Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Friday, June 18, 2010

DO try this at home!!!

Back in January I asked for recipe ideas from all of you.  I have received a few that I have tried and enjoyed.  My good friend, Amber, went out of her way to help me out.  She sent me an email with 5 or 6 of her favorite recipes.  I haven't tried all of them, but the ones I have tried have been delicious.  Here is my favorite so far....

Garlic Lime Chicken

1 t salt
¾ t pepper
¼ t cayenne pepper
¼ t paprika
1 t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
½ t thyme
Chicken breasts (The recipe calls for 6. Leftovers?)
2 T butter
2T olive oil
4 T lime juice
½ cup chicken broth

Mix the first 7 ingredients. Pound out the chicken in a Ziploc bag until thin. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of the chicken. Heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Cook chicken 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and add lime juice and chicken broth to pan. Whisk the mixture around until it is reduced, mixing up the brown bits. Pour over the chicken. Enjoy!

You need to change whatever dinner plans you have tonight and make this instead.  It is that good!  Enjoy

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Canada, river walk, Zoe, and a ranch

On Wednesday of our week long stay in Montana, we headed to Cranbrook, BC.  This was Dave's and my first trip to Canada, AND it was Ellie and Gracelyn's first international expedition anywhere.  We knew that we had to go while we were close enough to make a day trip because we might not ever get the opportunity again.  I don't know what I was expecting.  After our other international travels, I figured Cranbrook would be different than the U. S. in some way.  It really wasn't.  I mean, I know it is different, but not in an obvious, you're in another country, kind of way.  It was just more beautiful scenery, wild animals, farms, rivers.  We are so glad we went, and now Ellie and Gracelyn can say they were international travelers when they were 1.

We did find a cute little deli for lunch. While we were eating Dave had to leave and put money in the parking meter. On his walk to the car he passed a park so we headed that direction after lunch.

Ellie, Jake, Gracelyn
Have I mentioned it was cold the entire time we were at Jill's?  I checked the weather before we went and it was supposed to be in the upper 60s and 70s while we were there.  Nope, 50s and low 60s was what we got.  So, Gracelyn and Ellie had to borrow a couple of Jake's jackets when we spent time outside.

Ellie putting rocks on the slide.

Daddy pushing Gracelyn on the swing.

Gracelyn was so excited about the swings.

Gracelyn, Dave, Ellie, and Jake swinging at a random Canadian park.

Ellie loves clapping.

Our family under the Canadian flag.

Thursday was pretty packed.  We finally had sunshiney weather with warm (relatively speaking) weather.  After breakfast we loaded the kids up and went to the local river walk.  The town where Jill and Jeremy live is pretty small and not too fancy.  They have a few touristy places, but not much.  This river walk was an unexpected surprise.  It was so nice!  We all had such a good time exploring, throwing rocks, leaves, branches, etc.  And, surprisingly, all Jake wanted to do was ride in the stroller.  All Gracelyn wanted to do was NOT ride in the stroller.
Gracelyn and her first dandelion.

Gracelyn NOT riding in the stroller.

Ellie and Gracelyn sporting their shades.

Me pushing Ellie and Jake, Dave with Gracelyn NOT riding in the stroller.

Ellie and her daddy.

Meet Zoe.
She is a sweet horse that lives behind the fence that runs along Jill's driveway. Literally, right outside their backdoor. When we got home from the river walk we took some apples out to feed her.  Jake was an old pro.  He just walked right up to the fence and started feeding her, no fear.  Gracelyn and Ellie were much more timid.  It was a neat experience for them and got them ready for what we had planned for that afternoon.

Zoe, Gracelyn, me, Ellie, Aunt Jill
Jill and Jeremy have some good friends who work on a ranch.  Man, ranches in Montana sure look different than ranches in Texas!!  Look at all those trees!

We tried putting Gracelyn on the horse behind Jake, but she was not having it.  Uncle Jeremy wanted to get her in the picture so he stood behind the horse and held her up.  Ellie and Jake had a good time sitting there, though.  Gracelyn is definitely my cautious girl.  (She just might get that from me....)



Get me off this thing!!

Ellie picking dandelions in the field.  She was such a sweet girl all afternoon.  They didn't get a morning nap and then slept for less than an hour as we were driving to the ranch, but she didn't fuss at all.  There was too much going on for her to mess with fussing!!

There are no words.

We had such a wonderful time with Jill and her family.  We got to see some beautiful places, and new animals.  My favorite times, though, were the mornings when all the kids were up playing together.  It was such a blessing just to spend time together and see our children enjoying time with each other.  Jill was worried that we weren't seeing as much as we wanted to see, and there are a few places that we would have liked to have seen, but when you are lugging 4 kids under 2 around with you it is nice to just stay home and relax!  Thanks Jill, Jeremy, Jake and August!  We had a great time and we love you very much.  I guess we are going to have to come back and visit so we can see the places we missed, AND see your new house!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More from Montana

Most of our days in Montana were spent relaxing until Jeremy got home from work around 4 in the afternoon.  Monday, Memorial Day, he was off work so we decided to make the drive to Glacier National Park.  We left Jeremy and Jill's house just after 10, stopped for an early lunch and then headed for Glacier.  Unfortunately, our visit was a little too early in the summer and we could only drive about 16 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.  What we saw was breathtaking, though!
Ellie, Jake, and Gracelyn watching a video before we ate breakfast.

