Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunbeam Adventures

While it is not so exciting to take a 12-18 month baby to church, things do improve!  Nursery is fun!  And then comes Sunbeams!!!  I have a feeling this will be a multiple part series for me during the coming year.  Today 3 things happened.

During Sharing time I was sitting on the back row.  Well, Miss Luz was sitting next to her friend Justin and put her arm slyly over the back of his chair.  The next thing I knew, he also had his arm up on her chair and then started playing with her hair.  Meanwhile I was just watching this thinking, "That is cute!" and "This is Primary, kids...and you are only 3!"  Finally I went up and told them both to fold their arms and listen. :)

Later I was talking with the Primary secretary.  She handed me a piece of paper and told me I had to read it.  It was a spotlight form they had given each of the teachers to help the children in their class fill out.  Luz had said the following:
Favorite food: pasta
Favorite animal: bunny (???)
When I grow up I want to be: I want to be like Jesus
Doesn't that just bring tears to your eyes?

After lunch Luz was playing downstairs.  Juan went down to find her standing on the table talking.  He asked what she was doing.  She said that she was giving a talk in church.  [This may have been prompted because Juan spoke in Sacrament Meeting today.]  So cute!  I guess we will be helping her give a talk in church this year.  Glad she's preparing for it. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Recipe: Black Bean Soup (from

My Rating: THIS IS AMAZING!  As in, you HAVE to try it soon!  If you don't want to make it, call me and I will make it for you!!!
I was browsing, looking for healthy meals and found this on one of my favorite food sites Our Best Bites.  I used black beans I had cooked myself.  You don't really have to dice the veggies, just kind of chop them up very coarsely.  I omitted the salt and pepper.  Because I already had the 1/2 tsp. out, I used that for the cumin, oregano, and chili powder.  No sense in dirtying another dish.  We topped it with a dollop of sour cream and a little bit of grated cheddar cheese (totally NOT authentic).  It was super easy.  You can blend all of the soup in about 2 blender-fulls.  I really appreciated the tip of leaving the center of the lid off, but holding a paper towel there.  I was just looking for some variety, but when I took my first bite, I thought WOW WOW WOW!!!

* Note: the lime is not listed in the ingredient list, but you will not want to leave it out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cutest smile ever!

This afternoon, Ezra was sitting on my lap and Juan was talking to me.  These were just some of Ezra's random expressions:

New Recipe: Spinach and Feta Pasta (from

My Rating: Awesome!  and so fast!
Remember that dinner rut I was talking about?  Well, I am really into trying new recipes now.  I happened upon this one and loved it!  Quick!  In fact, so quick that we ate dinner at 4:45 last night.  I was aiming for 5:00.  I doubled the pasta, as in added the whole 16 oz package.  I did that because I don't like half-opened packages in my cupboard.  It was fine, but made so much that I will probably just follow the recipe next time.  I added lots of extra spinach, like probably a total of about 8 large handfuls, and will probably add more next time.  In my opinion this wasn't even close to enough.  I used 2 regular-size cans of Italian style diced tomatoes, which I love.  I also added extra mushrooms and a total of about 6 oz of feta cheese.  I am in love with this recipe.  However, this afternoon I had some leftovers for lunch and it wasn't nearly as flavorful.  I'm going to try following the pasta to goodies ratio next time and see what happens.  I served this with a green salad and bread.  Here is the recipe!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ezra: 3 months going on 6

Mr. E is such a smiley boy.  He likes being tickled.  He desperately wants to sit by himself, but can't quite do it yet.  He wants nothing to do with laying down.  I think he feels like he is missing out on something.  He is strong.  He is happy most of the time...except when he's hungry.  He and Luz absolutely adore each other.  I should also mention that he is 16 pounds 3 ounces as of last week and graduated into size 3 diapers today.

Luz: First night in a big girl bed

We finally did it!  Juan and I got up the courage to move Luz out of a crib and onto a mattress (temporarily until she gets used to sleeping on it and then onto a real bed that's waiting for her in our basement).  She was very excited and helped rearrange the bedroom this afternoon.  Here she is all tucked in.  As I write this a couple of hours later, I must say that she did quite well.  She laid down shortly before 8:00.  She did her routine call for us to help her go to the bathroom about 15 minutes later.  Then she called for a drink of water.  And then she was quiet and at some point around 9 fell asleep.  Yeah!  When I tucked her in, I told her that when she wakes up in the morning she can call me to come help her get up.  She replied, "I big girl Mommy.  I can get up myself!"  Well, alright then.

Today is the day...

to start catching up on the blog!  Entries will be posted according to date of occurrence, not all on today's date, however.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week 1: Done!

Goal: Read The Book of Mormon as a family every single night.  3 verses each because Luz is 3. :)
Start date: Sunday, January 2, 2011

It is going absolutely great so far!  It's such a great close to our day.  We read 3 verses each.  Then Luz gets to pick a couple of songs.  Then we kneel and pray as a family.

