Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our Year in Photos-Part 1

Note to self: Never try to do a post about our year in photos ever again. There are way too many fun times to remember and not enough blog space to put all the good ones in.

January: Our nation swore in a brand new president and our family celebrated with a Weaver style inaugural ball.

February: What a sweet month! Literally. Our home school adventures taught us the joys of 'center of gravity' with cute curly snakes.

March: March was life changing. I found out the truth about food additives and started changing the food we eat. I experimented with 100% all natural birthday cakes for ever growing boys. We visited a local cheese factory with our fabulous home school group. Lucky for us, Beehive Cheese co. is all natural, they don't even dye their cheddar yellow like most companies. Ya, cheddar does not naturally turn yellowish orange, who knew?

April: Springtime. The sun starts shinning after an arctic winter. We spent lots of time at the Ogden Nature center. Doodle even entered a cute birdhouse in their annual bird house competition and won 1st prize for most creative. More birthdays and some of the tastiest all natural treats we've ever eaten! Those bird nests are becoming a tradition for sure!

May: Much more fun in the sun! I finished my first half marathon. Hiking trips, horse rides and a trip down south to St George for even more sunny days.

June: You guessed it, more tasty foods created 100% form scratch by yours truly. Can you tell I live for food? That chocolate bread has pureed spinach in it. Guess what, no one knew and they gobbled it up in lightening speed. We also enjoyed an air show at Hill Air Force Base and Doodle's last dance recital ever.

Stay tuned for part 2 for the conclusion of a fun filled year with the Weavers!
P.S. for all these tasty recipes and more click on the recipes link on my left side bar. Happy Eating!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Mr Bird and I are trying to make a pretty life changing decision right now.
For some reason we have had a really hard time trying to decide what's best for our family.
We have both made hard, life changing choices before.
We both made the choice to go on a mission.
We chose to marry each other.
We chose to have a baby, then 3 others.
We have chosen to move several times in our nearly 10 years of marriage.
So why has this choice been so much harder than all the others?
We have looked at the options from both sides.
We have talked and discussed and prayed for weeks.
We have run the numbers both ways.
Just when we make a decision one way we start to second guess.
Then we decide on the other option and suddenly that does not seem right either.
Are we just totally out of tune?
What is best here?
Has this ever happened to you?
For the most part, I feel as if I am very in tune and feel good about these things.
I can usually get a solid answer and go with it.
I wish someone would come out of heaven and tell me what to do.
I'd do it in a heart beat!
So for now we are in limbo.
If we decide to make this change I'll be sure to tell you all about it.
Until then...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Update: She Knows

Doodle found out the truth about Santa.
I did not have to say a word, she told me.
As the last few pieces of cereal were getting soggy in our breakfast bowls, just moments after the gift extravaganza, her steal blue eye met mine. "Now I know you're the one that really fills our stockings."
I breathed a sigh of relief that her brothers had rushed from the table to discover their new treasures more fully.
"How do you know?" The glimmer in my eye gave nothing away.
"I recognized those treat baggies and I saw a list of 'stocking stuffer ideas' on your computer a few weeks ago." She had been gathering evidence for a while and now it all came out.
She also told me about the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy while she was at it.
As it turns out, last Easter a friend at church told her the Easter Bunny was not real because he had not come to her house because her parents had been sick.
This friend split the beans about the parents filling Easter baskets and stockings.
Yet, when she gave me her findings, she did it with a question in her voice.
I think she was testing me.
Would I really tell her the truth, or continue to let the fairy tail live?
I killed the fairy tail.
Was it the wrong choice? Maybe.
I left it all on the line.
I told her the story of St Nicholas, of his parents' wealth and of his faith in Christ.
I told of his love for children and his desire to help those in need.
I told of his imprisonment because of his beliefs.
I told of his life and death.
I told her that he did not continue to live nearly 1,000 years.
I told her there was not a fat man in a red suit living amongst elves and reindeer in the North Pole.
I told her that was a fun fairy tail that makes great cartoons and greeting cards.
I told her it's magical for children to believe.
I told her that she was dead if she told her brothers.
I also told her about how the spirit of St Nicholas and of Christ still shine bright, even 1,000~2,000 years later.
I told her I could see their spirits in her eyes because of how giving and loving she is.
I told her that now that she knows the truth she gets to be a part of the magic of Christmas.
She gets to give like Christ did and like St Nicholas did.
It was a beautiful moment.
And you know what, I think she's going to make a wonderful Santa Claus!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Add Image
"At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe. "
~The Polar Express

Do you believe in Santa? Do your kids?
My kids always have.
I wonder, though, if Doodle is starting to have her doubts.
The truth is, I kind of want her to start doubting. I am bursting at the seams to tell her the truth.