I had to include this picture of Ellie because this is how she and Gracelyn ate most of their meals--sitting in the middle of Jill's dining table.  Jill only has one highchair and Jake used it most of the time, so the girls just sat in the middle of the table and ate off their plates and anyone else's who happened to be sitting with them.  Ellie just made herself right at home!

On the way to Glacier, we got to take a detour and see some bears.  This picture makes it look like they were in the wild, but they weren't.  We drove through this little park where they had five bears just lounging around.  It was still exciting, though.
Ellie sitting in my lap watching the bears.

We finally made it to Glacier National Park.
Lake McDonald

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Waterfall where we stopped to stretch our legs and explore.

Me with Ellie, Dave with Gracelyn in front of the waterfall.

Gracelyn, Jake, Ellie
Gracelyn was sleepy.
Jake just threw a rock.
Ellie looks a little mischievous.

This is how we all felt on our way home.  Jake was completely exhausted.  All the kids slept for a while on the way home, but Gracelyn and Ellie's carseats are still rear-facing so I couldn't get a picture of them from the front seat.

Once we got home Gracelyn wanted to hold her new cousin.  She was so sweet and gentle with August.

Gracelyn sure does love August!

Ellie decided she wanted to hold August, also, so Aunt Jill helped her.
She wasn't quite as gentle as Gracelyn, but she sure did love him, too.

That was some kiss.  He will be feeling that one for a while!

Tuesday afternoon we went for a drive to find a pretty place to take some pictures of all the kids.  We found a great spot, but it was next to impossible to get all the kids together AND looking at the camera.  Forget about getting them all to smile!  It was about 55 degrees so we kept jackets on the girls most of the time.  My mom got all 4 of them these cute white shirts when she was staying with Jill a few weeks ago so we wanted to get pictures wearing them.  The weather didn't cooperate, but we got a few anyway. 
Gracelyn, Ellie, and Jake exploring.  Isn't that view gorgeous!!!

This was taken about half a second after we put them all down. They didn't stay sitting for long.  There was too much to see, touch, throw....

Ellie giving Jake a kiss.  They were so sweet and loved playing with each other so much!

Jake just had to teach Gracelyn and Ellie how to put grass in their mouths like the boys.



Yes, there is still more to come.  Next blog will include Canada, the local river walk, Zoe, and a ranch.  You won't want to miss it!!! 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


We spent last week in Montana visiting my sister and her family.  We originally scheduled our flight to leave around 10 Friday morning.  The airline moved us to an earlier flight.  6 AM!!!  No joke.  We had to get the girls up and to the airport to make a 6 am flight!  Dave and I got up just before 3 and were loading the girls up by 3:15.  We thought they would sleep the entire drive to the airport.  Nope.  We thought they might sleep in the stroller while we were waiting to board.  Nope.  We thought they would sleep on the airplane.  Nope, and yep.  Ellie stayed awake the entire time, but Gracelyn slept almost an hour.  We had a layover for about 3 hours in the Denver airport.  We strapped the girls in the stroller and I walked and walked.  Finally, they slept.  And, I got my excercise for the day!  We made it to Montana without too much drama.  We got our rental and drove to Jill's.  It was so nice to see her standing out on her front porch waving as we drove up.  We got to meet August for the first time.  He was asleep on our bed and I couldn't wait to get my hands on that sweet baby!  Gracelyn and Ellie got to play with Jake for a little while before we put them in the bath.  The airplane germs had to go!
Jake, Gracelyn, & Ellie
We usually take a bath after dinner, but decided to do it before dinner this once.  Gracelyn and Ellie had a great time playing with all the "new" bath toys.  They actually had a great time playing with all of Jake's toys all week.

Saturday we rested and watched the kids play until Jeremy got home from work.  Then we set out exploring.  Jill and Jeremy took us up the road a ways and we went into a state forest and we found a stream.  Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating.  It was drizzly most of the time we were out, but we didn't let that stop us from having fun.
Jill with August, Jeremy with Gracelyn and Jake

Ellie holding a tiny pinecone.

Jake loved, loved, loved picking up everything he could get his hands on and throwing it into the stream.  That kid showed no fear.  Even when he almost went for a dip.

Jill and me.  Doesn't the setting behind us look like a backdrop in a photo studio?  It was so pretty!

Ellie and Gracelyn watching Jake throw rocks, twigs, pinecones, grass, limbs...into the water. 

Ellie, still holding that pinecone. Gracelyn was a little unsure of what we were doing.

Mommy and Gracelyn

Our little family

Gracelyn finally got comfortable enough to start exploring a little.  It just takes her a few minutes to get warmed up.

This was the first time the girls really got to admire their newest cousin.  Boy did they love that baby!! 

Sunday was another relaxing day.  We went to church with Jill and then took it easy. Dave and Jeremy mowed/weedeated (is that even a word, or is it weedate??) and I pulled Jake, Gracleyn, and Ellie in the wagon up and down their driveway.  They had more fun than what it looks like in these pictures.  I promise!  Look at Jake with a rock in his hand.  There were puddles in their drive and he wanted me to stop every time we got to one so he could throw a rock and make it splash. 
We were in Montana for a week so stay tuned for the rest of the trip.  We got to see real live black bears!!!