Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This is Dave, aka "a man's man", hiking up Diamond Head carrying 2 kiddos. :)

Granola Bars
Homemade Yogurt with Granola (Si likes it with a spoonful of all fruit jam mixed in)
Egg Casserole and Waffles - Saturday Morning

Leftover Chili, Grapes
Almond Butter & Honey Sandwiches on Ezekial 4:9 Bread, Celementines
Smoothies with Flax, Frozen Berries, and Spinach
Brett's Salad
Tacos with Fried Corn Tortillas

Comfort Meatballs, Baked Potatoes, Green Beans (didn't get to this meal last week) - This is a Pioneer Woman recipe from her book. They turned out very yummy!
Homemade Pizza with Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Olives, Onions, Artichokes, and Mushrooms (Dough is in the freezer from last week)
Baked Dijon Salmon, Broccoli Spears, Crusty Bread and Dipping Oil - not a new recipe to us, but definitely a favorite!
Cauliflower Soup, Artisan Bread
Mini Cheddar Meatloaves, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans
Leftover Cowboy Calzones (in freezer)
Spicy Shrimp, Baked Potatoes, Salad, Crusty Bread, Carrot Cake - yum!

View from the top of Diamond Head

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Still cookin' through the ol' PW cookbook...

Leftover Pancakes (from the freezer), Real Maple Syrup
Koinonia Granola and Homemade Yogurt - these are both amazing!!
Granola Bars
Kashi Cereal

Black Bean Quesadillas, Carrot Sticks, Green Grapes - a family fave, we just throw 2 buttered tortillas on the electric skillet, with black beans and cheese in between. So good with salsa and sour cream.

Leftovers from the Weekend :)

Brown Rice and Lentil Taco Salad - We really liked this! It was so nice to just throw this in the oven before I went to pick E up from school, and lunch was ready when we got home! Dave laughed and said, "Where's the meat? Can't a guy get any meat around here?" :) No worries! He is getting some tonight! We are just trying to eat grass fed meat right now, and with that extra expense, we're experimenting with some non-meat meals too. Anyway, I served this with blue chips, black beans, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. Yum!!!

Sack Lunches/Moms Day Out
Egg Casserole, Waffles, Smoothies - Sat. Brunch

Pesto Pizza with Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Olives, Onions, Artichokes, and Mushrooms, Green Beans - We've had this many times, and always love it. It's PW's pizza crust recipe, which is only in her book. It is so amazingly easy and it makes a delicious thin crusted pizza. You could do any toppings, obviously, but I tend to make this on the nights we're going vegetarian. :)

Migas, Orange Slices, Ezekial 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin Toast - The Migas were so, so good! They reminded us of being in Mexico - we had variations of this dish every morning when we vacationed there with Doug and Sonja 5 years ago. Dave and I put tabasco on our Migas (I left out the jalapenos, for the kids sakes). The kids weren't completely sure about eating the sweet peppers at first, they were kinda trying to eat around them. But we made them eat them, and I think it was just a texture issue, since they are used to eating plain scrambled eggs. Clare loved them. :)

Cowboy Calzones (a PW cookbook exclusive, apparently), Carrot Sticks - These were great! It made enough for our family for 2 meals, so I just froze the rest of them after I baked them. The kids really liked these. The only complaint I have about this meal was that it was a tad time-consuming for a busy night (prayer meeting night!), but I probably just picked the wrong night to make them. :)

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, Carrot Cake for Bible Study - Bible Study was canceled, so Dave gave me the evening off from cooking and took the kids to Chick-fila for their family night. We'll have this meal sometime soon, I'm sure. It's become a staple around here. :)

Date Night
Enchiladas, Chips and Salsa
Comfort Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Golden Birthday

6 years ago Dave and I brought our first little baby boy home from the hospital. Ethan Brooks, with his scrawny legs and fluff of white blond hair. He made this little squeaking noise when he was asleep - it was the cutest thing. And I can still remember that car trip home. It was January, but it felt more like April or May, the way the sun was shining. I kept looking back at his little car seat in the back of the Mazda. As if to make sure it was all really happening to us. It just felt so surreal, to be a parent. For life to change that much all in one day.

6 years later, and I just can't imagine what life would be like without our children! The 3 the Lord has given us to raise have blessed our lives in so many ways. I am continually reminded of what a privilege it is to have them with us.

Ethan, as our firstborn, makes us most aware of the quickly passing years, I think. It seems like I was just holding him in my arms, bouncing him because he'd cry every time I stopped, but I guess not, because he started kindergarten this year. He comes home from class with "fish slips" now for showing kindness to other classmates. But I remember when he was two and knocked over every kid in sight! Tim Gallagher even gave him a nickname...Bruiser, I think it was...I was a little worried that he was going to be a bully for life!

