Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal (and not as royal) Weddings

Today might be one of the biggest weddings the world has seen this century.  And with weddings on the brain, I can't help but think of the upcoming wedding in my immediate family that takes places in less than 5 months...   

With most wedding comes a bridal shower and Mary Jo's shower is in about 3 months.  Per her request, she would like a Mexican themed shower.  My first thought is something along the lines of this:

But I think we'll be nicer to her...  

I have been thinking about the menu and recently tried this recipe for chicken tacos made in the crock pot.  And all 3 members of my dinner audience raved about them!

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Tacos

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro or Italian parsley

(Since I'm only cooking for 4, I only used 3 chicken breasts and still had leftovers.)

Place chicken in crock pot that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, stir together tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings and pour over chicken.
Cook until chicken is tender, about 6 - 8 hours on low setting or 4 - 5 hours on a high heat setting.
Remove chicken from crock pot and shred with forks.  Return shredded chicken and stir in lime juice and cilantro.  Serve with flour tortillas and your favorite taco toppings.  


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Rainy Day...

It rained here again yesterday and that can make for a L-O-N-G afternoon!  Some people around here usually have quite a bit of energy to burn when they are cooped up inside all day.  So I pulled out several mattresses/cushions/pillows and the jumping began!   

 Mission accomplished!  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Vacation Box"

We have had a constant rain here for several days and more rain is expected for the remainder of the week.  Needless to say, we are very eager for lots of sunshine and the warm summer months (along with our trip to the beach)!  In the meantime, it is always fun for the kids to look through and play with the items in our "Beach Box."  

We made this box after Clare's first beach vacation.  It is just as fun for her (and Jude) to look through it now as it was when we first made it after we returned from from Virginia Beach in 2008.

We simply took a shoe box and filled it with souvenirs, pictures, and some beach items.

Seashells that we found (OK the big one was from Ben Franklin).  

Small container of sand.  (With the lid glued on!!!)  

Pictures of Clare's favorite activities at the beach. 


I can already feel the warm breeze across my sunburned face!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some things never change...

 Clare, age 2 1/2 

Jude, age 2 1/2

Must be an unwritten right of passage to big brother/sisterhood.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

Today is a day off of preschool to continue to enjoy the Easter holiday...and to detox from the most sugar we have consumed in the past 40 days!

We had a very nice Easter...

Nothing says "Easter" like a Buzz Lightyear Easter Egg Decorating Kit! 

 Just about done...

Daddy always gets the green egg (because it's his favorite color!). 

The "best guys" dying eggs.

Our "empty" resurrection rolls on Easter morning.  I thought these were great...definitely going to do them again.  

 Attempting to get a good picture of everyone dressed up after Mass, and after donut consumption (don't look too closely at Jude's chocolate-covered shirt!).  

Here's when Daddy's decides to help make everyone smile...or just put Clare into hysterics... 

It went downhill from there...  Maybe I'll get a better one next year.

 Pretty baby girl on her 1st Easter.   

Wondering if she's going to get to eat any jellybeans...


Easter Bunny cupcakes for the kids.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why this day is Good

This is one of my favorite songs/videos from The Passion to watch on Good Friday.

"Near the cross, her vigil keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
where He hung, the dying Lord."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Egg Tree

Every Holy Saturday I pull out Ryan's all-time favorite holiday decoration...the Easter Egg tree I made in 3rd grade:  

(Maybe he's just jealous that I was talented enough to paint striped and polka-dot Easter Eggs at age 8.)

Anyway, I have seen much larger Easter Egg trees that are a bit more appealing to the sophisticated eye at various decorating stores.  The price tag on one was $50.  So I decided to put my creative juices to work and make one.  It was so easy and inexpensive and turned out pretty well!

The kids helped me find a good branch at the creek near our house that had fallen from the recent storms.  

I painted it white with extra white paint I had in the basement.  (Might have been easier to spray paint, but I just used what I had on hand.)   

I put the dried branch in a pot and filled the pot in with some rocks.  The branch easily stood straight.  

I added some extra Spanish moss I had leftover from this wreath project.  (A bit nicer than using regular Easter grass.)

I bought a "branch" of flowers from Walmart (or any craft store) and cut it into individual flower pieces.

 Next, I hot glued the flowers randomly on the branches.

 Added some Easter Egg ornaments (from the Dollar Store no less!) and it was finished!

(PS - I'm still putting my 3rd grade tree out on Saturday...)

Linking with

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happenings this week...

1. Earlier this week Clare and I discussed that she could just pick a dress from her very full closet to wear on Easter.  I suggested that she could wear a particular linen dress.  She made a face and told me that she "actually didn't want to look like a maid."  Ouch.  Her fashion sense is now far superior than mine!       

2.  I found this recipe for "Resurrection Rolls" and I want to make them on Easter morning.  They sound perfect for breakfast!  (And tastier than the classic hollow meringue resurrection cookies.)

3. Clare's Pre-K Easter Egg Hunt is today.  I'm just hoping we don't end up with any delicious "bunny teeth" like we did last year.  (I think she pitched them shortly after this picture was taken...)

4. Ellen wants to wish her godmother a very Happy Birthday today!!!  Have a wonderful birthday, Aunt Mary Jo!