Archive | November, 2011

Gulf of Mexico

30 Nov

We spent a few days with my younger brother Isaiah and his wife Katie down in Clearwater. Katie took us to a spot at the beach. Unfortunately, we had picked the coldest day of the year so far to go to the beach!

Here we are huddled together for a family shot.

Jordan walks the beach with Lydia.

One of the beautiful resorts beside the beach.

Jordan sheds his shoes and socks for a cultural experience…

…walking Lydia in the surf.

I love water!

Jordan deciding it’s a bit too cold to be doing something like that!

We piled back into the van to stop by Isaiah’s place of work, passing by the elegant houses beside the water.

There were some oriental men fishing on the pier…

…with several birds standing by!


28 Nov

The reason why we went to Florida was family, ask and family we did! 🙂

Aunt Ruth shows Lydia a video of Lydia crawling.

Great Grandma shows Lydia Lil Dawg.

A 5 Generation picture. L-R Grandma, there Great Grandma, Great Great Grandma, Lydia and Mom (Me…wow…that just felt weird to type Mom and realize that I was referring to myself! 😮 ).

Lydia plays peekaboo.

Grandma acting goofy to get Lydia to smile.

Lydia play acting.

Great Grandma and Great Granddaddy with Lydia.


24 Nov

Lydia got to meet some of her cousins over Thanksgiving. My parents had the biggest Thanksgiving they’ve ever had since I remember. Jordan, Lydia and I were there, as were my grandparents, Aunt Terri & Cousin Daniel, My sister Ruth and her boyfriend JD, Mrs Richard (next door neighbor), My oldest Sister Anna with her husband Steven, and their boys Hagen (3 yrs) and Weston (1 yr). Talk about a full house! 😀

I think Lydia likes Hagen. 🙂

Weston with a Tangelo (?)

Hagen playing with Grandma’s ice cream toys.

Ruth (background) and Anna working on dishes.

Here comes more food! My GrandDaddy, Grandma, Aunt Terri and cousin Daniel show up.

Hagen gets a “Hoo-hoo” (Yoo-hoo) from Great Aunt Terri.

Mrs. Richard seemed to be the silent guest, slipping in and out.

Daniel has a stimulation conversation on Lydia’s play phone.

Hagen talking to “Uncle Jord”.

Daniel takes Hagen for a ride.

Aunt Ruth holds Lydia.

Weston is excited about all the attention he is getting, while Mama Anna looks on.

Hagen telling Uncle Isaiah “Bye.”

Hagen telling Aunt Ruth “Bye”.

Steven and Weston make a beeline for the door so that they can be home in time for Steven to go deer hunting in the morning (or so we found out later. :D).

All in all, a good Thanksgiving. 🙂


21 Nov

So…inspiration usually is deceptive, as it often will involve more than you think. Here we have a pasta inspired meal. I was in Tucson as Jordan, Lydia and I were going to fly out the next day to Florida for Thanksgiving. Grace inspired making pasta (we made raviolis), and the next thing we knew there was dinner plans going full swing.

Lilliana is standing behind the table that she decorated.

The flowers were her creation (along with some help from Hadassah).

Here Enoch is helping Grace turn the pasta machine crank.

They are feeding the pasta into the machine.


Lilliana’s inspiration struck even further, and she folded napkins into the shape of envelopes, and placed a name card at each place.

The menu consisted of Antipasto (Artichoke hearts, tomatoes from their garden, olives, basil (from the garden), garlic and olive oil.)…

…Salad, breadsticks, sauteed green beans and Eggplant and the Ravioli on a bed of Rotini pasta covered in Marinara sauce.

The Ravioli were stuffed with homemade ricatta cheese, basil, and parmesan cheese. It was a thoroughly satisfying meal (though now I know why the Italians eat so late in the evening!!! We didn’t sit down to eat until after 8pm!)

Picnics and Packing

18 Nov

Once again, inspiration struck, and dinner could not be anything out of the ordinary.

We were having hamburgers, so I decided to go all out. (I have 3 hungry men to feed, remember?) So, I made up a large plate of deviled eggs…


whipped up some hamburger buns…

cooked up a bowl of potato salad,

(Lydia watched),

and went to slicing, dicing, and all around frenzied rush to make everything that I could to resemble a southern style cookout/picnic.

Our kitchen counter makes a nice buffet. Here we have the Buns, the hamburgers, the additions (Lettuce, onions, pickles and cheese), the eggs, potato salad, and beans.

