Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What a dance class!


Bending over to "smell her stinky toes"-stretch.

Waiting for directions.

Tip-toe marching.

Check out how high she gets on her toes!

Waiting for more directions again.

Playing with her letter "I" mat while she's waiting her turn to do some tumbling on the mat.

Gabrielle's "frog jump"--one of her favorite parts!

Somersaults...good form! :)

Havin' so much fun!

Doin' some great back-flips. No wonder she's been trying to do all sorts of stuff off and around the couch at home lately! :)

Gabrielle's friend, Emmalyn getting ready to try.

Enjoying different animal-dances and galloping.

More circle-dancing with galloping and animals...so fun!!!

Gabrielle showing off her smiley-sticker with daddy at the end.

Eiffel Tower creation

With a little help from daddy, this is what they built the other day...obviously there were some additions to what Nick created (mostly the white and blue blocks that Gabrielle thought needed to go on top).

We're having a....

Yes, dear Focus-20 friends, we have finally broken the tradition of everyone having the same sex as their second child. We are thrilled that he looks healthy, and are working on getting Gabrielle to start saying "boy" and "brother" since she's consistently been saying "girl" and "sister" since we told her there was a baby in my tummy.

Now, on to the name game. We have a list of ones we like, but are open if anyone has name suggestions (that you will not want to use for your own family). Gabrielle has quite a few boy cousins, so lots of my "favorites" are already taken. And, we've had too many friends use our boy name from last time, so I don't think that one's in the running anymore. So, let me know your suggestions!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One of today's "projects"

My jewelry chest that hangs on the wall--there's a door that opens on the front with this picture collage. Nick kept asking me to get rid of the weird people who were staring at him in our bathroom...guess that wasn't one of my priorities lately.

Replaced the weird people with other weird people...just kidding. I like the color pictures much better than the black-and-white too...adds more color to that wall!

Playtime at the park

Last week was soooo nice here that we spent two days outside at different parks. On Wednesday we went to the Port Neches Library time (MUCH better than the Nederland story time) followed by a sack lunch and playtime in the park next door. Then on Friday we headed up to Beaumont for some quick shopping before eating lunch in another park. Thanks to our friends for enjoying the outdoors with us.

Enjoying some time on the swings with Emmalyn on Friday. Notice the lady in the yellow shirt...she's pushing a girl on the only other swing on the whole playground. Hard to teach Gabrielle about "sharing" when adults refuse to model it (did I mention that she had been at that swing for at least 10 minutes?).



More "beans"

Now I have one to match daddy's.

The one Gabrielle wanted to make for her Mother's Day Out teacher, Angie.

New favorite recipe!!!

Tomato Artichoke Chicken

2 T. flour

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

6 chicken tenderloins

1 T. olive oil

14 ½ oz. diced tomatoes*

½ tsp. basil

½ tsp. oregano

1 tsp. dried minced garlic

13 ½ oz. artichoke hearts, sliced

¼ c. white cooking wine

5 oz. dry pasta, cooked according to package directions (I used penne)

½ c. shredded mozzarella

Mix flour, salt and pepper in a Ziploc bag. Add chicken, close bag, and shake to coat chicken evenly. Heat oil in large skillet, add chicken, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until evenly browned. Remove to a platter and cover to keep warm.

Using the same skillet, simmer the remaining ingredients (minus cheese) for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Add chicken to skillet and sprinkle with cheese.


*OR use the Italian-flavored tomatoes and omit the following 3 spices.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Gettin' crafty

Painting in her Dora book.

Finishing the scarecrow that we got from the library.

Lovin' daddy with some beans.

And, trying to creatively teach her how to spell her name.

She was very proud of her creations, and she wanted to do "more beans" after she woke up from nap yesterday. So, we made a picture for her Mother's Day Out teacher, and another one that says, "I love my mommy". Nothing like getting her some letter-recognition through cheap dried-beans and some glue.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Garlic Shrimp with Angel Hair

8 oz angel hair pasta

2 ½ T. butter

2 T. olive oil

1 lb. peeled, deveined large shrimp

½ T. dried minced garlic

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. red pepper

¼ cup lemon juice

2 T. dried parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving about 1 cup of cooking water before draining. Meanwhile, heat 2 T butter and oil in skillet. Add shrimp, garlic, salt, and red pepper. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until shrimp is just cooked through. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Add pasta, ½ T. butter, parsley, and about ½ cup of water. Toss to mix and coat.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Pork chop meal with pumpkin dessert

Pesto-rice pork chops

½ c. pesto sauce

1 cup wheat rice, cooked

2 T. cream cheese

1 tsp. chili powder

4 pork chops

Lemon juice and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Combine pesto, rice, cream cheese, and chili powder in a bowl and set aside.

Sprinkle chops with lemon and pepper and place in a large oiled skillet to brown.

Place chops in greased 9x13 pan and pour rice mixture over the top. OR cut chops open and stuff them with the mixture.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Pumpkin Dessert


1 yellow cake mix (reserve 1 c.)

½ c. butter

1 egg

Mix and press into 9x13 pan.


2 eggs

2/3 c. sugar

2/3 c. milk

1 can pumpkin

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. cloves

Mix and pour over crust. Use spices according to taste.


1 c. cake mix

¼ c. sugar

¼ c. butter

½ tsp. cinnamon

Crumble on top of pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.