The truth is that St Nicholas was a real man.
He existed.
He was wonderful and caring and loved children.
He hated to see them suffer.
His real name was Nicholas of Myra (although he was know by many other names as well), a Greek Bishop around 1082.
He was an early Christian Saint.
He was the only child of very wealthy parents.
He was very religious from a young age.
His parents died when he was still a child.
This left him to the care of his uncle.
"Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need."

That's the truth.

He did not continue to live for nearly 1,000 more years in the North Pole surrounded by little elves and magical flying reindeer.

But I truly believe that the spirit of St Nicholas lives on, even today, nearly 1,000 years later.

He is not one fat man in a red suit.

He is many, many men and women who are alive and breathing and walking among us and want to help alleviate suffering and teach about Christ and follow His example of giving.

And I am one of them.

Still don't believe?
One word.
Toys For Tots.
OK, that's like 3 words, but whatever.
If that is not the spirit of St Nicholas, I don't know what is.
What about Angel Trees? Secret Santa's? Food Banks? Local Bishops who take care of those in their congregations in need? Neighbor helping neighbor?
Need I go on?

Ask the single mother of a young family who is hopeless who opens the door to find a box of food and simple toys for her children she could not possibly have afforded?
Ask those children if Santa is real.
These types of miracles happen thousands of times the world over this time of year.
That happened to me many times growing up with a single mother.
I was the 5th of 6 children. My older siblings had found out the truth about Santa long before I ever did. I guess because of that, I knew the truth long before my time.

I don't remember the moment or the year when I found out the truth.
I do remember that long after I found out that the fat man in a red suit was a fairy tale, those gifts kept right on appearing on our doorstep.
There were so many loving neighbors and friends who had the true spirit of Christmas in their hearts.
Simply put, they had the spirit of Christ.
I can't wait to tell Doodle that the spirit of St Nicholas, which is really the spirit of Christ, is alive and well and that she, too, can have it.
She can be a part of something much bigger than herself and all the gifts she wants to get.
She can find those in need and give of herself.
Some of my best memories of Christmas is the service I have given.
The gifts given to angel trees when I have not even been there to see the gifts opened.
What have we done to show others the spirit of Christ? Have we given of ourselves?
Only when we find out that the spirit of Santa is thriving and we find out how to be a part of that can we truly hear the bells ringing.
The music seems sweeter, the spirit of Christ burns brighter and deeper and Christmas becomes magical again.
I guess I'm a little bit back wards.
I believe in Santa more now that I ever did as a child.
Merry Christmas to all, I love every one of you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Luke 2

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Missing You

"I thought of you with love today but that is nothing new, I thought about you yesterday and days before that too. I think of you in silence I often speak your name, all I have are memories and your picture in a frame. Your memory is my keepsake with which I'll never part. God has you in His keeping I have you in my heart."

In loving memory of our beloved Mother and Grandmother
Sharon Weaver June 19, 1945~December 19, 2007

