Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My day has been full of friends and I love it. I needed it today and I feel blessed to be surrounded by such great women.

---A chat in the school parking lot while we froze.
---A quick phone call to ask a favor.
---Dropping something off and a 10 minute chat.
---Catching up while our kids picked up toys.
---Hanging out over dinner and dessert with the women at Recipe Club.
---An email sent and received making plans for future fun.
---A conversation in passing at the pick-up line.

It's just a good day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Trying something new

I have a strange interest in knowing what people ate for dinner. Call me voyeuristic if you must, but when I'm driving around in the evenings and see the light in the kitchen on, I'd love to know what's going on that table. Is it a family favorite? Chicken? Beef? Pasta? Who fixed it? From a recipe? I think it's just fascinating to know what people are fixing for dinner and why. Was it the easiest option? A celebration? Someone's favorite meal?

For the most part, I love to cook. I like meal planning and thinking through what we haven't had in awhile and coming up with a menu that we all like. I like to care for my family in this way and it comes very naturally to me. I also like to try new recipes. I aim to fix something new at least once a week. This is not hard because I'm inundated with magazines, blogs and shows that all offer me new ideas. You might think I'm crazy, but my biggest issue with planning meals is narrowing down my choices. Too many ideas, too few meals! This week's menu plan ended up getting turned all around and we ended up trying a new recipe every night. And because this is interesting to me, I thought I'd share for those of you who are also looking for some new dinner ideas.

Monday-Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas I have an excellent enchilada recipe that has been our favorite for years, but this one ranks right up there. So delicious! For a slight variation on this recipe check out the one here. I made two pans and stuck one in the freezer for another night.

Tuesday-We had a happy fall meal and I made Bacon wrapped chicken breasts with maple gravy. The gravy recipe is here. On the side was one of our absolute favorite sides, veggie potato mash.

Wednesday- I have been trying to utilize my cookbooks more often so picked Pasta with zucchini, roasted garlic oregano and feta from Robin Miller's Just In Time. (The link is to a similar recipe from Food Network.) It was good, not great, but healthy and quick to throw together. We all liked it and the leftovers tasted better, but probably not something I'd make again.

Thursday- I had something entirely different planned, but it didn't sound good so I dug through my list of want-to-try and found Tortilla and Black Bean Pie. It was a hit with all of us! Another benefit to having a well stocked pantry is being able to change my mind about a meal and come up with something different. This recipe was a great use of pantry items and things that I almost always have around, like whole wheat tortillas and cheese. Delicious.

Saturday- Another simple meal to throw together was Honey Mustard Chicken biscuits. We all loved these even though they didn't turn out quite right. The batter was too wet so next time (and there will be a next time!) I would add more bisquick or less milk. The vegetables in the batter add quite a bit of moisture and made them super moist. I think they were intended as a snack but we ate them for dinner and they were quite filling. They were a fun way to serve chicken for dinner and stretch a buck!

Yesterday afternoon Cale and I decided we need some sort of dessert-y treat so we flipped through my copy of Martha Stewart's Cookies. We settled on Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk cookies because 1)they sounded amazing 2)I had all the ingredients 3)they were easy to throw together. Oh my word- they are good! We've eaten waay too many of them since yesterday afternoon. I found a link to the recipe online, but once again, used my own cookbook. See, I'm really trying to utilize them!

So that's what we've been eating around here. Have you tried anything new lately and enjoyed it? What did you have for dinner?

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Cale doesn't try to surprise me very often, but when he does, it's almost always a huge winner! That was definitely the case last week when he came home from work with a box from the post office. Return address: Lisa Leonard! Well over a year ago I had shown Cale this necklace that I loved. But at that time we didn't know about Mati so it seemed silly to me to get one without our future child included on it. Well, fast forward to a few weeks ago when Cale went ahead and ordered one for me. I absolutely love it! I have worn it every single day and have received several compliments on it. I was going to take a picture of mine, but copy and pasting this one was much easier. (Obviously mine has a lower case m and h on it!) Thanks, Cale; you're the best!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Remember that time I ran out of gas?

I ran out of gas in my car tonight. So stupid! What's ironic about the whole thing is that driving over to the library tonight Cale commented on how little gas I had in my car. I suggested that he should get me some (like he usually does). He was giving me a hard time about it and said, "Well, you haven't run out of gas in one of our cars yet." He spoke too soon.

