Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the BEST chicken salad

If money grew on trees, I think I would be a regular at Whole Foods.  It just wouldn't be hard to eat there regularly.  Only two miles from home with long, long, salad bars, delicious fruit, and yummy food in every direction.  Ahhh.  Mmmm.  
However the prices are pretty over the top.  Still, I occasionally go there instead of a restaurant.  Call me weird, but I would rather have their curry chicken salad then restaurant food.  In fact, my desire for their curry chicken salad found me going in on a weekday and splurging just for myself.  However, at over 7 dollars a pound not something to feel too good about.  So I set out to make it myself.  Whole Foods does have some recipes on their site, but not the salad I've found here at my local Whole Foods (BTW, it is located to the left of the sushi bar in the back on the East side of the store-behind glass near the tuna cranberry...)
Okay, so I think I've gotten pretty close with the help of the wonderful Internet and my own mind and tongue.
This is fabulous not only because it tastes good, but it is super healthy!
Cooked chicken about 3 breasts (I'm pretty sure Whole Foods used their old rotisseries that don't sell-I just boiled up chicken and cut it up)
To your liking add:
chopped green onions 
chopped celery
chopped carrots
almond slivers
sliced green peppers
raisins-put the raisins in water first for about 5-10 minutes, take 'em out and blot with a paper towel.
Curry Dressing
1.5 t vinegar
1 tsp  yellow curry
1/4 C low fat plain yogurt
2 T low fat of FF Mayo
1 T milk (add more if you want it thinner)
1 tsp.  Salt
Mix all of this well stir into above ingredients.

This will taste better after a few hours in the fridge and excellent the next day. I love it plain, but on lettuce or bread is also a great choice!

Well, hope you enjoy and please let me know if you try it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

per request

Okay Liz, here are some photos.

Kristin and Jon-David were in town for Easter.  Kristin and I went shopping and we had a great time picking out some dresses!  Maybe they should be pastel, but we liked these better!

Hope everyone had a good Easter.  We shared it with old and new friends and had lots of great food.  Of course, I didn't have the camera out and have no pictures of those things.  We had breakfast...yummy quiche, fruit salads and kabobs, breakfast rolls, pigs in a blanket, and some no bake cookies too!  The Mitchell's, some dear friends from AR, came through and they were able to join us on Easter.  Our kids used to play together all the time and I enjoyed seeing them play together again.  Carl and Lando just gave each other a big, long hug...too cute.  They are moving to Akron and we are so excited to have them just two hours away!
We also dyed Easter eggs with friends last week.  I am a believer in dying eggs every year, age 2 or is so fun for everyone.  Also we participated in 3 egg hunts.  Plus several here at the house.  
I absolutely love Easter, the beautiful colors and spring, chocolate, and most of all the symbolism of life after death!  I am thankful for my Savior and for a belief in life beyond just this one.

Crafting for Easter

Here are a few crafty things I did this year for Easter.  I didn't spend much money, and I had fun just using up stuff here at home.

1. The smores in a jar were fun to make and made cute gifts.  For a better picture, go here.
2. Cloth carrots.  I know.  Sorry, no link, just a Lara weird idea.
3. Some weirdo trees.  I know go ahead and laugh...I did!!  They were fun though and I had lots of extra eggs.  
4.  Yummy FHE treats.  The boys loved making these and we shared with our neighbors!

Muddy Sunday

I was really enjoying a general conference talk and my boys were  playing fabulously well together.  When I went to check on them I found them...
the fence

We spent lots of time cleaning...obviously.   But if you look above you will notice that my sponge mop was used to paint, so a little tricky to mop the kitchen where they tracked mud. I will need to borrow a power sprayer to get the mud off the fence.  It's been raining all week, but the fence still looks brown.

And above you can see my blue cleaning gloves were used to mix the mud....


Here is Ivan doing some cleaning on the kitchen floor.

Finally, here is Lando cleaning mud off his shoes.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Orlando's Wisdom

Here is some insight to my 5 year old pre-schooler:

Lando: Mom, am I going to be a bus student or a car student next year?

Me:  I don't know.  I have to find out where and when Ivan needs dropped off.  We will see.

Lando:  (Exasperated Sigh)  Just go to www., then find Kindergarten.  Next, see bus and car.  Find my name!  

Dad:  Lando, what did you learn at school today?

Lando:  We learned about maps.

Dad:  Maps are cool!

Lando:  Ya, my teacher has a map that goes in her car.  She puts her house and then where she wants to go and it tells her.

Me:  A GPS?

Lando:  Ya, a GPS.  Those are cool maps!

Lando:  Mom, huge and humongous rhyme!

Me:  They mean the same thing, but they don't rhyme.  They both mean big.

Lando: Ya.

Me:  Lots of words mean big.  Huge, humongous, large, great, big, enormous.  When words mean the same thing, they are called synonyms.