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Education of Me

Last week I had some girl friends over and we shared a fun evening chatting and eating treats.
One of the treats I served was the carrot cake I had made for baby's birthday.
The bottom round cake was left untouched after our family devoured the smaller one the evening before.
So when my friends came I offered them old birthday cake.
I was worried it was a little tacky to serve left over cake, but my fears disappeared as the first lady to taste it took a bite.
"Sara," she said looking straight at me, "I am in LOVE with you!! This is amazing!"
Whew, the cake was still moist and tasty and not all dried out and stale.
She then asked if I had always been such a great cook.
I had to laugh as thoughts of my teenage years came to mind.
No, I have not always been "such a great cook" (her words, not mine!)
One time, when I was a teenager, I wanted to make pesto.
I found a recipe my mom had in one of her cookbooks.
It called for fresh basil.
We didn't have any fresh basil, I had no clue about the difference between fresh and dried and thought I'd just make a simple substitution.
I used dried basil instead.
I used 2 cups of dried basil instead of 2 cups of packed basil leaves.
As you can imagine, it was horrible.
It was beyond horrible.
I look back now and just laugh and am thankful for how far I have come.
My mom was a pretty good cook, when she chose to actually cook.
I remember her making bread by hand, no mixer.
Yet, my mom did not teach me to cook.
There are a lot of things she did not teach me and sometimes it's hard for me not to resent her for not giving me those gifts of knowledge.
She knew how to can fruit, but never showed me how.
She knew how to sew, but I never had a sewing lesson at her hand.
I was talking to a friend of mine about this resentment I sometimes have and she said something very profound to me, something that has stayed with me and helped me to forgive my mother's lack of mothering.
She said that perhaps I value my knowledge of these things, cooking, canning, sewing, even more because I had to work to learn them.
I have spent many, many hours studying healthy cooking, how to preserve food, not as much with sewing, but it is coming.
I had to be the one to seek the knowledge, then put it into practice all on my own. There have been many meals that were flops along the way, ask my children.
I have opened jars of homemade jam to find them rancid.
I have sewn pants for Doodle that had one leg longer than the other.
But they were MY mistakes.
I learned what the problem was because I wanted to do better.
I did not give up at the first sign of a mistake.
This knowledge is mine.
I have ownership.
Now it takes very little effort to whip out a nice, tasty, healthy meal.
I enjoy making fresh jam and apple sauce.
I am still learning.
I still seek out new recipes and how I can modify them to meet our family's needs.
I am still a work in progress, but I am enjoying the journey!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where, Oh Where Has My Baby Gone?

Where, oh where could he be?
It seems he has gone the way of all the earth and magically, seemingly overnight, turned into a little man.

My Dear Precious Baby,

You are in a funny place in this family. You are still the littlest person and always will be. Everyone feels the need to dote on you and snuggle you and take care of you. Even when you're 40 and have kids of your own you will still be my baby. Forever and ever my baby you'll be. I apologize ahead of time if I embarrass you when you're a teenager for the silly things this lovey mom is sure to do, even when girls are in the room.

I just can't seem to get enough of you. I have to go into your room every night just before I go to bed to get one last peek and steal one last kiss. You're going to hate that when you're sixteen, sorry about that. For now, though, you seem to eat it up. You will snuggle anyone who gets close enough. Your sweet baby kisses are intoxicating. My knees buckle every time you wrap your little arm and hand around my neck and pull my face close to yours for "tisses". My heart swells with love as I watch you snuggle your siblings, then stand up and plow into them, starting a wrestling match full of giggles and shrieks. In just 2 short years you have worked your way into the fabric of our home and hearts and family. We love you little one. Happy Birthday!

P.S. Notice the Little People's Nativity Baby Cakes got for his birthday. Did you notice the sheep on top of the stable? It's funny to me that he pulled everything out and the sheep went straight on top. It's funny because when Mr Bird was a kid he would drive his mom absolutely batty by putting the sheep from her nativity on top of the stable every time he passed it. She would come by and fix it. This would happen multiple times everyday until Christmas. His mom would be ready to strangle him by Christmas. Funny how somethings transcend time and generations, like the impulse to put the sheep on top of the stable in the Nativity. Like father, like son!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Love This Guy

Mr bird took me to the theater and out to dinner last night.
We got all dolled up and had a fantastic time.
We saw Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol.
We went with our fabulous book group friends and some great family.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Seeing dad very happy and in love
  • Taking up 30+ chairs in the theater
  • Seeing the little girls in their fanciest dresses
  • Having a teenager come up to us and ask if we were in the play
  • Feeling like a princess with my handsome prince (what can I say, I'm still a dreamer!)
  • "God bless us everyone!"
  • The 5 year old next to me climbing on her mommy's lap because the ghost of Marley was a little too real with the strobe lights and smoke machines
  • Yes and No
  • Mr Bird admitting that he loves to be the center of attention (we all knew that one!)
  • 10 degrees outside and wearing heals on the icy pavement

