Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kindergarten Baby...

Well, she is no longer a kindergarten baby. :( On the first day of school last August, I put Miss Autumn on the bus to start kindergarten. I thought I was going to be able to ride with her to the school like I did with her older sisters, but, apparently, because of liability issues, they do not allow parents to ride the bus with the kinders on the first day anymore. This is what Miss Autumn looked like when I told her that I couldn't ride the bus with her on the first day...(notice the giant aligator tears running down her cheeks.)

She must have adjusted to school pretty well, because this is Miss Autumn perched in her booster seat in the back of Tiny's truck on her last day of school...(she looks so much more grown up!)

And here she is with her teacher, Mrs. Phillips. We love Mrs. Phillips, she was Jenna's kinder teacher too!

This marks the end of a huge chapter in my life. For many years now I have had little ones at home in the mornings. My littlest is officially going to be in school all day this upcoming year. :( It makes me so sad to think that I won't be able to snuggle under blankets this winter and read books and watch morning cartoons (PBS Kids!) with a little one anymore. My kindergarten baby is officially going to be a Big Girl First Grader. Does that make me an old lady?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pancakes with sweet ricotta filling and triple berry reduction

This is what I made for breakfast this morning. Pancakes piled high with sweet ricotta filling in between and a triple berry reduction syrup on top. I didn't have any, myself, and instead opted for a ham, swiss and scrambled egg sandwich on whole grain bread, but the kids tell me this was delicious!

To start, make your favorite pancake recipe. Any pancakes will do, but because of the sweetness of both filling and topping, I would suggest plain buttermilk pancakes so you don't end up with a too sweet brekkie.

For the ricotta filling:
~ 2 cups ricotta
~ 1 cup confectioner's sugar
~ 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well in a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

For the berry reduction:

~1 bag frozen berries
~ sugar, to taste
~ water

1 bag of frozen berries (this is convenient, you can use fresh if you'd like.) Any type of berries will do. I used a berry medley of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. If you use a larger fruit like strawberries you may want to cut the berries into bite sized pieces like I did.

Pour your berries into a saucepan. Cover with 1 to 1 1/2 half cup water. Sprinkle with sugar to taste. Boil your berries, stirring occasionally, as you cook and flip your pancakes. By the time your pancakes are done you will have a nice sauce. If you like your berries firm, don't cook as long and they will hold their shape and texture.

To serve:
Place one pancake on a plate. Spread ricotta cheese mixture on top as if icing a cake. Top with another pancake. Add as many pancakes as you like, (there are 4 in my picture), when you get to the top pancake, instead of icing with the spread, top with your fruit reduction, making sure to scoop several berries on top of the pancake as well as the juice. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar for a nice finishing touch. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kickin' off Summer!

Yesterday, we decided to take some friends up to Stoddard Canyon and kick off summer by playing in the water and going hiking. Tiny and I had a little adventure when we hiked up the middle of the creek and had to climb down a 20 foot log on our hands and knees to get back out.

I think the crowning glory of the day, though, was watching everyone go down the waterfall. Tiny went down first, and then he proceeded to be lifeguard while Leinani, Lai-ana, Patty (who is a teeny half-pint), and Jeremy all slid after him. Then, Christian, Kai-Kai, Marky and I hiked down and around the creek to get them Marky and I had our own adventure sliding down the shale cliff. Then we all piled into the back of Tiny's truck and flew back up the bumpy dirt road.
Good ole country fun!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bringing Sexy Back...

Ok, not really, I just thought it would be a cute name for this blog post. LOL.

After yesterday's BBQ sauce fiasco, I was determined to redeem myself.

This morning, while the kids were at school, I put a cute, little (but not skimpy), kind of sparkly top on. Then I slid into my favorite, dark, slimming pair of skinny jeans. The finishing touch-my husband's favorite pair of black high heels-open toed, to show off the cute pedicure he got me the day before our wedding-pink, black, and white plaid. Yep, sounds tacky, but take my word for it, it's cute. If you still don't believe me, here's a pic. (Meh, disregard that dark spot on the conrete, ok?)

[Same pedi, different shoes]

I went into the bathroom and put on some foundation, mascara, and a light touch of glossy pink lipstick. Then I brushed through my hair so it would be nice and shiny and full.

I hopped in the car and excitedly drove to my husband's work, intending to surprise him for lunch. As I drove, I prayed that God would bless and anoint our marriage and help us to love and respect each other for all of this lifetime. I also decided, right here and now, that 20 years from now I still want to excitedly get dolled up for my guy and giggle in anticipation as I drive out to surprise him at work.

When I got to my destination, I parked my van right next to his big ole Dodge Ram (that still actually says "Just Married" on the back window-we're taking care of that today) and started walking across the parking lot.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a forklift coming around the corner, and heard a low whistle, and then "What is my wife doing here when I thought she was at home, resting?" He looked at me with a huge grin and a gleam in his eye as he pulled up in the forklift.

We went out for Mexican food and had a really nice lunch together. We got to chat and spend time together alone (that doesn't happen often with all the kids at home.) He just kept staring at me up and down the whole time with this adorable grin. It made me feel so pretty! It was wonderful. Next time I am going to bring him a lunch from home so that we don't spend our money. I appreciate his hard work so much, i'm glad I was able to show up and show him how much I adore him in the middle of a long, hot workday. :-)

Of BBQ sauce and other things...

Yesterday, while my husband slaved away at work, I was at home excitedly making one of his favorite things: BBQ sauce. I don't usually eat BBQ sauce, but he loves it, so I thought i'd try my hand at making it homemade. I had an awesome dinner in mind for us: bbq chicken, beef spareribs in tangy sauce (recipe to come) that had been baked for 4 hours on low and then grilled for a bit afterwards, southern style beans and rice, corn on the cob, and french bread with butter. I know my honey likes slightly spicy BBQ sauce so I found a recipe that had a good kick to it. It called for 4 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, among other things...

Unfortunately, as I was measuring the cayenne, it didn't want to come out of the bottle. It just sat there, stubbornly sticking to the top and sides instead of falling into the measuring spoon as I wanted it to. I gave the bottle a couple of hearty shakes, and it finally decided to leave its safe haven-most of the bottle spilled into my BBQ sauce mixture. WOW! I like hot but this was ridiculous.

Hubs came home and I sadly told him about killing the sauce. He tasted it and started seriously cracking up and asked me to use considerably less cayenne next time. I playfully told him that he hurt my feelings making fun of my sauce and that he WOULD be eating it on his chicken at dinnertime or I would beat him in his giant head. (Hey, what can I say, this submission thing comes slowly, eh?)

**BTW, guess who had BBQ sauce on their chicken at dinnertime? Pretty much everyone except the littles. It wasn't so bad when lightly smeared on the chicken and grilled. Haha-oh, and dinner came out awesome! We ate like kings! :-)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wedded Bliss...

My friend Challice had this posted as her FaceBook status, and I thought it was beautiful.

~~Let the wife make her husband glad to come home
and let him make her sorry to see him leave. ~ Martin Luther~~

Thank you, Mom

Mom helps me get ready for my big day.

More pics to come!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On May 30th 2010

I officially became Mrs. William Figueroa. I thank God for sending such a wonderful man into my life. I'm so excited for the future, with my husband and our beautiful family!

**Above image courtesy Braelyn Rae Photography.

Yeah, I dunno why Christian's head is cut off in this pic. LOL

More pics to come!!