He turned 6 this year, and he was very excited because it was his golden birthday, you know. 6 on the sixth of January. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but to him, it was extra special. And he thought and thought about what he wanted to do for his birthday, how he wanted to celebrate with his friends. My sister had superhero capes made for the boys for Christmas, and somehow, that eventually evolved into us throwing a superhero birthday party for him. He was just over. the. moon. about it. He had lots and lots of plans. :)

We invited a few friends from Sunday School, soccer, and school, and his cousin too. This is what his invitation said:

Calling all SUPER Friends! You're urgently needed for a Birthday Bash! Come join us for a Super Hero Training Camp to celebrate Ethan's 6th birthday.

We here at the CRIME FIGHTING SUPER HERO LEAGUE have noticed you and your special skills. Skills that are necessary and vital to crime fighters. Do you think you have what it takes to be a Super Hero or Heroine? Ethan seems to think so. He has invited you to our SUPER SECRET SUPER HERO TRAINING FACILITY at the Everhart's. Training begins at 2 pm on the ninth day of January. No uniform required - it will be provided when you get here! Becoming a Super Hero is not for everyone, but it could be for you. We hope you decide to become a part of the...CRIME FIGHTING SUPER HERO LEAGUE.

Dave and I made capes and masks earlier in the week for all the kids, but when they got here we had a table with art supplies so they could decorate arm bands with stickers, sequins, and glitter. Superheros must have accessories, you know!

The birthday boy!

I just love the hat head these two have going on!

Abby Grace wore her mask to church the next day. Her mom said no, or she would have worn the cape too. :)

Next we went down to the basement for the *real* superhero training to begin. Each kid got a training manual with a page for each essential superhero skill: speed, agility, and marksmanship. If they passed each skill, they would become superheros. (They all took this totally seriously...cracked me up!)

The first event was a speed relay - they had to change into work clothes, and then when they heard someone in distress, change into their superhero costume and coming running to their aid. (The person in distress ended up being Dan Billon, one of Dave's college roommates, whose son Isaac played on E's soccer team. Dan was totally hamming it up for the kids! :)

Next the kids bowled for villains (water bottles with pics of famous cartoon villains on them - didn't get a picture of this). The kids LOVED this and it cost $0.

The final game was to test their aim. Dave drew some skyscrapers on brown paper and taped pics of Darth Vader, the Green Goblin, Captain Hook, the bad guy from Up, windows. And we broke out the box of nerf guns, so they had their weapon of choice! (We have way too many of those things :).

After they were done, we put stickers on each page of their manuals declared them all superheros. Then I told them I needed their help. A villain was on the loose in our house, and he had threatened to steal the birthday cake. I needed them to track him down with their skills and keep him from ruining the party.

Meanwhile Dave (aka, Mr. X) slipped out. :)

The kids followed hidden clues all over the house until they finally arrived back in the basement where Mr. X had covered the floor with black bombs (balloons). They had been told in the clues that they had to jump on the bombs to diffuse them, but to make sure NOT to jump on the green ones (those ones were kryptonite and would make them loose their powers).

They all passed!

Opening presents with friends - lots of silliness going on! :)

Andrew is his sweet friend from school.

All the kids tried to be in this shot - I love all their different expressions.

Grandma and the birthday boy. He loves the game you gave him! :)

Happy birthday, big boy!

We're very thankful for another year with Ethan. This last one has been a good one - we've seen him mature a lot and start to take on some responsibilities at home. He often asks to help us or asks for chores that he can do. He is learning to find the joy in serving. Love that! Ethan made a profession of salvation a couple months after he turned 5, and he seems to be growing in his knowledge and desire to live for the Lord. As a parent, it just thrills your heart to see your little one pouring over the pages of the Bible!

Most of all, we are just so thankful for a loving heavenly Father who loves Ethan more than we do. There is so much peace in knowing that it is not all up to us! The Lord is orchestrating the events in Ethan's life to grow him into the man He wants him to be...for His glory! We can try to faithfully raise him, by God's grace, but we know the Lord's pull on his heart will be far greater than any words we ever say.

So we just pray that his heart will stay tender to the Lord every year he grows older. Love you, honey!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Koinonia Granola
Homemade Yogurt

Grilled Cheese

Lentils and Brown Rice Soup, Crusty Bread
Mediterranean Herb Pizza, Broccoli
Cauliflower Soup (yum! could not get enough of this Friday night at the Blooms!)
Leftovers, Spicy Molasses Cookies for Bible Study
Homemade Mac 'n' Cheese, Fruit Salad, Green Beans, Icecream
Chili and Cinnamon Rolls

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Name that waterfall...

Waimea Falls...look familiar to anyone? That's a very famous pool to some of us who watch Lost. Bonus points if you can remember what Jack and Kate found at the bottom!

Beautiful walk through the park to get there.

Lots of gorgeous flowers (wishing I had a better lens!)

Family shot before we all jumped in! (sans Clare, of course)

Content to sit in the stroller and watch.

Happy little cousins.

Can't believe 2 1/2 weeks ago we were walking around Hawaii! Seems impossible. We came home to temps in the single digits and lots of snow. The Blizzard of '09. It's been a crazy winter so far.

I want to go back!