  • Trying not to spill food on the fancy dress
  • Trying not to eat too much so I would not get bloated and have the bodice pinch me in half
  • Going to Chuck-A-Rama in a ball gown
  • Yes, I said Chuck-A-Rama
  • Seeing one of the guys, Bret, in our group wandering around the huge buffet looking at all the scrumptious food with only pickled beets and sweet pickles on his plate
  • Eating too many desserts
  • My beautiful friend Lara who is 6'1" wearing 2 inch heals and explaining that sometimes she wears 3 inch heals if she really wants to make sure she's the tallest person there
  • Going home with my date and climbing into bed with him instead of leaving him at the front porch

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Getting Busy

I am So incredibly excited about Christmas. I can hardly contain myself!
Our family has a tradition wherein everyone makes a homemade gift for the other members of the family.
This year, since 3/4 of my children are losing teeth I will be making them these cute, so very easy, tooth bears from Martha Stewart. They are so cute with the little pocket to put the tooth in. Plus I have everything I need here at home already. Nothing like free cute bears!
The kids and I make things for daddy, things I want so badly to blog about, but I can't because you know who might see them.
Each child also makes gifts for each of their siblings.
Today Mr Bird took Beano away for a while and while they were gone, we got busy.
Each child in turn will get a 'date' with dad between now and Christmas and while they're gone the others will help mom make gifts for that sibling.
I love this tradition more than any we have.
The children absolutely love making things for each other. Today we made a comet toss game for Beano.
The whole time Doodle and I were working on it she could not stop talking about how much he would love it. "He's going to LOVE this!",
"I can't wait to give this to Beano, I wish Christmas were today!" I love that she's more excited about Christmas coming because of what she is giving, not because of what she may be getting.
I also love the one on one time I get with the kids as we create together.
I love that they each also get one on one time with daddy while we are home making things for them.
You want to know the best part though?
Christmas morning.
When it's time to open gifts, guess which ones they go for first?
Last year Dubs, 3 years old at the time, made Doodle a noodle necklace.
When we all went down stairs he went straight for the gift he had made his sister and was so excited to give it to her.
The look of sheer joy in his eyes as he watched with breathless anticipation as she carefully pulled back the wrapping paper was worth more than anything else we had purchased that year.
I love that they feel such joy in giving.
Doodle is getting so grown up. I love doing this with her. I love all of them, but it's more work helping the little boys. She is so fun and smart and loves the process. She is learning to sew. She made a bean bag toss game for Dubs and sewed all the bags on the sewing machine.
She made this cute no sew pillow (hers ended up rectangle shaped) for baby too. All of her gifts are finished.
She loved it.
Then, while Baby was napping Beano helped make finger puppets for him.
I can't wait to help the boys make Doodle's gifts.
But most of all I can't wait until Christmas when the children can learn to love giving even more!
What is your favorite Holiday tradition?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tutus and Tights

Nothing says Christmas like The Nutcracker Ballet
I remember as a child watching the video over and over again.
I was totally enthralled with the sparkly costumes, the beautiful music and the magic of the hansom prince who was once a mere child's toy.
Our Thanksgiving weekend was the best time I've had in a long time.
We ate way too much Turkey, laughed until I thought I'd puke, attended a wedding (My father-in-law got remarried. Congrats Kent and Kathy, we love you both), had Mr Bird home and slept in 4 glorious days in a row.
Why is it I can never get out of bed in the mornings when Mr Bird is home?
He's just too cute and warm and snugly.
The kids think so too. All 4 of them ended up in our bed by 7am every morning.
It was heaven on earth.
Then Friday we saw Ballet West perform The Nutcracker.
It is the perfect transition from Thanksgiving to the Christmas season.
I did not go Black Friday shopping (although I have years past) and I can't say I really missed it.
Going to see the Ballet was much more fun and got me into the Holiday spirit way more than WalMart at 3:30 am ever could.
I think we have a new tradition!
It was fabulous to see all the little girls all dressed in their best clothes, the little boys wriggling in their collared shirts and ties.
When the music started and the curtain opened I could hardly keep my eyes on the stage. I was too busy watching the sheer wonder in my children's eyes.
They were absolutely mezmorized.
It was truly magical.

The Snow Queen has always been my favorite part.