After running an errand I drove back to the library to pick up Cale and Haven and as we were set to pull out onto the road the car died. I knew immediately what was wrong and my heart sank, right down there with my pride. I've run out of gas exactly never (except for one amazing coast into the gas station during some poorer days). I was irritated with myself for letting such a stupid thing happen. But you know what, even through such a little thing God showed me how good He is. A friend of ours was working at the library tonight and allowed Cale to take her car to go get gas. We didn't have to sit and wait for anyone because she was there and willing to help. And even greater evidence of God's goodness is the gracious man I'm married to. I can assure that if he had been the one at fault for running out of gas I would not.have.been.happy. But he just shrugs and says, "No big deal."

So tonight I'm thankful for learning a little more about grace and that I have a God and husband who so freely give it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lunchtime rut?

Today has not been the best day really. Two sick kids and a travelling dad have made it a long day, but it's had its bright spots. I have lots of cuddle time with both my kids and have even read quite a bit. I figure if I'm going to just sit on the couch holding someone I might as well do something productive like read. It's been great! Another bright spot was my lunch.

This morning, before I knew the extent of the sickness about to hit our house, we ventured to the library. I had the book Lunch Boxes and Snacks waiting for me on hold and was so excited to flip through it when we got home. I don't know about you, but lunch can get really boring, really fast around here. I've read about this book on several different blogs and had heard nothing but good things about it. I was looking forward to some inspiration to move us away from our standard lunches. By the time lunch rolled around things were not looking good here and I had a Pb&J in my future. But this book saved me! As I scanned through the book during a cuddle session with Haven I came across the following recipe and knew it was meant to be my lunch. I had everything on hand and it looked to be just a step or two more complicated then the previously mentioned peanut butter sandwich. It was delicious and something that will be repeated around here often! Just not often enough to get us in a rut!

Turkey, Muenster, and Cranberry Sandwich

In a small bowl combine 1 Tbs mayo with 2 tsp chopped dried cranberries and some finally diced green onion. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mixture onto one slice of whole grain bread. Layer on 3 slices of deli turkey, a slice of Muenster cheese and some lettuce. Top with another slice of bread. Enjoy!

-adapted from Lunch Boxes and Snacks by Annabel Karmel

I already ordered my own copy of this book off of half.com for less the $2! If you need some lunchtime inspiration then look no further then this book!

Friday, September 11, 2009

One last blast of summer

Now that another weekend is upon us, I thought it was high time to share some pictures from our get-a-way last weekend. We rented a house near Chautauqua Lake in western New York with my brother and his family and tried our hardest to squeeze out a few last drops of summer fun. We were more then successful!

We did some hiking....

Some posing...

A little bit of sliding...

Some riding....
A bit of napping...
Lots of cuddling...
Loving on our cousins (that we met for the first time)...

And some swinging...

And we don't have any pictures from the beach, a brief hot air balloon ride (it was tethered to the ground), a wine tasting, birthday celebrations, a boat ride, game playing and lots of eating! It was a jam packed 2.5 days, but so much fun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First trip to the dentist

Haven had her first trip to the dentist todayand it was a resounding success. She was so brave and sat with her mouth wide open (even when she could have closed it!). The hygienist couldn't believe she'd never been before based on how well she did. No cavities in her 20 teeth, either. Hopefully she inherited Cale's teeth and not mine and keeps that no cavity streak going for a long time!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First day of school

Haven had her first day of Tuesday School today. She had a great day and we're all excited for her to begin again. She has wonderful teachers who have lots of fun planned for the kids. It's going to be a good year!
Haven and our birthday boy (more on that later)

Our big girl ready to go!

Best buds looking cute!

Gibson and his ladies

Friday, September 4, 2009

Late summer treat

Vanilla yogurt + blueberries + raspberries + a few hours in the freezer = one happy, but very messy girl

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Haven- a self-portrait

Haven is a never ending source of entertainment. Usually without even trying she makes me laugh. Some recent examples...

-Upon getting up from her rest time she informed me that, "Mom, I prayed not once, but two times that we could go slow, really slow, and safe on our trip. But also that it would not take too long."

-Earlier this week she wanted to go to a restaurant for lunch. She kept calling it The Wheelbarrow and proceeded to describe it as the place with the brown man on a tractor. It took me several minutes to realize she was, in fact, calling Cracker Barrel, The Wheelbarrow.

-Haven's new favorite phrase is, "Well, the things is..." As in, "Well, the thing is mom, that you didn't give me any bread." I assure you I know where she gets that one!

-And my personal favorite is when she calls my Iced Capps my cha-chinos or cap-chines.