Lando:  (long pause, wheels turning).   Mom, Synonyms and M&M's rhyme!!!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Money Talk

How do you stay on a budget?  My friend blogged about this and I thought I would too (good idea, Abby!).  

here are mine...
$ I don't go shopping. When money is tight, I simply avoid all malls, restaurants, grocery stores, Wal-mart etc. I don't go for anything. This means cloth washrags instead of paper towels, etc. but we survive!

$ (similar to one)I just don't buy food for a week. We eat what is in the cupboard, freezer and fridge. We've never starved!  Yes, you can go a full week or even longer without spending money!!

$ I really like it saves me tons of time and probably some money too, b/c I'm not going in and out of the store everyday. Plus, we actually like the recipes. I chose the Wal-Mart low fat plan. The food costs around 75 a week and that is for a 4-5 person family. We usually have leftovers, so food budget is 100 a week for five.  For produce Aldi's for sure! 

$ At one point during med skl we were down to 30 a week for groceries. I split powdered milk with whole milk and used powdered eggs. It worked, but I admit, wasn't fun!   

$ Oats and rice instead of boxed cereal.  Turkey in place of beef.

$ I try to make homemade gifts thoughtful, but not pricey. Gifts can really cost us. 

$ Always pay tithes and fast offerings!

$ I also admit to listening to Dave Ramsey.  Tune in for a debt free Friday.  I find it inspirational to hear people scream, "I'm debt free!" and it reminds me of our long term goals.  I agree with the majority of what he says, and like I said, it is a friendly reminder.

Buy used or free, Craigs list, Freecycle, 

okay, that is it for now.
Your turn!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hi, my name is lion.

For those of you who haven't met me my name is Lion.  I am more loved than anyone can imagine because I belong to Orlando.  Lando takes me everywhere.  Here we are at the arch in St. Louis.

Lando also thinks I am beautiful.  He took mom's camera and took this next shot himself.  I've been with Lando since birth, so we are close.  Hey, I'm a great comfort item.  Although, I once was left at a gym for two weeks, like a good cat, I found my way miraculously home!  

I've been with Lando through his ups and downs.  I always went to preschool with him, until he got comfortable there.  I sometimes ride in his backpack for old times sake.   And when Ivan was in the hospital, I was essential to his comfort.  Lando is a sensitive boy who worried about his brother.  He still gets upset about Ivan's scar and Ivan being gone.  I'm still the one he holds.  Gee, I'm good! 

I've ended up in many family photos.  My tail has been chewed nearly off.  And I actually lost my nose on the last road trip.  Luckily Lando's dad knows how to operate, and he put it back on!!  Too bad no one took pictures of that one!  Oh, and Lando was crying when he saw dad put a needle in me--he didn't want me to hurt.  But, he WAS glad that I would get my nose back.

Lando can, like all children, get angry.  This is when I really shine.  No one helps him calm down quicker than me!  It is my specialty.  I know Lando loves me very much.  He has tried to feed me ice cream and cereal.  At one time I even had a place at the table.  He also has taught me to say my own prayers.  He dances with me, turns me in flips, and today I was part of a parachute project.  He cuddles with me every night, and I have my own voice and can answer questions!!  

So what could I want more than Orlando?  Not a thing.  You see, I love him too!

He continues to teach me. . .

Today I took Ivan in for his Neuro check up.  He had an MRI Monday.  I'm so happy to report no signs of cancer at this time and things look good.  Of course, I am always nervous -no matter that statistics for his type of cancer are on our side.  I've also thought a lot about my little Ivan this week.  He teaches me so much.  

Ivan was born with a love of sports.  He played more basketball in our living room by age 2 then most people do in their lives!  So, when his coordination slowed down I knew something was wrong.  Eventually--we got the diagnosis.  A golf ball tumor.  For a few days we didn't know what kind.  We didn't know if he'd be with us or if for how long.  With Josh in medical school, friends tapped into records and did some "searching".  They tried to tell me it should be okay.  I don't think I heard them clearly.  It was too hard to believe anything when something so unbelievable was happening.

Surgery was rough.  And they had to go back in later.  It wasn't surgery itself that caused us so much grief though---it was the effects of surgery.  My little guy couldn't sit up, walk, run, or shoot hoop!

He really worked hard while on the rehab unit for two weeks and progress was made.  Still, I took him home unable to walk without lots of support.  He continued full time therapy for several months.

Ivan wore a helmet to help keep the bumps and bruises to a minimum. (He also sported my sandals occasionally!)

Here is Ivan at age four.  I love this shot because you can clearly see the scrapes and bumps that continue to be part of his life.  In fact, today our doctor said to continue to expect that.   But, what did you see first?  It was the smile wasn't it?  Yes, Ivan continues to teach me.  He has the gift of resiliency.  He will go and go and go.  He will try and try and try.  He will fall.  He will hurt, and he will try again.  Now, of course he's not perfect and I'm not trying to give him sainthood or anything.  He also tries my patience and tries and tries to get out of bedtime!  But, my little Ivan is an example to me.  He helps me go when I don't want to.  He also often says, "it's okay mom-sometimes it doesn't work out"  and then "maybe next time".  I think that is pretty good thinking for such a young kid.  I am thankful to have my Ivan in my life.