You know you’ve done well when the guys walk in and say admiringly “Look at all this FOOD!!!” 😀

Here Lydia is exhausted after helping me unpack while I packed for our trip to Florida.

I think she is contemplating her next move.

Beep Beep, Bagels, Soap, Hollowing out a pineapple, and a tropical dinner

16 Nov

I had some lovely guests stop by. I had a pair of road runners in my lawn…

(and on my car).

It was the first time that I remember seeing them in the wild, so I had to get a picture of them.

Of course, it was while I was in the kitchen making bagels that I saw the road runners.

Whole wheat and honey bagels, which I went through the traditional process of boiling them before I baked them.

I took a picture of the bagels through the oven door while they were baking.

A bit of kitchen inspiration: I was getting a bit annoyed with turning my soap container upside down in order to soap up my scrubber to do the dishes, so I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and got a replacement lotion dispenser pump (it was $2.99). I then scrubbed the label off of an empty Soy Sauce bottle (note the chinese symbols), and stuck the pump on top. As the neck is not big enough to screw the pump on to, but small enough for the pump to sit snugly inside, I figured it was good enough for me. It makes washing my hands and doing dishes so much easier! I’m wanting to do something like that for the bathroom now, as clear glass is really elegant.

I’m also including my own way of hollowing out a pineapple. I was making a tropical dish and wanted to use the pineapple for the serving dish.

I split a whole pineapple in half,and then cut down the center and as deep (yet angled) as I could down the sides.

Then I cut a 30-45 degree angle cut from the center cut towards the outside of the pineapple with a paring knife.

I then went and re-cut the outside cut to loosen the spear, and then lift the spear away.

With the bottom part, I cut as angled as I could from the top down and from the bottom up to loosen the bottom spear. (Each half yielded 4 spears.) If I had had a curved knife, I would have been able to make the cuts cleaner, but as I didn’t, there was still large pieces of pineapple in the bowl. I used a melon baller to scrape out the remainder and set it aside.

Finished product:

Sesame pork & Pineapple, served with Yellow Rice in Pineapple halves.

Included with the meal were some tropical drinks that I served up. (The boys were all very impressed).

The orange layer was a blend of strawberry, mango, papaya and pineapple with gingerale, the pink was strawberry (sweetened with honey), the yellow was the remainder of the pineapple I had hollowed earlier, and the green was blended kiwi. Each glass was topped with a slice of kiwi and a chunk of pineapple.

Behold the table.

It was VERY good. 🙂

More kitchen inspiration

14 Nov

So I roped Austin in to helping me in the kitchen to get things finished up. (Actually, nurse Jordan volunteered Austin and Zachery to help me. :D) Zachery worked on salad I think, ask and Austin had the fun job of working on dessert. Zachery and I ended up coercing Austin to put on the outfit to go with the task.

He reluctantly very graciously posed for it.

Meanwhile, nurse Jordan was very patiently waiting for us goofs to finish up in the kitchen so that he could eat dinner!

Dessert was stuffed apples (two kinds, one had graham cracker crumbs, butter, apple and cinnamon, while the other had cream cheese, peanut butter, apple and honey. WOW!).

Lydia’s Walker

4 Nov

Lydia learning how to walk with her walker. (Note the WITH and not IN. :p)


She later concluded her walking experience and decided to play with something more on her level. 😀

Kitchen Organization and Inspiration

2 Nov

So now that we have moved, I have a few more drawers with which to organize things.

As shown here, I now have a nicely organized knife drawer,

silverware drawer,

and utensil drawers

(which have gotten a bit more crowded since I first took the photos, but the organization remains nonetheless). I even attempted organizing my freezer!

Lydia once again assists in organization. 😀

Also…I had a very delicious dish made by Jordan’s sisters in which I attempted to recreate, only my “Eggplant Parmesan Casserole” reincarnation turned out a wee bit different as I sauteed the *cough* Italian Squash in a pan instead of in the oven.


You slice the Squash or eggplant,

sautee it in a pan of oil until they are nicely colored,

and as it comes off, let it dry on papertowels. (I covered the sautee pan as the oil was splattering all over.)

Layer the bottom of the pan with the vegetable.

Here I used Penne Pasta which turned out rather nice.

Layer pasta, then sauce, then more vegetable, pasta, and sauce.

As I did not have any cheese at the time, I chose to use a bread crumb topping.

If I would have had Mozzarella or perhaps Monterey Jack, I would have layered the cheese on top of the sauce, and then breadcrumbs perhaps.

Lydia was in a particularly inquisitive mood. She was checking out the camera. 🙂