She did not disappoint. She was perfectly sparkly and as graceful and beautiful as any snow queen I've ever seen. When I was a kid I would watch the ballerinas with sheer wonder at their flowing dance and graceful figures and I wanted to be them, just for a moment.
This production brought me back to those childhood feelings.
I would love to be a ballerina.
I just can't figure out how they bend their legs like that.
This may be one dream of mine that will have to remain a dream.
I don't think I could do splits in mid air if my life depended on it.
Mr Bird and I had fun looking at the men in tights.
We concur that Mr Birds bum is just as tight and that his thighs are even buffer than theirs.
Yup, I got a stud, what can I say!
Happy Christmas everyone! It's a 25 day long party!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

When I take a good look around me, I am truly humbled and grateful for the life I lead.
I am so grateful to have 4 beautiful, healthy, happy kids.
I think about how many children in the world are starving and cold, with nothing to drink but filthy water and I realize once again just how blessed we really are.
I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband that not only is glad I can be a stay at home mom, but supports me in that desire 100%.
I am so blessed to live in a country with so many freedoms, especially the freedom to school my children at home. I truly count this as one of my dearest blessings.
I love having my kids here with me, playing with each other and building deep and lasting bonds during these precious few years I've been given to be their mother.
I am so grateful for a sturdy and strong home to keep us warm with all the snow and wind and storms blowing all around us.
We don't live in a mansion. Sometimes it's hard to look at others' homes and not think, "I need this or I really wish our house had that."
But in the end, I really love our home and I know that most of the people in the world don't even have this much.
As I was driving through my town just the other day I passed a neighborhood with tiny, dilapidated homes that were visibly inhabited. I could not help but be grateful for the lovely home Mr Bird and I have made together.
When my parents-in-law went on a mission to South Africa a few years ago they showed us photos of these huge cities filled with millions of people. The houses in these cities were one or two room shacks whose walls were made from corrugated cardboard.
Ya, you heard me, cardboard. Millions of them.
Is that even comprehensible?
Do we even realize how many millions means?
It makes the times I pass my neighbors huge homes and sigh make me seem a little greedy and selfish.
You want to know another cure for not being truly content with what we have been blessed with?
Read The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Holy cow, they had almost nothing, yet they were so happy and considered themselves very blessed.
I am so glad to know that happiness does not come from the things we own, but from how much we treasure the people in our lives.
This season, more than ever I am so grateful for my Savior,
My Beautiful Savior.
I feel His love around me. I feel His peace, even if the world seems so uncertain and scary, I have been blessed to know that He is near, ever so near.
I feel His spirit whispering to me how I can be better.
He takes my hand and shows me how to be a better mother, a better wife, a better me.
And He does it with gentleness and love and mercy and not with harsh judgments or looks of scorn.
He make me what He wants me to be, and that person is infinitely better than I ever thought I could be all on my own.
I know all of these things seem to be the cookie cutter answers.
I'm thankful for my family, my home and my Savior.
Cookie cutter.
Everyone says these things.
But you know what? These things should be the answers.
These things should be the center of our lives. And so with a heart full of gratitude for my merciful and kind Father in Heaven I join with the millions of others this wonderful holiday season and thank Him for these things that I hold dearest to my heart;
My Family, My Home and My Savior!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. May it find you cozy and happy near the ones you love!

