Thursday, November 19, 2009

A New Chapter

Our family, extended and immediate is entering into a new chapter. In 1987, my family moved from VA to CA. An exciting time for a 14 year old. Leaving the country setting to move to the hustle and bustle of Southern California. I went through 3 years of highschool and 4 years of college, met my husband, got married and had 3 kids. So, here we are in 2009.
Just a few days ago, my Dad accepted a new job at Patrick Henry College in VA. This time, they are moving without me! We've never been more than 45 minutes from each other. It will be so odd to not be able to call Shasha and say, "Mom, I have to come over and let the kids run in your back yard. I'm about to lose my mind."
Yesterday, I decided to break the news to Gabby, knowing that the news would break her heart. She would need time to get used to idea. She broke down in tears and could barely speak. In between sobs I heard her say, "I'm not going to see Shasha and Papa anymore." We hugged and talked about the trip we're tying to plan to visit them in May 2010.

After I put the boys to bed last night, I went into Gabby's room to tuck her in and I found her drawing and writing. She handed me this:

I think it says it all.

Shasha and Papa, we'll miss you SO much but are thrilled for your new opportunity. While you're looking for a new house, we only have one request. Please be sure there are enough bedrooms for all of us! We love you!

Thanksgiving Feast

Today was "Thanksgiving Feast" day at preschool. Zack was thrilled that Mom's, Dad's and siblings were able to come to school today too!

Parents brought in all kinds of snacks for the kids (including slices of turkey!) for them to celebrate Thanksgiving as a class. They even told their teacher what they were thankful for. Here was Zack's. At least he got his priorities straight. Mom first, then treats!

Even Josh got in on the fun. He was saying "hi" to Zippity and Oreo.

We even made a Thanksgiving wreath.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day

Today, the kids had the day off from school and we tried to talk to them about why. We talked about what a Veteran was, what they have done, and how that helps us. Each Wednesday, the kids on our street get together for "Kids Club". All this really is is an organized playdate at someone's house and the hosting house plans an activity for the kids to do.
Today, we made cards for a marine and his platoon. This marine is the Daddy of one of the girls in Gabby's Daisy troop.
We walked over to their house to deliver our cards and a bag of candy. The picture above was taken at a house across the street from the Marine family's house. As we knocked at their door, I got all welled up and could hardly speak. I was so overwhelmed with the kindness of the kids and them yelling "Happy Veteran's Day" as the door opened.
What a pleasure to bless a veteran's family today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

White Bean Chicken Chili

I've been loving the cooler CA weather (except for today of was 85 degrees!) and when it's cooler, my cooking turns to soups, stews and chili. I found this wonderful recipe for white bean chicken chili. I must admit I borrowed it from this gal's blog who adapted it from Paula Deen's recipe on Food Network.
Now, she used cans of beans and cooked it on the stove, I used dried beans and my crock pot. You can adapt this recipe to fit your family's needs. Any way it's made, I'm sure it's amazing. Here was my recipe.

3 chicken breasts cooked in a pan with olive oil and 1 medium onion diced.
1 bag of "small white beans" rinsed and cooked in a pan filled with water that "just covers" the beans
(I cooked the beans while I was cooking the chicken)

In the crockpot, I put:
4 cans of chicken stock
1 tsp orgagno
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
3 mild jalapenos sliced thinly

Once the chicken is browned and the onions are a nice brown color too, I placed them in the crockpot and took some of the chicken broth from the crockpot and placed it back in the hot chicken pan to deglaze it. I poured that back in the crockpot and then poured the beans (broth and all) in the crockpot too. I set the temperature on high and let it cook all afternoon. About 3 hours later, the chicken was done and I took it out and shredded it. Put it back in the crockpot and then took a potato masher to the beans to thicken the chili. Cooked it for about 30 minutes more.

I made rice to go with it because my kids aren't big bean eaters and tonight I didn't want to fight. I served the chicken and broth over the rice for the kids. They lapped it up!

So, if your weather is cool (or if you've got your air conditioning on like I did today) cook this up for a good comforting meal. It makes a ton and will freeze well.