Saturday, January 30, 2010

Trip to Colorado--Day 3

Swim-time #3...the water was still COLD Monday morning, but Gabrielle jumped right in every time!!!

Daddy and Gabrielle...if you look close enough you can see that her lips are a little blue from being in the cold water...oops. Nick said she looked like "Rose" from the Titanic. LOL

Getting ready to jump in the water to Grandma Reinke.

Grandpa and the three older grandkids.

Grandpa and Grandma Reinke with their four grandkids. Can't wait until our little guy will be the fifth grandchild in only a few weeks.

Matthew pulling Gabrielle in the Mega-blocks wagon.

Matt and Gabrielle got along sooo well this trip, and had lots of fun playing together.

Trading places in the fun...

Katherine and Samantha getting cuddle time.

Nick wrestling with Matthew and Gabrielle.

During the airplane trip home Gabrielle got some time to play with Nick's new "Ipock"...mostly checking out some Disney apps. Crazy what a 2-year old will pick up on in a short amount of time!!!

Trip to Colorado--Day 2

Gabrielle and Grandma Reinke getting a little swim-time in before church on Sunday morning. Church didn't start until 10:30 Mountain Time and Gabrielle woke up at 7:00 Central Time. You do the math...we had LOTS of time to kill that morning in the hotel.

Gabrielle playing on the steps.

Having fun singing in the pool.

A little bit of Gabrielle singing the "Bumble Bee Song".

Getting time to hold my precious new niece and Goddaughter, Elizabeth Anne (in her dedication dress).

Only 7 weeks old.

The family who was at Elizabeth's Dedication. Dan's family is on the left and our family that made it to CO is pictured on the right.

The Thaemert Family--
Daniel, Katherine, Matthew, Samantha, and Elizabeth

Emily and I as Elizabeth's Godparents.

Gabrielle getting the chance to hold Elizabeth. I can't wait to see what a fantastic Big Sister she's going to be!!!

Gabrielle and Matthew enjoying a calm moment after lunch.

Having fun in the pool with the kiddos on Sunday evening...even though the water was FREEZING!!!

Grandpa decided to chicken out!

Grandpa taking a picture to "prove" that he was actually in the pool with Gabrielle...even if he only had his feet in the COLD water! :)

Giving Gabrielle a swim-ride in the pool.

Grandpa playin' with his two big-granddaughters in the hot tub.

The whole family in the hot tub together!!!

Nick holding baby Elizabeth a little bit more...

Samantha giving her little-baby-sister big kisses...adorable!

Trip to Colorado--Day 1

Gabrielle enjoying the first airplane trip that she can actually remember...she said told me that she hadn't ever been in an airplane before, even though last March we flew for our house-hunting trip.

Nick and Gabrielle getting some cuddles right away from baby Elizabeth (my sister, Katherine's daughter who was born mid-December).

Gabrielle playing with her two older cousins, Matthew and Samantha...they all got along fairly well, which was sooo nice!

In the afternoon we headed over to the "farm" to ride some horses.

Gabrielle and Matthew patiently waiting...

Katherine explaining some of the stuff about horses before Gabrielle gets on the saddle.

Gabrielle wasn't quite sure at first...

But, she thought it was a lot more fun once Matthew got on behind her for the ride!

A little video of the fun.

Me pouting because I wasn't "allowed" to ride the horses.
Next time, I guess!!!

My mom watching and getting cold too.

My little reader

I found Gabrielle in the baby room the other day looking at some of her "old" board books. She was "reading" Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and so I ran to get the camera. I tried to get a video of her reading from the doorway, but she noticed me and stopped. Thankfully she was willing to do a repeat-performance for me. I am SO proud of her and think she's the cutest and smartest little 2-year old I know. Of course this mommy isn't biased, right? :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Another "healthy" new-to-me recipe that I tried last night. I had never made this before, although I thought it was really pretty easy. The most time-consuming parts were browning the hamburger and peeling the potatoes...not bad! And, Nick really liked it too--a great way to get your veggies in for the day!!!

6-8 potatoes, peeled and diced

½ cup milk

4 T. reduced-fat cream cheese

Salt and pepper

1 lb. 93% lean ground beef, browned and drained

1 cup chopped onions (I use frozen)

½ cup dry white wine

½ tsp. thyme

1 pkg. frozen mixed veggies (thawed)--I used a combination of peas, green beans, corn, and carrots, and of course you can always add more veggies if you like!

Place potatoes in pan with enough water to cover. Boil on medium for 15-20 minutes or until tender with a fork. Drain well, add milk, cheese, and salt/pepper to taste; mash until smooth.

In skillet add beef, salt/pepper to taste, and onions and cook on medium heat for 8 minutes, or until onions are tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

In a baking dish spread the beef mixture and top with potatoes. (I split mine into two smaller glass pans and froze half for later.) Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees or until top is golden brown.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

Nick said that this was one of the best meals that I've cooked for a while (and it was EASY). I even put half of it in the freezer for another meal later. I think the difference was using the green salsa AND the swiss cheese (as opposed to using cheddar cheese in my other enchiladas). Definitely a "keeper"!!!

1 ½ cups green salsa

½ cup fat-free sour cream

4 mini-cubes Knorr cilantro (or ¼ cup fresh)

1 ½ cups diced cooked chicken (or turkey)

1 ½ cups shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese

8-10 tortillas, warmed

Cheese to top (I used the Mexican-mix cheese)

Mix salsa, sour cream and cilantro. Spread ½ cup over bottom of baking dish.

Combine meat, cheese, and another ½ cup salsa mixture. Fill tortillas with about ½ cup each, place seam side-down in baking dish. Top with remaining salsa mixture and sprinkle with more cheese.

You can refrigerate for up to 3 days before baking or freeze for up to 6 weeks.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Top with diced tomatoes and sliced scallions if desired.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A random post...

Gabrielle with all her Christmas "loot". She got lots of books and DVDs this year, and several other fun things to play with too. Thanks to everyone who made this Christmas a special one for us again.

The creche that my dad and uncle made to go with my Willow Tree Nativity set. Yes, the wood is black and red, which is a natural coloring that happened from a bug/disease in the tree. The tree was cut down from the windbreak in my parents' backyard in Nebraska. What a special heirloom gift I received this year!!!

Hope you enjoy Gabrielle's little performance. She got one of my hand weights from the treadmill and used it as a microphone. Too cute. You will also hear at the end of the video that she demands for us to "clap" for her. She's my cutie!

Gabrielle getting "shy" all of a sudden.

My cute little helper stirring the chili soup.

Gabrielle with her crafts that we made one morning...a necklace made from Cheerios and her initials "written" in dried beans.

Toy and Action Figure Museum

One of our stops in central Oklahoma on our way back to Texas after Christmas....obviously requested by Nick.

Gabrielle and I checking out all the Santa figurines in the front window before we even went inside.

Gabrielle riding the miniature model T car.

Nick and Gabrielle riding with one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the back.

Walker family picture

I love that Gabrielle chose to be Snow White and Nick (of course) chose to pretend to be Batman.

Driving the Batmobile.

I know she's not smiling, but she really was having a great time. After we were done, she wanted to do it again! :)

Gabrielle wanted me to sit on her lap for a change.

Gabrielle trying out the Batman mask too.

"Thinking" about my next move.
All in all, it was a really neat place to visit. I know this will come as a surprise to many of you (not), but Nick kept saying, "I had that when I was growing up!". We charged the camera battery right before we got there--by the time we left an hour or so later the battery was dead. Of course, it could have had something to do with Nick taking over 150 pictures!!!