :DBethany coming up the steps to the slide. I had to watch this girl!And you've seen this pic before...Anna got a little hungry and snacked on some sand while we were there. Oh well ;)As I said before, I can't get enough of these kids of mine! They all crack me up and are HUGE joys in my (and Paul's) life! Praise God for the 5 of them!
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eat my sand!

You've heard the phrase "eat my dust!" Well, Anna has come up with her own, unique saying..."Eat My Sand!" Ha! ;)

Anna - this is her silly, squinty-eye look she gives me from time to time. It thinks it's a hoot! :DCheck back for more cute pics of the kids playing at the park from this morning! :D
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What's for dinner? Lentil Soup

Yeah, yeah, I know it's been A-G-E-S since I've posted something on our blog here. Let's just say it's been a bit busy yet boring around here. Other than the "fun" week we had, two weeks ago when all the kids got RSV and Brielle was hospitalized for it (by the way, they are all feeling MUCH better now, PRAISE GOD!, and back to their crazy selves ;) ), life is a bit, um, boring. Not much to write about. Even with that said, I will try to post some recipes on here I've been trying out in my kitchen and also post some recent (just taken today!) pictures of the kiddos.'s 1 post down ;)

Okay, before you turn up your nose at this and say "ewe! lentils? what were you thinking Maria?!?!?!" may I suggest you just give it a try. It's super easy and super cheap to make for dinner. Plus, lentils are good for you...when you consider the nutritional power of the lentil: high in fiber, low in fat, a good source of B vitamins, folate, magnesium, potassium. They're easy to digest meaning that they don't produce as much gassy by-product as other legumes (e.g. peas and beans). And of course, there's the protein. Of all the edible plants, only soybeans contain more.

So I was curious about lentils and thought "hm...I've heard of them but never tried them. So let's give them a try!" That's what I did for dinner tonight. Lentil soup! I searched for a good, easy and highly-rated soup recipe and came across Giada De Laurentiis's recipe (from the Food Network). She also has another lentil soup recipe that calls for chunks of beef chuck roast (which sounds yummy to me too!) but I went with this recipe for a first try.

First, chop up some onion, carrots and celery
And some garlic - YUM!Saute' them in olive oil, salt and black pepper, until veggies are tenderLike this tender
Mix in a can of diced tomatoes. Simmer until some of the tomato juices evaporate out a bit and the tomatoes break down.Ah, the lentils! I rinsed and drained mine beforehandAdd the lentils to the pot and mix to coatThen add in the chicken brothOh, and add in the sprigs of fresh thyme too. She says 4 to 6 sprigs but I just threw in the entire 2/3oz container of thyme. It worked out well.Bring to a boil and then let it simmer, covered and on low, for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are barely tenderThen stir in the elbow pasta. Cook another ~8 minutes or until the pasta is tender but firmThen you're done! Ta da! Ladle it into the bowl, top with shredded parm cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.Now, one thing that she doesn't mention and did cross my mind was "okay, what do I do with the sprigs of thyme in the soup? pull them out? won't I lose that taste then?" But then I saw what happened to the thyme...Ah, the thyme just cooked and fell off into the soup. I, then, just had to pull out the leftover stems in the soup. Okay. I get it ;)

I will say that Paul, Jared and I enjoyed it! Yes, Jared (a kid!) ate his entire bowl of it! Woo hoo! ;) It does have an earthy taste to it but we liked it anyhow. It was yummy!

So, are you going to try lentils? Maybe?? Well then, Happy eating! :D
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Brielle's Home!

Yes, Brielle is back home with her 3 sisters, Big Brother, Mom and Dad. YAY! She came home this morning. She was doing so well in the hospital, e.g. no O2 over night, no nasal suctioning and eating okay, that the docs thought she could come home. Woo hoo! We just need to keep up with the breathing treatments (well, with all 4 girlies), keep her away from cigarette smoke and stay inside away from cold air. So, we’ll be homebound here for a while ;) Just happy she is finally back home :D

I can tell she is feeling better already, as she has perked up, is smiling and giggling again and already trying to get her dancing shoes back on ;) Praise God for how well He is taking care of her!

Thanks for the prayers!
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

RSV Attack!

Well, sadly our house is under attack by RSV. Boo! :( We were SO worried with the girlies getting RSV last year but they did great last year and I guess this is the year to get yet. Yuck! Unfortunately, Brielle got admitted to the children's hospital due to low O2 saturation levels, difficulty/labored breathing and a nasty cough. We're praying that her stay in the hospital is short and uneventful. So far so good. Today, she perked up a bit, blabbering, dumping out her Cheerios and hugging, kissing and feeding Cheerios to her stuffed animals. Oh, smiling too and already asking for her "shoes." Ha! No dancing yet, though ;)Brielle's been a trooper! The other girlies are doing well at home. They have the same kind of cough and runny noses. Praise God for the doctors and modern medicine we have to give the girlies a boost of help in fighting this nasty virus!

Please keep the girlies in your prayers! I know God is in control and taking great care of them! He's the ultimate healer and physician!
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Less than 2 months and the girlies turn 2!

Yes, we have less than 2 months until the girlies turn 2. WOW! I can't believe they will be 2 soon. I have to say that they are the cutest and most fun girlies I could ever have asked for! Praise God for these 4 sweet blessings of ours!

Suzan, Anna, Bethany and Brielle at 22.5 months old
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Monday, January 11, 2010

A Suzan Story

Funny story...this morning Suzan didn't like what Mama picked out for her to wear for the day. She cried and cried until she could pick out her "own clothes." Ack! This girly might be my stylish girly girl, e.g. into clothes, wants her hair done, likes putting on jewelry, LOVES shoes. It's like she's 2 going on 12 here. Ha! ;)

Just had to share this sweet and silly story about my Suz :)
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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Guess I turn 22 this year :D

I was just looking at my birth date this year, 01/01/10, when I wondered "what is that in binary code?" Yes, I am a geek. Sorry ;) Just mentioning binary takes me back to my computer courses in college. In any case, to answer my question, Wiki said 010110 is 22 in binary. Guess that means I turn 22 this year. Sweet!!!! :D

Here are a few pics of me with my mommy and me being the mommy to my 5 kids ;)

Suzan, Grammy, Anna, Jared, Maria (the 22-year-old birthday girl), Bethany and BrielleYou can tell exactly what Bethany is thinking here..."Costco chocolate cake! YUM!!" Notice her tongue hanging out wagging ;)It was very cute, Bethany and Anna were trying to blow out the candles with me, along with Jared. Ha!In addition to some fun family birthday cake time I got to enjoy a wonderful breakfast out with a few close friends. I am TRULY blessed with very sweet, loving and generous friends and family. Praise God for the people He has placed in my life!!
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