Book Review: Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca

My Rating: I really enjoyed reading this book (again) and would highly recommend it!
Appropriate for: Adults, Young adults
Lee Iacocca was President of both Ford and Chrysler companies.  Some of the book is about his life growing up and how he learned some important life lessons.  Other parts are about his work in the auto industry.  All in all, it's one of those books that makes you want to get off your butt and go to work.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Goodbye Torie

Our friend Torie passed away.  I will always remember how kind and thoughtful she was.  She suffered from a variety of illnesses and physical impairments, but whenever I talked to her she was always concerned about how I was doing.  She had a hard time getting around, but whenever we went to the grocery store together or to do any other errands, I always felt like she was the cheerful one who made my day better.  When Ezra was born, she made him a cute blanket...and another cute blanket for Luz also.

Juan introduced Torie to our family.  Right after Luz was born, he started working as a taxi driver.  Torie didn't drive (due to a seizure she once had) and frequently called for a taxi.  When she realized how close we live (2 blocks away), she started calling Juan directly and they became friends.  Soon he was not only driving her to the bank and the grocery store, but taking her to doctor appointments and other errands.  She had lots of doctor appointments.  During the year 2009 when I was working, Juan and Luz would often hang out with Torie while I was at work.  Luz adored her.  She adored Luz.  She became Luz' personal grandma up the street.  Every single time we drove or walked by Torie's house, Luz waved at Torie and Kory.  Luz often talked about Torie's owies and asked why she had so many.  We visited Torie at home, at the hospital, at the care center, and spent lots of time listening to her stories.  It always made me feel a bit sad to hear about how her life used to be and how active she was.  By the time we met her, she was already in constant pain.

This was the first time Luz attended a viewing and funeral.  Juan didn't want to take her, but I really felt like they were good friends and Luz needed to say goodbye.  We attended the viewing Wednesday night.  Luz seemed to take it all in and asked lots of questions.  The funeral was Thursday morning and it was nice to get to know her some more from the stories her sister and daughters told about her.  We will sure miss you Torie!

New Recipe: Nauvoo Potato Casserole/Funeral Potatoes (from Karene Dix)

My Rating:  Really great comfort food.  Takes longer to cook than my normal dishes though. :)
A dear friend of mine passed away and I signed up to help with food for the luncheon.  Sister Dix called and asked me if I would make funeral potatoes.  I said that I would, but because I have never made them before I would need a recipe.  She sent me this one.  I thought it was so yummy looking as I was making it in the morning that I decided to make another batch for dinner that night for us.  Obviously this is not healthy at all, but really great for some comfort food.  I served it with Mini Meatloaves, steamed broccoli, and a green salad.  I am not really into frozen potatoes, so I used the brand Simply Potatoes that are refrigerated.  The diced potatoes come with onion already.  I used 3 bags (the bags are smaller) for this recipe.  I also used one can cream of mushroom soup and one cream of chicken.  I used butter instead of margarine and actually did not mix any butter in with the cornflakes at the end.  I just sprinkled them on top.

Nauvoo Potato Casserole (or Funeral Potatoes)
2 bags frozen potatoes, diced or shredded, thawed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
¼ cup margarine, melted
1 pint sour cream
½ cup green or white onions, chopped
1 ½ cups grated cheese
3 cups cornflakes, crushed (topping)
Mix altogether in a large bowl, except the cornflakes. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours.  Mix cornflakes with 2 Tbs. melted marg., sprinkle on top of baked casserole.
Note: If using 1 ½ lb. bags of potatoes, it will make one 9 x 13 dish. (more creamy)
If using 2 lb. bags of potatoes, it will make a 9 x 13 dish and an 8 x 8 dish. (Less creamy but good)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bye Tio! :(

Today Tio Samuel left for BYUI.  We are very sad that he won't be around to lull Ezra to sleep, make Swedish and German pancakes, play (purses/cars/blocks) with Luz, commiserate about car woes, and many other fun things we have done this fall.  Good luck this semester Tio!  We love you!  By the way, next time you see Ezra he'll be about 5 feet tall. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam!

My baby went to Sunbeams for the first time today!  I can't believe it.  I am so proud of her.  Not that she had much choice in going, but she did have lots of choices in her behavior.  She did GREAT!  The leaders had all of the Sunbeams and their parents stay after in the chapel for a few minutes and then took the kids upstairs to sharing time.  I gave her a few minutes head-start and then I went up there to sit in Primary like I normally do.  At one point during sharing time, Sis. Elguera was showing different books and held up a cook book.  She asked the kids if they had one of those at home.  Luz turned around and asked me if we have one at home.  I nodded.  She was sitting next to her teacher and then touched his arm and said, "Yeah, my mom said I have one at home."  TOO CUTE!  Later, I was downstairs changing Ezra in the bathroom.  Her teacher brought her in to go and saw me.  I helped Luz go to the bathroom.  Well, on our way out she grabbed hands with the other 2 kids in her class (one on each side of her) and said, "Come on, friends.  Let's go to our class."  Such a cheerful, friendly Sunbeam!