Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Greg

Greg turned 33 on February 2.  The weekend before we went to dinner with Emily and Aaron at Tuscanos, Greg's favorite restaurant.  We ate way too much!  On his actual birthday we had birthday cake with the kids for our Family Home Evening treat.  And the next Sunday we had an extended family get together at our house with breakfast for dinner (another of Greg's favorite) and more cake.  I told Greg he could buy a new PC for his birthday.  I had tried to research and buy him one myself but I was clueless!  I always prefer to get money and pick out my own clothes for gifts; I figured when it came to electronics, that would be the same case for Greg.  Happy birthday to a wonderful husband, father and all around great guy!  We are so very lucky to have him in our lives!

Beautiful People

The most beautiful people we have known
are those who have know defeat,
known suffering, known struggle, known loss
and have found their way out of the depths.
These persons have an appreciation,...

a sensitivity and an understanding of life
that fills them with compassion,
gentleness and a deep loving concern.
Beautiful people do not just happen.
~ Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross
I heard this quote for the first time recently, and I was overcome by it, a beautiful quote to describe beautiful people!  Lately I have been overwhelmed by the amount of trials, struggles and heartbreak that so many of our family and friends have been going through.  My heart has been hurting for them, really hurting.  I've spent many nights crying and praying as to how I can help ease their burdens.  I have received a few impressions as to what I can do, but nothing very grand, nothing that I think would take away their pain.  Then I heard this quote and I was reminded that pain is something we need to go through.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't wish these circumstances of severe illness, failing marriages, depression, financial woes, loneliness and the passing of loved ones on anyone.  But it did remind me that in order to experience the good, we must also go through the bad.  Greatness can emerge from bleakness!   And to our many family members, friends and ward members who have recently felt defeat and are finding their way out the depths. I want them to know they can rise and they are beautiful!  Our hearts are with you.  This too will pass.

Recipe - Spanish Rice Burritos

I made Spanish rice burritos this past week; it was one of those recipes I had stored away and unfortunately forgotten about and not made for far too long.  I remembered how delicious they are!  I won't make the mistake of forgetting about them again.  The recipe originally came from a previous neighbor.  I tweaked it a bit for our taste, but it's pretty close to the original recipe.  We eat the rice in a warm freshly cooked flour tortilla shell with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Spanish Rice Burritos

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 can tomato soup
1 cup raw rice
3 cups tomato juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash of Worchester sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger and onion in large skillet.  Add peppers, soup juice and spices.  Add rice and stir all together.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer.  Stir rice mixture occasionally throughout cooking.  Let cook about 20 minutes, until rice is cooked through and juice is absorbed.  Serve with grated cheese, sour cream and tortillas.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kid Dates

Greg and I have started taking the kids (just the older boys for now) on a monthly date.  Each month Greg and I each take a turn taking Palmer or Brody out for some one on one time, and the next month we alternate who we spend the evening with.  The boys love it!  And Greg and I have both feel the evenings are very beneficial, for the boys and for us.  We get to see a different side of the kids when they are getting that undivided attention that they unfortunately don't get too often.

The first date night we had planned was at a local trampoline park.  Brody and Greg had already gone to the park the week before.  Palmer was beyond excited for his turn!  When Palmer and I arrived at the trampoline park I was very upset to see a sign on the door stating the park would be closed to the public for a private party only ten minutes after we had arrived.  I had checked their website calendar that very afternoon, and there was no mention of the early closure.  We went in to talk with the employees to see if there was anyway we could still come in; they said no. Palmer and I were upset.  I told her how frustrated I was that they had not advertised correctly on their website.  She gave me a couple coupons, but Palmer and I walked out very disappointed.  Once outside, Palmer broke down crying.  I hugged him and told him how sorry I was about not being able to go that night, and said we could plan another night.  He nodded his head, but continued to cry.  He wasn't throwing a fit, he was just genuinely sad, and my heart went out to him.  As we drove away, I was getting angrier and angrier.  My momma bear instinct was coming out and I was mad.  I was expressing that anger aloud to Palmer and repeating that it wasn't okay that the park had not updated their correct hours for the evening; that they were in the wrong.  Palmer interjected amidst sniffles, "Mom, it's okay.  They just made a mistake.  Everyone makes mistakes."  My goodness, what words of wisdom and understanding from the mouth of a six year old!  That sweet statement immediately dismissed all my anger.  I told him he was right.  We then discussed when we could come back.  He said he didn't want to reschedule his date with me that evening.  He suggested we use the coupons to come back with the whole family that weekend, so the twins could play too.  I thought that was a very good idea.

Despite the change in plans, Palmer and I had a great date night.  We went to Leatherbys for some fries and ice cream.  Then we ended the evening at the library were we read books together and played games.  Palmer talked the whole night!  He was so happy to have me all to himself, and I was so grateful for an evening that had reminded me just what an amazing son I have!  He has such a tender heart.  He is kind.  He is empathetic.  He is wise beyond his years.  I just adore him!