Monday, November 23, 2009


The view out my dinning room window this morning as the sun was peaking over the mountains was simply stunning.
There really is no other word to accurately describe it.
Except maybe breathtaking or gorgeous or phenomenal or beautiful.
Growing up in California it was a big deal to see snow. It snowed in my home town one time in the lifetime I was there. Even then, it melted as soon as it hit the ground.
My family took an annual trip up to the mountains, about an hour and a half drive, for the express purpose of playing in the snow. My mom would bring a huge crock pot full of warm chili and we'd bundle up like the Michelin Tire Man. Since one trip up to play in the snow per year did not warrant snow boots, we improvised.
We put on a pair of socks, followed by plastic produce sacks, followed by another pair or two of socks and then our shoes. We wore at least 2 pairs of pants, a few shirts and sweaters, hats, gloves, ear muffs, scarves and the heaviest coats we owned. By looking at us you'd think we were planning a week long camping trip to Siberia.
Still, when we found a good spot to stop and play we inevitably spent a few moments in sheer wonder at the beauty all around us.
This morning, I felt like that little kid again, even though I've lived in snowy Utah for nearly 10 years.
As I looked out, the sun was just peaking over the mountain behind our barn. The first rays of daylight spread light on the newly fallen snow and the sunbeams bounced off the tiny ice crystals, creating a glittery greeting card scene.
Beyond our barn and chicken house I could see the little hill off in the distance. The houses that line the ridge of the hill where wearing a blanket of white, with a few of them emitting soft billows of gray from their chimneys.
Behind the hill even further still I saw the majestic mountain standing bold and strong and high, it's peaks and valleys seemed dusted with a fresh layer of powdered sugar.
As my eyes followed the tips of the mountain upward, my breath was nearly taken away as I looked at the beautiful sky.
It was filled with puffy clouds, with bits of sky peaking through.
The clouds were painted every shade of color between a deep steal gray and sky blue to magnificent pinks and purple and silvery white.
It was magnificent and awe inspiring.
I wanted nothing more than to sit and stare out my window all morning long.
I am constantly amazed at the beauty all around me, if I only take the time to notice it.
I feel like so many times I get so busy with my to do list and taking care of everyone that I miss the important things, like watching the sun rise.
I sat and watched as the deep gray gave way to the morning light and the sky was a bright shiny blue and silver.
Then I got up and showered and made breakfast and cleaned rooms and dressed and brushed children and then I realized something.
Today is the best day I've had in a really long time, so far...
Thanks sunrise, for reminding me of the beauty all around me, especially the beauty of my home and family.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Have you ever roasted green chilies?
Oh, these little bad boys are down right tasty.
They fill the warm kitchen with a spicy aroma that almost brings tears to your eyes.
They freeze wonderfully, ready for any Mexican recipe at any moment.
Plus, they are one of the easiest things you can think of to make.
Ready for this?
First, move the top rack in the oven as close to the broiler as possible.
Place the chilies on a baking pan, once the broiler is preheated place the pan on the top rack.
Leave them there for just a few minutes, until the skin turns black and starts to blister.
Take them out and turn to blister the other side. Continue until all sides of the pepper are blistered.
Remove from the oven and place directly in a plastic sac and seal it.
This allows the chilies to steam.
The bag will puff up like a hot air balloon in just a few seconds from all that hot air.

Aren't they pretty? I love the deep green goodness!
You only have to leave the chilies in the bag for a minute.
Remove them from the bag and the skins will literally peal right off in your fingers.
It's really quite fun to do.
Next, you can place them right in the freezer in a freezer bag for later use or chop them up for your favorite South Western dish.
What did I do with mine, you ask?
I made a dish Mr Bird's mom used to make for their family called Green Chili.
It's not green, but it calls for green chilies.
The recipe calls for canned, but we found out these fresh little puppies have 500% more flavor.
When I made this I chopped up one green chili and put it in.
It did not look like enough, so I chopped another and threw it in the pot.
Big mistake!
I think we would have been good with half of one, these little guys have kick!
Our mouths were on fire, but it was so good.
I could not stop eating it, tears streaming down my face.
You want the recipe?
OK, since I love you, here you go.

Green Chili
1 lb ground beef or ground turkey or finely chopped chicken breast, browned
1 large potato diced really small
1/2 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 small can tomato sauce (or 3-4 fresh Roma tomatoes all blended up with the onion/garlic mixture)
1 small can green chilies or 1/2-1 roasted, diced green chili
6 C water
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 t cumin
salt to taste

Warning: For those of you who don't know me very well, I have made this recipe my own. I don't do it exactly how my mother-in-law did it, but we still think it's a classic.
1. Place the onion, garlic and 2 cups of water in the blender. Blend until liquefied ( I hate chopping onion and garlic and my kids hate finding onion pieces in their food, this solves both problems. Plus it cuts out sauteing them too).
2. Pour the onion mixture in a pot and the add chopped potatoes. Boil until potatoes are tender.
3. While the potatoes are boiling brown your meat (we've made it without meat and I love it, Mr Bird loves it with meat).
4. When the potatoes are tender add remaining 4 cups of water and all other ingredients. Heat through.
5. Optional: You can thicken it with corn starch and water or cornmeal if it's too thin.
6. Serve over a warm tortilla topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, green onions, olives, etc.
Happy Soup Season!